Putting on the LB(D)s

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this yet, but I have an incredible maternity wardrobe.  I am so, so fortunate to be able to borrow from Katie and accept donations from lots of other women who are done-and-I-don’t-want-these-back.  Partially due to the magic of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and partially due to elastic waistbands, most of the clothing I’ve been able to wear as if it were made just for me.  Jeans?  10 pairs.  Shirts?  20. Dresses?  15, at least.  There’s actually cute stuff hanging in my closet that I didn’t even get a chance to wear before I outgrew it/the seasons changed.  Here are a few of the adorable little black dresses (LBDs) I’ve been able to rock this spring.  (These photos are all at least a month old.)

#1 at school
#1 at school
#2 at a shower
#2 at a shower
#3 anytime...i LOVE this dress
#3 anytime…i LOVE this dress

For me, maternity clothes are fun.  They are a colorful reminder of Chandler’s growth and movement.  I am grateful to my wardrobe donors and look forward to sharing the wealth someday!

Summer Paleo Eats

Stephanie Taylor, I take your Italian Bake and raise you the Italian Grill.

Chicken and Veggies just grillin'...
chicken and veggies just grillin’…
...smothered in red sauce, mozz, parm, & fresh basil.
…smothered in red sauce, mozz, parm, & fresh basil.

Steph introduced us not only to Paleo, but also the Italian Bake–very similar to this set-up, except in the oven.  The first time she made this delicious dinner for us, I was having a pregnant moment and ate sour cream and onion chips instead.  I know I missed out, but it was just one of those days.  Anyhow, we just happened to have all of these ingredients on hand, so there was dinner!

What the Kale?

The last few weeks have been crazy with the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, i.e. Cookout Season.  I can’t even remember the last time I really made dinner, what with constantly meeting up with friends and being out of town.  When we are home, we throw something on the grill.  I must have had some kind of dinner aspirations last week, however, because there was a lovely, leafy bunch of kale in my refrigerator eyeing me every time I opened the door to refill my water (tanning in the backyard is quite dehydrating.)  So, we threw the cheddar brats on the grill and I wondered what to do with nature’s superfood giving me the stinkeye from behind the fridge door.

I poked around and found half an onion, 6 mushrooms, half of a lemon, and an open Manager’s Special package of bacon (which means it’s the organic center cut good stuff we don’t usually absolutely never spend money on!)  I sauteed the onions and mushrooms, tossed in the kale to wilt, doused it all in fresh lemon juice and salt & pepper, and crumbled some hot, crunchy bacon on top.  Incredibly tasty.  And satisfying, knowing that apparently kale is so good for you it can singlehandedly stop fracking, cure melanoma, and save baby seals.

Kale Surprise
Kale Surprise

April Showers Bring May Showers

Eric and I have been extremely fortunate and undoubtedly grateful for the love our family and friends have shown us these last few weeks.  We have had three (!) baby showers, and counting.  It is truly unbelievable how many people have showered us with kind thoughts and generous gifts.  In April, we traveled to Cleveland where my mom threw us our first baby shower.  I sadly don’t have any photos from this event, but I think my sister-in-law does and so I will track them down in order to give that party its proper, full-detail, blog post dues.  All I’ll say right now is WOW…THANK YOU, MOM.

In May, my lovely girlfriends from Vail hosted a baby shower for me in downtown Denver. We had a delicious brunch and we all got to catch up after being apart for way too long. And we missed those of you that couldn’t make it!  Thank you, ladies!

The Vail crew in Denver!
The Vail crew in Denver!

Later in May, my amazing coworkers hosted a baby shower for me after school.  I had no idea how wonderfully crafty they are and how adorably cute the shower would turn out! As we don’t know if we’re having a boy or a girl, they decorated the party in a gender-neutral black-and-yellow bumblebee theme.  Since donuts have been my favorite part of being pregnant, they made sure to get Krispy Kremes, striped in black and yellow, with chocolate covered pretzels pushed in to look like bumblebee wings!

Super-creative food table!
Super-creative food table!
Fun drinks!
Fun drinks!

We played some fun games and enjoyed all of the delicious food.  I really couldn’t believe the generosity of our staff, either.  The pile of gifts was almost embarrassing (almost!) Perhaps the cutest gift came from the almost-all-male Social Studies department.  In what appeared to be a cupcake box, I found onesie “cupcakes” rolled up with teeny-tiny sock “icing!”  Genius.

Cupcake onesies!
Cupcake onesies!

Of course, this shower would not have been possible without these beautiful colleagues:

Amber, Jess, me, & Nikki
Amber, Jess, me, & Nikki
Elly & me, the Mommy-to-Bee!
Elly & me, the Mommy-to-Bee!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my awesome special education team for putting this together.  Chandler thanks you, too!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mom pregnant with me, 1981.
Mom pregnant with me, 1981.  Lakewood, OH.

Mother’s Day is a holiday that I haven’t spent in person with my mom since, oh, probably 1998.  In the middle of May, I would have been in college, at OU, and then I moved to Colorado.  It’s possible I might have been home in Cleveland during mud season, but I can’t recall for sure.  So Mom, I’m sorry I haven’t been there with you for sixteen years on Mother’s Day.  (And I won’t be there this year, either.)  I just hope that next year we’ll be together–you, me, and Chandler, for Mother’s Day.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Mother's Day 2014.  It's snowing, Chandler.
Mother’s Day 2014.


I Swear We’re Not Having Twins

I’ve been getting pretty consistent feedback that I’m big.

  • “You’re not due until August? Really?!”
  • “Are you sure there’s only one in there?”
  • “You’re waddling!  Must be getting close!” (there will be a follow up post on this one…)

My doctor is on the other end of the spectrum, claiming that since I’m “so tall and skinny it just makes me look big.”  She gets bonus points for her bedside manner, by the way.  At our 22 week ultrasound the technician mentioned Chandler has large feet, but in all other ways our baby is normally sized.  Here are a few photos of my belly!

Lilly knows.  We know it.
Lilly knows. We know it.
April 11 was College Tee Day at school.  This is what I look like in normal clothes.
April 11 was College Day at school. This is what I look like in normal clothes.


April 23.  Almost 26 weeks!
April 23. Almost 26 weeks!

We had another doctor’s appointment today.  Chandler is growing and all is well!


Meet Chandler

We didn’t find out the sex of the baby.  We like to call the baby Chandler, because it’s one of those names that could go either way.  I should be very clear here that although we like the name Chandler and encourage others to use it, WE ARE NOT NAMING THE BABY CHANDLER.  Here are a few of the early shots of Chandler!

December 18 we heard the heartbeat for the first time.
December 18 we heard the heartbeat for the first time.
December 26 and shim is growing!
December 26 and Chandler is growing!
January 8 Chandler was so active we couldn't find a heartbeat on the doppler, so we had another ultrasound.  All is well!
January 8 Chandler was so active we couldn’t find a heartbeat on the Doppler, so we had another ultrasound. All is well!

I have been very fortunate to feel 100% awesome this entire pregnancy.  No pain, no exhaustion, no extra trips to the doctor for anything worrisome.  We postponed our “20 week” ultrasound (in quotes because you can get them as early as 18) so that my mom could come with us when she visited over Spring Break.  These shots show Chandler at just shy of 22 weeks.

Chandler would not stop moving around.  We might have the world's blurriest ultrasound photos.
Chandler would not stop moving around. We might have the world’s blurriest ultrasound photos.
Tiny arms on a healthy tiny baby!
Tiny arms on a healthy tiny baby!

It’s crazy to think the next time we see this miniature person she or he will be in our arms. Until then we’ll enjoy the frequent flips and spins as Chandler hardly ever rests!




Soy Pollo

I had a package of chicken thighs in the freezer, with which I usually make Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I don’t particularly love chicken thighs, but I do love that soup. The problem?  It contains not only (evil) beans but also (devil) corn and corn tortillas.  In other words, NOT paleo-friendly.  So I looked for another recipe for chicken thighs in the crockpot (sans beans, corn, and other foods that make meals taste delicious) and came across this Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken.

Green onions and sesame seeds make food pretty.
Scallions & sesame seeds make food pretty.

The recipe is simple, and I even substituted cornstarch for coconut flour to thicken the sauce.  Eric loved it.  As it’s an Asian-inspired dish, it contains a significant amount of soy sauce.  And, since Eric is paleo, he omitted the bed of rice and just went for a giant pile of chicken.  Which led to Eric joking, “Soy Pollo!”

Italian Paleo Surprise

It’s Friday night.  The refrigerator is doing a great job keeping the milk and soy sauce cold. We’re on a mission to eat in as much as possible.  I did take a pound of ground turkey out of the freezer earlier this week, so there’s that.

What else?  Half of a red bell pepper, an onion, 2 garlic cloves, a jar of marinara sauce. Some parm for garnish.  Wait!  What’s that behind the pickles?  A container of Manager’s Special mozzarella balls, only half-gone.  Score!

I always shop for Manager's Specials.  I'd never pay full price for treats like balls of cheese.
I always shop for Manager’s Specials. I’d never pay full price for treats like balls of cheese.

Eric went Paleo in January, but didn’t really get strict about it until March.  I am not on the Paleo bandwagon.  Pregnant or not, I’m not giving up Panera bread or cereal.  Or oatmeal.  Or pasta.  But, I try to be a good wife, and I’m the resident cook, so I try to make sure Eric has a Paleo option at every meal.  Mostly he subsists on salads and leftover dinner meats, and he cooks himself bacon and eggs every day for breakfast.

Occasionally I really want macaroni and cheese (Horizon beats Annie’s), and he gets what he can find.  But usually I pull through and on nights like tonight we eat something resembling a meal.

Meat and cheese in a bowl.  It makes Eric happy.
Meat and cheese in a bowl. It makes Eric happy.

Yes, I know we’re really just eating spaghetti sauce in a bowl, but I made it sound fancier than that, right?






Visiting Jess

I just got back from Washington, where I was celebrating Jess’ upcoming June nuptials at perhaps the most untraditional bachelorette party of all time.  We shopped Seattle on Sunday, and boarded a water taxi bound for Blakely Island on Monday, just the two of us.

The beach.
The beach.

Blakely Island is pure Northwestern bliss.  Damp, chilly, scenic, rustic.  We stayed in a friend’s cabin and hiked in the sun, cooked gourmet meals, and caught up on life, love, and the latest issues of Country Living.

Sidenote:  Do not mock the Country Living.  For all you people that like the way our house is decorated…Country Living is my guide!

21.5 weeks
21.5 weeks

The baby thoroughly enjoyed the trip.  We’re both getting bigger day by day, and we both feel superb.  I hope it stays this way so I can shop for a maternity matron of honor dress and heave myself down the aisle at 35 weeks at Gilbert Cellars in Yakima, WA.