Thursday, June 30, 2011

Belly Shots: 20 Weeks

Today marks the halfway point in my pregnancy. Twenty weeks down, twenty weeks to go!

There isn't a whole lot to report beyond our finding out we are having another girl. I will tell you though that I am feeling a lot more movement and kicking than I did last week. I notice our little girl moving around whenever I get a chance to take a little break, and especially at night once things settle down. I can't wait until Jonathan and the girls can feel her kicks too!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Simple July 4th Craft

I cannot believe that Independence Day is next week! I also cannot believe that we will be spending it at home for the first time in 9 years! Ever since Jonathan and I started dating back in 2002 I would head down to northern Virginia to spend the holiday weekend with Jonathan's family-complete with fireworks on the National Mall. Hopefully next year we can resume the tradition.

Anyway, I spotted a simple craft on a
BabyCenter blog that I thought I would try with Abigail. I ended up using construction paper instead of foam. Abigail had fun with it and now we have two necklaces the girls can wear on July 4th (that is, if they last that long ;-)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Oh Boy...

It's another girl :-)

We had our anatomy ultrasound today. The technician didn't get to the real reason I was there, but looked for what she could find first. After a look at the heartbeat (160), the spine, arms, legs, stomach, etc she went looking for the gender.

I thought to myself as I watched the screen, "Oh, it's another girl. No! Wait! A boy? No, that's a girl." the technician confirmed it.

So, remember those "tests" I subjected myself to? Most were wrong (including my gut feeling). I didn't tell you about another test I took a few times though: the Abigail test.

Test: Ask Abigail if she thinks Mommy is having a boy or a girl.

Verdict: GIRL. And she was right.

Jonathan and I are very excited to meet our little girl (name TBD) in about 21 weeks!

Three times the giggles, smiles, twirls, drama, pigtails, chipped nail polish, and "Daddy, Daddy, look at me"s!

And maybe some more of this...

And this...

I love our silly girls.

Photo Fridays 06.24.11

We had some rainy day fun yesterday. We started by painting with water colors (water and food coloring-I never seem to have red!). We then played "animals in the crib" so I could straighten out the girls' room. Abigail didn't nap so she ended up helping me make cookies. Finally, the rainy day fun ended with the girls snoozing in bed with my good friend, Jennifer, reading a book in our living room so Jonathan and I could go out on a date!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What's Cooking: Creamy Pasta Primavera

This is a recipe I found on Kraft Recipes. I liked the incorporation of fresh vegetables, which I don't often use (we typically use frozen). It also looked simple and easy. So I present to you Creamy Pasta Primavera.

Modifications/Substitutions: I didn't use asparagus because I just didn't want to.

Ease: This recipe was very easy to execute, especially with energetic girls running around. I'll give it 4 stars.

Affordability: Chicken, like always, was purchased on sale. Also, the vegetables were pretty reasonably priced. I'll also go with 4 stars for this category.

Taste: Jonathan and I were both quite pleased with how this meal turned out. Simple and few ingredients yielded great flavor - 4.5 stars.

Family Friendly: The girls both ate their pasta. Abigail avoided her vegetables, but did try a piece of zucchini. Sarah is more adventurous and, while she didn't actually eat her vegetables, she did try the zucchini, squash, and pepper. At what point do you sit at the table until plates are clean? What is an appropriate age to "force" your kids to eat veggies? Anyway, only 3 stars go for this category because the veggies remained.

What's Cooking Rating: 4 stars (rounded up to nearest 0.25)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

I can't speak for Jonathan, but we had a very lovely Father's Day. We started off with a special homemade breakfast. This is also when we gave Jonathan his Father's Day gift.

What Dad doesn't love getting a new shirt for work ;-)
This is a picture Abigail drew of her and Daddy earlier this week.

After church we headed over to my parents' to hang out. The girls had fun hanging out with their Papa (and everyone else, of course). We could all tell though that the girls were getting tired, so we had them lay down to watch a movie and relax. I couldn't believe it, but Abigail actually fell asleep!

We ended the day with dinner and hanging outside for a bit-which made for a great opportunity to take pictures!

Can you believe that this is the first one I took of Jonathan and the girls!?Family portrait courtesy of my Dad

Friday, June 17, 2011

Boy or Girl? A Series of "Scientific" Experiments

I am just so excited to find out if we are having a boy or a girl. So, I decided that, just for fun, I would submit myself to a few “tests” in an attempt to predict if this little one is a boy or a girl. Enjoy my “scientific” exploration.

Heart Rate
Test: According to this website, a higher heart rate (over 140) indicates you are carrying a girl.
Verdict: GIRL-My last appointment showed a rate of 155.

Chinese Gender Chart

Test: By charting the mother’s age and month of conception you can predict your baby’s gender with up to 90 percent accuracy! That’s according to this website anyway.
Verdict: BOY (didn’t know that February is the first lunar month for 2011)

Baking Soda Test

Test: So, I didn’t find any official looking websites that talked about this, just mostly mommy message boards. If you really want to know what it involves, check this out.
Verdict: BOY

Wedding Ring Test

Test: Tie your wedding ring to a piece of string and hold over your belly while laying down. If it swings in a strong circular motion you are having a girl, if it moves like a pendulum you are having a boy.
Verdict: INCONCLUSIVE-When I held the string I got “boy”, when Abigail did we got “girl”. Then I kept trying and I got both.

Old Wives Tales

Test: This website has a handy dandy survey that asks about cravings, weight gain, baby movement, etc.
Verdict: 60% chance BOY, 40% chance GIRL

Mom's Gut
At the risk of being wrong come next week, I thought I'd share my gut feeling about what we're having. Even though this pregnancy is very similar to my previous two I have a "feeling" that Baby #3 is a boy. There. I said it.

We’ll see how accurate these tests prove to be next Friday-as long as the baby cooperates anyway!

Photo Fridays 06.17.11

On Monday the girls and I joined Nonna, Auntie Laura, Uncle Nick, and Bridget for lunch at Chuck E Cheese's. Here are a few pictures from our time there.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Belly Shots: 18 Weeks

I had another check-up last week. It was quick and easy. The nurse practitioner looked for the heart beat right away. She caught it pretty fast and just long enough to record a heart rate of 155. As soon as she got the reading our little baby moved right out of the way. The nurse tried to catch it again, but he/she kept moving. Suddenly POW, the little rascal gave me and the nurse a swift kick.

This was a pleasant feeling for me as I've been so busy and distracted by the girls that I often don't take the time to sit around and see if I can feel the baby move. Here and there I've felt a few things, but nothing during the day that I notice. I'm sure once the baby gets bigger I won't be able to ignore the kicks and elbows anymore!

Here we are at 18 weeks!

Next Friday is our big ultrasound, when we (hopefully) find out if we are having a boy or a girl. I want to find out so bad because I think we'll need all the time we can get to pick out a name.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's Cooking: Orecchiette with Spinach, Sausage & Tomatoes

I thought I'd try another recipe from one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks 29 Minutes to Dinner: Volume 2. Thankfully, I can freely share it with you because it is also available online. This is a pasta dish called Orecchiette with Spinach, Sausage and Tomatoes.

Modifications/Substitutions: I didn't go with orecchiette pasta because what I could find was a bit expensive, so I went with gemelli instead. Also, I didn't have garlic cloves on hand so I used garlic powder. Red pepper flakes were optional and I'm glad I didn't use them (especially one whole teaspoon) as the recipe was plenty spicy because of the sausage. Finally, I also omitted the grape tomatoes for no particular reason.

Ease: This was a one skillet meal, which is always nice. Also, there was little prep-time involved, which made things very easy. I'll give this recipe 4 stars.

Affordability: This was one of our more "expensive" meals, though it was still affordable. Let's break it down, just because:

Sausage - $3.23
Diced tomatoes - $2.25
Spinach - $2.50
Pasta - $0.80
Total - $8.78 ($1.46 per serving)

3.5 stars for affordability

Taste: We were very pleased with the taste. This was a nice light pasta dish that I think is perfect for a spring/summer evening - 4.5 stars.

Family-Friendly: When I dish out food for the girls I typically pick and choose (and even separate) bits and pieces of meals that have multiple ingredients. This time, I just scooped up and plopped the pasta on their plates. They did tend to stay away from the spinach, but Abigail did eat it when we encouraged her. Also, both of them ate some of the sausage (which surprised me a bit). Abigail loved the tomatoes, while Sarah could live without them. Overall though I would say this was a successful dish as far as family-friendliness goes. I'll give 4.5 stars.

What's Cooking Rating: 4.25 stars (rounded up to the nearest 0.25)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Birthday Fun!

This weekend we celebrated my niece Bridget's first birthday. Bridget's birthday falls only two days after her Mommy's (my sister Laura). So, both birthdays were celebrated because Laura's was a milestone too - she is now 30!

The theme was a princess theme, which meant my girls were in heaven. They were treated like royalty-they got to wear new princess gowns from Auntie Laura and crowns too!

Here is the birthday girl all princess-ed up too with Nonna.

Unfortunately I didn't get any messy cake pictures with my camera. I can safely say that Bridget made a beautiful mess with pink frosting. Here is a picture of one of the cakes though. Laura made two sheet cakes with a large and small princess on each.

My brother-in-law arranged a special surprise for my sister. He asked my cousin Lauren to make 30 unique cup cakes. Laura was definitely surprised!

Happy birthday Bridget and Auntie Laura!