25weeks_picnikIt’s hard to believe that I’m just days away from the last trimester! Next Sunday will officially begin my 90-day countdown. I snapped this shot in the hotel mirror while we were on vacation. I figured since I was dressed up, I might as well take advantage! I feel enormous, but everyone keeps telling me that I look small, so who knows? At any rate, I figure now is a good time for me to start looking for good deals on things like diapers and wipes. You know me — I’m always hunting for the best sale! I’d like to have a decent stockpile before June so there won’t be a need to run out to the store because we’re out of diapers.

I’m also starting to think about stocking the freezer with meals to make those first few weeks easier. By the time the baby arrives, our CSA will be in full swing, so I know we’ll have fresh veggies, but now is a good time to start packing away some dinners, snacks, quick breads, etc. I already have the book, Don’t Panic — Dinner’s In the Freezer! and it’s great! I’ve made several of the recipes in there and they’ve all been good. I’m considering getting Don’t Panic–More Dinner’s in the Freezer: A Second Helping of Tasty Meals You Can Make Ahead since the first book is so good. Although I’ve also thought of getting Dream Dinners: Turn Dinner Time Into Family Time with 100 Assemble-And-Freeze Meals. (Dream Dinners is also a chain of prep-your-own-dinner establishments, and the book is written by the women who started the business.) Maybe I’ll just get them both since I do like having meals ready-to-go. I don’t want to waste time, though, because I know the last couple of months fly by and I don’t want to be stuck with nothing to eat, especially since I’ll really have to take it easy after my c-section! Do you have any favorite freezer meals (aside from lasagna and enchiladas)? I’d love to hear what they are!

Back Home!

It’s always difficult to get back into the swing of things after a great vacation, isn’t it? We had so much fun at Woodloch (as usual!). This time we really packed it all in: Family Olympics, lots of snow tubing (including a couple contests), seeing several shows (including one in which I was picked to stand on a guy who laid down on a bed of nails!), doing lots of kids’ crafts and playing lots of games, and just generally having a lot of fun. Today I need to catch up on laundry. At least the grocery shopping is out of the way. I dragged myself to the store shortly after we got home yesterday afternoon. So I’ll just leave you with some photos from our trip to the Poconos. Happy Saturday!

daddy, jake & noah doing crafts

drew & noah snowtubing

jake & noah

after the snowtube contest

our team for the family olympics

noah & jake with spongebob

saying "goodbye" to woodloch

What a Long Day

For some reason, this day is just dragging. I think sometimes when the school has a two-hour delay it’s like that. Yes, there was a delay this morning on account of snow that totally surprised us last night. I don’t remember it being in the forecast. We decided to go out last night (bad, I know!), and on our way home, once we crossed the Hudson River back to our county, could not believe the way the snow was coming down. We probably got 2-3 inches total. So, as soon as he woke up Drew cleaned out the driveway and then did some work before heading to his dentist appointment and then down to his mother’s.

I’ve kept busy all day tidying up and cooking, but somehow I can’t believe it’s just 3:30. At least dinner is (mostly) done. I’m making Tandoori(ish) chicken (based on Dara’s Tandoori Tofu recipe) and Gobi Aloo (potato and cauliflower curry) because it used up a lot of stuff I had hanging out in the fridge. The kids won’t eat it and Drew said he might just eat dinner with his mom, so there should be plenty of leftovers for tomorrow. I avoided grocery shopping this week, except for picking up milk and some fresh fruit.

This weekend I need to pack for Woodloch! The boys still don’t know. We might tell them on Sunday night. I also have to remember to charge my camera battery and clean off my memory card. I kind of wish I had a couple extra SD memory cards because I’m lazy, but I guess I just will make due, and really that’s fine.

So I’m now totally exhausted and have to run out to wait for Jake’s bus. I’m looking forward to pouring myself a tall glass of icy root beer once he’s home and just relaxing for a bit before getting dinner on the table. Happy Friday, eveyone!

Even the Flowers are Impatient

it can't be long now
Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men. ~ Chinese Proverb

The other day I noticed my pussy willow bush was blooming, and I’m torn! Part of me wants to snip off a few stems to enjoy inside, but at the same time, I love how wild it looks in front of our house. I think for now I’ll just enjoy it from my window, especially since we’ll be on vacation soon. It seems a little early for those fuzzy little buds, but since it’s a hint of spring, I’m not going to complain!

TV Meme

Considering that I think most of the shows on TV right now are generally awful, this should be an interesting one to complete!

1. Name a TV series in which you have seen every episode at least twice: Arrested Development

2. Name a show you can’t miss: Top Chef. (Sorry, Drew.)

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to watch a show: Will Arnett. I’d love to see him in some kind of legal spoof. OMG, imagine him in Washington state in the 90s as a Seattle injury lawyer. Maybe he could get a client who broke a leg crowd surfing, LOL.

4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to watch a show: Angelina Jolie. I just can’t stand her, sorry.

5. Name a show you can, and do, quote from: The Simpsons

6. Name a show you like that no one else enjoys: I guess I’ll say A Haunting. I’m sure there are other people who like it, but I don’t know any.

7. Name a TV show which you’ve been known to sing the theme song: Can’t think of one

8. Name a show you would recommend everyone to watch: Since I primarily watch news shows or documentary-type shows, I doubt anyone would be interested in my recommendations.

9. Name a TV series you own: Veronica Mars

10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium, but has surprised you with his/her acting choices in television: No idea

11. What is your favorite episode of your favorite series? Wow, that’s a tough question to answer. I don’t think I could pin down just one episode. There are a lot of great Simpsons episodes circa 1995, though. Possibly one of those.

12. Name a show you keep meaning to watch, but you just haven’t gotten around to yet: Can’t really think of one.

13. Ever quit watching a show because it was so bad? Yes, there are several! Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy… I know they are super popular but I just don’t think they’re very good. (Of course, few people think the shows I like are good, so it all comes full-circle I suppose.)

14. Name a show that’s made you cry multiple times: Probably one of the many mystery diagnosis shows on Discovery or TLC.

15. What do you eat when you watch TV? Nothing.

16. How often do you watch TV? Usually in the evening

17. What’s the last TV show you watched? I guess Wow, Wow, Wubbzy! with Noah

18. What’s your favourite/preferred genre of TV? Smart comedies, news shows, true crime programs.

19. What was the first TV show you were obsessed with? Twin Peaks. I wrote papers on it in college, so I think that certainly qualifies me as “obsessed.”

20. What TV show do you wish you never watched? American Idol. I am totally embarrassed that I watched the first season.

21. What’s the weirdest show you enjoyed? Twin Peaks. I really need to rewatch the series now that we have both seasons on DVD.

22. What TV show scared you the most? A Haunting. I am such a sucker for ghost stories.

23. What is the funniest TV show you have ever watched? Arrested Development. Too bad more people didn’t get it. On the flip side, whenever I find someone who loves the show, there is instant camraderie!

24. What show was cancelled too early? I can’t think of one. My immediate response would be Arrested Development, but really if it went on much longer it would have lost my interest just like The Office is doing right now. Ricky Gervais said something about how he doesn’t like to do more than two seasons of a show, and honestly I think that makes a lot of sense.

Pink Lemonade & Forbidden Chocolate

I hope everyone had lovely long weekends! We spent half of ours visiting my family up in Massachusetts. It was fun hanging out with everyone! Saturday (Valentine’s Day), started out great. The boys got some chocolates and heart-shaped lollipops. And Drew gave me a beautiful ring called “Pink Lemonade.” It’s glass that has this beautiful coral color to it. Since he knows that I love my jewelry, but won’t really be able to wear necklaces or bracelets once the baby arrives, he thought this was something I can wear and not worry about. Isn’t it beautiful? (Just please ignore how dry my hand is!)

Valentine's present from Drew

Then, my mom told me and Drew to just take off for the day and she and my dad would spend the day with the boys. We’d have been foolish not to take advantage of her offer, LOL! Originally our Valentine’s Day plans were just to go to dinner at The Olive Garden, but that ended up changing as we kind of just went with the flow. We decided to first head over to Christmas Tree Shops in Holyoke, where I found the sweetest mini tea set ever, for just $3! I’ll use it for a spring decoration. I also found a valance for the dining room. (I’m working on replacing all of our curtains — I just want a little more color in the house than the cream ones we have.) Drew found a number of things, too and was really happy about them. Then we grabbed a quick lunch at Desert Moon Cafe. I swear, for the food court, this place is great! I love their chicken tacos and they don’t leave me feeling icky like Taco Bell.

After that, we headed over to Northampton and probably the best yarn store in the world — Webs. I haven’t been there in quite some time, and was ready to splurge on some yummy yarn. Drew actually enjoyed it too! He picked out yarn for a couple projects he wants me to make for him, so maybe that had something to do with it, LOL. I spent way less than I thought I would because everything was from their back room that has majorly discounted yarn (often discontinued colors, that kind of thing).

Yarn splurge

Then we decided to go back home through Hadley so we could go to Trader Joe’s and make a pit stop at Liquors 44 (where we also used to buy our booze back in college, LOL!). Drew picked up a couple cheap bottles of petit syrah, and we bought a bottle of Bogle’s Phantom, which is a blend of petite syrah, zinfandel, and mourvèdre. How can you go wrong with that? I look forward to cracking that bottle open this fall.

If there was ever a possibility to move back to the Amherst/Hadley/Northampton area, we agreed that we’d do it in a heartbeat. I don’t know what it is, but we both love that section of Western Mass so much. It just has a great vibe to it. Maybe someday…

We never did make it to The Olive Garden for dinner. Instead, we opted to just go to the Friendly’s near my parents’ house because I had a wicked craving for ice cream. Yeah, I know we are always at Friendly’s so I guess it isn’t really romantic, but we had some good chuckles people-watching, my burger was awesome, and my hot fudge sundae with Forbidden Chocolate ice cream totally hit the spot. I have to say, it was a pretty great day!

Week’s Eats

Better late than never, right? We did a lot of eating out over the weekend, so in an effort to not needlessly spend more money, I’m going to try to do a “clean out the pantry week.” Let’s see what I can come up with! Too lazy to plan out my lunches this week, so wish me luck there. The plan:

Sunday: Went to the diner
Monday: Ordered pizza
Tuesday: Lemon-pepper cod, green beans, salad (leftover ‘za for the boys)
Wednesday: Spaghetti w/ meat sauce (made with ground turkey), salad
Thursday: Chicken picatta, pasta salad, some vegetable
Friday: Steak, baked potatoes, some vegetable
Saturday: Leftovers, nachos, or whatever I can scrounge up

Slower Than Molasses

Yep, that would be me today. I have a great story about Drew’s grandmother. The first Mother’s Day I spent with them, we all had lunch at Drew’s aunt’s house. Laura (Drew’s grandmother) was very anxious for coffee and dessert and apparently his mom and aunt weren’t clearing the table and doing dishes fast enough for her. Mind you, she was in her high-90s at the time. Probably 97 or 98. So Drew and I are sitting at the table with her, and his mom and aunt are right there in what was a very small kitchen. Laura said to us, “Have you ever tried to pour out molasses? Do you know how slooooow it is?” LMAO! Just thinking about it cracks me up, even now. She was a spitfire, that lady.

Anyway, yes — that would be me today.  Despite the fact that I fell asleep while watching TV, was in bed by 9 p.m., and got to sleep in a little this morning (6:20 as opossed to yesterday’s 4:30!) I just cannot rally. I made myself finish up my feature article first thing this morning, so at least that’s done. I have tons of laundry to fold, though. I’d love to just relax on the couch this afternoon while watching reruns of A Haunting (God, I love that show!), taking count of the number of commercials for weight-loss class action suits, medical malpractice suits, and immigration lawyers (they really do have the weirdest commercials on in the day). Oh, and let’s not forget the cash-for-gold ads. Those are the best! But really I should tackle this laundry.

I might also try to garner enough energy to run out to Wal-Mart this afternoon. I was tipped off by Trina at Fabulously Frugalicious about these $5 scarves they have there. I’ve really been into wearing scarves lately, mostly because I’m bored with my maternity clothes and scarves add a little bit of interest. Anyway, last week I bought a fuschia one and I love, love, love it! In fact I’m wearing it right now. There weren’t many left so I’m hoping to pick up at least one more.

I think we’re also scrapping the penne vodka tonight. Last night D. suggested going out for dinner, but decided to just cook what I’d planned after all. But since today is boneless wing Thursday at Buffalo Wild Wings… Well, we’ve decided that if I go out I just might have to pick some up. So we’ll have those with a salad or something instead. I’m missing the cream and shallots for the penne anyway.

As for my afghan, thanks to everyone who left compliments on it! I haven’t worked on it any more this week, but I plan on bringing it up to my parents’ so I am sure I can work on it a bit there. And that is pretty much what’s going on here!

Easy Ripple Afghan

Sunday I started crocheting the Easy Ripple Afghan and I am really pleased with how it’s coming along! It’s totally a coincidence that the colors I’m using are the same as the photo shown on the pattern page:

easy ripple afghan progress

The lighting in my living room wasn’t the greatest, but I’m using black, sage green, cream, olive, and then taupe before the color pattern will repeat. I’ve always liked these blankets and had no idea how easy they were to make! I cast-on (err… chained I guess) 130 stitches, which will make this a good size for a lap blanket:

easy ripple afghan - 2 days' progress

This one will probably go on the back of my rocking chair, but I’d like to make a larger one at some point for our couch. I bought the yarn a few months ago. I’d planned on knitting a bunch of squares and then piecing them together in a checkerboard-type pattern, but just one square seemed to be taking forever. In two days I’ve already made more progress with crochet. Anyway, just a quick update! And many thanks to Sara and Wendy for so quickly answering my questions over the weekend. You guys are great!

Baby Update :-)

Wow, today is just flying by! I had an OB appointment this morning, and I got lucky again — no waiting, hooray! I am one of those boring patients that they love. Nothing to report, no real questions to ask. Everything is going along fine. Even my doctor remarked that I look small, but I am measuring on target, so I guess it’s just the way baby girl is curled up in there. She also gave me the official date for my c-section: June 3rd! That is the day after our 8th anniversary. I plan to enjoy a nice, big anniversary dinner the night before, so I won’t be hungry after the point when I have to fast. Actually the no-eating shouldn’t be too bad. She just said no food after midnight, and they usually do the scheduled c-sections first thing in the morning. After my c-section with Noah they let me eat real food right away (best turkey sandwich ever, I swear!), so hopefully the same policy will apply and I won’t be stuck on a liquid diet for a day or so. But we’ll worry about that later.

I had such a great experience last time at this particular hospital, and I hope it will be a repeat performance. I remember thinking that it actually felt like a mini-vacation! The nurses were wonderful, the room was comfortable, and heck – even the hospital food wasn’t bad! Saturday I’ll be 24 weeks along. Crazy! I feel great and have no real complaints. Some back pain here and there and despite the fact that everyone tells me that I don’t even look pregnant (great, so I just look fat? LOL!), some tasks are getting difficult. I noticed that my belly gets in the way when I wash dishes and I literally roll out of bed in the morning. But otherwise, things are pretty uneventful, and for that I am thankful!