Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Staycation 101

This past week Matt and I have been on a 'Staycation.' We tried this a little last year, with a little trip to the beach in the middle, but this year we spent the whole week around here. This year our Staycation was awesome. We had the perfect mix of productivity and funsies. When I say productivity, I don't mean like cleaning the house, running errands, yard work, etc. The things we made progress with were big decisions that had been put off until we had more time (me being off for the summer, and Matt having only one job to worry about) to put thought into them. I'm going to do a little wrap up of what we did this week :)

Day One: Tuesday we got up and decided to conquer the baby registry process. I am pleased to say this was much more enjoyable than the wedding registry. No one got mad, no one was 'hangry,' we both hung in the whole time. Not only did we go to Target, we also visited Babies R Us. We took a very well planned break in the middle of the day for lunch and a dress fitting. We accidentally stumbled up a new-ish restaurant called The Bone, and we both loved it! Definite success.

Day Two: Wednesday we decided to lay low and just went to the pool during the day. I got the worst sunburn because after 31 years I still can't apply sunscreen correctly, and have to learn the same lesson every summer. After hanging out all day we had reservations at one of our favorite restaurants, Founding Farmers. We visited the newest location in Tysons Corner, which we hadn't been to before. It was great food as usual.

Day Three: Thursday we took care of some items on our to do list around town. Not the most exciting day, but things that needed to be done. Matt wanted to go to BJ's for dinner, so we did. I am not a BJ's lover. After this trip, BJ's is no longer allowed (probably). The night was saved, though, because we went by Safeway to get a RedBox movie (American Sniper) on the way home, and through great teamwork also came up with the great idea to make s'mores (on the gas stove - don't laugh until you've tried it)!

Day Four: Friday we each had our own thing to do in the morning. In the afternoon, I might have accidentally fallen asleep. We went out people watching after we had dinner and then watched Birdman when we got home. Matt thought this movie was great. I did not.

Day Five: Saturday it rained ALL day here. So disappointing because we had already made plans to go to The Capital Grille for lunch and spend the day in DC. We decided to still go downtown. After a delicious lunch we planned on going to a museum, but it was raining so hard and it was windy. We just walked next door to the National Archives and then decided to just go home after seeing the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. We stopped for a treat at Starbucks on the way home, and then started watching Rectify on Netflix Saturday night. Rectify is by the same producers as Breaking Bad, and was recommended for people who loved Mad Men. I'm not totally sold yet, but it's early.

Day Six: Sunday we got up early and headed to Harper's Ferry, WV. This was about an hour and fifteen minute ride from our house, but neither of us had ever been there. Matt was excited about the history, I was more excited about going somewhere I haven't been, and some pretty scenery. We got a pretty good mix of both, maybe a little heavier on the history side. We also ended up hiking many, many miles and saw a pretty waterfall and nice views of the Shenandoah as well. After driving back home, and relaxing for a short bit, we decided to go to the Stephens City Drive In about an hour from our house. This made for a long day, and a lot of driving, but it was all pretty cool. We stopped at Wegmans to get snacks and dinner to take with us. We stayed for both movies, Inside Out and Tomorrowland. We were really only wanting to see the first, which both of us liked. Tomorrowland left a lot to be desired in both our opinions.

Day Seven: We decided to make our last day a super chill day and mostly just hung out around the house, with the exception of one errand and a silly decision we have wavered for years on. I am so happy that's over. I will spare you the boring details. Really.

I think you can tell I highly recommend a Staycation, but know that maybe it wouldn't work everywhere. We live somewhere that there are SO MANY activities to do and places that are only a short drive away. Also, we do have a second vacation planned this summer. I don't know if I would be so happy about staying home if I didn't know I was getting out of town in a few weeks. But, really, I think everyone should try it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

24 Weeks

Great news! Matt and I are on a 'Staycation' this week! Well, it officially started yesterday since I had a class on Monday and Matt went to work. We have already been super productive and played a lot of catch up in the baby department. We worked on the room on Sunday (in honor of Matt's first Father's Day) and yesterday we created our baby registry. I can only imagine what people are going to think when they look at that registry. Probably that we have no idea what we are doing, which is true. But, really, have you ever been to the bottle aisle?!?! TOO MANY CHOICES! How am I supposed to know what this kid is going to like!?!? This has also been the first time where not knowing the gender was slightly frustrating. It seems like every textile is either boy or girl specific, there are not enough gender neutral options that are as cute. Someone needs to start a line. 

How far along? 24 weeks!

How big is the baby? A large ear of corn or a cantaloupe. And depending on where you are reading 10.5-12 inches and 12.7 oz to 1 1/3 pounds. Again, all of this makes no sense...pretty big ranges in my opinion.

Maternity clothes? Not really, I don't need them, but I have some just in case. I also think maternity clothes make you look more pregnant so I wore some yesterday to look like I should be creating a baby registry. 

Sleep? I can't complain. I am officially on summer break so I can sleep a little better, but would still like to sleep longer. 

Symptoms? Nothing totally crazy this week. 

Best moment this week? On Sunday, Matt and I worked almost all day putting together furniture which turned out pretty well. We also took most the day yesterday registering. 

Food cravings? Same...fruit mostly. I also really wanted some banana bread, but decided to make some healthy-ish banana muffins instead. I will share the recipe soon. I am happy to tell you my eating is drastically improved from last week's end of the year junk food fest. 

Food aversions? Not much right now.

Gender? It's a surprise! I shared our Baby Hunch pool last week and we LOVE seeing your guesses! Submit one if you would like, just follow this link: http://www.babyhunch.com/poolpage.php?poolid=afff7a33bcd4c7d922db1523e31ba3e3

What I miss? Sleeping on my stomach. 

What I'm looking forward to? Right now, I am just happy it's summer and that I can focus on checking things off the list in the getting ready department. I think we are off to a good start! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Recipe of the Week!

Crock Pot Stuffed Bell Peppers
When I first cam across these, I was skeptical. I'm not the biggest pepper lover, but they have been growing on me in recent years. That combined with the fact they are made in a crock pot wasn't really all that appealing. I am happy to tell you I was wrong. I really enjoy these, as in I have made them more than once. The one thing that does bother me, though, is that there are drainage issues. Water collects at the bottom of the crock pot and in the bottom of the peppers. I'm not totally sure how to remedy that yet, but I might try poking holes in the bottom of the peppers before stuffing them. Otherwise, I usually just dump the water as best I can right before serving.

6 Large Bell Peppers (any color)
1 pound lean ground beef
½ cup onion, chopped
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup rice, cooked (I usually use some leftover rice if we have it)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1¼ cup shredded cheese

Cut off each top of the peppers and scrape out the seeds and membranes. Combine ground beef, onion, diced tomatoes, rice, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of cheese. Stuff each bell pepper with mixture. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours until peppers are tender and ground beef is cooked through. About 15 minutes before serving, sprinkle remaining cheese and let it melt.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Signs of Summer

The school year has been one of the quickest of my career. I really lucked out this year. My new co-counselor was so awesome...the people you work with make such a big difference in day-to-day happiness. As of this evening, I am officially finished with the 2014-2015 school year. I am ready to concentrate on preparing for a new member of the household, and celebrating life as Matt and I know it right now. I know Summer 2015 will be a quick one and I'm determined to accomplish a lot, have a lot of fun, and say 'yes' to every opportunity it holds! HAPPY SUMMER, FRIENDS!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

23 Weeks!

Current Hunch Stats!
I remember when I first found out I was pregnant trying to figure out just how pregnant I would be at the end of the school year. Now 23 weeks and June 18th are finally here/almost here! On Sunday, Matt and I set up a baby pool using Baby Hunch. It has been so fun to see 'hunches' come in about what people think will happen in October. Take a look at the pool (you can find the link under gender) and submit your hunch! We so hope you will participate!

How far along? 23 weeks!

How big is the baby? Grapefruit or a mango...but seriously isn't that smaller than a spaghetti squash or a papaya that the baby was last week?

Maternity clothes? Still no!

Sleep? It's getting better, but still hoping it continues to improve.

Symptoms? Not too much this week really, except the usual.

Best moment this week? Seeing the baby move from the outside, and reading people's guesses on our baby pool.

Food cravings? Oh man...so the last week of school is always rough for eating. There is so much junk food EVERYWHERE! Overall, though, same as usual, fruit is good.

Food aversions? Not much right now.

Gender? It's a surprise. Any guesses? Just follow this link: http://www.babyhunch.com/poolpage.php?poolid=afff7a33bcd4c7d922db1523e31ba3e3

What I miss? Sleeping on my stomach. A few times this past week I have missed being able to eat lunchmeat, but only because there were sandwiches brought to school for us to eat.

What I'm looking forward to? Our doctor appointment on Friday, my last day of school tomorrow (FINALLY), SUMMER, and Matt and I both having the week off next week.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

22 Weeks!

It seems like the weeks are starting to go so quickly. I remember the first trimester taking forever! It's pretty crazy to think we will have a baby in about four months time. I can't wait for the end of school to focus more on what needs to be done. There's not too much new or interesting this week, but just to keep stats, here's whats going on at 5.5 months :) 

How far along? 22 weeks!

How big is the baby? Well, some say as big as a papaya, some say as big as a spaghetti squash.

Maternity clothes? Nope. I feel like this is getting weird....how is it possible?

Sleep? Slightly better this week, but that's not saying all that much

Symptoms? Headaches and heartburn.

Best moment this week? The baby's room got painted on Monday!!! So exciting!

Food cravings? Fruit, peanut butter, chips. Also, have you ever had a cronut? Someone brought these things to school and convinced me to try one even though I don't even like donuts. I should have never eaten it. I now think about cronuts on the regular. WHY?!?! Please note, I don't actually eat all these things. I just want them.

Food aversions? Not much right now.

Gender? It's a surprise. Any guesses? I am looking into starting a baby pool. I think that would be fun. 

What I miss? Sleeping on my stomach. Today I was also thinking about my old running ways as I watched people run down the road. I have a feeling it's going to be a rough comeback.

What I'm looking forward to? SUMMER, building furniture, and summer. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

This Year's Garden

A little less than a month ago, I planted my potted garden. I wish I would have remembered to take pictures when I planted. I just can't get over how big my plants are already. We even already have our first tomatoes. I hope all my plants are successful this year. In the photo above, you can see our little herb box that contains oregano, sage, and basil. Behind that is an eggplant on the left, and jalapeno and banana peppers on the right. In the photo below, a cherry tomato on the right, and two better boy tomato plants in the earth box. 

We had a crazy thunderstorm rip through here this afternoon and my poor garden took a little bit of a beating. My banana pepper was completely on it's side! The herbs were looking bruised (I'm serious!). I'm really hoping my plants pull through. I'm so excited to see what the summer brings. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

21 weeks

Monday we had one of the coolest experiences of being pregnant, our 20 week ultrasound! It probably lasted about 20 minutes. Technology is crazy! We got to see a lot of cool images. They probably took at least a hundred pictures, and we saw all the different parts of the baby's anatomy. These are some of the pictures they sent us as well as some stats for the week. 

The 20 week ultrasound is when you can find out if the baby is a boy or girl, but we didn't (more on that below). I do want to start a Superbowl like pool for guesses on when this baby will actually arrive, how much it will weigh, and of course if it's a boy or girl. I'll look into that soon. What do you think? Boy or girl? 

How far along? 21 weeks!

How big is the baby? You know how much I love this produce comparison since it makes so much sense...one website says a pomegranate, another says a carrot, a book someone gave me says papaya. Now to me those are three different sizes, but what do I know. At our midway ultrasound on Monday, the sonographer said she thought the baby weighed 14 ounces. 

Maternity clothes? Nope.

Sleep? Things are not going well in this department. I'm hoping it gets better very soon.

Symptoms? Not many this week...I've been a little more hungry and the movement is more frequent. 

Best moment this week? 
Our midway ultrasound! It was so, so cool. We got to see alllll the different parts of the baby, even though a lot of the time we had absolutely no idea what we were looking at or what the sonographer was talking about. They show you the blood flowing in and out of the heart and umbilical cord, we obviously even got to see 3D images, and found out that everything looks normal and healthy.

Food cravings? Fruit - nectarines are at Wegmans!!! 

Food aversions? Not much right now.

I have wavered on this...I'm a type A individual who loves to plan. That part of me wants to know. Then there is also a big part of me that thinks this is one of life's greatest surprises, like waiting for Christmas morning for 10 months, and I want to wait it out until October. Matt, from the beginning, has wanted to find out, but I (and a few others) talked him into waiting. I am proud to say we stood strong on Monday, closed our eyes when they told us to, and didn't find out! Only one person in the whole world knows, and she didn't write it in her notes, so no one will slip and tell me :) 

What I miss? Sleeping on my stomach (SO MUCH), and the fact I couldn't get my tooth fixed today, but it will all work out.

What I'm looking forward to? SUMMER...so we can do some fun things regarding this baby and get some other important decisions made.