Soaking up the sunshine this weekend!

We had a wonderful weekend. The weather was amazing and we were able to get outside and soak up the sunshine but also be productive too.

FRIDAY

After work Liam and I went straight outside to play. I filled up his new no spill bubbles he got for Easter and we had a lot of fun outside.

SATURDAY

It was our normal Saturday morning routine. Wake up, drink smoothies, and I head to sweat circuit while Joe and Liam hang out. We had a great class!

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Then I had to rush home, shower, and get ready. We had our niece Kameryn’s dance recital. We brought Liam to my mom’s to play and nap while we went to the recital.

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The recital was so cute and Kameryn did so good. She really looked like she was having fun up on stage. Our brother-in-law Joel was also in the Dads dance group. He did great too! So fun to watch!

Liam of course had a blast with my mom and brother Blake. He even took a short nap because he was too excited to play outside with all the toys.

Then we went to Aldi quick to grab some fresh fruit and veggies. Then it was home to play outside some more. I had a delicious yogurt and fruit snack while Liam had fun in the swing.

We went for a family walk in the evening and then had burgers on the grill.

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We were all exhausted by the end of the day! What a great day!

SUNDAY

We had a lazy early Sunday morning. Then I started cleaning up the house a bit and Liam played with play-doh. It kept him entertained for a while which was nice because I was able to get the kitchen cleaned up.

Then Liam and I headed to the store to get a few groceries and renew my tabs for my vehicle.

We had brunch plans with the Greer’s at 10:30 so we headed out to Rusty’s after the store. So fun to catch up with them and eat delicious food.

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We got home to put Liam down for nap. I cleaned more while Joe mowed the lawn.

Molly came over to pick up a few things at my house that belonged to her. We chatted and it was great to catch up. I also made her a delicious fruit smoothie to satisfy her desire for the Starbucks Unicorn drink (puke! lol).

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After Molly left we went for a family walk. It is so nice to get outside and get some exercise by walking around the neighborhood.

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Joe decided he wanted to smoke our chicken for dinner so he worked on that while Liam and I played in the yard. He loves running around outside and playing in the dirt.

My dad stopped by before dinner on his motorcycle. He took Liam for a few rides up and down the driveway (ahhhh!) and Liam of course loved it!

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We had dinner and played a little more before giving Liam a bath and putting him to bed.

I had to finish up some laundry and then Joe and I kicked back and watched Parks and Recreation on Netflix.

We really had such and enjoyable weekend and are looking forward to warm weather and more weekends like this!

 

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Smashed sweet potatoes

I learned about smashed potatoes on another blog (pb fingers) and they are amazing! So when I read about smashed sweet potatoes I had to try them!! The recipe was fairly easy too!

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (or 3 large)
  • a light spray of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter (I actually subbed 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter—your choice!)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed (I just chopped it up very small)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley (I’m lazy and didn’t use fresh).
  • Himilayan salt and black pepper to taste (can use any salt).
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to broil settings to high heat. Trim of the ends of the sweet potatoes. Cut each sweet potato into quarters (or 1 1/2-inch pieces).
  • Place sweet potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil; cook, covered for 20-25 minutes or until just fork-tender. Drain well.
  • Lightly grease a large baking sheet or tray with cooking oil spray. Arrange sweet potatoes on the sheet and use a fork to LIGHTLY flatten each piece (they will be soft so try not to press too hard or they will end up breaking and mashed).
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  • Mix together the butter (or olive oil), garlic and parsley. Pour the mixture over each sweet potato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lightly spray with olive oil.
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  • Broil until they are golden and crispy (about 15 minutes). Remove from oven, sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and return to the oven until they cheese is melted.
  • Season with a little extra salt and parsley, and serve immediately.

***Notes: the fatter the potato the better (larger smashed pieces).

Recipe adapted from cafedelites.com

 

Easter weekend and Joe’s birthday

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Ours was great with a few interruptions from the flu! Aside from that it was a wonderful Easter weekend!

FRIDAY

Joe and I were both supposed to work however just about as soon as I got to work I got the call from daycare that Liam had the flu. Poor little buddy. I headed back home and spent the day snuggling him. He didn’t have much for an appetite so I just kept trying to get him to drink some water and hydrate his little body. By the end of the evening he was eating a little bit but not much.

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SATURDAY

It’s Joe’s birthday!! He and Liam spent some of the morning snuggling. Liam seemed much better in the morning and had his appetite back which was good.

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I headed off to Sweat Circuit to get my weekend workout in. I love this workout and feel so good about getting it done on a Saturday morning. The ladies who come do it with me ROCK!

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After workout I had to go to my mom’s to pick up 2 dozen eggs. She boiled them for me and I was going to make deviled eggs for Easter (I have never done this before).

Then I headed home to hang with my boys. We had breakfast once I got home and played a little before Liam’s nap. It was a rainy day so play time was done inside. While Liam napped I showered and got ready for the evening.

After Liam’s nap we headed to church. We went to Eagle Brook Church in Woodbury for the first time. We knew we wouldn’t be able to get to church Sunday morning and our church doesn’t offer a Saturday evening mass so we decided to try something new. My mom came with us. It was a really nice service. I liked the way they really broke things down and made it easy to understand. We would go back at some time in the future.

Then after church we headed to Pier 500 in Hudson for Joe’s birthday dinner. We met Joe’s parents, his brother Patrick, and my dad there (my mom was already with us). We had great appetizers and food and even got dessert. It was a great meal. Liam did pretty good too!

Then we headed home to watch the Blackhawks game and put Liam to bed. I had a major stomachache but needed to get those hard boiled eggs peeled for the deviled eggs. I did that quick and then relaxed with Joe before heading to bed early. I was so tired from the busy day and my stomach did not feel right.

SUNDAY

The flu. It hit me in the middle of the night and it was terrible. I couldn’t keep anything down all morning, even water. I spent the morning on the couch while Liam found his Easter basket from the Easter bunny. He was thrilled to get bubbles and play-doh (we don’t do candy).

I was finally able to start keeping some water down but it didn’t matter. I had the flu and was going to have to stay home for the day.

Joe and Liam got dressed and ready to go to Easter. They looked so handsome!

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They headed to Joe’s parent’s first. Liam ended up taking his nap there. Then they went to my aunt and uncle’s for my family’s celebration.

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It was such a nice day. The kids were able to go outside and do an Easter egg hunt.

Then Joe and Liam came home. I literally spent the whole day on the couch just trying to pump fluids into my body. They had a great time though which was good.

I ended up going to bed early hoping that the extra rest would make me feel better.

Although the we had the flu, the weekend overall was really wonderful and I am so glad that Liam was able to enjoy Easter with family. I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Mama’s due with baby 2 -a journal of weeks 4-12

Okay so we have been keeping our pregnancy a secret for weeks now and we are finally sharing the good news! During our time keeping secrets I decided to do a little summary of each week of my pregnancy and how I was feeling. A lot of the weeks were really similar. This pregnancy has been much harder on me than my last but I think it is good to share.

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Week 4
We found out we were pregnant!! I had been taking the test super early and they kept showing up negative. The evening before our positive test I felt like crap (nausea, tired, icky). I knew I was pregnant so the next morning I took the test and sure enough I was! I quick made a big brother sign and put it in Liam’s crib while he was sleeping. I told Joe to look at how cute Liam looked sleeping and that is how he found out. We were super excited!

I plan to continue with my exercise regimen which is teach Zumba 2 nights a week and a Sweat Circuit one morning a week. Also 1-2 days a week I will use the elliptical and doing some stretching and ab work. I took 4 weeks picture to remind myself of where my body was and that I can get back to that body and even better if I work hard and stay committed to a healthy lifestyle! I am really proud of the progress I made after Liam and am hopeful to do the same after this baby. #afterbabygoals

Week 5
Feeling pretty good for the most part. I started to get tired and have a lack of appetite. I had some serious sweet cravings as well (bring on the ice cream)!

Also frequent urination started almost immediately this time. Waking up in the middle of the night and going a lot throughout the day.

Week 6
Really not feeling well periodically throughout the day. I started having nausea in the morning, afternoon, and evenings after dinner. Serious cravings for junk, especially carbs! Started having mixed cravings for sweets, pickles on pizza, and ice cream.┬áSome serious junk food cravings as well at all times of the day. I haven’t had fast food for years now and I found myself craving ┬átaco bell taco at 9 am one morning! what?!?

We had our first doctor appt to confirm the pregnancy. We wanted to skip this appt but apparently it is required to schedule the next appointment so we followed the rules.
Sure enough, as we already knew, I was pregnant so we were able to schedule our 12 week appointment.

Week 7
Still a lot of nausea, super tired, and lack of appetite especially in the evenings. Joe got me cheeseburger pizza (which has pickles on it) for dinner one night to help my craving. I got super sick and that craving no longer exists!

Still craving everything unhealthy and specifically anything with carbs! Also obsessed with apples this week, I had 4 in one day!

Week 8
So tired. Napping any chance I can for hours at a time. I feel so lazy. I also feel huge by the end of the day. My clothes all still fit great but anything tight around the waist bothers me in the evenings and I just feel huge even though I may not look huge.

Still experiencing nausea and lack of appetite. My craving this week was potato chips and top the tater which my husband made a special trip to the store to get for me. Thankfully I am still able to eat roasted vegetables however do not offer me a salad in the evening because I have absolutely no interest at all!

Had to add some fiber to my diet. If you don’t know why fiber is necessary during pregnancy…well it’s bathroom related. Hoping that adding fiber will help with some of my tummy issues.

Week 9
Starting to feel better in the mornings. Less nausea. Afternoons are still really hard and evenings I just don’t have an appetite even though I am hungry. I suddenly have a super sweet tooth and all I want is chocolate cake (which has never been something I loved).

I am still really tired but doing a little better there it seems. It’s hard to get motivated to exercise.

Week 10
Definitely feeling better in the mornings which is a huge relief. Still having some nausea here and there throughout the day, especially at night but it is not as bad as it was. Cravings for a bloody mary (virgin of course). Lack of appetite throughout the day, especially in the evenings, is a huge issue.

Feeling really noticeably pregnant this week. It is getting challenging to hide the bump. I know I am much larger much soon this time than I was with Liam.

I am still so tired and nap any chance I can. If I am home I will nap during Liam’s nap and can end up sleeping 2 hours!

Week 11
We had our first doctor appt this week to hear babies heartbeat and make sure all is well. We brought Liam with and it was just amazing. I love hearing the heartbeat. Liam was so curious about it too.

Still feeling quite terrible. Still tired. Still having some nausea and just upset stomach. Had a switch of cravings as well. I no longer want chocolate cake but I want sour gummy worms or sour patch kids, chicken with honey mustard, chicken wings, virgin bloody marys. So random!

Literally nothing sounds good ever, especially in the evenings though. I feel like I eat because I know I have to.

I had my first day where I was home and had the opportunity to nap and I didn’t. I feel like that is progress!

Week 12
This is the week where they say things get better and gosh I hope they are right! I still have a lack of appetite in the evenings but for the most part I am doing pretty good with eating. There are some things that I just can’t even think about eating (like fish) and cravings I’ve had in the past have completed diminished (like ice cream and chocolate cake). I have no desire to eat any of them however, pasta, and greasy food always sound so good.

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I am so tired still. I really am not sleeping well at night. I get up every night to pee (still) and sleep really great until that moment. After I use the bathroom I toss and turn until my alarm goes off. When I have the opportunity to nap I set an alarm now so I don’t sleep for too long. If I take too long of a nap it definitely impacts my night time sleep.

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I have continued exercising and that is going really well. I have also continued with the use of fiber which has helped and I will continue to use this likely the whole pregnancy.

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These 12 weeks have gone by slow and fast at the same time. It’s hard to believe that I am now entering my 2nd trimester. I am hopeful that things will get better and as of right now mornings and afternoons are significantly better than they were. Evenings are still my challenging time. Here’s to 1/3 of the way done and 2/3 to go!

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A beautiful busy weekend

We had a busy and fun weekend enjoying the amazing weather. I hope you had a chance to get outside and soak up some sunshine.

FRIDAY

After Joe and I got home from work we decided to have out last spaghetti Friday of the season as grilling season is approaching.

We played with Liam and gave him a bath. Liam went down for bed and Joe headed to a friends house to hang out. I had a relaxing evening watching One Tree Hill on Netflix.

SATURDAY

The morning started off with all of us having our strawberry protein shakes. Yum! Then I was off to teach sweat circuit. I was still not feeling 100% so I decided not to participate and just cheer my class on. They did great!

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Then it was home to join my boys as we headed out the door to run our errands for the day. We did a quick run to the bank and then grocery shopping at Aldi and then got the remainder of our list at Walmart.

We then hustled home to give Liam his lunch and then spend a little time outside before nap time.

While Liam was napping Joe and I had some outdoor chores to get done. He cleaned up the garage and his truck. I did some flower bed grooming and cleaned out my vehicle as well.

We were going to make Hawaiian chicken kabobs for dinner but decided to head to the fire hall for their annual chili feed. Liam was so entertained by all the people and the fire trucks. He was beyond excited when he got to sit in the fire truck. His face expressions were pure joy and shock that he was doing it.

It was still so nice out so we decided to make a quick trip to the park before heading home.

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Once home we all were exhausted. We put Liam to bed and then I could barely keep my eyes open. I ended up going to bed at 8! The busy day just drained all my energy.

SUNDAY

We had a relaxing morning and then decided to go out for breakfast before going to church. It was delicious as always. Church was good too. Joe and I took turns chasing Liam around but it was great to be there and soak up what we could.

Then it was home for Liam’s nap. During nap Joe and I did some prep work for our dinner so that it was ready to go and we didn’t need to prep once Liam was awake.

The weather ended up being really beautiful so once Liam was awake we went for a walk around the neighborhood. We met up with the neighbors halfway into our walk and were able to catch up with them.

Then we went home and played outside a little longer. It was too nice out and we knew rain was coming and the weather for the upcoming week wasn’t looking promising. We needed to soak up the warmth while we could!

Then it started to sprinkle so we went inside to play and prep for dinner. We made Hawaiian chicken kabobs (chicken, pineapple, green peppers, and red onion) minus the kabobs since we didn’t have any. We just put the ingedients in tin foil and threw it on the grill. It was really good and we will definitely make it again some time.

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The evening passed quickly and before we knew it, it was time for Liam to head to bed. We spent the remainder of our evening relaxing on the couch and watch Netflix.

After a full week of work it was great to have such a fun, busy, beautiful, and relaxing weekend. Hope you had an enjoyable weekend and happy Monday!!

First week back to full time employment

After over a year and half of working part time and being home part time with Liam I have decided to return to work full time. I accepted another part time job in addition to my current part time job bringing me to 40 hours a week. I now work part time in the Connection program at Hazelden Betty Ford in Center City and part time as the Vocational Counselor at Hazelden Betty Ford in St. Paul.

Now of course I have been miserably sick with some respiratory stuff this whole week however I powered through and was able to learn and enjoy my new role while still working in my other role as well.

This was my first full week and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed meeting my new coworkers and learning the new job. I feel pretty confident that I will be good at my new job and really like it.

Emotionally and mentally I was totally ready to return to full time employment. Liam is such a busy boy that there is just not much I can do to keep him entertained throughout the day at home with his “same old toys.” Warm weather would have definitely made it easier but he loves going to daycare and being with other kids. I also think Liam just needs me less as he is getting older so returning to work will help me feel more fulfilled and also to appreciate all the time that I do get to spend with Liam even more than I was.

I loved my full time job before having Liam but being a first time mom I just felt I could not return to work full time.. I had anxiety about daycare and him feeling abandoned and not being able to watch him grow. I now realize that he is okay and he loves it there. I am confident in the care provided to him at daycare. He has a wonderful daycare provider who loves him. I also tried to keep in mind that both my parents worked full time when I was little and it never bothered me.

I know that I will miss the extra days and time I was able to spend loving on him but I also know it will force me to be more present and appreciative of the time I am able to spend with him. I am looking forward to this new journey and just really thankful that I have been able to try different things to find what works for me.

I give major credit to all the mom’s out there just trying to make their situation work. Stay at home full time, stay at home/work part time, and full time working moms….All are really tough and rewarding in their own way. We are all just trying to do the best we can and love our babies.

I love productive weekends

Well although Liam and I were sick all weekend, I was extremely productive! Liam and I both have really bad coughs but we are slowly getting better.

FRIDAY

Liam and I spent the day cuddling because we both didn’t feel well. I was hoping to do something fun but it didn’t make sense to go anywhere with how we were feeling. A friend of mine gave me this neat water color page that you can use q-tips to paint with so for a fun activity Liam did that for a little bit. He thought it was pretty cool!

I snuck in and took an adorable picture of Liam during his nap. He just looked so relax and adorable that I couldn’t resist!

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During Liam’s nap I went through my entire closet to organize and get rid of clothes I don’t wear. I had a ton of clothes to donate! It was a lot of work but it was worth it.

Once Joe was home he was able to help me with Liam while I rested a little bit. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and hanging out since we were under the weather.

SATURDAY

In the morning was my sweat circuit class. I tried to take it pretty easy since I am not feeling well but still got a good sweat in. After workout I hurried home and then we all ran some errands. We went to the bank, signed our taxes, and then went to the grocery store. We decided we would benefit from some meal planning for the upcoming week so we picked up some items for the meals we planned.

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During Liam’s nap Saturday and cleaned the house. Time for some Spring cleaning and no better time than nap time! There was a ton of decluttering and organizing to be done and I wanted to get a bunch done this weekend! I was able to get a majority of my tasks done for the day. Our laundry/mud room was a disaster so that was a big project I got done and so glad I did. It is nice to walk into a clean space when I get home.

After Liam’s nap it was so nice outside. We all went outside to run around and soak up some sun. Liam loves it outside and he ran around all over the place. Then we went for a family walk. We met up with the neighbors and we all walked together. Always fun to catch up with them.

We then went home for dinner which was grilled steaks, grilled potatoes, and asparagus. Super delicious!

We finished up the evening just relaxing inside and playing with Liam. I decided to take a bath after Liam went down to see if that would help me feel better. I am hopeful it helped but nonetheless it was relaxing.

SUNDAY

Liam and I were still feeling under the weather and now Joe was starting to not feel well also. So we spent the morning being lazy.

Eventually I was able to get myself motivated and worked on cleaning and organizing the kitchen while Joe played with Liam.

During Liam’s nap I had to run to the store quick for a few more things and then back home to do a little more cleaning.

After nap we had my nephews 3rd birthday party. She got Nadia’s cupcakes and they were sooooo good!

Liam really enjoyed his cupcake as well!

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After the party we went home to make dinner. We had chicken with smashed sweet potatoes (recipe to come). It was a really good meal. We again spent the evening relaxing and hanging out.

Weekends are truly my favorite. I hope you had a great weekend and happy Spring!!