Meet the Sullivans: August 2015

August 31, 2015

Menu Monday Link Up 8/31

Monday came around quick this week! When do you like to get your grocery shopping done? I like to make my grocery list Sunday morning while I have my coffee, and then I usually try to shop on Monday, because the stores are so packed on the weekend. But with Keith working Monday mornings for a few weeks, I had to get it done on Sunday.

Trader Joe's and Safeway were so busy yesterday and I had a lot to get. It seems like we run out of everything (milk, olive oil, peanut butter, etc) all at the same time. It was quite the task to make the list, do the shopping, unloading and putting away, but today I'm glad it's done and all the groceries are put away so we can get on with the week.

Our menu this week is pretty simple! There isn't a lot of chopping to be done or prep work for our meals this week, which is just what I needed. What I love most about Trader Joe's is that I can buy so many shortcut items there to make dinner making much easier. One of my favorites is the mirepoix mix!

| Monday | Lasagna and Green Salad - Making one for us and one for our neighbor. I can't remember the last time I made a lasagna.

| Tuesday | Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup - I'm trying a Mexican twist (my favorite!) on a soup I made last fall. If it turns out good I will be sure to share the recipe.

| Wednesday | Tortellini with Meatballs and Green Beans - I'll be at O's school Orientation, so I need to make something quick before I go. Keith loves tortellini!

| Thursday | Oven Baked Fajitas - Have you made these before? There are a lot of recipes out there, but I usually just toss some sliced bell peppers, onions,  chicken tenders with a little vegetable oil and then mix in my homemade fajita seasoning before baking it in the oven. Sometimes we eat them in tortillas and other time we have it with beans and rice. All depends on what we have on hand!

| Friday | Dinner out or take-out! - By Friday I'm done cooking and we're in the mood to get out of the house or hang with friends.

So what's your plan for the week? If you'd like to link up your menu for the week or even just a great dinner recipe you'd like to share, link up below! Also, don't forget to grab the graphic below to add to your post or include a link back to the link up.

Also, don't forget, I've started a Menu Monday board on Pinterest to share all the great ideas from weeks past. I'll be pinning everyone's posts this week as well!

Now it's your turn! Link up your menu or favorite dinner recipe below!

August 27, 2015

The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep, a Children's Book Review

Owen is not an easy sleeper. He never has been. His naps, bedtime, wake time and restlessness have always been unpredictable and a complete mystery to us. We feel like we've tried everything, and we're still willing to try almost anything to help him.

We've been reading The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep book (the one that so many people have been talking about) for a full week now. A lot of people, like us, just want to know if it really works.

How does it work exactly? Let me tell you all the details.
  • the book is paper back
  • uses an "improved language pattern that will help your child to relax and fall asleep",
  • takes over 20 minutes to read (give or take depending on how slowly you read, which really, the slower you read it the more effective it is), 
  • has pictures on each page (that you're not supposed to show the child because it will distract them from relaxing) 
  • uses text cues for parents to remind them to read slowly, emphasize certain words, or use certain actions, 
The story is about a rabbit who can't seem to fall asleep. His mother suggests they, including your child who becomes a part of the story,  go on a journey to visit Uncle Yawn who will help them fall asleep. Along the way they meet two characters, Heavy-Eyed Owl and Sleepy Snail, who also try to encourage them to fall asleep. After meeting Uncle Yawn they make the journey home, stopping to talk with the same two characters again. The story ends with the rabitt back at home, asleep in bed.

The Good
  • The book helps calm Owen down. The story is calming, it uses lots and lots of repetition and encouragement to help children fall asleep. 
  • There are a lot of verbal cues meant to convince children that it is time to go to sleep and that it is ok if they do so before the story is over.
  • Because we read it every night it has become a predictable part of our routine, which helps Owen know it is time to get into bed and relax (not that that always works).
  • There is a letter in the front of the book that tells you how you're supposed to use the book.
The Bad
  • It's really long in my opinion, and takes me over 20 minutes to read to him. Some nights, especially when O hasn't napped, we don't need much to get him to doze off, but I can see why it's so long -- because it's supposed to bore encourage children into relaxation. 
  • The sentence structure is awful. It's hard to read at first because of this, but after a while I got used to it. I guess you have to just settle that this is not some great chidlren's literature and remember that the way it is written has a purpose, even if it goes against everytinng you know about writing.  
  • Here is an example of the text in the book: "--Where are you off to now? asked Sleepy Snail curiously. --I am going down to visit Uncle Yawn, said Roger The Rabbit, because he will help me fall asleep now. How do you, make yourself fall asleep? Asked the Roger" Like I said, the writing it a little awkward and takes some time to get used to. 
  • The word "now" is peppered through the book, and often serves as it's own sentence. I'd love to count how many time it's used, but I don't have the patience to count.
My honest verdict: The book is being promoted as a "miracle worker" that will get your child to fall asleep in a snap, but that just has not been the case for us. Owen is a determined little guy, and while the book does help calm him down and help him unwind, he has never fallen asleep while listening to it. Although, I have seen his eyes get heavy as we read, but it hasn't done much to benefit how quickly he falls asleep after the book is over.

Just like most things with children, it all depends on your child -- and how tired they are. 

Have you tried this book? What did you think?

August 26, 2015

This & That

It's been a little while since I've shared what's going on here with us, besides baby and cooking stuff! It's time for a little update!

On Friday night Owen tested for and earned his yellow belt in his Taekwondo class! We picked the Friday 6:45pm time slot for him to test so Keith could come too, we both love being there to watch his classes and see what he's learning. We were a little nervous for him once we got there and saw what the testing sessions were like. There are only 4 children scheduled in each time slot and while they do some of the test together, they also have to show some of their skills solo. Owen was the only Mighty Monkee (the name for his 3 to 5 year-old age group) in his testing group too. Luckily his teacher stepped in and helped prompt him  for his Sunrise Song, which includes a series of words along with kicks and punches to match. His school is amazing and we could not be happier with every aspect of being a part of the studio. We are very proud of Owen for earning his new belt!

Afterward we went to dinner at Jack's Prime for burgers, fries and milkshakes to celebrate!

The weekend! We celebrated my friend Anne's birthday on Saturday afternoon and it was so beautiful! Her mother-in-law threw the party at Filoli after hours, so we had the entire estate and gardens to ourselves. I've been there a handful of times for the gorgeous Christmas boutique they put on and to explore the vast gardens, but this was totally different because it was just our little group on the property. She had it caterer and the food was absolutely amazing (the artichoke dip was addicting, we all agreed) and the kids had a BLAST running around through their own personal secret garden. It was a great way to celebrate our sweet and dear friend Annie!

I will be through using my current planner at the end of December, so I've started looking for a new one to use for 2016. With only four months left in 2015 I want to get it pretty soon, since I'm usually inputting dates a month or two in advance. And then there the fact that I'm due at the very beginning of December, so I want to have it ready to go with Birthdays and Anniversaries before things get really crazy.

After a lot of thinking, I've decided to go back to the Erin Condren Life Planner (that's a referral link, which means I get a store credit if you decide to place an order), you can see my past Life Planners here. I have really liked my Simplified Planner, but I didn't fill it up as much as I thought I would, and while there are pros to letting each day have a full page, I also really like being able to see the whole week at a glance. I'm placing my order this week and I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with the Prism design.

Are you a Walking Dead fan? Did you watch Fear the Walking Dead? The ratings said that the first episode, which aired Sunday night, broke some ratings records for how many people watched the first episode. I thought it was good, so far. I understand that they have to take it slow to develop the characters, and since we already know what's going to go down for the most part, they can take their time letting it unravel before us.

Owen had his first t-ball class with Mini Sports Stars on Sunday morning and it was the cutest thing to watch. We worried a bit that he would be shy (not sure why I ever worry he'll be shy, because her's never been know to be shy!) or not be confident because most of the other kids have been taking the class for a couple weeks, but he did SO well. The coaches and founder, Dan, were really on top of their game and do a fantastic job of corralling, while teaching, the 20 kids in the class. We were proud of our boy and I can't wait to tell you more about it next week!

Tomorrow I'll be sharing my review of The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep! Have a great day!

August 24, 2015

Menu Monday Link Up & BBQ Chicken Salad

Happy Monday! We had a fun weekend celebrating our friend's birthday, Owen's first t-ball class, a Costco trip and a visit from out of town friends!

If you'd like to link up your menu for the week or even just a great dinner recipe you'd like to share, link up below! Also, don't forget to grab the graphic below to add to your post or include a link back to the link up.

Our menu for this week:

Asian Salmon in Foil
Ground Turkey Tacos  
Chicken and Brie Sandwiches with Roast Tomatoes
Spaghetti and Meatballs 

And now a recipe I'm excited to share, because it is one of my favorites!

Barbeque Chicken Salad has been one of my favorites ever since college when my friends and I often frequented California Pizza Kitchen for their Artichoke Spinach Dip. BBQ Chicken Salad was the one thing on the menu I always ordered back then, rarely, if ever diverting from my favorite. I've seen many varieties over the years that include a few different ingredients like jicama, cheese, red onions, but today I'm sharing it the way I like to make it.

One of the ingredients that really makes this salad is homemade tortilla strips. They're easy to make too!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 cups romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 ears of corn, cooked and cut from the cob
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
1/4 cup Ranch dressing
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
6-8 corn tortillas

For the chicken, you can either marinate it in BBQ sauce an grill it on the barbeque or cook it in the oven. To cook it in the oven, salt chicken breasts on both sides, then place in an ovenproof dish. Pour BBQ sauce over the breasts and turn them over to coat. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven, or until chicken is done. Remove from oven and cut into a fine dice. Set aside.

To make the tortilla strips, cut tortillas into strips and toss with olive oil and coarse salt. Spread out on a cookie sheet, and bake with the chicken for 20 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes for even crispness.

To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with chicken, tomatoes, black beans, corn, and avocado. Drizzle with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing. Top with cilantro and tortilla strips.


August 21, 2015

5 Favorites from Around the Web This Week

Hey there, and happy Friday! There have been so many great things circulating around the internet this week, so I decided to share some of my favorites from the week!

| O N E | Keith and I simultaneously discovered The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep book earlier this week while we were texting, him downstairs waiting for me to be done upstairs with putting Owen to bed. It's been taking longer than usually lately. Sometimes it's because he napped and other nights it just seems like he can't relax.  News articles have been flying around Facebook and Twitter claiming it is a miracle / magical book for getting children to fall asleep. We tried it last night, and we're going to give it another go tonight. I'll blog about it next week and let you know how it's working for us.

| T W O | A friend from our playgroup shared this article, How Young Kids Can Help in the Kitchen in our Facebook group earlier this week, and it is full of great suggestions broken down by age. Owen loves to help me in the kitchen, and since it seems like I'm always in there, it seems only natural that he's in there working with me. I've printed it out to keep on the refrigerator as a reminder or various tasks he can lend a hand in.

| T H R E E | I planned on sharing how I've been re-organizing our toys, but when I saw these Toy Organization Ideas on Two Twenty-One I decided to skip my own post and share her's instead! Her pictures are much prettier than mine and they're basically the same ideas, except I used gallon bags for most of our small million-piece toys. Note to self: purchase cute and durable bags.

| F O U R | The Pinterest Mom gets a lot of flack for making the rest of us feel less than, especially as back-to-school is upon us and with the holidays are right around the corner... but I love the Pinterest mom. Kristy of Seven Graces wrote this article on 5 Reasons Why I Love the Pinterest Moms this week and she hit the nail right on the head for me. Pinterest Moms give me all sorts of ideas, inspiration and party ideas and I love them for it!

| F I V E | I loved reading this article on The Origins of Hella this week. I didn't realize "hella" was a Northern California word until friends of mine moved out of the area for college and reported back that their new college friends had pointed it out. What exactly does "hella" mean and where did it come from? Read on! I promise it's a hella good read.

Have you read anything exciting or interesting this week? Share below!

August 20, 2015

The 20 Question Game

I saw this a little while ago on Home of Malones, and thought it would be fun to play along, especially since there are some of you who are new here and might not know much about me!

1. Favorite food:
Mexican! Burritos, nachos, tostada salad, tacos, fajitas. You name it, I probably like it. Don't forget the chips & salsa, and a margarita!

2. Flip flops or high heels:
Flip flops all the way. The weather here in the bay area is nice and mild year round, so I have lots of opportunities to wear flip flops. Rainbow flip flops have been my go to for years and years. I used to wear heels more at work or on the weekend, but since becoming a mom I'm all about being comfortable whenever I can.

3. Favorite places to shop for yourself:
Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Gap, but I buy a lot clothes at Target too, because I'm there at least once a week.

4. Standard Coffee order:
Grande, low-fat, with whip Vanilla Latte. During the fall I'll usually make it a one-pump Pumpkin Spice Latte, or a one-pump Egg Nog Latte at Christmas.

5. Road trip must have snack:
Pretzels, apples, gum and a big cold water.

6. DIY or hire it out?
We DIY what we know we can handle, but we usually just buy what we need to save time. Sometimes doing it ourselves ends up taking up more time or money than it would to hire out or buy!

7. Top 5 TV shows:
Currently, The Walking Dead, Odd Mom Out, Downton Abbey, Major Crimes, GIRLS

8. Favorite Book: The Help

9. Favorite Form of Exercising:
Weights. I love how strong I feel when I've been lifting regularly and the all over muscle tone I get. I've been able to keep up with some of what I was doing before I found out I'm pregnant or just modify what I was doing before.

10. How tall are you?

11. Do you try something new at restaurants or stick to your favorites?
Depends on the restaurant! I usually try something different if it's a really good place, because it's probable that whatever I chose will be good, but if I'm not so sure about the place I'll stick to my favorites.

12. One make up item you can't live without:
BB Cream! I wear it almost everyday.

13. What's on your nightstand?
A lamp, a vase with fake flowers that O gave me on Mother's Day this year, my phone charger, a glass of water, baby monitor, my Kindle, chapstick, tv remotes and 3 pregnancy books I haven't even opened during this pregnancy.

14. What's one thing motherhood has taught you?
The power of positive thinking! Some days can be easy, and some will be really difficult, but I'm the one who decides how much it will affect our day. I usually try to stay positive and upbeat for the sake of us all, even when I feel like surrendering.

15. Music that reminds you of high school:
Late 90's R&B and Hip hop, and also Faith Hill's earlier albums!

16. If you could live anywhere in the world besides your current city where would you live?
We love where we live! It would be really hard to move away from the bay area. All our friends and family are here, it's beautiful, we can be at the ocean, downtown or by the bay in under 30 minutes form where we live. The bay area has everything we want. Having said that, it is one of the most expensive places to live. It is not unheard of for a 2 bedroom, not updates house to sell for close to a million dollars in our area. It's crazy! We've considered moving north, to San Diego or southern California.

17. Tell us something about you we might not know: 
Hmmm... I think I share a lot about myself here, but if there is anything you'd like to know I'm more than happy to answer any questions! 

18. Websites you read/browse (besides blogs):
Pinterest, Amazon, Baby Center, Facebook.

19. Morning person or Night owl?
Morning person. Always have been! Although, I don't love waking up at 5am, I'm still at my best in the morning. At night I want peace and quiet and to have some down time before bed. 10pm is late to me!

20. Favorite Breakfast meal:
Right now it's Dave's Bread toast, mashed avocado with sea salt & fresh lime juice, topped with a poached egg and tapatío.

So tell me something about you that I might not know!

August 17, 2015

Menu Monday Link Up 8/17

Are you ready for Monday? We had a fun weekend at the beach, at the zoo and visiting our friends and their beautiful new home! The weather had been so so so hot here the last few days, which is really hard on us bay area people since we're so used to our mild weather.

I've got some pretty simple recipes to share this week, and I'm planning to get some of the prep work for them done early in the day to make 5 o'clock (when I usually start making dinner) easier on myself.


If you'd like to link up your menu for the week or even just a great dinner recipe you'd like to share, link up below! Also, don't forget to grab the graphic above to add to your post or include a link back to the link up.

BBQ Chicken Salad - I'm going to make this tonight since it's still pretty warm here and it sounds like a great dinner for a warm night!

Ham & Cheese Sliders + green salad - This meal is my solution to attending O's 5:45pm taekwondo class this week. I'm planning to put it all together before we go and just pop the sliders in the oven for a bit when we get home.

Greek Turkey Burgers + sweet potato fries - We love these burgers! They have so much flavor and stay really moist, even when cooked on the stove top. This week we're having them on sandwich thins to cut back on extra bread.

Balsamic Bruschetta Chicken + veggies - I find it so hard to cook chicken in the oven or on the stove and keep it flavorful and not too dry, so I love recipes like this that foolproof my dinner plan.

So, what's on your menu this week? I've started a Menu Monday board on Pinterest to share all the great ideas from weeks past. I'll be pinning evenone's posts this week as well!

Now it's your turn! Link up your menu or favorite dinner recipe below! 

PS. I'm also linking up with Organizing Junkie this week!

August 14, 2015

Friday, Friday!

I'm so excited it's Friday again! The week went by pretty quickly and I'm happy it's the weekend again so we can spend some family time together again.

Here's my five!

| O N E | Last weekend we had a whole lotta fun! We celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary Friday night at home (on our actual anniversary) I cooked salmon, rosemary potatoes and green beans for dinner. We watched our wedding video together as a family and shared a bottle of sparkling cider. We didn't make it through the whole video, just through the ceremony and speeches, but it was fun to reminisce. Owen felt super special drinking his cider out of a special cup. He asked for it again the next morning, nice try kiddo!

Keith brought me roses. Getting flowers from my husband never gets old! 

Saturday night Keith and I went out to dinner at Town! We both had their famous Warm Napa Cabbage Salad and the Prime Rib. We were beyond stuffed after dinner. We still had some time to spare afterward, so we went and did something we used to do before children get coffee and wander through a book store together. We obviously know how to live it up on a Saturday night!

| T W O | I cleaned out Owen's toys over the weekend, which is something I have been meaning to do for a while. I went through every box of toys, including bath toys, with a black trash bag for things to toss and a clear one for toys to donate. I put all the toys that have lots of pieces, like his Melissa and Doug clock and his tools, and put them in a larger zip lock bag, so the pieces don't end up all over the place. I already had separate containers for dinos/animals/lizard, transformers, legos, etc., but from time to time they get mixed up and it took me hours to re-organize them.

| T H R E E | Speaking of toys, we've been waiting on getting Owen Magna-Tiles for about a month now. I think we're going to wait and get him a large set of the clear ones for Christmas, but I was super close to getting him these solid color ones at Target when I saw they were on clearance for $24. Great deal right?

| F O U R | We exchanged busy bags with some of our friends recently and I found this Popsicle Stick Pattern busy bag on The Connection We Share, and Owen has had a lot of fun with it! It's a little harder than I thought it would be, especially if he has to recreate the pattern off of the mat. He also likes making his own shapes using the popsicle sticks.

| F I V E | I've started a Pinterest board for all the great menu plans and recipes people share on my Menu Monday link up, so if you'd like to check it out just follow this link: Menu Monday - Meet the Sullivans. I'll be pinning all the recipes on Monday too if you'd like to link up!

And now we're off for the day! Have a great weekend! xoxox
Also, today I'm linking up with...
A.Liz Adventures

August 12, 2015

Camp Sully Year II

Last week we woke up bright and early on Monday morning and headed up to Cloverdale to do a little camping with family! I'm sure all real campers would laugh because where we stayed there is a cabin, with a bed and a fan and electricity. There was also a bathroom and running water and a little convenience store where you could buy ice and cold drinks etc., but to me that's still roughing it, because I have to walk more than a few steps to use the bathroom or wash my hands.

Anyway, my little family loves this trip. We tag along with Keith's brother and his family and we all have a great time together. Owen is in his element playing with his cousins, fishing, bug searching with his Uncle and hanging in his little camp chair around the fire.

Luckily it wasn't too hot this year, because last year it was pretty toasty in our cabin. 

We spent just one night camping this year, but managed to pack a lot of fun into 24 hours! On the way up we stopped at the Black Bear Diner and had a huge breakfast!

The drive was easy and we got settled in to fish right away!

Owen's favorite part of camping this year may have been the worms! He was interested in fishing, especially when his cousins caught a big bass, but he spent a lot of time managing the worms. We had a hard time getting him to turn one over when we needed one for the poles. He'd tell us they weren't ready yet.

Checking out the tiny little fish his cousin B caught! Owen is lucky to have such energetic and patient cousins who love to play with him!

We fished, went for a swim in the pool, enjoyed popsicles from the shop, roasted marshmallows and even watched Star Wars outside on a big screen at night with other campers. It was a really great trip!

Staying for only one night was probably for the best  though, since we forgot to pack pillows. Pillows are a luxury we take for granted, because it was really hard to sleep without one, especially when I'm used to sleeping with at least three right now!

The next day we hung around until after breakfast and then headed out. Owen didn't want to leave AT ALL, but once we got him in the car he passed out. Too much fun and excitement!

Keith was eager to get going in the morning because we had plans to visit the Russian River Brewing Co for lunch. They are the creators of one of the best beers in the country, Pliny the Elder, which Keith is a huge fan of. It's pretty hard to get your hands on a bottle of Pliny in our area. Keith has been known to make a late night trip to a Whole Foods about 30 minutes away just to buy a few bottles from the butcher who keeps them hidden. It's a weird secret society. I thought we would be the only people there when they opened on a Tuesday morning at 11am, but when we pulled up at 10:30 there was already a line of people outside. Anyway, the beer was good, so I hear and Keith was happy. The pizza was pretty great too! 

August 11, 2015

Baby Sullivan #2 - 23 Weeks!

How far along? 23 weeks!

Baby's size: More than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound, about the size of a mango. I've never seen a mango that big, so I'm a tad confused. Last week was a spaghetti squash, which is definitely bigger than a mango.
Maternity clothes? Yes! My sweet neighbor lent me a ton of her maternity clothes, which is really nice because it's like shopping without having to spend. I'm bought some plain tanks, tees and casual pants too. Nothing super cute, just things I need. I'm trying my best to not buy much since I have less than 4 months left and this will be my last pregnancy, so why buy a bunch, right?

Stretch marks? Not yet, although I did get a few with Owen, so it's probably just a matter of time. 

Sleep: Okay! I rarely wake up feeling rested, even if I get a full night's sleep. O has been waking up between 5-6am for a little while and it's affecting my sleep too. I'm taking advantage of napping when O does and getting at least one nap in when Keith is home on the weekend.

Best moment this week: Owen getting excited when he feels the baby kick and saying "That's super cool!"

Miss anything? Being able to get up off the floor easily! It's getting hard to do it gracefully. I kind of missed having a cocktail when we went to dinner to celebrate our anniversary over the weekend, but other than that it's all good.

Movement: Yes, all the time! Just last week when we were driving to Cloverdale I was telling Keith that the baby kicks a lot, and the baby gave me a pretty swift downward kick that made me jump! I feel a lot of movement at night when I'm sitting in Owen's room with him as he falls asleep.

Food cravings: Still drinking a lot of water through the day, and craving some salty foods. I bought individual packets of olives at Starbucks last week and they were the perfect amount to of salty to satisfy my craving. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: No, I'm feeling pretty good! The 2nd trimester is the sweet spot.

Gender: A sweet little baby boy!!

Symptoms: Starting to experience more heartburn and acid reflux after eating. I had this with Owen too, but it was much later in my pregnancy. This just tells me the baby is growing and taking up more space. I've also had some back pain when I've been walking and lifting and bending a lot during the day.

Mood: Great! I can't wait to meet our baby!

Looking forward to: Seeing our baby for the first time. I'm curious about what he'll look like compared to Owen, who looks more like me than Keith, and what his personality will be like.

Are we ready?: We're getting there! I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for handling two children. Keith and I talk a lot about how late-November and December might go down with the holidays and having a new baby. We're ready to just go with the flow.

We're pretty close to picking a name. We have 4 names we like, and two of those we really really like, but we're just letting it marinate for a while. Owen is very insistent on one of the names, and we're 90% sure it will be the one. He brings it up out of the blue a few times a day saying, "Mommy, I think we should name the baby _____. Do you think _____ is a good name? You like ______, mommy?"

Progress in their room is going well! I shared my Shared Big and Little Boys' Room ideas last week and it's slowly coming together. The bunk bed arrived last week and is all assembled. Owen loves sleeping in his new bed, and the bedding looks really nice. We framed the art this weekend after I found frames on sale (Target!) and now I just have to hang them.

How is Owen adjusting?: Pretty good! He's been excited and like to feel the baby kick in my stomach, but he has show us he's a little worried too. He likes to sit in the middle of the couch, the car or the bed and took to calling the spot his "king spot" a while ago. He's said he is concerned that when the baby comes he'll take the "king spot" and that he won't be the king anymore. It makes me sad that he's worried about being replaced or something, so we're trying to make a big deal about him being our big boy. He was also a little reluctant about sharing his new room with the baby. Change is just hard for him.

Health: Everything is going well, although I have my first monthly ultrasound this week to monitor the baby's growth. I had a low PAPP-A test (low protein in the placenta) back in the first trimester, but all other tests come back normal, so the main concern is growth. I'm trying not to focus or worry about it too much, since my doctor says it is nothing to worry about, that she has never seen a low PAPP-A result in anything in her patients, and that we'll just monitor the baby's growth. The low PAPP-A can mean a bunch of things or nothing at all, but keep us in your prayers none the less.

August 10, 2015

Menu Monday Link Up

Hello there, and happy Monday! I know a lot of people dislike Mondays, but I most often love them, because they mean a fresh start to a new week. I especially like them when I feel like I'm prepared for the week ahead... which I am (!), so I'm happy to be here today sharing our menu for the week with you!

If you're interested in linking up your menu for the week, or even just a recipe you've tried that you think others might like to add to their menu, link it up down below! Don't forget to add a link back to the link up or the graphic you see above to your post so your readers can join in the fun too!

Now, here is what I have planned for the week...

Monday - Warm Corn, Kale, Tomato Salad with Shrimp & Feta
I found this recipe on Lindsay's blog, Seven Layer Charlotte, and it looks so good! Corn is in abundance this time of year, and I just can't get enough, so I'm really looking forward to trying this recipe tonight!

Tuesday - Naan Bread Pizzas and Salad
My mom, sister and I made these for lunch one day last week and they were fantastic! I like to pull out a bunch of whatever we have in the fridge, chop it up and throw it on the pizza. It's also a great way to sneak in veggies for your kid under the guide of cheese!

Wednesday - Roast Chicken
My whole family loves this dinner! It satisfies everyone's appetite, and I feel kind of like June Cleaver when I make it -- win, win!

Thursday - Southwestern Chicken Salad  
This is a personal favorite that I love adding to our menu! I'll likely use up the rest of the shredded chicken from the night before for the salad and make it even easier to throw together.

Friday - Dinner out or take out
By Friday we'll be ready to have dinner out somewhere or grab take out!

Now it's your turn! Link up your menu or favorite dinner recipe below! 

PS. I'm also linking up with Organizing Junkie this week!

August 7, 2015

5 Years!

Geez, it's hard to believe we've been married for five years already! Maybe what they say about time is true, it flies when you're having fun? Cause we do have a lot of fun together! Marriage is supposed to be work they say -- you're supposed to have to work at it. Our experience is that it comes really naturally when it's good. My motto is to be the kind of spouse I would like to have, kind of like treat others the way you want to be treated, and it works for us obviously, because 5 years!

Let's take a little trip through time, shall we?

We were in our early 20's when we met-- just young kids having a whole lot of fun together!

Then we got engaged!

...and got married!

and we honeymooned!

and enjoyed the newlywed life!

and celebrated our first Christmas as husband and wife! 

Then we found out we were expecting our first baby!

and we had Owen, and our world was turned upside down, but for the better! 

And together we watched him grow and grow and grow! 

The first year is a bit hazy -- we learned to exist on little sleep and a whole lot of patience!

We've had so much fun raising our boy together, and it's only just the beginning!

We rarely get much time alone, or in a picture just the two of us, these days, but that's just this season of life!

And our days, lives and hearts are about to become even more full as we await the arrive of our second baby boy! 

We're celebrating this weekend with a dinner out for just the two of us and a family day on Sunday! Happy 5 years to us and cheers to many many more!