Even my husband knew I was doing something stupid, but he let me continue on anyway.

Ha! I actually located five minutes in which to post something to this blog. It is a miracle, I tell you!

I did something stupid yesterday. I haven't done a good workout, other than Zumba, since before I was pregnant. Like, a good, strength training/core shaping workout. So yesterday I decided to attend a class they offer here at work called "Butts and Guts". I told Aaron I would be attending, and he told me to take it easy. I promised I would and fully intended to. But then....

I was so proud of myself all through the class because I totally kept up and didn't use the lightest weights and thought to myself, "Hey self, you're still in pretty good shape."

HAHAHAHA! Joke's on me. Today? Today I can barely move. It almost hurts to type, mostly it's just uncomfortable. I knew I was in trouble last night when I got achy after sitting still for five minutes. Also, when I noticed that my legs kind of felt like jelly.

Still, I will soldier on and attend the Zumba class today. I'll be in the back, though, so no one can see the pain on my face. Ouch!

A Triumphant Return!

Monday Meal Planning!
Triumphant Return Edition

I've had a few requests lately that I bring this back, and since we've been really good at planning meals lately, and have had some delicious meals, I thought it would be the perfect time to honor those requests. So here goes. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday - Pineapple Chili with corn chips and Tex-Mexed salad

This is an easy favorite of ours lately. It's adapted from Better Homes and Gardens' 5-Ingredient Meals special edition, and Aaron would like to eat this nearly every day. It's so easy that I might oblige him if he were really serious. The recipe is as follows:

In a large pot brown one package ground turkey. Drain if needed, and add one 14 to 16 oz. jar or container pineapple salsa (we use pineapple chipotle salsa and it's great), 1 Tbsp. chili powder, 1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce, and one can pinto beans rinsed and drained. Simmer for 10 minutes, and serve garnished with a pineapple ring. 

For the Tex-Mexed salad, we just do a tossed salad with lettuce, corn, avocado, and cheddar. I usually use ranch dressing for mine, but a lime vinaigrette is delicious too.

Tuesday - Spinach Artichoke Quiche & Fruity Salad

For this dinner, we use this recipe and substitute one cup chopped canned artichokes and one cup torn or baby spinach leaves for the broccoli, and provolone for the mozzarella. The fruity salad is my current favorite thing to eat, and it's made with these ingredients: two romaine hearts torn into bite-sized pieces, two green onions chopped, one small package (about 1/4 cup) sliced almonds, one can mandarin oranges drained, and about one cup of sliced strawberries. Serve with poppy seed dressing. Seriously, this is one amazing salad.

Wednesday - Biscuits over Creamed Chicken & Steamed Green Beans

Thanks Cassie for this recipe! The first time I put it on the menu, Aaron was dubious. This is not his kind of meal. He hates things like pot roast, chicken pot pie, chicken and dumplings, and basically every other comfort-type food from my childhood. I soldiered on and made it anyway because I really wanted it, and he LOVED it. So easy and delicious. I want to get it in at least one more time before the constant hot weather starts for good.

We love this quick and easy dinner. It's vegetable- and flavor-packed. We use more pasta than the recipe calls for and mozzarella instead of feta, but otherwise follow the recipe. Great leftovers too!

Friday - Salad Pizza 

A great quick and easy Friday night meal, we make a few changes to the recipe as written. We don't have a grill, so we use a pre-made crust (like Boboli), and make it in the oven. We don't necessarily follow the amounts, and just add as much of everything as we like. It never fails to be absolutely delicious.

Saturday - Smoky Beef Tacos with all the fixin's

This is seriously, by far, the best thing I've made in a long, long time. I throw the ingredients in the crockpot and cook it on high for 4 to 6 hours. It's so easy and flavorful, and it's a struggle not to put these on the menu every week, so as not to overdo it. The salsa, relish, and sour cream recipes included in the ingredients list are a must. They totally make the recipe. This also really screams out for margaritas, and I broke down and had a small one last time I made these. It was, admittedly, hard to stop with just that one, and even harder to stop eating these with that little bit of a buzz. Yum!!!

Happy Eating!

10 Things I Would Rather Be Doing Today, Instead of Sitting Here at Work

1. Doing something, anything really, outside, because it is already beautiful out there, and it's just supposed to get nicer as the day goes on. I really, really love spring.

2. Hanging out with Gabbie, trying to get her to walk some more, like the seven steps she took last night. She'll only do it once and then she gets too excited and falls down if she tries again, but it was pretty amazing. I can't believe my tiny baby is almost big enough to walk!

3. Sitting on my couch, reading the second Sookie Stackhouse novel. I'm addicted. Thoroughly.

4. Sitting on the patio at my favorite pub, eating a rodeo burger (cheese burger with banana pepper rings) and drinking one of their legendary Long Island Iced Teas (2 tea limit, because they're that good and strong).

5. Heading over to Lake Michigan, for a walk on the beach followed up by lunch on a restaurant deck overlooking the lake.

6. Going for a hike with Aaron, making him walk ahead of me to guard me from any snakes that happen to be out also enjoying this nice day.

7. Visiting the local zoo, watching the otters and monkeys with their silly antics.

8. Starting up a new knitting project, even though I have two that I'm in the midst of right now. All while sitting in my apartment with the windows wide open, and watching a season of some show on DVD.

9. Napping.

10. Zumba. Just started a few weeks ago, and I'm addicted.


She has Aaron’s hairline and cowlicks, but her hair is the same color as mine.

Her eyes are the beautiful blue I hoped for, the same blue that first attracted me to her dad, but they’re round like mine. She does get the puffy under-eye circles her dad does, though, and I think they’re adorable even though she’ll probably hate them when she’s older.

Her ears are evenly split – one like dad’s (lobed) and one like mom’s (un-lobed, or streamlined as Aaron calls them) – but you can barely tell the difference.

She has Aaron’s long fingers, flat feet, and long toes. Even her finger and toenails are shaped like his. She has his small head (not that mine is really that large). She has my nose and lips, and probably my freckles at some time in the future, based on the paleness of her skin that’s just like mine.

She holds her hands in loose fists with her thumb tucked between her index and middle fingers, just like me, just like my sister.

It amazes me that less than two years ago, she was just a hope and a dream, and now she’s here, growing bigger and smarter every day, turning one year old in just over a month. She looks exactly like I imagined, exactly like I hoped, and yet she’s still more beautiful than I ever could have thought. Even when she keeps us awake for nights on end, even when she screams and cries at every little thing, even when she won’t eat a single darn thing that we try to give her, she’s the biggest blessing I’ve ever received. I’m so grateful that she’s part of our lives now and I can hardly remember what life was like pre-Gabbie (although I have a feeling there was more sleep). We’re both awesomely in love with our Gabbie-girl that we can hardly stand it. She just makes everything better.

An Ode to my Husband

I will be the very first to admit that my husband is quite a catch. Not only is he handsome, smart, and funny, he's quite handy around the house too. He cooks, cleans (no, really, he cleans a lot - he is a neat freak), and is an awesome father. He tells me regularly that I am the best thing that's ever happened to him. He indulges my sense for adventure. He doesn't give me too hard of a time about what a dork I am. I absolutely love him more each day than the day before, and seeing him be a dad to our daughter doubled that love faster than I could believe.

I, on the other hand, am admittedly probably hard to deal with sometimes. I'm messy. I would rather play than clean. I love too cook, but I hate to clean up after myself. I'm also an excellent procrastinator, which probably makes him nuts, the driven, active person that he is. He's practical, I'm a daydreamer. He understands a budget, I always have to be reigned in (although, I am much better at not spending money than I used to be). And really, I can't stress enough how messy I am and how that basically makes me the antithesis to his clean-freak-ness.

However, there's one thing for which I'm a stickler that he can't seem to grasp. It's really so incredibly simple, I don't know why he never does it. His failure to implement this task on a regular basis drives me absolutely batty. It's his fatal flaw, in my opinion.

What could he do that's so horrible, you ask?


He'll use the last square, and even take off the empty roll. He'll put the holder back into its place. However, he never puts toilet paper back on the holder. It's not like we keep the toilet paper far away either. You can reach it in the vanity without even stretching. It's so simple. So why, oh why does it never get done?

(I'm sure you can guess what just happened that inspired this post. GRRRRRRR!)

Happy (Belated) Easter!

Getting ready for church.

Miss Gabbie was so squirmy on Easter morning (maybe she got sugar by proxy (or breastmilk, actually), because I sure as heck loaded up starting at about 7 a.m.) that this is far and away the best Easter picture we got. She looked adorable in her dress and had lots of fans at church because of the adorableness. (As an aside, spell check is totally letting adorableness fly as a real word. Sweet!)

We had a lovely weekend, and I'm glad we have my little sister's graduation next weekend so she gets more than one use out of this dress, because it's completely impractical. She can't crawl in it at all, and that made her pretty mad.

Also, the shoes she's wearing(which you can barely see) were mine when I was a baby. We were looking at my baby pictures this weekend, and she does look a lot like me, just with a smaller head. She gets that from her dad. We saw those shoes in a few pictures as well as the bonnet she wore later on, which was also from my babyhood. (Babyhood is a word according to spell check too!) I'm so glad my mom saved so much of my baby gear. It has been a lot of fun pulling things out to try on Gabbie, and in my opinion, she looks way more cute than I ever did.

Because it's been a while...

When perusing my archives yesterday, I realized it has been a very long time since I've posted any Gabbie pictures. So, here are some from the past couple of weeks:

Gabbie and I, hanging out in our usual cuddle spot.
Gabbie, wearing one of my baby bonnets. It was hat day at daycare earlier this week.
Gabbie in pigtails yesterday. It was the most I could coax out of her hair for weird hair day yesterday. (It's theme week at daycare, can you tell?)
This is how I find Gabbie sleeping frequently. I finally had to take a picture because it is just so darn cute! Note the hands tucked in to keep warm. Really too cute!

Things that are making me feel old today

My little sister, seven years my junior, has her last college class
today. It's a golf class, so it sounds like it will at least be a fun
one, but I just can't believe that she graduates from college next week.
How can she be old enough to graduate from college?

Also, when I was relating this story to a group of three coworkers, I
realized that one of them is about my brother's age (four years younger
than me), another is the same age as my sister, and yet another is
younger than my sister. And they're all college graduates.

Then I got to thinking that 10 years ago this month I finished my first
year of college. My husband turns 30 next month, which means I have
about a half-year before I hit the big 3-0 as well. And my daughter
turns 1 next month, and how the heck has almost a year passed already?

I remember being little and thinking about how slowly time passed. I
wanted time to speed up (especially so that I could be a teenager
faster, as that was my main goal in life as a kid). My birthday and
Christmas are less than a month apart, but it seemed like eons in
between the two. Every year took an eternity to pass back then, and now
the months fly by like seconds, the years like minutes, and I just want
it to slow down. (Although, I can't say I mind when the work week flies
by so that I can get to the weekend and two whole days with my little

Aaron and I were discussing last night how impossible it seems that
Gabbie will ever be old enough to do things like drive a car, graduate
from high school and college, or even be an adult. It also seems fairly
impossible that I will ever be 50 years old. And yet, these things and
more will come to pass, and I'm sure I'll look back and treasure all of
these years, even though they went by in the blink of an eye.

Burning with Love

Sometimes having a baby is hard on a marriage. News flash, I know, but it's true. Aaron and I still love each other madly, but when nobody is sleeping, nobody is particularly slow to anger. Just sayin'.

After an irrational outburst at Aaron yesterday, I felt simultaneously better and horrible for taking it out on him. In an effort to try to make it up to him, I made him a batch of madelines, something he's been requesting for weeks now. He appreciated the effort and all was basically forgiven. We talked it over and both agreed that we'd make more of an effort to be nice to each other.

So, this afternoon, I thought I'd do the nice wife thing. I got dressed up all cute, and had dinner mostly done by the time he got home. All I had to do was cook some ravioli, and dinner would be on the table. I handed him a beer, went to the kitchen to add the pasta from the boiling water, and through an amazing display of uncoordination, managed to splash boiling water all over my face and chest.

I am awesome. Just thought you should know.

I'm totally fine of course, but he had to finish up dinner. Also, it's hard to look cute when you're doing the ugly cry, are red and splotchy where the water hit, and have mascara running down your face. I was so close to creating a perfectly nice evening before I earned that giant FAIL. At least everything tasted good. Here's hoping the burns fade by tomorrow morning!

Baby's First Ear Infection

To say this week has been kind of hellish would be an understatement. I am completely drained, and yet I still have to manage through the next few days before I get a break.

I've been really, incredibly busy at work, and decided I needed a break, so I took off last Thursday and Friday. When I picked Gabbie up from daycare on Thursday afternoon she felt a little warm. She'd been acting a little off, the teachers told me. Friday morning came, and she was definitely sick. A cold I thought; it will get better soon.

It didn't get better soon. Sunday we achieved the grossest parenting trifecta ever: she kept sneezing out what we call snot rockets (huge gobs of snot - so gross!), had a poopsplosion that reached her neck, and coughed so hard at dinner that she threw up every hard fought bite of food we had managed to get her to eat. She really hadn't eaten much besides nursing since Wednesday, which was incredibly worrying for us, especially since she's consistently on the very low end of normal weight-wise.

She (and I both) got increasingly more miserable as the weekend wore on, and by Monday morning we were watching the clock waiting for the doctor's office to open so we could call and make an appointment. We got there, found out she'd probably lost half a pound from not eating, and had a nasty infection in both ears. Oh, and she's working on cutting her two front teeth on the top. Fun!

We got her on antibiotics immediately, and she's doing much, much better. Thank goodness! Going back to work today actually felt like a break, a treat. No one was using me as a human kleenex, head-butting me, or throwing fits because I dared to try to give her some food. Tonight she ate her dinner happily, and we've breathed a cautious sigh of relief. Here's hoping an ear infection doesn't crop up again any time soon!
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