Harvest Sunset 3 column

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Plans & Goals for 2012

Goal Setting Pictures, Images and Photos

I've been planning to write this post all month, and as you can see, I am barely squeezing it in at month's end! I typically love the New Year and all of the hope and promise it brings. Promise for new things, changes, adventures. I have set "resolutions" or at least had ideas of what things I wanted to do different each year, some which happened and many which did not. I can contribute most of this to not having a written goal and plan in place for what I hope to change. I have been inspired by many in the blogosphere whom I read regularly to sit down and write out a plan, a map of change for myself and family this year. And I think I'm entering the "nesting" phase of pregnancy where I want to totally overhaul all parts of my life. I know I have to be realistic here and that I can't accomplish everything. But I will get much further with a PLAN!

I chose specific areas of my life I want to improve upon and set goals accordingly. With the New Year already in full swing, I have already set to work on some of these goals. Here is what I have so far that I hope to work towards and accomplish in 2012.

Plan for weekly one on one time with each child either for an outing, a special activity or "date".
Read 3-4 Parenting books & implement changes when necessary.
Continue daily reading with each child.
Continue daily Children's Bible reading.
Callie-Work on Alphabet and Color recognition.
Take children to Sea World before baby arrives. Planning on it Spring Break!
Put together a rough Summer schedule to keep us all happy & sane with all 3 kids being at home!
Keira-Put together a chores chart and assign allowance for certain responsibilites.

Pray for my husband daily.
Have date night once per month.
Take 2 overnight trips (1-2 nights), one before baby and one after.
Read "Power of a Praying Wife".
Read "The Five Love Languages" together.
Remember the little things to make his day easier- making his lunch, taking dry cleaning, ask about his needs.
Plan our 10 yr anniversary trip (August 2013).

Personal Growth
Read the Bible in one year following the Chronological Plan. I've attempted many times, maybe this will be the year!
Read 12 books this year as part of my Book Club with friends. Each book is chosen monthly. I already read our Jan book and got my February book at the library today!
Read all of the books on my 2012 book list (Will post this soon!)
Continue with Pregnancy yoga and/or walking 3 times per week.
Get back in shape after the baby arrives in April!
-Work out 3-4 times per week after doctor clearance.
-Begin walking after week one.
-Try the Tracy Anderson method
Stick to a consistent bed time and wake up time. Bed by 10-10:30pm!
Wake up before the kids daily to work out or get 30 min quiet time and reading.
Learn to use my sewing machine. Take 3 sewing classes. Do 3-4 projects on my own.
Organize my photos from my phone, computer, online accounts and print or archive all photos. Put birthday photos and other special events into albums.
Continue Beth Moore study of "James" this winter and attend new one in Fall.

Committ to tithing 10 % to our church.
Continue campaign promise for new school on church campus.
Pay off any outstanding debts.
Start using cash only envelopes again-we did this in 2010 it worked great.
Start saving for our 10 yr anniversary trip (August 2013).
Plan & save for Disney vacation with the kids for Fall 2012 or 2013.
Increase 401k/IRA contributions.
Open Roth IRA.
Open 529 college accounts for the girls.
Continue to seek part time income streams.

Mom groups/Church/Jr League/Volunteerism
Begin attending Sunday school class for married couples.
Volunteer once per month in children's classes at church.
Fulfill Jr League volunteer responsibilities.
Host bi-monthly playdates.

Continue with weekly meal planning.
Implement a weekly & monthly cleaning schedule.
Keep up with the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge.
Manage weekly paper influx from school, mom groups, church. No pile-ups!
Begin the switch to more whole wheat, natural sugars etc in recipes.
Experiment with new recipes weekly.
Organize recipes and create Recipe Binder.
Plan and prepare for Organic Spring garden. Goal is to have garden planted by April 1st!!!!
Plant 2-3 trees.
Landscape front flower beds.
Liven up the house & improve air quality by bringing in 2-3 live plants into the home.

Keep up to date on all monthly billing/invoices and accounting.
Begin monthly status reports.
Set up specific office hours/days.
Create a weekly blogging plan.
Write 3-4 posts per week.
Do at least one series post.
Find a new blog design.
Switch blogging hosts.

Whew! What a list! In addition, I have several home projects I hope to work on this year. Many of them I want to have completed before baby boy arrives, as I know my time and sleep will be limited for a while! I'm working on this project list now and hope to have it complete soon!

In order to accomplish many of these goals for the year, I have to have monthly goals that help me reach the end goal. Since this will be on going, I hope this blog will help to keep me accountable and I will post updates on how I'm doing!

Okay now, off to bed before I miss my "go to bed on time" consistently goal!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of 1/30-2/4

I’m happy to report my meatloaf was a success!! I made it with ground turkey and it was extremely moist and had great flavor. This was a recipe of my mother’s that I will have to post this week!

We also stuck to our entire menu plan for the week.

Now here is what we have planned for this week:

Chicken & Feta Sausage (from Costco)
Whole Wheat Pasta w/Garlic, Basil & Oregano Pasta Sauce
Spring Salad
Garlic Bread

Taco Soup

Baked Salmon/Tilapia
Wild Rice
Steamed Veggies

Leftovers-any of the above

Spanish Rice
Refried Beans
Fresh Guacamole!

Dinner out

Super Bowl party at friends
(Lots of junk I’m sure!)

Link up your menu and browse others at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nursery Ideas

Since hitting the 3rd trimester mark last week, I've been feeling a little anxious about the fact that I have done NOTHING to prepare baby boy's room. NOTHING! We did move Callie to her toddler bed and took down the crib but have yet to set up anything in the baby's room. I still have a double bed in there and misc other things like decorating items I've bought for the house, my exercise ball, the sewing machine (I'm learning!) and other odds and ends.

I figured before I can really get started, the first thing I need to choose is the colors and baby bedding. Then I can accesorize from there. I perused dozens of websites for boy nursery ideas. I repinned several on pinterest but still had not found the right color combination I liked. Yesterday I went back and visited a few sites I looked at last week and found several possibilites at this site, Polka Tot Designs. And how ironic, they are located in Mobile, AL where I have family and where I was born! Cute cute stuff! I wish I was in town to go in person.

Here is the "Brody" style which I was immediately drawn to because of it's bright, cheery colors!

I'm really not into "themes" per se, but don't mind a repeated element of something like zoo animals, letters etc as long as it is not overkill! I remember with Keira I got some cute green & violet bedding with daisies, but went overboard getting everything that matched! I had the valance, the diaper stacker and the wall hangings, everything!!! With Callie I was sick of looking at it and got all new stuff but didn't go all matchy matchy and it turned out really cute. Now with #3 coming I swore I wasn't going to go all out on a nursery, but since it's my first and only boy and our last baby, I just can't help it! The cuteness of everything just sucks you in!

Here are a few more bedding ideas I liked.





This last one I really liked a lot and the price is a little better than some of the others, but we have a white crib and believe it or not, it really changes the look. I looked some more and found they had a picture of the same one with a white crib, with just a few changes.

Here is the "Bellamy"

I think the white crib gives it a "softer" look overall. The great thing about this company is you can mix and match the fabrics and create your own custom look. I like the orange trim on the skirt like with the Bellamy but want the orange background for the monogram like on the Baker.

You can also order fabric swatches for $1.25 to actually see the colors in person. I'm glad I did this once already because one style I thought I liked turned out not to be the right colors at all! Next week I'm planning to order a few swatches and then make a decision from there. I have got to get on the ball because once you place your order it takes 4-6 weeks to make & deliver!

It's fun & exciting to think of the possibilities for his room! Any input or suggestions, I'd love to hear!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of 1/23-1/29

This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind!

Monday I worked several hours on decluttering my 2 yr olds room, moving baby items to the spare room, gathering items for consignment etc After all of that I was too pooped to cook so my husband picked up Chinese for us. Tuesday and Wednesday’s menu went as planned thankfully. The rest of the week was totally changed though because I got the sad news that my grandmother in FL has passed away. More on this in a separate post.

My husband had the leftover enchiladas and then subsisted on fast food with my girls for 2 nights while I was gone. There just wasn’t enough time to plan ahead for their meals to be made. I got back home from Florida late Saturday afternoon so we went out for Mexican. Sunday my mom’s dear neighbor friends had brought over a rotisserie chicken, scalloped potatoes and salad so we had dinner with them at her house. There was a lot of leftover chicken so we split it up and I am planning to make tortilla soup this week with mine. Yummo!! I haven’t had that in forever. I also shifted my meatloaf to this coming week and since it will be my first attempt, I’m curious how it will turn out!

Sautéed Pork Chops
Wild Rice
Mixed Veggies
Spring Salad

Turkey Meatloaf
Green Beans

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Leftovers-any of the above :)

Turkey Burgers
Baked Beans
Sweet Potato Tots

Dinner out

Lemon Pepper Chicken
Steamed Broccoli
Wild Rice
Spring Salad

What's on your menu??

27 Weeks

Hello 3rd trimester!! I'm very excited to be at this milestone already. Although it's hard to believe I have 3 months left. I've been terrible about taking consistent belly shots with this baby but I'm working on that. I don't think this photo begins to show how big I really feel!

Baby boy has been very active and I felt his first round of hiccups this weekend! I had forgotten what those feel like. So cute. I wish I could take a peek inside and see exactly what he is up to. Sometimes it feels like he is just bouncing off the walls!

Overall I am feeling pretty good. I started my iron pills after my bloodwork showed I was slightly anemic. I think those have really helped give me some energy.

The bad news is, I failed my glucose screening. Yes, I have to take the dreaded 3 hour test while fasting. I'm not real thrilled to say the least. This time around they give you the same size drink, but with 100 grams of sugar instead of 50. Then they draw your blood every hour for 3 hours. What I don't get is how do they expect you to pass? Obviously if I failed after 1 hour on 50 grams of sugar, then I will fail at 1 hour on twice the sugar and probably the 2 hour mark as well. And you have to pass 2 out of the 3 tests.

I have been through this before with pregnancy #1 and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I managed to escape it with baby #2, mainly I believe because I was diligent in my workouts. This time I have been such a slacker!!! I knew it would come back to bite me in the butt.

I have my 3 hour test scheduled for first thing Wednesday morning. Tomorrow I'm planning on making meatloaf for dinner to protein load! It may not matter but I figure it can't hurt. And the good thing is with the 3 hour wait, I can get some much needed reading done & catch up on some paperwork I've got to finish for taxes.

Then right after my glucose test I have my regular OB appt. I'm curious to see if I kept my weight gain in check this time! All I can say is I'd better bring snacks after 3 hours of not eating. That's not nice to do to a pregnant girl!

I will be back to report later on the results. Let's hope I have good news and pass this stinken test!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

52 Weeks to an Organized Home-Week 3

52 Week Organized Home Challenge

Last week the challenge for the week was to organize kitchen drawers and cabinets. This task has taken me longer to complete with other things we have going on but I plan to finish it this weekend. In the meantime, I moved on to Week 3 so as not to get far behind.

Week 3 Challenge is Kitchen: Organize Pantry, Spices and Food Storage Areas. I am happy to say I have already completed this one!! I worked on it for a couple hours yesterday and am very happy with the results. Now to be honest, I know there is still some room for improvement. I would like to get some cute baskets or something functional to help corral things like the kids snacks, chip bags, etc... But at least this is a start right??

Here are the before photos:

And a side view

Here is the After

Other Side

I probably threw away 6 or so boxes, well recycled of course, that were either expired or had one item left in it. I found lots of extra space this way so I could properly organize things AND actually be able to see what is in there. I grouped all my spices together by like items. For example, all the Italian type seasonings, Oregano, Basil etc together and then the spicier stuff like Cumin, Paprika, Chili powder and then the sweet and/or baking spices together like Cinnamon, Powdered sugar & All Spice together. This will hopefully keep me from buying duplicate spices and also being able to tell quickly what I need to replace.

I also realized I have a gazillion different types of oatmeal in there. I think we will be eating oatmeal a lot more often for a while!

Since I made more room on the shelves, I was able to put things on the bottom shelf that had been on the floor, like the potatoes and onions. My plan is to get a hanging hook for these so they can hang underneath the bottom shelf and not take up much space.

Overall I have found it very refreshing to open up the door and be able to clearly look at my food items and not have to dig for anything!

If you feel like you need to get some organizing done, head over to Home Storage Solutions 101 to get started on the weekly challenges!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of 1/16-1/22

I hope everyone had a great week and success in their menu planning! I still have a few recipes I want to post up this week from my last 2 weeks of menus. This week I'm off on Monday for the MLK holiday so I'm hoping to get a lot of things done!! Tuesday night is gymnastics for Keira and this Wednesday night my book club group is meeting. I try to plan things that will be somewhat easy when we have evening committments. On Sunday I'm going to try a meat loaf. I have never made meatloaf before in my life so I'm looking for a good recipe to try! I will let you know how it goes!!!

Homemade Vegetable Soup
Spring Salad

Leftover Spaghetti

Chicken Enchiladas
Spanish Rice
Black Beans

Tuna Casserole

Leftover Vegetable Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Dinner out


I'm linking up over at the home of Menu Planning Monday, Orgjunkie!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Crib to Toddler Bed Transition- Oh the Joy!

We decided this week to make the leap from crib to toddler bed for Callie. It's definitely time, she is 2 and a half years old and I need the crib for the new baby coming in April. I wanted her to have plenty of time to adjust to her new bed before his arrival. We actually intended to do this around Thanksgiving, but she became interested in the potty and that was going so well, I didn't want to introduce another change just yet.

I wanted to get a few pictures of this little milestone in her life :) I apologize for the picture quality, I was using my cell phone and it came out a little fuzzy.

Callie yesterday morning-her last morning to wake up in her crib! *Tear*

Check out the Donald hair!!!

The girls were so excited to watch Daddy take apart the crib and put together the toddler bed. I should have snuck in and gotten a picture in between! They played in her room the entire time and would run out and report to me on the progress. Once it was put together, big sister had to get in and try it with her.

Her wall looks so bare with no crib there. Her room is definitely in need of some attention! I never really got it all put together when we moved in last year. I'm hoping the "nesting" for baby mode will kick in and I can finish hers and do his as well!

So the girls had fun reading and playing all morning in Callie's "new" bed. Of course it's all fun until nap time. Ughh. We got her all settled in and I had a baby shower to attend so my husband was here to battle it out with her. And she won. She came out to potty, to get a tissue and on and on. And Daddy does not have the patience for this. After about 2.5 hours he let her stay up for good. Needless to say she was exhausted by 5pm and took a snooze in the car while driving to meet friends for dinner. I was really nervous about bedtime because of this, but she did awesome!!! We did our normal routine and she stayed in bed and never came out one time, the whole night! I couldn't believe it. I kept waking up expecting her to be coming in our room any minute.

Today at nap on the other hand, was another story. This time I was here all day, hubby went to watch some football at a friends. She tried her antics again. I gave her a little time to read books in bed, come out for potty etc. But then I had to go in several times and get a little stern with her. She cried for daddy thinking he might let her out. I was not backing down!! After several hours, she finally fell asleep at 5:15pm! This is way late for her since her usual bed time is 8pm. I let her sleep for an hour and then woke her up. Of course she was a big crab apple but that eventually wore off. Bed time tonight came later than normal because we were so off schedule. But I'm happy to say that she went down at bedtime with no problems. Now if we can only have a repeat of last night, and her stay in bed all night, I will be so thankful!!

I'm off to bed! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fun Nursery Ideas and all Things Baby Boy!

Isn't this photo just precious!?

Love this for a Baby Shower!

So Precious!

Beautiful Nursery

Clean & Modern

Great Thought!

Oh how I love Pinterest! Happy Browsing! What fun things have you found on Pinterest lately??

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Holy Growth Spurt! 25 weeks

And by growth spurt I mean ME! Not sure how much of it was the baby but I had an interesting appointment last week! I went in for my usual monthly appointment, this one at 25 weeks. I actually hadn't seen the Dr in 5 weeks total because of the holidays. Up until then I had gained weight slowly, approximately 6-7 lbs in 20 weeks. Well let's just say that I definitely made up for it over the holidays!!!

Everything went well; Blood pressure was good, urine check good, heartbeat strong but when my Dr came in and was looking at my chart after weighing in, I was a little surprised at what she said!! I had seen the # on the scale but couldn't remember exactly where I was from the last weigh in. This was her comment "Umm, if I'm looking at this number right, you gained 12 lbs since your last visit?" WHAT!?! Holy Moly! How did that happen!? In my other pregnancies I NEVER gained that much in 5 weeks! I think the most was 6 lbs in one month. My Dr assured me though that she is not concerned, since overall my weight gain is normal, around 18lbs. With #1 I gained 33lbs and with #2 I gained 28lbs. Looks like I'm on track to gain about 32lbs this time which I'm ok with! I guess all the cookies, chinese take out, Christmas dinner, breakfast burritos etc I ate while in VA caught up with me! But, I'm not trying to repeat that this next month that's for sure.

Also while I was there they gave me my lab sheet for my wonderful glucose screen. I went up there today and had the lovely orange drink. Yuck. Baby boy was bouncing all around on that sugar high!! The good part was I got a lot of reading done, I'm so far behind on my book for book club this month. We meet next Wed and I have around 380 pages to go. Yikes!

I'm praying for a passing result and should know by tomorrow. I passed fine with Callie (#2) but failed both the one hour and three hour test when pregnant with Keira. I had to then see a perinatologist every week for a sonogram (the good part) and also had to record every meal I ate, prick my finger after every meal & record my blood sugar, and meet weekly with the nutritionist. She would look over my #'s and anywhere there was a less than desireable number, she would look over my food sheet for the week and highlight what I ate that probably caused it. And say something like "I really don't think you want to eat french fries any more". Very fun let me tell ya. I definitely don't want a repeat of that!

Other than that, I'm feeling pretty good. Just a few aches and pains here and there and braxton hicks which make it a little difficult to breathe. I have to constantly monitor my water intake or the contractions get out of control!

Only a week and a half left and I'm officially in my third trimester! Can't believe how time flies. I am really trying to enjoy it all since we plan on this being the last baby! *Sigh*

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

52 Weeks to an Organized Home-Week One Accomplished!!

As I posted last week, I'm joining along in a 52 week program over at Home Storage Solutions 101 to get my house in order!

I love the idea of this challenge because it takes large areas, like the kitchen, and breaks them down into weekly steps. Every week there is a new focus category or sub-category. Last week was Kitchen:Countertops & Sink.

I admit, this is a big problem are for me as far as clutter is concerned. Each time I get it cleaned, papers seem to creep their way back into the space. May it be mail, kids school papers, magazines etc... And it drives me nuts! So this time to hopefully keep my countertops clean long term, I've come up with a few changes on how I handle paper that comes into the house.

First, deal with incoming mail on a daily basis.
- File bills to be paid
- Recycle junk mail
- Save coupons in coupon drawer/organizer

Second, have a place for kids school papers.
-I've created a folder to store both girls art work/papers I think I may want to keep. Every month or so I will go through these and pair it down to just a few. They are only in Preschool & in Kindergarten after all, so it's hard not to save a few things here and there :)
-Pin important notes home on our corkboard so I don't forget to act on those items if needed.
-Go through their backpacks each day & throw away any non-relevant notes/papers.

Third, have a system for magazines & catalogs, things to read.
-Put magazines & catalogs on my kitchen side shelf to read. Go through these monthly and what has not been read by month's end, recycle!
- Immediately recycle/trash those that I know I will not read.
- File recipes, decor ideas that I tear from magazines. Go through these periodically to edit out what's no longer needed.

I think that's a good start for me! I'm sure I can tweak this system as time goes on, but this is what I'm going to strive to do on an ongoing basis to keep things from piling up!

Here are a few Before photos:

My working side of the counter.

The mail/drop zone side of the counter. *Shudder*

And, After

My Side

Drop Zone

It's so much more peaceful to see the tops of my clean counters! Ahhhhh.

What are your problem areas of the home? What ideas do you have to keep them under control this year?? I'd love to hear your ideas!

I'm linking up over at
52 Week Organized Home Challenge

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Week of 1/9-1/15

I did fairly well last week with my menu plan & only had to make a few changes. Sat night we ended up going out for pizza because my daughter had a friend’s birthday party to go to that wasn’t over until 5:30. Right next door to the party place is a yummy brick oven pizzeria that was calling my name. This pregnant mama is weak when it comes to food!!!

The other adjustment we had to make was for Thursday night, where I had planned leftovers. My jambalaya on Wed turned out a little too spicy for the girls so they had leftover tacos that night which left not much for Thursday. Luckily I had ingredients on hand for a quick recipe we have often, Mexican Chicken Casserole. It’s fairly quick and easy and a go-to for our family at least once a month. I will be sure and post this recipe sometime this week!

Here is my plan for this week.

Leftovers/Quick meal- Daddy’s in charge of this one!
I have a Jr. League meeting tonight right after work so I won’t be home to make dinner.

Tasty & Lean Turkey Chili

Tilapia Piccata

Breaded/Baked Chicken Strips
Fried Okra
Mashed potatoes

Leftover Chili/Frito Pie

Dinner out

Whole Wheat Pasta
Spring Salad with Feta Cheese
Garlic Bread

If you haven’t started menu planning, I encourage you to try it. You will find it is such a time saver and sanity saver!

Head on over to Orgjunkie get recipe ideas and link up with your weekly menu!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

As part of my menu plan this week, I made a delicious pork tenderloin using a recipe of my favorite Southern cook, Paula Deen. I found this recipe several years ago when hosting my family for Easter dinner. I don't know why I do not make it more often. I forgot just how good it is!! It's also pretty kid friendly, my 5 yr old said "Mmmm this is awesome mom!" and even my 2 yr old ate it all up. Nevermind we have to tell her that it is chicken. Any whitish meat like turkey or pork we have to just tell her it is chicken so she will eat it. I figure there is plenty of time later for her to learn the truth :)

1 Pork Tenderloin

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry red wine
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 green onions tops, chopped

Add all ingredients to a large ziplock bag along with your tenderloin. Mix well and marinade over night. (Or if you are like me and forget this the night before, just marinade all day.) When ready to cook, bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 min or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

She also serves her tenderloin with root vegetables, like parsnips, turnips & carrots. We just used what we had on hand. I roasted some potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots with olive oil and salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a separate dish. Bake at 350 for about 25 min.

It's a relatively easy recipe since the marinading time does most of the work for you to give it this unique flavor! If you decide to try it please let me know how you like it! I promise you won't be dissapointed!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Money Saving Mom's Budget Book & A Book Club

Amy over at Amy's Finer Things is starting a book club related to The Money Saving Mom's Budget book beginning with the book's release next week. I have been a follower of Money Saving Mom's blog for several years and am very excited to read her first book. I pre-ordered the book back in November and am anxiously awaiting it's arrival sometime next week!

If you have never read the MSM blog I highly encourage you to check her out! I look forward to reading with Amy and other book club readers as well.

Please comment below if you are joining in the book club or at least planning to read the MSM Budget Book!! I'd love to hear from fellow readers and MSM followers!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

52 Weeks to an Organized Home-I'm Participating!!!

52 Week Organized Home Challenge

This week Home Storage Solutions 101 has begun their series called "52 Weeks to an Organized Home". I'm very excited to participate in this challenge!! I have several areas of my home that really need attention, may it be just general straightening or some serious over-hauling!!!

She has done a lot of work planning ahead and listing out each week what the focus area will be. We can follow along in the order listed or skip around and focus on what needs to be done in our own homes. You can click on the link for that week to get more details and ideas on getting this area clean and organized. The first week challenge is:

Week 1:Kitchen Organization- Countertops and Sink

I really needed this motivation to get me going. With 2 kids and another on the way, it's easy for me to get overwhelmed by all of the household tasks needing attention.

For even further help & inspiration, you can visit the "hall of fame" on her site and show/share your before and after pictures of what you've accomplished. I will share my own personal completed challenges here as well :) I can't wait to have a more organized home!!

Won't you join me!?

It's Definitely a BOY!!

I have a little news to report. Can you guess what it is? The week before Christmas I had another sonogram at the perinatologist to take a better look at the baby's heart and other anatomy. I'm so thankful to report that everything was looking normal!!

Also, the Dr confirmed that the baby is indeed a BOY! We are beyond excited to add a boy to our brood that includes 2 girls. My 5 yr old called it all along. She told me when I first informed her of the pregnancy that she "knew" it was a boy. Well, turns out she was right!

Now, what in the world am I going to do with a boy?? I really don't know. And admittedly, I'm a little nervous. Having only girls, all I know is pink, princesses and tutus! I guess that is what my husband is for!

Here are a few photos from the sonogram. I loved seeing his little face!

Here is a good profile shot.

Hi Mom!

He has been very active and kicking away. Here is proof. Maybe he will play soccer like his daddy!

Right now I'm at 24 weeks, 5 days. I've been feeling good overall, although I've had a few days that were somewhat rough. I realized I have not been keeping up with my water intake as well as I should and it was causing some major braxton hicks contractions. Also flying last week caused a little swelling. No bueno. After a few days though of guzzling water, my swelling has subsided.

I have an appt with my regular OB tomorrow. It's been 5 weeks since I have seen her and I'm a little nervous to see that # on the scale. Holidays + Little Exercise = Crazy Weight Gain! Whatever the # is, I think I will blame it on the fact that I'M HAVING A BOY!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Menu Planning Monday

In an effort to get better organized I have recently started menu planning. It's been a process trying to get used to doing it every week and sometimes I get busy and it never happens. Part of my plan in 2012 is to be diligent about weekly menu planning. There are a ton of great recipes and menu planning websites out there to help you get started. One great resource I have found is Org Junkie.

Here you can link up to her weekly Menu Planning Monday posts and get meal ideas from others.

My goals with menu planning are:

1) Save time by already knowing the answer to "What's For Dinner?"
2) Have ingredients on hand for healthy family meals
3) Save $ by not grabbing food to go
4) Use store circulars to plan meals around what is on sale
5) Try new recipes frequently and swap ideas with others

I know it's Tuesday, so I am day behind :) In the future you will find Menu Planning Monday as an every Monday post.

Without further ado, here is my menu for this week:

Tacos, Spanish Rice, Refried Beans

Salmon, Cheesy Broccoli, Parmesan Garlic Risotto

Jambalaya, Cornbread


Out for dinner- my sister's birthday!

Homemade Pizza

Pork loin, Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans

What's for dinner at your house this week? I'd love to hear!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas 2011 and Pregnancy Photos

Hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas!! Ours was a little hectic but a lot of fun. We traveled with the girls to VA over Christmas to my in-laws and got back late Wed night. Thankfully our flight was pretty uneventful. Callie didn't nap a wink either flight but over all she was very good. We had brought along plenty to entertain them; dvd's, books, coloring, snacks & blankies. Once we got home & put the girls to bed, we got out all of their Santa gifts we had hidden and finish wrapping a few more of their gifts. Thursday morning we all got up and had Christmas part 2. Keira thought it was really cool to have Christmas twice!! They got many fun gifts and we basically spent the day in our jammies, they playing with their new toys and I was unpacking and doing laundry and trying to bring some sort of order to the crazy house!! We were able to bring many of our gifts home from VA but the girls had a few toys that just wouldn't fit. Kevin's parents are nice enough to pack them up and ship them to us which is so awesome. The girls can have fun playing with their gifts here and then in a week or so, their box will arrive and it will be like Christmas all over again!!

Here are a few pictures we took over Christmas.

Callie's favorite gift by far: Let's Rock! Elmo with his guitar, drums & microphone. It was one of the first gifts she opened from grandma and grandpa and then she could care less about opening any more presents! Too cute.

Keira got a kareoke machine with a Taylor Swift cd (she is obsessed with Taylor!!) but I didn't get a good picture of her in action. I will have to take one when the box gets here. It's kind of nice having a few days break from listening to that cd!! Don't get me wrong, I like Taylor Swift too, but she and her cousin were playing and singing it over & over every day!!

Keira with her giant princess pillow from Aunt Karen.

Keira loves books so I got her Silverlicious from the Pinkalicious book series.

From Santa they got a small wooden table and chair set for their dolls. Here they are playing tea party :)

Blowing bubbles

I can't forget these adorable photos of Callie in her Preschool Christmas program. Her teacher helped them make their shirts. They are Christmas trees with their handprints :)

I have been slacking on taking as many pictures throughout this pregnancy and I know I will kick myself for it later!! I made sure to take a few over the holidays though and also a few from a wedding I was in 2 weeks ago.

22 weeks

23 weeks- Big belly in a red dress!!! Thank God it fit!!!

Me & my Hubby :)

24 weeks-New Year's Eve

These are a few highlights from our December/Christmas season. Now if I can just make myself upload all of the other pictures I have taken in the past few months, I will be in good shape!

Happy New Year!!!
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