Sunday, November 30, 2014

Meal Planning: November 30 - December 6


The last two weeks I didn't feature regular meal plans.  Instead, I featured a collection of veggie sides and holiday appetizers.  This week I'm back to regular meal planning... which is by method of cooking.  I generally choose recipes that I haven't made before, and then pick a few, which I try during the week.  I have three weeks left until baby #2 is born, so I'm trying to squeeze in as much time in the kitchen as possible.  I know I'll miss cooking after the baby is born, so this is my time to enjoy the kitchen while I still can.

But before we dive into the recipe options for this week's meal plans, here are some recipe wins from the last week.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Celebrating the Week: Thanksgiving!

Happy Black Friday everyone!  This has been such a fabulous week.  The husband managed to clear much of his schedule and only had to work from home here and there so we've had alot of family time this week.  There were so many great moments this week...

Moment #1: the Last Rosebud
Surprisingly, my rose bushes had one last rose that managed to bud.  This is my first year with roses and I actually have no idea what I'm doing, so I'm not sure why this rose came along...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WIAW #27: Thanksgiving Eats!


Are you ready for Thanksgiving?  It's almost here!  On Sunday, I made my regular trip to the grocery store and was reminded of what a zoo the grocery store can be the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Of course, that doesn't compare to what the store is like on Tuesday and Wednesday night.  I try not to go to the grocery store the 2-3 days before Thanksgiving.  It's just too scary.

My husband and I love Thanksgiving soooo much, that we've already enjoyed Thanksgiving twice now.  Yes, twice.  We've made two dinners, just for two (our three-year-old stuck with mac & cheese one night and spaghetti & meatballs the second night).  Our excuse?  We're trying out different recipes, so that, come Thanksgiving day, we've already perfected our choices (or maybe we've eliminated choices and will be eating something entirely different on Thanksgiving day).

So what did we make?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks


Happy Monday!  At my last pregnancy update (33 weeks), I didn't do a photo compare.  So here I am, looking a little exhausted.  I'd like to blame it on bad lighting in my 35 week photo, but solid sleep is getting harder to come by.  I'm waking up at least twice a night to go to the bathroom, and sometimes I have trouble falling back asleep.
How about a little blast to the past?  I dug up a few old photos from pregnancy #1 and thought it would be fun to do a compare.  32 weeks in 2011, and 32 weeks in 2014.

At the end of our 33rd week of pregnancy, I learned that I have a condition known as polyhydramnios, which apparently occurs in 1% of all pregnancies.  Now that it's been two weeks since I received this news, I've been back to the doctor for five sessions of fetal monitoring, and I'm beginning to relax again and am holding out hope we will make it to week 39, which is when I have my c-section scheduled (Friday 12/19!!)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Meal Planning: Winter/Holiday Appetizers


It's the week of Thanksgiving!!  Last year, we had some family fly to Colorado from North Carolina and Tennessee, and it was a great Thanksgiving.  Everyone was so excited about cooking that I gave over my kitchen and stood back.  I did absolutely no cooking last Thanksgiving.

This year, we won't have any guests.  Both sides of our family have tickets booked to come over the Christmas and New Year holidays to help out with baby #2, who is scheduled to arrive on 12/19.  So this year, we will be cooking a smaller Thanksgiving meal, as it will just be myself, my husband, and our three-year-old (who is not big on traditional Thanksgiving foods).

Although we won't be having any guests, I thought it would be fun to share some ideas for appetizers for those of you who WILL be entertaining this Thanksgiving.  I've expanded the list of ideas to include appetizer ideas for other events you might be hosting this fall/winter:
--> Football party
--> Wine & Cheese Hour
--> Pre-Thanksgiving Bites
-->Holiday Cocktail Hour


But before we delve into those appetizer ideas, let's revisit winners/losers from last week's recipe ideas...

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Mustache You Some Questions


Have you seen this fun survey making the rounds in the blogosphere?  I was super excited when Angie from A Mother's Pace tagged me to take part.  Thanks Angie!  I was hoping someone would tag me to answer these fun questions!!

Before I begin, I want to mention that I am tagging four lucky bloggers to take part -- that is if you haven't already!
1. Sophie @ Sophie in Clogs
2. Sandy @ Keepin' It Real
3. Leslie @ Life Begins at 30?
4. Yuliya @ Welcome to Mommyhood

The Mustache Questions!

Four names that people call me, other than my real name (Marnie):
1. Mama
2. Keane's mom (that's what his friends at school call me)
3. Ms. Marnie
4. Marn (not commonly used, but I have a few friends who call me that)
Four jobs that I have had:
1. Project manager
2. Software tester
3. Information technology trainer
4. Retail clothing salesperson

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Currently...

I'm excited to link up for the first time with Amanda from Running with Spoons.  I've read quite a few posts from this Thursday link-up party and I have to say, I have lots of random thoughts going on in this pregnant mama's brain, so why not share this week?

1. I've been loving the kitchen.  I think it's knowing that once baby #2 gets here, I won't have much free time to cook.  So I've been spending a LOT of time in the kitchen, cooking and baking, and just enjoying my kitchen.  We even did a Thanksgiving "dry run" this past Tuesday where the hubby and I made two of the 10 million dishes we want to make for Thanksgiving (even though we're not going to have any guests this year).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WIAW #26: 34 Weeks Pregnant

I was bummed that I missed What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) last week.  After all, Jenn from Peas and Crayons hosts my favorite link up party of the week.  I love all things food.

Last week was a bit of a weird week.  First, I was coping with the recent development that I could have my baby at any time, and then the weather in Denver plunged for an entire week!  Knowing that I could go into labor at any time, I found myself thinking, this could be the last day I can go out and have Indian food... Or, this could be the last day I can cook myself a really good meal (beet salad!) or cook whatever I'm craving at the moment (Mexican!)  Or...this might be the last day I can go to Sugarmill (which has fabulous desserts!) and have lunch and a delicious dessert in complete solitude and peace.

So I've had a really fun week of eating.  Last week was the 34th week and I'm still pregnant.  It was a great week of eating.
Indian food from my favorite Indian buffet.  I may have had two plates of food...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Raising a Child with Hearing Loss: Getting Hearing Aids


I am mother to a three-year-old who wears hearing aids.  It's not unusual for people to stop me when I'm running errands with my son and get asked, "What's he wearing in his ears?"  I'll explain he's wearing hearing aids and the next question we often get is, "Can't they fix that with surgery?"


About this Series

I'd like to share with you the story of what it's been like these first three years, raising a child with mild moderate sensorineural hearing loss.  It's been a long but educational journey, so I'm breaking it up into the following posts:
Part 1: Detection in Newborns
Part 2: Getting Hearing Aids - this post
Part 3: Support and Resources
Part 4: Developing Language and Communication
Part 5: Speech Therapy

Note: I am not an audiologist, speech therapist, or any sort of professional with training in hearing.  I am just a mother sharing my story of raising a child with hearing loss.  I am including references throughout my posts for those who wish to look up more information on hearing loss!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Meal Planning: Veggie Sides


How is your mid-November weekend so far?  This week brought the first freezing temperatures of the season.  I was completely prepared - and it was a great excuse for this pregnant mama to stay home and off her feet!  But by Friday, I was itching to get out.  Given that I'm 34 weeks pregnant, I haven't done alot of shopping, but I did commit to this lovely winter item, which I can wear now and post-partum!

Friday, November 14, 2014

I Survived The Polar Vortex!

So the end of the week is here and I survived four days of sub-20 degree weather.  It is supposed to get up to the low 40s today, before dipping back down to 25 on Saturday.

The last couple of Fridays, I've been celebrating the highlights of each week.  Four weeks ago, I celebrated the beautiful fall weather, and three weeks ago, I celebrated making it to 32 weeks of pregnancy.  Then last Friday, I learned that I might deliver early.

Now that we are mentally prepared for a possible early delivery, I am back to celebrating the highlights of the week.  Have a happy Friday!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

I'm so glad so many of you enjoyed my tongue-in-cheek post, How to Prepare for a Polar Vortex!  Having moved from California to Colorado in 2013, I still find having a real winter to be a novel experience.  And this winter is starting with a bang -- we didn't get above single digits yesterday -- and it is cold, cold, cold.

When it gets cold there are a couple of things that come to mind.  One of them is baking.

The other is my crockpot.

So far this fall, in the crock pot, I've made two kinds of chili, chicken tikka masala, and a pot roast.  On Monday, I made Chicken Pot Pie in my slow cooker.  And it was really good!  If you're eating Paleo, this is a great option, because you can leave the biscuit out... I'm thinking that substituting the regular flour for almond flour might just do the trick (although I did not try that).

And well, if you're a pot pie fan and can't stand the thought of dealing with a pie crust (homemade or store-bought), here is an alternative!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How to Prepare for a Polar Vortex


Have you heard about this winter storm hitting Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan?  I live in Colorado, and we're definitely feeling the effects.  This is my second winter in Colorado and so far both winters have been quite the experience for this California girl.  All weekend, I braced myself for the downturn in weather.  I have a good friend from San Diego visiting, and we're supposed to meet up on Tuesday for dinner.

I wonder what she is thinking about this week's forecast?

We made the most of the weekend, going out for date night on Saturday and brunch and a museum on Sunday, but I was still not prepared how quickly the temperatures dropped on Monday morning.  What started out as a beautiful sunny day (around 66F) at 9am quickly turned windy and gray.  By 2pm it was 22F and snowing:

So how does one prepare for a week of chilly weather?  I spent my Monday morning preparing...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Date Night & Southern Cooking

We spent this weekend trying to enjoy being out and about as much as possible because the weather forecast for the upcoming week in Denver is...

Yeah, I've been wondering for awhile when we'd get our first snowfall of the season.  It's looking to be a pretty cold week with the highs not getting above 34 all week.

On Friday, I shared in my 33 Week Pregnancy Update that I could go into labor at any time based on new information after my 32 week prenatal appointment revealed that I have too much amniotic fluid in my uterus.  Suddenly, my every-four-weeks prenatal appointments have been upped to going in twice a week.

Well I'm happy to tell you that I was able to enjoy my weekend and everything we had planned.  First off, we had plans for date night on Saturday.  We had tickets to see Mozart's Requiem led by Pinchas Zukerman, a renowned violinist, violist, and conductor visiting the Colorado Symphony.  If you've seen the movie Amadeus, you'll recognize Mozart's Requiem.

My husband and I aren't huge classical music fans, but we do love culture.  We love to see the ballet, the opera, and the symphony every couple of years.  And this performance was amazing.  Definitely one we'll be talking about for a long time.

On Sunday, we went to brunch at Sassafras, one of just a few restaurants in town that serves Southern food.  It's fun to go when I have a hankering for fried green tomatoes or grits.  It's housed in a cute little cottage of a home and the interior is cozy and welcoming.  We got there early enough that we beat the wait.  I had a gritcake with fried oysters and poached eggs.  Yum.

After brunch, we took the toddler to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.  Getting there early in the morning is great because you can beat the crowds.  It was a good morning.

The rest of the weekend we relaxed, worked a bit on the nursery (husband painted), and made a lovely dinner.

How as your weekend?  Do you enjoy the performing arts (plays, musicals, ballet, opera, etc.)?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Meal Planning: November 9-15


The last couple of weeks, I've been meal planning by theme.  This week the theme is: International!  So I chose a couple of my favorite international cuisines and collected a bunch of recipes that fit these cuisines!

When we were in Paris a few years back, I was struck by the fact that most of the restaurants only served French cuisine.  Maybe it was the arrondissements we were in, but I didn't see much in the way of other types of food.  I think I spotted one or two Italian restaurants, but we were hard pressed to find any Asian restaurants.

But before we dive into the recipe options for this week's meal plans, here are some recipe wins from last week's meal plan...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks


Happy Friday, friends!  It's time for a pregnancy update!  I shared my pregnancy eats for week 33 and may have grovelled a bit about wanting the baby out already.

Apparently, I need to be careful what I wish for.

Since my last full pregnancy update (31 weeks), I went in for my 32 week prenatal visit, last Thursday.  In that visit, the doctor raised some concerns.  Apparently, I have an excess of amniotic fluid, also known as polyhydramnios, which is very rare and only occurs in 1% of all pregnancies.  He walked me through what additional steps needed to be taken going forward:
  • Although I've already done a gestational diabetes test, I'd have to do another, just to make sure we didn't get a false negative nine weeks ago.
  • Weekly monitoring of the fluid levels for the AFI, or amniotic fluid index, to see if the number is going up or down
  • Weekly non-stress tests (NST) / ultrasounds
  • Another check of the organs at 36 weeks

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Travel Thursday: Overnight in the Grand Canyon


This Travel Thursday I'm following up on my previous post about my epic hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back in one day!!

Destination: Overnighting at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Date of Travel: September 2010
Fun Fact about this Destination: summer temperatures can reach 120F in the canyon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WIAW #25: 32 Weeks Pregnant

Agh!  It's November!  I'm stuck in a time warp.  The last two months went by quicker than I thought they would.

I suppose that would happen if you're 32 weeks pregnant.  Yup, I'm still smiling!  Although I'm feeling as big as a house and am so ready to just have this baby already...

So here's what this pregnant mama ate on Tuesday - Election Day.  Obviously my priorities were elsewhere because I didn't get many great food photos today.  But I did eat!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Raising a Child with Hearing Loss: Detection in Newborns


I am mother to a three-year-old who wears hearing aids.  It's not unusual for people to stop me when I'm running errands with my son and get asked, "What's he wearing in his ears?"  I'll explain he's wearing hearing aids and the next question we often get is, "Can't they fix that with surgery?"

Although I'm surprised that others aren't familiar with hearing aids on little ones, I really shouldn't be, because until I had my son, I wasn't aware that hearing aids were worn by anyone besides the elderly.  So I thought I'd start a series here on my blog and share with you the story of what it's been like these first three years, raising a child with mild moderate sensorineural hearing loss.


About this Series

I thought it might be fun to share my experience raising a child with hearing loss, but it's a long story, so I'm breaking it up into the following posts:
Part 1: Detection in Newborns - this post
Part 2: Getting Hearing Aids
Part 3: Support and Resources
Part 4: Developing Language and Communication
Part 5: Speech Therapy

Note: I am not an audiologist, speech therapist, or any sort of professional with training in hearing.  I am just a mother sharing my story of raising a child with hearing loss.  I am including references throughout my posts for those who wish to look up more information on hearing loss!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Meal Planning: November 2-8


How was your Halloween Friday?  We had a couple of families over for a quick pre-trick-or-treat dinner of Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Bean Casserole and then we headed out with our three year olds for some fun trick or treating around the block.  It doesn't take long before these little ones' legs tire out.  It was a great time!

It's Sunday and I'm linking up with Laura from Mommy Run Fast and Jill from Fitness, Health, and Happiness.  Join the link up party or just go check out others' meal plans for the week.  That's where I get alot of ideas for meal planning and ideas for new recipes!

So it's another week and another chance to try out more new recipes.  Before we begin with the meal planning, I'd like to share the recipe "wins" from last week.
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