Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Girls Gathering to Celebrate Baby Boy Marchetti

My dear friend Holly hosted a small girls' gathering over the weekend to celebrate the impending arrival of Baby Boy Marchetti!

It was a perfectly fun and low key affair with just a few local girlfriends, some great snacks, a fun craft (that I got to take home!), and lots of good conversation.


Holly also prepared all the supplies for the girls to make some custom applique onesies for little man and they are oh so CUTE! No sewing, no ironing, just cute silhouettes she'd prepared, pretty fabric swatches, sweet little onesies and permanent sticky adhesive sheets. She's so crafty! It was a fun activity for doing when sitting around chatting with girlfriends and I'll be filing this idea away for the future, for sure. 

Aren't they awesome?! Thanks sweet crafty friends!

In lieu of gifts, Holly invited shower attendees to help us stock our freezer with some meals to enjoy once baby is here. I love the idea and have some delicious dinners and soups I'm excited to break into as needed!

Thanks Hol and thanks girls for a fun afternoon getting excited about our little man!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

36 weeks {#2}

I guess I'm more like 36.5 at the moment, I wanted to wait to post after my doctor's appointment today!

According to today's appointment: blood pressure is great, weight is holding steady, baby boy's heart rate was a nice strong 150something, and I'm 1 centimeter dilated.

Crazy to think that if this baby was Lawter, he'd be here in one week. I keep saying that I'm sure that since she came early - he'll stay put until about 41 weeks. And that's fine too. (I say that now, right?...)

I'm not ready for him to come too soon because I have to finish recovering from the sinus infection that has been trying to beat me down for the past few days. I'm no stranger to sinus congestion but Sunday evening, the sickness took over my throat, rendering me voiceless and THAT is downright annoying. At work and and home, having to whisper to communicate (and I'm not even supposed to be doing that, whispering is supposedly as bad as yelling on my throat) just stinks.

Apparently late stage pregnancy sinus infections are kind of my thing, because according to my medical records, I was also dealing with a sinus infection around 35/36 weeks pregnant with Lawter and had an appointment, got on meds and she was born 12 days later. Soooo.... Feb. 20 baby boy? : ) 

I saw doc yesterday, started antibiotics, and hopefully should be on my merry little healing way now!

(It's actually a little funny, the parallels between this pregnancy and my first, as I had this sinus infection with Lawter and thanks to being on antibiotics, had to push back my gbs test one week, then because I went into labor with her the night of that test, the hospital didn't have the results back and had to give me antibiotics to be safe anyways. Today they had to push back my test til next week for the same reason and I'm hoping it's not a repeat incidence! hah

Sleep has been bad, thanks to acid reflux and these sinus things. I've gotten up for the day around 3:30 am more times than I care to think about lately. Practicing for that newborn life I guess. 

Acid reflux continues to be my pregnancy achilles heel. I feel like my stomach is sitting halfway up my throat at night when I try to get in bed and have taken to utilizing all of the pillows I can put my hands on to prop myself up during the night.

Other than sinus yuckiness and the usual acid reflux, I'm still feeling great! Still doing fitness class, and planning on going today.

And I'm a liar and still haven't taken nursery photos yet. Sorry, maybe someday.

Left: April 2014 with Lawter; Right: February 2016 with #2


Monday, February 8, 2016

Our Blue Apron Trial

I know Blue Apron is getting to be old news, but call us late to the game as we just finished a free three day trial last week and I'm sharing a bit about our experience.

First of all, thanks Jamie and Bernie for three free nights of yummy dinners! The meals really were all delicious, we were impressed with the great flavors in all three dishes. 

My favorite part of this was getting to play with some new ingredients, and learning some new techniques and ideas that I can apply elsewhere in my own cooking. I have a great takeaway from each of our dinners actually- starting with a citrus glaze that was wonderful on our catfish -although I'm going to say here: I was really surprised how much sugar went into that. I'm talking straight up refined white sugar. I cringed big time at incorporating that into an otherwise feel good dish of fish and greens so I'll be modifying when venturing out on my own to recreate. When making jasmine rice, I've never started with sesame oil and aromatics and it totally took the flavor of the rice up a notch. I'd never bought a tomatillo and now I know how to make mole verde. Also, toasted pepitas are delicious. 

I've always loved to cook and learn about ingredients and techniques so this was by far the coolest part for me. 

Our meals: 

Meyer Lemon-Glazed Catfish with Ginger Collard Greens & Cracked Freekah Salad

Spicy Orange Chicken Wings with Shiitake-Sesame Rice

Steak Tacos & Mole Verde with Radishes & Avocado


A few other things I will say: 

As someone who likes to cook and doesn't shy away from direction intensive recipes: at least one of these recipes still required more work than I'm interested in putting into a weeknight dinner these days. Late stage pregnancy tiredness/lack of appetite anyways, fussy toddler chasing me around kitchen demanding her dinner, the absence of a large glass of wine accompanying me around the kitchen as I cook-  whatever the reason, this probably wouldn't be my cup of tea for regular work night dinners these days. Fortunately the first dinner was the most labor intensive from a prep work and component perspective, so I was pleasantly surprised when the other two went a bit quicker. 

Also, I think they're trying to make it feel simplified by instructing you to keep wiping out the same pan and reusing for next element, but I'm the type of cook who always has about 6 things going at one time anyways and waiting until one component was complete before starting on the next just made it feel like a long and drawn out process for me. 

Finally, this is me nitpicking but I also couldn't help but cringe at all the packaging waste. Tiny plastic cartons, bags and vials for the itty bitty amounts of ingredients you needed for each recipe. It drove me nuts to watch the multitude of containers stacking up in the recycling pile. 

So while this was a really fun and delicious experiment in our house, I don't see us signing up for a regular subscription anytime soon.

I think this is probably a fantastic idea for people who aren't confident about meal planning and need the motivation to step up their grocery shopping and cooking game. For those people, the excitement of looking forward to meal times with their families is probably totally worth the price tag of this service. I'll pat myself on the back and say that I can pull off a pretty tasty meal on my own most of the time, and can do it for less than $10 per person. (I mean, $20 for chicken wings and rice for two people that I'm prepping and cooking in my own kitchen? Nahhhh)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lawter Lately

Some odds and ends I've taken of her over the past few weeks. 

(Pediatrician appointment last week- likely croup, as that's what's been going around, according to our doc: 27 lbs, 32 inches (83rd and 28th percentile, respectively = my good eating little chunk muffin is shrimpie like her parents!)

This 21 month old has had only two modes lately: either perfectly sweet and awesome or BAD.

(By the way, this is her very favorite seat in the house these days, on the bench in baby brother's nursery.)

There's a whole lot of toddlerness happening, and we can tell that when she's acting up it's not the usual just going a little too far or not knowing better, it's pretty blatant "girlfriend you know you're about to get in trouble for throwing Da's phone against the wall when he asked you to hand it back or dumping the mac and cheese bowl over top your head" kind of stuff. And throwing all of the things. Food, crayons, whatever she has grabbed and run away with that she knows you're about to take from her (pens, screwdrivers, etc.).  

Buuuuutttt. On the flip side, she's funnier and chattier and more entertaining every day. Such a little personality and we're constantly amazed and amused by all the little person things she picks up and wants to do. Like her love for her new rain boots because she can put them on by herself so if they're within her sight and reach, she needs to be wearing them. Yesterday I told her to put on her boots so we could leave soon and she comes back wearing her boots (on the correct feet!), and tells us the other items she has in her possession, running through a check list saying "bag (little silver purse on her arm), keys (thanks Granley for her real life key ring for Christmas : ), boots" then goes "uh oh!" and leaves the room, to come back with her "hone"- the big phone from her play kitchen. 

She has her second upper canine coming in right now and I think it's the first time she's been able to tell me/show me what hurts when it comes to teeth things.  Moments that it's hurting and she's fussing, I've asked her if her mouth/teeth hurt and she'll say yes and put her finger on that one, and is surprisingly reasonable when I offer her a cold slice of apple or pear, or a chilled teething ring and ask her if she wants to chew on it because it's cold and will make her feel better and she'll say "K". My little person.

She's bossy and is constantly telling us "WALK!", "ROCK!", "EAT!" (this applies to drinking too, it's all "EAT!"), and her very favorite "up up up" because she wants to be in the middle of the action when we're in the kitchen eating/fixing food/etc. Speaking of middle of the action, she adores jumping in to help when someone is cleaning, often running to get any kind of cleaning product she thinks she has access to at the time, even if it's just a wipe or her toy vacuum. Same goes for folding and putting away laundry. 

She likes to facetime Mimi and "Chooch" (Coach), Granley and Pappy, and her fave, Jessi. She'll just take the phone and walk around with it, chatting away, regardless of whether the person can see (or understand) her. 

We've started making a big effort to sit at the kitchen table with Lawter in her bumbo booster seat whenever possible (as opposed to feeding her in the highchair in the kitchen while we walk around doing stuff). That doesn't always mean we're eating together, unfortunately, but one of us will still sit at the table with her while she eats and chat with her through her meal so hopefully it's still serving a positive purpose. She likes to help set the table and will pull out placemats by herself and hoist them onto the table top. haha Also has started regularly using a napkin. ha 

If we're covering "big girl" things, I'll briefly touch on the topic of the potty: we still haven't pushed it. It's there, she's used it a few times, some of those times she's volunteered the information about her impending activities and we've asked if she'd like to sit on it and she's gone, other times nothing happens, and sometimes she just likes to talk about it and fake us out into taking her through the process. I have friends who have pretty much potty trained their kids at or around this point and honestly, it's not a concern or priority for us at the moment. I'm happy she's been a bit interested enough on her own, and even happier than she's demonstrated ability to recognize when she needs to go. So hopefully we're on the right track for whenever it's time to take things a step farther!

Oh, we've dropped a nap. We were blessed with a two nap per day kiddo for longer than most, and it was a really great run. She's really just dropped a nap consistently over the past month or so maybe. We've never had a set nap time at home, and would just play it by ear based on the day's schedule and mostly watching for her signals. She'd totally let you know when she was ready to rest. It's trickier these days as she'll seem so ready, but then after a few minutes of resting in her crib, she'd be up and hollering and tossing things out of her crib wanting to be picked up. So we're still figuring out the best time for that one nap. I guess we should take cues from daycare since she does have a set nap time there. 

She's a sucker for routine. Maybe all tots are?? Loves to brush teeth and do other nighttime steps with Mama, most of which probably started out as ways to entertain her or just things she's seem me to and wanted to try and now are regular activities, like after teeth we brush hair, put on lotion (my sister gave L her own Johnson's bedtime lotion recently and it smells lovely and is "clinically proven to help sleep"- worth a shot, right?!? hah), and do lips (put on chap stick). 

We've also been reading the same books at bedtime for weeks now. Elmo picture book with animals is her fave and she knows hand motions and/or sounds for almost all of the animals, and the other family favorite is "Pout Pout Fish" which we've been reading for over a year but she's just started to love it over the past month or so, often requesting "Pouch Pouch". hehe She says the "blubs" and points out the kiss and says "Smoooooooooch" in a hilarious intonation. She's not often been interested in the actual story part of books- more the pictures, conversation about what things are (so she does love picture books and can identify lots of things), and turning pages- so this is a welcome change for her to sit fairly contentedly through a story. 

Still loves her dada more than anything in this world (other top runners: her blanket which she now calls her "neenee", her pacifier- pipi, her babydoll Koko, shoes, "Meeeekkeeyyy (Mickey) and "Choo Choos" (Chugginton)), but loves on her Mama plenty and happily tells us each "I wub you" regularly accompanied by sloppy open mouth kisses. Needless to say, we melt each and every time. I always tell her "I love you sooo MUCH" and she'll say back "MUCCCHHHHHH!"

Oh yea, she's into the harmonica these days.

I didn't say she knew what to do with it. 

Just kidding. She plays it and it's really cute. I guess she got distracted watching me taking pictures with my camera and forgot she didn't play it with her eyes... 

Ah much better. 

L's little daycare bff is still Isaac. She's about 6 months older than him and they're by far the two "big kids" closest in age in the baby room (2 and under). Her report sheet often includes a note about them playing together or her walking around saying his name. We're friends with his family and love that they're such little buds. 

She really doesn't have tons of interaction with other kids quite "her age". Again, lots of babies in the baby room and she's the little mama and loves taking care of them, then my friends' kids are mostly about a year younger than her at this time so there's a gap for now, until everyone is more mobile and such. Then there are the big kids with whom she spends the first half of the day at daycare, and I'd say they're 2 and up, but really I think it's a little more like 3 and up right now. I suppose she'll be moving up to the big kid room permanently in a few short months! 

Everyone likes to ask what Lawtie thinks about baby brother on the way. I have no idea what she "gets"- probably not much. She'll pat my belly sometimes and lay her head on it, but maybe that's just because it's large and... comfortable? And obviously we've talked about it around her and sometimes Anthony will say something about "Lawtie, your baby brother is in mama's belly!" and she'll look at us skeptically then check out my belly, then hers, then usually Anthony's too, so who knows. hah If you ask her whose crib that is in the nursery, she'll tell you it's Koko's. hehe 

I'm sure there are a ton of other fun things I wanted to document but this has gotten long and will have to do for now! 

Love you and all your sass my sweet, stinky toddler! 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sprinkle for Baby Boy Marchetti

Thanks Mom, Jess and sweet family and friends for the sweet, sweet Sprinkle Shower for Baby Boy!

Food, decor, details- all adorable, and I had such a wonderful time spending time with these sweet ladies who are so very good to me, and helped us get ready for our little guy's arrival!