March 31, 2017

Friday Favorites

Well we have officially reached our due date.  Since I know that's just an estimate and that a lot of first time moms go past their due date, I've had it in my head since we learned that our due date was March 31 that we would have an April baby.  It's looking like that will be the case.  Which really is fine.  We're just enjoying our last few days of us time and I'm trying to get lots of rest.  And we know that no matter what we will get to meet our little guy very soon.  

So before the blog becomes all about Cooper, I thought I'd take today to share a some current favorites for Friday Favorites, linking up with Momfessionals.

I mentioned that I have been doing the Lent study through  They are going through the book of Isaiah and each day we read 2 chapters of Isaiah, usually a few verses from other books and then there is a devotional.  I really am enjoying it and this past Monday's verses and devotional were a good reminder of God being enough for everything.  

These pictures of Lily are one of my very favorite things this week.  We went on a couple of long walks last weekend and Lily was so happy to come along.  David snapped these pictures when we got home on Sunday afternoon and I love how she is smiling and so very happy in them. We love our dog a lot-- we just think she is a lot of fun-- and it was fun getting a few pictures that show that personality instead of all of the ones of her sleeping all the time (since that's what she is usually doing!)

Speaking of dog friends, I sent a package of gifts to my sweet friend Nicki this week.  Nicki is having a baby boy in June and her showers are coming up in April, so I wanted to get something to her before Cooper comes.  I made a variety of things, but this onesie was a favorite for sure.  It was fun using some heat transfer vinyl to make something to honor their 2 precious pups!

I also used HTV to make a shirt and onesie for David and Cooper.  The bear on Cooper's onesie is appliqued and everything else is vinyl.  It's been fun playing around with the HTV to make some new things!

I am loving Avocado Toast these days.  I have never been a big breakfast eater, but with pregnancy that needed to change.  For a lot of the last few months that has been satisfied with peanut butter sandwiches or these frozen sausage biscuits.  I really love the sausage biscuits, but I know they are maybe not the healthiest option.  A few weeks ago someone randomly posted in a group I'm in about eating Avocado toast for a snack while she was breastfeeding and I thought it sounded amazing.  So I've made it pretty much every day for breakfast for the last 2 weeks.  I've been using a toasted whole wheat bagel thin, scrambling 2-3 eggs and then slicing half an avocado to put on top.  It definitely has hit the spot for my salty cravings and I can feel good about eating some protein in the mornings.

I've maybe posted about this one before, but I really do love this stainless steel tumbler.  I bought the Sams Club version over the summer and David and I both use them constantly.  I've been trying to stay very hydrated and have been able to drink over 100 oz of water a day over the past few weeks because this keeps it cold (which I love).  And I'm loving eating the ice at the end of every full cup of water. 

I have been a fan of Milk and Honey Tees since I first heard about them a couple of years ago. The shirts I have from there are so soft!  I bought a Christmas one this past year and still wear it to bed most nights.  So I recently splurged and got this new one and I am really loving wearing it.  I got it a few sizes bigger so that it fits well now and is good for wearing around the house as well as out and about.  

Those are a few things I'm loving these days!  Happy Friday!

March 29, 2017

What's Up Wednesday: Waiting for Cooper Edition

It's the last Wednesday of the month, so I'm linking up with Mix and Match Mama for What's Up Wednesday!
What we're eating this week
A lot of random things and leftovers.  When I went grocery shopping Monday, I didn't buy a whole lot.  Since we're in the final countdown to Cooper's arrival, we're just eating what we can find.  Monday was leftover Sour Cream Noodle Bake that I'd frozen the last time I made it.  Last night we had half price burgers from Sonic.  Otherwise we're eating sandwiches or going out this week!

What I'm reminiscing about
With Cooper's due date drawing near, we were reminiscing about last July and when we found out we were expecting.  It seems like forever ago and not that long ago all at the same time!

What I'm loving

I've been spending a lot of time on my exercise ball the past few weeks and I am loving it.  I use it to help get baby in a good position, but it honestly has been the most comfortable place for me to sit.  When I recline on the couch or anywhere else, everything is all squished up, so sitting on the ball makes me sit up taller and I feel better on it.  So I am loving it

What we've been up to
Lots of walking!  This past weekend the weather was really nice, so we checked out White Rock Creek Trail near our house and walked several miles both days.  I enjoyed the time with David and Lily.

What I'm dreading
As excited as we are to meet Cooper, I know a new baby will bring a lot of craziness to our lives.  So I'm dreading the idea of not getting much sleep for the coming months.  I'm already such a terrible sleeper that I worry about how things will go, but I know we will adjust!

What I'm working on
Coop's baby book!  I decided not to get an official baby book and just create our own photobook.  So I've been compiling different topics and questions that I want to include from various sources and getting as much done before he comes as we can.  In addition to all of the projects for his nursery, I've also made a few new headbands for myself and I've been working on some gifts for a few other friends who had/are having babies.  I mailed off the last gift yesterday, so my current list of projects is down to nothing.  But I've got a few ideas for things to make in my little bits of time in the coming months.

What I'm excited about
Meeting our little guy!  

What I'm watching/reading

We are watching The Voice for the first time this season.  We've never watched it before, but I am usually watching the news on NBC in the evenings, so one night we were home and The Voice came on and we started watching and got interested in it.

My book club just finished reading Maude this month and I really enjoyed it.  It is the biography of a woman who grew up in the early 1900s and her family story as written by her granddaughter.

What I'm listening to
Still lots of podcasts.  I've been listening to several about pregnancy/parenting recently and have really enjoyed some of the ones put out by New Mommy Media so that's a lot of what I've listened to.

What I'm wearing
Mostly yoga pants and t-shirts since I go walking most days.  Also Maxi dresses as they are so comfortable right now!
What I'm doing this weekend
Who knows!  Either having a baby, holding my baby or waiting for a baby by enjoying a weekend with David.  Guess we will find out soon.

What I'm looking forward to next month
Figuring out life with our new little guy! 

What else is new
Nothing really.  Sorry for probably the most boring What's up Wednesday ever since it all revolves around waiting for Cooper.  There's just not a lot else going on around here right now!

March 24, 2017

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday!!

1} I'm 39 weeks today.  Cooper is the size of a pumpkin, mini watermelon, rack of ribs, or a box of a dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts.  At my appointment on Monday we did a sonogram and he was showing off much more than the last time when he turned away from the wand.  They were able to get good measurements for him and we even saw some of his hair floating on his head.  He was already measuring at 40 weeks, so we will see how big he ends up being!

2} I mentioned last week all of the dates we've been squeezing in.  Last weekend we headed to see Beauty and the Beast and then we went to eat lunch at Old Chicago pizza.  This week we walked to a new restaurant park about a mile and a half from us and tried out a new Chinese food place.  Last night we enjoyed dinner and March Madness at Taco Joint!  It's been nice to also take a break from cooking every night while we enjoy a few more dinners out!

3} I've also been doing a ton of walking this week.  My goal was to finish most of my to do list by 38 weeks (last Friday) and then just spend the rest of the time waiting for Cooper by resting and walking.  And at my doctor's appointment on Monday her main recommendation was to do lots of walking.  So I've gone on 2 walks a day most days this week.  Monday night we kicked off the first day of spring with a walk to our local sonic for half price shakes.  

4}One of the very last to-dos was a bath and pedicure (nail grinding) for Lily.  I took her on Tuesday morning and this was her afterward.  She was happy to be done.   She's always so soft the first few days after her bath!

5} The ladies in my Wednesday morning Bible Study group threw me little baby shower this week during our study.  They had muffins and fruit for everyone and they gave us several different kinds of diapers.  They also had a time of prayer for me and Cooper.  I am so thankful for their generosity!


March 17, 2017

High Five for Friday

1} A few months ago, I made a list of the deep cleaning and organizing projects I wanted to try to get done around the house before Cooper comes.  I worked through most of them, but wanted to focus on getting things clean right before he arrives.  I found this 30 day Spring Cleaning Challenge last month and I realized I was about 6 weeks from his due date so if I did one task a day during the week then it would take me 6 weeks.  I added a few things and took off a few things that didn't apply to us and this week I finished deep cleaning our living room.  It's nice to have a clean home for at least a few days and to focus on some areas that often get overlooked (like our bedroom curtains or our mattress!)

2} March Madness is here and this is the first year in a while that I did not fill out a bracket.  But I am following a little of it and am excited that Baylor won their game today!  After a few years of first-round tournament disappointment, I'm glad they are at least moving on to another game.  Sic 'em Bears!

3} I reach 38 weeks of pregnancy today!  Cooper is growing and moving around like crazy this week.  I go to the Dr Monday for another check up and ultrasound.  It's hard to believe that we could meet him any time now!

4} We've been enjoying some dates lately since we never know when our last weekend of just us 2 might be.  Last weekend we enjoyed dinner at a new-to-us restaurant on Lake Lewisville.  This weekend we've got plans for a movie and lunch out together.  Trying to soak up our time before Cooper arrives

5} I am grateful for some good sleep over the last month.  I am a terrible sleeper and most of my pregnancy I have slept pretty horribly.  Like, before February I could count on one hand the number of times where I slept through the night and was not awake for 2 hours or more in the middle of the night since July.  Somehow the last month has been really good to me.  I still have a couple of nights a week where I am awake for 2+ hours in the middle of the night, but I also have several nights a week where I sleep through the night or go back to sleep easily when I wake up.  I'm grateful for a chance to rest before all my sleep gets messed up again with our new little guy!

Happy Friday!!  I am off to get a massage and then spend a low key evening resting at home.

March 16, 2017

Baby Prep: Freezer Meals

**After I wrote this, I realized how looooooong it is.  So just a warning.  I wanted to link to all of the recipes we used, so there's a lot in there--feel free to breeze on by**

My main focus this week has been stocking our freezer with lots of ready to go meals.  Trying to plan out dinner every night is frustrating enough for me right now, so I know it'll be 1000 times more difficult once Cooper is here.  So I decided to use some of my time to get our freezer stocked.  And I think it was a success since the deep freezer that we bought a few weekends ago now looks like this:

And our freezer in the kitchen is full too!  So I just thought I'd share a little about the process and which recipes we used.  

I started pinning freezer recipe ideas on Pinterest a few months ago.  There were several that sounded interesting but that we hadn't tried before.  So I decided to make those over the last few months to make sure we liked them before stocking our freezer with them.  So we had lots of new dinners over the past few months and then David had to rate them and help me decide which ones to make again.

After we had our list of meals, I compiled my list of groceries.  Since I have a lot of spare time right now (which I know is coming to an end very soon!), I took my list to Aldi, Walmart, and Sams to find the best prices for each item.  I even made a spreadsheet to compare the price per unit at each store and then color coded which one we were getting from which store.  Yep, it was a little crazy.  But it definitely helped.  I found that Sams has the best prices on meat by far--they are significantly lower than the other stores and since I needed a lot of meat to stockpile the freezer I didn't mind buying that in bulk.  Aldi has the lowest prices for almost everything else.  Except (randomly) potatoes.  Russet potatoes were significantly cheaper at Walmart than they were at either Sams or Aldi.  Also, a random side note on that--when I went to buy the potatoes this week, the 5 lb and 10 lb bags of potatoes were a great deal, but the 8 lb bag?  Not so much.  It actually cost more to get 8 lbs of potatoes than to get 10 lbs.  So weird.  I also had a few things on the Walmart list that you can't find at Aldi.  I love shopping at Aldi, but I almost always have to go somewhere else afterward to get a few random things--but the savings I get at Aldi are worth it to me.  

So I went to Sams a few weeks ago and got all of the meat.  Then last weekend I had David go with me to Aldi to stock up on most of the other groceries so I could get to cooking this week.
Our cart full of groceries at Aldi.  While we were standing in line, I made David guess how much we were going to spend because I am always shocked by how much lower my final bill is than what I expect.  And Sunday was no different.

Monday morning I went to Walmart and picked up the last few items and planned out my week of cooking.  As much as I love doing all of it in one day, I knew that wasn't feasible with my current energy level.  So I spread it out over the week.  Monday evening I made Twice Baked Potatoes-- we ate a few for dinner and then froze the rest.  We did half with Pulled Pork and half that just have bacon bits on them.  

Tuesday I put the chicken in the crockpot with a little water to cook so that I would have cooked chicken ready for all of the meals.  I then shredded some and cut some and refrigerated it for the next day.  I also spent Tuesday afternoon making Pizza Sauce (we love this recipe Jen Hatmaker shared on her blog a few years ago--so I doubled it and we now have a bunch to freeze).  I also used the sauce to make these Homemade Pizza Pockets.  I love this recipe because it is one that you can freeze and then microwave and they are ready in a few minutes--most of the freezer meals you have to thaw or cook for a long time, so it's nice to have a few options that can be ready quickly.

Wednesday afternoon I spent a few hours working on our chicken dishes with the chicken I had cooked on Tuesday.  I put some more chicken in the crockpot to make this Cowboy Chicken (salsa chicken with a few extra flavors).  This is hands down our favorite crockpot chicken to use for tacos, nachos, enchiladas, etc.  Then I got to work on a few other things.

 First up were chicken pot pies.  This recipe is from The Pioneer Woman's Dinnertime Cookbook.  She has a whole freezer meals section and I used her recipes for these pot pies as well as for Taco Meat and Grilled Chicken to have on hand in the freezer.

 Next were some Pepperjack Chicken Taquitos.  The recipe came from this blogpost 15 Freezer Meals before your Baby Arrives.  I also made some smoothie freezer packs that she has listed in this post.

 And lastly-- a couple pans of Tuscan Chicken Pasta--we left out the sun dried tomatoes because we didn't like the texture of them in there the last time I made it.  

David had salsa chicken nachos for dinner and then we packed away the rest of that to use later.

Thursday I spent about 3 hours straight in the kitchen and knocked out most everything else.  Once I got started, I just wanted to finish everything.

 First up were these breakfast sandwiches.  We substitute the ham in the recipe for sausage since David prefers that and I use a jumbo muffin tin to cook the eggs since I don't have ramekins.  I actually had made these once before and David really liked them.  He works from home on Thursdays, so I started my day with these so he could have a fresh one for breakfast and then I froze the rest for later.

 Next were 3 dishes of Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Noodle Bake.  We tried this one for the first time a few weeks ago and we both really liked it--I think it's one of my favorite baked pasta dishes.  It has a little tomato sauce, but not too much.  I also made a few helpings of our favorite Sour Cream Enchiladas.  One pan has turkey taco meat and the other has Salsa Chicken.  After I made these, I portioned out the rest of the salsa chicken into freezer bags to have ready to go for tacos later on.

I also made a few side dishes--sweet potato fries and carrots.

A few other recipes we included that I don't have pictured/that I made before this week include: Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken Tenders, Banana Pumpkin Muffins, Blueberry Muffins, and Freezer to Crockpot Chicken Fajitas.

We also have a stockpile of chicken breasts, ground turkey, ribs, and pork roast ready to be included in some crockpot meals.  When I've tried some freezer to crockpot meals in the past, I didn't love how they thawed and turned out, so I figured I'd get a stockpile of the meat and the staples that we need for them (BBQ sauce, Seasonings, etc.) and then we'd have an easy crockpot meal to throw together.  We also stocked up on frozen vegetables to have with our meals.

And now I am ready to take a nap :)  But I am so glad that I had time to get all of this put together, grateful for extra freezer space, and I know that we will be really glad we have these on hand once Cooper is here!

March 10, 2017

Friday Favorites: Nursery Projects

I had a lot of fun making things for the nursery and getting it all set up, so I thought I'd share a few of my projects.  

Changing Pad Cover
First up was a changing pad cover for the changing table.  We already had this dresser/changing table that we used when we had foster kids, so all I had to do was sew up a few new changing pad covers to go with the nursery colors.
 I followed this tutorial for the changing pad cover.  I also made a plain red one out of some cotton fabric.

Painted Name
I knew I wanted to put his name on the wall above the changing table, but didn't want anything too heavy.  I found some chipboard letters at Hobby Lobby and painted them and then hung them up.
We bought a mounting set for the bat and hung that and then nailed the letters into the wall below the bat so they would be secure.  

Baseball Signs 
A few years ago I pinned a picture on pinterest that had a cross made out of a baseball.  So when we decided to do a baseball theme for Coop's room, I decided to try to make one.  I followed this tutorial and it was very easy to make.  Basically you cut the red string around the baseball to detach the leather.  Then you use red embroidery thread and sew around the edges to give it the baseball look again.  Then you glue it into a cross shape 
 I used my Silhouette to cut out a Bible verse to go with it and was done.

I also added a vinyl quote to a homeplate that I bought to add to the baseball theme

Closet Dividers
 These are made of chipboard as well.  I painted them Navy, added some baseball stickers and used a paint pen to write the different sizes.  I drilled a hole in the top of each one to add a ribbon to tie them onto the closet rod.
I've got sizes Newborn through 9 months on one side of the closet and then the bigger sizes on the other side.  Most of his clothes are in the dresser, but it's nice to hang up a few of the outfits and have them separated easily.

Hand Painted Signs
In addition to the Homeplate and Baseball Cross, I also made 2 other signs for this baseball wall.  A few months ago, our neighbors had put a bunch of wood on their curb for bulk trash pick up.  I saw it on my walk home and grabbed some to use for homemade signs.  David went back and got a few more pieces for me, so I am well stocked on free wood which is really nice. 
 I used my Silhouette to cut out the vinyl for the Cooper's Dugout and Little Slugger signs.  I painted the under coat, let it dry, added the vinyl and then painted over it with the top coat.  Once it was dry, I peeled the vinyl off and had a hand painted sign

I also really liked this quote, so I used the same method to make this sign for above the cube organizer.

Vinyl Quote
I also decided to try my hand at my first vinyl wall quote.  I've always used vinyl on other backgrounds (wood, glass, rubber, etc.) and never directly on the wall.  But I thought it would be fun to have a quote above the crib and thought this was the easiest way to make sure nothing heavy would fall on it.
It took a lot of time and patience to get the quote to stick to the wall, but I am happy with how it turned out and what it adds to that wall!

Those are some of my favorite handmade projects for Coop's room!

March 9, 2017

Cooper's Room

Welcome to Cooper's Room!
I already had his name hanging on the wall above the changing table, but I thought this banner with his name on it that Erin made for my shower went perfectly over the window!  It adds some of the red in with the Navy curtains.

Before we knew we were having a boy, I had decided to use navy as the main nursery color and then accent with either red or lavender/pink depending on gender.  So once we found out we were having a boy, we added in the red accents.  Once we had the navy and red going, it only made sense to have a baseball theme since that's his daddy's favorite.  I love the way everything came together!

We mounted the bat above his name on the changing table wall and then at my shower, Erin had one for everyone to sign, so I switched the plain one out for the the one that has names of people who love him.  We plan on having other family and visitors sign when they come meet him in a few weeks!

This rocking chair is the most comfortable seat in our house.  David's parents offered to buy us a rocking chair last Fall and we went and picked this one out at Buy Buy Baby.  It's so wonderful.  It rocks and reclines.  I sit in it most nights when I wake up in the middle of the night and need to change positions.  

 The framed hat, bat, and ball was from my friend Stephanie who used it in her son's nursery.  Everything else is homemade--more details coming tomorrow

 We already had a crib from when we had foster kids, so we just needed some bedding.  We got some navy sheets and I made a plain navy bedskirt to go around the bottom (to hide all of the things I'm storing under the crib!).  And for now I have these 2 beautiful homemade blankets on display on the crib, but we will move them once Cooper starts sleeping in here!  We just installed the video monitor last weekend to be able to keep an eye on him once he starts using his nursery.

 The red polka dot blanket is the first gift I received for Cooper.  My best friend from High School has an etsy shop where she makes baby blankets, so I had asked her if I could buy a customized one to bring in the colors we wanted.  Once I told her what we wanted, she made it and gifted it to us.  It's red and white polka dot flannel on one side and navy blue minky on the other.  And the quilt was made my by sister-in-law's mom who sews beautiful handmade quilts.  It is a Noah's Ark theme with the ABC's on the back.  We love it!

We bought this cube organizer during Target's New Years Organization sale.  We've already got it stocked with some books and toys as well as the carriers that we are planning to use.  I love that it still has lots of room to add other toys and things that we get along the way.

And we have a ton of storage space in our closet.  We've got baskets for extra blankets and supplies, shelves with shoes and feeding supplies on them and then a few clothes hanging up with these dividers between them.

I am so in love with how Cooper's room turned out and can't believe it's almost time for us to meet him!

March 3, 2017

High Five for Friday

Well today is officially 4 weeks until Cooper's due date, so I thought it'd be fun to do some random updates on Fridays until he gets here to look at what all is going on around here.


1}  I've been trying to stay active in the final stretch of waiting for Cooper and the weather this week has definitely helped!  I've gone on a walk every day this week--most of the time with Lily.  She loves exploring the park and I love getting some exercise while I listen to podcasts.

2} Another helpful thing in my walking routine is my new Fitbit.  I've been wanting one for a while and eyeing different sales.  A few weeks ago, they were on sale on Groupon and I had some money saved up from a rebate app I've been using when I shop, so I used those rewards and bought one.  It definitely helps me remember to stay active!
3} I spent a lot of time this week planning out some freezer meals for us to have once Cooper's here.  We had debated back and forth about buying an extra freezer to store meals and other things in and I had been looking for one on sale.  Last weekend, Sams had one on sale so we decided to use some leftover money we'd gotten at Christmas to buy one.  So we now have a deep freezer in our garage and I can't wait to fill it!  Our freezer in our house fills up quickly, so when we were originally planning freezer meals I had to pare down quite a bit, so I am very excited to now have the freedom to stock up on a lot of foods and get us set for a little while!  Today I went to Sams and bought all of the meat we need for the freezer meals and to have for crockpot meals down the road.  Next week I'll get the rest of the supplies from Aldi. 

4} There are so many apps and websites for tracking baby's development during pregnancy and I like looking through them all.  One of the funniest things is all of the different comparison for measurement each week.  I've enjoyed seeing the ones on  which says that this week Cooper is the size of a 2 Liter of Mountain Dew (why Mountain Dew over other drinks?), a Power Drill, and a Footlong Sub sandwich.  But my favorite this week was one of the apps that told me he is the size of a large cantaloupe.  Not just a cantaloupe, but a large one.  I'm now going to the doctor every week so it's fun to hear his heartbeat each week and get his measurements.  

5} I've been enjoying another semester of Women's Bible Study at Woodcreek.  This semester we are studying 1 Peter and it's been neat to get an in depth look at the instruction, warning and encouragement in this book.  I also decided to follow along with the Lenten study on She Reads Truth.  They are going through Isaiah during the season of Lent and there are scripture readings and a devotional each day.  I'm looking forward to reading through all of Isaiah in the coming weeks!

Happy Friday!  We've got a fairly low key weekend ahead (most of our weekends this month are pretty open) and looking forward to getting a few things done around the house together.