30 May 2013

18 weeks {feet up}


 
...and he is so excited about that!

How far along: 18 weeks, 2 days

Weight gain/loss: +6 lbs. at 142 (starting weight 136)

Maternity clothes: Loving all Gap maternity! I think this week is the last week I can pull off my non-pregnant shorts.

Sleep: Sleep is a little better. waking up a few times really sore and starting to wake up really hungry around 4am

Best moment this week: We registered on Sunday. It was fun {for me only for the first hour, for hubbs, the whole 3.5} Also I am starting to feel a bit of movement in there!!!

Food cravings: pasta, protein shakes, strawberries {sometimes with sugar sprinkled on top}, watermelon.

Food aversions: still meat. I talked to my OB about it this week and she is not at all concerned with eating since the twins are growing perfectly. But she is happy I am drinking my shakes.

Movement: a little bit!

Gender: BOYS!

Symptoms: Pressure here and there, lower back pain and some serious stretching

Looking forward to: Our peri (high risk) appointment next Friday. I love going to that office. I learn so much and get to see the littles for a long time!

Baby/momma medical update: I had a regular OB checkup this week and all went great. She found both heart beats on Doppler, & my belly measured at 22 weeks {which is good for twins to be 4-6 weeks ahead}
She did however tell me I need to be off my feet as much as possible for the next few weeks. {when we left she said "feet up" and Adam replied with "I have no problem feeding her and making her eat" the doctor and I both started laughing and said "FEET"} She wants as much weight off my cervix as possible. So no standing for long or walking around too much. It's going to be a long summer folks.
For those of you who know me, know how tough this is for me. I am "doer" and a "go, go, go person" This also hinders the "travel" portion of my work. Although both shows are only a quick drive to Orlando, they don't think its a good idea for me to be on my feet for that amount of time. Thankfully, I have an amazing boss, company and team. They have all rallied around me and are helping with the "at show" portion of my job. Have I mentioned I love them? There is nothing better than having an amazing, supportive and understanding boss and team. Mine rock!
I am hoping to be mobile in time for my second show in July that is in Orlando. My boss is actually going to that show as well, so I would love to give her a big squeeze in person and thank her!
 
Hoping you all are having a great week!
xxoo
-b
 
 

28 May 2013

Our Weekend

 
 
We had another busy weekend that ended up taking a toll on me less than halfway through. So the tail end of the weekend I spent on the couch, resting.
 
{friday}
Friday night we went to dinner with a few of my girlfriends and their husbands. We were celebrating one of my friends and her husbands birthday (birthdays are the same day, how fun?) And I got to see little Miss Avery Grace, which always makes my day.
 
 
 
{saturday}
Saturday brother and I drove to Orlando to see family that came into town, including our precious Mammaw!
 

 
{sunday}
Sunday morning we went to register. My, oh my. I thought Adam would be the one to get overwhelmed and grouchy. WRONG! it was me. We were there for 3.5 hours, and by the end of the first hour I sat on the floor of each section and pointed while Adam gunned is way through the store. But we got it done. We ended up making our main registry at Buy Buy Baby and then that night I did an online registry for Babies R Us. I have never been so tired or in so much pain, ever.
Hubbs was amazing! I am so lucky to be married to this man.
 
 
Sunday evening we went over to our friends house for BBQ and to see their new little one, who is so precious!
 
{monday}
We laid on the couch, all day. Except for a run to Whole Foods for grocery shopping. But after being there for 10 minutes, I realized I should have stayed on the couch.
 
Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Yay for a short week!
 
-b




24 May 2013

Friday's Letters



A: every day I love you more and more. Your endless support, love and optimism with this pregnancy gets me through every single day. I am so excited to have these boys come into the world and be raised by you. You are an amazing man. I love you.
 
babies: its time to fatten you up, eat up boys!
 
body: please cooperate and keep these boys in there until 34 weeks. I will do everything in my power to give you what you need.
 
mammaw: I am so excited to see you on Saturday, even if its for a quick visit. I miss you and can't wait to hug you.
 
to our military past and present: thank you for your selflessness and love for our country. You and your families are thought about everyday and hold a big place in my heart.
 
3 day weekend: thank you for being here, I've needed you.
 
online orders: I wish you were getting here today, that would make for a fun weekend treat.
 
laundry: can you do yourself? I can put you in the washer and dryer and as long as you can fold and put yourself away.
 
 
happy memorial day weekend!
-b

linking up with Ashley from The Sweet Season 


23 May 2013

17 weeks { & Vasa Previa}

 
"halfway? b - I don't think you know how to count?"
{see all the way below}



How far along: 17 weeks, 2 days
Weight gain/loss: +2 lbs. at 138 (starting weight 136)
Maternity clothes: Loving all Gap maternity bottoms, and I got some great sweat shorts from Old Navy that I have been living in this week.
Sleep: Sleep is a little better.
 
Best moment this week: We got to see the littles on Monday and they were precious. Baby A (on the bottom) was breech so head up feet down, and Baby B was horizontal and they had their little heads together. Looked like they were telling secrets. Secrets that probably went something like this " let's give mom something else to worry about for her whole pregnancy" and then I'm sure they giggled. {see very bottom of post}
Food cravings: pasta, protein shakes, STRAWBERRIES. Strawberries like you wouldn't believe. I actually woke up for the first time in the middle of the night to go downstairs and eat them. It sucks that those suckers are so dang expensive.
Food aversions: still meat. Ugh, meat. But I have started supplementing my protein intake with vegetable/plant based protein shakes that are yummy!
Movement: none yet
Gender: BOYS!
Symptoms: This week I had a lot of lower abdomen pain and a lot of pain in my back.
Looking forward to: Registering this weekend and getting to see the babes again next week (yes I have an appointment every 10 days, again see below)

Baby/momma medical update: Oh, goodness. I was hoping not to have one of these this week, but as my Peri doctor said "you get more interesting every time you come in"

So lets start back a few weeks ago (6 weeks ago) when my OB discovered I had Placenta Previa, where part of the placenta was covering my cervix. It was so early that they thought it would move, and it did.

 Then 2 weeks ago in the Peri's office they discovered the Placenta Previa had moved but had left behind a blood vessel in its spot, also blocking my cervix. They thought this would more or dis ingrate. HA! No, no my friends. Don't they know God and the universe are out to test my anxiety and will to trust?

On Monday when we went in for my ultrasound, they discovered that blood vessel is actually an artery blocking my cervix, and that artery is attached to Baby A's umbilical chord. This is called Vasa Previa.

{a little back ground on Vasa Previa. Its pretty rare, as in 1 in about 3,000 pregnancies and is detrimental if it goes undetected. There are a lot of deaths at birth of singleton babies because the mother nor doctors knew the mother had vasa previa. What happens is when a woman's water breaks, there is nothing to support that artery anymore, so it breaks with it. This causes the baby to bleed out as it would if one of our arteries were cut}

So since they caught mine early and can monitor me I will be seen almost every 10 days to measure my cervical length and I have to monitor myself for Braxton Hicks. Here are the scenarios for me: (these plans are all to keep my water from breaking on its own)

Best case scenario: My cervix stays the same length (or a good length) and I don't get Braxton Hicks contractions. I get to be at home, living normal life until 34 weeks. At 33 weeks they are going to give the littles a round of steroids to help their lungs and then they are going to take them by C-section at week 34. They will take them this week regardless. 

Middle case scenario: My cervix shortens to below where the doctors want it or I start getting Braxton Hicks. If either of these two happen from next week forward, I will be hospitalized for monitoring until 34 weeks. ( I know hospitals are the best place to be, but I really don't want to be a summer camper at St. Joe's)

Worst case scenario: my water breaks on its own before 34 weeks. If this were to happen, Baby A would not make it and Baby B would be critical and would more than likely not make it, since they share a few blood vessels.

So for right now, I just go to my appointments, get monitored, listen to my doctors and pay really close attention to my body. And of course pray like heck and trust that best case scenario wins out.
With having a C-section at 34 weeks, the twins will be 6 weeks early and will more than likely spend a few days if not weeks in the NICU.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers and this momma is terrified and stressed to the max. I am staying calm for my body but don't think I haven't gone over these scenario's over and over in my head every day.

until then, we just keep plugging along and get this house baby ready:) Our late October babies are now going to be mid-September babies. (I never thought at 17 weeks I would know that for 100% fact)

hope everyone has a great weekend! and I'll keep the updates coming!
xo
-b


       

22 May 2013

Steak Swap Cobb Salad



I am and have been an avid viewer of the Food Network and Cooking Channel. It's what got me through my first year of marriage and my engagement year. When I first started cooking I relied on Rachael Ray and her magazine. I have since broadened my horizons and love lots of recipes from all chefs on those channels. However, one of my very favorite recipes from Rach is this Steak Swap Cobb Salad recipe. It's amazing. We've been making for about 3 years now, but hadn't had it in a long time.
The homemade dressing in this recipe is also to die for. She takes all the wonderful flavors of a steakhouse and combines them perfectly in the dressing!
This weekend when we were deciding what to make, A really wanted to grill, but I haven't been in the mood for meat. When he dug this salad out of the back of his memory and mentioned it, I then HAD to have it.
Below is the recipe and my tweaks are below it.
(my Publix had no ripe Avocados, so they are missing from our salad, but its one of the best parts)
 

Ingredients

  • 4 small strip steaks, 8-10 ounces
  • Salt and pepper
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling, plus about 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped or 1/4 to 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons or 3 limes
  • 1 large shallot, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or minced and pasted
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 heart romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 small bundle watercress leaves, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 baby Vidalia onions or 1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced or chopped
  • 2 ripe Haas avocados, peeled, seeded and diced or sliced

Yields: Serves 4

Preparation

Bring steaks to room temp and season with salt and pepper. Heat outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-high heat or broiler. When you’re about ready to eat, dress meat with a drizzle of oil and cook steaks 4 minutes on each side for medium rare, up to 12 minutes, turning once, for well done.
Let meat rest while you combine chopped parsley or cilantro and zest of 1 lemon or 2 limes. Slice each steak thinly against the grain and dress sliced steaks with herb, garlic and zest mixture, the juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime, another drizzle of oil and a little more salt.
Grate shallot and garlic into a bowl and add mustard, Worcestershire, tomato paste and warm water then whisk to combine. Add vinegar and pour in EVOO, about 1/2 cup, in a slow stream while you whisk the dressing to emulsify it. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
Combine the lettuces in a bowl with dressing and blue cheese. Arrange dressed greens on individual plates and top with arrangement of sliced meat across the center. Place the tomatoes mixed with scallions along one side and the eggs and avocados along the opposite side. Dress the avocado with the juice of 1/2 lemon or a lime before arranging on salad to keep it form browning on the plate.
 
*My tweaks*
-I use flank steak, because hubs and I just love that for a thin steak
-The onions, I sauté so let the natural sugars make them extra yummy.
- I use lemon, not lime
-I use cilantro, not parsley
- I also don't sprinkle oil on the steak after its cooked.
 
hope y'all enjoy!
-b
 
 


20 May 2013

Weekend Update

 
 
 
I have a love/hate relationship with busy weekends. I love all the things we get to do and accomplish but hate it when I feel like we didn't get to relax once. This weekend was one of those weekends.
 
Friday we attended the Dick Vitale Gala in Sarasota. The gala was for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. I had no idea how many celebrities in the sports world would be there, so it was fun getting to meet all of them and bring awareness to this great foundation. They inducted 3 college coaches into their hall of fame: Bobby Bowden, Jim Calhoun, and Bill Self. Clearly with my hubby being a Seminole, being able to hear Bobby speak again was great!
 



 
 
Saturday I helped my little brother find a new place closer to the hospital where he'll be doing his clinicals for the next two years in med school. It went great and we found him a rad spot! While I did that hubbs stayed home and finished the musical rooms game. Got the new nursery completely cleared out and the guest bed moved into the new guestroom. He is awesome! That night he grilled a flank steak and I made a favorite salad of ours {which I will post the recipe to this week}.
 
 
Sunday I woke up not feeling so hot and super dizzy. So we made breakfast and I laid down for a bit. We then headed to Ikea to get our dresser for the nursery! And then spent three hours putting it together, gotta love Ikea:) But we had fun! Sunday night we went to see the Great Gatsby with another couple. It was fantastic! I had heard there were bad reviews, but I think it was excellent and I will be buying the soundtrack today!!!
 



 
this was the finished project! The walls are NOT staying that color and we just hung the picture there to measure a few things since that will be a gallery wall. {and yes, being the organized freak that I am, I already bought drawer organizers}.
 
Hope y'all had a great weekend!
-b


17 May 2013

16 weeks



How far along: 16 weeks
Weight gain/loss: +1 lbs. at 137 (starting weight 136)
Maternity clothes: Still loving my gap yoga pants, and the Gap flat from shorts {pictured above}! I now want them in every color
Sleep: Sleeping a little better than last week
 
Best moment this week: Found we are having BOYS!!!!!!!! and of course shopping for them and getting those sweet little packages at the door and holding those little clothes. They are precious and I am now obsessed with boy clothes!
Food cravings: Soups, french fries, cantaloupe, strawberries (at night with a sprinkle of sugar for dessert) and fudgesicles.
Food aversions: still meat, and big portions or big bites
Movement: none yet
Gender: BOYS!
Symptoms: still lots of ligament pain, some pressure and severe back pain.
Looking forward to: We have another high risk appointment on Monday for cervical length and extremities measurements. Plus measuring their bellies to watch for TTT {details below}.

Baby/momma medical update: I figured I would do these as I have appointments so I can keep track of what happened when. Last Friday when we went to the high risk doc my previa had improved! The weekend I went to the hospital is was full previa. The week after that when I went to my OB it was then considered a "low lying placenta" and was .5mm from my cervix { the length my placenta and cervix should be from each other is 2cm}. Last Friday at the Peri {high risk} it was 1cm, improving.  But it left behind a blood vessel that is right on top of my cervix and baby A's umbilical cord is partially attached to it. This is not harmful to the baby, but can cause me to bleed and if it stays there I will 100% have to have a C-Section as its very dangerous to me.
Baby A's umbilical cord is also low on my placenta. They want both UC's to be right in the center the placenta for ample nourishment and blood flow. With twins this is a larger concern because this is can cause TTT {Twin to Twin Transfusion} which is where one twin takes all the food and blood supply leaving one with next to nothing. There is a procedure that can be done for this, but the 3 doctors that do it (in this country) are in California, Ohio and Miami. I wont go into the surgery that has to be done if this happens, because I am thinking positively and not even going down that road.
Both boys measured great though. Both were 5oz/ 4 inches and both of their stomachs were the same size, which is good and means they are both sharing properly {clearly my kids} :) They will just need to be monitored very aggressively every other week.
*I also went into my OB yesterday with severe back pain and pressure. I of course went in sobbing being terrified of TTT and pre-term labor. Everything checked out fine {my previa moved even more and is 1.5cm away...almost there!} and the boys were great! my pain is just from being preggers with Twins, which eased my mind. That I can deal with:)

That's my update for now! While I am so nervous to buy or register for anything, we are going to start this weekend! Heading out to buy our dresser and get that set up. YAY! Here are a few pics from our 16 week appt.
 

 

hope y'all have a great weekend!
-b
*if you don't follow me on instagram or twitter, below is how we announced the gender . . .
{if you want to follow : insta: brittanylaws and twitter: thelawsnest}



16 May 2013

Closet/Loft update



Moving my office to the loft has been a long time coming. It's a project we've wanted to do since last year, but with news of the twins, it pushed us to get it done. A few weeks ago my Mom came into town and re-organized almost all of my closets, making this possible.
So, here is the loft with my office moved in:
 
 
those shelves to the right and middle will look more like the shelves to the left in the very near future. {once hubs moves his "man things" out. Yes they are being evicted} We were also going to sell the leather couch that was in the loft, but know that moving in the next few years, we will want that one day. So this ended up working nicely.
here is the wall a bookshelf we moved from my office out into the loft {by the closet}
 
I LOVE my new little space, and also feel not so secluded in a room all day.
 
Now, the twins closets. We had a few companies out Monday and we think we reached an agreement on who we will be going with and here is what the design looks like:
 
 
 
....and we're doing this little number in the garage since the existing shelving fell... on my car. {no damage, thank GOD}
 
 
 
I am so excited to get started on this nursery, I can't stand it. I've been online shopping my face off for all these cute little clothes and they are all starting to arrive and make me just melt when I open them.
 
See  you tomorrow for 16 week update and gender reveal!
-b
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


14 May 2013

Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Lemon - Review

Picture of Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Lemon Recipe

So I am a huge Giada Laurentiis fan, huge! I record a lot of her shows to get extra ideas for dinner. Since pasta has been my go to recently I  have been paying extra close attention to her pasta meals.
We made this last week and it was amazing! I watched her make it on TV and then had to have it. HAD TO HAVE IT. So off to the store I went that night to get the ingredients. It turned out great! I loved it, and A loved it! This recipe was quick, easy and cheap to make.

here is the recipe, if you want to try....
Ingredients
  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  • 1 cup (6-ounces) chopped or julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1 cup (4-ounces) medium green olives, pitted
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl.
In a food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, basil, garlic, oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pulse until blended but still chunky.
Add the tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese to the pasta and toss well until the pasta is coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Prep time: 8 minutes; Cook time: 8 to 10 minutes
Serving Size
4 to 6 servings

I love a good salty meal {duh} and the olives and sun dried tomatoes make a wonderful pair in this dish!

enjoy!
-b
 


13 May 2013

Our Wonderful Weekend


 
I am very late to the Monday party, sorry. I had a busy little day with work, had two closet companies out to give us quotes on our nursery closet and I had to run to the high risk doc for blood work. My amazing husband had the day off so he did most of the closet stuff AND moved my office into the loft and helped get these rooms moved around. Whew!
 
This weekend was amazing. We had a high risk appointment Friday morning that turned out to be more than we expected! We found out the gender!!!! If you follow me on Instagram then you already know but I will be posting it on Thursday with my 16 week update along with our high risk update.
 
My previa has gotten a little better, not where it should be but better, so I was allowed to head to the beach for a mini vacay with hubbs. We went to Amelia Island here in Florida and stayed at the Ritz Carlton there. Its one of our favorite places to be and we have our own little routine there.
{view from our room}
 
Friday we sat by the pool when we arrived then headed to one of our fave local spots there in Fernandina Beach, 29 South, which is simply delicious! I took a risk and ordered the chicken and after two bites was quickly reminded of why I shouldn't have done that. My side of mashed potatoes ended up being my dinner. Oh well. We'll try again this week.
 
Saturday we started our day with the amazing brunch at the Ritz. I took down biscuits and gravy like a college football player AND their famous sticky buns. They are the only Ritz property that make these and they are out of this world. When I told our waitress that I had been craving them for a week she let me in on a little secret that her husband was the pastry chef and brought that recipe to the property 17 years ago. Dang is she lucky. When she brought us our check she gave me an envelope with a congratulations card (for the babies) and tucked inside was this secret recipe. I squealed out loud in excitement!
We then headed to the pool for the rest of the afternoon before retiring to our rooms for the afternoon for naps (around 2:30, ha). Saturday night we had reservations at the restaurant on property, Salt, that happens to be one of our favorites. They makes tons of different salts, different flavors and tell you how to pair them with your meal. My favorite is was I call "campfire salt" it smokey and taste like its been sitting over a campfire.
{campfire, citrus, salt/pepper combo}
 

{oh yes, and they celebrated my birthday with house made sweets}


 
If you dont already know this about me, I have a salt obsession. I love it. I can literally eat it alone. This will end up being a problem in a month or so when I start to swell from the stuff. Especially since the sweet server sent me home with two flavors on her.
 
Sunday morning we ordered room service (breakfast in bed) for breakfast and then sat on the beach for awhile before heading home.
 
{my ultra cute hubby}

{soaking in the morning ocean}
 
I needed this weekend so badly. I have been on my best behavior since being put on modified bed rest and I needed a little time off my couch and outside.
 
what was your weekend filled with?
-b

10 May 2013

15 weeks



 

How far along: 15 weeks
Weight gain/loss: 0 lbs. back up to 136 after losing here and there(starting weight 136)
Maternity clothes: Still loving my gap yoga pants
Sleep: Sleeping a little better than last week but still have ligament pains
 
Best moment this week: For the first time yesterday I had no pain or pressure! Wahoo!
Food cravings: Soups!, fruit, peanut butter crackers, sweets (weird) and still my beloved smoothies
Food aversions: still meat:( too big of a bite or too big of a portion on my plate also sends me into a dry heave spell. Wednesday night hubbs brought home Chipotle that was so excited for but the size of that bowl sent me over the edge.
Movement: none yet
Gender: still guessing boys ( i think because hubbs keeps calling them boys or calling them by the boy names we've picked)
Symptoms: still lots of ligament pain and some pressure.
Looking forward to: seeing the littles today at our high risk appt! This is set to be a long appointment since its the anatomy test. Checking those lungs, brains and hearts. Then we are off on our little much needed vacation to Amelia Island!!!  Yes, we switched hotels last minute. We really wanted to try a new Ritz but we just love the Amelia Island location, its our ultimate favorite and will more than likely be the last time we go back just the two of us.
 
 
Hope y'all have a great a weekend and spend time doing something you love!
-b




09 May 2013

Sad Day for my backyard


 
 
Today is a sad day for my backyard. I left around lunch time to run some errands and as I was pulling out of my neighborhood, this bad boy was out of his pond and roaming our street. It went to a few neighbors front doors for a bit and then would move to the next. {Needless to say I didn't get any of my errands done since I followed him around}
I ended up calling the wildlife hot line to report this as this is the third time it's happened in a week and I just couldn't bear something happening to a child or pet. My HOA director had to then call them back and let them know they were okay to put out traps for the two gators that are clearly getting too big for our pond.
The gator control guy just called me to let me know he will be out in the morning to get them. My heart broke. And after our lengthy conversation {mainly because of all my questions} on how this was all handled, I got off the phone and immediately started crying {and I'm still crying as I write this, while my husband shakes his head at me}. I know, I know, what the hell am I crying for?{ mix of being an animal lover and pregnancy hormones} These gators {until now} have been so fun to watch in our backyard pond and {I'm sure} have helped keep some other bad animals away.
These two gators have been here since we moved in almost 4 years ago. I will miss them, but know its time to remove them when they get too friendly/brave.
 
 
good-bye little friends. You've been fun to have around.
{my fingers are crossed you don't meet the state requirements to be put down and that you are released somewhere else}

08 May 2013

Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup

{{{Hubbs- do NOT read this post, I lied to you about an ingredient I used, but you loved it not knowing :)}}}

So, I tried to make dinner three times last week, all resulting in me having dry heaving spells and not eating. I dont have a problem making it, but after its done and I sit down to eat it, I start thinking about everything I just put in to the food and I'm immediately turned off.
So, I went through Pinterest the past two nights to find a few crock pot recipes. Since I can make throw everything into the crock pot around lunch (when I'm feeling good) and it will be done by the time A gets home.
I tried the following recipe last night, and it was excellent. {I of course modified it a bit}
 
Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup
 
this recipe is via Heather Likes Food {which is going to be a great resource for me}
Here is the recipe: {my modifications in italics}
 
Ingredients
  • 6 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce or 24 oz jar prepared spaghetti sauce + 1/2 lb browned ground beef + 1/2 lb browned Italian sausage {I did not add meat}
  • 1/2 bag (4.5 oz) fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 8 oz cream cheese {I did not use this much, I cut it in half}
  • 8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms {i used baby bella mushrooms, since they are small but meaty}
  • 16 oz frozen cheese tortellini
Instructions
  1. Combine spaghetti sauce (and meat if adding it in separately), spinach, cream cheese, chicken broth, and mushrooms in a slow-cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours, on high for 2-3.
  2. 20 minutes before serving, turn heat to high if it isn't already an stir in frozen tortellini. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until tender and hot.
  3. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.
 
 
Again, this turned out delicious! It even made enough for me to enjoy for lunch today!
On a side note: but a good garlic bread or roll for dipping, it would be yummy!
 
any good websites you all like for recipes?
 
happy halfway through the week!
 
-b

07 May 2013

Closet Clean Out

 
 
I mentioned yesterday that my Mom came into town to do some organization of my closets. Well I got more than I bargained for. I am on modified bed rest right now, so I am not allowed any high activity and no lifting, so my Mom made me sit at my desk and work while she tackled four closets in my house. She did an amazing job!
 
 
In our home we have 3 bedrooms and a loft (all upstairs). We were graced with a lot of storage closets in our home and for the first year of our habitation here, those closets remained empty. However, we've since filled them just in time to need them to be semi-empty again.
 
Here is what needed to be done {a little game of musical closets}:
 
Currently the two extra bedrooms are being used as an office and a guestroom. So my office is getting moved into our loft, the guestroom is getting moved into the office, and the twins nursery will be the where the guestroom is now. Whew!
I do have a hall closet outside of the nursery that I was using to store all my entertaining/party supplies. Mom quickly cleared that out and it now sits empty for extra baby storage! YAY!
 
The NEW guest room {old office} is the only room I got a before and after of:
 
{before}:
 
{after}:
 
 
Now I wont be ashamed of our guest closet when we have guests, and there is room for them to store their clothing, woot!
 
The other closet I have a picture of is the loft closet {which will now be my office closet}:
 
this closet is now storing all my office supplies, wrapping paper, gift wrap, greeting cards and our important papers. I was so happy with this closet!
My loft is still a mess, as we haven't moved the furniture around quite yet, but when it's done I'll post a picture! {i was thrilled that my printer fit into this closet and is able to be plugged into an outlet} My loft has built ins in it so I was afraid the printer wouldn't fit. This worked out perfectly!
 
Now the other 2 closets are just empty. So those would make for boring pictures, but when they are complete, I will also post a picture of those. Next Monday we have a few custom closet companies coming out to give us quotes on the nursery closet. We have custom closets in both our master closets and in our garage (just cabinets) but that came with the house. With two babies on the way, I need all the organization and storage I can get. Here is what I am hoping we can accomplish in their closet...
{only I might opt for three hanging rods on each side!} fingers crossed we can get this done
 

 
 
Hopefully next week I will have an update on exactly what we are going to do! So excited! And in about 2 weeks we should find out the gender of these littles, then the shopping and planning will be in full force. We are going to try and get as much done as early as possible to prevent last minute things if I go on bed rest.
 
Have you ever used a custom closet company?
 
happy tuesday!
-b
 
 
 
 


06 May 2013

Weekend Update

 
 
This weekend was my 30th birthday weekend. And while I've always pictured this weekend in my head to be a blow out, crazy weekend, life has changed that idea quite a bit. Being pregnant means no tequila on Cinco de Brittany and being pregnant with twins means I was so excited to just lay on my couch. How times have changed.
Friday my mom was in town and she tackled me closets in the house for me. This was a job I was going to do on weekends with my down time, but Dr. restrictions have put a hold on that. So Mom, to the rescue. As I sat in my office and worked Friday, she cleaned out my loft closet and moved my office closet in there, moved the guest room closet into my office closet and cleared out the guest room closet (that will now be the nursery) and the closet in that hallway for extra storage for all things babies!  I am going to do a post tomorrow on the closets and my idea for the twins closet!
 
Saturday three of my girlfriends, my mom and I went to brunch and went for pedicures. It was so much fun! We laughed until we cried. My mom went home that afternoon and hubbs and a spent the afternoon on the couch, then ordered pizza for dinner and watched the Derby!
 
Sunday {birthday day} we woke up early, made breakfast, and headed to the beach for a bit to get me out of the house. {Now I know I'm about to get slammed by all the northerners} When we got to the beach, we quickly realized it wouldn't be a typically FLA beach day. It was really windy and the wind was cold. {Temp said 77, but the wind was freezing, I promise} we stayed for about an hour and half and then drove home. We then spent the better part of the afternoon on the couch, again, napping off and on. When we {we meaning me and littles} we headed to Wine Exchange (one of my fav local spots} and had a delicious dinner. It was a great day. I have always dreaded turning 30, but as a got closer, I embraced it and now I am so excited to be in my thirties!
 
this weekend we are headed to Naples for a staycation to celebrate both our 30th birthdays. Very excited for this tiny get-a-way. {Dr.'s approval pending, we go at 8am friday morning}
 
happy monday everyone!
-b
 
*Linking up with Sami's Shenanigan's for Weekend Update
 


03 May 2013

Friday's Letters - Birthday and Baby edition



Dear twenties: its been fun. I'm a little sad to see you go but I am very excited to be moving along. You were full of fun, memories and self exploration. I am coming out of you a whole new woman. Through you I have learned what the important things in life are. I have learned what relationships are truly important and to get the most out of life that I can. Without you, this wouldn't have been possible. Thank you for all you brought me and all the lessons learned.
 
Dear thirties: Hello :) I never thought I would look forward to you, and in fact as of a couple of months ago I was dreading you. But through lots of soul searching, I am very excited to be entering you as a completely different person. One full of more confidence, more self appreciation and as a woman who finally feels like she has her act together. Do be kind.
 
Babies: I am so excited you are no longer a secret and the whole world knows about you. We've been on quite the journey these past 14 weeks, full of celebrations and scares. But our most recent celebration was your tests results coming back "beautifully" as the nurse put it. From what we can tell, you are healthy, healthy, healthy, and we couldn't be happier! You stay in there and cook as long as possible.
 
Adam: thank you for waiting on me hand and foot for the past 3 months, and even more now. Thank you for being at every single appointment and emergency, you're the greatest partner/husband a girl could ask for. I am so excited for my birthday getaway next weekend, its just what I need! I love you more than words could ever say.
 
Momma: thank you so much for coming this week/weekend and cleaning all my closets and reorganizing everything. You are amazing! This is making my life so easy. Love you!
 
Leah, Bre, and Keri: i am so excited to see you tomorrow for brunch and pedis. You are great friends and your friendships mean the world to me. xo
 
blog friends: thank you for all your sweet comments and e-mails about our big announcement! Excited to have you all follow along!
 
here's to 30,
-b
 


Week 14

 
 
 How far along: 14 weeks
 
Weight gain/loss: -1 lb. from 136 to 135. (starting weight 136)
 
Maternity clothes: just some great yoga pants from Gap, I am going to wear these even when I'm not pregnant, they are awesome!
 
Sleep: getting up 2-3 times a night to pee and woken up by ligament pain here and there
 
Best moment this week: Getting to see babies on Wednesday! We got to see them very quickly, as we weren't scheduled for a sono, but since I had a little trip to the ER last weekend, they are monitoring my Previa. Monique (my sono tech) says I dont have full blown Previa yet, but I am close. The distance from my placenta to my cervix is 5mm and it should be 2 cm. So I am still on all my restrictions. Have I mentioned how much I love Monique, and how smart she is? She instantly makes me feel better and explains EVERYTHING!
 
Food cravings: Beach Bum smoothies (strawberry, banana, dark choc), honey bbq fritos, lots and lots of fruit, salads. (oh yes, and those first two, the smoothie and fritos, I can't have one without the other) where has my food cleanliness gone?
 
Food aversions: still chicken :( and too much of anything. I made dinner three times this week. YAY! BUT when I went to eat it, I have one or two bites, then have to walk away from the table, usually dry heaving. I have no problem making the food, and get really excited to do it, but when it comes time, I start thinking of all the ingredients and I lose it. Looks like we;ll be eating out for a few more weeks.
 
Movement: none yet
 
Gender: my guess is boys
 
Symptoms: a little bit of pain and pressure (Dr. says its round ligament pain) still nauseous at some smells and dry heave every now and then due to smell, thoughts of some foods and eating too much (eating too much being 4 bites of dinner)
 
Looking forward to: a few things: my 30th birthday is sunday, next weekend we are going to Naples for a mini vacay but before we leave on friday we are going to our Peri doc for another appt and another ultra sound! which might tell us the gender, if not, hopefully we will find out when we go back on the 20th!
 
happy weekend chickens! and happy Cinco de Brittany :) have some tequila for me!
-b


02 May 2013

My past 13 weeks - part 3


Symptoms and high risk .  .  .
 
Weeks 6-10 were full of major food aversions, dry heaving, throwing up once and just feeling awful. BUT I promised I wouldn't complain if God let me keep this amazing pregnancy.
My aversions consisted of: all meats (which is tough for me because I love turkey and chicken), veggies, mac and cheese, peanut butter, anything sweet (besides fruit).
But the things I did eat were: salads, fruit, pizza and junk.
 
This was all really hard for me. For those of you who regularly follow, I eat pretty clean, and love my protein. And these four weeks, I ate like a 3 year old. Since then I've gradually started adding things back to my diet. Chicken is still sometimes tough for me. My first meat was a 5 Guys burger (what?!?!) and then hubbs made me buffalo turkey burgers that were out of this world, and I've had those once a weeks since because I just crave them. I'm hoping in a few weeks, I'll be back to eating anything, fingers crossed.
 
Our pregnancy is very high risk. Women's bodies aren't meant/built to carry two babies at one time, so when multiple pregnancies happen, you must see a Perinatologist. We got very lucky with ours! His name is Dr. Kalter, he is super thorough, great at explaining everything and happens to be right upstairs from my OB.
Our first appointment with Dr. Kalter was at 12 weeks and we went in for our initial consult and NT testing. The staff at this office was amazing and we loved being in an ultrasound and seeing our babies for almost an entire hour:) They would wiggle when they weren't supposed to and lay still when she needed them to move. Ha! Stubborn?! our kids?! nothing like their parents *wink*
 
here is the US we got from that visit
 
 
they were so funny to watch! As I'm writing this, the rest of my blood work came back and my nurse says it all looks "beautiful", no issues. So now all I have to do is concentrate on cooking these littles.
 
This past weekend I experienced some pain and pressure that scared me. So the doctor on call at my practice told me to go ahead into triage at our hospital and get checked out to be safe. So we went. This all felt too familiar to me. I was terrified driving to the hospital.
However, when I got there, my nerves were calmed a little. I was at a different hospital than the last time. This triage unit was just for pregnant women, it wasn't just a hospital ER. The nurses were so great and my on call doctor ended up coming in to see me. Much different experience than the prior.
During the ultra sound, the tech said the babies looked great, my cervix looked great and their fluid looked great. The only concern was that now my sonogram is showing that I have Placenta Previa.
Placenta Previa is when part of the placenta covers the cervix. This isn't too much to worry about unless it stays like this. In that case I will 100% have to have a c-section. (which I bet I will have anyway). But for now, I have to stay off my feet as much as possible, no exercise, no high activity, no lifting as Previa can casue major bleeding. So, now we hope this issue ends up correcting itself, which since I am so early, should.
again, fingers crossed!
 
Thanks for following along with our story!
tomorrow I will start my week updates, and then will continue those once a week.
 
tomorrow is friday! yay yay!
-b
 


01 May 2013

My past 13 weeks - Part 2

 
Our first appointment .  .  .
 
Our first appointment was at 7 weeks. I was terrified to say the very least. I knew going into this appointment exactly what to expect, if the doctor pushed my due date back two weeks, I would know what that now meant too. I cried and cried for an hour before my appointment.
*Rewind to the week before... I woke up one morning and told A that I had a dream we were having twins. He looked at me and replied "don't ever say that again" ha! *
 
We went to our appointment with me almost trembling. We saw the new NP at the office, and I loved her. We went over tons of information, most of the things I knew from before, but she added a few things here and there.
Then came time for my ultrasound. I think I had prepared myself for everything. Baby measuring small, no heartbeat, no baby, etc.... It wasn't until my tech, Monique, put the paddle on my belly did I realize in fact, I hadn't prepared myself for everything. I saw 2 little circles on the screen and started laughing. Adam flipped his head to me and whispered "what are you laughing at" and then Monique started laughing, and after A asked a few more times what we were laughing at, Monique said " I see two babies." Adams elbows immediately went to his knees and he held his head in his hands. Smiling, but in shock.
Both babies measured perfectly and had great heart beats. Stats were as follows:
Baby A:  HR :128 :: 6w 6d
Baby B: HR: 128 :: 6w 5d
 
it's normal for the babies to be a few days off from me and each other since there are two of them. We also learned our babies are in the same "house" but they have different "rooms." So since they are in the same house, they are identical twins, even more fun!
 
A few fun facts about identical twins:
-they are not hereditary, this type does not "run in families"
-identical twins are a scientific phenomenon
-they are either both boys or both girls (can't be one of each)
-since they started out as one baby and then became two, they share the same DNA, but have different fingerprints.
-There are three types of identical twins, my type is the least risky of the three but we are still very high risk.
-the odds of having identical twins are 3 in 1000
 
 
We left this appointment SO excited, I think we were still in shock, but the more we talked about it the more excited we got!
 

 
 
 
That picture above is exactly what I saw and started laughing at.
After a few days, we got over the initial shock and fear, and couldn't stop smiling about getting two babies at one time. We are so thankful.
 
tomorrow I will fill you in on how I've been feeling and our trip to the high risk doctor....
 
see you tomorrow for part three!
-b