Monday, April 30, 2012

The First Swim!

We took a quick trip to Fresno this weekend to spend a little QT with our families.
We I decided last minute on Friday night that I wanted to get out of town, so we hoped in the car on Saturday afternoon (after a birthday party for Jax's friend) and made our way to my parents house. My bestie, Danielle, came over with her son Max and we let the boys play while she colored and cut my hair. Oh, how I needed that! We went to church on Sunday then spent the afternoon relaxing with my parents and Ryan's dad. His mom had the flu, so she didn't get to see Jax. Such a bummer! 

But the boys in the family had a blast taking their first swim of 2012!!

It was almost 90* outside and my parents have a dark bottom pool, so the water was nice.

It was a tad chilly, but it warmed up quickly once you got in the water. Not that I did that... I just stuck my pregnant feet in!

Poor Jax was shivering after a while but whenever we tried to take him out, he said he wanted to keep swimming. Such a water baby.

We finally made him get out and warm up. But it wasn't long before he wanted right back in.

My dad grilled tri-tip for dinner and made homemade strawberry ice cream for dessert. So yummy! It was such a nice, relaxing weekend and I am SO thankful that we live close enough to family to be able to do things like this more often. Even my dear husband said he was glad that I guilted him into going ;)

My parents are coming up to visit us this weekend, then we are headed back down to Fresno the following weekend for Lexi's shower. I can't wait!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

30 Weeks!

Can you believe it?! This girl will be here before we know it! Next Thursday we're down to single digit weeks, folks. Crazy. And seriously exciting. I feel like I did at about 36 weeks with Jax... SO ready for her to be here. I know I still have the hardest part ahead of me. The last few weeks of pregnancy are rough. But I know it'll fly by and be over before we know it and she'll be in our arms. We have SO much going on in the next few weeks, it's going to keep me very occupied. We have a birthday party for Jax's friend tomorrow, then my parents come to visit next weekend. Then the weekend after that is my shower! Then Memorial Day weekend, then Jax's 3rd birthday (what?!!), then I'll be almost full term and we'll be just waiting for her to make her appearance!

This past week has been good. We went to tour the hospital that I'll be delivering in, and I am so excited about it. It's such a nice hospital and they have so many options for laboring mommies. Walk-in showers, cordless/waterproof monitoring, ability to push in ANY position you want, low lighting options, a futon couch, DVD player.... it's great. Such a change from delivering Jax in a military hospital. Please keep praying that my labor will start on it's own and that I will be able to have a natural VBAC!

This week Lexi is about 3.5 pounds and 16.5 inches. She can track light with her eyes and all of her organs are functioning. Babies born at 30 weeks have an 85% survival rate. She's just like an itty bitty full-term baby! The next few weeks will bring on lots of baby fat... which hopefully won't translate into too much mama fat :) I'm doing much better with my weight gain this time around, so I'm hoping to keep it that way!

Here I am this morning... 30 weeks, 2 days

10 (hopefully less) weeks left!

Friday, April 27, 2012


I need to get my 30 week post up, but until the Hubs is around to take my picture, it's gonna have have to wait. In the meantime, here's a few recent iPhone pictures. I haven't done this in a few weeks so some of them are older... But still cute, of course!

This is from our San Fran day trip... I couldn't get Jax to leave his hat normal and take a picture. But he's still the cutest kid I know!

Dancing to some super cool music while we were waiting for a table at Cheesecake Factory. This kid is gonna be famous someday, I swear it. He LOVES to be the center of attention!

I love how he snuggles his guys. It melts my heart. He also insisted that we buy Lexi some "guys". (Ha! That sounds terrible). So Jax picked out a soft doll for her at Target. He can't wait to bring her "guy" to the hospital for her!

Nursery fabric is here!! Mom and I will be making her ruffled crib skirt and her bumper. I can't wait to get started!

We've been eating lunch in the backyard most days. Jax was enjoying his after-lunch licorice on his wagon.

Strawberry picking. Yum.

I pulled out the water toys last week because it was H.O.T. here. Jax was super excited!

He was very impatient waiting for his pool to fill up.

Daddy ended up getting an extra Jamba Juice for free so he dropped it off for us on his way to work. Jax kept saying "Mmm, yum, I lovvve Jamba Juice, mmmm, yum!".

I made this recipe for dinner a few nights ago. It's from Food Network magazine and it was yummy! I made my crust with part regular flour and part whole wheat flour... That wasn't so yummy :( But the flavors were delicious, so I will be making it again soon, following the exact recipe this time!

And finally, my cute boy who insisted on a hat and (upside-down) sunglasses for our walk a few days ago. I heart him.

Happy Friday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Last week we visited a u-pick farm just down the street from our house to get some strawberries. I got 4.75 pounds for $7! I love living so close to such fresh produce. After seeing this recipe on Pinterest, I decided to use most of the strawberries to make freezer jam.

After washing, hulling and slicing them, I put them in a 9x13 pan and went to town with my potato masher. It was super tedious and annoying, so I quickly decided to pour every thing into my food processor and pulse away.

Which left me with this yumminess.

I mixed instant pectin and sugar in a separate bowl, then stirred it into the strawberries. I couldn't find the pectin that the recipe called for, but I finally found this at Food Maxx. I followed the instructions on the package for the amount to use.

I poured it into small jars, let it set for 30 minutes, then popped all but one in the freezer.

It has a much fresher/raw taste than cooked jam, but its very yummy... And SO easy to make. We've been slathering it on PBJ's and waffles all week!

Friday, April 20, 2012

29 Weeks!

This week has been a bit more eventful than weeks past. A few days ago I was having a lot of cramping in my lower belly, so I called Labor&Delivery and they told me to go in to get checked. We were there for about 1.5 hours and it was so empty the whole time! I'm used to our previous (military) hospital that delivers 300 babies a month. But here, we were the only ones in triage! It was our first time at the hospital here, so it was nice to see it and learn where things are. It's super nice, and every nurse and doctor we talked to said that they are willing to work with us with however we want our labor and delivery to go. I'm SO thankful for answered prayers!

Anyway, everything looked fine with Lexi. They strapped me to the heartbeat and contractions monitors, so it was nice to just sit and listen to her sweet heart. I did have some minor contractions, but nothing out of the ordinary for being in my third trimester. Everything else checked out normal and we were sent on our way, fears calmed.

I'm so ready for this chick to be here. I know I still have 10ish weeks, but I'm feeling like I did at the end of my pregnancy with Jax. I'm just super anxious and excited and READY!

Here I am this week...
Getting big! 

And here's my boy and his cute belly :)

We're heading to our local farmers' market tomorrow morning. I'm hoping to score some yummy, fresh, local produce. I also have a few recipes that I'll be posting soon. 

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Backyard fun

The weather here in Northern California has been beautiful these past few days! 

 We've been eating lunch out on our patio,
taking walks to the park,

opening all of our windows, 
and doing lots of playing outside.

  It's been so wonderful. 

Yesterday, I set up a science experiment with Jax.

Baking soda + vinegar with food coloring + dropper = super cool fizzy colors!

I should have recorded him trying to say "chemical reaction"
 It's rather hard for an almost 3-year-old to say ;)

He didn't want to stop until the whole thing was covered  (aka SATURATED) with colors

Such a fun and easy way to learn about colors, color combinations, and science.

I'm so looking forward to more of this gorgeous weather as we settle into spring!

Monday, April 16, 2012

San Francisco!

We decided last minute on Saturday morning to take a day trip to San Francisco. It was beautiful weather and it's only about an hour from our house, so we knew it was a good day to do it. I looked up a few things to do, just so we had a few good ideas, then we hit the road. 

We decided to head to Pier 39 first. We stopped to pick up some Giants hats. Now that we are bay area residents, it's only appropriate!
 Hello, Bay Bridge in the background

There is an aquarium on the pier, so that was our first stop. We knew Jax would love it. He was very excited about "Nemo" being there.

They also had a few of these walk-through tunnels that were pretty cool.
(I had such a hard time getting  decent photo in there)

We took a picture at Hard Rock Cafe to put in Jax's guitar frame in his room.

Then we found the famous sea lions.

Next, Jax and Daddy rode the carousel. 

And we made our way to Bubba Gump's for lunch... where Jax put on a little dance show in Forest's shoes. 

After lunch we wandered around the pier and came across a little hole in the wall that makes these...
Crepes! Nutella Crepes! Yummmmm. 

After our little treat, we headed to find some more chocolate at Ghirardelli Square. I have to say, I was pretty bummed about that place. I have fond memories from when I was younger, but there isn't much to offer these days. Just some random shops and restaurants. But you can definitely find plenty of delicious Ghirardelli chocolate to buy!

We didn't stay long at Ghirardelli Square before we headed to Lombard Street. We waited in traffic to drive down it, and it was a pretty fun experience. Jax thought the "swervy street" was "super cool!". 

We intended to head home after Lombard Street. Then Ryan decided that we should take the long way home so that we could cross the Golden Gate Bridge instead of the Bay Bridge.
It turned out that it was actually faster to do a u-turn at the end of the bridge and just go back the way we came. So we spent about 2 hours winding through the streets of San Francisco and crossing the Bridge, just to turn around and end up back where we started. I've been teasing my dear husband about it ever since ;) 

Overall, it was a great day and we had a ton of fun. I'm glad that we are close enough to be able to drive there for the day. Plus, there's still lots more to see, so I know we'll be doing it again soon!

Friday, April 13, 2012

28 weeks

Not all sources agree on which week is the official start of my third trimester, however all of them agree that by this week, I'm officially in! I can't believe that we have less than 3 months to go. And I know these three months are going to fly by... between my baby shower, some fun family events, and Jax's birthday, we have a lot going on!

This week was awesome because we finally got to see an OB! Our appointment was with the first available person, but we ended up really liking her so we are going to stick with her until the end. I'm super excited because she is completely okay with us attempting a VBAC! We discussed options and back up plans, but as of now we are good to go for a VBAC. Please keep praying that it will happen (and happen quickly/smoothly!). We also got to hear Lexi's sweet heartbeat and get a quick ultrasound at our appointment. It feels so good to be back on a normal pregnancy schedule. I go back to my OB in 4 weeks, then 3, then 2, then each week until she's born.

I almost forgot to take my picture this week (again...), but I remembered this morning, so I waited until Ryan got home from work then had him snap one. My weeks change on Thursdays, but you may have noticed that I usually don't get around to getting a blog post up until Friday. I blame pregnancy brain!

Here's this week's picture...

And here is the comparison with Jax...
It's funny because it looks like Jax is so much higher than Lexi. So much for my theory that girls carry higher!

Even though she is still pretty lazy, I've been able to feel some elbows/knees moving around and poking out. Keep on moving and shaking, little girl!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

I love to cook and bake. I make dinner from scratch for our family almost every night. I also have a huge sweet tooth, so I am constantly wanting to bake something to satisfy those cravings. I have to *try* to control myself, so I don't gain 23143241 pounds.... which is extra hard during pregnancy!

I've been planning on adding recipes to my blog for awhile now, but I just haven't gotten around to it for a couple of reasons. One, I don't have the best lighting in my kitchen. Two, I'm not much of a food photographer. And three, most of the time I just plain forget to even try to take pictures. BUT, I remembered a few nights ago when I was indulging my sweet tooth by making this recipe I found on Pinterest. I halved the recipe to make an 8x8 pan instead of a 9x13 pan. Here is what I did...

Salted Caramel Butter Bars
For the crust:
2 sticks salted butter (room temperature)
1/2 C sugar
3/4 C powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 C flour

For the filling:
1/2 of a bag of caramel bits or individually wrapped caramels
1/4 C milk or cream
1/2 Tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp (or more) course salt (I used kosher)

Preheat oven to 325* and spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray.

To make the crust:
In a large bowl, combine butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour and beat on low until it forms a dough (this may take a few minutes). Press half of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Put the other half in the fridge to cool. Bake the crust for 20 minutes or until the edges are pale golden.

While the crust is baking, make the caramel filling. Place the caramels, cream and vanilla in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring well after each one, until caramel is smooth and melted. 

Pour the caramel over the crust. Sprinkle with salt.

Remove the remaining dough from the fridge, break it apart and sprinkle over the top of the caramel, completely covering it. (I forgot to take a picture of this part. Oops.)

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the caramel is bubbly and the edges are golden. Let it cool for 15 minutes (or more if you don't want to burn your tongue on hot caramel ;) ) then cut it into 12 squares. Try not to eat 5 at once.