Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Weekend Work and Play

I waited a while for this past weekend to come....Randy promised me that he would disassemble the Bowflex so that I could get the room ready for when "AJ" arrives in a couple of weeks. And I should have known that a certain little man would be right behind "daddy" with the wrench. Josiah just LOVES to help (and do whatever it is that Randy is doing). Regardless, though, of all of the work that my men did, I still have a long way to go in order to get the room in the order I wish to have it in. I'll post before and after pics as soon as I finish.

After a long morning of "working", Randy and I took Josiah out and about to get some exercise. But we can't go anywhere without letting him "drive" first. This is one of his most favorite things to do with Randy. Here are my boys in their matching sunglasses.

During our Anniversary date, Randy and I spent some time wandering the mall before dinner. Old Navy is carrying Guayabera-like shirts for the spring this year, so we just HAD to buy one for our little man for his Easter outfit (and it turns out that it'll be perfect for when we move near Mexico). Isn't he just the most handsome little man you've ever seen?

Celebration Dinner

Last Tuesday, after we found out that we "matched" and Randy finished taking his Board exam, we took Josiah out to eat at a Japanease Steakhouse....we thought he might enjoy the table entertainment of fire and smoke. Overall, he did think it was pretty fun....he especially enjoyed eating from chopsticks. In fact, I think it was the best he'd eaten in a couple of weeks now that he's been going through a "picky eater" phase.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Where Do We Go From Here? Part 2

We found out today that we're headed to TX for residency. Randy and I are pretty excited. Although, it's bittersweet. We've made such good friends here, that moving is saddening. While we know that this is the best program for us, as a family, there are few reservations...silly ones, but real all the same....the weather (it's so darn hot all of the time) and the distance from my family (we are only 10 hours now but will be 26 hours once we move).

Gosh, there is sooo much to do between now and the next 6 weeks, when we will welcome a new little one in the family. Then there is so much to do between having the baby and moving. I just hope that the "nesting bug" gets a hold of me soon so that I have enough energy to pack up and rearrange a lot within the next few weeks.

And speaking of the baby....I'm really starting to feel overwhelmed about caring for another little one when we have one that still requires/enjoys all of our attention. How am I going to do it? My friend, Sara, had her second little man this morning. He's just the most precious little thing (next to Josiah, of course)...and it was so special to get to hold him today. But I just can't grasp that that I will be holding my own little one in just a few short weeks. Physically, I'm sooo ready to not be pregnant anymore. But I'm soooo NOT ready emotionally to take on all that a newborn requires--not yet anyway. How do moms who have kiddos so close in age do it? Any tips?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Ba-Ba" Dilemma--And We're Not Talkin' Sheep (well, kind of)

A "Ba-Ba", according to Josiah, is a pacifier. This child soothing device has been by Josiah's side (or in his mouth) since the second day of his life....he goes down for naps with it, goes to bed with it, and asks for it first thing in the morning. It wasn't until recently that Randy and I noticed him using it as a chew toy. Over the last two days, two "Ba-Ba"s have made their way to the trash because they were "broken" (and last night he threw his "ba-ba" away). We are currently working on the last one we have in the house/purse/car. Last night Josiah did really well and fell asleep without it. He did ask for it once, but after I told him "your ba-ba is broken, and we had to throw it in the trash", he didn't ask for it again until this morning. However, today at daycare, he carried on and insisted that he have his "ba-ba" when he went down for his nap, which is the only time he gets it during the day.

So my question is: do I go the store and purchase more pacifiers (that he's only going to chew through) and gradually limit the amount of time spent at home with a pacifier, or do we suck it up, deal with the crying, and make him quit "cold turkey"? I welcome any advice.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Where Do We Go From Here?

The answer is "not sure, exactly". We found out today that Randy "matched" with one of the two residency programs he ranked last month. However, we won't be notified of the WHERE part until Thursday at 1PM. We're pretty confident that it will be Harlingen, TX..but we won't know for sure until later this week.

I think everyone in my office heard my huge "sigh of relief". While this is definitely one of many items off my "plate of worry", there are a few (fairly large) items remaining:

1. Randy's board exam tomorrow
2. Preparing the house both for moving and for a new baby
3. Making all of the necessary arrangements to move 1500 miles
4. And the Grand-daddy of them all....How I'm going to succeed as a SAHM

I do find some comfort in knowing, though, that the Lord will not give me more than I can's just a little overwhelming. :-)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday-March 17th

It's that time of the week again....and since chicken was on sale for $1.99/lb at Kroger, I stocked that's what we're going to have the majority of the week.

Monday-Cheesy Chicken
Tuesday-Ritz Poppyseed Chicken Casserole
Thursday-Cheesy Rice and Broccoli Chicken
Friday-Chicken-Parmesan Potatoes
Saturday-Homemade pizza
Sunday-Easter Dinner with friends (I'll be contributing green bean casserole and garlic mashed potatoes)

Check out other MPMs at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Recipe Box Swap

This is a recipe that my good friend (and great cook), Elaine, shared with me years ago. I had forgotten about it until my SIL shared a similar recipe with me. So I decided to make it for the company we had last weekend...and Sara asked me to share it. So here it is:

Ritz Poppyseed Chicken Casserole

3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced

1 can cream of celery soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

8 oz. sour cream (I use the reduced fat variety)

1 stick butter, melted (I cut back just a little and use 3/4 stick)

1 tube ritz crackers, crushed

1 T. poppyseed

Preheat oven to 350. Combine soups, sour cream, and diced chicken in a 9x13 casserole dish. Top with melted butter, crackers, and poppyseed. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Thanks to Randi at I Have To Say for hosting "The Recipe Box Swap".

Friday Favorite Five

Today's Friday Favorite Five question posed by Meredith at Stretching a Buck is:

What are your five favorite things that you do to de-stress and quiet your mind?

1. Take a nap (I love naps)
2. Manicure/pedicure
3. Break out a book (my most current read is "Back on Blossom Street" by Debbie Macomber)
4. Head to Target or Walmart and just walk around....slowly (and by myself)
5. Go for a run (although I haven't been able to do this since October)

So what about YOU?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Anniversary Weekend

We had a wonderful Anniversary Weekend. We started our Saturday with exchanging gifts. Since the traditional gift for the 5th Anniversary is wood--a representation of how strong and long-lasting our marriage is, I gifted Randy this beautiful Willow Tree figure "Together". The second piece of the gift is a display shelf...but I won't buy that until after we move.

Randy's gift to me each year for our Anniversary has been a James Avery charm that represents something significant that happened in our marriage that year. Just to share what I currently have on my charm bracelet:
1st year: Anniversary charm (with our wedding date engraved on it)
2nd year: stethoscope charm (we moved to VA to begin the long journey of medical education)
3rd year: Kenya-shaped charm (as a remembrance of our mission to Kenya together)
4th year: baby shoe charm with Josiah's name and birthdate engraved on it
And for the 5th year: a charm in the shape of the number 5 (nothing too crazy happened to us this past year)
After we blessed each other with our gifts and a kiss, Randy made breakfast...heart-shaped french toast and eggs/sausage burritos. This was Randy's first try at french toast, and I must say that he did an outstanding job.

Then we spent a good portion of the morning just hanging out with our little man, watching a new Veggie Tales DVD that Grandma had sent and "Thomas". Once we put Josiah down for a nap, Randy and I took a few minutes going through a box of pictures (before the digital age) and reminisced. We had a lot of fun and laughs thinking back to when we first met and especially how awkward our first couple of kisses were. So as per the request of my SIL, Elizabeth, I will share a funny (and embarrassing) story about one of our first kisses....and hopefully, I'll get it right. Randy is usually much better at remembering stories that involve me being embarrassed than I do.

Here it night, after a date, Randy and I walked up to my apartment to watch a movie. As I had turned around from hanging my coat, Randy caught me and gave me a hug and kiss. And on any other night he would have enjoyed kissing me except that on that particular night while kissing me, he thought, "man, this girl smells like crap". He eventually pulled away after not being able to take the "smell" any longer. Well, on my way to the kitchen to get us drinks, Randy noticed "track marks" on the carpet. We immediately checked our shoes...only to find out that I had stepped in dog poop on our way in from the car. I was so embarrassed and on the verge of tears. But Randy, the good man that he is, helped me clean up the mess...with no additional commentary. As we started to clean up the poop, he started laughing....well, that only made me more mad. Afterall, he wasn't the one who had dog poop on their carpet. I asked him, "why are you laughing?" And his reply was, "and this whole time I thought it was you who smelled liked crap." Now there's a kiss-and-tell story for the books.

Okay, so back to our weekend. We dropped Josiah off with good friends and headed for the movie theater...our first movie (in the theater) since Josiah's birth day. We saw "Vantage Point", which was pretty good overall. I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars. Then we headed to Kabuki, a Japanese steakhouse, for dinner. We love the entertainment that the hibachi table provides....and Randy caught the flying shrimp in his mouth. What a proud moment.

And before the night ended, I wanted a few pictures. It's rare that I "do" my hair and put on makeup. Plus, I haven't been very good with taking belly pictures during this pregnancy. So here I am at 32 weeks...I'm definitely bigger now than I ever got with Josiah (and I'm definitely feeling it).

On Sunday evening, we had our good friends, Sara and Chris, over for dinner. They, too, are expecting another little one, in just a few short weeks (about 5 weeks before us). Their little man, Grant, is only 7 weeks older than Josiah...and they have a lot of fun together, but we rarely get a chance to get together due to schedules and/or sickness. Both boys enjoyed the laundry basket when they were babies...boy, did they enjoy this new "ride" last night.

And so as to not break tradition, I had one of guys take Sara and my picture (we did this during our last pregnancy together). Sara: 37 weeks, me: 32 1/2 weeks.

Like I said, we had a great weekend and hope to be break away for some "just us" time much sooner.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

5 Years Down....A Lifetime To Go.

Where did the time go? Randy and I will be celebrating our 5th Anniversary tomorrow, and we can hardly believe it. It seems just like yesterday that Randy was helping me move into the apartment just upstairs from him....

The couch was the very last thing to unload from the moving truck and carry up a flight of stairs. And much to my dad's relief, out from the downstairs apartment, came a very handsome man who asked "can I help?". I quickly said "no, thanks" but Dad said "that would be great". Once I saw how much work it took to get my big, bulky couch up the flight of stairs, I'm really thankful that we took Randy up on his offer. As a way of thanking Randy for lending us his muscles, Dad said that he owed him a drink. My parents conveniently departed back home to IL the following AM, without having taken Randy out for that drink. Therefore, my dad left it up to me....and since I was currently dating someone else, I never got around to following through on Dad's "beer of appreciation". Dad never liked any of the guys I dated. But there was something about Randy....Dad asked me every day for an entire year if I had taken Randy out for that he drink he'd promised him for helping us move in....and my answer was always "no" until....

We crossed paths in the halls of the school that we both attended. After a brief chat (and Randy finding out that I enjoyed watching college football--every guy's dream) and a couple of days later, he mustered up enough courage to knock on my door the following Saturday afternoon....and he's been around ever since. :-)

Did Dad ever end up following through with that drink he promised Randy? The answer is "yes"...and it was during our wedding reception that Dad said "....and this is the most expensive drink he's ever bought".

This is the best digital pic I could find...sorry.

Our second year of marriage involved a move to VA so that Randy could pursue a career in medicine. Nothing too exciting happened...except that we had to learn how to stay "connected" while not seeing a whole lot of each other.

Pic of us at the White Coat Ceremony

During our third year, we were blessed with the opportunity to participate in a medical mission to Kenya. It such an amazing experience, especially since we were able to share in the experience together.

During year four, we expanded our family and welcomed Josiah. He was born on August 13, 2006 at 4:11PM (after 8 hours of labor and 4 hours of pushing). We can't imagine our lives without him...and it just amazes us that we'll be welcoming another kiddo in just a few short weeks.

Family pic taken 6 days after Josiah was born.

And year five....well, nothing too significant happened. However, we did take our first family vacation to Virginia Beach. Josiah loved the sand, and I loved running in my first half marathon.

We are looking forward to tomorrow afternoon when we'll be going on our first date since Josiah was born. We are planning on catching a movie, "Vantage Point", and eating out at a Japanese Steakhouse (I may have to indulge in some of the veggie only sashimi/sushi/rolls).

Thank you, Randy, for making the last 5 years so wonderful! I love you.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Menu Plan Monday--March 3rd

Well, last week I was unable to crank out a menu plan....between caring for a sick child, working extra hours to compensate for the time I took off the week before to care for Josiah, and nearing the end of my pregnancy, I was exhausted. In addition, Randy made a crockpot full of Pinto Bean Soup, so guess what we ended up having last week? You guessed, beans....beans and rice, bean and cheese burritos, and just plain beans. I'm far from complaining, though.....I didn't have to cook and that makes me smile.

So here is my plan for this week.....

Monday-Spaghetti with bread (I'm trying out Meredith's homemade sauce)

Tuesday-Pampered Chef's Taco Ring

Wednesday- "Clean Out Fridge/Freezer Dinner" (or TV dinners)

Thursday-Rancheros Casserole (recipe below)

Friday-Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells (recipe below)

Saturday-Anniversary Dinner Out ~ 5 Years!

Sunday-"Clean Out Fridge/Freezer Dinner"

Check out other MPMs at "I'm an Organizing Junkie"

Rancheros Casserole

1 pkg Au Gratin Potatoes

2 1/4 C boiling water

1 can corn, drained

2/3 C milk

1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained

1 C shredded taco-seasoned cheese

Heat oven to 400. Mix potatoes, sauce mix, water, orn and milk in ungreased 2-qt casserole dish. Stir in beef and 3/4 C cheese. Bake uncovered 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Let stand a few minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream.

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

16 dried jumbo pasta shells, prepared according to package directions, rinsed and drained

1 lb. ground beef

1 can (16 oz) refried beans

1 C shredded cheddar cheese

2 T chili powder (I use taco seasoning instead)

1 1/2 C salsa

Heat oven to 350. Cook beef, drain, and add beans, 3/4 C cheese and chili powder (or taco seasoning); mix well. Spread 1/4 C salsa over bottom of 13x9 baking dish. Fill pasta shells with beef mixture; place shells filled side up. Spoon remaining salsa over shells. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.