As part of my new plan to eat cleaner, I browsed through my Food board on Pinterest looking for some easy recipes to pop in the oven in between feedings. I have experimented with Zucchini and eggplant before but cant report any successful experiences.
This recipe looked easy enough even for me to do and since I finally went grocery shopping for the first time since Everleigh was born, I thought I’d stock up on fruits and veggies. Since my hubby is not a big veggie fan, I only got enough for myself, one summer squash and one zucchini.
And when I say easy… I mean so easy, that Evi can probably pull this off. All I did was:
Preheat oven to 350o F
spray a cookie sheet with Pam olive oil
slice up the zucchini and squash and place them on the cookie sheet
spray the tops with another layer of Pam olive oil
Sprinkle garlic powder, italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese
Place in the oven for 30 minutes
The original recipe from The Gracious Pantry called for a few more zucchinis and suggests to put it in the oven for 30-45 minutes but since I only had two, 30 minutes was perfect timing. I paired it with some left over mashed potatoes and sliced up some cherry tomatoes on the side of the side. While it was absolutely delicious, my dinner definitely needed a protein as I am still pretty hungry as I am writing this.
As a side I give it an A but next time I think I’ll toss the slices in the olive oil and spices before I place them on the cookie sheet and also turn them half way through the roasting to get that pretty brown color on both sides.
This is me signing off, so I can go look for a snack before another feeding session.
Photo: courtesy of TheGraciousPantry (I swear mine looked exactly the same).
It may shock you that I used the words newborn and quiet in the same sentence, but compared to Halloweens past, this was probably the quietest. Up until last year, Halloween was a lot of fun, given I used to live in Miami and October 31st was just as warm as July 31st. Every year my girls and I dressed up as the slutty version of pretty much anything and went out drinking in Coconut Grove, which is just a huge street party from bar to bar.
Last year I was already in quiet Connecticut and we spent a quiet night at home giving candy to all the trick or treaters in the neighborhood. This year was even calmer, there were a lot less kids going from door to door, even though it was pretty warm for Halloween night in this area, and on top of it, baby Everleigh slept through the whole thing… not that I’m complaining. And my girlfriends back in Miami… went to the Gymboree with their 7 month old babies. My how times have changed.
For next year, Mike and I already devised a plan… we have one year to actually make friends and get invited to an adult Halloween party and get all dressed up, after we take our one year old trick or treating, of course.
Before Everleigh was born, I actually bought her a “My First Halloween” sleeper thinking at 3-4 weeks old she should still fit into a Newborn size. No such luck. Even though she already grew out of all her newborn clothes, I bought her that sleeper for Halloween and she was going to wear it. I only put it on for a few minutes so I can take some pictures and then I redressed her in something a bit bigger. Needless to say, she was not a happy camper. Next Halloween she will be in costume. can’t wait!
It’s been exactly one month since I have written anything, and while I wish I was more dedicated, i’m sure given the situation, I am forgiven. Yeah I just forgave myself . The last update on September 30th talked about me being 40 weeks pregnant and desperately hoping to get that baby out of me. Little did I know, there was going to be a long long road ahead.
First, I must report that she did not come out willingly, far from it. I guess I made her home inside so comfortable, that she never wanted to leave. The Dr.’s plan was to induce me on week 41, if she did not come out on her own. And just according to plan, my due date has come and gone and the induction date was nearing, something me and the hubby made peace with half way through that week.
So Wednesday morning, October 9th, around 7:30am the hubby and I made arrangements for Shadow, packed up our stuff and headed to the hospital, ready and excited to… yes, ‘Get that darn baby out of me’. Unfortunately when we got to the hospital, we were informed that due to an overwhelming amount of possible deliveries that morning, they couldn’t admit us. They told us to go home and call back at 11:00am, then call back at 3:00pm. Let’s just say I was pretty pissed all day long, waiting for them to allow us to come back.
Turns out the induction was scheduled along with two C-sections, the standard three appointments per day, but over night three other women showed up in labor, and they simply didn’t have the staff to attend to everyone, so we rescheduled for the next morning. It would have been great if they had explained the situation that morning, I would have understood, but instead I spent the day irritated, which pretty much set the tone for the whole delivery experience. And it gets worse…
We showed up the next morning and were very relieved to be admitted and given a nice comfy room right in front of the nurses station (for their listening pleasure ). I was officially induced at about 9:00am that morning and the pitocin started dripping. While they slowly increased the dosage, my contractions slowly got worse.
Finally around 5:00pm, the doctor broke my water. And if you’re wondering, it’s nothing like they show in the movies. It’s not just one splish splash and done. After the initial flood gates broke, I was leaking for several hours and had to wear a giant adult diaper. It felt like I was peeing on my self for like ever, which was kind of awkward.
The contractions got even worse and closer together, to the point where tears were running down my face every few minutes. And that’s when the party started… I was given some kind of pain medication which was meant to numb pain a little, but did absolutely nothing. They called in the anesthesiologist to stick the big needle in my back, which made me feel better for about an hour.
The contractions slowly began coming back and getting more intense so they had to call another anesthesiologist (from home, because the first one was busy in surgery) for another epidural. Luckily, this one lasted a bit longer but not before my blood pressure dropped so low that I got really nauseous and started shaking pretty violently (twice). That was fun.
Finally at around 11:00pm, the doctor said I was fully dilated and could start pushing, right in time for the medication to wear off again. So they gave me more medication and boy did I try my hardest to push that baby out. After THREE HOURS of pushing, accompanied by crying, shaking, screaming and a few more doses of medication, I was exhausted.
The doctor came back in to check me and not surprisingly, I had made no progress. That baby had to come out and there’s no way I was going to push it out. So plan B was a C-section, which by then I was begging the doctor for. They gave my hubby scrubs and wheeled me into the O.R. That is when it really got bad.
They gave me a spinal shot to numb me from the neck down so that they can cut me open, but unfortunately I was already given so much medication (even though It wasn’t working) that the spinal had numbed me all the way up to my nose and I felt like I couldn’t inhale. Needless to say I was terrified, lying there and moving my mouth like a fish out of water because I couldn’t breath, hearing machines going off all around me and someone saying “We have to knock you out completely and your husband can’t come in”, right before I passed out. I honestly didn’t know if I was going to wake up.
About an hour later I did wake up, and even though I was still suppose to be numb from surgery, the only thing I felt was my incision. The baby was out, the surgery was over, and I was STILL in pain. They brought me back to the room where my husband was waiting, (and freaking out) and lied there for another hour waiting for more pain medication because the pharmacy just couldn’t get it together. After the pain eventually went away, I asked to see my baby.
Not only did I had a horrible experience getting her out, neither my husband nor I actually saw her being born. It’s like one minute I was pregnant and the next they’re giving me this baby and telling me she’s mine. Pretty surreal.
But look at the beautiful baby girl I got at the end of it all… 8lb 10oz, 21 inches, my eyes and her daddy’s face.
Throughout the pregnancy, I kept saying that this baby will definitely come sooner rather than later. I haven’t gained a crazy amount of weight (about 30lb.) which falls right within the average, and every Dr. appointment I’d get measured perfectly with the amount of weeks I am.
The last month however I stopped gaining weight, and even lost a couple of pounds, but then gained them back. So I would think that she would come out early simply because she had run out of room. But no such luck…
My official due date is October 2nd, which is in 2 days! On one hand I’m surprised she can still fit in there, and on the other hand, this is not surprising one bit. Everything my hubby and I plan, happens exactly when we plan it.
We planned the wedding in 7 months, found and bought a house in an unfamiliar state the following week, and got pregnant within the first few days we started trying. So if she is born precisely on her due date, we’ll just add it to the list of our accurately planned events.
So the perfect line of events will go down as follows… I go into labor tomorrow, get to the hospital, deliver after midnight, which will make her birthday October 2nd. The reason I say after midnight, is because the hospital rule states that if you deliver after midnight, that night doesn’t count, as in you don’t pay for it, and your official two days start after delivery.
So this is me signing out, still pregnant.
So last weekend was our baby shower and we made out perdy good if I may say so myself!
First let me start out by asking… How important is it for your friends to make it to your baby shower? Is it enough just to send a gift? Granted my friends don’t live down the street anymore, moving to CT has put quite a distance between some friends and shortened the distance between others.
Is coming from Philadelphia, New York and Massachusetts “all the way” to New Jersey too far for “just” a baby shower or should real friends make the effort? Let me put it this way… One friend flew from Miami with her 4 month old baby and the ones within driving distance (about 2 hours) had very convenient reasons for not making it. At the end of the day, I know we all have our own lives and things to do but where do we draw the line on support?
Putting that little issue on the back-burner, my baby shower was a complete success. My family was there, the hubby’s family was there. Heck his Aunts are the ones who hosted and organized the whole thing. And as much as I miss my Miami friends, this would not have been possible if I still lived there and I am definitely grateful for having such a big and generous family just a few hours away.
We got soo many things off our registry, and some things that weren’t on the registry, which brings me to my next question. What do you do with the gifts you received the you didn’t really want and don’t have a receipt for? Keep them around as back ups and buy the ones you actually want to use? Or simply use the unwanted gifts until they run out, because well you already have them? Decisions… decisions. I’ll appreciate the feedback.
What to do now you ask? Well what I’ve been doing for the last week is going through my three registries, as I mentioned in my previous post, and figuring out which stores are selling the leftover items at the cheapest price… ONE BY ONE! Yes it’s pretty tedious work but believe it or not I actually kind of enjoyed it. The majority of things were added to the Amazon cart, a good chunk was added to the Target cart, each with a 10% completion discount, and a few things are still waiting for the Babies R Us completion discount to activate – 30 days before the due date.
I really wanted to set everything up in the nursery and have everything purchased well before the due date so I actually set my Target and Amazon due date as the date of the baby shower so that my completion discounts would be available with ample time to set everything up. Because let’s be honest, 30 days before the baby comes (If she doesn’t come early) is a little too late to start purchasing things and getting ready for baby.
Everything just started arriving today and boy do I like deliveries! UPS and Fedex is soo going to hate us by the end of this week. I’ll make sure to review everything we’ve purchased and used but needless to say the next week is going to be my very own personal Christmas morning.
I guess the title pretty much says it all, my Siberian Husky Shadow is so picky about his food that we are down to buying cheap cuts of meat, grilling it, and mixing it with his dry food. As I’ve mentioned before, Shadow has had multiple Giardia outbreaks (stomach parasite) since he was a wee pup and in the process became very picky about the food he eats, just as we became picky about what we feed him.
Ever since we got him, I’ve been buying the good stuff – Natural Balance Dog Food – recommended by most pet store employees. I have read many times that you shouldn’t switch out your dog’s food, of course I thought that meant the brand, but what it actually means is that you shouldn’t switch out his protein. No one tells you that part. So when I started buying Natural Balance, I bought one flavor at a time, thinking he would enjoy the variety. For all I know, that could have been what made him sick.
After the last (and worst) spout of explosive diarrhea (my apologies for the explicitness), Shadow went from the devouring everything in his bowl in 2.3 seconds to turning his nose at the dry food he used to find delicious. That’s when I bought the Natural Balance Lamb Roll, cut about an inch of the roll into small pieces and mixed it into his dry food. The lamb roll seemed to have worked it’s magic, and Shadow was once again digging in with a smile on his face. For about the first couple of months that is….
Suddenly he was over the dry food, over the soft food, and we were at a loss. What he was interested in is anything we were eating. So one day I tried mixing Cheerios with his food, another day I put in a few yummy treats, another day we mixed in some chicken. It all seemed to work but only the first time I did it, the second time he already lost interest. In all except for the chicken – Yum.
That’s when we decided to introduce meat, real meat, hot off the grill, meat. We’ve done all kinds of chicken, beef and pork, in the form of actual cuts from the grocery store, as well as hot dogs, and even Steakums. We mix a small cut with his dry food because the meat by itself doesn’t contain all the nutrients a growing pup needs. Let me tell you, so far so good. Shadow loves anything meat adjacent, what he doesn’t like is his dry food.
Since we were told not to mix up the protein in his food, with been feeding his the Natural Balance Lamb and Brown Rice dry pallets and he really doesn’t like it. So now that we have the meat part down, we’ve decided to get him better dry food. After some research, I decided to go for Blue Buffalo – Wilderness, as having a picture of a wolf on the bag should be some kind of sign. A lot of reviews say that Siberian Huskies LOVE that stuff. Today we bought our first bag and I can’t wait to see if he likes it or not. We got the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Dry Food for Large Breed Dogs, with deboned chicken as the first ingredient.
Wish me luck and please comment if you have any experience with Natural Balance or Blue Buffalo Wilderness.
I’ve never made it a secret that I have complete organization OCD (Diagnosed by yours truly). Not many people can say this with a straight face, but I have a passion for spreadsheets, it’s true. I even made a spreadsheet of our TV schedule, seriously, we watch so many shows that I had to make sure we stay organized.
Now that we’re having a baby, my organization obsession has gone into overdrive. First, I made a baby budget spreadsheet, followed by a hospital bag checklist, and last but not least I created my own baby registry spreadsheet, based on registry checklists from Babies R Us, The Knot and random lists I’ve found online. (Contact me for the comprehensive list)
The next step was to create the actual registry. For everyone’s convenience, I had to create a registry that you can access online and through a brick and mortar store, in comes Babies R Us, the most common baby registry go to place. Hubby and I went to the local store, got one of those nifty scanners, and went to town.
Though I have to say, no matter how prepared I was, or how many checklists I’ve gone through, I was completely overwhelmed. The selection of certain things was’t as diverse as I had hoped, and being as picky as I am organized, walking through isles of things I didn’t particularly like, was not particularly fun.
Luckily, Mike was there to calm me down. He said ‘scan what ever you want now, and then go online and reorganize it, you don’t have to get everything right now’. So I took a deep breath and took advantage of pretending to buy anything I want.
When I got home, I was able to reorganize my registry and access a better selection online. And that’s when it started… My next stop was Amazon. I’m a huge online shopper and Amazon always had a good selection at good prices, what I didn’t know was that they had their own registry. So I created an Amazon registry with all the things I had on the Babies R Us registry, some things that weren’t available at Babies r Us and at much cheaper prices.
Amazon also has a completion discount of 10%, valid 30 days before your event date and 60 days after. The catch is that the discount only applies to items sold by Amazon directly (and not even all of them) and you can only use it once.
Then, I was browsing through another one of my favorite stores, Target. And wouldn’t you know it, they also had a baby registry. That good thing about the Target registry is that they had the same cheaper prices like at Amazon, and the same 10% completion discount, only their discount applies to all un-purchased items in your registry. And it will probable be more convenient returning or exchanging things at the Target store, rather than mailing things back.
The baby shower invitations already listed Babies R Us as our registry, so whatever is not purchased for us, I have three different locations to look through, compare prices and get a hefty 10% off on everything we still need. Genius? I think so.
I’ve already gone over our future baby, now let’s discuss our current baby. Yes, it is the handsome fella I’ve got my arms around in the picture to the right. His name is Shadow, he is a purebred Siberian Husky and he will be one year old on July 29th, just 10 days away. We may have won the good looks and demeanor lottery, but in the health department we definitely fumbled.
Since we got him last October at just 11 weeks old, he’s had an unexplained seizure; three Giardia outbreaks (Intestinal parasite), one of which was explosive (ill leave it at that) and he had to stay at the hospital for a couple of days; he got neutered; had surgery for a Laxating Patella (floating knee cap) about two weeks ago, and during his recovery developed an ear infection.
Besides purchasing this amazing puppy for about $850, including shipping him from a farm in Missouri, we’ve spent close to $4,000 on his medical bills alone. That’s not counting all the food purchased (the good stuff) and the dozens of toys he has destroyed.
I know what you’re thinking… is he worth it? Well isn’t that the million dollar question (an amount I’m sure we’ll reach by the end of his adorable little life). And the answer is… yes, every hard earned penny of it.
Shadow is sweet, playful, obedient (when he wants to be), possessive of his toys and passionate about bones. He digs holes in our yard, tears any paper or plastic products to shreds, and waits patiently under your elbow while you eat. He doesn’t bark, unless he wants to play, and is extremely friendly to every dog or person he meets.
From what I read, huskies are pack animals, which makes them natural born baby sitters. I’m pretty sure that when Evy gets here, they are going to be the best of friends, which will make for a few pretty interesting posts in the future.
We love our bunny and wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. Just so happens, we would much rather have a sick but amazing dog then a healthy terror. How about you?
We were pretty hell bent on a Siberian Husky puppy, which are not common in shelters, so we had to purchase this little guy. But there are thousands of dogs and cats that need a loving home in your local shelters, and our next pup will definitely be adopted. To fight animal cruelty or adopt your future best friends, reach out to the ASPCA.
Founded by beautiful actress and super mom, Jessica Alba, The Honest Company is committed to health and sustainability, bringing you effective, safe and eco-friendly products for you, your baby and your home.
With the summer in full swing, it’s important to stay hydrated, and take care of your skin so I picked out a few key products that are absolutely essential to get through this hot weather.
Check out the bug, spray, lip balm, hand sanitizer and of course, sun screen…
If you’ve never heard of The Honest Company, they have a great free trial program where you can pick from three separate bundles:
- Diapers & Wipes Bundle – a sample size of diapering essentials (7 diapers and 10 wipes)
- Health & Wellness Bundle – a 1-day sample of whole-food based supplements (Prenatal and DHA/Omega-3)
- Essentials Bundle – a trial size of 5 personal care & home cleaning essentials.
- shampoo + body wash
- face + body lotion
- laundry detergent
The bundles are absolutely free, all you have to pay is the $5.95 for shipping & handling, which is well worth it. I’ve never tried any Honest Company products but I did hear very good things, so you can be sure I’ll be getting some almost free samples when I get a little closer to my due date.
If you are all about reducing your carbon footprint and buying the safest and purest products for you and your family, I think The Honest Company is a great place to start.
But don’t forget the sunscreen…
Even though most of my Polyvore designs are very colorful, I had to keep it a bit more demure for the nursery. Even though we’re having a girl now, that room is going to be the nursery for all our kids. And if my husband has anything to do with it, one or more of the future babies will definitely be boys.
First I had to decide on the paint color – one that we can keep for all the babies and not (one day) be worried about our baby boy coming into a pink room. So we went with a neutral yet still pretty color… BEHR Premium Plus #730B-4 Winter Cocoa. The hubby just picked it up at Home Depot, along with a bi bucket of primer, mini rollers (the room really isnt that big) and we’re planning on painting this weekend. (pics to come)
The other items I already purchased, are the curtains, curtain rod, table lamp, and crib bedding. Little by little, this room is really coming together. The curtain rod came from Bed Bath & Beyond, and the curtain and table lamp (separate lamp base and shade) came from Target.
And last but not least, the bedding set came from Babies R Us, and boy was it tough to get a hold of. I absolutely fell in love with the Wendy Bellisimo Sweet Baby Dreams bedding set, the problem was that it was discontinued. Some stores still had some left over in the back but unfortunately non of those stores were located in Connecticut.
I had to call and ask for the locations of the stores that did had some left over in every state I know someone who can go and pick it up. Luckily for me, I know people in a lot of states. So CT had none, anywhere in the vicinity of Miami, FL didn’t have any, but NJ had three stores and NY had two. I settled on the Union Square store in East Manhattan as I know someone who lived 7 minutes away from the store.
I called the store, paid over the phone and my friend picked up the items by the next day. Seriously – lucky me! Another lucky part is that since the set was discontinued, it was about 30% off. Instead of paying about $280 for this very expensive looking set, I snagged it for a cool $190 (including tax).
If you’re lucky enough to have this set still available at a store near you, I would suggest to get on that as soon as possible. If not, you can still purchase it at Amazon for slightly more money, but still hurry because they seem to only have 11 more in stock. The Sweet Baby Dreams 5 Piece Baby Crib Bedding Set includes a luxury blanket, 4-piece bumper, dust ruffle, fitted sheet and decorative raffia basket. You can also purchase the set without the bumper for a more reasonable price.