Wednesday, September 28, 2016

what's up wednesday

Linking up :)

What we're eating this week:

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup - honestly, I wasn't knocked out about it. I probably won't make it again.

Pioneer Woman's Mac and Cheese - I also wasn't too crazy about this. I can't nail the texture of homemade mac and cheese, apparently. But I will admit it was better leftover than it was the day I made it.

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa - this is on the agenda for tonight.

We are also planning on having pizza on Friday and then chicken paprikash and quinoa salad this weekend.

What I'm reminiscing about:



This picture just showed up in my Timehop from 3 years ago and I can't even believe it. We still haven't gone apple picking this year and hope to do it soon. This little guy has been an overall great big brother to Edith and is over the moon about the new baby. He still asks me about it every day.

What I'm dreading:

The newborn stage. I think I am in the minority here, but I do not particularly enjoy this stage of life. I am always way too tired to appreciate it (or really even remember it). I mean, I love a cute little squishy baby as much as the next girl, but I do not love the unpredictability of life, the childbirth recovery, the lack of sleep, etc.

I am also not looking forward to the weekly OB appointments. My doctor is still in Akron which is a solid hour from where I work and about half an hour from home. All that driving gets to be a bit much to just pee in a cup and have your blood pressure taken, but I understand why it's necessary.

What I'm working on:

Nesting! I started my fall mantle on Monday and I am almost done with it. I told Jon I needed him to dig out my Halloween decorations, but for the most part I am trying to keep the mantle generic fall themed so I can leave it up for November as well. I also want to start packing my hospital bag because at my next OB appointment I'm getting a growth ultrasound and I just want to be prepared in case something crazy comes of it.

What I'm excited about:

Baby Turkey's arrival. It's a mixture of excitement and extreme trepidation, but now that the nursery is done it's mostly just excitement.

What I'm watching/reading:

The only books I really read these days are children's books. We just bought this and this for Halloween and really like them. We also got this from the library and Edith loved it - she requested to read it twice in a row. This is one of Elden's favorite library books right now.

As for watching - we have been binge watching Parks & Rec on Hulu and are partway through season 4. The series started off slowly but after about 4 episodes we were totally hooked. I love Ron Swanson and Jon loves Jerry. We have also resumed watching The Goldbergs and New Girl.

What I'm listening to:

Mayday Parade - on repeat (still).

What I'm wearing:

This is a source of contention for me. I had an appointment yesterday and I am currently up 31 pounds this pregnancy. That's not horrible except the amount I've been averaging each week puts me on a trajectory to gain somewhere around 40-45 pounds by the end of this pregnancy. Also, 90% of my maternity clothes are from my pregnancy with Elden so the elastic is kind of shot and with the rapid weight gain things just aren't fitting comfortably. When I saw the scale yesterday I admittedly cried a lot. I told my doctor I was having a body image crisis and he talked me off the ledge. He also suggested I go to Gabe's and just get some grandma pants with the elastic waistband since I told him maternity clothes are a racket. There's a reason I kept him as my doctor once we moved :) One purchase I did make recently are these underwear (since my non-pregnancy underwear were getting too tight in the hips) and GAME. CHANGER. I will never go back. I love them. Highly recommend for maternity underwear or in general.

What I'm doing this weekend:



Our small group is going to one of the family's farm on Saturday for a fall party! There is going to be chicken paprikash over a campfire, as well as s'mores and hot dogs for the kiddos (plus other side dishes and cider/hot cocoa). I think the kids will get a kick out of it so it will be really fun to experience with them. We are also going to attempt some pictures of the kids with my friend, Amanda, if the weather permits!

What I'm looking forward to next month:



October is one of my favorite months of the year. We will be celebrating mine and Jon's birthdays (since his is just 4 days after our due date) with our families. We will also be celebrating Edith's birthday on the 21st. I'm getting another ultrasound to check in on Baby Turkey. And finally, trick-or-treat. Elden decided to be a skeleton so we got face paint and these PJs (I'm too practical to drop $20 on a costume - this way we can get more out of it) for him to wear. Edith is going to be a flamingo so I got her this little costume on eBay for $6! Now we just need to pray the baby stays put until at least November 1 so I can actually go with the kids...

What else is new:

Just the house projects we tackled last weekend! I'm starting to try and slow down a bit since my body is really starting to scream at me for overdoing it. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

baby turkey's nursery

One of the major perks to our house when we bought it was how move-in ready it was. Since our first home was a foreclosure we spent the last 3 months of my pregnancy with Elden working our tails off to make it livable. All the paint colors in our new house were inoffensive and therefore I knew I could move in without doing anything right away.

We put Edith in the room closest to ours. An added bonus was the fact that the color was a very light teal and complemented the woodland green theme we had going in her room from the old house. Now that we've moved her into her big girl flamingo room, we decided to slight revamp the nursery for Baby Turkey. We largely kept everything the same as it was with Edith - so that certainly made life easier.

Looking in from the doorway: 
The shared wall with Elden's room (we may regret this placement when the baby cries at night...)
The closet and window:
Looking back towards the doorway (forgive the nighttime lighting):
The nursery is the smallest bedroom in the house and Edith's is the biggest (after the master) so we are kind of hoping BT is an Etta so we can room the girls together as they get older. Plus, we still greatly desire to foster/adopt eventually so we would pretty much have to room at least two kids together to make that happen.

I'm really happy with the nursery. I don't know if it's the nesting part of me or the fact that we actually took the time to clean and organize this room for more than five minutes, but something about it just made our house feel homier. I find myself rocking in the dark silence I'm there at night, completely dumbfounded by how grown up Jon and I are now. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

weekend recap

What a weekend!

On Friday I had a phone meeting right when I got home from work. By the time that was over Jon had dinner made and the kids had been fed already so I scrambled to eat while cleaning because Jon's parents were coming by. Jon and his dad had to run to Home Depot to get our new storm door and Jon's mom kept the kids busy so I could really clean the dining and formal living areas. Once Jon got home we did bedtimes and got the kids to sleep.

Saturday was the big chore day so we took the kids to my in-laws' at 9. As soon as we dropped them off we had to run to both USPS and FedEx to mail some packages. We got home and got started around 10. Our first task was to hang the shelf in the baby's room. That went up in about fifteen minutes and Jon made a comment about what great time we were making.

I told him not to jinx us.

He moved on to installing our storm door while I shampooed the carpet in the nursery and put things away. I also converted the crib back from a toddler bed and raised the mattress. I'm hoping to share finished pictures of the nursery tomorrow. I am so happy with the room (not that we had to do much with it since it was Edith's nursery when we moved) and it feels a lot more real now that in about 6 weeks we will have a new family member living there.

After I finished in the nursery I remembered we had an old over-the-door mirror (similar to this) from our old house that we never hung up at this house because we didn't need it. I had wanted to put a mirror over the storage buffet in our room and had been keeping my eye out for deals, but since we are on a pretty tight budget I hadn't bought anything. I decided to try it out so I unscrewed the hooks and nailed two hanging brackets on the back. Then I got to work hanging it on the wall.

Seven (ahem who needs a level/measuring tape?) nail holes later and I was very happy with the outcome!
It actually works really well with the space and you can't beat the price tag!

After the mirror was hung I had to run to Home Depot again to get Jon a chisel for the door and get lunch. Did you know that at Taco Bell you can sub black beans for meat for free? It's basically the only fast food a vegetarian can eat - and it makes for one very happy husband. 

After lunch, Jon was still installing the storm door so I decided to shampoo our bedroom and the upstairs hallway carpets. I had already done both kids' rooms when we repainted them a few months ago so these were the remaining upstairs areas that needed it. After that was finished we were running out of time before we had to get Elden and Edith so I decided to (secretly) start removing the old toilet. I knew if Jon knew what I was up to he wouldn't be happy. Unfortunately for me, I was having serious issues getting that sucker out and couldn't find the tools I needed so I had to blow my cover fast, but after six years of marriage I think Jon realized there is no stopping me when I want to accomplish something and not to waste his energy fighting me. I finally got the toilet out about half an hour after I started, at which point Jon was basically done with the door. He took over installing the replacement while I cleaned up outside. Then I deep cleaned the kids' bathroom and it was time to shower and head over to get our babies!
sayonara, ugly water hog toilet!
I learned a few critical lessons on Saturday:
1. You can accomplish unfathomable lists when your children are not present.
2. I do not know how plumbers with very large stomachs do their jobs.
3. Car rides sans children are incredibly peaceful.
4. If you are nearly 34 weeks pregnant, doing a large list of household chores is not advisable. You will feel it later.


On Sunday morning both kids woke up with sniffles so I decided to skip church with them while Jon led worship. We ended up going to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, then to the store to pick up the ingredients for our meals this week. Once we got home I cooked the Pioneer Woman's Macaroni and Cheese, creamy chicken and wild rice slow cooker soup, and I plan on making slow cooker enchilada quinoa later this week. Other than that the day was mostly spent trying to take it easy since I was in a lot of pain. It was a productive weekend and I finally feel ready to have this baby. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

five on friday: house projects

Nesting is in full force in Casa de Flip as of last night. Luckily for us, Jon's parents volunteered to take the kiddos for most of the day tomorrow because we realized we only have about a month and a half left before Baby Turkey makes his or her debut and we are not prepared.

It's ambitious, but here is what I'm hoping to tackle on Saturday:

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{1} Install storm door. This is going to be a big one since we've never done such a thing before. Our front door is very drafty in the winter (so I can only imagine how much air conditioning leaks out in the summer). We also have no way of airing out the first floor of our house from the front because our huge bay windows do not open. We decided to go with this door after reading the reviews and seeing it in person. It has a huge retractable screen - which I love - and the latch for the screen feels sturdy.

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{2} Replace toilet in Elden and Edith's bathroom. About a year ago we bought a toilet for the main floor half bath because it broke. We realized that all three toilets in our house were probably original (1980) and total water hogs. In our town, water/sewer bills are outrageous (we pay about $115/month for both and we hardly use much) so we decided to buy all three toilets with the intention of knocking the installs out in the same weekend. Life had other plans and after the half bath install required multiple trips to the store for plumbing components we decided not to do the other two. Eventually the master toilet broke so we replaced that - which was also a nightmare. The kids' toilet is the last one and probably the worst water hog in the house so I told Jon we need to tackle it now because with our luck it's going to break the day we come home from the hospital with a newborn. Luckily we've looked at the valve on this one and don't think we will have similar issues as the other two... we hope.

{3} Hang a shelf and curtain rod in the nursery. In both nurseries in the old house we used a trusty IKEA shelf with a bar light underneath above the changing table. It gave off the perfect amount of light for middle of the night diaper changes. Since Edith was almost 1 when we moved into our current house we never got around to hanging this shelf. Now that we will have a newborn again it is a necessity. You can see it in Elden's nursery reveal here and Edith's nursery reveal here. In addition to getting the shelf and a new curtain rod hung, I also hope to shampoo the carpet in there and have Jon convert the toddler bed back to a crib/raise the mattress up. Once that's done I really just have to put things away. I already washed all the baby clothes we had so that isn't on my list. 

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{4} Buffet makeover. Okay, so this is admittedly not going to happen tomorrow because I haven't even ordered the contact paper, but we have a really awesome mid-century looking buffet (parden the horrendous picture - our bedroom does not have good lighting) in our room from Jon's parents. The doors/sides are in excellent condition but the veneer on the sides of the top piece is missing. I've seen reviews here and there of people who have used this contact paper for a variety of applications (seriously, click the link above and look at the customer images - amazing!) and depending on how easy it is to work with I may ultimately buy more to redo our outdated bathroom vanities.

{5} General cleaning / nesting. Last night I was definitely hit by the nesting bug. As I lie in bed I was thinking of all the clutter over every freaking surface in my room and I couldn't handle it. I immediately got to work and cleaned (i.e. shoved stuff into drawers - a temporary solution for a larger material problem we seem to have and need to address) off surfaces and dusted. That's when my mind wandered to the marble buffet top and when I realized I couldn't do a project right that instant and I stumbled upon some globe lights I had intended to hang on our back deck this summer but never got around to. I mentioned our bedroom has a horrible lighting situation. So I made this temporary solution. I didn't bother measuring, nor did I make my bed for this photo. This is me living naked, y'all. It gives off a really dreamy glow and Elden loved it this morning. Edith, on the other hand, was not impressed and kept saying, "don't like it! Turn off!" so one thumb up, I guess.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

tuesday randoms

Today I am a day over 33 weeks pregnant and only 47 days away from my due date.

That's not very much time. As if the ticking clock couldn't grow any louder, I spent the better part of three hours last night sporadically timing contractions. They were coming every 3.5-4 minutes but lasting anywhere from 30-90 seconds, so I was pretty sure that I wasn't going into preterm labor. In fact, I specifically did not call my OB as instructed because I knew he would be obligated to tell me to go in for monitoring and I really did not want to if it was indeed Braxton Hicks, as I had suspected. I told Jon that if they got more consistent or woke me up during the night I would absolutely go in. Neither of those things happened and I haven't had any this morning.

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I realized I haven't really given an update about how Elden is adjusting to preschool. The short of it is: he loves it, but he is definitely ready for his break once it ends for the week. He isn't exactly full of information (although he has learned we regularly ask the same questions - did you talk to anyone / did you do anything special (they rotate art, gym and music class every day) / what did you eat for snack), so he has been coming home more prepared to answer those questions. Yet he leaves out the really juicy stuff? Like, we found out from his teacher's weekly newsletter that they played on scooter boards last week--a detail he left out despite it being easily the highlight of his day--but he did tell us that he told his friend he "yawned and that I was tired and that I was hungry." Usually he says he doesn't speak to any kids. In fact, he told me that he "only talks to adults because I have lots of important things to do and only adults can help me." Suffice to say, I helicopter parented and emailed his teacher to see how he was doing and her report was that he was shy at first but seems to have warmed up and interacts appropriately with the teachers/other kids. We haven't decided whether we will send him to kindergarten next year or do another year of preschool. He will be old enough to attend kindergarten but will be one of the youngest in his class if we do so; we are planning on meeting with his teacher to get her recommendation at the end of the school year.

Edith has also adjusted well--she no longer cries during drop off and I think she is starting to appreciate that alone time with Jon. He usually lets her play Endless Alphabet on the tablet for about 15 minutes then they run errands and/or go to the playground or pond before picking Elden up. 

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I tried a new recipe this weekend that I just had to share. It is gluten-free quinoa and cauliflower chowder and it was SO GOOD. Whenever I make a new vegetarian dish for Jon it really is a gamble as to whether I will like it (Jon usually does, or at least humors me and says he does). This one knocked it out of the park. It was flavorful, healthy, hearty and easy to make. This will definitely be added into our regular rotation of meals. I will probably even make some to freeze before the baby comes.

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We're getting pretty darn excited about the holidays over here. This weekend we picked up a few Halloween decorations for the house, including this guy (which Elden insisted we take down a day after hanging because he wanted to cuddle it...). I also got the kids two Halloween books--this one and this one. Since our current littlest is a total Llama Llama enthusiast, I also picked up this Christmas book and this one to help us get in the festive mood in December. I picked up Edith's flamingo costume from Ebay and Elden has changed his mind and decided to be a skeleton. I was originally going to make both costumes but when I saw the cost of the clothes and supplies I would need to do so for each kiddo I realized it was actually more inexpensive to just buy them. I'm hoping Elden's will be big enough for us to layer long underwear underneath since the end of October in Ohio is chilly, so there is a chance we may need to return them and go back to the drawing board.

Friday, September 16, 2016

five on friday

{1} Small group. Every week we meet with other families from our church for a meal and fellowship. The kids range in age from newborn - fourish and they are starting to come up with their own little games more regularly. This age can be so isolating and we are so grateful for this time with friends.

{2} Make believe. Our kids love dressing up--Elden especially. With Halloween fast approaching costumes have been a hot topic of conversation around our house. Currently, he wants to be "a monster with purple skin and black claws and red eyes." We'll see how long that persists since every time he sees a costume at the store he wants to be that.

{3} Miss Independence. Edith has been particularly independent lately. "I do it!" is an often muttered phrase around our casa now. Don't let that fool you, though--she has been extra cuddly with me lately and I am soaking it up.

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{4} Halloween. I admittedly am not super mom when it comes to doing fun little things on the non-Christmas holidays for the kids. Sure, we do Trick or Treat on Halloween and I put up a few decorations around the house. This year I'm thinking of doing a few low-key things for the kids as a fun surprise. I love this monster doughnut and I especially love the time commitment it would take! (thanks Ashley for sharing the pin with me!)

{5} Cooler weather. It is no secret I live for fall temperatures, especially when very pregnant. The cool down is a welcomed relief. Not to mention the fact that I'm really cheap and I live for having the HVAC off (cheap thrills). The weather lately has been perfect here--warm enough to play without jackets during the day but cool enough at night to snuggle up under a blanket (or, if you're Jon, wear super thick sweat pants, a sweatshirt, and pile under a sheet and two comforters while I basically lie in my underwear on top of said blankets in front of the window fan #pregnancyprobs).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

fall & christmas crafts

I've been craving fall much like I crave Kit Kats so a few months ago I started brainstorming some crafts with my mom and sister. Knowing I wouldn't be up for it once this baby arrives, we decided to set a date for September. We came up with a list of crafts that we liked and divided up the supplies we'd need. I was primarily in charge of the wood materials because we had cut down two trees in the backyard earlier this year and I have wood aplenty. You'll notice we chose very simple/straightforward items to do (for the most part) and I am really happy about it:
I followed the tutorial here. We have a friend at church with a wood mill who cut the angled face for us. Then we literally painted some red, some white, hot glued/wood glued a little wooden nose, and used the back of a paintbrush to make the eyes. So easy and cute!
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For this one we admittedly just looked at the pictures and copied it with hot glue and an Exacto knife. I skipped the bells because they were just too tiny to work with. Mine are admittedly not as cute as the ones in that picture but they are adorable in their own quirky way.
I can't find the link that inspired this one, but it was a very easy DIY. I got the letters from Hobby Lobby and painted them red. The wood was actually from an old fence and I just laid the letters out to get approximate size, cut the wood, and then ran two strips of wood on the top and bottom across the back to nail it together. Once the letters were painted I used wood glue to attach. This will look great on our porch this December!

Finally, we made some wood slice pumpkins. This was an easy one - sliced the log into thin slices (again, our friend from church cut these for us), paint them orange, and use wood glue to attach "stems." For our stems we used other scrap wood I had lying around. My mom bought some leaves for us to hot glue onto them as well, and I had picked up some other foliage from a yard sale to use on a few others. This was a very simple and quick project!

We also made something I won't share on here just yet as it will be a Christmas gift for a lot of our family members. In addition, I got some wooden picture frames from a few garage sales and spray painted them various colors for our mantle for the fall and winter seasons. I'm not thrilled with how they turned out because it was a windy day and the tablecloth blew onto them to make a smudged pattern, but it is what it is. Finally, we attempted to make these but the drill bit we had just wasn't strong enough and wasn't doing the trick so we'll have to run to Home Depot to get the heavier duty one to drill out the hole. It was a really fun day and while I have aspirations to make a sign for our front door for fall I'm not sure that I'll get around to it any time soon. The last lingering project I need to take care of is a stocking for Baby Turkey, but until I know this kiddo's name I'll just have to wait on that.

What are your favorite fall/Christmas DIYs you've done?