Wednesday, March 26, 2014

my soapbox for today

There are only a few things that I really get on my soapbox about...well, probably more than a few, but I try to choose my battles wisely.  The other day we were in a bakery letting Gabriella pick out a cupcake before we headed home (I was getting my caffeine fix, and my wonderful husband never says no to me even when he should) for nap, yep, we bought our 17 month old a cupcake before nap time, parents of the year.  Marty suggested that maybe she would like red velvet and I said that I could only imagine how much artificial food dye was in that cupcake.  The guy behind the counter looked at me like I was an alien from another planet and was pretty darn rude for the rest of our short visit.  I was super annoyed all the way home, poor Marty has to put up with my hormonal pregnant rantings, about the ignorance of people.
Marty started to do a lot of research on vitamins and nutrition when we got married and let me tell you, the man takes more vitamins than anyone I know, but he knows his stuff.  When we found out we were having Gabriella we started doing even more research into diet and nutrition and the things we started learning really made us question how we eat.  We are really careful what we give Gabriella and what we put in our bodies but we try not to be preachy about it to anyone else.  The information is out there for people to educate themselves and we'll be more than happy to share that information but we also won't shove it down your throat.  That being said, this is my soapbox...how do people just not know anything about what they put in their bodies?!?!  Do they really think because they can buy it in the grocery store it is safe?  My mom wrote a paper in the 70's (the 70's people!!!) on the possibility that the presence of food dye in foods could be related to behavioral problems in children (she was cutting edge because it was proven later).  Some of these things are banned in Europe and other countries around the world.  Yet, here we are America (we're so smart) and we're shoving these things in our mouths like candy...oh wait, cause they are candy!  Here is a story that ran last year on Fox News about food that Americans eat.  From candy to bread, from fruit to mac and cheese our foods are loaded with artificial dyes; not to mention medicine is normally dyed also.  I know, I know...I'm getting a little crazed about this whole issue.  But it really steams me (though probably not nearly so much when I'm not pregnant) when people look at us like WE'RE the crazy ones for doing research on things before we give it to our precious child.  People (and I admit I am one of them) do research on the best carseat, stroller, sound machine, monitor, (okay, okay, I will steer away from the baby items), computers, coffee makers (this is the best one for regular coffee IMHO), etc, etc...but when it comes to food we really don't think much about it.  Or we haven't until now.  More and more companies are starting to produce more "dye free" products and bakeries are starting to leave chemicals out of breads and pastries, even using beet juice for red velvet cakes (who would have ever guessed???).
Here is where I will step down and say this: do your research before you look at us like we're a bunch of crunchy granola eating hippies that live on a farm in the middle of nowhere and are lunatics.  We certainly are not nearly perfect in what we eat, but we try to make a solid effort to be educated. People care so much about what their bodies look like on the outside, which is great. But what about the inside?? If we're created as temples of the holy Spirit we should make sure we're taking care of the whole picture. And stop looking at me like I'm crazy...even though I know I sound crazy right now...okay, crazy pregnant rant over.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Cheerios I found in my bra...

Warning: this is a woe is me blog

Today started off really rough.  It all started at around 2:10 this morning when Gabriella woke up with a vengeance.  I can't say I blame her.  Her stomach was hurting and she wasn't doing a great job of holding herself together...who really does when their stomach hurts though?  So around 4:00am Marty came in and took over and I went back to sleep until around 6:30 when we switched it back up.  She was starting to feel better after two (gross) diapers and so I had some hope that meeting up with my girlfriend would happen after all...but poor girl was up and down all day so that never happened...but here's what did happen.  I was getting ready to run the necessary errands that had to be run and after getting Gabriella in some comfy yoga clothes (yes, my baby does yoga) I got ready for the day myself.  This is what I found...in my bra:

This was a little unnerving for me...how did they get there and how did I not notice??  Did Gabriella put them there?  Did they fall down there when I was eating cereal this morning?  I mean really, this is embarrassing...I have to say that one of the things I like the least about pregnancy is the growth to the chest area...I know some women love this aspect...not me...clearly things get stuck there that shouldn't get stuck!  But anyway, I suppose that's part of life...between not sleeping, having a baby kick me from the inside and a baby climbing on me from the outside Cheerios must just be floating all over the place.  I think Gabriella likes storing them in places so she can secretly snack later...
Another thing that contributed to my sad day in paradise was while I was out running errands I decided I deserved a latte for surviving the day on very little sleep.  So I went to Atwater's...you remember this place right?  The Peanut Butter Cup latte with sea salt?  Yes, my sister-in-law informed me that once again they were featuring this latte for the month of March!  God once again smiled on me...or so I thought...I went through the drive-thru and on the menu board it stated in lovely handwriting "Peanut Butter Cup Latte" so as I confidently ordered it, already imagining the taste, the man behind the mic stated very nonchalantly that the menu had changed and the latte of the month was now Mocha Nut (coconut).  My heart hurts telling this story.  But that's what I ordered and it's good, but it's no Peanut Butter Cup!  sigh sigh sigh...oh well.  I suppose I should get back to doing what Gabriella and I have been doing most of the day...
yep, this is it

and plan on making our dinner of plain rice and bananas..."think BRAT, AnnaMarie, think BRAT."  No, not my child...she isn't that at all...just a crabby baby...the diet that everyone and their mother (not mine though, thankfully) felt like they needed to tell me about today, as if I didn't know...thank you old ladies of Whole Foods for keeping me up to date on the latest in health revelations.  Okay, I know that was negative and they were only trying to help me...but hey, when you start off the day snuggling your crying baby and finding Cheerios in your bra...it might be okay to have a few negative thoughts...


Friday, March 21, 2014

and then I ate an entire gingerbread cake...

When I was pregnant with Gabriella let's just say that I gained more than the recommended amount of weight...I also retained a TON of water which was terrible.  Every time I went to the midwives they told me to 'slow down' on the weight gain.  This time around I told myself things would be different and I would work out religiously...however I wasn't factoring in the 'morning'/all day and all night sickness for the first 5 months and then I remembered that I have a toddler who is unpredictable and we had just moved in with my in-laws so Marty could go back to school to get his Google certification and their house is HUGE which means that Gabriella never stops. ever.  So by the time that I finished being 'sick' for 5 months...throw in a little stress with our living situation...I was a little less than motivated to go for a run.  But much to my surprise, I haven't gained as much weight so far as I thought I would have.  Maybe running around after said toddler has its benefits...also I suppose I don't have a Five Guys right down the road from me this time around...so that helps.
However I fully expected this week to be the week that the doctor told me to 'slow down' because...well...I ate an entire gingerbread cake by myself in about 5 days.  I made it thinking it would be a nice treat to have in the house.  Little did I know that Marty doesn't like gingerbread and low and behold neither does Gabriella.  So, being that there are only three people in the house...the burden fell to the one growing a child...and I accepted.  Though I really shouldn't have.  I walked into the doctor eyes closed to step on that scale and the nurse said 'oh wow' to which I cringed...but the words that followed made me think that my diet should probably just be gingerbread for the rest of the pregnancy.  One pound...really?????  I'll take it...though perhaps I shouldn't have celebrated that achievement by going to the Starry Night Bakery and buying two cupcakes...hey one was for Gabriella!
Anyway, I guess Gabriella found a way for me to burn more calories though...we pulled her wagon out of the barn and can I just say that pulling that wagon AND a 20lb Gabriella up a hill is a workout!

she really couldn't be much cuter...

Ever since we pulled the wagon out yesterday she won't play in the yard...she expects to be pulled everywhere...and she points at the leaves that she wants me to pick up for her to put in her wagon...yes, yes, I spoil her...however I like to think that maybe I am just getting more fit by submitting to her every whim.  
On a more serious note...I am excited to say that Marty is getting ready to take the final test for his certification and I have to say that once he's passed it we will all breath a huge sigh of relief...9 weeks before the baby comes.  We had intended to be out of his parents house well before they returned from FL but life always seems to throw curveballs when we really just need a nice slow underhand tossed our way.  But God has been good keeping us on our knees and trusting in His plan.  We are so close to moving forward with the next chapter of our lives and I just keep reminding myself that God's plans are so much better than our own and that wherever He wants us is where we will end up.  I guess now I should start prepping for little boy Link...
But on that note...maybe I'll go make myself another gingerbread cake...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Snow Days...

Really Maryland??  Again?  I am starting to feel like my relationship with you needs to end if you're going to tease me like this.  We had those three beautiful days of sun and wonderfulness and now this...

I was actually a little afraid to look outside this morning because (as Marty pointed out, this seems to happen every time I have a doctor's appointment) I was nervous that I was going to, once again, have to reschedule my OB appointment.  I think soon they are going to think that I am just making up that I live in the boondocks right now and quite literally cannot get out of the driveway unless I have help from above...or below whichever is warmer.  And it seems that snow days have a significantly different meaning when you have a toddler cooped up in the house all day who is, shall we say "energetic" Let's just say it's less than a desirable situation.

I have been meaning to blog every night after Gabriella went to sleep, but every night came and went...we even had fun things to blog about...but this lazy girl found other things to do.  Like laundry and sleeping...okay only part of that is lazy.

We had a fun day in Baltimore with my sister-in-law and niece over the weekend...enjoying the nice weather that teased us into thinking that we could be mobile again.  We went to the park and the field at Under Armour.  Of course, because it's me, there had to be food involved and since Erin, my sister-in-law loves peanut butter and chocolate as much as I do (yes, I've blogged about this love before) I decided to try a new (for me) recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker's blog for oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip scones.  They turned out a little darker than I had wanted but they still tasted good...can you really go wrong with that flavor combo?  I think not.


 Soooo...back to the nice weather...see??  The proof is in the pictures!





Anyway...this weather is not okay with me...that's the point to this blog today...yes, there are many other things I could blog about...but today I will just complain about the weather and post a few cute pictures of my baby.  And maybe I will make more scones today, 'cause Lord knows I won't be getting weighed at my OB appointment today...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Today might be the day I throw in the towel...

I had so many fun things to blog about the past couple of days, but did I?  No.  Instead you will get this post of a frustrated, sleep-deprived, pregnant mama.  How do they (the littles) always know when you have something you're looking forward to the next day?  It's like they know and they will thwart all of your attempts at a good night's sleep.  So let me recap my day yesterday (I promise that I will only give you some of the day):

5:45 - Gabriella wakes up and we put on some Winnie the Pooh so mom can wake up a little more slowly

6:20 - we head downstairs to make breakfast (and coffee...that's the most important part)

6:25 - put in the first load of laundry

6:35 - Gabriella eats all of her eggs and is ready to roll...

6:45 - we play, and play, and play (mostly with her tea set) while I get even more laundry done and the little angel even let me put all the dishes away from the night before

7:55 - head upstairs and put on more Pooh (yes, I am a bad mama but I needed to fold a laundry)

8:25 - back downstairs for more laundry and more coffee...

8:40 - finally get G dressed and set her free in our room to play so I can get ready to go

The rest of the day consisted of running errands, going to the University to meet with the student officers of the Catholic Students group (all with the angel, yes, she was an angel all day, napped for a bit in the car, smiled at everyone we saw, talked and talked and sang, it was wonderful...until we got back home...I had felt SO accomplished until we got home...

now, onto the rest of the evening:

4:45 - start making dinner which was leftover tomato soup (a variation of this recipe) from Ash Wednesday and grilled cheese

5:25 - sit down for dinner with a slightly whiny Gabriella (though I must say, she did a great job doing the Sign of the Cross for grace...but I'm not holding my breath on it being a habit yet)

5:32 - Gabriella starts screaming at the top of her lungs to get out of her chair

5:42 - Still crying, Marty tells her that she can't get out of her chair until she stops crying

5:43 - she stops (what!?!?!??!)

5:47 - Gabriella and Marty head upstairs to get ready for bed...she really needs her bed at this point!

6:03 - I meet them upstairs for bath time and snuggles in our bed...normally our favorite time...normally...

I'll spare you the rest...but I will say that her lung capacity and her stamina are fantastic...I think poor Marty was going to have a nervous breakdown because of screams of stubbornness.  He went into her to rub her back, tell her stories, sternly tell her she was fine and mommy and daddy were right around the corner...all to no avail...

And now our day has started waaaaay too early...(I wish my eyes could open that wide right now)


but at least there is coffee in the house and Winnie the Pooh on netflix and the knowledge that we are having dinner with Marty's wonderful cousins who are fantastic parents of 3 (almost 4) girls and I will be pumping them for information on how they handle the 'girl tantrums' that hopefully they have conquered.

In other exciting news (about food) I am making a hearty, sausage & kale soup for dinner tonight as well as these Brazilian Cheese Rolls (they're even gluten free if that's what floats your boat)


If you do anything today that involves baking, I highly recommend these rolls...you can find tapioca flour in most local grocery stores and these are seriously the easiest rolls that you will get LOADS of compliments on.  I first had these rolls at Marty's favorite restaurant Fogo de Chao and literally could eat them every day so I was thrilled when I found the recipe!  You won't regret trying these.

Well, I suppose it's time to get moving...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ashes, ashes we all fall down...

Ah, Ash Wednesday, as with everything else, Lent takes on a whole different meaning when kiddos come into the picture.  It's a hard, beautiful thing to watch your faith mature in different ways as your Vocation grows.  Marty mentioned as we were driving to Mass on Sunday that he never used to be late before he had Gabriella.  I didn't either for that matter...and we try really hard to make it to Mass on time, but there are days...oh there are days.  You know those days.  Things change with children...gone are the days of blissful silence during Mass (I really would love to know how all those homeschool mamas who go to daily Mass with their seven kids do it...no really, if you are one...please help me).

So as I climbed into bed last night thinking "what am I going to give up for Lent," it hit me that this year I think instead of giving something up I just needed to add something...and I thought, "really, God...where can I add anything in my day?"  But I can; I know there are times that I am cuddled in bed with my napping little girl and browsing Facebook that I could be reading Scripture.  No, I'm not being preachy saying we all should do this...but for me it makes sense.  I think this year...especially since I already had to give up drinking wine and eating yummy sushi and drinking copious amounts of coffee (babies in utero are demanding!) that instead of adding to that list of giving up, I will just add to my list of 'to do.' That's just me...that's my Lenten thought for this fine Ash Wednesday.

On to Gabriella...Gabriella isn't a great sleeper and she never has been (how I envy all of you who have good sleepers, but I suppose this is payback for all the years I didn't sleep for my mom). I google questions like "why won't my baby sleep?" or "how can I get my toddler to sleep longer?" and so on and so forth...and no matter how many times I google this...the same answers come back again and again.  So maybe I just need to stop asking google and just accept my little lady isn't a huge sleeper...clearly there is too much needing to be explored.  I think this winter has killed us too though...normally I would say we'd just go outside and burn some of that boundless energy off but with the polar vortex (what the crap does that even mean?!?!) and the insane snowfall amounts, I am hesitant to venture out...especially since the little princess isn't a fan of snow.  So winter, please leave us soon...the closer we get to the little man's arrival the more nervous I get that I will never sleep again...
at least she's cute when she wakes up...that's a plus

So while she is napping, instead of being smart and napping too...I am taking advantage of learning about importing blogs...this blog is my first attempt at being normal...haha, every other time I've blogged I have done it for work.  So this time, my work is more...shall we say "entertaining" and it's not just going on the church website...lots to learn...so I am stalking some other blogs to get ideas etc and hopefully, hopefully this shall be a success...but since it's Ash Wednesday and I was just saying I need to pray while she sleeps...I think I'll come back to the learning later. 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

My recent coffee fix

so this blog is a long (okay 5 or 6 days) time coming...

Thank you Erin Link for introducing me to my latest addiction...the Peanut Butter Cup latte with Himalayan Sea Salt sprinkled on top from Atwater's.  Too bad it was a monthly drink and is now gone forever.  It all started with a picture of the description of the drink in a text from my sister-in-law and her stating that we needed to try it out before the end of the month, let me tell you that Erin and I are both pregnant (due a month apart with boys) and we take our coffee allowance very seriously.  It's no joke...we seek out the good stuff.  So Erin found this latte while she was working one day and since we both love peanut butter it was a no brainer.  Then all of a sudden it was the 27th of February...and this poses a problem in the month of February.  So I loaded Gabriella into her carseat and took off for the 35 minute drive to meet up with Erin during her lunch break...desperate times people, desperate times...

I suppose in hindsight I didn't really need the second one that I ordered to go and drank when I got home; and I suppose that it's a good thing I didn't try the drink until the end of the month because my already big pregnant belly would have just been out of control.  Ah, self-control...where did you go when I was ordering that latte?  But it was fantastic...I will be dreaming of that latte for many months to come.

In other news, my cup holder in that picture also is my recipe book and I made that paella recipe...I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who likes food.  It's a staple in our house...Marty and Gabriella are both a little on the, how shall we say...opinionated side of food choices (aka SUPER picky) and they love it!  So with all the veggies and protein (okay and yummy sausage) it's not only a huge hit but it"s also fairly healthy...and who isn't on that bandwagon these days?


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