Monday, February 28, 2011

Please turn around, little Baby...

I told my midwife that the baby's jabs were really painful at times, which I've never experienced before. Once she felt the baby, she determined that he's very low and posterior, meaning that his back is lined up with my back. His back needs to be lined up with my front side. Damaris gave me a couple different exercises to do to pull him up and help him turn around, and wouldn't you know, the girls HAD to be in on them. ;)

7.5 weeks till the due date!

Justin's last birthday...

Justin caught me offguard when he woke up on Friday and said that it was his last birthday... and then I realized he meant he was turning 29 and holding... ;)
Friday evening, we dropped the girls off with their grandparents, and we drove downtown to Chima Brazillian Steakhouse. So awesome! If you like steak, you would LOVE this place. It's a little pricier, but the whole experience is like a show. It's a lot of fun, and the service is top notch.
The gauchos speed around the restaurant with these huge skewers of meat, probably 2 feet long. You turn a little "chip" over to the orange side when you want them to stop at your table. Then you decide if you want that particular meat or if you are going to wait for another one to come by. If it takes more than like 30 seconds for someone to stop, one of the "servers" will use their iTouch to send a text to the back to make sure the gaucho with the meat you want comes to your table right away. That's how they send your drink orders in, too. Pretty high tech, if you ask me. Once the gaucho comes, you tell them if you want med-rare, medium, etc., and they slice the meat right there for you, and you use your little tongs to grab the meat before it falls. It's awesome! My absolute fav was the top sirloin. It was the best I've ever had. Justin loved the lamb.
Justin has been to Chima before to wine and dine customers, but he said it was FUN to have me there. He said it was cause he didn't have to work and was with his wife, but I joked that it was cause his Country Bumpkin coming to the City was pretty funny. ;)
In the center of the restaurant, there is a fancy-schmancy salad bar. Here's one example--it's the smoked salmon salad. There were ALL KINDS of things in the salad bar! Fruits, cheeses, calamari, caesar, arugula, shrimp salad, etc. When you dine at Chima, you just pay a flat fee for your meal, and it comes with delicious mashed potatoes, fried bananas, all the meat in the world, the salad bar, and cheese bread. Since it was Justin's birthday, they brought a complimentary chocolate lava cake, although they said they usually just do tiramisu or cheese cake for b-days. I was STUFFED by the end. It doesn't help that I have a 3.5-4 lb. baby taking up space in my abdomen. ;)
Earlier in the day, we stopped at Justin's office for presents and to pick him up for lunch. We were pleasantly surprised that his mom was happening to pick up his dad for lunch at the same time, so we all went to eat together at a pizza place near the office.
Izzy giving her present:
Clara watching Daddy open the present from her:
On Saturday, we HAD to have cake cause Izzy said we needed one in order to sing "Happy Birthday." ;) Justin's fav is Graham Cracker Chocolate Eclair Cake...

We're SO thankful for Justin's life. God has abundantly blessed us through him!


After grilling dinner one evening, Justin surprised everyone with marshmallows to roast over the charcoal. :)

Can you tell she liked it? It really wasn't cold... Clara just didn't have any clothes on for some reason, so I grabbed her coat on the way out. ;)

Oh Sun!

Blowing bubbles in the driveway on a nice day:
Wearing no cardigan sweaters to a princess birthday party!
Pretty princesses in dresses from Aunt Maggie:
Ella Grace and Clara were born 11 days apart. Our next babies will be about 6 months apart. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

White Lasagna!

I made two different lasagnas for Justin's mom's birthday dinner, one was traditional and one was White Lasagna. I liked both of them, but here's the recipe for the white one. The red one was very good with a more homemade red sauce, so if you want it, let me know. Easy Spinach Lasagna with White Sauce
Adapted from Juanita Peek on

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
29 ounces Alfredo-style pasta sauce
1/2 cup skim milk
1 (12 ounce) package oven ready lasagna noodles (no boil)
1 big spoon scoop ricotta
1 pint 4% large curd cottage cheese
1 egg
8 ounces shredded carrots
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
(optional: broccoli, zucs, etc)
Couple splashes white wine
1/2 lb ground beef
1 lb Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used more)
Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 10x15 inch lasagna pan with cooking spray.
Brown the meats and drain.
Sautee carrots and mushrooms in a little olive oil and white wine. (Here is where you could also add in some broccoli or zucs to be sauteed.)

Place the spinach in a medium bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4 minutes. With my hand mixer, I blended ricotta, cottage heese and egg. Then I lightly mixed in the spinach.
Combine pasta sauce with milk in a medium bowl. Mix well.

Spread about 1/2 cup pasta sauce mixture evenly in the bottom of the dish. Place 3 uncooked noodles over the sauce. Spread half of the spinach mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with half of the carrots and half of the mushrooms. Place 3 more noodles over the vegetable mixture. Pour 1 1/2 cups sauce over the noodles. Spread the remaining spinach mixture over the sauce, followed by layers of the remaining carrots and mushrooms. Also, layer in the meat throughout the dish. Place 3 more noodles over the vegetables. Pour remaining sauce evenly on top. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. I sprinkled extra mozzarella in the layers, too. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil, spray side down.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and spoon some sauce over the exposed top noodles. Turn the oven off, and place the uncovered dish back into the warm oven for 15 more minutes. Serve at once, or let rest until ready to serve. I actually baked this for 30 mins one night (then cooled and refrigerated it). Then the next day, I let it rest at room temp for an hour or two before baking it for about another 45-50 mins. I sprinkled panko bread crumbs on top before baking it the second day.
I used Classico roasted red pepper alfredo, but some reviewers made their own alfredo. I just didn't have the time and sometimes homemade alfredo can be more expensive than just the jar. Also, some people did half the spinach and half sauteed broccoli, also could add some sauteed zucs.
I think that's all the tweaks I made...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Daddy love :)

We didn't see Daddy on Valentine's Day until after work, but he didn't forget his girls. ;)
He brought cards, stickers, and gummy bears for the girls:
I'm pretty easy to please. Justin told Izzy he knew I'd be more excited about the chocolate milk than the flowers, which is true, but I do really like the flowers, too. :)
I do not buy chocolate milk due to the fact that I cannot control myself. Ha! I received the half gallon last night, and it will definitely be gone by tonight.
You may not be able to tell, but these steaks were HUGE!!! They are from the beef that we got from my Uncle Dick's little herd. No joke, they were the size of a regular-sized dinner plate. We put the girls to bed, and then had a steak-date night! Thanks, Mom, for the heart-shaped plates, too.
I am so thankful for family love.
And I can't wait to have one more person to love... soon!

Valentines from afar

Auntie Tess was the first to send Valentine's Day cards. Izzy has finally reached the stage of being excited about receiving mail in the mailbox. Then on the actual day, Nanna sent the girls a package with cards and some new socks! Of course, the girls had to try them on right away. ;)
Clara takes her time "reading" her cards.
Izzy decided 70* was too hot for a shirt.
Attempting to open the package of socks:
Then the day after Valentine's Day, the doorbell rang with a package from FedEx sent by Aunt Maggie! The girls looked so cute when they tried on the new princess swimming suits and hand crocheted hats. Oh, Izzy also received a beautiful new Hello Kitty princess necklace from Aunt Maggie!

Doctor, Doctor!

Grammy brought some bears for the girls from Aunt Sandy. One of them plays the rock song "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor), and the girls both LOVE it! Izzy was jumping all around with it.
Here they are outside dancing and running around to the music:
So happy! Thanks, Aunt Sandy!!!

Grammy's Valentines

Grammy came over at lunchtime to bring some Valentine's gifts for the girls.
Clara was cute taking her time to inspect her card from Poppy & Grammy:
They both received matching dresses and headbands!
The Valentine books were a hit:
Grammy took us out for a Valentine lunch, and we got to sit OUTSIDE in the SUN!!!

Sweet loves

Justin was gone before I woke up, so the three of us started Valentine's off with some very little but fun gifts... heart shaped sunglasses ($1/ea), stampers, and heart shaped note pads. Although we practiced saying "I love you!" in honor of the day, Izzy said "Happy Birthday!" later in the day to someone when I prompted her for what to say on Valentine's... ;)
I'm lookin' a little tired, but I just had interrupted sleep when Justin got home really late in the middle of my sleep and then left early before I was ready to really wake up. ;) He's so good to us working hard!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The belly grows...

16 weeks and regular clothes

Just 5 weeks later! 21 weeks:
25 weeks:
29 weeks, 5 days:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sweet sun

I think tease sunny days make the returning cold much more difficult to bear, but last Sunday's sun and 70* weather was glorious. Justin had left directly after morning worship to head out west for work for four days, so we just played outside after naptime before returning for the evening service.
Ring around the rosie:
So sweet!
I LOVE these girls.

Dressin' the windows

Justin's parents got us fancy curtain rods and new window treatments for our stairwell window and our master bedroom for Christmas!
The comforter is the same base color as these curtains. I just need to buy some hardware to hold the curtains back a little. One of the windows in our master:
I love what curtains do to a room!!!

Girls' room!

We have enough bedrooms that the girls could have separate rooms, but I like the idea of them sharing a room, and then it's just less bedrooms to clean up (for now). One of our other bedrooms (that will come in handy the more babies we have) can fit at least 3 kids if not more. ;)
My mom painted and painted. The "new" bedframe for Izzy was originally black and used by my sister, Maggie, in Hershey, and then by me in my old apartment. She also painted the dresser that hadn't ever been painted when we got it second-hand, and it looks so fresh. She matched the knobs to the walls with the green paint. I laid green and white contact paper down on the hutch shelves above the dresser.
After many tries, I finally settled on these quilt comforters for the girls. The room needed bedspreads with bold colors/patterns.
New bedding from Home Goods:
Izzy's bed frame is from the '50s, and it's really tall. She LOVES climbing up into it like a little monkey and doesn't need a stool or steps at all. She's been in the bed for a week now, and no falling out!
I can't believe my 17 month old is in a twin! She does great in there. I wasn't planning to move her from the crib for another month or two, but we tried it for one night and had success. In the mornings, the girls have been waking up at about 7:05-10am, and out they both come full of energy.
So happy!

Nanna fun OUT of the house

I always wish I had someone to do a quick, spur-of-the-moment trip to Walmart or Target with, so it was fun having Nanna here to just browse. However, when I found how difficult it was to find comforters for Izzy and Clara's new bedroom, I got TIIIIIRED of shopping. I made many trips back and forth from home to store buying and returning and finally buying. ;)
Izzy had to make our required aquarium stop when we went to Walmart to buy some primer paint.
We managed to hit Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Marshall's, Hobby Lobby, Ollie's, Home Goods, Walmart, another Marshall's, and another Target last week...
Nanna taught Izzy how to use cash, which was a new experience since I don't really ever use it.
Shopping made us tired and hungry:
I don't shop a ton cause I usually find that it makes me wish I could get things that don't fit in our budget (need to stay far from covetousness, greed, etc), so I think I got my fill for awhile!
We took a fun break Tuesday evening and went to see Secretariat at the $1 theater in town. The girls were great, and we loved the movie.