Sunday, March 30, 2014

32 Weeks with #3

32 weeks pregnant makes it seem like I could have the baby tomorrow! Of course, not really, but it seems so far along and so real. I mean, honestly, only 8 weeks left?! Only 8 weekends to go?! Eek!

It's hard to believe that Molly will be making her debut within two months. Are we ready? Ready or not, I guess... Things are really starting to hit me- can we handle three kids? What are we going to do with our little non-sleeper Charley Kate? How am I going to make it through the day after being up all night with a newborn and chasing two toddlers around during the day? Are we ready to give up our "freedom" of nights out with a babysitter, day-time freedom while the kids are in school, or just being able to sit and chat and visit with friends while our kids entertain themselves?! Yikes- it's all so scary to think about!

But I know the blessings and future friendships that comes with adding another baby to the family far outweigh the scary times. I just can't believe it's so soon!

I am honestly feeling so great. I think I really hit a good stride between 28-32 weeks. I've been feeling physically and mentally great. Things are going really well right now. I am big and feel uncomfortable- but nothing major. Sleep is just one of those things that I get when I get- it's never long and consistent periods but I feel like that's been my life for the past 4 years, so there's really nothing new there.

I had some real contractions the other night and the closest they got were 20 min apart. Nothing alarming of course, but I know for sure they weren't Braxton Hicks. It was funny because every time I feel a BH contraction (which is OFTEN), I wonder, "Will I remember what a real one feels like?" And the other night, I definitely knew. They are WAY different.

I've had two doctor's appointments since my 28 week- I'll go every two weeks from 28 weeks to 36 weeks. Weight gain is about 18 pounds so far, blood pressure is great (higher than the past, but still normal- 120/80... I'm usually about 100/60), and baby is measuring on track and head down (woohoo!).

I'm not gonna lie, I've been thinking about it a lot, and I'm going to be really bummed if I have to have a c-section this time around. Of course, if it's medically necessary I understand that- and I 100% trust my doctor. But man, after two vaginal deliveries I would be so bummed to have to change it up. This is one of those things that isn't in my control- but I really wish it was.

So that's about it. Just trucking along here. Enjoying my last few weeks of "freedom" from a newborn!

32 Weeks with Jay!

32 Weeks with Charley Kate

Friday, March 28, 2014

Target Dollar Spot Saves the Day- Again!

Oh man, I TOTALLY lucked out the other day when I stumbled onto pure brilliance at the dollar spot at Target.

I found Slime (it was $3 each)!

Do you know how long a thing of slime can keep a kid busy?! Almost ONE HOUR!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, this little bottle of $3 yuck bought me almost an hour of cleaning, prepping for dinner, doing laundry... Unreal I tell ya!

Both of my kids were OBSESSED!

We just dumped it on the coffee table at first and they just explored and touched and "Ewwww"d over it. One had green, one had orange. Then, when I noticed their interesting waning, I panicked and grabbed two disposable straws.

That's when the real genius hit.

Oh yeah, you can blow bubbles in slime. Big bubbles, little bubbles, bubbles within bubbles... the possibilities are endless, folks!

Then they popped them and kept blowing and popped them some more!

We made snakes, we used the bottle to cut circles out, we pretended it was snot (come on- I have a Son for Heaven's sake!)... We loved playing with it!

Some things to remember should you choose to take this on...
-Don't let it get on the carpet! We had one little drop and it's TOUGH to get out! Same goes for clothes/hair...
-Don't play with it outside- sand/dirt/grass won't come out either!

Honestly, my kids had so so much fun with this. Best $6 I've spent in a while!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday Confessional

Another installation of my wrongdoings...

Our three kids' names are going to be my maiden name initials (C, J, M). I realized this right after we agreed on a name, but was afraid that if Anthony knew he'd pull Molly off the table. So I didn't tell him until Sunday morning while I was talking to a friend at church about it. His eyes got big and he jokingly muttered some comments about veto power. Now that it's blog and Facebook official (ha!), there's no pulling it off the table, so I figured it was a safe time to break the news to him!

I throw my kids' artwork away. I know it sounds SOOOO mean, but let's think about this. They come home with at least one piece of artwork for every day at school (Sunday school included). That would be 4 pieces of art per week- for an entire school year! While I LOVE LOVE LOVE their art (and I really really do with all of my heart- honestly), there is just no sense in keeping it. We got all of Anthony's childhood memories/boxes shortly after we got married. It has all of his art from way back when and he has no desire to even look at it- and he actually wants to chunk it all. As much as I know my kids might look at it one day, they won't want to keep it forever. So I've started sorting it monthly. I hang it on the fridge until the month is over. At the end of the month, I take a picture of everything each kid has done, and then (VERY slowly and painfully) throw it away. They already have new art to hang and take over the fridge, and after a month they are over it, too. I know it sounds cruel, but I just can't store 1,000 pieces of art for my kids for 25 years just to have them want to chunk it. Hopefully they don't hate me for this one day.

As much as I love the Houston Rodeo, I'm so glad it's over this year. Going when you are 31 weeks pregnant with two toddlers is no joke. My body is beyond worn out from my three trips. See ya next year HLSR!

I ate a ridiculous amount of Oreo cookies last night after everyone went to bed. I am so ashamed.

I am going on a girls' weekend this coming weekend and am so freaking excited. I love my kids and husband to pieces, but momma needs some time off. 

I try to be a good wife and have the house picked up and kids relatively under control most nights when Anthony gets home from work. But I was really irritated with him for a couple things the other day and chose to leave everything "as is" (which honestly isn't even that bad- I can't handle too much stuff out either). Anyway he walked in, surprised, and I greeted him with a "Don't even think about saying anything" look. Super childish? Absolutely. But it really did make me feel better- which is even worse!

I went into Target before my doc appointment to return a maternity top. I thought it would take me a little longer, so when I had a few extra minutes, I mosied over to the maternity section. I ended up buying TWO dresses- both costing more than what I returned. Argh- can't get out of the vicious cycle. 

Until next time...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Break 2k14

It was a busy but wonderful kind of Spring Break week!

You know those kinds of weeks where you are so incredibly busy that they just fly by? The kind of week that while you're in the middle of it you think you can't really keep your ahead afloat, yet as soon as it's over you ask where the heck it went? Yup- it was one of those. 

We started out by having a date night at the rodeo to see Keith Urban. It's not often enough we get out without the kids, but we sure have a good time when we do! The rest of the weekend was spent at my parents' house with them. Lots of swinging, fixing things, and being spoiled. They sure love being there!

Monday morning we headed to Austin for one final trip to my sister Kiki's house. They moved out on Tuesday and she wanted anyone who wanted to come visit/stay one last time. Bless her she had 12 people in her house the night before and morning that she moved- I would have NEVER been that brave! My kids LOVE going to Austin for visits and will be so sad that those fun times are over. BUT since they are moving into our neighborhood I think they will like that even more! :)

But it really was bittersweet. We always have the best time exploring Austin- the parks, the restaurants, the fun. Their house felt like another home to us and will definitely be missed! 

We made the most of our time there, though. We spent the majority of the day at Zilker Park with a last playground/snow cone/train time. Then we went canoeing. My nephews and niece and sisters had all been before, but we had never taken our kids. I decided it sounded fun, so we put on our life jackets and hopped in our boat. It was just my two kids and me in our canoe. And I was SHOCKED at how much they loved it. They both "helped" paddle the whole time and LOVED looking at the fish, jillions of turtles, ducks, and people. It helped that it was the perfect weather day in Texas. Seriously perfect.

We spent an hour canoeing and went all the way to the Lamar bridge and back. An hour is a long time to be the only paddler of a canoe! But it felt great to get some real arm exercise in! I was pooped by the end though!

No filter- just an iPhone pic. 
It really was THAT perfect of a day!

We had more park time at our favorite playground, delicious Austin foods for the last meals, and headed back to Houston Tuesday morning. After a complete meltdown at Kerbey Lane by unnamed daughter because someone cut her pancakes (oh the horrors!) and a bout of diarrhea on the side of the highway on the way home by unnamed son, we finally made it back to our little haven. It was an interesting morning I tell ya!

Char making a birthday cake. She put the stick in as a candle!

My cutie monkeys!
And look at my strong little girl- she LOVES to hang!

The middle of the week was spent playing with cousins, visiting MeeMaw, going to the park with friends, going on hours-long walks to the bayou with my kids, and running errands to get ready for our end of week company! My favorite kind of week!

Looking for the kitty under the bed!

Hitching a ride on our walk. Who needs the seats?!

Climbing the big wall!

This is the furthest I got from him (just to take a pic!)
I quickly ran back by him!!

One of my most favorite views in the world! 

The park with friends!

Jay is all about picking his own outfits these days. 
It typically looks like this one- blue on blue, gray on gray, etc... :)

The crazy snugglers. 

Picking up a wheelchair for Great Grandma Peggy.
I just love these two. 

Thursday afternoon Anthony's family came in from parts of Texas and Iowa. We loved having them visit and my kids LOVED all the extra attention! We had a yummy dinner of pinto beans and enchiladas (have to introduce them to the good stuff!) and made cookies after (those Iowa women can bake!).

Friday we made one last hurrah to the Houston rodeo. I'm SO sad rodeo season is over, but after three trips there this year while I'm 31 weeks pregnant, I'm happy to take a break from it! I'm still tired just thinking about it!

Our group with Howdy!

Obligatory bull riding pic.
Cousin love!

We did lots of animal-looking this time around, lots of yummy snacking, and Jay loved the carnival rides/games. Charley Kate rode her first pony (and refused to look at the camera and actually smile- she would only do this smirking pouty lips thing... My diva!) and LOVED watching Mutton Bustin'! This girl has no fear I tell ya and will be out there as soon as she weighs enough!

We all took long naps after the rodeo and enjoyed a wonderful dinner of fajitas and queso at our favorite spot.

Cousin bath time fun!

Charley Kate loved snuggling with Grandma Peggy and showing her how to work the iPad!

The fam headed back Saturday morning and my kids were so sad to see them go! Iowa is a long ways away and we were so thankful they came to see our little world in Houston! 

The rest of the weekend we caught up with my parents and our little life (church, friends, family!). It's always fun to have busy, crazy weeks, but there is something about your little family and routine that is wonderful, too!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Confessional

Yeah, so it's been a looooong time since I've posted some of these. I think it's because I've been performing so flawlessly as a mother that I haven't felt guilty about anything. Bwahahaha....

Anyway, here goes...

A few weeks ago I hosted our Bunco group at our house. The girls come at 7:30, so it's good timing for us to eat dinner and then send the kids and Anthony upstairs (out of sight) for baths and bed. I spent a few days before getting ready for it (snacks, drinks, decorations, etc...). I spent the better part of that day keeping the house picked up and setting things out (flowers included!). When it was time to feed my family, I decided I had to focus all of my attention on making things nice for the Bunco group that I ordered pizza for them and made them eat on paper plates. Mom/wife of the year right here, folks!

After Tex's surgery, the sweet nurses were giving me instructions on how to best care for him. They said they often like to keep dogs in his situation (both knees done at the same time) for two nights at the hospital instead of just one, but that it would ultimately be my call because they "knew I wanted my fur baby home as soon as possible." I couldn't get it out fast enough for them to keep him BOTH nights- I mean, come on! I've got a preschooler and toddler at home and a baby on the way! I don't need to care for ANOTHER being 24/7! I felt bad, but I knew Tex was in MUCH better hands with them watching him round the clock than with me at home. I tried to pretend like it was gut-wrenching decision for me. I'm sure they judged me.

I was so so proud of myself because my kids only ate junk for lunch ONE day this week! I'm not gonna lie- the past few weeks I have been in a lunch rut and just not in the mood to pack lunches while we are going to be out, or to stop errands, come home to eat, then head back out. So we've had a LOT of fast food lunches. But not this week! This week it was only one! I was so proud of myself I wanted to tell everyone- but then that meant confessing how often we had been doing it before.

For a while Anthony and I would split the nightly duties around here. One would bathe or play with the kids while the other did the dishes and picked up from the day. Now I do the dishes and pick up every. single. time. Oh, you think I'm complaining? Not at all. This is like 30 minutes of freedom each day where I can (finally) shut my brain off from kids for a while. Another ten weeks of this then reality will set back in with a newborn.

Someone asked me the other day if Molly's room was ready. Huh? OhmygoodnessItotallyforgottogetaroomreadyforher!!!! Shoot. So, I've been scrambling some to buy a few things for the nursery. Most of the nursery stuff was moved into Charley Kate's big girl room, so I figured I should get some more things (like decorations, curtains, etc...). Whoops- sorry third child. Just know that I'm helping you to become a more laid back individual.

After we've been out and about for a long time (walking at the rodeo, standing at a birthday party, ANYTHING that requires me to be on my feet for long periods of time) I find myself VERY excited to go to teetee so that I can SIT DOWN for a bit. Pressure with the third kid is no joke. I definitely take my time in there now.

We had two new (young) babysitters the other night (our usual was out of town- and she is now on strict orders to not have a life of her own in case we might need her for ourselves). We went to the rodeo and they were going to have to do play time, dinner, bath, and bedtime. My mom was on call just in case. Well, I got a text from one of the sweet girls at 8:20 saying both kids were refusing bed (my kids aren't actually allowed to "refuse" anything- grownups are the boss and what they say goes) and wanted my mom or me. Huh? So I quick texted my mom to head over to relieve them and put the kids down. My mom got there and got them down and then texted me back and said, "Don't rush home. Kids are asleep and fine!" Ummm, I hadn't even thought about getting up out of my seat. Whoops. Bad mommy.

Until next time...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Menu for the Week

We are gearing up for another week in the Squillante house. Menu planning is still our thing (though I don't post about it anymore- why is that?!).

I've gotten into a great habit of sitting down on Sunday nights and figuring out our meals for the week. I make a big giant grocery list and Charley Kate and I head out on Mondays (after her gymnastics and before Jay's) to HEB to shop, shop, shop! It truly works out so well and I find we eat so much better and spend less money on groceries when we do it this way. Inevitably, I will make another trip to the grocery store at some point during the week- replenishing fruit, stocking up for the weekend, grabbing something Anthony forgot to tell me he needed... Even when we have to make those small trips, it's still so worth it to me. Plus, I'm not scrambling for dinner ideas at 5:30 every night!

This week's menu includes:

Monday: Carne Guisada (Latin Beef Stew) from Definitely felt like it was "missing" something, though I couldn't put my finger on it. I left out the two weird seasonings (didn't have them) and it seems fine!

Tuesday: Pasta with Italian Sausage, garlic bread (because I'm craving any sort of bread), salad

Wednesday: Tortilla crusted Tilapia (frozen, from the box at Costco!), steamed broccoli, Favorite Cornbread (recipe below)

Thursday: Chicken Enchiladas (recipe below), salad

Saturday morning: Cheesy Potato Breakfast Casserole and Sausage Crescent Breakfast Casserole  (Anthony's family is coming in town and we need to feed a lot of people!)

Recipe for Favorite Cornbread:

1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1/3 C creamed corn
1/2 C canola oil
1/2 C grated cheese
2 eggs
1/3 C sugar
1/2 C sour cream (you can substitute greek yogurt)
2 tsp baking powder

Combine all ingredients in 9x9 greased pan. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

*This is SUCH a yummy cornbread and is a hit every time. I make this as a side for parties or company and even those who claim they don't "like" cornbread love it! So so good!

Recipe for Chicken Enchiladas:

2 shredded chicken breasts
2 cans Old El Paso verde enchilada sauce
flour tortillas
6 oz cottage cheese
4 oz sour cream (can sub greek yogurt)
2 small cans diced green chiles
4 oz ricotta cheese
2 C Monterrey Jack cheese

Spread 1/2 enchilada sauce on bottom of greased pan. Mix chicken, cottage cheese, sour cream, diced chiles, ricotta cheese, and 1.5 C monterrey jack cheese in bowl. Put mixture in tortillas and roll and put in pan (side by side). Spread rest of sauce over enchiladas. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes at 350. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese and bake uncovered until melted.

*This makes a HUGE serving (two pans usually!). You can always make one in a regular glass casserole dish and one in a foil dish and freeze for later (we usually do!). Or you can half the recipe. Either way it feeds a crowd and is SO delicious! Another idea is to substitute beans (whole or refried) instead of some of the cheese. Yum!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Good Golly!!

I figured it was about time we revealed baby girl's name to the world- we have had it chosen since the end of January!

Molly June Squillante!

As I've mentioned before, we take baby naming very seriously in our house. I mean, it's something that will be with them FOREVER! We try to imagine our kids being called these names when they are babies, teenagers, and adults. We look at what nicknames could possibly be taken from them and also what their initials could make (I had a friend growing up who had the initials A.S.S.- why did her parents not think of that?!?!). We don't necessarily stick with a style or "genre" of all our names- just what feels right or good with each kid. 

While Anthony and I mostly agree on boy's names, we have polar opposite thoughts on girl's names. This proved to be even more difficult this time around with our second girl. 

Molly was one name that kept popping up over and over throughout all three pregnancies- one name we loved each time. We figured since it remained a steady favorite over three pregnancies and four years, it was a keeper. The tough part was figuring out the middle name. We had several different thoughts, but with a double L in the middle of her name plus a double L in the middle of our last name, we knew we needed something short and specific. We narrowed it down to two names, and ultimately felt this middle name suited this baby better! Both middle names had family connections, so that made it even more difficult. But the special thing about June is that it is my mother's middle name, and that makes it even better!

We have been calling her this for about six weeks now, and love having a name to tell our kids. It makes it seem so much more real to them- they talk to Molly June and kiss her and call her by name. They tell others what her name is and pick out clothes and diapers and blankets for Baby Molly. I think this really helps older kids become acclimated to a new baby in the family! 

I've also gone a little crazy with the amount of monogramming I have already done! Oops! Here is a little sampling of what I bought the first week we decided on her name... Heh!

So at 30 weeks pregnant, we are (sort of) ready and waiting for this baby girl! 

Good Golly Miss Molly!! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

An Afternoon Activity!

Thank you, Target Dollar Spot for helping to fill one of our afternoons!

While the blank bird houses were actually $3 each instead of just a dollar, it was still worth it. They came with paint and paint brushes (we actually needed more paint because of the way we paint, so we busted out our finger paints and completed the job- which ended up being more fun anyway). Then I realized they failed to give us anything to hang it with, so we just got a little nail and some string. Annnd, I know that they are actually bird houses, but we made them into bird feeders instead (because that's more fun, and let's be honest, more likely to actually attract birds). So between some supplies we already had, two $3 bird feeders, and some cheap bird seed, we had a fun filled beautiful afternoon.

And our feeders are now displayed proudly outside our house!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

First Aggie Sporting Event

If you know Texas A&M Aggies, you know they take their schools and their spirit very seriously.

So I thought it was only appropriate to document my kids' first experience at an A&M sporting event!

We went to the basketball game the other night and had a great time! Jay's favorite sport seems to be basketball, so we had to jump on the opportunity. It was perfect- fast paced, exciting, SHORT, and popcorn aplenty!

The kids loved it and we had a great time showing off our school!

Trying to do "Gig 'em"

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Trail Riders!

There is something really special about Houston that most people who aren't from here don't know about.

It's a SPECIAL time of year called Rodeo Season! For most of you not from Texas, you are rolling your eyes and thinking that everything you thought you knew about Texas is true. Well, let's just say that since Houston is one of the largest cities in the US, one of the most diverse, has the most diverse and incredible restaurants, and is known for many big businesses, I think we can all safely say it's NOT those things you think it is. 

However, around this time of year, everyone goes back to the days when it WAS all of those things, and this city embraces it and loves it. 

Starting at the end of February, Trail Riders come in from all over the state. We actually did this when we were younger! My grandmother and uncle owned horse stables and participated in a trail ride. As kids we would join for the final ride into downtown and the parade. I was actually on the news one year when I was four because I was so young and fell asleep in all my cowgirl gear (apparently they recognized how darn cute I was. Ha!). 

Anyway, we haven't missed a trail ride in forever. We LOVE supporting the trail riders as they ride in. Plus, it's awesome to let our kids see something like this. When you have a child who loves animals, it makes it even better!

So, if you read here regularly, then you will be seeing some upcoming posts about Rodeo Season. The trail rides kick off the season, then it's BBQ Cook Off time (we haven't been the past few years, I think we are officially grown out of that stage now- but we might be back one day!), the rodeo and carnival and concerts (we've got a few that we've got tickets to this year!), and the Livestock Show (we will be there next week!). 

It's safe to say that this is absolutely one of my favorite times of year and one of the times that makes me so happy to be a Houstonian. I LOVE Rodeo Season!

And now for some pictures of our trail ride watching the other day!

I finally convinced Jay to wear his bandana and he saw some "real cowboys" with red bandanas, too!

And for nostalgia, here is from years past...