Guinness Pulled Pork Sliders

Night Before

Slice white onion and lay on the bottom of crock pot. Mix together paprika, salt, red pepper, garlic powder. Rub on the pork loin and place on top of the onion.

Mix together coleslaw and dressing and let sit.

Day of:

Add a beer to the crock pot and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours, or until pork is done and pulls apart. Serve on mini Hawaiian rolls with coleslaw.

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Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

Prep:

Chop broccoli, place in container and drizzle with olive oil, red pepper flake, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Mix beef with ketchup,

Prep can only be 1 -2 days prior to cooking.

Day of:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread broccoli on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 – 15 minutes.

Place beef in microwave for 8 minutes. While beef is in microwave, clean and pierce potatoes and put broccoli in oven.

Heat half and half on stove in a pot.

Place pierced potatoes in microwave for 7 minutes. Mix glaze and pour over beef. When the potatoes are done put the beef back in the microwave for 3 – 5 minutes and scoop out the potatoes into the half and half.

http://www.food.com/recipe/oven-roasted-broccoli-206184

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/fast-mashed-potatoes-for-desperate-times.html

Spagetti Squash and Meat Sauce

Prep:

Cut spaghetti squash in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on tinfoil covered baking sheet, face down. Roast at x degrees for x minutes. Scoop out cooled squash and store.

Brown meat with 1/2 onion and garlic. Slice mushrooms and add. Add tomato sauce and Italian seasonings. Store.

Day of:

Reheat and serve with meat sauce on top of spaghetti squash.

40 Weeks

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Mommy Update:  N suggested I put a finish line on the chalkboard this week and I am really happy to have made it to 40 weeks.  This week we met with the doctor and things are looking about where he expected.  We set a date for an induction if need be because they only schedule a certain number per day, so it’s best to schedule early.  August 25th is the date we picked, which would be 41 weeks & 1 day.  Oddly enough, this is a pretty typical amount of time for a first time mom to be late.  I am really hoping to avoid a c-section for all of the obvious reasons but also because there is some really interesting research coming out about bacteria and gut flora that the baby gets from the birth canal that affects (in a good way) the person’s metabolism for the rest of their life.  In a nutshell, I’m hoping to avoid surgery and hope the little guy is good to go prior to the 25th.    This week was a little crazy additionally because I got pretty sick and at one point, almost completely lost my voice.  Now I am all better, but I managed to pass it to N, who gets sick every 4.2 years.  Good thing he seems to be bouncing back rather quickly.  To top off the week, as if all of this wasn’t exciting enough, I woke up with contractions Thursday night.  The standard for going to the hospital is contractions that last 30 seconds to 1 minute and are 4 – 5 minutes apart for an hour.  When I woke up they were the right duration and distance apart and, needless to say, I thought it might be a good idea to pack a bag for the hospital, which has totally been on the to-do list but just didn’t seem that necessary because I have been pretty sure I’m going to go super late.  (I get this feeling from my extensive medical training and birthing experience – so, you know, legit sources.)  I woke up N and we (he) got to packing, but after 30 – 45 minutes the contractions slowed and got weaker, which is not, according to my understanding, how labor typically works.  Bummer.  The next morning I was looking into false labor and one of the tell-tale signs that labor is false labor (asides from the it-gets-better-not-worse issue) is that false contractions start at the bottom of the abdomen and work their way up while the real ones start at the top and work their way down (presumably to shove the kid out).  Once we realized we would not be going to the hospital and the adrenaline worked its way out of our systems, we went back to bed and haven’t had any more false alarms since.

Daddy Update: N’s mom made the curtains and crib skirt for the nursery.  They turned out fabulous  and she brought them over this week.  N got everything finished in the nursery this week and it was a really good feeling to have that area set.  N is coming to the doctor’s with me for each appointment at this point, and we agreed that picking out the induction date was pretty surreal.  At this point we are just ready to get this going because he is “really excited to meet the little guy.”

Baby Update: This week he is the size of a small pumpkin or jackfruit – whatever the heck that is.  At this point Bug is just getting fatter, and working on growing a bigger brain, longer hair and longer nails.  He is also working on frazzling his parent’s nerves with making them guess when he’ll make his appearance.  N was rather fond of pointing out that he missed his birthday, but that probably is just even more evidence that he’s our kid 🙂

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To: I am really missing a regular sleep schedule, but that isn’t coming back any time soon.  At least in a little over a week I’ll be able to relax with a glass of red wine!  Needless to say the thing we are looking forward to most is having all the waiting done.  I’m looking forward to seeing what his personality is like, seeing what he got from me and what he got from N, and getting to tell everyone what name we picked out!

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Nursery

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So here are the long awaited nursery pictures!  Since it is Bug’s official due date, it seemed like a good idea to finish up the nursery today.  Chloe is pretty comfy in the new room and we are equally happy.  N did an amazing job painting the stripes on the wall.  It took a weekend, but since they are never getting painted over, the ROI should be pretty good.  We wanted something fairly gender neutral, and I think we were pretty successful.   We had a hard time finding different fabrics so N’s mom made the curtains and crib skirt and they turned out amazing.   Now we just need a little one to complete the room, and he can come any time!

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Chair: Little Castle from Buy Buy Baby.  Crib: DaVinci Kalani.  Side Table: Pier 1 Imports.  Pillows, lamp, picture ledges, map decal: Target.

39 Weeks

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Mommy Update: This week was still pretty itchy, but knock on wood, tonight things seem to be a little more under control.  This week was kind of a blur between work being a little crazy, not being able to sleep much, and all the scratching…  Every night I came home and said I was going to pack my bag for the hospital, and it still hasn’t happened yet.  I bought everything earlier this week which includes some super soft PJ tops that I will be able to nurse in, nursing tanks, tennis balls for labor pain management (either for use getting a back rub or to chuck at people… or both), and some headbands that are supposed to be non-slip, but after testing them out they don’t work at all.  All of these items are still in the target bags on our dining room table, so if stuff goes super fast and we have to make a run for the hospital, we can just be super cool and run in with all the target bags, because that says “Hello.  I am a mature and responsible adult that is prepared to care for and be completely responsible for a small child’s life.”

Daddy Update: N turned the big 31 today so we went out for a nice dinner.  We also stopped at Toys R Us and got a huge stuffed elephant to take monthly baby pictures with and N got a rubiks cube, which he is currently frustrating entertaining himself with.  The guy at the checkout said that these toys were going to make somebody really happy.  and we are, thankyouverymuch.

Baby Update: Bug is over the 7.5 lb. mark and basically is just working on getting fat and smart.  This week he is the size of a watermelon.  I was about to write that he is moving less, but then he kicked me in the ribs, so I take it back.  There are really no major milestones left at this point, except for the whole being born thing.  That being said, we did buy a photo album and I have started making a list of what important “firsts” we need to keep track of.  If you need a good giggle, I highly recommend this article from Huff Post about some memorable firsts to add to the realistic baby book….  something tells me I won’t be scrapbooking any of these fond memories to come…

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To: I know I don’t miss it yet, but I think I am going to miss feeling Bug move.  Now the only thing we are really looking forward to is finally getting this show on the road so we can meet the little guy!

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38 Weeks

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Mommy Update.  It is a small miracle that I have stopped scratching my belly long enough to write this post.  Less than 1 half of 1 percent of pregnant  people are lucky enough to get this fantastic, completely harmless rash that is itchier than poison ivy.  I’m lucky enough to have a particularly severe case that is also on my thighs, knees, and feet.  Although no one knows what causes it, it seems to be more popular with first time preggos and also preggos with boys.  One theory is that it is hormone related and another site hypothesized that it is a mild (?!?!) allergic reaction to the kid’s DNA.  The good news is that is clears up once the kiddo is out.  Need a hot stock tip?  Buy Benedryl.

This has been my first official I-am-ready-for-this-all-to-be-over moment.  Eating lots of chocolate ice cream isn’t even solving the issue – and believe me – I have tried.

On a positive note – I definitely am having more contractions, feeling the baby is lower, and am experiencing other signs that things are moving towards me getting ready to go.

My mom also came over this week to make food.  We made a total of 24 meals and froze them so that N and I won’t have to worry about that for quite a few weeks once Bug is out.

Daddy Update.  N had a busy week.  In addition to helping make the food, he also hung bookshelves in the nursery, installed the car seats, hung a new light in our bedroom, and did a ton of yard work all while continuing to spoil me rotten.

Baby Update.  Bug is up to about 7 pounds and is as big as a pumpkin.  Sometimes when you see preemies born they have a white waxy goo on their skin.  This is called vernix caseosa and our bug is starting to get rid of it this week.  It is developed  usually around week 18 to protect Bug’s skin.  Here is a fun little flashback to how I looked at week 18.

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Some other fun things that I don’t know if I have mentioned here yet.  I was doing some reading into male hormonal development.  Bug is going to be born with as much testosterone as an 11 year old male.  This is necessary for him to develop in spite of all of my estrogen.  I have been guessing boy since the beginning because I have felt a lot more testosterone-y (especially when in bad traffic).  These levels dip rather quickly, but then rise again for a short time when Bug is 4.  Apparently we can expect a lot of crazy rough-housing at this age.  The hormones dip pretty quickly again at 5, conveniently just in time for school, but sometimes they don’t dip quickly enough which causes some boys to struggle with “getting through the day” in Kindergarten.  Finally, hormones begin to spike again around 10/11.  The more you know…

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37 Weeks

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Mommy Update: I don’t know why, but 3 weeks from done seems a lot crazier than 4 weeks.  I mean, I understand how numbers work – I even taught math for 4 years – and when we are talking simple addition and subtraction that I can use my fingers and toes to do (not that I can actually see my toes, but you get the idea) I’m pretty solid.  But for whatever reason 4 down to 3 is a little freaky.  Enter the 4 sheets of paper taped to our hall wall with to-do lists.  Slowly but surely things are getting crossed off.  We finished buying everything we think we’ll need, ran to Costco to buy XXX Vitamin Water in bulk so that I can take it to the hospital, and I even bought enough stamps so that I can finish getting out thank yous and am ready to go for birth announcements… and Christmas cards.  I am still having a few contractions and more pressure and my feet look like a cabbage patch doll’s, but other than that I am just peachy and hoping I have enough time and energy to get everything done!

Daddy Update: This week we finished buying all the big stuff we needed and put everything together.  First we went to Costco – seriously not sure how we did this prior to owning the SUV – and then we did a few trips to Brookfield to finish stuff up at Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us.  Now everything is assembled and has officially taken over our living room.  As an added bonus, N got to go to breastfeeding class with me this week.  When I signed up they said they “HIGHLY RECOMMENDED” my support person came along.  I don’t think N agrees.  I mean, don’t get me wrong – very informative and the videos were stellar, but I think his time would have been better spent doing pretty much anything.

Baby Update: Now I am having weekly doctor appointments.  My doctor said that he is pretty good at guessing weights, except for when he’s wrong he is REALLY wrong.  With that caveat he is putting the baby at 6 lbs right now, which would mean a birth weight of between 8 and 9 lbs if I go to 40/41 weeks.  We bought a few of the side-snap t-shirts for right after the baby’s born before his cord falls off and had to get the 3 month variety with this in mind and the size was a little …. disconcerting.  I can’t in good conscious type what N said, but you can imagine.  I also had another ultrasound to quadruple check that Bug is head down, and he is – so we are good to go with that.  If you are keeping up with the baby to fruit/vegetable comparisons the apps put this week at a winter melon and a leek.  Bug is practice breathing (which we saw him do on the ultrasound) and sucking and blinking.  The apps also consider 37 weeks full term, but everyone else considers 38 weeks full term, but 40 weeks is the due date.  Whatever.  My doctor is going on some cross country road trip to the grand canyon so I should “feel free to not have the baby” until he gets back and I’m thinking that shouldn’t be an issue 🙂

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36 Weeks

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Mommy Update: Holy cow only 4 weeks left!  Things are getting a little more real and ready.  Having a whole weekend with no plans allowed us to really get a lot done to be ready for Bug’s impending arrival.  I am really getting frustrated with needing to keep my feet up – and a super fun new prego side effect popped up this week – heartburn.  Luckily I only get it from super spicy things… like water.  Overall though I am still feeling really good and know I am really lucky in the side-effects-of-being-a-human-incubator department.  Some side effects that are really exciting (seriously… I’m actually not being sarcastic this time…) are more contractions.  Since I was born so late, I am really hoping that all of these little signs that things are getting ready to go mean that my little one won’t be as late as I was… and that is what I keep telling myself. over. and over.

Daddy Update: N’s coworkers threw him a surprise shower this week.  He was very excited and apparently, there was also cake.  He really works with a fantastic group of people and we can’t wait to bring Bug to the office to meet everyone! N was also really excited with each new thing that gets done around the house for Bug.  It seems like the to-do list is longer than the amount of time we have left, but if anyone can get things done I’m really hoping it’s us!

Baby Update: Bug is as big as a Honeydew Melon.  Not a lot more length – he’s as tall as he’s going to get at this point, but still adding weight.  While I still have quite the honey-do list, our little Honeydew is finishing up a lot of stuff this week and is really close to being able to breath on his own, gums are now rigid, liver and kidneys are good to go, and his circulation and immune systems are also done cooking.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To: I am missing Bug moving around as much as he used to – he’s just running out of room!  I’m looking forward to seeing what his personality is like.  I’m really starting to get curious….

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35 Weeks

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Mommy and Daddy Update: We are just so blown away with everyone’s generosity and well wishes from our shower this week.  A humongous shout out to Mom V and Mom S, Kait, and Krystal for planning an awesome day.  Also, to all those that helped – Megan,Danielle, Joanne, Vicki, Denise, and Jessica, and I hope I didn’t miss anyone – we truly appreciate it!  To those that celebrated with us in person or in spirit – thank you for the advice, fun, books, and artistic additions to Bug’s nursery!  I will post pictures in a separate post because everything was beautiful – even the weather!

Mommy Update: Work was, as expected, absolutely crazy this week.  I was on my feet and working longer days than I have been and probably should have slowed down, but I am one stubborn cookie.  Unfortunately I started to swell, and it doesn’t seem to ever completely go away any more.  oops.  But even though work was crazy N and I were able to make major progress on the nursery and it’s getting to the point where I might be able to post pictures soon.

Daddy Update: N put his handy skills to work this past week and put together the crib!  It is really starting to look like a nursery!

Baby Update:  Bug is as big as a coconut – 17 – 18 inches and 5 – 6 pounds, which leads me to an obvious question – where do these people buy their coconuts?!?  His hearing is completely done developing and can respond best to high pitched noises, which is different from earlier in his development.  Earlier on he responded more to lower pitches and we definitely noticed he would react to N talking more than me.  Bug will also not probably get much longer, but will add about another pound or so before he is born.

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