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

28 Weeks

1-Chloe 006Mommy Update: We finally registered for birth / baby care classes this past week.  I will officially be spending WAAAAY less time learning how to take care of the baby that I will be taking home from the hospital as a souvenir of this whole pregnancy thing than learning how to drive a car.  Good thing I spent all of those years babysitting – I’m sure it’s like riding a bike.  Or at least I hope it is.  I have officially recognized my first side effect of being pregnant.  According to the Googles I have rhinitis of pregnancy – basically my nose is stuffier than normal with no cold or allergies to blame it on.  So now, when people ask me how I’m feeling (after getting over their shock that I’m not due next month and that I am not having twins) I can honestly say I have a pretty stuffy nose.  Rough stuff.

Daddy Update: N has been working his bum off on yard work this week and has said he’d like for us to have the nursery done in two weeks.  I am super on board and can’t wait to check off that huge ‘to do’.  N has also been feeling bug move a lot more lately.  He’s pretty surprised by how much it has been, which is funny because I am definitely used to it by now and forget how noticeable the changes are when you’re not feeling it 24/7.

Baby Update: We had an ultrasound this week to make sure my mild case of placental previa cleared up.  It did, which wasn’t a surprise to anyone.  We by far got the best ultrasound pictures to date though, which was pretty cool.  Bug (as of mid last week) was weighing in at 2 lbs 14 oz and head and chest measurements were registering as 2 full weeks ahead of schedule.  The compare-your-fetus-to-food apps designate this week as eggplant week, which would be 1.5 – 2.2 lbs and 13.6 to 14.8 inches.  WAAAAY back at my first ultrasound they told us bug was 2 days ahead of schedule, so I guess everything just kept going.  My due date isn’t changing (still August 17th), because apparently figuring out due dates is most accurate at the beginning of pregnancy.  Bug was also “practice breathing” which is basically moving up and down the chest without actually breathing and this is a really good developmental sign.  In other developmental news, the brain is developing its folds and grooves (which sounds important, although I don’t know why) and muscle tone is continuing to improve (but I didn’t need an app to tell me that!)

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Missing Most/ Looking Forward To:  I miss being able to get outside and pull weeds.  I tried to do a few and I just don’t bend that way anymore.  I have been drinking Arnold Palmer’s this week, but it is not even a close substitute for a good beer.  Also I am looking forward to getting the nursery done and enjoying all of this wonderful weather!

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27 Weeks

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Mommy Update: Hooray!  2 trimesters down & 1 to go!  I had a fun day on Sunday with two friends going to get pedis – which is becoming rather necessary because I don’t think I could still paint my own toes.  I am still feeling really good and had my first Braxton Hicks contractions on Saturday.  They don’t hurt, but it was still a little weird.  This week was the week of dairy – Greek yogurt, milk, frozen yogurt – bug’s bones are going to be stronger than titanium!   Now that I am in the 3rd trimester I need to start eating an extra 450 calories a day – so that isn’t going to be a problem 🙂

Daddy Update: N had his first go at the yard.  We are really needing to do quite a bit this year because we lost some larger bushes due to hungry rabbits and the cold this past winter.  I actually like doing this kind of stuff, so it’s a little frustrating to not be able to help.  N’s mom is coming up next weekend though, and we couldn’t be more excited both to see her and get the extra help!!

Bug Update: Bug is roughly 2 pounds and 15 inches (cauliflower or rutabaga).  Bug pretty much looks like the finished product, just thinner and smaller.  We have another ultrasound this week so it will be exciting to see how things are progressing!  I am definitely getting bigger and if I lean forward at my desk when I am at work for too long Bug squirms to remind me that I am not giving the wee one enough space.  Right now brain development is focused on the forebrain, which deals with visual and auditory information.  The brain stem is pretty much done at this point (which controls vital functions like heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure) which is why babies born at this point can do so well.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To: I’m not really missing anything, just looking forward to August!

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26 Weeks

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Mommy Update: Wow has it been a busy few weeks!  I haven’t been able to take pictures for a few weeks because we have been doing a lot of work to get ready for bug!  We had the floors upstairs resurfaced.  Basically, the floors are buffed and then get a coat or two of poly.  All of the furniture needed to be moved downstairs for this to happen.  For those that were around when we moved in, you may remember we had to remove some drywall to get the box spring upstairs.  Not wanting to relive that fun, we moved the box spring to the bathroom and rearranged our couch to be a bed and put the mattress on top of the couch.  Chloe and I had an equally easy time launching ourselves into bed.  Once we had everything out of the room it seemed like a good time to repaint, woodwork and all.  Let’s be honest – if it didn’t get done now, it wouldn’t get done ever.  N and I are really happy with the results.  In Milwaukee there is one week a year when you can put out as much garbage as you want.  This synced up perfectly with our little clean out – so N’s college desk and my college Ikea bed are officially gone.  Bug’s room is totally empty and we have started the painting process, but probably won’t be able to finish for a few weeks because of other busy weekend plans, like going to my little sister’s graduation – which should be more fun than literally watching paint dry.

Needless to say, I still have a lot of energy.  It may be all the salads I’m eating.  In the past few weeks we have eaten out a lot and I have had Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion salad (twice), Applebee’s Strawberry & Avocado salad (odd dressing, could have used some other components), Potbelly’s Uptown Salad (chicken, grapes, apples, dried cranberries, candied walnutty perfection), Culver’s chicken salad (again, twice – with a side of a concrete mixer with brownie and cookie dough chunks because calcium is important for the growing baby) and, my personal favorite, Panera’s Fiji Apple Chicken Salad (with parm instead of Gorgonzola, which makes me a little sad – but alas – no soft cheeses) , which I have had more times than I can remember.  My belly is getting more and more in the way and when I sit on the floor it is always best if someone helps me up.  However, no braxton hicks contractions yet.

Daddy Update: Car is officially ordered.  We are getting a Subaru Forester sometime in June.  N is really excited, to say the very least.  He has also survived starting a baby registry.  At 3 stores.  N is also really glad we have the bedroom painted and is looking forward to finishing bug’s room.  He did an amazing job moving everything, since I was absolutely no help with all of the moving of furniture.  As if that wasn’t enough, he also made me waffles on my first almost-mother’s day.  And – since we still had the bed on the couch – technically it was breakfast in bed 🙂

Baby Update: Bug is the size of an eggplant or head of lettuce.  (i.e. 14″ and a little less than 2 lbs.)  2 pounds feels HUGE and not only can we feel bug’s punches and kicks, but now I can feel more subtle shifts in position.  I would like to take a moment to apologize to my mother for my large size at birth.  Bug’s eyes are done developing and will open soon.  When this happens we will be able to shine a flashlight on my belly and bug will respond, which is great news for N who really likes to poke the baby to mess with it.  Also, it is developmentally appropriate at this time for bug to be able to move in rhythm to music, but since it is N and my offspring, that is a long way off – if it ever happens.  Sorry kid, hopefully you will get our stunning senses of humor to make up for it.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To: I’m missing not smacking my belly into things.  I am looking forward to the next time I can eat a salad, and getting the nursery painted.  and a trip to yo mama’s (which i often forget the name of and instead refer to it as yo-yo ma’s).

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before floor/ after floor/ new bedroom color and bedding/ new bedroom color with floor and woodwork

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22 Weeks

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Mommy Update: Another great week!  I can definitely tell towards the end of the week that I am a little slower, especially if I have been on my feet or walking a lot.  I’m not achy or anything yet, just a little slower which isn’t my normal M.O.  My obsession with sparkling water continues.  We also went to Costco this past week and we loaded up on a ton of yummy snacks.  I have been eating a ton of dark chocolate covered berries, pea crisps, and cranberry juice, which apparently is is only sold by the keg.  Initially the idea was to get an SUV because we need to be able to take both the dog and the baby camping, but clearly it is also necessary for our future trips to Costco.

Daddy Update: The biggest news in N’s world is that he started a new job this past week!  If you asked him to explain it he would say that he is in the same group but has moved from support to development.  This means he will be focusing more on designing and “big picture” stuff in addition to creating new code.  He is really excited about the great opportunity.  When he goes into any more detail, all I hear is the teacher from Peanuts.

Baby Update: Bug is as big as a papaya.  In real people terms that means bug is a foot tall (?!?) and weighs between 13 and 21 oz, which means as of next week we will be in the pound or more territory!  Bug has nerve endings and thus a sense of touch.  Bug is supposed to be sleeping in 12 to 14 hour cycles.  I notice a lot of “awake” time between 9-11 AM and then again on and off from 4 – 7 and then a little more when I go to bed around 11.  Every time we have an ultrasound the nurses and techs say bug is really well behaved.  Bug is always in the right position and moves the right way when needed.  I feel like the letting-me-sleep-without-trying-to-kick-ones-way-out is further evidence of the well behaved status.  Let’s just hope this respectful and appropriate behavior continues until, oh, say, 2034.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To: We went out for tacos with N’s work peeps at this new place in Tosa (Bel Air).  The barbacoa  was divine and the fried avocado was, and I am not exaggerating, a  life-altering experience.  I lost count of how many pitchers of margaritas were consumed (ginger pineapple).   I miss those, but I’m also thinking that I’m going to miss going out with 10 other people on a Tuesday night just because.  I’m looking forward to many more “just because” dinners and figuring out how we are still going to make it work after August.

22 week chalk

21 Weeks

ImageMommy Update: I can’t believe we’re over halfway done!  I went shopping with my mom this Sunday and got the first few official things for baby, including a small swing and a diaper bag for N and another for myself, and a Baby Bjorn (which is a baby carrier situation).  I am also wearing more real maternity tops because I am getting a lot bigger.  Bug is moving a ton more, but it’s still in the “awww” stage, and not in the “oh my gosh I think I have a broken rib” stage.  I am craving fruit and sweets again.  We got a huge bag of Sour Patch Kids and I am working really hard on making them disappear.

Daddy Update: N felt Bug doing (what we can only assume were) somersaults one night this past week.  We also went car shopping and N test drove both the Nissan Rogue and the Honda CRV.  We still have the Subaru and the Mazda to try out next weekend before we make a decision.

Baby Update: Bug is now measured head to heel.  Depending on what your produce preferences are, that is either a carrot or a pomegranate.  In real terms, that is 10.5 inches and anywhere between 10.5 and 12.5 ounces.  Bug is also making blood using both the liver and the spleen.  The spleen will stop producing blood cells around week 30 whereas the liver will keep producing until a few weeks before birth.  I am thinking I didn’t pay enough attention in biology class.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To: I am really starting to waddle and be the slightest bit off balance.  I was never mistaken for a graceful swan, but now I am really approaching baby giraffe crossed with lumbering elephant and I have a looooong ways to go.  During these next 20 weeks I am looking forward to stretchy pants.  A-maz-ing.

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19 Weeks

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Mommy Update: So far so good!  Bug alternates between moving around a lot and not at all.  My belly is starting to get more in the way and I’m having a harder time carrying bigger things – thank goodness everyone at work and N have been awesome at helping when I need it.  I’m still trying to do as much as possible by myself though because doing nothing for the next 5 months is not going to do anyone any favors.  My belly button is starting to pop a little – so I know it’s not all in my head either 🙂  N and I are starting to zero in on some color combinations for bug’s room.  We wanted something fairly gender neutral, bright but not requiring sun glasses, and a little eclectic – not a nursery-in-a-box.  When I say “we” wanted these things, for the most part I do mean “we”, but I definitely attacked Pinterest with the fervor of either a military general or a first year interior-design student.  SOOOO anywho… here are the color palettes we are thinking of:

This is one option, but the first blue would be more teal.

Loving the teals and oranges, hating the browns – it is a baby’s room after all.

Loving everything, but the pink would be more of a coral or a melon.

Daddy Update: N got to feel the baby kick!  It was “cool to finally be able to feel that”.  He also bottled a dark IPA that smells heavenly and will be ready for consumption next week.  He’s going to try to have a new batch ready for the baby shower – not that any dates have been picked, but we do know there will be beer!  N is also really looking forward to all of the yard work that is up ahead this spring.  I usually do a lot of the “in the dirt” stuff like weeding, so we are going to have to figure out how I can still do something without digging in the ground or compost.  (For those who are new to the whole preggo thing or were preggo in ‘simpler times’ gardening is on the strict no-no list, right up there with tequila shots, heroin, and hot tubs)

Baby Update: All websites that compare fetuses to fruit agree – bug is the size of a mango this week.  That is, in non-fruit terms, six inches from bum to noggin and 7 – 8.5 ounces.  Bug is also working on developing the nerve cells in the brain that give the senses of taste, hearing, sight, and smell.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To:  I miss being able to carry a ton of stuff without thinking twice.  I’m looking forward to the next doctor’s appointment to see how everything is progressing.

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