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.


Sweet and Sour Meatloaf


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.

Spagetti Squash and Meat Sauce


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


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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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


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!


38 Weeks


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.


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…


34 Weeks



Mommy Update: Only 6 weeks left!  Yikes and yeah all at the same time!  The nursery is moving towards more complete and after shopping with my mom on Thursday, I even found fabric that will help finish off the space.  We also picked up the dresser, ordered a rug, and N found this awesome grey map decal for some wall decor.  I think the pieces are starting to (finally!) come together!  I am continuing to slow down and owe a huge shout out to N and everyone else who is making helping me out with this one.  I’ve definitely been having more contractions and Bug is still in the right (head down) position.  Bug is also slowing down because he is out of real estate!  Bug is also starting to drop.  None of these things mean I’m going to go early – everything is still totally on schedule.  Really, the biggest immediate impact of all of this is that I have lost my bowl shelf of a belly.  I got really spoiled not having to hold snacks and I wasn’t ready to let that go, but my Baby Bump shirt from N’s Aunt finally fits with my new shape!  A little kid asked me if I was having a baby and I said no, I ate a watermelon seed.  The kid looked like she knew I was playing with her, so I laughed and said yes – I was having a baby 🙂 Gotta love little kids.  I sure hope ours is born with a sense of sarcasm – otherwise N and I won’t really know what to do or how to communicate…

Daddy Update: N is excited that the dresser is here (with the added bonus that the extra miles on the car means he can now use cruise control because the car has over 600 miles).   He also finished peeling up the tape on the floor, put in new electrical sockets and a new light fixture, and spray painted the base coat for one of the shelves.  He managed to do all of this and only electrocuted himself once.  He twitches every so often, but is otherwise fine.

Baby Update: Bug can officially recognize music at this point.  Apps have suggested that if we haven’t started singing in my belly’s general direction that we should do so immediately.  N pointed out, however, that lullabies are supposed to be soothing, not scary – so for now we are going to pass.  One more thing Bug should be eternally grateful to us for.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To:  Just trying to enjoy everything as it happens… but I’m missing a whole night’s sleep.  People say sleep now because once the baby comes…. I would love to take that advice, but it just isn’t going to happen…  I’m looking forward to a crazy week at work (first week of camp, big grant coming due, and some new interns start this week, big Irish Fest meeting), a crazy week seeing friends (dinner with a friend, dinner with N’s work peeps, and a Brewer’s game), and a baby shower!


31 Weeks


Happy Father’s Day!

Mommy Update: We are so excited to share that we are having a boy!  I had been thinking boy since January because if I ever do have a girl there is no way she would be this easy of a pregnancy.  This past week we had another birthing class and I had a doctor appointment.  Everything is still looking really good, but I am definitely starting to need to slow down – not that I am – I just probably should.  We made some major progress painting the nursery this week and hope to have it finished next week if we have the time.

Daddy Update: N is really excited to have a boy and mentioned it’s probably a good thing a Dick’s Sporting Goods just opened so close to our house.  So there’s a stock tip if you need one 🙂

Baby Update: At my appointment Bug is still registering as big, but waaaay less big then 2 weeks ago.  He is as big as a pineapple, weighing in at 3 – 4 pounds and 15 – 17 inches long.  All five senses are in working order.

Missing Most/ Looking Forward To: I am missing sleeping through the nights – but hey – it shouldn’t be that long until I can make it through the night again, right?  Looking forward to my first shower this next weekend with all my teaching friends – so excited to see everyone!

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