What We've Been Eating | March

Ever since stopping at McDonalds on the way home from Tahoe, G has been obsessed with chicken nuggets. The most popular dinner of the month was when I talked up that I was making chicken nuggets. I think everyone was a bit disappointed when they found out they were quinoa chicken nuggets but luckily everyone ended up loving them :)

Pork chops with leeks in mustard sauce, recipe

The best homemade mac and cheese, recipe

Garlic basil chicken with pasta, recipe

Asparagus, Haloumi and Chickpea Salad with fish, recipe

One pot pepper jack chicken fajita soup, recipe

Vindaloo spiced lamb with couscous, recipe

Grain-free Thai coconut curry turkey meatballs, recipe

Corned beef, potatoes for St. Patrick's Day

Grilled leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic and mustard, recipe


Slow cooker sausage, spinach, white bean soup, recipe
Crisped salmon and lentils, recipe
Red wine-braised chicken with chorizo and chickpeas, recipe 
Quinoa chicken nuggets, recipe
Toasted barley risotto with spinach and herb puree, recipe
Grain-free Thai coconut curry turkey meatballs, recipe



Happy Easter!


The boys were so excited for the Easter bunny to visit and they certainly weren't disappointed. They actually slept in slightly later than normal on Sunday morning so we were ready when they wanted to come up and see what was left for them.


The biggest hits were these garbage cans (not specifically toys and one already broke, but hugely popular) and the books. They love these Ultimate books. Oh and the top hit was the See's chocolate bunny from Dedee. She told them that they had to bite off one ear, and then pour milk in to drink. They loved this and we were able to stretch the consumption of the bunny over two days.


We had a big baby pancake, fruit and bacon brunch before having our egg hunt.

  


  

We made it to 9am church before heading out to Danville to Elizabeth's parents house for another egg hunt and brunch. They love being with their cousins!



 

 

They took a short nap in the car and Dave entertained them all afternoon before we finished off with grilled leg of lamb, potatoes and asparagus. 

 

Once again, G ate more than an adult portion of lamb... It was a fun-filled, exhausting day. Holidays are so much fun at this age!

35 Months





Last post before their 3rd birthday! Okay, really I should start going to quarterly updates at least... They're still growing and changing so much each month, but not so much with the current topics of Eat/Sleep/Play/Talk. Now it's fun to just keep track of the new things they do, or really, what they're saying.

I'm so excited for them to turn 3. They totally seem like 3 year olds to me already and I feel like we have so much to look forward to in the next month and even in the coming months.

Highlights from the month:
  • Trip to Monterey - so glad we got to do this!
  • Trip to Tahoe - kinda a bust since everyone got sick, but still fun
EAT:
Nothing new though I am starting to reconsider our dessert plan. Currently they don't need to eat their dinner to have dessert (which is usually yogurt or a dried fig or something healthy anyway). But it drives me nuts when W sits down and says, 'I'll just wait for my fig'. It's so hard, I don't want food to be a power struggle. I do want them to have control over what, and how much, they eat, but I so wish they'd at least try what I make. Some nights are randomly hits, and others, even with something you think they'd like, like noodles, are complete misses. It's frustrating but I'm not really sure what changes to make at this point. Dinner is still the biggest challenge but they're still eating well at breakfast and lunch so I'm still not too worried.
  • W is totally into peanut butter-and-jam sandwiches. He eats only one bite out of his string cheese so I've stopped giving him that.
  • G seems to be over salami, at least for the moment (I can't believe it!)
  • Oatmeal is back and W is often eating 2 packets each morning.
  • Together they'd make a very well-balanced diet. For example, the other night W ate a whole bowl of couscous for dinner while G would only eat the lamb... and proceeded to have an adult-sized portion.  
  • We're having them dish out their dinner themselves with the option to add a little salt and that seems to help sometimes.


SLEEP:
Not much has changed here, but I think that's a good thing.
  • G has had trouble going to sleep a few nights (not crying, but calling in for us for another hug several times). He's also woken up here or there, though nothing major.
  • G has been clingy to me and lately has only wanted me to stand by his bed when he gets up.
  • (Thankfully!) G has been napping every day, though I don't want to jinx it!
  • The time change was so much easier this time around.
  • We still struggle with very grumpy wake ups from naps (and they're also pretty grumpy in the morning, but that's when they're waking up on their own). 


PLAY:
They continue to play really well together, but there are definitely times when they get frustrated, hit or run around in fury (George). We just try to be consistent about acknowledging that they're frustrated, reminding them to ask for a turn, tell the other that they don't like that or whatever. Always a work in progress at this age!
  • Loving playdough still, especially using their diggers with it, making 'garbage' for their trucks or food in their kitchen.
  • Garbage continues to be the biggest hit. They turn everything into garbage -- books, pillows, all their stuffed animal friends, etc. They gather everything up in a specific area (on the bed, under the dining room table, on the big chair in the living room). The other day they took out all the books, a bin of play food, bits of playdough AND two bins of legos and dumped them all on the chair. I'm totally fine with them doing this as long as they clean it up... easier said than done! They've done it twice now, once with Dad's help cleaning up and once more with me just sitting there. It took 20 minutes but they eventually got every piece put away. We talked about how fast it is to dump everything but how long it takes to clean it up, still giving them the option to do it again but I think they're a bit over it now (at least using all those lego pieces).
  • They love their stuffed friends and will pile all of them up in different areas, going on a bus ride, the airplane, garbage truck, etc. The dolls are hit or miss but do make an appearance here or there.
  • Picking up sticks on our walks is a new thing. They turn them into street sweepers, leaf blowers or similar.
  • Still tons of imaginary play. It's so fun to listen to their stories. They talk about going to the 'taqueria to get that strawberry drink' for example.
  • We read constantly, in the morning, before nap, when they wake up from nap and at bedtime. We have so many library books right now that we need to return and while they were into rocket ship books temporarily, W has been into the 'new baby' books I've picked up.


TALK:
Nothing specific here, but sometimes I just sit and listen to them and it amazes me what they're capable of communicating now. There still are (somewhat frequent) instances where they get really mad or frustrated and throw themselves on the ground or run around in a fury but we try to reel that in. Oh, and W has a habit of adding a 't' to the end of words like 'done', 'broken', etc. so we're working on that a bit. I think they can generally be understood by others, but they're definitely not super clear where people who aren't around kids much would totally understand them.

POTTY: G has improved in the past few weeks. He's had to wear 'thin' underwear and has done fine with it and in general, the almost daily accidents have stopped, though we still need to be on him to go. There are accidents, but they're more once or twice a week, if that, so I feel like we're making progress.

MOM:
  • It's been a somewhat stressful month. I can't believe we haven't had any luck with the nanny search. Well, we do have a college student helping us temporarily that's working out just fine, but I'm still searching for someone more experience with longterm availability. It's been nice to at least have some help with the boys and have her take over some of the household stuff Jessica used to do which has allowed me to rest a bit.
  • Despite that worry and the ongoing minor complications with the pregnancy, I've been really lucky and gotten some great girl time lately. Ashley, Megan and I did a spa day and lunch at the Ritz Half Moon Bay. It was so nice to have uninterrupted time to catch up and relax. I also did a Cocoon massage-mani-pedi deal with my friend Olivia last weekend.
  • I feel lucky to have done some of the fun things on my 'before the baby comes' list like dinner at Manresa in Los Gatos (a bit of a disaster of a day since it's a trek down there, but a great dinner nonetheless) and the Monterey trip.
  • I finished my last requirement for my Jr League committee. I'll still be active until the committee year ends in May, but I feel relieved that I've met my requirements just in case I'm unable to do more due to the pregnancy.
  • I actually spent a little time (one night I think) on W's 2-year old book but realized how close I am to finishing. All the input it done, now I just need to go back through and edit, add stickers and borders, etc. Would love to finish this one this month and I'd say that's a possibility.
  • I made a lot of progress on the birthday party for the boys. I did some shopping online and in stores and have just about all I need. I'm even starting to get all the printables, signs, etc. and hope to get that printed out and assembled by the end of the month so that's checked off the list.
Looking forward to...
  • Dinner at Al's Place this week (which was mentioned multiple times when top chefs in SF were asked about their most memorable meal in the city in 2015) and the annual birthday dinner for Dave at Spruce next week.
  • A trip away with Dave to celebrate his 40th birthday. I'm hesitant to even write this as I really don't know if Hawaii will be a possibility but that's currently the plan. We have flights booked on miles and haven't booked the hotel yet due to their strict cancellation and 2-night (steep) deposit, so I'm fully prepared to not be able to go. We'll find out a week from Friday from the doctor and make a plan then. Dave's mom will still be here all week to watch the boys with my mom so Dave and I will definitely get away somewhere -- Napa, Santa Barbara, maybe even Palm Springs, as I'd love somewhere that would really be warm. 
  • Easter this weekend. We haven't done much to prepare but will dye eggs this weekend and I've gotten a few things for their Easter baskets for Sunday.



To my boys... 

It's been an odd couple of weeks without Jessica here and while I was selling you guys as 'very verbal/generally good listeners' on my nanny search, you've been anything but with our temporary nannies. We've had Ha with us for several weeks and you've certainly given her a run for her money on numerous occasions. You're testing limits, not listening, acting crazy and have been impossible to get out of the house which certainly doesn't help the situation. Some days have been better than others but you're definitely playing off of each other. There's also been a bit more fighting this month and more frustrations in general (G loves to run and slap his hands against the wall) but there are still so many moments when I overhear you coming up with these different stories and games and having so much fun together. I'm hoping next month will bring a longterm nanny and a bit more consistency for you.
  • You love playing under the blanket with Dedee
  • Dad told me you came up with some game in the tub asking each other to squirt the others bums with the spray bottle.
  • You both love swinging now, but I require you attempt to pump your legs in order for me to keep pushing ;)
  • I can't believe that diggers are still as big of a hit with you guys at the park.
  • You were really into space ships so we got some books at the library and luckily I talked Dad out of buying them as even a few weeks later, you're totally over them.
  • You both always talk about, 'when I'm a daddy' to refer to when you're grown up and all the stuff you'll be able to do.
  • In the bathtub the other night, you were pretending to go to the Taqueria to get your favorite strawberry drink. That, along with chicken nuggets, is what you want to get on your birthday.
  • One afternoon, you were playing so nicely together, W was the mom and G was the dad. You were showing your stuffed animals how to use the potty, feeding them, etc.
  • They've both been more into helping me cook lately, especially W.

George. You've been a bit dramatic this month, plenty of moments of frustration but you also surprise me sometimes with how you're able to verbalize it. 'I'm mad because I want you to read another book'. Unfortunately it doesn't get you what you want most of the time because obviously there's a reason why I can't do what you're asking, but it's good you're able to say it anyway. I love how creative you are and how much fun you have with William.


  • You are such a meat eater. You ate adult portions of steak, pork chops, BBQ ribs and brisket, lamb and tons of bacon this month. Though you have thankfully slowed your salami consumption.
  • One day, you told Dad that it was a 'terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day' (because you didn't want to take a nap) 
  • I'm so proud of you, you've really turned it around with your accidents and your underwear are almost always dry now.
  • For a week or so straight, you only wanted me to get you up in the morning. This usually just required me standing next to your bed when you stood up and walked into the other room, but you were adamant nonetheless.
  • When one of the nanny candidates came over, Dad heard you guys giving her a full tour about all your stuff -- the monkey lock, the whistle Dad takes to the park, their old sign that says, 'Do not get out of bed'. He also heard you tell her that the front door was the 'box door'. You never go out that way and only see it as a place to open to get packages!
  • So both you and W are convinced that you're getting a sister. After hearing this so much, I started saying, 'I hope you're not bummed if it's a brother' so now you randomly tell me, 'I'll be bummed if it's a brother!'... we'll see!
  • On several occasions now, when we've walked into JCC and the man with the ponytail is working the front desk, you loudly say, 'He's kinda like a man-girla'... what you call men with long hair. You've also started embarrassing me when we're in small spaces, near (possibly) homeless people and you say, 'something's stinky!' really loud.
  • Dedee only read one book after last potty one night when she was watching you and you shook your finger at her and said, 'Dedee! You have to read TWO books after last potty!' Duh!
  • One morning after a lot of bickering between you and W, I said something to the effect of, 'I'm sick of all your fighting!'. So in the car shortly later, you proceeded to tell us that you were 'sick of listening to this song!' for any song that W chose.

William. I feel like we've spent so much time reading this past month, partly because you've either woken up a little early from your nap and that's the new routine to transition you, but also you're the first to bring books over to me throughout the day as well. I love that you've wanted to help me cook more and often rush in around 6:15 to stand on the tower and help me finish dinner. You still are the sweetest and when G is throwing a big tantrum over you choosing the digger he wanted, you'll eventually hand it over to him not the least bit bothered. I remind you that you don't need to give into him just because he's upset, but it doesn't seem to make any difference to you so besides these reminders here and there, I guess I just need to let it be.


  • You are so sneaky. You told Dedee right before your nap one day that you were still hungry, so she brought you your lunch you didn't eat and you were eating it so slowly and told her, 'I'm taking small bites', totally aware of what you were doing.
  • You are so funny when you recite Cat in the Hat. I'll say a line and then you'll be able to say the next (and we'll be in the car, or out, nowhere near the book).
  • You still love the nursery rhyme books and one day requested the story with 'Santa and the big boat' a.k.a. Noah's Ark :)
  • You have a hole in your garbage truck pajamas and when I pointed it out to you, you said, 'Papa will have to fix it'
  • You're still quite lazy and when it's time to clean up, you'll make yourself look busy with one thing when really you're not fooling anyone.
  • 'I don't want to see Chip, I like to eat chips!' (what you told Dad when he told you we'd be seeing his friend Chip that weekend).
  • One night you were being lazy about getting up to choose a book, so I said, 'You're so lazy, you don't want to choose??'  You answered sweetly, 'I'm not lazy, I just want to snuggle with you'. Aww, my bad.
  • You asked Dad if it's a crescent moon or a full moon when the astronauts go.
  • You guys were playing (barefoot) nicely outside but it was getting cold and Dedee said, if your toes are cold, you can come in and snuggle under the blanket for a show. She said she didn’t say it that loud but you were inside in no time flat saying, ‘my toes are freeeeeezing!!' 
  • After a stressful morning, I told you, 'You guys are driving me nuts!'. You said, 'you can't say that' and I said, 'say what?' and you said, 'cracking the nuts!'
  • 'This is gonna be the best day ever!' - overheard you saying at the beach after you found a piece of cardboard you were going to use to slide down the beach.

Next stop, 3 years old!




Weekend in Monterey





We love getting together with Chip and Julie and even though the drive to San Luis Obsipo isn't far, I still dread doing it with the boys. So I thought Monterey could be the perfect place to meet since it's just a 2-drive for each of us. I knew the kids would love the aquarium too.


We got over a week straight of rain so the weekend didn't look too promising but we lucked out when the rain cleared for the day on Saturday. Friday though, our plan was to head to our outdoor class, then come home for lunch, pack up the car and head down to Monterey, but it was raining so hard that class was canceled. I thought we'd take advantage of the opportunity and stop at the San Jose Discovery Museum since it's just far enough that we've avoided doing it thus far. The boys had a blast -- a full-size firetruck and ambulance were definitely the big hits.


Then we headed to a famous BBQ spot for lunch and had a feast of ribs, brisket, fries and cornbread.



We were hoping the full bellies and getting on the road would put the boys straight to sleep, but it took them basically 20 minutes outside of Monterey for them to finally crash. Though I despise driving aimlessly just to keep them asleep, and rarely do it, we thought it was the perfect chance to do the 17-mile drive around Pebble Beach. We didn't get to do the whole thing as G woke up, so decided to head to the house.

Chip and Julie arrived shortly after us. We just hung out that night and had awesome pizza from Gianni's. The next morning everyone was up and moving early so we headed to the famous Denis the Menace Park -- such an amazing playground with like 6 different structures. The boys loved it.




Just before 10 we headed over to the aquarium which was super busy, but we were still able to see and do everything we wanted to. The boys are at a great age where they're able to walk around and see and do everything on their own, of course with us sticking right by them. Two adults definitely necessary! We explored Cannery Row a bit before heading back to the house so everyone could take a nap.



That afternoon we hit up another park, Caledonia Park in Pacific Grove, that had a train and a big stone table with a built in track/mountains to drive cars on. The boys loved that and Dave looked into getting one in our backyard ;) We decided to stop at the beach before heading home and that was the highlight of the trip. It was cold, but the boys of course had to get their feet (and shoes) wet and dig in the sand. We checked out the tidepools on the edge of the beach before heading up and climbing some of the rocks on the cliff.


The rain returned Saturday night so while I had some fun ideas for Sunday morning before heading home, we decided to wake up and get on the road. I feel like I have so much on my 'list' for before the baby comes, but I'm really glad we got to do this weekend away. Oh and the boys had so much fun with Simone in particular, they adore her and even got to have a sleepover both nights. Her and William were especially buddy-buddy.



Baby No. 3: 6 Months Along


I am SO happy to have made it to this point! You think I wouldn't be as concerned with viability this time around but with a few complications over the past 2 weeks, I'm definitely still counting each week.

How far along? 24 weeks
Total weight gain: 14 lbs (I had hit my goal of gaining 25lbs by this point in the boys' pregnancy)
Maternity clothes?: I have some (stretchy) pants that still fit and can pull off some of my regular shirts, though probably not for long, there's definitely pulling around the belly. Oh, and I officially can't see my feet anymore.
Stretch marks: Nothing yet, have diligently been using oils and creams for a while now.
Feeling: Ongoing spotting has caused some stressed, but I've been reassured after ultrasounds show everything looks perfect. Dr. Katz thinks it's just from the cerclage, but would be nice for it to stop completely. Otherwise I feel pretty good. I've pulled back on exercise a bit just in case, still swimming though and am trying to take it easy in general and sit down whenever possible. I had some lower back aches last month after busy days but even that has stopped so hopefully taking it easy has paid off.
Sleep: Generally okay, but maybe one or twice a week, I'll wake up (either because of the boys or to go to the bathroom) and just can't go back to sleep. I've had the random night where I can't fall asleep, but mostly it's waking up super early (like 4am) and sometimes finally being able to fall back asleep. I don't really need naps anymore, but usually end up taking one on the weekend. Rarely am I exhausted at bedtime; usually I go to bed around 10:30 or so and wake up around 6:30 (unless it's one of those bad days I wake up earlier).
Movement: Feeling the little one move each day, mostly in the evening when I'm finally laying down for an extended period of time.
Best Moment of the Week: We had a great time in Monterey, especially a random stop at the beach with the boys.
Food cravings: I've been eating my fair share of sweets but still not sure it's a true craving. I have to have eggs for breakfast every day, they still taste so good!
Labor signs: Maybe once or twice a day, I feel a tightening in my stomach but the nurse told me this is how the uterus grows, by contracting a bit, so I don't think these are even contractions yet, and definitely not the dreaded 5 in one hour.
Belly button: It's been out for several weeks already.
Gender: Still feeling great about not finding out!
Looking forward to: I have another ultrasound on Thursday and it will have been over 2 weeks since the last one so I'm anxious to make sure everything is still looking good. After the appointment, I'll drive down to Manresa, a Michelin-starred restaurant Dave and I have been wanting to try in Los Gatos and we'll have an early dinner that night.


What We've Been Eating | February

Another month has flown by, but I got slightly better at remembering to take photos of the dinners. We also had multiple desserts this month with Valentine's Day, Superbowl and a farewell dinner for Jessica. It's definitely fun to try new desserts but not good to have them around the house!
Asian Salmon, recipe

Whole Grain Blueberry Breakfast Cake, recipe

Whole Grain Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Pioneer Woman's Chicken Tortilla Soup, recipe

Butter chicken and rice

Mrs. Mooney's Secret Gumbo, recipe

The 'I Want Chocolate' Cake, recipe

Miso Glazed Salmon with Lo-Mein, recipe

Poached Halibut in Thai coconut Curry Broth, recipe

White Bean Soup with Mini Lamb Meatballs, recipe





Superbowl recipes:






Trip to the 'Snow House'


I was so excited to take the boys to the snow for the first time and was so glad we actually got something on the books with my brother's family. We made it up to Tahoe in no time, including a stop at In 'n Out but were a bit disappointed to see how much of the snow that came in January had already melted. But, since skiing wasn't our primary purpose for the trip, we figured the snow was more than enough to play in.

Building Frosty!
My brother and his family didn't arrive until late Thursday night so it wasn't until Friday morning that we were all together. The boys loved waking up in the same room as their cousins (the upstairs rooms had 4 mattresses on the floor, which couldn't have been more perfect!) and we had a fun breakfast of homemade waffles. Then it was time to gear up and head outside. The kids played in the front yard for a bit before we headed to a little snow hill for some sledding. Everyone loved it! It was probably 60 degrees out so hardly needed our jackets and gloves, but in the shade it was cooler. William had mentioned that his stomach hurt several times but we didn't think much of it. He sat down to have a snack, then Dave was carrying him and next thing we knew, he threw up all Dave and himself. Though he seemed better immediately, we headed home and quickly put W to bed. This is probably noon. He slept for an hour until we put G down, luckily he went to sleep, but W woke up by 1pm... definitely not long enough for a nap and he continued to throw up several more times after testing small sips of water. By 5pm that night though, he was back to his normal self, eating a ton, running around, no signs that anything had happened. Though we all hoped it was a fluke, we were nervously awaiting when the next one would get sick. Luckily Jon and his family got out that afternoon... ours was kind of a bust since G was in a bad mood after his nap and we still weren't sure about W. The three healthy kids had a long fun bathtime in the big jet tub in the master, while the adults had a nice long dinner in peace. We got the kids down quickly and enjoyed catching up more.



The next morning I woke up not feeling great, though I hadn't been sick yet. I had a small breakfast but was definitely feeling off. There were no signs of anyone else being sick though so we got ready and headed to the big Tahoe Donner tubing hill across the street. I just sat and watched everyone, it was warm enough to strip off our jackets. Everyone loved the tubing hill, though I'm not sure Dave loved dragging the tubes back up the hill.



I wasn't feeling much better but we decided to drive over to Donner Lake, but realized the road was closed due to snow, so headed downtown to the tiny train museum we had promised G we'd visit. There was only one (occupied) chair inside the little train car so I said I'd wait outside at the train station and I'm glad I did. I didn't make it very long before I got sick and by the time I went to tell Dave, he wasn't feeling well either. Thankfully he got the kids home and down for nap while I got sick once more and slept a while. Then he was pretty sick the rest of the afternoon. The boys took a good nap, we put a movie on for them and rested more in bed before my brother's family made it back and Liz and Jon took over watching the kids for the evening, dinner, bathtime and bedtime. Poor Tenzing got it pretty bad Saturday afternoon as well and was still sick Monday morning. Crusoe got sick about midnight but was better by the morning. By 8am Sunday, Jon and Liz weren't feeling great, but hadn't actually gotten sick. We were all nervous about making the drive without anyone getting sick so we packed up and were out the door by 9am.



The first half of the drive home was great -- the boys were making up tons of songs and games, but then it shifted and W especially got cranky. We finally stopped for lunch at McDonalds just over the Golden Gate Bridge and that made all the difference. I don't think the boys had ever been there, but G had about 7 chicken nuggets and W was a fan of the all-day breakfast pancakes. We got them both down for a nap when we got home and Dave was amazing... he did all the packing up in Tahoe and all the unpacking. I know he wasn't feeling 100 percent either, but he was in better shape than me. I definitely felt a bit run down and tired.

So while it wasn't exactly the weekend we'd hoped for and in the end, everyone except G got sick (!), it was still fun to spend time with the cousins and luckily they loved the snow. We had considered putting them on skis but it seemed that all the lessons started at 3 years old, or sometimes even 4, so we felt it probably wasn't worth it this time around. Dave was hoping to snowboard Saturday afternoon but then he got sick. Kind of a bust but as my mom said, it's almost a parental rite of passage to take a trip where everyone gets sick. Hopefully we can check that off the list and we won't have to deal with it again for a long time! Just today W asked to go back to the 'snow house' so I'm just glad they have fond memories :)