Sunday, March 25, 2012

Harry Loves Being Sick

Who is this happy when they're wheezing and have a stuffy nose?


My kid, apparently! I on the other hand, woke up with a terrible sore throat and needed an extra two hour nap this afternoon to start feeling somewhat like myself again. Harry took a nap in his crib this morning with one of his best friends.


We gave him his Sophie Giraffe as he was trying to fall asleep since he was being a bit fussy and this is how she ended up, we didn't stage this at all!

I'm gonna hop in the shower here in a bit, too. There's just something about taking a shower when I'm sick that always makes me feel 10 times better!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Six Years

Hello from the Z infirmary! Harry and I are still sick. He's taking it very well though, just sleeping a lot. I on the other hand, am whining like a little baby because that's way more fun than sleep. I am feeling better this afternoon so hopefully that means that I'm on the mend and the worst of it is over.

Yesterday was our six year dating anniversary. We started dating at the beginning of March during our junior year of college and made it Facebook official right before spring break.


Aren't these roses gorgeous? I love the little flowers too, much prettier than baby's breath! He got them from Roselle Flowers, which is a great local flower shop Ant's used many times. And lucky for him, they also served as a get well present, ha! And did you guys notice how "Harry" miswrote one of the R's in his name? Ant thought that was pretty clever.... mmmmkay.

I revamped the My Pregnancy page yesterday. It was something fun to do while I was sick. Be sure to check it out!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mrs. Typhoid Mary

So I'm sick. Gross. It started yesterday morning with a sore throat. By six o'clock last night I was feeling really achy, and the last thing I wanted to do was cook. Soooo, we got McDonald's. FAIL. OH WELL. I don't even want to tell you about the exorbitant amount of ice cream I had for dessert. BUT YOU GUYSSSS, IT MADE MY THROAT FEEL BETTER. Clearly I'm delusional at this point. And wearing a surgical mask. Around eleven last night I started to feel stuffed up. Great...

But at least this time I can take drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. Last time I was sick I was seven weeks pregnant. I hadn't been to the doctor yet and didn't feel comfortable taking anything but Tylenol, which doesn't help at all. Drinking Coca Cola helped way more with the headaches because of the caffeine. Even with the drugs I might be out of the blogosphere for a few days. Oh, and today is Flashback Friday. FAIL PART DEUX.

Harry is kinda sick right now, too. Which sucks so hard because I can't pump his body full of drugs like I can mine. I feel so bad for the kiddo, but it didn't really seem to bother him until bedtime last night. We'll see how he holds up today.

But here is Harry wearing the cutest outfit yesterday.


Adorable, right? Ant actually picked this one out at Target last month. It's by Carter's. The romper is still kind of big on Harry so he'll be able to wear it for a while.

And now I'm gonna curl up on the couch all day and watch Parks and Rec on Netflix :).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Garlic Chicken Stuffed Shells

Okay, I am going to try my hand at recipe writing today! I've been wanting to do this for a while, and am finally going to take the plunge.

This isn't a completely original recipe, it is adapted from the Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups recipe from iVillage. I found rolling the lasagna noodles to be tricky and time consuming, so I thought of using pasta shells instead.

Garlic Chicken Stuffed Shells
Serves 2-3

 

Ingredients 
- 12 jumbo pasta shells, cooked
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
- 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup low fat crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup low fat Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. freeze-dried garlic (I use Litehouse brand, found in the produce section at Super Target)
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- Splash of water
- Jar of pasta sauce

Directions
- Preheat oven to 350  degrees.
- Combine chicken, cheeses, garlic, oregano and black pepper in bowl. Add a splash of water to thin filling.
- Coat the bottom of a large glass baking dish with pasta sauce.
- Stuff cooked shells with chicken mixture and place in baking dish.
- Top with more pasta sauce.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Serve with additional pasta sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!



Sweet Mandy B's

Where was this baby two nights ago?

Harry's cute tiger onesie is from Old Navy, but we picked it up at Once Upon A Child

It was so nice to have my happy baby back last night! He was a little fussy right before I put him to bed but fell asleep pretty fast. Poor Harry has been congested since yesterday, too, which majorly sucks. I used my NoseFrida (don't judge, it works great!) to help him out a bit, but can't get everything. Cross your fingers his stuffy nose gets better soon!

Kiddo also woke up at 7:30 this morning. Totally out of character for him, he always sleeps until at least 8:30. So that was... fun?? It's definitely a two-cup o' joe kinda morning!

Sweet Mandy B's
With the rough night we had on Tuesday, Ant thought we were due for a treat yesterday. Bring on the Sweet Mandy B's!

Clockwise from top left: red velvet, banana chocolate chip, Snickerdoodle and yellow w/ chocolate frosting

I'd never heard of this bakery before, but I'm glad Ant found it! I had the red velvet (obvi) and the Snickerdoodle. Both were delish, but the Snickerdoodle was outta this world amazing! Ant thought there was a bit too much frosting on his, while I thought the ratio of cake to frosting was just right. Which is weird because I don't like a lot of frosting on my cuppycakes, whereas Ant usually does.

I'd have to say Sweet Mandy B's is one of my favorite Chicago bakeries. Sprinkles' red velvet is my all time favorite, but Sweet Mandy B's definitely gave the famous cupcakery a run for its money!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DIY Save The Dates

I mentioned a while back that I was working on some Save the Date cards for a friend of mine from college. I wanted to wait until she sent them out to post a picture, and here they are!

Love the color scheme they picked out!

I think they turned out awesome, if I do say so myself ;). I used my Cricut and the Calligraphy Collection cartridge to cut out the banners and numbers. That cartridge is so versatile, probably one of the ones I've used the most! The thread is just cream embroidery floss and I used pop dots to adhere them to the card.

I really prefer Save the Date cards that don't have pictures on them. Everyone you're inviting already knows what you look like! One picture can look nice, but more than that is definitely overkill, in my opinion anyways.

Thanks for thinking of me for your Save the Dates, Amy and Shannon!

The Most Stressful Night Ever

Oh.Em.Gee. Last night was awful. Sometimes Harry will get fussy in the evenings but that's nothing compared to what we experienced last night. He was a little fussy all afternoon but all hell broke loose around six o'clock.

Poor baby was just screaming his head off. He's screamed before, but never like that. It was so pitiful! At one point I started crying a little, too. I tried everything I could think of to calm him down. Three different kinds of formula, Tylenol, gas drops, gripe water and then I put him my infant carrier and finally got him to nap for about 15 minutes.


At some point we managed to get him to drink four ounces of premixed Similac, but that's all he ate all night. Around ten o'clock we decided to call our pediatrician. We were out of ideas and Harry was still screaming his head off. The nurse on-call ran through a list of symptoms like swollen thighs, hard distended belly and elevated temperature. Everything was normal so she suggested I get in the bath with him. Best.Advice.Ever.

We hopped in the bath and he calmed down right away. He's always loved baths so I'm not surprised. We keep to a pretty strict bath schedule so I didn't even think to give him one since he's not due for one until tonight. Harry and I stayed in the bath for over an hour; our fingers were really pruney when we got out!

He ended dozing off in the tub and thankfully getting him to his crib wasn't too big of a deal. He was sound asleep 15 minutes after I put him to bed and slept through the night like nothing was wrong. He woke up at his normal time this morning, a little after nine o'clock.

I will say, if that is what colic is like, we've been spoiled. I think I was a colicky baby, and I don't think I could handle Harry screaming for hours and hours every day. I'm thinking he might be in the early stages of teething or that he just had a bad reaction to the shots from the other day, like maybe he had a headache or something. Or, with Ant being sick the past couple days (he did go to work today, though), Harry could be coming down with something.

Okay, time to clean the condo. I majorly slacked off over the weekend and with everything going on last night I didn't get anything done. We also threw our dinner plans out the window and just got Panera last night. Normally I'd be mad since we'd been doing so well, but there was no way I could have cooked anything last night!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ll


See my entire 52 ABCs series here!

Look at what others posted this week on Facebook

4 Month Check Up

Yesterday was Harry's 4.5 month doctor's visit. Ant didn't end up going with us.  A+'s all around! He weighs exactly 15 pounds (50th percentile), is 26.25 inches tall (90th percentile) and his head circumference is in the 50th percentile (they didn't tell me the exact measurements). We also had to endure a round of vaccines. Another oral medication and two shots. My little trooper only cried for about 10 seconds after each shot! I did end up giving him two doses of Tylenol yesterday instead of just one because he seemed extra fussy around dinner time.


He was feelin' fine right after we got home from the doctor's and ended up rolling over three times in a row! By the fourth time he had worn himself out so he wasn't able to get all the way over.



Poor Antie-poo is still feeling really sick and called in to work again today. Hopefully he starts feeling better soon! I know he misses being able to interact with Harry.

I have quite a few post ideas for this week, so be sure to check back often, should be a fun time!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mr. Typhoid Mary

This might be a little over board, but look what I've been making Ant wear for the past 24 hours.


Haha! Whatever we can do to make sure Harry doesn't get sick. Ant ended up calling in sick from work today, his first time ever. I'm glad he took the day off so he can rest. With his funky schedule he doesn't get nearly enough sleep, which never helps in recovering from an illness.

We have Harry's four month pediatrician's visit later this morning, I'm not sure if Ant's coming or not. My bets for this month are that Harry will weigh right around 15 pounds and be 26 inches long. I'm sure he'll be getting a shot or two as well.

Before we head out, I have to share the most amazing ice cream!


Ben & Jerry's new Peanut Butter World! It is exclusive to Target and is so worth a trip to the store just for the ice cream! I picked it up on Friday while grocery shopping but didn't try it until last night. Holy moly. That shiz is ahhh-mazing! And I'm not usually a fan of chocolate ice cream. The swirls are what really make it so delish, they have such a unique, crunchy texture! It took a lot of will power to not eat more than I did :).

Alright, gotta run!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Meal Planning

Dinner at our house used to look a lot like this.

Me: "What do you want for dinner?"
Ant: "Ohhh I don't know, maybe spaghetti?"
Me: "Okay, but we don't have any sauce. Can you go get some while I start the pasta?'
Ant "Uggh, if I have to go out I might as well pick up Qdoba instead."

We're not always prepared for dinner. Which is one of the reasons we were eating out so much at the beginning of the year. We did well with limiting ourselves to once a week for a while, but slowly we were getting back to our old habits.

About a month ago I Pinned this meal planner I found and got to work on my own.

Pin It

It's completely different from the one I saw originally, but the idea is the same. I thought to use a chalkboard (the same one from our DIY maternity photo shoot) so I don't have to make little tags every time I come up with a new entree.

For our meal planning board I just painted the chalkboard blue, varnished it and then added flowers and metal jewelry findings I had in my craft supplies. I adhered the ribbon with my glue gun and hung it on a 3M hook. A super easy and useful craft!

We've had the meal planner up for about three weeks now and we've stuck to it. It has also really helped with our grocery shopping so we get enough food for the week and don't have to go out.

And speaking of spaghetti, look what was on the meal planner for last night, before I updated it with this week's meals.


Last night was the first time I roasted cauliflower. I've only made it once before, and that time I steamed it. Before putting the cauliflower in the oven I tossed it in a bowl with a few spritzes of PAM Olive Oil (love that stuff!), garlic, oregano black pepper and Parmesan cheese. I put it in the oven at 450° for 15 minutes and then turned the broiler on for another couple minutes. Yum!

And just for fun I want to share a picture that I didn't know was on my camera until I uploaded the other two pictures in this post.


Ant does this to me all the time. He takes pictures with my camera and doesn't tell me. I like getting these little surprises on my camera! He had to have taken this picture right after his morning bottle since I slept through it yesterday. Cute :).

With Harry drinking six bottles a day Ant will usually feed him one or two, which helps me a lot. But, Ant is sick right now so I'll be doing all the feedings for the next couple days. With minimizing their contact hopefully Harry won't get sick. I hope I don't either! I felt a little sick last week but it didn't turn in to anything, thank goodness.

Oh, and I just wanted to make note (mainly for my records) that I switched out all Harry's three month clothes yesterday, ahhh! The six month onesies and pants are still a little big on him, but we've got so much stuff in that size I want to make sure he wears it all before outgrowing it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Don't forget to wear green today!

Rolling Over

Yesterday we took Harry out on three different outings. First to Target for some grocery shopping, then to Hobby Lobby to pick up a fleur de lis wall hanging I saw a couple weeks back and then to Japan 77 for dinner. There was a Groupon for the restaurant yesterday and since we hadn't been since I was pregnant we thought it'd be nice to go back.

We always have to take pictures before going out somewhere :)

I love polo onesies on little boys! This one is by Carters.

A funny thing that happened at dinner. I ordered my Shirley Temple as I always do at the restaurant. The waitress didn't have any idea what I was talking about, so I said, "a Shirley Temple. They'll make it at the bar. It's Sprite and cherry." Sigh, I ended up with a Sprite and some maraschino cherries. I suppose it's partly my fault since I should have said Sprite and grenadine, but whatevs.

And guess who rolled over for the first second time yesterday! He rolled over once when he was about six weeks old but hasn't done it since. While we were watching the horrible end to the Mizzou basketball game yesterday I put Harry on his tummy. By the time I stood up he was on his back! He was just so nonchalant about it.

We were so excited that he did it and of course put him back on his tummy to see if he'd do it again. No such luck unfortunately. He was trying to do it again but couldn't quite figure it out. I really hope this wasn't another fluke, but we shall see.

We also got a couple really cute, little giggles out of him last night as I was putting him in his jammies. I can't wait until he gives us a full on belly laugh! A lot of the mom's in the online group I'm a part of and some of my YouTube friends have posted videos about their babies laughing, and they're all younger than Harry. I know I shouldn't compare him to other babies, but it's hard not to.

Anyways, Happy St. Pats! We did a fun little photo shoot the other day and I'll post those pictures on the blog in a bit.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Harry's Birth Story (LONG!!)

So here we are, four months postpartum and I never posted my birth story. To me, it was such a personal experience that I wasn't sure if I wanted to share it. I had it completely written except for one or two paragraphs by the time Harry was a month and a half old. It was about two pages long. I thought I saved it. In fact, I'm still fairly positive I did. However, I can't find it anywhere on my computer. I've spent a lot of time searching for it. I'm afraid it's gone. I'm devastated. I was really proud of how it turned out.

Fortunately I still have the notes that Ant kept while we were in the hospital. I decided I will share Harry's story on my blog so I don't risk losing it again. So here's version 2.0 of how my amazing son entered the world.

On Sunday, November 6, 2011 I took my blood pressure and it was crazy high.


After that reading I called my OB's on-call service and spoke with one of the doctors, who told me just to wait it out until my appointment the next morning. That night I kept saying 11-7-11 over and over, I was sure that would be Harry's birthday.

The next morning as Ant and I were getting ready for our 36 week appointment I got our hospital bags ready. They were mostly packed, but I got some last minute items together just in case we'd have to run back home to get them. In hindsight we probably should have brought them with us, but our doctor's office and hospital are just 10 minutes from our house.

As we walked to the doctor's that morning Ant commented that I was "waddling more than usual." I don't remember what my blood pressure was at the appointment, but it was bad enough as to where both doctors who were working came in and talked with us. After they talked to each other it was decided we needed to get Harry out that day. Even though I had an inkling they would say that, it was still a shock to hear that my baby was going to be a preemie.

Since I was still four weeks out from my due date my doctor told me I'd probably have to have a c-section because the stress of inducing me without being dilated at all would be too much for me and the baby. But, she thought she'd check me just in case. Much to everyone's surprise, I was already five centimeters dilated! That my friends, is active labor. No wonder I was waddling more that morning! The doctor stripped my membranes, which really kick started my contractions.

I have a really high pain tolerance and just thought the contractions I had been having were Braxton Hicks, not real ones! I asked the doctor if we could go home to get our bags and she said Ant could, but I was making my third, and final trip to labor & delivery.

So at 11:00am one of the nurses walked us down and we immediately got put in a labor room. Everyone down there was very impressed that I was five centimeters already. I was immediately hooked up to an IV and my blood was drawn. No one has ever had troubles giving me an IV before, but the nurse blew a vein in my right arm (my preferred IV arm since I'm left handed) and left me with a bruise the size of a DVD.

Around noon my doctor came in started me on a magnesium sulfate drip. The mag was to prevent me from having a seizure since they weren't sure if I had pre-e or not. It made me a little sleepy, but I didn't experience most of the nasty side effects I was warned about.

Because I had to be on the mag sulfate, I wouldn't be allowed to leave my bed for 24 hours after giving birth. So, I had to have a catheter put in. Ouch! One of the nurses started prepping me for it when my doctor asked if I was planning on getting an epidural.

I had always planned on getting an epidural, but at that point I really didn't need one. I was working through the contractions with no problems and one of the nurses even asked me if I knew I was having a contraction when a rather large one showed up on the monitor. I told her it was no big deal.

Inserting the catheter was a different story. I opted to get the epidural just so I wouldn't feel the catheter go in. BIG MISTAKE. HUGE. My epidural didn't work for the first few hours. It actually made my pain 100 times worse! My legs and abdomen were numb but I felt the catheter go in, and holy moly was that painful! And every contraction from there on out was excruciatingly painful in my cervix area. I could no longer talk through them like nothing was wrong. The contractions I experienced after getting my epidural were the most painful moments of my life, no question.

The anesthesiologist had to come back twice to fix my epidural. He ended up giving me enough medication for a c-section! I was finally pain free by 3:30p.m.

Backing up a little... by 1:00p.m. my contractions were four minutes apart and my doctor broke my water at 2:15p.m. Soon after my contractions sped up to three and a half minutes apart and I was started on pitocin around 2:30p.m.

The last picture of me pregnant!

Even though I was progressing at a good rate, I was put on pitocin to take the stress off my body and the baby. I think it's just protocol at my hospital to put all mag sulfate patients on pitocin, since the anti-seizure meds can slow the whole process down.

Around 4:15p.m. I had to be put on oxygen because baby's heart rate dropped during each contraction. And at 5:30p.m. a new doctor, whom I'd never met, came in to check my progress. I was sad my doctor was no longer on call and would not be delivering my baby, but this new doctor was really nice and I trusted him right away. He checked me and I was eight centimeters and 90% effaced.

At 6:30p.m. my pitocin was increased and my contractions were coming every three minutes. Sometime around 7:30p.m. my nurse, Chrissy, turned off my epidural. QUE FREAK OUT! I'd read enough birth stories to know that turning off the epidural meant that pushing was the next step. No way was I ready to do that! I think I might have started crying a little at that point and I was definitely having a minor panic attack. I hadn't planned on feeling the birth of my son and I was scared that I was going to.

Around 7:45p.m. I started doing some practice pushes as my room was prepped for delivery. Since I was delivering pre-term with pre-eclamptic/PIH symptoms, there was a large NICU team ready and waiting for Harry's arrival. The doctor arrived not long after and it was officially go-time! My memory's a  little hazy at this point, and Ant didn't write anything down since he was coaching me, but let's see what I can remember.

My epidural didn't completely wear off so all I felt was some mild pressure during the contractions to alert me when to push. My contractions were right on top of each other so I didn't have much time to rest in between them. When he started to crown Ant looked down and told me he had a full head of hair!

During one of my short breaks in between contractions Harry slid out. Yep! Little bugger caught everyone off guard and the doctor didn't catch him, he just landed on the bed. Harry was 5 pounds 11 ounces, 19 inches long and he was born at 8:12p.m., less than a half hour after I started pushing.

As soon as he was born I started sobbing and was so out of it I thought it took the doctor five minutes to lay him on my chest, but Ant told me they did it right away. I only had him in my arms for a minute or so before Ant cut the cord and he was evaluated by the NICU team.

15 minutes after he was born, I delivered my placenta and then the doctor stitched me up. Even with Harry being so small I managed to get a second degree tear. A medical student assisted with my delivery and got a very hands on lesson on stitches! 

My family came to the hospital about an hour after he was born but weren't allowed to stay long since the nurses were still taking care of Harry. Just after they left he was given his first bottle and bath.


We were finally able to spend some time as a family of three around 10:30p.m. A half hour later Harry was taken to the nursery because I wasn't allowed to be alone with the baby while on the mag sulfate and Ant wanted go home to sleep. I know. I was livid that he left.

So there I was all alone in my hospital room just hours after giving birth. Not something I'd ever wish on anybody, I felt so empty. A little after 2:00a.m. I begged the nurse to bring me my baby. I had called Ant at that point and he had agreed to come back to the hospital. Since I didn't react to the mag sulfate like most patients the nurse agreed to bring Harry. We had about 20 minutes of snuggle time before Ant returned. Probably the best 20 minutes ever.

Our first picture together

Even though Ant was there, Harry wasn't allowed to spend the night with us because they needed to monitor him closely in the nursery.

So, that's basically it! The story of how Harry was born. After all these months and just a crappy list of notes I'm surprised how much I remembered!

He was transferred to the NICU the morning after he was born and immediately had to get an IV put in his arm to help regulate his blood sugars.


I wasn't allowed to see him again until 9:00p.m. that night because I was tied to the bed with a mag drip. Such a loooong, lonely day without my baby!

With Harry staying in the NICU he was not allowed to stay with us in the postpartum room, something I had a really hard time with. I knew it was for the best, but I just wanted to be like one of the "normal moms" and have him with is.

Because I was on the mag drip our insurance approved an extra night's stay at the hospital, which we gladly accepted. We were discharged on Thursday afternoon and Harry moved in with us Sunday evening, when he was six days old.

And now here we are, four months later.

4 months, 1 week and 1 day old

If you read this whole thing, thank you! I know it was long, but I wanted to write the story for myself so I can always remember it.

I LOVE YOU, HARRY DESMOND!

ETA: I found the first birth story I wrote right after I finished this one. Typical, right? It was saved in a temporary folder, weird. I didn't leave anything out in the version you just read so I'm going to leave it as is.

Kelly Clarkson Concerts


Since posting Saturday's Kelly Clarkson concert pictures I knew what I wanted to do for Flashback Friday this week, more Kelly! As I mentioned in that post I've seen Miss Independent in concert twice before.


This was from her 2005 concert in Kansas City at the Midland Theater. My sorority sister Jen and I went to the concert together. The concert was right around the time her Breakaway album came out, so she was HUGE at the time. What a fun memory, despite the photo being kinda crappy.


The second time I saw Kelly was at the 2009 B96 Summer Bash. Which for those not familiar, is a concert festival put on by a local radio station. Flo Rida, Akon, LMFAO and the Black Eyed Peas also performed at the concert, which I attended with my friend Kristle. Ant used to work for the company that owns B96 so he was able to get us free tickets. Our seats kinda sucked as you can tell, you can just barely see Kelly to the left of the Summer Bash banner. The concert was still a lot of fun though!

See all my Flashback Friday posts here!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Is Springing

And guess who's happy about it?


Little man has loved spending some time outside the past couple days. Along with walks around the block, yesterday afternoon I took him out on the lawn around our condo building for about 10 minutes. He really enjoyed looking at all the trees we have. And look what we spotted!


The teeny tiniest little leaf buds on the bushes right outside our windows. YAY! Last year I didn't notice the leaves until the middle of April. With this winter having been so mild it's no surprise the leaves are coming in earlier.

Oh, and my doctor was actually okay with my blood pressure readings yesterday so I'm not changing my medication right now. My next appointment will be in about three months. I also had my doctor check on a little cyst I noticed last week in my mouth. She said it should go away on it's own, but if it starts to bother me they will refer me to a surgeon.

Soooo ya, nothing else major to report. Except I am excited for tonight's episode of American Idol. Someone made a boo boo and I can't wait to see the drama unfold, all in the name of Nielsen ratings.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jj + Kk

I had a really hard time coming up with something for J, which is why it's a week late.



See my entire 52 ABCs series here!

Look at what others posted this week on Facebook.

Chicken In A Bag

Before I get to dinner, I have to share a couple pictures I took of Harry on Sunday.


I was organizing his clothes and I found the hat he was given in the hospital. Awwwwwww. All of his three month sleepers are put away now and I brought out the rest of his six month ones for him to wear. He still fits just fine in three month onesies and pants though, so strange!

Okay, on to last night's dinner. The other week I picked up a a Knorr Roasters seasoning blend to try.


Preparing the chicken was really easy. The mix is meant for five chicken breasts, but I only made two and used about three quarters of the seasoning.


That was way too much seasoning for just two breasts. Next time I'll do about half. The flavor was nice though, just a bit strong for my taste. I also used a new kind of chicken. We've always used Tyson, but last time Ant went to the store he bought Purdue individually wrapped breasts. The quality was excellent, so I think we'll be buying those from now on!

Gotta run, I've got another blood pressure check at my doctor's this morning. Since my last appointment she increased the dosage of my medicine (I went from half a pill a day to a full pill), but I don't think it's really helped. I have a feeling she'll change it up on me again, either to two pills a day or maybe an entirely different medication. We shall see!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kelly Clarkson At The Horseshoe

On to part two of our first date night sans Harry! You can see the first part of our night here.

After dinner at Tapas Valencia we headed to Hammond, Indiana. There isn't much in Hammond except the Horseshoe Casino, which is where we were going for the night. For our first anniversary Ant got us tickets to the Kelly Clarkson concert at the casino's concert venue.

We got to the concert just as the opening act, Matt Nathanson, took the stage. I didn't think I was familiar with him, but I recognized a few of his songs.


We enjoyed Matt's set while drinking a couple of beers. Not only did he sound good, but he had the whole crowd laughing a few times, too.

I was soooooo excited to see Kelly in concert. She is my favorite singer and this was my third concert of hers; I saw her in 2005 in Kansas City and 2009 in Bridgeview, Illinois (for the B96 Summer Bash). Ant was a Kelly virgin though.

At Saturday's concert she played a lot of her new stuff, which I'm not as familiar with, but she sounded great. We also got to hear most of her big hits and a couple of covers.

Here's a bunch of pix from the concert.


Such a fun show!

After the show we headed to the casino floor. We wanted to hang around a bit to avoid traffic. I'd only been to one other casino before (the Hollywood Casino in Aurora, Illinois), and it was the most depressing sight I'd ever seen. Fortunately the Horseshoe wasn't quite as depressing since a large percentage of the patrons were under 50 and not carrying around oxygen tanks.

I'd never actually played a casino game before, and wasn't really planning to. But, we found this game called Big Six and thought it looked fun. I put $5 down and lucky me, I doubled my money! I could barely contain my excitement when I cashed my chips in, the cashier must have thought I was totally off my rocker! My high rollin' husband put down $20 and walked away with $55 in chips. Not too shabby.


The dealer yelled at me right after I took this picture, so I didn't take any more in the casino. Oops! After Big Six I put $1 in the penny slots but didn't win anything.

After an hour in the casino we were ready to head home. Apparently everyone else had the same idea and it took us over a half hour to get out of the parking garage. We got back to my dad's about 1:00 a.m. and picked Harry up without incident.

All in all it was a fun evening, but I missed my baby so much! It was nice going out for once and not having to think about bottles and diaper changes, but I wouldn't be surprised if we wait another four months before we do it again.

Tapas Valencia

I feel like I'm getting sick, ugh. I woke up yesterday feeling like crap, and don't feel much better now. I've been taking Airborne to hopefully fight it off, but who knows if those things actually work. Anyways...

Saturday night Ant and I had our first night out without Harry. The last time we did that Harry was in the NICU. I was super nervous to leave Harry in someone else's care, but it was about time we did.


Around three o'clock Saturday afternoon we packed up and headed over to my dad and stepmom's house to drop off Harry. Even though we were just leaving him for a few hours, we still had to bring a ton of stuff to keep Harry on his schedule.


When we got to the g'rent's house we set everything up and explained the two page typed instructions I had written up. I know, I'm a little nuts.


I had a really hard time saying good bye, I even started crying!


After about 45 minutes Ant and I headed to Chicago for some tapas. We've eaten at quite a few tapas bars around the area and wanted to add another to our list. After doing some research we found Tapas Valencia and thought it was worth trying.

Since dinner wasn't the only thing on the agenda, we made an early reservation and were among the first parties seated for the evening. The ambience of the restaurant was not nearly as lively and fun as other tapas bars we've been to, we kind of felt like we even had to whisper. But the uptight atmosphere could just have been because we were there so early. I bet things loosen up around there as the night goes on.

As soon as we sat down we both ordered sangrias. Peach for me, and strawberry for Ant.


We both agreed my peach sangria was the better tasting drink. The restaurant has a pretty extensive menu, and we ordered six dishes to enjoy (pictured, clockwise from top left): patatas con alioli, alcachofas con crema, pato confitado, a chicken and goat cheese dish not on the online menu, patatas bravas and queso de cabra.


Everything was excellent, except for the pato confitado. Which for those that don't speak Spanish, is duck. Neither of us had ever tried duck before, so Ant decided to be adventurous and order it. The sauce was a little funky and I didn't care for the taste of the meat in general. Like I said, everything else was great, and the standout dish was definitely the chicken breast with goat cheese. So yummy!

If you like tapas, I'd recommend you give Tapas Valencia a try. FYI, Tapas Valencia is owned by the owners of Meson Sabika, a popular restaurant in Naperville.  But go for a late dinner if you can to see if the atmosphere livens up a bit.


Since this post is really long already, I'll save the second part of our date night for my next post. Look for it later this afternoon!
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