Thursday, April 30, 2015

#TWSS, We See Things As We Are


Your take on something that is happening. It's hard to see the world through someone else's perspective because you don't live in their shoes, you don't know their experiences. You can try, but you begin to think about your experiences and still can't fully grasp "walking in their shoes". 

I am a pretty optimistic person, I often see sunshine on cloudy days. (Cue the band.) I generally just always see the good in everything. Yes, I get upset when things don't go my way...or something upsets me, but I try really hard--although it may take a few days-- to think about the positive in whatever situation I am in. 

When I was 10 years old my mom got pregnant, we went for a sonogram and didn't see or hear a heartbeat. She had miscarried. At 10 years old, I knew what that meant. I knew I wasn't going to have a new sibling, and I bawled right there in the sonogram room. I actually made my mom promise she would have another...she kept that promise twice. 

Before I got pregnant with my sweet boy Bennett, I miscarriedA day before we found out I was pregnant, I had this excruciating pain radiating all over my stomach, back, and sides. I can't even begin to explain it to you, but it was horrible. I took a pregnancy test the next day, and it was positive. It was my husband's birthday so I bought a cute onesie so I could announce to him that we were expecting. We had just gotten married 2 months before, so we were actually shocked/happy/confused that I had gotten pregnant so fast. We thought to ourselves many times "Isn't it supposed to take a long time?" and "How did that happen?". We told our parents, and that's really it. 

Exactly 2 weeks later, I was at school and I started bleeding. I knew right then and there something was wrong. Thankfully, my mom works with the doctors that I see and they were able to bring me in and see what was going on. After hearing my levels were low, they wanted to do more blood work 48 hours later to see if they had dropped more. They had. I had miscarried this baby that we had made. To tell you I was devastated is an understatement. I took off the next 2 days of work, and just took some time to reflect. My husband was there for me, and I actually went into his office with him cause I just needed someone. 

Over the next 3 months, I would have my ups and downs. I knew I would be pregnant again someday, but at the same time I saw so many people getting pregnant and having babies it made me really question why. Why, did it happen to me? Why was I given this baby only for it to be taken away? December 16th, I took a test...I knew there was a slim chance since it wasn't anywhere near my missed period, but hey doesn't hurt to check. A positive line appeared, so obviously I had to test again. Positive. I had to tell my hubby immediately so I whispered in his ear at dinner in front of our family. I know, romantic. I was only 3.5 weeks pregnant, and knew that something could happen...but believed it would be different this time. 

2 weeks later while on vacation at Nic's grandparents house, I had that excruciating pain again. It actually hurt so bad that I threw up. It was the absolute worse, and the next night I woke up with it again. I waited and waited for bleeding, but nothing. Our first sonogram was done early since I had miscarried before, and I am pretty sure that my heart was beating out of my chest. I just wanted to see that heartbeat, I wanted to know that everything was ok. That the pain I had experienced was just a "side effect" of being pregnant. When I heard that heartbeat, tears started flowing and relief came over my body. I was pregnant. Pregnancy was not fun...morning all day sickness, reflux, migraines took over my body...and it wasn't until after I gave birth did they go away. 

Little did I know that right after delivering Bennett, I would be confronted with news I never expected to hear. I had miscarried early in my pregnancy (that mysterious pain I had, was a miscarriage.) Say what? Bennett was supposed to be a twin. There were two separate placentas formed, one obviously not as big as Bennett's, but formed. They explained to me--in my drugged up state--that sometimes this happens, it is known as vanishing twin. Three. The number of miscarriages I have had to cope with in my life. I know people have had to deal with way more, and I am blessed my number is so low and only 2 are directly connected to me.

The person that sees themselves as an optimist sees the bigger picture. They find the best possible option in the situation at hand. Yes, my past experiences could have defined me negatively...made me worry about my entire pregnancy. If I had not been optimistic I may have worried about getting pregnant, got depressed when I found out in the delivery room that I had miscarried, or worried myself sick during the pregnancy. But, I didn't. I prayed daily for my boy that he would come into the world healthy. I am a firm believer in the phrase that there is a reason for everything, and I know there was a reason why God chose me to be that little boys mom. There was a reason why he wanted me to only have one baby, why he wanted me to have a baby in August not May, why he chose to have me miscarry. My sweet, sweet baby boy has made me even more of an optimist and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. 

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Little Things You Do

I always knew that my MIL and mom would be there to help me whenever I needed it. I knew that if I called them with a urgent request, they would find some way to help me. It wasn't until after having Bennett, that I realized just how bad I did need them...A LOT

See, before Bennett I was able to do the laundry and finish it in about 2 hours, I didn't really need much help with it. Somehow though, there are triple the loads since having a baby, and not triple the hours in the day. Now instead of it taking 2 hours, it takes about 5 hours. When I go off during the day, go out for date night, or MIL will just appear out of no where like a little fairy godmother, do a load of laundry and fly away--like she wasn't even here. But I will come home to freshly done laundry put away in all their perspective places. She doesn't just stop at laundry, she will help with whatever you need at that time. I tell everyone that they need a Mariann in their life, and everyone always seems to agree with me. 

My mom on the other hand, has her own laundry to do. With 2 kids still at home and her and my dad working full time there is never a dull moment at their house. She helps in so many other ways though. In the first few weeks after Bennett's birth I was struggling with breastfeeding, I would call my mom at 4AM in the morning just crying for help. She would drop what she was doing wake up, and drive over to help me. She is also an amazing cook, and is always offering us a plate. She has a wonderful green thumb, I have these gorgeous flowers on my front porch and back porch all because of her. I would kill them. All of them, if it wasn't for her. I'm not too sure the difference between a weed and a tree. Oh, and when Nic goes out of town she loans me my sister for the nights that he is out of town. I could go on and on about the little things she does for me. 

To sum it all up, I'm BLESSED. This Mother's Day, let the moms in your life know how thankful you are for them...and the little things they do for you. 

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: Bennett's Version

Linking up with Org Junkie
My hubby will again be working a lot this week, and I will be working on Monday and Tuesday. I have something planned for lunches this week--which is a win in my book! I have a couple dinners planned, but who knows whether they will actually happen or not. So this week, it's about Bennett's meals. 

I made this fantastic Chicken Casserole for Bennett a few weeks ago. I found it while searching for "copycat" recipes for the store bought food, but I wanted something that tasted better. Enter Simple Baby Foods. First off, this is an awesome company based in LA that comes to your home to make baby food, so that your child can have amazing food every day. They have really great recipes on there, so you have to check out the Chicken Casserole. 

After I put the Chicken Casserole together to bake, I have 3 leftover pieces of chicken that I didn't want to just boil and call it a day. I wanted to do an Apple Spinach Chicken, but I don't generally buy apples since I buy applesauce. So I searched Pinterest for inspiration for Pears instead of apples, that's when I came across this from The Daily Meal. The recipe that I created below is sort of a "spin off" of this delicious meal. 


3 Cups of Packed Organic Spinach
1 Tablespoon of Chopped Onion
1 1/2 Teaspoon of Parsley
1/2 of a Pear (Can peel after it's cooked)
6 oz of Chicken Tenders, Breasts, or Thighs
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Low Sodium Organic Chicken Stock

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spray your baking pan with olive oil.
3. Wash your spinach, place in bottom of pan.
4. Top spinach with onion, parsley, olive oil, and a 1/4 cup of stock.
5. Place pear face down on the spinach, and the chicken next to the pear.
6. Cook for 25 minutes.
7. Let cool for a few minutes then peel pear. Place in food processor until you reach desired consistency. Add the additional 1/4 cup of stock or water if you desire a thinner puree. 
8. Serve with ditalini or orzo pasta. 

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mother's Day Printable

Last year I was pregnant with our sweet boy on Mother's Day. I remember going to Carrabba's and them treating me as if I was a mother already. I received a coupon to come back at a later time, and was even wished Happy Mother's Day. At that point I don't think I could even begin to fathom what being a mother took. I never imagined so many sleepless nights, struggling to feed my baby, exhaustion midday...but above all things, I don't think I was prepared for how fast my baby would grow, how fast he would learn new things we were teaching him daily, how at 8 months he would no longer need me in the middle of the night. I absolutely love being a mother, and despite how fast he is growing...I am in awe that we are helping him become the baby/boy and eventually man that we want the world to see. I have a wonderful Mother and a fantastic Mother-in-Law, I pray that I am someday the person that I see through my eyes. 

I hope you enjoy the printable, and thank the Mother's in your life for all they do. 

Special Thanks to: Angie Makes for the beautiful clipart!

Linking up with Tuesday Talk on:
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Friday, April 24, 2015

Finally Friday!

My favorite day is upon us, I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and even more fantastic weekend! 

I confess I am super excited for this next week. My cousins will be here! 

It has been way too long since I have seen my cousins! I think we are going on a year and a half. One of my cousins has a baby almost the same age as Bennett, and I know they will just have a blast together! :) We will be going to the zoo, and then we are having a family get together that weekend with all the family that lives here. 

I confess that I think the Praise Baby DVD's and their CD's are the cutest thing. 

I should probably confess that when I make dinner, Bennett watches 30 minutes of a show...whether it be Sesame Street, Baby Einstein, Mickey Mouse. It allows me to get dinner ready for all of us, and he is usually getting tired at this point so it helps him settle down a bit. I rented these Praise Baby DVD's from the library and they are adorable. They sing praise and worship songs and show relaxing pictures and pictures of babies. You can either have an adult sing, kids sing, or just the music. I also got the Praise Baby CD's at the library and we have enjoyed listening to them in the morning. 

I confess that I'm so ready for summer time. I love the beach, pool, water parks...and the thunderstorms!

Today we had a thunder storm, and despite my hatred for lightning when I am outside...I love storms when I am safe inside. It reminds me of the summer time. I'm so excited to have some fun times ahead with my precious Bennett in the pool, beach, water table, water parks...the options are endless in Florida. 

I confess that I never finished the book I checked out on my Kindle from our local library before they took it back from me. 

I loved the book and I need to check it out again and finish it. The book was titled Boys Should be Boys. It brings a perspective to everything a boy should be...It was funny how this afternoon Bennett basically begged me to take him outside. I so did not want to go outside, it was sticky and just not where I wanted to be. But I went, it made him so happy to be out there. Just sitting in his stroller, and blowing bubbles and playing with his toys. We usually lay down a quilt and play in the grass, but I couldn't find the darn thing. So I gave up, and continued blowing bubbles.  

I confess I have been working on some cute Mother's Day Printables. 

I love printables, and with my first mothers day coming up--I'm excited to put one up on the mantle with pictures of me and my little man. I hope to share these with you soon, and my top Mother's Day gifts. 

Thursday: Favorite Things

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Favorite Things: His, Mine, and Bennett's

I can't really think of anything that is currently my husband's favorite item. He doesn't like coffee, he doesn't care what food I give him, he isn't pick on clothes...

If I had to pick one thing, it's either the tractor or the fact that his garage man cave will be built very soon! I am excited for him to have his own garage for all of his projects to be in one place, and my care to be in our garage.

Unfortunately, I do not have a link for this since they are all sold out. This is one of the items I purchased on Sunday when I went to Target for the launch flash sale of Lilly Pulitzer. I wasn't going to purchase this, but hey they had my size and it just sorta seemed like fate. I originally didn't purchase this because it looked super short, but when I saw in store I noticed it was definitely longer in person. Be on the lookout on my instagram page for a in real life picture. 

I originally purchased these to be used with the Infantino Squeeze Pouches. In a hurry one day, I grabbed one of the Happy Baby pouches from the pantry and one of these spoons and went..just hoping that the spoon would fit. Well, it did. These have made our lives just a little bit easier, since we do not have to pack bowls or large spoons; just throw these into a bag and head out! They have worked with every pouch I have tried, and people are always commenting how it is such a neat invention!
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pure Bliss--#CoffeeMyWay

My morning starts out with me rolling out of bed right after 7. Curling up on the couch with a comfy blanket, and drinking my steaming hot coffee while watching the Today show. 

Oops, that was a sweet daydream. I actually spend my morning with my sweet baby boy--Bennett. Pandora Nursery Rhyme Radio is on in the other room, I'm unloading dishwasher from the night before, and brewing a cup of coffee which I pray will still be warm when I go to drink it at 8AM when breakfast in our house is served. I wouldn't change these moments for anything. 

The View From Up Here has teamed up with Wayfair for their #coffeemyway campaign. Wayfair is one of the LARGEST online destinations for your home. They literally have anything and everything you would want...and with free shipping. You can find anything you need for your home from bargains to high end...and if you are really looking for a great bargain, they have 70% off daily deals! I also love how searching their site is so simple. If you want a purple rug, just type rug then refine your search to purple and the size you would like. It's a great site, and I use it whenever I need something for the house!

If you know me, you know I like my coffee. If I go to Stroller Strides, you will find me at Starbucks after. First thing I do at school when I substitute is make a cup of coffee, and Bennett's doctor is right next door to a Dunkin. (I may or may not have picked his doctor based on the location--next to Target and Dunkin, sign me up). My mornings at home though, I enjoy a cup of hot coffee with my breakfast. 

After I nurse Bennett in the morning--around 7AM, I go change his diaper and give him a little independent time to play in his playroom while I get our breakfast ready. I make his breakfast--consisting of pears, bananas, and oatmeal and set it to the side. I then put my yogurt into a bowl and pour some granola and chia seeds in it. I turn the Keurig on, and get my kcup ready. I then grab my sweet boy and put him in his high chair with a teething biscuit to watch me finish getting our breakfast ready (spoons, yobaby, sippy cup). I put a splash of whatever creamer I have (my FIL brought me some Coldstone so that's what's on the menu this week) and a packet of Sugar in the Raw. I then sit down and enjoy my breakfast time with my adorable starving little man. 

That cup of coffee gets me through the first half of the day. I usually have a cup of iced coffee before 5PM to get me a little extra oomph to make it through the rest of the day. Especially when my hubby is out of town. 

Tell me...How do you like your coffee? #Coffeemyway

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Monday, April 20, 2015

P'Sghetti--a Baby Puree

Growing up I remember a friend telling me that they went to this restaurant every weekend and she could never say spaghetti. When she ordered her dinner she would say P'sghetti...they soon changed the name of the Spaghetti on their menu to P'sghetti. 

Every kid loves spaghetti, and Italian blood kids...well they just are given it in a bottle from the time they are born. Well, maybe not that early but as soon as they can eat solids I think it is given. Bennett is an eater, which is pretty funny because he only takes about 4 oz in his bottle before he calls it quits. When food was introduced to him he took off. There isn't anything this boy won't eat...that is except Ella's Spaghetti Pouches. When I saw this in the store I grabbed and figured we would give it a try...much to our families dismay he hated it. I tried everything to get him to eat it, but he just didn't like it. I thought maybe it was because it had seasonings, so I made a chicken casserole for him and he ate that right up. I thought "this may be the end of Italian eating in this family"...but then I got an idea. 

I decided I would make Bennett my own sauce and maybe he would like it. I mean think of Chef Boyardee Vs. your Grandma's sauce. No Comparison. I have made simple sauces before, so I figured it couldn't be that hard. I used fresh Campari tomatoes, instead of can (hate can everything)...and cooked up a chicken breast while the sauce was simmering. Below is the recipe I used, feel free to add in peppers--onions--beef. The list is endless.

Chicken P'Sghetti
  • Container of Campari Tomatoes (or 2 regular sized tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Oregano
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Chicken Breast cooked
  • Handful of Fresh Spinach (I used fresh spinach and chopped it up in the food processor)
  1. Put 1 1/2 cups of water on to boil. 
  2. Once boiling put the tomatoes in for a couple minutes (2-3) minutes. 
  3. Remove them carefully with a slotted spoon. Remove the skin (it should peel right off). 
  4. Place in food processor to puree. 
  5. Once pureed, place back in the pan with water. 
  6. Add basil, oregano, garlic, sugar, and spinach
  7. Let simmer for 30 minutes, then add pureed chicken. You can leave to simmer longer--or serve then.
  8. Serve with pasta and a sprinkle of cheese--we used orzo. 
  9. Freeze the remaining in ice cube trays.
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Finally Friday

I confess I love my new bathing suit I got from Target on Wednesday. 

This mama needed something to wear to Adventure Island, and found the perfect one-piece. Yes, you read that right. One-piece, I'm okay. Just feel a bit more like a mom. I tried on quite a few, and there was one I just had to have. I'm still looking around for another! 

I confess I put sunscreen on Bennett, but totally forgot to rub it on me. 

I made sure to put sunscreen on Bennett as soon as we got to Adventure Island, then I proceeded to eat lunch and feed him his lunch. Then we went and played, and by that time I had forgotten. Luckily we were only there for an hour and a half, but still I'm a little pink.

I confess I made my sweet boy lots of food this week. 

Bennett is enjoying his solids, and I have added some more food to his diet. This week I made a chicken casserole and added orzo pasta to his meals. He loves both and always finishes his meals with some yogurt! I also made kiwi, squash, zucchini, chicken, broccoli, pears, eggplant, and sweet potatoes. I think that is it. 
I confess that since I bought a new shirt last week, I have an itch to go shopping. 

I really don't spend a lot of money on myself, but last weekend when we had his dedication I treated myself to a new top to wear with my Mud Pie Palazzo pants. It was from the Limited, and they were having a 40% off sale. Oh, and my mom bought me a dress from Ann Taylor Loft which was having a sale as well. It was really nice to get something new. 

I confess I got caught up this week on Bennett's photo books and prints. 

I got Bennett's 6 and 7 month books in the mail, now on to start making his 8th month book. My husband keeps reminding me that when we have another we have to do the same thing for that one as well. Here's to hoping I do! 


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