I’m back!

Well, that was a long hiatus!  I think when things are changing in my life, I tend to want to write more and document our family’s events, and there have been BIG changes for the Fishers.  First, we moved from Ohio to Asheville, NC.  Michael accepted a new position with GE .  While we were sad to leave our quaint, little town and neighborhood, who could pass up the opportunity to live in Asheville?  We closed on our house shortly before Christmas and things were a little hectic, but we were so happy to spend Christmas in our new home.

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Sadie on Christmas Eve!

The second big change is that I’m pregnant!!  I’m about 13 weeks and am due in July.  We found out right before Thanksgiving.  I thought I was all in the clear from any morning sickness (really all day sickness), and then week six hit with a vengeance.  I had it all…nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, sore breasts, headaches, etc.  Things are a little harder when you feel like death, and there is a two year old running around the house.  Sadie was a trooper though.  She stuck right by me when I had to run to the bathroom in Trader Joe’s and Target to vomit.  And when I say stuck right by me, I mean her little head was right by mine while my head was in the toilet.  She would giggle and think I was just being silly.  I am happy to say that I am starting to feel better.  Nausea still creeps its ugly head every day but not nearly as bad.

I am so excited to become a family of four.  July seems so far away at this point, but I know that it will go fast.  Deep down, I have a feeling we are going to have another girl.  Ever since having Sadie, I just feel like Michael was destined to be outnumbered by all ladies.  Either way, we would be happy, girl or boy, as long as we have a happy and healthy baby.

In the meantime, we are just enjoying all that Asheville has to offer.   So far, we have enjoyed some great hiking, amazing beer (pre-preganancy of course), good food, and lots of nice people.  I started taking Sadie to library classes and want to try out some gymnastics classes.  I really hope to meet other moms soon and for Sadie to make some new friends as well.  Below are just a few snapshots of our experiences so far.

 

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Hiking
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Michael and Sadie before winning 3rd in a New Year’s Day race.

 

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Sadie has visited every playground Asheville has to offer!

It’s good to be back, and I hope to stay in touch.

 

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Things I’m Loving Lately

I have to admit; there are a lot of random things I’m loving lately!  Everything from food to home decor to antique shops; it’s all there.

Pea Pesto

I know, weird, but oh so good.  There was a two week period where I saw pea pesto everywhere…blogs, cooking shows, magazines, etc.  Then, I finally decided to make it, and it tastes just as pretty as it looks.  I combined one small bag of frozen peas (thawed), 1/4 cup of grated parmesan, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and streamed in about 1/4-1/3 cup of olive (I just did this to taste and the consistency I like)  Once done, I served it with spaghetti squash, grilled chicken, and roasted tomatoes.  Yum!

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It may look like baby food, but look at that color!!

Local Antique Shops

I absolutely love the antique shops in the town where I live.  There are four in just one block. I do often wish there was a bit more variety in the shopping options, but when you go walk through them on a beautiful, sunny day and are greeted by the most gracious store owners, you have a change of heart.  Also, you know I have been on a home-decorating and make-over kick lately, so I found some great pieces.  I didn’t buy anything yet, but I got some great ideas.

I want this standing mirror for the guest bedroom, minus the wreath of course!
I want this standing mirror for the guest bedroom, minus the wreath of course!
Once we paint the living room, I want to duplicate this home sign on one of the walls.
Once we paint the living room, I want to duplicate this home sign on one of the walls. Michael was also a fan of the pillow because of the bike!
I also got some great decorating ideas for my best friend's wedding shower.
I also got some great decorating ideas for my best friend’s wedding shower.

Current Daily Breakfast

I definitely go through breakfast cycles.  In winter, I tend to stick to my oatmeal.  Summer, it’s yogurt/fruit/nuts.  Now, I’ve been on a english muffin, peanut butter, topped with berries kick.  It has been weeks, and I still get excited every morning, is that sad?!?

Yummy!
Yummy!

Hello Fresh Order

I’ve been dying to try Blue Apron after seeing reviews for it online.  I got my mom a week of meals to try at Christmas, and my parents loved it.  I did not really want to buy it for myself, so I was incredibly excited to receive a Hello Fresh gift order from my father-in-law for my birthday.  It arrived on Thursday, and I cannot wait to dig in.  It’s a nice break to not have to think about what to make for dinner.  Everything is individually packaged for you with clear and detailed instructions for each recipe.  I chose the classic box, which included three meals for two people, but there will definitely be left overs.  What’s on the menu you ask:  Lemon-Roasted Tilapia with Provencale Saute, Pan-Seared Chicken & Orecchiette Primavera & Spring Veggies, and Beef Gyozas with Spicy Soy-Glazed Green Beans.

Hello Fresh Order
Hello Fresh Order

Baby Toms

Sadie’s wardrobe is 98% from her cousin, Norah 🙂  We are so lucky that my sister saved all of her adorable clothes.  Of course, I still buy her clothes because I cannot resist pint-size rompers, moccasins, dresses, skinny jeans, basically everything I wear but miniature.  When I came across the baby Toms in one of the clothing shipments we receive every few months ;), I could not wait for Sadie to fit into them.  Well, the day has arrived, and I’ve been putting them on her all week.  I wouldn’t say they are really “on” her but those few minutes are precious!

Enjoying the sunshine!
Enjoying the sunshine!
On our daily morning stroll
On our daily morning stroll

That’s it for now!  What are some of your favorites you have been loving lately?

Sunshine and Some Inspiration

While it’s taking it’s sweet ole time and being difficult on some days, spring has arrived.  Yesterday and today were picture perfect when you think of what spring days should be.  Sadie and I took a trip to the playground, in hopes of meeting some other baby friends.  Well, turns out they were all a bit older than her so we struck out.  Don’t worry, there will be many more baby trips to the playground in the future.  Who wouldn’t want this little mouse as a friend?!?

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Sadie and I spent the majority of today enjoying the sunshine.  While she played, I was brainstorming some more ideas for my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  I started making products for TPT about a year ago.  I was subbing, summer break was coming soon, and I was 7 months pregnant…I needed to be productive.  I first started off by simply editing some of my previous lessons/activities and posting them but soon found out that I needed cutesy clipart and fancy font and fast if I wanted any part of this game.  When you are full-time teaching, who really has time for that?!?  Well, they are out there, everyone knows those teachers 🙂 And to them I say, “Congratulations, you did it, you are a super teacher!”

I tried to make all of the work for my kiddos cute, but to be honest, it didn’t happen all the time. Sooo, when I went to upload some of my work, I realized that it would be easier to create new items than going back and revamping all of my previous files.  I really enjoy the whole process…there’s just this nerd in me that likes creating curriculum pieces, especially for the primary grades.  And when you have the time and are not trying to whip up something at 7am or your lunch break, it’s even better.  I created an item per week for a while, but took a 7 month leave. Oops!  But, I am ready to get back into the swing of things.  There’s really no rhyme or reason to what I decide to make besides going back and thinking of items that I used or would’ve like to use while teaching.  Hopefully, this motivation will stay and you will see some new items soon!  In the meantime, I’ll be soaking up the sun with my sweetie.

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The Trouble with Sleeping

Well, I’m no expert, but I am pretty sure we are in the midst of a sleep regression, teething, and/or the beginnings of separation anxiety, and it’s a doozy!  Sadie sprouted her first tooth last week at 6 1/2 months old.  I feel like she had been showing signs of teething for about 6 weeks before then…drooling, fussy, interrupted sleep,  congestion, and occasional rashes around her mouth.  While some days were worse than others, she wasn’t too terrible.  I did go through all the natural remedies before resorting to Tylenol/Motrin, and I only give this when I know she’s in pain.   She wanted nothing to do with teething rings, rags, frozen fruit mesh bags, etc.    She would look up at me like “And, what do you want me to do this?”  I’ll try them again the next bout with teething, which I hear seems like a never-ending battle until they are about 2 years old.  While teething did cause some restless nights, I would say there were only a handful of times where she woke up every few hours but could go back down pretty quickly.

Sadie has never been a rockstar sleeper, but I consider ourselves to be pretty blessed with the sleep we did have.  She was finally taking 1-2 hour naps after months of 3o minute catnaps.  She has never put up a fight to go to sleep either.  We simply read her a bedtime story, or if Sadie is lucky, Michael will tell her a story, which is always entertaining, cue the sound machine and nightlight, and she was off to dreamland.  Occasionally, we have to go back to comfort her or put in her pacifier but not too often.  She usually woke up 1-2 times but just needed a little comforting and went back to sleep. She is still taking a few ounces around 5am and then will sleep anywhere until 7-8am.

However,  enter three nights ago, and the game has changed.  Michael and I put her to bed like usual and left the room and seconds later…”WAAAAA!!!”  I’m talking screaming, hyperventilating, kicking feet, you name it crying.  Since this was new, I immediately got concerned and lasted only a few minutes before going back in.  I went back in one more time, and it took her about 30-40 minutes before she finally fell asleep.  At this time, I thought it was teething even though she hasn’t screamed like that before.

The next day I feared naps, but to my surprise, she went down just fine and even slept close to two hours for her first nap.  Well, I spent much of the day googling answers (who doesn’t??)to this new found crying at bedtime, and that’s when I thought it must be separation anxiety.  I figured our little sweetie now realizes that nighttime means she won’t get to play for a real long time and she’ll miss her mom and dad 😦  That night the same thing happened at bedtime, so I waited a little bit longer to go in and comfort her, and she eventually fell asleep .   She did wake up a bizillion times!  I mean…it was every hour for awhile.  Sometimes she would settle herself back to sleep on her own and sometimes she needed a little help from mama.  It also amazes me that when I ask Michael the next day if he heard her all those times, he said he only her a couple of times.  Really?? A couple times…he had to hear my exaggerated sigh and flip of the comforter more than a couple times.   I shouldn’t be surprised because the kid is the world’s best sleeper.   Hopefully, Sadie eventually takes after her dad in this department.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention…since becoming an expert on rolling over from her back to her stomach, the poor little girl is in a constant battle of trying to sleep on her belly but it not working out too well.  When we put her down, she immediately flips over.  Sometimes, she is just rocking back and forth…attempting to crawl, which is funny to watch on the monitor.  Other times, she is just trying to figure out if she really wants to fall asleep on her belly or not.   And if she does, she usually wakes up not too much longer crying because she’s not sure she likes it.  Oi vey!   To google’s knowledge, this could be interrupting her sleep too.

So, as of now, I’m at a bit at a loss.  Of course I just want to fix it like any mom would.  Each day, I think I am going to crack the secret code to sleeping/teething…overall just being a first time mom (ha!)  Another glass of wine is in order and any advice is greatly appreciated.

 

Dying to Redecorate the House

Maybe it’s the change in weather or maybe I’ve been watching way too much HGTV, but I just want to redecorate the whole house.  It started with my desire to paint the family room.  The previous owners had painted it a dark/burnt orange…definitely not in my color palette!  However, after moving in and painting other rooms that needed it more, the color of the family room did not bother me as much. Michael and I both were just over it, and honestly, I did not want to think about painter’s tape, painting trim, and cleaning rollers and brushes for a long time.  Well, a year and a half later, the color has got to go!  I think I will wait until the weather gets a bit warmer and possibly a visit from my parents.  Who doesn’t like the extra help?  My parents are great painters…they painted Sadie’s room for me.  So for now, I’ll wait and keep hoarding paint samples.

Since painting the family room is on the back burner, I decided that our dining room needed some love.  Of course, I am always convinced that I can make whatever I find on Pinterest.  So, off I went to Michaels to purchase some supplies.  Sadie was a great helper!

First time riding in a cart and could not be more excited!
First time riding in a cart and could not be more excited!

Do you ever find that once you think you can make something you find on Pinterest/Etsy for so much cheaper, you end up paying just as much, if not more?!?  This happens to me ALL the time.  I never seem to have the paint colors, brushes, stencils, and blank canvases just lying around that  that I think I should have.  This causes me to always second guess my eagerness, but in the end, I  enjoy the sense of accomplishment after completing a project/craft…especially if it actually turns out.

Paint colors
                               Paint colors
Stencils and paint sponges
             Stencils and paint sponges

It took a little over 2 hours to complete, so not bad at all, and most of that was allowing time for the paint to dry between applications.  The final product came out a bit differently than what I planned, but I think I like it 🙂

imageimageNow I am ready for the next craft!  In the meantime, I will be browsing Pinterest and probably swinging by Michaels for those supplies that I “think I have” but really do not.  Have a great weekend!

Adventures in Homemade Baby Food

When Sadie got the okay to start solids, I was on board with making my own baby food, not everything but most of it. I thought, “How hard could it be, right?!?” Also, I felt this sense of guilt if I did not because I am a stay at home mom. Let’s be honest, we all know those people who ask you, “What do you do all day?” And add this one to the list, “Surely, you have time to make your own baby food.

After researching a little about making baby food, I realized that to make this process easy on myself, I needed a good blender/food processor/baby food maker and a good set of silicone ice cube trays. We have a Vitamix, so I felt pretty confident in the blending department. For the ice cube trays, I ordered a set of two Green Sprouts Silicone Freezer Trays  from Amazon.  I love these trays so far.  They make perfect one-ounce portions.

Green Beans were the hardest to get to a fine consistency. We'll see how Sadie enjoys them.
Green Beans were the hardest to get to a fine consistency. We’ll see how Sadie enjoys them.

I started with sweet potatoes and then moved on to carrots, green beans, and peas.  I have to say all of those went fairly well.  Of course the first time I attempted the sweet potatoes took me the longest.  It went something like this,  wash, peel, entertain Sadie, cut, steam, feed Sadie, drain, puree potatoes, sing louder to Sadie to try to distract her, pour puree into cube trays, put Sadie down for a nap, cover the trays with saran wrap and place in freezer.   I have to say that I have gotten a little more efficient in the whole process.

Everything has been fresh so far with the exception of the peas and green beans. I bought these two veggies frozen.  I had to put my foot down to scraping peas out of their pods and if you do this, God bless you!  I do need to work on my fruit stash.  After making a batch of the apples, I have to admit, I lost some of my steam.  I peeled, cored, diced, and steamed what I felt like was a barrel of apples and all I got from it was one tray.  After that episode, I took a little break, but I’m ready to get back at it!

After the purees freeze, I simply pop them out and place them in a ziploc bag.  I kept reading about how difficult it was for some to get the food out of ice cube trays, which is why I purchased the silicone ones, which have worked out great.  A little muscle and twisting and those babies come right out.  I label each bag with the food and the date I prepared it and place it in our freezer downstairs.

The beginnings of my baby food stash!
The beginnings of my baby food stash!

I know this process will be a bit of trial and error  but I feel like I can safely add baby food cuisine to my chef cooking abilities!  I just hope Sadie enjoys it 🙂

Enjoying the "fruits" of my labor...mmm....apples.
Enjoying the “fruits” of my labor…mmm….apples.

Do/Did you prepare your own baby food?  Any tips that you recommend to make the process easier?

Weekend of Visitors

This weekend was full of sunshine and visitors! For being the middle of January, I cannot complain about the weather we have been having. When it reaches 45 degrees and the sun’s out, I think it’s a heat wave and contemplate if I even have to wear a jacket…oh man, it’s amazing how quickly your body adjusts to the cold weather. Well, back to the weekend highlights!

On Saturday morning, I anxiously awaited the arrival of my dear friend, Beth. Beth and I met in San Diego. We were both hired at the same time to teach first grade. Beth grew up in Indiana and understood the difficulties of adjusting to living on the west coast, thousands of miles away from family and friends. Fast forward five years later, and we are both living in the Mid-west, only 3 hours away from each other. It’s crazy how life unfolds and leads us down unexpected paths. If you would have told us five years ago during our third/fourth glass of wine at our favorite happy hour spot overlooking the San Diego Bay where we would be today, we would have probably laughed. But knowing us, and how important it is to be close to our families, it is not all that surprising.

Okay, let’s detour off memory lane and get back to the weekend. Shortly after Beth arrived, we went straight to the North Market to get some lunch and grab a drink. I love this place, especially in the summer.  It’s an indoor public market filled with a variety of merchants offering a variety of local, fresh, and authentic foods.  On Saturdays, during the warmer months, farmers are set up outside, adding to my love of this place.  I ended up getting a delicious sandwich from Katzinger’s Delicatessen, something quite different than my usual dish from the Vietnamese restaurant.  After lunch, we headed to Seventh Son Brewery for some beer tasting.  Michael and I love this place and like to take visitors there.  To be honest, it’s not in the most idea spot, but I love their set up.  They always have a food truck, which is another bonus.

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Sadie was such a trooper!  She did so well, considering she missed a nap, which can turn ugly real fast. (Moms, you know what I mean!)  But, Michael is convinced she loves breweries 😉  This was her 5th brewery and she happens to be 5 months.  In reality,  the girl just loves people watching; she totally gets this from her parents.

The rest of Beth’s visit involved catching up on lots of girl talk, playing with Sadie, watching movies, and just hanging out.  It was lovely, and it makes me appreciate having such great friends.

Beth left Sunday afternoon and my parents arrived just a short time later.  They were dying to see Sadie.  My parents live about 2 and 1/2 hours aways.  They would come out all the time if they could, but during the week, they watch my niece.  During the week is when I would love them to come visit too.  Michael just started his MBA this month with classes in the evening, so the extra help on those days would be amazing.   My sister is so lucky to have them as babysitters.  I keep telling her that she owes them big time; they just love it though.

I know my mom gets nervous being away from Sadie and is afraid that she want recognize them.  I kept telling Sadie that she had to give them big smiles when they got here and boy, did that girl deliver.  She “turned on the cute” big time!  My mom and dad were again smitten with their 5th grandchild.  There is something about seeing your parents with their grandchildren that is just so incredibly full-filling and heart-warming, especially my dad with his granddaughters.  We had such a great visit and while it was a short one, they will be back with the rest of my family in two weeks for Sadie’s baptism!  Once again, I failed in the taking pictures department, but I swear I’m going to get better 🙂  However I did capture these sweet pictures of Sadie yesterday…she is 5 months old!

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