Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pregnancy Update: 27 weeks



A long awaited update for you guys! So far nothing different has happened since I last posted about the baby, except that we found out we're having a boy and that this pregnancy has been going by so quickly! Michael told me he was initially nervous about having a son because everything will be new again but I think now that we get closer to his arrival, we are becoming more excited! I feel blessed that we get to experience the joy of not only having a daughter but also having a son. I think Lydia will love having a little brother to play with and hopefully grow to love! 

It's been 10 weeks since my last update so here's another one of those simple questionnaires...

How far along: 28 weeks on Thursday :o

Gender: We are having a boy!!

Total weight gain:  Around 12 pounds

Maternity Clothes: I can’t get enough of my denim maternity shorts, I also tend to wear roomy knit shorts when I am at home though. I like the fit of maternity tees so I have a few new ones that I bought this time around and also a pretty dress from Old Navy.

Sleep: So far okay.. I do tend to sleep in a little more but I blame that on Michael since he's been sleeping in now that he works from home permanently! Haha

Miss Anything: My summer wardrobe. I mean, I can still wear a lot of my dresses but all my shorts (except the maternity and linen) are off limits! And a handful of my blouses/shirts are too short.. Also margaritas :)

Cravings: Salty chocolate chip cookies, fried or roasted potatoes, sushi and blts!

Symptoms: I get tired after I eat and sometimes pelvic cramps when I walk long distances, and still tired at times.

Belly Button in or out: In.

Mood: I have been happy though feel down some days. I think it's definitely a combination of the hormones and being tired all the time. 


Exercise: 
It really depends on how I'm feeling. Most weeks I've been still working out five days a week and sometimes I'm happy with just working out four days a week. I try to focus mostly on toning, low impact cardio, and indulging in longer stretches after I'm finished working out!

Best Moment this week: Having Lydia's bedtime finished last weekend, seeing family on Father's day and going for a walk tonight with Michael and Lydia. 

Looking forward to: Ah, the rest of this month should be fun, and my parents are coming on the 30th for fourth of July so that will be nice!


On My Mind: Ah, the glucose tolerance test this weekend.  I did fine when I was pregnancy with Lydia but for some reason I always get a little anxiety with tests such as these. And I'm also thinking about how fast everything seems to be moving along this time around.. This week I'll be entering my 3rd trimester!!


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Life with Lydia {6.10.17}



Hi friends!

It was almost a year ago since I've last posted all about Lydia. And as I write this post, I have a little girl climbing all over me, and a baby boy squiggling around in my womb. I didn't tell you guys, but we are having a boy! I feel tired lately but mostly blessed as we are getting closer and closer to becoming a family of four. Life with Lydia has been both a fun and interesting endeavor! She'll be 27 months old in a few days and like most kids her age she's into everything.

A few of her favorite things these days are her PJ Masks stuffed dolls, anything and everything Mickey Mouse related, singing, playing outside, and talking. She has been talking so much lately and we're finally able to understand what she's talking about too! She's been able to understand us for a little over a year but was slower to start talking back to us, and using words to express herself. It's been truly exciting to hear what she has to say!


What I'm not so excited about is whenever Lydia gets into these tizzies and throws things, and thinks it's the funniest thing in the entire world. She's especially keen about throwing her food when she's "all done!" Since she's turned two she has been pickier with food and sometimes won't even touch things she used to eat with no problem. It tests my patience, and I am always making sure she's getting enough to eat. However she loves eating fruits and vegetables, likes chicken sausage, peanut butter and guacamole! I have been limiting her snack intake during the day to reinforce the importance of eating meals. I also put collagen in her chocolate milk for a little boost too. I'm just hoping this is a phase!

Lydia is stubborn, independent and active. She's always running, climbing, and tumbling. I really would like to sign her up for gymnastics in a few months because I think she would have a blast! She is also our little cling-on and doesn't love sleeping on her own. She sleeps in her crib and actually didn't mind being in there but things got hairy when we visited my parents in Jersey. She was in our bed with us a good portion of the trip and bed time has been a bit of a battle since then. The good news is that her bedroom should be finished this weekend, and that means Michael and I get our bedroom back. Woohoo! We were sleeping in the guestroom just so she could get used to sleeping by herself again. She has been in our bedroom all her life so it'll be an adjustment, but hopefully nothing too crazy. I think she'll grow to love having her own space and might be even happier to share it with her little brother. Updates and photos of the room to follow!

Now onto potty training... Hm. It's a non-existent issue at the moment but she does like to read the potty book, and sometimes asks me questions. She also tells me when she went to bathroom which is a step in the right direction! I still haven't bought an insert for the toilet or even a little potty only because I don't think she's quite ready for it. We're not in too much of a rush but I am looking forward to only have one baby in diapers in the near future!

Lastly this summer should be really fun, because Lydia is old enough to understand what's going on around her and will love spending most of her days outside. Hopefully we can take her to the beach next time we visit New Jersey and maybe even go to Sesame Place with her big cousin DJ!

Until next time,



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pregnancy update: 17 weeks in!


Hello!

I don’t know about you but when the winter months linger, feel less motivated and rather stay indoors. So, I am happy that the weather is finally warming up and that I can go outside! With my last pregnancy, I was my most pregnant in the winter, and was always warm. This pregnancy I will be in my third trimester in the summertime, and as much as I love warm weather I'm afraid I'll not only be a walking inferno but that I will swell like mad! My plans are to stay hydrated, keep active, and eat lots of pineapple. The last one is mostly because pineapple always tastes better when I'm pregnant!

Speaking of food, I'm really into savory/umami rich foods, and before you guys say "you're having a boy!" (although I might, we don't know yet), I craved the very same flavor profiles with Lydia. Here's what my favorite things are: eggs, burgers, Asian food, bacon, french fries/potato chips, and cheese. I don't eat these foods all the time but will indulge in them every now and then. As far as food aversions, I was initially nauseated by coffee, smoothies, chocolate, yogurt and anything too sweet. It wasn't until the end of my first trimester that I was able to enjoy my morning coffee and those breakfast smoothies again! I'm still not as drawn to sweets as I was pre-pregnancy but when paired with saltiness, (hello, salted caramel ice cream and salted chocolate chip cookies!) I'm interested.

I am trying my best to stay active and maintain my endurance/strength throughout this pregnancy too. I have been successful with exercising 4-5 times a week and have been combining the Fitness Blender workouts (modifying when necessary) with lower impact prenatal routines in the mix, pilates, and of course making time for long relaxing stretches.

Going through this pregnancy-shin-dig again, I have to say the second trimester is the best out of the three and I'm going to indulge in these next couple of months! I thought it would be fun to end this post with the good old pregnancy questionnaire to any questions that weren't covered.

How far along: 18 weeks on Thursday!

Gender: Hopefully we'll know by May! Everyone keeps saying it's a boy though.
Total weight gain:  10 pounds. I notice that I always get curvier in my pregnancies, and I suppose it’s not much to complain about, just can be awkward at times and sometimes complicates picking modest clothing to wear. The other day Lydia ran into my butt and she fell over. She was okay!
Maternity Clothes: Maternity jeans! I think I gave up on my regular jeans around week 10 *sigh* I invested in a couple of asos petite maternity jeans and I love them! Denim shorts from Old Navy, and I also bought a couple of maternity shirts from H&M. And of course all the clothes I had from my previous pregnancy. 
Sleep: Good so far :)
Miss Anything: Don't judge me, but occasionally I crave a glass of wine, specifically red wine, and I normally drink white wine. Odd! 
Cravings: Juicy burgers, blts, grilled cheeses, Japanese food, and again, potatoes (fried, roasted and in the form of chips.) Oh, and pineapple and fresh lemonade!
Symptoms: Sometimes I get a little dizzy and lightheaded.  
Belly Button in or out: In.

Mood: Right now I'm tired mostly because my allergies are little haywire due to the weather... 
Best Moment this week: Finally having Spring weather and going on a walk with Michael, Zoe and Lydia this weekend. 
Looking forward to: Easter Sunday and seeing family!

Exercise:
 I explained this in detail earlier but I've been doing a combination of cardio, strength training, pilates and barre, and lots of stretching 4-5 times a week; I take off Saturdays and Sundays. 
On My Mind: I feel like I'm not as obsessed with all things pregnancy this time around. (I guess because I have been through all of this before!) I'm enjoying this time with Lydia and making sure she has what she needs. She keeps my hands full! I'm mostly looking forward to the aftermath of this pregnancy and bringing home our sweet little baby! 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A New Addition in September :)


If you follow me on Instagram or know me in person, you probably already know that Michael and I are expecting baby #2 in September! If not, surprise! We are both thrilled to become a family of four and giving Lydia a sibling. I'm 13 weeks pregnant and am finally starting to feel a little less exhausted. Much like my first pregnancy, I only experienced a little nausea in the morning and mostly because my stomach was empty. I am also experiencing the same aversions and cravings, nothing too sweet but lots of fruit, everything salty, spicy and sour. So far I am beginning to think much like my mom and sister that I am one who bypasses morning sickness, however, I seem to get a double dose of fatigue. I did exercise most mornings and it worked as a pick me up but still felt drained after lunch. Nap time became my best friend!

We found out I was pregnant pretty much the same way as last time. My period wasn't due for a few days but I was feeling off and sluggish. I just had a feeling I was pregnant. I told Michael to pick up a test, I took it that night and we waited for the results. I asked him if he could read it and he reacted the same as last time. "Oh boy" HAHA. I just laughed. We were both elated and a little nervous. In my previous post I talked about how we traveled to Puerto Rico in November, and there was an outbreak of the Zika virus back in the spring/summertime. We actually wanted to get tested for the virus before trying for a baby but God had other plans for us! So we quickly made an appointment that following Monday with our doctor to get a script for blood work. At this point we already told my sister and our parents so they could keep us in prayer as we prepared to test for Zika.

After we went to the doctor's office we learned that it was only necessary for me to get tested, and we got a stack of papers about the Zika virus and how the test worked. I actually googled up a storm prior to the doctor's appointment and learned about the horrors of the Zika virus to those who are pregnant. I prayed a lot prior to getting the blood work done and after while I was waiting for the results. I waited about a week until we fond out that I tested negative for the test. I felt incredibly relieved and thanked the Lord for answering our prayers! 


The three of us got to hear the baby's heartbeat a couple weeks ago, and last week we were able to see the baby for the first time via ultrasound! Lydia is still not sure what the heck is going on, but I am sure she'll fall in love once the baby is born. We are planning to find out the sex of the baby sometime in April, and would be happy with either a boy or another little girl. I already have a list of names! :) I may or not share the name on here once we've settled on one.  Now that I have finally posted something, I'm going to do my best by keeping you guys updated as I go through my pregnancy!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Long time no blog

Sometimes I lose track of the hours in the day, especially during the end of the year, and get distracted by all the small things on in my life. So here's a little glimpse of what's been going on in my life since I've been gone:


Since I last posted my family and I went to Puerto Rico during the week of Thanksgiving. It was a vacation with highs and lows, and all started with an Airbnb guest home that was not what we expected. To keep things short I’ll say the home wasn't as pictured (though we got what we paid for), the power went out more than once (this is actually normal in Puerto Rico though a lot of the businesses around the guest home had generators), a stray kitty always pooped in the flowerbed so the front porch was always smelly, and the most unfortunate: the shower water was always cold. We learned that the previous guests broke one of the showers and it was constantly dripping which caused all the hot water to be used up. However we did make the most of the house when the power was up and running but once it went out a second time towards the end of the week, we all threw in the towel and booked a hotel for the night. It definitely humbled us all. And made us appreciate our houses, consistent power, air conditioning, and hot showers.

bacalaitos, empanadas, rice, beans and mofongo!
Not to say we didn’t enjoy our vacation. We did! Michael and I got to visit Old San Juan, see my grandparents who live there, eat delicious food, and of course take Lydia to the beach for the first time. She didn’t seem that enthusiastic about the beach but absolutely loved the pool at the hotel.

Once we got home from our vacation, Michael started a new job that’s work from home all the time, and it’s been a huge blessing to have him around the house more. He's rested, we get to have lunch together almost every day, and he likes his boss. He was actually Michael’s boss a couple years ago at his old job, then he moved to a different company and reached out to Michael to see if he’d join his team. I was so happy that he was able to smoothly transition into this new job and that we can spend more time together. Periodically he will need to travel to New York, the first time he had to go there Lydia and I went with him. We stayed at my parent’s house and he commuted to the city from there, it was such a treat to spend time with my family!

Another small thing that's been going on is that we've been putting Lydia to sleep earlier and scheduling her naps. No more co-sleeping in this house! As much as we enjoyed the experience, you get to a point where you just want the bed to yourselves, and have your child in their own crib with a healthier sleep schedule. It's actually exciting because I'm getting that extra alone time during the day with her naps and of course dealing with a less cranky child during the day. A big part of why I haven't been blogging has a lot to do with the fact that I lacked the alone time to sit down and write. Alone time was so sporadic, and now it's more consistent, which means I should be back on here more!

During this transition, Michael has been such a big help and blessing. He has been putting her to bed most nights, praying with her and making her feel comfortable in the crib. It has been growing their bond too. She does fuss after he leaves the room and sometimes he’ll go back in, but she eventually falls asleep. Right now her crib is on our bedroom and when she wakes up in the middle of the night, I try to comfort her by holding her hand or if that doesn't work I'll cuddle with her. I am trying to be better with that though and teach her that she needs to put herself back to sleep.

We plan on moving her into her bedroom once Michael his office space into the basement sometime in the spring. I am hoping she loves her bedroom and won’t feel the need to sleep in ours!


Lastly, we hosted Christmas and it had a lot of fun with Michael's side of the family. I made this pear sangria, yellow rice, empanadas, cheese flan, and pumpkin bread. Michael made his famous wings and everyone brought a delicious little something-something! After we exchanged gifts, Michael shared a message the Lord placed on his heart and prayed before we all ate. We played The Game of Things and laughed up a storm! We are planning on hosting our small group on Thursday for an end of the year get together, and my parent's are visiting this upcoming weekend for New Years which we are also hosting. Lots of hosting but it's been coming with lots of help which has been much appreciated! : ) 

And the bad... I started to trim my bangs and got too carried away by cutting them too short... At this time I'm so thankful for bobby pins, headbands, and of course the fact that it'll grow back. But if that's the worst thing going on in my life, I'll be a-okay. 

Until next time my loves,



Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Love! {10.21.16}

source
I's been like two months since I've done one of these bad boys, so let's get started!

one// This Sunday Michael and I are going to Chicago! It's for a conference with Harvest Bible Chapel, and it'll be our first extended trip (3 days!) without Lydia. I'm a little nervous because the longest I've been away from her is a full day/overnight! However, at the same time I am looking forward to learning and becoming closer to God without all the distractions.


two// The other day I took a picture of Lydia sitting in her chair and realized I had taken a similar one exactly a year before. 7 months old vs. 19 months old. I think she was just starting to army crawl at that age and now she's running, climbing and dancing!

three// I am easing back into painting. I got out the oil paints that I had bought over a year ago and forgot about. I am hoping it'll help with relaxation and spark my creativity!

pacifier nostalgia 
four// So, Lydia hasn't used her pacifier in two full days! We have been talking about weaning her off of it, but my instincts just told me to just keep it from her and have her go cold turkey. I told Michael we need to be strong and not cave in when she's upset. Yesterday she was a bit of an emotional roll coaster but we all survived. On the bright side she's been sleeping through the night without a fuss! The next step? Have her sleep through the night in her crib :)

five// I'm happy that the weather is finally cooling down! This week has been so hot, and I have been drinking iced coffee in the afternoon when my soul is craving a hot latte. I also want to retire my sandals already and bring out the cozy fall/winter clothes. Today may be dreary and wet but I think it is refreshing, and I can appropriately wear a flannel and sip on a latte without sweating :)


six// After two years of reading my bible on my phone, I got myself a new bible this week and it's beautiful! Distractions are constant in my life, and doing my daily readings through my phone seemed to open doors to more distractions. I've always preferred reading books over screens so the transition from phone bible to real bible has been seamless!

That's all I have for this week, I hope you guys have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Spicy Fried Chicken Thighs


Fried chicken. Where does one begin? I'll start by saying that it's one of my favorite things to cook with my husband. I do all the prep work, he does all the frying, and then we indulge in it together. Fried chicken is a special kind of food that gives you a hug and makes you stop thinking about the craziness of your day and focus on the present moment. Don't be afraid to allow fried chicken's crispy texture and flavor layered goodness to create a party in your mouth! Chances are you will feel a little better while eating fried chicken. Okay it might be temporary satisfaction, but I'll take it, and I'll allow it to be the highlight of my day because life is too short not to enjoy the simple things. 

In my kitchen we use boneless chicken thighs because it's our favorite part of the bird. But by all means you can use chicken breasts, legs, wings, or better yet a whole chicken! This recipe is flexible that way. Fried chicken tastes delicious at room temperature and contrary to belief it can be reheated in the oven, or dare I say it even eaten directly out of the fridge! You can make sandwiches the next day on a nice soft bun or toss it into a salad. The delta sauce recipe is optional but I really love it. It's almost like Russian dressing but much spicier and really elevates the fried chicken. The sauce can also be used on french fries, tostones, and yucca fries.


Fried chicken can be a bit of a messy kitchen adventure that does require a little time but believe when I say that it's absolutely worth it! I like to serve fried chicken with roasted potatoes and either a bright green salad or braised collard greens with a little lemon juice to balance out the richness of the chicken. Though if you decide to serve your fried chicken with flaky buttermilk biscuits, I'd expect an invitation for dinner at your place. ;)



Spicy Fried Chicken Thighs 

The recipe is based off of this one and it's truly a keeper!
Serves 8
  • 2lbs. organic boneless chicken thighs*
  • Buttermilk
  • salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup Frank's Red Hot or other vinegar based hot pepper sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 cups flour 
  • 2-3 teaspoons cayenne powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh pepper
  • peanut or canola oil for frying 
  • kosher salt to taste
delta sauce: 
makes about 2 cups 
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup sambal oelek
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • fresh pepper to taste
Directions:

*You can absolutely use boneless breast meat just be sure to read my note on the bottom of recipe. 

  1. For chicken: Place chicken in a large plastic freezer bag and cover with buttermilk. Refrigerate overnight or at least two hours before cooking.
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, water and hot pepper sauce. Whisk until combined. 
  3. In a large gallon sized freezer bag, mix flour, paprika, pepper and cayenne. 
  4. Remove chicken from buttermilk and sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Place all chicken pieces in freezer bag with flour mixture. Shake until all pieces are evenly coated. 
  6. Remove all chicken pieces one at a time, shaking off excess flour. Dip each piece of chicken in egg mixture, and return to bag of flour. After all pieces have been dipped into egg mixture and put back in flour bag, give another shake to coat the pieces of chicken again.
  7. Heat oil in a deep fryer or dutch oven to 350 degrees. Working in batches, drop each piece of chicken in hot oil. Fry for about 5-7 minutes each side or until golden brown. *If you're using breast meat it will cook faster. Season chicken with a sprinkle of kosher salt.


For the delta sauce: combine everything in a small bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy!