Sunday, July 31, 2011

21 Weeks!

We're on the downhill slide now...and getting ready for Sawyer in full swing.  We Barry and my Dad spent the weekend doing projects around the cabinets, ceiling fans, light things like that!  My Mom and I spent the weekend shopping for her...equally as important!  We scoped out baby furniture, bought a few things for her room and our baby girl is aquiring quite the wardrobe of comfy PJs from her grandma and a camo dress and bloomers from her grandpa! 

We are so thankful to my parents for helping us so much this weekend, and treating us to some great meals too!  Here are my 21 week pictures from Friday...

I am finally starting to feel like I look pregnant, instead of just chubby!  Sawyer is the size of a spaghetti squash this week and weighs about a pound.  I feel her moving ALL the time, which is really fun!  Although, I usually don't feel her until about 9-10 in the morning, I'm hoping she continues that late sleeping mother, like daughter...I hope...

Off to enjoy this evening watching a movie with my hubs!  We go back to the doctor on Thursday so I will update again then...have a good week!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

20 Weeks & Our "Babymoon"

Half way done...hard to believe it!  Shortly after we found out we were having a baby, Barry and I decided that we wanted to take one last trip...just the two of us.  We realize we will be able to travel once we have kids, but it will just be different.  We wanted somewhere tropical and since my passport is expired and there wasn't enough time to get a new one, we decided on Key West...and it didn't dissapoint! 

We were totally surprised by the crazy nightlife that goes on there, we had no idea!!  It was wild...apparently...we didn't do anything too crazy, 3 days of relaxing was plenty excitement for us!  Since we didn't receive one of our suitcases whenever we first got there, the one that had all of Barry's swimsuits, we were kind of limited on our first day there, Friday.  Can't have much of a beach vacation without a swimsuit!  So we decided to spend the day exploring the island and doing some shopping.  Here are my pics from Friday...20 weeks!!!!!

Now get ready for the Tara & Barry show...full of akward self portraits and pictures of each of us by ourselves!  While we were out shopping, we looked everywhere to find a keychain or license plate or something with Sawyer's name on it...we wanted a unique name and mission accomplished!  All we found was this building...which is way better than a cheesy key chain anyways!

Us, walking around...there was this beautiful private island with some awesome houses in the background.

Barry hanging out with the creepy card playing statues at our hotel...

The suitcase finally arrived when we got back that afternoon so we were able to get ready for dinner that night, we found a great Italian restaurant right by our hotel.

The extent of our night life was going to a movie that night!  Saturday started out like this...

Followed by a couples' massage on the beach...amazing!!  The hotel had these super elaborate sand castles that had been there for 3 months with barely any damage to them...pretty cool.

And the rest of the day was spend doing this...


Until we got ready for dinner that night.  We took the recommendations from some of the waitresses we talked to that day and headed to Commodores for a nice seafood dinner on the harbor.

And dessert was of course Key Lime Pie...when in Rome...

We walked back to our hotel that night and relaxed on the beach.  Sunday was....interesting.  We had booked an offshore fishing trip which we were both very excited about doing...I even bought a new cute fishing shirt for the excursion =)

And that is the last picture you will see of me because I spend the entire 4 hour trip with my head hanging over the side of the boat getting rid of my breakfast.  It was a long 4 hours for me!  I have never been one to get motion sickness at all, but pregnancy does weird things to you! 

Right before we left...

Barry's big catch of the day...

So that was that.  I instantly felt better when we got off the boat so we grabbed lunch and walked back to our hotel stopping in some stores on the way to find a souvenier...we ended up with some cool paintings that we are going to hang in Sawyer's room!

We decided to pick up some sandwiches and have a picnic at the pool Sunday night, which was so relaxing and we spend the rest of the night laying on the private beach our hotel had talking about our baby girl!

It was a great trip...We have already started talking about where the three of us can go next summer!  This is quickly turning into my virtual scrapbook, which was not my intention when I started this blog, but turns out I am way better at keeping up with this.  Plus, I like this a lot more than actually thanks for reading all my rambling!

Have a great week!

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's A...........

Yesterday was the big day!  We were able to find out the gender of our baby!  We decided that we wanted to do something fun to tell our parents but were stumped because we left for our vacation yesterday so we wouldn't be able to see our families...or keep the secret until we came back so we cooked up a plan! 

We started telling everyone that we were going to have the doctor's office write down boy or girl and seal it in an envelope and we were going to wait to open it until we got on the plane, which we originally planned to do, but changed our minds.  So we decided to let everyone else think that was our plan anyways.  We called the florist and cookie cake delivery store and placed an order.  We explained to them that we were going to reveal the gender to our parents with their deliveries so we would be calling Thursday morning with the color to send over to them.  We ordered flowers for my mom and Barry's parents and a cookie cake for my dad.

After a restless Wednesday night, it was finally time for our appointment.  They took tons of measurements and looked closely at the organs and spine and FINALLY told us the gender.  The lady asked what I thought it was, and I said I thought it was boy, but I didn't see anything there!  She had just captured an image that would tell us boy or girl...and she said I was right...nothing!  A GIRL!  But most importantly a healthy girl!  There were no concerns from the doctor as far as the baby or indicators for disability or preterm labor.  I was totally shocked that we were having a girl!  But, we are very excited.  She weights 11 oz and is about the size of a Barbie doll...which I like better than the fruit of the week...large banana.

We hadn't really decided on a name up to that point but as soon as the lady stepped out to get the doctor it was just like we knew what her name was going to be all along...and it was something we hadn't even talked about!  And the best part is that her daddy picked it out =)

We left the doctor, called about our deliveries and did some shopping around town while we waited for the phone calls to roll in!  One of our stops was a baby store - I asked Barry if he was going to get mad when I put big, rediculous bows on our little girl and he said no, as long as I don't get mad when he dresses her in camo (which she will obviously be wearing a bow with).  Deal. 

My mom was the first to call, she got a new job last week and was kind of bouncing around this week so I had to enlist the help of Brie.  Brie went and picked up the flowers since I wasn't sure where to have them delivered.  She called me when she was walking into my mom's office so I was able to hear her reaction, which was fun..."You little sneaks!!"  But also very excited!

My dad was the next one to call, we had a cookie cake delivered to his office...

Congrats Grandpa...It's ANOTHER girl!
We hoped that Barry's parents would receive theirs before we got on the plane...but no such luck!  We had about a 20 minute layover in Atlanta so we were able to talk the them and call the rest of our families and friends as well.

I didn't plan to spend my vacation on the computer, but when we arrived in Key West last of our suitcases didn't.  So we are stuck waiting around for it right now for a few hours and had to reschedule our fishing trip...but no big deal because it is raining anyways!

We didn't really get any good pictures yesterday, this is about as good as it gets!  It snapped it in the car before we left so its blurry...its a profile view with her foot over her head...kinda hard to tell. 

Sawyer Beth

That was a long one, but I want to remember all the details of such a great day!  Off to enjoy the vacation with my hubby!  20 week (HALFWAY DONE!) pictures to come soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Smothered Steaks

My cooking buddy and I whipped up a delicious dinner tonight...if I do say so myself!

This is where she always sits when I'm cooking dinner, and stares at me like a weirdo...she won't cross the line into the kitchen for some reason, nothing that we have taught her...unless she sees something fall! 

I decided on smothered hamburger steaks for dinner because this is one of Barry's favorites.  He orders it often when we go out to eat, and as someone who cares very much for her husband's heart health (I am 100% certain they are not using lean ground beef and low sodium ingredients!) I decided to give it a healthier go!  So gather up your ingredients:

For the steaks:
1 pound lean or extra lean ground beef
1 tablespoon low fat, olive oil based mayo (for a binder since the beef is lean, I normally would have used an egg, but we were out)
Garlic Salt
Onion Powder

For the gravy:
1 can healthy request cream of mushroom soup
1 packet low sodium brown gravy mix
1 cup water
1/2 large onion, cut into "strings" (I'm sure there is a more official term, but I don't know!)

Start by preparing the meat.  In a mixing bowl, combine meat, mayo and seasonings to your liking...a few dashes of each will do.

Form 4 roughly even patties.

While you prepare the gravy and onion, go ahead and start to heat a large skillet over high heat on the stove.  To make the gravy, whisk the soup, gravy packet and water together in a small mixing bowl and...

cut the onion into strings.

When your skillet is nice and hot, sear each patty for about 5-10 seconds on each side.  They should be pretty brown on each side, but raw in the middle.

Reduce heat to medium/low and pour gravy mixture over meat.

Add the onions inn.

Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Remove lid and simmer for about 10 more minutes - until meat is cooked through and onions are tender.

And that's it!

Next time I post it will be about our ultrasound Thursday...what do you think?? Boy or Girl?!?


Saturday, July 16, 2011

19 Weeks

It's so nice to be blogging from home this weekend!  I am loving blogging in my PJ's while my hubby cooks us breakfast.  After practically two months of traveling, we have both really been looking forward to this weekend.  We went to the Astros game last night with some friends, but are planning to spend the rest of the weekend at home CLEANING and organizing.  Only about 4 1/2 months until our little one is here so we have a lot to do!  Here I am at 19 weeks...

This is my friend Laura Lynn and I at the game last night.  Me at 19 weeks 1 day, and her at 14 weeks 1 day...except she is due about a week after me because she is having TWINS! 

I'm really enjoying some of my close friends being pregnant at the same time as's always nice to have people to talk to who are also experiencing all the weird things that come along with pregnancy.

Baby B is growing from the size of a mango to a small canteloupe this week!  I am sure now that what I thought might have been some movement last weekend definitely was!  I really started feeling the baby move on Monday and Barry was able to feel some small kicks on Thursday night so that was really exciting.  4 more days until we find out the gender...I was pretty sure (for no reason at all) that we were going to have a boy but I have had dreams two nights in a row that it's a girl, so now I'm confused!  We will be thrilled with whatever and are just hoping for a healthy baby...which they will be screening for on Thursday as well so I'm anxious for multiple reasons.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oven-Fried Fish

The other day, someone at work asked me if Luby's was healthy and a few days later I was in another conversation about Luby's with someone else...weird, right?  Well, ever since then I have had Luby's fried fish on the brain...the only reason anyone goes there!  That and the desserts.  So, this is my attempt at recreating a healthier version, and I think it was fairly successful.  I think I used a little too much Italian seasoning, but other that that it was great!

The best part about it is that it is much improved nutritionally.  1 filet of Luby's fried fish will cost you about 400 calories and 20 grams of fat.  My version was about 150 calories and no fat...except for maybe a trivial amount from cooking spray.  I chose to use Italian seasoning, paprika and garlic salt to season mine, but whatever you have will work.  Next time I think I will try ranch powder, and if I liked spicy things I would try a Cajun seasoning...but I'm a wimp.  This doesn't really take any precise measuring so I just eye-balled everything.

Two 4 oz (roughly checkbook sized) tilapia filets
1/2 - 1 cup whole wheat flour
1-2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 - 1 cup skim milk
1/2 - 1 cup Panko Japanese bread crumbs
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400.  Start by preparing 3 bowls to dredge your fish in.  As someone who is not experienced in frying things, the order of this seemed off to me, but everything I read said flour, milk/egg, breadcrumbs.  I chose to use whole wheat flour (more fiber & protein) and skim milk (no fat) to coat my fish.  So anyways,  in first bowl - flour and seasonings.  Second bowl - milk.  Third bowl - bread crumbs.

Then dip your fish into each bowl, coating thoroughly.  Flour, milk, bread crumbs.  I didn't take pictures of the whole process because I didn't have enough hands!

Place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  I put my oven on broil for the last 3-5 minutes to brown the tops a little more, but not necessary.  The fish is done when it is white all the way through and flakes easily.

I promise to work on my food photography someday.  We served this up with some of Barry's specialty - mac and cheese - and some steamed broccoli...which Cora enjoyed for dinner last night too!

Have a good weekend...we are very excited to spend our weekend at home doing NOTHING!  Baby B update coming soon!


Monday, July 11, 2011

18 weeks on the beach!

This is gonna be a long one!  My favorite weekend of the year has come and gone!  Every year my dad's side of the family heads down to Port Aransas for a long weekend and it is my favorite place in the world.

We have been doing this every summer for as long as I can remember and I have so many great memories.  Our group seems to grow every year.  This was everyone back in 2009...this year there were 51 of us...and we were missing a few!

I'm the one in the back in the orange hat that looks like a boy!
I am so thankful to have such a huge, wonderful family.  Unfortunately this is the only time of the year some of us see each other, but we make the most of the time together...not much sleeping going on!  My favorite memory of the coast is when Barry and I got engaged 3 years ago.  I couldn't have asked for a better proposal!

We went on an early morning walk this year just like when we got engaged...but there were no diamonds involved this time...maybe next year, I will keep trying =)  My favorite memory of this year was that I think I felt the baby move for the first time...I think.  Here I am at 18 weeks.

I think I looked way more pregnant two weeks ago than I do now...I'm blaming it on Cora.  I have a ton of pics from the weekend so here they come!

First day at the beach:

Cora and Holly...the best babysitter ever!
Barry, Dad and Michael
Cora and her grandma!
Abigail the fish
Brooke, Brie and Cora
Every year we have a birthday party for the July birthdays...since Brooke's birthday was on Friday this year we did it that night.

The birthday girls!  Brooke, Abigail, Brittney & Holly

She had her first taste of cake...didn't love it.  Must not be related to me!
Barry playing referee!

soon to be Mr & Mrs!!!
Saturday at the beach:

Girl first cousins!  Minus Cora...

Excuse my lion was humid
so cute!
Saturday night we took family pics

All of us!
The Paweleks
Cora munching on her outfit
The Boenings
And that's it!  I can't believe this is my 50th post...who knew I would actually stick with this and LOVE doing it!  Thanks for reading!!