Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Weekend: Good Friday

Good Friday in pictures below:

While we were all hanging out upstairs, Troy ran out of his room wearing this bunny hat he received two years ago as an infant. He proudly squished it on his head before running into the room :) 
Some of our friends invited us to join them at a live Stations of the Cross event to commemorate Good Friday. We participated in the walk around the quad and the station where Jesus was put on the cross and later taken down was a memory marker for Troy. Thanks for telling us about it, Su!
Special treat as the three of us dined out! Troy has been saying "I like" in front of different things this week. This particular night was "I like cheeseburgers and fries!"
Love my big boy, so grown up :) 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Meal prep: Chicken Teriyaki Rolls

As I mentioned earlier this week, we try to avoid grocery shopping the last week of the month except for essentials, and come up with meals based on food in the house. Enter in chicken teriyaki rolls! Back in January or so, I bought a bag of sushi rice and nori seaweed to make this dish for Mike and I one night. Enter pregnancy... enter aversion to chicken... enter zero ambition to cook anything that has more than two ingredients, haha.

So it was about time we gave these a try! I substituted our chicken, sliced it up and stir fried it in the teriyaki instead of using the pre-cooked stuff. They were tasty and in Mike's words, "well worth the wait!"

ready to roll
this is what Troy did while I was preoccupied rolling sushi
finished product!
Troy managed to use the chopsticks well enough to get the food in his mouth :) 

12 weeks!

Wow, this pregnancy is going by quickly! I'm starting to get used to the idea of two instead of one, in just thinking through what that's actually going to be like. And as this first trimester draws to a close, I am getting more and more excited for all that's to come in the next few months: feeling baby really moving around, finding out if its a boy or girl, coming up with a name, room preparations and of course culminating in actually meeting this new little one!

I've been doing alright this week. I have been eating lots of small meals/snacks throughout the day and have been going through lots of fruits and veggies. Other favorite snacks are crackers with peanut butter and tropical fruit popsicles from aldi (with actual chunks of fruit and shreds of coconut...yum!) I need to really work on increasing my protein now. 

Had a midwife checkup this week and met another of the midwives in the group, Kathy. I have loved them all so far and feel totally comfortable with all of them. I've already met three and have three more to go. Anyways, I got to hear the heartbeat for the first time! Her comment was "this is a cooperative kid!" because baby was so easy to find and didn't even squirm away while she listened to the heartbeat. Troy was always a squirmer and liked to hide. The heartbeat was 160 :) 

We spent a long time talking, which was nice. Even though my nausea has subsided and I felt like I've been eating often, I lost a pound this month :/ I definitely never had that problem last time I was pregnant. And don't expect it to be an issue as the months go on :) So as I said, I'm going to work on increasing my protein while downing all these fruits and veggies! 

Other than that, nothing too exciting happening around here pregnancy-related. I'll go back again in 4 weeks, and then 4 weeks after that we'll find out boy or girl. Start placing your bets! :) 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Aldi Love

Its that time again folks. Time to talk about my love for Aldi. I know, I know, I've blogged about it before. But its worth mentioning again. Because today, I got to take advantage of this fabulous deal for the second time in a week. And that was just the start of it!

When Mike and I sat down in January and set some new goals to reduce our spending this year, one of the things we decided to try was to not buy groceries the last week of the month (with the exception of "essentials" like milk and eggs). But when my friend and co-worker Corrie forwarded over a $5 off $30 or more purchase at Aldi for this week, I had to take advantage of it and break our no groceries rule. (If you want to take advantage of this coupon, let me know and I can forward it to you too!) Plus we were really low on produce and we've been going through produce like crazy over here lately, so I knew I could come up with $30 worth of things to buy. 

Fact: I put more in my shopping cart than I expected to get when I walked in. With the goal of spending $30, I was concerned I had gone way, way over that number. Yet when I checked out, the number slowly climbed little by little as the cashier swiped all my purchases. And sure enough, I didn't spend much more than I planned walking in. 

That is why I LOVE ALDI. Seriously. Most grocery stores, when you feel like you've overspent, yep, you've truly overspent. But when I look at the sum total of purchases I get at Aldi and match it up to the dollar amount it just doesn't seem to add up. I'm convinced that even if I were to spend hours couponing each week, I wouldn't save as much as I do by doing half or more of my regular grocery shopping at Aldi. And bonus, it doesn't take hours out of my week to shop there since its literally closer to my home than any other grocery store I frequent.

Some of my favorite buys this week:
  • $1.49 gallons of milk (and no, Brian, these aren't already expired!)
  • $0.49 dozen eggs 
  • Starburst jelly beans a full dollar cheaper than Meijer's price
  • $1.99 for a large bag of oranges
  • $0.99 strawberries
So that's that. My latest "I love Aldi" sales plug for them. I know there's a couple extra steps to shopping there but I can't tell you how much that is worth over time. Actually my grocery stats can, as I calculated our grocery spending from January-March 2013 is down 27% compared to January-March 2012. With how much Troy eats, this is nothing short of a miracle! (How I so quickly calculated our exact spending compared to a year ago can be attributed to and is a whole separate blog post of its own!)

So consider shopping at Aldi. Let me know if you have any questions. If you give it a try, I bet you'll be sold!
Grand total = $34

The Great Snow of 2013

Well this doesn't happen every year. A late winter snowstorm swept through Central Illinois (and surrounding states) dumping nearly a foot of snow on us in less than a day!

This is what we woke up to...

This is just before Mike said, "We're getting that snowblower for next year!" Snow-related activities do NOT top his list of favs.

Later on, we headed outside to play. It was all fun at first...

I thought it was hilarious how buried Bear was.

Sadly a foot of snow is just a lot of snow for a 2 yr old to handle. He couldn't walk through it and repeatedly fell over. He lost a glove and couldn't find it for a minute. And while laying in the snow to make "angels" was fun at first, when he sunk a few inches down, he started crying to get out. So we headed inside for cookies and milk and watched our neighbors across the street build a snowman from the warmth of our home instead :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Winter Jam

Billed as Christian music's biggest tour of the year, Mike and I went to Winter Jam at Assembly Hall once before three or so years ago. We had so much fun that year (Third Day was the headlining act) that when this year's concert fit into our schedules, we made plans to go again. We decided to take Troy with us and just stay as long as we were enjoying it. Aside from some outdoor summer concerts (speaking of which, can't wait until those start back up again!) Troy has never been to anything like this. He seemed to love the "big concert" :) And big it was! Assembly Hall was nearly sold out, if not completely sold out. The entire place was filled up- we actually sat directly behind the stage since we got there after it started. We'll see who's there next year and maybe Troy will get to go to another "big concert" then :)

You can barely see us, smiling concert-goers :) 
My blog serves many purposes, one of which right now is entertainment for Troy. After we do something like this, he loves to watch videos of what we did in the weeks to come. And sometimes we dial it back a year or so to see "baby Troy" videos. Nonetheless, these videos below are mainly for Troy but perhaps you'll enjoy them too :) Particularly the "metal" band Red, which was Troy's favorite of the night. Ask him about the big concert and you'll get the recap,"Fire! Wheels! Steam!!" from this pyrotechnic group. 

One of my favs of the night, Jamie Grace, performing. 

Troy's top pick.

A close second for Troy, Toby Mac and his drumline.

sticker buds

Troy ambushed Daddy with some stickers right after naptime. He thought that putting one on his nose and on Daddy's was the best.thing.ever. Ah, the simple life of a child :)

veggie fan

We got a good laugh out of this one. We've been using jelly beans to help encourage Troy in potty training. He loves them. Gets so excited for them. The other night he went potty right before dinner and got his two jelly beans. As we went to the table he realized there was brocoli for dinner and dug right in. Leaving the jelly bean to the side instead to scarf down his much-loved brocoli. Not sure where his love of veggies came from but I'm sure glad he'll pass up candy for brocoli!

One on one time

Yesterday Bear and I went for a walk during nap time all by ourselves. It was lovely out and sometimes our furry ones need some special one-on-one time doing something they enjoy too :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

11 weeks

11 weeks today! Its been a good week. Though "they" say there's no way yet, I'm sure I've felt the baby fluttering around in there. And I felt Troy move pretty early last time so I'm fairly confident I'm right on this one :) I was so, so excited to start feeling baby moving around this time that I'll take those tiny flutters until he/she gets much bigger.

Also, we enjoyed a great weekend last weekend with Mike at home. And have some more weekends coming up to look forward to, as well :) I've been feeling well, getting enough rest and not as tired. My appetite is slowly returning, but I definitely have to remind myself to eat for the later part of the day (morning and lunch don't seem to be a problem!)

Baby seems to be growing as I recognize a little bump growing. By comparison, click this link to see a photo from 11 weeks with Troy. I seem to be growing a little more slowly this go around so far. As long as baby is doing well and getting what he/she needs, I don't care how fast or slow I grow!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sleepy Monkey

Because sleepy photos of my boy never ever get old :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Children's Discovery Museum

I spontaneously decided to take Troy over to the Children's Discovery Museum in Normal today. I know how much he loves that place and its an easy ride from here :) We hadn't visited since the summer, but he remembered it and enthusiastically shouted "YEA, excited!!" when we were leaving the car and walking towards the door. I couldn't get him to take a potty break the whole time we were there, he just wanted to keep playing. Definitely thankful for pull-ups today :)

The very first thing he wanted to do. Not a surprise!

He thought this water shooter was a fire hose

I thought it was pretty cool that they had a giant screen inside this tractor so it looked like you were actually driving through fields when you were sitting in it. He had a hard time leaving this one and giving others a turn!
Trying to figure out how fake cows were making milk. I can see his wheels spinning...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cheeseburger time

About that cheeseburger I've had on my mind all week... I decided to give in and have a mother-son date night tonight at Five Guys! As you can see below, Troy was one very satisfied customer, finishing every last piece of cheeseburger but didn't take a bite of his bun. And he was still hungry for fries! As for my burger, it didn't disappoint. There's no ignoring cravings when you're pregnant. They just turn into a bigger deal as the days go on, until you finally give in :)

10 week update

10 weeks pregnant today! 10 down, 30 to go (yikes). But with that being said, this pregnancy is flying by. I can't even imagine how quickly October will get here, especially once summer arrives and we spend the days playing outside in the sunshine :) And before too long, we'll know whether we're planning for a little boy or a little girl to be joining us! Have I mentioned I'm pretty convinced its a boy? I can't really explain why; aside from being more tired than last time, this is pretty much exactly how I remember pregnancy feeling. So we'll see once May gets here I suppose :)

This week I'm craving cheeseburgers. We watched an episode of kitchen nightmares the other night with some gigantic burgers and they've been on my mind ever since. I texted Mike today and told him the meal plan for Saturday includes burgers, so time to pull out the grill and dust it off.

Ah, the "m" word. "Meal plan." I'm pretty sure I haven't followed my meal plan for the better part of the last 5-6 weeks. Nonetheless, I'm working on getting back to it.

Now that my nausea is pretty much gone, I'm hoping to get my appetite back. I just don't have an appetite to eat much food. It really depends on what's available and how good it sounds. Ah well, second trimester is just mere weeks away!

In other news, we're still potty training like crazy around here. Troy is doing great but he's still in need of a couple changes of clothes each day. I'm just so thankful that we should be good by the time the baby gets here and will only have one in diapers :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Seize the day

Warning: this post is all about toddler bodily functions!

Troy has been using the potty for months now. We go in waves where he uses it a lot, to not much, to a lot again. I hadn't been pushing it much because I didn't think he was ready to go 100% yet. But then for a few weeks he stopped wanting to poop all together, and I told myself once we worked through that, we would "seize the day" and finish potty training next time he seemed ready. That day came this weekend!

I decided on Thursday that we would go for it on Friday. And we haven't looked back! We bought some jelly beans and pulled out the Thomas the Train underwear and got excited. Troy has done really great this weekend! We had an accident and a couple hurried runs to the potty on Friday and the same on Saturday. Gramma and Grampa came down for a day visit and it was helpful to have some others on potty watch with me :) And today we have had NO calls from Troy proclaiming "peepee floor!", in other words, get the clean up ready Mama :)

Still putting a diaper on for outings and sleep, but I'm hopeful that we'll be using diapers for outings less and less! Way to go, Troy!!

And Mike? He's coming home from a two week trip tonight to a mostly potty trained kid! Troy can't wait to show off his big boy skills to Daddy :) I can't wait to see you, Mike!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

9 weeks

Here we are :) I totally have been debating making this post. Because making a 9 week post implies there will be 31 subsequent posts that are weekly updates. But then I reminded myself how many times I've already looked back at my blog from being pregnant with Troy and how much I appreciated being able to identify the exact week I felt him move the first time, etc. So, as I said, here we are :)

Hmmm, so what to say. This week has been a good one and has flown by quickly. Troy and I have had a few things to do to keep busy in the last few days, including swimming at the Y with our friend Sarah (the Y is now known as "Sarah's pool"). Troy loved having a noodle to swim with and I need to practice noodle swimming with him some more.

So, this is a pregnancy related post and I've already made it all about Troy. Ha! Baby #2, or "U2" (unnamed 2) as Mike and I have nicknamed it (until he or she is no longer an "it" and is known as a "he" or "she"). I have definitely seen a return of some of my energy this week, which compared to the last time, is the same point at which I started to act like myself again :) I ditched the mega prenatal vitamins they gave me through the pharmacy and picked up something a little less super-charged and I think that helped with some of my nausea. Regardless, I'm extremely thankful to be feeling like myself!

I haven't had much in the way of cravings yet but I have been picky with my food. Certain things simply sound good (Monicals Pizza is whats on my mind today!) and other things just don't at all (a glass of milk or chicken breasts for dinner). I have been eating lots of fruits and veggies, but know I've been slacking a little in the protein department. At least beef is still appealing!

As of my appointment last week, I hadn't gained any weight yet. I expect that to change by the next appointment, surely :) That doesn't mean I haven't noticed changes in my body, as I most certainly have! And I *may* already be wearing my stretchy pants, because how do you NOT wear stretchy pants when they're in the same house as you are! Literally, one day I got dressed for work and Troy and I were playing before leaving. And I told myself, do you know what would make this day pretty great? Wearing a pair of stretchy pants! So I marched down to the basement and unburied a pair. I was comfy all day long and have been since :)

Here's a pic from a couple days ago for the records. Now, grow baby, grow!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Deer sighting!

Every day we leave the church and take the "back road" towards our home, which conveniently runs right through the woods and by a lake. We see geese almost every day but we've only seen deer once or twice. Nevertheless, EVERY day when we drive by the spot we see deer, Troy looks for them. Imagine his excitement when he spotted them today for the first time in weeks! I wish I could just bottle up his excitement and energy :)

"Cute" deer, in Troy's words

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Snow Storm Saturn

I just had to include the name of the storm because I find it hilarious that every single storm has a name now. First there was "Q", then "Rocky" and now Saturn. Wow. Moving on.

We are getting some real snow again tonight! It started late this morning and has been coming down all day. When Troy and I were driving home for his nap, he kept asking to play in the snow and I reminded him he had to take a nap first. Trust me, he did not forget that promise when he woke up from his nap, eager to play in the snow!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Busy activities

Troy is at the age now where all those fun sensory buckets and "busy bags" draw him in for several minutes (15? 20? More?) of play at a time. And since he and I are spending a lot of not-so-exciting times around the house together these days, I plan to pull these things together whenever I an, hopefully carrying us a few more weeks into spring time weather that brings playtime outside!

Here's a construction scene tub I put together. I found the most inexpensive and abundant ingredient around my house that could be "scooped" into dump trucks and ended up using oats. Troy loved it! And still ate his oatmeal this morning without zooming a truck through the bowl :)

About a year ago, a bunch of moms at church got together for a "busy bag swap". At the time, all the bags weren't quite Troy-ready, so they've been sitting in the closet since then. I am so, so thankful for them now though, as he enjoys them all!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The scoop on Baby #2

Now that the secret's out, I can share all the details about baby Cunningham #2! So I guess this would be a good place to start...

On Superbowl Sunday, Mike was busy sitting on the runway at O'Hare airport while his plane was being de-iced, while I meanwhile was sitting in the house with an unopened pregnancy test I had picked up the day before. I had said I wouldn't take it until he got home and then he was delayed...and delayed...and delayed. I just knew that I knew that I knew that it was going to be positive!

Sure enough, Mike walked in the door and no less than five minutes later, I ran out of the bathroom with this!

Then we waited and waited and waited for what seemed like forever. But what was really about two weeks. With just a few people sworn to secrecy, we waited for my parents to come down for a visit so we could tell them in person. When they drove up, they saw this sign from the street!

We spent the rest of the day enjoying a fine meal, making phone calls to Mike's mom and the rest of our family and close friends and relaxing. It was an awesome weekend!

Then, sometime the following week, my nausea really kicked into gear. Its definitely worse this pregnancy than it was with Troy. I'm more tired as well, but I think I can attribute that to the busy toddler I'm chasing after most of the day :) Thankfully, we enjoyed a great trip to St Louis and I felt relatively decent until we got home... but a huge highlight of the week ahead was getting to see this little bean and his/her beating heart!

Sono #1: February 26, 7 weeks, 5 days
I had my first appointment with the midwives (woot for Carle midwives this time around!) and things checked out well. Praying that this pregnancy continues along well and I stay low risk so that I can end up in one of those sweet fourth floor rooms for labor and delivery!

So baby #2 is estimated to be due on October 10 later this year, putting me at just over 8 weeks. We couldn't be more excited for he/she to be on the way and know that this baby came to be exactly on God's timing :) More pregnancy-related updates in the weeks ahead, but for now, time to put my feet up and rest!

The secret's out!

Friday, March 1, 2013

"ride horse!"

With Gramma in town for a visit, we paid a trip to the mall tonight and surprise, it was a family fun night! Free rides on the carousel and balloon animals for all :) Any night that involves a ride on the horse is a pretty great one in Troy's world :) And any day that he has Gramma here to play is pretty awesome (for all of us!) too!