Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Lucy has discovered the joy of video taping herself via my iPhone. She loves to make videos of herself and then watch them... hmmm... maybe this is not the best thing to have taught her! Oh well, thought this video was pretty cute, it's long, so sorry - but I mostly post on her for myself anyway, and I liked the whole thing!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Recipes- First Half of July

I have not been good about keeping up with my recipes, but here is a list of what we've tried over the past couple weeks. I probably missed somethings, but these were the most memorable! I even remembered to take a few pictures this time...

1. Spinach and Feta Pasta ( - I love the Hippie with a Benz omelet from Cafe Patachou, and I was thinking how easy it would be to make this at home! So I bought feta, tomatoes, mushroom and spinach for omelets in the morning, but wanted to leftover ingredients somehow so I came looked up this pasta. Very tasty and very easy! I did not add the feta cheese until after the meal was in a bowl, more as a garnish. I also would recommend cooking the mushrooms a little longer than the spinach and tomatoes. MAKE AGAIN

2. Egg Rolls (, Fried Rice ( - I've made this fried rice before, it was good, but the real hit of the meal was the homemade egg rolls... I loved these! I would definitely make these again, although wrapping them was a little time consuming, it was worth it. Everything else was pretty simple. Also, I could only find spring roll wrappers, so we had to make do with that, but they were still good. MAKE AGAIN

3. Pot Roast ( - This is one of our favorites, Ben loves this and I love how easy it is. We never usually add the wine (because I don't have it on hand) and I usually add potatoes and carrots to the crock pot for the last hour or so of cooking. MAKE AGAIN

4. Spinach Lasagna - I actually made this twice over the past three weeks, neither time really following a recipe. I had a spinach recipe that I loved but couldn't find it so I just followed the box directions and made adjustments. One time I did just spinach and the second time I did beef and spinach. Lucy loves it, so that is a hit for me because she's getting veggies, meat, dairy and grains all in one dish! MAKE AGAIN

5. Steak Sandwiches, Sweet Potato Fries and Corn - After seeing a Penn Station commerical one day, I was eager to trying making some steak subs at home. I wasn't sure what type of meat it was and how to slice it up, when low and behold they had pre-packaged steak sub meat at the grocery store! They basically had already sliced up steak and frozen it and you just had to heat it up on the stove... very easy. I like this meal because although it wasn't super healthy, I felt better about eating this than going to Penn Station - I used whole grain bread, added sauteed peppers, and had sweet potatoe tater tots and corn on the side instead of greasy french fries. I might try a friend's recipe I saw for this one next time.

6. Paula Deen Chicken Nuggets (, Green Beans (, Mashed Potatoes - this is one of Ben's favorite meals, but it's pretty time consuming so it's not one of my favorites to prepare. The chicken nuggets are amazing however, and I would definitely recommend them, it just takes time to coat each piece of chick with the crushed chips. The green beans were a new recipe and a hit, I didn't have bacon or ham so I used bacon bits and oddly enough it turned out good! MAKE AGAIN

7. Flank Steak, Broccoli and Brown Rice- The flank steak recipe is one I got from my good friend Jane. It's really easy and really delicious. You just slice up the flank steak into thin strips, marinate (we used teriyaki flavor) for an hour or so and then grill for about 5 minutes. We added it with broccoli and brown rice and it was almost like a delicious stir fry. MAKE AGAIN

8. Flat Iron Steak (, Salad, Pasta Salad (box) - I was in the mood for red meat these past couple weeks (can you tell)! This flat iron steak was a cheaper steak at the grocery so I thought we'd try it out. I didn't love the flavor and probably won't buy it again, knowing that the flank steak was similarly priced and much tastier.

9. BLT w/ avocado, chips and strawberry shortcake - Last but not least, I needed something for this past weekend that would be simple and BLT's sounded good so I made these up, and had some delicious strawberry shortcake (but really with angel food cake) for dessert! MAKE AGAIN

Phew! That's a lot, but as I was planning out meals for this next week I've already started looking back at my old meals, I'll be glad to have this to look back on!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

St. Louis Weekend

Goodness, we've been traveling a lot! We went from not traveling for several months, to having three action packed weekends in a row! It was actually a blast and they were much needed vacations, and much needed time with family and friends. Our final trip was a short trip to St. Louis for a Cardinals game. Just Ben and I went, so there was much less to think about and it was a bit more relaxing.

My mom had to go out to audit two of their restaurants in St. Louis so she invited us to join her for the weekend for dinner at Ruth's and a Cardinals game. It was a blast!

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza downtown, and Mom got us upgraded to a suite on the 20th floor, so the room and the view were awesome! We almost didn't want to leave the room!

We spent the first part of the day at the roof top pool (that had another great view!) Here I am posing with baby boy...

And then washed up and headed to dinner - even though we were all pretty stuffed from the wings we ate at Hooters for lunch (I think this was my first experience at Hooters, but what can I say, when the baby wants wings, the baby gets wings). Let's just say dinner was a little more classy...

Next up was our golf car ride over to the game... probably my favorite part of the weekend! Nothing beats riding around downtown St. Louis on the back of a golf car that goes 20+ miles an hour!

The game was a blast - we had great seats, and by great I mean they were in the shade, which was pretty much the only thing I was hoping for!

But after six innings, we decided to head back to Ruth's for a little dessert and drinks. Then I insisted Ben and I walk around for a little bit to try to work off some of the thousands of calories we had consumed that day!

The next morning we slept in late (a treat, since usually our little bean is usually calling out our name bright and early in the morning at home!) and went to a local breakfast place called Rooster. It was delicious so I was glad we walked a little further than we needed and stayed a little later than we should have to make it there.

Lucy had a blast staying with Grandma and Grandpa Wehner, and didn't even want to go home with us when we picked her up! They must spoil her rotten over there... like any good grandparent should :)

Fourth of July - Holland (part 2)

On the actual Fourth of July we spent most of the morning packing up at the hotel. Lucy slept in till 9 so we had a late breakfast and then headed over to Ben's grandparents for their 60th anniversary party- a cook-out with Ben's aunts, uncles and cousins.

Our little firecracker, one year ago...

And now, all grown up! (but still just as bald... ok, ok, her hairs growing, you just can't see it in this picture!)

Thanks for my Fourth of July outfit Mimi! You got me one last year and this year... so I'm expecting something cute next year!)

Playing on the swing set at Great Grandma and Grandpa DeGraaf's.

Hanging out with two of my favorite guys at the cookout. Dad...

And Grandpa...

And let's not forget baby boy... he's hidden somewhere in there!

We headed home from the cookout, Lucy napped about 45 minutes in the car (even though she was exhausted and usually naps for 2 hours, I've found car naps never make it past the 45 minute mark). But instead of going straight home, we went over to Beth's for a Fourth of July cookout and to catch some fireworks. I forgot to snag any pictures there, but we had a blast and it was a great way to end our busy, fun filled, Fourth of July weekend!

Fourth of July - Holland (part 1)

After picking cherries we continued on our way to Holland, where Ben's grandparent's cabin is. We had a great weekend hanging out with Ben's family, relaxing on the beach and touring Holland! Here are a few highlights from our trip...

After getting to Holland, we chatted with Ben's grandparents, met up with the family, and got to spend a little time on the beach. I was anxious to get back to the hotel to wash off all the camp gunk and I figured Lucy could use a nap, so we all took a shower/nap break back at the hotel. After the break we went to Russ's for dinner (a locally owned favorite of the Wehners) and then walked along the pier at the Holland State Park...

Lucy and Grandma watching the boats come in. This girl LOVES her grandma!

Uncle Nick showing Lucy around...

Walking on the pier with Dad...

Playing in the sand after we had just cleaned up at the hotel! Oh well, she had fun...

We spent most of the day on Sunday at the beach with a stop in the middle for a cook out with Ben's grandparents, aunt and cousins...

That night we walked around and ate dinner in downtown Holland. I have been to Holland several times but this was our first extended weekend and it was so neat to see other parts of the city besides the beach (don't get me wrong, I do love the beach!) It's an adorable town with lots of neat shops and lots of history too (Ben's parents met at college there so we got the scoop on all the places that were still around).

After dinner we toured Hope college, with Ben's dad, mom and brother Nick being our tour guides (all Hope Alumni). It was fun to learn about the campus and was especially nice for Luke as he will be going to Hope in the fall.

Of course, we made sure that Lucy didn't get a good look around - she will obviously be going to IU when she is ready for college.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fourth Of July - Camping

We had planned a trip up to Holland, Michigan for the holiday weekend to hang out at the beach and see Ben's extended family. We weren't supposed to leave till Saturday morning, but since it's a 4 hour drive, I was eager to get up north and have as much down time as possible - so we decided to camp on Friday night!

Ben and I have enjoyed camping in the past, but this was our first time taking Lucy. She did great! All in all the camping experience was not that fun because it rained our entire trip up to the campsite so the campgrounds were extremely muddy and all of the wood was wet. Plus the actual campsite we stayed at was not that nice and the amenities were only so-so (i.e. no fire pit, not all sites had picnic benches, there was no gravel to drive on so cars kept getting stuck in the mud). Also, I think we will probably wait to try camping till Lucy is a little older next time - although she was a happy camper, it was a lot of work to get the tent set up, get the fire going and cook dinner and she couldn't really enjoy the things that make camping fun like roasting marshmallows and cooking hot dogs over the fire.

Here's Ben and Lucy setting up the tent...

Dinner! The fire took so long to make because of all the damp wood, but Ben worked hard and finally got some nice heat going!

Lucy and I spent a lot of time in the back of the car - it was much drier, less buggy and all in all a better place for mommy to sit

Especially after Lucy found the mud puddles...

That was fun to clean up.

We had planned on making breakfast the next morning but we didn't want to have to rebuild the fire and we were pretty ready to wash up and get out of the swamp, so we decided to go out for breakfast. This left us a little extra time in the morning before Ben's family got there so we made a pit stop to pick some fresh Michigan cherries..

This was a lot of fun and I loved the spontaneity of our morning, but I wouldn't recommend taking a 15 month old to pick cherries... she wanted to put each one in her mouth, which we normally wouldn't mind except the fact that these cherries had pits and we were nervous about her choking. Better to try a blueberry farm next time!

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's a boy! And 20 Week Pictures

We went last week to our 20 week ultrasound and found out that baby 2 is going to be a little boy! While Ben and I were both excited I think we were both very surprised too. I didn't realize it until then, but I was really thinking this baby was going to be a little girl... I guess that's the only thing I've experienced so far, so that's the only thing I knew to expect. I'm excited to see what life brings as we add a little more testosterone to our family, and I'm especially excited for Ben to have a little football player he can coach in the back yard.

It wasn't until I went grocery shopping after the ultrasound that reality really set in and I realized the amount of pink things in our home and the amount of blue things we'll need to load up on - clothes, blankets, nursery decorations, etc. And I think being able to picture a little boy in our home just made reality set in even more that we were soon going to become a family of four! And all that still needs to be prepared for the arrival of our little boy - his room is full of stuff that needs to be moved out and then we need to go buy stuff to fill it back up! Needless to say I've been spending lots of time online since the ultrasound looking at nurseries and furniture and trying to decide how we can best maximize our space and the furniture we already have while creating two adorable spaces for our new little boy and his big sister.

Fortunately my mom has already got us on our way and bought us our first baby boy clothes, blankets, bibs, a robe and a teddy bear. I have a feeling this little boy is going to be just as spoiled as his big sister!

And here is an updated picture of my belly!

And as a comparison... here I was with Lucy at 20 weeks... looking about the same!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lucy 15 Months- Stats and Updates

Since I last posted an update on Lucy we've had a couple tumultuous weeks! Unfortunately Lucy had been sick for about a month and a half so we are just now entering a state of "normal" in our house. She went from having a cold/flu for almost two weeks to picking up another cold/flu, and somewhere in between got two ear infections! Poor girl! She spent most of those days with a paci, sleeping whenever she wanted, watching TV (something she normally isn't allowed to do) and hanging out in mom's arms. Anything to make my little girl feel better!

So as far as normal, I still don't have a good grasp on what a normal schedule looks like for us. With the weirdness of her schedule before the sickness, then the sickness, then two vacations after the sickness I have just been taking each day as they come and trying to watch Lucy's cues as much as possible. Some days she takes two naps, most days she takes one. Some days she seems cranky but doesn't want to sleep so she goes down for some much needed quiet time in her crib. Some days she sleeps a normal 7:30pm-7:30am schedule at night, some days we lay her down at 7:30 and she plays until 8:30 or 9. Hopefully within the next couple weeks (now that we are down with traveling for a bit) we'll get a better routine going.

Fortunately though much of the crankiness is gone and Lucy has been much less clingy to me. Although she still loves a decent amount of mommy time, it has been fun to see how she now also prefers her grandparents, Jadyn, Jordyn and Ben and will even sometimes choose them over me (something I'm very happy about!)

We have been working on a couple things I spoke with the doctor about in the past couple days. One problem I was having was Lucy's desire to snack all throughout the day and eat half her meal in the highchair and half her meals in my lap. Instead of this routine, I am now trying to have set meal times (difficult when her sleep is all over the map though) and only let her eat in her highchair or booster (difficult when we are on vacation though). So far we've had some success with this, but it has been taking a lot of reinforcement!

The other thing we've been working on is discipline. This is a whole new ball park for me and something I have been asking many of my other mommy friends about and reading lots of books about! It felt like such an abrupt change moving from baby-hood to toddler-hood, I definitely was not prepared. Fortunately, Lucy does not get into trouble a lot, and typically if she does do something bad I know it's time for a nap or bed time. My doctor suggested, and I agree, that at Lucy's age time outs can be somewhat difficult so if she does do something bad (i.e. hitting mommy out of anger) I get on her eye-level, tell her "NO NO NO" and then walk away from her for 30 seconds. So for right now, we are trying that - so far I've only had to do it once or twice, like I said Lucy just doesn't seem to be getting into too much trouble yet.

Two funny things that happened this past week that I want to remember are when Lucy sneezed and as Ben was reaching for a tissue, Lucy grabbed my shirt and wiped her nose with it (thanks luc! I wasn't trying to keep that clean or anything!) and when I was sitting in the family room I watched Lucy climb up the stairs. I thought it was funny she would leave a room that I was in (she usually likes to be close by) so I let her do her thing. A couple second later she came back down the stairs, and was running over to me with a paci in her mouth looking as happy as could be. Apparently she had snuck upstairs on a paci hunt and was proud of herself for finding one!

Other than that, Lucy's personality continues to blossom and I find myself laughing with her throughout the day. She is so adventurous and continues to love being outdoors. A few shots from the past couple weeks...

On our way home from a splash park day and visit to Mimi's

Playing in a box of oatmeal...

Splash park one evening with Jaydn and Jordyn...

15 month check up stats:
weight - 25.4 lbs, 85%
height - 32 in, 91%
head- 18.5in, 80%

Blacksburg Virginia 2011

I have lots of catching up on the blog to do as we have been traveling the past two weekends, we went to Lucy's 15 month check up at the doctor and we find out the sex of the baby tomorrow! So lots of new posts to come... First up- we traveled to the great state of Virginia to visit with Katy and Brandon for a long weekend.

Lucy and I had been once before...

But this was Ben's first visit. I had to include the above picture from our last visit to not only show how little Lucy was when we visited last time but also to note how much she liked Brandon when we visited last time. Unfortunately, this time, she wanted nothing to do with him and was a little frightened every time he came in the room... sorry b-bop... maybe she'll turn around next time we see you!

Lucy did really great during the 7 hour drive, although we thought she'd sleep more, both times in the car she didn't fall asleep until 10pm (she normally goes to bed around 7:30 or 8pm). This made for a lot of entertaining on the way there since we left at 3:30, but fortunately, Lucy seemed pretty happy and only got a little cranky towards the very end when she was obviously over-tired.

We did make one pit stop for dinner at burger king on the way down...

Katy and Brandon had the perfect weekend planned, a lot of fun activities but a lot of down time as well. The first day we planned to do a hike, but while we were getting everything together we realized it might be best to lay Lucy down before leaving, so we walked around K/B's neighborhood and then had a picnic lunch on their front porch...

Lucy had fun trying to balance on their hilly neighborhood... she's not used to going up and down all the time!

I think one of my favorite things about K/B's house is their front porch. We happened to have amazing weather while we were there so we spent lots of hours sitting/eating/talking/relaxing on their front porch. It was perfect!

The boys also snuck in a quick tour of the Virginia Tech campus via the Miller's tandem bicycle. Love seeing these two grown men on a bike together...

After Lucy's nap we headed out for a hike. We hiked out for a mile to a gorgeous waterfall and then came back (although the out part took much longer because we took the scenic/rocky route). The waterfall was a perfect spot to take a break, for Lucy to play in (little pools in the rocks near the waterfall), and for the boys to swim... unfortunately our camera battery died so we only got a couple of shots on the way to the waterfall...

Ben carried Lucy the whole way!! I was impressed... although I did mention the fact that I was carrying baby 2 the whole time too :)

We ate at Cabo Fish Tacos that night, a short walk from K/B's house in dowtown Blacksburg and then I think everyone passed out pretty early since we had stayed up talking till 2 a.m. the night before!

The next morning we went tubing down the New River. This was one of my favorite activities because it was sunny and relaxing! And Lucy passed out on Ben's lap, making the ride even more relaxing!

That night we ate at Homeplace, an all you can eat, family style restaurant were the friend chicken, mashed potatoes, rolls, beans and corn are brought to your table until you say stop! This was a really neat place to visit, it was an old farm house turned into a restaurant and the food was great.

Our last day we just laid low, hanging around the K/B's apartment and packing up our things while Katy had to go to a baby shower for one of her friends. All in all we had a great time visiting and were so thankful for friends that enjoy having Lucy around as much as we do!