Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Spring Break Part II and The Big Sick

Greetings faithful blog readers,

It's been a real treat to blog again, and I enjoyed writing up the recap on our first spring break with Willa, so I thought I'd check in to share the rest of our adventures plus let you know how our snap back to reality is going.

Thursday 

I took Willa to an all day play date at my friend Casey's house. She has two kids (almost 4 and 14 months), and tons of toys which Willa and I were both SO excited about (I was excited because none of those toys play the same songs our toys have burned in my brain--fellow parents, you feel me?!) For a brief moment in time, Casey and I managed to get all three kids napping, and she made me a delicious sandwich involving the Pioneer Woman's Cream Cheese and Chive Spread. Have you guys seen the movie Tully? I don't want to give anything away, but Casey and I are so alike, it could be a Tully situation! We both grew up in Austin, both got married at the Barr Mansion, both are married to writers, both live in houses by the same builder, both have summer birthdays, both love to read, have similar parenting philosophies, etc. A LOT of my friends moved away in 2018, so meeting Casey in 2017 was a total gift from the universe. If you're wondering what Brendan did with all his free time, the answer is grading: he worked all day long. I think he was very happy though to feel caught up.


Friday

We took miss Baby for her first swim. She LOVED it. She had tons of fun splashing and being spun around. Getting her out of a wet bathing suit is definitely a project we were thankful to have four hands for.


Also on Friday, my parents arrived. We went out for an early dinner, and then they stayed at the house while Willa slept and Brendan and I attended a visitation for a co-worker that passed away unexpectedly. We are extremely sad about losing Margaret; she was an excellent tutor, a confidant, a friend, and a source of wisdom, support, and great advice. The tutoring lab will never be the same, and I miss her terribly. Afterwards, we went out for a drink, toasted Margaret, shared memories, and decompressed. It was a difficult start to the weekend to say the least.

Saturday

We slept in, my dad picked up tacos, Brendan and my dad ran some errands, and my mom and I did laundry and entertained miss baby. We played a board game while Willa napped, and after we put her to bed, Brendan and I went out to dinner and a movie. We saw Captive State, which we both enjoyed (reminded me a bit of Clover Field) and returned home late. Willa slept the whole time, and my parents surpassed us in The Widow by watching five episodes in a row.

Sunday

We finally got beautiful weather (only the first and last day of spring break were pretty enough for outdoor walks!) We went out for an early dinner, dressed in green for St. Patrick's Day, and played Ticket to Ride after Willa went to bed. Willa helped us with some "spring cleaning" (see below).



Brendan started to feel sick with a stomach bug Sunday evening (our family seems to be cursed with Sunday evening/Monday morning sickness). Poor Brendan was running fever, the cats were going nuts, Willa was up several times, and I hardly slept.

Monday/Tuesday

My parents left Monday morning for a trip to Laughlin, Nevada, and I dropped Willa off at the normal time and covered Brendan's class in addition to teaching my own; I worked all evening but at least slept better than Sunday night. Tuesday did not bring any relief: both cats threw up (they seem okay now), Willa had Brendan's stomach bug and had to stay home, Brendan still wasn't feeling well enough to teach, so I went in early and covered his other class. I went to the doctor to have her look at my sinus congestion that I've been dealing with for weeks. It turns out I have a sinus infection and a double ear infection (no wonder I can hardly hear!). Now I'm on two prescriptions, an antibiotic and a steroid nasal spray. Also, my credit card was compromised for the second time in two weeks. It has been a really tough return from spring break.

Here's hoping we finish out the rest of the semester (7.5 weeks) without any of us getting sick again!
In happier news, happy birthday to my cousin, Amanda!


She's the best cinnamon roll maker, cactus garden tender, and kitten minder there is!

<3


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Spring Break (So Far)

Greetings faithful blog readers,

It's hard to believe that we're halfway through spring break, but I guess time flies when you're having fun! Willa is in bed, and I find myself with some rare moments to blog, so I wanted to check in with an update about what we've done so far.

Saturday/Sunday
We had beautiful weather on Saturday: 71 and sunny. We took a trip to Target, Brendan and I brought the monitor outside and used Willa's afternoon nap to weed the front yard (we filled 2 trash bags!), Willa was entertained for hours by her new walker that a neighbor generously passed down to us (inspired by the Buy Nothing Project but lacking one in Midland, I posted on Nextdoor to see if anyone had one, and low and behold, someone right down the street did!), we took a family walk to enjoy the sunshine, read a little, wrote a little, called Gigi and Buddy, and relaxed. It was the perfect day! Sunday, the time change worked in our favor (it was like our kid actually slept in!) We went to church Sunday morning and spent the rest of the cold/foggy day at home playing, plus we both graded a little and wrote.

Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday
Monday was super productive: we got Brendan's oil changed, went grocery shopping, made crockpot lentil sloppy joes while Willa napped (you need this recipe book if you want vegetarian crockpot recipes), and took Willa to Storyland at the library (I believe it is open through April 10th). Storyland was a big hit, even for our little baby! She found plenty of small doors to open and close, which is pretty much her favorite thing right now.

Snowy Day

Mr. McGregor's Garden


If You Give A Mouse a Cookie

We ended the day with reading (I finished my book, The River King by Alice Hoffman, but I wasn't crazy about it, honestly) writing and watching The Widow on Amazon Prime (we are four episodes in and both liking it).

It was a good thing Monday was so productive because the next day, I was hit with my fourth 24 hour stomach virus in four months. I blame Storyland, despite my attentive use of hand sanitizer. Luckily, Brendan was able to take my car in for my oil change appointment, take care of Willa, ready the house for the cleaning service, AND prepare the patio for a tornado warning/high wind advisory(!) Thankfully, Willa wasn't sick at all! Parents: are these 24 hour stomach bugs, complete with low grade fever, weakness, and total lethargy, just going to become a part of my regular life now that I have a child, or have I been exceptionally unlucky as of late? Please advise. Thankfully, we survived the tornado warning with no damage, but spring break weather has not been great, and today was no exception.

Today, we spent the morning out and about while the house was being cleaned. We took miss baby to Cracker Barrel and let her eat off a plate. She did great (hardly any mess, and she can eat a ton!). Then, we went back to the library (I know, we're so brave) for baby storytime (which is really just a bunch of babies putting toys in their mouths). I washed Willa's hands and my own, so here's hoping we're okay.


One of our fun errands was shopping for decorations for Willa's Chica Chica Boom Boom themed 1st birthday party (hard for us to believe she's almost one). One thing I didn't have to buy was invitations because our friends at Paperless Post reached out to us with an offer to try their gorgeous online invitations for free. I designed Willa's invitations in about twenty minutes during her nap, and I was (to my surprise, honestly) so impressed with the website. There were tons of designs to choose from (I typed in "palm tree" and got six pages of results but found something I loved on page one, so I went with that), you could customize everything about the invitations (font size, spacing, color, background), and there are virtual "envelopes" for your guests to "open," so you even get to pick out your virtual "stamp" and your "envelope" liners. Our invites turned out super cute. And yes, for those that want a printing option (so you have a memento), it's easy to do that too (just right click to save the image and print). These invitations are super affordable, but they still look put together, and you can easily manage your RSVPs, reach out to guests, and send reminders or updates. I love snail mail stationary, but I'd absolutely use Paperless Post again.

Our other errands were not nearly as exciting (I ended up at Target again, ha), but the fact that there was a high wind advisory all day made shopping pretty crazy (think 60mph gusts, so you cannot even control your car door when you open it, tumbleweeds everywhere, and the Apple weather app advising "unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups," which I've never seen it do), but Willa got in a good car nap at least, and when we arrived home, I took care of her so Brendan could do some grading. Then, Brendan made this amazing tomato pie courtesy of the delicious sauce that our friend Max gifted us during his trip here.



Thank you, Max. It was delicious!

We still have more spring break fun on our horizon, and I'll try to check in with an update soon. For all you spring breakers out there, I hope your weather is better than ours!

<3


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Feb-U-Weary

Greetings faithful blog readers,

February was a tough month for us! Despite all of us being vaccinated, Willa spent the first week of the month out of daycare with the flu (my mom came down to take care of her, so thankfully, we didn't miss too much work). The next week, I woke up sick and took off to go to the doctor. Thankfully, I had neither flu nor strep, but the doctor did prescribe Tamiflu for both Brendan and I. Brendan finished the month with his third sinus infection in three months (he has a third antibiotic prescription and a referral to an ear, nose, and throat specialist to show for it). Plus, Willa and I have had colds for the past week (I think we're finally doing better). All in all, we're not sad to be welcoming March, but here's a quick recap of the things Feb-U-Weary gave us to smile over: 

A Visit From Lelie & Pops and Baby-Proofing
My parents visited the first weekend of the month, and my Dad helped Brendan baby proof our cabinets. Lelie and Pops kept Willa Saturday night, so we could go to dinner and the movies. We saw The Favourite (wonderfully weird). Thanks to Willa's early bedtime, we were able to get her to sleep before leaving, and she slept the whole time we were gone. It felt so strange to be in a movie theater again!

A Visit From Max
Our friend from graduate school, Max, braved exposure to the flu to come see us! Thanks to my mom (who left from her visit on Sunday only to turn around and come back Tuesday since little miss was diagnosed with the flu on Monday), the three of us were able to go out to dinner at our favorite (Thai House) Friday night. We spent most of the day on Saturday and Sunday morning with Max, and it was awesome to see him. We also used Brendan's camera timer to get this pic. PS-You can check out the movie Max made, Active Adults, streaming on Amazon Prime--it's funny, thought provoking, and relatable. 



Valentine's Day
I made Sweet Phi's Bleu Cheese Mac N Cheese & 5 Ingredient Chocolate Cake, and we watched Won't You Be My Neighbor? (Mister Rogers Documentary). Little miss celebrated with her very first ice cream at her school's sundae party. It was our most heartwarming Valentine's Day ever.



Willa's First Swing 
On a sunny weekend day, we took Willa to the park for her first go on the swings. She loved it. All the other equipment was too big for her, but our trip got me excited for what is to come. 


Baby's Developments 
Speaking of our girl, this was a big month for her. She is now pulling up to stand and eating everything (she eats off the breakfast, lunch, and snack menu at school and has tried so many new foods). We think ravioli is a favorite:


Self-Care Package: 
We took advantage of the spring sale at Zingerman's and ordered a variety of fancy cheeses, salamis, bread, and chocolate. It was less than $100, and we ate a spread like this for dinner the past three nights and still have tons left. Highly recommend!


Stacy + Casey <3 Pho 
My friend Casey and I were both sick this past week, but decided to brave a dinner outing to I <3 Pho anyway. We went through so many tissues, but the pho was the perfect cold remedy; as always, we stayed out way too late, but we had a great time just chatting.

Pre-Pregnancy Jeans & Bye Bye Pumping 
I pulled out all my pre-pregnancy jeans at the start of the month (I feel like myself again!) and said sayonara to pumping at the end of the month. I haven't put the pump away away just in case I end up needing it, but I'm very happy to be done with daily pumping. I'm still nursing and continuing to nurse on my lunch breaks. Once Willa is year, we can start the process of weaning, but first, I have to find a sippy cup she'll take (we've tried Phillips-Avent, ThinkBaby, and Parent's Choice without much luck). Any suggestions?

Met No Goals 
I didn't finish the draft I was working on or the book I was reading, and I only made it to work out at the YMCA five times. I survived the month though, and let me tell you, it felt like an uphill battle almost the whole way, so I'm just glad I can say: I made it.

In March, we're looking forward to warmer temperatures (today and tomorrow, the high is 39, but by Thursday it should be 78 again, thank goodness!), spring break, and celebrating (a little early) Willa's first birthday with our families <3

Hope February treated you well!
<3



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