Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tasty Tuesday

I tried a new recipe for chocolate sheet cake last week, and I wanted to share it with you guys. It got mixed reviews. I LOVED it. Like, loved it. Chad didn't. Half of my kids at WJH liked it, the other half didn't. So... I suppose y'all will have to try it out and give your own opinion!

I have also used Pioneer Woman's Best Ever Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe, and I thought this one was much better.

Here's the original recipe for Coca-Cola Chocolate Sheet Cake. My review: It was moist, gooey and delicious. I usually like the middle pieces best but the corner pieces on this bad boy had twice has much icing, and I found myself eating around the pan. I sent the last 1/4 of it home with my parents Sunday, and they liked it too. Chad said it reminded him of the chocolate cake they used to serve in the lunch room, so I think he had a skewed point of view. And as far as my students who didn't like it, I mean... kids are weird. So I say this cake is a winner!

15-week update

Another week down. Let me tell you a fun little story before I list the highlights. A snotty-nosed, watery-eyed, sneezing, sniffling teenager walked into my 4th period on Friday. You'll NEVER guess what happened next. Even though we were in the library and he was seated at least 20 feet away from me, I still got sick. And so did Chad. MaryCollis hasn't yet but it's a-comin'. Fun times.

Week 15 Breakdown

How Far Along: 15 weeks

Size of Baby: Orange

Gender: Hoping for a boy. We get to take a sneak peek in 2 weeks!

Movement: Every once in a while, I stop what I'm doing because I think I feel something. It's very faint, but sometimes I think it's Biscuit. I'm sure it'll be a few more weeks before I really start feeling it.

Weight Gain: About 8-10.

Maternity Clothes: I'm in about half maternity and half regular clothing. Mostly I wear maternity pants with regular tops.

Sleep Habits: Still pretty good!

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing specific. Just like last time, I'm loving comfort foods. Give me pasta, potatoes, casseroles, soup or anything carby and I'm a happy camper.

Emotions: Had a breakdown Saturday. In the car. By myself. In the driveway. A minor freakout moment after my child acted a complete fool at a birthday party. Fit after fit after fit. I took her straight to Gamma's afterward and made it all the way home before I stopped in the driveway and cried. Tears because I have no idea what I'm doing with the existing child. Tears because I have no idea what I'll do with the one on the way. Tears because I see no end in sight to the tantrums and long days. Just.... tears. Imma chock that up to hormones and move on.

Symptoms: Still having some fun ones but nothing terrible. I did have a headache Friday after school, and it was all I could do to finish the day.

What I Miss: Being thin(ner). A large, delicious glass of wine.

What I'm Looking Forward To: My next ultrasound (might find out the sex!).

News: As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I've been sick this week. I went online to see what I could take and as with everything online, some people say "Yes! My doctor said you can take X!" and others say "No way! It will kill your baby!!!!!" Well, I ain't calling Dr. Weber for a simple head cold, so I text my dad. I said, "I'm sick. What can I take for congestion, sinus headache and sore throat?" And he replied with one word, "Tylenol." I guess that is just about the only guaranteed safe thing during pregnancy but that stinks! I have been taking Mucinex (not the DM, just the regular), and it seems to be helping slightly.

Also some fun news... we are out of school tomorrow in preparation for Hurricane Isaac. I was in Starkville during Katrina, so I'm hoping I don't have to brave my first storm with a 2-year-old. Wouldn't it be something if all three of the Patricks were sick and had no power? Law help us if MC can't watch "Caillou."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

14-week update

The first trimester has come and gone. Hallalujer. I'm feeling pretty good - probably because I don't have time to stop and think about being tired. Chad and I took a LONG walk on Saturday, and it was so nice. I haven't walked since the fifth or sixth week with Jane. We used to walk at least 3 times per week, but then I went through the fatigued/nauseous stage and could barely get out of bed and now I'm in school so exercise is clearly the last thing on my mind. I get home at 4PM and have just enough time to throw dinner on OR do a load of laundry OR load the dishwasher OR exercise before I pick MC up at 5. Guess which one never wins in that battle? Yup.

I want to find time to exercise 3-4 times per week, but I'm hoping to at least get in an hour walk on Saturdays and Sundays. That may be as god as it gets. I also need to drink more water. I've been trying to always keep a bottle of water on my desk but actually drinking it has proven to be much more difficult than I anticipated.

Excuse the lighting and sleepy eyes. This was taken at 5:30 this morning.

Week 14 Breakdown

How Far Along: 14 weeks

Size of Baby: Lemon

Gender: Hoping for a boy. We get to take a sneak peek in 3 weeks!

Movement: Not yet.

Weight Gain: Between 5-8 pounds. Friday it was 7. Saturday it was 5. Today it was 8. How does a person fluctuate so much? Story of my life.

Maternity Clothes: Yep. Everything still fits but that feeling of being uncomfortable that I've been mentioning for the last 2-3 weeks is becoming unbearable. Ashley took me maternity shopping last weekend, and I've already worn a few items but I'm still not completely giving into fat clothes yet. I wore some white linen pants yesterday from pre-pregnancy but I paired it with a flowy maternity top. One or the other (top or bottom) has to be maternity... or at least baggy. Today I wore maternity jeans but a regular top (see photo).

Sleep Habits: Still sleeping pretty well. I think I'm just so exhausted from school that I have no problem crashing at night. But I know that tummy sleeping is something I'll only get to enjoy for another couple of weeks, then I'll be a miserable human being.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing specific but enjoying everything. We have secret pals at work, and my pal got me chocolate this week. Bless her soul.

Emotions: I'm in an okay place right now. I'm trying not to worry about logistics (potty training, moving MC to a real bed, the list goes on and on). When MC has tantrums - a daily occurrence - I have to remind myself that it will be another 2 years before Biscuit starts having tantrums. So maybe I'll only have to deal with one rotten child at a time. Mothers of multiples, don't tell me otherwise. I'm clinging to this!!

Symptoms: Bad skin and some other "fun" ones that only pregnant people should know about.

What I Miss: Looking cute in clothes. :(

What I'm Looking Forward To: My next ultrasound (might find out the sex!).

News: I'm officially bumping. It kind of poked out last week, but this week it is THERE. I think it's partly human baby and partly food baby, but it's a baby nonetheless!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tasty Tuesday

I made the most delicious miniature scones on Sunday, and they were GONE by Monday. Here's the recipe.

2 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 TB baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter, cut in pats
1-2 cups mini chocolate chips
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup half and half or milk

3 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
7 TB water
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk together all dry ingredients. Work in butter until crumbly. Stir in the chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla and 1/2 cup half and half or milk. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until moistened and holds together. Stir in additional milk if dough seems dry (I had to add several extra splashes).

Scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface. Pat into an 8" square. Make sure it is very well floured. Cut into small squares, about 2" each. You should have a total of about 16 small squares. Then cut each square in half diagonally to make 32. I used a pizza wheel but you could use a dough cutter if you have an awesome tool like that.

Transfer the scones to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Note: The original recipe said "for best texture and highest rise, place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. I did this and they didn't rise any extra (see photo below).

After the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 425. Bake the scones for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

While they're cooling make the glaze by stirring together sugar, water and vanilla. Once the scones are cool, dip each in the glaze and place back on the parchment to dry. Allow the glaze to set completely before serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Maternity Shopping

I had my first Saturday practicum session in Hattiesburg Saturday. Afterward, Ashley and her sister Hannah met me for a salad at Newk's (best meal I've had in a while...I was just dying for a salad!), then helped me do some shopping. I can still wear all my regular clothes, but I just don't feel comfortable. I'm in that terribly awkward stage where you've gained 5 pounds and feel like a fat cow yet no one can really tell you're pregnant. At this stage (14 weeks), most maternity clothes look ridiculous on me, so I found myself in quite a pickle. My English students might say I was in a dilemma... one of our vocab words last week.

I set out to find clothing that would provide longevity. Pants to grow with me, tops that look cute right now but have plenty of room. We stopped at Gap first, even though I knew they didn't carry maternity in the Hattiesburg store. I was right. Then we strolled down to Motherhood Maternity. I have only ever been once, and it was to the outlet in Foley (I was in dire need of a rehearsal dinner dress - read: bed sheet - for my friend Amber's wedding in which I was a bridesmaid at 36 weeks). I was reluctant to even stop because I just knew I would only find cheesy, muumuu-esque clothing.

On the contrary, I found the cutest clothes! Ashley is great at digging and finding things that I overlook. I am SO glad she was there. Look what I came home with:

This precious tangerine top.

For the two MSU games I'll actually get to attend this year. Dang Saturday class.

Y'all are going to think I'm crazy, but in person this top looks like it came from the J.Crew Maternity store (if only there was such a thing).

Heidi Klum skinny jeans that are unlike any maternity jeans I've ever seen. You'd never even be able to tell they were maternity.

This is my FAVORITE purchase. On sale for only $19.99. Another Heidi Klum item. Gorgeous!

Cute little dress for work.

I saw this tunic on the way out, and Imma have to go back and get it because I think it'd be presh with leggings.

I also bought some black leggings, another pair of skinny jeans and a few other tops. Then we made the short drive to Old Navy, which is where I most of my maternity purchases last time. The maternity section is pretty small now, but I still found some really cute stuff.

This 3/4 length dress, which looks much cuter in person. It has a sash around the waste too.

This keyhold top.

These dressy black pants that look like a MILLION dollars on. Plus, they were on sale.

I also got some comfy, stretchy black pants that I will surely use the mess out of. I know I did last time. I wanted to stop in Target because last time I was pregnant, I loved their Liz Lange maternity line; however, the last few times I've been to Target I did breeze through and it looked like mighty slim pickings. As soon as we pulled into Target, the bottom fell out... so we opted to just go on home. Which is probably a good thing because I spent much more than I intended.

I have to say... The maternity clothing world has improved by leaps and bounds. And thank goodness! I was dreading the shopping. Thank you for helping me, Ashmo. I probably would've come home empty-handed without you!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Differences Between #1 and #2

Y'all, I just got so tickled at this article. This gal hit the nail on the head. Especially #8, #3, #2 and #1. 

The Top 10 Differences Between Your First and Second Pregnancies

10.  First Pregnancy:  You devour every single weekly pregnancy milestone update from BabyCenter.com and know exactly what kind of fruit/vegetable your baby currently resembles.
Second Pregnancy:  “How far along am I?  Um, let me see…maybe somewhere in the first trimester?  Wait, no, second.  I think.”
9.  First Pregnancy:  You diligently avoid all caffeine, alcohol, luncheon meat, sushi and other supposed pregnancy no-nos.
Second Pregnancy:  “Make it a DOUBLE ESPRESSO.  And bring it up to the bathroom where I’m going to be snorting aspirin in a steaming hot bath.  Thanks!”
8.  First Pregnancy:  “Yay!  I’m starting to show!”
Second Pregnancy:  “Oh, God.  I’m starting to show.  AND I’M ONLY ONE WEEK PREGNANT.”
7.  First Pregnancy: You play French folk music and Learn Japanese CDs before going to sleep in hopes of giving birth to a multilingual genius with an IQ of 150.
Second Pregnancy:  Screw the folk music.  Nothing wrong with having a child of mediocre intelligence!  Because, let’s face it, you want to go to sleep as soon as you can when you already have a child with another on the way.
6.  First Pregnancy:  You feel the baby kick around 20 weeks.
Second Pregnancy:  You feel the baby kick around 12 weeks.  And why is that?  “Your muscles aren’t as strong the second time around, so you feel it more,” Candy’s OB says.  *SIGH*  A simple “you’re more in-tune with your body” would have sufficed, doc.
5.  First Pregnancy:  YOU:  Guess what?  I’m pregnant!  FRIENDS & FAMILY:  Yaaaaayyyy!  This is the best news EVER!
Second Pregnancy:  YOU:  Guess what?  I’m pregnant!  FRIENDS & FAMILY:  Oh.  Neat.
4.  First Pregnancy:  You buy a ton of maternity clothes to show off that beautiful, blossoming bump.
Second Pregnancy:  It’s all about sweatpants.
3.  First Pregnancy:  You have outdone yourself with the nursery, which is beautiful enough to be displayed in the pages of House Beautiful.
Second Pregnancy:  You’re not even sure where you’re going to put the kid.  Put a blanket in a dresser drawer, perhaps?
2.  First Pregnancy:  You rub cocoa butter on your stomach every day to avoid stretch marks.
Second Pregnancy:  You quickly throw on your sweats to avoid looking at the stretch marks caused by your first pregnancy.
1.  First Pregnancy:  You and your baby are celebrated at a fun baby shower.
Second Pregnancy:  You are lucky if you have the time to take a hot shower.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

13-week update

Well, I went to the doctor today and apparently at some point they decided I was about 4 days ahead of schedule. I went in thinking I was 12w4d, and I was actually 13w1d. So here I am already doing a 13-week update.

Week 13 Breakdown

How Far Along: 13 weeks

Size of Baby: Peach

Gender: Hoping for a boy.

Movement: Not yet.

Weight Gain: Ugh. I'm seriously over it. I'm trying to come to grips with the fact that I'm just not one of those people that gains 20 pounds when they're pregnant. I'm GOING to gain weight... you can book it. But it's hard to watch the scale move so quickly. Especially when I worked so hard to get it off the first time. The fact of the matter is, there are no excuses. Having said that, I have gained THREE POUNDS in the past 4 days. Yes, that's how much my weight fluctuates. Between eating out because I don't have the energy to cook, junk food at birthday parties and gorging myself at supper clubs, the ole scale has seen a steady increase. I gained 50-55 pounds last time. If I can keep it under 40 this time, I'll take it as a win. But y'all gotta help me keep this in check, you hear me?

Maternity Clothes: Definitely soon. Lots of pants still fit but y'all know I can't STAND for anything to be tight on my waist (I get that from my mom. My grandmother said that she couldn't even stand the elastic in panties as a young girl!). Dresses are still good but I'm going to try to get a few pair of pants and flowy tops this weekend while I'm in Hattiesburg for my Saturday practicum.

Sleep Habits: It's been pretty good since I started waking up at 5:30 for work but last night I got up at 3AM to use the bathroom and I could not go back to sleep. Of course, at 5:05 I fell sound asleep and then didn't want to wake up to my alarm. Figures.

Cravings/Aversions: Clearly I haven't been biased as of late. That much has been established. I think part of the problem is I never really eat out, so now I'm taking full advantage and eating at all the places I haven't seen in a while.

Emotions: Last time I couldn't wait to start showing. This time, I'm not feeling it. I do love having a bump, but my whole body gets fat and bloated. Not really excited about that just yet.

Symptoms: Acne, the occasional headache.

What I Miss: Nothing really. Maybe a glass of wine after a long week.

What I'm Looking Forward To: My next ultrasound... though I'll only be 17 weeks when I get the next one, Dr. Weber says we might take a little "sneak peek" at the gender! Eeek!

News: I'm about 4 days farther along that I thought so due date is February 18. Heartbeat was strong today in the 150s. And I'm not sure if it's a bump or just bloat, but it seems like all of a sudden my stomach popped out today. Just poof!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

12-week update

It seems like this pregnancy is going by fairly quickly. I've been feeling better over the past couple of weeks, and ever since school started the weeks just fly. Here's what's up:

Week 12 Breakdown

How Far Along: 12 weeks

Size of Baby: Plum

Gender: Hoping for a boy.

Movement: Not yet.

Weight Gain: Though it's different every day, I'm afraid I've gained a solid 4 pounds.

Maternity Clothes: Not yet but soon. Maybe a trip to Hattiesburg is in the plans for this weekend.

Sleep Habits: Since school started, I've been sleeping pretty soundly. I'm just whipped.

Cravings/Aversions: Well, I'm not craving anything in particular but everything sounds good. Does that make sense? For instance, I don't have some crazy appetite for milkshakes but gosh that sounds pretty good. 

Emotions: Feeling relieved to kiss this first trimester goodbye!

Symptoms: Acne and rapid hair and nail growth (I need to buy stock in razor blades).

What I Miss: Nothing really.

What I'm Looking Forward To: My next ultrasound and the 2nd trimester!

Friday, August 3, 2012


Lots of Cotton District Arts posters in my room!

I received word that I would be teaching at West Jones High School at the end of May and had big plans to spend my entire summer lesson planning, working on my classroom and making meals for the freezer. I have had two jobs since MaryCollis was born - I worked from home for Lucky Luxe for nearly 2 years, and I tutored three days per week this past spring at East Jones Elementary - but I've yet to take the plunge into full-time employment.

Being a mother is a full-time job. Being pregnant is a full-time job. Having a 4-story house is a full-time job. Between loads of laundry, trips up and down the stairs, putting dinner on the table, keeping the house semi-picked-up and barely getting to sit down for chasing around a 2-year-old, I simply don't have time for a "real" job. But MaryCollis adores going to Khaki's house during the week, and I've succumbed to the fact that there will be crumbs on the kitchen table and finger prints on the fridge... so I suppose that means it's time for me to join the adult world.

A few weeks ago, I went to get my schedule and find my room (my own room!). I was elated to find out that I'm teaching 9th grade English periods 1-4 and drama during 5th and 7th. That means all of the hard thinking can be done early in the day and the fun stuff will be saved for after lunch when everyone is tired and needs a nap.

After I found my room, I nosed around a bit. It was an odd feeling to wander around my alma mater 10 years after I graduated. Things have changed, but everything was nearly the same. "I used to park right there and walk 5 steps into that classroom my senior year," I told my mom. "I had Mrs. Taylor for German first period. She let me drink my Slim Fast and go to the bathroom whenever I wanted." It made me feel warm and cozy to remember how much fun I had my senior year. But then I found a few things that I didn't like... "When did they get a new cafeteria? It's taken up nearly ALL of the senior parking lot!!!" (By the way, there is no senior parking lot anymore. Doesn't that make you sad?) And... "So what's in the old show choir room? (Band Hall). What happened to the old cafeteria? (Science labs). When they built the new library, what did they do with the old one?" (Turned it into classrooms with real air conditioning).

On our tour, we found Deana Holifield. She was so sweet and let me have her podium! She also teaches English, so I'm in good company. Finally we left the school with a good idea of what we needed to transform my room. We stopped at Big Lots for a few poster frames and ran into Karla Dixon, who also teaches English at West. She said she would meet me at the school the next day to show me how to use One-Step Planner and help me with a few other things. What a lady.

'Scuse the mess. I was setting up my gradebook.

Barb and Mom loaded up desks and shelves and stools and even a mini fridge and microwave and headed to set up my classroom. Within a couple of hours we had everything exactly the way I wanted it (Did you ever doubt it? It's in my blood. Chad and I moved into our house the week after Thanksgiving and had a housewarming party 3 weeks later. I don't do boxes.)

I spent about 2 weeks lesson planning from 8am until the time I went to bed. And I only got plans done for one 9-weeks. Granted, I have two different classes to prepare for, but I had hoped to get much more done!

I had new teacher orientation Tuesday, and it was really great. I met some nice people, and I was sad some of them weren't going to be at my school. After two long days of staff development, we have open house for 7th and 9th graders last night. I can't remember being this exhausted but I can't wait to meet my kids. I'm also excited to get started on the play. If I need help building sets and finding costumes, y'all will help, right?

I'm just so thankful for the sweet coworkers that have volunteered to help and really mean it. I started the week feeling very anxious and scared, but I think I'm going to be just fine.

If you don't hear from me for a while (Erin), just holler and check on me. I'm probably malnourished and sleep-deprived from my first year of teaching, carrying a tot, finishing my license through a practicum series on Saturdays and directing the play!


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