Friday, January 28, 2011


Mike and I celebrated our 5-year dating anniversary on Tuesday, the 25th.  Celebrating is a bit too liberal a word, actually.  Mike stayed home from a sporting event with friends and dealt with food poisoning and I fell asleep during the Biggest Loser.  Never to fear, though, we'll be enjoying two nice dinners out this weekend and a trip to Louisville to take in the show Rock of Ages

That said, after the crib mattress purchase on Wednesday we went to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  Until our inaugural trip to Babies R Us a few weeks ago,  I had no idea one of these still existed in Cincinnati.  As a kid, I loved the one downtown and always wondered why it closed after moving here.  So, after all but laying down on the mattresses in the store (Mike also suggested I press my baby bump to them to see if there was any reaction from Baby Kelly ...) we made our way over for dinner. 

As we were wrapping up our meal and enjoying our complimentary spumoni ice cream I asked "Did you ever think, the day after our first date, that 5 years later we'd be married, sitting at an Old Spaghetti Factory, in the suburbs, enjoying an alcohol-free dinner after purchasing a crib mattress?"  His response, "Never." 

Proof the powers that be know what they are doing and bring people into your life at just the right time.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Technical Difficulties

I'm behind on posting because of issues uploading pictures from my camera to the computer ... hopefully this weekend I can get things straightened out and my 5 readers can hear all about our trip to Florida, my Mom's 60th birthday party and Baby Kelly rooting for the Steelers.  Ok, that last one is just a picture of me in a Steelers shirt for Sunday's game : )

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a snipet of a conversation between Mike and I last night as we ventured out to Babies R Us to use a limited time 20% off coupon to purchase Baby Kelly's crib mattress. 

Me:  (As we're pulling into the parking lot)  Up ahead you can park in an Expectant Mother's spot.

Mike:  No, we shouldn't.  You aren't THAT far along.  (Granted, I will say, that when I have my winter coat on, it can be hard to tell)

Me:  That's not the point, I'm "along", which counts and it's cold outside ... I only have a few more months of being able to milk these spots, so you'd better turn in. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Seems more "official" when there are classes involved ...

We now have birthing and baby classes scheduled, so whether we remember what we're taught or not, we're going to be "officially prepared" to birth and care for Baby Kelly.  I'm 21 weeks, but with my generous friends and family already planning showers for April, a March wedding and, let's face it, me being me, I wanted to get the classes at least booked.  The big daddy, all-day Lamaze class and hospital tour are in March with Baby Care Basics, Breastfeeding and Save-A-Baby in April. 

And, while we're at it ... we're planning to tour two childcare facilities on Friday and I'd also like to explore in-home care options in our area.  We're lucky that we are technically in a position where I could stay home, but I'm not 100% sure that's for me at this point.  I always thought I wanted to be nothing more than a stay-at-home-Mom, but after seeing a few friends and co-workers successfully balance work and family, I'd like to give it a try, while keeping an open mind.  I love my current job and have a great deal of flexibility in that I can easily work from home as needed, have unlimited sick days, great benefits and a boss and team that are pretty wonderful.  I'm in the process of exploring reduced schedule arragnements and how they've worked (or not worked) with others.  So, I can't tell you with 100% certainty where I'll end up on the whole "work or stay at home" decision, but, again, me being me, I'd rather have a daycare lined up and back down the hours we need it or cancel all together than be in a bind. 

I think I've surprised a few people over my pregnancy with a more laid-back attitude than they might have thought I'd have.  Sure, I have a mental timeline of when I'd like to get things done (I was a premie, afterall, arriving 5 weeks early) and have been pretty organized about everything.  But, we're not finding out the gender, which has shocked everyone, we have a few names for each gender picked out and won't determine the finalist until the baby is born, I'm not 100% certain whether I'll automatically request an epidural and I'm open to staying at home or going back to work.  I'm actually pretty proud of myself (if I do say so) for allowing myself to enjoy the pregnancy and baby-planning process ... and I've loved every minute of it!

So, all of this being said, scheduling the classes today was surreal and I have a feeling that the childcare tours will really hit it home.  Now if I could just feel a full fledge kick instead of fluttering (or gas as it may be - ha), I'd be all set : )

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What's Cookin': Impossible Quiche

I think you all know by now that I'm a huge fan of one-dish / one-pot meals, making quiche a front runner in our house; throw in the fact that you can usually make the dish a bit ahead of time and it's an excellent choice as far as I'm concerned. I have a couple of "go to" quiche recipes, both are crustless, cutting down the calories, fat and prep time, but I've found myself using my (wonderful) mother-in-law's recipe most recently. She's definitely wonderful, this recipe is most definitely wonderful and the pie plate she got me for Christmas that I used for the first time with this recipe is wonderful! The Bisquick and milk combination settle to form somewhat of a crust and really make the dish in my opinion. The best part is that the leftovers double as fare for breakfast, lunch or dinner, although I prefer to use as a heartier meal, Mike loves breakfast quiche on a weekday ... much better than his usual cold cereal.

The name of the recipe is "Impossible Quiche" and I'm pretty sure that's because it's impossible to go wrong with the recipe and it's also impossible to limit yourself to ingredient ideas. For example, I added the spinach and tomato ... like ham instead of bacon?, go right ahead, want to cut out the meat all together?, works with this recipe. Enjoy!

Impossible Quiche

12 slices of cooked bacon (I used 1 pkg Oscar Mayer's Recipe Pieces Bacon Bits, in the salad dressing aisle)
1/2 c diced onion
1/2 to 2/3 of one 10oz container of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 c shredded Swiss cheese
1 - 2 roma tomatoes, sliced
2 c milk
1/2 c Bisquick (I use the "Heart Smart" variety)
4 eggs
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Mix the bacon, onion, spinach and cheese in a bowl and spread in a deep dish pie pan or quiche pan. Reserve tomato for topping.

Whisk together remaining ingredients (milk through pepper) and pour over bacon mixture. Top with sliced tomatoes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 - 55 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with a salad and crusty bread for a complete meal.

* Can prepare quiche ahead of time and bake later, I haven't tried overnight preparation, but have definitely made it early afternoon for a dinner meal.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Making our House a Home: Guest Room Update

Although the lure of the nursery project was tempting, we needed to get a contractor out to put up wainscoting (or at least get quotes) before being able to officially start. With us both having time off over the holiday, we decided we could tackle the front guest room in a couple of days and went to work. The room was not in bad shape, just needed a paint job, new window treatments and the horrible wooden "bookshelves / hook-thingys" aka "hook shelves" removed ... see the first picture for an example of both. I honestly have no idea what purpose the wooden hook shelves served for the previous owners, but two were hung in this room and two others were left in the closet of the other guest room (both former childrens rooms).

The valences seemed harmless enough ... just styrofoam covered with fabric, but it was the mechanism used to hang them that almost caused Mike to jump out of a window. It's hard to describe, but there were hung with plastic "L" shaped devices, hammered into the wall and also glued with a foamy tape. It was hard as heck to pry them out and then a fair amount of elbow grease was required to get the foamy-tape off the walls.

In the end, we are both pleased with the results ... from two shades of army green to crisp linen, much more calming for the guests we anticipate this summer. Apologies in advance for the poor picture quality, it's hard to get a great shot of the new room with the lighting, so feel free to schedule a trip sometime soon!
The "hook shelves" as we called them and the styrofoam valence ... lovely
Guest Room before
Guest Room after

Valences before
Valences after

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Baby Bump: 20 weeks (Halfway there!!)

I cannot believe that I'm 20 weeks pregnant, aka halfway to meeting our little banana!! Time has flown, but at the same time, I feel like it's been forever since I saw the word that changed my life forever on that EPT stick. I've continued to have great doctor visits and am right on track with weight gain (10 lbs so far) and, of course, we love, love, love hearing Baby Kelly move about and his/her wonderful heartbeat.

Symptoms continue to include a bit of fatigue (although MUCH better than the first trimester), swelling that is easily combated by staying over-hydrated, and just this past week, indigestion (full head of hair predictor?) ... oh yeah, and hormonal emotions that change in the blink or an eye (sorry to Mike for crying yesterday after getting off the phone with Ann Taylor and hearing that the charcoal maternity trousers I was trying to exchange are no longer in stock ... seriously though, those pants fit like a dream, why didn't I just sew that small hole in the inseam myself??). I've gotten to the point in the pregnancy where the new symptoms are just another sign that means my body is no longer mine ... not that I'm not enjoying every minute, just realizing that my body may never be truly mine again for a very long time ... if ever : )

We officially started on the nursery this weekend, having wainscoting and crown molding put up. Thanks to our wonderful parents and Santa we have most of our bedding set and I have a paint color picked out. We looked at cribs today (and found a winner!) and I have a dresser picked out; once we have those two pieces in-house we can finalize the rocker / glider selection ... I have one picked out, just need to make sure we have enough room in the small space. You know that I love a good project and have loved having a room to decorate from the ground up. Can't wait to share the transformation with everyone!

20 weeks - Banana
(big step up this week, we go from measuring from the head to rump to the entire length of the baby's body)
** Photo courtesy of **
20 weeks
(to be fair, I'd just eaten Chipolte, so this belly is partially thanks to a burrito bowl)

Friday, January 7, 2011

"Oh, that's not a muffin top you're sporting ..."

I'm what I like to call "a recovering accountant," moving from the world of tax planning into marketing for the same firm just about a year ago. That said, I still work with accountants ... most of whom are men ... none of whom are very observant (and usually a little socially awkward) ... case in point:

Coworker: So, I heard you headed up the Biggest Loser competition a few years ago for the tax group, wanna join in again?
Me: Ummmm, unless the contest extends to July or August, I think I'm out considering I'm set to gain about 20 pounds between now and the end of May.
(At this point he spies the picture of the latest ultrasound framed on my desk)
Coworker: Ohhhhhh, so would you be up for keeping the tally?

Friday Funny: Single Ladies Devastation

I had the People's Choice Awards on in the background the other night while reading through Baby 411. The portion of the show where they announced the winner for best viral video of 2010 couldn't have come on at a better time as I was getting a bit overwhelmed thinking about daycare and pediatrician "shopping." If you haven't seen this, it may just be one of the cutest / funniest videos I've seen in a while and will definitely make you smile, Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Baby Kelly waves Hello!

I had my mid-term ultrasound and doctor appointment today and all went wonderfully. Since I haven't felt any official kicks yet (lots and lots of fluttering and round ligament movement, though) it was a sight for sore eyes to see our little banana moving around in the womb. The ultrasound tech commented as to how active our little peanut is and I don't think he / she made her life any easier by being on the move when she needed to get measurements. At one point we saw the little mover and shaker trying to do somersaults! Baby Kelly proved it wasn't just a show for the camera when the doctor listened for the heartbeat again using the Doppler monitor and we heard at least 6 kicks in a matter of just a minute. Music to my ears!

If you were to have both of these pictures open on your computer and toggle back and forth (like I did today), you'd see Baby Kelly waving at you, like Mike and I saw on the screen. Pretty cool if you ask me!

We resisted the urge to find out the gender and unless we opt to shell out for a 4-D ultrasound (up in the air right now) or there are growth or development issues, we won't see out little one again until his / her world premiere on or around May 28. Needless to say I'm counting down the days!

Monday, January 3, 2011

What's Cookin': Savory Palmiers

I hosted a ladies lunch over the weekend for college friends from Lexington, Louisville and Columbus and had a blast catching up. Mike was in Cleveland enjoying the Steelers victory over the Browns (what a thoughtful Christmas present from his wife ...), so it was truly a girls afternoon. Over the holiday break (our offices were closed), I enjoyed having either HGTV, the Food Network or the Cooking Channel on in the background (more to come on our "vacation" project) and decided that Barefoot Contessa's Savory Palmiers would be the perfect start to our soiree. They received rave reviews from the in-home taste testers and couldn't have been easier to make; alternative ingredient combinations are only limited by your imagination. I prepared quickly the night before and stored the roll in the fridge overnight, ready for cutting and baking right before guests arrived.

Savory Palmiers

1 package Puff Pastry
1/2 c pesto
1/2 c crumbled goat cheese
1/4 c finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 c toasted pinenuts (I omitted)
salt to taste

Lightly flour a board and unfold one sheet of puff pastry. Roll lightly until it's 9 x 11 inches. Spread pastry with half the pesto, half the goat cheese, half the tomatoes and half the pinenuts. Sprinke with salt.

Working from the short ends, fold each end halfway to the center. Then fold each side again toward the center until the folded edges almost touch. Fold one side over the other and press slightly. Repeat with the other sheet of puff pastry. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes and up to 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a sharp knife or floss, cut the prepared rolls into 1/4 in slices and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Each roll should yield about 20 pieces. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

* For a smaller crowd, cut the recipe in half.