Monday, July 28, 2014

Meal Planning

As summer comes to an end and I ease back into working full time I am back on track with meal planning. We kind of slacked off over the summer in this department partly because I couldn't really eat anything due to being constantly sick and partly because our schedules were a little crazy! Anyway, we meal planned the entire last school year and it really was a life saver!!

I sat down yesterday and planned out our meals for the month of August and thought I would share with you the super easy process we use to plan all of our meals.

To start, I keep the same schedule every single month. The meals change (mostly) but the type of meals I/we cook on each night are the same every single week.

Monday-crock pot
Thursday-date night 
Sunday-something new/casserole

Using this schedule helps SO much when I am coming up with meals for the entire month. After I come up with the meals for each day I write them on our calendar. This helps us make our grocery list for each week. We always go grocery shopping on Sundays and get everything we need for the week (we also get stuff for breakfast. we eat left overs for lunch every day). We have a pretty strict grocery budget and always try to beat our cheapest grocery run haha. Since starting meal planning we have not made a single middle of the week grocery run!

It's obviously not rocket science but this process has really helped us stay on budget with our groceries and prevents us from spending extra money on fast food/going out. By building in date nights and going out with friends we are still able to enjoy eating out but aren't spending any extra/unnecessary money because it's already built into our budget. 

Do you have any other useful tips for meal planning or finding new meals to make??

Saturday, July 26, 2014

21 weeks!

sneak peek of BT's nursery!

how far along: 21 weeks, 4 days!

baby size: According to our ultrasound last week we have a big boy on our hands! He is almost 1lb and is about 11 inches long! He is measuring a few days ahead of schedule. 

baby's progress: Bennett is constantly moving, kicking, punching, and squirming! I love  it!! He is still super low so it is sometimes uncomfortable, but it is definitely the coolest feeling ever. 

weight gain: 3lbs at the doctor last week.

stretch marks: Nope, & so thankful!

sleep: SOOOO much better thanks to my Snoogle pillow. Seriously, this thing changes lives and I will be sleeping with it long after this pregnancy is over!

gender: Sweet baby BOY! His name is Bennett Tucker : )

movement: All the time! Mostly at night when I lay down but I am now starting to feel it throughout the day when I'm in the car, running errands, etc.

best moment this week: My dad came over this week and helped us paint Bennett's room. I am so in love with how it is all turning out and can't wait to share when everything is finished! 

looking forward to: Registering! We are going to try to go sometime this week to get it done before school/football season starts. 

food cravings: My first true craving of my pregnancy...buffalo chicken wraps! I have had approximately 20 in the last 2 weeks. I always loved them pre-pregnancy, but I literally can't get enough of them lately and wake up dying for one! Ha!

weirdest food I ate this week: Still having to be very careful with what I eat so I haven't really had anything too weird. 

anything making you queasy or sick: Still about the same in this department. Some days are better than others but the queasiness is definitely here to stay I believe. I did make it 2 whole weeks without throwing up so that's a plus ha!

labor signs: Nope

what I miss: Being able to do things with ease. The littlest things are becoming harder and harder everyday. Shaving my legs is becoming quite the show let me just tell ya!

symptoms: Still dealing with sickness every other day or so but other than that I have been feeling REALLY good lately! 

things that suck: Going back to work next week which means 5am mornings for me! 

things that don't suck: Making it past the half way point! I will officially be 6 months pregnant next week which is INSANE to me. & I'm only a few weeks away from being in my third trimester. While I know we have plenty of time before our boy makes his debut there is still SO much left to do and not much time thanks to football season starting soon (#FootballWifeProbs). Hopefully we can knock out a few big things in the next few weeks!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Part of Carolyne-Grace's 4th birthday trip to Disney included a night of pampering at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! The BBB is a magical salon set up for little girls 3-12 to be transformed into their favorite Disney princess. This was a much anticipated event so CG had been thinking for weeks about which princess she wanted to be. Before we went she picked Sleeping Beauty! : ) When we got to BBB they greeted "Princess Gracie" and asked her to make her princess selection. For some reason she veered from her original choice and picked Repunzel. We had about a 45 minute wait time before we were called back so my mom and I decided to change her back to Sleeping Beauty since it was a lot cuter.

When you are first called back your princess is escorted to their royal dressing room by their own personal fairy god mother. Upon entering your dressing room your princess' dress is laid out with all its accessories. ((CG immediately noticed that her Repunzel dress was not there. I quickly explained that the princesses picked the Sleeping Beauty dress out especially for her ; ) That did the trick and she was in the dress!))

After changing, your princess is escorted to her royal salon chair where the hair and makeup transformation begins...

Your princess will be able to choose from several hair styles and make up colors. 

This girl took her role as princess VERY seriously and did not break character all night! She LOVED the attention from strangers and kept saying, "they really think I'm a real princess!"

[Tips for conquering Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique]

*Don't wait to make reservations. You can book a time up to 180 days in advance..I waited until the week before our trip and was only able to get a 7:00 reservation the first night we were there. It actually worked out great but wasn't our first choice. 

*If your princess won't want to wear her dress all day at Magic Kingdom book your appointment in Downtown Disney. Again, this was not our first choice but we are actually really glad we chose the DD option. We were able to walk around, go out to eat, etc. all while Princess Gracie was loving the attention of strangers and not dealing with an itchy costume in the park all day.

*If your princess thinks dress up clothes are itchy bring an under shirt. CG had a slight melt down in the dressing room because her dress was "SOOOOO ITCHY!" We put her cotton dress on underneath with the straps tucked in and it solved the problem. 

*If you want your princess to actually LOOK like a princess help them choose their hair and makeup. There are a lot of choices and CG kept choosing the most obnoxious ones (colored feathers coming out of a ponytail..? no thanks!) We picked her hair style and let her choose her makeup. Her hair stayed in place this way for THREE days. She was able to wear it the next day to Magic Kingdom (along with her sash and wand) and still received just as much attention from the princesses. 

*There are several packages to choose from but I would recommend going with the top, The Castle Package. The experience alone is worth every penny. 

We all had so much fun watching our Princess Gracie! She LOVED this and I would highly recommend this to any princess loving girl ; )

& in case you're wondering, they also have pirate and knight options for boys. Although Adam says Bennett will never participate ; ) HA!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

18 weeks!

We are getting closer and closer to the half way point, y'all! I can't believe it! Somedays it feels like this pregnancy is flying by, and others it feels like I've been pregnant forever. Either way I am so thankful to be on this journey. I am daily amazed that there is a LIFE growing inside of me!! So thankful God chose me to be a mama!

Let's go ahead and jump into the bumpdate shall we...

how far along: 18 weeks!

baby size: Bennett is about 5 1/2 inches long and about 7 ounces (will know for sure at my appt this week). He is the size of a bell pepper!

baby's progress: Bennett can move his arms and legs and is squirming all over the place! 

weight gain: Not sure, I go to the doctor at the end of the week so I will know then :)

stretch marks: Nope, & so thankful!

sleep: SOOOO much better thanks to my Snoogle pillow! This guy was worth every penny!

gender: BOY!! His name is Bennett : ) We're still working on a middle name, but we need to hurry because I have things to monogram (#priorities) !

movement: I have felt B moving around a few times and it is so so cool! I can't wait until I can feel it more often. 

best moment this week: Definitely ordering his crib! We are going to clear out his nursery next week and clean it from top to bottom to get ready for crib delivery on Wednesday. I'm so excited to get started with this!

looking forward to: Non-baby related..we're headed to Savannah this weekend to vacation with the Cole's! I'm excited to take a few days off and explore one of my favorite cities! Also non-baby related I'm really excited to go back to work at the end of this month. I've enjoyed summer but I'm ready to get back to teaching..I miss it so much! There's something so exciting about back to school and even as a teacher the excitement is still there! I can't wait to get my classroom set back up, buy new supplies, and start planning fun things for my new kiddos!

food cravings: Still on a carbs kick..waffles, bagels, cereal, pasta..YUM YUM YUM!

weirdest food I ate this week: Nothing too out of the ordinary.. I have to be super careful with what I eat!

anything making you queasy or sick: I thought I was getting better in this area..and then I threw up three times this week. Still taking 1/2 a Zofran a day and PRAYING I will reach a turning point soon. I literally can't eat anything in the morning without taking my me, I forgot to take it one morning on vacation and it was not pretty!

labor signs: Nope

what I miss: When I wasn't pregnant it used to really bother me when pregnant people would complain about not being able to drink alcohol..but y'all!!!!!! all I want is an ICE COLD BEER!! I am not even that big of a drinker but oh my gosh that just sounds so amazing!

symptoms: Still really queasy most of the time. I'm at the point where I rather throw up in the morning and get it over with than to feel sick all day. Other than that I'm doing great!!

things that suck: Grad school... I finished up two classes this past week and I am SO happy for them to be done. It was the hardest, most emotionally draining, 8 weeks of my life. I know that sounds completely ridiculous but it is really hard being pregnant and dealing with all that comes with that and having to stay on top of A TON of school work. Thankfully I am only taking one class the rest of the summer, then one class in the fall and then I'm taking a very long break from taking any classes!

things that don't suck: Starting to get my energy back some days! I definitely think I'm starting to nest because I spent several days this week cleaning and doing laundry which literally hasn't happened since March when I found out I was pregnant. My energy level the first trimester, and up until now, has been extremely low. Thankful it's some what back!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Goals

June goals...complete! This MIGHT be the first month I have completed all my goals. Let's take a look back...

1. Create a consistent schedule for the summer.
2. celebrate carolyne-grace's fourth birthday at Disney World!
3. celebrate our first anniversary.
4. find out if we're having a boy or girl and host a gender reveal party.

I created a schedule and MOSTLY stuck to it. Some weeks I have different things going on that prevent me from really sticking to my schedule. but I have found a good balance between school work and fun summer things.

we celebrated carolyne-grace's fourth birthday at Disney World and had THE BEST time! I will have a few different posts up soon.

we celebrated our first anniversary with brunch and a walk around campus. exactly how I wanted to spend it : ) We have never been big into presents and honestly it seems a little silly to us since we share a bank account.

We found out we were having a sweet baby BOY when I was around 14 weeks. We had no idea we would be finding out the day that we did so I had done zero planning for a gender reveal party. We decided we would just do a picture announcement instead and we are happy we did : )

Now for July goals...

1. spend a few days in savannah with the cole's!
2. work on plans for the first few weeks back to school.
3. host a wedding shower
4. start on b's nursery!!!

This is my last month of summer break before I head back to school the last week of July. Hoping to get a lot accomplished! : )

What I've Learned About Being Pregnant...

I am entering into my fifth month of pregnancy and have really learned A LOT over these last 18 weeks so I thought I'd share a little pregnancy wisdom for any of my friends who will be in this stage in the near future....

not everyone's pregnancies are the same.
When I envisioned being pregnant I thought about being happy all the time, having that pregnancy glow, wearing cute maternity clothes & buying clothes for my baby. I never thought about the constant sickness, the headaches, the constipation, the extreme need for sleep, the 945 trips to the bathroom a day, etc. It's safe to say that I have had a pretty rough pregnancy. BUT that doesn't mean everyone will. I'm still hopeful that things will get better as the weeks continue. but if not, then that's okay! As long as Bennett is safe, healthy, and growing I will take all the pain in the world for him. It's not going to stop me from complaining but it makes it easier knowing my baby is doing just perfect : ) I don't want my experience to scare someone into not getting pregnant because chances are you will have a much better experience then me!

everyone is an expert...especially people who don't have kids.
I can't tell you how many people have offered unsolicited advice on pregnancy, parenting, etc. It kills me..especially coming from people who have never experienced any of it. I'll be the first to admit that I don't have a clue what the heck I'm doing, but having RANDOM people constantly shoving advice down my throat is super annoying.

you completely change.
Before I got pregnant I was 100% focused on my career. I wanted every degree and certification imaginable to boost me forward as a teacher. When I got pregnant that all changed. I realized how much time I was spending on school work and how little I was focusing on being pregnant. Bennett is my number one priority (and adam too) right now and I don't want that to ever change!

you will love your husband more than ever. and he will think you're hot.
Adam and I have been together for 5 1/2 years. I love that man more than anything in the entire world. but watching him become a daddy over the last 18 weeks has made me fall more in love with him than I ever thought possible. Hearing him talk about Bennett is so amazing! and on the flip side, even though I feel like a beached whale 99% of the time Adam is constantly telling me how great I look and how much he loves seeing me pregnant. I can't tell you how much this helps my self-esteem (it's not easy getting fat, y'all..even for a baby!).

you don't have to do it like everyone else.
Before I got pregnant I thought I would do weekly chalkboard updates, blog everyday about my experience, and be fully into being pregnant. Turns out I'm actually the complete opposite. I constantly tell people the wrong week for how far along I am because I can't keep track, I haven't taken a picture of my belly in weeks, and I have no idea what size "fruit" my baby is. I don't know if it's because of the extreme sickness or what, but I am acting completely different than I thought I would. Don't get me wrong I am SOOOOO happy to be pregnant..but it's just really hard.

I'm sure there's a lot more that I've learned but I've already gotten up twice to pee while writing this post so I think I'm done : )