Monday, May 23, 2016

life lately + photo dump

Life lately: my days pretty much consist of work (spotty so far, but will officially kick in this holiday weekend), daily life stuff at home, keeping track of everyone's schedules (we literally live by the calendar day by day), and all things Kamry!

Peter's new schedule started on May 4, so now Nathan gets home a week before him (and goes back a week before Peter has to go back - Nathan leaves on Tues.). This is really working out well for everyone! :O)

I love spending a little time with Nathan (and I mean a little) but I've found with young adults, you take any amount of quiet time with them that you can get!!!! <3

I got this awesome belated Mother's Day gift from him & Kayla....I love my Disney Alex & Ani, my MICKEY golf cart emblem, and those essential oils bath bombs are the BOMB! :O)

The has rained pretty much EVERY day for the past month!!!!! There have also been mornings that have felt like early winter! Brrrr....

Lots of curling up with a throw and a mug of hot chocolate!! Seriously, where is SPRING??

Peter had crew change last Wednesday in Philly, so after picking me up, we headed straight to Baltimore.

I've lost count of how many times in the past month we've passed the stadiums! We had planned to take in an O's game this summer, but we wonder now if we ever want to go back to Baltimore again once Kamry comes home!!

side note: we stayed at Country Inn & Suites BWI area and absolutely LOVED it!! We will be staying there during any future visits. Bonus... there is a Chilis right next door (we had the absolute best ribs there - get Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce!)

We had an awesome visit with Logan and Lindsey. Kamry is doing so well and it's just a matter of time before she will be transferred (or maybe, better yet, come HOME!!!).

A few recent pictures....

Love this sweet little family so much!!

Dinner is provided every night at Children's House (which they are extremely thankful for and have enjoyed very much!!), but we asked them to go out to dinner with us instead. I suggested The Cheesecake Factory, which (a) is just minutes away from the hospital, (b) we had never eaten there before and had heard great reviews, and (c) who doesn't LOVE cheesecake???? :O)

The menu is HUGE.....we ordered the Nachos for the table for our app....GET.THE.NACHOS!!! OMG...they are the best!

My meal was good, but not the greatest thing I ever ate. I got the Half a Chicken-Almond Salad Sandwich (which turned into a whole sandwich), a Cup of Soup (Wild Mushroom) (which was actually a huge bowl) and a Small Caesar Salad (there was nothing small about it-it took up half a platter). I forgot to get a pic, but it was ALOT of food!! It was good, but not memorable. The cheesecake however, I'll never forget!!!! I got the White Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake Swirled with Macadamia Nuts and Caramel on a Blonde Brownie Crust. I was too full after dinner, but ate it on the car ride home the next day! I will return to The Cheesecake Factory if only for the Nachos & this....

We spent a few hours with Kamry on Thursday, before heading home. Each time, it gets harder to leave them. I pray that they will all three soon be home!!

The drive back was beautiful (major traffic jam, but beautiful!!). I am obsessed with clouds!

Kamry had a banner day on Thursday!! When we got home that night, they reported that she was up to 4 lbs. 1 oz., had been moved to a crib, and had taken two bottles that day!!! She also had her first eye exam and had made out well with that. Lindsey is doing very well these days and I am so thankful that she is feeling better. She has been able to help with most of Kamry's cares (changing diapers, taking temps, helping with baths, etc.). They love that she is now in a crib and they can hold her whenever they want to. She swaddles her up and tucks her in tight! :O) Between their love and care and mommy's milk, Kamry is thriving and growing quickly! "O)

doesn't she look content?

And these two pictures from last night....

Logan's "thing" with Kamry started from the beginning, reading to her!! :O) Of course, I was happy to finally pull out all of the boy's books that I had saved all these years! I had a good cry as I sorted through the bins. It is a bittersweet feeling when you look through the pages of the books you read thousands of times to your precious little boy, and now he will read those same books to his little girl! :O) Priceless!!

(notice the name sticker on the book...I love that their books are labeled, some dated and who from. I want to get book plates and stickers for Kamry's books too!) :O)

Our precious girl! I can hardly wait to see them all again!! :O)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Kamry {one month old}

Our beautiful, precious Kamry turns one month old.....
She is hovering around 4 lbs.
(although she has lost a few ounces since they introduced the bottle this week).
She is on a waiting list to be transported to PRMC....any day now!! :O)

I got a few good pictures during our visit last Thursday,
even though she was still in the incubator.
She was moved to a crib that night!! :O)

I could stand over her and just stare for hours. From the minute I saw her, my favorite feature of hers is her mouth and chin. :O) I can hardly wait to hold her for the first time and get a "smell"!

When you tell her she's cute....

she peeps at you and flashes the most beautiful smile
(even when you think she's sleeping)! ;o)
<3 <3 <3
source: facebook

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday 9: What Hurts the Most

Saturday 9: What Hurts the Most - Rascal Flatts (2006)

1) What hurts Sam the most is her sole, since she just found that earring she thought was lost by stepping on it with her bare foot. How about you? Any aches and pains to report?
Actually, no aches or pains at the moment. :O)

2) What's the last thing you misplaced? Did you find it?
Probably my keys.

3) Lead singer Gary LeVox sings that he's not afraid to cry. When is the last time you shed a tear?
On Thursday, when we had to say goodbye to Logan, Lindsey, and Kamry. I miss them before we even leave!!! :O(

4) Gary auditioned for another country group, Little Big Town, but didn't get in. Considering how successful Rascal Flatts has been, he's probably not sorry. Tell us about something you thought you wanted, but later weren't so sure.

One advantage of being the indecisive person that I am, I rarely regret getting something because by the time I actually get it, it has been well thought out!! :O)

5) The country group has their roots in Columbus, Ohio. What else is Ohio known for?

The first thing that popped into my mind was Longaberger Baskets - from the corporate headquarters in Dresden, Ohio.

6) Lead guitarist Joe Don Rooney married model and former Miss Georgia, Tiffany Fallon. Many major pageants give prizes in the talent, congeniality and swimsuit competitions. Would you prefer to have exceptional skills, a great personality, or a terrific body?

At first thought, I chose great personality, then I thought, exceptional skills might be a better choice. :O)

7) 2006, the year this song was popular, was a very good one for tennis pro Roger Federer. He reached the finals in all four Grand Slam tournaments, and won three. What's the last game you won? (Yes, Words with Friends counts.)

We played games while Derek was here and I won at least one game. :O)

8) Actor Tony Shalhoub won an Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of detective Adrian Monk on Monk. Who's your favorite TV detective?

Don't really have a favorite.

9) Random question ... You've just won an all-expenses-paid trip but now you have to choose: Carnivale in Brazil, the Bordeaux Wine Festival in France, or the Running of the Bulls in Spain?

Definitely France, although not for the wine!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ipsy Bags

I love getting my IPSY package every month, but those cute, little bags start to pile up! I've been putting them to good use though, here are a few uses other than just a make-up bag......

1. Receipts: perfect for all those receipts in your purse or use one to hold monthly receipts until ready to file.

2. Coupons & Gift Cards: again, works great in your purse to hold coupons and/or gift cards.

3. Chargers: while traveling, keep all of your chargers together in one place.

4. Memory Cards or flash drives

5. iPod, buds, and wireless speaker


6. Office Supplies: keep a few office supplies handy in your work bag.

7.Cell Phone and Charger: great for storing your phone and charger in your purse or travel bag.

8. Medicines: while traveling, keeps your mess together in one of these bags.

Side note: a contact lens case works great for keeping individual or daily doses of your meds.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Kamry {Day 21}

Kamry is 3 weeks old!!!

As of tonight, Kamry is 3 -1/2 lbs (oh my goodness) and as of this past Tuesday, no more oxygen!!! :0) More big news, the doctor has put her on a waiting list for transfer to PRMC in the upcoming weeks. :0) They started dressing her (she is so cute in those preemie outfits!), and her belly button thingie came off. She is up to 29 cc of milk (all mommy's milk).

On Wednesday, Kamry's first picture was posted!

And here she is.........<3 <3 <3 .....our beautiful, precious Kamry Lynn!

(Picture taken at 12 days old)

Logan and Lindsey got a spot at Children's Center and moved in on Wednesday. They love being closer and able to walk over for their visits with Kamry. They can't say enough about how they have been taken care of, both at the Ronald McDonald House and now at Children's Center. Dinner is brought in every night for those staying at CC, donated by local restaurants and organizations. This is certainly all new to them and they have had a little adjustment, but appreciate everything so much. We all definitely have a new perspective on life with a preemie, NICU nurses, Johns Hopkins, Ronald McDonald House, Children's Center, and all the wonderful, helpful people during this emotional time. Yesterday, JH hosted NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, who pledged to donate $100,000 to JH which he will raise to a million dollars if he wins on Sunday. WOW!

I could hardly wait to make a copy to fill my frame.....the first of many sweet Kamry pictures!

Hopefully, Kamry will continue to progress and grow as quickly as she has during her first three weeks and soon be able to come home!! We can hardly wait!! :O)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

life lately & May Day Book

I REALLY miss blogging! I plan each day to find the time to sit down to the computer and work on a few posts, but the day gets away from me or I just don't seem to have the motivation. I think about it all the time, it is something I love and enjoy. It's my favorite way to spend any down time I can find. Lately though, even when I get a few quiet minutes, it is usually spent on messenger with Peter, Nathan, or most likely, Logan or Lindsey. I look forward to getting my daily Kamry fix from the pictures (and videos!) they send. Again, I warn you, when the pictures start....beware! :O) :O)

Kamry is still doing great! Lindsey enjoyed her first Mother's Day by holding her for 2 straight hours. Can you imagine the smells and kisses!!?? After two weeks of being at the hospital every minute, they went out to dinner to celebrate Kamry's progress and to do something special for Mother's Day. I think it did them a world of good to feel "normal" again, after the whirlwind of events. Lindsey is one happy, proud momma!! :O)

I spent Mother's Day at work, then home alone. Peter and Nathan are both at work, and of course, Logan and Lindsey are away. They sent me the prettiest flower bouquet though, which I totally didn't expect due to their circumstances. I LOVE it, and it really brightened things up after such a rainy, gloomy week! I haven't gotten Nathan's gift yet, but he will be home today.

I stopped by my MIL's for a visit, then spent some time with Mom. I ordered take out and brought home for my dinner (delicious hot crab dip bread bowl and my new favorite salad from from Lorraine's). :O)

I washed up and sent Lindsey and Logan a huge box of preemie clothes that a friend brought over! (Thanks again Nicole!!) I am amazed at the smallness of those tiny little outfits. Lindsey sent a video of Kamry getting her bath last night (which again, she still hates!). Afterwards, they put on the outfit we bought her. She is adorable!! :O) It is a little big on her, so I'm excited to see her in some of the smaller outfits from the box of clothes. Back to her bath- she has quite a loud cry for such a small little girl...her lungs seem to be developing nicely!! "O)

The Simple Woman's Day Book: MAY 2016

For Today: 5/11/16

Outside my window:
sun....rain....clouds....peak of get the picture! :O(
We have had wayyyy too many days of rain this spring!

I am wearing:
jeans and a turquoise Chincoteague tee

A favorite quote:
in honor of Mother's Day...

In the kitchen....

Mon (me) - Salad
Tues (me) -  baked pork chop and roasted asparagus
Weds (me, Nathan, & Kayla) - baked chicken, scalloped potaoes, & cauliflower

From the board room (Pinterest)....

posting LOTS of cute baby stuff!!

Lovely Baby Gown with Hat  White Gown/ Lavender Glitter

One of my favorite things....

This week is the finale of Amazing Race!! I haven't kept up with posting on this, but of the three teams left, Matt & Dana are my pick (even though they bicker wayyy too much!). I won't mind if Korey and Tyler win, but will be super irritated if Cole and mom, Sheri win (especially after they lucked out a few times by not getting eliminated and somehow beat Burnie and Ashley last week!!!!). And Cole's crying....annoying!!!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Blue Apron Review: Grains of Paradise-Crusted Steak

This was my third of three meals from my most rececnt Blue Apron shipment. It was definitely out of the box for me, as I have never cooked or eaten plantain before. It looks like an oversized banana, but tasted more like a sweet potato. I had never used grains of paradise either, but I really loved the flavor it added to the ribeye steak (which was a perfect cut of meat for this recipe).

Recipe: HERE

Grains of Paradise-Crusted Steak
w/ Mashed Plantain, Collard Greens & Ginger Peanuts

1 ribeye steak
1 black plantain
1 lime
1/2 bunch collard greens
1 bunch parsley
2 T. peanuts
1 T. butter
1-inch piece of ginger
1 tsp. grains of paradise

Makes: 2 servings / Calories: about 800 per serving (the most yet!)
Prep Time: 15 mins. / Cook Time: 20-30 mins.

This dish was delicious!! The combination of flavors were wonderful! The steak was perfect and was well seasoned with the grains of paradise, but not overpowering. I am a huge sweet potato fan, so I really enjoyed the plantain. The ginger peanuts were a nice touch to this recipe. YUM!!!

I can hardly wait to get my next BA box! I have paused shipments until Peter goes back to work the end of the month. I also have a discount that I can use for a future HF shipment (thanks to Wanda for signing up!), so I may give them another try soon too!

I highly recommend both of these meal services. I am spending less on groceries when trying to cook for one, plus, I am eating much better (and enjoying the cooking as well!).

Blue Apron Review: Seared Chicken w/ Sauteed' Purple Potatoes, Kale, & Apple

Another Blue Apron hit!! What amazes me is the simpleness of ingredients, yet the wonderful combination of flavor each recipe has had. Who would think to combine potatoes (purple at that), kale, onion, and apple with dijon mustard and almonds? Sounds weird, but it was actually very tasty! The other thing that amazes me is that even though the ingredient amounts seem sparse, the finished product is packed with flavor. Sometimes less is more in cooking, I guess. I tweaked the recipe only in that I cooked the chicken until done, rather than just searing it. (I actually used my BA chicken for my last HF meal by mistake since I had frozen it, so this ended up being skinless chicken).

Seared Chicken w/ Sauteed' Purple Potatoes, Kale & Apple

2 chicken breast
10 oz. purple potatoes
1 Granny Smith apple
1 yellow onion
1/2 bunch kale
2 T. sliced almonds
1 T. butter
1 T. whole grain dijon mustard

(1) prep the ingredients: Wash and dry the produce. Medium dice the potatoes. Peel and medium dice the onion. Remove and discard the kale stem; roughly chop. Peel, core and medium dice the apple.
(2) Brown the potatoes: In a medium pan, heat 2 tsps. olive oil on med-high heat until hot. Add potatoes, season with salt and pepper. Cook; stirring occasionally 8-10 minutes, or until browned and slightly softened.
(3) Finish the veggies: Add the onion to pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes. Add kale, apple, and 2 T. water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 2-4 minutes. Add almonds, mustard, and 2 T. water; cook, stirring frequently 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
(4) Cook the chicken: I cooked the chicken in a skillet with olive oil on med-high heat until done. Salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a plate leaving any browned bits (fond) in the pan. Cover to keep chicken warm.
(5) Make the pan sauce: Add the butter and 1/4 cup water to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat, scraping any fond from the bottom of pan, 1-2 minutes until combined and slightly thickened.
(6) Plate your dish: Divide the veggies and cooked chicken between two plates. Top each plate with pan sauce. Enjoy!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Kamry {Day 14}

Kamry is 2 weeks old!

So far, things are moving forward at a pretty good pace. She is up to 24 cc of milk, and weighs 3 lbs.1 oz.!!! (her lowest weight only got down to 2 lbs. 10 oz.). She is still only on the oxygen strap and feeding line (drinking Mom's milk). Mom and Dad both are getting to hold her and Mom helps with her baths (which she is not a fan of). She is still being called feisty (one nurse told them she wouldn't be surprised to find the port hole door open and see Kamry trying to climb out). LOL

We bought her some pretty receiving blankets for her bed, so she now has her own, and pretty soon, they will start dressing her! We bought her this cute preemie outfit to start her wardrobe. After having two 10 lb. babies, I'm still amazed at the smallness of a preemie.The boys never wore newborn clothes and barely fit in 0-3 months for long. The size range on this outfit is up to 5 lbs. and 17 inches - which she will still swim in.... That's Crazy!

We take Allie one of her blankets to smell of every time we leave. So far, she approves of her little sissy! :O)
She has stolen our hearts even more...the last few days we were at the hospital.....she started smiling!!! When Mom and Dad talk to her, her face lights up, a thousand wrinkles appear, and the biggest smile you ever saw comes over her face!!! Lindsey sent us a picture of Logan holding her and I don't know who has the biggest smile - it melts my heart!! It still amazes me how you can love someone so much and form such a strong bond in such a short amount of time. For the rest of her life, Kamry will have these two people loving her, and making sure she will always be taken care of (as well as all of the rest of her family).

They are still at the Ronald McDonald house, mostly just showering and sleeping there. They are hoping a spot soon opens up at the Children's Center. It would be nice to just walk across the street and be there. We took some food to them last weekend as well as more stuff from home. We stayed with them at the hospital all day Saturday and a few hours on Sunday (or at least a I did - Peter had a cold and spent most of his time at the hotel or in the parking garage) :(  :( :( Germs in the NICU are frowned upon!

I sat with Kamry for about an hour on Saturday night, while Logan and Lindsey went downstairs to get something to eat. I mostly just sat there as she slept peacefully. I finally had a few quiet minutes to just soak it all in. I have a granddaughter, a tiny, beautiful, precious granddaughter! I can hardly wait to hold her, and read to her, and get kisses under that sweet little chin (which by the way took my eye from the moment I saw her - along with her mouth that looks exactly like her daddy's!!). :0)

Lindsey would have been 32 weeks this coming Tuesday. I think that is usually the magical number with preemies, so we will see how things progress over this next week. Premature babies, NICU, all this is so foreign to me. I feel like I have entered some strange world where everything here is unknown and scary and we somehow have to make our way blindly through it. We will be forever thankful to the doctors and especially, to all the wonderful NICU nurses who take such great care of these tiny little babies. So far, things seem to be taking a good course, and she is growing and not having any setbacks. We are taking things one day at a time and looking very forward to the day she comes home!

We got home on Monday. Peter left for work on Tuesday evening. We have barely had time to even think about how good his new schedule is going to be.The same day Logan started as Captain, Peter found out he was going on a new boat. This tour will allow him to now have a week off while Nathan is home and the other week while Logan is home. Answered prayer, especially now!

I can't believe I won't see Logan, Lindsey, and Kamry for 2 weeks!!! I have asked them to send daily pictures, because she seems to change her looks and grow even more every day! I literally see a difference every day! Her face is starting to fill out more - oh my those sweet cheeks! I am craving a kiss so bad! I can hardly wait to hold her for the first time!! :O)

We have LOTS of pictures of Kamry coming soon that I can hardly wait to share!! Then, I warn you and I am sorry (not sorry) in advance for cute granddaughter overload!! :O) :O)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Blue Apron Review: Zucchini & Parmesan Quiche

My second shipment of Blue Apron arrived last Tuesday while we were away at the hospital. I had planned to pause that week, since Peter's schedule had changed and he would be home after all, but I didn't get to the computer to change the delivery date in time. So once again, the meat went in the freezer and the fresh stuff would have to sit in the fridge until we could get home to use it. We ended up home one night last week, so onThursday night, I made the quiche recipe for our dinner. We both loved it and there was plenty of it, but Peter felt it lacked meat of some sort. I was fine with the veggies only, and actually even left a few bites, as it was very filling. The salad was plentiful too, but wasn't as good as the arugula salad I made in the first BA shipment. Here is the recipe:

Zucchini & Parmesan Quiches w/ Red Leaf Lettuce Salad & Pink Lemon Vinaigrette

2 farm eggs
2 pie crusts
4 cloves garlic
4 oz. spinach
1 head red leaf lettuce
1 pink lemon
1 zucchini
3 T. shaved parmesan
2 T. creme fraiche
1 shallot
1) prepare the ingredients: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry the produce. Crack the eggs in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Peel and mince the garlic. Small dice the zucchini. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce and separate the leaves. Zest 2 tsp. of the lemon. Quarter and deseed the lemon - cut into quaters. Peel and mince the shallot - 2 T. needed. Place shallot in bowl with juice of all 4 lemon wedges. Set aside.
2) cook and drain the spinach: in a non-stick pan, heat 2 tsp. olive oil. Add spinach, season aith salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally 2-3 minutes. Transfer to strainer and drain. Transfer to cutting board and finely chop. Set aside.
3) cook the zucchini: In same pan, heat 2 tsp. olive oil. Add garlic and zucchini. Cook, stirring frequently, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
4) assemble and bake the quiches: Place pie crusts on sheet pan. To the bowl of eggs, add the creme fraiche, lemon zest, and 2 T. water, season with salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth. Stir in zucchini and spinach. Fill both shells evenly, top with half the cheese. Bake 18-20 minutes or until crusts are brown and quiche is set. Remove and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
5) make the vinaigrette: While the quiches bake, season the shallot-lemon juice mixture with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in 2 T. olive oil until combined.
6) make the salad and serve: Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine lettuce, remaining chhese and salt and pepper. Add enough dressing to coat. Toss to combine. Divide the salad and quiches between two plates. Enjoy!
I had never made quiche before, but had wanted to try. This was an easy and delicious recipe! The salad was a little bland, but went well with the rich quiche. Definitely another win for Blue Apron!