Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Last night we carved our pumpkins just in time for Halloween. We held out because the plan was to carve baby H2.0's gender into a pumpkin and post it for the reveal but here we are still waiting. 17 days from my 1st blood draw and 9 since my 2nd. I have been so anxious and antsy up until yesterday and now I am convinced we will never find out! What is funny is our gender sonogram is on November 10th so we might as well just wait. I am not a patient person, oye. 

So with no ideas for my pumpkin I scrolled through Pinterest, found the first one I liked and went for it. I told Jon this was the first year that I did the whole thing myself, except for cutting the top. I gutted it, scraped it clean, drew, and carved. It really looks nothing like the picture but like I said, I am not patient :). Ford wasn't so into the pumpkin carving. Part of me thinks he was stressed that we were cutting into the pumpkins... he is obsessed with them. I may have to keep some fake ones out year round because he walks around with his mini pumpkin all day. 




At one point I looked over and he was "washing" the floor with the kitchen towel. Oh he is my son!






We spent about a half hour outside in the front yard admiring our pumpkins. Ford kept walking over and cocking his head at them, I think he thought they were alive. Ford LOVES our front yard because we have so many little lizards running around and he searches for them in the bushes and plants. He also loves waving at cars and people going by. And I feel like I need to mention this (even though I mention it so often) but Ford pretty much only wears clothes when we are in public. He was dressed in shortalls while we were out today and we were running really close to naptime so I just threw him in his sleepsack in his clothes for his afternoon nap and when he got up he was soaked in sweat. Thank goodness the weather is still really nice in Texas because he's my diaper baby!




Tonight we are taking Ford trick or treating to a few neighbors houses before his early bedtime, then we will set up in our front yard to hand out candy. We love Halloween and can't believe it is almost over! Tomorrow my Thanksgiving decorations go up!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Taco pizza

I love pizza. I love tacos. Why not mix the two? 




Y'all this recipe forever changed our lives. It is that good. And it is even good leftover! Score! Okay I need to hurry up and finish this post because I am craving a piece and funny enough (okay not funny)... I ate the last piece last night for dinner. Sigh. I will just have to make it again.

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef/turkey
1 package taco seasoning
1 10oz can refrigerated pizza dough
1 16oz can refried beans
2.5 cups shredded Colby Jack chese
1 cup diced tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Salsa
*optional- mushrooms, olives, peppers

1. Brown the meat, drain grease, and prepare taco meat according to the seasoning packet
2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 and unroll pizza dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
3. Spread beans on top of the cooked dough and top with taco meat, cheese, tomatoes, and any other toppings of your choice.
4. Return to the 375 degree oven and bake for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.
5. Top with shredded lettuce and salsa and enjoy!



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Trunk or Treat










Sunday afternoon we took Ford to our neighborhood's annual Trunk or Treat event. What is Trunk or Treat? Business and organizations decorate the trunks of their cars and line up at the Town Square and pass out candy,treats, etc. There was also a petting zoo, bouncy castles, train, food trucks, and more. Our neighborhood goes all out and it was so much fun! I remember last Halloween thinking how much fun it would be for Ford to experience Halloween this year and I was right. Last year he was a 2 month old little nugget who didn't do much but give the occasional gas induced smile and this year he is the cutest little person. We are getting good use out of his doctor costume (he is wearing it tomorrow at our mom's group Halloween party and then on actual Halloween) and I swear no less than 50 people commented on how cute he looked. People even asked to snap pictures of him! He walked around the event like he was the big man on campus, following balloons and bubble machines and I got a taste of what it must be like to take your kids to Disney World. He was having the time of his life and had no regard for me and Jon, he was in his own world. We held a bunny and a "dragon" a the petting zoo, rode the train, and went from trunk to trunk saying "tee tee". He scored some good candy and a few tooth brushes. He hadn't taken a good nap that afternoon and was cranky as we were putting in his costume so we assumed the event would be an epic meltdown for him but it was quite the opposite. Later that evening Jon and I agreed that it was definitely a parenting high point, watching our little boy go out on his own and have so much fun. I know as the years pass I will be more and more amazed at by how independent he becomes but right now I am in awe of the funny little person he is becoming... so full of joy and personality. We also laughed because we know when Baby H2.0 comes we will probably be thinking, "wait, it doesn't do anything!". Life is a heck of a lot more chaotic and tiring with kiddos but oh man, it is so much fun. Kids are energy and time suckers but the biggest joy givers.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Baby Hart #2, weeks 12-13

Well, my plan was for this post to announce the gender of Baby H2.0 but it is still unknown. Last Tuesday, my birthday, we took the Panorama blood test that is primarily used for genetic testing but it also gives you the gender of your baby with 100% accuracy. My doctor does it for free and I am super impatient so there was no reason NOT to! Baby H2.0 passed the Nuchal Translucency test with flying colors so the genetic portion of the Panorama test will make no difference to us. My doctor normally does the gender scan at 16 weeks (pretty early anyway) but we couldn't wait! The turnaround time is 7-9 days so we've been on pins and needles checking the portal for our results. This Tuesday I got a call from my doctor's office and I answered, "Please don't tell me the gender of my baby, I am not with my husband". The sweet nurse I see at every appointment told me not to worry because she wouldn't but she had bad news. Not something you should say to someone waiting on ANY test results, especially genetic. Turns out there was an error in the main lab and they requested a redraw, no explanation. My heart sank and I was very annoyed. Did they lose my blood work? Did they spill it? How does that happen? Wednesday I drove straight home from our Waco trip to the hospital for a redraw. The nurse did more investigating for me and it turns out they couldn't extract enough DNA of the baby from my blood and needed more. Okay, that made me feel a lot better knowing my blood wasn't lost somewhere. Sure it wasn't the end of the world but we had been waiting so patiently and getting blood taken is a huge for me. I have anxiety leading up to it, sweat and fast talking before it happens, and have even thrown up while it's being taken. I have 3 tattoos and had a C section yet blood draws freak me out. Long story short, we are now waiting on pins and needles....once again... for the gender news of our little babe. I keep telling myself we will know by Halloween! I can't wait to share with you!



Other than that little glitch, I have actually been feeling really great. Since I was sick with Ford until 33 weeks and the first trimester with Baby H2.0 was even worse, I wasn't optimistic that the sickness would end anytime soon. I thought maybe I caught a little break for my birthday but I have been feeling good ever since. I am still on Zofran 2-3 times a day and stool softener at night (I have only gotten sick once since the 13th!) and don't want to try to wean myself off yet. Maybe I am going to be a normal pregnant person who is only sick during the first trimester.... fingers crossed!

I still haven't made it back up to my pre pregnancy weight but I am definitely sporting a belly. The rubberband trick is allowing me to squeeze into my non maternity pants and I think I will bust out the maternity soon.

Ford got me a Snoogle for my birthday and if you are pregnant, reading this, and don't have one....order it ASAP. How the heck was I pregnant for 41 weeks before without one?! Besides getting up to pee every 2-3 hours (I don't remember going that often with Ford), I am getting awesome sleep. I am a tummy sleeper so being pregnant then not being able to sleep on my tummy because of nursing was hard.

I started feeling quickening this past week which is pretty cool. My placenta is anterior this time so it will take me a while to feel kicks but I am definitely feeling fluttering and movement inside my belly. Oh and some round ligament pain, grow belly, grow!

I am 13 weeks tomorrow and can't believe I am in my 2nd trimester. Wow! I can't wait to know the gender of our babe so we can start coming up with ideas for the nursery and getting a head start on projects knowing we will be busy with the holidays (and that time just flies).

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Waco with the babes

My sister and I both write for the family travel review website, Trekaroo and had the opportunity to go to Waco with our babes to explore and visit a few attractions for some writing material. Waco, TX is home to Baylor University, Jon's alma mater, and right smack dab in the middle of Austin and Dallas, where my sister lives. I packed up Ford on Tuesday morning and we headed northbound on I35. We stayed at Hotel Indigo Waco and I can't speak highly enough of our accommodations! If you are looking for a hotel to crash at to see a Baylor game or visit Waco, Indigo is your place. It is brand new, beautiful, boutiquey, and perfect for littles. I always get nervous going to new hotels with Ford because he goes to bed so early and it kind of stinks when the room is small and I have to sit in silence from 7:30pm on but Hotel Indigo had a little corner perfect for his pack and play and I was able to catch up on 19 Kids and Counting after he went to bed. Phew.


The first thing on our itinerary was visiting the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat. The Baylor University mascot is the Bear and there are two adorable North American Black Bears, Joy and Lady, that live in the "Bear Pit". Embry and Ford were given their own Black Bear stuffed animals so we brought them along and they loved showing them to Joy and Lady. It was perfect timing because we saw the bears get their morning meal....peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Ford had no fears and ran right up to the glass and squealed at the bears. Knowing we were going to the zoo the next day, I got super excited for him to see even more animals!





I mean... could they be any cuter?

After the babes took their afternoon naps, we headed to the Mayborn Museum Complex to check out the children's area. Cori and Embry frequent the Dallas Children's Museum quite often and Ford and I have been to the Thinkery in Austin a few times but the Mayborn blew us away! Two whole floors were dedicated to children and there was room after room of interactive play. Ford drove a huge firetruck and school bus and ran around on a life sized piano. It was incredible and the babies had a BLAST! They were so cute running up and down the halls of the museum, overwhelmed by all it had to offer. We had a tea party, created human sized bubbles, and made all sorts of music in the "country themed" room. We knew Embry and Ford would sleep hard that night because they did NOT stop moving for 2 hours. I seriously wish the Mayborn was in Austin!





It didn't surprise me that Ford dove for his crib later that night (although lately he loves going to bed so he can play with his loveys and blankets and roll around) and slept a solid 12 hours. We had a yummy breakfast at Chick Fila the next morning before heading to The Cameron Park Zoo. Ever since we met, Jon has been wanting to take me to that zoo. We are animal lovers and try to visit a zoo or aquarium on every trip we go on so a few years ago we tacked on a zoo visit when we were in Waco for a football game. You may be surprised to learn that Waco has one of the best zoos I've ever been to. They have every "big" animal you'd ever want to see (elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, monkeys, rhinos) and it is really a beautiful area. The whole zoo is shaded by a canopy of trees which makes it nice and cool for a summer visit and it's almost as if the animals are in their original habitats. Jon was getting SO jealous as I was sending him pictures and videos of Ford at the zoo, wishing he could be there to experience it. Thank goodness I brought the stroller because the grounds are sprawling, but Ford did a lot of running around squealing, screaming, pointing, and having the time of his life. It was one of the highlights of being his mama thus far, watching him have so much fun and have his mind blown by all of the animals. His favorite area was the sea life (just like his dad) and he was hilarious chatting with them and running around.





Selfie with the jaguar for my leopard print loving mom

His cocked hip kills me!

A real life Sophie the giraffe



Ford was asleep before we even got on the interstate and remained zonked out our entire drive home. We pulled into our house and all he could talk about was "da da! da da!", I think he was ready to see Jon. It was so nice to get away, even for 24 hours a change of scenery with a toddler can be the perfect medicine for monotonous days. I loved getting to spend time with my sister and niece and the babies had so much fun together. Thank you to Waco & The Heart of Texas, Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat, Mayborn Museum Complex, and Cameron Park Zoo for hosting us. 

I was not asked to present a particular point of view and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

White chocolate Halloween snack mix

I had this recipe pinned for years (not even joking) and finally made it for our Halloween Hootenanny last weekend! I knew people would bring cookies and brownies and baked good sweets so I wanted to have something that was sweet and easy to snack on. I didn't follow the recipe too closely and that is my favorite type of recipe!

Ingredients- choose as much or little as you want, go through your cabinets and add what you already have! You want the bulk of your mix to be carby (cereal/pretzels) with hints of sweet.

Mini pretzels
Honey Chex cereal
Candy corn
Chocolate chips
Peanut butter chips
M&Ms
Dry roasted peanuts
White chocolate bark

1. Like I said above, get creative with what you use. I used 6 cups Honey Chex, 4 cups mini pretzels, 2 bags candy corn, 1 bag peanut butter chips, and 1 package of white chocolate bark. Use your best judgement.
2. Mix all ingredients, besides white chocolate, in a large bowl. Stir to completely combine.
3. Melt white chocolate in the microwave.
4. Pour over the snack mix and use a rubber spatula to make sure each piece is coated.
5. Spread snack mix over parchment paper and let harden for 1-2 hours.
6. Break into chunks and serve!





In a few weeks you can bust out the red and green M&Ms and make a Christmas snack mix!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween Hootenanny x 3

Yesterday was our 3rd annual Hart Halloween Hootenanny and it was a roaring success! Looking back over the past 3 years it is funny to see how the party has changed and evolved. Our first year we weren't even pregnant so it was an adult party that lasted until the wee hours of the morning and resulted in people sleeping on our couches and carb-o-loading the next morning. Last year Ford was a 2 month nugget so we moved the party up a bit and decided to BBQ with friends until after dark. This year we planned the party on a Sunday evening, between 2nd nap and bedtime and there were probably just as many babies and kids as there were adults. There is nothing better than my house being full of kids having fun. At one point I looked upstairs into our gameroom and there were a bunch of girls (elementary age) having a dance party. Life has done a 180 in the past 3 years and I wouldn't change it for the world! By 8pm the house was quiet, Ford was down for the count, and my whole house was clean, vacuumed, and mopped. And my heart was full. We planned the party a few weeks early because next weekend we have our neighborhood Trunk or Treat and then it is Halloween! I think the holidays are just going to get more and more fun as Ford gets older. One of his favorite things to do is walk around with his Halloween treat bag saying "teet teet", trick or treat. Oh and because of his recent obsession with his doctor kit, we went as a family of doctors....Jon and I malpractice docs.



We decided we can never have a baby during the month of October because we wouldn't be able to throw our Halloween party, what a tragedy! It's hard to believe we will have another little cutie to dress up next Halloween (a 6 month old!!!!).

Because Baby H2.0 hasn't been so easy on me, I wanted to make the party as easy as possible. We made hotdogs, pasta salad, chips, and a few treats and served beer, water and lemonade. Our friends brought tons of treats that are glaring at me from the kitchen right now, will power Ruthie, will power! We were blessed with great weather and brought tons of toys outside so the kids could run, it really couldn't have gone any better. 















We attempted a picture of all the "babies" and believe it or not, we were missing a few! 

It isn't a true Halloween unless we have a few kids screaming at the top of their lungs!

And the best part is, we still have 2 more weeks of celebrating Halloween!

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