27 weeks: where I'm at in the pregnancy.

Welcome to the third trimester.

I'm just, you know, hanging around, Large Marge-ing it up, taking in the scenery. We are heading into the down hill slope of this pregnancy. Knowing you're having a C-section means knowing you have only 12 weeks left. Here...we...come...

Although, just between you and me, I would so not be surprised if this one pulls some ridiculous go into labor the night before the C-section ploy for attention. She's already a wild child in there. No womb can contain her. No date will be picked for her. This is just my guess. I figured Sam would have stayed until June if they hadn't sprung him and knowing that guy in real life now, yep. June.

Ah but anyways, the third trimester. So happy to see you.

Now that I look like I'm due tomorrow (head shake), I get asked all the time now where I'm at in my pregnancy. I'm sure these well-wishers mean which week or which month or which trimester but I like to look at this a little different.

Here is where I'm "at" in my pregnancy and what I would like my answer to be:

I'm in the "Wearing leggings unapologetically and without grace all day everyday" trimester.
Bye, bye jeans. The belly panel doesn't fit over my massive gut anymore so I now have every excuse to dress like a casual bum daily. Oh and for tops above these classy Tar-jay leggings - does my shirt cover everything? I couldn't tell you and I couldn't care less. Out of sight, out of mind takes on a whole new meaning at this stage.

I'm "Being able to fit the largest underwear in my drawer" weeks along.
This was a big (get it?) milestone that I achieved last week. Can I still squeeze into my Victoria Secret size smalls? Sure. And 27 clowns can fit in a VW. Tight, but we can make it work. But now, well now, we've crossed into the planet sized Fruit of the Looms that last pregnancy I reserved for only post-c section already. Look alive. We are rocking these all day everyday and loving it.

OH! See above and raise  you I'm in month "panty lines, what panty lines?" of the pregnancy. I'll repeat. Out of sight. Out of mind. There are so many new lines and rolls on my body, I don't have time to stop and worry about panty lines. Please. Besides, wearing anything else would ruin the level of comfortable that my maternity leggings provide so bring on the judgment.

I'm in the "beached whale" trimester.
Rolling over, getting into bed, standing up from the ground: these are monumental tasks that I no longer take lightly. Not that much about me is lightly anymore but still. These take herculean effort, several grunts, a few running starts. I love it because it's practically exercise and let's be honest, theoretical exercise is the closest I'll come to any physical activity right now so watch me get on and off the couch and break a sweat. It's good times.

"Gee I wish I could help but I'm pregnant" stage of this gestation.
This actually has several sub categories: The oh I wish I could help paint/move/lift but I'm too pregnant; also, oh I wish I could go on that hike up that mountain with you and Sam but I'm too pregnant; man, I'd love to do anything but sit and watch Vampire Diaries but I'm pregnant and swamped with growing a human. Huge departure from non-pregnant life? No. BUT I have an excuse now so I'll be milking that until January and then "sorry, I JUST had a C-section" until about May 2018. Rough estimate.

The "I'm so pregnant dumb I shouldn't handle any equipment" phase
Wow. Pregnancy brain is a real thing and I real have it. Last week, I was unable to find the middle of an object 43 inches long. As I thought to myself "well, this is impossible, you can't divide 43 in half" Chuck said "21.5". Thank God someone here can still do basic math. Or remember words like difference, tortilla,  and bath tub all of which have escaped me lately. I say left and go right, I stare at walls because they are pretty, I couldn't half a recipe without a calculator at this point. I am dumb.

I'm in month "I sneezed therefore I peed"
I think this is fairly self explanatory but maybe MAYBE - light bulb moment - I should combine my love for over sized underwear with my penchant for pee-sneezing and jump 60 years to go right into Depends. This could solve a lot of my problems. What is the panty line situation for those guys? Oh wait. I don't care.

See, I think this would be a much better way to say where I'm at in my pregnancy than "27 weeks" or "just starting the third trimester". Those don't really seem to capture the essence of life right now. And life right now is beyond Ferris Beuller (...moving pretty fast...).

[monday meals mashup] october is not 75 degrees.

I'm really not appreciating October.

It's supposed to be my favorite happy month of Fall, but instead it's 75 and sunny. You can love it all you want but I have repeatedly requested Fall temperatures so I can switch into a more flattering maternity wardrobe. This is not too much to ask for.

Fine. Fine. Fine.

I'll deal for one more week because it's looking like 50s and rain next week, and I will be doing a happy dance in my rain boots, leggings, and over sized sweater.

Here's our menu for the week:

Monday: Calzones - Monday Night Football people and we need some game day food. These are probably not the most traditional calzones, but you know what? They are fun, delicious and make me happy. Here's how we make them: I buy the Rhodes Frozen Bread Loaves. Defrost one loaf all day per package directions (this one loaf with make three Goldilocks calzones for the Allisons: big, medium and little). Roll the dough out into "calzone" shapes and fill half with pizza fixings - think popover, jam pie type set up. We will have pepperoni, Canadian bacon, onion, peppers, cheese and pineapple available for ours. We don't add sauce - it makes it mushy and that's for dipping. Fold unfilled half over the fillings, place on cookie sheet and bake per the bread bag's instructions. Super easy. Super fun.

Tuesday: Spicy Thai Noodles

Pic stolen from original poster: A Small Snippet
This was on last week's menu and it's a hold over. Too sick to make it so Florence Fe-ingale came out with dinner.

Wednesday: Beef and Bean Burritos. So, WAY BACK WHEN (when schools actually had cooks and made real food), this was the recipe the 5-star gourmet chef would make at the school my mom worked at. The chef wanted the same schedule as her kids so she went to work at their school. Win for us because we got this bomb recipe out of the deal. Too bad school lunches aren't like that anymore, but don't get me started on that topic... [recipe card below]

Thursday: Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole.

Pic stolen from original poster: Picky-Palate
The new recipe for the week - I try to do one a week (key word: try). Any recipe that calls for two kinds of rice and three cups of cheese is already a winner in my book.

Friday: Chicken Nuggets.
Pic stolen from original poster: Skinny Taste.
An easy peasy, delicious way to end the week.

Happy Cooking - Happy Monday!

25 weeks: the plague.

Photo taken pre-plague. You should see the stunning beauty that is behind the keyboard right now.

Hi hi. It's taken me three days to post my 25 weeks picture all just to say "We have the plague, this post is about nothing."

Do you know what's worse than having a cold?

Having a cold while pregnant, while still morning sick, with a toddler at home - make that a sick toddler at home - and when you don't exactly feel like laying around getting "healthy" but have things to do people.

Good news is Chuck rarely gets the plague and it looks like he has come out alive on the other side of this one unscathed as usual. Jerk. Oh well, at least one member stayed functioning so the other two could act like the toddlers they are.

That's a lie.

Sam was in great spirits the whole time, mostly. I have been the bitter old hag you would expect me to be.

Thankfully, we are on the mend and just in time for the weekend. Plus, Sam is just about done with being Nosefrida'd. Learn to blow your own nose then. But hey - I'm equally as done with man handling him on the bed and sucking out his boogers so everyone is losing here. Again, learn to blow your own nose. Meanwhile, Sam is considering doing his own blog post on the traumatic experience of the Nosefrida.

And that is what 25 weeks looks like around here. Closer to 26 weeks now that I've drug my sick feet on posting this, but you get the idea.

[monday meals mashups]: the end of september.

Pot Roast is on sale!
Pot Roast is on sale!
Pot Roast is on sale!

...And this is where my life is at. I almost cried sweet tears of meaty joy that pot roast is finally on sale. Fall is officially here. You may think fall arrives with Pumpkin Spice Lattes; I know fall arrives when pot roast goes on sale.

My. Life.

The weather is getting cooler and foods in our house are getting heartier. Blessed be the name of fall.

Here's what we are cooking up this week (we? This is a we like we fixed up the back yard, we are pregnant with a baby girl, we rewired lighting over the weekend to add an overhead fixture to baby Kate's room - yes we did all of that in the same spirit that we will be cooking together this week...):

Monday: Pasta Soup. Not necessarily what I would have ultimately picked for tonight if I had all the time in the world, but it's mid-afternoon and sick Sam has a cold so we still haven't made it out for our weekly shopping trip. That means dinner tonight has to be easy and nothing says easy like pasta soup. Of course, for Chuck, pasta soup is simply a homemade crouton delivery system: heat a pan with EVOO (medium high) and drop in a bunch of French bread cubes to be totally soaked in oil. Turn, rotate, and babysit until they start to toast. This is the best part of pasta soup. {recipe card below}

Tuesday: Not sure if you heard, but pot roast is on sale this week. We will be having red wine pot roast to celebrate. Love this recipe - great recipe blog too (and she's had a heartbreaking infertility journey but is cooking her happy ending right now). I'll add some red potatoes in with the roast as he cooks in my crockpot and mash them up at the end with some cream.

Wednesday:  Chicken Stir-Fry Wraps. Good old Martha. I'm too lazy and cheap to buy a head of butter lettuce to actually make these wraps, so we will have them with rice. Sam will eat rice. He will not eat lettuce. He is so my baby.

Thursday: Spicy Thai Noodles. Love this recipe and love it even more with a side of peanut sauce and vegies.

Friday: Chicken Mish Mash. There is a real name to this meal but we call it mish mash. If you make it, you'll see why. It's delicious and if you have kids or a kid's pallet like me, it's perfect. Easy peasy crockpot dinner that somehow serves 5,000. I call those meals "Jesus Dinners". This is a Jesus Dinner. Servings just keep appearing from the crockpot.

Saturday and Sunday will be more house project fun. We made HUGE progress this weekend with the help of Chuck's Dad. This coming weekend we have "art direction" arriving in the form of Chuck's Mom and Sister to make nursery visions into nursery realities.

Happy Cooking as always!

ps on the soup: I've been skipping the spinach part for years since it violates my vegetable policy (no vegetables ever). I can't imagine making it with spinach now but I know there was a time when I would have said the complete opposite.  

photo dump friday.

This week flew by and not surprisingly.

Once I had my little blog meltdown last week over things getting done around here, funny, but things started getting done. Point for public venting.

Items are being sold at lightning speed on Craigslist except the rowing machine. Why? Oh, because you have to list something in order for it to sell. Still dragging his feet on that one....

With the help of a Sam handler (Fe) I hit the ground hard this week buying items for Sam's *new* room and Kate's nursery. And my Father in Law will be in town this weekend to help with the "manly" things that I can no haz help on - like moving furniture. I got winded today vacuuming. I don't see heavy lifting in my 2014 future.

I am a happy pregnant camper now. Well, for now. I'm sure I'll be all up in arms about something in no time.

Until then.... Happy Friday!

Here's our week in cell phone pictures:

We went to Gameworks with The Gang on Saturday night. As you may know, Gameworks is a place of fun, excitement and over the top video games. Way too much for Sam Allison. He only liked the games if they were not moving, he wasn't actually playing or....

He was sitting with Auntie Jessica who was deemed the only "safe" person to play games with. This is shocking to me because she isn't a nice or safe person. Kidding. She's the best and he loves her too much.

First bowl of Spaghetti-Os. Be still my heart. I put this above walking in importance on the milestones list but just below McDonalds.

This is my Big Kid Baby having his bottle of water on the couch with his cartoonies. His attention span for TV is about five minutes and you know what, best five minutes ever. I am such a good Mom.

Great news. Found Sam's "missing" sweatshirt.

That would be Sam: 1; Grandma's irreplaceable Dogwood tea set: 0.
This is what he came downstairs in for dinner. I try to treat it like any child wanting attention. I just sighed, snapped a picture and went back to serving dinner.

Spear hunting for Daniel Tigers.


Jackie Cat had an obsession with trying to figure out how the printer and putting machine worked. Hours of experiments were logged throughout his life. Since his passing, Sam has taken up Jack's research with unbridled enthusiasm.

He's in the cupboard.
The audio to this picture is giggling.

He knew the second we walked into Great Clips that something was afoul.

And he knew the second he sat down that this wasn't going to end well. No amount of Sour Patch Kids, Junior Mints or PBS apps was going to fix this. Screw you Mom and Dad.

This is his fifth haircut. Each has gotten progressively worse. He cries harder during a hair cut than getting a shot.

The hair cut ends. He hops down off the chair, waves at the people in the waiting area and heads out the door for home like nothing ever happened and he did not just recreate a scene from the Exorcist.

Happiest Baby Toddler on the Block.
Happy Friday to all!

and that's why i'm starting sam's transition now.


This is the face of RTC syndrome. Look closely. It's a devastating affliction.

RTC, which in the Allison house stands for Resistance to Change, is a debilitating illness. It affects those young and old. It knows no age. It knows no gender.

RTC is a genetic disease that I have long suspected Sam had. It affects nearly all DNA-linked Allisons. God help you, Baby Kate. For Sam, today was total, 100% confirmation that he has RTC. Good news is knowing this is cheaper and more accurate than a paternity test. Small wins everyday in my life.

Chuck is obviously nearly incapacitated with his RTC. Does anyone else remember this meltdown in 2010 over cereal changing formula? Yes, I signed my name to this open letter to General Mills, but who do you think was spouting the venom that night?

You too may have family members currently suffering from RTC. You yourself may be a sufferer as well. I struggle with bouts from time to time but I feel those are more like Patty Hearst symptoms and I'm identifying with my Allison captors and starting to act like them.

Symptoms of RTC may include:
~owning t-shirts from middle school into your 30s
~inability to throw away mail or any documents even those in duplicate or online
~unnatural attachment to inanimate objects like your childhood dryer which someone and his sister may have asked their mom to take a picture of since they weren't home to say goodbye to it when it almost lit the house on fire and had to be replaced.

Today I began the process of transitioning Sam's room into a big boy room. I get asked a lot about whether I'm transitioning Sam to a new room and moving baby Kate into the "nursery" or leaving Sam. It was never a question: leave him. I have also said repeatedly that I want this to be a slow process, piece by piece.

Why? Because I know my child. I know his genetics. And I know how this would go down if it was happening to his father.

And this is what I got:

THIS is a hysterical meltdown over switching his rug. RUG. He lost his baby mind over a new rug. Not in a good way lost his mind. Lost it in a world-coming-to-an-end-my-life-is-over sort of way.

Together we opened the new rug. He was very interested. It was wrapped around a tube so the new rug was immediately on his good side - it had brought a gift. Until he realized what was happening.

I pulled up the old rug and threw it over the railing to downstairs. I came back into his room to find him sitting where the rug had been, rubbing the ground, and crying. We laid the new carpet out and... meltdown.

He hates it. It's not his old rug. It's awful.

SAWREEEA Sam but that rug has Lebowski-like qualities and will really tie your new big boy room together. It stays.

Later, after copious amounts of playing on the rug, spinning, and happy feet dancing, it seemed like we were going to make it.

Until he saw the old rug downstairs, threw himself on it, and rolled back and forth in love.

I love this rug too don't get me wrong. It's fabulous. It also gets brown stains on it from water, drool, ANYTHING. I'm done.
Then broke down again as I folded it for the Goodwill pile.

Sam Allison, now an official card holder in the RTC club. Blame your father, Sam.

Question: if this is the reaction I get to a new rug, what happens when the changing table moves or the crib comes out or the new baby is home? Will his head just explode? What does toddler therapy look like? Do they have a little baby IKEA couch to lay on?

[monday meals mashup]


Another week, another set of meals. Good news is, the weather got my memo from last week and we are definitely, finally, oh em gee what is taking so long, seeing signs of fall. Not strong signs - 66 and cloudy isn't exactly Seattle fall (more like a usual Seattle summer) but weather beggars are not weather choosers.

I sat down today per my Monday morning ritual and thought I'd take a picture of what my meal process looks like. Not that it's probably far off from yours, but it helps to give the visual on what I'm doing here. And isn't that what this blog is all about? To give you a clear picture of my life. That's actually a question. Add a question mark to that sentence. Is that what I'm doing here? Tough to tell.

So first, I sit down with my go-to recipe books.

The first, Martha Stewart's Great Food Fast aka The Recipe Bible. Immediately buy this if you don't already own it. The second two are my cookbooks, affectionately known as the "new cookbook" and the "old cookbook". Chuck and I are very cleaver and inventive with naming things. See our children, Sam and Kate for further examples. The middle one is the "new cookbook" - mostly Pinterest recipes that have made the cut with a few from friends and family too. The old one is the original cookbook that I started in college. It has some relic gems and forever classics.

Also, not pictured, is the grocery store weekly ad on my computer so I can see what's on sale. I'm dying to have red wine pot roast, but until pot roast goes on sale...I'll pass.

To add authenticity, I really should have a picture of Sam sitting next to me watching PBS shows on my phone while I do this. I'm 100% sure I read something about how important screen time is at 16 months old. Or maybe that was in Susie's Handbook for Effective Monday Morning Parenting. Probably was.

And then I make the master list:

Not listed are two really important things we bought: Spaghetti-Os for lunch today and Eggos for breakfast. I would say "Hey! I'm pregnant!" but let's be real. I eat those things normally. Actually, I haven't had Spaghetti-Os since I was pregnant with Sam and Eggos are for emergency "I don't feel like actually trying today" breakfasts for Sam. Weird, he loves them. Is there sugar in syrup? Then yes.

So here's what's for dinner:

Monday: LUDLES! Lucy's favorite. Will pour one out for our California home girl while we eat this tonight. Definitely takes time, definitely worth it. [recipe card below]

Tuesday: Country Skillet Supper. I found this one in the old cookbook. We used to have this all the time when we first got married and then abruptly stopped. I have no answer for why. Maybe I OD'd on it? Who knows. The recipe is a little like Rachel Green's Trifle. Beef, good. Tomatoes, good. Soup, good. Noodles, good.

Wednesday: Stove Top Chicken. I realize now that if you look at my grocery list, this is noted as "Burn Memorial". Funny story (except not but anyways): My Mom made this one year for Christmas dinner. It bakes for an hour at 350. She backed into me, dropped the pan on the door of the oven and it coated her face in 2nd degree burns. Christmas in the ER. This was 20 years ago and not once since then have we called it anything but "Burn Memorial Chicken". Her face healed perfectly, never scarred, and we got to rename a meal after her. Win for Fe. [recipe card below] Also, don't judge me.

Thursday: Fried Chicken. HECK YA. This is oven fried chicken - there is no deep frying happening in my kitchen. So easy and if you have kids, this was my favorite to help make because you have to shake the chicken in a bag to coat it. Add mashed potatoes and I literally can't wait.

Friday: Sam is at Fe's for a sleep over. Chuck and I will be eating dinner in peace, quiet, and somewhere really special and classy. Like Five Guys.

Saturday: Steak and Spaghetti. A classic my side of the family combination. Chuck's Dad is coming over to help with my to-do list / pregnancy meltdown so I'm making him one of my favorites. Lesson learned: one freak out blog post will earn you oodles of family help. I'm making the spaghetti sauce - it's a super simple 15 minutes Giada recipe (but minus the pancetta since we are having steak).

That's the week! Happy cooking to all.

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