Saturday, August 31, 2013

You're Gonna Miss This

"You're gonna miss this.
You're gonna want this back.
You're gonna wish these days
hadn't gone by so fast.
These are some good times.
So take a good look around.
You may not know it now,
but you're gonna miss this."

Life is too short. Eat dessert first. At least thats always been my moto. It's a good reason to have cookies for breakfast. But honestly, life does fly by. It's 2013, which sounds like a futuristic year - and, besides that, we are closer to 2014 than we were to 2012. I can barely keep up. 2002 sounds like a normal year - not one that was almost 12 years ago. 

Yet I feel like I spend my life waiting for the next 'thing.' Yearning for Friday every week. Waiting for the next day off of work. Counting down until the next wedding, weekend trip, or vacation.

We were dating and the idea of picking out a white dress, having a diamond ring on my left finger, and choosing venues sounded so exciting. We got engaged and I quickly forgot about all of that and just couldn't wait for the wedding to be here. The idea of the honeymoon, getting to wear the dress I picked out and the wedding band -- using his last name. The wedding came and went, and I couldn't wait to get settled into the house, finish up our dining room, plant a garden, decorate guest rooms. We were settled into the house and I couldn't wait to get pregnant. The idea of having a belly, buying maternity clothes, having a baby shower, buying teeny clothes and decorating a nursery was all I wanted. 

Just as quickly as the rest of the anticipations had faded, I wanted to know the gender. I wished away the entire first trimester to know whether we had a boy or girl brewing. After finding out she was, indeed, a she, I just couldn't wait to meet her. 

When we first found out that I was pregnant, I couldn't wait to feel her move. I imagined being in a work meeting, with her kicking around and it being the best thing ever. Like I had a secret. Me and her. We were a team. Both getting antsy during the boring work talk. That profound feeling that there's something much bigger in this world. That one computer program not working correctly pales in comparison to the fact that we are going to be parents. That we already were parents. That she was inside, kicking and moving. That I could feel her, but no one else in the room could. I imagined all work problems fading into dust at that first kick. How could they stress? It was work. I'm growing a baby. How amazing is that?

Since she's been kicking, you know what I have thought? I hope people can't see my stomach moving. I shouldn't touch my stomach -- don't bring attention to it. If I could lean back more in this chair, she would kick me less in the ribs. I would be more comfortable. I have to pee, and she's kicking me in the bladder. I wonder if she hates the sound of my boss's voice.

I have yet to sit in a meeting and think about how amazing it all is. 

The other day she stretched her leg out so far that when I felt my stomach there was this little ball that I knew was a foot. I just rubbed my stomach right there - imaging how cool it will be to rub this little foot when she's outside. And it finally hit me. I am going to miss this. First of all, she's much easier to transport, feed, and find a sitter for when she's inside. But beyond that, I know I will miss being pregnant. All the anticipation of buying maternity clothes, having a belly and feeling her move faded just as quickly as the ones about the white dress and the new house. 

Now I am annoyed about not having clothes to wear. How hard it is to bend over. That I don't want to get any bigger. That I can't wait to meet her. To see what she looks like. To find out if she's a red head or a blonde.

I only have 7 weeks left. There are so many amazing things about pregnancy - and such a short time left to enjoy them. I need to spend time going back to that girl who all she ever wanted was to have a little squirmy munchkin inside of her. I am there now and I should spend more time enjoying it. 

I had lunch with a friend whose youngest (and last) is 2.5 months old. She was talking about how much she missed the newborn stage. The teeny, floppy baby sound asleep in a milk coma. That her's was too big too fast.

I know I will have sleepless nights - just wishing away the time until she will sleep through the night. Until she's less fragile. Sitting up on her own. Talking to us. 

And I know when the time comes, I will miss her being extra little. Not strong enough to pull away from our cuddles. Not able to talk back. 

So I have decided to put a little 4x6 frame in her nursery that says "you're gonna miss this." Anytime the sleepless nights seem to be too much. The crying too much. Hopefully it'll help me remember to spend more time in the moment. Sucking it all in. Because I know that as I look back on all of this - these past few years - the next few years ahead - I am going to miss them. These are some good times, and I don't want to wish them away. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Brownies

Oh my gosh, yall. These are soo good. 

Have you ever had Buckeye balls? They are balls of creamy peanut butter, coated in chocolate. They are creamier than Reese's - different, but just as delicious. 

Recipes are floating all over Pinterest for these buckeyes on top of brownies. I didn't quite trust any of the recipes. I wanted something hard enough that I could cut into squares, but soft enough to mesh well with the brownie. I didn't want the chocolate on top to be too hard that it cracks in random lines. But I didn't want it too soft that it slides off of the top. So I put together my own recipe.

Start with your favorite brownie recipe. I used a boxed brownie, instead of making these, to save time. I am kicking myself for it. I should have made better brownies - but these were still delicious.

Once your brownies are cooked and cooled, mix the following:

1 stick butter softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Press the mixture on top of the brownies. You can use cling wrap if it starts sticking to your hands.

Melt together:

1.5 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter

Spread the chocolate mixture on top and refrigerate until cool. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

32 Weeks

Obviously the spaghetti squash is photoshopped in this picture. When Dan and I took all of the vegetable pictures, for weeks we couldn't find a spaghetti squash. But hopefully we at least get an A for effort.

How far along: 32 weeks.
How big is baby: An average baby weighs around 4 pounds and is 17 inches long at this point.
Weight Gain: 22 pounds.
Symptoms: Leg cramps at night, swollen ankles if I sit all day at work, and I now get winded just putting on pants. Textbook.
Cravings:  M&Ms mostly. The regular kind. I have always been a peanut butter M&M girl, but these milk chocolates are just doing it for me. Still eating an apple every day. YUM!
Aversions:  Cocoa butter. I forgot about this one. I never really liked the smell, but since I have been pregnant, I hate it! My mom mentioned it, and I almost threw up. Dan used some of my lotion that has cocoa butter in it (apparently men don’t own lotion) and I couldn’t sleep. An admin at work wears it, and I now hate her.
What I miss:  Sleep. That’s it.
Looking forward to: Our anniversary trip to Charleston. I see lots of eating in my future.
Best moment this month:  My baby shower in Atlanta! Also, knocking stuff off the to-do list when my mom was here.
Worst moment this month: Closing the fridge door on the baby girl. Parent of the year already. I keep forgetting that I'm bigger. Each time I walk by a mirror, I am surprised to see a belly. I guess I have 8 more weeks to get used to it. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Catching Up

I feel like I have so many posts to write! But the weekends have been full, my computer is incredibly slow, and when I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is get back on the computer. It also doesn't help that the belly gets in the way of lounging on the couch with my laptop (plus she likes to kick the laptop away). Meaning, if posts are to be written, I have to sit at our kitchen table, or somewhere with better support.
My mom came into town last Thursday, stayed until Wednesday and helped so much! My parents had a kentucky cupboard that they no longer had room for, that fit perfectly in our landing upstairs. They generously had it shipped, and it had been sitting in our garage for a few weeks. Originally, we were going to paint it a lighter color - but I think a few different tweaks will make it perfect - and then we don't ruin the original wood.
We got the kentucky cupboard moved upstairs, ALL of the packaging to the dump, impulsively reorganized the entire garage (which was on the the 'pre baby to do list' that I lost .. helpful). We ordered the dresser for the nursery and figured out the layout of that room. We made a few more purchases at Buy Buy Baby and Pottery Barn kids. While I was at work, my mom cleaned the fridge, wiped down all the cabinets, cleaned the blinds and the baseboards (all on that missing 'pre baby to do list'). She vacuumed, organized the baby closet, and so much more. I have no idea how she did it all!
I feel like she finally caught us up on the to-do list that was growing faster than we could cross it off. With Dan traveling so much, and us being out of town a lot, we felt like every hour at home was one project or another. We have a handful of stuff to tackle in the next few weekends, but that list is much smaller.

The biggest surprise of the weekend (just a week before my birthday) was the new laptop my parent's got me. I have been using the exact same laptop from all of college (it has been a wonderful laptop!) and I do not give up things easily (I think I have mentioned the Blackberry that I had for 5 years? Where I had to super glue back in the trackball on a regular basis? My fifteen year old readers are like 'wtf is a trackball.' If they say wtf. I'm not up on the lingo. I also don't have any fifteen year old readers). Where was I? Yes, new computer. My parents knew it was something I wouldn't end up buying for myself, and uploading and editing photos / blogging / etc. was taking much longer these days. It was a HUGE present and I could not be more surprised / excited / in shock.
So now I really have to go through my pictures from the old computer, get all of those blogs posted, back up the photos, put Photoshop on the new one, and I will be ready to roll.
Stay tuned for way too many posts on things I did in the past 6 months (I might be that far behind). Or on very random topics. We can blame 'pregnancy brain.' I haven't used that excuse yet, and I only have 8 more weeks to milk that one.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

31 Weeks

K: "At 32 weeks, I'll feel like I've 'made it.' 32 weeks sounds really pregnant."

D: "I hate to break it to you. But you are really pregnant."

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Nursery Phase 1

I wrote this a few weeks back, and never published it. So it is a little old – but I already took the time to write it. And I feel like painting the nursery multiple times because it didn’t work out the first time is sort of a right of passage. So now it's documented.

This past Saturday, we had two goals:
·         Paint the baby’s room
·         Build the crib

Simple enough right? We had already moved everything out of the baby’s room. Removed all switch plates, curtain hardware, nails, etc. We puttied up the holes, sanded them and primed the room. All of our paint supplies were already in the room. Painting should take about 2 hours.

And it did.

We were off to a great start.

Let’s back up. The baby’s room is going to be a light-medium gray. I painted the guest room a medium, bold gray a few years back and fell in love with it. I know that some people have trouble with paint swatches and how they look on walls. It is something I have never had an issue with. I pick a paint color, we paint, and it looks great.

The gray in the guest room was no exception. Dan panicked at first. “It’s SO dark.” “Don’t worry, if it looks bad when we are done, we can repaint.” “I mean .. I love it.” “Exactly.”

So the gray for the nursery required looking at many swatches to find the perfect, not-blue, not-green, not-purple, not-beige gray. Simple gray that looks like just a mix of black and white is hard to find. And hard to spot – as the undertones aren’t as apparent in the swatch. Perfect gray found. I knew it had just the tiniest hint of blue – but was much more ‘true gray’ than any other gray at Lowe’s and at Sherwin Williams.

We painted.

And it looked great.

I took a picture. Baby’s room on the left. Guest room on the right.

Then, we turned off the light to leave.

Carolina blue.


Half the time the room would be gray, half the time blue.

This won’t do.

“Our baby girl’s room is baby blue!” I pouted.

Dan, who really doesn’t like the idea of repainting, “this isn’t going to work.”

Well.. that sucks.

Especially because we are running out of paint stores.

And, if we build the crib, we now have to paint with the crib in the room.

Oh well. We can at least accomplish one of two things today.

Dan opens the crib to read through the instructions. Looks very simple, just a few screws. We’ve got this. He’s got this. Hey Kelley, do you want to look at this before I put it together?

I wish we had taken a picture. The crib had been dropped on the front right corner. The corner was completely smashed. Part of the side rail sticks out just a little bit as a decorative corner. And this was completely flat with the paint all peeling off. There were other scratches and dents, but the corner really took it over the edge. The crib had obviously been returned once before, as the hardware packaging was all taped up.

Thanks Target. Back it goes.

Long story short – you cannot exchange anything that is “online only.” It has to be returned and repurchased. Not a problem, except I bought the crib on sale. It was no longer on sale.

I spent an hour on the phone with customer support to figure out how to reorder one at the same sale price. Dan figures out the puzzle of getting all of the pieces back in the box.

The crib wouldn’t fit in either of our cars.

Lots of time, sweat, rope, and fingers crossed – we made it to Target around 9:30 to return the crib.

A full day of work to end up with nothing accomplished.

We spent Sunday laying by our pool and eating Hot-Now-sign Krispy Kreme donuts to make up for it. I think it did a pretty good job.

Teaser: Nursery phase two is a much less scandalous version of fifty shades of gray.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

30 Weeks


I went to the bathroom at work today .. and I've lost 90% of you, because you no longer want to know what this post is about. It's okay. I understand. For the rest, I'll continue. 

I went to the bathroom at work today and there's a small table where you can set down your purse, coffee cup, etc. Its right in between the sink and the towel dispenser / trashcan. If my Mac had paint, I'd draw you a picture.

Well, when I went in today, a lady had drug in a wheeled office chair, set up her laptop on the table, had a pad of paper, a few pens, a glass of water and some notes. Full desk made out of the bathroom table.

Not only do we have empty cubes, tables, and meeting rooms on our floor - but across the entire campus. Plus a few cafeterias that always have available tables.

What was she doing? I didn't have the gall to ask.

I went back to the bathroom later that afternoon (#pregnancyproblems) and she had left a note. An 'away message' of sorts - telling people who came to the bathroom looking for her, where to find her.

I have so many questions.

She must have been having quite an interesting Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

29 Weeks

This is a little late. I had such a wonderful weekend at the shower, and have since been filling my evenings with thank you notes. Major growth spurt this week. The dress was much less snug 6 days earlier when I bought it. 

I forgot the milk

Kelley: I forgot to get milk at the grocery store!!

Dan: Lol. That was random.

Kelley: This was my list:

Dan: Unreal!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Key Lime Pie

I can’t believe I am sharing this with yall. I thought about keeping it a secret so everyone would be all “Kelley makes the best key lime pie ever.” But then I think about how I use the blog to remember recipes – and if I ever lost my paper copy, I would cry. So putting it on the internet is really the best option. Plus – this way maybe yall will make it – and give me a piece – and I won’t have to squeeze 30 key limes by hand. Wishful thinking on Dan’s part – he despises helping squeeze the limes.

We have had a couple key-lime-pie-offs where we compare this recipe with those of other restaurants / bakeries and this has always won. We haven’t compared it with every restaurant ever, so don’t go all crazy on me if you think your bakery is best. It could be. You hold the key-lime-pie-off. Invite us. It’ll be delicious.

Start with a homemade graham cracker crust. You can use the store bought one, but in one of our key-lime-pie-offs, I realized that the store bought crust was really taking this pie down a notch. Only recently did I start making it with a homemade crust and that really sends it over the edge.

I took 1 wrapped package of graham crackers (there's 3 per box) - food processed into crumbs, added 1/3 cup sugar and 3/4 of a stick of butter melted. Pressed into a pie dish and baked at 350 for about 10 minutes. Let the crust cool.

Zest a few key limes to get 2 tablespoons of zest. You’ll want to do this before you start squeezing.

Squeeze enough key limes to get 6 ounces of key lime juice. I usually buy one bag, squeeze the crap out of them to get every ounce, and then top the remaining few teaspoons with juice from a real lime. Otherwise, you buy two bags and are left with quite a few key limes. Or you could sloppily squeeze two bags, but that’s a lot more effort.

Don’t use real limes, don’t use concentrate juice, it’s not the same. People will fight you on this. They are very passionate about their key lime juice concentrate. Have a pie off. They’ll see.

Mix together:
6 ounces Key lime juice
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
½ cup sour cream
2 T key lime zest

Pour into your prepared crust and bake at 350 until you see little bubbles on the top. This takes about 30 minutes for me. But my oven is ridiculous so don’t listen to me. Just check every 10 minutes. The timing is very forgiving.

Put the pie in the fridge for a few hours until completely cool. Then, I top it with an entire small container of cool whip. You can use homemade whipped cream (which I advocate 99% of the time, but for this, for some reason, cool whip tastes better). Don’t use canned whipped cream (like reddi-whip) or you’ll have a liquid mess after about 12 hours. And you’ll hate yourself and your carpel tunnel for squeezing all of the key limes.

If you are from some weird planet and are not a cool whip lover, and think the amount is excessive: the pie is pretty sour, so it definitely needs the whipped topping to add more sweet.

You’ll never buy one at a grocery store again.