Friday, February 27, 2015

Week 16

Here we are, week 16, four months! 
Rather than stick with the typical top five on Friday I'm shifting towards updates. I did this for Marcus and I feel like I need to continue that with M². Onward we go!

Symptoms // There's the occasional round ligament pain. And holy geez I pee all the time.

Cravings // Nothing too crazy these days, unless you count the numerous homemade Dole Whips I've been consuming at an alarming rate… I also had a handful of cherry tomatoes the other day, and whoa, give me all the cherry tomatoes.

Size of Baby // According to the My Pregnancy app, M² is the size of an avocado, or 4 1/2 inches long and 3 1/2 ounces.

Movement // Pretttttty sure the little popcorn burst sensations I've been feeling for the past few evenings are M² moving around.

Sleep // Ha. Ha. Ha. Marcus is my child. He apparently runs on little to no sleep. BUT, when he is out so am I (unless I'm up to pee, which happens a few times a night).

Clothing // Still wearing all non-maternity clothes.

Best Part of the Week // Finally feeling M² move. I've been waiting for those tiny little bursts for some time now.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Disney's Dole Whip {{Recipe}}

So this one time I went to Disney (last year) and experienced my first Dole Whip. It was almost as glorious and magical as Disneyland itself. Almost. Since that first taste I've been dreaming of Dole Whips ever since.

Last week we made another Disney trip, and I couldn't pass up another glass of the pineapple goodness.

Then I returned home and NEEDED a Dole Whip in my life. NEEDED (I blame pregnancy). So, I did what any pregnant lady would do. I researched how to make Dole Whips, marched right to the grocery store, collected all the necessary ingredients (five, to be exact - six if you don't have sugar on hand), and proceeded to make my own.

You can too. It's really, really easy, it just takes a little patience to allow the pineapple concoction to freeze up a bit.

*Disclaimer: While the homemade version is downright delicious, there is just something about the Dole Whips at Disney that cannot be duplicated. I think it's the Fairy Dust that they sprinkle into each glass before serving.

Disney's Dole Whip
Here's what you'll need:
2 - 20 oz cans of Doles crushed pineapple, with juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (did I forget to mention this isn't what one would call "diet friendly"? Whoops.)
Pine apple juice

Here's how it comes together:
1. Drain pineapples, reserve 2 Tbsp juice. Set juice aside.
2. Place pineapple, lemon juice, lime juice, reserved pineapple juice, and sugar into a blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour concoction into two 1-quart freezer bags. Store bags flat in freezer.
4. Freeze for 1 1/2 hours, or until slushy.
5. While waiting for pineapple concoction to become slushy, whip heavy cream until it becomes whipped cream.
6. In a large bowl, slowly add pineapple slush to whipped cream, until slightly blended.
7. Return to freezer, and allow to totally freeze.
8. Once frozen, scoop out like ice cream, add pineapple juice.
9. ENJOY!!

While it's not EXACTLY like Disney's, it's pretty darn close, and will be sure to satisfy your Dole Whip cravings until you can get to the park and snag one from the Tiki Hut.

Recipe adaptation from Sea of Savings

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Disney Date

Last week we were fortunate to land free Disneyland/California Adventure Park Hopper Passes. Free Disney anything is about as rare as sighting Big Foot, so I jumped on those bad boys like it was my last meal.

Thursday was the Big Day, and I woke that morning beyond giddy. Marcus had no idea what we were doing, but I told him I had a HUGE surprise for him.

And away we went to Disney, bright and early.

We arrived at park opening when the crowds weren't unbearable and the weather was nice and cool.
After entering the gates we went right to work hitting up the rides:

Dumbo, per Marcus' request.

Tea cups, per my request.

Jungle Cruise, because you just have to do that one, and the animals are always fun for the littles.
We had a few more rides sprinkled in there, but I was too busy soaking up our day to remember to snap pictures. 

We took a quick break in the action to meet our beloved Mickey Mouse. When Marcus saw the mouse he was thrilled. He couldn't wait to go up and actually see the mouse he loves so much.
Marcus walked right up to Mickey, but was so shy about it all. I couldn't help but laugh. He looks a bit worried, but when we walked away from Mickey the smile on my child's face was priceless.

A quick Dole Whip was in order. Naturally.
I'll be posting a homemade recipe on this deliciousness, tomorrow.
We took a pause in the action to snag a little lunch. We then met up with our good friends (who were kind enough to give us the free passes - thanks Kylie and Natasha!) and headed over to Toontown. With the few times I'd been to Disney before I'd never made it to Toontown. I quickly learned it's THE place to be with a little one.
I didn't take any pictures inside, but the place was absolutely perfect for small kids. We walked through Mickey's house, Minnie's House, Chip and Dale's Treehouse, and Donald's Boat. We also had a bit of a more intimate meeting with Mickey. 
This time when Marcus saw the mouse he actually gave Mickey a hug and the camera a smile! 

By late afternoon I thought a ride around the park on the train would be a nice little break in all the action.
 Apparently it was a better break than I anticipated. Marcus went from smiling and chatting to passed out in about two minutes.

After the hour long nap in the BOB we attempted California Adventure, but Marcus was pretty much set for the day. He'd ridden some pretty awesome rides, played in Mickey's House, and met the actual mouse himself - TWICE. We decided it was a good time to call it a day. 

All the way home we talked about how much fun we had, and how we would LOVE to go back again (we loved it so much Scott and I are considering annual passes). When we got home Marcus kept telling Scott over and over how he'd met Mickey Mouse. It. was. the. best. 

We had THE most MAGICAL Disney Date! And I'm already looking forward to our next trip. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Happy Marcus Monday!

2.11
Two years, eleven months.
Little man, as we rapidly approach your third birthday I can't help but allow the tidal wave of emotions fill me. Being a momma is truly bittersweet. While I take immense pride and joy watching you grow, thrive, and become more and more independent, it also pains me to see you slowly take the tiny of steps to breaking away. Each day brings more wonder and joy than the day before, and I wish that we could, even if just briefly, pause time and continue to just soak up these precious moments.
You are amazing and complete my life in ways I never dreamed. You're an adventurer, explorer, and discoverer. 
You make my life more wonderful simply by being in it.

Happy Monday.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Week 15

I'm pretty sure I say this every week, but I can't believe another week has gone by. It's hard to believe we are already at week 15.
Jumping into this week's highlights:

1. There is a legit bump going on. While most days it simply looks like I've eaten entirely too much, there is no denying the bump that is finally beginning to show.

2. Though my stomach is growing my clothes are still fitting. By the end of the day I'm ready to ditch my pants for sweats, but for the most part I haven't needed to dig out (or go shopping for) any pregnancy clothes.

3. Yesterday Marcus and I landed free Disneyland park hopper passes from our good friends, Kylie and Natasha. We were able to utilize those passes to the fullest, and our day was truly magical.
Marcus looks kind of frightened, but I promise he was thrilled to meet up with Mickey.
I'll share a little more about our trip next week.

4. Ok, I lied. One more Disney related thing. Two words: DOLE WHIP. 
It's about the most glorious thing to ever hit your lips. I may have even tried to go back for a second (because my first happened to occur right around breakfast), but the line was easily 30-45 minutes. Good thing I got mine early!
I'm dreaming of the moment when we can get back to Disney so I can snag another one of these beauties.

5. We have exactly zero things planned for this weekend, and I thoroughly intend on enjoying every minute with my guys.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Date on a Duffy

There are many things that I adore about Scott. His attention to detail is second to none and his thoughtfulness is something I've rarely experienced from others. He is always surprising me with little adventures and new things to try. This weekend was no different.

As the big Hallmark Holiday approached I was under the impression we were going to keep things without much pomp or circumstance.

Friday afternoon I was surprised with a bouquet of lilies which were more than perfect (and happen to be among my all time favorite flower), and all I could have hoped or even wanted for the holiday.

Saturday rolled around and I was presented with a card. Within the card was a message that had me curious and guessing as to just what plans were in store for us.
Leading up to Sunday afternoon I made approximately 382 guesses as to where we would be going and what we would be doing. Scott never gave up any solid clues. Being kept in the dark may have killed me ever so slightly.

With a sitter already arranged we hopped in the car and took off. I was told to bring light layers, just in case. I packed accordingly. En route to our destination I asking a zillion questions in hopes of finally landing a solid clue.
We reached a location in Long Beach which we frequent, and I had a feeling we'd be out on the water. Whale watching? No. Cruise? Sort of…

Finally Scott let me in on the date:

A Duffy boat had been rented, and just he and I were going to spend the afternoon cruising the harbor, followed up with dinner.
It was exactly what we needed.

We could not have asked for better weather. The day was simply gorgeous.
 The harbor was relatively quiet.
 Our scenery was spot on.
Our time on the water was calm, quiet, and filled with adult conversation. Things we haven't necessarily had an abundance of as of late.
I was content with our lulls in conversation, simply soaking up our time together. And, I'm next to positive Scott was happy to be behind the wheel of the boat as we cruised along.
It was the best afternoon, and Scott outdid himself with a perfectly executed date.
Scott, thank you for the best afternoon. It was just what we needed, and I hope we have more opportunities for a little bit more 'us' time. Love you, babe!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy Marcus Monday!

Summer in February, with two of the coolest chicks he knows. Is this real life?!
Happy Monday!

Friday, February 13, 2015

In and Out, Popsicles, and Beaches

We have a really romantic Valentine's Day planned out for tomorrow… We're doing more house renovations. I'll be sweeping microscopic bits of drywall up for hours. So sexy. I know, you're jealous. But really, we're going to keep the Hallmark holiday in check and enjoy another weekend together. 
Friday also marks the official end to the first trimester. Though the worry of 'what ifs' won't go away until M² is safely in our arms come August, it's nice to know we can breath a little easier with the first trimester officially behind us.

Here are the weeks highlights:

1) I finally fulfilled my In and Out craving!! BUT, I didn't get a Double Double. On the 'secret menu' they have grilled cheeses. And, oh.my.gosh. they are mind blowing. I've been dreaming about my next grilled cheese since I took my first bite. Maybe I can convince Scott that I *need* a Waldorf Salad from Cheesecake, and a grilled cheese from In and Out… BOOM - Perfect Valentine's dinner.

2) I've been seriously craving Popsicles. GIVE ME ALL THE POPSICLES!  The odds of me eating two (or three) in one sitting are pretty good. Don't judge. It's better than ice cream or chocolate, right?!

3) I mentioned a beach-y vacation a couple of days ago. Everything is officially booked. The last time Scott and I visited this particular destination was six years ago. It doesn't seem that long ago, yet, it feels like an eternity, all at the same time.
May 2009
Now, I just need to find a swim suit that will be appropriate for my ever chancing body… Remember that time when shopping for vacation was fun? Yikes…

4) I also mentioned a couple days ago that Marcus seemed to be giving up naps. Welp, he's been proving me wrong the past few days and I'm not mad about it. Naps for the win!

5) It's been 85+ degrees the last few days. It seemed appropriate that Marcus and I made an impromptu beach date yesterday. It's been too long since our last real beach trip, and the weather is going to continue on this summer-like streak. Therefore, we have another trip to the ocean scheduled for today.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Right This Moment…

This post has been popping up from many of my favorite bloggers, and to be honest, these are some of my favorite kind of posts to read and write. Plus, it's been a hot minute since I last did one of these.

Here is life right this moment. 

***

Making:: Actually, I'm not making… These are already made: Valentine's Rice Crispy treats, inspired by Amanda. Huge hit with Marcus. And me.

Drinking:: All the water. Because coffee doesn't sound at all appealing (this is coming from the world's biggest coffee drinker). But carmel frappacinos, I'll take one of those every morning please and thank you very much.

Reading:: The Gentleman's Agreement (Laura Z. Hobson). I'm about half way through it and just can't get into it. There's a copy of Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern) on my bed stand that is BEGGING to be picked up. I might have to make the switch. But, if I'm recommending any books that I've read recently and think you should pick up ASAP: Land of Shadows (murder/thriller:: Rachel Howzell Hall) and The Girl on the Train (think Gone Girl, but dare I even say a little better…? :: Paula Hawkins).

Planning:: All things baby. There are lists on top of lists for things that I need/want done for this little peanut.

Wanting:: A WALDORF SALAD from Cheesecake Factory. That craving hasn't been fulfilled and I just want one so badly. Scott, if you're reading this, a Waldorf Salad is all I want for Valentine's Day.

Looking:: Like a full time domestic engineer. I'm forever in running shorts/pants, a workout top, hair in a pony, and feet in running shoes. It's a glamours life I tell ya.

Playing:: Trivia Crack. The name speaks for itself. Download the app and add me @desireedudding.

Wishing:: Naps were still happening. The past couple of days naps haven't occurred and Marcus has gone on through the day like no naps are no big deal (nooooooooo!). I'm pretty sure those are a thing of the past. Insert all the sad faces.

Enjoying:: The crazy awesome weather we've been experiencing. It's like summer. In February.

Missing:: Family. The Midwest. I miss home (even the great SoCal weather can't beat family).

Waiting:: To get a nursery started.
I want to recreate this room in the worst way.
Wondering:: Is this little peanut is a boy or a girl. Will he/she look like me? Like Scott? Like Marcus?

Loving:: The thought of a beach-y vacation we have coming up in a few months. It will be so nice to get away for a few days, have Grandma and Grandpa around to help with Marcus, and just relax while sipping all the virgin drinks.

Marvelling:: At what a little boy my baby has become. I blinked and (almost) three years has passed. How does that happen?

Needing:: Sleep. Always, always sleep.

Noticing:: My boobs and butt are forever getting bigger. At this rate I'm starting to think my stomach will never catch up.

Worrying:: About a million things. Is Marcus getting enough of the right foods (mac and cheese doesn't count)? Am I stimulating Marcus' little mind enough throughout the day? How is M² doing? Am I doing everything I can to stay as healthy as possible for the little peanut? The list of worries is never ending.

Feeling:: All the feelings. All the time. I'm pregnant.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Globetrotters

Things have been pretty slow going around these parts. We've been doing some minor updates and renovations to our place, so the last few weekends have revolved around trips to home improvement stores and constantly cleaning the mess that comes with renovations.

Home improvement isn't really Marcus' thing (or mine), so he and I have spent our weekends doing much the same as our week days (see yesterday's post). To say I was beginning to feel a little guilty of our mundane and uneventful weekends would be an understatement.

When I discovered The Harlem Globetrotters would be in town I knew it was exactly the fun and entertainment our family needed.

After securing tickets and getting one of Marcus' favorite friends - Colt - to join us, we built up Marcus' anticipation telling him we had a special surprise for him. (The special surprise was also a great tool to keep the little man on his best behavior.)

When game day arrived Marcus was thrilled to be spending the afternoon with his favorite buddy.

Immediately upon walking into the USC Galen Center the excitement was electric, and I'm positive both boys sensed it. We quickly snagged a few souvenirs and found our seats.
We were right by the tunnel to the locker rooms, so we were treated to an up close view of the players at they emerged.
From the minute we sat down Marcus and Colt seemed totally enthralled. Every time I looked over at the boys their faces told me everything I needed to know:
They were captivated throughout the whole show (the entire 2.5 hours!). We were all captivated throughout the whole show.

The Globetrotters displayed their ever impressive ball skills and artistry, and I have to admit, I was fully pumped to see a female player on the court!
Along with the game, the boys took great delight in snacks which included the arena staples: popcorn and cotton candy.
Like father, like son.
 The fluffy, spun sugar was a first for Marcus, and he wasn't totally sure how to eat it or what to think of it. After just a few bites Marcus was done.
 But, Marcus  found Colt's consumption of the sweet stuff simply hilarious.
There may have been a moment when Ellen Pompeo was brought onto the court, and I was admittedly star struck (I love me some Meredith Grey).
Several times I thought maybe I'd seek her out and ask her to sign our souvenir basketball… However, my better judgement remained in tact, and I remained in my seat and enjoyed the game.

After a very close game between the Globetrotters and the Washington Generals, the Globetrotters won! (May I also point out that 26 seconds before the game ended Marcus needed a bathroom break, so we missed the exciting finish.)
Immediately after the game we headed to the court to snag an autograph and photo op.
We were the first in Highlite's line (player pictured above). Marcus and Colt received Highlite's sweat bands that were used during the game - he literally took them off right in front of us and handed them over to the kids. While the sweat bands were kind of, um, sweaty (and in need of a good wash) it was such a great moment for the kids (and for me too - I couldn't stop gushing to the boys about how awesome it was that they received those bands).
Souvenir ball (with Highlite's signature) and Highlite's sweaty arm band.
These past few days Marcus and I keep talking about the basketball game and how it was Marcus' special surprise, and how much fun we had.

For us, the Harlem Globetrotters was so much more than just a game. It was an opportunity for us to make some truly special memories.

Because our family had the best of times I want you to have an opportunity to do so as well.
Use the code: FAMGUIDE to save $7 off tickets to a Harlem Globetrotters Game. Just head to the Harlem Globetrotter's website http://harlemglobetrotters.com/tickets to see if/when they'll be in your town. Enter the promo code (FAMGUIDE) at checkout to receive your savings!

*Disclaimer: I received tickets to this event from USFamilyGuide.com Network in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.