Week-End Wordle

Go here to learn more about this nifty meme.

Why no, I'm not mainly posting this because I haven't blogged in a week and have an obsession with not being a blog-neglecter. *innocent whistle* It is pretty cool though. A nice way to wrap up the week's posts. And it's a little obvious that I've been posting a lot of recipes lately. Oops.

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24-week Bump Report

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It's official - I feel huge. Not just in my belly but everywhere. My back fat is growing, people. UGH. I wish I could be one of those women who stays stick thin and gains 15 pounds her whole pregnancy, but I'm just not. I have such a huge appetite and I figure if I'm hungry, the baby must need the nutrients, so I eat. I gained 60 pounds with both of the boys and easily lost it each time, so I'm trying not to stress over it, but I still hate blimping up in the meantime. I fully expect to start getting the "Oh my GAWDDDD are you SURE it's not twinzzzz?!?!?!" comments soon. My belly is all baby, just like it was the last two times. I have to say, I love the way I carry my babies straight out in front.

Other than that I'm feeling pretty good. Trying to keep my activity level up, although I don't always have a lot of energy. Having two whirlwinds running rampant all over the house helps with the activity. Heartburn is worse than with Beckett but not as bad as with Sawyer. I'm feeling the baby move a lot more these days, mostly down low and to the sides. Not a lot of activity above the belly button yet. She was hanging out head down with her back to my right side at my last appointment so I think a lot of what I feel is a kick from her feets on the left which bumps her body into my right. It's total cuteness.

I broke down and bought some maternity pants over the weekend. Up until now I'd just been wearing my regular jeans with a Bella Band over them. It was a nice boost of confidence. But the zipper was starting to dig in and the ol' hips were getting too wide, so I went for a pair of these from Motherhood. HEAVEN. So freakin' comfortable, seriously. On the shirt front, I'm still wearing normal ones. I hate maternity clothes with a passion. The tent look is so not me. Luckily, long shirts are in right now. I snagged a few from Rue 21 that I'm pretty sure will last me my whole pregnancy because they're so freakishly long. Then after the baby's born I can just dry them on high to shrink them up. Yay recycling!

I'm having a lot of trouble getting around already, which I guess is to be expected with this being my 5th pregnancy, 3rd to make it past the first trimester. My hips ache horribly after laying down for any length of time, and the pain in my pubic bone is excruciating. It feels like it's splitting in half when I stand up. Probably the early stages of SPD, which I luckily escaped the last two times. I need to bring it up with my midwife and maybe start seeing a chiropractor. Because with 16+ more weeks to go, it's certainly not going to get any better on its own, and I'd prefer not to need a walker complete with tennis balls before I birth this kid.

My dreams are becoming more and more vivid as the weeks go on, as well as incredibly twisted most nights. I dream every single time I fall asleep, even after getting up to pee in the wee hours of the morning. Which means I have 2-4 dreams per night. Most are nightmarish and leave me not wanting to fall back asleep. Should probably discuss this with the midwife as well. I'm hoping there's an extra supplement I can take that will help.

Next update: 28 weeks. Getting closer!

This child is in trouble...

For I have discovered how to make bows as big as her head.

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Two Candles







Apple Banana Walnut Cupcakes

Also known as Beckett's Birthday Cupcakes! I wanted to do something a little healthier and not so sinfully sweet, and this turned out to be the perfect recipe. So of course, it must be shared. I found both recipes on allrecipes.com and altered them to my liking.

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Apple Banana Walnut Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 2/3 cup shortening OR applesauce
* 1 1/4 cups white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
* 2 ripe bananas, mashed
* 3 small apples - peeled, cored and chopped
* 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
* 1 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour 24 muffin cups, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening/applesauce and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and yogurt. Beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the mashed bananas and chopped apples, then add the walnuts and white chocolate chips. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.



Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

INGREDIENTS

* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon almond extract
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 3/4 cup powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, brown sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer. When mixture starts to stiffen, stop mixer and add honey.

2. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. Then add the powdered sugar and mix until well blended.

3. Ice cupcakes immediately. I used a small amount of icing because I didn't want to overpower the already very flavorful cupcakes. Also, if you would like less almond flavor, cut the amount of almond extract in half.


Of course, these wouldn't be complete for the birthday boy without a finishing touch. So I added what else? Dinosaurs!

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Birthday Boy at the Zoo

We took the boys to the zoo this morning with some friends and their two boys. They all were surprisingly well-behaved, no injuries occurred and no children were misplaced. I call that a successful outing.

Shark touch tank:




Checking out the meerkats:




Hitchin' a ride:


S and B with my friend's little boy Lucas:


And her other little boy Logan:

Happy Birthday, Big Man!

Dear Beckett,

At exactly this time two years ago, you came swimming into the world in a pool in our bedroom. 8 pounds and 13 ounces of squishy cuteness, who would grow to be a high needs infant the complete opposite of your brother. We weren't prepared for the challenges we would face with a baby who never slept and was rarely content. But we managed, and all those sleepless night were well worth it.

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At age two, you are such an absolute joy to be around. One of the happiest toddlers I know and still a total mama's boy, much to my enjoyment. Nothing makes my day better like a cuddle from my chunky monkey, and there is no shortage of Beckett cuddles in this house.

You idolize your big brother and the contentment and pride I feel watching you mimic his every move is indescribable. You are best friends more often than not, and I am thankful a hundred times over every day that I was blessed with two boys so close in age. The only thing that will match that is seeing your baby sister look up to you the same way. You are going to be such a fabulous big brother. You did have a pretty good teacher, after all.

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I can't believe it has been two years, baby boy. I still get choked up thinking back to the day you were born, and I will have just as many happy tears tonight when I watch you blow out your two candles. Thank you for giving me so many reasons to smile every day.

All the love my heart can manage,
Mama.

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This will be a short list of confessions this week, because I have lots of work to do still tonight for Beckett's birthday tomorrow. I mean, I don't. ;)

Upon getting home from work today, my husband did not immediately need a beer because Sawyer did not put on my bra, declare that he was a girl, and no longer had a penis. I also did not laugh hysterically as this unfolded while at the same time saying, "I'm so sorry, dear!"

Tomorrow is not Beckett's birthday and I do not still need to sew his superhero cape that will be his present. I will not be up late tonight finishing it! I also do not still need to go to the store for supplies for his cupcakes.

And again, Beckett is not turning two years old tomorrow. He was just born and is still my tiny little squishy. *sniff*

Teething starting early?

With pregnancy comes increasingly vivid and strange dreams for me. Last night? Avonlea was born with 12 teeth. Practically a full set. Adorable newborn baby, 8 lbs. 15 oz., light fluffy blonde hair, nice pearly set of chompers. Let me just say that I'm glad I don't feel pain in my dreams, because this baby did not know how to refrain from biting while nursing.

I woke up and went, "Phew, THAT was weird. Thank goodness that doesn't really happen. One or two teeth, maybe, but not 12." And then I Googled it.

Also in the same dream was a 48-hour labor. I'm thinking I'd rather have the toothed newborn.

Not Me! Monday, in pictures

Time for Not Me! Monday! Head over to MckMama's blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week, I did not giggle uncontrollably like a 14-year-old when I got "flatio" as my word verification on someone's blog. I also did not deem it worthy of a screen capture so I could share it with you all.



When giving Sawyer a haircut, I did not use the wrong guard on the clippers (again) and leave the poor boy looking like a chemo patient. Again.

new haircut

I also don't force my oldest son to go around with a buzz cut while his little brother gets to sport long lovely locks. It's not because Sawyer's hair is awful and coarse and looks bad long, while Beckett's is soft and fine and straight as a pin. It's even cute after getting soaked in the rain.

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My children always pose like angels for photo ops. They never ignore me, try to run away, or have to be held upside down by Daddy while I snap away madly.

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I didn't cringe as my two tornadoes whizzed around the seemingly delicate Lego sculptures at the Children's Museum. My kid would never be the one to grab hold of the dragon's lower jaw and cause the whole thing to come crashing down.

*cringe*

I do not have only nine bags left out of the 36-bag case of Wild Berry Skittles that DH got me for Valentine's Day. And it definitely wasn't me who ate them all. Definitely the boys. And the cats. But not me.

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And in that same vein, I would never stop at Dunkin' Donuts for a late night snack after a filling dinner at Weber Grill. Because my pregnancy diet is the perfect balance of the five food groups, with absolutely nothing unhealthy ever. Mmmmhmm.

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Support Seth, two amazing charities, and win BIG!



Remember the bag I posted a picture of last week?

the everything bag

You can win it! I'm also donating a personalized minkee blankie that you can win as well.

personalized minkee blanket

But really, that's not even the best part about this giveaway. Let me give you a little back story. My good friend Ellyn has two beautiful baby boys that she is celebrating this month with a rockin' giveaway. Sweet baby Eli was born still and his second birthday is the 28th, so we are celebrating the little man in style.

And Eli's little brother Seth is the other guest of honor. See, Seth had a rough start in life, and he lost his hearing as a result of some strong antibiotics he was on in the NICU. He needs cochlear implants so he can hear some day. Which brings me to the BIG prize in this giveaway: the Profound Pictures Prize Package! By making a donation of just $10, you will be entered to win your choice of a Canon Rebel XS or a Nikon D40! Plus tons of great accessories like a camera strap, camera bag and your own copy of Photoshop Elements. Your donations will go towards two amazing charities: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and Rhyan's Hope.

There are lots of other great prizes too, including the items I donated, which you can be entered to win for FREE simply by promoting the contest on your blog. So get over to Profoundly Seth and enter!

German Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Pecan Frosting

I made these today and OH. MY. They are divine. It would be a sin NOT to share the recipe with my bloggy friends.

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German Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 30 cupcakes

* 1/2 C hot water
* 4 oz unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate
* 1 C butter, room temperature
* 2 1/2 C sugar
* 4 eggs
* 2 1/4 C flour
* 1 t baking soda
* 1/2 t salt
* 1 C buttermilk
* 1 t vanilla extract

1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate in the water and then remove from heat immediately and set aside.
2. In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well in between each addition.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and blend at low speed until combined.
5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the top bounces back when touched.


Coconut Pecan Frosting

* 1 cup evaporated milk
* 1 cup white sugar
* 3 egg yolks
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
* 1 cup chopped pecans

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and pecans. (I stirred with a wire whisk almost constantly so I wouldn't end up with scrambled eggs in my frosting. Once it got to a boil I let it boil about 5 minutes and then emptied it into a bowl and added the pecans and coconut. Then let it cool fully before icing.)

Me Via Flickr

Here's how it works....

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.

b. Using only the first page, pick an image.

c. Select the size of boxes as 3 by 4. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

me via flickr

1. What is your first name? Alicia
2. What is your favorite food? cheeseburgers.
3. What high school did you go to? Mooresville High School
4. What is your favorite color? pink.
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Kat Von D
6. Favorite drink? Diet Dr. Pepper
7. Dream vacation? Japan
8. Favorite dessert? cupcakes!
9. What you want to be when you grow up? fulfilled.
10. What do you love most in life? my family
11. One Word to describe you. passionate
12. Where do you live? Indiana

Sawyer Says



So there is a note circulating on Facebook for you to interview your toddler about yourself. It took Sawyer a minute to get the hang of it, but once he did, it was pretty funny.

1. What is something mommy always says to you?
Uhhhhh... this!

2. What makes mommy happy?
Uhhhhh.. I don't know! This!

3. What makes mommy sad?
Because you like candy. You're not having any babies. Grandma is having a baby. (Um, okay!)

4. How does your mommy make you laugh?
Like this... ahahahahahhahaa!

5. What was your mommy like as a child?
You growed bigger.

6. How old is your mommy?
I'm not your mommy, you're Beckett's mommy!

7. How tall is your mommy?
I don't know! This big, taller!

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Um, nothing. Just working around and give me a kiss and going potty and laying down and resting on the couch and going to bed. That's a good thing. (So apparently he notices that I like to sleep. Ha.)

9. What does your mommy do when you're not around?
Well, it's in my backpack and my Batman costume.

10. If your mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
Nothing. Will you just do this for me, mommy?

11. What is your mommy really good at?
Playing with your sewing machine. You sew.

12. What is your mommy not very good at?
I don't know. Okaygottagobye!

13. What does your mommy do for a job?
Uh, nothing. (Thanks, kid!)

14.What is your mommy's favorite food?
Dinner.

15.What makes you proud of your mommy?
Um, just the girl baby! (Awwwww.)

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Mighty B!

17. What do you and your mommy do together?
We fly in the air like butterflies! Is that a good idea?

18. How are you and your mommy the same?
Yeah yeah yeah yeah like that!

19. How are you and your mommy different?
Because we are friends.

20. How do you know your mommy loves you?
Because I'm just gonna eat you up!

21. What does your mommy like most about your dad?
The girl baby.

22. Where is your mommy's favorite place to go?
To the store.

The Everything Bag

I made this bag yesterday using the Everything Bag Tutorial. Didn't take me long at all and I love it. I think I could be growing addicted to making bags. I have a mile-long list of supplies to get at the craft store so I can tackle a few different patterns I have bookmarked.

This bag (and some other goodies that will be forthcoming) is part of a super special event that I will have more info about on Sunday. So keep yours eyes peeled!

the everything bag