On The Mend


Monday, February 29, 2016

So I am just popping in to say hi and let you all know that I am still recovering from surgery. Surgery was successful, but so much more painful than I anticipated.

I am not at work today because I have to get my drain removed. But I am hoping that I will feel better tomorrow to tell you all about my surgery and how recovery is going. Until then, enjoy your Monday friends.
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Friday Favorites and Happenings


Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday is finally here. Did it seem like this week dragged to anyone else? Nope, just me. Ok moving on.

Today I am linking up with Karli and April (per usual). So let's get right down to business.

One. As you are reading this, I am most likely being prepped for surgery. Yes surgery day is finally here (not that I waited that long for it). On Wednesday I found out I have some diastatis rectus going on (separation of the abs) with a bit of my colon, skin and fat are protruding through a 2.86 cm hole. They are fixing my hernia and it is a pretty invasive process. I won't go into details but last time it was a 30 minute surgery and this time it will be an hour to hour and a half procedure. My doctor last time didn't do that great of a job, so this is a process of fixing my scar, sewing my abs, fixing the hole, securing my belly button way down and putting me back together with stitches and not glue. So please send positive thoughts that my surgery goes well and I don't have to have a drain all weekend. Yikes.

Two. My dads best friend travels to Seattle several times a year and always brings back tons of salmon, halibut and crab. And we get the benefit of scoring some. So I searched for a new recipe since we have made this one several times lately (Citrus Salmon with a Strawberry Avocado Salsa). We made this salmon recipe this week. Sure they are similar, but I can't pass up avocado. I want it on ALL THE THINGS. And let me tell you, it was a hit. So good. I love the seasoning crust on top of the salmon. We did change a few things. We preheated our grill to 450*, put the salmon on a piece of soaked cedar and then grill it for 12 to 15 minutes. I didn't want to ruin the salmon by grilling it on the actual grates because our grill gets really hot and I love using cedar planks. Do yourself a favor and try this.

Three. Fuller House. I am super pumped the reboot came out on Netflix today. After surgery and a nap, I plan on binge watching as many episodes as I can. I really hope it doesn't disappoint because I grew up watching the original. I used to have sleepovers and we would always watch TGIF. I may even try to watch an episode at the hospital while I am waiting in pre-op. Are you planning on watching it?
  source

Four. Osh Kosh is killing it with baby girls Spring and Summer line. My sweet in-laws recently hit up Osh Kosh and bought the girls a ton of new clothes for our Mexico trip disguised as Valentine's Day presents. So very cute.
Osh Kosh Spring and Summer
Outfit 1 (here and here) Outfit 2 (here and here) Outfit 3 (here and here) Outfit 4 (here and here)

Five. I wanted to give my parents a shout out for their anniversary. Today my parents have been married for 33 years. That's pretty amazing. So Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! Thank you for sharing your anniversary with me (taking me to my surgery). I hope you have an amazing time at dinner tonight!

Six. The girls daycare often sends us pictures of the girls and we received this little gem. I couldn't help but chuckle at it. She was so tired from playing that she passed out like this.

Have a good weekend all!
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Confessional Thursday


Thursday, February 25, 2016

I am back for the third installment of Confessional Thursday with Jessica from The Newly.  Wanna join in? Confess, grab the button below and link up on Jess' blog.


These are my confessions...

I confess that I still get grossed out by making/touching chicken (raw to be specific). It started when I was pregnant with the girls and I made chicken two days in a row and got sick from it. Not from undercooked chicken, but the smell, touch and texture of it. Especially leftover chicken. And now I have been baking chicken two to three times a week for the girls. It grosses me out. So this week I didn't want to make it, so I opted for frozen chicken tenders (organic, gluten free ones). They smelt good, were easier to cut up and store for the girls. I won't be doing it weekly, but it changes it up every so often.

I confess that I have been wearing earplugs to bed lately (not when the girls are sick though) because my husband has been snoring (only when he sleeps on his back). But also because then he has to get up more at night to tend to the girls. I will still hear them cry, but can block out the snoring. Total win for me.

I confess that I get excited when my girls poop. Weird yes, but crazy, no. When your kids get so constipated from being sick (RSV), only wanting to drink milk and not eating much, you welcome poopy diapers. And lots of them.

I confess that I want this promotion at work so bad that I fear I won't get it. Everyone who interviewed thinks they did an amazing job and are a shew-in for it, but I feel like it is never my time no matter how hard I work that I get into my own head.

I confess that I drink WAY TOO MUCH coffee. Well for my standards. I used to have a latte here and there, then I had one daily and now I will have either a latte, followed by coffee and then coffee again in the afternoon. I drink so much coffee. Don't get me wrong, I love coffee/lattes, but they are so fattening. I used to drink "skinny" drinks, but changed that when I was pregnant. Well I am trying to cut back on the coffee to a cup or two a day, use a very small amount of half and half (I can't drink black coffee) and go back to "skinny" lattes. One step at a time.

I confess that I don't understand the obsession with LuLaRoe and their leggings. I wear leggings/yoga pants pretty often, but I like the standard black leggings. I do love the cute Fair Isle ones everyone wears in the winter/Christmas time, but the crazy colors and patterns are not my thing. Plus I hear from one person that they are cheaply made and others that say they last forever. So ladies, what do you think? Are they good? Bad? Worth it? I have an obsession with Lululemon pants and not sure if I can ever go back. That is why I only have a couple pairs of those babies.

I confess that I am so annoyed with reselling children's items. I am part of a couple facebook resell groups and no one comes through. They say they want the items, then never respond again. Ugh. This means that I will have to hang, tag and price all the items for a consignment sale with my twin mom group and the local one I go to twice a year. So.Much.Work. And I also have to pick things I want to keep for keepsake items. So hard going through your children's things. Too many tears.

I confess that my mom gave us a huge bag of cookies (homemade) on Sunday at my sisters birthday dinner and they are pretty much gone. And mostly by me. I am supposed to cut the sweets but these cookies are my jam. Better do hours on my Simply Fit Board tonight to make up for it (since I can't use it or workout for a couple weeks after tomorrow). Oops.
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Getting to Know Me Again


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Again, I am taking inspiration from one of my favorite bloggers, Jessica over at Secrets of a Stay at Home Mom and reintroducing myself. I have noticed some new readers here (thank you) and I wanted to tell you all a little more about myself.

I was born and raised in Carson City, Nevada. Yes, it is the capital of Nevada. And no, it is not close to Las Vegas. It is an 8 hour drive away. I went to college in my backyard, at the University of Nevada, Reno, where I majored in Information Systems. Yes, I love computers and geeking out. Shh, don't tell anyone. I graduated in 2005 and immediately took a job doing web design.

I worked there for a year before being swayed into taking a job with the Gaming Control Board. The allure of travel made that decision easy. I have been working at the same job for almost 10 years now. I have traveled to some amazing places with my job...Australia, England, New York City, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, The Woodlands, New Orleans, Madison and the list goes on.

And with my job, I met my husband to be, Rory. Rory and I were friends for a long time (3 years) before dating. I had a cancer scare in 2009 (cervical - it runs in my family) and he was my rock in this. So I finally gave into dating him. We kept it a secret at work for 10 months before anyone found out.
 When we first started dating

We adopted our first child, Walter, in June 2012. We searched high and low for a dog to adopt and finally after six months of searching, we found Walter in Truckee, California. He is the best dog and an amazing addition to our family.
Walters first day at his new home

We dated for about three years before he proposed to me. We got married on August 17, 2013, and it was the best day of my life. We celebrated with our nearest and dearest and honeymooned in Kauai. Kauai is one of the best trips we have ever taken. If you love being outdoors, this is the place for you. 
 Engagement photo
Wedding Day

After we got married, we started trying for babies. We had a rough go of it, but we found out we were having twins in June 2014. In October 2014, we found out we were having identical twin GIRLS.
 Gender Reveal

I was due in February 2015 with a delivery date in January 2015, but the girls decided they didn't want to wait that long. Sutton Kira and Avery Madison were born on December 29, 2014.
 Avery on the left and Sutton on the right (2 days old)

My girls spent 26 and 27 days in the NICU and have forever changed our lives. This last year has been the best year of my life. My girls are the best thing to ever happened to me. They made me a mom and that is my most important role. I still work at the Gaming Control Board and I am starting to travel again. I have a big week long trip overseas coming up in April that I am super excited and nervous about.

When I am not at home with my girls, I am enjoying wingo (wine and bingo) night with my girlfriends, snowboarding with my husband, having Bachelor watching nights or having me time (what is that?).
Sutton on the left, Avery on the right

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you stick around.
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A List of Things I Have Cried Over Recently


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Nina over at Hugs and Lattes recently wrote about a collective list of things she has cried over lately and it inspired my own list. Thanks Nina!

I used to never cry. Like ever. I even laughed at my mom when she cried over commercials, movies or sad stories. I was NEVER going to be like that. And now...I cry at everything it seems (sorry mom).


I cried because the doctor's office of my surgeon said my insurance won't approve my surgery without a referral from my primary care doctor (I have a HMO plan) and I needed to get it like yesterday (the day this happened). I spent hours on the phone calling, begging and annoying people to make this work. It ended up working out, but not before I shed some tears.

I cried because my girls are teething (molars) and have been waking up at 3:30 am every morning and I am so exhausted, I can't take it anymore.

I cried at Grey's Anatomy last week (I was a week behind) when the older gentleman was apologizing to Meredith for beating her up after his seizure. It brought back memories of when my friend April was in the hospital after being t-boned and having her mouth wired shut, a tracheotomy and plastic surgery to fix her shattered face. That episodes injuries hit way too close to home (injuries not the beating).

I cried in my work bathroom after my interview for a promotion at work this last week. I blew the first question of the interview and finally settled down for the rest of it. I think I nailed the rest, but first impressions are lasting. I have been wanting and needing (pay raise for this twin mom please) this promotion. I want to further my career and I hope I didn't blow my opportunity. The promotions don't come along very often.

I cried because I had the worst food poisoning and I couldn't eat anything during Super Bowl.

I cry every time I hear Mike and the Mechanics The Living Years because it reminds me of my grandfathers passing. (Yes that dates me)

I cried when Sutton headbutted me and my lip started bleeding.

I cried when I thought about what we have been through the last year. My traumatic birth of the girls, their NICU stay, breastfeeding woes and my breast abscess. So much has changed and I am beyond blessed to have them, but time is flying and I want to cherish it all and take it all in. And maybe heal the wounds from their birth (physically and mentally).

I cried when trying on bikinis last weekend. Goodbye sweets, hello gym fanatic.

I cried because a co-worker was giving me a hard time that my twins are not walking yet. He said his kids walked at 10 and 11 months (not twins) and my girls were behind and I needed to get them checked out. I felt really awful over it. My girls were progressing so fast and then they got sick and they regressed during that. Ugh.

I cried when I got my IV for my Cat Scan last week. I never get upset when it comes to needles (I donate blood). I just look away and don't really care. But the pain that came with my IV last week was awful. Once he stuck the needle in, it felt like he kept pushing it in further and further. Dang, it hurt and I cried a bit.  
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Weekending


Monday, February 22, 2016

Oh Monday, we meet again. This weekend was a quick one, but a good one.

I just wanted to take a quick second to send out positive thoughts to Lindsay's sweet daughter Olivia who is having tubes put in this morning. I hear it is an easy procedure, but I want her to know that we are thinking of her.

Back to the weekend. Friday we worked all day which is unusual for us, but it was a holiday week. After work and a quick stop at home, we went out to dinner. The girls did so well at first, but then major meltdowns ensued. Mostly because they were tired, but also because we couldn't feed them fast enough (ie we couldn't cut their food up fast enough). But I realized that evening that our girls LOVE to eat. They don't love to eat everything, but when we give them something they like, they will eat for days. Gotta get some chunk by on their thighs after being sick.

After the girls were in bed, we relaxed and enjoyed a glass of wine.

Saturday morning we headed out to breakfast where the girls devoured french toast, ham and some potatoes. Then the girls took a 2 1/2 hour glorious nap. We were able to do things around the house and make my grocery list uninterrupted. That afternoon I went to the grocery store and then we took a long family walk. I am loving the warm weather intermixed with the snow here and there. I made a simple dinner of bltas and sweet potato tator tots and we watched the Nevada vs. UNLV game. Nevada lost. Boo.
 Bouncing and Standing Toddlers
Evening tantrums
 
The girls were sound asleep and we started watching Entourage (the movie) and midway through Sutton wakes up crying from her molars hurting. We couldn't get her to go back down, so we brought her into our room thinking it would soothe her. Well it did sort of, but she wanted to watch tv and play instead of sleep. After the movie was over, she wouldn't sleep and cried FOREVER. We were up until 1:30/2 am with her until she finally went back to sleep only to wake up at 5 am hungry. So they got their bottles early and finally went back to sleep until 8 am. It was a rough night of little sleep. Poor girls. And poor mommy and daddy for a lack of sleep.

Sunday we had breakfast with my in-laws since they hadn't seen the girls in a week or so (they can't get enough of their grandbabies). The girls devoured their french toast. A huge plate full plus cheerios. They can EAT. After brunch, we headed home for nap time. The girls napped and then played for quite awhile. I made the girls Whole Wheat Strawberry and Banana Muffins while they napped. They were a huge hit when they had one as a snack before shopping. We headed to the mall to look for Easter dresses and shorts/dresses (for Mexico). We were able to score 6 shorts and skirts for $30. We grabbed some coffee and headed home for a mini nap before dinner with my family for my sisters birthday.
 These are very good. I can't wait to try them with carrots, zucchini and other fruits/veggies.
 The muffins were a huge hit!

My sister, her boyfriend, my parents, my aunt, Rory, the girls and I all went to dinner at M3. The girls showed off their large appetites and ate an entire plateful of chicken strips, some mashed potatoes from grandmas plate and some pasta and bread from their aunts plate. The girls were in heaven. Dinner went late, but the girls enjoyed hanging out with their family. And Avery got extra cuddles from her grandpa.
 Sutton taking a selfie with my sister and her boyfriend (Happy Birthday Ashley!)
Meanwhile Avery was cuddling her grandpa

It was the perfect evening to end the weekend.

We got my sister a Glassy Baby for her birthday. Don't know what a Glassy Baby is? It is a hand blown candle holder. We have several around our house and love them, so we got one for my sister. I chose the sister one since she is my sister and she loves the color purple. They are all unique and beautiful. Plus part of the sales are donated. Total win. And they come with soy candles.

Hope you all had a good weekend!
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Thank Goodness for Friday


Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday is here! You are my third favorite day of the week (Saturday, Sunday).

Today I am linking up with Karli and April.

One. I told you last Friday that I was shopping for bikinis. Well I went to Target and Victoria Secret. While I loved the purple cut out bikini I posted here, they didn't have my size. They also didn't have my size in a mint green one I liked. I thought I would order it online should I not find one at Victoria Secret. Or if I didn't want to pay for a pricey VS one. But I went to VS and fell in love with two of them. Since I am not in the market to buy two bikinis right now, I opted for my favorite. And I think it is perfect for Mexico. Plus my dear friend Stacey offered me all of her VS bikinis that will fit my smaller chest.

Two. I am trying to figure out some toddler meals for my girls to take to daycare. Or even to make at home. My girls are LOVING finger foods or anything we are eating. Just last week they had brisket, mac n cheese and garlic bread. Their new favorite is apple cinnamon french toast. I am in desperate need of new ideas. So please send me your tips, recipes or toddler favorites. I really want to make these for them this weekend.

Three. During wingo (wine and bingo) night this week with my girlfriends, one of them brought up sports bras. Ok I brought up small boobs, my consultations and what to do in the meantime. Krista suggested I look into THE BEST SPORTS BRA EVER. Sports bras by Lorna Jane. They give you that natural lift (great for small boobs like mine) and are the best quality. Not only do they have sports bras, but a ton of cute workout gear. Now I am adding to my wish list and can't wait to buy one of these. Here are a few of my favorites.
 Left Center Right

Four. Yesterday I had my Cat Scan and the drink they give you to prep you is awful. I had the vanilla flavor and the first couple drinks weren't too bad, but then it got worse. Awful. I wanted to puke with each sip. And I had to drink two bottles of it. Once I got to the hospital, checked in and was taken back, I realized that I had to get an IV. I had forgotten about this part. They give you an IV to give you more contrast and as it goes through your veins it warms you up. All the way to your bladder. It felt like I had peed myself. Thankfully I had not. It was pretty quick and easy. Now I should get results today to see if it is a double hernia or a reoccurring one.

And more good news is my surgery was approved by my insurance, so I should be all set after getting my results later today.

Five. A photo drop of things we have been up to this week.
 Avery loves bath time
 Sutton sporting a mohawk (their hair is finally long enough to put in a mini ponytail!)
 Rawbry - A new local juice place (this one was coconut water, lemon and watermelon)
 Partaking in National Drink Wine Day
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Confessional Thursday


Thursday, February 18, 2016

It's Thursday which means another edition of Confessional Thursday. If you want to join along, write about your confessions, grab the button below and link up with Jess from The Newly. Simple.

I confess that I have had a headache behind my right eye for three days now and I can't take any asprin because I have surgery next Friday and was instructed nothing until after surgery. Ugh. I wish I could pop my eyeball out, massage the area and put it back in. Gross. Yep.

I confess that I am planning a trip to the Sacramento/Vacaville area so we can get a dresser for the girls room (I am not spending a bunch of money on something they will color on, ding up, etc.), shop at the outlets and most importantly, eat at Chick-fil-A. No we don't have one yet (they promised one a few months ago) and I can't wait it out. I must have Chick-fil-A. NOW.

I confess that I am literally counting down the days until my girls trip next month. 30 days! 30 days until we celebrate Stacey's 30th birthday with a limo, wine (3 wineries), beer, homemade dinner and an unforgettable time in California. And this momma gets to go. I.CAN'T.WAIT.

I confess that I cried while trying on bikinis in Target last weekend. Those dressing room lights do not do anyone justice. Can I just say that I need to double up on my Simply Fit Board and the gym. Woof.

I confess that I am obsessed with my Vivoactive. Like I don't know how I never tracked my steps, sleep, workouts and movement. And my sleep habits are the ones that surprise me. It shows my deep, light and awakenings throughout the night. So cool.

I confess that I am upset about my CT Scan this afternoon. Not only do I have to pay for it (unless my insurance deems it part of my surgery), but I have to drink an awful contrast drink 2 hours before. And the purpose of this scan, so my insurance can have further proof of my hernia. A hernia that sticks out when I stand, do leg lifts and hurts all the time. And CT Scans don't always show the hernia since you are laying down and most go back in when you lay down. So it might be a complete waste of time and money. Ugh.

I confess that I am pumped for the afternoon of my surgery. I will have the house to myself until the evening and I plan on binge watching Fuller House. Then when my sweet husband and babies get home (my parents are taking me to my surgery), I get to continue my recovery in our bedroom watching more Fuller House and Gilmore Girls. Just what the doctor ordered after surgery.

I confess that I am over this whole molar teething business. It sucks. You guys, they scream at me and can't be consoled when their little (big) teeth break through. And I literally count down the minutes until bedtime if they are having a bad evening due to teething. Oh please help me if they are crazy tonight since I am on bedtime duty alone.

And those are my confessions. Don't forget to link up.
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Butternut Squash Soup with Pears and Bacon


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

This weekend I made one of my favorite soups. It was unseasonably warm, but I have been craving this soup for weeks now. And this weekend my cravings won.

I wanted to share this soup with you before Spring hits and soups are no longer a staple in our lives. Well other peoples lives. I love soup year round.

Butternut Squash Soup with Pears and Bacon
Serves 8 (1 cup servings)
Adapted from Raley's

Ingredients
6 - 8 strips of bacon
1 small onion, chopped
1 large (or 2 small) butternut squash (I buy the cut up version at Whole Foods. Way less work)
2 large pears, peeled, cored and cubed
3 celery ribs, chopped
28 - 32 oz chicken broth
1/2 tsp. thyme (dried)
1/2 tsp. basil (dried)
1/2 cup half and half


Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet (that has sides to it) with aluminum foil. Put your bacon on the lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the bacon). This gets your bacon extra crispy, less mess than the stove and cooks the bacon perfectly. If you have a wire rack, you can put that in the cookie sheet and put the bacon on top for even less grease on your bacon.

2. While your bacon is baking, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to a stock pot.  Add your onions and cook until they are translucent and slightly brown.

3. If you don't have the cut up version of the butternut squash, stab your squash a few times and put it in the microwave for a minute or two to make it easier to cut your squash. Cut the top and bottom off. Stand your squash up and using your knife, cut long slices of the rind off. Once you have it peeled or the outside cut off, then you can cut it in half, scoop out the insides and cut the squash into cubes (around 1 inch). You should have about 4 cups of squash.

4. Add squash, pears, celery and broth to your pot. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

5. Let your mixture cool for 5 minutes and place it in a blender, food processor or use a hand held blender to puree until smooth. I use my hand blender and it is completely blended in 2 or 3 minutes. Return to pot if you used a blender or food processor.

6. Add your herbs and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

7. Cut or chop your bacon into small chunks.

8. Stir in half and half and let it simmer for 2 minutes.

9. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with bacon and serve.

We paired our soup with some sauteed brussels sprouts (with a splash of balsamic vinegar) and bread. But we have paired it with salads, or just bread.

We had lots of leftovers, so we each have lunch one day this week and the rest is in the freezer for a quick and easy meal in the future. I hope you enjoy this soup as much as my family does.
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