Thoughts on Becoming a Family of Five

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Becoming a Family of Five

The Pregnancy Diaries

It’s official!  I’m now rounding the last two weeks (or shorter!) of my third pregnancy and everyone in my family is on “baby watch.” The final countdown has begun, and soon my tight-knit little family of four will expand.  Today, as I write my last “pregnancy diaries” blog, I’d like to share my thoughts on becoming a family of five.

First of all, let me tell you how crazy it is to think about welcoming a new little angel baby into our home and family in just a few short weeks.  We’ve talked and talked and talked about a third baby, been through the longest pregnancy in the history of pregnancies (okay, not the longest…but it certainly feels that way with as sick as I’ve been!), and the kids have been counting down the days since we told them they were going to be a new big sister and big brother (which has been since Christmas).  And that time is now.  It’s HERE.

I wonder what it will be like holding a new baby girl…because we’ve been such a close little family of four for years now.  We have our routines, our roles, our family jobs…and everything has evolved to be a (fairly) well-oiled machine.  We’ve been sleeping for years.  It’s wonderfully exciting (and a little scary!) to think about what dynamic Miss Emma will bring to our family.

The picture I chose for this blog is our annual Taughannock Falls waterfall picture that is taken every year during our family trip to Upstate New York – posed in the same spot since our oldest was a baby. This particular photo was taken just this year, and I was about 7 1/2 months pregnant.  And next year, one of us will be holding our new princess – wow.

I wonder what she will look like – who she will look like. I imagine her a happy baby, with a big slobbery toothless grin.  How could she not be happy???  She is such a little dancer in the womb, and I imagine she will be an active, happy, energetic baby (and kiddo) who is constantly trying to keep up with her big brother and big sister.  I imagine she’ll want to do everything that they do…and more.

I imagine what it will be like to see my two big kids hold their baby sister for the first time.  To see the wonder and excitement in their eyes.  That mom’s big belly really did, in fact, grow them a baby sister. To see them giggle when she grabs their finger for the first time.  And to see how they react and adjust to sharing mom and dad (and their home, their car, their space, their toys, their dog, their time…with their new sister…please God, let this part go well).

What will it be like not to sleep again?  What will it be like to move through my days like a zombie again…but this time with two big kids that need my time, love, attention, and help?  Not to mention carpool chauffeur and homework checker and soccer mom. Hmmmm.

The baby’s nursery is done, and I often find myself sitting in her room, rocking in the big glider (that we saved from the last two kids), and day-dreaming about her arrival.  It’s surreal, looking at all of the tiny clothes again, all of the baby supplies, the endless diapers, the teethers, the tiny socks and hair bows and bibs and binkies…

I catch myself telling people about “the girls,” or “our girls,” and can’t stop smiling.  Because now my husband and I have the responsibility of raising two little girls, and we can’t wait.  No, they will probably never wear matching clothing in pictures or share the same toys, or even the same interests, at times, because they will be almost eight years apart.  But I know that they will share a sisterly bond that only they will understand.

And I know that our son, our newly promoted middle child, will have the experience of having two sisters.  And he’s told me that he can’t wait for his baby sister because it’s his job to protect her (please let him remember this when she is chewing on his toys or throwing a toddler tantrum in front of his friends).

It feels like Baby Emma has been with our family forever, and she’s still tucked safely in my belly. You mamas know what I mean – it’s amazing we feel this way about our babies, isn’t it? My whole family can’t wait to meet her…and as my son says, “finally kiss her big chubby baby cheeks!”  Thank you all for your sweet wishes, thoughts and support during this crazy pregnancy journey – I can’t wait to share updates and pictures once she makes her big arrival!

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OC Parks Summer Concert Series

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Ahhhh, summertime! I love summer. Long days, warm nights and sleep-in kind of mornings. And with this glorious season comes an annual Orange County FREE family-favorite event, the OC Parks Summer Concert Series 2015.

OC Parks welcomes back its annual outdoor summer concert series with five free concerts at Mason Regional Park, Mile Square Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park and Craig Regional Park where Southern California artists will be performing live under the summer sky on Thursday evenings now through August 27, 2015.

All of the OC Parks Summer Concerts are part of the KROQ ‘N Surf summer series and take place from 6 to 8 p.m.. They offer free admission and free parking and are open to the public of all ages. Friends and families are invited to come out, bring a blanket and a beach chair and enjoy great local live music under the stars at OC Parks this summer season.

OC Parks Summer Concert Series 2015 

oc parks concerts

July 30th

Tomorrow night at Mason Regional Park in Irvine there will be a knee-slapping free show with folk artist Tom Freund and the local country sensation Downtown Country Club.

Location: 18712 University Drive, Irvine, CA 92612

Contact: (949) 923-2220masonpark@ocparks.com

Date: Thursday, July 30

Artist: Tom Freund with Downtown Country Club

August 6th

The following week the series visits Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley with Southern California’s own Santana tribute band Savor who will headline Thursday’s concert along with 2014 OC Music Awards’ Best New Artist nominee, Big Monsta, who will kick off the show.

Location: 16801 Euclid St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Contact: (714) 973-6600milesquare@ocparks.com

Date: Thursday, August 6

Artist: Savor with Big Monsta

August 13th

On August 13th, Irvine Regional Park will  be hosting a free summer concert series performance where and indie rock group Venice will hit the stage with soul singer Quinn Archer.

Location: 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA, 92869

Contact: (714) 973,6835, irvinepark@ocparks.com

Date: Thursday, August 13

Artist: Venice with Quinn Archer

August 20th

The series continues to the rolling hills of Craig Regional Park where audiences will relive the magic of rock & roll with Fleetwood Mac tribute band Rumours and jam out to local favorite Yukon Gold.

Location: 3300 State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92835

Contact: (714) 973-3180craigpark@ocparks.com

Date: Thursday, August 20

Artist: Rumours with Yukon Gold

August 27th

The final concert of the 2015 OC Parks Summer Concert Series returns to Bluff Park at Salt Creek Beach where rhythm and blues sensation Nick Waterhouse will take the stage on August 27 with pop/funk tunes of the band Melted opening the show.

Location: 33333 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, CA 92629

Contact: (949) 923-2280

Date: Thursday, August 27

Artist: Nick Waterhouse with Melted

Here are some photos of the first show on July 23rd at the beautiful Salt Creek Beach park. See you there?! For more information visit  www.facebook.com/OrangeCountyParks

summer concert series

 

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A Fun Way to Eat More Veggies!

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project vegetable

Confession.

On the list of things for me to do every day, making sure I consume an adequate intake of veggies has not been high on my list of priorities.

Until now.

A few weeks ago, the pilates studio I go to and love, Core Reform, had a sign up for a two-week vegetable eating challenge called Project Vegetable.  I was intrigued to learn more because I know I need to eat more vegetables.

Project Vegetable is a way for you to “report” your veggie intake and get daily tips and encouragement to eat more veggies. Sounded good to me so I signed up.

How Project Vegetable Works

You sign up on ProjectVegetable.com and every day, when you eat vegetables you can upload your photo to Instagram using #ProjectVegetable or text your photo to Project Vegetable and they track your veggie consumption. The first 30-days are free, then after the 30-day trial, it’s only $1 a week.

Seriously. $4 a month is the cost of a fancy coffee!

Project Vegetable Has Been Life Changing for Me

I went into the challenge thinking it would be fun, but after two weeks of doing Project Vegetable, I truly had no idea just how much I would learn from this process (and how good I would feel!)

Here’s what I have learned.

1. Being held accountable is the best way to keep you on track. Instead of grabbing a box of crackers for a quick snack, I remember Project Vegetable, and get out my cut veggies with hummus instead. Then I take a pic and feel proud of myself!

2. My kids are eating more veggies.  When I am snacking on veggies while making dinner in that hungry hour, my kids will come by and graze on them as well. Awesome.

3. I am thinking of new ways to incorporate vegetables into my diet.

I made omelettes last weekend, and typically would have skimped on the veggies. Or, made them with ham and cheese and skipped the veggies entirely (the horror!)  Instead, I made vegetables the star of the omelette. Then took a photo and felt proud to share.

Last night, I made pasta and with Project Vegetable in mind, I sautéed broccoli, onions, garlic and tomatoes to add into the pasta and it was so good! And once again, I took photos to send to Project Vegetable. And felt so very proud of myself.

4. The Project Vegetable daily tips are really good. Every day Project Vegetable sends an email with tips on how to incorporate more veggies into your life.  For example, one of the tips was to wash lettuce, cut veggies, cook quinoa or prep anything else you would like to put in salads for the week on Sundays.  I did this, and when I am hungry for lunch, I don’t have to make a salad from scratch, I simply pull out my prepped salad stuff, throw in a bowl, and my lunch is done.

5. They say it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Who “they” is, I don’t know, but I have heard this. The beautiful thing about Project Vegetable is it develops and encourages good vegetable habits.

Sign up and try it for free for 30-days. You will love it.

www.ProjectVegetable.com

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Ruby’s 93!

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rubysanniversary

Shooby Dooby down to Ruby’s Diner on Monday, July 27th, 2015 from 11:30am until closing and you can get a Ruby’s Classic RubyBurger and fries for only $1.93 to celebrate Ruby’s 93rd birthday!

www.rubys.com

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reCAP lids are reALLY reMARKABLE

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pourable mason jar lids

Every day I get lots of emails from companies and PR agencies showcasing products products moms might like. Because of the volume of emails, it’s hard to be able to investigate every one, but the email I got telling me about reCAP mason jar lids stopped me in my tracks – brilliant. 

In a nutshell, reCAP lids are universal pourable mason jar lids and caps that fit any mason jar so you can reuse your beautiful jars in a gazillion new ways.

I told them I would be interested in getting some samples to see if they were as awesome as they looked so they sent me a few to try.

When I feature products on Tiny Oranges, I have to really love it.  Enough to feel compelled to want to share with my girlfriends (and I consider my readers my girlfriends). So let me tell you how much I love this product.

The pourable mason jar lids are perfect for smoothies, protein shakes, my cucumber water and also homemade salad dressings.  You can shake it, pour it, drink from it, what have you.

Here are my two favorite everyday uses for my reCAP pour caps (click here to get the how-to on the amazing homemade salad dressing recipe.)

recaplid

reCAP also carries flip lids which make the jars perfect for storage, snacks, really anything and Adapta caps which have sprayers and pumps for cleaning or beauty products.

And for anyone who loves Classico Italian sauces like we do, the 24 oz mason jars the sauces come in are the perfect container to reUSE with your reCAP products.  If you are inspired to share your ideas on how you reUSE your Classico jars with reCAP lids, tag them on social media with #ClassicoMakeItYourOwn!

Or share any of the ways you reUSE your mason jars using hashtag #WhatWillYouReCap!

www.masonjars.com
www.recapmasonjars.com

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