{WHW}: Summer Fun Activities

Happy Wednesday friends!
I'm basically blogging once a week on Wednesdays, if you hadn't noticed. I've been spending a ton of time with my kiddo and really trying to enjoy all the moments of summer. 

Happy to report the toddler crazy meltdowns seem to have been because of the cold Ella was fighting and my sweet, smiling girl is back for now!
I thought I'd share some of the activities and things we've been doing since being on summer vacation!

On Friday we went to Flight trampoline park with Ella's good friend from school, Alex and the girls loved every second of it! It's so cute seeing them together, and it's really nice to spend mom time with Alex's mom who I've super connected with this year. We have lots of activities for the girls together this summer.
Friday night we had a little family date night into Del Ray to have pizza at Lena's. We'd been there before with friends and ordered the Diavala pizza which has spicy honey on it, and fried kale along with yummy salami. I'd never have ordered it had our friends not raved about it but BOY am I glad we did because it is maybe one of my most favorite pizzas ever. SO yum! The weather was also finally beautiful which made it even more enjoyable.
Saturday Ella did her gym class in the morning and then MG blew up her pool. It was so big we invited our friends Mary Katherine David and their daughter Nora over to partake as well, which was fun!
Sunday we decided to check out a local Zoofari in Reston where you can ride on a bus, and get to feed animals throughout the park. It seemed like a lower key version of the National Zoo. Ella LOVED it! She fed lots of baby goats (and was very strict about the goats who were trying to bully the others to get all the carrots...making sure the others got their fair share haha), MG fed the giraffe which Ella was slightly terrified of when it reached its neck over the fence, we saw buffalo, cheetahs, warthogs, geese, deer llamas, lemurs, and camels. If you're in the area, I recommend it!
Afterwards we went to Barrel and Bushel to grab lunch outside which was delicious and there was a little farmers market in the square there so we picked up some peaches to bring home, and Ella snagged herself a pickle. It's the little things!
Monday we went over to our friends' house who watched Ella her first year, and she got to see her "big brothers" which she loved. It's always fun playing with other people's toys, and she definitely feels at home there.
Tuesday we did a class with her friend Alex again in a soft play room where there was an obstacle course, music and movement activities and free play. The girls loved it, and left holding hands. Heart melting!
We've also been enjoying the water table, and perhaps the biggest hit of the summer are water beads! Ella is obsessed! I got this jar on amazon for $7.99 and a little goes a LONG way with these. I'm pretty sure this will last us all summer if not longer. Great toddler activity!
That's what's been hap-"pinning" around here activity-wise! I've been trying out some new recipes which I'll be sharing soon, too!

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{WHW}: Summer Yum!

Happy Wednesday, friends!
I'm into my first week of summer vacation, taking on the stay at home mom role these next few months, and again I say...momming ain't easy!
Ella's got a summer cold and has been a cranky mess much of this week which has lead to a lot of whining and tantrums (because, two year olds)...it's also involved late morning sleep ins and loooong afternoon naps for her which have been nice for both of us. Hoping the cold and the subsequent 'tude are short lived!

In the meantime, I've had some time to try out a few new recipes lately so I thought I'd share one that was a huge hit this week in our house (among the adults), and got a lot of requests for the recipe when I shared it on my story the other day.

I'm calling it Summer Veggie Pasta Primavera and the recipe is courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod blog!

The ingredient list a little lengthy but it's because this one is chock full of delicious summer veggies!
What You Need:
~16 oz box penne pasta
~1 Tbsp olive oil
~8 oz asparagus cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
~1 yellow bell pepper (or whatever color you choose), also cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
~2 cups small broccoli florets (I did 2 medium broc heads)
~1 small zucchini, chopped *I didn't use this because I forgot to get it at the store
~2 Tbsp butter (original recipe calls for unsalted)
~1 shallot, minced
~4 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp from jar)
~1 lemon (zest, and 3 Tbsp of juice, divided into 2 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp)
~1 C veg broth
~1/2 C heavy cream
~1 cup frozen peas
~1/2 C Parmesan cheese (I'd planned to use shredded but ended up using grated and it was delicious)
~halved grape tomatoes (I used 1 pint)

See? I told you it was long but I promise this comes together really easily and the most difficult part is getting all the veggies chopped up. Next time I make this I will totally do that beforehand so it all comes together super quickly.

What You Do:
1. Boil a large pot of water, add salt and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
When it's done cooking, drain and return to the pot. *You will stir the frozen peas into the pot at this point*

2. While the pasta is cooking, add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat, then add in the broccoli, yellow pepper, and asparagus. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add in the zucchini (if you're using it), and cook for another 2 minutes and season the veggies with salt and pepper to your taste. Then transfer the veggies to another plate/bowl.

3. Melt the butter in the skillet and then add in the garlic and the shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the veggie broth and the lemon zest. Simmer for about 4 to 5 minutes and then stir in the heavy cream and 2 Tbsp of lemon juice.

4. If you haven't done so already, stir the frozen peas into the pasta, and then add in the veggies you set aside earlier. Stir the lemon cream sauce on the veggies and pasta and stir until well coated. Add in the parmesan and remaining 1 Tbsp of lemon juice. Then add the basil and the tomatoes.
I added extra parmesan cheese on top of mine. The original recipe mentioned adding red pepper flakes, which I did not do. 

I can definitely see adding some cooked/shredded chicken (or even canned chicken) to this recipe, or shrimp. I fully intended to cook it with shrimp and then forgot to make the shrimp. Oops! It made for a really delicious meatless Monday dish.

This recipe makes a LOT of food and the leftovers are tasty!

Let me know if you try it! That's what's been hap-"pinning" over here. Link up with Jessi and I and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

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{WHW}: I'm Back!

Sorry for being so MIA the last couple of weeks. The end of the year chaos has literally been keeping me super busy and I have zero energy once I'm home to write a post.
But I'm back! And I'm catching up on what's been hap-"pinning" lately...
Reading....I've fallen off the reading train recently after breezing through 3 or 4 books. The end of the school year is wearing me down and at night I can barely keep my eyes open to read. On my Kindle, though, is The Sea of Tranquility which came highly recommended from several readers.
Drinking....alllllll the water. Trying to stay hydrated!

Eating....On the menu this week: Lindsay's One Pot Beef Skillet, Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta, Crockpot Salsa Chicken, and Chicken Risotto in the Instant Pot (new one--will report back on this!)

Feeling....wiped out. I've been MIA the last few weeks because of end of the year craziness at my school, and last week I was part of a hearing (read: lawyers, hearing officer, testifying for over an hour, getting cross examined, etc) which occupied me for two days and stressed me out beyond belief. 

Looking forward to...Friday. Thursday is the last day of school for students and they get out early, then Friday is our last contract day of the year. Ill turn in my keys, have my office packed, and have to bring Ella to school with me that day since shes done with her school/camp today.

Watching....The Marvelous Mrs. Maizel (when I'm not falling asleep on the couch!) and really loving it, and MG and I stumbled upon The Society which actually ended up being pretty good. He's still watching Breaking Bad (I decided it wasn't for me).

Wearing....some new cute finds at Loft Outlet that I for over Memorial Day weekend! I didn't get a pic of the cute yellow flowy top I got and adorable earrings, but Ill try and snap a photo soon because I love!

Enjoying....the weather lately (minus the rain). It's been 70s and 80s, low humidity--perfection! Made it perfect for us to get out to Old Town on Saturday, take in the boats, grab a delicious dinner at Blackwall Hitch and hang with our best girl.
What's been hap-"pinning" with you?

{WHW}: Busy Busy Busy

Hey lovies, it's been a super busy week already. The end of the school year is wrapping up (still have another 2.5 weeks but jam packed with IEP meetings, eligibility meetings, therapy etc), and it's just been a little nuts.

I'm looking forward to the long weekend ahead to spend time with our family and unwind a bit.

I don't have a ton to report here today, but I wanted to share the link up and see what you all have been up to!

{WHW}: Mother's Day--from Cute to Lame!

Happy Wednesday!
I'm coming at you after celebrating a really nice Mother's Day weekend (don't let the title fool you!) The weather on Mother's Day was awful here so we did most stuff on Saturday since it was nicer out. MG made breakfast, we went to pick out some flowers that I had wanted for the front of the house, and had dinner with my mom at the house, which we made (lasagna in the crock pot--super easy and delicious!)
I didn't need any over the top gifts--MG did quite well with my anniversary gift of my second wedding band this year, so really I didn't even WANT something elaborate or over the top. My weekend was just how I wanted it.
Realized I never shared this beauty with you all :)
However, it shocked me this week at school as I've been talking to students about what they did for their moms, the level of just little to no effort that was put in to show their moms that they love them. So I thought I'd share some examples of the cute to the eye roll worthy:

~(5th grader) Hung cards around the house for mom and grandma who was staying with them (sweet!)

~(4th grader) Brunch for Mother's Day with mom and grandma (also sweet)

~(2nd grader): A poster, a crystal found at the playground, flowers and a card (super sweet)

~(6th grade girl): She and dad go to Costco the day of Mother's Day for a specific thing, that Costco ends up not having. They look at the roses and they cost $2 per rose, and they don't want to spend that. So they leave, and then pick flowers off of the bushes at Costco and bring those home. (I should note, this is not a family who struggles with money issues). I blame the girl's father SO much on this one.

~(2nd grader): "We went to my cousin's house and I had pizza"  When asked again what he did for his MOM for mother's day...."nothing" followed by "well, I gave her a hug." Oh.

~(6th grader): "I told her Happy Mother's Day." That's it.

~(1st grader): Made breakfast in bed for her mom, and then sat in bed with her, and they ate together (adorable!)

At this point in the week, I haven't seen my Kindergarten students yet, or the majority of my 1st graders, so I'd imagine their stories are a little cuter. But, MAN am I disappointed in some of my students. Especially the one who basically stole flowers from bushes outside of Costco!

All of this to say, if you're a mom, I hope your Mother's Day was special in whatever way made it special for you.
And if you're waiting to become a mom, I understand how you're feeling. I was there myself for a few years before we were able to have Ella through IVF, and I'm there currently myself, wanting baby #2. I'd be lying if I didn't think about the fact that I would have been about 7 months pregnant if we hadn't lost our baby in November. 
This day is wonderful to celebrate all that our moms have done for us, and all that we do for our kids. But it's also hard for those who have lost their moms, are desperate to become moms, have lost babies, etc. 
To you I say, I see you. I understand you. And I send you all the love.

{WHW}: Currently in May


Reading....Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. Had it on my TBR list and finally got it for a good deal on Amazon. So far it's pretty good. Trying to get a couple more books read before I link up for the next Show Us Your Books.

Eating...stuff on the grill more often, because the weather's nice, it's easy and MG is in charge of it!
Tried out a new Mexican casserole last week that was delicious and loaded with veggies (and low calorie!). Linking here.
Ready for...our transfer this week. Progesterone shots have been happening (sore butt!!) and I've started my blood thinner shots last night (those will be daily for the foreseeable future)--it wasn't too bad, but I'm not looking forward to the bruising that's gonna happen. 
If you have a moment, send us some prayers, good juju, sticky baby vibes...whatever you've got!

Buying....cute Summer clothes for Ella. I can't resist the rompers!!
Smiling....at Ella's preschool pictures. We weren't told that it was picture day (remember, the lack of communication I talked about a while back?!?), hence her outfit, but her smile makes my day.
Enjoying....being outside so much now! Ella loves going to the playground in our neighborhood (she'd go nightly if possible), and time out on the deck in the evening is the best. Enjoying these days before the heat and humidity set in.

Watching....Breaking Bad--we started the show last week or the week before, and it's gotten better than the beginning. Really heavy show. We've also been watching Game of Thrones, but I'm NOT watching The Bachelorette this year. I don't think I can watch Hannah B for a whole season.

Wearing....a "boot" on my left foot for the past week because I somehow tore/stretched the ligament in my big toe, causing the bone to shift some. Luckily I can walk on it this week without pain. Not the sexiest footwear choice though ;)
Proud....of my oldest niece Grace for winning PSAC Freshman of the Year on her college lacrosse team. She's an amazing person, on and off the field and I'm glad others saw it.
Sending...lots of love, prayers, faith and support to Jessi and her daughter Andi. And a couple of surprises too ;)
Wear pink on Monday to show #SupportforAndi

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{WHW}: Making a Baby Update

It's been a while since I shared on here what's been going on with us and baby #2, and that's really because not much has been going on.
I had to go to a hematologist back in March because of some stuff that came back on my bloodwork that indicated I may have a clotting disorder which would have explained my miscarriage. He wanted me to repeat the bloodwork in a few weeks because he thought that it was likely a false positive. I was really hoping for this as it changed the course of my treatment drastically if I had it versus if I didn't.

Well, it looks like I do have this clotting disorder. I haven't gotten information about why all of a sudden I have it, or if I had it this whole time and it just didn't affect me when I had Ella or what. But now I face taking blood thinner shots, daily, throughout my pregnancy and 6 weeks post partum. Not exactly the news I wanted, and I'm definitely not looking forward to shots for basically a year (in addition to the ones I have to do with my Frozen Embryo Transfer). I won't lie, I cried about it, and had some "this is so unfair" thoughts, because you know what? It is! It sucks. It sucks that I can't say "hey I want to get pregnant", try, and just have it happen naturally. It sucks that not only do I need the fertility intervention, I now have to have addition shots to ensure my baby gets what it needs. But, in the end, 

On to our plan: I have one embryo left, and we are going to move forward with the next FET. If it works and I get pregnant, I'll suck it up and do the shots for however long. And if it doesn't, then we may have to re-evaluate whether we are meant to have another baby.  My hope is that this one works out for us. My transfer date is tentatively set for Ella's due date which I felt was kind of good ju-ju.

Just wanted to update you all, and ask for prayers that this works out for us. We'll take any and every one we can get.