{WHW}: Currently

Hey gals! Sorry for being MIA, this week has just gotten away from me and I didn't have time to pull together a post (story of my life as of late I know!)

Before we get into everything, how is today already the last day of February??? What gives? January felt like 400 days and February felt like a week.
Oh my word, I've been eating all the things lately it feels like! The InstantPot is still a favorite over here and I've been trying out recipes here and there that I find that look relatively easy. So far, we haven't really had any duds which is huge!
MG and I decided on Saturday night on our way home from dinner (with Ella) that we wanted brownies for dessert, so he went out and got the mix, and made them while I was feeding Ella before bed. Added bonus? Whipped cream. Gosh I love that man! :)

Somehow my baby will be 10 months old on Friday (I'm basing this off of if February had 30 days). Ella started for real crawling--where we saw it--this weekend and she's off and moving! She's also a little wiggle worm on the changing table now, which makes it OH SO fun to try and put a diaper (or clothes) on a wiggly, flipping, turning body!
She's still the cutest thing ever, too. Duh.
So I got the distinct "joy" (sarcasm), of experiencing what it feels like to have a cyst in your breast drained by a needle. Yes, you read that right! Ahh the joys that breastfeeding has brought to my life! I had a cyst last week that basically quadrupled in size and was causing me some pain. I got referred by my OB to a breast surgeon/specialist and luckily he was able to see me Friday. The process wasn't so bad, he removed 7 cc of fluid (gag), and it wasn't very painful.
Oh, and did I mention that he was incredibly good looking? Of course he was...
Really hoping this is the last bit of "fun" I get to experience with breastfeeding. Otherwise, I may be saying deuces to it sooner than I'd planned.

The Bachelor...begrudgingly. I know I say this a lot but I really want to be done with this show.
The Bachelor Winter Games....I will say this was kind of a dud for me. I was expecting Paradise, but it just wasn't. It was ok, and I liked the ending for Claire and for Ashley. But the rest was pretty meh. I fast forwarded through a LOT of these episodes.
Summer House.....Oh the drama and I love love love it!!! I still don't understand the appeal of Carl. Just no.
Married At First Sight.... I have lots of thoughts on these couples--but I don't think many people watch this show so I won't get into it here.
Real Housewives of BH....I strongly dislike Dorit. I think she's SUPER fake, a liar, and a pot stirrer. No thank you.

In addition to our brownies, MG and I had a bottle of wine that he picked up at our local grocery store. Super cheap and tasty!

Also a recent discovery at Target: California Roots! This is a good one for the cost ($5!) We basically have a bottle on hand all the time at our place!
Tomorrow MG goes to register Ella for "preschool" (aka daycare). I guess it's just hard for me to imagine her at 16 months (in general), and being in a tiny little classroom all day. We've been spoiled by having my friend watch her, and having that comfort. MG is somehow totally ok with this, and maybe it's a mom thing, but I just feel like she's SO little...
I keep telling myself that if we end up not liking it, we can always find another in-home daycare place....it's just so hard to hand off your baby to someone else.

My lazy coworker strikes again! An email Monday morning at 9:07 telling me that goals for a student are being sent home that day and could I write them by the end of the day? 
CAN I? Yes....Did I? No, I surely didn't because this is the FOURTH time she's requested that I do something 1) last minute and 2) that she's completely capable of doing herself. It would never dawn on me to put something on someone else that I could just as easily do in the time it takes to write and send an email about it. 
So I didn't, until the very end of the day, when school was over. And then I wrote the other teacher and explained how I was told about it last minute and that's why they goals weren't in (in case she told her that it was my fault). I'm sick of her laziness and it falling on me!

What's hap-"pinning" in your world? Link up with Jessi and I below and share!

Weekly Wins: Mama!!!

Haaaaaaaappy Friday!!! Can you believe this is the last Friday of February? Insane!

This week was a busy one, but held several wins!

~Gorgeous warm, Spring-like weather 2 days this week, allowing for after work family walks through the neighborhood!

~Ella said "mama" three times on Wednesday, each time looking at me! Her first word!!! Prior to this, she usually would babble "babababa". No dada's yet, which I made sure to teasingly hold over MG's head hahah
My mommy heart is soaring!
~We're finally getting the ceiling fixed in our hallway today from the leak upstairs a few weeks ago!

~A weekend of no plans which hopefully means a restful weekend!

I won't lie, Ella saying 'mama' was pretty much the highlight of my month...everything else kind of doesn't even compare. So don't mind me while I ride my "mama" high into the weekend!

Tell me some wins you've had this week!

Mid Week Laughs

Sorry for the late post today...I thought this was scheduled and I had a doc appt this morning, so this one's coming at you a little late today!

I always like putting together posts with funny gif's, and who doesn't need a laugh to get us through to the end of the week? 

Here goes!

How I feel when the item I want is out of stock, or not available in my size:
When I finish making a new recipe and it looks like perfection:
When you're in a meeting with that person who never shuts up, and also never has any idea what's going on
Mom's night out
Morning after mom's night out:
When I correct my speech kids on their sounds and one of them tells me I heard wrong because I'm old:
Happy Thursday :)

{WHW}: PA Travel

Happy Wednesday! I love a long weekend because Wednesday gets here super quick!
Our weekend flew by because we were away for the majority of it.

~Friday at daycare Ella decided to do a full regular crawl (with the motivation of her buddy, and goldfish crackers). We still have yet to see a full crawl at home, but she's getting there (and also super interested in standing)

~Friday night, Ella came down with a low fever but we hit the road anyway and made it to PA around 10pm, got our girl to bed, and hung out for a bit.

~Saturday we spent time with my in-laws during the morning, and then my SIL and youngest niece came over before the rest of the gang showed up.
Lots of Ella-loving occurred and apparently Ella loves men because she was all about my brother in laws!
It was so fun to have the house full of the family, and get to spend time catching up
Ella got a couple of new bows from @bravebowco and they are adorable!

~We got about 3 inches of snow that night, so my SIL and BIL from nj headed back home before the roads got too bad

~My SIL's friend Dre stopped by for a bit to see Ella before bedtime and it was really nice to see her since it'd been since Christmas.

~Ella had a rough time sleeping that night either due to being sick, a new place/new crib, or who knows what else, but she was a happy camper in the morning
~Sunday MG and I got out for a bit and did some shopping and left Littles with my in-laws and apparently they played and played. MG was fighting off the start of the cold Ella had, so a low key afternoon was much needed
~That afternoon Ella had another horrible nap and was SO tired that I held her for a third nap just so she could get some rest. As much as it would have been nice to get things done, I enjoyed the 40+ minutes of just holding my sweet girl and watching her sleep so peacefully.

~My SIL and the kids came by again to say good bye since we were gonna pack up and leave after dinner. Ella was once again the center of attention--this girl certainly is loved beyond measure!

~We went to dinner with my in-laws and had a really dumb waitress who not only put hot soup down next to Ella (which she stuck her hand in before we could move it out of the way), she put the bread down with a steak knife pointed directly at Ella. Needless to say, we were quick to remove that, but what a moron!

~We got little miss ready for bed once we got back to the house, packed up the car, and her in her carseat and hit the road. Luckily she slept the whole way home and went right back down when we got her fed and to bed.

~It was so nice to wake up Monday morning and get to spend another day together as a family, doing mundane everyday things.
~We finalized plans for our summer vacation--we're spending a week at the shore with MG's best friend, wife and baby (she'll be 8 months then), and then another week with my in-laws right after.
Ella is looking forward to it and so are we!
~And the afternoon wouldn't have been complete without some cuddles and snuggles from my best girl
~Ella napped REALLY well Sunday--in fact that day she slept the total of what she'd slept the past two days combined for naps, so someone was definitely happy to be back in her own space.

~Since it was a dreary and chilly day on Monday, we made one-pot creamy tortellini soup for dinner and we all devoured it! 
So, that was our long weekend in a nutshell. I think I could probably have called this post "Ella's trip to PA" since she's the primary focus, but I'm 100% okay with it, and am so glad that she has this family to love on her!

Now it's your turn to share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

A Little Q&A

I saw this on Emily's blog and thought it was a fun way to get to know some tidbits about her--so I borrowed it!

1. Where was your Blog profile pic taken?
On my wedding day, as I was getting into the limo from our ceremony
2. Worst physical pain you've ever experienced?
When I was about to go to college, I got a kidney infection that required me to go to the hospital. The docs said it was either a kidney infection or meningitis and they had to do a spinal tap in order to rule out meningitis. That was AWFUL...and the after effects (insane headache anytime I wasn't laying flat for like a week) were the worst!

3. Favorite place you've been?
There are lots of places, but I think MG would agree with me on this, that Greece was by far one of our favorite places/trips that we visited!
4. What's the funniest thing you experienced this week?
1st student: My brother’s been home sick all week. He’s been pooping a lot.

2nd student: you mean he has diabetes?

3rd student: No, I think she meant diarrhea.

2nd student: Ohhhh, I thought that was diabetes.

5. How late did you stay up last night?
10 pm is usually my bedtime

6. If you could move somewhere else, where would you move to?
We would probably move to PA to be closer to my husband's family (and if we did that, I'm pretty sure my mom would move up there too--who knows what the future holds??)

7. Which of your Facebook friends lives the closest to you?
Other than MG (same house! haha) my next door neighbor, Elisa

8. When was the last time you cried? 
After the Florida highschool shooting on Valentine's Day. There are plenty of other reasons I shed tears (like looking at Ella, and being amazed at her actually being mine), but I want for school shootings and mass shootings to NOT be one of them.

9. If you could talk to ANYONE right now who would it be? 
My dad
11. What's your favorite season?
Spring, minus the allergies. There's nothing better than rolling down the windows and opening your sun roof on a nice Spring day, or going for a walk with a fresh breeze, grass growing and flowers blooming without sweating your hiney off.

12. If you could have any career, what would it be?

I like my career path, however if I did something different I think it would be a psychologist/psychiatrist

13. What was the last book you read?
Currently reading Truth or Beard by Penny Reid. It's a light, easy read.
14. You're a World Traveler, where would be your next destination?
Probably either Croatia or the Amalfi Coast
{via} doesn't it look dreamy??
15. Are you a good influence?
I'd like to think so!

16. Does pineapple belong on a pizza? 
Absolutely NOT. Ew.

17. You have the remote, what channel will you choose? 
Bravo or HGTV. Duh.  #basic

18. Favorite Cocktail?
I'm with Emily here, a Dirty martini!

19. Last concert you attended? 
Honestly, I can't even remember.

20. Favorite type of food?
Mexican!!! Gimme alllllllll the Mexican food!

I'll be back tomorrow with What's hap-"Pinning" Wednesday and a weekend recap since I'm slacking due to the long weekend.

Weekly Wins: {Love Love Love}

Happy happy Friday, friends!!
We made it to another week's end, and I'm definitely ready for  the long weekend ahead!

This week had a TON more wins than losses, which is always the sign of a good week.

~These gorgeous flowers sent to me by my FIL!
There was a little snafu when a smaller bouquet was left with a card for another Jennifer who lives about 30 minutes from where I do. Luckily we were able to get in touch with one another and flowers were exchanged (without any care from the florist shop who did not call either one of us back). These beauties are sitting on our entry way table and are a great bright spot!

~The cutest cards from MG and my Ella for Valentine's Day, along with some sweets and some quality time. Perfection in my book!
The sweetest Valentine there ever was :)
~An unexpected thank you card from a coworker, thanking me for my work at school. Gosh, how amazing it feels to receive appreciation for what you do. It's the little things for sure, and getting this in my work mailbox totally brightened up my day.

~Ella's first arts and crafts from daycare for her first Valentine's Day basically melted my heart and is something we'll hang on to forever.
~A cute hand-made bracelet from my 6th grade Ella at work
~2 new, awesome meals in the Instant Pot #yummyyummy
~Getting to see our extended family this weekend in PA! And a long weekend at that!!

Before I go, I would be remiss if I did not mention something that I am becoming more and more passionate about. Gun violence. After the shooting on Feb 14th (one of several since the beginning of 2018, just SEVEN weeks ago) I feel called to action. Like so many I send my thoughts and prayers to the victims' families, but dammit, that is NOT ENOUGH!!!!
I'm for people having guns if they want them. I don't want them, but I'm not (and those who want gun control aren't either) trying to take them away. What I DON'T think anyone needs is an automatic or semi-automatic rifle that can shoot off round after round after round in seconds/minutes.
We ALSO need mental health services for people who are mentally ill and capable of these things. Systems in check to identify and help these people before it gets to this level.
It is not black and white, but I also feel like this is something staring us in the face. The kids who died are staring US in the face....what are we going to do? I don't want to worry about sending my baby off to school wondering if she's going to get shot that day. I don't want to go to work and have to think about how I would protect my students should this happen. It's NOT normal, and this SHOULD NOT be our norm. It doesn't have to be!
Even though I try not to get political on my blog, I had to say something because enough is enough is enough is ENOUGH!!!!

Hoping you have fun plans for the weekend, and that your week was filled with love!

{WHW}: Valentine's Day edition!

Happy Valentine's Day, lovies!
What's hap-"pinning" over here, lately?

Pinning lots of new recipes to try--mainly in the Instant Pot. We made this delicious meal on Monday night (Creamy Shells and Beef):
and have Enchilada Chicken Soup on the docket for tonight! The Instant pot has definitely been worth it for us so far (even though we got it as a gift from my mom, I'd be pretty satisfied if I'd bought it myself).

My coworker at my 2nd school (who I go to help) is suuuuuper annoying and lazy. She's now emailed me twice in the last week, last minute, saying she forgot about a student's meeting, and can I do the whole thing for her?
This week it was for a student who we share, so I input all of the information I normally do and told her she could write on the Present Level page since she always puts a novel there and I don't, and she responded with "You can do that, thanks". 
I'm there to HELP you, not to DO YOUR JOB. There's more, but I'll spare you the details, I'm just tired of being expected to save her butt all the time because she's lazy and disorganized.

All of us are healthy in the house--praise! We narrowly avoided the flu last week and I hope we can continue to dodge that bullet. My youngest niece came down with the flu on Monday and we're going to PA this weekend so I'm hoping everyone is well come Friday or we may be rethinking some plans.
My FIL is doing well, after the heart scare the other weekend, too, which we are ALL extremely thankful for!

The Olympics! And I'm intrigued by The Bachelor Winter Games--a winter version of Paradise (sort of)? Yes please!!! #bringonthedrama #istillhatedean
Thinking About:
Ella's daycare for next year. Our friend who watches her now is likely going back to work, so we've been looking at a preschool that would be closer to our home, that has a 1s class. I'm nervous about leaving her with people we don't know, but our neighbor's kids go there, it's close to our house, and less expensive than having our friend watch her, plus it follows my work schedule so we wouldn't have to pay during the summer. We'll see how things shake out, but I'm keeping faith that it will fall into place how it's supposed to.

MG and my sweet girl! This time last year, we were celebrating with a little bun in the oven, and this year, we've got a 9 month old adorable little nugget!

Now it's your turn to link up with Jessi and I and share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

Weekending: Fully Fulfilled Plans

It was the weekend where ALLLLLL of the plans we had on the docket were fulfilled, despite a near brush with the flu!

Normally we have like no plans for the weekend, but this one I had about 4 things going on between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon and was sure that something was going to wreck at least one of them, if not all! 

That 'thing' that threatened was a call from my friend who watches Ella on Friday morning saying her son had tested positive for the flu. Nooooooooooo! We kept Ella home on Friday even though she'd already been exposed the day before, and monitored her the entire weekend, thankfully without consequence (I've never put my hand on her head to feel her temp more frequently though, and poor girl is probably over that rectal thermometer at this point).

~Friday after work, my friend had a HH at her house for a bunch of the ladies from work and it was SO much fun. We had wine, cheese and other snacks, and just hung out, chatting and laughing. It was definitely good for the soul.
~While I was out, MG was on Daddy Duty and took Ella out to dinner, just the two of them. I got this picture of their daddy-daughter date and it was adorable:
~I came home in time for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. Maybe I was distracted, but it was a little underwhelming to me. I remember the one from the London Olympics seemed to go on FOREVER (the show part). 
In typical Friday night fashion, especially after two glasses of wine, I fell asleep on the couch lol

~Saturday it was POURING rain, but I had brunch plans with some of my girl friends I haven't seen for a bit. We went to Palette 22 near our old condo and had "bottomless brunch"...You'd assume that means a "bottomless" drink right? No, apparently that meant all of the food, and you still had to pay a discounted rate for the drinks. Everyone at the table had to order it, so because a few people wanted to, we all did. I think it ended up being a rip-off but it was a good time catching up with everyone and somehow I was gone for 3 hours in the blink of an eye!

~That afternoon we just hung out at home since it was so gross out, and then later we got ready for our double date night with our friends Kelly and Alex. My friend came over to watch Ella, and once we got her down for the night, we made our way into DC to RPM Italian (Bill and Giuliana Rancics restaurant). The food was SOOOOO good. We all had trouble deciding what we wanted, and everything we ordered was phenomenal.
Somehow we were gone for 4 hours and it felt like the blink of an eye. I guess that happens when you're with great company :)

~Sunday was another crummy weather day. MG ran errands in the morning, and then we had our friends come over for lunch. The rainy weather was perfect for pesto grilled cheeses and tomato soup, and we got to break in our new dining room set with company. I didn't take any pictures because I was busy being a good hostess, and just enjoying our friends' company, and chatting about her pregnancy!
Instead, I'll share an adorable pic of Ella in perhaps one of the cutest outfits of all time:
~That afternoon the rain stopped, and the temps warmed up so we took a little walk around the neighborhood, and had some quiet post-nap snuggle time, and I got in some reading while little miss napped.
~We ordered Chipotle for dinner and had a quiet night in the rest of the evening

Hoping your weekend's plans all went off without a hitch, too, and hopefully you had slightly less crappy weather than we did!

Weekend Wins: Unexpected Happies

Happy Friday, lovies! This week brought some unexpected surprises which just added to my list of wins for the week!!

~A totally unexpected "snow" day due to expected ice etc which really just ended up being a cold, rainy day (at least where we were) which allowed me a full day at home with my girl! We got in some good play time together, including more mirror fun (Snapchat friends--hope you enjoyed that gem of cuteness), meals together, and some extra snuggles. Did not see this day off coming, but I wasn't complaining at all!
~Speaking of our little miss, someone finally sprouted her first tooth (still just starting to come up). Not that I wanted it to happen, I've just been waiting and always thinking with a fussy day/night "maybe she's teething"... Her toothless grin will be no more very shortly!

~MG and I have a double date planned with friends of ours for Saturday night (praying that the sickies stay away so we can actually make it out this time). We're doing it up big and trekking into DC for our night out--totally looking forward to it!

~Brunch plans both Saturday and Sunday this weekend--Saturday is an all-girls brunch and Sunday we're having our friends over who we missed last weekend. Again, with a kid, who knows what plans will actually stick, but I'm looking forward to all of the get-togethers: friends, food and drink!

~Happy Hour after work today at my friend's house (who watches Ella) with a ton of girlfriends from work. MG is picking Ella up from daycare and on baby duty until I get home tonight, so it should be nice to just unwind with friends over a glass of wine!

~I tried out Lizzie's Cauliflower "baked potato" soup and I have to say it was awesome!! 1) It was so easy that my husband could do it (a win!)--and he loved it as well; and 2) it was delicious and tasted so similar to potato soup!! And I loved that I was just eating straight veggies! Unfortunately, no pictures were taken because we all, including Ella, devoured it. But I'll share Lizzie's picture so you can salivate, too!
~My FIL is doing better, and did NOT have a heart attack or any other situation related to his heart, thank goodness. It seems like it was a severe muscle strain/tear from lifting and moving furniture earlier that day. We're all breathing sighs of relief that there was nothing more serious going on!

Lots of fun time with friends scheduled this weekend, in addition to time with my family--I'm a happy camper this week's end!

Hoping you've got some good stuff on the docket for the weekend--can't wait to read about it on Monday!