Saturday, April 30, 2011


Miss Pippa was gifted with some awesome baby hats this week by my girlfriends from college.
If she ever chooses to come out...
 (3 weeks to go!) 
 I can only hope that her newborn photos will be as cute as these!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Good, Better, Best!

Good: It's summer weather here, but without the humidity. That is why I love April in Florida. We took the pups for a two mile walk around our neighborhood and lake and they are officially pooped. I love our neighbors and the friendly atmosphere our development strives to make. I may not be running anymore, actually it's been three weeks since my last run, but the two mile walk does my soul and this baby good. 

Better: Last Friday I went into crazy nesting mode and made 6 dinners that I either froze or placed in the fridge for this week. Tonight we dug into sausage and peppers over whole wheat pasta. A dinner that normally takes two hours to simmer and plate was on the table in 15 minutes with a salad. We need to plan ahead more often.

Best: Today my co-workers through me a baby shower. I am so grateful to work with such amazing people and at such an amazing place. Piper is a very lucky girl and came home with a swing, adorable clothes, and new books for her little library. Jeff was able to attend my school shower and I am so glad he got to meet the people I work with and talk about. Plus the cake was amazing!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

The Good: I was back at work today. It felt great to be back in my routine, behind my desk, planning, teaching, doing, grading. And my students were GOOD! Almost too good. But I will take it.

The Bad: My car battery died. After a few too many forgetful nights of Mr. R. or I leaving the lights on the battery is finally dead and drained. Plus the scion people tell us a battery is only good for 5 years max anyway. We will have had our little car for 5 years next month.

The Ugly: I am in my last three weeks of this pregnancy and those lovely pregnancy symptoms have taken over. Dark circles? check. Giant belly? check. Overall feeling of exhaustion? You bet.

In truth, I am so grateful to have made it to 37 weeks. I didn't think I was going to survive the first trimester when I was so so sick. With the weight loss and nausea it is amazing Piper has grown to be a tall healthy girl, albeit a skinny minnie. Piper ran over 100 miles with me from week 1 to week 30. And she continues to be a kicker and a fighter. Sure my blood pressure has been crazy this past month and I am not a fan of all of these doctor's appointments, but I know she is worth it. And there is a reason she was placed in our family.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Good News Monday!

Jeff, Piper and I were back at the specialist today for another stress test and ultrasound. Piper looks great, albeit skinny. And she is still growing and getting good blood and O2 levels from me. The doctors feel she should continue growing inside of me for as long as she is willing. This means more monitoring twice weekly along with weekly doctor's appointments. So the good news is Miss Pip is a feisty little girl who plans to stick it out for the long haul. Which really isn't so long anymore. 20 days and counting!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Brunch is my new fave.

My love of brunch has been duly noted on this blog. 
But this might be my most favorite brunch menu yet.
I had big plans for a lavish Easter brunch this year, but at the last minute Mr. R. and I scaled back and picked three of our favorites to serve. 
1. Banana Foster French Toast
Mr. R. had banana's foster at a Republican convention in 2009. He has been a fan ever since. When I found this recipe I new we had to give it a try. The bonus, it's easy to prep and cook, but the WOW factor is huge.
2. Grilled Maple Bacon
Maple syrup + brown sugar + bacon. Winning combo all the way around. 

3. Fresh Fruit bowl
And lastly, we needed to have something remotely healthy on the table. Plus its strawberry season here in Florida. 
Trust me, you will be seeing this french toast combination again. 

Happy Easter! (From our little family to yours!)

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

And the birthday celebrations continue!

Tonight I took Mr. R. out for a night on the town. 
I wanted to celebrate his birthday, just the two of us.
And I wanted to treat him to something he would never ask for or consider. 
So we went here. 
And we wore our best seersucker. 
I told him not to look at the prices.
And I asked him to order something he would normally label extravagant and unnecessary. 
We tried scallops, 
followed by sea bass, and lobster risotto. 
If it would have been publicly appropriate...
I would have licked my plate clean.
In less than one month we will be parents. 
I am so glad I got to spend one more birthday with him, just the two of us. 

I call sandwiches...

sammies, sandizzles or Adam Sandlers.
Just kidding. In Casa Republican anythign eaten between two slices of bread or baguette is still called a sandwich. But the quote, stolen from Mr. R.'s favorite show, (Parks & Recreation), was just too perfect not to use in this post.

The reason, I have been making some serioulsy awesome sandwiches this weekend.
I followed  the recipe above loosely and used what we had on hand. I sliced a baguette into 6 medium sized chunks and stuffed each chuink with two pieces of deli ham, honey mustard, thinly sliced green apple, and brie cheese. Then I placed the sandwiches on the George Foreman (which I use as a panini press) and cook for about 6 minutes. The bread crisps and the cheese gets gooey. I served our with sweet potato fries.

Sandwich #2: Pepperoni Rolls with mozzerella, pepperoni, sundried tomatoes, and Italian cheese. Once again I follow this recipe VERY LOOSELY. But it's nice to have a guide.
 I use premade pizza crust, topped with pepperoni, 4 ounces of fresh mozzerella (cut into chunks), one bag of sundried tomatoes, and 1/2 cup of Italian cheese blend. I also sprinkle it with Italian seasoning. Finally I roll the crust jelly roll style and bake the it for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Another easy dinner/lunch and it's always a winner with Mr. R. I served ours with pasta salad.

36 weeks. Giant Belly.

Whoa! Is all I have to say.
Where did this belly come from?
For so long it looked like I wasn't going to get "the watermelon". My baby belly was easily hidden in a cotton dress and cardi. My abdomen used to hold my belly in tight and I was looking pretty normal (okay, a little chubby) in my regular clothes.
But today.... Today, I look pregnant 
(or as our birth class instructor would say, "great with child").
 So again, where did this belly come from?

We got the test results back yesterday and Piper is doing great and I am not preeclamptic. My blood and urine tests were negative for protein. The doctors recommend I keep incubating her for a few more weeks in hopes she continues to grow and will be delivered naturally. 

 Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts, and concern. 
We are still praying that she starts to pack on the pounds and continues to grow. 
Her due date is between 5/14 & 5/20. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dessert? Yes, Please!

 It's Mr. R.'s Birthday! 
And birthdays must be celebrated over brownies and ice cream.
Lucky for me, he doesn't mind sharing.

Happy Birthday Mr. R.!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful, loving, brilliant, funny, and amazing husband!
He turns the BIG 29 today! 
I have plans to celebrate him with birthday french toast followed by fun presents.

A few things that I love about Mr. R...
1. He can always make me laugh.
2. He is incredibly patient.
3. He tells corny dad jokes.
4. He loves comic books and super heroes. (And loves that I like them too!)
5. He is a scrabble master.
6. He researches EVERYTHING, but never worries about the decisions once they are made.
7. He loves our pups.
8. He is so excited to be a dad.
9. He grades papers with me at night.
10. He reads to me in bed.
11. He works incredibly hard to provide for our little family.
12. He backs me up and supports my goals, dreams, and desires.
13. He caught the travel bug and even though he hates to fly we have been to 4 countries and 9 states together. 
14. He gives the most amazing hugs.
15. He looks awesome in a suit.
16. He watches girlie movies willingly.
 17. He is a master at figuring out IKEA instructions.
18. He naps with me on lazy Sundays.
19. He thinks breakfast is the best meal of the day.
20. He loves me for me. 
 Happy Birthday Husband! 
I hope your 29th year is your BEST year yet!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A rough couple of days...

Continuing the theme of this pregnancy Piper and I had more excitement this week. Do to my crazy blood pressure, I go weekly to the doctor for non-stress tests. On Tuesday I made my way to the labor and delivery ward and Pip WOULD NOT MOVE! So I was sent to radiology for a sonogram. Our sonogram came with seriously scary results and we were asked to make a doctor appointment for the next day. 

The results left us concerned scared and with yet another appointment for more tests with a specialist in Jacksonville. We met with the specialist today. Turns out I may in fact be preeclamptic. For full details use google, but the bottom line is that my placenta might not be the best house for Piper and she might not be getting all the nutrients she needs from me. 

My doctors thought this might be the case a few weeks ago, but after blood work and urine tests it was ruled out. I also haven't gained excessive weight and have no swelling. I am currently undergoing more blood and urine tests. I have been told to take it easy and watch my blood pressure. 

So for now we wait. We pray. And we hope. I am 4 weeks from my due date. In one week Pip will be full term. If you have a moment, say a prayer of peace for our little family and a prayer of healing for Miss Pip.
Danielle, Me, and Betsy @ Piper's Baby Shower

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


in order to become "BEST TEACHER EVER!" 
You simply need to combine science lab days with Oreo cookies, ice cream sprinkles, and tooth picks.
Don't worry no Oreos were harmed during the mitosis cell simulation and clean up was a breeze. 
They ate the results :)
Lab Days = Engaged Students who happily complete their assignments.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter Brunch Menu!

I am hosting Easter brunch 
this year @ Casa Republican. I think it's going to be our last hosting event before Miss Pippa arrives :)
I am all about an easy prep, but high impact menu. And after lazy Sunday afternoon of research I have settled on the following.

1. Baked French Toast from
2. Strawberry and blue cheese salad with pecans

A Happy Accident

I love 5 things in this world.
Mr. R.
My Family
The pups
For Pippa's baby shower yesterday Betsy, Danielle, and Kristin ordered Luli's cupcakes for dessert. I cannot tell you how excited I was to see a tower of lemon, peanut butter, chocolate,
vanilla, and carrot cupcakes. I am telling you these cupcakes are amazing! They easily beat the pants off Magnolia Bakery's and Sprinkles.
But here is the best part of the story. When Kristin went to pick up the cupcakes yesterday they made 20 extra cupcakes! And they gave them to her for FREE!
You know where this is going right? We divided up the extra cupcakes after the shower and now my freezer is the proud owner of 9 glorious Luli's cupcakes. I promise to maintain some form of decorum and not eat them all today.