is this thing on?

Work's crazy, Blaire's 3rd birthday party is next week, I'm juggling some minor home improvements, redecorating Blaire's room and the nursery, prepping for two fantasy football drafts (priorities, right?), and currently requiring what I find to be an insane amount of sleep. Between all that and my 982 daily trips to the bathroom, time is a precious commodity. Naturally, blogging - and my sanity - have suffered as a result. But while busy, life is good.

How about I dump a bunch of iphone pictures here and we call that an update?
We took this little cutie to the beach a couple weeks ago.
She was adorable and had a great time but I have to say, the beach in the middle of the Florida summer with a toddler? No thanks. Not my idea of a good time. Too damn hot, too damn exhausting. I'll take the pool, please. Or the beach sans toddler when the temps come down to something more reasonable. Preferably with a cabana. And a cabana boy. I could really go for a daiquiri right now... 
But back to reality.
I was lucky enough to see two great concerts with some of my favorite people. First, Sara Bareilles' Little Black Dress tour with my best girlfriends in St. Augustine. (Kate, we missed you! Glad you got to see her in CO!)

Then a few days later, Matt Nathanson, Andrew McMahon, and Gavin DeGraw at the House of Blues with Brian, Jill, and a group friends. (Loved Matt & Andrew - Gavin, meh.)
Blaire just finished her fifth week of swim lessons and is doing awesome. She's doing Safe Start at the Y but isn't so interested in their floating and survival techniques. She's realized she can swim - who needs to float?  It's pretty funny to watch her strong will and determination in action.
When the rain keeps us out of the pool, we find other ways to occupy the hot summer days. Sno-cones with Uncle J were a hit, as are trips to the science center and the bookstore.
On the home front, the nursery is painted. Despite my slight apprehension about going so dark, I'm loving the navy walls. I can't wait to get in there and put all the pieces together.

Progress in Blaire's room has halted as a result of the bed that wasn't meant to be. After spending hours sanding, priming, and painting this bed frame I picked up on Craigslist, it's just not going to work out. 
I'll spare you the details of the many attempts, and subsequent failures, to make this thing work but I've decided to move on and not sink any more time or money into this project. Lesson learned - I do not DIY.  So, the hunt is on for a bed for her room.
Blaire's year in the two year old classroom has come to an end - we're moving up to threes on Monday. It was a great year for Blaire - she's learned so much and really enjoyed her teachers and classmates. At the end of the year party, each child was given a certificate. (We'll save the "Does every kid need a trophy?" debate for another time.) Blaire was named "Most Friendly."  Apparently she made it her job to greet and send off not her fellow classmates at the beginning and end of each day, but their parents too. The girl has never met a stranger. Anyone will tell you, that's all her daddy.
Baby Brother is still cooking - I'll be 33 weeks on Monday. At my last appointment, my OB asked "How big was your first again?"  I probably should have asked why he was inquiring but didn't. Self-preservation instinct, I presume.

Poor second kid - getting the short end of the stick already. I don't have a single bump picture taken by anyone other than me on my iPhone. Bath time multitasking is as good as it gets for a 32 week bump update.  
Daycare was closed today so Brian took the day off and took Blaire to his mom's house to visit with grandparents, great grandparents, and a few other family members in town. That means I'm flying solo tonight and tomorrow morning. I'm already missing the heck out of my tiny sidekick (and her dad too) but I'm hoping to tackle a bunch of random projects around the house. I've got a long to-do list that's usually neglected in favor of spending time with Blaire. Here's hoping I can stay awake long enough to get some things done! Come tomorrow morning, I'll be the 8 month pregnant lady at Home Depot trying to squeeze mulch into the trunk of a sedan. Try not to laugh and point if you see me.
Hopefully I'll be back here next week to share a couple good recipes I've tried lately. Maybe even with a post that's not just an iPhone dump but I really shouldn't make promises as there's a good chance I'll be asleep half the hours between now and Monday.
Have a great weekend! 

tuesday miscellany

Have you seen Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee? It's hilarious. I'm hooked. My favorites so far: Louis C.K., Jon Stewart, and Alec Baldwin.

I went a little stripe crazy this weekend. My mom had ordered the black and white striped top, below, but thought it looked like a maternity top when she tried it on so she passed it on to me. I ordered the gray striped dress and striped tunic, also from Anthro {and on sale!}. Both have arrived and fit my 7 month pregnant largeness pretty well. Anthropologie, purveyor of maternity clothes. Who knew? Hopefully they'll all work with skinny jeans or leggings in the fall to hide some of those post-baby leftovers.

L to R: darcy swing tunic, swing stripe tunic (sold out), swing stripe tee
I also ordered this striped tote from Nordstrom.
Sole Society 'Oversize Millie' Geo Print Tote | Nordstrom
I thought it was cute and functional with three separate compartments. Should work well when I'm lugging even more stuff around soon with two kids. {!!!} I can't bring myself to carry a legit diaper bag so I just shove everything into whatever bag I'm carrying at the moment. I'm basically Mary Poppins. You never know what I'll unearth from the depths of my bag.
 I made this Creamy Caprese Pasta last night after Kate posted it on Instagram. Holy deliciousness. {I added chicken sausage and subbed fat-free half and half for the heavy cream.} SO GOOD.  
This little fishy is on week two of swim lessons and loving it. What she doesn't love is having her picture taken, so I had to sneak these when she wasn't looking. Stinker.

This is what 29 weeks looks like. Large and in charge but feeling pretty good.

My bathroom cabinets, while hideous, are not yellow. Not sure why they look that way.
I continue to pray to the pregnancy gods and any other deity that will hear my prayers that my feet don't swell up like last time. I'm going on 12 days post-glucose test with no results. Gestational diabetes would really cramp my dessert everyday style so hopefully no news is good news.

Gotta run - it's almost time to pick up the munchkin. It's "Science Week" at school and her teachers said to come in old clothes today, as things were going to get muddy. She looks like Pigpen when I pick her up most days - can't wait to see what's waiting for me at pick up time today.
*no affiliate or sponsored links, just saving anyone who may be interested the trouble of asking where things are from.  

thoughts for thursday: nursery planning

Let's just get this out in the open - I'm a freak about nursery planning. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, long before we knew if this baby was a boy or a girl, I started pinning pictures of beautiful nurseries on Pinterest.  I'm not normally particularly design oriented, as you'd see if you came over to my sparsely furnished, half-decorated house.  I love beautiful homes but I have a hard time translating my visions into completed rooms. This tends to lead to design paralysis. Rather than do the wrong thing, I do nothing.  But when it comes to a nursery, I mean business.  I think it has to do with my need for control.  Admittedly, I'm controlling. {DUH! Says everyone who knows me.} I try not to control others but I like to have firm control over my own life. Well, you can't control pregnancies. So I suppose I jump on nursery planning as a means of exercising some sense of control in an area where it's otherwise lacking.
But enough psychoanalyzing, let's talk nursery plans! Most of my nursery pins were for girl nurseries so when I found out this little one was a boy, I started over. I thought about going super neutral - lots of white, beige, and linen.  Very calm and comfortable. But then I realized that describes most of our house. Why not take a leap and do something different? Besides, if he's anything like his big sister, this kid will be anything but calm.  So I started looking in a different direction.  I've been wanting to incorporate navy into our existing d├ęcor but haven't yet found a room where it works. Well, here's that room! 
I took at trip over to the Barn and PBK for a little inspiration.  I was torn between the choices below for the rocker but ultimately decided on the linen. Since we're springing for another chair {as opposed to slipcovering Blaire's} I'd like to be able to reuse it when we're done with it in the nursery. {The model we chose has removable rocker-rails that can be replaced with stationary feet.} The linen will blend much better in other rooms of our house.  But don't worry - I'm not slipping fully back into the land of neutrals.

Dying for this stupid expensive, ridiculous for a nursery, leather pillow.

I plan to incorporate navy {and red!} into other fabrics and accessories in the room. And, in a move that is WAY outside my comfort zone, we're painting the walls navy. Dark navy.

Clockwise from left: Ralph Lauren Club Navy, Benjamin Moore Hale Navy, and Sherwin Williams Naval
I'm equal parts thrilled and terrified. I hope my painter's schedule opens up quickly before I lose my nerve. 
I've purchased bookcases and a little table for next to the rocker. We're picking up a dresser from my parents' house this weekend that was in my room growing up and my parents' room before that. I'm excited to have such a special piece in baby brother's room. We're reusing Blaire's crib, even though I reallllly want an espresso Jenny Lind crib. Brian keeps appealing to my {barely-existent} practical side and says we have a perfectly good crib already. Yeah, yeah. We'll see. {If I'm being honest, it's Blaire's excitement about baby brother sleeping in "her crib" that keeps me from buying another.} I'm hoping to fit in a daybed too but we'll have to see once we get the rest of the furniture in the room. I'm concerned it may feel too cramped.
These are a must have. But how to decide which of these little cuties to bring home from the zoo?
Serena and Lily Menagerie Bookends
Still need a rug and window treatments and some other random accessories. There are a few projects still to be conceptualized and tackled. {Such as, what to do with the hideous mirrored closet doors? I was thinking curtains, our plan for Blaire's room, but now I'm considering chalkboard paint.}  But there's a plan.  All is right with my crazy controlling soul. 

A few randoms:

I want this but have absolutely no need for it:

Cable Knit Moses Basket Bedding
RH Baby & Child Moses Basket
We go straight to crib sleeping so I really can't justify this purchase. Other than, it's soooo cute. Maybe for newborn pictures?
Why don't more companies make  a crib skirt in a 20 inch drop? I need the crib skirt to touch the floor when the mattress is on the highest/newborn setting. Most companies sell a 14 or 16 inch drop, which leaves a big gap between the hem of the skirt and the floor. I can't have that - it drives me batty. I realize this is not an actual problem but rather a pseudo-problem invented by a crazy pregnant lady who should do better things with her time than think about crib skirts. I'm now considering making the crib skirt for Mike Wyzowski's nursery. Have I mentioned I can't sew? Not so much as a button on a shirt.  Should be fun. {It seriously was less than 3 weeks ago I swore off DIY projects forever, after a fiasco with Blaire's bed. I have a problem.}
And why so much minky dot? I had no damn clue what minky dot was before having a child but there's no escaping it once you're a parent. Why must we cover all children's items in minky dot? The world will never know.  
And why does every third nursery on Pinterest feature a giant stuffed giraffe? 
I should stop before you all figure out just how much time I spend on Pinterest.

"Her house smells like soup."

There are probably three of you who will get that reference and I love each and every one of you. You're the cheese to my macaroni. 
Today I'm bringing what I know you're all wanting - a soup recipe in July!  Okay, so maybe this isn't the most seasonally appropriate recipe but it was a quick and tasty weeknight supper. The lemon makes this soup feel light and bright and almost summer appropriate. Give it a whirl - I think you'll find it's tasty any time of year.

Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup
adapted from Damn Delicious

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (I used rotisserie)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced (subbed 3 shallots b/c it's what I had)
3/4 cup (approximately) diced carrots
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 sprig rosemary
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over low-medium heat. Stir in onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add in garlic and thyme and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.   Pour in chicken broth, add bay leaves and bring to a boil. Stir in orzo, rosemary and chicken; reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper to taste.