Saturday, April 26, 2014

37 Weeks: An Update + a Baby Pool


By no means has this been an easy or quick pregnancy, but here I find myself at Week 37, officially "full term," and it seems to have gotten here fast all the same. Baby O III is just weeks shy of his due date, though if you read anything of his brothers on this blog around their due dates, you might note that my womb is over-accomodating, and they were willing to extend their stay.

At this point, we are all in countdown mode, both for this boy's arrival AND for his LegenDaddy to finish up his Masters. In order to include you in this counting period in a more fun way (and due to a super positive response over on the Facebook page), I've decided to start a…

Baby Pool Contest!

More information on how to get your say into that and possibly win a prize at the end of the post…




37 weeks has this wiggly boy measuring somewheres in the range of 6 pounds, thankfully keeping his head down though sometimes a little too far down for my comfort. I'm already well aware of how little my comfort means to him though. That's been far too apparent during this pregnancy. This weight is totally a guess of the midwife. I think she's probably close, but even though by no means do I feel small, I think this is the smallest I've been at this milestone with all the pregnancies. Annnnd if I'd taken pictures at the same point each go round, we could have compared. Oh well.

He still remains the most active of the three boys thus far, with his favorite times to be moving about in the mid morning (10am-ish) and in the late evening (think 10-11pm). We don't name our babies until we've seen them face to face, with the goal being to have them named by the time we check-out of the hospital. Our name list is still lacking this go round, but I think he needs some fierce little fighter style name. Any favorite male saints' names you think we should consider?

My Group B Strep test came back negative, which was my final unknown to be anxious about. I was negative with the other two as well, but with all the odd things that have cropped up this go round or "symptoms" that just wouldn't leave, I was sure this round it'd get me. But it didn't, so no antibiotics or IV during labor.

So, who knows? Will he join his brothers in the "Late to Come" camp, or will he surprise the socks off me and join us earlier than expected or around on time?

Want to put your two cents in? It should be fun, and as I said, there *is* a prize involved.


To enter the Baby Pool:

Basically you go to this website: What's In My Belly

Enter your guesses into the Pool for Baby O III - you can add your entry without creating an account, but if you wish to be in the running for the contest, make sure to put your e-mail, your first name, and at least an initial for your last name.

When he is born, the closest guesser will win a prize.

My pregnant brain is having mind slips when trying to come up with a fun prize that might actually be a treat to receive. I'm still too focussed on whether or not I have enough infant short sleeved outfits, semi-green disposables for the first week, and nursing bras to think of much outside those guidelines. If these don't sound like your cup of tea, I'm more than willing to hear ideas. =)

Oh, and the baby isn't up for grabs - thought I'd clarify as it has been suggested. After all this work and the final heave of labor, I shall be keeping him.

All the same, guess well and best of luck!




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This post: 37 Weeks: An Update + a Baby Pool first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 26 April 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Treats for an Anglophile

It has been quite awhile since I've joined Hallie over at Moxie Wife for her weekly Five Favorites link-up. I figured it was about time. Plus with prepping for Baby O and making major spring cleaning and purging advances within this house, I needed a blog post that could be written in less than 30 minutes. So, here you have it.

Although my love for Ireland trumps all, I do have a soft spot in my heart for Great Britain as well. A major portion of my mutt genetic heritage hails from Great Britain, and I have to give them their due share of admiration. Also as today is both Shakespeare's birthday and the Feast of St. George, it seemed perfectly appropriate to share 5 British themed things with you.


1.

British Literature

       


From Harry Potter to Thomas Hardy to Jane Austen - can you really deny that multitudes of wonderful pieces of literature have come to us from the Brits?

2.

British TV


      



I find most British TV to be superior to American shows - maybe it's because they focus on making 3-8 great episodes rather than 24 mediocre ones? Here's a list of some of my favorites - any you'd add?

You have to admit. They are pretty superb in their entertaining.



3.

Shepherd's Pie, Scones, + Tea



Though I wouldn't credit the majority of English food to be outstanding, these three are some of *my* favorite comfort foods. Haley of Carrots for Michaelmas has a great recipe for the first of these in her cookbook Feast! (Click here to view more details).


4.

Wellies



I don't own a pair at present, but hopefully one day my closet will be host to a pair of Hunter rain boots.


5.

Spectacular Spaces


This picture is from Snowdon in Wales, where I've yet to visit, but in my travels to Scotland and England, I have seen many a sight that was just gorgeous. Plus their weather - the misty, rainy, 40-70 degrees most of the time, and so forth - is right up my alley. 


There you go - 5 of my favorite British things. After a poll on the Two Os Plus More FB page the other day, I am organizing a Baby Guessing Pool complete with some prize or another, and the details for that should be up within the next few days! Hope your Easter week is turning out grand, and I'll be in touch soon. =)







For more 5 Favorite goodness, go see Hallie!



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This post: 5 Treats for an Anglophile first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 23 April 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Halfway through Holy Week

Just a quick Holy Week check-in! Tomorrow begins the Triduum which will end in the celebration of Easter, and wow, there is so much to be packed in to finish out this Holy Week.

I keep hearing about things happening on Friday, and catch myself replying, "But, but… that's Good Friday!" and then remembering that not everyone has the same reverence for the next few days. I love the traditions we have put into play with our family as well as new ones we are trying for the first time this year. The rest of Holy Week, I will mostly be bowing out of any internet "social life" I may have and concentrating on our family and helping my tiny boys understand the greatness of this week as best their small minds can. That being said, you won't see me around until next week.

If you want to see what Holy Week looked like for us last year, you can read this post.

This lovely guide from Catholic All Year for The "You Can Still Do This" Guide to All Things Holy Week was a wonderful starter for me this year. My mind was a little bleary on what I wanted to accomplish this week, and Kendra gave me some great perspective.

With the above as our guide, we began this week with some serious cleaning out that included LOTS of washing of teeny, tiny baby clothes. Cannot wait to get some of these bitty diapers on this new boyO's bum. Tuesday night had me coming down with some sinus infection/headache/chest cold combo, which has slowed everything down, but we are soldiering on.


Today, Spy Wednesday, we made pretzels. The recipe I usually use can be found here. I mostly keep using it because the dough is made in the bread maker, and that's just so much less time consuming. If you have a great pretzel recipe you'd care to share, I'm all ears for next year!

Holy Thursday, which is tomorrow, we will be taking it slow, finishing up the preparations for the weekend (which roughly translates to hitting up the grocery store), and taking the boys with us for the evening mass. It's at 7pm, and I'm hoping they both are energetic enough to make it through with minimal whining. We've done it in years past, and at our old church it was much longer than I'm anticipating tomorrow's to be, so here's to hoping it goes superbly.

Good Friday, we will begin the day by attending a Stations of the Cross as a family, and then accompanying a local group of faithful Catholics as they pray in front of a local abortion clinic. These Hot Cross Biscuits from Joy the Baker will be on our "To Eat" list either in the morning or late afternoon. I will also be preparing a variation of this Story of the Passion Lunch for the boys to help tell the story of Jesus' death.

Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence for adults in good health, so otherwise David and I will be eating minimal amounts of simple food. I can't fast fully as pregnant as I am, so I will probably make something tomorrow that I can pull out on Friday and minimize the amount of time I am spending in the kitchen.

Holy Saturday we will begin the dyeing of our Easter eggs. Last year we made all natural dye, which turned out unique and beautiful. Because of the method we decided to use, the eggs will go into the dye and then into the fridge on Holy Saturday in preparation to come out in bright and lovely colors on Easter morning. My boys have also requested we go on a hike to collect rocks since there was a stone across Jesus' tomb. And then they want to paint them on Easter because then "the rocks can be happy colors since Jesus is alive again" - can I tell you how much I love teaching the liturgical year and our Faith to minds that are as open and aware as theirs are?

And then Easter! Mass will obviously be a major part, and then feasting, egg hunting, game playing, and lots of other fun. A day of Jesus, jelly beans, bacon, and family, because truly what else can you add that's any better?

For more reading and blog stuff to keep you going throughout this Holy Week, check out:


  • This post by Kendra at Catholic All Year about why and how she talks to her young children about the Crucifixion - I completely agree. Having boys, I find they are prone to ask the questions about the blood, the nails, and anything else I might typically shy away from. But, with the correct focus, I find this easily approached. 
  • Pick some favorite Children's Books about Easter from the list I compiled last year to read aloud to your children - remember Easter is not only a day, but an octave feast and a whole season, so you have some extra time to search these out at your library or book store.

May your Triduum be blessed beyond measure, and may your hearts rejoice with the Church as we all celebrate in Christ's resurrection this Easter!
Sarah


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This post: Halfway through Holy Week first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 16 April 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Last Week of the Lenten Meal Link-Up 2014

It's actually here - the last week of the Lenten Meal Link-Up, and you know what that means, right? The last week of Lent, too! I feel like Lent went by rather fast this year. How about you? Did it move at a regular pace or faster/slower for you?

In wrapping up my portion of the Link-Up, I am going to share a few recipes that YOU shared over the past 6 weeks that I tried, will be trying this week, or was completely inspired by. Thank you so much for all of you who shared one or many recipes with us this year. What a fun treat to see new ideas!


Here are the recipes that you shared that I loved:



Mediterranean Quinoa Salad :: His Frugal Servant


25 Meatless Meals for Lent :: A Blog for My Mom
I didn't make all 25 of these, but what great ideas! Annnnd we did have Broccoli and Cheese soup more than once…


Rosti {Cheesy Potatoes} :: Surviving Our Blessings

Caramelized Onion Quiche :: Laughing Joyously


Spring Asparagus with Pasta :: The Sincere Gift



Don't forget to go see the last posts from my fabulous co-hosts: Beth Anne @ Beth Anne's Best and Abbey @ Surviving Our Blessings as well as taking a peek back at my posts from each week here:

Week 1 - An Intro to the Link-Up
Week 2 - 10 Meatless Lunch Ideas
Week 3 - More Meatless Meals!
Week 4 - Veggie Pizza {Recipe}
Week 5 - Bean and Veggie Enchiladas {Recipe}
Week 6 - Brazilian Black Bean Soup {Recipe}



I'd also like to know what YOUR FAVORITE recipe was that you tried this year. What new meatless meal option did you try out and love this Lent? Please share!

I hope your Lent has been blessed and that you've had fun sharing your recipes as well as learning new ones that were linked up here. Blessings be with you and your family as we walk through Holy Week.




If you're joining us for the Link-Up, grab the button above to add to your blog or website!

 Link up your Lenten meals here, and share with others, so we can all benefit from each other's Vegetarian wisdom! 

If this is YOUR first time joining, the Guidelines are as follows:
  1. Feel free to Link-Up any OLD or NEW meatless meals you have posted about.
  2. The hosts have the right to delete any links that are not appropriate for the link-up.
  3. Feel free to embed Pinterest Recipes or link to recipes you have found online.
  4. Feel free to just blog about what you ate or what you are planning on eating.
  5. Have fun and have a BLESSED LENT!

   
   


Don't miss a post! Subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.
All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Last Week of the Lenten Meal Link-Up 2014 first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 14 April 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'd like to thank the Academy, and Kendra...

So, I received my 1st ever Liebster Award from Kendra over at Catholic All Year earlier this week. (Much earlier). When I haven't been soaking in our newfound warmth (4 days in a row over 40 degrees - yes, that equals part-ay), I've been washing so much infant stuff, dealing with some lovely new attitude issues in my 4 year old, and catching up on sleep. And, thus, after 5 days of being in 'draft' form, I am finally answering these questions and getting them out to you. 



Here goes:

1. Where do you live? And why do you live there?

I currently live in Rochester, NY, which is nowhere near NYC but rather much closer to Toronto. Yes, Canada. I moved here for college (transferred to RIT for my last 3 years), and then got married and stuck around this area. When you see pictures like the one below, you, too, might wonder why we did:


Since our wedding though, either my husband or I have been in school. I was finishing my BFA the first year, and he's been working on his Masters ever since. This will change hopefully in 6 weeks, and I don't think I could be more excited.



2. What are you currently watching and/or reading?

Watching:



Veronica Mars Season One - I had many recommendations for this one, and though the first episodes almost turned me off, I am not (4 episodes in) starting to enjoy it. I must say that I cannot stand their usage of filters to attempt emotional drama throughout. Pretty much drives me crazy.



Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 - I can't believe how into the Marvel world this show has sucked me. I enjoyed several of the movies that have come out in the past few years, but really only Avengers was thoroughly entertaining enough to make me want to watch more and more and more… This show on the background agency that works behind the superheroes has changed that though, and it's been a fun season full of Joss Whedon twists and turns to watch weekly with David.


Reading:

Pregnancy brain is setting in, and thus not much productive/brain requiring reading is happening around these parts. I'm currently chugging through a couple though:



Orthodoxy - I've been plugging through this G. K. Chesterton heady book for awhile. I finally added it to the iBooks app on my phone, so when I have 10 minutes here and there, I can attempt to read a bit. I'm not really loving it. I think there is much to be gleamed from the wisdom therein, but Chesterton's overly wordy approach just isn't my flavor. Still, as a part of my Lenten disciplines, I am trying to plug onward. 


Chosen and Cherished: Biblical Wisdom for Your Marriage - Another from the 2014 Reading Goals List, this one is a way easier read, but I like to complete each chapter as I go rather than stopping halfway. This limits the times in the day when I can actually pick it up and read. I've been making a point to read a chapter each day before I crash during nap time.

Does Winnie-The-Pooh count? If so, that can be my "fun" reading, which is predominately for the pleasure of the 2 and 4 year olds.


3. What kind of Catholic are you: cradle, or convert? (Or considering?)

New convert. I grew up Protestant (with experience in practically everything) and just joined the Catholic Church this past February. It wasn't anything super dramatic as I've pretty much been on a step by step journey to Rome since I was about 11. However, it's where I know I can find the fullness of the Faith, and I'm thrilled to be at this point with my whole little family. 

4. Can you point to one moment or experience that made you a practicing Catholic? (Or want to be?)

Like I said, it's been one looooong and fairly slow journey. Two things stand out though in my mind. One is when I attended a Steubenville youth retreat at the age of 13 and I was completely enamored with the beauty of the Sacraments at their purest and most adored. I was in a liturgical Church at the time, but the reverence and love for the Sacraments was not the same. That weekend also began my journey to love Mary as my own Mother. 

A second thing that I would say is one of the things that really started pushing me towards Rome was authority. We had priests in our Church and even bishops, but I just could no longer argue Christ specifically giving Peter the keys to the Kingdom. I couldn't pretend anymore that that authority had been made perfectly clear and how obvious the apostolic succession of the papacy was. 


5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Oh dear. If I say I need to go through them next week as part of the Holy Week purging of our stuffs, do I get extra points? Let's just say, I own entirely TOO MANY. I have so many that I semi-love but just don't wear. I even have a few broken pairs that I'm willing to pay to have fixed but haven't gotten around to doing so. 

I'm going to go with more than 25… yeeps.


6. Are you a good dancer?

Depends on what kind. I can dance better than a fair amount of people at a club, but I don't think that's saying much. I took ballet until the age of 9 and then again in college. I can swing dance and do some basic ballroom. I'm related to 3 dancers though with another little sister who is well on her way to becoming famous for her moves, so I rate my skills pretty low.


7. Who usually drives, you or your husband?

Moi. He doesn't mind driving in the least, but I kind of love it. So, I tend to be the driver. 


8. What's your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?

Christmas, for sure. I'm learning to love Easter by implementing traditions associated with both Holy Week and the Season of Easter, but Christmas is so, so rich in family traditions, old and new, that I just have to give it first place. As far as the "How" just go search for the many, many posts I have written about Advent and Christmas, and then go from there.


9. Which is correct? Left or right?



I dropped this anal part of my personality for the most part when I got married. One of the few early pieces of wisdom that sunk into my brain being that I guess the direction of the TP was not really the end of the world. That being said, my house has this old-fashioned, built into the wall, porcelain contraption to hold the TP, and so, the roll only rolls if done according to the right photo. See below:



10. Do you have any scars?

Only one I can see right now. Most of my childhood scars have disappeared at this point, but I did royally burn the pyjeebees out of my forearm last fall, and it's left a lovely line on my left appendage. 


11. What's the most famous thing you've ever done? 

I won a photo contest in college, and a piece of mine travelled all over the US for a year being shown in art shows in major cities. It was pretty awesome. Now my alma mater has adopted that piece as its own, and I often hear of people who visit and tell me : "Oh, I saw a photograph of yours on display the other day!" Too bad I took that picture nearly 6 years ago, so the appeal isn't the same anymore. =/


And that is that. 




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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz

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This post I'd like to thank the Academy, and Kendra... first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 11 April 2014




Monday, April 7, 2014

Brazilian Black Bean Soup {Recipe} :: Lenten Meal Link-Up Week 6

With the lack of posting around here, my weekly post for the Lenten Meal Link-Up is about all I seem to have time to get up. You might start thinking I'm actually a cooking blog… I have plans to post 2 (!!!!) other things this week though, so don't think that for too long.

We are already into week 6 of the Lenten Meal Link-Up - next week will be the last week as Monday will start Holy Week, and then we'll be back at meat-loving Easter! Has your Lent gone by quickly or slowly? I feel mine has definitely been a combination of both. The pregnancy has made it drag on, but I've had so much to do to ready for this little one over the past two weeks that it seems it is also moving quickly. 

Don't forget to go visit my co-hosts: Abbey at Surviving Our Blessings and BethAnne at Beth Anne's Best to see more great recipes!


This week I'm sharing a family favorite that is super easy! It's one of those last minute meals I throw together when I have had a ridiculous afternoon, which seem to be more and more frequent these days. It's delicious, and if you want a little extra something to serve with, try rice or tortillas, or perhaps fresh bell peppers sliced up!




Serves 4-6

Ingredients

olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (29 oz) black beans, drained
1 can (14.5 oz) vegetable or chicken broth
3 Tb Cayenne pepper sauce - I often use Cholula
2 Tb chopped cilantro (or 2 t dried cilantro)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste


Heat oil in 3 quart saucepan. Cook and stir onion and garlic 3 minutes or just until tender. Stir in 1.5 cups of water and remaining ingredients except rum. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, partially covered, 20 minutes or until flavors are blended, stirring occasionally.

Ladle about half of soup into blender or food processor. Cover securely. Process on low speed until mixture is smooth. Return to saucepot. Cook over medium-low heat 3 minutes or until heated through and flavors are blended. Garnish with lime slices, sour cream (we use plain Green yogurt), minced onion, or cilantro, if desired.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

We think this dish tastes just as good cold!




If you're joining us for the Link-Up, grab the button above to add to your blog or website!

 Link up your Lenten meals here, and share with others, so we can all benefit from each other's Vegetarian wisdom! 

If this is YOUR first time joining, the Guidelines are as follows:
  1. Feel free to Link-Up any OLD or NEW meatless meals you have posted about.
  2. The hosts have the right to delete any links that are not appropriate for the link-up.
  3. Feel free to embed Pinterest Recipes or link to recipes you have found online.
  4. Feel free to just blog about what you ate or what you are planning on eating.
  5. Have fun and have a BLESSED LENT!

   
   


Don't miss a post! Subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 

You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz


::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 

By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::



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