8 Months Pregnant with 3.0

Well well here we are!  Exactly one month shy of my due date and officially counting down!  Not counting this week, I have three full weeks of work to go (plus two days) and then I get 12 glorious weeks off!  If you would have asked me a few weeks ago, my goal was to make it through my last scheduled day of work (November 22), but as this baby gets bigger, I get less and less comfortable and I have decided that I am a-okay if he decides to come a little early!  Of course, I don't anticipate that happening, but one can always hope, right?!  My next appointment is on Friday at 36 weeks and not only does that mean the start of weekly trips to the OB, but I think my doctor will start checking me for progress.  I'm anxious to find out if my body is starting to do it's thing!

The before baby to-do list that has been in my phone for months is growing more urgent by the day.  Included is finding a newborn photographer (why do they all have to be so expensive?!), getting a new pump through Craig's insurance, pre-registering at the hospital (appointment scheduled for Friday), and buying a few personalized baby things on Etsy.  Major improvements have been happening in the nursery and it is now nearly complete (nursery reveal to come)!  We still need to install the infant carrier in our van and I'm working to finish long-term sub plans and tie up all lose ends at school, but I should be ready for my sub by the end of this week!

Like with my last two pregnancies, most people can't believe I'm as far along as I am.  My babies seem to sit back in my belly and make me grow more wide than out, so I think my looks can be deceiving.  Nonetheless, I definitely feel eight months pregnant!  The acid reflux has been pretty painful at times (often waking me up), the morning carpel-tunnel is hard, and the constant peeing--sometimes three times per night--is annoying.  Not to mention the exhaustion I feel during teaching.  My poor students this year probably think I'm a hot mess (literally I sweat and pant as if I just ran a race) 90% of the time and my long-term sub, who came to observe last week, commented on how tired I seem. #truth  I know I should really try to appreciate these last few weeks of pregnancy, and I want to, but at the same time, I'm ready to have my old body and my old energy back.

Who knows if there's going to be a nine month update or not!  I'd sure like to think I'll have a baby in my arms by November 25, but at the same time, this baby has proven that two pregnancies can be very, very different experiences and I don't want to get my hopes up.  Besides, baby or not, November 22 is my last day of work, so if I have to sit on my butt at home and wait for baby, at least there's that.


How Far Along: 8 months (35 weeks and 4 days)

Size of Baby: The size of a coconut

Gender: Baby BOY #3!

Weight Gain:About 40 pounds

Food Cravings: Nothing specific

Food Aversions: No aversions either

Movement: Frequent and often.  Feeling baby hiccups a couple of times per day, too!

Sleep: Still sleeping pretty well, all things considered!

Clothing: The same.  Some non-maternity flowy things but mostly maternity.  I live in these maternity leggings during the weekends - they are thick enough to not be see through and have the full panel which is super comfy!

Other Pregnancy Symptoms: See above.

What I Miss: I miss my old energy.  I miss being able to teach without becoming so out of breath!  I miss some of my old wardrobe...although I do love a lot of my maternity clothes!

Best Moment: Hanging things on the walls in the nursery and being able to say I'm within a month from my due date!!!

Looking Forward To: The excitement of going into labor.  Although I'm a major planner and I'd love to know when, where, and how it's going to happen, I admit that going into labor with Holden (versus being induced with Brantley) was very exciting!  The logistics still have me a bit anxious (finding care for the boys, making it to the hospital in time, etc.) but I'm hoping and praying the process goes smoothly and there are no major hurdles to overcome!  I'm also pretty excited to meet this baby, see who he resembles (Brantley or Holden--if either!), and introduce him (and announce his name) to the world!

Dress Up Your Popcorn: Sweet Oreo Popcorn

Happy Monday!  Did you know October is National Popcorn Popping month?  Yeah, me neither until just recently.  Today, I'm happy to be participating in SkinnyPop's Dress Up Your Popcorn blogger challenge because seriously, why wouldn't I want to take a somewhat healthy snack and make it less healthy?! #duh

I was determined to make something with ingredients already in my pantry - which is how I ended up adding both almond bark and Oreos to my popcorn!  It turned out delicious and now I can't stop eating it!

What You Need:
1 bag of SkinnyPop plain popcorn
6 squares of white almond bark
1 to 2 rows of Crushed Oreos (I used the Halloween ones for an added touch!)

What You'll Do:

1. Crush the Oreos.  (I typically put them in a large Ziploc and use a muddler or rolling pin.)  Mix popcorn and crushed Oreos in a large bowl.

2. Melt the almond bark according to package instructions.  Pour over popcorn mixture and stir well.

3. Allow to cool, then enjoy!

If you attempt this, I hope you enjoy it as much as I am enjoying mine!

Mug Love Reveal + A Giveaway

Time is flying and today is the day to share the mugs we received in the Mug Love Exchange announced in early September!  I was paired with Jamie of No Getting Off This Train and I'm so glad because both Jaime and her blog were new to me!  It's always fun "meeting" new bloggers!

Anyway, between spending a weekend in both Iowa and Wichita in mid to late September, I didn't have a ton of time to go shopping for Jaime's mug, so I did the next best thing - headed to Etsy.  I stumbled across this mug from this shop and it was soon delivered to my door.  I added a few fall touches and sent it Jaime's way!

From Jaime, I received a mug that was near perfect for me!  Nerdy?  Yep!  But fitting?  Absolutely!  (I'm a high school math teacher, if you weren't already aware!)  And the chocolates were definitely an added bonus!

Now it's your turn to link up and share your new mug!  Mugs are so fun and I can't wait to see what everyone got!

And perhaps the best part of today's post--the other hosts and I are giving away a $50 gift card to Starbucks so that you can put those new mugs to good use!  However, the giveaway is open to every one, not just those who participated in the exchange!  The winner will be announced after the giveaway closes on October 16.  Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Courtney of A + Life 
Whitney of Work it Mommy
Liz of Chasin' Mason
Sarah of Seeing All Sides
Lexi of A Blissful Haven
Stephanie of Wife Mommy Me

Five Apple Recipes

Our family has already gone through bags and bags of apples this fall.  Whether plain, covered in caramel, or baked in a crisp, we love us some apples this time of year!  So I did a little searching and found five apple recipes to share with you today!  (I did the same last summer with strawberry recipes, so it only seems fitting I do the same for apples!)  I definitely want to try each of these before apple season fall is long gone!

1. Apple Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crumb - via Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch

Any excuse to eat cake for breakfast is a good one to me!  This looks and sounds amazing and you can't beat a crumb topping!


2. Roasted Apple and Aged White Cheddar Soup - via Closet Cooking

Soup is one of my favorite things about fall and I'm pretty adventurous in the kitchen.  Therefore, apples in my soup sounds like a great idea to me!  (The cheese and bacon are just added bonuses!)


3. Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad - via Julia's Album

Who can pass up a salad full of fruit, nuts, and balsamic dressing?  Not me!  I would love to make these in mason jars to take to school as my lunch!


4. Crescent-Wrapped Apple Baked Brie Appetizer - via Unsophisticook

I made a similar appetizer last year at Thanksgiving and it was delish!  This one, with apples, sounds even better!  


5. Baked Apple Fritters - via Gold Medal Flour

I  love doughnuts period, but apple fritters are some of my fave!  This baked homemade version looks easy enough and would be slightly healthier than the fried doughnuts I'm used to!


What about you?  Got any favorite apple recipes or recipes you've been wanting to try?

Linking Up With:
September F A R M for Oh, Hey Friday
Momfessionals and A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites 
A.Liz Adventures for Five on Friday

Cider MIll + Pumpkin Patch (Round 1)

After traveling to see our families the last two weekends (we had to knock out those trips before baby arrives!), we were finally able to enjoy a fall weekend back here in KC.  We were up bright and early last Saturday morning for family photos, and it was a gorgeous morning, so we headed straight for the Cider Mill as soon as our photos were over.  Last year was our first year not visiting the Cider Mill since Brantley was born (2014 // 2013 // 2012), but we decided to head back again this year.  I quickly remembered why we didn't go last year after braving the Cider Fest crowds and waiting in line for 25 minutes for donuts...but when you promise your kids donuts for being {somewhat} cooperative during photos, you do what you gotta do.  Well that, and #prego.

Luckily, the pumpkin patch portion of the Cider Mill was bearable, so we spent most of our morning there.  We did all the stereotypical pumpkin patch things - the inflatable jump pillow, a hayrack ride, the slide, and the corn maze that we eventually had to sneak out of because we couldn't find our way to the exit!  We even attempted two family photos...though as I learned last year, asking a stranger to take a photo doesn't always fair so well. 

Being that it's still early in October, I'm betting we'll hit up another local pumpkin patch before the season is over.  Except that, post-patch, I did what any smart mom would do and headed to Walmart for pumpkins. #somuchcheaper

Foodie for a Year \\ October

Welcome to our fifth edition (of six) of our Foodie for a Year link-up.  Today's theme - a favorite slow cooker meal!  One of my favorite things about fall is busting out the Crockpot once again.  Not that it can't be used in the summer, but fall just screams slow-cooker in our house, am I right?

Anyway, today I am sharing a recipe I was introduced to through HyVee's DISH program.  Not only do I love the ease of HyVee's freezer meals, but I especially love that they share their recipes so I can re-create the meals on my own if I so choose!  This is not only one of the easiest slow-cooker meals, but also one of the best (in my opinion).  Now, it doesn't quite rival my favorite baked potato soup recipe, but considering the convenience of this recipe, it's worth it!!

Slow Cooker Easy Baked Potato Soup

What You Need:
1 26-oz can cream of chicken soup
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 32-oz can of chicken broth
1 bag frozen shredded hash browns
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1 package real bacon bits
cheddar cheese
green onion

What You Do:
1. In a larger slow cooker, combine soup, onion, pepper, garlic powder, and broth.

2. Add frozen hash browns and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

3. About one hour before serving, add cream cheese.  Heat until thoroughly melted.

4. Top with bacon bits, cheddar, and green onions.

That's it!  Super easy, which is the whole point of a slow-cooker in my eyes!  I like to pair with a loaf of sourdough (or even better, serve in a bread bowl--store-bought of course!) for an easy and filling meal.

And one of my favorite things about using my Crockpot.  These liners!  If you don't already use them, you must start ASAP!  They make for less of a mess and easy clean-up!!

Now it's your turn!  Don't forget to link up and share your favorite slow-cooker recipe!  I'm hoping to gain a few new recipes for my repertoire and add a few to my upcoming grocery list!  And don't forget to join us in December for our final FFAY link-up...although I make no promises as I should have an itty bitty newborn by then!