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This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have 7 and 2 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between



Sunday, July 31, 2011

Melanzane Parmigiana!

...which in Italian is Eggplant Parmesan. I didn't like it when I was younger, but as I've gotten older I started liking it. I have ordered in restaurants and of course I grew up with my mom making it. I had not made it myself until Saturday!

When I did my grocery shopping I saw that the eggplants were on sale. I picked a nice looking one and bought an eggplant for the first time ever! I didn't know what to cook for dinner Saturday then I remembered I had the eggplant in the fridge.


The whole meal took about 30 minutes to make and only cost about $2! TOTAL. I usually make my own sauce but was out of it at the time so I used canned sauce. Here is what I did:

-Start skillet with oil heating up
-Slice eggplant into ~1/4 in slices (I would probably peel it next time to please the hubby)
-Get one bowl of whisked eggs, another bowl of seasoned bread crumbs
-Dredge slices in egg then crumbs and place in hot oil
-Fry until golden brown on each side--about 2-4min each side then remove onto paper towel
-Cover with a bit of sauce and eat!

They were delicious and as good if not better than restaurant quality. While I was frying them I had my pasta boiling and everything was ready at the same time. It is a great vegetarian meal and oh so frugal! My hubby loved it, and even my little boy loved it! He ate 3 slices and some spaghetti of his own. I will definitely be making it again.

Around the time Brad turned 1 I started reading stories to him at night time. He was still a bit too young for it though and would just get distracted wiggling around and trying to get down so I quit. Shortly after his 2nd birthday I started again and he absolutely loves it! He sits so quietly on my lap and points at the pictures. He gets the books out of his bookcase to hand them to me and puts them up when we are done. Here is a pic that Nick took one night last week of me reading to him (don't judge my hair--it was late):


♥ my life

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Woot!

We finally booked our hotel for the beach trip coming up in a few weeks! Actually it is a resort! We used hotwire.com for the first time and got a great price on what looks like a nice hotel right on the beach.





My thoughts of New York have *temporarily* been replaced with thoughts of the beach. The last time I was on one was in August of 2008 right before we started our IVF. And that trip was interrupted by a hurricane! Hopefully this one is uneventful and full of fun, sun, and sand! My friend Rachel loaned us her snorkel set with fins and everything so that we can do some underwater exploring on our own. Just a few more weeks!

After we booked this trip with Southwest I looked into getting one of their credit cards with Rapid Rewards where you earn points toward flights. I went ahead and applied for it and was approved with an awesome credit limit! With my first purchase I earned bonus points enough for one free flight! I added Nick as a joint user today so when he gets his card we are both going to start using this one instead of our other rewards card so that we can always be earning points toward free flights! You know how we love to travel ;)

In other news...I finally put my notice of resignation in at OU. I had been feeling lately that it was time so I prayed about and felt good about the decision to do it. I don't think I realized how burned out I was after 5 years until I started working at Saints and saw how different things could be. August 6 will be my last shift there, and I have already signed up for extra shifts at Saints. My boss there was VERY happy to hear this! I plan on working 3 shifts (~30hrs) a week plus call. Since all of our debt is paid off, all extra money is going into savings now!

Last Friday I actually did a little shopping for ME! I had a $10 gift card to Kohl's that was almost expired so I decided to hit the clearance racks and find some cute clothes for our trip. I went to Kohl's, Old Navy, and Charlotte Russe. I got a gorgeous blue maxi dress, some tank tops, two swim suit tops and one bottom, some blouses, a new purse, and a couple shirts for Nick. And you know me--I didn't pay full price for anything!

Have I mentioned recently how much I love my little boy? He is growing by leaps and bounds everyday. I used to think all 2 year olds were wild banshees but he is so funny, sweet, cuddly and smart! And I'm not just saying that because I'm his momma. He loves to sit on my lap and watch cartoons. He loves to be read stories before bedtime. He loves to hold my hand while walking around outside. He is my ♥

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nick Turned 30!

My darling husband turned 30 today! As always, birthdays are a big thing around the Pierce household so I threw together a party for him in the short time I had. I have worked late the last two days so I only had a couple hours this afternoon to go to the store and get everything together!

I made pigs-in-a-blanket, tortilla pinwheels, veggie tray, fruit bowl, punch, cake and ice cream. My mom brought baked beans, and two kinds of pasta salad. We had a bunch of friends and family over to celebrate the big day with us!






And of course the ONLY way to beat the relentless heat here is in the pool!




The party started at 1pm, and some of our good friends hung out with us until almost 6pm. Then we dropped Brad off at his daycare and met my dad for Nick's birthday dinner at Cracker Barrel. He wanted to go to Santa Fe steakhouse, but evidently they are all shutdown?? The last part of his birthday will be our beach trip coming up in a few weeks!

Here is a cute pic of Brad in the bath this week...

In other news, I got my new camera and GPS unit! I ordered these using points I earned at OU for working extra shifts. I have played around a little with the camera and it is pretty fancy! It has this neat function for the front LCD screen where it plays a video of a cartoon so that kids will look at the camera for a picture. I can't wait to take it on our trip and use it!

I have gotten pretty well caught up on my scrapbooking. For my family albums I am caught up to June, and for Brad I am caught up to his 2 year post. I also decided to get new binders for my albums. I have been using the photo albums from the craft store but I do so many pages that I have a ton of albums. I got 2" binders and thankfully the page inserts fit perfectly! I condensed 5 photo albums into 3 binders and printed off nice cover sheets for the front and side pockets.

We have some family coming into town tomorrow from Illinois that we are supposed to be having dinner with before I go to work. They are cousins of mine that I have not met before. They are only staying until Sunday and I work this whole weekend so I won't be able to see very much of them. It will be nice to meet them though.

Hope everyone else has a good weekend!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lap Chole and a 2 Year Checkup

Evidently I haven't posted in a week! It has been a busy one--but then again, when isn't it? First of all, my dad had surgery this morning to remove his gallbladder. I was the lucky one who got to get up at 5am to take him to the hospital. In a nutshell everything went great and he was discharged by 10:30am! We got his prescriptions filled then I dropped him off at home by noon.

After that I sped back to the city for my little boy's 2 year checkup today! Nick met me there with Brad and together we took him back to the room. He always gets so shy when he is around strangers, but he didn't want the doctor to have anything to do with him! He clung to me like a baby koala and we barely got him weighed/measured.

The doctor was very happy with his growth over the last 6 months and how he is developing. We didn't have any questions or concerns to voice so it was a quick visit! Brad only got one shot which caught him up completely. No more until school-age they said! And now his checkups are once a year. My little boy is growing up! His current height and weight is:

Height: 35.5 inches
Weight: 27lb 2oz

On to other news...I am currently preparing to end my employment with OU. Yes I said it. I think my close friends knew it would happen since I have been working at Saint Anthonys and liking it there more and more. The issues at OU haven't gotten any better in the 5 years I've been there, and I'm sure they won't any time soon. But I won't be burning any bridges--I will be keeping my eye out for a special per diem contract! That is a 13wk contract position for very short-handed units to help with staffing. They are 36hr/week and *$50/hr*. You read that correctly! Every few months they open some up in my ICU and I always grumble b/c I'm busting my hump for less than half of what they make and I've been there 5 years....

One of steps to prepare is using up the rest of my reward points that I earned for working extra shifts! If you remember in the past I "bought" a home gym and also our airline tickets to NY with my points. I had about 1100 pts left so I could either get one 1000 pt item, or a 400 pt item and a 750 pt item. I decided to do that and I got these two things:


Samsung 12.1 mpx digital camera with 5x optical zoom, touchscreen LCD screen on the back, additional LCD screen on the front for self-portraits, and rechargeable lithium ion battery!

....and a Magellan GPS unit with all the fancy features for our car.

We are pretty excited about it, and hopefully both will arrive in time for our beach trip in a few weeks! We borrowed my mom's GPS when we went to NY in April and it really came in handy. As for the camera, my current one is a bulky Kodak 7.0 mpx and 3x zoom so this Samsung will definitely be a big step up! I really like the idea of the image screen in front to help with self-portraits! And of course the rechargeable battery so that I don't have to carry a bunch of AA batteries with me everywhere.

For those not living in Oklahoma, it has been hotter than Hades here the last month or so. I think we are going on 23 days in a row over 100 degrees. We finally got some rain today but we are probably going to remain in a burn ban with watering restrictions. Yuck. On the positive side, I am already hearing State Fair commercials and seeing Christmas decorations in the craft stores!! That means that fall will be here before I know it!

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Family Holi-daze

First I want to show you the cutest picture of Brad drawing in a book:


Isn't that adorable?? And evidently he is right-handed.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe July 4th! I worked the whole weekend away and after a short nap Monday morning, we headed over to my dad's acreage to cookout and shoot off some fireworks! We have been doing this for many years now and it is a tradition we look forward to every July!


Some scattered showers had passed thru the area so it cooled down enough for us to eat outside and not melt! I guess when you are used to 105 degrees for weeks at a time, 90 doesn't feel too bad.

Here is little boy stealing a chip from momma's plate...




It finally got dark around 9. My brother Eric and his wife joined us with a load of their own ammo. We got the party started!



After awhile it was already way past little boy's bedtime so he snuggled on me and daddy the rest of the time. I took off his shirt to keep him cool!



I can't believe this is already his THIRD July 4th! How fast time flies when you are having fun and enjoying life! The only injury of the night was one of my hubby's fingers that got burned. He was holding an extra firework when the one on the ground sparked onto the one in his hand! He managed to throw it down and run before it exploded but he burned a finger pretty good. It looks a lot better today.

In other news, our downstairs AC has been broken for 6 days and my super-mechanical husband fixed it today for us!! It broke last Wednesday, we called a guy out Thursday who told us what was wrong and wanted to charge $1,000 to fix it.....we said "no thanks" then Nick ordered the part himself for $100! Only problem was it had to be shipped here, and with the holiday it didn't come in until today. But he had the new part installed and the AC running within an hour! He's the best! Let's hope the upstairs one doesn't break before we move.

I get the next two days off so I plan to get all kinds of things done! Swimming, sunbathing, yard work, and of course--spending time with my two favorite boys!

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Friday, July 1, 2011

My Summertime Plan

Have I kept you wondering where we are taking our big trip to in a couple of months??? Here!



I am so freakin excited. I really wanted to take Nick to Cancun this summer as part of his 30th birthday extravaganza...but things didn't quite work out that way this year. I was going into ocean-withdrawal and promised myself that SOMEHOW we would see a beach this year! Well the time came--Southwest airlines had a huge 3-day sale on flights and I snagged us super cheap tickets to Ft. Lauderdale, FL!

Neither of us have visited Florida, we have only passed thru. I knew I didn't want to go to the Gulf side--I wanted the ocean!! I have been researching all of the amazing things there are to see and do in southern Florida and it looks like we will have a blast.

Some things on the list are....

Everglades National Forest

Riding a fanboat in the Everglades!

Biscayne Bay National Park

Key Largo

John Pennekamp National Park in the Keys

Wow! We are going to snorkel our little buns off!

And this brings me to my summertime plan! I have finally found a workout that I can "enjoy". I hate getting all hot and sweaty, I refuse to pay a gym, and my home gym doesn't really work my whole body. So what have I found? Swimming! I'm not talking about splashing around in a pool and floating on rafts...I'm referring to hardcore lap-swimming under and above water. I have done it twice this week and it works me from head to toe!

I've got it down to a pretty good system. On my days off I put Brad down for his nap around 1pm then I go sunbathe my back for about 10 minutes. By then I'm sweating my cahonas off and I proceed to kick my own butt in the pool until I'm literally panting for air and aching so much I can barely float. Then I shake off and sunbathe my front for about 10 minutes and go in! I should be able to do this at least 3 days a week, so I figure in two months I should be tan, toned, and a little lighter!

I have been wanting to get off these last 10 pesky pounds but they seem happy to stay. You may scoff when I say I want to get off only 10 pounds, but I have to work to maintain my weight. I watch what I eat, I stay active, and I'm always on my feet at work. I get amused by people who lay around watching TV all day then gripe about how overweight they are. If someone really wants to get the weight off, they can do it! A few years ago, I realized I was 40lbs overweight and I took steps to lose it and not get it back. I always support others who are PROACTIVE in their own health and follow thru with their goals.

So yeah! That's basically what I'm going to be doing this summer--working, swimming, keeping my household running smoothly and cleanly while trying to squeeze in some craft time here and there.

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