I’m just a couple days away from my due date (July 15) and so far Baby JoJo is still hanging on. My last day of work was Wednesday and I’ve felt so much more patient and relaxed since my leave started. I think that feeling of trying to tie up loose ends everyday “just in case” and also that disappointment of “I guess I’ve got to go to work tomorrow after all…” was causing more stress than I realized. I’m using this potential week or two before she’s born to visit with friends who came in from out of town (check out #sistermomsonthefarm on Instagram if you’re curious!), hanging out with my sister and her kids who are coming to visit this week, and spending as much time as I can hanging out and playing with Ali and Zay: swimming, going to the park, walking at the mall (it’s too hot to walk outside!), swimming some more… And also making sure the nest is ready for our new little chickie to be welcomed home.
It seemed like my last update was some grumbling about things going wrong… particularly breaking my toe which led to waddling/limping and then some crazy back pain. I’m happy to report that my toe is 95% better. It’s still a little tender, especially if bumped, but I can walk pretty normally. I did 4-5 weeks of physical therapy for my back pain and I’m feeling significantly better than I was a few weeks ago. I’ve got a lot of stretches and exercises to work on, now and after the baby is born. Overall things are going really well. I’m very ready for labor to start and to meet our littlest lady face-to-face, but I’m also feeling patient most of the time. Isaiah was 5 days past his due date so I’m preparing myself for that possibility. Five days past Jo’s due date would fall on Ali’s 5th birthday, July 20. She goes back and forth between wishing for that and wanting to keep her birthday her own. She’s been hoping and praying for a baby sister for a long time so either way Josephine’s arrival will be a gift to Ali, as well as to the rest of us.
Here’s how Jason nests: He’s working his butt off with two careers (realtor and touring musician), and he then does gigantic landscaping projects (like building a retaining wall) as a way to decompress after a stressful day. Not to mention he’s also picking up a lot of my slack inside the house with cleaning and helping with the kids and groceries and things like that. He’s a rockstar! I am so thankful for him and all he does.
Father’s Day 2016:
This little guy takes after his daddy in a lot of ways! He’s currently a big fan of vacuuming and a sweet friend sent him a special one of his own in the mail.
Ali is so excited about her baby sister! She hugs and kisses my belly several times a day and tells me how much she loves Josephine already.
Practicing with a baby doll…
Lots of hanging around together.
Popcorn movie nights (when Mommy is too tired to do anything else!)
Jason and I celebrated our 13th anniversary on June 14 by going to Josephine the restaurant for dinner. It was really lovely!
a two pizza family. We were pushing it with one pizza when it was just the three of us. Ali is hard to predict; sometimes she’s a one-slicer, sometimes she’s a three-slicer. Now with Buzz joining us, we are most definitely a two pizza family.
Also, I made a new family rule. You can mutilate your pizza as much as you want but you have to actually eat it before you get another piece. We have one kid who likes to eat holes in her pizza like swiss cheese and another kid who likes to eat all the cheese and toppings off the top.
If anyone is curious where Buzz’s foster care board payment goes, I can tell you that so far it has gone mostly to food. Some clothing, some other daily essentials (sippy cup, pull ups, lotions, etc.) and purchases for his room, but mostly to food.
Pardon me if this is crass, but yes, this is real. Jason and I drove past it a few weeks ago (on Charlotte Pk. in Nashville) and busted out laughing. We had to go back for a photo.
I wanted to follow up Last Monday’s finished fence post with a report on our favorite new spot to eat meals at home:
We had actually planned on building a new wood table this summer using these plans. But, while we were at IKEA a few weeks ago and possibly feeling a bit exhausted by all the projects we’ve been doing lately, we saw the perfect patio table (VINÖ). Suddenly, $180 sounded like an offer we couldn’t refuse.
Being the cheapsakes that we are, we refused to pay $60 a pop for the matching outdoor chairs and instead found some simple metal and plastic folding ones (JEFF) for $10. (6 for the price of 1? Thank ya!)
Please note, this table is the easiest IKEA assembly ever! The legs fold out and then 2 wing nuts get screwed on. It took 1 minute. We were so pumped that we moved on from there to start assembly of the KURA bed—coincidentally, the most complicated IKEA assembly ever…
Anyway, we’re loving how the fence creates a cozy, defined space around the patio and garden.
Our first dinner on the new table: shish kabobs with shrimp, onions and peppers; corn on the cob and sweet tea. Perfect.
Even more perfect because I got to share it with this guy.
Yay for one more project checked off our to do list and to a summer full of relaxing on the patio!
1008-B Woodland St.
Nashville TN 37206
Dinner for Two: $15.27 + tip
Cuisine: pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and baked beans, brisket with coleslaw and baked beans
Impression: Jason and I were pretty thrilled when a nice sit-down BBQ place opened up in East Nashville. The staff was very friendly. The food came out in 5 minutes … I guess that makes sense since good Southern barbeque requires hours and hours of cooking time. The brisket was delicious. Jason started picking pieces off my plate before I even took these [horrible, poorly lit, cell phone] photos. He said his pulled pork was also good. The server brought out a caddy of 5 kinds of barbeque sauces: Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, New Mexico and Drifter (a mix of TX & TN). We liked Texas the best but it was fun to be able to sample. NM was HOT, really HOT. The waiter wasn’t kidding! The baked beans were FABULOUS! I’ve never really been a fan of baked beans until I had homemade slow cooked beans made by my Arkansas/Lousianian friend Laren. These were just as good. (Why can’t they replicate that goodness in the canned variety?!)
Cost Saving Tips: The brisket plate that came with beans and coleslaw was something like $4 cheaper than the platter that came with bigger sides. The cheaper dinner was more than enough food. Additionally, we had just water with lemon to drink.
Come Again? Yummy, cheap, in the neighborhood, and maybe best of all, the kitchen is open LATE! Midnight Sun-Thurs and 4am on Fri & Sat. 4am!
Note: Paper plates and plasticware are because of the water conservation in effect in Nashville due to the recent flood.
Introducing … a new blog column called Eating Out: modern dining with a mid-century budget! Jason and I love a good date night, however we don’t like to spend a lot of money on such things. The idea of Eating Out is to report on a new-to-us or trusted favorite Nashville restaurants and share how we made it fit a budget that would make our grandparents proud.
2119 Belcourt Avenue
Nashville, TN 37212
Dinner for two: $21.30 + tip
Cuisine: 2 waters with lemon, 2 house salads, 2 miso soups, a Black & Gold Roll, and a Pacific Queen Roll.
Impression: I was pleasantly surprised after reading a mediocre review several months ago. Order at the counter and wait at your table with a number a la Pei Wei or Jason’s Deli. The servers were friendly and checked on us frequently, taking away dishes as soon as we finished our soups and salads. The rolls were quite delicious. We especially like the Black and Gold (named for Vanderbilt U. I’m assuming?) which was a white tuna roll lightly fried in tempura (so it’s warm) topped with crab salad that—despite looking exactly like fancy shredded cheddar—was delightful! The Pacific Queen was a very interesting pairing of yellow fin tuna, avocado, mango and cucumber. We didn’t care too much for the sweet poke´ sauce but it was lovely with soy sauce. Each roll came with 8 hearty pieces. Soup and salad were both inexpensive and generous portions. Presentation was beautiful!
Cost Saving Tips: Drinking water saved us $4 right off the bat. If you’re buying alcohol when you go out, there’s an obvious money sucker. Don’t be a sucker. Part of our reason for checking out Zumi was a bogo (buy one get one) coupon from a fundraiser book I purchased last fall. The book cost $20 and we’ve already saved at least $60 using it.
Come again? We’ll definitely be back for more of that Black & Gold roll.