Christmas Brunch Thoughts

Last year for Christmas, my parents and brother came over to share in the joy of a 1 year old opening presents. This year, my parents and my husband’s parents and sister will be able to be with us as our 2-year old and newborn experience our first Christmas as a four-some. I plan to continue the tradition to have snackies/brunch items prepared for the morning. We have not discussed timing or lunch options, but here is what I plan on making for noshing throughout the day:

Sausage Balls
Beer Bread
Veggies and Dips (Garlic, Onion, Sweet Bell Pepper are all options)
Chips and Salsa
Cookies and Treats (from my Treat List)

Let’s see where else my preggers brain takes me as we get closer and closer to the 25th! 🙂

Christmas Treat List

With 12 days and 27 minutes to go until the DEFINITE arrival of Baby #2, I can’t think of anything else but what treats I want around the house for Christmas! Here is the list that I made this morning that I would like to be responsible for making (in addition to this, I really hope my dad gets to make his mom’s Butter Cookies and Pizelles)…and pictures and details will follow as I get around to making these:

Puppy Chow (ala Chex box recipe)
Snickerdoodle Chex Mix (ala Chex box recipe)
Cake Batter Chocolate Bark (thank you How Sweet Eats!!!
Three Minute Fudge (again, thank you to How Sweet Eats)
Trufle Fudge Brownies (Tastefully Simple) with Peppermint Dip (Le Gourmet Chef)
Crock Pot Chex Mix (CD Kitchen)
Hidden Mint Cookies (my most favorite holiday treat)
Rainbow Cookies (ah, thank you Betty Crocker)
Double Chocolate Cookies (again, thank you Betty Crocker)
White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies (an amazing cookie from the ‘Ski wedding brunch and the recipe can be found at Better Homes & Gardens but is now a cookbook favorite of mine)
Cracker Candy (my mom makes this and it is amazing…but I have a HUGE craving for it, so I am not waiting for her to make it, lol)
M&M cookies (going to give this recipe a shot)
Peppermint Bark (goodness to I love me some Paula Deen)

Let’s see what I can accomplish between waiting to go into labor, spending 3 days in the hospital, bringing baby home, and opening our house to guests! Stay tuned.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our little family is very blessed to spend our third Thanksgiving together this year! Every year has been special, but this one will be especially so.  I have been looking forward to today for 9 months! No, Evan is not about to make his appearance (atleast not at THIS moment).  When we bought the house, I told my aunt we’d be glad to host Thanksgiving (little did I know 2 weeks later we’d get pregnant and I’d be ready to pop).  Regardless, I LOVE Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s all the stuffing or the fact that I can legit put my Christmas decorations out after today? Anyways, I love thinking about our blessings, eating good food, and spending time with family.  We have about 30 people coming over today, there will be 4 generations of McPhersons here for three of our families (awesome)! Also, we get to meet my cousin Aaron’s son (I’d say our little cousin, but he’s a non-stop 10 month old who is gonna give Arianna a run for her money!).  Perhaps Evan will decide to come and join in the fun? 🙂  Can’t wait to see everyone and eat all of the delicious food (mainly I am excited for the three kinds of stuffing…)!


Last weekend we had the pleasure to attend the wedding of our burgh friends Amanda and Wally in the Outer Banks, NC.  We left the day after Hurricane Earl hit and left little damage, a huge bullet dodged.  The 12 hour trip by bus was wearing on me, but worth the nice wedding. Highlights included a steeler themed tailgate (which Greg and I had to leave to deliver the bus drivers luggage, I drove on flooded pea island roads), island brunch, and setting up the hall deciding we should do this for real. The wedding itself was splendid but all too quick and we were back on the bus home. Tuesday was rough going back to work and it being my busiest day of the month, but I lived.  Since then, g and I have been allergy riden and miserable but busy planning ari’s 2nd bday. Yesterday we went to kennywood which being sick, pregnant, and having a sleepy almost two year old is interesting enough for five hours. Atleast I got to ride the train and garfields nightmare. Today is Steeler Sunday, relaxing and prepping for the week.
* meal update: we are behind a bit due to being sick and busy, but it has been very helpful and less stressful! Plus, I keep thinking of more yummy foods to add to the list, win!
* todays blog is brought to you by tussin and benedryl so my thoughts are in no way complete!

Health Care Bill & Nursing

As an expectant mom, one of my biggest fears is my maternity leave and eventual return to work. I’ve ALWAYS been hyper busy and am the one who works for the money in the house, so returning to work is not even a question—it’s happening. I’d go crazy if I didn’t! So crazy, in fact, that I’ve offered to help some school teacher friends make Literacy Stations during my leave—told you I’m nuts! But yet, I have fears. I fear that I won’t document a process well enough or train my temporary replacement how to do what I do (I am currently the only person in my department who does what I do, so can you see why I worry?) and something will go wrong (and in my mind, I am 110% to blame!). I worry that I will not have given my children enough time during my leave to truly bond with mom and they will be daddy’s kids and resent mom for working. (It sort of happened to me when I was young, I was raised by my dad while my mom worked. BUT, I have an awesome bond with my dad and a love and respect for my mother that I cannot even begin to explain—she is a super awesome hero whether she’ll admit it or not!…so I know that me working isn’t going to hurt the babies.) But most of all, I worry about how to handle my return and nursing. When I had our first child, there was no question about what I was going to do—I needed to save money and I wanted to give her everything possible I could, so naturally, I nursed. She would eat and eat and eat…and then get really gasy and sick. I kept trying for 4 weeks and finally her doctor suggested one of my fears—she was lactose intolerant and needed to be on a strict soy milk diet. Saddened, I let go of the nursing bond and put her to the bottle…she immediately showed signs of healthiness and I was ecstatic. With this baby, I definitely want to try it again, but I never had to breech the subject of nursing in the workplace because she was done 2 weeks before I went back to work. If this kid isn’t lactose intolerant, I definitely want to try again, but I am so worked up about asking for the room to block and the time to pump (I have a male boss, so I am sort of uncomfortable about that). Thankfully, even though I have nerves that might be over nothing, I read a great article in the Trib this week about how the Health Care overhaul is helping out moms who nurse:  So it sounds like I’ll be able to ask for a room and privacy…the only thing is that I am a salaried worker and am not sure how the bill impacts me (hourly workers get unpaid work time up to every three hours). It will be interesting to see how it all plays out—one, if the baby even gets to nurse and two, how and when I get up my courage to ask. Hey, I just blogged about it, so I can’t be that embarrassed by the fact I am giving my kid the best thing a mother can from the start, right? Stay posted.

Down, but not Out!

A long overdue post, I know. This past week has been yet another week of T’s and D’s in the journey to Baby #2.

If you’re wondering how our food plan went, well, we did the Ham Bbq’s but I made too much and we ended up having leftovers for three days. Yikes. This week, we’re working on the rest of the menu (tonight was stir fry veggies and rice, the baby liked, but with “Chinese” I am always hungry 2 hours later–never fails).  What’s left is breakfast for dinner and baked ziti.  I don’t know that tomorrow I will be in a mood for either of those, so it might be leftover rice turned into something.  We’ll see.

We had a good weekend minus my random sickness. My grandmother was able to come home, so we spent some time with her and family then went to my little cousins’ birthday party (full of Oakmont Bakery goodies…um, yum.).  Sunday I got in a nesting mood and we overhauled the playroom and nursery getting everything organized. The baby officially has its own closet and dresser…as well as 6 packs of Size 1 diapers and 6 packs of wipes. Thank you, couponing!  Need to remember to start picking up some Newborn’s too.

Friday I had the gumption to say I’d get to the library…that didn’t happen but I promise at some point I will get there. We are very much into Pretty Little Liars and True Blood, both with book series behind them. Soon enough, I’ll get there…but IDK when I’ll have time to read!

Other goals for this week include scrapping 2 pages by Saturday night. That’s not that hard, right? Here’s to a good week.