When I was in high school, my dad and I drove together to pick up dinner for the family at a local fast food restaurant. As we sat in the drive-thru waiting for our food, my dad looked at me and said,
“I’m taking off tomorrow and I haven’t told your mom yet.”
BOOM. Just like that. No warning. Just an emotionless statement.
I stared straight ahead trying to digest what he had just said.
My dad was leaving my mom.
I could feel my throat tighten. My eyes began to burn. I felt like my whole world had just come crashing down.
All of these thoughts started to swirl in my head:
Wait, WHAT…but WHY?
What did mom do that was so bad that he would just decide to leave her without even telling her?!
What are we going to do??
How will Ric and I choose who to live with?
How will mom go on without him?
MY PARENTS ARE GETTING A DIVORCE.
MY WHOLE FAMILY WILL BE RIPPED APART!
I felt the first tear roll down my face and then I lost it. I started to cry uncontrollably.
My dad looked at me – dumbfounded – and said, “why are you crying?”
“BECAUSE YOU JUST SAID YOU WERE LEAVING MOM!!!!” I yelled.
My dad was shocked by my outburst. I could see a smirk start to form on his face.
“I said ‘I’m taking off’…. I’m taking the day off from work tomorrow…” he explained with wide eyes.
“Geez…why would you think I was leaving her??”
Oops. I guess that reaction was a tad dramatic.
Sorry, Dad. :)
As a mom and resident chef at the Heartt house, I’m always looking for new, yummy, healthy, and easy recipes. I wanted to share some of the recipes we love in hopes of helping other moms (and dads!) looking for ideas on what to cook for your family. All of these recipes are kid-approved (by mine).
Click on each dish to get the recipe:
One Dish Meals (paired with a salad, these stretch into two dinners for us!):
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya (I use Chicken Sausage) – Cooking Light
Tomato and Asparagus “Carbonara” (This is a veggie dish – but we always add a breast of grilled chopped chicken) – Cooking Light
Crock-Pot Chicken Pot Pie (Don’t add too much dill or it ruins it!) – Woman’s Day
Chicken Enchiladas - Cooking Light
California-Style Turkey Loaf (Uses Benson Gourmet Seasoning – we love it! But you can substitute your own seasoning.)
Sesame Beef Stir-Fry (Ryan’s FAVORITE. I don’t put any red pepper on Curren’s.) – Cooking Light
Mini-Calzones – Buy Trader Joe’s Brand Pizza Dough, Marinara Sauce, Ground Turkey, Onion and Mozzarella Cheese. Cook the ground turkey and saute the onion. Mix turkey, onion and marinara. Roll out dough into 5-inch squares. Spoon in the filling. Top with Cheese. Fold dough over so that the edges meet. Press the edges with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (or until golden brown). You can choose whatever filling you like – this is just what we like and it’s easy & Curren approved!
Bok Choy & Tofu Noodle Bowl - Sunset Magazine
Ground Turkey Soft Tacos – Just soft tacos with ground turkey, salsa, avocado, lettuce, cheese, and cilantro.
Bean Burritos – Same thing as above, but with refried or black beans.
Chicken Fried Rice - Cooking Light
Pesto Pasta with Chicken & Tomatoes - Cooking Light
Chicken Tortilla Soup - One of my favorites! I’ve made it for company a few times and they all say it tastes like soup from a restaurant. – Cooking Light
Quinoa Tabbouleh – Fresh & Delicious! I HATE the taste of quinoa, but I know I should eat it. This recipe is so good, you forget you’re eating quinoa. :) – Sunset Magazine
Tuna Noodle Casserole (This is a cookbook recipe from BHG. I can’t find it online – so here is a picture below. It’s our favorite “comfort food” recipe. Probably the least healthy of all the recipes I’m listing – but it’s our go-to when we’re tired and want something yummy & easy!) – Better Homes & Gardens
Chicken Breasts Diane (I omitted the Brandy) – Recipe Girl
Lemon-Feta Chicken Breasts (I saw this in People magazine and it’s DELICIOUS.) – Tastebook
Pork Chops with Roasted Apples & Onion (Our Favorite Fall Recipe) – Cooking Light
Peppercorn-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Gremolata (Love the Gremolata – so fresh!) – Cooking Light
Skirt Steak with Gorgonzola Polenta (I’m obsessed with Gorgonzola right now. SO good.) – Cooking Light
Grilled Mahi Mahi or Tilapia : Set Grill to Medium Heat. Put fish in foil and add butter, garlic, capers, lemon slices, pepper, & salt. Close foil to form a tent. Grill until done. We usually do about 15 min.
Soy-Glazed Salmon with Watercress Salad – Martha Stewart
Parmesan-Panko Chicken Tenders – Cooking Light
Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken - Cooking Light
Parmesan Panko Baked Chicken Nuggets (YUM. And this website has lots of other GREAT recipes.) - Skinnytaste.com
Herbed Rack of Lamb (This is more of a special occasion meal…. But, it is SO GOOD. Ryan hates mint, so I omitted that and put in Rosemary instead. WOW. Ryan still talks about how good it was…) - Cooking Light
Green Onion Mashed Potatoes - Sunset Magazine
Roasted Cabbage - (I don’t add the caraway or fennel. LOVE this…) – Martha Stewart
Warm Brussels Sprout Leaves with Toasted Garlic and Lemon – Sunset Magazine
Parmesan Crisps - Cooking Light
Roasted Potatoes – Cut up a bunch of potatoes and a whole onion. Throw everything in a bowl and drizzle it with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, fresh minced garlic, and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute. Toss and then spread it all out on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees. I mix it all up after 30 minutes and then continue to bake until a little crispy.
Spinach with Garlic Vinaigrette – Cooking Light
Tomato, Mozzarella, Shallots, & Balsamic Salad – Chop up the tomatoes, shallots, and cheese (I buy Trader Joe’s organic string cheese and cut up the stick to about 1/4″ thickness). Toss everything together and then drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Roasted Vegetables – Cut carrots into sticks, cut thick onion slices, cut jalapenos in half and remove seeds, and cut zucchini into sticks. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and spread vegetables out. Brush or spray vegetables with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute. Bake at 350 degrees until done.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Poke sweet potatoes with a fork, rinse, and wrap in foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-60 min.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Shallots - Cooking Light
Green Beans with Toasted Almonds & Lemon - Cooking Light
These are in our regular rotation and I’m always looking for new things to try….so please comment if you have any suggestions of your favorite things to make for dinner!
2013 was a great year for us! We celebrated Ryan’s 40th birthday, my 30th birthday, and Curren’s 1st birthday.
Ryan and I got to escape to Hawaii twice this year without Curren and had a great time reconnecting as a couple. The first night we were alone in Hawaii, we were sitting at dinner looking at each other like, “uhhh….what do we talk about now?” It was strange sitting at a restaurant and not needing to move everything sharp and/or breakable to the middle of the table, disinfect the highchair, scramble to find things to entertain or feed to Curren, and actually being able to have a conversation without being interrupted with a scream or a “na-na” (which means “more”) every 5 minutes. I love my child, but it was nice to have adult conversation and be able to relax for a few days!
In between milestone birthdays and trips to Hawaii, we also started looking for a home to own. After months of searching, we found the perfect house for us in Oceanside and purchased our first home together! It will be fun for us to re-do and makeover the whole thing. I’ll post pictures as we update the inside. It will be a while before we can update the outside, but it’s pretty cute as is!
It’s been a couple of years since Ryan and I have felt “at home,” so we’re looking forward to putting down roots in this community and growing our family! Happy 2014!
When I was stocking up on baby items, I was blown away at all of the baby products and brands out there. I found myself sitting on my computer for HOURS reading reviews of every product. So, below is a detailed list of what we used and needed when we brought Curren home from the hospital. I love all of these products and hopefully, this will save some new moms from having to do extensive research. In the description, I’ve included which brands we used with a link! You don’t need all of these items for a newborn. This is everything we have found to be useful from Newborn to 7 months old (in no particular order).
- Diapers: We used disposable because it was the best option for us. The best newborn disposable diapers are Pampers Swaddlers. These diapers don’t leak and they have a “wetness stripe” so you know when baby is wet. These were great for Curren up until he got to size 2. Then we switched to the Costco “Kirkland” Brand diapers. Then at size 3, we started using Costco “Huggies” Brand diapers.
- Little Tummies Gas Relief Drops: I don’t know if these really work for gas. His pediatrician says it doesn’t. Apparently, someone conducted a study on these types of drops and the placebo worked just as well as the “gas drop”. However, when Curren had bad gas and was crying uncontrollably, we would put one drop of this product in his mouth and he would instantly stop crying. It could have been the sweet taste on his tongue – or it could have been that it really helped with his gas. I don’t know and I don’t care. It works. And when you’re a desperate, worn-out mommy at 2 am, you’ll do whatever works. :)
- Velcro Swaddle Sacks: We used Summer “SwaddleMe” Brand swaddles. We learned in our baby classes how to swaddle Curren with a blanket, but I swear he busted out of them every single time. These were the only thing that worked for him! We stopped swaddling him when he was able to roll over. Then we started putting him to sleep on his belly in his pajamas. By then, he could lift his head, so he was fine. And he started sleeping through the night at 2 months old. 7 pm to 7 am, baby!! (I’ll write another blog on how we did that later).
- Binky’s: GumDrop pacifiers are his favorite. He won’t take any other kind. You seriously need ten or more of these bad boys.
- Pacifier Clip: We liked this one in the “boy” colors. Get this or else you’ll be chasing binky’s as they roll across the nasty floor at a restaurant!
- Infant Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen: You can’t give a baby Ibuprofen until they’re six months old. Curren started teething around 4 months old, so we had to give him acetaminophen a few times until he was able to have the ibuprofen.
- Burp Cloths: You need a ton of these. We like the diaper inserts as burp cloths because they’re the most absorbent and soft.
- Hats: Protect their little head from the sun. Get your baby used to wearing a hat early so they don’t try to take it off when it’s important to wear one! (Especially since they can’t wear sunscreen yet.)
- Vaseline: This is great for newborn rashes, dry skin, and a circumcised penis. (Until they get to the BAD diaper rash stage and then you have to get some Butt Paste.)
- Onesies: We think Carter’s clothes fit the best, are reasonably priced, have the cutest designs, and last the longest.
- Bottles: Curren likes these bottles from Avent. Get the smallest nipple for your newborn.
- Bottle Brush: This Munchkin bottle brush is my favorite because it fits in any bottle and the sponge lasts longer than others I’ve tried.
- Bottle Drying Rack: This Munchkin Rack is the one we use and we like it.
- Bibs: Get a few of these. Babies drool A LOT – especially when they’re teething.
- Nail Clippers: I like this one from Safety 1st, but I’m sure there are others out there that are just as good.
- Mittens: You need these or else your baby will have scratch marks all over his or her face. :(
- Socks: Carter’s Socks are the best! They’re stretchy – so he was able to wear the same pair at 3 months and 6 months.
- Laundry Detergent: We use All Free & Clear. It’s hypoallergenic, perfume- and dye-free. Our pediatrician recommended it.
- Blankets: I love these from Target (good for throwing over the car seat to keep nosy germ-infested strangers out of baby’s face) or these from Carter’s (good for tummy time). You’ll need a few of these.
- Wipes: We like these Huggies wipes from Costco.
- Instant Thermometer: Don’t waste your time on the standard thermometer. They take FOREVER to work. It’s too hard to use when you have a squirmy, sick baby. We like this one from Safety 1st. It takes 1 second to read baby’s temperature.
- Stroller: We almost bought a BOB stroller. But honestly, I can’t justify spending that much money on a stroller. I feel like it’s almost a joke how expensive they are. They’re great strollers and I’m sure everyone who has one loves them. However, I think moms get gouged on certain items such as diaper bags and strollers. So, I did some research on Amazon.com and read a million reviews. It seems the Britax B-Agile stroller (in black) is a GREAT stroller for shopping and for exercise…and it’s half the price of the BOB. Also, don’t buy your BOB from a store. You can get it on Amazon for a little over $300. They’re $450 in stores. We got the Britax stroller and Infant Car Seat and LOVE THEM BOTH. The stroller folds up quickly and easily with the push of a button. A lot of my friends have BOB’s and they complain that it’s too big for shopping or even too big to fit into their car. Although, I will be fair and say that my friends who have BOB strollers do love them. And some of them found them on Craigslist or at REI’s scratch & dent sale for CHEAP. Also, the BOB is great for those runner-moms. But, I run with my Britax B-Agile and it’s great, too. ALL of that to say, if you want a BOB and don’t care about the cost – great! But, if you want another option, the Britax B-Agile is awesome. :)
- Infant Car Seat: We love this carseat. It hooks right into the Britax B-Agile stroller.
- Infant Bath Tub: We like this tub from Target.
- Infant Play Mat: We used this play mat from Target really early with Curren. He would do tummy time on this thing and even now, he’ll lay and play with the toys that hang down.
- Exersaucer: Curren loves his exersaucer from Target. You need one of these if you hope to get anything done during the day… (once they’re old enough to stand in it, of course!)
- Saline: We used saline drops a lot when he first came home from the hospital. We also use it when he’s sick and snotty.
- NoseFrida Snot Sucker: This product sounds (and IS) disgusting. However, IT WORKS. Curren has been sick with a cold 3 times since he’s been born. The bulb syringe from the hospital doesn’t get all of the snot out and it hurts Curren after I jam it into his nose for the 10th time. The NoseFrida snot sucker is non-invasive. It doesn’t even really go into the nostril, so it doesn’t hurt their little nose. And it sucks SO MUCH snot out.
- Hand Sanitizer: You need lots of these…especially in the nursery and diaper bag.
- Boppy Pillow: I didn’t like this pillow for breast feeding, but it was great for tummy time during those first few months. It’s also great when they start sitting by themselves. It helps to keep them from smacking their heads on the floor when they bobble over.
- Crib/Lamp/Glider/Changing Table: Someone gave us our changing table. We got everything else at Target and love them: Delta Convertible Crib. Shermag Glider (By the way, if your Shermag Glider is delivered and is damaged, return it to Target. DO NOT try to do an exchange or return through Shermag. They have TERRIBLE customer service. After 6 weeks of waiting for a simple replacement part, we just fixed it ourselves.)
- Sheets (At least 3 sets)
– Crib Pee Pads (At least 3 sets)
- Changing Table Covers (At least 3 sets)
- Breathable Mesh Crib Bumpers: We like this mesh bumper. It keeps him from smacking into the wooden slats in the crib when he rolls over…but it won’t smother him if his face is up against it (which happens a lot lately!)
– Diaper Bag: I’m sure those Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags are awesome and cute. However, I just could not bring myself to spend that much on a diaper bag. I would rather have a couple of cute shirts instead. I also think there are plenty of great products out there that don’t cost an arm & a leg. My friend sent me a nice backpack style diaper bag that we use for hiking or beach days. But, my normal diaper bag was $38 at Target and I LOVE IT. It’s this one: Carter’s Tonal Tote. Unisex & perfect for us!
- Humidifier: We like this Vick’s Cool Mist Humidifier. It’s small and it doubles as a white noise machine. We have noisy neighbors and thin walls & windows. But once you turn this on, Curren can’t hear anything.
- Baby Carrier: Curren SCREAMS every time I try to put him in the ERGO baby carrier. So, I got a Baby Bjorn Air in (Black/Blue color) and he loves it. It’s really comfortable for me, too. I read reviews that it hurts some mom’s backs, but I didn’t find that to be true (yet).
- Diaper Pail: We use the Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail and like it. However, we don’t put poop diapers in it. We take those right out to the big trash can outside. We have put a couple of poop diapers in the pail (when we were too lazy to walk it outside) and it wasn’t that bad of a smell at first. But, the longer we’ve owned it – even with the Arm & Hammer pod being replaced as needed – it stinks if you put anything other than pee diapers in it!
- Frozen Meals: I’m not talking about Lean Cuisine’s. Pre-make yourself some yummy casseroles and soups and freeze them. The last thing you’ll want to do with a newborn is to COOK. So do yourself a favor and pre-cook & freeze a few meals.
- Clif Z-Bars: The Clif Kid Z-Bars were necessary for me because it was a quick snack, they’re organic, and they’re delicious.
- Numbing Spray: For your hoo-ha if you deliver naturally. I used the Dermoplast Hospital Strength Pain Relieving Spray.
- Face Wipes: I was too tired to wash my face every night during those first few days/weeks, so I used the Neutrogena Face Wipes whenever I started feeling greasy.
- Maxi Pads & Witch Hazel – FROZEN: If you deliver naturally, get yourself a ton of maxi pads and some witch hazel. Squirt the witch hazel all over the pad and freeze it. AHHH – it’s glorious.
- Ibruprofen: You will need the big bottle.
- Stool Softener: Gross, but seriously – get a bottle of this, too.
- Lotion: I liked Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Massage Formula. I used it throughout my pregnancy. I did get stretch marks, but I kept using it after I delivered and my stretch marks are faded and almost completely gone.
- Boy Short Underwear: I couldn’t do the “granny panties,” so I got some cute boy short underwear for those first few post pregnancy weeks.
- Comfy Pants and Tank Tops
IF you’re nursing:
– Nursing Bras
– Breast Pads
– MyBrestFriend Pillow: This nursing pillow is the best. I struggled with the Boppy.
- Medela Double Electric Breast Pump: You’ll feel like a cow being milked, but you have to get this pump if you need to pump often.
Have I missed anything? Add a comment if you think I should have included something on this list. I hope this was helpful!!
That’s right…Curren is already 2 months old! I can’t believe how much he has grown in the last 9 weeks. I didn’t think he could get any cuter – but he did! :) He started smiling, laughing, and tracking us & objects. He also started grasping things and pulling them towards his mouth. It’s SO fun & rewarding to watch him develop!
Here are a few more pics of our cute little guy. I’m excited for my family & friends in Georgia to meet him in November!
Curren is already ONE MONTH old!
Here is the Cliff’s Notes version of my labor & delivery. I only heard horror stories while I was pregnant – so I wanted to share my positive experience for all of those first-time mommies-to-be!
I went in for a doctor’s appointment on Monday (7/30). I was already 3 cm, but I hadn’t progressed since my last appointment. So we set the date for me to be induced – Wednesday morning (8/1). Tuesday morning at 2:30 am, I started feeling cramps. At 3:00 am, I got out of bed and sat on the couch to start timing them. By 8:00 am, my contractions were 2 minutes apart and almost a minute long. I was pretty uncomfortable. So, Ryan drove me to the hospital (during rush hour – yikes!). We got there and they hooked me up to a machine to monitor Curren’s heartbeat and my contractions. By then, I had already progressed to 5 cm. A couple of hours later, I received my epidural. My legs went numb and then my water broke. A couple of hours after that, I was at 9 cm…then 10 cm…and then it was time to push! I pushed for 45 minutes and my sweet little boy was born at 5:08 pm on July 31st. :) He weighed 8 lbs, 14 0z and was 21 inches long.
That was it! I didn’t really feel any pain. It was the most amazing experience of my entire life.
And here he is!! One month later! :)
CURREN KELLY HEARTT
I can’t believe it’s already been a month. The first two weeks were hard. But, the last two have been so much better as we figure him out and vice versa.
You spend so much time preparing for your baby to arrive – but no one tells you what to expect when they’re actually here. Who knew this cute little guy would be so much work?! ;)
As much work as he is, he is so cute & sweet!
I’m enjoying being a mommy and look forward to every new stage of Curren’s life!
I’ve reached the 35 week mark – although I’ve been measuring a week ahead the whole time. So I have either 4 or 5 weeks left!
I was reprimanded last week at my doctor’s appointment for gaining 5 pounds in 3 weeks. Oops. I’ve gained 25 pounds so far though – so I’m not that upset about it.
I’ve reached the stage where I feel like I have a tapeworm inside of me. I have an insatiable appetite and I’m exhausted 90% of the time. I hate taking naps during the day because I feel like there are a million other things I could be doing. But, late pregnancy knocks me on my butt around 2:30/3:00 pm every day!
Ryan and I went to Child Birth class this past Saturday for 8 hours. We watched 3 natural child births and were encouraged to deliver naturally. Afterward, I cried all the way home and he was like a deer in headlights.
**NO, THANK YOU.**
I don’t care if it makes me less of a “woman” – I’m not choosing to deliver this kid naturally.
I don’t feel the need to be in excruciating pain if it’s not necessary.
So, once I go into labor, I’ll be walking into the hospital backwards, ready for that epidural!! :)
This Saturday, we have another 8 hour child birth class. That’s when they’ll tell us all about the epidural, IV meds, c-section, etc.
Curren’s nursery is ALMOST done. I need to finish sewing one curtain and hang them up. I also need to finish stocking up on baby essentials. I made two nursery prints and they turned out SO cute in his little room:
It’s baby-mania around here. There are bets going that I won’t make it to my due date since I’m so huge. I’m okay with him coming early – he’s getting heavy!!
I’ll update once the big day is here!
I’m officially at 30 weeks and I got to celebrate my first Mother’s Day as a mom this year!
Ryan treated me to a great day of brunch, shopping, and he took me to the San Juan Capistrano Mission.
Since I haven’t been a mom until this year, Mother’s Day has always been a hard day…a reminder of what I don’t have anymore. This one was bittersweet for both of us. We miss our moms, but we’re also able to look forward to being parents in a few weeks!
I feel great – just big! It’s happened a few times where people say to me:
Stranger: ”Wow, you look like you’re about ready to pop!”
Me: ”No…not quite! I still have about 10 weeks left.”
(All with an “O-M-G” look on their face).
I don’t really feel THAT big until people react that way…
I was 10 lbs, 10.5 oz when I was born. Anyone know if that means I’ll have a big baby?
I’m really hoping Curren is a 6 or 7 pounder!! :)
This is my new “C” necklace from Ryan! I get to wear mommy jewelry now! ;)
Picking a name for anything is hard. Whether you’re naming your business, dog, or child, it’s hard to find something that fits and will not sound lame in 10 years. We recently struggled with that as we decided what to name our son. I couldn’t wait to come up with something because I was sick of calling the baby “it” or just “baby”.
We started with family names. Patrick, Curtis, Ryan, Kelly, Fred, Gregory, Richard, Andrew, Samuel, Jeremiah… Eh. None of them really fit. So, we decided to pick one of those for the middle name.
Then we decided to look at Irish names. Ryan’s family is Irish and I have some Irish in my ancestry, too. So, we found names like Lachlan, Rory, Liam, etc…
We also wanted it to mean something. We have our girl name. It’s a combination of my mother’s name and a name we both love. So, we wanted our boy name to be special to us, too.
And now we have it!
The name we chose was originally suggested by our friend Kelsey and is an Irish name – “Curran”. However, Ryan’s surf idol growing up was Tom Curren. So, we’re going to spell his name “Curren” and his middle name will be “Kelly”.
Curren Kelly Heartt will be here sometime at the end of July! My “due date” is July 27th, but every time I go to the doctor, they tell me I’m measuring a week ahead. So, today, I’m technically 24 weeks and 2 days. I’m not sure why they won’t adjust my due date to July 20th. But I guess it’s just a guess anyway since they don’t REALLY know when he will make his debut!
Ryan’s brother sent him this picture from a surfing magazine:
Oh yeah, one more thing–my favorite actor/dancer/singer from “Singin’ in the Rain” (and many other films) is Gene Kelly. And his real name was “Eugene Curran Kelly”. I saw that after we picked our son’s name, but thought it was a cute coincidence. ;)