TV Tuesday: A very Gaga Thanksgiving

I do love me some Gaga. Not in that paint my face and stand in a 4 day line for tickets, but I do love her music. And, contrary to popular belief, she is a savvy and smart woman. I have been impressed with her every time I have seen her speaking on TV, and it is almost never to promote herself. It is typically to speak on behalf of some organization or another (HIV/AIDS in young women, empowering GBLT youth). And TELL me you don't turn up the radio when you hear some "Alejandro" or "Bad Romance"! Anyway...

I was intrigued when I saw GMA promoting her Thanksgiving special, A very Gaga Thanksgiving. Here is a little taste:

Since Matt had to work late (seriously, people, stop buying furniture so we can have our daddy back!), Larkyn and I laid together and watched 90 minutes of wonderfulness. Yes, it calls for a word like that. I loved watching her flirt with Tony Bennett and make glittery crafts with the third grade girls of her alma mater, Sacred Heart. In between the interviews and snippets, we got to enjoy some of our favorite Gaga tunes and some holiday songs sung in a cozy, warm setting (Sacred Heart). The voice! Oh, her voice. My favorite part was seeing the sensitive side I have never seen. She spoke about her small, tight-knit family and I admired her fierce love for/protection of them. When it was over, I wanted more!

You may roll your eyes at the towering shoes or the arrival to the Grammys in an egg, but you can't deny that she is a creative spirit. I loved getting to know (as Katie Couric called it) her more traditional existence. If you can catch it on your TV on-demand, the big screen is really the way to go. Or snuggle up to your laptop and watch it here. Enjoy!

Foodie Friday: Simple pork and sauerkraut

I tried this recipe last year, Matt's mom making it for us on New Years. It was divine. I didn't really like sauerkraut until I had this, and you have just got to try it!

Simple Pork and Sauerkraut
from Elizabeth

1 center cut pork roast
1 bag or can of kraut, drained
1 white onion
2 cans of beef broth
mashed potatoes (we use Bob Evans frozen!)

Slice the onion (so it is long pieces, not diced) and brown until very
tender in a pan. Mix with kraut and one can of broth in a covered
roasting pan/dutch oven/whatever you have that is covered and deep.

Either have the meat counter cube the pork for you, or cube it at home
into appx 1 inch pieces. Brown, but don't cook the pork in a pan
(maybe you could just do this at the same time as the onions). Layer
the pork over the veggie mixture.

Bake at 375 for 2 hours, adding beef broth from the second can
occasionally to add moisture. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Birthday Thursday: Happy 31 weeks!

And happy Thanksgiving! Everything is all cleaned up and it is just the 3 of us, sitting around watching football. It was a great first Thanksgiving for Larkyn. She and cousin Jaxsen had a good old time with each other, and they each got to try some new foods! The verdict: the girl likes her some turkey (as long as it is hidden in squash, sweet potatoes, and applesauce).

I was also excited for her Thanksgiving outfit...especially her first time wearing tights!  There is nothing like little baby girl tights, even if they already ripped in the first 4 hours she had them. It was fun to see her almost-crawl for us today. She didn't use her back legs (is it called "creeping?) but was pulling herself along to have a go at the Christmas tree. Yes, I said Christmas tree. I am on the taboo side of decorating for Christmas at Thanksgiving. Mostly because I don't have Thanksgiving decorations and because I am a sucker for red.
I promised I cleaned the house! It looks like everything ended up on the ottoman. Included the kiddos.

Birthday Thursday: Happy 30 weeks!

My baby is becoming a little girl!  She has really shown us her personality this week, and it is yet to be determined if she takes after her mama or her daddy. She is very busy (mama) and looks up for our reactions all the time (daddy loves reactions). She has become pretty noisy, making noises "just to hear herself" (hmm, since daddy says that about mama...let's see...) She is reaching for things and pulling things over, and it is only a matter of time before baby-proofing is no longer an option.

I am so excited to have her around for Thanksgiving next week and have been thinking a lot about where we were a year ago. I found out on 11/18 that we were expecting a girl and was shopping like crazy for little Uggs, jeggings, and puffy vests. Now she can actually wear all the winter clothes I got for her last year.

Happy 30 weeks, "Cutie Pie"!
I can't wait for her to try pumpkin pie next week!

I wish I woke up this happy.

Her first Buckeyes shirt. I brought it out while Matt was at work...

Random Wednesday: Blogging runs in the family

Matt is the English major. I have always kept diaries, journals, and used written expression in one form or another throughout life. We both love to write, and now I'm just so proud of him that I could burst!

In addition to his blog, Hurricane Storm, he has now started writing for Bleacher Report. Check him out. Can you believe it...I get 1,000 reads per month. He got over 1,000 reads on ONE post in less than a week. And he is writing about what he loves: the Miami Hurricanes!  The next step is for it to become a paying job, which will be fantastic. Imagine that...getting paid to do what you love?  He would be a lucky man.

This post is dedicated to you, my other half! I believe in you and your insane knowledge of sports history and statistics.
If I had to go find my camera and fiddle with it, this shot would have been gone. Love you, Instagram!

Techie Tuesday: Instagram re-try

Have you noticed my lack of "TV Tuesday" posts? Oh yeah, that's because I'm lucky to get an uninterrupted hour of TV time these days. However, the iPhone has brought a whole slew of new Tuesday topics. Hence Techie Tuesday. That's right...the alliteration never ends with a kindergarten teacher.

Last week, I attempted and failed at posting my Instagram pictures. Luckily, I stumbled upon Julie's blog later in the week. Seriously, the hair...the family photo...the photography in general?  The girl's got her stuff together. After a courteous email exchange with Julie regarding her Instagram process, I am ready to try again!  I now introduce our week in pictures...

Mama Monday: What's in a name?

After reading this article, I was inspired to explain our choice for our daughter's name. Oh yeah, and I was inspired to vomit after reading it. Really?

When we found out we were expecting, I already had a girl's name in my pocket; it had been there for almost a decade. My criteria? I wanted a name that was nowhere on Social Security's database for names. I wanted it feminine and for it to conjure up beautiful images. Some names don't create any image (and that's OK, too), but I definitely didn't want anyone thinking of something unpleasant when they said my child's name. I met a Larkin (my friend's niece) many, many years ago. She was precious, and I never heard the name again. When we found out we were having a girl (almost a year ago!), I asked Matt if he liked it, and it was easy as that. And bonus for the English major daddy, there is a poet by the last name of Larkin. Changing the "i" to a "y" made it more feminine, we thought. That way, when you see it in print, you are more likely to guess that she is a girl rather than wonder who this amazingly qualified and well-rounded individual you are about to interview may be.

We kept her name a secret, which I highly recommend. It was so fun to pull it out when she was born, and we didn't have to field any insensitive comments about it. We did consult, which is the most useful name site out there.

So, did we have boy names?  Of course. Thank God we had a girl because for 20 weeks, choosing boy names was dreadful. Again, we wanted unique. That is pretty difficult with boy risk him sounding silly or feminine. Boy names are no fun. I liked Campbell (a family name), but I kept finding it as a girl name and of course had the "soup" comments from "helpful" people. There were others, but we might save those for a few years down the road. The reoccurring theme, however, was British. And, no, it wasn't Simon.

I am in love with our daughter's name. I am protective of it. I get possessive and don't want anyone to use it....crazy, I know. I just value individuality so much and want to pass that onto her. Coming from her mama, who was always "Stacie T." from kindergarten all the way up through college. There was always another Stacy/ey/i/ie. I hope she likes her name! There is always that fear, too. If she changes it, I will be pissed!

But I digress....the most important thing is that the name is special to the parents and (I think) has some sort of meaning. Her first name was treasured by me, and her middle name is her grandma's name. Naming your child something absolutely ridiculous (see above) is selfish and is blatantly saying to the world, "look at me, look at what I can do!" at the expense of your child having a meaningful, respectable moniker that he or she deserves.

How about you like your name? And how did you pick your child's name? 

PS--Don't get me wrong...I love most of the beautiful names on the most popular list (Kate and Ava were already taken in my family!) I died a little inside when Ella went to the top because I loved that name first and it was my great grandma's name. If you chose one for your son or daughter, you chose a name that the world will love and everyone will understand:o)

Birthday Thursday: Happy 7 months!

Have I told you where the monthly owl stickers are from? Purple Possum on Etsy!
How can this be!? 7 months? I can't believe how fast this is going. Every day I go off to work, but every day, I tell her I wish I could stay with her. This week, I took her to a baby shower at school and everyone had a great time passing her around and checking out her Rufflebutts. I am so lucky to work in a place where Larkyn is welcomed and enjoyed!  I am amazed at the new things she can do every day and the things she finds fascinating that I would never even think about. Her current fascination is this toy we got from Christine's awesome sister, who is the source of all our toys!  The buttons/levers are really easy for her to push/pull and without the legs, it just lays on the floor for her tummy time. This would make a great gift for any baby! Speaking of that...

We are on the (virtual) hunt for Christmas gift ideas. To say I love Christmas is an understatement, and I haven't been so excited about it since I was a little one myself!  We all know she will be receiving clothes, of course, but we all know babies don't want clothes. What do you think she wants?  What are you buying for the babies in your life?

Check out our 7 month old now:
After grabbing the spoon for the broccoli-pear dinner

Can you see the bottom teeth? Click to zoom in.

Mama Monday: Sharing with strangers

OK, all technology fails of the day aside (trust me, there have been many), I have to share this video of Lulu in Walgreens. We were waiting for photos to be developed and I was messing around with the video camera. I had no idea we had an audience...

Those are 3 different womens voices in the background!

Birthday Thursday: Happy 28 weeks!

Disclaimer: I left my SLR camera at school today. I was instantly reminded why I bought it in the first place. Little fuzzy today...

Here is munchkin now--refusing to stay on her back for more than .5 seconds and wanting to be all over the place. Which is great, until I try to take a picture!

This week, we experienced a roller coaster schedule (because of teething I think?). It all ended up fine at the end of the day, but every day was definitely different. Her new favorite activity is pounding objects onto other it a spoon on the table, punching the pandas on the exersaucer, or her pacifier on my keyboard...banging things together is tons of fun!  She is laughing harder when daddy tickles her and when we play in the mirror. She likes that darn baby in the mirror. I can NOT believe we are headed toward 7 months...
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