Monday, December 31, 2012

NYE 2012

Today is my baby girl's first New Year's Eve. Of course, she has no idea what is going on. One day is the same to her as long as she gets plenty of milk and attention. With any luck, she'll sleep through midnight in several time zones. It will be a couple of years before we give her a bit of sparkling cider, and yet a few more years before we celebrate with the East Coast.

Still, the new year is going to bring her a world of changes, no matter how much C and I wish that weren't so. She'll be crawling any minute (unless the 2 inches of scooting she did yesterday count). She'll learn to pull up and walk. She'll say her first words. Her diet will transition from entirely dependent on me to entirely independent of me. She'll transition from baby to toddler. And my head will shake.

Every year brings change, but it's amazing to me how predictable the changes in the next year will be for us.

I often think about Little's future: all of the amazing things that are still available to her, the mistakes she hasn't made, the adventures she has yet to have, so much there is to learn, a world to explore. I get so excited and so sentimental thinking about watching her experience it all.

New Year's Eve always brings out the most emotional in me, and this year is no different. 2012 has`been so blessed, and I'm excited to see what 2013 has to surprise me with!

Friday, December 28, 2012

7 Quick Takes Vol. 4

7 Quick(ish) Christmas Takes to make my Christmas post a little easier?!? Don't mind if I do.

This was Little's first Christmas and our first Christmas with kids, so, of course it was pretty much the best Christmas ever.  
--- 1 ---
As I mentioned here, I hosted Christmas Eve dinner for C's parents. I was extra excited, because I got to set my new (to me) table -- my grandma is moving and no longer needs a dining room table, and our little kitchen table was a veeery tight fit for more than four. Plus, I got to whip out my winter dishes that had also belonged to my grandparents to set a very Christmasey table. I skipped a centerpiece to make room for food (and because I'm not a real centerpiecey person)!

Beautiful table, courtesy of the grandparents.

--- 2 ---
Grandma and Grandpa, of course, enjoyed a fun Christmas Eve with Little. She even got her first baby doll, a Bitty Baby. C, being a guy and having only a way-older sister, has no experience with dolls and is creeped out by the blinking eyes. I'm amused by this, mostly because I think that dolls can get so much weirder.

Little with Grandma and Grandpa

Doll is still about her size

--- 3 --- 

Santa came, so we had family Christmas on Christmas morning, complete with coffee, presents, and a big breakfast before we headed north to spend Christmas afternoon and night with my family.

Santa came!

Breaking into the toys

Rings for her, teddy bear hat for us. Win-win.

--- 4 ---
My dad's house, which is where I grew up, is basically the most Christmasey house on Earth. It is a log cabin in the pines, complete with leather furniture (now), roaring fire, and yellow lab. The absolute best part of my entire awesome and amazing Christmas was Little sitting on her Grandad's lap, next to the fire, while he read her Carl's Christmas and she listened and smacked the book. I have the whole thing on video, so I don't have a still picture, and won't bore all the people who aren't as enamored with my family as I am, so there will have to be some imagination work here.

Imagine my dad (center), sitting on the chair on the left, reading to Little (whose picture is allllll over this blog in case you missed it).

Update: Thanks to BG for sending me an actual picture of Little and Grandad! Too sweet!

Heart = melted

--- 5 ---

My sister and I decided to revive our old family tradition of Christmas jammie parties with some twists. We did it Christmas night, since we were all together, and everyone was involved. All the girls have the same jammie pants and the guys all have the same lounge pants and all the Little's have the same Santa-butt footie-jammies.

Showing off the Santa-butt.

The fam! Believe me, the outtakes are hilarious!

--- 6 ---

Little had a great time up north. She got even more presents, was passed from arm to arm, so never was set down or left alone, and got to see her first snow (even if it was mostly a patch of dirty ice-snow from a week or two ago). She also got to play with doggies, which she looooooved. It almost made we want a dog. Almost.

One set of arms

Another set of arms

"Snow" and adorable pink coat from Grandad and BG (Instagramming and pic courtesy of my sis).
Playing with Jordan

And Lacey
--- 7 ---

Yesterday, we had Christmas Part III (but I think, if I'm honest, it was really Part IV -- hey, 12 Days of Christmas, right?!?) with C's brother (who is also Little's godfather), nephew and parents. It was a fun day of cousin-meeting, frisbee-playing, tamale-eating, and family stocking-stuffer-game-playing, but the only still picture I have to show for it was our poor, exhausted, over-Christmased Little drinking her bedtime bottle with Daddy.

Ready for bed!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What I Wore on Christmas

Christmas Eve is basically my favorite day of the entire year. Este ano (too lazy to figure out things like tildes on the computer), C's parents are came over for Mass and dinner and presents

Since we're still a one-kid family, we opted for sanity at the 4pm Children's Mass (read: before bedtime meltdowns ensue). Then things got alllll crazy in this hiz-ouse, and we ended up at 5pm at a different church and it was super lovely. Cribbing from Grace, Little got a Mass grade of B-; she did scream through the homily, but she did fall asleep by the Eucharistic Prayer and was forced to try and be good for an extra hour due to our Mass plan revisit two-step and having been woken from a nap to do it, so she gets extra credit for all of that).

Anyway...some post-Mass family pics:

The group, with Little eyeing Grandma's scarf

Family pic: Little is very impressed, and my hair is...ugg...
Is it still pulling a Grace if it's totally candid? I'll go with yes.

Skirt: H&M; Tank: Old Navy; Cardi: Target; Tights: Somewhere; Shoes: Circa by Joan & David, via Last Chance

Dress and tights: Carters; Socks and flower: gifts

C and his parents
Outfits: their closets via stores of some sort

There is a forthcoming "Little's First Christmas" post that will feature more outfits! more family! and basically be a million only-moms-and-grandmas-care scrapbook of Christmas. But we have Christmas Part III this afternoon/evening, so the bated breath will have to be held until tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Grace has all the lovelies over at Camp Patton.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Little Christmas Elf

The last couple of weeks I have had the joy of being a little Christmas Elf. For most people, December is a time of busy preparation for Christmas. The to-do list is never-ending, and it can be a burden or a joy, depending, in my opinion, on how you look at it.

For me, I approach it with joy. I know that mall will be crowded. There will be one too many weird versions of "Santa Baby" played wherever I am. Actually, are there any non-weird versions of Santa Baby? I know that there are to things to add to the list for every one that I cross off. I know that in just less than 48 hours I will feel the adrenaline of holiday company and their pending arrival.

I also know that I am blessed. I am blessed with enough plenty to share and to celebrate with others. I am blessed to celebrate Christmas in a country that doesn't just allow us to celebrate, but has held onto its Christian roots enough to keep it as a national holiday. I'm blessed with family and friends. I blessed to know the Reason for the Season...the Word made flesh and dwelling among us.

So here I am, December 22. The stockings are hung. The gifts are bought and wrapped. The food is planned, but the grocery store still looms large. I need to write a packing list for Christmas night. There is chocolate melting and dipping still to come.  There are visits to make. I'm antsy to get the show on the road, but I'm trying to savor the moments of Little's first Christmas. I don't know if I have a point to this post beyond excitement.

And a note to self to wait in JOYFUL HOPE.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

5 months

My beautiful, sweet little Little turned 5 months old on Monday. She can roll both ways, is a champ at getting things into her mouth, sits tripod style (for 30 seconds before she spies something that she needs to put in her mouth right.this.second and needs her hands to grab it), is working on sitting unassisted, loves rice cereal and milk (but only the real formula will enter her way, no how...she'll see to that with tight lips that indicate a potential future as a spy), loves Mama and Daddy and anyone else who will hold her (especially while standing), sleeps 10-12 hours at night with a couple of snacks thrown in, loves to laugh, makes the most horrific screeching noise ev-er and thinks it's hilarious, wants to be mobile so badly that I'm shaking in my boots, believed Burger King when they said she could have it [her] way, and is an absolute doll in my never-biased opinion.

Here are some pictures from her 5-month photo shoot to prove it.

This is the one I used for her month-by-month picture

Auntie, what happened to my modeling career?!?

Oh yeah, I'm cute!

I will eat my feet!

This is my favorite, because it is so what Little is like at 5 months, but the spacing is terrible.
Thanks to Auntie Whitty and gracias to her MIL Yenny for the adorable outfit. Too much cuteness for words.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Meal Plan Monday, Vol. 5

Saturday: Christmas party at a friend's house

Sunday: Pork roast (crockpot)

Monday: CMA meeting - Burrito

Tuesday: Parish Women's/Moms' Advent Reflection - Tortilla soup, rolls

Wednesday: chicken and sausage paella (crockpot recipe)

Thursday: Tacos (pre-made shells, not Tucson tacos), rice

Friday: Salmon, spinach, mashed potatoes

Friday, December 7, 2012

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 3

After yesterday's exhausted-and-feeling-sorry-for-myself post. I decided to have a good day. 
Six of my seven takes are my delights that decision. Yeah, I'm just that cheezy.
--- 1 ---
Left: flat; Right: puffy

I baked chocolate chip cookies. I use the recipe from Martha Stewart's Cooking School employing the chewy cookie variation. Thanks to my egg allergy, I always replace the eggs with flax meal & water goo. I don't know why half ended up flat and half ended up puffy, especially since I did the whole rotate midway through baking thing. I did guesstimate the second bake time after not actually starting the timer, so they ended up a little over. Oh well, they all ended up tasty.

--- 2 ---

And ate them, because isn't that the whole point of making cookies? I mean, even if you make them for someone else, you have to try one (or two) to make sure they're okay.

--- 3 ---
Totally impressed with the sheep.

I busted out the Little People Nativity set to play with Little. She was very interested in 1) watching the star flash and play "Away in a Manger," 2) gnawing on the animals, 3) eating St. Joseph. All in all, I'd say it was a success.

--- 4 ---

During Little's long afternoon nap (praise the Lord!), I ceased to be the last woman on Earth to be addicted to Downton Abbey by watching the first two episodes. Both of us getting some rest made a huge difference in our evening.

--- 5 ---

There may have been more than a few Mama-Little kiss attacks. Hearing your baby squeal with delight about getting kissed pretty much cures anything. At least anything mood related.

--- 6 ---

I let Little play in the kitchen with me while I got dinner ready to throw in the oven. Less whining, more smiling...pure win.

--- 7 ---

Daddy-Daughter Time!

Coloring a Jesse Tree ornament.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

This is why God Invented Caffeine

My morning started out with such promise. After an epic mommy-meltdown (after Little refused to sleep for more than 5 minutes at a time after waking up from her morning nap at 11:30 yesterday), I had been graced with some sleep. Little, exhausted from her hours and hours of screaming/fussing/whining/bouncing/singing/shhhhhing/playing/feeding/diaper dirtying/mommy-crazy-making, slept from 8p to 4a. When she woke up, I was able to feed her, put her back down, and pump off 4 oz of glorious overnight milk. An old friend re-posted this sweet blog message to us crazy mamas that really, truly inspired me and lifted my spirits and told me that today will be a better day.

By 5, I was back in bed, expecting another couple of hours of blissful rest. Only I could not fall asleep. At 5:30, as my poor, sick husband was trying to drag himself out of bed and into the shower, I heard the scream. Seeing as she had just eaten from the buffet of overnight engorgement and couldn't possibly be hungry again, I knew. Dirty diaper.

It was all over. I would have to wrestle her out of footie jammies, and turn on a light to make sure her little bottom was all clean. (I can change a wet diaper blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back, but a dirty diaper requires three hands, and at least a little light. Hats off to anyone who can go without the lamp.) Of course, she then urinated mid-diaper change, necessitating a complete strip, and clean clothes. By the time it was over, she was ready to play.

C emerged from the shower at 6 to me singing random Christmas songs, and rocking, and nursing, and praying that Little Miss Early Bird would catch a few more zzzzzzs. No such luck.

And did I mention the spit-up in the middle. Yep, I got a clean shirt in the deal. Score! Oh, wait...

Of course, by 8, she was sleeping in my arms, and I was clinging to my coffee cup. I'm now floating through in that weird state where I'm exhausted and not sleepy. I've been awake since 4, so I figure I'm going to be surviving on caffeine by noon.  Should be a fun one. Or something.

Blurry 2mo dolphin-shirt cuteness. Blurry 'cause that's how the tired rolls. Cute to remind me not to find the gypsies.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Feed Me Mama (One More Time)

Her little tiny newborn baby mind is blown

With apologies to Britney Spears (or, who am I kidding, her songwriting team), I've been working on a little ditty.

[Verse 1]
Oh mama mama
I’m trying to let you know
That something isn't right here
Oh mama mama
I trying to let you know
And that is why I’m screamin’
I’ll tell you how I need it to be
Listen mama ‘cause you need to know now oh because

My hungriness is killing me
(And I)
I must confess I still can eat
When I'm not nursing I lose my mind
Give me some milk
Feed me mama one more time

[Verse 2]
Oh mama mama
All that I want is you
Mom you got me cryin’
Oh sweet mama
There's nothing that I’m gonna do
That’s not the way I want it
I’ll tell you how I need it to be
Listen mama ‘cause you need to know now oh because

My hungriness is killing me
(And I)
I must confess I still can eat
When I'm not nursing I lose my mind
Give me some milk
Feed me mama one more time

[Half Of Verse 1]
Oh mama mama
I’m trying to let you know
That something isn't right here
Oh mama mama
I trying to let you know

[Chorus To A Different Tune]
My hungriness is killing me
I must confess I still can eat
When I'm not nursing I lose my mind
Give me some milk
Feed me mama one more time

My hungriness is killing me
I must confess I still can eat
When I'm not nursing I lose my mind
Give me some milk
Feed me mama one more time

[ Britney Spears Lyrics from: ]

Monday, December 3, 2012

Meal Plan Monday - Vol. 4

Saturday: out with family

Sunday: Chicken stew, bread

Monday: Chili mac, cornbread

Tuesday: Pork chops, spaghetti squash, salad

Wednesday: Cilantro lime chicken, rice

Thursday: Meatloaf muffins, potato wedges, mixed veggies

Friday: Tortilla soup, bread

Monday, November 26, 2012

Meal Plan Monday - Vol. 3

Saturday: French dip, fries

Sunday: The anniversary of my First Communion/Confirmation -  I made my favorite dinner (both to cook and to eat) to celebrate - braised beef shanks and baguette

Monday: Pork chops, spinach, couscous, bread

Tuesday: Crock Pot beef tacos (Recipe from Pinterest)

Wednesday: Italian Chicken bake (recipe from Pinterest -- big success when I tried it a few weeks ago)

Thursday: Crock Pot chicken teriyaki, brown rice

Friday: TBD (I was feeling uninspired and forgot to plan when I left for the store in a baby-is-napping Saturday morning frenzy. I'll probably throw some chicken and stuff together and call it a night.)

This week is generally going to be a busy one, with holiday stuff and family stuff and Charles' school stuff, so everything is easy, prep-ahead stuff that will come together without a lot of fuss, but still be tasty.

Friday, November 23, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 2)

--- 1 ---
I seriously spent all morning procrastinating on this, because I was too lazy to grab the post template from Jennifer's blog and too OCD to just post a list. Obviously the template won.

--- 2 ---
I am sooo proud of C. He works so hard to live his dream, and do God's will for his professional (and family-providing-for) life. He's studies hard. Constantly. But when I saw he had his study stuff with him to drive to Turkey Day festivities, I have to admit that I put on my best whine. "You're stuuuuuuudying? On Thanksgiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiving?" I won, but admit that I feel a little bit guilty, because our drive didn't involve profound conversation or anything. It was nice to have actual company while driving, though, because the sleeping/screaming infant I usually drive with isn't big on conversation.

--- 3 ---
I am excited that the Christmas music season is upon us. I'm certainly not a stickler for the whole
let-Advent-be-Advent thing, though I do love me some Advent. But I love Christmas music. Good holy Christmas music and terrible cheezy Christmas music alike. Like singing (very badly) to "O Holy Night" one minute and "Last Christmas (I Gave You My Heart)" the next.

--- 4 ---

I finally got my first Red Cup last week. Happy girl to enjoy Christmas in a Cup. Did I mention how ridiculously happy Christmas makes me?!? Thanks, Andria! :) Before such information could be regularly found online, I used to totally offer Brownie Points to the first person to alert me to Christmas at Starbucks. Yes, I have issues.

--- 5 ---
Twisted new family tradition: driving by the Best By around the corner from our place to see how long the line is on Thanksgiving night. Definitely one of those judgey people who doesn't get what is so exciting at Best Buy/Walmart/Wherever that it is worth waiting in camping chairs with massive Thirst Busters instead of enjoying Thanksgiving night. Even if that means putting the baby to bed and watching random TV. Not that C and I did that when we got home last night or anything.

--- 6 ---
Little and I both have stuffy noses this morning afternoon. Blegh. Even if it is 80 degrees outside, I think it qualifies for a stay home and drink tea kind of day.

--- 7 ---
 Daddy Daughter (Bath) Time!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

What I Wore to Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Thanksgiving! Black Friday! Day After Thanksgiving! Why yes, I am undrafting while nursing in the middle of the night. Thank Little.

Today, I'm combining my obnoxious Baby Turkey post with Camp Patton's What I wore to Thanksgiving Dinner link-up.

What I wore for my first Thanksgiving (in 1981):

2 months

When I made Little relive the experience of being a Turkey:

Yesterday - doesn't seem traumatized

When I was a Pilgrim:

1st Grade - my Gramps' shoulder in the corner

(I don't plan to make Little relive that one. Unless I find the Pilgrim costume. Then all bets are off.)

What we wore when we left the house today:

Getting a decent pic is harder than it looks

On me:
  Jeans - via Ross
  Tank - Target
  Cardi - Gap outlet
  Boots - via Famous Footwear

On Little:
  Onesie - Gymboree (It has her name-ish "Little Pumpkin")
  Jeans - Old Navy

I admit, I voyaged across town with an extra cardi for me, a shirt for C, and 3 onesies and a pair of pants for Little. Amazingly, we actually wore this to eat, but quickly tore through the clothes during a shockingly robust game of LCR. Our day was actually more fun than that description makes it sound.

Check out Grace and other cuter looks over at Camp Patton, probably with 100% less Pilgrim. Probably Definately a good thing.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Counting my Blessings

My littlest, loudest blessing

Several years ago, I was going through a rough patch. On Thanksgiving morning, I sat down with my trusty journal, determined to make a list of 50 things that I was thankful for. I knew that I was blessed beyond belief, but was having a hard time seeing the trees in the forest. So, I decided to count the trees. I got past 50 things, maybe even to 100. I admit that some of them were silly. Some were repetitive. But they are all ways -- big and small -- that I have been blessed.

That journal is packed away somewhere, so I won't bore you with it, but I do want to give a shout out to my annual attempt at daily thankfulness via Facebook. Usually, I fail miserably by getting behind on, like November 4, but this year, with the help of some epic catch-up work, I think I've managed to do it, and I wanted to compile it as a list.

Drumroll . . . with blog-happy redactions and edited for consistency . . .

Today, I am thankful . . .

Day 1: for my beautiful, healthy baby girl.

Day 2: that she is sleeping better at night, so I can be a better, more rested Mama!

Day 3: for my wonderful, sweet, hard-working, playful and all-around amazing husband. He is also an amazing father, and I am beyond blessed to have him in my life!

Day 4: I give abundant thanks to God. "For 'In him we live and move and have our being,'" (Acts 17:28) -- without Him, I would have nothing and be nothing. Thus, to Him goes all the glory.

Day 5: for shelter. I have always had a roof over my head, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet. I have a place to snuggle under a blanket when it's cold and find relief from the heat.

Day 6: to be an American. I was blessed to be born in a country where we have the right to vote in real elections, where there has always been peaceful transition of power, and where we do not have to fear voicing our political opinions. Go vote.

Day 7: for my family and friends. They have been my rocks through tough times and have rejoiced with me through the best of times. I love them all and would not be who I am without them.

Day 8: for food security. I have never gone hungry or wondered where my next meal would come from. When I am "starving," I know that, really, I'm nowhere near it.

Day 9: for beautiful fall weather. It has taken awhile to get here, but I'm thrilled that it has finally arrived! :)

Day 10: for education. I am blessed to have had the experiences I have had, encountered the people I have met along the way, and have come out of it with so much knowledge and more importantly, critical thinking skills. I hope a love of learning is something I pass on to Miss Clare.

Day 11: for the men and women who have fought (and died) so that I might enjoy the blessings of liberty.

Day 12: for modern medicine. In particular, I'm thankful for the vaccines that will keep my baby girl from getting terrible diseases in this life. A night of fussiness is worth it to keep them far, far away.

Day 13: I am thankful for God's beautiful gift of marriage -- Happy Anniversary to my sister, and now-brother! We scored a couple of great guys!!

Day 14: for having a washing machine at home. I can't imagine living with my Spit-Up Princess without it.

Day 15: for living where I don't have to worry about the day-to-day safety of my family.

Day 16: for great conversations with my loved ones.

Day 17: for my ability to find silver linings. It helps keep things in perspective.

Day 18: for the gift of Faith. Praise God!

Day 19:  for having *too* many ways to spend the holidays. I am truly blessed.

Day 20: for laughter. It is the best medicine. Especially baby laughter.

Day 21: for community: family, friends, real, virtual, old, new, surprise, patchwork. They are the ones who lift you up and wrap you in warmth and joy.            

Day 22: for days spent tickling, dancing and playing with my Little girl

Thanksgiving went easy on me this year by falling on the 22nd -- so early in the month!  (Sadly, I first typed "falls on a Thursday" which is self-evident, being that we're talking about Thanksgiving. Sadly, I actually informed several 9th graders last year that Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday. See: Day 10.) The truth is that I am blessed beyond belief. I can stand here counting for days, as I marvel at the world in which I live and the blessings I have been given.

Mostly, though, I am thankful for the people in my life, and I am thankful for a life free of needs.  At the end of the day, those are the things that truly matter. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 1 a la Groundhog Day

You know the movie Groundgog Day where Bill Murray relives Feb. 2 1 million times before he ends up in lurrrrrrve with Andi McDowell? What? Your husband doesn't watch it every.single.time it comes on TV?

Anyway, I've come to realize that we do that every 4 weeks before C starts a new rotation. We relive the same two days. Things might be slightly different, but really, it's the same.

It's the first day of school. At a new school. In the middle of the year.

On Sunday, there's the haircut (er buzz),  the ironing, the picking out the perfect outfit, the getting lunch and coffee ready for the morning, the laying his stuff to pack, the cleaning out his backpack, the early bedtime. Then there's the worries: fitting in with a new, established routine; learning a new set of procedures; figuring out what's expected; figuring out a new schedule; getting to know everyone; wondering what his teacher preceptor will be like; and will he like him/her? Of course there's always the social dilemma of all new situations: where will I eat lunch?

Then, Monday, he's up and out bright and early. Everything works out just fine. And he comes home to his mom wife asking one million questions.

Inevitably, the four weeks fly by, and we go through it all over again.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Meal Plan Monday (Vol. 2)

This was the original plan:

Saturday: ummm . . . need to figure this out

Sunday: Crock Pot pot roast, bread

Monday: C's First Day of his Family Practice Rotation - Lemon chicken, couscous, green beans (making his favorite for the first day -- sort of like the first day of school!)

Tuesday: Honey garlic pork chops, sweet potatoes, peas

Wednesday: Baked Ziti


Friday: Soup (even if I'm not making the turkey, I have to have the soup!), wheat bread
This is where we are already:

We spent Saturday with my in-laws and I was wiped when we got home. Then, due to a series of unfortunate, spit-up events, C ended up going to the store on Sunday while I picked up my dad at the airport. My plan got all topsy turvy!

Saturday: ummm . . . need to figure this out Baja Fresh

Sunday: Crock Pot pot roast, bread Lemon chicken, couscous, green beans (make his favorite to get ready to start the rotation!)

Monday: C's First Day of his Family Practice Rotation - Lemon chicken, couscous, green beans (making his favorite for the first day -- sort of like the first day of school!) Crock Pot pot roast, bread No, last minute trip to the doctor to get medicine for Little's wicked sad diaper rash honey garlic pork chops, sweet potatoes, rice (because I remembered how yummy the sauce is over rice)

Tuesday: Honey garlic pork chops, sweet potatoes, peas  Crock Pot pot roast, bread (the roast is defrosted and in the fridge now, so I have to get it eaten tomorrow!)

Wednesday: Baked Ziti


Friday: Soup (even if I'm not making the turkey, I have to have the soup!), wheat bread

We'll see how the rest of the week goes!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sometimes it's hard being the Mommy

Like I mentioned yesterday, Little had her 4-month doctor's appointment the other day. She's doing well overall and got her 4-month round of shots. She doesn't have disastrous reactions to vaccines (and I'm definitely pro-vaccine), but she does get sleepy and cranky. The last couple of days made me think about the times that being the Mommy is hard.

Like when I let the nurse jab her with two needles back-to-back.

Like when those needle jabs leave red welts on the leg.

Like when she's exhausted from making her immune system kick into high gear.

Like when I burp her when all she wants to do is anything else.

Like when I have to get her to take a nap.

Like all the million times in the future that I'm going to have to be the bad guy for her own good.

She's feeling better today, and even when she's not at her best, she always greets me with a smile. It's hard to be the person that makes her not smile (even when she doesn't realize yet that it's "my fault").

Love, Not So Happy Today Mama

Love this kid

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Laundry and I have always had a sort of uneasy relationship.

Growing up, laundry day meant everything in the house getting dumped into a big pile in the living room that eventually turned into a big pile of ironing that would slowly work its way back into our closets.

When I went to college, I did everything I could to avoid doing laundry in the dorms or apartment laundry rooms. That meant huge piles to do at home, and small loads of underwear and jeans to wash when things got really desperate. 

For 7 or 8 years now, I had a washing machine at my home or apartment, but I still did things in big batches at, more or less, the end of the clean clothes.

Having Little has finally gotten me into a more manageable laundry habit. First, thanks to her prodigious and proficient spit-up techniques, I am change clothes a lot frequently constantly. That means I need to keep up with the laundry more effectively, because it multiplies more quickly. I actually do my own laundry about once a week. Jeans more often. Little's laundry basket fills quickly, even with tiny baby clothes, so I run it every few days. It certainly keeps the burp clothes stocked.

This morning, though, the washing machine and I had a moment.

My poor little Little is feeling poorly because of her 4-month shots yesterday. Nothing she won't bounce back from by this afternoon or tomorrow morning. It did, however, mean spitting up all over a blanket on the floor sometime early this morning -- it was promptly tossed on the washing machine for today. By the time she was ready for breakfast this morning, there was a soaked-through diaper. Jammies, sheet and mattress pad were promptly stripped and thrown in the laundry with the blanket. I said a prayer of gratitude for the ease of doing it right here at home, for the blessing of plenty -- that the worst thing I have to deal with most days is a soiled sheet.

I'll never be a great lover of laundry, but I do have a new appreciation for the gift of a washing machine. It's one who's harvest I expect I'm just beginning to reap.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Meal Plan Monday (Vol. 1)

In actuality, I usually do my weekly meal planning on Saturday. I try to get to the grocery store on Saturday afternoon. That way, I’m treating Sunday more like the day of rest it should be. Plus, while still busy, the store is less crowded with people doing the same thing as I am: stuffing their carts full of stuff to get through the week.  Regardless, I go to the store while C (or someone else) is watching Little. First, she hates it – I once banned her from the grocery store until she was 16, though it has been lifted for quick trips. Second, she isn’t sitting up in the cart yet, so the carrier makes a big shop that much trickier.

I only plan a week at a time, Saturday to Friday – it works better for us. I only plan dinners. Breakfast is pretty much cereal, oatmeal, and bagels.  Lunch is leftovers and sandwiches. Not much to plan. I also always shop the same grocery store – it is super-close and has good prices and reasonably good produce. I prefer non- or less-processed foods, but am by no means perfect. There are certainly some convenience foods I use frequently. I have made a list template, so I can move straight down the list as I shop the store.

Some things I consider as I plan: What do we have going on this week? What meals will facilitate an easier week?( Keeping real plans in mind helps us avoid unplanned meals out.) Can I incorporate a variety of proteins? A vegetarian meal? A variety of veggies/sides? New recipes? Since Little is still on a liquid diet, she is not yet a consideration.  

For this week we have:

Saturday: Crock Pot pulled pork sandwiches, oven fries

Sunday: Crock Pot chicken & dumplings (recipe from Pinterest) (Sundays I try to make something nice/comfort food, very “Sunday Dinner”) -- Note, the healthy dumpling recipe was not great. I gave it a C. C gave it a D-.

Monday: CMA (C has a Catholic Medical Association meeting, which is code for get take-out individually)

Tuesday: Little – 4 month well-child visit (I want something easy in case she is fussy or whatever after vaccinations) Chicken pesto pasta, garlic bread

Wednesday: Butternut squash soup, wheat rolls

Thursday: Stuffed zucchini, bread

Friday: C – Pediatrics Shelf Exam (I try to make one of his favorites before exams, make something celebratory after) Tostadas and Spanish rice

In addition, I'm finally getting myself back into the veggie-adding habit of picking up some bagged salad mix and a cucumber to make quick, individual salads several nights a week. I put greens in a bowl, add stuff on hand (onion & cucumber or crasins & nuts, mostly), dressing on the table. Easy-peasy. The key is lazy bagged salads. I know just getting lettuce is cheaper, but then salads stop happening.