Archive for January, 2010

Birthday Shirt

January 31, 2010

Well, I have been doing some serious nesting lately.  I’m not sure if it is because of the weeks flying by and my urgency to get things in order, or if it is the fact that we have been homebound without a car seat for a few days.  Anyway, here are a few things I’ve accomplished.

*  Birthday Shirt for our daughter’s birthday in May.

*  Cloth breast pads purchased, washed and ironed (this part may just stink, but I have about 50 disposable pads to fall back on if needed.  Love the organic cotton.  I hear these are the best and super absorbent. 

*  Baby closet went through again and organized more.  Each time it looks like it is done I find some easier way to organize it.

*  Baby toys out and ready to be played with.  Our daughter is already enjoying this.

*  Pillow that has been ripped for years got a little sewing / mending TLC.

*  Sheets washed.  This doesn’t get done as often as it ‘should,’ so it was nice to get done.

*  Hospital bags mostly packed.  A lot less stuff is going with us this time.  I don’t know what I was thinking taking a blow dryer and make-up when our daughter was born.  You don’t have time for that stuff and really could care less.  Plus, I’ve been hippie like in my personal maintenance anyway, so no need for all that.

*  Notes wrote to whomever takes care of our daughter.

*  Lots of meals frozen:  garlic beef enchiladas, italian beef sandwiches, coq au vin, goulash, black been soup, 36 pancakes (hey, we need to eat breakfast), lots of cheese grated and placed in 1 cup jars, mac and cheese flour / spice blend all prepared, and lots of other stuff.

*  New car seat ordered for our daughter.  We had to choke down the good will half price gesture of $125 for a new seat for her.  Ugh, but should be here mid-week.

*  Laundry washed, dried and ironed.  For now anyway.

*  Baby books (boy and girl) bought and ready to take to hospital.

*  Books read and information stored about how to do things more greener this time around.  What a lucky baby that his or her mommy takes so much time to educate herself on this.  Pat, pat on the back to me.  🙂

*  Breast pump washed and ready to go.  Hopefully I won’t be such good pals with the pump this time around.  Since I was working with our daughter, I really hated that pump, but this time around I hope to only pump one time a day so that daddy can feed him or her.  Also, we need time away, so some expressed milk will be gold some day.  You never know what life will bring.

*  Feminine pads in order…yuck!  The disposable ones are stinking up my bathroom…the fragrance they put in those things are horrible.  One thing I love about pregnancy is not having to do the whole monthly cycle.  I’m going to be very brave and put this out there…I purchased some reusable cloth pads for a very reasonable price.  I just bought three, but since we are cloth diapering, I figure why not try it out.  I got 3 pads for $8 on Nicki’s Diapers sale of the week.  If I like them, I will get more for sure.  I also have a pattern to make them, but just did not get around to it.  If you are interested in how it goes, just ask me and I’ll give you some honest answers after I’ve had a few weeks of them.  I have a few friends that love them and the cost savings is super!!!

So much other stuff, but I have to get a nap, so more another time.  What did you do to nest?  Anything I’m forgetting?  Take care!

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Recipes To Try…Yum

January 30, 2010

Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes  We haven’t tried this yet, but this is definitely on my to-do list.  I just need to buy 2 more ramekins before making this.  I’ll let you know how it is.

Sweet Pea Risotto  We had this recently.  I really liked it, but I would probably add a little more cheese and another tablespoon on butter for a little more flavor.

Garlic Beef Enchiladas:  Yum!  I just made this last night.  Super good!  I originally found this recipe in Taste of Home magazine a few years back.  This one takes a little bit to make, but while you are making it, just double or triple the recipe and freeze a few for those chaotic times that are bound to pop up.  We froze two batches for post baby.

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsps. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. sage
15 oz. tomatoes, chopped (I used Roma and put in the juices)
1/2 cup Very Veggie Juice (You could use tomato juice…preferably in a glass jar)
SAUCE:
4-6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced finely
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
15 oz beef broth
15 oz. Very Veggie Juice
1-2 Tbsps. chili powder
1-2 tsps. ground cumin
1-2 tsps. sage
1/2 tsp. salt
8-10 flour tortillas (mine 13×9 pan typically fits 8)
2 cups shredded montery jack cheese (or cheese of your liking)
 
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink and then drain.
Add flour and seasonings; mix well.
Stir in tomatoes and Very Veggie Juice; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
In another saucepan, saute garlic in butter until tender. 
Stir in flour until blended.
Gradually stir in broth and bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until bubbly.
Stir in Very Veggie Juice and seasonings.  Heat through.
In an ungreased 13×9 pan, pour about 1 1/2 cups of sauce and spread. 
Spread approximately 1/4 cup beef mixture down the center of each tortilla.  If you over fill, it will be a mess.  Top with about 1-2 Tbsps. cheese and tightly roll up.  Place the seam side down in the pan.  Prepare all tortillas this way.
Top with remaining sauce.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake uncovered for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. 
This makes a large portion for our family of 3.  We always have plenty leftover for another meal!  Enjoy!!

Fish Tanks And Roller Skates

January 29, 2010

Here are some photos of our play today.  We used tomato trays and Dixie cups to make a fish tank.  This provided lots of fun for my daughter and I.  Super simple and we didn’t have to buy anything to make this fun game.

Roller skates…made out of the same cardboard tomato containers.  Our daughter invented this one herself.  I love the creativity of 2 year olds!  She plays roller skates a lot!

She Is Going To Be A Big Sister

January 29, 2010

Soon our daughter will become a big sister.  We are looking forward to the interactions between our two children.  I have so many memories of my siblings growing up and I hope our daughter makes many memories with her sibling too.

Here are some things I want to write down so I won’t forget this time:

*  You ask a lot of questions.  Some of them are:  What can the baby play with?  Can the baby eat that?  Is the baby out of your belly yet?  Does the baby have legs?

*  You are excited to become a big sister.  You tell me this little one is my belly is a girl, but we don’t won’t know until the day he or she is born.  I know you will love him or her no matter what gender he or she is.

*  You like to look at all of your baby toys and baby clothes.  You ask questions like:  Who did I meet when I wore that?  Did I play with that?

*  You enjoy kissing my belly and giving the baby hugs.

*  You tell people,  “That’s the baby’s bottom.”  You say it so seriously too.  Very adorable!

*  You happily moved into your new room and now call the crib the baby’s bed.  You transitioned very well!  Thank you!!!

*  You say things like, “The baby pooped in your belly,” or “The baby peed in your belly.”  Then you will laugh or smile.

I will really miss this precious time with you.  I am trying to soak you in before this new family member arrives.  I hope we don’t lose each other in all the chaos and I hope you always know and feel how much you are loved!  We love you dearly!!!

Installment Two Little Letters

January 19, 2010

Dear plastic toys,

I was worried about getting rid of you, but am glad I did.  Our daughter is delighted to have some spending money and is putting half of it in her savings account.  You took up a lot of room and some of you were never even played with.  Have fun in your new home.

Dear leftover lasagna,

You were less than desirable tonight.  I am looking forward to you being gone.  Hopefully I can convince my husband to take you for lunch tomorrow.

Dear playdate friends,

We had a lot of fun today!  When my daughter woke up from her nap she asked if we could come to your house again tonight.  It is nice to have friends close and we’ll miss you when you move.  We promise to stay in touch and visit.

Dear baby in my belly,

Please move over to the left side.  I’m not sure my right rib can take anymore pain.  Ouch!  We can’t wait to meet you.  Your sister and I wrapped a present for you tonight that she’ll give to you at the hospital.  What should we buy for your gift to your sister?  Any ideas?  Maybe a book?

Dear husband,

Thanks for going to work and supporting our family.  We appreciate you and all of your sacrifices.  We enjoy it when you come home each night and we look forward to our weekends with you.

Dear Babies R Us,

Thank you for carrying the waterproof crib mattress cover and crib sheets that we need at a reasonable price.  I’m glad I called to price check at your store today.  Thanks for the good customer service.  I’ll see you later this week to pick up the goodies.

Dear laundry,

Go away!

Dear nice weather,

I really am enjoying you.  We’ve been outside the last two days.  It is nice to see the sun shining and feel warm outside again.  Please stick around for a few more days!

Fun Little Letters

January 13, 2010

I got this idea for Little Letters here.  What a cute idea.  Little things I think about throughout the day.

Dear daughter,

Thanks for being so much fun today!  I enjoy you having your own room.  I’m not sure if I totally enjoy when you come and wake me up from my peaceful sleep, but I do like when you snuggle with me and we chat.  You are so vocal lately and ask so many questions.  Sometimes I crack up and other time I wish there were someone else here to help me answer them all.  You are very curious lately.  Love you!

Dear husband,

I don’t want to make the bland dinner tonight that you requested.  I think it is nice to use up what we have on hand once in a while, but really, who looks forward to a made up stir fry that contains carrots, peas, brown rice and some random lime ginger sauce we’ve had in our frig. for months now. 

Dear baby,

I love to feel you move in my belly.  I will really miss that.  I’m very excited to meet you, but also a little scared.  Things will change here and I know it will be for the best, but change is always a little difficult for me.  We will do our best in our sleep deprived state to give you all the love you need.  We love you already!!!  Now, if we could only find a good name for you.

Dear friends,

Thank you for being so supportive!  I have met many very awesome women in the last few years and I am so blessed that you are in my life!  Thanks for all of your support!

Dear Chelsea Lately,

I love your show!  Every night I look forward to watching you and laughing at your jokes, which are most of the time super funny, but at someone’s expense.  It is a release for me at the end of a long day.

Dear dark chocolate,

You and I have become fast friends in the last few months.  I feel guilty every time I indulge in you with this little one growing in my belly.  I try to justify the shame by telling myself that you are dark chocolate and have some health benefits.  I will also only eat you if you are organic.  I have become a bit of a chocolate snob.  We will continue our friendship for some time!

Dear toilet,

I’m not sure why you keep clogging up, but please stop.  It gets super annoying!

Dear Stoneyfield Yogurt,

Thank you for being part of our daily routine.  You are a fast and delicious breakfast, snack or addition to our lunch.  Thanks for putting funny things on the cows on your containers.  My daughter loves you!

Dear family,

Thank you for making me feel sane and offering to help take care of our daughter when this little one arrives.  We are extremely blessed to have you as part of our family!  Thank you for all of your suggestions and thank you for listening to be rant and rave.  I know it is not always easy.

Dear frozen food,

Please do not get freezer burn.  We would really like to eat after our new baby arrives and I have spent a lot of time and money preparing you.  Thanks!

That’s all for now, but I will be writing more of these Little Letters soon!  How very fun!

Transition

January 12, 2010

I’ve been away for a while.  There has been a lot going on here.  Some of it is just in an emotional way and the other is in the spirit of preparing.  The holidays were very stressful this year.  We try our best to be gracious and to accept that others don’t always see our values and respect them, but it has been tough.  I’ve spent a lot of time visiting with family and friends.  I’ve found a lot of comfort and support.  I’ve been taking a lot of time for myself and have been reflecting on what I am willing to let go of and what I am not willing to.  I have grown a lot!  I have not felt much in the blogging mood and have not felt like sharing.  I have turned inward and outward.  I am starting to realize what matters to me and what is truly important.  I needed time to regroup. 

I’ve also been nesting.  I’ve been rearranging, organizing, purging and preparing.  I’ve been sewing and cooking.  I have been list making and making calls.  I have been a little sad about the upcoming change.  I have also been very happy about the baby’s arrival!  We’ve made changes to our daughter’s bedtime routine.  We’ve been involving daddy more and giving our daughter more freedom. 

I’m counting the weeks now.  Only a little over 5 more weeks until our due date.  We are anxiously waiting and wondering what life holds for us.  We still don’t have any names picked out…not even dwindled down to five or six.  We don’t have a clue in the name department.  We have the baby’s room mostly ready, but there are tons of things to buy and last-minute things that we really can’t do for a few more weeks.

My mind has been occupied.

Books We Love

January 7, 2010

Silly Tilly by Eileen Spinelli:  This book is hilarious!  We read this book over and over again until we had to return it to the library.  A must have for anyone who likes a laugh.

All In Just One Cookie by Susan E. Goodman:  This book is fun and educational!  The book teaches a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, while also teaching about the origin of each ingredient.  A dog and cat saying and doing funny things also make this book kid-friendly for any age (as long as they have a good attention span for books).

Nurse Nancy by Kathryn Jackson:  This is a ‘Little Golden Book.’  We love the simplicity of this book.  Our daughter requests this book time and time again.  Simple story with caring wrapped up within.

Piggy Monday:  A Tale About Manners by Suzanne Bloom:  This book was originally purchased for my career as a School Counselor, but since I am not pursuing that right now, I have pulled my book collection out for our daughter to enjoy.  She really likes this book.  As the title eludes, it is a book about manners, but it is funny and relatable for even small children.  Children growing tails, ears, hooves and snouts, what is not to love?