Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Hodge Podge

I'd like to say we survived another week, but good gracious the 6 week spurt has not let up yet. 
This baby's funky attitude has got to go! 
Oh course though he has a colossal spit up on me after our 6am feed and when I hand him to Jeremy so I can wipe us off with a bath towel (it was that bad) he was just grinning away at him. 


I'm still living in tunics and maternity pants. Considering I borrowed all the maternity pants from a friend back home I guess I'll be sending them back with Dad at the end of May. 
Summer will just have to figure itself out and then hopefully I can wear my regular clothing by August. 

I feel like once the baby weight is dropped that pants will fit again, however this breastfeeding situation has done a number up top. 
My shirts don't fit and if I want to just wear jean and a tshirt I am stuck wearing Jeremy's. 
When do I get to join the Itty Bitty club again? 


I saw both of these products at Walmart this week and love them both! 
Doesn't hurt that the packaging is adorable. 

The pickels were tasty, and the Bolthouse Fruit Tubes are just really yummy fruit puree that's perfect for a lunch box. They have a freeze suggestion on the box, so I did, and it was good. 
These will be gracing my lunch box when I have to start packing lunch in two weeks.


Can anyone feel me on this one? 
Don't get me wrong, I love nursing. 

But good grief the only daylight I feel like I get some days comes from the window. 


If you never made my Paleo Chocolate Macaroons you need to. 
I whipped up another batch to snack on this week so I wasn't reaching for junk to satisify my chocolate craving. 


I am really loving our 4moms Rockaroo. 
Most baby gear is just ugly to me, 
I even decorated our room in as much clean and neutral as I could muster up. 
This rocker/swing though isn't hard to look at and doesn't scream crazy colors in your living room. 
I actually like the way it looks. 

Plus the fact that the entire cover zips off makes cleaning so nice when you've got a baby who either doesn't spit up at all or causing everyone in the room to need a clothing change. 


I've been trying to figure out how to decorate the wall to our staircase and I think this is the direction I've decided I'm going. 

I already have a gallery wall of photos and just don't want to add more photos, it's just too much color for me. So I'm going to start collecting frames from the thrift store and painting them white. I've already got a few that are, and a few that need painting. 

I keep having to give myself the "work in progress" chat and not feel this "keeping up with the Jones" need to have everything decorated right now. 


Both of the swaddles we have are Halo Sleep Sack Swaddles. 
Newborn and the Small size, but there's one slightl issue. 
They are both fleece. 

When I initially registered for them it didn't occur to me at all that they were fleece 
and I should get cotton. 
One month and a sweaty baby later and I've got to go get a cotton one. 

I am really happy with the Halo product, especially after looking around online at other options. 
So it's off to Target today in search of a more breathable fabric. 

What was your favorite swaddle for your child? 
I know you are only supposed to do it up to 6 months, so how did transitioning go? 

 I think that's it for my Friday rambling, hopefully everyone has a good weekend and I'll be back Monday for Meal Pinning Monday! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Oh to be a SAHM

With only a week of maternity leave left I can't help but wish that going back to work wasn't on my agenda.

I know a lot of moms want to work, and work; but there are just as many of us that don't want to work and have to. I personally fall into that category.

I wish I could stay home.

I want to nurse and never have to pump (as I'm sitting here hooked up to the thing as everyone else is sleeping), see all his milestones first hand the first time they happen. I want to console my baby when he's upset.

I want to be at home when Harrison is in a good mood, not show up at the end of the day when he's just over it. I don't like the idea one bit of being home at 4PM only to see him awake for a short while before we have to nurse again and go to sleep.

Mostly, I just want to be here.

It's not at all in a I don't like my job sort of fashion, I enjoy my job.

I'm actually lucky enough that the two and a half weeks that I have to go back this school year my father is coming down to stay with us and take care of Harrison. If it wasn't for a parent who's retired we'd be in a pickle in May. Finding our sitter for the fall was difficult enough.

After those two weeks of May Jeremy and I will be home for roughly two months with Harrison before returning to work in August. I say roughly because he works a few weeks before and after I get off work.

I'm not having to send my baby to a sitter until he is 5 months old. Not many people get to do that who work, much less have the careers we have in education where we have the same holidays and when Harrison starts school he will be on the same breaks that we are.

But that doesn't mean I want to go back.

If anything the past few days I've just thought about decisions I've made over the past ten years that got me to this point.

When I started college I didn't listen to a word my mother said and took out more than I needed in loans a few semesters. It didn't help that I had to take them out in the first place.

Plus for years I didn't know if I wanted to have children, and if I did staying home wasn't on my radar one bit.

With none of those thoughts being in my head I trucked through undergrad and graduate school collecting debt. My husband, while not the idiot I was about debt in college, had to take out loans to attend as well. So imagine a household of two people now to have loans to pay back from undergrad and graduate school.

We aren't suffering, there's food on the table, and we've had the opportunity to do things and not be oh so paralyzed by student loan debt.

But there's enough of it that I have to work.

I know I'll survive the first year and Harrison will be just fine, but it's not my ideal situation.

I just get stuck in a cycle of comparison and look at the women around me who could stay home, and that's not healthy.

All I can do is hoard sick days and pray that when we have baby #2 in a few years that he/she is born around the same time so I can take off the rest of the year and have that time at home like I did with Harrison.

Because 6 weeks is a joke. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Meal Pinning Monday

I'm so brainfried after not sleeping enough last night that I don't even know how to start this post off. 

Thank goodness for freezer meals on days like this, right?



[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Gumbo

Tuesday - leftovers

Wednesday - Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Thursday - leftovers

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Kelly Minter's Nonna's Meat Sauce & Strawberry Salad (from the What Love Is Study)

Sunday - leftovers

Friday, April 10, 2015

Five On Friday

Can you believe we've completed a full week in April already? 

This year is flying by and I don't really know what to do about that. Maybe those two weeks of work will fly and the summer will go by at a snails pace so we can really enjoy our time together around here. 


ONE



 I just love this baby sweater. Jeremy thinks it's from Frozen, neither of us have seen the movie so who really knows.

I keep getting told how much he looks like his Daddy, he really looks nothing like Jeremy's baby pictures but looks like Jeremy does now.

From the eyes up.

The nose to chin is all his Momma!

TWO


Some friends of our sent Jeremy home with fresh eggs the other day.

They just solidified why I want my own chickens, lucky for Jeremy I don't think we are allowed such things in this neighborhood. I cracked one of these next to a Walmart egg and the color of the yolk is just crazy.

Why can't we get better quality food at the grocery store?

THREE


I've gotten asked the all important question over the past month about how Ellie is doing with the baby.

This pic and the next should be your answer.

She often gets on the couch to sit next to us and chew on one of her toys, so when she did this the other night I wasn't surprised... however the sitting on me with it with her butt scooted up to the baby was hilarious.

FOUR


Our first baby has been showing her sweet side.

I was in the kitchen the other day while Harrison was on the activity mat. As soon as he started making noise and wiggling around Ellie went and sat next to him.

She's really started checking on him lately, he was crying yesterday in his swing and Ellie came and stood next to me peering into the swing while I tried to calm him down. She's even known to sit in the doorway while we nurse.

However, Jeremy can't pay attention to him while I'm holding Harrison without Ellie fussing a him.

She still needs all the attention from him!

FIVE


Lafayette food trucks are our happy place.

And a really great date for a couple who hasn't been on a date in a month. Especially since the world shuts down around here at 7pm - nothing is going to disrupt bedtime around here. We have too much of a good schedule going on.

Oh how I'm dreading the sleep regression stages!

Anyway, we got Brisket Poutine, which was heavenly. It was traditional Poutine with smoked brisket. Oh how I love a good BBQ truck. From Viva la Waffle we got the fried chicken with pimento cheese waffle. It had a name that I can't remember. This was so good that I'm tempted to get Jeremy to make his awesome fried chicken and try to make some pimento cheese to recreate this at home!

If you live in the area this Saturday the food trucks will be in New Iberia.

Hello Day Date for us again!


Thursday, April 09, 2015

New Mom Survival - Freezer Meals

Back in November I started hoarding away meals in our deep freezer in an attempt to make it easier on myself after I had Harrison.

Having a baby is something I don't think you can fully prepare yourself for, plus you don't know the personality of that little person until they show up. I know my mother had a hard time after I was born because I cried nonstop in the evening, my grandmother had to come over to hold me just so Mom could cook dinner.

I wanted to avoid that.

Plus I didn't have the luxury of having my mother here for the first week home. In fact she wasn't able to come (aside from the hospital) until he was a month old. Work, ugh.


We were very fortunate though to have our close friends and the major support of our church, for our first two weeks home we has a Meal Train and that made life so much easier on myself. Plus it kept me from using any of the freezer meals until the 3 week mark.

If you haven't used Meal Train for new moms, or anyone who recently had surgery that you want to take meals to, I highly suggest you check it out. I came across it when we were living in Thibodaux and it make organizing who would take meals to our new mom's so much easier. Plus the new mom gets to see who is bringing what on what day and she can plan accordingly!

Now for the actual freezer meal part.

I did have one big rule for it, we would no under any circumstances use a freezer meal while people were staying with us. All of our family is out of town, and either Jeremy could cook, they could pick up food, or who ever was staying here could cook.

Freezing Meals >>>

- Buy the tin pans that you can toss afterwards. Definitely get the ones that come with the plastic lids so they are easy to store in the fridge, you aren't trying to make more dishes! Keep that in mind.

- I also used wax or parchment paper to place over the actual food in the pan, then I wrapped the entire pan in plastic wrap and then a layer of tin foil. I didn't want any freezer burn getting in! Lastly I wrote on the top what the dish was and cooking instructions in Sharpie.

- Meals that were going directly into the crock pot, or that weren't in a casserole type format, were placed in 2 gallon Ziploc bags. Make sure you buy the name brand bags for freezing, I had a heck of a time with the off brand ones.

I know it isn't as exciting to have most of your meals come in a casserole dish, but I promise you it is well worth it to not be pan frying chicken and roasting veggies every night.

- If you can find the plastic soup containers like restaurants use for take out get some. I froze my soups in 2 gallon bags, but we were given two different soups for our freezer meal collection in them and I thought it was a great idea.

- I didn't go out of my way to make these meals either, I just doubled what I was making once or twice a week for the 4 months leading up to the birth.

- When you're ready to defrost a meal be sure to take it out early in the day with enough time to thaw out completely. I made this mistake a few times. I also have had to keep in mind that when I typically stick these things in the oven they are at a much higher temperature than they are after defrosting, you may have to extend your cook time.


Now for some actual freezer meals.

Meal Ideas >>>

Enchiladas
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Breasts (for salads and what not)
PW Comfort Meatballs & Mashed Potatoes
South of the Border Chicken
Precooked Sausage for Irish Nachos
NOLA Black Ham for White Beans and Rice (I saved the hock with a bit of meat)
Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach
Chili
Beef Paprikash
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Baked Parmesan Spaghetti
Barbacoa Pork
Paleo Pepperoni Pizza Casserole
Paleo Mini Meatloaves
Tamales (leftover from Christmas and can be used in casseroles or eaten as is)
Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

We also have Gumbo and Chicken and Dumplings in the freezer that someone gave to us to add in.
I also have a big bag of frozen uncooked chicken, as well as two chuck roasts and 6lbs of ground beef.

We do a lot of our bulk shopping at Sam's Club so before I went into labor we made sure to have other household items stocked. Jeremy was great after I had Harrison and did our grocery shopping for the first month, I had to venture out this past week.

I actually had a list of meals I never got around to making since I was induced a few weeks early.

Hopefully this give some expecting Moms meal ideas or even if you're going to have a planned surgery or something that you know you won't want to cook through.

If you have any other freezer meal ideas I'd love for you to share them in the comments below!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I Heart Pinterest Wednesday

I had a whitty post in mind, but goodness help me if Mom Brain coupled with screaming baby didn't make me forget where I was going.

So instead let's fall back on our weekly (my weekly) favorite around here and talk about what amazingness Pinterest has offered up lately!


Next month I'm going back to work, but only for two and a half weeks before summer break. I've had to start figuring out what my pumping essentials were, since as much as I'd love to stay home and only breastfeed for the first year and it isn't an option. This is basically what I've come to love, minus the chip bag clip. I just assume buy the right size pumping bra to start with. Which might I add I wasn't going to buy until I couldn't figure out how to pump two handed without one. 


I love this cleaning idea, so much more efficient than buying a dust mop. Plus it addes to your WetJet uses! 


Wouldn't you know that a future adventure we are definitely having with a little boy is camping, talk about an inexpensive family weekend getaway. I loved this list of camping essentials - it's definitely been a few years since I was a regular camper. 


Helpful tips for introducing a bottle >>>
Our lacatation consultant really stressed not introducing a bottle until between weeks 4-6. She was also anti pacifier, but we only made it the first full week without one. I honestly think his latch got better after we got him to take one, he was latching shallow before and not sticking his tongue out all the way. My hands down favorite bottle is the Munchkin Latch for sure, it's supposed to mimic the breast. I had trouble getting Harrison to take a bottle from the Medela bottles, but the Latch was super easy. Honestly I don't want to pump and give bottles at all, but we are doing 2-3 a week just to get him use to it before I go back to work. 


I definitely packed all of these essentials, then the next day I got my Mom to bring my Honest Company Nipple Balm. I can't stress enough how much I adore their Nipple Balm and now their Healing Balm. Don't even touch the Lanolin people, thier organic food grade Nipple Balm is the only thing you need... and I wasn't paid to love them. 


I A) have something I need to strip, and B) really want to pain a dresser like this. 


What Pinterest finds have you loved lately? Share your profile link in the comments and I'll be sure to follow you. 


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Harrison's First Easter

I only got one picture, but next year when little dude is up and running I'm sure there will be more. 


We had broken his schedule to have lunch with friends because he was still sleeping and napped through his actual feed time. Holy Moly we should have woken him up! 

This is when he realized it was past dinner time. 

I'm thinking my next camera investment will be a tripod and a better portriat lens. 
(I have a Cannon  - what do y'all suggest?)

We had lunch with the youth pastor and worship pastor's families from church. Tori made some amazing fajitas and we just all hung out and chatted while watching the kids run around. 

I swear all my excitement about this Easter is that next year we get to hide eggs. 

We also got the husbands to snap a picture of Kayla, Julie, and I with the babes. This time last year Kayla was the only one with a baby, Julie was expecting, and we were in a light discussion about whether or not we wanted to get pregnant. 

Fast forward a year >>>


My how life has changed. 
Blog Widget by LinkWithin