Recipe Catch-up…

2 Aug

I use my blog to save recipes so that I can find them when I want to make them again.  So this won’t be an amazing entry unless you really want to find some new recipes.

 

Chicken Tetrazzini – http://www.shugarysweets.com/2011/09/chicken-tetrazinni

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings – http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2013/07/crockpot-chicken-dumplings/

Crock Pot Three Cheese Chicken Lasagna – http://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/2016/02/slow-cooker-three-cheese-chicken-lasagna.html

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef – http://therecipecritic.com/2015/08/slow-cooker-mongolian-beef/

That’s all for now!

13 month Mommy thoughts…

26 Jul

13 months of pure happiness, joy, new discoveries, tantrums, and curiosity. It’s been a great 13 months.  Today on my “On this day” on Facebook, I saw a status that stated that my time of being a SAHM with Miss L was almost over and how much I will miss it. That statement is so incredibly true.  I wanted to reflect and blog today, so I’m taking advantage of our afternoon crib naps to update this.  Maybe someday I’ll do more organized blogs on the topics below, but I am going to do this in list format as there’s lots of random thoughts that I have going through my mind currently.

Vacationing with a infant/toddler – In a month we will soon be going on our next traveling adventure with Miss L. We’ve already been to where we grew up and a cruise.  We’ve been on a cruise ship, planes, and car rides.  Next month we’re going on our next adventure to Disneyland!  We can’t wait to spend another week together as a family and see how Miss L does with her next few plane rides.  We bought her a seat again (It’s the best way to travel with a baby in my opinion) as she did so amazing on our first plane rides.  We’re looking forward to seeing how she enjoys Disneyland, but completely understand it will be a more relaxed trip with plenty of downtime and afternoon naps back at our hotel.

Walking – Miss L is so incredibly close to walking. She has taken a few steps without holding on to anything and pushes furniture around to help her walk. She just needs a bit of confidence and then she’ll be off. She loves to walk and hold onto our hands.  I can’t wait to see her take off toddling and developing her new mobile skills.

LC0616 - 078.JPG

Photo Credit: Galati Photography (galatiphoto.com)

 

Daycare – We are on the last week of her current daycare.  We’ve had many issues with her care there – missed diaper changes, missed snacks/feedings, calling her by the wrong name, leaving her just lying in a crib when she could be up playing, etc.  I will miss her two main teachers as they are the only two that show us they care and they find Miss L hilarious. We’ve shared our concerns with management and been blown off multiple times. We’ve also been told that “We’re too sensitive.” The first time I actually had a productive conversation with a manager at her current center was when I handed in her withdraw paper work. Too little too late though.   We have a week where we are relying on some wonderful friends to take care of her and assist us with child care. We’re hopeful and looking forward to our new daycare. I still wish 13769579_962294682793_9074824968871311002_nthat I could stay home with her more, but it’s not in the current cards.  Maybe in the future, but we’re looking forward to a daycare that does more than just lets her entertain herself. I hope we are happier in our moves.

Family Fun Time – After having the flu last weekend, we’re slowly getting the house back in order and slowly catching up on things.  We managed to sneak away to Magic Kingdom yesterday for a few hours and had lunch at Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary. We wanted to test out a character buffet with Miss L before we go to Goofy’s Kitchen at Disneyland. It was a success. She loved the food and the characters entertained her. She played peek-a-boo with Donald for a bit and gave Minnie a huge grin.  She did cry hysterically whenever one of us left the table for more foo though. As soon as she couldn’t see you anymore, she was better, but this will definitely make for a fun entertaining meal next month.

Mommy shaming – In the past 13 months, I’ve joined the status of Mom and seen how other mom’s treat each other.  I am appalled how rude Mom’s can be to each other. We’re all working towards the same goals – raising a healthy, happy human being.  It doesn’t matter if you cloth diaper, breastfeed, use formula, work, stay at home, or one of millions of other parenting choices.  Stop the shaming and just try to support each other. It’s tough enough without other Mom’s putting you down for parenting choices that really don’t matter as long as your child is happy and cared for.  It’s something I always try to keep in mind while interacting with other parents and wish other parents used the same consideration.

Swim Lessons – Miss L has been taking swim lessons for the past five weeks. It’s really just about water safety and teaching her that if she’d accidentally end up in a body of water, to flip over onto her back and float.  It’s been amazing to see her learn since she can only say a few words, but in the past five weeks her teacher has managed to teach her how to roll onto her back in the water and float.  It’s been a challenge at times getting her to swim lessons as they are four days a week for 10 minutes a day, but they are entirely worth it. I’m so thankful we can afford them for her. We’re definitely planning on taking her back next year to learn how to swim some.

Nap time/Bedtime – We used to do our naps at home snuggling in a chair and rocking our sweet girl.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve started having her nap in her crib. She naps a lot longer and seems to be more comfortable. We walk her to sleep and then put her in her crib during the day, but we’ve learned she can put herself to sleep. Over bedtime for the last week, she’s been a bit hyper.  She nurses and then plays/cuddles with me, but doesn’t always quite fall asleep. We’ve learned that I can put her in her crib wide awake and she’ll put herself to sleep. I give her a kiss, make sure her room is set up for bedtime, tell her goodnight and leave the room. She watches you go – but eventually puts herself to sleep after rolling around in her crib for a bit.  We really do have the best child ever.

LC0616 - 212

Cute and the best baby ever! (Photo Credit: Galati Photography – Galatiphoto.com)

 

A year ago…

9 Jun

A year ago at this very moment, I thought I was tired.  I thought I knew what was about to happen, but I really had no clue. As a year ago I was getting ready for bed, crawling into bed and then I heard a “pop.” That pop was the start of the most wonderful journey that I’ve ever experienced.  Four hours later a few hours after midnight (after probably one of the shortest labors most people will ever hear about), I met one amazing little girl who has continued to light up my life and help me find my destiny ever since.

The past year has been challenging and life changing. You think you’re tired? Have a baby, work a full time job, live far away from family or most people who’d you consider asking for help, and just rely on your husband who also works a full time job often with opposite hours. Then I will believe you are tired.  Have any child for that matter, and you will know the definition of tired.

img_20160609_213756.jpg

How those nap photos of changed in a year, but I’m still incredibly grateful for each and every nap cuddle!

It’s also been wonderful. It’s amazing to think of myself as to where I was a year ago jumping into motherhood and where I am now. I’ve found my inner voice as being her mother. I speak up for what’s best for her. I fight for what she deserves. I find a way to give her everything I can and to keep her safe, healthy, happy, and loved. She is oh-so-very-much loved.

11822556_10102477029115668_158845115381947476_n

click photo for source

It’s been interesting. I started out breastfeeding as I knew I wanted to. My goal was six months. There were some nights early on when she wanted to eat ALL THE TIME that I was wondering if I could make it three months. There were nights when she just kept eating that I was nervous I wasn’t producing enough milk. Before we knew it, I had hit six months. We introduced solid foods and it was all easy enough from there. Yes, I dedicated all my breaks at work to pumping. I was lucky enough to have a bit of a freezer stash for the days that I didn’t quite pump enough.  I successfully am a full-time working mother who managed to exclusively breastfeed their child for an entire year.  I’m proud of that statement. (I would like to state that I don’t care if you breastfeeding or formula feed as long as your child is well fed and taken care of. Good for you mom, no matter what you did!)  Yes, the last few months got easier as I was able to transition to working at home and I can pump while I work. It’s a glorious thing!  Now, here I am a year breastfeeding in and I’m trying to figure out how to start weaning. In the past week, she’s started refusing a bottle and only wants fresh milk. We’ll transition into other liquids at daycare, but how does one wean? That’s my new dilemma, and it’s not something I ever thought of a year ago. It’s a wonderful place to be.

f0a04aa643b7ec40fb42ab4576e75c82

It’s been a year of discovery. I’ve been finding what’s important and myself. The past year as really made me see that I am meant to be her mother and I love being her mother.  Before I had her, I never got a feeling of “this is where I’m meant to be” as strongly as I do each and every day with her.

31f3954d6b6abc4764f8f431a7e658a0

It’s been a year of thanks. After our first pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, I was terrified. I didn’t know if I would ever get pregnant. My entire second pregnancy I was scared. I tried to enjoy it, but it didn’t feel real as what if something happened? She didn’t feel real until she entered the room and then life was magnificent.  Then, I started worrying about SIDs, if she’s safe at daycare, if she’s eating enough, and all other normal mom worries. I’m thankful I was able to have those worries as not every Mom gets a happy ending. So I’ve been thankful and gave thanks as I’ve prayed for this wonderful little girl who lights up my life and I can’t wait to see grow up. I’m grateful and thankful for each and every day. I’ve learned to put my phone down and enjoy the moment more. Enjoy watching this wonderful girl discover, grow, fall down, pick herself back up and try again.

20160609_093107.jpg

My big girl watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I hope I am lucky enough to see her grandchildren someday as that’s a wonderful thought.  Happy Birthday Eve Sweet Darling Girl.  Here’s to a wonderful second year and many many more.  I won’t mind if you let me sleep past 2:12 a.m. tonight when you made your appearance and screamed for the next two hours as you didn’t know what happened or where you were.  However, if you want to relive those moments and get Mama cuddles, go ahead and wake me up.  I’d be happy to hold you.

30 thoughts on my last year…

22 Mar

My birthday is coming up in a few days and I’m too the point that I have to stop and think how old I am.  (It may be lack of sleep/mommy brain since LO has been born).  However, the last year has been simply amazing.  I’ve grown a lot. I’ve had some amazing experiences. I’ve had some lows, but I am forever grateful that I’m where I am currently.

I’m waiting for some baby food to cook up on the stove, so I figured I’d blog. However, I know my mental capacity isn’t much right now as I am exhausted. Again. So I figured I’d do a list of sorts. So here are 30 thoughts on my last year.

  1.  I’m grateful for all the trips an adventures we had before we had children. It makes me want to have every future trip with our family as we’ve already traveled the two of us – now it’s time to make some memories and adventures as a family.

    308946_564619830929_1475052282_n

    Throwback to Aulani

  2. I’m grateful for my job, friends,  and my husband all of which provide me to live and experience this wonderful world.
  3. I can survive on very small amounts of sleep.
  4. Skinning your knee is much more fun as a child then it is as an adult. It hurts just the same though. (Also – much cooler stories as a kid. Everyone just thinks you’re stupid if you fall down the stairs.)
  5. My house is now decorated with a bunch of kid toys – and I couldn’t be happier. I should have saved an empty room for all the stuff that a baby needs.
  6. By living where we do, we miss a lot and not everyone will understand that we can’t travel to where we grew up at the drop of a hat. This is our home, and by moving thousands of miles away I knew I’d miss some things. Unfortunately, it can’t be helped no matter how much I’d want to be there or see someone. I’ve been remembering this more and more lately.
  7. I need to hang out with our friends a bit more – (If you’re reading this and want to hang out (and wouldn’t mind a baby coming with) send me a message please!)
  8. Oatmeal really can produce more Breastmilk. I’ve used this multiple times when I needed to get more food.  #themoreyouknow
  9. Seeing a child figure out their world is simply one of the best things ever. This is one of my favorite things over the past year – I celebrate all of her accomplishments in my mind as they are things we take for granted that are really little miracles.

    10294507_863701758349_8159847166111729138_n

    Our Girl.

  10. Life is precious and there is way too much hatred, anger, and senseless killing in the world. We’ve seen this a lot in the last year. Something needs to change.
  11. Bailey just sits there and watches the baby crawl towards him. You have to remind him that he’s capable of moving. Butters does this as well. It’s like they freeze in fear as she’s coming to pull out chunks of their fur.
  12. Disney Cruises can be done with a baby. We will have many more of these in our future – Also, how does one book a cabin if you are suddenly five family members? IMG_5426
  13. You think you’re good at communication until you have a baby. We’ve worked through a lot of our bumps and we’re getting better every day.
  14. Motherhood is amazing. You cannot describe to anyone the amount of love you feel for your child or the joys, the fun, and the exhaustion. No one can understand unless you are a parent – it’s even more awesome than you think it is.
  15. I love my husband more and more each day as he has given me the opportunity to be our children’s mother.
  16. You don’t really miss caffeine once it’s out of your system. It really is a drug. I’ve been off caffeine for a year and a half now (minus the occasional one sip of husband’s soda) and I don’t miss it. It’s now a contest to see how far I can get with no caffeine I feel. There are some days when I really miss it or really want a Mountain Dew. I’ve learned to enjoy water, herbal tea’s, juices, and many other delicious things.
  17. I really enjoyed being pregnant. I didn’t have any complaints besides my occasional freak out moments when I couldn’t feel LO move enough.  However, it was a really unique and fun experience. Hopefully I get to do it again someday.
  18. There are many places I still want to visit and places I want to visit again. There’s been many day dreams on future vacation plannings over the past year.  There’s also been daydreams of being a Stay-At-Home-Mom – something I never thought I’d ever want.
  19. I’ve become a tiny bit less jaded over the past year. I realize that everyone is trying the best they can and where as I used to judge before, I’m probably a little less snarky12047135_835199502099_6813461391518704624_n now. Maybe I’ve mellowed a bit.
  20. Baby Giggles are like crack. SERIOUSLY.
  21. I definitely pray a bit more now that I’m a mother. I don’t just pray for myself and my family, but I think of five people that I know or don’t know a day and send prayers their way. Everyone can just a little bit of extra good thoughts and prayer.  I also say a prayer that my LO lives a long healthy life as she has so much to offer this world.
  22. I miss running and exercise. My goal for the next year is to get back on that boat and moving again. Lately, the most exercise I’ve gotten is stopping a baby from diving off a couch or a bed (or from crawling down the stairs). Hopefully we’ll get air in the tires of the jogging stroller and I will be out there again before I know it.
  23. I’m hopelessly behind on a lot of TV shows. I’ve started to read online spoilers and then watch them so I don’t feel as lost. One of these days we’ll catch up.
  24. I enjoy that I can eat spicier food. Thank you pregnancy. It’s definitely caused me to try some different things over the past year.
  25. The Mexican food cravings of my pregnancy have never left me.

    IMG_5068

    Hilton Head

  26. <—- That Guy is still my everything and always will be.
  27. I still enjoy the few moments I get to myself a day. However, at the same time I miss my little one so much that I wish she was right here cuddling next to me.
  28. I still love my jeep renegade. I’m definitely a jeep girl and I’m very happy that this is my car for the next chunk of my life.
  29. There will always be more cleaning and things to be done. I’m a mom that believes that the experiences of my child are much more important than a clean house. Apologies if you come visit and that offends you. It’s livable and it shows that we are living.
  30. I really hope that my life is nowhere near over. I want to see my LO in 30-40-or even 50 years from now. I cannot get over how precious these moments are and how I’m so grateful to be here to experience them and to see her grow.  I pray I’m lucky enough to watch her stumble, pick herself back up, find happiness, grow, and experience everything this wonderful world has to offer.IMG_5543

9 month thoughts on Motherhood…

8 Mar

In a few days, I will be the mom to an amazing wonderful nine month old.  I can’t believe it as time is flying, but it is amazing to see her grow, watch her little personality develop, and see how she learns.  Since she went to bed relatively early and I finished making her some more baby food, I figured I’d take the time to update my blog.  She’s still trying to figure out crawling forward, but she can crawl backwards and will look around – see where she wants to go and then position her legs that way.  Smart little cookie!

IMG_5583

Lately, it’s been all about Mom (ever since the cruise it seems). It’s gotten to the point where if she wants to be held by me, she’ll fuss as poor Daddy is holding her while I’m trying to quickly eat my food next to him.  It’s gotten quite silly, and I’m afraid we’ve been giving Daddy a bit of a complex – however, she made up for it with her first word.

What was her first word? Da-Da, of course.  She was looking around and babbling and then said “Da-Da” and looked at him, so of course, I passed her over to him and she said it again!  She has said it a few times since then to her Daddy and it melts his heart. He’s been trying to work on saying Ma-Ma with her, but it takes time.  She tries, and I love that they have this little bond.

IMG_5563

Our little Princess at Bok Tower Gardens

She still loves her food – and eats a lot of it.  She ate 90% of a banana at lunch today and had some pineapple and apple with it.  I still can’t figure out where she is putting all this food, but as long as she’s happy and healthy that’s all that matters -she can eat eat eat.

We’re still making all of her baby food fresh from foods. It’s been an adventure.  I’ve learned how to puree many things – what works, what doesn’t work. I’ve learned how much water I need to use if any as we’re getting into more solid type foods.  However, with how much she eats I’m definitely spending a fair chunk of my time once she’s asleep making baby food.  She’s almost to the point where I’ll just be able to blend up what we’re eating for dinner though which will be an odd adjustment. Until then – I’ll keep making her food.  (Favorites so far would probably be Sweet Potato, Banana, and Avocado with Pears, Apples, Carrots, Asparagus, and Oatmeal as a close second).  I’m definitely glad that I am making her food and with her Baby Bullet it makes it easy.

12790941_860468667489_2590956604508727784_n

Since she is almost nine months, I’m starting to think about her first birthday – with her first birthday there will be changes which is good as it means she’s growing.  However, I realize that our Breastfeeding journey is almost 3/4 of the way over.  When I started breastfeeding, my goal was to make it six months. In those early weeks, I struggled as it was all that I was doing. She loves to eat and wanted to eat all the time. Her cluster feedings drove me crazy, it made me wonder if I was cut for Breastfeeding. Then suddenly without me even realizing it, we made it to six months. Months three through six seemed to fly by breastfeeding wise.  I made it through pumping at work and getting my supply for her. I was proud of my accomplishment and now I realize I’m going to have a new struggle of figuring out how to wean.

Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone and not everyone can, but I am so grateful and thankful that we have this bond. I’ll soon have to learn how to parent without my boobs as it is so easy when she’s fussy or wants to fall asleep to give her some milk which is what she wants and makes her happy. It will be an adjustment, but a good one once I’m through the emotional part of it as it means she’s growing which is the best gift ever.

I’ve learned that as a parent, I’m a big fan of letting the housework wait and spending time watching her play or cuddle.  She naps well at daycare, but one day a week when I could be getting stuff done, I hold her for a nap while I catch up on some DVR’d shows.  It’s our tradition and we both know it and we love it.  I won’t be able to hold her like this forever, she’ll only be little for so long and I plan on getting in all the cuddles I can.  The house will always have to be cleaned and I put her down enough to do it, some days all you need are Mom/Baby cuddles.

We’ve managed to go out for our Anniversary and we realized that we’re okay with how little we get out without her.  Yes we have some wonderful baby sitters since we don’t have family close, but at the end of the day since it is mainly the three of us we like spending that time together.  We’re going out as a family to the Theme Parks a bit more or to Bok Tower Gardens – in fact, i just ordered a travel play yard that we can take to Bok Tower or on other adventures as we continue to watch her explore. (I feel a Beach Trip will be in order soon!)

IMG_5564

Is Motherhood what I thought it would be? Yes and no. There are moments where I have a headache or when she pees on me and I spend the next hour getting her ready for bed in wet clothes that I struggle and I almost wish I’d have a moment to go get medicine or change my clothes and shower.

However, I didn’t imagine that I would lose myself in this amazing little girl and that seeing the world through her eyes is better than anything and warms my heart. Us being together as a family – that is the best gift in the world.

IMG_5580

Disney Cruising with a Baby…

16 Feb

We recently went on our first Disney cruise with LO.  I had done my research and had gone back and forth from thinking it was the BEST idea ever to the WORST idea ever.  Where was it? It was definitely doable.  Would I do it again? Definitely!

Why should you go on a Disney Cruise with your baby?

  • Lots of time together.
  • You can’t be forced to do any housework.
  • They can make baby food at the restaurants
  • It’s always easy to run back to your stateroom for an outfit or diaper change.
  • The nursery onboard where baby can stay

What was the one thing I didn’t like about cruising with a baby? The pack and plays had a bar that go through the middle (Why are they designed like that?) and she didn’t sleep more than 3 hour chunks at night at a time.  It was either from the boat rocking (it definitely took her a tiny bit to get used to it) or from the bar. It wasn’t in a spot that we could have her avoid it.

We did have her spend a bit of time in the It’s a Small World Nursery.  You pay by the hour, but all the counselors are certified in some child care courses.  They asked us to bring her back again as she was so well behaved.  They offer snacks or will feed the baby based on what you provide.  They will also call you if they become upset or agitated and need to be picked up ahead of time. It never happened to us and she willingly went with them each time.  (She also seemed to enjoy napping there better than in the room. I think that crib was more like what she was used to – if only we could get one in our cabin!)

The nursery has kids up to 3 years of age, so she was one of the youngest since she sailed right under 8 months and you have to be 6 months to sail. However, they were great with her and even offered to let her stay longer and sleep one time while she was sleeping.  (We took her out, but they carried her out and she stayed asleep!)

I was anxious about getting baby food made on-board. I read it was possible at the buffet and at any dinner restaurant. It was really simple. I don’t know why I was worried. Each night at dinner we picked a fruit or vegetable to have made for her for the following night.  This way it was ready right at the beginning of dinner. Our servers were great at making sure her food came before or during our appetizers so we could feed her and then eat our dinner.

They do have high chairs on-board. However, we got a travel one from amazon before we left that had a little bit of extra back support for her (and a tray which she loves).  We were happy to have it as we even used it in our room to feed her lunch once.

Each morning we got her a banana purred for breakfast.  Throughout the cruise she ate: sweet potato, avocado, banana, pears, apples, carrots, and squash.  We had some prepacked stuff that we used in our room or the last morning when they were out of banana and she was too impatient to wait for the apples that we ordered.  It was definitely easy and the Cast were super helpful.

IMG_5368

She saw her first movie in a theater on board (The Good Dinosaur). They had a “family friendly” movie hour where they left a few  lights on, the sound down a bit, and talking was expected. She made it about halfway through before falling asleep.  Each afternoon we took her up to the deck to nap in the breeze which she enjoyed.  We played in the lobby with the toys we brought on-board, entered her in the diaper dash (she looked so cute!), and even watched a matinee performance of Believe that she stayed awake for about half of it.

Early dinner was a must for our cruise for her. She enjoys her bedtime by 8:30 p.m. most nights, so after an early dinner and wandering around the ship a bit, she was ready for bed. We ordered room service or watched tv or snuck out two nights while my parents came by to hang out in our room.  Disney has the stage shows on tv so we watched them in the room and didn’t feel like we were missing out.

We didn’t explore too much at ports – we will have to stop again when she’s older! We got off and walked around a bit.  In St. Thomas, we did the butterfly garden which was definitely worth it with a small child, but other than that just saw a bit of the islands close to the port and got back on within a few hours.  We could have left her in the nursery, but I was really enjoying my time with her and together as a family so we decided to stay close instead of letting her spend more time in the nursery.

IMG_5370

All in all it was an amazing trip with her.  We will definitely be taking her again, and wouldn’t hesitate to take another baby.

6 months and counting…

9 Dec

Six months ago at this very moment we were at Celebration hospital, getting ready to meet our little girl. Tonight, we stayed up late (well later than she went to bed) and started to wrap christmas presents. I am feeling a bit reflective on life as I know it will be the first of many nights like this to come in the future and I feel incredibly blessed. 

image

Our Girl

It’s been an amazing wonderful tiring six months that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’m still the obsessive new mom, but I’ve learned to relax a tiny bit. (Sids is still scary, as are disease and strangers, but we’ve got to let her experience life.) We’ve gone on car rides, plane rides, and visited quite a few states. We even managed to get her a passport so we can go on more adventures in the future!

We’ve started to find the new normal in our relationship. My husband and I  have adjusted to our roles and still find time for each other. We’ve managed to slowly work in more of our normal lives, but still are adjusting. We’ve dealt with our first illness where it would be easier to be by family, but we’ve gotten through it together.

image

We put her first. She’s learned so much and has such a personality so far. I can’t wait to see her in 10, 20, even 50 years in the future. However, it seems like just yesterday that my curious curly haired girl was joining the world.

image

Pondering the world

LO is trying to sit up. She babbles and “pets” the animals by pulling their hair. She also mimcks our eating habits (she will start food next week) and gets upset when she can’t see us. She can roll over and loves to sleep on her side or tummy. She is full of baby giggles and smiles. She really knows how to light up our world.

While I am planning on getting much more sleep than I did six months ago, I am so grateful for the opportunity of being her mom. We are so blessed.

image

Happy half birthday little one, your world is about to get a lot more tasty. We love you so much.