Friday, March 27, 2015

Worth My Time?

Good morning and Happy Friday!

Yesterday I had the best intentions of working out, but instead came home and did nothing with Dan and Ina until bed time. I guess I can’t say we did absolutely nothing, but we didn’t do much, other than sit and talk and throw some tamales on the stove to steam.

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Served with a parmesan kale salad and avocado. 

Trader Joe’s sells fresh tamales now! These are the pork ones (they also sell chicken and vegetarian) and they were pretty good considering they came from a grocery store. Dan and I have dreams of making tamales, but I know it is a pretty tedious process and wonder if it is worth my time? Especially considering the fact that we have a decent size Hispanic community in the town we live in and if we bought them instead they would surely taste better and we would be stimulating the economy.

Other things I would love to do but wonder if they are worth my time:

  • Raise chickens (for fresh eggs). However, right now my father-in-law gets us eggs from him neighbor for a dollar a dozen! It is tough to beat that. 
  • Sew Ina and future baby clothes
  • Plant fruit trees at my grandparents’ farm
  • Yard work in general (I have seriously considered outsourcing this chore).

What about you?

Have a good weekend! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Although...Thankful Thursday

Good morning! The weekend is so close, but I have a few days of a lot of work to do before then, so let’s get it it!

Yesterday was kind of an off day, but instead of being down about it, let’s find some things to be thankful for.

Although my dryer ate my two maternity tank tops (which I planned to wear everyday for the rest of the pregnancy), I am thankful it left enough strap to tie back together. 

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I will just have bumpy shoulders.

Although Ina didn’t have anything covering her feet yesterday, I am thankful for these princess shoes and their aide in helping us get out of the house with less arguments. 

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Although Dan was in the wrong building, in the wrong women’s health office across the street when my ultrasound started and he couldn’t see the baby in person, I am thankful that the baby is healthy and growing strong and is for sure a girl! Poor Dan was searching for me and couldn’t find me and I kept on telling him to go in the back door and I am afraid the other office almost called security on him. Ha! Although he missed seeing the baby, he was thankful to get a chance to talk to our midwife one more time. We both absolutely love her.

Although Dan doesn’t have technology conquered quite yet, I am thankful that he is at least texting. (We were arguing over how much blow money he had left this month and he won.)

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I am thankful that Dan made dinner last night - meatloaf, green beans, and mashed potatoes - our favorite comfort meal. (There is no “although” to that one!)

Although I couldn’t sleep for hours last night, I am thankful that once I went downstairs and had a little snack, I finally fell asleep. I have never been a midnight snack person, and I hope it doesn’t start now, but I was just so hungry at 3 am. Ha!

What are you thankful for? Any “although”s?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I Do It Myself!

Good morning!

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Sorry for no post yesterday. For the life of me I can’t seem to get it together on Tuesday mornings. It is like I think I have the week under control because I have conquered Monday and then Tuesday comes and BAM, before I know it the clock says 8:32 and I haven’t even begun to take the 10 different bags I have packed out to my car. 

Yesterday was exceptionally bad because it started out with Ina yelling, “Momma! I’m peeing on the carpet!” and didn’t get much better when I reached for the polenta in the pantry and somehow spilled the sugar canister across the shelves onto every single canned good I own. Serves me right for owning sugar.

Other, more positive updates:

-I have two great workouts in for the week - a 3 mile walk on Monday and a pre-natal pilates video on Tuesday, which seems to get more difficult as my belly gets larger.

-Ina and I had a great afternoon yesterday. We played puzzles, read 15 library books (not an exaggeration), and cuddled on our deck watching the rain come down.

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- Dinner on Monday night is going to be a new staple in our house because it was so, so simple. I baked some sweet potatoes, some chicken in BBQ sauce, and roasted some broccoli (all in the same oven at the same time), mixed them all together, added some feta cheese, and it was amazing. 

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Ina ate two servings of everything, including her broccoli. That girl is going to grow two feet this summer.

- Ina helped make this meal by “painting” the olive oil on the sweet potatoes and pouring the BBQ sauce on the chicken.

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She is becoming more independent by the minute and now often protests, “I do it myself!” when I try to help her with something. At first I was very proud of her taking charge, but there are times when it can be frustrating, like when I am already 10 minutes late and she insists on climbing into her carseat without me touching her. If I get impatient and try to intervene, she gets even more upset and has to start the entire process all over again. This has led to the following things happening:

  • I let the dog out and then have to coax him back inside so Ina can open the door for him instead
  • Us spending 14 minutes putting a pair of panties on
  • Peeing on the floor right next to the toliet because she didn’t want me to help her climb on
  • Shoes on the wrong feet
  • One potato with way too much olive oil on it

The list goes on and on. Any advice on fostering that independence in a productive way? 

Have a great Wednesday! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Short Vegas Trip + My Weekly Plan [3/23]

Happy Monday morning to you! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Mine was kind of a whirl-wind. I hopped on a plane Friday afternoon to Las Vegas to celebrate my aunt and uncle’s birthday.

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Although I was only there for 36 hours, there were a few notable activities:

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-Eating at Top of the World - the spinning restaurant on top of the stratosphere. 

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-Filling a pai gow table with my family (my favorite)

-Staying awake until 2 am (I forgot that you really can’t catch up on sleep)

-The guy in front of me in the coffee line had won so much money that he couldn’t fit it all in his pockets and begged to buy my coffee. I later found out he was from Kansas City, which is why he was so nice!

-Staying within my gambling and blow money budget (and still having fun)

Even though I had a great time with my family, I was happy I booked the first flight to KC in the morning, and came home on Sunday afternoon to Ina and Dan. 

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I sure missed them! (Apparently clothes are optional when Daddy is in charge.)

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Soon after I got home my mom came over with my niece and nephew and we had a little dress up party, and then small group came over. Whew - I am crashing as soon as I get home from work tonight - that is- after I go on a walk with Ina. 

Here is the plan(ish) for the week: 


  • Monday: paleo stuffed sweet potatoes
  • Tuesday: enchilada chicken with polenta and roasted broccoli
  • Wednesday: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans
  • Thursday: fish tacos
  • Friday: out to eat
  • Saturday: something social


  • Monday: 3 mile walk
  • Tuesday: pre-natal pilates
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: 750 m swim
  • Friday: 3 mile walk
  • Saturday: rest

Have a fantastic week!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Four Thoughts

Good morning! Any big plans this weekend? 

I am actually doing something kind of crazy and getting on a plane to Las Vegas this afternoon to help my aunt and uncle celebrate their milestone birthdays. Most of my family will be there, so I am looking forward to spending some time with them - but sadly, my two most favorite people are staying home.

I told Dan to have his iPhone at the ready for emergency FaceTime conversations. I will be back Sunday morning, so this is a super short trip, but I assumed that 36 hours was the perfect amount of time for a pregnant woman to spend in Vegas. Ha!

To start our weekend off right, here are five random thoughts:

1. It is funny how something can be called two different things. Like this paleo lemon bake I made yesterday to take to my dad’s house for dessert. Last night, I called it a cake, because I made it for dessert. However, this morning, I am calling it bread, because I am most definitely having it for breakfast (topped with berries and almond milk!). 

2. Just because a workout is called “pre-natal” does not make it easier. Or maybe my workout tolerance has decreased? Either way I am sore today from an arm workout I did yesterday. Yesh.

3. I have never gone to Vegas with a budget before. I booked the flight with points and I am staying in my cousins’ room, so the trip has been very inexpensive so far and I am trying to think of other ways to keep it that way. Is it pathetic that I don’t want to use $20 in blow money to park my car at the airport for the weekend? 

I am also trying to pack lots of snacks, because both of my flights are around meal times. Oh, how my life has changed (for the better, I think).

4. I don’t think I will ever get tired of hearing the birds chirp in the morning. I think I am going to record that sound and set it as my new alarm. But then I might hate it? 

Ina is awake - have a great weekend! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rant: Fundraisers

I want to make a sign for my front door that says, “I have a baby and a budget, so please don’t ring my doorbell and I don’t want to buy what you are selling.”

How long do you will think it will be until my house is TP’ed? 

Please don’t hate me, but this has been on my mind a lot lately, and when something is on my mind I “write” about it.

Let me paint the picture of what has been happening almost daily at my house for the last few weeks. It is 5 PM, I am done with work and Ina is taking a nap. I have 15 minutes to do whatever I want before I need to start making dinner and/or Ina wakes up. I could watch TV! I could paint my nails! I could sit in silence and stare at the ceiling! Just when I grab my nail polish bag and sit down, the door bell rings. Our beagle starts howling, and won’t stop for at least 2 minutes after the doorbell ringer exits the area. Ina wakes up and yells, “Who’s here?!? Come in!” from bed. I sigh, put down the nail polish with one fingernail painted, and walk towards the door.

I somehow get the door open without letting our dog outside to find a kid from the band/baseball team/Girl Scouts/basket weaving club asking, “Do you want to buy a tub of chocolate/coupon book/box of cookies//trash bag/candle/something else useless that I most definitely do not want to buy.

We have lived in our house, which is in suburbia central, for 3.5 years, and for most of that time, I have been generously supporting all of these clubs. However, since we have started sticking to a strict budget, these types of things simply aren’t allowed. At first I felt bad, especially because it is really hard for me to say no, in particular to cute little kids. 

So, either I find some way to tell them no that I think won’t hurt their feelings like, “Sorry, I can’t eat gluten, but what instrument do you play?” or I do what any respectable adult would do and hide in my kitchen until they leave. Yesterday a group of teenage boys parked their car in my driveway and I had to “hide” for at least 10 minutes. 

I was a Girl Scout for 13 years and loved every single second of it except cookie selling time. I loathed ringing a doorbell and asking someone to buy cookies, because, even at a young age I knew that what I was really asking for was a donation, because no box of cookies is worth $4.

The more I think about it, I feel less bad and more mad. Mad at the parents, mad at the schools, mad at our society for forcing children to do this, to go door to door and ask people for money. Is it really teaching them anything? Also, how much of the money actually goes to the organization? How much of the money is going to the company making the product?

This is an entirely different post, but we as adults aren't doing much better and companies are profiting on the fact that we constantly use our relationships to sell products so they don’t have to. My Facebook newsfeed / inbox is FULL of invites to buy essential oils, make-up, some type of pill, life insurance, etc.

I actually like a lot of these products, but since when is it OK to use our relationships to make money off each other? If I want to buy something, I want to seek it out, not the other way around.

But back to the kids. There has to be a better way for these groups to raise funds. I know that I only plan to let my children participate in activities that we can afford them to without fundraisers. But I also understand that if all families stuck by this rule their children wouldn’t be participating in anything, which I also don’t want.

How about a car wash? Or mowing lawns? Or anything else that doesn’t force kids to use their neighbors, friends, and family members to give money to these organizations, which only actually benefit from a portion of their “donation."

OK, rant over. I actually feel much better. That is until my door bell rings again.

Parents of kids who fund raise - how do you feel about it? Is there a justification I am missing here? 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Green Smoothie Over Green Clothes

Good morning!

I hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! I remembered it was St. Patrick’s Day after I published yesterday’s post, and then made a mental note to eat a green breakfast, which I did.

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Smoothie made with 1 banana, 1/2 an avocado, 1.5 cups of spinach, and 1.5 cups of almond milk. (This was my first time adding avocado to a smoothie and I liked the extra creaminess and staying power it provided.)

However, as I was driving to work I realized I wasn’t wearing a stitch of green and green is my favorite color. You know you have reached a super cool point in your life when you plan the color of your meals, but not the color of your outfit. 

The rest of my St. Patrick’s Day celebration looked like this: smoked corned beef slathered with extra hot horseradish.

You will have to picture it mentally, because there was no time for pictures over here - I had to fight for my fair share. We had some friends smoke a brisket for us, and I picked it up on my way home from work yesterday. 

I usually have grand plans to make reubens out of it, or serve it with cabbage and potatoes, but we always end up standing over the plate, slicing piece by piece, and eating with with our hands. 

Classy, I know.

Have you tried smoked corned beef? If not, you need to.

Have a great day! 

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