Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thankful 10.26.17

Good morning!

Things are continuing to truck along over here. Here are a few things I was thankful for this week, with some recipes we have made linked at the end of the post.


Thursday:
  1. Ina didn't wear a pull up to bed and woke up dry. Yay! This will put a little wiggle room in the diaper budget.
  2. My first post pregnancy jog is in the books! I hadn't planned on running (which was obvious by my wardrobe selection), but when Ina decided to ride her bike to the park, I had little choice but to run to keep up with her. The jog was jiggly and slow with lots of stops, and there were times when it felt like my insides were falling out, but I felt good at the end. I missed those endorphins.
  3. Granny came over to watch the girls while Dan and I moved a few things for her. This was the first time we had to ourselves out of the house since Mira was born, and it honestly felt like a 45 minute date. It's the little things.
Friday:
  1. The big girls were at Danielle's and Mira decided to sleep for most of the day, so I did some stuff around the house and after 8 hours still feel like there is so much to do. Of note, I scrubbed down the trashcan that had a mysterious substance on the lid that was attracting flies, brought out Cora's fall 2T clothes that hopefully aren't too big and stored away her summer clothes for Mira, washed/dried/folded/put away every stitch of laundry, including all the bedding, and added November availability for my incredibly part time job. 
  2. While Mira was awake she did give me a full blown smile a few times...which was mostly sandwiched by looks of complete confusion. I know a smile doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but I have spent the last 6 weeks mostly looking at her, all the while she is looking just past me, or over my head, with her eyes never really focusing. However, this time, when I walked into the room to pick her up and said hello, her eyes focused right on mine, a look of recognition crossed her face, and then she broke into a huge smile, almost as if saying, "there you are mommy!" Heart melted.
  3. Cora figured out how to unlock my van from the inside! Thankfully! Let me start from the beginning. When I pick up the girls from Danielle's, her sons often walk the girls to the car and sometimes get in the van as well and play with them while I am chatting with Danielle. On this particular day, Ina and Gunner (the bigger kids) were talking to the neighbors, I was chatting with Danielle and Kyle, while Mira, Cora, and Gibson were in the van playing. Somehow the "lock" button was pressed and after Gibson left the car all the doors were shut and my two youngest babies were locked in the van with the only set of keys I own in the ignition. Thankfully, it was a beautiful day outside, so heat wasn't a concern. Also, thankfully, I had not yet buckled Cora in her carseat. So, if you can just picture three adults coercing Cora to the front seat and trying to get her to press different buttons, yelling, Cora, press that button! No, not that one! Up! Down! Again! for 10 minutes all the while Cora is giving us suspicious looks, knowing she usually isn't allowed to touch the buttons, haphazardly pressing all the buttons in the car, while taking breaks to play with something she found in the cupholder. Then, Danielle had the genius idea to have Cora take the keys out of the ignition and press the unlock button on the key and after a few more minutes of telling her which side of the key and no, don't put it back in the ignition, she did it! We were all so proud! 


Saturday:
  1. We started out the day in remembrance of our friends' daughter participating in a walk around the lake for the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Virtual Walk-a-Thon. It was nice to get out early in the morning with some friends and shake our legs out.
  2. We celebrated Gibson's 3rd birthday with some delicious food and great company. I just love birthday parties.
  3. After an hour break we went to some friends' wedding. We were so happy to see some old high school friends we hadn't seen in a long time. Even though we had the girls with us and had to leave super early (we snuck out during the speeches), I love weddings and it was good to see everyone. 

(Amy caught a picture of me teaching Cora to jump like a frog. Ha!)

Sunday:
  1. We started a new sermon series at church called, Choose Joy, which I desperately need in my life. A few thoughts I took away:
    • You find what you look for.
    • Be a hummingbird (looking for life) instead of a buzzard (looking for death)
    • I always have something to be happy about - my salvation - and there is nothing better than that.
  2. Our friends the Nybergs came over after church for lunch. The kids played while the adults talked and I didn't want them to leave.
  3. After everyone left from small group I was so exhausted from Mira waking up often the past few nights and Dan did everything for dinner: making, serving, and cleaning up, while I sat on the couch feeding Mira willing my eyes to stay open. 
Monday:



  1. I completed the first day of Jillian Michaels Body Revolution and didn't die. I remember doing this after Cora was born and thought the first video was super easy, which wasn't exactly my thought this time around. My whole body is sore. 
  2. Ina is truly loving riding her bike. Dan and I want to get the girls balance bikes for Christmas and we are so excited. I have never been more thankful that we live at the end of a (rather large) cul-de-sac than when Mira was sleeping inside and Ina was riding circles outside and Cora was somewhere in between with me. 
  3. We visited the high school's "haunted hallway" Monday evening. My mom tagged along to help with the girls, and thankfully she did, because it took all three adults to wrangle Ina and Cora while I wore Mira after we waited in line for over an hour to get in. Then Cora, who has very little trick-or-treating experience, wanted to open every piece of candy she received and was happy to eat it, until she received another one, after which she put the previous half eaten piece on the floor and begged/screamed to have the new piece opened. After about two rounds of that my mom took charge of Cora's candy bucket and Cora cautiously walked along with a sucker. (Also, Cora's costume isn't in yet, so she borrowed Ina's from a few years ago.)



Tuesday:

  1. We had a surprise visit from my cousin and grandma. They played with the girls while I did an exercise video and then brought me lunch. Does it get better?
  2. Our friends the Bartletts came over for dinner and brought the most delicious vegetarian chili. The adults enjoyed great conversation while the kids played. 
  3. Dan found his phone, that we thought he lost, that he just got two days before because he broke his old one that he got from Kyle because he dropped the older one in a pool....also thankful that our phone insurance hasn't cancelled us. 


Wednesday:

  1. Warm coffee on a cold morning. 
  2. I had my 6 week post delivery check up and everything is great! 
  3. We had Ina's parent teacher conference, and her teachers had nothing but great things to say about her. They said that she doing great both academically and socially. She is their "mamma/teacher" and she takes other kids "under her wing." We are so proud of her. 

I checked out the book Dinner: A Love Story from the library and absolutely love the recipes and the stories in this book. I also love how Jenny has a "dinner diary" where she has written down what she has eaten for many many years in an effort to not forget a meal so soon after it was eaten. Here are some we made this week:

Breaded vinegary pork chops with sautéed cabbage, roasted green beans, and sliced tomatoes. This meal was amazing. My mother-in-law literally didn't believe me, like thought I was joking, when I told her I was frying pork chops for dinner, and I have to admit that frying isn't a cooking method I typically use. However, there has to be an exception for these things, and if you keep the side dishes on the lighter side, I see no problem in it every once in a while.

Grilled Chicken Mediterranean Plate: I cheated and bought the pre-grilled chicken strips at Aldi, along with the pita bread, pre-made hummus, and crumbled feta. While the chicken was heating up in the oven, I chopped a cucumber, some tomatoes, and some olives, and 15 minutes later dinner was served. This was a winner because everyone in the family ate something and it took so little time. Once I go back to work, I can see this meal happening on the regular.

Pork Shoulder Ragu. I put this in the oven in the morning before church and lunch was ready when we got home. Dan chopped up an "empty the fridge" salad and I made these spicy icebox Mexican chocolate cookies served with ice cream for dessert. Both of those recipes will be on repeat for entertaining at our house because almost all of the work is done hours before any guests arrive. Oh, and they are both amazing.

Porcupine meatballs with roasted broccoli and cauliflower: I liked the concept, but the sauce in this recipe was a little too sweet for me. I doubt I would make it again, but if you like sweet meatloaf, you would love these. Also, I have to admit that I found a lot of joy in picking Ina up to see the "porcupines" in the pan.

Chicken Pizza with roasted brussels sprouts: Absolutely fantastic. I did all the prep work, including breading and cooking the chicken, while Ina was at school and the younger girls were napping, so that all I had to do was pop a few dishes in the oven 15 minutes before dinner. 

I hope you have a fantastic end to your week!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Happenings from this Week

Hello!


I have neglected writing down what I am thankful for, which is changing TODAY. Until then, here are a few things I remember from the week that didn't involve changing diapers.

Thursday:

Our parents as teachers program had a story time walk around the lake, which we weren't planning on attending. However, Dan called to say that he would be home late from work, so I made the very fast decision to quickly prep dinner and load the girls and the stroller up in the car. The set up was so cute and fun and while the girls might not have entirely followed the story, we still got out of the house.


I am also incredibly thankful that the berries Cora found on a bush and shoved in her mouth while I was reading a page to Ina weren't incredibly poisonous.

Friday:

Our church had a party for all the people who serve, also known as The Dream Team. We ate great BBQ, danced with the girls to the always awesome and sometimes funny worship music, laughed at the hilarious jokes, and Dan wrangled the older girls while Mira and I snuck off to the nursing mothers room during the inspirational sermon.

Ina keeps on asking when the next "church party" is.

Saturday:


The girls and I met my sister and a friend and their kids at a new to us pumpkin patch. Almost as soon as we arrived I saw one of my very good friends from early college. I was so excited to see her I practically picked her up when we hugged. I chatted her ear off for a good part of the morning, while relying on my village to help me watch the bigger girls.


The girls walked through the pumpkins, painted pumpkins, did pumpkin word searches (Ina's favorite part), rode the little trains cars, went through the corn maze, played in the corn (Cora's favorite part), and went down a huge slide approximately 30 times. Cora couldn't go by herself, so between the two of us we went down pretty quickly and even caught some air a few times.


As soon as we skidded to a stop Cora would hop off my lap and squeal, "Again Mom! Again!" and already be at the bottom of the stairs before I could get up to tell her that this time really was the last time. 

After the pumpkin patch I bravely (stupidly?) took all three girls to Aldi by myself without feeding them lunch during nap time. As soon as we walked in a immediately grabbed a bag of goldfish crackers for them to munch on while I shopped and a box of red wine for me to console myself with then we got home.


I won't go through the horrible details, but I will say I earned that cart full of groceries.

Sunday:


Our Sunday routines are pretty set in stone: church, lunch/nap, and then small group. To note, Mira slept all the way through church and we saw 4 baptisms! Yay Jesus! Granny made us dinner, so after small group all we had to do was load up the girls and head over to her house. No cooking, no dishes. It was pretty nice.

Oh also, Mira took her first bottle, no problem. Dan gave it to her, with both of them laying down. It was pretty cute.

Monday:

I finally ordered a carseat attachment for my double BOB. The big girls took turns walking or riding the one mile to the park and it was so nice to get out of the house and shake out my legs.


Tuesday:

Dan was sick. How, just how, do single moms do it?

Wednesday:

The only thing that was incredibly memorable was the amazing dinner we had - spiced shrimp with yogurt, naan (from Aldi), and a tomato cucumber salad. I was secretly thankful that the girls don't love shrimp, because Dan and I had to fight over the last of them. This combo will be repeated very, very soon.

A few other recipes we have tried lately:

Cabbage, sausage, and potato soup: this was great on a cold day. I used onions instead of leeks and put everything in the slow cooker so we came home from church to a delicious dinner.

Sullivan Street Bread: I made bread! From flour, yeast, and water. It felt like magic.

Pumpkin mac and cheese with roasted vegetables: this was just okay...but the roasted cauliflower (our CSA delivered a beautiful yellow cauliflower) was my absolute favorite part. I forgot about how delicious that is!



Pizza pinwheels: I know what is on our super bowl menu!

Life Changing Soft Scrambled Eggs - my daily breakfast served with roasted sweet potatoes. 

I hope you have a good end to your week and weekend! 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Life Update

Good morning!


I am so excited to report that after a month of the three kid/newborn life, we are all alive and well. I daresay, even, that we have a pretty good little routine down, and everyone knows what to expect in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings. This of course means that Mira will soon change everything she does in the next few days, requiring us to start all over again.


There were some hard days in there...too many cries, too many "Mommy!"s, too many demands, too many expectations, with not enough hands, not enough time, and not enough patience. After a lot of deep breaths, an extreme lowering of my expectations, an increase in screen time, limiting the number of times Ina can say, "mom," and a few attitude adjustments on my part, things are getting easier. Still hard, but easier.


The days all seem to run together, but I have made it a point to write down things we have done in my planner. A few things of note:

We started small group again, which is so, so, good for my soul. I love having our house full of my friends and their kids as we study The Word together.

We continue to have visitors- my cousins from Texas came over for the day, my grandmas have each visited, and we have had friends bring dinner...

Speaking of dinner, the helpful meals keep coming in - Danielle and her family brought over dinner and stayed to enjoy eating it with us, as well as our friends The Nashes. My mom also brought over a roast and veggies one morning, and all I had to do was pop it in the oven. I am also really enjoying my time back in the kitchen (see below for a few recipes we have made lately.)


Grandma Frankie took the big girls to the pumpkin patch when Ina had the day off school (bless that woman's heart). They loved every second. Cora kept on telling me how she road a "porsey" (a combo of pony and horsey) and when I changed her diaper, there were a few stray corn kernels from the corn pit stuck to her butt - a sure sign of a good time.


Last Saturday a combination of my frugality and a need to get out of the house motivated me to load up all three girls by myself and drive the 25 minutes to Costco (we needed allergy medicine) and Aldi (we needed to use the $5 off coupon...which...I forgot to use). Surprisingly, the trip was an overall success. We scored a Halloween costume for Ina, ate pizza at Costco's food court, and came home with an assortment of random items from Aldi that would fit in the cart around Mira's carseat. The only snags were Cora spilling her drink and Mira having a blowout, neither one of which were unexpected.

Either Dan or I (or both of us) have played at least one game of Uno with Ina per day. She is obsessed and my card game loving heart couldn't be more pleased.


I have started reading a few books. I just finished Outlander (Whoa, so addicting. I have the next book waiting for me at the library, but am waiting to pick it up in the interest of productivity) and am half way through Dinner: A Love Story (I am absolutely smitten).

Recipes I have cooked:


I hope you have a fantastic end to your week! <3

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