- Cora singing Jingle Bells. Her voice is just so sweet, and while she gets most of the song correct, she makes "one horse open sleigh" all one word and then ends with an enthusiastic, "hey!"
- A work break between Christmas and New Year's. While I technically had some work to do, it was way less that usual, and I am working at home. It was almost like a second mini maternity leave.
- The Logic Puzzles book we got Ina for Christmas, which is unfortunately way over her age level. However, she still loves to do them and Dan and I are having fun with them after dinner. And by "having fun" I mean Dan sighing after reading half of them and my eyes lighting up. We have different ideas of "fun."
- My mom graciously came over and hung out with the girls while I went grocery shopping. While I have taken all 3 to Aldi, it isn't my absolute favorite thing to do.
- All the Christmas decorations are put away. That automatically makes my house feel cleaner.
- Granny brought over the girls' cousins for a visit. It was great to see them and I loved how quickly they get used to each other and sneak off to Ina's room to play.
- Ina's freshly organized activity cabinet. It makes us both happy.
- My family still loves me even when I bring gift exchange presents freshly purchased and beautifully wrapped in plastic Target bags. And when my child spits out a fully chewed spinach leaf on their white carpet. Ugh.
- Making it to Costco just before they close and listening to Ina and Cora sing as we hurridly pushed the cart through the store for olive oil, diapers, and allergy medicine. #momlife
- Crab legs. Happy New Year!
- EveryDollar. After years of using my spreadsheet for budgeting, I want something a little more automatic, that Dan can also contribute to. I will report back after a few months.
- The movie Hidden Figures. It was fantastic.
- Having an extra day to get caught up on life was clutch. I feel like I got so much done in just a few hours and I can finally stop saying, "No, I am cleaning" when Ina asks if I can help her with something. Until next week. Not that I have high standards for clean. I am happy if my house is slightly above junk yard.
- A fresh new planner. Love, love, love, Happy 2018.
- Granny asked to have the older girls stay the night, so Dan and I had a relaxing quiet night missing the girls but enjoying some one on one time with Mira.
- Dan hanging up bikes in the garage to give us room for more...stuff...
- Ina and Cora have both been sickly, nothing major, just icky feeling, and today I started to feel chilly, achy, and a tickle in my throat. I immediately chewed on a raw whole garlic clove, which I have heard helps with these sorts of things. If it works, I am thankful. (Edited to add that it did not. I think I needed to eat a lot more garlic. Ha!)
- Mira made a smooth transition back to taking a bottle after having over a week of me being on vacation / working from home.
- The way Mira smiles at me when she first sees me. I seriously could write an entire book about that type of unconditional love and how amazing it made/ makes me feel. Ina and Cora also looked at me like that...until one day they didn't. Of course, they still show their love for me in so many ways, but that baby smile just melts my heart. I keep trying to capture it on video...but every time Mira notices my phone and gets distracted.
- The Roku and Amazon Fire Stick remote apps on my phone. For some reason we can never find the remove, or "mote," as Cora calls it.
- After work I felt achy and had chills and my head was pounding. Dan let me go to bed at 6 (without dinner - this is very very rare for me!) and took charge of all the nightly activities. The girls had ramen for dinner, watched TV, and didn't have to take a bath. I think it is safe to say they didn't miss me.
Recipes from this week:
Artichoke mustard chicken: I loved this recipe and wanted to drink the sauce. Dan loved the sauce and veggies, but said the chicken thighs had a weird texture. The girls didn't touch it, but that might have something to do with the pre-dinner pizza that was consumed.
I brought a copy-cat version of my favorite salad from The Mixx: insalata brasica to our last family gathering. I shredded a bag of brussels sprouts and mixed it with two containers of arugula. I topped it with a bag of dried cranberries, about a cup of almond slivers, 6 slices of bacon cooked and chopped, a cup of shredded parmesan cheese, and topped with this maple dijon vinaigrette just before serving.
While grocery shopping on Friday I realized that Aldi doesn't carry a chicken broth without added sugar. I am trying not to eat added sugars. Instead I bought a 5 lb roasting chicken and made my own broth after roasting it. It wasn't hard at all, it was cheaper than buying the chicken broth alone, and the chicken plus the broth made my house smell fantastic all day long. Win, win, win!
Magic green sauce That sauce is magic, because when put on top of quinioa, chicken (cooked together in the pressure cooker!), and green beans it keeps me full until dinner.
Sweet potato yellow curry with brown rice - delicious, healthy, and filling.
Eggs in a basket - one of my favorite healthy breakfasts that keeps me full until lunch. I shred a few sweet potatoes and slice a whole bag of brussels sprouts on Sunday, so making it before work takes almost no time at all. The key, however, is making sure not to burn the veggies while running around getting everyone ready for the day.
Sweet potato banana bars for snacks.
Easy chicken and bean bake: love that it comes together in 5 minutes and everyone in my family will eat it.
Have a great end to your week and weekend! <3