Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday, So glad you are here. Some think it doesn't make a difference what day of the week it is for a SAHM. But it does. Nice to have the Hub home. Dear Baby E, Your baby hands just make me melt. When you are eating and I look down and see your hand resting on my chest, it warms my heart. Dear Crafty Self, Get your act together and make some stuff! Dear Spring, Stop teasing us and get on with yourself! Dear March Maddness, I am excited to watch the games tomorrow and to see who ends up with the championship. Even more excited to watch the championship Monday night. Sorry to The Voice who will have to wait for my viewing until Tuesday. Dear Vegetable Starts, Lookin' good! Dear House, Can't you just clean yourself? Like, I could go to the grocery store, close up the house, press a button and you would be clean when I come home? No? Well, maybe that's how I could make my millions.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Recent Grub

I have definitely been neglecting the topic of food around here. Don't worry, we are eating, I guess I just haven't thought a lot of it to be post-worthy.

But here are a few things I wanted to share.

Apparently, steel cut oats are good for lactating mamas so of course, I wanted to try them out. Also, I like to try to eat a hearty breakfast if I can because sometimes lunch comes a little late for me. The only issue I have with this breakfast is that when I am home alone, it is a little time consuming with boiling and stirring so the babe has to be on her best behavior. I cook 'em up, slice up some fresh fruit, throw in some dried fruit, a little brown sugar, cinnamon and almond milk and yum, yum!

Next up, we have some cookies. Again, another recipe that caters a bit toward the lactating mama, but they are a little healthier, Ben eats them and they are good. They aren't too sweet which makes them a good snack. I saw them posted on Whitney's blog and the recipe is from here. I don't pump my milk very often so I don't have a great gauge as to whether they work or not, but I figure, hey, they are healthy-ish and it can't hurt right?

Moving right along, we started to get a bit unhealthy. While Ben was off last week, we tried a couple of new things. I have always wanted to bake bread from scratch but am always scared. I know. Scared of what? Don't  you just try something and if it works is does and if not oh well? Well, yes. But I pretty much like to succeed in the kitchen. Not fail. I'm the first born, what can I say?

We sometimes enjoy watching the Sandwich King on Sunday mornings. we have tried a couple of his recipes and liked them. So for some reason we think we should try Pretzel Buns with Grilled Dogs and Spicy Cheese Sauce. Yeah. Okay, so we make the buns which turned out delicious. the only complaint we had was that we used wax paper on the baking sheet and the buns stuck like a mother. Other than that, complete success. We were pretty proud of ourselves considering we used yeast, had to let them rise, boil them and bake them. 

The next steps were easy: make a cheese sauce and grill the dogs. We didn't love the cheese sauce as we followed the recipe and used Velveeta. Not awesome. The next day when we ate left overs, we just used regular hotdog toppings: ketchup, mustard and relish and like them a lot better. I think the fakey Velveeta was a little much. A lot much.
Last but not least, we went for homemade pizza. 

We have a confession. Most Friday nights we get a Papa Murphy's take and bake pizza. I don't know why this started but it's typical. We actually hadn't done it in awhile, maybe because we are on a tighter budget, we have been having leftovers or whatever. Anyway, last Friday we decided we wanted to make our own pizza including the crust. Since we had succeeded with the pretzel buns, we deemed ourselves seasoned bakers and figured we couldn't go wrong.

We got the crust recipe out of my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and went to town. We didn't want to go to the store so we used all ingredients we had on hand: made sauce from scratch, ground pork, tomatoes, cheese and jalapenos. It was delish. I don't know if Ben and I will keep it up now, but I definitely think it will be fun to have a weekly family pizza making night with kids.

Nothing too exciting, I suppose, but it always feels good to try new recipes, discover healthy recipes we like and eat yummy food at home!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WILW: Spring!

I am linking up with this lady today to declare that I am loving all things spring! Spring is such a fun time of year with winter slowly coming to an end, little peeks of bright sun here and there, a fresh new season and fun, bright colors.

First of all, I am loving that we got some seeds started inside and are already seeing sprouts.

I love these fun jars-turned-vases. I am definitely trying to do some in some springy colors.

Love this fun top with a cute cardigan over.

Definitely a good spring nail polish color.
Source: via Allyce on Pinterest

Layers work well here for spring.

I think I have posted this before but I still love it: cute ol' rain boots.

Yum, asparagus.

I am also loving:
::having more motivation to work out.
::borrowing library books on my Kindle.
::feeling more like myself.

Go link up, it's fun!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Family

I really can't put into words how great our last 9 days were. We had Ben home and it was just perfect. Some may say we are boring because we do anything or go anywhere, but truthfully, we did just what we wanted: Stayed home, enjoyed our girl and enjoyed each other. We haven't had that much time all together since the peanut was born and then it was pretty much just survival mode.

Each day we got into a little routine, sleeping in as much as the babe allowed, making meals, playing with the girl, exercising, and getting a few chores done around the house.

The strength of mine and Ben's relationship has really shined through over the past year. I would say the past four months but really it has been since we learned I was pregnant. It is funny to look back over the course of our relationship and see where we are now because we started out dating as sophomores in college. Who could have seen then where we would be now?! It really is amazing how much we grow and change and it is so fun to do it together. I am so blessed to have a man who is so involved in every aspect of my life and now our daughter's life. He is so supportive and we are such a good balance. Things he may not know as much about or isn't as sure of he lets me take the reigns and vice versa. If either of us have a concern, we like to voice it right away. Even if a conversation starts out defensive on one end, it ends up being a healthy conversation and ends with understanding on both ends.

I guess the reason I am reflecting on this is because we had so much time together last week and got to see each other day to day in our new roles as Mom and Dad in addition to husband and wife. I also pointed out to Ben that in addition to all of our responsibilities to Eleanor, a huge one we have to her is showing her a strong, healthy marriage and relationship. Ben looked at me and said, "Yeah, I mean the way I treat you is going to show her how a man should treat her." Exactly my thoughts, Husband. She is a lucky girl because her dad treats her mom pretty dang well.

So much more about life becomes clear and things that didn't seem like a big deal before are a big deal now because we are the example for our sweet babe. That is a huge deal! However, there are many other things that used to be a big deal that aren't anymore. For instance, I think when Hub and I started dating sophomore year, many of our arguments are definitely not things we would argue about today.

Living, learning and loving day by day. I am just a lucky, happy Mama and Wife to have such a wonderful husband and daughter to be on this adventure with.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fit Friday

I must say, having your husband around everyday when you have an almost four month old is heaven.

I have also forgotten how nice it is to have a workout buddy to motivate and make me want to workout. I have been convincing myself that I can't workout because I would tell myself that right when I got started Eleanor would need my attention or that by the time she had fallen asleep for a nap, I would be hungry and need to eat and then I just couldn't workout right after I ate.

While all of that may be true, Ben has helped me to understand that all of that doesn't matter. I just have to do what I can. And I am learning that some is better than none.

I am happy to report that within the last week I have done two and a half P90X workouts and gone on an hour walk.

Ben borrowed P90 from a friend a while back, actually right at the beginning of my pregnancy so when I was beginning to transform into a whale, he decided he was getting in shape. Nice, huh?

Anyway, I am happy we have the DVDs now because it is perfect for this stay at home lady and I feel so great after the workouts and I know I will continue to if I keep it up. The half workout was because Eleanor woke up and was hungry. I could have gone back and finished but I didn't and that's okay. Besides that it was the core workout of P90X so it was a pretty difficult one. And obviously my core is the most tired and worn of all my muscles.

So my goal for this week is on Monday, after I feed Eleanor in the morning and she is likely to go back to sleep for an hour or hour and a half, I am going to get up and do a workout instead of going back to sleep. I tried to tell Hub that I am going to do that Monday, Wednesday and Friday and his suggestion is to just start with Monday and see how it goes. He is smart like that. I have been wanting to start getting up before the baby and this may be a good way to motivate myself to do it. Or a bad way, depends how we are looking at it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Bit of Catching Up

Holy Moly. Where have I been?! No idea. Nothing new. Tending to my home and the baby. Obviously not blogging. I was so proud of myself in the month of February pertaining to the blog but then I kind of fell out of my routine in the month of March.

The month of March has been spent (pretty much unsuccessfully) trying to get Eleanor on a napping schedule. That could be why I haven't gotten a post written. Her reaction to getting laid down in her crib for a nap pretty much alerts the neighborhood that we are very certainly torturing her. She falls asleep in our arms, we walk around, we lay her down and she won't have it. At night, we still swaddle, nurse, rock and lay her down and she is perfectly fine. Anyway, long story short, she is napping in her swing. Not ideal, but at least she is sleeping for some lengths of time during the day.

Husband has been off work for the rest of his paternity leave. One word: awesome. It is so nice that he got two weeks of leave and only had to use one week of it in December. When he used that week coupled with the holidays and such, we were in such a daze, trying to keep our heads above water with our newborn that it just flew by. Now, with our almost four month old, we are basically enjoying a stay-cation. It is seriously amazing to me how much faster I get things done around this place with the Hub home. I can bust out chores like the old days, pre-Eleanor. It is also really fun to have Hub around to see all the fun developments that we are seeing with the babe.

We planted some vegetable seeds the other day to start indoors so we will see how that goes. We did it a couple of years ago and it worked ok. Hopefully it will work better this year. Of course our future farmgirl had to be in on the action.

We most certainly enjoyed the first rounds of March Madness last weekend. We both filled out brackets and neither are doing well but that's ok. We just love watching.

We are looking forward to some nicer weather. Who knows when that is coming but I am hopeful. It has basically been just cold, rainy and sometimes windy which is not great for any type of getting out of the house. 

I am getting a little excited because I have been getting the crafting itch again. I have a few simple projects in mind that will mostly consist of using some things around the house which is always exciting.

We have been going to a few of Ben's basketball games on Sunday nights which is fun because he plays with  the guys in our vacation  group so the other babies are there, we all visit, and Eleanor has been doing really well at them. Evenings are usually our "challenging" time with her but the games keep her entertained, distracted and it actually seems like she is watching!

I am also, slowly, trying to get back in shape. It is really hard to convince myself to workout when Eleanor finally goes down for a nap, I am hungry and just want to sit down. But I am going to try. She also inherited a jumper from her cousin (2nd cousin?) which she enjoys so that could start buying me a little bit more time to do things.

Anyway, nothing too exciting around here, just the usual.


Our usual is pretty enjoyable these days.

Monday, March 5, 2012

3 Months

Dear Sweet, Baby Girl,

Three months have gone by since the special day that we brought you home. You continue to bring so much joy to our lives. 

As of right now, your sleeping patterns are pretty set. You usually go down around ten at night, however, I think we may try to change that soon. You usually do a 4-6 hour first stretch, wake up and nurse, 2-3 hours, nurse and another 2 hours. You are so happy in the mornings and love to smile, talk and stretch it all out.

This month brought with it your first naps in your pack and play since we are eventually working up to you sleeping the night in it. As of right now, you do your second half of the night in the pack and play by our bed.  You also graced us with your first laugh. Mom and Dad were doing your night time diaper and we heard the sweet sound together. Magic. One morning I had set you on your playmat, which you continue to love and you were batting at and talking to your toys. It is truly amazing what changes with you over night.

A couple of days before Valentine's day Mom and Dad got to go out to dinner and we left you with your Oma and Opa. You slept the whole time. Momma survived. Other than that, I have left you at home for an hour here or there to run and errand or two but that's about it.

You are into all three month clothes and actually pushing the ends of some of the pajamas. I think you weigh about 13 pounds, give or take. I was only able to weigh you on a scale that does half pounds and we, thankfully, don't have a doctor appointment this month to get an accurate weight. That's okay, I definitely know you're growing. You grow because you love to nurse. During the day we are doing about every 2 1/2 to 3 hours between feedings.

This past week or two you have steadied your head immensely and you are able to pull up into a sitting position by hanging on to someone's fingers. It is amazing how much stronger you become each day. We also have put you in your Bumbo seat a few times and you do well in it. You have also started noticing your hands and are contemplating the fact that they are attached to your body. 

You like tummy time but not for too long. You still do well at it though, lifting your head and pushing your legs. 

I'm sure I am forgetting many of the other amazing things you do but I feel these have been a few of the milestones of the month. You are just such an amazing little person and I can't believe I am so blessed as to spend everyday with you. I am so proud to be your Momma and look forward to everyday that I wake up with your smiling face.

We love you to the moon and back, Eleanor, thank you for making our lives so wonderful.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Firm Fridays: Oops

So, I fell off the wagon this week.

I did take my workout week into the weekend last weekend so I felt like that justified taking a couple of days off this week, right? Probably not but that's okay.

I actually walked on a treadmill last weekend and to my excitement horror, walking at a 3.5 pace for 30 minutes worked up a sweat. Yikes.

So, I have done nada in the workout department this week. I have made an effort to eat a little bit better. I have been having a hard time figuring out what sounds good or what to eat during the day so I usually grab whatever is easy which isn't always the most healthy. 

I am fitting into two pairs of pre-pregnancy jeans and I don't think I am bulging out of them. They feel pretty good aside from the fact that my hips feel quite a bit different.

I would think that carrying my little 13-pounder around all day everyday would be taking a positive toll on my arms but I have yet to see that. It must be that I am getting stronger but carrying the princess around isn't really producing any sort of tone. I will have to focus on that as well.

Goal for next week: Walk more and incorporate a few hand weights here and there. 

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