Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meal Planning

I am trying to make a better attempt at updating my blog but when you have two kids and very little (aka NO) free time, it's a little challenging.

Every two weeks I do a big grocery shop.  This trip usually averages $100 (if I have recently made a Costco run) to $150 (if I have not made a Costco run).  This will include all of our ingredients for all meals as well as breakfast foods, snacks, and luxury items like bottled sparkling water for Jason and hair products for me. 

Before I go shopping, I brainstorm and come up with a list of dinners that I would like to make over the two week period.  I have an ongoing list of inexpensive and quick meals that I keep on the fridge.  This helps me decide if I want to make any of those meals or I want to mix it up.  I tend to like making new recipes so I always have one or two new recipes as well as a family favorite (American Chop Suey or Macaroni and cheese are two big faves) and some easy standbys.

Here is my list of inexpensive and quick meals (I have posted this before):

* Beef Enchiladas
* Meatloaf
* Spaghetti with meat sauce/meatballs/sausage
* Soup and sandwiches
* Chili
* Taco soup and cheese quesadillas
* Anything in the crockpot
* Baked chicken with sides
* Pork chops with sides
* Macaroni and cheese
* Red beans and rice
* Chicken pot pie
* Casseroles (tuna, chicken and rice bake, breakfast casserole)
* Breakfast for dinner
* American Chop Suey
* Crescent roll ups (with a variety of fillings)
* Baked chicken nuggets or strips
* Roasted chicken and veggies

Of course, there are tons more quick and inexpensive meals so I am always adding to my list

On this grocery shopping trip, I picked up the ingredients to make the following meals (with links if I have them):

* Pizza Pasta
* Angel chicken
* Roasted chicken with potatoes, carrots and onions
* Gnocchi with vodka sauce and chicken sausage (no recipe - made with store bought ingredients)
* Hashbrown casserole
* Spicy honey brushed chicken thighs with sides
* Shrimp Pad Thai
* Pork chops with sides
* Chicken and rice bake
* Meatloaf and mashed potatoes

You will notice that the list doesn't have 14 dinners on it.  That is because every Friday we eat dinner over at my in-laws and also because I have at least one leftover night during the week as to not waste any food. 

Of course, I don't have a plan for which night has which meal.  It's usually whatever I feel like making or what I am in the mood to eat.

Now, if I could get Jack to eat all the above foods.  He doesn't like meat so this is challenging.  Jason and I are currently arguing over whether I should continue to make him a separate meal or if he should just eat what we are having.  I could write a whole separate post about this subject.

That's it for my meal planning post.  I really would like to start food blogging again but alas, I just don't have the time.  And secretly, it's because I always forget to take pictures of my food before I start eating!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Big Boy Bed

On Friday night, Jason went out with friends.  He does this often so it's no big deal.  Very shortly after he pulled out of the driveway, I heard Jack in his room and I thought one of the cats.  See, Jack had been in his room going "night night" for about 15 minutes.  Sometimes, Lisa, our kitten, gets in there and we don't know it. 

I opened the door to Jack's room to let the cat out and lo and behold, there was my son.  Standing at the door with Legos in hand.  At first, I thought, "Jason must have forgotten to put him in the crib" but then realized..........He had climbed OUT of his crib. 

I stood at the door just staring for a good two minutes while holding Cal.  Then I said "Jack, it's time to go to bed.  Don't climb out of your crib, you could get hurt".  I put Jack back to bed.  I was stunned.  He had NEVER climbed out of his crib before. 

Ten minutes later?  Same story.  Jack, out of his crib, playing with Legos.

I texted Jason and it wasn't pretty.  I think it went something like this:  We have a major problem.  Jack can now climb out of his crib.  He did it two fucking times.  He is going to fall and split his head open.  And of course, it's on the night you are out with your damned friends.

Not that this was Jason's fault mind you.

Saturday?  Jason took the front of Jack's crib off and I went searching for a bed rail.  The result, Jack's new "big boy bed":

He is pretending to sleep in this picture.

Operation Big Boy Bed was slightly successful.  Saturday night (the first night) Jason and I had to put Jack back in bed several times.  And Sunday morning, Jason had to put Jack to bed several times.  Waking up at 5:00 am and running around the house isn't cool. 

On a good note, he goes down for naps without issue.  And last night he only had to be put back in bed once before falling asleep.

I knew this day would come eventually but wasn't expecting it so soon.  After all, he had never climbed out of his crib before.  I guess he just tried it and realized he could.

Little turkey.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cal is One Month Old!

Cal, you have been in our lives for a month already?  Crazy how time flies.  I am pretty sure that I state that in every age post.

I have to admit, this time around, I am actually ENJOYING the newborn stage.  With your brother, I was so depressed and I don't even remember the first 6 months of his life until I went on medication.  Doesn't that sound awful?  With you, I remember everything.  I haven't cried in sadness or frustration once!  Maybe it's because you are a slightly easier baby?

Some things that you are up to:

* You quickly moved out of newborn sized clothing by about 3 weeks.  Your nickname is chunky monkey because you have the chubbiest, stockiest legs and belly.  So darn cute!  Similarly, you are already in size 1 diapers (if you were to go by the disposable sizing). 

* You LOVE to eat.  Seriously, I am not used to this!  You love your milk and will take 2-3 ounces every 2 hours or less.  It's been hard keeping up with all your eating!  And boy, don't take away your bottle.  You get MAD!  So forget about burping in the middle of a feed.  You just scream until the bottle is placed back in your mouth.

* Sleep is pretty good.  You go down to bed around 8-8:30 in your Rock N Play next to Mom and Dad's bed.  I try to go to bed at the same time so I can get up to feed and change you in the middle of the night.  You usually wake up at 11:30, 3:00 and 5ish.  By 5:00, you have had enough of your bed and want to come to bed with Mom and Dad.  It's the only way to calm you down.  I remember the second night home from the hospital you slept for 5.5 hours at a stretch and almost died.  Hopefully you will do that again soon!

* I noticed that you had the classic signs of reflux (just like your brother) a week or so ago.  So now you are on baby Zantac and it seems to be helping a LOT.  Thank goodness we caught it so early.

* You love your Mommy.  I am usually the only one who can calm you down if you are crying.  We spend a lot of time bouncing and wearing the Moby.  You love being balled up next to Mommy's chest and just snuggling.  As a matter of fact, for about a week or two, the only way you would sleep was next to Mom and balled up.  Thank goodness I worked hard to get you to sleep in your bed.  It's hard sleeping sitting up!

* The noises you make are just precious.  Daddy and I say you "billy goat" because when you stretch or wake up, you make what sounds like a billy goat baa'ing.  It is so cute. 

* You smile a lot in your sleep.  I love watching the faces that you make.  A couple of times you have smiled at Mom when you have been awake but I am pretty sure it's gas.  I am not convinced when Nana says you are an early smiler. 

* I am convinced you are going to look like your Daddy.  People say you look like Jack.  I see similarities but definitely more differences.  Your eyes are just like Daddy's and Papa's when they were babies.  It will be fun to see who you look like as you get older.

* We try and do play-time on your play mat or with toys but honestly, you are more content just being held and looking around.  You love looking at lights or your brother.  You will crane your neck to stare at a light.  And you love the sound of Papa's voice.  A couple of times if he is speaking, you will turn your head to look.

* Your head control is amazing.  You have been able to hold it up pretty much from birth.  This is another trait you share with your brother.  I have strong boys!

I can't wait to see what this next month brings Cal.  I am sad that I have to go back to work after only 8 weeks.  I plan to enjoy every sleep-deprived, special second with you. 

Love you Monkey!

Look at those chunky legs and belly!  And how cute is a baby in a cloth diaper?

And looking out the window.  See?  You crane your neck to look at lights.

Save the Tatas

I am going to sandwich this post between Cal's 1 month post so it doesn't get lost in the fray.

On Monday, I noticed that my left breast was very tender and swollen.  Not engorged swollen but pain swollen.  It was so painful that I wasn't even able to pick up Cal and burp him without wincing in pain.  And pumping?  Pure hell.  The pain continued through the day but I chalked it up to being tired and maybe a clogged duct even though I couldn't feel one.

On Wednesday, the pain was still there but it would switch sides which makes absolutely no sense.  Again, I thought it was clogged ducts.  However, when I discovered that Cal had a yeast rash on his bottom, I started to wonder.  Hmmmm.  I treated the yeast with Monistat and had to switch him to disposable diapers because I suspected that the cloth were holding the moisture in causing the yeast. 

Wednesday night, his mouth was very very white.  Moreso than normal.  He typically has a thin white milk layer on his tongue but this was thick and cheese-like.  A lightbulb went off in my head and I went to the interwebs to look up the symptoms of thrush.

He had all the symptoms and I had the symptoms as well.  Awesome!

Yesterday was spent calling doctors, getting prescriptions refilled and general craziness.  Cal is being treated with the Monistat still and something called Gentian Violet which is literally a violet antifungal that you paint in his mouth.  If it wasn't so pathetic, my technicolor baby would be comical.  When Jason and I applied it last night (while he was swaddled and PISSED mind you) he gagged and made the most sad face.  Poor little guy.  And because it was literally hurting him to eat, he also got a dose of infant Tylenol. 

I got an Rx for Diflucan and some fancy-schmancy nipple cream that my insurance won't cover. 

Last night, I started feeling bad.  Headaches, fatigue and general malaise.  I thought it was from the stress of the day and shopping with my mother-in-law for a baby shower gift (not a fun task I tell ya) so I went to bed.  I woke up with Cal to feed and was sweating.  This is normal for me.  I threw the blanket off and went back to sleep after he was settled. 

4:30 came around and I was FREEZING.  Teeth chattering freezing even though I had flannel sheets, a comforter and a down blanket over me.  And the house is kept at 68 degrees. 

When I woke up this morning, I felt run over by a train.  Flu like symptoms.  Very painful and hot breasts, headache, dizzy, stiff neck, general fog and body aches, and a temperature of 101. 

Guess what folks?  Did you know that you can get thrush and mastitis at the same time?  Yeppers.  That is what I have.  After a trip to the doctor where he showed me the streaky red spots on my breasts, I came home and literally have not moved off the couch except to pee and eat.  I am now on ANOTHER prescription. 

So, besides the beastie yeasties, I have a bacterial infection in my boobs.  Awesome, I tell you.

Course of action:  Meds, lots of sleep (haha, that's impossible with a 2 year old and a 1 month old), lots of water, hot packs on the tatas, and pump pump pump.  Get the milk moving to get the infection out.  Fun times I tell you. 

I feel like crap and want to take another nap

Monday, February 6, 2012

Jack is TWO!

Jack's official birthday is the 2nd of February but I wanted to wait until today to post since he had his party on Saturday and his 2 year Well Child exam today.

Buddy, you amaze us.  You are getting so.....BIG!  Your language is exploding.  Daddy and I call you The Parrot because you repeat everything we say.  Even if you can't pronounce it perfectly, you still try so hard.  One day I said Darjeeling (referring to the tea) and you repeated it back to me.  Not only do you say one word, you are up to sentences.  Your favorite phrase right now?  "DD Buzz".  Referring to a DVD of Buzz (Lightyear from Toy Story).  You are obsessed.

Today you had your doctor's appointment and you are 28 pounds (75th percentile) and 36ish inches tall (75th percentile).  You are perfectly proportioned as the doctor said. 

You are not sure what to make of your brother.  You like helping but we can see the jealousy coming out.  Of course, that is expected so Daddy and I try and do special things with just you.  Going to OMSI, or even just to the store so you can have one-on-one time with one of us.  Or both of us.

What are your favorite things lately?  DD Buzz (of course) and Elmo.  You got a peek at your cake on Saturday and immediately "ELMO CAKE!!!!!" came out of your mouth.  Other things you love?  Trucks, books and your new Mr. Potato Head (thank you Auntie Rebecca).  When you opened it, you said "BUZZ!" because you recognized him from the movie. 

You are learning boundaries these days.  It takes us more than one time of telling you "no" or trying to redirect you before you will listen.  I am pretty sure that is typical for a 2 year old.  It takes an act of God to get you to stop torturing the poor cats.  You want to love them I am sure, but they usually don't appreciate you trying to roll on them.

You are busting out of your clothes.  I bought you a bunch of 24 month outfits for Christmas but it's already time for 2T and even your size 4 diapers are too tight.  It's on to size 5 for you!

Speaking of diapers, you are mildly afraid of your potty seat.  It sits right on the toilet and when Daddy or I ask if you need to go pee pee on the potty, you yell out "NO!".  However, you did go on the potty the other day and we praised you over and over for being a big boy.  It's funny because you stand up in the tub to go pee pee and are pretty proud of yourself for this.

Here are some pictures from your birthday party on Saturday.  It was a low-key affair with just us and Nana and Papa. 

Elmo cake

You loved the red frosting.  I don't think you ate anything other than the actual frosting!

When we sang Happy Birthday to you, it was so cute.  You put your head down on your highchair almost like you were embarrassed.  However, being the little ham that you are, you did smile when all the attention was on you.

Opening presents with help from Mom

And my favorite picture of the day because you just look so happy.  Snack time!

I can't wait to see what these next few months bring us.  I am sure you will continue to amaze us with your language and surprise us with your personality.  You are such a joy Jack.  Mommy and Daddy love you!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Picture Post

Since I don't have time for much else, enjoy this very short post with pictures.

Cross Eyed Baby (still cute though)

Jack the little chef (apron and hat courtesy of Auntie Carrie)

Sleepy boy.  This is his favorite place to sleep.  It makes for a long night.

The "stink" face

I intend to do a post updating about Cal and his grumpy issues.  Maybe later this week.  When I can find the time.