Thinking Ahead!

This weekend was perfect!  We didn’t have much to do on Sunday (except grocery shopping and laundry).  With Lance on the couch watching March Madness and Miles sleeping on his lap, I had plenty of time to plan ahead!

  1. I prepared a crock pot recipe for tonight with this easy 5 ingredient White Chicken Chili
  2. I made healthy breakfast muffins for the week with this recipe
  3. I made dinner (spaghetti and meatballs) with extra meatballs to freeze for future dinners with this easy recipe

How do you plan ahead for the week, and what makes your life easier?

 

 

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Nine months of fortune!

I have blogged a lot about my feelings about being a mother. I think it’s pretty clear I’m head over heels for Miles John Waltman. These past 9 months have been the most fulfilling, trying, and exciting months of my life. Every time I think I’m on top of things, he throws us a curve ball. I love my husband more than I ever have and am so incredibly impressed with his ability to grow into an even more incredible father than what I had imagined.

Miles is saying “Mama” and “Dada”. He has 2 teeth on the brink of coming in. He’s getting where he needs to go by rolling around, but not crawling quite yet. He will eat some baby food at daycare and sometimes for Lance, but he won’t eat any from me. He loves to play on the floor and he loves his doggies, Koa and Max. He can be a little temperamental and tends to be either really happy or really mad in just a few seconds.  His favorite toy right now is a barnyard toy from his Grammy.

We sat in the grass for the first time on Saturday, and he really enjoyed touching it. He also had fun touching trees rocks.  I’m excited to watch him explore outside this summer.   Here are a few pictures of our fun time!

2nd Annual Mini Vacay-Great Wolf Lodge

We’re heading back to Great Wolf Lodge this weekend! Check out my review from last year’s visit!!

One of our family Christmas gifts from my in-laws this year was a trip to Great Wolf Lodge. Located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Great Wolf Lodge is loaded with tons of activities for kids and families, but the biggest attraction is the huge in-door water park! The water park is over 79,000 square feet, with attractions including water-slides, a wave pool, and a “zero-depth entry” area for smaller children. The resort also includes a bowling alley, in-door mini golf, spa, nightly dance parties, story times and much much more!

We traveled with my husband’s sister, her husband and two children, and also my husband’s cousin and her two daughters. The kids ages ranged from 6 months to 15 years old and not one person was lacking in things to do.

Not only is there a lot to do but the rooms are pretty amazing! We stayed in a family suite and had more than enough room for the four of us. The two queen beds were super comfortable and the sectioned off sitting area was nice for the girls to hang out and play in. They also include a mini fridge and microwave which came in handy for bottle making and snacks.

Our girls had an amazing time playing n the “zero-depth entry” area. There was just enough water for them to feel comfortable and shallow enough that my husband and I weren’t paranoid that someone was going to drown. Our oldest daughter loved standing in the wave pool and our youngest liked hanging out in the warm springs.

In addition to all the fun things to do, the resort has many food options. From a Starbucks (which came in very handy for a momma with a 1 year old who didn’t sleep) to a buffet with everything you can dream of! The food can get a bit expensive so if you are on a budget I suggest taking a meal or two and some snacks to save a bit of money.

Over all we had a great time at Great Wolf Lodge; if it weren’t for a few meltdowns and the lack of sleep, I would say it was a perfect mini vacation; but where’s the fun in perfect?

For more information, click on the link: Great Wolf Lodge.

Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank Donation

I have been exclusively breastfeeding Miles for 8 months.  My supply has regulated over time, and I only produce about 30 extra ounces a week beyond what Miles drinks, but it wasn’t always this way.

At one point, I had so much extra milk, I could barely keep up with pumping.  I got extremely painful Mastitis a few times and thought about giving up.  My husband and I bought a deep freezer to store food, but quickly found out that my milk was taking over.

milkfreezer

I was talking about my extra supply at daycare and a fellow mom named Sarah told me about Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank. It took a little while to go through an approval process, but it was so worth it!  The great thing is once you’re approved, you can continue to donate as many times as you want to.  I can still keep enough milk on-hand in case of emergency, but none of my milk is going to waste.

I took my first load of milk over a few weeks ago and was overwhelmed with a feeling of extreme happiness. The nurse in the facility said that my milk would feed babies in the NICU at Magee for a month!

milksuitcase

I’m still waiting to hear how many ounces it was, exactly.  The reason why they use the breast milk in the NICU is because it’s proven to help pre-mature babies with their digestive system; reducing their need for gastrointestinal surgery.  Read more about the science behind it, here, under “What Difference Does Breastmilk Make”.

Overall, it was an incredible feeling and I hope to donate a few more times this year!

My heart is full

A few weeks back, I decided that I was going to try to be more realistic with what I can accomplish in a weekend  by creating a Weekend Wishlist.  Well, I have really stuck to my guns, and have focused on being more realistic about crossing things off my to-do list while spending quality time with Miles and Lance.  This weekend we did laundry, groceries, and spent time with friends.  It was fabulous!

flowers

Sundays are always bitter-sweet for me.  The end of the weekend marks five long days without my baby.  Since today was Valentine’s Day, and my late Grandfather’s Birthday, emotions ran high and happy and sad tears were shed.  There was one constant feeling I had throughout the day, though.  That feeling was, my heart is full.  It’s a remarkable feeling to be bubbling over with love.  How incredibly sweet it is to be a mother.  I never imagined that Valentine’s Day could feel any better.

Quick, Easy Valentines Day Treat

Ahhh, Valentines Day, one of my favorite holidays as a child! I loved decorating my “mailbox,” receiving Valentines and of course the treats! Chocolate is my favorite thing besides coffee, and you can’t have Valentines Day without cholocate.

This year I volunteered to bring cookies in for the girls’ parties but I didn’t want to send in something store bought but I also didn’t want to send a ton of time baking. That’s when I found the perfect treat!  Valentine Wafer Cookies.

What you’ll need:

-Microwave (I did mine on the stovetop)

-Wax paper

-Vanilla wafer cookies

-Dolci fruit dip

-Sprinkles

Directions:

-melt your Dolci fruit dip and remove from heat; be sure not to over heat. I find that I can control it better if I melt it on the stovetop.

-Dip the wafer cookie in the melted Dolci dip. Place on wax paper.

-Pour on the sprinkles! Allow to cool.

-ENJOY!

Yep, they’re that easy and the kids loved them!

 

 

My Weekend Wish List

I have been trying to stay in-tune with what I find creates stress for me, lately.  Sometimes, I wake up on a Saturday and get excited about the potential the weekend holds for our family to have fun, and spend quality time together.  After thinking for a few minutes, I realize there’s a lot of things which “have to get done,” and then I quickly get disappointed or stressed about managing our time.

So, this Saturday when I woke up, I decided I wanted to make a list of “to-do” and a “wish list” underneath it.  Often times, I think things have to happen, but they actually don’t really need to.  This is how I overload my weekend and turn fun time into stress.  Lance and I sat down and said everything we had to do this weekend, vs. what we wanted to do.

This was our list:

to do

 

The truth was, when we actually thought about what we ABSOLUTELY HAD TO GET DONE, there really wasn’t much.  We knocked out the grocery shopping and trip to target on Saturday along with nap-time sleep training.  That left Sunday for our wish list.  On Sunday, we chillaxed, I got a much-needed pedicure and Lance played Playstation for a few hours and I had lunch with my best friend.

We even made delicious meals both nights!!  Lemon Orzo Chicken, and Spanish Chickpeas and Rice!

 

While we didn’t get everything I wanted to get done, I realized that my expectations were unrealistic if I wanted any down time.  We had a great time this weekend, and I think our to-do and wish list will be a new weekend tradition which will help us prioritize and be realistic about what we can accomplish.

smiles

The sickest winter, EVER!

I mean “sick” in the literal sense.  Between Lance, Miles and I, we have all been sick this winter at least 12 times.  Why?  DAY CARE!  There has not been a weekend where Miles, Lance and I have all been well since he started day care.  Please tell me it get’s better!

I have taken Miles to the pediatrician at least once every two weeks since September.  We have spent a small fortune on co-pays.  Not to mention the money I am wasting for time in daycare when he is home sick.   I just keep telling myself, something has got to give.

Saturday night, Miles was vomiting and had diarrhea, a fever of 103.4 and a nasty cough.  Lance and I switched off holding him for hours since that was the only way he would sleep and stop crying.  As I hoof it into the pediatrician again tomorrow (I was just there Friday because Miles had a rash), I need to remind myself of all the parents who have a terminally or chronically ill child and be incredibly thankful that my son will get better.

I do feel bad for Miles, though.  When there’s nothing I can do for him, it makes me feel bad for having to keep him in daycare. I did find this article which made me feel a little bit better.  According to this study, kids go through this whenever they enter a group setting. It may be at 3 months and it may be in kindergarten.  At least Miles won’t be missing important lesson plans, and he won’t remember feeling so horrible.  I guess that makes me feel better….maybe.

Miles’ Photoshoot!

I have been itching to get Miles’ photos taken.  When I was younger, I saw my sister-in-laws get professional photos of their kids all the time and I never really understood why.  Now that I am a mom, I can see why the DIY photos beyond quick cell phone snaps are less of a reality.

My boss recommended I used her friend and family photographer, Ada DeFanti.  I checked out her site and really liked the way her photos transposed a candidness and true happiness.  They didn’t seem so “posed”.  After I met Ada, I could see why.  She was really sweet and down to earth, and made us feel truly relaxed and happy during our shoot.  Miles even gave her a few smiles!

The end result is I am in love with the photos of my beautiful boy.  The memories are priceless, but Ada’s rates are respectable.