Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christ the savior is born

We hope you are enjoying time with your families and/or friends this holiday season.  While Kyle has had to work today, we are trying to enjoy the holidays with continuing a few traditions on this very non-traditional Christmas day.  One of those was our yearly Christmas Eve pajama photo...a tradition now running into it's 3rd generation!

May we remember that we celebrate this day not because of the stuff we get today but because of the ultimate gift of Christ's birth.  This season is a time of reflection and a time of anticipation of when he shall ultimately return. 

I look forward to Kyle and I figuring out what traditions will look like in our home over the years for our family, but I hope that the ultimate focus that Myles remembers from the holidays will be on Christ.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

last week : vacation

It was so nice.  I mean, so, so, nice. We had most of 5 days to be a family of 3.  Kyle getting to just be a dad.  He wore that hat very well last week.  And getting to see him in that role makes me even more in love with him every day.

The rest of his vacation, his mom was in town and that provided a different form of bliss.  Dates.

Granny Carol did quite a bit of babysitting for us... we did make sure to get her out of the house... it was her vacation as well... But 3 of the days she was here, we were able to slip away for little dates.  One day we saw the new Hunger Games movie (fantastic!); the next day we went out for a hibachi lunch; and the last date was another trip to the theater to see the new Hobbit movie.  Thank you SO MUCH Granny Carol!  I think Myles had fun playing with you :).

The vacation went by way too quickly (as they always do) but it was a good break for all of us anyway.

Also over the break, we finished our Christmas shopping, and picked out new doorknobs for the house.  Myles and I have finished all of our running around town and to Christmas parties, so over the next few days I will be busy wrapping presents and slowly installing the knobs.  I am SO excited about this!

I weighed little man the other day (roughly... you know, step on the scale alone and then holding him...not super accurate) and he is around 9 lbs (!!!).  So now that all of our cloth diapers are in (we are going to see how 15 work for us; BumGenius 4.0) I think I will be getting them washed and ready for the switch pretty soon.  I have read that 10 lbs is usually about when they fit baby best, but I might try them out next week anyways.  If they don't work yet, they will soon!

Friday, December 13, 2013

myles oliver : monthbymonth

My little man is already a month old.  Sometimes it seems like time is flying, and others, it is creeping by.  I am anxious for the more interactive time, but hate to see the snuggly little boy disappear.

Myles, you have moved into size 1 diapers this week, as well as some of your bigger clothes (0-3mo and a few 3 month sizes).  You can still squeeze into some newborn things but not for much longer. 

You mostly only cry when you are hungry (or we accidentally bop you on the head).  You fall asleep almost immediately when you are in the car or in your stroller.  For the most part you let us sleep for 2-4 hours at a time at night and have more "good" nights than "bad" ones.. (good means you go to sleep right after you are done nursing instead of making us bounce you and snuggle you for 2 hours).  Night time is the only time mommy gets frustrated with you because other than lack of sleep on "bad" nights, you are so laid back.  

You love your bath time right now and I hope that never ends.  I love to comb your hair the "wrong" way after your bath so that it curls into a weird little mohawk of sorts.  

We have taken you to church a couple of times so far and you mostly sleep through it as long we we keep you moving.  

You started playing with your zebra this week, hitting the rings and rattle that hang from his feet.

My favorite moments with you are when you grab my shirt while you are nursing with one hand, and stroke my side with the other.  

Your daddy loves when you fall asleep on him and enjoys having "gym" time with you.  Daddy is your own personal gym.  You do tummy time on his chest (you hold your head up so well!  Just not very good at keeping it straight!), and he holds you under your arms to try to get you to push on him with your legs.  

You have had a few bottles now and took to them immediately!  Thank goodness!  That has been really helpful with daddy watching you while I run errands or when your Granny kept you so we could have a couple of dates during her visit!

It is still so surreal that we are parents.  

We love you little man.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

this view is nice

It is Kyle's vacation week.  Which in a way also means it is mine.

Baby wants to stay awake at 2am instead of conking right on out after his meal?  DADDY!!!!!

Baby has a million dirty diapers during the day?  DADDY!!!!!

Mommy wants to go finish all of the Christmas shopping/stop off for some Starbucks?  DADDY!!!!!

But he doesn't seem to mind at all.

Yes, this view is nice.

This week I am linking up with The Blessing Box!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

never too old

...for a Christmas wish list.  I mean everyone asks what you want for Christmas anyways, so why not make a wish list?

Here is mine:

1.  A personalized ring like this one from ClairAshley.  I'm thinking Myles' birthdate on the inside, and either "h(heart)k"  or "mCo" on the outside.  I would wager I am a size small.

2.  A personalized address stamp like these from chattypress.  I have loved hand stamping some of my cards this year... so realistically I wouldn't mind just some fun stamps for decorating cards too.

3.  I LOVE my Dyson vacuum.  My only complaint though is that it did not come with a good attachment for easily removing cat hair from the furniture.  This tangle-free turbine tool would be mighty handy.  

4.  I like the look of this pink Chambray Kindle Fire cover by Belkin.  I really like that the tablet snaps into it, not held in by elastic bands that get in the way/could stretch out.

5.  Mommy's happy place.  Also known as a Dunkin Donuts gift card.

6.  New luggage.  I love my parent's High Sierra large rolling duffle bag.  It is extra light weight so you can pack extra stuff and stay under the airline's weight limit.  This and a smaller carry-on size bag would probably work just fine for us.

7.  A Zoo membership... the "Household-Guest" option.  That way me, Myles, and any unnamed adult can go year-round...whether that is Kyle or getting a grandparent or friend in for free.  The girls I spend time with all have memberships so this will get used.  Is this a gift for me or Myles???

8.  I am in need of new throw pillows for my couches... I would LOVE these state pillows by Simply1Stitched.  One for KY, and one for SC!  With the state in grey I think (since she doesn't have solid yellow/gold).  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

thanksgiving firsts

There has been a lot of family in since Myles was born... and since he has only been here for less than 3 weeks, he has had a lot of firsts... Here are a few in photo form:

  1. A little older photo but I wanted to include it, my brother was able to spend about 5 days with us before he left for Japan and has requested to be dubbed "Uncle Chet".  This makes perfect sense isntweirdatall if you know Lucas...
  2. My Aunt Julie, cousin Corey, Nana, and Mom came in for Thanksgiving.  This is Corey's first time to hold Myles.  He was a little scared but got quite good at it... #bighandslittlebaby
  3. Thanksgiving morning (for us... Friday), my Mom (Gamma) helped me give Myles his first tub bath.  He really didn't mind it at all!
  4. This is my first... I cooked the whole Thanksgiving meal!  Thanks to lots of babysitters in the house... 
  5. Myles' first Thanksgiving... this was right after his bath... his Thanksgiving outfit didn't survive but an hour... Poosplosion2013 happened right after this photo was taken.
  6. After our feast.  Had a quick snuggle session before Kyle and I left him with his Gamma and headed to the hospital to drop off some food for the night crew.
  7. Myles loved his Nana the Great.  If there was one more spot for another photo, it would be the two of them napping together.  So funny. (maybe another day)
  8. Sunday after everyone was gone, we took our first family walk around the neighborhood.  Just like the car, the stroller puts him right to sleep.
  9. Myles watched his first Titans game with his daddy on Sunday as well.  Or watched his daddy... the jury is still out on that one.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

...for now. (2 weeks)

Babies change so fast.  Myles is no different... even when sometimes I can't put my finger on why.

At two weeks old, he has been rolling onto his side since he was a day old; is grabbing onto things more frequently; seems to be focusing on our faces more; started sticking his tongue out on occasion; on Monday was 6lb 13oz, almost back to his birth weight; lost his umbilical stump today.

Those are pretty concrete things... but here are other things about our little boy.

for now... he likes to sleep on his side.

for now... he is fine sleeping in his crib.

for now... he wakes up twice in the night (three if we sleep in).

for now... he sleeps for 2-4 hours at a time.

for now... his average bedtime is 9-10pm.

for now... his average wake up is around 7:30am.

for now... his hair is the same color as his Uncle's... dark blonde.

for now... we use a paci to calm him down at night, and he spits it out after a few minutes.

for now... he falls asleep when the car is moving.

for now... he stays asleep when we get to the store (as long as we keep moving).

for now... he sits in his bouncy seat and lets me take a full shower in the morning.

for now... he grabs my shirt while nursing.

for now... he mostly only cries when he is naked or having his diaper changed.

for now... he doesn't mind loud noises like the hairdryer or vacuum.

for now... he is a really good baby.

morning rocking chair snuggles 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

the day I conquered the world

at least it felt like I did.

I have had this big problem of feeling like my life was going to be over once I had a kid.  Now that I have one, things aren't so bad... but he is also a really really good baby.  Sure I have had a few meltdowns and rough spots, but all in all, he is a dream.

So what does the thought above, freezing cold heavy rain, and the need to go to the grocery before Thanksgiving and the diapers run out, translate to?  A challenge.

I didn't have to face it.  A good friend that had plans to visit, lovingly offered to run to the store for me.  And I almost let her.  But I'm headstrong and I thought:

I have a newborn and it is not the end of the world.  I take care of him almost exclusively alone so I might as well suck it up and get out on the worst weather day we have had yet... its not always going to be sunshine and I sure don't want to cower at home in fear of doing anything I want to do.  Sure, today is just a trip to the grocery, but tomorrow might be lunch with a friend...why miss out on the fun?

So I went.

And I took my time.

And he slept.

And with that one trip, I felt like I conquered the world.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

hurry up and wait

Just stopping in to update... we're still waiting.  

Myles is still sitting around in there.  We had another ultrasound yesterday to check my fluid levels... they were higher than the time before so that is still no concern.  We really couldn't see much... he was so squished up in there she couldn't really get a view of his face... so we had to be content watching him practice his breathing.  

Afterward, we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather downtown and go for a walk.  Ended up taking Myles up to the bridge over Reedy Falls.  

While we are really anxious for him to be here and get to spend as much time as possible with him before Kyle goes back to work, the past few days have been really good for Kyle to be able to just relax.  And really good for us to just reconnect with each other.  No distractions.  We have been out with friends, had dinner alone, been to the movies, run out for ice cream, and enjoyed the last bit of warm weather together.  

Time to shake things up.

Come on Myles.  We are so ready for you to be here!

Friday, November 8, 2013

five on friday

This week in honor of my dreaming of pregnancy ending (and having Myles in my arms) is the five things I am looking forward to enjoying once pregnancy is over.


forbidden foods.  Pregnant women are immediately faced with a list from their doctor of foods to avoid.  For the most part, it isn't too big a deal to avoid them... or you make up your own rules for what you will go ahead and enjoy.  For me, there was the awkward moment of a girl's night of wine and cheeses. Of course I wasn't supposed to have the wine... but then all of the cheeses (and meats) were on my list of no-nos.  Thankfully I had brought a large cup of hot chocolate with me, and there were some grapes to munch on.  My rule... I would still enjoy those forbidden cheeses if they were cooked... like feta cheese on a pizza.  The thing a little harder to work around... sushi.  Sure there is the fried rolls... and in Louisville that was no problem... most Japanese restaurants had some great tempura rolls... but I haven't really found that to be the case down here.  Someone bring me a spicy tuna roll to the hospital or even just a sandwich from Subway (because cold lunch meat was forbidden too...).


the occasional drink.  I miss beer.  And wine.  Not that I drank much to begin with... but I really missed out on Summer Shandy season.  And heck... it will be nice to not worry about how much caffeine I might consume in a day anymore.  Grande pumpkin spice latte please (even if I did wake up with a mug of caffeinated coffee).


doing whatever I want.  Now, I probably did more than any sane person would do... I still stood on a step stool; I painted a room; I mowed the lawn until about 2 months ago with a push mower.  Heck, throughout the past week I have slowly been raking the yard because I am going just that stircrazy.  But I cannot wait to be able to just do things again.  Just to get out of bed without my pelvis screaming at me will be nice.  Or put on shoes.  Or ride a rollercoaster.  Whatever.


normal clothes.  I get that I won't immediately look like my old self.. but to have a waist again... to wear a belt.  I am starting to get sick of these elastic waistbands that stretch out through the day. And its fall.  I love sweaters.  Thankfully I believe I shouldn't have any trouble wearing any of them pretty soon.  Pants will be an issue at first... but I can get past that to just be able to wear a nice warm sweater again.  And without fear that my belly has gotten so big that you can now see before mentioned elastic waistband or bare skin because the stretchy shirt is stretched to the max.


sleeping on my stomach.  Oh I can't wait for this.  I am a natural side/stomach sleeper.  Sleeping on my sides the past few months hasn't been too bad... but I just really don't sleep as well that way as I do on my stomach. 

although I am convinced he is trying to escape every night, it seems my body isn't ready for that to happen...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


the freezer is stuffed

your room is complete

the laundry is done

the hospital bag is packed

your dad is off of night shift

your grandparents are checking in on me every five minutes

our friends are ready to give me a ride to the hospital

we are ready to hold you and love you

anytime you are ready little man, i am ready too.

Monday, November 4, 2013

medical monday : i was in your shoes

I am so glad to have found this little blog hop last year!  Like many of you, I started looking for advice during the residency interview season.  My husband was a 4th year in Kentucky and I was terrified of what was to come!  Thankfully, I ran across this great resource of others going through the same thing (or who went through it at one point).  They have been a continuous source of support both directly and indirectly since I started participating, and I hope those of you new to this find the same thing.  

Since it is officially interview season once again, I thought I would share links to my old posts from our journey through it last year in case you are here looking for that sort of information.  If not, I invite you to check out some of the other topics to the right and say hello.  There are also ways to follow my little blog shown on the right :-).  

Welcome to Medical Monday!


my first ever post explaining why I am blogging in the first place...

the basic layout of an interview's schedule and advice on how to get the most out of the experience

how I felt the day we submitted the list

exactly what this sounds like... an explanation of what the Match is and advice on making your rank order list.

opening the Match letter.  These pictures still make me tear up.

Our big announcement we were holding in during the Match, and what will hopefully be coming to fruition in the next week!

4th years and SOs... enjoy this time.  Have fun with the process.  I know how stressful this time is, there is more to our story than what you are able to read on here since I started this blog right after we finished with the interviews.  Many of you are unknowingly meeting the people that you are going to be great friends with in a year from now.  Some of you may not have such a happy ending.  But it is all worth it.  Every step of this process is worth it.  Don't worry about the small moments that you are worried you messed up or missed... it is all just part of it.  As a spouse that attended some of the trips with my husband, I know this really well.

It was the interview for what is now our home.  We had never heard of this small city in South Carolina before.  The program had us staying in a nice hotel in the heart of their downtown.  We weren't sure what I was supposed to do about the resident dinner that night... it just wasn't clear to us in the invitation.  So I found a sushi restaurant a few blocks away and grabbed my book.  I walked to the restaurant alone (in the middle of the night...and felt completely safe in this new place).  Shortly after ordering my husband was texting to say I had been invited and there were other wives there.  I felt awful.  I really wished I could be there with him to meet these people; hoping I wasn't messing anything up by NOT being there.  But I put it out of my mind and enjoyed my dinner alone, followed by a walk through the downtown.  It was a clear night in January, there were lights in all of the trees, everything but the restaurants was closed.  But it was just so charming.  I went back to the hotel and knew this is where I wanted us to be.  There was no time the next day for us to explore before we had to rush to the next interview location, so my accidental night out was all we had to go on with our feelings on location.  But it was enough.  With just a little bit of convincing, my husband ranked Greenville as our #1.  This place had everything we were looking for, and I hadn't even met the people.  

Several months later we moved here, and during orientation week, I was 'remembered' by another spouse as "the one that went to dinner alone".  While slightly embarrassed for just a second to be remembered that way... I don't mind.  It is one of the reasons we are here.

And we are so, so, happy.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

room by room : a room for Myles

It has taken about 3 months or so to complete but I can finally say that this room is DONE.  I am just tickled with how it turned out.  Originally the plan was just "vintage kid stuff".  And then before our baby showers I realized that was a bit too vague and headed more towards a vintage air plane theme.  

Now normally when I design a room in my head... it completely does not turn out the way I wanted it to.  I'm usually really sad at the end because I had too many ideas and no way to mesh them cohesively.  Or I give up prematurely.  Or I never have an idea, but instead get caught up in the world of Pinterest and do a "project" at a time and then it just looks weird.

Not this time baby.

So the final result... minus the baby.

1. Watercolor painting based on Snoopy and the Red Baron (including the book itself below) by my Aunt Debbie.  So so so excited to have this for Myles!
2.  Cheap bookshelf from Target.  I lined the back panel with some fabric that I found on sale at a local store.  Filled with books, toys, and the bins have things like socks and pacifiers. 
3. Our son's name in photos.  Made by a friend of my aunt whom I used to dog-sit for back in Louisville.  She was also a huge help in organizing everything for me after the babyshowers :) (Thanks Stacy!)
4. Planet Wise wet bag for dirty cloth diapers.  Haven't found a good place for it yet.  The changing table is a little too low to hang it from.

close up of the painting

1.  Faux metal letters I made the past 2 days out of paper mache letters, black paint, and silver spray paint.  (seen on Pinterest somewhere)
2.  The family rocking chair.  My mom rocked us in it, her mom rocked her in it... I had to take it.  Kyle's mom and grandmother made the pillow cushion and a friend of my grandmother's crocheted the blanket.
3.  Antique children's magazines.  My dad built the wooden boxes, I put a burlap backing in them, and they are suspended by furniture tacks pushed into cardboard.  I didn't want to poke holes in them or ruin them with tape.
4.  Simple lamp from Target.  I like the look of the new with the antique furniture.
5.  Antique plant stand (I think) from my parent's garage.  

1.  Sort-of 3D metal airplanes from an old friend-Megan.  I had just realized I had almost no biplanes for my biplane themed room when these showed up in the mail!
2.  Antique chest from a local consignment shop.  My grandmother got it for us when she came to visit a while back.
3.  Basket woven from what looks like old Japanese newspaper.  Found at Hobby be used as a clothes hamper.
4.  The crib.  From BRU.  Chevron sheet from Target, bedskirt handmade by Kyle's mom and grandmother.  Small tag blankie with biplane and his name is also from Megan.
5.  Biplane/cloud mobile.  I made this a while back when I was resting in bed for a week after overdoing things.  Clouds are made from paper, hoop is part of an embroidery hoop, wrapped in twine, with various biplanes I got at the babyshowers.

The mobile, and Myles' friends are waiting for him!

1.  The changing table that I made out of an old hutch bottom.  The doors are hiding the diapers, and wipes are in the drawer.  Spent several days sanding, painting, and sealing that thing.
2.  Shelf was made out of reclaimed wood I found at the Habitat ReStore for $1.
3.  Various old toys/antiques from family and friends based on the original decorating plan.  They still fit in really well with everything else.

So what do you guys think?  Pretty cool huh?  I just realized that I totally never got a picture of the rug that the rocking chair is sitting on.  Maybe one day you will see it... It is cherry red and majorly shag.

I had a lot of fun getting this room together.  Everywhere I look there is something picked or made with love from a friend or family member.  And better yet... none of it is too "baby-ish" so the decor should last him as he grows until we have to move again... or can be converted to slightly more girlish if he ever has to share a room with a little sister :-p.  

How much did I do in the room? Kyle helped hang the shelf and the mobile.  My dad hung the frames and planes on the wall.  I painted the wall (Valspar Sea Salt) completely alone.  Same goes for the blue furniture.  And assembly of the crib and bookshelf.  It was such a fun project and I wouldn't do anything differently!

Monday, October 28, 2013

random readings

I thought it might be fun to start a link post about things I have found interesting to read each week.  The stuff I sometimes share on Facebook but other times don't think about... but wish I had.  If you have a few minutes, I hope you find some of them as interesting as I did!  I am still not sure what day of the week this will officially fall on... but since I haven't taken pictures of the nursery yet, I thought this would go up today instead of a Weekend Replay (it wasn't a very busy weekend anyway).  

So what have I read this week?  Lots of baby stuff...

and finally...

I'm going to be reading more from her...and what do you know?  She has written a book!

Not for the faint of heart... (Postpartum care list)

Confessions of a Doctor's Wife
Advice from a Doctor's wife recently out of the trenches and into their first real job in the medical journey... what not to do with your finances.

A few weeks ago I asked for book recommendations from friends... A friend from college recommended anything by Jen Lancaster.  I picked up "Pretty in Plaid" and followed it up with "Bitter is the New Black".  I have not been disappointed.  If you can get past her shockingly rude is a pretty hilarious memoir series.  I will be picking up one or two more at the library soon.  Nice quick reads :-).

Usually I am not this heavy on baby related stuff...but I have been doing a lot of prepping this week... so its just what I keep running across.  

Have you found anything worth reading lately?

Friday, October 25, 2013

five on friday


surprises.  My play-date mom friends used the monthly resident wife dinner night on Wednesday as time for a surprise baby shower.  So thankful for these sweet ladies.  Even more thankful for their openness with their lives to help prepare me for what is to come.  Because of them and other resident families (some of which I just met or have yet to meet), little Myles is going to be fully prepared with plenty of newborn outfits when he gets here :).  We are so beyond blessed by the people in this program.  I have really enjoyed all of the cards to Myles, welcoming him to the Surgery family.  :)


peace of mind.  At my last 2 doctor's visits, my abdomen has measured a little small for how far along I am so we had an ultrasound scheduled yesterday just to be sure that everything is good.  Thankfully it is all very good; he is an average sized baby in a little mom. He is just waiting to be born.  And just like I knew would happen, he wouldn't stop putting his hand in front of his face again.  We didn't miss much though... it was just a normal 2D scan so we couldn't see what he really looked like anyway.


laundry.  While my parents were in, dad installed a laundry line that runs from our deck railing to the random light pole in the middle of the backyard... so now I have a fantastic 20 foot line to dry future cloth diapers on, and little bitty baby clothes.  Which I love washing and folding as part of my nesting routine.  I got all of the new outfits washed last night so I can pick out his "coming home" outfit.  :)


rest.  I have made sure to get out of the house everyday, because I really just feel better if I get up and move around for a while.  Afterward though, I spend a lot of time resting.  I'm still restless, but I am trying to enjoy the peaceful time and cuddles from the cats while I still can.


(really wishing I had my camera on me this morning when he was trying to stuff the cats into the baby carrier as soon as he got home from work.  It would have been the perfect photo for this spot.)

kyle.  I'm so thankful for my husband.  I'm so in love with how excited he is to become a dad.  How much he already loves his son.  That he woke up a little early to be able to be there for the ultrasound.  That he called me later to hear how the last of the visit went since he had to leave early.  I know its going to be hard for him to always be around, but I know he will try his best for us.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

any time now

Today I am officially 37 weeks pregnant.

3 weeks until my due date.

But technically "at term" now.  Were he to come today, he should be developed enough to be fine.  

These stretches and kicks are quite uncomfortable now.  It almost feels like I'm getting bruised under my ribcage.  But that might just be everything stretching and moving some more.  I guess it all just means he is a strong little boy in there.  

My parents came in this past week and helped us get more things done around the house.  The nursery is finished (hoozah!) other than waiting for one last decoration to arrive in the mail (and then I PROMISE to share it on here).  We also got my wall-o-frames hung in the living room (though only 3 frames actually have in them what I intend to have displayed).  And several cute outfits may have been purchased for Myles by my mother and I.  

Saturday we had our tour of the labor and delivery floor at the hospital.  I was pretty impressed.  The trick is going to be timing... assuming Kyle is working when I go into labor... I'm going to need to figure out someone to drive me to the hospital... but not until I have dealt with progressing to 5 minutes between contractions (go too soon and they will send me home), but taking into account that the drive could be about 30 minutes to the hospital (rush hour...).  This is going to be interesting.

So now we wait.  I will keep trying to add a few things to the freezer, force myself off the couch on occasion, continue getting things ready (getting the car washed today and planning on packing my bag) and attempt to keep things decent around here.  

I'm not sure what I'm looking forward to most right now... getting this kid out of me, or Kyle's month of night float being over.  I'm ready to have my husband back.

Dear Myles, I'm pleading with you to come a little early.  Not only would it let your daddy enjoy you during his entire week of vacation, but now your Uncle Lucas meeting you is depending on it.  (On his way to SC last week he got word that his AF training plans have changed... instead of training in TX in the beginning of Dec, he is now leaving directly for Japan on Nov 21st).

Early son.
Not late.

But right now I'm more concerned with whether I should have candy ready for trick-or-treaters next week (or if the kids only do trunk-or-treat at the churches).  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

freezer cooking - burritos

i'm going to need a bigger freezer.
I'm really excited about all of this freezer cooking.  I have had small bouts of doing this over the past year or so and every time, I am glad I did it.  It is so much cheaper and healthier than running to the drive-through and really doesn't take very much time if you are just stock-piling one thing at a time.

In the past I have frozen quart bags of chili, breakfast burritos, and baked pastas.  I am branching out a little this time.  Monday's event was brown-bag burritos.  No idea why they are called that... ask the Money Saving Mom.  I ran across this recipe on her site a couple weeks ago when I was looking for something I could easily microwave and eat while comforting a screaming baby.  This fit the bill... and while it is already healthier than Taco Bell just because you are controlling everything that is going in there... I made it a little healthier by substituting fat free refried beans (because to me they taste no different than normal beans) and turkey meat.  I also only did half of her recipe because I want to make sure I like it before I make 20 burritos.  Also I don't think I have a pan large enough to do 2 lbs worth of meat plus all of the other ingredients that you mix in to simmer.

I have tried to include an idea of the cost of fixing these but had to guess on the ingredients I bought at Aldi since I had already pitched the receipt when I decided to write this post.  So its my best guesstimate.

Brown Bag Burritos
For 10 burritos- Adapted from Money Saving Mom who got it from Amy's Finer Things
  • 1 pound ground turkey ($2.99 Aldi)
  • 1 can fat free refried beans ($0.89 Aldi)
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce ($1.08 target)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup diced onion (an entire large onion is like <$1 so I'm going to call this $0.10 since I barely used any of my onion)
  • 1/2 of a taco seasoning packet (full seasoning packet at Aldi is $0.59  so $0.30)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (negligible)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used fiesta blend) (~$1.50 at Aldi)
  • 10 burrito-sized flour tortillas ($2.48 Walmart)
Total Cost for 10 burritos: ~ $9.34 = $0.93 per burrito.  I mean come on... why not?
Time to make the burritos: about an hour.

Brown the ground turkey with onions. Drain meat and add all remaining ingredients except tortillas and cheese.
Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Spoon 1/4-cup of the meat mixture onto a tortilla, sprinkle with cheese.  Fold sides in and roll up tightly.

to freeze: Wrap each burrito in a paper towel and then in a foil square (Dollar Tree has pre-cut aluminum foil squares... 25 per box for $1).  Put burritos in airtight ziptop freezer bags and store in the freezer for 2-3 months.

to serve: Pull out desired number of burritos. Remove foil (you can save the foil and reuse it the next time you make brown bag burritos!) and heat a single burrito in the microwave for about a minute or leave the foil on and heat one or more burritos in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until heated through.

I tried the pan-scrappings with a leftover tortilla after I finished the burritos.  Pretty tasty!  I think they will be fantastic with a little sour cream!  Very glad I made these.  I just might do a second round of them next week :).

Sunday, October 13, 2013

baby prep

I am officially nesting.  (My previous post was about mentally doing it...this one is about me actually doing it.)  People thought I was nesting before... no I was just scratching a curious itch for trying new things.  Like building a mobile or baking cinnamon rolls.  Now its real.  We are less than 5 weeks from the due date.  

And I am freaking out.

Every minute of the day has my thoughts towards wanting to be "ready" (as ready as you can be) for Myles' arrival.  

To me, ready is having quick, relatively healthy meals to survive on when cooking is the last thing on my mind.  And having a house that isn't so gross dysfunctional organizationally.

My house is still cluttered (sorry Nana...) but progress is taking place.  I have sorted through piles.  I have washed (and ironed!) the crumby table runner and wiped down the table.  I have scrubbed the kitchen.  I have vacuumed the dining room.  I have vacuumed off the duvet that was covered in cat hair.  I cleaned the shower.  I folded laundry.  I have started making stacks of pictures for my wall of frames.  I have started stocking the freezer.  And I have been trying to do this all leisurely so I don't overdo it and get back to square one with pain in my hips (I'm finally mostly better...just really pregnant so always uncomfortable)  Problem is... all I want to do is stock the freezer.  Because that is fun.  I made a special freezer stocking supply run to Aldi Saturday morning while Kyle napped just so I can work on that this week.  And I even held back on buying everything I wanted because lets be realistic... My parents are coming on Wednesday... I won't work on freezer cooking while they are here and I need to use part of the next few days to clean.

What else do I want to do?  

I think the better question is; what do I need to do?

all of those errands that I will not want to do alone with a newborn.  I need to get the oil changed in my car.  I should probably get my eyes checked/new glasses ordered (they are covered with our insurance so why not?!)  Oh.... and figure out who his pediatrician is going to be.

soak in social time.  I have been really working on this one.  I have been trying to go to as many social events as I can... in the past 2 weeks I have had 2 play dates with the residency moms, gone to a Thirty-One sales party, gone to Oktoberfest in Greer, stayed up late at a resident's house watching football (ok the guys were watching football... I was enjoying conversations), and gone to Fall for Greenville (lots of local restaurants set up tasting booths downtown).  It has been exhausting, but oh so nice to know we didn't miss out on anything.

soak in me time.  I have enjoyed doing a little browsing/shopping while Kyle sleeps during the day.  I treated myself to a purse at JCP (on sale with a gift card).  I have turned thrift store shopping into a sport looking for good baby clothes for super cheap (can't beat $1 babyGap onesies that look like new!).  I haven't hesitated to stop for a pumpkin spice latte* if I feel like it while I'm out.  And spend hours on the couch reading a book?  Why not?

share my house.  I've neglected my blog.  I'm not sorry.  I haven't felt like writing lately.  But I would really like to finally take pictures and share what updates we have made... finally reveal the nursery to you.  Unfortunately this item is at the bottom of the priority list.  

I wish I could have done a whole "babymoon", or had some awesome list of fun things to accomplish before I'm a mom... but that just wasn't in our cards.  And I don't think we have done too bad making the most of what time we have had to work with.  

*Dunkin Donuts gift cards are welcome at any time (think of it as the new-mommy-sanity-fund)

Monday, October 7, 2013


I know... its been over a week since I posted.  I'm getting really pregnant... give me a break.  

I am mentally going into nesting mode. 

Physically not so much.  

My hips still bother me... Doc basically told me "sorry bout your luck".  So I've been toughing it out when its worth it (this weekend I went to the zoo and enjoyed Oktoberfest with Kyle). Other times, I just lounge around and read a book.  

While seeing the clutter around the house that is driving me nuts.

While thinking about all those meals I ought to be freezing.  

For the past week we have been getting used to Kyle's first night float... its a bit brutal.  Being home while he is asleep is much worse than being home alone.  At least when I'm alone I can crank up the music and do whatever I feel like doing...  For the past week I have sat in the living room and read while he slept.  

Until today.  He is so exhausted all the time that he seems to be sleeping pretty hard.  So I shut his door and turned on the kitchenaid mixer.  And I made bread.  Two loaves, one for now and one for the freezer.

And I didn't stop there.

I also threw together some homemade cinnamon rolls for the freezer.  How awesome does that sound post labor and delivery?  

He never woke up.

I can totally do some freezer cooking while he sleeps!  

The problem is going to be keeping myself from only freezing bread products.  But it is just so much more fun to make that stuff than to make real food!

Right now I'm thinking of slowly accumulating the following things in our freezer:

cinnamon rolls
breakfast burritos

chicken taquitos
sour cream chicken enchiladas
baked spaghetti
marinated meat for the crockpot

bread products
sandwich bread
dinner rolls
french bread

I need to buy some groceries and freezer bags.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

thankful thursday

It has been a while since I wrote a Thankful Thursday post.  And I hate that.  I read a blog post the other day about finding the flowers instead of the weeds (you know... like dandelions make people mad because they are weeds but to a kid its a pretty flower).  That sort of perspective on life.  It reminded me that I have stopped remembering what I am thankful for lately.  So here we go.

friendship.  I am incredibly grateful for having found some friends down here.  It has made this whole move easier knowing that there are a couple people I can depend on if I really need some help.  Not only that, but some of these people pursue me.  That is so refreshing.  I'm usually the one having to instigate conversations/plans, but its been really nice to have a few girls checking in on me through the week... and inviting me out.

rest.  Now this is a flower from a weed.  I'm still recouping from pushing my body too far this weekend.  I'm really uncomfortable when I walk around but it is getting better everyday.  I have gone out a little but only for dinner (sitting) and I spent time with a friend at her house last night (more sitting).  It is good to rest.  The worst of the projects are finished in the house so all that is left is simple crafty things that I can do while laying in bed.  

this blog.  This is officially my 100th post on the blog.  It has been a process figuring out what I want this to be.  I'm never 100% satisfied with the direction I have gone with it but right now it works.  It has been a good outlet for thoughts, and an even better way of updating everyone back home on how our life down here is going.  No matter what... it makes me think.  And that is a blessing in itself.  

So what are you thankful for this week?

As usual I am linking up with Julia at BlackTagDiaries.

Thankful Thursdays Button

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"guess what day it is"

Happy Hump Day ya'll.  Today's Hump Day post is all about a different hump.

The bump.

You see... I posted 2 weeks ago, the first picture I had taken in a while of the belly.  And I was quickly told that the picture wasn't doing it justice.  Something I knew... but I used the photo anyway because Kyle was kind enough to have snapped it with my phone before collapsing on the couch.  So I thought now that I am pretty deep into the third trimester, I would do a pregnancy post.  So I wore an actual maternity shirt (part of the problem with the picture last time since a stretched out tank kinda changes the shape of things) and had Kyle take a new photo that did this thing justice.

And there it is.  In all of its uncomfortable glory.  It kinda freaks me out because for the first time... the picture makes it look bigger than I feel.  And I feel pretty big.  According to the pregnancy app on my phone... this week Myles should be the size of a pineapple.  (Last week was a jicama... who comes up with this stuff?)  I thought I would have a little bit of an outline for sharing where I am with the pregnancy so far. 

So at 33 weeks... this is whats up:

last doctor's appointment?  At 32 weeks.  I hadn't gained any weight in two weeks, fine by me.  The doctor said I'm measuring the right size, my weight gain is on track, and his heart rate is perfect.  So far so good.  I see a doctor every 2 weeks, but I think after this next one I switch to weekly appointments.

sleep?  Sleeping about how I have always slept pregnant or not... wake up every time I want to roll over, or at any loud noise.  Thankfully his rolling around in there hasn't woken me up yet.  Unfortunately I have woken up sweating a few times...but that might be the new duvet's fault.  I can't sleep past 7:30 though no matter what time I go to bed.

discomforts?  Heartburn.  Mostly in the evening... probably because I am more likely to lay down pretty soon after eating.  The new thing is round ligament issues.  Not just quick pains because I moved too quickly... these things are hurting for days on end.  Because I didn't slow down when I should have and probably strained everything.  Because I have been able to do whatever I wanted to this whole pregnancy.  So now I'm resting this week because of it.  Mentally this is the most frustrating thing so far.  But I have been pretty blessed the whole time with no major complaints so I guess I will just have to get over it.  Oh and my sacrum got all out of whack the other night...thankfully there is a Chiro in the family and she was able to help me out with some pointers so that I could fix it and walk without excruciating pain (legs up and an ice pack).  

movement?  He moves all the time.  My belly goes nuts all day long with him moving around.  It has been cool that the doctor has told me what way he is turned (head down, back along my left side, feet towards my right ribs) so I can sort of imagine what each movement is.  He seems to like to prop a foot on a rib and tap on it (not cool).

maternity clothes?  Whenever I go out of the house... yes.  I have a few clothing items I wear all the time.  Inside the house... leggings or pajama pants are the way to go with a T-shirt or stretchy tank top.  

stretch marks?  None that I can see.  No I have not been using cocoa butter.  That stuff is expensive.  I bought a jar of coconut oil at Trader Joe's way before I got pregnant to use on my face and just started using it on my belly once I got pregnant.  It is a fantastic moisturizer (I use way less than regular lotion) and I still have over 1/3 of the jar left... (which was only like $6).  I just put it on after my shower and sometimes before bed... I read the main thing with stretch marks is just to stay moisturized so I don't really think it matters what you use.

cravings?  Nothing I can't live without.  I'm back to a more normal (pre-pregnancy type) desire for random stuff... The one really weird thing that I look for whenever I go to the store is Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper.  I hate Diet soda.  Or diet anything.  But I had that a while back because my grandmother left it in my fridge, and lately it sounds good.  But I'm not heartbroken that I can't find it anywhere (I can but I'm not going to buy an entire 12 pack of it).

aversions?  nope.  give me food.

strangers?  They are starting to ask about the pregnancy.... how far along? Is it your first? Do you know what you are having?  So far no one has tried to touch the belly other than friends (I might punch a stranger).  I do get a few glares when I'm out shopping.  I don't think the guys at Home Depot know what to think of me.  

favorite thing so far?  The non-uncomfortable movements he makes.  Its fun to watch my belly move everywhere.  As long as he stays away from my bladder and ribs, its pretty cool.

to do?  A little crafting/decorating left for the nursery.  Buy the big stuff that we didn't get at the showers (just patiently waiting to see if there are any sales since we have a little time left).  Find a pediatrician.  Take a tour of the labor and delivery hall.  Make a birth plan.  Freezer cooking.

fears?  Normal nervousness about labor and all the things that could go wrong.  But I'm more fixated on how I will get to the hospital since odds are against me that Kyle will not be with me when I go into labor.  Of course I have a few friends I can call but that doesn't take the nervousness away.  That he will come really early...and have health issues to deal with.  That he will come late and Kyle's week of vacation will be over.

Please Myles, make your debut like the week before your daddy's vacation, or on the first day of it so he can enjoy every minute possible with you.  He has wanted you for such a very very long time.