Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Last week was a menu disaster! The kitchen was a mess, the pantry was bare and we ate out and ordered pizza a record number of times. Over the weekend the Hubs and I decided we would take the fam out to a nicer sit-down restaurant and we had a great time getting out together but there is nothing like paying $4 for a plate of mac and cheese to give you incentive to do a good job with the next week's menu and grocery shopping! So this morning after I dropped my girls off at school my little man and I sat down with a Food Network Kitchens cookbook to look for inspiration. I'm not going to actually follow any of the recipes in it - since they usually call for expensive ingredients - but I got lots of inspiration for simplified versions!

This week at my grocery store they were having several cart-buster sales which I finally took advantage of so now my cupboards are full or rice a roni (which will help out meals all month) especially since my favorite weeknight meal to cook right now is rice a roni with chicken. I discovered it quite on accident, actually. I was baking chicken to put in a pasta salad but then the day turned out to be too cold for pasta salad so I threw the chicken together with a box of rice a roni and voila! There was an inexpensive quick and easy meal that my family loved. And there are lots of possibilities and flavor combinations - so one night I seasoned some chicken breasts with chili powder and threw then in the oven to bake while I helped the kiddos with their homework (I think that baking some bone-in chicken is easier than pan-frying boneless skinless chicken - and it generally turns out better) then I mix up a couple boxes of mexican rice a roni and serve it with tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese and we've got a fun mexican night dish. But if I rub the chicken with simply salt and pepper and then use a couple boxes of long grain rice a roni and serve it with a tossed salad or steamed vegetables and I've got a completely different meal. Love it. And I really love the rice a roni brand (I used to buy the store brand but I haven't been able to find a good one lately) so to have them be on sale was an added bonus. I also found a loaf of bread in the bakery that was labeled as a cupcake so I got a whole loaf of bread for just ten cents - which I'll slice up and toast tonight to go with our salads.

Okay - enough about that here's the part you really want to know - my menu for the week:

Monday - Cobb Salad (chicken, bacon, hard boiled eggs, corn, tomatoes, etc.) & toast
Tuesday - Rice a roni with chicken & steamed vegetables
Wednesday - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with fresh vegetables - sliced tomatoes, cucumber & carrots
Thursday - Pasta Salad with chicken, tomatoes, spinach and red pepper
Friday - Chili fries & hot dogs
Saturday - French Toast stuffed with nutella & cream cheese
Sunday - Mac a& Cheese and baked beans

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My week in cell phone pics

We had SUCH a good weekend!! We took the kids to the Greenway this weekend - the hubs took this pic of us. SO glad I have this photo of our happy moment :)

Grocery Shopping

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bugles - BEST snacks I've bought all year!

He is such a good napper!

Often I have to get Josiah up from his nap to pick up his sisters and he'll fall asleep in the car

Taking advantage of some quiet time in the van

You don't have to have a great camera to take a really nice picture!!

Time for homework and a cup of decaf coffee

Time to take the puppy to the groomer!

Muffin Bread & Cranberry Jam

Could this guy be any cuter?

Waiting in carpool

Katie-Abigail and our freshly groomed dog :)

Finding spring weeds in the yard!


Gotta love construction - we get to watch this every day! I can't wait until it's done.

On the way to school!

Running on empty!

It's a boy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's a BOY!!!

We had our ultrasound this morning - it was a long wait but then a wonderful appointment! We got to see our little guy squirming, wiggling, kicking and generally hamming it up for the ultrasound technician. He is the cutest little baby I've ever seen on an ultrasound! I am on cloud nine. Everything that I was worried about last week pales in comparison to how excited I am about this new little guy coming into our lives!

His sweet little face! LOVE that sweet little chin.
He gave us a big thumbs up!
These square little feet remind me of Josiah's

Josiah was with Daniel and me for the ultrasound and he really enjoyed seeing his baby brother and seemed to understand much more than I thought he would. 

Here is a video of Josiah after seeing the ultrasound and here is a transcription/translation of the first part, since it's a little difficult to understand what he's saying.
Me: Josiah what did you think about seeing the movie of your brother?
Jojo: Um, when it comes out, when it's (after) Emma's birthday... so it can kiss me. 
Sorry for the shakiness at the end, Josiah was kicking my seat and bumping my arm. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Random thoughts about the ultrasound tomorrow, baby names and a video!

So I've had this post mulling around in my head for awhile... wondering if it's something to be blogged - or not. But I think what I'm experiencing now is a pretty normal part of a pregnancy - especially an unexpected one.

I am totally and fully in the "holy crap" stage of pregnancy. The stage where I am thinking - am I going to be able to do this? am I going to survive the transition to a bigger family? what have I done?!!!

I wanted this pregnancy and this baby very much. I'd get indigestion and feel those gassy rumbles that reminded me of pregnancy and it would make me almost cry to think I may never get to experience that again. Or I'd go through baby clothes to lend to people and I'd look at that sweet little dress that my mother gave me when my oldest was a baby and I would sigh to think it may have to sit in my closet for nearly twenty years waiting to be worn again. I  miss nursing, I miss the snuggle of a baby, I miss being needed that intensely.

But I also am enjoying my freedom. It's nice to let the kids play in our fenced-in patch of grass by themselves while I'm in the kitchen just listening to them. It's nice to just sit at McDonalds and watch the kids play. It's nice to get work done with both of my hands for a change. I know I'll be giving up a lot of that for awhile - and I wonder... how will that affect the things that are important to me right now? How will that affect the things I've worked really hard on during this last year? Like my photograph blog and classes. I know I'll continue to blog and I'll continue to teach I just wonder how that will look, and how I will manage.

I've been putting off this ultrasound for awhile now. I don't know exactly why I've been avoiding it. It's like  I really don't want to move onto the next stage in my pregnancy. The stage where I clear out room next to my bed for a bassinet and clear out a couple drawers for the new baby and gather all of those new-baby things. I'd like to hang onto this pregnancy - stretch it out and make it last. As tiring and uncomfortable as it is at times -  I want to savor it.


So on that note I thought I'd mention a few more names that I think are totally cute - since the hubs and I will begin the baby name debate in earnest after tomorrow.

Layla Fayth (someone mentioned to me the name Faith with the y instead of the i and I think it's adorable for a middle name. I won't use it, but I still think it's adorable.
Ava (though it's become over-used, in my opinion)
Alayna (a favorite name since I was pregnant with Beth)
Abigail (always a favorite name! I've already used it, I just had to mention it again, since it is also rising in popularity)
Adeline (or some other variation of it)
Eve (SUCH a pretty name!!)
Mia (almost named Katie-Abigail this!!)
Charlotte (old fashioned, I know - but SO cute!!_
and of course Jane (or Jayne)

Eli (still a favorite)
Jacob (though I don't think any baby named this within the next five years will be able to be separated  from the Twilight associations!)

I asked my kids about the new baby here is what they had to say:

(they were super-excited at the moment. I promise they are not like this all of the time!!!)

Friday, March 4, 2011

21 Weeks

I finally made it in to see my midwife - I've been procrastinating... now I remember why -  so glad that's over with now! (My weight was 140 - not a pretty number to see)  Everything is on track and looking good at 21 weeks now :) I heard a nice strong healthy baby heartbeat!! I had the hubs on speaker when my midwife found the heartbeat - that was a special moment and nice to hear. I feel the new baby moving around a lot now - but hearing the heartbeat is always special too, especially for Daniel.  I'm really wishing that I took a video of it to post here I know my mom and sisters would love to hear that. I'll try to remember to do that at my next appointment. (By the way - my midwife thought my Samsung Vibrant Galaxy S phone was very cool. I happen to agree. love it!)

We are going next week for the ultrasound - and hopefully will find out if we are having a boy or girl. Wow - this pregnancy is going by too fast.  It feel surreal to think that by this time next week I might now if we are having a little boy or a little girl - though with the track record of my other pregnancies there is really just a 50% chance that we'll actually be able to find out. Kiddos #1 & #3 were very stubborn about not letting us find out - so we'll see!

Food love this week: ice cream. Yesterday I managed to eat it three times. A little after lunch, a little after dinner and a little after the kids went to bed. I think that the baby likes it every bit as much as  I do - since (s)he does a little happy dance inside me whenever I eat it. Also Chick-fil-a breakfast biscuits. I had one twice this week but good grief, I could have eaten one every morning this week!! I just try to remind myself how much fat are in each one and try to think of something else for breakfast.

This weekend I felt a lot less movement than usual and was almost getting worried about the baby - but this week we are back to normal and I'm feeling a lot of strong movement again. But just to be on the safe side I am trying to really watch what I eat (and never skip a meal) and get a little nap in the afternoon when I feel that I need it (which has been just about every day this week!) it's amazing what laying down for just twenty minutes or so can do!

I mentioned a few months ago that my oldest, Beth, was having trouble adjusting to the idea of a new baby in our family but as my belly is getting bigger I think and we've started to gather a few baby things here and there she is starting to come around. One afternoon I was helping her with her homework and we were going over her social studies quiz worksheet - I felt the baby kicking pretty much the entire time so I told her that I thought the baby liked the sound of her voice since (s)he was kicking so much. She really liked that and it helped her improve her attitude. Now she thinks she is the baby's favorite sister - and I'm going to let it stand.

Emma is rooting for a baby sister all the way! Silly little girl. I can't imagine why she would want another sister - but she does. Katie-Abigail is still totally oblivious to the whole new-baby thing. She told her teachers at school but she almost never talks about it - I think it is too far in the future for her to really comprehend right now. Josiah talks about the new baby almost every day. He is adorable and I'm sure will make a great big brother. He says "My new baby is in mommy's tummy. Tommy (his best friend) doesn't have a new baby. He already has a little brother." He always talks about the new baby as his new baby and I think that it is the cutest thing ever. I'll try to get a video of him to post on the blog soon :)