11.29.2016

Weekly Meal Planning

As I get this motherhood to two thing under my belt, I've discovered that if I meal plan (and I mean like seriously meal plan, not just fly under the radar with crap in the cupboards), it makes my life so much easier.

And I just write what we're having on post-it notes and put those up on the outside of the cupboard. Easily changed if necessary AND I can see what we're having for the next meal.

So here's my meal plan for the week:

Monday (yesterday)
Lunch - Turkey quesadillas - leftover Thanksgiving turkey in taco seasoning, cheese, avocado, chips and salsa
Dinner - Chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, green beans

Tuesday
Lunch - Grilled cheese, tomato soup
Dinner - Veggie soup

Wednesday
Lunch - breakfast - eggs, toast, sausage
Dinner - Pasta with red sauce (meatless)

Thursday
Lunch - Mac and cheese
Dinner - Veggies burgers, sweet potato fries, frozen veggies

Friday
Lunch - ??? - Bruegger's?
Dinner - Papa Murphy's Pizza for Friday Night Movie Night

11.23.2016

Christmas Stockings

Mer.

Our Christmas stockings were purchased by Bimmer Man's Grandpa - and he died a few years ago - which means that Chewy doesn't have a matching stocking. For the next three days I will be scouring the internets trying to find a matching stocking.

I'm pretty sure they all came from Land's End - they've been personalized though so I'm hoping the store still has the same thread colors and embroidery colors so that his can match the rest of the stockings.

I'm going to decorate on Friday with the "help" of The Monkey so we shall see how she reacts when her beloved Baby Chewy doesn't have a stocking.

But then all the stockings will be out so then I can finally order one for Baby Chewy.

Oy, which brings me to a new problem - we don't actually have a chimney so that means I'm stuck on where to put the stockings. I think I'm just going to find a shelf with hooks and hang it up in the living room to live all year round - I would like to get a stocking post but our house is really too small to store more crap so I think a shelf would be more useful all year long.

Happy decorating!

7.28.2016

Enjoying The Small Victories of Parenthood

Stay-at-home-parents rarely say the bad things about staying at home. Why? Because I think we feel judged about staying at home. Because we're "lucky" to stay home. Meh, I'm not so sure about that. If you water your own grass you'll never need to want what's on the other side (or in my case, weeds, because we don't use pesticides. HA!).

And I completely forgot what it's like to parent an infant - the isolation, the REALLY LONG DAYS, the weird schedules, plus now throw a 4 year old into the mix and BAM our days are super weird. One child is in the phase where she NEEDS to get out of the house for activities and the other child is in the phase where he NEEDS to stay home to nap. Oy, parenting.

So Tuesday I just said, "FUCK IT ALL!!! We're going to the lake!"

And you know what...it was freaking awesome.

Chewbacca and I sat in the shade while The Monkey waded and played with sand toys. FOR TWO HOURS. TWO HOURS OF AWESOMENESS.

And I met another mom of two with the same age differences - the youngest was two - and she said the best words ever - IT GETS BETTER!!

I almost hugged her.

And no, I didn't take pictures. I was too busy watching another mom of two struggle with her children - and I couldn't do a fucking thing about it because I was busy feeding Chewbacca.

It was a moment where I realized that I used to be the mom that helped other moms. And that was amazing because when I struggled, there was always a mom-stranger to help me out, and then I was the mom-stranger to help out, and now I'm the one in need again. I can't wait to be the helper mom-stranger again.

But watching her I saw that she was a serious helicopter mom and would totally not even accept my help anyway. She was busy entertaining her toddler AND 7 month old AT THE SAME TIME. And I seriously mean helicoptering BOTH children. Doesn't that get tiring? Like a ping-pong ball bouncing back and forth. The Monkey was watching the toddler, waiting for the mom to leave her alone so The Monkey could play with her. And guess what...the toddler missed out on making a friend. I felt sad for the mom - we could have sat on our beach blankets together talking and drinking La Croix waters and watching our babies instead. Oh, well. Parenting isn't the same for everyone. Maybe next time the other mom will want to sit for a break.

So I decided to take my small parenting victory instead. When we got back to the car and I had it all packed up I totally did a fist pump. I had conquered the morning (unlike last night where it took 5 tries to get Chewy down for the night...but he slept from 9-7:15 so I really can't complain too much!).

So I'll just leave this with a picture of the two goons.


7.12.2016

Because It's Amazon Prime Day

I have no fucking clue as to what I've ordered so far.

It's all stuff that we need - as in I'm only shopping in grocery deals so...it'll all get eaten. Last year I bought a bike rack and granola. This year I've purchased organic coconut milk, Annie's mac & cheese, and organic cane sugar.

Oh, wait. I bought a Barbie too.

And I think a few other items.

Maybe.

But in any case it's AMAZON PRIME DAY. IT'S THE DAY THAT AMAZON CLEANS OUT ITS WAREHOUSES SO GET YOUR SHIT NOW!

6.28.2016

Sit Properly On Your Chair

Sitting at the dining room table this morning was an absolute hilarious riot.

The Monkey reminded me of something funny that happened a few months ago.

The Monkey, holding up her hand and pointing to her pinky finger: Mom! Mom! Do you remember when I hurt my pinky and you put peas on it?

Me: Um...which time?

The Monkey: When I fell off my chair.

Me: Oh, yeah...that time when we were eating dinner and I looked up from my plate and you were on the floor?

Now you have to know something. She falls off her chair on a regular basis.

And I mean probably once a week or so. Mostly it's on accident because she's at the height where a booster is just too tall but sitting on her butt isn't exactly high enough to shovel food into her mouth without bumping the table with her arm and getting food all over. That's an eyebrow-raiser in itself to watch...a preschooler shoveling food into their mouth...

We have to talk about sitting properly on a dining room chair on a daily basis because if I don't then, well, she falls off. And this is what I see from my seat at the table:

A child is seemingly sitting "properly" at the dining room table shoveling eating food. A hand flies up into the air. The other hand flies out the opposite way. A fork or a spoon is suddenly spewed from a hand (complete with food, so really whatever plain carbs we're having for part of our meal) and in slow motion I realize that I'm going to be cleaning food from the walls, table, floor, and probably hair (not always the child's, but mine too).

Then there's a thump. A clatter of silverware. And there's no longer a child sitting at the table. But there sure is a plate full of food. And a drink with a silly straw.

And me. With a full on face palm. Seriously.

I actually said, "AGAIN?!?" out loud the last time this happened. Because I realized The Monkey was SQUATTING on the chair. Her toes couldn't hold her balance anymore and BAM. Over she went. Like a freaking domino.

So yeah, this morning I was laughing so hard because I know...she'll probably fall off her chair at lunch and will end up holding a bag of frozen corn on some appendage of her body.

Happy Tuesday. And sit properly on your chair.

6.24.2016

Fabulous Children's Books

Children's books can be terrible. I'm going to be brutally honest. There's nothing worse than being stuck reading your child's "favorite" book ten to fifteen times per day and the book just being horrendous. For example, any board book that only has a few words on each page. Or just descriptions of objects. Or any Disney Channel tv show easy-to-read book. They're all terrible.

But there's a few books that I would totally recommend - buy these for new parents. They'll be so happily surprised.



Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey - classic book. Girl gets lost from mother. Eventually mother finds girl. Illustrations are AMAZING for being a book published in the 1940's.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt - you have to read this in silly, angry voices. It makes way more sense. Plus from a parent's perspective I definitely agree with the crayons. And the poor Beige crayon. I get it, I totally get it. The Monkey loves this book - it makes her want to color for days!

Waiting by Kevin Henkes - patience. SO MUCH PATIENCE. And the illustrations are beautiful. The book is super easy and fast to read. It makes me want to look out a window all day long after reading this and take the time to just... wait.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires - holy shit. BUY THIS BOOK. Not only does it teach a kid to keep trying and to take a time out when you're frustrated but it's so freaking awesome, especially for girls! Instead of having a boy the main character doing the building, it's a girl, and I think it's great.


So there you go. Next time you go to a birthday party or a baby shower...buy one of these books!

6.22.2016

CSA Recipe Ideas

YAY!! CSA season is upon us!

June - tis the season for so many greens, it's pretty ridiculous. I've been over and done with pesto for at least a year - but I still made two different batches of it this year - one with arugula and another with kale (mer, I make it and then I don't want it on pasta so I have to figure out different ways to use it).

So here's what I've made so far:

Salads - LOTS AND LOTS of them.

Pesto - made with either kale or arugula and then mixed with olive oil, garlic scapes, romano cheese (from our CSA too!), salt, and pepper.

Tacos - chicken tacos with the meat simmered with garlic scapes, young onions, and then put together with arugula, kale, and other simple salad greens.

Sauteed greens - any greens sauteed with coconut oil, salt, and pepper is amazing. Switch it up with olive oil, sesame oil, or sunflower oil.

Lettuce Wrap Tacos - Butter lettuce makes great taco shells!

Simple snacks - french bread or crackers with quark cheese (from the CSA) topped with blueberries or french radishes. Sliced raw turnips with hummus.

Scrambled eggs with arugula or kale

Basically, eggs any way with sauteed kale or arugula with sliced tomatoes or peppers on the side.



I hope that's a few options for you! It's hard to come up with meal ideas day after day after day with a whole bunch of greens. They get pretty old after awhile although I wish garlic scapes were year round! SO DELISH.

6.10.2016

Let's Do A Little Update

Well, let's do a little update since it's been a VERY LONG TIME since I've updated this thing.

Has my blog been on the forefront of my mind? Well, no. 

Chewie was born in early May. He's over 5 weeks old. I'm sleeping, don't worry about that. He wakes 2x per night unless he's going through a growth spurt and then it seems like he's up every hour. 

We've been through almost all the freezer meals. 

Our first CSA box was delivered yesterday (today for lunch it's going to be Lettuce Wrap Tacos!).

I'm close to being fully recovered from a C-section. This time my recovery has been AMAZING. I was approved to ride a bike before 2 full weeks (which was nuts BTW, and it didn't hurt too much, but I didn't go very far!). Still can't lift more than the baby with the baby carrier - and I can tell I can lift a little more weight, however, with major abdominal surgery you can tell if you're doing too much so no twisting or turning (it HURTS when you do and trust me, you DO NOT WANT TO POP AN INTERIOR STITCH). The Monkey is super excited that I can bend over to give her a hug too.

I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, which I didn't think would happen for another two months or so but apparently involuntarily skipping meals and drinking lots of water, La Croix water, and tea will definitely help aide in weight loss. 

In any case, we're alive. We're well. So happy June!!

4.08.2016

From The Mouths of Babes

The Monkey: They shot down the shit! They shot down the shit!

Me, slightly puzzled, getting breakfast ready: WHAT?

The Monkey: They shot down the shit!

Me: Um? Shot down what? What are you doing?

The Monkey: I'm reading a book, Mom. They shot down the shit.

Me, peeking around the corner to see EXACTLY what's happening: What book, Monkey?

She turns around, holding up a Star Wars book as high as possible and says: See, Mom! They shot down the shit!



I think we're going to need to work on our "P" sounds.

And The Checklist Keeps Getting Longer? Shorter?

I'm not really sure at this point. Seriously.

We've got less than 4 weeks until this next baby comes and I'm not quite sure where we're all at.

Because it snowed today. Like a SERIOUS snow. It's all melted now but this morning I was thinking, "GOOD LORD, MINNESOTA. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER."

And I need to get outside to amend the front garden beds and get the compost out of the composter. I also need to determine WHERE all of my perennials are out front because I can't remember...I planted veggies where I pulled dead perennials so this year may be a mystery. I may just go and "rescue" plants at Menard's or Home Depot at 75% off, shove them into the garden beds with compost and cross my fingers.

Funny story (well, not really, but totally typical McTatty) - I found house plants at Menard's that needed, um, rescuing, because they hadn't been watered in awhile so I bargained them down because I showed how dry all the foliage was. And I brought them home. And I figured that since I've kept a child alive for four years, house plants shouldn't be too hard, right?

So far so good. My only worry is a cactus that Bimmer Man brought home. I think I water it too much. Is once a week ok?

I also wanted to buy houseplants because we live in an old house and I wanted to improve the air quality. Not only do houseplants do that but they're also really good feng shui too. I tried to ferret out the terrible plants at Menards and compare them to an indoor houseplant air quality improvement list (OMG, why did I do that to myself????). And to another list here.

And as it turns out, the only "air cleaners" that I bought turned out to be an aloe plant (from Trader Joe's, not Menard's!) and two Snake Plants - but I discovered two plants in one pot so I need to split that and put a Snake Plant in another room, maybe a bathroom?

Back to the Checklist.

We would like to get a new bed. Will that happen? UMMM....Maybe?

Donate more crap.

Clean out the laundry room so I can put up shelving for bulk items like toilet paper and paper towels.

Get all the small toys that can be choked on out of the living room and train The Monkey to keep her toys off the floor (I'm not sure this can be done).

Worship Mother Earth until she warms up enough so I can move the seedlings to the back porch.

Oh yes, and get the porch organized so we can actually sit out there - I want to move the loveseat outside and near the sandbox so I don't have to keep hauling a different dining chair out there to be near The Monkey while she plays. The back porch seems to be turning into a storage area and I'm not liking that shit at all so something needs to be done about that.

Hang up a rack for tea cups. Because. I like tea. I need more space in my cupboards.

Get rid of more shit.

And get rid of more shit.

And basically get rid of as much shit as humanly as possible that we don't use.

Happy Friday!