206. A weekend of birthdays


August is the month of birthdays  for our family.  There’s my nephew, my brother-in-law. my daughters, and mine.  There has been much cake eating.

552670_10201663147243581_1738130916_n

We had what was possibly the happiest birthday party ever to celebrate M’s third birthday.  What’s happier than a rainbow party?  Everything was bright and colorful and made you want to smile.  We had a sprinkle cake the kids oohed over and spent the bulk of the party trying to sneak a bite (even the bigger kids), rainbow fruit salad, rainbow rice krispie treats (made with Fruity Pebbles-also a huge hit with kids and adults alike), rainbow punch, and rainbow themed treat bags.

photo-1

photo

photo-3

1185964_10201649780149412_1984507169_n

 

Not only was it a very happy party, it was a very easy party to put together.  Easy is key with a newborn in the house.  We  got most of the decorations on clearance from Target earlier this summer.  Our cake was a simple vanilla cake with homemade buttercream frosting and, as you can see, gobs of sprinkles.  I found dozens of rainbow themed snack ideas on Pinterest and went with what was easiest.  Our party favors were mini rainbow suckers and chocolate coins.

 

Advertisements

204. Strawberry cookies


Planning for my daughter’s birthday party put me in the mood for something sweet.  Cake, cookies, candy.  Just a little something sweet.  We don’t typically keep sweet things in the house.  Occasionally a bar of dark chocolate or ice cream.  I have too much of a sweet tooth and very little will power when it comes to sugary treats.

So, when a hankering for something sweet hits, it tends to end with me flipping through cabinets to see what I can bake.  Today I found a bag of frozen strawberries, which lead to a batch of what my children have declared as the best cookie ever in existence.  Thanks, kids.

Strawberry cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • about 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • about 1/2 cup chopped strawberries

Mix together and bake at 350* for 8 minutes.

These cookies were soft, chewy and oh-so-tasty.   My son went so far as to claim that he simply couldn’t survive without eating another cookie because they’re so good.

IMG_2568

203. My garden is full of zucchini


My husband discovered he really enjoys gardening, so the size of our produce garden quadrupled.  Watermelon, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, swiss chard, kale, pumpkin, zucchini, leeks, celery, bok choy and a variety of herbs.

481104_10201546402565037_1291736597_n

My garden is insane and full to the brim with zucchini.  Virtually all of our plants are thriving.  Thriving isn’t the word.  Everything is massive and drunk from compost and rain.  My zucchini plant is no exception.  We’re getting enough zucchini that even with giving some away, we’re eating it  almost daily.  My husband jokingly commented that we could give zucchini to our guests at M’s party this weekend.

Luckily, everyone in the house is a fan.  Even being zucchini lovers, I’ve been on a mission to find new exciting ways to eat zucchini so we don’t tire of it.  We’ve tried zucchini stuffed enchiladas, risotto dishes, zucchini cakes, lasagna with zucchini as the noodles, and a variety of baked goods with grated zucchini snuck in.  So far, all recipes have been successful.

Anyone have any tasty zucchini recipes to share?

202. Cookies for breakfast


August first marked the start of the new school year for us, and I will confess I did a little happy dance that day.  B was ready to go back to school.

995932_10201549864891593_1128220065_n

And while 7:15 comes entirely too soon for me, I love getting back into a routine.  I love that little downtime between dropping B off at school and the girls waking up.  I tend to spend that little bit of time enjoying my daily caffeinated beverage of choice while perusing Pinterest and delaying starting on the various housework.  My food boards have grown immensely over the past few days.  Particularly my quick and easy recipe boards.

One of my favorite recent discoveries has been two ingredient cookies from theburlapbag.com.  There are a couple variations, but at this point I’ve only tried one.

969619_10201600099227420_1447172760_n

Banana and oatmeal with a bit of dark chocolate.  The base recipe is two ripe bananas and a cup of quick cooking oats all mashed and mixed together and baked at 350* for 15 minutes.  The little ones approve.  I’m not much for bananas, especially in baked goods, but, as I said, the little ones approve.  And they’re perfect for a quick grab-and-go breakfast on the mornings when time just gets away from us.

201. Third time’s a charm


Just over three weeks ago, my sweet baby Rose decided to make her grand appearance.  While I had a gut feeling she’d be an early arrival, I’d had hoped to make it a little further along than 35 weeks.  Que sera, sera.  I have three healthy babies to snuggle with.

Adjusting to life with three little ones has been fairly easy.  That’s not to say I haven’t had some crazy post partum emotional days with some ugly crying.  The first few days were the worst, mostly for a lack of sleep.  There is just no getting sleep in the hospital when you’re a breast feeding mama.  After week one, everything sort of fell into place.  I suppose that is the benefit of having two other children.  I’ve done this newborn phase twice already and have learned a fair amount from raising two kiddos.  Oh, to have the knowledge I have now when my oldest was born.

Example:

  • Epidurals are wonderful, wonderful things.  I didn’t want one with my first two pregnancies.  I got one with my first while transitioning and delivered fifteen minutes or so after getting it.  I went natural with my second.  This time around, I wanted an epidural.  I had the best delivery.  I remember holding my baby for the first time.  I was happy, not in a state of shock from crazy pain.  If I could go back, I’d get an epidural every time.  Getting an epidural doesn’t make a person weak.
  • There is nothing wrong with taking motrin after delivery.   After my first two deliveries, I took nothing for pain.  I toughed it out.  This time around I took 800mg of motrin every eight hours.
  • There’s also nothing wrong with taking medication stronger than motrin.  Oh, how I wish I had realized this with my first two babies.  Recovery number three has been the easiest.  My first week after my delivery, Norco was my best friend.
  • It’s okay to supplement with a bit of formula.  It doesn’t make me a bad mom to give my baby a few ounces of formula throughout the day.  My other two kids, I’d nurse, pump, nurse, and supplement with milk I’d pumped to help my little bits pack on the ounces.  I felt incredibly guilty when I had to supplement with my middle baby after going back to work and my supply decreased.  In retrospect, that was such an unnecessary stress and a completely ridiculous notion.   A few ounces of formula throughout the day has done wonders for helping maintain my sanity.
  • Breastfeeding aps are great.  I laughed at the idea of using technology to keep track of my middle baby’s eating and bathroom habits.  This go around, I downloaded a free breastfeeding ap.  It’s a great thing, especially at night when I’m awake only enough to get Rosie latched on.  It records the time, duration of the feed, which side, and whether I change wet or dirty diapers.  It’s surprisingly to forget how long it’s last been since I nursed Rosie with two other kiddos to feed, bathe, care for and play with.
  • It’s okay to not be super mom.  Not every meal has to be made from scratch.
  • Throwing on a bit of make up and putting on real clothes (no pjs, yoga/sweat pants and baggy tshirts) does wonders for making a person feel human again.

1000879_10151836279938203_38411834_n

200. Whirlwind


It’s become a nonstop whirlwind in my corner of the world.  Vacation, work, parties, doctor appointments and major cleaning/painting projects have ruled my life over the past week, and I’m ready for a breather.

A brief recap of my week:

  • The kid’s rooms have been switched over.  B’s room is painted and decorated, minus his rug and new bed frame.  The girl’s room has yet to be painted, but everything is moved in and in it’s new home.
  • Quads.  We delivered our second set of quads for the year this weekend.  In retrospect, it’s neat to be able to say I was the delivery nurse for quadruplets, but when we got the call that they were coming from our antepartum unit to be sectioned at eleven pm, my response was fuck.  Six hours later, I finally got a breather after that delivery.
  • I’m happy to say our little miss weighs in at alb 12oz, measuring right at 30 weeks.  Also happy to say that, for once, I have a normal fluid level.
  • We had an awesome birthday party for B on Sunday.  I took one picture and broke the cycle of making the birthday cake from scratch.  We had funfetti cake from a box and bright turn-your-teeth-aqua-blue frosting from a can.  Definitely a change from past parties of making decorations, cake and snacks by hand.
  • The highlight of our mini vacation to Cincinnati was the hotel pool.  I contracted the rest of the time.  The kids had fun and are excited for our next mini vacation after baby is here.

I have a feeling this summer will absolutely fly by.  There is something to do nearly everyday of the week.  My husband is taking our son for a camping trip this weekend.  There’s summer camps, science camp, art programs and summer reading programs.  More doctors appointments.  Birthday celebrations, baby showers, and weddings to attend.  Meetings and mandatory stuff for work.  Plus, the normal day to day activities.  It’s never ending.

199. Birthdays


Not even ten am, and my day is already in full swing.  Amazing how children change your life.

Six years ago, my husband and I welcomed our six pound bundle into our lives.  The days of sleeping in on off days and doing as we pleased when we pleased were put on hold, if not put to an end indefinitely.  No complaints.  While very frustrating and exhausting at times, there’s nothing like being a parent.  It’s one role I wouldn’t give up for anything.

So, yes, not even ten am and my day is in full swing.  Seven am brought my now six year old running in our room announcing, “I’m six today!  I can’t wait to be seven!”  Within twenty minutes, B and I were dressed and out the door to enjoy a super healthy, low calorie breakfast of Krispie Kreme donuts and soda.  Then it was onto Target for last minute vacation supplies where B proceeded to hone his bargaining skills.

“Mom, I’ll make a deal with you.  If I promise to be a good boy, and I’m good the entire time, I can get a toy.  Because it’s my birthday.”

Not even ten am, and I’m starting to crash from my sugar high.  Both kiddos are up and at ’em.  For the moment, they’re both content building with legos and singing Phineas and Ferb songs.  I can’t deny that I’m a little jealous of my still sleeping husband.  Lucky dog.  Not that I’d trade a minute of my morning with my special Bday boy.

 

576757_10201119451531528_1114785418_n

198. Summer vacation begins


Today marks the first day of summer vacation.  Yesterday, B said farewell to kindergarten.  I’m looking forward to having him home with us throughout the weekdays for a bit.  I have a feeling the next two months are, unfortunately, going to pass by in the blink of an eye.  Between our mini vacation next week, birthdays and parties, and baby R’s arrival (and everything we have yet to do to be ready for her), I’m sure August will be here soon.  Just hopefully not too soon.  🙂

943158_10201092122088309_2020883042_n

297117_10201088449836505_1566331239_n

So, a few snap shots of our end of school year projects, Pinterest inspired, of course.  For his classmates, we gave Kool Aid and umbrella straws.  For his teachers, orange soda with labels that said “Orange you glad it’s summer?!”  Cheap and easy, and B was so excited to give them out.

 

197. Time, energy and money


Three things I just don’t have enough of.  There aren’t enough hours in the day.  I have a limited supply of energy.  There is never enough cash to tackle everything.

The last few months have flown by and have been jammed packed.  Most of my family’s activities are connected to this sweet little thing…

269299_10200765477402396_1068217072_n

She’s kept me on my toes.  Between blood pressure issues, blood sugar issues, sciatic and ligament pain, and, ever my favorite, bouts of contractions, this hasn’t been my easiest pregnancy.  To say the least.  We’ve had a few minor scares with her.  Bed rest constantly looms its ugly head.  It hasn’t happened.  Yet.  When you work closely with your OB and her multitude of partners, you get a mini office visit every week.

What’s your blood pressure?  Are you contracting again?  Let’s go do an ultrasound and check your cervical length.  Is that caffeine you’re drinking?

I’ve made it six weeks since bed rest was first threatened.  Hoping to make it another six.

969500_10201079732738583_769334018_n

59770_10200845226796081_397059853_n

So, my life has been a whirlwind of organizing and cleaning the hell out of my house while simultaneously trying to take it easy.  It’s no easy task.  With baby #3 on the way, our three bedroom home suddenly seems infinitely smaller.  It’s been quite the task going through the plethora of stuff that has accumulated over the years.  I can’t tell you how many trips we’ve made to Goodwill, nor the amount of things that have made their way to the garbage.

Next on the massive Stallings’ project to do list: the great bedroom switch.  My son has the big room.  It’s the size of our master bedroom.  My daughter has the small room.  Since baby #3 is a little princess, we have a room swap looming over us.  Room swap = painting.  Painting 12 foot walls.  And ceilings.  And moving large furniture.  It’s scheduled to go down next week.  I am not excited about it.  Neither are the little ones.  They are each very attached to their current bedrooms.  We’ll see how it goes.

There are a million and one things I hope to accomplish before Rosie joins our family.  Realistically, I hope to get ten of them checked off our to do list.