32 Weeks Pregnant – A Nesting Frenzy

Finally.  I’m 32 weeks pregnant.  There’s an end in sight.  As much as I’m looking forward to finally having this kid out and moving forward, the more time passes, the more insane that I get.  For about four weeks now, I’ve been in nesting mode.  With each passing week, I get more and more intense about making things happen.  When I woke up and realized that I am now officially 32 weeks pregnant, I was just overwhelmed with thinking about how much there is to do.

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Rice Krispy Trees!

I am not an artsy craftsy person.  It’s actually been something that I’ve always wanted to be able to do.  But sometimes I get a little bit experimental in the kitchen, and it can be fun.  When we made the Rice Krispy Pumpkins for Halloween, I knew that I wanted to make some Rice Krispy trees for Christmas.  But sculpting a Christmas tree freehand with sticky warm crispy rice goo didn’t seem like something that I’d be able to pull off.

Then I got an idea.

And it gave me these.

Rice Krispy Trees!

Rice Krispy Trees

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Struggling with Newborn Nursery Decor

It’s so funny the kinds of things that I struggle with while pregnant.  Of course, picking a baby’s name is difficult.  You’re picking something that will stick with your child for the rest of his (or her) life.  Picking out newborn nursery furniture is almost as difficult, particularly since I buy lifetime furniture.  It’s the only set I’m ever going to buy that kid, so it had better be good.  Even though newborn nursery decor won’t be used for life, it’s still a detail that I agonize over.  And really, I suspect that the reason newborn nursery decor is so darned hard is because it’s all a matter of taste. [Read more…]

How to “Do It All” without Losing Your Mind

When  you’re a work at home mom or a stay at home mom, the perception is always that you have unlimited amounts of time and everything should get done.  Your house is always immaculate, your kids are always perfect, and you have time to do whatever random crap a friend or neighbor with a “real job” asks you to do.  You know, watch his or her kids (for free, of course… because your time is somehow less valuable because you stay at home), mow the lawn, or whatever else.  Because it’s not like running a household of your own while managing your other duties takes any real time.  Or you somehow have more than twenty-four hours in a day to dedicate to everything else, and running a household just magically happens.

As a mom who worked at home and is currently enjoying a hiatus as a stay at home mom, I’m perfectly well aware of the real truth: this is crap, and you’re plenty busy on your own.

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Fun in the Kitchen Makes Me Feel Like a Better Mom

Pumpkin Rice Krispy treats

On Friday, I’d have done just about anything to feel like a better mom.  The day was just rough, from the beginning of the day with Strong Start until the very end.  I tried to pep talk myself so that I’d get up, make dinner and let Norton help me, and then I’d feel like a better mom.  It really, truly did not work.

I spent Saturday trying to make up for what a flop Friday had been.  It was better.  I won’t say that I mastered scream-free parenting, but it went well overall.  We spent the majority of the day out grocery shopping (and that can take a while when you start out at the mall to get some new jeans for the kiddo and there are six stores on the agenda).  But Sunday was when the day was really awesome.  And it was a day that was even closer to scream-free parenting right up until we went to Grandma’s house for Sunday dinner. [Read more…]

Menu Planning Monday – Week of Oct 31

I have a pretty ambitious family meal plan for this week.  It’s getting cold, so there will be lots of using the crock pot… and I want my family meal plan to feed the freezer, too.  The more pregnant I get, the more I want to have things in the freezer for those times that I absolutely will not feel like cooking.  Maybe it’s the beginning phases of nesting or something. [Read more…]

This is what Being a Stay at Home Mom is About

Before the husband and I even got pregnant, we knew that being a stay at home mom was the best choice for us.  We knew what kind of parenting we wanted and how we wanted our family to go, and being a stay at home mom seemed like the best way for us to get that Norman Rockwell painting that we wanted.

The reality, of course, is that being a stay at home mom isn’t quite what I’d dreamed about.  In my fantasies about being a stay at home mom, I was always supermom, always ready with a healthy snack and a kind word.  Wielding my spatula with fierce accuracy to make absolutely amazing meals that the whole family would love.  My house would always be immaculate and my kid would always be happy.

Ha.  Fantasies and realities seldom match up. [Read more…]

Menu Planning Monday

I have seriously struggled with trying to get my ducks in a row lately.  I’m tired, and this pregnancy is kicking my trash.  One thing that I’m realizing is that I feel the most like doing things in the morning, so I’m seeing a future filled with crock pot meals or dinners that can be made in under twenty minutes at night.  With that in mind, here’s our family dinner plan for the week.  (And it’s even complete with links.)

Monday/Tuesday:  Beef barley lentil soup.  Add mixed veggies

Wednesday:  Crockpot cheesy mushroom chicken.  Add mixed veggies

Thursday:  Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, and salad

Friday:  Breaded fish fillets, whole wheat mac n cheese, and Brussels sprouts

Saturday:  Tuna Alfredo
My plan for Tuesday is just to have leftovers from Monday.  Assuming that I actually like the soup, of course.  Both meals for Monday/Tuesday and Wednesday are experiments for us.

Have you made your family dinner plan?  What’s on your menu this week?


Easy Family Meal – Tuna Alfredo

I really do try to do weekly meal planning.  However, the reality is, I’m pregnant, tired, coping with awful headaches, and often don’t feel like cooking anything by the time dinner comes around.  Just for those nights, I always keep some staples for an easy family meal on hand.  One easy family meal is Tuna Alfredo.

Think “Tuna Helper, but even easier” and maybe even a touch healthier.

Pasta is a staple in my house.  Sometimes I just get the yen for a pasta dish, so it’s always around.  Alfredo sauce isn’t something that I use as often, but it’s still something good to have around.  We keep fresh broccoli around for the husband to snack on.  Tuna fish is also a canned thing that is always in our pantry.

So when that lazy night comes around, all that needs to be done is boil some whole wheat pasta to the preferred level of doneness and put another pot out for the alfredo sauce.  Then chop up some fresh broccoli and throw in a drained can of tuna fish.  By the time the pasta is done, the sauce will have simmered nicely.  Drain the pasta, dump the sauce on top, and voila!  You have an easy family meal of Tuna Alfredo.

What’s your favorite quick and easy recipe?

Gratitude Project Day 7 – Grateful Mom Appreciates New Opportunities

I’m really and truly enjoying the Gratitude Project. I was so busy with the day to day aspects of life as a stay at home mom (okay, technically, I was a work at home mom doing some freelance stuff) that I was failing to be a grateful mom for the wonderful things that I do have in my life.  Taking a few minutes each day to reflect on the reasons that I have for being a grateful mom has been really and truly helpful. [Read more…]