Tag Archives: mom

4 Quick, Easy and Delicious Meals

There are days I just don’t want to cook.

After spending almost the entire day chasing my soon to be two years old and cleaning up the toys that I am sure I have already cleaned up three times … that same day, I just don’t want to cook.

Unfortunately, I cant feed my husband and son pizza every day, even if I want to ( because if you know me you know, i can eat it every day!). So on the days I cant justify eating out and have no energy to spend hours in the kitchen, I pull these recipes out.

I usually already have all of these items in my fridge and pantry, so its easy for me to do these at any moment.

Quick and Easy Homemade Chili

The first time I made this for my husband he said it was crack, as he served himself his third bowl. To say he liked it was an understatement.

If you love thick and chunky chili as much as I do, but hate the 6 hour cook time, then this is the recipe for you. It won’t take more than 40 minutes start to finish, and it will taste like it has been on the stove all day.

Pancetta Pasta

This lovely dish I learned from one of my fellow military wife friends who was born in Catania Italy. She said this was a weekly staple in her home as a child.

Everyone in my house devours this, and it’s ridiculous how easy it is. Keep in mind if you don’t have Pancetta you can use ham or thick cut bacon.

Potato Soup

I have been told this recipe is better than Outback’s ( Sorry Outback). The funny thing is, I created this recipe while pregnant and tried to curb my want for their potato soup. Thick and creamy with a smokey taste coming from the bacon, this soup is great at any time, especially on cold winter nights.

 

Chicken Pot Pie

So I have a few pot pie recipes, and this is my latest tweaked recipe. It has so far been the favorite. Now I am lazy, and realistically, just don’t have the time to make pie dough, so I bought the premade stuff. BUT if you have the time, I am sure freshly made dough would make this recipe that much better.

 

 

 

These are my go-to staples. Each one of these four meals gets made at least two times a month in my house. They are not only approved by my husband and two years old, but time approved by this tired mama.

Happy Cooking!

We’re going to the zoo!

What happens when your husband is Military, and you get placed temporarily (read four months) in a hotel, in a city that is not going to be your final destination, and you have a 1-year-old?

You get a zoo membership of course!

Reality is, being a military spouse is hard, but you have to learn very early on to make due with what you have and what you are given. Otherwise, the results can be devasting as not only a person but a family as well.

So about a week into our stay in our temporary “home” (read standard hotel room), I realized the walls were very quickly closing in on my very active, then 14-month-old, son. Toys, books, and cartoons were just not cutting it anymore. I needed to find another outlet for his energy that would be entertaining for him and save my sanity at the same time. So that weekend we all went to the zoo.

As we were going to go and get our admission passes, I saw the military tickets were $14 per adult and my son would be free as a child under two. My eyes then went a little south and saw the member section, and Military annual was $89 for two adults and unlimited children of members. My brain quickly turned into a calculator. Each visit to the zoo would cost us in admission fees $28. So if we could come just four times in the four months that we were going to be here, it would more than pay for itself. After very little convincing, my husband agreed and got us the membership.

In the past four months, we have been to the zoo a total of 17 times. So that means we have saved $387. You cant do better than that!

I know some of you are wondering how the hell do you not get tired of going to the zoo so much! Well one, I have a toddler who LOVES animals. I am pretty sure I could take him there daily, and he would never tire of it. Secondly, we don’t do the whole zoo every time. Sure there are some days we walk it all, but mostly we’ll do a loop or segment per visit. Making each visit on its own a new adventure since we didn’t see those animals ‘last time’.

Of course, there are certain parts we see all the time. Tigers and the monkey sections are always a must. He just loves screaming ‘ooo-ah-ah-ah’ at the poor orangutangs that have no idea why the little imp in front of them is screaming and bouncing around so much.

Even though for me as a mother and wife, it has been difficult living in a hotel room for the past four months, these zoo adventures are something I will cherish forever.

I have learned to take the bad with the good and make the most out of any situation.

So if you are unsure of what to do, just go to the zoo!

Until Next Time

After the baby comes the…blues?!

When you are a first-time mom, I feel confident enough to say nothing truly prepared me for what came after the birth.

I read the books, saw the videos, heard the stories, babysat, cleaned the diapers of any parent crazy enough to give their child up. And yet, the one thing nothing talked about, that one thing no one told me about, “baby blues.”

Baby blues by definition is different than PPD (post-partum depression). With baby blues, they last a couple of weeks only and go away quickly on its own. PPD more times than not require some form of medical intervention, whether through medication or therapy and can last from months to years if untreated.

With me, PPD nor Baby-Blues ever crossed my mind. It was never even a possibility for me. My pregnancy, though full of trips to the toilet to puke my brains out, was happy and content. That doesn’t mean I had no idea about PPD. I knew a couple of close family members and friends that dealt with it. For me, it never seemed to be a real thing.

 

Then came one of the happiest day of my life. I had my beautiful baby boy. I managed to survive pushing “the thing,” as I called him in the middle of labor, unmedicated. He came out, clean, healthy, and even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined him to be. I felt great right after surprisingly, didn’t need an episiotomy (TMI sorry), didn’t tear (again, sorry TMI), all I wanted was a shower and food. So about 20 minutes after my baby was born, the pizza was on its way, and I was requesting a nurse for a shower. This is the point where things began to change for me.

The ten steps that it took me to get from the bed to the bathroom were horrible. I was severely lightheaded and had to admit to the nurse I didn’t think I could make it back to the bed. The nurse quickly helped me sit on the toilet, told me to take deep breaths and she would give me a hand back. After that, I didn’t feel quite ‘right’ for a couple of weeks.

I got the joy of having two blood transfusions and two extra days in the hospital. My husband had to get me the baby for a good week after, because I was afraid if I stood with him I would faint.

It was hard I felt like I had just started my role as a mother and was already failing. I couldn’t get up to get my child when he needed me, and I had to rely on someone else.

I also struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning. I was an overproducer, so I was in constant pain and in fear of mastitis (which I somehow magically avoided), and my sons suction was tearing my poor nipples up.

Yes I know, all sorts of TMI here, again, sorry.

The days were long. I remember sitting on the couch, my son in his swing, calmly, being the best baby I could have ever asked for. My husband cleaned all diapers for the first three weeks. I only touched him to feed him.

I recall how my husband would ask me daily what was wrong, why was I crying? My response was always the same. I DONT KNOW. By this point, I could walk, and I was no longer reliant on him. Reality is, I didn’t know why I felt so much sadness. There was nothing I could pinpoint what was triggering the feeling of hopelessness.

 

So on it went, random times of the days, I’d cry for ten minutes and then go on with life as if nothing happened. Day after day, for about five weeks. Then one day I just stopped crying. The feelings went away. I no longer felt constantly sad, and for the first time I could carry and look at my son and enjoy being in his presence without the fear that I would break out in tears.

Once the fog lifted, I began to research. What had plagued me? What was this thing that was such a taboo to talk about? So I spent weeks reading and learning. It was interesting to read that both baby-blues and PPD were common that we could expect.

It’s so important to learn about baby-blues and PPD and to seek help especially when the When you are a first-time mom, I feel confident enough to say nothing truly prepared me for what came after the birth.baby-blues seem to linger.

So many mothers are criticized and judged for thinking or having these feelings, something that is so common. Rather than keep this to ourselves we should strive to talk about it, take it out of the shadows, get it out of the taboo sections. The more we embrace and empower ourselves and those we know who deal with this secret ‘ illness,’ the more that women hear about it, the easier it is to treat and learn that you are not alone.

For those of you that have ever experienced or are experiencing baby blues or PPD, know you are not alone. You are not the first person to feel like that, nor will you be the last. But know you are amazing!

To those of you who have experienced or are experiencing “baby blues” or PPD, I hope that you are aware that you are not alone. You are human, and you are amazing. And more importantly, seek help, this is not something to be ashamed of.

For more information on PPD go here.

To learn more on the difference of baby-blues vs PPD go here.

5 easy tips for getting organized using a planner

You always hear, organization is key.

Well, for most of us, (especially me) organization just does not come easy! So here are a few tips and tricks on using a planner to help with getting organized.

1. Figure out if you are more of a sit and write or write on the go. This is a crucial step. I like to sit and write, meaning I make time early in the morning to sit down with my coffee and planner. I add new things to it, along with checking out what I need to do for the day. If you are a write and go, means you need something regularly with you to remind you of tasks throughout the day, and to jot down spur of the moment things.

2. Color is key! For me it is. I love to write in different colors and make my planner a bright mess. While I do use my black and gold template, I write in blue, pink, purple, green, any color I can get my hands on really.

3. This one kind of goes with 2, color coordinate. It makes it easy to spot certain types of tasks. I know anything written in red means medical. Blue is work. Green is dates. Purple is birthdays. Find your colors and make your key chart to remind you what colors to use where.

4. Use it for lists. Some of mine are, grocery, medical, dates, birthdays, appointments, writing for work, research, etc.

5. Chores. Yes, no one likes this word, but making a written plan helps me stick to it better. I, for example, do all of our laundries on Mondays and Thursdays. Towels get done Thursdays as well (we have a whole lot of towels where I can put it off for a month unless I see that written reminder!) Mopping is Tuesdays. Grocery is Friday. Having chores spread out throughout the week actually helps me too. It makes me feel like I am doing less since I don’t spend an entire day on them.

These are my secret five musts for organization using a planner. It really does help me keep up with all of my goals and tasks of the day. There is just something about putting pen to paper that makes things commit to memory, and then the added benefit of seeing it all colorful and bright catching the attention of anyone within a hundred yards finishes bringing it home for me.

I hope my small, easy tricks to organization helps you as much as it did me.

Be sure to sign up for my free planner templates!

Until Next time!

Cheers!

Getting ready for the baby, what you really need in your hospital bag!

You have finally come around to making that pesky hospital bag. Whether you are 20 weeks pregnant or 35 weeks, it’s never an easy task.

I am sure you have heard it all by now, I know I did. From the must-haves in the hospital bag to the just leave behind you’ll never use. And truth be told some were right, not to mention everyone’s experience is different. The reality is, it also has to do with your hospital and what they give. So here are some of my musts and leave behind, with a few extra tips along the way.

1. Non-slip socks. Forget the slippers or the shoes, just plain old socks. If you have your baby in the little bassinet beside you, you’ll still need to take a step to reach over for your bundle safely. If you already have socks on it makes it much easier than having to search for and put on shoes. I got these cute ones from amazon, here.
2. Hair ties. I don’t know how your labor will go, but my contractions came on my hair wash day. Now, I am a first-time mom and didn’t realize I had quite some time to shower and do my hair, but my panic and rush to the hospital had me in labor without my hair being done. Hair ties were my savior.
3. Boppy. That is if you are planning on breastfeeding. It will get you used to it for when you get home, not to mention much more comfortable than having your arm floating around while you and your little learn to bond.
4. Electronic chargers. Phone, laptop, e-reader, whatever electronics you take remember the chargers.
5. 2 comfortable sets of clothing. I had a natural labor, meaning comfy for me was a dress. If you have a c-section comfortable for you may be leggings. Plan for both occasions, you never know what turn things may take.

Now comes the maybe section. I brought toiletries, but my hospital gave me everything from toothpaste and brush to a hairbrush, shampoo, conditioner. I also took makeup that I did not use. So if you are a big makeup user take it, otherwise leave it behind. You will be too enamored of your new bundle to worry too much about what you look like, though you may want to dabble on some makeup for those first few pictures.

They gave me tucks (which are wonderful! you can find them here if you don’t get them) as well as pads, and the pain relief spray. I had heavy bleeding where I needed two blood transfusions, so I ended up sending my husband to buy me Depends because I leaked through the pads. Future pregnancies I will take depends, however, because they were much more comfortable than the mesh panties they give you.

I took magazines and some “entertainment” things to keep my mind off the pain (no epidural) but never used them. I just closed my eyes and tried to rest in between contractions. That is something I will leave behind next time, but it may be helpful for some. Especially if you do an epidural, you’ll want something to do to pass the time.

The don’t include section. Do not take too many clothes. For me, it was better to use the hospital gown because it had breastfeeding flaps. Much easier and if it got milk or blood on it I could just request another.

Nipple cream. I got about four “sample” tubes that lasted me up until three months postpartum.

Breast pads, I got two boxes of them from the hospital.

Never be afraid to ask for things. Alcohol swabs to clean the babies belly button. They may not give you the breast pads and cream unless you ask for it. Anything that may be for your well-being and your babies, they will have so ask away. My hospital also gave me a bag of diapers and wipes, though I have heard some hospitals do not give wipes anymore. Like I said, ask for everything, worse case scenario you can send someone to the gift shop for you to get anything you may need.

Happy Packing!