Friday, December 21, 2012
I love Christmas and have had so much time lately to devote to pursuits that I enjoy because of a little challenge I had for myself; to get all gifts purchased by advent. This Christmas season has been by far the most peaceful and low key that I can remember. Definitely a challenge I intend to extend to future years. Here are just a few of the things that have been crafted in the past few weeks.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Love these boys
Saturday, November 03, 2012
Thursday, November 01, 2012
We figured a little levity was needed, what better way to bring a smile than to dress a toddler up as a farmer, tractor included.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
This time I have more faith
This time I am stronger
Last time I had no idea
no idea that my dream would come true
that I would have a little boy to love
that he would bring me so much joy
and if last time never happened
I would have never had my Bug
So I walk in this moment
knowing I've walked here before
and come through the other side
and I know it will be alright.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
He runs everywhere and is usually laughing. He can be extremely cautious with some things and absolutely fearless with others. He loves walks and grabs my fingers for walks often, he even loves walks that he rides in the stroller for. He loves bike rides and really really wants to ride our bikes. He will try to get on every time we have them out.
He talks all the time and I love that he can tell me more what he needs and wants. I love that he understands us more now as well.
Well that's it for now. I'll definitely try to update more as time definitely flies by and I want to hold on to these memories we are making now.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Realizing the depth of love
Surprised at your capacity
The tiniest flutter
Realizing the reward
Of great risk
Loving one so much
That your very breath
Is controlled by theirs
Monday, February 06, 2012
Last week we had some gorgeous days so Bug and I took the opportunity and went to the playground. Bug loved it and was running around like a madman. He's such a social little guy and was having such a fun time just being around all those kids. It was a big playground so I spent my time chasing Bug around making sure he was safe. I stopped short when I looked up and I saw that Bug was completely encased in my shadow. It just struck me that no matter how hard I try I can't keep my Bug safe from everything, the realization took my breath away. There is One who loves him even more than I do and in His shadow I pray he will dwell all of his days.
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Friday, February 03, 2012
My first step to planning is taking stock of what I have in the fridge/pantry that needs to be used up. This week I have some leftover beef stock from making crock pot roast beef sandwiches, zucchini and ham that I want to use up.
So lets start from there with the leftover beef broth, I'd like to make Risotto. I found a great recipe online that sounds delicious! Now I'm not using tenderloin for this, I'm using leftover chuck roast. That's another one of my big ways of saving money, really stretching our meat and using cheaper cuts. We really just use meat to add flavor and see it as a side not the main component. Pinterest has been a great source of inspiration and I saw these healthy Zucchini chips that I'd love to try. The ham is just begging to be made into Spit Pea Soup, YUM!!
Beef Risotto-I'll be using some mushrooms we have in the fridge for this, so we have everything in house to make this except for the wine. I'm also using Aborrio rice instead of the carnaroli rice the recipe calls for (Aborrio is also a great Risotto rice). As a side I want to make Zucchini chips because I think that would brighten up the heaviness of the meal, Also I'd like to bring them to the Superbowl party we are going to Sunday but want to try out the recipe beforehand.
SUPERBOWL!! We were invited to a friends house so I just wanted to bring a couple things, the first being the Zucchini chips and the second is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip. These look delicious! For the Cookie Dough Dip I'll bring some apples as well as Graham Crackers to dip.
Monday I'll be babysitting so its a great day to use my crockpot for some Split Pea Soup. We have some Ezekiel bread that will hold up nicely toasted with this soup! Another meal we don't need to buy anything for.
Spicy Honey Chicken, Brown Rice and Broccoli. For this we buy our Chicken from Trader Joes and get Organic Cage Free thighs for 4.99 lb. It is a bit pricy but this will be the only meal this week that is featuring meat and using more than a lb.
Another Pinterest find is Coconut, Shrimp and Corn Chowder. This looks delicious and we happen to have some wild caught shrimp in the freezer and all the ingredients in the pantry.
Dahl with Spinach served with brown rice. One of the hubs favorite foods is Dahl, which is awesome because its cheap and nutritious! We often do vegetarian nights to save cash. Thankfully the hubs will eat everything! If your family isn't big on the vegetarian bandwagon try to cook foods from other cultures, they might be so fooled by the new flavors that they will not even realize that they are eating vegetarian!
Pizza! Pizza crust is cheap and easy to make yourself. Pizza is also a great fridge emptier; take your veggies, leftover meats, cheese ends and use them up! One of my friends parents instituted pizza night at their house when we were younger. Everyone was invited and they just made pizza after pizza. It was so fun and delicious and everyone ended up there on Friday nights! Something I definitely want to start doing in our house!
So as far as our menu plan goes here is what I need to buy: Garbonzo Beans, Graham Crackers, Onions, Garlic, Broccoli, Spinach, Chicken Thighs and Corn. As you can see I'm relying heavily on what is in my pantry so I really only need to pick up a few things to make our dinners. Now I go through and add in some of the other things we'll need this week: fruit, yogurt, milk, eggs. For our breakfasts we either eat eggs, oatmeal or smoothies so I try to have those things in the house at all times. Lunches generally are leftovers. Now that I'm all done figuring what we are eating this week I go through my house and see what needs to be re-filled. I like to keep a well stocked pantry (flour, sugar, oatmeal, beans, coffee, butter, peanut butter, tuna, jelly, baking needs, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, olive oil, etc). Once I see what I need to replenish I check the sales and see if there is anything there that I can buy in bulk. This week my groceries I need will probably only cost $40-45 so I have about $30-35 to restock my pantry or stock up on sales items. Sometimes I'll use this extra if I see good sales and sometimes I will roll it into the next weeks budget to save up in case there is a good sale on meat or I'm close to needing a high priced item (maple syrup, oils, etc). I'll also use the surplus to sometimes treat us to takeout.
What are you making this week?
Garbonzo Beans-3 cans (1 for the dip and 2 for pantry as I used mine up this week on hummus)
Monday, January 30, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
A few of my friends have been asking me how we afford to eat organic foods after they watched Food Inc. After some discussion I was a little shocked to know that we had almost the same grocery budget (mine was $5 more a week). I was asked to tell how to eat clean foods on a budget. Let me give you a little background on this, I started on this lifestyle shortly after we got married and have gradually gotten "crunchier". We make some choices that have been viewed as extreme in order to be able to fit this into our budget. I view our budget as a game of "Would You Rather", lets dive in a bit.
In our home we:
use rags for cleaning
use cloth napkins for food
clean with vinegar and baking soda
line dry whatever clothes that we can
change our own oil and do car repairs that we can (well the hubby does these)
mend our own clothes
try to learn new skills rather than paying someone to do them for us (plumbing, electrical, etc)
buy used "beater" cars with cash
stockpile food either by buying in bulk for better prices or by buying the max amount of a sale price
shop at multiple stores for best prices
buy used clothing for the whole family if possible
bake from scratch instead of buying convenience foods
turn off lights like freaks
I cut my husbands hair
we don't have premium channels (and our cable is free)
we don't watch tv until the evening
we drink water for beverages
we don't have netflix or hulu plus
This is not an exhaustive list but it gives you an idea of the types of ways we cut back on our budget in other ways to accommodate the things that we find most important. What's most important to our family right now is for me to be home with our son and for all of us to eat nutritious REAL foods. Now don't think we are complete misers here. We do allow some luxuries into our life. My husband and I have a slight Starbucks addiction, we both have smartphones (his company pays for his and because we don't have to pay for a cell phone for him we use that savings for the data plan for me) and other things. We live a rich full life that we enjoy by taking stock of what's important to us and cutting things out that we don't care about. I would rather do these things and eat well than have some more conveniences and not be able to eat this way.
So I challenge you to take a look at your spending and write every single blessed thing down that you spend your money on. Once you have a month of that take a look at what you are spending your money on and figure out if there are things you can do to reduce that number. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day and you don't need to make complete and drastic changes overnight but just little steps in the right direction. Figure out what the most important change to you is (for me it was buying organic milk and cage free organic eggs) and make that change this month. If you have questions or scenarios that you want to know more about let me know and we can address them in future posts. I'm not the authority on this but whatever knowledge I have I'd be happy to pass on.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Shortly after my mom finished her treatments the hub's mom got horribly ill. For awhile we weren't sure if she would make it. Thankfully she is home now recuperating. I'm praying that 2012 is a year of health for our family.
During this time we have really just been focusing on being with our families and helping as much as we can. I'm thankful I am home and can help when needed. I'm more thankful that both our Mom's are ok.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Sunday, October 02, 2011
We are running quickly towards your first birthday and I wanted to get some of the little nuiances of your 11th month documented. You remain to be such a joy to me and your dad.
You have developed a fascination with the cat. We have an outside cat that you are obsessed with. You love hanging out by the front door and get so excited when the cat comes to the door. When you get excited you quietly and excitedly say "oof oof oof" which is woof to you, it is so adorable. Everything is woof to you, you love animals! You do say meow as well but your first instinct is always woof. I've brought you into the pet store near us a few times just because I figured you would like it and I was right you would be happy to sit there for hours staring at the birds, lizards, fish and love when people bring their dogs in. Two of your best friends Taylor and Rebekah both have puppies and you love watching them play together, you will sit and just crack up watching their dogs run around.
We also went to a Phillies game with our friends Matt and Tracey, we were able to get some amazing seats thanks to Matt and his father. Your second game was spent in the first row leaning up on the dugout. You loved watching the game and everyone near by was amazed at how good you were. You would watch the field then look at the jumbotron then look around. I think you were just so excited by the crowd. There ended up being a rain delay and I got a little momma bear with some people pushing and shoving but you ended up sleeping for the whole rain delay and waking up to watch the rest of the game. It was one of those times that I will never forget, just a great time with our little family and our friends. Thankfully I have some amazing pictures to treasure.
You also lived through your first earthquake and your first hurricane. We were out walking one day when your daddy called asking if we felt that. Felt what? We had no idea that there was just and earthquake we were just having fun on our walk! It took awhile before I stopped worrying that your dad lost his mind and realized that there was, in fact, an earthquake. I'm hoping its your last! That same week we had a hurricane coming. I like being prepared for things but since I've had you I think its gone to the next level. We spent most of that week picking up things just in case we were stuck without electricity. I put you to sleep on the dining room floor just to have you near us, then when they started adding tornado warnings in we all ended up sleeping on a mattress in the kitchen. I just wanted my boys safe and all together! You were none the wiser to all this excitement though and weren't even impressed with our new sleeping arrangements.
This month you continued getting around more and more. You have taken a few steps here and there but you still like to hold hands and hold onto things. You love stairs and will take off like a shot towards any unattended stairs. You are very good at climbing them the problem is that when you are done climbing you just try to sit down and most of the time you would just topple back down if we weren't there to catch you. We've started letting you just crawl up the steps for bath time or diaper changes to let you get some practice and you love to crawl up and visit daddy in his office when he is at home. The look of pride on your face is priceless when you get to the top, if its possible you almost start crawling with swagger like "check me out". You are also starting to love doing things like unroll the toilet paper, run for the toilet to play in the water; basically you are starting this toddler destructive stuff. Its pretty funny right now but I'm sure it will get less funny soon :)
You also had your first year of the Labor Day Races and I'm so excited for the years to come. We've been going to the Island Heights Labor Day Races all of my life and I have only missed one year (last year because I was too pregnant), but more than me your Granny grew up going to the races and we have so much family history and physical family there that I just can't wait till you can participate. You loved watching your cousins do all the races this year, and you and cousin Lily were scouting out your competition for future races. Your dad and I raced in the Potato Relay, the 50 yd dash, the Three legged race and the pie eating contest this year to show you how it was done. You had a good time hanging with Granny, Uncle Wayne or any of the other family that was around while we were racing; I love that you are growing up with such a loving extended family. You are a blessed Bug!
You are just so fun Bug; you are a happy, silly, sweet, loving baby. I can't even describe how blessed I feel to be your mama. I love that right at this age we can make each other crack up with just a look. I can't wait to watch your sense of humor develop because you are so funny right now!! I can't even imagine how much laughter will fill our house in a few years and I look forward to it! Well I just look forward to more days spent with you and your dad to be honest. Now on the eve of your birthday I'm going to go up and kiss your sweet 11 month face and nestle you all snug in our bed.
I love you my sweet boy!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Here we are, another month gone by, it is going so fast! You have changed so much this past month! As usual it was pretty eventful and busy with your very first vacation, spending time with family and doing our normal stuff.
I was so worried about vacation it was crazy, you have never been the greatest for car rides and my anxiety was high. You can get pretty upset and it breaks this mamas heart to hear that; so the thought of 12 hours in the car with you was stressing me out! We ended up staying with friends in Massachusetts on the way up to break things up for you and to visit a bit. Turns out all my worrying was for nothing, you were a champ!!
I was also worried about the sleep situation on vacation, we are still co-sleeping at home and I worried how you would do in a new situation. Well once again you did just fine. Even with three of us on a full bed you did just fine. I did so enjoy getting back to our king bed though!!
The vacation was a good one. Our first week we just stayed around Aunt Karen's and Uncle Wayne's house and relaxed. It was so great we spent most of our days playing with cousin Mason in the lake, taking walks, kayaking (yes, even you!), reading and just having fun together. Mason took great care of you and kept you entertained during breakfast, helped change your diaper, helped give you baths; whatever you needed he was your guy! Your smile when he is around is just priceless!
You also were babysat for the first time ever! Aunt Karen and Uncle Wayne watched you one night so your dad and I could go on a kayak ride, I was so nervous I brought my phone with me just in case but you slept through it all with no problems. You loved Aunt Karen's dog Murdock and kept saying your new word "woof" which sounds more like "oof oof". We also were able to see Aunt Kim and Bruce, Aunt Kim even found a replacement Phillies hat for you in Maine of all places!
We also spent a couple days with Uncle Walter, Aunt Pam, Gracie and Meghan. We went to Ft. Knox with them and hiked around. We also went to the top of the bridge with them, the view was amazing we could see for miles and miles. Gracie and Meghan loved playing with you too, they also gave you baths, read to you, sang to you (they taught me an Italian lullaby that they knew); you are so blessed to have such great cousins as Mason, Gracie and Meghan! We also got to share in Meghan's birthday! Granny and Pop Pop came up right before we came home and you were happy to see them as well. You loved their dog (shocker, I know!)
It was so fun finally bringing you to Maine. I grew up going every year and ever since your dad and I have been going up we have been dreaming of bringing our own child with us. I loved taking you to the places that I remember from childhood. It was also sweet introducing you to our friends up in Maine, they loved you!! I look forward to watching you explore as you get older! Your dad and I did a ton of hiking with you this year; hopefully we will both become more in shape so we can keep up with you in the years to come!
You have become quite the climber this month. You climbed on top of a portable high chair, you then used that to get up on a chair and tried to then climb onto a suitcase on top of the chair. I couldn't believe but soon realized that the time for anchoring our bookshelves has come!! You also took a cardboard box and was using that to cruise around the room, I was amazed.
This month went by quickly and as with all of the ones we have shared with you, we enjoyed you so much. I love showing you the world around us, introducing you to new friends and watching your joy and happiness spread to those around us. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for the great pleasure of knowing you and the privilege of being your mom. I love you Bug!
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Oh my baby boy,
How is it that another month has past. I have so enjoyed watching you this month growing and changing. Its amazing watching someone adapt and change so much to the world around them, it inspires me to continue trying to change and better myself as well! I love watching you meet an obstacle and see your determination to overcome and get to your goal. You are a determined little boy, I know that the temptation will be there to control that but I pray that your daddy and I continue to encourage you to be the boy God made you. That determination will take you far.
This month brought about so many changes, the biggest is how vocal you have gotten. You have been saying Dada for a couple months already and Mama for not quite as long. Now you say Nana's for nursing which is ADORABLE. You also sing along with me when I sing songs and sometimes you just hum to yourself. You babble, screech, laugh and sing all the time. I love your little voice. You can click your tongue, play the recorder, and you also will hum while I pat your mouth to make silly noises. You also do this funny thing where you scrunch up your nose and breath in and out really fast, its so silly! You are quite the mimic and we will say things then randomly you will repeat them back to us; like Payton, Murdock, Good Boy. I wouldn't believe that you were doing it but other people hear it too.
This month you also took your first trips to the Beach! YOU LOVE IT!! You are definitely a bit timid when it comes to the ocean or the pool. You like to be right up on me with your head on my shoulders watching and you will sit like that and look at the ocean for a long time. If we are back at our blanket that's a different story. You love eating sand, much to Dada's chagrin. You also love the baby pool that Aunt Karen gave you and will happily sit in that for a long time. You also will actually nurse and take a good nap on the beach as well, which is SHOCKING(you are usually too busy in public to nurse or nap)! After we go to the beach we usually will go up for a walk on the boardwalk and you are even good for that!! I love that you love the ocean, I can't wait to watch you as you get older at the beach; jumping waves, making sand castles, having best friends for a day.
You are pulling yourself up on EVERYTHING, while you have stood before (with assistance) this month you have taken it to the next level. You pull yourself up whenever you can. You can also walk with the assistance of hands or furniture and take every opportunity. This is the first that we have needed to babyproof but you have gotten into everything this month. You love ripping books and paper, eating paper and make it your life's goal to grab my phone. You have moved from the army crawl to the full on regular crawl and you are quick to get where you want to go. A good amount of time is spent racing to electrical cords to try to eat them, ACH! So a good amount of my time is racing ahead of you to put them up and away.
You still are doing about the same with sleeping, some days that is harder on your mama than others. Generally though I try to remember that this is just a small small portion of my life that I get to have this special time with you and even in the middle of the night I try to appreciate that. I'm amazed though I can be nursing you to sleep and you will be sitting there with your eyes closed then flip over and start crawling without any hesitation. Usually you start laughing when you do this, you tricky baby :) You are just so curious that sleeping and eating take a back seat to exploring.
This month was chock full of activity and business and thankfully you go with the flow pretty well, sometimes better than your mommy. Having you with me really makes me try to slow down and enjoy things more. I know when we are super busy I'm missing little things like a toothy smile over a long breakfast, how you rub my arm as you fall asleep or the lengths that you will go to zerbert me. Those things make my day and make this Mommy gig, which is the toughest job of my life, more than worth it.