Monday, August 26, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 25th

Sunday:  At parents' house for a birthday party

Monday:  Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with Ranch Potato Wedges

Tuesday:  Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Wednesday:  Chipotle Chicken Kebabs with Avocado Cream Sauce and Corn on the Cob

Thursday:  Leftovers/Freezer Meal

Friday:  Homemade Pizza

Saturday:  Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 18th

...except it's Tuesday.  It's just going to be one of those weeks.

We're giving "potty training" another go this week.  I use the term very loosely.  Very.

In other news, this weekend was productive and fun.

Saturday, we hosted a cookout with friends.  We had 14 adults and 10 kids ranging in age from 6 months - 3 1/2ish.  Molly was the youngest, excluding a baby that's still in his momma's tummy.  A good time was had by all and we have plenty of leftovers so that I get a few nights off from cooking!

Sunday, we worked on things around the house.  More moving things around to get Molly's room set up.  The changing table is now in her room and now we're trying to figure out if we want to rearrange where we moved the toys to because I'm not sure that it's really working.  Joy!  Mark also fixed the screen on our weeks old sliding glass door.  Why, you ask?  Because our stoooopid dog busted through the screen the other day as if she'd never seen a screen door (we had one on our old door also and used it frequently).  No idea what possessed her.  ::evil eye::

Off to make some phone calls.  I feel like I have a never-ending 'to do' list right now for some reason.

Sunday:  Leftovers

Monday:  Leftovers

Tuesday:  Leftovers

Wednesday:  Teriyaki Chicken (CrockPot) with Brown Rice and Broccoli

Thursday:  Chipotle Chicken Kebabs with Avocado Cream Sauce and Corn on the Cob

Friday:  Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with Ranch Potato Wedges

Saturday:  Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Garage Sale Extravaganza 2013

Garage sale?  Yard sale?  I guess it was a yard sale because it wasn't in a garage?  But we got rid of stuff in our garage.  Whatever... it's ovah!

We've been working on rearranging things to make a room for Molly for a few weeks now.  The big project was clearing out the office/playroom, which also provided a lot of storage not only for toys but other junk as well.  We don't have a basement so the majority of our storage was in this room and in the garage.  We had a ton of stuff stored that we just needed to get rid of so the next logical step was a garage sale.

Garage sales are a lot of work.  A lot of not fun work.  BUT they're worth the effort in my opinion.  Or at least I think so after the fact.  We haven't done a sale since 2009, which was plenty of time for me to forget just how much work goes into preparation.  (And hey, that was in preparation for a baby too!  Apparently our garage sales coincide with adding children :) )  We cleared out space, got rid of unused items that were just taking up space, and made some money.  Winning all around.

Of course it took us 4 weeks to accomplish our garage sale.  I spent a weekend really sorting things out and then continued to work on it periodically throughout the week.  The night before we tagged everything and then on a Friday afternoon we did our first sale.  We didn't get a lot of action on Friday (although Friday sales are common around here...), but it was actually nice because it helped us to sort everything out and group things together so that we were ready for the next sale.

The next day, Saturday, it rained (of course it would!), but we ended up doing a sale on Sunday that weekend.  We sold quite a bit, but I think Saturday is the biggest day for garage sales so we planned to do another sale the following Saturday and of course it rained again.  The garage sale gods clearly hate me.  SO the following Saturday (week 4!) we were finally able to do our Saturday sale.  I'm glad we persisted because we sold a lot more.

All that work and we got rid of nearly everything we had to sell, definitely all of the big stuff.  I have a handful of sale-worthy items left so I put them up on Craigslist to see if they sell.  I have some clothes that I need to try to consign (I sold some clothing items at the garage sale, but it's hard because obviously it has to be the correct size for people and that sort of thing), and we need to arrange to donate a box or so of goods that are leftover and not worth the hassle of trying to sell on Craigslist.

We moved Molly to her new room on Saturday (::tear::) and she's doing really well.  We still have a few things to move into her new room (changing table and her clothes and diapers) and then it's onto the fun part - decorating!

My house still feels like it's a total wreck.  I guess finding new places for things is kind of a slow process.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 11th

Sunday:  Parents' house

Monday:  Grilled burgers with Zesty Fries

Tuesday:  Chipotle-inspired Chicken Burritos

Wednesday:  Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Avocado, and Feta Sandwich with Pita Chips and Fruit

Thursday:  Leftovers/Freezer Meal

Friday:  Nachos

Saturday:  Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by

Monday, August 5, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 4th

The weekend flew by, as usual.  Saturday, Mark installed some shelves in the closet of Molly's room-to-be inching us a little closer to having everything ready to go.  This process really would go a lot faster if we had more time to dedicate to it!  I'm going to really try to work on getting things all arranged this week.

Sunday, we headed to the state fair with friends.  We usually skip it because it's a thousand degrees of hot, but just couldn't pass up a visit with the mild weather we're having!  Highs in the upper 70s/low 80s in August is pretty unheard of around here.  Loving it!  Rides were ridden, fair food was consumed, fun was had by all.

Sunday:  At the fair

Monday:  Grilled Sausages with Corn on the Cob and Fruit

Tuesday:  Skillet Summer Vegetable Lasagna with Salad

Wednesday:  Spicy Bean Burritos with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday:  Leftovers/Freezer Meal

Friday:  Homemade Pizza

Saturday:  Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by

Friday, August 2, 2013

Baby Led Weaning - 1 Week In

Nomming a garden fresh cucumber.  Love the face!

I mentioned in Molly's 6 month post that we were beginning the process of baby led weaning.  I had read quite a bit about the topic, but didn't really know what to expect when we actually applied the concept.  Would Molly take right to it and enjoy food?  Would it take awhile for her to come around to the process?  A week into Molly's real food journey and I'm very happy we decided to use the BLW approach.  I'm very pleased with the progress she has made so far.

Her first introduction to solids was avocado on her 6 month birthday anniversary.  She basically squished it and mushed it around her tray having lots of fun and got a few tastes in by sucking the mashed avocado off of her fingers.  She still takes a similar approach, but she's caught onto the whole concept.

It only took a few times putting food on her tray and she's onto the process and will pick up whatever is presented, study it for a bit, maybe squish it a little bit, but pretty immediately put it right into her mouth for a taste.  Sometimes she makes an unhappy looking face, but she keeps going and continues to taste and gum on whatever it is.  She has progressed to the point where she's actually chewing and swallowing bits of food now.  Quite a bit of progress for a week!  So far she has tried avocado, cucumber, broccoli (steamed florets), sweet potato (roasted "fries", unseasoned), and zucchini (steamed).  She seems to be enjoying her introduction to foods and has come to expect her serving when we sit down to dinner.  Basically she gets some of what we're eating for dinner.

Sweet potatoes are the clear favorite so far.

A few notes I have on BLW:

One of the biggest hurdles to get over (for me at least) is understanding, and accepting, that this is a very gradual process (and that's part of the benefit).  Parents of other babies Molly's age are talking about how many ounces of purees their babies are eating in a day.  There's really no way to measure her intake and right now it's not much, but I know that it's part of the process and that the actual experience and tasting of food is what's most important right now.

Something that I was a little curious/apprehensive about going into BLW was the issue of choking.  The concept of starting babies on with runny purees is definitely the norm so it takes a shift in thinking to use BLW.  As I said before, I've done quite a bit of reading on BLW so I understand the concept of babies' gag reflex and how it works to prevent choking.  There's a very large difference between choking and gagging and although choking has crossed my mind I'm not overly concerned with it (and I've become more comfortable with it as I see the way Molly handles her food).

I was concerned with the gagging and wondered if a lot of gagging was going to be involved at first until Molly got the hang of processing food in her mouth.  I know that gagging is normal (and babies do this with purees too, especially when they move up to thicker/chunkier varieties), but it still makes my heart jump into my throat so I wasn't really looking forward to seeing a lot of it.  But really, Molly has done great.  I think she gagged just a tiny bit, once so far and again, it's a normal part of babies learning to eat regardless of how they're introduced to foods because of where their gag reflex is located in the mouth.

It's messy.  That's a drawback, for sure.  But, even with the traditional route to solids using purees there comes a time (or two) when babies have to lean how to feed themselves (and then they move onto utensils!) and it's a messy process.  Hopefully we're just getting it out of the way early.

I love how hands off it is introducing her to foods.  I love that she gets to introduce herself at her own pace and that I can still enjoy eating with the family without having to shovel purees into her mouth.  I love that she's trying things that it would have taken a while to get to if we had used purees (I never pureed things like zucchini or broccoli for first foods.  Some things just don't lend themselves well to pureeing and some things you don't want them eating a ton of at first introduction because it could upset their tummy).  I feel like this method of food introduction really fits well for us and supports what I gleaned as a parent the first time around - mainly that babies will progress at their own pace anyway and all that you can control is the food that's offered, not what or how much they choose to eat.  That can be a very frustrating lesson to learn.  I really believe that this process will streamline the whole introduction to foods and make it an easier road to eating for both Molly and I.

More avocado.

I'm really looking forward to watching her journey with food unfold!