Sunday, October 6, 2013

Update

Little Miss Lilly Update! Lilly will be 7 months old in 3 days! She is growing up so fast. She is working on crawling forward, eating food, and being pretty :o) She hasn't said her first word yet but when fussing she's been saying "mamamamamma" which is just adorable. She loves kissing mommy and teasing daddy. She still fits into 3 month clothing but is well into her 6 month wardrobe. It is also fall and the best season ever! We have a lot of things to look forward to :o) This week we will see Grandma, go to Salem with Auntie Sammie, and other fun things. This weekend Hubs and I have the wedding of some of our besties! Also, a pumpkin festival, hanging out with Auntie Katie and other various fun stuff :o) Later this month a mama and bff from our birth group is visiting from Utah... we are SO EXCITED!!! Next month we are going to FL to visit/meet some family :oD Then it's the holiday season :o)))) Hubs will have his first holidays off, and we are beyond thrilled. Here are some wonderful pictures as of late :oD


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Things are coming along nicely!

Big things going on today! It was our first day trying solids! We went with avocado... I used 2 1/2 tsp of breast milk and took 2 tsp of avocado and put it in a cup and mixed and mashed it until it was smooth... added in maybe 1/8th of lime juice to (hopefully) preserve it while it's frozen for the next 3 meals.... put 3 tsp meals into the ice cube tray and went to town on the last! She wasn't sure at first but chowed down! Her face at first was like wtf IS THIS?!! Then she was like oh... oh okay! I believe the spoon was what weirded her out because once it was in her mouth she was a-okay. She also swallowed almost the whole spoonful - no pushing it out with her tongue here! All-in-all... it was great!

Then she rolled from back to belly for the first time during naked time! Whoa whoa... what a day!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Confession

My biggest fear while pregnant was that Lilly was actually a boy... Why? Because her room was so damn pretty!! Funny enough... 3 1/2 months later... We are STILL not finished! One project left....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cloth Diapering is thebomb.com

So back in the day when I found out I was preggo I joined this awesome birth club. On there one of the ladies mentioned cloth diapering. At this point I had no job and sat around all day doing nothing so I was kind of the "researcher" of the group. I thought this mama was bat-sh*t cray cray for thinking of doing cloth diapers... EW! Poop! In my WASHING MACHINE?!!! Do I have to touch it?!?! wtf???!!! BUT... I did my duty and found information on it for her.... I read this article and I was HOOKED. WHY DOESN'T EVERYONE DO THIS?!! GAH!! I did out the math and did you know that with the cost of a box of diapers at Babies R Us RIGHT NOW... it would cost about $4,200 to diaper your kidlet til they are 3?!! OMGAHH! And that's not including the cost of wipes! AND WHAT IF YOU HAVE MORE?! Oh my goodness....

*I am noting that all these images are borrowed from a google image search*

Well I became viciously hooked... but which were I going to get? Pockets? AIOs? Prefolds? Prefolds are those age-old things people typically think of when you mention cloth diapers. Uh, no. Not for me. I'm going for ease and convenience. And of course, cute fluff butt. These are prefolds:

 
Very basic... they are held with pins or these weird snappy things and are so stone age and have a cover you have to put over them to make them waterproof and yadda yadda yadda too much work.... but I guess they're good because you can literally make them fit any baby.
 
Other diapers come with snaps and/or Velcro... they are One Size (OS)... these are adjustable they SAY from 8-35 lbs. but Lilly is about 10/11 lbs and is JUST fitting into hers now. They say the fit best at 11 lbs+. For Miss Lilly I bought a newborn (NB) stash... thank god I did! She was such a peanut even these were too small! And it took her forever to move up a size. I bought an All-in-One (AIO) stash for her. And I had to input more because I didn't have enough for how much she was going and I was doing way too much laundry for my liking. These are the little dipes I had for MiniPreemieLilly. They fit her well up until about 3 months! I also have a tiny baby.... I still had a snap setting to move up but she peed too much for them to hold at this point.
 
THX NB AIO:
(THX <--- brand)(NB = Newborn size)(AIO = All-in-one)
 
They come in adorable colors! Yay! Note all the snappage.... the middle bottom snap is to snap down the middle for the umbilical cord as seen below. You can adjust them a few different ways to make them fit your babe.

Snapping down the umbilical cord.

Inside has those awesome Double-Gussets (DG) that hold in the mess really well. I love me some DGs!
 
What is AIO you ask? An AIO dipe is all you need! You just take it, throw it on, and then you're good to go! When you change you take it off and throw on a new one! Easy peasy. I love them but they are a tad more expensive and a tad more rare. And a tad more boring...
 
For my bigger Lilly stash - til the end of potty training I have One Size (OS) Pockets. Pocket dipes are a shell of sorts and then you open the "pocket" which is usually a hole at the top... and you put in an insert. What's great about these is that they come in adorable colors and prints, dry quickly, and you can double-up on inserts if you have a heavy wetter or for overnight sleep stretches... etc. Here are some pocket examples...
 
 
This is the inside of the dipe where you put the insert.

Different type of inserst.
 
Examples of adorable prints!
 
 
Finished product!
 
I love them.
 
THE PROCESS:
 
1. So you take out a dipe from your drawer or bag or whatever... and Stick it on their bum....
 
2. Wait...
 
3. Ew! Poop! Okay so you proceed to change as normal... unsnap, remove diaper... then you clean with a wipe or a cloth wipe... take out a new diaper and put on cream. I use coconut oil on her bum for every day use... (yes the regular kind you get at the grocery store). If it's solid you just warm it between your fingers and apply... if it's gel-liquidyish... then well just throw it on. If she has a rash I use California Baby Diaper Rash Cream. It's CD safe and works like a charm. Snap up the new dipe... send them on their way!
 
4. You proceed to take your diaper and throw it in your pail. REALLY? IS IT THAT EASY?? Yep. I take out my insert before throwing it in but you can do it before your wash too... I decided on this pail and I love it. Inside is a pail liner. I bought cheap ones of amazon but this is a great one. Come in many colors to match your nursery! You want two so when you throw a load in the wash you have one to put right back in the pail...
 
5. Move on with life!
 
6. You realize you're running low on dipes, or your pail is full. Time for laundry! You take the whole kit & caboodle (the pail liner with the dipes in it) and if you're savvy like me you can just take the bottom of your pail liner and shake it into the washing machine so everything falls into the washer. Presto-change... no mess being touched. (Let's get real here though we're moms - we pretty much wear mess as a fashion statement at this point).
 
7. Dipes are in! First you do a rinse (if you're breastfeeding - if you use formula you gotta get the poop out first with a sprayer which is also easy peasy). You can either do that rinse & spin cycle or a full wash cycle with no detergent - up to you. Then I wash on hot/cold with an extra rinse with Tide Original. NO FABRIC SOFTENER!!!! NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER USE FABRIC SOFTENER!!! FABRIC SOFTENER IS THE DEVIL TO CD FAMILIES!!!!! They will make your diapers repel and then it's like the kid is just peeing without a diaper on. It's a huge tragedy that involves stripping your diapers and a big fiasco you don't even wanna be involved in. Barf. So you do your wash. Then you do a rinse... I always did just the rinse & spin but I started doing a full wash cycle with no detergent to get them realllly nice and rinsed just because that's what I feel like doing so f*ck it, i'm gonna. Then dry them! That's it! Rinse, wash, rinse, dry! Boom... saved yourself $4,200.
 
Did I mention that cloth diapers have an awesome resale value? Sounds gross but it's well-known and accepted in the CD world... As mentioned in the article above she sold her stash for $14 less than what she bought them for... so... $14 to diaper 2 kids or $8,400? Hmm.....
 
If you go out you do the same thing except you have a wet bag or a wet/dry bag you put the diaper in when it's dirty. When you get home you just throw it in the pail. NBD.
 
YOUR WELCOME.


 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Favorite Baby Products

Hello, Hello!

I wish I didn't suck so much with keeping up with this thing. I really like it! I assume it's the same as exercise... I lose interest quickly. Maybe I shall make a rewards chart for blogging as well? (More about that later)(I'm such a Sped. teacher).

Lilly is now 3 months and a little over a week. She loves talking about doritos, smiling, and chewing on her hands. I'm pretty sure she's teething. She's still breastfeeding like a champ and growing strong. I love her to pieces.

Here's some Lillysmiles for your viewing pleasure.
 
 
 
 
 
Ah I friggin love her.
 
Okay, so for the main event...
 
Being a FTM and now over 3 months in... I have gotten great use out of some many products.... other's not so much. Here is the grand list of my Baby Must-haves!
 
DIAPERING
 
1. Cloth Diapers: Probably my most favorite decision I've made as a parent. I friggin love these things. They are just like disposable diapers (now referred to as sposies) but you reuse them. ICK! I KNOW! OMG POOP IN MY WASHING MACHINE! Mmmmm biatch please... they're amazing. And so cute! All I do is do a rinse cycle (cause breastfeeding is awesome and the baby poop is water soluble) and then a wash with tide, a rinse and then a dry! They are super fab AND... I spent like... $370 for ALL my children rather than.... mmm... $4,200 with today's cost of diapers. And that's if they potty train by 3. And NO.... I never have to touch the poop. Silly!
 
I will go in depth in a separate post - complete with pictures!
 
2. California Baby Diaper Rash Cream: Cloth diaper safe, natural, and cleans up her rash SO quick. I now have 3 bottles at my house. Holler!
 
3. Cloth Wipes (and huggies vs. pampers): It just makes sense when you are cloth diapering.... you just throw them in the diaper and into the pail as you would a sposie in a trash can. Then you just dump them all in the wash together. No buying wipes? I'll take it! (A better description will go in the cloth diaper post)
 
I do use wipes when I go out in public for my diaper bag... I love huggies! I like the texture and how they feel... pampers feel weird almost scratchy to me... Idk I don't like em... but that's just me.
 
 
GEAR
 
1. Baby Jogger City Mini: Best. Stroller. Ever. One handed turning! Reclines all the way! Able to go jogging! The straps are very easily adjustable and it can grow with you! Did I mention the ONE HANDED FOLD! And it's super light. Lies completely flat! Yay! This was the one thing I was super snob about. I HAD TO HAVE IT. My bff had her youngin' almost exactly a year before I had Lilly... the one who spiked my baby fever! I watched her use her City Mini for a year while I lusted and drooled. Then I got my own! OMG I looooove it!  I went with the car seat adapter for my Graco Snugride Car seat since it was the same price as the Graco click-n-go option.... I felt I made the right decision. I liked only having to worry about one car seat... plus Lilly is already sitting in the stroller without the car seat since she HATES her car seat (Lil Miss Fussybutt). I also have the parent console which I love just as much as the stroller... and I will get the child tray and possibly the cooler (for hubs lol) when the time comes.
 
2. Infant Optics Monitor: Love this thing! It was SO affordable and works like a charm. It's a video monitor that has the option of shutting off the sound til she makes noise... I like it because you know she's quiet if the sound is off and you aren't wondering... did she make a noise? did I hear something?... you can also shut it off entirely and the video will come on if she makes a noise if you need to save battery. It has great range... is able to adjust in a ton of directions. It's great! Did I mention affordable?
 
3. SnugGlide Infant Car Seat Swing Frame: We plug her car seat into the swing while we get ready before we head out and she's almost always asleep before we leave. Seriously, most genius invention ever. It's wonderful.
 
BATHTIME
 
 1. Whale of a Tub: She loves it. She's a little jumping bean in there. I like that there's no cloth or crap that needs to dry and get will get moldy... fits in my huge sink and drains easily. Had I known there was a pink one I prob woulda went for it haha.
 
SLEEP
 
1. Rock N' Play: My godsend. It's this portable elevated piece of awesome that got my 1 month old to sleep through the night. We started bedtime routine on her first birthday... she slept 5 hrs straight. 8 hours by the end of the week and is now dropped her night time feeding at 3 months old. She is usually down by 7 and sleeps til about 6-8 a.m. Praise Jeebus.
 
2. Twilight Turtle: I can change her by the light of this... and it puts awesome actual constellations on her ceiling!! Love it... can shine in 3 colors. I give 5 stars to anything that that contributes to her sleeping through the night... We have the purple one to match her room :o)
 
3. Graco Sweet Slumber Sleep Machine: She sleeps by the sound of the waves every night. "Nuf said.
 
4. SwaddleMe: These we have a love-hate relationship with. The swaddling is amazing and is what makes her sleep but she can weasel her way outta these so it's kind of a PITA. It used to wake her up when she wriggled out... she'd have a hand flapping free at the bottom or her hand will be out the top and she's suck on her fingers waking herself up.... but being so affordable... it's great. I've tried the Miracle Blanket and that thing sucks. I've heard great things but it was awful. I was going to try the halo sleepsack swaddle but decided against it since we did not have much time left... We tried SwaddleMe's smallest version the SwaddlePod which is a lot like the Woombie... and it provides too much movement for her liking... so SwasddleMe it is! You can do it nice and tight but if your LO wakes up a bunch it will stretch out kinda and sometimes I ended up needing a new one by the end of the night.... So it's kind of a PITA but like I said.... sleeps through the night.
 
5. Johnson's Lavender Lotion: We use it before bed and sleepy sleepy.
 
CARRIERS
 
1. Boba: It's great! Quick and easy to put on.... We haven't used it much since she's in a phase where she doesn't like carriers of any sort... but Hubs can't wait til she's big enough to be in the backpack part!
 
2. Moby: Love it! Lilly looooved being in it when she was little and she would sleep and sleep and sleep! I could do anything! Clean the house, go shopping, groceries, cook! It was great. Sometimes it was the only way I could get anything done. Now she's not too big of a fan but I plan on using it more so she will be used to it again.
 
3. Seven Slings: Loved mine! I hear a lot of bad reviews but I liked mine a lot... I made my own version with different fabric and gave mine to a friend... I hope to be in production soon!
 
FEEDING:
 
1. Medela Double Electric Pump (vs. Ameda Purely Yours): I love my Medela! Mainly because I got a bunch of extra parts from the hospital meaning I didn't have to wash mine as much. I love that it has a let-down button and that you can adjust the whole thing with one knob.... the Ameda doesn't have either of those. Also, the flanges separate from the bottle/pump system thing so I can put it in to my homemade ghetto pumping bra.... the Ameda also does not have that. Ameda did the job though! Just not as convenient. Medela has a cool bag too.
 
**PSA - DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN GET A BREASTPUMP FOR FREE!!!???*** Call your health insurance! Ask about the free breast pump through the affordable care act!
 
2. Boppy: Well, Duh. Also great for sleeping... I just lay on my side and stick my shoulder in the circle. ZzzzZZzzz...
 
There you go! Over and Out.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Birth Story!

Lilly Michelle

Born: March 9, 2013 @ 11:28 p.m.
5 lbs. 14 oz.
19 3/4 inches long
 
I started with contractions earlier that week at 6 a.m. I called the office and they said to sit with my feet up and drink water and do a kick and contraction count for an hour and call back. After the hour I measured my contractions to be about 3-5 minutes apart so the nurse said to go into the office. After going in, the contractions were 3 min apart like clockwork, and I was obviously in pain. They checked me and said I was only 1 cm dilated. The doctor sent me home to labor at home with some ambien to sleep. I had a feeling no one believed me.
 
The next couple of days were fuzzy so I am going to have to wing it...
 
One day we went into L&D in the afternoon. After monitoring and finding out I was definitely having contractions, the doctors checked me and I was still only 1 cm... I burst into tears from being so exhausted and being told "it's gonna be a rough couple of week" about 10 times. They the doctors decided to give me "therapeutic rest" since I was so tired... I was admitted to L&D in a room and was given morphine and phenergrin (sp?). I slept for about 6 hours while Eric hung out in the L&D "hotel suite" we called it. Beautiful room! It was a very calming and relaxing day and we both said it was a very good day... even though we spent it in the hospital.

The next day we went in at 1:30 am but can't for the life of me remember wth happened. Sigh mommy brain. Basically another "these are mild, you aren't in labor cause you aren't dilating, go home and put your feet up and drink water, yadda yadda yadda... here's some ambien go to bed."
 
After contracting all day... I went in again... the medicine they gave me the day before had done nothing. My actual OB was on call that day and she came in to chat. She said she was very worried about me because I was only having Braxton Hicks contractions and they were VERY mild... she didn't doubt that I was in pain and was feeling them as much as I was, but she was super worried that when I did feel those actual 8 or 9 pain level contractions, I would pass out and make the birth an emergency situation. I was so tired I didn't know what to do I just wanted the pain to stop. I didn't want her to come out but I knew for a fact there was no way i'd make it with this pain to my due date... She said she could not induce me because if something was wrong with my baby, it would be malpractice. She couldn't do a c-section until atleast 39 weeks. She seemed very concerned. She gave me a shot of turboline (sp?) to stop my contractions and more of that wonderful phenagrin to help with the pain and to sleep. I went home feeling okay...
 
At about 10 pm that night the contractions started again... I had hubby make me blueberry pancakes :oP I tried to sleep and it wasn't happening. Knowing hubby had to wake up early and pick up his k9 the next day, I didn't want to bother him... I took a bath at midnight... and 3 am... 6 am... Nothing helped. I paced the halls moaning and holding my belly KNOWING that this wasn't right... but I knew no one could take me in that day... or would since I was still being told the same thing. Hubby left around 9:30 am and my family came for about 10:30. They seemed thoroughly surprised at my state... I don't think anyone really knew how bad it was. They were very helpful. My mom started making corned beef and cabbage and my dad helped clean the house. My sister tended to me... They tried to get me to eat Gatorade and a muffin but I wanted nothing about it... I tried laying down to sleep but the contractions were horrible. BH MY ASS!!! Suddenly I didn't feel good, ran to the bathroom, and threw up my insides into the toilet. I was pumped cause I KNEW someone would take me to L&D now! I jumped into the bathroom and screamed for someone to come clean it up and start the car. I was done... DONE! "maybe we should wait a little while?" *death stare* "RON! STart the car!" lol... and in we rolled....
 
Got to L&D and saw the sympathetic faces... I was now hanging out with the people I met the first day I went in. They didn't even hook me up to a monitor since I couldn't even sit and they knew it was probably crap. They just laid me down to check me and BAM 4 cm!!! I burst into tears and asked "Are you going to take her out?! Is this going to be over soon??" They said "well, you are going to push her out but yes she will be out today". HALLELUJAH!!! My mom went out to call the family and hubby and I got wheeled up to my room and admitted.
 
They pumped me with an IV right away and two meds... Phenagrin maybe? And something else. IDK... then hubby arrived shortly after. I was checked a lil bit after that and I was 5 cm. They were happy I was progressing. They broke my water (SO WEIRD!) and then called the anesthesiologist. He came down a lil while later and had my sit up for my epi. As I sat up, the rest of my water came out... on the poor trainee :o/ Boo! Then it was all gravy for a few hours. My family visited to come wait for the baby and said hi, I couldn't feel a thing. I guess my contractions were pretty high up there but I hadn't a clue... Eventually they had to put the electrode into Lilly's head through my nether regions and the monitor stopped measuring my contractions. They dosed me with Pitocin twice but i'm beginning to think it was the computers fault.
 
Going on 9 pm I felt my body starting to convulse and I knew it was time to push... I started pushing my magic epi button to amp up production and began to push.... it was just me, hubby, a nurse, and a trainee. She was from another floor and looking to start in L&D. She was great. She had one leg and hubby had another and I pushed for a while, then they gave me a bar and a sheet and I pushed with that... they wanted me to squat but that wasn't happening, we went back to the legs. Since the monitor wasn't measuring my contractions, I had to go by the pressure I was feeling down below... and then they would feel my belly and confirm the contraction and I would push. 3 pushes for 10 seconds each, per contraction. I pushed for 2 & 1/2 hrs. LORD. At the end of pushing I kept hearing "one more push! one more push!"... I was completely exhausted and began to give up but hubby was GREAT encouragement and kept me going. I couldn't have done it without him. I pushed out her head and hubby said it looked like a potato! Not the typical cone. He was freaked out. She came out with her hands by her face... and ended up very very bruised. Then her body got stuck and my doc went "oh shit"... grabbed the scissors and snip snip down to my bum to get her out. I heard it but I didn't feel a thing. Pure adrenaline. Her cord was only like a foot long! Doc said she needed to clamp and cut it right away so hubby didn't get to cut the cord but the doc kept saying "she looks great, good job" even though she didn't make a sound. She was cleaned up and I heard that blissful cry and all was well...
 
Then my epi wore off I swear... out came my placenta and then I got stitched up. IMO, the stitching was way worse than the birth. I was cut all the way down and tore all the way up. Nightmare. That was done and I got to hold my lil baby girl. She was so sweet! We did skin-to-skin right away and even tried BF... she did good! Everything measured great. We had her for 12 hours in our room... the next morning her blood sugar measured low... She needed to be a 45 and she was a 41... they wanted to formula feed and I said no I wanted to try to raise it through my breast milk and the new nurse was helpful with that... then I BF her and she was a 41... then we gave her pumped colostrum in a syringe and she was 41... then we gave her formula in a syringe and she was 39 (ha! BM wins! kinda lol) so they had to take her to the NICU.
 
She was under the warmer bed in there with an IV in her foot (since her hands were too bruised to do an IV) for a while... they put her in a regular bed after that and began weaning her IV and she did great! By the next morning she was off... then the jaundice came and she had to do 24 hours under the bilirubin lights. That was hard to watch because she loved snuggly blankets to much and had to take them all off :o( After that she wasn't peeing enough so we had to make sure she was making enough wet diapers... The next day we went home! It has been an interesting ride since then <3 I never knew how much you can love a little being! I keep saying... "why the hell didn't we do this sooner?" <3 my Lil Lillybear!


 

Weight update!


Lilly has made birth weight! Time to celebrate!!

More about our breastfeeding adventure soon :o)
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

MISS LILLY'S DEBUT! And recipe! New Mama Milkshake!

Well, Miss Lilly decided to come a month early! I will post her birth story soon... but here is a lil something I just made up :o)

Based on the recommendations from my mamas of the milk-producing oatmeal, fattening up the milk with the ice cream, my love for strawberry topping, and the doc's recommendation of dairy 5 x's a day!

MAMA MILKSHAKE:
Milk, chocolate ice cream, strawberry topping, miralax, oatmeal!
1. Put ice cream in the cup (for magic bullet) or blender
2. Put in desired amount of strawberry topping
3. Put in 3 spoonfuls of oatmeal (I did mine uncooked)
4. Put in desired amount of miralax
5. Pour in milk to top
6. BLEND!


OMG SO DELICOUS!

Oh and here is Lil Miss Lillybear!



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Recipe! SUPER QUICK 3 Cheese Garlic pizza bread!

So I can def. chalk this one up to preggo cravings! I made 1/2 when The Ultimate Creator was here a few weekends ago... Who is The Ultimate Creator you ask? It is my dear friend and roomie from college, Bethie. Bethie introduced me to hubs so I call her The Ultimate Creator of my dear Lillybear.... Well she came over for Auntie Hayley's bachelorette I planned a few weekends ago... and well, we got hungry. Cinnastix looked too involved so we pulled this recipe out of our butts. And I just made it again! I will do it in a 1/2 dough amount and you can double it if you wanna cook for 4 or use the whole whole dough or whatever...



Lillybear's Cheesy Garlic Bread: Serves 2 or 1 preggo...

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 pizza dough
1-2 TBSP butter
1-2 TSP of garlic (I use minced)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Italian Seasoning
Grated Parmesan
Liiiil bit of flour

1. Set oven to the temperature to cook your dough... Mine was 450*
1.5. Some people heat up their stone first... I do too much work on it and would probably burn myself so I skip it... ends up fine!
2. Take your pizza stone (best option) or whatever you chose to cook your pizza on and put a lil bit of flour on it... maybe a TBSP or two..
3. Toss your dough around in the flour and work it into a ball and start spreading it into a mini pizza dough shape... sometimes if I use too much four i'll put a lill EVOO to make it stick to the pan and stay open
4. Put your butter in a bowl and put the garlic on top... microwave for 30-45 seconds til the butter is melted... swish it around a bit.
5. Pour the garlic butter on the dough and spread!
6. Sprinkle desired amount of shredded cheeses on the dough.
7. Sprinkle parmesan
8. Sprinkle italian seasoning
9. Bake dough according to package
10. ENJOY!! Mmmm.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Recipe! Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells!

K... so I heard of this meal and I kinda "winged it" (pun intended) with the recipe... so bear with me! It was delllicious!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast
  • 1 jar preferred spaghetti sauce (I always use Prego - duh!)
  • Frank's Buffalo Sauce
  • Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Parsley (chopped)
  • Jumbo Shells
  • Shredded cheese of choice (I used mozarella but we only had a little bit so I topped with yellow cheddar
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*
  2. Boil and shred your chicken breast (I boil it til cooked then throw it in my mixer!)
  3. Add desired amount of crumbled blue cheese (I ended up using half the wedge cause that stuff is STRONG!), chopped parsley, and frank's buffalo sauce (I don't give an amount cause everyone likes different levels of hotness! I think I used about 2-3 tbsp)
  4. Mix the chicken/cheese/parsley/hot sauce mixture together (again, I used my mixer)
  5. Take your shells and throw in a spoonful of the chicken mixer into each one
  6. Top with jarred sauce
  7. Top with shredded cheese!
  8. Cover with tin foil for 18-20 min
  9. Bake, uncovered for 5-10 min to melt cheeeese
After sauce is added!

Close-up of the pre-backed stuffed shell!

Another close-up

And the cheese!
 
I ate the shells before I was able to get a picture lol.... I need to get better about that!


TA DA! EATTT!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Baby Shower #1!

#1 you say? How many are you having woman?!

 Well my mom suggested my MIL has her own shower for us... since our families are over an hour away and it will be easier than making half the guests truck an hour... so that's 2.. and we are having a shower at our house with just friends so we can get silly... Making 3! They are all small so it will average out to the same amount of guests as if we had one big one but we don't need to pay for a venue etc...


So my first shower was Saturday! It was so fun! We got a lot of nice things for Miss Lillybear. It was short and sweet and relatively painless!

Now I am exhausted and trying to gather up the energy to go through her gifts :o)

And I feel like she is trying to crawl out my side. She is so damn high I swear I can taste her!

I am wondering if I can easily post pictures from the shower without dealing with the "picture limit" on picasa.... sigh. I'm too tired to think right now. I may have to do a part deaux for pictures.

Lots of DIY coming up soon! Lilly's initials, book holders, sign, finish bookshelf!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Coopins! Coopins galore!

Okay so I really mean coupons... but I haven't pronounced it that way since watching Ron White's stand-up years and years ago...
 
My friend Vanessa taught me how to coupon... basically you clip the coupons you get in the sunday flyers like smartsource and P&G... then match them up to sales! Some people go all over the tri-state area, several stores a week... I started out that way but it became too much and I lost interest. So I do my coopining at CVS only... and we make a KILLING! In 2013 so far, 1 month, we've saved $132. Yeah! It's worth it!
 


So to break down... you match-up. For example... if toothpaste is on sale for $1.25... and you have a $1 off one toothpaste... you get it for 25 cents! Hollaaa! People clip and then look through the flyers of the stores and plan a list for every store and match-up their coopins to the sales...

 

First adaptation I did was make an excel spreadsheet with my coupons... cause writing down what my coupons were and looking through 100 of them every Sunday was driving me nutso. It was a PITA to start it up, since I had like 200 coopins in my possession.. but now it's super easy! I just go through and delete the expired ones and add the new ones. Plus I get high off organization and spreadsheets so... it's all gravy. Here is a screenshot!


My categories are:
  • Deoderant
  • Dental
    • Floss
    • Toothpaste
    • Mouthwash
  • Beauty
    • Hair (shampoo/cond. or syling products)
    • Body (lotions and things like that)
    • Shower (bar soap or gel)
    • Make-up
    • Medicine
    • Razors
    • Mangoods (things specific to hubs only)
    • Womangoods (things specific to me only)
    • Miscellaneous
  • House
    • Batteries
    • Toilet Paper
    • Paper Towels
    • Tissues
    • Hand Soap
    • Dish Soap
    • Dishwasher
    • Cleaning
    • Laundry
    • Scent (air wick, febreeze, glade, etc.)
    • Miscellaneous
  • Food
    • Produce
    • Meat & Cheese (Things like block cheese, string or shredded cheese, sausage, etc.)
    • Deli
    • Dairy
    • Baking (Baking food products)
    • Cooking (Spices, spag. sauce, etc things you'd make meals with)
    • Frozen
    • Bread Products
    • Aisle Products (canned or box items, things you find in aisles that don't fit other groups)
    • Condiments
    • Snacks
    • Candy
    • Beverages
    • Coffee
    • Cooking Supplies (reynold's wrap, tupperware, etc)
  • Baby
    • Diapers
    • Wipes
    • Supplies
    • Toys
    • Clothes
    • Stores
    • Babies R' Us
    • Buy Buy Baby
  • Stores (Coopins for specific stores like Bob's, craft stores, etc.)
  • Restaurants (Any restaurant Coopins - nice to have when you wanna go out to eat!)
It took a while for me to come up with categories that work for us. I keep this in Google Drive so if hubs or I am out we know to wait on something if I don't have my coopin folder with me. My folder does NOT have as many categories but i'm looking for a better one!



My SS has the categories:
  • Title (Brand)
  • Item (What the coopin is for)
  • Size (Size of item required or exceptions)
  • $ Off (Duh)
  • # of Items (# of items you have to buy to use the coopin)
  • # of Coopins (how many copies of this coopin I have)
  • Exp. Date (duh)
I'm still working out the kinks... I try to organize it by brand... I may do it by exp. date after that to make it easier to delete the expired coopins after that...



So this is my Sunday Coopin Fiasco:

I wake up and grab the Sunday paper. I organize the flyers by:
  1. Recycle
  2. Clip
  3. Keep
Then I clip my coopins and organize them into major groups... The Beauty/House/Baby/Food etc.
I go through my ss (spreadsheet) and delete the expired coopins. Then I take each group and put them in order that they will go into the ss and then I input them. After that I will go through my coopin folder and flip through and recycle all the expired coopins and throw the new ones in. This takes all of 1/2 hr a week.

Then I take my flyer (CVS). CVS has this wonderful thing called extra bucks (EB). I usually have some from the last trip which makes it wonderful! I am going to use this weeks trip as an example...

This week if you spend $30 on certain products you get a $10 Gift Card (This GC thing is new BTW - it's usually EB but HOLLA FREE MONEYYY! I could care less what form it comes in)... so I bought:
  • 2 16-roll packages of toilet paper = 7.49 each.
  • 1 6-roll of paper towels = 5.49 each.
  • 3 boxes of kleenex = 99 cents each.
This equaled $30.93... BUT I had coopins for each of these items so I think it was... another $3 off = total $27.93. Then I had $10 from last time = $17.93... AND I got another $10 GC for next time so I REALLY only spent $7.93! On all that!

Now some people don't count the $$ for next time causeeee i'll put it towards next time too but it makes me feel more accomplished so I do :o)

So for the actual trip I will look at the flyer and do my match-ups and make my CVS list of the items i'm going to get, with the # of products i'm going to get. I put the coopins i'm gonna use in the front section of my coopin folder, along with my gcs or ebs i'm using that trip... for easy access, less confusion, and the patience of the shoppers behind me...

I get to the store and grab a cart... those are so damn small lol. Then I swipe my card in the lil coopin kiosk that prints lil deals. Sometimes i'll get random EB score! It's also good to check before you go and get them "sent to your card" from the site - THAT helps! PLUS EB DON'T EXPIRED! I usually end up going with AT LEAST $10 EB... usually closer to $20... I then walk around and grab my crap - paying attention that i'm grabbing the RIGHT stuff for the promos (they usually have lil signs attached to the item) and making SURE they line-up with the coopins. I have, on several occasions, had them go grab me more cause I go and the stupid shelf is empty... they are fine with it! I have my husband hold the coopins cuz it keeps him from realizing we are shopping. Prevents the sighs and the eye-rolls... Then I get in line and put my extra care card on the counter with my coopins and EB or GCs and then they do the rest pretty much! Helps to pick someone who looks patient. I make sure I watch the monitor that things ring up right, on sale, etc. cause they usually mess something up every time... then I watch them take off the $$ from the coopins and I make sure I get my EB at the end or GC. Annnnnd done!



Nowadays, this process will take me SEVERAL days... I try to get at least some of it done on Sundays... but we usually don't get shopping til thurs/fri/sat... as long as you go by sunday when the next sale starts - you don't miss much!



It sounds like a complicated process but it really isn't once you get into a groove. I go to CVS once a week as long as it's worth the trip. I only buy things in the promos (like Spend $30, get $10... or spend $12 on certain dental products and get $6 EB) IF I have a coopin for it... and it works out nicely.



I saved $132 last month... and I have enough toilet paper, shampoo and conditioner, floss, and toothpaste to last me atleast 3 months... WORTH IT!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Virus and Germ Warfare

Oye has it been a rough couple of days! I woke up yesterday feeling okay... after a VERY rough night's sleep... didn't get anything more than a solid hour til about 6 a.m. It was tough. 1/2 way through my morning chocolate milk I realized I couldn't, and didn't want to, finish the milk. I struggled through 1/2 a grilled cheese and it all went downhill after that. I was uber uncomfortable and achey, stiff, and nauseous! Mind you, I had NO morning sickness, WHATSOEVER. I don't know how I got so lucky but i'm convinced the preggo gods got payback yesterday. Before hubs left to work he put me to bed... I was so burpy (even though I hardly ate anything) and didn't want to lay down because it was harder to burp... And my belly is so heavy, it didn't fair well sitting on my upset stomach... Ever feel nauseous with a 30 lb squirmy fish sitting on your stomach? Yeah... not fun.

After a while I decided the bed wasn't doing it for me and migrated back to the livingroom. Took a tylenol and took a bath. Thankfully I can only fit from my waist-down in the water because I woke up in the bath tub! Looks like it was about a 15 min nap.... I was so confused upon waking up! Hah. Thank god hippos can't drown... After that I felt pretty good and sat up on the couch rather than my comfy recline... and didn't move for a good few hours. Felt pretty okay and then it came back in waves of nausea, and then okay... and then nausea... boy it was TOUGH. Mama was not happy... though Lil Miss Lillybear was having a party down there. I am convinced she was making it worse...


The only productive thing I did all day was find us a family doctor that will be Lilly's pediatrician when she comes... I moved the whole family there.

Our alarm went off at 9 am for the new doc appt. I planned cause I felt so crappy. Sat up, decided I felt okay and cancelled. Had a piece of toast and an applesauce and managed to fall back asleep til noon which was great. Woke up and had a banana... still feel okay. Just the normal super discomfort of the back and heavy belly. But I will take that ANY day over wanting to puke my brains out!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lilly's DIY Nursery Part Deux!

Slowly figuring out this Picasa storage thing... Bear with me!
 
Remember this unfinished sign? The wood was $2 at Home Depot...
 
Here is the finished product!

 
It is going to go above her closet I think...
 
My mom and I went shopping at Walmart for her closet organization... The Black cube shelf was $30, the purple hanging shelves were $6.80, the pink cubes were $2.97 and the hangers were $1 for a 10 pk. Score! Very happy with the end result! Her shoes are on the left, her clothes hanging above, and her pants/My Little Legs/Leggings on the right.... And in the cube shelf is (from top to bottom, left to right): Bibs, hair pieces, diaper covers. Socks, products, ?. Sleep sacks, sleeper gowns, blankets. ORGANIZATION IS KEY!

We had a BUSY weekend with hubs being off! We KILLED it couponing at CVS as I earlier explained... grabbed a few laundry baskets at Target, and here is the fabric we bought for Lillybear's cloth wipes! Sharks for bath time, cupcakes for dinner and burps, stars and skulls for diapering!
 
 Remember these tissue paper flowers?? WE FINISHED HER MOBILE/CRIB AREA!
 
Here it is <3 

 
We bought a cross-stitch wheel to hang the curtains on and then hung it from the ceiling with fishing wire and a plant hanger that was randomly in the ceiling in my bedroom... Then I hung the tissue paper flowers according to the length and sizes I wanted them to hang, drew them up through the middle of the canopy, and BOOM! I am so pleased with it - it came out EXACTLY how I pictured! <3 It!
 
There will be a tutorial on the ^ canopy later today or tomorrow for one of my mamas :o)

 
OH and here is the aformentioned Lilly I painted a while ago :o)
 
Daddy also finished Lillybear's desk/changing table... so i'll take a picture of that too!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Long day!

I just want to post about my productive day!

Hubs was off today :o) Happy wifey <3

Started off couponing at CVS. KICKED ASS! I think we saved $58 and spent like... $18? With a $10 gift card for next time... so that was like $8? We got 3 huge packs of toilet paper, 2 toothpastes, 6 pack of soap, 2 bottles of hand soap, and a pack of water for $8. Holler. Remind me to tell you how to do it in another post!

Then we went to JoAnn fabrics and got a bunch of fabric for Lilly's cloth wipes! We got separate fabrics for each purpose... Sharks for bath time, cupcakes for dinner clean up and burp cloths, and skulls and stars for dipes! Daddy even picked out the skulls :o) Very excited! Pictures to come soon after I figure out the damn picture storage issue. And I got some mobile supplies!

Then we went to Target so we could get another laundry basket... I want to have separate baskes for whites and dark since I think it will streamline our laundry process.... atleast if the darks fill up we can just wash those more often and do 1 load instead of waiting for the whole basket to fill, end up doing 3 loads of darks and 1/2 a load of whites. Drives me nuts! Do you KNOW how long it takes me to fold 4 loads of laundry?! DAYS!

Then we head home and worked on Lilly's mobile/crib area... Took us a while for me to finish my "rough draft"... didn't work out so well but after hubs saw what I was thinking he came up with a great idea and we're gonna work on that tmrw I think....

Then we gave the dog AND cat a bath... haha that was fun - they needed it though! The cat did... well... i'm sure you can imagine giving a cat a bath. I'm pretty sure you're supposed to have them bathed once a year but it's been like... 2 1/2 since we have! I made an appt. for Petsmart for next week since he magically cured himself of his "sneezes" and we narrowly avoided a vet visit... but after discussing it - why pay them to do something we can? So hubs clipped his nails, we gave him a bath, and then cleaned his ears. Good as new! He's happy now lol but oh did he HOWL! It was funny. I have video.

Lucy did much better - better than usual even. Usually she isn't a fan of bath's but she tolerates them once every couple of months... she's been hinting for days that she needs a bath so I think that's what talked hubs into it... this girl NEVER goes into the bathroom... even when i'm in there... and twice this week she's actually come in and stuck her head in the tub lol. Even SHE knew she stunk!

After that we showered and then headed out with friends! Had a blast, a virgin margarita, some fajita and some laughs. Lilly got angry after a few hours I think cause she tricked my body into feeling like crap and I had hubs bring me home by 10... he headed back out and here I am! Very happy to be in my pjs, resting on the couch. On another note... remind me to never wear jeans again :o/

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lilly's DIY Nursery

I have always loved interior design... I have redone my living room since we have moved in (as you have seen here), and painted every room in my house before we even moved in. Upon finding out we were having baby, I begain Pinteresting ideas for the nursery right away. I was SO excited! After finding out Lillybear is a girl... and the color was decided on purple... This was my inspiration....
 
 
After some browsing at Home Depot... we chose Behr's Paint Plus Primer in Weeping Wisteria as the color for our walls...

Love! Here are our before pictures:
Our previous guest room!


 
Here is after we painted!
 

 
LOVE IT! I love that it looks warm and pinky in the sun and light and cool and blueish in the shade... it's perfect!
 
Next... we found a crib on craigslist! We got it for $140 on my birthday :o) The day we found out we were having a girl! We kept it in the hallway until my dad put in our carpet! Yay!
 

 I think Beans likes the carpet more than we do!
 

It's perfect :o)
 
Then started the DIY! I love one-of-a-kind items... so I decided to do the decor on my own...
 
I first fell upon the sign we received as a wedding gift from our bridal party <3 It happened to be a quote I wanted in her room anyways! I revamped it...
 


 

 
Perfect! Next I decided to paint a lily for Lilly's room... but apparently I ran out of picture room on picasa? So that will come soon...
 
This month I worked on some signs....
 
This was originally yellow!

Blank Slate... (finished pic to come soon!)
 
 
Done!

 
Arg... I need to buy more storage! I'll figure that out another day... there will be a part 2 to this post!
 
This weeks project are tissue paper flower balls for Lilly's mobile above her crib! They are based on the colors of her bedding...
 
 
That is all for now! :o)