And She Said (YMCA Talk)!

After years of toying with the idea of getting a gym membership we decided to do it. Why now, well because the YMCA was offering a discounted income-based membership and waved the joining fee this weekend. We figured we would give it a try and Alivia is so exicted, as am I. I am ready to get back into shape... group workout classes here I come (as long as Alivia and Nolan like the childwatch).

"I want to go in the Baby pool with those kids and those people (random family- mom, dad, and 2 kids), and daddy!" Big sentence for Alivia and oh so sweet (she is starting to talk SO much and expand on her vocabulary like crazy). She is darling! She loves to swim and she loves her daddy

"Mama, What are these?" Pointing to lockers. I say "lockers" and she responds "Who lives in them". haha. :) Too funny

"Look, Mama", pointing to a scale in the locker room and I say "yes, a scale". She asks me in a very serious voice, "where's the Doctor?". I had to explain that sometimes people want to weigh themselves outside doctor's offices and that the YMCA is not a doctor's office.

Change in Dinner Themes!

After officially finding out Nolan's allergies (Praise the Lord), I had to make a change to our weekly meal theme plan. Breakfast for Dinner (due to eggs being a main dish) is out and Soup/Sandwich/Salad night is in... We may still sometimes have Breakfast for Dinner on Sundays, but I won't be making it weekly now.

Update (seen in blue) in our Nightly Themes:
~ Meatless Monday: We are working towards cutting down our meat consumption and having a meal completely dedicated to vegetarian is super helpful. This is probably the hardest night to plan a meal for.
~ Taco Tuesday: Mexican themed... We love Mexican food, so this night is especially easy to plan for!
~ Crock Pot or Casserole Wednesday: I may have other crock pot/casserole meals planned for other days, but I wanted at least one that I definitely planned for because these meals are so simple! Wednesday plans to be a busy day for us, so I decided it would be the best day to implement crock pot/casserole day!
~ Soup/Salad/Sandwich (or Leftover) Thursday: We don't usually have leftovers as we usually eat them for lunches, so I wanted something easy since I knew I would be cooking for at least 6 days, if not the whole week. What's easier than one (or more) of the 3 S foods?! (Okay, maybe a few dinner theme ideas, but it is still a pretty easy theme idea overall.)
~ Italian Friday: Homemade pizza, yummy lasagna, alfrado pasta, and spaghetti and meatballs deserve their own day!
~ One Pot Meal Saturday: Apparently at this stage of my life, I am shooting for simple, so here is another simple meal that will use up less dishes in the kitchen. I'm thinking mainly soups, or casseroles. Over the summer, we may substitute the one pot meals for BBQ as that is an easy clean up too.
~ Misc. Meal Sunday: Every other Sunday we enjoy a potluck dinner with our small group, so this day is designed to be very versatile. Sundays will be the day that I try out new meals or make meals that don't really fall in any another category of the week.

Nolan's Allergy/Skin Update!

We decided to get Nolan into an allergist to figure out if he had any more allergies other than what we already knew/suspected, and we are so glad we did it. The test was not in any way invasive as I thought it would be (so thankful for that). The actual testing took 20 minutes, with only 1 to 2 minutes of scratch testing (placing the allergen on the skin), and 15 minutes or so of wait time to see if a reaction would occur. Poor kid had welts all over his back. He is officially allergic to the foods peanuts, dairy, and eggs, as well as cats and dogs. We were I was (Ben not at all) surprised that Nolan did not have a gluten/wheat allergy/sensitivity at all as the chiropractor had suggested. I have decided to eat wheat again, but just in limited amounts and really only in homemade meals/snacks/desserts. So I think now that we have found out the culprits, for real this time, we should be able to see a noticeable difference in Nolan's skin. Here's to being eczema free by saying good bye to the "NO NO" foods! And, here's to a new adventure with food again, learning to cook vegan friendly baked goods. I am on my way to going to a vegan diet now, but I still eat meat at dinner time.

(Side note: I plan to make some GF pizzas for a family (who is about to have there 5th child) who has some gluten sensitivity to use up my gluten free flour, but I still have lots of other GF food items that I will just eat up with time)

And She Said (Milk)

We were reading a book during nap today, and I asked her if she knew where milk came from. She told me "King Soopers". That made me laugh! I told her we do buy milk from King Soopers but explained that milk comes from animals too. This might especially confuse the little gal as we don't drink cow/animal milk, but drink rice and almond milk. So for now, she has the right idea and the correct answer. We can go into more detail about where (one type) of (cow) milk comes from another day when she gets older. :)

Creating Some Order, Saying Good-Bye to Dinner Prep Chaos!

After many failed attempts at dinner planning, I think I have one that I can successfully count on. I recently purchased and Iphone, after an internal debate as to whether it was worth the extra money each month (it is), and I love it. I have been able to keep track of my life, schedule, dinner plans, shopping lists, you name with a much more orderly manner. Side note: I do need to watch my time on the phone as it definitely can be a time waster and does take quality time away from the hubby and kiddos if I get to occupied in the mini portable computer.

We started planning our meals based on nightly themes:
~ Meatless Monday: We are working towards cutting down our meat consumption and having a meal completely dedicated to vegetarian is super helpful. This is probably the hardest night to plan a meal for.
~ Taco Tuesday: Mexican themed... We love Mexican food, so this night is especially easy to plan for!
~ Crock Pot or Casserole Wednesday: I may have other crock pot/casserole meals planned for other days, but I wanted at least one that I definitely planned for because these meals are so simple! Wednesday plans to be a busy day for us, so I decided it would be the best day to implement crock pot/casserole day!
~ Breakfast for Dinner (or Leftover) Thursday: We don't usually have leftovers as we usually eat them for lunches, so I wanted something easy since I knew I would be cooking for at least 6 days, if not the whole week. What's easier than breakfast for dinner?!
~ Italian Friday: Homemade pizza, yummy lasagna, alfrado pasta, and spaghetti and meatballs deserve their own day!
~ One Pot Meal Saturday: Apparently at this stage of my life, I am shooting for simple, so here is another simple meal that will use up less dishes in the kitchen. I'm thinking mainly soups, or casseroles. Over the summer, we may substitute the one pot meals for BBQ as that is an easy clean up too.
~ Misc. Meal Sunday: Every other Sunday we enjoy a potluck dinner with our small group, so this day is designed to be very versatile. Sundays will be the day that I try out new meals or make meals that don't really fall in any another category of the week.

I meal plan using my Iphone on Sundays. I made categories (using a free app called Paperlesslite) for Monday through Sunday where I write down specific meals for each day/category. I then add meals to each day with the date (being the title) that I would like to make that meal. After we do this for a while (say have at least 10 to 12 meals in each category), we can just pick a weekly meal plan using the 10 to 12 meals we have in each category, rotating them accordingly. We would then only have to include new meals every once in a while, if/when we want to. After I have jotted down my meals under each day, I then write my meal list for the week on my "notes" for quicker/easier glances. I try to look at my meal plan the night before to prep (take out meat) and figure out what needs to be done for dinner the next day. I have been prepping meals during nap time for easier dinner cooking moments. If you have little ones, you know what I am talking about. :)

All in all, I love this new system and I have no excuses now because my mini portable computer is almost always with me (unless I give it a timeout upstairs, one sure way I know I will stay away from it)!

I want to be successful in dinner planning to save money, make meal-time less stressful, and get rid of the dreaded "whats for dinner" question at 4:30?!

7 Months and Growing!

Nolan 3

We love you Nolan!!

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Stats:

14 pounds, 6 ounces! He is growing… (I didn’t get his length this round) Praise the Lord that is he growing and gaining weight, and I do not have to worry about supplementing in any way. Nolan still is not fond of solid food, although I try in some way or form to feed him solids everyday. He still doesn’t take a bottle either so that would be interesting if the Doctor wanted us to supplement with formula (which I was not very interested in doing). Nolan is following the 1% curve pretty well though, so the doctor is pleased with his weight gain. He gained almost a 1 pound in a month!

Nolan’s Loves:

  • Being tickled (and, I do love his little giggle- adorable!!)
  • Playing peek-a-boo
  • His exersaucer
  • eating veggie straws (I totally just gave him on because we were out and about and he was getting cranky, he loves them. Unfortunately, it is the only solid that he enjoys… we have gone through one of those big Costco size bags insanely fast)
  • His dad
  • Alivia playing with him

Nolan 8JPGNolan 9

  • Snuggling with me
  • Falling asleep nursing
  • Being on a schedule (he now gets pretty grumpy, if we don’t get him down for his nap or bedtime when he is use to)
  • Being held
  • Chewing on toys
  • Chewing on freezer toys (Alivia never liked these)
  • Cuddling with his blankies when I put him in his crib ( I know, I know, he is not supposed to have any loose bedding in his crib, but it is the only way he likes to sleep- with blankets by his face)

Nolan 2

  • Loves to talk/babble

Nolan’s New Things:

  • Nolan can sit up!! He only sits up for a few minutes at a time but he has the muscles to do so. He is so cute! Nolan 1-001
  • Nolan has figured out his own schedule and is pretty particular about sticking to it or getting really grumpy. He now has a pretty short morning nap-about 20/30 minutes- around 10:00ish, another short nap-about 20/30 minutes- at noonish, and then a long afternoon nap-about 2 to 2 1/2 hours- around 2:00ish. He then goes to bed around 7:00 or 7:30 depending on how long his afternoon nap is. He sleeps until between 2:30 to 4:00 a.m. and needs a quick snack which brings him to waking up around 6:00/6:30ish. Then we start all over again. I love that he has come up with his own schedule. I did not schedule with Alivia and she finally just fell on a schedule herself but not until around a year and then it was still all over the place. I am hoping he stays on this schedule until he goes to 1 nap a day. He takes 2 short morning naps instead of 1 longer one because we are about and about in the morning and we stay home in the afternoons.
  • He eats veggies straws or rather they melt in his mouth and he loves them. He can down them. :) He did like Mum mums, but I think veggie straws have more taste.
  • He can/will roll over both ways now; tummy to back and back to tummy. However, he is still picky about when he rolls over from his back to his tummy (usually for a toy) and almost always rolls over when placed on his tummy (will stay a bit longer these days now though then he use to, usually at least a 1 minute)
  • He is a little talker, out of nowhere, he just started jibber jabbering! I love hearing him babble.
  • He can say dada and says it often in his babble. He has said mama only a few times when he is really, really upset about to breakout in his mad cry. He usually just says dada.
  • Nolan had his debut on a swing at the park and enjoyed it, following in his sister’s footsteps. Nolan 7

Skin Issue Update:

After getting his skin issues under control with my diet change and the low-dose steroid topical cream, we have noticed that Nolan is still sensitive to something. There are random days that he has breakouts, and we just can’t figure it out. In hopes of finding out what that something is, we have decided to get him tested. We went to the doctor today and received a referral to see an allergist (so thankful that our pediatrician is on the same page as us and I didn’t have to convince him why we wanted Nolan to see and allergy specialist). We hope to get him into an appointment within the next few weeks to kick the skin issue yuckiness to the curb. I’m kind of nervous to find out the results, as I don’t really want to cut some things out of my diet, but I will cut anything out for him. And, right now I feel anxious about eating in general as I am scared that he may breakout if I eat something he is sensitive to that I don’t know he is  He is doing much better and and 5-6 month update blog entry, we were doing sockless days. It is with much excitement, that I can announce, Nolan is officially sockless day and night! Smiles all around. It seriously made me so sad to not let him have his hands free, I mean come on that is how babies explore the world around him. I felt like I was taking his world away from him. Well, we just gave the world back to him. It makes my heart happy- to see him smile and not cry with pain; play with his hands instead of itching to the point of bleeding; sleeping soundly instead of experiencing restlessness and being overtired; giggle with joy and not whine because he is uncomfortable.

Nolan 5Nolan 4

And She Said (Best Ice Cream Ever)

The other day as we were playing kitchen, one of Alivia’s favorite creative activities to do, she found her ice cream cone and began to (pretend) eat it. After eating her ice cream, she yelled with excitement, “BEST ICE CREAM EVER”! I was laughing pretty hard because I had no idea where she comes up with some of her comments. The next day, however, I completely remembered that there is a scene in Tangled (her favorite movie) where Rapunzel just leaves her tower for the first time ever and goes back and forth in emotions. Rapunzel yells, as swinging around in a tree by her hair, “best day ever”. I found the connection and how cute is Alivia for using Rapunzel’s words (in a slightly different way).