Friday Food Round-Up!

I had to make some last minute meal plan changes when we were at ALDI because apparently there was a run on sweet italian chicken sausage this week.

This week I also pulled out Paula’s lasagna from the freezer and it was just the cheesy thing we needed. THANK YOU PAULA.

Saturday – Tuna Melts, Tots, Salad

This was our Appalachian Trail solidarity meal of the week. Sharkbait was having tuna and crackers so we had tuna melts. Best ever.

Sunday – Sesame Chicken Noodles from Cravings, Steamed Broccoli


Tuesday – Slow Cooker Lemon Pepper Chicken with Olives, Tomatoes and Onions over Angel Hair Pasta and Salad

Apparently I didn’t photograph the salad.

When I was looking at the box of pasta it suggested a recipe for chicken that incorporated Italian dressing along with the additions of olives/tomatoes/onions so I just added those to our crockpot for the last hour of cooking. It was a great choice.

Wednesday – Chili over Baked Sweet Potatoes, Salad

The chili was from a batch I made and froze so I just pulled out a few containers and this meal provided us with dinners on Wednesday and Thursday night which was super nice. Marcus enjoyed the sweet potato-chili combo which I was pleasantly surprised by.


What I’ve Been Reading

All of these were GREAT. Read them.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Class Mom by Laurie Gelman

Mom Life Updates.

I have children, did you know?

Where has the time gone? Critter has a memory for EVENTS now. The other day, he told my mom the sex of a friend’s baby on the way when I mentioned our playdate to her. He loves when I retell what, exactly, we saw when we visited the zoo a few weeks ago.

He had another haircut last weekend and even though Marcus took him, he makes me recall (repeatedly) the events that took place at the salon – sitting in the special chair, wearing the smock, having his hair sprayed down, the whole thing. And after the 45 second tale concludes WE TELL IT AGAIN.

He is three weeks into toddler t-ball through our local parks and rec program that we signed up for with some friends from ECFE. I would say mostly he just runs around the field but he achieves at least one thing each week – participating in a drill, running all of the bases instead of running off, and frankly the fact that we can just go somewhere contained where he can RUN for 30 minutes is great for me. We will sign him up for more toddler t-ball this summer as well because I am a believer in recreational youth sports and it will give him something “different” to do once per week.

His language is really just off the charts at this point. He can tell us exactly what he wants and hit a seven word sentence which was mostly really scary. He has also started intentionally mangling some words which is precious. Examples: catty (cat+kitty), triangle-trangles, jajamas.

And honestly the thing that I adore the most is how when we are in the car or before he naps, sometimes he’ll sigh and say “good boy.” He is the best boy.

Glitter is in 12 month clothing.

She persists in being the sweetest lady and charming to all people.

Sleeping continues to organize itself. Most nights by the time it is bedtime I lay her in her crib and she just…goes to bed. She wakes up once per night which is fine.

She is going to crawl soon. She can rotate her body and go backwards but when she gets onto her hands and knees she is just not organized enough to move forward. This is terrifying.

Critter continues to be her favorite person in the whole world. She is always the happiest to see him.

Friday Food Round-Up!

Hey there friends. I made a meal plan at the beginning of the week and then weather happened and other plans changed and then I was rearranging all of the days and we were eating a lot of leftovers and it was FINE.

Friday – Perfect Instant Ramen, Salad

We have a friend who is hiking the Appalachian Trail right now. He posted his seven week meal plan and I decided that in solidarity we would eat something that lined up with (or was closely inspired by) his meal plan. So here we are with Week 1!

This ramen recipe is great, we have made it before. We make each serving/bag in its own pan. This time we also added a scoop of sambal olek at the end and I drizzled the top of mine with chili oil and it was FANTASTIC.

Saturday – Slow Cooker Turkey, White Bean and Pumpkin Chili from Skinny Taste Fast and Slow, Leftover Cornbread, Salad


Monday – Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef, Steamed Rice, Steamed Asparagus

Honestly I don’t even know why I felt like we needed to eat beef this week but a nice roast in the crockpot is always delicious.

Tuesday – Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumpling Soup from Skinny Taste Fast and Slow

This soup has all.the.flavor. It is probably a permanent rotation keeper.

Miscellaneous – Raspberry and White Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

I never make this dessert because frankly it is a HUGE pain in the ass but it is a real favorite. Did I make it for playgroup? Yes. Did I eat 1/3 of the pan myself? Yes. Will I make it again? Yes.

Snow Days and Some Other Things

Just consider the photo above a reminder that camouflage SPANX leggings have improved my life in every way since I obtained them. And with that, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

This is the winter where I wish my children were just a little bit older so that they could really PLAY in the snow that has been dumped on us since January. Generally it has not been problematic except for the storm we got a few weeks ago where the entire state shut down at noon, and the storm that started building on Sunday night leading schools to cancel on Monday. Subsequently there was No Snow until late afternoon which meant a delayed start today for kids because you know, it was still snowing. I know our littles are not yet in actual school but daycare was cancelled on Monday and ECFE was cancelled today so we are just REALLY off of our schedule.

I will not complain about the chance to spend more time with the littles but based on the number of time outs I had to give Critter this AM (he was throwing toys, this is an automatic time out, now you know more about my parenting style), he would really like to be back with his little friends and observing some semblance of a normal routine tomorrow.

Otherwise, some other thoughts and updates I cannot organize into a full post for whatever reason.

I am still exercising at least three times per week. I’ve done a better job in the last two weeks of organizing my evenings so that on workout nights I don’t also have to fold laundry or mend clothing (okay so I actually did that tonight AND I walked but there was no choice). This allows me some post-workout time to just sit down and unwind.

I’ve also found that doing one AM workout on the weekend makes it so much easier for me to fit in two more workouts throughout the week without having to stress.

Exhibit A: Barre Class on Sunday morning. I have seven more classes to work through in the next two months before they expire and once I have used them all, I’ll try to decide what, exactly, I see happening this spring/summer. Like, maybe a walk by myself in the morning? Maybe more classes? The weekend AM workouts are just as much about having some time all to myself as much as they are about…the fitness.

This is a hair tie.

I received a four pack of them at a favorite things party and was SUPER suspicious. Those elastic-y no dent hair ties do not hold my hair up and they leave a dent. These? Hold my hair up (like, all day with kids) AND THEY DON’T LEAVE A DENT. RUN, DO NOT WALK PEOPLE.

And with that, my very early Cool Mom bedtime calls.

Friday Food Round-Up!

This week was a combination of me cooking dinner/lunch food for myself to make it through the rest of shiva and then like, we got back to cooking again.

Saturday – Cheddar, Corn and Scallion Strata, Steamed Broccoli

This strata is SUCH a good one for leftovers. It made four meals and a couple of single serve freezer meals.

Sunday – Chickpea Salad, Kale Salad

I have not made this in FOREVER and it was so nice for dinner and to grab and go.

Wednesday – Slow Cooker Asian Pork Chicken with Mushrooms from Skinny Taste Fast and Slow, Steamed Rice, Steamed Broccoli

I actually cooked this main course on Tuesday so we could just reheat and then steam up the sides at dinner time.

Thursday – Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken with Cheesy Jalapeno Bacon Cornbread from Cravings, Coleslaw

This dinner just really filled my bucket.

Post-Partum Anxiety!

I love writing for the outlet it gives. However, the most important thing I have learned is that if through my story I am able to help even one friend or stranger to feel less alone, or do something that will change their life for the better (i.e. go see the dermatologist and get a scary mole removed, seek help for post-partum mood disorders, start using a budget!) then all of this has been worth it.

SO. Here we are.

Since September, I have had another baby, returned to work. Seen friends get married. Celebrated babies on the way. Mourned with friends who have lost babies. Attended three funerals, the most recent being the death of Marcus’ 91 year old grandfather. I try to be very honest here and portray my life accurately but there are just some stories that are not mine to tell. Like a lot of stories actually.

Anyway. About three weeks ago I started experiencing some occasional shortness of breath. By last Monday, I was like…having to strain to breathe all day. I went to urgent care after work and they told me I had post-partum asthma. Weird, but apparently a thing that can flare up if you had asthma in the past. They sent me home with an inhaler that I took regularly for the next two days and did not do a damn thing. So I went back to urgent care on Wednesday. They of course ran tests to be sure I did not have a blood clot or post-partum heart failure (which is actually the first thing that pops up when you Google post-partum breathlessness hello scary af). After these came back negative (praise hands) the doctor turned to me and asked, Do you feel anxious?

Me: EVERYTHING IS COMPLETELY FINE I DO NOT FEEL ANXIOUS AT ALL. (Seriously, I did not “feel” anxious in the way that I normally do.)

Her: Try taking a Xanax anyway. You have a lot going on in your life right now and shortness of breath is a very common symptom of anxiety.

Y’all I was super skeptical but then I took that pill and yes, yes it was anxiety because I could breathe again. I didn’t have a clue about how tight/tense my chest was until it relaxed. Also taking this in the evening for a few days helped me to get “back on track.” Obviously this works differently for everyone, but for me, if it recurs or worsens, I will need to go back to the doctor to find a more appropriate regular medication. For the here and now, I know I need to be using the coping techniques I have practiced in the past and that I need to take a step back from…everything.

Sometimes you see this stuff coming, sometimes you don’t. As some of you may know, I experienced this after Critter was born and since I wasn’t having the same symptoms this time around I just thought everything was fine.

I wasn’t but I am glad to be on the way back to fine now.

All of this is to say if you’re reading this right now and you do not feel fine, you are not alone. For the rest of the group, thank you for coming along for the ride.