Five for Friday

Oh boy, this has been quite a week. Though Ethan hasn’t been to daycare since about 10am Monday morning when they called me to come get him. I’ve made it to work every day, gone to 3 doctor appointments, and have managed to cook dinner every night without pulling my hair out. There has only been 1 minor meltdown, so I call that a win.


entertaining ourselves with dr office selfies

My parents were in town this week, so they traded off watching Ethan at the house while I worked from home. Ethan and I are both grateful for them and for my flexible boss. Yay!

dr office

and re-arranging dr office furniture

Ethan is going back to “school” today since he is feeling better and was totally fever-free yesterday. This is big news since his fever kept burning up to 104 multiple days.

With that bit of good news, we’re back to (somewhat) regularly scheduled blogging…

1. Coffee & Sugar. I was up about 4 times with Ethan before he decided to get me up for the day at 4:15am yesterday (not that he’s slept well any of the nights he has been sick). Major yawn! That called for a little extra coffee and this impulse purchase. I regret nothing.


rollin’ in dough

2. Weight-loss trick. I’m not trying to drop pounds, but I did drop a few this week because Ethan refused to eat. I get time to eat when he’s eating, but if he doesn’t eat, I’m left with no time to finish a meal. This goes back to the cookies; I regret nothing.

3. The non-workout plan. I have only worked out 3 or 4 times. Not this week. The last 3 or 4 weeks!!! It’s killing me. As I said before, I’m not trying to drop pounds, but I like sweating a bit. It’s kinda’ my thing. Not being able to do it due to a sick child, training for the new job, etc. is getting me down. I hope to sneak in a run today on my lunch break, so cross your fingers for me!

4. Thanksgiving. Yeah, it’s next week. How did that happen? I’m excited for it, but I’m totally not ready. We’re hosting again this year, so it’s going to be a BIG grocery trip on Sunday!

holiday5. Black Friday. Yeah, that’s next week too. I don’t even need anything, but I love the people-watching. I just wish Black Friday was still the day to get the deals. I’m not expecting to find a bargain, but that isn’t to say I’m not still hopeful…

  • Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Black Friday?
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Bright Star Kids

What.A.Day. My poor little guy was sick yesterday, so I had to come pick him up from school very early. Luckily I was able to care for him during my lunch break and then do a little work while he napped. I only had to take off an hour or so from work to get him to the doctor’s office, so at least that’s something.

Instead of taking the day off from work today, my mom and dad are going to babysit him here at the house while I work. What would we do without grandparents, eh?

So rather than post pictures of my pitiful little munchkin (trust me, he’s still super cute), I think we’ll just dive into some holiday fun from Bright Star Kids.

Bright Star Kids provided me with some products of my choosing, and I’m eager to share the goodies with you! I got two wall stickers, including this pirate ship for Ethan’s room.

pirateWe plan to move him into the current guest room once he’s ready for a toddler bed, so I went ahead and stuck it there. I tore it a little in two spots while trying to put it up, but I don’t think it’s noticeable. Cute though, right?

wall artI also picked out a Christmas reindeer for downstairs. Isn’t it totes adorbs? In case you’re thinking of ordering it, just be aware that it’s more gray than brown.

ethan reindeerI think he likes it.

Lastly, I got this matching toddler bib. My messy boy needed a bigger bib!

toddler bib  reindeer

They have other goodies too, so be sure to check them out!

  • Mamas, when do kids start picking up immunity after starting daycare/preschool???
  • Are you a fan of monogramming and personalized gifts?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bright Star Kids. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Meal Plan Monday #6

Monday already? Meal Plan Monday #6 already? Wow, time has been flying for me lately. Christmas comes slowly for kids, but for people like me who love every second of the holiday season, it goes by much too fast.

We didn’t do to much holiday stuff around here, but I’m still getting in the spirit. Thanksgiving turkey, ordered. Christmas jammies, wore ‘em last night. Christmas shopping, we’ll I’ve at least made a list. Red cup, thoroughly enjoyed.

red cupI like my peppermint mocha curvy. I order it skinny (sugar-free syrup and non-fat milk), but I still get whipped cream and chocolate shavings. All the right junk in all the right places.

It’s a good thing we’re looking ahead at the food for the week though instead of recapping what was eaten. We had some pretty pitiful noms this weekend, including a lack-luster pizza, my mediocre attempt at Ethan-friendly Pad Thai, not-so-great baked ziti, and barely drinkable wine. Oh well, I guess that’s bound to happen from time to time.

But speaking of food, here’s the plan for this week:

  • Sunday: baked spaghetti squash with a lil’ cheese and sundried tomato chicken sausages
  • Monday: chicken tortellini soup
  • Tuesday: beef chili
  • Wednesday: ratatouille polenta bake
  • Thursday: baked turkey breast, sweet potato, and green beans
  • Friday: duck at my parents’ house (maybe)
  • Saturday: date night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <– very exciting stuff

Also, there’s a breakfast of French toast and apple slices, which I will share with Ethan. And I made Chelsey’s loaded cabbage soup for lunch. I also plan to have fruit for snack, though I’ll also be working through some of Angela’s pumpkin gingerbread loaf (sans the spiced buttercream) that I made yesterday.

sweaterIn other news, I cannot wait to get the pictures back from our family photo session on Saturday. You don’t realize how impatient you are until you’re waiting on a photographer. Ha, but really – Kevin and I never got engagement photos or anything, so these are our only non-wedding pics. Gaaahhhhhh, I want ‘em nowwwwww!

ethan haircutAt least I had the forethought to get Ethan’s hair cut before our shoot. It was his fist cut. He didn’t love it, but the outcome was so worth it. How cute is this kid?!?

  • Have you had many professional photos taken?
  • Charlotte readers, where should we go for date night?
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Baby Making 101

Welp, I never thought I’d write a post on baby making, but believe it or not, I’ve actually had a few reader emails on the subject since Ethan was born, which is totally cool by me.

The topic has resurfaced in my brain because Kevin and I are having the big debate of one child vs two children. Ugh… I hate making decisions.

But the controversial only-child debate is not why we’re here. Back to Baby Making 101: 7 Tips to Getting Lucky. Go ahead, light a fire. Dim the lights. Pour yourself a glass of wine. We’re about to get personal.

wine**Disclaimer: This is a lighthearted post that is in no way meant to be insensitive to those dealing with infertility. That is a hard battle, my friends. This post is a collection of info from scholarly research, mom-friend chatter, and my own experiences meant for those just starting TTC. If you’ve been at it a while, just chuckle and know that this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.

1. Get Healthy. This is all-encompassing. Stop smoking. Get to a healthy weight. Exercise, but not too much. Eat some real food, yes, green things, but woman cannot exist on veggies alone. You know, the usual. Bonus points for upping your healthy fats and having a pre-prenatal checkup with your primary care doc.

gym selfie2. Take Prenatals. About 1-3 months before you start TTC, get yourself some prenatal vitamins. I don’t care if they’re the cheap kind or not, just getcha summa dat.

3. Limit alcohol/caffeine. You don’t NEED to cut these until you are actually preggers, but I found it helpful to limit them while trying. I went half-caff with my coffee so that stopping all of a sudden wouldn’t give me headaches. I also limited alcohol when trying because you never know when you’ve successfully baby-made. I didn’t exclude it entirely though; a night out and a glass of wine certainly help with baby making, IMO.

coffee4. Ditch Pills. If you’re already trying, then ditch medications that wouldn’t be good for a pregnant woman. If you’re not already TTC, then ditch your birth control pills at least a month or so before you start. First off, you want to make sure you can cycle regularly. Secondly, your body can sometimes release two eggs for your first cycle or two off the pill by mistake, thus increasing your chances for twins. This was something I learned after the fact from my doc – whoops.

5. Check your finances, but don’t freak out about them. This varies so much from person to person that I’m not going into big detail here. Just make sure you’re comfortable.

6. Sex. And sex. And yes, more sex. I read that it only needs to be every 2 days near ovulation, but I think 1 or 2 days is better odds. Plus, it’s hard to know exactly when you’re ovulating; I think I ovulated 1 or 1.5 weeks early when we were gifted with Ethan. Just do it all month. No, your husband did not pay me to write this. Major bonus points if you make yourself stay in bed for at least 10 minutes after.

walkToo sexy for words, right?

7. Relaxxxxxx. Stress is huge. It can be work stress, busy stress, or even OMGwe’reTTC stress. Just try and relax, and try to make it a special time for you and your partner, baby or no baby.

  • Anyone else got tips to share?
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I was going to have a post for you yesterday, but a saved episode of The Mindy Project and some peppermint ice cream won that battle.

It probably shouldn’t have won though. The Breyer’s peppermint cookie ice cream I recently picked up at Target isn’t nearly as good as it sounds. Don’t be fooled; it’s not like cookies n’ cream in peppermint cream!

Anyway, enough about ice cream, after not checking in for a few days, I have a few updates to share. The whole working/daycare thing is going well. Kind of. Mostly. Okay, lemme’ explain…

MOM: I relatively happy working, but I can’t even begin to explain how hard it is to admit that. Mom’s aren’t “supposed” to be happy working, or ::gasp:: say it on a blog. It’s not that I don’t think of him the ENTIRE time he’s gone, because I certainly do. I feel a distinct emptiness without my buddy. But for the sake of time, I’m just gonna’ throw out the law of comparative advantage here and leave it at that; plus, I’m generally less frazzled and angry by the time Kevin gets home from work.

The drop-offs are soooooo hard though. Really hard. He didn’t cry the first few days, but now that he knows I’m not coming back for a long time, he gets screamy. On Monday, I dropped him off then waited 3 minutes in the lobby. The lady at the front desk then checked on him and told me he was already playing. That has helped me feel better on subsequent drop-offs and is something I recommend to other parents.

Oh, and Leia is happy to have her old lap back for a while.

01ba9d784692dd95286788d3986163d122180e8ef1ETHAN: I think he’s getting something out of school, though there’s no way for me to tell if he enjoys it. He takes naps there that last over two hours, so they must keep him pretty busy. He has also started sitting and playing with a single toy for a little while, which is fun to watch.

ethan I can tell he misses me though. As mentioned, he’s sad when I leave, but he’s also close to me when at home. He has always liked being cuddled, which I love love love, but now he doesn’t even want Kevin to hold him sometimes, which is odd. He’s even giving me kisses I didn’t have to ask for, but that totally melts my heart! Awwww he’s just a sweetie!!!

So that’s about it for updates. He got a cold on his 3rd day of daycare, which is to be expected, but then he gave it to me. Luckily, I think we’re both feeling better now. Thank goodness; I can’t wait to get back to normal workouts!!

coldSide note: Kevin picked up throat spray and a cookie for me on his lunch break Monday. He was thoughtful enough to get sugar-free spray but a deli cookie loaded with mini M&Ms. I’m so easy to please.

  • Parents: Got tips for easier drop-offs?
  • Regular Readers: Want to see more dinner recipes, quick workouts, day-in-the-life, or packable school lunches?
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