Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Torture (and other Tuesday ramblings)...

Oh man.


Let's start at the "beginning" I suppose. I guess by saying that, I need to rewind several years for a brief Sarah history lesson. Couple of years ago (more than 5, I think), I hurt my back. We're not exactly sure how it happened but one night I was having this pretty intense leg pain. I simply couldn't get comfortable. I couldn't lay, I couldn't sit, I couldn't stand - pretty much all I could do was pace our tiny little house and do laps around our kitchen & living room. After a few days of this, Nick finally convinced me to go to the emergency room. There was I given this kick ass shot of Demoral, where I proceeded to fall into a blissful sleep while they attempted to talk to me and figure out what was going on. Prognosis: sciatic. They sent me off for scads of tests (x-rays, MRI's, etc) and determined I had a slipped disc in my lower back that was pressing on my sciatic nerve.

Let me tell you, outside of what I barely remember of child birth - that was the most excruciating pain I have ever been in. Nothing helped but really strong pain meds. I went to physical therapy and got several steroid injections in my back for additional treatment. This pretty much worked, I don't have sciatic pain any more and my back bothers me only occasionally (or when I try to do certain things like any sort of Pilates moves). I have some semi-numbness in part of my left calf and some of my left toes. Other than that, no real issues stemming from this.

I worried that carrying a baby inside my tummy would cause more pressure on my back and/or sciatic but to be honest, I don't remember this being the case with Ben. Well, then I got knocked up with baby #2 and almost instantly (right around 12 or so weeks) I noticed by the end of the day, the sciatic running down my right leg was acting up. I couldn't get comfortable on the couch and the only comfortable way to sleep is on my right side.

At my 16 week check up, I mentioned to my OB that I was having this pain (along with this lovely prema-stuffed nose that there's not a lot they can do about), with a lovely bubble dream that I'd be told to go have a prenatal massage. She suggested physical therapy instead. So she sent me off for a referral and they called me Friday afternoon and got me in for an appointment yesterday.

According to the torture worker, I mean physical therapist, my tailbone was out of alignment and that could be causing some sciatic pain. She implemented several torture techniques to loosen my ribs, loosen my fascia (I didn't know we had that, I thought it was an architectural term...) and all that jazz. Holy crap. That was a painful 45 minutes of adjustment and just overall pain. Apparently she corrected the problem and I may have to admit that it helped my sciatic pain as I haven't noticed any. Although, that could be because I've been in nonstop PAIN since I left their office yesterday evening.

I've been complaining all day: I'm pregnant - why would they be so mean to a pregnant lady? How is this helpful? I hurt so much, it's all I can think about. Oh God, I moved again and it hurt.

I'm such a baby.

In other news, I had my 16 week OB check up on Friday. So far for this pregnancy, I've gained 1 pound. I'm sure now that I'm apparently all done throwing up, the weight will creep on faster... so I should probably limit my spaghetti craving to once a week, rather than every day. Baby's heart was great - Ben thought it was an airplane. :) I'm okay to travel in April to visit our family in Florida. Now all we have to do is wait for Nick's work to approve the time off and get our tax refund back and I can book our tickets! I'm so excited! Not at all looking forward to the plane ride but I'm hoping it won't be as awful as our trip home from Chicago was....

The demands for "come, mommy" aren't as intense as they were, which is nice. I'm still trying to figure out how to discourage hitting, biting and hair pulling when he's upset. My biggest thing right now (and my apologies if I've already blogged this, I can't remember) is trying to figure out how to transition from potty training with no pants on to potty training with something on. He does so fantastic when he's naked waist down but when I put something on him - underwear or a pull up, he doesn't get it. He peed through his underwear a few times and then came to tell me he was wet. The pull up is basically ineffective and a waste of money for us. Either the cool sensation isn't that great or Ben just doesn't care.

I think what we'll end up doing is another 3 day boot camp type deal of underwear and get him used to not peeing in it. I'm honestly just not sure what else to do. Any other experienced mama's have tips? What worked for you?

Gosh, there was so much more I wanted to talk about and then I forgot what most of it was. Maybe you'll see another blog post from me later today! :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

{Linking up to Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday}

Wahoo! Last week I cooked all our meals!! Ha ha that's a rare occurrence at our house lately. I didn't cook in order (but I don't always) but all the meals I planned and shopped for were cooked last week.

This week I have a friend coming in to visit for the last half of the week, so I pulled out my super yummy meals to share. :)

Monday: Shredded Chicken Sammies with salad & corn
Tuesday: Tuna Casserole with salad & steamed veggie for Ben
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Thursday: Tortellini Soup with French Bread and salad
Friday: Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken over rice and a salad
Saturday: Reuben sandwiches with salad & fries
Sunday: Spaghetti with steamed veggies & garlic toast

Do you menu plan? I've found it's so much easier for me to feed my family a nice variety of foods. Before I menu planned routinely, I felt like we were making spaghetti & burritos once a week and eating out more often than we needed to because I didn't know what to make. I hate that feeling at 4:30 of panic about not what to have for dinner, not having anything defrosted, etc.

Since I started routinely meal planning, I've noticed we eat a lot more variety in our meals. I usually try about one new recipe a week (none this week, I went back to our old favorites this week) and our meals are more balanced. I pay attention to how many nights a week we're eating chicken and beef and try to make more meat free or meats other than chicken or ground beef type meals. I've been trying to remember to plan sides as well - this week we're doing a lot of salads. Sounds yummy and it's healthy. :)

I usually just meal plan for the week. I plan Monday - Sunday as I go grocery shopping Monday mornings. Some times I'll plan for the whole month, but for the most part I just do one week at a time. I keep my menu plan in a giant Excel spreadsheet - I have all of my meals since October 2011 on there. This helps me visually see what we've eaten the last few weeks and make sure I keep it mixed up. Some times I scroll back and copy over a whole week of food - this really takes the thought out of menu planning. ;)

When I put in my meals, I also write down all the ingredients each meal takes. This really helps me make sure I haven't forgotten something key for a dish. I HATE going to cook dinner at 5:00 and discovering I needed to buy 2 cans of diced tomatoes and some how ended up with 1 can of stewed tomatoes. Very irritating (this happened last week, ugh). For the most part, I'm pretty good at getting what we need for that weeks meal. Not a whole lot of "oh crap, I don't have that" anymore.

K that's all. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yes or No.

What's working this pregnancy...
...caramel frappuccino's
...gummy prenatal vitamins
...spaghetti (lots & lots of spaghetti)
...ice cream with banana's & chocolate sauce
...orange juice
...Criminal Minds on TV
...late mornings
...fried egg sandwiches (with cheese and mayo)
...a sweet little boy who says "mommy k?" as I run to the kitchen sink to puke
...brownies. I keep craving them.

What's not working this pregnancy...
...my nose. SO over a perma-stuffy nose
...morning sickness. are we done yet or what?
...my surgery scars. they hurt as my tummy expands.
...my sciatic. it's killing me by evening.
...sore hips
...no energy
...bad skin. no thanks, pimples.
...CHICKEN. yuck.
...changing poopy diapers. ughhh....

Just a quick list of things that are oh so yes and oh so no as of my 15th week of pregnancy. 5 more weeks til gender reveal! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012


{Super Ben! as he calls himself}
  • Ben's vocabulary continues to astound us every day. He's stringing together more and more words, using actual sentences, referring to himself as either "me" or "Ben". He's starting to stutter a little bit as he struggles to find the word he's looking for.
  • We're having a bit of a violent/aggressive/defiant phase with him. Today the TV has remained off or on a music channel all day and I've noticed a marked improvement in his behavior. Even though he didn't really "watch" TV, I'm now convinced even having it on was enough of a distraction to foul his mood

    {doing an arabesque on the beam at Tumble Time with Miss Calista}

  • Last Wednesday we got about 5-6" of lovely, beautiful snow (our first real snow of the season - it's dusted a few times here and there but nothing significant - our ski area just finally opened for the season). By Thursday it was completely melted and Friday Ben & I walked around outside without our coats on. I'm glad Nick was able to work from home last Wednesday so we could enjoy it!
  • We're having to be a bit strict/mean with Ben at dinner time. He eats fairly well for breakfast and lunch but refuses to sit longer than 1 bite at dinner. If I can't coax him to stay at the table longer (with trucks or stories or dancing or whatever), then dinner gets put away.
    {loving the sled}

  • I've been wishing to talk to my mom a lot lately. I sure could use her ear with some of the things I'm dealing with, with Ben. It'd be nice to have her reassurance and even advice.
  • We're planning our trip to Florida. I'm so excited! We're getting a fairly nice return from our taxes (thank you, Ben & school!), so we're just waiting to get Nick's time off approved from work, the money to hit our bank and plane tickets will be bought. I'm so excited to take Ben to the beach!! April is our target month.
  • Nick's working on a new project with a company in Seattle, so I'm hoping he has to go visit that job site. :) Ben & I will absolutely be going with him and I'd love to visit my friends!
  • This week I read two books. I read My Life In France by Julia Child and Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy. I actually really enjoyed My Life In France. I didn't think I would as I don't particularly care for French cuisine, but I liked her story. I even went and You Tube'd some of her episodes of The French Chef. Belly Laughs was pretty funny. This book isn't for every one, but I laughed a lot and am relieved my pregnancies haven't been as awful as hers! Next up on my to read list of Bossy Pants by Tina Fey.
  • I read My Life In France for my bookclub that meets tomorrow night. I'm going to bring a Quiche Lorraine to share - I hope it comes out well! :) Seems like a fairly simple recipe that I can do most of it ahead during nap time and then assemble/bake during dinner.
  • I've fallen behind on one of my goals for this year. Well, I can't even say fallen behind. I've completely neglected. I wanted to scrapbook a little bit every day. I haven't done it once. Today I organized my paper scraps and I actually felt like doing something, so that might be my night time activity today. :)
  • One of the reasons I've been completely slacking on some things is my new obsession with a TV show that's been around awhile. Criminal Minds. I. Love. It. It was always one of those shows that we'd tune in to when we were surfing for something to watch and nothing else was on. Lately, I've been actively seeking it out. Most nights, Ion or A&E have it running from about 7:00 to 11:00 and that's pretty much all I do after Ben goes to bed. I find what channel it's on, I tune in, plop my butt on the couch and am lost in the story until bed time. :)
  • I have been doing better about keeping up with my house keeping. I gotta tell ya, since I'm making a conscious effort to stay on top of it every day, I feel like I work nonstop. I'm constantly picking up after Ben or Nick (mostly Ben).
  • I hate Snapfish. I put in a photo order on 12/29. On 12/30 they emailed and said it would ship the next business day and should arrive 3-5 business days later (and apparently they count Saturdays as a business day). Bye 01/18 I still hadn't received my photos so I complained. They said they're reprint my order and ship it overnight at no extra expense. My original order showed up on the 19th. I still haven't received my overnighted order. So now I'll have two sets of these prints. I'm so done with Snapfish. This isn't the first time it's happened to me. Shutterfly may cost a little more, but their service is fantastic and shipping times are quick & reliable.
  • On the pregnancy update - morning sickness is finally almost done. I seem to be having more good days than bad days lately and actually have an appetite in the mornings. I'm going to have to buy new prego pants. The jeans I wore when I was prego with Ben are too big now (so hooray for weight lost but boo for having to buy new pants). We have a "well fetus" (ha ha, instead of "well baby") visit on Friday. Next month we find out if our bun is a boy or a girl bun! No names chosen. I have two I'm liking a lot for girls and nothing at all on the horizon for boys. Guess we'll do some serious thinking once we know one way or the other!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

{Linking up with Org Junkies Menu Plan Monday}

Last week was an odd week. Thursday I was so sick almost all day - dinner just didn't happen. I saw our local Papa John's was running a $10 pizza, breadstick and soda deal, so I had Nick pick that up on his way home. Friday was our busy day having lunch & visiting the cemetery - circumstances would have it that Nick didn't have the car in the afternoon & the time I would have been using to prepare dinner was hauling him home, so we ate out. Naughty. As such, we have two repeats on this weeks menu. I cooked all out of order last week, ha ha, but other than those two nights, I stuck to our planned meals. That home cooked chili on Saturday was so yummy.

So here's our plan for this week:

Monday: Italian Sausage Risotto
Tuesday: Fajita Ranch Chicken Wraps
Wednesday: Spaghetti (I've been on a spaghetti feeding frenzy with this pregnancy - I swear I'm going to gain 100 lbs)
Thursday: Tamale Casserole
Friday: Breakfast for dinner - hash browns, scrambled eggs & sausage
Saturday: Burritos
Sunday: Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Cinnamon Yam Mash

Last week I made a new recipe: Beef With Broccoli and wanted to review it briefly. I think it might have been really delicious, if I had not messed up the directions. I was on a roll, adding stuff to my sauce and I should have stopped after adding sherry (which I actually didn't add - I didn't have any). Instead, I added the 3 tbsp of veggie oil to the sauce. Giant huge mistake. I had to put in more oil in the pan to keep the meat/sauce from sticking so this was a huge oily mess. Yuck. Nick really liked it, I had a hard time choking it down. I think I'll wait til after baby comes to try again and this time pay attention to the recipe.


Since New Years, we've been working really hard with Ben to start getting rid of using his pacifier. Right now, we're concentrating on just using it for naps and night time. Slowly we'll transition to only night time and the goal is to be completely rid of it for at least a month (if not two) before the new baby comes. Side note: at this point, our plan is to not introduce new baby to a pacifier.

It's been a hard road, these last 3 weeks. Ben has really wanted it and the first few days were super rough. He spent several of those days crying lots for it. As time progresses, he's getting better. There are still parts where he wants it and will ask for it but we haven't had a crying fit for the binky in awhile, which is fantastic.

Today, I am so proud of my little boy. He's been having some tummy troubles the last few days and developed a yucky rash on his bum this afternoon. I was in such a rush to get him changed and cleaned up and then my own self cleaned up after his nap, I forgot to have him put the binky away after nap. I got distracted doing things in the kitchen and then went in to play with Ben when I realized he still had it.

I thought "oh man.... oh man, here is comes" as I said "Benny, do you know what mommy forgot to do?" and he looked at me like "uhh... what?" and I told him "I forgot to put your binky away" - and do you know what this kid did? Do ya? That kid of mine took that binky right out of his mouth and handed it to me.

No muss.

No fuss.

No meltdown or tantrum.

Just "okay mom, here ya go"

and that was that. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

One Year.

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my mom's passing. Some of you might think this would have been a horrendously hard day for me. It wasn't. I didn't cry. I didn't spend the day in a depressed fog. Link

I spent the day doing what I felt like.
It was a good day.

I didn't puke (hooray!), I ate breakfast (and enjoyed it, not just stuffed it down because I knew I needed to eat), had a great morning with my little boy, took him to the park to play, met my brother, niece, grandma, dad & husband for lunch and then we all went to the cemetery to leave flowers. Then I came home, put Ben to bed, cleaned my bathroom til I didn't feel like it anymore, laid in bed & watched TV, took a mini-nap, played on my computer, checked my reader & Pinterest and had a great dinner with my boys.

I'm a follower of many blogs (shocking confession, I know) but one of them strikes home with me a lot. Traci at Beneath My Heart also lost her mom to cancer and often speaks of her loss. She recently wrote a piece titled Broken where she shares her emotions surrounding some broken casserole dishes - which sounds like such a silly thing to be heartbroken over, til you realize that the dishes are one of the last presents her mother ever gave her. This part got me and still gets me even when I glanced at it briefly to make sure I was copying over the correct part:

"When Mom used to help take care of me. When she knew that money was tight and I was doing my best to take care of my boys, and she would say to the cashier, “No. I’m gonna pay for this.” And I felt my mother’s love. That deep, deep love of a mother."

I miss that. I miss those mommy moments when she knew something wasn't right. I didn't have to say much, or really say anything at all: she knew. She knew I needed a little something extra. She'd offer to buy me a new shirt or surprise me with a new toy for Ben. I miss that for Ben, as well. He's missing out on being spoiled by his nana. Nick pokes fun at me because I seem to buy Ben a new truck every time we go to the store. If I don't, who else will? No one else buys Ben a special little toy just because they want to see his face when they play with it.

Most of all, I miss what she's missing out on. I'm forever thankful that she got to be here for the first year of Ben's life. That she got to see him crawl and walk and start to talk. I'm forever sorrowful that she doesn't get the rest. She doesn't get to hear him jabber or call out excitedly for her. She doesn't get to see him cheer just like Nick does for the Packers. She doesn't get to hear him say "hockatoo" instead of "helicopter". She doesn't know what his favorite foods are or how much he loves to read. She's missing out on our new baby and all the new memories we'll create. She's missing out on her other grandchilren's lives: Emma being a dynamo at basketball, Hannah in her enormously cool kid pad or Connor making great achievements in school.

I don't know what happens to us when we die. I know my mom believed in heaven and I hope she's there. I hope she's having a good time, watching over us and not missing out on as much as I think she is. I hope she's got a gorgeous head of hair and that she's got a little hand in the Packers great season this year. I hope she's happy and proud of us.

So I will not spend every January 13th miserably unhappy. Instead, I'll make sure it's a great day. Our first January 13th was awful, the rest of them don't have to be.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Beef with Broccoli and white rice
Tuesday: Italian Sausage Risotto
Wednesday: Fajita Ranch Chicken Wraps with Spanish Rice
Thursday: Spaghetti with Green Beans & Garlic Toast
Friday: Italian Dressing Marinated Chicken with Steamed Broccoli
Saturday: Crock Pot Chili with Corn Bread
Sunday: Packers Game - dinner at Dad's

So.Much.Rice. this week. What was I thinking?

Today Is Not A Good Day.

Dear Benjamin,

I'm writing this post with milk dried in my hair and tears in my eyes. It's 2:39. You've been awake about 15 minutes. You were asleep less than 2 hours. After the morning we had, you and mommy desperately needed you to sleep your full 3 hour nap.

The day started out okay. Daddy got you up to discover you'd removed your pajamas and were working on taking off your diaper. You seemed to eat breakfast well and asked "mommy okay?" as I heroically vomited in the kitchen sink (I just adore morning sickness). You started to lose it when daddy asked you to put your socks on because it was time to take daddy to work (we just love having one car, don't we?). Socks were out of the question. Daddy asked, sneakers or boots? You chose boots but had a fit when daddy tried to put them on without socks. Socks were stuffed on to your toes and boots soon followed, you screaming "down! down! down!" the entire time.

The car ride to daddy's work was fine. You brought your ambulance but started to get mad at it when something was stuck. We dropped off daddy and wished him a good day and off we went to Starbucks for mama's morning sickness cure: caramel frappuccino and an fruit pouch for you. Next we headed to WinCo for our weekly shopping trip. I was complimented on being a good mama for letting you step through the bike racks, even though I was freezing. Hey - 2 minutes in the freezing cold is way better than the 10 minute tantrum for not letting you have a little fun.

Then we picked out our cart and started to shop. You like to help me in the produce aisles. You love to hold the bag and help put the oranges, pears, green peppers & onions in the bags. You'd love to help me tie them closed, but you're not quite there yet. Our downward slide began on the pasta aisle. I picked out two boxes of rice sides for upcoming meals. You wanted to hold them and shake - I said sure. Then you thought it was hilarious to hit me with them. I disagreed - those edges are pointy and hurt. You didn't really like it when I put them in the cart.

I got a repeat performance on the spice aisle, when I picked up a new bottle of Italian Seasonings. Again, you requested to shake and instead beat me in the arms with it. Into the cart it went. In the dairy aisle, you screeched to hold the yogurt but I said no. I can easily see you opening those up, mid store, and making a mess. I gave you my phone to play with instead and that kept you happy and occupied til we got to the car.

Then, my dear sweet baby boy, mommy had the audacity to request my phone back. This resulted in screeches, back arching and some slapping in the face by you to me. At this point, mommy may have lost her temper and shouted back at you "WE DO NOT IT! MAMA DOES NOT HIT YOU AND YOU DO NOT GET TO HIT MAMA!"

As I huffed to the front seat and flopped myself into the drivers seat, still seething, you in the back sobbing pitifully for your daddy: another lady walks by and smiles at me. I'm certain she heard my shouting. I was pleased to know I amused her.

Once home, we had big hugs in the garage and I apologized for shouting and asked you to apologize for hitting me. We came inside, had yummies and watched Caillou while mama unloaded the car. Then you took that downward slide a little more. You decided Sadie needed to eat. You got a piece of food out of her bowl and shoved it in her face. Sadie was not hungry. She'd already eaten breakfast. You then placed the food at her feet and pushed her head to it. I have no idea where you learned that. We don't treat Sadie that way.

The following events took place in some order between that and the 20 minutes it was til we left to get daddy for lunch and let him take the car back to work: you threw a car at me, a fake ice cream cone, the candlesticks on the floor and/or at Sadie, you grabbed and pinched my leg, you spit your milk into my hair and you slapped me again as I buckled you into your seat.

Oh my little boy, you test my patience like nothing else.

I was so looking forward to your nice long nap, and going into your room to find a nice, happy, well rested little boy, ready to face the rest of the afternoon with me.

I'm ignoring you til 3:00. I'm hoping you choose to fall back asleep, but as it's now 2:51 and you're still in there chatting and jumping on the bed... I'm guessing not.

Daddy says "it's almost over and tomorrow is a new day"

Daddy has no idea what it's like to be stuck in a house with a crabby little boy and an equally crabby mommy. The time is endless. It's not almost over - it's never ending.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Randoms that are too short for their own post and too long for a Facebook update. :)

^^ Ben discovered with one of his sippies, that if he flicks the straw - milk goes every where. He did this for a solid 10 minutes in the car, giggling like a loon the whole time. He was quite a mess.

He no longer calls me "mama". I'm "mommy" almost all of the time. I'm not sure where that came from, but I've decided I don't mind.

I've been meaning to get this down in writing, even though it's months old. In November Ben finally started to say "milk" instead of only signing it. I was cooking dinner and it required some milk - he saw it in the measuring cup and freaked out. Milk! Milk! Milk! He screeched at me, until I found his cup and refilled it. There's been no going back. In fact, he doesn't even sign it anymore. He'll still sign for please (while he says it) and for more (again, while he says it), but nearly all the other signs have stopped.

^^ Ben makes me laugh all the time, by spraying milk all over his face or digging into his outgrown clothes bin, draping some pajama pants around his shoulders and walking around. Silly kid.

It's started to hit me that we're having another baby. I've been quietly lusting over a minivan and part of this appalls me. My friend Stacy said it best - I'm not ready to accept that I'm minivan eligible yet. While she certainly has more need for a minivan than I (3 kiddos and another on the way), I can sure see the appeal of one. They're certainly roomy, have a lot of features that would be useful to have and make traveling so much easier. On the other hand. Ugh. A minivan. Blech.

I still have no feelings one way or the other as to what gender this baby will be. I find myself referring to it as a "he" but I think that's because I already have a he. :) In all my planning though, I keep looking towards girl items. I can tell you that this pregnancy is quite different than my first but I have no idea if that's any indication of gender.

^^ Making good on some of my goals for 2012: we took Ben to the Botanical Gardens last night. They do a yearly event called Winter Garden aGlow. I've been waiting for snow - several people mentioned to me that it's really much more beautiful in the snow but.... this is the last weekend it's on and there's no sign of snow yet. Ben really liked all the "peety yights" (pretty lights) but apparently thought we were at the zoo and kept asking for the zebra's & monkeys.

Earlier in the week, Nick & I were able to sneak away for a date night. My friend Kelsey had tickets for Cirque de Soliel's Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour that she wasn't able to use, so she offered them up on Facebook. We had a really good time, the performers were amazing (I especially like the trapeze artists) and one in particular blew both Nick & I away: he only has one leg. So amazing.

I'm still trying to find a cheap and not completely hideous dresser for our room. I'd love to have a dresser. I'd love to finish my room and not have it look like the massive crap dumping ground that it's become.

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I blog and my blog audience. First & foremost, I blog for me. This is my little journal, where I note down things that I don't want to forget. Secondly, I blog for family. Not all of our family is local and I don't see our local family every day. This is a great place for me to update every one at once about what's going on in our (mainly Ben's) life. Thirdly, I blog for you. :) I share my trials and tribulations so you can relate, commiserate and offer advise or say "oh, that's what I should try". I share my recipes so you can try them out. I show you projects I've stolen from some one else. What about my blog audience? Well, most of it is family & friends and few blog friends I've made along the way. I've been considering making my blog private... maybe once we come up with a new blog title (since the We Three Beesley's isn't relevant anymore), I'll make it private. We'll see.

So that's it. Some random thoughts condensed into one post. Happy weekend!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday.


Monday: Stuffed Shells
Tuesday: Date Night
Wednesday: Burritos with Spanish Rice
Friday: Tuna Casserole
Saturday: Black Bean Soup

Pretty yummy dinners this week! So excited to our date night on Tuesday. A friend of mine offered up free tickets to the Cirque de Soliel Michael Jackson show that's in town on Tuesday and I snapped them up. I'm not a very big MJ fan, but I saw them perform from this show on Dancing With The Stars a few months ago and it looked really good. Tickets even for the 3 rows of super crappy seats were really expensive, so I said never mind. I'm glad these came our way!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Year End Review (and some goals).

Well, 2011 started off the worst way I could have imagined but ended on an upward swing. We lost my mom at the beginning of the year. It remains (and probably will for some time) the worst thing that ever happened to me and my family. We're all still adjusting but we're making our way through it. Life, does in fact, go on for those still living. People change, grow, adapt and move on. So while we started the year with a tragedy, we ended it with a miracle. Our family is growing by one more (which - very, very, very small change - means I'll need a new blog title. We won't be the Three Beesley's anymore!).

This year has been a pretty good one, I suppose, over all. Aside from my mom passing, Nick graduated college with honors and accepted a new job offer. He's learning lots and enjoying his new work. This job is allowing him the opportunity to travel, which is both good and crappy. Ben & I hate having Nick gone (and Nick doesn't particularly like to be away, either) and we aren't looking forward to him having to go again (not on the horizon for awhile, as far as we know). However, it's a great learning opportunity for Nick to travel on behalf of his company and work with the client.

As for myself, not much new. I'm trying hard to get more involved with my mommy group - it would be great to make some friends for myself but my main reason is to get some friends for Ben. I've been struggling these last few months with keeping my commitments to go - this pregnancy is taking a lot out of me so far and it's hard to keep up my motivation. Hopefully this phase passes with the 1st trimester ending and I'll be more reliable.

I thought I'd take some time to review our goals from last year and see if we made any progress on them over 2011. My guess is: no. :) But we'll see. Then I'll make some new ones for 2012. Lots to do with a new baby on the way!

Goal #1: Get my house clean, organized and to stay tidy every day.

Man o man, is this goal ever going to be accomplished? I fear not. As I seem to be using this pregnancy for a cop out on everything lately... :) It's true, though. I have had absolutely no motivation to do anything. I know the kitchen is bad when Nick stops to clean it. Oops. Maybe one day. I have great goals of giving my house a super thorough deep clean and then just doing a few minutes every day, one or two rooms a day, to keep it up. This has never happened. Or at least, not for very long.

Goal #2: Try something new every month.

Well, with a toddler - every day is an adventure and discovering new things every day. We aren't doing as much outside the house, necessarily. This will be an item we continue to work on in 2012. I'll pick out 12 activities we can do locally and cross them off, once a month.

Goal #3: Make baby food myself.

Ha. This no longer applies. Well. It will towards the end of 2012. :)

Goal #4: Clean out the clutter & live more simply.

Definitely always a work in progress. We clear and pare down and then a few months go by and we clear and pare down some more. I imagine we'll have a large purging process this spring, in preparation for the new baby. Maybe we'll actually have that garage sale this year.

Goal #5: Spend less, save more.

So I just died of hysterical laughter. We're horrible at saving money. It feels like we never have any, you know? So when we get some extra, we're so excited to be able to go do this or go buy that that we never hang on to that extra for very long. I'd like to start up a yearly vacation fund, so we can start taking Ben on fun trips like Disney World. Plus, it would be nice if we could afford to go visit Nick's family (at Disney World? ha ha) or my friends in Seattle.

Goal #6: Tackle some of those "I'd love to do ______" projects.

Hm. Sort of. We ripped out our backyard deck but didn't get any further on fixing it up (we're stumped on what to do next). We planted a few container gardens and I have some ideas on how to expand on that this year. I made Nick build our bed. Maybe we'll get to some more this year!

Now on to some goals (and just random things I want to do) for 2012:
#1 - we're hoping to be able to use some (or most) of our tax return money to visit our family in Florida (probably before new baby comes - I'm thinking perhaps April).
#2 - improve & expand our veggie garden
#3 - clear out and ready the guest room for new baby!
#4 - deep clean the house and maintain a little bit every day.
#5 - make a list of 12 things to do around our area and do one a month
#6 - fix our backyard. may need to contact a landscaping company for ideas.
#7 - for me: try to scrapbook every day. even just one page.
#8 - play outside, every day. Even if it's raining.
#9 - things to help Ben: get rid of the bink, finish potty training, try out a big boy bed, look into preschool options for late summer/early fall.
#10 - for Nick: clear out the garage, paint, create storage & organize.

Happy New Year to you all! I hope 2012 is a great year full of much accomplishment, personal growth and great experiences.