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April 30, 2012

Home again, home again...

We're home from Pennsylvania, where we witnessed our wonderful friends wedding this weekend. It was such a joy to celebrate with them, and seeing them so happy. I couldn't help but think back to our own wedding day and the excitement and happiness we felt for our life together. They rocked the day from start to finish, tearing up the dance floor and ringing in their first day of husband and wife with a bang. 




KA looked radiant. Like a princess doused in buckets of happiness.

We got home last night, greeted by a super pathetic kitty. He purred like a maniac, rubbed against our legs, and slept as close to us as possible last night, which means on my face. It's nice to feel missed and loved by the little furball.

Nothing really compares to being home. Weekends away are fun, but the minute you walk in the door of home, all is well, the shoes come off, and you know your head will be hitting the comfort of your own pillow when the day is done. My body sighs in relief. And two weekends in a row of traveling? Double sigh.

We don't have much of a meal plan yet for the week. Tonight we feasted on scallops tossed with pasta, olive oil, fresh basil, parmesan and spinach, and we'll think on the rest of the week tomorrow once we get another good night's rest.

Speaking of tomorrow...it's a big day. As excited as I am to find out who that little person is in there, I am a bit nervous. This will be the big ultrasound to check all the organs and body parts to make sure development is progressing well and that there are no major issues to prepare ourselves for. I am excited to know if we're having a son or a daughter, but I really have no other preference except that it is healthy.

Until Bump Day, my friends...

April 26, 2012

New Product Alert: Bold Organics Frozen Pizzas

I like to try products first hand before I put them in the limelight here, so this is a bit of a different post. It is not a review since I haven't tried it yet, but rather, I'm hoping to get the word out there, because everything I see about this product gets me a bit excited and hope that the distribution grows.

Bold Organics was founded in January of this year by 21 year old Aaron Greenwald. Bold Organics started as a project in Aaron's Introduction to Entrepreneurship class, and with a less than impressive grade, Aaron was motivated to do better, to bring Bold Organics to fruition. He teamed up with Chef Eric Brenner to bring the recipes in his head to life.

The result is gluten-free and dairy-free pizzas that hold the promise of healthy ingredients that taste great.

Since these pizzas are a new product, distribution is not very widespread. The closest store to me that carries them is 20 miles away in New York. You can buy them online at Celiac.com's Gluten Free Mall for $8-12 plus shipping, but I'm personally a little wary of buying frozen foods online. Your best bet if you're interested in this product is to contact your local grocer. Encourage them to carry Bold Organics Frozen Pizzas, and then ask your friends to do the same. If a store near you does carry Bold Organics, I'd love to know what you think! Wouldn't it be great to have more than one brand of frozen pizza to choose from at any given store? After all, variety is the spice of life!

Finally, if you're interested in learning more about Aaron and Bold Organics, check out their website, read their story, and tune into Fox News Live online tomorrow at 11:00am EST where Aaron will be featured on the Business Hour!

Don't Ignore...

As some of you may know, and many may not, it is National Infertility Awareness Week. I am posting today in support of many women and men I have come to know whose lives are touched by infertility. I admit, before Sean and I started trying to conceive, I did not know much about infertility. I still don't know much, but am learning, and encourage you to learn as well. Chances are there is someone in your life who is experiencing the devastating effects of not being able to have children.

The women I know who are infertile are some of the best women I know. They are kind. They are hopeful. They are strong. They are hilarious. They are wives, aunts, sisters, and stepmothers. They are teachers, scientists, work in corporate, work in hospitality, and are artists. Some of them have diagnosed reasons why they are infertile, and some of them are undiagnosed. They all have one thing in common:

They want to have a child.

I have become close to a community of women who are on the journey of trying to conceive. Some are blessed to have a short journey to pregnancy and have a baby, sometimes two or three babies, before an infertile woman ever becomes pregnant. There are tests, struggles, and emotions that I will never know or understand that they deal with on a daily basis. They need support. They need us to try to understand.

Many of my friends have posted to their Facebook this week and received overwhelming response from family, friends, and acquaintances, messages of support, encouragement, and hope. They need more of this, every single day. Infertility is not a taboo topic. It's a very real disease. Like breast cancer. Like addiction. It cannot and should not be ignored.

As someone who doesn't know much about infertility, I wasn't always sure how to give my friends the support they need. RESOLVE offers advice for those who have friends or family dealing with infertility on how to offer support. As RESOLVE eloquently puts it, "knowing what not to say is half the battle of providing support". A few tips are:

  • Don't tell them to relax - this can cause more stress to the couple, can make the woman feel as if she's doing something wrong, and is generally not comforting or helpful.
  • Don't say there are worse things that can happen - Everyone's definition of "worse things" is different. Having a baby could be everything to someone.
  • Don't say they aren't meant to be parents - the "Whatever's meant to be will be" attitude, whether you're religious or not, is not comforting. If you imply that your friend or relative, by the power of God or some higher being, is not meant to have children, how will that make them feel about those who choose to have abortions or abuse their children?
  • Don't suggest they try IVF (invitro fertilization) or adoption - the road to accepting one of these options, or neither of these options, is a painful, expensive, and personal decision that each couple will discuss and come to agree on their own.
  • Let them know you care - A listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a card, flowers, or a little handwritten note can mean the world to someone. Some days are worse than others, but support should be constant and available at all times. 
To my friends, and to those of you out there who are dealing with infertility without the support you need, I am thinking of you, I am praying for you, and I am hoping for you, that you get your take home baby that you want so badly. I have so much love and respect for you, and hope you have many happy days ahead.


To learn more about infertility and how to support your family or friends, please visit:

http://www.resolve.org/infertility-overview/what-is-infertility/ (basic understanding of the disease of infertility)
http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (about National Infertility Awareness Week)

April 25, 2012

Hump Day Bump Day at 18 Weeks

Dress: Sonoma for Kohl's. Please ignore the wrinkles.



Basic Development

Baby's ears are now facing forward and fully formed, and Baby can hear things now, like my voice. Bones continue to harden, and their sense of smell, taste, and sight are also now developed. Baby weighs between 5 and 7 ounces and is about 5.5 inches long from crown to rump, about the length of a sweet potato.

How is Mama feeling?

I feel great for the most part! I had a busy weekend shooting a wedding and seeing family, so the past 2 days I have been "recovering" and trying to rest and take care of myself. Sleep is a gamble. Some nights I sleep incredibly soundly, other nights I feel like I'm never fully asleep. I had some small bouts of nausea this morning, after getting sick and having a dizzy spell. Lying down and having some orange juice seemed to help.

Food Cravings & Aversions

I haven't had trouble eating, and my appetite seems to be back in full force. I am not finishing my meals, which I suppose is a good thing, as I'm eating smaller meals and snacks throughout the day. I have been keeping things relatively bland, as anything spicy or strong smelling just doesn't appeal to me.

Movement

I felt the first couple taps last week, after posting that I hadn't felt anything yet. It's not frequent, and I still have trouble distinguishing if I'm really feeling the baby, or if it's gas or my imagination. I hope to feel it more in the next couple weeks.

Fun Baby Stuff

I started registering, which is so much fun but a little overwhelming. There's so much "stuff" out there, I am trying to keep things simple and only really register for must-haves. I have my eye on two cribs right now, we just need to go see them in person. I have also been buying cloth diapers on sale, and I scored a great stash off Craigslist that a woman never ended up using on her little one.

Milestones

Nothing huge this week. I got a couple new maternity dresses since we're going to our friends Kelly Anne and Dave's wedding this weekend (so excited for them!), and I tried them on to get Sean's opinion. I put the first one on which is a simple black dress that hugs the tummy, and his eyes went wide and he said "Honey, I think you popped!" So I guss my belly is looking more rounded and pregnant, which makes me happy. I can feel where the baby is now that it's moved up into my lower abdominal area (a couple inches below my belly button), so it makes sense that everything else is moving up and out! Maybe next week's bump picture will be from the wedding on Saturday! :)

Looking ahead...

Next Tuesday is Baby Flavor Day! Besides the excitement of finding out if there'll be a little Shannon or a little Sean, we also get to see the baby's brain, heart, face...it's a full anatomy scan, so I cannot wait to spend some time seeing our little one and checking out all the organs. Technology is so, so cool.

Also a reminder, if you haven't voted if you think we're having a boy or a girl, please do! The poll is in the righthand column of the blog, and you can vote up until the Monday night before our appointment.

 


April 24, 2012

b.good Gluten Free Burgers and Fries

Oh, Boston...You know I adore you. Why must you keep putting these little places in our path, making it harder to understand why we don't live there?

What has captured our hearts now, you wonder? Oh, just a burger joint. No biggie, they just get all of their ingredients from local farms. And have the tastiest mint chocolate chip shake ever.

Sean was insistent we go to b.good for lunch on Sunday....insistent. My husband rarely insists. He's very go with the flow. But we found ourselves dodging through the rain, a block away from the Hynes Convention Center and Boston Comic Con to get a burger from this supposedly amazing place.


My mint chocolate chip shake.
It was small, typical for an eating establishment on Newbury Street, and just like any fast food joint, we ordered at the counter and waited. But it was clean. And it didn't take 2 minutes for our order to come up, because it was made to order. Fresh. So we sat and waited. Sean had some lemonade, and my shake was brought out shortly thereafter. I gazed around the small dining area, where pictures of green fresh lettuce, ripe red tomatoes, and local farmers are featured. A picture with a chalkboard sign under it tells you the name of the farm and farmer, as well as location, where your vegetables, meat, and even ice cream for you shakes come from.

The food was served and Sean dug in. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I simply love seeing my husband able to eat somewhere and enjoy it, without fear of repercussions. They use gluten free buns and their fries are made in a dedicated fryer.

While we ate, one of the girls behind the counter called a patron up and asked if she had Celiac, because a sandwich she ordered had sauce on it that wasn't gluten free. She just wanted to double check and offered her a substitute. That is caring service.


b.good was founded by two best friends, Anthony and Jon, who loved fast food, but hated how it makes you feel. So inspired by their Uncle Faris's teaching to "take it easy", "live life", and most importantly, "be good", they created a place where you can feel good about eating burgers and fries. There are several locations for b.good in and around the greater Boston area, including Burlington, Dedham, and Derby Street in Hingham.

April 23, 2012

Meal Planning Monday

I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. Seriously, I am feeling a bit of a weekend hangover and think my existence might serve greatest if I were just curled up on my couch right now. It's the great weekends that leave me feeling completely spent, and this was one of those great weekends. It was full of wedding photography, joy, laughter, family, ice cream, Boston, and so much more. I am emotionally and physically exhausted, and now I have to plan our meals for the week. Yay?

The good news is, we have another full weekend ahead of us which I anticipate to be even more awesome, so I only need to plan for Monday - Thursday. I can do this! I have the power!

If I keep telling myself that, I might start to believe it...

Monday - takeout pizza (the headache rages on)

Tuesday - Baked chicken with green beans and mashed potatoes (a staple meal for us)

Wednesday - Homemade mac and cheese

Thursday - Leftovers

So it's not a terribly exciting week, but it works for us. Maybe I'll try something new next week.

What do you have planned?

April 19, 2012

Revisiting The Barker

Photo by Melissa Robotti Photography

I am so excited, and ok, a little nervous, to be photographing a wedding this weekend at my own reception venue. It is a place that is so close to my heart, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to shoot there. Two short years ago, I was just starting to dip my toes into the waters of photography - ok, that's a lie, I cannonballed into the deep end - and now, looking forward to this weekend, I am feeling energized and ready to experience this wonderful place again - from behind the lens.

If you're not familiar with the Barker Tavern, it's an old tavern in Scituate, Massachusetts, a stone's throw from the harbor and charming as can be. The food is incredible, and the service is top notch. It is the place to get a great New England meal.

More than just a gorgeous location and great food, what stood out to me as a bride and patron was how effortlessly they handled all of the allergies we presented them with. They brought in a 6 pack of Redbridge so Sean could enjoy beer during our reception. They provided gluten free, dairy free, shellfish free, and vegetarian meals to our guests without batting an eyelash or charging an extra fee. They were magnificent and I will always be grateful for everything they did for us so we could relax and enjoy our wedding day.

If you're in the area and looking for an amazing, intimate setting to enjoy a great meal, do it. You won't regret it.

April 18, 2012

Hump Day Bump Day at 17 Weeks and Old Wives Tales






Basic Development

Baby's skeleton is turning from soft cartilage to bone. The umbilical cord is growing thicker and stronger, and fat is beginning to build up. Baby now weighs about 5 ounces and is about 5 inches long from head to bum, about the size of a baked potato. Baby can move it's joints and might kick hard enough to start feeling some taps and flutters.

Mama's thoughts...

17 weeks and starting to feel the belly swell more. I haven't felt any movement yet, but I'm sure that will come soon! In the meantime, we're counting down the days to our anatomy scan, where they will check all the parts and organs and make sure the baby looks healthy and is on track for growth. This will be the first time we're seeing the baby since 8 weeks, when it looked like a peanut-shaped blob, so I am thrilled we'll get to see it looking like a baby!

Of course, it'll also be an exciting day because as long as the baby cooperates, we'll be finding out if it's a boy or a girl! I have had feelings both ways, that it could be a boy or a girl (and yes, we're sure there's only ONE in there) but we'll find out for sure on May 1.

Old Wives Tales

I don't put a lot of stock in Old Wives Tales to tell if we're having a boy or a girl, but they are certainly fun for guessing before you know. I figured I'd share a few that I have tried myself, and the results I've had.

This should go without saying, but these are not scientifically proven methods of determining the sex of your baby. Studies have been found usually in the correct favor, but are not 100% accurate. Only an ultrasound at around 20 weeks or later, or holding your baby in your arms, will show you the sex of your baby. 

OWT: Sleep Position If you prefer sleeping on your left side, it's a boy. If you prefer your right side, it's a girl. 

I tend to favor the right when I am going to sleep, and usually wake up on my right, if I'm not on my back. Girl.

OWT: Nausea If you experience severe/extreme nausea, you're having a girl. 

I definitely had my share of terrible nausea in the first trimester, and morning sickness the first 3 weeks of the 2nd trimester. Girl.

OWT: Cravings Cravings salty foods, it's a boy. Craving sweets, it's a girl. 


It's a tossup. I love my carbs and crackers and chips. But I have also been loving ice cream, milkshakes, and decaf caramel iced coffees. If I had to pick, I'd say salty. Boy.


OWT: Dreams Whatever you dream about (boy or girl), you will have the opposite. 


I've had 3 dreams, all have been a girl. Boy. 


OWT: The Pendulum Dangle a pin on a thread above your wrist. If it swings back and forth, it's a boy. If it swings in a circle, it's a girl. 

Back and forth. Boy.

OWT: Cold Feet Circulation tends to be poor when carrying a boy.

My feet haven't really felt cold, if anything they've felt more sweaty. Gross, I know. Sorry. Girl.

OWT: Chinese Gender Prediction By multiplying the mother's age at conception with the month the baby was conceived in, if the result is even it's a girl. If it's odd, it's a boy.  

28 x 12 = 336. Girl.


OWT: The Baking Soda Test Combine your urine with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. If it fizzes, it's a boy. If there's no fizz, it's a girl. Urine acidity tends to be higher when carrying a boy.

Fizz. Boy.


Have you been keeping score? I have 4 points for a boy, and 4 for a girl. I guess we'll have to wait and see! In the meantime, feel free to vote what you think we're having over on the right sidebar. It's fun to guess and I love seeing what people think it might be!

April 16, 2012

Meal Planning Monday

A new week has arrived, and with it, some new recipes I'm really excited to try out! Here's what this week is looking like:

Monday: Blackened chicken and lime cilantro quinoa (subbing in scallions for cilantro), from my friend Erin

Tuesday: Butternut Squash Mac 'n Cheese, a Pinterest find

Wednesday: Beef and bell pepper stir fry over brown rice

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday - Sunday we are traveling to MA, so we'll be having meals on the road or with family.



It should be a pretty easy and tasty week! My heart is also singing because everything is turning green and yellow and pink blossomed and bright again. I love the newness that spring brings. I feel refreshed, renewed, and ready to take on whatever this week brings!

April 14, 2012

Easter Weekend







Gluten free pancakes at Bloom's Delicatessen, Lexington & 40th, New York, NY





Gorgeous day at Bryant Park and the New York Public Library



Happy Spring!

 

April 13, 2012

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Simple? Check.

Delicious? Check.

That is the only reason I decided to bake cookies Tuesday night at 8:30pm. See, Sean's sister brought a small tub of cookies she made last week, and well, they were amazing. And they were gluten free. And they were, oh, 6 ingredients - but no flour.

Bam! Let's do this.

She said she found the recipe online, so after a very quick Google search last night, we found this recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies via Real Simple. They were ready in 30 minutes, from start to finish. The hardest part of this recipe is not eating them all in one sitting. This recipe is also wicked easy to cut in half to make a quick batch, as we did.

Flourless Peanut Butter (and Chocolate Chip) Cookies
adapted from RealSimple.com

2 cups of creamy peanut butter
1 cup of packed brown sugar (recipe calls for light, we used dark)
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Optional: 1 - 1.5 cups of Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.

Shape the dough into balls (about 1 heaping tablespoon each) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Using tines of a fork, press each ball down to create a crisscross pattern (we skipped the balling and crisscrossing, just lumping dough onto the pan).

Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy!

April 11, 2012

Hump Day Bump Day at 16 Weeks




4 months...Almost half baked. Wow!

Basic Development

Baby is about 4.5 inches long from crown to rump, about the size of an avocado. Baby will nearly double in weight in the next couple weeks, and add inches to its length. Its heart is pumping about 25 quarts of blood daily, and will continue to increase. Baby is moving a lot, however, movement may not be felt for another couple weeks.

Mama's Feeling It...

I've been noticing little changes recently. Little things that are telling me that things are progressing...Wow, that was specific. Getting up off the couch is getting harder as my uterus moves up. I get stunned by little aches and pains, what I imagine to be Round Ligament Pain, which is the ligaments around the uterus stretching and thickening with the growth.

Food aversions seem to be tapering off, as chicken has been much more bearable lately. I am finding myself more susceptible to unpleasant odors, not food related. Walking around NYC yesterday I had to turn my head from steam vents to keep from gagging, and riding on the train was pretty miserable. I pretty much need to lock myself in my bedroom if the cat is making use of the litter box.

I also get tired pretty easily. We went for a mile walk on Easter Sunday and I wasn't winded, but my legs and lower back were getting a bit sore. I need to start doing my pre-natal yoga video and really stretch myself out and breathe.

Body Image

As a lady who had some "fluff" prior to getting pregnant, it's a bit of a weird experience being ok with getting bigger when much of my adult life I've been trying to get smaller. It's an internal battle to remind myself daily that my body is doing something beautiful and miraculous and to embrace every curve, mark, and ache as part of the process of becoming a mommy.

I am proud of my belly and what's going on in there. I think it's the strangest and coolest thing that there's a tiny human swimming around in my body, The Bouncy House, as I'm now calling it. But I am also human and get nervous, wondering if I'm going to be freakishly huge in 5 months, or if I'll struggle to lose the weight post-partum. When people ask me how I feel, I try to answer honestly. I don't feel amazing every day. Some days I feel hosed down, wrung tight and hung out to dry by 8:30am. I am embracing my growing and changing body, but yes, there are days I look at myself in the mirror and feel a little sad or grossed out. The belly isn't the only thing that changes. It's part of the journey to motherhood - letting go of what was (bye-bye, young boobs) and welcoming what's to come - a body that can sustain, comfort and nurture that tiny human. I constantly remind myself of this, because some days it isn't easy. Especially with stretch marks staring you in the face.

I feel blessed to be at this point in my life where I'm eagerly awaiting each step of the pregnancy process and can't wait to meet our little one and see what kind of person they are. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I am also grateful to be surrounded by tactful people who don't try to touch my belly (if you touch mine, I'll touch yours), and don't comment on what I'm eating or my size. It's a bit of a cleansing process for me to deal with accepting my body as it is, not trying to fit it into some pre-conceived notion of what it should be. I'll get there. I'm working on it. You don't get a positive pregnancy test and change the way you think about yourself overnight. But with each heartbeat we hear, with each milestone we reach, I'm getting closer to being the mama I'm meant to be. And that makes my heart sing.

April 10, 2012

Monday Meal Planning...on Tuesday!

Pardon me while I slowly come out of my Easter ham coma...

Our holiday weekend was lovely, relaxing, and quiet. We had Sean's sister visiting for the weekend and spent it hanging out, eating good food, reading, walking, and catching up on episodes of Community. We topped it off with a trip into the city yesterday for breakfast, seeing Kerry off, and a lazy walk around the city.

So here it is Tuesday and we have our meal plan for the week after finishing off the yummy Easter ham last night. I hope you have a great week and feel free to share your own meal plan or link it in a comment!

Monday: Leftover ham, roasted potatoes and carrots, mixed veggies

Tuesday: Beef brisket, sweet potatoes and broccoli

Wednesday: Pasta, meatballs and salad

Thursday: Homemade corn chowder, salad and cornbread

Friday: Dining out

Saturday: Homemade burgers and salad

Sunday: Homemade pizza

Nothing too exciting, but definitely easy, and easy is what we need right now. I am excited to make the corn chowder for the first time!

What are you looking forward to this week?

April 3, 2012

Hump Day Bump Day at 15 weeks






Basic Development

Baby is now about 4 inches long crown to rump, about the size of a naval orange. It can sense light, even though its eyelids are still fused shut, and taste buds are now forming. The sex could likely be determined this week, although most couples won't find out until around 20 weeks (if it's not a surprise)!

Staying Active

The best advice for pregnancy that I've gotten (besides "enjoy every minute") is to try to stay active. Labor and deliver will be long and physically and emotionally demanding. Being active during pregnancy can drastically help how you handle labor. I have been trying to go for walks at lunchtime, and I just ordered a prenatal yoga DVD which I am eager to try out.

This past weekend I went hiking with Sean and friends to hunt down some letterboxes in the northern Connecticut state forests. Besides the first leg of the hike that featured a freakishly steep incline, it wasn't too challenging, but I certainly felt the exertion more. I become winded very easily nowadays, and it's important while exercising and pregnant to be able to maintain a conversation, to ensure you're getting enough oxygen to the baby. I took it easy as I saw fit, and it just felt so good to get out and really move. I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day, though. And trying to hold my bladder while on the trail was probably the biggest challenge I faced the whole day.

"No hot baths! You'll cook your baby!"

Being pregnant is wonderful - I really love it. There are times though, when I just have to roll my eyes and let stuff roll off my back. There tends to be a hyper-cautious attitude when it comes to being pregnant. Don't do this, do that. Don't eat this, eat that. Well, I am finding myself happily camped out in the "Everything in Moderation" zone, and I believe that more than anything, we're given instincts as humans and parents to do what we feel is right or makes us comfortable. On Sunday, I felt it was totally right for me to take a bath.

So along with all the other advice in the world about how to grow the perfect human, hot baths are supposedly a no-no. I get it; if you're climbing into a bath or hot tub that's over 100 degrees, your body knows how to naturally cool itself, but the baby's doesn't. Be cautious. Use your noggin.  

My bath wasn't hot, probably around my body temperature, and it felt amazing after the day of hiking. I think it's been about 8 years since I took a bath and I see more of them in my future. I felt a bit like a beached whale climbing in and out, which I'm sure will be more pronounced in the near future, but being able to sit and soak and relax felt much better than a good night's sleep.

So my advice to pregnant women out there? Listen to your gut, and use your head. Be careful climbing in and out of the bathtub. Get a nonslip bathmat. I'm sure falling in the tub counts for more injuries while pregnant than the temperature of the water. I doubt you're going to cook your baby.

Hearing that sweet sound again...


Today I had a check-up and everything's looking good. We'll skip over how much weight I've gained and I'll just say I love my doctor and was really glad Sean could come with me today and meet her. She used the doppler and after wrestling with my belly a little bit to get the baby to stay in one place, we heard that sweet sound again. Thump, thump, thump... I didn't cry this time, but I am so happy to be where we are, enjoying this time in our lives. Each week seems to go faster and faster and as much as I can't wait to meet our baby, I just want to tell it not to rush, we're going at a good pace. I don't want to miss or forget a single thing.

Goodnight, sweetheart...

Also, I had another baby dream this past weekend. The third in the past month, and all three times the baby was a....well, maybe I'll leave you guessing.

April 2, 2012

Monday Meal Planning

Tell me if this has ever happened to you...

It's 4:30 on a weekday, and you start thinking about what to eat for dinner. You know you need to go to the grocery store because your fridge contains 5 varieties of ketchup, a stick of butter, and half a head of lettuce. You try to find an awesome last minute recipe online, maybe on Pinterest, but get sidetracked by a picture of a yummy looking cocktail and all you can think about is looking forward to trying that yummy cocktail....in the summer of 2013.

That's fine. You got distracted. You'll figure it out when you get to the grocery store and see what's on sale.  You proceed to buy granola bars, ice cream, cranberry juice, hand soap, a box of pasta, baby carrots, a cat toy, and a container of onion powder. You somehow spend $75 on what seems like nothing and you're no closer to having dinner figured out than you were 2 hours ago. You shrug and decide that a bowl of cereal will suffice and vow to do better tomorrow.

Sound familiar?

That happens to me all the time.

I created a meal planning document a year ago to try to be more organized, and save a little money and hassle (and nights of eating cereal). The weeks that we use it, I feel like a champion of life. The weeks we don't plan? Our diet and bank account suffers.

So I am recommitting to the meal plan. I am hoping to be more consistent and use this as a way of branching out and trying new recipes. It's natural to fall into a rut of eating the same 4 or 5 dinners when you're pressed for time. With a little planning in advance, maybe we can find some really awesome new recipes. And save some money. Because we need to.

Here's our meal plan for this week, 4/2/12 - 4/8/12:

Monday - Costco rotisserie chicken ($5), green beans and brown rice

Tuesday - Baked pork chops with mashed potatoes, green beans, apple sauce and salad

Wednesday - Quinoa pasta with baked turkey meatballs in sauce, and salad

Thursday - Homemade chicken pot pie

Friday - Dining out probably, Sean's sister is visiting for the weekend

Saturday - tentatively homemade mac 'n cheese

Sunday - Mustard glazed ham, mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls.

What are your meal planning tips and tricks? Do you start on Sunday or Monday? Do you plan according to coupons? Feel free to share in the comments!