Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The FINAL Post! - 38 Week Pregnancy Update

38 weeks and my final pregnancy post! I have 6 days until my scheduled c-section UNLESS I go into labor on my own early. Needless to say, I'm trying every self-induction technique possible! Anyone got some? This pregnancy has flown by and I'm over the moon to get this little guy here sooner rather than later! Not only is this my last pregnancy update, this is my last blog post for awhile (keep reading, I'll explain!) Thank you to everyone that has followed the journey of this growing bump!

I feel smaller, if that's even possible!
Weight Gain/Loss: 30 pounds.....I've lost a couple over the last week. 
How Far Along: 38 Weeks 1 Day
Fruit of the Week: Baby is the size of a watermelon. 
Baby Buys: Nothing for the baby, but my husband got to have a mini shopping spree at the Polo store. He was in need of some new summer clothes, and I'd like for one of us to look nice in hospital pictures! So he got some shirts and new shorts, only to have them packed into his bag!
Movement: Constantly and it's come to the point that they aren't so cute anymore. Every movement is like, "Shit that hurts!"
# of Centimeters Dilated: Haven't gotten checked since 36 weeks, so who knows!
Position: Head down and apparently he's dropped some. I haven't really noticed, besides the fact I can't cross my legs and my waddle is becoming pretty epic!
Cravings: Nothing much. I've lost most of my appetite, but force myself to eat. I don't think crushed ice fills any food group! 
Shit that Sucks: Where to begin! I'm constantly symptom checking for, "Is that a contraction!?" I've had constant cramps when I do anything that isn't laying down, apparently that is because he is lower now. I can't get comfortable in bed/on the couch/in the recliner. Bathing other children with a watermelon in your stomach is the most exhausting thing ever!
Struggles: Touching my feet! When I was pregnant with Layne, I never measured more than 36 weeks (hints why I was induced and he was just a peanut!) and he never dropped.  Well now I'm measuring 38 weeks (yay for a bigger baby!) and he's dropped so I literally can't touch my feet. Putting lotion on feet or socks on, is now requiring the assistance of my husband. It's pretty pathetic! 
Successes: I have several things to celebrate! I've stocked my freezer with all sorts of things, so that is a huge check mark on to-do list! I also prepared myself! My hair got colored, eyebrows/face got waxed, fingers and toes were scrubbed, massaged and painted and finally I got a full hour and half massage! It was seriously amazing!
Mood Swings: I'm snapping (yelling/screaming) a lot! I feel guilty about it afterwards, and I think some of it is hormone based and the other is just being tired. It's mostly aimed at our 2 year old who is on this rampage lately and wants CONSTANT attention! I get it, and I know why he is acting the way he is, but I just don't have the energy to entertain him the way he would like (playing chase, wrestling, etc.) I've promised him lots of wrestling, chasing and snuggling after the baby gets here and I'm healed up!
Milestones: Last doctor's appointment was yesterday! It was sort of weird not booking my next one as I left!
Inside the Hormonal Brain: I've decided that I'm taking a break from blogging for awhile. Considering it my "maternity leave." Not because I don't love it, but because I'm so unbelievably tired, and that is only going to increase in less than a week. I MIGHT post some announcement pictures on here once he arrives, but I will just have to play it by ear. Not making any promises. I feel guilty about not getting my Freezer Meals: Breakfast and Sides post not put together. I made them, and even took pictures, but the effort it takes to put it all together and post it, makes me tired even thinking of it. I apologize to anyone that I was looking forward to it. Maybe I'll get to it later! So for the next month or so, my consistent blog is on leave!  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Filling the Freezer: Dinner Edition

Okay, so I'm down to the wire for prepping for this baby! My little boys went to grandma's for 48 hours, so I was on the prepping rampage and that started with freezer meal preps! 

When I had Layne I made a bunch of freezer meals, but didn't try them out ahead of time. Most of them sucked, and I was mad I had wasted my time and money. Since then, I've been trying a variety of recipes ahead of time, and have found what has been the easiest and tastiest. I was going to do breakfast, snacks and dinners all together, but it got really long. So look for a breakfast and snack edition in the next couple days!

I was a teacher before staying at home, so I've learned that recreating the wheel is exhausting! So some of these recipes I got from a variety of other people and put my own twist on, and some are all mine. 

Let me preface this with saying that I have to make sure that I have enough food for 3 hungry boys and my husband, plus myself, (and MAYBE leftovers for a lunch) so feel free to downsize the portions to what would work for you! Also, there are probably healthier and more complicated ways of making sauces and spices, but my goal in this whole thing was for it to be easy! I'm busy, so time is precious! Finally, we buy ½ a cow and ½ a hog every fall, PLUS we hunt deer, so the only meat I ever have to buy is chicken. No we are not friends of PETA, but we save a lot of money by doing this, so that is why you see funny packaging for our meat!

Please Pin the hell out any of the recipes that you want! I officially feel prepared (minus my hair and nails being done) for this baby!

Also, there are some helpful tips at the bottom of this post! Be sure to check them out!

Before You Start
-Clean out your freezer! Trash old, freezer burnt stuff and organize it so that you know what you have in there! 
-Labels! If you feel like you need to be crafty for your freezer, feel free to! I used my son's construction paper, packing tape and a sharpie! But be sure you label them some how! 
-Get freezer storage items (freezer Ziploc bags, plastic containers, aluminum pans and aluminum foil) and slow cooker liners! I'm a heavy slow cooker user normally, and had never used a liner before. Needless to say, my mind was BLOWN! 


2 pounds of ground meat (I use one of deer and one of beef)
Minced onion
Minced garlic
2 packages of taco seasoning

At time of use:
Toppings (lettuce, cheese, salsa, sour cream, etc.)

Directions: Brown your meat. Sprinkle with some minced onion and garlic. Drain. Add taco seasoning while following the directions on the package. Once the mixture is cooled, place in freezer container, label and freeze.

To reheat: Thaw in container in the fridge overnight or on the counter during the day. Put meat in skillet and heat on low/medium heat until warm throughout. Serve on tortillas with your choice of toppings.  

***The Ziploc brand medium square container will hold this quantity perfectly!

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
1 ½-2 pounds of pork shoulder steak/roast
1 cup of brown sugar
1 small onion chopped
1 ½ cup of barbeque sauce (more is ok!)
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

At time of use:
Hamburger buns

Directions: Label your freezer bag with cooking instructions. Put everything into a freezer bag and mix around. Lay flat to freeze.

To cook: Thaw bag of ingredients overnight in fridge. Place in slow cooker (use a liner for easy cleanup!). Cook on low for 7-10 hours. Keep meat in cooker and shred with 2 forks. Let meat sit for 10-15 minutes in sauce before putting on buns and serving.

Meaty Marinara for Spaghetti (or anything else!)
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
1 pound of ground meat (I use hamburger or deer)
Minced onion
Minced garlic

Directions: Brown your meat. Sprinkle with some minced onion and garlic. Drain. Add both jars of sauce and then transfer to freezer container.

To reheat: Let sauce thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter during the day. Pour sauce into saucepan on stove and heat on low/medium heat until warm throughout.

***The Ziploc brand large round containers holds the entire batch of sauce.

3 pounds ground meat (I do 2 of beef and 1 of deer)
Sleeve of crackers crushed (I use saltines)
4 eggs
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Minced onion
Minced garlic
¾ cup brown sugar ( ¼  for mix and ½  for topping)

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Spray some cooking spray into an aluminum pan. Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with ½ cup of brown sugar. Cover with aluminum foil, label and freeze.

To cook: Thaw pan in fridge overnight. Preheat over at 375 degrees. Spread an even layer of ketchup over the top of the meatloaf. (Yes, over the brown sugar, trust me!) Bake for 45 minutes or until the center of the meatloaf is no longer pink. 

Chicken Enchiladas
3 cooked and shredded boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 oz of cream cheese
2 cans (4 oz. each) of diced green chilies
8-12 tortillas
2 cans of mild green chili enchilada sauce (I like Old El Paso’s)
8 oz of shredded Italian mix cheese

Directions: Heat cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl until very soft/melted. Add cream cheese to shredded chicken and mix thoroughly. Add both cans of green chilies and 1 can of enchilada sauce, then combine throughout. Spray aluminum plan with cooking spray. Assemble enchiladas by adding filling to the tortillas and then tightly rolling. This recipe will make 8-12 enchiladas, depending on how full they are filled. Place additional can of sauce into a Ziploc bag to be used at time of use, along with the shredded cheese. Cover, label and freeze. 

To cook: Thaw pan in fridge overnight. Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Pour bagged sauce over the enchiladas and top with the cheese. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until heated throughout and cheese is bubbly.

 Tator Tot Casserole
3 pounds of ground meat (I use 2 of beef and 1 of deer)
Minced onion
Minced garlic
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
Bag of tator tots

Directions: Cook ground meat with a sprinkle of minced onion and garlic. Drain. Return meat to pan and mix in both cans of cream of mushroom soup. Spray the aluminum pan with cooking spray. Spread the meat mixture on the bottom of the pan. Layer the cheese over the meat and then place tator tots on top as the final layer. (If you put the tator tops on the meat and the cheese on top of them, they will not get crispy when cooked.) Cover, label and freeze.

To cook: Thaw in fridge overnight. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cooke uncovered for 45 minutes or until warm throughout and tator tots are crispy.

Chicken Fajitas
2 green peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
3 chicken breasts
½ cup chicken broth
1 taco seasoning packet
1 tsp chili powder (or Cayenne if you want some more heat)
½ tsp paprika

At time of use:
Toppings (sour cream, salsa, guacamole, etc.)

Directions: Label freezer bag with cooking instructions. Add all ingredients to the freezer bag and seal. Lay flat to freeze.

To cook: Thaw in fridge overnight. Place in slow cooker on low for 5-6 hours. Shred chicken and stir. Let sit on warm for 10 minutes before serving.

Chicken Spaghetti
3 cooked and shredded boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
1 stick butter
1 small can sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 pkg. spaghetti
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Cook spaghetti noodles according to the package. Sauté onion in butter.  Add soups, mushrooms, garlic salt, and 1 1/2 cups chicken broth.  Spray aluminum pan with cooking spray. Add spaghetti & chicken to the bottom of the pan, pour soup mixture on top.  Cover with shredded cheese. 

To cook: Thaw in fridge overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Chicken & Rice
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks 
2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 can full of milk
1/2 can of water
2 cups uncooked Minute Rice
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Directions: Spray aluminum pan with cooking spray. In a bowl mix all ingredients EXCEPT chicken together. Pour mixture into pan. Put chicken on top of the rice mixture. Cover, label and freeze.

To cook: Thaw in fridge overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout. 

1 batch of Meaty Marinara 
1 package of oven-ready lasagna noodles (I swear by these!)
1 tub of cottage cheese
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
2 packages of Italian mix shredded cheese
2 tablespoons parsley
1 tsp garlic salt

Directions: Spray aluminum pan with cooking spray. Mix cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1 bag of shredded cheese, parsley and garlic salt together in a bowl. Spread a layer of marinara on the bottom of the pan, followed by a layer of noodles and cheese. Repeat this order until pan is full. Be sure to end on noodles with sauce over it. Cover the lasagna with the last bag of cheese (about a cup or so). Cover, label and freeze. 

To cook: Thaw in fridge overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until everything is bubbly and warm.


  1. Anything that you make that calls for cooked chicken/shredded chicken- put the raw chicken in the slow cooker with a couple cups of chicken broth for 5-6 hours. I put 2 recipes worth in in the morning, ran errands, and when I came back they were ready to go!
  2. Make a grocery list. I made all of these over 2 days (not full days by any means!). The first day I made everything that I could with what I had on hand, which is great since I had canned items that needed used! After day one I made a list of everything else I needed. In hindsight, I wish I made a list of EVERYTHING, crossed off what I had already and then went to the store and got the rest. If I had done that I would have knocked everything out in a couple hours. 
  3. Do your dishes as you go. If you don't, you will end up with no bowls to use or spoons to stir with!

Look for Filling the Freezer: Breakfast and Snack Edition coming soon!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Love Letter to the Boyfriend I Married

Dear Husband,

I would have never guessed 9 years ago when we started dating that we would be where we are today. I was a high school junior, you were the cradle robber, and I'm sure a law or two was broken in our pursuit of love and happiness! I tell you every day that I love you. I won't let you hang up the phone, or leave without letting you hear it, but I don't think I tell you why I love you the way I do.

I love you because you are selfless. Our family sort of just happened, unplanned, but yet planned all at the same time. When the decision was made for me to stay home with the kids, you supported it wholeheartedly, even knowing it would put more pressure on you. Your 40 hour work weeks, have at times turned into 70, but without complaints. You've given up some of the things that you use to love in order to make our life possible, for this I am forever grateful!

I love you because you love our boys. I've heard time and time again that watching a man love his children makes his wife love him more, and this can't be more true! When you come home exhausted, but still able to muster up the energy for a quick wrestling match with all the kids, it warms my heart. When I hear, "Daddy snuggle me," followed by several tiny feet following yours to sit down and cuddle, I'm so happy to have the man I call my husband be such an amazing father as well.

I love you because you care. You may not always show it with romantic gestures like the ones I tend to read about, but you show that you care for the boys and I in your actions all of the time. You call to see how our day is going, asking if the baby is moving around and doing well. You rush out the door to get me Gatorade after I've been up all night sick. You bring home ice cream for after the kids go to bed on days that were rough. You give me a break when you know I need it the most. You are there for all of the important moments that have happened, and share just as much joy as I do in the small things as well!

People always say that when you are young and marry young, that things will be more difficult. But I say the hell with that. You went from my boyfriend to husband when I was 21. We've been through more trials and tribulations than most couples go through in a lifetime, but have always came out on top and stronger than ever.

So on our "dating" anniversary, please know that I will always love you, care for you and you will always be my number one!

                                                                                      Your Wife

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Disappearing Hand Trick- 36 Week Pregnancy Update

I love how at the 36 weeks pregnant the doctor thinks, "Hey you are already uncomfortable as hell, let me stick my fist up your vagina, and make you repeat this weekly till he is here." Pretty much sums up my day!

Never thought it would be possible to look so flat chested! I guess the watermelon in my stomach overshadows things!

Weight Gain/Loss: No additional weight gain, still around 32ish, all depend on how swollen I am on any given day 
How Far Along: 36 Weeks
Fruit of the Week: Baby is the size of a large cantaloupe
Baby Buys: I haven't bought anything, but I'm in the processing of refinishing a "new to me" glider. I couldn't stand the thought of putting a brown piece of furniture in a white and gray room! Oh and Kayden picked out a present to give the baby at the hospital. It is one of those elephant security blanket things that all my children have had but none of them ever seem to use. It was the thought that counted.
Movement: Every night mini earthquakes occur in my stomach, it was cute the first couple times. Now I wish that he would just let me set something on my belly without kicking it off!
# of Centimeters Dilated: 0, a big fat 0! Now I know it's still a bit early for me to be annoyed with it, but my vagina bones have been feeling like they are breaking and I was hoping to get some results from my discomfort!
Position: Head down, and apparently high. So he basically is wrapped in a ball connecting to my ribs, with no desire to head towards the light!
Cravings: Crushed ice, this has been for awhile now, but it is to the point where I can't leave the house without a glass of it! My husband makes fun of me because I've now gone to the point of getting the huge plastic cup, filling it up and using a spoon with it!
Shit that Sucks: Nothing fits for the most part, and what does fit makes me feel like a whale that just washed up on the shore. I look forward to no more swelling!
Struggles: Bodily functions, yeah it's not pretty to talk about, but the struggle is real. Gas that comes out of nowhere when Jayce shifts one way or the other. This has surprised me on more than one occasion! Sneezing, even after I just went to the bathroom, still means there is a chance I could pee my pants.
Successes: Gave myself a mini-pedicure last night. Soaked my feet in the tub and then scrubbed the hell out of them. Being barefoot on wood floors 90% of the time has done a number to my feet! I then attempted to paint my toes. It looks like our 2 year old painted them, but whatever! I was out of breath, sweating and exhausted when I was done, but it was totally worth it!
Mood Swings: There hasn't been much of a "swing," but I'm extremely sensitive to everything. I've been making big deals out of NOTHING, to the point that when I'm getting worked up over something I have to ask my husband if it is legitimate or just me being hormonal. Nearly every time has been hormonal, but I still cry!
Milestones: The weekend before the baby I have booked some mommy pamper time! Pedicure, hair and a massage! Pretty damn excited about all of those!
Inside the Hormonal Brain: So, we are down to 3 weeks from today until my planned c-section, but I'm bound and determined to try to induce labor before then. I know, I know, babies come when they are ready. But because of my previous c-section, my doctor won't let me go past 39 weeks. So it is either I go into labor before then and get to attempt a VBAC or I just say fuck it and have my c-section has planned. Well I'm currently drinking red raspberry leaf tea, bouncing on a ball, and set up an appointment with an acupuncturist. Pulling out all the stops! So dear baby of mine, please, pretty please, arrive just a couple days earlier than we have planned!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Surviving Our First Family Movie Trip.......Sorta!

We had plans today to go to the opening day of the Farmer's Market, but with rain on the horizon, those changed. The idea of taking 3 small children out in the rain just didn't sound ideal. So while laying around with everyone, my husband asked if we should all go to a movie as a family, this would be a first for us. A vision of everyone sitting nicely, eating snacks and being all snuggly flashed into my mind. We quickly got ready and headed out the door, off to see the movie Home.

Layne was so excited, I snapped this mid-stride!

Now I came prepared to the movie. I had the kids' blankets, waters, snacks,Dayton's books and we even splurged for a big popcorn for everyone to share. We got situated. Kayden on my husband's lap, Layne on mine, and Dayton got his own seat. Popcorn was dispersed, snacks were rationed and waters distributed.

The Minion preview was Layne's favorite!

Dayton had a cracker in one hand and looking for more!

We went through one snack package of crackers before the previews were even over....this scared me!

Kayden sat like a champ, except for the occassional, "THERE'S A KITTY CAT! LOOK A KITTY CAT!" Layne danced with every song that came on and Dayton just sat and ate his popcorn. About half-way through the movie I thought that this was awesome. We could do this all the time! I jinxed the hell out of myself for even having that THOUGHT!

It started with a wiggle. Kayden was sitting between Jason and I on the armrest and I felt his little butter covered hands subconsciously slide over and start petting my head, He was being quiet, so I let that slide.

After all, he is pretty cute!

Then Layne took his shoes off and threw his water-bottle on the floor. When I moved the chair to get his water I noticed that while I thought he was eating his popcorn nicely, he was really making a stockpile of it between my legs. That pile went cascading to the floor, and broke his heart. This entire time Dayton sat eating his popcorn and making his occasional vocalizations, sort of sounding like we brought our pet cockatoo with us.

Jayce then shifted in my belly and I suddenly had to pee. For anyone who has experienced this, you know there is no waiting when that urge hits! So I slid Layne to Jason and rushed off, that's when things went downhill. I had broke out the Dum-Dums right before leaving, hoping that would keep everyone content. Well since Dayton eats his in one bite he was searching for more. As soon as I got back, and Kayden (who savors his suckers) was distracted, he snatched it a bit it in half. I quickly ripped it out of his hand, and returned the half-eaten sucker to Kayden, but that didn't stop the shrill that he let out and the tears that ran!

By the end of the movie, which is WAY too long for being a kids movie,  I had Layne in the Tula sling (his new obsession that is meant for Jayce) while dancing around to keep him happy and was playing some sort of defense to keep Dayton in his seat. There was popcorn and crackers in my bra, cracker cheese rubbed into my jeans and what makeup I had on was long gone. And just went I thought we were in the clear, we start walking out and Dayton takes off running. Mind you, we have a back pack, two other children that scatter like marbles and the trash we attempted to when Jason was sprinting towards the door in the direction of Dayton, I couldn't help but laugh hysterically. I'm sure people thought we were all sorts of bat shit crazy today!

The destruction we caused. Keep in mind, we started with only 3 seats!

Our attempt at a family selfie (because everyone else in the theater bolted out), turned into a grainy, wiggly, crying, missing a child, mess!

Will we do this again? Yeah, probably, I think..... It will be months before we attempt again, and at that point there will be another maniac to wrestle around, so we will see! All I know for sure, is that the shower I took when we got home was amazing!