4.25.2018

Drew - 4 Months Old

 

Weight: 10lbs 14oz (1%) ((we make tiny nuggets)) and 24” (27%)
And head is 30% but I forget the measurements! 

Clothes: 0-3mth will fit, but the arms are short. 3-6mth is the most ideal size right now. We also moved you up to a size 2 diaper.
 
Nicknames: Drewbie, Drew Drew, Sloop, Princess
Sleep:  You're an amazing night time sleeper. Last month, you were getting up maybe once or twice a week, and so we knew we needed to have you cry that out and get rid of it. Thankfully it took just one long night. Dad took the monitor in the guest room and let me sleep through it, and after about 90 minutes (ouch!), you fell back asleep and haven't woken up in the middle of the night since.

Schedule: With Leo, we had a schedule that we stuck to, and stuck to hard, but with you, we follow more of a routine. No two days are alike, and the only thing I really try and line up is your afternoon nap so that both you and Leo are asleep at the same time.
6:30am- Feed, up and I also pump after this feeding for 10 minutes
 8:30am- cat nap in the swing normally or if we are walking
10:30am- Feed
10:30-1:00pm - play/cat naps while we are out and about
12:30/1:00pm - Feed
1:30pm-3:30pm -Nap
3:45pm- Feed/play/bath
5:00pm-5:45pm- Cat nap (we attempt)
6:45pm-Feed and bed by 7:00pm
Health:  We are SO thankful for your perfect health
Crying:  You are LOUD. You go from zero to sixty fast, but for the most part, are easy to please.
Feeding: You are still being SO annoyingly particular about your bottles. It's super confusing and frustrating, and I'm hoping its a phase that ends soon. You will take a bottle from me, no problem. You will take one for your dad, most of the time. And that's about it. If your grandparents try, you all but refuse and will literally scream and cry and fall asleep and just refuse to eat it. I'm leaving you for a solo-vacation in two weeks where your grandparents are going to be the only people able to feed you during the day. I know that you will end up getting hungry enough to take the dang bottles, but I don't like the added stress. 
You take at least one bottle a day too, so it's not like it's an uncommon thing. Every night before bed you are taking an 8oz bottle - and you take it fast! 
Since I'm leaving for 4 days in a few weeks, I have my stock pile of pumped milk for you (40oz each day!). I've been pumping everyday, and I'm proud of myself for this, but with you starting to take more ounces each week, I did want you to be comfortable with formula if you were ever to need it. I've been adding 2 scoops to your nightly bottle, and you've taken to Holle (the same European formula we used with Leo) without any problems. 
Likes: You are a happy girl! This month you have been loving those JellyCat crinkly tail books, your bumbo, your swing, taking baths, and being around people.
Dislikes: You don't like missing a party, and want to be near people when you are awake - which we don't mind one bit. You don't like bottles ;)

Milestones:  You are giving me sweet laughs, rolling tummy to back, mimicking our faces and tounges, bringing lots of toys to your mouth and lots of two handed play. You are really close to rolling from back to tummy and already trying to sit up!  We also have you taking walks in the double Bob now, and I think this month we will start taking you out on some slow runs.
Places You’ve Gone:  With the spring season finally here, I'm getting more and more comfortable with you out and about and around more people and places. It's freeing for both of us. 
Postpartum: Mentally, I feel almost totally back to my self and have my anxiety really well managed.
Physically, I've got about 11 pounds to go. I'm sneaking in a few more nap time workouts, still running on the weekends, and hoping that we will be getting more outside walks in too. With Leo, I didn't lose the last 8ish pounds until I stopped breastfeeding, but I'd really like to see the number on the scale start trending downwards.
Leo: I stand by the fact that watching the two of you together is one of my life's greatest joys. It just melts me and he's SO good with you. Gentle, and sweet, and loving, and it makes me very proud. He does, of course, think that everything is his, and want's whatever you have, but I think that's just to be expected. 

4.23.2018

Weekend Recap

Thankfully - Mother Nature figured her shit out and showed up with a glorious weekend! Honestly, when I woke up to birds chirping and the sun shining on Friday morning, I thought I was going to do literally break into dance every three minutes. It felt SO good.


We stayed after school on Friday morning with some friends and hung out at the schools playground which was a nice way to cap off the week. 


Our master bedroom needs a lot of work - it's a huge room and I'm just not sure how to even fill it. The walls are bare right now because we have to paint it, but it's so big, we just keep putting it off. Thankfully I found some really pretty pillows, and so little by little its getting there.  


Friday afternoon, I got the kids all bathed and fed, and then I snuck out to join my mom and her girlfriends to go see the movie I Feel Pretty.


Not only did the movie theater serve beer (so fun!), but the movie couldn't have been cuter. It was funny, smart, sweet, and overall really enjoyable.

Related image

Saturday morning I got a long run in outside (!!!), and then Joel kept the kids that morning so I could run a few errands and get my nails done. 


After nap, our friends Jenna and Zach came to spend the evening with us. We ended up ordering dinner from the BBQ spot, Moontime Smokin' Que that we really like, and then played games (Euchre, which was really fun!) until almost midnight.


Sunday morning once Jenna and Zach left, I got in another run, and then we played outside for most of the morning. Some of our neighbors stopped by and we just enjoyed the beautiful day.


Sunday night we had a great dinner and my parents, and felt like Spring may have officially decided to show up! 

.

4.19.2018

Weekly Menu....and dinner thoughts.




I'm fresh outta jokes around here. The weather the last few (like 6, 16, 66,....I don't even know at this point) has been the worst of the year for me! I can handle winter in October/Nov/DecJan/Feb and even March....but April!!!! I just hope that this spring never repeats itself! 

In other news, I some how got myself to cook most of the week - even though multiple nights I really wanted to just throw in the towel and call the nearest delivery option!

I've shared most of these dinners, but in case you're in need of some fresh ideas for your rotation, I thought I'd share what we've been eating around here. 


 Letterfolkco


Sunday: We did tacos on Saturday, and used the leftovers for Taco Salad



Monday: Kale Chicken Ceaser Salad with homemade Ceaser dressing



Tuesday: Turkey Burgers (I only used the bottom bun) and Sweet Potato Fries

 

I got smart and started buying pre-made sweet potato fries. I've been buying these, and while I don't love all of the extra ingredients - they have honestly been such a time saver that I'm sticking with them for a little while. 

Image result for alexa sweet potato fries 

Wednesday: Spicy Soba Noodles *I add shredded chicken and for the veggies use a pre-bagged slaw with a pre-bagged Asian Salad

            


Thursday: I'm making these Designer Bags & Dirty Diapers Black Bean Enchiladas ... one of Joel's favorites.

Image result for designer bags red enchiladas


I'm still going strong with Jewel (our local grocery store) delivery. I would give it an A- overall.....only missing points because once a week they don't have exactly what I want (the particular type of Greek yogurt, or the wrong size of the Veggie Sticks I'd like), but to be honest, the pros FAR outweigh the cons so I'm sticking with it for the foreseeable future.

A few friends have asked if I'm spending the same amount, and I think it's been pretty consistent with what I was spending in the store - which is about $150/week....on just groceries (more is spent at Target, Costco, Trader Joe's, and the Liquor store on any given week...unfortunately!)  AND - we typically order in one dinner a week and go out to a lunch or a dinner 1x/week as well.
AND

I give myself major props for getting somewhat healthy dinners on the table most nights of the week. It's something that I enjoy doing and it's a service (honestly) that I like to provide to my family as well. But, it's something that I've also gotten pretty good at.

I can now churn out really good dinners pretty easily, and most of the time I have about 80% of the dinner or the prep work done by lunch time. I think that has been the key for me actually enjoying
+oking dinner because it hasn't turned into a complete chore at the worst time of day.

4.16.2018

Weekend Recap

I'm going to be honest, overall, the weekend kind of sucked.

There was plenty of fun mixed in, but when it's snowing, cold, and gray all weekend long in the middle of April - it tends to do a number on one's mood.

Thankfully I knew the shit weather was coming, so I made sure that we packed in full outside days prior too. We took super long walks, got in lots of time on the swing set, and had a fun happy hour playdate with our closest friends.




Come Friday, the nasty weather set in. I had the kids bathed by the time Joel got home, we ordered in chicken pitas from our favorite spot (Tommy's), had groceries delivered, and then Joel went to a neighbors to play ping pong and I watched a Trading Spaces marathon.



Saturday morning I had my dreaded Illinois Driver's Test.


I'm happy to report that I passed on the first try! I did miss 3 questions (I switched up 2 signs), but I'm glad I studied, the test isn't all that easy. I had to wait in line in the freezing rain which wasn't fun, but I was home by 8:30 with a big task out of my way.

When I got home, I cleaned out the kids closets and got an idea of what they need for the summer.


No joke, Leo is wearing size 12 month shorts again. The kids waist is so small! I have tons of 18mth and 2T shorts for him that are wayyyy to big, so hopefully they'll fit him next year. He's all Shields. 

After both kids went down for nap, we watched the Cubs game and then my cousin Liz and her two kids came over.


We made tacos and the kids basically went insane and run and chased each other for the entire 3 hours. 


Im so glad that it worked out that they were able to come though because Leo was desperate for some activity and the three cousins played so well together.


Sunday night we had horrible weather. Tons of aggressive rain, icy, and wild wind. I was actually shocked the power didn't go out, but when it flickered at 6:50 in the morning, it totally freaked Leo out.


We all ended up in our bed which actually turned out to be blissful. I got to enjoy two cups of coffee in bed, and then after breakfast, both Joel and I were able to sneak in runs on the treadmill.

The morning included an extra pot of coffee, the movie Sing, lots of stickers, some online shopping, and then finally some mimosas and books.

 

 

 

The first half of the day was kind of painfully slow, and after no naps and total cabin fever set in, we decided that everyone needed to get the heck out of the house. 

 

We loaded everyone up and hit the road for our favorite weekend spot: Crystal Lake Brewery!

It was just what the doctor ordered and turned everyone's moods around! 

When we got home, we had chili that Joel had made over nap time, facetimed my family that is in Mexico, and just relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Please, please, PLEASE let this be the last "weekend recap" that includes snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

{D├ęco} 30 messages originaux pour Letters boards!

4.13.2018

Five on Friday

::: 1 :::
Would love to renovate a classic beetle. Then take it for a drive somewhere - nowhere                                                                                                                                                     More
My 30th birthday is sneaking up on me (May 8th), and currently what has me the most freaked out about turning 30? Failing the drivers test at the DMV. I'm going tomorrow and ripping the bandaid, so please send good thoughts my way that I pass! 
::: 2 :::
levis denim jacket straw tote beach bag #summerstyle #fashion
Speaking of birthdays.....I'm trying to coordinate a little birthday get together to celebrate with friends before I head out to California, and both of those occasions have me facing the reality that I need a major closet overhaul. I don't have any clothes for the summer .... last summer I was pregnant and this summer has me somewhere in between and I'm just not sure if I want to be investing in clothes for my inbetween state. BUT, with that being said, I actually don't have any clothes, so I'm really not quite sure what to do. I actually hate shopping, but also hate walking into my closet every morning so that's where I'm at.
::: 3 :::
 
This is turning into a stream of consciousness, and not to be the ultimate consumer, but my kids are in need of a summer wardrobe as well. I'm not really sure what I will like having Drew in, but I know I need to stock up on some shorts, tee's, and workout-y clothes for Leo. He lived in his Keen's last year, so I recently bought him the same pair in a bigger size.  I also keep hearing about these zip-front rash guards (swimzip.com) for toddlers, so I think we are going to try one out for both kids this summer and see if we like it - seems to make a ton of sense to me! 

Little Boy Long-Sleeve Rash Guard Set with UPF 50+ UV Sun Protection - Hampton Get Away (Red)Little Boy Long-Sleeve Rash Guard Set with UPF 50+ UV Sun Protection - Hampton Get Away (Red)Little Boy Long-Sleeve Rash Guard Set with UPF 50+ UV Sun Protection - Hampton Get Away (Red)Image result for zip up rash guard toddler boy zip
::: 4 :::
 Kelley Nan: Front Porch Throughout the Seasons and Why Ferns in Urns are the Way to Go
This weekend marks the beginning of some Spring cleaning and updating Joel and I are doing. On our list; adding a screen door for our patio (which is insanely expensive), staining the deck, adding some landscaping and some spot lights to existing trees on the property, and buying a new loveseat, table and rug for our patio. All of the above won't happen this weekend, but I'm excited to spruce up the outside a bit and start using it soon!

::: 5 :::
I'm sure I've discussed this before, but do you use Chatbooks? I'm pretty obsessed. I print a book quarterly, and it's been my favorite way to store all of the pictures I take. I keep an album on my phone of the season (so currently, "spring"), and add pictures to that album as I go that I know I want included in the book. I normally have about 80/90 pictures and with that and the upgraded hardcover, it normally costs me around $30 dollars a book. I'm loving the little collection we've started, and now all of my family members look forward to each seasons book. 

✨✨
This weekend will be pretty low key. Even though the Spring weather has been hit or miss, we're going to start some spring cleaning and organizing and crossing off items on the never ending to-do list.

4.11.2018

Two Amazing and Easy Dinners

I'm throwing both of these into one post but we had both of these dinners last week and they were SO good.

Basically created my own really easy beef and broccoli bowls - and you don't really need a recipe, but I thought I would share in case you need something new.


All you need: 
  • Soyaki (from Trader Joe's)
  • Brown Rice
  • Broccoli
  • Skirt Steak 


Directions: 
Marinade skirt steak with soyaki for 4 hours prior to cooking. In skillet, cook skirt for 4 minutes on each side and then let rest under foil to desired temp. Add broccoli to skillet after steak is moved to foil for 5 minutes (for tender). Serve over brown rice.

And this next recipe you HAVE to make.

I make a ton of soups, and this honestly might be one of the better ones I've ever made. I used this recipe and followed it very closely.

Crock Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup

 

I would say the most difficult part of this soup is making the roux, but really, that isn't hard and this soup is so dang good it's worth it. Also, this recipe makes a ton and would do well with potatos too if you are a potato fan.

What you need:
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • minced  garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons salt-free seasoning blend (such as Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute OR Mrs. Dash’s Original Blend) I used a blend from The Spice House and it was amazing.
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 
 1. Chop veggies and add them along with chicken, rice, broth, and seasoning to the crockpot. Cook high for 4 hours
2. Shred chicken after about 4 hours
3. Melt the butter and oil in a saucepan. Add the flour and let the mixture cook for 1 minute. Whisk the mixture slowly while adding in the milk. Continue to whisk until all lumps have dissolved. Allow the mixture to thicken and become creamy and then add to the crock pot.
 

4.10.2018

Weekend Recap







 

 Ohhhh was I happy to see Friday arrive. 

Drew is honestly the sweetest, cutest little bundle and I love her with every bit of me but the girl is stubborn! She had kind of a tough week with just giving me short little cat naps, not enjoying taking the bottle from anyone but me or Joel (SO annoying), and I just felt like I heard crying all week long. 

By 5pm, these were both mine.

 

Plus - it was snowing and the weather all weekend looked pretty bleak, so I was in a ripe little mood. 

Thankfully, I made the best crock pot soup, (deets to come on that tomorrow).


 We got the kids in bed and just hung out on the couch and relaxed on Friday night which was lovely. 

Saturday morning both Joel and I got in workouts and then we dropped Leo off at his grandparents so we could take Drew to get her passport. 

We ran a few errands after our appointment and then took advantage and snuck in a little lunch date. 

 

It was such a treat to have lunch with Joel and it's so funny how being with just one kid now totally feels like a vacation. 

Saturday afternoon we tried to get a few things done around the house and then Joel's parents came over for dinner. 

Joel's mom made a shrimp paella and then once the kids were down we played a few rounds of RummyKub. 

 

Sunday - another crappy weather day (which I'm getting SO tired of) - Joel and I both got in workouts and then I took the kids to my parents for a bit. Joel ended up grabbing Leo to take a nap at home, but Drew and I stayed back and just hang. 

My mom and I worked on a puzzle most of the afternoon while my dad watched the Master's and then the boys came back over and we enjoyed the best dinner .
 
 

I don't have a recipe for this, my dad used a base of a regular chicken marsala recipe he found online and then played with it himself. It was as good as it looked. 
 
 

We were home pretty early, got the kids to bed, and then Joel and I had a cocktail and watched Queer Eye for the Straight Guy which obviously had me crying. Such a sweet show.