Week 22 and Potty Training

The past week was a nice one at work-not crazy busy and I had a Friday vacation day I used for mental health and kidney ultrasounds (more on that below). But the best part of the week was that Baby Girl made huge potty training strides! Not yet 23 months and she knows when it is pee and number two time! She went in the potty so many times Thursday and Friday. I am a very proud mama if you can’t tell. Two kids in diapers is to much for me and Greg. Hopefully she told her grands when she needed to go the past day!

Friday I took a day just to take a day. I accomplished a lot, fixed old scrapbooks so that I can actually look at them without hating myself for my choices and got the room organized some more. The best part was pulling ari’s pics for her 2009 and 2010 album and making sure I had enough pages for her and the baby. When my dad asked to take her for the weekend (their neighbor is at end stage cancer and wanted to see her baby girl), I was glad to get another full day doing my passion.  Friday also was kidney ultrasound day but I won’t know more til my appt Tuesday with the specialist. We met up with parents and Grandma for Never Ending pasta bowl at Olive Garden too. All in all a good, relaxing week.

I also got my Droid 2 which means on days like today I can blog in the car! Very exciting. Secretly I am certain greg is jealous but most of the time he’s home with the net so hopefully he won’t get too cranky. 😉 in to getgo for coffee bah it’s a kiosk! (I hate allergies!) Then continuing to saegertown for my cousin’s bridal shower.

Rejuvenate

Been spending the last few days trying to rejuvenate…not always easy when we have an almost 2-year-old and a growing baby inside that keeps Mom nausea 98% of the time.  I’d like to say things are looking up, but being sick is not becoming.  Sigh.  My hope is to spend the next few weeks resting…we have ALOT of fun coming up (the ‘Ski wedding in OBX, work Kennywood picnic, family Reunions, Arianna’s birthday, Hallowboo at Idlewild, Scrap weekend in Columbus) and so resting ahead is key.  We’re just enjoying the last few weeks of summer, swimming as much as we can and eating meals outside.  My great meal plans from last week are mostly still in tact because of opportunities to eat out or with my parents, so we still have a good 7-8 days of meals planned and ready to go.  That makes life SO easy! Looking forward to a short work week this week!

Tweet Up

Last Thursday we joined our friends for dinner at Buffalo Blues (highly, highly recommend–even family friendly!) followed by a  Tweet Up at Oh Yeah! for ice cream.  The trip got wins from all of us, but mostly from Arianna who is lactose intolerant.  She’s had ice cream off and on, but it always makes her have awful diapers and even swell around the mouth.  NOT FUN.  HOWEVER, Oh Yeah! has a great selection of soy ice cream and she was in Heaven.  Her cup was absolutely devoured, she mostly used a spoon, I promise.  We also got to meet some of the great Burgh tweeters like @SecretAgentL and @Wormy920.  Greg and I both agree we’d like to go to another tweetup, and preferrably get to head out to one when I am not pregnant/sick and without the kiddos in tow.  Either way, we’ll definitely do it again.  A GREAT way to meet other awesome ‘burghers!

Baby Day at the Zoo

Last weekend we braved a very packed Zoo for “Baby Day”; however, it wasn’t everything we expected. There were some sponsor booths geared toward baby/toddlers; however, nowhere near the amount I expected.  And it was seriously PACKED. People were rude–anyone with a stroller was basically pushed out of the way by 10-12 year olds rushing to see exhibits that weren’t going anywhere. It’s really sad to see parents letting kids get away with that. Sigh.  I was a lot angrier over the situation on the day of, but it was just before another fun round of not eating anything but Jello for 2 1/2 days (so maybe it was the sick coming on).  Greg said I needed to start to write my own B%&$# Blog, but I will leave that up to the Burgh experts! 🙂 I did tell him that you know, we have this blog and he could vent on his own…maybe one day I’ll convince him to get on and get involved. Either way, we’re heading back to the zoo tomorrow for Members Night so hopefully that will be a better experience.

“Top of the World”

We love the fact that we are Pittsburgh Zoo members.  It never fails, there is always something new that sparks the little one’s interest—one time it’s the monkey house, another the penguins, another the elephants, another the koi in the “river” around the zebras and giraffes—and we always leave extremely satisfied.  The Zoo has come a long way since I was a ‘lil Burgher myself, and it is about to get one more amazing feature: “The Top of the World”.  Although it will take a few years and three phases, the fact that it is being built is awesome news for a mommy and daddy of (soon) two little ones who LOVE animals.  (Ok, and really awesome for the daddy who knows all the scientific stuff about them and loves reptiles and amphibians.)  If you haven’t heard about this coming attraction, check out the details from the article in Tuesday’s Tribune Review.

Health Care Bill & Nursing

As an expectant mom, one of my biggest fears is my maternity leave and eventual return to work. I’ve ALWAYS been hyper busy and am the one who works for the money in the house, so returning to work is not even a question—it’s happening. I’d go crazy if I didn’t! So crazy, in fact, that I’ve offered to help some school teacher friends make Literacy Stations during my leave—told you I’m nuts! But yet, I have fears. I fear that I won’t document a process well enough or train my temporary replacement how to do what I do (I am currently the only person in my department who does what I do, so can you see why I worry?) and something will go wrong (and in my mind, I am 110% to blame!). I worry that I will not have given my children enough time during my leave to truly bond with mom and they will be daddy’s kids and resent mom for working. (It sort of happened to me when I was young, I was raised by my dad while my mom worked. BUT, I have an awesome bond with my dad and a love and respect for my mother that I cannot even begin to explain—she is a super awesome hero whether she’ll admit it or not!…so I know that me working isn’t going to hurt the babies.) But most of all, I worry about how to handle my return and nursing. When I had our first child, there was no question about what I was going to do—I needed to save money and I wanted to give her everything possible I could, so naturally, I nursed. She would eat and eat and eat…and then get really gasy and sick. I kept trying for 4 weeks and finally her doctor suggested one of my fears—she was lactose intolerant and needed to be on a strict soy milk diet. Saddened, I let go of the nursing bond and put her to the bottle…she immediately showed signs of healthiness and I was ecstatic. With this baby, I definitely want to try it again, but I never had to breech the subject of nursing in the workplace because she was done 2 weeks before I went back to work. If this kid isn’t lactose intolerant, I definitely want to try again, but I am so worked up about asking for the room to block and the time to pump (I have a male boss, so I am sort of uncomfortable about that). Thankfully, even though I have nerves that might be over nothing, I read a great article in the Trib this week about how the Health Care overhaul is helping out moms who nurse: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_693157.html  So it sounds like I’ll be able to ask for a room and privacy…the only thing is that I am a salaried worker and am not sure how the bill impacts me (hourly workers get unpaid work time up to every three hours). It will be interesting to see how it all plays out—one, if the baby even gets to nurse and two, how and when I get up my courage to ask. Hey, I just blogged about it, so I can’t be that embarrassed by the fact I am giving my kid the best thing a mother can from the start, right? Stay posted.

Cute Things The Little One Does

Our kid is legally ridiculous. At 22 months, she has an incredible language base (atleast 100 words and speaking in sentences when SHE feels like it…) and is incredibly smart. Her favorite toys are her kitchen, baby, and phone. Here are just some of the cute things she has done lately…

*  Ate some fries and then put the fries in her play oven to heat them back up.

*  Fell in love with beans and blueberries.  We seriously cannot keep enough in the house.

*  Walks around in her Mama or Daddy’s flip flops–toes where they belong and doesn’t trip.

*  Tells our dog Rowdy to “Get Back, Get Back!” when Mama gets to the door after work.

*  Feeds her baby leftover oranges.

*  Begs for cookies regardless of how tired she is.

*  Chooses to wash her hands in the tub instead of the sink after using the potty because she doesn’t have to be held or rely on a stool.

*  Would prefer to take a shower instead of a bath. (How old is she?)

*  Practices her swimming moves when it’s raining.

*  “Waves a Terrible Towel” anytime anyone says “Steelers”.

*  Likes to feed chickens on Frontierville–and ONLY chickens.

We are pretty lucky to have such a silly, cute kid!  She makes our life full of blessings and we are very thankful.

Down, but not Out!

A long overdue post, I know. This past week has been yet another week of T’s and D’s in the journey to Baby #2.

If you’re wondering how our food plan went, well, we did the Ham Bbq’s but I made too much and we ended up having leftovers for three days. Yikes. This week, we’re working on the rest of the menu (tonight was stir fry veggies and rice, the baby liked, but with “Chinese” I am always hungry 2 hours later–never fails).  What’s left is breakfast for dinner and baked ziti.  I don’t know that tomorrow I will be in a mood for either of those, so it might be leftover rice turned into something.  We’ll see.

We had a good weekend minus my random sickness. My grandmother was able to come home, so we spent some time with her and family then went to my little cousins’ birthday party (full of Oakmont Bakery goodies…um, yum.).  Sunday I got in a nesting mood and we overhauled the playroom and nursery getting everything organized. The baby officially has its own closet and dresser…as well as 6 packs of Size 1 diapers and 6 packs of wipes. Thank you, couponing!  Need to remember to start picking up some Newborn’s too.

Friday I had the gumption to say I’d get to the library…that didn’t happen but I promise at some point I will get there. We are very much into Pretty Little Liars and True Blood, both with book series behind them. Soon enough, I’ll get there…but IDK when I’ll have time to read!

Other goals for this week include scrapping 2 pages by Saturday night. That’s not that hard, right? Here’s to a good week.

Progress

Last night’s dinner of burritos was amazing and so easy…however; the husband is enjoying leftovers tonight because I got sick through the night and ended up staying home today. After a sick visit to the doctor, I found out I was close to dehydration and am having an adverse reaction to an antibiotic.  *grrs* So tonight, it’s clear liquids for me and leftovers for Greg. Hopefully tomorrow I can stomach the Ham BBQs, been looking forward to this Pittsburgh Yum staple for a few days now. Some prayers for my sanity would be awesome.

Work/Life Balance

NOTE: Again, another Monday post.

It all started a long, long time ago, probably back in high school.  My days at school had to be full as they could (senior year I took 2 study halls because I had taken pretty much every class I could have and it drove me CRAZY) followed by band practice, work, and catching up on TV and ICQ.  College kept me even busier—starting work at 6 am two days a week with 5 am managing hockey practices three days a week (crazy lady, I know), taking 18-21 credits per semester, being a student leader, and spending weekends back and forth from home spending time with family and friends.  At one point for a Leadership Conference, I even presented on Time Management.  My adult life has not slowed down in the least, probably got even busier with being a mom and having a sick elderly grandmother.  Several people have commented on wishing they could have the balance I do, but let me tell you, it’s tiring.  I am so blessed to have a great husband who stays at home with our daughter and takes care of the housework and laundry.

However, there is one area where I struggle as an adult.  In high school and college, I was always able to get food whether from a cafeteria or work. There was no thought process, no planning.  When I taught elementary school, breakfasts and lunches were easy too—dinners got a little shaky but I had friends who were willing to eat dinner out OR I was so sick that it didn’t matter to me if I got an evening meal or not.  Now that I have moved back to PA and have to manage a house and work for a grocery store, it is not as easy to get meals.  Sundays, I will typically buy myself a loaf of bread or bagels to add to my desk peanut butter stash for breakfasts; however, I lack at planning lunches.  We have a café that delivers to our building, but often the options are either not all that healthy or appealing to my pregnant self.  And dinner? Forget that. The kid is guaranteed to eat a hot dog or chicken nuggets with fruit sides (we are still ferociously working on non-potato veggies and other meats, but her nickname before she was born was chicken so it has stuck with her palate apparently), so she’s an easy fix.  But for the husband and I, especially me being pregnant, we rarely can pull together a meal.

So like my good friend Amanda over at The Pantry Challenge, I have a pantry full of food that could be cooked, yet I spend $50-$70 a week on groceries.  Last year, when we blogged as a team, we’d have challenges to make meals at home and post our successes and failures.  I feel like I did pretty good, but between Arianna learning to walk and talk, Greg working at the Pizza shop, holidays, travel, and buying the house, it all fell to the wayside.  I know Greg loved when I’d cook at home, but sometimes eating dinner out is so much easier, right? Well, with a baby on the way and even with all my great couponing skills, I feel like I need something more to push us into the black for 2010 (before baby arrives and I am not working for 6-8 weeks).  For the past few weeks, I’ve been jotting down meal ideas on random pieces of paper then throwing them into a list of potential meals.  So we have our staples—I can’t do chicken right now and never was a big fan of fish or pork—and good old go to meals.  So, I am trying to plan meals based off cravings and what’s in the pantry.  There is no way I could totally pantry cook—Amanda is a hero—however, I can use what I have available to make things we really like that either Greg can have ready when I get home OR I can do up as quick casseroles for him to reheat.  (Plus, I LOVE having 2 crock pots to make anything we want sitting all day!)

This week, I have bought and prepared for five meals and planned them out like so:

Monday: Bean (or chicken for Greg) Burritos with Fiesta Taco Rice (yay rice cooker!)

Tuesday: Ham Barbeque Sandwiches and Fries

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner (Sausage, Biscuits, Gravy, and Potatoes)

Thursday: Baked Ziti Casserole

Friday: Veggie (chicken for Greg) Stir Fry (getting a hand-me-down wok is AWESOME!)

Let’s see how it all goes down, and if we are able to keep up with the house, food, and balancing being a family with a hard working mama!