Friday, March 24, 2017

Day in the Life: Full Time Working Mom edition

Every now and then, I like to document a “Day in the Life” to look back and see how our lives are changing and have stayed the same. I knew I wanted to document a day after I returned to work from my maternity leave, but certainly wasn’t expecting our house to fall apart like it has. (By the way, it’s still a wreck. We’re hoping and praying that it’s completely resolved soon. We’re closer than we’ve been that’s for sure. Cabinets have been put back in, floors have been repaired, everything's dry, new flooring has been picked out, I guess now we’re just waiting on the new flooring to come in and schedule the install. When that happens, all of our big furniture will be moved out and stored for 2-3 days or until the new floor is done and ready for our use. We’ve been making the best of it, staying at my parents’ house on days/nights that our house was just unlivable, trying to keep positive attitudes, but it’s been a month now….and I want my house back.)  Anyways, my motto during all of this has been “life goes on” and it does.

I documented Wednesday, as best as I could remember, #twinmombrain took over for most of the night and I realized at bedtime I hadn’t taken a single pic of anything that night – oh well. (and  yes, I play this “album” on my phone throughout the night for the girls to sleep to…heck, we all sleep to it, ha)



Technically my day started at 3:19a when Amelia started getting fussy in her rock and play next to our bed. It took a while but she finally calmed down and went back to sleep. Then naturally, she started waking up at the same time I needed to get up. (They still sleep in our room in their Rock and Plays…a MUST for any new or expecting parent! We’ve slowly been trying to transition them to their cribs, because, well, they’re almost 6 months old and they’re starting to outgrown the Rock and Plays…it’s just time.)

Usually they’ll sleep just long enough for me to get up around 5am and get myself ready, then I’ll be totally ready to change, feed, etc before leaving for work. Instead, Amelia woke up early, so it was just me and her for about 45 minutes.


We chatted, laughed, changed a diaper, ate a bottle, watched the news and rocked back to sleep for a while so I could get a quick shower.



While I was getting a shower, Stephen got up with Mae Parker, changed and fed her. His mom was still gone on her big two week trip, so we’ve been toting the girls around every day to different family and friends who have so willingly offered to keep them. To help our mornings out these past two weeks, I pack bags and make bottles along with packing my lunch and laying out my clothes the night before so everything is  just ready to grab and go the next morning.


We buckled the girls up in their pj’s and headed across town to my cousin Sarah’s house.


I just love driving through “the old part of town” every day!



Once I unloaded at Sarah and Robert’s their daughter Arabelle was PUMPED to say the least about playing with “her babies” that day!!


I left the girls and got to work later than normal because of A LOT of school traffic in that area that I’m not used to. (And I might throw in Sarah text me before I even got to work telling me both girls were already asleep!) I settled into my cozy little corner of the hospital and got to work on some orders I had left behind from the day before.


 I won’t bore you with 8 hours of what I do for work, but I was in a Kenny Chesney mood yesterday, so non-stop KC on Spotify it was!


My dad came by to visit a lady from our church who was here as a patient and he swung by my office. Just like old times! I miss our daily chats since he retired.


Before long it was lunchtime, and again in preparing as much as I can for a day, I packed up some leftovers the night before. Pot roast, green beans and mac & cheese. It may look like a hot mess but it was a tasty lunch.


Sometime around 1:30, Stephen finished work for the day and picked up the girls. They made a trip to the bank and then headed home. I didn’t leave work until 3:30. I made a quick stop by Aldi for a few things and made it home just in time for the girls next bottles.


 They were getting fussy so we plopped them in their Bumbo seats until we unloaded my car started a load of “sink water” to let their bottles from the day soak, and started new bottles.


After bottle time, Stephen washed all the bottles from the last 24 hours. We typically wash all bottles and bottle parts we’ve used from the previous night and throughout the day between the 4:30pm and bedtime feeding.


While he did that, I packed the girls bags for the next day, made bottles, got my lunch and clothes ready.


Both girls were awake and happy and I took advantage of it! Over the weekend, I had washed the next size up of clothes, and pulled out all the remaining newborn size clothes in their closet and dresser. Needless to say, there were clothes EVERYWHERE in their room. I mean, what’s one more mess in our house right now anyway, right?! I knew I could occupy them long enough with Disney music, toys and sitting beside them to play and talk while I bagged everything up.



My parents also dropped by during this time (the beginning of my photo failures) to pickup a couple things for the next day since they were keeping them yesterday, and then around 6:45 Amelia and Mae Parker went down for a nap.


They slept for about 45 minutes when we decided we were starving and had to eat something.  I was able to put MP down and throw together a leftovers’ smorgasbord dinner. Sometime around 8, Stephen’s mom and dad stopped by. She had just returned home a couple hours earlier from her nearly two week trip to Israel and Jordan…it goes without saying she was READY to see her grandbabies! She gave them both their bedtime bottles, they stayed through bathtime and then left around 9:15 while we were rocking them to sleep. 


(No, this is not the same photo as the previous one, but yes pretty much is. And no, we don’t normally do the same babies. We try to switch them up between us, but sometimes you just grab one and go. It’s survival mode at times.) MP goes to bed at night like a champ and sleeps all night. Amelia usually does too, and with me getting bags ready for the next day, bottles, my lunch and my clothes laid out for the next day..I’m typically ready to go to bed as soon as the girls do. I probably haven’t gone to bed before 9:30 since I was a kid, but hey, no complaints here! Haha


HOWEVER, Amelia had a hard time on this night. Stephen tried twice putting her to bed and both times she wasn’t having it. I tried the third time. She was pitifully whiney, so I gave her some gas drops and patted her back while I held her. She burped two more times and after that settled right down for the night, and so did I…Bedtime Beethoven and all. 


You can see into other Day in the Life posts here, here and here - oh life has changed!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Currently: March Edition


It’s mid-month, so I’m sharing some current things on my mind!!

Pondering…the “what if’s” of our home repair. What if we had found the leak sooner? What if our insurance company says, “hey, enough’s enough, you’re on your own”. What if the flooring we pick out takes weeks to order and come in? What if the cabinet they took out, don’t go back in to fit? SO many what if’s floating around.

Dreaming…of a good, long nap in a soft comfy bed and maybe watching a Hallmark movie or 2. I really think if I ever have any “me time” again…this is what I want to do!

Cooking…Nothing! Despite our best efforts to save a few essentials to carry on a somewhat normal home life in the midst of our near gutted kitchen, the movers packed up what little we left behind and left it in stacked in boxes in our living room. We’d be having dinner at bedtime by the time I searched through the boxes trying to find each thing I needed. #noma’am

Enjoying…my mother in law’s vacation pictures. Every year she, her mom, her aunt, uncle and sometimes a couple cousins go on a BIG trip to some far off destination. Currently they are around Israel and site-seeing to many of the “Holy Land” tour stops. We all use an app, Viber, to text and picture message throughout the day when she’s gone on her “big trips”. They are 7 or 8 hours ahead of us, so their adventures are ending when our days are beginning. We get our daily photos from her every morning while she’s gone. It’s unreal some of the places they are getting to see and experience!

Packing…what feels like our entire house, ha. With Stephen’s mom gone, we’ve had to make alternate arrangements for the girls for two weeks. We’re blessed with such good family and friends who’ve volunteered to take care of the girls, some of them even using a vacation day to keep them! BUT, have you ever packed for TWO babies…every day…for two weeks!? WHEW! I’ve got it all down to a pretty good organized system, because, well, have you met me?! Ha Regardless, it’s still a lot more work on our weekday mornings than we’re used to. Not to mention going all over the county (and surrounding counties) to drop off and pick up when we’re so spoiled to drive 1o minutes down the road. Such is our sob story life right now…half the house is gutted, two 5 month old babies, a different schedule every day for 2 weeks…our plates are full. BUT our cups are overflowing with blessings.

Changing…pediatricians. It’s not necessarily that we’ve had a bad experience, we’ve just found a different provider that’s a better fit for our family. If we’re trusting the health and well-being of our daughters to someone, it’s important to us to feel like it’s a good fit and that they REALLY matter to the doctor.

 Planning…still thinking ahead to the girls’ first birthday party. We have a location in mind, we’re just waiting to see if timeframe and price wise it works out. If so, it’ll be great!

Giving…Random Acts of Kindness! For Stephen’s aunt Kim’s 46th birthday coming up on Sunday, instead of gifts, she’s asked friends and family to complete Random Acts of Kindness in hopes that 46 good deeds will be done for her birthday. How cool is that?! We’ve been mulling around a few ideas and I’ve already checked one item off the list..we’re hoping to sneak in a couple more by Sunday. Happy Birthday Kim! We love you!


Linking up with Shelly!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Recipe Club: Stuffed French Bread


Today, I'm linking up with my blogger friends Johannah and Heather for their monthly recipe linkup!! Before our house was ripped apart (see yesterday's post here), I tried a couple new recipes and managed to remember to snap some pics along the way. 

Today, I'm sharing a recipe I found online here for Stuffed French Bread. 


I typically have ground beef portioned off from a large pack that I keep in the freezer. I feel like I get in a rut with ground beef recipes. Spaghetti, tacos, meatloaf, hamburgers, meatballs, stuffed peppers, the list gets boring. I ran across a Pinterest post..you know one of those "25+ Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners" kind of posts. This one was included along with another that I'll share next month. It sounded easy peasy and tasty, so it was added to our menu plan for that particular week. (and I had everything on hand to make it except for the loaf of bread). 

Here's what you'll need: 

Loaf of French Bread
1 - 1 1/2 lb of ground beef
2 TBS chopped onion (ok so I used half an onion and it was great)
1/2 c chopped celery
1 tsp garlic
1 can cream of mushroom
2 TBS milk
2 tsp Worcestershire
Salt & Pepper
2 cup shredded cheddar


Here's what you'll do: 

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
-Slice the loaf of bread in half and hull out the insides of each half. (Save the bread.)


Cook your ground beef, onion, celery and garlic until done. Drain grease and return to stove. Stir in cream of mushroom, milk, worcestershire, salt and pepper. Simmer 5-10 minutes. 


Mix bread pieces into meat mixture. (This part sounds awful, but play along...it turns out good!) 


-Chat with a cute baby / sous chef. Oh my floors..I miss having a floor. 


-Spread meat mixture on bread halves. (I used 2 small loaves which you'll see in a minute.)


-Top with cheese.


Place other half on top of loaf. (or loaves depending on what your store's bakery has that day)


-Bake for 15 minutes or so until cheese is melted.


-Slice up and enjoy!

This was a super easy weeknight dinner and made so much that the mister and I had lunch covered for a couple of days. It's VERY filling. It refrigerated and reheated very well too...much better than I anticipated honestly. We both loved it and will definitely be making this recipe for years to come. 




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why You Should Randomly Pull Your Refrigerator Out

Many of you follow along with me on Instagram and have probably noticed I’m slightly obsessed some days with IG story. Some people I just scroll right past, but others I’m all “WHOO HOO A NEW STORY!” It’s close to an addiction of which I’m voluntarily admitting.

Life around here lately has been full of the unexpected that I thought I'd drop in today to share a bit of what's going on on the home-front. 



Weekend before last Stephen had gone down to our crawl space to get something for me. (Our crawl space is quite large and we keep just a few storage totes down there.) He noticed some small puddles of water toward the middle of our house. The next day, my parents were over to visit the girls and he and I both went down there to see if we could do some further investigating while the girls were being looked after upstairs.


We found the water was coming right down THROUGH the flooring. Ugh. Later that night, my cousin’s husband came and looked around and found the source of the leak within just a minute or two. There was a small hole in the water supply line to refrigerator. Instead of it leaking out and having water in our kitchen, which would’ve been the fast way to realize we had a problem, it leaked down through the flooring for who knows how long. He prepared us that the repairs that would soon be following would be somewhat extensive. An insurance claim was filed that night. (And I’ll be shameless enough to admit that insurance coverage never entered my mind for this.)

The next day, an insurance adjuster came.


The next day the repair / construction company came to take their measurements. Later in the afternoon, two ladies came and packed up our house. Ok, they didn’t pack it all up, but it sure felt like they did. In a matter of two hours, everything in our living room and kitchen was same as gone. Perfectly packed and secured into what seemed like a million boxes. They would end up hauling them off to their storage units until the work is completed.


The next day (we’re at Wednesday at this point), we were told that only the “infected area” of flooring would be ripped up that day and possibly fans and a large dehumidifier brought in. When I came home, ALL of the flooring had be ripped up. ALL. GONE. I wasn’t quite prepared for the state of affairs our house would be in when I came home that afternoon. We were told to leave the fans on 24/7…but we quickly said, nope, we’re turning them off to sleep..we have 2 babies to deal with. Sleep…of any amount…is a hot commodity around here. *Did I mention that said fans are L.O.U.D.??? Gracious are they loud!



On Friday they came back to take a “reading” of the dryness. Whatever level or rating they give water damage flooring to be considered dry and move on to the next step is 15. Our kitchen was 100 and front bathroom 60 something. Needless to say, we’d get to enjoy the fans all weekend. I’m not going to lie, those first two nights were hard. I felt like I couldn’t LIVE in my own home. It felt empty and cramped at the same time and was incredibly NOISEY. I couldn’t take it and knew I couldn’t sleep there, so I packed the girls up and we ended up spending the weekend a mere 5 minutes away from home at my parents’ house. SO many times throughout the weekend, I felt like maybe we were imposing and maybe we should go home, but my mom and dad have both said since then that they loved having us there and missed us. 


We packed up and headed back home on Sunday afternoon and have been there ever since. Stephen and I are both over it all already. We’re ready for the fans to GO. When they checked the dryness level on Tuesday, the kitchen was down to 40 something and the bathroom was down too. We hate those stupid fans, but we know there’s NOTHING we can do about it and hopefully soon they’ll be gone one afternoon when we get home.



So what’s next…our insurance adjuster is waiting for a lab sample from our flooring to come back. This will help them determine what our overall remodel budget will be. Then, we’ll be sent to pick out new flooring. Every day it’s a different story regarding our cabinets. One day, yes they’ll have to come out. The next day, no the cabinets are fine and will stay put, furniture will be moved out, new flooring will be installed. The washer and dryer will be moved out of the laundry room and that flooring will be put down. The vanity and toilet will come out, new bathroom floor laid, and then reinstall everything. Finally, the moving / packing ladies will come back to clean and unpack.


(Yes, that's a toilet in our bathtub...the bathroom vanity and toilet have been removed in the photo before this one.)

It’ such a hassle living there around these fans right now and living around the cramped bedrooms where everything that wasn’t packed up has been stuffed into. We’re literally stepping over piles of stuff to get to what we need. The fans are so loud, you can’t hear the person 5 feet from you unless they’re shouting. It’s not fun, but there are positives and I try to remind myself of such daily.




Even though it’s a chaotic mess, we still have a roof over our head to keep us dry, 4 walls to keep us warm, a soft fluffy bed to collapse into a night, and two perfectly healthy girls. While this all happened out of the blue with zero warning, we’re still thankful for our overflowing cup. (p.s. AND THEN, I walked out of the house Thursday morning to discover I had a flat tire...Murphy’s Law.)

**Update since I first wrote this post: more problems found. Shocker, right? So we have 2 subfloorings. The top layer has to come out, kitchen  cabinets removed, sink removed, stove taken out, blah blah blah. We've been told we're the company's priority #1 customer at this point. They're doing a good job, but it's just a long process regardless of who's doing it. With two babies and a house torn apart, it's gotten old really quick. BUT, once it's done, everything will be back to normal! We will never love normal as much as we will the day we come home and all the work is finished!**

The moral of the story: just randomly pull your fridge out and make sure there are no leaks. It can save your floors....and cabinets....and sink...and bathroom...We need a vacation. 


I feel ya girl.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Faves

It's been a few dozen Fridays since I've posted a Favorites - so here we go with some of my favorites from this week!!

|one|

Thursday nights are Family Night for us. If you follow me on Instagram you saw a few little videos in my story feed last night. What I didn't include was this over the moon sweet moment of our youngest nephew, Colin reading to our little Amelia. 


|two|

Earlier this week, I snuck a couple hours away after work to freshen up my hair. I'm really not sure if there's ANYTHING else I love more than getting my hair done. I've told practically everyone I've ever known, if I win the lottery one day I don't want a maid, I don't want a cook, I don't want a chauffeur, I just want a someone to do my hair every day. Anyone else with me? 


|three|

The easiest and best side dish is roasted veggies! Green beans, asparagus, sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, brussel sprouts, broccoli....the list goes on. A little EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic and any other seasonings you wish...bake at 400 for 30 minutes or so...perfection every time! (we're also a fan of polenta as a side especially with pork tenderloin)


|four|

I love how Timehop reminds me of significant (and also the lame insignificant day to day) memories. This week it reminded me that we were house shopping 3 years ago. We looked at 6 or 8 houses in one day and then turned around a did it again with 6 or 8 more houses a few days later. The house we bought was the next to last house we looked at. When we saw it, we just knew it was the one we wanted. 


So we've gone from looking at houses and homeowners leaving their dogs behind during showings (dumb move folks) to now picking out new flooring to replace the perfectly good flooring we had. More on that saga next week. 


|five|

Next week my mother in law leaves for her annual around the world trip. She'll be gone for almost two weeks, so we've had to make other arrangements for our girls during the days. We are SO SO fortunate to have friends and family willingly offer to help us out. It also doesn't hurt that it's falling on Spring Break week here, so I've got teacher family members and friends sparing a Spring Break day to take care of our girls. We joke that Amelia and Mae are about to go on a two week adventure around to so many different people, but we know they'll be loved and well cared for! 


Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a great weekend! 

Linking up with : Andrea, Karli and Christina