Day In The Life – January 2015

One of the bloggers I follow does a Monthly “Day In The Life” post and I always enjoy them. I think its fun to see how other people manage their daily lives. Granted, one day only gives you a glimpse but still interesting nonetheless.

Since I enjoy getting a sneak peek into others’ daily routines, I thought it would be fine to start doing the same.

Day In The Life - Jan 2015

Here’s a day in my life – January 15th, 2015

I’ll be honest…I may have hit the snooze button a time or two this morning. I had showered the night before but sleeping on a wet head left me with some crazy hair so I was going to need extra time for styling – something I don’t do on the regular!
Wakeup

Before I knew it, I was joined by my first sleepy head. She went potty and played on her iPod for a bit while I finished getting dressed and doing my makeup.
Someone joins me

Then we headed down for our breakfast and devotional time. We both really enjoy having this one-on-one time every day. Breakfast & Devotional

After we finished eating, I sent Brooke upstairs to brush her teeth and hair while I packed up a few more things. I needed to put together my pump parts and throw something together for lunch. When I got upstairs, I picked out some clothes for Brooke and got started stuffing diapers. I get mad at myself every time I leave this for morning but I tend to do it anyway.
Stuffing Diapers

Keith typically will wake up Leah and get her dressed while I do my last minute things. Today I needed to fix the crazy that was my hair. When Keith and Brooke needed to leave for school, Leah got comfy watching cartoons while she waited for me to finish up. Leah waits

Pretty soon, I had finished my primping and prepping. Right before we left, Leah nursed and I caught up on The Chew on Hulu. I love that show and this is pretty much the only time I have to watch TV on a regular basis.
Morning Nursing

Then we get all bundled up and into the car! It’s about 15 minutes from our house to daycare and then about 10 from daycare to my office.
Leah Ready To Go

Finally I get to work and have a seat at my desk. The beginning of the year is a busy time for me because my main responsibility right now is to facilitate the implementation of new financial protection products (life insurance, disability insurance, etc.) To keep track of all the balls I have in the air, I took a few minutes to write down my main priorities for the day and map out how I was going to allocate my time between these tasks and the various meetings I had scheduled.

These printables are from Money Saving Mom (free on her site) and Life as Mom (fro her Organizing Life as Mom ebook)
Plan My Day

11:00 am is set aside on my calendar every day for a trip to the Mother’s Room. I really like having this little chunk of time every day to sit in a quiet room and read on the Kindle (this is when I’ve been keeping up with my Bible reading plans on the YouVersion.com app) or scrowling through social media on my phone.
Mother's Room

Finally, the meetings were over and the clock hit 4:30 and it was time to go get my girls!! On my commutes I like to listen to podcasts, mostly about online business/entrepreneurship or motherhood. This day I was checking out Pat Flynn and Chris Drucker’s new podcast, The 1 Day Business Breakthrough Podcast.
Podcasts

First up, I pick up Leah! Then Brookie!! Brooke made paper cup “telephones” at her after-school program and Leah thought it was great fun that Brooke shared with her.
Pick up the Girls

Thursday nights our standing menu is Grilled Cheese and Popcorn. However, on this particular day, I found less than half a loaf of bread in the pantry when we got home. Oops!! I had to come up with an alternative quick and that turned out to be Breakfast Burritos!
Breakfast Burritos

After dinner, while we worked on cleaning up dinner, Keith and Brooke worked on spelling words. Leah just made trouble like an 18 month old does best!
Practice spelling

We had a little time to kill before it was jammie time so we played BUBBLES!! This is a favorite around our house lately.
Bubbles

Sleepy time! We divide and conquer with this task. Keith took the lead getting Brooke ready for bed and I got Leah. We nursed til she fell asleep and by about 9, I’d laid her down. This has been taking longer lately so I think some changes to our bedtime routine are coming.
Ready for Bed

At this point, I was exhausted and had forgotten that I was keeping track of what I was doing. Typically what happens is I come down and join Keith in the living room and watch TV until bedtime. I always have great intentions of blogging, prepping for the day before or working on a project but rarely do I follow through with that.

Somewhere between 10:00 and 11:00, I went to bed to rest up for the next day to do it all again!

I hope you enjoyed a small glimpse into a day in my life. If you enjoyed this type of post, please leave me a comment to let me know I should keep doing them. If not, let me know what else you’d like to see!!

Ultimate DIY Bundle is Here – but Almost Gone!

There aren’t enough hours in the day, right? With work, helping the kids with their homework, preparing meals, cleaning up after everyone and putting yet another load of laundry on, there’s very little time for sleep – let alone DIY and crafting!

But do you look at that bare wall in the den and that tatty tablecloth on the kitchen table, and just wish you had a few hours to do something about them? Or do you browse through those wonderful crafting successes on Pinterest and think to yourself that “one day” you’ll have a few more minutes to yourself so that you too can create something incredible?

You’re not alone – there’s a huge community of people out there who are feeling just as frustrated as you are!

Thankfully though, there’s an exciting new product to help you quickly and easily get into (or back into) the creative projects you’ve been desperate to start. It’s called The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and it’s a collection of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading authors and bloggers in the industry.

For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 76 eBooks and eCourses. And let me reassure you that this really is great value: the Ultimate Bundles team (who produced the resource) has spent MONTHS seeking out the most respected experts in the industry and asking them to contribute their premium-quality eBooks and eCourses. These really are the best of the best when it comes to DIY and crafting advice and information.

Topics in the bundle include:

  • Home decor
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  • Photography
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There’s no need to worry about information overload though: The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with a complete guide to getting started, so that you can know exactly which resource to use for your specific crafting or DIY project and jump straight into it with confidence!

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Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 5 awesome bonuses, worth over $150. That’s 4x the price of the bundle alone! These include…

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Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Halloween is Not My Thing

Halloween
Is there a Halloween equivalent to Ebenezer Scrooge? If there is, that would describe me to a T.

I don’t get into buying or making costumes that will be worn once, maybe twice. I don’t like having all that candy in our house and haunted houses and scary movies aren’t my idea of entertainment.

You must thinking that I sound like a whole lot fun about now, right?

I’m probably not really but I’ll admit to being a party-pooper when it comes to Halloween. It’s just not for me and that’s okay…I don’t have to participate in it…..

Oh yeah – I have kids so yes, yes I do.

Que the costumes and decorations (they’re lucky Daddy is fun!) and the trick or treating…

Gabriella

One of my favorite costume creations – Gabriella from Sid the Science Kid

And because I have this irrational dislike for buying costumes and putting money into this, my least favorite of holidays, I’d made a good percentage of Brooke’s costumes in the past. Again until fun Daddy convinced Mommy that it’s okay to hit the party store and buy the dumb costume and be done with it.

So to all the other mommas out there who also feel less than jazzed when the jack-a-lanterns start popping up on porches everywhere and the kids get ideas for elaborate costumes, let’s remember it’s just one day (or 3 separate events for us!) and let the kiddos have their fun.

Then steal the good candy when they go to bed.

Why I Am Still Pumping After Leah’s First Birthday

Pumping After First Birthday
Pumping isn’t fun. But if you’re a working mom who wants to feed her baby breast milk, you just gotta suck it up and do it. (Pun intended a little) And if you’re an exclusively pumping mama, let me just say right now that I think you are a ROCK.STAR!!!! That level of commitment amazes me!!

For lots of pumping mamas, Baby’s first birthday is our ultimate goal. At that point, whole milk can enter the picture, solid food provides lot of the nutritional needs and we still have mornings, nights and weekends to provide breast milk straight from the tap.

A couple days ago, I was chatting with a coworker via IM and she was teasing me because it had taken me awhile to respond to her initial message. I had been in the Mother’s Room pumping and had told her so. Her response was “You’re still doing that?” and it got me to thinking the generally accepted idea that even if you keep nursing past one year, pumping always ends at the first birthday.

With Brooke, who was always fed a mix of formula and breast milk, I opted to stop pumping shortly after her first birthday. I replaced formula with whole milk and the amount of breast milk I was able to offer just didn’t make a big enough dent to be worth it.

However, when Leah turned 1 in June, I didn’t feel a need to stop pumping. And today, at 15 months and counting, I’m still pumping and don’t really have an ending time in mind. Here’s why:

uneven pumping output

Any guesses which side she’d nursed from that morning? LOL

If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

This has always somewhat of a mantra for me when it comes to parenting and approaching milestones. Whether it is breastfeeding, potty training, moving out of rear-facing or harnessed car seats, I don’t feel a need to rush it. What we’ve got going right now is working so I don’t see the benefit to changing things.

I’m sure Keith would love to stop washing bottles at night and it would probably be slightly easier for daycare but other than that, there’s no real hardship associated with continued pumping that prompts me to stop.

If I Was Home, She Would Be Getting That Breast Milk

If I wasn’t working, I imagine we’d have one or two nursing sessions during the day in addition to the morning and nighttime ones we currently share. My view is that pumping and sending expressed milk to daycare was a substitute for nursing while we were apart during her first year and nothing fundamentally changed about that after her first birthday. Breast milk is still extremely beneficial for toddlers and I am happy to do what I can to get that nutrition to her every day.

I Kinda Like My Pumping Sessions

I recognize that I’m very blessed to have the pumping situation that I do. My company has designated “Mother’s Rooms” in every location I’ve ever been in. It is equipped with counter, sink, mini-fridge and chair. One of the Houston offices I worked in was super tricked out with a radio, table full of magazines and even a foot warmer/massager. My managers have never batted an eye at my need to be away from my desk to pump. So that time for me is an opportunity to step away from my computer and enjoy some Mama-Time. I read or watch Hulu on the Kindle, catch up on social media, jot down lists or even just close my eyes and mediate to the lovely hum of the pump.

pumping output

I’m at almost 11 gallons. Wonder what it will be when I’m all done!

I worked very hard to get to this point and still be nursing and pumping at 15 months. When my output rapidly decreased at around the 6 or 7 month mark, I tried everything – adding pumping sessions (up to 5x/day), fenugreek, blessed thistle, oatmeal, more water and when none of those worked, I eventually started taking domperidone which helped immensely. In fact, I am still taking the domperidone to maintain the supply I have now.

So I realize that it’s not always easy to “just keep going” and hope that any mamas who have the desire to keep going are able for as long as they wish.

Did you pump breast milk for your child(ren)? When did you stop? What was your experience like?

Weekly Meal Plan – Going For Two

Menu Plan Monday

This weekend Brooke had her first sleepover at our house and Keith was traveling with the football team so I’m impressed that I had time to get a meal plan together and grocery shop on Sunday. Not only that, I went ahead and planned for two weeks! Whoop!!

So here goes:

Meatball Subs
Chili – already made and in the fridge to be heated up!
Alton Brown’s Stove Top Mac n’ Cheese – Brooke’s suggestion for the meal plan
Where’s The Crust Pizza – I’be been wanting to try this for awhile. It should be perfect for Friday Pizza Night.
Creamy Broccoli Chicken Shells & Cheese – I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a copule weeks and its definitely happening this time!
Skinny Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms – I had lunch with Brooke at her school on her birthday and salisbury steak was on the menu. I’ve been craving it, but good, since then.
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole – I have another one of these in the freezer if I need it!

In addition to these recipes, I also stocked up on a few quickies that I can throw together when needed:
Southern-Style Chicken Filets – Aldi carries these and they are like Chick-Fil-A chicken. We throw them on buns with the pickle and everything.
Hot Dogs
Hamburgers
Grilled Cheese & Popcorn – our regular Thursday night dinner

Throw in a leftover night or two and another night or two of eating out and we’ve got two weeks of meals planned and ready to get on the table. I’ll update next Monday and we’ll see how this two weeks at a time method is working for us.

How far in advance do you plan meals?

This menu plan is linked to Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday link up.

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

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