I got this idea from a friend who was making snacks for 60 kids attending a church day camp, and I thought it was a good one.
First, you take a bunch of grapes...
And a bunch of paperclips...
And ziploc sandwich bags... I forgot to take a picture of these...
Using whatever you have around, or have the energy for, decorate one side of the paper clips. I could have done a better job using pipe cleaners, googly eyes and puffy paint, but I just did this with a few different sizes of markers.
Then fill the ziploc bags about 3/4 full with the grapes, and separate the grapes between two sides of the bag. Clip with the paperclips to separate each side - creating butterfly wings.
I am reaching that point in pregnancy (the point that actually hit me two months earlier while I was carrying Clara) when it becomes difficult just to remain upright during the day. My energy is just too low.
Thankfully, I have only a day and a half of work left this week, and then I am unofficially done! Except for the three Fridays I agreed to work to give them a bit more time to replace me, but we'll call that 'Future Sam's' problem... Next week, I start teaching piano again (16 returning students, when I really only expected about 10) and babysitting a few hours every morning for a little girl who is the same age as my daughter. I agreed to babysit for a couple of reasons - 1. Since I was only going to have 10 piano students, the extra income was kind of necessary, and this little girl and her family felt like a comfortable fit for me so despite my aversion to babysitting for strangers, I agreed... and 2. Having an additional toddler around MIGHT just make it actually easier to parent a toddler while taking care of an infant. I have heard it said that having twins is easier than singletons - after the first year - because then they are better at entertaining each other than only one child would be. I'm hoping this will be the case, because I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed terrified.
Partly because I am needing to boost my energy, and partly because I have been neglecting this for far too long and let's face it - one can only eat so much KD and hot dogs - it is time to start meal planning again.
I am usually good at this for about two months before I flake out and we spend a few weeks eating fast food and whatever we can scrounge around the house, and this fall will likely be no exception since I have about two months before I will be having another baby...
My first step is usually to determine a framework for my meal schedule, and to determine what sorts of meals I want to include.
This involves making lists :)
This go around, I want to make sure I include a lot of high-energy foods to boost my energy right now, and along with this I think I want to try to reduce our gluten intake, so I've been looking into gluten free meal plans for ideas.
We definitely need to eat more veggies, so I am making a list of either veggie-filled dishes, or veggie sides to include daily.
For cost reasons, I also need to consider a few meals each week that are low in price. This means we can't have steak and salmon every day, as much as I would LOVE that :) So, I make a list of meals that are lower in cost - pasta dishes, for example which also often make enough for two meals, and other possibly meatless meals that use ingredients on hand like waffles or pancakes. If I'm being pretty healthy otherwise, I usually don't feel too bad about throwing in the occasional $1 box of KD either.
Then I make a chart for the month, and take note of which kinds of meals I should make on which days - early in the week I choose meals that make more leftovers for lunches, and on days when I'm teaching piano I choose meals that can be made ahead of time or quickly during my supper breaks.
Then I start slotting recipes in, while paying attention to which category each meal falls into and trying to avoid scheduling any of the same kind of food within one week. Usually I have at least 1 chicken meal, 1-2 vegetarian or 'egg' meals, 1 beef meal, 1-2 seafood meals and 1 pork meal per week depending on what we are doing. I also typically leave at least one supper free each week for an impromptu family event, or simply to eat any leftovers we may have accumulated.
I try to do one big shopping trip at the beginning of each month, and then weekly trips for produce and bread.
Someday I hope to organize myself enough to spend a day or two at the beginning of each month making freeze-ahead meals like meatballs, chicken breasts and lasagna, but I'm not there yet!
What are your meal-planning strategies?
What foods do you eat to keep up your energy levels, or lower fatigue?
What else do you do to increase your energy while pregnant?
I didn't get my butt in gear to post an interview this week... so there won't be one tomorrow. I'm still open to interviewing, I'm meeting a lot of really interesting bloggers this way, and I'm learning really interesting things!
If you're interested in being featured here for an interview, please let me know! I'm hoping to get better at this as time goes on... :)
How far along? 31 weeks – just starting the third trimester!
Weight gain/loss: My last doctor's appointment said about 3 lbs (total so far)
How Big is Baby? Between 3 and 4 pounds (I can't believe how big this is!)
Feeling: Exhausted! I've reached that point where my lungs seem to have no room to expand and I just want to sit or better yet – sleep – all the time!
Sleep: I wish I could say the pregnancy is getting in the way of this, but mostly I've just been carelessly trying to get things done (how silly!) and have been staying up way too late each night.
Food Cravings: Fruit, if anything.
Food Aversions: This baby still seems quite averse to foods of all kinds, and because I'm stubbornly trying to gain at least a little bit of weight for the baby's sake – I've gotten used to not really enjoying anything. How fun.
Movement? All the time. And it's definitely starting to get painful!
What I miss? Motivation.
Baby Preparations? We need some additional storage for clothing in the girls' bedroom, and my Mom has said she plans to buy us a tall dresser for this purpose. I'm looking forward to getting that so I can start putting the new baby's clothes into their room!
What I'm looking forward to: Being pretty much done work next week. After September begins I've agreed to work three more Fridays because the office I'm working in doesn't have anyone to work Fridays (hopefully they find someone by then!), and I'll be teaching piano at home – but I'm so excited to finally be done working away from home!
Next Appointment: September 5th - I'm down to once-ever-three-week appointments, and after two of those, I have one after two weeks, and then it's every week!
I don't know what it is about me - it seems as though most bloggers don't struggle with the spam comment issues that I do - in the last 24 hours, I've had about 100 spam comments (and about 5 ACTUAL comments), so for now - I must begrudgingly re-install Captcha because I suppose I'd rather be missing out on potential comments (please, please, please comment anyway!) than deleting 100 spam comments each day.
Hopefully I'll find a better alternative soon!
I knew it would happen.
That day when my daughter would begin to copy everything I say, in the most awkward locations possible.
It began when we picked her up from her babysitter's yesterday (a close friend of ours), and my friend began to tell me about how my daughter was awkwardly dancing to techno music - I say awkward, because it was extremely awkward, and I won't go into detail but let's just say that I have no clue where she picked up these 'moves' (she has never been exposed to MTV or anything like that), and as soon as she's old enough to understand when I tell her that something is 'not appropriate' - this sort of dancing will DEFINITELY be on the list.
I mean, it's funny because she's not even two, and has no idea what she's doing, I'm sure it was completely innocent, and my friend said she considered video taping it because it was so hilarious, but then decided it was best if these things don't end up on film - for Clara's sake.
ANYWAY... I was very quick to tell my friend that Clara had never witnessed anything 'kinky' at our place whatsoever, because honestly - I was a little embarrassed.
Clara overheard this statement, and for some reason decided that the word 'Kinky' was hilarous. She started chanting 'Kinky! Kinky! Kinky!' as she ran around my friends' yard.
She continued to chant 'Kinky! Kinky! Kinky!' as we drove away.
We tried to talk to her about other things... she would be distracted momentarily, but would shortly thereafter begin chanting 'Kinky!' again, obviously thinking this was the funniest thing ever.
We had been invited to my in-laws for supper, and I was absolutely petrified of what they would say when they heard this.
I tried to tell myself - and mentioned to my husband - that it actually sounded a lot like her word for 'Kitty', and probably no one would know the difference.
Brian laughed at me and said, "Yeah, but when your face turns that shade of red I'm sure they'll figure it out". Everyone's hilarous...
This is my daughter laughing... at me...
And here again, laughing at me... more than a little mischeviously.
I'm beginning to feel a bit frightened, actually...
Because she is CERTAINLY plotting against me!
And I am no match for that little grin. That charm. And that terrifying memory...
So it begins. The time when I have to be SUPER careful about every word I say, because she WILL hear it, and she WILL remember it - and she WILL repeat it - probably months later at my Grandma's birthday party or something...
I'm so afraid...
I keep seeing complaints about Captcha's by various bloggers who claim to not leave comments if there is a Captcha...
So, after a few months I have removed the captcha on my blog comments again. I actually added the captcha initially because I had 600 spam comments in one day - and it took me over an hour to delete them all, which I obviously am not willing to do every day.
We'll see how this goes. (And we'll see if I actually get more comments...) I don't want to be turning people away, but if I start getting an insane amount of spam comments again, I'll have to re-install it... hope this all goes well. So far I've had one spam comment in the 2 hours the captcha's been off - annoying, but manageable...
Wish me luck! And start leaving comments!!!
I posted awhile back about my favourite names for either a girl or a boy, and now that we *know* we are having a girl (I'm still leaving the possibility open in my brain that the u/s tech was wrong... just so I'm not horrendously shocked if it IS a boy...), my list has been cut in half - and changed a bit...
I'm hoping to get a bit of input on this, but I want to be very clear - I don't need to know if you dislike any of these names...
Please DO tell me if any of the names rhyme with something dirty, or if some serial killer or psycho-celebrity shares the name, or if the initials spell something unbecoming (Our last name starts with 'L').
Also, I would like to know if you really, really, really like any of these names - which is your favourite - and why?
I actually have a pretty good idea which of these names we are going to use, but Clara's name changed at the last minute - so it's possible this baby's name could also. Interestingly, 'Clara Faith' was the name on my previous list that everyone had said they liked best - maybe it had nothing to do with why we chose it, but maybe it did, who knows. It was nice to know before hand that the response to her name would be good.
So, without further ado, here is our list...
I'm pretty decided on 'Grace' being her middle name, and I think I will also give her an additional middle name (Rayne) in honour of my Dad, but I think they go with any of these first names.
Also, considering our other daughters' name is Clara - which of these names, do you think, 'go' best?
Please welcome Leah for this week's Interview with a Mom. Leah blogs at Crunchy Farm Baby, where she writes about life as a crunchy mama to her son, Charlie. Some of the many topics she covers include natural/attachment parenting, extended breastfeeding, DIY tips and tutorials, natural cleaners and bath products, vegetarian/vegan recipes, gardening, toddler activities, and more!
My Interview with Leah:
How many children do you have, and what are their ages?
I have one son, Charlie, who will be 14 months next week.
How would you describe yourself as a parent, or your parenting style, in a few sentences?
I think that the attachment parenting style fits the way we are raising Charlie the best. We believe in respecting his emotional needs, so breastfeeding and cosleeping are very important to us. When Charlie is older and can understand consequences, we will have a responsible/respectful method of discipline in place for him. We also believe in natural parenting - we did not circumcise, we do not vaccinate, we only go to the doctor if there is a sickness I cannot treat at home (which, thankfully, he's never needed), and we stay away from antibiotics and OTC meds unless absolutely necessary - relying first on what nature gives us to heal.
What, in your opinion, is the most difficult thing about being a parent?
I think the toughest thing for me, personally, has been remembering that it is important to take time for myself every now and then. I know it's a mother's nature to put everyone ahead of herself, so that when it comes time to do something for herself, she almost feels guilty for doing it. This is self-destructive behavior, and I'm working very hard to allow myself some "me" time. For me, it's running - at least three days a week, I lace up my shoes and go for a jog. It's a great time to reflect and relax and really focus on me.
What, in your opinion, is the greatest thing about being a parent?
The unconditional love that is felt among my husband, son, and I is indescribable. Even on days when things aren't "perfect," when we go to bed at night and we're all cuddled in together.... it's just the greatest feeling there is.
Tell me about one of the scariest incidents you can remember involving your son.
Thankfully we haven't had any really serious injuries or illnesses with Charlie (knock on wood). He's had a few falls that have been scary for a few seconds, but nothing significant. The situation surrounding his birth was a bit scary though. We had a homebirth planned, but I ended up with severe preeclampsia, so we had to deliver a month early in the hospital. We were fortunate to have a very healthy baby, but it was scary nonetheless.
What have you learned about yourself from being a parent?
Becoming a parent has really shown me what characteristics I share with each of my parents. I have the patience of my father (or lack thereof) and the nurturing instincts of my mother. It's funny the little things that I've noticed too - like when Charlie gets hurt, I grab him and run away from anyone else that may be in the room. My mother did the same thing when we were children and it drove my father crazy!
What was/is your favourite lullaby to sing to your son?
I'm really more of a hummer than a singer, but I've been singing songs from the Discovery Toys Sounds Like Fun CD since he was born, because those were the songs that I listened to when I was a baby.
What was/is your favourite book to read to your son? Or your son's favourite?
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion was the first book that we read to Charlie, so that will always be my favorite. Charlie's current favorite book is Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming. He especially loves the donkey page and constantly flips back to it.
Is there anything you do as a parent, that you thought you would never do?
I always thought that I would go back to work soon after having a baby, but I am so thankful that we are financially stable (and frugal) enough that I don't have to work right now. Being home with Charlie and being able to breastfeed him into his toddler years is very important to me. I also didn't really expect to co-sleep, but it's been wonderful for us. Charlie has a beautiful crib that my parents bought him that he's never once slept in. Thankfully, it turns into a really nice toddler bed, so eventually he will be able to use it. For now though, we're all happy having him in bed with us at night!
What is the most significant thing you learned about parenting from your own parents?
As simple as it sounds, I think the idea that "family comes first" really drives a lot of the decisions that my husband and I make as parents, which is exactly how I was raised. We have run into some negative responses from family and friends about some of our choices as parents (i.e. planning a homebirth, not vaccinating, extended breastfeeding, etc.), but being confident in our decisions and having that "our family comes first" mindset, we've been able to persevere and have changed a lot of minds by how healthy and happy Charlie has remained. We actually parent Charlie a lot like my parents raised me and my siblings, so I suppose I learned a lot from them.
What is the most important thing you hope to teach your children before they leave your home?
To find what makes you happy and not let anyone change your mind or deter you from that path. Brian and I both wrote a list of 25 Lessons for Charlie on his first birthday; and I shared them on my blog. Here they are: Daddy's Lessons and Mommy's Lessons
What is one piece of advice you would give to a new parent?
Go with your gut. Every new mommy and daddy gets inundated with advice. You have to take it all with a grain of salt and remember that your child is unique. Just because amber necklaces helped your neighbor's baby with teething pain does not mean it will help your baby, and that's ok. You know what's best for your little one.
My daughter is proving to be a lot like I was as a child. My Grandma informed me that it has always taken me hours to fall asleep - even when I was a toddler.
Clara will typically 'act tired' - the typical soother-need, snuggles with her pink 'Bo' bear, and everything is suddenly a huge crisis. She gets extremely whiny and it doesn't help that she has inherited my husband's clumsiness which means she'll trip over her own feet every 90 seconds or so - resulting in bumps and bruises, and extreme tantrumy meltdowns.
After she is put in her crib/bed for night, however, she changes completely. Suddenly it's party time.
When she was still sleeping in her crib, we would hear her talking to herself and to her stuffed animals for sometimes over an hour before finally falling asleep. We suspected she wouldn't easily stay in her toddler bed after she discovered she could simply get up and run around her room, and we weren't wrong.
Now, after her bedtime routine, we say goodnight and close the door. Then we hear the patter of tiny feet running back and forth across her bedroom floor.
Never mind... Seinfeld reference... I think I'm funny...
Every once in awhile she will even knock on the inside of her bedroom door, and we will say 'Clara, it's bedtime - go to sleep!'.
We haven't bothered to always look in on her either, since she has - up until now- always ended up back in her 'big girl bed.'
About an hour after she had fallen asleep tonight, I heard her start to whimper. I looked into her room to see her lying across her bedroom floor with her head wedged underneath her bed. I don't know how she ended up there, but now her still-sleeping self was wanting to be free again. She didn't wake up as I tugged her head free of her bed frame and snuggled with her a moment before lying her back in her bed.
Weirdo. What sort of funny situations have your children gotten themselves into?
Grab My Button
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