Monthly Archives: June 2017

Flashback Friday: Sleeping Arrangements 

When my Baby Girl was itty bitty, she slept beside me in a bassinet. There were a couple of reasons for that, some good, some bad.

We knew we did not want to fully co-sleep, because it can be dangerous, especially if you shift around a lot. I shift around a lot.

They make co-sleeping bassinets but our bedroom in our rental was not big enough for one. It wasn’t really big enough for our bed.

We also wanted something she could sleep in safely that was fairly portable, so we went with an inexpensive easy-fold model. We carried it up and downstairs in our new home so that she could be near us wherever we were, even when she was sleeping.

This ended up being quite good for my career, in my opinion, because it helped me get just a touch more sleep every night – I woke up to her crying and wanting to nurse, I picked her up from her bassinet, nursed her right there in my bed (or, on more than one occasion, on the couch where I had fallen asleep watching TV), and then put her back in the bassinet, where she slept all warm and cozy until she woke up for the next feeding. I didn’t have to get out of bed (except when she needed a diaper) and that way I was able to go back to sleep easier.

I also slept more soundly, because she was right next to me and I wasn’t quite as worried as I would have been otherwise.

She  slept that way until she was just a little over six months old and had outgrown the bassinet. She also transitioned to her rather large (comparatively anyway) crib with a very small amount of fuss. By then she was mostly sleeping at least 6 hours in a row -which I could manage with ease.

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Time to…Thursday: Naptime

I hate the last few minutes of nap time. Baby Girl has an unfortunately flexible nap schedule, in large part due to my messed up work schedule, but also in small part due to my husband (her primary caregiver) not being very focused on keeping her on the schedule. He is a very Go With the Flow Daddy, and usually that works, but when I am home during nap time, it gets stressful for me. I am almost always trying to get One Last Thing done, maximizing my time sans-toddler during this time. And doing it while trying to stay very very quiet, because noises travel strangely in our old house. Sometimes what I am trying to do is something fun, sometimes it is most definitely not.

Today, to be blunt, it is dealing with a stomachache from eating too much Thai Chicken Satay (don’t take it out on the recipe, my stomach is just very finicky when I over eat, and the satay is so, so worth it.)

But other times, it’s answering a work email, or starting a load of laundry, or doing dishes- things I don’t easily get done unless she’s being watched by Daddy or in her high chair.

The pack ‘n’ play has only been useful as a portable bed since she started walking. Plus, she’s so good at stacking – and standing on things – that she would probably pull a Houdini if she was in it with any toys.

So, I try to hurry. And sometimes I get everything done. Sometimes I don’t. 

Are there parts of the day you dread? Are there ways to make it better?

Working Wednesday: Big Things, Close to Home!

Yesterday I talked about my busy week! And today, I am going to talk to you about them in more depth.

I don’t know what your job requires from you. But if, like me, you are expected to attend conferences, network, and keep up with “the trade,” here is my best advice for you: get as close to home as you can. Obviously it saves time and money, and often networking with those physically closer to you can be more useful than those far away. They are more likely to remember you, I’ve noticed, and being in a similar geographic area might make them more likely to understand your problems.

If geography is challenging for you for some reason, I would turn your attention to webinars (giving them and watching them) and conferences that are either wholly online or being partially streamed online. 

I participated in an international conference by recording my presentation for them. I have attended conferences (and helped plan one) where we streamed presentations. At least in my profession, it’s quite common.

In both of these ways, you can stay up to date in your profession without sacrificing too much family time!

Together Tuesday: Not- So Picture Perfect Father’s Day

This is another one of those Real Talk posts about how my life goes. Today, we’re talking about this past Father’s Day.

I suppose it all started the week before. On Thursday, I was giving my first-ever national webinar.

On Monday I got an email saying there was low enrollment and did I want to continue? Oh, geez.

But we decided to go through with it. It was recorded and well received. But my work week wasn’t over yet! On Friday I had a conference presentation to give. 

When I booked these two things, I honestly thought June 11th was Father’s Day. But I persisted. I made my PowerPoint for the presentation at work on Thursday after the webinar, and when I was finished, I ordered my husband’s gifts: two pairs of khaki shorts and two new polo shirts. Got a great deal on them at Kohl’s. Made a note to pick them up on Saturday after my usual yard sales.

Got through the presentation. Drove home immediately so Baby Girl’s schedule wouldn’t get too off.

Saturday morning dawns. I go yard saling, and come home a bit early because I’m out of money and Baby Girl wants to nurse.

But crap! I have forgotten Kohl’s. So when she goes down for her nap, I hurry out again. Then, I realize that Kohl’s has cancelled part of my order. I go pick up what’s left of the order and spend a few extra minutes picking out a replacement for the missing item. Not quite as good a deal as the original, but it’s okay.

Saturday night we did date night as usual. When we got home, Baby Girl was kind of fussy, but she went down for bed at a fairly normal time for her. I finish up downstairs and get to bed.

Glad I did because she ended up being up in the middle of the night for more than two hours!

Father’ Day proper starts at 10 am. I have overslept because of our midnight playtime. My husband is already awake and playing video games – he has a regular Sunday date with his friends. I hurriedly get up and get Baby Girl up, nursed, and in the high chair. I make bacon and eggs for her and get started on blueberry streusel muffins for Daddy. They’re one of his favorites. Not what I meant to make, but I have the ingredients. 

While things are mixing, I make him bacon and eggs and preheat the oven. I serve him his breakfast at his computer and get back to the kitchen…

Where there is a small fire. I immediately freak out, but it is contained in the oven. I call my husband to get Baby Girl just in case and turn off the oven. It’s gas, so the fire dies down fairly fast, and I throw water over the last of the flames.

That’s when I realize the culprit is wayward batter from the ill-fared cupcakes from the previous Sunday/Monday morning. I still owe you guys that story, by the way.

I air out the kitchen and turn the oven on again. I get up to temperature and there are no flames, so I pop the muffins in and go take a much needed rest with Baby Girl.

Dinner that night is supposed to be BBQ pork and loaded mashed potatoes. But I’ve used all the bacon at breakfast- placating my family while we waited for the muffins. So then I had to go out in the pouring rain for groceries before we could have dinner.

My husband was happy though. We got to spend a lot of time together. He said it was a good day, and that’s all that matters.

Menu Monday: Easy Tasty Tomato Meals!

Today I was hoping that I would be able to recount the angel food disaster, but since I still have not achieved perfection, I will put that down for another day.

Instead, in honor of my finally growing garden, I present to you my current top three favorite tomato-based meals.

First up is Chicken Thighs Paprika. The recipe I linked to only really uses tomato paste, but I have found that a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes that have been cooked down a bit)  and an extra tablespoon of paprika really take this dish to another level, and make it a more balanced meal.

Next is my new favorite, also served over pasta: Tomato Parmesan Linguine. This recipe calls for canned tomatoes, but you can also use fresh. I skipped the peas and put bacon in, instead of prosciutto, but there are quite a few variations you can make to the base.

Last is the one that is most likely Baby Girl’s favorite, if she could conceptualize of such a thing:  One Skillet Mexican Beef and Rice. I’ve done a couple of different tomato variations with this: cooked, fresh, and in one enterprising situation, salsa. I also do my own taco seasoning blend with it.

Tomatoes are incredibly versatile. And seriously easy to grow! What will be your new favorite tomato dish?

Savings Sunday: Happy Father’s Day

Saving Sunday will return next week, with copy cat recipes to save your budget and satisfy your cravings. For now, I would like to wish all the fathers and father-figures out there a

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

See you tomorrow!

Self-Care Saturday: Hobbies

How many of you out there have hobbies that you love but you never spend any time on any more?

I know I’m one of those people. Since my 21 Days of Creativity earlier this year, I don’t think I’ve done much on any of my hobbies recently. I just haven’t had time, especially with Baby Girl getting into everything and not wanting to sleep on a normal schedule.

That is hopefully going to change this weekend. I have been itching to create something, and I am determined to do it. As soon as I figure out which project to work on.

On the bright side, some of my other hobbies are going well. I’ve been catching up a little on playing my Sims 2 game (which I play in an incredibly involved style. I’ve been running the same game since 2007.) My garden is maybe finally going to give me some tomatoes – one of the cherry tomatoes was definitely orange when I checked on it this morning.

I’ve been cooking up a storm, and it wasn’t all by necessity. I made some lemon curd on Wednesday night, after I had all those egg yolks left over from the failed angel food cake.

All in all, it’s been pretty good, but I still think I need to make something that is more permanent and more creative.

What hobbies of yours have you been neglecting? Can you pledge a little self-care time to work on one of them?