Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sleeping Probs

Savannah slept through the night when she was 9 weeks old.  Not this new guy! 
You can possibly imagine how exhausted Travis and I are becoming since we fully expected baby number two to mimic baby number one.  Here we are, three weeks later, and still not even close to sleeping through the night.  Charlie has something going on in his tummy that is making it hard for him to sleep.  A couple weeks ago we had the good fortune of chatting with a pediatrician friend of ours who helped us rule out his formula as the source of his issues.  We were so so blessed by her willingness to talk to me during a really stressful week.  The next week I finally caved and took Charlie to the Chiropractor.  The following 24 hours were the most peaceful hours of his life!  He has had a dramatic improvement since then - but he still wakes up from naps and night sleeping often and has to be soothed back to sleep.  We are sure it's stomach/gas related. 
Anyway, here he is taking a nap right now.  See if you can identify all the "wrong" things in this picture :) 
#secondbaby #whatworks

Stuffed animal in crib with baby
Blanket on baby
Blanket under baby
Pacifier leash attached to baby
Baby laying on sleeping wedge
Sleeping wedge with side sleeper pillows attached
Heavy wall decor above crib - I do plan on taking those down asap


You probably heard that we had company from India last week.  It was great!
We finally finished our attic space up so they could stay up there, which gave us ample space for everyone to live and play and sleep.  The girls spent 4 days non stop playing pretend -
"Let's pretend I'm the princess and you're the dog"
"Let's pretend I'm the teacher, and you're the student, and you're the mommy"
"I'll be the horse, and you be the queen and the monster"
Stuff like that.  

When Greg and Shannon and Lani and Maggie first got here, the first thing Maggie wanted to do was make snow angles.  The girl is almost 4, and has lived in India for two years so her experience with snow is pretty limited.  

Soon after they arrived, the other adults went to work out with Travis at Surefire - leaving me with these three characters.  :)

As Travis and Greg get older, and our families grow, it really is more and more fun to spend time together.  It was a really fun visit for all of us I think. 

Toward the end the girls started getting restless.  Come on Iowa!  It's spring already!  
So we took them out to the church just to run around for an hour.  Another day we took them to Walmart just to walk.  They did great playing in our house, but you really just have to run sometiems. 

Oh, and this guy was around for all of it too. 

Shannon left a day early to spend some time in Florida, so Travis and Greg and I met my parents for some Karaoke on Friday night.  It's been a while since we've been down there so it was really fun.  Travis and Greg sang the song Double Vision - which was so ironic.  

Aren't they cute little twins? 
Why is Travis posing like that and why are Greg's eyes shut?

Sorry Shannon, no pictures of us.  Mommas get no love from cameras.  Oh well.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Attic Process

If you're in our lives then you know that we've been working vigorously on finishing our attic over the last few months.  Well - it's done! And it's amazing.  Reactions so far include "Is this on Pinterest? It should be!" "This is so Romantic" - said by an Albanian woman, and "Whoa, can I live here in college?"

We were a little retarded and did not take any actual BEFORE pictures.  So I'll tell you - it wasn't so pretty.  The walls just had insulation on them.  Travis (and teams and teams of our friends) had to measure and cut every awkward angled piece of dry wall and put it up there.  

Then they mudded and taped it all.  Then textured the walls.  My dad called this kind of texture "European mud knock down" or something like that. He was trying to sell it to me because I prefer flat smooth walls.  But they talked me into it and I like it now. 

Savannah has spent her share of time up there playing and "helping".  The girl has no fear.  She runs circles around the chimney, walks out on planks, and flys up and down the stairs. 

We painted it a color called "Comfort Gray".  It's kinda blue/gray. Travis hates it but I think it's inviting, relaxing and calming.  

We put a coat of some kind of finish on the floor.  I wanted to keep it and just throw down a couple rugs because I think that the 100 year old floor is pretty awesome.  We put the same coating on the chimney to keep the mortar from crumbling.

Here's my dad being kind of accidentally dorky.  He's awesome.  We could not have done the attic without his know how or his hard work.

We actually have just a few things to totally finish so I'll post some pictures when it's %100.  Bet ya can't wait!

Freezer Mealin and Dealin

About 3 months before Charlie was born, my friend Laura asked me if I would like to make freezer meals with her sometime.  She's known online as the Kitchen Tutor, and she knows her way around the kitchen pretty well *as the name suggests, duh*, so I went with it.  She had a baby herself about a year ago so I trusted her when she said that I'd want them.  
Laura was amazing and put together a plan and a shopping list and on one of her busiest Saturdays she let me come over and invade.  She guided me around the ways of freezer meals.  And in 2 1/2 hours (there were some pauses for conversation in there) I walked out the door with 10 meals for the freezer.  I didn't touch them until I was really feeling the fatigue of pregnancy (about 40 weeks) and we ate them whenever we didn't have someone bringing us a meal through out the next month and a half.  Then they were gone!  And friends stopped brining food!  And since I was all out of practice in making dinner (and had never made dinner while carting a baby around the kitchen) I decided that I needed more freezer meals.  So I did them again.  And we ate them all.  And so I did them again.  It's the only way to make dinner anymore.  
Reasons I like freezer meals: 
1.Whoa is it ever fast!  I spend about 10 minutes making a list for the store, 2 hours bagging, and then about 5 minutes cooking it (my crock pot does the rest like magic). 
2. It tastes better because food that you don't spend hours slaving over always tastes better, doesn't it?  
3. Most of the meals I have made have tones of garlic in them. We just like Garlic. 
4. I think it's saving me money.  I'm not so good at planning ahead and only making one trip to the store a week or whatever, but I know I am going way less often. 
5. NOT HAVING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO MAKE FOR DINNER!  I just grab a bag from the freezer and as long as it's in the crock by 1pm, we're good to go! 
6. I can give them to people when they have a baby and it's my turn to bring dinner over - then they can figure out when they want to eat and all they have to do it put it in their crock pot 4 hours ahead of time.  
7. Pinterest has a BUTT LOAD of ideas.  That makes it easy.  

You get the idea.  Here's some things I've learned: 
- Write the name of the things youre making and the cooking instructions on the bags BEFORE you start.  
- Use fresh chicken, not frozen.  I hate touching and cutting up raw slimy chicken as much as you do, but it's worth it.  Frozen bagged chicken has a watery frozen glaze on it and it truely does water down the meals.  
- Just keep a bunch of salad or frozen vegetables on hand for sides.  And maybe some tortillas and rice.  Most of the "meals" are actually just a main dish but you can whip up a side easy enough.  And many of them are just as good shredded up and eaten like a taco.  


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