Tuesday, June 22, 2010

3 months old!

I can't believe my little girl is going to be 3 months old on Friday! If you count the Thursdays since her birth, technically she was 3 months old this past Thursday, but by the calendar she hits that milestone on Friday. We had some 3 month photos done at JC Penny this past weekend since we won't have a chance to do them this Friday or Saturday as we set up for her baptism. This photo shoot was much better than the first and we even caught some smiles.
Right now she coos and smiles like crazy, blows spit bubbles, has started drooling a bit, loves sucking on her fists (loudly!), and is really starting to want to interact with other people more and more. She loves her play mat with the hangy toys over it, bumbo seat, her plush dolly, the seahorse, and her fuzzy purple blanket. At times she'll tolerate her swing, but gets bored easily. Mariela wants to see the world already- she prefers to be held up right on your shoulder or facing outward and fusses if you hold her any other way and she isn't sleepy. We heard her laugh for the first time today and it was the cutest.thing.ever! We were eating dinner at my mother-in-law's and she had been eyeing Alexi while he ate. He kept making faces at her and she just let it out...awesome. He melted into a pile of Daddy mush. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A little color goes a long way...

Finally! Room number two is painted in our new home! After painting Mariela's room back in December, we got the urge to start painting the rest of our house. When we built our house, the builder recommended not painting for a year to allow the house to settle some more. After the final walk-through and warranty items were fixed (nail pops, touch-ups, etc.) after our first year in our home we were going to paint, but didn't get around to it (ah-hem, read "lazy") until Ms Mariela was on her way. A.R. painted the nursery by himself behind closed doors...even with the low-VOC paint he insisted I stay away...so I wanted to help paint the next room. Well, let's just say I was once again kicked out of the way and instead of painting, I was supervising with Ms Mariela as my side kick. I do suck at painting and usually end up with more on me than the walls, so it's probably for the best. :)
Our master bedroom is now a beautiful teal and we added a new comforter set from Kohls to complete the look. We sort of have a beach theme going on in our bedroom and will continue it into our master bathroom. Our bed is like a sand island in the middle of clear blue ocean. I've added beach-y decor around the room including sea shell accents, lighthouses, and other trinkets. We used the new Behr Premium Ultra paint with the primer already in it. You really only have to use one coat which is awesome considering how long it took to just paint the first coat in our large bedroom. The formal name of the color we chose is Venus Teal. At first I thought it was a little dark, but now I LOVE it! It's beautiful during the day and relaxing at night.
We still have the painting bug and want to continue adding some color to our boring eggshell walls. I've already chosen a color for our guest bathroom which will be my purple room, our half bath will be a shade of orange, we've narrowed down to two possible shades of red for our formal dining room (plus we want to add in crown and chair molding), a pale yellow for the kitchen, and we've narrowed down several browns for the family room. In the family room we want to do a darker focal wall and then the rest of the walls will be a lighter shade of beige/brown that will carry to the upstairs hallway. It took us 6 months to paint room #2 after painting the nursery, so how much do you want to bet it'll be another 6 months until room #3 gets painted?!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Operation Garden 2010- Update 2

The week leading up to Memorial Day we finally got all the vegetables planted in our garden thanks to the help of my parents-in-law. My mother-in-law helped watch Mariela so I could plant and my father-in-law provided his expertise with gardening and helped me plant my rows (after consulting his Farmer's Almanac, of course!). I only took up about 1/3 of the garden space he cleared out, so I let him plant the rest of the space with his own veggies. We'll share whatever is produced in the end. So far everything appears to be growing well despite losing a plant here and there after transplanting the seedlings. A.R. left the sprinkler on overnight last week, but luckily the soil drained well and no damage was done. We are battling slugs again this year and we've seen a bunny hopping around the broccoli twice now, so we have to finish putting the fence up.

Here's what we are growing: spanish peppers, corn, broccoli, squash, cucumbers, pumpkin, watermelon (I planted the seeds directly into the ground, but it might be too late for them), beans (only 2 plants appear to have survived the transplant into the garden), carrots, tomatoes, and strawberries. A.R. and I also planted one raspberry, one blackberry, and one blueberry bush along the border of the garden and hope to add a few more eventually to make a natural fence to shield the deer fence. Now, we wait. Grow little vegetables (and fruits!), grow!!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Once-A-Month Cooking: Installment 4

My first Once-A-Month cooking experience was a success! I cooked a month's worth of meals while 9 months pregnant and they lasted us two months with eating out, dinner at my mother-in-law's, and the fact some of the meals I split into two because the recipes make enough for a family of four. I still have a few meals frozen (all chili related) because they don't mix well with breastfeeding, but here's a review of our favorite and not so favorite meals in meal plan E.
Italian Shepherd's Pie
These recipes we enjoyed (the starred ones are our favorites)
*Jack Burgers
Chili Dogs
Shish Kebabs
Dawn's Lasagna (meatless)
*Deborah's Sweet-and-Sour Chicken
Chicken and Rice Pilaf
*Crustless Spinach Quiche
*Green Chile Enchiladas
Chicken a la King
*Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork
Marinated Flank Steak
*Sicilian Meat Roll
Southwestern Chicken Soup
*Rosie's Meatloaf
*Baked Beans and Hamburger
*Chicken Tetrazzini
French Dip
French Stew

We weren't impressed with:
Split Pea Soup
Oriental Chicken

These recipes were okay, but we wouldn't rush to the dinner table:
Mexican Stroganoff
Bird's Nest Pie
Italian Shepherd's Pie
Lemon Chicken
Grilled Salmon

Overall, I think my first experience cooking a month's worth of meals went well. We definitely saved money, were less likely to eat out, made the best of the convenience of having a frozen meal in the freezer with a newborn in the house, and enjoyed most of the recipes. Some things I would change include not embarking on such an endeaver while 9 months pregnant (shopping and cooking exhausted me!) and not making as many recipes with chili. We also learned that our deep freezer is great at what it does. We had to take the meals out of the freezer two days in advance to allow them enough time to thaw in the fridge before heating them. A few times we did forget to take a meal out of the freezer, so we had nothing to heat up quickly. Luckily, we had some Bertolli's pasta, frozen pizza (yes, it was Digorno's!), and other quick meals (like chicken tenders and pasta) on-hand that could be made in a pinch.

Now, onto Once-A-Month cooking round #2!!