MPM: Week of Sept 29

Well last week went ok. I'm glad I didn't buy too much groceries because we were a little off on our plan. Oh well. This week we again have some unsure plans... so I'm trying not to plan too elaborately.

If you missed it, I did post the recipe for the noodle bowl with beer-peanut sauce. It was well received by the whole family - and if you're a peanut sauce fan - I recommend it.

Here is the plan this week.

Monday: roasted butternut squash & rotisserie chicken
Tuesday: taquito salad
Wednesday: with family
Thursday: with family
Friday: one pot chili cheese mac
Saturday: tacos (for national taco day)
Sunday: caprese pizza

Ok, there we are! More menu plans at orgjunkie.

This post is brought to you by the number 2...


Mr. Gus Lee is 2 months old today. In honor of that, I thought I'd share some advice I'd give to others that are going to have 2 little ones under 2 years old.

Ours are 15 months apart. So we currently have a 2 month old and a 17 month old at home. I think a few months can make a big difference and everyone has a different experience. This advice is, obviously, based on mine.

Lucille is excited about the baby. She constantly says "baby" or "Gus" it is one of the first words out of her mouth in the morning or after her nap.

The first day I was home alone with both of them, I started to nurse Gus and Lucille ran out of the room and tripped and fell right just out of my sight. She started crying and had a goose egg developing on her forehead. I put Gus down (which of course caused him to start crying) and went to check on her. She just ran away from me and pointed to the baby, saying "baby, baby, baby" over and over again.

So while she is excited and amazed by the baby, she also knows things have changed. She doesn't get all of our attention anymore. She has to wait to get things. She doesn't always get her way. That causes some jealousy of course, but she is so young I don't think she really understands jealousy. She has tried to hit the baby or throw things and sometimes its out of excitement and sometimes its out of no where and sometimes its anger. 

Of course I explain to her that "he's little and can defend himself" and that she has to "be gentle." But again, she's still a baby herself and doesn't understand all of that. But we are working on it.

My advice:

Stick to some sort of routine for your older child, especially at bedtime. They really do thrive off of routine and once we got in a rhythm, it made bedtime a breeze again.

Let your older child be involved. Ask them to help with diaper changes by getting you a diaper or holding something (like the diaper rash cream even if you aren't going to use it.) Ask them if they want to hold the baby and help them do it. Make them a part of the babies life.

Do activities your older child enjoys. We got into a daily routine where we'd wake up and everyone would get dressed, Lucille would have her milk and maybe breakfast (unless we were going out to breakfast) and then we'd go somewhere. The park, the zoo, her favorite breakfast spot, grandma and papou's house... it doesn't matter where. The baby doesn't know the difference and I learned quickly that while it was easier to be at home with the first newborn - it was almost easier to be out with the 2 of them.

Give it a few months. It really does get easier.

A lot of this advice isn't that different than having 2 children further apart. The difference is remembering that your oldest doesn't understand everything but at the same time you have to make them feel like the big sister or big brother.

It's been hard. But it's been fun. And its gone by so fast. And I can't imagine life without our Gus.

Recipe: Noodle Bowl with Beer Peanut Sauce

I put this Betty Crocker recipe on my menu plan last week - and it was delicious. The beer-peanut sauce is what caught my attention and we added chicken to make it a more filling meal - which was perfect.

If you're a fan of Pad Thai - give this recipe a try. It really ended up being a perfect amount of peanut taste and was a hit among the family. I'm thinking this will become one of those meals that end up on rotation a fair amount because they are so easy.

Here is my modified version of the recipe.

Sauce

1/3
cup beer (we just used Bud Light)
1/3
cup peanut butter
2
tablespoons soy sauce
1/2
teaspoon ground ginger
1/4
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Noodles

8
oz uncooked linguine
2
cups frozen broccoli florets (chopped up into smaller pieces)
1
cup shredded carrots
1

medium red bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips

1 1/2  cup rotisserie chicken shredded
DIRECTIONS:

- In small bowl, gradually beat beer into peanut butter with whisk until smooth. Beat in remaining sauce ingredients. Set aside.
Cook linguine as directed on package, adding broccoli, carrots and bell pepper during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain; return to saucepan.
- Add chicken and pour sauce over mixture, gently stirring till coated. Serve immediately.

This made a huge helping - although the four of us seemed to eat it all. I really recommend giving this recipe a try. Of course, it fits in well with my rotisserie chicken obsession.

MPM: Week of Sept 22

Menu planning didn't go so well last week - so this week I'm going to try and plan with minimal grocery purchases. Try and use some of the things we have. Especially veggies and pasta. Here is my thought.

Monday: noodle bowl with beer-peanut sauce
Tuesday: fish tacos
Wednesday: dinner with family
Thursday: roasted butternut squash and quinoa salad
Friday: arugula and white cheddar quesadillas
Saturday: buffalo chicken salad
Sunday: dinner with family

Ok, there is my plan. Pretty short shopping list too. For more menu plans check out org junkie's linkup.

Around Town: getting busy

By next weekend Gus will be 2 months and Lucille will be 17 months. Things are progressing. We are getting better and better at getting out of the house - so I thought it would be worth starting the Around Town feature again. I'm always looking for things to do with the kids around Sacramento, so why not share?

If you are a Fairytale Town fan and a book lover - the ScholarShare Children's Book Festival is worth checking out. It runs all next weekend and admission is free. There will be some book readings and signings and books will be available for purchase as well. Check out the schedule for books and authors that will be featured.

Everybody loves a good food truck event, right? Sept 26 - head over to Tahoe Park for a SacMoFo event benefiting the Wildlife Care Association (THE place to call if you find a distressed / hurt animal or bird.)

Speaking of food, there is still a week left of Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Weeks. A good time to check out a spot you've always wanted to try. I wonder if I can convince the hubby to go for breakfast at The Waffle Experience... I want the cheeses gone wild Farm-to-Fork special.

Well there are a few options for the week. Any locals have other suggestions?



MPM: Week of Sept 15

It's not quite Fall yet, but there is Acorn Squash at the market so I guess its acceptable to start cooking with them. So you may notice my menus may get more Fall/Winter like now. I hope the weather follows suit.

Monday: plum-mustard pork chops (holdover recipe from last week)
Tuesday: baked chicken with acorn squash
Wednesday: coconut & lemongrass baked chicken wings
Thursday: lasagna
Friday: pizza night
Saturday: lentil soup with dutch crunch bread
Sunday: with my parents

The chickpea carrot and feta fritters were amazing last week. Pretty easy too.

More menu planning at org junkie.

Fall shirts for a nursing mama

I completely understand that making some maternity shirts also nursing shirts ... but most people don't have the need for maternity shirts after they have the baby and if you're like me - you don't want to look pregnant any more. So after seeing a post somewhere else recently that highlighted "nursing shirts" that were all maternity shirts I decided I needed to do a post on normal shirts that would work well for nursing mothers. Because all a mama wants that just had a baby is to look and feel normal.

Here are 5 finds at some basic standby stores.


(from top left)
Sleeveless blouse from H&M: I like the black trim on this - and of course the buttons are a nursing mama's best friend.

Collard Surplus Blouse from Forever 21: I'm really loving the blush color.

Crepe-Chiffon Blouse from Old Navy: They have a few great colors of this blouse. The teal is my favorite and they are super soft.

Fitted boyfriend shirt from Gap: I love the gray plaid color. Plaid is on of my favorite things about Fall.

Embroidered silk blouse from Zara: A different take on the basic white button up shirt. I like the sheer fabric.