Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm Just Me

Everyone loves to give labels to anything they can these days. Since becoming a mother though, I've noticed there is a crazy amount of motherhood labeling out there.

 You're a 'crunchy' mom if you cloth diaper or nurse on demand. 
You're a frugal mom if you coupon and use hand me downs.
You're a trendy mom if you make your own baby food and teach your kiddo sign language. 
You're an attachment mom if you co-sleep and baby wear. 
You're a strict mom if you have rules and a relaxed mom if you want to be their friend. 

I understand that labels are important to people because it lets us know where we fit in and in what category, but please know - I'm just me. A little bit of every kind of mom. I can't classify myself as any one 'type' of mom. In the three short months that I've been a mother, I'm trying all that interests me and sticking with what works.

 I cloth diaper because I love that it saves me money and that I'm saving Kingston's hiney from chemicals all day every day. I plan to teach Kingston sign language because I'd love to better communicate with him way before he's able to verbalize things. I also plan to make his baby food. I cook for our family so why would I not cook for him too? Plus, I got a baby bullet at my shower and I'm positive it will be fun coming up with pureed combinations for him! I also just purchased a ring sling because there are times I don't want to push around the stroller or lug the heavy car seat. You also better believe there will be rules in our house and probably spanks too.

I guess that classifies me as a crunch, trendy, attachment, strict mom.
Umm ... no. Please don't call me any of those things because. I'm nothing more then just me - a mom. I may be doing things different from others but we are all doing the same thing. Mothering. Taking care of our babies the best way possible. 

Give up the labels ladies. 

Linking up with Leslyn.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Recipe: Grandma's Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

This was a go to favorite of my grandma's when we would come to visit because it's delicious, quick and can feed an army. I know I'm always looking for new recipes that can be done in the crock pot. So book mark this - you won't be disappointed! Plus, who doesn't love cheese and pasta? 

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

1 chicken or 4 boneless chicken breasts
2 cups chicken broth
1 lb velvetta cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 stick butter
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped onion 
1 10oz package of spaghetti 
additional optional ingredients: mushrooms, water chestnuts, zucchini 

- in a crock pot, add chicken breasts and chicken broth and let cook 
(I use frozen chicken breasts and leave mine on low all day and by the time I get home from work they are ready. If you don't want to use a crock pot you can boil the chicken.)
- cook spaghetti as package directs
- drain spaghetti, add in shredded chicken and all other ingredients and let simmer for 30-45 minutes. 
(I use the 2 cups chicken broth from the crock pot but if you want your spaghetti more 'soupy' add a little more. And because CT adoesn't like onion, I use 3 tbsp of minced onion flakes instead of the fresh chopped onion.) 

Serve this with a side of bread and it makes the perfect warm fall/winter meal.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Being Grown Sucks

This past weekend my little family went back to my home town and spent the weekend with my parents and sister. My littlest sister is a sophomore in high school and as I sat and listened to her talk with her bestie, I had a moment where I missed being in high school. I missed picking out my best outfit and spending too much time on my hair each morning, I missed those lunch time friends - you know the ones who aren't your usual friends but the ones you sat with at lunch because you had the same class that day, I missed the giddiness of talking to a new guy and I even missed note taking and homework. 

Everyone wishes away those younger years and all your look forward to is being able to just 'graduate and be done with school and finally have a big girl job'. I know I did. Something I wish I would have told my 16-22 year old self  - sometimes being a grown up isn't all that fun. 
Sometimes making life decisions sucks.  

Right now I'm having to decide on which insurance is going to be best for my little family. How the heck am I suppose to know what type of coverage we are going to need for next year? Will we break a bone, get ebola or will nothing happen and all we need are our annual appointments? 

Insurance is confusing enough because of the various options, each with their own benefits. 

1. Low premium, no copays & pay everything out of pocket till we hit high deductible then most everything is covered after.
2. High premium, no copay & no deductible but pay 25% of almost every bill.
3. Medium premium, copays with medium deductible & medium % to pay after deductible is met.

Decisions, decisions! 
Last year we chose option 1 and it saved us a lot of money during Kingston's birth. We had our deductible met when it came time for his birth and then most everything was covered after that. We didn't have to pay a cent of our $16,000 hospital bill and now each doctors appointment costs us $5-$10. Needless to say we are getting everything checked out this year! 

I think we are leaning toward option 1 again because we have the option to use a health savings account which makes it less of burden when we have to pay big chunks at each visit. 
Which option would you choose? 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2nd Month {Mama} Must Haves

Last month I had a long list of mama must haves and this month is no different. Check out what has helped me conquer the second month of motherhood. 

1. Ceiling Fans

If it's one of those days where Kingston thinks he is too grown for naps, one of the best things to distract the little man is the ceiling fan. This is a life saver when I'm needing to take a shower. I lay him on the bed turn on the fan and I'm able to get 4 minutes of me time in the shower. 

2. Medela Double Electric Breast Pump
Now that Kingston is sleeping through the night, I wake up super engorged. Because of this, he only nurses off of one side during his first feeding of the day. This allows me to pump the other side and I'm so thankful for the electric pump by medela. I'm able to simultaneously feed him and pump. This pump comes with a travel case and a compact cooler, which I know will come in handy when I return to work. 

3. Lush Dry Shampoo 

I never had a big use for dry shampoo before having a baby. Back then I was always able to shower in the morning and style my hair right after. Since having a baby, I get it in whenever I can. This usually happens in the evening when the hubby is home and can entertain the kiddo. Unfortunately, I was blessed with over-producing oil glands in my hair and so when I go to style it the next day it's always greasy. Dry shampoo has helped me conquer the greasiness. I use a powder from Lush Cosmetics and it removes the greasiness. The one thing I'm not loving about it is that I feel like I'm putting corn starch in my hair. When I run out of this bottle I plan on purchasing a spray in dry shampoo. Any recommendations? 

4. 1.5" Curling Iron

Again, because of the lack of time and having to wash my hair at night, a large barreled curling iron has become my new best friend. Since I usually sleep on wet hair, I wake up with waves. This curling iron helps to create additional loose waves in no time at all. These days I spend maybe 4-5 mins curling my hair and it surprisingly turns out pretty good! 

5. Up&Up Milk Storage Freezer Bags
I'm working on building up my freezer stash for when I return back to work and Kingston starts daycare. So far I'm up to about 250oz and they are stored in the Target generic brand Up&Up bags. They are very similar to Medela's bags except half the price. The only problem I have with them is that when I have 5 oz in a bottle and pour it in the bag it reads as an ounce more. I think this is because of the shape of the bags. Just make sure you label it correctly and it shouldn't be a problem.  

6. Hazelnut Coffee Creamer

No words necessary. I like my creamer with a splash of coffee. You can never have enough of this in your fridge!  

7. V- Neck Tees

I purchase mine from Gordman's for cheap so when I outwear (which I do because I wear them all the time), then I can just toss them in the trash. I've found that v-necks help with being able to easily breastfeed. Instead of pulling the whole shirt up, I can just pull the v-neck to the side. 

8. Wet Bag

I originally purchased these wet bags for my cloth diapers but I have found that they can be used for so much more! If you have a blow out, dirty spit up burp rags or wet swimming clothes throw them in here and they won't get all over anything else. You can then empty the bag into the washer and toss it in as well. These are a necessity for the diaper bag! 

I still use many items from the first month mama must haves, especially the apps and baby monitor! Life savers for sure!!

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