Life as we know it

Our family adventures


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Smiles for the camera?

Peyton’s smiling now! He’s actually been for awhile now, but this weekend he started doing it all the time!
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Of course they’re not so easy to catch on the camera. I have a new faster camera but not fast enough… and of course when I get the camera out he stops doing it!
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But its fun to take picture of all his funny faces! He’s starting to babble a bit too and react to us when we’re playing with him.
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I think the pictures above and below are the closest I got to catching the smile. I won’t give up!
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I just love how his face lights up when he smiles. Tonight he stayed up a little later than usual, but I didn’t mind because he was done eating and I wasn’t doing anything else, just playing with him. It was nice making him smile.

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In my freezer

I am so glad I got a bunch of meals in the freezer before Peyton was born. That was a big help in the couple weeks after his birth. Its been an even bigger help since I went back to work. I’ve made a big effort to keep putting new meals in the freezer to keep up that stock. We use at least one or two freezer meals per week. We can have dinner ready soon after I get home from work and depending on when Peyton needs to eat we can have dinner right away or wait awhile.

I stopped taking pictures of the freezer meals because I’m not a food blogger. But I do want to review what’s in my freezer right now.

Slow cooker pizza bake is one of the meals I made before Peyton was born. We all really liked it, but I calculated the Weight Watchers points and its not pretty! I have one more of this one in the freezer.

We finished the second chicken pot pie. The second was just as good as the first. That one isn’t really good on the points either. I was really sad to be finished with those… I want to make some more one of these weekends when I have a couple hours. They’re really good but also really time consuming.

I made a double batch of chili a few weeks ago and divided it into three meals, the one we had the night I made it and two for the freezer. Its a chili recipe I found on the internet several years ago that I’ve adapted and tend to just dump into the pot.

I made chicken taco bowls in the crock pot the day I went into labor. That was one where we ate half and froze the other half. Those were good the night I made them and even better when we reheated them.

One recipe that I reviewed here saying I wasn’t too impressed  but really liked a lot more the second time is the BBQ chicken and vegetables. The recipe says to serve over rice but the day we made it the second time I realized we didn’t have any more rice. So I cooked some egg noodles to go with it instead and I liked that a lot better. It also made the food last longer too.

Another great freezer chili was this chicken chili.

Two casseroles I made and liked are baked pasta with chicken sausage and cheesy ham bake (this blog entry has a few recipes, the cheesy ham bake is in the middle). We really loved the pasta with chicken sausage. We had one cheesy ham bake and the second is in the freezer.

Last week I put four new meals in the freezer. Three of them I made a double batch for dinner and froze half. I’ve been making this cajun red beans & rice recipe for a few years now, making a double batch and freezing half. Wednesday I made these salsa sloppy joes. This is a variatation of sloppy joes I make already and the salsa and brown sugar add a nice sweetness. Sloppy joes are good for a few meals’ worth of leftovers, which is always nice. Friday night I made honey lime chicken. It seems more like a regular sweet and sour chicken, which is just fine with me.

Yesterday I put a beef stew together. This link is another recipe round up of 8 recipes that can be made in an hour. I don’t have enough room in the freezer to try that right now, but soon! The beef stew is the sixth recipe down. It looked good as I was putting it together!

Today I have three more meals planned to get in the freezer. I’m making this turkey black bean chili for the second time. I also found these two recipes to try: chicken tetrazzini and tortilla soup. I’ll make the chicken tonight for dinner and freeze half and put the soups straight into the freezer.

So if you were keeping track, I have eight in the freezer right now: pizza pasta, BBQ chicken and vegetables, cheesy ham bake, chili, honey lime chicken, salsa sloppy joes, red beans & rice and beef stew. Three more today will make 11. Thats a nice selection, I’d say!

The internet is a great thing. There are so many resources for freezer meals. I just search freezer meal recipes and come up with lots of recipes. I found one article that says you can make 50 freezer meals in an afternoon. I don’t know how ambitious I am to try that! Not to mention I need to get a bigger freezer before I could try that.


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2 months

007Look who’s 2 months old today! Peyton is getting so big and he’s changed so much in such a short time. We switched to size 1 diapers last weekend. A friend who’s son is two months older than Peyton gave me some newborn diapers he didn’t use. The Pampers were too big for Peyton for awhile so we bought some Target diapers. By the time we got back to the Pampers they were too small! Peyton still fits a lot of his newborn clothes, but we’re getting out some of the 0-3 months.006We had his 2-month check up on Wednesday. Peyton is up to 11 pounds and 22 inches, 25th percentile weight and 35th percentile height. His head circumfrance is 37.8 cm for the 20th percentile. He’s moving up the charts but still a shrimp! He also had three shots and an oral vaccine. Wednesday night wasn’t fun… Peyton was really fussy and wouldn’t eat or sleep for a few hours in spite of having tylenol. Luckily Thursday was better because he slept all day.005Peyton smiles a lot, but its too quick for me to get a picture. He makes lots of fun facial experssions though. He gets really engaged by what he sees around him now. When he’s laying on his activity mat he reaches for the toys hanging above him. He lifts his head up really high. He’s even rolled over a couple times though I know he wasn’t trying to. When he has his head up high and his arm is in the right spot and he leans over a bit… back to his back he goes!003We’re working on getting Peyton to nap during the day. He sleeps through the night most nights but napping is very inconsistent. We’ve been meaning to get the swing back out this week but didn’t get it out until this morning. Peyton is currently on his second nap of the day!001Allie loves her baby brother, and I love seeing her with him, though we have to constantly watch so that Allie doesn’t break him or the bouncey chair! He started going to daycare this week part time. Allie loves having Peyton with her at daycare.


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Hitting close to home

I’ve never run the Boston Marathon and I probably never will. But the tragedy that took place yesterday still feels so personal to me. The people I know who were running the race are OK, thank goodness.

I know nothing is really safe anymore, including running. Just a week and a half ago a runner here was killed by a drunk driver on a Sunday afternoon. You definitely don’t expect your big race to be the scene of the next terrorist attack. When I’m running at full capacity, I run about 8 races per year. That could happen to me.

Closer to home, the Crazylegs Classic is next weekend. I’ve run or walked this race almost every year since we moved to Madison. I’m not running this year since I’m only running 2 miles at a time right now. We thought about the walk but decided against it.

It isn’t as high profile or prestigious as Boston, but its a big event with 20,000 runners. This morning the local news was running the headlines saying, among other things, that police were meeting with race officials. I don’t know how I’d feel if I was running next weekend. Part of me would want to run as a tribute, to show that the terrorists won’t win. But part of me would be so scared.

How do you secure a race course? There are so many places something like yesterday’s bombs could be hidden. The child who died was a spectator, waiting to hug his dad at the finish. That hits especially close to home as I have two kids of my own now, both of whom I want to share my love of running and my races with.

We were hugging the kids extra tight Monday night.

While we don’t shield Allie from the news, we did change the channel before she could see much of this news coverage. But she saw enough to say to Doug when the video was on the news this morning, “I don’t like this Dada.”

Niether do we kid, niether do we. How do we not only keep ourselves, but our kids safe?

I guess what I’m trying to say here is for the first time, maybe ever, tragic events are hitting closer to home than they have before. Two things that are really important to me are now vulnerable. I know they always were, but you don’t think of that until something happens.


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Getting outside, finally!

003We were happy to finally get out of the house on Sunday! We enjoyed an afternoon in the sunshine at the zoo.
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I was disappointed to say the least that winter stayed around during my maternity leave. I expected with leave in March that weather would get nice and we could do some fun outdoor activities. That didn’t happen and to add insult, spring came last Thursday, my first day back at work!
012After wearing snow boots for the last two months, we found out Allie didn’t have any shoes that fit! We had to go buy Allie some new shoes before heading to the zoo. In January she was sized at a 7 or 8 and Sunday she was sized in a 9! Those are some big feet! She picked out fun Sketchers that light up.
013Allie loves seeing all the animals. There were still a few animals who weren’t out yet, but the ones that were out were really active.
015The real highlight of the day was the carousel. On Tuesday when our good friends from Carbondale came to visit, we went to Ella’s Deli. Ella’s Deli has a carousel that wasn’t open yet on Tuesday, but we sat at a table and the kids got to see the workers getting the carousel ready to open. All week Allie was asking to ride the horsey. So Allie was really excited for the zoo carousel.
017We rode twice. The first time Allie rode a zebra and the second time a polar bear. Mama and Baby Peyton rode a bench.
016Peyton was so impressed that he just kept sleeping. No wonder… that carrier is really comfy! Mama didn’t really like the bench though… I got dizzy sitting there.

Allie would ride the carousel all day if we let her. But twice was enough for the grownups, not to mention the zoo was closing soon. I really love having the zoo so close by. Its small and free, so its a nice way to spend a few hours on a nice afternoon without spending much money!


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Peyton’s newborn photos

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These are a few of Peyton’s newborn photos taken in the hospital when he was only a day old. My parents and I went in together to get the CD of the images and I only just got a chance to look at them all last weekend! I watched the slideshow in the hospital and cried like a baby (This is a different slideshow though). Its hard to believe how much he’s changed in such a short time!