Lindsay Gill: March 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday: Five Fast-Forwards

This is my first post of Five on Friday with DarciChristinaApril, and Natasha!  I've listed five things that we're looking forward to...and feeling hopeful about!


[ONE]  I launched Wedding Rings to Teething Rings Ink this week...an invitation addressing service!  I'm excited to try out a few more pens and fonts.  I think the outside envelope of your invitations is important to set the tone of your event...it's the first thing your guests see, after all!  I had a lot of fun going to Michael's to get my new pens and materials, and was grateful that my husband watched Luke and gave me the time to do so!

[TWO] We've been keeping an eye on the real estate market in the area.  It's so nice to feel hopeful that we will have our own home (again) in the near future!  It's fun to create out "wishlist" for our home.  Our condo was a perfect fit for the time, as was our home in Buffalo, but we're excited to see what's next!

[THREE] I've made it a routine to take a bag of things to the consignment store on Saturday mornings.  Soon, we will have nothing left to sell.  I call myself an anti-hoarder and I have this need to get rid of everything!  We've made a good amount of money so far from selling things there, too!  I think a lot of this drive comes from baby-proofing the condo...it's just so much easier to watch Luke when there is less stuff.  I also firmly believe that I have delayed onset nesting!  I'm going to re-start my 31 Day Organization Challenge for guidance.  If we do decide to move, I want to make it as easy as possible by having everything organized ahead of time!

[FOUR] Like everyone else, we are so excited for Spring.  Luke is at a really fun age for trying out new parks and running around in the mud!  Driving to and from work in the daylight makes a huge difference in my attitude!

[FIVE] We have a small table in the basement that my dad made.  I painted the top of it a few years back, and now I'd love to redo it again for Luke!  It's been fun looking at ideas, like this DIY Lego Table.  This will be my next project...after I finish the painting that I've been procrastinating with!

Have a great weekend!  Do you have any weekend plans?

Monday, March 24, 2014

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

I just saw a post on Mother's Day Gift ideas.  I'll save you the googling...Mother's Day is May 11th this year.  Okay, we've got plenty of time!

Recently, our unofficial gift giving system is that you will receive your gift on the following holiday.  For example, my mom's birthday was in September, so she would get her gift on Thanksgiving, Halloween at best.  And I thought pregnancy brain would go away after pregnancy! Ha!

I'm going to start early so that the moms of this family don't have to wait until Father's Day for their gifts.  Here is what I came up with...

*************warning...Mom and Gramma, you may not look below this line!*************





...and here are 8 more DIY Gift ideas!

Do you have any other Mother's Day ideas?  Do you have any Mother's Day traditions?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Cleaning

Have you started your Spring Cleaning?  We didn't have a choice.  Due to ice damming, we had water damage of our ceilings and walls.  Workmen came to remove the damaged pieces, dry the area, and replace the ceiling and walls.  Then another crew came to clean the rugs.  


It is much easier to watch a running 14 month old in a clean area so I set out to get things back in order.  You may have seen an earlier post on Luke's play area.  At this point, what area is not his play area?  Anyway, he has collected a lot of toys.  From Christmas, from his birthday, from generous Nanas.  Some of these toys are at the bottom of a toy bucket and haven't been played with in quite some time.  

I filled a few bags with toys and brought them to the basement.  We're going to try a "toy shift" system from now on.  Toys will be available in shifts.  This way, nobody is overwhelmed, and the toys stay interesting!  With the new availability of toys, Luke came running over and got himself busy with some stacking blocks. 

  

Later on, we went to the park to feed the ducks and birds.  Boy, were they hungry!  I was actually scared that they would attack us and threw the Saltines like Frisbees as far as I could to keep them away.  





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Monday, March 17, 2014

What I wish I knew about daycare

What do I wish I knew about daycare?

If you're new here, you can catch up on Luke's first day of daycare, and his transition to the older class here.  As I finish yet another day that started with goodbye tears, I write this post to myself back in August 2013 to prepare myself for Luke's time at day care...


1.  Luke will get so many colds!  Like a new one every day.  For a while, we went to the Pediatrician every Thursday.  This depends on the size of the daycare, and the ages of the kids with your little one.  Luke goes to a "large center" with all kids his age.  Luckily, they are starting to slow down the "mouthing."  Supposedly this is building his immune system and making him less likely to catch everything down the road.  That doesn't make it any easier to deal with stuffy noses and coughs during the night.

2.  Luke will learn new behaviors.  Sometimes he comes home with a new cry that I've never heard before.  They really do learn from each other!  Both good and bad.

3.  Luke will have tough goodbyes...still.  I thought maybe this would get easier but it hasn't.  This started at 10 months of age to the day.  Apparently this is normal but our goodbye looks sadder than the other kids.  The teachers promise that as soon as I'm out of sight, he calms down and has a great day.

4.  Don't try to save money.  By this, I mean that I tried to buy just enough diapers, wipes, formula etc as needed, which caused much more anxiety for me than just buying more than enough and duplicates of everything.  I was late to work when I forgot his extra bottle or he lost his pacifier in our travels.  I wish I had just splurged and had more than enough of everything.

5.  It's a learning time for you, too.  I tell myself, anyway, that every time I can drop him off, I'm preparing myself for his first day of preschool, first day of Kindergarten...first day of college.

6.  There are so many different daycare types.  There are homes, centers, and big centers!  You really have to look around to figure out what works best for you.  Some of them are booked months in advance so save yourself stress and try to plan as ahead of time as you can.



7.  You will get many reactions.  I have to listen to a few patients a day sharing their negative opinion on our choice to send Luke to day care.  I don't take it personally, I think they mostly want to make conversation.  When family voices their opinion, you have to be strong in your decisions.  This won't be the first or last thing you disagree on.

8.  You might not get to see Luke very much on daycare days.  He goes to sleep so early that if I have an early morning drop off, and then get out of late work, I will be lucky to get to rock Luke to sleep for a few minutes.  Sometimes, especially when he was younger, I felt like we had to re-acclimate on our Thursday together because we had been apart for so long.  This is a sad feeling but helps us appreciate our time together more.

9.  You will think about him all day.  We get photo updates throughout the day which really helps, and they welcome worried phone calls, too.  But you can't help but worry about his health, safety, and happiness when he is away from you.

10.  He's learning so much, so quickly.  Luke gets to do art projects.  He gets to go outside.  He meets children of different ethnicity and backgrounds, and is exposed to different teachers and foods.  He is learning to be independent and I can't even put into words how proud of him I am.


Originally I had been trying to get him busy with something and then sneak out when I drop him but a friend said that causes them anxiety.  I was heartbroken and now make sure he sees me leaving which doesn't seem any better.  I hate to think I'm causing him anxiety.  What are your thoughts on this?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Easy Fish Sticks Recipe

Luke and I came up with this easy cod fish sticks recipe today! 

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used Italian-style)
  • 1/2 cup crushed oyster crackers 
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lbs of cod   
1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix the bread crumbs, crushed crackers, and parsley.  Pour onto flat plate for breading the fish.
3.  Cut the fish into strips 1 inch wide.
4.  Whip up the 2 eggs and add the melted butter and garlic.
5   Dip the fish in the egg mixture and then cover in the crumb breading.
6.  Place in a greased pan and cook for about 25 minutes.  




Luke wasn't sure at first.
But ended up loving them and ate 2 sticks! Along with some Coco Puffs.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Easy Shrimp Pad Thai

My husband and I wanted something tasty this past weekend.  My mom had given us a bag of shrimp, so my husband suggested Shrimp Pad Thai.  I opened my Pinterest app and set out to find an easy recipe.  Little did I know that every recipe would be very different, and require so many ingredients that I had to scroll down while grocery shopping...and that was not what I was looking for.  So I took an average of the ingredients in my head, and came up with some really delicious Shrimp Pad Thai!  

If your kitchen is not "Thai-friendly," the initial grocery shop will be more expensive.  But then you have all the the ingredients for all Thai food to come!

Here was my grocery list:
  • Thai Kitchen Coconut milk (1 can)
  • TyLing Bean Sprouts (1 can) (fresh would be better but they were out)
  • low Sodium Kikkoman soy sauce (2 tbsp)
  • fish sauce (2 tbsp)
  • rice stick noodles or LoMein noodles (I got 2 packages)
  • brown sugar (2 tbsp)
  • cilantro (I got the paste, about 2 tbsp)
  • green onion (scallions)
  • flour (1/4 cup)
  • bag of shrimp
  • peanuts (1/4 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil (2 tbsp)
  • 1 lime
  • optional peas and carrots
  1. Start noodles.  The directions were on the package, but mine were to boil water, add in noodles and boil for 4-5 minutes and then drain.  I saw some that required 20 minutes of soaking, though.
  2. "Crunch" the peanuts. I put them in a baggy and crunched them with a spoon as shown.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix in the peanuts, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and cilantro.  Add the flour until you reach your desired sauce thickness.
  4. Use the vegetable oil to cook the shrimp.  
  5. Fry the egg in a separate pan and add to the shrimp (I just used the same pan).
  6. Add in peas or carrots if desired (I did not).
  7. Add the sauce and top with the green onion.
  8. Squeeze on lime juice to taste. 








Monday, March 10, 2014

Coconut oil pulling?

Have you heard about swishing coconut oil around in your mouth, AKA Oil Pulling?  Apparently it has been around forever, but it just recently flooded my Facebook wall, so I decided to check it out.  Wellness Mama describes the benefits, and this is the article that filled my wall.  But basically it is said to be good for oral health, sinus health, and even skin health etc.!

I'm certainly not here to claim anything, I just wanted to describe my first "pulling" experience!  It looks like this should be done in the morning on an empty stomach for the best benefit.  But I bought it tonight and used it at 7:46pm.  How do I remember the time?  Because I had to calculate 20 minutes from there and thought I would be watching the clock every minute.

I "pulled" while putting the groceries away and getting food ready for tomorrow.  I thought the oil would be like olive oil but this was harder than Crisco, I had to dig the spoon in to get my portion.  The taste didn't bother me, it was like a very mild buttery coconut taste that melted over the 20 minutes of swishing.  

I did feel a little gaggy at first but was fine once it melted.  I was concerned of that sensation at the dentist where you can't swallow the fluoride (you don't swallow the coconut oil!) but the next time I checked the clock, the 20 minutes was up and I was done! It looks like you can melt the oil to avoid the funny initial texture, I might try that if the gagginess continues.

I had no instant effects, but my teeth did feel cleaner.  I'm interested to see if I notice any more changes!  I read that it could help with eczema, that would be great!  Now this was the only kind in the store, but I read it is best to be organic and unrefined.  

What have you heard about oil pulling?  Have you had any experience with it yourself?  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Guest Post: The Sleep Chronicles with Being Mrs. Beer

Today, I am so thankful to Jess at Being Mrs. Beer for including me in her Sleep Chronicles series!  She has a little girl just a few weeks older than my Luke and has been sharing the "sleep stories" of fellow moms.  Here's ours (so far!)...

My pregnancy with Luke was fairly uneventful until I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes.  This was a blessing and a curse.  A curse because it required so much time, energy, and insulin to keep both of us safe.  But also a blessing...because I didn't have the time or energy to obsessively read books and the internet.  I didn't have any preconceived ideas about Luke or how "things would be."  I was even disappointed in how little effort I put into his nursery.  I never had a "nesting" drive.  I just needed to get him out safely and would cross the next bridge when we got there.

Fast forward to January 2013 and Luke was born.  The nurses cleaned us all up and brought us to the recovery room.  My parents left, my doctor left, and I told my husband to go home because there was no sense in having us both exhausted!  The nurse handed me a sleeping Luke and said goodnight.  

"Wait..." I vividly remember asking.  "What do I do if he wakes up?"


I had babysat for over 10 years for three children at a time.  I helped raise my younger brother who was born when I was seven.  But sitting there in my hospital bed with a new little angel next to me...I was clueless.  The nurse kindly explained that I should comfort him, and attempt to get him to latch for breastfeeding.
We didn't find much of a pattern in the first few weeks.  In fact, they are such a blur because of the lack of sleep and shell-shock of it all.  We did decide that we would start with Luke sleeping in his crib, we never co-slept.  




To continue reading and find out how we accidently "sleep-trained" Luke, click here!

Monday, March 3, 2014

How to have a seamless Baby Shower

You've sent out the invitations, you've got your guest list and venue.  The baby is kickin' and you're exhausted, maybe a little cranky...let's throw a party!  With pregnancy brain, you might want to keep a list handy for things you don't want to forget...here's what worked for us!


1.  Simple DIY Floating Candle Centerpieces.  These are fairly cheap and you can save them for all future occasions, and change the color of the glass pieces depending on the gender.  Or you could do blue hydrangea for a boy...light pink roses for a girl.  

2.  Balloons.  We had these at the entrance and on either side of the "gift" table.  Just a few simply bunches of three or so.  Speaking of a gift table...

3.  Have a designated spot for gifts.  People will be strolling in with heavy gifts saying, "Where should I put this?" 

4.  Name cards.  You might not want your great aunt sitting next to your sorority sister.  Or maybe you do.  In either case, I like having name cards.  I think people like finding their spot and again, having somewhere to put all of the stuff.

5.  Photos.  If you have pregnancy photos, this might be fun to display.  I had our photos out from when we announced we were pregnant.  See them here!

6.  Have a guest book.  This could be a child's book that people sign in permanent marker.  Or you could have index cards with "advice for mama," though you may not want a bunch of extra cards...or advice!

7.  Goody bag.  Maybe a small candle depending on your budget and number of guests.  For Luke's baptism, we gave out personalized Hershey kisses bundled up in cellophane and tied with a ribbon.  

8.  Some friends!  Opening presents can be exhausting, and people expect you to do this with tremendous speed,  agility, gratitude, and volume.  I felt very incompetent opening gifts in front of so many people, you suddenly look like you've never opened a gift before.  An obstacle course for the pregnant chick. 
  • one friend for opening tough things with ribbons (have scissors nearby)
  • one friend for announcing the gift and giver (they should know everyone's name)
  • one friend for collecting trash 
  • one friend for writing down the information so thank-you's are easier
9.  We "raffled" off gift baskets at my shower.  We had a few guests "donate" a certain themed basket and everyone got tickets for their chance to win.  This breaks up the monotony of opening gifts but is definitely not necessary if it feels like "just another thing on the to-do list."

10.  Photography.  Have someone in charge of this so that mama can look back when pregnancy brain fades (still waiting) and see how beautiful the day was.

11.  Food and drinks.  This is very much up to you.  If your venue is a restaurant, check if they are providing table cloths etc.  Sometimes they have colored table cloths so make sure they match your theme and/or request your color.   If it is not at a restaurant, don't forget plates, cups, silverware, trash bags etc.

12.  Save the greeting cards.  Your friend can either write the gifts on paper, or on the cards.  Later, you could make a DIY Card Collage for the baby's room!  I love looking at this and remembering how many people supported us as we prepared for Luke's arrival.

Seasoned mamas...what else would you add?