Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Menu Plan Monday, Oct 6

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 

Monday: Indonesian Chicken Satay, Peanut Sauce with Rice & Stir Fried Veggies
Monday we were having friends over for dinner - a dear friend is heading back to Ireland and I wanted to serve her a last asian dinner...or at least as Asian as I get :)

Tuesday: Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup
Tuesday night we had plans at 4 and 8 so a crockpot dinner was a necessity - and this dinner is not only easy but super super tasty.

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Spinach Pesto Lasagne
Wednesday is a busy day - my mom was been not feeling great so I will be walking with my folks and my sister, then meeting up with a friend for coffee, and then driving a student to the airport, so another crockpot dinner is important. I will make sure to make some veggies that I can eat since Lasagne is not on my go list.  

Thursday: Pumpkin Soup

Thursday I am free most of the day so I can take some time to invest in Pumpkin Soup. Mostly it's onion soup...but good, so good. So worth the investment.

Friday: Nachos (creamy chicken taco mixture)
Friday night is a pre-thanksgiving dinner hangout for the Mitchell family. Nachos as our place! Easy and fun! 

Saturday: Thanksgiving Dinner (with friends)
Saturday is our family and friends dinner - international students and homestay students! Woot.

Thanksgiving Dinner (with the Mitchell's)
Sunday is my family dinner + church. Woot again. 

Monday: Thanksgiving Dinner (with the Morgan's)
Dinner with the other half of our family! Woot again indeed.

I finally have time to get dinner prepped before the final minutes. It's rewarding to spend time in the day getting dinner ready. I mean sometimes baby things pop up and it's crazy but generally I can take an hour earlier to get dinner ready, then go back to baby life. Really all it's done is moved dinner prep forward....and that's relaxing. Finally no last minute stress.

And also now it's late. So there you go. Bedtime!

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Baby blogging

Seriously. How do mommy bloggers with babies do it? I want to blog and yet. Tired. Baby. Night. Day. Baby. Seriously. Right now I'm up while Paul and baby sleep. Sneaking time for blogging away from baby. And now it's a week after I wrote those first sentences and I'm sneaking in another thought or two while baby naps. And fast forward 15 minutes...baby is awake but she is snuggled up next to me while I keep typing. And then she just pooped...and it was everywhere. So then I went to change her and now I'm back at the computer. And here we are - not even a paragraph in!

Now that we’ve moved the bassinette out of our room we’ve moved the armchair back in – we’ve moved the Ikea Raskog Kart in next to it, which I am loving. When I bought it for the nursery Paul said it was most likely just an excuse for me to own it and given the fact that it’s found my way into our room, I can’t quite argue.

So those first two paragraphs were written two weeks ago. Oh Avie. You know, I miss blogging. I miss crafting. I miss DIY. And yet. Baby, you are totally worth it. I find my days are busy and cuddly and sweet and slighty sticky and I wouldn't trade that for anything. Today Avie and I sat at a Starbucks in Coquitlam waiting to run an errand and while I drank...wait, lets get back to that. We sat there and she cuddled on my lap and I'm so thankful. It took time to make her, it took time to get her out, but she is here and oh am I thankful. 

So back to the drink, that's obviously why I'm blogging. That's obviously why you're here. You're wondering, what's Tara drinking at Starbucks? Let me satisfy your curiosity. They say it killed the cat. Curiosity, that is. Not my starbucks drink. So a couple years ago I wrote a post about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and my confusion with the nickname and my subsequent disappointment with the drink. BUT this year, I discovered that I do like the new PSL, with it's new and improved ingredients. Quite enjoyed. I was even about to order another one! Today I went to Starbucks with Avie, planning to repeat the experiment, and then I saw a sign for the new Toasted Graham Latte. The graphics won me over, I was nervous, but I tried it. I pushed through. Can I tell you? I loved it. Honestly. I had two of them today. One this morning, one later today. Avie kept grabbing at it...but that's because she always tries to grab my things. Baby wants whats her moms :) 

This blog post might have taken almost three weeks to write but boy does it feel good to write a bit and post a bit. I sure do love this platform!
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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Avelynn is 4 months!

I wrote this when our sweet baby girl was 4 months (that was like 3 weeks ago). Then we were away at camp, then we were away on family vacation and then is now. I missed posting it. But be that as it may, she still reached 4 months and woot. She is just as sweet as ever. Honestly, she's such a lovely baby. I can't quite get over how great she is. I have a fear sometimes that she's a trick baby...one that is so great that you believe you got this and start to have more kids right away only to discover that your first trick baby was actually not a normal baby but that the rest of your babies are normal and waaay harder. But I am chosing to enjoy the trick at least if that's the case :)

Avelynn has started giggling this past month and it's ADORABLE. She's good natured - always a smile when she's being played with. She'll stop breastfeeding to look up at me and smile, then go back to her eating. She often has a deep pensive or puzzled look on her face, and she does a wide eyed surprise look like no one else.


Playtime with Grandma

I offer you a foot

Mom & Baby time

She's turning a lot, but hasn't quite figured out how to roll over all the way. She can go from her back to her side to the front, but can't get out of that. She turns though, 360 in her crib all night. She's been sleeping in her own rib for almost a month now - it's great! She sleeps through the night mostly, we no longer have middle of the night feeds, though sometimes she still wakes up but a soother puts her back down.

Srsly cute

Sleeping beauty

and this one slays my heart

Avelynn finally gets to meet the rest of Paul's family in the states - his Minnesota and Oregon family! We're so excited to show this sweet little girl off. Before that Avelynn and I are heading up to Anvil Island to volunteer at teen camp and then we're off for our family vacation.

That look

I texted this photo to Paul and he texted back "Is Avelynn taking a selfie?"

We sure have been enjoying the summer - lake days, stanley park walks, olympic village walks, adventures of many types. Avelynn handles it all like a champ - she's great for travelling, great at taking bottles and great with baby sitters. She's a truly lovely kid. I realize I'm biased. But still.

Sasamat Lake with friends

Winning people over - dang that smile

Lindsey and Avie (aka Blue Steel)

Baby and babies first toy - the infant ball

"Let's go to the lake," they said. "It'll be fun," they said. Elliot and Avelynn do not agree with their mom's.

Appies with some of the Pre-Natal class ladies at the Tea House at Stanley Park

What pre-natal class hang out would be complete without spontaneous breastfeeding? Also I love that Elinor is poking out.

And in about a week you'll see a post that announces she's 5 months. So yeah. Mom for the win?
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Friday, August 14, 2015

7 Quick Takes (Volume 14)

--- 1 --- 
I just spent the last two hours working on a blog post. As a mom that's precious time to find. It felt like magic to carve that time out. I saved the post. I schedule it to be published tomorrow. I hit publish and I made sure to hit save again. AND still somehow blogger has ruined everything and deleted the post. So there's that. Thanks blogger. 

--- 2 --- 
What we're eating this week: 
Monday: Corn Chowder
Tuesday: Sweet Bourbon Chicken, baked sweet potatoes, zucchini pizza bites & pot stickers
Wednesday: Potato & Cheddar Soup with baguette
Thursday: Gnocchi with sausage & veggies
Friday: Garlic Marinaded Chicken with veggies & rice
Saturday:  YOYO
Sunday: Leftovers

Sticking with my healthy eating goals, I make extra sauteed peppers and zucchini that I eat in place of the carbs served - no pot stickers, gnocchi or rice for me! Thankfully I love the way that tastes instead. I have two eggs scrambled with some egg white for breakfast every morning and a salad every day for lunch. I love my food routine. 

--- 3--- 

I often miss Island life. I LOVED living in Port Alberni and Nanaimo. I liked living in Victoria, but LOVED Port Alberni and Nanaimo. Mostly because of the island around it – the location is amazing. There’s something about rivers, lakes, trees and Tim Hortons that makes me so happy. It’s green here. Not the lawns, BC has a water shortage, but the trees and the mountains…green. There’s blue. Sproat Lake, Cameron Lake, the Pacific Ocean, rivers, etc. It’s fabulous. This is for sure my happy place. On top of the people and topography I love the restaurants and shopping.  In Port there are so many options (considering the town is only 20,000 population): german, “chinese”, swale rock, clam bucket, Pescadores, etc. In Nanaimo (population 109,000) there are even more; Pipers Pub, Acme, Modern CafĂ©, etc. It’s fabulous. I love the food, the people, the land. The Island is my home. The island is my happy place. Vancouver has my life, my friends, my  community, my family but the island will always be my home, my happy place. If the ferry weren’t so expensive to go on I’d be over far more often.

--- 4--- 
This weekend I visited my home town – it is a small town, not overly remarkable on it’s own but the people and the location make it wonderful. Just 20 minutes from town is the best lake ever….like in the world. I’m pretty sure that’s a scientific fact. It’s big enough to rarely feel crowded and yet despite how big it is it’s warm! In fact it is the only lake that Paul is allowed to throw me into – which he does every time we come. I was visiting this time with my sister so there was no danger of me being thrown in. There was a danger though, of me not making it over. Ferries are a tricky thing – I grew up on an island. This teaches you something. The expression “hurry up and wait” is used often. I tried to make reservations a month before coming but they were all booked up (they only reserve a certain section of the boat in advance).  Thankfully there are extra sailings on a holiday weekend so I planned to be at the boat with Avelynn by 8:30am (I arrived by 8:40am – pretty decent for travelling with baby) so that I could arrive just after the second ferry of the day, but before the extra 9:55am sailing, and the regular 10:40 sailing, so that even if there was a wait I could get on the 10:40 or the 12:40…wow this is scintillating, eh? Anyways I made it on the 10:40am ferry, arriving in Nanaimo at 12:30pm.

You know what was fun though? I waited at the terminal for 2 hours (not bad at all) but ended up with some big poop-splosions. Avelynn pooped, and it was EVERYWHERE. I was in a line, not knowing when I’d need to move again, trying to change her diaper and deal with the poop that was on her, on her arms, legs, on her carrier insert, on her clothes….poop all over the place. I managed to get her clean, pack away all the poop clothes and pack her back into her carseat all before the line moved again. Phew. Oh poop.

The trip has been so wonderful, poop aside. Relaxation, lake time, small town life. Time with my sister and baby and so many friends from my past. Lovely. We attended the church I was a baby in, attended a party with family friends, and had two lake days, sister and sister plus baby. Plus we stayed with Jenna's friend Tonielle and her house is rad, plus she is rad, and she's a wonderful host. It was a wonderful time. 

Dinner at Gina's! So happy.

Catching up with my friend Lisa - friends since 13! That's a total 19 years!

Our first lake stop is at the provincial park. A lack of shade had us camped out near the water with a makeshift shelter for Avelynn to stay cool in. 

Shade + fan = napping baby

Next lake stop - Taylor Arm Provincial Park

We met up with a super famous internet baby...or really the adorable baby who our friend from high school has and is super cute on facebook. Not only did we get to hang out with them briefly but they passed us onto their super shadey spot, perfect for babies. 
The spot was perfect - tent for baby, shade for us all, water just steps away

Avelynn was enjoying the time, I'm sure.

Auntie & Avelynn take to the water

My college friend Crystal joined us - so lovely. 

Last but not least I got to have breakfast with my two best junior high friends - I've known Jenny since we were in grade 5 - that's 22 years! 

I've known Amy since we were 12 - that's 20 years! 

Amy & Jenny were my friends through junior high, high school and college. We spent hours laying on Amy's trampoline looking up at the stars while talking and dreaming. Band trips, adventures, walks home from school - they were some of my first real friends and I'm so glad we're still connected! Plus Jenny's sister Stephanie was able to join us, and Amy's daughter Kenzie came too! 

Also....after we left the restaurant I moved a bib. Under the bib....next to my baby's carseat. A mouse. A dead mouse. A gift from the cat where we stayed. Sooooo gross. 

All in all, a super great weekend.
--- 5--- 
Also noteworthy, Avelynn is a super cutey. 

First time in the bumbo!

Avelynn & Mom - adventure time for mom and baby

Adorable sleeping baby. A little deer.

First time in a high chair

--- 6--- 
Speaking of cute things, my friend Jodi is in town for the week. We got to have lunch with her and Stefany and it was great. Avelynn loved finding a red headed friend and hanging out with Stef (and the two babies in her belly!). 

Stef, Tara, Jodi & Avelynn

--- 7--- 
I mentioned last week that after 2 and a half weeks cracking down on my health and getting to the gym and adding in regular exercise I had lost 5 pounds and a few inches and was feeling fabulous. In the past week I haven't gained but I haven't lost. I'm thankful for the support of friends and family on this quest for health and the reminder that I can keep going even when the results aren't exactly as quick or major as I'd hoped. There have been easy days and hard days but at the end of it, the days I make healthy choices are the days that my body feels the best. The days that I eat crap (like today with 2 pieces of pizza over lunch) I feel like crap. I needed a nap and my stomach felt not great. A big reminder that it's not about weight but about actually feeling great.
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