Thursday, July 28, 2016

3 Favorite Meals and Healthy Snacks

Now that I have been back at work for 3 weeks now I want to share some of our favorite quick recipes and snacks. We do a lot of meal prepping on Sundays to prepare for our week. I have been following the 21 day fix meal plan in hopes to clean up my eating and drop a few pounds. Before I went back to work I was getting in the workouts on most days. Now, not so much. It is really hard to find time to work out and I'll be honest it is just not a priority right now. Hopefully in the next couples weeks I can figure how to fit a workout in.

Sundays are our grocery shopping and meal prep day. We literally spend all day food prepping. It is pretty draining and some times annoying to spend our Sundays like that but it is so worth it and makes meals throughout the week so much easier. Matt does dinner 3 nights a week alone so it really helps him out as well.

Favorite Healthy Snacks:

  • Green, Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Apple with Peanut Butter
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches
  • Baby Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Cottage Cheese
  • String Cheese
Those have been my go to snacks. I usually do a fruit and a veggie for my morning snack and then a veggie, fruit and cottage cheese for my afternoon snack. The key is portion control. I make sure I cut everything up and measure it in my 21 day fix containers. It is a lot of work to cut up 5 bell peppers, 3 packs of strawberries, a cantaloupe and what ever other veggies are on the list for the week on Sunday, but when I am able to just grab a baggie and throw it in my lunch bag I am thankful I cut them all up at once. Kinley loves all of it too so it makes it easy to grab her a snack. 

3 Favorite Meals:

  • Chicken Parmesan over Spaghetti Squash: I LOVE this and it is super easy and great reheated. I like to do baked chicken breasts and then add some mozzarella cheese on top so I am not eating fried chicken and defeating the purpose of healthy eating. I love the spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta
  • Greek Turkey Burgers: I found this recipe and it has been a favorite for the past few weeks. You don't even need a bun which is a bonus for me since I have been trying to cut down on my carbs. The tomato and cucumber salad its such a great addition. Don't forget the feta! 
  • Taco Salad: Such an easy meal to make. Again getting rid of the tortillas. You can have so many options with taco salad. I use ground turkey for the meat but you could use ground beef as well. You could also add in corn or black beans. I love topping it with a little cheese, fresh salsa, avocado and a little sour cream. Though like I said the options are endless.
What are some of your favorite recipes?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Police Photo Shoot

The kids got to be apart of an amazing photo shoot for children of police officers. This photo shoot really warmed my heart after what has been going on. It is a scary world out there but this is our life and we are going to do our best to raise our kids to spread kindness.

Thank you Hannah Grace Photography for some amazing pictures and memories we will never forgot!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Some Randomness, A Photo Shoot and Exciting News

Things have been quiet around here but that is only because they have been so busy at home. I went back to work 3 weeks ago and I think we are slowly finding ourselves into a new routine. We have had a few things come up so the kids have been at home a little more with Matt or his mom. It has made the mornings a little easier since I only have to worry about getting myself out of the house. These sunflowers just make me happy :)

If I am being honest about going back to work I would have to say it hasn't been too horrible. I miss the kids terribly but I am enjoying the break as well. I am working 3 10 hour days so I am gone for 12 hours, which makes for VERY long days. But only being gone for 3 days makes it 100% worth it. I think I have been able to get into a good pumping schedule and am able to bring home at least what Zander eats if not more. So it has been successful but I hate pumping. Kuddos to you moms that exclusively pump. I will write about that another time though.

A few weekends ago we were part of an amazing photo shoot for the kids. There has been so much hate going on in the world we were honored to be apart of something so special. Hannah Grace Photography offered a kids portrait story photo session for police kids in our area. If you know me you know I immediately signed the kids up! I love having photos of them and the session was nothing short of amazing! I'll be sharing in all the photos in a post on Friday.

I have been wanting to get Kinley involved in some activity and have been having a very difficult time finding something that works with our schedules. I think I have FINALLY found something, take a guess?!! Yes, you guessed right...gymnastics! So many of the activities are for 3 years and older or are mommy and me which is great but not everyone can do a mommy and me class on a Saturday morning. So finally I have found something that works with our schedules. I am so so excited to put her in gymnastics! Be ready for lots of pictures of gymnastics days over on IG.

My parents have not met Zander yet, though they are both coming out within the next 6 weeks. We are super excited! Dad and Darlene are coming out the first week of August and staying at the beach for a few days! Woo hoo! This will give me a good reason to drag Matt to the beach again before summer is over. We haven't made it to the splash pad yet so maybe we will do that as well. I am going to take a few days off so we will get some quality time with them. It is hard when everyone lives so far away. My mom is coming the beginning of September and I am just so excited. I am not sure what we have planned but I am sure we will find some fun things to do.

Are you ready for the exciting news! I am going to be an AUNTIE again! Julie is pregnant and due in January. They haven't found out gender yet but will in about another month or so. I can't wait to start going through all the clothes and start sending them that way. I just wish we all were closer so Kinley and Zander could play with their cousins. Being far away from family is tough. We are so thankful for technology these days.

I hope everyone is having a good week!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Zander - 3 Months

If I remember right they say after 3 months no longer a newborn. Tears! He is starting to look less and less like a newborn each day. We have a baby now. He is such a good boy; these 3 months have seriously been amazing. Looking back at Kinley's 3 month update I said the first 3 months were very challenging. Zander and Kinley are so opposite. I would not describe Zander's first 3 months as challenging. Yes there have been some challenging moments but overall things have been pretty smooth.

He is very laid back and go with the flow kinda guy. I was very strict with Kinley's schedule and it really didn't help us so thankfully Zander goes with the flow. It is hard to have such a strict schedule with a toddler who wants to go go go. Zander looks at us like we are crazy but he doesn't mind!

I am not 100% sure what he weights because there isn't a 3 month check up, but I weighed him on our scale and he is just over 12lbs. I also measured his length and he is about 24". He has grown a ton since birth and I am so proud.

He is a pretty awesome sleeper, I am not going to lie. Well deserved after the trying times we have had with Kinley and still have with her. His night time sleep is still random. He has had more nights of sleeping 8ish - 4 or 5ish. One morning he slept until 5:45am. Other nights he is up around 2 to eat but goes right back down with no issues. His naps still are not on a schedule yet but he does pretty well. Some times they are 45 mins and sometimes they are 3 hours. I am hoping with being at daycare and getting older he will start to have more longer naps and we can have an idea of a schedule. If we are not at home he will nap in the Solly or the Ergo fine too. When we are home though he definitely likes to be swaddled and in his crib. He doesn't sleep well on people anymore. He does love the rock n play too. I love how peaceful he looks!

We are exclusively breastfeeding and will be for awhile. When I am not working I feed him on demand at home. He eats every 3 hours or so unless he is sleeping. I went back to work this past week so he has been getting pumped milk in a bottle. He seems to be doing 3-4oz every 3-4 hours. He is 4 feedings while I am gone usually. I am pumping 3-5 times during the day to keep up with him. I have not been as crazy about pumping this go around but we still have a good stash in the freezer just in case. I have a fear of running out of breast milk.

The smiles and the coos melt my heart. He has the best smile! He has laughed maybe once, if we call it a laugh. He tries so hard but just isn't there yet. He is enjoying tummy time a little more this past month, though I think it is because he is rolling over now, belly to back, so he just rolls over when he has had enough, or screams at me. He loves talking to his sister and smiling at everyone. He is such a happy baby. He found his hands this month and loves chewing on his fists. I think it is time to bring out Sophie.

He had his first plane ride to Florida this month and did awesome! If you read about our vacation we had a 5 hour delay and the kids did amazing! We are truly blessed.

He also celebrated his first 4th of July. We didn't take the kids to see fireworks but we did dress up for the occasion. I think Zander was over it! 

These past 3 months have been great. Zander is just what our family needed to balance everything out.

Happy 3 months bubba!

2 Month Update
1 Month Update

Friday, July 1, 2016

Vacation Recap

I am definitely feeling the vacation blues after coming back from Florida. We had yesterday to relax after spending a LONG day traveling on Wednesday. We ended up being 5 hours delayed. Let me tell you that was no fun with two kiddos that got up at 3am, but they were so well behaved. It was truly amazing! We did end up getting some travel vouchers so where are we going to go to next? I am missing this view and family!

Anyways, we had an absolute blast in Florida with family. We really didn't have anything on the agenda and it was perfect. My aunt has a pool so we basically hung out at the pool and drank strawberry daiquiris all day. Pretty amazing if you ask me!

We got in late the first night so when we got to my aunts house it was past bedtime for the kiddos. Kinley was so excited it took a little to calm down which resulted in a tantrum. That wasn't fun but then she pasted out and we were able to have some adult conversations with my aunt and cousins.

Everyone got a good nights sleep and was well rested for a day of swimming on Sunday. It was so awesome to have Kinley play with someone other than Matt or I. We were able to enjoy a cup or two of coffee while one of my cousins or aunt played with her. She did play alone very well too. My grandma came over and hung out as well. It was so great to see her! We haven't seen her in a year and we miss her tons. It is really hard to live so far from family. It was a blast just hanging at the pool all day and have nothing to do. My aunt grilled some burgers for dinner which were so yummy!

Monday we hung at the pool as well and went to dinner in Tarpon Springs for greek food. I love greek food so I was super excited! We wanted to walk around a little bit but it was super sunny still and we did not come prepared for the kids. No sunscreen and no hats. I never leave the house without hats. Sure did this time. We did stop to get sunscreen and found a hat for Kinley but nothing for Zander. I knew better than to put that sunscreen on Kinley. Poor girl broke out with a rash from it. We were able to get a few pics and then headed home. Kinley wanted to go with my aunt to feed the dogs and I didn't want another late bedtime so we headed back. After we got the kids in bed we had some drinks and hung out us cousins. It was really fun. If you follow me on Snap Chat (I am still figuring it out, no judging) so saw some of our fun.

Tuesday we went to feed the alligators and hold them. They had a little place set up for the alligators at a mini golf place. It was the perfect activity because it was hot out! We only spent about an hour there but we were all dripping sweat by the time we were leaving. I was really shocked Kinley wanted to hold the alligator. She is really scared of lizards so it took me by surprise. She thought it was the coolest thing. Tuesday afternoon was spent in the pool. It was fantastic! I wish I had gotten a little more sun while we were there but we had a blast.

We had to get up super early, 3am, to catch our flight Wednesday morning. Of course Zander got up at 2 to eat so it was a long day! We are thankful we made it home safely.

We had such a blast in Florida with family. I am definitely missing hanging out by the pool and dreading going back to work Tuesday. I hope this anticipation is worse than actually being at work. We can't wait to plan our next trip to Florida!