Monday, March 31, 2014

Diaper Station

So with the arrival of my third child there was one particular area that I was sure to set-up before his arrival. From experience I knew that this would be the MOST used area for the first few weeks of Gibson's life and that was the DIAPER STATION located in our bedroom!

It is on the back of our bed because I wanted to keep everything within arms reach and easily accessible. 

I found the great bin from Homegoods for only $12.99. I love the gray and white chevron print and knew that I would later be able to use it for something else.

Inside the bin I have...
  • swaddle blankets
  • gowns
  • Gauze pads
  • diapers
  • wipes
  • little waterproof mats 
  • vaseline
  • nail clippers
In front of the diaper station we always have all of the supplies ready for the next diaper.

This includes: a pad to put down to protect the bed, Seventh Generation Wipes, Diapers (we use Honest diapers until big enough to fit into cloth... the ones here are pampers leftover from the hospital), Johnson & Johnson Hospital Grade 2x2 Gauze pads (for circumcision care), and Vaseline

Here is a close-up of the gaze pad box

We lay out all items first and lay the little guy right on the pad and do our business!

After Gibson's diaper is changed we go ahead and get all the items together again in front of the diaper station for the next messy diaper.

Friday, March 28, 2014

30 before 30 Update

So I’m only a few months away from my 30th birthday and while 14 items will not get done on this list I can truly say that I am extremely happy with where I currently am in life. A scuba class is not going to make or break me!

Here is my update.

Here is my Thirty by Thirty

Get Married Married the most wonderful man January 29, 2011

2. Become a Home Owner - Matt and I bought a home in Alexandria September 17, 2010

3. Take Emma to Disney World - We took Emma to Disney November 2011 and had a BLAST! 
4. Go Scuba Diving…
I had asked for a class and GUESS what instead I got preggers so not able to take the scuba classes

5. Become a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP
)… not happening BUT I am currently taking a class to get my real estate license (just because).

Go on a Winery Tour - Traverse City Old Mission Wine Tour

7. Get a Dog We have beautiful Sophie in our lives! 
8. Take a Cooking Class Did a great Sur la Table small bites class with a few girlfriends and had a BLAST. I would like to go back and do a class with Emma as she is starting to get more into cooking.

Run a 5K- DONE! Did Run or Dye with Emma last summer.

10. Plant a Vegetable Garden - Currently looking to start this in the spring… but I think that I have said that EVERY year since I started this list. 
11. Take a Photography Class 
12. Spend a Minimum of 4 days Hiking and Camping with Matt –
Not going to happen

13. Take Emma Camping –
I would like to do this over the summer and do a fun ropes course at the same time in West Virginia.

14. Cook a Full Thanksgiving Dinner - Done and Done... Thanksgiving 2012

Do a Family Photo Session and use the Picture for a Photo Holiday Card- Done Christmas 2012

16. Go to Europe with Matt – Yeah not happening any time soon. Maybe after Baby #3 turns one we can go … but only if we can talk some grandparents into watching the kiddos.

Take Dance Lessons - Took a Hip hop class... hated it

18. Give up Fruit Snacks…
FAIL… for a while I was buying the Simply Fruit Ones but now I’m back to eating Gushers when stressed. 
19. Take a Family Vacation with another Family

20. Enlarge a Photograph that I’ve Taken and display as artwork in my home

Become a Government Employee

Find a cheap and hideous piece of furniture to refinish/reupholster and make it BEAUTIFUL - I've done this!!! Cannot wait to share... Saving for a post about Emma's room.
Create a Fitness Goal and stick to it- worked out with a trainer before my wedding

24. Redesign and decorate an entire home… on a budget -
work in progress

25. Get my Event Planning Business up and running –
another work in progress... Matt is hard at work helping with my website and I hope to have it launched by the end of April.

Become active in the PTA

Give Emma a brother or sister - Hunter Matthew Park was born September 12, 2012 and Gibson Robert Park was born on March 25, 2014... Emma loves her little brothers 

28. Become organized enough to scrapbook Not going to happen. And I really do not have an interest in scrapbooking any longer. I’m just looking forward to making photo books from MyPublisher.

29. Cook at home for a full Month...
another SUPER Hard one. I’m just going to settle going a month with only eating lunch out once a week… I am currently attempting to bring my lunch most days. Two weeks in… wish me luck.

Go two months without buying clothes -Did this right before my wedding.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Gibson Robert Park

Happy to announce the arrival of Gibson Robert Park. 

Born Tuesday 25 March and weighing in at a healthy 8 lbs 9 oz. This makes him my biggest baby yet. I am happy to say that I was able to deliver naturally without pitocin or  an epidural.

I'll do a full post later about his birth but let's just say that I didn't even "formally" push with Gibson. I was laying on my side in intense pain and I told my AMAZING doctor that I needed to be checked after the contraction was over... they were coming about one minute apart at this point and SUPER intense. The last time he had checked with only 5 minutes before and I was only 7 (almost 8) cm dilated. As he was about to get on his gloves for the check I started screaming that I was pushing because he was coming out and literally seconds later there he was on the bed! The doctor came over checked him out and all was good!

Gibson even had a few visitors late last night! One of my best friends, Virginia, was at the birth and I cannot wait to see some of the photos that she took for us! My mom and Emma also stopped by shortly after he was born.

 I'm feeling great and Gibson is also doing well. I think that we will even be going home tonight!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hunter at 18 Months!

Hunter Man at 18 Months:

Our little guy is 1 ½ years old!!!

I would say that Hunter Man is really all over the map this month… He’s hilarious and loving – giving us hugs and having tickle fights… but he’s also testing us constantly with whining and crying and tantrums.

This month Hunter:

  • Found a new love for playgrounds & walks in the neighborhood. I cannot wait for the weather to become more consistent so that he can play outside more frequently!
  • Learned to put his clothes in the laundry hamper!
  • Became OBSESSED with throwing things into the trash. We just hand him something and say trash and he grabs it and RUNS to the trash can yelling “Trash” the entire time
  • Has decided that he would rather be a picky eater… but we are not encouraging it
  • Loves Thomas and Sesame Street
  • We have started a new bed time routine where we:

    • Try to potty & read on the potty
    • Get on a diaper
    • Run around the room to get our last bits of energy out and have a tickle fight
    • PJ time
    • Read two going to bed books while “laying” in the toddler bed
    • Hunter walks around the room grabs a stuffed animal, hugs it, and drops it into his crib (does this for the three animals that he likes best in there… giraffe, teddy bear, & Panda)
    • Picks up his dirty clothes and places those into the hamper
    • Comes “up up” to mommy (I pick him up) we turn off the light together
    • I walk him in the dark and recite Goodnight moon from memory and sing a little song
    • He is placed in bed and DONE
  • Enjoys singing into microphones and dancing still
  • He no longer likes to sit in his high chair to eat… meal time has become a battle! 

    Photo Time:

    Someone likes to climb on tables... 

    "What Mom??? you mean I'm not suppose to stand on this glass coffee table?"

    "haha.. you are telling me to get off and I am ignoring you."

    I love to throw everything in the trash can... including your cell phone! 

     I am FINALLY willing to drink cold milk out of a sippy cup and I no longer scream like you are trying to kill me when I taste it!

     In fact, I LOVE my cold milk and run to the fridge first thing in the morning yelling "milk, milk!" while making the sign

    Still love to dance... and play with trucks! 

    I'm still a good eater. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

39 Weeks Preggers with Baby #3

How far along? 39 weeks! Grrr I was hoping to have this little guy at 38 weeks (when I had Hunter) but he is still holding on for dear life... I must make one comfy home.

Total weight gain/measurements: 37 lbs

Maternity clothes: YES and I'm 100% over it. There are limited items that I can still wear and feel comfortable in and let's just say that style has gone out the door at this point. 

Stretch marks? One little 1" stretch mark. With Hunter it disappeared right away and I hope that this is the case again this time around.

Sleep: Contractions are strongest in the evening and they tend to keep me up past midnight and even when I do go to sleep I wake up at least twice to go to the restroom and every time that I turn in the middle of the night I have to wake up Matt to help me roll over because I'm in so much pain... My hips just feel completely out of joint.

Best moment last week: Making it to Emma's Fun Fair! I was happy that I could help out again this year and as always Emma had a blast! 

Miss anything? SLEEP!!!

Movement: Starting to run out of room in here! EVICTION NOTICE!

Food cravings: Loving Clementines. Really any juicy cold fruit! 

 Anything making you queasy or sick?Nope


Labor signs / Doctor Update: Went to the doctors today and I'm currently at "about" 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced... He also went ahead and did something to "encourage" the little guy to make his appearance. ear muffs if you don't want to hear about what he did... My membranes were stripped... Many doctors and midwifes will strip your membranes in order to help avoid induction later. 

It basically does two things: 1) it can help get your cervix kicked into gear (effacement and dilation) and 2) it can help weaken the bag of waters. I'd much rather have this simple little procedure done than risk needing pitocin or other interventions in an induction. Pitocin causes intense contractions that will be VERY hard for me to get through with a natural childbirth. With this procedure the doctor says that I will likely go into labor in the next 24 hours. I also did this with Emma and she arrived 21 hours later! 

Let's see if Gibson will pay attention to his eviction notice!

Symptoms: Hip and back pain, lots of acid reflux, and those amazing contractions.

Belly button in or out? "m an outie

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or moody most of the time? Emotions are so much better! I finally feel like I'm in check and I'm finally starting to look forward to the addition of out little man. Before I was looking at his arrival with fear and now I'm looking at it with joy. I'm not sure if it is a hormonal thing but I'm happy to have more balance when it comes to my feelings. 
Looking forward to: No longer being preggers! The doctor has said that it will be this week!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

"squirreling" Part three

So last night when I was making a casserole for dinner I managed to make 7 more meals while the casserole was in the oven... Here are the details!

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole:

First up is a recipe that I found which makes a 3 qt. casserole and since I have no need to feed 8-10 people at one time I split the recipe.

  • 2 lbs ground beef (I purchased I family size 93% lean... It ended up being almost 3 lbs but hey a little more beef is not a bad thing)
  • 1 can condensed cream of celery soup (original recipe calls for cream of mushroom but we do not eat that in our household) 
  • 1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 package frozen French-fried crinkle-cut potatoes

First, brown the beef in two batches and drain liquid

Mix with the condensed soups

Since I was spiting the recipe I decided that we would eat one of the casseroles tonight (because I didn't know how I would feel after seeing the doctor today and we would freeze the other half for another night.

For the dinner right away I placed half of the mixture into a small casserole dish.

And added half of the crinkle fries to the top and placed in the fridge.

For the half going into the freezer... I placed half of the burger mixture into a freezer bag which was placed in a Gallon freezer bag along with the remaining fries.

On the outside I wrote the cooking instructions: Pre-heat oven to 350. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

When I'm ready to eat I will take out of the freezer the night before to let everything defrost and assemble the casserole. 

Sausage and zucchini Casserole:

Next up was the casserole that we were eating the evening that I made all of these meals.

  • 2 pounds bulk pork sausage (I used Bob Evens Natural ground pork sausage) 
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 2 Cans condensed cream of chicken soup 
  • 1 8-oz carton sour cream
  • 4 cups stuffing mix
  • 1/3 c. melted butter
First, brown the sausage and drain

Cut zucchini into 1/4 inch pieces and place in the same skillet that you browned the pork in. Cook for 5 minutes.

Mix pork with the cream of chicken and sour cream

Add zucchini

Place 2 cups of the stuffing mix into bowl and add the melted butter. Mix together

If you are eating right away... place 1/2 of the bread crumbs (that you mixed with butter) in the bottom of a small casserole and add 1/2 of the zucchini mixture on top.

Add the rest of the butter breadcrumbs to the dish

For the other half of the mixture I packed everything up for the freezer...

The zucchini/pork mixture went into one freezer bag and the other half of the breadcrumbs went into another... Both bags got placed into one gallon size bag and the cooking instructions were placed on the outside.

Cooking instructions: Pre-heat oven to 350. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.

While this casserole was cooking I made all of the below!!!!

Italian Sausage and pepper in a Crock-pot:

  • 2 packages of Italian Sausage
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 red onion, sliced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes 
  • 1 Tbs Italian Seasoning 
Cut peppers into strips 

In 2 gallon freezer bags add half of peppers and onions to each.

to each bag add... 1/2 garlic, 1 can tomatoes( (undrained), and 1 Tbs Italian seasoning

Seal bags and mix all together to incorporate flavors.

Place each of the sausage packages into freezer bags

Into a large gallon freezer bag place one container of sausages and one bag of peppers

Add cooking directions to the outside of the bag- Cook on low in the crock-pot for 6 hours.

Teriaki Chicken for the crock pot 

  • Bag of mini carrots 
  • 1 red onion, cut into chunks 
  • 2 large cans of sliced pineapple, undrained
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 6 Chicken breasts 
  • bottle teriyaki marinade 
Didn't take a lot of photos with this one... Same assembely concept as the last recipe...

Get out 6 freezer bags

in two, split the carrots, red onion, each gets 1 large can of pineapple, and half the garlic... seal and mix to incorporate.

In two other freezer bags split the chicken breasts (i cut each breast in half because they were very large) and half of the marinade.

In a gallon freezer bag I placed one chicken bag and one veggie/fruit bag... with directions on the outside...

Cooking directions: Cook on low in a crock-pot for 6 hours...

two more meals done


at that time our dinner (zucchini-sausage casserole) for last night was done...

and we have this to go into the freezer...

along with the dinner that we are eating tonight... here it is all finished. I added some cheese to the top as well as some diced tomatoes and pickles.

So within one hour I made 8 meals! 6 to go into the freezer and two to eat right away. 

Here is the full list of what we currently have in the freezer:

  1. Sausage & Peppers in Crock-Pot
  2. Sausage & Peppers in Crock-Pot
  3. Teriyaki Chicken in Crock-Pot
  4. Teriyaki Chicken in Crock-Pot
  5. Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole
  6. Sausage & Zucchini Casserole
  7. Java Pork Tenderloin
  8. Pumpkin Ravioli
  9. Pumpkin Ravioli
  10. Shrimp Scampi w/ Linguini
  11. Thai-Style Pork Wraps in Crock-Pot
  12. Western Frittata
  13. Western Frittata
  14. Whiskey Beef over noodles in Crock-Pot
  15. Bacon Cheddar Sliders
  16. Chicken Breast w/ Balsamic
  17. Chicken Breast w/ Balsamic
  18. Lemon Chicken w/ Asparagus
  19. Lemon Chicken w/ Asparagus
  20. Mediterranean Tilapia & Veggies
  21. Mediterranean Tilapia & Veggies
  22. Cheddar Broccoli & Chicken Casserole
  23. Cheddar Broccoli & Chicken Casserole
  24. Cheddar Broccoli & Chicken Casserole
  25. Veggie Soup (My mom made)
  26. Veggie Soup (My mom made)
  27. Veggie Soup (My mom made)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"squirreling" Part Two

As I mentioned in my post Monday I'm currently experiencing "squirreling" and making freezer meals in anticipation of Gibson's arrival.

While doing my menu planning over the last few weeks I've been sure to incorporate a few freezer meals where I created a LARGE quantity of food so that there was one dish for that night and additional meals (made at the same time) that I could put into the freezer for later.

One of the meals that I did was Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole. This recipe made 4 meals... so one for right away and 3 that I have squirreled away in the freezer for future nights.

Here are the details...

  • 10 Cups Cooked Rice
  • 4 Cups Cooked Chicken
  • 4 Cups Chopped Broccoli
  • 2 Cans Cream of Broccoli Soup
  • 3 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 4 Cups Shredded Chicken (1 lb block shredded) 
  • Salt and Pepper 

First, I cooked up my chicken. I used Chicken Tenders(they were on sale) and seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked for 20 minutes at 350 in the oven...

While my chicken was cooking I chopped and steamed some fresh broccoli in the microwave. (you can also use frozen if that is easier).

Mixed my steamed broccoli with the cream of broccoli and chicken soups.

Shredded my cheese. Cheaper to buy a 1 lb block and shred it yourself.

Cooked Rice... 4 cups of uncooked rice ended up making 10 Cups of cooked rice.

Took the Chicken out of the oven and chopped

Mixed everything together... Started mixing in a large bowl but there was sooooo much food that I quickly had to transition to my largest pot!

Placed 1/4 into a 8x8 pan and the rest was divided into three 1-Gallon Freezer bags!

 On the outside I placed a sticker with the date, meal name, and cooking instructions.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes!

When ready to eat the meals that are frozen I will simply take out the night before and place in the fridge to thaw and I will place in a 8x8 baking dish when ready to eat!

We ate the casserole with a mixed green and beet salad. Yummy in my tummy!

And just so you know what this cost:
  • Rice $2.49
  • Cream of broccoli soup $1.98
  • Cream of Chicken Soup $2.97
  • Broccoli, fresh $5.67
  • 4 lbs Chicken tenders (on sale) $11.00
  • 1lb Sharp Cheddar block of Cheese $7.59
  • TOTAL: $31.70 divided by 4 = 7.93 each meal