Tuesday, May 8, 2018

My 5am-9pm: April 28 - May 4 & life with my toddler

Evidently I haven't been jotting notes down as I should because I've been getting my weekends mixed up!  I totally omitted writing about attending a birthday party for one of Sami's friends.  Sami calls her her "best friend" which is absolutely so cute.  These little girls hug when they see eachother - it's sweetness overload every time!

The party was fantastic.  Breakfast foods because most kids eat breakfast (kudos Julia/Jeremy).  The cake was super cute - a round cake to make a troll's face with cupcakes for the ears and the hair.  It was really creative and well done.  The kids had fun running around and playing together.  I was proud of Sami for sharing, which isn't always her strong suit.  Sami had a blast running around, going up and down the stairs, and she just had a ball.  I tried my best to not hover over her - my best effort yet! ;)


Saturday was pretty uneventful.  I did some organizing - tossing things we weren't using, placing like things together and removing it from areas they were cluttering.

I also filled up a photo album (600 photos).  I'd purchased pictures from my phone and camera through Shutterfly when there was a really good deal, and sat down as I caught up on General Hospital and just filled it up.  It goes from Sami's birth to just after her first birthday.

Now I need to work on ordering the next batch, and another album.  I'll be on the lookout for good deals on Shutterfly again!


I cleaned out the fridge including taking out the shelves to wash them.  I guess the spring weather is bringing in that feeling of needing to do some spring cleaning.  It looks a lot better now.

Exciting weekend right?


On Monday Annual check-up with my gastroenterologist.  We decided that we'd check my blood work at my next Remicade treatment (end of the month) and from there decide if we need to adjust my dose or if further tests would be a good idea.

I've been feeling good overall, but if I was to compare how the last 3-4 months have been compared to the last 3-4 years, I'd say the last 3-4 years I've been a 9, and now I'm an 8, or maybe a 7.5 at times.  I get pain a little more often.  My legs have been itchy lately and seem to coincide with when my treatments are due but it could just be a coincidence because it's been a really dry Winter and Spring.  I'm not worried, but I rather catch it on the front end if something is starting up.

The week was pretty uneventful.  It was busy at work.  I started re-watching an old season of Survivor on Hulu (Pearl Islands season).

As for life with my toddler; we've had excursions to the park, and she's discovered that she can remove and stick gel clings on the patio door.  That's been a great source of entertainment, although they are starting to have seen better days and most have gone to the trash due to tears.  Potty training continues to go at the same pace - just need her to start telling us when she needs to go.  Her vocabulary and sentence structure continues to grow leaps and bounds.  She's starting to know numbers by sight.  And she's a toddler, so she easily reaches tantrum mode when something doesn't go her way, or doesn't get what she wants.

Still, she's the sweetest in my eyes, and I love her dearly.  She's a blast to be around when not in tantrum mode. <3

Monday, May 7, 2018

#MealPlanMonday: May 5-11 & adding healthy snacks

I hope you had a beautiful weekend, we absolutely did with the sunshine and warmth!  Here is this week's menu:

Pan-Fried Chicken (recipe from Blue Apron)
Burgers (Hubby's delicious burgers)
Nachos with pineapple salsa (making it sans pineapple bowl)

I managed to do my meal prep this weekend, as planned - fruit/vegetable prep on Saturday and the rest on Sunday.  Saturday's prep was more intense because I cut a lot of fruits and veggies.

You see I usually chop raspberries and strawberries every morning for Sami to bring to daycare.  Having done it Saturday, I just had to portion it out this morning and will do so the rest of the week. #Win.  I then cut up veggies for the salsa, for the quinoa recipe and for snacking.  

I've always struggled with eating a lot of vegetables but hopefully being on Remicade will make it so it doesn't cause me a lot of stomach issues.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  I've attempted this in the past, but have had a few bad experiences.

All month, I'm going to have some cut up veggies with a dip (this week homemade tzaziki) for snacking at work or on the weekend.  I also decided I'd make some sort of salad I can snack on, or have as a side with lunch/dinner.  This should lead to smaller lunches/dinners - at least that's my theory.  

So you'll see that I added a section to my meal plan called "Snack for the week", and that will be my healthy snacking option so that I don't get overly hungry and then eat more than I should for lunch and/or dinner.

And then, I won't feel so guilty for having a chocolate bar here and there, or some chips :)

Added bonus, these healthy eating habits will hopefully rub off on my family and home life.  Perhaps Sami won't be eating these types of snacks in the near future, but it will help me reinforce the types of snacks she should have once she's old enough to understand the concept of healthy foods.  Here's to hoping anyway.  

We'll start with this month though because it's ambitious to think you can make a big lifestyle change  Having it on the meal plan is half the battle.  I'm more likely to do it than if I was just thinking about doing it.

Friday, May 4, 2018

My5am-9pm: April 21-27 and the best/worse words


Went to swim lessons with Sami – nothing new there.  Saturday night, I was feeling rather nostalgic after seeing that Friday had been the Backstreet Boys’ 25th anniversary.  I went to a couple concerts in my teenage years and have really always enjoyed most of their music.  I watched some of my favorite music videos for a couple hours.  As I recalled how big they were in my teen years I remembered other videos that had been popular around the same time.  We watched Aqua’s Barbie Girl video, which made me chuckle quite a bit.  We also watched a few Spice Girls’ videos – while I used to enjoy their music, can I just say how terrible it now sounds?  They do have a few songs I still like (Viva Forever comes to mind), but listening and watching some of those videos – wowwee…


We drove by a neighboring area my husband wanted me to see.  The homes are beautiful.  For the past months, we’ve been debating whether the best idea is to redo the basement of our current house, or move.  I’ll eventually write about my pros and cons, but if we can find a house on a specific street, on the correct side of the street, I could definitely be persuaded to move.  Right now, I’m 50/50.  Some days, I’m all for moving, and others I don’t even want to consider it.


On Monday, Sami had her first dentist appointment.  I was concerned because she kept complaining about her mouth hurting.  She seemed a little apprehensive when we first got there, but got to playing with some toys and was happy as can be.  We met the hygienist who noticed Minnie Mouse on her pants and told Sami she might have a Minnie Mouse toothbrush for her.  Sami was all excited and got to pick from 5 toothbrushes and of course went straight for the Mickey/Minnie Mouse one.  Sami brushed her teeth with it for the entirety of the appointment when someone else wasn’t cleaning her teeth. 

She did absolutely awesome, and the dentist didn’t notice any issues, but did point out that her last bottom molars had pierced through.  I guess that explains the midnight waking up sessions lately!  I kept checking, but I guess they pierced through without my noticing.

She was awarded tokens to put in gumball machine for toys, which she picked bouncy balls (which she all of a sudden calls ballies – odd).  We went to make an appointment and she started saying “I wanna go see…” and would trail off, so I offered “Dada”?  She said, “No, I wanna go see the dentiss!”.  She melted everyone’s hearts and earned herself another toy in doing so – a princess duck for her bath.  Overall, I would say it was a great experience!

On Wednesday, it was my turn to go to the dentist for my bi-annual cleaning.  No issues – yay.  All week at work they celebrated Staff Appreciation which was really nice.  We got nice treats like a nacho bar, frozen yogurt, company swag and a gift card.  Yay Bath & Body Works because I’m in need of cute foaming hand soaps.

I’ve come to realize that there are two words, regardless of the language, that can be the best and worst words on earth. 

Mama…  Dada…

When you first hear your baby say those words to you, it is heartwarming.  If you ask me, it’s one of the most special memories and feelings once can ever have.  And when they are happy to see you, and say it,  it’s sound is sweet to hear.

And then there’s the gut-wrenching “Mama” in the middle of the night because your child had a nightmare, or woke up because their teeth hurt.  It’s the saddest sound in the world.  Much like when you put your child down to sleep but they don’t want to sleep and just yell “Mama” or “Dada” over and over and over and over again.  You want to go see them, but know that you at least have to give them a little while to try and fall asleep on their own.

I embrace try to embrace the gut-wrenching sounds of hearing “Mama”, and try to comfort her when appropriate.  While it is painful to hear it’s also rewarding to know that you’re the one they want to see when nothing seems to be going their way.  Still, the best is hearing it when say I pick her up from daycare and a huge smile comes across her face as she runs toward me yelling “Mama!”.  What a perfect way to end each (or almost each) workday!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

#MealPlanTuesday: April 28 - May 4 & needing more routines

It's #MealPlanTuesday because life happens! ;)

Brown Sugar Pineapple Chicken
Hambuger Helper (Lasagna)
Savory waffles
Frozen leftover casserole

With my new meal planning template, I'm finding myself making more tweaks as I get ready to make my grocery list.  It's not a bad thing either because things come up especially when you meal plan a month at a time.  For example, two nights this week, my husband won't be home for dinner.  That means, less leftovers being eaten, and frankly less time to prepare dinner with my two year old running all around me.  "Up, up".  "Wanna see it".  And as capable I have become at doing everything one handed, sometimes it's not an option with cooking, especially with a hot stove.

Nice weather has started gracing us and I'm starting to want some really fresh and cool meals as opposed to hearty, meaty meals.  I made a Caprese Pasta Salad to bring to work as a snack.  It felt like a healthy option - perhaps not the best option for losing weight since it does have carbs but it's a step in the right direction.  Maybe next week I can make a quinoa salad of some sort and have some sliced veggies and fruits ready to go - and not just for Sami.  I slice fruit up for her every morning and I'd be doing myself a service if I sliced everything up on the weekend, but somehow I never get to it.

I blame having a two year old.  I guess I blame a lot on having a two year old.  I keep hearing that 3 is a turning point.  Don't get me wrong, I love my girl, and she's absolutely amazing.  She's a sunshine in my every day.  But I still feel like I don't have enough time in a day.

All in all, I think it's just about establishing new routines so that it becomes second nature and doesn't feel like it's time consuming.  I've basically gained an hour every weekend by picking up my groceries instead of doing all the shopping myself... so where did that hour go?  I wish I knew the answer.

Plan for this week - make my meal plan for May while my husband is out since doing it over lunch will be too much of a challenge this week.
Plan out some meal planning strategies for the weekend - possibly:

  • Slice up fruits and veggies on Saturday
  • Complete the rest of meal prep on Sunday 
  • Make a salad/veggie dip for the week (healthy snacks) on Sunday

Do you have routines and strategies that you try to abide to every weekend when it comes to meal prepping?

Love me some Spring weather!

Loving the park!

Friday, April 27, 2018

My 5am-9pm & routine change


We had a slight change to our routine on Saturday, Nan came to watch Sami swim!  I think she definitely saw progress since the last time she joined us.  As new kids join Sami's class, I'm so amazed to see how far she's come when I see little ones doing things for the first time.  And she's so much bigger.  When did this happen?

Picked-up my groceries again, yay!  Received my Blue Apron box, more yays!  And we had Chicago dogs for lunch - you can view our creations here (bottom of the page).

Later on we went to the park and then had a somewhat quiet evening.


We took a trip to Target on Sunday.  I forget what we were going there for, but you can never leave Target without buying anything... or I generally can't.  Hubby tagged along this time, and we ended up spending way more than I usually do (makes me feel better about my shopping habits, lol).  We bought a PS4 for my hubby whose missing gaming, but doesn't have a whole lot of time to dedicate to it and who is frustrated with World of Warcraft at this point anyway.  Legacy servers where are you?

After Sami's nap, we went to visit our friends who have an almost 3 and almost 5 year old.  Sami had loads of fun with those boys, and we had a nice time catching up with our friends who we hadn't seen much of since the Superbowl.    We had a nice spaghetti dinner and hung out until it was almost time for Sami's bedtime.


Early last week, Sami started complaining that her front teeth were hurting.  She'd mentioned it maybe once last week too, so I made a dentist appointment which she had just this past Monday.  I'll talk more about the appointment next week, but she's fine.  Dentist said that sometimes that little flap of skin on top of you gums can easily get irritated and it did look like there was a little bump on it.  However, her bottom molars have pierced through and my guess is that's what has been bothering her.  She could have been pointing to her front teeth because tooth pain radiates, or she could have just been pointing to her mouth in general.

Monday night and most of Tuesday, we had horrific winds.  As I was heading out to lunch, I saw emails from Nextdoor.com which detailed a fire near my house.  It wasn't clear where it was so I called my husband to make sure he was ok - which he was.  Turns out the fire was about 3 blocks away from our house and the winds were so terrible that the fire jumped to other houses.  2 homes are completely destroyed - we went by this past weekend.  Devastating to see.  Another 5 homes had damage.  As far as I know, they haven't disclosed or found the cause of the fire.

As far as I can remember, I've been terrified of my house catching fire.  I had a few recurring nightmares as a child about it.  The only thing I can think of that would have caused me to have that nightmare in the first place is this cartoon that would play around Christmas time and there's a scene where someone leaves the iron on the ironing board, plugged in, and someone trips over the cord, or the cat does, and it falls on the ironing board and the whole place catches on fire with the cat stuck inside.  I'm assuming the cat is rescued because that'd be a horrible cartoon for kids, but I think that's where my fear stems from.  I feel so terrible for these families who have lost everything :(

On Wednesday, I had my Remicade treatment.  For the first time in what I feel is 3 years, it really got to me.  I was tired and I feel like I just started feeling less tired yesterday.

On Thursday, my husband had a genius idea after I got home from working late.  Sami had started falling asleep later like around 8:30, sometimes a little later which meant that I was finishing cleaning up closer to 9:30 than 9:00.  Starting last Thursday, I clean up before I start her bedtime routine.  Her bedtime routine has been moved back to 7:30 and she doesn't take over an hour to put to bed.  And when I'm done with the bedtime routine, I'm done for the night and can relax. :)  It's been great and totally worth it!

Stickers, stickers everywhere (that's our bedroom door)

It started with Mickey being in time-out for not listening, and then Minnie and the crab joined him too.  This is all her doing, after going to timeout earlier that evening for not listening..

Love this dress.  So cute, but her hair looks messy after daycare and sunscreen! 

Monday, April 23, 2018

#MealPlanMonday April 21-27 & random thoughts about meal planning

Happy Monday!  Another new week, another meal plan.

Crispy Sheet Pan Lemon Parmesan Garlic Chicken
Bowtie pasta
Snow peas & beef stir-fry
Beef burritos (ground beef with Old Del Paso mix + green pepper/onion with fixings of your choice)

I tend to sometimes forget if I need to thaw meat overnight on Friday for Saturday and my four meals this week require me to thaw meat.  This happened Friday night, so I improvised and we had spaghetti with meatballs - frozen meatballs and sauce in a jar.  Saturday night I remembered to thaw some ground beef so that I could make beef burritos.  I knew Sunday would be a busy day having been to a birthday party so it was just perfect.  Last night I took out the chicken for the sheet pan dinner tonight.  And I just took out the steak to thaw for tomorrow's dinner.  I'm on a roll! 

Online grocery ordering & pick-up at the store continues to go well.  On week 3, I was $10.00 below budget again.  Woohoo!  I'm rather surprised that the majority of what I'm spending my budget on isn't what's actually needed for each meal.  The weekly staples (milk, juice, fruits, yogurt, etc.) tend to bring me to about a quarter of my budget.  Then household goods like paper-towels, laundry detergent, diapers, will eat up another good quarter to half of my budget.  The rest is lunch fillers, things I need to restock on, etc.

The more I meal plan, the more I'm thrilled that I've introduced this to my life.  It's been a great time saver, even if I haven't quite figured out how to consistently meal prep.  I need to meal prep the slow cooker meal tomorrow.  I thought for sure that I'd have time to meal prep this weekend, but I was feeling tired.  It's the first time in a long time that my Remicade treatment made me feel pretty tired - or perhaps you are just exhausted after going to a 2 year old's birthday party trying to keep track of your child who does not sit still.  I had some lunch while she napped and was planning on meal prepping but she napped for about 30 minutes... so... yeah.

I'm getting ready to meal plan another month.  I should do it next week, but I'm anticipating that I may not have time during my lunch breaks so I may do it one evening this week.  I took a short lunch today and will again for a couple days because I have a couple appointments this week.  I'm starting to think I need to downsize my recipes again because I keep skipping over recipes I thought looked good.  I've certainly found some that I like a lot - and when I do I insert them every month or so.

Have you been meal planning?

Have a great night!!

One of the Blue Apron meals from last week - I split the recipe in two because I didn't want beans in my portion.

The pasta dish was the best.  I'd totally make that again.

Cooking the broccoli for the pasta dish

The ingredients for the pasta dish still packaged

Friday, April 20, 2018

My 5am-9pm: April 7-13 & Mickey Mouse

I haven't been blogging as much as I would like.  It's been another week with a slew of appointments which means short lunches, which means less time to write.

Here's a recap of last week:


It's become the norm - we go to the pool and later in the day, we go to the park.  On Saturday, I picked up Click List from King Soopers for the first time.  I wrote a bit about it last week's recap but really I'm hooked.  An hour, at least, of time back to me.  Totally worth it the $5 that it will eventually cost me.  I think it's also going to solve my issue of overspending because I know how much it's going to cost me prior to my coupons being deducted.  And if I'm over budget, something's gotta go!


On Sunday we ventured to BabiesRUs.  I'm so saddened that they are going out of business alongside ToysRUs.  I have so many fond memories of ToysRUs as a child, and BabiesRUs is where I got the majority of what I needed for Preston and Samantha.  It was a great one stop shop for babies.  The staff was always helpful.  So sad :(

I thought we might find a good deal on some items, but the going out of business sales weren't as good as I'd imagined they would be.  We then went to the mall and bought Sami some new shoes.  And then we took a trip to the park.  However, Sami missed a nap this day and was a little cranky.

My Facebook feed last week reminded me that we bought Sami's first Mickey a year ago.  It's been one year of Sami loving Mickey.  She can't get enough.  Like seriously....  There's a character on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse called Martian Mickey.  It's basically Mickey but he's green and lives on Mars.  Every day, she asks to watch "Martian Mickey, two Mickeys".  There's only 3 or 4 episodes with Martian Mickey and let me tell you, we adults are getting a little tired of Martian Mickey... but the joy it brings her...


I really need to start jotting down notes during my week.  I did it one week and it was so helpful.  We played poker on Friday night, and Sami's grandparents came over to watch her so we could go out.  I finished 4th, which isn't bad but not great.  The cards are certainly not smiling for me this year ;)

I don't have much to add this week.  I will go back to the drawing board and start planning my blogs better again.  I was doing good for a while...

Have a nice weekend!

Mickey's early days....

My 5am-9pm: April 28 - May 4 & life with my toddler

Evidently I haven't been jotting notes down as I should because I've been getting my weekends mixed up!  I totally omitted writing a...