Monday, August 31, 2009

641.5884 -- Slow Cooking

The library where I currently work is in the middle of a major budget crisis. Many people have recently lost their jobs at the library. I was one of the lucky ones -- I still have my job. While that's enough to make me thankful, there will be challenges. Most of what I am struggling with right now is my schedule. I'll be getting home at either 6:45 or 7:45 four nights a week. And for the next few weeks at least, I'll be working a lot -- like 6 days a week. Add to that the fact that Matt will be home late most nights as well, and you have a recipe for a 9 p.m. dinner (or lots of take-out). Not fun!

So now I need some help from you! I envision becoming queen of the crock pot, and I will be needing some recipes. My stockpile of tried and true crock pot recipes is not large, and it will quickly get repetitive. What recipes do you use/have you used time and again as an easy-to-prepare go-to crock pot meal?

Here's what we're having tonight:

Basic crock pot roast

1-2 pound beef roast
handfuls of carrots, potatoes (cubed into bite size pieces) and pearl onions
packet of brown gravy mix
packet of italian dressing mix
1/2 packet of ranch dressing mix

Put roast and veggies into crock pot. Sprinkle mixes on top. Add 3/4 cup of water. Cook on low 7-9 hours or until veggies are cooked through and meat is done.

Seriously, how easy is that? I love crock pots!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

618.2 -- Third Trimester

Tuesday, August 25th marked the beginning of my 25th week of pregnancy - more commonly known as the third trimester. Changes? Lots more kicking. I don't think by the 20th week I had felt any definite kicks, but now I can regularly feel and see movement. Also, although I have yet to waddle, the baby is making some things - like tying my shoes - a lot more difficult.

My books say I am supposed to be experiencing a host of uncomfortable symptoms at this point in the pregnancy: stuffy nose, sciatic nerve pain, decreased energy, trouble sleeping, headaches, and the list goes on. Luckily, any aches or pains that I have experienced have been minor and fleeting. Hopefully the rest of the pregnancy will be this laid back!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

372.4 -- Bedtime is Booktime!

In anticipation that our bedtime routine will soon be changing forever, Matt and I have begun reading two stories a night to our little one. We quickly exhausted our supply of children's books, so we turned to the library for a cheap fix.

Even though I worked for two years as a children's library assistant, I had forgotten a lot of really great titles. Luckily, lists abound online and in books about the "best" books to read to your child. While I may not agree with all of the lists, they do help to jog my memory.

I don't know how effective reading in utero is to the brain development of Baby M. I do know that it's helped us bond with him before he's even arrived. Do you recognize these books? Are there any favorites that I've forgotten?

Monday, August 3, 2009

618.2 -- Milestones

Baby M is already changing the lives of her* parents. About a week ago, Matt and I had our 20 week ultrasound where we got to see the little one all curled around herself. She kicked a few times and twisted and turned, and we even got to see her tiny mouth open into a yawn!

Since then, Baby M has gotten bath towels, bath decorations, crib bedding, clothes, a bib, and books. This Friday, we'll pick up her crib.

The most exciting milestones for me, however, have been developmental. She's been kicking me several times a day, and yesterday -- for the first time -- I saw my belly move. Since Baby M can now hear her parents' voices, we've also been reading to her every night for the past week or more. My belly is getting bigger, and it won't be long until I'm out of my pre-pregnancy clothes for good. Luckily, I have a journal to jot down all of these lovely firsts. I don't want to forget a thing!

*Note that we do not know the sex of Baby M, so I will be referring to Baby M as him and her alternately. Starting today with "her".