This Mommy Life is Crazy

This mommy life is crazy sometimes! I have been neglecting this blog and not putting into it what I would like, but starting next week I am really going to try and make it more of a priority. This past week has been pure chaos. My 17 month old has been teething with a fever and the whole nine yards and my youngest has been being her lovely self and screaming at the top of her lungs every chance she gets. To top off my children’s difficult behaviors my husband has been working a ton so most of the time it has just been me on my own.

We have also had yucky weather and have been cooped up in the house, which doesn’t help with bad moods. Thursday we did get out to the park for a little while before the clouds and mosquitos came and scared us away. Mosquitos, ugh, my poor babies are covered in bites from head to toe. I never imagined that Alaska would have such a bug a problem. The bites are so bad I feel the need to have to let everyone know not to worry they don’t have chicken pox they were just eaten alive by mosquitos. Then again on Friday we attempted to go out to a picnic with our local babywearing group and of course the bugs were horrible and it started raining so we moved indoors to a small little common area near a coffee shop. My kids were amazing and well behaved it was like a breathe of fresh air. Getting to chat with other local mommies about our wraps and carriers wasn’t to bad either. Ha! What am I talking about? It was wonderful!

To save my sanity and have a little relaxing “me” time I have been doing some doodling or as some call it “zentangling”. It is a lot of fun and perfect for just zoning out and getting creative. After we get Hazel to bed my husband spends some time with Ella and I sneak in some drawing, before Ella needs some boobie time. I can do a lot of things and breastfeed, drawing is just not one of them. Here are a couple of things I have done so These are the doodles I have done so far. I just ordered some new prismacolor pencils earlier this week and I am excited for them to get here to add some color!

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The girls are growing so fast it is unbelievable. They have been interacting and playing with each other more and more and it absolutely melts my heart. Ella Bean has found her feet and starting to get better control of her hands. She is loving playing with toys and chewing on her toes. Hazel is finally saying actual words!! She now says “hi”, “no”, “yes”, “shoes”, and “Ella”. It has been a huge weight off of my shoulders now that she has a couple words under her belt. I am sure she will be talking my ear off in no time!

I could go on and on about what has been going on with us the past week or so but instead I will leave you with a couple pictures and a promise to make posts more often. I have great ideas for this blog I just need to put them in motion!

 

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Can you tell Hazel likes to drink water? She would never stop if we didn’t make her!

Laction Recipe Round Up

 

 

I know its Wednesday and I said I would be doing breastfeeding related posts on Tuesday, but unfortunately life doesn’t always go the way I plan. (What am I talking about it never goes the way I plan HA). But I mentioned last week in my post about increasing your milk supply that I would share my favorite lactation recipes with you and here they are! I hope you enjoy!

 

Lactation Cookies- Mama Say What?!

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Chocolate Lactation Treats- Squash Blossom Babies

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Vegan Friendly Lactation Cookie Bars- The Eco Friendly Family

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Lactation Smoothie- Sexy Moxie Mama

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Flourless Lactation Cookies- Monna Payne

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(Brewers Yeast tastes pretty awful, so I suggest getting the debittered kind. This is the one I use. It still has a distinct taste, but it is not near as bad as plain old brewer’s yeast.)

Meal Plan July 14th- July 20th

 

 

This week I am trying to cut down on my grain intake so you will see the meals reflect that. This doesn’t have anything to do with my meal plan but is related to eating/drinking so I guess it is kind of on topic. I am quitting drinking pop! ( I am from the Midwest its pop, not soda) I have had a horrible addiction to Mountain Dew for as long as I remember and I am over it. Done. I no longer want to put that poison in my body. Pop is bad for you in general, but Mountain Dew is even worse! So wish me luck, because I am going to need it!

Here is my meal plan for this week.

 

Monday

Crock Pot Sausage and Cheese Tortellini- Ice Cream With a Fork

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Tuesday

Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers- Genaw

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Wednesday

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake- Two Peas & Their Pod

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Thursday

Ultimate Taco Salad with a Cream Avocado Cilantro Dressing- Cherished Bliss

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Friday

Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Chicken- Emily Bites

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Saturday

30 Minute Saucy Korean Beef Stir Fry- Carls Bad Cravings

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Sunday

I am not planning anything this Sunday as I will use this as a day to eat up any left overs.

 

So I love zucchini, but yellow squash is not my favorite. I like it in spaghetti but that’s about it. We have a shared garden with out neighbor and the zucchini and squash are doing awesome we have been eating up all the zucchini right away but I have some squash sitting on my counter weighting to be used. I found this recipe for muffins and thought they looked delicious and will be trying them out!

Squash Muffins- Before the Morning

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I hope you enjoy! Feel free to share your favorite recipes below.

11 Sensory Play Ideas

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Now that my oldest daughter is getting out of that stick everything in your mouth stage, we have been enjoying lots of different sensory play ideas. I think I have just as much fun putting them together and researching ideas as she does playing. I have compiled my top 11 favorite ideas to share with you all Can you tell I have a thing for rainbows? So fun!

 

1. Crackle Foam- Growing a Jeweled Rose

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2. Potato Flakes- Growing a Jeweled Rose

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3. Colored and Scented Rice- Play Create Explore

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4. Rainbow Soap Foam Bubbles- Fun at Home With Kids

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5. Slippery Fish- TwoDaloo

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6. Bedtime Sensory Tub- Nurture Store

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7. Rainbow Sensory Play With Dyed Noodles- Growing a Jeweled Rose

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8. Homemade Paint Recipe with Spices- Nurture Store

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9. Rainbow Clean Mud- Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

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10. Rainbow “Snow”- Blog Me Mom

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11. Waterbead Sensory Box- That Mommy Kind of Life

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And like always I am always looking for new ideas so feel free to share yours below!

Meal Plan July 7th- July 13th

Better late than never, but here is my meal plan for this week. Sorry I missed Monday I wanted to share with you my weekend and Moose pictures. It is a pretty laid back week for us so I will be cooking almost everyday except Wednesday when my husband has softball games. I hope you enjoy!

 

Tuesday

One Post Mexican Skillet Pasta- Damn Delicious

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Wednesday

We will be eating leftovers as my husband has softball games and we will be gone all evening.

 

Thursday

The Ultimate BLT Grilled Cheese- Spoonful of Flavor

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Friday

Cobb Salad Pizza Recipe- Super Glue Mom

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Saturday

Better Than Take-Out Chicken Fried Rice- Rachel Schultz

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Sunday

Crock-Pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken- Adventures In Abbyland

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I am always looking for new recipes to try so feel free to share yours below!

 

A Little Fishing, A Lot of Bugs, and a Couple Moose

I think that I just need to accept the fact that we cannot do the things we used to before kids with our kids. They are almost 4 months and 16 months old and some days a handful. They don’t do well being out of their familiar space and neither like to sleep anywhere but the car or at home. Day long outings can be a nightmare, but for some reason we always try and it never ends well.

Saturday the weather was gorgeous and the kids were in great moods so we decided to try and go fishing with some friends of ours (they have a 13 month old little boy). We didn’t get to head out until later in the afternoon and it took us hours (three to be exact) to finally find a fishing spot that was both kid friendly and a place where the husbands may actually catch a fish. When we got there I grabbed my youngest in her bucket seat and set her on the ground while I unpacked the car. When I  got back over to take her out I realize this was a horrible idea, she was covered in mosquitos, absolutely covered!

I have lived in many states, most which have a mosquito problem, none of those even remotely come close to the mosquitos in Alaska. They are awful. The only thing that helps is DEET, but that stuff is toxic and I refuse to put that on my kids. I have tried a few non DEET sprays and have not found any that work (if you have any ideas please let me know!!)

Anyways we decided to compromise and let the guys fish for a few minutes and us mommies will be on bug duty swatting all the mosquitos off of the kids as they play. I carried my youngest in our ergo and covered her as best I could as I tried to chase my 1 year old who insisted on playing in the water getting wet and muddy. Which if you have an experience with mosquitos that makes it a hundred times worse! They love the damp muddy pond shores.

Our kids looked like they had the chicken pox and we finally had to call it quits, it was just too much and we were not enjoying ourselves at all. We had been there for maybe a total of 30 minutes and then had over an hour long drive back home. We felt defeated and frustrated. We worked so hard to get out there and once we did we couldn’t even stay! The kids were not happy to find out they had to get back into the car, but we just couldn’t stay there any longer those bugs were eating them alive!

My kids luckily fell asleep once we got back on the road so it was not as bad as I was anticipating. My husband and I got to spend some time together talking and being silly, which made the stress levels lower. About halfway home this nightmare of a trip was made almost worth it when we saw three moose!! I have lived here for two years now and have seen many moose, but it never gets old. Here are a couple shots I got with my phone as we were driving by.

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6 Ways to Increase Your Milk Supply

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As I am trying to get into the flow of posting daily and figuring out some sort of schedule, I have decided to dedicate Thursdays to breastfeeding! Every Thursday, well maybe not EVERY Thursday, but as often on Thursdays as I can I will write about Breastfeeding. It may be tips, it may be something personal, it may be informative, it may be funny, but it will always include breastfeeding! To begin with the theme I am going to talk about our most frequently asked question on Mommas Making Milk. How do I increase my milk supply?

 

#1 NURSE!!

Put baby to breast as often as possible. Baby directly nursing is the most effective way to boost supply.

 

#2 Power Pump

Power pumping is pumping for 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off etc for 1 hour. Milk supply is all about supply and demand so the more you demand the more you will supply!

 

#3 Water, Water, Water

I aim to drink at least 100oz of water a day, if I fall too much under I can definitely see a difference. Being dehydrated is one of the worst things you can do for your milk supply.

 

#4 Foods

You should be eating a minimum of 1800 calories a day while nursing. There are also an assortment of foods that can boost supply. Oatmeal is one of the most popular and effective, but it needs to be the good old fashioned kind, not the instant.  Lactation cookies are also great, and I will share my favorite recipe another day.

 

#5 Supplements

There are also many supplements that can aid in boosting lactation. Fenugreek and Brewer’s yeast are the most common, but they are known to cause baby and/or mom to have an upset tummy. (Personally brewers yeast KILLS my stomach and fenugreek made me gain weight) Blessed Thistle, Goats Rue, and Fennel seed are a few more. You can also find tinctures and teas with a mixture of these as well. More Milk Plus and Milk Maid Tea are two that I have tried, and you can find all of these on Amazon

 

#6 Medications

If all of the above does not help and you are suffering from chronic low supply you can also discuss with your doctor using medications to aid in lactation like Reglan and Domperidone. I have used Domperidone with my first daughter and it worked, but it did cause me to gain quite a bit of weight (there seems to be a theme here).

 

I am no expert just a nursing mommy who has suffered from low supply and speaking from experience, so as always discuss with your doctor and do your own research before you take supplements and medications. If you have any “secrets” to boosting milk supply please share them below!

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Meal Plan June 30th-July 6th

 

 

I have been slacking this weekend and have been enjoying the outside away from my electronics! We have had a crummy summer so far with lots of rain so 70s and sun called for lots of outside time. I did manage to make it a point to make my meal plan for the week so I can share it with you all. So here it is, I am trying a few new things this week.

Monday

BBQ Chicken- In the Kitchen with Jenny

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Tuesday

Philly Steak and Grilled Cheese- Sugar Dish Me

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Wednesday

Spinach Lasagna Rolls- SkinnyTaste.com

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Thursday

Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork- Six Sisters Stuff

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Friday

Grilling Steak, Asparagus, and Potatoes along with this delicious looking Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake- Recipe Girl

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Saturday and Sunday

I am not planning anything for these days because I know we will most likely be busy and out. So left overs, burgers on the grill, that sort of thing.

 

I am always looking for new recipes to try so please share your favorites!

 

16 Fun Facts

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1. My husband and I were only together for 9 months when we got married. Only 2 of those months were we physically together the rest was a long distance relationship.

2. I went to cosmetology school, which was a complete waste of my life as I have never worked in a salon and am a stay at home mom.

3. I am horrible with laundry and 75% of our clean clothes are sitting on my bedroom floor instead of being put away.

4. I do not enjoy being pregnant one bit and I am a grouchy mess the entire 9 months.

5. I love to cook, but am not to fond of baking.

6. My husband and I met fishing through my brother in law, who at the time was my sister’s boyfriend. Who would have though a few years later and we would both be married to them.

7. I used to be a vegetarian and have no clue how I ever did it. I love meat.

8. During the 2nd half of my pregnancy with my oldest (Hazel) I ate around 4 bags of Flaming Hot Cheetos a week. I do not like them otherwise.

9. I got pregnant when my oldest was only 3.5 months old, we were technically trying but we did not think it would happen that fast.

10. I am extremely proud of the fact that even though I had to be induced with Pitocin with my youngest I gave birth without an epidural.

11. I am obsessed with buying giraffe themed items for my kids.

12. I love breastfeeding and wish to be a lactation consultant “when I grow up”. I plan on going to back to school next year.

13. I love play video games with my husband, especially anything to do with Mario.

14. Some women collect shoes or handbags, I collect baby carriers and cloth diapers.

15. I love being a mother and I feel I am no where near being done having children.

16. I got married at 18, two months before my high school graduation.

Waterbead Sensory Box

Sensory Play

It is no secret sensory boxes are all over Pinterest. Since the first time I saw one I have been anxiously waiting for my kids to be old enough to enjoy one! Hazel is 16 months old and as long as I make sure to not take my eye off of her I felt comfortable enough to let her play!

Sensory Play

I decided to use waterbeads for the main “ingredient”. She loves playing in water but let’s face it water is a complete mess inside. So I figured this way it still has the water feel with less mess (as long as you keep those little balls in the container). I found a bunch of cheap little knick knack toys to mix in with the beads. I bought little horse figurines, tiny dinosaurs, glass beads, and freezeable stars to do even more sensory exploration. I spent maybe $15 on the entire thing, including the container, and it was worth every penny. She absolutely loved it and had a blast! You can use a larger container, but with only have one child to play I figured the small one would suffice. Here are some action shots.

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We couldn't keep her form putting her feet in it!

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She was collecting all of the frozen stars.

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Next week we are going to be making a 4th of July themed one that I will be sure to share with everyone! What are your favorite sensory play ideas?