Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Planning

The kids have exactly 4.5 days left of school.  At this point I don't even know why I bother sending them.  Their supplies have already started making their way home and they basically are using up art supplies and watching movies all day while their teachers work on report cards.  I am incredibly proud of my son though, he is getting an achievement award tomorrow for being a genius!  No, really! 

Anyhow, to get ready for our first ever summer at home, I have been planning like mad.  The last thing I want is for September to be looming and realize we spent our summer sitting at home watching movies.  So, I made up a calendar and put clipart on the days we know we have stuff happening (weddings, swimming lessons, etc) then I made a sheet of just clip art that I am going to print on a sticker page so we can cut them out and stick them to the calendar as we plan things (usually a few days ahead).  We also made a big list of places we can go, things we can do at home on rainy days, and things we can do at home on hot days.  My plan is to do one "field trip" per week that gets us out somewhere super fun (like the zoo) and one day a week that is free but out (like a picnic in a park across the city) and then the other 3 days a week we will either be at home hanging out or at my mom's visiting.  I didn't plan anything for weekends because we already have filled a lot of them up with weddings and other events, plus my husband will be home on weekends so he will want to be working on projects (like skirting the deck, replacing our poor dead tree in the front yard, etc.)

I am so excited about this summer!  My kids have always been in daycare all summer before because I have always worked, so this is going to be so much fun!!!

What are your favorite summer activities? 

I am also starting to think of fun lunches for the summer so we aren't eating Kraft Dinner all summer long, so any kid-friendly recipes you have would be great!  I know we will make soft pretzels at least a couple of times, grilled cheese, hot dogs, chicken wraps and lots of sandwiches!  They need to be quick and easy with minimal cooking so that I still feel like making dinner after the hubby gets home ;-)

Well, the baby is fussing.  I guess that is the end of this post.  Duty calls!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

1st Weekly Menu Planning Sunday Extravaganza!

Ever notice if you add "Extravaganza!" to the end of an activity it makes it sound more fun?  :)

I must get back into menu planning.  A:  It will make my life easier with a baby if I know what I have to do for dinner that night.  B:  It will save us money because I will know what I need for groceries that week and not be throwing out rotten vegetables by the end of the week.  C:  it will save us money because when someone asks me at 5pm "What's for supper?" my answer won't be "Oh shit, I forgot to take something out.  Do you want McDonald's or Pizza?" and D:  It will help me lose weight.  See C for why.  LOL.

So, when planning a menu for the week I think about a few things. 
  • What do I have in my freezer for protein?
    • Ground Beef
    • Steak (already marinated)
    • Pork Chops
    • Beef Roast
    • Shrimp
    • Hot dogs
  • What is the forecast for the week?
    • Monday:  Hot with possible thundershowers
    • Tuesday:  Nice and Sunny
    • Wednesday:  Mild with showers off and on
    • Thursday:  Same as Wednesday
    • Friday:  Showers
  • What nights do we have stuff going on?
    • Tuesday I have a late afternoon doctor's appt and my son has Karate.  Rush Night!!!  Friday is my Birthday.  I am NOT cooking.
So, tonight is the night before I go for groceries.  It's supposed to be mainly sunny and 21 degrees today.  Sounds like BBQ! 

Sunday:  BBQ pork chops, perogies, corn
Monday:  Hot dog bites, beans, fries
Tuesday:  Spaghetti, salad
Wednesday:  steak, roasted potatoes, asparagus
Thursday:  BLT's and home fries
Friday:  Either dinner out or pizza in
Saturday:  I am going out.  Jay and the kids will eat leftovers or I will make them grilled cheese before I leave
Sunday:  BBQ ribs for Father's day! (At my parents)

The best part about this menu is I only need the following groceries!
  • Bread
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • asparagus
  • cheese
Happy Menu Planning!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Boredom

My kids have exactly 13 days left of school (2.5 weeks).  We are currently coming up with a list of things we can do over the summer to keep from being bored.  I have told them that the words "I am bored" will result in a chore!  (That will get them outside quick!)  On the list are various indoor and outdoor activities as well as reasonably priced places we can go (picnics, spray parks, etc) for field trips.

This is my first summer off since in a billion years and I have never had school age kids off for the summer either, they have always been in daycare before now.  Any ideas you can offer would be great!!!

We also have two weddings to attend this summer and I have the kids booked in swimming lessons, so it`s already booking up fast! 

I am also looking for suggestions for quick, delicious summer meals!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Making Maternity Leave Work

In Canada, we are lucky enough to get paid by the government to stay home with our baby for maternity leave for a full year.  Unfortunately, that pay is only 55% of your salary.  This is really going to stretch us financially.  Here are some of the ways we are going to make it work!  Please share ideas for more!

  • Luckily my maternity leave coincides with my final payment on my car.  That will be $250 less per month I will have to pay to the bank!
  • No work = less gas driving back and forth
  • No work = less lunches out (though, this only adds up to like $10-15 per week)
  • Losing baby weight = eating less take out
  • Meal planning = eating less take out
  • Meal planning means throwing out less perishable food as well.
  • Being home also means I will have time to do more large cooking sessions.  This is where you can really stretch a dollar.  If I buy meat/produce in bigger quantities and cook several meals at once I can save money!
  • My husband has said he is going to cut back on his takeout coffee and drink the free stuff at work more.  That resolution only lasted a day last week but hopefully he gets on that track!
  • He is also going to talk to his boss' about possibly using his gas card for my gas once in awhile.  (His dad owns part of the company, so this might fly!)
  • We buy all diapers and wipes in big bulk packs to save more money.
  • We only buy store brand junk food from now on (ie chips)
  • I have put together a big list of free or cheap ideas to keep the kids busy over the summer so I am not spending money on things just to get them to leave me alone (ie movies and waterparks)
  • I am going to start couponing more!
  • Oh, the other thing I am going to do is that when I want fast food and then cook Kraft Dinner instead, I am going to put the money I would have spent on Fast Food into my savings account!  Then we can use that as our summer fun money!
Any ideas for saving more money or cheap/free things to do with 2 school age kids and a baby over the summer, please post in the comments!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Abigail's Birth Story

Before her birth I had been having contractions off and on for 9 days. Sigh...

Tuesday, April 26th, I went to bed around 11 and read until probably 11:30. Jay came to bed around 12:45 am. He woke me up just enough that I decided I was uncomfortable and rolled over. As I rolled over I felt a breeze (like that feeling when your arm is wet and you blow on it) on my butt. So I reached down and my underwear and the sheets were just soaked. I laid there processing the information for a minute then said "Umm Jay?" and he says "what?"

Me: "I think my water broke."

Him: "Yeah right". (LOL)

Me:"Do you want to feel over here and see how wet the bed is?"

Him:"No, that's ok. So what do we do?"

Me: I think we need to go to the hospital

Him: Should we wait until you get contractions?

Me: No we should go, once your water breaks there is a risk of infection

Him: Ok. At least my clothes are still warm.

Then he brought me a towel and I went to the bathroom and put on clean underwear and a pad and started packing my hospital bag. Then we had to wait for his mom to get there so that she could be there for the kids. So I loaded the dishwasher while we waited. :) We stopped at Tim Hortons to get Jay some coffee on the way and off we were! On the way to the hospital we talked about induction and what I wanted if I had to get an epidural (like getting it turned off or down for pushing) and just reminded him all the things I wanted and didn't want so they would be fresh in his mind.

We got to the hospital around 1:30 am and they got me right up to the assessment room. They actually waved me over to the admission desk in front of all the people in the ER, I was impressed! In assessment they hooked me up to a monitor and by that time I was starting to get some contractions. After about 20 minutes they checked me and I was only a fingertip dilated and my cervix was still very posterior. They decided to keep me and put me in my delivery room. Then they sent me off to hike the empty halls for a couple of hours. I was doing squats, stairs, etc, trying to get things moving. Around 3:30 they checked me again and I was 2 cm and very soft but still high and they couldn't feel the head. So off to hike again. At 4:30 there was still not much progress so they shut everything off and told me to take a nap because they were probably inducing me when the day shift came on. I couldn't sleep. Jay napped a bit. My mom managed to nap a bit. Then just after 7 the OB came and checked on me and I was about 3 cm so she gave the go ahead that we should start induction in the near future.

Then things got a bit scary! Abigail's heart rate started dropping during contractions and taking too long to recover. At one point the nurse hit a call button and yelled "I need help in here, D-cell" and this big swat team full of nurses came running in and they were slapping an oxygen mask on me and making me roll over and it was crazy and scary and all I could think was "breath, breath, I have to keep breathing." Her heart rate recovered and they decided to do an epidural and keep an eye on things. The epidural was so that if her heart rate decellerated again like that they could do an emergency C-section and I wouldn't have to be put out. So they put in the epidural and waited an hour to see how Abby's heart rate was doing then they started the pitocin drip really really slowly. Abby was handling the contractions perfectly by this time so they don't know if she was pinching the cord then or what... Around 10:00 am or so the doctor came to check my progress and I was only 3-4 cm, she dug deeper to see if she could feel the head yet and said "I think this baby is breech! Get me a scanner!" and a nurse ran to get a portable u/s machine and sure enough! Abigail was trying to come out butt first! No wonder my contractions weren't doing anything... her head wasn't being pushed down! LOL. So the doctor explains to me that we can continue with what we are doing and see if we can do a vaginal delivery but it would probably take awhile with the pitocin and due to Abby's heart rate dropping before she wouldn't recommend it or we could do a c-section. She did say that if I had come in with labor progressing and not having heart rate issues she would even encourage that we try a vaginal delivery since it was my 3rd baby. I told her I had absolutely zero desire to deliver a breech baby vaginally and they started prepping me for the c-section.

Once in the room they draped me and started the stronger epidural and got Jay in there. He held my hands and sat by my head and they got Abby out so fast!

At 11:55 am on Wednesday, April 27 Abigail Jennine was born! She weighed 5 lbs 13 oz I made Jay repeat it to me twice. I couldn't believe how tiny she was! She scored 9 on her apgars though so that was fantastic.  We are just so proud! 

She is now 5 weeks old and I am so in love with her and can hardly remember what life was like before her!

On a side note.  I am never going back to that OB!  I can't believe she didn't once check to see if I was breech, especially after I told her at 30 weeks I thought I was breech and she said there was lots of time for the baby to flip.  She never once palpitated my stomach to check for size or positioning.  I could have totally avoided a C-section if we had time to encourage her to flip.  Because of this, I no longer trust her and am transferring my care back to my family doctor for my 6 week check up and will be finding a new OB if I ever have another baby.  She was worth it though.  My new little princess makes me feel so content with life and watching my husband with her makes me fall in love with him all over again.