Things That Have Been Super Helpful

  • My haircut- I am certain that at least 90% of the “wow, you look really great for just having had a baby” comments that I have gotten so far have been entirely because my hair looks good.  On the day Ryan was born, I fixed my hair and flat ironed it really well, so that when I had the baby a few hours later, it still looked good and continued to do so for as long as possible.
  • Meals- my moms club has provided two weeks worth of meals for us.  They started the Monday after I got out of the hospital and have brought something over four days a week for two weeks.  (Which means that I am starting on my second week of meals tonight.)  They skip weekends and Wednesdays (this is mainly because my moms club isn’t enormous and eight meals is plenty).  I also had one non-moms club friend bring over some breakfast items and two other friends bring over lunch items.  (They brought a deli tray and rolls, a fruit tray (thank goodness for fruit!), chips and dip, fancy oatmeal packets, chocolate bars, and brownies.  I am super spoiled.)
  • Paper plates, cups, etc.- I forgot to mention this one in my New Baby Prep List, but I bought a bunch of disposable plates, cups, bowls, and silverware.  I moved all our regular dishes up a few shelves and put the paper stuff in their places.  I also bought some of those animal plates and cups (with lids!) for Elizabeth and I have a bunch of princess paper plates and silverware from winning Tara’s giveaway which I saved until now.  We will save the environment later and right now we are saving everyone’s sanity and energy by not doing dishes.
  • Toys- I mentioned putting away a bunch of Elizabeth’s toys and it was the greatest thing ever.  She still has plenty to play with, but clean up is much easier.
  • Doing tiny loads of laundry frequently- a certain someone keeps spitting up on things and I have learned since the first baby that it is much easier to get out milk stains if you wash them quickly. So I’ve done a tiny load of laundry just about every day and it is much easier to handle than having to deal with several full loads like I normally do.
  • Not having visitors.  We now have visitors and my goodness, I would not have been able to handle this without losing my mind before now. Forbid all early visitors.  (I would have actually preferred another week or so without visitors, but honestly, I consider myself lucky we made it this long.)
  • Keeping up on thank you notes- I’ve been attempting to write all thank you notes before more than a day or two has gone by.  (I missed one because Matt brought the gift to the hospital and then took it home again and left it in the car and I forgot about it until I found it in his car yesterday.) This helps so much because I can write one or two thank you notes in a few minutes (and stamp them with all the stamps I bought last month and address them with those address labels I printed out), but once I have more than a few to do, it becomes a big job and I just don’t do it.
  • Leg waxing- my legs haven’t needed shaved yet and it is fantastic to A) not have something else I don’t have time to get to in the shower and B) not have prickly legs that itch me.
  • Boarding the dogs- as soon as we got home from the hospital, we checked the dogs into the kennel. I have two less living creatures to feed/clean up after/let out and in constantly, the house is cleaner and quieter, and I can leave the baby around.  (We do not leave babies/children unaccompanied with dogs. Not that our dogs aren’t excellent and everything, but they are dogs. And as much as I trust our dogs, I do not trust them 100% because they are dogs.)  This ends today though, since we are not made of money.
  • Having Matt home- Matt is taking paternity time off work (some official paternity, some FMLA, I think) and it’s really nice to have him here.  He started work again two days after Elizabeth came home from the hospital (we came home on Friday night, he started up again on Monday) and even though he worked from home then, he still worked the whole day and we really didn’t see him.  This time, he’s able to deal with Elizabeth’s night wake-ups since he doesn’t have to be at work in the morning, and he’s home to help/drive/fetch food/take Elizabeth out/hold babies while I shower/etc.
  • Smartphone- this has been awesome. I did not have one when Elizabeth was a newborn and I was much more bored. Now I can check Twitter at 2:00am and I have been doing a lot of online shopping/browsing while nursing.  (This is both a blessing-Christmas presents- and a curse- things I do not need that I have bought for myself!)

Things that haven’t mattered much (yet)

  • The cleaning lady- eh.  It’s been really nice to have someone else who vacuums and dusts.  But she’s…not the best cleaning lady ever. She cleans about as well or slightly worse than I do. So I am not feeling like I am getting my money’s worth. If I am paying you, I want you not to miss the landing on the stairs when you vacuum or the edges of the rooms.  So she just does an okay job. And an okay job is better than me doing it, but I don’t think I will keep her much longer.
  • The frozen meals I made- I know these will matter enormously later, but we are still doing quite well with delicious food from other people.  I have defrosted one set of chocolate chip muffins and one set of brownies and those have been great.  (Oh, and one set of frozen French toast, which Elizabeth ate just about all of.)
  • The busy bags- these have been semi-useful, but again, something I think will be more important as we go. She’s still distracted rather well by Daddy and Baby Brother.

However, I think the most Super Helpful thing has been the amazingly calm and chill baby.  He allows me to put him down! He sleeps alone in his pack and play!  He sleeps!  This is not Elizabeth, folks!

Cute Baby Saturday – Two Kids Edition

For the last year or so, I have been telling Elizabeth that those carts at Target with the bench seats are for people who have two kids with them. For two reasons- to leave them available for the people who actually do have two kids with them and need them, and because they are harder to push and annoying. She’s ridden in them occasionally when we’ve shopped with friends, but for the most part, I avoid them.

Well, this morning, we took a little family trip to Target (for new nursing bras and I treated myself to a new nursing tank) (and it’s purple and has lace and apparently my excitement threshold is easy to reach now if I am this pleased with a nursing tank). As we walked up to Target through the parking lot, Elizabeth started talking about how she was going to ride in the car cart. You know, because baby brother is here now so now we have two kids.

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Baby brother actually rode in the K’Tan, not the car cart, being only ten days old.

Tonight’s Dinner

Before I go grocery shopping, I get my little meal planning white board and decide what we are going to have for dinner every night during the week. I usually sit down next to Matt and make him help. This last time, Elizabeth came over and joined us. She pulled the white board out of my hand and took the pen and then proceeded to fill in one of the squares with a little round drawing.

Then, she handed it back to me and said “Mama, this says hot dogs and ice cream for dessert.”

So tonight, we had hot dogs and ice cream for dessert.

Homemade Noodles

We had my homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner tonight and it was so good that I wanted to give you my recipe. Just because I am nice like that. This is with homemade noodles and honestly, they aren’t that difficult the way I do them but they really impress people. (And they are So Much Better than store bought noodles.)

4 beaten egg yolks
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

Add wet ingredients to bread maker. Add flour and salt on top. Use dough setting to knead noodles until they are smooth and no longer sticky. (In my bread maker, the 90 minute dough setting does this very well.) You can also knead in a stand mixer, kneading for ten minutes and then allowing the dough to rest for ten minutes. Repeat until dough is smooth and no longer sticky.

When dough is mixed, use kitchen shears to cut noodles into chicken broth. Elizabeth really loves to help me with this with her own pair of kid scissors that we keep as kitchen shears. Stir occasionally to keep noodles from sticking together. When all noodles are cut, turn on heat and bring to a boil. Cook until noodles are cooked through and firm. The time will vary depending on the thickness of your noodle. Small noodles will cook in only a few minutes and larger ones may take as long as fifteen minutes.

You may also add whatever ingredients you like to make it more chicken soupy, but personally, we find it to be quite acceptable with just chicken broth and noodles.