Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fall Traditions

For day 3 of the November Blogathon, I am talking about my family's Fall traditions. I hope you enjoy this throwback photo of my older sister and I...(I am the devil...) *smiles*


Let's talk about September...technically it's kind of a summer month, but I consider it Fall...

One thing we try to do each Fall is go apple picking at our local apple orchard, Eckert's. This is something I have done for as long as I can remember. Usually our whole family tries to go together; parents, grandparents, kids, aunts, cousins, the whole group. We usually eat some apples while we are in the orchard and the cooks of our family make apple flavored treats with the apples we picked. 

My oldest sister's birthday is in September, so that is always a part of Fall for us. We usually go out to dinner, but this year was her big 30th birthday! My younger sister, my mom, and I all put together a surprise party for her, it was really fun and she was surprised!

My husband and I were married on September 1st. So, although this tradition is only two years old, my husband and I celebrate our anniversary each Fall!

Let's talk about October...

We have all kinds of Halloween traditions! The kids always dress up and go trick or treating. Each year we have a Halloween party at my parents' home. One thing that I have learned is "St. Louis specific" is the tradition of telling jokes. At each house, the child has to tell a joke in order to get candy. Weeks before Halloween kids (and adults) start sharing their jokes. Here's the joke my husband and I told this year:

What's a baby ghost's favorite food?
Booooooobies! 

Haha! It's more funny if you know that I am currently breastfeeding our 11 week old daughter. 

My "little" brother's birthday is October 1st, so we celebrate his birthday as well during Fall. Although he is not really my "little" brother anymore, he is 17 years old and 6 foot 1in. 

Let's finish off this post with November...

Ahh November! This is a very special month for be because this is the month that my son was born and the month when I first met my husband. My son's birthday is on the 23rd, so sometimes his birthday falls on Thanksgiving, (he was actually born on Thanksgiving!). Every year my son has 2 birthday parties, one for his friends and one with our family. Last year his friend party was playing paintball, they all had a blast! Some other places he has had his birthday are: Skyzone, YMCA, Roller Skating Rink, and the Bowling Alley. One year my husband and I lost our minds and took about 10 eleven year old boys to the Holiday Inn for an overnight swim party. They had sooo much fun, but it was a lot of work! 

My nephew Dominic's birthday is also in November, on the 28th. I was so happy that I got to be there for his birth! My sister lived in North Carolina at the time, and he was born while we were there for a visit. They have moved back to St. Louis now, so each Fall he has a big birthday party as well. 

Thanksgiving! All I have to say is "yum". Our Thanksgiving includes a ton of food. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, broccoli rice casserole, dinner rolls, green bean casserole, corn casserole, cranberries, and I'm sure there is more that I am forgetting! We all go over to my mom and dad's house for dinner. My mom gets out the good china (the only other time this happens is  Easter) and usually my little sister helps her set the table. Sometimes we get festive and go around saying what we all are thankful for, but it's more about having a big dinner with family and people that we love. 

I feel like Christmas traditions is a whole post within itself, so I will save that for another day! 

I'd love to hear about your Fall Traditions! Feel free to include a link to your Fall Traditions post in the comments. 



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Favorite Fall Recipe: Noodle Casserole

As part of the November Blogathon I am sharing my favorite Fall recipe! I wasn't sure which recipe I was going to choose for this, then last night my mom made this casserole for my sister's boyfriend who is visiting from Holland. He really enjoyed this, and as always, the rest of the family did too!



Ingredients:

1-8 oz. package medium egg noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 TBLS. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup creamed cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese



Cook noodles in boiling salted water. Rinse in cold water and drain.
Brown meat in butter, then add salt, pepper, garlic salt and tomato sauce.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Combine cottage cheese, sour cream, chopped onions and noodles
Alternate (like lasagna) layers of noodles mixture and meat mixture and cheese in a two quart casserole, beginning with noodles and ending with meat.
Top with shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.
Serves 8


I hope you enjoy this! I think this recipe smells like my Nana's house. If you are participating in the November Blogathon (or even if you aren't) link up your favorite Fall recipes in the comments!





Monday, November 3, 2014

30 Days in November, 30 Facts about Michelle



I am trying to blog more, and what better way to do that then to participate in the November Blogathon sponsored by the Mrs. & the Momma! She has developed writing prompts for each day in November, how fun!

You can find the link to her November Blogathon post HERE.

The first blogging prompt is for Monday, November 3rd, and the prompt is:
There are 30 days in November, so share 30 facts about yourself.


30 Facts about Michelle

1, I have an incredible husband, Nathan
2. I have an amazing 13 year old son, Jasen
3. I have a precious 11 week old daughter, Marlene
4. I am 28 years old
5. I was born on St. Patrick's Day
6. I live in St. Louis, Missouri
7. I have 2 dogs, chiweenies, Mustang and Stella
8. I have 1 cat, Walter
9. I have a water frog, Bonnie (she ate all of the food and her mate Clyde died)
10. I have one older sister, Melissa
11. I have one younger sister, Megan
12. I have one younger brother, Mark
13. My parents are still married
14. I have been married for 2 years
15. I earned a bachelor's degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from UMSL in 2008
16. I minored in psychology
17. I originally went to school to be a doctor and was enrolled in the pre-med program
18. I changed my career path after my son's father passed away
19. I earned a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling in Spring of 2014
20. I am a stay at home mom now, and I love it!
21. I preformed at the Muny in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" when I was 11
22. I love to watch QVC (it's on right now)
23. My favorite color is green
24. I used to do singing and dancing competitions when I was younger
25. I was a teenage mom (It has been challenging and awesome at the same time)
26. I met my husband online (on Okcupid.com)
27. I have one nephew, Dominic
28. I have one niece, Aubrie
29. I love my them like they are my own kids
30. I really love my life, it's not glamorous, but I feel so lucky each day! 

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me! If you are doing the November Blogathon, feel free to provide a link to your 30 Facts in the comments of this post. I would love to read about you! 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Life with a Two Month Old (It couldn't be sweeter)


Life is great! I mean, just look at that little face! Marlene Mae turned two months old on October 15th and she is growing by leaps and bounds. Here is a little glimpse of what she is up to...

Marlene's favorite activities:

Having daddy bounce her on the yoga ball
Laying on the floor playing in her baby gym (she works out)
Swinging in her cradle swing
Snuggles with mommy, daddy, and her big brother
Going on walks
Being worn in her Moby Wrap or Mei Tai
Taking a bath

Marlene's Stats:

Weight: 12 pounds, 3 ounces (her birth weight was 8 pounds, 7 ounces)
Height: 24 inches (her birth height was 20 3/4 inches)

Weight: 60th percentile
Height: 96th percentile

Marlene's Sleep:

This little lady is not a daytime napper! She cat naps for about 20 min a few times per day.
At night, she usually goes to bed around 11pm, wakes up at 4:30am to eat, goes back to sleep and wakes up again at 7am to eat. If I'm lucky, she will go back to sleep for another 2 hours. 

Marlene's Eating:

She is exclusively breastfeeding (go Marlie!) and she is doing so great! 
She eats every 2 hours during the day, for about 30 minutes total. 
She loves eating!

Marlene's Favorite Toys:

Pink elephant stuffed animal/rattle/book/squeaker/crinkle (yes, it does it all!)
Crinkle flower/rattle
Black and white zebra stuffed animal

Little Miss Marlie loves being talked to, we spend all day chit chatting. She loves to be held and kissed and loved on. I am one happy mama! I take like a million pictures of her everyday, if you don't follow me on Instagram, you totally should because you will get to see this adorable face!


Thanks for reading! I love comments and questions, so feel free to connect with me!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Meet Marlene and Life with a New Baby

I have not blogged in a long time! I guess that's what happens when you have a new baby :) Sure, some bloggers are awesome about having a baby update on the blog within hours, but that has never been my style. Also, life with a new baby is time consuming! I thought "oh, my baby will sleep all of the time and I will have so much time to blog...". Wrong.

If you would like to meet the little lady that I spend all of my time with, here she is...



Little Miss Marlene Mae was born on August 15th at 1:57pm. She weighed 8 lbs, 7 oz. Eventually, I will post her birth story, because every birth story is amazing, and I would love her share her story with you all. Marlene is named after my two grandmothers, Marlene Rose and Betty Mae. We call her Marlie for short, and we love every second with her. Every moment with this little angel is a gift, and we love her so much!



As of today, she is 7 weeks old, she will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. All of these photos are from her newborn photo shoot with my talented sister, Melissa. She has changed so much, and I can't wait to share more recent photos with you all, but my OCD is making me post pictures in chronological order.


Life with Marlie is incredible. I am breastfeeding, so that comes with its' own set of challenges, but overall it is going well. We have been exploring the world of attachment parenting and baby-wearing and we are having a blast! We spend our days nursing, playing with toys, attempting to do housework (yea right) and running errands. Did you know that going to the grocery store with a newborn takes upwards of two hours? I forgot! My oldest is 13 years old, so it has been a long while since I cared for a newborn baby.

I have always been a working mom, so staying at home with this little beauty is something I am getting used to. I am so lucky to be able to be a stay at home mom to her during this time, I honestly did not think it would be able to happen. We are adjusting to our new schedule and loving life at our own pace.


I hope you enjoyed all of her sweet newborn pics, and be on the look out for more Marlie updates!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

29 Week Bump Date! Aches, Pains, A Rockin' Baby, Classes, and What's A Doula?

I have to say, this week has been one of the more challenging weeks of pregnancy. I'll share with you the good and the bad of Week 29! 



Aches and Pains:

I have been experiencing a lot of back pain and pain in my stomach muscles. My doctor said this is because this is my second pregnancy and my muscles are weakened from my first pregnancy. I was not in great physical shape when I became pregnant, so this does not completely surprise me. 

Over the past few days, the pain started to impact my daily activities. I wanted to cry every time I got out of bed, or out of a chair. I had an incredibly hard time getting dressed, walking and standing. I feel like there was a point this week when I crossed the threshold from "regular pregnancy" pain to "this shouldn't be happening yet" pain. 

I decided to go and see a chiropractor yesterday. I think my favorite part about seeing her was that she listened to me, which made me feel good. She didn't blow me off, or tell me to "suck it up", she didn't laugh at me or make me feel like a wimp. She gave me some empathy, which is exactly what I needed. Well, I needed empathy and a back adjustment. She aligned my back in a few places and actually saw me again this morning for follow up adjustments. This is my first time ever seeing a chiropractor and so far it has been a great experience. I am still sore, but not in pain like I was before I saw her. 

Rockin' and Rollin' Baby

I'm starting to feel really big movements from Miss Marlie! I can watch my stomach moving and feel her big twists and turns. I love it! I can feel her becoming more active everyday.  

Class Time

I finally signed my husband and I up for a natural childbirth class! I had been debating whether or not to take an actual class, or to just watch videos online. In the end I decided that I really wanted to experience this with my husband in a way that I don't think we would get from online videos. I like the idea of a small class setting, with other couples and an instructor we can see face to face. 

The class I decided on is a 7 week class that covers the following topics:
  • Mechanics of childbirth, natural labor preparations, first and second stage labor information, breastfeeding, postpartum care, and tips for labor partners
The instructor seems really nice and I am excited to meet her! The class was originally $300. She was able to give me a voucher for $50 off, and she is willing to do a payment plan for us. This made the class much for affordable. I am really exited for what we will learn!

What's a Doula?

Over the past few days I have suddenly had the urge to hire a doula. I never knew what one was or what exactly they did, until I began to research. They are like a support person for both you and your spouse and are with you before, during, and after labor. 

Here is an official definition from DONA International:


"The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily."

In my area (St. Louis, MO) the average Doula's services cost about $1,000. However, I have found one provider that has a service price listed of $400, and a few others that have service prices between $500-$600. I have found that most of the doulas in my area offer a package of 2 prenatal visits, unlimited phone calls, support throughout the entire labor and delivery, breastfeeding support, and 2 postpartum visits. This totally sounds worth it to me! 

No one in my family has done a natural birth or exclusively breastfed. I think it would be beneficial to have this person as a resource. If my husband and I can afford it, I would love to hire a doula! 


**I know that was a long post for week 29, thanks for following along on my journey! I would love to hear about anyone's experience with a doula or natural childbirth tips! 



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