Christmas Coffee by Reverie Coffee Roasters Wichita KS

No Christmas baby

My little one doesn’t look like he’s planning to show up early — Thank goodness!

What is it about the holiday season (and having less than three weeks before the baby joins us) that makes me feel so far behind?

Christmas presents for the family

All the family gifts are wrapped, but I still have so much to do.

  • Install. The. Forsaken. Car seat.
  • Schedule a house cleaning
  • Hang shelves and artwork in the nursery — it’s almost done!
  • Fix the upstairs shower
  • Prep freezer meals and smoothies
  • …I’m sure there’s more

Since we had a warm but gloomy, rainy, windy, potentially tornado-y Christmas in Kansas, I stayed in and got to cross one of these these to-do’s off my list.

Prepping freezer meals and smoothies for non-fast food fast.

I braved the grocery store on Christmas Eve to pick up the ingredients for the 15 freezer meals I planned so the husband and I aren’t ordering takeout every night when we’re both too tired to remember how the oven works.

I say “braved” because it was absolute chaos. Nonsense-making chaos. I’m never doing it again.

I also went to Costco. I am bad at Costco. I can’t figure out how to make the price per carrot worth it to buy food I’ll never be able to eat before it goes bad…

I just want to buy less food.

freezer meal prep ingredients

Anyway, a separate blog will detail this adventure. I might never do this again, either… One ingredient not found killed one of my freezer meals; and another ingredient forgotten killed a second. Instead of 15, I only have 13.

Plus, I’ve never touched so much raw chicken in my life… hork.

And my feet are kiiiiiiiling me.

Like, they’re so mad.

Fingers crossed each of these freezer meals are edible. After meal prepping for seven hours today (including tonight’s dinner!), I do not care if they taste good.

I’ll care tomorrow.

When my feet don’t hurt.

If I did my math correctly, and if I don’t cook anything to go with any of these freezer meals (though I plan to), each serving costs approximately $2.60 — assuming each freezer meal yields four servings. I’m going to keep track of costs as best I can because I want to know if freezer meals are worth more than time.

To plan and prep these meals, I used a bunch of plans and recipes I found on Pinterest. Because Pinterest. Find them –>>

I hope you all had a Happy Christmas! We’re celebrating next week (pending fetus).

Ivan the German Shepherd with his Christmas toy
Ivan says “Happy Christmas!” (as he demolishes a stuffed animal, leaving its entrails all around my once clean house)

 

Motherhood, Christmas, 2017… Crap

If you attach the words “maternity,” “motherhood” or “nursing” to an article of clothing, such as a maternity shirt or a nursing tank top, then said article of clothing is automatically 50 percent more expensive.

I don’t have actual math of this, but I did spend $60 on four tank tops at Target that — were they not nursing tank tops — would have cost me half as much. Target has great deals on tank tops, unless the tank tops have two special clips for easy baby access. The same goes for nursing bras, which are — unfortunately — very necessary for, you know, nursing. I also bought a “sports” nursing bra — in which I will NEVER do vigorous exercise — that was ridiculously expensive. I might be able to do yoga in it. (It’s super comfy so I’m not too mad about it’s near uselessness.)

Motherhood. It’s a racket.

I have made it through the majority of my pregnancy without having to buy too many articles of maternity clothing thanks to the generous donations of friends and family. Four pairs of leggings, several T-shirts and sweaters. Plus, many of my clothes are drapey, long or stretchy enough to fit over top of my bump.

But I do have to buy after-pregnancy clothing because, apparently, I won’t fit into my super pregnant clothes or my regular, not pregnant clothes. Women still look and feel pretty pregnant sans fetus.

Super.

Bah! I’d rather spend money on Christmas!

WHICH IS NEXT WEEK HOW WHEN ACK

I don’t know why I thought it’d be a good idea to have a baby this close to the holidays.

Sure, I have the pregnant lady super power of never being cold, even when it’s below freezing; and, sure, I don’t have to deal with the humid heat of the Kansas summer nine months pregnant.

But, seriously, Thanksgiving… Christmas… New Year’s… my anniversary… my due date… What. Was. I. Thinking.

I didn’t even decorate :(

I don’t think I will decorate, either. What happens if I go into labor before taking Christmas decorations down? Well, then it’s just Christmas in my house for… like… weeks.

The most Christmas decor I’ll get this year is a little white tree at work decked out in Starbucks ornaments (which is super cute).

starbucks-2016-christmas-ornaments
Look at the tiny French press!

The baby’s room is almost done! That’s as good as Christmas decorations, right?

My husband and my father-in-law put together his crib Friday night, and I layered a quilted mattress pad, waterproof pad, crib sheet, another water proof pad and another crib sheet on this afternoon. If baby has a blowout in the middle of the night, I’ll just tear off a layer and put him back to bed. (I can’t find where I read this advice.)

I just need to install shelves and get command strips to hang wall art, and then we will be DONE, people!

I’m also prepping bedside diaper and snack stations for middle-of-the-night wake-up cries and nursing sessions. (I also can’t find where I read this advice.)

bedside-diaper-station-snack-station-nursing

Baby’s hospital bag is packed; my hospital bag is packed; my pump is in a separate tote bag; and my husband still needs to pack his hospital bag.

That’s four hospital bags.

That’s too many bags.

I might have to consolidate…

There’s a lot of advice out there about what should and should not be taken to the hospital on D-Day. Check out my mama shae Pinterest board for all the advice I’ve been reading.

Forewarning, there’s boobs on it.

In my effort to de-clutter my house before giving birth, I did make the mistake of throwing away excess travel size shampoos and conditioners. So… now I have to get new ones.

travel-size-beauty-products-hospital-bag
I threw them all away… Years old containers. Still probably perfectly good.

Sigh…

We’re almost ready for the final countdown, folks. Baby in T minus four weeks.

Let’s do this.

ALL the Christmas

So… 10 days to Christmas.

I am so prepared.

Like so.

I have three… or four… Christmas trees…

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(In fairness, these ones are tiny.)

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A mood-setting mantle…

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Covered in candles GALORE…

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And a rather festive pup!

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I mean… look. how. cute.

Except for the dog, I got all of my decorations at Goodwill. Candles, too. I recommend.

Now, ask me how many Christmas presents I’ve purchased for my loved ones. Ask me how well I’ve planned my Christmas party, my family get-together, a friendsmasgiving…

Well, not well at all, I tell you.

Luckily, I’ve got a husband who knows how to Amazon, cook duck and keep cool under holiday pressure ;)

I suppose I have done a bit of planning. But it’s all Pinterest, no action.

I bet I could wrap presents that great… If, you know, I get them in time…

Happy 10 days to Christmas :)

Christmas in the new house

Husband and I celebrated our first Christmas in the new house!

The mantle is trimmed and (empty) stockings are hung, but we didn’t put up a tree this year, and most of our house is still pretty fall-ish.

Christmas at Home (5)

Christmas at Home (8)

Christmas at Home (9)

It is our first Christmas in the new house so I don’t feel too bad about not going all out with the decorations. I wouldn’t even know where to put a Christmas tree… just yet.

Next year will be our GIANT Christmas celebration year.

We “opened” our unwrapped gifts immediately after Husband got out of bed. Mostly because I wanted mine. He got me seasons six and seven of Weeds, and I got him an art print from a local artist… because we are neeerrrrrds.

Christmas at Home (4)

While Christian Bale might not be his favorite Batman (my favorite Batman BTW), Husband does like Batman, and this print is pretty cool.

We’re putting it in the office.

After gifts, we made breakfast and freshly pressed coffee together. I made turkey bacon egg muffin things, and Husband made hash browns!

Recipe: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray a muffin tin. Whisk six eggs with salt and pepper. Line six muffin holes with deli turkey, or whatever meat you prefer, and then add the eggs! Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Now, Husband is baking bread because he hates dough conditioners and we have to make our own now or something…

Christmas at Home (1)

Pretty good Christmas, huh? I hope your Christmas was just as awesome!

How to avoid weight gain during the holiday season

My waistline was lucky on Thanksgiving.

We did not celebrate with food.

I do not think I will be as lucky on Christmas because, knowing my family, I might have a few Christmas celebrations to attend and a few merry meals to munch.

Oh. I’m getting poet-y.

I do not want to gain more weight during the holiday season. In fact, I am currently trying to lose the weight I gained when I started my desk job. I know I do not need to overeat for my holiday merriment so I’m going to practice a few techniques I found around the web to avoid the holiday weight gain that is so inevitable for us Americans.

Especially for the ones who love food. Like me. I feel your pain.

The first trick I found was “eat like a king, eat like a prince, eat like a peasant.” I should consume the most amount of my calories in the morning for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, I should eat like a prince (less than a king) and like a peasant (the least amount of calories), respectively.

No 100-calorie yogurt cups with granola for breakfast. I need to prepare a healthy, more than 300-calorie breakfast for myself every morning: eggs, fruit, toast and coffee.

And my peasant dinner will most likely be the Christmas dinner that will tempt me to overeat, but NOT if I’m still full of breakfast.

The second trick I found was to bring my own food. For every holiday celebration I attend, I will bring my own healthy dish! I will make enough of said healthy dish to eat it the most but also have some left for others to enjoy.

What about spaghetti squash salad with feta? I’ll go easy on the butter and salt, and I’ll eat ALL OF IT. Looks so delicious.

 

The third trick is something I have tried in the past: DO NOT HAVE SECONDS. And by “tried in the past,” I mean “failed to succeed in the past.”

I have never been able to resist the tempting pull of seconds. My father-in-law is a ridiculously good cook and so are my family members: my mother, my Papa and my grandma. AND I live with my husband who is a much better cook than I am so I’m always eating everything (double that) he puts in front of me.

Guh.

My goals for the holiday season:

1) Eat a crazy healthy and equally crazy big breakfast every morning.

2) Bring a healthy dish that’s low in the usual holiday guilt (butter and salt).

3) Do not have seconds at any holiday meal I attend this season. Do not.

The only goal that sounds tough is #3!

How do you avoid holiday weight gain? What changes do you make in your diet or fitness regimen to make up for the calories you eat for holiday meals?

 

A not-so-skinny Christmas

Happy Christmas!

I hope everyone forgot to sleep in so they could open presents as early as possible! No one sleeps in on Christmas.

I slept until 8; I got up a little after Husband who waited SO patiently to open his presents. It was like he wasn’t even excited!

Well, I was excited so I quickly initiated the present-opening ceremonies. I sat patiently while he opened one of his gifts: Irish Pub Cooking, which won’t do us much good on our new eating plan. I’ll have to figure out how to skinny every meal!

I cannot wait to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo so I can see the movie. Is that terrible? I’m reading the book first! By the time I finish, it should be out on DVD to rent. Husband also got me A Grammar of Motives by Kenneth Burke and Transforming Qualitative Information: Thematic Analysis and Code Development by Richard Boyatzis.

Yes. I am a giant nerd.

Husband opened his second present. He liked his new sweatshirt, pair of sweat pants with fleece inside and wallet. Husband’s old wallet was in the process of falling apart; it’s a good thing I got him a new one.

Mark it: Sunday, December, 25, 2011 – The first time Husband has made a blog appearance. The dog is in the corner.

Note: Husband is an awesome gift-giver. I am a TERRIBLE gift-giver. The next image should now make a lot of sense to you.

For my second gift, my amazing, wonderful, handsome husband gave me the most beautiful necklace.

So now you will believe me when I say I have the best husband on earth.

Because I totally do.

Yesterday, Husband and I joined his parents, sister and her husband and ADORABLE baby boy (who isn’t much of a baby anymore since he wears sweater vests, walks and makes noises that sound like words).

He is playing “stackable buckets” with his mommy and daddy. Husband and I got him building blocks and a boat load of clothes because he’s gigantic.

I remember saying that Father-in-Law’s cooking would win.

It did. It won so hard I forgot to take pictures because I shoved it in my face a little too fast. On the menu: turkey and stuffing like I’ve never tasted, sweet potatoes with apples and raisins and the best green bean casserole ever. Sister-in-Law made her Spice Cake.

The night before Christmas Eve, she sent me a text message asking what I was bringing for dessert because she burnt the first Spice Cake. I am really really happy she made another spice cake.

I even ate a piece for breakfast this morning.

On Christmas Day, it is OK to eat cake for breakfast. I am the Law.

I made Yes, I want Cake’s Vegan Monkey Bread (without the vegan part).

Finding vegan butter at Dillon’s is impossible most of the time but even more impossible when everybody and their mother is at the store.

The first time I mixed the dough, it did not go well, so I had to trash it and start all over. I am glad I did because it was amazing!

Inside of a Cinnamon RollAfter lunch, we opened gifts!

In addition to his blocks and buckets, the little guy got a fun tent, a tree swing and some turtlenecks from his Aunt Shae. Yeah, I’m that Aunt.

Next year he’ll be old enough for violent toys like Nerf guns :) <— ’tis an evil smile

Husband got a set of tools (with a power drill so we’ll stop borrowing his dad’s all the time) and a new holster.

I got more books! Giant nerd, I already told you. Added to my library: Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman and The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The conflict between word and image.

Sister-in-Law got me a teapot! The gift is really for both of us – Husband and I – because Husband dumps out my coffee to make tea. Not OK. Ergo… teapot!

The teapot is also going to be a source of endless entertainment: When it whistles, the cat freaks out and takes off to hide in the bathroom. Hilarious.

I hope everyone liked their gifts! I am so glad they got here before Christmas Eve.

For Christmas dinner, Husband made Alton Brown’s Fried Chicken and Waffles, and I ate too much again.  New tradition? I think so.

Now, I am going to my mother’s house to play Pitch with good friends. Every year Jared and Mark come to Kansas for Christmas, we get together and play Pitch. Jared and I are Team ShaJa and Mark and my mom are Team MarMa.

We are so going to win.

Happy Christmas again! I hope it was lovely!

A very skinny Christmas

A skinnyshae Christmas :)

And this is how we decorate!

When I was a little girl, my grandmother filled Mrs. Claus’ apron with chocolate kisses. I showed up a little too early this year.

I loved my grandparents’ house at Christmas. Even with fewer decorations, I still love it.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus

My mother put up a real tree. It’s quite pine-y! And so colorful!

We decorated the cubicles in shiny stuff at work!

Finally, for our second Christmas married, Husband and I have a Christmas tree.

It’s a wee one, smaller than me, but I love it.

We decorated with Husband’s hand-made decorations from childhood and decorations my grandmother gave me.

Oh, and Santa heads.

Another Santa head!

My grandmother, if you couldn’t tell from above, decorates with Santas. She gets a new one every year. She couldn’t remember what Santa she’d purchased the year before and accidentally bought one just like it this year.

She gave me these Santa heads last year because Husband and I had zero decorations. I grew up with them. I love decorating with them.

My Christmas balls are also decorated with Santas, and Husband donated Santas to our Christmas decor this year, too.

Santa looks like Gandalf <— Nerd moment

Happy Christmas! (Hanukkah! Winter Solstice! Wintertime Feast!)

For whatever reason you love this time of year and for whatever holiday you celebrate, remember the reason why you celebrate and do it for that reason.

Christmas has always meant family for me. I am thankful and blessed for that.