July 31, 2012

Tator Tot Casserole


Ingredients:
1 lb Ground Beef
1 (2 lb) bag frozen Tater Tots
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional)


Directions:
 1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2.  Brown your ground beef until thoroughly cooked.  Drain grease.
3.  Pour ground beef into the baking dish.
4.  Pour your bag of tater tots on top of the beef, spreading them out evenly.
5.  In a medium bowl, mix your soups and evaporated milk together.  Pour mixture evenly over the tater tots.
6.  Bake uncovered for 55 minutes.
7.  If using cheese, sprinkle on top after 45 minutes of baking and then put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
8.  Enjoy!




I forgot to take a picture of the tator tots on top of the hamburger, but you can tell they're under the soup mixture.  Always go by my directions above, not the pictures :)


Ingredients:
1 lb Ground Beef
1 (2 lb) bag frozen Tater Tots
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Directions:
 1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2.  Brown your ground beef until thoroughly cooked.  Drain grease.
3.  Pour ground beef into the baking dish.
4.  Pour your bag of tater tots on top of the beef, spreading them out evenly.
5.  In a medium bowl, mix your soups and evaporated milk together.  Pour mixture evenly over the tater tots.
6.  Bake uncovered for 55 minutes.
7.  If using cheese, sprinkle on top after 45 minutes of baking and then put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
8.  Enjoy!

The verdict?  Absolutely delicious!  I think this is my favorite new recipe so far.  Tyler and Kyla both liked it too and this will definitely be a regular meal for us.  There are so many different recipes for Tator Tot Casserole, but this one is so easy and so yummy!

If you missed my post last night, make sure you enter my baby guessing giveaway here!

July 30, 2012

Baby Guessing Giveaway!

Who doesn't love giveaways?  I thought it would be fun to have everyone guess when they think this little guy will make his entrance into the world and how big he'll be.  So here are the details...

I'm giving away two prizes.  Both winners will win a Thirty-One All-In-One Organizer.  They are great bags that can be pretty much used for anything.  You can choose between the Pink Lotsa Dots or the Minty Chip.

Leave a comment on this blog post with the following guesses:

1.  Day and time that he will be born (some people may want to guess the same day so make sure you put a time too - if two people guess the same day, the closest time will win)

2.  Weight in ounces and height in inches (you can guess the same weight as someone else, but the height must be different and vice versa)

Like I said, there will be two winners, one for each (when he comes and how big he'll be).  If you don't feel like reading through the other guesses and happen to guess the exact same as someone else, the first comment posted will win.

Here are some random facts that may help you or may be completely useless:
  • My original due date when I first found out I was pregnant was August 22nd
  • At my 8 week appointment, they changed it to August 28th because I was only measuring 7 weeks at that point.
  • At 28 weeks, I was measuring 30 weeks.
  • At 30 weeks, I was measuring 34 weeks.
  • I started having some contractions around 33 weeks, but haven't had any real ones since.
  • At my 34 week ultrasound, the baby weighed 4 pounds 13 ounces.
  • I am 36 weeks today.
  • Kyla was 9 days early.
  • She was 7 pounds 11 ounces and 20 3/4 inches.
  • Tyler was 9 pounds 11 ounces as a baby and 22 1/2 inches, but was a week late (let's hope he doesn't take after his Daddy)!
  • I was 8 pounds 6 ounces and 20 1/2 inches.
  • I have my 36 week appointment tomorrow.  I don't expect any significant news/changes, but I will update this if necessary.  I don't think they'll check my cervix though.
  • If there's anything else you want to know, just ask :)
Guesses must be in by this Friday, August 3rd at 9:00 pm (CST).  If I happen to have him this week (not likely), I will take the guesses I already have and pick winners from those.

You can post anonymously, but please make sure to include your name and an email address if I don't know you personally so I can contact you if you win.

I can't wait to see all your guesses!  Make sure to share my giveaway on your Facebook pages, blogs, Twitter, etc.

Meal Plan Monday

I've really been slacking on my meal planning the last couple weeks.  And wow, what a difference it makes.  We have been eating out and needing to run to the store way too often for little things here and there, both which lead to foolish spending.  I think I'm going to switch to doing just a week at a time for now.  It's much easier to plan and I'm going to focus my time on making freezer meals for when the baby comes.  I'm hoping my mom will come up this week and help me make some meals and/or keep Kyla occupied while I cook.  I have no clue what I'm doing so I'm doing some research for good, easy recipes.  I didn't make any when we had Kyla, but my sister-in-law brought us a couple of meals and it was so nice! 

This week's dinners:
Monday, July 30th - Calzones
Tuesday, July 31st - Brats on the grill, french fries
Wednesday, August 1st - Chicken Parmesan Bake, Vegetable
Thursday, August 2nd - Leftovers
Friday, August 3rd - Baked Spaghetti, Garlic Toast
Saturday, August 4th - Leftovers or Pizza
Sunday, August 5th - Grilled Cheese, Tator Tots

Freezer meals to make this week:
1. Cheese Soup
2. Lasagna
3. Baked Spaghetti

In more exciting news, tomorrow I'm going to be posting a baby guessing giveaway where you can guess the day and time he'll be born and how big he'll be.  Check back tomorrow for details :)

July 28, 2012

Nesting & A Lesson Learned

Today I decided it was time to cross some things off of our to-do list.  And since I was actually feeling good enough to do some house work, I knew I better take advantage of it.  We cleaned out and scrubbed the fridge, cleaned bathrooms, did laundry and a few other odds and ends things.  Is this what they call nesting?  I don't think I ever really experienced it with Kyla.  We also went in to Tyler's office to bring home his pictures and other big things.

IMG00166-20120728-1612.jpg
Kyla hard at work in Daddy's office
Now I want to start making some meals to freeze.  My aunt is going to send me her cheese soup recipe, which I'm really excited about.  But I'm on the hunt for some other good recipes that you can freeze.  Any suggestions?  I just plan on looking online.  I'm sure there are plenty.  But I always like getting recipes from people I know.  So please comment if you have a good one.

In other news, I learned yesterday that it's not worth stressing over things because in the end, it will all work itself out!

Remember I told you all about my insurance dilemma?  Well, I decided to go ahead and make an appointment with a new doctor and I was planning on calling to get my records and ultrasounds faxed over to the new clinic.  But...

Instead of starting our new insurance plan Tyler's first day, the new employer is paying for our Cobra coverage so I can stay on with our current plan, have my same doctors and deliver at the same hospital we did with Kyla.  WOO HOO!  You have no idea how excited I am about this!  What a relief!  I know everything would have been perfectly fine with the new doctor and new hospital, but I just feel so confident with the plan we've had all along.  Yay!

And by the way, I cannot wait to tell you all about Tyler's new job when they launch the site.  You are all going to LOVE it!  Well, that is if you like saving money :)

July 27, 2012

Things I'm Loving

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you, but I have nothing exciting to blog about today.  But I am happy.  It's just one of those mornings where you wake up and can't help but be happy.  I know I have been blogging about being stressed out, being in pain, worrying about this or that, but today I am focusing on the good things in life.  I have so much to be thankful for.  Plus, after my pet peeves post a couple weeks ago, I felt like I should redeem myself by sharing some of the things I'm loving...

My sweet little girl - I can't imagine loving anyone or anything more.  She is my everything!

My hubby - But if I could love someone more, it would be this guy!  He works so hard every day and then comes home and all he wants to do is play with Kyla.  He reads to her, acts silly with her, wrestles around with her, gives her baths and is just the best Daddy a little girl could ever ask for.  We sure are two lucky ladies!

My mom - She does so much for me that "thank you" just isn't enough.  I don't think I'll ever be able to thank her for being so amazing.  I love you Mom!

My baby boy - He will be here in a month (or less)!  I can't wait to meet him!

Massages - My husband hates massages.  Hates giving them.  Hates receiving them.  Crazy, right?  Luckily he will still rub my back once in awhile when I'm in a lot of pain.  I would love to splurge on a professional massage, but they're just too darn expensive.  Plus I'm not sure how I feel about pregnancy massages.  I'll stick with the free ones :)

Surprises - It doesn't matter what it is, I just love to be surprised.  It doesn't happen often so when it does, it's a pretty big deal!

Comments - I love getting an email saying someone left a comment.  And I love that I can ask for advice and you will all be there to give me your honest answers without judging.

My hair cut - Oh, it was a long time coming!  I got it a little shorter than I had expected, but I absolutely love it.  I went to a new salon and loved the girl that cut it.  She was actually done with it and I asked her to go an inch shorter.  My hair is just so thick and grows so fast that I knew I would wish I cut more off in a week.  And even though my husband said these pictures looked stupid, I am sharing them anyway.  It's much cuter in person :)

Before - So thick and nasty!  I can't even remember the last time this was cut.

After - Ahh, so much better!
The Olympics - Opening Ceremony is tonight and I can't freaking wait!  I have always loved watching the Olympics, but this year is extra cool because a guy from my hometown (who was a year older than me in high school) is competing.  Go Mike and Go USA!


Football season - It's almost here!  Let's not talk about how our Brewers are doing and focus on the upcoming Badger and Packer seasons!  Usually I am here a few times each Fall...

 

But this year I will be sitting here watching the games (or at least having it on in the background while I take care of my two babes)...


Happy Friday everyone!  What are you LOVING today?

July 26, 2012

Thursday Randoms

1.  I have been a slacker with my meal planning, which has led to hodge podge meals and eating out.  And not making a grocery list last time I went shopping led me to buy Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies, brownie mix (which I haven't made yet), and ice cream.  Oops.

2.  I love the new show NY Med.  Tyler can't watch it with me because he gets woozy.

3.  I really want an iPad.  Kyla loved my aunt's when we were down there last weekend.  There are so many cool apps for toddlers and I think it will help keep her busy when I'm tending to the baby.  Wouldn't that be an amazing push present?  What, you haven't heard of a push present?  It makes sense to me.
This picture made me laugh!  This will be our family some day :)
4.  I can't believe I ever slept without a fan.  We lost power for an hour the other night around 4:30 in the morning and I could not sleep without the fan.

5.  Thanks for all your comments about the doctor situation.  I called a new doctor and made a 37 week appointment.  If you didn't read about my little dilemma yesterday, you can do that here.  I will plan on delivering with the new doctor at the new hospital unless I go into labor before August 9th.  Maybe the money I'm saving us can buy an iPad?  :)

6.  I am pumped for the Olympics to start tomorrow night.  I love watching them!  My favorite sport to watch is gymnastics!
 
 7.  Tyler's grandparents are two of the most amazing people I've ever met.  They will be married 67 years this August.  Grandpa just turned 94 and Grandma turns 90 this week.  And they still live at home and are very independent.  Grandpa just had to give up driving, but still works out in his garage every day and Grandma still gets down and scrubs floors.  

They made the long drive down here to see Kyla when she was just a few weeks old.
8.  I have a Mrs. Mommy Facebook page now.  Go on over and "like" it :)

9.  Kyla was doing the little piggies with Tyler's feet last night.  It was so stinking cute.




10.  I'm finally getting my hair cut tonight.  I want to keep it long enough to get a ponytail in since it's so disgustingly hot out, but get a fresh, new look.

11.  How cute is this face?



July 25, 2012

35 weeks and my dilemma

Didn't feel like showing my face today :)


I almost didn't do a weekly post this week.  First of all because I feel like not a lot has changed.  And second because I feel like such a complainer.  I'm sorry if it comes off that way.  I am beyond grateful for everything I have and for this precious baby.  I'm thankful for my health.  I'm thankful for my amazing support system.  I truly am very lucky.

I decided to do the post anyway because I want to make sure I have all of this saved so I can look back on it some day.  And I feel like I need to put my honest feelings down, not make it all seem rosy.  It's hard.  I'm in pain.  I can't even unload the dishwasher anymore without a ton of pain.  I want this little boy to bake a little longer in my belly so I am doing everything I can to make it through these last few weeks.  But I would be lying if I said I was feeling great.  I pray that these last couple weeks go smoothly.

How far along? 35 weeks 

Total weight gain: 34 pounds

Sleep:  A little bit better this week I guess.

Best moment this week:  Getting things done around the house, got the car seat in the van, got Kyla's hospital gift packed (read about that here), got the baby's hospital stuff packed.  I have my list ready, but nothing packed yet.

Miss anything?  Not being so damn emotional!

Movement:   Yes, I expect it to settle down a little in the next couple of weeks as his space to move around and kick is slowly getting smaller.

Food cravings:  Sweets, sweets and more sweets!  I may have made cinnamon rolls at 9:00 last night.

Anything making you queasy or sick:  Nope

Labor signs:  No real contractions, just some Braxton Hicks.
 
Happy or Moody most of the time:  Stressed and emotional, but also very thankful.

Looking forward to: Making it to 36 weeks and taking it one day at a time.

A few other things have happened in the last couple weeks.  Stretch marks.  Woo hoo.  It was bound to happen with this belly.  And my belly button is pretty much out now.  It never popped out with Kyla.

 And onto another subject.  I'm very happy and excited for my husband, Tyler, as he accepted a new job with a new company.  It is an amazing opportunity for him.  I am so incredibly proud of him!

The only downside to the new job is that our new insurance does not cover my current doctors.  Hence the extra stress this week.  The timing is not great and I have a decision to make.

I can stick with my doctors (who I absolutely love) and deliver the baby in the same hospital where I had Kyla.  This will require us using Cobra (extended coverage of our current insurance plan at his current job).  The problem?  It's crazy expensive!  His last day is August 3rd so our regular plan will end that day and anything after that will be Cobra.

Or...

With his new job, our coverage can start August 9th and we just pay the regular premium.  The problem?  I have to find a new doctor and deliver at a different hospital.  But we save lots of money.

Tyler has left the decision up to me and I just don't know what to do.  Here are some of the things running through my head...
  • When you've done something before and "know" it, it's scary to do something new.
  • My experience having Kyla was so amazing, but I know every delivery can be different.
  • The clinic I currently go to, there are four doctors.  They have you meet all four and rotate who you see for your weekly checkups because any of the four can deliver your baby, depending on who is on call.  And yes, I love them all!  Seriously, I don't even care which one is on call because they are all so great.
  • If I go to a different doctor, the chances of him/her actually delivering the baby aren't great.  So then I'd get someone I'd never met before.
  • I know that all OB/GYN's are experienced in delivering babies and probably do a great job.
  • The hospital I had Kyla in had two beds, one for Tyler and one for myself.  The new hospital would just have one bed, although it's bigger so we'd have to share.  I know some people would like this.  But after just having a baby, being sleep deprived and in pain, breastfeeding, etc, I loved each of us having our own bed.
  • Obviously if I go into labor or need to go in for any reason between August 4th and August 9th, we will have no choice but to do Cobra.  That would make things easier (as far as me having to decide), but that's a little early for this baby to come.
  • I have my 36 week appointment made with my current doctors for next Thursday and then I have to go in and be checked every week.  So I need to make my decision and make these appointments.
  • We know exactly where to go and what to expect with the hospital we had Kyla.  The new one, I would have no clue.  Is it easy enough to find out?  Of course.  It's just another one of those things that runs through my crazy, hormonal mind.
  • I think Tyler thinks I'm making up excuses to NOT get the new doctor.  I'm really not trying to.  But I'm not going to lie, I want my same doctors.  I just don't want to pay the money for Cobra.  It makes me feel really guilty paying that much and I feel selfish.  So why can't I just call a new doctor and make an appointment?  I wish I knew!
I know some of these things may sound stupid or trivial.  I feel like my decision should be so obvious.  I was hoping if I put all this down in writing something would pop out at me and make my decision.  But I just don't know what to do.  I need to make my decision on my own (and soon), but any advice you guys have, please share.  And thanks for making it all the way through this long, drawn out post :)

July 24, 2012

To Kyla, Love Baby Brother

We talk to Kyla about the baby, how she's going to be a big sister, where her little brother is going to sleep, etc.  But I don't think she is actually going to understand until he's here (even then I think she's going to be pretty confused for awhile).  My mom will be keeping her while we're in the hospital.  I won't talk about that too much in this post because frankly, it makes me so sad.  I have never been away from her for a full night so it's going to be hard.  Probably mostly on me.  She loves my mom and I know she will be just fine.  And I will be so busy and in love with baby brother so hopefully the time will go fast and we will all be home together as a family before we know it.

I wanted to do something special for Kyla when she comes to visit us in the hospital to see her baby brother for the first time.  So I made up a little gift for her, from him.  It's not a whole lot, but something just for her.

Her first little backpack with a note from baby brother, Color Wonder coloring book, Big Sister Dora movie, Big Sister book, play cell phone, and a little container that I'm going to put some snacks in.
All packed and ready to go just in case baby brother comes early!
Hopefully this will make her feel extra special and can keep her busy with Grandma and Grandpa :)

July 23, 2012

The (last) Bachelorette Dish






Last night was the 3-hour (yes, 3!) finale of the Bachelorette.  I know you're all so sad, right?

Although I pretty much expected the outcome, of course ABC made us think something crazy was going to happen.  Both guys met Emily's parents and I think it's safe to say that they liked Jef more.  Arie just seemed a little awkward to me.  Like I've said before, him and Emily had a physical connection, but I never really saw anything else between them.


Both guys were supposed to have one last date with Emily before the final rose ceremony.  She started with Jef and they sat on the beach for a long time just talking.  Emily didn't plan on introducing the guys to Ricki (her 6-year-old daughter), but she gave in and decided to introduce her to Jef.  At this point, it was very obvious that Jef was the one.  It was actually really cute seeing the three of them goofing around in the pool.


The next day Arie was supposed to get his date.  However, Emily had already made up her mind that Jef was the one and decided it was best to let Arie go and not drag it on.  Although she had a really hard time with it, it was a really good decision.  I felt bad for him because you could tell he was completely caught off guard, but like Sean, he will have no problem finding a wonderful girl.

So finally, it was time for Emily to let Jef know that he's the one and to see if he'd propose. 


Duh, of course he proposed!  And after about 10 seconds of silence, Emily said yes!

 

And then there was the hour long After The Final Rose.  I really thought we were going to get some juicy gossip, but to no avail.  Arie told us that he flew to North Carolina with the intent of seeing Emily and hoping she'd take him back.  But when he got there, he changed his mind and just left his journal on her doorstep.  Lame!  That's the "drama" you were getting us all excited about?  Ugh!

Emily and Jef seem so happy together.  He's going to move to North Carolina since he can work from anywhere.  I really hope it works out for them.  Although I wasn't sure about him at the beginning, I think they are adorable together.


It's been a fun season and I've enjoyed linking up with Meg.  Tonight Bachelor Pad starts.  I'm not nearly excited about this one.  I don't really care for anyone that's going to be on there.  But don't worry, I'll still be tuning in every Monday night :)

July 20, 2012

Fun day at the zoo!

We took Kyla to the zoo today and had a great time!  We went last summer, but since she was only about six months old, she didn't really have any interest in the animals.  Today she loved the bigger animals that she could see.  But she takes after her Grandma Karen and likes to people watch :)  It will be fun to take her again next summer to see her get even more excited.  And it was hot, but not too bad.  There is a lot of shade and benches so I had to take a few breaks.

She wouldn't take her eyes off the bear.


Luckily she let us keep her in the stroller for the most part.  Daddy got her out to see the animals if she couldn't see them from the stroller.
Daddy, you're the best!
Favorite animal?  By far, the giraffes!  She thought they were so funny!




Look Mama, a giraffe!

I'm pretty sure she would have stood here all day if we let her.
I took her on the carousel on our way out.  It was the best $2 I have ever spent!  She absolutely loved it and was getting all kinds of attention.  The entire time it was moving she was laughing and squealing.  Everyone watching was laughing at her.  I'm so glad I decided to go with her :)


 She was out in about 5 minutes in the van!


I bought her a little bubble gun the other day at Target for 30% off.  Surprisingly, she has never really done bubbles before.  She was not quite sure of them today.







And then tonight she played with her water table.



Basically she took this cup, filled it with water and dumped it down her dress.




Here's just a quick picture from last night.  We went to a tailgate party that Tyler's work put on.


We're trying to think of something fun to do with Kyla tomorrow since I have a Thirty-One party on Sunday and then Tyler goes back to work on Monday.  Maybe we'll take her swimming? 

Have a great weekend everyone!