Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Toddler Tuesday: Claire

Seems that as of late, Claire and my "special time" has been between the hours of 9:00pm-12:00pm. The little peanut is just not interested in sleep during those hours! We bounce, we nurse, I sing, etc...nothing seems to soothe her. She loves to trick me though and close her eyes to act like she's sleeping, but as soon as I lay her down, she opens up those eyes as wide as can be and doesn't act tired at all. Hence why I am writing this blog post- I'd love to be asleep, but alas I am awake and figure I should probably do my Tuesday post even if it's a day late :)

Some notable things about Claire at 4 weeks:

  • She is cuter and cuter by the doubt about it (Anyone watch the Bachelor recently and hear Brad say that line like a million times throughout the season?!?! Just thought I'd ask ;).

  • I don't know how much she weighs- I haven't been to the doctor again yet- shame on me!

  • Adam and I both agree that she is still a mystery! We haven't figured her out yet. We don't really know what she likes and doesn't like- seems to change day to day, minute to minute. Ellie wasn't that way at all!

  • She's a superb sleeper once she's asleep. She is sleeping about 4 1/2 hour stretches at night which is super awesome :) I feel way more rested now that I did those last few weeks of pregnancy...wonderful!

  • She is easy-peasy during the day, and her fussy time starts promptly at 7pm and lasts through whatever time she decides bedtime is. She really doesn't cry a ton through this time, but just seems generally irritated.

  • She LOVES the birthing ball. If either Adam or I sit on that and bounce her, she is in baby heaven :)

  • She doesn't seem to mind Ellie's occasional accidental torturing :) She's a tough cookie at such a young age...thank goodness! The other day, I caught Ellie with the "booger sucker" (as we call the syringe thing) up her nose- Claire grunted a little, but held up well. I on the other hand totally freaked out, but what's new?! I am an easy freaker-outer.

Some things about me:

  • Second time around mommy-hood seems WAYYY easier. I am so much more calm and collected. I don't really mind when things start to get crazy and find myself having a lot more patience with Claire as a newborn and dealing with a bit of sleep deprivation.

  • I love being a mommy of two. There are so many moments where I just feel completely overwhelmed with LOVE. And of course there are moments where I feel like the world is crashing down, but the good FAR outweighs the bad :)

  • I'm still trying to find my groove. The newborn stage of breastfeeding is tough on me & on Ellie. Poor sweet girl just wants to play, and I'm stuck on the couch trying to entertain her. She holds up pretty well, and I'm trying to be more disciplined in being prepared and having a nice routine to my days to help things out.

  • My recovery this time around is so much faster! Wahoooo! I have only had 1 close encounter with a breast infection, but I caught it way early and nipped that sucker in the butt- or boob- hahaha! I feel like I am my normal self and have felt that way since pretty much a week after her delivery. Such a blessing.

Some things about Adam:

  • Can I just brag for a moment?? God has seriously blessed me with an amazing husband & best friend. Seriously. He is SO great with the girls and helps me out a TON! It has been a pretty big transition getting use to having 2 kids- I'm still not sure we're totally adjusted, but close to it I think. But, if I didn't have his constant support and help, I would have never felt as good as I have through this process. And no one prepares you for how incredibly ATTRACTIVE it is to see you husband be a father- and a GOOD one. Watching him put sunscreen on Ellie, or bounce Claire on the birthing ball while practically falling asleep may be one of the hottest things around ;) Definitely a perk of baby making!

Love, Krystle

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday Meals: Easy Lasagna

Okay. So, I forgot to post yesterday...bummer! But here I am with a recipe that is currently in my oven making my house smell wonderful! Enjoy :)

Easy Lasagna


1 pound lean ground beef 1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce 32 ounces cottage cheese 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 2 eggs 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 teaspoons dried parsley salt to taste ground black pepper to taste 9 lasagna noodles 1/2 cup water


In a large skillet over medium heat brown the ground beef. Drain the grease. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, eggs, half of the grated Parmesan cheese, dried parsley, salt and ground black pepper. To assemble, in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish evenly spread 3/4 cup of the sauce mixture. Cover with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1 3/4 cup of the cheese mixture, and 1/4 cup sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with 3 noodles, remaining sauce, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Add 1/2 cup water to the edges of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F(175 degrees C) oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

My Substitutions: I don't like cottage cheese, so I used ricotta instead. And I bit less than what was called for, but it seemed to all work out :)

Look for another post tonight for today's post...trying to catch up and stay true to my word!!!

P.S. I stole this recipe from All Recipes- I have used a lot of their recipes before and have never been let down!

P.S.S. Does anyone else post recipes on their blogs?? I'd be interested to use them :)

Love. Krystle

Friday, March 25, 2011

Frugal Friday: Eating Out

Last night I was hanging out at friends house, and she mentioned that her husband was picking up some take-out for dinner. I found myself being super jealous! A night off from cooking sounded sooo good.
But,as you probably know, Adam and I LOVE Dave Ramsey. We have taken his Financial Peace class, and went on to teach it at our church. It has been beyond a blessing, and truly changes how you feel and think about money. With that being said, sometimes it gets hard to stick to the plan. Right now the goal is to finish paying off our student loans so that we can be debt free! And if you have ever listened to his show, you better believe that by about this time next year, Adam and I will call in and scream "WE'RE DEBT FREEEEEEE!", and we will record it and everything! We are so excited about it!- Dorks I know....ANYWAYS, his motto is to live like no one else NOW, so that later you can really live like no one else (meaning not having loads of debt, and having lots of money!). What that looks like for us is truly living out the saying that "we aren't gonna step inside a restaurant unless we're working there" while we're working hard to pay off this debt.

Now we do make a few exceptions here and there. For example, we allot ourselves a certain amount of money for dates or entertainment each month- And with that money we can do whatever we want with. But we did modify it so that when we do go out, it's only for an appetizer or dessert and we eat a little something at home before we leave. This way, we spend less and make our money stretch out longer, but still have the eating out "experience".

One of the MAIN money wasters that we see and saw when we taught the class was money spent on eating out. That was one of our downfalls too. If you think about it, that one $30-$40 meal at the restaurant could've been half a weeks worth of groceries! Ahhhh! When we mostly eliminated going out to eat and started on a much more strict budget, our food costs for the month went down at LEAST 50%! Crazy, huh??

Some tips on Eating Out/Groceries:

  • Meal plan meal plan meal plan!!!!!! I can't stress this enough. So much money is wasted when going shopping without a plan. I know Rachel Ray says to shop when you're hungry, but that can cost you a ton of money too. Buy what you need for your meals, plus a few extra snacks (I said a FEW!) and eat simply.

  • Like I said earlier, when you do eat out, go for the experience. Eat a little something at home, then just go, sit, and enjoy yourselves over an appetizer and drinks. Or if you are eating out for the whole meal, be sure to order water- drinks can totally add up! This is a hard one for me specifically- I love my drinks!

If you want more info on our plan that we follow, go to Dave Ramsey's website. You can listen to his show on there, and learn about his plan. And while this may sound a little over the top for some of you, I'll tell you something that really is- having your student loan so long that it becomes part of your family picture- or having your student loan so long you have to throw it a birthday party every year - or having your student loan so long that it qualifies for AARP :) Haha! I crack myself up! Well actually, Adam cracks me up because he came up with those! Nice babe.

Love, Krystle

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday: Love

One of our Engagement Pictures!

Look at me go! Day 3 and I'm still going strong with my posts :)
I have been working on being a better wife. During pregnancy, I felt like I had a big break from wifely duties- things like cleaning, cooking, at times my attitude, amongst other things. Well, now that I'm back on my feet, and my hormones aren't raging, I really want to get back on track. I LOVE my husband. He really is so good to me and deserves the extra effort on my end to show him that love. There are a lot of times though where I feel like I lose my way and just do a generally crappy job at showing him. Here are some things I'm doing in trying to be BETTER:
  • Be Pleasant. By the end of the day, I'm at the end of my rope. I take pride in making sure the house looks nice, dinner is made, and things are going relatively smooth- but my attitude doesn't always scream peaceful or "I'm glad to see you honey!". And lets be honest, sometimes we just have bad days, and believe me, I KNOW that's okay. But if every day I strive toward a good attitude and friendly demeanor, I'm bound to only miss the mark occasionally- and occasionally is good :)

  • Be interested in him. I know that as a woman, I can surely rattle on about my day and all the things that have irritated or frustrated me, along with all the good things. But sometimes I forget to ask about him. Was his work day good? Did anything cool happen? Is there anything I could do for him to make his night more relaxing? It's easy to make things all about me, so it's these things that I need to be intentional about.

  • Take interest in what he likes or is excited about. What this looks like for me, is getting on board with him. One practical example is our budget right now. We are pretty fired up about paying the rest of our student loans off, and he gets excited when we have a little extra money left over from our budget to make our debt pay off for that month even more. I'm pretty loose when it comes to this- I'm just happy if we stick with our budget in the first place! But recently I have tried sacrificing a little more- not making a stop at a fast food place even though I want to and have the money, or figuring out what I already have in my fridge to make dinner with and having to buy one less meal. And I already know that this makes him really happy, but I have to admit that I have actually really enjoyed it too! Makes me feel like I'm really contributing. Funny how God made it work that way- when we try to do things that make our spouse happy, it makes us happy as well :)

  • Affection. This looks like a lot of things. More smiling, more hugging, sometimes affirming words, or a nudge in our bedrooms direction ;) Sorry mom or dad if you're reading this! - But all of those things are super important to keep at the forefront of my mind. I know that there are definitely days where I feel completely drained in every way from taking care of daily stuff, but I think that it's really important to keep the fire going! Trying to capture the same admiration and love that we had for eachother when we first fell in love and continue to just make that grow :)

Those are just a few things that I'm trying to stay focused on right now. It's crazy how this is just one compartment of my life. There's also being a mom, a friend, a sister, a neighbor, a witness, a daughter, etc...each one seems like it should be a full time job to master! There is always something to work on :)

Love, Krystle

Wordless Wednesday: Bubbles

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Toddler Tuesday: Whining

Whining, crying, screaming, & tantrums are what we have been dealing with lately. Call it what you want- terrible 2's? Sure. But man has it been tough!

I think that as a mom, the BIGGEST task is to not lose your patience. I wish I could say that I was better at this, but alas- I am not. I have really good days and really bad days- just like Ellie does. Adam and I read To Train Up a Child books, and have implemented a lot of it with Ellie. It all sounds so simple- pretty cut & dry when you read it- but when you're actually in the situation, it's way tougher. It helps a lot that Adam is naturally really patient and really never gets flustered about things- balances me out for sure!

In dealing with the whining, our #1 rule is to not reward it. We urge her to stop whining (or crying) and tell us what she wants and to say please following it. If she doesn't do that we just walk away and let her work it out- which usually turns into a little tantrum- but eventually she'll comply and calmly come tell us what she wants. Yesterday was SUPER tough. It seemed like she just whined ALL DAY. I tried to stay as consistent as possible, and while it seemed to have no effect yesterday, today was a little better :) That made it feel worth all the effort - baby steps people, baby steps.

I have a feeling though that as she continues being able to better communicate what she wants, we will butt-heads a lot. I try to remember that it's always tempting to just give in to her in that moment because it temporarily relieves the stress of the situation, but it's WAYYYY worse in the long run. Each moment I give in takes me one step further away from the goal of training her how to be respectful and how to obey us, which in turn makes her happier & us happier!

What are some things that you do to address whining in your house? I could use the help while I'm in the thick of it :)

Love, Krystle

Monday, March 21, 2011

Keeping it Fresh!

I have been super bored with my blog lately- and I'm running out of things to post about! Well, at least I feel like I am. So, I'm gonna try to do something new to inspire me! I'm gonna try to write about something specific each day. I think I'll post Monday- Friday and take the weekends off (I act like it's my job or something, but really blogging can feel like work when you're uninspired!). The schedule will be as follows:

Monday= Monday Meals ( I will post a recipe of a meal I am making that week in hopes that some of you other mommas can use some new ones). And feel free to do the same on your blog! I'm always looking for new recipes.

Tuesday= Toddler Tuesday. This one will consist of all things Ellie & Claire :) Training, discipline, fun, activities, struggles, joys, etc. I realize Claire isn't a toddler yet, but the name for the day was so fitting!- And I do have 1 toddler.

Wednesday= Wordless Wednesday. Okay okay, so I'm bad at being wordless, so there may be the occasional sentence of explanation, but I promise that's all I'll do!

Thursday= Thoughtful Thursday. This day is for me. I will post things that have been on my mind that week. This may be a super random post day just to warn you!

Friday= Frugal Friday. Adam and I are back on track with tackling our debt and sticking with the Dave Ramsey plan! Yaahooooo! This day will be dedicated to tips and things we are doing to trying to live as budget-friendly as possible.

Sound Good?! I hope so. I'm excited about it, and if you have been following my blog long enough, you'll notice that I brought a few things back :) Hopefully I can actually stick with it this time! I will start tomorrow since I don't like putting 2 post up in one day. Until then.......

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Back to Work!

Adam went back to work today...huge bummer! It's been so much fun having so much family time together- we are all crazy about eachother and I honestly never feel like I want him out of the house! What a great feeling to have, aye? :) Anyways, like I said, we've been having loads of fun and thought I'd share some pictures of our time:
We went to the zoo, and I'm pretty sure that the water fountain was Ellie's favorite attraction! Haha! :)
My 2 girls in pink: Yes, I am definitely gonna be a matchy matchy mom!
My sweet first baby- she's such a big girl now...sniff sniff :)
My new baby: Precious.
While nursing Claire at the zoo, Ellie QUICKLY got into my mascara- any guess as to who she is imitating here?! Our very own little Hitler!! We just had to take a picture before we wiped her off :)
My main squeeze and Ellie's hair actually done- she pulled it out after about 10 minutes...dangit!
Mommy & Claire on a walk at the park
Love this picture!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Claire's Birth

I'm currently sitting on my bed with Claire next to me sleeping, and I can't believe a little over a week has passed since I had her. The time has really flown by. I think it's partly because she is such a good baby! We are very blessed. Our birth this time was much different than with Ellie. Wayyy faster, in some ways more relaxing, and in other ways wayyy more intense! Let's start from the beginning:
Here I am right before we left to go to the birthing center. This was around 7:30am, but lets back up a bit. Around 5:20 I woke up and felt my water break. SO MUCH DIFFERENT than what you see on T.V.! I didn't really know if my water had broke for sure because it wasn't this huge gush that you would expect (I'll spare you any more details as I know I have a few male readers!). I nudged Adam and said that I think my water broke, and I have NEVER seen him jump out of bed faster! Hahaha! He was ready to jump in the car and head to the birthing center right was really cute :) I hadn't had any contractions yet, but I called my midwife and she told me to be sure to eat a big breakfast, take my time getting ready, and then head down to the center. Contractions didn't start until about 7:15am.
We got to the birthing center, and while we waited for my parents to come get Ellie, I walked around having mild contractions and hanging out with Adam and Ellie inbetween each one :) It was a really fun experience to have her there for a while and see her- sort of- understand that Claire was coming! She kept saying "Claire Claire" the whole drive there! Shortly after she left, I jumped in the tub...that was SO nice. It felt like my contractions were so much less painful and I wondered if I was regressing- my midwife assured me that I wasn't and I spent almost the majority of the rest of my labor in the tub. Around 11AM, I was 9 cm dilated and started having some REALLY painful contractions. Up to that point, I was able to have a contraction, then laugh and talk with everyone else inbetween- it was so great! Adam didn't think I was as far along as I was because I wasn't in the apparent pain that I was in with Ellie. With her birth, I couldn't even talk inbetween- I was SO focused. Anyways, if you read all the natural birth stuff, this is the time when most women start "backing out". Saying things like- I can't do this, when will this be over, I can't take the pain, I don't want to do it- and I'm pretty sure that I said everything in the book! Between some contractions I would just sob my eyes out, and poor Adam said that he had to look away because he coudn't bear to see me in that kind of pain :( And it's a good thing that I wasn't in a hospital room with a ton of other pregnant/laboring ladies down the hall because I'm pretty sure they would be totally freaked out by all my yelling! I surprised MYSELF! That was the only thing that made the pain a little better. After about an hour of super painful intense contractions and pushing, Claire graced herself into the world at 11:55AM. Each and every contraction was worth every second of pain when I saw my baby :) I kept saying; "Oh thank God!- "Praise the Lord she is out!"- I was praising God she was out because I was SO done with being in labor! Haha!

She latched onto breastfeeding about 2 minutes after I delivered, and has been such a sweet angel baby. I couldn't have asked for a smoother transition or be more in love with her. It's so true what everyone says- that the love is just there- we don't know where it comes from (well, we do, it's God for sure) but every parent just receives this extra compartment of love they never knew they had. It's amazing.

I already love being a mom of 2, and have already been thinking about baby #3! I think it can be kind of addicting when you have 2 precious kids and too much love to go around. I find that I feel so much more content and complete now. What the bible says is so true- Every good and perfect gift comes from God. The gifts that He gives truly fill our hearts with joy and contentment, and I can't think of a better gift than a precious baby.

We left the birthing center that same day around 5:30PM. This is all of us with my midwife Mary. She is awesome and I am so grateful that she has been there with us to peacefully and lovingly bring Ellie and Claire into this world. Both my pregnancies and births have been so wonderful and it's a huge thanks to her!
Love, Krystle

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Claire Rebekah :)

Claire Rebekah Porter
March 4, 2011
7lbs 11oz
It has been almost a week now since Claire made her entrance & I haven't blogged! Oops :) I have been in baby heaven since she was born. She is so mellow-tempered & content. She has been sleeping GREAT at night, and rarely ever cries- if she does it's because she needs her diaper changed or she's hungry. I love that she looks a lot like Ellie did when she was born, but she definitely has her own thing going on too- I'd say that she's a little "squishier" than Ellie :) She latched on breastfeeding after about 2 minutes of being alive and has been going like a champ ever since! Total night and day from Ellie who wouldn't latch on for 2 months! Sheeesh! And man o man does that make a huge difference in recovering for me. She is a dream and nothing short of it. I'm in love with being a mommy of 2!
Ellie has been doing pretty well with everything. There are still times where she wants mommy and I'm nursing or doing something else with Claire and it makes it hard, but she has been having so much fun with Adam and it has been keeping her very happy & distracted! She is so sweet with her and wants to kiss her, hug her, hold her, etc. She definitely LOVES her little sister already :) I'm not quite sure if she has grasped that she's staying here for good or not, but I'm sure she'll get it very soon! Next post is my birth story! Until then...
Love, Krystle