On the me front, baby girl continues to grow and move and generally make her presence known (as if the giant belly wasn't doing it for her). Her nursery is now complete, she has a first name (though no middle yet), and she is beginning to amass a first year wardrobe. I went through all of Claire's 0-18 month clothes last weekend and found a few things that were off-season for Claire that I'd forgotten about that will work well for #3. But mostly Claire's newborn stuff is all way too summery for our fall/winter baby 3, which means I don't have to feel guilty when I succumb to the adorable and tiny and cheap newborn clothes that shove themselves in my faces at Target and Carters.
And speaking of tiny clothes, I accidentally wandered into the Carter's 50% off store-wide Labor Day sale and came out with some bibs (it has been fascinating to see which baby items I saved in the move- like we got rid of the play gym mat and arms, but somehow kept the play gym toys, and we gave away all the baby gear, but kept the co-sleeper, and I kept both kids' baby clothes but gave away all bibs, bottles, blankets, and towels. I can't explain any of it) and the kids' Christmas pj's. The pj's are their first present to open on Christmas Eve (at Papa and Gigi's house, before we head to church, so they can wear them on the drive back to the lake) and as long-time readers now, I get twitchy if all my Christmas shopping isn't done by October, so it felt good to check that off.
I never posted our menu for the week. Menu planning remains the worst part of my Saturday, I can just never think of anything that sounds good and I always want to stop people on the store and ask what they're having for dinner so I can add it to my list, but I persevered and ended up with a good plan:
Sunday: grilled Italian chicken breasts, caprese pasta salad (cold pasta, the tiniest balls of fresh mozzerella I've ever seen, halved cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, homemade balsamic vinaigrette- very tasty!), sauteed squash
Monday: meatball stroganoff over rice noodles, green beans, rolls (Landon's favorite meal in honor of the first day of school)
Tuesday: bbq quinoa salad (quinoa + grilled chicken, diced tomato, corn, black beans, diced avocado, shredded cheese with bbq (yes) and/or ranch (ew; I hate it, but we go through buckets of it because JP and the kids are pretty sure it goes on everything) drizzled on top- it's a family favorite), chips and salsa
Wednesday: pizza (my grandparents stopped by for a quick overnight stay on their drive home from Wisconsin and treated us to delivery! it was wonderful to see them and I definitely enjoyed the midweek takeout)
Thursday: muffins of meat (explanation below), mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, rolls
Friday: TBD, hopefully sometime soon
Saturday: chicken stew (I have been CRAVING chicken stew and I'm not even sure what chicken stew is; I've never made it and have no recipes, but google has steered me to a few good looking ones and I'm going to make something up tomorrow. When it's 105 degrees out. I don't know, pregnancy.)
Sunday: something on the grill, probably burgers
Monday: Sushi at a fancy restaurant with a ridiculously cheap happy hour for our 8th wedding anniversary; kids will eat something not nearly as awesome at home with the sitter
Tuesday: tacos (because it's easy and just goes with Tuesday)
Wednesday: pasta with tomato cream sauce (because JP will be making it and it's his favorite meal in the whole world)
Thursday: TJ frozen chicken skewers, rice mix, frozen veggies (because we're usually out of fresh things by Thurs.)
Friday: off to the lake house for my mom's birthday weekend!
On Thuesday, I attempted to make Meatloaf Muffins. A friend had posted about them on her facebook feed, noting that everyone in her family had enjoyed them. I'm always up for something new and I like individual entree items and all things that go with mashed potatoes, so I thought we should try them. My family was... skeptical. I had many conversations like this;
Landon: What are we having for dinner tomorrow again?
Me: Meatloaf muffins.
Landon: Muffins! Awesome!
Me: Well, no, different muffins than you're thinking of... they're muffins... of meat.
Me: [the look] (he's not allowed to say "ew" about things we prepare him)
Landon: Um... I'm just, I'm not sure that sounds very good mom. Maybe we can have regular muffins?
~~Claire: Mommy, what are we having for dinner? (part of our morning discussion in which we go through the plan for the whole day)
Me: Meatloaf muffins.
Claire: Meat muffins??
JP: Yeah, I know Claire, muffins of meat. It's unnatural.
JP: I think we should should just call them "baby meatloaves"
Claire: Meat babies?!
Me: Yeah, cause that's better.
~~JP: Is tonight Muffins of Meat night?
Landon: Muffins! Like with blueberries?
Me: No, not those muffins, these are muffins with... meat.
~~Me: THEY'RE MEAT MUFFINS AND THEY'RE GOING TO BE DELICIOUS.
~~As it turns out, I burned the BBQ topping so they looked even more suspicious than they needed to, but the kids did ultimately eat ever bite on their plate and JP had five (all the while suggesting that next time we just make them in a regular loaf pan like god intended for meatloaf). And we all enjoyed a week using the phrase "muffins of meat" multiple times a day.
On a totally separate note, this is one of my favorite pictures from Landon's first day of school. We'd already dropped him off at Kindergarten and I was on my way to work when Claire ran down the driveway to give me one last "tiss." I'd just handed off my nice camera to JP, so for once, he was able to snap an impromptu photo with me in it
The tippy toes are my favorite. That and the fact that, from this angle, you can't see the $3,000 of damage I did to the back of my car.