The Blog Post that Almost Wasn’t and a Greek Chicken Crockpot Recipe!

Well here we are again…three months have passed with no blog posts after I specifically wrote in my last blog post (and the one before that, and the one before that…) about how I was going to try to post more. I’m going to specifically NOT write that this time…although it’s still a secret goal!

As it is for everyone, life has been busy and my time management skills are constantly being put to the test. Babies tend to do that to you I suppose. Most of my time is allotted to this sweet girl who is somehow already nine months old.

9 Months

I’m honestly not sure how that happened…science I guess. Amelia keeps me quite busy but we have fallen into a weekly routine which works quite well for us. Her two naps provide me with a respite to shower/eat/clean/do laundry/cook/work from home and occasionally do this. Most days…getting it all done is a distant dream, but we somehow manage to hit all the important parts at the right time. We haven’t yet resorted to wearing dirty clothes or only eating take out.

Amelia eats real people food now which has been a little scary (gagging…ugh), mostly funny (she looks like a squirrel with a nut) and incredibly messy. And although we are still doing our fair share of Hello Fresh for convenience, it has also inspired me to cook more. We started out just feeding her breakfast and lunch but have recently added in dinner. Robert works late so most nights, I feed her random things before he comes home but occasionally, when the stars align (aka when I use my crock pot), we are able to have dinner as a family.

 

Shame on me for forgetting how wonderful a crock pot can be. I can assemble meals during her morning nap and voila, dinner is ready when Robert walks in the door! Now I know why my mom used hers so often when we were growing up. Crock pots are also great when you are feeding a baby because everything comes out soft, which is still necessary for her despite the fact that she has EIGHT teeth already. We don’t listen to the song “Baby Shark” but I imagine it was written about my child, although she seems to be over her biting phase thank goodness.

Amelia

I called this the blog post that almost wasn’t because despite rediscovering a love for my crock pot, I can’t claim to be overly inspired by most of my go to crock pot recipes…at least not inspired enough to share them. Also I think we can all agree that crock pot meals don’t photograph particularly well. This particular recipe was shared with me by my friend Rebecca. I in turn told my sister about it who asked me to share it with her. I figured if I was going to send it to her I may as well write a post (which I’ve been meaning to do for ohh, three months) and send her that instead. I mean a recipe with pictures of your niece embedded is preferable to just a recipe, no?

This chicken recipe is so easy and flavorful. I serve mine over a bed of brown rice to which I add; a can of black beans, a diced and sauteed red onion, a diced avocado and crumbled feta cheese. Other delicious additions to up the veggie factor would be roasted red peppers or even sauteed zucchini.

Chicken

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Viva Mexico!

A few weeks after the 4th of July and just before Amelia turned 6 months old we headed to Riviera Maya, Mexico! Not only was this our first family vacation with Amelia in tow, it was also her first flight (insert cringing emoji). The trip was wonderful, but traveling with a 6 month old is not easy…or lightweight. So. Much. Stuff.

Pack Mule
This is ONLY our carry on baby stuff…

Thank you Robert for doubling as a pack mule. Love the many talents of my super husband.

C's and A

My biggest anxiety leading up to the trip was making sure I packed everything we may possibly need (this involved lots of list making and double checking) and traveling with breast milk (this turned out to be super easy and no big deal, win!). The flights on the other hand…well, I wouldn’t call them ‘easy’. We had 4 flights total and 2 went OK and 2 involved lots of crying despite my best efforts at nursing/distraction/handing the baby off to family members. I’m not sure if flying will get easier or harder the older she gets. Being a parent on a plane definitely gives you a whole new threshold for tolerating other babies and young children on planes (sorry anyone I ever side-eyed in the past!).

IMG_4742

Once we arrived in Mexico Amelia settled into a schedule pretty quickly and did well, despite some very late bedtimes. Our resort, the Vidanta Grand Luxxe, was beautiful and HUGE. The size made getting around slightly difficult since we had to travel everywhere with baby gear, but the variety of restaurants, pools and activities was wonderful.

Pool
My model niece.. first ones at the pool every morning!

We never lacked for something new and fun to do on the resort and spent one day away at a zip line park, complete with ATV’s and cenote swimming, which was a lot of fun despite my fear of heights.

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Anytime Fudge!

Happy 5th of July!

I know I know…this is why I can’t ever be a serious blogger. Serious bloggers start posting potato salad recipes during the last week of June to ensure that you have time to make their recipe before the actual holiday. Serious bloggers also post more than once every two months so there’s that too…

I guess I will be relegated to occasional, fun blogging for the time being. I’d like to think my lack of posting is because I am now spending all of my time being the World’s Best Mom like the t-shirt I felt certain I’d get for Mother’s Day would say. Instead that t-shirt never came and I am still stumbling through most days. I did get a t-shirt from my friend Justice that says “Doing My Best” which is actually a much more apt sentiment for my current life state.

Sams Dessert
What someone actually ‘doing their best’ at 4th of July blog worthy desserts looks like…courtesy of my brother-in-laws sweet mother

On the 3rd of July my best looked like me making TWO desserts for the 4th as Robert watched WWF (WWE?) wrestling on the couch. If you are like me and are now thinking, wait a second…WWF wrestling is still a thing? The answer is yes, yes it is. Now before you start questioning my taste in men, I’ve never known Robert to watch pro wrestling before. I say I’ve never known him to because I’m pretty sure everyone went through a pro wrestling phase at some point, no? I recall it being sometime around late elementary/early middle school that pro wrestling was ‘cool’. I don’t think I ever actually watched any wrestling matches, but at that point I was still desperate to be cool like everyone else so I sure acted like I did and had a ‘favorite’ wrestler. I couldn’t just choose The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin like all the other girls though, I had to go for eccentricity. So I chose Ric Flair “The Nature Boy”, WOOO! That was his tagline, anyone remember that? Needless to say, desperate as I was, I was never really that cool.

So enough about my awkward middle school years, lets get back to those TWO desserts for the 4th of July. I really shouldn’t capitalize two because the first dessert was my Snicker Bar Salad which although delicious, isn’t really all that festive and is even perhaps better suited for Fall. Whoops.

Parade
Clearly too busy decorating for the 4th of July golf cart parade to be a serious blogger

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Life Lately

Well, it’s been long enough since my last post that I just had to re-read the whole thing to remember what I wrote about. So in case it isn’t obvious…my goal of writing more than one post a month post baby clearly hasn’t happened yet. Baby steps. Literally.

Life is different. Getting a little more normal new normal everyday but oh so different. And for the record, new normal means I have realized that I have so much less control than I once imagined, and that as soon as I think I know the “schedule”, it changes. What is it they say? The only constant in life is change. Changing schedules and changing diapers. Welcome to evening mom-brain.

At about two months old Amelia started sleeping through the night, and now at a little over three months old we are still going strong…which is amazing! Especially for a breastfed baby, apparently? She’s always been a great sleeper so it’s definitely not anything we’ve done. I’m going to chalk it up to luck and cross my fingers that this is one aspect of the ever changing “schedule” that does not change.

Amelia Kicks
Please keep sleeping my sweet girl

And lest I misrepresent my baby and lead you to believe shes perfect and so easy, she isn’t. Well…she IS perfect to me of course. I think she is a good baby, and a normal baby, but not necessarily an ‘easy’ baby. She is a fantastic sleeper but when she is awake she is very alert and likes a lot of stimulation. This means she does NOT like to be laid down on a play mat or left to her own devices for more than a few minutes. She likes to be held, in front of your body so that she can see and be a part of everything you are doing. I think she has got serious FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out for the non-millennials ). I HOPE this means shes going to be one smart cookie one day, but I KNOW it means it is very hard to get things done during the day. Sleeping through the night means her naps are brief and there is really only so much you can do efficiently with one hand the rest of the time.

Amelia Smiles
Don’t let this angelic face fool you

So life is different. I use a lot more dry shampoo, do a lot more laundry and have become really skilled at reaching into the backseat to find and replace pacifiers while driving.

But it’s getting more normal. Continue reading

Amelia Grace

It’s been a little over a month since my last post. And in just a few days I’ll have a baby girl that is one month old. Hard to believe is an understatement. People always say the time goes so quickly when you have children, boy is that ever true. It seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago that I was making lactation cookies and wondering if I’d be pregnant forever.

Fresh 48-©Cassie Clayshulte Photography - Rivers-1

As my OB told me many times, no one is pregnant forever. Amelia Grace came right on her due date, my friends laughed that she was so punctual, unlike her mother who habitually runs a few minutes (or more than a few) late. I won’t bore you with a birth story but we arrived at the hospital around 8:30 and at 8:03 that evening, there was our baby girl.

Fresh 48-©Cassie Clayshulte Photography - Rivers-2

She is pretty perfect, although I am definitely biased.

Fresh 48-©Cassie Clayshulte Photography - Rivers-3

And if you asked me that during one of her inconsolable, rough periods (luckily we only have about one of these a day) I might change my tune just slightly.

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