We Are Fami-Lee

We Are Fami-Lee

Friday, October 19, 2012

Keep Her in Your Prayers

I know many of you won't know her and probably never meet her in your life.  But I have a friend who's in dire need of prayers right now.  I don't know if she reads this blog, and I haven't asked for her permission to tell her story, so I won't go into much detail.  She's pregnant with her first baby and there are some complications.  She doesn't have a lot of answers, but her baby girl could be born with severe mental retardation, and the possibilities of death after birth are also high.  She and her husband are struggling with this news as I'm sure anyone would be.

Know that my friend is a WONDERFUL person.  Always smiling and laughing, telling jokes.  Always giving and completely loyal.  She's a wonderful teacher who tries so hard to be the best she can for her students.  I have learned so much from her and my heart aches for her in this trying time.  I know that there are a lot of things on your plate as well, but I hope you remember to just pray for one more friend.  My friend Amy.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Once a Month Cooking

So for those that know me well, you know how much I hate cooking.  I hate the planning, I hate the time commitment each and every day, and I hate trying to do it all with a little person climbing up my leg.  But, I hated it before that sweet little addition; she just makes it that much harder!

Back in Utah, Derek and I went to Dream Dinners.  We'd spend 1 1/2 hours once every month and make 12 meals for $200 to last us that month.  I liked it, but you couldn't choose your meals (they had a different menu each month, but they chose what you were having) and sometimes they weren't that good.  It helped with the cooking hating, but not so much for the taste.

Back in December, I did a month of cooking on my own.  I wanted to have some meals on hand for when Samantha came in January.  It definitely helped.  With the meals people brought us, and the meals I had made, we were set for more like two months.  It was awesome!  BUT, I was 8 months pregnant with swollen feet and it took me FOREVER!!! I told myself I wouldn't do it for a LONG time because my feet were so sore and I was spent.

Fast forward to September 1.  Last month.  I decided I could do it again.  Samantha was old enough that she could play in the other room by herself with Derek keeping an eye on her, so I could cook all day.  I didn't make nearly as many as back in December.  It was probably 8-9 dinners, and it only cost me a little over $100.  It was sweet.  My feet didn't hurt, the dinners were delicious, and I was happy because I didn't have to plan and cook a meal every day (well, at least I didn't have to do that much!).  Those 8-9 dinners lasted us until this week.  We ate out a couple of times, had dinner at Gary and Judi's, forgot to put some in the fridge so made pasta, etc., etc.  Anyway, I was hooked!

So today, I decided to take it on again.  I went to onceamonthmom.com (thank you pinterest) and made their ENTIRE menu. Go to the website and check out the October Traditional Menu to see what I made today.  It has links to all of the recipes!

It took a lot of initial planning.  I searched store flyers to try and get as much bang for my buck so I ended up going to 4 stores.  But, I did this over the course of a couple of days, so it wasn't too big of a deal and I saved a lot of money doing it this way.  If you count it up, I spent $245.58.  That may seem like a lot, but keep reading to see what I got out of that.  This isn't just dinners here.  This is every meal for a whole month (or in my case, several...)

I spent all last night chopping vegetables and other prep style stuff that needed it (browning ground beef, sausages, cooking pastas, etc.)

But today I did ALL the rest.  It was pretty intense.  From start to finish it took a good 8 hours.  Well, maybe a bit more, because as I type this, I'm making Derek do all of the dishes and cleaning...  He's such a good guy!   My feet are definitely sore (that's why I'm making Derek do the dirty work) as is my back. But, I HAVE SO MUCH FOOD!!! This is what they said I'd get out of it: (everything is x2 because you make each meal twice)

3 Breakfasts x 2 = 6 BREAKFASTS
4 Lunches x 2 = 8 LUNCHES
8 Dinners x 2 = 16 DINNERS

For some reason, some of them made more than they said it would so this is what I actually got:

We'll probably end up using the lunches for dinners too, AND, most of these will also have leftovers, so we are SET! For at least 2 MONTHS!!

Just a recap: 38 + meals, $250.  That's all.  That's all of the food we need for at least 2 months.  CRAZY!!!

If anyone needs a meal in my ward, I've got it covered.  If we decide to have people over for dinner, I've got that covered too.  I'm pretty stoked.

Here's a look at all the stuff that will be occupying my freezer for the next couple of months.

It may not look like as much,  but each meal only serves 2 people + baby.

All snug and tight in our teensy little freezer.  I'm surprised it fit!

Let me know if you want an update on the recipes as we try them.  I can already tell you (since I snuck a few throughout the day) that the Pumpkin Pancake Bites are TO DIE FOR!!! Yummers!  Especially for fall.

Has anyone else done this before?  Any favorite freezer recipes or websites you want to share?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

I'm so lucky to have a mother-in-law who is so talented at photography and who lives so close.  It means I get professional-looking pictures any time I want.  It's amazing and I can't thank her enough.  It's really amazing how many great pictures we already have of Samantha.  

At the end of September, Derek, Gary, Judi and I took Samantha to the Calgary Corn Maze.  It was kind of a long drive, but it was worth it, if only for the awesome pictures we were able to get of Samantha.  Here's a look at our fun day:

Waving at the camera.


Om nom nom nom

They called these the "cannons." It's just a huge trampoline-like thing.  She enjoyed it. 

Can you say "Cutest!"

Family fun at the corn maze. 

She's waving "Howdy"

Pumpkin patch

Family photo in the corn.  Christmas card?

She LOVES going on daddy's shoulders. 

So cute!

Overall, it was a great day.  And again, I'm so glad we can have these beautiful pictures to treasure for the rest of our lives!

A Girl and Her Elephant--9 Months

She's 9 months old today.  I truly can't believe it.  I know it's cliche, and I know I say it every month (and will most likely continue), but I CAN'T BELIEVE MY BABY IS 9 MONTHS OLD! It's crazy.  Here are her elephant pictures!

What more can I say than Samantha is hilarious, fun, crazy, and CUUUUTE!!! No words can adequately describe the cuteness that is Samantha.  Pretty much every night, Derek and I lay awake in bed giggling about how adorable our kid is.  How did we get so lucky?

Get ready for a picture OVERLOAD!!!

Daddy and Daughter

Our trip to Bowness Park to play in the leaves.  
"I think I can reach this..."

This is her "I have leaf bits in my mouth that don't taste good and I'm trying to get them out" face...

Watching the falling leaves. (Super hard to get good pictures of this without a helper, by the way)

What's this?

Getting tired. 

Saying hi to everyone walking along the street.  

Just chillin'.

She seems much too small to be holding on to the door.  And those pants sure are saggy!

Boxes?  I get to play with BOXES?

Just suckin' on my pumpkin. 

Smiley girl!

You'll notice from the above pictures, and from previous ones too, that Samantha LOVES hanging out by the window.  It's her favorite place in the house.  It's a perfect Samantha size.  She can pull herself up on the windowsill and look out the window at all the cars, dogs, runners, etc. going by.  She loves it!!!

I can't say enough how fun of an age Samantha's at right now.  She makes me smile each and every day.  She is just too cute!

She can do so much more now.  She can stand without support (for as long as 10-15 seconds) but she doesn't do it very often.  She doesn't seem to like it.  

She can also walk if you hold on to her fingers, or if she's pushing something that moves, but again, she doesn't do it very often and doesn't seem to like it.  She'd much rather crawl, which is safer!

She learned to climb the stairs.  EEEK!  We have about 10-15 stairs from the basement to the main floor, and she can probably get up all of them in less than a minute.  Pretty crazy.  She hasn't learned how to go down them yet though.  That's a scary thought.  

One of the cutest things she does is DANCE now! If you look up at one of the elephant pictures where she's on her knees with her hands up...that's a still of one of her dance styles.  She'll go up and down on her knees like that whenever music's playing.  She also bounces when she's standing, sways when she's standing, and sometimes, she'll clasp her little hands together and twist back and forth.  She's got some moves, I'll tell you.  So cute!  And, she'll do it to ANY music.  From kid music, to pop, to hymns.  It doesn't matter.  If it's music, she'll dance!

She finally, Finally, FINALLY starting babbling mama!  It melts my heart every. single. time.  I still don't know if she associates it with me yet, but it's a new sound she can make so she does it often.  I love it!

She still doesn't have any teeth.  I'm not too anxious for teeth to come in though.  When they do, I'll miss that gummy smile!

This month she slept 12 hours straight one night.  The key words being "one night." It was short-lived, but we know she can do it, so that's progress.  Right now, she usually wakes up once to eat and goes right back to sleep.  She takes 2 naps during the day and goes to sleep around 7 every night. 

One of her favorite activities during the day is the BATH!!! She's loved it since she was born (for the most part) but she seems to love it even more nowadays.  She'll stand by the tub in her birthday suit, laughing hysterically as she watches the tub fill up.  She gets so excited to play with her toy boats and other toys.  It's definitely a highlight to my day as well!

Well, that's Samantha right now.  She's so fun.  I want time to slow down.  This is definitely my favorite stage so far and I don't want it to end.  As hard as it can be sometimes, to keep her entertained and prevent boredom, it's so fun how active and alive she is.  I get so excited every time she wakes up because I get to play with her and love her and kiss her.  So. much. fun!

A Girl and Her Elephant--8 Months

Well, it looks like on Samantha's 9 month birthday, I'll be catching up and doing two posts again. Sorry for that.  Luckily, I take the pictures, but unfortunately, I'm terrible at uploading and writing the posts.  But, here are her pictures from when she was 8 months:

We have a VERY busy girl as you'll see from the following pictures.  She is SO MUCH FUN right now.  I just can't stand it!

Behind the table, playing with cords, no pants...mom of the year award, right?

I love this picture for some reason.  It captures her exploring/questioning/observing nature!

This is how our daughter has decided to sleep.  The first time she slept like this, it was face down...completely in the mattress.  I was so scared she couldn't breathe, I couldn't sleep for like 2 hours!

Dressed up for church!

This and the following are like perfect pictures that capture Samantha as we know her.  Always on the move, always exploring!

Oops, dropped my soother.

Hey mom!  You're still there?

I think I can still reach it without letting go of the windowsill!

Look Mom!  I got it!  I'm so clever!

From 7 to 8 months, Samantha sure did grow.  She started doing some CRAZY things.  She stopped army crawling and starting full-on knee crawling.  And she is a SPEED DEMON!!!  She just takes off!  She's always been a mover, but now that she can get around wherever she wants with ease, pull herself up onto everything, she's never still!

She started waving during this month too!  At first, we didn't realize that was what she was doing because she only did it when daddy came home, and it was with both arms.  We thought it was her little excited dance.  But then, she started doing it with one hand to other people, so we realized she was waving.  It amazes me how kids learn to do things.  I don't think Derek and I ever waved at her before. We say "hi" all the time, but I don't think we ever actually showed her the wave.  Maybe when she'd meet other people when we were out and about, they'd do it, but that couldn't have been many times.  Even still, she learned to do it.  Goes to show that kids meet milestones with or without help.  

We started getting severe separation anxiety this month.  Mainly when I had to leave the room or give her to someone else when she just wanted me.  Most of the time, I LOVE IT!!!  There's nothing better than your baby only wanting you and getting upset when you aren't there.  It shows me how much she loves me, and I love that!  Other times, it can get a little obnoxious, though!  Like, if I have to put her down to get things done.  I can be in the same room, but she might not be able to see me, and it's like the END OF THE WORLD!!!  Oh well, I'll just take advantage of the fact that she wants me and only me.  That won't be true forever!

Along with the separation anxiety came the object permanence.  She knows now that when she can't see something it still exists (hence, the crying when I'm out of sight).  This poses a problem when she gets her hands on something she isn't supposed to have.  If we take it away and try to hide it from her, she knows what we're doing and cries for it.  She also plays the "drop things and hope you pick them up game" over and over again.  I try not to get impatient because I know she's just learning and relearning that the object still exists after dropping it, but sometimes we have to end that game a little early!  

Love this girl!