What’s for Dinner?!

I feel like some weeks are more meat heavy than others and I guess it really depends on what I grabbed at Costco.

This week I grabbed a pork loin, which can be cut into boneless chops or a roast.

I do my best to make healthy and well balanced meals for my family. Sometimes I come across a dish that sounds so good but is not good for you, so I see what I can do to change some of the ingredients. For example: switch out heavy cream for fat free half and half or skim milk, sub for lower fat cheeses, use nonfat plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream…

So here are our dinner plans for this week!

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Sunday: Slow Cooker Cuban Pork and served with rice, black beans, and corn

(Can anyone guess what convo comes up every time the boys eat corn? 🙈)

Monday: Breakfast casserole (eggs, shredded potatoes, bacon or turkey sausage) served with arugula salad and fresh fruit

Tuesday: Beef, bean, and cheese enchiladas served with guacamole

Wednesday: Hawaiian Pulled Pork served with potato wedges and salad. This can be served using slider buns! (I’ve never made this and Matt is skeptical with having pineapple cooked with his pork but I bet it will be good!)

Thursday: Boneless Pork Chops with a garlic/spinach sauce served with Cous Cous and a veggie

Friday: MYO Pizza with non meat toppings (veggies, olives, cheeses)

Saturday: Homemade Mac & Cheese serges with fresh cut veggies and a dip (hummus or salad dressing)

Enjoy your week friends! Hard to believe it’s almost April! 🌷

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What’s for dinner?!

Being in the kitchen makes me so happy. I love cooking and baking for my family. Sometimes breakfast is rushed, lunch is usually just the boys sitting together or grabbing bites while they run around and play, but dinner, dinner is when we all are sitting together and talk about our day.

Dinner might actually be my favorite part of the day. L usually starts us off by saying he didn’t take a bite of anything yet while he’s talking with his mouth full and then he says Grace, with one of the preschool prayers he’s learned this year. We take this time to talk about our day, our highs and lows, and maybe what some fun plans ahead might be.

Dinner is special to me. To all of us.

Here is what is planned for this week. It might not be the healthiest week I’ve ever planned, but a few of these were by request .

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Sunday: Tater Tot Casserole- this is my Grandma’s recipe that my husband and boys just love! I love that she’s shared so many yummy recipes with me!

Monday: Pizza Quesadillas- pick your own insides! Served with salad

Tuesday: Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo (using chickpea noodles)

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Greek Chicken (H and I LOVE olives!)

Thursday: Baked Ziti with spinach and spicy Italian sausage (or ground pork if I can’t find spicy without fennel…I HATE fennel!)

Friday: We are going to find ourselves a Fish Fry. If you have suggestions for a great fish fry in the Twin Cities let me know!

Saturday: Lazy Pierogies served with Chicken and salad. Lazy Pierogies are jumbo shells stuffed with mashed potatoes and onions and sprinkled with some cheese before baking 🙂

If you make any of the recipes in my dinner plans please share photos! I’d love to see!

Enjoy!

First Born vs. Second Born: Danger Edition

Are there things that you let your second born (or third, fourth, etc.) do that you would never let your first born do at that same age? Take my kids for example: I never would have let 2 year old L use a knife or scissors but H wants to do what his big brother does…ALWAYS.

I was cutting strawberries and H wanted to help. I do my best to explain that there certain things he isn’t able to do yet because of danger and I think he understands those things. He has used a knife before more for pretend, but today was the day he wanted to put his practice to use.

My boys are supervised at all times, especially when potentially dangerous situations could happen. Ok, let’s be real…kids can turn any situation into something dangerous!

They know how to carefully carry scissors, but we have practiced with play scissors. Same goes for knives or tools! We have given our children some toys that they get to be just like us, whether that’s a play kitchen, tool kit, cars, Doctor kits, etc…they aren’t just playing for fun, they are using their imagination and also practicing good skills to have!

I think my first born taught me to be cautious. My second is teaching me to loosen the reigns a bit. I am helping them use the skills that they are learning to put all of that knowledge to good use!

The Kitchen Sink

The kitchen is the spot where we all are found regularly. The kitchen connects the dining room and our playroom, there is always movement, there is always a bit of a mess. I might be in there cooking or baking, with or without help. The dogs can be found hanging around for something to fall or getting their own food and water. The boys are usually scheming ways to find snacks… after having snacks. They even teamwork in the fridge now and gather apples and cheese sticks. So basically what I am trying to say is that our kitchen RARELY sleeps…and this means our kitchen sink usually has something in it.

When we bought our house, we didn’t realize it didn’t have a dishwasher! Our sink is pretty and big and I love it….especially when it’s empty. (Honestly it’s rarely empty.) The sink could have dishes from dinner or just a single spoon from a peanut butter lollipop, but what I am learning is that this is really a blessing. A sink with something in it means there was food that was made and shared. Conversations happened over a meal or little giggles between brothers as they helped each other pour their own milk.

The sink is somewhere I can be found often. The boys also love to help wash dishes or wash their hot wheels. I hope that they are learning these skills now to take with them later in life when they have their own dishes to wash in their own homes.

From the sink, I can hear playing (or arguing) downstairs, I can hear the boys reading in the living room, I can also look at the window above the sink and see the squirrel tormenting the dogs in the backyard. (On that note I better get going…)

So, moral of this post: the sink might not be completely empty everyday, but it does mean my family is lucky, blessed, and loved.

What’s for Dinner?!

I had a hard time planning this week and I’m not sure why. So here it is:

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Sunday: Matt offered to make dinner so something with chicken but I have no idea what.

Monday: Salisbury Steak with Mashed Potatoes and veggies (thanks Erin for the recipe!)

Tuesday: Bruschetta Chicken served with pasta

Wednesday: Strawberry Pancake Poppers with fruit on the side

Thursday: Savory Oatmeal (egg, bacon, broth, parmesan)

Friday: Taco Night…I really just want some guacamole and homemade margaritas 😂

Saturday: Mini burgers with homemade fries and salad

Leave me some ideas for next week in the comments!!

What’s for dinner?!

This week is a busy week for us I am trying to keep meals easy! I have one crockpot meal on here this week.

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Sunday: Meatloaf Muffins with potatoes (mashed or wedges) served with a vegetable (tbd) and homemade onion rings

Monday: Crockpot Orange Chicken with steamed broccoli and brown rice (made with chicken bouillon)

Tuesday: Matt’s quick and easy carbonara served with salad and two ingredient garlic knots

Wednesday: Smoothie Bowls

Thursday: Chicken Caesar Salad (crispy onions, avocado, corn)

Friday: Pizza Night (Trader Joe’s crust)

Saturday: Chicken Bruschetta with pasta and salad

Enjoy!

Is that a doll?

Why yes, yes, my son is playing with a doll. Why does it matter to you? I know this may sound harsh, but really I don’t need random people giving me their opinions on what my child should be playing with.

H started playing with baby dolls at an ECFE (Early Childhood and Family Education) class we were taking. He would rock the baby and feed the baby. It melted my heart watching him play with the baby dolls. He always knows when a real baby is nearby and makes a point to say hello. He’s a loving and caring child and I will nurture those qualities no matter what.

I was telling my mom how much H wanted a baby doll and kept asking for one. She sent him the one seen in the photo above. He was beyond excited to get HIS BABY. The joy in his little body was so great, he smiled so big when he opened his package.

Since his baby arrived, they go everywhere with us. The baby doesn’t have a name yet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t loved. The baby goes to the gym, the grocery store, to school pick up, etc.

I can’t tell you how many people commented on the fact that my son was carrying around a baby doll. A friend said to me when discussing this issue with people inserting their opinions, “Do you think they would have made a negative comment if he were carrying a stuffed dog?” Honestly, I don’t think any comment would have been made or if there was it would have been, “Aw, so cute!”.

I tend to walk away when people make comments at the store, but maybe I need to take the time to explain to them that there is nothing wrong my son playing with a doll. To me, I see a child learning to be nurturing (he changes the baby’s diaper and feeds them too), caring, and pretending to be just like his Mom and Dad.

H is learning and growing. It doesn’t matter what he plays with, he’s using his imagination and developing important life skills. So, yes, my son is playing with a doll. Playing with his baby is no different than him playing and using his imagination with his tools, cars, trucks, superheroes, stuffed animals, etc… It shouldn’t matter to you what he chooses to play with, what should matter is that we are raising loving, caring, and compassionate children who will one day excellent friends, uncles, fathers, partners, and contributing members of society.

What’s for dinner?!

Hey Friends! This week I’ve been MIA because of the Polar Vortex and didn’t have time to write while we were hibernating.

Here is the meal plan for this week!

Sunday: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Monday: Chicken and Rice Casserole serves with green beans

Tuesday: Crock Pot Beef and Potato Taco Chili

Wednesday: LEFTOVERS!!!

Thursday: One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

Friday: Homemade Pizza Night

Saturday: Breakfast for Dinner

Most of these recipe ideas come from https://thepounddropper.com/

What’s for Dinner?!

The week of January 27- February 1 is a odd dinner week here! I will only be making dinner 5 out of the 7 nights. I am already thinking ahead and have some fun dips/dishes planned for next weekend…for the Puppy Bowl…we are much bigger puppy fans than football fans.

Sunday: Easy Vegan Falafel (thank you to Jasmine for sharing this recipe) served with couscous, cucumbers, tomato, roasted red onion, and hummus.

Monday: Dinner with Gert and Papa

Tuesday: Crockpot Ranch Chicken Tacos

Wednesday: Chili / Mac & Cheese Night at School

Thursday: Skillet Gnocchi Pizza Bake served with salad

Friday: Hamburgers with potato wedges and salad

Saturday: Omelets and fruit and maybe 2 ingredient bagels!

Bon Appétit

Potty Training

I am so ready to be done with diapers. For one, they are expensive! I also am just ready for H to go to the bathroom on the toilet.

I remember potty training L like it was yesterday. Our goal was to have him potty trained before H was born, and that definitely didn’t happen. He was showing signs that he was almost ready, like hiding when he went to the bathroom, telling us AFTER he went, and just being really interested in the bathroom. We let L pick out fun new undies and we let him wear them throughout the day while we had a timer set for every 30 minutes. We all were getting very frustrated and decided to stop for a few weeks and try again. After about three week we tried again with L and there were no issues or accidents, HE was ready…we can’t be ready for them.

So, here we are, H is two and he is definitely showing signs that he is interested. He tells me when he has to go to the bathroom (he won’t sit on the toilet unless he wants to…and this kid has multiple options from potties to toilet seat covers). I ask him often if he is ready to sit on the toilet and his response usually is: NO THANKS! ( At least he’s polite about it.) He also loves to flush the toilet and take all of the toilet paper off of the roll.

I think we need to try the same techniques we used when training L but I know we will need modifications because they are totally different children. Firstly, I need to take him shopping for his own undies. H likes to wear L’s over his diaper from time to time, but I want this to be special for him too. I am ready for H to be out of diapers but I’m not sure that he is quite ready… maybe in a few more week we will really be able to start!

So here is where I need you! Send me your tips and ideas! I want to add to my bag of tricks! So please let me know how you potty trained your little one(s) or how you plan on training when you/they are ready. Feel free to send wine too!