Friday, July 18, 2014

[Poll] Bedroom Conundrum

This week's poll is special — a dear friend of mine needs your help! She and her husband are expecting their third child, and they are looking for a solution to their bedroom conundrum. Here's the situation:

Three bedrooms. The parents in the master, a 10-year-old boy in one bedroom, a two-year-old boy in another, and a baby on the way. What do you do?

There are a number of different sleeping solutions, and they're looking not only for a general solution, but also for suggestions on what to do in the event baby number three is a girl. Please disregard the gender for the purpose of the poll, but feel free to share your suggestions in the comments! Bonus points if you've been in this position and can share some practical advice!

Cast your vote below!

Note: There is a poll embedded in this post.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pregnancy Whoas and Woes

Pregnancy Whoas and Woes — a Modern Mrs.

Confession: If a pregnant woman tells you she has zero complaints about being pregnant, she's lying.

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, sure, but it's not easy. If I'm being completely honest {and I always am}, I'd say it's about a 50/50 split of "Aw, this is the best thing ever!" and "[Insert ache/pain/side effect/etc.], *Grumbles*, I cannot wait for this baby to get here!" Well, at least a 50/50 split when I'm pregnant....

Have you seen the movie What to Expect When You're Expecting? No? Watch it, and in the meantime, watch the trailer.

Elizabeth Banks' character is me. The magical pregnancy unicorn? That happens, but it's more likely a film/print media charade. Sorry to burst your bubble, first-timers, and for those of you who aren't pregnant, but hope to be someday, don't let me scare you off! Pregnancy is a beautiful thing.... in the sense that you are blessed enough to grow a tiny human inside of you, then give birth to this tiny human to raise and provide your family an indescribable amount of joy. All the rest? Not beautiful. Worth it, but not beautiful.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New: Sigma Standout Eyes Collection

New: Sigma Standout Eyes Collection — a Modern Mrs.
The Sigma Beauty Standout Eyes Gel Liner Collection features an array of long-wearing, opaque and saturated colors. All gel liners are versatile, yet unique and unexpected with intense pigmentation and a smooth, fluid-like finish.
Sigma Beauty Standout Eyes Gel Liner Collection — a Modern Mrs.
I love gel liners! Especially those in vibrant, not-everyday shades, such as Standout Peacock and Royally Striking, which are set to release on July 21st. {That's next Monday!} Unfortunately, I don't have any details as to how much product you get for the $14 price tag, but I'll try to find that out and post an update if I can.

33 Weeks Update

33 Weeks Update — a Modern Mrs.
Well, we have a lot of catching up to do. I suppose the best thing to do would be to go through the weekly details, then fill you in at the end. Yeah, let's do that.

Stretch Marks: Still rockin' the same ole's!

Belly Button: Still flat. I don't think it's going to pop....

Linea Nigra: {That's the dark line down the front of your belly.} Remember last week when I said I thought I saw one? Well, I didn't. It must've been a line from my shirt or something, because there isn't anything going on now.

Clothes: No snugger than they were last week, but I did buy some new bras at Motherhood Maternity yesterday. I went to get nursing bras for when E is born, but honestly, those suckers are so darn comfy I'll probably start wearing them as soon as they're washed. If you're wondering, I purchased the Sports Clip Down Nursing Bra and Wrap Nursing Sleep Bra. Motherhood is having a buy three, get one free sale, and I needed two sizes of each, so I enjoyed the deal. {They're offering this sale online, too, so if you need some nursing bras.... Oh, and don't forget to go through Ebates to earn 2.5% cash back on your purchase!}

Heartburn: It has returned! And you know what? I ain't even mad. Right around the time it disappeared E's growth slowed down. It recently came back, and we discovered she had gained some weight, so while I'm not saying it definitely has anything to do with that, I'll gladly take the heartburn if that means she's gaining some weight!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

5 Reasons You Should Be Meal Planning

5 Reasons You Should Be Meal Planning — a Modern Mrs.
I'm a huge advocate for meal planning. In fact, when asked how we save money on groceries, the first thing I mention is that we plan our meals. It makes that much of a difference! My journey with meal planning began in 2009 when I was laid off from my job. I had $100 in my checking account and, of course, we were out of everything. I had to get as much food as I could with that $100, and make it stretch as far as I could. We had officially become a one income family, and I wasn't sure if we could make that work. I was presented with this challenge, and I was determined I would prevail! At that time I was able to purchase two weeks of groceries for that $100, and it was all thanks to meal planning {and a few coupons}.

Now, a lot has changed in five years — prices, store policies {Thank you, Extreme Couponing, for ruining it for the rest of us....}, etc. — but my process is still the same, and the first step in my process is planning our meals. My husband is paid bi-weekly, so I shop for two weeks at a time. Even if he were paid weekly, I probably still would shop for two weeks, because I really loathe repeat trips to the store. I don't plan our breakfasts or our lunches each day, as most days that consists of cereal and sandwiches, so our meal planning is primarily for dinner. I know some people that meal plan include breakfast and lunch, but that doesn't really work for us for many reasons. Even with only planning for dinner, doing so saves us a ton of money. With that said, let's get into the five reasons I believe you should be meal planning:

1. Meal planning saves money.

Is there really any other motivator? Well, yes, there is, and I'll get to them shortly. However, saving money is nothing to sneer at, especially in our still-shaky economy. If your family relies on one income like mine does, every penny really does count, and meal planning helps eliminate unnecessary purchases.

For example, I plan our dinners for two weeks. I then go and check our fridge, freezer and pantry to see what we have/what we need to prepare those meals. Whatever we're lacking goes on the list. I have a strict "if it's not on the list, it doesn't get bought" rule, so I better hope I don't forget any ingredients! Knowing what meals you'll be making eliminates the splurge buys while at the store, or the "I can't remember if we have [insert condiment here], so I'll just get another" scenario. You know what you'll be making, you've checked your stash, and you're ready to go!

Monday, July 7, 2014

32 Weeks Update

32 Weeks Update — a Modern Mrs.
Here we are again. Another week down, 5-8 more weeks left to go. I have appointments this week to see how E is developing, so I don't have any new information to share at this time. I'll fill you in next week if anything has changed. As of right now we're just sitting tight.

Stretch Marks: I haven't noticed any new ones, but I'm sure I won't be able to tell till after delivery.

Belly Button: Still flat.

Linea Nigra: {That's the dark line down the front of your belly.} While it's not dark, I thought I noticed a faint line from my belly button down, but that could've been my eyes playing tricks on me. Let's just say no, for now....

Clothes: Getting a little snug, but still wearable. If I really only have five weeks left, I'm not interested in buying any more maternity clothes. If I need anything it'll be more yoga pants or a flowy shirt, but I'm holding out.

Heartburn: I haven't noticed any flare-ups lately.

This past week: Some contractions, but nothing serious. Lots of movement from Baby E, including hiccups several times a day. I pretty much just stay tired. Sleep eludes me at night due to hot flashes and bouts of uncomfortability, but I'm not complaining.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Chickpea and Spinach Curry Recipe

Chickpea and Spinach Curry Recipe — a Modern Mrs.
When labeling this recipe, I really wasn't sure where to place it. Is it lunch or dinner? Main course or side dish? Honestly, it's all of the above! This quick and easy vegetarian dish can be served alone as a side, or paired with pita chips as an appetizer, or served atop rice as a main course {which is how I prepared it}. It's rich in fiber, truly tasty, and my nine-year-old {who can sometimes be funny about cooked spinach} gobbled it up!

The original recipe called for 1/2 cup water, but it made the dish very runny, so I don't recommend using that much unless you find your dish is on the dry side. With the undrained tomatoes, that shouldn't be a problem, but I felt it was worth noting before we went any further. I believe it's better to add less, and possibly have to add more, than have too much and spend twice as long cooking it out {like I had to}. After all, this is supposed to be a quick dish!

Chickpea and Spinach Curry Recipe

[Adapted from MyRecipes] Yields 3 servings.

  • 1 cup Coarsely Chopped Onion
  • 1 1/2 tbs. Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Red Curry Powder
  • 19 oz. Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 oz. Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups Fresh Spinach
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

[Printable] Lemonade Stand Poster & Menu

Free Lemonade Stand Poster & Menu Printable for Kids — a Modern Mrs.
It's summertime, and you know what that means.... Plenty of free time for the kids, carnivals with delicious funnel cake, and wonderfully sweet lemonade. While you could argue carnival lemonade is the best there is {and I wouldn't fight you on it}, truly the best kind is that which is sold by adorable children standing in their front yards or neighborhood corners attempting to make some money for [insert current coveted item here].

L and her friends have often set up shop to sell lemonade, which is usually held at one particular neighbor's house who has an actual lemonade stand. So, when thinking up summer-appropriate printables, this was something that almost immediately came to mind! Today's printable includes a vibrant poster/invitation your kids can hang up/hand out prior to the event, as well as two menus — one with pre-printed snacks, and one left blank so you can fill in your own.

The poster and menu can be printed on standard paper, but will really pop on 8.5x11 white cardstock, which you can find at Walmart for less than five bucks! {$4.93, to be exact.} Oh, if you're going, don't forget to pick up some fun straws too!

Mommy, the Dunce

Mommy, the Dunce — a Modern Mrs.
Dunce. Noun. A dull-witted, stupid, or ignorant person; dolt. Synonyms: dullard, numbskull, ignoramus, simpleton, nincompoop, ninny. ← Also known as how I feel when L asks me a good question, and I don't know the answer. This happens more than I care to admit, and I wonder if she'll think I'm a moron? It happens like this: we're in the car, L will randomly ask me something like [insert science-related question here], and one of two things will happen... I'll either know the answer, but can't figure out how to properly word it into an explanation, or I don't know the answer at all, and am left with responding with, "I'm not sure, but we can look that up when we get home." Every so often J is in the car with us when this happens and luckily knows the answer, and bails me out. {Yet again fueling my worries that I'll be the dumb one when she reflects back on her childhood....}

So, we make it home, and I promptly look up her question, and we go over the answer together. I fear I'm inadvertently squashing her curiosity, and believe me when I say they are really good questions, but I do wish I knew some of these things on my own. Not just to fuel my self esteem, but because I don't want her to stop asking me questions because she expects I won't know the answer. And, by the way, where does she come up with this stuff? It's great... absolutely great, but really.... phew!

These questions range from how things work, to why things happen, and beyond, and come entirely out of nowhere. I know my own mind can get off on its tangents, but this girl's mind must be moving faster than the speed of light at any given second! I love that she's trying to figure out the world, and that she wants to understand even the simplest things. I remember asking my mom questions as a kid, but not nearly as often as L does, or anywhere near as sophisticated.

What am I to do?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

31 Weeks Update

31 Weeks Update — a Modern Mrs.
So, I'm home after our appointment to see how baby E is growing, and there's no change. She has put on a little weight, but is still measuring three weeks behind, so now the whole game plan has changed. I have IUGR {Intrauterine Growth Restriction}, and have to be seen twice a week for various tests and ultrasounds to continue to monitor the situation, with a special ultrasound to be done in three weeks. If nothing changes, I'll be induced at 37 weeks, which means Miss E will make her debut in early August as opposed to late August. That would mean we only have a little over a month left!

Aside from the growth issue, E is completely healthy. Physically everything checks out — she's very active, her cord, fluids, and the placenta look fine. I'm very thankful for these things, as any change in any of the above would mean she'd have to come even earlier, and that wouldn't be good. Ideally we'd like her to cook for as long as possible, but in cases such as this, sometimes cooking on the outside is better. Continued prayers would be greatly appreciated!

Stretch Marks: It's hard to tell at this stage of the game, but from what I can see, there's nothing new to report here.

Belly Button: Still flat.

Linea Nigra: {That's the dark line down the front of your belly.} Nope.

Clothes: I was wearing the same shirt this week that I was in last week's photo, and as you can see, I have to layer a longer top underneath to pull it off. I could tell I gained some weight recently {10 lbs. in two weeks, actually...}, but I don't know where it's going....

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