Sunday, July 29

Home Grown and Home Made

Just to Update everyone, from my last blog about my Monthly Menu and grocery shopping- my goal was to pay about $150 for the entire month of food/groceries.
I spent $126 and got EVERYTHING for 30 days of dinner!! (That's about $4.20 for dinner for 2 every night! --and  a lot of leftovers end up being my lunches here at home!)
Also, I try to set a budget of about $50 for Brad's lunches (a month) while he's at work-- I am pretty happy to say that I spent $52 for all of his lunches for a month! (That's about $1.73 for lunch each day!)

**I did NOT use any coupons - in fact coupons confuse the junk out of me**

Today, I found a cool Pinterest item of how to make your own Baby Wipes.
The boys were napping and I thought it would be fun to try.

It took all of 2 minutes to put together and 10 mins of sitting on the counter and they are AMAZING!
SOOOO easy.

Homemade Baby Wipes

1 Paper Towel Roll (Good Quality-- Bounty/Viva)
2 cups of Water
2 TBL Baby Soap
1 TBL Baby Oil

-Cut the paper towel roll in half. Put it in a container (any container that it fits)
Mix the liquids together and pour over the paper towel.
Let it sit for 10 mins. Flip it upside-down so the liquid soaks up the other side of the paper towel.
Baby Wipes!
*We already had everything on hand,so it didn't cost us anything!*

The boys are Growing like WEEDS!
Our 6 month check up is this Wednesday and I can't wait to hear what the doctor has to say!

They are both moving around the floor like crazy- sitting up all the time and rolling over to get back to crawling position. 
They are so much fun!
Crawling all over mommy :)

Playing in the park with daddy!

Um..kid how did you get on mommy's laptop???? Crazy Crawler!

Love my Family <3

Monday, July 23

Monthly Menu Planner

A lot of people seem amazed at how Brad and I are able to be living Technically below the U.S. Poverty line and still able to live the life we live.

Well first, it is a TON of hard work.. but, I work pretty diligantly on keeping up with a planned out Menu for the month. That way I can do all of my grocery shopping knowing exactly what we will need to last us for 30+ days.

So, I have gone through and prepared my August menu and thought I would share it with all of you!
**I will not be posting my recipes (waaay too many), But, if anyone would like any of these recipes they are more than welcome to message me!!
***Also, I have WAY more meals planned then we will use (because of some leftovers) But, I usually just "roll them over" to the next month!


Week 1:

Sunday --Tater Tot Casserole
Monday -- Burritos
Tuesday-- Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Wednesday--Hay Stacks
Thursday --Creamy Sausage & Tomato Pasta
Friday-- Creamy Chicken & Mushrooms with Wild Rice
Saturday-- Leftovers

Week 2:

Sunday --Sloppy Joes
Monday -- Baked Bean Chicken-Crock Pot
Tuesday-- Ziti Pasta
Wednesday--Taco/Taco Salad
Thursday --Basil Pesto Spaghetti
Friday-- Chicken & Asparagus Carbonara
Saturday-- Leftovers

Week 3:
Sunday --Pork Chops with Roasted Veggies
Monday -- Lasagna
Tuesday-- BBQ Chicken Bites
Wednesday--Mexican Pasta Shells
Thursday --Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Friday-- Homemade Pizza
Saturday-- Leftovers

Week 4:
Sunday --Stuffed Bell Peppers
Monday -- Meatloaf
Tuesday-- Spaghetti Squash
Wednesday--Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Thursday --Slow-Cooked Herbed Beef with Egg Noodles
Friday-- Frozen Chicken Nuggest & Fries
Saturday-- Leftovers

Week 5:
Sunday --Fish Sticks
Monday -- Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna
Tuesday-- Loaded Baked Potato
Wednesday--Steak or Burgers on the Grill
Thursday --Beef Stroganoff
Friday-- BLT's
Saturday-- Leftovers

This shouldn't cost me more than $150.. I will give you the real price once I do the shopping this week.

The boys are quickly approaching 6 months!
And things are literally MOVING fast! \
Blake is soooo close to crawling! He can roll, get into the sitting position, goes back to his tummy and rolls..he is crawling on his elbows now but doesn't quite have the strength to push up to his hands yet.
Eli is close behind and moving all over his crib!
I'm loving watching them learn and attempt new 'tricks' but, now putting them down for their naps and bedtime has proven difficult! They know they can sit up and look around and play in their crib, so why would they want to sleep? ha! It's truly entertaining!!

Wednesday, July 18

If I Could Run A School....This is What I Would Teach.

I've come to the conclusion that the education system is screwed up.

If I ran a school, I would NOT be teaching only math, science,english.. We would be mostly learning;
1. Budgets
2. Mortgages-how to buy a house and apply for a mortgage
3. Insurance- why we need car,house,life..
4. How to grow a garden- from start to finish (especially in a drought!)
5. College debt- and how FAFSA doesn't make it free..
6. How to fix common household appliances- Microwave,dishwasher,washer/dryer,toilet
7. Future Planning- 401k, IRA, Stock&Bonds-which is better?
8. Babies..what happens when you bring them home

Number 8.
I feel like if there was better education, not about sex ed., but purely about babies, then more of these high school girls would NOT be getting preggo.
Here are some major topics that should be discussed::
1. Labor & Delivery is NOT like the movies
2. First night home from hospital--Don't expect to sleep
3. First week- don't expect to sleep
4. Months 1-3..Babies don't do ANYTHING but, sleep,eat,poop and CRY
5. Months 3-6.. Babies CRY because of: Teething and Growth Spurts
              a.    They are a little more fun these months but,
               b.  Growth spurts happen almost every other week in the beginning, the less often they have a growth spurt, the worse is it for them.
                c.   They dont' just pop out teeth- it takes weeks or months of Fussiness and painful crying until you see results.
 6. Babies Can't tell you what's wrong! -They cry when they are:
              a.  Hungry
              b.  Tired
              c.  Over-Stimulated
              d.  Bored
              e.  Too Full
              f.  Gassy
              g. Sick
              h.  Scared
              i.  in Pain

 This is about as far into my baby experience that I am, but now kids,
 Obviously it has been a rough week in our house.

We are dealing with the top teeth trying to push through- which means they are not eating very much because sucking hurts their teeth. They are sleeping non-stop. They are waking at weird times during their naps- because their gums hurt. They aren't happy while they are awake because their gums hurt...etc..
On top of the teething, they are going through their 6 month growth spurt.
Someone might ask, "How do you know they are going through both of these?"

My answer-- Spend a day in my house. 
I know everyone has gone through this, but I will say it again, having 2 babies going through this at the same time is so hard. All I want to do is hold them and rock them and comfort them- and I can't.    :(  I just don't have enough arms to help both at the same time.  So so hard.

Maybe I should record a day in the life of twin 6 month-olds and send it in to a sex-ed class at the local schools... label it
"Best Form of Birth Control"

As my mom says: *This Too Shall Pass*
I will take a deep breath, a long drink, and a good nights sleep and look forward to another day with my beautiful day with my baby boys!
They are so lucky they are so darn cute!

Sunday, July 15

Budgets, Babies and Bonding

This weekend has been an incredible weekend for us!

For starters: Brad and I have been doing some Serious thinking about our budget. We had a little extra cash this past month and WhAM- we blew it.  So, we are now on the most strick budget known to man. We pay our bills and buy the food we need to survive. Nothing more. Which sounds way easier than it is.

I have found a great website (from my momma)    They connect to your bank account and you can set what you want to budget for each part of your monthly income. Now we can see how much we have gone over what we budgeted and we can figure out how to change that for the next month. 
I wish that wasn't a part of our everyday chats, but it is and we deal.

Our baby boys are 5 1/2 months old now!
It seems like the boys are changing and growing so quickly that it almost makes it feel like slow motion! ( I know that sounds ridiculous!)

~They sit up on their own.
~They love playing and THROWING toys!
~We are learning to crawl- I work with them every single day trying to help them figure out how to coordinate their legs/knees with their arms (Again, sounds easier than it is apparently). 
~They are eating 3 meals of solid food a day-and they are down to only 6oz of formula with those meals! (saving $$$)!
~They are teething AGAIN- this time it's their top teeth! <--On top of that, we are going through their 6 month growth spurt at the same time... These are my descriptive words::

Haha. Laughing is about the only thing you can do. I feel HORRIBLE that there is absolutely nothing I can do but try to dull the pain. I'm sure i'm making it sound worse than it is, but when you have 2 babies going through it at the same time, it feels crappy in the moment.

I am thankful every day for my husband. As soon as he gets home from work everyday he immediately grabs a baby and helps entertain them- which helps a lot with the fussiness. I'm not sure what I would do without him. <3

On a much lighter note:

Friday night, Brad and I were invited to a Pool Party! We dropped the boys off at Brad's Parents and they took care of them and got them to bed on time. We went and had such a great time seeing old friends and swimming/eating/hanging out! --This was our first night not putting the boys to bed since they were born :( Probably the hardest day. I love putting my babies to bed.

Saturday was a pretty lazy day- Brad got to take a 3 hour nap with the boys (he definitely needed it and deserved it!)  That night, my mom came over and hung out at our house, which made us able to get out and go to dinner! We haven't been out to dinner since my birthday in February!!  We went Downtown and had some delicious food and company. We walked around and got ice cream then came home.  That was so wonderful of my mom to just sit in our quiet house while the babies slept just so we could have a night out. <3

Sunday, our cousins were in town! We all met at my mom's house and hung out for a few hours. Momma made an awesome lunch and the boys took the longest nap EVER. 3 1/2 hours. Tired boys.  Must be rough learning to crawl and sit and eat big boy foods hehe.

Another week coming up! I have some new exciting baby foods to make and try! 

Monday, July 9

Food Is Our Common Ground

Starting a new week and we are now at 23 weeks old!!

My big boys are sitting up all on their own perfectly! (Well they do have the occasional tumble!)
They both have their 2 bottom teeth and they are so adorable!
Blake is working on his top teeth already! --That boy is efficiant! Wam Bam.

They are crazy rolly pollys! They just roll across the floor to get places-it's hilarious! If you put them on their belly, they flip to their back, flip to their belly,flip to their back...until they get to where they want to be!   I can tell crawling will be soon- and they are about 1 week away from pulling themselves up! Such strong little guys.

Well, I have been cooking like crazy yesterday and today.

Last night I picked a TON of green beans from our garden and made the boys their first Green Bean baby food!  Such a great feeling knowing all of my hard work has come in full circle!   I also made Yellow Squash baby food --they were also from our garden! Can't wait for them to taste it!

Our list of baby foods tried is growing! We started easy and have slowly added!
We have tried:

Butternut Squash

**Do not mash and freeze the bananas. It turns them into a thick pudding texture and the boys HATE it. ...Now we add the bananas to oatmeal so they can't tell the texture ;)

Food in the freezer ready to try next:

Green Beans
Black Beans

When we started solids we started giving them a few teaspoons at just one meal a day. Then once they started eating about 2Tblspoons at that meal, we added a second meal..etc..
Our feeding schedule for this week:
7am-- 2TBL Peach Applesauce + 6-8oz Formula
11am-- 2TBL Banana Oatmeal + 6oz. Formula  (oatmeal is filling!)
3pm-- 2TBL Peas + 6-8oz Formula
5pm-- 2-3 tsp. Butternut Squash <----we just started adding this small meal to make it to bedtime!
7pm-- 6-8oz Formula with 1/4 cup Rice cereal

They are little piggies! And on top of that, I ordered some beginner Sippy Cups today, so next week we will try to start drinking water! Gosh they are growing so fast!

Last night I also made Brad and I a treat!
This weekend was my mamma's birthday! So I tried a new 'cake'  and made this::

All fruit! Base is a watermelon-- I used round cookie cutters for the polka dots! So fun and a delicious way to end a HOT summer day!

I took the remaining Watermelong and cubed it up. I found a recipe for
Watermelon Granita that I've wanted to try..

Watermelon Granita

4cups cubed Watermelon (I used 6cups)
1/2 cup Sugar
1 TBL Lemon Juice

Combine all in a food processor.  Push through a sieve so you have just the juices.
Pour into a 9X13"Pan and Freeze overnight.  Next day, scrape with a fork so it looks like a blown up snowcone ;)    Keep frozen.


We finally have some ripened tomatoes from our garden and we have tons of fresh basil, so I have decided that Bruschetta is the way to use those items!
In order to have Bruschetta, I need french bread!

But, it's so darn good warm and fresh that It's 1/2 gone already and No bruschetta has been made!
I promise, tomorrow I will be making it :)

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 6

Full Moon Affect

I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed a change in attitudes, or if it is just because
I have 2 young babies.. But something strange has been happening the past 2-3 days.

Crying, screaming, sleepy-but won't fall asleep, just plain attitude.

I swear it must be a full moon. And crazy enough, the more moms I ask, the more say the same thing has been happening to them the past few days!! AH.

Children MUST be wearwolves.

A few nights ago, I tried a new recipe I found on Pinterest.   Brad and I have always loved stuffed peppers- So simple and Filling!
This time I found a new recipe for stuffed peppers.

Italian Stuffed Peppers

2 Red Bell Peppers
1/2 cup Rice (not instant)
1/2 lb. Ground Beef
Diced Onion
1/4 cup Marinara
1/2 cup Ricotta
1/4 cup shredded Mozerella Cheese
Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper

Cut the top of the peppers off and take out the ribs and seeds.
Boil 4 cups of water. Place one pepper in the boiling water and let simmer 3 mins until it is soft. Do the same with the second pepper.

Brown the hamburger with the onion and garlic. Drain off grease.  Add marinara sauce and ricotta cheese.  Season with garlic powder,salt and pepper to taste.  
Mix in the shredded cheese.

Scoop into each pepper.  Place in a baking dish and bake at 300degrees for 15 mins.


Brad and I were only able to each eat 1/2 of a pepper..they fill you up!

My baby boys sitting up!!! So much fun :)

Playing with cousin Ella  <3

Sunday, July 1

Cinnamon Panackes Please!

Blake and Eli are coming up on 22 weeks old !!
And not only did they get their first tooth, they got their 2nd tooth!! I knew they had to pop those things out 2 at a time for how much pain they were in. Poor kids- but i'm glad it's almost over... they have been feeling much better these past 2 days since their first tooth finally pushed through. :)

I FINALLY got a chance to try a Pinterest recipe today!
Brad made Pancakes (like he usually does one day of the weekend--I know, I'm spoiled :)   )

So I decided to make Cinnamon Roll Pancakes!

1/2 stick of Butter, melted
1/4cup brown sugar
1 1/2 TBL Cinnamon
-Mix together...

Make some pancakes..just like normal..
Then slowly drizzle the cinnamon mixture on the pancakes once the center has set up a little..

Flip just like normal!  And Enjoy!
Tastes JUST like a Cinnamon Roll!

Happy Sunday and Happy July!!!