So for the second time ever, all the stars have aligned perfectly (or should I say all the family plans have aligned perfectly), and I get to host Thanksgiving. we alternate holidays between our two families…and we always go to my husbands sisters, and on my side, we rotate a bit. So when it lands on my house in the rotation, i must admit, I am absolutely ecstatic.
The house warm and toasty, smelling all delicious, everyone gathered around the table, football on the TV….it is just the quintessential picture of family holiday to me. The preparations have been started already, because, why not? =)
And due to the fact that I am prepping for Thanksgiving, not much is being cooked in my oven. Today I figured I would share my own Thanksgiving if you are looking for inspiration for a dish, and I would also share one of my favorite post-Thanksgiving recipes.
First up, here is our menu, with a mix of old tried and true recipes, and new ones:
For dessert, I will be making a pumpkin roll and my son’s absolute favorite chocolate banana cream pie (yes, that is a chocolate chip cookie crust).
I am going to be pretty busy cooking the next couple days!
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is passing out leftovers, so I know it looks like a lot of food, but I hope that my guests leave with full “doggie bags” as well. We have found a great way to keep leftovers interesting as well. You know when you are at the point of carving the turkey, and everyone is hungry and itching to start eating? Well…stop. Don’t worry about getting all the meat off. Cut what will work for the meal, and enough leftovers to make everyone content. You are then left with this (beautiful, right?):
Throw the turkey carcass in the crock pot as you are doing your clean up from your thanksgiving meal for 8-10 hours. The next morning, open up your crock pot, and you will find that the meat has fallen off the bones. Remove the bones, add your favorite barbecue sauce to the turkey, and cook in the crock pot for one more hour. You can either enjoy a turkey barbecue sandwich that day, or put it in the freezer to enjoy at a time when you have forgotten about the Thanksgiving dinner, but need a meal during the busy Holiday season.
I hope that everyone has an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving!
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a reader’s potty training story, and shared my hesitation about kicking off potty training with my own little girl. I knew that Mommy Brain and potty training my little girl were going to combine forces to drive me a bit crazy. My daughter is a bit headstrong (no idea where she gets that from) – and I was a bit nervous about trying to teach her to do something that I wasn’t 100% sure she was going to be ready to accomplish.
I received some amazing advice from MMB readers to try out a method called oh crap. potty training. A couple of people commented that the method worked for them with little challenge, and hearing that, I downloaded the book immediately. I will not share too much about the philosophy or method which is suggested by the author, Jamie Glowacki, because I think that you will do better reading her book. And honestly, the $15 is the most well spent money I have spent in the last couple months – I think she should financially benefit because she is so darn realistic and amazing. Also, I had to READ her words to realize that my past approach to potty training was just plain stupid…and I felt ridiculous coming to that realization, so I am going to make everyone else go through that as well. After a couple of days hunkering down at home, focusing on potty training, my daughter is doing awesome. We have had minimal hiccups, and I am really so proud of how well she has taken to everything. People thought I was crazy to potty train with a 3 month old – but I can be sure that if I knew how successful this method was, I probably would have done it when I was 7 months pregnant (haha, I say that now….don’t blame me though if you try it under those conditions and it doesn’t work!).
Regardless of how great a method works though, I think that potty training is quite simply, living on the edge. It is tiring, stressful, and exhausting thinking about someone else’s pee and poop all day, and making sure that it goes in the proper place. We have decided to night train her as well, because everything is going so well…which means a couple of bathroom visits during the night. My husband and I talked about this approach, and what we would have to do night one.
The next morning though, I was totally confused when talking to him. I told him I took her to the bathroom when my alarm went off the first time, and she didn’t have to go. The same thing happened with the second alarm as well. He then looked at me, and told me he had set his alarm as well….his clock is set for 8 minutes faster than mine is. So, he woke up, took my daughter to the bathroom, came back, went to sleep, and my alarm went off shortly after…I woke her up, took her to the bathroom, and went back to bed. We never woke with each other’s alarms, or even heard the other person get out of bed. I am thinking that sleep deprivation is working full force in our houseOur poor little girl though – she totally looked at me so confused…oops!!!
Any good potty training stories out there? Any other mommy brain moments to share this week?
Thanksgiving is coming, and I am so excited to be hosting the big day. It is one of my favorite holidays, and I am excited to be making some old and new recipes. With 3 kids, juggling the preparations can be a bit tricky, so I have worked on the food already, using my freezer!
One of my favorite side dishes is stuffing. I love this version of stuffing muffins, because not only is it a great option for a side dish, but when all of the stuffing runs out (and it always does in my house!), and the turkey leftovers are still there, you can pop one of these in the oven to enjoy.
Here is the recipe…but I would also love to hear if you have any favorite side dishes that you will be making this year for Thanksgiving?
In a large skillet, cook the sausage until cooked through. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl.
In the skillet, add the butter, and melt. Saute the celery and the onions until tender. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage. Add the stuffing, apples, cranberries, salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken broth so it becomes moist, and add then add the eggs.
Spoon into greased muffin cups (makes about 18). Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until brown. Cool, and then remove from the pan. I find it easiest to run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen them, and then remove from the pan.
If you are choosing to freeze, place the muffins in a resealable plastic bag after they are cool. To use, thaw in refrigerator, and then place the muffins on a greased baking sheet. Cover with foil and reheat at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, or until heated through.
Baby girl is three months…well, a little over three months, but I don’t do much on time these days. We are hitting the sweet spot. The sweet spot of baby smiles, a somewhat predictable schedule, and getting to know what the heck cries mean. The sweet spot of regular showers, sitting through meals, and starting to feel “normal”. One of my friends asked me a couple of months ago if it every got easier with a newborn. I firmly believe the first 3 months are about survival…if you get anything done besides taking care of that baby, and sort of taking care of yourself, it’s a bonus.
So where are we now…the successes and challenges…
On the good side – first off we are getting tons of baby smiles. She has been smiling for a while, but now, it is in reaction to us. She will hear her brother and sister, look in their direction, and smile. The kids LOVE this…and often try to see who can make her smile first. She has a wonderful temperament, and might just be that “go with the flow” third child rumor I kept hearing!
We are successfully continuing with breastfeeding. My daughter one time started crying randomly one time when I was feeding the baby…when I asked her why she was crying – she said it was because the baby was going to eat me all up. I’m going to be honest, sometimes, I worry about that too…I mean, this girl is weighing in at over 16 pounds. At three months. Lordy! I am very grateful all is going well, because I know that is not always the case.
On the challenges….while breastfeeding is going well, we are having challenges with her taking the bottle…which I said was not going to happen after my second, but it is tricky as I am usually alone with the kids (especially during the week), and pumping and then giving a bottle is more time consuming..I am trying my hardest to work through this challenge though, and get her more comfortable with bottles. We have tried many kinds of bottles, and settled on the Born Free as her bottle of choice, and the one that she prefers the most (also child #1s choice, #2 preferred Playtex Drop Ins)…I am hopeful that this becomes easier for her as we work together on this in the coming weeks.
Sleep…I was spoiled with baby #2 sleeping through the night early on (7:30 – 7:30 consistently), and has always being a pretty awesome sleeper. We were as well rested as you could be with kids. This time around I would say we have a decent sleeper. She usually goes down around 7:30/7:45 – sometimes perfectly, but sometimes pretty rough. She will wake up after about 20 minutes, inconsolable, and it can vary on how long it takes to get her back to sleep. While we have had several nights where she slept completely through the night, she will wake usually once during the night to eat (varying from 2:30 – 4:30 am), and then wake between 6:30 and 7:30. We are trying to work through the going down at night aspect…she naps great in her crib during the day, and watching her on the monitor and in person, it doesn’t seem like we can pinpoint why she is waking. Hopefully we will figure it out soon though!
Just like from month one, I thought I would share three of our favorite and most used items from this month…
Rainforest Bouncer: This is my absolute savior for I need to put an awake baby down for a bit. She loves the seat, and the activity. My son calls it her “video game” because of the lights, and how her actions cause a reaction.This has been a big hit with other babies at our house
BundleMe – it’s getting chilly out there, and we are out every day…whether we are running the older 2 to school, or getting out for some exercise..I have found the BundleMe for keeping baby girl toasty warm. As a friend said – it looks like she is sitting in a big Ugg. Ah, perfection
Lamaze Toys: For the first 2 months, my daughter was content to play on a blanket by herself, or sit in a chair and look out at whatever was passing her by. One day, she started whimpering, so my son passed her Lulu the Hippo, and she was fascinated. Since then, Lulu, along with Freddy the Firefly, and Stretch the Giraffe have been her favorite “go to’s” (besides her brother and sister) for smiles.
All in all, we are feeling incredibly blessed, and lucky to get to the point where things are feeling good for everyone.
Disclosure: I received compensation to complete this review, however, all opinions listed and expressed are completely my own.
The other day at the store, I heard my son whisper to my daughter, “uh oh, Santa and the elves are starting to watch us.” When I asked him what he was talking about, he pointed at the big holiday displays. Oh yes…Christmas is upon us! Now don’t hate me, but I have started my Christmas shopping, crafts, and have started looking at holiday cards. A couple of my photographer friends have mentioned loving Minted and cards that I received last year designed by them totally struck me as high quality, great products. Here are some of my favorites from the Minted Holiday collection. Oh and to avoid any mommy brain mistakes, please know that they do have designer review, proofing, and a final customer review. Phew…doesn’t get any better than that! I am so impressed by their hundreds of designs…honestly, I could look through their site forever (and just about did as I was getting inspiration for my own holiday card!).
Here are some of my favorite cards. I would love to hear your favorites as well! Oh and if anyone has any suggestions on how to get three kids to smile for holiday cards, I am all ears as well
I love this one, simple but such a classic look:
Another one, and loving the heart shape…and the option for multiple pictures (that might solve my problem!):
Copyright 2012 Mastering Mommy Brain. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPUBLICATION OR REDISTRIBUTION OF CONTENT, TEXT OR IMAGE, IN PART OR IN WHOLE IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM THE AUTHOR.