Friday, October 30, 2015

A Homemade Life: Spicy Pickled Carrots with Garlic and Thyme

One more day till Halloween!  And I still feel woefully behind.  Thatboy and I have big plans to carve pumpkins tonight, possibly the latest we have ever carved pumpkins!  But there just hasn't been time between birthday parties, trial, my mother-in-law visiting, adventures in Legoland and Seaworld.  It has been quite the busy month!

Pumpkins aside, we have been doing quite a bit of Halloween activities.  Including listening to Halloween music in the car, and watrhing a Halloween movie every night. We have fully indoctrinated Thatkid into loving the holiday as much as we do.  Perhaps moreso, since he's the one getting the candy, 

And of course, we've been to the pumpkin patch not once, but twice this year!  BA had his birthday party at the pumpkin patch again this year, which is always so much fun for the kids.

 I do love the fact that although we try to get together during the rest of the year, during October these kids see each other almost every week.  And it's always like they were never parted.

The pumpkin patch we go to for pumpkins is very traditional, and we love that about it.  But this patch is all about fun and games.  Thatkid had his first attempt at a carnival game!  And he did pretty well!

And there was plenty of room for these guys to run around trying to kill each other with inflatable toys.

And lots of rides to ride.  Together.  Which is so much more fun than going on rides with mom and dad.

BA's birthday parties always help us get into the Halloween spirit.  I am so ready for tomorrow!  The weather is even cooperating, as it cooled down yesterday a bit, with grey moody skies that just seem right.  I'm still trying to figure out what we're going to have for dinner, given that I can't remember the last time Halloween fell on a weekend and we weren't scrambling to eat before trick-or-treating.  I always think spicy seems right for a spooky holiday, and that means these carrots may play a starring role in tomorrow night's dinner.  I love pickled vegetables, and carrots have that same crunch that cucmbers get when you pickle them - a very satisfying mouthfeel.  These are also the perfect amount of heat.  You feel the burn, but it dissipates within minutes.  They are totally and completely addictive.  A true "trick" and then "treat."

Spicy Pickled Carrots with Garlic and Thyme (From a Homemade Life)
 2 cups apple cider vinegar, plus more for topping jars
2 cups water, plus more for topping jars
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 sprigs fresh thyme
5 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns, cracked
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Heaping 1 1/2 tsp salt
Heaping 2 tsps brown mustard seeds
1 1/2 lbs small carrots
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, thyme, garlic, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, salt, and mustard seeds.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat, and let cool for 5 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup vinegar.
  3. Put the carrots in a large, heatproof bowl, and pour the warm brine over them.  Cool to room temperature.
  4. While the carrots cool, wash 2 quart sized canning jars and their lids in warm soapy water.  When the carrots and brine are cool, distribute the carrots evenly among jars.
  5. Using a ladle, divide the brine evenly among the jars, completely covering the carrots with brine.  Seal and refrigerate for at least 3 days.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Homemade Life: Vanilla Black Pepper Ice Cream

October 2011 was THE month to have babies.  I noticed that when we first enrolled Thatkid in daycare there were 4 others in his class born within those few weeks. 

When he started at his new school, he made some more friends with October 2011 birthdays.  Which of course means our already full October weekends have gotten even more full!  This past weekend we had a birthday party on Saturday AND Sunday.

Saturday was a princess party.  Because while 3 year old boys love super heroes, 3 year old girls love princesses.

This particular girl loves Ariel.    Who happened to show up at the party.

While the little girls stood in awe of the mermaid, singing with her and adoring her, the boys were a little....unsure of how to react.

Luckily there was a table of goodies which kept the boys occupied.

Because dressing up isn't just for girls.

Because we had the race, we had to leave the party early.  I can only ask you to imagine the abject sadness expressed by Thatkid when he realized we were leaving before having any cake.  Poor kid.  I feel for him.  I mean, it's really not a birthday without cake, right?

Ice cream isn't a fair substitute, but it will have to do.  Especially since we're still dealing with summer heat around these parts.  The parents huddled under the shelter at the party, watching the kids play on the playground and commenting that it is far too hot for October. 

Vanilla gets a bad rap as far as flavors go, but in a lot of ways it's more complex than chocolate.  Done right, vanilla has intricacies and depth.  Paired with black pepper in this recipe helps to heighten the sweetness.  I know that sounds weird, because how can pepper make something sweeter?  That's the beauty of contrast.  Just like how these hot summer days inevitably will make the winter weather feel even colder - if that weather ever comes.

Vanilla-Black Pepper Ice Cream (From A Homemade Life)
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper

  1. In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the milk, 1 cup of the cream, sugar, and salt.  Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot and steaming.
  2. Meanwhile, pour remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and fill it about a third full with ice cubes.
  3. Add about 1 cup of cold water, so the ice cubes float.
  4. When the milk mixture is hot, remove it from the heat.  
  5. Let it sit for 30 seconds, then gradually, slowly pour about half into the yolks, whisking constantly.
  6. Pour the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan with the milk mixture.  Cook over medium low heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan slowly and constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the custard thickens enough to very lightly coat the spatula.
  7. Immediately pour the custard through the strainer, and stir well to combine with cream.  Place the bowl carefully in the ice bath.  Let cool, stirring occasionally.  Then remove the bowl from the ice bath, cover it with plastic wrap, and chill it completely.
  8. When you're ready to churn the ice cream, stir in the vanilla and the black pepper.
  9. Pour the custard into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions.  Transfer the finished ice cream to a container with a lid and put in the freezer to harden  for at least 2 hours.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Crave Wednesday: Pesto Sliders

My fridge gets out of control from time to time.  Especially when we're busy on the weekends.  Leftovers from during the week get stuck in there for weekend lunches, except we're not here to eat them!

Which means I'm trying to use them up during dinners - re-purposing if you will.  Which is how these pesto sliders came about.  The recipe calls for storebought pesto, but I had defrosted some for last week's pasta, so I used that.

The great thing about using pesto in just about anything is that you really don't need anything else.  It's by far one of my favorite condiments.  Toss it on a sandwich or a hamburger and voila!  No mayo or ketchup needed!  Even the meat needs little more than salt and pepper.

I also really like that these are cheeseburgers.  In that they have cheese.  And while normally I can give or take cheeseburgers, using freshly shaved parmesan always gets an A+ in my book.

Pesto Sliders (From Cooking Light)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb ground beef, extra lean
cooking spray
8 basil leaves
1 large plum tomato, cut into 8 slices
8 slider buns
2 Tbsp commercial refrigerated pesto
2 Tbsp shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  1.  Gently combine salt, pepper, and ground beef in a medium bowl.  Divide beef mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/4 inch thick patty.
  2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
  3. Place 1 basil leaf, 1 patty, and 1 tomato slice on bottom half of each bun.
  4. Top each with 3/4 tsp pesto, 3/4 tsp shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and top half of bun.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mommy Mondays: Galactagogues and a Giveaway!

My biggest hurdle with nursing has always been work.  Or rather, the fact that I work.  Because the fact that I work means my kids are at daycare during the day.  And my kids being at daycare during the day means that I have struggled with both Thatbaby and Thatkid and overfeeding.

Look, it happens.  It is ridiculously easy to overfeed a baby from a bottle.  Bottle feeding is inherently faster than breastfeeding, and their little brains don't get the message they're full.  Add to that it's easy to "shut a baby up"  by popping a bottle in his mouth.  With Thatkid, the biggest problem was that anytime he saw someone else with a bottle, he wanted one too.  (And to an extent, that's still an issue with my hungry monkey.)  Given that Thatbaby would be the only baby at his daycare, I thought we would avoid this issue.  And we have, and yet he still eats 25-50% more than he does at home.

The problem with this is that I really have to struggle to keep up with what he eats at daycare.  At home, he eats about every 3 hours.  At work, I pump about every 3 hours.  And yet I'm always a couple ounces short at the end of the day.

For many, this would lead to supplementing with formula.  And there's nothing wrong with that, except I'm cheap and lazy. And formula is more expensive and more labor intensive than breastfeeding.

Which brings me to the topic of galactagogues.  Say it out loud, it's one of those really fun words.  And it makes me feel like an astronaut.  Or space cowboy.  Or something.  Galactagogues are dietary supplements that help promote milk making.  (Sidenote - I'm pretty sure these only work if you're already lactating, so don't worry about squirting milk if these are in your diet already.)

Oatmeal is a BIG galactagogue!  And easy to work into your diet.  Especially with the colder months rolling in.  Makes the perfect breakfast with an added bonus!

I also start every morning with lactation tea and an herbal supplement,.  There are a couple companies that make lactation teas, but the two I rotate between are Gaia and Traditional Medicinals.

As for herbal supplements, right now I stick with the basic Fenugreek.  But with Thatkid I often used More Milk Plus.  Bonus - Fenugreek makes you smell like maple syrup.  A lot of people think that's a bad thing, but really?  Thatboy loves pancakes, so smelling like one works for me!

So those were the galactagogues I used to keep up my supply when I was nursing Thatkid.  This time around I've added something else.  After Thatbaby's one week appointment, I brought him in to the office to show off visit.  We ran out of diapers while there (rookie mom move!) so went into the store across the street to pick some up.  And they just happened to be sampling lactation cookies that day.

Lactation cookies?  Yes, just what they sound like.  Cookies filled with galactagogues.  (Like oatmeal and fenugreek!)  I'd heard of the concept before, but how do you find a tried and true recipe? 

There are so many things I love about The Bent Elbow.  First and foremost, I love the fact that it's the creation of two Southern California moms (sisters!).  It makes me feel good to support local businesses, especially those run by women.

I also love how easy they make it.  No finding recipes.  No buying weird ingredients (because I do not keep Brewers Yeast in my pantry!).  And for me, I don't have to go far to find it since they sell the mixes so close to my office.  (You know, that place that's causing this whole mess to begin with?)  And if you don't happen to work with me, they make it easy by having an online shop.  THEY SEND THE MIXES TO YOU!  Still sound too hard?  (I know, when you have small children even 20 minutes to make cookies can be hard to find)  You can buy the cookies ready made!

But most importantly, it works.  I'm always a skeptic, and really, I'm already dosing on galactagogues, so how much could these little cookies help?  Welp, I'm excited to say they do!  After 1 week I was able to meet Thatbaby's needs at school.  (Disclosure - since that time period she's upped his ounces at daycare and so I've had to add in an extra pumping session at night, but at least it's only one pumping session!)

And now you can try out these phenomenal cookies.  The sweet ladies at The Bent Elbow are giving me a mix to share with you!  Just enter below.  And happy....milking?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday Runday: Surfing Madonna

This race gets me every year.  I love this race, but every year it manages to be a giant cluster.....well, you know where I'm going with this.

This year was going to be different.  Thatkid was older, so he wouldn't be such a mess, waking up from his nap to run it. He could nap after, on the way home!  Plus now he's a race pro.  And because Thatbaby was going to be with us, we'd have the stroller.  So even if Thatkid got tired, he could hope on the stroller.

Kink #1 - TMIL planned her October trip the week of the race, and wasn't leaving until the day after.  And TMIL is not a racers.  No way she could do 3 miles.

Kink #2- Thatkid got invited to a friend's birthday the morning of the race.

No problem.  I'm supermom.  We can do everything!  Except that never works out. 

I planned to leave the party at noon, giving us an hour to get to the race before the 1pm start time.  Except when noon rolled around, Thatboy first started taking Thatkid around to say goodbyes and use the restroom.  And Thatkid decided he hated girls and didn't want to say goodbye.  So we didn't actually hit the road until 12:20.  At 12:48 we were still on the freeway and Thatbaby, who has been phenomenal in the car lately, decided today was the day he was going to scream the entire trip.  So Thatboy dropped the 3 of us off at the start and took his mother to locate a parking spot.  He was then going to set her up somewhere on the beach and then come and join us on the race course.

We got out of the car, I strapped Thatbaby on so he could nurse, pinned Thatkid's race bib on, and we headed to the start as they announced "90 seconds until we start."

The gun went off, and so did we!

But because I was nursing Thatbaby, instead of having him in the stroller, there was no running.  Once he finished nursing, I ran a little with Thatkid who, because he hadn't napped and was in a mood, began crying he was tired, wanted his dad, wanted the stroller, wanted to go home.  We pushed on, walking, with promises that once we got to the turnaround, and started heading back, I'm sure we'd run into Thatboy.  1.5 miles is a long time when your soundtrack is constant whining.    Well, 1.4 miles.  Just before the turnaround, Thatboy caught up with us.  And from then on it, it was smooth sailing.

Almost.  I mean, I hadn't been expecting to wear Thatbaby at all during the race, let alone for the whole thing!

What I will say about the race is that it has completely hit it's stride.  This is the 3rd year of the Surfing Madonna, and having run it every year I can say with certainty that this was the best year.  It was organized much better than previous years, even down to starting on time!  And the course, which usually had you turn around before halfway, then run past the finish, turn around again and head up to the finish was much improved.  A straight shot down the beach for 1.5 miles, turn around and head back.

And the medal this year was huge!  Easily as large as Thatkid's head!

So next year, I'll definitely be back.  And with a 1 year old in tow, you can almost guarantee it will be another disaster!

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Homemade Life: Pistacho Cake with Honeyed Apricots

Happy Friday y'all!  There is never a week I'm not thankful for Friday, but some weeks I'm more thankful than others.  Like this week.

This week I've had 7 hour long meetings, long days in court, and looming deadlines to take care of.  On top of all of that, my mother in law has been in town. 

Nerves are pretty frayed over here right now.  And fuses are short.  Nothing that a nice relaxing weekend couldn't cure, but there will be no relaxing weekends around here.  It is, after all, October.  Which means we have 2 birthday parties, a race, mother in law is still here.

Since inserting a straw into a bottle of tequila isn't socially acceptable, I vote we bury ourselves in cake.  Nothing too fancy, because the last thing I've got time for now is perfecting layers and fussy frosting.  Just some sweet apricots, made sweeter with honey, in a pistachio base.  And tonight?  We're going out for dinner!

Pistachio Cake with Honeyed Apricots (From A Homemade Life)
3/4 shelled raw pistacios
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking pwoder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
5 ripe apricots, halved and pitted
1 Tbsp honey

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter a 9-inch round cake pan, and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.  Butter the paper, then dust the pan lightly with flour.  In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the pistachios until very finely ground.  
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt, and pulse once or twice to mix.
  3. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, mixing at low speed to just combine.  Pour the batter into the cake pan, and shake the pan a bit to ensure that the batter is evenly spread.
  7. Arrange the apricots cut side up on a cutting board or countertop.  
  8. Using the tip of your finger, smear a blob of honey into the center of each, dividing it evenly among the ten halves.  Gently arrange them cut side up on top of the batter.
  9. Slide the cake into the oven, and bake 35-40 minutes.  Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around the edge and release the sides of the pan. Continue to cool the cake until ready to serve.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Homemade Life: Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

By now y'all know I'm a sucker for a Halloween event.  So when I saw Sea World was doing a Halloween Spooktacular, I knew we had to attend.  Especially after the fun we had at Legoland.

The only problem was, I had to work pretty much all weekend.  So I decided that instead of an evening affair, we would take advantage of the fact that the event started at 11am so I could get a couple hours in before heading to work.

The park was decorated for the Spooktacular, with a special area dedicated to Halloween costumed characters, a dance floor, and Halloween activities.

But it wasn't just limited to this area, there were fun Halloween decorations everywhere!

Even the animal exhibits were all decked out for the holiday.

And throughout SeaWorld were little trick-or-treat stations where they would hand out candy to the kids.

I'm not sure if it was because of how over-the-top Legoland was, but I was a little disappointed by this event.  There were so few kids in costume that Thatkid asked to take his off fairly soon after we got in. 

And while Thatkid was happy with all the candy, I was a little spoiled by the mixture of candy and some healthier snacks we had picked up the week before.

But I did enjoy spending time with my boys.

And in order to hit up all the treat stands, we ended up seeing parts of SeaWorld we'd never ventured to before.  And meeting new animal friends.

I spent the rest of the weekend working, not coming home until late at night, leaving the boys to fend for themselves.  To an extent.  Because when I'm gone, I try to leave food that's easy for Thatboy to heat up and serve, and something I know Thatkid will gobble down.  Like pasta.  Most places are probably at the end of basil season, but since it's been so warm here, I can still pick it up easily.  For the rest of the world, pesto is one of those things that freezes beautifully.  I like to freeze it in ice cube trays so I can defrost just what I need!

"Zoodles" or zucchini noodles are all the range these days with fancy schmancy spiralizers being marketed everywhere you turn.  I actually prefer these easy mandoline version, mixed with spaghetti instead of an alternative to spaghetti.  It adds some great veggies into the meal while keeping the satisfying bite of al dente pasta.

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto (From A Homemade Life)
2 cups tightly packed basil leaves, washed and dried well
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp pine nuts
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 medium zucchini, trimmed
3 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 lb dried spaghetti
finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
  1. Put the basil leaves in a large heavy-duty ziplock plastic bag.  Press all the air from the bag, and seal it carefully.  Put the bag on the countertop and using a rolling pin, pound the bag until all the leaves are bruised.
  2. Put the pounded basil, olive oil, pin nuts, garlic, and salt in the bowl of  a food processor. Process to a smooth, creamy consistency,.  Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
  3. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  4. Put a large pot of salted water over high heat.  While the water heats, prepare the zucchini.  Using a mandoline slicer  fitted with the julienne blade, carefully slice the zucchini into long, skinny noodles, each the width of a strand of spaghetti.
  5. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the zucchini "noodles" and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy, 5 to 8 minutes.
  6. When the pot of water boils, drop in the spaghetti.  Cook until al dente.  Using a pair of long--handled tongs, scoop the pasta directly from the pot into the skillet of cooked zucchini.Add 1/2 cup of the pesto and toss the mixture well to ensure that each noodle has a thin, even coat of sauce.
  7. Serve immediately with additional salt and lots of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Crave Wednesday: Out-n-In California Burgers

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  Because we're friends.  But really, we have to keep it between just us, because  they may repeal my California citizenship if it were ever to come out.  

*whispers* I'm not a fan of In 'n Out.

It's downright heretical.  If you've heard of this fast food chain, chances are it's in awed, reverent tones.  People make a point to visit the burger joint whenever they're in the area. Thatboy adores the place.

They make a claim that it's fresh, cheap, and quality beef.  But really, I don't find a difference between it and every other fast food chain out there.  It's a flat thin patty sandwiched between a tasteless bun.  

I love thick and juicy burgers, which is hard to find at most chain fast food establishments.  So for me, this knock off is a superior alternative.  I would much prefer a homemade patty I can really sink my teeth into. Especially one with avocado, which isn't found on an actual In n Out burger.
Out-n-In California Burgers (from Cooking Light)
 3 Tbsp ketchup]
2 Tbsp canola mayonnaise
2 tsp sweet pickle relish
 1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
cooking spray
4 thin slices reduced-fat cheddar cheese
4 green leaf lettuce leaves
4 hamburger buns
8 slices tomato
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
8 dill pickle chips
4 slies red onion
  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Divide beef into 4 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2 inch thick patty.  Press thumb into center of each patty, leaving a nickle sized indentation.
  3. Sprinkle patties evenly with salt and pepper.  Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.
  4.  Add patties to pan and cook 3 minues on each side.
  5. Top each patty with 1 cheese slice, cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts and patties are desired degree of doneness.
  6. Place 1 lettuce leaf on bottom half of each hamburger bun.
  7. Top with 2 tomato slices, 1 patty, about 2 avocado slices, 2 pickle chips, 1 onion slice, and 1 1/2 Tbsp sauce, and top half of bun.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mommy Mondays: 4 months with 2 kids

Do y'all remember when I used to do "a day in the life" posts when Thatkid was teeny tiny?  I love reading those, and I love seeing how other people manage to fit things in to their day.  Just in case anyone else enjoys those, I thought I'd share how an every day goes with a 4 month old and a 2 month old.

3:20am: Thatbaby is up to eat.  I feed him and put him back in bed.  Where he wakes up.  Ready to roll for the day.  This does not work for me.

4:00: I tag in Thatboy so he can get Thatbaby back to sleep and I can get a little more sleep before my alarm goes off.

5:00: My alarm goes off for the day.  I shower, get dressed, do my hair and makeup, and pack up the car.

My bags: Cooler bag for bottles at work, bag with running clothes, lunch box, work bag, pump bag, bottle bag for Thatbaby's daycare.

5:40: I'm all ready for work, and neither of the boys is up.  Yay!  This means I can crawl back into bed (clothes and all) and sleep for a little bit longer.

6:00: Thatboy's alarm goes off.

6:30: I wake up Thatbaby for the morning so I can get another feed in before we leave the house.

At some point during this feeding, Thatkid wakes up.  Usually he comes in and hangs out with Thatbaby and I. but today he heads to the bathroom where Thatboy is showering and sticks with him for the morning.

6:48: I get Thatbaby dressed for the morning while Thatkid dresses with Thatboy.

7:15: We are all dressed and ready to go!

7:28: Everyone is strapped in the car, Thatkid is munching on his breakfast bagel, and I realize that I left Thatbaby's pacifier in the house.  I run back in and grab it.

7:30: We are finally on our way!

7:45: Arrive at Thatbaby's daycare.  I pop his bottles in the fridge, we give him a big hug and kiss and we're on our way.

7:56:  Arrive at Thatkid's preschool.  We put his stuff in his cubby, big hug and kiss, and I'm on my way.

8:01: I hit the road for work.  This morning I'm heading to a deposition instead of the office.  This is also my breakfast time and I snack on an apple muffin I made over the weekend.

8:35: I arrive at the location for the deposition and head in.

9:51: The deposition is concluded.  I head out and hook myself up to the pump so I can pump as I drive back to the office.

10:30: Quick pit stop on my way to work to pick up some more Fenugreek since I'm all out.

10:43: Pitstop over.  Head into the office.

10:51: Arrive at work.  Today is all about drafting oppositions to motions.  Yay for the week before trial!

1:07pm: I combine my next pumping break with lunch.  Some steak, a meat pastie, popcorn, and some chocolate chip banana bread I also made over the weekend.

1:23: I get word that I have a late meeting the next day so I call Thatboy to see if he can pick up the kids.

4:00: Another pump break.  I snack on some rice cakes while I pump.

4:34: Time to go!  I head out of work and home to pick up the boys.  I love my drive home.  I get to drive through the forest!

5:14: Arrive at Thatbaby's daycare.  He is always happy to see me.

5:27: Arrive at Thatkid's preschool.  He is also happy to see me, but happier to see his brother.

5:43: We arrive home.  Usually we get home before Thatboy, but today he took the early bus home and was there to greet us when we arrived.

Thatboy entertains the troops while I heat up dinner.

6:04: Thatboy gives Thatbaby a bath and gets him ready for bed while Thatkid and I have dinner.

6:17: SWITCH!  Thatboy comes out and has dinner with Thatkid while I nurse Thatbaby and put him to sleep.

6:57: I come back out and finish my dinner.

7:08: Thatboy gives Thatkid a bath and gets him ready for bed while I turn on some Michael Franti and do some laundry.

7:16: Dishes round 1!  All of Thatbaby's bottles as well as our lunch boxes.

7:34: I start making lunches for Thatboy and I when Spiderman comes out to let me know he's ready for bed.

7:49: Thatboy and I curl up on the bed with Thatkid and read him a bedtime story.  Tonight he decides it's my turn to read.

7:57: I'm back finishing up lunches. French toast, some salami slices, blackberries and kiwi, and a couple cookies.

8:06: I start prepping dinner for the next night so it's all ready after work.  Thatboy puts on The Arrow and I listen to it while I chop and cook.

8:30: I do a little Blogilates while we watch television.

9:00:  Dinner is done, so I do dishes Round 2 - all the dishes from making lunches and dinners.

9:20: Sit down and pump for the last time of the day.  We catch up on Bob's Burgers.

9:45: Dishes round 3!  All the pump pieces.

9:57: I put the laundry in the dryer and head to bed.