Last week I bought Life’s On Fire: Cooking for the Rushed by Sandi Richard. It’s a recipe book/meal planner that lists out a set of 5 meals for the week that are cooked in 30-60 minutes. I’ve been very excited all weekend to start it, and I’ve just finished my grocery shopping (they even make grocery lists for you, so you’re not trying to think about what you have to get from the store, plus then you only have to make one trip, rather than 20). What I also love about the grocery lists (besides that you can print them off the site so you don’t have to take the book to the store) is that it’s grouped according to area, like they list all the meat together, all the dairy, etc. The book has been put together exceptionally well, with wonderful lists and symbols and the like. The recipies are written left to right (instructions beside the ingredients, rather than having to scan up and down), and each step is labelled “carb” “protein” or “vegetable”, so you know what you’re working on, and it’s easy to omit the stuff that you don’t eat (if you’re a vegetarian, or something). She also lists all the equipment you need, how long it should take you (including prep time, and then a total time) and even gives out the nutritional information for each meal. The nutritional information is even broken down into food exchanges, so a diabetic can easily read what they need to know without having to do the math in their own heads. She even specifies which “cheat” foods to use to help make things easier (like instant potatoes instead of peeling, cooking and mashing potatoes – if you have the time to cook them, she says to go for it, but if you’re truly strapped for time? You just won’t do it).
I’ll let you know how this first week goes. This week we’re eating Sweet & Tangy Chicken with Rice and California Vegetables, Beef Enchilada Casserole with Tomato-Avocado Salad, Teriyaki Chicken Toss with Spaghettini Pasta, Glazed Pork Chops with Rice and Asparagus, Lean Meatballs in Mushroom Gravy with Mashed Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables. Like I said, I’m looking forward to it!
While on the topic of food, I just bought an Avent manual breast pump. My milk supply has been slowly waning, and with Kitten being a fussy nurser lately which doesn’t help. She pulls off the breast a lot, which frustrates both of us. It might be because my flow is too slow, her teeth are bugging her (the massage of my nipple pulling through her breast might make her gums feel better) or because she’s distracted. Regardless, it’s having an effect on my milk production, and I am not ready to make the switch to straight formula yet. I’ve been pumping for three or four minutes on each side after I nurse, or at least until the milk stops coming out. I tried it with three feedings today, and I got an additional 1 ounce that we fed to her in addition to her nightly bottle. Um, make that bottles. She seems to be eating a lot more than just one bottle lately, tonight she had 7 ounces in addition to nursing! I think she’s going through a growth spurt, so hopefully this tapers out a bit.
The breast pump seems to work pretty good, and works reasonably well with one hand on the pump and one hand holding the breast. I think that it would be easier with an electric one, but certainly no faster.
We also picked Kitten up that Spin & Explore Garden Gym that I was talking about last post. Kitten adores it. She grabs on to the mat, turns her self, and makes crawling motions. It is so adorable, and she will stay in it for quite a lot longer than she would normally be on her tummy. I hope that she’ll strengthen her arms quite a bit, so she’ll be able to push up better. She seems to have the back arch down pretty well, but needs to work on the arm movements. She has rolled over, but hasn’t done it since mid-October. I’m not really sure why, but there you go.
I’m very excited, I get to see my Carolyn tomorrow! We are going to go shopping (because I need that like I need another hole in the head), and I am looking forward to it! But that means that I should get to bed so I am well rested in the morning!