IT’S A……….

First family of 5 picture!

First family of 5 picture!

This afternoon we had the great joy of seeing Baby C #3 via routine ultrasound. I have to say this is one of my most favorite parts of pregnancy. Ultrasounds are so clear nowadays that you can make out baby’s lips, limbs, toes, fingers, organs, heart, brain, and of course GENDER!  However, Baby C #3 will remain just that; a BABY. As with G and L’s pregnancies, we chose not to find out the gender. 🙂

We had to make the ultrasound appointment for the latest time available, which was only 4pm, and of course they had no openings on Wednesdays (my scheduled day off). So we opted for a Tuesday, and J had to leave school as fast as he could to make it. The ultrasound tech was great and did a complete re-cap for J when he arrived of anything he had missed. Aunt Mel happily obliged to go along and see Baby C #3 and help keep G and L in line. I loved having her there and G and L behaved quite well!

Baby C #3 was quite cooperative, and all his/her body parts were very visible. We got a whole packet of sweet pictures and everything looked great!

 

So cute!

So cute!

 

After that we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. The baby was craving wings (usually is!), it was 60 cent wing night, I had a gift card, and the service was incredibly fast! What more can you ask for?

L had to chose the 'Wing Man' hat. Hahaha!

L had to chose the ‘Wing Man’ hat. Hahaha!

J had to return to school to tie up some loose ends from the day, so I took the kiddos home. We listed to G repeatedly sing a chorus from one of his songs he learned at a VBS until it became suspiciously quiet in the backseat. He was out like a light. Figures.

At home I gave the kids a bath and we watched a few minutes of “Extreme Weight Loss”.  G and L proceeded to tell me that they love to exercise, with G’s favorites being pushups and riding his bike. So proud!

I have tomorrow ‘off’, but the kids and I have another busy day of preschool physicals, work lunch meeting, then family church pictures in the evening. Whew. Oh and I scoped out another couple gallons of tomatoes ready in the garden and there are 4 loads of laundry/diapers to fold……..

Have a great week!

-The {growing} Costello’s

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Freezer cooking for August: take 2

L multitasks while picking tomatoes

L multitasks while picking tomatoes

I did a bit more freezer cooking this weekend, and based on the response from my last freezer cooking post, I thought I’d share again what yumminess is hanging out in the freezer.  🙂

All this food sure isn’t going to last us till Baby C #3 is here, but it sure does help! I did some breakfast foods and other random stuff that is useful (and delicious!)

Tomato Basil Bisque  (due to the abundance of tomatoes in my garden still!)

Breakfast egg, ham, and cheese muffins  (one of J’s favorites)

Oatmeal craisin breakfast cookies   (used craisins in place of raisins) (quadrupled the recipe)

Freezer whole wheat waffles  (doubled the recipe)

THE chocolate chip cookie  (new recipe from a friend–delish!! Did not get enough made for the freezer since G and J are expert cookie dough eaters) (should have doubled the recipe!!)

Also browned up 4 lbs of ground pork to use for whatever…..spaghetti, tacos, sloppy joes, etc. I just threw it all in a small roaster I have, and left it to cook for a few hours, stirring 3-4 times. I do it on the deck so it doesn’t heat up the house!

Tomato soup while simmering

Tomato soup while simmering

Tomato soup after a little food processor action. Done!

Tomato soup after a little food processor action. Done!

A dozen healthy 'mcmuffins'

A dozen healthy ‘mcmuffins’

Yum!

Yum!

These are all really quick and easy recipes, other than the bisque 😉

Enjoy and please share any other great freezer recipes you all know!

Have a great week!

-The {growing} Costello’s

 

 

 

 

The freezer stash

The month marks the 1 year anniversary of beginning our freezer meal exchange group in my mom’s group. Corney that I know the anniversary of this? Yes, very much so.  Ironically, our group is not meeting this month due to several people being out of town.  I usually make a few additional meals for our own freezer stash to get us through the month, and today I thought I’d change my family blog to a food/cooking blog entry and share with all you other foodies what’s hiding out in my freezer this month.  I did a big cooking day Sunday and it really only took me a few hours, which I was happy with. I got 10 meals socked away in that time! Boo-yah!

10 meals in!

10 meals in!

This may seem like a lot of work for a preggo mommy, but I cannot tell you how much time, stress, and headache this saves me during the week. A lot of what I make is crock pot friendly, so J or I just pop it in in the morning and it’s done (sometimes overdone!) by the time we get home. Otherwise I just throw the meal in the oven about 2 hrs before we want to eat and it’s done in perfect time. I make large batches so we usually have leftovers or enough if someone stops by. I have acquired a pretty good list of freezer recipes but I’m always looking at more!

Can’t say my house is in as good of shape as my freezer right now. J is doing some last minute planning for his first day of teaching and I tried to keep the kids occupied in the middle of all the prep work. They did bubbles on the deck, playdoh, had popsicles, colored, and made a gigantic fort in the living room, in addition to spreading their toys alllllllll over the house.

Recipe links here:

Man Pleasing Chicken (I made 2 of these)

Creamy chipotle black bean chicken

Tomato tortellini soup

Apple pie pork chops and stuffing

Baked ziti with pork and ‘hidden zucchini’ (I made 2 of these)  ** Had this for dinner and was really good! Omitted a lot of the cheese though**

Chicken cacciatore (I made 2 of these)

Pork roast with apples and onions

I modify a lot of these recipes, add veggies, etc.

Enjoy!

This mama is headed for the couch!

Have a great week!

-The {growing} Costello’s

The truth about date nights

Last night Jeremiah and I got the rare chance to go out on a date. Before we got married, dates were once or twice every week and expensive! After we got married and I was in grad school, dates were a little less frequent and MUCH cheaper! Now that we have 2 kiddos and 1 on the way, date nights are few and far between. I am partly okay with this, as I love to spend as much time with our kids as possible, and sometimes feel like family time is more do-able. But, I love having time to spend just with Jeremiah and we do cherish date nights!

Cut to the chase. Last night we had a date night, probably the first in several months that did not involve a scheduled function or having the kids along with us. I was telling J in the car how I always romanticize  date nights, picturing something much more grand and elaborate than actually happens. I always enjoy date nights, no matter what we do, but things are just different once you have a brood of kids and not always the most time to just sit and do nothing. If you don’t know what I mean, consider my musings below:

-Date night ‘dream’: Kiddlets will be bathed, fed and ready for a relaxing and fun evening with their sitter (usually an aunt, uncle, or grandparent) by the time we are ready to leave.

-Date night ‘truth’: Kiddlets are frantically rounded up into the car, after being woken maybe a bit too early from naps.  I have diapers, pj’s, money, snacks packed. We take a detour to check out a newly listed acreage and arrive 45 mins later than expected to family’s house who have graciously loaned us their evening time to hang with the kids.

-Date night ‘dream’: Dinner is elaborate, fancy and accompanied with drinks, appetizer, dessert and good conversation in a relaxing environment.

-Date night ‘truth’: We arrive to our reservation only 5 mins late (not too bad, right!?) after J gives me a drive-by tour of his new school where he will be teaching. We order right away, and I can hardly wait to eat as the baby inhabiting my belly has become quite the eater in the past few weeks. Food comes and good conversation comes to a halt for about 10 mins as I devour my food and then wonder where the closest good ice cream shop is……  Dinner is a bit cheaper than we used to do in the dating days, but ever-so delicious, maybe more so.

-Date night ‘dream’: The rest of the date night consists of something ‘daters’ do; a winery, walk along the river, movie, coffeehouse/ice cream parlor,  mini-golf, whatever.

-Date night ‘truth’: The rest of the date night is focused on getting some things accomplished without 2 extra little ones tagging along. We look for more teaching clothes for J (since his school starts class on Monday!) , fall clothes for kids, and we get groceries together.  I know, kinda lame. But doing things this way was much more enjoyable and less time consuming. The other alternative was to go after church the next day and that tends to get hairy. J got a bunch of new threads and we got in and out of the grocery store in record time.  We ran into several people we know; a previous CC runner of J’s, a past coworker of J’s, and an associate at Kohl’s who was just infatuated with my baby bump, to name a few. And we got ice cream 🙂

-Date night ‘dream’: Home at a decent time, kids in bed before we get there, and we all get well-rested for the next day.

-Date night ‘truth’: Shopping got a little long winded, and we didn’t end up picking up the kids until after 10:30pm. We got the report for the evening that the kids had a blast, but Lucy threw up all over her grandpa and seems feverish. She has not been feeling well since about 9pm. We take the naked Lucy, Gabriel, a bag of puked on  clothes, and our car full of $200 of groceries home and unpack it all, getting to bed around midnight. Whose idea was the groceries, anyways!?

I digress.  Our date nights are not always like this and don’t end with a puking child. We love any time we get with each other, no matter what we do.

To make things better, the kids were up at 6am today and Lucy proceeded to dry heave. 😦  Sorrry about the gorey details, but you all will be happy to know she is feeling much better and has not gotten sick today.  We are hoping it’s just a 24 hr bug.

I'm cute!

I’m cute!

Have a great week!  And go out on a date night with your significant other or spouse! You never know what adventures are in store!  😉

-The {growing} Costello’s

The joy of a rest

Tomorrow, I’m 21 weeks pregnant with Baby C #3.  And I’m beginning to realize that I’m not as young as I was 2 and 4 years ago, when I was last pregnant, meaning that pregnancy is taking a bit more of a toll on me this time around.  In short, I’m tired. By the end of a work day, I’m exhausted.  I mean SPENT.  On days that I work, getting something for the kids to eat and walking to the couch is about the extent of my activity for the evening.  Days at home are better, but still very, very tiring.  Having 2 to run after instead of 0 or 1 is different, but I think there’s something more to it.

That being said, I’m sitting down on this BEAUTIFUL Saturday afternoon and taking a rest.  I have my first batch of homemade spaghetti sauce in the crock pot (veggies from my garden!), I’m watching J wash and wax our new (to us!) Expedition, G is entertaining himself by making an obstacle course out of random things in the yard (he is a PT’s son!!!) and L is napping.  🙂

8 seats....gas mileage not as impressive ;)

8 seats….gas mileage not as impressive 😉

Yes, we got a big SUV.  J has been driving it to work this week and he loves it. We have driven it with the kids a few times and, man!, is there room in there! It seats 8 and without the 3rd row the back is huge. What I love about it is that it does not feel like driving a school bus. I can drive, park, and switch lanes without feeling like I’m going to hit someone or something, which is not something I can say about some of the others we test drove. It was very well-maintained by it’s previous owner who’s father just happened to be a mechanic.  *yes!*  3 carseats will easily fit across the 2nd row or we can add the 3rd row for even more bodies or to spread out the kids. Seems we frequently could use the extra space 🙂 Works great!!!!  And my favorite feature: it’s paid for! Hooray!  We will probably have to add something like a van or Flex in the next while and eliminate my beloved Zephyr, but for now it should work.

Snoozing in the backseat after the fair

Snoozing in the backseat after the fair

We ventured the Expedition to the Mississippi Valley Fair this week. It’s a Costello family tradition and a lot of the kids in the family show animals. Ours are not old enough to show yet, but we still go and have a good time. The kids rode a few rides, enjoyed all the various shows and booths and face painting!  We watched some cousins show cattle and ate yumminess at the family picnic. G got to handmake a rope and they both ate more ice cream cones than any child should ingest, courtesy of Papa Bart. 😉 Great day!  Gabriel has been asking daily since then to go back to the fair, guess we’ll have to start 4-H sooner than we think……   And if you want your children to sleep from 6pm to 7am, just take them to the fair for the day, works like a charm 😉

Wahoooo!

Wahoooo!

Superman!!!

Superman!!!

Had to have something princess, so we settled on a princess crown

Had to have something princess, so we settled on a princess crown

G attended his 3rd VBS this week in the evenings and had a ball. It was at a smaller church in town, and they had a really adorable closing ceremony on Friday night that I did not cry sobbed while watching. I’m blaming the pregnancy hormones, but really it was just touching to see our little man up there singing “Jesus loves me” along with other songs and acting {mostly} respectable. While he was busy with that in the evenings, L and I had time to play babies, princess, and dress up. All the girl stuff she just loves. And she insists on wearing layers upon layers of outfits at once. Cracks me up!

Miss L :)

Miss L 🙂

Have a great week!

The {growing} Costello’s