October Freezer Plan

So I’m 32 weeks pregnant. I’m sore. I hurt. I’m not getting much done. But we all still gotta eat.

Having fun!

Having fun!

The following is a list of my October freezer meals, all of which I have made except for one (hooray!).  Shopping was supposed to be done Friday, but the getting-new-cellphones-shenanigans took longer than expected and I ended up going solo with the kids on Saturday.  I put J to work on Sunday night and we ultimately completed the meals over the weekend, just spread out a bit more than I like.  I don’t seem to be tolerating much activity  at a time, so I’m trying to do better at breaking things into smaller chunks. Since it’s getting cold outside (48 deg tomorrow!), I added a lot of comfort foods this month, and I lost a lot of the websites (oops!):

Cheesy Texas Bake (doubled)

General Tso’s Crock Pot Chicken

Slow Cooked Shepherd’s Pie

Slow Cooker chicken with apple and sweet potato (doubled)

Creamy Onion Lasagna

Taco soup (doubled)

Burrito Lasagna

Spaghetti pie (doubled)

Crock Pot Cider Cranberry Chicken

Crock Pot Chicken Divan

Crock Pot Chunky Chicken Soup

Crock Pot Pork a l’Orange

By the way, where have these been all my cooking life? My new favorite thing!:


That’s all I got for now.

Have a great week!

-The {growing} Costellos

Leaving the dark (desirable?) age

Our House of Costello is one of somewhat an anomaly. In this age of speed, technology, and data, we are very low-tech.

We do not/have not ever had cable/dish/satellite. If we watch TV, it’s on a local station picked up by a digital antenna, or we watch a movie. Guess what? I’m ok with that.

We do not use GPS. If we are going somewhere unknown, we print out directions from Google map or *gasp* use a map/gazeteer. We don’t usually use GPS for running either, we count by country miles.  I’m ok with that.

We do not have an iPad or tablet, and we own 1 laptop. We *share* it, and our kids only use it when they are on our lap, usually for something like looking at pictures I’ve taken of them. I’m ok with that.

We do not have iTunes or anything like that. I got a MP3 player for Christmas last year and use it occasionally when I run. Really, I prefer the quiet and time with whatever runs across my road. I’m ok with that.

We get new phones only when absolutely necessary. I have had my phone for 3 years now, I believe. We are probably the last people in America that do not have smartphones….until now.

We spent the last week trying to decide what to do. J’s phone is on its last, I mean very last, leg.  I’m fine with my current un-smart phone, but kind of envy the convenience of a smartphone. But,  I feel like once you go to smart, you can’t go back. And I DON’T want to be one of those people glued to their phone at all times.  I kind of like being able to get away from everything when I want to.  We decided that eventually we will probably be the last people in the modern world without them, so we might as well bite the bullet now and get it over with.

Many hours at Verizon and USCellular stores and hundreds of dollars later, enter 2 new Samsung Galaxy 4’s, Samsung’s newest smartphone….that can do everything. They call it a ‘life companion’ which kinda weirds me out.  I’m still on the fence whether I want to make nice with it or not.

This year for Christmas I was talking to J about possibly getting the kiddos a tablet to share. I changed my mind. Our kids are getting legos, games, books, other mind/brain building things; things that encourage creativity, especially since that’s what they are into anyways.  I really want my kids to be the ones to break the mold. The ones who have been to all the state parks but don’t know how to take a picture with Instagram. The ones who know how to harvest tomatoes and dig potatoes but don’t know what the heck a gigabyte is. The ones who can make a whole city out of cardboard boxes but aren’t quite sure who Siri is. The ones who can run trails with their mom and dad but had to read a map to find how to get them there.  I’m ok with that.

I digress, there are pros and cons to the ‘smart’ age that we live in. I guess it’s just finding a balance with it all.

Someday, they will need to learn more about technology and use it for their everyday, day-to-day activities {probably in a few short years, as a lot of kindergarten classes around here have 1 to 1 iPads….}. Until then, I want them to be less-tech than most. I want them to be KIDS!

So that is one of the main reasons we have never gotten smartphones.

So far, I’ve downloaded some apps, had some trouble figuring out how to answer an incoming call {yes, call me old lady now…}, and mistyped many words on the touchscreen {I had real buttons before!}.  I downloaded 2 apps for each of the kids and a few personal ones that I think are quite convenient.

I guess the S4 and I can be friends, for now. 😉

Have a great week!

-The {growing} Costellos

Life Lately

In a lot of the blogs that I follow, the post titled ‘Life Lately’ appears when the writer has had a lapse in posts and wants to write about what’s going on in their life and give reason as to why they haven’t written in awhile.  Guess what? I’m following suit. 😉

In our life lately here’s what has been going on:

Lucy decided to potty train!! {Enter resounding choir of angels singing—Hallelujah!} This is a big deal, people. You see, I/we have been cloth diapering for 4.5 YEARS without a break in there.  For a time of 8 months, I had 2 kiddos in cloth diapers and was washing them every other day. It’s a happy day 🙂

She chose on last Saturday to wear princess undies instead of her diapers. In her eyes, if princesses grace anything, it is beyond cool.  She has been sporadically using the potty for several months, and we kinda decided it was time. She can speak her mind in full sentences, is able to dress herself, and clearly understands what using the bathroom means. When I suggested undies, she was all about it. When I asked her what we should do with her cloth diapers, she suggested we give them to ‘new baby’. And that was that. She has been doing really good and we are so proud of her!  She has recently become obsessed with being/pretending/seeing our midwife and we have to play it out frequently at home. We saw our midwife last week and she was beyond thrilled to help out with listening to the baby’s heartbeat and measuring my belly, along with holding my hand while I had to get the Rhogam shot {ouch!}.

Waiting for midwife Kim to come in!

Waiting for midwife Kim to come in!

Gabriel absolutely LOVES preschool. It has really given him a chance to grow in a way where he is thriving. He enjoys his class, all the little extra activities and visitors, units that they study and, of course, recess.  The school has been great and always has a lot of ways for families to be involved and help out. L and I went on his class field trip last week to Wilson’s Apple Orchard near Iowa City.  G was so excited, and rightly so. We got to ride on a school bus, it was a gorgeous day, he had custom made an apple-picking bucket in school, and his mommy got to tag along! Let’s just say that the orchard was huge, beautiful, and full of rolling hills; and – note to self – not the best place to go when you are near 30 weeks pregnant and extremely sensitive to activity. The kids had a good time but mama was beyond worn out and had to go to work afterwards. This week was G’s class picture day, he got to bring the snack bucket, and the local firefighters brought the firetruck in to talk to his class about fire safety. G told me one night ‘Mom, tomorrow is a super busy day. I’m going to be super busy at preschool.’ In a 4 year old’s eyes, he’s right! We are to bring some fancy Halloween snacks for his Fall Party next week, thinking about doing these:

Easy Halloween Snacks you can give to students or have them make themselves!

That’s right, I’m super pregnant, but like to pretend like I have the energy to make Halloween Oreo spiders…..

The kids have decided their Halloween costumes–L will be a princess. Which one, you ask? That depends on which becomes her favorite on that day. Possibilities include Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, or Aurora. G will be Ironman, end of story. He’s much more decisive!

Gabriel is also really expanding his language and conversation skills.  New words and phrases are appearing daily. Today alone he told me ‘You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit—Mom that’s what we say in preschool’, and he gave me a lesson on how Jesus died on the cross for ‘when we act naughty’. I also have heard the ‘Zacchaeus song’ several times. He is very timely when it comes to preschool; I only have to ask him once to get his stuff on to go out the door and the next thing I know he’s in the car, getting in his carseat.  I love that he is getting so many great aspects of preschool 😉  He is getting really into building and constructing things. He is constantly stealing things from the recycle bin to build…..whatever.  If I leave a cardboard box out it is literally gone in minutes! I later find it hiding out by his art table just waiting to be made into his Ironman suit or whatever his mind imagines.

Jeremiah continues with his first semester at his intermediate school. He is enjoying it a lot and I think the kids like the projects he is coming up with.  His cross country season only has a few weeks left and then will come to a close.  I think waking to run  daily at 5am is starting to get to him! He’s also been busy doing my honey-do list at home to help with my nesting. 😉  He has been helping out at Pride of the Wapsi once in awhile on the weekends.

We’ve been busy on weekends going to birthday parties, the farmer’s market (today was a petting zoo at the market), our Young Couple’s church group outing to the pumpkin patch, garage sales (I LOVE GARAGE SALES), and other get-togethers. My garden is still producing produce, so I’ve been trying to muster up energy to do something with the last harvests of the season on the weekends.

Petting zoo!

Petting zoo!

2 pans of roasted tomato sauce with eggplant and peppers ready for roasting!

2 pans of roasted tomato sauce with eggplant and peppers ready for roasting!

Myself? Well let’s just say things are slooooowing down. Not life, by any means, but my speed in itself.  I’m just over 31 weeks along now and things are getting sore! I’m getting comments that my belly looks ‘like a torpedo’ which is exactly how it looked the last 2 times! I do okay at work with days of 6-8 hours at a time. Longer than that and it takes me 2 days to recover! My pelvis has been extremely sore and is probably my biggest complaint. I just got a Better Binder  and it is helping quite a bit; I guess binding has it’s purposes!  This brace was recommended at a prenatal/postpartum physical therapy continuing ed course that I went to over a year ago and I can see why!  I wake up in the middle of the night with some insane lower leg and foot cramps. Anything from my great toe to my arch, calf, or one specific muscle in the outside of my lower leg.  Makes for some interesting times sleeping! I have been trying to get some things ready for babytime around here. Getting Lucy potty trained was a start! Last weekend I also managed to take the kids fall/winter clothes shopping and stock up on a lot of things that we needed prior to baby.  Aunt Mel was gracious with her time on Sunday and helped me organize and sort baby/kids’ rooms, wash, fold and put away newborn clothes, crib sheets and blankets, clean the nursery, assemble the carseat once again, and wash dishes (what else!?).  It was a huge help and we got a lot done!

I’m getting tired of being tired (literally) and am looking forward to returning to running after Baby C #3’s arrival. I’ve been looking into some races to set for goals but don’t have anything nailed down yet. Ambitious thoughts, I know, as it will be the dead of winter and I will be a little occupied with the 3 under 5, but I’m still looking forward to it!

I guess that’s all for now. Loving this cooler fall weather we are enjoying in Iowa!

Have a great week!

-The {growing} Costello’s