Sunday, February 23, 2014

Use that freezer stash!! (Working Mom Shortcut)

Here's a post in my running, Working Mom Shortcuts, posts!!

After spending all that time this summer freezing food, I was determined to USE it this year. In the past, I would freeze something with the best intentions but end up throwing it out five years later after it was forgotten in the freezer. Such a waste of time and food. So, I had to find a system that would work so things didn't get forgotten. I've used whiteboards in the past and for some reason I just couldn't keep them updated. So this time, at the end of fall, Jason and I went through and did an inventory of all the (three) freezer spaces in the house. I then had to figure out how to organize it to be useful. I came up with this below:

So my thoughts were to put the quantities in the boxes and then just cross them off as things were used. So far this has been working well. I think the secret was to wait to collect the inventory when all the freezing was finished as in the past I think the hard part was remembering what to record before it went into the freezer. Here's a doc if you want to recreate.

Like I said, it's been working very well. I was quite happy last week. It was a freezer week. I only needed to get milk, bread and some fresh fruit. All the other meal components were straight from the freezer (or canned) to feed us for the entire week. Pork, soups, vegetables, pre-made casserole, muffins for breakfasts (the kids couldn't eat them fast enough), etc. This has made me be able to stretch out my weekly grocery shopping to once every three weeks (with the exception of milk, bread and fresh fruit). More time with my kiddos and less time in my own personal hell, Woodmans!

Steal my technique if you need!! Mommies have to stick together!!

Older Working Mom posts below!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Picture Time- Cecelia is 5, Coletyn is 2

Picture time. Yep, again. This year we couldn't quite decide on what to do for the kids' pictures. If you don't know, we always take them ourselves. This has pros and cons. Pros- if they don't cooperate we can just try again; cheaper; we get exactly what we want, etc. Cons- pressure to get what we want; we've started running out of ideas, cooperation of the children...oy!

Like I said, we had a few ideas this year. In the end we had great pics to choose from. Here is the evolution of the 5 year and 2 year pics!

First we thought it would be fun to just catch Cecelia at her favorite place (Betty Brinn) since she already has a K4 picture (headshot) taken at school and her costume picture from the recital. So, that we did. Went to Betty Brinn and snapped away. I wish I would have put Cole in more than sweats that day. (Stupid mommy!)

on the mule together

Those were fun and pretty easy. Then we had a really cute pic of Coletyn on his birthday that we knew was a keeper. 

Then we had a coat of Jason's fathers from the 50's that we knew we wanted to get Coletyn into. Jason had this vision of him against a cobblestone wall in the snow. HA..... He's only two, I retorted. Well, some of us have to learn from our mistakes so below is attempt number one. It lasted all of about 65 seconds on a 40 degree day. EVERY picture has him screaming in tears. If you can't see it it must have been a second he was taking a breath!! We didn't print any of the pictures below (with the exception of those we sent to Jason's grandparents) as we are going to try again in spring or fall as long as the coat still fits.

Next up was the main event. The kitchen was cleared out. Drop cloths brought in. A prop cake made (AGAIN) and the attempt to recreate the pics we did for Cecelia's second birthday (much more manageable in my eyes) commenced.

Cecelia, December 2010

Cecelia, December 2010

Cecelia, December 2010

Coletyn, January 2014

Coletyn, January 2014

Coletyn, January 2014
Coletyn, January 2014

Coletyn, January 2014

Coletyn, January 2014

Coletyn, January 2014

One thing we have learned over the years is that if we ask Cecelia to take pictures, she will fight us. There is a major bribe needed. However, if she sees Coletyn taking pictures, she will get jealous and want to ham it up for the lens. This is a prime example. While Coletyn was shooting, Cecelia was in her pjs. When he was done, she asked to take some pictures. I told her to go find some clothes. I've never seen her get dressed so fast, by herself without drama and 100 reminders to get moving. I was actually quite impressed with her outfit coordination. I did recommend the pink cardigan over the tank top dress and threw the bow in her hair. As long as the entire kitchen was moved and the "studio" set up, we had to make the best out of it. 

Cecelia, January 2014
Cecelia, December 2010

Dance picture from April 2013
School Picture- K4, 2013

So in the end, we had plenty of pictures to choose from to send to relatives. I've updated the collages for the shadow boxes in our living room. They are below.

My babies!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Coletyn is TWO!

My baby is TWO. How did that happen?? Well, it did. We didn't do anything big for his birthday. Just a cake and presents in the middle of the week. I am ashamed to admit, I recycled a cake idea. I also did an Elmo cupcake cake for Cecelia's first birthday. He loved it though, that's all that matters!

A few videos of the main event.

Eating away.