Sunday, January 30, 2011

Park Day!

Only in the south will you find Daddies out hunting the last weekend of January, and Mommies and kids picnicing at the park...did I mention it is the last weekend in January that we are doing this?

The girls and I got up this morning and were greeted with sunshine and warm weather...getting near the 70s today!! So, I figured let's head to the park...and that's just what we did.

We put on our jeans and our long sleeved t-shirts (just in case the wind was chilly) and headed to the park. Baby Girl played on all the playground equipment and Gator tried relentlessly to eat the pea gravel. Two long hours later, I called Baby Girl over to a picnic table and we had a quick lunch. I packed up a VERY tired Gator and we made the short trip back home.

As I drug our weary bodies up the front walk, I laughed to myself...only in the South. I hope the girls had a good time, and take a long nap. The next park day may be far in the is the South, and who knows we have snow again that keeps us frozen inside the house!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Food Budget, Oxymoron?

For months, ok years, we have been trying hard to lower the amount of money we spend...on everything. Who isn't???

I have been focusing on trying to deal with the food bill. Step one - We stopped eating out at sit down resturants. Step two - then we stopped eating as much fast food. Now it is a rare treat (though I tend to pay for it in more ways than just with money)

When you "give up" eating out, you have other options - not eating or cooking. Ok, so not eating is really not an option I'd choose. I love food!! It's yummy!!! I have always enjoyed cooking. So I began focusing on finding the cheaper convinence foods. I only had a few recipes that I knew well and could get ready in a short amount of time. I was still spending more than I would have liked on food and only getting a few bags of groceries, not exactly the plan. I took to the internet for help. I have been trying all sorts of tips that I have come across. Keeping the ideas that work for me and tossing the ones that don't.

Some of the ideas that I have tried are:
  • shop only the perimeter of the store (produce, dairy, meat)
  • cook from scratch
  • have a meatless night
  • have a leftover night
  • take inventory
  • meal plan
  • keep the kitchen clean (surpresses the urge to throw in the towel and go out to eat)
  • keep a food price diary
  • coupons
  • price match
  • use it, don't toss it
These are just a few of the ideas that I have been trying or'll have to keep checking in to see the outcomes and more ideas.

What are some things you do in your kitchen to cut down on food costs??

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Homemade Baby Food

One of the things we did differently with Gator vs Baby Girl was that I made her baby food. In a hopes to save some money, I tried my hand at it. And the fact that Gator had ZERO interest in baby food, we were willing to try anything!. We figured, try it and save - YEAH! Try it and bomb - at least we tried.

I hit the produce section. I got a pound of every fruit and vegetable that seemed good for a baby. Then I got to the task of slicing, dicing, steaming, processing, and freezing. Yes, I did large batches and froze them in ice cube trays and stored in freezer bags.

At the end of the day I was tired. Baby Girl felt like a grown up (she LOVED holding the button on the food processsor...she's such a great big sister). And Gator ate it! Really ate it. In fact, she loved the homemade baby food! And I loved it!! I could get $20 of produce for her and make nearly a months worth of baby food. I could never have gotten $20 of jarred baby food to last almost a month. I even added rice cereal to the veggies and meats, and oatmeal to the fruits. I had all of her nutritional needs covered!!

Here's a site that helped me with ideas for good veggies and fruits.
Then came the day that Gator needed more finger food than baby food. I was sad. I had enjoyed my cooking days with Baby Girl. I enjoyed watching Baby Girl wanting to help make Baby Sister's food. She really LOVED it.

I still make Gator's toddler food, somewhat. She eats pretty much anything we do now. As long as she can pick it up with her fingers, she'll eat it. And I know my days of making "her" food are numbered. (Yes, I know, I'll be cooking for her for many years to come...but its not baby food!)

I never thought (A) I would enjoy making baby food as much as I did (B) I would miss it so much.

Anyone else have a similar moment/event as a parent?

What do you miss the most as they grow, that you didn't even think you'd enjoy in the first place?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Reading Dr. Seuss

Have you ever read a Dr. Seuss book?

Have you ever read a Dr. Seuss book to a preschooler? again and again?

Then you know that there is something that happens to your speech and thought patterns for quite some time afterwards. And if you are not aware of what I speak...go read a Dr. Seuss book. Three will produce the best results. It can be the same book three times in a row or three different Dr. Seuss stories...and then check your email, read your bank doesn't'll be reading and thinking in Dr. Seusslish!!!

Did you try it?? What happened?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gator's 1st Birthday!

Even with being snowed in for 6 days, we managed to pull off Gator's 1st birthday party! It was great...a lot less stressful than the last 1st birthday party I planned. I guess that is what happens when you do almost exactly the same thing!

Baby Girl helped me decorate, make and decorate the cakes. Daddy made steak strips. Mimi and Paw Paw were gracious enough to allow us to have the party at there house...good thing that was the paln all along since our driveway still had LOTS of ice on it and was still undrivable!!

Gator let her big sister open her cards and help with the presents...hopefully Baby Girl will be as nice to let her sister help in June! Gator got bunches of clothes, puzzles, toys, and of course jewelry. I think my girls have more than I do!!

I was well prepared for Gator to attack the cake and make a HUGE mess...but in true Gator fashion she did what she wanted to do...not what Mama was expecting! She didn't seem to like the texture of the icing on her fingers...she did like the taste though. I guess it is genetic...Baby Girl wouldn't even put her hands in her cake! She had to have a fork in order to eat it.

We did have one shocking moment. Gator went straight for the candle...and by candle I mean flame...good thing it got blown out right as she touched it. She didn't cry, but the pout was too cute. I hope someone caught it with the camera!

We have managed to get the gifts unpacked and seems like Baby Girl enjoys playing with Gator's toys. Maybe Gator will get a chance to play with them after sister tries them all out. At least Baby Girl is "reading" the books to Gator.

As I find some more pockets of time I will add some pictures...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Well, I've Done It Now!!

For months I have been looking into blogging...and I decided that since my car is stuck at the bottom of the ice covered was the day! I officially have a blog...not too shabby for someone who needs help using the remote for the t.v.!

It is really hard to pick a title and all the other things that go into this relatively simple art called is going to be on the web pressure, huh?  As if life wasn't pressure enough!

I hope to let others into a snapshot of the life of a working stay at home mom, struggling to keep everyone happy, everyone fed, everyone sane, everyone getting along, everyone headed in the right there it is the goals of my blog...could they be anymore less than concrete!?!

I have no set schedule for posting yet...heck I am still learning the lingo and getting set I am pretty fly by the seat of my long as I have a list! (Anyone else that?? You are not alone!!) I guess I will get around what I have in store for you so check in often!

So, what do you think of the 1st official post???