Monday, July 19, 2010

It's a......

Cole's prayer was answered....we are having a little boy!

Hard to believe that in just 18 more weeks I will be a Mama to 2 little boys :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Sun-SAVING Summer must have!

I have learned over the past 2 years that the most effective way to slather up my wiggly sun with sunscreen is definitely the continuous spray bottles. However, the Coppertone brand I always used is really very expensive at almost $9/bottle. (You do go through the spray bottles much faster than the lotions).

2 weeks ago, I was out, and, didn't have time for a Walmart run - so I quickly ran into Dollar General hoping they would have a can of our brand. Well, they did...but, right next to it was the DG only $6/bottle...all the same ingredients. So, I reluctantly gave it a try...fully expecting a disappointing sunburn on my 4 year old. 2 weeks later, I can safely say that Cole has not had even a touch of pink on his little sun-kissed beach body :D

I thought I would share the details on this goldmine of a little find in case you would like to give it a try!

Sold at Dollar General
DG Body is the brand
Sunscreen (Continuous Spray), SPF 70
Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protectant, Water Resistant & Sprays at any angle
(compare to the ingredients in Coppertone)

Dollar General also has a 100% if your not happy with it for any reason you simply call 888-309-9030. I'm not sure if it's a store credit, or money back.

Happy Saving!

Becoming a CHO

My Journey in the profession of SAH Mommy begin the end of April (and so far has been good!). I am just recently discovering my need to put back to work the skill sets that God Gifted me with in my Corporate/Ministry Profession of the past.

On Tuesday, at our Mom's Bible Study at Church, a friend handed me the book "Becoming a Chief Home Officer" by Allie Pleiter. This is a Hearts @ Home series book (and we all know how crazy I am about Hearts!). I started reading it on Tuesday at lunch, and, finished it about 9:30am today (Thursday). I love to read, but it's been many (many)years since I have been able to put away 227 pages in less than 48 hours! The book is all about how to thrive in this "career-shift" you have just made (or are thinking of making). It has wonderful, practical ideas & addresses the real feelings that can emerge from this shift.

The author addresses all the necessary parts of this career shift. From how you view your position as CHO, to your career cloths. Paychecks, Time Off & Advanced Labor Relations are all included. And, of course Managing your staff (oh, those tiny employees!). She also has a chapter on Training & Development...she actually tells you how to LEARN to clean if housekeeping wasn't ever your thing before! A realistic chapter on jumping back into the workforce when needed for the sake of the family has must-have tips on this whole new adjustment & the success of your family.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Motherhood is much more about "being" than about "doing". That's hard to remember when no one really sees the "being" part, but the evidence of "doing" is smack in front of your face."

"God has things he wants us to learn, that we can ONLY learn as a Mom at home."

"I've discovered my attitude shapes my children's behavior. More than any other variable, it is my attitude that calls the shots."

"Motherhood has taught me - thankfully, that sometimes it is a gift to say "yes" when you can't think of a good reason to say "no"."

And, my absolute FAVORITE quote...

"Whatever you bring to this job is enough. And, it is enough because God does the rest".

This book will now be on my list of "must-haves" for any friends that choose to dive into this profession in life :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's Mexican Week!

We often have theme food weeks in our house. I find that it's much cheaper to prepare when you can buy in bulk, and, by having the theme dish every other night - no one really gets sick of the theme. You can also prep alot of your ingredients at the same time, speeding up dinner prep each evening. This week is Mexican...a personal Prego favorite of mine :)

Monday...Mexican Casserole
Wednesday...Chicken Enchiladas
Friday...Black Bean Tostadas

I made a big batch of Guacamole that should carry us through the week, and, we usually have Tortilla Chips & Salsa as a side with each meal. I'm still trying to find a recipe for a good Mexican Cornbread to go with Wednesday night too...if you have a great recipe I would love for you to share. And, since Friday night officially kicks of the weekend...I'm making Fried Ice Cream for dessert :)

Here's the recipes...

Mexican Casserole
1 & 1/2 lbs ground beef, seasoned with 1 envelope of taco seasoning, 3/4 cups water
1 can refried beans
Salsa (about a cup or so)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese - or mexican white cheese, I combine them both :)
6 tortillas
toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole

Brown Beef & drain, mix water & taco seasoning, boil, reduce heat & simmer 5 minutes uncovered.
Combine beans & salsa in microwaveable bowl, micro for 1-2 minutes or until spreadable
Please 3 tortillas in a greased, round baking dish or deep dish pie pan. Layer w/ 1/2 bean mixture, then 1/2 beef, & 1/2 cheese. Repeat layer finishing with cheese on top.
Bake, uncovered 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until cheese is melted, let stand 5 minutes.
Serve with desired toppings.

Chicken Enchiladas

1 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. Flour
1 C. Sour Cream
3 C. Chopped, cooked Chicken
1/2 ts. Chili Powder
1/4 C. Margarine (or butter)
2 C. Chicken broth (I boil down bullion cubes to save $$)
2 C. grated cheese (I like Cheddar in this one)
4 oz. Can chopped green chilies (drained)
5-8 Flour tortillas (depending on how full you fill them)

Melt Margarine & add onion - cook just until clear.
Stir in flour & broth, heat & stir until thickened.
Add the sour cream & 1 cup of grated cheese.
Remove 1 cup of this sauce, and, place in a large bowl -- add cooked chicken, chili powder & green chilies.
Fill the tortillas with chicken mixture & place in baking dish. Cover with remaining sauce.
Bake at 350 degrees until hot & bubbly (20-30 minutes tops)
Cover with remaining cheese & heat until cheese melts.

Black Bean Tostadas
6 - Corn Tortillas (not yet cooked)
3 Tbsp. Oil
Salt & Pepper
1/2 large onion, diced
1 clove minced garlic
(2) 15 oz. cans of black beans, drained & rinsed
Toppings of choice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and brush both sides of tortillas with 2 tbsp oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay tortillas on cookie sheet and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes, turning 1/2 way through. (if you prefer, you can deep fry - but stay close, they will get done quick!)
Warm remaining 1 Tbsp oil in large skillet over medium heat, add onion & saute until soft & clear (3-5 minutes?). Add garlic & saute 1 minute (careful not to overcook your garlic or it will get bitter). reduce heat to low & add beans & 2 Tbsp. water. Mash mixture with a potato masher or a cork & cook until heated through. Season with Salt & Pepper.
Divide bean mixture among tortillas, layer with desired toppings & serve.
**Note: I have substituted refried beans before for the black beans (just because that is what I had) and they were great...if you make this sub, I would cut out the onion & garlic since the beans are already seasoned. This will speed up the process too!

Enjoy :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Clorox Clean-up + Latex Gloves = a Happy Mommy :)

When I clean, I like to clean with bleach - to me, it just feels "cleaner". But, I get sick of mixing up a bucket of bleach/water mix each time I'm going to clean a bathroom (I have 2 boys now...i'm sure you can see my dilemma). Well I have finally found a cleaning product that has bleach in it...but wow, this really is a bleach cleaning product! (it even took my darkest color make-up off the bathroom sink...everything looks so much whiter!)

It's very inexpensive $2 or so at at Walmart, Target, etc - and, works AMAZINGLY! When I clean the bathroom with this- the entire upstairs has that clean, bleach scent :)

I also solved my other battle...which is the smell of bleach on my hands for 12 hours after I clean with it. Why on earth I never thought of this before I have no idea, but, I recently purchased a box of latex gloves at the pharmacy, and, tried them out. 1 pair will make it through all 3 of my bathrooms & my hands have NO scent! I love it :) I bought the purple heavier duty kind..but next I will try the cheaper ones to see if they will keep the scent out too.

Happy Cleaning :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Observations of a SAH Mommy

So, I have made a few observations in the past 2 months of staying home.
  1. We eat out less, and, I am really enjoying putting my love of cooking to work.
  2. We CAN make it on a lot less money than we ever thought!
  3. The house is cleaner & doesn't stress me near as much.
  4. Weekends are much less stressful since I can take care of so much during the week.
  5. I never thought I could enjoy the company of my son anymore than I did...I was wrong :)
  6. Having the time & ability to help out where I couldn't before feels really good.
  7. Unfortunately, I dislike the dog more than I did before :(
  8. Separation anxiety can develop when your child is 4...even if he never had it before :(
And the most startling observation yet....
  • We go through A LOT more toilet paper than we ever did before! I always thought it was Jason who used so much....I am now reaching the sad realization that it may be me!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mama Bear...

OK - so, since 99% of you reading this blog are mothers, I know you understand the "Mama Bear Mode". Well, this Mama Bear was in FULL FORCE Saturday night.

We went to my hometown for our annual 4th of July celebration. We spent the whole day with my family, enjoyed the parade - then headed to the park for the carnival festivities. Cole & Jason had a great time riding rides, while I hung out with my fam in the BINGO tent. At the end of the night a very grumpy old man yelled at Cole for accidentally picking up his plastic hat (Cole thought it was his). Needless to say - Cole ran off into the dark crying & wanted to go home and "neber come back to dis place". The guy was just a jerk - and I told him that, very loudly, in front of the very quiet bingo croud. So, the scene is...a pregnant mama, yelling at an old man with a scowl on his face. Might I also just mention that my hometown happens to be where Jason's Schwan's territory is...I'm certain my poor hubby will have to relive this story 10 times on Friday.

After I got to the car (strongly encouraged by Jas), I started to cry. (I always cry when I'm mad). I was angry that our night ended early, angry that I was leaving my weekend with my family early, and, angry that Cole was sad. After I left a very impulsive post on FB about my evening activities, I realized that I might be mad about something else. Although I try to repress these types of feelings most of the time, I'm very scared inside about what life will be like for Cole. He's very sensitive - and although there are many things he doesn't understand, he also has an amazing memory. As of today...he still "neber wants to go back to dat place" :( Obviously the old man had no way of knowing that Cole lives with Autism, but, I know...and it's hard to separate that from the "normal" day-to-day stuff kids will have to deal with.

Needless to say - I'm sure I have a few things to repent for that came out of my mouth in a fit of anger. And, if I sit and think about it -- I'm still mad at the guy today. Guess I have a few things to think about this week.