Thursday, February 28, 2008

Because I'm nuts

Part of what I did while I was in Iowa and South Dakota was to stock my sisters' freezers with some semi-nutritious, non-fast food meals. I made double batches of four of my family's favorites, divided them up and provided each sister with four freezer meals to use whenever they needed them. This week I decided to do the same for my own family! Last night it was beef tips and gravy with homemade mashed potatoes. I multiplied the recipe pretty much by two and then divided it up into three portions. I served one last night for dinner and have to meals in the freezer! Then today I totally went nuts and prepared double batches of Creamy Chicken Italiano, BBQ Chicken Pizza, Chicken Enchiladas and Chili. That makes a total of ten meals in my freezer ready to go at (almost) a moment's notice! :)

I'm also part of a freezer meal swap. We each make 6-8 batches of a recipe, then swap them around so we end up with 6-8 different recipes in the freezer. Yup, add that to the 10 I already have in there and I won't have to cook dinner until after Easter! :) Feeling pretty good about that. Feeling pretty good. :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Toby: "Mommy, Aidan doesn't want to play Rescue Heroes so I decided you can play Rescue Heroes with me instead."

In other news, Avery turned 1 year old this past Saturday! Happy Birthday, Avery! It's sort of odd knowing that she's the caboose of the family. I had my last first birthday party as a mother. With Evan I noted all the firsts. With Avery I'm noting all the lasts. Strangest thing? When I pulled the last newborn sized diaper out of the drawer and cried knowing it was the last time I'd put one of my own babies in a newborn diaper. That diaper is sitting (unused of course) up in my dresser. Why? Because I'm crazy like that.

I also spent the better part of last week in South Dakota and Iowa with my sisters who have had babies in the past few weeks. My little sisters both had their third kiddos, girls just a few weeks apart. I cooked and cleaned and dispensed much advice on saving money, budgeting, menu planning, breastfeeding and the like. They even asked questions and seemed to be listening! 20 years ago if you'd told me I'd be doing that with one particular sister we both would have slugged you. It was a wonderful time. It seems that everyone grows up. Thanks for having babies Raina and Wendy! I had a blast!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

We're not so young anymore

Well, we had a blast at our sleepover! We stayed up late (3:30!!!) and talked and ate and talked and ate and talked and ate. Then we lounged about in the hot tub (!) and hit the sack. When we got up we talked and ate and talked and ate and talked and ate. Since we weren't able to get oursleves around in time for actual church we gatherd in the living room and shared what God'd been revealing to us in our own quiet times. We had a great time of prayer and fellowship (and did I mention the eating?) Then we played Wii (which was a great time) and even played Dance Dance Revolution. It was so much fun. I was glad we weren't a bunch of self consious teenagers. We've seen each other hugely pregnant, nursing and post partum (nevermind the bathing suits the night before) so we're all comfortable enough with ourselves to have a grand time making a fool out of ourselves!

Now I'm getting ready to load up the three lil'uns and head out to South Dakota and Iowa where my two sisters have each had babies in the past few weeks. I'm armed with recipes, large mixing bowls and a crock pot to stock up their freezers! Should be fun. My older sister who lives in FL will be there, so all the girls will be together again for the first time in (I think) years. Much fun will be had. And most of it will revolve around food I bet. ;)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mamma gets a day off!

We have a friend who moved away. 1 1/2 hours away to be exact. And 4 of us are going up to have a good ol'fashioned sleepover tonight! We'll stay up late, eat way too much and talk well into the night. I'll be back! (Oh, and if you should think of it, pray a blessing over the Daddys. They'll be home with the kids!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

All In A Day's Work

Well, I was recently re-connected with an old college friend. She asked me what a typical day was like for me out on the farm with 3 kids home all day. Since today was just about as ordinary as any other day, I thought I'd just go through today.

5:something. Nursling baby wakes up. Nurses and back to sleep.

6:30ish: Someone else under 4 feet tall ends up in my bed. Since Jim is up and getting ready, I reluctantly get up too. I was deep in a really weird dream, so it takes me much longer than usual to actually wake up.

7:00: Jim and Evan leave for school. Baby decides that she wasn't really interested in going back to sleep. I get her up and feed her some mush. Meanwhile I get the other boys fed and dressed. The mush for the morning? REAL oatmeal mixed with applesauce. Probably will be the healthiest thing they'll eat all day! No, I didn't make "applesauce oatmeal" first thing in the morning. I made a huge batch of it last weekend, divvied it up in little containers and froze it. My mom is cringing now thinking of me feeding my kids frozen oatmeal. They don't know better!

7:15: Finish getting boys washed and dressed. Wash and dress Avery. Find cute pink bow/headband thinger to top off the cutie pie look. Settle all 3 lil'uns down to a Baby Einstein movie so I can take a shower. (Not even going to try to deny it, my kids watch TV.)

7:20: Take shower and get ready for MOPS. Yup, we have MOPS today. It is a normal day, however, because several times a week we're out and about early anyway!

7:55: Email myself the document I need for today's craft. Get three kids into coats, mitts, hats, van and car-seats. Everyone in? Everyone buckled. Course they are. I have to buckle all three in because of their winter gear they are unable to do it themselves.

8:08: We're pulling out of the driveway and on the way to MOPS.

8:12: Convince Toby that we cannot stop to let him ride the cows. Even though he wants to.

8:23: Arrive (**early!!**) to MOPS. Park next to one of the "mentor moms" who helps me unload the three kidlets, carry in the bucket full of baby and is impressed by the fact that I told the boys, "pretend there's a line there and stand on it" and they did! Yeah for me!!! (That's my corralling trick in the parking lot. I tell the boys to stand on the line and they stay there until I can get everyone and everything out of the van. Since the lines are covered with snow I've had to take to telling them what I just wrote above.)

8:25: Everyone in, getting coats, mitts, hats etc off and hung up. Starting to have an uneasy feeling about my emailed document.

8:32: Boys are running around the sanctuary and my uneasy feeling is confirmed. I forgot to attach the document to the email I sent to church for the craft directions. Crud.

8:33-9:15: Drop kids off at their respective classrooms. Track down friend who gave me the recipe we worked on in MOPS today, she calls friends who also have the recipe. We end up having to wing it and just type out what I remembered.

9:20ish: Head in, grab some nummy food for breakfast (mental note to self given at that time, you can skip lunch!) Sit, chat, listen to wonderful speaker about marriage, respecting your husband and another topic suitable for the meeting before Valentine's day. Listen for yourself here. It should be up soon if it isn't already.

10:36: Explain to the women how to assemble their "Fondue for Two" kits. Tell them to ignore the directions on how to complete their kits at home and that I'll email them the right ones within 24 hours. Oops. Women are understanding and laugh about my computer user error. Phew!

11:ish. Clean up all the dry ingredients, tables, etc. Chat with some mommies and remember that I do indeed have to go pick up my own kids from their classrooms. Accept compliments on how much the teachers love the kids. Leave resolved to be a better mommy and wife.

11:47: Drive through McDonalds for burgers for the kids because we have other errands to run. So much for better Mommy!

Noonish: Pick up 100 lbs of chicken feed at the coop. Proud of self for being able to shlep a 50 lb bag of chicken feed by myself thankyouverymuch!

Shortly thereafter: Stop at library to pick up books on Paul Revere for Evan's report/wax museum presentation. Leave baby in the bucket on the table of the kids' section for the librarians to talk to while I corral the other boys.

1:00: Home. Wrangle three kids out of their coats, mitts, hats and wet shoes. Remind boys AGAIN to hang up their coats and put their shoes in the closet. Put all three kids to nap.

1:45. Remember that while the boys have eaten lunch, the girl has not. Release mommy guilt and feed baby mush.

2:00: Baby back down for nap.

2:15: Let Toby out of nap.

2:30: Baby still protesting nap.

2:35: Let baby out of nap.

2:37: Wonder why I bother with Curves. I get a full step aerobic workout just getting the kids to take a stinkin' nap!

3:00: Aidan out of nap. Why is it that the oldest one at home will take an actual nap but the two little ones who really need one won't???

3:12: Talk to another human being over 4 feet tall. Wasn't MOPS just this morning? Wasn't I supposed to have gotten a little refreshed just 4 hours ago??? Why don't our kids take naps? Why do we have to listen to them running around the table pretending to be Walter the monkey? Who is Walter the monkey, anyway and why can't he be quiet???????

3:42: Remember that Jim and Evan won't be home for dinner at the regular time. Start rice for chicken and rice dish anyway.

And on and on and on.

So, Jim and Evan came home. I shoveled chicken and rice casserole into the kids. I shoveled carrots into the kids. I managed to sneak in a few bites myself. Jim stayed home with the kids while I went to Curves to workout. Jim also gave the boys a bath and got the two little ones down for bed before I got home. (!) When I got home I finished bathing two boys, got them lotioned up and even managed to glue the legs on a Valentine's Day Robot card box for a very impressed little second grader to take to school tomorrow.

Now to tackle the dishes, clean the dining room table off (I left for Curves immediately after dinner), run a load of laundry through, pay bills (maybe) and maybe read a little before crashing into bed. And then tomorrow, without the drama of the lost email attachment and the companionship of MOPS, I'll do much of the same. Sounds boring, right? At times, yes. But how can things be boring in a houseful of children? Tomorrow we'll glue beans on construction paper in the shapes of their names, color a bit, read a bit, maybe make a couch cushion pirate ship. Hey, maybe Walter will even come back! And if he doesn't, I'm sure another little monkey will take his place. All in a day's work, my friends. All in a day's work.