Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today's Schedule

So far today, I've gotten a few things checked off my list I've had for quite sometime.

I stopped by the W.I.C. office and even though they were closed, there were still people there who were able to give me the paperwork I needed to get myself and L signed up. I stopped receiving W.I.C. about 2 years ago because of the hassle. All the appointments and having to keep up with them was just getting to bothersome for me. I was also working, so that had an impact on my decision. Now that I'm staying at home, and that's one less income, I'm hoping to get back on track.

I also stopped by the Pregnancy Care Center to drop off some of L's old clothes, get some bible studies, and pick out some clothes and baby items needed for baby. I like the PCC because they are a big help in the community. I can take all of L's old clothes and give them to people who need them. While I'm there I can browse around and see what they have for the new baby! A great way to recycle and reuse, as well as save money!

I have decided to make Monday & Thursday's laundry days and it seems to help having set days for laundry. I still need to wash the 2 big comforters, but have to take them to the laundromat. This HAS to be done before baby is here.

We will be going to the grocery store shortly and our budget is $100. I hope to get enough to last us for at least 2 weeks. I will be glad once I can get W.I.C. again. It is truly a big help and we do use a lot of cheese and milk. L does not drink milk at all, he won't even eat cereal that's been put in milk, only dry cereal. He does however, eat food that contains milk, like cheese! So I know he gets his calcium.

Monday, April 27, 2009

To-Do List

I have a pretty busy week ahead of me. At least it seems that way. I’ve been wanting to make up a weekly schedule. Since Eliza will be here soon, I would like to be in some sort of routine to help make my life easier with 2 young children at home. I have been trying the menu planning out, and it does seem to be helping with my organizing, as well as making sure my family is eating healthy. I want to make Monday’s a “catch-up” day from the weekend since my weekend’s are going to be mostly Family Day’s. I think I should have Monday and Thursday’s as laundry days. I could have 1 day assigned to each room, like master bedroom-Tuesday and L’s room-Wednesday. Everyday I will be washing dishes, sweeping, making beds, daily chores. I should have 1 day where I bake things in the morning for snacks, dinner, and breakfast. This will last us for a week I would hope. See, it seems as if I have a pretty good idea as to what I’d like to do, but it’s putting it all down on a schedule that seems to be the problem! I don’t know why, it just is. A big defeat for us is going to be getting L to sleep in his room by himself and at a certain time. This has been rough on DH and I. We keep talking about it, but blowing it off. I have quite a few things on my To-Do List to get done before Eliza’s arrival. I feel it’s a lot, but it will be quite easy as long as I motivate myself to do it all.

-I’d like to put a couple of shelves on the wall above Eliza’s dresser in our room. This will allow me to put baskets of baby items and keep them up and out of the way.
-We need to move everything out of storage and into the shed out back. This will help knock off $50 each month!
-Hang up some sort of curtain for the closet. When we put our new carpet in a couple years ago, the closet door was too large for opening and closing. We just took the door off and now I think a curtain of some sort would like fine! I have a good idea of what it would look like, let’s just hope it ends up looking like it!
-Cloth diapering, cloth diapering, cloth diapering!!!! I am really wanting to do this with Eliza. I didn’t really know much about this when I had Landon, but now that I’ve opened my horizons up, I’d really like to give it a try. I’m really willing to do anything I can just to save some extra money. I will also be looking into making our own baby food when the time comes.
-Keep a clean dresser and computer desk. Now, this to you may seem weird, but I have a thing about keeping a dresser a mess. The inside of the drawers are neat and orderly, but I can’t seem to keep the top clean. I always end up throwing knick-knacks all over them. The computer desk is something I’m really wanting to go! I want a corner desk that will still allow me to have an “office wall”. I think the corner desk will also give us more room in the here!
-Finish the bathroom! We have been remodeling our bathroom for nearly 2 years and are still not 100% complete. I have a 3 hook wall mount that needs to be hung up and I’d also like to get a matching shower curtain for my hand towels and hooks! I would like to put a couple of shelves in there like DH and I had discussed, but am uncertain what he has planned. I will also have him hang a long mirror! We have a wall cabinet above the toilet but I don’t want it there and neither does DH.
-Rearrange L’s bedroom. I think we’ve decided to help with the reduction of BIG stuff in storage, we would take out L’s twin bed and put the full sized bed in his room. Right now we have his bed up against the bathroom door so he can’t get in there, but since we’ve been potty training we feel it best he have access to it! I feel safer knowing I have everything put away he can’t get into. If only he’d stay out of the sink! I have to CLEAR off his dresser completely!
-Plant a vegetable/herb garden!

I hope this list will help me kick myself in the butt and get motivated. I feel God helping me to do just that and it’s a good feeling! I love accepting Him into my life again and how I enjoy His grace and guidance. A lot of this organizing I’m wanting to do is, I’m sure, associated with nesting while pregnant! But, I’m sure it’s also me wanting to make it easier on myself and my soon to be family of 4.

Menu Plan Monday

Last week I did fairly well on keeping up with the menu plan. I did make the Alfredo on Monday, but Tuesday I had not realized Paul thawed some pork chops out so I had to make those. With pork chops I made homemade biscuits and we had green beans and homemade mashed potatoes. We ate leftovers Wednesday and I believe we had Tater topped casserole on Thursday. Friday Paul decided to order pizza since we haven't ate out in a while. Hopefully, this week's menu will go smoothly also. I have to make a pretty big grocery trip but am sure we'll get it done!

This will be my 2nd week posting with I'm an Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday! I'm happy to be getting a head start on getting organized. I even just finished printing and laminating a blank monthly calendar to put on our fridge! Something I've been wanting/needing for some time.

Monday- Leftover ribs from lunch (My MIL and FIL make the BEST "fall off the bone, melt in your mouth" ribs.)
Tuesday- Grilled Cheese sandwiches
Wednesday- Stovetop Easy Chicken Bake
Spaghetti and garlic bread (Make enough for leftover's)
Friday- Leftovers

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Update on Potty Training!

I am pleased to announce that we are officially potty trained! You heard right, POTTY TRAINED! Of course, we've not started on potty training at night, I don't want to frighten little L! I'm so happy for him, he's becoming such a young man as DH likes to call him. I must also say that I'm proud of us, as parents, with this success! We managed to get L off the binkie a few months ago and now our dedication with potty training has paid off. He's going to be a great big brother and I can't help but to think, he's realized he's going to have someone to help look after and is ready for that new position as Big Brother. It's time he wash his hands clean of the "baby" stuff as he will be 3 next month!

Menu Plan Monday

This is my first time with I'm an Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday. It's also my first time trying to STICK with a menu plan! I think I've accumulated enough recipes and have had enough cooking experience over the past few weeks to start incorporating menu planning into our household. DH enjoys cooking himself, so things may not stick accordingly, something I've noticed isn't new! I will have to learn how to link the meals in our menu to the pictures and recipes I have posted here on the blog. I'm still learning the loose ends of this blogging scene. I'll also try and learn how to put the labels on the side bar to make it easier on everyone!

Monday- Fettuccine Alfredo
Tuesday- Tater topped casserole
Wednesday- Easy Layered Taco Bake
Thursday- Leftovers
Friday- Chicken wings and potato wedges

I made homemade chocolate chip cookies this weekend, but it wasn't enough to last the week. I think I'm going to try and make some Peanut Butter Energy Bars. I will have to post the recipe when I make them!

To make things easy for me, I had to make a list of all the meals with enjoy eating for dinner. I made sure to include recipes that sounded appealing to me. This list makes it easy for when I want to pull it out and make our menu.

Some things that made me want to give menu planning a try:
Menu planning can be a good way to staying organized, especially at dinner. It will give me a base for my grocery shopping, making it a simple trip to the grocery store every time. By this I mean, if I have my menu in front of me, I'll know what to get at the grocery store and hopefully not have to run back during the week. I will be able to manage a healthier eating habit for my family. I will also be able to save money on not buying things that I don't need.

I hope to master this menu planning by the time Eliza is here; I'm wanting to make life more simple at home with 2 kids around. I really need to learn how to make more food at one time and freeze the rest. I want to have some easy to cook meals for after Eliza is born, not only because I will be home from having a c-section and barely moving, but because I want to make it easy on DH for when he cooks. He already says that he'll take over cooking though, he doesn't seem to like the idea of preparing ahead and freezing.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Baking and Cooking Day!

The past 2 weeks DH, L and I have been going to our local church, The Father's House. I feel as if in the past 2 weeks, God has come back into my life. I can feel myself on a path of being saved again. It's a wonderful feeling. I've opened my heart and arms to Him again and it feels great. In an effort to spend less and live more frugal, I've been having more home cooked meals. Since I eat a lot of sweets, I've found that baking cookies from scratch is the way to go. It may take more work, but I'm up for it. Aside from home cooking, I've also felt a stronger bond between L and myself. L, might I add, has been doing excellent with potty training this past week. We haven't had to put diapers on him except for at night. I'm excited to start getting cloth diapers for baby Eliza!

Homemade Chocolate Cookies!
(Recipe on the back of the Hershey's Chocolate Chip bag)

Hard at work!

Fettuccine Alfredo (L loved this! It will be in our menu plan for sure!)

Cooking fettuccine and chicken for the Alfredo.

Ingredients needed for Alfredo

1/2 lb fettuccine, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
1 1/4 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 tsp. flour
4 oz. (1/2 of 8 oz. pkg) cream cheese
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile heat large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 to 7 min. or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet. Mix broth and flour in same skillet. Stir in cream cheese, 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and pepper; cook 2 min., stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in chicken.

Drain pasta; place in large bowl. Pour chicken mixture over pasta; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

2 Great and Easy Recipes!

I've decided to try and start menu planning. I enjoy reading other blogs about moms who give their hand at planning meals for a week, even month, at a time. It seems to make their lives organized, helps them to live frugally, and even makes grocery shopping easier. So, last night and Tuesday night, I decided to try 2 new recipes. One was a main dish, the other was just a dessert.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c peanut butter
1 c sugar
1 egg

Heat oven to 375 degrees
Mix all 3 ingredients together until blended.
Roll into balls ( I used 2 spoons to roll them, it was simple) place onto baking sheet.
Using a fork, mash criss-crosses in the middle of the cookies.
Bake for 10-12 minutes
**We put chocolate chips in 2 cookies, and they turned out wonderful! My next batch may include all chocolate chips!

Easy Layered Taco Bake

This recipe came from the Kraft Food & Family magazine. I LOVE this magazine, it has very simple recipes to choose from, and they show the ingredients you will need as well.

1 package mac and cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 c salsa

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Make mac and cheese dinner as directed on box and cook meat with taco seasoning.
Layer seasoned meat, dinner and salsa in 8 inch square dish.
Bake 20 minutes.