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Mothers' Hideaway: September 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday- Food mill for baby food!

Thanks Jo for today's blog!

I love making my baby's food because hey I love to cook! It's actually easier than most would think and what works for me to make it even easier is my food mill by Kid & Co. I enjoy the whole process of steaming the veggies or fruits and then grinding it in this little machine. It just makes cooking for him so much fun. I make sure to have the foods super soft so they grind really easily and if they aren't that mushy I just add some water to the mill to help it work quicker.

I have ground: dried prunes (make sure they are very soggy), dried apricots (same as the prunes), peas, corn, potatoes, apples, peaches, carrots, avocado, bananas, sweet potates, butternut squash and so much more I can hardly remember!

I also once made this lentil soup and it was so easy to just put it in the mill and grind it up. It's really simple. It's easy to clean and reassemble also so no yucky dried up left over food stuck anywhere! (It's also dishwasher safe!)

We want to know what works for you at!

Thanks to We Are THAT Family for hosting Works for Me Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kitchen Tips Tuesday- Chop chop!

Saving time in the kitchen by chopping effectively is a great way to save time while reusing a cutting board (as to not make even more dishes to wash!)

I like to cut up ingredients in an order as to not mix flavors I don't want mixing or require frequent washing of cutting boards or several cutting boards. For example, when making Beef Stroganoff and brocolli for dinner, I start by cutting up the broccoli to be steamed. Setting that aside, I move on to slicing mushrooms after a quick wipe of a paper towel. I then move on to the garlic and onions so that the vegetables have not been coated with their taste, but the meat can be mixed up on the remains of the garlic and onions since the flavor is wanted in the meat. Since the meat is the last thing cut up, there is no need for an additional cutting board or a need to wash the board to prevent contamination. It makes chopping and preparing for the meal go quickly and with less items to clean up at the end!

What Kitchen Tips do you have to share? Come to our Recipe Luau at and tell us!

Thanks to Tammy's Recipes for hosting Kitchen Tips Tuesday!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Things I Love Thursday- Scrapbooking!

Thanks Jojo for today's blog!

Things I love? There are so many things besides my family. I love scrapbooking. It helps me to relax and take some time for myself. I love to write and express myself but it isn't always easy and of course finding the right words isn't always easy. i always have this fear of being too corny but when I scrapbook it seems as if my inner most thoughts come out and I can express them so neatly on paper. It's how I feel and I'm not scared that any will read it because it's like my own personal journal.

I also love all the papers and embellishments that go along with it. They are fascinating. I am a minimalists though and don't like to crowd my pages. I know I've done a good job when I can sift through my work and read what I've done with a tear in my eye.

What do you love? Share with us at!

Thanks to for hosting Things I Love Thursday!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday- Lullaby CD!

Thanks Jojo for today's blog!

There are so many trials to face when being a parent. The endless cleaning, the messes, the cooking.. So, what do you do when you reach that point of total exhaustion- just to find your little one just will not go to sleep?? Seek out a solution as quickly as possible. How else can you possibly use that supermom cape? So, what works for me? This American Lullaby cd!

It has really helped with my 6 month old getting to sleep. We use it for naps and for bedtime. I swear he's like Pavlov's dog when he hears this cd. It's like an automatic button has been turned on and he conks right out. (well not always!) I swear it's what saved us on sleeping. The music is very very soothing and even makes me sleepy when I turn it on. It's a compilation of various artists and is worth every penny! Because you know, sleep just really works for me.

What works for you when you need to occupy your kids or get them to sleep? Share with us at!

Thanks to We are THAT Family for hosting Works for Me Wednesday!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kitchen Tips Tuesday- Slow Cooker to the Rescue!

Thanks Jojo for today's blog!

What mom doesn't need some help in the kitchen? Well, as I'm waiting for my sous chef to arrive, I have been picking up a few tips. My new found cooking tool is my slow cooker! It is amazing. I have the new calphalon 7 quart slow cooker and I absolutely love it.

I am not always able to stand in the kitchen and cook especially with a 6 month old bellowing for his mommy to hold him so I usually just dump all of my ingredients in there and let it cook. I recently made some chili, chicken with vegetable, vegetables with rice and chicken cacciatore in it and it all comes out quite delicious and warm. All you need is a little bit of creativity and whatever ingredients are on hand for a great meal. I am sure this is going to be used more often as the winter months start coming in. It really is a time saver and a sanity saver!

What Kitchen Tips help you out in your busy day? Share with us at!

Thanks to Tammy's Recipes for hosting Kitchen Tips Tuesday!

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Tackle It Tuesday: Renovation Continues

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Thanks to Elaine for today's blog!

This weekend marked the beginning of the basement demo. We started with the simple move of a switch. Building code dictates that the power switch for the furnace must be in the same room as the furnace. Our switch wasn't and to save the $100 to have it moved by the furnace guys we did it ourselves.

Next came the tear down of the horrid, ugly ceiling tiles. Great if you're 6 feet tall but it sucks if you're 5 feet tall. My husband walked through the room with a crowbar pulling down the tiles while I had to stand on my tip-toes to barely reach them or stand on a stool, pry the tile down, get off the stool, move the stool and start the prying process over again. I gave up after 3 tiles and moved on to pulling off trim from around the ceiling.

You know, there's nothing like smashing a hammer through a wall and not getting in trouble for it. We took turns smacking the wall until we were able to pull most of one sheet off. This was just an brief initiation to the actual demolition that we'll be doing in the next few weeks. This week I'll be removing all the power outlet covers, light switch covers and phone jack covers so we can get down to business next weekend.

I'll give previous owner credit for doing his own home reno's but he could have at least done them right. We're going to have to hire an electrician to check all the wiring down there because MacGyver didn't have a clue what he was doing when he added light fixtures and outlets and the place looks like a fire trap. When we moved in he had the dryer hot wired directly to the wire from the breaker box. We had to put in the special outlet ourselves. We also discovered that one of the light switches is much the same (no electrical box, the wires go directly to the switch).

We also found a light box hidden behind the ceiling tiles full of a bazillion wires and we're not sure what they're for.

There's some really scary stuff down there. Yup, time to call in a professional...

What are you able to tackle while dealing with mommyhood? Come share with us at!

Thanks to for hosting Tackle It Tuesday!!

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Motivating Monday! Weight Loss

Thanks to Jojo for today's blog!!

Weightloss has been a big thing for me lately. After giving birth to my son I have been the biggest I have ever been. At 38 weeks I weighed in at 198 lbs so I really don't know how much I weighed when I hit 41 weeks.

At my 6 weeks post partum check I had dropped 30 lbs. (I am still going according to my last weigh in. It could have been though.) This is the amount of weight I should have gained during pregnancy but I wasn't your typical pregnant lady. I was disappointed and discouraged. I had read that so many other ladies have dropped so much that they were smaller than they were pre-pregnancy or fitting into their jeans by week 4! I was jealous!!

So instead of moping and being crabby I did something about it. I stopped eating junk. I started using the excuse that I was breastfeeding to have that extra piece of chocolate or that sugar cookie. Don't get me wrong. I still indulge from time to time just not like I used to.

It isn't easy but you know what keeps me motivated? It's silly but it works! I look at old pictures of myself and pictures of what I look like now. I don't enjoy looking at pictures of myself. I downright loathe the camera. So I know that this helps to keep me on track. In the beginning of this venture I also bought 100 calorie packs for when I wanted someone sweet and they helped too. (the trick is to not eat the whole box!)

And my other motivation is my son. I know I will never look like I used to and that's totally okay with me. I know what my body did was absolutely amazing and a miracle and that is enough to make me realize that this will take time and if I don't ever reach my goal then that's okay because I have what's important--my family.

What motivates you? Share your motivation with us at!

Thanks to Garibay Soup for hosting Motivating Monday!!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things I Love Thursday: Love....Times FIVE!

Thanks to MamaSandy for today's blog!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a larger/ish family? Like say, FIVE kids? Well, let me tell you it's the most amazing thing in the entire world. I realize that many of you are frantically laughing so hard you may explode and others gasped so loudly you almost woke your cat/dog/baby/significant other. It's true and I am being 100% truthful when I say it's the most amazing feeling to look into those 5 little faces and see the love, intelligence and curiosity that I see every day.

Wondering what brought on this strange, random little thread? Nothing in particular and yet everything all at once. The way the kids woke up this morning and NEEDED me for something...each and every single one of them needed ME to help them with something. It couldn't be Daddy or their teacher, just mommy! The fact that Averie at only 8 months old looked at me with SO MUCH pride today that I almost melted. Literally, I almost dripped into a puddle of mommy right there on the floor because she was walking with a walker/push toy ALL.BY.HERSELF! Can you believe that!? The way the kids came home from school, smile at me and asked ME how my day was before I was even able to ask them. MY KIDS are so big they are asking me how my day went. My stepson even told me that he wanted MY help with his homework, not his dad's help. He asked me to kiss his forehead to check for a fever, not his dad! How do these types of things happen? When did my "baby" become a 14 year old that has some major emotional growing pains to work through yet is getting straight A's? When did my second born become such an intelligent bookworm that he is a literal fountain of knowledge at only 10 years old? How did my first daughter become such a beautiful and imaginative 8 year old? How did every single one of these kids make my day so unbelievably wonderful today?

They were just a part of it, that's how!

What do you love about your kids? Share with us at The Kiddie Pool at!

Thanks to The Diaper Diaries for having Things I Love Thursday!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday: Basement Renovation!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

My husband and I are about to tackle one of the biggest jobs (besides parenthood) we've ever done. Full demolition and renovation of our basement including a small bathroom. Normally this wouldn't be a huge challenge but we have a 2 year old and I'm almost 12 weeks pregnant so we have limited time to do it (weekends only) and we have a deadline (next April). Sounds an awful lot like the job I left when my son was born...

Short version, on July 24th our basement was flooded with about 2-3 inches of water (storm sewer backed up) and along with losing most of the things we had in the basement the bottom 2 feet of drywall was removed from most of the walls. We were one of of 500 homes in our neighbourhood and roughly 1000 homes in total that were flooded.

Yesterday I talked to our insurance adjuster and she was sending in our request for a cheque to cover the structural damage from the insurance company (contents and appliances are not included in this pay-out). This means we can FINALLY start demolition!

Main room:

Back room and bathroom (computer space is to the left and behind me):

We're not quite sure what the end result will be yet but we've got 2 plans laid out. Both involve the removal of the wall separating the two rooms (on the right side of the top picture). That's going to fun. I've got a hammer, lots of frustration (I'm a SAHM with a toddler...) and I'm ready to start smashing through some drywall.

This will be a work in progress of our adventures in renovating. I'll post pics as we go so I can track the progress. My brothers and BIL will be helping us and I'm foreseeing several close calls but pure entertainment at the same time. As long as I'm not within their reach I'll be fine...

What are you able to tackle while dealing with mommyhood? Come share with us at!

Thanks to for hosting Tackle It Tuesday!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Works for Me Wednesdays- New Toy

When I was younger my dad could be kinda tough on us. In fact, he was straight up cruel at times. We'd end up in these huge arguments and inevitably I'd end up crying and screaming, he'd end up yelling and shouting, and somewhere in my girlish hormones doors were slammed. Hours or perhaps even a day or so after a blow out my father would take me out to "apologize" and usually...this meant he bought me something. By the time I was 12 I had figured him out and I thought it was lame. He figured out that I thought it was lame and stopped giving me stuff. Or....he'd do it and would be hurt by my dismissal of him.

My sister and he tended to have similar fights, but at the "apology" trip my sister would be head over heels over whatever he got her. She'd forgive him and inevitably he was the best daddy ever. Every.single.time. (For the record, this still works for her and she's 25). Dad would feel better and the smile he'd get would shine from ear to ear. I'd roll my eyes in my big sister teenage gloom and think "You're so easy to be bought. I'm tougher than that."

Now, here I sit with my own 20 month old son. All I want is to make him happy and patience is hard to come by at times. He frustrates me, just as I frustrate him, but in the end....I just want him happy. So, while sitting in his playroom the other day I realize....he needs more toys! Off to Toys'R'Us we go.

I let him roam the aisles and check out every.single.thing in the store and while my son put numerous things into the stroller, I put just as many (oh wait, all of them) back on the shelf. Finally, as I'm disheartened because I can't find a good ol' fashioned car toy that made no noise (apparently those don't exist!), I pass by a race track, with cars that made *gasp* no noise!!!!!!! It was affordable! AMAZING! Off to check out we go!

I posted about the results on Mothers' Hideaway in a post that says

"OMG he loved it. He ended up having a tantrum when it was time to eat and go to bed last night. Then this morning when he woke up he said "Eat" to DH because he didn't eat well last night, but when he saw his cars he said "Go CAR!"

The best part of it all was when we were opening it I had said "Mommy got you a new toy, buddy!" Then after a while when we had been playing it he smiled at me....walked over to me....and gave me a big hug!! Totally spontaneous. I LOVED it and DH said "Oh I think he's giving you a 'Thank You' hug"

I have to say....that's the BEST feeling in the entire world. "

To bring this back to my dad buying us off....after I got the hug from my son I realized what works for me.....I realized that even for my dad back then and for me now that nothing is better than being your kids hero or receiving your kids love. Even if it costs $19.34 including tax.

To see the entire post check out Mothers' Hideaway or to tell us about your New Toy experience check us out at

Thank you to We Are THAT Family for having Works for Me Wednesday!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Things I Love Thursday!

There is one that makes my heart melt would be my little man Matthew. I love watching him sleep. I love watching him laugh. I just love him so much that it is still such a strong feeling of passion and pride and I know that that feeling will never go away.

To know that my husband and I made this perfect little being albeit sometimes a pain is indescribable. I don't think there is any love as pure as the love you have for the child that comes from your body and from the person you love.

What do you love about your kids? Share with us at The Kiddie Pool at!

Thanks to for having Things I Love Thursday!