Happy 2011!

Happy New Years you all! I am back from my little blogging vacay, feeling refreshed. Why not start off the new year with a few goals.

I love making resolutions.

Something about a new year brings about the need for growth and change. It’s a good time to step back and look at what we have accomplished and what to improve.

Here are my goals, both home and personal.

Domestically speaking, I would like to get more organized. Indulge in my OCD side a little. A couple ways I plan on doing this:

-Laundry EVERYDAY-
I loathe laundry. So if I wash, dry, and fold a load everyday it may not be as painful as one entire day devoted to it! Twisted logic but we shall see.

-A Master Grocery List-
No really. I loathe grocery shopping too. So an organized list to get it all, AT ONCE, (read: in and out) will make it that much less stressful. Have you tried shopping with a toddler? Nuts! This would help things run smooth. Right??

-Freezer Meals. For us.-
I enjoy cooking, but most days after work I am in no spirit to cook a meal from scratch. Nada. So if I could make meals to freeze on Saturday or Sunday, dinner could be a breeze.

-Clear the Clutter-
I can’t stand clutter, yet I am surrounded by it these days. I can’t live like this! “-) Mostly some closet organization, sewing/craft area, and the living room. Pier 1, here I come!

Me wise, I want to work on a few things too. Indulging my artistic side and taking better care if my health are my major goals for this year. Here is how I’ll take action:

-Set time aside for work and for play…
For designing, scrapbooking, hemp, sewing, jewlery making, collages, photography, writing. All stuff I miss doing regularly B.C. (before Chazz) I can make a little time in my day to use those creative juices!

-Healthy Mama-
I want to be a good example for Chazz. I eat healthy most of the time, but could tone up. This year I want to take up yoga (besides the tapes at home!) and keep up the regular workouts (you know, working full time and chasing the toddler.)

-Gain back a little weight-
Yes I said GAIN. Nursing Chazz sucked all my fat away, and Montana winters are cold! I’m a little under where I should be, so gaining back 20 pounds would be nice. Protein shakes, yum!

2010,
Fairwell. You were kinda a jerk, but I won’t complain. “-)
I can’t wait to see what 2011 holds!

What are your goals this year? Are you ready for 2011?!

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Hey! Pssst.

{I’m not supposed to be here!}

But if you are visiting from Chill Mama Chill,

I’m sorta on a blogging vacay until the New Year. (So behave. Don’t trash the place or throw any parties while I’m gone. Kids.)

Do take a second to click around. I have a few favorite posts if you need a place to start. ❤

Oh, and if you aren’t from Brandee’s blog, and you’re just puzzled, wondering where the usual hubbub is, FYI I’m guest blogging over at a friend’s blog, Chill Mama Chill.

Brandee is one of those nitty-gritty-truth writers, and I love her honest (and hilarious) take on motherhood. Plus, our kiddos are around the same age so we have similar horror stories. I get to laugh and cry along “-)

I posted about surviving motherhood, 36 hours of crazy {everyday}, oh, and then I dis on Super Mom. So go check it out and get some Chill Mama Chill-ness while you’re there!

Until January.

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A Bloggity Break

Taking time out of our everyday lives to love and cherish the special moments with our family is important.

And now that the holidays are upon us, it seems right to “unplug” for a bit. It doesn’t always happen as much as it should. “-)

Sooooooo…..

I am taking a little blog break this holiday season. (Its not you, it’s me, promise!) Starting now, through the New Year.

It’s time to get life “orgamanized” for 2011 (already?!?) A fresh take after a long, long year. And some time to re-evaluate what’s what in the Forever & After Fam and my blog.

And of course, cuddle with the two most charming guys ever in our Christmas pj’s.

I’ll most likely upload a few pics from Christmas Eve and Christmas to drool over. I may even have someone “guest blog” for me. Who knows!

But don’t worry. Just because I’m not posting this week doesn’t mean you can’t buzz around past FAB posts!

A few of my faves:

Check out how I am adjusting to life as a working mom (or not adjusting!).

Or even learn more about Chazz’s ONH and our struggle with his visual impairment.

Perhaps you have some suggestions for our recent toddlerhood woes?

Or peek at all of our hard work last month for Chazz’s Monkey Birthday Party. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out.

Also, Mum’s NumNums is the place to go for all of my homemade baby food and toddler-friendly recipes.

Enjoy the holidays. Snuggle your munchkins tight!

Until January, my friends.

Muah!

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Mum’s NumNums: Cheesy Rice

Being a (working!) mom of a toddler often means life in the fast lane. While fun, this often leaves me wondering if Chazz is getting the proper nutrition on those kind of days.

This is when freezable meals make things a little easier.

My Cheesy Rice recipe is freezable, so you can just pop out a cube or two to thaw in the diaper bag just in time for lunch. The ingredients hit most of the food groups, so all I have to do is pack along a banana or papaya to chop up, and we are good to go!

The kid is fat and happy, and this mama knows her baby is getting just what he needs. Even on the go! Enjoy.

Ingredients:
1/4 C onion, chopped
1 C basmati rice
2 C boiling water
3/4 C butternut squash
1/2 C hard cheese such as cheddar or Monterey Jack
2 chopped tomatoes
EV Olive Oil

Preparation
Fry the onion in a little oil until soft. Stir in the basmati rice and sauté one minute. Add the boiling water. Cover and simmer for 8 mins. Scoop in the squash, cover and cook for about 12 mins more on a low. Stir until all the water is absorbed. As this is cooking, fry the chopped tomatoes for 2 mins then stir in the cheese and add mix to the rice.

You can scoop the cheesy rice mixture into ice cube trays and freeze into handy serving sizes. Transfer cubes into a labeled freezer bag for easy storage.

This makes about 8-10 cubes.

*I switch up this recipe and keep Chazz interested by adding or substituting ingredients. Try adding some ground hamburger or turkey. Or sub peas and/or steamed diced carrots for the squash.


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So, Is This Discipline?

The time of tantrums and toddler drama is upon us.

And so is the time of discipline. Chazz (as amazing as he is!) has learned about fits. And boy, is he good at throwing them! For example:

The entertainment center? Is off limits. If he is trying to climb up it or chew on it or push speakers off of it or rip cords out of the wall and I move him and/or his hand away, BOOM. Insta-fit. Screams, tears, whining, the whole bit. At least a two minute ordeal.

In defense, I mostly use the art of distraction. Exchange the offending object for a toy I would prefer him to have, or move him away. It works, but only after he pushes the toy back in your face or throws it on the ground. And more tantrum.

It must really be frustrating to be a toddler. Craving independence in a land of “no’s.” I understand that.

I explain to Chazz in a calm tone why, repeat “no,” and even give him a toy. Or a cheerio. Anything.

(All of this AT ONE YEAR. I thought this was two-year-old business, anyway??) Where is my sweet baby boy, and who is this crazed grabby grab mcgraberton crabby pants??

At home, its easier. He “gives in” sooner and is easier to distract. And I feel less pressure. (Not under public scrutiny?)

At the grocery store, Chazz threw his first public huge fit. And it was so EMBARASSING! I could have died. The entire store was looking at my kid like he was the crazy. Like I was crazy! And it was just me, no Roman for back-up. (And I totally sucked! I couldn’t even handle it. I left my cart and took Chazz to the car.)

So after having a few teeth knocked out by a Tonka truck or two and being embarassed to near-death, I’m brainstorming. How should I have handled this little tyrant?

Sometimes a swat on the butt seems like a pretty good idea. Sometimes slapping his little hand sounds good too. I’m not against either of those options, I’m just a little uncertain that they are age-appropriate solutions. And about what ARE. But frankly, the gruff “no” isn’t working well, and I doubt it will work for much longer!

A diciplined one year old is a well behaved two year old (I’m quoting you, Dad.) And I want both.


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Mum’s NumNums: Toddler Friendly Smoothie

After hitting the Mickey D’s drive-thru last week for a smoothie, I’ve discovered my toddler’s love for all things frozen. Especially of the mango and banana sorts.

What better way to get him to enjoy his fruit (and maybe even sneak in a veggie) than a smoothie?!

So after a few failed attempts and some funky tasting smoothies, here is the final recipe.

Ingredients:
1 medium size ripe mango
1 ripe banana
2 scoops vanilla frozen yogurt
1/2 Cup Carrot Juice (I love Bolthouse brand!)

Preparation
Slice the mango and banana and place in blender. Layer the frozen yogurt on top. Pour in the carrot juice. Purée until smooth, adding more carrot juice if needed. Serve chilled.

You can freeze any leftovers and reblend with a little more carrot juice as needed.

Easy squeezy! And it takes all of 5 minutes to wash, dice, and blend. Take that, McDonald’s!

What is your fave smoothie?
What combos would you make?

Return To MUM’S NUM NUMS

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Welcome To The Jungle: The Sweets Buffet

This is the second post in a two part series behind the scenes of Chazz’s first birthday. After all of the blood, sweat and tears that went into this party, I have to share a few things with ya!

The first post covered the decorations for Chazz’s monkey themed first birthday party. This post will cover the yummy food and the sweets buffet!

The Theme: Monkeys
The Colors: Brown & Jungle Green, Blue accent.


I really wanted to do a candy buffet for this birthday. It seemed light and fun for a child’s first birthday. And that eventually grew into a sweets buffet, as who can say no to chocolate fondue?? Not I!

I set up a table with a green tablecloth and brown tulle. I used shoe boxes underneath to raise up some platters and add depth.


Cutlery and Such:
The glass vases and plastic platters I was lucky enough to score at the dollar store, along with the plastic scoops and spoons. The plates and napkins I ordered HERE. I adore them. (They were actually the starting inspiration for the whole shabang.)

It’s all in the details.
I added coordinating ribbon to the vases and various scoops. And look! There are some decorations I told you about in Part One.


As for the candy?
I got it locally at the candy shop. They gave me a bulk discount, yay! $6 a pound for 6 pounds of Sixlets. (I figured about a 1/4 pound per guest.) They didn’t have brown, so I had to work in some yellow. I’m trying not to be upset about it.
Hmmphf.


The Buffet In All Its Glory
Pictures are worth a thousand words.


The Sweets
A variety of fruits, cookies, and treats were harmed in the making of this partay.


“Fun”due
The pot? Wilton, $20 bucks. The Chocolate. That’s Wilton too. $WayTooExpensive. But oh so good. And of course, more cookies and such.


¿Cupcakes?
I used good ol’ yellow boxed cake (shhh!) and added a 11/2 cup of mashed banana. Chocolate frosting, nilla wafers, red gel frosting, and M&M’s make the Monkey face.


Chazz’s Smash Cake
With pureed bananas. And he even added a cheerio on top.


Aaand gone…



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