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Friday, March 30, 2018

I'm BACK with a family hack...PROMISE!!

Hey There!  Are you still there?  I sure hope so!  I've been MIA from the blog the past 15  months...sorry about that!  NUTSO!!  Life went bonkers, and I needed to take a hiatus from all the extras in my life.  If you don't follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you will be surprised to know I had a baby in September!!!  Crazy, right?!  Our little man is the less than 1%!!  Over 980 days I went through countless appointments, meds, IUIs, a surgery, tears, anger, and tons of prayers to get our newest miracle.  I even lost a few friendships on the journey with "friends" who couldn't understand what I was going through.  Our fertility doctors had data reports from bloodwork and ultrasounds showing I couldn't have a second baby without 4 consecutive IVF treatments with at least 2 embryos each time.  I was "diagnosed" with secondary unexplained infertility.  WHATEVER is all I have to say about that!  Ha!  Clearly doctors don't know EVERYTHING like we oftentimes seem to think they do.  We put too much stock in what doctors tell us instead of just staying true to our beliefs knowing everything is on God's time...not ours.  God was definitely in control and had the timing perfect for our family. :) Initially I wanted children much closer in age than the almost 6 years difference, but I'm actually thankful for the large gap.  Our first miracle started kindergarten this year right before little man was born.  She had her own excitement happening with going to big girl school.  While she's at school each day, I have one on one time with little guy.  Both kiddos get their special time each day with just mom.  I never feel torn or overly exhausted doing the mom life with two kids.  Life with a new born and an elementary age kid has been fun, but an adjustment too.  That being said, there wasn't enough time to do it all until now!  Finally I feel like I have the time to refocus on creating for TPT and blogging about all things teaching, shopping, running, and family life.  Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Meet the LESS than 1% little man:

Baby G was born on Friday, September 8, 2017 in the same hospital room as his big sister at 10:55pm.  He weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.  If you're a number person like me then he has a pretty awesome birthday (9+8=17).

The miracle himself just snoozing away in the hospital. 

I'm looking rough, but so was the experience this go round.  I'm definitely out of the baby machine business.  One of each is perfect for me. 

Now onto a simple family hack suggestion...

Like I mentioned previously, my little is in kindergarten now.  In my humble opinion she is the perfect age to help with the daily ritual of getting out the door for school.  Why should moms have to do it ALL...all the time?!  One morning while out for a run before the hectic school day morning started I realized my little could do her own meal prep.  Genius, RIGHT ?!?!  I meal prep my breakfasts/lunches each week, so why couldn't she prep her lunches for the week?  I had never been so excited to release one of my responsibilities off to a little person before.  When the weekend rolled around I went to the store to get the weekly groceries for the house.  Grocery shopping is exhausting. There isn't one perfect store for me to get everything on my list.  Instead I have the pleasure of going to Whole Foods, Publix, and occasionally Harris Teeter to get the shopping done.

On Sunday afternoon I had my little join me in the kitchen to teach her how she could create her own lunch yumminess each week by making lunches with me on Sundays.  She was instantly hooked, because SHE was in charge of a big something impacting her each day.  #momwin  Below are some pictures of her prepping the meals.  Each week I change the options with what I purchase at the store to keep things interesting for her.  You can see in the background some of my meal prepping going on too.  We are NOT a crockpot family, the hubby actually loathes any meal made in a crockpot; however, it works quickly to cook chicken for my salads each week.  I will put a post up on my simple meal prepping soon!  ;)

meal prep
I get out the food my little can choose to prep from.  She has choices from crunch, fruit, veggies, protein, etc.  She makes a total of 5 things from each group.  It doesn't matter to me the combinations, but needs to have 5 of each group to mix up the lunches each week.  

meal prep
People who know me best will tell you I can be quite the food "weirdo".  I consider it a compliment! ;) . Our daughter goes to public school where the population is a mixed bag of experiences; therefore, the food you will see in the cafeteria can be quite interesting to say the least.  Kids can be mean when it comes to food, so I had to figure out a way to balance it out  while not setting my kid up to be bullied.  In these pictures you see cookies from Whole Foods that look similar to things other kids will be packing.  She knows they are treats and not to expect them with every meal.

meal prep
This is the pull out drawer in our refrigerator.  Our little gets the left side of the drawer for HER meal prepped items.  Once the prepping is finished, she puts the food in the drawer for the week.  Each morning while I'm getting breakfast ready she packs her lunch.  She picks one protein, a dairy item, a veggie and/or fruit, something crunchy, and a sweet treat. 
Here are a list of things she typically chooses from each week (I keep these items in stock at the house when in season) in case you are looking for new lunch ideas for your crew:

  • Shrimp Cocktail (frozen bagged shrimp)
  • Rolled sliced lunch meet (rotate between turkey, ham, and chicken)
  • Turkey Jerky
  • Classic PB sandwich (no jelly) on a bagel thin
  • Mini Pancakes or Waffles (most weeks I have these made and in the freezer, but have been known to purchase when in a bind)
  • Sausage links (AppleGate is our go to)
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts)
  • Pretzel Thins
  • Pirates Booty or Simply Cheetos 
  • Sweet Peppers/hummus
  • Carrot Chips/hummus
  • Sliced Cucumbers/ranch
  • Grape Tomatos
  • Apple Chips (I make them myself each week)
  • Goldfish (I buy the organic wheat/bagged type...very much a treat in our house)
  • Cheese sticks and baby bells
  • Yogurt Tubes (Stonyfield or Chobani)
  • Applesauce cups (Motts or Publix brand organic is how we roll)
  • Grapes
  • Blackberries, strawberries, blueberries
  • Sweet Treat (I try and bake cookies from scratch a few times a month, but WF comes to the rescue when I'm short on time)

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will be back again soon!  I would love to hear your lunch ideas too for the kiddos!  Also, if you are struggling with infertility and need a listening ear, prayers, or have questions; reach out to me.  I would love to be part of your support system!  It's a lonely journey most will never understand!  Have a fantastic Easter weekend friends!