Friday, January 16, 2009


Do you know what this is? You might say a really messy freezer. Well, it is. However, I was referring to the month's worth of meals I prepared on my day off on Wednesday! One of my greatest friends Conner (aka stay at home mom extraordinaire) inspired me. Our household spends WAY too much money on eating out simply because of convenience. There are so many nights that I come home from work, and I just opt to order out from pure laziness. Other scenarios are I've neglected to get to the grocery store, or Asher and I are the only ones home (on Mark's second shift rotation) so we entertain ourselves by eating out. No more in 2009! Besides, let's face it. I don't make as much as I did when I was working full time.
I remedied the problem by getting the book Once a Month Cooking. It gives you meal plans, grocery lists, prep plans, and full instructions on how to assemble, store, and serve the dishes. Believe it or not I cook pretty healthy around here so I was able to make each entree Weight Watcher friendly. So far we've eaten 2 dishes, and they have also tasted great!
Now, the book offers 2 and 4 week plans. I did the 2 week since I was nervous about freezer space, and I figured since we aren't scared of a leftover we could draw most dishes out for 2 meals. They typically feed 4-6 people, and picky little Asher won't touch most of it with a ten foot pole.
It was hard work though. I did about 6 hours straight on my feet with no breaks except to go to the restroom. I think next time may go a little smoother though. I have to be honest. There were some major flaws in the book I had to work out. I had read reviews that the new revised version of this book did have problems. It sure did!!! With that said, I had researched several other similar books. This one did seem to be the best. The recipes were simple and good. Some of the other books appeared to be more complicated and expensive to prepare.
Here are some things to consider if you do Once a Month Cooking:
  • Inventory your recipes with the grocery list to double check. For example, I had 2 recipes that called for taco seasoning, but the grocery list only had 1. That wasn't a big deal because I just made it homemade which is way better anyway. Also, the chicken amounts and prep was very messed up for my particular menu. There was even a recipe listed on the menu that wasn't even in the book at all!
  • Get a kitchen scale. It'll help you from having to guess how much meat for each dish. It was a little frustrating because some recipes would call for 2 pounds worth of cubed chicken which you cubed in bulk before hand. Other recipes called for 4 breasts worth. Hello! They're already chopped up in a pile with the rest! The scale wouldn't help there, but I promise it would come in handy.
  • Get one of those Reynolds vacuum sealers. If you don't want to fork out the cash on one of those Food Savers then there's a $7 hand help vacuum sealer that you buy specific freezer bags with. It worked great, and the bags weren't that much more expensive than regular ones.

Our menu this month: Herbed Chicken, Winter Pot Roast, French Stuffed Potatoes, Chicken Nuggets, Playoff Burgers (burgers stuffed with cheese), Spaghetti Soup, Farmer's Casserole (breakfast casserole), Poppy Beef, Country Captain (a maroccan like dish), Black Beans with smoked sausage (basically red beans and rice), Chicken Taco Salad, London Broil, Mexican Chicken Lasagna, Sopa de Maiz (kind of like taco soup)
Another good thing...Mark can help "cook" dinner. No excuses:)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gettin' on the Potty Train

I would just like to announce to the world that my baby went pee pee in the potty tonight!!! YAY, Asher!
We've had the actual potty for a while, and we ask him occasionally if he wants to use it. Sometimes he'll even say yes. We'll go sit, and nothing will happen. That's nothing too regular, and I think he thinks it's a game really because he's real enthusiastic about it. Well, tonight we went to Toys-R-Us, and for the heck of it we bought him some big boy underwear. We let him pick, and he chose Handy Manny. When we got home Mark ran to the bathroom, and I preceded to get Asher ready for bed. Of course, I couldn't resist getting a sneak peak of those saggy little britches on his cute booty. We then paraded around and admired them in the full length mirror. Then, mommy got the urge to go so we went to the bedroom to get to that bathroom. I noticed Asher tugging at himself so I asked him if he needed to potty. He said yes so I whisked him up and put him on my potty backwards since I don't have a potty chair in there. Mark was still busy with his business evidentally. Well, hanging off my commode became way too uncomfortable so we went to harass Daddy. Asher was banging on the door jabbering something. Finally, Mark answered and after a few minutes of Asher sitting on his potty there was a beautiful puddle of gold liquid under my baby's bottom. We made such a fuss, but I think he was really like "what's the big deal" cause we went on and on, calling all the grandparents of course.
I realize this might be an isolated incident, but it's something we can realistically think about now. He moves up classes January 26th into the "Big Boy" class where they will start toileting the children. I'm excited and dreadful too. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good Buddies

A couple of weekends ago one of my partners in crime from graduate school came to visit along with her husband and little boy. Like always we enjoyed their company so much, and the boys had a big time. They played hard and got to see the Choo-Choo and aquarium downtown. We really hope that Asher's buddy Owen can come back real soon. Next time, he'll have a baby sister with him. We can't wait to meet Meg! She'll be a great excuse to get to see our good friends again!

The boys hugging after some coaching from their moms I'm sure

Blogging Ding Dong

So, I guess I don't get something here, but I finally found a cute Valentine's background I could live with. After rocking the minima template and being upset over loosing all my links, they reappeared. Yep. Poof! After applying the new background it was there. I don't know why or how, and I don't really care. I'm just really happy it happened...that's the end of a good day!

“As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible and trust God with the impossible.”--Ruth Bell Graham