Friday, November 30, 2012

Mama Rant

It's cold. Like, really cold. My feet are cold, my nose is cold. My children are about to be cold, because they are sick of being inside already and it hasn't even snowed yet, and because of this I might just put them on the street corner with all of thier belongings holding a free for the taking sign. You see I may be a super cool Mama when it comes to filling our days with fun activities, baking, cooking awesome meals ect. But, this Mama, DOES NOT GO OUTSIDE when jack frost is knocking on my door. We go directly from this heated house to the car that has been idling for 3 hours so I can make sure it's beyond warm, in fact stifling HOT!  So to all you entrepreneurs out there would someone please create a GIANT indoor space that completely makes us feel like we are outside in the middle of summer. Like, I'm talking a beach with real sand and waves, fake sun coming from the roof. Trees. Mountains, flowers. I'm even ok if you want to have some mosquitoes and a few flies. If you live in Maine you know why the heck we need something like this. Unfortunately I live in Maine which pretty much means we are poor cause we have to pay like 5 million dollars to heat our damn house in the winter so I'm thinking if someone could produce my vision in the actual town I live in that would be super cool. You will probably save the lives of children all over the state because mothers wont be going on crazy killing sprees during these horrid winter months!
Mom of 3

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Teaching kids to LOVE good food - Scallops in butter wine sauce with roasted veggies and couscous

In this house we believe that children deserve good food as much as we do. We started at a very young age, flavoring even their jarred baby food....who wants to eat watered down mush? EWWW! All meals at our house are wholesome and delicious. We round each meal with fruits or veggies and those are usually my children's favorite parts. So many times I have been asked how I got my kids to be such great eaters. It's pretty simple. It's usually their only option. We don't fill our cupboards with processed junk or chicken nuggets that I found out actually have bone particles and all sorts of other parts of God knows what animal, in them. Those are not choices I was going to make for my children. Growing up thinking that Little Debbie's swiss cake rolls was  a "snack" and was packed in my lunch daily. HELL NO....not in this house. I made this promise to myself months before my children took their first breath. If your children are offered "good" food only, then they will learn to love it. I truly believe that. When my kids are offered mac and cheese or chicken nuggets they make faces of disgust....or they are super excited until they try it and then the push their bowls away after a bite or two. No flavor, not consistency, and no nutrition. Why would I give that to them. Food is Fuel. I want to fill their bodies with the good stuff and plenty of it. BUT, I want to taste amazing too! I also need my food to fit within a budget, that can sometimes be challenging but I have mastered that at this point. I will blog on that in the future! My kids know that at every meal they will be required to try everything. That has been the rule from the get-go. After a taste it's their choice what they eat. There is no other options after meals though. I think this is the mistake that most parents make when trying new things. If they try it and they say they don't like it and you pull out processed crap that fills their bellies for the time being that's what they will get used to. My kids generally clean their plates and ask for more. I start their portions small. A couple bites of everything and if they want more of something...the answer is always yes...unless they want more milk....they have to eat a decent amount to get that. When they are done. They are done. I don't argue. I don't demand they finish what I would consider a good amount of food. I let their bellies be their guide. I wish I had learned that at a young age....I didn't...I'm still learning!

Tonight's Dinner:
Scallops in a butter wine sauce with roasted Veggies and couscous

This portion fed 1 adult 3 kids no left overs (except couscous)
prep and cook time: 22 minutes combined

1/2lb Large sea scallops
olive oil
3/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 dried or fresh tarragon
dash of salt
1 Tablespoon butter
pepper to taste

1. Pat dry scallops. Heat oil in large skillet on med heat. Cook on each side until browned and cooked through (took me about 3-5 min on each side) remove from skillet and set aside.
2. Add Wine, tarragon, salt and pepper to pan. stir scrapping over the brown bits left my scallops. Add butter and simmer for 5 min. Pour sauce over scallops and devour!

Roasted Veggies.
1/2 red pepper
1 plum tomato
1 bundle of asparagus
sprinkle of oregano
sprinkle of parsley
sprinkle of Seasoned garlic salt
olive oil
Feta cheese

1. Cut pepper into thin slices. Cut tomato into bite size pieces. Cut tops of asparagus.
 2.Put Veggies on a broil safe pan. dash seasoning over them. Drizzle oil and toss veggies.
3. Put veggies on low broil for 5 min. Turn up to high until veggies are looking crisp but not burnt. Sprinkle feta cheese over veggies and put back under heat for 1-2 min until cheese softened.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

kids: Home made moon sand

Today we brought out an old time favorite. You will have to excuse to old photo. I made this sensory bin myself by mixing a bag of flour with baby oil until the consistency was right. This is WAY cheaper then the commercial stuff but has the exact same effect. My kids love playing with this stuff and although it makes a complete mess while they are playing, clean up is a cinch. I just sweep up the pile and throw it back i the bin....try it. It's a blast! Let me know how much your kiddos love it!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kids: Busy boxes

I started these last winter in an attempt to occupy my kids during the winter when I needed to get things done, like cook dinner, do dishes, fold laundry ect. These have easily been the number one greatest home made projects of all time. A year later they are still being loved and used on an almost daily basis.
The busy boxes have a few rules both for the kids and I....
1. I NEVER say no to using the busy boxes (except the play-doh one because I absolutely HATE play-doh)
2. Only 1 busy box may be used at a time.
3. They have to sit at table to play.
4. They must clean the entire busy box up when they are done playing.
All of the products used to make these were purchased at the dollar tree or walmart or we already had them at the house. The cost was low and I have not had to re-purpose anything and I refill them often.
We have 8 boxes in the following categories:


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kids- cheap entertainment

I realized that my "deprived" children did not own a Mr. Potato head....SO I decided to make the poor Maine mama version of this necessary kids toy. It was very simple and has been a huge hit in my household. I had all the items in my house so for us this was a free project.

What you will need:
White paper
laminating machine
laminating sheets
small magnets
hot glue gun

I drew different eyes, noses, and mouths on the white paper with the sharpie marker. I cute them out. Put them in the laminating sheets and ran them through my laminating machine. I then hot glued magnets on them. I drew a head on white paper (one for each kiddo) and put all items on the fridge. The kids love to make a face that explains how they are feeling every afternoon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kids: Fishing for snacks

I'm always on the lookout for healthy and fun snack ideas and if I can throw an activity in as well; even better. Today's tasty treat involved fishing for snacks. The kids had a blast with this and they healthiest part of the snack were gone first.

peanut butter
gold fish

Put gold fish on plate.
Dab each celery stick into peanut butter and let kids go fishing!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Kids: Stinky pee from poor aim

So with twin 3 year old boys,who are now potty trained, I have quickly learned that they can't am worth anything. I realized also that I cannot only clean the bathroom once a week or I end up with the worse smelling bathroom in the entire universe. Smells something like port-a-potty meets something even nastier. It's awful. Every time I would clean the bathroom it wouldn't smell fresh like I just cleaned. It still smelled awful. Well after a year of dealing with this I finally figured it out folks!
You only need 2 simple ingredients....Baking soda an a spray bottle of vinegar.
Disclaimer: I have no idea if this will eat away at your floor. I do not know if it will work on every surface. All I know is I have linoleum floors and this is the first thing that even does better then bleach.
Ok with that being said this is what I do. I sprinkle the baking soda all over the area around the toilet. Then I take the spray bottle and spray vinegar around on the soda....Making sure it is nice and saturated. I then leave it alone for 20 min to an hour. And clean up the soda then mob the floor and voila.
This is the yellow nastiness that soaks into the mixture. AMAZING. Let me know if you have any other tricks of the trade or how this works for you!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kids bake: Healthy homemade fruit leather and fruit snacks

First thing this morning we decided to take on the adventure of making our own healthy snacks that had no added sugar and were completely all natural. First we created fruit snacks

Gummy Fruit Snacks 1 cup mixed berries 1/4 cup water 1/2 cup applesauce 1/2 cup fruit juice (apple, cranberry, blueberry, whatever) 2 envelopes gelatin (1 envelope = 2 1/2 tsp)

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the berries and water. Bring to a boil and cook until berries are soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree berries until smooth. Return to pot. Add applesauce and return to a boil, then remove from heat, cover and set aside.
In a large bowl, sprinkle gelatin over fruit juice and let stand one minute. Add hot fruit mixture and stir until gelatin completely dissolves, 3 to 5 minutes.

 Pour into 8 x 8 inch glass or ceramic baking dish (or into molds, if you want to go that route). Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. Cut into blocks or shapes.

Boys using food processor to puree fruit

These were SUPER easy to make. They taste fantastic. However they are a lot more like a jello jiggler then a fruit snack. So I put one of them in the oven for a few hours to see if it dried out at all on the low setting of 200. I liked the consistency better however, I don't think it made enough of a difference to make it a long project instead of quick. Kids loved them both ways and REALLY loved helping me make these super healthy sugar free snacks!!!
Next we made fruit leather. I can make this really simple. When this project was FINALLY completed I called my sister and asked her if I could borrow her food processor. This is an all day project. BUT they are very tasty and closely resemble the product you can buy in the store. We made two batches. Mixed berry, and Strawberry. Kids love them. They will not last long.

3-4 cups frozen fruit
  1. Combine all ingredients from recipe
  2. If your ingredients are frozen, heat in a pan until well combined
  3. Add thick liquid to food process. Blend until smooth
  4. Line a pan with parchment or plastic wrap. Pour liquid on pan and spread evenly.
  5. Bake in oven at 140-170 degrees for 6-8 hours
  6. Let cool. Keep it in an airtight container, and enjoy within the week.
Cleaning up after a lot of hard work
Would I make these again. Yes. I will....just as soon as I have a dehydrator instead of the oven. Two thumbs up for taste though.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Shopping with kids? I don't think so.....Hannaford to go two thumbs up

If you have kids then you know that going food shopping while lugging them around is stressful for everyone. Would you pay 5$ to not have to do this??? I DO! Hannaford to go is AMAZING. I can't tell you how much time and stress this saves me. I go online for about 20 min. I make my list. Choose a pick up time. The husband drives thru on his way home from work he rings a bell and out they march with all my bags.....AMAZING. As a mom of 3 little ones this is invaluable to me. Not only is it easy but also helps me to stay within budget. Shop the deals, and I am not tempted to buy processed nasty horrible food. I buy whats on my list...the end. I am in love. If only life as a Mama could always be this easy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Science Time

This is a quick easy and cheap science project that the boys thought was amazing.

2% or higher milk
food coloring (gel will not work)
dawn dish soap

put thin layer of milk in bottom of dish
let kids put drops of different colors in milk
put one drop dish soap in middle colors will move around and swirl on their own.

The fat in the milk instantly separates when soap hits it. This is a very quick project but they thought it was awesome. Clean up was also quick and easy. In an effort to prolong the project and be less wasteful we used the color swirls to dye coffee filters and hung them when they dried. Have fun.

Meet "Grinny"

Diva, tom-boy, angelic, devilish, charismatic, independent, excited, friendly, loving.

Her favorite thing to do is anything I am doing. She wants to help and be praised. She wants to be a mini adult. She loves to mops, and sing, and sweep, and fold laundry. Take care of her babies. She is going to be an amazing Mama someday.

She is my girl. All I ever dreamed of and wanted in a daughter. She idolizes me and challenges me. She loves to do her hair and get all dressed up. But don't think for one second that she wont be the first one to jump into the mud puddles or pick up a worm. She follows her brothers around and believes she can do anything and everything that they can do. She is often the leader of the pack. She is dramatic and demanding and will let you know very quickly if the world is not falling into order on her every command. I think some days that I have created a monster, however I know all of her challenges now, will make her into one amazing human being as she grows older. She will lead people beautifully and never fail to take charge. She will be beautiful and kind to people bringing out true happiness in everyone who's path she crossed. She will make people see their own beauty inside and out. She is all the good I have possessed in my lifetime. She is my daughter and I could not be more proud!

Meet "bear"

Aggressive, independent, hyper, destructive, thoughtful, kind, friendly, loud, 3 year old boy.

His favorite thing to to do is be LOUD and heard. He loves to bang things and stomp his feet. His cunning smile can take your breath away but quickly turn into a devilish grin and awesome giggle. He finds the good in the world and loves everyone but trusts few.

He is most like his Mama out of the three of them. He is independent refusing help often and wanting to figure everything out on his own. I get him. He gets me. We have a mutual respect for one another. He is my mini me. I look at him and see all that I did right in this world. He challenges me differently. He is ambitious and rules are hard for him because he wants to hold the world in his hands with no bounds. He will make a fantastic politician someday or perhaps a lawyer he can argue his way out of any situation and then flick you a smile that will light up your world. He is amazing and I love to watch him and listen to his stories.

Meet "G-man"

Sensitive, caring, kind, often easily frustrated, affectionate, agressive, curious, 3 year old boy.

His favorite things to do are to hugs and kiss his mom. I'm going to miss that in a few years. So I remember to never say hold on or wait a minute when his sweet little voice says "Mama, can i give you a hug and a kiss"....Yes you may G-man....always and forever.

He is emotionally effected good or bad by every word and action that enters his life. He requires the most patience from me. When I am irritated I have to work hard to be aware of my tone and reactions because they imprint on him the most out of the 3. He looks up to us. I want him to always feel that way. He is simply amazing and I just know that he will move mountains in his lifetime and truly care about all the people that enter his journey. I want to be more like him everyday~!

Crazy kids.....Need direction

My kids have no bounds to their endless supply of energy. I have learned over the past 3.5 years that directing this energy throughout the day brings more peace into my day and theirs as well. Our daily regiment looks something like this.
7am WAKE UP mom!
7:02 (lol) We are hungry!
7:30 Get dressed
7:50 brush teeth
8:00 Wake up Sissy(get her dressed)
8:10 shoes and coats
8:15 go to school
8:45 the girl and I come home to clean and pick up
10:00 I bring the girl to playgroup, dance, play date, appointments, ect.
12:00 head to pick up twins from school
1:00 home. Quiet time for boys (a Disney movie and relaxation station on couch.) and Nap time for sissy
2:00 Art, cooking, busy box, or other fun activity for twins
3:00 sissy is usually awake. (more constructive play)
4:00 I make dinner they play.
5:30 Daddy gets home eat dinner
6:00 Family play time
7:00 baths, stories, goodnight song, daily drawing, and bed
8:00 clean house......
Isn't that enough for one day?

Our days are full, and most of the time hectic and crazy. We are not rich so we have to be creative on how we fill our days. Our goal is to put smiles on our kids faces and keep them believing that life is kind and amazing for as long as possible. We are trying everyday to show them as much of the world at their fingertips as possible. It's easy to get into the hustle and bustle of daily living and forget that these days go by way too fast, I have really struggled but forced myself to learn that the mess will be there always but soon enough they won't want to see the world holding my hand so I better take these moments while I can get goal in life is to:  Always put the the broom down and dance with my babies!

In this blog I plan to invite you on our journey, the art projects, science experiments, recipes, and fun that makes up our life. We hope to inspire you to shut off the TV and get artistic, see the world, and be present every second of your kids life. ENJOY