Friday, February 25, 2011

My Week in the Five O'clock Club!

I've often heard people wish there was just a little more time in the day.  Sometimes it seems that 24 hours is simply not enough time.  Well, Mary Kay Ash figured out a solution to this problem.  You see, she figured that it's not that there isn't enough time in the day, it's that we aren't awake for enough of those hours.  Her solution is a simple one (or is it?), wake up at 5 am.  She'd wake up at 5 am and get finished with the chores she couldn't do while the kids were awake.  In this way, when the kids did wake up, she could devote her attention to them instead of other less important tasks.  Mary Kay encouraged all consultants to join what she called "The Five O'clock Club".

After reading Mary Kay's biography, I was inspired to try this myself, at least for a week.

Sunday: I actually slept pretty well, but when my alarm went off at 5 am my brain said "you're kidding right?" So back to sleep I went (until little bear woke up 20 minutes later).  By the time I was done with my little guy, there was a two year old calling me (think Stewie from the Family Guy).  Oh well, there's always tomorrow!

Monday: Little Bear was up at 1 am and back down at 2:30, then Munchkin was up at 2:38.  Bear was back up at 3:30 am.  Needless to say at 5 am I hit the snooze button, and slept until Little Bear was up again 30 minutes later! YAWN!

Tuesday: Just like Monday minus Munchkin.  At 5 am I hit the snooze again!

Wednesday: Little Bear was up at 2:30, then again at 4:55.  After feeding and changing Little Bear I laid him back down.  At 5:45, I walked and fed the dogs.  Then came back in had a cup of coffee.  Just as I sat down to relax (oops, isn't this chore time?) and pat myself on the back for actually getting something done, Munchkin was up.  SIGH!

Thursday: Very similar night to Wednesday.  At 5 am when the alarm went off, I was already up.  After caring for Bear,  I took the dogs out, came back inside and... went back to sleep.

Friday: Little bear was up at 1:55, then back up at 5 with my alarm.  After his feeding and changing, I took the dogs out, then made my husband breakfast (yeah, I know!).  Then gathered my pumping equipment.  When Little Bear woke up, I'd already expressed milk and had my morning cup of joe. PASS!

My assessment: On the days when I actually accomplished at least one task before my little ones woke, I felt great.  I had a much less rushed morning and was able to eat breakfast with my son.  This 5 O'clock club is definitely attainable, but perhaps more so for women with no infant.  I've learned that sleep is sooo important.  With out it I am no good to my babies,  and I may accidentally put my Timewise 3-in-1 cleanser on my tooth brush (that's a whole other story).  Oh well, moving forward I will continue to take things day by day.  Today I am an active member of the 5 O'clock Club, tomorrow, chances are my card will be revoked! ; )

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Scoop on Baby Food Making

     Little bear has started on solids.  Hooray, a new milestone!! More like... sniffle sniffle, soon he'll be telling me he wants pantates (that's Munchkin speak for pancakes).  Every new milestone my babies hit is a bitter sweet moment.  I love that they have achieved a new level in their young lives, however it also means they are growing up.  In order to make this transition more on the sweet side,  I've decided to make little bear's baby food.  Making my baby's food gives me a sense of "I am woman, hear me roar!". You know, a sense of pride.

     To all of my working mom friends out there, it's not as hard or time consuming as you think.  When I started making Munchkin's food, I was working full time and I commuted almost 2 hours one way.  I had been given a baby food maker as a gift and it sat in the box for months.  I was inspired to dust it off by a friend of mine.  She had two small boys (2 1/2 & less than a year), she worked full time (with a monster commute), and was still breastfeeding the baby.  When she visited one day, I was shocked to see her unpack her pumped milk and frozen packages of homemade baby food.  I was very impressed that she found the time.  What I've realized since becoming a mother is we make time for what is important to us.

     My friend's advice to me was pick a day.  She made hers for the week on Sunday.  Currently I am blessed with the opportunity to stay at home with my boys, so Monday is my day.  You should then decide how much your going to need for the week, or until the next time you plan on making food.  Next pick your tool.I have the Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker.  It was a gift when Munchkin was a baby, but you can use a blender or food processor as well.   Then choose foods.  For menu ideas try If you have a baby food maker, it will probably have the capability to steam the food, if not steam it or cook it yourself.  FYI - Bananas get really brown when you steam them first.  Next, blend!  I like to add the water used to steam the food or a little breast milk to get the right consistency.  You can also use formula to thin the food out.  If you add to much accidentilly, try add a bit of baby cereal to thicken it back up.  Last store your food.  I've read you can use ice cube trays to give you perfect 1 ounce servings.  I use little snack baggies.  I measure 2.5 ounces in little wide mouthed advent baby bottles first.  Then pour into the baggies.  I label the baggies with type of food, date, and amount.

     I started out pureeing just fruits and veggies.  Then I experimented with different types of flavors.  This week Little Bear is experiencing cinnamon.  I mixed carrots, apples, and whole grains, then sprinkled just a bit of cinnamon.   At some point I'll make a modified version of what my Munchkin, my husband and I are eating and blend that together.  You can decide what your baby is ready for.
Happy Blending!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Munchkin

Munchkin turned two last week.  The time is flying at lightening speed.  He's really into cars, trucks, and trains, pretty much anything with wheels.  Since he's only two and mommy gets to decide, I went with trains (mostly Thomas and Friends).  As soon as I decided on a train themed birthday, I started researching any and everything I could about train parties.  The result: an awesome party, that my little man loved.  Although he probably won't remember it when he is older.  All the hard work, time, and money spent was totally worth it.

The first thing on my list of things to do was make a train cake.  After days of searching the web, I stumbled on an idea for a cupcake train.  I combined a few ideas from different sites and came up with a cool cake that the birthday boy and guest loved. Last year I made him a basketball cake.  Both ideas came from .  The directions are easy to follow, and they have lots of cool ideas.  This is my finished product.  It took way longer than I thought to actually decorate and put together.  I used graham crackers and royal icing to hold to the cupcakes.  I made my own cream cheese frosting since I don't like any of the canned varieties. Chocolate Twizzlers and crushed Oreos and more graham crackers made the track.  I finished it off with coconut flakes dyed green.

While searching for really cool train cakes I got an idea to make a cardboard train for the kids to play in.  I pieced it together with used diaper boxes (we have tons in the garage) along with leftover boxes from Christmas.  Lots of tape, glue, paint, and even some paper mache' later... I had a Thomas look alike I dubbed the Munchkin Express.  I love that the only cost was paint and red duct tape.

I decorated the party room with train signs, and a train track on the floor.  All of these ideas can be googled.  I found myself getting carried away with all of the cool things to try or even thinking I can do that better and for way less money.  This train party became my obsession.  Great for the outcome, not so great for my body.  I stayed up till 4am every night that week except one only to wake up to feed my Little Bear at 5.  

FYI - the electric tape I used left a shadowy residue on my carpet.  I had to scrub it off with my Oxy Spray (love it).

It was all totally worth it.  My little guy had such a good time at his party.  I'm already dreaming up ideas for his next party... I hope he still likes race cars next year : ).