Three Boys and Counting

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Works For Me Wednesday-Freezer Cooking October 20, 2009

Filed under: Works for Me Wednesday — threeboysandcounting @ 10:10 pm

Works for me WednesdayOk, I don’t really know if this is going to work for me, but I have VERY high hopes.  It seems like tons of people are blogging about cooking up a bunch of meals and freezing them. I have also had a couple of friends here recommend this method of cooking to curb the madness that is usually dinner time.  Well, after many weeks of listening to Harper whining and crying during his fussy time of day that happens to fall smack when I am trying to cook dinner, or throwing my hands up in defeat and going out to eat or ordering pizza, I am going to give this whole freezer meal thing a whirl.  Now, you might be wondering why exactly am I choosing to try this the day my husband leaves for Texas for a 5 day conference.  Well, I can tell you that I am wondering the EXACT SAME THING. At any rate, I am still going to give it a go.  Click around on cyberspace and you will find a million articles and posts about this topic, as well as a TON of recipes. Here is a glimpse of my ambitious list of meals:

Country Style Pork Ribs
Tarragon Chicken
Chicken and Biscuits
Chicken Tetrazzini
Baked Ziti
Lasagna
Pork Roast
BBQ Pork Sandwiches (can you tell pork was on sale)
Rice Crispy Chicken
Taco Meat
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Muffins
Rolls

I really hope this ends up being as amazing as people have told me. i can really see how this could make my life easier. Spend a couple days slaving in the kitchen and a month just pulling stuff out of the freezer to thaw and heat/bake! I’ll report how it goes! For more works for me wednesday go here.

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WFMW–Taking a Break from Couponing and Deal Seeking October 14, 2009

Filed under: Frugality,Works for Me Wednesday — threeboysandcounting @ 1:43 pm

Works for me WednesdayI have mentioned before my quest to be even more frugal. I know that I’ve done a few things right over the years since we had 2 of our 3 boys during my husband’s medical school years and had #3 during residency.  However, I have always felt I have room for improvement!

At any rate, I have been working hard getting into couponing/sales matching/etc.  However, it is an overwhelming task…especially when you are not the most organized person in the world (ahem) despite your best efforts, and when things change in your day to day life like preschool starting and having to commit to being somewhere 3 days a week.

So, I started to get a little stressed about finding time to hit all the stores to get all the great deals, and getting REALLY upset when I couldn’t get out to take advantage of that deal.  When this became so stressful for me, I knew I needed to take a break. Not a break from trying to budget and watch our spending, but a break from trying to get the most and the best deals! It’s not worth it if you and everyone else is going C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!

Remember, there will always be another deal, another coupon, another day.  Yeah, maybe you will spend 3 cents more than if you had gotten to the store yesterday during the double coupon-dollar days-first annual-monthly sales day.  But, staying sane is probably more important. I am getting back in the saddle again after a 3 week hiatus from my deal seeking, and hopefully will maintain a little more perspective.  For more Works For Me Wednesday, go here.

 

WFMW-Super Saturday Showdown September 30, 2009

Filed under: Works for Me Wednesday — threeboysandcounting @ 10:29 am

Works for me WednesdayOur house has been in dire need of a good cleaning, and I am the only one who sees that or does anything about it.  Our housekeeper has been out with a broken toe, so it is just the Stampers household.  But really, we have a lot of “manpower” in this house.  A husband and 3 boys (ok, so we can’t really count Harper yet to be much help in the cleaning department).  At any rate, I decided to capitalize on the natural competitiveness of the males in my life.  I split us up into 2 teams, the red team and the blue team (with shirts to coordinate).  Friday, I sent a text page to my husband that read “You and Avery versus Lucas and Me.  Saturday 8am sharp. The first ever Super Saturday Showdown. Be there or be square.”

I then wrote down each room of the house on its own sheet of paper with tasks that needed to be done in each room. For example: Living Room: Pick Up Toys, Put Pillow on Sofa, Clean off the top of the desk, Dust, Wash Windows and Door, Vacuum.  We called them our “Missions” which Lucas just ate up. Seriously call “Cleaning the Living Room” a “Mission” and he is all about it! Call it cleaning and he refuses to lift a finger!  We drew one mission at a time out of a hat and did not pull out another one until we completed the one we were on.  It was a great way to divide and conquer.  A great way to randomly decide who did what.  And an awesome way to get the kids (and the husband) involved! Lucas really had the best attitude of anyone, Avery was hit and miss in his helping but I have hope for him.

I will not lie, I did have a temper tantrum at one point because I felt like everyone was whining and having a bad attitude but once we all got past that it was overall successful, and I am pretty sure we will do it again.  The winners? Of course Lucas and me.  So the prize was that Lucas got to pick out family activity. He picked a movie night (afternoon) and we had a great time yesterday watching Horton Hears A Who and eating popcorn.  For more WFMW go here

 

Works For Me Wednesday-Getting Help Around the House September 9, 2009

Filed under: Works for Me Wednesday — threeboysandcounting @ 8:40 am

Works for me WednesdayI really am trying to improve my frugalness, but there is one area where we are splurging but has been so worth the splurge for our happiness, sanity, and general well-being as a family. Last year for our anniversary my husband hired a college student to help me with the cleaning twice a month. She has been an incredible addition to our family life.  I LOVE her!  Now that she has worked for us for a year we have a great rhythm. She knows exactly how I want things cleaned and cleans my bathrooms, kitchen, vacuuming, boys rooms, basement, and even babysits occasionally. She is my sanity saver.  As a new mom I felt like I needed to be a superwoman and have all the laundry always done, ironing done, house spic and span, and dinner on the table every night.  Four years and three children later, I simply could not keep up with even the most basic things. I have since lowered my standards and asked for help during these early years of my children’s lives.  It has freed up a lot of time for me to be with them instead of exhausting myself cleaning, and it has greatly improved my happiness to still have a clean house!  So, I know this is not something everyone can do, but it is something we have squeezed into our budget and I am so grateful to be letting go of my pride and asking someone to come and help me for awhile. It works for me. For more Works For ME Wednesday go here.

 

Works for me Wednesday-How to clean up puke when traveling August 12, 2009

Filed under: Works for Me Wednesday — threeboysandcounting @ 12:01 pm

Works for me WednesdayNot to toot my own horn or anything but for a very brief moment in time this past week, I was actually “super-mom”.  I relish this moment, and I will brag about this moment because I may never be super mom again.

Avery, unfortunately, has been blessed with my car sickness gene (which I still display frequently).  On our way out the door for our trip to Michigan, I realized I had forgotten to give him dramamine….this had previously been working wonders for us.  The box says to give it 15 minutes or so prior to departure….I think that that must be an important point in the directions, which I was hoping was not so important, or was at least optional.  Once we hit STL Friday evening rush hour traffic (downtown, mind you), Avery puked EVERYWHERE.  Including, once again, all over his beloved blanky. This blanky is literally sewn to his fingers and he will stay up all night if he cannot have his blanky. I groaned. We were already scheduled for a midnight arrival time, prior to this incident which I knew would prove to be a significant delay, but now he was going to wait up half the night while I washed his blanky.

I immediately began trying to formulate a plan of attack while my husband watched for a Walmart sign.  I have NEVER been so glad to see a Walmart in my life.  I raced in and began throwing things, quite strategically into the cart.  I grabbed 2 buckets (one for cleaning in, one for rinsing), a box of trash bags, liquid lysol, spray lysol, disinfectant wipes, a bottle of dreft, sponges, 3 jugs of water, VIVA papertowels, and last but not least Dove sensitive skin pre-soaped wash cloths.  This was amazing…I even found the ONE soap (Dove sensitive) that does not make Avery break out in hives/rashes all over his body–in pre-soaped wash cloth form!!!!  I checked out as quickly as possible, threw everything in the van and we moved the van to the very back of the parking late, parking in such away as to have a 4 spot radius around our van to allow for clean up.

Then I got to work.  I don’t know how I did this so smoothly and efficiently, but I did. We first took Avery out of his seat and while myhusband stripped him down, I put a trash bag in one of the buckets, added water, and got the Dove wash cloth ready.  We got him good and scrubbed down, then I poured some DREFT into the bucket of water.  I also put a bag and water into the other bucket.  Then I hand washed his blanky and rinsed it and layed it out to begin drying….I figured it would be good enough to get us through the night until we could use a washing machine in the morning.  Then, I dumped the dreft water and filled it back up with new water and added the liquid lysol. I set to work with the ever so enjoyable task of cleaning the carseat while it was still in the car because we had packed way too much crap to make pulling it out possible without unpacking the car.  This of course was done while our 4 year old complained over and over of the stench (I really could not blame him).  I used the liquid lysol, the disinfectant wipes, the spray lysol, the whole bit.  and 45 minutes later we were loaded back inthe car and back on the road.  Avery insisted on holding his soaking wet blanky rather than letting it dry, but whatever, it kept him quiet.

So, should you ever have the unfortunate experience of a child puking all over himself and his carseat, this is the “super-mom” method of handling such a situation.  The bonus, after you have bought the buckets you have something to try to convince your 2 year old to puke into (which he pretty clearly does not really understand or seem to have the ability to anticipate the impending puke).  For more WFMW go to We Are That Family.

 

Works For Me Wednesday-Using up Products Around the House July 29, 2009

Filed under: Works for Me Wednesday — threeboysandcounting @ 8:46 pm

Works for me WednesdayThrough the years my husband and I have acquired quite the stash of products–cleaning, personal hygiene, cooking, you name it.  I think we must get bored easily or are easily persuaded by marketers, because it seems we have a million shower cleaners, Drano’s, lotions, soaps, etc.  So, I have been working really hard to use up EVERYTHING we have before I buy new.  Obviously this is frugal, and also better for the environment.    I wish I had a more unique Works for me Wednesday post, but the kids are driving me CRAZY this week….I love them, but this week I don’t seem to want to be around them!  Hopefully we all get back on track in the next couple of days! for more tips, go here.

 

Works for Me Wednesday-Babysitting for a friend July 22, 2009

Filed under: Works for Me Wednesday — threeboysandcounting @ 6:49 pm

Works for me WednesdayWe just got back from the park….a BEAUTIFUL day out (almost chilly), and the kids had an awesome time.  It was so nice to be outside and watch them run and play without worrying about them getting dehydrated after 2 minutes!  At any rate, the reason for the early morning park play day was that a friend of mine had an OB appointment.  Rather than her dropping her 3 kiddos off at my house and then driving all the way back across town to her doctor, we agreed to meet at a park near her doctor’s office (along with another friend and her kids). Our other friend and I watched all the kids while they played at the park and she went to her appointment.  It was fast and convenient, and honestly probably easier than watching 6 kids at my house because let’s face it, 6 kids all in my basement tends to require quite a bit of referreeing of toys and such and a lot of reminders to not get too wound up.  Outside on the playground they could be as loud and wound up as they wanted (PLEASE exhaust yourselves!) and there are no toys to fight over!  It worked out great, and I’m going to have to keep it in mind for next time I need someone to watch my kids for a bit! For more tips, check out We Are That Family.