Slow Cooker fun for busy moms

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Preparing dinner after a long hard day is not an easy task.

The biggest complaint I hear from most mothers is trying to decide what to make.  The second largest complaint is finding recipes that are quick and not too complicated.

In comes the slow cooker.  I know that not all things taste great in a slow cooker, but no one says that you need to use it on a daily basis.

Once or twice a week is suffice and a great help on those extremely over scheduled afternoons.

 

I went on a little internet search and found some interesting recipes that I thought I’d share with you.

I plan on trying these recipes out over the next couple of weeks and will let you all know what I think (or should I say, what the boys think as I’m cooking mainly for them. I can survive on chips and chocolate)!

If any of you try them out, let me know your thoughts.

 

Here is what I found:

 

To die for crock pot roast recipe on www.Food.com

The initial photos and the reviews seem quite fantastic.  My only issue are all of those “packets” of dressings and sauces that it calls for.  I just keep thinking “sodium, sodium, sodium.”  But I guess when desperate to have a roast on the table when time is an issue, sodium can step aside once in awhile.  Based on the reviews,  it’s well worth a shot at trying.

 

 

 

 

Apricot Chicken on About.com – BUSY COOKS

I love apricots and I love chicken.  So far in all of my crock pot experiences, chicken is not always the ideal meat.  Yet this recipe had me taking a double take.  The opening paragraph is a little misleading as it states that it only calls for 4 ingredients (every busy moms dream) however when reading the recipe it doesn’t take long to realize that it’s more like 6 or 7.  That being said, the instructions are pretty clear and the reviews are very positive.  I’m definitely going to try this one out.

 

 

Slow cooker/crock pot Vegetable beef soup recipe on Cully’s Kitchen

Now this is something that is up my alley.  The ingredients are many but  real foods (like meat and potatoes mmmmm).  Also, lots of great photos to help you out!

I’m also glad I came across this food blog as this blogger Cully seems to be onto something …..

 

 

 

 

So happy Crock cooking people.  I’m off to try my new slow cooker.

If you  have any quick recipes to share, do send them over!

 

 

The REAL way to survive the infant and toddler stages

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This weeks blogger is Heather Mott

Heather Mott

 

Heather is a stay at home mom to twin boys, triplet boys and a single daughter. She started this blog to take the place of the baby book that she was never good at keeping. She shares all the things that go along with raising a big family, keeping up a marriage and a social life at the same time.  http://mottmultiples.blogspot.com is written as a firsthand experience of what raising multiples is all about.

 

 

 

I am a SAHM to 6 children.  They are all my biological children and I carried all of them to term…well almost.  I have twin boys who are 10 years old, a daughter who is 7 and triplet boys who are 3 years old.  I have had long days that I thought would never end and have had those days where I ask myself, “When will this end”.  I also have days when I count my blessings and am so thankful for all that I have been given.  I may not be an expert but this is how I survived the infant and toddler stages.

 

Stick To a Routine.  I have found that keeping a schedule is the key to keeping yourself sane as well as keeping a happy child.  Kids need to know what is happening next. They do better when they know what to expect.  I especially adhere to a strict naptime and because of this I have 3 year old triplets that consistently nap 2 to 3 hours a day and still have a solid bedtime routine as well.

 

Leave The House.  Get out… Get out… I love the days when we just get in the car and wing it.  I never get too bent out of shape if they can’t handle all of my errands but even if it is just a stop or two it can revive even the most stressed out mom.  I sometimes just need to be out and about just to see what all is happening.  I often will stop by the bank; fill up the gas and then maybe end at the park for some play.

 

Date Nights.  My husband and I are very good at keeping to a weekly date night schedule.  We are very busy with the schedules of our 6 kids but we come first and we need to take time out to do something…just the two of us with no interruptions.

 

Demand Respect.  Children need to know who is in charge and who the boss is.  They need to know that they need to treat their parents with respect.  I begin to correct my children at a very early age about tones in their voices, how to ask for things, please and thank-you, excuse me and various other manners that I feel are and will be important as they get older.

 

You Need People.  Most of us mom’s need more in our life than 24hrs a day of babies and toddlers.  Treat yourself to regular evenings out or morning coffee outings with the ladies.  I look forward to the nights when a couple of my friends and I set up a gathering.  We might meet up at 7 or 8pm and just talk, have a drink and maybe some appetizers.  Sometimes I have to force myself out of the house but when I come home I feel alive all over again.  I have also been known to have a morning cup of coffee at Starbucks or take a walk with a friend.  Sounds so simple but can be so satisfying.

 

Play dates.  Find them and utilize them.  I am not a fan of lots of play dates but I will tell you that it is the play dates what has kept me sane on those cold winter days.  My favorite and only play dates are the ones where I get a play date too (meaning that I must like the momma).  Who cares if the kids are not the exact same age, who cares if it only last an hour or so.  Share house visits or meet somewhere and enjoy.  You will return home and feel like the kids had some fun and you had a play date as well.

 

Boredom=Fighting. My husband sometimes wonders why the triplets go crazy for him.  You know what I am talking about.  The mornings when everyone is fighting, constant crying, lots of time outs and the time goes by so slow.  I have to admit that sometimes I am not in the mood to play and entertain but when I do jump in and get them interested in something it can often reset everyone and get them into better moods.  I still have to remind myself about this because I am often trying to get things done around the house and expect them to play amongst themselves.

 

Ask/Tell Your Spouse What You Need.  I am still learning this one.  My husband will never do what I think he should do and will never read my mind.  Instead of getting upset with him because of what he didn’t do I have discovered that I just go to him and ask/tell him specifically what is needed.  Can you please get up and help me clean up the family room so I can sit down too.  Can you please take the kids outside and play while I try to get dinner ready.  Will you please start the homework with the older ones while I take the little ones for a walk?  More often than not he will look at me and say “sure”.   Men don’t think the way we do and never will.

 

Sleeping Through the Night.  This is by far the most important things that needed to happen early on for me.  I need my sleep and when I get sleep than I can do anything.  I did the CIO method (cry it out) for all six of my children and all with great success.  My twins were sleeping thru the night at 8 weeks, my single at 8 weeks and my triplets at 11 weeks.  I am a true believer that children as young as infants learn how to get the attention of their parents.

 

Socialize.   Introduce your children to lots of people.  The more places you take them and the more people you come in contact with the more your little ones will feel comfortable around others.  I have a huge family with lots of people who want to take my kids and have sleepovers.  We do things with other couples and I think this also helps.  Use babysitters and show your kids that mom leaves but mom always comes back.  Going off to school has been a relatively easy transition for all six of my children.

 

MaliMoo Baby OCTOBER giveaway!

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Just in time for a November baby! 

MaliMoo Baby Maternity October Giveaway

Win a PRETTY PUSHER From Malimoobaby this month.

MaliMoo Baby will be giving away 2 PRETTY PUSHERS to 2 lucky Mommas!

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Your newborn’s first toys

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This week’s guest  blogger is Josh Doyle.

Josh is an aspiring writer, enjoys sharing experiences and is currently working for a company which supplies infant products.

 

Your Newborn’s first toys

Your new little baby has entered the world, and if your a new parent or even and existing one, that tiny little child is entitled to the best. You will have to coach, entertain and look after the baby from the beginning – but how?

What are the best items to use?

Facial Features 

Yes, Its true! The face is the number one plaything your infant needs. Your child’s’ pupils will always look at the eyes and smile on the lips in front of him/her. Although at a young age babies cannot see that well at all, so a newborn can’t see the mobile dangling over the crib or the TV across the room. What they will be able to see is the face of the mummy/daddy holding them about 50cm away. This is a similar distance as that of the bend of your arm! So, if you cradle your infant, and look into his/her eyes, that gives them the first plaything  they need in they’re life. they will inspect your face and get to know it, and learn about facial expressions as they accompany tones of voice and emotions.

 

Images

Try to remember that a little baby does not have very good eyesight. most things are very blurry. However, bright and high contrast pictures will definitely catch the child’s eye. You will find flash cards, wall posters, and baby toys that have interesting colours and white swirls, bullseyes, triangles, and other geographic shapes will help develop the baby’s eyes. The eyes will follow the direction of the lines, building eye muscles.

Try not to over stimulate the baby though. Having a room full of graphics and visual stimuli may be quite stressing for the infant. A little baby needs to have a calm room that does not place any demands on his/her synapsis.

A shaker

 

Rattles are usually just about the right volume, but when originally designed, it was discovered that the loud noise can damage the baby’s hearing. A rattle is a nice and interesting noise attracts the infant’s attention. Shake the rattle gently behind the baby’s head, and see if he turns around to see where the sound is coming from. You can also shake it in different directions.

 

A cuddly toy

Lots of babies love cuddly toys, just to feel the squidgyness and cuddly-ness. But there are many reasons. The baby can suck on the toy without swallowing anything or hurting itself. Usually, a cuddly toy has a face, so the infant can relate to the eyes, nose, and mouth on an inanimate object.

 

A Washcloth

That’s right, a washcloth or even buggy blankets are a great toy for a infant. He can suck it, grab it, shake it, and get several kinds of tactile experiences from it. It’s actually great for creating visual memory. Cover toys, or your face, then say, “Where’s Mommie?” (unless your a daddy), then unveil yourself! It’s just “peekaboo”, but littlens don’t think you’re there if they are unable to see you.

All kinds of household items can be used as toys. Make sure you have a look before buying anything baby specific.

 

 

Send Out Cards, Keeping in touch with those that matter

Last year a friend of mine sent me a wonderful personalized card with a gift.  I was seriously touched and impressed with the thoughtfulness.

The act of sending cards has dwindled substantially that people tend to forget how beautiful it feels to be thought of and to receive a beautiful card in the mailbox.

Shortly after this wonderful experience, she let me in on a little secret; the company Send Out Cards. I was completely intrigued by it and found it to be one of the most beautiful thought out concepts in a very long time.

Being a very busy mother with lots to do, I often felt badly about not sending thank-you notes on time or unintentionally missing people’s birthdays or anniversaries.  The concept of Send Out Cards seemed a rational solution to this little issue I was having with properly making the special people in my life feel good.  So I signed on.

Initially, it’s a little bit of work as you need to enter all of your loved ones into the system, but once all of their information is implemented, Send Out Cards sends you reminder emails prior to every birthday or other event so that you can move ahead and send your card.

The neat thing with this process is that although they have hundreds (probably thousands) of card selections for various events (including different languages) you can customize these cards in so many ways.  There are many little formats so that you may implement your own photos, clip art types of things, various fonts including the option of having your own handwriting made into a font.  But the best part of it is that you never have to touch, address or stamp the card yourself.  Once you put the card through, Send Out Cards prints your customized card, stamps it and mails it for youSend Out Cards even takes the time to affix postage from your home country.  So if you are Canadian, your recipient will receive a Canadian stamped card with your return address.

The fun doesn’t stop there!  Cards come in post card formats, folded, three fold and super big!  There is also the option of including gifts!  Gifts vary from baked goods to gift certificates.

Most people question cost.  How expensive is it to send a card?  Most cards fall under a dollar plus postage.  That in itself, with not having to print labels or get writers cramp during Christmas is worth it.  Also, each individual card can be personalized.  So if you want to use different photos, card styles, customize your message then you can without having to buy cards in bulk.

Send Out Cards is a fantastic option for people who own businesses.  Especially those who work in fields that are highly visual or artistic.  Many realtors use this service as it allows them to personalize their  thank-you notes to their clients by sending cards with a photo of their clients home.  Or artists who have designed custom work for their clients will extend a thank you by sending them a personalized card with a photo of their  artwork.    There are many ways that this service can benefit many people.

Just think about Christmas cards, Birthday cards, Thank-You cards after a major event such as a milestone birthday or just a simple hello to a friend that you haven’t spoken to in awhile.  Any reason to reach out and connect with those that matter in your life is worth the expression and beautiful feeling a card can make.

 

Feel free to send a card and see how you like it!  SEND A CARD NOW

 

Growing up Geeky Toddle along Tuesday

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I just love Melissa’s blog Growing up Geeky because it’s one of the most “real” blogs I’ve come across.  I couldn’t help myself with this week’s toddle along Tuesday.  Although my baby is far from a toddler, he’s still a baby in my heart.  I can’t help but share photos of my gorgeous son and adorable furry daughter.  Here they are:

 

 

New Babies and the “Baby Smack down”

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This week’s guest blogger is Alexandra Holmes!


Alex is 24 and lives in Fort Worth, TX with her husband and four young boys: 3 year old Aidan and 2 year old triplets Mason, Wyatt, and Payton. She balances her adventure filled home life with a full time career in the retail industry. Alex has a “Practical PHD” in Parenting and always injects wit, common sense, and a large dose of humor into her life and her writing. You can read more about Alex and her take on family life and parenting at alexplusthree.blogspot.com.

 

 

New Babies and the “Baby Smack down”

By: Alexandra Holmes

Everywhere I look right now I see pregnant women and new babies. Summer babies are taking over! My lovely sister is beautifully pregnant with a boy (who I am going to strongly resist trying to kidnap once he’s here), my brother is going to have the first girl in our family very soon, and pretty much every other person on the street is either pregnant or pushing around a new baby.

 

There are endless numbers of tips and tricks out there for new parents and I always try to avoid overloading new parents with too much advice since they usually get that from everyone. Having said that, I did manage to get through newborn-hood with triplets with my sanity still intact so I think that feat alone lends me a little credibility in this area. (Warning squeamish boys: I am going to talk about breastfeeding at least once.)

 

Overall, my biggest point that I always try to get through to new parents is to relax, trust yourself, and have fun. This little person will only be a baby once and when they are 17 and annoyed with your every word you say you will wish that you had enjoyed them when they were still little sweet cutie pies.

 

My go to pieces of advice for new parents are always these:

 

1.     Trust yourself. Even if this is your first baby and you never got around to reading that stack of parenting books you will still figure this whole parenting thing out…I PROMISE. If you trust yourself and your intuition then the rest will work itself out. My outlook on parenting books and parenting advice (my own included) has always been to remember the parts that appeal to you and take the rest of it with a grain of salt. No one is going to report you if you listen to your music loud in the car while pregnant even though “What to expect…” said it was against the rules. Few people know this fact but women actually had babies and raised them all the way to adulthood once upon a time BEFORE parenting books! I know… I didn’t believe it the first time either. Every time something new, stressful, scary, weird, gross, or completely infuriating happens just repeat these words “I CAN DO THIS!”

 

2.     RELAX. You as the parent have the most influence on how the early days with your baby (or babies) will go. If you are relaxed and try to remain calm through trying situations then your baby will more likely stay calm or calm down quicker. Having a new baby in the house can be tough especially if it’s your first time, remembering to relax and stay calm will greatly reduce the stress and help you enjoy this time with your baby. If you do find that it seems like the stress really is too much for you then consider bringing it up to your doctor because a couple weeks on Zoloft could be just the thing you need to get over the hormonal highs and lows and enjoy your baby the way that you want to. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having to seek help from your doctor on this because even mild postpartum depression is very common and easily treatable.

 

3.     Don’t suffer if you don’t have to. There is no award for having the hardest time with your newborn and there are so many things out there that make common baby issues a thing of the past and can make your life SO much easier. Colic/tummy troubles? If it is just normal baby issues and not something more serious then give that baby “Gripe Water” at every frickin’ feeding if you have to. It is all natural and safe and works miracles, I always used Wellements brand but they sell other brands at most grocery stores and pharmacies. Bottle feeding? Dr. Browns…’nough said. If you or your baby are having trouble getting the hang of breastfeeding because of any latch issues then before you give up (or just come to terms with being in pain every time you feed) try silicone nipple shields. They can ease or completely eliminate many common issues with breastfeeding from irritation to difficulty latching. For any preemie mommies, these actually made it possible for me to breastfeed the triplets when they were only 4 lbs. The point of these tricks is just to reassure you that if you are struggling with any issues with your baby there is probably a simple solution out there and you don’t need to suffer. (For a full list of my favorite baby products/lifesavers check out alexplusthree.blogspot.com)

 

4.     Finally….The Baby Smack down…It’s called that because no baby that I have ever encountered can resist it. My mother in law learned the baby smack down on her last visit from Seattle with my sister in law, brother in law, and young niece. This move is for babies that think they don’t want to sleep. Well baby…Momma says it’s time to sleep! You will need: A rocking chair, a soothie pacifier, a big receiving blanket, and a stronger will than that 10 pound person which is easier said than done. Now that you have your artillery .Swaddle baby, arms in, in a VERY snug swaddle. If you do one of those wimpy, fall apart swaddles then your baby will win this battle. Sit in the rocking chair and get that little baby snuggled up tight in the crook of your arm so that you can wrap your arm around to hold in the pacifier. Don’t look at Baby, hold in the pacifier, start rocking…and I mean REALLY rocking, pat Baby’s back, and do the “Sshh, sshh, sshh” sound. If your baby isn’t asleep in 15 minutes then there is probably something wrong like a wet diaper or a gas bubble OR your baby is superhuman and you should be very worried and start looking into X-men schools. If you’re not into using pacifiers then use a finger or nothing if your baby doesn’t need it.

 

The most important tip is absolutely Number 1. If you have that then the rest is just lagniappe.  –That’s southern for bonus ;)

 

I hope you can take something from this and make your precious time with your new baby more enjoyable.

 

 Me and My little cuties when they were 2 1/2 months old.

 

Thanks for Reading.

–Alex

Visit alexplusthree.blogspot.com for more from Alex

You can also email any questions or comments to alexplusthree@gmail.com

 

MaliMoo Baby is Moving! Limited service between AUGUST 18-30

Malimoo Baby Maternity CANADA is moving!

Shipping and services for CANADIAN STOCK will be limited between August 18th to August 30th.

Canadian Office and phone service will be limited at this time.  Limited response to emails will be available during this time at contactus@malimoobaby.com.

Should you wish to have items shipped before the closure, kindly assure that your orders are in before August 10th.  Any CANADIAN orders after August 10th will have a delayed shipped date of minimum two weeks.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience!

We’ll try to be up and running as fast as we possibly can!

 

 

TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR MOMS CONTINUING THEIR EDUCATION

This week’s guest blogger is Jennifer Lewis!

Guest blogger Jennifer Lewis writes for a website that has advice on financial aid for moms going back to school, such as grants for women and scholarships for women graduate students. She believes a degree can open more doors for women and that moms should not be deterred from going back to school.

It is a challenge to balance study with family life, but being organized can make it a lot easier.

 

TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR MOMS CONTINUING THEIR EDUCATION

Going back to school can be an exciting time for a busy mom, but it can also be difficult to include the needs of school work into the hectic schedule of everyday family life. With advance planning, some minor changes to day-to-day routines and cooperation from others, moms can have a successful return to college without disrupting the rest of
the household.

 

MEALS

Planning lunches and supper on a daily basis can be one of the most time consuming chores for any mom. Going back to school can exasperate the situation. Use the weekend to plan meals out for the upcoming week. Include some easy to prepare meals, even those that can slow cook in a crock pot. Sign up on a food or housekeeping website that will send daily or weekly recipe ideas so time doesn’t have to be wasted thinking of meal ideas. During exams time can be even more in short supply, so if the budget allows treat the family to some takeout. Pasta and salads are quick and easy to prepare, so keep them on hand in case of emergencies.

 

USING A PLANNER

If one is not already being used, purchase a  planner. Write in the dates when school work will be due first, especially exams. Work in family events around these days. Make sure due dates are written up, not the dates work is assigned. If children are also still in school, be sure to write in any special events, such as programs or when special projects are due. Keep the planner in a visible place so everyone in the household can use it.

 

DELEGATE CHORES

Assign various household chores to the children in the family. There is something for everyone, even the very young. Washing dishes, folding clothes and picking up their possessions are all chores that can be given to children. Make clear to each member what is expected of them. It might help to design some sort of reward system for jobs well done, as well as consequences for duties that are neglected.

 

HOMEWORK

Set aside a certain time each day for every member of the family to do their homework. This will allow mom to easily plan when course work can be accomplished, as well as being available if the children need help. If possible, see if the spouse can aid the children. If not, have older children help their younger siblings.

 

BE ADAPTABLE

Learn to be flexible when it comes to lesser priorities that pop up from time to time. Trying to accomplish everything will lead to frustration which can hamper the performance at school.

 

Adding the challenge of college classes to an already busy schedule can be intimidating for many moms and may keep them from returning to school. By using some advance planning techniques, changing schedules around some and getting everyone involved, moms can make a successful return to school. Other members of the family can take on new responsibilities and everyone can benefit in the long run.

 


 

 

 

Last minute fun! JULY giveaway! Size medium BOMBSHELL SWIMSUIT!

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