Saturday, February 26, 2011

freezer cooking

So I decided to just add a little more to each dinner I cooked this week and that would allow me to freeze the extra for a second meal next week or the next. So I made three meatloaves one night, three pounds of turkey meatballs another and I made chicken in the crockpot with italian dressing. The italian dressing chicken was delicious!! I made as many boneless skinless chicken breasts that I could fit in the crockpot. We ate it for dinner that night, then I cut it up and made chicken roll ups for lunch another day (chicken, avocado and cheese) and we still have some left. I am thinking about using it for chicken alfredo :) I guess the whole big plans to do a freezer cooking just isn't for me. I bought all of the ingredients to make mac n cheese and baked ziti but havent made them yet. Whatever night I decide to make them I will make 3 batches and freeze them for next time. I came in $40 under our weekly budget last week but I didnt have to get gas in my to celebrate when David and little man get up from their naps we ae getting SHAMROCK SHAKES!! Special treats are the best!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

big plans.

I have big plans for the do a round of freezer cooking. I hope to make 3 meatloaf's (or is it meatloaves?), burrito meat filling (enough for 3 dinners), macaroni and cheese (3-5pans) and baked ziti (3pans). So before I can do all of this I need to buy some throw away pans and ziploc bags. I have been reading about freezer cooking and I dont have the space to do a major freezer cooking but I think this will be plenty. I might have to cut back and do just 2 pans of ziti and 2 pans of mac n cheese. I am going to do a test with the empty trays to make sure I can fit everything before I start cooking. The meatloaf will just be mixed up and frozen no need to cook because when I am ready to make it for dinner I can defrost the meatloaf and bak as usual. The burrito meat will have to be cooked and then frozen....then when we want to have burritos all I have to do is throw the frozen meat in the crock pot on low until dinner time. The ziti and macaroni will be all cooked and then frozen, to reheat I read that you defrost and then bake or you can just bake it frozen. I am not sure the best way to do this but I am going to read some more and then try it. Any suggestions? or Recipes that work well for freezer cooking? I am excited because I enjoy cooking but some days I have limited time so this should help me with time management too. I will post how it goes :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Learning & Growing

I like to consider myself a stay at home mom, but the truth is I am a work at home mom. I have the joy of getting to be home with my little man but I schedule my work around his day. I work while he eats breakfast and I work for an hour while he plays. Then we run errands, clean or just play trains. Lunch time, a show and then NAP. I work while he naps then when he gets up I usually have to fit in 30 more minutes of working. So between 2 and 5 we usually spend a few hours playing in the afternoon. Yesterday I spent some time on nick jr and sprout online trying to find some fun activites for us to add to our fun afternoons. We printed the blues clues mix and match game. Little man loves to match up the shapes with the colors and he is even saying the colors and trying to say the shapes. It is really exciting to see him learn and to see the smile when he figures something out on his own. I am going to print out some other shapes and make a board to match up the shapes and colors. When daddy got home from work little man was so excited to show him his new game! I also got a few ideas from my friend crystal about activites for little man. check these out. I am going to get some beads this weekend and some felt :)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Open Adoption Roundtable - Better Late then Never?

I read a few blogs about adoption that have really helped me. I stumbled on this open adoption forum tonight after reading write mind open heart and the questions and many of the answers got me to thinking about our adoption. I don't feel like I have the answers to these questions but in answering them it has helped me to understand our relationship with little man's birth mom a little better.
1. If open adoption is so great, why do so many people suck at it? By this I mean, not honouring commitments, closing the adoption, telling the other family they’re not “doing this thing” correctly or playing the “for the sake of the child” card?
Every situation is different for us little mans birth mom "K" is in a place in her life where she is trying to see what she can get from us, rather then what part she can play in little man's life. I have realized that when we meet up I previously had expectations set for how I thought K should interact with little man. It has not really gotten easier in the 1 month since our adoption has finalized but I have realized I can't hold K accountable to an expectation I have set. (we adopted through foster care and have had contact during the entire 2 years of fostering and now continue to have contact) The other important part in all of this is little man's 1/2 brother they are 11 months apart and he is with K and her new boyfriend. I hope that one day the boys can have a healthy relationship. I can't imagine knowing I had a brother or sister in the world and not knowing them.
2. From the standpoint of first parents, open adoption sounds like something that could prolong suffering. Could this suffering potentially outweigh the good of knowing where your child is? Who helps the first parent?
It was not an easy decision for K to sign over her parental rights to us, and I feel like she wants to be our child too sometimes. She does not have a strong connection with little man, most of the time when we see her it seems like she just wants to know he is healthy and happy. Since we adopted through foster care she has several options open to her for counseling and to my knowledge she utilizes them.
3. I’m guessing kids are not hung up on how many relatives they have. Tell me that the thing that hangs up the public all the time about open adoption and other unconventional relationships—two mommies, two daddies, three, four, parents—is the least of your worries because it seems to me it is.
The one thing that I wonder about in the future is how little man will feel when strangers tell him he looks just like his daddy. We hear this all the time and often we say "thank you" and continue on with our day. Sometimes we gently correct the person and say something to the affect of "really we get that all the time but we had the joy of adopting little man." (we usually save this response for people who know us through acquaintances but don't know our story. )
4. Do you ever feel like you should give this child back? Does the thought ever seize you totally as you watch your child with her bio-family: “ooops?” (OR for f-parents: Do you ever feel as though you need to take this child back? That nothing is stopping you beside an agreement that feels false? Does that feeling go away?)
This question reminds me of the time we spent as foster parents with the ups and downs of not knowing if little man would be our forever son or if we would be part of his reunification with K. When he would leave our home for supervised visitation it was the longest 2 hours in my entire week. We were blessed with an amazing driver/supervisor who helped during this time, but the sadness I felt as he cried being put in the van and when he returned home after the hour visit with puffy red eyes will always be a part of our process but it definately showed me that no matter what happens I would never want to give him back. He is my son this isnt even an option.
5. How do children ever cope with knowing they could not be kept? When they see their natural parents having more kids, what do they think? Who helps the child in this situation? Both sets of parents? Little man just turned 2 so I am not sure how to answer this. K made the decision based on the fact that she has another son who is 11 months younger then little man and if she decided to sign over her rights to us for little man she would be able to give him a better life and give his 1/2 brother a better life too. It was not an easy decision for her in any way and I hope that someday she can explain to little man and we can help him to understand. I have a lifebook for him that explains what I saw that day and the case worker asked K to write a letter but she declined.
6. Can you say comfortably that some surrendering mothers could not cope with an open adoption or do you think that it should always be the standard?
I really don't know the answer to this. In our situation I believe K has times when being in contact with us is hard but she seems to work through it. For the second part I think it depends on the situation the adoptions of the past where people have no idea about their history have left many people in their 30's with a lot of questions.
7. Is there ever a reason (aside from extreme/illegal behaviours) to close an adoption totally? No. We decided that is little man doesnt want to have as much contact as we currently have at any point when he is older we will let him have a part in the decision. Right now he is 2 so he doesn't even know what is going on, when he is older he should have a say in our relationship with K.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

7 Signs that your child loves you...

Number 4 - Your toddler runs to you for comfort when he falls down or feels sad.
Kids this age may not truly understand the meaning of "I love you," but their actions speak louder than words.

I received this in an email from and it made me smile. I don't need a website to tell me the 7 signs my child loves me because I know he loves me but number 4 makes me smile. It happens all day long even when I am the cause of his sadness. I tell him he is not allowed to go in the fridge by himself and he is so sad he turns to me and cries on my shoulder. He drops a train on his own foot as he is playing he runs to me and says "up mommy". I can not count the number of times in a day I have the joy of getting to comfort my son. I love him so much and I know he loves me too.

Thursday, February 03, 2011


I like to think that I am good at organizing but I can not get a handle on our bedroom. I get it all clean and organized and then boom its like a bomb went off. David said this morning "our room has hit a breaking point" I havent left it purposely but maybe if he helps me we can get rid of some stuff and he can organize his stuff? I think that is wishful thinking. We need some tools to organize and help us stay organized. I think today I am going to go to walmart and see if they have anything that might help us. My ideas so far are a shoe organizer on the back of the door to hold my winter scarves and hats and gloves. A shoe organizer that we dont have to see the shoes because they seem to take over our room and a file cabinet for all of david's work stuff. I might check craigs list for the file cabinet or the thrift store. I am also thinking about another dresser even though we dont have a ton of room if we get another dresser we can spread our clothes out and maybe we can put david's work stuff in it. Of course I have to run all of this by David but these are just a few ideas. The other thing we have to do is figure out how we can move the rocker into our room because once little man gets moved to his toddler bed or twin bed I dont want the rocker in his room anymore. Anyone have any other suggestions for organizing?? Any ideas especially repurposing items would be gladly accepted. I am looking forward to getting our room out of the tipping point!!