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In preschool, it’s important to keep things simple.  The nusances nuance of respect towards others and self can get lost.  So we’ve worked really hard to instill in P the behavior that is expected when she’s out in the world:

(I especially enjoy the snorting between each rule.)

In an effort to get P to help with her dressing/undressing each day, we crafted this original little diddy:

Pull it up
And pull it out
Give a little wiggle
Give a little shout

Put those clothes there in a pile
Help Mama out, make her smile

Anyone that has come into contact with me in the last couple weeks or so has been bored to tears might have heard me mention my latest adventure.

While down yonder at Blissdom during our rocking night out at The New Orleans Manor, my IRLBBFF (in real life bloggy BFF) Shannan opened my eyes to a whole new wonderful world of FRU-“gals”: MommySnacks; Stretching A Buck, $5 Dollar Dinners, Once A Month Moms (if I have forgotten any of you, it’s certainly not because I lack love love love for you, it’s because my brain has the retention skills of a lima bean…yum…lima beans…I’m hungry…)

Where was I? Ah, yes Once A Month Mom…

As I posted in my earlier love letter to Tricia and Cortney, I was giving their system a try this past weekend with my sister-in-law, Lorraine. I’m happy to report that I’m just as excited about Once A Month Mom Cooking today as I was last week before actually doing it!


The beauty of this approach is Tricia’s step-by-step instruction sheets that keep you focused and on track. Like I told my husband (who by the way helped immensely on the big cooking day! Thanks hon!), anyone can find some recipes and make a grocery list (believe me, I’ve done it hundreds of time only to have the food go bad and the canned goods collect dust). But the instructions on what to do and when to do it are invaluable. Even for a complete novice cook, it’s easy enough to follow and execute. Don’t get me wrong – it’s work. The instruction sheet has no magical powers (darn!), but this sheet makes it doable.

Lorraine and I got started around 9:30am on Saturday and we had everything bagged and tagged by 5:00pm (just in time for girl’s night out!!). You definitely need to do this project with a partner. Without Lorraine, I would have easily lost focus and gotten bored and given up. Your buddy keeps you motivated and it’s always nice to have an extra set of eyes and an extra brain to double check yourself.


We spent approximately $240 for all the meals – I think about 80 meals total (40 for each family: approximately 15 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 15 dinners). So you can’t beat the savings in time and money. Bonus: I cleaned out my freezer with my stockpile of chicken breasts and ground beef that was wasting away, and got to take a peek in that spice cabinet that had cobwebs on it.


Photo courtesy of MommyWriter

But for me the proof is in the pudding…and the OAM meals do not disappoint. Lorraine’s family had the Taco Soup last night and it was a huge hit. Our family had the Banana Muffins for breakfast yesterday. They were so good I didn’t even get to eat all of mine because P stole it! (Toddlers are selfish, selfish creatures.) Last night we had the Baked Chicken Burgers – yum yum yum, love the crunch of the celery – and all we had to do was pop ‘em in the oven for 20 minutes! This morning, we sat down to a FAMILY BREAKFAST on a TUESDAY before we scurried off to work and preschool. Homemade blueberry waffles no less!


The other day I was thinking about my own childhood and how central good food is in my memories. My Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplings and the smell of the turkey cooking when we’d arrive on Thanksgiving…my Mom’s meatloaf and all those sweets she whipped up when she had the time. Special times were always bookmarked by special dishes made by special people. And I want P’s memories to include a least a couple delicious things *I* make for her. I don’t want those special dishes to be made by the special people at McDonald’s all the time, you know?

cooking-link1I’ll keep you posted as we go along this month trying all the meals out, if they taste half as good as they smelled while we were cooking on Saturday, we’re gonna be in great shape. For busy moms and dads out there that don’t always have the time or the inspiration to make tasty, homemade meals each day, this might be right up your alley. The March Menu is up and it looks outstanding. We are hoping to cook on the 29th!

While at Blissdom, when I wasn’t stuffing my face with Little Debbie Snack Cakes, I was entertained with some amazing offerings from the spectacular divas who organized the conference. One of those gems was an exclusive sneak peak at an upcoming special. Yes, that’s right – exclusive, sneak peak…that’s how I roll.


Yanni Voices, a production of Disney, was nothing short of wonderful. Who doesn’t love the melodic, romantic works of Yanni (he might be the only good thing to come out of my Mother’s love of Dynasty). She (my Mom) was a big fan of his so when I found out this was Saturday morning’s surprise feature, I was notably impressed and eager to see what he’s been up to.

voices_ind-featA while ago, Yanni recruited four up and coming (and might I say phenomenal) voices to work with him – Nathan Pacheco, Chloe, Ender Thomas and Leslie Mills. I had no idea that lyrics had been conceived and added to some of his most timeless works. With a talent like his, you wonder if anything could improve on the beauty of those pieces, but it was outstanding – and I only got a little glimpse of it!

Now this terrific production is ready to launch for the whole world. You can tune in with me Monday, March 2nd (I’ve already got my DVR set, just in case!) and see the show yourself. It airs on your local PBS station, click here for the schedule in your area.

Believe me, if beautiful music is something you enjoy, this will not disappoint. Here’s a little sampling just for you:

“The human voice is the most expressive
instrument known to man…
it can evoke an enormous amount of emotion.”


Go ahead, GET LIPI!

Digi-Scrapping Done Right

Purdy Pictures

Tweet Ya Later!




Why get so riled by the events of the world, you ask? Because…

"Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate." Charlotte Gray
March 2009