School Lunches

Is it to early to be thinking about back to school? Considering the flyers in my area are full of backpacks and pencil crayons, and Costco has Halloween costumes out now, I think it’s safe to start planning! Also, I’m going to have this baby any day/week, possibly not until the first week of school, so I if I can plan out some things now while I’m not nearly as sleep deprived, I’m going to.

This year my son will be going to school all day, and even though we live around the corner from the school, he will be staying for lunch (most kids do, and I don’t want him to feel like the only kid that has to leave, unless of course he wants to come home for lunch…). Last year all I had to pack was a morning snack (usually consisting of a granola bar, some fruit and some cheesy fish crackers), this year he will need a morning and afternoon snack plus his lunch. He isn’t much of a sandwich eater, unless you count Nutella (which he can’t take due to nut allergies), so I’ve been a little worried about what this sometimes picky eater will take.

For months, I have had in my head that August will be the month. To try new lunch ideas. To gradually drop his nap. To make sure we are practicing our writing. Well, today is August 1st! I’m 37 weeks pregnant and very tired, but I knew this was coming. It’s time to suck it up and get this stuff done! Thankfully Pinterest has pretty much done the job for me, as there are a MILLION pins filled with awesome lunch ideas for little kids. So this post is more about making a list of ideas for myself as to what I think my son will eat. He does enjoy a “plate of things” as we call it, for lunch and dinner sometimes too. Which is just a divided plate filled with random things: fruit, cheese, crackers, etc. Think the trendy bento style kids lunch without the over priced bento box. I plan on buying some divided containers for him, but they aren’t going to be the $50 stainless steel ones that’s for sure!

school lunches

So here is my list of foods that will be going into my son’s school lunch:

meat  (he’s getting better at eating more meat, and lean turkey and salami slices rolled up seem to be ok with him)

cheese (strings when they are on sale, otherwise just cubes of cheddar and mozzarella)

fruit (the kid LOVES fruit: grapes, apples, apple sauce, berries of any kind)

crackers (cheesy fish, triscuits with red pepper dip, pretzel sticks)

veggies (normally saved for dinner, but I might be able to sneak in some carrot sticks or cucumber slices once and a while)

bread (the kid loves just bread and butter, perhaps a nice homemade whole wheat slice would be good)

leftovers (sometimes he might want a hot lunch, especially in the winter: leftover spaghetti, or canned pasta in a preheated thermos)

granola bars/ fig bags

muffins (he loves just about every kind, and loves to help make them even more, during the school year I bake them every single week)

In addition to the divided lunch container, he’s going to need a bigger lunch bag as well…hopefully bought at the same time so I know everything fits. I also love the little silicone muffin liners, they are a great way to divide things up in the larger section of the container, plus they are fun and colourful, and reusable! And with the addition of these new items to our kitchen, that means I’ll have to reorganize our cabinets, which I am sadly excited about!

I’ve seen an idea on Pinterst about making your own ice pack using a sponge in a baggie, that way as it thaws it doesn’t leave a mess, and that saves me from buying those little ice packs that are kinda pricey!

Am I missing anything? I would love to hear from any experienced parents who have been packing lunches for years. Any tips and tricks?

Life as we know it…

The kids have settled into a movie, so I thought I would grab a few minutes on the computer and give a little update on life right now. First things first, I have not had the baby yet. I’ll be 37 weeks this week, which is a great milestone to reach because it means this baby is full term, and can safely arrive at any time! I’m not at the point yet where I have to answer the phone with “No baby yet” but I’m getting close. I told my mom this morning that I was done; rough night of sleep with a daunting grocery store trip ahead of me and I just didn’t want to be so large and so tired anymore. But thankfully, I am still having more good days than bad. Which is nice for a change, since this pregnancy has been the roughest so far. I hate complaining, because we are so blessed to have this little life being added to our family, and I really haven’t had any serious complications…it’s just been long and tiring, and that is all to be expected.

We’ve been making good on our summer bucket list, which has made for some very happy kids. We’ve done the beach, and splash pads, and play dates, and bowling, and crafts and loads of other fun days!  We’ve also had lots of quiet days at home filled with baking brownies and watching movies. Its been a great balance, and I think I can easily say my kids have had a great summer, especially considering just how pregnant I am!

Our vegetable garden this year is doing really well, which is surprising since I’ll go days without getting out there to water it or check on it! Everything is growing like crazy, and we even have teeny tiny watermelons starting to grow! We’ve been enjoying the never ending lettuce, lots of carrots and green beans, and this week some of the turnips should be ready!

This third trimester has also brought the nesting bug into our home, but not in the way that it normally arrives. I think it’s pretty typical for most women to “nest” by getting things set up for their soon to be born baby. Me? I get stressed about house projects and little things that keep getting put off. With my son I had lots to keep my busy because we had just moved. With my daughter I wanted the entire main floor of our house painted. And with this pregnancy, I’ve been slowly redoing our living room: searching out the perfect curtains, buying fabric to make a slip cover for a chair and some throw pillows (which I will hopefully share with you!). You know, projects I don’t physically have the energy for, but mentally I will go crazy if they don’t get done! The nursery is sort of set up, I still need to pack my hospital bag and should strip my cloth diapers, but picking out curtains and fabric is much more fun!

So the count down is really on now. I cannot wait to see who this little person is that has been tiring me out so much! I can’t wait to see my husband holding our baby, and our two other kids meeting them for the first time. I don’t want to wish these last few weeks away as a family of four, but I really am looking forward to being a family of five!

I know things have been quiet on this blog, and they will be for the next few months, so feel free to follow me on twitter, or request to follow me on Instagram to keep up the day to day. Hope you all are enjoying your summer so far!

 

6 weeks and a summer bucket list

Well, now is as good a time as any to jump back in to blogging I guess. It’s been about 6 weeks since my last post, and it’s about 6 weeks till this baby is due!  I just thought I would share a little of what we have been up to lately, all the frugal family fun we’ve been having and plan to have over the summer.

summer bucket list

Before school ended, I sat down with the kids and made a list of lots of fun things we’d like to do this summer. From different crafts, to places to visit, and even just different themed days we could do. I wanted a mix of free and paid adventures, at home and day trips, indoor and outdoor activities. I told them we wouldn’t do something every single day (which they still don’t understand) but that each week we’d pick a few things, plus have some quiet days at home. So far it’s going pretty well, considering just how pregnant I am, and dealing with a sinus infection that just won’t quit! So here is our frugal family summer bucket list:

Places to go:

-          Beach

-          Picnics

-          Splash pads

-          Parks (our town has 150 playgrounds! We are trying to visit ones we’ve never been too before)

-          Library

-          Indoor pool

-          Hiking

-          Bowling (search online, many bowling alleys offer free bowling for kids in the summer!)

-          Check for coupons (science centre, zoo, etc)

Crafts:

-          Stepping stones

-          Masks

-          Water sponge bombs

-          Craft kits from the basement (we have a stock pile of crafts kits from birthdays that we never used)

I also created a daily schedule, for those quiet days at home, just to make sure we don’t end up sitting in front of the TV all day, or I forget to give the kids a snack and wonder my they are fighting so much (we get Hangry in this house). I even have themes for the week day, that we will probably stick to in August once I am to pregnant to be romping around the zoo or beach. Things like “Make something Monday” and “Thoughtful Thursday” are great ways to be creative at home, and just mix things up a bit. Plus, my kids seem to get into things more if I name them, instead of just saying “let’s do a craft today” calling it craft time, or make something Monday gets them more excited.

So far we’ve done lots of park trips, and the beach! This week we are hitting a local water park, and possible a pioneer museum too. And since I am nearly 34 weeks pregnant, I am feeling a bit of a push to checking things off this list before this baby arrives, and before I’m just too big and uncomfortable to be out in the heat much.

What frugal family fun have you been up to this summer?

Meal Plan Monday – May 26th 2014

Well, with gorgeous weather comes spending much more time outside and not at the computer…and that means a lack of posts. And with the holiday last week in Canada, I didn’t plan on posting our meal plan on Monday, and I forgot on Tuesday! So here is this weeks’ plan, in case you need some inspiration for your own dinners.

Don’t expect much from this blog as summer arrives, and I’m busy soaking up each day with my kids and hubby as a family of 4, before life gets really crazy again when the new bundle arrives at the end of the summer.

Here’s what we are eating this week:

Monday – homemade cheesy pasta with ham and peas

Tuesday – meatballs, rice and corn on the cob and asparagus

Wednesday – homemade burgers and corn on the cob

Thursday – breakfast (eggs, ham, toast, and smoothies)

Friday – popcorn shrimp, grilled peppers, and corn

As always, I’m linking up over at Org Junkie.

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Meal Plan Monday – May 12 2014

Start your BBQs and break out the sandals! What beautiful weather we are having here in Ontario. Finally! This weekend was gorgeous, and today it was already 20 degrees at 9am! Oh how I missed this weather! But this also means I’m chugging water like crazy, 20 feels hot when you’ve had a winter of -40 and are early 26 weeks pregnant!

We has such a great weekend here; I hope all you moms out there were spoiled by your loved ones as much as I was. I even managed to get some gardening done too, and finally planted those veggies seeds…only 2 weeks late, opps!

Last weeks’ meal plan worked out really well with both kids. I must admit that it was nice have super simple and easy dinners to make, but I did miss the slightly fancier dishes I’m used to. But I’ll take simple kid friendly dinners if it means my kids actually sit still at the table and eat what is in front of them without too much fighting. So once again, things are simple, and the kids helped pick what we are eating. Some repeats from last week because we ended up buying dinner one night, and well, spaghetti should always be on the plan!

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday – kabobs with chicken and sausage, peppers, zucchini, and roasted mini red potatoes

Tuesday – homemade burgers with potato salad

Wednesday – homemade pizza (want your kids to eat veggies, get them to help make their own pizza!)

Thursday - my famous spaghetti

Friday – fish tacos (boxed pasta as a Friday “treat” for the kids)

As always I am linking up over at Org Junkie. Happy menu planning everyone!

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