Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I think the word "excited" doesn't even capture it. They were beyond thrilled.

Because I get the amazing opportunity to be a stay at home Mama each summer, I have lots of time to reflect on the things we did the past year. Each summer I tweak a few things, get a few things more organized, and try to streamline our lives/routines for the following year. Considering we were getting ready for our BABY to enter KINDERGARTEN, we also needed to tackle a few new routines/processes this summer. I know, I know. He's too little to be in kinder. Don't worry; I'm not going to get sappy YET (I'm saving that for a whole 'nother post!). Because of that new little kindergartner living with us, we needed to come up with a few organizational things and routines for handling THREE different schools (my school, Connor's, and the twins') and FOUR different schedules (mine, Daddy's, Connor's, and the twins'). Crazy!

The first thing we needed to tackle, in anticipation of Connor's first day, was lunches. This was the first time we've ever had to pack a lunch for our kids. So, we started doing a few test runs on days when he came with me to work and on a few days when he stayed home. We ended up getting him the Rubbermaid Lunch Blox, which came with these little containers that snap into an ice tray (that goes on the bottom). They fit perfectly in his new lunch box, which we had embroidered with his name from THIS shop, and it also matched his new wildkin orange backpack.

The first day for lunch we did grapes, Greek yogurt, strawberries, chicken, and orzo! I plan on doing Greek yogurt every day, because Connor has had some digestion issues in the past and it's the perfect tiny amount to help his tummy. Personally, I think everyone should have at least one serving of yogurt a day if you're not allergic, because it's just so good for you (I eat a bowl of yogurt with granola every day for breakfast, except on running days).

Some days I'm going to do left overs for his lunch. Like this day, when I put in chopped up pieces of left-over pizza (also included: grapes, yogurt, juice, mozzarella cheese, and strawberries):
Or this day, when I put leftover chicken pasta:
I won't always do strawberries and grapes, but since I'm only packing one lunch a day (the twins don't have to bring lunch to preschool), the fruit lasted a whole week for him. I'm going to do other vegetables and fruits as the weeks go by. In fact, I've already started mandarin oranges and he loves those!

I'm really lucky because Connor is a pretty un-picky eater. For the most part, if I put it in his lunch, he'll eat it (although I tried a taco today and he told me he didn't like it...I'm not really sure I'd like a cold taco either, but I thought it was worth a try). I never have to worry if he doesn't like something in his lunch, because there's always at least three other things he can eat.

In addition to getting Connor's lunches down, I decided to find some fun ways to make my lunches! I discovered and delved into the world of mason jar salads. I've made several so far and have loved them all. This one had an avocado and greek yogurt homemade dressing, black beans, corn, tomatoes, chicken, and lettuce. My husband, who has a habit of eating cheetos or cookies for lunch, has even taken salads and loved them! It's easy for me to whip out six of these salads on Sunday night for our week and they stay fresh all week since the lettuce doesn't touch any of the wet ingredients.
The next thing we needed to tackle was a process for backpacks and paperwork. We decided to get the kids a hook to hold their backpacks right by the garage door. I can't even tell you the squeals I heard when they got home and saw it hanging. They are so ridiculously excited! I actually want to do another set of hooks on the other side of the wall for my purse and hubby's keys, etc.
I want to add some sort of art work or something above their little hooks, but I haven't thought of the perfect thing yet! We put the hooks right at the garage door, so that they can hang their backpacks right when they come in the door; I wish we had a mudroom or some amazing spot for their shoes, jackets, AND backpacks - but this space will work for now.  
Connor, Aiden, and Isabella were so excited about all the changes and it made their first days at school all the more exciting!


J Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You know I love me some good organization! :) :)
So...riddle me this. Avocado dressing. The other ingredients in it keep the avocado from turning brown?! Does it really stay fresh and green for a couple days?

J Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I was SUPER skeptical. But it didn't turn brown AT ALL. You combine the yogurt, lime juice, salt, avocado, and water in a blender until smooth or liquid. So maybe it was the lime juice that kept it from turning? But seriously, it was just as good on Thursday as it was on Monday.

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