Say it Again Mom

Say it Again Mom

When will my children realize that if they only listened to me the first time I told them to do something, life would be SO MUCH SIMPLER…for all of us!  There have been so many times that I wish I could record myself telling my kids something because I feel like I repeat it over and over and over.

A few things that I wish I could put on repeat to automatically play these days are:

  • “Don’t hang on the gate” (Meaning the baby gate blocking off our kitchen.  I say this at least 10 times a day!)
  • “Your shoes don’t belong on the floor in the middle of the entryway.”
  • “Who forgot to flush the toilet?!”
  • “Mommy doesn’t need any help going to the bathroom” (I swear, me going to use the restroom must send an automatic signal for all three of my kids to join me in the bathroom!”)

I recently asked a few mom friends to join in my misery and share some of the things they find themselves repeating over and over ALL THE TIME.  The result was hilarious and heartwarming all at the same time.  I hope you enjoy!  Also, be sure to check out their blogs.  You will find a lot of great ideas and support on all topics mom related!

Mom Humor

Who Ever Said Kids Were Clean?

At least ten times a day I say “Don’t put that in your mouth!”

Elizabeth | www.worthwritingfor.com

 

“Don’t put your hands in your poop” Every. Single. Time.

Jamie | www.madrediem.com

 

“Who forgot to flush again?!”

Krystal | www.healthyhappythriftyfamily.com

 

“Wash your hands.”

“I don’t want to hold your boogers.”

Tiffany | Shortsweetmom.com

 

“Please don’t wipe your boogers on the wall.”

Nicole | Bieryabroad.com

 

“Really?! Food belongs in your mouth, not your hair!”

Chardae | www.TheMamaDen.com

 

“Did you brush your teeth?!”

Jennifer | www.glossybabe.com

 

Or Appropriate?

“Fingers don’t belong in noses”

Aryn | www.creamandsugar15.wordpress.com

 

I don’t know how many times I have to say “get your hand out of your pants” to my 2 year old girl.

Becky | www.mommytakes5.com

 

“Stop putting your penis on things!” (Anyone else’s son obsessed?)

Catherine |  www.mommyisexhausted.com

 

“Stop touching my butt!”

Kim | www.funhappinessandlife.com

 

“You are not a dinosaur, stop roaring at them and say Hi” (to my four year old every single time we are out.)

“You can not ride the dog” (to my one year old several times a day.)

(Boys are fun!)

Dawn | www.twenty63.com

 

“That’s not a toy” (meaning their penis! Both my boys insist on playing with them.)

Marissa | www.diytified.com

 

But Mom, It’s So Much Fun!

“We don’t ride the dog!”

“We don’t lick the couch!”

Vicki www.babiestobookworms.com

 

“Toilets are for pee and poop, not for toys.”

Chelsea | www.thecrazysahm.com

 

“Don’t eat the dog’s food.”

Shalyn| www.sincerelytheblonde.com

 

“Where are you, where did you go?” (my 18month year old likes to hide under everything!)

“That one doesn’t belong in the bin”. (Her favourite thing to do at the moment is manage the bin and throw everything out!)

Chloe | www.acoldcupofchloe.com/

 

“Leave your sister alone, put her down”.

Amber | Metro Detroit Mommy

 

You Would Think They Enjoy Getting Hurt

 “Put your toys away before you start playing with new ones, or you’ll trip over of them”. (right before she trips…again)

Sheyla | www.themommachronicles.org

 

“Sit down before you fall down!” (She likes to stand and walk on the couch, bed, and her desk chair.)

Niki | Tootsmomistired.com

 

“Stop climbing the changing table” (toddlers!  Lol)

Julie | fabworkingmomlife.com

 

“Get down and stop hanging off the stairs” (my 2 yr old)

Maria | imommy.co

 

If Only They’d Use Their Eyes For Once

“Look with your eyes and not with your mouth!” (Everyone in my house seems to lose things on a regular basis and instead of looking for it they come and ask me where it is! I am constantly telling my three kids this.)

Vanessa | www.RunninginTriangles.com

 

“I don’t know where your other shoe is!”

Anne | onceuponamom.net

 

I Don’t Even Want to Know

“”Why are you (is this) wet?”

Inez | www.fortheloveofmom.org

 

Show Mom Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

“Can I please poop in peace?!” (As my kids ask millions of questions from outside the bathroom)

Alicia | Adventuresofthemomkind.com

 

“Please stop yelling at me!”

Susan | gloriousmomblog.com

 

“Stop. WHINING”

Aimee | themodernmamanista.com

 

But Mom, Why Not?

“I’m not raising the world, I’m raising you.” (to my 5 going on 30 year old.)

Leann | My Mommy Sense Broke

 

“Mommy doesn’t control the wind”.   (Apparently that’s my fault.)

Morgan | Mommonsterblog.wordpress.com

 

“No L that is not Batman. Yes, he’s wearing a batman shirt but that doesn’t mean he is batman.”

“No you can’t hit him in the tummy to see if he’s super strong.” “Why?” “Because he isn’t batman!”

Jenni | raisingmylittlesuperheroes.blogspot.com.au

 

“If your Dad tells you to do something, you do it” (my 5 yo then replies “what even burp the alphabet” or say fart, or other silly things that my husband thinks are hilarious and that my 5yo will one day learn when it’s appropriate to be gross and when it’s not!)

Alison | instantmumoftwo.com

But In the End, They Always Melt Your Heart

“I want to be with you, too, but you need to stay in your car seat while I’m driving.” (To my two year old who constantly asks to be with me when we’re in the car.)

Kristyn | Everyonessleepingbutmom.com

 

I hope you have enjoyed this post and shared a few laughs with other moms that find themselves repeating themselves over and over to their kids every day.  If you enjoyed this post, I hope you will take a minute to sign up for my mailing list and be among the first to get access to all of the great posts and information from The Crafty Organized Mom! When you sign up, we’ll send you a very useful Family Meeting Guide + Printable Family Meeting Agenda.  Find out how Family Meetings have saved my sanity!

25 Freezer Meals in 3 Hours for Only $88

25 Freezer Meals in 3 Hours for Only $88

As some of you know, I’m married to an amazing chef.  So that means gourmet meals beautifully prepared on the table every single night, right?  Not so much.  The reality is that he is usually working and the dinner time dilemma is up to me.  Hate is such a strong word, but it is safe to say that I don’t enjoy cooking.  Dinner time at our house usually consists of whatever I can get on the table quickly that is simple to make and reasonably healthy.  Fast, easy, delicious, and healthy are my pre-requisites to anything that makes it to my dinner table.

Freezer Meals

Spaghetti Sauce Freezer MealI tiptoed into the world of freezer cooking a few years ago.  After my first big batch, I was hooked.  I love that I can make a bunch of meals all at once – especially on a day when my chef husband is home and can help me with all of the dicing, chopping, and prep work!  It is so easy to spend a few hours and put together a ton of delicious meals we can freeze and then heat or cook for dinner during the week.  This has fast, healthy, delicious and easy written all over it!  We did a huge batch of freezer meals just before my youngest child was born and it was one of the best things I did to prepare for a new baby!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.  Doing so will not increase the cost of any purchase and does not influence my opinion.

Before You Start

We made two investments when we first started making freezer meals.  I have been so happy with both of them.  The first was a small deep freezer.  While this isn’t necessary and I successfully made freezer meals for a year before we bought one, having one has meant that we can really stock up on meals for each prep we do.  This was especially fantastic when I was stocking up before the birth of my youngest son.

The second investment we made was in one of these.  In my opinion, this item is a must and frankly, ours has paid for itself many times over.  Gallon freezer bags can work, however, they don’t truly seal out all of the air.  This means unfortunately, I have ended up having to throw out a meal or two that succumbed to freezer burn.  I couldn’t recommend one highly enough!  If you do get one, I also recommend stocking up on these bags.  They are so much less expensive than the ones you can buy in the store and last a really long time.

Spaghetti Saturdays

Enjoying the Delicious Freezer MealMy middle son has always had some texture issues when it has come to soft food.  So even though I have some awesome crockpot recipes, he is not usually a fan.  Not wanting to give up on the whole concept of freezer meals, I have adapted the recipes I cook.  Our recent favorites have become spaghetti sauce, lasagna, and baked manicotti.  The BEST part is that all three of these recipes use the same base sauce.

The first time I made this recipe, I started out making the sauce for a lasagna and ended up with some leftover sauce and decided to portion it and freeze it for spaghetti sauce.  It was a huge hit!  So much so that we’ve started having “Spaghetti Saturdays” in our house and it’s on our menu nearly every week.  We ran out of spaghetti sauce a few weeks ago, so this week I decided to make a double batch of the sauce and split it for spaghetti, lasagna, and manicotti.

25 Meals Ready to Be Enjoyed!

Freezer Meal PrepWith the double batch of sauce, we ended up making a grand total of 25 meals!  It was enough for 13 portions of spaghetti sauce (about 2 cups each), 8 pans of lasagna and 4 pans of manicotti.  I am so excited because that translates into 25 nights in which I will not need to stress about what I’m going to make for dinner.  There is no worry about having all of the ingredients I need in the pantry.  I don’t have to stress if I will have enough time (and sanity) to make it!  We typically shop at Target for pantry items and Sprouts Farmer’s market for good quality meats and produce.  With enough on our shopping list to make 25 freezer meals, the total came out to $87.61.  This breaks down to only $3.50 per meal!

 

Here is how I did it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I suppose I should mention that I did already give away 3 of these meals.  The truth is that they make awesome gifts to bless your friends with!  I brought one over to our neighbor that comes over once a week to watch my sleeping boys while I run to pick up my daughter from dance.  I gave one to each of my kid’s teachers in a basket I made for them for teacher appreciation week this year (they LOVED them!)  So to me, these were great reasons to share a few of my delicious meals.

Get the Recipes and Shopping List

Freezer MealLet me know if you would like the recipe for this awesome, versatile sauce.  Just enter your email below and I’ll email you the shopping list and recipe so you can make all of this delicious food for yourself!

I hope you are as excited about how fast, healthy, delicious and easy this recipe is and have enjoyed this post!  Be sure to stay connected to all of the great ideas from The Crafty Organized Mom by signing up for updates.  When you do, you’ll also grab a free copy of our Family Meeting Guide + Meeting Printable!

Interviewing a Nanny

Interviewing a Nanny

I am very fortunate to be able to work from home.  From a professional perspective, it most certainly has its benefits and drawbacks.  From a mommy perspective, it has allowed me to spend significantly more time with my kiddos.  After all, when I was commuting to an office, I was spending 3+ hours a day sitting in traffic.

When I returned to work after my youngest was born, I was very eager to keep him close so I could continue to breastfeed him rather than have to pump.  While I was able to successfully pump at work for a while with my first two, I ended up having to stop much sooner than I would have liked because I could never pump when I needed to.  If I could keep him at home with me, I wouldn’t have to bother pumping and could feed him when needed.

My job requires my full attention and can be demanding at times.  I also respect that the privilege of working from home does not mean that I can use it as an excuse to not put my children in childcare.  I’m sure that there are many people out there that watching their children while their work works for them, however, I am not one of them.  Because of my childcare needs and my desire to continue to breastfeed my son for as long as possible, my husband and I decided that hiring a nanny was the best option for us.

Interviewing a Nanny can be a daunting task.  It took us a few tries to finally find the right nanny that connected well with all of my children for a variety of reasons didn’t end up parting ways after a few weeks or months.  With each new nanny and subsequent nanny search, we learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way.  Take advantage of all of the lessons I’ve learned with the following guide on How to Hire a Nanny

Carefully Craft Your Nanny Help Wanted Ad

  1. Provide a brief description of your children and their ages
  2. Describe what you’re looking for and be specific about the help you want
  3. Explain what the hours will be.  Give a realistic picture of what you need
  4. Tell them you want a 6-month minimum commitment (this will help weed out the people just looking for a summer gig)
  5. Be up front about the wage

Select the Top Applicants

  1. Review all of the applications.  Mark those that seem like they could be a good fit
  2. Send them an email with additional details about your children and the specific help you need.  Reiterate the hours and wages.  Ask them to confirm that it seems like a good fit for them and to email you back with suggested times to schedule a phone interview.  This helps confirm their interest, sets expectations and demonstrates that they can follow through with a simple task.

Nanny Interview Questions

Nanny Interview QuestionsAsking the right questions during the interview process is critical to truly get to know your candidate and assessing if they are the right fit for your family.  It’s important to not get caught ending the conversation early because you can’t think of a good question to ask.

Enter your email address below and we’ll send you our Nanny Interview Questions Guide.  This comprehensive list is packed with questions that will help you ask the right questions to authentically evaluate your nanny candidates.

The Phone Interview

  1. Schedule 15-minute phone interviews with each one you are interested in
    1. Pay attention to how they interact with you during this scheduling process
    2. Download the Nanny Interview Questions Guide above, which is packed full of probing questions to help you really get to know the person you are hiring to care for your children.
    3. Begin laying the groundwork for setting your expectations
    4. Prepare the structure of the interview prior to your first meeting.  I recommend:
      1. Thank them for their interest and setting aside some time to meet with you.
      2. Lay out how the interview will go so that they know what to expect. (I’ll tell you about us, you’ll tell us about you, we’ll have some questions for you, we’ll leave time for any questions you have for us, finally we’ll discuss next steps)
      3. Begin by telling them about the position, yourself, and your children.  Provide a brief description about each of your children.
      4. Ask them to tell you about themselves (see Introductory Question on the Nanny Interview Guide).  *Bonus points if they incorporate anything that you have told them about your family into their introduction.
      5. Ask them a series of questions
      6. Invite them to ask any questions that they have for you
      7. Close the phone interview by providing them with a timeframe for when they can expect to hear from you.  It is a good practice to let them know one way or another.  Let them know how to reach you if they have any additional questions.

The In-Person Interview

Nanny Interview

  1. Select the top 2-3 candidates to interview in person
  2. Allow them to meet and interact with your children.  Pay attention to how they engage with them.  Do they get down to their level?  If the child is nervous, do they allow the child some time and space to become more comfortable?  Do they do anything to connect with the child(ren)?
  3. Re-review the Nanny Interview Questions Guide and ask additional questions
  4. Do not make an offer on the spot
  5. Determine your top candidate and Check References
  6. Decide on your new nanny
    1. Remember a yes is a yes, a no is a no and a maybe is a no.  These are your children.
  7. Call and make the offer and lay out your expectations so they are crystal clear from day 1
    1. Allow them time to consider your offer if they ask for it
    2. Arrange a starting day and time
    3. Ask them to bring any necessary paperwork.  Ex: driver’s license, insurance card, SS card

Starting Day

  1. Plan on spending an hour to several hours with them allowing everyone to get comfortable
    1. Tour of them home and important considerations
    2. Consider having them join you in your typical routine (ie school pickups, sports drop offs)
  2. Set the tone for your relationship
    1. Engage in friendly conversation – while they are your employee, you want them to develop a relationship with you and your children.
    2. Spell out how you will provide them feedback and make it abundantly clear that you want them to ask for guidance and expectations.

Your Ongoing Relationship

  1. Provide them with regular feedback on their performance and make suggestions for how they can improve
  2. If you are unhappy about something that they did or happened while your child(ren) were under his/her care, address it politely and professionally and clearly explain what you would have wanted to happen.

Selecting the right person to care for the most important people in your life is not an easy task.  While the above guide should help you considerably along the way, always remember to trust your gut.  While no single person will be 100% perfect, if something doesn’t feel quite right, they are probably not the right person for your family.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post.  Be sure to sign up for my mailing list and be among the first to get access to all of the great posts and information from The Crafty Organized Mom! When you sign up, we’ll send you a very useful Family Meeting Guide + Printable Family Meeting Agenda.  Find out how Family Meetings have saved my sanity!