Some things are best left up to chance.
Like when I blindly reach into my purse at a stoplight on my drive in to work to choose today’s lipstick colour.
Although this may not be the best example of chance since every colour of lipstick I own is a variation mocha/pink…a very low risk consequence.
There used to be many instances in my life where painstaking planning and organization weren’t required…I bet all you post parental units remember what I’m talking about and concede that those days are long gone.
The sooner we embrace the fact that planning and organization is the reality of a level life with kids, the sooner we will feel less like overwhelmed stress cases.
Answers to simple questions have changed dramatically.
“Hey, would you like to grab a coffee after work?”
Pre-parent answer – “Sure”.
Post-parent answer – “My husband is working late tonight and the daycare will charge me $5 for every 5 mins. past 6pm. I arrive, so no, I don’t think so.”
We can still do all the fun things we used to enjoy pre-baby, it just takes more effort and forethought that’s all.
There is also the little issue of where to house all the baby paraphernalia to hide the fact that you could open your own Babies R Us. Believe it or not, with a little contemplation you can find fairly inconspicuous places for all items.
When Carter outgrew his baby stuff we gathered it all together to give to a friend who was welcoming a new little one in the near future.
Below is a picture of all the “stuff” we had for him, and believe it or not, he used everything a multitude of times.
It was shocking to see it all together…talk about baby invasion!!
But when we lived day in and day out with the items they were situated peacefully around the house so their presence wasn’t so encroaching.
Babble.com has a great article on 11 Home Organization Tips for New Parents to help us de-clutter our way to a little more sanity.
Being planned, deliberate and organized in meal preparation for baby also goes a long way in helping to keep you motivated, happy and at peace with the process.
It’s important to have all your ingredients out and at hand when you start into a recipe.
There’s nothing worse than getting through the first bit and moving on to cooking then realizing you still have more chopping to do.
Take everything you need out of the fridge and all the tools such as peelers and measuring cups and spoons out of their hiding places.
Get all the peeling and chopping done first and set aside, then dive into the cooking.
I’m going to share a recipe for a great staple tomato and veggie sauce that can be used in several different meals for babies 6 months +, as long as they have gone through their first solids trial period to rule out any allergic reactions to certain foods.
It makes about 4 cups so the prep is worth the fruits of your labour.
The recipe calls for peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes, so I’ll go through a simple boiling water method to get the peeling done easily.
· Score an “X” on the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife and place in a large bowl.
· Cover tomatoes with boiling water and leave for 2 mins.
· Move tomatoes from boiling water directly to a cutting board and leave for 1 min.
· Skin should easily peel back. Start peeling from where you scored the “X” on the bottom.
Babe-Essential Tomato & Veggie Sauce
- 1 tbsp. of butter
- 1 cup of chopped onions
- 1 garlic clove diced
- 1/2 cup of chopped carrots
- 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup of chopped, peeled zucchini
- 1/2 cup of chopped green pepper
- 7 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 4 fresh basil leaves chopped, or 1 tsp. dried
- 1/4 cup of chicken broth (homemade or low sodium store bought)
- Prep and chop all veggies, and peel and seed tomatoes using the boiling water method noted above and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large sauté pan over med/high heat.
- Add onion and garlic and cook for 3 mins. until onions become translucent.
- Reduce heat to medium and add all the rest of the veggies except the tomatoes and continue to cook for 7 minutes stirring often.
- Add tomatoes, chicken broth and basil to veggie mix, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med/low, cover and cook stirring occasionally for approx. 30 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
- Transfer to a blender, food processor, or large bowl to use a hand blender to puree.
- Puree into a nice smooth sauce.
Makes- approx. 4 cups
Sauce can be kept in the fridge for 48 hrs. to use in other baby meals such as pasta or rice and chicken etc.
You can add the sauce and then freeze the new meals in freezing trays.
If you freeze the sauce alone and want to add to pasta dishes once thawed, you can do so, however, you cannot then re-freeze the new meal.
For example, if you’re making pasta or rice and chicken for the family one evening, take some of the pasta or rice and chicken and cut or puree into tiny pieces that baby can handle and add a defrosted and warmed sauce cube for an instant healthy meal.
The key rule to remember is once something has been cooked then frozen, you can’t thaw it and re-freeze it again.
Take a deep breath, get organized, but fly by the seat of your pants when choosing your lipstick colour today.