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Friday, March 29, 2013 2 comments

Fridays with Annie - Updating our Severe Weather Kit

My co-workers will attest to the face that I am a severe weather freak. As soon as I hear the rain start beating on our office roof, I run to the windows to make sure there aren't any tornadoes to be seen! Yes, seriously paranoid. Since becoming a mom, I've had to really make sure that I keep my emotions under control when we do get thunderstorms because I don't want to freak my boys out. They know our action plan, where our "safety spot" is, and they know we have a severe weather kit ready to go.

If you've been hanging around our facebook page for a while now, you might remember last year when we talked a lot about having a severe weather kit. You all shared awesome tips and help me put mine together! Since I'm quite sure we saw a whole 3 drops of rain last year, we didn't have to use the kit at all. With last week being the official start of spring, I thought it was time to drag the box upstairs and refresh the contents. My boys thought this was just about the most exciting thing ever! Easily amused.... :)

The contents of the box is pretty basic. I have a change of clothes for each child, diapers for Emmett, wipes, a wetbag, flash lights, batteries, a basic first aid kit, hand sanitizer, dog food, snacks, toilet paper, tissues, books and small entertainment things, and a party horn (because we didn't have a whistle!) In our safety spot in our basement, we have a weather radio, blankets, bottled water and several gallons of water, and a battery operated lantern. It's also right next to our dry goods pantry.

The first thing I did was update the clothing sizes. Then I replaced all the snacks with fresh ones, checked the expiration dates on all the of first aid kit items, and made sure all the flashlights were still fully functional. I had each of my 2 oldest boys pick out new books to keep in the kit, and I let them toot the party horn, a lot. Wow, now I remember why I don't like New Years Eve.

One of the biggest debates that took place on the facebook wall last year was weather or not to have cloth diapers or disposable diapers in your severe weather kit. After doing some research, I decided to keep cloth in our kit. I have about a dozen cotton flats and several diaper covers. I also have a small container of detergent. I chose flats for several reasons. First off, they're one-size. Pair them with a one-size diaper cover and I don't have to worry about sizing up diapers in the kit as Emmett grows. Flats are super easy to wash, and specifically hand wash. If push came to shove, I could easily hand wash the flats and covers and they would air dry very quickly. Finally, flats are dirt cheap! I don't want to have to keep a full set of more fancy cloth diapers in a separate box in case of emergency, that could be expensive!

Do you have a severe weather kit? What's in it? If you chose cloth diapers for your kit, what kind are you using?

Friday, March 22, 2013 0 comments

Fridays with Annie- Easter Egg Garland

In the "junk" drawer in my kitchen I have this folder that I call the "inspiration folder." In it are paint chips, magazine clippings, and printed out Pinterest projects that I reference when I need to find something for my husband to do update a room in our home. While cruising Pinterest a few weeks ago I ran across an adorable project that my kids and I could do to put to use some of those paint chips that I've stored up! When we took a trip to the local home improvement store, I let my 3 and 5 year old pick out a couple colors that they each liked to add to our collection.

Today, we got to work on our project!

First I showed my kids a picture of what we were trying to create. I find it's easier to keep their attention if they have an idea of the end product. The OCD pre-mommy Annie in me really wanted to just cut all of the egg shapes out myself so they were perfect. Luckily for my kids (and my sanity) my 5 years of parenting has taught me that Playdoh colors can get mixed, you can color out of the lines, and choppy safety scissor cuts are endearing. So, I just traced the shapes out on the back of each egg and let my kids do the cutting. One egg into it my 3 year old was bored and wanted to play with the hole puncher so my 5 year old and I finished up.

After we finished cutting the eggs out, I helped my 3 year old punch two holes in the top of each egg. Then I had the boys pick a pattern of how they wanted the eggs to go and I strung them on a piece of yarn. We hung the finished product on the mantle. I say for a free decoration, it turned out pretty cute! Do you have any free or almost free Easter projects to share? Post them in the comments!

Friday, March 15, 2013 0 comments

Fridays with Annie - Green Eggs!

As any moms know, juggling work (whether that's for you, your significant other, or both!) and family is a huge challenge. One way that we've kept balance in our family is to have me home with my kids every Friday. Many of you have come to know me over the last several years and I've had the joy of getting to know so many of you! You were with me through my last pregnancy and followed me as I cloth diapered Emmett from the hospital. I thought it would be fun to start a little blog series with an inside look at some of the crazy, fun, and spontaneous things we do on Friday at home with my boys, ages 5, 3, and 1. 

So we'll begin where we begin every Friday... breakfast!

This is a "sneaky" tradition that I started with our kids last year around Dr. Seuss's birthday. We read through a bunch of Dr. Seuss books, and several times their favorite Green Eggs and Ham. Soon enough, my kids were begging me to make them green eggs. I didn't want to just throw food coloring in the eggs through. I figured there had to be a healthier way! For the most part, my kids are good eaters, but who doesn't need more green veggies in their life?! 

Enter.. Spinach! At first I thought just cooking the spinach down and putting it in scrambled eggs would work. The result of this was a lot of turned up noses! Finally I figured out that I needed to blend them together! This is where the magic happens. I throw a few handfuls of fresh spinach into my blender, crack a few eggs in, and press start! Just a few seconds later I've got a smooth green liquid. Cook it up like regular scrambled eggs and you will have perfect green eggs and your kids will think you're just about the coolest mom ever. You'll feel good that they're getting extra nutrients and the taste is so slightly different that they won't even know!

This morning I asked them how they thought I made the eggs green. My 5 year old suggest kiwi fruit or avocado while my 3 year old thinks I paint them! I told them they'll find out when they're 18. 

Check back next week when I'll tell you how a trip to the local home improvement store lead to a fun FREE spring craft!