Tuesday, December 23, 2008

BAD Santa!

We've been working on A in regards to Santa. We've been working on getting her ready to see him. She's actually starting to get excited about him and WANTS to go sit on his lap.

So we made plans to go today and see him at a local mall. We invited the grandparents to tag along and asked them to meet us at 11:30. They decided that 12:30 was the soonest they could meet and that they wanted to do lunch at a sit-down place first.

A normally naps from 12-2pm, so already I hate the plan. But I go along with it. We finish lunch and head across the street to the mall to find Santa. He's supposed to go on break at 2pm and it's 1:45 when we arrive. We run across the mall to the huge gingerbread throne, lugging 30lbs of toddler. Now remember, I'm almost 8 months pregnant and have just eaten a big meal. This is no mean feat, getting to Santa before 2pm.

We stumble to a stop in front of the throne at 1:55pm.

There's no line!

There's no Santa!

Santa left early. It's December 23rd, and Santa decides to go home early.

What gives, Santa?!?

Thankfully, A has since forgotten why we were running through the mall and does not pitch a tantrum.

The big day approaches!

We have had a great week getting ready for Christmas! We've done everything from baking christmas cookies to decorating the tree and everything in between that I thought I could handle with a toddler. Boy was it fun!

Here's Abby with our mini-tree. It's short and sweet and easy to set up, which is perfect this year. We also only put one small box of ornaments on the tree as I know I'll be the one responsible for taking it down next week. There's no point in spending hours decorating a tree four days before Christmas if I have to spend twice as long putting it all away next week.

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We also brought out last year's Christmas present: the Little People Nativity set. We plan on pulling this out every year after A's birthday and putting it away after the holiday. The button on the top of the manger plays music and that is by far the most played with part of the set this year. Each of the characters has a recessed area on the bottom and in theory, the angel is supposed to sit on the button and cause the music to be played. Usually, though, we find the donkeys and sheep up there.
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One of A's favorite tasks around the house is helping me pack up any boxes that are to be shipped. Usually this is when I'm selling some of her old diapering supplies or when I'm sending off a sewing order. A gets out her crayons and sets herself up to decorate the package. Here she is coloring Great Grandma's Christmas present.
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I hope the rest of the holidays are as much fun as this week has been!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Living in a Snow Globe

It really feels like we've moved to Alaska or are living in a snow globe this week.

We have had more than 34" of snow already when the average winter around here is about 50". We're ahead of last year's snowfall by about 8" at this point, and last year was a record-busting year with 101" of snow. The Farmer's Almanac is predicting 130" of snow for this year. We're due another 9" before Christmas, too.

Add to this, we've had below zero temps (Farenheit) for many days now. This morning when I woke at 6:30 am it was -9.7F. By 7am it was -5.4F. That's not windchill, either. Straight up temperatures!

Our entire winter philosophy has changed along with the weather, too. We used to keep the thermostat at 72F, which kept the room temps in our drafty old house at about 65F. So really, not that warm, but comfortable. After seeing our heating bill double since last year, we dumped the thermostat down to 63F this weekend. The room temp was then 58F. Brrrr...

A napped in a stocking cap, turtle-neck, fleece hoodie, sweatpants, socks, and slippers under two blankets. She seemed cozy enough but sure looked bundled up.

We ended up turning the thermostat up to 65F last night as 63F was just a little too cold in A's room. That seemed to make a good difference for the daytime hours and we let it drop to 63F again at night. A's little legs and feet were toasty this morning when I went to get her up, so I think she survived okay.

We will have to get a second space heater for upstairs when the new baby arrives, though, as I don't want that little one turning into a popsicle at night. Well, okay, I also can't imagine sitting up in bed in the middle of the night to nurse when the room is in the lower 50s. That would be insane, I think.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Update on the Oddness

Well, I contacted the customer service of the company that actually sent the book last week. On their records, I was the one to order it. They said that their info comes from Amazon and that I should contact them.

I went to Amazon and tried to send them an email asking who sent it. In order to email customer service at Amazon, you need to supply an order number. The problem here is that I have no order number as my most recent order placed with them was over 2 weeks prior to the order date that I would like to discuss.

I could call them and speak with a CS rep in person. In fact, I'm going to have to if I want to resolve this. The problem here is that it's 10 days from Christmas and everyone and their mother is calling CS. My issue really isn't pressing for time, but how weird is it going to look that I waited 3 weeks to contact them?

I don't really want to go to the trouble of sending it back. Post offices are just not much fun with a 2 year old in tow. I don't need a refund as I never paid for the book. It's not on my credit card or on my Amazon account. I just want to know WHY it arrived and that they aren't going to come after me three months from now requesting payment. Then I will happily donate it to a book drive.

And on a second odd note, we also recieved in the mail an SD card. It was taped into a manilla envelope with masking tape and then that envelope was inside a white envelope with all of our names on it. No packaging, just a card. ??? We won't put it into the computer to see what's on it because, hello, that could be disaster. But where did it come from?!?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Very Very Odd

I received a package in the mail today. That's not really that odd, given that it's December 12th. We're getting a lot of packages in the mail right now. What's odd is what was in it.

Inside the envelope was a copy of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. A new edition copy. The edition I hate. ???

My first guess was that my Mother in law had purchased it as part of my Christmas gift, as she likes to shop on Amazon. Maybe I put it on my Wish List there before I had a chance to read the new edition. Mmmmm.... Nope. I checked my list. It's not there.

I check the invoice to see if it says who ordered it. It says that I ordered it. On November 23rd. Why the heck would I have ordered it three weeks ago, when clearly a month ago I hated it??? I have no memory of ordering it. I have no charge on my card to say that I ordered it. I do not see it in my Amazon account as having been ordered.

Who the heck sent me a copy of a book that I clearly and publicly stated my dislike of?

Anyone want to confess?

Anyone?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This Week's Recipe Success

Chad recently had a beans and rice urge so we decided to try out a few recipes found on the internet. After monkeying around with the first one until we were satisfied, we came up with the following recipe:

Coconut Beans and Rice

1 can red kidney beans
1 can coconut milk
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 scallions, diced
1/4-1/2 tsp tarragon
1 1/2 C uncooked rice
1 1/4 C water
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbs sugar
1 can of pineapple tidbits (any size you like)
lime juice
spicy sausage (optional)

Drain pineapple and reserve juice. Mix all ingredients except lime and pineapple juices in a pot. Heat to boiling and turn heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, covered. Remove from heat. Add lime and pineapple juice to taste.

We used a spicy chicken sausage with cilantro and full-strength coconut milk. It was pretty delicious, quick to put together, and something that I could cook even with Abby around "helping."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

VBAC planned for early February!

We had our OB consult yeterday to discuss birthing options for our soon-to-be daughter. I absolutely LOVED the OB and the way she handled us. She actually looked at my chart, my OR report from the past C sec, asked us about our labor and delivery experience last time, and then discussed both studies and statistics with us. She related all the studies of risk factors and things you can do to improve success rates with the hospital we plan to birth in order to help us get a clear picture of what it will be like.

She said it all comes down to our preference as there is no reason why we couldn't be successful with a VBAC. In her words, "There's about a 70% chance that you'll have a successful VBAC, which if you think about it, is on-par with any other woman walking in there looking for a vaginal birth." I don't know if she'll be doing the delivery or if my Family Med doc will yet, but we'll decide that between now and February 2nd.

I will be required to wear a monitor the whole time. I will also be required to do all of my laboring at the hospital rather than at home, but that's okay, too. If we go postdates by a week or more, we may need to scrap the VBAC and go for the C sec, but I'm not too concerned about that. Either way, I'll have given my body and my baby a chance to try for a VBAC.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nate

Despite the fact that A is 95% potty trained, we continue to reinforce the activity with videos and books. Her current favorite video is Elmo's Potty Time. After watching the DVD with A this morning, Daddy had a conversation with A about the words people use to discuss pee and poo.

"Is wee wee a better word than pee pee?"

"yeah. Wee wee poopoo."

"What about tinkle, can you say tinkle?"

"Tinkle!"

"How about urinate?"

"You're a Nate!"

"Good job!"

"A is a Nate!"

No, honey, you aren't a Nate... it's URINate. LOL.

A's New Daycare

I am head over heels in love with A's new daycare. I really cannot contain my happiness with her new setup. We've only been there two days now, but my goodness, the change in A's attitude!

Our new daycare does not allow more than 30-60 min of TV each day and that TV is PBS.

Our new daycare feeds A whole fruits, veggies, whole grains, milks, cheeses. NO Doritos, no juice, no candy.

Our new daycare provider plays with A all day long and does art projects with her! They read books. The dance and play hide and seek.

A hugs our new provider when it's time to go. She started this the FIRST DAY!

A tells our new provider when she has to pee EVERY TIME and lays down for a nap without crying.

A has earned ZERO time outs since switching and far fewer TOs at home in the evenings.

A giggles and smiles all the way to and from our new provider's house. She talks non-stop about the two other children and what they did all day.

I could not be happier. A could not be happier. It's bliss.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Today is A's 2nd birthday! Yeehaw! Happy birthday, A! She's had quite the week of celebration! We partied at Grammy's house on Friday with the family. Then at daycare yesterday they sang to her and gave her a gift (new crayons). AND on Saturday, we'll be partying at Papa's house with the rest of the family. Lucky girl!

She has received MORE than enough presents. We're hiding some, in fact. LOL. With Christmas just around the corner, it makes sense to put away a few items until the summer. She'll appreciate them more then.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Smiling Already!

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We were able to reschedule our 3D/4D ultrasound this week. This time, our little peanut had no choice but to cooperate. I caffeinated and sugared her up. LOL. She was awake and moving just enough to make things interesting. It was a great experience.

Our 3D ultrasound

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We came home with a 30 min DVD and 53 pictures on a CD! Wow....

Monday, November 17, 2008

Target carseat adventure

I don't know if you've heard, but Target had a pricing snafu last night on their website. They listed two very expensive and very highly reviewed carseats for a price that has to be so far below wholesale it isn't even funny.

The carseats, Britax Marathons, are normally $270 plus shipping. Target was selling two models for $43 and $60 each, with FREE shipping. As the evening wore on, word spread that Target intended to sell the carseats for $43 and $60 OFF regular prices. Oops.

Lots of parents bought 1-4 of the carseats at the mistaken price thinking to either accommodate a younger child or to upgrade their current systems. Me, I bought one for our upcoming baby for my car. (A won't be out of her carseat a year from now, when the new baby needs to move out of the infant seat, so we WILL need two new convertable carseats.) I really didn't believe the price could be right, but who wouldn't get in line just in case it was true?

There is a lot of speculation was to whether or not Target will honor the orders. Some CS reps are telling customers that any order will be honored. Some reps are saying that no orders will be honored. Some are telling people that only orders for fewer than 4 carseats will be honored.

My order has not been cancelled and is showing up in my account. I received an email stating that I would receive my carseat between December 29th and January 16th. We'll see! I sure hope I do get my carseat. It would be a great savings for us.

If you'd like to see the sweet little carseat I tried to order, here is the Amazon link:

Cowseat

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's a Girl!

And that's about the only secret she divulged during our 30 minute ultrasound session. She was firmly lodged down in to my pelvis with her face towards the spine and her hands in front of her nose the whole time. We didn't see her face even once!

We'll be going back in for a "rain date" ultrasound on Thursday and hopefully have better results. Mountain Dew has been recommended to me, and although I am hesitant to go to that extreme, as it will cost me a full night's sleep, it's tempting if it will ensure better results next time!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Childhood Favorite Book... ruined by a poor rewrite



When I was little, one of my favorite picture books was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The basic story is that far away there is a town where the weather is not rain, snow, and sun, but rather breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All of the food falls from the sky. Over the course of the story, the weather goes apocalyptic and the people have to make the decision to flee their town for a new part of the world where food does not fall from the sky. The pictures are wonderful and full of hidden humor for the parent reading to a small child. Even as a child, I loved the wittiness of this book.

I held onto my copy of the book all of these years so that I could someday share it with my children. Unfortunately, over the years, my 30 year old copy has fallen to the fate of most inexpensive paperbacks... it's falling apart and the paper has yellowed and become brittle.

So when I saw a NEW copy of the book at Once Upon a Child resale store for a $1, I had to buy it. I could read the book to my children and retire my old copy to a memory box. Yay!

But then I opened it up and tried to read it to A. Somehow in the intervening years, someone decided that the book needed a rewrite. Why? I don't really know.

Some of the changes make a twisted kind of sense in that they try to address how our views of social/ecological responsibility have changed. For example, when the sanitation department is cleaning up the leftover food from the streets, in the original book, the food is split between the town's cats and dog and the nearby ocean's wildlife. In the new version, a new phrase has been added to state that the bulk of the leftovers are composted, with some left for the dogs, cats, and ocean life.

Some changes seem to be added to make it more clear that this is in fact a FICTITIOUS story, as if that fact wasn't obvious. The story changes from a "bedtime story" to a "tall-tale bedtime story." Okay, I get it, but really... really? Did that need to be stated?

Other changes simply make NO sense and do not improve the book at all. Instead of stating that the town has stores, houses, gardens, trees, and schools, it now states that the town has stores, houses with gardens and trees, and schools, etc. Not really a necessary change. Or when the pancake lands on Henry's head, it must be stated that the "flying object" was identified as a pancake. Anyone looking at the picture can see the pancake lying across Henry's face and see that it is in fact a pancake. These additions really do nothing for the story and only detract from the fact that the pictures supposed to be the main purveyors of detail.

I really don't understand why, overall, the book was deemed in need of a rewrite. It made perfect and simple sense as it was. And yes, while I can understand that in today's world we wouldn't think of simply dumping our excess food into the ocean, does that really necessitate a rewrite of a fictional story about a fictional town with fictional weather???

I'm so disappointed that I won't read A the new copy. I try, and every time I come across an edited sentence or paragraph, I stumble and have to try to remember what really belongs there and what doesn't. I'm truly sad over this. I may have to go out and find another OLDER copy of the book for A... well, okay, for myself!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tofu Yummyness

Tonight's dinner was one of those rare successes with a first-try recipe. Yay! The original recipe, from some website that I can't remember, did not have any veggies, nuts, or raisins, and called for chicken rather than tofu.

Tofu Curry
2T oil
1T margarine or butter
1/2 tsp cumin seed (optional)
1/2C finely chopped onion
1/2 T minced garlic (3 cloves)
1T minced ginger (about 1")
4T tomato paste
1/4 tsp tumeric
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp groung corriander
1/4 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne
1 block of tofu, extra firm
1 bag of mixed veggies (ours had zuchini, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans)
1/4C cashews
raisins for garnish.

Boil veggies as directed on packaging.

In a pan, heat oil and butter on medium-high for 1 min.

Add cumin seeds and toast for 1-2 min.

Add onion and cook untl it begins to brown.

Add garlic and ginger and cook 1-2 min.

Add tomato paste, spices, and salt. Mix, adding just enough water to make a nice paste.

Add tofu and a handful of cashews, cook for 2 min.

Add 1/2C water, stir, cover, and turn to low. Simmer for 8 minutes.

Garnish with raisins if desired. Serve with rice.


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It was so exactly what I wanted to eat, so satisfying....

Even A ate it!!!! C did not, however, stating that he wasn't a fan of mushy stewy things and that he'd not deprive me of leftovers by forcing down a bowl. LOL.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ultrasound Poll

Did no one notice the little poll to the right? No one has voted. VOTE, y'all!

We have an elective ultrasound scheduled for Nov 15th and we will finally know the truth about Baby's gender. Vote now and see if you guessed correctly! I'll tell everyone the answer on Monday, Nov 17th!

Election Day Annoyances

You'd think that my election day annoyances would have to do with waiting in line or some other polling site SNAFU. Nope. It's the mundane people that are driving me nuts.

1. My coworkers. For months now I have been bombarded with their opinions on the matter. For months now they have assumed I agree. They're making asses of themselves. Today, when I came into work I was late because I voted and then came home to watch Abby while Chad voted. It was his first time voting and I was proud of him for deciding to do so. One would assume that my politically manic coworkers would be happy, too. What I hear instead is:

"Did you also make sure he voted the right way?"

Is there a right way to vote? I mean, beyond getting to the poll, registering, and filling in the marks correctly to correspond with one's personal beliefs?

2. The crazy political volunteers. They tried to leave behind a THIRD copy of the same dang flier that was already plastered to my front door. AFTER I HAD ALREADY VOTED. I told them to go away.

At least by tonight, people will stop trying to convince me to vote their way. Then I'll get to hear everyone complain about how bad the miscount was. Four years from now, maybe they'll simmer down a bit and I can get some peace.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

LaRue Has Left the House

Just as an aside, for those who are interested, the kitten, LaRue, has moved on to the Humane Society. I wasn't sure I wanted to do that to such a wonderful kitten, but once we were there I knew it was right.

We dropped him off, filled out the paperwork, and then went to tour the animal rooms. A loves to see the dogs and cats, and everything else. By the time we returned to the front to gather up our kennel, one of the workers made sure to tell us that "half the staff is in love with him already!" I feel confident that they will do what they can to find him a home quickly, if he doesn't have one already with one of the admiring staff-members.

I'll call in a few days to check up on him. Because he was a stray, they had to keep him in back for a week so that his original owners have a chance to reclaim him. I find that somewhat doubtful, given his origins, but I understand why.

They also said he's old enough to be neutered right away and placed up for adoption as soon as his isolation week is done. Yay! I hope he finds a home the first day he's out.

Making Laundry Detergent

After being inspired to make laundry detergent the other day, I went to my local Woodman's and found all of the ingredients. I had to go around the detergent aisle 3 times to find the washing soda, but finally I found it. Here's what I spent:

$0.89 Fels-Naptha soap
$2.99 Borax
$2.29 washing soda

I used 1/3 of the bar of soap, but only the smallest fraction of the other two boxes of powder, so I'll have to buy more Fels-Naptha if I intend to make more detergent once I get through the 2 gallons of liquid laundry soap I just made.

I followed the recipe given on the second website I mentioned in my last post. I wanted to make a powdered soap, but after I had it mixed, I discovered that the soap shreds don't like to stay mixed with the Borax and washing soda. In the end I decided to turn it into liquid laundry detergent.

Can you say easy? This was one of the easier "make it myself" projects that I've tried lately. It took me less than 5 minutes to grate the soap and only seconds to measure out the Borax and washing soda. The longest part of the process was heating the water on the stove to melt it all!

A had a great time counting with me to keep track of the cups of water I had to add to the 5 gallon bucket to get the right concentration. She counts up to 11 these days, which was especially useful as I needed 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water (which broke down to exactly 11 fillings of my 2 cup measuring cup!) She counts, but she doesn't know what the numbers mean, unfortunately. It's like a song or a rhyme for her still. Soon, though, soon she will understand numbers and colors.

All in all, it was a successful project. In a few weeks, I'll try out the detergent to see if it works as well as people say it does. I'm excited to find out.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Saving Money

I have been wracking my brain trying to come up with ways to save money. We have a new baby on the way and our income doesn't seem to be keeping up with the increasing cost of food, electricity, and supplies. Something has to give. I mean, we already cloth diaper, I nursed our daughter, I buy used clothes and housewares, we try to not eat out as often as we used to, and have been trying to save energy and heat by the standard methods. But still, I'd like to spend a little less, if I can.

After cutting down on non-essentials, you have to start looking at what you're paying for the essentials, right? I can save $10 on an oil change by showing up before 10am. That's great, but can I save EVERY DAY?

My first thought was, COUPONS! So, I searched the internet for tips on shopping with coupons. The fist thing I learned was that internet coupons abound! You can print coupons for a lot of things these days. Having access to a printer, this sounded like a great idea. Then I tried to go shopping with my new coupons. They didn't work! My local store will not honor internet coupons. Crudola.

Well, I guess I could still use real, commercially printed coupons, right? Well, yes, if I want to take the gamble that the $2 I pay for the Sunday paper in order to obtain said coupons will pay off in more than $2 worth of coupons for things we already buy. Snort. Yeah, how often do YOU see coupons for Rice Milk, Tofutti, and beer?

So, pretending that I could get my hands on coupons that would be useful to my family, I decided to learn about the tactics of using coupons. The number one tip listed on all of the sites is to shop on "double coupon" days. I had to look VERY HARD to even find a store in town that had "double coupon" days. The thing is, you have to read the fine print. Our store has one day a week when they will double coupons, they accept coupons up to $0.75, you can only double 5 coupons per order, and in order to qualify for coupon doubling, you have to buy more than $25 worth of items before the coupon items are included. That sure is some pretty big savings possibilities there! (insert heavy sarcasm here)

What's a girl to do?!

I have decided that I will start making my own laundry detergent. Tide is $7 for a box the size of two paperback books stacked together. With children, you wash a LOT of laundry. That little box doesn't last us too long. When we start up on diaper laundry again in three months, I'll be in need of LOTS of detergent. I was surfing one of my cloth diapering forums today and came across mention of making one's own detergent for diaper laundry. Tada!

This is the website/recipe I found with great recipes for laundry detergent.


And after reading this website, I have learned that I can do one load of laundry for a penny if I make my own! A penny! When was the last time you bought anything useful for a penny?

I think I'll make a powdered detergent instead of a liquid. Liquids are dandy, but they require that you have a bottle with a cap to store them in, which I am fresh out of! I do, however, have a 5 gallon bucket of laundry detergent that I am almost done with. It will hold homemade detergent nicely!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LaRue (or Calliou, as A calls him)

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It looks like LaRue will be with us a little bit longer. Both homes that he was potentially going to have backed out. Poo. Well, maybe not poo... we are rather pleased to have him as a guest!

LaRue

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Monday, October 27, 2008

We Went Out for Prime Rib, and Came Home with a Kitten!

We have a new foster kitten, named LaRue for now.

We literally went out to eat prime rib and came home with little LaRue.

The restaurant, Tavern LaRue, is literally out in the middle of nowhere. It's on a country highway with trees and greenery all around. As we pulled up, we noticed a tiny kitten sitting along the edge of the road. We got out of our car intending to shoo the feral cat off the road, but the kitten made a bee-line for us.

As soon as I picked him up I knew he was not a feral cat. He rolled over, closed his eyes, and began to purr and knead the air in front of him. This was a house cat. Or rather a house kitten, as he looks to be about 8 weeks old.

We asked in the tavern if they knew him but they thought he had been dumped by someone. Isn't that nice? SO, we took a Budweiser box from the tavern-owner and plopped the kitten inside for the ride home.

I have two leads on new homes for him already, which is good because my poor horomone-driven heart wants to keep any stray infant that comes near me. Goodness knows I don't need two babies in the house at the same time!

I"ll upload images later, as blogger seems to not like me right now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"All done" does not mean "all done"

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We're going through the terrifying twos.

A is really trying out her independence. She no longer listens to direction. She no longer comes when called. She's learning to ask for things and expects to get them. I want her to learn to communicate, so if she asks politely, I will usually oblige her.

HOWEVER I draw the line at "all done." If the girl tells me she's all done with something, I take it away and move on. We've always done this, from the moment she learned to say "all done!" This week, however, she's decided to play with the phrase. And I"m not playing along. Needless to say, we've had some tears and it really isn't any fun at all.

Take last night:

"All done, applesauce."

"are you sure? No more?"

"all done."

"You're done eating?"

"Yes!"

We wipe her hands and face, take off the bib, get out of the chair, and BOOM! "More applesauce!" Um, no. "WaHHHHH!!!!!"

Come bedtime, it was no better. "Okay, it's time for a bath! Get naked!" She gets naked, sits on the potty, brushes her teeth, and I run the bathwater. When I put her in, she stands there and cries, "more potty!" I finally figure out that she wants no bath at all rather than more potty. SO we move on to PJs and stories.

Halfway through the second book, "Dada kisses."

"So you're done with stories?"

"All done."

"No more stories, you want to move on to kisses and night night?"

"Yes, kisses, night night."

Okay, I guess... it's 20 min before bedtime due to the skipped bath and short story time, but she says she's done... And 5 minutes later, we're crying over going to bed.

"More stories!"

"no, you said you were all done. Night night now."

"NO! More stories!"

And on and on and on... I had to hold my ground even if I didn't like it. She knows what "all done" means and has to learn to use it appropriately again. Soon enough, she won't have the option of getting back into the highchair or having more stories because Little Sib will be needing to fit into the schedule, too. Sigh. It just doesn't make me feel so great, dealing with temper tantrums because I say no to something. LOL. WElcome to parenthood, eh?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cloth Diaper News

I officially packed up A's cloth diapers and training pants this morning. Sniff.

A has only had one accident since Monday morning! SO, we're on to undies at day, pull-ups at night, and no more cloth! I did find it difficult to bring myself to buy disposable training pants for the 2 or so she'd actually pee in each week, but cloth just wasn't practical anymore. It's been really rough over the past three weeks trying to wash just one or two cloth diapers/trainers every 3 days and finding other hot-water-safe laundry to add to it.

I'd say that I'm going to miss it, but I won't as the new baby will be wearing all of the teeny tiny cloth diapers in just 3 months!!! Yay! I did the final round of unpacking and sorting the little things and realized that I officially have enough of everything I will need for baby #2.

I received a surprise diaper package in the mail last night, too! I belong to an internet community for cloth-diapering parents. We have a forum where moms can post lists of things they need or want to try. Other moms can then send hand-me-downs to the appropriate families. I was lucky enough to recieve some tiny diapers for our new baby last night! Yay! Now it's my turn to send out a package.

I have a bag of diapers, covers, and inserts/doublers to pass on to other people. I've sold some of it but now it's time to start gifting it to others. There are things that worked for us and things that I have realized I don't like enough to use again. Someone will get some use out of it, though, so let's spread the wealth!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tinkerbelle is not a vegetarian


According to my daughter who is 22 months old, Tinkerbelle is NOT a vegetarian.

A little background info is needed to appreciate the humor in this. My daughter has a book called _The Gas We Pass_ by Shinta Cho. It's a very nice honest book all about gas, farts, toots, etc. It details what they are, where they come from, why they smell, and all sorts of useful things. Normally, I'd say that this book is appropriate for a 6 year old or older, but A just keeps pushing the envelope and so I've started in on books that I was saving for her for later. I get tired of reading the same board books 10 times a day!

One section of the book discusses why farts smell bad. It tells us that when you eat meat, eggs, fish, and chicken, your farts smell bad. It also says that when you eat sweet potatoes and beans, your farts do not smell bad. Pretty interesting stuff for a not-quite 2 year old.

Fast forward to yesterday morning. We had finished our morning potty ritual, including a reading of the Potty Book. A approached her changing table and started digging in the bin of undies that we keep there. She pulls out a pair of Tinkerbelle undies and proclaims, "Tinkerbelle! Stinky."

"Why is Tinkerbelle stinky?"

"Tinkerbelle toot." (Tinkerbelle had farted.)

"Oh!"

"Tinkerbelle eat meat."

To which, I just about fell over laughing. She not only knew that Tink had farted, but that her fart smelled bad because Tink had eaten meat. I had no idea that she had grasped that whole diet/odor connetion quite so well!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Potty Training, part II

We're trying again. We got off track a month ago and have been struggling with the potty ever since. It seemed like we couldn't get A to hold it long enough to find it worth working at. If I set the timer for 45 min, she didn't always make it. If I set the timer for 30 min, she fought me all the way to the toilet. I didn't think I could win, so I stopped trying.

Then, yesterday, I spoke with our daycare provider about it because A has near-perfect days at daycare and falls back during the evenings. K said that she noticed our troubles began when A had a stomach bug and we went back to diapers from undies. She recommended that we go back to undies.

So, I went home and put A on the pot. Afterwards, I let her choose her own undies to wear. Between 5pm and 7:30pm, A pottied 6 times, with NO accidents! She even told me twice during dinner when she had to go, and then did! I was so proud!

I hope we're back into undies for good!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

20 weeks and counting!


We have had a busy week! This week marks the midpoint of my second pregnancy. Along with the midpoint came our anatomical ultrasound. It was so much fun! I never want them to end! This time, our little one was very active. I had a full glass of OJ about 45 minutes before the ultrasound and the sugar went right to the baby! The tech said that our little one was very photogenic, despite the wiggling. Every measurement came back within the normal ranges and our EDD will not change any. Yay! The little one was not the most cooperative with exposing its gender, however. The final time we went back to that area to get a peek, the little squirt wouldn't even open its legs! However, we catch a few glimses and the tech was leaning one way over the other, so we have some idea. We just won't tell YOU until we have told all of our family. LOL.

La-la la-la, La-la la-la, Elmo's World....


I think I have that song permanently tattooed into my brain.

We just came back from an unplanned road trip to Arkansas, and it was a long 13 hours of driving each way. Considering that we made the trip with a partly-potty-trained toddler, it went really well. A was really patient about potty breaks and more often than not, held it until we stopped. We did have one stop where the toddler spent a leisurely 20 minutes in the bathroom, thumbing through a picture book while taking care of business. However, given the alternative of a sticky diaper, I was happy to wait.

We did choose to invest in a car DVD player for the trip, which was the key to our sanity, I think. It cost us $300 and 26 hours of listening to Elmo singing from the backseat. I did check out other videos for A to watch, but she really preferred the Elmo ones. Maybe that's for the best, as who wants to listen to 26 hours of the Wiggles?!?

Since returning home, it's been easy to slide back into our daily routines, thank goodness. The only exception has been an increased frequency in the requests for TV time. Thankfully, I'm bigger than A is so I rule the remotes. We're back to Sesame Street 3 times a week and the rare additional show when I need a moment's break.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Mightly Hunter Continued.

Well, we left the traps out for another week, checking them several times a day.

As of last night, we have caught a grand total of 23 chipmunks, 1 mole, and 2 raccoons. (The raccoons both took a trip to the country and were released.) Sometimes, my husband will empty the trap and go inside for a few minutes only to come back out and find another tennant in the trap again. It's absolutely crazy.

We're pretty sure that we've eliminated the ones that were living in our yard and are now dealing with new ones coming in from our neighbors. It's time to seal up the holes on our property and apply some predator urine to mark the boundaries of our lot to keep new chipmunks from entering.

The crazy thing about all of this is that we don't live in the country. We live in the suburbs. Our neighbors' yards are 6-10" from the sides of our house. Why do we have so much wildlife all of a sudden?!?

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Trip to the Park

A few days ago I took A to one of the local parks. Our town is full of parks. We could walk to the one just a block away, but some of the others have better playgrounds in them, so we often go to a different park a bit further away. This one is A's favorite.

We spent a lot of time on the slide, as expected. A learned to go up the stairs and down the slide all by herself, with confidence! It was great.


She didn't much care for the swing, but then again, she never does!


And for the first time EVER, she went into the sandbox willingly! It was amazing.


We spent a lot of time picking up rubber mulch and taking off her shoes to empty them. We had a blast and stayed for an hour. I just wish this park was the one on our block! WE'd be there every afternoon.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back in diapers... UGH.

So we're back in diapers this week. Not only that, but they're disposables! NO! Say it isn't so! Poor kid.

She was doing pretty well in her cloth training pants, but two days ago came down with some sort of stomach bug. After handwashing three of her nicer trainers/diapers in the toilet, I made the executive decision to put her in paper again. She's still telling us when she needs to go most of the time, but when she doesn't get there in time, it's not as messy to clean up!

I am really hoping to be back into cloth trainers again this weekend. Disposables really don't hold up well to the repeated opening and closing that comes with potty use. I'm too cheap to buy PullUps when we have two packs of paper dipes left over from our previous daycare fiasco. Especially as she's only using 1-2 a day and we won't go through them before we're back in cloth.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Mighty Chipmunk Hunter

We have chipmunks. Every morning, they're the loudest critter on the block. Every time we mow the lawn we find another hole. My husband has been trying to minimize their impact on our lawn and house for months now without success. When we discovered that they had 3 holes chewed into the side of our house along with one under the garage and one under the patio, we decided it was time to fight dirty.

I thought we had only 2-3 living in our yard.

Want to guess at how many my husband has caught in the last 8 days? C'mon, take a guess... The number is truly frightening if you consider that we probably haven't caught them all.

As of this morning, the count is up to 13!!!

That's 13 chipmunks in 8 days. Talk about a thriving colony living with us. Well, it WAS thriving... but for the past three mornings, it's been quiet in the yard!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Unwanted Roommate

Has been evicted! Yay! Here he is right before his one-way trip to the country:



So long, and no thanks for the memories!

Hamster Dance

Thank you, Nana, for the song of the day!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hand, Foot, Mouth

Oy... hand foot mouth disease is NO fun. I can only imagine what Chicken Pox is like for the parent. Our daughter was sick from Thursday through Sunday with a high fever, heavy drooling, fine rash everywhere, sores in her mouth and throat (so no eating or drinking unless we bribed her or held her down to spray analgesic into her mouth first,) and no solid sleep.

She would wake choking on drool and crying, pissed that she was awake instead of asleep. And I would sit and hold her until she stopped squirming, then rock her back to sleep.... We have yet to have a full night's sleep, but we're down to two wakeups a night.

She's still spotty, but has started eating and drinking again. Hooray!

Thankfully, I had HFM as a child and did not pick it up this time.



On another note, we had our 16 week prenatal appointment last week. Everything is going smoothly. My weight gain is dead center of where they want it to be. The baby's heartrate is 155 beats per minute. We scheduled our anatomical ultrasound for September 22nd. Four weeks! This pregnancy is passing so much more quickly than last time. I think it's because I rarely have a moment to sit and reflect upon it. I'm so busy running around after the toddler.



We also made headway on the kitchen remodel. My husband pulled down the existing tile backsplash. Behind it was a bright red laminate one. Whoo hoo! Behind that was plaster, painted a deep olive green. The plaster is cracking and pulling away from the lathes, so it will be a bit more work to repair that than we expected. We cant' get the laminate completely off until we remove the counter and cabinets because the last remodel involved placing the new counter over the old backsplash. This will mean that I am without a kitchen for much longer than anticipated. Grrrr.... I just keep reminding myself that I will get a dishwasher out of this hassle. Oh heavenly dishwasher!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How do they know?

How is it that infants and toddlers know that exact moment when you are finally starting to fall asleep again after the last visit to the child's room in the middle of the night? How do they know that exactly THAT moment is the one in which they need to start crying again?

I was up 6, count them, 6 times last night with little Miss Potty. Each and every time she wanted to pee once or twice before I left the room. Each time, she needed to be hugged, laid down, covered, kissed, and told goodnight. Each time, she seemed ready to fall back to sleep.

I, however, did not get to sleep.

I finally realized that it was a headache keeping her up when I walked into the room at 2am and was told, "head, ouch." Sigh... Tylenol, water to drink, trip to the potty (again), and rocking for 10 minutes and I was FINALLY off to sleep.

I am truly loving the language explosion that our daughter has been experiencing. I think I might have been up ALL night if she hadn't finally told me that her head hurt! Yay to speaking!!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

a not newly-made doll

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Here's just a little review of the very little I have accomplished on the doll-making front. This little fellow was a second draft of my Down Syndrome doll pattern. I made a few technical errors, but he turned out delightful anyway. I sent him to live with a fellow doll-collector. I finished him MONTHS ago, so really, not a new baby!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Potty!

We have achieved potty trained status! Holy moly, my little girl is in undies now! She's only 20 months old.

I am in utter disbelief and the change in our lives.

I still clean up pee once every two days or so, but all in all, she's trained! I decided to try her on undies and a 30 min potty schedule a week ago just to see how close to ready she was. I thought December would be a good goal for completion. Boy, was I wrong!!! By Sunday, she was down to one accident a day, usually my fault. By Tuesday, she was on her own to tell us WHEN to potty.

She now has Tinkerbell undies, Elmo undies, printed flower and heart undies, and a whole lot of other great bottoms to wear. It's a happy day in our house!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A lesson in food coloring

I generally don't think too hard about food coloring in marshmallows. Marshmallows are hardly natural these days, so why should I expect their colors to be natural?

I bought, on a whim, a package of "swirled chocolate and vanilla" marshmallows for my family. My husband was happy for an excuse to fire up the ol' fire pit. After roasting beer brats over the open flames, we turned to the marshmallows.

Raw, the marshmallows are a nice cocoa brown, kind of like powdered cocoa. Pretty, soft, pinkish. After a few minutes over the coals, the marshmallows began to take on the classic golden brown of all marshmallows over a campfire. Unfortunately, the nice golden brown on top of the pretty, pinkish undertones combined into a very unappealing shade of baby poop mustard.

We also learned that these cocoa mallows are much tastier toasted only until they begin to warm up, NOT until they crisp up.

Friday, July 18, 2008

So, we've entered that phase where the camera is a great toy for the little diva. It's nearly impossible to get a nice picture these days. If I ask her to smile, this is what I get:






If I just let her be herself and then take a picture when it looks like a good time, this is what I get:








And if I try to get her attention and then quickly snap a picture, this is what I get:



Sometimes, though, I can sneak in a decent one:



Yay! Finally! A picture of the toddler that doesn't look too goofy! Now, if only we can overlook the fat lip from the argument she had with the rails on the changing table yesterday...

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Potty

Keeping us on our toes

Back to It!

Okay, so it's been MONTHS since I last blogged. I can only claim that life got ahold of me and put me through the wringer. Pregnancy-brain at its best is the best way to describe it. I have not only been incredibly busy chasing after the toddler, but trying to keep down food despite my morning sickness, trying to stay away despite the first trimester sleepies, and just plain working has made it nearly impossible to find time for other activities!

BUT I did this week finally find some time to be a little bit creative. I shortened 18 infant prefolds to newborn length and I also managed to sew a fitted diaper in size Small. Now I can feel like I did something for the new baby! I'd love to do a ton more, and will have to before the next 6.5 months are over, but it's at least a start.

Back at the ranch, we're dealing with potty training, transitioning to the toddler bed, switching dacyares (AGAIN) and getting the lawn mowed on a regular enough basis so that we don't look like the white trash we sometimes feel like. I think we're keeping up with the worst of it... at least, the neighbors don't complain too loudly about our jungle out back.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

finally a project of my own!

Well, okay, so it's for my daughter. But still, it's a project that I am not getting paid for! I love sneaking in little things for my own enjoyment.

I made my daughter some legwarmers out of women's knee-hi socks. They have sock monkeys at the top and stripes down the bottom. She loves them! heck, I love them. And they took all of about 3 minutes to make! Now I want to make more.....


Photobucket



Half an hour ago, these two pairs of legwarmers were a pair of socks and pair of girls' tights! Yeehaw for fast projects! I feel like I accomplished something with my rather tiring and frustrating day!!!

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"not Down Syndromey enough!"

My goal with this doll was to create an appealing doll with Down Syndrome. After looking at a number of pictures of adorable children with Down Syndrome, my husband and I decided that we needed to celebrate the joy and beauty of these children. Looking at the commercially available dolls with Down Syndrome I found that none of them were appealing! They were either ugly characatures or simply not cuddly enough. So, off to the sewing table!



My first draft of the pattern is complete and it's a mediocre success. As my husband said as he looked upon his new "son"'s face, "he's not Down Syndromey enough!" Sigh.






Okay, so I managed to get a number of the physical characteristics down:

1. epicanthic fold painted on with the eyes
2. low-placed, folded ears
3. Simian crease on the hand
4. space between the big and next toes
5. flattened appearance to the head

I didn't want to do an open mouth with a big tongue. In all of the commercially available dolls, this is the one feature that looks least like it belongs on the doll... as if the designer couldn't find a way to add that feature without overdoing it. I'll have to think on it and see if I can come up with a way to do it pleasingly.

The other thing I didn't get right is the hyponia. My little fellow simply has too much movement, too much muscle tone in him. He looks spring-loaded, as if he'll start wiggling any minute. I think the next one will have arms that hang down lower to show this. I also want a bigger belly and bum with a smaller chest and a floppier feel to it. Maybe longer legs?

Oh, the potential!


before sculpting the body:
















After sculpting the body:














After painting:


To all those who have left comments in the past, I apologize for my delay in replying. I just received the comments now, in June of 2010. Please read my reply here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

hey, where'd that go?

For those of you looking for previous blog posts that have disappeared, I apologize! I was recently informed by a good friend who reads my blog that I had inadvertantly linked my personal photobucket account with my blog entries. In effect, my entire personal album was available for anyone who came along! WHOOOPS!

I won't be recreating those entries, but I will start making new ones with pictures loaded up from a new account. Rest assured, my quirky sense of humor will be back online and in your face in no-time!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

my creativity is not entirely lost

Just as an FYI for those of you patiently reading this, looking for an update, I have been doing SOME work. My dear husband has given me a moritorium on night-time art work until Tuesday in an attempt to help me recover. However, that does not preclude me from working on things when, oh, say, my grandmother calls! I sculpted nearly an entire body while we chatted about things this afternoon! WHoo hooo! I got work done and I didn't have to break my promise to my husband!

So, the progress:

two bodies sewn, one sculpted
four heads cut out, one sculpted and painted
one kid almost ready to go out the door, just some touch-up blushing needed (for P)
cloth diapers purchased, prepped, and ready to be pinned and covered with plastic pants
ooooh, and I found a couple of TDF outfits for the boys and one for a girl. I can't wait!

Got bit by the bug

And no, not the creative bug. We have hosted the stomach flu. Ugh. It's bad enough when Mama gets it. It's worse when daycare calls and says that they can't take the baby the next day because they have the stomach flu, too. What gets even better, is a sick husband who needs to be taken care of. And no, theFates don't give time off for recuperating before asking you to care for someone else who's sick. Oh, and let's PLEASE not forget that there is a toddler in the house and yes, she's not potty trained yet... Thank heavens for the rotavirus vaccine. While we were certainly changing some pretty messy diapers, she had just enough immunity to keep away from the puking. I love that disposable diapers are to easily obtained. I don't want to imagine washing that many stomach flu diapers while I myself have the stomach flu. Can you say, ewww?

On top of all of that, I had a chest cold going into the stomach flu and it was worse on the other side. I didn't sleep for several nights because of the cough. And of course this weekend I'm on my own as my husband is off earning a new certification. I'm not trying to sound like I'm angry with him for not being here. It's just Murphy's Law times ten. The only good part about that is that the amount of cleaning up I have to do this weekend is limited to the works of two people, and not three.

Oh, but wait, we're not done! Tonight, while I still have the cough and sore throat, while the baby is sneezing a gallon of snot every five minutes and screaming bloody murder every time I wipe her nose... what do we have? PINK EYE! Ugh... I suppose I'll be spending tomorrow morning at the walk-in clinic with a sneezy, snotty, impatient toddler. Why does this never happen when my husband is around to help?!?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Um... Did I do that?!?

Did I really just agree to two more dolls?

LOL. I must officially by nuts.

On a positive note, my new sock yarn arrived and I LOVE it. It will be much better to work with, I hope! Also in the box were my new bamboo knitting needles! Yay!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

What was I thinking?

Last night I started a true marathon of custom work. I have orders for 5, count them, FIVE dolls. They all came in within 3 days of each other, too. I can only blame greed for my willingness to take on this challenge. I really can't turn down that kind of compensation just now! Our budget is feeling the addition of our daughter to the family this past year and every penny that either of us can bring in really makes a difference.

So last night, I cut out two bodies and four heads. I could have stayed up in my work room and pinned the body pieces together in preparation for sewing, but my husband was home for the evening and as he's about to start a marathon of extra evening work himself, I felt that spending my time with him was much more important. All too soon, he'll be away in the evenings working on his project and I'll be left to work on mine. In all actuality, it works out kind of nicely that we both have extra work at the same time. Both projects will probably last about the same amount of time, too!

It will be really interesting to see how this doll project works out. Both clients have different tastes in dolls, but both want some characteristics in common. I may just have to hang onto all of them until they're done so that I can take a group picture! I think it just might be an amazing thing to see. I don't think I've ever had this much of my work completed and in the house at once! I can't wait!