Sunday, November 21, 2010


Motherhood is when every once in awhile you're laying in bed and about to fall asleep, when suddenly a thought pops into your head about a TV show you watched a long time ago, when a snake crawled into a baby's crib and ate him, and you suddenly have to get up and go check on the baby. Not because you actually think he's been eaten by a snake, or is being menaced by anything worse than giant dust bunnies, because if that were the case, telling yourself that the room has no vents except the one into your own room and giant snakes can't crawl in closed windows would put an end to the worry. You get up and go check on the baby because the world is a big scary place, and the baby is so small, and it's such a worrisome job to try and keep him safe and let him grow, all at the same time.

And when you've gotten out of bed and left your room and turned on the bathroom light for indirect illumination, you open the nursery door as quietly as you can, using the rhythm and technique you have perfected to minimize the squeak you keep telling yourself you should address with WD-40. You go in and look in the crib and there he is, all curled up sleeping, and you wonder how you could have ever made something so perfect. And there are no giant snakes around, just a few industrial sized dust bunnies, so it's time to sleep.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Today I forgot an appointment, because I suck! Or rather, I mislaid an appointment. We were supposed to go to membership class at church, but I spazzed and thought it was next Saturday, and so instead I slept in and then gave M a chance to get a nap and didn't even think about it till I got an email from my pastor about it. Crud! Well, we'll just have to figure out another time for meeting, I guess. I need to pay more attention, seriously.

Anyway, the last couple days have been pantry filling days. Kroger had a super-duper sale this week, and an open house for the holidays as well! We decided to try one of the big fancy Marketplace Krogers in the town next door, and it was pretty cool. They had all kinds of sample tables set up, and it was fun to taste things and let Robert taste them as well. He actually managed to sip a little apple cider from a cup, which was neat and bodes well for the future. He also met Santa Claus for the first time ever and did not cry! He looked very concerned, but that's okay. We did really well for shopping, too. I bought a ton of canned and boxed goods and used about 35 coupons, and got ninety dollars worth of groceries for twenty bucks. Hard to beat!

Today, after the scheduling snafu and all the napping, Robert and I went out shopping again, this time to Walmart for baby food. Giving him frozen and thawed baby food veggies is fine (though more difficult now that I've blown out the motor on my blender and have to get down the food processor), but he's showing a definite preference for the entree-style baby foods. Turkey and veggies, Chicken noodle, spaghetti with itty-bitty noodles, stuff like that. It actually smells appetizing, which surprises me. Baby food has come a long way.  And he eats it even though it is a little lumpy, and that's good. We got a ton of baby food, I decided I might as well get him a fruit and oatmeal combo for each morning, a veggie for each lunch, and a dinner entree for each dinner. Twelve days worth of food, plus bagel thins for his solid food lunch and a loaf of day-old bread was 27 dollars, more than we spent on adult food!

It's totally worth it though. Not just because we do like taking care of our baby, but because he's started sleeping a lot better since we started giving him bigger meals. Lately he'd been waking up very early, uncomfortable and demanding a bottle, and taking four bottles a day and wanting more! Now we've got him on the eight-ounce jars of food at breakfast and supper, and with a four-ounce jar and a selection of solid finger foods at lunch. He also gets the sippy cup at some meals, and all this new food has him feeling good! He's back to sleeping eleven hours again, thank God, and he really seems to enjoy the new variety. He's a very good eater. I just have to try and be careful to make sure he's eating healthy! We have a meeting next week with the WIC nutritionist again, I'm sure she'll have lots of ideas.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Days Are Just Packed!

Wow, I can't believe it's Friday already. This week has gone by in a blur! I don't know why, but every day has passed in a rush, and then melted together, and I haven't even gotten my shopping done yet! That's okay, because it's not like we're exactly flush right now, but Kroger is having an awesome canned-food sale that I don't want to miss. We're going to go this evening, I have all thirty-seven (thirty-seven!) of my coupons ready. Here's hoping it all goes smoothly!

Yesterday, Robert and Jami and I went out to the mall to get Robert's Halloween pictures taken. We had been planning to do it on Tuesday, I had a ride from Jami arranged and the appointments made and everything, but then I let M drive off with the carseat! Argh! I couldn't even think about using the big-boy front-facing carseat because that's up in the storage area and M has the only key. Double Argh! We ended up going on a walk instead, which was nice, but it was still a very frustrating afternoon. So today I scheduled again, for Sears and JC Penney both, since I had coupons for both and they're in the same mall. Might as well, right? It's tons cheaper to get one package from two places than to get two poses from one place. Studios are weird that way.

Anyhow, I got a call from Penneys, our usual place, to say that their server was down, so that while they could take the pictures, they couldn't show them to us that day, and we'd have to come back another day. That didn't sound very good. We went over to Sears for the appointment, and did okay. I don't like them as well as Penney's, honestly. It was obviously the same franchise of photo studio as the one at Walmart, the website setup and even the signs were the same, and Walmart was just awful. The photographers tried hard, but none of them really had what it takes to work with babies. One thing I've learned is that you have to make a fool of yourself to get a good picture of a baby, and none of these women would even talk in a loud high voice. I had to do it myself to get any smiles from him. They also decided to take more pictures (or the manager did, she made them do it and tossed some of the earlier photos because apparently the seat he'd been on wasn't safe, and getting rid of the evidence was crucial or something. That was weird.

So at the end of the shoot, they had six decent pictures of him, minus all the ones the manager deleted. That's a lot less than our Penney's shoots have been, and it took longer. Part of that is because Robert is crawling now, granted. He doesn't want to stay! After five minutes that turned to fifteen waiting for proofs, they showed us a whole bunch of collages and enhancements and all that, then persisted in trying to sell me a four hundred dollar photo package. Bwa-ha-ha! I bought my one little photo package and confirmed that things would be online, because the grandparents usually like to buy pictures too. As I found out, they put the natural photos on, but none of those fancy enhancements they made. Another reason I like them less than Penneys, who put all the enhanced pictures up to buy as well. Ah well, it was an okay session and we got some cute pictures that will be here next week! (And yeah, they put giant watermarks on as well. This is the photo we bought, pretty cute, huh?)

Guest Post: Country Fairs

Thanks for the post from Darrick Moreno

Going to the Country Fair in town is great fun for the entire family. It's a time for us to join together and have some real good old-fashion fun. Going to the Country Fair with my family reminds me of when I was growing up in a smaller town. The entire town looked forward to the Country Fair. It was the major event of the entire year.

I just love the cotton candy at the fairs and introduced my kids to cotton candy. I also enjoy the fresh popcorn. I was surprised to see at the last Country Fair that popcorn is now in several very delightful and spicy flavors. One treat that can't be beat is the hot fried pork rinds. The family that makes the product were recently featured on national television!

We also like to go on a few of the rides. I personally stick to the safer, more sane rides. You will not see me on the roller coaster or other wild rides! After a long day at the Country Fair I am glad to return home because I plan to watch the satellite TV we got after looking at this Direct TV comparison.

Sticky Situation

From time to time on my blog, I will do reviews of websites I've been asked to look at, sort of like a survey where I share the results with people. I receive compensation for doing these reviews, but they don't tell me what I have to say, or even that I have to say nice things. All the opinions contained herein are entirely my own.

Today I went to look at a site called This was an interesting site, because it's not really something I ever actually thought about before. makes custom labels, nameplates and die cuts for commercial and industrial uses. It seems like half the things I buy have some label or sticker on them, be it a safety label, a product sticker, or an inspection sticker, but I never really stopped to wonder where they came from. Apparently these aren't done in-house by the companies involved, they come from companies specifically set up to make stickers. Which makes a lot of sense, now that I stop to think about it. 

The biggest part of the site seems to be devoted to custom labels. They don't do labels for home use, but if you need a few thousand labels for whatever commercial or industrial reason, you're all set! And yes, the temptation is strong to order a few thousand entirely silly labels to stick on everything, so maybe it's a good thing that I'm pretty much broke right now. You can supply your own art and get them to make it look however you want, which is kind of neat. I have seen sites that do that before, but never for such large quantities. 

They also do name plates, bar codes, die cuts, and other identification-related stuff. You can't actually buy anything off their website, because they only do customized work, but I think it's very convenient that they have an info box right on their site that can be used to get a quote. I would much rather do that than have to use a telephone. All in all, I think I'll keep them in mind in case I ever come up with a product that needs labels! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Busy Day

Just a quick one tonight, to keep up my streak. We had a busy day today! First thing in the morning was baby music class, which is always great fun. There is a new boy in our class who is just a couple of weeks younger than Robert, and who has just as much hair. They sat next to each other today, and were very interested in each other. That can be a dangerous thing at this age, especially with boys! Nash, the new boy, is very inquisitive, and he liked trying to go for Robert's face and hair. While I was on the phone after class, I had to hang up abruptly when an unexpected lunge from Nash made Robert fall over backwards and start crying. It was okay though, no harm done and they had a good time trying to pull up on the wall together. Babies are so funny. I've locked in a class for Robert for next semester, we've got a partial scholarship and I'm going to watch the teacher's son during one of her other classes, and we'll call it even. Sweet!

After baby music class, we met up with Jami for shopping. Woo-hoo! The rent is paid, so we don't have much money, but the bills are also all paid for the moment, so what money there is can go for things like new Robert clothes! The thrift store was chock-full of goodies today, very exciting. I got Robert the most adorable, practically new, insulated winter coat with a hood. It's green, and I swear, if anyone wore it already, it doesn't show. Only four dollars! I also got him some new corduroy pants and overalls, a pair of khakis just like Daddy's, a new bodysuit for pajamas, a workout suit that is just as cute as can be, and a lighter jacket for less-cold days. The total for everything was about 8.50. That's the price of one baby outfit new, if you can even get it that cheap! I love the thrift store!

After that, Jami showed us the Gap Outlet Store, which was very cool. It's a big place, and the stuff is very cheap, though you have to be careful because quite a bit is actually damaged and not just overstock. I got Robert about ten pairs of identical white socks for a quarter a pair, then got myself some new socks as well, for fifty cents per pair. I also got him two identical pairs of mittens, figuring that might at least help me keep track of one right and one left. I need to get him some mitten clips. I need to go back to that store sometime with lots of time to look around and sort through things, because it was pretty cool.

When we were done there, we went over to Sams and had lunch at their little cafe thing. We had hot dogs, drinks, and soft pretzels with cheese, all for a total of 6.60, which is a  doggone good price for two adults to have a filling lunch out. Robert ate some soft pretzel too, after I brushed all the salt off. He seemed to like it, though he didn't actually consume very much. It's a start. We walked around the store, and I think we'll have to go back so Jami can pick up the pickles and olives she was eyeing so avariciously. ;) I got chimichangas and mini egg-rolls, lunch and dinner staples at our house, as well as a rotisserie chicken for supper. By then, we were all exhausted and it was starting to rain, so we went home. But it was a good day!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Today I cooked up some rigatone for Robert. It was the biggest pasta noodle I could find that wasn't a lasagna sheet, and the nice round tube shape was appealing. I made several cups of it, cooked it till it was nice and mushy for gumming, then put it in the fridge. When lunchtime rolled around, I put three nice-looking noodles in a plastic bowl with just a little butter, and gave it to him in his high chair. Within ten seconds, he'd dumped the pasta out onto the tray and was chewing on the bowl. Eventually the rigatone ended up on the floor, unwept, unhonored, and untasted.

We are not having good luck with finger foods. The only finger food Robert will eat is french fries and arrowroot cookies. Oh, and he also ate a Kit-Kat stick I gave him on Halloween, and subsequently refused to sleep for most of the night. That one was definitely an error. I've ordered a case of what are called "Baby Mum-Mums, rice rusks that are supposed to be really easy for babies to eat. He doesn't like the baby puffs much yet, but he does like things that he can hold in his fist while he chews them. The rusks are much bigger than the puffs, and they got rave reviews, so I'm going to try them out. I'm also going to try cooled steamed carrots. So far cheese and kidney beans have not worked at all, and even cotton candy would not pass his lips. I have thought about buying some edible rice paper since paper is Robert's favorite thing to eat, but I feel that would just lead to confusion down the road. We'll keep working on it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Hi all, long time no see! I have been very busy and crazy and all sorts of things, but I really do need to start getting back into this! I come to you today bearing gifts of adorable Halloween baby pictures, and the promise of lots more on the Flickr photostream! Go there, you will not regret it! I have videos to upload too, but they need editing and that takes forever.

Robert is 41 weeks old today! He has been out of the womb for as long as he was in it, crazy thought! I can't believe how big and clever he's gotten, so quickly. Already he's pulling up and cruising like a champ, and if he's not walking by Christmas, I'll be surprised. Things like pointing and talking are coming more slowly, but he's always watching and interacting. He and I play the back-and-forth syllables game where I mimic the noises he makes, which he thinks is hilarious. He can clap his hands and shake his rattle and bang his sticks in baby music class, he is getting to be a pro at that. Things look good for getting another semester of that, and I'm really excited about it! His nine month checkup was great, the doctor says he looks perfect and is right on track. Just what we like to hear!

Our budget, as always, has been a little more shaky in its progress than Robert's growth and development. It takes a month or two to recover from the long payless drought. I think we're getting there, and we still have a fairly comfortable cushion in savings, but I don't want to tap it. The bills are up to date, so if we can pay the rent and not spend any more money for, oh, ten days, we'll be fine! Yeah, that's likely for us... Robert and I did go out shopping today and did well for ourselves. We got about 200 dollars worth of stuff at CVS and Walgreens for 17 dollars out of pocket, and I got 15 dollars in ECBs and register rewards to spend next time. That's not bad at all, considering all the stuff I got. The big thing was yet another glucose monitor, this one a fancy one that can plug into a Nintendo DS. I don't need it myself, but I donate them to the church, because other people do need them. They go on sale for free-with-coupon all the time, so I have about four of them now. I also got a couple things of Dawn, some kleenex, a new nice razor, NyQuil and Dayquil, a couple bottles of nasal spray, four bags of cough drops, about 70 freezer pops, four things of deodorant, four bottles of Olay lotion, Halloween treats to give out, a can of iced tea, and the newspaper. Good sales!

I've still been doing Weight Watchers, though this week I've suffered a little bit from Halloweenfooditis, if you know what I mean. But I've also done lots of walking and lots of water-drinking, so maybe it will balance out. So far I've lost 18.5 pounds and I'm feeling good about it. Cross your fingers for me, we've got Robert's candy stash in the house!