Friday, December 18, 2009

Emergency Kit

So the weather forecast is calling for something like 6-12 inches of snow for tonight into tomorrow. I guess now would be a good time to get the winter emergency kit together for my car. I was a Girl Scout and I like to be prepared.

I take a canvas L.L.Bean tote and stock it with:

  • An extra pair of gloves
  • A winter hat
  • A pair of warm/thick socks
  • A pair of hiking boots
  • An extra blanket (I keep one blanket in the car all the time)
  • A ziplock bag with some diapers/wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Cheerios and a bottle of water
In addition, I keep in the back of my car a fold-up shovel and a large ice scraper/brush.

I always have a traditional first aid kit and an all purpose emergency kit in the car at all times.

What's in your winter car kit? And have you ever had to use it?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update on my Update...

on my To Do List.

I was able to make really good progress this weekend!

1. Write out remaining cards
2. Make peppermint bark
3. Make peanut butter fudge 12/16/09 (although it didn't set properly)
4. Finish wrapping presents
5. CLEAN HOUSE 12/17/09
6. Prep for holiday brunch on 12/20 12/18/09
7. Other Duties as Assigned
8. Make Chex Mix 12/17/09

I am hoping to take care of #3 tonight. And #8 on Thursday. All in all, I am chugging right along

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Hannukah

My Other To Do List

We are rapidly approaching winter break... that joyous time of year where I get a full two weeks off while the university is closed. TWO WEEKS PEOPLE! It can't come soon enough. There are a few projects that I would like to tackle while I am off. If history stands to repeat itself I will get one maybe two of these done while I am off, but definitely not all of them.

1. Learn to Needle Felt.
2. Make my Tan Skirt
3. Take doors of the pantry
4. Buy more boot stays
5. Clean/Condition Leather Furniture
6. Inventory and Clean out as much as humanly possible


I'll keep you posted on how much of this actually gets done.

Update on To Do List

So I made some progress on my To Do List last night, kind of.

1. Finish holiday cards I was able to finish my holiday cards except that I ran out of cards and pictures to go in the cards. So, I have to get cards so that I can finish them. As for pictures, sorry anyone from here on out is not getting a picture.
2. Make peppermint bark
3. Make peanut butter fudge
4. Finish wrapping presents
5. Find Hannukah candles (maybe this should be #1 since Hannukah starts tomorrow) Searched high and low only to discover that I don't have Hanukkah candles and now need to buy some.
6. CLEAN HOUSE
7. Prep for holiday brunch on 12/20
8. Put wrapped presents under the tree I was able to finish wrapping hubby's gifts and get them under the tree so that is something.
9. Other Duties as Assigned
10. Make Chex Mix

I was in such a frenzy last night to get the cards written, get the gifts, wrapped and put under the tree and trying to find the damn candles that I completely forgot to make/pack Nate's lunch for today. I, apparently, also forgot to set my alarm. As luck would have it Nate decided to sleep in and thus I was late for work. On the up side, my mom had some extra cards that I could have and Walmart actually had Hannukah candles (I was shocked).

So the new To Do List looks like this:

1. Write out remaining cards
2. Make peppermint bark
3. Make peanut butter fudge
4. Finish wrapping presents
5. CLEAN HOUSE
6. Prep for holiday brunch on 12/20
7. Other Duties as Assigned
8. Make Chex Mix

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Things I Think People in My Life Need

1. Stuffed Sushi --Its sushi and its hugable... you need this!



2. Tauntaun Sleeping Bag -- you can really get inside a tauntaun without having to deal with guts... how cool is that?

3. Inflatable Leg Lamp (from A Christmas Story) -- "You'll shoot your eye out!" or maybe your neighbors will shoot theirs eyes out if you put this on your lawn, who knows?

That is all.

I Heart Etsy

I love craft fairs. I really do. Maybe it has something to do with going with my mom when I was little or maybe it is the thought of finding away to work around corporate America and support "the little guy" that I like, I don't know. Monday I tried to take Nate to a local Arts & Crafts Show that I have been attending since I was a child. I didn't work, or it didn't happen because of a run in with some stupid and insensitive people. Which got me to thinking that this particular organization really screwed themselves since I don't really need to go there to get my arts and crafts fill... because there is Etsy.com.

I heart Etsy . It is the Craft Fair that is open 24/7 365 days a year. I have found the greatest stuff on there. Jewelry, needle felted miniatures, Christmas ornaments, clothing, cloth diapers, more unlicensed Twilight stuff than you can shake a stick at, you name it.

Some of my Personal Favs:

There are, of coures, some tacky ad questionable things on Etsy as there are at any craft fair. If you want to see them, check out Regretsy.com

Holiday To Do List

I am trying not to feel overwhelmed by holiday preparation, I am trying to remember that I like to do all this stuff and that if I didn't like doing it, I wouldn't be doing it in the first place, but increasingly "overwhelmed" is creeping in. So in an effort to keep "overwhelmed at bay"here is my to do list. Organization is the key Molly, organization is the key!

1. Finish holiday cards
2. Make peppermint bark
3. Make peanut butter fudge
4. Finish wrapping presents
5. Find Hannukah candles (maybe this should be #1 since Hannukah starts tomorrow)
6. CLEAN HOUSE
7. Prep for holiday brunch on 12/20
8. Put wrapped presents under the tree
9. Other Duties as Assigned

ok, so looking at it numbered and in list form it doesn't actually look that daunting. What is on your To Do List?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

I am 33 today!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fostersfrostings/3453604147/

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Good Luck at Goodwill

I was out running errands at lunch today and decided to pop into Goodwill to see what they had. My mom has been having tremendous luck at Goodwill lately, like finding 2 complete sets of Geotrax for $7! Merry Christmas Nate!

Anyway, I didn't have any luck in the toy department, but I was able to find 2 pairs of Old Navy jeans for me, one pink Old Navy Cardigan, a summer blouse, and a little pair of Roobeez soft soled baby shoes (for another baby? who knows, they may be a gift for a friend expecting twin boys!).

For $16.25 it was a good haul!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Inspiration

I am always inspired by Pleasant View School House, particularly the sewing projects. Anna really makes the most amazing dresses from vintage patterns I am constantly OOOOing and AHHHing over the things she creates.

Once upon a time I sewed... a lot. That time was in high school, but still it is a time that existed! I always have good intentions of sewing again... I even had a sewing room although I never used it and it was turned into the nursery, but still.

So when I saw this skirt and this skirt again.... I knew I really had to start sewing again. They are from the same pattern McCalls 5430. I love me a wrap skirt and since I recently ditched my old denim skirt I thought that I denim wrap would be a great project to start on.

The pictures are terrible (a comination of my iphone, crappy lighting, and dark, dark denim, but here is my finished product.


I was very pleased with myself. Not only did I follow all the instructions, I pressed as I went and even made a pretty decent button hole for my thrift shop button.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Homemade "funfetti"

I have a weakness for the "funfetti" cake mixes. Admit it, they are fun. The different colors baked right into the cake, seem more festive to me. I have been making my best fried a funfetti cake for her birthday every year since we were college roommates.

I needed to make a cake fir a coworkers going away party and really wanted a funfetti cake. I didn't have a mix in the house and didn't want to go to the store so I decided to make one from scratch. I found a good recipe for a yellow cake and threw in 1/3 cup of rainbow sprinkles... VoilĂ ! Homemade funfetti cake!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Blogging via iPhone

Thus is my first attempt to blog via iPhone. Let's see if it works.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Free Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy and ovulation tests can be expensive as you may well know if you are trying to conceive or trying not to conceive. Anyway, You can score up to any combination of 10 ovulation or pregnancy tests from http://www.freeopks.com/ completely and totally, 100% free. They will even pay the shipping. Check it out!

Monday, October 12, 2009

On the dockett for today...

  1. Try onwinter coats
  2. Put summer clothes away and bring winter clothes out
  3. Make Chili
  4. Make Cornbread
  5. Make Caramel Apples
There is just something about the fall and the cold weather that makes me want to spend all day n the kitchen

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Applesauce


I would love to tell you that I am the type of person who buys apples and makes all of my family's applesauce from scratch, but sadly I am not. There is a part of me that wishes I was and there was a time when I thought I would be that person... but life got in the way and I am not.

However, there is still a glint of that person in me somewhere because on Monday, as I stood at the kitchen counter looking at a bowl of apples beginning to wrinkle and rot I was seized with one thought... "APPLESAUCE!"

I gave Nate the keys to play with and started peeling and chopping. 45 minutes later I had a good sized container of homemade apple sauce and the satisfaction of knowing no fruit went to waste.

Applesauce is SUPER easy to make.

Take apples (however many you have, peeled and cored) and cut them into quarters or eighths. Put in a saucepan with a little bit of water (just cover the bottom of the pan). Put the pan on medium heat with a lid. After about 20 minutes check the apples. When they are soft get out the potato masher and mash the apples to a pulp. This will give you chunky apple sauce. If you like smooth, put everything in the blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

That's it! I add some cinnamon when I serve it, but no sugar, no junk, and no fuss!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

ARRRRRRR!

This is Nate's newest diaper... a custom I had made by Preston's Pants. They are great diapers and fit Nate better than some of my other pockets. It is Black PUL on the outside and baby blue microfleece on the inside.

Back


Front



And a color coordinated tag!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Free Godiva Chocolate

Godiva chocolate now has a rewards card which entitles you to one piece of free chocolate a month plus coupons, special sales, etc. If you live near a Godiva store this is well worth it! Oh, and the card is free too!

https://www.godiva.com/member/rewardLogin.aspx

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Quick Goodwill Stop

I made a quick stop in Goodwill yesterday on my way home and am very glad I did.

I found:

2 board books for Nate: $1



1 knit top for me: $3.50

4 tapas plates in the shape of different veggies
(perfect holiday gift for a vegetarian friend): $6.00


A kit to make photo coasters (which will also be a gift): $5

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm Lovin' It

It was time, definitely time, to try something new in the diet department. I had hit rock bottom but didn't know what to do to fix it. I tried my doctor's plan but when you eat lunch at 11:30 and don;t eat dinner until 8:00, it is impossible not to snack. Weight watchers was not an option this time. I wasn't going to pay for something I knew I wasn't going to use. I didn't want to track and count points, I wasn't interested. So what did that leave? My husband suggested I try the low carb diet that my dad was on, not really Atkins, not really South Beach, just don't eat carbs or really try to limit the number of carbs & sugar you take in in a day. What the hell I thought, I have nothing to lose... actually I have a WHOLE LOT to lose, but it is the only thing I hadn't tried. So I tried.

HOLY CRAP IT WORKS!

I hate to admit that both my father AND my husband are right about something, but they are... low carb eating really works. In one week I lost 4.1 pounds. Not only that, I didn;t have blood sugar spikes, I didn't fall asleep at my desk, I didn;t have that constant knawing craving for sugar. And I got to eat... real food... not diet food! Cheese and meat and nuts and eggs and veggies and fruit and dark chocolate (in moderation), and cheese... did I mention the cheese? I got to eat cheese!!!!

I know that it will not always be easy and that I will fall off the wagon. I know that this is not a diet but a lifestyle change (GOD! that sounds SO CHEESEY... oops, pun not intended but enjoyed), and that this is for the long haul, but I feel like I am off to a pretty Gouda (I HAD TO!) start. :)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Shoes

Photobucket

These are the shoes that I am wearing to work today. Bandolino... super cute... purchased at Goodwill for $5 (or less I really don't remember). I love them... but they are holding me back... Literally! My feet are killing me now (at the end of the day) and I had to do something I vowed I would NEVER do... put on sneakers with work clothes to walk across campus. :/

Nuva Ring Users

If you haven't already done so, go to Nuvaring.com and sign up for the newsletter. You can get four (4) coupons for $15 off your insurance copay. That's a good deal and if your insurance copay is $15 it means you get four (4) months free!

Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm Back!

I didn't think that I was going to be coming back. I really didn't. I took way more than a month off and I didn't miss blogging one bit. I really didn't. I got way too wrapped up in other things... important things... like the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers and TrueBlood on HBO. (I am nurturing a little vampire obsession at the moment so bear with me) I resurrected the cross stitch sampler that I started before Nate was born and vowed to finish it before he turns 2. I cut out two skirts that are still sitting on my sewing machine and between working full time and cleaning the house I enjoyed spending time with my hubby and with Nate.

Oh, I also got completely swept up in cloth diapering... which I LOVE by the way... more to come on all of that.

So hopefully ya'll haven't given up on me and someone somewhere had Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa in their reader and will notice that I have returned. ;)

Free Coffee on Me

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blogging Break

I will be taking a blogging break for the next month or so. I have, at this time, nothing to say. I have fallen completely off the frugal wagon, and will be concentrating on climbing back on.

Thanks!

Monday, April 13, 2009

National Library Week

In honor of National Library Week, I thought I would share some of my favorite library/librarian themed childrens' books (since that is all I seem to read these days).

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies



Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

From: http://www.sugarliciousonline.com/cakes/birthday/animals/black_labrador.html

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Blue Violet

Her frugal cooking tip,

"I try to plan my meals for the week around the grocery store sales for that week. That really helps cut costs on the expensive items like meat. Also, if I double the recipe and freeze half of it for later in individual portions...it saves on waste and prevents us from having to cook on busy days."

Thanks you to all who entered and Thank you to Gina for the free advertising!

I will be contacting the winner shortly. :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Dining on a Dime Giveaway!


This will be my first ever giveaway of Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa, and I am really excited. I have in my possession one brand new copy of the Dining on a Dime Cookbook. I own this cook book and I LOVE IT. If you need a recipe for taco sauce it is in there. If you need a recipe for sidewalk chalk it is in there. If you need a recipe for a pore-minimizing clay mask... well, I am pretty sure that you can find a recipe for something close in there!

So, if you are interested in having your own copy... leave me a comment and a give me one frugal cooking tip. Winners will be picked on Monday, April 6th!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mama Drama

My mom watches Nate while I am at work. I work close enough to her house that I go and have lunch with Nate just about every day. Today while I was there Nate tripped over a blow-up Krusty the Klown punching bag (don't ask) and fell face first onto another toy made of hard plastic. He hit right at his orbital bone, it must have hurt like hell. He screamed. I happened to be right there when it happened so I scooped him up, coo-ed and cuddled. Nate wailed harder and try to throw himself out of my arms and into grandma's....

It was devestating. I actually felt my heart break wide open. I cried real tears.

We got some ice of his face, gave him his sippy and a bink and he was fine. He's going to have a shiner, but he will be fine.

Knowing the fragile state of the mama ego, my mom whispered to Nate to "go give mommy a hug and a kiss" and to his credit my little man did just that. Complete with the universal sign for pick me up (both arms straigt up) and he cuddled me and kissed me and mended my broken heart.

It was a lot for a lunch hour.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hillbilly Housewife

One of the things I have always loved about the Hillbilly Housewife is her emergency $45 and $70 menus. Recently, she updated these to reflect 2009 prices.

What a change... the $45 menu now costs $70 while the former $70 menu now costs $89.

What was interesting to me was the price changes of individual items like the 10lb. bag of flour that went from $1.92 to $3.98. That's more than double the price in 3 years! Wow! Rice was another shocker with a jump from $.99 in 2006 to $3.50 in 2009.

I knew the food prices went up, but seeing it in black and white in a side by side comparison is really eye opening. Yet another good reason to keep a price book....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Easter Basket Fluff

I started to put together Nate's Easter basket this week. There isn't/won't be much too it. He is too little for candy and has a ton of toys, so it will contain a few new things for the spring a summer, like sidewalk chalk (the egg shapes they have out at Easter are easy for little hands to hold), bubbles, and these little felted bunnies and chicks from Beneath the Rowan Tree.

So... Darn... Cute!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 06, 2009

An Open Letter to Trendy Restaurants:

Dear Trendy Restaurants:

I understand that I am no longer your target clientele. I am no longer a twenty-something who hangs out of the rooftop bar drinking insanely overpriced cocktails with cheeky names like "Smarty Pants" and "Champagne-o-rama." I am now a 30-something with a baby and a diaper bag in tow who likes to sit at a table and drink insanely overpriced cocktails with cheeky names like "Smarty Pants" and "Champagne-o-rama" while ordering food.

I did not/do not expect you to make accommodations for my baby. I understand that I will be sat at a table that is out of the way and where my child will not "kill the buzz" of the Gen-Y folks that usually fill your seats. So, you can imagine my surprise when I was asked if I needed a high chair. Fully expecting you not to have them I brought my own, but that you for asking. Perhaps you are more child friendly than I thought.

Imagine my confusion then when I took my son to the Ladies room to change him and found that it was not possible, there being a complete lack of a changing station and all. Knowing that what goes on in your bathrooms has more to do with primping in front of the mirror and less to do with powdering a behind I guess there isn't much call for a diaper changing station.

However, you might want to consider installing something that could be used to change diapers, because nothing is going to "kill the buzz" of your Gen-Y clientele faster than me changing a poopy diaper at the table next to them when they are trying to enjoy their tapas.

Just a thought.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Limeade




Since we had a cold snap and 6-8 inches of snow, I was in the mood for something summery... enter Limeade.

1 Cup Lime Juice
6 Cups Cold Water
1 3/4 Cups Splenda (or Sugar)

Combine and enjoy... pretent there isn't snow on the ground.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

My Cloth Diaper Stash in Pictures

(L-R Top Row) mommy's Touch One Size Diaper (almost out of picture) One Size Fuzzi Bunz, 2 One Size Bumwear, 1 Sticky Peas Prefold
(L-R Next Row) OS Blueberry Minky in Blue Camo, 6 Bum Genius OS Diapers
(L-R Next Row) Swaddlebees OS Econappi in cow print, 2 Bum Genius OS Diapers
(L-R Bottom Row) Bum Genius Organis OS All in One Diaper (darker green)

Since I only cloth diaper part time my stash is modest in comparison to some. I don;t know that I would consider this frugal, because this is the expensive way to cloth diaper, but it certainly is green. Although considering that one diaper costs @ $18.00 and will last through potty training and then could be used on another baby, maybe this is frugal. I have 3 Goodmamas (the hottest cloth diaper around at them moment) on the way (I bought them used) and am even going to try my hand at making some embellished prefolds out of organic bamboo velor.

I have also just discovered a cloth diaper store (Diaperware) in my area that I will be visiting next week. The owner also has a web presence, and judging by the website she keeps the store stocked. I can;t wait to see some of these diapers in person. :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Frugal Philosophy

I have been trying to figure out my frugal philosophy for a LONG time. I see Meredith with her envelopes and her budget and I think how far off I am from that. I see Stephanie with her garden and her animals and I think of how I am no where NEAR that. I see any number of mamas on the Frugal blog roll and I think that perhaps I should move my little patootie off of it because many of the things I do and much of how hubby and I live is NOT frugal.

But then it occurred to me that frugality is a choice we all make. How we choice to use it or practice it is entirely individual. I will give you an example.

Monday was a day of extravagance. I bought really expensive tea at Teavana. I bought makeup at Sephora. I had lunch with Natey at the Cheesecake Factory. I bought him some new cloths at Baby Gap. Now I did have gift cards for Teavana, Sephora, and Gap but I bought beyond what the gift card covered. And I am ok with that.

To contrast that last night and this morning was an exercise in frugality. I was out of bread and skim milk. Sure I could have run to Wawa and bought bread and milk, but instead I mixed up some powdered milk and made a loaf of bread. This morning I stopped at CVS to get a prescription filled. I had a coupon for a free $25 gift card with a new prescription and I had a coupon for 1 free month of the medicine I had the prescription for. I also picked up a bottle of shampoo using a free coupon. This meant that I walked out of CVS with my meds, and a bottle of shampoo and CVS paid me $25 to do it. I then headed to McDonalds for a free cup of coffee with a coupon.

A contradiction to be sure. Does this make me a hypocrite? Maybe it does... but what I have decided is that for me frugality is a set of tools in a special tool belt. I pull the tool belt out and put it on when I need it... I don't wear it 24/7.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SHHH... Don't Tell Hubby...

But I had a date with my boyfriend yesterday. We had lunch at the Cheesecake factory, just the two of us.

Isn't he dreamy?


Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Men part II

Chocolate Chip Bread

Last week, Lisa posted a recipe for chocolate chip bread. I decided to try it with a few minor modifications. I used 2 cups of white whole wheat flour and 1 cups of AP flour and I used heavy cream instead of milk (I had it in the house and wanted to use it up).

Here is the batter waiting to go in the oven:


And here is is cooling after baking:


It is a wonderfully dense and filling bread (one slice for breakfast is MORE than enough) and it is not overwhelmingly chocolaty which I like.

I don;t have a picture of this but, once I cut into the loaf I discovered it had a bubble in the middle. Oh well, I will have to try again.

I wonder... what would like be like if you omitted the chocolate chips and swirled Nutella through the batter before baking? Hummm.... I might have to try that next.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More Cloth Diapers

People who use cloth diapers will freely admit that it is easy to get addicted. I can understand why... the diapers are just so darn cute! And there is always that whole "better for the environment" thing.

I am certainly not going to try to go to cloth full time, but if Nate and I am going to be on our own for the day and mostly around the house, I think he will be in cloth.

I am very happy with my BumGenius 3.0, but thought that I should try a few other diapers to see if there were any I liked better and to pad my stash a little. The 6 diapers I had were not getting us quite to the end of the day.

So I placed a couple of orders and this is what I got:

1 Bum Genius Organic One Size All in One (in ribbit with velcro)
1 Swaddlebees EcoNappi One Size (in the cow print)
1 Blueberry Minki One Size (in blue camo)
2 Bumwear One Size (1 in white dino and 1 in light blue dino)
1 roll of Kushies Diaper Liners
1 Bag of Charlies Soap Powder

I have to wash everything this weekend before I can put it all into action. The diapers are so CUTE though, I can't wait to see how well they work!

I will post a picture of my stash later... promise.

What I Learned... from breastfeeding for a year

I think it is safe to say that Nate is officially weaned. We had been stepping down gradually, at his pace and following his cues; and last week I stopped offering him to boob at bedtime and he never asked for it again. It has been about a week and nothing, my milk is gone, so I think the deed is done... we have weaned. I am also exceeding proud that Nate has NEVER touched formula. [I don't really want to start a debate, and I am glad that formula exists so that babies who, for whatever reason can't breastfeed don't die... but I really do believe it is second rate nutrition and that is screws up babies' systems (digestive, immune, etc.) in ways we don't even know about yet.]

I realize that all over the world and all over the Internet and the Blogspere women breastfeed their babies, some for years and years and years... look at Milkman in Toni Morrison's the Song of Soloman... but in my world and in my circle of friends, I can think of one... ONE other person who has done this. And I went back to work while doing it. I am not looking for recognition, lots of people do this, I know, but I am saying that it definietly isn't the easiest thing to do and here are a few tips that can make it easier:

1. You can never have too many breast pumps: I started off with one, a Medela Pump in Style which I lugged back and forth to work every day. Then I started to feel like a pack mule on top of a dairy cow hooked up to the milking machine, so I bought a second, less expensive pump to keep in my office. I bought the Lansinoh double select breat pump (which is EXACTLY the same as the Ameda pump only less expensive) and kept it at work. My life was that much easier not having to schlep a pump with me... well worth the money.

2. Buy Good Nursing Bras: Please note that I did not say expenisve nursing bras. Mine were not expensive, I bought them at Motherhood Maternity and Target. Dont be sucked in by the people who say you can cut the nipples out of a tank top (Sorry, Mrs. Fussy Pants, I know it worked for you but with the size of my chest this was NOT going to happen) buy nursing bras that are the same style of bra you wore before your were nursing. If you like the sprots bra style buy that style in a nursing bra. If you like no underwire, buy a no underwire nursing bra. if you like underwire... you get the point.

3. Use Technology to Your Advantage: Nate and I did not have an easy start. His latch was poor, my nipple flat, not to mention my boobs were bigger than his whole body! Enter the Nipple shield. This saved... literally saved us. It allowed him to latch and kept me from getting too sore too soon. There are rumours that the nipple shield is bad and many lacttion consultants and La leche League people will tell you not to use them, but the data they are working off of is old. New data (Chertok, I., Schneider, J., & Blackburn, S. (2006, March). A pilot study of maternal and term infant outcomes associated with ultrathin nipple shield use. JOGNN: Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 35(2), 265-272) says they are fine, not detremental, and may actually be beneficial! If it helps... use it! [Had I know about this little doohickey... I would have tried it too].

4. Do Your Research and Ask For Help: No woman is an island and as I have said long before I got pregnant... Just because you have the quipment (breasts) doesn't mean you know how to use it. if you don't want to hire a lactation consultant, ask a friend. If you don't want to go to a LLL meeting, check out their mom-to-mom messag boards. Check out Kellymom.com, the interent if Full of useful info and support.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nate's First Birthday In Pictures

You can see pics from Nate's first birthday here and here (if you are interested, that is).

Friday, February 06, 2009

Go Red for Women & a Pledge

Today is national Wear Red Day in support of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Campaign. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in America, above breast cancer, above lung cancer and yet for some reason we still think of it as only effecting men.

I am lucky that to this point in my life I am and have been relatively healthy, with the exception of one not so little thing... my weight. I am fat. I can admit that. I have a completely unhealthy and out-of-wack relationship with food. I don't know if anyone else know how truly out-of-wack it is, but I do and the time has come to do something about it.

I was fat before. A few years ago I hit my breaking point. I joined WeightWatchers, I lost 25 pounds, I was happy. Since that last weight in I have gained... 70 pounds. I can't beleieve it when I put it into print... 70 pounds! How did I do this to myself? I was very tempting to write "How did I let this happen?" but I didn't "let it happen" I DID IT TO MYSELF.

Well, the time has come to undo it. Today is a day to honor your heart and that is what I intend to do. I will for the next 30 days committ myself to following my doctor's prescribed eating plan. It is very simple and it is not a diet.

Breakfast -- Eat it!

Lunch -- Eat it!

Dinner -- Eat it only with half the "usual" amount of carbs and no bread

Dessert -- Sundays and your birthday

In between these meals... drink water and don't eat.

What I like about this plan:

-- I can eat what I want for my meals and not restrict myselft to salads and "diet foods."

What will be difficult about this plan:

-- Dessert only on Sunday :( (this is my problem, I am a sugar junkie and it just isn't healthy)

But I have some amazing motivation to stick to this plan and it is right here.

I will be adding a box on my sidebar to track my progress. Any words of encourangement and support would be wonderful and appreciated. And to anyone who wants to join me in the 30 day pledge, I say welcome!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Victory!

I am and always have been an avid reader. Surprise, surprise I know, I am a librarian after all. So it has really weighed on me that since Nate was born a year ago I haven't read anything longer than a magazine article.

That was until Friday night. I started and finished a book. The first book that I have finished in a year... and boy did it feel good. The book in question was Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott.



I had read the review for Living Dead Girl [which is a YA (young adult) books] in Booklist and ordered it for the library's children's collection. I was intrigued by the plot and wanted to read it myself.

Now, YA books are typically aimed at a teen audience and this book is recommended for 16 +, but in actual practice YA books are read by tweens. I will admit that I would think twice before I would let a tween read this book. I couldn't put it down, the (fictional) story of a girl's experiences living with the pedophile who abducted her and who tries to keep her prepubescent with pills and waxes and little girl clothes. But the graphic (but not explicit) descriptions of what the abductor has her do would be a little traumatizing for an adolescent.

I would highly recommend this book to adults, but I don't know about the typical YA audience.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Cloth Diapering


Before Nate was born I amassed a cloth diaper stash. Then hubby and I decided not to cloth diaper and I sold off all of my stash except for a few random items which I sent to a friend who just had her second daughter.

It was on the same day that I dropped the last of my cloth diaper stash in the mail that I went to Target and saw the rack of Bum Genius diaper and I bought one.

Here's the deal. Although hubby and I decided that we were not going to cloth diaper, I really really really wanted to try it. So I bought the diaper, washed it, and used it one day when it was just Nate and I. I was pretty darn impressed. Nate is a soaker, and the Bum Genius did not leak at all! I was hooked. I figured that even if I didn't cloth diaper all the time, just doing it one day a week (like Mondays when I am off) would make a difference. Hey, that is 6-8 less diapers in a landfill.

So here is the system I have worked out.

Nate wears cloth diapers on Mondays. I have the washer filled to the small load level and every time I change a diaper I put all of the pieces (inserts and covers) in the washing machine to soak. If the diaper is just wet it goes right in the washer. If it is poopy, the solids get shaken off into the toilet. Flush. Then the diaper gets dunked and swished in the toilet again (flush before being thrown into the washer to soak. I know there are people out there that say you don't have to dunk and swish. I say that with my kid, you need to. I will stop there.

Once nate is in bed and back in a disposable, I run the washer on a cold prewash with no detergent and then a regular wash on warn with minimal detergent. The diapers are then hung to dry. Two weeks in a row and so far so good.

I bought one of my Bum Genius from Target and the other I bought at Cotton Babies. They have great package deals and even factory seconds (2 of my diapers are seconds and I can't tell the difference, seriously.)

Anyone else dabble in cloth diapers? Thoughts? What about the diaper liners. Do they make poppy diapers more manageable?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

To Nathan Elliott on His First Birthday

It is true, no one can really tell you what it is going to be like to bring a child into your life. It is also true that you can’t really prepare. Oh sure, you think you are prepared, but you aren’t. You are not prepared for the chaos. You are not prepared for the fatigue. You are not prepared for all manner of bodily fluids to find their way onto your clothes and into your hair. You are not prepared for how much “free time” you actually had before you had children and how much you will yearn for 1/10th of that time back. But most of all, you are truly NEVER prepared for how much your heart will grow and how much love you will have for this little stranger.


Happy first birthday, Nathan. Mommy has no words to describe what you mean to her or what she would do for you.

I love you, Natey-Bug!

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Camera

Although many of the pics I post on my blog are taken with my iphone, I am making a more concerted effort to use my new camera:

It's a Nikon D200. Hubby upgraded himself to a D something or other and I got his hand me down. :)

"Batter Blaster" in Pictures

This is the product in question:

Squirting some pancake batter into a hot pan: (It is hard to squirt and take a picture with a iphone at the same time)


Bubbling away:


Flip!


Cut into little pancake squares for Natey's breakfast (I use a pizza cutter. Thank you Jon and Kate + 8):



Nate LOVES these pancakes. I tried them and they taste like the pancakes you get at a diner. Not bad at all for coming out of a can! Plus... they are organic.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Can't Believe I Bought This

but I did.

I was in the supermarket yesterday and saw this in the refrigerated section. it was the "Organic" label that made me pick it up and put it in my cart.

It is completely not frugal but it doesn't have a lot of junk in it and now that Nate is eating real grown up food, it makes work mornings a whole lot easier. After he fruit and yogurt, I can squirt him a pancake before heading out the door.

I made one this morning and they even taste good too!

Friday, January 16, 2009

FYI

Target now sells BumGenius and Babies R Us sells G Diapers. It looks to me like alternative diapering is catching on in the mainstream.

MOLD Update

The cleanup is complete! The demolition and removal of debris was finished yesterday. The guys were back today to finish cleaning up and clean the carpets today. The were finished by noon... we have a semi functional, certainly non-toxic room again... YEAH!

A contractor is coming tonight to look at what needs to be replaced and hopefully he will be working this weekend to get the room put back together. If all goes well we can paint next week and have a brand new room before Nate's birthday.

Two funny things about yesterday: While the guys were ripping the walls out they found a few things stashed behind them. Dead mice (which is to be expected) and library books, OLD library books. I think it is completely ironic that they found library books stashed behind the walls in a librarian's house [NOTE: these were not my library books].

While they were taking their lunch break at the Domino's Pizza up the street from my house, it was robbed and they were witnesses!

I have been taking pictures of the process and will post them when the room is completely finished.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Day Off...

is never actually a day off. I apparently lack the gene that allows an individual to sit on their butt all day and veg out infront of the TV.

I am off from work today because the mold remediation (AKA family room demolition) is in full swing. I took Nate to my mom's for the day which leaves me all alone in my house... ok, the dogs are here too.

So what am I doing? So far I have made a gingerbread bundt cake with crystalized ginger, turtle bars, and cinnamon scones. As soon as the scones are out of the oven I will be heading upstairs to do a little cleaning and then I will be writing out our birthday cards for the year and perhaps even doing a little card making to boot (Thanks hubby for the idea).

Tonight I will be making sourdough bread with my starter and a tomato cream sauce for my lobster ravioli, yum!

My baking so far:

Turtle Bars

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Cinnamon Scones (uncut and still baking)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

MOLD

So, our little Natey-Bug turns 1 this month and like all good parents we planned a first birthday party for him. We thought it would be small gathering but somehow the guest list ballooned to 57 people. Oh well, right? He only turns one once.

We were starting to get the house ready for this party when we decided that it was time to take down the wallpaper in our family room and repaint. Some of the wallpaper had fallen down over the summer so the room looked a little shoddy. We decided to do it this week. I took a few days off from work, we lined up the painter, we were ready to go.

Sunday night hubby and I were clearing out the family room, moving furniture to the center of the room, putting Nate's toys upstairs when we decided to pull more wall paper off the wall. It is UGLY wall paper and I was so excited to see it go that I grabbed a corner that was peeling and pulled... it should have been a wonderfully cathartic moment, a cleansing moment really, out with the old, in with the new, a rebirth if you want to take it that far. IT WAS NONE OF THAT because under that butt ugly wall paper was... M O L D.

When I took down that section of wall paper I had uncovered a big section of mold on the drywall. Hubby proceeded to take down the rest of the paper on that wall to find the entire 23 feet stained with mold. Oh crap! what now!

First I canceled the painters... well, put them on hold really. Then we called out insurance company (THANK GOD for the mold rider) and started calling mold remediation companies. We also relocated Nate's birthday party to my mother-in-law's house.

So tomorrow the demolition begins. My family room will be turned into a hot zone and the walls taken down to the studs. After the demo and cleaning is finished we have to find someone to put the dry wall/sheet rock (is there a difference?) back up. Only then can we have the room painted.

This is not the planning and preparation I thought I would have to do for a first birthday party but it will make it a memorable one.

So tomorrow

A New Year

So I am back. I had a very restful three weeks off, wonderful holiday celebrations with family and friends, and even got some things accomplished around the house.

I am pleased to announce that I have officially finished my second master's degree which makes me an M.S, M.Ed. Maybe it will even get me more money at work, who knows, but at the moment it just gives me more letters after my name.

I was able to get my ironing finished and 2/3 of the leather furniture conditioned, I cleaned out the closet in question, and moved some things to the shed. I will be tackling the homemade laundry soap tomorrow.

I did try another experiment, making a sourdough starter. As far as I can tell I have a viable starter ready and waiting. I am going to try and make a loaf of sourdough bread with said starter tomorrow. I'll let you know how it turns out.