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Archive for April, 2006

The best investment my mother made.

April 30th, 2006 at 09:17 am

Childcraftbooks, my two love them.. I loved them as a kid, and most of the out of date stuff is funny or cute not to bad (like housecalls by drs!)

After my brother and I were done with them my Aunt used them with her kids for a time, and now I have them for mine!

They have short information about all kinds of things, just enough to whett the appetite, we go get more out of the library when we need to. I have no idea how much mom paid, but it seems well worth it now!

They now retail for 470, but ebay has lots of older sets for less than $100 (some down closer to $10)

Skipping Sunday

April 30th, 2006 at 06:57 am

I decided to skip Sunday school and church, becauae I wanted to sleep, yet here I am not sleeping!

I also wanted to escape the problem of my 'energetic' son, life is just easier when we don't go out and don't have to worry about what he did to whom and where.

I suppose I can chalk it up to saving on gas though Smile

More muffins!

April 29th, 2006 at 11:33 am

I tried the pizza thing as muffins and added spinache, worked great.

I treid bacon and cornbread, worked great

And I tried carrot (bit less sweet than DivaJens--I like sweet, but isn't so good for you)

All successes! I am on a role, 3 successes in one day Smile (should make up for the near failures of yesterday)

Recipe search failure

April 29th, 2006 at 07:57 am

I have spent the morning looking for a universal muffin recipe, with no success, they all call for whole wheat or bran, which I have none.... So I am left with no recipe and I am supposed to make muffins for church tomorrow.

I deserve to be fired

April 29th, 2006 at 07:10 am

If I hired myself as a housekeeper I would fire me! Not that the work is terrible, but common anyone putting in a 4 hour part time day could do a better job! Trouble is I spend my day putting out the proverbial fires instead of working! Well that and hiding in the proverbial broom closet for a 'break' (what break I have an infant I can't leave!)

Anyway I am working on it...

This is sort of how I treated finances before, so long as I put out the fires nothing got to bad and I could go back to the broom closet (or housekeeping) but now that things flare up less finances are easier and I don't mind facing them most days.

Day of muffins

April 28th, 2006 at 12:56 pm

i tried to make blueberry muffins banana muffins and pizza loaf.

The muffins are to 'eggy' and don't come out of the paper, so that wont get repeated. I am not even sure if I will send them in to sunday school or not (they are that bad Frown.)

The pizza loaf is still in the oven so we shall see on that one.

edit: the pizza stuff is good, but JC doesn't like it, 3 out of 4 ain't bad though!

Hockey Chili

April 28th, 2006 at 05:05 am

On request I am posting the hockey chili recipie, such as it is...

Oh and a warning, I am lousy at recipies!

2 cans black beans
1 can white
some onion powder
some pepper
some garlic.
some grnd cumin

Mix in a pot and let simmer a bit.

(real onion, pepper and such would taste better I am sure. If you are any good with dried beans that works too, I am not!)

I prolly have to explain why on earth this is called hockey chili...We used black and white beans, like a penguin, DH loves the PGH penguins, so it was hockey do GMC. As to the chili part....well I guess curry didn't sound right? Not sure. Anything slightly spicy with beans is called chili around here.

Free Drs!

April 27th, 2006 at 11:46 am

The one good thing about paying thru the nose for healthcare, Drs well-checkups are free. Which means today was no cost...well for the checkups (both kids are doing great, UE=20lb, 28inches. GMC=38lb, 42inches. Smile.)

The trip to the store to spend the kids easter/birthday money ont he other hand...

Actually we diodn't do so terribly, JC wanted shoes with her money and found sandles, so we spent an extra couple for her to be able to get both. (am I living my girlyness thru her?)

GMC wanted a lego that they didn't have, so he got a slightly less expensive one to play with now and put the rest of his cash away.

And we got a new booster for GMC, so that JC can have his, so that UE can have hers.. complicated but tons of fun fitting all that in the car.

The troubles was lunch! DH wanted Moe's...not quite as cheap as the pbnoj I had packed, but more fun since my BIL came. The kids really like time with him.

You show me yours I'll show you mine..

April 26th, 2006 at 12:31 pm

Desk that is, PFadvice does this picture share thing and I just figured why not, I am stuck indoors due to rain anyway!

Behind the keyboard is the thumnails of one of the kids work, so I know what I have done already.

You can see both cases underneath, Mine is the pretty one with the green light Smile. Stacked on my husbands is all the kids schoolwork, and his crappy mouse.

Worlds worst spaghetti!

April 26th, 2006 at 08:37 am

It was an expirament that failed.

Sometimes not having the right ingredients works well though. I invented 'hockey chili' from substituting, but last night was not one of those successes.

Edison failed a bit before making the lightbulb. I recall penicillan was an accident after many failures. My kids all failed many times before they learned to crawl, my youngest is busy failing to walk (we call it trying though).

I wonder how many failures, on average, it takes to make a success? I wonder if anyone keeps track (of their own failures, or of famous ones)?

Checkbook now finally up to date!

April 26th, 2006 at 06:15 am

And it has spare loot! I fibd that weird, and oddly a bit scary, what will we do with it? We waffle back and forth on what to do with the spare loot (I am using cloth diapers for a reason right?)

Some days we think it should go in the savings for the next car, some days we think it should go to pay off the house, some days we think we should get life insurance.

Right now we kindof decided to alternate pay extra on the house when they send a statement (quarterly) and put it into savings the rest of the time. This month is house, and I need to move it fast before we spend it!

Educate on a dime - finances

April 25th, 2006 at 10:04 am

Most parents tell their kids to turn off lights and close the fridge, but most of the time a kid can't see the difference in the electric bill.

I know when I was a kid I had no idea how much electricity cost, nor what benifit I would see in turning the heat down, or remembering a light.

Maybe if I got to keep the difference (or split it) I might have been interested. Makeing a game out of reducing the electric bill with tangible monthly rewards is a lot mroe fun than listening to moms dreaded lectures.

It would be a great math lesson to average a years electricity bills (or whatever you have handy) and then a nice fraction problem to share the savings (if any). Not to mention the pursuasion tactics of convincing younger siblings to join it!

Right now my kid is still young so I just tell him "more money spent on electricity is less for steaks" (his favorite meal) but as he grows I want him more in on the budget and looking at how much more expensive it is to run the AC, or leave a computer on.

Come to think of it mid June I might need to do this for myself to help keep the air off a few more days! (I'd use the ingredients for a nice bowl of icecream!)

Baby food Banana trick

April 25th, 2006 at 07:23 am

I read this trick now that I have my third (I really could have used it for my first two!)

Take a banana, peal only one stripe, use a spoon to scoop out a hole and use it as a 'bowl' to mash up the banana for your baby.

Doesn't work for the first few meals when you might need to thin the banana, but once you are on to fork mash only, scrapping with a spoon works even better and no bowl to wash! (once the baby is done hand the rest of the banana over to an older eater.)

Roses or sand?

April 25th, 2006 at 05:11 am

Last night my husband made the trip for yogurt and stopped at lowes for some bug killer. While at the grocery store he bought me roses, at lowes he bought me play sand (for the fossils, we missed doing it at the birthday party so we are going to do it in May-I think)

Later that evening he told me he used all cash, leftovers from gas money gifts (we buy gas with checkcard use cash for other things, but it all balances) and complained that all his hidden stash to buy me things was gone. I said "you did buy me something, you bought me sand" Now what kind of girl remembers the sand not the roses!!!!!

They are beautiful, and displayed in my kitchen, but apparently to me the sand for my kids is worth rememberiung in a pinch!

Finances and Flylady

April 24th, 2006 at 07:30 am

I actually discovered that my finances were a mess because of flylady.

Let me back up a bit. I am a disorganized person with a todo list a mile long, who always managed to pull it together for the occassion, just don't supprise me!

Well any parent will tell you kids are nothing but suprises! I discovered after having my first that my last minute ditch for paying bills or cleaning up the clutter were not going to work. Guranteed when I needed that 5 or 10 minutes of work, my son was going to need me. No matter that for the past week he took a nap at this time or played on the floor, whatever, today when I need the time that is when he would have a problem.

I tried to do it my way for months, Mostly I managed, but then I had my DD, now I had two kids needing me when I was supposed to be working, all my bandaid solutions were falling appart, I was paying overdraft fees and CC bills were piling up (using the CC to try and avoid the overdraft fees!)

I found Flylady and discovered I was not alone! I struggled with the idea that a routine is worthless when it is constantly interupted and finally hit uppon the perpetual todo list, when I am done fixing the kid 'emergency' (potty, sharing, booboos, whatever) I would go right back to wherever I was on my list. Simple right? but if my list wasn't written down, I would lose my place!

After I managed all that, life was much easier, and I again managed to get it all together err mostly. Then I discovered I had time for that dreaded thing I kept pushing further and further down the todo list in hopes it would disapear, the checkbook balancing! At first I tried dusting instead (another dreaded chore) but I discovered a calculator was still better than the duster, so I went back to the checkbook. I needed help! and Savingadvice was there for me, lots of little ideas, lots of encouragement, and best of all no telling me what an idiot I had been!

Now I have things mostly in order, but I am slipping I can't balance the checkbook a math error is escaping me, and the longer I avoid it the more hopeless I feel.

(BTW I still don't dust!)

Non finance babble

April 24th, 2006 at 06:47 am

My kid can crawl! I just want to share Smile

He also slept from midnight to 5ish without pestering me! (meaning he didn't wake himself up cooughing for the first time in weeks!)

And he is pulling up to his knees! It is so cute, and he gets stuck there, which is good I havn't even gotten used to how well he crawls much less ready for him to pull up and get stuff from the couch or table!

Plus he is so smart! Last night he was chasing a toy and I hid it under a towel, at first he lost it, but I showed it to him a couple times and he started pulling the towel off to get to the toy, way cool.

Oh and he now has two teeth poking out!

K back to your regulary scheduled financial 'stuff' Smile

Educate on a dime - finances

April 23rd, 2006 at 06:08 am

"You don't need that you want it" -GMC, April 06

I heard that comment from my son the other day and I swelled up with pride. One of the first steps in avoiding debt is to stop buying what you don't need and can't afford. That can be pretty hard if you think every whim is a need.

Back when I started trying to seriously straighten out my finances (couldn't have done it without www.savingadvice.com!) I started looking at my own needs/wants. I came up with quite a few splurges that I was taking for granted.

Then I started to notice how often my kids said they needed something. When it comes to a potty or food, they often did need it. But toys? Nope those were wants so I started telling them.

When I heard a whine of "I need that part to build my whatever" I corrected the need phrasing first("you don't need it you want it"), then I worked on the sharing. (how about you get that part in 2 minutes while your sibling has a turn, or try this part it is almost the same)

It is never to early to start, and someday my kids will be 20something looking at a brand new gizmo and hearing Moms voice, "You don't need it you just want it" maybe they will get the gizmo anyway, but hopefully they will appriciate the ability to fill wants, not chalk it up to a 'need'.

Kids are like sponges, they soak up information whether you want it or not, we can only chose what information is available.

Sick, again!

April 23rd, 2006 at 05:17 am

I can't really say again, it's not like we were all healthy in between. But now instead of an odd cough on GMC, and a horrid snorkle on UE, we now have a horrid cough/snorkle on UE, an odd cough on JC, and GMC seems to be better. Oh yeah plus My husband doesn't feel good and I am miserable. I hate being sick.

I have no desire to go use a cloth diaper (Thank you God I don't Have to)

I have no desire to go hang dry any laundry (Thank you God I actually have a dryer!)

I also have no desire to go workout, eat healthy, or any other good for you things, which may be adding to my miserableness. I think when I work out more and eat better I get sick less.

Edit to add, nevermind about GMC, he just had his sickness move up to the nose, and out of the coughing mostly. weird.


April 22nd, 2006 at 04:21 pm

Never go shopping without the next meal packed, I think that will be my new motto! Ever since the CC got paid off I have been rather lax about packing meals and it shows we've been out to eat twice this month both because shopping ran late and we wanted dinner/lunch.

On a good note the grocery bill wasn't too terrible though we do have to the other store to get yogurt tommorrow. And I found a birthday presant for my niece, and a cool book with map 'stuff' for my son (I can make up math and English, but maps and geography?)

Actual interest!

April 22nd, 2006 at 10:03 am

I put some pdf sheets for anyone to use online (the princess parenting website), I used them with JC and I just sort of wanted to see if they were worth using by anyone, and I got a request for more! I am so amazed really! I know it is silly but knowing someone wants something I made is awesome, even if it is just kids schoolwork.

I wonder if I should make a way for people to contact me from the kids site (I realized putting stuff online about them was more fun, but it looked odd on the PP website)

After easter sales

April 22nd, 2006 at 09:26 am

Every year we try to hit the after easter sales, we love cool easter eggs, and they have been comming out with neat ones lately.

This year we found pink camaflauge and some shaped like a train a truck and a plane. For I think 50 cents a bag. Way better than the origional 2$ price.

Plus I found a couple bendy rabbits, just for fun and only 35 cents. and a goofy rabibit stacking game, again just for fun, and I think 75 cents.

The prices I am fudgy on, because my mother bought them, and I have no memory (my son stole it!) with no reciept to remind me, I am left to guess. but the whole row of sale stuff was all less than a buck each.

I also splurged on some whoppers for my DH and I. (and discovered DS read them as whoahpers Smile.)

We're ba-ack!

April 22nd, 2006 at 07:50 am

We are finally home! REally home.

We had an interesting time.

Tuesday we got a flat tire, plus lost twice. (Dh was NOT happy!) but we fixed Grandmas computer, no printer or internet though..Forgot to hand over half the stuff we had.

Wednesday we got lost once, late twice, forgot to hand over half the stuff we had.

Thursday I caught the oven on fire...Boy does a fire extinguisher make a HUGE mess!

Friday I escapped! I went out shopping with my mother, and dinner with my cousin, best day of vacation I have EVER had! (took UE with me, left the older two with the ILs)

Cost wise the trip actually turned out pretty cheap, every one kept treating us!

Free mazes

April 14th, 2006 at 11:14 am

Working thru a maze is great for logical thinking, and honestly old fashioned try again. Very important for my perfectionist.

but most online mazes come in two formats, easy enough for a 2 year old and hard enough to challenge me. Not what I need for my kid!

I finally found a site I like! free printable mazes from begginer (what GMC is at) to advanced (prolly to hard for me!)

I am printing them now to test on GMC.
Oh he also has some of the sudoku ones that are rather popular right now.

Then I found a 'printable math worksheets' which is NOT how I would go about a whole year, but is a great way for some small extra work, like clocks, something I have never been any good at drawing anyway!

Educate on a dime - pre

April 14th, 2006 at 09:24 am

(pre meaning from able to sit up to able to write circles and lines)

Coloring is a great way to encourage creativity, but it can also be a way to learn colors, shapes, counting, and more.

My son was never really into art, still isn't, so he would get bored with scribbling, and ask me to make things with his crayons. Sometimes he wanted shapes (I am much better at proper squares and circles thanks to him!) Sometimes it was numbers, sometimes it was names. (Momma, Daddy, his name, friends names)
Somedays we would count the shapes he asked me to make. Most days he would specify "make a green circle" He learned all his colors and most of the numbers very early just be coloring!

Some things I would ask/say:
"Can I have the blue crayon?"
"..the short fat black crayon?"
"Can you make a spiral?" (most early circle attempts are spirals or lowercase es or ovals)
"Can you make a line/one?"
"Check out my tiger with the oval eyes!"
"I put my name on my paper, would you like your name on yours?"

Kids are like sponges, they soak up information whether you want it or not, we can only chose what information is available.

The How to's of ECing (it is cheaper than regular diapering)

April 14th, 2006 at 08:33 am

EC generally means asking your infant to pee on demand. It doesn't mean you have to head to the potty every hour, or give up diapers, just that you allow your infant a greater than normal chance to understand and control elimination.

EC stands for Elimination Comunication, implying some wonderful connection where you actually know what your baby is trying to tell you, I never had any such connection! But then I am dense, some mothers actually do get it. (they often become 'diaper free' mothers)

Another term often used is IPT, meaning Infant Potty Training, implying actually training your infant as you would a 2 year old, but that is too drastic for me.

For me I really do just ask my kid to pee on demand, thats it till they want to hold it, and can ask for the potty. I can tell you what I do with my kids, but please if you decide to try it, do it your own way, don't think EC is all the Perky way or nothing!

Step one: Communicate tell your baby from the start (or from right now) anytime they are peeing, or pooping. Not in a bad way, just matter of fact yep thats pee, pee on me, pee on the floor, you are peeing. (if you must have emotion giggling is better than anger!) Treat each and every event as a learning experience (though no need to leave your kid to pee any more than you are comfortable with, most newborns pee on you often enough with diapers!)

step 2: Figure out the hold After they can hold their head up(you can do this earlier, even from birth, but I don't), hold them comfortably over a potty asking them to pee, or poop. This is the step that feels the hardest, cause you as the parent have to figure out what is most comfortable for you both, a postition you can hold for a minute that they will not get angry for(never force your kid to be anywhere near a potty!). If at first you don't succeed wait a day, week or more, then try again, if nothing else you only wasted a minute, not gonna hurt, (at some point your baby will gain the balance and eventually not need you for sitting)

During step two your kid will prolly pee on the floor in the bathroom, or the wall or even in the potty! (or the tub..) name and praise (you peed, good job, yeah pee in the bathroom/potty!)

step 3: Pee on demand up the number of times you ask to whatever you are comfortable with, I have no desire to spend all day in the bathroom, but I find a couple times a day my kid happens to be dry I figure a potty is prolly going to work. and if I fail, he is only 5 months no big deal! So far you have not even asked your kid to 'hold it' so don't be annoyed if they don't!

step 4:Yeah dry! Praise dry diapers, now that your kid can pee o demand there will likely be some dry diapers. But don't be mad if there aren't

step 5:More communication Wait for communication from your child about their desire to use a potty. This might be when they crawl/toddle to the door (and might be a boredom buster of theirs) or might be when they learn the word pee. Or might be when they follow you in. Or when they see their friends doing it. Whatever. just continue with step 3 and 4 till they do, always use words (shall we pee now?) always stop before you get frustrated.

Step 6: Ask your kid to 'hold it' Just ask, Ask for dry diapers, praise when you get them. One simple way to avoid a mess is to have your kid stand in the tub and wait their turn(mommy has to pee too!), if they pee, no big, little spray little water, tubs is clean.

Step 7: Fully train Wait a bit then finish up, maybe you now have a day trained kid who still pees at night, or one who pees once a day on the floor but the rest in the potty, or one who pees on demand but only asks when bored. Kids ar all different, the first steps (pee on demand, then hold it) are the same, but what makes a kid decide to never (or practically never) pee anywhere but a potty varies. Some like underware, some like 'big beds' some like freedom (soap they can do on their own) some need stickers. By this time you prolly have a 1.5 or 2 year old and you can modify traditional rewards. (but you will have saved many diapers over the last year, and have an easier time, no fear of potty to overcome.)

JC didn't start till around 7 months (when she followed GMC in the potty) but was fully night and day trained at 1.5 (cept when sick she pees the bed now at 2)

Right now my 5 month old is in step 3 and 4, I am not moving on till he is older, we are just enjoying the self pride when he pees or poops in the potty (oh and almost no poopy diapers from him! pretty much all in the potty, pee on the other hand takes longer)

Mini blind terror

April 13th, 2006 at 11:13 am

I am not the type to pad my house, or put my kids in a bubble, but I am reasonably intelligent, I put knives out of reach and teach kids not to mess with the mini blind cords...unfortunatly I also have a kid now who looks like he was in a fight with a long fingered demon!

I left my two reasonably well behaved (well ok so mostly the misbehavior involves inapropriate giggling) in one room to watch fire trucks, while I went to change a diaper in the other room, I came back to find my 4 year old in the window (for a better view) I of course gave that look, you know the one meaning 'you know that is not acceptable, don't make me yell at you'. He got out of the window and onto his bed, with a cord around his neck, couldn't have been more than 3 seconds but that was long enough for an awful mark!

here is a website dedicated to information about blinds parents for window blind safety
I dunno that I will cut the cords, 'cause that just means they are only dangerous when up...but I need to do something, cause it is a nasty mark for the small offense of climbing on the window!


April 13th, 2006 at 10:07 am

Heh, I just discovered I had used that title already, guess I make a lot of mistakes!

This time it is the cloth diapers, I am a 'closet ECer' which means I ask my baby to pee on demand, honest he can do it, and I never would have considered such a crazy thing except JC did it, (and I thought that was pretty crazy too.)

So wheres the oops? It is next to impossible to pin a diaper on a baby while they are standing up on the counter (it is merely hard to fasten a disposable diaper), which means you have to get them to lay down, pretty hard when they are busy bouncing in self pride!

The solution would be a pull up, but that is expensive if disposable, and not to cheap for washable. I think I need to honestly look getting some washable ones though, UE loves peeing in the potty and hate diaper changes (and is not old enough to old it for real underware, though I know many who do that)

Educate on a dime - pre

April 13th, 2006 at 05:41 am

(pre meaning from able to sit up to able to write circles and lines)

By far the cheapest game for teaching I have ever played is 'clean up' I am serious, cleaning up is sooo educational, and can be more educational if you want it!

Take a toy, any toy you have been playing with. ask your kid to 'sort' as you pick up. Whatever you ask for don't get mad the first billion times when your kid doesn't get it (eventually they will, and will ask you for the toys!)

Now you know your kid wont start out having a clue what sort means, so we start with simple questions:

"can I have the short skinny block?"
"the square block?"
"the doll with brown hair?"
"with blue eyes?"
"all the big trucks"
"all the green dinosaurs"
"the A piece/book"
"the number 5"

If you allow more than one toy out at a time back up to 'all the blocks' or 'all the cars' move on to more specific when the room has only one type out (or only a few).

Kids are like sponges, they soak up information whether you want it or not, we can only chose what information is available.

Travel on the cheap

April 13th, 2006 at 05:23 am

err, I can't! No I am kidding, really we do pretty good.

This trip will be longish for us, leaving Monday night not comming back till Friday night. We will have the use of the ILs house (they will oddly enough be here in NC) but we still have lots of food we need to buy/pack and gas, tons of gas!

My plan is to make cookies to share when we vist (make here then take with)
plus trail mix, maybe some muffins, (if I have time.)

We will buy whole wheat bread and peanut butter there, prolly (I HATE peanut butter sandwiches now!) plus whole wheat english muffins or breakfast, but we will not be anywhere to cook for dinners so that will be all eating out. (two of the family functions are at a restaurant anyway) I still need to look into some more healthier snacks to pack/buy there.

Can't do anything about the gas though Frown.

Forced frugality....

April 12th, 2006 at 10:57 am

We ran out of diapers, that means we have to use cloth, or have a kid pee on us, or an emergency run to the store.

Actually it is easier to have to use them, than it is to chose to use them!!!

very odd.... I might have to think about that the next time I sigh in choosing a frugal rout. It might just be the choice that is the hard part!

But we will be making a run to the store before Easter vacation, for veggies at least if not diapers, oh and diapers out, I am not packing/washing diapers at the ILs!

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