Friday, March 30

Customer Service

A few weeks ago I was setting up Monkey's highchair and pinched the palm of my hand in the chair leg mechanism. It pulled out a big piece of skin and bleed something terrible.  I called to Husband who came running, and him and Turkey took care of getting Monkey out of the dog food (because that's where babies head when mama is bleeding) and they bandaged me up.

After this instance I learned that Husband had done the same thing a few weeks back.

Now our highchair is an older model.  It's a Chicco Polly from 2006.  We picked it up of Craig's List for $20, maybe $30.  Because it was older I decided to contact Chicco, maybe there had been a recall on this model or a safety device added over the years.

I went to their web-site and filled out the on-line form, and explained to them that our chair was older and bought used, what had happened and asked about a possible recall, etc.

About 24 hours later I got a reply e-mail asking for some photos.  So I sent them these, per their request.
Our highchair, apparently this pattern is called "energy".

The leg stop where my hand got caught.
About 36 hours later I got a response back that I would never have expected.  Chicco was sending us a brand new high chair.  What a shock; and to think a few weeks ago I was thinking about buying a new high chair because the cover on ours was ripped badly and a new cover cost half of what a new chair cost (or the price of another used chair).

The customer service representative explained to me that while our chair was out of their warranty period (you think, it's 6 years old) they were going to send us a new chair, in a new pattern as our pattern was no longer available (again, you think, it's 6 years old).   They did want the old high chair back and they would cover shipping on that.  Our new chair was expected within 8 to 10 business days.

5 business days later, today, our new highchair in the "graphite pattern" arrived.

Trying out his new chair.  
Oh yeah... talk about great customer service.  Really I never expected this as a response; I don't know what I was expecting when I sent them an e-mail; maybe an adapter kit - but I'm not going to argue.  This new highchair is nice.  Thanks Chicco!!

Thursday, March 29

Project Food Budget (Week 26)

Here we are on Week 26 of this project, the half-way point (well not quit my halfway point as I joined a little late, but close enough).

To review who we are - a family of 4: 2 adults, an 8 year old and a 13 month old.  My current spending goal is $200 every 2 weeks; split $150 week one (pay week) and $50 the other week.  We try and do one "meager meal" a week donating our savings to charity.  We also try to do one meatless meal a week, as well as breakfast for dinner once a week.

I've learned a lot doing this project; mainly that when I started I had no idea what we spent on food and how much we were wasting on eating out.  We've (and I mean WE as a FAMILY) have become a lot of accountable in regards to our eating and spending habits.  We're making better choice.

I've also learned you need to have a plan.  Planning is critical.  If you don't have a plan in writing you at the very least need to have a framework for your weekly meals.  Planning meals not only makes evenings and cooking easier, but you spend less at the store.

And speaking of shopping, going with a list and a calculator on a regular schedule is really helpful.  I guess this goes hand in hand with planning.

But I've also learned that no matter how much you plan you need to be flexible and have back-ups plans.  If the family is sick or there is an emergency it's OK go with a simpler dinner, or eat out and go over budget (and if you've stayed in budget the occasional overage is do-able).  Keeping essentials in the house for quick meals like soup stuff and bread and cheese are a must.  There is nothing like so chicken noodle soup or dry toast when you have the stomach-flu.

Goal: $75 (because I went so over last week)
Actual: $72.64

Monday: burritos (Turkey's pick)
Tuesday: we were suppose to eat at my mom's - had to change plans ended up with sandwiches
Wednesday: homemade pizza* and salad
Thursday: breakfast wraps
Thursday: fish, mac and cheese and green beans
Saturday: hamburger steaks
Sunday: pumpkin pancakes

* I made my first from scratch pizza crust and it was super yummy and easy.  We're already talking about other ways to use this recipe.  Turkey has a cinnamon sugar desert idea he wants to try this weekend.  You can find the recipe here.

Don't forget to check out these other participants and see how they're doing.

Wednesday, March 28

For Giggles

Breastfeeding makes me happy.  You know this if you're read my blog before.

But not just my breastfeeding experience makes me happy.  I get happy when I hear about others doing the same, and I really enjoy seeing breastfeeding messages in day to day living.  I love that Lois breastfeeds Stewie, and I laugh out loud (for real, not an LOL) when I read Baby Blues in the Sunday paper and the comic strips features a breastfeeding joke.  Sometimes those jokes almost seem like inside jokes, something that only breastfeeding parents can relate to.

Yesterday while poking around on the big ol' world wide web I came across Baby Blues World Breastfeeding Week 2009 (I said I was poking around) tribute.  You can find the whole thing here, but I wanted to take some time and share with you some of my favorites.

You'll need to click on them to enlarge.  My comments are attached to each.  Enjoy!!!

Or in the church parking lot hoping you don't flash Monsignor.
Or in the parking lot at the grocery store, with your winter jacket as a nursing pillow.
You get the idea.  Monkey loves nursing in the car because I let him play with the steering wheel when he's done.

I actually sing Monkey this song while nursing him.  Turkey likes to come in and chat during these times.
Usually to tell me he wants something (to eat, play with, TV time, or to buy).
Monkey does not like to be interrupted during these times and will sit up and stare at him until he leaves.

Yeah, especially now that he has a tooth.

Monday, March 26

Books in the Basement

When you live in the sticks (or is it from the lack of municiple funding these days) you need to either higher a private rubbish removal company or buy special bags and haul your stuff crap to the transfer station yourself.  When we moved out here 3 years ago we first opted for the special bags.  However we soon learned that this did not fit into our schedule so well; so we've been a slave to the private rubbish removal business ever since.

Last summer we started talking about renting a dumpster and taking a week and cleaning out all of the "stuff" we have in the attic and basement.  Honestly, we have boxes in both places that haven't been opened since we moved.  But we never got around to doing this; then we noticed some of our neighbors had dumpsters on their properties versus a large can that gets picked up weekly.  So Husband looked into this option and for a bit more a month we now have a small-ish dumpster and a smaller-small-ish recycling dumpster in the far corner of our driveway.

Having these has allowed us to slowly and surely go through all of the things we've amassed over the years and downsize.  It's been liberating to throw out my band jacket from 1990-something, along with other items that were simply taking up space.

However with all the good steps we've taken in downsizing we're bound to pick-up a few new treasures along the way.  One such event that we would find said treasures at is "The Friends of the Library" bi-annual book sale event.  We go the last weekend every time it rolls around and stock up on 50 cent books and the like.

We've been looking forward to the spring sale, coming this weekend, for about a month now... and I had just finished a book so I was really looking forward to going.  But then this weekend while working in the basement I found two boxes of my old books.  Swoon, I am in love.

Right now I am reading "Pink Slip Party" by Cara Lockwood.  This book is a classic chic lit and a fast read.  I couldn't tell you the last time I read it and I am loving every moment.  I also found my copy of "Breaking the Good Mom Myth" by Alyson Schafer.  This was my bible when Turkey was Monkey's age and I don't think I would have made it with my sanity in tact without it.  I am so so so looking forward to diving into this one again.

And then there are my Kurt Vonnegut books.  Oh, I love me some Kurt Vonnegut.  And I'm not talking his standard text of Slaughter House 5, which I suspect every public high school student in 1990s read, I'm talking about his threaded works in "Cat's Cradle" through "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater".  Can you hear my heart beating a little faster... ah... love....

I'm honestly considering starting to pump again at work, just so I can have a 10 minute break to read while pumping.  Hey, it would be beneficial to me and the baby.  Right?

Now, if only I could find my copy of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith.  Perhaps, it's tucked away in a box in the attic.

Saturday, March 24


Apparently both of my boys have tastes all their own.  Last night while having dinner they both dined on some odd combinations.

Monkey had toasted potato bread with butter and salsa.  Yes, salsa on his toast.

And if you think that is kind of nasty, I hope you're not eating when you read Turkey's combination.

Cantaloupe dipped in French Onion chip dip.  Eeeewwwww!!!!

Thursday, March 22

Project Food Budget (Week 25)

Project Food Budget can be summed up in one word this week:
Goal: $50
Actual: $87.57 and then plus some - $72.17 at the grocery on Sunday, then a trip to the fruit stand after I went over budget... and then today, details to come on that below.

Our menu this week was suppose to look like:
Monday: left-overs
Tuesday: dinner at Mom's house
Wednesday: sweet and sour chicken and pineapple over brown rice
Thursday: dinner at Mom's house
Friday: egg salad sandwiches for a meager meal of the week
Saturday: cube steaks, corn and baked potatoes
Sunday: grilled chicken skewers

With so many meals out of the house, plus the leftovers, it was such a shame to go over budget.  Really I blame it on not using a calculator.  I thought we did good, turned out not so much.  Guess it's back to the calculator.

So Tuesday we ended up canceling on Mom because I went into work late, thus stayed late, etc.

Then late Wednesday night we got a call that Mom was in the ER, she got trampled by one of her horses (I'll post more about this later I am a little drained to hash it over again right now); so we spent more money while we were at the hospital today; and clearly Mom didn't make us dinner (she's still in the hospital - don't worry she's expected to make a full recovery).  And I am sure we'll spend more tomorrow while we are out; even if we pack snacks for the kids.  I guess some weeks just can't be helped to go over budget; but I am really kicking myself for not keeping it in budget on Sunday.  I guess this is a good lesson.

Wednesday, March 21

Soft & Cuddly?

I will admit we use disposable diapers at night.  I know, I know... shame on me, and I could offer you a million reasons (excuses) why, but I'm not going to.  Anyhow, because we only buy diapers once and month and because we prefer to cloth diaper them we tend to spend a little bit more and buy the "better for the earth" ones; like Seventh Generation or Earth's Best.  These diapers in compared to the big brand names tend to be a little stiffer and less "cuddly".

So imagine my surprise when Monkey decided these were his new favorite thing to snuggle while nursing.

The other night he was playing with one while getting ready for bed and carried it over to the glider for nursing.  Normally he fiddles with his Baby, but this night he wanted a disposable diaper.  He rubbed it on his face, he nuzzled up to it, he played with it absent minded. Basically he just enjoyed it.

Every time since then, except in the middle of the night when nursing is nursing and no fun and games are allowed, he has wanted a disposable diaper to snuggle with.  I've heard of toddlers growing attachments to and carrying around strange objects; and I really hope his doesn't happen to Monkey and his Lorax Seventh Generation size 4 diaper.

Smiles & Laughing

My boys (all of them) make me smile and laugh.  They really can be addicting to be around sometimes.  Especially watching the kids in a bubble bath with red tinted water thanks to Avon fruit-punch kid bubble-bath.  Or when Husband does his Steve Urkel impression.

While at lunch yesterday I saw some plastic flowers "planted" outside.  This cracks me up to no end.  And it got me thinking what other things in day to day life make me smile or laugh.  Sometimes you need to try your hardest to see the good things in life (outside your family)....

So I composed a list.

~ Rainbows.  I've seen a lot of rainbows in the last few years, especially off exit 7 on the way home.  But really any rainbow makes me happy.  Like this one my friend R captured and shared on Facebook the other day.

~ Reading about good news; especially on some of the blogs I follow.  I love when other peoples happiness is contagious and you smile right along with them.

~ Chocolate, in particular surprise chocolate in the form of ice cream or muffins.

~ E-mails, letters or cards from friends that come just so they can see how you are doing.

~ OK... good surprises in general make me happy.  Like the other month when I came home to a package from my friend T, which had an eggs over easy diaper for Monkey in it.  That was really special, and certainly made me smile.

~ Completing a project I've been putting off.  The Lazy Mom blog stopped her "Things I've Been Meaning to Do" post, and I have stopped as a result of that.  Maybe I should re-institute this for myself.

~ The following movies: The Great Outdoors, Dragnet and Exit to Eden.  Always guaranteed a laugh no matter how many times I have seen them.

What's on your list?

Monday, March 19

Milk & Cookies

Friday evening I got home from work and let out a deep sigh welcoming the weekend.  Dinner plans that evening we're easy; tuna melts and soup and after some thought we decided to make it even easier with just the sandwiches and some fruit.

Since dinner didn't really need my attention right away, and there was no homework or next day's activities to attend to I decided I relax on the couch and watch some TV with Husband.  Usually when I get home I nurse Monkey in his room, and then come down and make dinner; instead I nursed him while relaxing and watching TV.  It was a nice change of pass; but he didn't seem to like the change and didn't nurse very well.  I was frustrated, because the girls were rather full after a long day; so I decided to have an Oreo (peanut-butter Oreo to be exact) to drown my sorrows... :-)

That's when I had the great idea of offering Monkey an Oreo; after all what's cuter than your baby while a chocolate grin.

Copying his mama he pulled the top off and licked out the icing, and then ate the cookie halves.  After his second cookie he was looking a little parched so Husband suggested I offer him some milk; what goes better with cookies he asked.

So I offered to nurse him again.  And you know what?  He was thirsty this time.

Saturday, March 17

Silent(ish) Saturday

Finally a" mostly tooth-less" grin from Turkey.  All of his other teeth have fallen out only after the adult tooth was firmly in place.

Friday, March 16

An Hour

I don't live in Arizona.  Right about now I wish I did.

What's so great about Arizona?  Aside from a few friends that live out there - they don't participate in the foolishness of daylight savings time.

The week before DST friends all over Facebook where cooing about how they couldn't wait "for the extra hour of light in the evenings".  Bah humbug.

A few of them grumbled the day after about feeling tired and worn down the next day.

It's been nearly a week and I still feel tired and worn down.

I am a morning person (feel free to cuss at me under your breath) and I love my sunlight in the morning.  With the time change I feel like I have been pulled back into the dark days of winter.  I really dislike getting up while it's still dark out; and while I am mentally awake it is hard to physically pull myself out of bed.  I've been running late nearly every morning this week, and I don't like that.

Add into that a baby that has decided to start nursing again at 3am, mid way through my nights sleep; and it's a recipe for one very tired lady.  I think he's feeling the time change as well, because he doesn't seem to want our standard 10pm nursing session; and then wakes up famished at 3am.

The last couple of days I have felt the fatigue through out my body.  It's the kind of sleep that makes you want to pull a blanket up over your head and close your eyes at noon (and every other hour of the day).

But then when bedtime hits - whamoo; my internal clock is still feeling it as an hour earlier and I'm up later than I should be.

I would say DST is for the birds, but they have no use for clocks; sigh.

Apparently my sleepiness is getting to be very obvious as co-workers are telling me how much I am yawning today.

Thursday, March 15

Project Food Budget (Week 24)

Goal: $150
Actual: $156.10

Another pretty easy week, and I was able to stock up on a lot of things at the store this past weekend to make in the weeks ahead and that I am excited about.  This whole "having a plan" thing is really starting to pay off.  

Meals this week:
Monday: left-overs from Nana's house
Tuesday: Chinese take-out - not included in the above number because Husband treated us with an over-payment check he got from the doctor's office 
Wednesday: mac and cheese and veggies (Turkey's pick)
Thursday: grilled chicken salad and rolls
Friday: tuna melts and soup
Saturday: eat at my Mom's house
Sunday: bonesless bbq ribs in the crockpot

* meager meal for the week

There are some new blogs to check out this week...

Tuesday, March 13

Nearly 13 Months

Dear Monkey,

You are nearly 13 months old, and it's been a while since I update everyone on you; so I figured today was a good day to do so.

You are a very soft and snuggley baby, that is when you let us snuggle you.  You do not like being snuggled, or held back, when you see there is much playing to be done.  You also do not like snuggling when you are grouchy, you prefer to crawl around and whine.

Speaking of crawling, you are becoming quiet a pro at crawling and venture all over the house when given a chance.  You are now just starting to crawl on top of or over things; but you are pulling up like a champ and cruising along furniture.

Your favorite word to say is "ya", and you also say "dada" and "ma".  You sign "more" all the time, especially when you are told you are "all done".  We are working on learning how to sigh "yes", "no" and "drink".

You are super ticklish, and love being tickled and have the cutest little laugh.

Speaking of love, you love all of your toys - especially your jumper and anything that lets you put things in and take things out.  At night you sleep with your baby and your seahorse.  When you nurse you fiddle with your baby's ears.  And for some reason you've taken to wanting to nurse on your changing table - this I cannot explain but it makes you very happy.

As I mentioned you are still nursing; but you LOVE food.  I said you loved to play, and love your toys; but this I really mean you LOVE.  Food makes you so excited, to the point where you stretch out your arms and legs and shake while waiting for food.  We've yet to find a food you don't like; and you are a very adventurous eater.  I don't think I could pick anyone food as your favorite, as you will eat and enjoy anything.  I keep telling your daddy that we're in trouble once you get teeth.

That's right, you're nearly 13 months old and have no teeth.  You are "this close" to getting your first tooth; I am beyond excited for this.

You are also "this close" to getting your first hair cut.  I did give you a little trim a few weeks ago, but it's really getting to be time to properly get it cut.

Your clothing size is 18 to 24 months, but that's just because you are so tall.  If it wasn't for your cloth diapers all of your pants would be falling off your hips.

So Monkey, that's you in a nutshell at nearly 13 months.

Mama Love You!!!

PS I think I may actually finish your nursery in the next few weeks.

Thursday, March 8

Daddy's Gift

My husband has a gift.

Ok, he has many gifts (I can tell you he's blushing this now while reading this), but the gift I am talking about is his baby soothing gift.

Monkey isn't that baby that will fall asleep anywhere when he's over tired, he is a creature of habit and requires his crib or Daddy to sleep.  He also missed that memo that breastfed babies are suppose to fall asleep at the breast when they are full and content, instead he'd rather play when he's done.

4:30am this morning was a prime example.  After he ate he was ready to get up for the day.  That was so not happening.  So I called in the Big Guns, aka Husband.  When this happens we call it "patting the baby down", and we use this technique any time Monkey is fighting sleep.

To do this Husband tucks Monkey into one arm and pats his butt, firmly and rythmetically. (Hey, it's got to be firm to be felt through all those layers of butt fluff.)  Sometimes Monkey will protest cry for a few minutes, sometimes not at all.  Sometimes he falls right out, sometimes he fights it for nearly 30 minutes; but Husband is diligent and despite his hand condition pushes on.  Husband can get him to sleep this way in church in the Beco, sitting on the rocking chair or laying on the couch.  Monkey is no match for Daddy's Gift.

Other babies have fallen victim to this gift as well; and the look of amazement by other parents in always amazing.  Husband likes to say it's his version of Dr. Harvey Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block.  But no matter what you call it, it is a gift... and for that I am thankful.  (Now if only I could learn to fall back asleep at 4:30am as well.)

Project Food Budget (Week 23)

Goal: $50
Actual: $52.02

This was a good and easy week, and reflects a change in our food budget; still working with a goal of $400, but instead of $100 a week, we're going to do $150 on pay-weeks and $50 on the odd this.  This is going to require more discipline and preplanning.  But we're doing better with this all around as we've finally started food shopping on a regular basis (Sunday morning after Mass).

Meals this week:
Monday: Sandwich or a salad **
Tuesday: Buffalo Wings and corn (Turkey's pick, off combo in my opinion)
Wednesday: poached eggs, applesauce and English muffins
Thursday: crock-pot chicken meatloaf, mashed potatoes and salad
Friday: cheese pizza
Saturday: eat at Nana's house
Sunday: chili dogs and salad

* meager meal for the week

Other Blogs Participating

Wednesday, March 7


I came across this article on comebacks to negative, untrue, or misinformed comments about breastfeeding on Kellymom via Facebook.

As far as myself and many other breastfeeding moms are concerned Kellymom is the place on-line go-to place for breastfeeding tips, pointers, and general education.   And while The Alpha Parent article is full of a lot of good information and comebacks it has a rather combative tone; and I don't understand why there needs to be a "us versus them" attitude in regards to breastfeeding versus formula feeding, and sometimes I think the whole culture developing around the discussion is detrimental to increasing the breastfeeding rate in the US (although this is clearly not written by a US mom).

In my year plus of breastfeeding Monkey (combined with my 9+ months of when I breastfeed Turkey) I have come across many of the "why are you breastfeeding" questions posed in this article.  I've had well meaning friends and family try to scare me away from breastfeeding with their own experiences, I've been given recipes so that I might "cook" my own formula, I've been incorrect information from medical personnel that are not lactation education, and I've been questioned many many times on when we plan to wean.

Personally I have just taken the nod my head and keep my mouth closed approach.  Really, I don't like confrontation; except at work I love arguing at the office.

I think this is partly why I blog about my breastfeeding experience to really get out my feelings and experiences with the subject.  And I also hope that by helping educate others, in a non-combative tone, they too will see the benefits of breastfeeding and make more informed decisions about breast versus bottle.  I am very happy when readers share m articles on the subject with family and friends that are struggling with breastfeeding; and I really hope they have found some support or insight into the matter.  It took a long time to get America on the formula bandwagon, so I expect it's going to take a long time to get main-street America back onto the breastfeeding wagon.

It's support that we need for mothers (and fathers and siblings and grandparents) of infants in the breastfeeding process, not an argument and certainly not a war.

And with that final note I thought I would share with you what I am hooping to become a breastfeeding counselor in the future, the application and referral letters for the testing and course are underway.  

Tuesday, March 6

Long White Tie

Last night I went to the parent's meeting for Turkey's 1st Holy Communion coming in May.  After we reviewed the spiritual side of the process we got down to the nitty gritty schedules, rehearsals (there are two of them) and dress code for the day.

The girls half of the dress code took up more than half the page, with over a paragraph dedicated to the need for girls to dress modestly.  Which, in my opinion, is very understandable in this day and age seeing the way some of Turkey's classmates dress in warmer weather.

The boys dress code called for dark trousers, dark dress socks (no white socks), dark dress shoes (no sneakers), long sleeve white shirt and a white long tie, no-clips ons (bow-ties are also not allowed... good thing he's bed bud E isn't in his class).

I was bummed.  Husband and I had been planning on buying him his first suit. We saw this as a right of passage for a boy his age; and we were looking forward to it.  No I suppose I could still buy him a suit, but really what is the point; by the time he has a chance to wear it again he'll be too big for it anyhow... but this is the boy that wanted a tuxedo to wear the house and to school this time last year.

So now I've started the search for the perfect white tie; as this seems to be the only "out of the ordinary" item of clothing he'll need for the day.

Now if we had a little girl we'd be looking for that special dress and veil and sweater and what have you.  OK, sure I'd end up having to spend a lot more money; but really where is the fun in buying a white tie?

And it's always been this way.  Any mother of a boy can tell you clothing selections are far more limited for boys than girls.  Don't have a son, next time you are shopping just compare the boys clothing area to the size of the girls clothing area and you'll get my drift.

Oh well.... it's not like we can take pictures inside the church anyhow.  Yes, relatives you read that right, no photos IN the church.  Sigh....

Monday, March 5

A Miraculous Recovery

Yesterday morning Turkey seemed fine when we dropped him off for CCD.  When I picked him up 50 short minutes later that was not the case.  Even before I saw him his teacher were telling me how sick he was, and hos he was "going down him fast".

We headed to Mass and he curled up on the bench with his head on my lap.  Add an extra grouchy Monkey and we left half way through (so not our style).

We stopped at the store on the way home and used one of the big two seater grocery carts, since Turkey didn't seem like he could walk so well.  He was having hot and cold flashes and whining something terrible.  On the way he just kept saying all he wanted to do was go to bed.... and seeing how he took a two and a half hour nap the day before we figured he must be sick.  I gave him some Nyquil and sent him off to bed.

He spent the next six hours in his room, awake and complaining about "loosing his mind" since there was nothing to do (mind you, he trashed the place playing).  At dinner he didn't eat much and was terribly stuffy and whiny, so back to bed he went.  Husband and I talked during dinner and decided to keep him home from school today, because something didn't seem right.

Around 7pm, him and I spent sometime together working with his Fizzy-Foamy Science Kit and off to bed he went for the night falling asleep right away.

At 6:15 this morning he climbed into bed with us and I told him he was staying home sick from school.  He had to go in he proclaimed; today they were going to start selling Smencils and he had $5 to spend on them.  I told him if he was going then he had to make his lunch and get dressed.  Within 20 minutes both items were done and he was eating breakfast, ready and excited for school.

What was this a miraculous recovery?  An allergy to CCD and church?  A reaction from the Fizzy-Foamy Science Kit?  Or perhaps just the lure of the Smencils is all that was needed to heal him?  YOU DECIDE.

Sunday, March 4

Glass Cat

When I was growing up my grandma lived in a light green cape with white shutters.  It was a picaresque little house, on the outside, with twin weeping willows lining the front walk and a white picket fence, standing tall on top of a hill.

Inside was still charming, but tacky at the same time.  She had wall to wall carpeting, including in the bathroom and kitchen, that she was so proud of.  The living room was a dark wood paneling that only the 70s could love.  The counsel TV was in front of the windows and my grandpa's recliner was in the corner.  A long couch and coffee table sat across from the TV.  There was a side table on either side of the couch.  When my cousin and I slept over we slept in the living room, in sleeping bags with the table pushed out of the way.  Above the couch hung newborn pictures of their four children, arranged in a diamond shape.  Under one of the side tables sat a white ceramic cat.

Later when my grandma moved to her condominium and she got new furniture she set up her living room the same way.  This time the glass cat moved to the corner of the room.

And then even later when she moved to the assisted living facility, the cat came with her.  Her silent steady never wavering partner.

I don't recall my grandparents having any pets when I was growing up.  I have been told they had an Irish setter which bite me when I was small, but I don't remember that.  But maybe it's why I am not a huge fan of dogs.

When my grandma passed away, we all worked together to clean out her little apartment.  We received many things from her estate including jewelry, a new dining set and a flat screen TV; but none of it meant as much to me as that glass cat.  I was honestly surprised that no one else wanted the cat; as I was prepared to make my case for it.

So now the glass cat sits in the corner of our living room, overseeing our day to day activities.

These days we're constantly moving the car away from Ultimate-Baby-Descructo; who likes to crawl over to it and slap it.  I'm hoping the cat survives these years in one piece, as I look forward to my boys and hopefully my grandchild recalling the glass cat in the corner of our house.

Thursday, March 1

Project Food Budget (Week 22)

Goal: $100
Actual: $120.80

I know, I know, I went over this week; but the majority of it was spent at Pepperidge Farms outlet store.  But we really need bread, and I like to stock pile.  I just can't see paying so much for bread in the store when I know what I can get it for at the outlet.

Meals this week:
Monday: (left-over) baked pasta and salad
Tuesday: French toast and sausage (Husband's pick)
Wednesday: chicken and gravy over rice, with salad (made with left-over chicken)
Thursday: Taco night (again, and again picked by Turkey, he's been told next week he needs to pick something different)
Friday: egg salad sandwiches**
Saturday: Blue & Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts
Sunday: I was going to make poached eggs for dinner, but I'm really liking having a "left-over" type dish for dinner on Monday it makes the beginning of the week so much easier.  So I may have to re-consider.

* Last week at mass we picked up our Operation Rice Bowl donation kit, and this is our "meager meal" of the week.  We will certainly be offering the boys more with dinner (fruit and veggies, etc), but Husband and I are going to try to stick with just the sandwiches and we'll be making a donation into our rice bowl.  The donation is suppose to be what we have saved by having a "meager meal" instead of a traditional size American meal.

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