Thursday, May 31

Project Food Budget (Week 35)

Goal: $ 100
Actual: $72.45

This was a good and easy week, and visiting with friends certainly lightened the food budget.  On Monday we went to a cook-out for dinner and we had to bring the watermelon.  That was nice and easy, and a very enjoyable afternoon.

Tuesday we had pasta salad (with cheese, tuna and egg) and corn on the cob.
Wednesday we had quiche and green salad.
Tonight is bbq chicken, roasted potatoes and veggies.
Friday we're going to Nana's house.

Easy easy week.

Let's see how everyone else is doing:

Wednesday, May 30

Chilling Out

I've spent my entire life living in the north east.  When I was growing up we didn't have a single air conditioner in the whole house.  Now mind you the weather up here can be a little fickle and unpredictable; and extreme.  Winter weather can feature feet and feet of snow at temperatures well below freezing and summers days can easily break 90 with 99% humidity.  So the "no air conditioner" thing could really make sleeping during the summer months unbearable.  I can recall laying in my bed, too hot to sleep with the fan just inches from my head.

Then I went away to college and my dorm room had AC.  It was wonderful.

Back home after that there was no AC.  Nor did I have AC in my room when I lived with my friend K.

But then I got my own apartment and that had AC.  And again summers were wonderful.

After that I moved into a 2-family house with my mom, and was again without AC.  Until Husband moved in.  He insisted on AC in the summer.  Said he couldn't live without it.  I've had AC in my bedroom ever since.

Over the years we upgraded Turkey to have an AC as well, and now we're looking at getting one for Monkey (he slept in our room all last summer).

I would like to think I didn't "need" AC.  That I'v survived our summers this long without needing AC, but I know now that is not true.  I am sure I wouldn't actually parish without, but I would be a lot grouchier from the lack if sleep.

Lately we've had a bit of a warm snap.  Temps yesterday were in the 90s with gruelingly humidity.  Husband wanted to get the AC out of the attic and installed in our room.  But I wasn't sure I was ready.  I kept telling him it's going to rain and temps will fall back to the 70s.  You see we like to try and hold off on these things (turning on the heat in the winter and holding off on the AC in the summer) as long as possible.  It's like a game we play.  However after we got home from the store, and I walked into our room  - which is like an oven and always the warmest room in the house - I knew it was time and didn't argue when Husband went to install it.

That being said last night was one of the best nights of sleep I've had in nearly a week.  Aside from the 1am poopy-diaper incident it was perfect.  All thanks to Husband and the AC.

Sure I felt guilty about the boys not having their ACs, but I managed growing up without one... and the rain and thunderstorms did come, and they did cool things off quite a bit. So maybe we should have held out another night... nah...

Monday, May 28

Lost and Found (twice)

When we got married, our weddings rings were tied to a little white pillow.  It had our names and wedding date embroidered on it, in cornflower blue, by my Godmother.  We, my bridesmaids, the flower-girl, the ring bearer (Turkey) and myself were early to the wedding so everyone, but me got out and stretched with the kids running around the gardens.  (We got married in a little chapel in a park's garden.)  While the kids were running around Husband's ring fell off the pillow.

The wedding party searched and searched for his ring while doing their best to keep me and Husband clueless. But watching the commotion outside (I was sitting in the limo) I knew something was up.  We had thought all was lost - everyone from all the groomsmen to the florist were looking for the ring.  My soon to be brother in law was even going to lend Husband his wedding band for the ceremony.

Then my cousin found it.  I remember her picking it up and holding it over her head screaming "YES".  My dad tied the rings back onto the pillow as tight as he could.  Turkey was heartbroken he had lost the ring and was crying; and it took a lot of coaxing to get him to walk down the isle.

For the next two years and some odd days Husband's ring sat securely on his ring finger.  Some days it would get stuck, with the ways his hand's swell from the fibromylgia.

Then this weekend, as I was driving along he looked down at his hand and realized his ring was not there.  You could see the ring imprint in his skin.  He started to panic, searching the car for it.  So I pulled over and he searched some more.  He looked at the camera, at the pictures we had taken some ten minutes before at the ice cream place we stopped; and his ring was on his finger.

So I turned the car around and we went to look for it.  Husband recalled his actions as we had left the ice cream place, over and over again and we decided it just had to be in the gravel driveway. We raced back and screeched into the parking lot.  Another car was parked in our old spot and we prayed his ring was easy to find.  He started searching the lot, while I rechecked the car and then we traded.  Just as I rounded the minivan that was in our old spot I saw something glistening in the late afternoon early summer sun... and there it was!!  Husband's ring.  Found again.  Thankfully.

Friday, May 25

The Sad State of The States

Sad, isn't it?

If you haven't already read this blog post and acted on behalf of the women in your life, and your family's behalf I urge you to.

Project Food Budget: Week 34

Last weekend we were watching Man vs. Food and Adam, the show’s host, was in Hawaii taking on the pancake challenge.  For this challenge he had to eat 4 lbs. of pancakes and toppings.  He was able to choose the pancake toppings and fillings and from his choices he picked bananas and chocolate chips.
Why had I never thought of this before?  We love banana pancakes.  We love chocolate chip pancakes.  Why not combine the two to make extra yummy pancakes?  So on Wednesday that’s just what I did. 
They were a hit.  In the words of the 8-year-old, these are “the bomb-est of bombs”.  I chopped up the bananas fairly small so they almost melted into the pancake as they cooked.  I served them with whip cream, maple syrup (the real stuff) and blueberry syrup.  Sure not the healthiest of meals, but at least I used turkey sausage. 

For other meals this week we had:
Monday: scramble eggs, potatoes, peaches and turkey bacon
Tuesday: the boy’s had mac and cheese and veggies, and Husband and I went out for our anniversary
Wednesday: “the bomb-est of bombs pancakes
Thursday: the boy’s had grilled cheese and veggies on the way to Cub Scouts
Friday: pasta with tomato sauce and salad
Saturday: sesame honey chicken, brown rice and veggies

I spent $74 at the grocery this week, plus spent another $45 on a Schwan’s order.  If you’re not familiar with Schwan’s they are a frozen food company that delivers to your house.  Aside from this service they also provide a lot of those frozen diet meals you see on TV.  I stocked up on frozen chicken breasts, 20 breasts for $17 yes, please.  We’ve gotten these before and love them.  

Big Boy

See that dot?  It says he's taller than 99.9% of kids his age.  

He just keeps getting taller and taller.  My goodness.

Where does he get this height from?  I'm only 5'8" and Husband is 5'9".

Husband likes to say "he's tall like me".  This makes me laugh, but in his defense he's tall compared to most of his family members (his older brother is taller than him, and he's the only one I can think of that is).

Wednesday, May 23


Yesterday Turkey said to me, after I asked him to get started on his chores "You don't care about me".

I replied "I do care about you, that's why I have you do chores".

Daily he has to clean up after himself, put his clothes in his hamper and feed his fish.

Weekly, every Sunday, he has to empty the trash cans in the bedrooms and bathrooms, clean the toilets, and take out the recycling.

As I request he has to set the table, dust, vacuum, put away his clothes, feed the dog or cat, and clean his room / playroom.

Not too much in my opinion.  Reasonable for an eight-year old.

Tonight I decided it was time he learn how to do the dishes.   And by dishes I mean clear the table, load the dishwasher and wash the pots and pans.  The experience sounded something like this:

"I am going to have to dishes for the rest of my life."

"Ugh..... ugh...."

"This is so boring."

"What is the difference between place and throw?  It's in there."


Clearly he needs to do more chores... ha ha ha....

Tuesday, May 22

Years Ago

One year ago today....
Monkey's baptism.

Two years ago today....
Our wedding.

What will May 22, 2012 bring?

Monday, May 21

US and Maternity Leave

I'm sure you've seen it; the cover of the Time Magazine that came out last week.

The cover went viral and was all over the internet; and being discussed in just about every mom-forum I am in.

I've said my mind about the cover; and I'm not going to get into that here.  Really, it is over and done with, and plenty of puns and "responses" to Time have been posted since this first came out.

What I'm writing about today is a call to action in regards to what is really wrong with being a US citizen and a mom.  I read this fantastic article on Moms in Maine entitled: Wake Up Moms - You're Fighting the Wrong Fight; and I couldn't agree more.   Go on read it now... I'll wait....

I have signed the petition and I urge you to do the same (if you agree) and to pass on link of the petition to your friends, family and co-workers.  I plan on writing a letter to my Congressman and Representative as well (as soon as I find the time).  Lastly, while you are at it, I recommend checking out Mom's Rising - and their call to work on improving the maternity leave situation in the US.

This isn't a "women's issue", this is a US family issue - this is something that affects us, as a nation, to the core.  It affects the entire family unit; men, women and children.  The issue isn't whether or not women should work once they have children, but rather supporting women IN their work.  I feel that my breastfeeding relationship with the baby was helped because of my employer and their maternity leave policy; which greatly improved from the Big Boy to the Baby (12 weeks versus 6 weeks, plus working from home part-time).

Having a child isn't a disability, and it is sad that many companies cover maternity leave as a disability.  This is a life changing event, and should be treated as such.  If every other industrialized nation can find a way to support women (and men alike, many countries offer paternity leave) I should think the US should be able to as well.  So let's lend our voices to this conversation and let our representatives in government know maternity leave is a right for ourselves, our wives, our sisters, and our daughters.

Saturday, May 19

Silent(ish) Saturday

"Few things brought such swift and terrible retribution on a kid as a pair of busted glasses." 
 - Ralphie, A Christmas Story

Thursday, May 17

Project Food Budget: Weeks 32 and 33

Yup, it's your lucky week... two weeks of PFB rolled into one, since I missed lasts weeks with all the craziness of getting ready for Turkey's First Communion.

I couldn't tell you how much I spent on groceries last week, as food shopping and getting ready for the party got rolled all into one.  This week I didn't actually go food shopping; but I did spend $21.20 between two quick trips to the market.

Meals last week consisted of: hot dogs and beans, pasta, dinner at Nana's house, turkey meatloaf in the crock-pot; to name a few.

For the party I served: taco dip and tortillas, pretzels and ranch dip, deviled eggs, shrimp cocktail (many thanks to Nana for picking up the tab on that one), pasta and sauce, green salad, baked beans, tuna and egg salad finger sandwiches, cake... and the fruit platter I forgot to serve. Can you tell an 8-year old designed most of this menu? 

For meals this week we've had party leftovers, fried chicken with beans and salad, crock pot chicken with creamed spinach and brown rice, and turkey burgers and salad.

I am hoping to be back on plan next week.

In the meantime don't forget to check out these other participating blogs:

Wednesday, May 16

A Wonderful Day

On Saturday Turkey made his First Holy Communion.  We are all so proud of him.  All of the preparations, rehearsals, meetings and planning we so worth it.  It really was a wonderful day, aside from the jerk in church.

The day started out quiet enough, and I decided to let him have a light lunch in the car on the way to pick up Nana; so this required him getting dressed at her house.  Nana wasn't answering her phone that morning, and when a 96 year old women doesn't answer her phone you get nervous.  So my mom, who actually arrived early, offered to drive over to her house with me (just in case).  Thankfully Nana was fine and had been setting outside.  He boy got dressed, and we took a quick photo and headed to the church.

The first communion candidates had to be at the church 45 minutes before the start of Mass, but this worked out well as it allowed us to save seats for Husband, Monkey, Bear and his girlfriend.  The church was packed. I honestly think there were more people at this service than at the 9:15 Easter service, which if you know anything about Catholic Churches says a lot.  It was standing room only.  My dearest friend M and her boys made the service and got stuck with standing - we had tried saving more seats for them but it was impossible.

There was a total of 64 children making their First Communion that day; half at an earlier Mass and half at the service we attended.  And I must say I have never seen so many children behave so well, all at once, before.

Turkey lead the church in the prayers of the faithful, and it was heart warming to hear his little voice.  He did so well.  The service ended with the children singing Ave Maria.

After Mass we did photos with Monsignor and with our friends and family, then headed back to the house to get our party on.

Husband and I had a little lapse in communication and certain foods were not ready when I got home as I was expecting, but in the end it worked out; as everyone pitched in to get the party ready while I put Monkey down for a nap.

After a bit our aunts and uncles and friends came over, and we ate and laughed and joked around and ate some more.  The cake - white with lemon filling and whip cream frosting, as per the boy's request was amazing.  So so yummy.

The day ended with me driving Nana home around 7pm; and coming home to roasting marshmallows in the backyard with the kids and the neighbor boy.

Oh... and while driving Nana home I realized I never put out the fruit platter... oh well, just more leftovers for us I suppose.

Tuesday, May 15


New things they are coming.... 

I am very excited to be starting this new phase in my life and welcome the chance to learn more about breastfeeding and supporting mother's in their effort to do so.

15 Months

Today Monkey turns 15 months old.

Tomorrow we'll find out just how big he is at his well-baby visit.  But I can tell you that he solidly fits into 18 month clothing and some 2T stuff.

Yesterday his 2nd tooth poked through.  So he got his first tooth the day before he turned 13 months and his 2nd tooth the day before he turned 15 months.  I hope we're not still waiting on tooth #3 when he's 17 months.

He is not walking independently yet, but he loves zipping around the house in the walker that the people at Early Intervention dropped off.  We've even moved some things around to give him more room to explore.  I must say we are in trouble when he starts walking on his own, because he's so tall he can get to the top of the tables easily.

Monkey loves to play - by himself, with his big brother and with us.  Everything flat becomes a phone to him, he loves pretending to talk on the phone.  And he loves books; having them read to him or "reading" them himself.

We have yet to cut his hair and he has a HUGE mop of blonde hair, complete with soft baby curls.

We are still breastfeeding and finding table foods he does NOT like have proven to be a challenge.  The only time he really refuses a food is when he's not feeling well or teething (more so than normal).

It seems like he is constantly teething, something is always in his mouth. He likes to crawl around with his big brother's Scooby Doo figures hanging out of his mouth.  Apparently Shaggy's head is good to chew on.

In the carrier at church showing off his blond locks while chewing on Shaggy.
He is stingy with talking.  He babbles a storm and has a few words and phrases, but doesn't often chose to use them.

Sleeping is becoming much better at night, knock on wood, and he's typically down from 7pm to 6:30am with a nursing session around 10pm.

Still he's one of the happiest little guys around.

Monday, May 14

Blue Shirted Man

To the Man in the Blue Shirt,

If  we were not in a House of God on Saturday I would have given you a piece of my mind in person, but since I consider myself to be a decent and kind person I am going to do it here instead.  Granted the chances of you reading these are slim to none, but still it needs to be said.

You're child was NOT the only child making their First Communion on Saturday.  This may come as a shock to you, but there were 32 children in the 1pm ceremony.  Which means at least 30 of them where not yours.

Also when a religious official lays out rules to govern certain religious functions, say the one about no video taping or photos during the ceremony; it would behoove you to listen to them.

Furthermore, you were seated in just about the center of the church; so your standing to video tape your child during the singing of Ave Maria blocked the view of around 200 people, myself included.

I do not think you could have possibly been more inconsiderate.  Maybe you didn't want to spend the $15 and purchase the DVD of the service so that you could watch your angle singing over and over again - I get that.  But what I do not get is your need to be so blatantly rude to everyone around you.

I hope you ARE a member of my Parrish, as I know Monsignor does not take kindly to rudeness and disrespect, and you get a well deserved earful.


The Women Seated Directly 2 Rows Behind You

Monday, May 7

Doing It All Over Again

As we get closer and closer to Turkey's First Communion I am starting to feel very melancholy.  This is a big step for him; several years in the making.  I look at him, and I look at the baby and think about what he was like; seven years ago when he was Monkey's age.  I'm looking back at pictures of him over the last eight years; and I am amazed by how much he's grown; physically, mentally and spiritually.

All of the thinking aside we've been busy preparing for his big day. He has had a few rehearsals, he has a few more to attend to as well.  He got a new hair cut, we bought his special clothes, and we got his photos done.  We've been planning a party for him, and so on and so on.

And then I think, we get to do this all again in another seven years.

Seven years.  The age gap between the two boys.

Wow, seven years.

Don't get me wrong I wouldn't change a thing about the boys and their age gap.  It certainly has it's up sides; like only having to diaper one child at a time.  ;-)

And then I start thinking about where I might be in seven years.  By then I will be in my early 40s.  When my mom was in her early 40s, I was in my early 20s.  Then I think, when Monkey is in his early 20s; I'll be in my mid-50s, the age my mom is now.

I like the idea of being able to "doing it all again", seven years from now.  I like wondering where we'll all be in seven years.  What kind of eight year old will the baby be?  What kind of teenager will Turkey be?  What will Husband and I be doing for work and hobbies?  What kind of relationship will my boys have with each, and any other siblings that may come there way?

That's the good thing about the future, it's full of possibilities.

Prayers for Desmond

Over the weekend a friend's son fell out of a window.

Please say a prayer, light a candle, or do whatever else you believe in to send healing prayers for him and his family on this long road ahead.

Link to their blog.

Saturday, May 5

Belated Thanks

This afternoon I pulled out my box of thank-you cards.  After nearly two and a half months it was finally time to kick my butt in gear and send out the thank you cards from Monkey's first birthday.  In my defense (OK, it's an excuse) I wanted to send them out along with his first birthday pictures; and we didn't even have these taken until he was nearly 14 months old.  Wow, this is sounding really bad isn't it.

Anyhow, I digress, I pull out my box of cards and start riffling through it and I find thank-you cards the Big Boy had written out for his party back in mid-January.  How did I not send those?  I must have sent them... I know I had him re-write some of them.

I dig a little more and I find a couple of thank-you cards from Turkey's baptism; which was... ehn... not quiet a year ago.  Sigh.

And then, just as I think I couldn't find anymore un-mailed thank-you cards I come across ones I had written for my baby shower.  Um yeah, that was about a year and a half ago.

So in case the cards didn't really get sent out (and obviously they didn't if I have them in front of me)... many thanks for Ethan & Jack and Niko (from Turkey) and thanks to my mom, Beth, Melissa and Melissa.

Off I go to hang my head in shame and dig up the stamps for the thank-yous I just wrote out.

Project Food Budget (Week 31)

Wow am I late to this post this week.  It has been a crazy week to put it nicely.  Too many things planned, trying to go appointments this week instead of next week... and yes the car was giving us troubles as well.  I didn't make a meal plan, I didn't shop on Sunday like I normally do (we went out on Wednesday night), we had too many meals and snacks on the run.  Honestly I couldn't say what I spent in total.  I know my budget for the week was $50 and I spent $102.35 at the grocery store alone... ouch.

Now that the car is fixed (thank you Jen) I need to put my head on straight and get ready for this week as well as Turkey's 1st Communion coming next weekend.

Here's the list of the other blogs in this project:

Wednesday, May 2

Young Love

Turkey's first crush was Natalie Portman, but not Natalie Portman as the actress; but rather Padme from Star Wars.

Until one day he saw her on a Sesame Street re-run and he decided he was "off her", because he couldn't have anything to do with someone associated with Elmo.  I reminded him, that he himself used to be an Elmo fan; a fact he now denies.

These days he's moved onto a real girl to crush on; and not some movie character.  He denies that K is his girlfriend.  He prefers to say K is a girl that is a friend.  And while I am sure this is true, he talks more about K than any other girl he's ever been friends with.  Combine that with his current "girls have cooties phase"; and all I see when he goes on and on about K is young love.

K is a girl in his class.  In his book she's pretty darn cool.  She likes Legos, she hunts for with him for rocks at recess, she tolerates his less than stellar table manners at lunch.

Just this past week they were discussing making their First Communion soon (who knew they talked about religion in the second grade) and Turkey was upset that they were making them on the same day, at different churches so they couldn't go to each others.

Awww.... so sweet.

Keep your fingers crossed they're in the same class next year.  This girl is good for my boy.

Tuesday, May 1

Breastfeeding in the (early) 21st Century

The other night I was nursing Monkey before bed and I came to the realization that breastfeeding, the activity itself, isn't really designed for our modern 21st century society.

Now don't get me wrong, I fully support breastfeeding and think it's something every mom.newborn should at least try; but let's think about this for a minute.  Shall we?

While I'm nursing him, a ideas where running through my head of all the "have to dos" and "should be doing" chores/jobs/activities what have you.  I just kept fighting with myself to turn off my brain and relax.  But that was of no use; so then I started to make lists, in my head, of things I should write down once we were done.  You see, I am not good at multitasking while breastfeeding; at least not at this stage.  When he was a newborn I could watch TV, answer e-mails and talk on the phone (and eat and walk around) all while nursing.  Now a days he gets so easily distracted that should I try any of those activities while nursing he would want to "help".

This is not to say nursing him when he was younger was easier or better designed for the 21st century.  Nursing a year plus ago was a time consuming activity.  What with feedings every 2 hours or so, it was a miracle I even had a chance to shower.

In this day and place we live in a get up and go "instant gratification" society.  We expect to get what we want when we want it and we don't want to wait for it.  Because of this we expect more from ourselves.  As mother's we feel like we need to be super human and fit 30 hours worth of stuff into a 24 hour day.  When you're taking time to stop and nurse your baby; you are "slowed down" considerably.  I think you'd be hard pressed to find a nursing mom who didn't once think "if I just gave him a bottle instead I could start working on X Y or Z."

I think this a big hurdle we need to overcome as a society if we're going to promote increased and longer breastfeeding rates.  This is a big mind shift, but one that we can accomplish, one mom at a time, one day at a time... and eventually our society will be more breastfeeding friendly.

While a great sayings for all parents, I think this holds very true for breastfeeding mom's -
as cleaning, and everything else, often times needs to wait as you nurse your child.

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