Monday, April 30

The Inevitable

Last night as we were heading off to bed I told Husband the inevitable was going to happen; Monkey was going to want to sleep in tomorrow morning.  After all, it was Monday; I had to get up to go to work and he was up with the sun over the weekend.

5:30 comes this morning and he's starting to cry in bed.  I slip into his room and we have a quick (and efficient nursing session) and he's down for the count again.  I try and go back to bed, but it's no use; and before I know it it's time to get up and get ready to go to work.

Meanwhile he slept until 7:30; when Husband woke him up.

Lucky little kid.

Friday, April 27

Project Food Budget (Week 30)

GOAL: $150
ACTUAL: $ 144.48

Go me!!!

Meals this week:
Monday: tuna boats
Tuesday: take-out
Wednesday: blueberry pancakes and sausage
Thursday: make your own grinder (Turkey's pick - again no Mexican)
Friday: mac & cheese and salad (our meager meal of the week)
Saturday: party at a friends
Sunday: BBQ chicken and rice


This is defiantly not the highlight of my culinary skills now is it?  But, hey it was easy.

Let's see how the others are doing (you may have to go back a day or two on their pages as I am late posting this week).


Thursday, April 26

Bedtime

How do you know Turkey's in bed and ready to call it a night?

The house is filled with the sounds of Miles Davis.

(That boy loves his jazz.)

Upon further inspection he's also wearing his boxers and a tie while reading a book about magnets.

He is so my son.

Wednesday, April 25

Health Update


If you know us, or if you’ve been following this blog for a while you know of Husband’s struggles with his hands and joints over the last year plus. 

He’s been to doctor after doctor, various specialists and has had more tests run than either of us care to think about.  He has been told he possibly has this, and he possibly has that; and has tried and been unsuccessful at more treatment plans than we care to think about.

Every day is a struggle.  For him, and for us as a family; as we never know what type of pain he’ll be in each day.   Some days are better than others; as it is to be expected and we try and go with the flow.  If we have projects that require a significant amount of physical labor from him; we plan in advance to try to make the days lead up and following as “light” on him as possible.

Husband hates this.  This journey has taken its toll on him emotionally as well.  Some days he feels he’s not the father and partner he could or should be because of his illness.  But we try and re-assure him that he’s doing all he can and taking care of himself so he’s here for us in the long run is important. 

He often has sleepless nights, which seem to compound everything.  This is one of symptoms of his condition. 

Recently we were told he has Fibromyalgia.  The joint pains, the back pains, the sleepless nights and the depression are all part of it. 

But he isn’t receiving any medical treatment for it right now.  At his last doctor visit the doctors played a game of “pass the buck” in regards to his care.  Then when his primary realized he was in the wrong and asked him to come back first thing in the morning to go over treatment, we had to decline.  You see Husband often can’t drive because of this condition being untreated; and I couldn’t take more time off of work suddenly to take him.  I feel guilty about this, but it is what it is and now we’re nearing the date of his next appointment, in which care and management will be reviewed. 

In the meantime we’ve been reading up and studying Fibromyalgia.  We understand getting this condition under control is going to take a life style change, but it’s one of lower stress that we embrace. 

While we are not happy that this has happened to Husband, we accept its part of our life; and we’ve developed routines and plans in dealing with this.  We are happy to be moving forward and look forward to embracing the day he is able to go into remission, but are prepared for a future of flair-ups.

We ask our family and friends to patience, strength and understanding as we deal with this challenge in our own way.  Not visiting with you, or being able to make plans, or assist you in moving, lifting, cleaning etc; has nothing to do with you and it is not for a lack of want. You know how Husband is; he wants to be there for everyone and to help anyone he can in any way that he can.  If we could we would be out there more, doing more things with our friends and family; but right now we need to take care of us; and this means spending more time in our home taking care of each other.  

Monday, April 23

I Can See Clearly Now

I've had glasses since I was four and bifocals since I was 18.  Some how as I have gotten older my reading vision has gotten better and I was able decrease my prescription at my last eye appointment.

However at that same appointment Turkey; who had been complaining of headaches lately was found to have an astigmatism in his right eye.  And so glasses were ordered.

He picked out a very modern pair, in dark brown; which really accent his skin tone nicely.  Honestly when he first tried them on and looked over his shoulder at me while wearing his blue blazer I thought GQ "model in the making".


Now since I've had glasses for so long taking care of them is like second nature; and I never really thought of the art of taking care of glasses.  Turkey getting glasses is changing all of that.  As I sit and write this he's had his glasses for less than 24 hours and I can't tell you how many times I's said to him
"Where are your glasses?"
"Don't put your glasses down on the lenses."
"Don't wipe your glasses clean with your fingers."
"How did you get powder (paint, food, etc) on your glasses?"

You get the idea.  I've got to say I honestly wasn't prepared for this.  I feel like we should have gotten a manual to read up on eye glass care ahead of time.  Something along the lines of "Your Son and Glasses: How to Maintain Your Sanity".  

Friday, April 20

A Lucky Little Kid

My kids are pretty lucky.

Hey, they have me for a mom, so that automatically makes them lucky doesn't it.

I have a feeling Turkey is luckier than most however.

He has a knack at winning raffles and drawings.  That's not to say he wins every time; but I would say he usually wins like 75% of the time.

At Pumpkin Feast in October him and I both found four-leaf clovers.  That was the 2nd one I've ever found in my 30-something years; with my first one being around the age of 12.

Just he other night Turkey found one in our backyard.  So that's two for him in less than 6 months.



Now I've read four leaf clovers occur once in every 10,000 clovers.  And I am sure we have well over 10,000 clovers in our yard.  But really what were the chances he'd find another one so soon?

Thursday, April 19

Project Food Budget (Week 29)





Goal: $50
Actual: $14.25

Confession I didn't really go grocery shopping this week, I just wasn't up to it physically on Sunday; but rather  I just picked up fruit and milk on Monday night.

Meals:
Monday:  sandwiches
Tuesday: Dijon chicken, noodles and carrots
Wednesday: eggs, potatoes, sausage and peaches
Thursday: You pick (yeah, I'm not really cooking this night.  Cereal anyone???)
Friday: pizza with our friend
Saturday: hot dogs (Turkey's pick -shocked aren't you?  I can't believe he didn't pick Mexican. Again.)

So far so good this week... don't forget to check out these other participating blogs.


Wednesday, April 18

Real Diaper Week: Cost Savings

The theme for today's blog hop for Real Diaper Week is: cost savings.
 Real Simple Real Diapers Savings – Cost savings, diapering on a budget, cloth diaper banks or support organizations

As I mentioned previously I got my start in cloth diapering (CD) with help from my friend M who lent me her stash of CD.  Honestly there is no better way to start CDing than going this route, as you get to skip the initial start-up cost.  But if you don't have a friend to lend you their stash the cost savings of CDing will pay for themselves quickly over time.

The price of a CDs ranges from under $10 per piece to $30 per piece (from what I've seen); it really depends on what type of diaper you are getting and who you are getting it from.

Ah, figuring out what type of CD to get.... that can be a real challenge.  We have a little bit of everything in our stash from all in ones to flats that we use covers with from PUL to wool and everything in between.  We've been lucky with Monkey in that we haven't really encountered a CD that doesn't work well with him.  Yes, CDs like disposable diapers can yield different results on different kids depending on the kids size and shape.  I've heard there are services you can use that allow you to try different diapers and different makers and then return the ones you don't like; so if you're unsure you could always Google this and try it in your area.

My favorite diapers seem to be the home grown ones, and I've found my favorite gems on etsy.com and on Facebook.  I love getting handmade diapers, especially from a maker who is willing to work with you.  Monkey being as long and lean as he is typically grows out of "brand name" CDs from the length well before the width, so now I get him custom made CDs from a mom-shop with extra rise in the waist.  These custom diapers usually set me back $15.

So for $15 I get a diaper I will use about 3 times a week, for at least a year.  So figure 156 wears of that one diaper in a year.  156 disposable diapers will set you back like $50; and if you figure 6 diapers a day... you get the idea.

Monday, April 16

Real Diaper Week 2012

Have you heard about the Great Cloth Diaper Change yet?  Leading up to Earth Day (April 22nd) the Real Diaper Association (a non-profit cloth diaper advocacy group) is hosting Real Diaper Week (April 16-21st) and the 2nd Annual Great Cloth Diaper Change (April 21st).
Did you know that 90% of the diapers changed in the U.S. are into disposable diapers that sit in a landfill for over 500 years in hopes that they will one day decompose?  - Real Diaper Association
In 2011, the Great Cloth Diaper Change set a Guinness Book World Record for the most cloth diapers changed at the same time with 5,026 participants at 127 locations around the world.  For this years event we already have 292+ official events planned and we WILL break last year’s record.  With your help we can reach even more families and share the benefits of using cloth diapers.  Cloth diapers are Real Simple, Real Diapers!

The first time I read this, I had to re-read it a few times; because I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the idea that cloth diapers are REAL diapers; and we cloth diaper.  This got me thinking about how society in general views cloth diapering. And then tonight the point was hammered home when Husband remarked in front of a friend that Turkey almost threw out a used diaper, and the friend remarked "why would you now throw out a used diaper?".  So, based on those two incidences I decided to join the blog hop.  
Cloth diapering has been a learning curve to saw the least; but I learned most of what I know from my friend M who lent us her stash of CDs (cloth diapers) to get us started.  I've picked up hints at local stores that sell them and through on-line groups committed to CDing.  
It really is easy.  Yes, it seems intimidating. Yes, it seems complicated.  Yes, it seems like extra work.  But it really isn't any of these.  
Feel free to ask me about my CDing experiences.; and if we're friends in real life I am more than happy to lend you one of my diapers (I have built up a nice little stash of my own) or two to try.  

The Best Of (Part 8 of 10)

A (long) while back I set out on a mission to make a top 10 list of MY favorite baby related items.

It's been slow going to say the least.  Last time I posted to the list was item #7 and that was back in January. Yup, slow going for sure... so much for my plans to have the list done by the time he was a year old.

But then this weekend it came to #8 on the list.  And this is a good item to have on my list because it can be used for years; and really I like items that have longer life cycles (than say the bouncy seat they use for a few months).

So without further ado.... drum roll please....

#8 on my list is the Woobee Plush blanket by RoSK (Rain or Shine Kids).

Basically it's a waterproof blanket w/ a fleece lining on one side that has a ribbon on either side of it.

Simple right - you're wishing you designed this aren't you?  You're also trying to figure out how to make you're own too.  Right?  Right?


The ribbons allow you to tie the blanket to the stroller or the car-seat and you don't have to worry about it falling off.  You can also tie it to the baby carrier to provide an extra layer or warmth or rain protection when carrying your little one around.  It's great for throwing on the ground to use as a blanket when you're out and about, etc.  Really, it has more uses than you think of.

On a related note; the price of these are all over the place on-line; I bought ours off Baby Steals for 50% off.

Sunday, April 15

Naps and Nothing

Last weekend was crazy busy, and because I didn't get my "one day at home" I was fairly miserable for the week... in fact by lunch time last Saturday I was looking forward to this weekend.  Being home, being with my guys and puttering around the house.

Now that the nice weather is here and Turkey's First Holy Communion is fast approaching it seems like there are a million and two things to do at home.

Saturday we spent time cleaning the yard; getting rid of tree debris from the October snow storm, raking leaves, moving the dog to his summer home (in the winter we keep his leash off the deck for easy access; in the summer we keep his leash in the woods to provide him with lots of shade) and getting out the summer toys.  By mid afternoon Turkey was gone to the zoo with the neighbors and Husband and I worked inside the house.  All in all it was a very productive day; then around 8pm it hit me - the sneezing, the watery eyes, the itchy throat - Ah allergies I curse you!!! Early to bed... good thing as Monkey was up four or so times.

I woke up Sunday morning; hoping for a repeat of Saturday.  But then reality hit him.  Allergies suck.  As in they suck the life force out of you.

Turkey and I went to Mass, had donuts and decaf (hot chocolate for him) and I could feel my body screaming for sleep.  Thankfully when we got home Husband offered to take the baby for a walk and to get milk so I could nap.  And that's what I did.

After I got up the boys put on their swimsuits and we went to play in the yard.  Ok, they played and Husband and I relaxed and watched them.  After that lunch; and then... you guessed it another nap.  I nursed Monkey and put him down for his nap... and then next thing I know it's been an hour and a half and Husband is bringing him into the living room where I had sacked out on the couch.  By this time it was nearly time to start dinner... and so went our evening.

So that was my Sunday... so much for all the stuff I wanted; felt like I needed to get done.  In the end it was a day full of naps and nothing.  Which as my husband likes to remind me; we all need every now and then.

Dakota sunning himself.

Someone found his favorite sword.  And yes, we need to fix the fence.

Yum... shovels taste good.

Splish splash.  

Practicing his moves.

Playing with the boy next door.

Saturday, April 14

Not So Silent Saturday

This is one of my favorite pictures of the big boy.


It was taken April 3, 2005.  A little over 7 years ago now.  I took this picture to capture him just as he was at this time.  He was just starting to walk and took his blanket (coon-coon he called it) every where with him.  The picture sits in a two sided frame; with his hand print on the other side of the frame.  I bought the frame while wandering the craft store; shortly after my ex left me - better yet us.  I saw the frame kit and felt the need to put together this snapshot of who he was when his life changed forever.  


A lot has happened in the last 7 years - new home, new husband, new baby.

The room in which the above picture was taken is in the apartment I had in the house my mom and I had (she lived on the top floor, we lived on the bottom floor).  Four years after this picture was taken my youngest brother would pass away in this apartment.  I've been back in there once since then, and don't plan on every going back.

I wish I had the outfit now that he's wearing in that picture.  It's a darling outfit and would look great on the baby.

The blanket was lost on one of the first vacations we went on with Husband.  A replacement was bought on that trip, but it didn't have the same affect.  The boy still loves his blankets however.

He's seen his biological father for about 15 minutes in the last 7 years.  And he's taken lately to referring to Husband as "daddy" instead of "papa".  Although, he does still call him by his first name - but that's because their nicknames rhythm.

Friday, April 13

Project Food Budget (Week 28)

Ah, Project Food Budget and a Holiday - they meet again.  We didn't really have a budget set as we went into this holiday, not to mention the house needed a good pantry stocking.  I would estimate we spent $200 to $250 on food stuffs in the last week.  For meals we've had lots of leftovers this week, and last night we had Taco Salad (you guessed it, Turkey's pick for the week).  Tonight Husband is making Shepard's Pie and tomorrow morning I am making my home-made cinnamon rolls (because I couldn't make them on Easter because I only bought eggs to color and none to cook with.... how is that possible considering how much I spent).

Don't forget to check out these other blogs to see how they fared.



Wednesday, April 11

Chocolate Bunny

I got the 1 year old a chocolate bunny for Easter.

And, I let him eat it.

Go ahead, feel free to gasp in disbelief, shake your head and point your finger at me over the "evils of sugar" and how I am scarring him for life.  Or cheer for me, if you too are one of those mom's who's OK with your kids having candy every now and then.

Are you done?

OK, good.  I got to tell you, giving him the chocolate bunny did not at all go as I expected.  Thankfully, his head did not spin around, he did not scale walls or stay up until all hours of the evening.  Nope, this was a pretty anti-climatic event.

His Easter basket was filled with (while highly processed) organic baby treat; like Elmo graham crackers, fruit and veggie pouches and bars - and of course the chocolate bunny.

The Big Boy had gotten a much larger bunny and I had promised him on Easter Monday he could have it after dinner.  And so, his little brother joined him in eating his bunny too.

At first Monkey didn't know what to do with it.  He licked the ears, sucked on it some and slammed it on his tray.  Then Turkey showed him how to break it apart and put some pieces in his mouth.  Well that was it; now the only thing Monkey wanted to do was break apart the bunny and through around the pieces.

In the end, I think he ingests more sugar from a donut hole (glazed thank you) before Mass than from this treat.  

Tuesday, April 10

Cutting the Cord

Over the years we've had just about every "cable" TV option out there.  We've had no cable, done Netflix only, done basic cable, had satellite TV service, Hulu only... you get it.

Recently we had cable, bundled with our phone and internet.  We didn't have basic cable, but we didn't have HBO, Showtime, etc; so you get the idea.

Then for too many reasons to go into here we decided it was time to "cut the cord" with the cable company.  We signed back up for Netflix and Husband put in the call to cancel our cable services.

But it wasn't that easy.  Getting rid of cable would increase our "bundle package".  Some how it is less expensive to get three services from the cable provider than just two services.

So we started looking into finding a new phone and high speed internet service.

Finding home phone service was easy.  (And yes we need one, cell service is spotty out here; or non-existant depending on your cell carrier.)

High-speed internet was much harder.  Our choice was our current provider or... nothing.  OK, we could have looked into satellite internet services; but we weren't willing to go that far for high speed internet.

So Husband called the provider again, and after nearly an hour, finally got us a "package" we could live with.  We had to down-grade (or was it an upgrade since we were looking to get rid of it entirely) to basic cable and opt to not rent digital cable boxes from them (they wanted $15 a month for the privileged to charge us for something we don't need).

So now instead of having 800 channels of nothing to watch we have 22 channels of nothing to watch; not to mention the local cable access channel which displays the current temperature 24 hours a day.  Ah... my life is complete - I can now turn on the TV and see what the temperature outside is.

Sunday, April 8

Happy Easter


The note Turkey wrote to the Easter Bunny reads:

Dear Easter Bunny.  I hope you enjoy my yummy snack and look at all my eggs.  No I have not forgotten about Jesus.





Happy Easter
from Our Family

Saturday, April 7

Friday, April 6

Breastfeeding: The New Weight Loss Diet

I've been following this blog hop for a few weeks over on Working Mama's blog and I thought I would jump in this week.  This week's topic is exercising while breastfeeding.  

With Turkey I attended a pregnancy work-out class; which was basically a bunch of preggo ladies dancing around and going for long walks.  I formed some friendships in that class and after our babies came we would meet at the mall and walk, walk and walk some more.  That's the thing about having winter babies; there aren't too many outside exercise options.  I eventually lost the weight from that pregnancy; but I had to work at it over the years.  Did breastfeeding help?  Some, but remember he was supplemented in the very early weeks because of his jaundice and was weaned around 9 months.

With Monkey I had "no time" (the good old "good mother adage") to exercise while expecting; but I was very trim to start with as he is a honeymoon baby and I was at my smallest in years for our wedding.  I had been calories counting and exercising regularly at that point.  OK, ok; I guess I can't say I didn't exercise when I was preggo with him; I did yoga before bed.  Monkey was another winter baby, being born 7 years and 15 days after Turkey, so the getting options were limited.  I did make a concession decision to watch what I ate; but more in terms of "how good for me is this" than anything else.  I certainly upped my calorie intake as well; as I learned around the 6 months mark that restricting calories would have a negative effect on my supply.  As you may not be aware, new breastfeeding mothers need upwards of an additional 500 calories a day (this amount lowers the further into your nursing career you get).  We did join the Y, but mostly for program discounts for the boys.  And despite all this, or lack thereof, the weight did fall off.  I was able to fit into my looser pre-baby jeans by 4 months postpartum and here I am a year plus after having Monkey and I can fit into some of my smaller tighter jeans.

I am pretty sure that without breastfeeding this would have been a lot harder to do; especially considering my lack of a solid exercise program.

** On a side note; I am just now fitting into my pre-baby shirts (that aren't t-shirts) as the Boobie Fairy was very generous to me.






Thursday, April 5

Project Food Budget (Week 27)


Goal: $50
Actual: $48.40

We did pretty darn good this week.  Stopping at two stores and being able to use up a lot of stuff we needed to use before it went bad (3 dozen eggs to start with - yes we've had a lot of eggs this week).

Menu:
Monday: egg salad sandwiches and sides
Tuesday: pasta with meat sauce and salad
Wednesday: mac and cheese and apple sauce (meager meal for the week)
Thursday: fajitas
Friday: going out
Saturday: eating at Nana's
Sunday: Easter dinner at my mom's (we're bringing the food and cooking there; but this is part of next week's budget).

Don't forget to check out these other blogs and see how they are doing - there is a wide range of people participating from various countries and all walks of life; interesting reading for sure.

Tuesday, April 3

Oh Nurse!

Me (looking at note from nurse's office): I see you went to see the nurse at school again today.

Him: Oh yeah, my leg hurt so bad. Grabs knee and falls to the floor in an over-dramatic rendition of his problem.  


Me (shaking head):  Are you sure your knee hurt?  It says here you went to the nurse because your left leg was really itchy.

Him: I got confused, first my leg hurt because it was so itchy.

Me:  I see.

Additional comments on slip from nurse:  Temp: 98.7, Pupils fine, Ice on leg and saltines.

_______________________________________

Last week he went to the nurses off because he got hit in the chin with a super-ball at recess and she sent home her standard note along with what to watch for in case of a concussion.  Really??!!  A concussion from a super-ball to the chin.

Turkey likes going to see the nurse at school.  He usually goes once or twice a week.  He has pretty much since he started school.  I asked about his frequent trips to the nurses office last spring and I was told he wasn't on her "watch list" of students that visit too frequently.  

I used to think it was because he was trying to get out of doing certain subjects in school.  But he doesn't seem to have a favorite time slot or day for going to see her.  He'll even go see her during lunch or recess.

We've asked him time and time again if he has a crush on the nurse.  He keeps denying it.

However the more I think about it, and the more I watch him I think he goes to the nurse because he is a drama-king and he loves attention.  And I guess there is no harm him this, until he gets to be on her "watch list".  

Monday, April 2

Want To Do

I am reading "Breaking the Good Mom Myth" (again, and a long over due again I might add) by Alyson Schafer; and the first chapter is dedicated to breaking the myth that good moms put their child in front of everything else; including caring for there own self.  The premise is that when mom is happy, healthy, and well rounded she is better able to care for her family and they in turn will be happier, healthier, and more well rounded.

This got me thinking about things I want to do; things I've long wanted to do FOR ME.  Yet, I've always had an excuse why to NOT do these things - so I'm going to take some time to review that list.

~ Run.  I've wanted to be a runner for a while.  I love the idea of running (or jogging or just plain walking) in the early morning hours, while the world is still quiet and the light is just right.  Will I make a good runner, will I be able to do it?  I have no idea because I've never tried.  I've always had one excuse after another - I need my sleep, the baby needs to nurse, etc, etc.

~ Wear cute shoes.  I own 6 pairs of shoes: flip-flops, black flats, black slip-ons (my mom calls these my ugly shoes), brown practical shoes, sneakers, and silver strappy heels.  Wow, that sounds like a lot when I write it out; but I am guessing my shoe collection is far smaller than most women's my age.  I would really like some cute, hip, fun shoes.  Why don't I buy them?  Because I am constantly putting my kids first.  I will buy them things they do not need (or want) before I buy things for myself; including things I need.  I am falling into the mom-martyrdom here.  Big. Time.

~ Wear make-up.  I wear none.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  For years I made this one of my New Year's resolutions.  The longest this ever lasted; about 6 weeks.  This year I didn't even attempt it.  I claim I have "no time" and that I am "too busy".  After all a "good mother" has time for her kids and not herself, right?  I think wearing make-up will help me feel better about my looks.  I can face the facts that my skin is starting to show my age with fine lines appearing and a very uneven skin tone.  For this I think I need to start small.  But I will admit I am clueless in this area.

OK, so there you have it.  Three things I want to do, but don't do because I put my kids first.  Do I think my own personal image or health has suffered because I am neglecting myself?  Yes.  Do I think taking care of me will make my kids happier, health and more well rounded?  Ehn, this I am not sure on.  But what do I have to loose?

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