Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Baby Bath Time

When Chloe was really small, I used to just take a bath with her. I would put a hand towel on my legs and lay her on that, and I didn't have to worry about slippery baby syndrome. The bigger she got, the more difficult this became and eventually I had to come up with a new plan. Once she was able to sit up on her own, I discovered something that really works for me! I use a dish pan. I still do it in the bath tub, so splashing and just general bathing doesn't create a big soggy mess. I have found this to be really fast and easy for multiple reasons.

1. It's fast because I don't have to fill an entire bathtub.
2. It's easier to get it the right temperature. If it's too cold, I empty some water and add more warm water. Too hot? Empty some and add cool water.
3. She can't go anywhere, and there's really not even room for her to fall over. 

A couple other things I find helpful...

I put her towel on the bouncy seat in the bathroom. When she's done in the bath, I just take her out, set her on the towel in the seat, then wrap her up and go. It's so much easier than trying to juggle her and the towel. I don't have to worry about dropping her, (man wet babies are slippery!) and I don't have to worry about her getting cold while I'm juggling.

I wash her with my hands and I use a normal full size wash cloth to wet and rinse her. It works especially well on her hair. She doesn't have much hair yet, so this could be why it works well. She happily puts her head back when asked to, I put one hand under her chin and help her tip her head back and with the other hand I dip the wash cloth in the water and then ring it out in such a way that the water goes down the back of her head and not in her face. Since it's less water than if I used a cup, if any does go in her face, it's not much and she doesn't seem to mind.

This system has really worked for me! For more great tips, visit Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Random - ola!

A few people have tagged me for the 25 Random Things About Me, so here we go!

1. I was voted most likely to be late to my own funeral, in high school. A proud, proud moment... Ahem.

2. I'm a blogoholic. I read 'em, I write 'em. It's bad.

3. I have been married for 9 and a half years.

4. I'm allergic to chocolate and a host of other delicious foods.

5. I have a book inside me that's dying to get out.

6. I used to be a wedding singer. Okay, not really - but I've sang at four weddings. No funerals. Though I have been asked.

7. I love to bake, but I hate the mess.

8. I had my daughter at home. I loved it.

9. I LOVE the change of the seasons. I even love winter, though I'm always ready to see it go.

10. My favorite color is green.

11. I love Fraggle Rock and can't wait until Chloe is old enough to appreciate it. We will dance our cares away.

12. I was an only child for 10 years, at which point my brother was born, effectively yanking the rug out from under me. 6 years later, my sister was born.

13. I lose things all the time and it drives me mad.

14. If money were no object, I would spend obscene amounts of money on photography. Obscene.

15. Starting today, I will not own my own car. Heaven help me.

16. I got a magnolia tree for my birthday and I can't wait to see it bloom this spring.

17. Green frogs and Blue Spotted Salamanders are some of my favorite creatures.

18. We have a dishwasher, but we don't use it. We do all of our dishes by hand. I say we, because Frank does as many dishes as I do, if not more.

19. I would like to go back to school and get a masters in Counseling. I will have to ride my bike.

20. My table is usually a cluttery mess. I hate it.

21. I live in the middle of nowhere.

22. The mascot for my high school is a railroader. Isn't that ridiculous? The answer is yes, yes it is.

23. I'm really enjoying facebook, though I refer to it as stalk book... It is nice seeing what friends from my past lives are up to.

24. We live on a horse farm. We don't have horses, but we do bail hay. hmmm... Actually, we don't. Frank does. Any body need some?

25. If I was only responsible for nourishing myself, I'd eat pizza three times a week.

You wanted random. That's what you got! If you are reading this, I tag you! Leave a comment to tell me where I can view it! Thanks Rachael, Lindsay and Rina for the inspiration!!

Friday, January 23, 2009


You were warned...

I love Sesame Street. Frank and I have noticed that they use a lot of the same footage for different shows. I'm okay with it. Kinda going green, if you will....

I miss my husband. He hasn't even left for his trip yet. I was sick for 3 days and hardly saw him, except to have him fetch me water and Advil and chicken broth. Now he's sick. He leaves for a business trip tomorrow, God willing, and I will really miss him by next Thursday. I think we'll be splurging for a date night. Ugh. I don't know if I'll be able to bring myself to eat out, though. I'm fairly certain it wasn't food poisoning, obviously - now that Frank's sick, but still. My germophobia is reaching new heights. I may invest in a haz mat suit. Seriously.

Kiley, my dog, got into something. She didn't eat something, though that's usually her issue, but she has a black stain on her head. I think it might be permanent. At the rate they gets baths these days, I'm guessing permanent it is.

Chloe threw up in the night, (yes - I think she has a touch of the flu, too, though she really doesn't seem to care.) and didn't even wake up. It was crusted in her hair this morning. I'm disgusted and a little horrified that I'm a terrible mom. Only a little though, because I know I'm an awesome mom. It's such a struggle. I don't keep the monitor volume up real loud, because otherwise, every time the heat kicks on or she rolls over it wakes me up. I keep it loud enough that if she cries or even whimpers, I hear it. Not sure what the answer is.... If I don't get sleep my awesomeness declines at an alarming rate...

I need to catch up on laundry. I guess I need to catch up on a lot of things.

I think I'll go now and do that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cleaning A Scary Microwave....

I always dreaded cleaning out the microwave. You'd think it would be enough to motivate me to cover that plate! Apparently not.

So when you or your darlings can't be bothered to prevent the mess? Try this to clean it up...

Squeeze the juice of a lemon into a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for 1 minute. Then easily wipe out whatever may have been crusted on. Works for me!

For more helpful tips visit Rocks In My Dryer

Light at the end of the tunnel?

To say I've been under the weather would be putting it mildly.  Three very unpleasant days, and hopefully the end is in sight.

I don't normally get the flu.  I was in and out of schools for about 5 years and never had an episode.  I'm still not convinced that it wasn't food poisoning.  Who knows?  

I'm not sure how I've managed to sustain life on the little food I've consumed in the last three days.  I've had 3 Popsicles, 2 jello cups, 8 crackers, 3 pieces of toast, 6 bites of noodles, and probably less than a cup of broth.  

Oh - wait... And a huge bowl of Raisin Nut Bran this morning.  Big mistake.  Not sure what I was thinking on that one.  Ugh.  Poor little intestines.  Sorry about that.  

I think I might be feeling better, finally.  I've been out of bed more than in today, so that's a bonus.  I'm praying I'm good as new tomorrow... Friday I begin my 6 day impression of a single mom.  Lord, give me strength.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Meal Planning

I'm a procrastinator.  I'm not even gonna lie.  If it can be put off, it will be.  I have the best of intentions, but really, don't we all?

Dinner is no different.  I love to cook, or maybe I should say I used to love to cook.  Back when there was more money than I knew what to do with, and more time than I could shake a stick at. 

When something goes from a hobby to a chore, well that's the beginning of a downward spiral... 

Nowadays, making dinner is part of the job description, so somehow - it's just not as fun. Especially when Professional Penny Pincher is at the beginning of the job title...

With the budget I'm working with, Giada and Rachael's recipes are a little out of reach.  It's the old stand by types that I have to rely on these days.  Things like chili, spaghetti, rice dishes, soups, lots of chicken and ground beef.  I have my freezer and pantry nicely stocked, and honestly the possibilities are endless!  All I have to do is decide, plan and follow through.  

(If I had the capability to provide you with sound effects, at the moment you heard that last sentence, you would hear that zzzzzzzip, sound of a record player being stopped suddenly...)

Decide?  Plan?  Follow through?  Dun dun dun....

Commence procrastination...

In my bloggy travels, I've come across a lot of great ideas. Using the crockpot, freezing meals, assembling meals early in the day and popping it in the oven at dinner time, and most importantly... Meal Planning.

I had an aha! moment last week, and if I can find some follow through - our lives just might be forever changed.

It occurred to me that I could treat meal planning like lesson planning.  For those of you that don't know - I use to be a teacher, in a former life, so this rings a bell that hasn't been rung in a while.  I came this close (thumb and pointer half an inch a part) to buying an actual lesson planning book.  Once I got a hold of myself, I opted to go with the standard notebook.

I began by making a list of all of the meals that I cook.  I went through my recipe book, which was very helpful in jogging my mommyfied memory.  I separated out all of the recipes that I will be using on a regular basis, and put them in a recipe box, so there will be no goose chasing later.

I chose the recipes I'd like to have in the next few weeks, keeping in mind things in the pantry, and making note of the items I'll be needing on my next grocery outing.

I started trying to fill in my days, and I was immediately overwhelmed.   I remember it well.  Knowing I had so much I was responsible for teaching those bratty kids, and knowing I wanted to do a really good job and feeling so overwhelmed.  Oftentimes, I'd hang it up before I even got going.  The good news is, now,  my only critic doesn't care what he eats for dinner.  As long as it ain't beets.  And the State of Michigan and the President of the US of A, couldn't care less about my content.  That's a welcome change.

I love the flexibility that comes with my new game plan.  If things change on a particular day, I can switch things up.  Say I have an unexpected visitor, and opt to not slave in the kitchen when they're here.  I can swap Tuesday's chicken parm, for Wednesday's freezer cabbage soup.  No big deal.

My new plan will help me cut my big grocery shopping back to monthly instead of weekly.  This will save money, since there will be less opportunity for the impulse buys.  Of course, I may need a few fresh fruits, vegetables, milk or eggs, but for the most part, it will be one big shopping trip.

If things go as planned, I'll be... 

*stocking the freezer as I go and will eventually only have to cook a couple times a week.
*saving money, hopefully allowing for funds to re- implement date night.  Soon!
* resting at 4, instead of racking my brain over what I'll be making for dinner and how I'll pull it off with frozen meats and no motivation in an hour.
*a month ahead in my planning.  Something I would have KILLED for when I was teaching
*patting myself on the back.

I'll keep you posted.  I'm sure I'll come up with more ideas as I move forward...

Wish me luck!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Count down to car-less...

In a couple of weeks, we'll go down to one car. I'm a little scared. Something about freedom and independence... Feeling a little Amish... Horse and Buggy anyone? It'll be an adjustment.

I'm sure plenty of people think we're nuts, but honestly - I think it's nuts to pay hundreds of dollars for a car to sit in the driveway. I seriously hardly ever go anywhere.

I'm sure there will be many more must share moments related to this topic. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I love Jack Bauer!!!!

But only as a friend.

OhMiGOSH!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so glad I opted to watch 24! I swear I'm giving it up every year, but I can never follow through. I've been Jonesing for some Jack! It's been way too long...

The wait is over!!!!

Jack is back!

I can't wait for tomorrow night!!

And as an unrelated side note...

To do list - look out cause I'ma be on you like stink on a monkey. You and me tomorrow. It's on.


Ugh. I feel like I have a newborn again.

I think I accidentally resurrected the dream feed...

When Chloe was waking up because she was sick, I was feeding her around 11, so she would go back to sleep. While at the time it seemed like a good idea, now I'm not so sure... Last night, she got up at 1. The good news is, I was already awake. I woke up at 11 (I had gone to bed at 9, since I suspected she would be getting me up...) Unfortunately, when I woke up I had a full on migraine. I took some Advil, which usually works for me. This might cause some to say, if Advil works, then it isn't a migraine. To which I would say - call it what you want, but when I can't move my neck with out feeling like I might hurl? That's what I call a migraine. Anywho... I was up from 11 until 1. I couldn't get comfy and the Advil wasn't kicking in very quick... I had to get ice and ice my neck. That seemed to help. Then it smelled like smoke in my room. Bad. We have a wood burning stove and I was convinced if I didn't die from an aneurysm, that I would surely perish from carbon monoxide poisoning. I woke hubby up. I don't smell anything, he says. What I heard was - See you in Heaven. ugh. I was concerned Chloe might be getting smoked out, too. But I didn't dare go in there, for fear of waking her up. No worries. Within 15 minutes she was up for her midnight snack. Ugh. I think it was around 2 when I got back to sleep. Then Kiley, my crazy dog, woke me up at 6:30. As soon as I got her to hush, Chloe woke up again.

Seriously, like a newborn.

Wow what a riveting post - I bet you wish you could have those 5 minutes of your life back. ;)

You were warned...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Boom Boom Boom

That's what you would hear if you were inside my head.

Wah Wah Wah

That's what you would have heard if you were at my house today.

Looking forward to a do-over tomorrow. Thankful that my tag team partner will be here with me. Really thankful that God's mercies are new every morning. PRAYING morning doesn't start until 7.

Monday, January 5, 2009

My New Year's Resolution...

has been the same for the last several years. I have resolved to not have a New Year's Resolution. I have been wildly successful!

Honestly, for me, I think it's kind of silly to wait until January 1st to get serious about your goals, if you have them. I have resolved to read the Bible from cover to cover on more than one occasion, usually on January 1st. I've still never done it. Last year, actually just a couple of months ago, I decided to start keeping track of the books of the Bible that I do read. I write the year in small print, next to the title of the book. At all times, I'm reading through Proverbs, and at least one other book. Right now, it's II Samuel. I love King David. I figure if a guy like that can be a 'man after God's own heart', than there is surely hope for me. :) So, this year - I look forward to reading more of God's Word than I did last year.

I also look forward to being more organized and intentional about meal planning. My days are so full of caring for Chloe and attempting to keep our house in order, that many times - 4 o'clock gets here before I've even had a chance to think about what's for dinner. I usually come up with something to whip together, and sometimes it even tastes good... ;) My hope is that I can start stocking the freezer with delicious things that can be popped into the crock pot or oven and be ready with little or no prep work. Today, I made an enormous pot of chili and will be freezing it in meal sized zip lock bags. We love chili, and eat it often in the winter time. So, if my plan works, I will only have to actually cook chili once or twice a year, but we can still have it every few weeks.

If you have an easy and affordable recipe that freezes well, please pass it on. I hope to do large batches once or twice a week, and eventually, those will be the only times I have to cook. Don't get me wrong, I love to cook. I love to make new things, experiment and make us delicious meals. But time, money and motivation are not plentiful these days... If my freezer is full, that doesn't mean I can't cook something new or fresh, it just means I don't have to. I like that idea. I find even when I love to do something, if I have to - it takes all the fun out of it!

I stand by not having a resolution. After all, that's one of the only things I consistenly follow through on. However, I look forward to more of Jesus and more organization with our meals.

Happy New Year!