Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekly Grocery Trip 3/27/2010

Go ahead and call me crazy. I agree, it was a crazy thing to do. I was pretty tired, but the deals were too good to pass up, and several of them were on things that I've been waiting to go on sale so I could replenish my supplies. The sale that Kroger was running was already on it's second week and I didn't want to risk missing out if it didn't go for a third week.

Daniel (and Susannah - we have to teach her young!!) went with me, and we each pushed a grocery cart - Daniel with Susannah in her carseat, and I had the cart with the groceries. It was the first time I'd gone coupon-grocery shopping on a Saturday, and late in the evening at that. I was surprised that we were able to get everything we went for - everything was pretty well stocked. I was a little worried that some of the stuff would've been cleared off the shelves, but it wasn't too bad!

We did combine all the non-grocery and grocery stuff together in the transaction to get the 8-item sale prices, so it's all in the picture together. We had about 2 weeks worth of grocery money to spend on grocery-stuff, and while I haven't checked the receipt with a fine-tooth comb, I'm confident that we remained under budget for groceries.

(2) Lysol Pourable All-Purpose - $.99 ea.
(2) Lysol Toilet Cleaner - $.99 ea.
(1) Dial Foaming Hand-soap - $.30
(1) Satin Care Shave Gel - $1.45
(2) 32-load Tide - $4.88 ea.
(6) Gillette Fusion Shave Gel - $1.50 ea.
(6) Gillette Body Wash - FREE (WYB Shave Gel)
(1) Trash Bags - $2.19

(4) Betty Crocker Brownie Mix - $1.44 ea.
(1) Betty Crocker Warm Delights - FREE
(1) Bread Flour - $1.77
(2) Oscar Mayer Lunchables - FREE
(2) Kraft American Cheese - $.99 ea.
(1) Cara-Cara Orange - $1.00 (never tried this kind before??)
(1) Pear - $.58
(2) Kroger Orange Juice - $2.50 ea.
(10) Sargento Shredded Cheese - $.59 ea.
(1) All Purpose Flour - $1.59
(2) Apples - $1.65
(1) Chocolate Chex Mix - FREE
(1) Powerade - $.49
(1) Romaine Hearts - $1.49 (Markdown)
(1) Wesson Oil - $1.99
(7) Buddig Lunchmeat - $1.50 ea.
(16) Del Monte Stewed Tomatoes - $.24 ea.
(7) Tuna - FREE
(1) 18ct. Eggs - $2.37

For everything (82 items) :
Shelf Price - $249.16
Total OOP - $76.32
Saved - $172.84 / 69%

I used 49 coupons :) The cashier was a young dude who liked to talk and he joked that scanning so many coupons was making his elbow and wrist hurt :P He was pretty impressed with how much I saved, though. I was, too!! I knew it was going to be some huge savings, but I always get anxious when I see the really high total before the discounts and coupons come off. I think I was grinning all the way home :P

Daniel was great and offered to unload, stage and photograph the loot for me since I needed to feed Susannah when we got home. He even put away the groceries after he was finished with that! He's such a great guy :) Grocery shopping isn't really his cup-o-tea, but even he gets impressed - and I think has fun - when we make off like bandits :P

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy for Spring

The weather has just been wonderful the past several days. Warm and springy. Perfect weather to be outside - hanging laundry, playing in the garden, walking, or whatever. Come to think of it, I haven't stepped foot outside since... last Wednesday. I like to think about the things I could be doing if I wasn't spending so much time behind closed eye-lids :)

We have opened the windows a couple days, and the fresh air and the sounds are really nice to smell and hear. This morning it POURED, and I mean POURED, rain for a while. I wondered if we needed to start teaching Susannah how to swim. But then the sky cleared up and the sun came out and it's been a beautiful day since!

The reports are that the peas are not up yet. I think Mom was the last one to the garden, on Saturday when she was here for a short visit. I'm eager to have them come up. I thought they were 90 days to maturity, but they are 63 days... hmm, that means I'll be picking peas when Susannah is 2 months old - I hope we have our routines down pat and are all sleeping through the nights by then. Picking peas can be interesting, not to mention time consuming when you're the lone pea-sheller.

Well, I need to figure out what I'm gonna do next - I need to either wake and feed Susannah or take a nap until time for her to eat. I need to go study the clock and think about it. My brain wave-length is about 1-inch long lately and my short-term memory is nowhere to be found. I've heard that it comes back eventually :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cleaning and Scrubbing

...are waiting till another day. Several people have said in their comments to make sure and sleep when Susannah sleeps and to take care of myself :)


No worries, though, I'm sleeping between most feedings. Yes, it does feel like the only thing I do is feed Susannah and go to the bathroom, but that's about all I do (besides eating and drinking), and right now that's all I care about! (and sleep - I do care about that!)

Daniel took off from last Thursday (when she was born) through this week. He has been really helpful with the little bit of housework that does have to be done, and he's fixed almost all the meals and makes sure I eat and drink enough, etc. He's wonderful, plain and simple. He goes back to work Monday and I'm not ready for that yet, but we have the weekend yet so hopefully some things will get better.

For starters this evening we're making some adjustments to the feeding routine that are appropriate now that she's 1 week old, and hopefully both of us (Susannah and me) will get a little more sleep and feel a little more awake when we are awake. The taught thing up till now has been keeping her awake to eat. She doesn't wake up to eat so we have to wake her up and then keep her awake as she would rather sleep than eat... and that results in a baby that is too hungry to be patient and eat... and that is not a good thing, for my emotions or hers!! Many people have said "she'll eat when she's ready" but she doesn't realize when "she's ready."

And on that note... it is time for another feeding so I must get going. Oh, what I really got on here to say was that I have NO desire to clean at all, so don't worry that I'm running on power surges around here! LOL!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

7 Days Old (and more pictures :) )

Here we are, already 1 week old!! We're all doing great :) Here's some more pictures from hospital - day 7. Yesterday I mentioned that I wished I could do like God did, and rest on day 7 :P I know it seems like it's going to be "forever" till I can sleep again, but at the same time this one week has flown past so fast it probably won't seem that long when the time finally comes!!

She's so pretty!!!! I think this is my favorite picture from our hospital stay.
Yesterday I was regretting not getting her "newborn" pictures done at the hospital,
but quite frankly the morning I would have needed to call the photographer
I had every Dr. and nurse stopping by to do some thing or another and the
time got away from me, plus I was so tired I didn't have the mental
gumph to do anything extra.
I found this picture last night and think it will work perfectly without
spending any money!!
Enjoying my pretty girl :) And wearing the shirt I made at MOPS
to wear at the hospital.

Getting ready to go home. Yay!
The nurse gave us an A+ for getting her in the carseat correctly.
We didn't think it was rocket science, but then again I grew up
with lots of babies in carseats!!!

Susannah's teeny foot in Auntie Juls' hand.
Susannah's cousin, Bobby, came to visit with Auntie Juls and Uncle Linden.
He totally loved looking her over and enjoying her :)
Uncle Linden, Auntie Juls & Bobby.
Bobby was spending the weekend with them while my sister
and her husband were working at the Maple Festival.

Monday, March 15 - ready to go to weight check #1.
She weighed in at 6lbs. 13oz.
Finally happy again after her very first bath :)
She is SO CUTE!!!!!!!
Daniel enjoying his daughter. I love watching them together.
All 3 of us had baths that evening :)
7 days old already!!
Headed to weight-check #2 - March 17.
Weighed in at 7lbs. 4oz. Yay!! The Dr. was very happy with her and
we don't have to go back until her 2 week checkup.
Her jaundice is almost completely gone, too.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

First Night Survived :)

It is almost time to nurse Susannah again, but I wanted to post a couple more pictures :)

This is while we were still in the delivery room.Susannah made her Mama and Daddy very proud of her! She had an APGAR score of 9 at both 1 minute and 5 minutes!! Not only did her weight surprise me a bit (I figured first baby... he/she would be on the smaller side), but I knew 9 is pretty high for the APGAR score and was tickled pink when they said she scored a 9!!

Ack! I just realized after I posted this that I had yet to post her "stats!"

Susannah Faith was born 3/11/10 at 4:34pm. She weighed 7lbs. 6oz. and is 20.5" long. I'll probably share more later, but the quick version is that I was in labor for 8 hours start-finish, and pushed for 30 minutes. My doctor, nurse, and Daniel were awesome in getting me through the whole ordeal. I did not go "au naturale" and did get an epidural around noon-time. I can't imagine doing it without one. But all that's another story for another time. Now back to the original program... :)

This is about 24hrs. old. She was SO wide awake that afternoon, having just eaten everything there could have possibly been to eat.
We are home now, we got home about 1:15 yesterday afternoon. Our first night was interesting, but we survived. Daniel is wonderful. He's being my "clear-thinker," making sure I'm drinking enough, and this morning he fed me my breakfast while I was nursing Susannah. Last night he was a trooper and got up with me for each feeding. It's really hard for Daniel to wake up in the middle of the night (I think that's all changing :) ) but he did it and I was so grateful. Susannah naturally wants to sleep quite a bit, and so of course keeping her awake to nurse is a challenge. Both of us work together, keeping each other awake so we can both work at keeping her alert enough to nurse.

Daniel just reminded me that we changed the clocks and the 2 o-clock feeding is now at 3, so I have a little more time than thought. I think I'm gonna take a snooze.

Friday, March 12, 2010

She's Here!!

Susannah Faith was born Thursday afternoon :)

We are SO in love with her and happy to finally meet her! I will be taking a blogging hiatus for sure, but I hope to be around some here and there :) I'll write more later but for now I have a precious little bundle to get to know!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Anonymous Commenters

I know many of you that comment anonymously, either because you leave your name or you're my sister and I can figure it out from what you say. And many of you I don't know who you are (though I would like to!).

The last couple posts I've written I've gotten a comment from "Anonymous" that is just a strange comment. 3 words, that's it. And nothing in the comment is specific to the post content.

So far I've deleted them because they look fishy to me and I suspect they are spam. On the chance that one of my not-so-blog-comment-savvy relatives is the one leaving the comments, please let me know by leaving your name!

And if you're spam, well I will just keep hitting the reject button.

Just Keeping Busy

Each day that goes by I know I have one less day to "do stuff" before the baby comes. I just keep piddling around getting a little more cleaning done each day. My house is not spotless yet. Far from it. The week or two where I couldn't do much left it's mark, then when I was able to move freely again I focused on getting the nursery set up. Now I'm getting around to the other parts of the house.

Today I did one more "this might be the last time in a while" cleaning of the kitchen. I haven't gotten to the floor yet but I hope to run over all the floors with the vacuum yet this evening. They haven't seen that machine in, well, too long.

I also did major laundry today. My clothes plus ALL the bed-clothes. The whole rigmarole. Sheets, mattress pad, blanket and bedspread. The bedspread gave up the ghost in the washing machine. It's been dying a little bit each time I wash it and today was it's final hoo-rah. The outsides are worn out and starting to tear at the seams, and this time when I washed it the stuffing/filling went all to pieces and is now in big wads throughout the inside. My mother-in-law has given us blankets/bedspreads through the 6 years we've been married and since we didn't need them we put them in the closet. I guess we'll break one out now!

My other accomplishment so far today has been to rediscover the dining room table. It had grown into an indistinguishable mound of stuff that just kept getting shoved around when we would sit down to eat. I can see the surface now. There's still some organized piles I need to deal with but that shouldn't take too long.

And I'd best get the table done so I can get the laundry dealt with and the few other things I need to finish before my energy level crashes for the day.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Weeky Grocery Trip 3-9-10

I managed to get another shopping trip in before the baby's arrival :) And I was happy to make it through the store without my water breaking :P Here's what I got:

2 gal. Orange Juice - $2.99/ea.
(3) Buddig Lunch Meats - $1.50/ea.
Chex Mix - FREE
Betty Crock Warm Delights Minis - FREE
Fiber One Yogurt 4pk - FREE
18 Eggs - $1.99
2.62lb. Roast - $6.52 ($2.49/lb.)
Apples - $.90
Bananas - $.71 (I got 3 and ate one before I took the picture :P )
Shelf Price - $47.53
Total OOP - $21.08
Saved - $26.45 / 56%

I was so tickled that the Orange Juice was still on sale. Not the lowest price, but at this price it's cheaper to buy 1 gallon than to buy 2 cans of concentrate that don't make a whole gallon combined. And we both really like Kroger's Homestyle Orange Juice, so it's always nice when it's cheap :)

I wouldn't have been able to save so much (or get so much) if it hadn't been for the FREE stuff. Those items bumped up my savings and the Chex Mix and cake bowls will be fun treats. The yogurt I'll enjoy plain (it's strawberry) or use it in smoothies - Yummy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook 3-8-2010

For today, Monday, March 8, 2010

I haven't done one of these in a long time and thought today would be a good time to pull out an "old faithful."

I am thinking... The end of this pregnancy is certainly being a lesson in patience and waiting on the LORD. I'm struggling with juggling wanting what I want and what His will is. Wouldn't it be easier to just "let go and let God?" You bet, but my human nature wants what I want, too!

I am thankful for... All the friends who have "been there, done that" and are encouraging me. For Daniel and his willingness to listen and make sure I know I'm loved even when I'm sure I make no sense to him sometimes :P I'm also thankful that (even though it wouldn't have been a huge deal) Baby George didn't come on our anniversary. We want to keep that day special for us, and for George's birthday to be a special day just for him/her.

From my kitchen... Last evening while I fixed supper Daniel unloaded the dishwasher, and then after supper I reloaded it. A couple things need handwashed but for the most part it's relatively clean. I might make bread today.

I am going to... Take a walk here soon. I may do another "this might be the last" grocery run. I didn't go to MOPS this morning. Daniel didn't have to leave right away and we slept in.

I am reading... Nothing right now.

I am hoping... That we might still have a chance at getting peas planted this year. The weather seems to have finally stabilized enough that I don't feel like we're getting anymore really cold stuff.

I am creating... I started making some cash envelopes earlier this year, but I only made 2 since I wasn't sure what all categories we were going to regularly use cash for. Now that we're getting used to our cash only system, I have a better idea and need to finish it. Bank envelopes just aren't as glamorous ;)

I am hearing... The clock tick-tocking. Last night when we got home from church the frogs were singing! Such a beautiful sound! And yesterday morning before we got up we heard "my birdy" outside, somewhere, tweeting! It's a specific bird that often sits on top of the chimney and sings it's song in the spring and summer. I love it!! And since it perches on the chimney, the sound comes right down into the house so you'd think the bird was IN the house! I can't wait for it to start it's regular routine :)

Around the house... Pretty much same old, same old. I do have a bag of clothes that I need to take to Goodwill so it's out of the way.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bullet Points (Random Blog Post)

~ I think the nursery is about as done-done as it will get before the baby comes. I still need to vacuum the floor, but the baby's not going to be on the floor right away anyway.

~ I don't have my bag packed yet. I have a lot of the odds and ends stuff (camera, charger, etc.) gathered together in a (gift) bag, and have a detailed list written out of everything that does need to go.

~ I think I will become a cheese snob when we are living like no one else. Kroger brand cheese just isn't as good as Kraft. And our stockpile of Kraft American Cheese was depleted last week :(

~ I think I'll also become and Orange Juice snob and buy really yummy Orange Juice. With lots of pulp.

~ I really want to get in the garden and plant peas. If Daniel wasn't working today I think I would beg and plead for him to till up at least enough of it for the pea rows.

~ If I wasn't waiting on the edge of my seat for the baby to be born, I'd go out there and till it myself. On the other hand, that might get labor started...

~ I've been sleeping really good the last couple nights. Yay!

~ I have a little nail-polish left on my big toes. The rest of them have all worn off and I haven't repainted. I don't think that'll happen anytime soon.

~ I've been enjoying taking walks again. It's so nice to get some exercise and fresh air!!

~ I absolutely love the two ladies at our church who have adopted me. I have the best "Mom" and "Grandma" ever! And the fun thing is that they can't wait to meet their grandbaby/great-grandbaby! They are praying for us and that means a lot to me.

~ Daniel's work has been really slow this week. He's working all day today, though, at his company's booth at the local Home & Garden Show. It kinda stinks, though, because...

~ 6 years ago today was the best day in my entire life :)

Happy Anniversary, My Daniel!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chicken Alfredo (with very little cheese)

I have been so not in the cooking mood this week, and it's been hard to come up with ideas for suppers. I think partly because I'm afraid to get something started and then have to leave it to go to the hospital. Last night was no exception. I knew we had more chicken than beef, so I pulled out two chicken breasts... with no idea what to do with them.

Daniel and I tossed around ideas. He wanted fajitas but we don't have tortillas or much of the other stuff. I suggested stir-fry but he didn't want Chinese. We settled half-way between Mexico and China - Italy :) Problem was, we only had a smidgen of both kinds of Parmesan Cheese. I decided to give it a try anyway and just started cooking, hoping that the end result would be delicious Chicken Alfredo. And it was! After we ate I wrote down how I made it, and my sister has demanded asked for the recipe.

(This made plenty for the two of us with some leftover. I'd say when served with a vegetable or salad it could easily make 4 servings.)

Chicken Alfredo

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Slice chicken into ~1/4" slices about 1" long.
Cover bottom of large skillet with plenty of oil and heat to med-high heat. Add chicken, reduce heat to med. Season chicken with Salt and Pepper, cook and stir until chicken is done. Remove from skillet and set aside.
2 Tbsp. butter
1 sm-med. onion, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Add butter to skillet, saute onion and garlic until they start to turn translucent.
1/4 - 1/3 cup flour
2 Tbsp. butter
Stir flour into onions/garlic, reduce heat and let it start to toast. Add butter, stir to melt and mix in.
Stir in:
1 cup milk and let it start to thicken.
Stir in:
1/2 cup heavy cream and let it thicken.
Stir in:
2 - 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan Cheese
1" cube - sized piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, grated
(or you could use all of one kind, it was maybe 1/3-1/2 cup total)
Stir in:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp. parsley flakes
Let thicken. Stir chicken into sauce and cook a few minutes to reheat the chicken.
Serve over cooked pasta.

Keep in mind that it's important to not boil the life out of cream or it will "break." And believe me, "broken" cream is gross. That's why you have to boil it slowly over low heat. If I'd had more cheese I definitely would've added in however much I felt was a good amount :) But this tasted very good. I also didn't think about using a little white wine until after we were eating it, that would've added a nice little flavor, too. Feel free to take this recipe apart and put it back together however you would like! I'm sure I won't make this exact recipe again, but now I have a good base idea for future "dump-cooking" Alfredo :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Still Here :)

Sorry, if you were getting your hopes up that the lack of a new blog post meant a baby had arrived... you were wrong.

I spent most of last night tossing and turning - as well as you can 9 mo. pregnant - and didn't get much sleep. I hope for better luck tonight.

I'm trying to remember what I did today, but my brain is... oh!

I did get the changing table all set up. We're using the top of the chest of drawers that we (regret buying, now) bought. It's the perfect height for me. I got out a diaper supply, and made sure the wipes, Desitin and Nursery Jelly are all open and ready to go. I didn't want to get half-way into a diaper change and have to remove the safety-paper stuff from inside anything :P

This afternoon Daniel hung the blinds back up (we'd taken them down to paint), and this evening he mopped the bathroom floor. It was getting pretty disgusting and we agreed that it needed washed before people come to visit the baby and might need to use our facilities!

This afternoon I rather randomly decided to go ahead and paint the closet shelves before I loaded them full. That took some time since they needed a coat of primer and then a top-coat, and I could only do one side at a time. They are finished now but I'm not staying up for the top-coat to dry enough to put them back in the closet and load with stuff. I also went through the rest of the baby gifts (and found a gift card! Woot!!) and got them sorted out into piles of what will go where once the closet shelves are back in place.

And now I'm off to bed. For hopefully better sleep than last night :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Weekly Grocery Trip 3/2/2010

I totally forgot to even look at The Grocery Game list for Kroger before I went to town today! I see some FREE stuff on there that I may stop in for later this week if I end up being in that part of town, we'll see.

Today's trip, though:

(2) Pepsi & (2) Dr. Pepper (12pks) - $11.00 ($2.75/ea.)
1/2 Gal. Milk - $1.89
1 head lettuce - $1.55
Kroger "American" Cheese - $1.25
5lb. All Purpose Flour - $1.59
5lb. Gold Medal Flour - $1.74

Shelf Price - $31.36
Total OOP - $19.41
Saved - $11.95 / 38%

I'm really glad that somewhere, somebody finally has a good sale on Pepsi & Dr. Pepper! Last week we considered buying some but it is just astronomically priced when it's not on sale!! I told Daniel that he has an expensive habit :P He agreed that full price (normally $5.29/12pk at Kroger) is expensive! These 4 cases should last us at least until sometime in April.

This week my budget was $20 in keeping with our decision to spend a little more in February and then cut back a little this month when I won't be shopping as much. I'm glad I was able to get everything we needed (not everything we want) for $20. I cleaned up the flour supply yesterday baking bread so it's good to have some in the house again.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Stockpiling Meat and Cheese

Jenn had a great question in her comment on this post about a recent shopping trip. I decided that since more than Jenn may wonder the same thing, I would go ahead and answer in a post.

Jenn asked: "I was just wondering... your stockpile of lunchmeat and cheese... do you freeze them? And if you do, once they are thawed out, is their fridge life shortened by it??"

Photo by hsingy

I do freeze the extra lunch meat in my stockpile. I just toss the bags in the freezer the way they are. I have not noticed that the shelf-life is shortened any after thawing, but with Daniel getting a cold-cuts sandwich every day for lunch, lunch meat doesn't stick around very long :) The only change I have ever noticed in the lunch meat is that sometimes it is a little more watery in the bag than if it's not frozen, but it doesn't seem to effect the quality of the meat at all.

Photo by L.Marie

For the cheese, it depends. Cheese has a pretty long shelf life if it's kept sealed in the refrigerator. Freezing hard cheese does change the consistency of it. If I buy shredded cheese, I just throw the bags into the freezer and it thaws and works just as great as if it had never been frozen. Block cheese, however, if frozen becomes crumbly after thawed. Since I slice it off as I need it for Daniel's sandwiches, I keep the stockpile in the refrigerator. If you do want to freeze it but not have the crumbliness, you can pre-slice it and then freeze it. That works well, too. I'm just too lazy to slice up a whole stockpile of cheese :P

I do freeze the individual-wrapped American Cheese stuff when I buy extra. I'm sure it has a long shelf-life as well and I probably wouldn't need to freeze it, but it helps keep the fridge uncluttered. I've not been able to tell any difference with that once it's thawed.

I hope this answers your question, Jenn! Thanks for asking :)

Since Everyone Else Wants To Know

The nitty-gritty details about the changes happening with my body over these past couple weeks, I figured I'd just blog about it!

That way you'll all know and we won't have to go through the awkwardness of you asking and me feeling shy about telling you.

Here's the 411, the low-down, the way it is:

A lot of changes have to take place in a woman's body in order to have a baby, and my Doctor says everything is going just fine. How are you doing today?

Now you know that things are going just fine, and hopefully you figured out that I don't really want to broadcast the fine print to every person that I talk to.

And if you've not been through a pregnancy yet, or are going through your first one, take this as a gentle warning that you may very well get asked ALL KINDS of questions from people you normally wouldn't say any more than "hi" to. I had no idea how many people were concerned over the intimate details of my body. And I'd recommend to start thinking now how you're going to answer/handle/respond... because I'm figuring it out as I go. It's weird. Very weird. And awkward. And I never know (knew!) what to say so I always end up telling them what's really going on and then it's even more weird to know that Mrs. Jane Doe now knows what my c*rv*x was like last week at my Dr. appointment.