Thursday, September 23, 2010

Taking a Break

In case you haven't already noticed, I've been really sporadic about getting my grocery trips blogged about since Susannah was born. I've given it some thought, and today just up and made up my mind.

I'm not gonna do it anymore. At least for now. There's a whole ton of other stuff I want to blog about that is way more important than groceries (notice I didn't say food!!!) and how much I paid for them. And what fun is a grocery post if it doesn't have a picture, and lately I've been doing good to get one week's grocery all put away before it's time to go shopping again! Ok, not quite, but it seems like it.

The latest and greatest in my grocery shopping world is that I love having a $40 grocery budget. It feels like $40 is about the perfect amount. I don't have to stand there and pick and choose "what is the most important stuff on this list?" It doesn't give me tons of room to splurge, but there is room to get the little "accessories" like parmesan cheese, soy sauce, and those kind of things. I also love (maybe even more) our discovery of once a month, taking a week's budget and buying beef with it. Oh. my. goodness! I had no idea how much I was missing have beef at my beck and call! We've been eating HAMBURGERS more than once every blue moon and I LOVE IT! I could never, ever be vegetarian. I don't feel like I have to always make the hamburger into a casserole to make it stretch. So far I'm still getting chicken with the regular groceries.

Anyway, that was a rabbit trail! So yeah, I enjoy seeing other people's grocery trip posts. Hopefully one day I'll feel like I have time to get back into it again, but for now I'd rather spend my blogging time blogging about other stuff :)

If there's a really exciting week I'll probably blog about it. I'm hoping there will be some in the next couple months... things like cheap cream soups, CHOCOLATE CHIPS, nuts, CHOCOLATE CHIPS, free evaporated milk, CHOCOLATE CHIPS.... haha. Oh, and cereal! I bought a box of MultiGrain Cheerios today and dug into them as soon as I got home. Oh, they are SO good! I'm hoping there's opportunities in the future to stock up on them for -$1 a box. They're my favorite.

Ok, I gotsta run. The house is less than clean and I should spend some time getting it headed in the direction of clean.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook, Sept. 20, 2010

For today, Monday, September 19, 2010

I am thinking...
How thankful I am that even though pictures may have been lost, I still have Daniel and Susannah in person. I dreamed this morning that our house (which wasn't this one, it was another one??) was burning down. I had gotten Susannah outside (Daniel was at work I guess), and was back inside trying to grab photo albums (the house was burning slowly; dreams are always weird like that).

I am thankful for... I know I always say this, but "my husband." All the work he does for us. His willingness to tackle our home addition project so that we build it ourselves and stay debt free.

From my kitchen... Yeah... that's where I'm headed RIGHT after this!

I'm going to... Go to the first MOPS meeting for this year! Woohoo!

I'm reading... "Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed. A Study of David" (Bible Study I'm in at church) and also the Prep for Toddlers book by Gary and Ann Marie Ezzo.

I'm hoping... That we will not have to spend any more money on dirt related stuff until it's time to pour concrete! It is sickening to think how much of our budget has poofed away like the wind, all because it wasn't made known to us when we bought this house that our drainfield is on our neighbor's property.

I am creating... Slowly, little by little and bit by bit, working at collecting stuff very inexpensively for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. It started when Crayola Crayons were $.25/24ct. for the back to school sales. I need to keep shopping around for other stuff now. I have crayons, toothbrushes, toothpaste and bar soap so far.

I am hearing... quiet. A few crickets or frogs outside, but quiet. Daniel's not up yet and Susannah won't be up for another 30-40 minutes. It's nice :)

Around the house... is a lot of stuff that I have every intention of taking care of this week! But I say that every week... Hopefully a different strategy I created Saturday will help with the actual getting done.

A few plans for the week... Make more baby food; MOPS on Monday, Choir on Wednesday, Tapestry Bible Study on Friday, visiting friends on Saturday. Busy week ahead!!

A picture thought... Daniel and I almost 2 years ago exactly. It's one of my favorite pictures. And I hope to get back to that size and weight again someday (sooner than later, maybe??).

Saturday, September 18, 2010


...goes by with every single tick-tock of the clock, never, ever, ever to be relived again. Sometimes it's a good thing. Sometimes it doesn't matter. But lately I'm realizing how precious time is.

One week old

Susannah is changing by leaps and bounds these days. She is quickly becoming a little toddler instead of a little baby. She's sitting up (supported) very well these days, sometimes even without support if she's positioned just right.

Five weeks old.

I guess it was about a month ago now that we went to some friends' house so Daniel could work on something for them. We were there way past Susannah's bedtime and I ended up holding her while she fell asleep. It was with great aching pangs to my heart that I realized it was the first time I'd held her while she fell asleep (aside from the first week when she slept through just about anything). I just automatically always put her in her bed awake and she always goes to sleep just fine on her own. That is a wonderful thing, and we purposely trained her to be able to go to sleep on her own. Not that I have ignored her going to sleep, I haven't. She gets lots of kisses from her Daddy and Mama at bedtime, but it had just never crossed my mind before to just sit and rock her sleep. I love rocking. I hope that when our house is big enough that we can have several rockers around to rock Susannah in. But if I don't do it now, it won't happen.

12 weeks old.

So tonight I did just that. She didn't fall completely asleep but she was pretty relaxed. I sat there rocking and humming, thinking that before I know it she's going to be 5... or 10... or 15 years old and rocking her to sleep will not happen anymore. Smelling her freshly washed skin, kissing her chubby baby cheeks, getting her slobbery "kisses," is not going to always be. And I want to take the time to soak them up and enjoy her preciousness. Our gift from God.

6 months old.

I want her to remember, way back in the cobwebs of her mind, being held by me and rocking. My house might not be clean. I used up the last pureed fruit today and didn't get any more made today. The floors need swept terribly bad. There are clothes hanging on the line.

" quiet down, cobwebs. And dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep."

Goodwill Success!

No, I'm not talking about "peace and goodwill" success, but shopping at the Goodwill store success!! I am so tickled about today's shopping excursion!

I have such a hard time enjoying shopping for clothes because nothing ever fits. And shopping at the used store only makes it harder because the sizes are all in a disarray and you can't say "I like this skirt, do you have it in the next size?"

But I am so desperate for some variety in my church-clothes wardrobe (1 jeans skirt, 1 shirt, and a more-on-the-formal-side dress) that I had to just go try anyway. There were a couple other things on my "look for" list, and I was somewhat successful in those areas, too.

I wish I could take a picture of the loot, but in light of our hard drive issues, I'm not taking any more pictures with our current camera card in the event we have to try and resurrect deleted ones from it. (And I haven't been by a store to get another card yet.) Feel free to use your imagination, though.

I tried on probably 15 or more skirts, a dress and a pair of capris.

I walked out with:
1 black skirt
1 white skirt
1 pair of capris (that NEVER happens that the first pair fits!)
1 Pilates DVD
2 (3lb) handweights
a small basket to hold Susannah's toys
an old board book about farm animals

All for $26 and change. I did use my donation card (similar to a punch card; once it's full you get x% of your purchase), so I saved there, too! Our Goodwill prices are higher than I typically want to pay for used clothes, but it still beats paying full price, and when I have success like I did today, I don't mind one bit!!

Now my next goal is to get tops that go with the skirts AND fit. Since I'm nursing Susannah, alot of my shirts fit me everywhere but THERE. It's frustrating. One of the sacrifices of breastfeeding, I guess.

I will say that the depressing part of the trip was trying on clothes in the dressing room, in front of a full length mirror. We don't have any full length mirrors here at home, so I almost never see "everything." *sigh* Perhaps that's why I impulsively dug through the DVD's looking to see if they had any good workout ones. I have no idea what Pilates is, I've never done Pilates, but it's 10 minute workouts and supposed to "strengthen and tone" and I'm in some SERIOUS need of some tonin'!! Everything's all saggy and baggy and flippy and floppy. Eww. Clothes are a good thing. They cover a multitude of stuff. Haha!

In my shopping I did have to refrain from buying a couple things for our addition. There were 2 lampshades that I really liked, and a bathroom light (that would go over a medicine cabinet area) that I thought would go nicely in our 1/2 bath. I didn't get them because first off, I have no idea where I would store them, and second off, I'd best wait until I know exactly where I'll USE them before I buy them :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Laptop Update

So... yeah. The verdict is that the hard drive in our laptop bit the dust. Died. The end. Ceased to exist. At least in a working fashion. The best (worst?) diagnoses so far is that it's pretty much just a piece of decoration now.

A friend of ours is an IT guy for his company and he took our laptop to work with him where he has access to all kinds of gadgets and gizmo's to perform hard drive CPR, but there just isn't any life left in it.

Wednesday night at church he bore the bad news :( He said a last ditch effort would be to freeze it and see if that would break the discs loose so he could retrieve the info off of it, but nothing he'd tried so far had worked. I haven't heard if the freezing did the trick or not... My computer geek brother-in-law has requested to be able to try his CPR tricks on it if Ed can't get the info off of it.

So, we're still plugging along over here with our stone-age desktop that Daniel built with graduation money after college... so it's... going on 8 years old I guess? It works. The innards grunt and groan and grind away if we make it work too hard, but it gets the job done. Hopefully THIS computer doesn't develop Alzheimer's or dementia before we get the laptop back! Actually, Ed installed a new hard drive and Windows 7 (woot!) on the laptop and we're picking it up tonight, so we'll at least be operating in style! The hard thing is just not knowing if we'll be able to revive the old hard drive enough to get the info off of it.

Another possible last ditch effort for getting our pictures is some software that Andrew (my brother in law computer geek) has that can retrieve deleted pictures from camera cards. He's not sure how many it would retrieve, but hopefully if we have to resort to that it can be a lot of them at least.

So yeah, that's the latest and greatest in our computer world. I'm not giving up on the pictures yet. Too bad Abby Schuto from NCIS doesn't live next door. I'm sure she could get the stuff off of it :P

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Susannah ~ 6 months

It is hard to believe that half a year has passed since Susannah was born!! She continues to be such a delight to our hearts and home! Her smile brightens not only our day, but also the day of anybody around her that she shares her smiles with - fellow grocery store shoppers, store clerks, people at church... people love her smile! Sometimes it makes me nervous... wondering what the Lord has in store for her with her smiley personality.

On her 6 month birthday, our small group from Sunday School got together and Susannah got to fully experience swimming in a pool! We were in the pool probably about 45 minutes and she enjoyed it the whole time :)

A couple days later it was cool enough for her to wear her jacket from Aunt Rachel & Uncle Ted when we went for our walk in the morning. She looked so cute in it!
Shortly after she was born, a special couple in our church gave Susannah this frog blanket ("Froggy"). He's the perfect size for an "attachment" toy/blanket, so he's kept her company while she sleeps ever since she got him. She's started to reach out and grab onto him or move him around sometimes, and yesterday was the first time I saw her holding Froggy like this. I'm not sure that it was intentional, but it sure was sweet!! (She had smiled in her sleep right before I took this picture!)

Yesterday we also cleaned her room. I decided the time has come to get a toy box, or basket, or something to corral her meager toy collection. It's on the "look for" list for future shopping trips. I was putting some things away and came across some sandals from Auntie Juls, so we tried them on. Super cute, but a little too big yet. She liked kicking the floor and hearing the different sound, though :)

She's getting bigger and developing more skills. She wiggles herself all over her crib, though I have never seen how she does it. She's recently discovered tags and is fascinated with them. Tags on her Froggy, tags on stuffed toys... she works really hard to grasp them and then loves to put them in her mouth :) She nurses 4xday, and gets solids for breakfast, lunch and supper. She's not real great with textures, so I have to blend up her veggies pretty smooth, otherwise she gags on any small pieces.

Today was her 6mo. checkup, and she's healthy as a horse at 16lbs. 4oz and 26 1/2" tall. She's wearing mostly 9mo. clothes when it comes to sleepers or onesies, but dresses and 2 piece outfits she can still wear some 3-6 mo. stuff.

I love her bunches and bunches!! I'm excited to watch her grow and change. It's a little sad to realize that she's not a tiny baby anymore, but this is a mighty cute stage of her life and I wouldn't trade her for the WORLD!

Happy 6 month Birthday, Susannah!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weekly Shopping Trip 9/10/10

This week was another "no great sales so stock up on general stuff" shopping trip. I had Tapestry Bible Study this morning, so after that I fed Susannah her lunch at church then we stopped at Kroger on our way home.

Sorry, no picture :)

(2) Bread & (2) All Purpose Flour, 5lb. ea - $1.34 ea.
(2) Canola Oil - $2.35 ea.
Baking Soda - $.69
Gerber Rice and Oatmeal Cereals - $3.23 ea.
Peanut Butter - $1.00
(3) 3pc. B/S Chicken Breasts - $1.99/lb.
lb. Lunchmeat - $3.79
lb. butter - $2.19 (can't wait for sales on this stuff!)
1/2 gal. milk - $1.79
18 ct. Eggs - $2.79

Total OOP - $40.56

Nothing super exciting this trip. I did get a $1 Catalina from buying the 2 baby cereals, so that was nice :) I can't wait for the Thanksgiving/Christmas baking ingredients sales to start up. I'm not rushing those holidays, but it will be nice to lay in a supply again this year, and now that I'm more familiar with couponing and know better how much will last a year of some stuff (butter in the freezer, chocolate chips, etc.), I'll hopefully be able to stock up enough this year :) Last week I used the last Cream of Mushroom soup from my stockpile, so I'm ready for cream soups to go on sale, too.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Sorry I've been MIA for the last week-ish. Last Wednesday Susannah started a runny nose. Even though I didn't see a single tooth in sight, I figured one must be on it's way. Thursday her runny nose was worse and I was using the bulb syringe in the morning... poor girl hated it :( Thursday night she didn't sleep well and neither did I - waking up every time she whimpered or coughed, and getting up a couple times to use the bulb syringe when she couldn't breathe well enough to suck on her paci to go back to sleep. My nose started getting drippy Thursday, too...

Friday we both felt yucky. Poor Susannah looked like a sick cow (if you know what a sick cow looks like, you know what I'm talking about) and I felt like one. Probably looked like one, too :P After lunch Susannah was looking and acting so un-like herself that I gave her some Tylenol... and about 15 minutes later she started perking up, talking and playing again instead of just sitting there in her walker all blah. She never ran a fever as far as I could tell. I did take her temperature Friday morning under her arm just to be sure, but it read normal.

Friday night I gave her more Tylenol and I took some medicine, too, before we both went to bed. Saturday morning she woke up much more chipper, and we both felt better as the day went on. I was relieved to know it was just headcolds that we had, even though they were no fun.

The other reason I haven't been around as much is that our laptop decided to bite the dust Friday! Thursday evening I shut it all the way down (most times I just put it to sleep), and Friday morning it just would.not.boot. I tried safe mode, rebooting in the last successful boot mode, airplane mode, spaceship mode, and all the options available and it just wouldn't do it. Daniel tried to get it to boot Saturday, and he was unsuccessful. Sunday he got some suggestions from a friend at church, but those don't work either.

Our budget spreadsheet, all our pictures of Susannah (not to mention ones from the last year and a half) are on there, and other we'd-like-to-have-it stuff, is on there. One option is to wipe the hard drive clean and start over, but that would mean losing everything. We're hoping to find someone that can salvage the important stuff before we start over.

In the meantime, our computer stuff has to happen on the dinosaur desktop that is here in Susannah's room. So, it's not as handy as the laptop (that usually stays on the dining room table), and we have to be careful when we use it so it doesn't disturb her naps. And I don't have access to the pictures on the laptop and loading ones from the camera to this computer isn't as handy.

So... I might be a little scarce, but I'm still reading posts and keeping up with stuff as best I can. Hopefully we'll be back to normal mode soon!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Grocery Shopping 9/2/10

First I need to stand on a soapbox. I was not happy today when I witnessed 2 things in the grocery store parking lot. This has nothing to do with the store.

The first would be about the nice parking spaces that Kroger has designated for "Customers with Children." I love being able to pull into a convenient spot where I can load Susannah right into a shopping cart, and if for some reason I bring my own groceries back to the car after shopping, I don't have to walk a mile to return the cart and carry her back to the car. Soon after we pulled into our space, the owner of the vehicle across from us (in a "Customers with Children" parking space), waltzed back to her car. Childless. Chatting on her cell phone (ok, nothing against cell phones...). And hopped in her car and sat there for a couple minutes fiddling around. And it irked me. I mean, couldn't she READ? And if she can't, couldn't she SEE the stick-figure drawing on the sign indicating that those spaces are for people with kids? I wondered what mother ended up lugging her child(ren) from further away in the parking lot because this woman had hogged the space instead.

Getting off that soapbox... climbing on the next one.

So I get my stuff together and get out of the car, then open Susannah's door so she doesn't cook in the 2 seconds it takes me to go grab a buggy from the cart return (that we were parked IMMEDIATELY beside - don't worry, I didn't wander off from my baby!). While I'm getting her out of the car and into the cart, Mr. Ima Cool Dude creeps past in his ugly-fied car at about .01 mph, windows down and some type of thumpy music blaring from his sub-woofed stereo system. That wasn't so much what irked me. What ruffled my feathers was the profanity being blared in this "music!!" I wanted to stick my fingers in Susannah's ears and pour bleach in mine! There are "bad words" and then "REALLY bad words" in my book... and these were the REALLY bad words. That's the kinda thing I'd expect in the ghetto, downtown, government housing projects where I don't want to be especially after dark kinda place, NOT in a grocery store parking lot where women and CHILDREN are present! *sigh* The responsibility I have as a mama to protect my kids from this ugliness... I always knew I had that niggling to be a hermit for SOME reason!

Ok, I'm done with the soapboxing. Here's what I got, and thankfully it was a very pleasant shopping experience, with superb customer service!

(5) 12 can pks Pepsi/Dr. Pepper - $2.40/ea.
Gal. Milk - $2.67
Coconut Milk - $1.99
(2) Hotdogs - $1.13/ea.
Oatmeal - $2.69
2lb. Carrots - $1.74 (babyfood)
(2) Lettuce - $1.19/ea. (I have never!! seen lettuce this cheap!!!)
(2) VanCamp's Baked Beans - FREE
lb. Butter - $2.19
pint Sour Cream - $1.00
3.3lbs. Bananas - $.49/lb.
2lb. Brown Sugar - $1.69
2lb. Rice - $1.49
18ct. Eggs - $1.89
Yam - $.85 (babyfood)
(2) Mangos - $.99/ea.
Avocado - $1.29 (babyfood)

Total OOP - about $39
~I forgot to give the cashier my coupons and was able to take them to CS and get my money there.

Last week a commenter asked what do I do with all the butter and flour that I buy. Last week was actually the first time I bought butter since December :) But what do I do with it... I use it in baking (mostly cookies, I'd guess), sometimes in cooking (I like butter on my peas and corn), and just random things here and there in cooking, baking or eating (pancakes, waffles, toast, etc.). When I come across butter substitutes for free or almost free (mostly Country Crock), I do get that and use it for "eating" (the breakfast stuff, toast, etc.). That way the real butter - which is more expensive and precious and works better in cooking/baking - lasts longer. The flour I use for making our breads and baked goods from scratch. And we really do use that much :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Feelin' Good

Finally, about 6 months after having Susannah, I feel like we're "back to normal" - or at least a new normal - fairly consistently in the household. And since I've said this, something will probably change next week and we'll have to discover a whole new "normal" :P

Last week was the first time that I actually cleaned (or did some cleaning in) each room in the house. EVEN THE BATHROOM! I did have a burn-out day on Friday, but Saturday I knew I didn't want the week to end without finishing, and being so close to my goal, I just tackled the bathroom with full force and scrubbed it top to bottom.

It felt good to know that I had worked hard all week and had a cleaner house, too (meaning that it's not that I wasn't working hard before, it's that working wasn't isn't always working at cleaning!). And this week, I'm still doing all the regular cleaning every day and it's nice to start out with things a little cleaner :) That's kinda the whole point to daily maintenance... to keep stuff from becoming an enormous mess.

Insert: I started this post yesterday, and guess what!? Something has been thrown into the mix, just like I figured it would! Susannah developed a runny nose last evening (teething?) and woke up four times last night frustrated about not being able to get her paci back in + not being able to breathe well + probably just not feeling so great. Today didn't get off to quite the same "normal" start :)

One thing that has helped tremendously has been my bedtime and wakeup time. I'm going to bed earlier, trying to be in bed no later than 10:30, and getting up somewhere between 6 and 6:15. This allows me to get some things done in the kitchen before Susannah wakes up (supposed to be 8am, but with our getting up earlier, it seems she's wanting to wake up earlier too! I'm trying to work with her and plan to get her back to her regular wakeup time.). Getting that head start on the day helps me feel like I can take the time to go for a walk most days. Susannah enjoys the stroller ride, and hopefully the exercise will help whittle some more baby pounds off of me :) It feels good to be walking again.

Since things are winding down for the summer - at least calendar wise - and winding up for the winter, I'm glad to have things mostly under control.

And for the fun of it, here's a picture of my little laundry helper, helping me hang out the wash one day last week. Sorry, it's not a picture of us at the beach - that really is what our "lawn" (hahahahahaHAHAHAHAHA!) is like out there at the washline.