Tuesday, December 22, 2015

This Christmas

I got a book from the library. Quickly chosen , from the 'Season's Readings' section, on the ground floor, right by the Children's Section. I saw the title, with it's hearts and sexy font, out of the corner of my eye, and I grabbed it right before I grabbed my youngest from running into the men's bathroom. So far it's pretty good; about a woman whose marriage is falling apart, so during a separation both husband and wife have taken steps to make themselves better. They are both exercising, and the wife, annoyingly, has started putting on make-up, coloring her hair, and buying/wearing better clothes. I like the story because of the mom/wife take on life (I recognize that we are all different, but there are similar struggles).

I doubled the recipe for my Christmas cookies, and I doled them out, and now I'm eating an exceptional amount of them. Tis the Season.

When I found myself at Aldis today, I realized I was the quintessential hot mess of a mom. My hair was a frizzy mess, my make-up was minimal, and I was wearing my winter down coat, all zipped up. My khakis were gigantic on me, dragging on the floor, and sagging at my butt. I was shuffling around, noticing only my kids, and realizing that I was not portraying myself in the best light. I don't want to be that lady. On the upside, I got my list all checked off and I used my coupon.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Promises and Bulk Purchases

The Boy is at the age where he remembers what I tell him. If I mention that so-and-so is coming over, he'll wait by the window. He remembers items we eat, the days things happen, and other interesting tidbits about our life.
I told him on the way to the store that we would be going to the library
("the one with the train")
after the store. I gave myself an out, and said that if we took too long at the store, we wouldn't have time for the library. Luckily, we all hustled and we were able to get to the library.
When I tell my boys something, I want to make sure that I'm telling the truth. When The Boy asks to go do something, ( go for a hike, go ice skating, and see a sunset) I put it in my journal, in my to-do list so I don't forget to schedule it. And if he asks me a question I don't know about, I try to figure out the answer. I'm writing this to remind myself to keep doing what I'm doing. I want the trust to be there between me and the kids (and the Hubs too, but that's obvious). I want to them to be able to come to me with their problems, and I want them to believe what I tell them.

The store we went to is a bulk store, no membership fee. They send me coupons with their sale papers. I got a big box of chicken fingers, for the boys, for $5.30, which I think is a pretty good deal. I don't even eat those.

Sunday, December 13, 2015


"The days are long but the years are short."
When my 16-month-old wants me to play a version of catch, I almost always put down what I'm doing and play. The game won't last forever, and neither will his childhood. Soon I will long for the days when my kids to play with me and not their friends.

I remember a day where I had too much the night before. And just for good measure, I put Jager in my coffee on the way to church. My friend and fellow church-goer was alarmed and dismayed and mentioned how much I smelled, and how bad it was (even for Unitarians!) to go to church like that. We sat in the back and hoped good things would happen. We chose to ignore out obvious dysfunction.
That was then and this is now. I still sit in the back, but my reasons are different. My chosen seats are for easy child-related exits, and for passing out the offertory bucket. Now my kids hang out in the nursery downstairs. When I sit in the service, I often think of my to-do list. But I also think about our purpose and meaning here on Earth as human beings. And I think of praying. The services now often bring tears to my ears.
 'I once was lost and now I'm found.'
I'm so thankful and grateful that I found my way back.

My kids love their chalk and chalkboards, but the sounds and feelings of those items gives me chills and makes me uncomfortable. I guess I won't let my sensory issues get in the way of their creative processes.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Splendid Splenda

I was a little upset when I realized I lost the envelope I took to Walgreens. It had $22, a rain check, and a few coupons. I went to look for it in the ally, and I found it just outside my fence! Thank goodness.
We walked to Walgreens, because it's only two blocks away. Although it was considerably warmer than a normal December, I still wanted The Boy to wear more clothes. He refused to wear socks or shoes, and he wouldn't change out of his pjs. Or wear his coat. I don't have time for this. I feel judged by the general public when The Boy is not in weather-appropriate clothing. But I will not force him into outfits.
When we went to Walgreens, with  a $10-off -$30 coupon. I didn't get to use it because they were out of a few items on my list. And I don't want to impulse shop.
We made 51 cents on Splenda No Calorie Sweetener 100 count.
It was on sale for $3.49, there was a $2-off coupon in the in-store booklet, and I had a $2-off-one manufacturer coupon. Yea freebie! Walgreen's coupon policy used to not allow overage on freebies, but apparently that us no longer the case. Sweet.
While I was at the register, The Boy was playing with the car display he really likes. I kept my eye on him, and I loved how he showed me the ones he really liked.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Candy Canes

Way past my bedtime, but I am pleased to announce things went well today. My kids behaved themselves at my father-in-law's neuro appointment, and they did really well at CVS. Even with The Baby on the loose. I didn't have enough money with me, and had to leave a few items behind, but that's ok.

The doctor was pleased to note that I am finally giving my FIL the right dosage.

After dinner, I opened up a pack of candy canes and let my babies decorate the tree. It was lovely. And they split (unevenly) a cane for 'lert' (dessert).

I am so pleased.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Scarves

I went to Savers this morning and paid full price, but well below retail. I also got my card stamped for later purchase saving. I bought and paid for way more than I intended. It seemed compulsive, almost. The kids were great! They were polite, even when a worker told The Boy not to mess with stuff.

You know those baby blankets made of two sheets of fleece? They are tied together, and the ties are knotted tassels. I decided to make full-size ones for Christmas gifts. But I bought the wrong size fleece sheets. Then I decided to make scarves with the tied-tassels. Some scarves I can fold over, which saves me a sewing length. I'm pretty proud of myself for this craft.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Thanksgiving With Dad

We had our second Thanksgiving with my father, my stepmom, my sister, her boyfriend, and the four in my house. We had a great time! I had no expectations and no anxiety. And the food was plentiful and delicious.
I am so thankful we got this opportunity to clear our Saturday and spend much of the day together. I feel refueled from our family time. (As corny as that sounds).
We were even able to get a walk after dinner in. And this house got a ton of leftovers.
I would love it if the kids (and I) got to see my dad more often, but with his work schedule, our nap schedule, and the drive, it is really hard.
So I am thankful for time spent wisely today.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Lookin' Good

My husband mentioned that my hair looked sexy when I pulled it down from my ponytail. In the car he mentioned that the coat I was wearing was decidedly un-sexy. And it had a big rip in it.
I'm really proud of what my body has done and what it can accomplish. And yet, of course, there are things I would change.
I told my husband that my time for sexy is over. I don't think I can be the hot mom. And I'm not really sure I want too.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


I just started looking a beautiful book I got from the kids section at the library. Its called Giving Thanks-Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving.

As soon as I got into the car after our Thanksgiving feast at my mom's, I started to get some anxiety. I got worried about what I said, but shouldn't have, and I worried about what I didn't say, but should have. I worried about what my kids were doing, and should I have been watching them more than I was? I worried about whether or not my potatoes were good enough for consumption.
All my worrying makes me forget how blessed I am. I try my best to remember my graditute list. I am truly thankful for everything I've gone through, and everything I have, and my memories made and unmade.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Few Things

Like many families, we are prepping for Thanksgiving. Our family is pretty much here, at least the folks we're close too. So we don't have out-of-town guests and we're not traveling. I'm quite happy with that; traveling makes me anxious. This morning there were calls between my mom and sister and I, as we coordinated food, dishes, errands, and time frames. I know tomorrow will be like anything else. Except not. I really want to focus on the being thankful part, because I think it's the most important. And this year I don't have a grey or fancy outfit. Come as you are.

Our time at the library was far to brief, but it is so hard to get out of the house on time. I got my book from the reserve shelf and realized when I got home, that I reserved a large-print book.

I hope I get a friendly text back from those ladies.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Kohl Children's Museum

We finally made it to the Kohl Children's Museum! The kids and I picked up my mom and my sister on the way there. We got there a few minutes after it opened, at about 9:30 am. I had a coupon from the Entertainment Book for a B1G1 admission.
It was pretty crowded, but we have resigned ourselves to the crowds. It is what it is.
Sometimes my kids are all over the place, but when they find something they like, they can really focus and get into the activity. This character trait was obvious as The Boy found the car room. He probably could have spent the whole day there, but my mom moved him along. The Baby has really started walking, and he was thrilled to be rushing around. No more stroller for him!
We went to the water room, where the kids got soaked and I had to get the diaper bag from car.
The grocery store is still the most popular, just like when I was a kid. I'm so glad we went! This is a great place.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tree Lighting

We went to the Tree Lighting in Evanston with my mom. We missed the actual lighting, but we got to see the lit-up giant tree. The Baby wanted to walk around, which I was happy to let him do. But he was in a Ralphie-like snowsuit and he fell a lot. And his boots were too big. The Boy's coat seemed a little small, but his snow pants fit great. We were dressed too warm for the weather, and I thought we'd be outside longer.

My mother commented on my driving both there and back, and I laughed and told her to shush. While she was helping me load the kids in the car, she asked how I do it everyday. She seemed impressed, and I was pleased. My van might be a mess, but the kids and I do activities everyday.

After I put The Baby to bed, I took The Boy out to look at the falling snow. We stood outside, and I held him, and we both caught the large snowflakes on our tongue. He laughed and was awed and it was wonderful.

I have been trying to purchase Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance, and I can't load the webpage. The customer service reps are friendly enough, but ultimately useless. I might have to choose a different company.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Flu Shot

All day long I had been telling The Boy that just The Baby was getting shots. It did not occur to me that we would be able to get the flu shots there too. The Baby received documents in the mail letting us know that he needed some vaccines crucial to his age.
For the record, I believe in vaccines. I don't understand all the science of them, but I feel that vaccines prevent outbreaks (of preventable diseases). Vaccines prevent horrifying, widespread death, and they prevent sick days. I know that there are articles claiming that vaccines cause death and autism and other issues no one would wish on the children of their worst enemy. However, I also read articles about how all that anti-vaccine fervor was bad science, made-up facts, and blatant lies.
So I got The Baby his age-required vaccines and The Boy and I got our flu shot. The Boy kept yelling,
"No Mama! I will NOT get a shot! No!"
He got it anyway, cried, and his tears dried up when I offered him a Dum-Dum.
The Baby screamed and screamed and he shook with anger and pain as I held him. He got a lollipop too.
My flu shot was the least painful I've ever received. Although my arm is sore. I did not get a lollipop. But I am pleased to note that the flu shots were free, and The Baby's were $5.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Two Moms In The Raw

I love the idea of foraging and growing my own veggies. There is something rewarding about locating the edibles on my property, and being able to use them well in the kitchen. It might sound crazy, but I'm concerned that there might be some kind of societal breakdown and we'll have to make do with the vegetation around us. It would seem that I am pretty terrible at growing my own veggies, for a variety of reasons. But the foraging, we're doing ok at. I picked a bunch of dandelion leaves and some mint stalks. And we juiced them! I had planned on following a juicing recipe I found in a library book, but the other ingredients weren't on sale.
The library book is called Two Moms In The Raw - simple, clean, irresistible recipes for your family's health. I read a little of the introduction, and it was about how one of the authors got M.S, and now she is eating way healthier and it makes her feel much better. I do feel that there is a definite link between how one eats and how healthy one is/ how one feels. But the idea of going raw, or gluten-free, or without sugar, or with wheatgrass (not sure that what that is) seems really stressful to me. And I'm going to assume that I need can't get that stuff with coupons. I don't eat meat, but that is pretty much the only thing I won't eat.
So I looked at the first recipe. And I made juice, but basically did not follow this recipe:
Green Power Juice
3 large bunches greens (2 pounds total), such as spinach dandelion greens, swiss chard, or kale
Nettles (fresh when in season, dried when not)
2 cups microgreens (avoid bitter varieties like argula)
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
Handful of fresh cilantro
Handful of fresh mint leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger
1 (1/2 inch) piece fresh turmeric
Small amount of apple or pear (optional)
8-10 frozen wheatgrass cubes
Juice all the ingredients except the wheatgrass cubes. Put the cubes in a glass, pour juice over them.
My juice was a bunch of dandelion leaves, some mint sprigs (both picked from the yard), a clove of garlic, and about six apples. The Boy helped me, and said that the juice was 'spicy'. It did have a bite to it!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Stay Home

We stayed inside all day. I had my wonderful friends over, and they brought some great coffee cake and conversation.

I wasn't able to do any of the things I normally do with the kids. No projects or outside time.

And now I hope to go to bed on time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


I'm an all-seasons kind of girl. I was born and raised in the Midwest, and I'm still here. I love aspects of all seasons, be it the holidays or weather or other activities. However, the past few days has been in the 70's during the day. I am alarmed by this. I read in the Chicago Tribune that there was an 80 degree day in 1950's. Our planet is being heated up, global warming is real, and its causing the weather to fluctuate wildly.
Anyway, because of this unseasonably lovely weather, I was able to take the boys outside. We harvested sunchokes, let the dog chew on sticks, played in the leaves, and dug in the dirt. The sunchokes were particularly gratifying because they came with the house. The ones I pulled up today were fully formed, vastly different then the nubs I thought they were. I just remembered that I left some dirt-covered ones on the kitchen table.
I have decided to let the boys do what they need to do, without worrying about the mess they are making. The Boy likes to dig in the dirt, look for bugs, and see what is happening in our compost bin. The Baby likes to ride around in his car and play in the dog's water bowl. There is always mud, and dirt, and mess, and I have come to accept that.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Trick Or Treat!

I have always had a problem figuring out when to speak up, when to shush, and how to say what I mean most effectively. Sometimes I deliberately ignore confrontation, holding my tounge when I'm unsure of how to say what I need to say. Other times I seem to fly off the handle, yelling personal insults or bringing up stuff that doesn't have anything to do with the issues at hand. I also avoid eye contact when I'm saying confrontational things. With this information, how should I handle other people's unruly and rude children? And how should I handle it when other mother's/caretakers are doing things I disapprove of?
We were trick-or-treating with The Boy dressed as Spiderman, complete with yellow golashes, a new haircut, a mask drawn on with dry erase marker, and excitement to match the occasion. The Baby was dressed as a monster, complete with a huge winter coat under his store-bought costume. My husband was carrying him. Two other kids, one as a firefighter Dalmatian and the other as a Frozen character told my boy, rudely, that they were going first to the house. And they almost pushed him out of the way. We let them go ahead of us. While they were at the door, they grabbed handfuls upon handfuls of candy. When they left, I think the guy at the door thought we were together. We had our boy say,
"Trick or treat!"
Then he took one, or two, and said,
"Thank you!"
We looked around to see who those rude kids belonged to, and there were three moms red-cupping it, meaning they brought their alcohol with them in red, plastic, Solo cups. They reeked of alcohol, didn't walk their kids to the door, and didn't prevent the candy-grabbing. Now that I'm writing this, it doesn't seem like such a big deal, but at the time, I was very annoyed. I was upset because I wasn't sure how to respond to the children, or if I should say something to their moms. And I didn't like seeing my boy miffed, and not really being able to do anything. Also, I'm thinking that the door-answerer at the house thought that we were all together.
I have some sad memories of awkward Halloweens; I probably dressed up and trick-or-treated for too many years. One year someone ran up behind and stole my bag. The neighbor boy, who I had a crush on, tried to run after him, and I was so embarrassed I wanted to forget all about it and pretend it never happened. I wish to prevent my boys from having memories such as that.

Friday, October 30, 2015


The kids and I went to IHOP for the Scary-Face pancakes. They were free, normally they cost $4.99 each. I got the Pumpkin Pancake Combo Plate. Our whole bill was listed as $19.99, I tipped $4, and paid $8.98. The kids had a pretty good time. They made a mess. And we had a great time.
I was running a little later than I meant to, and by the time we got there, The Boy said he was starving.

I've been watching only Halloween-themed t.v., and way too much of it. When we watch 'our shows', which is when the kids and I watch t.v., we like Curious George and Martha Speaks. I make myself feel better about letting my kids watch t.v. by reminding myself that they watch public television. However, I know that t.v. of any variety is bad for them. Sometimes that thirty minutes of relative quiet seems unattainable without it. So I don't feel that bad about it because I know my kids are well-cared for.

Monday, October 26, 2015


The pie that took me a really long time to make (no store-bought crust here!) doesn't taste as good as it should. I don't even know what happened.

On the upside, I got my romance novel I put on reserve at the library. And we even had time to go to the park today!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

More Jewel Freebies

We love taking advantage of free events and coupons. The Boy knows the words 'free', 'freebie', and 'coupon'. He asked to go get his freebie today. Which we did, at Jewel, with their free fruit for kids coupon. Which is reusable. The Baby seems to like to be in on the activity. His facial expressions and activities indicate that he understands much of what I say.
Today our free event was at the Old Orchard mall. We made jewelry out of marigold heads, on yarn. With a big plastic needle. Both my boys were interested. The Boy doesn't quite have dexterity to handle a needle, but he tried. Then I let them run around on the playground. We met up with another mom and kid, and we had a great time!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fat Witch

I got another recipe from Fat Witch Bake Sale.

Peanut Butter Brownies
Makes 12-16 brownies (usually I double my recipes, and I totally forgot this time!)
These guys are pretty rich. I just had a bigger-than-needed piece.
Brownie Batter Ingredients:
8 tablespoons -1 stick- unsalted butter-( I have no idea what kind I used)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate - (not gonna lie, I love me a substitute...I melted an Easter milk chocolate bunny, 2.5 oz and used 2 oz of bought-on-clearance gluten/dairy/nut free chips)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt (I shook my shaker)
Peanut Butter Layer
1 lg egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar (I used dark)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (I used smooth)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt (shook that shaker!)
1/3 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts (optional-I did not use these)
Do This:
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. (This recipe took me forever to complete because I had to stop for dinner and bedtime. My oven was on way too long! And, I used an oval-shaped pan.)
2) To make the brownie batter: In a small heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat, warm the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently, until almost completely melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir until smooth. Set aside and cool slightly.
3) In a large bowl, using an electric mixer (I don't have one. Look at these muscles!), beat the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until creamy. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until well combined.
4) Measure the flour and salt and sift directly into the chocolate mixture. Mix until no trace of the dry ingredients remains.
5) Spread a little more than half of the brownie batter evenly in the prepared pan. (I'm pretty sure I put more than half in the bottom. I didn't have a lot to work with for the top.) Put the pan in the fridge to chill while you make the peanut butter filling. Reserve the remaining brownie batter.
6) To make the peanut butter layer: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.
7) Using a wooden spoon or spatula (I love my rubber spatula! What a difference the right tool makes.), stir in the peanut butter. Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt and sift directly into the peanut butter mixture. Mix gently until well combined and no trace of the dry ingredients remains.
8) Remove the pan from the fridge and press the peanut butter mixture over the brownie base. It's easiest to do this with clean fingers. Don't worry about being perfectly even. Return the pan to the fridge for 3-5 minutes, until the peanut butter layer firms slightly. Remove the pan from the fridge and spread the remaining brownie batter evenly over the top. Toss on the roasted peanuts, if desired.
9) Bake for 35-40 minutes (I baked mine for about 50 minutes.), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only crumbs, not batter, on it. Cool in the pan on a rack for at least an hour. Cut into squares just before serving.
Brownies will last longer if uncut. Store covered on the counter for 3-4 days or 4-5 days in the fridge.

Monday, October 12, 2015


We went swimming at an indoor pool, at the 'old folk's home' in which my grandmother lives. We had a great time! I had a circle-net-floatie for The Baby, who crawled out of it eventually. He went under once. I'm so sorry, baby! The Boy puttered, played with the exercise equipment and balls, and practiced his kicking. I found out I want a new suit. And The Baby's reusable swim diaper, from Babies R Us, worked great. We'll be back next week.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fat Witch Bake Sale

I've taken to checking out cookbooks from the library. The one I have now is called Fat Witch Bake Sale- 67 Recipes From The Beloved Fat Witch Bakery For Your Bake Sale Or Party
I was able to make a recipe from the ingredients I have on hand.

Thumbprint Blondies With Jam
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup jam or preserves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped skinned, roasted peanuts (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
I used a 8x8.25 pan and had to bake longer.
2) In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and eggs until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and vanilla until well blended.
I don't have an electric mixer, and I used fridge butter.
3) Measure the flour, salt, and baking soda and sift directly into the butter mixture. Beat just until combined.
The Boy helped with this part, so the 'sifting' looked more like 'dumping'.
4) Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. With a teaspoon, make 12-16 evenly spaced depressions in the batter. If the spoon sticks, dip it in the hot water. Press hard enough so that the indentations reach halfway through the dough but not to the bottom of the pan. Fill each indentation with a scoop of jam or preserves. Sprinkle with the peanuts, if using.
The Boy made the indentations with his fingers, which went as well as expected.
5) Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, or with crumbs, not batter, on in. Cool in the pan on a rack for 1 hour. Cut into bars just before serving.
Because I used dark brown sugar, mine weren't golden brown. But they were delicious! They stay fresh longer if uncut and refrigerated.
Happy baking!

Friday, October 9, 2015


When The Hubs came home, he was annoyed that the house wasn't neat or tidy. It wasn't a complete disaster, but it wasn't ready for guests. I felt obligated to list all the house-related tasks I had completed.

The work that I do is not always tangible. I care for my kids, dealing with toilets and diapers, making snacks and delivering juice. The evidence of this are the juice stains on the floor, the crumbs on table, and the pee dribbles by the toilet. We go on field trips to the library, store, parks, and special events. The evidence of this is The Boy's story-telling and chatter, and the numerous photos I take.

My biggest challenge is flowing from one activity to the next. While I get dressed and put on make-up, the kids watch tv. (I know, I know, awful). Sometimes I can't get us going to the next activity because The Baby needs to drive his trucks, or because The Boy won't put on his pants.

With this work, there are not always progress reports, or markers to show how far we've come. Sometimes I wish there was. But I love this work.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Miss Jamie

I was really excited to bring the kids to the Morton Grove Public Library to see Miss Jamie singing about the farm. We had to park our stroller downstairs. When we got in, The Baby wanted to go up the stairs and leave. And come back, and crawl around. The Boy danced and ran around and was a little disruptive. I was exhausted and really upset. I felt like they weren't listening like the other kids, I thought the other moms were looking at me. And I got really annoyed and upset and I was rude to the librarian. And now I feel awful. How much can I expect from them? Why did I get so upset? How can I prevent this from happening again?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Freebies And Foraging

I've taken it upon myself to get me and my family daily freebies or foraged/ scavenged items. I get my freebies from freebies.org, coupons (the fruit for kids at Jewel, or the Jewel MyMixx app), or clubs/ promotions. Or free samples at the store.

My foraged items include such gems as the dandelion leaves I've been harvesting and adding to our meals. The Hubs hates them, but I think they are good for us, and I'm proud I've gotten something from my yard on the table. I also encourage my boys to walk through the allies with me so we can scavenge items. We've found toys, money, and baskets. I believe this is good work. We're getting outside, we're not running to the store, we're helping the environment, and we're honing our skills.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New Experiences

We went to a new event today! I thought we would be late and miss it. We were late, but we didn't miss anything. The facilitators just had a table by the playlot. We made a little greenhouse with arugula seeds. There was some coloring involved. The playlot's ground was recycled tires (or something). And it has a tiny climbing wall, a few tunnels and two slides. The Baby loved the tunnels! He laughed the whole way through and went back again and again. Also, there was a big, rubbery, dragon? And a few large bugs for the kids to play on. It was all pretty cool. The Boy thought walking through L.L. Bean to the bathroom was cool too. I highly recommend this space. And event. Next Tuesday we'll be back. westfield.com

I made something new for dinner. The recipe was incomplete. It came from a free calendar I got at Jewel. I made French Toast Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Basically, make the pb&b, put 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in with 1 egg (adjust amount accordingly to the amount of sandwiches). They were pretty good. And I did put syrup on them!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Des Plaines Fall Fest

We went to Touch-A-Truck in Skokie, and we had a great time.

The Baby and I headed over to Jewel to get my freebies. With the MyMixx program I got a free salad kit, and I got a free banana with a reuseable coupon from Jewel. I picked up an item from Saving Star freebie list, but I forgot they don't allow receipt photos at Jewel. Dang. I will most likely return my not- freebie.

Then we went to Des Plaines Fall Fest. It was awesome! We all rode some rides, I got my funnel cake and The Boy won a prize. I was so pleased, and it reminded me of how much I enjoy my family.

I need to get up early for church!

Friday, September 18, 2015

At Home

We stayed home today! I'm sure there were several places we coulda shoulda gone, but I wanted to take it easy, because we're going to Touch-A-Truck and the Des Plaines Fall Fest.
I vacuumed the whole house, and as corny as it sounds, I'm really proud of myself! I vacuumed up a Wolf spider, along with a few others. Which is alarming.

The Boy is getting good at telling me what he needs. Like juice, tickles, cuddles, and potty.

The Baby took a few more steps today!

Sunday, September 13, 2015


There is not enough time in my day to get all I need to get done. Or perhaps I am bad at prioritizing, and managing, and organizing my time. I have a hard time seeing what needs immediate attention, what I can work on but don't need finished, and what can be done later. Housework always needs to be done, and it is a priority, but do I need to work on it until it's done? No, it's never-ending.
This evening I worked on clipping and organizing my coupons. I should have been working on my story for Real Simple.

The Boy pooped in the toilet!! I was so proud of him! He asked to go up, adjusted himself on his seat, and out it came. He doesn't seem to have the fear I've heard some tots do. Let's hope for a repeat tomorrow!

I saved 33% at Jewel today, combining my sales and coupons. And I just remembered I need to submit my receipt to ibotta.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

More Dental Work

I need another filling! Actually, it's a filling repair. And the filling is from years ago. Fuck, though. I'm nervous.

I'm also nervous about how my story for Real Simple is coming along. Perhaps I'm not a good writer? I know I haven't been applying myself to this blog...

The Baby has been throwing actual tantrums! He throws his head down, scrunches up his face, and yells.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

First Steps

The Baby took several steps unaided today! We were at the Northfield Library, and had just finished story time. I was so proud of him! It was incredible.

I also got some great deals at Michaels and CVS. At the craft store, I bought a surprise grab bag for $2. There was some great stuff in there. The Boy can't wait to do his projects.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


I scored a $3 off any purchase of $3 or more meat coupon, at Aldis. So I got some kinda pork for 11 cents including tax. I don't even eat meat, but for that price, I'll happily buy some for the fam.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Yard Sales

The kids love yard sales! We stopped by one, and The Boy was pretty excited. I was looking through some nonsense and he spotted the kitchen utensils. He was really into them, so I let him mess with them while I looked around. I did not leave him unattended because he seemed to be into the sharpest objects. And I didn't want him to be snatched. I was holding The Baby, trying not to let him touch everything.
I heard the attendant (homeowner? Guy?) tell a customer that he was really lucky he came by today because he was getting a great deal. He was laying it on really thick. And the guy did not negotiate with the customer. When my total came up to $5, I asked if I could give home $4, and without hesitation he agreed. Wonder why he was willing to take my offer, but not the other customer's?
I notice that people love to give my kids gifts from their merchandise.
"Oh, if he wants that, you guys can just take that."
Depending on what I'm buying, and the vibe I'm getting, I try to negotiate on top of the freebies. But I  usually go for one of the other. So far, I have only had the nerve to ask for a dollar or two off. Probably because people quote me pretty low.
I've been to a lot of yard sales where stuff is un-priced. This irritates me because you never know where people are at.
This season I've had pretty good luck with sales. Except for my own, but that was a different post.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Women in Recovery

I did a 'report' on women in recovery for a church group I'm in. I hope I did ok. I'm also hoping I walked the line of informational and personal in a way people appreciated.

The Boy had two bathroom-related incidents today. But he also had two bathroom victories. So.... Go Son, go!

The Baby rocked it at the park! He crawled around on the sand, climbed up the steps, went down the slide with me (I'm too old for those tube slides!), smiled on the swings and had a snack.

Both kids had a bath when we got home.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Banana-Nut Grahm Muffins

Banana-Nut Graham Muffins
The whole family likes these! They are moist (a word I dislike) and they have real fruit in them, which leads me to believe they are healthy. The Hubs says they remind him of my sister. Weird, I know.
Prep Time: 15 min. | Total Time: 33 min. | Makes: 12 servings (I feel like I should have doubled)
16 Graham crackers, finely crushed. I smacked the heck out of them while they were still in the package. But the recommended way is putting the crackers in a resealable plastic bag. Crush the grahams by rolling a rolling pin over the bag
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 cup fat-free milk (I used almond milk)
2 tbsp. honey
2 fully ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I think these are optional.)
Make it:
1) Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Combine graham crumbs, sugar, and baking powder until well blended. Mix all remaining ingredients except nuts in large bowl. Add graham mixture; stir just until moistened. (There's that word again!)
3) Spoon into 12 paper-lined muffin cups; top with nuts (unless you deemed these optional)
4) Bake 15-18 min. ( I baked for 16, and my toothpick came up clean) or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 min. Remove to wire rack; cool slightly. (I never do this step.)
Nutrition Info Per Serving:
160 calories, 4 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 20mg cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 16g sugars, 3g protein
This recipe came from the back of a Nabisco Graham Cracker box.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Good Housekeeping

I'm writing a piece for the Good Housekeeping Silver Linings Contest. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Chocolate Crackle Cookies


1 box Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix (I used Duncan Hines chewy triple fudge brownie mix)

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup powdered sugar -reserve for coating dough (I felt like this was too much)

Go Time:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place brownie mix, flour, eggs, and oil in medium bowl. Stir until blended. (Be careful! I think I over-stirred which made them a little tough).

 Place powdered sugar in seperate bowl. For each cookie, scoop 1 rounded tablespoon dough and place in powdered sugar. (The dough is really sticky. My tablespoons weren't rounded.)

Roll dough gently into balls, coating thoroughly with powdered sugar. Place 2 inches apart into greased cookie sheet. Bake 11-13 minutes. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Dogs and FILs

I think I did really well today. I feel like I got a lot done.

Finally took the dog to the vet.

I realized that in order to keep stuff clean, I really need to be cleaning all day. Live and learn.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Lunch At Panera

We went to visit my grandmother in her retirement home. She was told we could eat a-la-carte at 11 am, but that turned out to be false. So we ate at Panera. I had a good time, but my grandmother was getting a little stressed by the 'lack of lighting', the noise, and the fact that The Boy couldn't stay in his seat.

I'm so glad I scheduled it, though, and I'm glad I got a chance to talk with my grandmother and sister.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Yard Sale- Day Two

Day Two:
Sadly, my yard sale is like this blog: not enough visitors. The main problem is lack of advertising. Living on a busy street would be enough, I thought. I assumed that more people were like me, that in the middle of errands, we brake for yard sales. Today I had about ten customers, but only sold four items. I was kind of surprised. On the upside, it was nice to just sit outside. I read the paper, labeled a few photos, and hung out with The Baby. The Hubs was a huge help; he took The Boy on an errand, helped set up and break down, and did naps.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Freebies at Jewel

I've been giving The Boy a spoonful of honey for his cough. It works for a little while. I asked my mom if she had any homeopathic recipes for a cough. She adamantly said no. Apparently, she doesn't need homeopathic recipes for coughs. I can't imagine why.

At Jewel we got a free sample of Banana Water, and all three of us liked it. But not enough to buy. Then we got our free apple and banana (The Boy ate his apple on the way home). We also got cough syrup that was safe enough for The Boy. It's called Matty's, and it's being discontinued. Dang.

Friday, July 31, 2015


I somehow saved 38% at Jewel today. I bought things on sale, had my free fruit coupon, and bought my clearance coffee with a coupon.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sick Blueberries

I'm still sick. And laying in bed. And my wonderful husband 'let' me go lay down while he fed the kids and hung out with them until bedtime. And he filled up my bike tire! Love that guy.
(He also said that I 'got had' by the people I bought my bike from. Evidently the gears don't work. Whatever)

We scored free blueberries! We had a coupon for them, from Village Market. It was a mailer. And we got some Russian candy for my grandma.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


I'm under the weather! My face is stuffy, my throat hurts, and my body is achey.
It's times like these that I wish I had gotten more done so I don't feel so upset about laying here.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Fresh Farms and Free Samples

We went to a grocery store called Fresh Farms today. I had a mailer coupon. When we got there I scored some great deals on clearance produce. The Boy asked to get free samples. That's my boy! We also got a discount for bringing our own reusable shopping bag.
The cashier asked if my boys were twins. She obviously meant well, but I think that is a dumb question. The Baby was in my front pack carrier and The Boy was in the cart. There is a considerable size and development gap between them. So if they were twins...one of them would be stuck with serious issues. Anyway, when I got home, I found another one of those coupons! We're going back later this week.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mom's Birthday

I almost had a nervous breakdown today. So much stuff to do, so little time.

Around 4:30, we finally started getting in the car to go to my Mom's house, for her birthday party. She had a poster board up from a previous birthday- it had well wishes and photos from all stages of her life. It was made ten years ago, and it's odd to think how far the technology has come; we could make a much different one today. I don't even really remember that party, but I'm sure I was a mess.
Today I was able to bring food, gifts made with care, my kids, and my camera. I know that family is the most important thing to me, and I am so grateful I'm able to show up. I can really be present with the fam.
Also, I remember to take photos so that I can preserve physical reminders of events and trigger memories. And so I can make great scrap and photo books.
I try to journal everyday too.
Happy Birthday Mom!! Love you!

Sunday, July 12, 2015


I'm not sure what is actually making that noise, but something sounds like my kids crying. They're not, I just checked. But people wonder why I can't relax.

Today I saved 53% at Jewel. I bought stuff on sale, and used my coupons. I also realized that although my total was $46, I was able to use a store coupon: $5 off $50 or more. This is good information for me, because it means I can reach my $50 before using my manufacturer coupons. Previously, I made sure my total was $50 even after my manufacturer coupons. On my receipt, I noticed a surprise discount: I saved $7 for buying a certain amount of P&G items. Yea!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Five Hours!

It took me three hours to get to Joliet! And two hours to get home! I was so stressed and annoyed. But my kids were great. There was very little freak-outs. I had to stop at the Econo-lodge to use the restroom. I let the boys run around on the grass for a few minutes.
We finally got to the pick-up spot to get my father-in-law.
My concern is my planning ahead and our schedule. The traffic was so bad because of an accident. If I knew how to look that up on my phone, I would have. Maybe. And if I had known we would have been late, I could have planned dinner.
As it was, the kids and I ate dinner about 1 1/2- almost 3 hours late. Both kids went to bed late. So my issue is, how disruptive is it to be delayed like that? How often can I do that until my schedule is no longer? How can I avoid mishaps like that? How can I plan ahead effectively? Can I justify spending money on stuff I normally wouldn't? Like dinner out?

Whenever I go out of my county, I make sure to get gas. It's cheaper.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Free Banana

Awhile ago, I was grocery shopping with the kids, and the cashier, whom I recognized from working at Walgreens, offered the eldest a free banana. I urged him to take it, which he did.
Since then, I have gotten several free bananas from Jewel, either because of compassionate cashiers or because of a freebie coupon.
Today when I went to Jewel to get cat food, formula, and my freebie, my coupon didn't scan! The cashier handed me back the coupon. When I looked at the receipt, I decided to head over to customer service. A freebie should be free...
I'm pretty stoked about the free fruit situation.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Worries and Woe

I thought I was an anxious person before I had kids!
Before kids I could do what I wanted without worrying about too many other people. If the laundry didn't get done, I just wore cleanish and sort of inappropriate clothes. No dinner food? Popcorn it is! If I promised myself I would do something and didn't, it was just me I disappointed. (Usually)
Now everything is different! Self care is still important, of course. Because without me, the whole system breaks down! But if I don't get the laundry done, my babies and hubs can't operate successfully. If I don't go grocery shopping and plan ahead for meals, everyone suffers.

Besides all that, I worry about worldly things. How will the banks closing in Greece affect us here? Should I enroll my son in toddler classes? How can I be more organized? What kind of germs did the cat bring in with that dead mouse he left in my bedroom floor? What will happen in our future?

I worry about diseases, financial ruin, mental health issues, social issues, bullying, school mayham, scheduling conflicts, and my inability to get out of the house on time.
My husband says if we just put one foot in front of the other, and do the next right thing, we should be okay. I hope he's right.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mama Rama

At present, I am reading a book titled Mama Rama- A Memoir of Sex, Kids, & Rock 'n' Roll  by Evelyn McDonnell. She writes of eras past but not forgotten by its members and founders. Her memories and life are dictated by a soundtrack and her gender and sexuality. She caught the very beginning of Riot Grrrl, but was almost too old to take part like she wanted. I caught the end, and rode that wave (pun intended) writing papers, making mix tapes (yes, tapes!) and donning the appropriate Riot gear. My thoughts and love on and for the Grrrls were fogged by my need to be intoxicated. I know there were others like me, but I have yet to find them. McDonnell writes of her past with such ease and clarity. She has her hindsight specs on, and she owns who she was, and who she is yet to be. She does not seem to carry shame or confusion about her journey, and her writing is poetic. Long stretches of time are covered in a few short pages, and yet I feel I know who she is. I am envious of her writing, of her dedication-despite-life, and of her ability to push through a male-dominated genre (aren't they all?)
The page I'm on just finished the birthing process she endured while bringing here first (only?) biological child in this world. She goes to a birthing center, forgoes drugs and doctors for hot tubs and midwives. Her experience was one I don't  envy. Both my kids were delivered with both drugs and doctors, a decision and experience I wish I could tweak (for the first one only) but not re-do. Although wishing for something different about the past only makes me feel fearful of the future and unsure of myself, so I try hard not to waste my time on such nonsense. Lucky for you, Dear Reader, the younger of my two miracles is yelling from his crib, so I will spare you my birthing stories. For now.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day

To me, a dad is someone who provides for his family. He is able to see the world through his child's eyes, he is able to facilitate learning and fun-times based on his child's interests. He can put his adult life on hold to play with his kid.
A dad is a family man. He deals with the ups and downs of his family member's moods and needs, and he allows his family to deal with his.
A dad's love is an asset to the fam. He doesn't need to prove his love, his everyday actions speak for themselves.
The family can lean on him, rely on him, and know that he will be there to provide for, protect, and love them.
Despite continuous social pressure, a dad will help out with the everyday stuff. He helps with errands, meals, events, and cleaning.
I have been blessed with a father who has done these things, and who usually feels this way. I was blessed again when I realized The Hubs fills this role too. My mom chose a good one when she remarried. (She chose well the first time too...just wanted to give a shout-out to the step).
Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Old Navy

The Baby woke me up at 6 this morning. But we didn't leave the house until about 10:30 am!

We made it to Old Navy for the $1flip-flop sale. I bought 13 pairs, obviously spent $13 plus 9.5% sales tax.
We also stopped by two yard sales! There were 2 guys who were trying to get ridiculous deals and they became aggressive enough that the homeowners asked them to leave. I'm not like that. In fact, I forget to haggle! I spent $8 at the first sale; I bought The Boy a butterfly hook (he chose it), two pairs of big sunglasses, a hat for The Hubs, and a luxurious sweater. Right on!

Dinner at my mom's tonight was great! Saw some extended family. And a guy I went to high school with. I'm getting some anxiety about what I said or did. Or didn't say or do...

Friday, June 19, 2015


The Baby starts flipping out at 6:59pm, because his bedtime is at 7pm. I had gone out earlier, so by the time I got home, it seemed he really missed me. While we were in the bathroom, I asked if he wanted to help me turn on and off the light. He reached out his arm, and started to grab at the light switch. I'm so proud of him!

This is yard sale season! So far I haven't been to that many... I tried to go to one today (The Boy was excited because he wanted to look for a new bear) but we got there too late. So we went to CVS.

My transaction from CVS:
Softsoap Refill bottles-b1g1 (buy one get one) at $8.49 each
I had a coupon from the coupon printer, $2 off $8. And I had an ExtraCare Buck.
I paid $6.07, including sales tax. I saved 63%.

Instead of watching tv, I finished reading Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife. I really enjoyed it, but I like those diary entry books.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lovelace Park

My house is very cluttered. It's clean, but it's cluttered (so I guess it's not all that clean!). I realize my clutter will (and does) cause problems.
I was sick with the stomach flu and I had family come in and help with the kids. There were some issues with where stuff was and how clean the van was. It was interesting to see how much of a breakdown there was when I was out of commission.
I get so overwhelmed thinking about all the projects I have, and all the de cluttering I need to do.

The kids and I met my friend and her 7-month-old girl. The Girl Baby is adorable! She smiles and engages much more than last time we saw them. I'm so glad we got to meet up with them! The kids had a good time and I enjoyed talking to my friend. We fed the ducks, and surprisingly, the catfish? Catfish? It was beautiful outside and it was great to enjoy it.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mr. Clean

I just got chocolate on the bed because I was eating a dark lemon and pepper chocolate bar. In bed.

While I was making frantic phone calls to my dentist (who probably won't be my dentist for much longer) and my insurance company, I wasn't really watching the kids...The Boy found a blue crayon nub and used it to make some artful designs under the window. As much as I love his artwork, I decided to clean this stuff up, and save the pieces he's done on scrap paper. First I tried spraying Windex Multi-Purpose solution on it, and using a used dryer sheet to scrub. It worked briefly. Then I remembered I had a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! It really worked! The end fell apart really fast, and got bits on my floor, but it will be my go-to for unauthorized artistic endeavors. That, and prevention.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


The Boy spotted the daytime moon as I was getting him out of the car at the library.
"Moon! Mama, moon! Moon?"
"Yeah! That's the moon, baby! Good eye."
"Mama get moon?"
"No baby. The moon is far away, maybe thousands of miles. I don't know."
"Maybe with rocketship?"
"Yes! A rocketship! Good thinking."
"Mama go?"
"No, I don't know how to operate a rocketship."
"Maybe space guy?"
"Yes! A space guy, also known as an astronaut, would know how to use a rocket ship."
I'm impressed by his thought patterns. Being his loving mother, I'm pretty sure he is a genius.

The Baby doesn't take a long midday nap like The Boy does. Consequently, he gets super-tired around 5. I'm not sure how to help him...he has a hard time sleeping when The Boy is awake.
On the upside, he is babbling quite a bit. We are having many lovely conversations!

This Milka Strawberry bar was delicious! I had not intended to eat the whole thing. But I did.

I'm super-stressed about a call I received from my dentist at Webster Dental. Apparently while I was paying out of pocket, they were billing the wrong insurance account. Tomorrow I need to call Delta Dental and then the dental office...OMG. I'm furious and stressed and worried.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


We went to my mom's today, for about two hours. We had a few snacks, played outside, and I got to relax for a few minutes. I'm so lucky we live about seven minutes away. But I'm annoyed that we were later than I said we would be.

During the day I try to get stuff done, but it seems that I take too many breaks and I get overwhelmed thinking about what I have to do. I get so much anxiety trying to prioritize, that I end up not doing a whole lot. It's very stressful. And at the end of the day I feel terrible.

This morning the Hubs left without most of his lunch, no coffee, and a little late. Those things could have been avoided with better planing and organization on my part.

Monday, June 8, 2015


We went to GFS, I bought in bulk, used a store coupon and got stuff on sale. I stayed on my budget, calculating in the store despite a minor freak out in the cart. Pretty proud of us.

There will be more tomorrow, and I will not be writing so late.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


After going to the 'libo' - the library- I made a quick stop at Walgreens. I wanted to get the foundation on sale.
Covergirl foundation (ivory) $8.49
Covergirl foundation ( ivory) $4.24
Covergirl magenta nail polish $3.19
I had three Covergirl coupons, all of which said I could only use 4 per household and one coupon per purchase. One coupon per purchase means one coupon per item, FYI.
I saved 44%.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

New Recipes

I read a blog (can't remember which one, of course) that suggested homemakers try a new recipe everyday. That is totally unrealistic, so perhaps I misread. It's unrealistic because of the amount of ingrediants needed for new recipes, and everyone should have their go-to meal plans. Mine is pasta. Of various varieties.

Roasted Garlic and Eggplant Soup
Found on allrecipes.com

From Issue 4 April 2015 of All You (that family/mom/homemaker/busy wife magazine, found only at WalMart- or by subscription)
Ingrediants: for the Buttermilk Brownies
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter - I used margarine
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped- I used semisweet Kroger chocolate chips
3/4 cup (or 12 tbsp.!) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (or 12 tbsp) cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Ingrediants: for Oreo Cheesecake Swirl
6 Oreo cookies
4 oz room temperature cream cheese
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1) preheat oven to 350• F. Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with foil, draping foil over edges. (I used a foil pan).
2) In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Let cool.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, eggs, vanilla and salt until smooth and pale, about 30 seconds. Stir in cooled chocolate mixture and buttermilk. Stir in flour until just combined, then pour batter into baking pan.
4) Bake until a toothpick inserted into brownies comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack and let cool completely. Lift brownies out of pan, remove foil and cut into 12 pieces. Wrap brownies in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
To add the Oreo Cheesecake Swirl:
Stir in 3/4 cup quarted Oreos (about 6 cookies) with flour. (I smooshed my Oreos.) In a small bowl, stir 4 oz. room-temperature cream cheese, 2 tbsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt until smooth. Scrape into a small ziplock bag. Snip off 1 corner of bag scissors, then squeeze cream cheese mixture in a swirled pattern over the batter in pan. Add cooking time- 55-60 minutes.
My cooking time was about 70 minutes.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I have made a decision that I need to be focused on the kids when they are awake. No more looking at my phone, no more half-assly being a part of their activities. So what if the house doesn't look great? It doesn't look that great all that often anyway.
Being really involved in their activities will make me feel like a good productive mom.

I asked The Boy if he wanted to cook or craft, and he chose cook. So he sat on the counter and helped me stir the brownie mix. It was Ghirradrli Double Chocolate. He got to lick the bowl.
This morning I asked if he wanted to craft or go outside. After some minor scrambling, we went outside and hung out and I blew bubbles. It was invigorating to just relax and be with them and not worry about the finished product. The boys love bubbles!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

At my church service yesterday, the sermon was about memories and remembering and taking time for family. And remembering the fallen soldiers, and making sure they didn't die in vain, or without those to remember them.

I am terrified of forgetting. I make lists for shopping trips and vacations. I try to journal after events and photograph during them. Many things I would love to forget, but those experiences and thoughts have been burned into my brain. However, I find myself seemingly to forget important things, things about my kids. I find myself having trouble filling out The Baby's baby book. Documentation of my life is a near-obsession with me, but I do feel like I live in the moment as well. I hope I do.

Let us live in the moment and take an opportunity to remember our soldiers. Not the reasons of the war, or what is must mean to make a decision to fight in them...but let us take a moment to remember the soldier (or Marine or Seal or whatever) as a person, to remember their hopes and thoughts and ideas. Let us remember, so we may not suffer that pain of forgetting.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Cosley Shutterfly

I'm having a hell of a time ordering my freebie prints from Shutterfly. I get a lot of photos printed, and a lot of photo projects made. Most of my gifts are 'free' (just pay shipping). I think it's worth it. Except when it is fucking difficult.

We went to Cosley Zoo today! With my dad and stepmom. The kids got in free, my dad got senior pricing, and The Hubs and I were $5. Totally worth it. It's a bit of a drive, but we saw birds (owls, some kinda heron, cardinals, and others). There were ducks (and an awkward duck-sex situation), sheep, cows, bulls, llamas, and a few reptiles. The Boy really liked a spider on a fence.
I was so pleased to finally make time for my dad and the kids. My dad lives far enough away that it takes serious planning to see him, but not far enough to be impossible.
We also went out to eat, which was surprisingly lovely.

Our routine was totally thrown off today and it made me realize that we are more scheduled and more reliant on our routine than I thought. I'm proud of that. Structure can be good.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Toy Story

We let the boy watch part of Toy Story sometimes. In the evening, before bed. I like to snuggle with him and watch it too. Sometimes it makes me cry!

I had to take my father-in-law to a doctor's appointment today, and I got my beloved step dad to watch the kids. I could only schedule the appointment during Naptime, so it was a blessing my stepdad could come by. He knows how to care for young children, and I totally trust him, but as I was leaving I started to see all the nuances of the stuff my kids do. The Boy's language is good enough so that I almost always understand him, but I'm the only one. And there are all the little additions to our routines that only Mama can do, like extra snuggles.

On Facebook, on saw (and read) two articles about kids that I think are noteworthy. One was a horrific article on child killers - kids who murder other kids- and the part that disturbed me most was the one about two 10-year-olds who abducted a 2 (!!) year old, tortured and beat him, then tied him to train tracks. My boy is 2 1/2, and to imagine him in that situation is terrifying. I cannot understand such cruelty. My only reprieve is to know that had the boys been supervised it probably would not have happened. What had the older kids seen or done to make them think their actions were ok?
The other article was about parents treating their kids on Facebook. It was pretty funny because I still feel young enough to identify with the kids, but as a parent, I hope I can have that kind of humor and wit regarding my kid's social media antics. Although it is likely I won't understand the newest social media they might use. What the hell is Twitter?

The Baby needed extra hugs today, because it appears he does not like my uncle-in-law. Go figure.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Vattman Park

We stayed at the house until about 3:30, when we piled in the super-hot car to go to a park in Wilmette. It was a really well planned park; I could see The Boy pretty much everywhere he went. He climbed a wall-ladder and tried the monkey bars for the first time!
The Baby ate puffs and climbed on me and used the stroller to hold onto while he stood. I love his progress!
I met up with my friend and her baby and realized there was too much going on for us to have a actual conversation. Which was a bummer, because I really like talking to her.

While I was giving The Baby his first bottle of the day, we locked eyes, and I felt that 'in love with my kids' feeling. It was really intense, but I welcomed it because it solidified my life choices and it kept me in the moment and I was able to stare back at him. I hope he felt similar intensity. You know, in a baby way.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The E.R

My boy fell down the stairs and he fell with sickeningly thumps. There was a noise uttered by my father-in-law and The Boy that made me feel that this was an emergency.
We went to the ER and two women in waiting room were really nice and helped reign in the chaos. Thank God for those people and their small blessings.
As per usual ER trips, we were in there for almost five hours. The Boy had a concussion and busted his perfect button nose.
The frazzled-ness of going to the ER takes a while to wear off.
All three of my boys are sleeping. Guess I should be too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How Do I Do This?

In the movies, the mommy bloggers write about what it all means, the inherent joy of children, how hard it is (the job of mothering) but how important and/or wonderful the job is. I read a blog written by a SAHM who wrote about the weather, her grocery list, her kid's schedules, and other kind of minutiae that us tedious to read unless one is a real voyeur. I think this blog will be a mix of my thoughts (centering on my crafts, homemaking, and kids) and a journal of my activities. Perhaps I should have done this at the beginning of this series.

My father-in-law is here. He thinks I hate him so I decided to make a cake. It was a boxed cake with Duncan Hines frosting. After baking all that stuff from scratch, this stuff seems to taste processed. I still had a piece. And I want another one. I'm happy I made an effort to make my FIL something he can snack on.

I did a 23 minute yoga video and it was invigorating! That's why I had that cake.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mom's Night Out

I finished watching a movie called Mom's Night Out. It started out being a flighty comedy about the disorganization of being a modern day mom. The protagonist wants so badly to be a loving mom, a diligent blogger, and a wonderful wife. The story was full of stereotypes and gender bias, and at the end there was a lot of God and Jesus talk. Sometimes I feel comforted by stuff like that, but I prefer to know if I will be watching a Jesus movie. I felt blindsided, and I felt like it was supposed to be a 'Christains are cool' movie. I actually really liked the movie. Despite the cheesy-ness of it.

The Baby is sick! He has a cold, an earache, and a little pink eye. He spent a lot of today being tired and congested. At his doctor's appointment he couldn't get his vaccines. Yes, I am a vaccinating mom.

Friday, May 8, 2015

DIY Homemaking

While I was reading about DIY homemaking and homesteading, The Hubs went out and got me a milkshake from Burger King. It is what it is.

I made cookies! Two batches and one batch was doubled. There are festivities coming up and I want to be ready. I also finished up the handmade gift I have for my mom. For Mother's Day, obviously.

Still reading Homeward Bound- Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity by Emily Matchar. It is very intriguing and well-researched. With her perspective, which I like.

For dinner I was going to have my bland, homemade potato and onion and bean soup. I even made the stock! I really didn't want just soup for dinner, and while I was giving The Baby his bottle, I suddenly thought of using the pie crust! So I made a calzone-shaped pot pie. I added cheese, paprika and some other kind of spice. It was pretty good! And I'm pleased about my creativity.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I found a new recipe. I like to cook more now than I ever have before. I'm better than I used to be, but far from a great cook. My father is (and probably has always been) a 'throw together cook'. He puts in what he has and doesn't sweat the details. I'm the same way. I'm always substituting and omitting and adding and hoping. I found a recipe on allrecipes.com
Called Cranberry Orange Bread. It involves mandarin oranges (which I bought in bulk and then realized they were about to expire) and sour cream. Whoa. Ended up good though. The Baby, The Hubs and I like it. The Boy says he doesn't.
I will say that substituting cranberries for raisins is not recommended.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Homeward Bound

I got an email from the Skokie Public Library stating that my book I put on reserve was ready for pick-up. So we headed to the 'libo' to 'play with some kids' and see the fish. And pick up my book. The book I requested is called Homeward Bound- Why Women Are Enbracing the New Domesticity. 
The book is all about homemakers, the reclamation of domestic duties, the mom blogger, and history. I love it so far! My only concern is that it might cause me to over-think my life choices, that I might become more obsessed with projects and less with my children's experiences and cleaning/organizing.

I needed some chocolate earlier today so I busted into my clearance Easter M&Ms. I had to share some with The Boy and he pointed to the 'M' and said
"Mama. Mn'm"
I said,
"M is for Mama and M&Ms?!"
I'm pretty sure my boy is a genius.

The Baby puts his head on my shoulder when I pick him up. He grabs ahold of me. And he smiles so broadly when he sees me come in the room. I love it. Warms my heart.

At Walgreens we saved 45% just by purchasing stuff on sale. The formula was b1g1, at 6.7 cents an ounce. And the milk was $2.49.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Homemaking Books

The kids went to bed pretty easily. The Boy only woke up once because his night-light went off and he wanted some extra bedtime stuff. The Baby had only one bottle. Even though he is nine months and I know the threat of SIDS is behind us, I check on him at least twice a night. I don't check on The Boy as much because we close his door. When we open it, it makes a popping, cracking noise and I'm afraid it will wake him up. We close his door because he is afraid of the cats being in his room.

A woman at church with older kids said she doesn't work outside the home. I couldn't ascertain if she works at home, for direct pay, or if she is a stay-at-home mom. She is interested in having coffee with me...perhaps I can convince her to meet me at a park so I can bring myself a budget-friendly thermos.

I finished Everything's Eventual, a collection of stories by Stephen King. And I am almost done with my first impressions book. So I requested a homemaker book from the library. I read a blog entry that said that with new jobs and/or new life choices one should do some research. My sister said that sounds stressful.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


My parents were blessedly active with us. They took us on walks and sledding and swimming. We weren't a sports family but we weren't couch potatoes either.
I want to be the mommy that can play in the park and pitch and be goalie and do all the activities my boys need me to do. I noticed that my body feels tense and awkward. I'm pretty sure it's because I haven't been doing my yoga. It might also be because I'm getting old.
The need for exercise is upon me. I really need to schedule it into my day. Along with everything else, including my good intentions.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Ten More Minutes

We went to Gallery Park. On a Meet Up. I approached a mom, and we chatted for a few seconds. Nothing came of it. I had a sudden fear that I would never make a new Mommy friend.
 I heard a very odd domestic while I was changing The Baby on a park bench. A couple was walking down the sidewalk, next to the park, when he yells out,
"You fucking bitch!"
She said something inaudiable, possibly in a normal tone of voice. He said,
"I don't want to calm down! You ruined my fucking life!"
They walked away while he was still yelling.
There is a fountain at Gallery Park, in the summer it's super-crowded. Today it was just The Boy. Luckily I had a change of clothes for him.
Finally I chatted with another mom! She is an over-sharer like myself. Her kid is adorable, and very tank-like. Sadly, she talked a lot about 'beer-cations'. Which I am not at all into.
When I told The Boy we had to go because it was almost Naptime, he said,
"Mama, ten more minutes!"
I was really surprised, pleased, and kind of annoyed.

The Baby sits up now! It makes bathtime so much easier and more adorable. And he was able to sit in the sandbox today. Thank goodness!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Smarts

I have always been a voracious reader. I have a lot of 'rules' about reading.
1) I like to finish books I start.
2) I like books to be relevant to my life.
My step-dad dropped off a bunch of books of mine. They were in his basement and he is clearing stuff out! Many of the books are "women stuff", books on rape, the role of women and other topics relating to my Women and Gender Study minor. Some were books on salvaging and repurposing flea market finds. Some were on radical lifestyles.
My lifestyle and tastes have changed, a little, but just looking at the books brought me back to that time and mindset in my life.
More on this soon.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mommy Gear

I left the house once today, to go grocery shopping. My digital coupon didn't go through. But the woman in line in front of me gave me all her Monopoly cards/coupons. Lucky number 13!
While shopping, a woman asked me about the baby carrier I have. We had a nice little chat. Her baby appeared to have jaundice. But who knows?
Today I wore a hoodie, an over-sized t-shirt, unremarkable jeans, and old Adidas sneakers. I also have (and wore) a leather biker/ punk-rock jacket. I felt like I was in some kind of sad Mommy uniform. It is what it is.

I love the way The Baby feels in my arms. I love the way he fits in my nook, the way his soft hair feels on my cheek. And I love the way he hugs me back.

The Boy is making great strides in his language. He says
"Yeah" and "yes"
More often now. And he told me his ankle was feeling better. I feel like we can have conversations now. And that is really cool.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Six Years

I went to church this morning with The Baby. The Boy stayed home with a twisted ankle! He twisted his ankle in a freak accident. The Hubs carried him inside and when he put him down The Boy and The Boy started screaming. His foot has slight bruising on the top. I wrapped up his foot and we got to ice it this evening. Poor baby!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Salt And Peppa

Because of that commercial, I wanted to listen to Push It by Salt And Peppa. I put it on while cleaning the kitchen and almost immediately The Boy was saying,
"No! No! No!"
And he was whining and he wanted to watch Wheels On The Bus. When I started dancing in my crazy way, he almost had a mental breakdown. And he actually started crying!
I didn't let him watch his show, and I was really sad. Was he embarrassed? Does he love his shows that much? Was he hungry?
The Baby thought my dancing was funny.

I worked on my will and succession plans. And by 'worked on' I mean 'talked about'. With my stepdad. We went to his house and the boys played, we made vegan pancakes (weird aftertaste), and went outside. I felt like we accomplished something.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I like to read stay-at-home-mom/homemaker blogs. One blog (and of course I forgot it's address), said that being a homemaker should be considered one's job. But in a more intense way. Folks study and read about their career aspirations, so folks should read articles and books about homemaking. I think that's true. The author also mentioned that homemaking takes practice and work. Homemakers need to work on their skill set-like working on new recipes. And I would have read more, but than things got very Jesus-y and they tried to sell me The Ultimate Homemakers Guide.

So this evening I tried two new recipes:
Fried Rice
I used a fresh onion but canned peas and carrots. The peas got smooshed in the shuffle.
No egg, because I hate egg in fried rice.
I used new rice. And made way more than necessary.
My rice didn't really fry! Just got smooshed and clumpy.
The Hubs and The Baby really liked it! The Boy refused to eat it. Ok, he had a few bites. I thought it was ok.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Instead of chips I used plain M&Ms.
Instead of flour, I used ground flaxseed.
And instead of 1/3 cup brown sugar I accidentally put in 1 1/3 cup! I tried to pull out as much as I could.
The flaxseed is certainly there...
The cookies spread out and covered the whole cookie sheet. So the consistently is much more chewy.
Now we know.
Also, I set off the smoke alarm.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Productivity and Homemaking

Every night I seem to be caught in an awful routine of getting stuck in front of the tv, going to bed later than I mean to. And I think about all the things I didn't do, and all the things I should have done. And I noticed that the work I do isn't tangible. The housework is, but the kid-raising is not. And the housework is never-ending. I realize that I do not clean up after myself or the kids (or The Hubs) very well.
I do not see my children as distractions from housework. Because they are a huge part of my life, and I love playing and hanging out them.
How do I balance? How do I get stuff done?

Saturday, April 18, 2015


This morning I took The Boy to Terminal Park. Which is a terrible name for a park. It was a great park! A big field, a baseball field, swings, slides, a see-saw...just a great area. The Boy, surprisingly, was almost more interested in collecting pine cones and rocks. I gave him an old wipes box to put them in. It was really nice to spend time with just him.

It has come to my attention that I cannot keep a clean house. I'm a pretty good, possibly awesome mom, but I'm a pretty terrible housewife (still hate that term).

The Hubs and I tried to go to K-1 Racing, which is a go-kart place in  Buffalo Grove. The wait was over an hour for one of the tracks. My mom was babysitting, and I didn't think she would appreciate the time frame. But we went to Goodwill, and then got pizza. Our  make-shift date was cheaper than our planned one. We had a good time. You know, because we were together.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I am reading The Happiness Project  by Gretchen Rubin and I highly recommend it.

The emotional agony of listening to my children 'cry it out' is wretched but hard to explain. I do it because I think it works.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gallery Park

I took the boys to Gallery Park in Glenview. We had a good time collecting rocks and playing in the sandbox.

I wanted us to get our free cones at Ben&Jerry's, but the line way too long for us.

Monday, April 13, 2015

No Nap

The Boy was in his crib for almost two hours and didn't sleep! He was kind of a lunatic for the rest of the day. He kept running into stuff and whining and he didn't eat his dinner. We let him watch his 'shows' (stuff on Sprout, on Demand). He was laying on the couch and I told him that he could watch and relax until his bedtime. He laughed maniacally and said,
"Goooood job, Mom! High-five?"
Obviously I laughed out loud.

The Baby got to crawl around the library! Who knows what kind of germs he picked up?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hold The Phone

I had a phone date today! With a BFF. She moved to Oregon and the time difference really threw us off. We talked on her lunch hour, and I had both kids sleeping for part of it. We sort of caught up. But I was pleased to note that although our conversations have ceased recently, we were able to pick up exactly as we had left off.

Getting out of the house is so hard! It takes me a long time to get ready, then getting my kids ready...it can be hours before we get out of the house. I don't know how to streamline our getting-out-of-the-house activities.

We finally got out of the house and walked to CVS. On the way there, The Boy collected rocks and a few sticks.
First Transaction:
2 bags of Pull-Ups
1 bag of Huggies wipes
1 bag of Huggies swim diapers
I had coupons for each item. And I got $10 ExtraCare bucks.
Second Transaction:
4 bags of clearance M&Ms
2 boxes of clearance egg dye
3 boxes of  Puffs
1 package of Bounty paper towels
I had coupons for all these items too! I saved 90%. CVS has a very generous coupon policy.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Little Beans

We went to Little Beans Cafe! My mom took us. The play space was pretty cool...there was four little houses, one of them had a slide. The Boy played with fake food and a mini shopping cart. He seemed to have a great time. And there was a play space for The Baby too. My mom bought me a cappuccino. I would certainly go back, but with a coupon.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Throw Up!

The Hubs complimented my newly manicured nails.

The Boy threw up twice. Once on the dining room table, while The Hubs was eating dinner. And once right before bed, in the bathroom. But not in the toilet.

The Baby thought his nighttime bottle was really funny. He giggled adorably, and I put him in his crib.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lonely Library

The boys and I went to the library today, and I had some weird experiences in the parking lot. I thought a boy (maybe about 14) was a mannequin. All I saw at first were two hands resting on thighs. And they looked like mannequin hands. When I leaned down to look, real eyes and spikey hair stared back at me. Obviously I looked like a fucking creep. Luckily, I was unloading my kids so I looked less threatening.
As I was trying (and failing) to get the stroller over a snow blob, a guy I recognized from a previous workplace. He was rumored to be, at best, a creep. At worst, a child molester and/or indecent exposurer. He stopped in front of us and said,
"Come, come", motioning his hand.
I looked at him and said,
"No. No. "
And held up my hand.
When I got inside, I told all this to the librarian. She suggested I get more sleep.
My boys did a good job in Book Babies. I'm so proud of them.

I think I'm struggling with my life choices. I am so blessed to be a stay-at-home mom, with a reliable and hardworking partner, and two beautiful, funny, healthy, amazing boys. But I get lonely. And I struggle with housework, and when the day is ending, I have to make a conscious decision to recall my accomplishments. I realized that we are a society that values production markers. We like pedometers, progress reports, and tangible evidence of our toils. Housework is never-ending. And how do I "chart  progress" with my children? Do I even want to? (I do not.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cabbages And Kings

I made cabbage rolls and it took me two, almost three hours. I got the recipe from tasteofhome.com

And I took The Boy to the library for our mom/son play date.

Perhaps tomorrow I will write more eloquently.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Moving Day

We helped my sister move today. I left the kids at my mother's in care of my mom and stepdad. There was a lot of packing to do, and some logistic issues to work out. And I was under the weather today. But I feel like I helped a lot.
I spent 6 hours away from my kids today! It made me sad .

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


We finally took a walk! We wore our winter coats, and I had The Baby in my front pack carrier. The Boy held my hand the whole time, and it just warmed my heart. While walking, The Boy pointed out all the things he was hearing and seeing. The birds, cars, snow, mud. And yes, it is true, that little boys are drawn to mud and puddles. And mud puddles. His feet and pants got soaked, and he didn't seem to mind. Our walk was only a few blocks, but we were invigorated and pleased. The Boy brought home a big stick, which I made him leave outside.

Monday, March 9, 2015

CVS And Sickness

The Boy is sick again! He had a terrible cough today, his face was all snotty and he was cranky and weird. I felt awful that I couldn't do more for him. Yes, I cried. I also cried because he already maxed out his insurance. My poor little guy! On the upside, I did get him to drink some herbal tea with honey.

I went to CVS by myself! Which was weird. But I found out that CVS's ExtraBucks policies is very lenient. (Much more than Walgreens. Just sayin ') I was able to use them in conjunction with manufacturer coupons. And I used an ExtraBuck on a purchase of milk, and the register gave me a milk ExtraBuck back.
First Purchase:
Milk- $2.99
2 L'Oreal hair dyes (I got the auburn the hubs doesn't like)-
I used a $5-off-2 mnf coupon for the dye
An ExtraBuck (from milk a few weeks ago)
I spent $18.89 and saved 26% and I got a $4 ExtraBuck back
Second Purchase:
5 Iams cat food cans-77cents each
EmergenC, 10count- $5.49
I used a $1-off one EmergenC, buy-5-get-1-free Iams can, a $4 and $1 ExtraBucks.
I spent $6.11, and saved 55% and got $1 ExtraBuck back .

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Church And Coupons

On Sundays I try to clip at least two sets of coupons. Today I didn't even get through one. But I did order some freebies on freebies.com. And I get the Freeflys email updates.

The time change did throw me off. I was hungry way before dinner. And we didn't even eat until 6:30 or so. The sun didn't seem to set until around 7, and we scrambled to get the kids to bed.

I read parenting and craft blogs, I read parenting magazines, and I have joined several Meetup groups. There are so many fun things to do with kids, in the city and the neighboring suburbs. I want to give my kids as many experiences as I can. But nap time is about noon or 1 and I can't get us out of the house quickly. That leaves us about three hours to play in the morning. Or in the afternoon.
While I was giving The Baby his nighttime bottle, I was thinking about when I could take my soon-to-be-older kids out on field trips without getting interrupted by naps. School breaks, Saturdays, and the like. Then I started thinking about activities and extra-curricular activities.
I like to plan ahead.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Photos

The kids and I went to my grandmother's house, despite the fact that we are no longer allowed in the pool. They have a new diaper-ban policy. Anyway, I morbidly asked my grandma what she plans on doing with her photos after her death. What I was asking was, did she list who gets what material item in her will, or is it just financial? She ended up giving me a box of photos. Spanning from 1900's- early 2000's. I categorized them by their sizes because she doesn't label her photos. And I made a few scrapbook pages this evening. I'm not real excited about the artistic aspect, or my layout choices. But I am very excited about the process and finally giving these photos a home.
I label all my pictures before I give them away or put them in albums.
The Boy loves to look at photos on phones, loose, or in albums. I'll make sure his love of 'picturs'  continues.

The time change will throw me off.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Bank

The Boy made his first cash deposit at the bank today! A financial first. I'm proud. But obviously I filled out his paperwork.

I went to Petco to get wet cat food. I'm part of their club so I get 5% off each purchase (given back as a coupon mailed to my house). I had a 10% off store coupon. And I had a 'buy 5 get 1 free' coupon on Iams cat food. I spent $3.53. I wanted to use two more identical coupons, but the fine print indicated I could not. I probably could have tried anyway.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Focus Group

I went to a focus group today! I had to take the train downtown and it was actually kind of fun. But I was gone for about five hours! I really missed my kids, and I'm thinking school separation will be really hard.
When I got home I put some of the focus group money in my kid's piggy banks. And I had the older one empty his out and we counted the bills. He was really excited, and I told him I would deposit his cash. Which I will.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Me and the kids (ok, the kids and I) got up at the pulpit(?) podium (?) at church today and stood with my mother and step-dad to show the congregation that we are three generations that believes in the church and this religion. My mother gave a good 1minute testimonial about us. It was good.

The Boy hit his head, hard, three times today.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Book and The Baby

Upon further reading I have found that I very much dislike the book I mentioned yesterday. The author thinks that not going to her children's games will make them more independent and self-reliant. She has no time to bake cakes for her kid's fundraisers. And she dislikes chauffeuring her children. I agree with the last part, although I don't drop my kids off yet. But to me it seems that her children are just another time-waster in her busy,busy life. And, to me, that is a goddamn shame. If your kids feel you have no time for them, they will find someone who does. Let's pray it's Grandma and not the pedophile down the street.

I took The Baby to the Winter Indoor Farmer's Market and discovered a product called 'teamales'. The crafter? Artesian? Took loose tea and wrapped it up in a tamale wrapper. She also made tea drops, which had the honey and suger melted into a lozenge-like thing. Lookin' good!

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Truth About Mothering

I'm reading a book called The Kids Will Be Fine Guilt-Free Motherhood for Thoroughly Modern Women.
While I appreciate the truths of motherhood, and telling people how it is, this author paints such a dispairing mindset of motherhood. I agree with some thoughts she's presenting, but not many. I do appreciate her writing style, however.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book Babies

I took the boys to a baby program at the library, called Book Babies. We sang songs, read books, bounced around. The Boy did really well. The Baby wanted to eat, then spit up on another kid.
We hung out for another forty minutes, and I had a hard time getting The Boy out of there. While the kids were playing, a boy chatted with my boy. The stranger was very polite and tried to conversate with my kid, but decided he couldn't understand him.
A girl, maybe four, took all of the fake fruit and The Boy freaked out. The conflict was resolved but I felt like I needed to step in and snatch stuff from her. I don't want to be a helicopter, but I was upset that he was being messed with.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Church Service

Unless the weather is terrible, we go to church. Just me and the kids, not The Hubs. The Baby stays with me and my mom in the sanctuary, and The Boy goes downstairs to the nursery. Today at the service, there was a toddler in front of us and the usual 3-year-old wandering around. The service was long this morning, and those kids were distracting. Obviously I'm a mom too, and I want my kids to be exposed to our faith, to our words, to our rituals. But I also want to be respectful to other congregants. And I need to make sure my expectations of my children are reasonable. And I don't think expecting my two year old to sit through an entire service is reasonable.
Whenever I see kids in the service, I just want to know why. Are the parents/guardians afraid of the childcare providers? Do they want their kids it soak in our faith?
But besides asking why, I also get mad. Sometimes kids are not as cute as you think they are. I know, I know, that's not very UU of me.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sick Dates

Tonight is Date Nite! I'm pretty excited. I'm frugal and possibly cheap, so I got my sister to babysit and The Hubs and I are using a coupon from the Entertainment Book. I suggested bowling or ice skating or a movie, but those suggestions were all turned down. Then I found all the Mexican food coupons, because The Hubs wants a burrito. Or nachos. Or whatever. He is paying, I find coupons, everyone wins.

The boys are sick! Or really, under the weather. I let The Boy watch way to many episodes do Curious George, and the three of us hung out in bathroom with books while I steamed us.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Winnetka Covenant

We had a play date at Winnetka Covenant Preschool and it was great! They have a shoe-free room with small tables and chairs, puzzles, board books, pretend kitchen sets and a few other awesome and various toys. The Boy was able to rush around chatting with other kids and playing with pretty much everything. The other moms were friendly. I think we'll be back!

I called the Newberry Library today, because I wanted to check on their noise and luggage limits. They seem very accommodating! We will be planning a trip there via the El (for The Boy) to see the exhibit 'Love On Paper'.

I don't really like the name of my blog anymore...mostly just the Mommy Time part. Dang.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

CVS 6 Month

We went to the store and The Baby had to ride in his stroller because the cart was too unstable. The Boy walked. And he also go his own basket! He looked adorable walking up and down the aisles. He even carried a can of cat food.
First Transaction:
Dean's milk- paid $3.06, got $1 extra buck
Second Transaction:
9 cans of Sheba cat food-60 cents ea
Small package of m&ms -99 cents, got 75 cent ECB
2 packages of Gevalia coffee-$4.99 ea
2packages of Dove sensitive bar soap- $8.99, b1g1 half off
I had 3 ECBs
2  $1-off Gevalia coupons
2 $1-off Dove coupons
I received a $1 and 75 cent ECB
I saved 48%

Today is The Baby's 6-Month Birthday!! I took a lot of photos.
He had 2 teeth coming in!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I think I'm done breast feeding, which kind of makes me sad. I wasn't making enough anyway, and this birth control I'm on reduces the amount of breastmilk one makes. Now that it is over, I wish it wasn't. I feel like I could have done more to make more milk or I should have been more attentive to his needs.
But I have to remember that this is just another phase that is passing. And  just because we aren't feeding doesn't mean we can't cuddle.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Baby's Dedication

Today was The Baby's Dedication to my church. The kids and I go to a Unitarian Universalist church, and the dedication is like a baptism. The fam and I stood at the front of the church (with two other families). The ministers said a few words about our name choice, and our hopes for The Baby's future. I had emailed the minister with the words I wanted spoken (which I thought were eloquent). I was nervous standing in front of my congregation, but I remembered it wasn't all about me. The service and ceremony was wonderful and I was do glad we did it.

My teeth hurt! I am so nervous about my appointment.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Playtime and Coupons

I realize my getting things done around the house is very if-you-give-mouse-a-cookie- ish. If I want to give someone a bath or take a shower, I should first clean the tub and vacuum the bath mat. If I take the vacuum out of the basement closet, I might as well vacuum the basement rug and the main floor rugs. If I'm upstairs with the vacuum, I should do the bedroom rugs too. Putting away the kid's laundry reminds me I should clean and organize their closets. If I'm moving closet stuff around, there is stuff in my closet that needs shuffling too. Things start to spiral and before I know it, I'm in the middle of several chores. But it doesn't seem that my 'work on it until I'm done' idea goes any smoother.

We went to Barnes&Noble story time today. The Boy sat for a few minutes and we had to move to the Thomas The Tank Engine table. Also, he had several meltdowns while I was trying to leave the store. We almost lost a boot. I had to carry him out while pushing a stroller. And he tried to run out into traffic but luckily my reflexes are faster than I thought. We saw a couple and their kid who we had lost contact with after The Boy's first birthday party. We were friendly, but it was a little awkward.

We also went to Cold Stone Creamery because I had a BOGO birthday coupon. We gave The Boy quite a suger rush. At Walgreens, I got:
1 tropical V8 Splash
1 berry V8 Splash
1 bottle of soothing Johnson&Johnson baby powder
1 bottle of calming Johnson&Johnson baby powder
The juice was on sale 2/$4, regularly $2.99 each
Baby powder was on sale for $3.49, usually $5.49 each
I had a $1/2 coupon for the juice and a $1.50/2 for the baby powder.
I saved 50%.

We had an unexpected but fun play date at the house. Two other moms, a husband, a 2 month old, and a 16 month old. Lots of toys came out, yelling occurred, but it was fun. The Boy is good at sharing and The Baby is getting very mobile and has a great smile.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

More Poop

All we did today was go pick up my father-in-law and bring him back to our house. We have to take him to a doctor's appointment tomorrow.

The Boy made me a pretend meal. And I think he reminded me to say
"Thank you".

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me! Instead of getting a babysitter, we took the kids out with us. We went to Siam Pasta (I had a coupon). I decided that I want to spend my birthday with my fam. And the kids did ok! We brought crayons and a coloring book, and a bottle. The food was delicious and the service was good and it wasn't crowded. Highly recommended.

My husband did a good job today.

I baked myself a vanilla white cake. The Happy Birthday cake from allrecipes.com

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Indoor Farmers Market

I had to stop by my pediatrician's office to update my insurance. I got a full bill for services because I hadn't updated yet. Gah!

Then we went to an indoor farmers market in Glenview where The Boy made a potato stamp painting (his first ever!), had a freak-out (it was too close to nap time) and did some wandering. Mama (who talks in 3rd person a lot) got a cup of Fair Trade coffee and some apples. The Baby was yelling a lot, but I get worried taking him out in the event that I have to quickly grab The Boy. Poor little guy. On our way back to the car, The Boy spotted a cool park and said,
"Slide? Slide?"
How could I deny him? It was a cool park with a really big slide. I chatted with another mom, whose kid had a name we considered for The Boy.
A pretty good field trip all in all.

Friday, January 30, 2015

El Tipico

The Hubs and I had our date night tonight! I was really excited and did my make-up and hair really well. We (I) chose El Tipico because I had a coupon from the Entertainment book. The food was great and the manager was very accommodating. But the waitress was terriable. And we left a terrible tip, which now I feel bad about. She told us that we weren't the only people in the resturaunt. But we pretty much were when we first walked in. The waitress never checked on us and when she did it was for a negative. Like that we couldn't get the dessert we wanted for our babysitter because they just put in the oven. Which didn't make a whole lot of sense. And earlier in the meal, one of the waiters came up and said that our waitress lost the order and/or it was never placed. The whole situation seemed odd. We probably would go back. And hope for the best.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Get Ready

My husband's boss stopped by to check in. My face, hair and house are all hot messes which reminded me why I need to get my shit together because unplanned things happen.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Dentist

Today was The Boy's first dentist appointment! He did really well. He didn't freak out, just ran his tongue over his teeth a lot. She was able to clean his teeth, and get his mouth open a little.
Apparently his 'gink' which is his pacifier is causing a oval-shaped bucking of his front teeth. In order to avoid expensive dental work later, looks like we'll have to wean him. Wish us luck!
Both the dentist and receptionist are letting their grey hair grow out. Looks awful now, but more power to 'em!
The receptionist seemed a little slow and/or out of it. Hope she isn't always like that.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Play date!

We had a play date today! My friend and her baby came over, and we had a great time! I did, anyway. I hope the others did. We rolled around on the floor, had tummy time, made cookies, and talked about raising kids. My friend likes the way I'm raising my kids, which I find validating.

I have a trip to Costco planned tomorrow. And I read on krazycouponlady.com that although Costco does not accept manufacturers coupons, there is an app with coupons. Which of course I downloaded.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jammin' Jungle

The three of us went to a place called Jammin' Jungle, which is a free indoor park. The Boy had a lot of fun rushing around and pushing the little carts. It took us a long time to get out of the house, but I'm glad we made it.

I had to stop at Walgreens to get formula. I misplaced my high-value coupon, but I found a $2 one instead.

The Boy's vocabulary is increasing everyday and it is so gratifying and astounding to watch him build up his language.
I was washing dishes and he ran up to me and said,
"Hood? Hood!"
He was holding an orange matchbook car, whose hood was open.
Although it took me a minute to understand him, I was really excited for him. And he gave me a big, toothy grin, pleased that his mama was so proud.

I think I might be feeding The Baby too much. At the beginning of his life, I was exclusively breast feeding, and the poor little guy was hangry (hungry and angry) all the time. So now I feel like I should feed him a lot, I guess.
Tonight he was fussy and tired and I gave him about 6 ounces. I picked him up, and he spit up all over me and the floor.
I was so annoyed, but when I was changing him, he gave me his heart-warming grins.