Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Baby

The Hubs and I finally got our shit together and got the kids out for our respective parent/son playdate. The Hubs took The Boy out on a bunch of errands, and I took The Baby to the park.
On the way to the park, I found a dime. At the park I found a penny, and on the way home I found a dime. The Baby seemed pretty excited by even our walk. He was pointing out stuff, and I think he calls all dogs by our dog's name. At the park there were young basketball players, maybe middle school. I was alarmed to find myself a little scared to go to the park with them there. We went anyway, but left after about ten minutes because The Baby wouldn't stop trying to walk toward them, presumably to get their ball. On the way home, I had some trouble wrangaling him to walk on the sidewalk (not the street) and towards home (and not meandering). He really loved the puddles.
"Water", he said, in a slightly waivery voice.
And then he would stomp in the puddle, turn around, walk back in, and stomp again. When we got home, his pants, socks, and shoes were soaked with cold ice-puddle water and mud. I also got muddy, of course. I was really pleased to hang out with him. He shows such interest in the world, and I was happy to give him my attention while he focused on the interesting things around him. This morning I was able to hang out with him in the rocking chair. He drank his milk, I drank my coffee, and we read books.
Also on the way home, I scored some Sunday coupon inserts from a recycling bin. Ready to start clipping tomorrow.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sweet Potato Pie

This morning we made a sweet potato pie. The kids helped, more or less. I got the recipe from taste of home website,
I didn't realize I only had one egg until after things were already being mixed. I looked up online what a good egg substitute was, and found that condensed milk was listed. So instead of the amount called for in the recipe ( 3/4 cup, I think) I used the whole can. Which was more than necessary. The pie solidified well, but we haven't tasted it. I hope it turns out!

I'm also planning on making soup for tonight's dinner. I need to start boiling my veggie nubs for the stock. I have potatoes and some canned veggies. And spices, which are a necessity. We have leftover biscuits, which I will heat up with some cheese. My husband doesn't appreciate my soup, so he is planning his own dinner, I think.

There is so much on my to-do list and I am struggling to get everything done!

I am really trying to be present for my children. I don't want to keep multi-tasking in their presence. I want them to know that I value their needs, their feelings, and their activities. But I am with them so frequently that I am unclear on how to get actual stuff done. Perhaps I need to reorganize my priorities.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


I bought 3 packages of Pilsbury pie crusts when they were on sale, around Thanksgiving. And their expiration date is right around now, so I decided to make quiche for dinner. I made a veggie one, and a meat one. With biscuits and salad. I had to confirm my recipe with my mother.

Mom's Quiche Recipe
6 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 cup of cheese
a mix-in (I used 4 hot dogs for my meat one, and 2.5 oz of spring greens for my veggie)
the pie crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together all six eggs. Add in cheese, milk and the mix-in. Pour the whole mixture into the pie crust. Bake for 45 minutes.
Thanks Mom!

The way I wrote this reminded me of an assignment we did in English class, when I was in grade or middle school. I am fully aware I am missing some steps, but they feel like commen-sense steps. Hope this recipe works for everyone.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Everyday Bar Cookies

For Christmas, my grandmother gifted me her old recipe books. One of which was a fill-it-yourself recipe card book. Which I'm pretty sure doesn't exist anymore on account of the digital storage we utilize everyday. She also gave me a gem titled Homemade Cookies Cook Book published by Better Home and Gardens in 1975. The images in the book are dated and lovely. In the 'Everyday Bar Cookies' section, I located a recipe for Fig Bars. I made them because we had a houseguest, and because I heart baked goods, and because it was my step-sister's Birthday gathering this evening. And I almost always give baked goods for gifts. (Along with other handmade items.)

Fig Bars

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened (I rarely plan ahead so I popped it in the microwave)
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (I didn't measure, just grated over the bowl)
1 teaspoon vanilla (I couldn't find my measuring spoons, so I used a baby spoon)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped dried figs (my wonderful Hubby got mine from Walmart. And I chopped them in my veggie chopper, which resulted in chunks. Which I used anyway)

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, peel, and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; blend into creamed mixture. Stir in figs. Pour into greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool; cut into bars. Makes 32.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

CVS Sickness

We got out of the house later than I intended but I wasn't stressed about it. I feel really bad that I wasn't able to let the kids play at the library. We are all still a little under the weather, so its probably for the best.

I have started keeping a really extensive to-do list and I'm trying to stick with it, but it still seems like stuff isn't getting done. And then I get all OCD and can't do stuff that isn't on the list. Which is a little crazy. I think I'll go back to using my list for stuff I might forget, and remember that most of my day is kid-stuff (pretending, playing, refereeing) and regular house stuff that doesn't need to be on the list.

At CVS, I was able to rock on with my coupons. I got a 5/$25 Extra Care Bucks on my card.
Then I bought:
3 Always Radiant Pads 28ct - $6.99 ea, on sale
1 Monster Rehab- $2 ea, on sale
1 gallon milk- $2.69
I had a $1-off coupon for each of the boxes of pads, from the January P&G coupon insert. And I had a $1-off coupon for the Monster, torn from a multi-pack. And I used an Extra Care Buck from my last transaction. For this purchase I paid, $17.60. And I got $1 back, in Extra Bucks. I think I did ok. Not great.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Today is The Boy's birthday! As with many birthdays, I woke up and immediately put pressure on myself to make this a great day for him. I think he had a good day, but not much better or worse than any other. (Besides the gifts and the visit from my mom.) We didn't have anything planned, but I realized we should get some food for his chicken tacos which he requested for dinner tonight. So we belatedly left for the store at about 9:50am.
On my list was a few sale items, baking items, and taco items. We shopped at Vallei Produce, and my receipt shows I paid 98 cents for a dozen eggs. I bought three dozen, and at the bottom of my receipt says I saved $1.53 for a 'Vallei Sale'. I've seen that happen before when I purchased two gallons of milk at a time. I can't be sure, but I think there is discount for purchasing the limit of certain sale items. I'll take it!

The Boy will not be opening his gifts during his party. Even with just us four tonight, he got a little wild and over-excited. It was hard to contain the madness. I should have embraced the silly, but all I could think of was the mess and stress.

We will be having guests over for dinner tomorrow night, and The Boy's party is on Saturday and with a few comments, The Hubs has me freaking out. As usual, I feel that my house is in disarray. I just cannot seem to get things under control. Maybe I go to slow, maybe I get caught up in my thoughts, maybe I prioritize badly. Who knows? And I saw a spider behind my headboard that I was unable to catch. But if these are the things I need to worry about, I think me and my family are doing ok.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Jangalin Jewel

I headed to Jewel with the kids, later than I wanted to be.
My list was with complete with The Hubs's request, my coupons, and my ad paper. One of my deals was for Creamette Pasta. The ad paper had it for 2/$4, but in the aisle it was listed as buy-1(at $1.59)-get-1-free. My coupon was for $1-off-2. So each box was 29 cents. I was stoked!
When I got to the register, my total was $49.12, and I had a coupon for $5-off-$50. So I panicked and told the cashier I would need a void. And I started to grab my stuff off the belt and walk away. The cashier looked stressed and asked to see my coupons. I felt like he wouldn't be able to take the $5, and I wanted to use it, and I didn't want to ask him to wrongfully scan. He did anyway and I was pleased to note how low my total went. Then I paid him in cash from several pockets, while The Boy was grabbing an unauthorized apple.
I had a mailer coupon for chocolate they didn't sell and I had to find a manager to substitute for me.

Saturday, January 9, 2016


I took the Hubs and the kids to Silo out in Lake Bluff. That's where the Hubs wanted to go for his Birthday Dinner. Usually I'm all about the coupons and getting the best deal. But for Birthdays I allow the fam to choose what they want (luckily everyone chooses within reason). So we had some fantastic pizza and some delicious Sidewalk Fries and some blah breaded mushrooms.
I also am into the experience gifts and those homemade coupons. I still have to make the coupon book for the Hubs.
I might be doing better on my resolution of posting more, eh?

Friday, January 8, 2016


Oh. My. Goodness. I am guilty. I am guilty of allowing minor time-stealer's to effectively run me off course. I decide that I will look at Facebook 'just for a minute', and that 'minute' almost invariably ends up being twenty, or thirty. I think to myself that perhaps I can just read this one chapter of my book. And depending on the book, it might be far more than one chapter. Sometimes I get caught up in my obscure Internet searches, such as the pressing need to find health insurance for the kids, finding preschool activities, and looking a craft sites. But the problem with these searches, as pressing as they may be, is that they have not been scheduled, and they are taking place in the midst of my busy day when I should be doing something else. I am also guilty of watching t.v., which dulls the senses and deadens the mind. Usually. And I am a putterer; I flit around my house moving objects around and not actually accomplishing anything. These habits are annoying and unhelpful, and sometimes I have a lot of trouble resisting the urge to do them. Sometimes I have to consult my to-do list so I know what I should be doing. I make those lists so I can remember what in the hell I should be doing.

On the upside, we made it to the Exploritorium again! And we were able to meet up with my friend and her baby. We were not able to talk much, for logistical reasons. But it was nice to see her, and to chat for a few minutes.

At CVS, the cashier said that all my Extra-Care Bucks were denied because the card and the coupons didn't match. I was very calm. She said she would override the issue, and give me the savings. But she insisted that I typed in the wrong number (she typed it in) and that I have multiple cards in my household (I don't). I was very proud of myself for staying so calm and relaxed, because I recognized that this was a cashier issue. And I was going to get my savings anyway, so it wasn't like she was trifling. The good news is that I can get another milk for the sale price because it didn't get rung up on my CVS card. Bad news is that I need to go back to that CVS because the Extra-Buck I received for purchasing milk needs to be approved by someone who knows that cashier. Or something.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

No Heat

At 6am, The Hubs woke me up to tell me I had to move all the stuff from around the furnace. Because sometime in the middle of the night, the furnace went out.
The Hubs drove my father-in-law home, then rushed around trying to get all the parts and help he needed.
Our inside temperature got down to about 51 degrees. I decided to stick it out, and keep us home, save for a quick trip (and a long meltdown) to Menards. I felt like maybe it would be more disruptful if I tried to hang out at my mom's all day. We hung out upstairs in the bedroom, and watched about an extra hour 1/2 of t.v. which I feel bad about.
Today I felt like I was ignoring the kids. Whether I was or not, is up for debate. I played blocks, but I left them alone while they were watching t.v. (Very poor judgement on my part; it resulted in a blow to the head for The Baby, resulting in a bump on the head.)
The heat is on in my house, because of the hard work done by The Hubs.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

All Kids

We were denied medical assistance for the children. I'm super-stressed about this. And I will fight it.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Resolutions Awry

Obviously my resolutions are not going that well, seeing as how I haven't posted in a few days. And, I was late to my meeting. But the lateness wasn't my fault; I asked my husband repeatedly if I could get going and he kept finding things he had to do.

My house is pretty much a wreck and my mother is coming over tomorrow to babysit. I'm already embarrassed and a little stressed.

I got to go to CVS by myself so I was able to browse through the Christmas clearance aisle. I spent more than I anticipated, but only because I didn't give myself a total on my list. And I got a few snacks, (unhealthy), Kleenex, clearance, diapers and milk. I saved 49%, but I'm still bummed because I couldn't locate all my coupons at checkout, and there was a line. I knew I should have organized myself before getting up there! I'm bummed I didn't use my Extra-Care Bucks on this purchase, but I will be able to use them on future purchases, before they expire. I just need to organize them and pay attention.

OMG. We went to the Exploratorium today, and it was awesome! There was so much activity for the boys to be a part of. There was a water section which included nets for fishing. The Boy liked the above-head playground, and The Baby really enjoyed the light table. I bought the 10-visit package, and we used three of those visits today. It was totally worth it. We loved that place!

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year Resolutions

I, like everyone, have a lot of things I would like to change about myself. And like most people, I'm not 100% sure how to start my new regime change.
I know that resolutions are infamously short-lived and impulsively decided. I know that in order to create change in my life I need to start small and be diligent about making those changes. I also know that change is hard. At least for me. I have listed my New Year Resolutions below, along with my musings and thoughts about them.
New Year Resolutions:
1) Get places on time.
I recently read an article (that I found on Facebook) that stated that being late is disrespectful, shows disorganization, and is a time-waster. We all knew that, of course. And although it is hard to plan for The Boy having tantrums, refusing to get dressed, and being unable to find his shoes, I know that one or all of things can happen. Particularly if we are already running late. So my resolution is to remember that these things happen, and plan accordingly.
Being on time also indicates a sense of order in my life, and a sense of control I have over it. Being on time would also indicate that I have good time management (which presently is not true).
2)Blog everyday and work on blog (like getting links linked and managing Google AdSense).
I feel that if I wrote about something relating to motherhood, or coupons, everyday it would help me work on my writing skills. And thinking about how to explain my life in written form would help me hone my communication skills. Thinking about what to write about would also allow me to really pay attention to what is going on. (That seems counter intuitive, but it seems to work for me).
3) Be more organized.
I don't have a whole lot of strategies for doing this. But I think if I focus on putting things away and getting my house in order I will feel more organized. My focus right now is the house (and of course, the kids and hubs) because if our home is askew, we will most likely feel askew when we're out in the world.
Good luck to me on these resolutions! There are a few other things I could work on, but I feel these are wide enough to encompass lots of issues and narrow enough to focus. We'll see! Wish me luck!
Happy New Year everyone!