Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Periplaneta americana

See that black thing?  Lets get a little closer.....

Yea...that's a roach.  It's camped out in the highest part of the ceiling in my house.  That part is about 14 feet high.  Too far to spray with spray (and I would just douse myself.)  Too far to smack it with a broom.  Even if I stood on a chair with my broom and tried to smack it, I would probably miss and it would fly at me.  I would scream like a little girl, losing my balance, fall off the chair onto the awaiting hard baby toys on the floor.  So...I wait...

(more updates on the roach when he decides to go on the move...)

**It has now been 8 hours since I've noticed him...he's still there.  Sleeping apparently. least one of us is sleeping. 
 ***He's turned around now.  He is now facing the back of the house instead of the front.  It's 6:40p.m. and I think my little nocturnal friend is rousing.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


This is a cup of coffee.  The first I have brewed in this house in over 1.5 years.
This is one of the times I was woken up this morning...(it's blurry, because aren't you blurry eyed at this time in the morning, too?)

This is what I looked like at that time of day...


This is what I was greeted with.....

They say babies are supposed to sleep a lot.  Something like 14 hours a day give or take.  Yea, maybe in a perfect world, with a perfect kid (mine is perfect though), with perfect parents (we come close!!...HAHAHAH I'm really funny!).

  Thus, this is what I drink in the morning:

The worst feeling in the world ( of them)

The worst feeling in the world: having to pee while on your run and you are far, far away from your house. We have lived on the island for about 2.5 years.  For most of it there has been very little building of new houses.  Recently, however, (past 3 months or so) there has been a slurry of new houses being built.  I went out running the other day (by myself!!! So weird running by myself since I usually run with either the dogs or the stroller [and the baby in it....why in the world would you think I'd run with an empty stroller, silly]). Anyways, as I was walking out the door, I knew I needed to go to the bathroom, but I left anyways because it didn't really seem urgent. So I get about 1/3 into my run and realize I shouldn't have ignored my bodily function. I consider going back...too far. I continue running. I consider running to the gas station to use their bathroom, that's further. I continue running. What to do??? Find a large bush? It hasn't rained in months and there is a terrible bushes of privates-hiding signifacance. I remember the resurgence of new homes being built on the island. I continue running, but now I am eyeing empty lots like a hawk. Finally, I spot one. 1/4 of a mile away, across the street. A port-o-potty. Johnny on the spot, p-pot, porta-John, portaJane, port-o-let, port-a-loo, portaloo,porta-potty, tidy John, biffs, johnny-on-the-spot, portable sanitation unit. I have found sweet relief.

And my run continues, without urgency.
( This is not the actual one I used.  There are no trees on the island...unless you count palm trees.  And where I'm originally from, palm trees are not considered trees.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The down of ups and downs

My sweet baby has been sick with his first cold this past week.  It's been pretty miserable.  For all of us.  I've had to suction his poor little nose out, douse him with ibuprophen and antihistamines, and we've all lost sleep.  The poor thing has been through the ringer this week and I've been the one to have to do most of the torturing.  But tonight broke my heart.  His teeth have been coming in as well and I could tell they were majorly bothering him tonight.  So I had to give him some Advil.  I ran out of infant Advil so I had to use childrens Advil (with the proper dosing of course), which means more liquid since it isn't as concentrated as infants.  When I did he ended up getting some up his little nose which I'm sure burned because he flipped out.  Screaming, snorting, crying, rubbing his nose miserableness.  This led to more snot and congestion which led to him not being to breathe.  Out comes our new battery operated snot sucker.  I have to hold him down in our recliner with my leg to hold his arms, one hand holding his head and the other working the sucker.  He screams bloody murder.   I tried to change his diaper after this, but since I had usually tried to suck his nose out with him on the ground (before the battery operated sucker), he screams when I lay him down to change a diaper because he thinks I'm going to suck out his nose.  So in my attempt to get him to smile I decided to give him a bath.  He LOVES bathtime.  So I take him into the bathroom, run the water and get him ready.  We usually play in front of the mirror for a bit before he jumps in the tub.  But tonight was different.  He wouldn't smile for me.  No giggling, no gummy/half-toothy grin, no flinging of his arms and legs in delight.  He just stared at me in the mirror.  Like I was the guard standing outside the torture chamber.  It made me sad because I know that this will not be the last time he won't smile for me because of something I had to do that he didn't like. 

Here's to an up day tomorrow.

Couponing...A worthwhile commitment

Couponing rocks! I've been doing it for about 6 weeks.  So far, in my couponing trips, I have gotten $769 dollars worth of stuff for $254 dollars.  That's a 67% savings. It's mostly on household items like toiletries and other things like cleaners, detergents, etc, because the one grocery store we have here is very unfriendly for couponing.  (Side note: many grocery stores are very coupon friendly) That is $515 dollars that I didn't have to spend.  And thats only three stores that I'm keeping track of my receipts. Those numbers don't include coupons I use at the grocery store, or other department stores.  We now have about a 3-4 month stash on many items like hand soap, shampoo, and dish washing liquid.  Now some of you may be thinking that it's silly to have that kind of a stash of anything really.  However, think about this.  How many times do you go to the grocery store with a list of things that you are out of and pay full price for them.  I will never have to pay full price when I run out of my current hand soap, conditioner, laundry detergent, heartburn meds, pain relievers, BABY FORMULA, razors, etc.  I can just go to my stash that I paid a fraction of the price for when I run out of what I'm currently using.  Lets not forget that when you can buy these things for that cheap, you can donate tons of items to shelters (or college students ; D ) and make quite an impact.

I've had several people ask how to coupon.  It's hard to answer a question like that.  It really isn't complicated, per se, however it takes some time to get it figured out.  I spent hours scouring websites to learn how to do it.  I have found one website that is pretty comprehensive and I use it to hear about most of the deals.  I went to a class with a friend of mine that was taught by a woman who teaching how to coupon.  I knew basically everything that she had to say but the class was 4 hours long.  In a one on one setting however, couponing could be explained in about 1 hour. 

Here are the basics of what I do every week to get ready for couponing.
1.) Throughout the week I check on my couponing websites to see what deals and coupons are out there, just like you jump on your Facebook page and e-mail accounts everyday.
2.) Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings I go on my preferred website and check out the deals coming up for the week (they start Sunday for drug stores and Wednesdays for grocery stores)  I go through each ad for the stores I visit (CVS, Target, Walgreens.  I only go to these stores because of the one grocery store thing.)  I write down all the deals I want to get on a list and gather my coupons into envelopes for each store.
3.)I get up every Sunday, go to the gas station, and pick up at least 2 newspapers, if not more.  Every Sunday.  EVERY SUNDAY.
4.) I scour the ads for CVS, Walgreens, and Target for other deals that may have been missed on the website. 
5.) I cut out all the coupons and organize them by category into my binder that is filled with baseball card holders.  I find all the coupons I need from the newest paper for my shopping trip later that day.
6.) I head out to whatever store and get my deals.

I spend about 30 minutes getting my lists and coupons ready to go.  I spend about 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the amount of coupons for that Sunday) cutting out and organizing my coupons. 

I read an article recently that said that couponing can earn you $86.40 an hour.  It's true, too.  I calculated my numbers. 

Here are my final thoughts on couponing for now:  Couponing takes commitment.  You can't just go out and get a Sunday newspaper occasionally and hope to save gobs of money.  You have to make this a regular thing you do just like anything else from cleaning your bathrooms to filling up your car with gas.  I get a HUGE kick out of couponing, and that first time you get a bottle of $7 dollar Head and Shoulders for $0.25 cents, you will get a serious rush. 

Let me know if you have any questions.  I would be happy to answer any and would love to tell you which websites I use to save for my family.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This is nothing new...

So this motherhood thing isn’t anything new.  Humans have been doing it for a long time.  However today I had an epiphany.  And it involved the “mom brain.”  As many moms know, and those that live with us, you have a baby*, and half your brain falls out.  In other words, you forget everything you meant to do.  I have found a few reasons why people think this is so: lack of sleep, sex of baby (girls apparently are supposed to cause worse mom brain), maternal amnesia, mood swings, etc.  I have a different theory.  We are busy.  Period.  That’s all there is to that.  Not just a normal busy, though, like we all say we are**, but a kind of disjointed, confusing busy.  I’ll explain what I mean using today’s antics my son and I were up to. 

The little munchkin has been sick lately with a cold.  Nothing super serious, but still, I know he feels crummy and can’t breathe very well***.  So here we are today, it’s 9a.m., and every time I blink, it takes a crane to open my lids back up.  I’m tired, obviously.  Wait, back up.  Let’s start beginning with last night. 

                It’s 12:40a.m.  He’s screaming his fool head off in his crib.  Why, you might ask, you horrible, horrible mother?  Well because he wouldn’t fall asleep.  And I was going clinically insane.  I had been trying since 9:00 p.m. to get him to go down.  He kept teasing me with 30 minute cat naps all day, two to be exact.  He usually goes to sleep around 10:30p.m. for good, meaning all night-ish, save for a 3:00 a.m. feeding.  So, I would rock him (he’d squirm), and walk him (he’d see his toys on the floor and want to play), sing to him(no go), and lay down with him (he wanted to play with me) and there was not a glimmer in his eye of sleep.  The sandman was on vacation apparently.  (Actually the sandman was off on a business trip.  That’s the last time I let him go on a business trip.)  Finally, around 12:30 a.m., I had had it.  I put him in his crib hoping against all hopes that he would just pass out.  He chose to scream instead.  Now I’m not a fan of the cry it out method (Sorry, Ferber.)  When he started screaming I figured he would stop rather quickly since he had to be worn out.  No, he screamed for what seemed like an eternity, but it was really only 10 minutes.  All this time I’m taking a chill pill so I can morph into pseudo sandman from lunatic crazy woman.  I go in there and pick him up, say a few soothing things and he passes out on my shoulder.  I fall in love over again.  Now back to today, skipping all the night time fiascos. 

                It’s 9a.m., remember? He’s up for good now.  We had no coffee in the house so he and I drove to the gas station to get some much needed coffee.  Remember: uber-sleepy.  So we do our morning thing of playing, and cleaning and general silliness.  This would include: watering the plants outside (thank you drought), vacuuming and dusting (it’s Tuesday), getting the Netflix movie out to the mail box (that’s been playing in the Blue Ray player since Saturday, we never turn the stupid thing off), sucking out snot, changing diapers, messing with the broken A/C, picking up small, chokeable objects, etc, etc.   It comes close to his naptime (11a.m), which I can tell when without looking at the clock because he just gets generally fussy and the music playing octopus just doesn’t cut it anymore, so it’s probably time to put him down.  I think to myself, “He hasn’t eaten much all morning (probably because he just can’t breathe that well with his stuffy nose),” so I decide to put him in his high chair and try to get him to eat some baby food, first.  So I grab him, because he’s crying.  I get a plastic bowl, spoon, rice cereal, and a jar of food.  I walk to the table.  His highchair tray is dirty as is his chair because I didn’t clean it last night.  So I have to put him down to clean it.  Cue crying baby.  (If you’ve never had a crying baby around while you’re trying to get something done, you should try it.  You get really efficient at doing things…and real quick, too.)  So I go to the sink.  Dirty dish water.  I drain the water, and run a new sink full of clean, soapy water.  While that’s filling up I go to the drawer to get a dish rag.  No rags there.  Look in the dryer because it’s full and there might be one in there, and empty it because there is a wet load of clothes in the washer needing to be dried.  Go to the living room to dump clean clothes to be folded next week…I mean later.  Turn off the running water.  Pick up some dirty dishes and trash and go to the kitchen to throw away trash and put dirty dishes by the sink.  Oh yea, I was looking for a dish rag.  Can’t find any.  Switch the wet clothes to the dryer.  What was I doing?  Can’t remember.  Go brush my teeth since I haven’t yet.  Oh yea, dish rag.  Forget it, grab a dish towel.  Twice the cleaning area anyways.  Ok, clean highchair tray.  Now I clean the chair itself.  Move it back to the kitchen table with the clean tray.  Gross, leftover food from last night that I also didn’t clean up, i.e. dried up half an apple and apple skin where I shaved it off for him to eat some apple sticks, the knife I used and the plastic baggie the apple was in. Ok, pick that stuff up and go to put the knife in the dishwasher.  Dishwasher is full of clean dishes.  Need to empty but I don’t feel like it right now.  Put knife in sink.   Throw away apple junk.  Text message…answer that.  What was I doing?  Uhhh….don’t remember.  Get on Facebook and post something stupid.  Oh yea, feeding the baby.  Need to go to the bathroom.  Wash hands, and we’re back.  Where’d the baby go?  Ah ha…in his room playing with toys.  Anything chokeable in there? No, so I take the Netflix out to the mailbox and turn on the water to water my dying plants.  Back inside, check on baby.  He’s good.  What was I doing?  Uhhh…..Oh look, some new coupons to print off!  Geez, still haven’t eaten anything all morning except a cup of coffee and a few Pringles.  Look for something to eat.  Oh yea, need to feed the baby.  Grab the baby, and put him in the highchair.  Try to feed him.  He wants nothing of it.  I eat a spoonful of his food and pretend it’s delicious.  Ha!  He opens up for two bites.  And now starts fussing.  What is wrong?  Oh yea, he’s sick, hasn’t eaten much.  Poor thing, can’t breathe through his nose.  Get the snot sucker, suck the snot, royally piss off the baby.  Now he’s covered in snot, and baby food, and screaming.  JOY!  Forget the feeding.  Get dish towel in the sink full of soapy water, wipe down high chair tray, wipe him down.  Throw dirty towel and dirty tray on table.  Pick up baby and soothe.  Baby’s seems happy again and wants down.  I put him down and wander off to pick up the poopy diaper still on the floor from his last changing before he tries to eat it.  Baby is fussing. Pick him up and go to check the mail.   Oh yea… I was supposed to put him down for a nap an hour and a half  ago. 

Did you keep up with that?  Neither did I.

*I commend all those mothers out there with more than one child. 

**I’m not saying I’m busier than you. 

***We have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow.  YAY!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


$58.65 Retail
$8.04 out of pocket

Yea...I saved $50 bucks.

The checkout lady, who knows who I am because I go to CVS about 2 times a week, (I'm pretty sure they roll they're eyes when I walk in.  I haven't caught them doing it yet but I can feel it on the back of my head.) didn't believe that I got all this stuff for that kind of money.  She checked her computer, then showed me the screen, and I explained it to her.  Then when my receipt printed out, she doubled checked that.  I'm tellin' ya people, this couponing thing really is crazy.  Until next time in my couponing schemes........

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Toasted Butter and Oats Oatmeal Cookies

So I made these cookies one time back when we lived in Oklahoma.  I was looking for a different kind of cookie to make and ran across a recipe in an old Southern Living cookbook I had.  After some tinkering, I got these.  They were amazing.  And I can't believe I haven't made them in like 4 years.  So tonight, around, mmmm 9:30pm, my lovely husband asked if we had the ingredients to make cookies.  (Meaning, "Do we have the ingredients for you to make cookies for me?")  Any other time I would have probably pouted until he said, "It's ok, I'll just drink some chocolate milk."   But no.  Not tonight.  Because earlier today, he was the Handy Man.  He fixed my dryer.  It went out on Saturday evening.  And my Sunday afternoon it was fixed.  (It was the heating coil.)  That is a less than 24 hour turn around.  That is very, very rare.  Usually to get a special project done around this house (hanging pictures, fixing the toilet, planting plants, cleaning the garage out) it takes weeks of us talking about it.  Then a few more weeks of putting it on our weekend schedules (which flies out the window once Friday evening hits).  Then finally I get irritated at the lack of getting anything done and try to do the project, foul it up, and the hubs fixes my flubs.  (I'm not that inept, but that exact thing happened when I tried to put on child safety stoppers on our kitchen cabinet doors, where we keep all the dangerous stuff, like soap, cleaners, etc.  I followed the directions but the stupid things kept falling off their sticky stuff before I could even remotely get them placed right to screw in.  So, I got irritated [see a pattern?] and told him he had to do it.  A good job yet again.  I can hang a picture....but for the sake of the argument...)  Anyways, so since he had so quickly fixed my dryer, at 1/5th the cost of calling a repairman, I happily decided to make him cookies.  We had no chocolate chips so I went for the next cookie that came to mind.  Oatmeal.  But I really, really didn't want some plain Jane Oatmeal cookie.  Then I remember this doozy.  So good.........

Toaste Oatmeal Cookies
Ok...I'll admit.  Not the best picture ever.  But I was tired, it's 10:30pm now and I just pulled the last batch out, and in mommy land, it's past the point of tired and you're just slap worn out.

3/4 c. butter
2c. quick-cooking oats, uncooked (duh)
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
1/2c. flour (i used white whole wheat by King Arthur but you can use AP flour)
1t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1c. coarsely chopped pecans/almonds etc (optional) (not shown)

1.) Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally (Don't burn)
2.) Add oats and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until oats are golden.  Let cool.
3.) Combine sugar, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl.
4.)Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; stir in oats.  Add to sugar mixture, stirring well (or do like I do and just dump it all in the bowl at the same time)
5.)Drop dough in ball form (about golf ball size, maybe a little smaller) onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart.  They spread like mad so leave room. 
6.)Bake @ 350F for about 8-12 minutes or until golden and lovely. 

I've added chocolate chips before (about 1/4 cup-ish), I almost added peanut butter tonight but forgot because my mommy brain can keep a thought in it for about 2.4 seconds and it's gone. Meaning by the time I made it to the cabinet where the peanut butter is, I forgot I was going to add it in.

These babies are thin, and crispy, but soft and chewy at the same time.  They are everything you could want in a cookie and more.  When I eat one, it's like looking in to the dewy eyes of Bambi on a beautiful spring day.  Not really, but you get the point.  So go and make these today, and let me know what you think of them.  If'they're not the best cookies you've had, lie to me and tell me they were. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

So I have actually been cooking.....

Usually, we just microwave something that I cooked before, sitting in front of the boob tube and eating.  Lately, I have actually been cooking.  Like real dinners, at the table, with more than just one course.  We set the table, real plates and silverware, and even sometimes napkins!!!  It's kind of enjoyable, when you don't have a fussing baby, somewhere else to be and you turn the tv off.  We have a real conversation.  I guess what they say about eating dinners together and them being good for a family is true!

Here's what we have been having:

Crab Rangoons: crab, cream cheese, scallions, garlic salt, worchestershire sauce, cayenne pepper

Place on wonton wrappers and wet the edges with water.

Bring the corners together.

Seal the edges. 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.  I served them with baked brown rice and veggies with some soy sauce.   
I also made a dipping sauce with soy sauce, sesame oil, horse radish, and scallions.

Also on the menu for the week:

Turkey meatballs, spaghetti, and steamed asparagus.

So I guess what I'm telling you is, turn off the tv, cook a meal, and sit down at the table with someone.