Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why yes, I AM that lazy.

I just finished my third load of dishes in the dishwasher. Not that I've cooked a lot today. (Or even at all.) I just didn't want to hand-wash all those dishes.
Seriously. I haven't cleaned the kitchen in a week and a half. The pots, pans, baking sheets, and casserole dishes were burying half of my kitchen. Literally. Half.
I whittled that down to 6 things to hand-wash. And that's only because they're too big to fit in the dishwasher. I'm hoping by midnight, the kitchen and dining room will be cleaner than they've been in a LONG time. Paul's going to come home tomorrow morning and be like, "What? We have a dining room table?" I've been that bad. It's been stacked high for so long, and I just didn't care. I'd shove stuff over so we'd each have like a 12"x12" space clear to eat (if we even ate at the table), and just left it there. And didn't wipe the table after the meal.
I blame it on the heat. I've been in a foul mood since last week. Like, Hubby-you'd-better-not-say-anything-to-set-me-off-because-you-are-going-to-have-it-if-you-do bad mood (not that he'd done anything, just I was in a bad mood). I had a headache for 5 days straight. I haven't had the headache since Sunday, when it rained and cooled off slightly (down to 95, instead of 105). I am completely unmotivated to do anything productive.
Except this:
Because I'm sure you all have nothing better to do than wait in breathless anticipation for a photo my finished project. This is just the primer. Not the final colors.

But even that is taking forever. Because of this:
That's in the shed, in the shade, with a breeze blowing through it. At 7 PM.

I'm not even sure if you're supposed to use spray paint when it's this hot. I've been doing it sparingly, because I don't want anything to crackle or bubble or peel. And by the time we wait for it to be "cool" enough to work out there, it's 8 PM, and there's only time for one coat.
Oh, and add to that, my little "helpers" - and all you Mommies know exactly why it's taking so long now.
Maybe by this weekend.......

I have GOT to get back to the kitchen clean up. I just needed to sit on my butt for a bit and blow off some steam.

So Is He Potty Trained?

So I know you remember me talking about Jacob wanting to potty train. That started at 18 months, and he's 21 months now.
So how's it going?
Good. Really good, considering his age.
We still have lots of accidents - one a day, usually. Sometimes I get frustrated that he still has accidents, but then I remember - he's not even two yet! I wouldn't call him potty "trained" but he's definitely potty "aware" - he may not always make it to the toilet, or remember to go there, but he always comes and gets me if he has an accident. And he's only pooped in his pants maybe 4 or 5 times in the three months since we started this (a huge deal!). I may be the one that reminds him to go to the bathroom (some would say I am the one who's trained), but you know what - I don't care. He holds it until I ask him if he needs to go.
Sometimes it seems like we're cloth diapering using underpants, but that doesn't really bother me. It's less diapers for us, and it's helping him "get" potty training. And add in that I've started putting him in cloth diapers during naptime - serious money saved. He's been wearing underpants for a couple months now, even when we go to town. We just make sure to take him right before we leave, and at least once while we're in town.
Yesterday, he had zero accidents, and came and got me to go to the potty every time. For a child who doesn't talk, that's a major accomplishment, I think.
So he's not fully trained, but definitely on his way.
(Yes, I am proud of my son. I am bragging.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I posted in this post that "$50 is a week's groceries." My friend April commented that she couldn't believe I only spent that much (little) each week.
I'm not sure how much we actually spend a week on groceries. It depends on what your definition of "groceries" is. Food only? $50 a week, easy. Anything you get at the grocery store? Well.......
I go shopping at the first of each month (right after payday). I go to the grocery store and spend $250-320 (depending on how much meat I have to buy), then I go to WalMart and/or Orscheln and spend another $50-100 (total). So it's probably more like $100 each week if you divide it out, but this includes everything - food, diapers, personal care, household (kitchen utensils/gadgets, storage, etc.), cleaning supplies, pet food, garden supplies.... Then I pay all our bills also at the first of the month, so everything is paid up, and all we have to worry about is gas for Paul to get to work. (I have only been using 1 tank or less of gas each month.)
I usually make one more trip to the store, for milk, or for a special meal (either having company, going to someone's house/church dinner, or Paul requests something I don't have all the ingredients for). So I spend a little more one or two other times each month, although the boys' milk consumption took a nose dive with the hot weather, so that has helped.
So I don't know how that compares to the average household, but that's our life.

Things we eat a lot of, that I know helps the ol' budget:
Hot dogs. The boys eat these for lunch more often than I'd like to admit. (I stock up when they are $1 or less/package.)
Rice. I add 2 cups (uncooked, so 4 cups cooked) instant brown rice to lots of our meals. Tacos are 1 lb. meat, 4 cups rice, and 1 can beans. Stir fry also gets 4 cups of rice. Salisbury steaks. Chinese hash. Tater tot casserole. As long as you add extra seasoning so the rice doesn't dilute the flavor, rice makes meals go SO much further.
Beans. As mentioned above, I put beans in tacos. We also have meatless tacos where we use beans. (Recipe here.) The off-brand beans are only 50c a can.
White pasta. I have 5 jars on my counter, each for a different type of pasta (rotini, penne, fettucini, spaghetti, and rainbow bow tie). We eat lots of it. I know "carbs are bad" but carbs are also cheap. Some noodles, a bit of butter, and some Mrs. Dash (or other herbs and parmesan), and you've got a super-simple, super-cheap side dish. Add some pepperoni or smoked sausage, and you've got a main dish. (Paul and the boys are the real fans of butter noodles. I'm more into noodles drowned in sauce.)
Leftovers. Very rarely do I throw away food. If we're having trouble cleaning something out of the fridge, I simply don't cook until it's all gone. Paul takes leftovers in his lunch to work, and the boys are really good at eating them, too.

I guess simple (lazy) is my deal. I don't get excited to make gourmet meals or try new things. If it's stuff I already have in the house, I'll try it, but if I have to go buy fancy ingredients, I usually don't bother.

P90X and Gardening.... Who knew?

I deleted the previous post referring to P90X, as after going back to read it, I realized it was post-workout endorphin ramblings, and made no sense.

I started P90X again yesterday.
I caught a glimpse of my lower half in the mirror last week (we don't own a full-length mirror)..... Something had to be done.
I tried getting up at 6:30 to walk; I have to be done by 8 if I don't want to feel like a puddle of goo. It's hotter than blazes out. But then I got sick. And then I lost all motivation - take a nap or exercise? What would you choose?
So I swore off sugar - again. And by swearing off, I mean "effectively resisting 40% of the sugar offered me." But I know that's not going to be enough. I haven't gained weight (maybe 3 pounds), but I've flabbed out. I've got to do something to tone up and burn some of it off.
So I brought out the P90X. Again. I made it through about 6 weeks last fall. Last night was Core Synergistics. (It works the shoulders through the thighs - your "core".) It wasn't too bad, but I definitely felt it.
Then I went out to the garden this morning to get rid of some nasty thorny weeds I've been meaning to pull for two weeks now. They're seeded out, so it's Operation Critical now, if I don't want to have the same problem (times a million) next year.
Apparently every muscle in your core is used to do gardening work. My thighs (hamstrings) and shoulders hollered the whole time. I just wish that A/you could somehow incorporate cardio into gardening (gotta burn this fat!) and B/it wasn't so hot that you can only stand to work outside for 20 minutes or less at a time.
Tonight: Cardio X. Bring it on.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blast from the Past:

"Evening, ladies. We had a report about some skinny dippers. Would you ladies know anything about that?"
"Was it you girls?"
When I think about this occurance 8 years ago, I still almost die laughing.
For my 21st birthday, me, two friends, and my little sister decided to go skinny dipping at the lake. It was after 9 PM; we figured the beach would be clearing out (it wasn't). We swam out to the buoy in the farthest corner of the swim area and stripped down, wrapped our swimsuits around our arms, and just floated and relaxed in the cool water.
Apparently someone noticed us, and reported us to a ranger. We saw her talking to the ranger in the parking lot and got our suits on and headed back to the beach, just about the same time a boat with 8 rangers and a spotlight showed up. (Slow night, guys?) This is where two rangers approached us on the beach and questioned us. They were barely able to contain their laughter, and I wouldn't even call what he gave us a "reprimand."

The reason this keeps going over in my mind, is this:

Kid-free skinny dipping is sounding pretty darn good about now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Moment

I don't usually dwell much on the baby we lost by miscarriage. Not because it didn't sadden me, but because there's nothing I can do about it. I know it was God's will.
But today, the thought crossed my mind - how far along would I have been? So I counted up on the calendar....
I would have been 7 months. And then I found this picture of me two summers ago, 7 months pregnant with Jacob.

And I had a moment. A moment of sadness and tears.
I would much rather have the baby inside me, even if it made me suffer through this miserable heat. Because that would mean in two short months, I would be holding our precious one in my arms.
I miss you, Angel.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

First Project

Inspired by Thrifty Decor Chick.....

I started work on the desk tonight - sanding it down in order to prime and paint it.
I brought this home from our garage sale when it didn't sell. It needs help, but it's a pretty solid little desk. The boys will need one eventually for schoolwork, so I thought I'd bring it home and restore it. With a little wood glue here and there, new drawer-pulls, and some paint (it's veneer), I think it could be a cute desk.
This is where I need opinions: I want it to look boy-ish, but not little boy-ish; I don't want them to outgrow the style. My idea is to paint it white/cream and either navy blue or forest green. What do you think? And should I paint the body of the desk white, or the dark color? (In my head, the white looks better, with dark drawers, but I'm thinking about pencil marks on the top of it.....)
I am so insecure when it comes to decisions like this. Any opinions are welcome and appreciated.

Good Grief!

We're pushing an hour and a half.....
Since I put the boys to bed.
I have empathized, threatened, spanked, coddled to whims, and spanked with the spoon (the pinnacle of punishment around here). Good grief!
They didn't take very long naps, we went outside and spent an hour+ playing in the 100-degree heat. (At 6 pm. In the shade. It was ridiculous.) They were tired. They were starting to get cranky, so I brought them in, showered them off, and put them to bed. And not too early - we didn't even come inside until a quarter after 9.
What gives?
Maybe they're being my little barometers, and it means a change in the weather is coming. Any change has to be a good one - it can't get much hotter or drier!

On another note, my blogger friend Carrie posted a link to Thrifty Decor Chick on her blog. Oh my. Reading the decor blog and looking at the author's pictures, I am aware of just how college-student our house looks. (Which is ironic, because neither of us were ever college students.) Granted, she obviously has an awesome house to work with, whereas ours is a 1940s house, with all the idiosyncrasies and architectural whimsy that goes with that. But it's given me the itch. The itch to do something about these white, empty walls. To maybe actually put curtains up, now that we've lived here for 5 years. To start restoring/repainting that desk and dresser I've been talking about for months. Maybe buy a lamp because I think it's pretty, not because it's the cheapest on the store shelf.
The only bad thing, is even if you are thrifty and doing it yourself.... You may have saved $200 on a project or an item, but if it still costs you $50, that's still a chunk we can't afford some months - it's a week of groceries, a tank of gas. Some people can't wrap their head around that.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Browser

This post is mainly to see how things work in the new browser I'm trying... Google Chrome. For some reason, Internet Explorer won't post my blogs. I can view, compose, etc., but it won't post. I've told you before about Paul and I's separate browsers, and I hear over and over about how crappy Internet Explorer is (I'm starting to agree), so.... I'm trying something new. I figured Blogger is a Google site, Chrome is a Google browser, so..... They should work pretty well together.
Meanwhile, enjoy some pictures.

We have kittens. 5 of them. Please find a new home for them.
Three of them are yellow. The yellow ones are all "Milo" to Nathan and Jacob, even though 2 of them are girls. ("Joyce" is the white one, and Nathan has yet to come up with a name for the gray one.)

This is from our Independence Day party.... On the 2nd. Nathan saw all the guns and had to go get his gun. Every time they started shooting, he'd start shooting, too. From the hip, of course. He's that good.
Jacob and Grandpa watched the shooting.
Rock stars.
2011 Harvest Hitchhiking, Part 1. Helping Mr. LaGalle with his wheat harvest across the road.

Earlier this month, I heard little footsteps go across the floor after lights out. Later when I went up to check on them, this is what I found.
My summer is complete when these flowers bloom. I love my pink gladiolas - they made it through the awful winter, even though I didn't dig them up like you're supposed to.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jacob's Speech Assessment

My house was invaded on my birthday by two workers from the local Infant-Toddler Program. I spent the two days beforehand cleaning furiously, because I equate a visit with this government-funded agency with another government-funded agency (SRS). (You know they'd report me if they thought I was neglecting or endangering him/them!)
It turns out all my cleaning was for naught, because they didn't even set foot inside. The boys were playing outside, so they just sat at the picnic table to observe him.
Even though I didn't really want them there in the first place, I don't think they did a good job of observing him. We watched him from 20+ feet away as he played on the swing, slide, and sandpile. I answered a bunch of questions about him - all truthfully - but they didn't really do much up-close observation and interaction.
They use a method called AEPS, and it has a scoring system based on how I answer their questions. He has to score below "10" to qualify for "intervention", and he scored 11. I think they also said he had to be delayed in 2 areas in order to qualify. So, like I thought, he is behind, but there's not anything they can do about it.
Basically, they told me to keep doing exactly what I'm doing. Lots of repetition, reading, interacting, and try signing if he gets frustrated (which he is not interested in at all). They suggested I try strengthening his mouth and cheek muscles by making him use straws (with thicker liquids like yogurt and applesauce) and whistles.
I think I would be more worried if he were frustrated at all. But he just seems to not care. He's perfectly content using his "words" and sounds. We understand what he wants and needs. There's just too many more exciting things to do when you're 20 months old!


What kind of dog is Hercules?
He's a Herc-sky! [husky]

Monday, July 4, 2011

What a Crazy Week!

Paul took vacation last week - not to go anywhere, but to just stay home and relax. Which I turned into a "Now that you're home for more than two days in a row, I've got a bunch of projects for you...." vacation. And also a, "Well, if you're taking a vacation from work, then I am, too!" and was gone for most of two days having some much-needed girl time.
We did get a lot done. We tilled and weeded the garden (it had gotten out of control) and cleaned the shop (it was awful - we couldn't even pull both cars in, it was so full of crap!). Those two things were huge jobs on their own. We also expanded the boys' play set; this was phase two - next step being an actual playhouse.
I was gone most of Wednesday with my sister-in-law Elizabeth on a belated birthday trip. We went out to eat and went shopping, ending the day at Godiva Chocolatier (oh my....). The next day, Paul and I took the boys to eat pizza with my family, my grandparents, and my great aunt and uncle visiting from Chicago. The boys spent the afternoon at my parents' while my sister Lurenda took me to the mall to get a pedicure - a first for me, which I totally enjoyed. My best friend Brooke met me up there after Lurenda had to go, and Brooke and I did even more shopping, and went to see the movie Bridesmaids and went out to Chipotle afterwards. It was kind of a deluge of girl-time over two days, and not a whole lot of family time, but considering the last kid-free girl time I had was last October.... I don't feel too bad about it.
Paul was going to use his kid-free time on Thursday, while my mom was watching the boys, to get the yard mowed and weed-eatered (ate?). But the mower cracked a spindle in the middle of the job, and then the weed-eater wouldn't start. He was a little less than happy. We were able to borrow his dad's equipment to get our yard done before we had a party Saturday.
After having a bit of a stuffy/sneezy nose Wednesday and Thursday, I woke up Friday with a full-blown cold. This was not cool. We were having a party Saturday night, and the house was a complete disaster area. Paul's mom came over Friday night and helped me get my kitchen and dining room cleaned, and my mom came over Saturday morning to help me get some outside stuff done, and the bathroom cleaned. Mom and I picked beans, which Paul (with help from the boys) started snapping while Mom and I weeded some flower beds. Paul and I froze 6 gallons of beans (quart bags just aren't big enough for us anymore, since the boys have decided they like green beans) that afternoon before our guests arrived.
The last 5 years or so, we've had cookouts on our around Independence Day, depending on Paul's work schedule. We don't invite absolutely everyone we know (not that everyone's not welcome! we only have one bathroom, though. :P ), but they've gotten bigger and bigger each year. This year, we had over 60 people here! I thought it was a great party. I was a little uptight about how long the food was taking (we really needed two grills, or at least one big one), and totally wasn't tracking on some things (due to my cold), but after we ate and I could sit down, I enjoyed the evening. I didn't get to talk to some of our guests before they had to leave, though - the problem with a big crowd.
We have been shooting guns the last few years (what better way to celebrate?) and at one point I went out and there were 8 guns lined up shooting as the clays went into the air. (I had to laugh.... Eight guns, 3 clays in the air, and only 1 got hit. Tee hee!) Nathan had his little play gun out there - it was so funny. He'd hear them start shooting, and he'd start pulling the trigger on his.
It was supposed to be hotter than blazes, but thunderstorms popped up all around us. We never got the rain, but the clouds and breeze cooled things down. And we got a pretty amazing lightning show on the horizon behind where Paul and the guys were shooting off the fireworks. (Secretly, I was hoping it would rain us out. It's been two weeks since the last rain, with near-100 temps and hot wind ever since . The garden and crops are desperate.)
Now it's Monday, the real holiday, but it's back to real life for us. Paul has his normal 12-hour shift, I have bills to pay, a kitchen to clean, and two sleep-deprived, semi-sick kids to wrangle.
I'm taking a nap, though. The best cure for a sinus headache is unconsciousness.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Cold

I hate summer colds.
And why do I get them only before parties?
Usually birthday parties, but this time before
an Independence Day party.
I'd feel pretty good
if I didn't feel like I had
an elephant sitting on my chest.
the end