Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's DONE

I have been looking for a diaper bag for the last, well -- for the last FOREVER (basically since I got pregnant). It's pretty well taking over our lives (well, my life). Drew and I went diaper bag shopping on our date night (losers, I know). Every bag had something wrong with it. No zippers, not enough pockets, too pink, too patterned. I'm sure you can all picture Drew dying during this process. Apparently, I am still unable to bring myself to buy THAT much pink. Pink in large quantities to hang off my body is too much.


Drew decided I should look online. He was smart.

I went with ebags. I slowly realized that while I loved the patterned look, it didn't go with my life. I finally went with this bag:



The sweet rep I was talking to online also found me this bag:


And, he gave me a coupon code, so it ended-up being only 7 dollars more than I would've spent just for the first bag. Go me. Anyway, I thought it'd be nice to also have a smaller bag that I could just throw a couple of things in and be on my way. And, I liked the little orange bag. They're out of the same fabric, so hopefully they'll match. If not, ebags has free returns. Oh, and both bags have a lifetime gurantee -- so if something ever happens I'm set for life.
Whatcha think? Yes, I wish I was a little cuter, but I couldn't bring myself to spend more than 50 and I finally found that I'm a function over style kinda gal. Sad, but true.

Do You Print Coupons?

Hey, you -- do you print coupons? I highly advise doing it -- in fact, I do it at http://www.mypoints.com/ -- and I even earn points each time a coupon is printed AND when it's redeemed.

But main question right now, there's a great diaper coupon out there right now and I'm wondering if anyone on here prints and doesn't have one in diapers. Maybe you want to help a girl out? Anyway, just wondering. For those of you who do have one in diapers there's a 5$ and a 3$ Huggies coupon on all the coupon sites right now. Run, go grab it before they pull it. FYI, each computer can print 2.

Savings

Guess who saved 68% on her grocery bill this fine AM. Me, that's who. I could've saved more if I had gone crazy with the frozen foods, but our freezer is STOCKED... so I went for stuff we really did need, to fill the food storage.

HATING Quicken. Had to to get the newest software so it'd be able to do download from my bank. Apparently we get to do that every 3 years now. I found it for 30 bucks. I'd like for it to know that when it says 2895 appleseed street from my bank -- that is actually Safeway -- is there a way to make it know that? I've tried to figure out its renaming, but it's not working for me. Oh, and I got WillMaker Plus free with my purchase. Is it worth doing, if, pe se, someone was without a will? Feel free to slap me now.

Garage is done. Well, pretty-much done. We still need to go through what's in the ceiling. Drew, obviously, can't wait for the day that we do that. Food storage is looking might fine. I was going to take a picture, but I didn't want people stalking my garage to steal my cereal and ketsup. It's all mine people, all mine.

Friday, February 27, 2009

HUGE Edit

My friend Brittany just saved me 100 bucks! Wa-hoo! You can return BPA bottles to Babies R Us without a receipt, or packaging or whatever. Now, call around before you try it, but it did work for me (but at the BRU closest to my house they said no, the other one said yes). Now I won't have to feel the extra burden of no breast milk AND BPA. :)

Bottle That

If I could keep time in a bottle. I'd go back to when BPA didn't make me feel guilt shoving the toxicity-laden bottle in my baby's face.
For those of you who dont know my history, my kids are entirely bottle fed. I have high hopes for my boobs this time, but I need to be realistic. I am also thinking that while we won't replace our entire bottle line-up (which has been waiting patiently for almost 4 years in our garage), I should get 4 or so main bottles that I can use that are BPA free (is it BPA? that bad stuff that could be in our bottles). So, the question is -- what kind do I get now? I've always used Avent, and I think I'm leaning that way -- but I'm wondering if you have a cheaper bottle that you love? Tell me more. I think Drew and I are going to go bottle hunting on date night tomorrow night.
And then we'll make out, of course. :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Diaper Envelopes


I am a sewing genius. I know. :) I have been sewing burp cloths up a storm (they'll get their own post soon) but now that I'm finally on disability I decided to take a moment and head to Joann's to see what I could see. I went hoping to get fabric to make a diaper envelope, and some for bibs. Here, you see the diaper envelope.

First, let me say I got the tutorial and everything from this site. She explains things really well, and it's fully lined. Some of it takes a little more thought then I would prefer, but I like how it's all lined. There are a few tutorials out there, but this one was my favorite.

I chose some heavy duty home decor fabric (that's 30% off right now at Joann's). It's just 1/4 of a yard (I was going to do the envelope facing the other way, but it was cheaper to buy fabric like this, and I still have enough to do another one. I think it would've been easier to line it with something else, but I loved the stripe against the pink and green. I used a magnetic closure, instead of velcro. I'm not sure I love that I did this, but I'd always wanted to try to use them. They're pretty fancy -- and it will be very easy to close (and will stay close). Not quite as easy to open.

I wish this held just a bit more. My wipes and a small diaper fit in there just fine -- but I think next time I'll make it a little longer (and maybe move the magnetic closure up a bit to give me a little extra length). I also added a handle. Also not sure if I love this, but I do think it'll be handy as I haul my diapers with me to the potty. :) Almost makes me excited to change the wee one.

Almost.

Total cost for this was just around 2 dollars plus tax (1.50 for fabric, that can also make another and then 50 cents for the magnetic closure -- they come in a pack of 3). I've seen them going on etsy for $15-20. Total time was around an hour, but a fair amount of that was figuring out my magnetic closure (velcro would have been much easier) and I took out a bit to put the handle in after I decided I wanted it. Next time I think I could make one in about 45 minutes. J's has SO many yummy home decor fabrics, I am really happy with how it turned out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Meet Stoney

Considering calling this baby stoney, just because I've had SO many test. Of course, we could also call her glucose -- but stoney somehow seems more feminine. :)

This morning I went in for my ultrasound, and while they couldn't tell me anything of use -- she did scan the baby. She said she'd put MONEY on the fact that this one is a girl. She did get a pretty good look, if I do say so myself. Pictures are really fun at this stage (32 weeks'ish). Look at that profile. Looks just like her adorable mom. Oh, and watch her cut-off my bile duct just for fun. Kidding, we didn't get a picture of that. :) Can't believe how big her feet were! I'm used to tiny little 18 week feet. I havne't seen her on the big screen for a while. The tech was nice enough to print out some photos. Nice of her.
So, I finally got hold of my doctor. The initial radiology report says no stones, or blockage. However, because of the pains I do have they've put me on disability. I just informed Drew that meant that I was entirely done. No cooking, no cleaning, no work from me. I'm a couch girl from now on. He didn't find it particularly amusing. Go figure. So, that's me now -- hopefully I don't lose my mind being here every day, day and day out... for weeks. Wish me luck. :)
Just thought I'd mention there is no cure for galstones when you're pregnant. The normal curative procedure is surgery, but it's too hard to get to with the baby in the way, squishing everything. Part of me wonders if it does have something to do with my liver, and perhaps the bile duct not draining well -- but I'm not sure we'l ever know.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Internal Medicine

OB recommended I go to my internist to see if there's anything we're missing with this pain.
Internal medicine is VERY afraid of OB patients. We are one giant liability on this world.
I think it will be a good 15 dollars flushed down the tubes of the Kaiser system, but whatever.
Maybe he'll fix me. Maybe I should just get fixed. :)
People, this pain is cutting into my internet time. HOW SAD IS THAT? Sitting hurts, driving REALLY hurts, standing hurts, bending.
Now laying on the couch on my left side, that's a position I am very fond of.
ETA: MD thinks there is a SLIGHT chance it's Gallstones. I can't imaigne it is, but I'm off for a fasting ultrasound of it tomorrow. I don't think I've ever seen my Gall Bladder, call me excited.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Back to the Grind

Back to the routine, went to the grocery store this AM -- got some dried beans (Lucky has them for 99 cents through tomorrow).
I have this weird side pain, and I'm not sure how much longer I can stand working. My doctor has ruled everything major out and we're pretty dang sure it's just musculoskeletal, but that doesn't make it any less annoying. I may be going on disability earlier then I had anticipated (at which point I will be scheduling lunches with each of you so I don't lose my mind).
Just found-out that Drew has his major festival either on my due date or the day after. He swears he told me, but I think we've all been down that road before. :) I just told him to find a back-up. I mean, the chances are low that I would go into labor the 3 hours that he's gone, but still...
And now to clean a bit. Maybe cut out some coupons. Big fun. BIG, BIG, FUN. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Week of "Vacation"

The blog has been lacking, and I'm fully aware. We've been "off" all week, and it's been SO nice to be at home and get some stuff done. Sadly, I'm not sure my kids or my husband feel the same way about it. What we've done:

1. Drew cleaned out the gutters. Poor guy, he hadn't done them since we moved in. He got them all draining beautifully now though, and I think he'll be doing it more often from now on.

2. We planted seedlings. Now, I know I SWORE I wasn't gonna do seedlings again this year, but it is a fun process and it's a great learning experience for the kids. Also, I wanted to try some of the fancy heirloom tomato seeds that are on the market. Please say a little prayer for our seeds. This time we went to a real nursery to buy our seeds, and I'm glad I did. They were so helpful! I think I'll be going there again soon. The prices weren't much different, and for the added help I really appreciated it. Plus, they had some very pretty flowers.

3. We cleaned our carpets. We got the little machine from home depot (it's only 15 bucks when you get it for only 6 hours). It did an amazingly good job and I think it'll be on our winter break list from now on. It did take FOREVER for it to dry. Oh, I once had a friend tell me that if you do the intial run with the cleaner, and then do another run with vinegar, it helps rinse out any detergent you leave behind. We did this, and I think it really helped -- and it also helped us suck out some of the other dirt. You know how I enjoy sucked-out dirt. :)

4. Trip to IKEA to find a dresser for the baby. Kids were awful, but we found one that will work. I had looked on craig's list, but since we had specific dimensions we had to fit I went with the 60 dollar dresser from Ikea. Sadly, she has much more clothes space then the boys, I think. :)

5. We re-arranged the kids room. Since all 3 are going in one room, I wanted to at least get the furniture in a position we can drop the crib in when the time comes. This was really a hard thing for me, we have a desk, a small bookshelf, a dresser (baby's is going to go in the closet), their bunk beds and a changing table (yes, I am adamant about the changing table -- it just makes life easier when they're little), plus the crib. And their room is not that large. Initially I'd drawn-out one sketch, but when the furniture was positioned I didn't like it -- so I came-up with a new one. We used to have this giant bucket for a hamper, so we replaced that with a sleeker version (that hopefully will hold a lot of clothes). Also, I have been worried about the kids each having their own "space" even with all 3 of them in there. They don't play much in their room but I still think it's important that they feel they have a few inches of their "own". We bought the boys some magnetic boards to put alongside their bed to hang whatever is important to them. In the picture, you'll see that I chose to bunch the bookshelf, and the dresser over in the corner. I figure they don't spend that much time with either of those, and it leaves more room for playing. The crib will go to the left as you enter the room. Wish us luck with this little change. :)
So, hopefully all of you had a nice week, and it will be even nicer to get back to our regular routine.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Blog About Wicked

I was waiting to get some pictures off my phone (yes, I didn't even take my big camera, that's just how pregnant I am). I don't think I can express what a HUGE musical theater fan I am. HUGE, people. I love it. I loved being in the pit, and while I don't exactly have the talent to belt-out the gold old show-tunes, I like to pretend that I do. Just ask my kids and Drew. You'd think I was Elpheba incarnate in my car. Feel free to ask me to sing the soundtrack to Okalahoma -- you'll feel the wind rushing down the plains. :)

Transportation We took Bart, and huge props to whoever on 2P's told me to do this. It drops you off RIGHT in front of the theater. We parked at the Millbrae station and it was 4 bucks each way for us to go into the city. I'm sure we would've paid more then that in parking (parking at the station is only a dollar) in the city, plus the hassel. I found Bart to be fairly clean, the station was really nice. If we did it again, we might even ride Caltrain to Millbrae (this would've added about 17 dollars to our trip -- fyi) because Drew and I enjoy talking while riding on the train and watching all the traffic stopped next to us. And no, we didn't pick a baby name on the way. Thanks for asking. What do you think of GA-linda? :)


Food We ate at the Market Street grill, which is just kitty corner to the theater. I ate WAY TOO MUCH, and I paid for it on the scales, but it was yummy and worth it. We don't splurge often (as of late our dates have been splitting a burger at St. John's and some cheese fries), but this was worth it. Plus, you can get back onto Bart right next to the restaurant -- and by the time we were done my feet were SO swollen this was a huge plus.


The Theater We saw it at the Orpheum in downtown SF. It's a GREAT theater for Wicked -- very Gothic. I really want to read up more about its history. They must pick the shows that they show there, because it's hard to imagine something upbeat like Annie or Sound of Music at this theater, because of its gothic-ness. It has a lot of great carvings, etc. It also has a little farmers market in the rear that we perused before the show.


The Show OMG, I cried at the beginning. Not like sobs, but the throat got tight. Have I cried at the birth of either of my children? No. But I did cry at this. I'd been wanting to see it for SO long, and I just felt very blessed to be able to be there, and that everything had worked out (btw, huge thanks to my friends for babysitting, when you're up in the city for so long I was nervous about just having a teenager babysit so it was extra nice that my friends stepped up -- plus, the kids had a great time too!). Elpheba and Glinda are amazing. I can't say that I was completely wowed by Nessa Rose, the Wiz or Fiero -- but they were all great (just not, OMG where'd they get their voice? great... does that make sense?). The sets and costumes, the whole thing. Just loved it. Plus, I love how grown-up and normal a mom can feel from a night like that. I'll be honest, Drew and I would go to a show every month if we could, but tickets are a lot (we went on a weekday matinee, got the cheapest seats I could find -- but they were still great -- and our total was still near 200). I told Drew I want him to find out about some of the local college plays at least. Anyway, would I go again -- no. Too much $$, but if it was cheaper I totally would! I'd love to see it performed by different casts too. I really like the story behind Wicked -- whether you are born wicked, or the fact that people keep calling you wicked makes you so. For those of you who have no idea about the show. Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West are college roommates, that's the basic idea. It has great music, but poor orchestration (seriously, the pit only had like 10 people in it, that's kind of sad). It is nothing like the book. Well, I mean the book and it have the same premise, but I only made it about 1/2 way through the book before I grew tired of the smut, not so in the musical.

Anyway, I've ran out of things to say and I need to hurry and clean before I need to head off to work. Just a huge day for me, so glad we did it and I VOW that we will do this at least every year -- find a show that we love, and go. It's worth it, even if the rest of our date nights are splitting a burger. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

From the best to monotony

How can, one day you go to Wicked, and have one of the best days of your life. And the next you're cleaning out gutters and sorting through baby clothes? It seems like I live parallel existences. :) More about Wicked later, but I thought I would give a tribute to sorting through baby clothes.

Wah. I will miss those baby boy clothes. Honestly, infant boy clothes are a favorite of mine. They try and make them so gentleman-ly, and yet soft. Kind of how I wish they'd stay forever. Of course, I'm keeping all of my sleepers, regardless of the color. I figure the kid can sleep in anything... and I'll save my $$ for cute pink things she'll wear in public.

Torn as of what to keep. I figure things without trucks and dinosaurs are fairly safe, and can be salvaged by a bow, perhaps some frilly socks. :) It goes against my very nature to throw something out that's perfectly fine and usable, but I did toss a few things. Of course, they're not tossed -- they're in a box that says "boy clothes".

You know, just in case. ;)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Telling You What To Do

Before I start the excitement that is carpet cleaning I read through the MSNBC news page just to get caught-up before the day. I found this on Pelosi meeting the Pope and him saying that Catholics can't support abortion.

I find the whole thing very interesting. Coming from the LDS church we're not really "told" stuff like that. Although, if I do participate in an abortion or council a woman to get an abortion I can be excommunicated (aka, kicked out of the church). However, it's up to each of us to get our own testimonies.

I wonder how Nancy feels after that. I'm guessing she feels like he is stepping places has no right to step to. It'll be interesting to see how/if she responds to it.

Presentation

A couple of presentations... Last night our ward had enrichment on finances. They invited all the husbands, and the young women even baby sat. I figured there'd be a pretty good turn-out of younger couples. I was wrong. Drew was like one of 5 guys in the room, if even that. Even of women there were probably less than 20 there. I was sad, especially in today's economy. Of course, I did have to kind of drag Drew, but I think it was worthwhile to sit through the lecture today, even if it just helps us to focus on our needs and not our wants. Sadly, the presentation was mostly on how to get out of debt, which isn't something we particularly suffer with (besides this monstrosity of a house we call our home), but there is always something to be learned about finances. I appreciated him taking his time to do it. I think that perhaps living with an economist father for 21 years is all the training a person needs... but reminders are nice. ;)

The other one is my little kidney stone. I don't present in a normal fashion with stones. For instance, this one didn't hurt much at all. Apparently, my stones sometimes pass through my kidneys without issue. Then, as they travel down the ureters, they get caught at the bladder (last time mine got caught at my bladder and wedged wrong and it blocked the urine which is called hydronephrosis -- which was the seriously painful part). Apparently they bounce up and down on the bladder until it lets it in. That's where I get the problems. I feel frequency and urgency, as we like to call it. AKA, I feel like I have to pee all the time. So, at the hospital they kept saying, "No, those are symptoms of a UTI, not a kidney stone." And I'd say, "I know, but I really don't think it's a UTI." They said they'd culture my urine and get back to me. I went home and passed a stone. Lucky me. Really though, this one -- not painful. Except for the having to pee part. Not a big fan of that. Anyway, they only listened to me because I was a nurse (or, frankly they didn't listen to me at all, but did a nice job of pretending) and sounded like I knew what I was talking about. What if I was a regular person, would I have gotten a course of antibiotics that I didn't need? Just a reminder to listen to the people you're dealing with.

In other news we're cleaning our carpets today. I figure once every 5 years is enough? Am I right? Plus, the kids are now old enough to pre-treat our stains. Feel the joy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

These Are the Days

Ahhh, mid-winter break. Stretching out in front of me as far as the eye can see. Darn how you can be spoiled by a 4 mm kidney stone. Drat you little stone.

In other news I went to Costco and got some pricing done, and bought some fabric at Joann's to make burp cloths out of.

Thinking of taking BART up to the city. Does anyone have thoughts? Looks like Fremont's pretty darn hard to get parking at... considering Millbrae.

Really, I'm just helping you all take a little nap, what with this boring blog entry n' all. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Grrrr... what if I had 14 of these things?

It's been one of those mornings. Conner and I are going to have a talk after school about his behavior (or lack thereof) in the mornings and how we can improve it. It's all play again. {sigh} Then, the homework comes 3 minutes before we leave for me to sign and he forgets his lunch. Just one of those days. And, of course, I'm room mom so I'm in charge of his party later this afternoon {big freaking sigh}.

Which brings my thoughts to Nadya Suleman. I'm saddened that people are calling her the "octa mom" -- because she is someone's mom, and those little someones are small and I think we should have more respect for people in general. I'm sure you've all been waiting for me to do an entry on her, and perhaps you'll be surprised at my thoughts.
  • I think people need to shut-up about her. Especially anyone who's ever gotten fertility or considered it, or loves someone who's gotten fertility. It's amazing something like this hasn't happened before (and most likely, most people would've aborted most of the babies -- which, personally I think is WAY worse than raising them, cheers for her for at least accepting her consequence).
  • I think no one is equipped to raise six-tuplets or octuplets, or honestly, even qudruplets. Almost all of those people receive help -- a father and a mother is just not enough, at all. John of John and Kate didn't have a job when they had the babies -- and they had to have PLENTY of help. Even if she did have a husband, she'd still require loads and LOADS of assistance.
  • John and Kate receive a LOT of assistance, in fact their whole life is now built around the fact that they had the birth of multiples. Most of the stuff in the house was obviously acquired through sponsors, etc. People complain that this woman is asking for donations, but is it really any different?
  • PLENTY of people have babies with no job, no insurance and no plans on how to pay for them. I thing this rings true to many Mormons. I'm not judging, I'm just saying there are similarities.
  • Yes, she's crazy. But let's not pretend she's the first crazy woman to have children.
  • I think we need to stop putting fertility as the answer to everything, and implanting multiple embryos in every woman who asks for it. I hope this shines a light on it.
  • The doctor should lose his licence and he should be required to come help at her house for a few hours every week. He knew what he was doing -- and it's affecting the older children. Time for some Chutes and Ladders for him. :)

This poor woman, I can't imagine what her life is like. I hope she makes the best of it. Good luck to her. She's got a consequence for this decision for a very long time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Grocery Shopping for the week

Here's what I found at Safeway for the week:
Ladies, just got back -- what I learned today is in italics
  • Grapes 88 cents (green)
  • 1# straberries 3$
  • Mushrooms 98 cents (Lies, all lies -- not on sale -- SORRY)
  • Bacon (certain brands) 50% off (This makes the safeway 3# of bacon 4.99 -- which is pretty good, I would then chunk it up and put it in my freezer, but I'm fairly well stocked with bacon -- 2 dollars/lb is my price point)
  • Chicken Parts 99 cents (also saw somewhere that they're 88 cents, not sure)(It's 99 cents, but our store had some that were 30% off -- that need to be frozen today or tomorrow, no problem, I'll re-package them this afternoon, that makes them 70 cents/lb)
  • Lays chips 1.99
  • Mission Chips 99 cents (with super coupon from ad)
  • Graham Crackers 1.99 (with super coupon) not a great deal, but I'm hoping they include the graham sticks -- love those!) (Didn't include the graham sticks -- and even if they did they're now packaging those all smaller, DARN YOU HONEY MAID)
  • Kellogs 4/6 (with super coupon) (Only frosted mini wheats)
  • Frosting buy 2 get 3 free (coupons available at http://www.bettycrocker.com/) cake mix, and cookie mix also a part of this, mix and match available They're priced at 2.49 -- so when you buy 5, it's like buying 1 and getting 4 for free -- if you use your coupons right -- there were also peelies at the store on the frosting.
  • Oil 2/5 (with super coupon) (regular price 7.99 -- sweet deal)
  • Sugar 1.69 (with super coupon)
  • Safeway Soda 49 cents (with super coupon -- btw, Safeway's one of the only places that makes generic diet soda that I've found)
  • Gortons Fish Sticks 2/7 (with super coupon)
  • Safeway bread 1.49 (with super coupon -- this bread isn't amazing, but it gets the job done, and it's not the worst kind they make)
** Reminder that you can use coupons even on free items. So, for the frosting, I already had 2 coupons, and I printed 2 more -- I will use all 4 coupons, even though techinically I am only buying 2 items, I can still use 4, or even 5 if I had them, coupons.

Anyone see anything I missed?

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

I was happily vacuuming this fine AM while Spencer was doing his lessons, when I get a call from school. Conner's in the nurse's office saying he "feels funny." Now, he had no symptoms this AM when I dropped him off at band (AT SEVEN AM -- grrrr....). They say it's my call if I want to come get him, but they say he would like to come home.

I pack us up to go get him. I check him out of school, he says he feels "spacey". I figure maybe he didn't sleep well or who knows what's up. We get home, he walks right over to Spencer's new birthday toys and starts to play. Umm... no. Get in your bed Mister.

"I'm hungry, mom." So I give him his snack from his lunch. He bugs Spencer while Spencer finishes his lessons, and then I tell him to go to his bed. He keeps getting out of his bed, to draw, or steal Spencer's Leapster. He's totally faking his illness, in hopes to better paw through Spencer's birthday toys.

So, what do you do? Right now I'm keeping him in his bed, checking on him every 10-15 minutes, keeping him supine and just reading. It's not going to be a fun day, and he will also miss out on the activities he had planned for this evening (cup scouts). Am I missing anything there? I was going to let him watch TV with Spencer, but he was quickly running around the room and rocking in the chair like a wild horse. Back to bed for him.

{sigh}

I hate being a nurse at home. I told him this is what I do at work. I tell sick people what they can and can not do. He reminded me that I am not at work. I reminded him that I was aware, but that I had a degree that said I could do things like that.

Take that little faker, now get back in bed.

Mini cucakes

Can I just say how CUTE these guys ended-up? I must admit it was kind of daunting because I hadn't used my mini muffin tin for quite a while, but the teachers had been complaining about the amounts of sugar that parents were bringing in for birthdays... so I thought I'd try this. The results -- the teacher liked them so much that they took an example out to show the other parents.
From Pulling Curls


So, I did the batter just like any other batter, with the help of my friend Betty Crocker (btw, cake mixes, cookie mixes and canned frosting are all buy 2 get 3 free at Safeway this week -- coupons availble at betty cocker.com -- fyi). I used my cookie scoop to dip them.

From Pulling Curls


The one thing I'd learned from my online query is that you don't want to fill them too full... so make sure like with your regular muffin tin you just do 2/3 -- you can also see that mine are varying sizes, but it wasn't as noticable once I frosted.

From Pulling Curls


I baked them at 350 for 10 minutes. As I looked online, this seems pretty standard. I ended-up doing 3 batches of 24 muffins each. BTW, they didn't stick at all the first time (I sprayed the tin with pam prior) but they did stick a bit thereafter, but a quick run around with a knife helped them to pop out. I would recommend re-spraying each time with Pam, but they will still most likely stick -- unless of course, you find some tiny wrappers, which would be great, but I didn't.

From Pulling Curls


I'd let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then put them on my cooling rack, then it was onto a cookie sheet with wax paper.

From Pulling Curls


I used my largest star tip from my cake decorating set. You'll want a large tip for this, otherwise it just takes too long to frost them all (believe me, I tried). I used a basic buttercream recipe, but the one I did only had 2 cups of powdered sugar -- I should have doubled it, or at least 1/2 again. I ended-up having to resort to canned frosting to finish. Voila.

Honestly, I think they'd be a fun FHE treat. Esp. if you found a recipe that only made 24 of them. It wasn't near as hard as I thought it might be. Total time was around 90 minutes, which included the cooling time between batches (if you had more than one mini tin it would go faster). Spencer had a great time helping to decorate and putting the sprinkles on.

And I've only had 4 of them. Go me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Handful

Here he is, in all his five year old glory. I don't know why, but this birthday is really affecting me... just seems like he's not little anymore once he's five -- he's a big school kid. Already registered for K in the fall. {sigh}
I made cupcakes for preschool today, and they made a BIG deal over him. He's pretty well gotten his every wish, and it's nice, as a parent, to be able to grant those wishes -- just because it's their special day.
Cake for tonight's party even turned-out. Who knew? Maybe because I was distracted by the cupcakes it finally worked. Anyway, hope to get a picture of that soon.
Love you Spencer. Can't wait to see what the next 95 bring.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here's this week's plan:
Mexican: Tortilla Chip Chicken
Pasta: Crock pot cream cheese chicken (my friend Shannon made this before, and it's pretty dang delish)
Kids: Hot Dogs (Spencer's request for his birthday)
Soup: Chili (already in the crock pot, and unless the missionaries are just monsters tonight we should have enough for 2 or 3 meals -- did I mention I used dried beans?)
Chicken: Paprika Chicken with Sour Cream Sauce
Other: Tostadas and southwestern salad

Now, some reviews:
Dried beans: Just had to mention again, that yes -- these are causing me to plan further in advance. This is the tutorial I went off of (I did pinto beans yesterday, for the chili today). But if you break it down. The beans soaked for about 6 hours yesterday in cold water, I skimmed off the floaters, and put them in the crock pot overnight last night on low. Then, I drained the liquid and put in my chili ingredients for today. As you can see in her tutorial it definiately saves you money to plan ahead. I had done black eyed peas before, and they smelled NASTY when I tried this, but with these -- it was just fine.
Mac and Cheese: OMG, it's just devine. Can't say enough nice things about it. Wasn't hard, didn't have to make a white sauce for hours at the stove, which is one of the highlights for me. :)
Refried Bean Soup: I'd made this before, and I vaguely remember it was yummy and easy -- but boy oh BOY is it ever. Great one to have the kids help on, and especially great if you have a lot of refried beans, which I do. Provo-ans -- if you ever had the soup before the dinner at El Azteca (the restaurant, not the take-out) this one comes pretty dang close. Seriously, SO easy. And low fat, and well... go make it. Really. I served it with some tortillas that I put some cheese on and baked. Kids loved it. GREAT one to use-up your food storage!

Weekend Update

Just an update from our weekend.
1. I cleaned our washing machine with bleach, vinegar and boiling water. Serious.
2. I got a little stomach something or other. Not pretty. Skipped 1/2 of the things I had planned (that was after cleaning the washing machine).
3. Still went to girls night even though I felt a bit punk, just because the thought of missing it was far to saddening.
4. Skipped out on the last 2/3 of church because I was still feeling a bit under the weather.
5. Came home and read my lesson on the apostasy, not looking forward to it. Anyone have any great apostate stories they'd like to share?
6. Conner keeps stealing fiber 1 bars from me. I'm thinking of having the police come and talk to him.
7. Forgot, late addition: Made us some boy bait on Saturday morning. It was yummy, but I chuckle every time I ask the boys if they want some. I think me and my roommates would've enjoyed this recipe a lot back in our day. :)
I think that's all.
What's on the docket for today, you ask?
1. Make giant pot of chili to feed missionaries for dinner (using dried beans -- this part's already done -- I soaked the beans yesterday, then I cooked them in the crock pot last night, and this AM I drained them and added all the chili stuff -- it barely fits in my crock pot now).
2. Make mini cupcakes for Spencer's birthday tomorrow at preschool (yes, get ready for a post about me making cake again)
3. Clean kitchen
4. Go into a coma after all the cooking, etc.
Sometimes Mondays seem so overwhelming. I am grateful we have Sundays to gear-up for the week though. Very, very grateful.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Conner Bonner

Conner's been a really busy dude as of late. We've had pinewood derby and science fair all due within a week of each other. I thought I'd do a little pictorial post to share what all been goin' on.

First off Pinewood derby. This was our first year to make our car, and while you can't see it very well in the picture -- Conner chose a "natural disaster theme" -- it had tornados, earthquakes and lightening on it. Sadly, our inexperience showed, and we didn't place but he had a great time anyway. Drew already has big plans as to how to weight the car for next year. Oh boy. On a brighter note, depending on when the race falls, I don't think we'll ever have to make more than one car at a time...




Secondly is is science fair project. He chose to use the blood pressure cuff that grandma and grandpa Erickson gave us. We all took our blood pressure before we worked out, and after. Turns out Drew and I, ours go lower -- and my parents (who were also nice enough to participate) were totally random. So, he might not have learned a lot -- but frankly, at least it's done. :) I think he did learn about his pulse rate going up, and how some exercises make him work harder then others.

I've been working hard on my blog book. I'm really happy that blurb is slurping from Blogger again. It takes a LONG time, but I hope to get a blog entry on tips I've learned to make it better.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

But...

Drew's job may not be safe
but...
I did work yesterday
but...
my patient all the sudden turned she-ra and pushed it out right after I called the doctor for delivery
but...
blub is now slurping from Blogger
but... well, no time for buts. I want to get a blog book done before el bambina comes.
and yes, I think my butt will get bigger while I sit here for the next 40 hours and work on it. :)
Facinating stuff, I'm aware.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

25 Things About Me.

I've gotten about 9 million facebook tags to do the 25 things. I was trying to resist, but lately I've been reading some and enjoying them... So I took a spare hour and composed mine:

1. I use the words cervix, catheter and bloody show indiscriminately. It's just part of me, get used to it. Some people prefer not to eat around me. Your choice.

2. I am in love with little boys. I am entirely a little boy mother. Things like "don't use your urine like a light sabre" flow out of my mouth without a thought. When I'm at the fabric store I'm drawn to the boy fabric. I am afraid of a little girl.

3. I miss living in Utah. I miss snow at Christmas, I miss the mountains, I miss Brick Oven Garlic bread, I miss having church news come-up on your local news. Of course, I miss my family.

4. I don't miss living in Utah. I don't miss driving/sliding in the snow, I don't miss how the population doubles during education week and women's conference. I don't miss how judgemental people were.

5. It kills me not to be with my family at holidays. I really miss the family parties that we had as kids growing up. I am grateful that I have friends here who take the place of uncles and aunts, and who my children hold dear.

6. I find living away from my family very free-ing. I got to be a whole new person when I moved here -- not a soul knew me from before. It was nice to be myself, instead of the dean's daughter, or the band geek.

7. I have more friends here then I could ever have imagined. I spent the first year here in almost complete solitude other then going to work (and thankfully my brother lived here, so I made many trips to Palo Alto). When I look at all the friends we have here I feel extremely blessed. I also try and go out of my way so that people I know won't be friendless for a year like I was. :) However, I could do better at this still.

8. I am an obsessive shopper. I spend hours and hours pouring over coupons and deal sites so that I can save the most money -- be it a car, or a stick of butter. When I buy a car seat I go to every car seat message board that the web has to offer to find the best/most economical one for our family. I finally have to just go buy so I can stop. It's a blessing and a curse.

9. I have no idea who I would be if I wasn't Mormon. I most likely would've been pregnant at an early age with an entirely different life. I liked boys too much, and I get stressed out easily, and I could very easily find solace in a lovely glass of wine. Luckily, instead I get to make casseroles for friends and spend 3+ hours at church. Not to mention all the cross stitch and crocheting I've done.

10. I've only kissed two boys (on the lips in a va-va-va-voom kind of way). One is married to me (lucky dude), and the other one is married to an LDS singer (which I find very amusing if you know our family's stance on "church" music). I have been to her website just to see what they're doing as a family. And believe me, they were boys before they kissed me. :)

11. I enjoy cooking new meals for my family, although I doubt you would know it if you watched me do it. I get stressed trying to get all the components out on time (plus, being asked to help someone on the computer, do homework, and play Marshall or setting the fire alarm off).

12. My blog and the Internet has opened a whole new world for me. My best female friend is someone I've only met 3 times in real life, but we talk almost every single day -- and have done so for about 3 years now. I know more about her then I do about any of you. Really. I do. Sometimes it's scary how much we know about each other. However, it is also very freeing to be so close to someone that's so far away and will most likely never meet anyone you're talking about. I don't ever have to feel like it's gossip when I share my feelings. I would worry if she ever moved here (or I moved there) because of all she knows about my life. :) Does that even make sense? Plus, I love getting my thoughts out on my blog, and I enjoy reading other's thoughts on their blogs.

13. I am the luckiest person to have ever met Drew. It was extremely poor timing (first semester of nursing school) and our courtship wasn't your regular one but we've been married over 11 years and beat all the statistics of young love (got married right after I turned 21). I won't say that our first few years were delightful, but they're over now. :) Now I feel extremely lucky. He is the the yin to my yang (and my shamma-lamma-ding-dang).

14. I hate all of you that tagged me on this. Really. I do. Yes, even you.

15. My job is a total love/hate relationship. I love the patients (really, I do -- especially when you form a bond with them, it is an amazing thing that I also get paid for those days -- although, there are times when I should get paid double -- so I suppose it evens out), I love the other nurses, I love the things I'm learning, I love that I'm still learning new things. I hate that we have to have management (I'm not sure that I would love any management at this point, so I hate to point fingers... but sometimes, I think I do), there are some doctors I'm not super fond of, I hate that I have to miss things in my children's lives and when they cry that I'm working on a certain day (although, usually they cheer and say "maybe dad will take us for slurpees!"). But mostly it leaves me with amazing, feelings and stories. Oh, and a lovely paycheck.

16. Nursing school was the second worse time in my life. I absolutely hated it, I had a teacher who hated me (and who can hate me, I ask?), I felt stress every moment of every minute. I worried my job would be like that. It wasn't. I love my job now. It was worth the 6 semesters of pure hell. I have no idea why I chose to become a nurse (as my uncle once said, "you're not exactly 'caring'.", but I know that God guided me to it, and for that I am forever in his debt (besides already being in His debt).

17. My religion is really hard for me to share, I think it sounds exceedingly silly when I share it. That is hard for me, because it's so important to me. Every single good decision I have ever made has been from the church and from God. I have no idea how I'd parent without Him, I have no idea how I'd exist. I want to share that with others, but I'm not very good at it.

18. While I'm at it, one of the main reasons I didn't go on a mission is because I am deathly afraid of bugs. I heard stories of people with roaches in their apartments and that pretty well ended it for me. I got married instead. I guess Drew should be very thankful for all the bugs.

19. My parents are my idols. Don't get me wrong -- they're weird at some things, but I can't get enough of them. Especially now that I live hundreds of miles away. During college, that was a whole other story.

20. I probably have more in common with Monk (the USA series character) then I do with many of you. I have many OCD tendencies that I am not proud of. Pregnancy is bringing the out even worse. Lucky Drew. Currently I fight not screaming when I see my son's shoes not tied (which is often). Literally, I want to breathe fire on him (if I was a dragon, which I am not). I suppress it as much as possible. I won't be shocked if I need medication for it in the near future.

21. Family vacations get me all va-klempt. Especially looking at the pictures. I find that uninterrupted time with my family is far and few between and I am so grateful for the times we're able to go away and spend that time together. Be it Yellowstone, or Disneyland, they all hold a special place in my heart. Sometimes I look around while on vacation and dream that's what life will be like in heaven. No beds to make (unless we're staying at our parent's house, then that's not quite as heavenly), plenty of snacks to eat, time to spend together. It's pretty well the bomb.

22. I am deathly afraid of having this child. Afraid of dying, afraid of the girl-ness, afraid of the newborn-ness, afraid what changes it will have on my other two. I'm not a big fan of change in general.

23. Having my first child was the first most worst time in my life. I was in a world of pain, both from the delivery and in my mind. Things weren't like I'd envisioned. It killed me. I also learned that my boobs are mutants.

24. I am a slave to a schedule. I LOVE it. I love having my certain things that I do at certain times and it works well for me. I even have my housework scheduled for each day of the week. When I have this baby you will see a little part of me die each day until I am able to get onto a schedule. Enjoy that.

25. My family is my life. When Drew and I were married -- we were married in an LDS temple where we were sealed for "Time and All Eternity." This means our family will be together forever, and I will take the role of mother forever. I take my role as a mother very strongly. I am big on dicipline, hard work, fun and involvement. I don't work outside the home full time, so I take it as a job inside the home. We have lessons, piano lessons, I work in the classroom, I'm room mom, I teach them to cook, how to clean and how to be people without me. No bon bons for me, even before this stupid diabetic diet. I try not to take too much credit for my kids, because I'd prefer not to take the blame when they do something not so smart. However, it's hard not to be so freakishly proud of the people they are becoming. I love those two little boys. And a part of me is excited to see our next addition (and the rest of me tells you to see #22).

THERE, it's done. Really, I am guessing any avid blog readers knew most of this stuff anyway. It should be called "random stuff about me" instead of "Pulling Curls."

Band

Conner now has band before school (as well as a pull-out for just his instrument during the day). Let's just say I don't love taking him the hour early. I think I've mentioned before, but I don't get help in the AM since Drew has to be to school so early. He can't drop him off, becuase it's not quite early enough. So, it's all me hustling him out the door at an insanely early time. I've put most of the responsibility on him though, if he feels like it's important he can take some effort to do it.

So, today he was a bit late, but on the way home I just happened to have some old marching band tunes playing from my college days.

And I realized that band is the key, and well -- music in general. when you look around the room at a band concert, you see every parent that is involved at school. You realize that slacker parents aren't going to be the ones taking their kids early to school. And whose kids do you want your kid to be friends with? The good parents, trust me on that one.

Anyway, I'm glad that he has the opportunity to have band in school. I think those days are going to get fewer and farther between, especially for the elementary kids. He is really enjoying it so far and I hope the friendships he makes are the ones that take him to the good decisions he'll make further down the road.

And yes, this blog entry may be brought to you by early morning hallucinations (I am always up at 6, but I'm not really ready to face the world til' around 8). Go team.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here's this week's offerings:
  • Mexican: Tortilla chip chicken with cream cheese quesidillas
  • Pasta: Penne and Smoked Sausage
  • Kiddie: Canadian Bacon Quesadillas
  • Soup: Refried Bean Soup
  • Chicken: Chicken and Mushroom Chicken (I have a couple of recipes that have chicken and swiss or chicken and mozerella... unclear as to which I'll make).
  • Other: Tostadas

You might wonder what I do for sides when I just list a protein -- it's usually just rice a roni, pasta roni, baked potato, mashed potatoes etc. I usually let whichever child is helping me pick it out.

Me 63% saver

Went to Safeway this AM. Saved 63% on my grocery bill. There was a 10$ off 50 in yesterday's newspaper... so if you got it, don't throw it away -- it's worth your while. I hope they put those in more often (since you're saving 20% right off the bat with those!). It's funny, I kind of psyche myself up for trips that I know I'm going to save a lot. It gets me all giddy.

I know, I need a life.

Had a dream last night that we couldn't figure out what to name the baby and we took it home early, but then I went back to talk to the birth recorder and I had all these little slips of paper with names on them. We are the worst at names. Really, we are. We do have it down to about 15 or so right now. Of course, that list expands and contracts much like wood on a hot day. {sigh}

Pinewood Derby was last Friday (pictures to come), and science fair due this Friday. It's interesting to see Conner compile all the deadlines in his head (and then choose to lay on the floor and read a book instead of anything that would produce something for the deadlines).

Random blog entry, but what's new eh?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

PROOF


Finally, a layout that doesn't require any blurring to post online. :)

See, I have been scrapbooking, and it is VERY simple -- but it is Spencer's 4th birthday done before his 5th. :)

Bugged

Shakira is right -- hips don't lie. They also won't let me sleep in for the weekend. It's mildly annoying.
But not as annoying as former Senator Daschle who is about to head Health and Human Services (who most people also try and rip off as much as possible). I mean, I spent a good hour just pouring over the return to make sure I'd included everything. No, I don't have a car given to me by the government -- but honestly, when you get perks like that -- your return review time should be longer -- CPA or no CPA it's still your return. So, to have all these people up for high government jobs saying they "just made a mistake" is making my stomach turn. I get no one is perfect. But I also get that people really like money. And I also get that most people dont' admit to stuff until they're caught.

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