Friday, December 31, 2010
Other words he has picked up recently include adding words to his signs such as "more" and "up". He says "Op" for open and "Doh" for down. He also has his first sentence. He loves to say "Here you go." It sounds a lot like "Thank you" which is his favorite thing to say. He also has learned to sign "sorry", possibly from all the time on the time out chair recently. Others used more correctly are baby, mama, dada.
We are working hard at scheduling meals and eating good food. He did terrible at lunch and then excellent at dinner. I think he was really hungry since he refused lunch. (Same food even.)
New skills that he has learned that we have to keep an eye on is opening dresser drawers and flushing the toilet. He also like to wipe things up with a rag. He loves sledding and we use a pull along sled to go down town now instead of the stroller. We have to take the alleys because they are not shoveled.
What keeps up going- Link is almost all smiles and laughter.
What brings us down- The past two nights he has been up screaming from 3-6 am.
I have been busy with some new things. I have begun work as a midwife assistant and will attend my first birth in January for an Amish couple nearby. I got a small job as a paid blogger for a company that will launch end of January. And I have been organizing and cleaning our entire attic. A new roof goes on this year and I'm assuming a clean attic would be helpful in that situation.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
1. Be able to buy a pair of pants at Target that fit.
2. Be able to wrap a towel all the way around me after a shower.
3. Be able to meet the requirements for surrogate motherhood.
4. Win the $300 from our family challenge.
House Goals (Focus Outside)
1. Get a new roof
2. Put up shutters
3. Fix front porch floor
4. Clean the siding
1. Complete The Artist Way
2. Spend time with God consistently (meditate, pray, art, etc)
3. Visit a Quaker Gathering in Decorah
4. Visit Laura's church in Lansing
1. Pay off Firstmark Loan
2. Get my credit card to $5,000 or less
3. Start a Roth IRA
4. Create another income source of my own
1. Complete a website for artpunks
2. Complete 4 issues of publication
3. Start a bookkeeping program for taxes
1. Visit four or five more states
2. Plant a garden
3. Learn to can
4. Welcome my third decade with something big
Monday, December 27, 2010
So here is what we have tried:
1. Preparing different ways (steam, saute, boiled)- fail
2. Hiding behind meat on a fork and feeding him ourselves- moderate
3. Chopping very very small- moderate
4. Dipping in sauces- fail
5. Vegetable juice- fail
6. Wrapping chopped veggies in a tortilla shell with hummus- moderate
7. Dried veggie chips- moderate
8. Putting half a corn on the cob on a pick and letting him eat it like a Popsicle- success
9. Putting in soup- moderate
10. Bribing with dessert- fail
11. Cooking in lots of butter- fail
I wasn't surprised by the corn, it is more the green vegetables he has a problem with. Any other suggestions?
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
I have been super busy this month. Musical Auditions (I'm directing Footloose again), currently working with 5 design clients, taking photos, Schera's gift shop, shoveling snow, etc. The nice thing in the paychecks. After finding out how much I would make with the Musical I decided I would put the entire thing toward one of my student loans that is almost finished. However, I have been so motivated I've been putting all my earnings into it and it will actually be all paid off before play practice even begins. So Musical money can go toward my credit card.
My credit card makes me sad. Two months before Link was born I had paid off my entire bill (which had wedding expenses as well as a couple trips to Europe). Then I quit the newspaper and didn't adjust to having a couple thousand less a month right away. In fact, I didn't adjust for about 7 months. So 7 months with a couple thousand on credit added up reaaaaaly fast. Fortunately I am still in the single digits.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
He laughs all the time. Which is so funny.
He is really into saying "No" right now. A little unsettling, but we are glad he is able to tell us what he wants and doesn't. His biggest "No" is to diaper changes and bed time. No news there. He use to cry and now he just says no. Oh and throws a fit. Were working on that.
Still working on naps and veggies. Our two biggest challenges.
Currently 10 pm and Link is spinning in circles and laughing. He is also putting his head down to sleep but saying no to offers. He is starting to say no to the tempting "nurse" too. This is sad for me, but happy for my nipples.
Now he just grabbed a favorite book and is saying to Bryce "Uh Oh Day Day" which is exactly the book he is picking up "Uh Oh David." He is one smart cookie.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Today was the first big snow. Not sure how much, but I (plus Bryce) took a job shoveling the church sidewalks and it took us 7 hours total. Two last night after about 3-4 inches, 3 this morning with another 2-3 inches, and then in the mid afternoon we got a call to go and clear the 1 inch that accumulated after we were done in the morning. The guy who has put himself in charge of church maintenance is a pain in the ass, but so far he has been good for us because he doesn't want to be doing the work himself. If he calls us all hours of the day though, I don't know how long we will last.
My mom and I brought Link up to Monona tonight for an evening holiday parade. It was nothing like the ones I use to go to in Minneapolis, but it was nice. There were floats with the Grinch, Snoopy, and lots of lights. Our mom's group got together. We also went to visit the gingerbread house display. I made another one this year. A church. I think I will probably get second. There were some really good ones. This barn was absolutely amazing. If they don't get first I will be surprised.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
I chose to go to bed at the same time as Bryce which happened maybe half the time. The other half of the time I just couldn't stay up as long. It was great to have a warm body to cuddle up to and we got to talk a little bit but not much with Link sleeping in the same room.
I also chose to do nice things for him like give him little treats and signs of affection. Neck rubs, notes, texts, chocolate, etc. He didn't really notice many of them, but I tried as hard as I could.
I also chose to spend the month letting things go. Not complain when I saw his clothes on the bathroom floor or see him not give Link a nap because he didn't want to deal with him crying. I think I succeeded about half the time. I'm going to keep working on this next month too.
We also decided to have a date night. We went out to dinner while Trish and Richard and Sam watched Lincoln. He was great for them and they can't wait to do it again, which was encouraging. We had an ok time. We go into it late because I had bell choir practice and Bryce went to get his hair cut. Then the weather was bad, the gps couldn't fidn the restaurant, etc, but we appreciated our time together. Conversation was a little slow. When you are alone together most of the day there are less people to talk about, no work to complain about, etc. But we are just getting started and maybe we will be able to keep doing it and have more to talk about later.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Bryce made his mom's mashed potato recipe after finding out that once again we would only be having cheesy potatoes and not mashed. I practiced with my photography lights. We played Beatles rock band and ended up playing Pictionary and Apples to Apples until 1 in the morning.
Now that's what we call Thanksgiving.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Something I am loving 100% is paperbackswap.com. The website basically trades books one for one. I thought I wouldn't be that into it because my books would sit on the shelf a long time and there wouldn't be books that I like, but in actuality I have replaced about 13 books already and it is so much fun. It is better than Amazon because you don't have to think about a price to sell your stuff at or finding the lowest prices for books you want. It's a simple swap for swap. I am thinking about doing it for dvds and cds too, but I don't really want to have a lot more.
Monday, November 15, 2010
I know that is about all I write about recently, but it is the majority of my life currently so there we be.
I don't think I ever really said that Link was walking. It was so gradual there really wasn't a day like with crawling. But he is a walker and his new favorite things are "Ring around the Rosie" and having Bryce and I swing him while walking. Language is developing into knowing words for different drinks (juice, milk, and water) and for different foods (yogurt).
Sunday I was planning on going shopping by myself but it didn't happen. Bryce wanted a personal day today so I decided to give it a try with the little monster again. He didn't do so well the last time we went so I was somewhat dreading it, but hoping it would be different. It wasn't. We didn't even make it to Dubuque. We made it to Dyersville and to only one store, Pamida. I never shop at Pamida but I had a coupon from entering the cute baby contest to this particular Pamida so I thought I would stop.
Starting with the bad, Link. He was just as bad as last time. Not wanting to sit, walk, be carried, anything. He also had a hell of the time in the grocery isle. He signed "eat" and screamed that I was not giving him pretzels, cereal, laundry detergent. I thought I would be prepared for this moment by whipping out a bag of cereal I brought along, but he would have nothing to do with it. Even pretending to open the Cheerio box and giving him the Cheerios I brought was not good enough. So meltdowns ensued and that was the first and last shop I went to. (Also note he had just woken up from a 3 hour nap, was fresh and clean, and had eaten a hearty lunch.)
The good. Much to my surprise Pamida had a banner outside the shop saying "Triple Coupon Day." I asked the clerk what that meant. She said they would triple any coupon I had that was $1 off or less. YIPPEE! I ran to the car and got my trapper (yes, I have begun a file system of my coupons) and went to town. The majority of my coupons don't get used because they are $.25 to $1 off a name brand when the generic is sitting right there beside it already $1.50 less. But $3 off was awesome. I used almost every coupon I had. In the end my total bill was $96. My actual purchase price was $52. Being that it was the last day for the event I was not about to leave, despite a screaming child. The winning item was a box of cat litter that Link was able to say "Meow" to continually until we were finally finished. This is probably my biggest saving yet during my first year of using coupons. If I ever see a triple coupon event again I am there in a heartbeat.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
We visited him this year when we were in Missouri.
Monday, November 8, 2010
We played video games at the movie theater and had dinner with them at their parents house. Naomi's mom bought Link a Sing a ma jing which is weird but oddly addicting.
All in all it was a blast and I hope we do more.
One odd thing was Naomi talking about her new job and quitting daycare. Off the cuff she mentioned how some toddlers she was caring for were still nursing which grossed her out. I didn't say anything, it didn't bother me, but I felt bad because I thought she might not be comfortable nursing her own kid one day if it grosses her out. Then I realized something else. Before I had Link, even just one year before, I thought people who slept with their kids might crush them. I thought that kids who were worn in a sling or held would have trouble learning to walk. I thought cloth diapers made kids butts look too big and were probably gross to deal with. I thought that people who had babies at home were taking a very big risk. AND I thought that people nursing toddlers were weird. Becoming a parent changes a lot of things.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Lately Link seems to be making leaps and bounds, BACKWARDS. His "uh-oh" has become "uh." He signs "tired" by rubbing his ear, "book" looks like how a baseball player turns his fist in a glove. "Hot" and "Ding" have replaced almost all the words in his vocabulary. Ahhh.
I'm on month two of the happiness project.
Things that have continued from month 1 include getting one box from the attic each week and going through it. The attic is becoming more and more spacious. The living room is not. ;)
I stopped running because I only really liked doing it with Link in the stroller and now he is not enjoying the cold wind. However, volleyball starts next week. But it is only once a week so I need two more activities a week to do.
I am trying to keep my 11 pm bedtime, however a goal this month is to go to bed at the same time as Bryce so sometimes it is later. He is doing good about not making it too late.
While energy was the first months goal, Bryce is the second. We are going to have a date night this month. I am also taking into account tasks at home and doing the things that are bothering me rather than asking for them to get done. Biting my tongue when things don't need to be said want to be said and making sure I communicate what does need to be said. I think it is true of most of us that we treat the people we love with the least respect. Probably because we know they are the most forgiving. But who wants to grow old like that.
I recently have gotten really into paperbackswap.com Already I have traded six books we aren't reading or have duplicates of for books we want. Bye bye "The Good Earth." Hello "Is your Mama a Llama?" They have dvds and cds too but I haven't gotten that far yet. I am assuming I may get held up with wanting books that people just don't have or there is too many on the wishlist for.
I am also still doing Thredup.com with baby clothes (thanks Blogger Jen for the suggestion). Link was blessed with loads of 3-6 month clothing but, probably like most new parents find, it dwindles as they get older. We are trying to swap for more 12-18 month clothes. We already got one box of 12-18 month clothing and it was awesome. It had a lot of warm two piece outfits so I am sure I will have pictures this winter. The smaller sizes are a little bit harder to get out because there are so many people with these size boxes. You don't get to pick another box until your stuff goes so if you know a little boy 3-6 months my box numbers are #19666 and #19660.
I love doing month challenges. We did awesome with the pantry challenge. Never really got down to the very bottom. However, what we have a lot of and are not using became more apparent. One thing we have loads of are beans. So this month I challenged Bryce to make a meal with beans each month. If you have any good recipes we would love to hear them. Beans don't have to be the main ingredient, but they have to be included.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I've decided to claim Halloween as my holiday. Taking the pressure off of making stellar Christmases and all the other.
Our family traditions since Link has been born include:
Watching the Great Pumpkin (on Hulu)
Dressing up in themed costumes. This year we went as Mount Rushmore.
Going to Pedretti's for a Halloween treat.
Going to a baby Halloween Party in Decorah.
Having an adult party with Dani and Todd.
We even worked in one game at the Library Halloween Party in Elkader this year. Duck Pond. Link picked out a blue heart bracelet for a prize.
Someday we will work on actually going trick or treating.
Friday, October 29, 2010
I think she may have brought Link a little bug though. Vahida said she was having some stomach problems and this morning when I woke up, Link had vomited all over the crib. I had been sleeping in the same room as him, heard him hiccup, heard him give what I thought was either a very juicy burp or vomit. He didn't cry so I thought burp and didn't check. I felt like a complete parent failure the next morning when his hair was sticking to the pillow. I thought it might have been an allergic reaction to strawberries, which are high on the list for babies and what my mom had feed him the day before, but as the day progressed and he threw up a few more times, he also developed a slight fever. He is resting now. His body is so good at sleeping when he is a sick little on. The last time he had the flu was his first Christmas. That was disappointing as everyone wanted to meet him and he was sleeping most of the holiday away. Now he is sick on his second Halloween. This holiday is the worse to be sick on. All the money and preparation for the holiday goes out the window if you are not present. There are no left overs and gifts to open at a latter date. It is here and now. That being said, I am not going to force him to get in costume and go trick or treating, but I am also not telling anyone at the baby Halloween Party on Sunday that he is sick. If he gets better before then, I don't want to freak out anyone that is there. Plus, aren't viruses spread in the first few days anyway?
Christmas was in Kentucky last year and we were planning on going again this year, but were still on the fence. We for sure are not going now. Even though I will miss seeing everyone, we did make our way to every immediate family member this summer.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
So why am I not sitting in the front pew daily waiting for my taste of Jesus. For several reasons. The first being that even though I think it is utterly amazing that Christ comes to us every day all over the world in flesh and blood, I don't think it is necessary to take as much as it is to give. And to give is to practice showing love to all of God's creation. Also, it makes those times when you do get to partake in true communion even that more special.
Second, Catholicism in general makes me frustrated and therefore I find myself less loving and more enraged.
Why does Catholicism frustrate me:
1. I have only met one person whose Catholic faith has impressed me. That would be my conformation sponsor, Jackie Jessen. Mother Teresa also is very impressive, but we never met.
2. I have met to many Catholics who ramble through prayers before meals, attend church without listening to a single word the priest says no what is coming out of their own mouths during group readings, and way too many who use the word "counts" when attending church, such as "the wedding last night had communion so that counts." Excuse me but what are you counting? and for what?
3. When your religion becomes a club and you would hardly have a relationship with the Creator without it, there is something wrong with your faith.
4. I think Christians should be Christ like and Catholics throughout history and today ignore this key element. In my opinion Christ would have never conquered land and tortured, he would have never set up a system with rules (his one rule was love), he would have never listened to a Pope, he would have never built lavish churches, the list continues. In Catholics defense there are a lot of monks and nuns who live closer to this way of life than a lot of Protestants, especially those who think God wants them to be rich.
5. I have never felt authentically welcomed in a Catholic church, ever. I have always felt judged on how well I did this or that. I have never been greeted lovingly or asked to join in community following the service. I have never been included the way other churches have instantly done.
Stepping off my soap box there are a few things that make me not reject my Catholic faith and completely assume Protestantism.
1. Of course the Eucharist.
2. The core call to Social Justice in the Catholic faith was one I was not aware of until I was in college. I just wish I saw more people doing this.
3. I don't feel confession is necessary, but I feel it is a great outlet for those in need of someone to listen to what is on their chest.
If there is one thing I would change in the Catholic church to see it continue instead of die, like it is in our area where one priest is serving all of Clayton County, it would be:
Encourage the priests to take a 7 year at a time vow of chastity. This way they would be "emulating Christ" in their sexuality, but are not making a lifelong commitment. They could renew it each 7 years without having divorce themselves from the church. And let the Sisters be Priests too.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
He still like to have small talk of at least a sentence or two when leaving and returning and will look to see if anyone is home if he is not greeted with this. If we are mid conversation when he comes in he immediately thinks we are talking to him. If you can't tell from these stories, he is a little socially awkward.
I can't complain too much though. He doesn't play loud music or have people over. He doesn't smoke and even sexual innuendos in the play he was in made him uncomfortable so we don't have to worry about things like this. I could complain about his alarm clock that goes off at 7:30 and continually until he gets up (today was 1:30pm) and his heavy steps which has woken up Link a few times, but he has put up with Link's crying and hollering in the middle of the night and morning and night. Only once did he come downstairs and say something when Link was having a particularly bad day.
For the most part Alex has handled living with a baby well for not knowing the first thing about them. I may share some funny baby/Alex stories at a later date.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
For those of you who do not realize how easy it is to share a room with Link let me explain, we have a HUGE bedroom. This thing holds our king bed, Link's full bed, three dressers, a vanity, a diaper changing table, rocking chair, clothes hamper and we even brought his alphabet mat up to set in the middle of the room so he can play with his toys in the morning. So sharing a room is basically like sharing an apartment without any walls.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Then I realized he favors the Mo Willems' Pigeon books. I was unsure why these were a favorite then I realized there is one page he turns to in each book. A peach page in which the Pigeon screams. "Let me drive the bus!" or "I'm not tired!" Another excuse to be loud. It is fun to see that he can barely say any words, but he already has pages in a book memorized. Including the page that says "Bye" and "Hey." He even knows what pages they are said on.
Link also loves to be tickled and regularly asks for it. He loves to tickle us to. Today he surprised me and I laughed high pitch. He loved hearing this and tried to tickle me all day so he could laugh loud and high pitch with me.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
It is getting better though.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Another side effect of teething which Link has never experienced is loose stool. So explosive and stinky and creating some major rash. No wonder each dump brings tears.
Naps are being skipped. Today I finally got him down by reverting to my old standard, nursing to sleep. So hard to go back when it use to take 5 min and now goes back to 40 min. If you just leave him he flips over and kicks like a bucking branco while screaming until someone comes and gets him. And judge me if you will, but we left his to this behavior for two hours and he never tired of it. And this was after rubbing his eyes and yawning for a long time so yes he was tired. His sleeping through the night has been ending at 3 -4 am. So we have been putting to bed really late now which lessens it just a little bit. Let's get those teeth in soon.
On the bright side he is starting to take steps every day and he is showing an awesome respect when we say no. Stopping immediately no matter what.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
In the morning we ate a Java John's which is much cooler inside then I had ever imagined. We went to Goodwill and bought more items for our Halloween costumes and to Menards where we bought some wood shelves. This was what we considered our traditional wood gift to one another. This was another thing that we decided to skip this year. Bryce was going to get me a kindle but I told him not to right before he hit order. I think they are cool, but I really like listening to audio books more. I think an ipad would be cooler, but I am definitely not getting one without a usb port. I had a computer without a cd drive once and I hated the thing. If it can't easily transfer and save it is not ready for the public.
When we got back on Saturday we were really excited to see Lincoln. Bryce went to work. Link and I went to Brandi and Dale's wedding in Monona. I loved their bouquets which were all feathers. I got to talk just briefly to my friends from mom's group then I had to fly to drop off Link and meet Dani for karaoke. Busy day.
The next day we went to Heritage Days in Osborne. The weather was beautiful. Link and I entered pumpkins again. He got third place in kids, which I was really proud of. My awesome butterfly pumpkin got nothing. Seriously, I feel like I am passed over every time. The judges just don't go for my classy style of carving. Instead they pick a witch with a corn cob nose that has been hacked into place. I know it is silly to rant about, but I am a competitive person.
I have pictures of the weekend and my gorgeous pumpkin but we can't find the card reader so they are patiently waiting in the camera.
Monday, October 11, 2010
I just recently noticed that this coming and going is just once a month. Premenstrual time.
There is just something about my hormones that can't let my brain function normally for a 1-2 days each month. Fortunately I know that it passes. So that urge to end it all or become an escape artist and high tale it out of here goes away. Unfortunately my beautiful family has to deal with it 12 times a year. Bryce and I started our 5th anniversary with me in the throws of it.
I did some research to see if there is a type of depression linked with menstruation and there is. It is called PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). It is not PMS, way too severe for that.
For about 3 years before I was pregnant I wasn't having a cycle at all and I never had a single depressed thought. I really wanted to menstruate and reclaim my fertility, but now that it is back I remember why I hated it sooo much.
Of course I am self-diagnosing myself and not going to a doctor for it. I really don't want to have to rely on drugs for anything, especially when the side effects of these drugs are sometimes suicide. Weird. Instead we are working out ways for my family to deal with it while I hide in the bedroom or closet all day and cry. I am fortunate to have such a loving husband who understands this. He made the bed (which never gets done) during my last episode and just that little unasked for task made a world of difference.
When I was a teenager I had a horrible relationship with my mother and I am sure this had something to do with it. She is very much a "tough it out" kind of person and she couldn't understand this behavior in me at all. I am this way with other illnesses, but I have a soft place for suffers of depression. I understand how much you do not want to feel this way, but the harder you try the worse it gets.
Part of this "tough it out" behavior is also what keeps me away from a doctor. That and the fact that a lot of applications I have filled out in my life (Peace Corps, Surrogacy, etc) have asked the questions "Have you ever been treated for depression?" with the follow up "If so you are disqualified."
So now that the breast feeding is less and the cycle is back, you may see me missing for a week each month or see a hate-filled rant that need not be paid much attention to. It's just the PMDD talking.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
I also am making sure I get exercise 20 min, 3 times a week. I decided to do the couch to 5K running program as my 20 minutes. I have been taking Link with me in the stroller. I also am running in the flooded distract where no one is. this allows me to run in my jeans and not have to change clothes. If people were around I am sure they would check to see what I am running from.
The next thing is to organize the house. This one is a little hard right now as I am stripping the wood and it is interrupting everything in the house. However, I am taking one box down from the attic each week and going through it. Nothing will go back up unless it is in a properly marked storage, such as "Halloween Decorations."
So far it is working. I have not felt tired all month and don't remember yawning hardly at all. It is getting darker earlier and I am not feeling to bad about it yet because I am going to bed a little earlier and getting up earlier.
Link is starting to go from two naps to one HUGE one. By huge I mean 3-4 hours. This makes me really nervous that he has suffocated or something. He is also loving making horse noises, especially when seeing them out the window. Cows count as horses too. And since Jim and Betsy's visit he has been copying the turn signal sounds in a car with a clicking off his tongue.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
To add to my frustration Link has picked up an annoying habit (not from any of us). He only has 4 mollers but he is already grinding them together. It sounds like he has hard candy in his mouth and it shivers my spine every time I hear it.
Friday, October 1, 2010
I was inspired by the artist studio tour and am ready to make more art.
I feel like I have been a supporter and not an active member of the art community for 5 years now.
I hate that people take advantage of me.
Examples: I volunteer to be in charge of the fall festival. A neighbor says they would like to do an Avon table. I say that is an interesting idea. Neighbor tells everyone I "approved" the table and they all get mad at me.
I volunteer to call the winners of the raffle prizes for the same event. Older lady calls me wondering why I didn't call people. I tell her I did and I have a detailed account of who I left answering machine messages and who I spoke to personally. She mentions a person name, I look it up and see I left a message with them. She ends the phone call with "Well, she never got called."
I have someone I know going to photography school take our family photos. She sends them with a contract saying we can't edit them and we must order them from her. We had agreed otherwise prior to this, but whatever, I'll take it, she's probably taking what she is learning in school. I e-mail her back suggesting an order form and to think about a price for right to the photos. She comes back at me with the nastiest e-mail and I'm a paying customer.
I don't feel like I can't teach well because I get no respect from my students or other teachers. I feel like I can't work well with others because of the same thing. I once confronted someone below my position with "How about a little respect here?" His response, "Respect is earned, not given." WTF! Not in my book. And if that was the case, he did nothing to earn the respect I was giving him.
Is it the way I look, my body language, what?!?!
I'm getting super tired of having to be treated this way. At first I thought it was my age, but it's not. Is it that everyone is treated this way and I just don't have thick enough skin? So seriously, if you are out there and you have maybe been called a bitch a time or two or if you know people fear you just a little, please give me some tips.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
He is showing no more signs of penis problems so we are back to cloth, but using disposables at night, which is the longest he goes without being changed. we never did get him fully potty trained, but he sure likes being naked now.
He also knows the sign for music which he uses when he wants the radio on or when he wants to dance or sing. Link is also a fabulous musician. His favorite things to do are play piano, strum guitar, and play the xylophone. He will often match the tones with his voice after strumming the guitar which totally amazes me. He loves picking up sounds though. Before we did animal sounds with him he was already imitating the cats almost exactly. So the traditional "meow" doesn't cut it.
His latest signs are hot and book. He loves to say the word hot too. We think he has it mixed up with food or else everything is too hot, including ice cubes. He also likes to do sounds for elephant, lion, alligator, monkey, cat, and dog.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Tomorrow is the Fall Festival at church. After that I am thinking bell choir and church council until my term is served and I may be done with organized religion. I would like to do an 8 times a year spirituality group. I am not sure how to get this started but I already know of 3 other families that would be great church for us.
Tomorrow we also have to clear out Link's bedroom for our new renter. Alex is moving in on Monday. He is 19 and a little awkward, but very nice. We had thought of having a renter before but we never mentioned it to anyone or advertised. He simply found us through his boss (a townie who knows us and thought of us). He will rent month by month. It's hard to say goodbye to having the whole house to ourselves, but his room will basically be like a studio apartment so he won't be too much a part of the family. It will be nice to say hello to some extra cash coming in to actually put in savings. Even if he is just here until February I will have one college loan paid off. We also feel good to share our space with someone who really needs a place to stay.
Friday, September 24, 2010
We had a great time with them, of course we also had a few obstacles.
The first being that I was told they would be here all day Monday and Tuesday, but then found out the day before they would be here Monday night through Friday morning. I think this miscommunication lies in the hands of my husband who doesn't remember to tell me anything. (I admit this miscommunication was my fault. - Bryce)
Obstacle two was weather. We had several patchy rainy days. The in-laws mentioned they didn't want to go bowling or see a movie so we had to think of other things to do. Fortunately the rain kept my parents out of the fields on Tuesday and allowed Jim and Betsy to have some time with my parents as well as see progress on my parents' house. On Wednesday Bryce and I had a reunion of our baby group in Decorah so we brought them with us to check out our second favorite place. While Bryce, Link, and I shared a meal with the baby group and talked about our year with the others, Jim and Betsy checked out the co-op and shops along the main drag. After our gathering we joined them for a tour at the Vesterheim Norwegian Museum and Seed Savers. None of us had been to the Vesterheim and I was very impressed with the gorgeous craft work. Embroidery, wood carving, painting, and quilting were all very impressive. Thursday we shared a meal at Schera's and walked Pony Hallow Trail. Then Jim and Betsy watched Link while Bryce worked and I went to a women's spirituality group, back up in Decorah. The rain kept us off the patio at Schera's and out of the woods at my spirituality group. The grnadparents seemed to enjoy watching Link which was good. Sometimes it is hard to enjoy the area in the rain and while others are working, so I am happy they had a good time.
Obstacle three was melding our lifestyles together for the week. We are going pretty strong in the pantry challenge, not just because it saves money, but because it helps us use things that we would never get around to using otherwise. I was really looking forward to cooking for them with what we had, but they were ready to go to the grocery store on day 1. Fortunately they didn't get too many things to distract us from what we already have, a few perishables and cereal (which was nice for Link). I felt slightly mistrusted on my abilities to cook and provide, but I hope by the end of the week they realized the pantry challenge means anything but starving, it is just more creative cooking and correct proportions.
Before Jim and Betsy got here I had checked out 1940s House from the library. It is a PBS show about a modern family in London who is challenged to live the way they would during WWII. We watched a part of it together. In the section on cooking with rations they talked about making honey from parsley. I was super excited to hear that since I had fresh parsley in my fridge for weeks and it needed to be used somehow. I made a batch which looks pretty good. We shall see how it tastes soon.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
I interviewed for a part time job yesterday. It is basically design work with the Clayton County Economic Development Office. 19 applicants make me worried, but even if they don't see it, I would be perfect for the job. Two of me passions in life are Design and Community Growth. It is also one of those jobs where you get to dabble in everything (kind of like marketing) and I really like that.
After the interview I scored some awesome deals.
1. I bought 2 bras at Layne Bryant online. They always have buy one get one 1/2 off, but they also had a code that day for an extra $25 off an order of $50 or more. Since bras are around $40 there I basically got one for free and then a little off the other. I had them delivered to the store to avoid shipping cost. (Jumping ahead to later that day). When I picked them up at the store they let me try them on and they were way too big. I seem to have gone down a cup size since nursing. They allowed me to do an even exchange with the bras I like in my size.
2. Office Max had an online deal going that if you spend $150 you could get a free companion airline ticket. Having to pay for just one ticket for the whole family sounds like a great deal. Since we need to replace the Cannon Powershot camera that I had stolen at the wedding last month, we purchased that for almost exactly $150. (Amazon was the same price.)
3. Link and I went with my mom to Cedar Rapids to pick up my order at Layne Bryant and also saw that in the store they were having a pants sale. $30 a pair (usually $50). So I got a pair.
4. Mom and I also picked up two very old and decrepit car seats from one of those "FREE for the taking" giveaways on the side of the road and brought them to Toys R Us. Until Sunday they are having a nationwide Great Trade In event where if you bring in a car seat, high chair, stroller, etc, you get 25% off a new one of something in those categories. They don't care if it is trash, at least it is out of circulation. Mom got herself a new booster car seat for $30. I got a jogging stroller!!! I had wanted a B.O.B. but they were not included in the deal and in fact there was only one jogging stroller there, so it made picking one out really easy. I ended up paying $100 for it. Straight cash from the garage sale money I made. And in the end, I really don't care what brand it is. It has inflatable wheels and glides just as easily as the more expensive ones I tried out in Boston. I love it!!! Add to that stop a $5 off $25 coupon I had and a boy's clothes sales rack where almost everything was a dollar and I super scored!
5. After a great meal at Olive Garden where we had the soup, salad, and bread sticks, we finished our day at Walmart. This time I couldn't find all the brands I had coupons for but I did find a majority. I ended up saving $12 and paying $18 for all the stuff in my cart. So almost half off everything.
6. Back home, online again, I noticed Audible.com was giving away a free audiobook for signing up, no purchase necessary. I went to my Amazon wish list and looked at the books I wouldn't mind listening to instead of paging through and signed up with 5 different e-mail addresses. So I have 5 free books. They also have a pretty easy cancel to the membership, so I canceled all my memberships after getting the books to avoid any fees in the future. This is right at the line for ethical frugalness for me. (I am not illegally downloading the books.)
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Here are the list of things I still want to accomplish:
1. Preform music in a concert (although now my wish is in a small park rather than a large stage)
2. Record an album (although now my goal is not for sale, but for my children)
3. Make my own set of stationary/greeting cards
4. Sell artwork
5. Go to Africa
6. Publish a Book
7. Create an Art, Music, Cooking, Writing, or Theater Event
8. Home school
9. Break dance
Here is what I am on the fence about wanting to do:
1. Be a clothing designer
2. Produce a film
3. Adopt a child
4. Live in a commune (Now that I've visited one, I have more appreciation for small towns communities.)
5. Be an EMT
6. Be in mentor at school
7. Own a horse
Here is what I have already accomplished:
1. Design cd covers
2. Design t-shirts
3. Live in an apartment
4. Road trip
5. Be in a community theater
6. Go to Seattle
7. Write Short Stories and Poems
8. Go to a Broadway production
9. Be a mother
10. Be a religion teacher
11. Visit famous museums all over the world (a bit broad, but I've done some)
12. Run for office (I'm sure I was thinking bigger, but hey City Council is as big as I would go now.)
13. Be a photographer
Things I no longer want to do at all:
1. Write songs (toooo hard, I'll watch my friends instead.)
2. Be homeless for a month or more and chronicle experience (I think my time has passed for this, but I went to see a speaker who did this.)
3. Marry Gary (that one went back to sea, but I got myself an even better catch in my eyes.)
4. Protest at an abortion clinic (my view have changed a little, I'm not pro choice, but today I would not be caught dead doing this.)
5. Be a councilor at jail (I am still an advocate for no death penalty, but my desire to be involved in prisons is not as much anymore.)
6. Be a nun if I survive my husband (organized religion no longer appeals to me.)
7. Be a sign language interpreter (tooooo hard, I'll watch my friends instead.)
8. Own a restaurant or coffee shop (tooooo hard, I'll watch my friends instead.)
Monday, September 13, 2010
More updates since our return: I was worried about Lincoln's cup grasping skills since he never tips and rarely wants to hold onto a cup, due to very few bottles (I think). My sister found the solution. She bought him some sippy cups with straws built in the lid that don't leak. Link now grabs his cup all the time. We will work on tipping later. Although he loves to pretend he is tipping all the way back when he sees someone finish a canned beverage.
Link also likes to stand on his own a lot. Before he would laugh and fall forward like it is a game. Now he stands stationary for almost a minute at a time. When he wants to take a step he puts his hand on the ground and does a bear crawl.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
So what is stopping me? Fear. After struggling for years to overcome anorexia, gain back the 70 lbs I starved off me, love my body and see it as beautiful in all forms, I am afraid of losing weight. Just like alcoholic anonymous, I feel like I will instantly start being preoccupied with food, grams of fat and calories, number, jean sizes, how many days it will take. I am afraid that I will start hating the body I love so much now. I am afraid because there is no support network out there where women are not complaining about flabby rolls they hate or other negative talk. Why is there nothing out there about how women with eating disorders can effectively lose weight without having to enter themselves back into the scary world of weight loss.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Since our return of the long trip Link has been getting up earlier. He used to be content with playing in bed while we finished sleeping but now that he is mobile not so much. We also use to put him to bed later and he woke up later. When my sister-in-law told me that it didn't matter what time she put my nephew to bed he still woke up at the same time, I didn't quite buy it, but now I see what she means. If Link goes to sleep at 7 pm or 12 pm he is up between 7-8 everyday. Not early for you 9-5ers, but we spend most of our working time from 9-12pm.
My friend Sadie has been watching Link once a week. In turn I am suppose to watch her Stella, but so far my only trade has been print products as Stella's grandma is right around the corner and loves having her over. To make it easier on Sadie I stopped nursing Link to go to sleep for naps. He still cries for about 3-5 min when you put him down, but he adjusted rather quickly. However, now he wants to nurse more when he is awake.
Language is still developing well. He knows monkey, elephant, dog, cat, book, tired, nose, mom, dad, bye, hi, pee, poo, and loves to repeat as many words as he can, even if he doesn't commit them to memory. He also really likes to help in the kitchen.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Today I tried out once a month cooking for the first time. I bought a cookbook at a garage sale that I am following. It is pretty helpful. I did find that I misread two ingredients (I got tomato sauce rather than crushed tomatoes and was short once box of stuffing but otherwise it went pretty well. I got through the all the chicken entrees in about an hour with 1 hour of prep time and 1 hour of clean up. I am going to do the beef and vegetarian dishes tomorrow. All in all I think it will take 5 hours total. I hope to do it with a group in the church basement once a month. I need more large pots if I want to do it at home and not wash dishes between. Just doing a 2 week plan is good for our family of 3. All entrees could feed 5. Besides these frozen meals, we will continue with the pantry challenge until we are down to scooping tablespoons of cornstarch in each others mouth. Just kidding.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Here is what I learned:
1. You must have a quarter to get a cart. You get the quarter back when you are done.
2. You must bring your own bags. These days it is pretty common to do so, but people at Aldi's have been doing it forever. Lots of people tend to swipe empty pallet boxes as their "bag."
3. It is by far the cheapest option. I suppose by not having to pay someone to corral carts or bag groceries you are cutting out labor.
4. Aldi's is owned by the same parent company as Trader Joes. This makes me a little less skeptical that they are cutting prices by below income labor, but who knows.
5. You must have cash or debit. There will be no credit card purchases at Aldis.
6. Sometimes, if you are the last customer in the store for the night they will give you food they might otherwise throw away for pennies. I was given two coffee cakes.
7. Closing time is 9 pm, but that means through the door. They will still let you shop until you are finished. (I assume within reason).
8. You can buy all your groceries for a month for around $100. After purchasing everything on my "once a month cooking" list I ended up spending a little over $80 and was only needing to go to another grocery store for 5 more items. Parsley, Waterchestnuts, French Bread, Wild Rice, and Linguine.
Friday, August 27, 2010
I learned quite a few things.
1. Don't take your toddler. Or if you do, get the Nilla Wafers first and open the box.
2. The generics cost less than the name brands, even after coupons. I did get the ziplock bags instead of the generic though because we reuse them and I wanted quality ones if we reuse.
3. Bring two calculators, one to compare prices the other to keep a running total of what you have with coupons added in.
4. The deals that some coupon bloggers post are not fully researched. One said Purex was totally free because it was $1 off and it was only $1 at DG. The only thing is that the $1 was a to go pack and the coupon says, "excludes to go packs"
5. Some coupons are too specific. Huggies diapers were only for Little Snugglers, which when I was at the store realized was only Size 1.
6. The best coupons are the broad ones. Like $5 off if you spend $25. It's worth grabbing a 50 cent item to bring your total from $24.50 to $25 for the discount.
7. Additional coupons are usually on the counter. For my own sanity I would probably grab one the day before if I could or come back the next day so I could peruse without pressure.
8. Clip the coupons out, even if you print them. They are a hastle if you don't use them all.
9. Bring an envelope with you to keep them in for your sanity.
10. Coupons don't get added in completely until the end so if the running total is $26, it stay may drop below $25.
Today I saved $10.75 and spent $20.88.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
My weakness seems to be wanting to purchase things while driving. This kind of makes sense being so removed from stores that when you pass them you want to purchase a drink or just see the sales, etc. Bryce and I both seem to have a weakness with doing things with friends and in the end I don't really see myself stopping this. This is the one expenditure I don't mind spending. Nonetheless, we have had a great month with friends without spending any money. We had a birthday party for Lincoln using stuff we already had. I went the movies and spent $7 on a ticket, but didn't get anything extra. I went to a free concert at the fish hatchery in Decorah with free popcorn and shakes. I met up with several friends at a free concert and free meal at Schera's the other night.
Some things I am learning to be more frugal with is drinks. I don't like drinking water so I plow through the milk and juice. I started making large batches of sun tea and am enjoying it now. We ran out of oil so I am using leftover grease to cook. Meals have not become too dull yet. I am craving onions and chicken. We have a better idea of what we really need from the grocery store now. Coupon hunting is easier because we known what we want/need. We look up ways to make things when we don't have something. Like dish soap. When my computer wouldn't start again I used Bryce's instead of calling the repair guy and Bryce looked at it more. We also fixed our camera lens without buying another one. I am being less bashful about asking for refunds and not just accepting my fate. I have been on the phone a lot. I have been using the library more to preview things and rent movies. Oddly enough the movies I am drawn to are Suze Orman sessions on money. I am also researching alternative ways to make money and reducing clutter in our life by selling items we don't need.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Link's first mole is showing lightly on his right side of his belly.
He is a very creative kid who loves music.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tonight he added tickle to his vocabulary on his own. And despite having only worn shoes twice in his life, when given a pair his size he tries to put them on his feet.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Thus far it not spending money hasn't been too hard. Mom and Dad missed us and my mom is now retired so they have been over every night with food to grill out. They came tonight too, but as they walked in the door I got a phone call that church council was tonight so I had to go. The meeting was long and filled with tension so it lasted longer than my parents could stay.
Lincoln's sleep pattern has changed from 3 naps a day to 1 really long nap in the early afternoon. I was very surprised to find this out.
When we got home my sister had done lots of landscaping as part of her rent for our house. The yard looks great with bushes trimmed, branches cut, flowers planted, holes fixes, sandbox built and a swing set up. Link has loved swinging everyday. We also bought him a baby pool on the trip which he enjoys sitting in daily.
Monday, August 2, 2010
I'll keep you updated on how we do. Already we have a list started of things we will be purchasing Sept 1.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
He also has a great imagination. He loves to pick up imaginary food and eat it. I noticed this first when he seemed to be picking up cheerios from under his butt in the car seat. I thought I had cleared them all out but then I realized what he was picking up was non-existent. He also does great with animal sounds and raises his arm for an elephant trunk when making the sound.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Lincoln learned to crawl at Phil and Teresa's home. He started with knees, then went to lobster crawl, then bear crawl. So he is on the move. Not constantly, but whenever he wants now. This has helped calm his need to be picked up too.
He loves to give kisses and likes having his back blown on. He can blow through a straw and he likes to brush his teeth and spit (we are not using toothpaste).
He has associated sounds with things. One funny one is a really low rumble he gives to cars. We will upload a video when we get home.
To get him to stop crying we often will get out the camera. He likes to ham it up and often gets caught posing in the funniest ways.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
People say that some kids skip crawling and go right to walking. I am pretty sure Lincoln is skipping crawling and NOT going straight to walking. This is the only thing that bothers me about his development even though I know it is more my problem of impatience when I see his younger friends crawl all over him and walk. He does not show any signs of a disability just lack of desire. We may be growing a couch potato.
Lincoln now has a pretty good grasp on mama, dada, and baby. He also responds to the words "high five" and "kisses" and he likes to put phones and anything that looks like a phone (remote control) up to his ear and say hi.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
So this week in an attempt to use the rotten bananas in the house (another thing I don't eat much of) I made a smoothie with some strawberries and then again with some pineapple. I love it. Making a smoothie totally takes out the texture of eating mayo or some other kind of dip. It also smells so yummy.
This may sound silly but I know several people who don't like cooked carrots but it raw carrots in a heartbeat.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
He also likes to make kissing sounds after I kiss him.
When I roll my tongue he laughs or smiles and tries to do it himself. Still not there yet.
Today I noticed when he hears peoples voices in the distance, like outside or in another room he shouts babble out.
Link noticed his shadow today while we were taking a walk and waved to it almost the whole way.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Jump to this past week. Link is moving a lot more. Lots of belly sliding (without the cereal trail) and pulling up and cruising. And now that he is moving he is starting to lose the money grip. Let's hope. Recent examples include:
Sunday when we went to my parents to play croquet, grill out, etc. I got to play an entire game without holding him and Grandpa even went off with Link for a little while with no complaint. Thursday when we went to a gathering of IT people in Northeast Iowa. We left Link with Melissa Awad (not sure if she took Peter's last name) and he played with their kids Windsor and Summit from 6-8. Well he "played" until 8:10 when he finally broke down (most likely tired) and we came home at 8. The last time Link really hung out with the Awads was November.
Friday- I tried walking out of rooms without him and he has been occupied enough with his surroundings to not notice for a few mintes.
Saturday- Went to Sam's birthday party and he immediately let Trish hold him, even though he had his "what is going on" face for a good hour or so. He also played with Sam.
So big strides.
Other fun facts- Link devoured his first plum. I had to rescue the pit from his juicy hands.
He loves being in a clothes basket and practicing standing.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
- The drive to Waterloo (where the stores with deals are) is 1.5 hours. Am I just making it all up in gas?
+ Kwik Star Card gives me ¢ back for just using it. We get an $8- $10 check in the mail each month
+ Used Kwik Star Coupon to get free bananas
- Tried to do the free Lime Aid at Taco Bell, needed the coupon which I didn't print. I didn't know I would try until I got there. I think a smart phone with coupons (and a printer) would work for me, but is investing in a smart phone payment plane and 3G worth it? I can already answer no.
+ Did see Taco Bell is now having $2 combo meals. Instead of the gallon of soda and tacos on the side you get with their regular meals, you get a Medium Soda (much better) and Doritos with your order.
+ Went to Menards and price bathroom stuff. Got a free mop with a Kwik Star coupon. Bought a hand saw and two pair of pliers, all with mail in rebate. Got a trowel off the clearance rack. Bought a massive box of baby wipes there, on sale for $6.
- Was going to use the rebate check I got from my last trip to buy a fire extinguisher. I bought the extinguisher, but forgot about the check in my bag. Possibly due to my crying child at check out. Shopping without kids will be easier. I need to pump more.
+ Went to Goodwill. Came out with $10 spent on several large glass jars with lids I am planning to use at the co-op for flour and grains and such.
- Went to Home Depot and didn't see any deals. Their clearance section stunk.
- Went to Walmart and couldn't find the two grocery items I have FREE coupons for. Free jar of mayo and free mac and cheese. NOT EVEN AT WALMART? What gives. Also couldn't find their clearance section.
+Went to Old Navy and found double discounted boxers for Bryce. Used a $10 reward card from Bryce's credit card (We only have 3 store credit cards, Kwik Star, Old Navy, and Lane Bryant).
- I didn't have Bryce's card which was needed for the card. I had to call him using their phone (forgot mine) and have him give his social security in order to get the discount.
- Went to Starbucks during Happy Hour for a Frappuccinos. They are no longer doing the deal.
+ Took my Mom out for a retirement dinner at Cu in Waterloo. Used a restaurant.com gift certificate. We had excellent meals with the end total equaling a little over $15.