I've got things to say but no time to say them. I had escaped the evil cycle of late nights, late mornings, late nights, but it seems I...
Things to say
Uggghhhh, I always hated family photos when I was a kid. My mom did my hair, picked out my clothes, made me look ridiculous, and then hung t...
All of this meandering is to say that family photos still stink. This is the third time I've tried this since Addie was born, the first time was horrible at JCPenney and they lost half our photos, the good half! Then we had Meagan Jackson take some, and the only sad part about that is that I'd never be able to afford all I wanted. Oh, Addie did break out it in a crazy rash that day after using hypoallergenic sunblock on her, so the sweet photographer had to photoshop it out for us. Tonight we went back to JCPenney for a "Holiday Photo," and I think it turned out okay. I was 15 minutes later for our appointment, Addie's tights were still wet and I was putting them, her shoes, and her jacket on in the parking lot before we went in. Freddy started throwing a fit about something before we even got to the portrait studio. He refused to smile or take pictures and then after getting two or three decent shots, he completely melted down and I told him to get up so Addie could take some more. On our way out of the picture taking room he said that he did, in fact, want a treat and was willing to take pictures. It was too late, then the fit, the drool, the crying, the end of the world ensued. I was able to get him calmed down and I picked out some sweet pictures of them to give to the family as Christmas gifts. Then I got home and received my email to view them online and realized that the last several frames of photos, I never saw. There were a bunch of them sitting together on the ground opening "gifts" and playing with ornaments. The dude showed some to me and they were adorable, but in the hustle and fit throwing, and baby girl sucking on my cheeks (these are kisses), I forgot all about them and didn't think to ask why they weren't on the screen. Now I feel sick to my stomach!
Whew, meltdown, huh? The point is though, that despite all this terror and agony I've been through, I put hairspray in both of the kids' hair! Traditions die hard! Merry Christmas!
Addie got her first "hair cut" last night! Freddy went in for a cut and with a lot of hesitation I asked if they could just trim h...
Bangs and Diaper Rash
Now, on to the diaper rash. Addie has had a few bouts of diaper rash, but nothing too awful until last week. I took her to daycare last Wednesday for her first time since I started working at home and when I picked her up she was really red. The next morning it was so bad that all the skin was rubbed completely raw, looked like it was rubbed off, all shiny and sticky. She screamed just when the air touched it. I had to call the nurse at the pediatricians office and they advised me to just put her in the bathtub when she needed changed, only use water to clean her, and to let her be naked as much as possible. It was terrible for several days and is just now about healed. I have also grown to really love Johnson & Johnson's 3 in 1 diaper rash cream. Desitin and Aveeno were doing nothing, and I refused to buy anything else. This just happened to be in my supply drawer from a shower gift, thank you whoever you are! It doesn't have as high a zinc oxide percentage as Desitin, but it has soothing oat kernel flour, lanolin and some kind of synthetic beeswax (I'm not granola!) and NO IRRITATING FRAGRANCE (unlike Desitin). J&J, it's the stuff!
Okay, but the best part of this was trying to let Addie go without a diaper and not pee or poo on anything. I managed to leave her nakey for at least an hour or so a day and then during naps with a sheet saver under her with her only peeing on the sheet saver..oh and she may have pooed in the bed a little. Oh well. It's been cold around here and we have mostly tile and hardwood floors, so I improvised on the "naked" part...
I should re-brand baby legwarmers as some type of magical diaper rash healing pants. They could even be an elegible expense on your flexible spending accounts as a medical expense! Please take note that Freddy doesn't even notice!
I figured it was time to share some holiday love on here. I can't stand blogger sometimes, I can't change the order of these pictur...
We tell him that alligators got in his ears when he has a bad attitude, then we tickle him or blow in his ears to get them out. This often distracts him, but lately we've talked a lot about having a happy heart. He told me yesterday that alligators were in him trying to take his happy heart. I laughed and thought that we were genious parents. We've given a kid friendly and easily understandable name to the devil himself. He's an alligator, trying to steal our joy and our happy hearts. I told him that alligators tried to take my happy heart sometimes too, and I explained that the only way to get rid of them is Jesus. He looked confused, but I explained that when we ask Jesus to come live in our hearts, he "ha-yaas" and "psss psss psss, puts those alligators in his spiderman webs" so they can't stay. There's no room in our hearts for alligators and Jesus. He scowled at me because he was upset about something and shook his head. I laughed because this is very often the same attitude I have. Stankin' alligators, they can stay for all I care!! I just told him that he would have to ask Jesus to come kick out those alligators, but not until he was ready. I'm really enjoying being at home with him!
Freddy and Aunt Whitney having some apple cider made with real oranges, cloves, & cinnamon on a wood burning stove in a log cabin in the middle of downtown Little Rock!
I told Freddy to go put some clothes on this morning, and this is what we got! All little boys need cowboy boots, and his holidays are just a little mixed up!
Well, as soon as I published the last post, it updated all my blogs. It has also updated again today, so maybe I should just be sure and po...
Why isn't my blog roll updating? In the past, whenever someone published a new post, it would show up on my blog roll. That's how ...
No, I'm not pregnant! ;) I am, however, an official, work from home mom!!! I need to come up with some ridiculous acronymn for myself...
I am, however, an official, work from home mom!!! I need to come up with some ridiculous acronymn for myself. I'm sure that WFHM is used, but I want something awesome. Anyway, that's beside the point of my wonderful news.
I started this journey several months ago when I thought I would be leaving my current job to work part time for an online tutoring site. However, this opportunity came up for me to do my current job from home and stay with the same agency. I was absolutely thrilled because I LOVE MY JOB and the people and I absolutely believe in what we do as an agency. It seems rare to find such a thing and I was very apprehensive to leave it. After a few months of deliberation, planning, and ironing out kinks, we started our trial period this past Monday. I am just working part time, if 30 hours plus caring for two kids can be considered "part time!" The bummer is that I lost my health insurance but I can apply for some private insurance providers if they don't deny me due to PCOS or anything like that. We don't come out too much better financially after paying insurance and childcare twice a month when I have to go out to campus (work). Freddy will still go to daycare one day a week also, he'd be so sad without his friends and he can start pre-k at our local elementary school next August! So, I think it's important for him to continue that routine and for the social stimulation.
The financial part is nothing compared to our emotional well being at this point though. We share a car, so we were getting up three snooze buttons after 5:00 am, getting the kids up way early, taking them to daycare, then Jason driving me 15 minutes to work, and then driving himself 45 more across town. Then he left right after school to get me, then the kids, we weren't home until almost 6, and right after dinner, the kids were off to bed and Jason was off to grade papers and tests, oh my! We hardly saw each other, the gas was getting insane, and we were testy all the time. I know this is a very common routine and millions of families do this, but we just couldn't. I missed the kids, and I missed my husband. This solves a lot. It's going to be tough, because right now the kiddos want to be around me constantly since it's so new and amazing for mom to be at home. I'm working it out though, and we are going to make it work, as Tim Gunn would say.
So, please pray for my sanity, and for my kids to feel loved and attended to despite my work. This is a wonderful blessing and I feel overwhelmingly grateful for this opportunity.
Let's reminisce. Here is baby Freddy, one day old. Here is Baby Addie, one day old. Here they are now!!!
I would like to thank folks for their kind words of encouragement. I have gotten over the initial shock of my visitor and her friends Tammy ...
Reverse Cycle Feeding
Supplementing with Formula
There are more, but honestly, all of these things caused me anxiety and our family sailed through them. I know this is a blessing, because there wouldn't be all this literature out there warning about problems and disasters if they never happened.
Addie Belle has only recently started liking a bottle a little more than me, just because there's more in there, she can do it herself, and she can play with it and bite it with no adverse reaction from Mommy. Her pacifier never interfered with her suck reflex or caused nipple confusion. She never cared what type of bottle she had and didn't refuse breast or bottle. She eased her way into daycare at first without drinking much of her bottles and then did this reverse cycle thing and nursed like crazy at home, but within a month or so she was fine and I didn't mind the extra time to nurse and see her. I co-slept with her for her first three-four months (well, it took me about a month to discover this awesomeness) so that she could nurse on demand at night and I could get some sleep. I worried she would never get to the crib and I'd have a horrible time. It took about a week to get her transitioned into her own room and the worst part was that I missed her! Her trouble with sleeping came later and had nothing to do with night nursing!
She's hardly had trouble with constipation from formula, the doctor approved of supplementing so she gets flouride from the tap water (which I think is baloney or bolagna), and she likes it just fine. Addie loves food and it rarely ever interferes with her appetite for milk. She is not one of those babies that stops eating when she's full, she's eaten until she throws up before...specifically at daycare, but the whole common sense there can be lacking at times. :) Finally, Freddy LOVES her so much and he loves to help me with her, and Freddy accepts breastfeeding as her meal time. He likes to ask questions about it and despite my better judgment, I have used the word "boobies" way too many times....and it sounds really funny when Freddy says it. For awhile he went around just saying it in this weird growl, but luckily it sounded kindly like "babies."
All of this is to say that I have counted my breastfeeding blessings, thanked My Lord and Savior for such an amazing opportunity and a perfect design for moms and babies, and told Addie to just keep on truckin' with me. I am not giving up on breastfeeding yet. My good friend, Amanda, and I talked and she encouraged, and I really do feel that I have made a commitment to breastfeeding. My commitment won't falter under these strenuous times. My goal is a year, but my smaller goal is Thanksgiving.
Anecdote: During Addie's refusal to nurse and frustration last night (on the first attempt at going to bed) she would just bury her face in my stomach and give me raspberries. She would laugh afterwards then dive in again. I had to giggle at her and then I took her to Jason and made him let her to it to him. She clapped! She finally agreed to nurse about 30 minutes later and got some zzzzzzs.
Today I feel awful. I don't know if anybody else has had this problem, but I feel like I have failed somehow at this whole breastfeeding...
So, the fail part comes in because I had a visitor last night, she has bright red hair and she is terribly obnoxious. I don't know how long people normally go during breastfeeding without this visitor, but I feel like I have failed somehow and it is physically manifested in this terrible event. If I pumped more at work, if I pumped in between feedings at night and on weekends, if I'd waited longer to introduce solids, if if if if if. Did I also mention that Addie only weighs 16lbs 14 oz at 9 months? The doctor isn't "worried" but gave me a recipe to up the calories in her formula and lots of food suggestions to add calories/fat to her diet. Ho hum, that's me today, hmph, yuck, poo. Aren't you glad you stopped by???
Andrea's baby boy, Sean Daniel Kennedy, was born on Sunday 10/18 at 5:23 a.m. I was waiting for the scheduled c-section on Wednesday, bu...
Sean D. Kennedy Was Borned!
It's been a pumpkin crazy weekend for the Allens. We went to Memphis to visit Andrea before Baby K finally arrives. I don't know wh...
Freddy and Mommy at the Schnuk's Pumpkin Tent. Do you love his warty pumpkin? Can you even see it on here?
When Freddy's about 14, I'm going to show him this and I'm certain we'll see similarities. "Gaaahh, my parents are so lame, making me go on a hay ride with my baby sister, uggggh!"
It's been raining for several hours and hasn't let up at all. The campus at work is almost flooded, including a bridge that goes acr...
So, this seems perfectly ethical to me, let me know if I'm wrong. On http://www.shortcuts.com/ you can load coupons to your Kroger card...
There are several opportunities to use these right now, check it out.
BTW: I made my own laundry detergent last night. It is very exciting! It has to sit in an airtight container for 24 hours, but I cheated and took a peek at it this morning. It's weird. All the soap has coagulated on the top and formed a solid surface and the water is trapped underneath. I'm excited to get home tonight and stir it all up to see what I've got. I'll take a video. I used Zote soap in an attempt to replicate this wonderful smell I've noticed. It sounds horrible, but I've noticed a lot of Hispanic families and children smell so good, like clean linen and fresh soap. I googled this [insert shocked faces here] and discovered I'm not the only one who's noticed and found a few laundry detergent names. The Ariel I bought at a local Hispanic market did not work for the smell, but it was cheap and cleaned our clothes great. So, I also bought a bar of Zote which is specifically a laundry soap with a high fatty acid content. We'll see how it all works out, but I gave myself a headache from cooking up soap, baking Baking Soda to turn it into sodium carbonate instead of sodium bicarbonate, and mixing it all up in a five gallon bucket with some Borax. I felt like a chemist! I used this tutorial.
My camera isn't working, so I brought out the "video" camera I got for Christmas. It's certainly not the best quality and...
So, it wasn't scabies as far as we can tell. We've treated the house and him twice. There has not been any improvement really. It...
Then my sister-in-law called me a week later to inform me that our niece caught lice from another kid and since Freddy and Aurora played together I needed to check him too. I was horrified and grossed out for realz. I did check him, looked up pictures on the internet, and even had a dear friend at work check me out for them. I have basically been itching for three weeks out of sheer paranoia!!
Anerways, that's all I had to finish the story on that. What else...oh I remember.
Baby food making has been going extremely well. I realized that I never really updated about that. I'll make a little list of the things I've made.
Apple (Now I just buy the no sugar added apple sauce, way easier and it tastes better. There are also several brands with extra calcium and vitamin C)
Peaches- YUM!! I just sliced them and steamed then and then the skins come right off before tossing them in the food chopper
Mangoes- I don't think I cooked these...I mixed some chunks of it with banana and it took a minute before she liked it. Mango is a very pungent fruit when it's ripe.
Bananas- The frozen cubes are great for teething, I just put them in the gross mesh thingy
Pears- She's not so much on the consistency of these, and they are a pain for little output
Green Beans - These don't get all smooth or anything, but it doesn't matter. I've used frozen and canned w/no salt added. The frozen ones can be very rubbery
Peas - These also don't get really smooth, I just kept adding liquid. Now Miss Addie can pick them up individually and munch on them.
Squash - I just peel, chop, and steam. She loves squash and the seeds come right out in the poo so no biggie!
Sweet Potatoes - I cook these in the microwave...shhhhh!!!
Carrots - The best carrots are fresh, but they take FOREVER to get cooked down when you steam them. It's worth it though because they stay sweet and yummy. When I don't have time though, I go for the canned variety with no salt added. The only place I found these was Kroger in a tiny little can. The frozen are fine, but they don't get as smooth in the chopper, so maybe wait until you're ready for lumps and chunks.
Avacado- She liked it, but they are too expensive to get very often! These I just cut open, scooped out, and mashed up. No cooking, yay!
Chicken and dumplins' - I took our chicken and dumplins mixture before I added any salt and ground it all up. She was likin it!
Roast w/potatoes & carrots - I felt like a bad mother for all the sodium in this. I was just out of anything else so I mushed up the veggies from the bottom of the crock pot and she loved it. Her poo was so gross, because it smelled exactly like it did going in. It was weird!
Barley w/apples - I got a box of this on sale for like .49 and 3/4 of a cup makes a huge portion. I cooked it, then ground it up and added a teensy pinch of brown sugar and some cooked apples. I shouldn't have added the sugar but I kind of hoped Freddy may want to eat some of it. He didn't! ;) Anyway, it has the texture of grits and oatmeal combined but it is pretty tasty. Addie loves it, but I think she's had a mild allergic reaction so we're going to hold off for awhile on that.
Of course, she's had the baby cereals and a few jars of store bought baby food. She's had some prunes and peaches and I'm sure I'll rely on it again at some point. It's been fun making her food, but I will say that travel is difficult. People don't always love frozen squares of whirlled peas in the freezer! So, I've bought some baby food jars for trips. I feel like I'm saving money, and maybe one day I'll actually look at the cost. I would also totally recommend the KitchenAid Food Chopper. I find a reason to use it almost every day. I would like a second base, lid, and blade because it's constantly in and out of the dishwasher. It cuts up meat like a breeze so I did pulled pork in there, chicken for quesadillas, and bacon to crumble for a pasta meal. It's awesome.
I think next week we're going to try yogurt then move on to some cheese. She's getting so good at picking stuff up too. She eats those puffs like a pro, Kix cereal, and her peas. I'm just worried about the breads and bigger finger foods, any advice? I've heard bagels are good to start with.
Did I mention that she's crawling??? ;) She's been doin' the army scoot for a couple of months now, but she crawled her first real steps on Jason's birthday which was September 6th. She's a real pro, but when she can't move fast enough she reverts to the army crawl! :) My camera's still busted but I did get a video I'll try and post soon.
I think that kids caused it. They carry way more disease and socialize a heck of a lot more than any rats I know. Have you ever seen snot ru...
Rats caused the black plague...really?
Freddy has had this horrible rash for weeks now. I thought it was several things and when it wouldn't go away I took him to the doctor. The doc "guessed" that it may be scabies. Seriously gross nasty, bluck, scabies?? That's body lice if you didn't know, and I thought they were like hair lice but on body hair but they actually burrow under the skin and feed and lay eggs and junk. Gross, huh? Two doctors had to look at him to come to this guess and eliminated chicken pox since there were none in his scalp. The older doctor said that he'd never seen chicken pox in a child that had been vaccinated that weren't also in the scalp. Therefore, scientifically speaking, it couldn't possibly be chicken pox. The younger doctor said he'd prescribe some cream and told me all how to delouse the house and that if it didn't go away to come back in a week or two. He said that the bumps didn't show any classic signs of scabies and that it may not be, but if it was the cream would help. I am not trying to hate on doctors. I know that you can't know everything. I'm just thinking, don't they have microscopes or something that they could look at some skin scratch something and see if there were tiny lice bugs in it? I could have probably managed that in in high school biology. (Side note, Addie is biting my toe right now and Freddy is screaming, "MaAAAMMaaaaHHHH" from his bedroom where he is "resting" which is our new spin on a time out. I just flinched from the biting and now Addie is also screaming "Maaamaaamaaahhhh").
To be continued.......
If anyone wants to go out on a breakfast date, which can happen any time of day in my opinion, here's a coupon for B1G1 Grand Slam at D...
There's not much else to say!
So, Kristina sent me an email about her awesome Walgreens trip. She did way better than me and MoneySavingMom started this great idea on so...
Transaction #1 (I did two transactions because I knew I was buying a lot and wanted to make sure that if I bought over $50 worth of products I got 2 $5 Register Rewards back...it worked)
6 Pack Dove Bar Soap 5.99 sale price -$1.25/1 coupon
2 Jumbo Packs Pampers 2/$20 - $1.50/1 coupon ($2 Register Rewards)
Total: $25.19 w/tax
Register Rewards: $7
4 Tubs Huggies Wipes 3.29 - $2/1 coupon in back to school flyer -.75/1 coupon (I only had one!)
4 Velveeta Cups - $1/4 coupon in back to school flyer - B1G1 coupon in paper
3 Kleenex Tissue .99- .50/3 coupon in paper
2 Aluminum Foil 2 for $1
2 Sticks Right Guard Powerstripe Deodorant (the ONLY kind Jason will wear) 3.99 each on sale B1G1
Total: $13.59 w/tax
Register Rewards: $6 (I don't know which item got me the extra $1 in RR's)
So, I got over $55 worth of stuff for $38.78 after coupons/promotions and I got $13 in Register Rewards to use on my next purchase. That's "like" spending about $26 bucks on $55 worth of very necessary stuff! I wonder what will be on sale next week? :)
My sweet husband and I have been getting up at 5:00 a.m. [wait, the alarm goes off at 5 and disrupts my sleep for the next 9,18, to 27 minut...
I love the magazine Real Simple , introduced to me by my pal, Kristina. It is really a treasure extravagance that I have a subscription to i...
post!! I am going to post all of my pictures now because I'm a blogger dope and don't know how in the world to keep them from comin...
Sleep or Post....
I am going to post all of my pictures now because I'm a blogger dope and don't know how in the world to keep them from coming in at the top of my post. I hate it, so I'm just putting them all in at the top and I'll give you some narrative down here later! Ha....um maybe I should post my pictures first and then build in my blog around them. DERRR!!!
Okay, prepare yourselves for this cuteness!
This is an advertisement for yummy California grapes. .97 cents a pound people! They were huge and yummy, even covered with sand.
Can you see that bitsy tooth down there!
Aren't the kids so cute! I didn't get a good one of Freddy in his hat, but there will be some professional ones to come. I like Addie's face in the other one too, very dainty!
So, I'm a lousy poster on my pediddle site here. I am heading off to California tomorrow for my mom's wedding. I'm a nervous wre...
Well, I managed to only spend $26 on groceries besides our WIC stuff this week and a package of diapers. The menu for the week is pretty ba...
Success in the Kitchen
It's from www.kraftfoods.com and it is Chicken and Peanut Stew.
I wanted so badly to take a picture of it on the plate all steamy and wonderful. However, my poor camera battery is just dead and won't hold a charge anymore. So this one from the website will have to do. I have to get a new battery pack before my trip out to California for my mom's wedding.
Anyway, this recipe is really good. I used chicken leg quarters (which I would normally never buy but they were on sale at Kroger for $1.85 for a package of 4 huge pieces of chicken!), and used my dutch oven to brown the chicken and veggies. I would have left everything in there to cook down but had to transfer it over to the crockpot because my dutch oven isn't big enough to hold all of this yumminess. I did add some additional salt though, and I think another can of tomatoes would have also been good. Spicing it up some would be fantastic, but it's hard to do with a three year old around. I already had to omit the peanuts and just add them to mine because Jason was all fussy about it. Also, I am getting a few meals from this. Here's how.
1 Dinner: Each of us had a leg quarter (Jason ate half of Freddy's and his own!)
1 Lunch: One quarter was left and I am packing that for lunch for myself at work)
1 Side: I had enough rice & sauce left to put quite a bit in the fridge as a side dish for a meal this week sometime
1 Sauce: I put the remainder of the sauce/soup part into a freezer bag to store for later. I think this would be excellent on some lo mein noodles, just add some veggies & maybe some pork or chicken and yummmmm!!!!!
I just wanted to share this and inspire some hard work in the kitchen with excellent and super frugal payoff. An hour in the kitchen got me 3 1/2 meals!
Oh, and Addie LOVES sweet potatoes. I figured I'd cook and smush some of those while I was browning my chicken. Two big sweet potatoes made a ton! I filled up my ice tray and have a tupperware full in the fridge for the next couple of days. I'll try and post pics when I get a new battery for my camera.