Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bread Making and a New Cup

The bread I buy says "manufactured on shared equipement that manufacture products containing milk".  So, I've been baking bread.

My last batch came out *really* heavy, because I let it rise too long on the first rise. All the fault of Peanut and Little Bobble. But it showed me that I can just willy-nilly bake bread now.

I've heard of "5 minutes a day" bread, but doubted it. I've read the Alton Brown explanation of what makes bread work, and it made sense to me.  The logic of non-kneaded bread escaped me. But I've hear such good things about it, so I thought I'd give it a try. And when I saw this, she convinced me.

Well, its not exactly sandwich bread, but its close.

First, it doubled in size in 30 minutes (that's *fast* for a first rise). Might be because we only a/c to 80' -- that's still 20' to 25' cooler than outside. Or might be the relatively little flour used.

Second, I let the rise a bit too long for the second rise. And, third, I was in a hurry, and stuck it in the oven when I turned the oven on. That might be why it did rise much in the baking. Or might be the 445'F oven. That will bake the outside rather quickly. Finally, both loaves baked through in about 40 minutes, when it should of taken an hour to an hour and a half.

The bread itself isn't too bad. Its not traditional sandwich bread, for sure. There are large air-bubbles, making it quite holey and the texture is off. Its kinda like wacky cake, also called monkey cake (I think). Its cake you make when you don't have eggs, and uses vinegar and baking soda. It is nice, as it took very little hands on time and very little physical effort (especially compared with kneading a batch for 8 to 10 minutes!)

I wouldn't mind getting my hands on the book, and giving some of the recipes a try. I based my making on the post.  Ya know, I think I do have copies from a magazine... I should pull those and out try that recipe.

I also figured out a new cup. I looked at Walmart, but nothing struck me as worth it. I knew I wanted a cup with a lid that used a straw. Needs to hold 16 oz. Double walled would be nice, but negotiable. I remembered seeing using mason jars on a website once, and realized that pint jars are 16 oz. So, I grabbed a pint jar, wide mouth, a lid and a screw ring. I punched a hole in the lid for a straw and --wa-la-- a new cup for me!
strawberry, banana and orange smoothie. yum.
I've got lemonade in it now. Its working nicely!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Errand Day and Nap Schedules

Today was Errand Day. Peanut and I ride with Hubby to school and drop him off. Then we do our errands (usually just grocery shopping) and head home. Later that afternoon, we will head back to pick Hubby up from school. And back home for dinner.

In theory, this sounds great. In Large Family Logistics, Brenneman lays out clear goals and objectives for this day, as well as how to prepare for it. Since its only Peanut and I running the errands, I really only need my list(s) and water for me. Thanks to Large Family Logistics, I'm usually fairly well prepared for this day.

In reality, however, it rarely works out so nicely. I'm pretty good at getting the list(s) together the night before, and having the diaper bag ready, and a snack with water for me. The hard part is fitting the running of errands in with Peanut's nap schedule. Brenneman suggests working hard to get home before the littles need a nap. I have yet to achieve this, though.

Yes, he has actually formed a schedule (yeah!). He gets up about 7 am, is up for 2 hours, and then sleeps for an hour. Up for 2 hours, sleep for {about} one hour. He's down for the final nap around 3 and is up around 4 pm. Then down for the night at 7 pm. (He still nurses 2 or 3 times over night; luckily one nursing time is before I head to bed). If I tried to fit the errands in the 2 hours between naps, that only gives me about an hour after the time given to nursing. Near impossible when the nearest store, Walmart, is about 20 minutes away.

Errand day usually runs like this: Peanut is up at 7 pm, we leave about 730 to 8 am. Drop Hubby at school, get to store #1 between 800 and 820. Spend 30 to 40 minutes in store. Nurse sitting in back seat of car. Head to store #2.... rinse and repeat. If we have only 1 store to stop at, we might be home about 9, and Peanut gets his nap relatively on time. Should I have more than 1 store to stop at, we might not get home till 1030 or 11, which means first nap is lost, Peanut is overly tired and Mommy is hungry for lunch. Alas, I've not figured out a good way to do this.

Also, some stores I want to stop at don't open till 9 or 10 am. Not figured out how to do that, yet, either.

I'm hoping that as Peanut matures, he will be awake for longer periods of time, which will mean I can get errands done and be home by 11, with only have missed part of a nap (not the whole nap). But then, Little Bobble is a year old and she makes it only about 2 hours before showing signs of sleepiness. It might be that Errand Day is just a wonky and difficult day till all children are down to single afternoon naps. Ah, well, I can handle that.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Now with pictures!

Hana mentioned I should add pictures to my diaper reviews... so I did!

Hair, hair, hair....

Within the past 2 years, I donated hair for wigs. I know I blogged about it, but I can't find the post... ah, well. I know it was while we were here in Central Texas.

Today, I cut off a 10 inch ponytail to donate for wig making. I've never needed a wig, but my Mom and my step-mom have both used a wig while on chemo. (And both had beautiful silver-grey hair regrow after the chemo stopped. I'd love to have silver-grey hair. :::sigh:::)

I should have done this a month ago, before I was losing gobs of hair (postpartum thing, I'm guessing).

I have been blessed with fast growing and thick hair. This was not always so. As a child, I had fine, thin and straight hair. As an adult, it has thickened and curled.

One of these days, I'll figure out how to use the mirror for a picture and not get flash glare.

I suspect the next pony-tail that is long enough to donate will take longer, unless I get pregnant again. 

Dairy free recipe: Prok chops with onion compote

We like onions, and just about anything with onions on or in it. In this case, slow-ish cooked onions with a white wine sauce on porkchops? Oh, yes. And its dairy & egg free (see note below).

This is a recipe from Martha Stewart Living (the magazine), but its altered slightly... because I only  have 1 skillet.

Preheat oven to 375'. Put a cookie sheet or such in the oven to heat as the oven heats. I put down foil on the cookie sheet to make it easy to clean. Heat about 2 TBSP oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the porkchops, and brown in the hot oil, about 3 minutes each side. I can only brown one porkchop at a time. Put the browned porkchops on the hot cookie sheet in the oven and let them bake to desire doneness.  I let them bake for about 5 to 10 more minute, then turn the oven off but leave the porkchops in the oven.
porkchops in the oven
In the skillet that you browned the porkchops in, add a bit of oil and let it heat up. Turn the burner down to medium heat. Slice 2 onions. Put them in the hot oil and let them brown slowly. Give them a good 20 to 30 minutes to brown, stirring occasionally.

When they are a nice golden brown, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of white cooking wine, or white wine vinegar (I use white wine vinegar). Let it simmer until almost all the liquid is gone; this will take 5 or so minutes.

Serve with rice and a green salad.

Note on the egg-free: I've noticed a pattern and I'm not certain its dairy bothering Peanut. The pattern indicates it might be egg, so I'm now going sans-eggs. The plan: two weeks with no symptoms and I'll do a "challenge" -- first milk, then egg. Hopefully, I won't have to drop anything else from my diet.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mourning my loss... of a cup

Since I'm avoiding dairy products and foods that have dairy in them, or are exposed to dairy, I've gotten creative with breakfast. There's peanut butter on graham crackers, peanut butter on homemade, dairy-free bread, or peanut butter on ritz... yes, I eat a lot of peanut butter. Luckily, I really like peanut butter. In fact, I like it so much I usually by it by the 40 oz jar 2-pack at Sams.

Peanut butter and chocolate is the best, but since chocolate has dairy... I will mix Hershey's chocolate syrup into peanut butter. Not quite as good at mixing in actual chocolate by way of chocolate chips, but close enough.
To break out of the peanut butter monotony, I expanded into fruit.  I made peach-strawberry sorbet with a borrowed ice cream maker...
all the fruit to make into sorbet.  Yummy, yummy

Sorbet takes a lot of sugar... 8 oz!
Its fruit, its gotta work for breakfast, right?

And I've made fruit smoothies for breakfast. Strawberry-orange-banana, or peach-strawberry-banana-orange, or peach-orange. I have orange juice, thus the proliferation of "orange" in the smoothies.

This has worked nicely until today. Smoothies are utterly transportable via a wonderfully double-walled insulated, even has a straw, cup. I love this cup. When I was hug-o prego, I kept this cup full of ice water. I made ice coffee to go in this cup. Have I mentioned that I really like this cup?  But today I was forgetful and ended up feeling like quite a dork. I left the cup on top of the car.... and it fell off as we were driving and broke.
Sad, broken cup :(
I haven't decided if I'm going to replace the cup or not. It won't be a Jamba Juice cup if I do replace it, and not even a new Jamba Juice cup would truly replace this cup.

Ah, well, it is *only* a cup. But, I will say good bye and wash it out one last time before putting the cup to rest.

On the bright side, no smoothie was found on the car after retrieving the cup. And no smoothie was lost out the seal where the top screws on. That's a good seal.

Non-dairy recipe: Pizza substitute

Hubby loves pizza and Friday is pizza night. But, as I'm doing the sans-dairy thing, no cheese for me. And that's just weird having pizza, sans-cheese.  So, I came up with a permissible substitute... bread sticks with marinara sauce.

I made pizza dough as I normally do, but saved a chunk off the bit I rolled out for the pizza. That I divided up and rolled each bit into long ropes. I baked the pizza dough ropes with the pizza. I saved back some of the sauce, dished out my favorite sweet onion vinegarette dressing (no dairy!) and I had a nice dinner.

My pizza dough (sans-dairy)

In a mixer bowl with a dough hook (or in a good sized bowl and a hefty spoon), mix:
2 Tbsp yeast
2 cups warm water
2 cups wheat flour

Let sit for 10 to 30 minutes (however much time you have).  Then turn the mixer on low and add:

1 to 2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil

Add about a half cup of white flour at a time, till the dough holds together and isn't so sticky. You'll need about 3 to 4 cups. If you are doing this by hand, you'll need to pull the dough out of the bowl at some point and knead by hand. Either way, kneed or run the mixer till the dough is smooth and stretchy, about 8 or so minutes by hand, less by mixer.

This is enough for 2 thin crust pizzas at about a 10 inch diameter, or one thick crush 10 inch diameter pizza. Pulling off enough for 3 bread sticks still gives a decently thick 10 inch diameter pizza.

The marinara sauce I like, I found here. I've stopped adding maple syrup as I don't have any (used some homemade vanilla syrup first time, then no sweetener the next time, and liked it just as well). I've also used sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar. All three were good, I liked it with the balsamic best.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

What I like about the various cloth diapers

I received a bag of hand-me-down cloth diapers before Peanut was born. A big thanks to Hubby's parents who brought them down, and Hubby's cousin who hand-me-down'd them to us.

There are a couple of brands that I'm now familiar with. There is something I like about each one and something I don't like. The inserts are a set of microfiber inserts that came with the bag of diapers.

Bum Genius -- I'm not sure what version I have, but I like these quite a bit. They are easy to stuff and the velcro tabs have loop on the backs so the tabs can overlap. They have a gusset across the back, but I've had as many leaks out the back as any without the gusset.

Happy Heiny's -- These are easy-peasy to stuff with the wide crotch. Right now, its no biggy for Peanut, but I can imagine walking might not be the nicest. The opening for stuff is along the back seam, so no gusset. You've only got to watch that no wicking material is beyond the PUL. I don't like that the tabs are huge and wide. They do overlap, but I'd rather have small tabs like the BG or Haute Pockets.

Haute Pockets -- These I like. The tabs are over-lapable (is that a word?) And they aren't too difficult to stuff. The back bum area widens quite a bit and they have specially shaped inserts.

My own homemade pockets -- Well, I'm happy with them because they are a product of my own labor. On the other hand, they are difficult to stuff (the crotch is skinnier, and the PUL stickier -- not sure why). They fit nicely though, as they have adjustable elastic in the legs and along the back. Currently, they all have back gussets, but I think I'm going to stop making the diapers with them.

This is actually the pocket that friend Liz made for me, but our diapers are all based on the same pattern.

Make-shift soakers -- I put elastic in along the back of the soakers to help it hug the back better. These are the trimmest of the various options, if using a flat. I can use the prefolds with the soakers, too -- not as trim, but works quite well.  Unfortunately, the flats are rather small and Peanut is out growing them (they are the Gerber Birdseye flats). The fleece is starting to wick, though, so they might not be in service much longer. I'm thinking to make a few more that are a double layer of fleece, that should help prevent the wicking. I like that I can use a snappi to hold these closed, and I "size" them by turning down the front as needed. So simple!

The make-shift soaker on Peanut. It needs a snappi to stay on (or pins).

New fleece soakers -- I'm trying out using a double layered fleece soaker. I made one, and plan to make 2 more as a baby gift for a friend who is planning to use cloth diapers. I suspect that if a one layer fleece soaker wicks a small bit, a two layered soaker should do just fine.  Pictures to come!

I have some swaddle bees and fuzzy buns in a large size. I've started using with Little Bobble, the little girl I babysit, so when I have opinions on them, I'll let you know.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Non-diary recipe: Honey Chicken

Since I've gone on a complete dairy elimination diet, I'm looking for meals I can make with no dairy.  Seems like most things are at least "manufactured on equipment that also manufactures goods containing milk", so it has become necessary to get creative.  I sorted out my recipe binder and found several things that are dairy free, and I plan to present those things here.  First up: Honey Chicken.

This was my absolute favorite dish growing up. I LOVE this sauce. I will even enjoy rice with this sauce.  I believe it comes from a 2008 Southern Living cookbook. And its very flexible.

Oil or butter
Chicken pieces

Arrange your chicken pieces in a 9x13 baking dish. If they are boned, bone side down. If not, just space them out. Fit however many pieces you'd like, and scale the sauce to cover them.

Sauce: Use about half honey and half mustard. Mix in the oil or melted butter, about 1 TBSP for a total of 2 cups of sauce, and about 1 TBSP ground cumin for 2 cups of sauce (give or take a bit, according to your taste). We like lots of sauce, so I often use a cup of honey and a cup of mustard. If you like it sweet, use more honey than mustard. If you like it tart, use more mustard than honey.  If your tastes are simple, like ours, use straight yellow mustard. If you have more discerning tastes, use a fancy mustard -- according to your taste.

Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces, being sure to cover the pieces well. Place in the oven uncovered.

Bake at 375', for about 45 minutes. I suspect smaller pieces of chicken, like thighs will need a shorter time in the oven. I know for sure that bone-in pieces need the full 45 minutes.

Enjoy over rice and with a salad -- with a non-dairy dressing.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How toddlers eat....

Why bother eating anything one bite at a time, when you can stuff all the bites in your mouth at once? So Little Bobble seems to think!

Is this common to all toddler aged children? Stuff, stuff, stuff... choke a bit, take some out, repeat.  I've said "one at a time" nearly constantly, but since she can't count, does she know what it means?  :::sigh:::

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real


I did get my doorway cleaned up and looking nice for that challenge, but never got anything posted. So, here it is. I cleaned off the CD shelf and put up some flowers. They are silk, but, hey, something is better than nothing. Perhaps, someday, if I have a flower garden, I can have fresh flowers regularly.


I bet you'll never guess what these are..... home made dungeon tiles! Yep, Hubby and I spent the last several evenings putting these together with corrugated cardboard, 1 inch cardboard squares, glue and black spray paint.  These will work great in our soon to come home-brew campaign. And it is something we did together.


For the first month of post-uterine life, Peanut didn't spit up all that much. But, he just needed time to get it figured out I guess, because he is a spit-up machine these days. Perhaps that is partly because he is an eating machine as well?


Oh, does this little boy love his hands. If he can chew/suck on both at the same time, all the better!

Go see some more {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} 
round button chicken

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What can children do? A guide.

I've started watching the neighbor's little girl while her mom is working. Said little girl is 1 year-old and I've been wondering what she is capable of... and what the little peanut can do and when. And then this post appeared:

Like Mother, Like Daughter: What can children do? A guide.

We've been working on putting the toys back in the box and saying 'please'. Actually, the second is working out to be more difficult. Little Bobble, as I will call her, is quite strong willed and isn't in the habit of picking up anything or saying please. But then, she is only a year plus a few months. Perhaps I hope for too much? Currently, I'm working to model and demonstrate what I want her to do. I aim to pick up the books with her, and will often ask her to pick up the book, then walk with her to the basket and then say (and physically indicate) "put the book in the basket". Today, when I said, "put the book in the basket", she did it! Yea! some success. Later, however, she threw a book into the basket; I think she was tired at that point, though.  As for 'please', either she doesn't understand what I want, or she utterly refuses to even try and say the word, or she such horrible pronunciation, I just can't tell its 'please' that she's saying. I know this will improve over time, and I will learn her unique pronunciation.

Peanut has reached a new stage in communication. He's at about 3 1/2 months, and in the past few weeks, I've noticed that some of his cries sound more 'angry' than anything else. The sound of the cry is different, much higher pitched, screechy and irritating. It really seems he is throwing a temper tantrum. Drat. How does one deal with that in a 3 month-old?

In all, life continues... some days its a slow meandering pace, and others life moves at a break neck speed.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ubiquitous Ingredients

Well, milk, milk solids, and whey might not be truly ubiquitous ingredients, but its close.  I've talked about giving up dairy for my little peanut. Turns out its more than merely dealing with fussiness. With our pediatrician, we made an educated guess about the source of the intestinal irritations the little boy was dealing with.

So, I am eliminating all milk and milk products from my diet. Anything with milk, or milk derivatives, is out. And goodness, milk derivatives are in near everything. Its a touch scary. If this doesn't work, its eggs next, then soy. If I have eliminate soy.... well, that is in everything.

So far, I've gotten margarine to replace my butter. I used mustard on my sandwich instead of miracle whip. And no chocolate for me. :::frowny face:::  Luckily, peanut butter doesn't have an milk products in it.

I'm off to get creative, and figure out some new things to make that don't have milk in the list of ingredients.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Being Lazy at Home

As a good friend posted in Google Buzz... being lazy at home.

Well, it feels lazy and fun.  I made pancakes for breakfast (yum!), had toasted pancake with peanut butter and jelly on it for lunch, and planning unbaked southern chicken for dinner (breaded but baked, not fried... quite yummy).

I've watched some Alton Brown videos on, and found a yummy looking recipe for sorbet.

can you tell the one on the right is a hat?
And I put together some patterns. The peanut is in need of some shorts. Well, he doesn't "need" them, but Mama likes to put shorts on him when we go out. She's funny like that. So, a shorts pattern and a pattern for a floppy hat. I saw the floopy hat pattern, for adults and child, in Martha Steward Living, so I was mostly working to size it for a Peanut sized head. I have fabric, but its not been washed yet, so I'll work on making the shorts and hat this week, perhaps.

Hubby finished the comp exams yesterday. YEA!! I have my Hubby back. This week is the week off between comps and the semester starting, so we have some ideas of ways to just get time together. Should be a fun week.

And then, there's Daddy being silly.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recipes and Food

I tend to find new recipes in a magazine I read or a blog or some such. I have cookbooks, but I have too short an attention span to sit and read them. At times, I have something I need to use in the fridge, and will go looking for a recipe. That means I put the food item in a google search bar and see what comes up. I have enough cooking-fu to recognize what might taste good and what won't, or how to adjust it so that it does taste good.

I follow two food blogs that I just *love*. I have used, saved and printed up more recipes from these two blogs than any other source of recipes.

Tasty Kitchen is one that has something just scrumptious almost every day.  You can find any number of recipes here, but one is featured on the blog each day. I've yet to be disappointed.

Smitten Kitchen offers a new recipe about every other day or so (maybe every 3rd?). She cooks up some odd-ball things at times, but it always looks so yummy. I don't try every recipe, but perhaps every 4th or so recipe she offers, and I've loved each one I've tried.

Both of these web sites cycle between desserts, main dishes, sauces and other food categories. I've found lots of good stuff between the two (and other sites, but those are for a different post).

It began... and is continuing

Day 1, 9 am: The little peanut cried loudly for about an hour. Then slept an hour.  That was hard listening to him.
Day 1, 1 pm: Peanut cried for 10 minutes, and not nearly as loudly as before. Much easier. Then he slept for an hour.
Day 1, 5 pm: He cried for about 10 minutes. Then was out for 3 hours! I think he thought that was the beginning of "night", not a nap.
Day 1, 9 pm: Had a bath, nursed for an hour (its a bedtime routine...). No fussing.

Day 2, 9 am: Peanut cried for 2 minutes, maybe. It might have been less. I could hear him for longer, but he wasn't fussing.
Day 2, 1 pm: No crying. Stayed asleep when he was put down.

So, far this seems to be getting easier. Perhaps my little guy is a fast learner? In this, yes, he is.... but has yet to figure out how to hang on to a pacifier.

I wanted to clarify, that I'm not worried about "spoiling" him by going in and picking him or comforting when he fusses. I think you can be a strick "cry it out" parent and still spoil your child. And you can be a softy, like me, and not spoil them. This is, almost purely, for my sanity. When I get frustrated and impatient with the baby because this is the 3rd time in 20 minutes I've gone back in to comfort him, that is bad for him. This is all about helping me be a good mom. I don't think it help me not spoil him, or help him learn discipline. On the other hand, being a good mom is what will help the little guy grow up to be a mature, responsible man. That, of course, is a subject for another post. Or perhaps a book.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Book Review: Bringing Up Boys

Bringing Up BoysBringing Up Boys by James C. Dobson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a great book. As I read, it made sense of the things I saw in my students who were boys and even some of the things my Hubby does and thinks! Dobson walks the reader through how boys are different, mentally, physically, behaviorally, and how those differences impact the way a father or mother relates to them. He discusses the impact of current cultural trends, and how they will affect young boys. He speaks to the single parent, grandparents and other adults in a growing boy's life.

Only one place did I balk or disagree. When he talks about education, he makes the argument involving US test grades with other countries. I have a big beef with this and believe it is an invalid way of determining the success or failure of the US school system. Here in the US, we test *everyone*, and everyone is required to attend kindergarten through high school. Many countries out there, China being one, only allow a portion of elementary aged students to continue into jr. high, and of those, an even smaller portion go on to high school. Thus, they only test their elite students. So, of course, their test scores will be higher.  I'd be fine if US test scores are only compared to those countries who also test everyone. But its unfair otherwise.

I chuckled at one place. In his evaluation of a particular parenting style and their hopes, he calls it a "pipe dream". After his warning about protecting your boys from drug use, it was humorous to find a drug reference.

Over all, I'd recommend this book to anyone with a son or boys from whom they are responsible for. I wish I'd read this before I started teaching!

View all my reviews

Today, it begins

I've realized that it would be very good for me if I can put Samuel down for his nap and know that he will be just fine and will go to sleep even on his own. This is also important if I want Hubby to be able to put him to bed at night (say, I want to go to book group or somesuch) -- he needs to be able to go to sleep with out nursing and without tons of fuss.

But Mommy.....
The other day, I started letting him fuss for 5 minutes, then going in to him. I've realized that this child is *very* strong willed, and is persistent. Today, I decided to start letting him cry it out (oh, that sounds horrible!). I let him cry himself to sleep for his first nap this morning. He's just started to quiet down (he might be asleep...) and its been 30 minutes.

I had to turn off the baby monitors (too loud) and even went and took a shower where I couldn't hear him. I cried in the shower; it just breaks my heart to know my little boy is so upset! But, I know that what is good for me is good for him. And I get so frustrated running back and forth when he doesn't want to go to sleep but is so very, very tired.

While weeping in the shower, I realized something. This is a form of discipline, as I'm teaching Samuel a new skill (in a sense). How our Father God's heart must break when he needs to discipline us and teach us something. We are often as clueless and stubborn as this little boy, and we make just as much noise. I can think of times when I have "thrown a fit" at God and at what he was taking me through, and I had no understanding at that time of what I was learning.  {Ah, he is wailing again, so not really asleep} At times it felt like I was suffering for no good reason. I'm betting that if Samuel has enough cognition, he is thinking that I'm making him suffer for no good reason. Ah, the lessons one learns as a parent.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Officially declaring WAR!

I am a zoologist, and I love all things living (plants included!). But when you invade my home turf, that is an act of aggression and means WAR. The occasional excursion is permitted, though the scout may find themselves flatter than previously. But when there are lines of the critters from phylum Arthropoda as they trek in mass from from local to another, that is too far.

Likely due to the extreme heat and dryness, ANTS have invaded my home. I've found them in my kitchen, in the pantry, and in both bathrooms. I keep a fairly clean house; no its not perfect, but I don't leave food out and open (except fresh fruit and that I've stopped because of the fruit flies). I don't have piles of wet towels or clothes. I clean out my sink each night and I've started drying it as well. And we water the foundation and the garden every other day (soaker hoses, trying hard not to waste any water), so there is water outside despite the lack of rain.

Ants -- I've announced it in the house. Yes, verbally and out loud. If you come into my house, you will likely die. Yes, I will squish you mercilessly, I might try to drown you (which isn't as effective), I might even *gasp* poison you (in a wise manner, not where the baby or the cat has access). This is war, and when it comes to defending my home, don't expect any mercy.

There, I've said it. Now it begins.

The Best World Breastfeeding Week Ever All About Cloth Diapers | Cloth Diaper Answers All About Cloth Diapers

The Best World Breastfeeding Week Ever All About Cloth Diapers | Cloth Diaper Answers All About Cloth Diapers

This post has inspired me. When I first gave birth and was working with the lactation consultant in the hospital, she mentioned donating milk. I'd gotten emails on it. Then, I found that pumping isn't as easy as it sounds... its takes some getting used to and figuring out what works for you. I figured it out, somewhat, but had stopped thinking about donating. This story has inspired me to think about it again, and to work towards being generous with something that not every woman has to opportunity towards.

Thanks for your story, Autumn.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Dude, its hot here.

I noticed that tropical storm Emily isn't due to hit Texas. Bummer.

And today, I get an email from Home Depot for $10 off a rain barrel. Well, now, that would be nice if we actually got rain.

And then, I looked at our weekly outlook:

Sweet Lord, please let that 10% actually be something. We so need it.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Eco Posh Organic Cloth Diapers Review and Giveaway All About Cloth Diapers | Cloth Diaper Answers All About Cloth Diapers

Eco Posh Organic Cloth Diapers Review and Giveaway All About Cloth Diapers | Cloth Diaper Answers All About Cloth Diapers

As most know, I'm using cloth diapers for my baby. Its going well, but can one ever have too many cloth diapers? So, I'm entering the giveaway to get *another* cloth diaper.

The most I've ever paid for a cloth diaper? Hmmm....  All the pockets are hand-me-downs, gifts or homemade, the flats were a gift, the prefolds are either gifts or hand-me-downs, I don't think I've ever *purchased* a cloth diaper! To give an answer: the diapers I made each cost me about $2 if I'm estimating correctly (material, notions -- not including time).

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