One More Mommy

Thoughts of a mom and her husband, son, daughter, pets, friends, job (or lack thereof), house, family, trying to be more ecologically aware...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Social Experiment

I had high aspirations when I quit working that I would be able to put a significant dent in our bottom line by doing a variety of things. While I was pregnant, I failed miserably at all those things. We ate out too often, I drove too much, and basically, didn't change our lifestyle at all. Now that I'm no longer pregnant (read: not tired and cranky 90% of the time) I've been actively working at affecting our bottom line. I consider the whole thing a social experiment.

If someone thinks 'staying home' is easy, I'm guessing they're not doing it right. I've decided to look at all our expenditures and reduce them where I can, because that's how I, as a stay at home parent, can really affect our savings. My first experiment, if you remember, was the cloth diapers. Those are still going strong, and it's not hard. They save us approximately $50-$70 a month, or $600 - $840 a year.

Next is the hang drying - I haven't gotten the electric bill this month, so I don't know how much I've affected that by hanging the diapers and the kid's clothes.

And right now, it's groceries. I looked at our last three months worth, and we spent about $400 a month on groceries. Which comes to about $13.33 a day (assuming a month has 30 days) for all of us, all meals. Which I don't think is too terrible. But I'm trying to see if I can get down to at least $250 a month - or $5 less a day. Which would be $1,825 a year. My biggest challenge with groceries is keeping Esposo OUT of the bulk warehouse store. I've become more convinced that the store isn't saving us as much as we thought, and then we have giant sized boxes of food. I don't like Goldfish THAT much.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Have No Idea

See, it's 3 AM and I'm awake! Whywhywhy?? I got up the feed the baby and then look for the cat, and well, here I am. And that's my sad news right now, the cat got out last Wednesday afternoon and has not returned. I really like that cat, and now he's out in the world and I'm getting rather upset that he may be gone. Of course, we went out of town on Thursday night so would we know if he came home? Not really. And he probably thinks we moved without leaving a forwarding address. Gah.

We spent four lover-ly days at the family lake house in Wisconsin, with lots of time to play and vegetate and I even scrapbooked a bit. Esposo worked on framing out the basement and maybe by the end of this year or the time next summer rolls around there will be two more bedrooms, a bar, and a pool table. And kayaks. I am jonesing for some kayaks. And jet skis. And a pony! And then we'll sell pony rides for a nickel.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Diet, Exercise, and Weight

Both Esposo and I are trying to eat healthy and exercise, and we're doing pretty well. We're both creeping down the weight scale, and exercise at least 4-5 times a week. We haven't been that diligent, though, and could be losing more. Since his ultimate goal isn't as much weight loss as being able to kick his siblings butts (well, at least two of them) in the First Annual Family Triathalon, FAFT, he hasn't been focusing on calories and food. Since Luke has been an insane child and I've been exhausted, I haven't been focusing on calories and food like I should.

I've lost weight before. I rely on the mass balance equation of: More Exercise + Less Food = Weight Loss. I read all the articles on weight loss that I can, hoping someday that they'll say 'The juice of a three day ripe papaya, with three twists of a newt's eye, poured over freshly mined copper and drunk from a birch bark bowl provides an instant 10 pound weight loss!'... of course, the newt's eye thing would gag me... but ten pounds? I could suck it up.

So Esposo and I were talking, in one of those conversations that makes non-weight-loss people apparently want to stab their eardrums, about calories and eating habits. Esposo commented that he didn't think he had that many calories everyday and maybe he should head over to one of those websites and enter everything he eats in a day ( is my favorite for that). Surely he couldn't be eating more than 2,000 calories! Maybe even closer to 1500!

I laughed. Because I've been on a 1200-1500 calorie a day diet. You know EVERY morsel of food you eat, and there's no way he's eating that little. He would be losing weight much more rapidly. When he mentioned a bagel and peanut butter I said 'That's 300-400 calories right there, for the BAGEL', and he didn't believe me.

Don't mess with MathDietGrrl. One of his bagels is 330 calories. Two tablespoons of peanut butter? 190 calories. I am curious, though, how many calories he is eating. I'm guessing, with his weight and activity level, he needs about 2500 calories a day, and that's probably what he's hitting.

As for me, I'm 1.8 pounds from my goal for Memorial Day, and since we're going away for the weekend, I have one day to lose it. Not gon' happen. But being 7.8 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight 11 weeks postpartum isn't halfbad, I don't think.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


They canceled Veronica Mars. They canceled Studio 60. Keep fucking with my TV, you rat bastards. Go right ahead. But leave Lost on through 2010, when I'm 8 episodes behind because I just stopped caring. I'm down to Heroes, House, How I Met Your Mother, and My Name is Earl. Jerks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Word Explosion, Again

This toddler phase is both amazing and exhausting. Exhausting for all the obvious reasons - the defiance, the whining, the not sleeping, the screaming. That's why toddlerdom gets the bad rap.

But you don't really hear about this being such an amazing phase, where they start putting word and concepts together at such a fast rate you're left gawping at them twice a day. Where they start getting a sense of humor.

After a particularly trying week, Luke followed me on my heels Saturday morning with a huge grin and parroted "Driving you crazy! Driving you crazy!"

When I had been physically removing his arm from the toilet handle to prevent him from flushing it, he sternly commanded "Don't grab my arm! That's not nice!"

And yesterday, as he gleefully ran around naked, he stopped to poke his genitalia and said "That's my pen*s! Squish squish!"

This is why I love being with my children everyday. They are amazing.

Friday, May 11, 2007


I finally lost weight this week, after inching down a pound in two weeks, the scale suddenly gave me 2.6 pounds lost this week. And so, today, I went insane. Clearly. I started off good, really! I had a smoothie, with yogurt and fruit, and a banana for a snack later in the morning - since I'm still nursing, I'm trying to eat healthy foods. I ate turkey casserole leftovers for lunch.

And then.

I had half a sleeve of graham crackers.
I had spoonfuls of peanut butter with chocolate chips.
I had chicken nuggets.
I am now sitting with the container of Honey Nut Cheerios and munching away.

AND I didn't work out today.

So much for 2.6 pounds.

I Never

If you asked me, I would say No, I don't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

But the truth must come out, be exposed. I have never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Maybe I did when I was three, but my mother claims I subsisted entirely on cream cheese and graham crackers, and I was entirely (and perhaps, still am) the kind of child who would refuse things based on appearance, and jelly looks very unappealing to me now, so it might have then.

I make PB&J for my son 5 times a week, minimum, and so convinced am I by 27 odd years of saying that I don't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I am never ever tempted to take one small bite to see what, in fact, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich tastes like.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Living Green

One of the things I am currently workign on is living a 'greener' life. Back in the hazy misty days of high school, I wanted to tbe an environmental engineer. I really don't like our country's mass waste, disposable use society. Everything is use and toss, essentially so that we can drive the manufacturing process, spend more money, etc etc etc. But I digress...

I really like the idea of using foot power to get places I need to go. I even attempted biking to work a few times in my kid-free days, when it was 23 miles one way. It's a lot more challenging with two small children, but we have managed to make walking to Gymboree part of our weekly routine, and Esposo is biking to the train a lot lately.

The biggest change we've made so far is going to cloth diapers. We get to save money (and you should know by now, I'm cheap) and help out the environment a little. The new cloth diapers are pretty spiffy so it was little change in routine. I was already looking into my next step, how to save electricity, when our electric bill came for the first month I had been using cloth diapers exclusively for both children. It went up about $45. What had we changed? Use of the dryer.

Crap, not only did that mean we were causing a greater environmental impact by using so much more electricity, but it was negating the cost effectiveness of cloth diapers. I started washing the diapers and liners every night and hanging them to dry. I started hanging the children's clothes to dry, too - they don't get stretched out like adult clothes would (I am literally hanging them on hangers since I have no clothesline... yet). I was pleased with my progress and curious to see how the electric bill would be affected.

Well, we happened to get this month's electric bill yesterday. Which should have still been very high, because it's only been a week since we implemented the drastic dryer use reduction plan.

It was not. It was $50 LESS than a typical month. The stupid electric company had misread our meter!!! So we AREN'T draining the world's power, but I'm still going to line dry.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Exercise is dangerous

Our elliptical machine is located upstairs in the bedroom we use as an office. This is okay because 1) it is not in the unfinished basement where I would never go to work out because that's just depressing and 2) there is a TV in the office and 3) the children's bedrooms are right there so during (mythical) naptime I can work out.

I've been 'kickin' it up a notch' on the machine this week because I am no longer weak and pathetic like a kitten, I am perhaps strong like a possum, meaning I sleep in the face of danger.

So, newly on a higher level, twenty five minutes into the workout, I am pushing it a bit, and there's a knock on my door. This would be my new cell phone, so I know I have to answer and sign for it.

So I hopped off the machine and tried to race down the stairs. This should be a Jackass sketch, because I was violently wobbly and crashing from wall to railing, finally bouncing off the wall at the bottom to answer the door.

Yay, phone.

Evil Plotting Baby

I am a big proponent of the naked time for babies. I think it's good for them to feel the air on their skin and how their bodies move without bulky clothes and diapers. Pediatricians agree that it helps prevent diaper rash.

I think you already see where this story is going.

Courtney peed through her diaper, actually while I was breastfeeding her and managed to dampen my pants right in the crotch area, making it look as if I had peed myself. Evil genius there.

So I took her up to the changing table and let her lay naked for a bit. I put a diaper under her butt to catch leaks and, uh, poopy leaks. She kicked it down a bit and then tooted with extra, dirtying the diaper. Being a smart mommy, I know that this toot is just a precursor to the real action that's coming soon. Since we're using cloth diapers, I had to put an insert in a new diaper before putting the new diaper under her butt. As I was doing this, she set off a pee geyser and soaked her outfit and the changing pad.

I stripped her and the pad and laid her down on the naked plastic cover of the changing pad. I lifted her legs to put the diaper under her and as her tushie hung suspended in midair for that brief moment, the second show of the tooting arrived all over the changing pad.

The timing of each event was IMPECCABLE. You've got to be impressed with it.

Goodbye Newborn, Hello Infant

We shifted Courtney down to the crib in her bedroom on Sunday night, after I had spent hours and hours Saturday night being woken up by her soft whimper-grunts. We had also gotten into the habit of nursing in bed, which wasn't bad EXCEPT for the fact that we would both fall alseep after she had finished only one boob. She would wake up and hour and a half or two hours later and we would shift to the other side. This was not going well for my 'consecutive hours of sleep requirement'.

So down the hall she went and now we're sleeping better, she actually has to get her scream on to get fed (rather than simply vaguely whimpering), and because she is still wonderbaby even though she's been torturing me by doing her long stint of not eating from 7 AM to noon or some such nonsense, she goes right back to sleep most times after I feed her.

I'm not particularly *sob*sob*where'd the time go? yet, but it does seem amazing to me that we go in for her two month appointment today. I keep thinking 'with Luke, I would be going back to work next week'. And I wasn't breastfeeding still. And I think I had more than eleven pounds left to lose (which, WHEE! Finally broke through the plateau in fantastic form. Of course, I'm starting to work out harder).

Monday, May 07, 2007

Grammar and spelling

I know I type like crap and I have often looked over a post and found 14 errors that I didn't bother to correct. That doesn't mean that I don't feel like gouging my eyes out after reading grammatical/typing errors. Today seems to have brought out the horrific spellers and typists. This is what I have seen so far:

I am a professional massegeur and a gourmet cooker
Asphyxiation eminent!
Such restrain!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Death by Toy

I have a two year old who is obsessed with matchbox cars. I pretty much hate matchbox cars now, because they are dumb toys that don't do anything. DUMB DUMB DUMB. Not that I'm immature about the cars, but I defy anyone to maintain a great love for the cars when certain cars have to be taken from place to place and certain other cars must not be taken. My favorite car is the reject Daddy's Truck.

We had one black truck that looked like Daddy's Truck, and one day it was flung somewhere in the car. Since it was winter, I didn't want to dig for it, so after a cursory search, I bought a second Daddy's Truck. The first Daddy's Truck reappeared a few weeks later and I thought, ah, good, now we have a spare.

Except now the little nutjob (Luke) has somehow differentiated between the two (identical) trucks and the Reject Daddy's Truck sits on the table in the office. When the Approved Daddy's Truck is misplaced, I try to substitute RDT, which causes screams of "NOT THAT DADDY'S TRUCK!!"

My other favorite car is whichever one I step on at 2 AM when I'm going to change/feed a baby. Or the Fisher Price train. Or the sharp pointy tacks I let my child play with. Or maybe the boards with rusty nails protruding from them.


I've been on this quest to lose weight and return to normal non-pregnant state. I miss normal, non-pregnant state. I miss being able to run, jump, drink alcohol, and stay up until 4 AM. Right now I'd settle for being able to jog, bounce, have a beer, and sleep until 8 AM. The good news is that my body is starting to come back. The bad news is that it hurts.

I started out walking and working out on the elliptical. Walking hurt my legs and everything made me winded. I want to go back to biking, blading, and running. At one point in my life I rollerbladed about 15 miles 4-5 days a week. My ass was AWESOME. I want my ass back. I want to be able to distinguish my ass from my thigh other than by it being wider.

So I tried rollerblading today. It's been two years. First thing first, I had to remove the nest some mice or chipmunks had built in my boots. They didn't chew through much of it and THANK GOD no one decided to die in there, because that's one of my top ten fears, putting my foot in a shoe and encountering anything that is currently breathing or ever breathed. SQUISHY! AAAAACK!

They've recently repaved the road in front of my house and it's gorgeous for rollerblading. Smooth and slick and you glide as if on ice. Except it's been two years and I went maybe once that year and the year before that I was pregnant with Luke, so really, it's been closer to four years and holy shit I don't stop well!

I took a side road and was quickly reminded why I love the newly paved roads so much as I bumped down a hill.

Shit, a hill. Can you snowplow on rollerblades? What about that swishy thing from side to side that gives you nice control on skis? No, I can't do that. Maybe other people can, I can't.

Rollerblade boots are tight. Did you know your feet actually gain weight, too? OW. OW OW. Like my feet weren't ALREADY wide enough.

All in all, I survived. I'd like to go more, with less arm flailing and animal home cleanup, and possibly get a workout from it.