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...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bouncy Chair

As interpreted by a two year old:

Status: Lost

You know your life has hit a sad sad point when you are excited to go to the grocery store alone, wandering the aisles and meandering about... which I did tonight. I was able to look at things and go up and down every aisle, which is good because they changed the store layout a bit recently and I'm still trying to locate everything.

Since I've been following sales and really trying to find good deals, the store has been pissing me off. Their little tiny signs and 'select varieties only' shit. Picture a frumpy looking 30 year old peering closely at 2 inch by 2 inch signs to see where it says which damn varieties are selected.

And my reuse the bags challenge was STILL lost without the two year old because they are so focused on moving you through quickly that you can't get a word in... and the cashier was pissy at the end of her shift (which I totally get) and unthrilled with my cheap-o ways. At least I got a bag o' bags into the recycling bin there.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

With a Kid

My next step on my eco-conscious journey is nearing. And crap is this going to be a hard one. Let's recount what we've done so far:

1. Replaced the furnace with a highly efficient furnace.
2. Replaced all windows in the house with highly efficient windows.
3. Switched to cloth diapers.
4. Reduce electrical consumption by unplugging appliances and charging cords when not in use and hang drying diapers and children's clothing.
5. Bought a front loading washing machine.

Step 6? This is the grocery bag question. I love the idea of using mesh or cloth bags at the grocery store, but it's a habit I need to develop. And developing any new habit that involves me leaving the house in a timely fashion with a toddler and an infant is HARD. I haven't even remembered to bring bags in to be recycled in months and months, and they're starting to take over. I also dread trying to communicate my non-paper or plastic needs to the baggers while trying to wrangle a two year old and organize coupons.

I think what's going to end up happening is that I'll be going to the grocery store in the evening, and I don't like going out in the evening to run errands. Really. I don't know why, but after 5-6 PM, I settle in. I never understood why, back when I was young and crazy, we couldn't go out and start drinking at 7 PM rather than 10 PM. Shift everything forward three hours, I pass out by 12 PM and we're all good! I don't really want to see three AM.

But yeah. Grocery bags. SHALL-ANGE!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Boring Grocery Update

So the first month of my grocery experiment draws to a close and I spent $341.39 on grocery and home supplies this month. About $70 savings, which would have been more had I not had to buy laundry detergent twice since the new washer takes HE detergent... so $90 savings over previous months.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Super Cool!

Recently, or soon, I don't know which, Tulsa celebrated it's 50th aniversary by digging up a car they had buried in town. In the car the 1957 Tulsa-ans (Tulsans?) included the contents of a typical woman's purse. What was in there? Tranquilizers! Ah, the 50's... no wonder everyone remembers it as such an idyllic time, they were stoned out of their minds.

Today I feel like a throwback to those happy pictures of women and their home appliances (NO! Not that kind of appliance, you sicko!). See, our washing machine broke last week and we bought a new one. In line with our be-more-enviromentally-friendly theme, we bought a front loader. Uses less electricity and less water. Saves us money, too! Costs twice as much as a standard top loader, but hey, we throw money around like water here and I'M OKAY WITH THAT. AM. OKAY. REALLY. STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT.


But I've been "playing with" the washing machine. You know, by using it to wash clothes. Wild and wacky stuff! It is really phenomenal. Our last washing machine, in what was its slow spiral of death, had I bothered to think harder about the washing machine (SLACKER! What kind of stay at home mother doesn't SPEND TIME ANALYZING HER WASHING MACHINE?!? God, I SUCK!) was incredibly bad at spinning out the rinse water. I would often have to rerun the spin cycle to get a LOT of the water out. And when it died, it died on the spin cycle. I thought about having it repaired, but when I read the serial number to the repair place and they told me that it was 14 years old, I decided new would be a better fix than a patch job on a crappy washer.

Which is when I went a-huntin' for a new washer. And we got the front loader. Oh, she's a sweet machine. The buttons are shiny. The lights are bright. The child lock doesn't lock the power button, which is a big shiny button off to one side that is the FIRST one Luke hit when he saw the machine. Stupid design. But still, sweet machine.

The clothes come out of the machine SO MUCH dryer than the old washer. Tshirts, which used to take 80 minutes or more in my dryer to be fully dry took 60 minutes and could possibly take less. That means I'll save money running my dryer less, too!

I just wrote an ENTIRE blog entry about my washer.

Where's my poodle skirt and tranquilizers?


I don't often get everything in my head out of my head. Make sense? No? Not surprising. I often feel like my brain is working in an entirely different sphere than my mouth. There are things I should say, things I want to say, and I never say them. Because by the time my mouth has caught up, my brain has moved on and I forget to say what I thought two seconds earlier, or when I've formulated a coherent sentence, the conversation has moved on. I constantly worry I'm coming off like an ass because I'm not saying what I think and mean to say.

But right now, I'm working on being an evil shrew. If you, perchance, read Esposo's blog entry about that damn triathlon bike, and you connect that to my utter insanity when it comes to money (particularly this year), you should be able to understand why. I'm pissed about that damn bike. I'm pissed he spent that much money, I'm pissed he's ALSO going to Vegas this weekend. I realize he was trying to make some sort of 'see how I've grown and how I understand' point with that blog entry, too, and it still just pissed me off further.

This is most likely THE MOST PISSED I have ever been at Esposo. Generally, it blows over very quickly. The women who are sleeping with butcher knives under their matresses and speak of their husbands with their voices dripping in venom - they scare me. I love Esposo. 95% of the time, he's great. This is one of the 5%.

He does not understand how I panic about money. If he did, he would NOT have bought this bike. I hate that we had a discussion about my panic, and about how things were tight this year and HE STILL BOUGHT THE FUCKING BIKE.

I hate harping on this, but I haven't been able to let it go. He got exactly what he wanted. I told him I was pissed. He knows I'm pissed. I wish I could go out and spend an equal amount on something that would ONLY be for ME, but that would only punish me further in the panic-about-money thing.

I feel I should point out that we are NOT in money "trouble". I watched an Oprah recently about people 75-125 THOUSAND dollars in debt. And we're not talking mortgage. MY HEAD WOULD EXPLODE.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Damn That's Orange

So, we went with it, all the while saying convinceing things like "I think I like it." "It looks good from the side." "It'll look better with two coats."

I do think I like it. But I'm not done yet. It'll wake us up at least... and it's not peach...and yeah, I have that much shit on my kitchen counter all the time. DRIVES ME CRAZY.

And here's a gratuitous 'summer' picture. We recently saw 'Knocked Up' and there's a quote in there about kids and bubbles, "I don't get that excited about ANYTHING." That's summer. Remember SUMMER? At least I get to watch it even if I don't get that crazy kid high on it...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Too Orange?

We have a problem in our house. The problem is that the people before us really liked peach. The peach walls we painted over, but the peach countertop? In the kitchen we're going to gut? Is still there. I have done NOTHING in the kitchen, besides stare at the walls and counters and hate them viciously, and I can't take it anymore. So I went to the paint store and looked for the color palettes that helped SO much in our bedroom.

This is what I found:

That is very orange, and very purple. But I said, okay, sure. I want bold colors. I'll try it. And here's what it looks like:

I can't decide if that's going to look hideously ugly or kind of cool. I don't really have an eye for colors. Should I try it? Or should I go for something neutral or pastelly blue (gag)? I am REALLY stymied and I don't want to put in the work to have to paint and then have to redo it immediately.

I think Esposo will hate it, by the way.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Bathroom Remodel!

This is the 'kids' bathroom - we went straight off the shelf for everything in here. When you enter the bathroom, there's a door to the right that leads to the tub and toilet. The vanity is 48 inches wide and sink tops come in 49 inch widths, so we had to trim and sand it. The mirror is actually one of the old mirrors from the medicine cabinet turned sideways and framed. I glued the trim right to the mirror for the frame, so we're not moving it anytime soon!!

Before - strip lighting... very short counter... doors on the vanity that made storage difficult...

The vanity was more difficult to remove than we anticipated. Yes, it is hovering in mid air. We had to lift it up over the piping that comes through the floor rather than through the wall like a normal house. Also note the wallpaper we found behind the medicine cabinet mirror - PURTY!!

The new vanity is in, the wall is patched, but the strip lighting remains. We got an 'assemble in place' vanity to make it easier on us. It was not really easier. One issue we failed to consider - the drawers on the right hit the trim and can only be opened about half way. You can still reach the back of the drawer, though.

Everything is up except for the frame around the mirror... we have two switches in this bathroom so you can turn on one light bulb, two light bulbs, or ALL THREE light bulbs! Options options! I don't know why we need this, but that's what was there and we didn't change it.

And we're done!!

Cost breakdown (Approx.) - Vanity, $300 (ish, I don't remember exact), sink/counter $120, faucet $73, plumbing parts $15, mirror parts (hanging pieces, trim, adhesive) $20, light $50 (?), paint/drywall - had on hand... $585 total. Plus $17 for the new picture :)

My Kind of Town

I've said it before - I love Chicago. I spent my childhood away from here, and didn't consider myself a 'Chicagoan' for a long time, even though I lived in the suburbs. But by now? After almost 19 years here, from Lemont to North Chicago, Wheeling to Wheaton, Ravenswood to the Clearing industry... I know this place. I like knowing this place, and I like everything Chicago - the Cubs and the Sox, the Bears and the Bulls, and the movies. John Hughes and Risky Business -"Looks like University of Illinois!"

We're raising our kids as Chicagoans - the Sears Tower and the Wisconsin lake house, the El and the Bean - and Esposo is getting Luke enmeshed in the lore of Chicago. Instead of reading books at bedtime, Esposo is telling him a story. A story about two brothers and a band.

The Blues Brothers.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Since the cat escaped a week and a half ago, we've been leaving the bottom of the garage door open a bit and placing food out there. Friday night we finally saw a big dent in the food eaten. To make sure we weren't feeding some extremely neat raccoon, Esposo put sawdust around the bowl to check out the footprints. We saw little catprints in there that looked remarkably like Simba's on Saturday morning, and by last night the entire (large) bowl of food was gone. So we're hopeful that he's hanging around close by and we'll be able to trap him and drag him howling and clawing back into the house, where he'll become sullen and resentful.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Uptight and Not Too Bright

Our savings has been vastly depleted this year, and it's making me panic (thus, the line drying and the grocery savings, etc). I've covered this, I'm really uptight and panicky about money. Esposo is not. He's not stupid about money, either, he just has a less "panic and doom" outlook on it. This more, as I was panicking in the shower (ah, a nice hot morning Panic Shower) I was trying to figure out where all our money went, and how we were going to last if it was going at such an alarming rate. We had pumped a lot of money into both our vehicles but WHERE ELSE DID IT GO? Thousands of dollars are missing!!

An hour later, looking at our accounts, I realized, oh yeah... WE HAD A BABY. I think we can guarantee we won't be incurring THAT expense again this year!!

(In other, more happy news, but still probably just as boring to the rest of the world, I'm only SIX pounds from prepregnancy!!! I'm about to go down a tens number (like from 20 to 19) and the scale is taunting me, though. I spit on it. But seriously, LOVE the nursing!! I ate pizza last night! No effect on the scale!!)

(And in still other news, Courtney slept SEVEN hours last night! And I slept through it! And my boobs did NOT explode! It's been over 12 weeks of breast feeding, next Wednesday is 13/3months and I'm halfway to goal! I think I should use more exclamation points!! in!! this!! post!! But seriously, I am DAMN PROUD OF MYSELF for going this long,, (I got tired of exclamation points))