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...

Friday, August 31, 2007

Greener greener

Over in 'Green as a Thistle', the author has challenged herself to take a green step EVERYDAY for a year. I'm not that ambitious, but she has inspired me to step it up a bit around here. So I bought some Seventh Generation cleaner from Target and made baby food for Courtney yesterday. I made a LOT of baby food - carrots, apples, green beans, squash, and I still have a sweet potato and peaches to cook.

Before I went to make my own baby food I searched the internet for tips and tricks and found that you basically steam or boil the hell out of the veggie, then puree it. Really, it's that easy. Thanks to The Podiatrist, we have a turbo cooker that steams things up pretty nicely. I did some rough calculations, since that' about all I'm going to do, and by making baby food I saved $10-$15 over buying the same quantity in store. And the only packaging I use is the freezer bags to store things!

Living greener!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Damn Cat

Who the hell does these studies that say pets lower your blood pressure? I would like to be the exception to that study.

As usual this morning, Courtney woke up around 4:30, but it took me longer than usual to change her, so she was screaming a bit and woke me up more than I usually wake up for the early morning nursing session.

At 5 or so, Luke woke up screaming and Esposo went to go take care of him.

After he crawled back in bed, I was still awake, so I went to snuggle with him. We have a king bed, so I actually have to move towards him, out of my sleeping spot.

As we snuggled, I noticed something by my knee.

A sock? No, didn't feel like a sock. What IS that?

I reached down and grabbed it - UNDER THE COVERS, mind you, picked it up and immediately FLUNG it out of bed, because I had an idea what it was. But then I started icking out, asking Esopso to check on his side of the bed to see what the hell that was. But it's still very dark, and he's picking up dog toys 'What, a rope?'

NO, it was not a rope.

So I turned on the light, and yeah, next to the wall is the DEAD MOUSE I had just chucked out of our BED.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

No More Interaction

I took Luke to the Children's Museum this morning and we had a great time. There was no screaming fit and minimal whacking of other children. We played in virtually every exhibit at the place, and even Courtney got to hang out in the baby areas for awhile.

So when we came home I made lunch for myself and ran to the computer. But the kid keeps coming to find me, wanting to play MORE with me. Dude, I am played OUT. Mommy needs to sit. It an upright position. And not play with cars. Where I get yelled at for playing with cars THE WRONG WAY anyway. I'm so over the one on one time, kid.

My next green thing is actually turning out not to be composting, but baby food making - no packaging and cheaper! So far I've made carrots and peaches, and now I have an excuse to head to the bulk warehouse store and buy some fruits and veggies that normally never make it into our house. Maybe the rest of us will end up eating some, too?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thanks for the Assvice!

This morning we went as a family to a nearby downtown and hit the farmer's market, the park, and wandered to the train station in hopes of Luke seeing a train. Luke was walking on the platform near the tracks when a woman near me felt the need to say:

"I wouldn't let him play there, there's electricity in the tracks."

I blinked a couple times and looked away. In a few seconds, I called to Luke, who was running down the platform (which I had previously stopped him from doing because running next to tracks, bad plan.) Esposo went to get him. Then I got up, shaking my head as the vast stupidity of this woman hit me.

1. First, it's the Metra. The Metra does not have electrified lines. You see people walking over the tracks there? And not being electrified?

2. Mind your own beeswax, lady.

3. She lit up her cigarette next to her six year old two seconds after she scolded me. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH.

I've really never gotten random parental assvice before, it was a momentus day.

Whose family is this?

Every now and then I like to watch 'Honey, We're Killing the Kids!', because it definitely makes me feel like we're not doing too bad with eating healthy even though Luke is not exactly an intimate associate of vegetables (and neither am I. And no, there's no correlation. Luke buys his own food, after all!). The last episode I saw had a family from the Chicago area eating fast food up to three times A DAY. It made me gag a little.

What kills me about the show is that they have the family prepare healthy meals, and thefirst meal is invariably some crazy food like mussels. I don't eat horribly and I'd gag at mussels. How about starting them off with a chicken dish, eh?

But we're making more progress in the healthy eating department, as we have been slowly improving all year. I really saw that when Luke had lunch yesterday - a slice of turkey, two slices of cheese, and three carrots. It was a carb-free lunch! With a veggie!

And today I made my first batch of baby food for Courtney - carrots. Hey, what can I say, we have a lot on hand. It's one of Esposo's favorites, but I hate 'em raw. Not only is making her food incredibly cost effective (4 servings bought in store - $2, four servings made at home - maaaybe 50 cents.) it's got to be healthier, since all that's in there is carrots.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Good Week, Bad Week

Let's start with the bad. I'm killing the Earth now. I turned the air back on after it had been off for over a week because the humidity was killing us. After I turned the air on, Luke went back to napping, which he had stopped when I turned the air off before. Guess what? I will be killing the Earth (and our electric bill) and leaving the air on. Napping is far too important!

Then, I went to the grocery store yesterday, and was so excited to be going without the kids, I completely forgot to bring my canvas/string bags. So I got a lot of plastic bags.

But to put things firmly back in the good camp, not only did I lose the three pounds I had put on last Sunday, I've lost three more that had snuck on because of the wedding. So my scale reads a full six pounds less today than it did Monday. Two more weeks like this and I would be ONE HAPPY CAMPER!!!

I think I'm doing my job too well, though. Esposo mentioned yesterday (which he had off) that he was going to go to the grocery store for some fruit. I said I had a list and proceeded to instruct him that he had to search for the right items and check sizes on the boxes because they try to confuse you, and then he gave up and said I could just go to the store.

I scared him out of going to the store because I was so afraid he would do it wrong. That was stupid of me.

However, he did make dinner, following a new recipe, and do a load of diapers in the new washing machine (with my explicit instructions), so I am working on making sure that I'm not the ONLY one who can do these things. Because I don't want that kind of job security!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


This going green thing is starting to build a little momentum in my life. I'm working on the next big thing (Worms? Compost? The debate rages within.) and I'm getting inspired by other blogs to make smaller changes as well. I'm buying my environmentally friendly household cleaners next week - since I've used up pretty much everything else and I do need to clean the house more vigorously with a toddler running around.

Green As A Thistle's list is serving as an 'idea board' for me, and I'll be hopping onto other blogs as well. My goals are still where they started - be green, be frugal. I have been remembering my grocery bags so no new plastic bags have come in! From the grocery store, anyway. They're still on the newspaper, bread, and other stores.

Saving! The! Earth!

Ever since we spent all kinds of money on that new front loading washing machine thingamabopper, I've been waiting for the water bill. Because we'd see some SAVINGS in the water bill.

How much is your water bill every month? So cheap that they only bill you every TWO months? Yeah, there's a reason people are not so intent on saving water when it costs $1.80 per ONE THOUSAND gallons. Our city bills us in thousand gallon increments, too, they can't be bothered to figure out all those insignificant hundreds, tens, and ones places.

Here are our water bill usages over the past two years:
06/14/05 - 8
08/12/05 - 11*
10/14/05 - 7
12/13/05 - 7
02/10/06 - 8
04/12/06 - 7
06/14/06 - 9
08/14/06 - 7
10/16/06 - 9
12/13/06 - 9
02/13/07 - 8
04/17/07 - 10 (Hellooooo cloth diapers!)
06/14/07 - 10

*What'd we do, water the lawn? Crap, we don't do that anymore, why encourage the shit to grow and then mow it?

And now? After two months with the new machine and washing diapers almost daily? We used 5 (thousand) gallons! At a buck eighty per thousand gallons, we're packing a sweet nine dollars away every two months. That washer has practically paid for itself already!

(On a serious note, I am thrilled that it uses THAT much less water, and I'm sure that the electricity savings are significant as well.)

Monday, August 20, 2007


I was sucked into bad TV yesterday (and today, my weight is up three pounds! Bad TV is the devil!) - first I watched a Lifetime movie, which was actually far worse than your typical Lifetime movie, and yes, that's saying something. Then I went to High School Musical 2, which is decent bad TV. In case you weren't paying attention to this, High School Musical swept the tween crowd last year and Disney made bank. There's a live show, CD's, probably a tattoo. They're squeaky clean movies, and if you're kid gets into musicals, the High School Musical movies are a far better option than Grease.

HSM2 is set at a country club, and there are the requisite snobby parents, who are involved in the story line. They came into scene finishing up a story... and after a moment I registered where they were taking the line from.

"And she STEPPED on the BALL!"

I had to call in Esposo and replay it for him. So far I haven't found anyone who has caught and understood that reference yet, and it's driving me mildly crazy.

In a final hit on the bad TV bong, I watched an episode of Hannah Montana. Where the lead character was in love with Jake Ryan.

I heart the 80's, and I heart that the 80's will never die because everyone else in my generation hearts the 80's with mad insane love and writers are inserting 80's cultural references into tween shows.

As a direct foil to the squeakyclean HSM2, we went out to see Superbad earlier in the day. I laughed. I pondered the imponderable nature of teenage boys, and dreaded having one living in my house...

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I lose my cell phone close to hourly. There's a reason I resisted getting a cell phone all those years, when I dramatically sighed about GAAWWD, can't you just PLAN the night out BEFOREHAND? It seems I resisted because I didn't want to spend a solid week every few months searching for the damn thing. Esposo has said that next time, I'm getting one of the 1980's cellular phones, about the size of a brick, but longer. Fine. Can it be neon orange and have a pulsing glow to it as well? And cry if it gets more than 20 feet away from me? Because I think that's what it would take to keep me from losing these stupid things.

Obviously, I lost my cell phone this week. I knew I had it on Sunday, and that I didn't have it on Monday. Where could it be, where where where? I checked the kitchen. I cleaned the entire family room, vacuumming under the couch cushions and ended up washing the pillow covers as well. We organized the office, I cleaned out my car, I broke my shoe rack in my closet moving it out to check behind it.

No dice.

I finally, FINALLY, remembered that we went to IHOP on Sunday, so I called and asked "Do you have a black cell phone?", I told them I lost it on Sunday. They asked me the brand. Crap if I know. I start hunting for Esposo, because when we cleaned out the office, he took my cell phone manuals... somewhere... so I'm running through the house trying to find them (where the hell IS he?) and the IHOP people finally say that yeah, they have a cell phone.

WHOO HOO!! I say I'll be right there, and continue hunting for Esposo. Except he's gone off to pick up a bed from his sister for us to bring up north. And he left without telling me. So now the IHOP people think I was pulling their legs! AGH!

To make it all worse, we left a really crappy tip for the waitress (in response to crappy service, at least), but she saved my cell phone.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


It's been a rough couple of days for me, the kids have been uncooperative and not wanting to sleep, so I haven't been able to do much of what I want - mostly work out. It's incredibly frustrating to not even be able to get in a 32 minute work out, so I was starting to lose my mind because I could not accomplish ANY project to completion.

So I made Esposo help.

We organized the office. Oh, it is so lovely. It makes me happy just to come in here. We threw away a full bag of garbage and donated another bag. If we keep this up, though, we'll never get on Clean Sweep and no one will ever come decorate my house. I need someone else to decorate my house! Mostly because they would have money to spend...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Not so long ago I read of people giving over the master bedroom to the children, and I thought this was a stupid thing to do. I pay the mortgage, I deserve one room in my house that is NOT devoted to the children, because, really, everything else is. There are toys in theeir bedrooms, the living room and family room, and well, let's not talk about the kitchen. But the master bedroom? That's MY space. (And Esposo's, I suppose)

Except, of course, that children's toys like to establish equilibrium and seep into spaces where there are no children's toys. Like my bedroom. Usually cars are the exploratory toys - they establish a foothold and open the pathway for other toys. Secondary toys are usually books, and then it's an anything goes proposition.

Last night I cleared out cars, books, two baby toys and a stuffed horse from our room. It's like weeding, you have to do it constantly.

I used my string bag/canvas bag collection at the grocery store today and was quite impressed to see that the woman behind me was doing to same thing! This is the first time I've seen another crazy out there. I tried to give a little smile of solidarity but my kid was too busy moving the "Danger Wet Floor" cone into the middle of the aisle.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Point

This is why I have gone to using the string bag.

We Be Drinking

Saturday Esposo and I went to a wedding. It's been awhile since we've had a wedding, and this was a good wedding. For one thing, we didn't have the children with us. For two things, my mom had them overnight, and for three things, we hadn't seen EVERYBODY in quite awhile. We drank. The wedding had a photobooth which was just awesome. There was more drinking. There was shoe removal. Flip flops were handed out. Children were discussed. Some dancing happened. As we left for the night, Esposo and I had some sort of fight, which he remembers NOT AT ALL and I only remember having some sort of fight. Or argument. Or annoyance, who the hell knows. The whole thing made me want to plan more nights out with the husband, because we have fun together. I don't know how the rest of the world feels about us as obnoxious drunks, but what's the point of being an obnoxious drunk if you are worried what other people think?

Friday, August 10, 2007


I've decided that my advice to new parents shall be Channel Scrlet O'Hara and always remember that Tomorrow is Another Day! I wonder if I could write a whole parenting book based on Gone With the Wind? Except didn't she abandon Bonnie Blue or whatever her name was and Rhett walk off with the kid? I've only seen the movie a couple times... perhaps I should read the book before basing a parenting technique on some selfish, slave owning, prissy character?


But my point, and I do have one, is that you never quite know what your kids are going to do day to day. For about a month now, Luke's been napping. 2-3 hours almost every single day. He hadn't napped regularly for 6 or 8 months! At first I was reading to him for 45 minutes to get him to take a nap. Now it's about 15 minutes. Man, this SAHM shit is SO much easier with naps (though if they could stop staggering them so that they only overlap for about half an hour, that'd be great. Thanks!)

On Being Cheap

I'm cheap, I admit it. I shop the sales, I use coupons and most of all, I just am not a good consumer. I love garage sales, especially for kids items, because they take so much abuse anyway. I like being cheap. My goals for being cheap are that my family will (eventually) be able to afford to do larger things - like vacations and home renovation - and that I will be able to afford things for my friends and family, and above all, that we never be in anything but "good" debt.

But there's a whole other group of people on the cheap that piss me off. People who are looking to get a deal at the expense of someone else. These are the people who 'find' antiques at a great deal from someone who doesn't know what they have and crow about the score they made. Because they knew and they screwed someone else over.

In my search for ways to save money I stumbled on a blog that recounts how a woman hunts through Ebay for misspelled or poorly listed items, and then bids because once someone bids they can't unlist the item, and because the item is poorly listed it won't get buyer traffic - meaning, of course, that because they made a mistake, she's taking advantage of them. It's skeevey. It's rude. It assaults my sense of fair.

I've also recently heard They're rich, they can afford it! as a reason to get something cheaper from someone else. As if, because someone else has money you should get something from them?

In another small cheap/energy conscious move, I signed up with ComEd to let them put a switch on my air conditioner. They will be able to cycle my air conditioner off for up to 15 minutes every half hour during peak energy usage. For this, they'll give me (automatically) a $5 credit on my June-Sept bills. That's my kind of savings - reduce consumption and save money!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I have made several trips to the grocery store without getting any plastic bags. I have a new string bag, collapsible crates, and when I forgot both, I simply had them reload everything into the cart. The cashiers give me weird looks, but the baggers seem far more accomodating. The time I had them simply put the groceries back in my cart, the cashier told me "You'll be stopped by security.", and I replied that I'd have the receipt, so I was okay. I guess there aren't a lot of people who don't want the plastic bags.

I haven't gotten the compost bin or the rain barrel, but I'm still sitting on the ideas.

I'm finally getting back into diet and exercise. Esposo is seven pounds below me again, since he kept working out while I stopped. Fortunately, his weight loss progress hasn't been too fast so i can still catch up. Someday.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I think perhaps Esposo and I have become a bit addicted to our children. We started talking last week about a third child. It may have been me that brought it up, but Esposo had certainly already had opinions on when this would happen. We talked about space in the house and where a third child would live. I think another girl could share a room with Courtney, but a 4.5 year age span would make it hard for two boys to share a room.

I hate being pregnant, but I love the end product.

Luke asked me to knock him down on Mommy-Daddy bed. I'd grab his ankles and pull and he landed on his back in a fit of giggles over and over again, wobbling as he stood up for more 'abuse'. I picked him up and cradled him in my arms and tossed him onto the bed and he asked for more, and then finally said Don't throw me. I want to snuggle. So we laid on the bed face to face and he kissed me on the cheek and I wiped it away and said Oh! No! Not kisses! and his body shook with laughter. Esposo came in and we laid on the bed, we three, tickling and kissing and the dog jumped up, too.

When I am by myself I think about my clothes and my hair and what people must think of me, but when I am with my children, my babies, I don't notice the people around me, whether they are throwing me dirty looks because my son is screaming and running or watching my bite my daughter's little kicking feet.

My children will never suffer from lack of hugs.

I miss my husband, too. I miss our time together, travelling and laughing and a more carefree existence, but I know we'll come back together as the children grow, even though they are the centers of our world right now. It's amazing to me that they didn't always exist, my children. I remember thinking about them before they were born and I really had no foresight on what they could look like or even what their names would be. How were they not always here?

Tent Day!

Have a two and a half year old driving you crazy? Go get a tent. We set up two kid size tents here today - one in the living room and one in Luke's room - and he has been steadily occupied without whining for the past half hour. The first order of business when you are a child and you have a new tent (or an old tent that your cruel mother hid away from you for awhile) is to chuck everything you own into the tent. I'm not quite sure how Luke is fitting in his tents.

Meanwhile, Courtney, my sweet little immobile baby, is becoming incredibly squirmy. She's been rolling both ways for about two weeks now (and I don't know when the official milestone should be hit! Ha!) and is rolling herself into predicaments. Like into the couch, or so her arm is stuck under her and her rolling progress is halted. She is a tremendous kicker, and will frequently shake the stroller with her kicks. She's also getting her foot caught in dangling toys, resulting in much screaming.

It's a good time to have kids, Luke becomes more amusable by the day - play doh, pretend driving, coloring, beading... two and a half is a good age where twenty one months and two were not.