Monday, July 30, 2012

Christmas in July

Yes, I uttered that word!

I've begun to purchase and think about things for Christmas.  This year, we are not going to go crazy like we have in the past.  We still have toys in the packaging that we were too lazy to wrap still hiding in a closet.

I've actually only gotten a few things for DD.  She was with me as I was shopping for stuff for DS's first birthday.  After his birthday, I may start getting him stuff.  Since we are renting a place without a yard and have limited space, we are not going to get big items.  Also, we don't know if we are going to have to move next summer yet.

So far for DD, she is getting a  few Peppa the Pig items: Peppa the Pig car, Peppa the Pig family playset, Phineas and Ferb toys, and The Runaway Dinner book.   I did not order the Peppa the Pig items from the internet, they were actually at Toys R Us and were on sale.  The Phineas and Ferb toys were from the Disney store and they had a special of buying two play sets for $20.  I also got the Finding Nemo set for DS.  And The Runaway Dinner is DD's favorite book.  She loves to check it out whenever we go to the library.

Since, I mentioned DS birthday, I was not sure what to get him.  So far, we've gotten the following items, most of which happened to be on sale.  We got him the Little Tykes Play and Scoot Pirate Ship, a few Baby Einstein dvds, the Finding Nemo playset, and a Melissa and Doug Dinosaur Grasping Toy.

All except for the book were purchased in stores.  Turns out it is much cheaper to order online through Barnes and Noble than to have them ship the book to their stores.

Small Steps

Today is a new day.  A chance to change.

I need to take control of my health and wellness!  I bought some new shoes, I needed new shoes anyways, but I bought some new sneakers to use for working out.  We have a fitness room, I might as well use it.  I plan on using it after dinner time when DH is home.  He has access to the Y for free.  His command pays for a membership for all the military.  If I could go to the Y, then I would not have to way for him to get home.  On nice days, I will take the kids out in the stroller.  There is a nice path that I see a lot of people using.  When the snow falls, we can go to the mall or something.

Part of the wellness is also my dental health.  I went to the dentist and while I don't have cavities, I do have gum disease.  My gums were inflamed.  And when I went to my cleaning, I had a sore on my gums that was not dental related.  I was having a bit of a flare.  I have to go back in a few weeks and if my gums still are not better, I will be on antibiotics.  Dental health is very important as it has effects on other parts of the body.  I need to be vigilant about flossing.  I am so lazy about that.  Last night, I flossed and rinsed.  It's a start.

I've also started doing smoothies.  They have fruits and vegetables in it.  DH drinks them for breakfast and lunch and then has a regular dinner.  One of his co-workers told him about the drinks and how he lost 30 pounds just drinking them for breakfast and lunch.  So, I am going to try this as well.  I just can't go on a major diet just yet as I am still nursing DS.

I also got vitamins to take.  My vitamin D level is very low!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dragons, Denim, and Tacos

Finally a break from the sweltering heat.  Who'd have thought 80 would be nice, LOL

On Saturday, we went to the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha.  On the website, it says you can save $2 if you purchase your tickets from Wal-Green's.  The kids were free, so we saved $4.  I also checked the website about parking, they have two parking lots.  The one that is closer to the gates cost $5 and the other one is free.  Both are on the grass.  We opted to be closer, so we paid the $5.  We still had a bit of a hike, but I guess it was better than in the free parking lot.

As we were walking through the gates, I noticed a little child dressed as Spiderman.  I was thinking, that yes, people do dress up, but not as Spiderman.  But then I was looking at the map and I guess this weekend was the costume contest.  There were quite a lot of people dressed up.  And not everyone was dressed for the time period.  I saw a cute couple dressed as Shrek and Fiona!  We did come across a grown up Spiderman as well.  There was a family with a little boy who loves Spiderman.  This spiderman let the little boy hug him and he posed with the boy for some photos.  What a nice gesture of a stranger.

The first thing we did was walk around.  This place is HUGE!  DD wanted to go on a carnival ride, so we went on a carousel ride.  It was $3 a rider.  The ride was human powered!  There were 4 guys who spun the carousel and then talked about their fantasy stuff.  I got a little dizzy.  We also went on a swing that was a pirate ship, which was also human powered.  This ride cost $3 a person or $5 for two people.  While DD and I were on the ride, we could see the elephant ride.  There was also a camel and a large white horse.  I was thinking maybe DD would like to ride the horse until I noticed something about that horse and started laughing so hard.  DH noticed the horse too.  For personal reasons, I've decided my children will not ride on other animals such as camels and elephants.  DH went with DD on a pirate ship for her to explore.  It cost $5 a person.  But with the pirate ship, you could stay as long as you like and come back later.  DH practically had to drag DD away.

We did get to see a show.  Adam Crack and his fire whip.  He was quite entertaining.  He holds 9 world records!  Pretty impressive.   We made note of the joust, but did not get to make it.

The last thing we did was get DD's face painted.  It was the first time she got her face painted.  She opted for a girl elephant.  Before bed, she had a bath and I thought it would be hard to clean her face.  Boy, am I glad I was wrong.  We just took a wipe to her face and the makeup came right off her face.

After the faire, we went to the outlets.  I knew they had a Stride Rite and I wanted to get DD some new shoes for school.  She has narrow feet and most of the shoes in Target or other shoes stores are for wider feet.  The store clerk, measured her feet and she grew!  We got her a pair of sneakers and a pair of boots.  I wanted to get her a pair of dress shoes, but they did not have the pair that DD liked in her size.

We also checked out the Osh Kosh store.  I wanted to get the kids a pair of overalls.  Kids look cute in them.  While we were there, they were having a sale on t-shirts.  Buy 1 get 2 free! So, the kids got 3 shirts each.  When checking out, I noticed some bears for sale.  DD was being so good, so I decided to get her and DS a bear.  Because my order was over $100, I got a $10 coupon which I used on the bears.  I got them for free!

We decided to check out a Mexican place on our way home.  The ombudsman for DH's command had mentioned a place called Jose's Blue Sombrero in Brookfield, Wisconsin.  The other day when I was coming home from the mall in Racine, I noticed a Jose's.  So, we stopped there for a late lunch early dinner.  I had Superman tacos.  They were steak and avacado. Very good!  DH got tacos with chicken, chorizo and bacon; very delicious!  We were very happy to finally have good Mexican food.  We may choose Jose's whenever we are out and about in either Brookfield or Racine.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Eeek! I did it again

I got some more diapers!

I went back to RG Natural Babies for some flushable liners.  In case DS has a poopy while we are away from the house, the poop will be on the liner and I just toss that in the toilet and flush.  And then I place the diaper in the travel wet bag.  Less mess.

The owner of RG Natural Babies, Michelle, is very nice, attentive, and informed.  I really liked that she gave me the attention I needed and provided insight on the various diaper brands.  She also took things so that I did not have to carry them around while I was browsing.  In addition to the diapers and flushable liners, I purchased some cloth wipes and reusable snack bags.

The reusable snack bags are Itzy Ritzy.  They can be machine washed and air dried or just wiped clean. They come in some fun designs. The smaller ones come in packs of two.

The cloth wipes are OsoCozy and come in a pack of 15 for $8.95. The liners are Tweedle Bug Bio Liners.  The liners worked awesome!  I just tossed the liner with the poop in the toilet and did not have to scrape or spray the diaper, which is good since the kids' toilet with the sprayer is out of commission.

Diapers:  I wanted to get some cute designs for DS.  Most of the cute designs are for girls, but I did find a few that I liked!

GroVia AIO Robot and Planes.  These are All in Ones (AIO). However, they are not pockets. There are snaps where you place the insert. These are cute boy designs.  The snaps for adjustment are on the side instead of the front like on the pocket diapers, it was a bit of a challenge with a squirmy kid, but I managed.  Assuming he had his poop earlier in the day, I did not put a flushable liner into the diaper.  Big mistake!  He had a poop and unlike the pocket diaper, the poop was everywhere.  I had to scrape the poop off the two liners and the shell.  What a mess.  I will remember to use a flushable liner when I use these diapers again.

BottomBumpers How cute is this guy! This diaper is plain black and has the giraffe on the butt. I saw it and had to buy it.  Like the GroVia, this is not a pocket diaper.  It has color coded snaps on the inside so you can snap in the correct size liner (daddy proof). In addition to being like the GroVia, the adjustment snaps are on the side.

BlueBerry  These diapers were cute too! The inserts are very long. You fold them in half and snap them to each other. I guess it makes it so it will hold more urine.  They worked very well over night!

Happy Heinys.  The Happy Heinys are made in the USA!  How cute is this one! Boy's best friend!

Friday, July 27, 2012

I remember you

Just sitting here thinking about mortality.

I have not been feeling too hot the past few weeks.  Thinking I am going through a flare.  I see the rheumatologist soon.  I am currently not on any medication.  I don't want to take anything while breastfeeding my soon.  He will be a year next month, I don't know if we will be ready to wean by then.  I think it might be a combination of things causing this flare.  The stress of the new move, the crazy weather, and lack of sleep.  Yes, for some reason, DS has not allowed me to sleep.  He demands to nurse about every hour or so at night.  And some nights, just when I think he has fallen asleep and try to get into a comfortable position, he's demanding to nurse again!  I try to make up for that during his afternoon nap.  He usually takes a 2 hour nap.   But we've had things disrupt our normal schedule, so no nap for me.  He's gotten his naps either in the car or being carried around.

Anyways, I've been pretty fortunate that my condition has not really affected any of my organs.  One of the medications I was on had some damaging results to my liver, but I was quickly taken off that medication and that was way before the kids came along.

I have known a few people to pass in the past couple years.  I am sad to think that I won't get to know how they are doing anymore.  I remember when my grandmother passed away.  I had seen her two years prior at my sister K's high school graduation.  Sometimes I have dreams with her in it and then in my dream, I remember she is dead, so I don't know if she is telling me a message.  But the dreams with her are never scary.  She was a kind woman, from what I remember of her.

A former co-worker and great friend just passed.  He actually passed on DH's birthday.  I remember when he told me he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, but not to say anything to anyone.  I was naive and thought stage 4 was the least to worry about and figured since he did not want people knowing, it was not that bad.  But then I googled it and was devastated at what I read.  He did not want people worrying about him.  I enjoyed reading his posts on facebook and seeing photos.  He was so proud of his family.  His eyes twinkled when he spoke of his wife and kids.  That's what I will remember about him, he loved his family!  So anyways, his wife C posted something about busting him out, which made me think he was getting better.  And then I saw a post about his viewing!  I was saddened.  I should have stopped by before we left Virginia.  I had a dream before he passed that I visited him in the hospital and that he purchased my parents home and created a huge play house for his daughter.  His kids were the age I remembered seeing them last and not at their current ages.

Last week, my sister J texted me that one of our cousins had died.  An autopsy report is still being drafted.  The last time I saw my cousin he might have been 8 or 9.  He was probably 25 or 26 when he died.  I know it was a long time since seeing him.  I have not seen a lot of family members since I graduated high school and joined the service.

I need to start saving for a trip to visit my family in Florida.  We have not been home since DD was about 18 months.  That means nobody has met DS.  My sister E might be the first to meet him since she lives about 6.5 hours away.  We just need to make a plan that works with her busy schedule.  MIL is coming for Thanksgiving.  FIL has never met any of the kids.  We have not seen him since we attended his wedding in 2001!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

chicken and bats

I may come off as ignorant or maybe a jerk because I don't post the same stuff everyone else does when breaking news happens.  Why should I?  Everyone else is posting about it and I don't need to (a) be another sheep, (b) give the story more hype.  Plus I may not have enough information yet to pose an educated stance.

While it was a tragedy what happened in Colorado, I think the lunatic who committed those atrocious hate crimes does not deserve to have any extra attention.  He should rot in a cell, death penalty would be nice, but a slow excruciating death might be better.

Now people are posting they are afraid to go to the movies... I wonder if they are just posting that to have something to post on facebook or if they are genuinely scared.

And as far as the chicken goes... Boycott all you want.

I have friends with various backgrounds, morals, beliefs, etc.  Just because they don't go with the norm does not mean I am not going to unfriend them.  We all have our choices.  If you choose to unfriend me because I don't want to jump in your wagon, so be it.  But know that I chose to be your friend knowing that we were different and enjoyed the fact that I can have friends who are not like me.  If I only had friends who were like me, I'd be very lonely.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Apples and Oranges

So far the summer is going well. I guess this week was the last week for the summer reading program! I thought summer went until September, oh well. We put raffle tickets in all the box for DD. Hopefully, she will win something. If not, she has been having fun going to the library for the activities and checking out books and reading!
I sent off her application and registration check for preschool. She will be attending twice a week for about 2 hours. The school follows a Montesorri format. I also registered her for dance class which also follows a preschool curriculum. She will go one day a week. The library will also have story time for her age group every other week. I want to try to keep her busy. I took her to the doctor to get her medical paperwork signed. She is in the 90th percentile for both height and weight.
I just need to find something for DS. Our library is not having the infant program until January, so we may check out another library and hope the time is compatible with DD's schedule.
We've made a friend. She has a little girl. We've done a few things with her. It's nice finally getting to do stuff with people.
We checked out a cool store called RG Natural Babies that has tons of cloth diapers. It's nice to have a brick and mortar store. This store also has various carriers too. I may do a comparison between the Beco Gemini (which I have) with the baby K'tan, baby hawk, and the ergo. I like that the ergo has a hood and a pocket.
I also got an amber teething necklace for DS.

It's funny how much my DD reminds me of both my brother and sister. She has this squinty thing she does with her eye and that is something that my brother and older nephew did. And then she can give the evil eye, the one my sister gave to people whenever they asked if we were sisters, LOL
I wish we had old photos of DH and his siblings to compare the kids to.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baking, Cleaning, Books!

Been busy doing various things for the past few weeks.  Most of our weeks include trips to the library, swimming, and cleaning (diapers, dishes, floors).

Though about joining the Y. A membership seemed reasonable, but they charge an extra $30 for child watch. In Virginia, child watch was included in the membership... the $30 extra is not in the budget especially if I want to use that towards dance or swim lessons. I can use the fitness room that the condo has, but I have to coordinate with DH.

I have done a bit of baking. My first batch was a disaster, I needed a thermometer to make sure the water was not too hot for the yeast. After I got a thermometer things went better. At first, I just made simple yeast breads. This week, I made cheese bread and challa. I don't think the challa came out right, but the cheese bread is yum!

I finally got around to getting my craft room set up, well as good as it is going to get for now. Once I get with my sister and she takes some of her stuff back, I might have more room. I am also going to give her a few things like my wall rack since I am not allowed to put anything on the walls.

The Craft Room before the movers arrived

Lots of boxes

The Craft Room

Cloth diapering is going well. I have a little spatula to scoop the poop into the toilet. I know they make little showers that you install on the toilet, but they are not in the budget right now and I am not sure if we are allowed to install one. I also got DS a swim diaper that can be washed.  DS has discovered the velcro straps on some of the diapers and likes to strip himself naked. I may have to get a few more with snaps. I could put shorts on him, but when we are home, I don't want to confine his thunder thighs.

In his swim diaper

In his home attire

DD is doing well. She enjoys going to the library. I am sending her application for preschool. She will be going two days a week. She needs the interaction and she is very smart. She can write her name! I am debating on what to do for an activity for her, like swim lessons or dance.

Summer Fun

Saturday, we were invited to DH's boss' home for a grill out. It was a nice get together and I got to meet some other family members. I decided to make a Thank You card for the family.

I used some of the new In Colors from Stampin' Up! I wanted to use the popsickle stamp for a while and finally got a chance.

Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Gumball Green, Raspberry Ripple, Whisper White
Ink: Raspberry Ripple, Gumball Green, Summer Starfruit, Sahara Sand
Stamp Sets: Rue Des Fleurs, Mouthwatering
Tools: Paper Trimmer, Modern Label Punch, 1-3/4" Scallop Circle
Ribbon: Taffeta
Techniques: Huffing, Sponging

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's a scorcher!

This week has been quite hot! And it's only Tuesday! LOL

Yesterday, DD asked to go to the park and asked where all the kids were when we got there... I told her it was too hot, so we went home. She was upset, but I could not justify keeping DS in that heat.

I then cleaned up their toys downstairs. I put DD's bed in our bedroom. She says she will sleep in her bed if we get her a dream lite.  I put a bookshelf where her bed was and created a reading corner for the kids. I also switched dressers for the kids. DS's dresser is now next to the changing table and I can keep his cloth diapers in one of the drawers.
Cloth diapering is going well. I purchased a few more diapers shortly after I tried them, so I was not constantly washing. I also put in another order for 4 more kissaluvs to go with the wraps and I ordered larger pre-folds and snappis, since the ones I received were a bit small for my chunkster
When finances permit, I will invest in a diaper shower.

Last week, I created a meal plan for the next two weeks and went grocery shopping. I went to 3 different places to get better deals and because trying to carry all those bags with two kids in the sweltering heat was not happening.  Instead of just having the usual spaghetti and tacos, I went through a few cookbooks and got ideas. I also factored in what we would have for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. I think $300 is not too bad for 2 weeks for 3.5 people... I say 3.5 because DS does eat some stuff. I may have to make a run midway for milk and produce.  I've decided to attempt to bake my own bread. Not that bread is expensive, but fresh bread is always yummy

Trying to think what to do with DD for an activity. I don't want to overload her with too much stuff, but I would like her to do something to build confidence and coordination. A few options include dance, swim, gymnastics, and ice skating.  I also plan on enrolling her in pre-school. She needs the interaction and she is very smart. I am so happy to see her write her own name, but I think she needs to understand how to grip the pencil better.

I ordered some stuff to meet my quarterly quota from Stampin' Up! I don't know if this will be my last order, I hope not. I still need to unpack my craft room, but watching kids and not having storage space has left me unmotivated. I did purchase some clear tubs to store my stamps. I am putting them in by category such as holiday, sentiments, nature, etc. Hopefully that will help keep me organized. I hope that once I get everything set up in the craft room that I will use it more often and the kids will do crafts too.

DH's birthday is next week. I got him a few things and I need to order him a star wars cake. If I had a friend who is a local baker, I would ask... but since I know nobody, and don't want to drag the kids around looking for a good bakery, I am just going to order from the grocery store. I like their cakes most of the time.

Safety Week

Last week, we took it easy

Monday, we had a playdate at local park. DD got to play with some kids she played with from the last playdate. This park had a zip line thing and she asked to go on it. She liked it. She can be a bit of daredevil. She may not be that coordinated, but with the park, she is gaining more confidence.

Tuesday, we story time at the library. This week's theme was fighting fires. After the stories, we walked to the fire station that is next to the library. The kids got to get in the fire engine and check out the ambulance and get a tour of the station.  DS started getting cranky, so we did not tour the station.

We had spaghetti for dinner. I put some on DS tray for his booster seat. He loved it and loved feeding himself (with his hands). We strip the kids down for spaghetti night and we also schedule spaghetti night around bath night.  Well, DS has had a rash since we left VA. Don't know if its from the pool chemicals or exczema... Let's say after he was done eating, he started rubbing the spaghetti on his belly and then he became distressed. I stopped in the middle of dinner and started a bath for him to get all that spaghetti off him.... I know, I know, should have used a bib!

Wednesday, the library was having another thing for kids, but DD decided she did not want to go to the library. So she played with Play-Doh and then we baked cookies.  She then rode her balance bike to the mailbox. DS's new diapers arrived!

Hoping to get a loaf pan this weekend so I can start baking bread. I got one the other day, but as I was bringing the bag, my wrist let go (arthritis) and I dropped it on the ground and it shattered.

Thursday, we went to the library for another magic show