Monday, October 22, 2012

Cute, but the answer is still "no!"

My three year old found a penny, and he was tossing it around the living room. I asked him to stop, because I didn't want him to break anything.
"Okay," he answered. I could tell he was disappointed, but I was proud of him for accepting my answer.
Ten seconds later...
"Mommy, will you please change your mind?"

Excuse me, I need to let my boys throw pennies outside for a while!

One of Life's Great Mysteries

Does anyone know how the blades of a ceiling fan which has been running non-stop since mid-May can get so filthy? Seriously, how can that much dust collect on a moving object?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Talk about a bargain!

Honey scored a GREAT deal at Kohl's earlier this week. We had $50 Kohl's cash, plus our credit card had a $50 credit balance. He needed a nicer pair of tan-colored slacks, since he only had a pair of Docker's twill trousers in that color. And I also wanted to look for some black church shoes for the boys.

We didn't like any of the boys' shoes they offered, but Honey found a pair of slacks that didn't need to be altered! (He's an odd size, so scoring a pair of slacks that fit him right off the rack is like winning the lottery!) He also found a Chaps wool blazer that fit him right off the rack too. He looked GOOD in that blazer. I mean "hubba hubba" good!!

After the Kohl's cash, we put the rest of the balance on the credit card to let our credit balance pay the remainder. All total, the slacks and blazer cost us a whoppin' $14.16. Not bad!!

Bonus...we got $10 more in Kohl's cash!

(I feel a little guilty about scoring such a deal...just a little guilty. I'll get over it.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

Our whole family (yes, even our daughter was able to join us!) went to our local pumpkin "patch" recently. As you'll see in the photos, it's not a pumpkin patch per se, but rather a whole bunch of picked pumpkins on display for purchase. We had a lot of fun!

Monday, October 15, 2012

That's Whole-Grain Heresy!

I am a firm believer in using whole grains whenever possible. I use 100% whole wheat pasta, I use whole wheat flour to make pancakes, waffles, muffins, and I make (sometimes buy) 100% whole wheat bread. I am a big fan of King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, because it's milder and lighter than the usual red hard wheat we Americans are accustomed to. (Incidentally, the white whole wheat is what's usually used in Europe. Just a bit of trivia for ya!) I also like King Arthur Brand because it's made from 100% American wheat, and the employees own the company. (No, I am not receiving any compensation for recommending this particular brand. I just like it.)

But I think I'm the only person who buys the King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour at my favorite grocery store, because I've noticed that the flour is becoming more and more "off" tasting lately. Kind of like it's on the verge of going rancid. It also has an "off" odor to it. I don't think it's a factory problem, I really do think I'm the only one buying the product, so it sits on the grocery store shelf too long. (Sometimes the flour bags have a slight layer of dust on top of them. I used to think it was flour "seepage," but now I think it's actual dust from sitting out too long.)

There's no way I can afford to buy a high-quality grain mill right now to grind my own fresh flour. And I can't afford to pay shipping on flour from mail-order, either.

So I have decided to commit the ultimate, unspeakable act among whole-grain advocates: I am going back to white flour (*GASP!*) I have been buying King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour lately, with good results.

My guilt is eased by the fact that even though I am making white bread products, I am still using only pronounce-able ingredients, no preservatives, and no artificial weird "stuff." (Hello, have you ever read the ingredient list on a store bought loaf of 100% whole wheat bread? Yikes!) And my boys give me the best compliment when they eat my homemade bread--they eat the crust! They won't touch the crust of store-bought bread, but they gobble up every bit of my bread. (Yeah, I'm feelin' pretty good about myself right now! Ha!)

If we ever move to a larger town with more "crunchy" citizens who help keep the whole wheat flour inventory at a good turnover rate, I'll happily go back to whole wheat. But until then, I'd rather buy fresh white flour than rancid whole wheat flour.

My most recent batch of homemade bread, with the white flour:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Trying to Get Back on Track

Been out of the blogging loop for a while. My youngest son's stomach flu also found my older son and me. Ugh, that was rough...I'll spare you the details, but let's just say I had a LOT of laundry to do this past week.

Honey came home early from work yesterday with the same tummy bug. I counted back to mid August, and since then at least one or more people in my family have been sick. I don't mean little irritating colds, but stomach bugs, strep throat, and the cocksackie virus. This back-to-school season hit us HARD.

Okay, enough of my belly-aching (literally and figuratively).

I got my whole house cleaned AND disinfected, so I pray we are all healthy now for a good long time. I followed the nifty flow chart of my new blogging friend Becca at Making Room: Our Life in Sicily. Seriously, I did almost everything on the chart (sans dusting the baseboards-- no way that's gonna happen so soon after the vomit virus!) and I didn't do the outdoor chores. The whole process only took 2 hours start to finish. By some miraculous gift of God, my boys were content and happy during the whole time, only needing minor things like sippy cup refills.

I am going to use this flow chart on a permanent basis, I think. The only modification is that each load of my laundry takes longer to finish than the flow chart says, so I need to find a way to make the "switch laundry" portion of the flow chart work for my particular laundry needs. But otherwise, it's a great way to finish a no-brainer house cleaning. Since all I needed to do was the next thing on the list, I didn't have to think through "should I dust or vacuum first?" I just did what the list told me to, and the house got sparkly clean.

I was so impressed with the chart the first time I did it, I actually referenced it the next day to keep up with what I had done. I didn't strip the beds and wash the sheets, but I did scan through the list chart to maintain the previous day's work. My older boy was excited to help me.  He has his own "chore list" of wiping the dining room table, feeding the pets, and picking up his toys. I think he was intrigued by the idea that Mommy has a chore list too. (And seriously, my son LOVES to dust and vacuum. I tell y'all, I'm taking advantage of that for as long as possible!)

So a big thank you to Becca! Your flow chart helped me tremendously!

Friday, October 5, 2012

I'm the Worst Mom EVER!

Honey and I have been working in earnest with our youngest boy on sleeping through the night. He's 2 years old, and regularly wakes up at least twice each night. That's crazy! Honey used to feel sorry for him and let him crawl up into the bed with us. But I told him that enough was enough, and the boy needs to stay in his own bed already. We've been telling him very firmly before bedtime each night that he is not allowed to get out of bed, cry, etc. He needs to be quiet and stay asleep.

Two nights ago he actually slept all night long! Yes! Victory and a full night's sleep at long last!! I felt so great yesterday, I actually shampooed the living room carpets.

Last night, I heard him wake up coughing, but he didn't cry or get out of bed, so I just left well enough alone.

At least I thought he was well enough...

This morning he woke up and went to find Honey in the living room. Honey said, "Boy, you stink!"

I was still in bed, so I thought maybe he had an extra-early dirty diaper.

Uhm...Nope...that wasn't it.

Then I heard Honey yelling out to me, "Stacie, I need your help NOW!"

My baby had thrown up all over himself in his bed in the middle of the night and didn't let us know. He didn't cry, get out of bed, or anything. (Just like I've been trying to teach him...I'm feeling like the meanest person in the world today.)

This was a a nasty mess! He was running a fever too, and screamed throughout the whole bath I gave him.

He's still sick, and he's been vomiting about every half hour. Not even Emetrol, the miracle no-puke medicine, is helping. I have no idea what bug my son caught, but I'm praying that no one else gets it.

The mounds of laundry I've been washing all morning are nothing compared to the immense guilt I feel over the lectures I gave my sweet baby boy about staying in bed all night.

The new night-time talk? No getting out of bed except if you're sick (or have a nightmare).

Here's my boy this morning...He's decided that he doesn't want to lie on the sofa, and the blankets I set up on the floor aren't comfortable for him either. He only wants to lie right here, directly on the carpet. (Which, by the way, now need to be cleaned again...I didn't take a picture of can thank me later.)

Hopefully he'll be back to his happy self very soon!