Thursday, July 31, 2008

Conversations with my Daughter

A couple of weeks ago, Sarah Beth and I were playing with one of her puzzles, an alphabet puzzle. As she held up a letter, I would tell her what it was. She's only two, so I did not expect her to retain any of it. We were just playing. The first letter was t, so I said, "tee." She repeated back to me, "teeth," er, "teef." Next was a q, so "que," and she said, "cute." Then there was a k which became "cake." Isn't it funny how her little mind translated the sounds I was telling her into things she understood?

Monday she kept saying "peekakue, peekakue." I hate to admit it, but sometimes I tune her out when she talks to me because I'm busy. (Isn't that awful? Please tell me that I'm not the only one. Please.) Finally, I heard her, and I still didn't understand what she was saying, that is, until she put her hands over her face. Someone has been playing peekaboo with her! And the way she says "peekakue" is so cute. I think the someone is in the nursery at church. We used to play peekaboo with her, but it's been a while. Hmmm. Maybe we should start again since she seems to enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WIP Wednesday

I do have a work in progress, but I cannot show it to you. It's a surprise! But not for you. Sorry. Maybe later.

However, if you do have one, you ought to join us over at the Place of H for Work in Progess Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Weekend

In case you were wondering, I thought I would tell you about my past weekend. It was my first time back to work since December and John's first time to take care of both children by himself longer than a couple of hours. It was also my first time to work in this store since I changed stores when we moved.

First of all, John did great with the children. Daniel took his bottles just fine which was the biggest concern. Sarah Beth was her normal sweet self, although I think she was a little too helpful when John was feeding Daniel. The biggest problem was that John felt house-bound, and he needs to be able to get out and about. Next time, I will help him figure out a way to get out for a little while with the children.

Work went well, much better than I expected or even hoped. There was plenty of help (technicians) on Saturday, and Sunday one of the pharmacists came in for a little while because we were a little short on help. We did a bunch of prescriptions, but there were no major problems so things went smoothly.

Actually, there was one big problem: my password was expired on the computer. What does that mean? Well, basically, the pharmacy was shut down before it even opened. I was unable to log into the computer system so I could do no work. Since I could do no work, prescriptions could not be filled. Thankfully, I got there early so I was able to get a temporary ID and password. I'm still not sure what the problem was; it worked two weeks ago when I went in. Let me just say that I panicked for a few minutes.

The layout of this pharmacy is different from the old place I worked. Before, I worked at a window where customers could ask me questions. Now my work station is set back a little from the customers so they cannot just ask me a question. This is a good thing, especially for me and my personality. Let me explain. As a pharmacist, I am responsible for making sure that the right patient gets the right medication at the right dose with the right frequency. I hate to be interupted by stupid questions. (Yes, there are such things as stupid questions.) For example, one time a woman asked me if we carried fish. No, not in the pharmacy we don't carry fish. If she wanted fish to eat, she ought to look in the grocery department; if she wanted a pet fish, the place to look is in the pet department. I was polite, but it was exasperating. I don't mind the questions people ask when they are sick and need advice; I'm glad to help because that's why I'm there. I don't much care for the questions of where things are. I don't usually know because I don't work very often (every four weeks), so I cannot remember where things are. And I don't have time to help someone look. However, the technicians know, and they are glad to help. Anyway, I write all of this to say that I came home much less tired this weekend than usual because I did not have to deal with so many people -- and their stupid questions.

Oh, boy, my legs and feet sure hurt, though. Ten hours on your feet will do it!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Glorifying My Husband Week Four

  1. Ask your husband, "What are your goals for the week?"
  2. Ask your husband, "How can I help you accomplish these goals?"
  3. Ask your husband, "Is there anything I can do differently that would make it easier for you?"
  4. Be organized with cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, and cooking. As you fulfill your God-given responsibilities, your husband is then free to do his work.

When John and I talked last night, he said that his goals for this week involved work, and there is nothing I can do to help him with those. He also said that he cannot think of anything that I can do to make things easier for him.

5. Save some of your energy every day for him.

This is a hard one with two littles. They wear me out most days, but I started putting Daniel down at 9:00 instead of 9:30 hoping to spend a little extra time with John at night.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Recipe Fun Friday

I got this recipe for Crockpot Coq au Vin from A Year of Crockpotting. I forgot to take a picture, but you can go to this blog for one. I love using my crockpot for many reasons, one of which is that I can fix supper in the morning and not have to worry about it again. Another is the wonderful smells that waft through my house all day long as supper cooks.

Here is the recipe:

Crockpot Coq au Vin
--6 to 8 frozen chicken thighs (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
--6 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
--8 oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms
--1 cup baby carrots (I used more because I like carrots)
--1 chopped yellow onion
--3 cloves chopped or minced garlic
--1/2 t black pepper
--1/2 t kosher salt
--1/2 cup chicken broth
--1 1/2 cup cheap red wine
--2 large fresh thyme sprigs (I used dried thyme because I already had some)

Cook and crumble your bacon. Place the chicken into your crockpot and throw in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Serve with mashed potatoes or your favorite pasta. I served it over pasta, although mashed potatoes would be good, I think.

The taste was a bit strong; it was the red wine. If I make it again, I won't use as much red wine. It wasn't good enough to say that I will definitely make it again, but it wasn't bad so I can't say that I will never make it again.

What about you? Did you try something new this week? If so, let us know!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Very Superior


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

If I lived back in the 1930's, I would make a superior housewife. I'm not sure how that makes me feel. I hope that I make a good housewife in the 2000's. John, how am I doing? I found this over at Jenni's blog One Thing. (She did much better with a 98.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WIP Wednesday

Continuing with my Christmas theme, I crocheted a coaster today. They don't take very long which makes them a nice diversion from a bigger project. I really like this pattern; it looks very poinsettia-ish, doesn't it? I only have two stockings done, but I have plans for at least two more. (I am not thrilled with my last one, so I may not use it.) I will get back to them when I can. If you do any kind of craftwork, you ought to join Mrs. H for Work-in-Progress Wednesday. (I know of two women who said they were going to start or resume crocheting; I don't want to call names, but I will if I have to. Let us see how things are progressing for you.)

My Children

Guess what I discovered last night? Sarah Beth talks in her sleep! I was downstairs watching tv, waiting for John to get home, and I heard her upstairs talking in her room. It is unusual not to hear her after putting her down at bedtime, so I just thought she was still awake. When I went to bed, I stopped by her room, opened the door, went to her crib, and said, "You need to go to sleep." Then I realized that she hadn't moved when I walked in. I expected a giggle, but there wasn't one. All I heard was the deep breathing of sleep. Oops! I'm glad that I didn't wake her up. I guess talking in her sleep is another thing that Sarah Beth gets from me; I had a whole conversation with my college roommates one night while I was asleep.

My other news is that Daniel can sit up by himself! We discovered that Monday night. I don't have pictures yet because he cannot do it for very long, and I don't want him to fall over as I take the picture and scare himself.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Glorifying My Husband Week Three

Since John did not have much for me to do for him last week I was able to get it all accomplished! For our review, here are the first three from the list of Glorifying My Husband in The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace:
  1. Ask your husband, "What are your goals for the week?"
  2. Ask your husband, "How can I help you accomplish these goals?"
  3. Ask your husband, "Is there anything I can do differently that would make it easier for you?"

Our goal for the week has to do with Friday night. We are having several people over from church, and we have some things that we would like to have done before they come. We got our new bookshelves last week (I'll try to post pictures tomorrow), and I need to get the books on them. John did his part of leveling them and anchoring them to the wall. As you well know, the books in our house are MY domain. I have a not-so secret wish to be a librarian. I also need to get and keep the house in order. I plan on preparing the lasagna on Thursday so all I need to do Friday is stick it in the oven.

And here is number 4: Be organized with cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, and cooking. As you fulfill your God-given responsibilities, your husband is then free to do his work.

I try to keep things organized, but I confess that I have a hard time putting the laundry away. Since I start back to work this weekend, I really need to have things together so that John has as easy a time as possible while I am gone. I have a couple of casseroles frozen in the freezer that he can prepare for supper, and I plan to keep the laundry done AND put away. I think we have enough groceries to get us into next week, but I will make sure by Thursday. That's all I can think of, but as other things come to my mind, I will add them to my list.

By the way, I have supper in the crockpot, and it smells so good. I will tell you more about it on Friday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Recipe Fun Friday

First of all, I have good news! Daniel took a bottle yesterday, one with a normal nipple, not that obscene one. Thank goodness.

A couple of weeks ago, John and I bought an ice-cream maker because our church was having an ice-cream social. It came with a recipe booklet, and there was a recipe for frozen strawberry yogurt. That recipe sounded yummy to me, so I fired up the ice-cream maker this week and made it. The only problem with this yogurt is that the strawberries are frozen. When I mentioned this to John, he laughed and said, "What do you expect?" Then he suggested chopping them up in a food processor, and I think I will try that next time.

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt
(this recipe is for a 4-quart ice-cream maker)
8 cups plain yogurt
3 cups frozen, sliced strawberries in syrup, thawed
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups whipping cream

Freeze as directed.

I did not have any frozen, sliced strawberries in syrup, but I did have some strawberries that I had frozen, so I used those, and they worked fine.

What new recipe did you try this week? Please share!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bottlefeeding Saga Day 6

John did not get home last night until 9:00, and I was already feeding Daniel to put him to bed. Oh, well. Hopefully, he will be earlier tonight. This morning I am meeting a couple of ladies to go swimming (our children will swim while we talk), and I may get one of them to try a bottle with apple juice.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

High School?

blog readability test

I saw this on Ivy's blog and was curious about the readability of mine. High school level. Is that good or bad? What do you think?

As an aside, can you tell that John is very busy at work this week? I don't usually blog in the evening because that is when we spend time together, but here I am. I just hope he gets home in time to try one of the new bottles.

Bottlefeeding Saga Day 5

I condensed days 1-4 of our bottlefeeding (or trying) for you in my last post. Right now, I am boiling the two bottles we are going to try next. (Why are you supposed to sterilize bottles when you buy them? Are they more contaminated than the plates and cups we use? I mean, I don't sterilize those before we use them; I just wash them. Something to think about.) Anyway, the two bottles that have the best chance in my mind are the Mam and the Adiri. Daniel takes a Mam pacifier, and the nipple on the bottle looks similar. The Adiri, well, you just have to look at it to see why it might work. John said that we could not take that kind of bottle to church! (I just had to include a picture of it.)

When John gets home tonight, I will pump a little bit for him to try with one of our new bottles. I wish I could do it myself; I am here all day with the little stinker and could try every, single time he eats. But we all know that babies don't usually take a bottle from their mother, at least, when you first try. Ugh!

Why, oh, why didn't I listen to my mother? She advised me to give Daniel a bottle occasionally just so he would take one.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Weekend

I have time right now, so I will tell you about my "bad" weekend. Daniel is asleep in his carseat right now (busy day), and I'm waiting for him to wake up so I can feed him. Then I'm going to start supper. Sarah Beth is busy undressing her doll.

It all started Friday night. There was a going away party for John's boss, and we got a babysitter to keep Sarah Beth and Daniel. It was the first time I had left Daniel with anyone for an extended period of time. We left home about 6:30; at 7:15 my body told me it was time to feed Daniel; five minutes later John's phone rang. It was the babysitter calling because Daniel would not take the bottle. Thankfully, the party was close to home, so I ran home to feed him and ran back to the party. (I did not literally run; I drove.)

Saturday I went into work. For the record, I hate going to work. Since we moved, I am starting at a different store which means that I have to learn the new layout and meet all my new co-workers. I went in Saturday to get familiar with things and meet people. I could not stay long for obvious reasons. I discovered that this store is a lot busier than my old one. I go back to work for real in two weeks, and all of a sudden it's here -- in two weeks. I'm not ready. Daniel's not ready. Thankfully, it is just one weekend a month.

What are we going to do? Saturday I pumped an ounce, poured it directly into a bottle, and John tried to give it to Daniel. Nope. He pushes the bottle away. We tried apple juice. Nope. A couple of friends are going to let me borrow different bottles to try. We just got back from Babies R Us where we bought one of every kind of nipple they had. (There's one that looks promising; it looks real if you know what I mean.)

Did you hear the panic in my voice in the last paragraph? What are we going to do? I guess the worse case scenario is that I won't go back to work yet (wouldn't that be nice!), but they are counting on my working so I don't feel right doing that. Will John have to bring the children to Wal-Mart every three to four hours for me to feed Daniel? Would I even have time? I guess I would have to make time. If you have any suggestions, please, please leave a comment. Thank you!

Glorifying My Husband Week Two

Last week, I started a series to work on improving my marriage and hopefully yours, too, in the process, with a list of Eighteen Ways a Wife May Glorify Her Husband from The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. Here are numbers one and two that we looked at last week:

1. Ask your husband, "What are your goals for the week?"
2. Ask your husband, "How can I help you to accomplish these goals?"

Last week, I accomplished most of what John wanted me to get done, all of those awful phone calls. I did not, however, get the remaining boxes in the empty upstairs bedroom unpacked. That task was carried over to this week.

For this week, John knew it would be busy and that I still needed to unpack those boxes, so he did not give me anything else to do this week.

Here is number 3 for this week: Ask your husband, "Is there anything that I can do differently that would make it easier for you?"

John could not think of anything, but I think part of that was that I had a bad weekend (more about that tomorrow) and he did not want to burden me. I'm sure he will come up with something next week!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

I do not usually participate in Super Savings Saturday over at Money Saving Mom, but I scored some great deals at Target yesterday, and I just wanted to show them off. Aren't those gloves and gardening bag cute? They were half-price and will make a great gift for Sarah Beth's third birthday next May. (I hope to have a garden then, and these will let her help.) The shirt was on sale, but I cannot remember how much it was. The best deals, however were on the diapers and wipes. The diapers were on sale from $9.99 to $8.49. I had Target coupons for $5 and $3 off one pack of diapers and one pack of wipes. I also had manufacturer's coupons for $1 off one pack of diapers and $0.50 off the wipes. (Unfortunately, I only had one of the coupons for wipes; I lost the other one somewhere on the way.) The long and short of it is that I spent $18.66 for $32.10 worth of diapers and wipes. Basically, I got both packs of 231 wipes for free. Not bad, huh?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Recipe Fun Friday

I have to admit that I did not try any new recipes this week. I meant to try Chicken Divan, but yesterday I got the chicken out of the freezer to thaw and forgot about it. Four hours later, I remembered the poor chicken and had to throw it away. Oh, well. But these are new recipes that I have tried since our last Recipe Fun Friday. (By the way, thanks to Babychaser for the title.)

Plain crescent rolls, right?

Nope! There is chocolate inside! I found this recipe in Real Simple magazine, and it is really simple. Take plain, old crescent rolls that you buy, put chocolate chips on them, and then roll them up. Easy and yummy!

I got this recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook. It is a treasure trove of cooking and baking ideas and tips. This Apple Oven Pancake is delicious. I like having some kind of fruit with breakfast; it makes it feel more healthy.

Apple Oven Pancake
2 tablespoons stick margarine or butter
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup thinly sliced, peeled baking apple
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 400. Melt margarine in pie plate (9 x 1 1/4 inches) in oven, brush margarine on side of pie plate.
Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over melted margarine in pie plate. Arrange apple over sugar-mixture.
Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl. Beat in remaining ingredients.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Immediately loosen edge of pancake and turn upside down onto heatroof serving plate.
What new recipe have you tried lately? If you haven't tried a new recipe recently, why don't you join us. Pick one out, and join us next week.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Verbal Pet Peeves

Our local news/talk radio station had a segment this morning on things people say that bug them. A couple of their examples were "irregardless" instead of regardless and "pacifically" instead of specifically. I did not hear the whole segment, but I immediately thought of two I used to hear every day: "I need to get my subscription filled, and I want the genetic." What kinds of messed up English do you hear? Please share so we can all have a good laugh.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cutting Your Budget

I just had to post about this story I saw this morning. While I feed Daniel in the morning, I usually turn on the television to catch some news. This morning I watched the Today show, and they had a story on a family who cut their budget in half...for a week. For a week? Anyone can do that! The story got more and more ridiculous as it went on. This family's usual spending for a week is $660. I don't know if that includes gas or not. In order to cut their spending, she gave up her weekly manicures and pedicures, and he cut his own grass. They did not go to the movies as usual; instead they went to a free water park which their children love. On the weekend, it was a "perfect day to go to the mall and go shopping." Since they could not do that, they went to the park and fed the ducks. I did not catch what happened to their $150 grocery budget (yes, that is per week), but they did not go out to eat as much. Usually, they go to Chick-fil-A for lunch a couple of times a week and out to dinner several times. I cannot fathom throwing money around like this. Can you? At the end of the story, they had not cut their budget in half; they had spent only $190 instead of their usual $660. I hope they learned something from this. I sure didn't.

This story reminds me of another feature on one of the weekend morning shows. I don't remember which one it was because it's been a couple of years since I saw it. The show featured a segment on Cooking on a Shoestring. The first time I saw it, I was excited. I am always looking for a good, cheap recipe. Do you know what their "shoestring" was? Forty dollars! For forty dollars, they could cook a three course meal (salad, meat and veggie, and dessert) for two people. Did you catch that? Forty dollars to feed two people for one meal with no leftovers! I was sadly disappointed. John and I can go out to eat for less than $40 and have leftovers.

These media people are seriously out of touch with "real" Americans.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Early Morning

Yesterday morning, Daniel woke up at 4:45 wanting to eat. I hoped he would go back to sleep, but he didn't, so at 5:00 I got up and fed him. I had him back in the bed at 5:30, and I decided to stay up since I wanted to get up at 6:00 anyway. (If I had climbed back into bed, I would not have gotten back out at 6:00.) I got so much accomplished yesterday morning. I read my Bible, fixed breakfast, put some clothes in the wash, pumped, ate breakfast, blogged, and cleaned our bathroom all before either of the children woke up. It was so nice! I must admit that Daniel did not wake back up until 8:15 and Sarah Beth not until 8:45.

This morning I climbed out of bed at 6:15. There is something pleasant about being the only one awake in the morning. (John had already left for work. I just cannot do like Marva and get up at 4:30 with my husband.) The house is still and quiet, a different kind of stillness and quiet than at naptime. I enjoy it. I don't enjoy getting up early to experience it, though. My cousin Angela wrote the other day about sleeping until 9:00; it must be nice! She had better enjoy it while she can!

After blogging about helping John with his goals yesterday, he came up with a few more for me last night: calling about our furniture, calling our financial investor guy, and calling about our power bill. I HATE making phone calls. With a passion! But I will do it because he asked me to.

On a different note, we will show off our new recipes this Friday. I know I said we would do it last Friday, but I forgot it was Independence Day.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Glorifying My Husband Week One

I have been reading The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace lately. I have not gotten very far because, as you know, after the time spent on chores, children, and husband, there is not much time for reading. Peace makes an interesting point, one I had not heard before, "Just as Christ glorified the Father by doing the Father's 'work,' you are to glorify your husband by doing the husband's 'work.' Your role is to glorify your husband. You were created for him."

Think about that for a minute. We are to glorify our husbands. Glorify. I have heard a lot about submission to my husband, and I have heard about honoring and obeying him. But glorify him? I had not heard that one before.

A few pages later, Peace gives a helpful list: Eighteen Ways a Wife May be the Glory of Her Husband. I decided to go through the list one (or two) a week, and I thought you might find it helpful as well. Honestly, though, I need the accountability that you give me to continue what I start.

Here I go, starting a series. My goal is to improve my marriage. My hope is that you will find this series helpful to your marriage as well.

1. Ask your husband, "What are your goals for the week?"
2. Ask your husband, "How can I help you to accomplish these goals?"

This concept of goals for the week is a new one for us. Last week, the only thing on John's list was cleaning out the library for our new bookshelves. (They didn't come or else you would know.)

This week, John wants me to call the garbage people. We have a mattress and a couple of big boxes that need to be picked up but will not fit in our can. I guess the goal is to get rid of the trash. He also needs me to get his prescription refilled.

No, these goals are not huge, life-altering goals, but they are a start. It is better to take baby steps than no steps at all.

Next week, we will review numbers 1 and 2 before moving on to number 3.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

WIP Wednesday

It's time for Work-in-Progress Wednesday again, hosted by Mrs. H at the Place of H. As you can see, I "finished" the stocking I was working on last week. I say "finished" because I did not sew it together. It is my template for the rest of the stockings I will make. I like Mrs. H's idea from last week of having one with a white ruff, heel, and toe. With my template I will be able to figure out which stitches should be white so I can make that happen.

Here is my stocking opened. This pattern is great because it works the stocking in one piece.

Here is my stocking closed. This is what the finished product will look like for the most part. I should have rotated these pictures, but you get the point.

Here is the beginning of my next stocking: stripes! The pattern works from the top down.

The Zoo

Laura and I took our children to the zoo yesterday. (Check out her blog for more pictures.) I had taken Sarah Beth with some of our family members last April when she was just eleven months old, so she did not remember it at all. She enjoyed seeing the animals, and her face lit up when she realized that was why we were there. She thought we were just going to walk around for a while which is fun, but it was so much more fun to look at animals!

Here are Sarah Beth and Daniel playing together before we left. I am so proud of Sarah Beth and how she is interested in playing with her little brother.

Here we are loaded up and ready to go. Poor Daniel was pretty much just along for the ride. But he was a sweet, sweet boy the whole time. He only fussed a couple of times. Sarah Beth had no idea where we were going; I told her we were going to the zoo. She would say "upstairs" when I said zoo because that is where her zoo book is.
This is the only picture I have of any animals. Oh, well. The setting was not usually conducive to taking pictures of us and the animals. (Who wants pictures of just animals? I want pictures of my children!)

Sarah Beth riding an elephant. She was not too sure about it.

I wish you could see the smile on her face! She was grinning from ear to ear just like the Cheshire cat. When the ride ended, she said "again, again." I had to pry her little hands off the bar so we could get off, get another ticket, and ride again!

We could not have asked for a better day. The high was 89 degrees with low humidty. Usually, the temperatures in July are 95-100 with about 70% humidity. We would not have gone on a usual July day.

Laura just sent me this picture. Poor Daniel, again; he hardly had any pictures taken of him the whole day. Here is proof, though, that he went.