Monday, September 30, 2013


Natalie has been growing a lot. Lately, she has been saying a lot of new words and can repeat things that we say more easily. She's also putting words together into phrases and responding to questions. For example, we had this lovely conversation last week:
*Natalie rolling on the ground with some fabric scraps*
Me: Natalie, I think it's time for a nap
Natalie: No
Me: Why not?
Natalie: still fun *continues rolling around*
She's also becoming more self-conscious and just scowls when nice people at the store or park try to tell her how cute she is.

This week, we will be babysitting a 4-month-old all day, every day. It will be interesting to see how Natalie responds to her. It should be manageable- her mom and her previous babysitter insist that she's a very easy-going baby. And she doesn't move yet, so Natalie shouldn't feel too threatened. Also, she's not so young and delicate that I have to worry about Natalie snapping off her head. Natalie is very curious about all of these "new" toys that I dug out for the baby.

It should provide a welcome distraction as Micah comes down to his last week of preparation before the conference. I'm taking Natalie and the dogs to visit my Dad in NC while Micah's  gone the week after. My biggest concern is that Natalie will be bored and scream the whole time and the dogs will howl and it will just be very, very annoying. I'm considering moving her car seat to forward-facing just so that she is entertained by the novelty of it.

In unrelated news, check out these awesome bagels I made. They are from a copycat recipe for Einstein Bros Bagels everything bagels. They were AMAZING and probably contained about 1200 calories each.

I've been super clumsy lately, spilling and dropping things. Around 10 am the other day, I dropped Natalie's cup of milk as I was trying to get the sippy cup lid on. It was my 3rd large spill that morning. I'm so glad I have the dogs around! They simplify cleanup considerably. 

And as it's gotten colder, we've been pulling out all of the long pants that still fit Natalie. She realized yesterday that she could put her hands down her overalls but then couldn't figure out how to get them out. Ha!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bapa? Marc?

Micah's been really busy lately. Like REALLLLY busy. Gone 70+ hours a week, getting up before 4am just to keep working on all that he has to do. He is going to a conference (for which they are grossly unprepared) on the second week of October, so maybe after that things will slow down a bit for him. Like maybe he'll be able to sleep in until 6 like a normal person. It's hard because I know he is exhausted and stressed, but my sympathy is outweighed by my own self-pity, as it's been tough for Natalie and I with him gone so much.

It's been pretty taxing on Natalie, who seems to be developing some separation anxiety. Last time Natalie stayed at the YMCA nursery, they said she cried "dada" the whole time. When I picked her up, they were confused at why she was calling for daddy since she came with me. I told them that her dad works a lot and they all nodded with understanding and gushed about how she must miss him. Often when she can't fall asleep and is screaming in her crib, she cries "dada, dada" over and over again. Yesterday, she was saying, "Dada, go home. Dada, go home." It's so sad. I always just tell her that he's at work and we'll see him later. This afternoon as she was screaming, I went up to offer her some water and calm her down and she was asking, "Dada?" and so I told her that he was at work and that we would see him later. Then came the question that surprised me. "Bapa? Marc?" Bapa is what she calls Micah's dad who lives north of us. Her Uncle Marc lives in WA and she hasn't seen him since January, so she mostly knows him from a family picture. I told her that Grandpa was at his home and Marc was at his home and that we would see them later. She settled down for a while and I left, then got worked up again, so I went back up and she was crying for me to rock her, so I sat with her on the rocking chair and she said, "Dada work. Bapa work. Marc work." Then she mournfully slipped off to sleep. It was so sad :( It's like she misses Micah so much she's transferring it onto other men, too. I mean, she knows Grandma and Chere and Shelly from the same picture and in person, but she didn't ask about them. Pobrecita.

Monday, September 23, 2013


I just baked the most awesome chocolate cake ever. Used my no-fail from-scratch recipe. Baked to perfection. It smelled amazing. I got ingredients for a fabulous whipped cream cheese topping. As I removed it from the oven, the dish towel I was using to hold the hot pan slipped and it teetered on one hand and the towel for one sickening second, fell towards my other uncovered hand and burned my forearm, and then fell with great force onto the tile floor, where the pyrex pan shattered and cake and glass shards flew to every corner of the kitchen. For some reason, I feel like it is the most tragic thing that has ever occurred in human history and I couldn't stop crying as I cleaned up the kitchen. The combined crying, bending over and heat coming from the oven combined to make me feel pretty faint. So now, I sit here. Teetering on the edge, cakeless, miserable. Life is such a sad, sad thing. So sad, I think I'll go buy a cake to make myself feel better.

On a happier note, have you seen this video?

Brooklynn will love it. As does Natalie...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Another blaugh week. There has been a lot of laying around and a lot of sesame street viewing. And a lot of whining and crying.

I got a YMCA membership, which I am excited about. They have a nursery where I can drop off Natalie while I exercise, but she has been a little hysterical there the 2 times I've gone. Hopefully she'll get over it.

Just like how she'll hopefully get over this not-sleeping thing. She is currently screaming in her crib because she doesn't want to take a nap. The past 2 nights, she screamed forever before going to sleep. And she is waking up like 5 times in the night, usually wanting a drink of water, a kiss on her hand where she accidentally bit herself, or just for us to hug her and tell her to lay back down and go to sleep. It is making me crazy.

She likes to put on other people's shoes. Here she is in her stockings and diaper cover after church (dress removed for lunch), reading a book while sporting my new sneakers.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Lately, I have been feeling super tired and unmotivated. Maybe a combo of end of summer blues, not getting out of the house enough and Natalie waking up at night. I was excited that my mom came to visit for a couple of days last week- things had been getting REALLLLY monotonous- but since then, I just don't feel like a mess. 

While my mom was visiting, we would move Natalie from her crib into the packnplay in our room when we went to sleep. This way, my mom could use the bed in Natalie's room without having to get up with her at night. It worked out nicely because Natalie would just climb out of her packnplay onto our bed when she woke up at night and I could go on sleeping with minimal disruption. Maybe we should go back to that?

This morning at 2 a.m. I woke up in Natalie's bed with her. My memory of how I got there couldn't have been right- I remembered my mom getting up with her and wondering if she was sick or in pain and trying to give her medicine, then I went in and said that I would take over and laid down with her. My mom has been gone several days. I guess I'm a little delirious.

Natalie has been good at stacking blocks for a while now, but usually only makes it to 3 or 4 before she is overcome by the urge to knock it over and scream "crash!" Her taller towers hopefully indicate a developing sense of self-constraint.

And here she is watching her bedtime show with all her posse.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Little Trouble Maker

Natalie has been a handful. She figured out that the step stool in the bathroom is not physically confined to the bathroom and so now, nothing in the kitchen is safe. The cupboards down below were already child locked, but now we'll have to do the drawers as well.

She's been awful at going down for naps. And sleeping in general. As usual, I guess. But now the process is becoming more complicated. I can't leave her to cry it out any more because instead of just screaming until she passes out, she yells, "Mommy! Mommy!" in the most pitiful, high-pitched voice of betrayal and it just breaks my heart. She's such a stinker. It used to bother me that she wasn't attached to anything- like a blanket-to help soothe her. Now, she is quickly becoming attached to her blankies and stuffed animals and wants to sleep with ALL of them. Which then prevents her from sleeping because there is not enough room in the crib for her. And finally, we've always had this little crib toy that plays soothing music and projects a scene on the ceiling, like a high tech mobile for helping her fall asleep. Instead of falling asleep after it turns off (it's on a 10 minute timer), she now gets back up to press the buttons and make it start playing again. Sometimes, I leave it off altogether and she still figures out how to turn it on and play with it.

The only other news is that I FAILED at predicting my sister's due date. She hasn't had her baby yet and I am very sorry.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Esteem for Kroger Increases

Since I have started couponing, I have developed a prejudice against Kroger. 
I try to avoid going there as much as possible, and each time I go, I tell myself that I won't go back. 
They have a lot of restrictions for coupon use, they are consistently out of stock of items with a good sale (i.e. every single thing on my list), they have super long lines at checkout, their employees are rude and inconsistent with policy implementation, and on top of everything else, they don't have the right car-children-seat shopping carts. That's right. They only have the ones with a toy car in front, at ground level. Natalie can only ride in the ones where the car toy is at the top, right in front of the place where you push it. 

However, I keep returning, because every once in a blue moon, they have a truly stellar deal. One that is so good that I return on multiple days in the same week to take advantage of them, since Kroger kindly caps the number of like coupons you can use in a day.

This is one of those weeks.

When I went in on Monday, I was pretty proud of this steal:
 Shelf Price: $111.77
Paid: $3.65

Items include:
1 box cereal
16 boxes+5 individual granola bars
4 cases lysol wipes
4 cans shaving gel
5 packs bic pens
some overripe bananas

I took advantage of a couple of sweet deals. First, there was a mega event, where you buy 5 participating items and save $5 instantly. So for example, the Nature Valley Granola Bars were on sale for $2.49, but when I bought 5 items, that made them only $1. Then I used my coupons. Each box of granola bars had a $.50 coupon that doubled to $1, making them $.49 each. Then there was a catalina deal, a promotions where you buy a certain item and a coupon prints with your receipt for an amount off of a future purchase. For every 5 boxes of granola bars, I got a $3 catalina coupon. 

So, all in all, I was feeling like the bomb diggity for being able to employ all of these tactics while shopping with a crazy toddler and spending over 10 minutes at checkout splitting my transactions to comply with Kroger's complex coupon limitations, all with a huge line of customers behind me. In all fairness, it's not my fault that this store is perpetually understaffed. The cashier called 3 times over the intercom for backup, but nobody came. Still I feel guilty because when I'm the one stuck in a long, unmoving checkout line, I'm pissed.

But while I was getting the shave gel (which I had a raincheck on from the previous decent sale, 3 weeks prior), I noticed that the cheaper shave gels were on sale for $1.99 and were part to the mega event sale. I had some coupons for $6 off 3 Gillette items. Though Kroger's computer system usually does not allow overage, during mega events, the sale price and the $1 off after buying 5 ring up separately, so I was able to use those in the following transaction:

Shelf Price: 64.52
Paid: -$2.98
(paid $.02, got a catalina coupon for $3)

Items include:
2 boxes cereal
6 boxes granola bars
4 pack gum
8 cans shaving gel
5 bottles after shave

I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself :)
And I'm ready to admit that Kroger isn't that bad.