Monday, February 28, 2011

Amazon Auto Delivery Subscribe & Save
Automatic delivery and extra savings for your most frequent purchases

I have recently found this service on  It has changed my life!  I have been able to avoid the hassle of dragging kids to the store, I have been able to stock my pantries (food and cleaning supplies) and the prices have been cheaper than a warehouse club.  I can find all kinds of speciality and gluten free food items for WAY less than I can get them at the store.  And the UPS man brings them to my porch!

Also, when I add this to my Amazon Mom membership, my diapers (for Kid #2) are super cheap!! I save 30%. And shipping is FREE!

I am beginning to use this service to build my pantry.  I have been inspired by my friend, Betsie, and her pantry project!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Picture Book Challenge - update

Two months in and I have not posted one book!!!  We have certainly read more than that.  I have 120 books to list, so I better get cracking!

1. The Very Hungary Caterpillar - We went through an Eric Carle phase.  My kids LOVE him.  They can now pick his books out.  We love him!

2. The Mixed Up Chameleon - a good lesson on being happy with what you have! 

3. The Grouchy Ladybug - We picked this up at Kohl's for $5.  Another good one.

4. From Head to Toe -  Great for body parts and movement.

5. 10 Little Rubber Ducks - counting ducks...

6-9. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Panda Bear, Panda Bear, Baby Bear, Baby Bear and Polar Bear, Polar Bear - my kids love the predictability of these books AND they love to "read" them by themselves.

10. The Very Lonely Firefly - Our book flashes at the end.  The girls often take this book to bed!

It is not too late to join.  I will post 11-20 soon.  (Dinner needs to get started!)  See There's a Book to join!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sticker Book Magic

Kid #1 returned a Christmas gift that he already owned and purchased these sticker books and stickers for himself and his sisters.  The book and the stickers are $1 each, so he was able to get a book and several packages of stickers for everyone.  (He is such a nice boy!)

Each sticker has a number and the kids have to find where it goes in the book.

Even Kid #2, with a little help from her brother, has enjoyed filling her book.

I have purchased a few more packs and will pull them out when I need a minute or two to fold laundry, feed the baby or just 15 minutes of peace and quiet!  For $3 it is a small price to pay for a moment or two!  Plus they work together, they help each other and they share extra stickers.  I love it!

Friday, February 25, 2011

This Moment

A moment in time to savor and remember...for more moments see Soulemama.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gluten free for Kid #3

My first born (Kid #1) was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at about 15 months old.  It was hard then to find items for him to eat.  There was no way I could go to a "regular" grocery store to get them and I got a lot of stuff from mail order.  Almost 8 years later, gluten free food is everywhere and I am a pro at it.

I have noticed that Kid #3 has a sensitive stomach. We discussed this with the doctor and she was screened for Celiac several years ago with a blood test.  The results were negative.  Two years and a different pediatrician later, I mentioned it again.  He suggested just trying a gluten free diet and seeing what happens.  So we are.  Her belly feels a lot better and her (**TMI ALERT**) trips to the potty are a lot more pleasant.

So this got me to thinking, maybe we should all go gluten free for a while?  We eat a fair share of gluten free products, but the majority of us still eat wheat.  I am currently investigating the cost, impact on the overall grocery budget and our health and happiness.  I need to experiment with a few things and try them (I have not tried a lot of the products I feed Kid #1!).  It is scheduled to be the topic at the dinner table tonight.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Making baby food

As a way to save money and feed Kid #4 organically, I have been making my own baby food.  I usually use leftover veggies and fruit from dinner or the frozen stock I have from summer.  I love being able to offer her fresh, wholesome food.  I have not purchased one jar of food (just a box of cereal).

Here is what is on her menu:
Plums (her favorite)
Green Beans

Here are the things I am making this weekend:
Winter Squash

All of this should last for about a month or so.  As I begin blending food, I'll post recipes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Katie's Giveaway

My friend Katie at Katie's Nesting Spot is offering this great giveaway.  Entries are due by midnight tonight EST.  Check out her blog.  She is a super creative mom and has lots of great giveaways.  Her craft ideas are inspiring!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Tilt

As most know Kid #2 is a special needs child.  She receives services from the local school district as well as physical and occupational therapy at a local hospital child rehab department.  On a recent visit, Kid #2's physical therapist mentioned to me that she had noticed Kid #4's head was always tilted in the same direction each time she had seen her.  "Does her head always tip that way?", she asked causally.  "Yes, why?" I questioned.

Truth is my husband had noticed the tip weeks before and questioned me about it.  I passed it off as our own over analyzing.  "You are just looking for something," I scolded him.  As parents of a profoundly impaired child, we watch our children in a way that is different than our friends with typically developing children.  We know that infant milestone chart by heart.  We are painfully aware of what kids are supposed to do when and that we have a child that will never catch up.

The therapist took a long look at Kid #4.  She said shyly, "I think she has torticollis."  Oh no, I felt an all too familiar wave of panic.  Stay calm.  Celiac disease, schizencephaly, now torticollis!  "Oh, what is that?"  I wanted to remain calm.  She went on to say it isn't serious but that I should talk to her pediatrician and see.  He could send her to physical therapy and they could probably see her when Kid #2 comes.  Great!  For those of you who like me would need to Google it, torticollis is a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other. Maybe it happened in utero when she was so cramped?  I affectionately call the condition "Bent Neck".  It is easier to say and people know what I am talking about.

So, we are about 6 weeks into therapy and progressing nicely.  The truth is that it is painfully familiar with the second child.  I know all the therapists.  I know all the handouts.  I have the cause and effect toys to get her to reach for.  I know how to prop a kid that favors one side.  I have the big rubber ball to exercise her on.

They have warned me that it may "relapse" as she begins to get more mobile.  Okay, I get it.  We have 2 more months of therapy for sure.  I have toned out the surgery talk and the idea that this could be chronic.  This for me is somewhere between celiac disease and schizencephaly.  So I am stretching her just so, holding her just so, and encouraging her to reach, look and turn in a certain direction in hopes that I can make a difference. 

I am the Momma, it is what I do!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Where did the week go?

I don't know.  We have been busy, but lately it has been a bit much.  I am REALLY going to get the basement organized this week.  It is a lovely space and is home to Daisy meetings, craft projects and movie nights.  I have made real progress on the Learning Room, but it still becomes a catch-all and needs to be decluttered.  I am also sorting through outgrown clothes and taking inventory for spring and summer.  Kid #4 get baptized next weekend and Kid #1 has his Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet this Monday.  So I will make an effort to get a few posts in, but I can't promise.  I will be taking lots of pictures and getting posts ready.  I promise.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pantry Challenge Wrap Up

So yesterday was the last day of the pantry challenge and I think we did a pretty good job of eating from home, but I am planning on expanding on this challenge for another couple of months.

First, I have decided that our "food budget" needs to be more than $500 a month.  Gluten free groceries (bread, bagels, pasta, cereal bars) can be close to $100 or so on their own.  So for February I am going to set $600 as our budget.

Second, meal planning did make a difference.  I know I should know that by now, but it was so much easier to shop, budget and cook with a plan.  I have decided on a loose plan for each week:

  • Monday - Hodgepodge - Which at my house means we eat up the leftovers and such from the fridge.
  • Tuesday- Pasta Night - Kid #1 has basketball practice on Tuesdays.  A nice pasta meal will give him fuel for practice.
  • Wednesday - Soup and/or Sandwiches - We are at church late and a quick meal is perfect for Wednesdays.  I have made soup or we have had it out of the can.  I am going to try more soup recipes in the slow cooker.
  • Thursday - Poultry night - roasted chicken, chicken bites, chicken/turkey breasts, ground turkey something or turkey burgers.  Poultry will be the main ingredient on Thursdays.
  • Friday - Breakfast for dinner - During the pantry challenge we have had french toast, waffles, and pancakes.  It is again a night Kid #1 has piano, so a yummy breakfast meal as a family is great before Little House on the Prairie.
  • Saturday - Treat night - We will have pizza (homemade or takeout depending on the budget), nachos or tacos, Thai or Chinese food (again depends on the budget).  As a kid we always had one night were we could eat something yummy. 
  • Sunday - Big Family Meal - I will make a dinner with all the trimmings.
Finally, I will start cooking ahead and freezing stuff.  I am making a huge pot of Turkey Joe's today and will freeze it for the future.  We are also going to get a beef share and join a poultry CSA.  Thanks to Life as Mom for inspiring me!