Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reupholstery 101

Thanks, May for the link to this great series of posts from Design Intervention!  I totally think I can recover my bench (um, once I fix it) and a chair that I may or may not get from a neighbor.  I am beyond excited!

Also:  I picked up a set of louvre doors from heavy trash today.  Because I need MORE things to do.

Also:  Our whole neighborhood learned the hard way that it's the FOURTH, not second, Tuesday that is heavy trash day.  Thankfully the nice men with the crane and truck picked up anyway.  I'm not actually sure why, but I gave them cold water as a thank you.

Photo of the Day

In my head I am hearing Mike Meyers as Simon:  "I cahn't do my drawrings with PRUNE HANDS."

It All Comes Full Circle Back to Poop

That's how I feel sometimes, being the parent of a small child.  We don't talk about our poop issues as adults, but that's simply how it is when you're a parent.  There are so many parts of our life right now that involve poop.  We are encouraging Sawyer to use the toilet for poopy, which he seems reluctant to do, despite the great matchbox car play set (bought at 75% off at Target) that's waiting for his next toilet-poo.

Then there's Lincoln, who went straight from mushy breastfed poops (which you might have seen if you dared click to see the scary picture last week) to hard solid food poops that are really hurting him.  I always read that the first suggested baby foods (bananas and rice cereal) can be constipating, but Sawyer never had issues.  Then again, he didn't love mushy baby food at all and basically skipped right on to hand-held foods.  Lincoln loves his bananas and yesterday was literally crying for ten minutes while pooping.  It was pitiful.

So now he is eating prunes, which means that you will shortly have yet another poop post.  Because I have a feeling that the prune-poop will be EPIC.  And probably will happen while we are at the zoo tomorrow, because that's how things happen in my life.  Which I appreciate, because then I have more amusing blog posts.

Sawyer Thinks He's WHO?

Conversation after picking up breakfast at Sonic this morning.

Me:  Let's say thank you to Daddy for breakfast!
Saw:  Thank you, Daddy!
Rob:  You're welcome,  sonny.  Let's say thank you to Jesus for our breakfast.
Saw:  Thank you, Jesus.  [pause]  You're welcome.

Pray for HUH?

And in a random addition to the people Sawyer asks to pray for, tonight he asked to pray for the wicked people.

Poor Planning Means...

...I blow my budget at the grocery store without buying everything I need this week. Darn.  I just should have made a better list, but got stressed and thought I'd just go and shop at 5pm today.  BAD IDEA.  Bad, bad idea.  I didn't go so over the budget, and there were several must-haves that were expensive, but I think I could have at least used my CVS extra care bucks or something.  I don't know.  I just feel poopy when I go over my plan.  I don't like it!

I also don't like spending two hours clipping coupons.  I clipped through a whole movie and didn't even finish or file them.  That's too much time!  I think I need to either stop collecting three to four papers every Sunday or just file away the whole insert into a folder with the date and then clip and pull as I need based on what the websites tell me to buy. I'm really leaning toward the second, but it will mean I can't coupon on the fly.  My coupon box is overflowing and my desktops are starting to get cluttered.  I DON'T WANT TO BE A HOARDER.  Changes must be made.

And when, by golly, is Kroger's coupon armageddon?  Seriously!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Have Multiple Taste Personalities

I also have multiple projects around the house.  Why, when I groan about having too much to do and no time to do it, am I taking on more projects?  Don't ask me.  It's not practical.  Lord knows, it's not practical. But it's fun.  Starting projects is always fun--the finishing is what kicks me in the pants.  (Am hearing:  "Anyone can take a reservation...it's the HOLDING...")   Here are the things I just picked up to add to my list of things to fix up around my house.

This one came from the heavy trash day fun, and I plan to rip it all to pieces and recover it.  Maybe make new cushions. Will require that I learn to operate a sewing machine and staple gun.


Another heavy trash day find.   This one from across the street.  And when they realized I wanted it, they were nice enough to find the leg and arm, which I will learn to use a drill to reattach.  I LOVE it though.

This belonged to my cousin Debbie and then to me when I was little.  It had a pink gingham skirt that was basically destroyed by time and when I moved it here, I found some of Debbie's blue 80s eyeliner in the drawer.  Does that make it vintage?  I'm going to paint it and trim it in fabric and sell it.  (You want?   Email me.)

Those are my three main projects (besides figuring out where things are going to hang in my house and finishing a cool chalkboard thingy for my kitchen and also my mantel) for now.  It's easier with furniture (for me) to do it together, because you kind of do it in stages:  priming, then painting, then finishing.  The fabric ones will then have those added stages, which I think will also go nicely together.   I'm hoping to get a lot done this week while my parents are here.

Which leads me to:  the fabric store.

I've discussed this before in terms of style, both decor and personal fashion, but I can't seem to figure out who I am.  The reason is that I like so many things that are disparate.  And I know that it can be really cool to make things work that wouldn't seem like they would work together.  The problem is that all my likes really DON'T go together.  They don't.  I promise.  I love the way really different fabrics look together and that whole thing of making it work when it shouldn't, but I have such wildly different tastes.  I found myself leaving the store with fistfuls of samples wondering if I ever actually figured out who I am.

I do, apparently, know that I like paisley.  

I liked a lot of traditional fabrics and then some fun, funky mod things as well.  (A lot of things I loved didn't have samples and are stored in my phone as photos.)  There is a common theme in most of these, but that's mostly because I did have a kind of mental image that involved a pattern.  I tried to only pick ones that kind of went with that idea, but then as I was walking around trying to figure out great pairings, I was stumped.  I am so visual that I really need to see ideas and get inspired, so I am going to be spending a lot of time on some of my fave design blogs before I buy anything.  (If you have a favorite, let me know!)


The flash is really making the one on the right look like it doesn't work, but in the real lighting, it does.

One of these two will probably end up being the black chair with the zebra stripes.  I was at first leaning toward the one on the right, but now am leaning toward the red.  Love red.
Do you think if I make it beautiful, they'll try to get it back?? Because it's going to be beautiful.  It has beautiful bones.

This fabric matches NOTHING in my house, but I am enamored and don't know that I care. I might paint a whole room just to match it, I like it that much.  Really and truly.  I think I may use this to cover, and then paint the wood a salmony color.  The wood for the bench is actually really pretty, but with all the work, would probably require refinishing, and I don't do that.  I love painting wood.  I'll be sure to post pictures as I work, and even my tips on how to do what I'm doing.  Most of it I'm figuring out as I go, other than the painting, which I do all the time.  There's a link on The Nesting Place for an ebook about wood painting if you really want to know.  I'm curious how off my technique is. I'm probably not changing it, and I'm not curious enough to buy the ebook.  If you need a resource though, I bet it's great!

In any case, I have a lot of energy and excitement about these projects but feel like the day is ending and I wonder:  do I know myself?  How can I like such weirdly different things?  Am I a freak??  Discuss.

Potty Training: Week in Review

Overall, Sawyer is doing really well. But I would not say he is trained.  Yet.  We still set a timer, though he is getting better about telling us when he has to go--yay!  He also will now climb up on the toilet rather than having to be carried and forced.  He doesn't even always want a toy, though I still offer them.  The big problem is that he'd just rather poop in his underwear and then tell us about it than go on the toilet.  I have a big prize waiting for him for the next time he goes in the toilet, so fingers crossed.

The highlight of the week was yesterday, when he spent four hours in the church nursery with NO ACCIDENTS.  Fabulous, Sawyer!  Fabulous!  I think overall we're in a good place after a week and with a lot less cleanup than I anticipated.  Well.  Except all the poopy underwear, that is.

Heavy Trash = Heavy Treasure

Do you have heavy trash day where you live?  Texas has this kind of crazy culture around heavy trash.  I never noticed this in Virginia growing up, but here in Houston, if you leave something by your curb any day of the week, within hours, it will most likely be GONE.  It's magical!  People just drive around looking for things that are being tossed out that they can fix or make use of or even sell on ebay.  The best is heavy trash day, when people pile everything they've been storing for two months out by the curb.  Most of it never makes it to the truck--it's gone by morning.

I think of it like a yard sale, but FREE.  We drove by this one chair about four times yesterday before I finally made Rob drive the thing up there to pick it up.  He was not excited about this (especially because it smells like dog) and has given me a gracious two-month period in which to recover it or reupholster it, which is my plan.  I figure all I need is a staple gun and some fabric.  The shape of it is fabulous, and I really have started realizing that I don't have any things that are fabric-y.  I want to branch out and am excited to have a project and a new chair!  Now I just need to find a DIY site online and some perfect fabric...

Tex definitely knows this was some dog's chair.  But wait til I'm done with it!

Mini Turkey?

Gammy and Turkey are here!! The boys are already having a great time with them, and Sawyer is reminding me of ME with my grandfather, whom I used to boss around in a way Mom says no one else did. Yesterday, Saw grabbed Gammy's hand and said, "Come on. Sit right there. Watch me play." Little bossy britches! Meanwhile Linc is just being a happy, sweet baby. I definitely think that Lincoln sometimes resembles my dad and a few people have said the same thing. What do you think??

Waterbending

Rob recently watched the cartoon series The Last Airbender on Netflix.  Sawyer watched some of it, and now there are lots of different kinds of bending:  water bending, air bending, and pillow bending.  Yesterday there was waterbending in the pool, and here are a few pictures.



Where's Robo?

No, really.  Where is he??

I'll blog more tomorrow.  I have pictures, and I have tired.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Non-Naps

video
This is Lincoln during nap time.  That about says it all.

Green Eggs and Ham

This morning when I asked Saw what he wanted for breakfast, my Mom suggested green eggs and ham.  Sawyer, to my surprise, said YES!  So, he had green eggs and ham for breakfast.
Unsure about this at first. 
Why not go all in?  Show us how the piggy eats.

This face means he likes it.  I promise.

Happy Cakes


The one thing people say about Linc after spending time with him is that he's so happy.  I add "cakes" to everything, so sometimes this means he's called Happy Cakes.  He really is so content and happy and smiley.  I love it.  Easygoing, happy little man.  Look at that smile!

Sawyer Grew a Tail...of Poop

Potty Training.  Day Five.  We had progress.  We had regress.  We had pee in the floor.  (And on the train table.)  We had poop in the underwear.

But honestly, it was a pretty good day.  A 12-potty, 1-poopy day.  That's a lot of pee and poo, people. The majority of it in the toilet.  Even the poo, which began in the underwear, ended in the toilet and so deserved a sticker.  The few accidents we did have were when Saw had to go before the timer went off, and sort of tried to tell us...or told us as he was starting to go. There was a lot of running for the toilet carrying a child while hoping not to be defecated upon.  Good thing I have a lot of soap.

The good news is:  he tried to tell us!  And more than once, I did not have to actually physically put him on the toilet.  He began climbing up by himself, which is far less resistance than he'd been showing.  Though mostly I do have to carry him to the bathroom.  (One tip: running water in the sink helps get the pee going. )  The timer now goes off every 30 minutes, and that seems to be the best amount of time--he almost always goes, and doesn't protest as much when he has to go.  He definitely awards himself touchdowns every time.  Self-appreciation at its best.

I'm just wondering--what happens when Saw goes back in the real world?  Like, to school?  Or to the gym without a diaper??  Also: my kid pees a lot.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Storytelling with the Sauce

Just as I started to write this post, I realized something: I am just now finally getting back to the point of having a blast with my kids.  Like, most of the time.  And by enjoying, I mean heartily and thoroughly loving and having fun.  Laughing out loud.  Heartily.

That's not to say I haven't enjoyed my boys and my life these last almost six months, but adjusting took longer than I thought it would.  For everyone.  I really feel like Sawyer is starting to return to himself, which makes me realize how different he has been because of Lincoln and the changes to our family.  Little by little, I think we've all been falling into place--only, these are new places.  Because adding a kid means that everything shifts.  It's not always something you can label or point to with clarity, which is maybe why I started thinking about this in the middle of a post about Sawyer telling crazy stories.

In any case, we are finding our places anew and again.  Part of that is how Sawyer likes to talk about the randomest of things and it makes me laugh.  I love asking him questions like a hundred times a day just to see what he'll say.

A few of his and my favorites [and I'm paraphrasing, but it's pretty close]:

-"Mommy screamed at the roach.  Daddy put it in the trash."  With a new twist:  "Mommy screamed at the spider.  It was on the stove."

The roach was weeks ago, but this is still the thing he tells EVERYONE.  The lady at the gym counter taking IDs.  My parents when they arrived today.  My aunt Jo on the phone.  (Or was it Geoff?  Or both?)

-"Gammy's gambling."

My parents spent two nights at a casino on the way here and called several times with the slot machines clanging and chiming in the background.  We told Saw that they were gambling, and though it sounds more like "bambgling" when he says it, I love it.


-"It's a exoskeleton [sounds like esso sakelotone].  I eat it."

I've been teaching him about those fun dried up exoskeletons that the cicadas are shedding all around our house.  He loves to hold them, to try and say exoskeleton, and then usually squishes them.  But once, he ate part of one.


-"Everyone be quiet!  It's the superdark!"

This comes straight from Bolt, one of his favorite movies right now.  It's supposed to be the superBARK, but he can't quite get that.

Sweet, silly boys.

I'm glad things are getting back to the new normal.  New normal is nice.  Laughing out loud at both my boys is a gift that I'm glad to have.

Photo of the (Yester)Day

Lost in the Funhouse

Lincoln + beanbag + cousins = TOYS

Random Question

For people who live in New York City and take cabs everywhere with their kids, what do you do about a car seat??  Also, I would totally be on the subway.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm Awkwardly Famous!

Remember that photo I put up of my fam a while ago that was super awkward?  We made Awkward Family Photos and I couldn't be prouder.  This is my 15 minutes, y'all.  Go check it out!

Don't Forget to Have Fun

Today has been a good day.  A really fun and good day with my boys.  Sawyer has been playing really well, and has only disobeyed a few times.  I made two outings with both boys and had no meltdowns.  (Other than Saw starting to cry in Kroger because his hands were sticky from free fruit samples.  I told him, "You're a boy--you get sticky.  That's how it is,"  and he stopped crying.)  Rob's at work, but before he left, there was dancing and music and fun whole-family time in the TV room.  Nothing out-of-the-ordinary, but fun IN the ordinary.  That's the thing I think can be hard to remember as a parent (or even just a person!):  this is YOUR life.  Today.  This is your life today, and it can be a joy.  It SHOULD be a joy.  In the words of Saw's favorite baby song:  This is the day that the Lord has made;  let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Here are a few photos of us remembering that this morning.
Okay, so maybe Linc isn't have THAT much fun.  He is, however, having bananas.

Different Kids, Different Cries

It's funny how having two kids reveals unique things about each, as they reveal the differences in one another.  Example:  crying at bedtime.

Sawyer was horrific to get to sleep.  HORRIFIC.  I had to wear him in a sling or carrier for like an hour and then he'd wake every two hours for most of the night.  The few times we tried to let him cry, he would cry to the point of complete hysteria, throw up, and never go to sleep.  Lincoln, on the other hand, has been pretty easy from the beginning.  We've backtracked a bit, as he's not as simple to put to sleep and now wakes during the night at least once, but still--EASIER.

When we put him down now, often he kind of seems to need a 5-10 minute fuss period.  He revolts a bit, even when I know he's exhausted, but compared to the scream-fests that Saw threw, this is nothing.  Linc will shout in his crib, maybe cry a little bit.  Sometimes he'll fuss right into quiet and sleep, but more often, he starts working up after about ten minutes.  That's when I can go in, roll him over on his tummy (if he's not already there), rub his back a little, and he's usually out in a minute.  At most, I'll rock him in my arms for like 30 seconds.  It's magical.

So is the sound of both boys asleep at the same time right now...

Potty Training Day 4: Breakthrough!

Today is our fourth day of potty training, and we have two big firsts:  a real poopy on the toilet AND making it all the way to nap time without an accident!  We are really making progress over here.

Sawyer still fights the toilet most of the time (although other times he'll easily sit and go right away), and I'm pretty sure he'd been holding in the poopy for a full day.  Last night, he said he needed to go poopy and we put him on the toilet.  He fought like a wild cat but finally he produced a tiny poo the size of a grape.  Rob and I celebrated and touchdowned and gave him high fives and a big sticker for the poopy section of his chart and three army men, plus a little frisbee.  I was sure he'd go in his diaper at night, because there was NO WAY that was all he had going on in there.  But, no poopy in the diaper this morning.

He was happily playing with his army men on the train table mid-morning, when suddenly he was like, "Mommy!" in this really concerned voice.  He was holding his bottom and kind of squat sitting.  I asked him if he needed to go poopy and he said yes, but then sort of tried to change the story when he realized I intended to take him to the potty.  I carried him in like a flash (Mommy doesn't want to clean poop off the train table, believe YOU me) and made him sit.  When he tried to get up, I pulled out a book and let him look and encouraged him that he could do it.  And he did!!!  Three cheers for Sawyer.  I gave him a special Scooby Doo toy I'd been saving in the back closet.  Sawyer calls him Scooby Dooby, which I think is super cute.

A little while later, we were about to head to the store and I'd already put him in a diaper (Mommy doesn't want to clean pee out of the car seat) and he said, "I need to go potty!"  So we again rushed the bathroom and he went on the toilet.  Which was another two army men, because I've told him that if he tells me and then goes in the toilet (rather than just waiting for the timer), he gets more army men.   That's actually what we were headed to the store to buy: more army men.  Thankfully the Dollar Tree has not only little army men, but fire men and police men in a variety of colors.  Now we are stocked.

Other exciting improvements are that Sawyer will tell us when he needs to go and requests to put on his big boy underwear.  No accidents so far today and less fighting, at least most of the time.  I don't know why he fights when he does--sometimes he doesn't need to go when he fights it, but then other times he does.  In any case, we are muscling through and seeing improvements.  The scary thing is next week when he goes back to school, but I've been assured that his school will work with whatever we're putting in place.

Dare I say that potty training isn't as hard as I thought it would be??

(Now just wait for God to smite me with potty training disasters for saying that...)

God Is Calling--Run Away!

This morning I've got a lovely guest post from Nicole Unice, author of the study I'm currently going through on the book of Jonah entitled The Divine Pursuit.  Haven't read Jonah in a while?  Me neither!  The Divine Pursuit really helps bring it to life and is reminding me that while I may not be called as a prophet, but I'm still pretty good at running away from God.  Nicole's blog is The Stubborn Servant, and as a counselor, speaker, runner-of-women's-things in the EPC church on a national level (and at my home church, Hope, in Richmond, VA), she has a lot of great things to say.  You can check out her blog to find out more about The Divine Pursuit, which is available both in print and as a free download on her website.  You can also sign up to join an online community going through the book beginning September 15.  And with no further ado...I give you Nicole Unice.

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Best T-shirt ever.
Becoming a counselor is a weird sort of schooling. What other graduate program teaches you how to listen, ask good questions, and read interpersonal dynamics? Who but future counselors study nonverbal cues, birth order, and “solution-focused questions?” Counseling techniques easily transform into entertaining party tricks: “Let me guess,” I imagine saying to my unsuspecting acquaintance while swirling my drink, “your deepest fear is turning into your mother, whom you find yourself resembling more each day?”

There’s another side to studying therapist techniques. Developing questions that pry back even the hardest shell takes practice. And there’s only one person that accompanies me to sleep, to the bathroom, to work—other than my toddler. It’s me. I am the unwilling recipient of my own therapy.

So I paid attention when I got all emotional about the story of Jonah. Do you know him? The bible Jonah, the telling-God-N-O Jonah, the swallowed-by-a-fish Jonah? Think way back to Vacation Bible School. You probably sang a song about him or maybe smoothed him up on a feltboard next to a smiling whale.

Jonah disobeys and isn’t loving, or at least, that’s the point when we tell the VBS version. But when I prepared a teaching series for a women’s group on the book of Jonah, I found myself stirred up, almost resentful, of what Jonah had become in those children’s stories. Like Jonah is a flat caricature painted by a heavenly hand to make us feel good about ourselves. Hey, at least I didn’t have to be swallowed by a big fish to listen to God. At least I wouldn’t defy God like that.

I got emotional because I thought Jonah could have had some reasons for running. That maybe following God’s orders and going to Nineveh was something excruciatingly hard for Jonah, something that felt impossible to do.

And then the therapist in me listened closely and asked a piercing question: “Hmmm….interesting. What are your Ninevehs?”

Hmmm is right.

I pondered my own Ninevehs and the Ninevehs of those I’ve counseled. I thought about the pattern of fleeing, obeying and resisting God found in Jonah—and found in me. I considered the things in life that would make me want to lob a fat N-O in God’s face, modern-Day Ninevehs like:

Living joyfully in difficult relationships.

Struggling through a hard marriage (or waiting on a good one).

Fighting with addictions.

Battling fear.

Making peace with the past. Wrestling with unforgiveness. Learning to wait. Embracing uncertainity. Raising difficult children. Choosing to care for aging parents. Going back to work when you want to stay home. Having children. Not having children. And the list goes on….

Holy Spirit calling: Jonah is me.

Jonah is you, too, if you’ve ever wanted space from God. If you’ve ever escaped from Him in heart or in action. Jonah is you if you’ve ever wondered how or why God would talk to you—and if you would obey. I know one thing: Jonah’s not a platitude to mount on a cross-stitch and hang in the bathroom. It’s raw, real life. It’s one of the many things I love about God--the way He enters our disheveled reality. The way He knows our crazy souls. And the way He shows us His soul for us, and for all his creation.

If you can relate, take heart, and take another look at Jonah. You might just find a friend.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kids on the Cheap

People always talk about how expensive kids are, I think mostly to scare the heck out of you.  At least, that's my best guess, because it's usually not in some constructive way, like:  "kids cost a lot, so here is a great way to start saving for them!"  It's more like this:  "Kids are super expensive, so you better think hard before having them!"

So far, the most expensive parts of kids are the birth parts and the school parts.  We have paid for four births:  two home births and two hospital births.  You see, when you transition from home to hospital, your midwife has still done all the work of prenatal care and attending the home part.  She also comes with you to the hospital and does a hospital and home visit after.   There's no discount just because you don't deliver at home, nor should there be.  Hospitals, similarly, don't give you a discount if you spend most of your labor at home and just arrive in time to pop the baby out, or have the baby removed via C-section.  We are STILL getting bills from various parts of the hospital. There's simply nothing you can do about that.

Sawyer started his mother's day out (what I call school) pretty early, and though his is the cheapest I know of (about $100/month for two full days a week), it's still a jump in the monthly budget.  I know that it will only increase as we have several kids in pre-school.  Even if we do public school, I still remember coming home that first day with about 50 forms and things I needed my parents to write checks for.

Barring those two things, I think there are a lot of ways that you can cut down the other costs of children.   Here are some of our suggestions:

Cloth diapers
Though I've heard some argue passionately about the cost of water and electricity for washing and drying, we didn't notice a bump in ours.  We line-dry and do a diaper wash every day or every other day.  I usually wash other things that need it along with them, so it's not just a diaper load.  Because our diapers were a gift (thank you--you know who you are), we had the luxury of not paying. But each set (we have one for each boy) was around $200.  You can also register, via sites like Nurtured Family (check my sidebars) and even Target sells BumGenius.  We bought one-size-fits-all, which means that they will be worn from birth to potty-training.  Plus, re-used for each child.  We use a few more disposables now that Saw is in school, but basically our diaper cost is something like under $15 a month.  That is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than anyone I know using disposables solely, especially with two kids right now in diapers.

Clothing Options
It's a little easier to cut back on clothes with boys, because they don't care so much.  At least mine don't.  Boy things are also not as tempting to buy as girl things.  The flip side is that boys tend to wear things to OBLIVION, so a lot of things we had for Saw did not make it to be passed down.  Especially shoes.  However, we are passing down as much as possible, and also said YES! to any hand-me-downs we were offered.  Anything passed down that we didn't like went to the donation pile.  The few things we did buy, we either bought only on clearance or super cheap, or bought from a re-sale.  We don't have a lot of options for clothing, either.  Saw has about six shirts right now and six pairs of shorts that he wears regularly.  This means often he wears the same thing every week to church, or on an every-other-week rotation.  Does Jesus care?  I'm pretty sure NO.  If you are someone who really cares about appearance or really loves to see your child in cute clothes, this might be hard.  But I still think you can cut back here significantly and still have your child look nice.  Take good hand-me-downs, buy resale or super cheap, and wear often.

Make Baby Food
Sawyer did not really take to food until he was old enough to pick up things with his hands and eat them, so we did not use much mushy baby food with him.  He just didn't like it.  We also waited to start with him until he was older.  Lincoln is already ahead of the game and eating baby food before six months.  I can say that I have NEVER purchased jarred baby food.  I do know that it can be pricey for what it is, and also can contain odd ingredients.  If making your own baby food sounds scary, let me tell you that it's not.  If you have a blender or food processor, you're good to go.  You can freeze it if you like, using ice cube trays or baby food trays (which are inexpensive), and one sweet potato goes a LONG way.  Right now, Linc is only eating bananas and rice cereal, and it's not difficult to mash up a banana.  Take it one step further with other foods--you might have to cook the potato and then blend it.  GASP!  You don't even need a book to do this.  I'm sure there are great sites online with suggestions, but basically baby food is best when fresh and simple.  And it will save you a bunch.

Those are just a few things we've adapted to help keep the costs down with our kiddos, and so far so good.  We may not always look fashionable, our kids may have big, puffy cloth diaper butts, and our freezer may have trays of frozen pears, but we have saved a bundle.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Potty Training Day 2: Sometimes You Fall in the Toilet

Day 2 went pretty well!  Still a fight to get him into and ON the toilet, but those times I listened when he said he didn't have to go resulted in an accident.  The method we're going by says every 20-25 minutes, and while that seems so short, adding 5-10 minutes on the clock resulted in pee on the couch and floor.  More than once.  I also learned that even if he said he didn't have to go and I told him he just had to sit until I counted to 30, nine times out of ten, he went in the first 10 seconds.  He is amassing an army of little plastic men.

We also went out to dinner and though he wore a diaper (I'm just not ready for accidents in public places), he went potty twice.  I was pretty impressed!  He also went poopy, and let us know beforehand, but honestly, we just lazed out and didn't want to deal with poopy in a restaurant bathroom.  Shame on us!

I think that overall, Saw is doing really well and I'm so proud of him!  I don't know when we'll be at the point of feeling safe when he's sitting around the house in his underwear, but we are taking steps.  And there are more stickers on today's page than yesterday's.

Oh, he also fell in the toilet, so there's that.

We Can Have Six Children

And still fit around this new dining room table.  Rob found a table that he said was totally "our style," and the fact that my husband knows we have a style and knows what it is got me really excited about buying.  So here is our new dining room table with seating for eight.
Boys working hard to put it together.

The finished product and the tired builder.  You can't see it, but the seats at the head have arms!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Coupon, Poop-on

I had another coupon: fail tonight.  Apparently, the doubling and tripling rule at Kroger only works for one coupon for one like item.  Somehow this either never applied, or I never noticed before, because I often use several coupons for the same items.  I will be honest--I don't always check my receipt or watch the register THAT closely.  I did suddenly realize that they were not tripling (I should have had 20 free soaps, plus $1 overage) at the very end of my transaction.  Me being me, I just took my soaps and plan to return them tomorrow.

Why was I buying 20 soaps?  Let me explain.

I heard that you can buy coupons online, which I thought was odd, and I decided to test this out.  On ebay, I found a few coupon clippers selling coupons in packs of 10 or 20. I looked for ones that would make things free at Kroger this week using the double or triple policy, and found that I could get 20 35cent coupons for Dial soaps and then get free soap, plus a 5cent overage on each.  I really don't use that much soap, but figured that could go in the donate pile. I'll buy about anything if it's free or has an overage that applies to the rest of my purchases.

What I don't really understand is that it tripled three of them.  Not one, like the policy said. Also, for people who use these coupon clipping services, why?  I mean, I guess if I did 20 different transactions, that'd be great.  For now, I'm stuck with a lot of soap.  I can return it, but won't get back the coupons I bought to buy them for free with.  Granted, it was only like $2 or something for the coupons, but now that means I paid $2 for coupons and then the soap wasn't really free.  Sigh. I lose.

If you are more wise in coupons ways than me, please explain.  Who uses these clipping services?  And if there's a limit, how and why do you use multiples?

Potty Training Day 1: Win Some, Lose Some

I think that I would be a better potty trainer if I had boy parts.  Because everything worked smoothly when Rob was in charge this morning, but when he took Linc out this afternoon, Saw peed in the floor three times.  I did everything the same, except for the fact that I can't also demonstrate the whole peeing standing up thing for him.  Well, I guess I could try, but somehow I think that would be as disastrous as him just peeing in the floor in the first place...

As I mentioned in my previous posts, he also just doesn't WANT to most of the time.  The timer goes off, we put on MC Hammer and he says, "Timer!  Time to go potty!"  He'll even dance his way into the bathroom most of the time. But then it's "NO!  Don't want it."  Then it becomes a kind of knock-down, drag-out fight.  Which isn't fun, but we don't let Sawyer dictate anything else in life by saying he doesn't feel like it (except for maybe eating, because I don't think you can force kids to eat, and also in things we allow him choices to say no like if he wants to ride his bike).  So we won't let him dictate whether or not he wants to use the toilet since he knows how and is totally capable.

With Rob back home to back me up, I got him to go twice at the end of the day.  Funny enough, with me he likes to go while sitting down, and with Rob, he goes standing up.  I guess that makes sense, right?  I think overall, the day went well. We established a pattern; he used the toilet seven times; and realized that he can't just say no and that be the end of it.  Tomorrow Rob goes back to work in the morning, so we'll see how it goes with just me.  Eek!

Sawyer's Army Men Wear Rollerskates

It's always fun to watch creative play.  Sawyer's army men lead very interesting lives.  They all have guns, which apparently, as a boy growing up in Texas, he already understands.  So there is the typical BAM! BAM! BAM!  But they are a little more diverse.  Here are some quotes from Saw while playing with his army men.

"This one has rollerskates!"

"This one's on the beach!"

"This one mows the lawn!"

"They're getting gas!"

"That's not nice!  Be nice!"




Five Little Army Men

It's almost 1pm on Day One of potty training with Saw.  Here's the breakdown of how things are going so far:

-Five Six potty stickers
-Five Six army men
-One frisbee
-Three pairs of underwear
-A lot of MC Hammer

The biggest battle is that Sawyer doesn't really WANT to go on the potty.  He can and knows how and can even tell us before, but is fighting actually having to do it.  This is where Daddy comes to the rescue.  Not only does he obey Robbie more, but Robbie can demonstrate and go potty with Sawyer, which really says more than words or commands can.

As far as method, we are doing a timer method, which says to go cold turkey on diapers and switch into underwear.  It can become an appeal to the child to wear big-boy (or girl, if you have one of those) underwear and also is more unpleasant when wet.  Even if Saw doesn't have to go, when the timer goes off, we play MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This," and Rob and Saw dance their way to the bathroom.  When Saw goes on the potty, he gets a small sticker for potty (#1) and a bigger one for poopy.  These go on a chart I made.  He also gets an army man.  For the very first potty this morning (which was a battle) he got a mini frisbee.  The army men, frisbee, and stickers were all $1 or less.

The two accidents were pretty minor.  One was while Rob was demonstrating when Saw had said he didn't want to go.  I guess he got inspired watching and couldn't wait his turn.  The second time, he was damp, but we didn't find a puddle anywhere, so that was good.  Or else very bad, if there is a hidden puddle somewhere.

The goal for the first few days is get into a routine and establish the habits.  The rest of the week is hopefully reinforcing.  As for nighttime, that's a totally different thing.  I don't have high--or any--hopes because Saw comes from a bed-wetting sort of background, and wakes up every morning with a soaked diaper and doesn't care.  For now, we'll focus on the days.  So far, first day is really going well!

From Diaper to Underwear

It's almost 8am.  So far, no accidents.   But nothing IN the toilet either.  We're basically an accident waiting to happen.  Sawyer is sitting on the couch wearing underwear and drinking milk.  See?  This may be really bad.

Here's the thing about potty training that's going to be hard for us:  Saw gets how to use the toilet.  He can tell us before he goes both potty and poopy.  But right now, he doesn't WANT to go on the toilet.  Whenever the timer goes off that says it's time (the method we're using says 20-25 minutes), he throws a big NO!  hissy fit.  I feel tired already.

Potty Training Prep

Training Manual:  Check.

Big Boy Underwear:  Check.

Parental Pow-Wow:  Check.

Wristwatch for Timing Bathroom Breaks: Check.

Poster for Sticker Rewards:  Check.

Book of Stickers:  Check.

Other Fun Rewards:  Check.

Extra Dose of Patience:  Hopefully Check.

Extra Rolls of Paper Towels:  Definite Check.

Ipod Set to "U Can't Touch This" (because we decided "Hammer Time" sounds much more fun than "potty time"):  CHECK.

Photo Fix: Sawyer Edition

We are starting to potty train tomorrow, which means that I'll be extra-special busy.  And crazy.  Being already busy and crazy, I am leaving you with some sweet photos of my boy because I don't know how long it will be before I can post more pictures!









Sunday, August 22, 2010

Booty Shout Out!

I love it when I find who is reading my blog.  I don't have a ton of loud commenters, but I keep track of how many readers I have and really wonder who all of you are.  It's a treat and a surprise to be in a conversation and hear, "I was reading on your blog the other day..."

I had one of those moments the other night at roller derby.  Mr. Booty, husband to my Boss teammate Becky Booty, informed me that he's been playing Mr. Mom lately and has been reading my blog.  And get this:  HE MADE HIS OWN LAUNDRY DETERGENT!  I posted the link to a recipe, but I haven't even tried it yet!  So, props to you, Mr. Booty, and let us know how your detergent works!!

No, THIS Is Nasty.

Please get excited for taking my poll in the previous post--it's my first poll!  And here, if you want to get some  perspective, is REAL nasty.  As in, don't click to continue reading if you don't want to see something truly GROSS.  (Hint: It's something that came out of my child.)


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nasty?

I have been told tonight that I am nasty for keeping fingernail clippers in my car so that I may clip my nails at red lights.  Is this true?  Discuss.

Thanks, MB, for the good idea!

What I've Been Doing This Week Besides NOT Blogging

-getting ready for a baby blessing for a friend
-cleaning my house multiple times (still--or once again?--dirty)
-hanging with my boys
-laundry
-lots of derby stuff
-hanging out with friends (I have friends!!!)
-losing five pounds (!!!!)
-watching Rob play football
-attending (and hosting) a baby blessing
-calling lineups for the Bosse$ at tonight's bout

I will return soon.  I promise.  I'm having fun in the real world, okay?

Photo of the Day

We went from a baby blessing early in the day....to derby at night.  With boots. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tonight Included

An almost overflowing sink.  (Shouldn't have left the plug in, the water running, and then gone out.)



A "surprise."

And...roller derby.  Aaaaaahhhhh....

Notes to Self

Do NOT:

-eat wasabi peas and then take out your contacts.

-use a 1/2 cup to measure 2 and 1/2 cups of flour for cookie dough.

Just--don't.

Sawyer's Prayer Life

At night, there are two parts of the putting-Saw-down routine.  He calls them Read Jesus and Pray Jesus.  The first is reading the Bible.  We sometimes read a kid's Bible, but sometimes the real thing.  As for the praying part, I've been asking him who he wants to pray for when we pray to Jesus.  It's sometimes sweet and sometimes funny to hear his answers.  The #1 answer is cousins.  Lately he has also been asking to pray for my friend who lost her baby, which I find super sweet (and a little funny when he says her name and then says "HIS baby").

There have been some odd choices he's added this week.  First:  Donkey.  As in, from Shrek.  (I ignored that one.)  Then he added Penny from Bolt.  (So we prayed for Miley Cyrus.)  And then last night, the guy who painted our street numbers on the curb in front of our house last month.  Sawyer is nothing if not an interesting and entertaining child.  Whatever comes out of his mouth, it's bound to be blog-worthy.

I Wear the Shirt in the Family

Here are a few cute photos from this week.   With nary a shirt.





Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Should Really Stop Watching Documentaries...

...if I don't want to think.  MaryBeth brought up a point in the comments of my Egg Recall post, and while I think she was giving me a hard time (kinda), her reference to Food, Inc reminded me that I haven't posted about it yet.

Last week I watched several documentaries, and my world was kind of rocked.  I'm not the kind of person who takes something like a documentary and becomes and immediate believer and follower.  There are many sides to every story.  (And I hope those of you who love Michael Moore have ALSO watched Michael Moore Hates America to hear that other side--and vice versa.)  Documentaries are not a voice of Truth.  They can have inaccuracies and mistakes, and always come from a point of view.  (Take the acclaimed An Inconvenient Truth and a court case in England.) But they are a great way to spark discussion and bring ideas and, in some case, realities to the forefront of people's conversations.

I'm not taking a side on any issue here, but am saying that documentaries are a great tool to let voices speak.  I have heard several voices and am disturbed and thinking hard and reading more.  When I have more conclusive opinions (notice: I did not say truths), I will write more about them.  For now, though, I will say that I'm excited by the rise of the documentary in popularity because they're great tools and also fun to watch.  My next up to watch:  Good Hair.   :)

Egg Recall

Thanks, Dad, for this link.  There is a salmonella scare with eggs right now.  Check the end of your egg carton to find if your eggs have this number (it's for the plant):  P1026, P1413, P1946.  If not, you're okay. If so, then check for this number that tells the batch:  136 to 225.  If it falls between those two numbers, return them to your store for a full refund.

I personally found the numbers hard to figure out, but since my eggs are not from one of those three plants (the P number), I'm okay.  Here's a full article if you want to read more.  It's probably because I've been watching lots of documentaries lately, but it's kind of weird that our eggs in local stores come from all over the country instead of just the closest farmers...but that's another post.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What Your Photo-Face Says about You

Have you ever noticed that some people look different in photos than in real life?  Like, some people look better, some look worse, some just weird.  Also, some people flash really fake smiles.  I don't know if I've ever talked about this on here, but my sophomore year of college, for whatever reason, I went to have my photo taken.  I guess for the yearbook--did my college HAVE  a yearbook??  My best friend and roommate Ginny came with me and stood behind the photographer.  I made such a horrible, non-me face that she laughed.  Out loud.  Until she cried.  Which made my fake smile even worse and then I was blushing and REALLY ticked off because I hate being embarrassed.  I can categorically say that they were some of the most atrocious pictures in my life.  Thank you, Ginny.

I think that the way people respond to having their photo taken says something about them.  I feel kind of self-conscious, okay, a LOT self-conscious.  I want to look good. But this seems shallow, so then I'm embarrassed to try and look like I'm trying to look good, which often results in me looking awkward.  If you don't believe me, it's because I'm not posting any of those awkward photos her for you to judge me.

Today I took Lincoln over to Sears to have my derby friend Creeping Beauty take his pics.  She was having a slow day and so was I.  I think I got photos there of Saw when he was about this age, too, so it seemed like a perfect idea.  I remember that photo shoot, and it was something like this:  Saw was almost crawling and could sit up on his own, but would only do it for like a second before lurching forward and trying to scoot off.  He also would NOT smile, and the closest we got was a little smirk, which was very Sawyer.

Lincoln?  Total pro.  Total ham.  Big, beautiful, heart-melting smiles for every shot.  EVERY. SHOT.  It cracked me up.  How can I have two boys that came out of me, that are so sweet and wonderful, and yet so different in small little things like this??  He was a charmer.  Beauty said he was the best baby she'd taken pictures of, ever. I don't know if I'm "allowed" to scan and post the pics, but I'll find out before I get the hard copies and if I can, post them.  They are adorable.  Sawyer's photos were adorable too--but they are both just so different.  My boys.  Love them.

Giving from the Overflow

I've probably blogged about being on a budget, and maybe about how I wish we had enough money for a new car or for me to have someone watch Linc a few hours a week so I could write.  We're definitely on a budget, and we try to cut corners where we can, like on groceries.  But here's the thing:  we're on a budget for the US.  Meaning that our budget is filled with wealth and excess compared to the rest of the world.  We HAVE spending money for things that are fun.  We have money to go out to eat every now and then.  We have money to eat real food, good food: fruits, vegetables, meat.  We have the money for the occasional treat like ice cream.

Realizing this, I wanted to not only cut our grocery budget with coupons, but to give out of our excess.  Today I spoke with an organization that our church helps support for single women, many with children.  My plan is to donate a box every month of things I can buy for free or cheap with couponing, while still sticking to our budget, which is now firmly $30 less every month.  I got a list of things that they need most and what do you know?  They're the items most often found seriously cheap with coupons.  I feel excited to be able to help.  I'm also donating all of my old Mary Kay supplies, and the woman there was beyond thrilled.  She likes to put together special beauty gifts for the women, and this will help tremendously with that.  Overall, she was just excited about this partnership and so am I.

I definitely don't give enough.  Ever.  Even though we do things like tithe and sponsor a child through Compassion International (look for the widget in my sidebar!),  we still have lots when people have little.  I'm not into the giving because you feel guilty thing, but more because of the want thing, and the putting life in perspective and realizing I have way more than I need thing.  After all, I just spent like 100 bucks on giant silver boots.  I'm pretty sure I can give money for people who have NEEDS.

So, not because you feel guilty or something, think about whether or not you want to or are able to partner with someone locally or nationally or internationally to give each month out of whatever your excess is.  Just something to think about.  No pressure.  No guilt.  Just think.

My Fave Deals This Week

Here are a few of my favorite finds this week.  Some are from my own digging, and some are from other sites.  Notably:  Couponing101 and Passion for Savings.   I'm not putting the Kroger ones down, because they've probably either changed over for you, or will by tomorrow morning.

CVS
-Milk is $2.99 and you get $1 in ECBs back.  Limit of 2.

Target
-A Room Essentials bed pillow for $2 when you use a $1/1 printable coupon at the Target site.  That's a darn cheap pillow!  Even if you don't need one, consider buying one and donating it!


Also, if you want to figure out great deals on school supplies, click here to see the deals chart from Save at Home Mommy.  You can figure out the prices and then match up coupons: genius!  Here's another post that includes coupons (so you don't have to think for yourself if you don't want to) at Couponing 101.

He Doesn't Need a Coach

Today was a big Daddy day for Rob and Sawyer.  Rob took him to school, then picked him up and took him to a movie, brought him home, and then took him out to a friend's house for dinner and play.  During the time Rob brought him home, I left both boys with him and went to see my friend Marianne's new baby.    (And how is it that seeing a tiny, new baby can make you want another even when you have a 5-month old?  Because it does, somehow.)  Here's what happened when I came back home.

Sawyer ran to the door and said, "I miss you Mommy!  You go in the car with us?   I miss you."  And he gave me a big hug and then said, "Yay!  I love you."  And he gave me a kiss.

Heart.  Melting.

I definitely thought Robbie coached him, but when I asked him seriously tonight, he said it was all Sawyer.  And as much as I enjoyed my time with Lincoln and his long naps and just a quiet, peaceful day of laundry and cleaning and chilling with the wee one, I missed Sawyer too.  Enough that I requested to put him to bed.  I love those moments.  I'll especially love remembering them when he's a teenager and would never, ever EVER think of being sweet like that to Mommy.

Sad or Just Sugar Withdrawal?

Last night I found myself in one of those weepy moods, where I just kept thinking about all the things in my life that I can't seem to find or make time for.  Notably: my novel, which I have not even looked at in six weeks.  SIX WEEKS!!  One of the really hard things to me about parenting is losing yourself.  Or, figuring out how to not totally lose yourself while fully giving yourself to those adorable little people.

I love my life, and my boys.  I don't question my decision to not work and stay home with them.  Even on the hardest days, it's a joy, and THEY are joys.  But balancing your life when you have toddlers and babies at home is arguably harder than walking a tightrope.  That just takes practice and a net. (I think.  I've never tried it, actually.)  Toddlers require so much energy and time and leave you feeling sometimes like you've been run over (repeatedly) by a train at the end of the day.  Your home certainly looks as though a train went through it.  You probably have spit-up or some kind of food that you didn't eat in your hair.  If you have makeup on, it's smudged underneath your eyes.  You can't find your glasses.  Or your phone.  Turning on your brain for critical and creative thinking?  Not a chance.

Last night I found myself lamenting the fact that I can't seem to work even part-time in this season of wild boy chaos.  I may have gotten a little weepy and complained to a friend (thanks, Jenna!) and my hubby (thanks, Rob!).  I didn't feel really depressed or even in a tunnel like I have sometimes this summer, but more just kind of sad that the part of my life that was MINE got lost somewhere along the way.  Or, eaten.  Or something.  It's gone, in any case.

Then I had this realization--I didn't eat carbs today.  I'm not sad--I'm just in sugar withdrawal!

Before all you breastfeeders come at me with the don't-diet-while-nursing thing, I really am not going all-out no carbs.  (I would die.)  But I am kicking off another ten-day or two-week regimen of eating well to move down another size.  All summer I've been moving down a size, then maintaining, but not losing. You see, I'm like those girls in the movie Mean Girls who EAT their feelings.  It's been a hard summer. I've been eating a lot of feelings.  Hence, the sugar withdrawal that led me to a weepy night of woe.

I do want to find the time to finish that novel.  Maybe Jenna is right, it's just a season, and I need to take a guilt-free break and make it work when I can.  But one thing is for sure:  I need to eat some carbs today.  Good, whole grain carbs, but CARBS.  Mommy needs starch.

Good Enough to Eat

On our menu tonight:  one home-raised two-year old boy, served raw with garnish of chocolate yogurt and black bean sauce.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Coupon Armageddon Part 7: Know How Much Things Cost

Will this be the week for Kroger's super sale??  There are only two weekends in August left, so if Kroger is planning to still have their blowout coupon doubling sale, then it will be this weekend or next.  I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas, if Christmas came every year at a random, unknown time.  Actually, I'm getting a fun idea for having some kind of yearly surprise day for my kids where we do something huge and fun, but they never know when until they wake up... Hm.

Know How Much Things Cost

Sometimes I see the Sunday paper and realize something like diapers are on sale.  (And just for the record, we primarily use cloth, but Saw's school and our church nursery require disposables.)  They're three dollars off, and I have a coupon, so that means they're only $6!  I could run over to Kroger and pick them up...or, I could realize that they're still 50 cents cheaper than that at Walmart without a coupon.  Or, try this for size:  Kroger has a 10/$10 sale (remember you don't actually have to buy 10!) of canned tomatoes.  I see the yellow sale tag and stock my cart.  Then realize the next week that when they are not on "sale," these cans are only 89 cents. Doh!

This is why it's important to know how much you should (or can) pay for things before you hit the store. You don't want to stockpile or even buy an item if it's not as cheap as it could be (unless it's a must-have for the week and you have no choice), even if it's on sale and you have a coupon.  One way to think about this is to know the costs of things on a daily basis where you shop, both the name and off-brands.  After you've been doing this for a while, you'll recognize how much or little you can get away with paying for things.

I have realized that it's possible for me to get toothpaste for as little as 25 cents or free.  So I will not pay more than a quarter for a tube of toothpaste (which, by the way, is my favorite Crest whitening).  Recently, a sale plus coupon made it free, so I stocked up.  Toilet paper and papers towels in 12+ packs should be under $5 or I won't buy.

An exception might be if you're buying at CVS or Walgreens using their gift certs (ECB and Register Rewards, respectively).  It might really help you one week to spend more, but use your ECBs you've stored up, meaning it won't cost out of pocket.  Also, if you pay a little more out of pocket to earn ECBs to use the next week, it might even out.  If you need a certain item that's not on sale that week, then you might just want to buy it wherever it's cheapest and whatever brand.  Here's a link on Southern Savers about how to work with a buy price list. I don't have a great buy list yet, so here is another link from Southern Savers and some suggestions from the class I took in May:


-Split Chicken Breast (99 cents per pound)
-Boneless Chicken Breast ($1.77-1.99 per pound)
-Pork Loin (99 cents per pound)
-Pork Roast (99 cents per pound)
-Bacon ($2)
-Tortillas ($1 for 10)
-Breakfast Sausage ($1.50)
-Link Sausage ($2)
-Chicken Fajita Meat (99 cents per pound)
-Hamburger Meat ($1.75—$2 per pound)
-Shampoo ($1)
-Toothpaste (50 cents-75 cents)  *I do FREE to 25 cents
-Deodorant (50 cents-$1)
-Men’s Deodorant (75 cents—$1)
-Soap (3 pk. $1)
-Razors ($2-$3 per 4 pack)  *Recently there have been FREE or money-makers (rebates and ECBs) on razors
-Jumbo pack toilet paper and paper towels ($5) *I don't do it unless it's UNDER $5
-Diapers ($5)
-Laundry detergent ($5)  *I try for like $2-3 on this
-Fabric Softener ($2-$3)
-Snacks ($1-$1.50 per box)  *I've gotten lots for FREE or 50 cents
-Chips ($2)
-Cereal ($1-2)
-Tampons ($1-$2 box)  *I've seen some FREE deals for these as well recently
-Cheese ($1-$1.25)  *I buy cheese every week and almost always pay MORE than this

Lincoln Takes the Cake

No, literally.  Here's a photo I forgot to put up yesterday from the wedding.  I wanted to stage a shot of me digging into the cake after the happy couple left, and while I faked this, Linc didn't get the memo and grabbed a fistful of icing.  He really is eating everything not nailed down these days!

Restaurant Review: Edomae Sushi

Last night I had the distinct pleasure of getting an outing all by myself.  Rob shooed me out and even gave me twenty bucks (!!!) to splurge on whatever.  I was craving sushi, so headed out to a local sushi bar that I was pretty sure did NOT serve spam (like the last place I tried).  Edomae Sushi is located on Westheimer between Dairy Ashford and Kirkwood.  Overall, it was a great experience.

Though their website says happy hour is only from 8-close on the weekends, it's actually all day Saturday and Sunday.  They have several rolls I love on the happy hour menu (the Tiger Eye roll and the Spicy Yellowtail) as well as good drinks and appetizers.  You can't be the prices, and the food I had was fresh and delicious.  The restaurant had great, low lighting and two separate dining areas with a sushi bar and separate bar for drinks.  There were a lot of people, but there was still enough room to seat me at a table by myself rather than the sushi bar.  (The better to read Entertainment Weekly, my dear.)

I started out with the Vegetables Tempura (one of my favorite things ever) and was totally pleased.  They included asparagus, which I was a little leery of tempura style, but everything was delicious.  The only odd thing was what I assume was a decorative "item" on the plate that looked like pine needles fried in tempura.  I debated on whether or not to eat it.  It really REALLY looked like pine needles.  But then, who puts something inedible on a plate that's cooked the same was as the edible parts?  The logic didn't make sense, but I really didn't want to eat pine needles, so I left that alone.  I ate the spicy yellowtail as my main course and it was fabulous.

The only complaint I have is about myself:  I really wish I could like sake.  It was super cheap on the happy hour menu, and though I haven't liked it in the past, I figured $2.50 was good cause to give it another go.  I drank about half of it, and then decided that $2.50 was cheap enough to stop drinking something that, to me, tasted like I imagine rubbing alcohol would.

Overall, if you're in the neighborhood and want a real steal on sushi,  I highly recommend Edomae.  I tried a very limited portion of the menu, but was pleased with the atmosphere, service, food, and the prices.

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