Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cloud Atlas...

I don't know when this movie is coming out, but I definitely want to see it when it does!  Most of Tom Hanks' stuff is a snooze, so it'll be nice to see him in something I won't nap through!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hello 3rd Trimester!

According to the "handy dandy" app I have on my iPhone from What To Expect...  today marks the very first day of my third trimester with the little man!  I am so excited and a little scared all at the same time.  I can't wait to meet this little guy, he's been wanted for a very long time, but at the same time, I don't feel like we are "ready" yet.  We're ready to be parents, but the house...oh the house!  His future bedroom/nursery is still a working office, we have nothing (okay, I do have a few {dozen} diapers, but not nearly in the quantity we need) to put on his rump, clothes...well, we have lots of hand me downs, but not a ton in any one size (my sister has given me everything nephew #4 is outgrowing and another friend gave me a box of 6+ months stuff) and I just have this sneaking suspicion that this guy is gonna be tiny

I was complaining (whining really) over the weekend that it felt like the little man was trying to "make more room in there" for a growth spurt and I think I was right!  Besides the fact that clothes that fit last week no longer fit, he is really rocking and rolling in there!  Last night before going to sleep he was really hunching/kicking really hard, harder than I have ever felt!  And he continued it all...night...long!  Even as I type, he's in there practicing to be an MMA fighter I think!  I'm thinking tomorrow will be a "quieter" day though since he seems to be doing a lot today!  Just as long as he cooperates on Friday, we have yet another ultrasound because the doctor hasn't been able to "see everything" he wants to see yet, this will make our third "anatomy scan"!

Other than baby stuff, I have had a pretty full week so far (keep in mind it's only Wednesday)!  Yesterday I made another batch of dog food, this time we used Hamburger, mostly because we had bought a pound for us to eat and plans changed...we are horrible about using stuff in our freezer, so I made dog food with it instead of trying to "save" it for another day.

Before the Rice got added!
Beef/Veggie/Rice "Dog Stew"
  • 2 lbs Hamburger (I used 1 80/20 & 1 93/7, we buy leaner meat for us than we do for the dog)
  • 12 cups cooked Rice
  • 2/3 of a 1 lb bag Frozen Chopped Spinach
  • 1-1 lb bag Frozen Green Beans (French style cause they're $0.98 a bag)
  • 1-1 lb bag Fozen California Blend (Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots)
  • 1 Qt Beef Broth (I use 4 cups of hot water and a heaping tablespoon of Better then Bouillon in Beef Flavor)
  • 1 container Cottage Cheese (okay, it was more like 3/4 of the container, but it was going bad)

I started by making up a batch of rice in our (still new) rice cooker, it makes 6 cups of rice at a time.  After that batch, I took the rice out and put in a big glass bowl to cool and let the cooker cool so I could handle it to clean it and get another batch going!  After getting the second batch of rice set up, I grabbed the steamer basket that came with the rice cooker and tossed in about two-thirds of the bag of frozen Spinach, it filled the steamer basket!  By the time the rice was cooked, the Spinach was perfectly steamed and all the nutrients from it had dripped into the rice (I see a few dinners for us being made this way in the near future), turning some of the rice green!  After the last batch of rice was cooling (the first batch went into a ziploc and the rice and spinach went in the bowl), I got the hamburger cooking in our "dog food pot", which is a 12-Qt stock pot that I burned rice in (you remember the day my rice cooker died and I got to talk to the alarm company because I set off the smoke detector, right?)...most of the black is gone from it, but we weren't using it for anything else and this way, I can add doggie supplements (when we have them) without worrying if I have them all scrubbed out before I cook for the humans in the house.  I didn't bother adding any oils this time, the meat had plenty of fats in it! 

While the meat browned, I finally got my Laundry Soap bottled (in milk jugs that have been washed out and saved)!  I don't fill the jugs all the way, that way there is room to shake up the contents and distribute the soap in the water better.  This batch (the double batch I made a month or so ago) turned out really runny.  But, I got it in three 1-gallon jugs and four half-gallon jugs (but really it's only about 4 gallons of laundry soap)!  Some of it is going to go home with my Mom when she visits next month, but with what I have left still from the first batch I made (about half a gallon) and what I keep of this, I should have a year's supply of soap, lol.

Between filling each jug, I stirred the meat.  Once there was no more pink in the meat, I added both bags of frozen vegetables, normally I thaw these while the other parts cook, but I forgot, so they went in straight from the freezer this time.  It works either way, but the frozen veggies solidified all the fat and looked really gross.  After giving the veggies some time to hang out with the meat a little, I added the Beef broth (to make this, I take my 2-Qt glass measuring cup, [get one if you don't have one they are a kitchen neccessity] and this time only used 4 cups of hot tap water because the rice was already cooked.  I used a Tablespoon and just made it heaping, 4 teaspoons of the base makes 4 cups of broth.  Once you get it off the spoon, microwave it for 2 to 3 minutes and get it nice and hot!  It'll help dissolve the base.).  Let that all come to a boil, it cooks the veggies and lets everything soak up a little broth.  Then, turn off the heat and dump in the rice!  I mixed between each addition of rice, it gets really hard to stir with 12 cups of rice in there!  After it's all mixed, I divide the mixture between the glass bowl I let the rice cool in, the measuring cup, and the stockpot so that it cools faster...don't add dairy to hot food!  Then, we left the house and went to lunch...this stuff takes forever to cool off! 
Rosie follows me when I'm cooking Dog Food!
Later in the afternoon, I divided what I had of the Cottage Cheese between the dishes and gave it one last mix.  Then, it was portion-bagging time!  Rosie weighs in at 61 pounds, and most sites suggest 2-3% of the dog weight be fed daily, that puts her food needs at 19.5 to 29.3 ounces.  We give her roughly 2-cups of food, twice a day (two bags of pre-portioned food weigh in at 25.0 ounces).  We bag it all up once cooled into sandwich size ziploc bags for easy feeding throughout the week (Garrick does most of the feeding, I do the cooking).

This batch gave us 13.5 servings (or 6.5 days of food and a little "taster" plate for Rosie when we were done bagging, because who can resist that look on her face after hours of seeing it?

The chickens got the rest of the bag of Spinach, but they didn't eat it!  It's the first thing other than potatoes that they refuse to eat!  I was shocked because they loved it in the winter, but this time it was served room temperature, not hot like before.  Speaking of the gals, they got a mini-coop clean up this morning!  I noticed that the hook we hang our water from was being bent under the weight of the water, so I took it down, scrubbed it clean, and moved it to a new hook (we have 3 to use for the water and food, luckily).  I also hosed out their sandbox, which has been empty for a while now and was beginning to look more like a public bathroom than a place to take a bath in!  Since I was out there anyway, I also took them one-quarter of a "personal size" watermelon that I bought (in June).  The flesh was still very firm, but it was beyond anything I would want to eat.  It took some convincing to get the girls to try it, but they eventually did and last time I checked, they were enjoying the cool treat!  The rest of the melon got cut into sections, bagged, and tossed in the freezer (we have some high 90's days headed our way) for the girls to have another day.  To get them to try the melon, a new food for them, I sprinkled the pieces with Red Chili Pepper pieces (a favored treat and natural wormer), BOSS (just a yummy treat), and finally, a few Meal-worms (Gerty is the only chicken I have that likes these, but once she got interested in the melon pieces, Clyde and Henri soon followed)!

And since I was outside anyway...I went ahead and watered my "deck plants".  They don't get any direct sun in the afternoon/evenings, so I figure I'm okay to do that.  It also is only 83 today, so not scorching!  My Raspberry bushes are really filling in this summer, as is all the weeds and "voluntary" Blackberry bushes!

The one and only tomato plant that I have actually producing any tomatoes is absolutely loaded with them!  I may pick one or two to have with dinner tonight, they look like they might be ready.  They're a little bigger than a Cherry Tomato!

One night this week I'm finally going to harvest some of my Pineapple Sage too, though I'm not sure what night that will be just yet.  It is such a full, bushy plant this year!  I'm hoping that it will make the transition to an indoor plant this Fall, the Stevia did well last year so I am hopeful.  I'd really like to have this herb around year-round!

I'm not quite done with my busy day today either, I need to go do some shopping!  (Twist my arm, huh?)  I'm looking to get enough fabric to make two reversible/lined slings...mostly because my pre-pregnant size is between sizes on the cutting chart, but also because Garrick is squarely in the lerger size and I want him to be able to pack little man around too.  Also, I found a tutorial for making a quilt out of a Jelly Roll that looks super simple and a new skill to be learned (quilting) at the same time!  Then there's the "cover the window on the door" project that I still need to get some magnets for, groceries to buy, and baby stuff to ogle!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Why I Wash w/ Shaving Cream...

Okay, first let me start off by saying, isn't the kind you buy at the store!  Now, why do I wash with my Homemade Shaving Cream?  Because it smells freaking awesome!  And...why not?  I mean it's only four ingredients, the first of which is shampoo.  As mentioned in my last post, I make my Shaving Cream/Lotion with Shampoo, conditioner, Lotion, and Coconut Oil...that's it!  Some have said that they get a lovely lather from the recipe I follow (and passed on to you all in my last post), but I do not...I get a white, sorta thick fluid that quickly disappears into my skin!  But, makes my skin feel so good!

This is more information regarding my breasts than the "average" reader needs, but here it is anyway.  Since becoming regnant, my boobs have drastically changed...I'm talking, shape, size, color...the works!  So, one day after making a fresh batch of the shaving cream I was taking a shower (and shaving my legs for no good reason other than to be able to use my shaving cream again) and I got to thinking about the ingredients in it...I use a Vitamin E Lotion and at the time, was using Organic Coconut Oil, sounded good enough to me to help ease some of the "tightness" I was feeling in my chest...if nothing else, it smelled good and gave me a slippery/smooth feeling while I rubbed the tender areas!

I still don't get a lather (at all), but I now enjoy the scent of my homemade shaving cream/lotion nearly every shower by also using it as a body wash as well!  It doesn't take a lot either, I use about 2 teaspoons worth to wash with (I use double or triple that to shave each leg)!  My little 3-ounce shower bottle lasts me well over a week, in fact, I have about half of it left as of today's shower!  Somehow in the making of the last batch, I made 8-ounces of shampoo and another 8-ounces of conditioner, plus 2-ounces each of lotion and coconut oil turn into about 30-ounces of shaving cream it isn't like I'm going to run out any time soon!  Even if I manage to work it up to using 3-ounces a week, I still have about 2.5 months worth of yummy smelling cream to go!

But, in other news around the house...

Look at my belly!  But, please...don't look into my messy office or the super bright bathroom...just check me out! I got the dress I'm wearing there before our trip to Las Vegas last January (that feels like a lifetime ago now), it fit a little big at the time, but it hung really well and was long enough I didn't feel like I was going to be flashing anyone.  The floral part is sheer with a black "slip" lining under it, the lining is fitting me very snugly these days though...the legging are to keep my big 'ol thighs from rubbing together and causing other "issues", but I think they look okay.

Recently, since my birthday is coming up and I sign up for every freebie I possibly can, I have gotten a slew of emails offering me "free stuff" since I'm turning old(er).  Last night I enjoyed a free dinner at IHOP, not the "best" option for my Diabetes, but I don't kill my diet too often.  I got a free "Rooty Tooty Fresh & Fruity", basically it's 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 sausage, and 2 pancakes topped with your choice of Strawberries, Blueberries, or Apples.  Each fruit is really just pie filling dumped on top, I get mine with the fruit on the side, so I can indulge in the Butter Pecan syrup (mostly) and then eat just a little of the sweet fruit.  We had to pay for drinks and Garrick's meal (of course), but we did save the $6.99 that my meal cost.

Also on the "meal plan" this week is a stop into an old favorite (that isn't a favorite anymore since they closed down the location nearest our home), Perkins.  I have a free meal coupon for there too...2 eggs, 2 bacon or sausage links, and 3 pancakes.  I also have (but will most likely not use) coupons for a free shake at Arby's, a BOGO deal at Aunt Annie's Pretzels, and a free cone at Ben & Jerry's.  These ones don't get used often (or ever for some) because they just aren't "worth" it to us.  Aunt Annie's is in the mall, but we've never tried them, B&J is across town and is a free ice cream cone really worth the $3-4 it would cost to park downtown?

What is always worth the free coupon (and a special trip out to get it) is the BOGO deal I get from Coldstone Creamery on my birthday!  Yes, we got the huge sized cups...but for the extra $0.40 it costs to go from a medium to the large size, each cup makes 3 or so treat servings for us...worth the extra change I think, especially since this beauty on the right was absolutely free!  What did I get though?  Well...I got a Cheesecake Fantasy, but instead of Blueberries, I got fresh Raspberries, and instead of Strawberries, I got Whipped Cream!  So, what I ended up with was Cheesecake flavored ice cream, graham cracker pie crust crumbles, raspberries, and whipped topping...can we say "yummy raspberry cheesecake with a load of whipped cream all tossed in the blender to make a tasty baby" in unison now?  I ate the cup almost level with the top, popped a lid on it and it is now chilling in the chest freezer downstairs!  That was not dinner though....oh, no! 

Dinner was a new "experiment" for us.  We tried out Five Guys for dinner!  If you have one of these near must go try them out!  It's like Subway...but with burgers!  I got a "little cheeseburger" (one meat patty) with Mayo, Lettuce, Grilled Onions, Grilled Mushrooms, and BBQ was the best burger I have had in quite some time!  Garrick got his cheeseburger (2 meat patties) with just Mayo and BBQ Sauce, he doesn't like any "veggies".  We also got sodas...they have those new "fancy" Coke dispensers that have all the flavors you can add and a bazillion choices to start with (okay, the thingy says it makes over 200 flavor combos), including at least SIX diet choices!  Gone are the days of not having any choice if you had to drink diet soda! 
 As a side note here, I can remember as a kid not wanting to eat at McDonald's because the only drink option I had was Diet Coke (which I hated then, but prefer now) or water.  I swore when I was younger that "someday" I was going to open a restaurant that served only diet drinks with Coke (or Pepsi or RC for all I cared) as the only sugared soda.

So, I happily filled my cup with Diet Barq's Root Beer and Garrick got Diet Coke.  We've found that we really do not like the extra flavorings they offer, though it was nice to try Sprite Zero (otherwise known as Diet Sprite) with Grape and Orange Flavorings (separately)...and a few other combos, I just wasn't feeling that adventurous with my beverage choice this evening.  Then, it was off to sit at a table and await our fresh cooked burgers while enjoying a pile of in-the-shell peanuts!  I don't know why, but places that offer these are always some of our favorite places to eat...there used to be a lpace in Bend Oregon that we loved...they gave you a giant bucket of peanuts and just swept the shells onto the floor (which they swept nightly), it was always so much fun to go there and eat peanuts and dump the shells right on the floor...taking kids there was even fun because you didn't have to worry about them making a huge was part of the "charm" of the place!  They also served super strong "adult" beverages in mason jars.  But, back to tonight's story...Five Guys is most definitely going to be a place we go again...they don't serve a lot of "choices" as far as the food goes, but it was perfect for dinner!

My tomato plants are nearly as tall as me...I may or may not have mentioned this before.  I even had to go out and by longer plant stakes to help support them!  Each plant now sports a 60-inch bamboo stake along with the cages and shorter stakes.  Well, all of the ones I bought and planted are...the one Garrick bought me (that was much large and more established when I got it) is only as tall as the tomato cage, but it is loaded with small tomatoes!  Some are almost ready to be picked and eaten too!  They aren't very big...about the size of a golf ball maybe, but they look so good, I cannot wait to eat them!

We really haven't been "using" our garden (as it were) much this year...heck, the BBQ is still in the process of being cleaned and we haven't used it yet this year!  But, we do plan on getting that finished up (tomorrow hopefully), as we have hot dogs and our favorite Summer recipe, Fiery "skewered" Shrimp on the menu!  For the Shrimp, I use our Pineapple Sage (a lot of it) and then barbeque them in a grill basket, way easier than soaking skewers, threading the shrimp, carefully turning the skewers, prying you don't lose any of those yummy shrimps to the bowels of hell (otherwise known as "where good food goes to waste") if it falls through the BBQ...much easier to give the basket a few good shakes and wait for all those shrimps to be ready to be inhaled by us!  Even our nephews like this one (the oldest one or two anyway)!  They like shrimp though...  We buy the smaller shrimp because we don't have to thread them on skewers...saved us about $5 for an equal sized bag at Costco...we got 31-40's (shrimps per pound) instead of (18-24's or something like that)!  All it really means is more tails to give the chickens!  Get them raw though if you plan to BBQ them...don't want pre-cooked ones here!  Also, get them saves you a lot of hassle and the meat gets more of the flavor from the marinade!  (I have posted this recipe before, but will likely do so again later this week after I cook up this batch.)

In all things "baby related"...

I think I've settled on a "look" for our nursery!  I've been struggling to find an affordable set, I know it isn't something we "need", but an overall theme/look is something I "want"!  Way back before we knew we were having a boy, I had settled on the idea of Sage and Brown as a color scheme, whether our little one was a girl or a boy, and I really haven't let that go...too much!  We did buy a "nursery in a box on Friday night that only came in Cherry colored wood (not so hot next to brown room decor in my opinion), so I have spent the weekend looking for bedding sets that compliment the wood color.  To my surprise, a lot of the brown themed sets were displayed with cherry wood and they don't look too bad!  But, the set I currently like the most is less brown and more green anyway.  The set is a 13-piece set, but does not come with the bumper...and costs $82.  The bumper (that's in the photo) is another $20, but I can easily just add the "breathable mesh" kind for $21 (all prices reflect prices as of last night when I was looking)'s a safer choice and I can get it in Sage green as well.  It isn't the "cutest" option, but safety wins I think!
I have "graduated" into nursing bras....darned under-wires were causing all sorts of issues that no one ever tells you about before you get pregnant (or after for that matter)!  Giving up my under-wire was hard to do....mostly because I've grown so big (I am now too large to fit my G-cups) that I cannot find anything locally!  I did manage to find Bravado Nursing Bras in their Double Plus style at though!  What a life saver those are!  Sadly, they only carry them in a sports bra style (hello to a few years of nothing but uni-boob), but at least I'm not in pain anymore!  The XL size in the Double Plus fits 42-46 E-G...they don't tell you that on the website, that's what the packaging says.  I would not have thought to try them if it hadn't been for a lovely woman who wrote a review on the website and stated that she was in an F-cup prior to becoming pregnant!  The bra really offers zero support and pretty much just barely keeps my boobs from going wherever they please, but it is better than nothing!

Lastly, we may have a name for our little man!  Of course, that changes on a weekly basis, but this one just feels "right", so we shall see...  We aren't going to be sharing our final name choice with anyone though...until he's born.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Crafts and Fruit!

So, last night I went out to collect the day's egg(s) only to find that one had been broken and half-eaten!  Ew...  So, I had to remove the nest box, bring it inside, and wash the icky, sticky egg gunk out of the bottom of the box (the bottom half of an old, deep, litter box used by our first cat (Garrick's cat).  I left it to dry by the back door over night and this morning, filled it up with fresh straw from the garage (which is where we are currently housing the coop supplies) and took the fresh box out as the girls were looking for their beloved Magenta nest box!

On the way out to the coop, I noticed a bit of bright red poking out from the Raspberry bushes!  We got 6 starts from a lady that Garrick works with last Spring.  I have talked about how and where I planted them before, but the short of it is this...  When we moved in, there was a plastic pond liner in the raised area of our backyard.  I removed the pond and liner after we lost a small bird who couldn't get back out once he/she got in the pond.  So, for several years we had a bog hole in the raised area of our ugly, filled with weeds, hole.  So, last year, I dumped four large bags of potting soil in the hole and added the Raspberry starts!  Well, nearly one year to the day after getting them planted (they lived in a potting soil bag for a really long time)...I got actual fruit off my bushes!  And oh my god are these yummy!  Super sweet and juicy berries!  After eating two of them, I stopped eating to post this photo on my wall over on Facebook...5 minutes later, I still had that yummy Raspberry flavor lingering in my mouth, like I had just eaten one!

Sadly, while picking my first berries, I also found slugs on my bushes!  I didn't even know we had slugs!  Teeny tiny slugs, but slimy, nasty slug none the less.  So, I guess I need to relocate those homemade slug solutions that I have always zipped right by thinking I didn't need them.  The best solutions I have found are either beer or a mixture of yeast, warm water, sugar, and a bit of salt.  If the girls would behave themselves outside the coop...they are actually better than any other solution to spray and/or trap the little slimy things!  Alas, the girls are too flighty for me to let out and I don't want to risk the berries I have ripening either (I could put one of the girls in the "chicken crate" near the bushes and see if that helps).

I don't know why this one insists on being upside down...
Today's agenda also included finishing pair number two of crocheted baby socks!  They are so "cute"!  I mentioned the other day I was thinking of making "extras" to sell...I'm still thinking about that.  To go with both pairs of socks, I also have made "bookmark bracelets".  I got the patterns (they are different) from a blog called Don't Eat the Paste, I have found several things there that are super fun!  Lots of printable items and such...  Of course, I changed both patterns just a little bit.  The solid blue one got a single crochet (sc) back up the strap and was made using the "diamond" pattern.  Then, I made the "round" pattern in the Ocean variegated thread, but I used one size larger crochet hook and the strap area got a double crochet (dc).  I also added a button to the center of the circle, making it easier to get on/off.  I plan to use one or both of these as "booby bands" or "milk maids" or whatever you want to call them...keep the bracelet on the wrist of the arm nearest the boob that was used last.  I may be able to remember this system...if not, at least I have two pretty cool looking bracelets that also double as bookmarks!  No photos of the bookmarks though, sorry.

I've been trying to get a pair of crocheted baby Converse to work...but I just cannot get that pattern to work!  I guess it's time to get cracking on the reversible baby booties (in chocolate brown and Giraffe print), but those have to wait until I at least get the upstairs beige carpet looks very black these days.

Other things that I have gotten actually completed recently?  I got a double batch of Laundry Soap made, but not "bottled" yet.  I have a 35-pound cat litter container totally full of soap and 7.5 gallons of empty milk containers waiting to be filled (though I really only have like 4 gallons of soap).

Also, I made a new batch of Shaving "cream" last night!  I ran out of the Rosemary and Mint Conditioner (I also use it to make my Fabric Softener), so I decided to try a new "flavor"!  This time, I bought Suave Professional in Almond & Shea Butter...this is their "moisturizing" formula.  I forgot I needed both Shampoo and Conditioner in this there's a bit of both smells.  I went ahead and made a full batch this time.  I also added extra lotion and coconut oil too.  Here is the recipe I used this time:
  • 1 cup Rosemary & Mint scented Suave Shampoo ($2.74 for the big bottle)
  • 1 cup Almond & Shea Butter scented Suave Conditioner ($2.74 for the big bottle)
  • 6 Tablespoons Suave Vitamin E Lotion (I forget what I paid for this, but I have made 2 batches now and still have most of the big bottle left)
  • 6 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted (I reuse a glass quart jar that had Organic Coconut oil in it, but I use LouAna brand from WalMart...under $8 for a 32-ounce container of it)
I dumped everything into a large yogurt container (I bought two Whole Milk plain yogurt containers on clearance for $1.79 and used the yogurt in making dog food), whisked, and then used a half-cup measure and a funnel to pour the mix into my "shower container" which is a 3-ounce travel container, it holds just under a half-cup perfectly!  I love the scent of this stuff!  In fact, I even used it this morning in the shower as a body wash!  I can't see anything in here that would make it "not appropriate" to use as a body wash.  I get the shaving recipe from One Good Thing by Jillee, I get a lot of recipes from her...including my Fabric Softener!  The above recipe is how I adapted her is a very runny mixture, this is why I keep it in a little squeeze tube in the shower...I've also used a ketchup/mustard container, but I found the container just too "big" for my shower.  If you want it thicker, you could reduce the amount of oil in the mix, but that would also reduce the moisturizing properties in the mix too.

I made a ton of dog food this past weekend too!  Well, not so much a "ton"...but it ended up making 16 2-cup servings (or 8 days worth for Rosie)!  Recipe for that as follows:
  • 2.25 pounds Elbow Macaroni ($0.58 a pound = $1.30)
  • 2 20-ounce packages Ground Turkey (I got these on sale for $3.99 each = $7.98)
  • 1 16-ounce package Frozen French Style Green Beans ($1.08)
  • 1 16-ounce package Frozen Mix - Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrot rounds ($1.18)
  • 64-ounces Chicken Broth (I used up what was left in my Better than Bouillon Chicken Base, mixed in 8 cups Water)
  • 2/3 cup White Rice (this was given to me ages ago)
  • 1 32-ounce container Nancy's Organic Whole Milk Yogurt-Plain ($1.79 on clearance)
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
First, I cooked the pasta (it was the cheapest one I could find in the bulk bins)...this really only takes me about 10 minutes after the water is boiling.  I then drained the  pasta and piled it into a huge mixing bowl.  Since some of the pasta stuck to the bottom of my stockpot, I added a good helping of Olive Oil to the pan before I put it back on the burner and added both packages of raw turkey meat to the pot.  Once the meat was no longer pink (but not really browned), I added both packages of frozen vegetables, which had been sitting out on the counter since we got home from the store, and gave the mix a good stir.  Then, I dumped in my Chicken Stock, which I had microwaved to bring to a boil before hand.  At this point it looked more like soup than the stiff mix we feed the dog!  I then added the rice to help absorb some of the liquid, I really could have used 1/3 cup or less...the pasta soaked up plenty of the liquid too later on.  Once the rice was cooked, another 10 minutes of boiling, I dumped the cooked pasta into the pot and gave it a really good stir!  At this point, it filled my 12-quart stockpot!  I had to separate my mixture into 3 portions to get the yogurt mixed in to it once it had cooled for a little while!  I didn't let it cool "enough", but after it cooled for about 45 minutes, I got help mixing the quart of yogurt in to everything.  Then, we gave the dog dinner...which we then had to take away from her and put in the fridge to cool it down enough for her to eat, I know...I'm a mean Mom that way!  After she got to eat, we went out to dinner and when we came home, we spent the time to bag individual portions making morning and evening meals much easier!  This batch cost us $13.33 or $0.83 per meal.  We buy canned food for when Rosie won't be with us (and for when I'm super lazy and don't get food made) for $0.68 each.  The problem with the canned food though, Rosie has actually lost weight (3 or 4 pounds in about a month)!  She weighed 61 pounds when I took her in to the vet for a boarding stay at the beginning of the month, she has to be boarded again at the beginning of August, so I'll have a better idea of if I need to up her food consumption.

I think that's all for now...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Baby Stuff and Vegetables...

So, here is what I've been working on for the last few days...literally.  I crocheted the first sock up last night and the second one this morning/afternoon!  The pair only took me about 6 hours total to crochet.  I followed a pattern that I got from Ravelry ages ago (I got it to make for Nephew #4 before he was born), but it is originally from Crochet Home & Holiday Magazine, November 2001 (No. 85 Pages 20-21).  I must crochet tighter than the original creator of this pattern though, my socks ended up being only 3 inches from heel to toe and the pattern says they should be 3 1/2 inches!  Either way, I really hope these fit the little man when he's born (I don't expect them to fit for very long)!  I've also been trying to get a pattern for baby Converse to work out...I'm just not getting it to work matter how much I tweak the pattern!  I've already adjusted the crochet hooks as much as I can, smaller hooks won't work with the yarn and I don't think a finer yarn will work right either!  I suppose it's time to drag out the sewing machine and get to work on the reversible baby booties!

I also wonder if something along these lines would be legal to sell on Etsy, assuming of course that I don't claim the pattern as my own...I would be selling my work with the pattern, not the pattern itself (which is available for free online and if you want to take the time and make it yourself, go for it).  I think I could easily sell these for $5 a pair, but don't want to get in trouble over trying to make a few bucks, ya know?  And, if I'm going to try that, why not try to sell a few other sets of homemade cloth wipes.  My sister made me two sets of washcloths for my shower (10 wipes each).  They're really cute (see her photos in the "Guest" post from earlier today)!  I also have a really cute crib sheet pattern (that I adapted from a "pattern" I found online).  So, good idea?  Bad idea?  Too many people already selling stuff like that?  I don't know...I haven't even really looked into it yet, I just had the idea today.

While I didn't get any actual photos of "baby shower" stuff during the shower, I did have fun playing with my camera with Nephew #4 (who is now 7 months old and has 8 teeth!).  This is my favorite one...  He's fascinated with cell phones, so it was an easy way to entertain him while my sister was running around doing "hostess" stuff.

Here is one of the sets I gave as a hostess gift to my sister and cousin (the set I gave my sister is pale pink, peach, and cream/beige).  The doily underneath the coasters also has little hearts in it, I think they turned out great and didn't take very long to put together (each coaster took 45 minutes to an hour and the doily took around 3, 9 to 12 hours on coasters and another 6 for the doilies...15 to 18 hours of work here).  That really sounds like a lot of time spent crocheting when I add it up like that!


I know I haven't really talked much about my plants this summer (a relief for some, maybe?)...don't think that means I don't have any plants going!  My back deck doesn't look very pretty this year though...I just haven't had the energy to really work on it!  My tomatoes are doing well as far as height goes, they're almost shoulder high!  The ones I got from the grocery store still aren't producing anything, but the one Garrick brought home from his co-worker's greenhouse is just loaded with little baby tomatoes!  I think I counted about 25 little tomatoes on it!

For herbs this year, I really only got Pineapple Sage and Lemon Verbena.  My Apple Mint and Chocolate Mint are from last summer, as is the Catnip that I have growing (not doing as well as past years though).  Yesterday the Pineapple Sage (pictured) looked dead from the heat!  After a good, long drink and a cooler night, it has perked back up into the plant you see here...I was so relieved I hadn't killed it!  I love, love, love this herb!

Other Stuff...

It has been such a busy time since we found out we're having a little boy!  We really need to get going on setting up for actually putting a real-life baby in this house!  He still doesn't even have a bedroom!  I realize he doesn't really need a bedroom for a while since he'll be sleeping in our room to start, but we really need somewhere to go with all of his stuff!  I have the hall closet/pantry stuffed with baby stuff...a box in my bedroom full of clothes from a friend, a box in my office from my cousin, 3 boxes of hand m downs from my sister downstairs, and a huge pile next to my sewing cabinet of stuff from the shower!  I am just completely out of places to put baby stuff!  We don't even have the "big" stuff seat, crib, changing table/dresser, etc...!  Babies are so darned expensive too...I told Garrick the other day that we need to have the crib and stuff ordered no later than our anniversary (July 31).  Since we only have 12 weeks left at this point, we really are running out of time to get it!  We did find a 5-piece set at Burlington Coat Factory (Baby Depot) for just under $300.  The only thing I really don't like about it is the only comes in the Cherry wood finish.  Well, two things, I'm not a fan of the changing table either, but the ones I do like are $160 just for the changing table!  The Graco set we found comes with a convertible crib, toddler rail, changing table, hamper (that fits under the changing table), and a smallish dresser.  The drawers in the store model stuck really bad...but nothing a little light sanding won't fix (I hope)!  It does put a bit of a crimp in my color scheme though...Cherry wood doesn't really "go" with light green and chocolate color scheme!

I also need to get our diapers ordered...we're going to get the 38 diaper set from Giggle Life, it's such a good deal!  I've decided that 3 of the patterns are a bit too "girly" for our little man, so I'll be getting 4 each of the remaining 9 colors (all the solids, minus pink, and the monkeys and safari prints)...I just need to pick which one or two I want to get "extras" of, since I'm getting 38 diapers!  So, what do you think? 
Four diapers in Light Blue, Baby Blue, Sea Blue, Green, White, Yellow. and Red...and then five each in the Monkeys and Safari prints?  It's a lot of blue...but that's the color choices I have to choose from...if we ever have a girl, I'll add some "girlier" diapers to the stash!  Maybe I should get a couple in the Dolphin print...just in case it doesn't look as "girly" as it looks in the picture?

In fact, I have a very distant cousin who is also due in October (about 2 weeks behind me)...I saw from postings by her family that she isn't having such a good time with things.  She is expecting twins and went to the hospital yesterday experiencing preterm labor, today she was taken for an emergency C-section!  My thoughts go to her, her husband, and those babies (as well as the rest of her family)!  No news since about 1 this afternoon though, so I don't know how their family is doing.  It really makes me feel like getting the rest of our "baby stuff" is more urgent than it has felt before!

A "Guest" Post from My Sister (a post on her blog)!

 So here is a post my sister made on her blog on some of the hard work she did (with our Mom) for my baby shower!  Until I get around to posting about everything, this will have to do.  Now, back to my project that I started last night and almost have done!  (Pics to come soon!)

One Mama with 4 Boys!: Baby Shower Hand-made Gifts By Me!: So! We had my sister's baby shower last weekend and even though not many people showed as I had hoped, enough did that my sister got a lot ...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's A...


Little man cooperated right off the bat this morning too!  He was in there upside down (butt towards my head) and the tech was trying to start at the top and work her way down, lol.  There was no mistaking him for a girl this time though, we didn't even need the tech to voice it, lol.  To everyone that suggested Orange Juice this morning, I'm not sure if it worked or not, but he was playing with his hands and even kicked a few times this time!  At the last ultrasound, he stayed curled up in a tight little ball through the whole thing.

So, now that we have narrowed down the naming process by 50%, we are still left debating all new names that may fit with this adorable little face!  We thought about Lee Alvin for a while, and may still use it (or part of it), but I don't think we're as "in love" with the name now like we were back in March.  Other names on "the list" are Andrew, Bailey, Kevin, and maybe some form of Nathan (or Nathanial/Nathaniel)...we still have time!  We might even just narrow it down to a few names and wait to see what fits best with this little stinker's personality!

I can hardly wait to see what this little guy looks like!  He definitely has my nose though!  First thing Garrick said when he saw the side view was "Well, he has your nose"  and boy does he!  Now, the waiting these last 13 weeks is going to be really hard...I want to meet him!  But, I also want him to "cook" I'll patiently (or not) wait out these last few months.

In the meantime, I have to pack for our trip tomorrow for the baby shower!  Then, it'll be home to start really working on the nursery!  I mentioned the other day that I had finally settled on a general color scheme, well it looks like it'll work out perfectly!  And we can use the office that already has a darker green carpet in it too (unless someone wants to put new floors in for us, lol)!  I think I'll skip the ruffly decor stickers though and just go with the circles and dots...maybe get a set of brown animal outlines for an added touch of "cute".
The photos are the decals as well as the inspiration I had for the room decor.  I want a much paler green than this, more of a pale mint, but the idea is still the same!  If we really run out of time, I'll go ahead and get some of the peel/stick things in the green too and just go over the white walls, but I'd really rather not!  However, it may work better to go with the white walls if we end up getting white furniture, only time will tell!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

The day when dogs all across the US hide in terror from the explosions and quite possibly do the unthinkable and wet themselves and anything they may happen to be anywhere near...  At least, that is how our dog, a 65 pound Black Lab spends her 4th of July evenings (as well as New Year's Eve).  She'll pant, sweat, and stay literally wrapped around my feet the entire evening and come bed time, she'll either try joining us in bed (something she never does, except for when there is fireworks involved) or try to dig her way through everything stored under the bed to hide under there.  I even considered moving the storage boxes this morning, but I'm not sure how she'd get back out once she got under the bed!  Granted, it's on four-inch risers, but she's a big dog!

As a reminder, if you haven't voted yet, please do so!  Less than 24 hours remain until the "boy/girl" poll closes!  Hopefully by this time tomorrow, we will be happily shopping away for tiny baby clothes that are gender specific!  Our oldest nephew (who will be turning 8 years old on August 8th) is visiting with us this week, so he'll get to be there for the second anatomy scan.  He is less than thrilled about that, but he is looking forward to picking out an outfit for the baby!  I told each of the oldest three of my sister's boys that I would take them shopping and let them pick out a special outfit.  Not sure how/when I'll be able to do that with the 4 year old, he isn't scheduled for a trip up here until after the baby is born, but the 6 and almost 8 year old both have trips here this summer.

July 2011 - Getting his birthday present!
Each summer since we moved from Central Oregon to Eastern Washington (5 years ago August 1st), we have had our oldest nephew visit us for 10 days (up to 3 weeks).  We've done this since the summer he turned 4 (he turned 3 days after our move).  Some years the trip itself has been his birthday present (an early one), he has spent the last 4 Fourth of July's at our house!  Last year, we gave him an old laptop for his birthday that Garrick spent weeks getting set up and adding age appropriate games to.  This year, we got him a World of Warcraft Battle chest (original game, Burning Crusade expansion, and a game guide book which he has spent hours reading)!  Of course, his Uncle then had to spend a few days working on the laptop getting it prepped and usable for the game!  That included finding a new hard drive that was large enough to handle easy feat when you're trying to do it for little to no money.  He did manage to find a larger hard drive that would fit into the laptop (in the form of an old HD that used to live an an MP3 player, before the iPod) and got everything installed, it took almost 2 days to get it working!

After we got the laptop working, we had to set up an email account and gaming account for the kiddo!  Or rather, an email address only used for the game account and a "free" account on under my name (this allows me to have parental control over when he can play as well as the ability to transfer characters to his account if we really want to).  The battle chest comes with a free 30-day game play time, but after that we'll have to figure out how to make it a "free" account so he can continue playing without the need for someone to pay the $15 a month subscription fee.  However, I can see game cards as gifts in the future! 

As a side note...if you go to the WoW website (, between now and July 9th, they have the battle chest, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm all on sale for $10 each!  That's $30 for the game and all the expansions!  We paid $50 for the original game and around $80 each for all three expansions (we got collector's editions on the expansions...)!  Keep in mind though, if you go the subscription route (allowing you to play all the races and classes), it'll cost between $12 and $15 each month to play.  I pay for mine in 6-month chunks, making the "per month" around $12, 30-day time cards and monthly subscriptions are $15.

For today, we are celebrating by not spreading our germs around too much.  We do have to go to the store for cold medicine (I caught a cold when in Central OR last week and gave it to Garrick who is just starting to show symptoms) and food...cause we still have to eat!  Our nephew decided he would rather stay in and watch the fireworks displays in World of Warcraft than journey out this evening to see the "real" ones!  Works for us since the adults in the house are all sick and this way we can keep the terrified pooch company.  That reminds me...I need to remember to let her go potty before dark, she won't go out once the "big booms" start!

Friday we leave for our trip to Vancouver/Portland...the baby shower is this weekend!  That means I'm 24 weeks (today) and there are only 13 weeks left until our little "nugget" is a real-life human being we have to care for!  It doesn't seem all that "real" yet...mostly cause our house still looks like adults live here and there's no way a baby could survive here.  We really need to buckle down and start turning one of our offices into a baby's room!

I don't really have the energy (or time) to make the laundry basket dresser/changing area that I want to make, so it looks like we'll be purchasing a dresser/changer.  I have found one I really like at WalMart (of all places), but it's around $170!  That's actually cheaper than the ones I was going to build, but we'll still need a dresser too...I always thought the crib was the expensive part of nursery furniture, boy was I wrong!  The crib I like (a 4-in-1 convertible) is only $150...the "matching" dresser/changer though?  $270!  Basically I'm down to settling on a furniture color (either white or natural pine) and then looking for pieces that sorta-kinda-almost go together.  I need to see if I can get the crib in white, otherwise it's back to looking for a different dresser/changer, I really want there to be some semblance of "matchiness" to the whole "look", lol.

I did settle on a paint color for the room though!  I think anyway...I want to go with a really light/pale minty green and then get dark brown "peel/stick" decor things to add a bit of decoration to the room.  I found an alphabet set to monogram the wall with too!  I think it's super cute and the plus side is I don't have to really worry about anything falling down (assuming the stick works as intended).  There are also dot sets and a set of vertical "ruffles" that I like too.  Again, I was looking at, so everything there is fairly cheap ($15 a set).  The peel/stick decor option is great too, if I don't like it or (god forbid) the child wants something else in his/her room, it peels right off and away you go with another theme!