Thursday, March 31, 2011

20 Months

This month has been a big one developmentally for Baby Girl!  It feels like she's grown and learned so much just in the last month.

Just this past weekend I discovered teeth #9 and #10 poking through, her top molars!  She's still pretty behind, but that's okay.  Hoping this will decrease the crankiness, but who knows...

Went to a Japanese steak house with Baby Girl for the first time and she really enjoyed it.  She ate a TON of the food and didn't seem bothered by the fire.  She just looked and said "fire".  The chef was really nice and warned us and asked if it was okay to do the fire and interacted with the kids well (we went with a couple of good friends and their little boy). 

I think morning nursing is done.  Last weekend Baby Girl asked for oatmeal and didn't even ask for milk once she saw me.  She was happy enough to read her book.  The Hubby takes her on downstairs for oatmeal instead of having her nurse unless she asks for milk and now hasn't nursed in the morning since last Saturday.  When she has nursed last week , she'd thrown an absolute fit when we "poly-ed" (as in rolly poly (how the heck do you spell that???)) from right to left.  She'll point to righty and whine "miiiiillkkk".  I have started to try to get excited about coming back for more with "lefty", so she'll say "efty" and doesn't get as upset now.

Baby Girl has started wanting to do things "self"--the most prevalent being the stairs.  She wants to take them standing up and always tells us that she doesn't want help, so we just tell her we're spotting her as we stand down a step or two.  She does a pretty good job all of a sudden--it definitely isn't something that we've pushed her to start doing.

We went through a period of waking between 4:45 and 5:30, which is too early on any morning.  Once it was happening consistently, we knew something needed to change, so we pushed her bedtime back closer to 8:00.  It cuts into our "us" time, but it's nice spending more time with her and feeling less rushed in the evenings.  Maybe we'll actually start getting her bathed more often!  This will be really useful once we get back outside and start jogging again.  After changing her bedtime by just about a half hour, though, she started sleeping until close to 7:00, which is too late on weekdays!  We're working on a happy medium :)

She's also been learning like crazy!  She can count to 10 if we get her to say 4 after 3 (she likes to say 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 and gets stuck in a loop).  She also suddenly knows pretty much all her colors about 85% of the time.  She can tell us strings of letters (usually G through L) and can recognize letters (definitely E and O and some others some days). 

We have to go bus-hunting some days.  She LOVES busses and will point them out everywhere.  And some days she'll get cranky if we don't see any, so I've told her they're all sleeping.  So now when we see one, she'll say "wake!".  So lucky we could find one that's awake. 

Late this month Baby Girl has also started becoming more interested in the TV.  We don't typically turn it on and they only watch it at the sitter's during drop-off, so she doesn't know many TV shows.  She really likes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and loved Spongebob until we pulled the plug on it.  I will sometimes turn on Fresh Beat Band in the evening (it's hard to find cartoons at that time) and we'll watch Chuggington (about trains) On Demand sometimes.  But generally it's just background noise while she's playing.  More recently, though, she's actually sat on the couch and watched almost a full episode of Special Agent Oso or Handy Manny with me.  She'll ask about her "toons" and we'll typically oblige.

Loves:  Singing ("Happy Birthday", "Pider" (Itsy Bitsy Spider), "Happy" (If You're Happy and You Know It), "Bus" (The Wheels on the Bus), dancing (we have regular dance parties now, especially to Glee music), bathtime, vegetables (multiple times this week she's asked for more corn, peas, green beans, carrots, and broccoli), cookies, "toast" (bread), Mommy, Daddy, babies, friends, hugs, kisses (she even makes the little smacking sound now--adorable!), jammies, animal sounds, counting, letters, colors, busses, jumping on the couch, walking

Dislikes: Not getting her way, not having Mommy or Daddy's attention, cow milk (she doesn't hate it, but definitely doesn't drink it like water), some meats sometimes, riding in the car, being strapped into a stroller

Grocery Shopping Trip 3/27/2011

(I had scheduled this to post on Monday, but obviously that didn't happen...)

Simply Potato* = $1.59
2 Birds Eye Frozen Veggies* = $2.49 x 2 = $4.98
    - $0.50/2 x 3 (tripled) = -$1.50
2 Birds Eye Steamer Veggies = $1.99 + $2.49* = $4.48 (for some reason the $1.99 didn't count for the deal)
    - $0.50/2 x 3 (tripled) = -$1.50
2 Green Giant Frozen Veggies = $2.19 x 2 = $2.38

Dannon Yogurt 4-pack* = $1.99
     - $0.40 x 3 (tripled) = -$1.20

Heluva Chip Dip* = $1.99

8 Ronzoni Pastas (see footnote about this)* = $0.99 x 8 = $7.92
     - $1/2 x 4 = -$4

2 Wheat Thins Sticks* = $2.49 x 2 = $4.98
     - $1 x 2 = -$2

6 Vitamin Water* = $0.99 x 6 = $5.94

Franks Wing Sauce* = $2.89
     - $0.50 x 3 (tripled) = -$1.50

2 Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese* = $2.59 x 2 = $5.18
    - $0.50 x 2 x 3 (tripled) = -$3

3 Annie's Mac & Cheese* = $0.99 x 3 = $2.97

3 Fruity & Cocoa Pebbled Treats* = $2.49 x 3 = $7.47
    - $0.50 x 3 x 3 (tripled) = -$4.50

Onion Soup Mix = $1.29

SuperPretzel = $2.29
    - $0.50 x 3 (tripled) = -$1.50

Cascadian Farms Granola Bar = $2.49

2 Fiber One Bars = $2.50 x 2 = $5
     - $0.50 x 2 x 3 (tripled) = -$3

Nature Valley Granola Bars = $2.50
    - $0.50 x 3 (tripled) - $0.50 (e-coupon) = -$2

Kroger Granola Bars (The Hubby requested granola bars...guess he got them!) = $1.99

Pampers Wipes = $2.49
    - $0.50 x 3 (tripled) - $1 (e-coupon) = -$2.50

3 Dole Fruit Cups = $2.50 x 3 = $7.50
    - $0.50 x 3 x 3 = -$4.50

Kroger Taco Seasoning = $0.47
Kroger Fajita Seasoning = $0.79

Reach Floss = $1.49
    - $0.50 x 3 = -$1.50

Buitoni Refrigerated Pasta = $3.99
    - $1 - $3.99 (e-coupon) = -$4.99

Baby Carrots = $1.89

Carefree Pantyliners = $2.42
    - $0.50 x 3 (tripled) = -$1.50

Dole Mandarin Oranges (large jar) = $2.51
    - $0.50 x 3 (tripled) = -$1.50

Kroger pretzels = $1

Pop Tarts = $2.12
    - $1 = -$1

2 Franks Hot Sauce = $1.69 x 2 = $3.38
    - $0.50 x 2 x 3 = -$3

Kroger frozen veggies = $1
Kroger raisins = $2.78
Kroger 1/2 gallon milk = $1.25
Kroger long-grain brown rice = $0.99
2 Navel Oranges = $1
Gerber Baby Juice = $2.18
Kroger Whipped Cream (manager's this stuff) = !.99
Stove Top Stuffing = $2.39
    - $0.50 x 3 = -$1.50

Pringles RF Chips = $2.99
5 lbs Chicken Breast = $9.27
1.19 lbs Sweet Onions = $1.15
Aunt Millie's Bread = $1.99
     - $0.55 x 2 = -$1.10

Head of cabbage = $1.39
Grapes = $2.03
Mushrooms = $1
Bell Pepper = $1.25
Bananas = $1.80
Coke = $3.34

- $15 Mega Event

Over $180 before coupons and $74 after coupons and discounts.

You can see from this list what my problem is...impulse buys.  My grocery list is always short, but then I have on there "snacks".  We pack all lunches, so I need things to pack, but never decide until I'm at the grocery store.  This is something I'm going to work on.  Everything was a great deal...but it would be a better deal if I didn't pay anything for it!  This is something I always try to keep in mind and it did keep me from buying even more stuff!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Grocery Trip - 3/20/2011

18 boxes of Ronzoni SmartTaste Pasta: $0.99 x 18 = $17.82
     - $1/2 x 9= -$9

5 boxes of Annie's Mac & Cheese: $0.99 x 5 = $4.95

2 pkgs Dole Fruit Crisps: $2.49 x 2 = $4.98
     - $0.75 x 2 (doubled) x 2 coupons = -$3

3 boxes Rice a Roni & 1 box Pasta Roni: $1.29 x 4 = $5.16
     Buy 3 Get 1 Free = -$2 (automatically deducted this)

Sargento String Cheese: $4.99
     - $0.40 x 2 (doubled) = -$0.80

Heluva Chip Dip: $1.99
    - $0.75 x 2 (doubled) = -$1.50

2 tubs Philly Cooking Creme: $2.79 x 2 = $5.58
    B1G1F and a free coupon, which both deducted $2.99 (original price) + $0.75 e-coupon: -$6.73

2 Reese's Mini Cups + 1 Almond Joy + 1 York Peppermint Patty = $2.49 x 4 = $9.96
    - $2/2 x 2 = $4

1 Powerade Zero (my favorite filler) = $0.99

Dannon Yogurt 4-pack = $1.99

2 French's Spicy Brown Mustard = $1.69 x 2 = $3.38
     - $0.50 x 2 x 2 coupons - $0.50 e-coupon = -$2.50

------End of items that are part of March to Savings event------

Kroger Pretzels (Baby Girl's lunch) = $1

Lay's Chips (wanted something to go with dip) = $1.99

7 bags Kroger Frozen Veggies = $1 x 7 = $7

Kroger Natural Peanut Butter (part of my breakfast daily) = $1.79

Kroger 1/2 gallon milk = $1.25

Kroger Pretzel Braids (for my own lunch) = $1

Betty Crocker Cake Mix (impulse buy...) = $2.69

Smoked Chicken Sausages = $3

Marzetti Yogurt Veggie Dip = $2.50
     Some coupon...

KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce = $2.39

Muir Glen Tomato Paste = $1.59
     - $0.75 x 2 (doubled) = -$1.50

2 Voskos Yogurt = $1.69 x 2 = $3.38
     - $0.75 x 2 (doubled) x 2 - $0.75 e-coupon = -$3.75

Pop Chips (impulse buy....)= $1.19

Pillsbury Pizza Crust & French Bread (Manager's Special) = $1.49 x 2 = $2.98
     - $0.40 x 2 = -$0.80

Kroger Tortillas = $1.19

Kroger Buns = $1.39

Kroger Bread = $1.79

2 Navel Oranges = $0.33 x 2 = $0.67 (must've been $1/3)

Red Bell Pepper = $1.50

Yellow Bell Pepper = $1.25

Strawberries (which later got returned because they were moldy in the middle) = $1.67

1.91 lb Grapes = $0.97 x 1.91 = $1.85

3.06 lb Sweet Onions = $0.97 x 3.06 = $2.97

1.68 lb Bananas = $0.54 x 1.68 = $0.91

-$20 for Mega Event
- $0.50 - $2 -$ idea what these were for :)

Grand total.....$54.01

Yes, I actually spent a lot more than I'd hoped since I didn't buy much meat or much produce.  The string cheese was the only really pricy thing I got.  But I have A LOT of food on the shelves in the basement, ready for use.  One of these weeks I'm going to have to do a pantry challenge--someone tell Kroger to stop having these great deals!

When I add up everything I bought that was used this past week, I get about $35, so under $20 for all the additional stuff that WILL get used in our house is a pretty good deal, I think.  But I also think you all give me too much credit.  I'm good and organized...but not THAT good!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Partial giveaway results

I'm sorry, y'all...I've been neglectful.  But the good news is that a winner has been identified and contacted.  Tricia was the winner of the giveaway and her coupons were put in the mail yesterday!  I hope you enjoy, Tricia!

Reasons for my neglect:
1) Busy times at work
2) No laptop power cord at home
3) No energy at any time...the kid has been waking between 4:45 and 5:15 every morning for weeks and we have no idea why.  We think the bottom 2-year molars are imminent, but they haven't poked through yet and if they're anything like her other teeth, they will take a few more months to completely come in.  We tried feeding her more last night and we've tried getting her to bed earlier and later with no difference.  She transitioned during the time change just fine, but now here we are. 
4) I want to type up my entire transaction at the grocery...and I just don't have the time.  But the receipt goes everywhere with me and today or tomorrow I WILL type it up and show you what I did.  But it's not nearly as impressive as you all seem to think it will be.  You ALL were way under in your guesses.

But I'm going to leave you in suspense for now what my actual total was...because I feel like it merits an explanation. 

Monday, March 21, 2011


Okay, so it's not *that* exciting of a giveaway.  But it could be for you!  I'm giving away 10 coupons for Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta--they're $1 off 2 boxes.  This normally isn't a great coupon, but it is when Ronzoni is essentially $0.49 apiece!  With these coupons, you could get TWENTY free boxes of pasta!

Unfortunately, I can only offer this giveaway for people local to Central Ohio because I want to make sure I can get the coupons to you before the end of the week.  I'm going to end the giveaway Wednesday, March 23rd at 10 a.m. so I can get the coupons in the mail on Wednesday--hopefully that'll get them to you by Friday.

The way you can enter:  Look at the picture below and tell me how much you think I spent on the food in the picture. 

The closest guess (you can go over--we're not going Price Is Right style) will get the coupons!  There are a few tricky things in there that weren't part of a deal to throw you off :)

Make sure your entry has a good way to contact you (you can either put your email address in the comment or make sure your email address is in your user profile) so I can contact you for your mailing address so I can put these in the mail on Wednesday!

Good luck!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I always thought of this song in the context of a romantic relationship, but for the first time tonight I started thinking about my little girl:

Every little thing that you do

Baby, I'm amazed by you
I just laid on the floor this evening, watching her play with her blocks.  She kept repeating "Really. Tall." (because she still doesn't really string together phrases--they're all separate words).  Then she'd randomly list people she knows.  "Grandma.  Papaw.  Grandma.  Pots.  Mommy.  Daddy." 

And then she'd get silly.  She'd decide it was time to climb on Mommy and jump on my belly. 

Then she'd grab a tissue, ball it up, hold it to her nose and say "HONNNNNK", giggle and say "Daddy", because that's how Daddy blows his nose.  But then she came over to let me blow my nose.  And then she pressed the tissue to my ears, my knees, my feet, my back, my chin, my nose, my eyeballs, my hair, naming each one as she went, and said, "HONNNNNNNK".  Then she helped Minnie blow her nose.

And I just laid there.  Watching.  Amazed.  Watched as she tooted and said, "toot!"  Watched as her tower of blocks toppled and she'd just start anew, unfazed.  Watched as she found an old fishy under the edge of the couch and ate it (whoops....).  Watched as she laid her head down on the same pillow as mine.  Watched as she gently came over, laid down, and wrapped her arms around my neck and said, "hug". 

I watched her hair that has a very slight curl, especially after being in the rain today.  I watched those eyes, so full of wonder, light, and excitement.  I watched those fingers, still so very small, but so much bigger than they used to be.  Watched those lips form words.  Words that are far beyond her age. 

She just amazes me.  It's so hard for me to believe that this little person came from ME.  She's so incredibly beautiful, so smart, so sweet.  I'm so very blessed to have her in my life and cannot help but be amazed by her.  Baby, I'm completely amazed by you.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: My Grocery Planning

(Yes, this is called Thrifty Thursday....but it took me a couple of days to compile, so you're getting it on Friday.  Hopefully some of you weekend shoppers can still make use of it since Kroger's deals run Monday through Sunday around central Ohio.  Also, you'll be glad it took me a few days since I found some unadvertised freebies in the March to Savings Event!)

I thought I would walk through my process for grocery planning with you all so you can see how I generally do things.  And if you have any suggestions to make the process better, please let me know!

First I look at our meal list from the previous week and see if there's anything we didn't eat and if all the ingredients are still good.  If we didn't eat a meal, we'll usually have it early the next week and I'll pick up any replacement ingredients if necessary.

Next I look around at foods that we have that will be spoiling soon and consider how I can use them in a meal.  Sometimes it's something as small as sour cream, sometimes it's meat, sometimes it's produce. 

Then I go to the Kroger website to view their weekly ad.  I know some people aren't convinced that Kroger is better than Giant Eagle, but it works for us.  The fuel perks work better for us and the food is definitely cheaper for the things that we buy.  If I wanted to do shopping at more than one store (which I'll do for a great sale), I'd probably hit up Aldi.  But with my time being valuable as well, I usually just shop at Kroger.

When looking at the weekly ad, I first look for meat deals.  This week (3/14-3/20) Kroger has the following meats on sale:

As I'm looking at the meats, I realize Kroger is running (another) promo where you buy a certain number of items and get a dollar amount off your order immediately.  This time it's buy 10 items and get $5, essentially taking $0.50 off each item when you buy any factor of 10.  When I see promos like this, I usually seek out a blog that covers Kroger deals because they've already done the coupon match-ups for the promo.  I look for things I use on a regular basis (no use paying for something you won't use) or for items that are free or money-makers. 

Here is the blog I typically use for my Kroger deals: Deal Seeking Mom (sometimes her prices differ from mine, so I've started comparing my ad to the prices she lists)

These are the best deals that I've found for this coming week:

FREE after coupons and instant savings (the price I list is BEFORE coupons or instant savings):

Ronzoni Healthy Harvest, San Giorgio, or Smart Taste Pasta: $0.99
Coupons: $1/2 printable  HERE and HERE
               $1/2 SS 1/23/11

Pedigree Dog Food: $0.99
B2G1 printable coupon on
BOGO RP 3/6/11
The “free” price when entering coupons should be $0.99. So you could use one BOGO: $1.98 for two - $0.99 = $0.99 then subtract $0.50 for each item for the promotion and you actually make $0.02.

Dole Fruit Crisps: $1.99
$0.75/1 SS 1/9/11

(And here are these unadvertised freebies)

Heluva Good Dips: $1.49
Printable coupon HERE for $0.50/1

Frank's Red Hot (12 oz): $1.99
$0.75/1 SS 1/23/11
Printable coupon HERE for $0.50/1 (this would make the final price $0.49)

Cheap (remember to take $0.50 off the price when you buy 10 participating items):

Rice a Roni or Pasta Roni: $1.29
B3G1 RP 1/2/11
$0.27 ea when you buy 4 after coupon and instant savings

Hershey’s Pieces, Drops, or Reese’s Minis Candy (The Hubby loves these): $2.49
$2/2 SS 1/30/11
$0.99 ea when you buy 2 after coupon and instant savings

Dannon Yogurt: $1.99
$1 DanActive SS 3/6/11

Philadelphia Cooking Crème: $2.49
$1.50 SS 3/6/11

Bumble Bee Tuna Pouch: $0.99

Annie’s Mac & Cheese: $0.99

Del Monte Tomatoes: $1.19

Tombstone Pizza: $2.99

Fuze, Vitamin Water, SmartWater: $0.99

Powerade: $1


Voskos Yogurt (found in the Organic section): $1.69 regular price
$0.75 printable on

Kroger Frozen Veggies: $1 (I have seen these for $0.88 each, but this is a decent price--regular price is $1.19, I think)

A lot of these items are more for snacks, but I make note of the Philadelphia Cooking Creme and all the pasta and will keep those in mind when determining a meal plan for the week.

The last thing I look for in the ad is produce.  Meat and produce drive my meal plans for the week (although I'm currently at the point where our deep freezer is full of meat so I'll only buy it if it's on a crazy sale or I find some on manager's special).  The best produce deal I found was red, yellow, and orange bell peppers for $1.25 apiece. 

Now I take all the pieces I have--look at the cheapest meats, cheapest produce, what I have in my kitchen already, and formulate a plan.  If I really want to use up something but don't know how, I visit All Recipes and use their Ingredient Search to find meals using my ingredients.  You can save recipes in a recipe box there as well.

Edited to add:  I forgot to mention that once I have my grocery list in place, I go to Coupon Mom and look for coupons from any brand for the items I need to make my meals and clip or print the necessary coupons.
Once it's made, I'll post my grocery list and my meal plan for the week (this time before Monday) so you can see how it all comes together.  

How do you do your groceries and meal plans?  What do you think of my preferred method?  Any suggestions for improvement?
Has it been helpful to see Kroger's deals?  I go through them weekly, so would it help you for me to compile them here?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Donald's Duck Farm

Baby Girl has a newfound love for Old MacDonald.  It's on a CD that we listen to in the car and she has really started to understand the format (insert animal name, then insert animal sounds).  Yesterday we were on the way home and she said, "Donald?"  I asked if she wanted to sing Old MacDonald and she said "yeah".  So I started singing: 

             Old MacDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o
             And on his farm he had a....


             With a....
             [insert demented duck sound here...if you've ever heard her quack, you know what I mean]

We finished the verse and began the next:

             Old MacDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o
             And on his farm he had a....


(seriously?  Okay, we'll do duck again....)

We finished the verse and began again.  And again she wanted to sing about the duck.  I suggested maybe we sing about a cow and she cried.  The Hubby suggested a sheep.  Then a pig.  Then a giraffe.  Then a horse.  More tears each time. 

So we sang about Old MacDonald and his ducks for about 15 minutes (which is a long time to sing the same song over and over, especially when it's only so long). 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thrifty Thursday?

Because so much of my life and time revolve around saving money (both out of pleasure and necessity), I would like to bring back Thrifty Thursday.  I would, however, like to hear from YOU, my readers, what you'd like me to discuss.  Would you like some current deals (online?  brick & mortar stores?)?  Grocery sales?  General dealing tips?  Most of my blogging is really for myself, but this feature would be for YOU. 

I love sharing tips for saving money to as many people as possible--it PAINS me to see people paying full price for things at the grocery store.  So please talk back and let me know what you'd like to hear about!

For any of you who have missed this feature, here are a few of the past Thrifty Thursday entries:

Making Money
Online Coupon Resources
Buy BEFORE You Need It

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meal Plan: 3/13-3/19

I've been under the weather since last Thursday, but am hoping by Wednesday of this week we can get back outside (it's supposed to be in the mid-60s by the end of the week!) and get back into our workout routine.  I might try to push and Shred tonight, but we'll see.  I may just take one more day to rest.

Sunday: Chipotle (had to use up that buy one get one coupon!)

Monday: Whole chicken (cooked in Tupperware microwave cooker), rice, broccoli

Tuesday: Salsafied chicken--an old favorite

Wednesday: Tamale Pie (leftover from last week--we didn't cook on Saturday as we'd planned)

Thursday: American Chop Suey

Friday: BBQ Chicken Braid

Saturday: Chicken Pot Pie

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Our Plan for Health

Sunday, February 27th, The Hubby and I started began our plan when we made our meal plans for the week.  We decided it was time to do something about the extra weight we are both carrying around (I first mentioned this plan here).

Essentially, the plan is to do the Couch to 5K program three nights a week, weather permitting (since we have to take Baby Girl with us if we want to do it together (except this past Sunday--my parents were in town and watched her while we went out)). We're looking at the weather forecast on Sunday to determine which nights we think we'll jog and planning on slow cooker meals for those nights (since I barely had enough time to cook dinner after we got home before Baby Girl went to bed). Then all other nights we're planning to do The 30 Day Shred

The Shred has three parts to it and is intended to be done every single day for 30 days (aha....thus the "30 DAY Shred"....).  Each part should be done for ten days straight.  We're trying to decide if we'll do each part ten times, switch after a couple of weeks, or just play it by ear.  Right now Part 1 is free On Demand through our cable provider (thanks to Sara for pointing this out!) and you can download each part for $1.99 on Amazon Video

This is what this has looked like so far:
  • 2/27: The Shred, Part 1 (after Baby Girl was in bed)
  • 2/28: The Shred, Part 1
  • 3/1: Jogging with Baby Girl in a jogging stroller (Couch to 5K, Week 1 Day 1)
  • 3/2: The Shred, Part 1
  • 3/3: The Shred, Part 1
  • 3/4: Jogging (Couch to 5K, Week 1 Day 2)
  • 3/5: Rest (mostly because we were exhausted from being at our niece's 4th birthday party for four hours)
  • 3/6: Jogging (Couch to 5K, Week 1 Day 3)
  • 3/7: The Shred, Part 1
Tonight we're picking Baby Girl up from the sitter and have brought our workout clothes and the stroller to go jog on a path that runs around some baseball diamonds close to both work at the sitter's house.  It's different than jogging through the neighborhood.  And we brought reinforcements in the form of pretzels (the other times it's been Cheerios).

I'm not changing how I eat, as I really do eat pretty reasonably.  I feel like I should, but am afraid of cutting my precious milk supply and also am afraid it will cause any progress to stall out.  Unfortunately, though, I've gained five pounds in the week that we've been working out.  It's disappointing, but I'm going to chalk it up to natural variations--water, time of day, scale weirdness, etc.  I'm planning to keep this up for a month before I get discouraged by my lack of weight loss and reevaluate this plan.

I'm also drinking more water.  I've always drank at least 64 ounces of water per weekday (the weekends are another story), but am trying to get closer to 100 ounces now, which is where I was when we were losing weight before.

I can't express how helpful it is to have my husband on board with me--I don't know that I could (would?) do this without him.  We spend all of our time together, so if he wanted to lay around the house while I worked out...well, it just wouldn't happen.  The only time I've worked out without him was when he was working evenings--I was great about going to the gym while he worked.

Here we go!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meal Plan: 3/6-3/12

One week down of "the plan" I referenced in this post (currently writing the post about this and will post it in the next day or so) and we've realized that we desperately need to start using the crockpot more often.  So this week we're doing almost all of our meals in the slow cooker!

Sunday: Chipotle (using the BOGO coupons to treat my parents to dinner as well)

Monday: This Chicken Pot Pie using Philadelphia Cooking Creme (Savory Garlic flavor) & leftover shredded chicken from Friday

Tuesday: Pulled Pork Tacos

Wednesday: Chicken and Dumplings Soup

Thursday: Tamale Pie

Friday: Chicken with Vegetables  (basically cabbage, tomatoes, and chicken) from my Fit It and Forget It 5 Ingredient cookbook

Saturday: Quesadillas made with leftover pulled pork

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fastest blog post ever

Just a few minutes ago, Baby Girl was standing next to me, looked up, and said, "Potty" and proceeded to try to rip off her clothes (which was really difficult since she was wearing her zip-up pajamas).  I got the pjs off of her and took her to the potty, not expecting much since she has asked to go potty many times and we've gotten nothing.  We went into the bathroom, took off her diaper, she climbed onto the potty and immediately peed! 

I'm still being cautiously excited because she's SO young, but I'm hoping this is an indication of how potty-training will go with her, at least partially.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I.  Am.  Fat. 

Ooh.....she said WHAT????

Yep.  Fat.  Been fat for a very long time.  I was a fat kid.  I was a fat teenager (until I stopped eating...that was a great decision).  I was a fat college student.  I was really fat around the time I graduated college and for a year or so afterward.  I topped out at 274 pounds.  No typo there...TWO hundred and seventy-four pounds.  The Hubby and I both realized we were very overweight (well, he was very overweight for his body and history) and started a little competition.  We worked together and lost a bit of weight.  We did the normal yo-yoing, but I got down to 235 for my wedding.  And then gained back 20.

After some time (about a year), I decided it was time to get serious.  I wanted a baby, after all.  So I started out on my own.  I lost a little under 30 on my own this time and got down to 228 when I started Weight Watchers in March 2008.  My weight when I got pregnant was 183, thanks to Weight Watchers (no, they are not paying me for this opinion) alone.  Whenever I would try working out, I would plateau or gain weight, no matter how much I adjusted what I was eating--more or less.  I believe in the program. 

During my pregnancy, though, I gained 50 pounds and when I delivered Baby Girl, I was approximately the same weight as I was when I got married.  I hated the way I looked when I got married, but at least now I had a baby bump. 

Everyone had told me about how easy weight loss would be while nursing, so I believed it.  I ate when I was hungry and spent my time focusing on my baby.  Apparently I was eating too much or that magical nursing weight loss just wasn't true for me.  Either way, 14 months after Baby Girl's birth, I hadn't lost more than 5 pounds from the day I came home from the hospital.  I tried to cut calories around this time and found that it cut more than that--it cut my milk supply.

Since then, I've been using my milk supply as an excuse.  It's a valid excuse, but an excuse nonetheless.  And worse yet, I've gained about 10 pounds over the winter.  I have a horrible sweet tooth and am frugal.  The Manager's Special bakery rack and cheap cake mixes were not my friend. 

I went to the doctor the other day and, although their scale has always read about 7 pounds above my home one, I weighed in there at 239.  Yuck.  Heavier than I was when Baby Girl was born.

So I need to do something.  But I still don't feel comfortable cutting calories.  That said, I'm an all-or-nothing type of girl.  If I'm going to cut some calories, I'm going to do it right--eating fruits and veggies, no cake or cookies in my house.  This is what lead to the anorexia in high school--I couldn't stop myself at just one piece of pizza.  I made a choice at that time--it was easier to stop eating almost all meals except dinner than to eat in moderation.

I, of course, regret this decision.  My husband looks at my high school pictures, where I thought I looked fabulous, and tells me I was too skinny.  If he were looking at anyone else, he would never say that, as I was a size 12 at that point.  But since he's only known the fat me, I *was* far skinnier than he's ever seen me.  And he knows how I got to that point, so he knows that I wasn't healthy skinny.

I think I let my weight go because I'm a perfectionist.  And when things feel out of control, I give up.  So when my weight goes spiraling from one splurge, I say "forget it" and binge.  I fight these tendencies every single day.  I'm like this in other aspects of my life as well--if anything gets overwhelming, I tend to remove myself from the situation rather than deal with it.  Again, this is something I'm working on.

I also have always had a lot of influence from my mother.  Growing up, I'm pretty sure she hovered around 300 pounds.  And I know she didn't want me to be like that, so she would criticize.  Not in a way that she could hear as mean, and not in a way that I necessarily *heard* as mean.  But I *felt* it as a criticism.  And when all you want in the world is to please everyone, it hurts.  And if you're trying and it's still not good enough, you give up after awhile.  So that's what I did.

Back to the present, though.  I've decided it's time.  I need to be healthier for Baby Girl.  I need to be able to go up a flight of stairs without getting winded.  I need to be able to feel comfortable in short sleeves.  I need my clothes (my fat clothes, now, since I got rid of all of my REALLY fat clothes), to fit.  I need to start to feel comfortable in my own skin.

Stay tuned for another post on what we're (The Hubby is on board, too) doing about it. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

18 and 19 Months

I've been a slacker recently with updating the things Baby Girl is up to!  Now that most of the major physical milestones have been crossed, the verbal ones are much more difficult to itemize in a blog.

Physically, not much has changed.  She's got quite a bit more hair (but still won't keep a clippy or headband in it).  She's still got some adorable little thigh rolls that keep getting gunk in them (that part is much less adorable).  She's now jumping, especially on the couch, thanks to the Five Little Monkeys.

The one thing that I was fairly stressed about, physically, was that she wasn't using silverware.  Silly, I know, but I know kids younger than her that were proficient at using the spoon to scoop foods other than thick oatmeal.  But it seems like it's clicked recently.  She actually wants to put food on her fork, instead of holding the fork in one hand and eating with the other.  And this past weekend, she started having Cheerios with milk and eating it like an adult.  Yes, she still picks out those last few O's with her fingers, but I understand--those last ones are tricky to get with the spoon, floating around, evading you.

Baby Girl is still sleeping well.  She woke up in the middle of the night during a recent thunderstorm, but was easily calmed and went right back to sleep for the remainder of the night.  She went through a spell of waking early, grunting and groaning, but this morning we had to wake her to get ready for the day.

I think we're getting ready to drop the morning nursing session.  When I've picked her up from her crib the last few days, the first thing out of her mouth was "oatmeal" instead of "milk".  I'll miss it (since her morning session is typically more relaxed), but it's part of her growing up, I suppose.  The evening session is a struggle almost every night, but she still wants it.  She twists and turns (and stands up!) and pops off every few seconds to tell me something about her day.  It's adorable, but frustrating!  And when she finally settles down, she'll "nurse" (because who knows if there's even anything left...) for another 20 minutes. 

As far as talking, Baby Girl will say anything we ask her to.  Her favorite word right now is "dangerous".  We told her once that climbing behind my parents' computer was dangerous and since then, when we say "You could get hurt" she'll respond with "dane-rus".  Yep, it's dangerous. 

Another cute thing she says is "mup", "mon", and "moff".  Don't sound like words, do they?  Oh, but they are....  Whenever she's in the backseat, taking her shoes off, we'll say "Keep them on", but it comes out more like "Keep 'em on", which she hears as "mon".  Or "Pick them up" becomes "mup". 

She's also quickly learning her ABCs.  It started with her repeating the letters after we say them, but now she can rattle off strings of them at a time.  Her first string was H through L.  She also is very interested in counting...but always skips the number two!  So everything is "one......three....."  It's a work in progress :)

Baby Girl's eating evolves every day.  A few things that were on her dislike list were avocado and broccoli, both of which she's eaten in the last few days.  She actually ate ALL of my broccoli while we were out to dinner (and her own zucchini and Daddy's green beans....) and begged for more.  We're also starting to work in some sweets (I made a batch of cookies over the weekend and gave her some bites of mine when I would eat them in front of her), but not too many--just as a treat.  Her most regular treat is graham cracker Goldfish.

Mommy (yes, I'm called Mommy now), Daddy, Gamma (both of our moms), "Pots" (My father-in-law is called "Pops"), "Papaw" (my dad), all the kids at daycare (we even sing songs with their names), kitties, dogs, birdies, giraffes, making animal noises, trucks, cars, airplanes, FOOD (especially: "wishies", which are Goldfish crackers; peas; corn; Cheerios; cheese; taco sauce; ketchup; BBQ sauce; bread), bare feet, going "fast", "flip-flop" (tumbling), taking walks (especially when she can do the walking), her "friend" (her lullaby-singing seahorse), jammies, water, juice, pulling things off the end tables that she shouldn't have, remote controls, phones, putting away dishes, dance parties with Mommy & Daddy (we typically dance to the Glee soundtracks), Five Little Monkeys, If You're Happy and You Know It, saying her ABC's, counting, Mommy's singing, rocking in the rocking chair at bedtime, playing with hair, The Wheels on the Bus, being tickled, rough-housing with Daddy, reading (of course), Daddy reading from the front seat of the car, baths, hiding in the bathroom, going potty with Mommy & Daddy, peek-a-boo, blowing "bubbles" (raspberries)

Being "stuuuuuuuuck" (in her carseat, especially), wearing shoes and socks, snuggling when it's time to be awake, blankets on top of her, being told she's all done (especially after we've read a book five times in succession), not having Mommy & Daddy's complete attention, hair bows and clippies, Mommy or Daddy pretending to sleep, cow's milk as a drink, getting out of the bath, laying still for diaper and clothing changes, the number eight (she won't ever say it!)

She really is a wonderful little girl.  She's starting to develop empathy (if she sees one of us crying, she'll show concern, give us a hug, and say "cry").  She gives the best hugs and kisses.  She's incredible and amazes us every single day with her abilities and we fall more and more in love with her all the time.  I am so incredibly honored to be her Mommy.