Monday, February 22, 2010


What seems like ages ago, hubby and I got rid of Satellite T.V. and have gotten our T.V. fix via the Internet and Netflix. We are saving something like $80 a month this way. This method has had one benefit I did not expect, discovering old shows and movies.

One night, when I ran out of new stuff to watch, I went looking for something "new" to me and rediscovered the popular show from the 80s, Thirtysomething. The show is timeless. I think I can understand why it was so popular with my parent's generation. Although, I don't believe my parents watched the show, I recognize its appeal. As a relatively new mom and wife, I found the writing on the show to capture the feeling of new parents and their frustrations...and I am only into episode three!

I just love discovering hidden gems.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Aunt Flo

I know that this post may turn some people off but I am really excited. A couple years ago Hubby encouraged me to try a different Feminine product. He was working for an Internet porn site at the time, (something he's not proud of...but it paid the bills right after the .Com bust) and The Instead was a product ad on the site. At first I was a little skeptical and nervous to move away from tampons. Not to mention I found the idea of having to insert the Instead kinda icky. But the Instead looks a little like a female condom. It is designed to sit above the cervix and hold the period flow. It was fairly simple to figure out how to use, once one got the hang of it.

Well, years later....something like seven years later, I am happy to report that I love the Instead. Not only was it not as icky as I thought, but it actually made me feel cleaner than tampons. It is also cheaper than tampons, as I only had to change them half as much....and they were super comfortable. I could not feel them at all. One problem was their availability. I was able to find them at Target...but only once in a while. When they were in stock, I bought, everything that they had.

After I moved to Colorado, I had a harder time finding them, but then I got pregnant with Cookie and I was not worried....for a long while about feminine products. Imagine my surprise, while cruising the web, looking at cloth diapers for Cookie and looking to buy the Instead online, since Aunt Flo had reappeared after a long absence, and I could not find them at Target, that I discovered Feminine cups. (Wow sorry for that run-on sentence) The idea intrigued me. And I was having a harder time using the Instead after giving birth to Cookie. Things down below had changed.

So, on a whim I ordered my first cup, The Diva Cup, along with some diaper products. I really did not know anything about cups other than what I read from the company's website. But the idea of never having to buy feminine hygiene products again was the big seller for me. Not to mention that there is no threat of Toxic shock with them. The Diva cup was an instant hit with me. It is made of silicone and completely safe to use in your body. It was not so different than the Instead in insertion and it lasted even longer without having to be "emptied." The cup inserts inside the vagina and the itty bitty suction holes on it keep it in place and from leaking. After the initial shelling out of $60.00 or so, I knew I would never have to buy those pesky one time use items again. Plus, the cup was actually easier to use and it was even cleaner than the Instead.

A while back I discovered some great forums and one woman's blog about cups: After reading about the myriad of different cups out there, I am ordering my second cup. A different brand called Lunette. For about $45.00, I will get a new cup and hopefully and even more comfortable period. For those of you scared to try cups, let me just say, don't be. I think they are ingenious. Us ladies just need to get past a little squeamishness and the stigma of not supposed to be touching oneself "down there". For me, going green and saving money are just two more positive things about cups.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Crack O Pebbles

I usually keep some lower sugar cereals in the house for Cookie. Cheerios of course is a favorite, but she also likes Rice Crispies. Hubby must have some sort of sugary concoction on hand, like Fruity Pebbles, Frosted Flakes, or Cocoa Puffs. Months and months ago I bought a bunch of Rice Crispies and Cheerios on sale with a coupon for something like a dollar a box. Hubby looked at me like I was crazy when I carried in ten boxes of cereal....but I haven't had to buy any in months, not to mention I saved a ton of money.

Yesterday, without realizing it, I ran out....of both. After having such a difficult time with getting Cookie to eat lately, when she asked for cereal for breakfast, I was excited. Then, I looked in the pantry. Uh Oh! All we had was Cocoa Pebbles and Frosted Flakes. So, I thought giving her the Coco Pebbles a better choice. Well, I was wrong. I think they put crack in the Coco Pebbles, because sugar does not cause this kind of reaction. Sugar does not cause my child to go bouncing literally off the walls.....for an entire day. Not just an hour or two....ALL DAY!.

Cookie was so high, that she couldn't even nap. An hour and a half in her room produced jumping on the bed, a fevered attempt to put away her books (okay that's a positive outcome), and a whole lot of talking. And by talking, I mean talking...a mile a minute. And Cookie should have been exhausted.

First thing in the morning I dropped her off at "The Farm", a local non-profit little farm that was holding a crafting class for 2 year olds. It was a drop off class (I know two in two days...awesome.) and of course she was the oldest and only girl. And she was wild. Drop into a fit of giggles for no reason wild. Run around in circles wild. I am quite positive she required some extra attention by the teachers. But, she did leave with a grin, until I told her we were not staying to feed the animals.

Following her hour of crafting and play, we went to play group. Two hours later, she was still crazy with energy. I was thinking, overtired energy...but, after eating a lunch, she did not settle down. So, I am now convinced it was the Coco Pebbles. Yes my friends, they put crack in them. That is the only thing I can conclude.

While Cookie did go to bed around 7:45, she had to cry herself to sleep she was so tired. But finally the crack had worn off. No more Crack O Pebbles for my kid.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

All over the Place

My post today will be all over the place. You see, I have a couple thoughts floating around and have to share.

First, today was a momentous day at our household, well momentous for me at least. Today, I dropped Cookie off at one of her classes....and got to leave! This is fantastic, this is awesome, this is liberating. Cookie may not quite be three, but her teacher felt her vocabulary and her physical abilities warranted a move up. Cookie was too advanced compared to the rest of her classmates. I make that sound like my kid is better than the rest. She's not, but they are all at least 5 months younger than her, and her teacher has to come up with alternative activities just for her. So, she suggested that I try the 3/4 year old drop off class. I prepared Cookie for days, discussing what would happen and how she was supposed to act. Maybe I should have taken a picture, but I was just too happy. Cookie dove right in after an initial, "Mom can you stay 5 minutes until I start playing?" Then, after five minutes she came over, gave Jelly and me a kiss and said good bye.

Today, my baby proved she is now a big girl. She is potty trained, night and day, she can dress herself, including shoes and socks, and now she is ready for me to leave her at school. Those of you who take your kids to daycare must have felt some sort of twinge when you dropped them off the first time, but nothing compares to the exultation of detaching your toddler from you when you are a Stay at home Mom.

Second, I not only got to enjoy an hour at a coffee house nearby with Jelly, but three other moms from the class joined me. It was fantastic. All three ladies were nice and so different. They told me they go to the coffe shop every week, and invited me in with open arms.....I am loving this.

Third, this is where I veer off course a little, I am a little ashamed to admit that when I found out that Cookie had some issues with milk, I was saddened. She will not be able to enjoy ice cream like normal kids, and even some frosting on cakes. It is weird to have a kids with special eating needs. Now a days I know that this is normal. That there are all kinds of restrictions, like no nuts, or in the case of my nephew, gluten. So not being able to give my kid milk products has become a challenge for me.

At first, we went completely dairy free. Then I started sneaking in milk products here and there. Hoping that maybe she was just lactose sensitive not intolerant. But, we have had another two weeks of yucky tummy, and I have to now admit, that my kid can not have milk products. The good news is, she is not alone in the world in this problem, and she is lucky to have this problem today, and not ten years ago. Today there are all kinds of alternative products, fairly easy to get. There is Rice milk and soy milk. Rice and Soy ice cream (although good, no where near as yummy as the milk product). I am even buying Soy yogurt and soy pudding snacks for her. The one thing I have not been able to find is a good cheese alternative. And who doesn't love cheese?

I discovered quite by accident, Tofu cream cheese. Sounds gross, I know. But really, the product is quite good. After making those adorable little cupcakes with Cookie, and the subsequent tummy aches this week, (which may be from the large quantity of lasagna she ate also....but who knows) I made her "special" icing for some cupcakes that were not frosted with cream cheese out of the Toffuti cream cheese. Toffuti also makes some yummy frozen tofu "ice cream" sandwiches. I discovered a lot of these products while nursing Cookie, you see, even as an infant, she could not tolerate milk products. Massive spit up was the result when I had milk products. Jelly seems to be a little sensitive, too....but not as much. Sooo, no milk products for her, and a whole lot of alternative thinking for me.

Lastly, I hate cell phone companies. I hate that they charge by the minute (brilliant for them). I hate that they make you sign contracts for two years at a time, and if you want to make any changes including things that up your bill, they re sign you for two more years. While I love having the ability to make a phone call now and not loose someone on the other end every five minutes and I love that I can get a signal in my home, I miss being able to talk to my Mom whenever I want. The idea that "nights" start at 9 p.m. is ridiculous. "Nights" should start at sundown. But that is just my rant for the evening. Miss you Mom.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Hubby is out of town for the weekend and I am stuck alone with the kids. There are numerous reasons to hate this, like never a break at night, having to be the "bad cop", and the cold bed at night. But to tell you the truth, I kinda like it when he is gone. The house is really quiet, even with two kids. I find that my kitchen is clean, there is no one making meal after meal and leaving their dirty dishes in the sink. And frankly Cookie and Hubby have been fighting a lot lately.

So when Cookie became a little clingy today, I had to come up with something to unglue my child from me. Since acetone and a hammer are not viable options, distraction is.

Tonight we are going to dinner over at a friend's house and I thought we'd bring dessert, so cupcakes seemed like the perfect detachment solution. I've been meaning to make these cute Mouse cupcakes I saw in a magazine for a while. But what makes them so yummy is the cream cheese frosting. However, the magazine suggested using store bought cupcake and decorating yourself. I really just wanted a dry run, since we may be making some fun cupcakes for Cookie's birthday this year instead of buying a cake.

Mouse Cupcakes

1 cake mix (any flavor you desire, we made chocolate)
24 cupcake liners
1 80z package of cream cheese (let sit at room temp. for 1/2 hr to soften)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup of butter (room temp)
2 tbsp of cocoa powder
Chocolate rounds
black licorice
brown and pink candy coated chocolate
yogurt covered pretzels (pink if you can find them)
sprinkles (if only for more fun on your kid's part)

1. make cupcakes according to package. Let completely cool
2. Frosting: Mix the cream cheese and butter, until creamy. incorporate the vanilla and then add the sugar a little at a time until completely blended. Add cocoa powder.
3. Frost cupcakes (I just put the frosting in a Ziploc bag and cut the corner to make a pastry bag.
4. Decorate the cupcake to make ears, nose, eyes, and whiskers. Use the pretzels if you want a bow for your mouse. I could not find black rope licorice, so I bought some chocolate flavored twirl and cut it into strips.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No Taste, No Waist.

My life has always been centered around food. I was either eating too much, too little, or not good enough, according to my grandmother that is. Really what I was doing was eating too much and never healthy enough. I don't necessarily blame my parents. They always adhered to the government's food pyramid. One meat, one starch, and one vegetable on the dinner table. Unfortunately, we never really had that many fresh vegetables for dinner. While we had a lot of salad and corn on the cob, there was only canned green beans and peas, and frozen broccoli smothered in cheese. Nothing to inspire a love of veggies in a kid. In fact for the longest time I claimed to hate peas and green beans. It wasn't until I joined weight watchers and decided to give cooking and vegetables another go.

Starches consisted of some kind of potatoes or boxed rice and of course yummy pillsbury rolls. Now potatoes baked are healthy, but we smothered them in butter and cheese. Mashed potatoes...butter and milk (not from a box, thank goodness). Boxed scalloped potatoes and of course lots of Rice a Roni. I remember when I first brought hubby home for dinner, we fed him Minute Rice. He was appalled. Let's just say, a rice cooker was a wonderful gift to my parents years later. Weight Watchers changed most of that for me.....until Cookie that is. Now I get it. Boxed is quick, it's easy. There is hardly any thinking involved. But things around here must change.

Weight Watchers taught me a lot. And as I struggle to take off these post baby pounds, again, I am constantly trying to channel my old leader Char. She was awesome, one in a million, a true inspiration. So today at the gym I saw a girl wearing a t-shirt "No Taste, No Waist." I could picture Char adopting the saying and something in it hit a cord. We have been having some problems getting Cookie to eat...well at least eat healthy. What kid doesn't want cookies for breakfast and chocolate covered granola bars for lunch? While these things are great snacks, they have become food items Cookie is asking for constantly. I hate to be the food police with her, but sugar for breakfast and lunch is not acceptable. She has been refusing to eat. Meals have become a fight. And as a result of her not eating dinner and sometimes lunch, she is not sleeping well.

I get that this new food problem is about control. I am concerned that she is going to form food issues. As it stands our kid is anorexic. She has lost almost 2 pounds! Of course if I gave her nothing but sugary foods she'd eat it. But, I can not force her to eat. So instead I decided that I need to be a better example. I need to plan better. And I need to be a healthier eater for her. Weekly lunch and dinner's are now planned....fruit is included in breakfast and lunch. And vegetables are with dinner. I am forgoing those boxed rice and potato sides and making my own. Now that Jelly is older and a little bit more predictable (until she isn't, she's now rolling and almost crawling!!!!) I am able to plan better. We all get inspiration from many places and I have to say that the First Lady Michelle Obama inspired me to be a little more proactive in Cookie's food health. She talked about her kids gaining a bit of weight and little changes go a long way. So hopefully with some changes, Cookie will learn to eat healthy without knowing it.