Monday, August 9, 2010

I can't believe...

that I forgot to post this! I have already written how Natalie loves to brush her teeth and will beg to do so ("Teeth? Teeth? Teeth?") Friday, however, she did something new and different and completely unexpected in the whole brushing teeth department.

We have a stool in the bathroom that Sarah uses so that she can reach the sink to wash hands and brush teeth. While Natalie and I were in the bathroom Friday morning, Natalie was playing near the stool. I didn't really think anything of it. As I got ready to brush my own teeth, Natalie started the familiar refrain: "Teeth? Teeth? Teeth?" I handed her her toothbrush. She shook her head and refused to take it. Weird. She continued to ask though: "Teeth? Teeth? Teeth?" I tried again to hand her the brush and again she refused. She was now starting to cry in frustration that she couldn't make me see what she was wanting.

And then I noticed it. She wasn't playing near the stool; she was trying to climb on the stool. I helped her up on it. Again she asked, "TEETH?!"

I handed the toothbrush. "Brush teeth," I encouraged her. This time she took it and said, quite clearly, "Like Sarah." She tapped the brush on the side of the sink, just like she's seen her big sister do.

She brushed teeth happily after that, just like always. And she has stood on the stool every day since then to brush her teeth..."like Sarah."


Last night, I officially registered Sarah for kindergarten. The county school system went back to school today, and city schools started last week. Although we are homeschooling, she does need to be officially registered as attending school somewhere.

It was weird. She's not actually "going" anywhere (until September, when we start classes with a local co-op), but I still got a little teary-eyed going through the registration process. How did my baby get old enough to be in kindergarten anyway?

Natalie is now zooming up the stairs. She's quite pleased with herself.

I noticed Tara posted her grocery shopping results and a few menu ideas. I've kind of slacked off in that department. I've actually not been doing too badly though, as far as grocery shopping and menus go. It's funny; when you really don't have much money available, it really forces you to be creative and make the most of what you have. We've eaten pretty well, all things considered. Unfortunately, I don't remember specific purchases and prices, or even much in the way of specific meals. I know I bought a whole chicken. The chicken meat has already provided three meals, and I think I can get one more out of it. The bones will make stock, which will at least contribute to one or two more meals. Not bad at all!

I bought a "white whole wheat" flour last time I was at the store. I had been buying plain old whole wheat flour and white bread flour for my bread baking needs. But boy, did we love this white whole wheat stuff! So far, it's made an excellent loaf of sandwich bread and a lovely batch of rolls as well. I think I'm sold!

My friend Leah is challenging herself to go an entire year without eating out. I'm not that committed. I honestly enjoy eating out when I have the chance, and I know myself well enough to know I'd never make it a year. But I am learning to do a better job of finding a "Plan B" or thinking through what options we have on hand to come up with a tasty meal. It does take some creativity at times, since I can't eat most convenience foods, but I'm getting better at it!

I've been experimenting with whether it's better to plan a menu before I shop, or plan afterward with what I have on hand. Certainly a strong case can be made for either one! I've known incredibly frugal people who've done it either way. I'm kind of doing a mixture of the two right now. My Grocery Deals is a great resource. If you enter your zip code, it will link to the weekly sales ads for stores in your area. You can see what's a good buy and start making a list before you leave the house. Money Saving Mom posts store deals for just about every store out there (even combining them with coupons for the best savings), so I try to visit her site as well. Coupon Mom can also help with pairing coupons and sales, but I confess I find that site a bit cumbersome to use, and I don't visit there often.

Personal gripe: my favorite recipe search site was Recipe Zaar. I loved its ease of use. They have now revamped the site, including changing the name to (how unoriginal is that?). I do not like it as well at all. I'm sulking. However, it never fails that if I like something, it either goes away entirely or changes beyond recognition. Blech. Okay, sulk over now.

As soon as Nelson sends me the pictures he got off the camera, I will post them here. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

more about Natalie

Natalie has added "mmm-hmm" and "play" to her repertoire (probably more than that, but that's what I've been able to pick out!). She also says, "Read." (She actually could already say this, but I forgot to put it on the list the other day!)

I've noticed that she says "Want down?" exclusively, whether she wants up, down, off, or out. She can be sitting on your lap and quite appropriately say, "Want down?" However, she can also be standing on the floor and hold out her arms for you to pick her up and say, "Want down?" Yesterday, she was in the Pack and Play and wanted out. You guessed it: "Want down?" Clearly we need to work on "up" and "out"!

If you're on Facebook, you can read this in my status update, but I'll put it here too. Natalie will eat Sarah's crayons if she finds them (leads to some interesting shades of color in her diapers). Apparently she wanted to save one for a later snack; I opened the refrigerator to find part of a purple crayon sitting on the shelf.