Monday, February 28, 2011

a conversation transcribed

For breakfast this morning, Natalie ate a piece of cinnamon swirl raisin bread with butter.  She ate the butter off first, which led to the following conversation.

Natalie: More butter.
Me: Where's the butter you had?
Natalie (looking around and lifting her hands in a shrug): Butter...where?
Me: Yes, where did it go?
Natalie (a repeat, almost exactly, of her above response)
Me: Where is the butter?
Natalie: Butter car!
Me (laughing): The butter went in the car?
Natalie: Yes.
Me: The butter isn't supposed to go in the car.  It's supposed to go in your tummy!
Natalie: Oh.  Cute! 
Me (still laughing): Eat your bread.
Natalie: Eat supper!

Sooo...if you happen to see any butter driving around in a car today, please send it back to us.  Apparently it's Natalie's escaped butter from breakfast (or supper, according to her!) 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

a picture

Yesterday at the mall my dad took Sarah and Natalie into one of those photo booths that creates a sketch.  Here are the results.  :)

exciting news!

I am thrilled beyond words to be typing up this blog post.  I held off writing until I felt sure, but it's been long enough that I feel confident.  :) 

Sarah was diagnosed with acid reflux when she was three months old.  She has been on daily medication ever since.  She started on Zantac, and as she got older we kept having to increase the dose.  The doctor assured us that most babies outgrew reflux before they reached toddlerhood, but Sarah was still on Zantac when she was four.  In fact, by that time we had pretty much maxed out the dosage possible.  And still her reflux wasn't really under control.  So the doctor switched her to Prevacid.

Unfortunately, the switch to Prevacid came during one of the tightest financial periods we have ever had.  The prescription Prevacid Solu-tabs cost more than the Zantac syrup, and Sarah had to have it.  My SIL kept encouraging me to take Sarah to a chiropractor, but we couldn't afford to do so.  There were times when I had to fill only seven or ten days' worth of the prescription at a time; thankfully the pharmacy was always very accommodating.

Then last January, Prevacid went over the counter.  Now instead of $116 for a 30-day prescription, I could pay $25 for a 42-day supply!  They were of course capsules instead of Solu-tabs, but I taught Sarah how to swallow them and we were good to go.  Sometimes we could even find coupons.  Then last month we found that Amazon had 42-day supplies for only $16--even better!

But now we have the BEST news of all!  After six years of praying and hoping and struggling to come up with the needed medicine--Sarah finally doesn't need it anymore!  She has been without Prevacid for over TWO WEEKS now.  No stmachaches, no churning, no reflux.

After six years of daily medicines, six years of worrying about the effects of this over the course of a lifetime, six years of scrambling to pay for it, to say that we are thrilled by this turn of events is an understatement.  We are rejoicing and praising God.  We are truly grateful for Sarah's healing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

menu plans and mosaics

Well, remember when I said that having a migraine made me feel more like plucking out my eyeballs than cooking?  Well, it doesn't make me feel like planning to cook either.  And that boxed mac and cheese came in very handy Monday evening.

So Menu Plan Monday didn't happen, and I'm just winging it this week.  Thankfully, we have enough on hand that winging it is easy.  :)  Last night we had pork, green beans, and cinnamon raisin bread.  Tonight it's a chicken and rice dish.

In other news, Sarah has this "mosaic" art set.  She loves creating "masterpieces" with it.  The box promises that it is a "mess-free" activity.

The box lies.  Either the creator of this activity never met a child, or I simply have a very unique and talented daughter.  There are little adhesive mosaic pieces all over the house--on the furniture, the floor, our clothes, Natalie's hair, etc.

The pictures do look pretty when she's finished though.  :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

grocery shopping report

Okay, back to the attempts to lower our food bill by remaining accountable.  One of my goals for 2011 is really attacking the grocery budget and getting it as low as I can.  I don't have any illusions of getting to $40 per week like some of the Internet legends; I have too many food sensitivities, and I have a kid in diapers!  I am going to start with a goal of $80 per week and see if I can eventually get it down to $60 per week.  We'll see how it goes.  Food coupons don't tend to be very useful to me, but I'm going to try to use more toiletry coupons and try to score freebies like Money Saving Mom does.  :)

So here is what we bought this week.  I now have a fully stocked freezer and pantry and will attempt to post a menu plan on Monday for how we intend to use all this bounty.

I placed an order with Angel Food Ministries and paid $35.48 for it.  We received in our "Bread of Life" box yesterday:

2 lbs. hamburger steaks
2 lbs. chicken breast filets (boneless, skinless)
1 macaroni and beef frozen entree
1 lb. ground beef
1 boneless pork chops
1 lb. smoked sausage
1 lb. frozen corn
1 lb. frozen green beans
1 lb. frozen sugar snap peas and carrots
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 lb. kidney beans
1 packet chili seasoning mix
8 oz. box Jiffy biscuit mix
10 envelopes instant oatmeal
32 oz. 2% milk
1 dozen eggs
8 oz. box Jiffy chocolate chip cookie mix

I also did a quick Food City run earlier in the week.  I spent $34.94 and purchased:

2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 gallon of Silk Pure Almond milk
2 packages of tortillas
1 lb. black beans
2 Valu Time boxes macaroni and cheese
1 box of Valu Time Honey Nut Oat cereal
4 packets Valu Time drink mix (cherry, orange, grape, and strawberry)
1 lb. Land o Frost honey ham sandwich meat
1 4 oz. tube Crest toothpaste (used coupon)
2.55 lbs. bananas
5 lbs. red potatoes

I spent a total of $70.42 between Angel Food and the grocery store.  With what I got and what I already had on hand, I think I can feed us very well for at least a couple of weeks.  I'm going to see how far I can stretch our supplies, although we may need personal products next week.  :)

Oh, and just to reassure my foodie friends: I do normally make homemade macaroni and cheese.  But I find it helpful to have a couple of convenience foods on hand for nights when I have a killer migraine and feel more like pulling my eyeballs out than cooking.  And there are not many convenience foods I can eat.  But I CAN eat the $0.25 boxes of store brand mac and cheese.  So they make a good emergency back-up meal.  As for the faux Cheerios, Natalie likes to snack on them.  Sarah requested the Kool-Aid knock-offs as a special treat.  Since they were on sale for $0.12 apiece, I obliged her.  :)

This post is linked to Money Saving Mom.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I thought that since we were home (leaving my parents with a smelly guest room and Natalie's perfume-y clothes) and since Natalie had a good scrub in the tub last night, I was done with headache-inducing odor.  But no.  We are having a wee bit of spring-like weather, and as I got Natalie ready to go outside, I caught the overpowering whiff of Oscar de la Renta again.  I couldn't figure out where it was coming from.  She was wearing clean clothes!  She'd had a bath! 

Then I was coming from her shoes


curiosity killed the cat...

Or in this case, the perfume bottle.  And my head.  And I think my dad's head.  And possibly an outfit and maybe even some carpet.

Oh, boy.  :-p

Fridays usually find us at my parents' house.  We all look forward to the weekly visit.  Sarah and Natalie especially enjoy playing with the children my mother cares for.  Since my parents added a new bedroom and bathroom to the house, the kids often play in the old bedroom, which is basically a guest room now.

My mom still keeps some things in that old bedroom though--including her perfume collection.  She has this pretty stand with glass shelves that holds all of her bottles of fragrance.  It sits next to a dresser in a part of the room that the kids don't use.  The little girl who is Natalie's age showed fascination with the perfumes, but Mom had taught her that it was off-limits, so it wasn't really an issue.

Natalie isn't there five days a week like Emma is though, and she hadn't quite gotten that whole "off-limits" memo yet.

Natalie wondered over to my dad early yesterday afternoon proclaiming, "Wet!"  Dad noticed that the front of her shirt and pants were indeed very wet.  He figured she had leaked through her diaper.  I picked her up to go change her and quickly realized that she was sporting a smell that was decidedly NOT diaper-ish.

Upon examination of the bedroom, several scattered bottles of perfume were discovered.  A bottle of Oscar de la Renta was emptied completely.  There was a large, fragrant spot on the carpet.  Natalie and the room both reeked.  Perfume is great in small quantities, but there was nothing small about this.

My head hurt from the fumes, and my mother is still working on trying to get the smell out of Natalie's clothes.  I don't know HOW she'll get the room de-odorized.

This is not usually what one means when one tells of a "stinky mishap" a child has had!

Natalie also managed to mark my dad's footstool with a Sharpie and close herself into the bathroom in an attempt to squirt soap everywhere.  She had a GREAT day!