Friday, June 27, 2008

The package

So some of you might know that I am a bit paranoid about my sweet but small house. I want to stay in this house for many years as we have gotten to know some of our neighbors and it is just a nice place. That means no clutter, hoarding of things, or big objects. Pete called me earlier this week and said, "Did the mail come?" I said yes. "Anything special come?". No sweety, why? "Oh, well Jude is sending Celia something. He is excited about it and it was custom made". Okay.. So not even 5 min. later a Fed Ex guy pulls up with a box almost the size of a refrigerator. At this point I am cursing Jude. Doesn't he know we have a tiny house, what on earth is this. So I open the box and in it, thank goodness, is mainly padding. But the object did take up some space, it was a rocking horse. It is a pretty rocking horse and I suppose that if Celia is going to get any kind of big object, this would be a good choice. It will eventualy make a very good addition to her room. When she is old enough she will love to play on it.

Celia's reaction was not that great. Her immediate impression was one of terror. She started her semi growling/grunting in fear, as if this thing was alive. Finally when I let her pet the yarn hair and sit on it, she decided he was okay. She does like to sit and rock on it now. But mainly she likes to stand near him. So thank you Jude for the very sweet and pretty gift. I love the hand painted flowers on the runner.

As for Celia, Pete and I have discovered that she really can stand completely on her own- she is just scared. Both of us have witnessed her standing without anything when she doesn't realize it. When she realizes it, she drops to the ground. We can put our pinky finger up to her and she will stand for a long time, as long as she sees that little finger "holding her up". She has even started walking at times with only holding one of my hands, or just a couple fingers. So where does my daughter get her fear from?? I don't know. But she is cute. Speaking of her, she is waking up from her nap, so I better end this.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Eating in the Bathroom

Eating in the bathroom certainly must be a luxury, don't you think so?? I mean I often like to take my sandwich and drink, park myself on the commode and just relax for a nice meal. I enjoy the smells, sounds, and sights. Eating a public bathroom is by far the best place because there is often many things to read on the walls. Sometimes, if I really want to have that "extra" special atmosphere I put a blanket over my head to provide a sauna like environment and nibble at my yummy sandwich. Ahh, the luxuries in life.

So what, your grossed out?? Why on earth?? Okay I don't do that but evidently it must be a preferred thing because alot of people suggest it to nursing Mom's. I know many people in my family don't understand public breastfeeding, my husband included, but it is important to me. In most states, PA included, women are legally allowed to breastfeed in public. Most nursing Moms are discrete and try to get the baby to latch on without exposing anything. We prefer not to go into a bathroom because it is gross!! Who wants to eat in a bathroom??? If you saw a women feeding a baby formula would you suggest that they go into the bathroom??

What prompted this rant?? Well a woman in my breastfeeding group was at a Phillies game and needed to nurse her son. She went off into an area that was what she thought a good nursing place and a few minutes later a security guard was harrasing her. The guard told her that she couldn't do "that" here and people were complaining. The woman who in my opinion is typically somewhat soft spoken and wouldn't be one to make a scene, told the guard that it was her legal right to breastfeed. The guard told her that she could put a chair in the restroom. Thankfully, the woman said no thankyou to that. The guard persisted and told the woman that she was going to get the police. The woman told her that was fine. She knew that she had the legal right to breastfeed there. So she finished nursing as the guard was trying to find a policeman and returned to her seat. No police came. So the woman emailed the Phillies with no response from them. My view on this- the security guard was bothered by it and I doubt that anyone complained. First, I am thinking that most people were watching the game, and 2nd I don't that it was very noticeable.

So we discussed it in our breastfeeding group and we are going to try to contact the Phillies. I believe that there should be an apology and that a policy should be put in place. If they prefer women to not breastfeed in certain areas then they need to create a space (not in the bathroom) for women to feed their babies.

I just feel for this woman because I know that feeding in public is a hard thing to get used to. I have struggled with this and it isn't really that i am uncomfortable with it, it is the fear that others are uncomfortable with it. So for her to get up the courage to nurse in public is something that she should be very proud of. Shame on that security guard. I think that she ought to go stick a chair in the restroom, inhale deeply, and chow down on a burger.

So Pete of course sighed so heavily on the phone when I told him this that I could feel his breath. I heard the deep sigh again when I told him that if we don't get the right response that there could possibly be a nurse in. Unfortunately what he doesn't realize is that his sighs, motivate me more... So to all of you, email the Phillies and encourage them to not discriminate against babies who want to drink the very best.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Our Walk into Town and Other things

When I was pregnant with Celia I tried to do everything to save money. We borrowed baby equipment, bought stuff used, got things free, etc. We didn't have to do this, I just chose to. But the one thing I really wanted I could not find on craigslist or anywhere used. I searched and searched and then finally Pete just said to me "just order it". I sucked it up and ordered one from REI, got free shipping by having it sent to the store and it was on supersale. Nonetheless I was upset over the indulgence, or at least I thought it was an indulgence. Now I know that the Bob Revolution Jogging Stroller was not a luxury it was a necessity. I love Bob and so does Celia. We have probably logged close to 200 miles in that stroller by now, actualy that is probably a low estimate. Since Celia is now a bit to heavy to lug around in her infant carrier we don't use the Snap and Go stroller. So the Bob has become our one and only. Yes, it is that good of a stroller. I have tested other strollers and nothing compares.

So on Friday I left my swimsuit at the YMCA after my masters swim team practice. I was a little annoyed, especialy with the price of gas. I kept thinking, now I am going to have to pack Celia up and head over to the Y just to get my swimsuit. So I decided to walk with Celia in the BOB. It was such an amazing treat. We walked into town, Celia babbling some on the way there. Our first step was my mission to get my suit where I bumped into my old swim coach. He is an interesting guy. He always calls me buy my first name and maiden name even though I have known him since I was 11. He was quite surprised to see the little peanut in the stroller though.

Celia and I then walked over to the Philly soft pretzel factory, they make the absolute best pretzels. They bake on location. The only bad thing, it is a chain. For some reason I would like to think that it wasn't. But you can't beat their prices- 3 pretzels for $1.50!! So we got fresh, I mean just came out of the oven pretzels and window shopped a little. Celia enjoyed her tiny piece of pretzel. After her pretzel she enjoyed about 5 min. of top of the lung screaches, just had to let me know she was there. Then she chilled back in the Bob and enjoyed the ride. We then stopped by Carlinos Market to get some bananas and fresh raviolis for the evening dinner. Prior to going into Carlinos some Man stopped us and said "hello, you have such a handsome little boy". "Thank you, we think she is very pretty" I replied. His response- "Oh he is a cutey". "Thanks" I said and went into the store. So I get this alot and it annoys me. No I would not dress my little boy in pink crocs, and a shirt with cute little girl cheeries all over it. The pink crocs are the key though..

So we headed home and Celia was having a great time, babbling away, looking around and then I heard silence. She fell asleep. I debated on waking her up when we got home, but I just wheeled Bob in and had my lunch in peace. Usualy Celia and I eat together. But for once, I was able to eat, watch the news (okay a rerun of What Not To Wear but the news sounds better), and just relax. She woke up as I was finishing and enjoyed some yogurt for lunch. She actualy took an afternoon nap too!!

After lunch she enjoyed some time in her hoppy pool and practiced walking with her push too outside. She has developed a passion for screeching at the top of her lungs. I don't know what the neighbors think about that. Overall it was a great day!!

Today she finally agreed to feed herself. She has known how to do it, she would feed me, but now she is okay with feeding herself. It was so nice. She munched on bananas while I made her lunch. It was too warm to walk today, but maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Things that make Carrie go hmm...

Things that make me go hmm.. or what the?? I apologize ahead, this is not my sweet and innocent posting. So some of you might want to ignore it.

Okay my biggest thing lately and I apologize to my FIL who reads this but I am going to talk about boobs, knockers, what ever you want to call them. Please, please if you are going to run ladies wear a good sports bra, or at least wear something. I was coaching at Valley Green a few weeks ago and we counted 4, 4 mind you, women who were wearing nothing underneath tank tops. I am not talking flat chested women, I am talking Dolly Partons that have gone south. My husband just told me to seek help Sweety when I read this to him. Perhaps I will. But in the meantime, Champion is a great brand.

Carseats, carseats, carseats. I have researched them alot. Okay yes your 5 year old needs to sit in the back seat. No you should not have your 4 and 6 year old share the front passenger seat, that isn't safe. Children ages 8 and younger in most states must be in a carseat. If a child is 45 lbs or heavier then they can go in a booster type carseat, however a regular convertable carseat is still safer. Children ages 1 and 22 lbs or less, which ever comes last must be rearfacing. However rearfacing to 30 lbs is safest. Carseats do expire. Yes they do, most have a 6 year lifespan. Sorry but I am tired of seating expired carseats in consignment shops and 2 yearolds sitting in blackless booster seats.

Teeny tiny butt shorts, that is what I am calling them. Pete and I went to breakfast on Father's day and were a bit disturbed when we were a little unsure if the waitress was wearing underwear or really short, shorts. They were shorts, but Pete even said it wasn't appropriate. So then I was watching the Today show and this teenager came on with her Mom and their "ugliest dog ever winner" and she had some on. So I think to solve this issue, every teen should wear granny undies. If the granny undies hang down under your shorts, they are too short.

Okay, have y'all heard of the lady who was injured by a thong. What the?? A victoria's secret thong injured her and yes, you guessed it she is suing. She cut her cornea with a heart shaped pendant attached to the thong. Okay, she I suppose is justified (I didn't say right) to sue for product defect. But I guess the lesson in this is don't buy a thong with jewelry attached to it, even thought makes me say ouch.

I know it has been said so many times but... I really hate the pants down to the knees with the boxers sticking out. It just looks tacky. But to each his own I suppose.

Rebates, coupons, store bonus cards- okay I know that is boring. But Why if the manufacturer or the store will give it to for less do you have to spend the time to cut something, swipe a card, or fill out a form?? I am especialy annoyed by the store bonus cards. Some stores are good and no matter what they will swipe their own store card to give you a discount but some won't. It just bugs me.

Okay that is enough for now...

I will post a more pleasant and sweet Carrie posting tomorrow. I took a walk into Town with Celia on Sunday that is certainly blog worthy.

Why We Tease and Pick

It seems that Pete and I have heard many times that we tease, pick, bicker, etc with each other too much. The truth is we do this out of extreme love and we wouldn't really feel as close if we didn't do this. Perhaps it is a thing of age because growing up I remember doing this with my friends, the loving little sarcastic comments made us feel like we were part of a group. So Pete and I enjoy each other tremendously and it makes us feel special, honestly when we use our daily sarcasm or teases. I suppose we need to start limiting it when we aren't just alone together. But I will have to say that if a day went by when my husband didn't tease me about my height, cloth diapering (okay I could go with out that), racewalking, or whether or not I have showered I would think something was wrong.

So the point is I suppose that we do this out of love. We don't argue alot, in fact I can probably count on my hand how many times Pete and I have had a big argument. We frustrate each other frequently and annoy each other quite often. So perhaps our teasing or picking is our little way of venting to each other. I don't know, but it works and we have fun.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Trying some watermarked photos

Okay I am trying to post some watermarked photos. The first photo is what Celia does when she sees Pete come home or leave.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Costsaving Tips and Going Green, Part 1

Okay I know this isn't the most exciting post but I wanted to share. I really should be doing other things at the moment too but I am procrastinating those things.

Clean with vinegar, buy it by the gallon!! I use it for a general cleaner and as a laundry booster/ fabric softener. It is super cheap, offers no harsh fumes or chemicals, and really works. Add a little salt to it and you have a good abrasive cleaner for those tough stains.
Paper products- don't use unless necessary. I have tried to cut down on using them. It is actualy easier to clean the bathroom with an old hand towel then a paper towel. I still reach for them, but I am trying to stop. Paperplates- stop using them. I have totally eliminated them and it is just as easier to use a plate and pop it in the dishwasher.
Microfiber towels- I don't need endust or other dust cleaners. Automotive microfiber towels are awesome. Actualy they are absorbant to so they are great for picking up spills.

Here is a link for some more budget friendly/ ecofriendly cleansers

Laundry: Fabric softener is actualy bad for your clothes. If you buy some dryer balls (about $5-7) they will fluff your clothes and not leave a residue. You save money on fabric sheets and you make your clothes last longer. Celia is currently playing with our dryer balls because I couldn't take the noise. I am looking for some soft ones. So we have cut our dryer sheets in half, they work the same. In general you do not have to use as much laundry detergent as you think. Decrease the amount of deteregent you are using by just an 1/8th or a 1/4 and see if you get the same results. Reuse fabric sheets if you use them, they are great electronics cleaners, just swipe across the surface and they pick up lint!

Water: Okay can't help you there a whole lot because we use a ton of it. So the only solution I could think of is, shower together. Celia and I did it yesterday.

Groceries: Buy frozen veggies. They are actual supposed to be better for you because they are picked at the height of freshness and then frozen shortly after that. They are a great deal cheaper right now. Not to mention the fact that they take alot longer to go bad in the freezer!!

Food- Plan meals for a week or two. Pasta, beans, and rice are cheap alternatives to meat. Chicken prices are going to go up so stock up now. One cheap recipe:

Bean Burritos

Black Beans
1 TB Minced Garlic
Light Mayo
Chili Powder
Cheddar Cheese

Heat black beans in some olive oil with 1 Tb minced Garlic. Mix together about 1 cup salsa, 2 Tb Mayo, and a dash (or more) of chili powder. Put the beans on the tortilla, add salsa mix, and some cheddar cheese. Fold over tortilla and then cook in a skillit. Cook until the cheese melts, flipping once.

We had them last night and they were great.

Okay enough for now. Ms. Celia is doing wonderful. She helped me get some things from my classroom and had a great time. Of course she was trying to unpack when I was packing!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Okay, budget costing post comes later- this one is about Gator Wrestling

I have learned how to Gator wrestle, or I am learning. I can't say that I am very good at it yet. The Gator is a small wirey thing, only in the 20th percentile for weight but strong. It can wiggle like no other being out there and when you try to wrestle it, it often ends up standing on it's head. So the wrestle itself often involves too people- one to handle the head area and one to handle the bottom area. It is especialy difficult if the Gator is wet, which Pete and I had to do last night after we gave it a bath.

Okay, okay, our Gator is really Celia. Diaper changes and getting dressed has become interesting at some points. She has no issues what so ever with undressing. She loves to go around naked and it is funny to see her naked tushie crawling around. But when it comes to put her diaper on or a shirt on, forget it. She turns into this screaming, wiggly, thrashing Gator. I have started trying to stand her up while she holds onto something and put the diaper on. But that certainly doesn't solve the getting dressed problem. At some points she wiggles and arches her back so much that she is standing on her head. We need to videotape it, we really do. A couple days ago Celia would not let me put her diaper on so I gave up and let her go naked for a short time. What does she do? She crawls over to the changing pad, stands up with my help and pees. She got very excited too, she liked seeing the water come out. Then she laid down for me and had no issue getting her diaper on. I told her that she was more then welcome to potty learn now if she had an issue with diapers. So far she hasn't headed for the bathroom yet.

So that is my little snippit on Gator wrestling.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Celia Happenings and diapering

Celia is showing us more and more of her little personality lately. Right now she is babbling away, almost humming in her toy corner playing with her whoozit, a green ball, and a toy that my Mom got her that has things to open and close and push. Yesterday she played for 30 min. with a dryer ball and a clothes pin. She crawled around with them, put them up high and low, and help them up in the air. Celia likes to hold things up in the air and make some sort of proud babbly sound as if to say "Look what I have" or "Can you believe what I have!" Yesterday when we arrived back from visiting a friend a package of some of her diapers had arrived. When I opened them she quickly grabbed one and held it up as if to say "I got new diapers!!" It was funny at the time.

What diapers did I get her? Snugglebottoms. They are fitted diapers that require a cover. It irritates me that even though I spent a great deal of time before I started cloth diapering researching the easiest way to diaper and the most economical, that I am finding that I missed alot! Well I thought Pete would change more diapers so I ordered alot of pockets. Pocket diapers require you to stuff an insert into them to make them absorbant then they basically function the same as a disposable diaper. I stuff them when they come out of the dryer. My favorite pocket diaper is Bumgenius 3.0 (yes there was a 1.0 and a 2.0 and I am sure there will be a 4.0). That diaper can really hold it all, 3 hrs plus. It is onesize too, so it lasts until she potty learns. That is right folks evidently it is not called potty training anymore it is "potty learning".

Okay boring cloth diaper infomorcerial here:

In anycase in the beginning I listened to my Mom (no offense Mom) and some other people as they said that the diapers they used when they had kids were awful. So I avoided flat diapers and prefold diapers (think old school diapers that were pinned). However I discovered that they don't use pins anymore they use something called a snappi (looks like a T and grabs the fabric with plastic teeth). The covers now are wonderful and hold alot in. So prefolds and flats are actualy the easiest when it comes to wash and drying. For the next one, I will be doing prefolds. They are cheap- 12 for $25. Oh but back to the Snugglebottoms. They are plain white fitted diapers but at less then $5 a piece are a great deal. We will see if they fit, they are looking a little big. The covers that you use with fitted diapers, prefolds, or flats are reusable. So you only need 1 or 2.

The cloth diapering industry is growing fast and I think even faster with the economy the way that it is. Kimberly Clark announced (Pampers, etc) that they will raise prices 8-20% in the next few months. You spend alot initialy on cloth and I even have a hard time with the initial cost, however if you look at the longterm costs you can save more then $2000 using cloth. More if you can save your diapers for the next child. Isn't it alot of work you ask? 2-3 extra loads of laundry a week and a few minutes stuffing pockets while watching tv- that is it! The poop factor. Well before Celia ate solids it just all was thrown in the washing machine. Now I use liners and if they are too bad, they just get tossed. No big deal. The big factor, diapering is not boring. There are so many cute ones you can get, even customized ones!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Showers are so yesterday

So this morning Pete decides that he is not going to workout and sleeps in an extra hour. Okay, that is fine with me. However when he wakes up he of course announces that he is going to do what he always does for about 20 min each morning in his "office" then take a shower. I comment that I might take my shower while he is in his "office". Well, Pete didn't like that idea. You see our hot water sucks, we never know when we will have an unlimited amount or about 10 min. worth of it. I secretly think our neighbor mooches off of our hot water. So we negotiated, he took a quick shower and I took one afterward and luckily it was one of those unlimited hot shower days. However Pete was very disturbed when I told him the reason I couldn't take his initial suggestion of showering tonight because I hadn't been able to shower yesterday. This occurs on many occasions and each time Pete is shocked, "That is gross, your female".. Okay I can't say I am excited that there are days in which I don't get a shower. But with a very active Celia it limits the times that I can shower. If I shower during her nap time I risk waking her up and if I do it while she is awake that leads to all sorts of questionable trouble. Last time I did that she crawled into the bathroom, parked herself on my bath mat and proceeded to scream at the top of her lungs.

So yes I am gross but the truth is, who cares. I take care of things and have had no complaints on smell. I think my husband is not one to comment on the subject because at one point he was showering 2x in the morning, with in a few hours. He would wake up, take a shower, go work out and take another shower. It took awhile to convince him that it seemed a bit ridiculous.

But I often think that Pete wouldn't be so terribly disturbed over the showering issue if I was more feminine female. So I don't like shopping, wearing jewelry, never wear make up, and enjoy doing home repairs. He saves money and doesn't have to do a lot around the house..

So Pete is also distraught over my latest big project- my annual clean out the house project. I did it last year this time and he called it nesting. Now what is he going to call it? He probably has some choice words. I have discovered that at current count he has over 25 books that he has bought and never read. So we now have a "library" shelf for Pete to pick books from. Maybe it is a guy thing, I don't know. But I have been able to get him to thin his collection of books, finally!! But in general, this is stressing him out. I haven't told him yet that I am moving my cleaning out project to the upstairs in the next few days...

In any case, a bit of a boring post I suppose. Ms. Celia is still a riot. We picked up her hoppy frog canopy blow up pool from Target yesterday. We don't know when we will get to use it as the temperature now seems to be actually too hot for swimming- 99 on Monday.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Celia is 9 months tomorrow and that saddens me because it means less then 3 months left with her. I am returning to work in September hopefully for just one year. The thought of handing her over to someone to watch her and spend more time with her then I will is very depressing. However with Gas likely to reach $5 by September and my inability to get the grocery bill under $80 each week, it just isn't realistic. I have thought about marketing Celia, you know swim suit modeling, 5 kisses for $10, that sort of thing. It doesn't look like Pete is on the list as Warren Buffet's replacement either (his company is owned by the money maker). She will be one of five babies in a room at our church daycare. The pastor visits them on Wednesday for a little bit of worship which sounds very sweet. Celia will go to church more then Pete and I!! So she will survive and I will survive. If we aren't then I will just resign, there is a nice little bit of relief about that. But hopefully our plan will work and I will go back for one year, we will put away more money and I will stay home for a few years. During that time hopefully there will be a second at some point.

So today is my school's graduation and Celia and are going to attend. I always love to watch our graduation however it is followed with a deep saddness for these students. Unlike a typical highschool graduation the future of my students is not as bright. The parents sit in the auditorium with the knowledge that planned programming for their child has ended. Hopefully most have plans for their future but alot of our parents are still searching for a place for their child. For those who don't know- My school is a special education center and I work in the Multiple Disability Support program. Our students have a wide range of abilities but all of the students have moderate mental retardation or lower and most have behavioral and physical disabilities. So in the search for group homes to care for their children, alot of our parents find that there are not many resources. Work programs are typically not an option for most students and many group homes will not deal with a 21 year old with behavior problems. So we all sit in graduation, proud of their accomplishments over the years and hope that they will continue to be stimulated in someway in their new environment. So I look at Celia and sigh that at 9 months it is fairly clear that cognitively she is on track and you couldn't ask for a more healthy child!

With that sad little rambling... Celia is doing so much now. She is cruising the furniture like crazy, going from coach to coffee table and back again. I think it is funny that she will get into more things that she isn't supposed to when Pete watches her, however she knows a little better with me!! I coached/ did 20 miles on Sunday and Pete was a bit tired of his little "boo" by the time I got home. I was told "she got into everything, everything". No more napping with Daddy all morning while I am gone! Yesterday I cleaned out the closet underneath the basement stairs and she had a blast. There were so many boxes for her to hang onto and cruise. She went from one side of the room to the other, babbling the whole time. I have caught her several times standing without holding on, but she won't do it if you just let go of her hands. Walking by 10 months? Maybe. This morning she ate her oatmeal with bananas very fast. So I mashed some more bananas and she refused them, she drank a little and still refused the bananas. I looked at her and said well "do you want more?" She lifted up her hands and said "a da". I sign "all done" when we are finished eating and she imitates me. This is the first time she has done it appropriately on her own and it was very cute.

Okay, well I better tend to the house a bit before Celia gets up from her nap. However I will end with her current vocabulary.

"A da"- all done
Mama- not directed at me, but she calls Elmo, Mama
Hi (only done a few times but very clear)
A der- no clue what that means but she likes it