Friday, October 30, 2009

Doctor Visit Again!!!!

Ok, so the last time we went to the doctor's office was HORRIBLE.  I am talking about every bodily fluid that could be projected or expelled by each one of my three children happened.  We go for a simple weight check for the twins - no biggie right?  Maggie pees all over the scale, of course she is naked, so she has to be completely wiped down and cleaned up.  Karlie decides it is the perfect time to poop - like an explosion poop mind you, so she needs to be completely cleaned up.  Then, Miss Ella while she is patiently waiting her turn (ha, ha) to be weighed, not only spits up twice, but poops too.  So, we get the babies weighed, and I tell the nurse, I'm sorry, but we're going to be a little while before we can leave this room.  An entire box of wipes later, we are heading out the door. 

So yesterday I am a little leery of the doctor visit.  I know we have to have shots, and we are ALL already cranky - Karlie is feeling a little under the weather, and the girls are still teething.  So, I'm armed and ready with a full box of wipes and change of clothes for everyone.  We are ready.  So we get there, and we do the initial stuff, then go to the room.  Well, apparently Karlie thinks she is getting a flu mist again, because as soon as we step foot in the room, she goes ballistic!  She covers up her little nose and starts screaming at the top of her lungs - SCREAMING.  At this point there is no explaining that we are there for the twins and not her.  SHE COULDN'T HEAR ME OVER THE SCREAMING.  So the doctor comes in and she goes even more ballistic - which I really didn't think was possible, and we proceed to attempt to have a conversation about the twins.  Then, here comes the nurse with the shots.  At this point we are at a level of ballistic that never, ever, ever  in all of my 30 odd years had I thought was humanly possible.  Well, it is.  Mr. man the doctor wimps out and shouts, "why don't you call me with any questions, she'll get the shots for you" and escapes.  What a punk!!!!!  So the nurse proceeds to give Ella her shots.  Now, at this point in Mommy hood I am fairly good at juggling 2 babies at once, but that is about my limit.  So, I've got Karlie (because that's helping so much!) and Ella, who is just a little upset at the woman stabbing sharp needles in her leg, trying to calm her down.  I quiet down Ella, who was a champ, and begin to buckle her into her car seat.  I look up and notice the nurse about to stab Maggie.  I said, "Can you wait just a sec, so I can get over there?" the super, wonderful chick stabs her anyway.  Now, I speak maybe 3 languages, 2 very little, but I do consider English to be my forte.  WHAT THE HELL?????  So, here I am with one baby going ballistic, one baby in the car seat crying all over again, and one baby who just got her shots and really needs some cuddling.  This is really the situation I was trying to avoid - that's why I told her to wait a minute!!!!  So here I am again, telling the nurse, "I'm sorry but we are going to be a few minutes before we can leave the room." 

I hate doctor visits.

On a positive note....both girls are in the 50th percentile!!!!  They are doing great!!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ham - 4 Ways for under $20.00

For those of you who don't know, my husband and I LOVE to cook, and truth be told, eat.  However, it is not such an easy thing to make full blown meals every night and still stay within a reasonable grocery budget.  Basically, my strategy is to make a large quantity of SOMETHING, and change it into a couple of different meals, the remainder of which I freeze for later.  We are only a family of 3 to cook supper for, but I always make large quantities of soups and casseroles so I can have at least one lunch and another supper's worth of food.  So, I decided that once every couple of weeks or so I would jot down our recipes, and hopefully get some feedback on some other ideas! 

This week we made Ham.  I bought a 4lb Ham for $5.00.  We cook it by the package directions, but first inject it with a mixture of 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp margarine and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar.  We melt this mixture together on the stove top.  If you don't have an injector, it is also awesome as a glaze.

Meal #1 Sliced Ham, Sweet Potatoes and Greens (approx. $5.50)
4 Slices Ham (probably about 1/4 of the Ham) - $1.25

Baked Sweet Potatoes (3 for us) - $2.00
  (throw in the microwave like a regular potato and serve w/ butter, S&P)
Collard Greens (1/2 bag) - $1.50

1 Ham Hock - $.75
Red pepper flakes, S&P, garlic powder, sugar
Place Ham hock in pot and cover with water. Simmer on Medium High for at least 1 hour. Continue to cover with more water as it breaks down. When hock begins to break down, add 1 tbsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp sugar, and S&P. Add greens, and let simmer covered for an hour

Meal #2 Hash (approx. $3.52)
4 Medium Potatoes - smallest slice on box grater - $.80                                                    
1 onion diced - $.60
1 bell pepper diced (free from my garden)
4 slices bacon - $.50
3 Eggs - $.24
1 cup Cheddar Cheese - $.75
2 Slices Ham cubed (1/8) - $.63
Garlic powder, S&P
1 tbsp Olive Oil
  Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces, cook and remove.  Add olive oil.  Add potatoes, onion and bell pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently until browned and softened.  Add S&P and garlic powder.  Add bacon and ham pieces, cook until heated through.  Add cheese, turn down heat and let melt.  In another pan, fry eggs (1 per person) over easy and serve on top of hash. 

Meal#3 Stuffed Tenderloin, Cabbage and Fried Corn - This is one of our "Sunday Dinners" - (approx. $5.25)

Stuffed Tenderloin
    1 lb Tenderloin - $1.99
    Very thin slices Ham (about an 1/8 of ham) - $.63
     Sliced Swiss Cheese - $.75
     Dijon mustard, S&P
    Cut tenderloin in half, pound out into 1/2 in think (saw this method on RR).  Spread mustard and S&P,   then layer with Ham and Swiss.  Roll up, and secure with twin or tooth picks.  Grill or roast in oven.
Cabbage (1/2 large head) - $1.00

cut into bite size pieces and saute in pan w/ olive oil, margarine, 2 tsp. garlic powder, S&P)
 Fried Corn - $.88
One bag of frozen corn, defrosted (place in colander in sink and run hot water over, then let dry).  In a skillet, melt 2 tbsp of margarine or butter, then add corn.  Season with garlic powder, paprika, and S&P.

Meal #4 Ham and Northern Bean Soup (approx. $2.50)
2-3 Slices of Ham Cubed - $.63
1/2 bag dried Northern Beans - $1.00
2 tbsp Olive Oil
6 large Okra sliced - free from my garden
1 can diced tomatoes or fresh- free from my garden
1 onion diced - $.60
2 carrots diced - $.35
2 chicken boullion cubes
6 cups of Water
Greens (optional) - leftover from previous supper
S&P, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and bay leaf
  Boil, rinse, and sort beans per package directions.  To large stock pot, add olive oil and soften okra, onion, and carrots.  Add tomatoes, 1 tbsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and the bay leaf.  Add beans, ham, greens (optional) water and bouillon cubes.  Let simmer until beans are done, about 3 hours.  Served with homemade sourdough rolls.
I only used about 1/2 of the Ham, so I thinly sliced about a quarter of it for sandwiches and I think I'll freeze the rest for another week.  I want to make Ham Bonaparte, Corn Chowder w/ Ham and Quiche, but we are all "Hammed" out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ode to the Shower

O hot, lingering shower, how do I miss thee.  Let me count the ways....

Seriously, here I am again, everyone has been bathed, hair washed and all have clean clothes....except me. 

Why do I not shower in the morning before my husband gets up you ask?  Because it is the surest way to wake up my 2-year old.  I like to hold on the idea that she may stay in bed at least until the hubbie wakes up.  Add that to the normal get changed, fed and back in bed scenario with two babies, and what was 5am (you just thought it was early and you might have some time to yourself), quickly becomes 7am, which is also when the hubbie hops in the shower, thus waking up Miss Karlie.

Why do I not shower in the evenings?  I blame that solely on the hubbie.  Ha ha.  Seriously, by the time he gets home, finishes working from the house, it is make dinner time, then yet again, since Karlie is in bed, I don't want to wake her up. 

Why do I not shower during the day?  Ok, 2 babies and a 2-year old.  No, they do not all sleep at once (that happened apparently as a freak accident early on and has not been repeated), and the few times I've tried it, wow, the entire desk drawer in the office was "cleaned" out and I was dripping wet with a towel for about 20 minutes holding Miss Ella because she was NOT happy.

On the few days that I do get a shower in the morning....Thank you Aunt Traci for coming over and letting Mommy have the illusion of no baby spit up, snot or any other bodily fluid that can be projected and/or wiped all over Mommy's clothes.  It is so nice to have those first few minutes of total clean. 

So, O elusive shower, though I completely took you for granted before, especially those times I was able to wash my hair AND shave at the same time, I will never take you for granted again. 

Please tell your friend the bathtub that he is dead to me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yep, I'm that chick....

that chick you get behind in the grocery store line with all the coupons.  Coupons, formula checks, cash AND charge, thank you!  Seriously, I went to the local K-Roger the other day, Kroger for those of you who don't know, and saved $50 off of my $125 bill.  While I was checking out, there was this lady behind me who actually was making all this noise and said something to the effect of , "God, everytime I get in line, I get behind one of these people."  Really?  I mean seriously?  Now, here I am, with the baby train (see previous posts), clearly just trying to make it in these economic times with three babies in diapers and two on formula and do you REALLY want to try and say something to/about/towards ME - Me, the woman who is buying $125 worth of groceries with the 3 babies?  Obviously, if we are checking out we've been here for a while - this is not a quick process!  At this point, Mommy and babies are ALL cranky.  So, politely, I replied, "Obviously you either have too much money or you're blind (if you're in a hurry folks, don't get behind the baby train - come on!) but we're going to be just a few more minutes."  Which I thought showed total restraint!!!  So, she rolls her eyes and does this big sigh thing.  At this point all the babies are upset and I don't have time for her anyway.  Probably a good thing.  She still makes me mad.  Then, when I am FINALLY done at the register, the crazy "b" says, "wow, you saved a lot!" to which I reply "Yes, yes, I did."  Grinding my teeth, fake smile.....
ANYWAY, the point of this whole story was that I have been spending about 30 minutes a week to an hour finding, loading and clipping coupons.  In the past 2 weeks, I have easily saved over $100.  Did you know that most coupon websites can load to your shoppers card?  You swipe the card, and the coupons are automatically deducted!  Once you set up an account with the sites, it takes literally 2 minutes to select and load your coupons.  Then you just print your list and take it to the store so you know what you've got.  Easy peasy.  Seriously, where have I been?  Loading to your shoppers card is awesome!
Last week I saw on Rachael Ray that you can save thousands a year just by taking the time to clip coupons.  I mean in the teens thousands.  That's real money you can bank on. 
So, here are a list of the sites that I go to (typically on Sunday morning after the first round of everyone being changed, fed and back in bed): 
 Oh, and even if you don't shop at a store with a shopper's card, you can print the coupons at most of these sites.  And don't forget that most stores, like Kroger and Publix, double coupons up to 50 cents everyday.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Get 'em Cookin'

So my 2-year old eats just about anything.  Well, I say that, but it's not really true.  She doesn't like saucy things or dips, and can be pretty picky about things like tacos, but then again she's 2.  She does however eat carrots (doesn't every kid?), radishes, bell pepper, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, tomato, green beans, peas, celery, etc.  Not cooked mind you, raw.  She LOVES spaghetti sauce, tuna casserole, spanish rice, roast, steak, chicken, eggs, bacon and the typical kid stuff.  My point in telling all of this non-essential information is that I completely attribute her eating habits to the fact that she cooks with me constantly.  I know that I started cooking with her in a chair at the sink when she was about a year old, but it wasn't until I was pregnant with the twins that I made sure everytime I was in the kitchen she was too (this replaced some of our floor time because mommy couldn't get down and up very well!)  What's unbelievable to me is that so many people think that it's not a good idea or too messy to have a toddler in the kitchen with them.  You would not believe the comments I get on the "Cooking with Karlie" photo I have posted.  So many people think that she is way to young to be helping, or I might let a knife get in her way, or I'm just letting her create a big mess.  My response to that is "What?  I'm not an idiot that gives her knives, and my floor could use some extra wiping anyway - it's my floor, get over it.  And my kid can crack eggs, stir things together, knows all the fruits and veggies mommy cooks with, and she practices counting on a daily basis."  Now, don't get me wrong, you've got to be QUICK with the egg thing, and yes I do have to mop up the floor everyday, but who cares?  In the meantime, I have a little girl who is well on her way to being not only a good eater, but I have a very special bond with my daughter already that I can only hope will continue through the years.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This is How We Roll

So everyone keeps asking me how I'm getting around - going to the grocery store and such with the twins AND a two-year old.  This backpack carrier is it.  I keep Karlie completely contained and on my back and push the double stroller for the twins, dragging a cart behind us.  We get lots of looks and giggles, and the occasional "oh my god, you're a busy woman" comments, but it works for us.  I've tried the two cart thing.  I've tried the stroller and one cart with Karlie in it.  Both of those options leave my little girl being dragged behind us with little supervision or attention; neither of which is good for anyone.  Oh yes, there are repercussions for those actions.  And let's not forget to mention the weight and lack of manuverability of dragging a 30 pound kid along with 50 pounds of dog food and whatever else we've bought that day.  So now, thanks to my $3 backpack carrier from the thrift store, my sweet baby can babble in my ear the entire shopping trip.  We even make a game out of trying to find the best looking bell peppers or whatever it is we're looking for.  Karlie's happy, Mommy's happy, the twins are happy, AND Mommy doesn't have to do squats that day.  Let me tell you, it's not until you have a 30 pound toddler on your back that you realize how many things are on the lower shelves at the grocery store.  Soooo, this is it.  This is how we and my three babies.  Look out shoppers here we come!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Girls are Back

Nope, not the twins, MY girls.  My boobies, ta-tas, puppies, whatever you want to call them - they are MINE again.  No more nursing for me!  Life as I knew it has changed dramatically.  No more mommy guilt for not taking the time to nurse both girls and pump instead.  No feeling of anxiety because I really needed to drink that extra cup of coffee that morning.  No more worrying about spicy food, medication, alcohol, not enough water, etc, etc.  No more worrying about leaking through the nursing pads in the store if I needed to go shopping.  No more questions about why I am only pumping 3 ounces this time from people who have never pumped EVER.  (That is my favorite one by the way---do other moms have some type of ticker in their boobs that let them know every ounce that the baby drinks?  Get a grip, the pump is not the same as the baby, nor can you compare ounce to ounce the breast milk to formula.  And by the way, the amount you produce does fluctuate!!!)  No more taking Fenugreek or drinking Mother's Milk (neither one of which made a significant difference for me) because I let the idiot comments about how much I was pumping get to me.  No more looking like Dolly before I pump, then looking like Grandma Lee after I pump.  No more whipping the girls out to pump regardless of who was in my house (thank you bug guy for not knocking when re-entering that one day).  No more horrible, huge strapped, ugly looking one boob can pop out bras.  No more, no more, no more.

Tonight I am going to put on my tiniest, sexiest bra with no support and have some adult beverages because tomorrow morning I can drink as much coffee as I want!!!!