Monday, March 29, 2010

The Stomach Virus Diet

Since writing last week I have:

-- Contracted Dave's stomach bug
-- Got Luke back from D.C.
-- Ran 4 miles
-- Worked on Dave's birthday hat
-- Went on a Daveless date with Luke
-- Contracted someone else's stomach bug
-- Shared it with Luke
-- Recovered
-- Swam 2 miles
-- Worked on hat some more

And that pretty much covers it. When the hat is done I'll post a little tutorial as long as you PROMISE to prefect the process if you do it yourself. And by "you" I mean "the readers I assume I have" since SO FEW OF YOU EVER COMMENT.



Having a stomach virus is an excellent way to loose weight -- but I'm not sure it has a lot of staying power. After one week and two diseases I now weigh less than I have in YEARS. ... now if it would only stick. Sigh.


New favorite Gilmore Girl quote:

"I thought it was 'Cafe O'Le!' as in 'Coffee -- ALRIGHT!'"


We leave for Ohio on Thursday for a little Easter vacation. I am excited to announce that it is actually going to be WARM while we're there! An excellent improvement to what it was this past weekend ... SNOWING. Not cool.

Back here in Washington State land it has been absolutely pouring rain. I know, I know "but it always rains there." And that is true -- however not like this. It blew. It poured and poured and poured. And then it stopped and got sunny and I thought "hmm ... let's go on a run!" ... but then I undecided and THANK GOODNESS because it quickly got VERY cloudy again and started pouring more than before. I'm going to need a kayak just to get to the grocery store. ... oh! And I'll carry Dave in a papoose! So convenient.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rescue Me!

Dave has a stomach flu. It's a gorgeous 70 degrees outside. Someone, please, rescue me!

Since no one heard my silent plea, we spent the day primarily trapped inside with Sicky McSickerton. Praise GOD I have yet to get what he has because that would absolutely suck. I mean, being stuck with him like this is torture enough.

And he is SO SAD. Where is my happy, smiley baby? He left and got replaced by a sullen, crying one who just wants to snuggle (and that is the only plus here. I love snuggling! So, bonus for me) and can't eat food (I guess we are saving money ... hm ... yeah, not worth it).

So, while Dave took five (rather short) naps, I played with my sewing machine. It's amazing the effect sleep can have on your ability to figure out confusing conundrums involving things falling off and I was able to fix it this morning within two minutes of sitting down. Awesome.

So I tackled the rest of the baby wipes (read: things on which to practice straight stitching) and took on a burp cloth. Finished one without toooo much drama (yeah I only wound one bobbin and then had to PULL THE ENTIRE THING APART because it didn't wind right. But I'm cool with wasting stuff and spending money unnecessarily, right? Bah) and started on the next one.

And that, my friends, is where it ended. Because, like a moron, I didn't know that you aren't supposed to sew over pins. And I did. And the needle broke.

Darn it.

After escaping for a tiny bit to the on post thrift store with the lovely Alisha (I have a story to tell about her in a second that I forgot to tell before but seriously ... hilarious) to get some air ... I decided it would be good for air, thrift stores of course not having any sort of weird smell and being sparkling clean All The Time ... we logged more time Trapped Inside and then headed to Joanns for new needles.

I am now on a first name basis with every single helper person in that store. That is how much helped I needed.

I couldn't figure out where ANYTHING was ... needles, chalk, glue gun, whatever. It was terrible. And then .. and this is the clincher, folks ... I caught myself TALKING OUT LOUD to MYSELF about FABRIC choices when I realized that is exactly what my mother does. And so I said out loud "holy crap I am becoming my mother" (out loud seemed appropriate all things considered).

Not cool. Not cool at all.

My mother, of course, is a perfectly awesome person who is very crafty and made my wedding dress in like two days ... but NO ONE wants to become their mother. Especially when it involves picking up the weird talking-to-yourself-while-shopping-at-craft-stores habit. THAT is just TOO MUCH.

I did end up buying supplies to make Dave the CUTEST first birthday hat ever (inspired by something like this ... except mine will not have chenille because that stuff is PRICEY) and a bib to go with it. It's going to be awesome. And leave ... oh ... about $20 for me to buy food for the party. So we'll be eating light. But Dave is going to look AWESOME.

Now, the very crafty Alisha (who is in the process of refinishing a $1.50 chair found at the thrift store today. ... keep an eye on her blog for updates because it's going to be awesome). I promised her I was going to post this because it was THAT funny.

I picked her up from the airport Saturday (after rescuing my Mac from yet ANOTHER trip to the Mac Doctor and eating a so-so subway sandwich) and on our way home she informed that on the plane she had sat next to someone who was very likely a terrorist.

Her basis for this assessment? A combination of slight racial profiling, arm rest hogging, incredibly bad body odor and -- wait for it -- the wearing of a fanny pack.

And there you have it, folks. Fanny pack = suspicious person. Make a note.

(I love you, Alisha).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Taking on the Sewing Machine

I bought the machine. I checked out "Sewing for Dummies" from the library. I visited the fabric store. I decided that I should sew some reusable baby wipes and some decorative burp cloths.

And then I started.

And it was beautiful and fun ... I read the instructional manuel and practiced sewing straight stitches on the wipes and it was great! But then, suddenly and without any apparent reason, the thingy that holds the foot on the machine FELL OFF -- right in the middle of the stitch! And so help me, but I canNOT figure out how to get it back on.

So we'll get someone to help me with it tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here are some photos of my decorative burp cloths ... there are six in all with three separate prints.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I've been feeling crafty. As in sewing crafty.

I think it's a problem created by a combination of things. First of all, I've been watching a LOT of Gilmore Girls. And the illustrious Lorelai sews all of the time. She makes awesome, crafty stuff all of the time and every lives happily ever after. It's WONDERFUL.

The second part of this is my increasing frugality. Every frugal super hero uses a sewing machine to make wonderful, low cost gifts and things for their home, right -- right?!

That's what I thought.

And so tomorrow I am planning on buying a sewing machine. I know, I know -- you didn't know I know how to sew. Well, I do. I used to sew a lot Back In the (13-year-old) Day, but I never really had the patience for it.

My shiny new toy has been in use for several years by an old lady who bought it 0n the Air Force Base for the purpose of making quilts. I more than likely will NOT be making quilts.

What I DO hope to make are super hero capes for Dave, decorative burp clothes for friends with new babies, curtains for our next house ... sounds easy enough, doesn't it?

We'll see about that.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Flip: Cloth Part IV

Seeing him is a total bonus to reading my blog.

We got our first Flip diaper in the mail Saturday and tried it as soon as we prewashed the insert several times to make sure it does what it's supposed to do.

You'll recall that this is the diaper that I'm hoping to use full time. But of course we want to test drive it first.

I'm happy to report that we've yet to experience any trouble with it as yet. We are to receive more inserts for it today, so starting tomorrow we'll use it full time! We'll see how that goes.

Flip pros (thus far): It's snaps. Velcro can wear out, but the snaps aren't likely to tear.
Unlike some of the other diapers I've tried, it's trim. This was my main complaint about the pre-folds -- bulkiness! This doesn't seem to be a problem with this one.
It is supposed to grow with the baby. After I've collected a pile of these I'll never have to buy any again. Score!
It doesn't seem to be gapping in the leg. I don't like gapping.

Flip cons: The insert moves. Because it fits under these handy little flaps (which make changing a breeze) but doesnt snap to anything it can move during changing, especially with a kid as squirmy as Dave. I suspect this is just going to take practice and will be fine later, but you never know.

It has been a full week since we started on this clothing diapering journey and I have learned a few things and been surprised by a few things.

First and foremost surprise: I actually like pre-folds equally or more than any of the other diapers. I haven't gotten one on Dave yet when he's being REALLY wiggly, but other than that they are just as great others. And cheaper.

I do NOT like the gro-baby diapers. They leak. I thought for sure this would be my favorite type, but just kidding, it's not.

I don't really have pros or cons about the fuzzi bunz or the bum genius diapers. Someone pointed out to me yesterday that you really are only supposed to use a cover one time (which makes the whole thing even stupider ... why would you use something you have to have a bajillion covers for? What's the point of it having an insert if you cant use the cover for several changes? dumb). So that's a con but other than that: whatever.

Now we have a new question: to use disposable or reusable wipes? We'll discuss later.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Laundry: Cloth Part III

We've been on cloth diapers for four days now, and I think it's safe to say that I'm sold.

That being said, the last few bloggless days have not been without their challenges and important cloth diaper lessons. Lessons like, guess what? The gro-baby diapers that I thought were so super cool are not so great on Dave and leak all over his pants. Same story with the thirsties fitted diaper. Therefore today we had TWO clothing changes and ended up with this outfit. Isn't he cute? At least that never changes.

(Note the Ohio University socks. They won today in a super cool at the buzzer basket incident which incited incredibly loud shouting and stomping and jumping and clapping. Dave and I were not involved in the jumping, etc. but were excited for the jumper nonetheless).

All of this wetting obviously means that we have been doing a lot of laundry. While the super fun diaper trial pack we got has a good selection, it does not have enough diapers for more than one day. We've been doing diaper laundry every night as a result.

You'll recall that laundry was one of my primary concerns about this adventure. Do diapers really get clean in the wash? What about BEFORE they get washed ... do they smell really bad? And how about this nasty washer/dryer I have? Is it really going to work?

Answer: so far, so good.

To start with, I've been storing Dave's dirty diapers in a trash can purchased at Target for about $4. I planned to sew my own liners (using Alisha's sewing machine ... yes, I CAN sew, and I know the thought of me doing it is shocking. But how hard can making a laundry sack be? Not hard. I think. Who knows). Instead Luke dug out several Army issue laundry bags that we have to have but he never uses. Add an air freshener (.99 for two at the commissary) as recommended by a few bloggers, a shake of baking soda and we're set. So far this has been keeping the smell down.

Night one of washing the diapers I started (as recommended here) with a cold prewash, followed by a downy ball of vinegar in a hot, normal wash. That worked great ... except that at some point during the next day I remembered that I had failed to put in any soap whatsoever. Interesting, since the diapers smelled just fine after they were dried and before I realized the lack of soap. Oh well!

Don't worry, I remembered the soap the next night. I don't have any of the recommended normal Tide powder soap on hand (I'll be buying some Monday during my weekly grocery trip) so I've been using the All free and clear (which is NOT recommended and apparently is not as "free and clear" as it claims. Sneaky!).

Bottom line thus far: cloth diapers are no more or less gross (in smell or care) than disposable diapers and still cost waaaaaaay less. The every-other-day load of laundry is not that big of a deal. We still have disposables on hand for things like Luke's trip to Portland tomorrow to visit with my Mom and Dave in the airport during her layover (I'm not going thanks to lingering discomfort from Wednesday's super cool surgery).

And, bonus!, Luvs are on sale at the commissary this week (plus I have a coupon!), so we'll be stocking up on the next size up.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Carpet Mover

We'll return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow (Oh wait, we don't have that here. Never mind), but for now check out how Dave feels like it's super fun to move our throw rugs around. I guess low crawling on your stomach means that you end up ... underneath stuff.

Confusing. But here's the evidence:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Adventure Continues: Cloth Part II

Day one of cloth diapering is behind us. There were highs. There were lows. There was the first cloth diaper poop incident. There was one cute baby.

The day started out with me determined to conquer the pre-fold system. So help me! To start with I tri-folded a pre fold and stuck it in the thirsties cover. That's easy enough.

... but REALLY bulky. I'm not sure you can appreciate the bulk from these photos, but at least enjoy the happy baby, ok?

I ended up putting him into a onesie suite with baby legs for the day so I didn't have to worry about putting pants on him. ... because it was THAT bulky! I honestly dont think most of his pants would've gone over it. Crazy.

Enjoy the cute baby some more ...

Meanwhile, we waited for the next diaper change. I have never been so anxious to change diapers before. That's some sort of crazy.

The bulkiness, for the record, did not seem to inhibit his movements or bother him in any way, shape or form. But the fact that we would have to buy him new pants to be able to have him wear these like this makes them a complete no-go in my book. He has too many pants as it is. For serious.

Several hours later, we were on to diaper change number two. I set up the pre-fold so that I could put it on him with the snappi. He was in a non-wiggly mood again which NEVER happens, and so I managed to get this on him like so:

... while this method didn't result in any leaking or other uncool craziness, I didn't like the way it gapped on his leg. I mean, if some sort of crazy messiness was going to happen, I am CERTAIN it would not stay in there. And you do NOT want to be involved in cleaning that up, do you? I don't.

But there IS a good side to doing it this way ... no bulk! Hopefully you can see that in this photo, compared to the one above. And look? Dave was still happy!

Unfortunately all of this was about to change. The next diaper change, when I was going to conquer the pre-fold AGAIN, presented us with a wiggling, crying, tired Baby Dave who was NOT interested in being strapped into a piece of cloth. And so we ended up with the following ...

That would be Dave, crying. Conclusion: pre folds are not for people who have wiggly children or those with tight pants.

I decided to try the bum genius instead. It looks good, seems to wear well and has had no leaks. Also a LOT less bulky.

What I do not like about this is that you have to stuff the insert underneath a piece of fabric in the diaper cover. When it's time to change the baby you replace the insert and use the cover again. Does that seem gross to anyone else? The piece of fabric the insert goes under is dirty ... or is it? Unclear. Still seems gross to me.

(I know what you're thinking: grosser than washing diapers full of pee in your washing machine? ... well I don't know. That's what this experiment is all about).

A three hour nap later ... we did not get a chance to see what happens when you put a new insert in an "old" cover because it was in this particular selection that he decided to be poopy. (This is the moment you've all been waiting for). Now that I've dealt with our first poopy cloth diaper I can say -- it wasn't that bad. Of course it's not like he exploded or anything but still ... this is life, and it wasn't as disgusting as I feared. Lucky you, no pictures.

Instead we'll move on. .. to Fuzi Bunz! Which appear to be basically the same thing as the Bum Genius. So here's a photo of that (it's not very good but he wouldn't sit still so this is what you get).

Our next change will be for night time and we'll be using a disposable (given aforementioned nighttime challenges).

Also, I went ahead and ordered a few packs of Flips from ... they will arrive sometime next week. Flips, which were not included in our sample pack, are similar to the gro-baby diapers, but don't have a snap insert. I have a friend who uses them and LOVES them. So far the gro-babies are my favorites, but the Flips are cheaper.

And that is Cloth Diapering Part II. I'll be washing tonight (under normal circumstances I plan to wash every two days). We won't be using cloth tomorrow because we'll be out all day and Dave will be with a friend.

Magically Growing Groceries

Once again I managed to spend $10 more than what I had hoped at the commissary. HOW does this happen?

I'll tell you!

(Isn't it so handy that instead of making you answer my questions, I answer them for you?)

It's the little things that I realize we need or are low on as I walk out the door on my way to the store. For example, this week I realized that Dave, purveyor of 3.5 teeth (if you'll recall), is low on infant pain meds. And that's something we DEFINITELY do not want to run out of.

But that stuff is expensive! And so even though I used a $3 off 2 coupon, I still spent almost $6 that I hadn't taken into account.

(It occurs to me now, many hours later, that I probably should've waited and gone to Target for the store brand -- no doubt cheaper than the name brands even WITH my coupon. Fail.)

This week was also time to restock our laundry detergent supply. I was fortunately armed with several high value (considering laundry coupons are usually really LOW value) coupons for the task received in the mail over the last several weeks (remember how I said "always register for snail mail samples and coupons?" This is why) ... but that stuff adds up. Almost $13 ($8.75ish after coupons) was spent on detergent, stain removal booster and fabric softener.

This brings me to something that dawned (Dawn ... haha ... soap pun. sorry) on me on the way home: while stain removal will be needed once in a while, softener is really a complete luxery item and, sometimes, waste of money. It makes clothes wear out faster. In fact, the towels we just bought from costco (to replace the ones we've worn out since the wedding ... or rather I ruined somehow with renegade bleach use) specifically instruct you to AVOID softeners.

My mother, in fact, NEVER used softener. It was too expensive. I think that I'm going to cut back and put it only in select loads, like our bed sheets (because who doesn't love suuuuuper soft bed sheets? I mean really, some things are worth the splurge).

I do feel I should be congratulated, by the way, for resisting the $2 for one Super Delicious Looking chocolate dipped biscotti by the register. I would note that I had not been paying for my groceries with cash I probably would've caved.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Adventure Begins: Cloth Part I

It was an exciting day in our house -- the cloth diapers came! It was particularly exciting that they came in the morning because, for some reason, I NEVER get hit by the morning UPS guy, only the late evening one.

So, here's what I got:

In case I didn't mention it or you missed it, this is my trial pack from seller Jillian's Drawers. This company has a $10 try-cloth-diapers rental program. I put down a deposit (most of which I get back when I return the box in a few weeks) and for $10, plus shipping, I get to give a variety of cloth diapers a try. For a complete cloth diaper virgin this is a great idea. It allows me to try out a lot of different kinds of diapers without having to actually BUY any. Using this I'll be able to figure out what I like and go from there. Genius.

Before using any of these I had to prewash them. Prewashing is not as simple as it sounds. The inserts have to be washed, and washed and washed again just to make sure they are super absorbent. This is obviously something we don't want to skimp on since being not absorbent will result in Dave using his pants as his diaper. Not cool. Both the diaper covers and inserts had to be prewashed separately.

So we sorted them (yes, on the stove. The table was ... busy). On the far right are the inserts. In the middle are the covers. On the left are the unbleached inserts which, annoyingly, have to be prewashed separately:

... fast forward like six hours. Dave, who has approximately 3.5 teeth, had an incredibly cranky day. As he doesn't like getting his diaper changed to start with, he was in a particularly good mood.

I decided to start our adventure with the classic prefold diaper. This is what most people (including myself) think of when they think "cloth diaper." It must be folded around the kid and pinned on in one way or another.

All of this assumes that the baby will NOT be wiggling and throwing a temper tantrum.

They assumed wrong.

After failing to get it on Dave at all I gave up and moved on to the gro-baby diaper which has a diaper cover and a snap-in insert. Very fancy. Very handy. Very easy to get on crying Dave.

The finished product:

.. I'm sorry, I could've posted a picture that left out his face. But this was just too pitiful not to include. Please note: he took (an extra) nap immediately after this.

Meanwhile we are going to use a disposable at night until he gets off this current filling his diaper at 5 a.m. after it's already REALLY wet thing. Gross. (And if you think that's TMI ... why did you read a post about diapers?!)

Tomorrow: renewed efforts at pre-folds. I. Will. Conquer.

Fun Dave Stuff

It's been a while since I posted a little update on Dave. This occurred to me as I was laying in my bed at 6 a.m. listening to him cry. It seems like everyday he wakes up earlier ... and we don't get up until 7 a.m., period, end of story. He can cry. I don't care. ... except that it's annoying.

So there's that.

First you must be reminded of how cute he is! So here's that:

It seems like every day he gets more curious and learns more cute and new things. Right now we spend a LOT of time putting shapes into one of those shape balls. I make sure to say the color and shape every time. It's super fun. After we are done with that game (read: I get bored) we play with the ring stacker. And THEN we play with his cell phone.

This game goes like this. First I pick up the phone and say "Hello? Oh yes, Dave is right here." And then I hand the phone to a very smiley Dave, and he does this:

In other news, he now has THREE teeth, soon to be four or six (I suspect). We are also still doing swim lessons, which continue to be super fun but at a very bad time (seriously -- who has swim lessons for babies at 530 p.m.?!), loving the bath (I mean, who doesn't?) and learning to crawl.

Crawling, apparently, is very hard. Up until this point he has just been rolling. Lots and lots of rolling all around. Recently we've moved on to mostly low crawling. And NOW he is getting up on his knees. Example:

He also LOVES standing at the couch, but only when there's something interesting on it that he's probably not supposed to touch.

And last but not least, he's learning to eat real people food. Pretty much anything on MY plate that I want to be eating is of interest. If it's actually FOR him, he doesn't really want it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day of Rest

I like Sundays. I cannot imagine it as anything except a day to relax, take stock of life, spend time with family and contemplate God in one way or another.

Sunday is also the day the Sunday paper comes (crazy, I know) with allll of my coupons in it! Woohoo! Today was the coupon mother load with three huge coupon inserts ... and one of them will be available AGAIN tomorrow at the commissary. This is exciting. (You think I'm a dork. That's cool).

This week's selection included a few coupons for our normal food stuff (like tortillas!) that we'll be able to use for upcoming dinners. Neat!

Because of a few nights last week that did not go as planned (examples: my stir fry debacle and a late work night for Luke) we have a few leftover meals from last week. Neat! Less money that needs to be spent this week! Here's what we've got going this week:

BBQ Chicken (by Luke)

Tomato soup and grilled cheese

And that's it!

As we know, my grocery list has a habit of growing when I'm not paying attention. How does it do that?! Regardless, right now we've got about 20 things on our little list. We'll see what ACTUALLY ends up happening tomorrow.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Invention of Lying

I saw an incredibly interesting film last week -- The Invention of Lying.

I realize that you may not think of this as being an interesting film. You may have even heard that it espouses the idea that God is a myth. When it was originally released, commentators asked why it had not inspired a rash of Christian boycotts.

In the article linked above one expert proposes that it doesn't give Christians much to get upset over. I will go a step further -- I found it incredibly convicting, inspiring and even sad.

The setting for the film is a land in which no one can lie. I don't mean just blatant un-truths like "I can run 22 miles" but even the tiny falsehoods or maybe-not-trues we use every day. For example, if you ask how I'm doing and I say "I'm fine" as a courtesy, even though I'm really mostly just OK, that's a lie. In this world people instead say EXACTLY how they are. Another example: advertisers only say things that are completely true about their products. "Coke. It's very famous."

Because nothing is said that is not categorically true there is very little hope and no optimism. People only know what they are experiencing in that moment or what is known to have happened in the past. There is no religion.

And so when Ricky Garvis' character discovers the ability to lie he invents something that no one else understands or knows how to do. He is encountered with his dying mother who is terrified of death. He lies to her and tells her that there IS life after death, that she will get to see all of her friends and live in a beautiful mansion. She is able to die in peace.

When he tells her those things, however, he is overheard by the doctors and the nurses who are absolutely astounded and encouraged beyond words by the news. They go and tell their friends and soon he has a huge crowd on his lawn clamoring to know more. In a Moses with the commandments meets Christ scene he instructs the people in what "the man in the sky" told him about life after death. While he knows he is lying, everyone else can only believe he is telling the truth. Everyone wants to know more about this "new information." Everyone runs to tell their neighbor.

And that is the scene that made me cry. I sat on my couch and wondered what the world would be like if I treated the precious information I hold about life after death with the awe and enthusiasm with which the people in this movie greeted and spread it. I wondered what it would be like if instead of being jaded and skeptical, people treated the news of Christ with wonderment. And I wondered what it wouldve been like to be with Paul when the news he spread WAS brand new and WAS received gladly.

.... that is all.

Friday, March 5, 2010

IKEA Much?

I am a HUGE fan of IKEA. Back in the day most of my apartment was furnished courtesy of that glorious store. Futon, bed, mattress, tables, chairs, more tables, more chairs, silverware, plates, a plant, dressers ... yeah, everything.

Now I am grown up. And cheap. So I still like IKEA. You see very little has changed.

Today's trip was primarily for a bookshelf. Oh, and Chipotle. But that's just a fringe benefit.

I took this photo of all the loot I scored for just about $30. Note in particular the beautiful set of wooden blocks Dave will be getting for his birthday. This one was $12. I've seen comparable sets for $30 or more.

In fact, beyond my new mixing bowls and colander (our current one is literally rusting) all of this stuff is for Dave. We bought two shirt bibs, a bowl/cup/spoon/scoop bib set (primarily because I wanted the scoop bib which go for about $10 each at Target ... this set was $5), a huge collection of kiddo silverware and a stack of Dave plates. The blocks were our most expensive purchase with the shirt bibs in second.

All in all, a good experience. Now if Dave would only stop crying ...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Frugal Fail: Expiration Dates

This may be brand new information to you. I hope it is not.

Nonperishable food is NOT nonperishable.

I'm not sure where the myth started. As I was blogging this in my head early this morning in between husband leaving and Amy going back to sleep time (think: about 5 a.m.) it occurred to me that I could probably blame this on public school.

Leave it a homeschooler, right? Hahahaha. Ahem.

What I mean is: because of the very real earthquake threat we were required to pack and bring an emergency kit to school each year. It was stored in this giant bin in the corner of the room. Each bag was to contain nonperishable snacks, a flash light, blah, blah, blah. Let's focus on the snacks. My mom always put in some sort of nut thing (like trail mix), a few handy snacks, more crackers, that sort of thing. Nonperishable.

I realize now that what they meant by "nonperishable" was really "won't perish between now and when we get rid of your kid next June." Not so much "survive until the end of time."

I am your messenger of sad news, my friends. (That, or I'm a moron for not knowing this and you are all very smart). ... food expires. Pretty much all food. Including rice a roni. And chocolate chips. And boxed pudding. Yes, I just double checked. Pretty much the only thing I located in my pantry without a best if used by date on it was a can of creamed corn (which makes not want to eat it) and some rice.


So brutal, in fact, that I just cleaned out my pantry so I can show you all the things I now get to throw away. And let's remember that I only started collecting this stuff like a year ago. So pretty much this stuff only lasted a year! Nonperishable? Bah.

First, my pantry. Just because I know you're wondering. It's not terribly clean. Don't judge.

Then I went through it and looked at expiration dates on everything. Here is the giant stack that I now have to throw out. Just picture it as a stack of money because that's how I feel.


Who knew POPCORN expired?! Seriously folks. This is shocking.

And final confession for this post that demonstrates just how ... silly ... and naive I am. Remember how I said I was going to clean out the freezer this week by serving some stir fry meals? Well they werent Birds Eye, they were Green Giant. Whatever. The point is that when I was practically STARVING TO DEATH after my workout at the Y and dumped the contents into my wok I realized that perhaps this bag had expired too. Long, long ago.

As in last May. Sure enough.

We'll be figuring out something else to eat on Thursday. Luke rescued last night by making me an omelet and salvaging the chicken I had planned to use in the stir fry. In other news, the second bag of stir fry made an excellent ice pack when Luke accidentally smashed my toes in the recliner on our couch.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Success! (and $20).

We'll call it making up for the pine nuts.

Today I got rid of our giant rocking chair. It was wonderful that Luke wanted it and all, but then he left and it didn't really get used. And it started taking up lots of space. At Christmas it was relocated to Dave's room to make way for our tree. It's been in there since, just sitting in the middle of everything collecting dust.

And today I convinced some Fort Lewis Army wife to give me $20 for it and TAKE IT AWAY.

I consider this a major win. I'm also in the process of getting rid of a few bottles I've never used and don't plan to use but somehow manage to own anyway. That will be another win.

Both of these things are making up for the fact that yesterday I bought pine nuts. Dear readers, if you see me post a recipe that contains an expensive ingredient that is not necessary and I don't comment about it, please, save me from myself and point it out! I am a cheap eater, not a foodie ... so how was I to know that pine nuts are like $4 for this little tiny bottle? And since I did not know anything about pine nuts I did not know that they can easily be substituted with something very cheap, like sunflower seeds. Man alive. I feel like a moron.

Between that and a few other unexpected purchases yesterday (like the bag of cookies that literally JUMPED into my basket from the shelf. What is the world coming to?!) I went $10 over what I had hoped to spend on groceries this week, considering that (minus the stupid nuts) I already have everything on hand for everything I'm making for dinner.

I did manage to resist the on sale Ben and Jerrys. I should be congratulated.

In other news, I think it's going to rain just in time for my run with Alisha. Fantastic. HOW will I fetch my cupcake from her if I do not go over there to run!?!?