16 August 2007

Rioting, week I don't know

So I just posted my non-riot blog post and decided I should post my weekly (yeah, right) rioting update. It has been a busy summer, so I haven't done a lot these last couple of weeks.

Gasoline: I didn't keep track of exactly how much gas we used. It was more than ideal because my husband got pulled over for riding his bike to work before sunup without a headlight, so he had to drive in each morning, then come home at lunch to pick us up so we could drop him back off again, so I could take the kids to the Junior Ranger program run by the Army Corps of Engineers, then pick him up at work, then go back to pick up the kids! Lots of wasted trips. Fortunately, he only works 2 miles from home, so even lots of trips don't take much gas. Needless to say, we are getting him a headlight and tail reflector this weekend.

Electricity: Nothing new in this category.

Heating and cooking: I think I actually increased my usage a bit here. But it was with good reason. I started baking our own bread. I finally found a flour that works. I had tried many times to make whole wheat bread, but it always came out dense and crumbly. It wasn't good for much other than drying out to make bread crumbs. Then I got some very fine whole wheat flour from the food pantry (the local HFS donates there regularly) and tried making a loaf with that. It worked! It turns out that I had been buying Graham flour, which is not good for making a light fluffy bread at all. So now I am getting King Arthur brand whole wheat flour. The package says it is from VT, which is well within my 100-mile area, even if it isn't organic.

Garbage: I learned that I need a smaller trash can for the kitchen because putting all the soda bottles in the recycling makes the trash fill up much more slowly. I took it out only half-full yesterday because it got really stinky. And it was attracting flies. I know that can be remedied by a compost pile, but I don't have one yet. We have talked about converting our current trash can into a compost pile when we get a small trash can. I will keep you posted on that.

Water: I am getting disenchanted with not flushing. Not flushing has taken away my opportunity to clean the toilet. I used to swish it with the brush before I sat down and then just flush it away when I was done doing my business. Now I don't have the chance because I can't see through the yellow water to see if I got it all the way clean or not. On top of that, "letting the yellow mellow" also lets scaly nasty stuff build up at the water line. So I need to figure out that part. I might just find a really big rock and put it in the tank instead so that we use less per flush, but still flush each time.

Consumer Goods: This is so hard. It shouldn't be, which makes me feel guilty about it. I suppose I need to distinguish between investment and spending. I consider many of the books we have started buying to be investments since they are supposed to help us learn skills and techniques to become more independent. But it's not like our spending is high to begin with simply because we don't have much money to spend to begin with. I did buy a huge crochet hook when I bought some fabric for my baby sling business today. It will be much easier to make more rugs when I finish the woven one, which I think will be very soon.

It's so quiet

A friend took my three middle girls for two whole nights, so yesterday, Hubby, the baby and I went to pick up Cait by ourselves. It was very quiet. Cooking breakfast this morning for just two (hubby was at work already), was weird. So today Cait and I are spending time just us (Eirik doesn't intrude much). We biked down to the fabric store and had fun just browsing. Cait was (as most 11-year-old girls are) drawn to the bridal fabrics. We got girly and it was fun. There is a little bit of ice cream still in the freezer along with some carob fudge I made some time back, so we are going to make banana splits this afternoon. I wish I could have a day like this once in a while for each of my girls. That is one drawback to having a large family. Doing something for one child doesn't cost much. Doing it for five does. With just Cait here, I can say yes to a lot more that she asks because I know I don't have to say yes to everyone else, too. I don't mind letting Cait play a video game on the computer. She is 11 and old enough to play responsibly and she is mentally developed enough to handle it. Her younger sisters are not. So too often I have to say no when she asks to play a game because if I say yes, I have to say yes to everyone else, too, and I won't do that. I try to let her do it whenever they aren't around, but that isn't often. So today I think she may end up going computer crazy. But that is okay. I will let her splurge while her sisters aren't here. Maybe I will introduce her to World of Warcraft. Maybe. We still have banana splits to make, and some sewing to do, and we are going to the bookstore today, too. And I can buy her a book without having to go through the arduous task of saying no to nearly every non-book in the store that 3-year-old Rowan and 5-year-old Lauren want just because it sparkles or has a toy, or whatever. Because saying yes to one means I have to say yes to all. If all aren't there, I can say yes to just one. Normally I would feel all kinds of Mommy guilt about enjoying the fact that my kids aren't here, but I know they are having a blast at my friend's house. I just hope my friend is still sane when I pick the kids up tomorrow.

05 August 2007

Week 4 update

Yes, I know, my weekly updates have run a bit over a week each. This one is going to be real quick because there are 8 children running around my house. Aaaah! OK. We haven't really made any changes this past week, but we are doing well with keeping up with the ones we already made. We have been looking for real estate online and talking with a realto She has been very helpful and now we need to go see a lender so we can find out what first-time buyer programs will fit with hour plans best and then we can seriously look at properties that will fit the criteria for the programs we will choose. We had been looking in basically all of Cheshire County, but after visiting with his brother yesterday, my husband mentioned that he wants that particular part of the county so we can be near family. So that is that.

04 August 2007

Giving baby a nap - a primer

I realized today that I go through pretty much the same steps every day when it is time to give my son his morning nap. I thought I would share it with others so that they might see that it is nothing like "they" say it is.

1. See baby drooping in high chair after breakfast rubbing eyes.
2. Take baby upstairs to bedroom and lay down on bed with him.
3. Offer baby to nurse since this is pretty much the only way baby goes to sleep for Mommy.
4. See baby's eyes pop wide open and become suddenly wide awake.
5. Struggle to hold baby still so he can fall asleep on the bed in front of the fan instead of making him sleep on his mattress on the floor in the stifling heat.
6. Get frustrated, give up struggling and watch baby crawl off bed and head for Daddy's computer desk.
7. Watch baby pee on floor under Daddy's chair, then proceed to turn off the power strip for Daddy's computer.
8. Get up and remember that baby hates it when you sit at the computer because he always falls asleep there.
9. Pick up baby and turn on computer.
10. Start reading email while holding baby.
11. Pick up mouse and mouse pad that baby just threw on the floor.
12. Pick them up again and try to keep baby on your lap while he squirms to get down and play.
13. Pick them up a third time and put them at the back of the desk, then turn 90 degrees so that baby cannot reach them.
14. Listen to baby scream because he is exhausted and cannot reach the mouse to throw it on the floor, nor can he get down and bang things about.
15. Take baby back to bed and offer to nurse again.
16. Watch baby's eyes fall like lead.
17. Go back and finish reading email.

That's all there is to it, folks. 17 simple steps to get your baby to sleep. After you master these steps, you can skip steps 2 through 8. Ideally, you will figure out some way to skip steps 4-15. Afternoon naps require a bit more creativity since you already checked your email for the morning nap. One option is to save your favorite websites for afternoon nap, if those also make baby sleepy.