Friday, November 30, 2007

My Baked Ring Macaroni? Frugal Finds...

Yesterday, I was all set up to start making my baked ziti. I grabbed the last box of whole wheat ziti in my cabinet and discovered there was only about a cup of pasta left! I had a good chuckle and decided I couldn't look back, so I grabbed the brand new box of ring macaroni and hoped it would work. Well, it did. I just made sure not to cook the ring macaroni all the way through before popping it in the oven. It turned out well, though it could have used more moz. cheese. Yum! I used my homemade sauce, ground beef from my neighbor's cows, and homemade riccota-like cheese. The recipe is for homemade cottage cheese, but it actually turns out more like a riccota. I also put in locally grown broccoli and shredded carrots and plenty of parmesan cheese!

Yesterday, after a rather disappointing grocery shopping trip (it seems I buy so little and pay so much lately), I went to Goodwill to drop off some donations. While there, I found some good finds. Maternity clothing was 50% off! I got a pair of khaki slacks, a pretty pink long-sleeved dress and a pink sateen long-sleeved blouse. I also found a beautiful silk peignoir set for only $1.99, a gorgeous evergreen garland with a bow and pine cones for $4.99, a pretty basket to use for a Christmas gift for 99 cents, and a toy bucket truck for Bubby for $2.99. Oh, and a big bow with long streamers for Christmas decorating for $1.99. So, now I'm pretty much set for Christmas, and for maternity clothing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today....

Today is errand day. I'm glad because Bubby really needs to get out of the house. He's been bouncing off the walls! Next Friday, we get the basement waterproofed and then I can start working on the playroom! Oh!! I just remembered, they're spraying to kill the mold, mildew and must. I have to clean stuff out of the basement!! Judging by the amount of stuff I have down there, it's going to take me all week! What really stinks, literally, is that a mouse died down there in an impossible to reach spot so now it stinks. Today, I'm buying some Oust in hopes that that'll kill at least some of the odor.

It'll be so nice to go through everything and really clean out. What's even better is that I'm pregnant and nesting.

I'm going to be moving the computer down there as well. Right now, it's on our unheated enclosed porch. Brrrr...... I really don't want it in the main part of the house because it's so big and clunky and unattractive. The basement is a perfect spot for it.

As for TODAY, I have to drop off stuff at Goodwill, go to the bank, grocery shop, and do a little Christmas shopping. I'll also stop by my parents' house and pay them a visit.

I haven't a clue what's for dinner. Thursdays, I usually do italian. Maybe I'll do a baked ziti. Yum!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

All Sorts...

On the preggy-front, I'm pooching a little, nausea has returned just a little, I'm more tired again but I've started exercising, and I see my doctor next week! I'll most likely get an ultrasound done. My doctor always does one early on to make sure everything is ok (baby and placenta are where they should be and developing normally). I'm looking forward to that first baby picture.

Hubby and I's credit card number was stolen and used to buy very expensive hotel accomodations in China. Thankfully, the card services were on top of things and notified me and I'm not responsible for the charges. The card has been cancelled. It's stuff like this that really makes me wonder about my debt and spending habits. I think it's a good kick in the pants for me.

On top of that, there was another funny charge on my card which prompted me to look into a website that hubby bought a book from for me for my birthday. It has been 2 months and no book and no response from the company. A little online research proved that the company is a fraud. Thankfully, I was able to get my money back. Hubby was so disappointed when I told him. He so wanted me to have the book. So, he gave me my Christmas present for my birthday yesterday. (My b-day is in December) He bought for me two very unique, feminine and downright BEAUTIFUL blouses for me!

It also looks like from here on out, we'll be celebrating my half-birthday instead. There are far too many December birthdays in my family, as well as an anniversary...not to mention Christmas, etc. It'll take some getting used to, but I like the idea of a June birthday party and spreading out the gifts. On the other hand, my half-birthday is around the time I'm supposed to give birth!

Yesterday, Bubby and I had our pictures taken for the church directory. We wore gray turtlenecks. He was sooooo cute and so well behaved! I can't wait for the proofs to arrive!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Finally Getting Things Done

Now that I'm feeling better, it's so nice to get things done. I was finally able to get outdoors and clean up the outdoor toys, put away the autumn decor, clean out some garden stuff, and finally clean out my bay of the garage so I can now park in it.

Today, Bubby and I bundled up (it was only 16 degrees this morning) and we did some Christmas shopping. Hubby and I have a budget limit per person we shop for since we have SO MANY people to shop for! Here's what I came up with:

My sister requested a nice shower caddy for college. I found a beautiful one at Walmart for under budget.

My mom requested new hand towels for her bathroom. At Big Lots, I was able to pick out 6 beautiful towels and had enough money left over for a lovely collection of her favorite confections.

For my nephews who are now sharing a room, I went to Lowes and picked out one of those rugs with the roads on it. It was $20.00 (under budget for the two of them), but I had a coupon for $10.00 off any purchase of $25.00 or more. So, I picked out a boot rack for $4.98 and a small package of wood screws to fix my dining room chairs. I spent a total of just under $18.00!

My brother loves a certain movie that I was able to get at Walmart for $5.88 on DVD!!

I also found for Bubby two wooden peg puzzles (he likes peg puzzles) for $5.00 for both!

Well, off I go to get more things done!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Afternoon off and Thanksgiving

Tuesday, my dear husband gave me the afternoon off by taking our son to Grandpa's house. This gave me a chance to just relax and rest and heal. I took a nice, steamy shower to break up the mucus. Then I went to bed. Then I got up and put together my Cold Season Kit ideas. After that, I knitted some, called my mom, jumped online, listened to a Bing Crosby Christmas CD and called my mom again. Ahhhhh.....

Thanksgiving was very nice this year. I was feeling better, but my dear mother had a bad cold. I'm glad I was able to go over early and give her a hand. Everything came out perfectly and all the dishes arrived at the table at the same time and piping hot. The 28 pound turkey was beautifully browned and perfectly moist. The coveted stuffing was so delicious, we were picking it out of the bird as soon as it came out of the oven. My dad did make his delicious sourdough bread. We had more mashed potatoes than we knew what to do with! And my mom was relieved that the gravy was not lumpy. For dessert, my sister had made a pumpkin cheesecake that was so good. We also had pumpkin pie and apple rum raisin pie. It truly was a blessed day. My father said a beautiful blessing over the meal, too.

There are just so many things I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for my salvation, my family, my steadfast loving husband, my unborn baby, that I could help my mother out, my home, hubby's job, our outdoor furnace, the mountains of food we had, my church, etc etc etc etc.....

I'm feeling better from the cold and from morning sickness. Now, I'm looking forward to getting some long-neglected chores done and prepping the house for Christmas! I don't "officially" start Christmas until December 1st. How about you? Answer in the poll!

Cold Season Kit

After this last barrage of colds, I'm determined as a wife and mother to have a Cold Season Kit to always be prepared. Bubby and I have each had 3 colds since August! Here's what I plan to have in my kit:

1. Chewable Vitamin C tablets
2. Tea Tree Oil
3. Plug-in Vicks
4. Quality Tissues
5. Natural/Herbal throat lozenges
6. Horehound drops
7. Garlic Pearls
8. Saline Nose Spray
9. Chicken Soup
10. Chamomile Tea
11. Concentrated Frozen Orange Juice (to make a warm orangeade for toddlers who won't drink tea and need something more than plain water)
12. Pedialyte
13. Vapor bath
14. Honey
15. Ice Pack (for sinuses and headaches)
16. Humidifier
17. Listerine
18. Herbal Ear Drops (for related ear aches)
19. Oral Gel (my teeth always hurt when I have a cold)
20. Clean Wash Cloths
21. Antibacterial lotion

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Winter, Turkeys, Laundry Room and more...

We've already had one snowfall this season. Granted, it was a dusting and didn't last past 10 am, but there was still snow. I'm looking forward to our first significant snowfall. I like being buttoned up in a warm house, watching the flakes gently fall and settle onto the shivering blades of grass. Plus, I can't wait to see my newly green painted house with a backdrop and covering of snow.

Today, we're having a "wintry-mix" as they call it on the news. Rain, sleet and freezing rain will fall for most of the day. Winter is definitely trying to get on in.

As I opened the curtains in the bedroom this morning, I saw 29 turkeys venturing across my backyard. I quickly grabbed my son and showed him the birds. He thought they were funny. It's nice to know if things go downhill fast, we have food walking through our backyard. Wild turkey tastes so good. My father shot on in time for Thanksgiving when I was a teenager. It was a smallish bird, so mom cooked up a small commercial turkey as well. I went for the wild bird and wish for wild turkey every Thanksgiving. The taste is so good. Some people don't like it, but I liked the nutty undertones.

My mom picked up some magazine back issues at the library. In one, there was a section on laundry rooms and ideas for making the room lovely. After all, the article says, we spend a lot of time doing laundry. We might as well enjoy the space we do it in. My laundry is in the basement. Now that we're getting the basement waterproofed, we'll be able to finish it. The waterproofing company guarantees for the life of our house that we'll be able to drywall and even carpet the basement! I don't plan on carpeting the basement, but I like the idea that I can add woodwork, or drywall and make a lovely little laundry room for myself. Hmmmm...ideas, ideas, ideas.

Yesterday was ruled by my cold. I'm doing better today, but still sick. I'm still a little congested and I feel I have a touch of bronchitis, too. Lots of steam, fluids and rest for me. I'm working on a cotton knitted scarf, so it's rather pleasant to put my feet up and knit. I'm determined to feel better by Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to my mother's stuffing. She makes the best stuffing!

Oh, and I hope my dad makes his sourdough bread. It's not at all Nourishing Traditions (starter is made with yeast and bread made with white flour), but it is so tasty. It's such a special treat. My contribution to the table is greenbeans with crackers (my sister's request), glazed carrots and cider. I'd like to do a dessert, but we already have 4 pies coming! Oh, I did promise my oldest brother that I'd bring a jar of my brandied peaches for him to try.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sorry I've been a snot....

No pun intended, since I have a cold.....

Really, though, I have been a whiny-complainy pregnant woman. But, it's not just the not feeling well. Anyone who's been pregnant can understand that. My whole attitude this pregnancy has been a negative one. I've been very down and out. What's really scary is that I read in some parent/baby/pregnancy magazine that cranky preggy women are more prone to baby blues/PPD.

The nausea and exhaustion are easing up. Now, I just have to beat this cold and I hope to feel so much better.

In other news, we're getting a basement waterproofed and humidexed. No more dampness. No more mildew, mold, must and general ick. My house won't have leporasy anymore!! I'll actually be able to have my son in the basement to play and my fabric stash won't get mildewy! It'll be pleasant to breathe the air in the basement, rather than dying for fresh air just by going down to switch laundry from washer to dryer! I'm very excited!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Blah....

Bubby is still suffering from a cold. The doctor said this one will probably last another week. Now, I have a cold on top of severe preggy exhaustion...

Still, I'm a quarter of the way through this pregnancy!! I can't agree with my ticker (which seems to get more and more offensive...I'll have to switch from the humor ticker to the medical info ticker). I do not want to throw my grapefruit sized womb at my husband. I do, however, want to sleep for a couple of weeks and kick this cold in it's behind.

The other day, I did manage to rearrange the bedroom a little. I was given a table and moved it beside my side of the bed and turned it into a vanity. I moved my dressers and cheval mirror to the corner opposite and created a dressing area. The room looks so much neater now.

Well, I have guests coming from out of state today. So, I'm going to wrap up my online time and catch a quick snooze before they arrive. Thankfully, she's a midwife and mother of four and doesn't care that my rugs aren't vacuumed and dishes aren't done.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Book, other news...

My dear mother found this book for me at a second hand store. My parents have the same copy they bought at The Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, NY. I used to peruse their copy when I was a teenager but had forgotten about the book since. Now, I have my own copy!

It's "The Complete Medicinal Herbal" by Penelope Ody. I recommend it to anyone who's just getting into natural and herbal medicine and for the veteran herbologist alike. It's set up nicely, easy to read and understand and has an excellent index.

I have this little dream of having a beautiful, fragrant herb garden someday.

Week 9 has been going fairly well. I'm very tired, I suffer insomnia and frequent trips to the bathroom and bouts of nausea. Thank God! While it's bothersome to be incapacitated, I'm happy to know it's a great sign that all is well with my developing little one.

I'm also doubly tired because I was up most of the night with Bubby. He's sick with a slight fever, cough and he threw up yesterday. I've got him on rest, bland foods and plenty of fluids. He's doing well. No more throwing up, the cough is only occassional, but he still feels warm and his skin looks a little mottled. His appetite is better, though.

Oh! The other day when Bubby and I walked up to the farm, I found bittersweet vines not too far from my yard! I won't be able to gather any this year, but it's nice to know it's there. Perhaps next year I can use it for autumn decoration.



Thursday, November 08, 2007

Feeling better....

I don't know if it's just my time to start feeling better, or if some changes I've made have really helped me ease my nausea.

I've been cooking more simple, healthful meals. I've been eating more balanced meals. I bought some organic whole milk plain yogurt and ate what I could tolerate (not much), but soon started feeling better. Now, I've got a batch of homemade yogurt culturing! Yum and my stomach is thanking me. I also took a few days off of taking prenatal vitamins. That helped a fair amount. I'm now on Flintstone-type chewables and don't get absolutely sick off of them.

I also noticed that my prenatals and a lot of the processed foods I was eating contained soy. Soy has an estrogen-like effect. I wonder if that aggrivated my hormones that cause the nausea and actually made it worse?

I haven't any whey made yet, so I've been finishing off a box of bran flakes before I switch to oatmeal for breakfast (can't tolerate eggs yet). I've been eating a bowl of that with either bananas or raisins and whole milk for breakfast. Lunch has been loaded with veggies and I try to add a simple protein like cheese or tuna. For dinner tonight, I'm making homemade shepherd's pie with ground wild venison (topped with mashed potatoes made from potatoes from a local farm).

I do NEED eggs in my diet, but I just can't do them yet. However, I'm thinking of making a brown rice pudding with maple syrup instead of sugar. That'll contain eggs. I need to get off my preggy rear and make a loaf of sprouted grain bread because then I can get my eggs through french toast until I can tolerate them alone.

I also noticed that since I've been eating a more balanced and healthful diet, my cravings have really slowed down. I haven't craved anything recently.

Thanks Candy, Stephanie and Nourishing Traditions!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Stuff...

This morning as hubby was getting ready to leave for work, the daily delivery truck to the nursing home drove by the house. He always hits his jake brakes right in front of our house. As soon as he did, a little voice behind the closed bedroom door said, "Gack-oor!" It was so precious! That's how he says tractor and identifies any truck or tractor or construction machinery.

After a few very sick days, I'm doing better today. For dinner last night, I made a chicken and veggie stew. Tonight, my in-laws are taking us out to eat. I'll probably get the baked haddock. Simple, tasty, and good for me and baby.

I think tomorrow I'll make a chicken and brown rice casserole.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Junk

I've noticed quite blatently that I've been eating JUNK! Quick, easy, cravable junk! I think I need to get my creative juices flowing and get back on my NT diet. My baby will thank me.

Thanks, Candy. Your recent comment and recent blog post helped push this forward.

I have noticed that fruit, particularly citrus and beef are my two main healthy crave-ables.

So, this weekend, I'll work towards a healthier grocery list. I feel like I need some plain whole yogurt anyway. My stomach needs to repair after eating that Banquet lazagna. BLECH and double BLECH!

The funny thing is, I haven't gained any weight. I thought for sure all these carbs and sugars would have packed on the lbs. They haven't, but that may be due to the much smaller portions I can only manage. However, I do have this puffy, bloated look. I can't say whether it's pregnancy or diet related.

Tonight is my last junk meal. I'm making frozen pizzas.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Fine Crisp Autumn Day

I've got an extra layer on today! It's crisp this morning, and I'm glad. I'll bundle Bubby and I up and go for a walk and visit the farm. My ticker says that the baby is doing his cardio, but I'm not. :) It's true! I've been so tired and sick that I've been prostrate. However, it's really starting to come back and bite me. I can't sleep at night because my muscles twitch. So, I prayed to my Savior and Healer that I'll have a good day today, wakeful and no nausea so I'll be able to get a little exercise in. Hopefully I'll sleep better tonight.

Last night, I made the boxed Banquet meal lazagna. It was discusting. I would have done better buying a large can of Chef Boyardee and cooking that for dinner.

Tonight, I think I'll make Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches. :) Yum!

Well, I better go pay some bills. Blech.