Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- singing to his sister

This morning I got to watch my kids play together. It's starting to happen more and more now as Taryn is becoming more responsive to Luke by smiling and laughing. He loves it. It makes me glad that they are close together in age.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just Today

I got together with the woman who gave us our dog's daughter and her daughter. Yeah that sounds weird. or I could say our dog breeder's daughter and her daughter. Well, whatever.

Anyway they came over today. Her and her husband and daughter moved a few months ago from the east coast. She had previously been an attorney until she had her daughter and her husband just finished his residency. They are like the Cosbys. Lol.

Her daughter is almost 6 months old almost exactly 1 month older than Taryn. So that was cute. Luke was surprisingly pretty interactive with her baby. It's cute he knows how to play with babies now because of his sister and it is so awesome and really sweet. He kept asking me 'what that baby say?' when she squealed. Then I told him her name was Annalee. And he repeated 'Annawee' so cute.

I had a really good time with my new friend. I hope she likes me and we cam hang out more!

The rest of our day was boring, we killed some time at the library before my husband came home. Then we watched a little Netflix and before you knew it he was home. Then I made everyday paleo salisbury steak with yam fries. Later while Ben was out walking Luke to sleep I was cleaning the kitchen with little T and we made heated coconut milk and pumpkin spice a dash of cinnamon and coconut oil. Stay tuned for that recipe, it's like a paleo hot buttered rum (minus the rum tonight lol).

Well off to bed. According to I need to wake up at 7:17 or 8:47. Ha, yeah right.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Zoo take two

Last weekend we (as in the 4 of us) went to the zoo with our good friends and their 19 month old son. They were visiting from about 3 hours away. It was really fun to see them, we don't see them near as often as I'd like to.
We got there with only two hours before the zoo closed so it's a good thing we're members now. We also got tickets for the train, the last one of the day. But Luke's been on this having-to-poop-at-the-zoo tradition so we missed the last train. Fortunately later on, after the zoo closed we got to go ride the city light rail train with our friends downtown for some dinner. So we didn't miss out too much.
This time at the zoo, I saw the elephant pee (last time I saw the giraffe) and it was shocking the amount of water that comes out. It was like a bucket dumped out. It was very different from the giraffe who peed a steady stream for a very long time. Anyway, I wonder what animal I'll see urinate next....

Wordless Wednesday- Fun with markers

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just Today

I got an email from our dog's breeder last night saying that her all day appointment was today.  We had confirmed for Thursday but I thought it had changed, but I was wondering if she had mistakenly said today when she meant to say tomorrow.  Anyway, she said she would be there around 1030. 

When we woke up I remembered La Leche League was today.  Started at 9.  Luke woke up ten minutes till 9.  We would have gone late if we wouldn't have had the lady coming to get our dog.  Then there was a fireman story time scheduled today at the library at 11.  But I couldn't leave until I knew if she was going to pick up the dog.  I waited.  I finally called, and I was right, it's tomorrow that she's coming to get the dog.  So we missed everything.  To pass the time until my husband came home for lunch we cut up apples to put in the food processor to make lacto-fermented apple sauce (more on that in a later blog post).

My husband came home at 1130 for lunch.  Then we went to an apple orchard because I wanted to buy their raw honey and get some apples.  I forgot the ergo for Taryn.  Blah.  So I was just going to buy honey since I couldn't exactly take the two out to the field with out the carrier AND pick apples.  But the lady said they had some already picked pears.  So I decided I'd get those instead.  And honey.  But they didn't have the jar we normally get, they either had the bear of honey, which doesn't last too long here.  Or a gallon size.  I bought the gallon.  Yes, a gallon.  We'll use it, eventually.

Stopped by my husband's work on the way back  home, gave him a pear.  Then we came home and I tried to nurse Luke down for a nap.  He didn't want it, but he was still happy thankgoodness.  So we played for about 30 minutes doing this silly game on the bed and then when he got tired again we nursed and he fell asleep.  Taryn was with us in bed, she nursed in between the two attemps to nurse and then after Luke fell asleep, she did too.

After nap, we made paleo banana muffins.  Then I tried to clean up a little.  Then we played in the play room until my husband came home.  Then I made dinner. 

The day went pretty fast and we hardly did a thing.  I love days like today.

Wordless Wednesday- Brother and Sister

Sometimes we go to the store at night... mostly to get something we need but also to play around and burn energy.  My kids go to bed late, so it's nice my son has a chance to run around a little bit inside where it's not raining.  We found these chairs at the store tonight.

 For more Wordless Wednesday photos see Hobo Mama

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Accounting for Taste

Welcome to the October Carnival of Natural Parenting: Money Matters
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how finances affect their parenting choices. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
I've been working on our budget on and off for the last year.  It was in my New Years resolution post, then I talked about it again as I continued to work on it.  And, let me tell you, it's still a work in progress.

I used this estimator for our budget from Dave Ramsey.  He creates categories and tells what percentage of your income should go to each category.  We already had a basic idea of what we spend each month on certain things.  So we adjusted it to fit us.  Our sample budget is here.  It's really simple.  We just have our set category amounts, then we write in every transaction.  Then we have a really really simple thing that subtracts what you spend out of what you start with.  The hard part is remembering to fill it out.  The good thing is that you want to make fewer transactions so you can fill it out less :)

I think I finally have all of our categories worked out.  We were really struggling sometimes at being able to stick to certain categories in our budget.  Our biggest problem, the grocery category and the personal category.  We were always in a conundrum, how could we eat how we want and still be able to do fun things?

What we do

raw milk
We wanted to have good quality foods at home which equals a higher grocery budget.  I want my kids to know where food comes from and we eat paleo.  We started a CSA fruit and veggie share, and got meat, raw milk and eggs from a local farm.  But have you ever bought grassfed beef?  Or pastured eggs?  They are more expensive than your typical grocery store meat and eggs.  Then raw milk... wow, it's a lot.  But I really want our family to know what real food tastes like.   And I feel happy that our kids don't eat junk that could cause them other health problems.  I know that eating no grains and sugar have limited mood swings and tantrums from my two year old. We think that even if we don't have money for other things the best gift we can give our kids is a lifetime of health.  How could we do this without going broke?  What does it mean for the other parts of our budget?

It means not going out to eat.  It means having to plan fun stuff and consulting the budget instead of doing things spur of the moment.  It means not having cable tv for football season (to watch those OSU Beavers!!).  There are lots of things we want, but we decided we need to be healthy first. 

mmm ribeyes from the farm
When we budget we always ask ourselves, is this something we could or want to live without?  Does it mean we would rather skip our nice farm meat for other meat just to get cable tv?  Well, the answer is no.  Asking those questions makes it clear what your goals are... especially what's best for your kids.

Luke checking out our csa veggies
Asking ourselves what we wanted to spend our money on made all of our other budgeting easier.  We understood what we wanted to buy and it made it easy to hold off on non-essentials.  There's a lot that we are sad we can't do now but compared to good food we know it's just not as valuable.  I really recommend deciding on what is important to you as you go about making or tweaking a budget, it helps prioritize.

Here are some other tips for sticking with a budget that have really helped me.

- Don't spend money until you know how much is available in your spending category. example- don't buy a pair of 30 dollar shoes and come home to find out you only had 20 dollars left in your clothing budget.

- Ask yourself what you can live without.  example- we don't have cable because we'd rather use the extra amount on food.

-Save for what you really want. This seems obvious, but how often do you impulse buy and then you realize later you'd rather have saved up for something else?  example- we really want a couch in our play room, but we'd rather try to save for a trip to Hawaii. 

- Plan ahead.  At the beginning of the month we look ahead to see what we will need to have money for.  Birthday presents, trips, extra food for guests at our house.  We noticed we still have money for fun kid stuff and toys when we planned ahead and skipped spending money on things that were on our 'want to buy list'.

- Little things add up.  Sure it only costs 5 dollars to go to coffee.  But then there's the lunch out for another 10 dollars.  Then there were those couple random trips to the grocery store.  Those add up!

- Go easy on yourself.  We are fortunate to have saved up money, so if we go over a little on a category some months while we're getting the hang of things it's ok.  We aren't punishing ourselves but just remembering what we could do next month to avoid it.

The biggest thing is asking yourself, what is most important for my family?  It may not be food, it may be that you want to have the option of going out to eat more often.  It may be that you want to have a small house because you'd rather spend your money on something else.  You can't have it all, so what's important to you?

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon October 11 with all the carnival links.)
  • Money Matter$ — Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy shares her experiences on several ways to save money as a parent.
  • A different kind of life... — Mrs Green from Little Green Blog shares her utopian life and how it differs from her current one!
  • Show Me The Money! — Arpita of Up, Down & Natural shares her experience of planning for parenting costs while also balancing the financial aspect of infertility treatments.
  • Material v Spiritual Wealth - Living a Very Frugal Life with Kids — Amy at Peace 4 Parents shares her family's realizations about the differences between material and spiritual wealth.
  • If I Had a Money Tree — Sheila at A Gift Universe lists the things she would buy for her children if money were no object.
  • Financial Sacrifices, Budgets, and the Single Income Family — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at the importance of living within your means, the basics of crafting a budget, and the "real cost" of working outside of the home.
  • Overcoming My Fear of All Things Financial — Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares how she is currently overcoming her fear of money and trying to rectify her ignorance of all things financial.
  • Confessions of a Cheapskate — Adrienne at Mommying My Way admits that her cheapskate tendencies that were present pre-motherhood only compounded post-baby.
  • Money MattersWitch Mom hates money; here's why.
  • Money? What Money?! — Alicia C. at McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts describes how decisions she's made have resulted in little income, yet a green lifestyle for her and her family.
  • What matters. — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life wishes parenting through play was her only responsibility during the day.
  • Making Ends Meet — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares about being a working mom and natural parent.
  • Poor People, Wealthy Ways — Sylvia at MaMammalia discusses how existing on very little money allows her to set an example of how to live conscientiously and with love.
  • The Green Stuff — Amyables at Toddler In Tow shares how natural parenting has bettered her budget - and her perspective on creating and mothering.
  • Jemma's Money — Take a sneak peek at That Mama Gretchen's monthly budget and how Jemma fits into it.
  • 5 Tips for How to Save Time and Money by Eating Healthier — Family meal prep can be expensive and time-consuming without a plan! Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares five easy tips for how to make your cooking life (and budget) easier.
  • Belonging in the Countryside — Lack of money led Phoebe at Little Tinker Tales towards natural parenting, but it also hinders her from realizing her dream.
  • Total Disclosure and Total Reform — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl gets down to the nitty gritty of her money problems with hopes that you all can help her get her budget under control.
  • Save Money by Using What You Have — Gaby at Tmuffin is only good with money because she's lazy, has trouble throwing things away, and is indecisive. Here are some money-saving tips that helped her manage to quit her job and save enough money to become a WAHM.
  • Two Hippos & Ten Euros: A Lesson in BudgetingMudpieMama shares all about how her boys managed a tight budget at a recent zoo outing.
  • ABBA said it — Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen ponders where her family has come from, where they are now and her hopes for her children's financial future.
  • Money vs. TimeMomma Jorje writes about cutting back on junk, bills, and then ultimately on income as well ~ to gain something of greater value: Time.
  • An Unexpected Cost of Parenting — Moorea at MamaLady shares how medical crises changed how she feels about planning for parenthood.
  • 5 Ways This Stay at Home Mom Saves Money — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares 5 self-imposed guidelines that help her spend as little money as possible.
  • Frugal Parenting — Lisa at My World Edenwild shares 8 ways she saves money and enriches her family's lives at the same time.
  • Conscious Cash Conscious — Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares her 5 money-conscious considerations that balance her family’s joy with their eco-friendly ideals.
  • Money, Sex and Having it All — Patti at Jazzy Mama explains how she's willing to give up one thing to get another. (And just for fun, she pretends to give advice on how to build capital in the bedroom.)
  • Money could buy me ... a clone? — With no local family to help out, Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama wants childcare so she can take care of her health.
  • Spending IntentionallyCatholicMommy loves to budget! Join her to learn what to buy, what not to buy, and, most importantly, where to buy.
  • New lessons from an allowance — Lauren at Hobo Mama welcomes a follow-up guest post from Sam about the latest lessons their four-year-old's learned from having an allowance.
  • How to Homeschool without Spending a Fortune — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares tips and links to many resources for saving money while homeschooling from preschool through high school.
  • It's Not a Baby Crisis. It's Not Even a Professional Crisis. — Why paid maternity leave, you may ask? Rachael at The Variegated Life has some answers.
  • "Making" Money — Do you like to do-it-yourself? Amy at Anktangle uses her crafty skills to save her family money and live a little greener.
  • Money On My Mind — Luschka at Diary of a First Child has been thinking about money and her relationship with it, specifically how it impacts on her parenting, her parenting choices, and ultimately her lifestyle.
  • Spending, Saving, and Finding a Balance — Melissa at The New Mommy Files discusses the various choices she and her family have made that affect their finances, and finds it all to be worth it in the end.
  • Accounting for Taste — Cassie at There's a Pickle in My Life shares their budget and talks about how they decided food is the most important item to budget for.
  • Money Matters... But Not Too Much — Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting shares how her family approaches money without putting too much of a focus onto it.
  • Parenting While Owning a Home Business — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Lauren at Hobo Mama lays out the pros and cons of balancing parenting with working from home.
  • Crunchy Living is SO Expensive...Or Is It? — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy talks about her biggest objection to natural living - and her surprise at what she learned.
  • Mo' Money, Mo' Problems — Sarah at Parenting God's Children shares how a financial accountability partner changed her family's finances.
  • The Importance of Food Planning — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro discusses how food budgeting and planning has helped her, even if she doesn't always do it.
  • Kids & Money: Starting an Allowance for Preschoolers — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings discusses her family's approach and experiences with starting an allowance for preschoolers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

First Farm Shift

We just recently asked if our meat farmer needed help running his farm store.  We noticed he had some other people help out sometimes.  He said he did and that landed us a once a month Saturday shift. 
You might wonder why we wanted to work there?  I've met some pretty cool people who go there to get their meat.  Most of them are traditional eaters including some paleo people.  So it's pretty cool to talk to them.  Also, we get free eggs and meat! 
This last Saturday was our first shift.  We work from 10-3.  It was kind of too long for Luke.  He loved it until he got tired around 1-2.  But the farmer said we could just work 10-1 while he gives his farm tour, or we were thinking that I could take the kids home once they get tired and my husband could stay.  Probably we'll just do the 10-1 thing.  Even though this week was a pretty long time to be there, we got 6 chickens, 6 dozen eggs and 3lb of pork out of it.  Not too shabby.

my husband and Luke looking around the farm

4 months! (really 4 1/2)

Dear Little Sweet Taryn,

Oh are you something else.  You just are so happy all the time.  You have such a deep love for life.  Your radiant happiness makes all of us happy.

You are SO grabby now.  Everything has to be in your hands and then in your mouth.  This includes my head, any of Luke's toys, anything you can reach from your bumbo chair - safe or not, and a piece of squash from my dinner plate!!  You spit it because you cannot chew and your gag reflex is too strong for you to swallow, so phew.  I am not giving you food till 6 months so you take your time! :)

Not only are you reaching and grabbing everything, you are so insistent to be put down on the ground sometimes.  You practically JUMP out of my hands to go play with some of your brother's toys.  You can sit up now.  Though, this happened a little after 4 months.  But you are so strong.  I'm afraid you will crawl way too early, because you are so desperate.  You've found ways of moving yourself around the play room so you can get some of those toys.

I can't believe how much you sleep.  It's funny because you actually do 'sleep through the night' even though we've done nothing to try to get you to do that.  I think you're just so worn out from watching Luke all day.  We can't complain though, we're tired :)

You are fitting into 6 month+ clothes now.  You have Papa's long arms too, because it seems that all your sleeves are too small.  And you have a huge head!

There is so much drool coming out of your mouth, we are just waiting for those first teeth.  Isn't 4 months too young?  I think so.  But I'm guessing that they'll show up in the next couple months, probably just in time for when we actually let you have some food!

I am just always so amazed about how observant your are.  You have to know what's going on all the time.  When new people come over you really watch them.  Then they talk to you and you give them the biggest smiles.  When Mama, Daddy or Luke come in the room you become 'twitterpated'.

You are just always SO happy.  Not a thing upsets you.  Even when you get hungry, you make a few cry outs to alert us, then you keep making a few ah noises while I lift my shirt, to let me know that you are, indeed, still hungry.   You also fuss when your diaper is wet, you really don't like that. 
When you wake up in the morning, we lift you up, and you rub your eyes and even though you are tired you give the biggest smile with your tongue sticking out.  Oh, so, cute!

You are our sweet little girl.  We love you so much and we can't wait to see what's next. 

Mama and Daddy


I'm so behind about posting.  I really want to keep a better record of what we do everyday so I can look back on my kids when they were young.  Gonna try a little harder :) Coming soon- Taryn's 4 month post (which has turned into 4 1/2 month post)

We went to the Zoo a week ago.  I have been wanting to try a trip up to the city for a while.  It usually takes around 40 minutes to 1 hour.  I was a bit nervous thinking I'd have to stop for Taryn.  Though, of course, she slept the whole way.  Luke and I sang to his 'Luke' cd that Grandma and Grandpa bought him last winter.  I'm driving my husbands car right now, we switched so he could get my brakes fixed and we haven't switched back.  His car's cd player works because a toddler didn't shove coins in his, haha.  
Anyway the trip up went well.  We got there and renewed our membership.  I brought our stroller just in case.  It was a good decision because sometimes I have to put Taryn down while I help Luke potty, nurse, etc.  And Taryn actually likes riding in it, so she took a few joy rides in it while we walked all around.  Luke walked most of the way until the end when I got the pleasure of carrying two kids back up the hill to the car while pushing a stroller, good times.

Overall, trip was successful!  I really wanted to try to go by myself, with out having the pressure of meeting someone.  It was a good way to start, and I'm happy it worked out.  I am so much less stressed about car rides now, because I just feel like I have more confidence and know what to do now that it's the second baby.

Here are some lovely pics of the Zoo!

I saw this giraffe pee for literally 3 minutes.  I kept looking back, and he was still peeing!

on the Zoo train

i just love him so much