Friday, November 30

snowy prints

Hello, rabbit. Hello, snow. My house is crying out to be decorated for Christmas. I can't believe the job isn't already done. We've been trying to decide on what to do about trees - we have two artificial trees, a 4-footer from our 679 square foot apartment days, and a nice big 7 1/2 footer. I am voting for the small tree up on a table, away from curious fingers. We will see what happens.

Yesterday, I found out that it does NOT work to pour boiling water over the coffee grounds. At least, it does not produce the delicious coffee to which my taste buds are accustomed. Today, I will try to soak them a little longer.

Thankfully, my parents have an extra coffee pot they never use. I will be borrowing that, thank you very much. At least until I do a little price comparison on thermal carafe coffee pots. Because, as you may know, they simply are the best.

Thank you all for your wishes of good will and sympathy. My lil' heart was blessed.

Apparently, my blog has reached new heights of popularity. I will be reviewing a product in the coming days - and those of you who know me well will get a little chuckle out of this one. It is Michael W. Smith's new Christmas CD. You never know - he could surprise the socks right off me. It's happened before. The play by play is coming soon. I bet y'all are on the edge of your seats.

But most of you are wondering why I'm talkin' southern. I blame it on my job. Entirely.

Thursday, November 29

the day Old Faithful died

On days like this - windy, chilly days - there is little I enjoy more than a steamy cup of my dear friend Mr. Decaf. I brew methodically and I brew strong. I brew using my other faithful friend, Mr. Gevalia Thermal Carafe coffee pot.

Mr. Gevalia came to me in October of 2001, I believe, the year of white dorm living. The year Autumn and I decided to take advantage of one of the "too good to be true" offers so generously set forth by Gevalia. I mean, have you priced thermal carafe coffee pots?

After we figured out that paper filters caused coffee overflow in that particular model, and purchased a reusable cone filter, our evenings and mornings were filled with the delicious aroma of Mocca Java and good conversation. The best part of Mr. Gevalia was his ability to keep warm, but not burn, any leftover coffee. Many days, I brewed at 7 and could still have hot coffee at noon.

Today, I loaded up Old Faithful with 3 scoops and a pint, and clicked the familiar button. Ten minutes later, I was still waiting, despondent, cold, and shivering. Old Faithful is no more. My cup is empty.

Tuesday, November 27

it's a crazy mixed up world

Sometimes it never hurts to look. The organic grapes at Walmart were $1.77/lb. The regular grapes? $2.98/lb.


Ebates the Great

I've done a little online holiday shopping. And thanks to a variety of suggestions from online sources (which really just means I've forgotten exactly where I heard about it), I've found Ebates.

This website gives you cash back on your purchases, and/or provides coupon codes to help you save even further. Many sites participate, you just have to use a tracking code from Ebates (which you get by typing in the store/website name and clicking on the link provided). My favorite thing is that I've forgotten several times until I already have items added to my cart. So I've opened a new tab and gone to Ebates, then typed in the store and clicked on Ebate's link to them, and through the magic of technology, my items are still in my cart.

The cash back builds up in your account and you can request a check any time the balance is $5 or more. I got cash back on our holiday travel purchases from Hotwire, our photo Christmas cards from Walmart, and several other things that will not be listed here. For obvious reasons. But I will say, dad, unrelated to holiday shopping, that is one of the participating sites. So you can sign up, too!

So today I got an email saying that if I refer people to Ebates, with their first purchase, we both get a $5 sign up bonus PLUS a $5 Holiday Bonus! That is like getting $10 for shopping online, people! So PLEASE click any of the links on this post and sign yourself up, then start shopping! This bonus $10 only works after you purchase something, and only if you sign up using the LINKS!

hee hee

Check out the hilarious family my brother Nate's managed to become a part of.

I read this story today and giggled. Loudly.

Monday, November 26

Homemade Gifts for the Home-Ec Challenged

I'm posting these ideas because it will not matter if the recipients know ahead of time that this might be coming to them. Hopefully some of you who think you can't do homemade gifts because you think you can't bake or sew will enjoy these links!

Homemade Sugar Scrub

Bread in a Bag
Sewing Kit in a Jar
Hot Cocoa Cones
"Write Your Own Book" kit for kids

Hope these inspire you to think about making a few gifts this year - I personally love giving AND receiving homemade gifts - and I loved that just about anyone could make these!

Attempting the Annual Photo

We like self-portraits for our Christmas card photos. In fact, we have never been to a studio as a family - I'm too afraid of things going horribly wrong and having to spend money on photos I don't want - and Aaron has managed to escape a formal photo session for his entire 16 month life. These are several of our discarded attempts. Our Christmas cards this year are hilarious. I can't wait for them to come in!!

Let's Hear it for Scratch & Dent!

We have a store in a nearby town that I would love to give a huge Hallelujah for. This weekend we visited Bay City to purchase insulation for a section of our attic that has never had insulation. And we wonder why our heating bill is huge. Hopefully this investment will end up paying for itself in the next couple months.

SO while we were in Bay City, we stopped at our favorite scratch & dent grocery outlet - Blue Knight. You may be a little freaked out about stores like this, depending on your sensitivities, but I happen to love this place! Some of the food is past the expiration date, but if you look hard enough you can usually find items that are still fresh. Part of the adventure is not knowing what you will find! A few things we got this weekend:

Fruitabu Organic Smooshed Flats (similar to a fruit leather) - 50 cents a box
Earth's Best Organic Graham Sticks, Arrowroot Biscuits, and various other toddler snacks - 69 cents a box
Earth's best Organic "On the Go O's" (breakfast cereal) $1.50 a box
Organic Rice Krispies & Organic Frosted Mini Wheats, $1.50 a box
Near East seasoned couscous mixes 69 cents a box
King Arthur Whole Wheat flour 69 cents per 5 lb bag
Grey Poupon mustard, all varieties - 5/$1
Yoplait yogurt smoothies - $3 for a box of 12
Kashi TLC granola bars - 99 cents a box
Nestle Chocolatier Chocolate Chips (some 53% cacao, some 62%) 99 cents each
Barilla Plus Angel Hair pasta and organic whole grain penne - 2/$1
and my ALL TIME FAVORITE DEAL this trip -
a 10-oz bag of Green Mountain Organic Decaf Coffee - 99 cents!!!
(Here's the kicker - it was considered "off brand" because it wasn't Folger's or Maxwell House!)

We purchased multiples of many items, and got a few more things - we left with two huge boxes full of goodies and spent about $35. I am again amazed at God's provision!

Sunday, November 25

a huge ________________

Thanksgiving was a huge success. See pictures here

I have a huge elephant sitting on my bronchial tubes. Hence, a blogging (and everything else) break. Must. Get. Sleep.

Wednesday, November 21

Thanksgiving Menu, Part Two

Mom called. She tested the pie crust and it was nasty. So don't make that one, ok? Unless you like nasty crust. Boy, I'm glad she tested it. Can we get another HURRAY for mom? So we will be using a different pie crust recipe and substituting whole wheat flour for 1/2 of the required flour.

As far as our Spinach Strawberry Salad "recipe" goes, it's pretty much just spinach, sliced strawberries, and almonds. Since we have a Certain Person in our family who does not eat salad dressing (weirdo) we do not add any dressing to the salad until it is on our plates. Then we add this. Really, that is it. That dressing, if you've not tried it, is very, very good.

Steamed Garlic Broccoli is pretty easy as well. I chop up some fresh broccoli and add about a 1/2 tsp of minced garlic per head of broccoli to a bowl, then once the broccoli is steamed to that perfect tender state, I add it to the bowl with the garlic, stir and add a little salt. It is so delicious. If you have been stuck using frozen broccoli, and think it is fine, you MUST TRY some fresh steamed broccoli. I would eat it every single day if the rest of my family wouldn't get sick of it!! This from a former broccoli hater.

The turkey is making nice progress - I decided to do the quick thaw method in a water bath. I took the turkey out this morning and he's floating away. Just so you know, the Butterball ladies suggest a 1/2 hour in the water for every pound of turkey. I learned that on Rachael Ray this morning.

The sweet potatoes will be baked tonight, the apple crisp will be prepared in the morning, and baked once the turkey comes out. We eat at 1 o'clock.

Here's what I do for Apple Crisp:
Slice up a bunch of apples, to fill the dish. Add some cinnamon and a few sprinkles of flour, toss the apples about. If the apples are too tart, I will add a few teaspoons of sugar, or just use the cinnamon sugar that I have mixed up in the cupboard. Sometimes, if I feel like it, I add some nutmeg. For the oat topping, I take some oatmeal, whole wheat flour, a couple tablespoons of the darkest brown sugar I can find, a little oil or butter and more cinnamon, and smush it around until it looks right. Sometimes I add wheat germ. Then I sprinkle it atop the apples and bake it at 350 degrees until the apples are fork-tender. We often have ice cream with this yummy stuff. And sometimes I toss in a few handfuls of frozen blueberries, depending on how I'm feeling.

I will be baking the turkey in an oven bag. YAY. No basting. I love low maintenance.

Tuesday, November 20

newest kitchen addition

Prior to last weekend, this area between the drawers and the curtains was nothing but more curtains. Thanks to dad for salvaging the door front, and to my genius husband for rigging a trash can slidey thing with stuff we had in the garage, we now have hard surfaces protecting the cleaning supplies and trash can from very curious little fingers belonging to a little munchkin whose name starts with an A and ends with -aron. The doors need one more coat of paint, but I'm pretty happy with our new setup! Not bad for makeshift - not bad at all!

Thanksgiving Menu, Part One

Thanksgiving is at my house this year. I'm so excited. I love to have a big table surrounded with family! Since I'm on the eat healthIER plan (all things in moderation), I've decided to post my week's progress and a few recipes. Today, I take the turkey out of the big freezer and put it in the cooler to thaw. I wonder how that will work...I've never thawed a turkey in the cooler before. I get to simmer the remains of our weekend splurge of rotisserie chicken to make some stock for my stuffing and maybe a little chicken soup for supper tonight.

Also today, I make the rolls. Not the healthiest, but healthier than some. I got it from my friend Ashley, and adapted it somewhat to fit our preferences. Here's the recipe:

Bread Machine Rolls
hot water plus one egg to equal 1 1/3 cup
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
2 tsp gluten plus whole wheat flour to equal 2 cups (put the gluten in the cup, add flour to fill)
3 tsp yeast

Put all in bread machine, set to "dough" and when done, divide dough into 24 parts, put in a cooking-spray coated 9x13 pan. Cover with a clean towel and allow to double in size on top of the oven you are preheating (0r another warm place). Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until done.

I lightly butter the tops to keep them soft, but you wouldn't have to. I also may play with substituting some milled flax seed for part of the oil. At some point I will play with the sugar content, but I don't think a big family gathering would be the time for that. If you don't have bread flour, just make sure you use 4 tsp of gluten and it will be ok to use all purpose flour.

Our menu
Roast Turkey & homemade low fat gravy
Stuffing (no butter, mostly whole wheat bread)
Homemade Rolls
Baked, mashed sweet potatoes (sweet enough on their own, IMO! AND a superfood!)
Steamed Garlic Broccoli (oh, look! Another superfood!)
Apple Crisp - no sugar added to apples, oat crumble topping

Mom's bringing...
Mashed potatoes (making them lighter)
Spinach Strawberry Salad (what? another superfood?)
Corn (no casserole!)
Pumpkin Pie with Healthier Pie Crust
Uh, yeah...and Ruthie's German Chocolate Pie. Not healthy, not at all. Not really any redeeming factors - it has nuts, I guess, and dark chocolate. Still, not healthy. But we are using the same Healthier Pie Crust Recipe.

And since mom's baking the pies, I will give you the recipe for the crusts. She's baking those tomorrow morning and then coming over to help get things ready here. Can we get a huge HURRAY for moms like mine? I am so blessed.

**Recipe removed due to nasty taste!!**

So as you can see, we are hardly depriving ourselves. And it would still be very possible to come to our Thanksgiving and leave having been gluttonous and unwise stewards. I will have to keep that in mind when I wish for another slice of the most delicious pie in the whole world. (Thank you, Ruth!)

Monday, November 19

coldstone dreams come true

Anybody want to go on a double date? We certainly can't eat TWO and since this coupon, which was in my email box this morning, is a BOGO, we would need some friends to share the other one. Any takers? Splitting the bill would be a pretty inexpensive date!!

Or, you know, YOU could print it out and eat two for the price of one. But that's a lot of ice cream.

sickness, sleeping, and sewing machine innards

Lookie there! An alliterated title. Looks I should be selling outlines after all. Tee hee.

Aaron has the 3rd cold of his life and it's a doozy. Saturday night he woke up thrice. THRICE. It's been a long time since I had to wake up that many times a night. As my feet hit the floor and my zombie legs took me next door to Aaron's room, I prayed for all you new mommies for which this is a nightly event!

And, I haven't been to church in 2 weeks, unless you count last Wednesday when I drove junior high kids around collecting food for the annual Thanksgiving Basket project at church. That was fun - the kids collected over 6 laundry baskets full of food in a little under an hour. We were able to hand out tracts at each of the houses we stopped at, too. Yay! Our church was able to put together 70 baskets to distribute this year. Amazing.

That family God brought into our lives? GREAT strides in their spiritual growth. The boys got baptized a few weeks ago and we've been thrilled to watch God do amazing things in their lives. We are praising God for His mighty acts and His goodness!

Michael took apart my sewing machine this weekend. It's an ugly little thing under all that pretty white plastic. I am happy to report that it is working satisfactorily at least for the time being. The tension is all messed up but if I set it on "0" it seems to do just fine. *sigh* My plans of homemade Christmas gifts were in the balance, and my dear superhero of a husband rescued them!

I cannot believe it is Thanksgiving week already! I'll be posting our "healthier" menu for this year later this week, but right now I'm wondering - what does your family do to make Thanksgiving a true time of thankfulness?

Friday, November 16

Deals for the week

Sorry - no pictures this week! I'd already put everything away and hauling it out again just doesn't make any sense!

Walgreens -
OneTouch UltraSmart Blood Glucose meter, reg. price 84.99 - FREE
Electrasol Powerball Tabs, 25 ct - 99 cents after rebate
Palmolive Dish Soap, 13 oz - 49 cents
Excederine Migraine, 50 ct, reg. 6.99 - FREE after rebate
TOTAL after rebates - $1.48

Kroger -
2 Pepsi cubes - $10, but there is a $10 rebate since I bought a turkey, too - FREE
17ish pound turkey, 49 cents a pound = 8.29
Suave Deodorant, 2 for $1
TOTAL after rebates - $9.29

Meijer -
Skippy Peanut Butter - 40 cents
Totino's Pizza Rolls - 20 cents
Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner - 68 cents
Lysol Multi Purpose Cleaner - 93 cents
2 - 200 oz Arm & Hammer Liquid Laundry Soap - $6.99
TOTAL - $9.20

UN fortunately, I bought a few more items than are listed here - but here are my great deals for this week!

Thursday, November 15

yummy recipe sharing

I found this site today through one of my all time favorite blogs to visit for ideas about living frugally and being cheerful about it.

It's a holiday (specifically Thanksgiving, but I'm sure Christmas guests would appreciate them) recipe sharing extravaganza! I linked my pumpkin bread that I'm sure you are all sick of hearing about, but if you have a chance to make it you will understand why I can't stop talking about it!!!

So, if you have a favorite recipe or need a few ideas for upcoming events or just plain want to know what other people make for special occasion consumption, head on over and check it out.

(click on the cute lil' picture - it's a link)

Wednesday, November 14

the scoop on pumpkin guts

I'm still working on roasting my pumpkins - good thing they stay fresh for a relatively long period of time. I had a total of 23 pumpkins to roast and freeze this year, all small, so don't you worry that we will have too much excess. Remember, I've got a hungry husband and toddler to feed. Not to mention that pumpkin baked goods are my absolute favorite. I've recently become quite fond of the lower fat pumpkin bread linked at this post that only uses one tablespoon of oil!

All these pumpkins require roasting before freezing, and after a few sessions of scooping pumpkin guts with spoons, hands, and other various utensils, I grabbed the ice cream scoop! Mine has a flat tip that works very well to part the stringy seeds from the sides of the pumpkins! Voila! A faster way to get these babies roasting ready! Works for me!

Tuesday, November 13

holidays and health

Next week is Thanksgiving, and for the first time since my first "home from college" Thanksgiving, it will be local family only. (unless Some Certain Friends get with the program and hustle their buns up here - specifically, friends from states that begin with the letters P and V, but we'd take friends from any state) I shudder to realize that my first "home from college" Thanksgiving was ten years ago.

I'm looking forward to trying out some new recipes and coming up with healthier alternatives to old favorites. The other day I heard something on a cooking show or in a magazine recipe like "that's a lot of butter, but it's Thanksgiving, so forget about it" Huh.

Like holidays are a good excuse to be gluttonous and exercise poor stewardship over our bodies. I am NOT saying a treat here and there is bad, I am not saying we will be forgoing Ruthie's German Chocolate Pie - but if I can figure out a way to make the turkey taste really good without a pound of butter or if we can skip green bean casserole for some almond green beans or garlic broccoli? Or if I can make gravy with mostly chicken stock instead of greasy turkey drippings? I'm gonna do it! It may only save 100 calories but it's 100 calories saved. I have a renewed commitment to the slow and steady approach to health.

What are your thoughts on holiday eating? How do you make sure you exercise control over what goes into your body during the holidays?

it's frenzy time

I just realized I've got about a month until Christmas, and a list a mile long (ok, an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet long) of reallycool homemade Christmas gift ideas I've been accumulating since June. Fortunately, I started in June to accumulate ideas. UN-fortunately, I started to execute the first one today. And what does my sewing machine do? And what happens when I run out of pins? Oh, my. What would have easily been a stress free 30-45 minute project is still unfinished in a heap on my ironing board. Must.Buy.Pins. I hate leaving a project unfinished. OK, I hate leaving a FUN project unfinished.

I guess I'll be posting pictures of my projects AFTER Christmas, since many recipients read this blog. (and since I'm not sure how many of these grand ideas will actually turn out to be worthy gifts) Finally I am using the fabric that has languished long in plastic bins.

Any homemade holiday gifts on your list of giving?

Monday, November 12

what's in a nickname?

When Aaron was very little, just a couple weeks old, he'd stare at something for a long time, studying it, and then blink in slow, methodical blinks. It was so cute - I thought he looked like a bug. So that is what I began calling little bug. Every once in awhile it comes out "Bugs" but any reference to a Warner Bros. Character is strictly accidental. Hopefully it won't stick through his whole life and become an embarrassment to him.

I didn't really HAVE a nickname, unless you count "Jenny" but I don't happen to think that counts.

Does your family do nicknames?

Sunday, November 11

Recipe Tag

Kelly tagged me in her own game of recipe tag, so here's one of Michael's favorites. Anyone else glad it is soup weather? I certainly am!!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or shredded
2 cans chicken broth
1 can green chilies
1 can diced tomatoes w/mild chilies
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp minced garlic)
1 T lime juice
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
4-6 corn tortillas

Combine all but last 5 ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cut the tortillas into strips (¼-½”) and place on a cookie sheet. Spray with Pam, and bake at 350 until crispy. Reduce heat & simmer for 30-35 minutes. Add the lime juice, cilantro, cayenne and cumin; simmer 10 or so minutes more. Ladle into bowls, garnish with shredded cheese and the tortilla strips.

I'm tagging Ruth, Anne, Katrina, Tricia, and Erin!

If you have a favorite recipe to post, or you have recently posted a recipe, link your recipe post here. Make sure you link to the post, and not your whole page. Go ahead and use the Mr. Linky form below.

If you haven't done that before, and you use Blogger, you just click on the title of your post, then cut & paste the URL from the web address bar into the little Mr. Linky form where it says "URL". You can also type either your name OR your recipe in the box above the URL box.

Saturday, November 10

Walgreens WOO HOO

This week's Walgreen's deals were unbelievable. I managed to tote this load away for $6.51.

That would be 3 50 sq. ft. rolls of wrapping paper, 8 55-foot lengths of curling ribbon, a Glade candle, a Glade oil warmer and a refil pack, a 1-lb box of brown sugar, 2 mini cans of baking powder, 2 shampoos and 2 conditioners. Did I mention that some of these items are eligible for rebates, totaling an additional $3 off?

Yes, God is most definitely providing for our needs (and our "wants" too!) in the most amazing, unexpected ways.

Check out other (even more) amazing deals at Money Saving Mom

Thursday, November 8

deals for boys

OK so I got an email from Sears about this online super sale and thought I'd go check it out. Turns out that if I wanted, I could get a few things for Aaron for 29 cents. Yes, you heard correctly. Unfortunately, those items are not my thing - you know all about my children's clothing issues.

But I DO think these would be cute on other people's kids. So get on over and check them out. The deals I found are for boys 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months. I didn't look in the other larger sizes but I'm sure you could find a deal there, too. Or do some "gift closet" shopping...

Wednesday, November 7

doin' the happy dance

Thanks to Carrie's heads up, we were able to catch the bumGenius sale and with a googled coupon code, saved an additional 5%. These twelve fabulous diapers bring our total stash to 19! Needless to say, this is wonderful news. We'd been saving money reserved from Aaron's baby shower for such a time as this. We are THRILLED with God's orchestration of circumstances to provide diapers for Aaron and any future Muth children (as yet unconceived, to answer your questions)! HALLELUJAH! Incidentally, this is our new couch, too!

Tuesday, November 6

more amazing things to be won

For some pretty amazing audio books, go here and enter, or click the button in our sidebar under our profile. Yep, the green one. Nice coincidence that it matches our blog so nicely, isn't it?


There is a window right above my computer station, and today the trees look like dancing skeletons. I remember that one of my teachers in elementary school read a poem about the empty branches looking like lace against the sky. How can it be so easy and at the same time so hard to notice the little beauties in our days?

Our high school kids are traveling this week putting on a play about the lives of John & Betty Stam. If you haven't heard their story, you should. The kids' presentation has stayed with me this week, reminding me to pray for them as they travel, but also giving me a sense of urgency about my days, and a more clear vision of all that God provides. Needs - for certain! Wants - abundant!

And as if His provision for me was not enough, just for me, just so I will praise Him more, God gives me glimpses of beauty - today, in fresh blueberry muffins, a pudgy little face, and in dancing skeleton trees.

Monday, November 5

snow storm a comin'

Well, maybe not an actual blizzard, but snow is forecast for tomorrow in our area. The seasons sneak up on me, I tell you!! Anyone else feel like autumn never lasts long enough? I could use a couple more weeks of crispy leaves and "that scent" of autumn in the air, along with the chill that a sweater will fix. Ah, fall.

Of course I'm pretty pumped about winter, too. I'd rather be cold than too hot. Back in my northeastern Wisconsin college days, it was my personal goal to delay wearing a coat until after Thanksgiving, in order to better acclimate. It helped, I tell you. About weather - how do you feel? We'd all like to be "just right" but if you had to choose your uncomfy temps, what would you pick?

Friday, November 2

Today's Bounty

Today at Walgreens...

2 boxes of feminine products
2 cans of almonds - one smoked, one not
2 cans of crabmeat
1 huge bag of airheads to give to our junior high kids (not that they are airheads...well, at least not all of them!)
1 bag of candy cane kisses
1 bag assorted Hershey bars
1 coconut ghosty leftover from Halloween.

any guesses on how much I spent?

**Answer: $3.84 - I was stunned, too!**

October Bounty

I realize I'm 2 days late, but I have to share my farmer's market finds. Around here, the farmer's market is held 2 days a week and is open until October 31st.

Wednesday, I scored 15 (YES! FIFTEEN!) pie pumpkins for $3 and 14 bell peppers for $2. I also picked up some potatoes because we needed them and they looked tasty. All in all, money well spent. Gotta love those end of the season prices!

On to the chopping, roasting and freezing!

who do you agree with?

ooh, ooh, ooh. Answer 11 questions and learn about the presidential candidates, and how they agree with you. Or not.

As a side note, which "big issue" could you care less about OR which one will make or break your vote in the next presidential election? (you can be anonymous if you want to be)

Unfortunately, I don't think my "matched candidate" has a real chance of being elected. Thankfully, God is in control!!

Thursday, November 1

passing the time

Aaron's new favorite thing: my yellow broom.

It's nothing fancy, but he sure loves it when I get it out to sweep. The little munchkin tries to take it away from me so he can sweep. He carries it all over the house, leaving chaos in his wake. Lately I've been having to sweep while he's restrained or napping. Just can't have him playing in the dirt piles. I found this out the hard way. "Oh, lookie! Cheerios! YUM!" This earned me bad mother award #596.

Aaron's other new favorite thing: climbing OUT of his crib.

Bad mother award #597 goes to the mom who took a shower at the end of her son's nap, only to find him STANDING at his door yelling at the top of his lungs because he cannot open his own door and escape to the freedom of the hallway. Oh wait. That would be me. I can only thank God he is not broken in a hundred places.

Needless to say, the crib no longer stores our extra crib mattress. And I have a feeling that move only bought us another couple months. Anybody know if cribs have those same screen type toppers that aquariums for creepy crawlies sport? I'm kidding. Really.

More adventures to come.