— 1 —
Alisdair has always been resourceful when it comes to figuring out ways to avoid sleeping. We’ve got a nighttime routine pretty well nailed down, now: bath, PJs, banana, brush teeth, potty, book, prayers, and then sleep, armed with exactly one cup of water, a book until his room is too dark, and his “loveys” consisting of a stuffed cow and soft baby doll (I asked over a year ago what their names were, and Alisdair looked at me like I was a total idiot before telling me, “Cow and Doll.”)
Sometimes he will come out and go to the bathroom, which doesn’t bother me as long as he goes by himself (which he can! The first night that happened I was ready to throw a party in the living room!) The past few nights, though, he’s developed a new strategy: about ten minutes after getting in bed, he will proudly come out to me, holding out his finger and saying, “Look, Mommy, I have a boogie!”
So I guess the “nightly nose blow before bed” is now going to be a thing.
— 2 —
Ian has told me stories about piranhas in the Mon River (though actually I thought it was longer ago, and that video was only three years ago. Yikes.). There’s now a suspected alligator in the Allegheny River.
I don’t think there are many of us, but I am one of those Americans who is quite content with cool, even cold weather, and snow. I do not wish to live in the Everglades. I do not do large, poisonous and/or vicious animals and/or bugs – and they do seem to multiply as one travels closer to the equator. Even though we have yet to go, I have had nightmares about visiting Ian’s parents at their new condo in the Carolinas, because there is an alligator in a nearby pond that I am convinced is going to kill my children.
I do not need this in Pennsylvania. I am going to add this to my list of, “Reasons we need to move north yesterday” (other entries include, “it doesn’t count as snow unless it lasts more than a day,” and “temperatures in 90s plus high humidity.”) Now, we did have a solid winter and reasonably cool summer, so I have not been as convincing as of late, but I think the alligator is definitely a point in my favor.
— 3 —
As part of week 3 with 5 kiddos here during the day, I’ve learned that necessity is the mother of invention. Our playroom was very well designed for Alisdair and Éamon. Things are accessible but not always out, and every toy has a spot. But when you add 2 year olds to the mix, a few things had to change. I had forgotten that two year olds tend to dump. Alisdair will dump out one of our small bins, too, but only in pursuit of a particular item, that he will then play with. The twins will dump out everything, then look at it all over the floor, and become so overwhelmed that they just scream, or throw it, or head toward other cleaner areas of the house to find new things to dump out all over the place.
(this took about two minutes)
So even though I thought I had it down, I’ve had to figure out a few things to ensure that Alisdair (and the other three year old I watch) can access things they want to play with, while limiting the twins’ destructive power. My favorite innovation was rubber bands. I tend to save the rubber bands from produce, because hey, they’re perfectly good and don’t take up much room, but I don’t use rubber bands too often – mostly to help keep things closed while transporting them. But after cleaning up puzzles that the twins have no interest in actually attempting for the billionth time this week, I decided to wrap each box with rubber bands. The three year olds can get them off if they wish, but it’s (so far) an effective deterrent for the younger kids.
I also need to figure out a way to block them from the TV and associated devices, while still keeping them accessible for Ian and me. I’m thinking about maybe some kind of plastic/plexiglass/etc covering that can be removed/lifted by an adult, but not by a kid. I have no idea if that is workable, or if that is going to be too much cost or hassle because I am working on getting them to not touch that stuff, anyway. But in the meantime I’d rather nothing get absolutely destroyed.
— 4 —
Ian found a list of the RADical Days activities and I was happy to add a bunch to our calendar.
— 5 —
It may just be that I’m getting more discriminating, but I feel like the couponing has not been as good for the past month or so. I do know coupons tend to run in cycles, and that sales tend to as well – the trick to couponing well is that you hit the best coupons with the best sales. But I feel like as summer has ended, there haven’t been as many. I did great stocking up on toiletries and other bathroom stuff in the spring and early summer, and every now and then I get a great deal on something unexpected, but the list of “best deals” on couponing websites seem pretty “meh” to me at the moment. All stuff I would never buy in a million years, or I think the price is too high. For non-food items, my cut-off is basically $1 for everything except body wash, which seems to be really, really expensive for some reason (at least in comparison to other toiletries.) The cheapest I’ve been able to get it is $1.50/bottle.
I guess I shouldn’t complain too much because I’m now stocked up on those items for probably the next two years, but it would be nice to get that thrill more often for groceries. My “stock up price” is usually “Does this beat Aldi?” But that’s a hard price to match, even when Giant Eagle doubles coupons.
So now my “leftover” grocery money goes toward stocking up on canned and dry goods, or meat for the freezer.
— 6 —
I have really enjoyed having a set three week meal rotation. It takes a lot of the hassle out of planning and cooking dinner. I’ve found that snacktime and lunchtime for the kids is a good time to get some of the prep work done – for example, today during morning snack I chopped and sautéed mushrooms and onions and took out some frozen spinach to thaw, and then during their lunch I mixed up the vegetables with the rest of the filling stuff for these lasagna rolls.
I’m thinking as we hit fall that I might want to change it up and do some new recipes. I have found that I really enjoy pumpkin in things besides pie, so I’m thinking it might show up somehow. Maybe this chicken and pumpkin soup?
— 7 —
I have almost all of the ivy out of our front yard (yahoo!) and I’m ready to get rid of the rest tomorrow!
Have a great weekend!
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