Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baby Food

This week, Ainzlee got her first taste of solid food. I went to the store and priced how much a package of rice cereal is. It was like $5! I am really cheep these days. So, I searched online to see if I could figure out how to make it myself. I mean, people had rice cereal before Gerber came along, right?
Of course, the mighty Internet knows everything, and I came across a website all about how to make your own baby food. It sounded easy enough, so I tried it!
(I really should post the website address here, but I don't remember where it was, and I don't feel like looking it up at the moment, so if you really want to know... find it yourself!)

Here's what you do to make your own rice cereal:
Use your blender
Put in 1-2 cups of rice. (I used plain old white rice since that is what I have. I'm sure just about any kind would work).
Blend it until it's a fine powder. I found that it actually worked best on a lower setting. It took a couple of minutes.

Boil 1 cup water.
Add 2 Tablespoons of the rice powder to the boiling water.
Here's the important part:
Whisk constantly for 10 minutes while cooking on med-low heat.
Sounds a little tricky, I know, but if you don't whisk, it will start to clump and get icky.
Also, you can add a bit more water to make it a thinner consistency.

After it is cooked, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.
To serve:
Add liquid (water, formula, milk, juice...) to make the desired consistency. Warm up (I use the microwave for about 10 secs) and whisk until smooth.

I'm going to try the same basic procedure with oatmeal. Should work about the same.

Here's some fun with feeding that we had today. (I really like my newly discovered video function on my camera!)

I'm also going to try making baby food out of fruits and vegetables.
Seriously... how granola am I??!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coupon Stuff and Bashas Deals

I may or may not have mentioned before that I've been couponing lately. I have to say that is is highly addictive! And it is a fantastic way to save money in this economy.

My friend Heidi forwarded this email to me recently, and I thought I would try it out. This will be my first week doing this, so I'll let you know how well it works. But, if my math is right, this could save me $170 this week - and that's on SALE prices!

My sisters have started doing this new thing and it's really working out for them. One week my sister actually had a negative balance when she went shopping, but they couldn't give her money, so they just let her take her groceries for free. She says she feels like she's stealing, but it's completely legal (and smart)! Send this to anyone you think will appreciate it. It looks like a lot, but it's filled with tips and tricks and once you know how to do it, it doesn't take very long at all!

Here's what she taught me to get coupons on ebay (it works a ton better when there are really good sales on, which there haven't been lately, but when there are, this will work really well!):
-You have to view the ads for the stores on Tuesday at 12:00am online, or as soon as they come out. (I know it's late, but it's worth it to save money, and you need enough time to get the coupons sent to you.)
-Go to (make sure you have an ebay account and a filled paypal account, if there isn't money in your paypal, then it takes 4 days to send over the funds and then the sales are over.)
-Sign in to ebay and keep all the ads for the stores up on your computer. Go through the ads and when you find something in the ad that you usually buy anyway, then you go to ebay and search for the brand, the item and then "coupons". Like if Bounty is on sale, then you type in "Bounty Paper Towel Coupons"
-There are little tabs on the top of where all the coupons come up. Click on the "Buy it now only" tab. DON'T BID ON COUPONS, it just wastes time, and they're not all that expensive anyway, you may get 20 coupons for a $1.50 or less including shipping! (Interesting Tidbit- You can't buy coupons, the coupons are free, you are paying for someone to clip them and send them to you)
-Then in the sort box, where it pulls down, click on "Price + Shipping = Lowest First" This will give you the lowest total price first, again saving time!
-Check to see how many they are selling... 10...20...1? (usually they come in either 10s or 20s)
-CHECK EXPIRATION DATES! - If you buy expired coupons, they don't do you much good! The expiration date is in the description when you click on the set of coupons.
-When you find some that you like, then you can buy them, they ship them within 1-2 days, and then it takes a day or 2 to get them to you, so you should get them around Saturday or Monday (at the latest), if you just make Tuesday your shopping day, then you'll always have the coupons you need to go shopping with.

-Know what a good price for each item is, it will save time and effort. If the price with sale+coupon at one store isn't as low as the normal price at another.
Frys-Check to see if your frys doubles all coupons or if they only double up to 3, as some do.
Walmart- Know whether your Walmart requires you to produce the ads when you are price matching. That will limit the stores that you will search for when you're doing your ads. Or you will need to find another Walmart.

Here's some other things that I have learned:
The unless you are on the East Coast, or your store is only local, you DONT have to wait until midnight. The Fry's ads are out at around 9:00pm. (Basha's didn't come out til midnight). Also, be sure to check the website Pinching Your Pennies. (Go to the forums for your state) They often have "Previews" of the ads a day or two in advance. Plus, it will tell you exactly what coupons you need to get the deals! Awesome! :)

Basha's is doing SUPER DOLLAR DOUBLES this week. That means, that instead of just doubling up to ONE dollar, they will double up to TWO! So, if you have a $1 coupon, it will be worth $2!

Here are some of the AMAZING deals that I'm planning to get this week (after I get the coupons I ordered on EBAY!)


Sale Price

Coupon location
SS=SmartSource Insert V=Valassis Insert
Insert found in your Sunday newspapers, see dates.

Price after coupon

Banquet Pot Pies Beef or Chicken 7oz .67 Extra Promo: Save $5.00 OYNSO when you buy $15.00 .45
Banquet Value Dinners 1.00 Extra Promo: Save $5.00 OYNSO when you buy $15.00 .67
Bar-S Smoked Sausage Regular, Polish or Hot Cajun 12oz 1.25 Printable $1/2 Here or HERE 2 for .50
Chef Boyardee Pasta 14.75 - 15oz 1.00 Extra Promo: Save $5.00 OYNSO when you buy $15.00 .67
Crystal Light Drink Mix 2.50 Printable $1/1 here .50
Huggies Wipes 64-80ct 2.50 Huggies Baby Wipes 64 ct or larger .75/1 (7-18-09) SS-4/19 1.00
Kool-Aid Packets .20 Printable .50/1 here 10 for $1.00
Mahatma Rice Mixes .69 Mahatma Rice Mixes .75/2 (5-31-09) RP-3/1 Mahatma Rice Mixes .75/2 (7-31-09) RP-4/26 FREE
Mahatma Rice Mixes .69 Mahatma or Water Maid White, Brown, Jasmine, or Basmati Rice .50/1 (7-31-09) RP-4/26 Mahatma or WaterMaid White, Brown, Jasmine or Basmati Rice .50/1 (5-31-09) RP-3/1 *Careful! We're not sure if this is the correct coupon FREE
Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce 15.5oz 1.00 Extra Promo: Save $5.00 OYNSO when you buy $15.00 .67
Orville Redenbacher's Microwave Popcorn 8.6 - 9.9oz 2.00 Extra Promo: Save $5.00 OYNSO when you buy $15.00 ; Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popping Corn - 3 pack+ .40/1 (5-31-09) SS-4/19 Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popping Corn - 30 oz+ .40/1 (5-31-09) SS-4/19 Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn, any variety 3-pack or larger .50/1 (6-30-09) SS1-5/17 Orville Redenbacher's Natural Gourmet Popping Corn, any variety 3-pack or larger .50/1 (6-30-09) SS1-5/17 .34 - 44
Tree Top Juice 3 pk .99 Tree Top 100% Juice Products, any $1/2 (5-31-09) SS-3/29 Tree Top 100% Juice Products, any $1/2 (6-30-09) SS1-5/17 2/FREE

Have fun shopping!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Ainzlee is now FOUR months old! Where has all the time gone? She is really growing so fast! In fact, I think she popped out her FIRST tooth today! I'm really not very pleased about that because it means feedings will probably start to hurt. more that is. She has started doing a thing with the feedings where she latches on for a minute, then gets distracted or looses interest and pulls away. My nipples are NOT detachable by the way.
I'm hoping that now that her tooth has come (mostly) though, she will be a little less fussy. She's been awfully cranky for the last week or so. Maybe this is why. I'd love to get some sleep.
Sleep. That's another thing that's been fun lately. She has decided that 3:00 AM is the PERFECT time to play. Joy.
But, she is still super cute, so I forgive her.

That leads me to another topic. She is still sleeping in our bedroom in the pack-n-play. Our other kids were moved into the crib by the time they were 3 months old. But, it's a bit more complicated this time. The crib is in her sister's room. And, it's not that I don't trust her, but, well, I don't. I'm afraid that she'd be a little *too* helpful - and fill the crib with toys, blankets and who knows what else.
Plus, the only thing worse that having one kid up in the middle of the night would be having two.

So, what should I do? Does anyone have any advise on the subject? When did your kids move in together? How did it go?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is my baby boy's FIFTH birthday! It's hard to believe that I became a mother for the first time FIVE years ago today. It really seems like the time has flown by.

We have spent the day weekend celebrating.
First, on Friday, he got to go to a movie with Daddy and Papa, then camping at the Father's and Son's outing. I don't have any pictures of those because I kept the camera with me.
On Saturday, the girls and I drove up to Gran and Papa's house (less than 10 miles from the campsite) so that we could celebrate with them.

He is currently very into Indiana Jones and always wants to dress up like him. I made him a whip for Christmas, but apparently it isn't realistic enough (it doesn't actually HURT if you get hit by it.) His father (who I love dearly) thought that he should upgrade his whip. I made him a satchel and a whip holder so he can carry it on his belt (and not stuffed down his pants like he has been doing).

We've tried to make it clear that he needs to be very careful with the whip. Daddy dearest learned WHY we don't get the kids "toys" that can hurt. He was first to get whipped by it when the boy cracked the whip and didn't know daddy was right behind him. Left a large welt on his arm.

Today, I went to his preschool class and brought treats for everyone. I made "worms in dirt". Chocolate pudding with Oreo crumbs on top - with a gummy worm. I thought they were good. They kids didn't really know what to do with them. Zander thought it was great to have Mommy and his sisters come to his class.

This afternoon was the BIG party with all of his friends from church. We invited 13 kids. Only two didn't come. It was BIG fun. I was SO thankful for friends who stayed to help. I would NOT have been able to do it by myself. (THANK YOU Misty and Hillari!)

We stuck with the Indiana Jones theme. I had the music playing the whole time (now it's permanently stuck in my head).

We wrapped the kids up like mummies.

Sent them on an obstacle course through a tunnel filled with spiders and over a snake pit.

We played tug-o-war. Somehow the big kids ended up on one side, and the little kids on the either. Hardly a fair fight.

Zander had fun opening presents. He got lots of cool new toys!

We had cake. (Made by ME :)

And we played some more

(Ady refused to put pants on. And she wanted to wear her boots. fun.)

It was a fun time. But it was HOT out. And I was SO worn out by the time it was over.

I hope he had a good day.

Happy Birthday Zander! I LOVE you!


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Girl's Day

This weekend was our ward's annual Fathers and Son's outing. So, Friday morning, the boy and his daddy left to go camping. (They also went to see the new Star Trek movie - without me - but that's another story.) Since we weren't going to have any boys around all day, I decided to declare it "Girl's Day" so that we could do lots of girlie things.
I asked Ady a few days beforehand what she wanted to. She told me that she wanted to make cookies and play dress up. She ended up changing her mind about the dress up part. What she REALLY wanted to do was paint our fingernails.
We needed to go grocery shopping first thing, so while we were out, I let her pick out some nail polish. She chose purple. Fun.
So, we all got purple nails. Even the baby. (That was a must - she's a girl too!)

After our nails were dry, it was time to make the cookies. I let her choose what kind to make. She insisted on M&M cookies. Afterall, she is her father's daughter.

We had lunch at Taco Bell. She gets WAY too excited over a simple cheese rollup. After taking the first bite, she declared "THAT'S what I'm talking about!"
I let her pick out a movie to watch. She decided on "The Little Mermaid". Her brother doesn't like that one, so she never gets to watch it. It was one of my favorites when I was little, so it was fun.

She was amazingly well behaved all day. It was really a lot of fun to spend some one-on-one time without her brother around. I think that he answers for her a lot of the time, so it was good for both of us to let her make her own decisions for once. We'll have to have a girl's day more often!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Baby & her Zady

I thought the baby was so cute playing, so I went to take a picture. I didn't even realize the camera was in video mode. (I forgot the thing HAD a video mode)

Anywho, I thought this was cute so I'd share it.

Wordless Wednesday

(because that's all that I have the energy for today)