Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Waiting for Ben to Wake Up!

Well I have a bunch of errands to run, but Ben is sleeping sleeping sleeping. And I would just go and leave him under the watchful eye of his daddy, but he will most definitely be hungry when he wakes.

You see just about when it was time for him to eat he was starting to get a little fussy. So I thought this might be a good time to do a few minutes of belly time because when I do it when he is happy and subdued he just falls to sleep and it no where close to holding his head up while on his belly.

So I dutifully put him on his belly. Tried to stimulate him with his favorite teddy bear and despite his impending hunger he fell right to sleep and has been sleeping close to two hours now.

Here he is below...still asleep on his belly....fingers in mouth (instead of bottle).

So I baracaded him on the couch (because maybe THIS will be the time he wakes up and figured out how to roll over). And took a quick stroll down the side of our house. First I saw these beautiful flowers. I thought they were tulips...and maybe they are...but do tulips always look like that on the inside? If they aren't tulips what are they?

Then I spotted this and thought it was hysterical. This is a window into a storage building that belongs to my neighbor. It is 5 scarecrows lined up along the window firing squad style. I can imagine up all sorts of funny stories to go along with this scene LOL

And I will add this picture for good measure. It is from the other day...a pic of Ben in his first summer outfit.

And my day marches on errands undone *sigh*


Friday, April 18, 2008

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Some Snapshots From Our Day

The weather is warm and beautiful and we had some chores to get done outdoors. So with Bumbers strapped on nice and cozy we washed off the front porch rockers and swept off the front porch. How cute is Bumbers in his hat??!! He is ridiculously adorable!!

Here is Ben learning how to grab and hold on to his toys! (doesn't it look like he wants to say "Taa Daaa" as if he is aware that he has performed a great feat LOL) He has done this a few times now and he practices grabbing and holding on to a variety of items everyday....He likes to hold a sock while I fold the laundry...and unfortunately he LOVES to grab my hair when I am holding him.

I would just like to note that I am aware that Ben does not match today. I don't have a top to go with these pants and I thought the stripes were adorable..and there is a cute racoon on his shirt. So I decided that babies don't have to match as long as they are cute. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ben is GROWING by Leaps and Bounds!

Look at those feet!

I Drove Them to Drink!

CHAPLET Conference

This past weekend was the CHAPLET homeschool conference that is held at our church. This is always our favorite conference of the year since we know a lot of the people attending and they know us and like the Arx books etc.

This was Ben's first conference....he is learning the business :) Mostly he napped, cooed, and shopped LOL!

St. Gregory's Academy, an all boy's boarding school run by the Fraternity of St. Peter, was at the conference. And they definitely proved that real Catholic men sing! The St. Gregory boys are known for their juggling! All the boys learn it and they put on really great shows. Stupidly I didn't think to take a picture until they finished the juggling though :( but here they are singing.

Funniest Song!

This song is hysterical! Totally Claudio...

Hope you enjoyed.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekly Menu

So in the hopes of being more organized, more prepared, and to save money on groceries I have decided to plan my weekly menu ahead of time.

So here is my first attempt:
Monday- hotdogs, rutabaga (my mil gave us some to try and told me how to prepare them), baked beans
Tuesday- broccoli and noodles and salad
Wednesday- Chicken with a Trader Joe simmer sauce (not sure what flavor to have some spontenaity in life!) with string beans and black beans and brown rice
Thursday- loose sausage and pasta (again my mil sent us home with some homemade loose sausage...sooo good!) and salad
Friday- homemade pizza (noticing a trend: my mil gave us a pizza crust)

Project One of Two: Rain Barrels

I decided at the beginning of this year to do a couple of green projects that were easy enough that I could do them without too much trouble.

First up, now that the gardening season is almost underway, is a set of rain barrels.

The basic principle here is to collect the rainwater that comes off your roof and down your gutters and use it to water the garden, instead of using municipal water. I tried this experimentally last year by just putting one of our trash cans under the downspouts. We have a little house with not a whole lot of roof....but in a good downpour, the rain filled the trash can (prolly about 35 gallons) in about 20 minutes. As you can see, you can collect a LOT of rain this way.

By doing this last year, we were able to go probably about 2 months straight without using any municipal water for the plants, until we hit a long period without rain and I finally had to use the hose. But even so, that crude technique was phenomenally successful.

It did, of course, have its problems though. If you leave open water out too long, you get mosquitos breeding in it. A few times I had to dump out the water just to kill the mosquitos--an obvious waste. The second, and perhaps worse thing that happened, was that a squirrel fell in and drowned. That was the second squirrel I buried last year...another one inexplicably died on the side of the house.

Now, the drowned squirrel may well have been the *same* squirrel that chewed a hole in our garbage can, chewed through our porch screen, and just taunted the heck out of our poor cat--so I felt a little less guilty about the whole thing. Nonetheless, like Jamie and I were joking yesterday, we ain't running a squirrel morgue.

So the mission for this summer was to set up some actual rain barrels that were a) mosquito proof, b) squirrel proof, c) higher capacity so that we could go longer between rains. One option is to buy them, but they can run from $50-$60 all the way up into the $100s, and there's shipping costs involved as well, as I don't know where they are sold locally. The other options to make them. I liked that idea better.

Youtube has a couple of good videos on DIY rain barrels. Here's one from HGTV:

But I'm not crazy about this one. First of all, I don't know where to get those kinds of barrels. Second of all, I am *not* interested in putting a spicket at the bottom of the barrel. Most of them have that, but I dunno...I did really well last year by just dunking a watering can in the top of the barrel--it fills up much faster than with a hose, and it's easy. As you can see, these kinds of barrels do not have open tops.

Then I saw this one:

This is almost exactly the style I want. Just a couple of trash cans with a removable lid for easy access. And I can always add a spicket at the bottom later if I decide to. 32 gallon trash cans like these are at Home Depot for $ for under $30, I can have over 60 gallons of capacity. Nice!

I think I'm going to borrow one idea from the HGTV rain barrels though--and use the PVC coupling with a screen as opposed to the soda bottle. Our gutters get filled with leaves real fast...and I think the HGTV style will be a lot less prone to clogging. All the leaves and debris will just get washed off the top while the water sinks down into the barrel.

Hopefully I can get started on this this week...I'll post on my progress!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring and Stuff

The weather is warming up!! I always get excited when the weather warms up. For a moment I think to myself, "Oh I can't wait for the warm weather and all the fun outdoor things we can do!!" I think this every spring....then a few weeks down the road when it is 90 degrees with 100% humidity I realize that an air conditioned bunker sounds MUCH more appealing!! LOL...anyway for the moment we are enjoying the weather.

Today is the first day Benjamin has FREEDOM FEET!! He is sock free! It is so fun to have his little feet out to play with :)

Shhh, Ben is snoozing on the back porch!

And Bunny is the babysitter.

The diapers fit perfectly on Ben's head. So how could we resist? BTW they also fit perfectly on his bottom....and please make no inferences from that LOL!

Grandma Joanne so kindly came to accompany me to the dentist. A braver soul would have left grandma at home with the baby, but I was too afraid to go myself for fear they would have to pull my tooth. Luckily I came home with my tooth!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What We're Watching This Week

We have been watching I, Claudius which is a great miniseries chronicaling Rome from the time of Augustus through Nero. It is told from the point of view of Claudius who is supposed to be stupid and inconsequential and has been an embarrassment to the "royal" family. In actuality he is the smartest and most observant member of the family who eventually finds himself as Emperor of Rome.

The series is very funny, but also filled with mystery and murder and scheming and is all based on what truly happened. Check out the link for more info about this historical fiction.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

We Got Diapers for "Free" and Other Fun Pictures

So I have been reading Money Saving Mom everyday for months and months now. I have gotten great deals and coupons and money saving tips. But every week Crystal, the blog owner, would post CVS deals for the week and how she gets all of this stuff for free from CVS. It seemed totally daunting and over my head...I didn't have the patience to figure it all out or the time.

Well finally I just couldn't take it anymore. The deals were too good. Her diapers were could I resist?! So I finally embarked a few weeks ago on figuring out how to "CVS". I think I have got it down!

So the picture below shows what I purchased today from CVS. I paid no money out of pocket between the coupons I had and the "Extra Care Bucks" I had already earned. So not only did I get all that is pictured below (Benjamin not included LOL) I got several "Extra Care Bucks" back to spend next week and several coupons to use also. You can see Benjamin so graciously holding my ECBs for next week :)

And now for the random fun pictures:

First, Benjamin often sits, sleeps, eats, with his hands neatly folded in his lap or across his chest. It is so adorable and hyseterical.

Benjamin went to the pediatrician yesterday and he is a whopping 10lbs5oz and 23 inches long.

So cute asleep in his carrier :)

Mid coo

Saturday, April 05, 2008

What We Are Listening To

An old friend of my mom's wanted to send a gift for Benjamin and me and so she asked if there was anything we would really like to have that she could get for us.

I had my eye on Woody Guthrie's Nursery Days and today it arrived in the mail. We have listened to it three times already. You really should check it out if you have a little one at home. It is old fashioned country music with some hysterical lyrics. They are all toe tapping and catchy. We particularly liked the songs "Yellow Crayon" and "Wake Up". If you go to the link above you can listen to some samples from the CD.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


A few snippets from my day:

My parents found this onesie for Ben. LOL....pretty funny!

Ben and I made some rasberry muffins. They came out a very interesting color, but they are tasty!

Claudio at lunch time eating a hotdog and pontificating in true Claudio style.

Today Ben and I also went for a nice walk. We crossed the Rancocas Creek in hopes of seeing some ducks, but we saw none! Hmph! We did however see my old boss who came running out of his office to see what it was that was in my stroller :)

Meeting Wendy Shalit!

Last night Claudio and I went to Swarthmore to hear a talk by Wendy Shalit. I read her book A Return To Modesty when I was in college and thought it was brilliant. I had always hoped to meet her this was a really special opportunity! Wendy's new book is at the top of my reading list.

Wendy's talk was great, but I am afraid not well received by the Swarthmore student body which dominated the hall. Claudio and I couldn't help but chuckle and shake our heads at these young "rebels" who I am sure were there in the name of tolerance, but showed very little. Truly ironic.

Anyway, Wendy discussed the trend of sexualizing our children at younger and younger ages and the consequences this has on society and more importantly the consequences it has on the hopes and true desires of young people. Check out her website.

Benjamin: The Early Years

As Benjamin closes in on a full two months I thought I would post a few odds and ends.

This adorable outfit was sent ALLLLLL the way from Australia!! My most dear friend Sharyn sent it for Benjamin. It is totally adorable. I miss Sharyn terribly! We spent one summer together as co-counselors at a camp for creative and performing arts and to this day she is one my best friends.

This beautiful bonnet was sent by a good college friend of mine along with a gorgeous matching blanket and sweater. The bonnet has gotten too small already as you can see, but it was just too cute not to put on him. It reminds me of a little old lady who just got the rollers out of her hair at the beauty salon.

Ben thinks the bonnet is pretty funny too! :)

Claudio took this picture just because he felt Ben was looking quite dapper and cute in his little khaki pants. The onesie you may recognize from a post a few months was a gift from Uncle Traveling Matt!

I am hoping this is not a sign of a future as a criminal!!