31 July 2006

Crappy Sleep Habits Sleepy Mom

Saturday night's sleep was quite similar to Friday's, but worse. I put Frugalbaby to bed at 6 pm again. (I know this sounds early but she is tired! And if you count the hours she sleeps, she needs more!) She woke up at 6:45 and I let her cry until 8:45 before I fed her. I did go in once or twice to check and make sure she wasn't poopy. She went to sleep and slept until 1:45, then cried a little and went back to sleep until 7:00am when the alarm went off. I had turned it off but one of the girls must have messed with it.

For Sunday night, I was letting the girls go back to their beds instead of sleeping on my floor. But we have late church (don't get home until nearly 6 usually) so I didn't get the baby in bed until close to 7. And she didn't go to sleep. She cried until I put the girls to bed in there with her at 7:45. Then they giggled and talked until I took her out of her bed and separated the other two by sending one to my bed. She didn't get to sleep until around 9 I think, maybe even later. She woke up at 1 am. I had taken some Benedryl for a very swollen mosquito bite so I was very groggy, and I fell asleep nursing her in my bed and when I tried to put her back in her own bed around 3 she cried for about half an hour until I just brought her back in with me. I think she was cold, too, because the weather had cooled down a lot and her diaper had gotten her pants wet so she was only in a onesie and a shirt.

So now I'm afraid I'm starting at square one again. I'll try not to fall asleep when I'm up with her in the night again. We'll see how tonight goes and we may have to start again next weekend.


29 July 2006

Chicken in Red, She lays an egg on your head

We have this reading video where there's all these songs that go with letters and stuff, and the one that talks about chickens laying eggs on your head also goes:

Sleep baby, sleep baby, sleep baby, sleep all night.

I started teaching my second baby to sleep by using the "eat-play-sleep" routine in Babywise. I'm not even going to link you to the book because I know some people really disagree with that book. Whatever. She slept throught the night at 8 weeks just like the book said she would. Never mind that around 6 months later she was waking again. I just blamed it on lack of routine. Baby #3 was very similar. So it didn't surprise me when number 4 did the same thing. But when she started waking up at night, things just got worse and worse. I've mentioned being tired before, haven't I? Lately I've just been bringing the baby into bed with me even though I don't really love co-sleeping. I wake up in the morning and I can't remember what time I nursed her last and then she started waking up and crawling all over the bed and frankly, I was scared she'd fall out. So yesterday morning after spending a very fitful night half asleep the whole time while the baby didn't sleep well either, I tearfully (because I get emotional when I'm tired) told Frugaldad that "Tonight is the night. Things have to change."

I read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child a few months back and that book really makes sense. But every time I tried to just let Frugalbaby cry, I'd give up because I just couldn't let her cry! And I didn't want her to wake the other girls. And she went down fine for naps, it was just when it was dark, she thought she needed to be with me. All the time. Rock her to sleep, and sleep by her. It was getting old, and fast. But then not too long ago my friend Lena also read the book and tried it and her son is sleeping great now. Since it worked for her, and her baby was older than mine, and even more clingy (is that possible?) I had to try it too. So I put the other 2 girls in sleeping bags on my bedroom floor. I put the baby to bed at 6pm. She hadn't had a nap since waking up 2:30pm, so she went to sleep right away. She didn't wake until about 8 when I was putting the other girls to bed in my room. My plan was to not go to her unless I thought she could be hungry. She cried for a half an hour before I went in, checked to make sure she didn't have a messy diaper. I laid her down and told her it was bedtime and then let her cry until 9. Then I went in and nursed her and put her back to bed. She cried until 9:30 and then she fell asleep. Then she woke at 10 and only cried a few minutes before going back to sleep.

Lately she has been waking around midnight, when I feed her and put her back to bed until she wakes again at 1 or 2 or 3 and I bring her in to bed with me. Then she tosses and turns and nurses on and off until I finally drag myself out of bed to get the kids off to school. Because if I got up earlier she'd probably fall out of the bed.

Last night, however, she didn't wake around midnight like she normally does. She woke at 1:30. I nursed her and put her back in bed. She cried only a couple minutes, then went to sleep and then she slept until 7:45 am! I actually even went in to wake her so she'd be on her normal routine for the day.

So tonight we'll do it again and see how it goes. But I am very much looking forward to nights of uninterrupted sleep, and being able to get up without being so exhausted and not remembering what happened during the night, and getting up in the morning before her and not worrying that she might fall out of the bed, because she'll be in her crib. Asleep. Not crying.

28 July 2006

Frugality is...

I promise I'm going to get to the point after the story about garbage.

Before we moved to the Frugal Farm, we lived in a subdivision. It was a pretty nice subdivision. None of the homes were too extravagent but they were custom homes full of nice families, not a cookie-cutter subdivision full of newlyweds, know what I mean? We were on the young end, since our kids were 6 weeks old and 21 months old. My closest neighbor (there was an empty lot between us) was Michele and her kids were almost exactly the same age as mine. We had a lot of the same values, so we could talk about garbage together.

Garbage, you say? Yes, garbage. Garbage day was Monday, and Michele would put one 32 gallon can at her curb. We would put one 32 gallon can at our curb. And all of the other neighbors would put out 3, 4, or even 5 cans. We wondered how on earth these other families were making so much trash. Until we got to know them better, and then we knew. They were the kind of people (not that I'm judging them, or saying what's right or wrong or whatever, but it's my blog so my way is the right way, 'kay?) that would buy stuff. What kind of stuff? Just stuff. Toys for their kids every time they went shopping. Lots of clothes. Convenience foods that come in big packages. Plastic stuff that breaks. Stuff they probably didn't need, and then eventually threw away.

(and yes, I recycle and break down cardboard boxes, and I compost, which does make the volume of trash less--but I wasn't cloth diapering yet so I threw away a lot of diapers with 2 kids in sposies)

Michele was even better than me at not buying stuff; their house had no clutter whatsoever. She didn't recycle or compost either. Just had less trash than me.

(Have you reading Not Buying It by Judith Levine? If you can look past the extremely liberal views and her rants from when Bush won the election, there are some good ideas. She goes a year without buying anything that isn't a necessity, and they are defined in the book)


At the Frugal Farm we pay for the amount of trash we want the truck to take away. So we pay for the lowest option, which is one 32 gallon can. If we clean out the garage and have some extra trash one week, we can buy a sticker for $1 from the trash company and put it on the bag and they'll take it away too. Otherwise they leave it, and they will. Once I put out a cardboard box that wasn't broken down. The recycling man didn't take it since it wasn't broken down and neither did the trash guys. The next week I flattened it and didn't have a bit of trouble.

You waded through all this trash talk and now you have finally reached the part where I am going to get to the point.

Yesterday I went shopping at one of my favorite stores and as usual, I cruised past end caps to check out the clearance merchandise. Back in the toy section, I found this toy. It was a knitting machine and bejeweler. It was marked down from $16 to less than $4. I grabbed it. "Frugalgirl1 would LOVE this!" I thought. But then I thought again. It's probably a piece of crap. It probably doesn't work very well, and she'd just be frustrated. I should just teach her to knit with needles instead. Plus it's a big piece of plastic. Where the heck am I going to put it? With the upcoming addition to the Frugal Farmhouse, we're tearing down the family room and therefore shrinking our living space. There's no way I should add another toy.

So I put it back.

Even though it was a screamin' deal, and could have possibly been a fun thing to have, the cons outweighed the pros this time.

And that is what frugality is.

27 July 2006


I can't believe I forgot to come back and blog about Frugalgirl1's birthday. Poor girl keeps getting slighted because the last two years we've been on vacation on her birthday. We also were on vacation the year she turned 2 but don't tell her, or she might get some sort of complex. Luckily we don't make a big deal of birthdays, not usually having parties with friends, and she's easygoing, so she was totally ok with celebrating the next day. I found some pictures on the counter that she had drawn of cakes that said "Happy Birthday to Me." How cute is that? She is so proud that she can write stuff without asking how to spell it.

Her cake isn't my best work, but the chocolate frosting tastes like fudge though it is not, and the cake inside is dee-licious. And if you can't tell, it's a sunflower.

The yarn has a name...

While Saltwater Taffy was very popular with the masses, Frugaldad and I both really liked the suggestion from Lindsay in my cloth diapering group, so Strawberry Limeade it is.

26 July 2006

Help me name this yarn!

Yesterday I did something I have never done before. I dyed some wool with Kool-aid. I got my instructions from here and here and here and here. I think it turned out pretty good, don't you? But I can't come up with a clever name for the colorway. It is a self-striping yarn so when I knit it into a Sophie bag or a diaper soaker it should have cool stripes. The pink and yellow remind me of pink lemonade. The pink and green remind me of watermelon. The green and yellow are like lemons and limes. Sour Grapefruit, perhaps? Or Saltwater Taffy? Summer Citrus? Help me out here!

On a related note, I whipped this baby out in a few hours from this pattern.

The Frugalkids went back to school yesterday and I am planning on whipping the house into shape just in time for their first track break in a few weeks. Off to the kitchen I go!

16 July 2006

Our Vacation

Can you believe that I am almost 30 and I had never been out of the country until this month?

On Saturday July 1 we drove to my in-law's house in Eastern Idaho. We stayed there until Monday morning, and then our family and Grandpa and Grandma all loaded up into the van and we headed north.
We slept in Helena, Montana that night. There was a pool at our motel. The kids couldn't care less where we go or where we stay, as long as it has a pool! The next day was the 4th of July and to celebrate, we crossed the border into Canada.My father-in-law was born in Alberta. That's why we were going up there, to see the farm where he grew up, and to visit some relatives. My in-laws make trips to Canada probably once a year, and most of the time don't have any trouble at the border. Since 9/11 the borders have gotten tighter and there have been times that their car has been searched and they've had to provide birth certificates as well as driver's licenses, and had to answer lots of questions. We were hopeful that all we'd have to do was provide our IDs and we'd be on our way. Frugalbaby got really sick of waiting in line to cross the border since the vehicle wasn't moving, so she graciously started crying. The border guard was a young guy, probably childless, and I imagine the crying baby helped us along. He did say to Frugaldad, "That's a happy one you've got back there." The adults showed their driver's licenses and I had birth certificates for the kids. I did have my birth certificate, too, (so did the others). Some other time I will tell the story of the pain in the neck it was to get a copy of it.

That afternoon after we dropped our stuff off at the motel (which did have a pool, by the way) we drove a few miles to see the farm where my father-in-law grew up. Due to unfortunate circumstances (the oldest brother sold it without telling anyone else first), this 640 acres is no longer in the family, so we could just drive by and take pictures. It's a beautiful piece of ground, isn't it?

The next day we drove into Waterton, which is a Canadian national park. I only got a couple pictures before the battery in my camera died. Pretend you see lots of pretty pictures of scenery. The deer just wander the streets of town. The weather was great the whole time we were there.

We took a minute to walk into the Prince of Wales hotel, which was huge and fancy but smelled kind of musty. This one is a postcard because the camera had died by then, and I hadn't had time to get it charged.
Later in the afternoon we drove to Lethbridge to visit family. On the way there we saw this cool wind farm. There are over 100 turbines. In general, the Canadians seem to be a little more aware of the environment than us Americans.
The next day we drove to Polson, Montana and the kids were really disappointed that our motel didn't have a pool.

Also while we were in Alberta we drove past the Cardston Temple.
And also went to the cemetery where my father-in-law's parents, grandparents, and sister are buried.

The Canadians? Their traffic signs are hilarious. I didn't get enough pictures because being in the back seat, I couldn't see as well, and couldn't get the camera out in time. Some of my favorites:

(when we were someing to a junction with a highway)

(instead of the plain old CATTLE XING we have here in Idaho)


(or something like that--it was so polite!)

But I did get one picture. That's kilometers per hour, folks.
We brought back Big Turks and Mackintosh's Toffee and lemon pie filling and these great cookies that you can only get up there. I even saw Kraft Dinner in the grocery store, and I can't believe I didn't think to buy a box and see if it really is indeed the same thing as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

We spent another day at the in-laws and then came home last Sunday, which was Frugalgirl1's birthday. But that will have to be a later post, because this one is long enough!

14 July 2006

The Sophie Bag

Here is my finished Sophie bag. It is knit with Patons Classic Merino Wool in Royal Purple. On Addi turbo needles. I can't believe I ever knit with anything else. The Addis ROCK. You might as well enjoy working with the needles to enjoy the project. I figured out why I didn't love knitting when I first learned to knit. I was knitting cotton dishclothes on cheap needles. Try wool on Addis instead, yum. A local group of cloth diapering ladies got me into knitting again, and a lot of us are knitting these bags.

Next, I am going to cast on Booga in natual Wool of the Andes from Knitpicks and then dip dye it. Fun! In the meantime I may also start a bib, since I taught Frugalbaby how to eat food on our vacation.

On a completely different topic, I have harvested zucchini, beans, cucumber, and 1 cherry tomato from the garden. I love the summer stuff. I've been eating salads of lettuce, spinach, chard, radish, and green onion for a month now, but I really love it when the warm weather stuff is ready. We're also eating yellow, black, and red raspberries, and the blackberry bushes are covered with blossoms and green berries.

And last night, we became tractor owners. Frugaldad and his brother can hardly contain their excitement!

11 July 2006

Why go to the trouble?

I have figured out how to save myself and every other mother in the country a couple hours of work several times a year. Skip baking the cupcakes, and just serve the kids a dish of frosting with a spoon! Last night as I cleaned up from Frugalgirl1's birthday party, I threw away several cupcake stumps, naked of any frosting. And it was good cake, too, made from scratch!

I am back from vacation, and my digital camera is bursting with pictures to share! But, as usual, I am super busy, especially with the frugalkids being out of school for their short summer break from year-round school.


The Canadians are hilarious. Their road signs are so funny.

I finished my Sophie bag! I felted it last night. Next I'm going to cast on the Booga Bag.

Lemon Chicken passed away yesterday, so we are down to 6 hens.

As mentioned above, we had another birthday around here, with another cute cake.

more coming soon! (or later, depending on how busy I am)