Mother’s Day

Well, my very first Mother’s Day is coming to a close. Alex was very well behaved for all but the hour and a half I spent trying to get him down for his afternoon nap only to wake up ten minutes later. Fortunately bed time was as smooth as I could have ever asked for, with the exception of him putting himself to sleep, of course.

On Thursday, my Mother brought me a Mother’s Day balloon, which Alex adored:

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mama Day

Day 9

There is nothing like seeing a smile on your child’s face to make Mother’s Day perfect!

I received a cute bag full of travel size lotions and body washes, and Zach got me Juno and Sweeney Todd, both movies that I absolutely adore. We watched Juno last night laying in bed, and, like any movie that has anything to do with having a baby, I teared up. Literally, any movie. Honestly, I could start crying during a commercial about giving birth if I didn’t hold myself back. What has Motherhood done to me? I digress…

The wine my Mom brought over on Saturday night was not only very good, but also came in an awesome bottle (in fact, I’m pretty sure that is the reason she bought it!):

Day 8

And, like I mentioned before, Alex doesn’t need real toys. He loves a good water bottle:

Enjoying the water bottle

A quick end to a starter

Yesterday, I decided that I am going to make bread. Why not? If not for every day use, at least once in a while. I have made bread in the past, and it is always unbelievably good. There is just something special about home made bread that you can’t find in the store-bought variety.

So, I went to the store today, carrying Alex in one arm, not wanting to bother putting him in a sling to just run inside, and bought some yeast and bread flour. Carrying an almost-18 pound baby in one arm, bending all the way to the bottom shelf to pick up two bags of bread flour, and then reaching up to the top shelf to grab the yeast was, well, not fun. My arms hurt.

Anyway, I came home and mixed 2 cups of flour with 2 cups of warm water and added the yeast. I followed some advice I had found online about the initial fermentation of a sourdough starter and placed the flour-water-yeast mixture into the oven with the pilot light on. It started bubbling and growing within 30 minutes. I could tell that this would be a good starter, and I was excited about making some bread in the near future!

At the beginning of my Religions of the World class this evening I got a text message from Zach:

“I think I may have ruined your starter :-(”

I knew right away what that meant:

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Needless to say, I’ll have to make another starter (and purchase a new plastic mixing bowl)!

Flank Steak + Rosemary Potatoes

Tonight I made a delicious meal, consisting of broiled Flank Steak marinated in olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic, and roasted red potatoes coated in olive oil, salt, pepper, lots of garlic and rosemary. Unbelievably tasty meal, especially considering how easy it is.

Check it out (this picture is from the last time I made it):

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I really enjoy trying new recipes, and have recently become a regular cook. I make us dinner about 4 nights a week–the other three nights we are either eating out or making something simple (i.e. frozen pizza) because of my night class schedule–and will probably increase that to 6 once we move to California.

With all of this cooking, though, our grocery bill has increased two- or three-fold. I came across The Grocery Game, which claims to lower (drastically) your grocery bill through a posted list of sales and your own gathering of coupons. This site gives you a list of items on sale at your local grocery store (in my case Giant Eagle) and tells you how much money, percentage-wise, you can save on the individual items.

People on this site spend a very, very, small fraction of what we are spending every week, often with multiple children, so I’m tempted to believe that it really works. I haven’t actually tried it, yet, and probably wont be able to really get into it until we move to California based on the fact that the point is to stock up on items while they are on sale and, according to the website, it takes about 3 months to stock up properly.

The site also includes lists to local drug stores, such as CVS and Walgreens, so you can get extremely discounted prices (sometimes free, it seems!) on beauty items and house hold goods that you don’t tend to purchase at a grocery store.

I hope to lower the amount we spend on groceries to half of what we are paying now. I’ll let you know how that goes once we are in California and I can start really trying The Grocery Game!