06 December 2012

Staying Busy

I almost had a break down in aisle 7 of the grocery store this morning - the baking aisle. I shop at a grocery store in a Jewish neighborhood. This place is so Jewish they have entire sections of it dedicated to kosher food and the produce boy wears a yamaka. And I couldn't find the damn kosher salt. Abigail had decided about two aisles ago to yell at the top of her lungs and then laugh at me when I tried to calm her. She had torn my list into three sections and thrown the coupons overboard at least twice. I was about to burst into tears myself when I suddenly snatched a box of cake mix off the shelf to my left and started making a big fuss over the Pillsbury dough boy on the front. Abigail thought it was hilarious and proceeded to point to the dough boy and look at me over and over again for the next few minutes. Throughout the rest of the trip, I had to over-exuberantly gush over cute packaging and swerve the cart sharply when making a turn while calling out, "Oh no - don't tip over! Hold on, baby!" I also had to do walking lunges and squats to duck beneath the handle bar of the cart, a peek-a-boo of sorts, in order to keep Abigail in good spirits. It is only now that it is over that I find it funny that I had to make a fool of myself in order to keep my child from making a disruption. Note to self: never go grocery shopping that close to nap time again.

Things have been kind of busy around here, but I am trying very hard to make sure I reserve a few hours each day away from therapy and doctors and errands and Christmas preparations to take a walk and play with Abigail. This includes coloring and homemade edible play dough.

Abigail made every mark on that paper by herself, excluding her name (although she held the crayon while I moved her hand) and the stickers (which I put on her finger and let her place on the paper, but helped her move from her finger to the paper). I used the kool-aid recipe found on this blog (since I already had all the ingredients and it didn't call for honey), but I excluded the kool-aid. It was quick, easy to make, acts exactly like store-bought play dough, and stores for up to six months in a tightly sealed container.

Abigail thinks it's fun and it holds her toddler attention span for a good 10 minutes.

She is making really good strides in the physical development department. She is hitting lots of little milestones that most parents don't think about, but are actually big deals. Like holding a tall kneel. Or squatting. She's also starting to assume a traditional crawling position during transitions and for the first 2-3 crawls before moving to her preferred right-knee-left-foot crawl. She can toddle around corners now and her physical therapist doesn't think it's unreasonable to hope she might be walking by her second birthday. Lastly, she's beginning to show interest in stacking blocks instead of just knocking them down.

Puff paint on socks is how I get grippies on socks too small to come with grippies of their own.

Abigail is opening up quite a bit more to her therapists and I find it interesting that over the course of her life, a vast majority of her therapists have used the word "sassy" to describe her. Scores of people love to tell me about what a happy, loving person Abigail will be throughout her entire life, as if she's some sort of puppy dog incapable of a full range of human emotion. Humorously enough, I would not use the words "happy" or "loving" to describe Abigail. I do not have a happy, loving child. I have a bossy, stubborn, clingy, flirty, curious child. On one hand, this makes her a pain in the ass, but I love it because those characteristics come straight from Matt (stubborn, flirty) and me (bossy, curious). Although Abigail is also a certifiable nut, as evidenced by Exhibit A:

Exhibit A

And I'm not really sure where she gets that.

Anyway, after she goes down for the night, I've been cranking out some more frugality. Since the 31 Days campaign ended, I've still been making my own bread and flour tortillas. I also made homemade dish washing detergent, but still haven't tried it. We finally ran out of our old store-bought box, though, so the next load will be the test load. New ventures include new crackers and body wash.

Although I'm not sold, Matt really likes these crackers. They're easy to make and faster than most crackers (they go straight from mixer to oven, no refrigeration time). He likes them enough to request them, which is kind of a big deal. My husband likes almost all food and is incredibly not picky, he doesn't usually request things by name. It's even hard to get him to pick a dish for his birthday.

I also ventured to try making my own cheese crackers. They came out really damn good and were incredibly cheap (as are all homemade crackers), but the dough was such a pain to work with, I wouldn't remake them unless they were the greatest thing I'd ever put in my mouth.

Now to the homemade body wash. I used the recipe in the previous link, except I scaled it down to 2 bars and 4 cups of water.

LOVE IT! The body wash is slightly soup-ier than store-bought, although this could very well be due to the fact that I didn't let all the soap fully melt in the pan and I poured it into the bottle before it had properly cooled (hmmm, I guess I need to work on patience). Despite the texture, it acts exactly like store-bought. Suds up just the same, doesn't leave my skin dry. I love it - I get a lot of fulfillment out of making my own body wash. I feel independent and a bit like I'm cheating the system and getting away with it. It costs $8.99 for 6 bars of my pomegranate lemon and verbena Dove soap, which breaks down to $2.99 for a 24 oz bottle and two 14 oz bottles of hand soap - or $.05 per ounce. (I just refilled our old containers - you can still see the bit of residual "harvest apple" in the bottom of the kitchen hand soap). I figured since the body wash is literally liquid bar soap, it would work in the shower as well as by the sink.

Plus now we can avoid the detergents present in body wash - which are known to cause eczema in those with sensitive skin. See the two at-risks in Exhibit B.

Exhibit B.

How nice of Exhibit B to great you with a smile and a wave. It must be such a loving and happy Exhibit B.

Okay, so maybe she gets the certifiable nuttiness from her mother.

It's possible.

Continuing on, I have a few more photos to show you. The first set is one of my worst nightmares in free-street-parking-I-love-my-car-way-too-much world:

Total block-in. No chance of escape.

Now just try to tell me someone didn't get bumped around during that park-job. A crime, I tell you; A crime.

Next up we have a game. Try to find the kitty in this photo. Hint: You're looking for the black one.

Her real name is Belle (which I gave her because I'm not the type of person who owns a cat called "Kiki"), but I've been calling her Baby Cat since I adopted her. We often call her "Baby Cat's Face" because sometimes it is only her eyes that give her away.

Well, that's all I have for now, folks. Nap time should be wrapping up in a few minutes here, and I have a few more things I was hoping to get done. After lunch we have to go for a walk to try to find the hat Abigail took off and threw somewhere during yesterday's walk. I knitted that hat myself. With really soft yarn. Anyway, SUPER good news to tell you all next time I blog, which won't be until Monday. (I know, more good news. How can you stand it?) Before I go any further, no I'm not pregnant. (Why does everyone think I'm pregnant when I say we have news? It makes me feel like I'm not doing a good enough job loosing weight here, folks). Anyway, we'll also be decorating for Christmas this weekend and so I'll have lots of pictures of Abigail admiring the tree and not pulling off ornaments and knocking things over.

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