About Me

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I have two kids - a girl and a boy - and live in north-central Minnesota, land of snow and ice. Well, for 9 months of the year, that is. I work full-time for a local government, and on my "free time" I enjoy cooking, baking, hanging out with my kiddos, and RELAXING.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Target this week

I swear we spend half my paycheck at Target. It's ridiculous how much I love that store. Here are some of the bargains we got this week:

Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Lantern, $15.19
-Use 50% off select Fisher Price toys printable Target coupon
Final Price: $7.59 (This is one of Natalie's Easter basket toys)

Gerber Nature Select 2nd Foods two-pack, $1.02
-$1/4 Gerber coupon
Final price: $0.77 each

My First Crayola Crayons - Washable, $2.42
-$1/1 Target printable coupon
-$1/1 manufacturer's coupon
Final price: $0.42

Carefree pantiliners, $0.99
-$1/1 manufacturer's coupon
Final price: Free

Ludens cough drops, $1.62
-$1/2 manufacturer's coupon
Final price: $1.12 each

Coppertone Ultra Guard sunscreen, $7.99
Twin Pack Coppertone Kids Continuous Spray $13.49
-Two $1/1 Target printable coupons
-$1/1 manufacturer's coupon (for the kids spray)
-Get a $5 Target gift card when you buy three Coppertone sunscreen
Final price: $4.49 each

Market Pantry cheese 8oz, sale price $1.89
-$1/2 Target printable
Final price: $1.39

Lysol Dual Action Wipes, $2.49
Submit for rebate here
Final price: Free

Dove Eggs, $3.29
Get a $5 Target gift card mail-in rebate here
Final price: Better than free

Kraft Dressing, $2.09
-$1/2 Target printable
Final price: $1.59 each

Trident single gum packs, $1.32
-Buy one get one free manufacturer's coupon
Final price: $0.66 each

Friday, March 23, 2012

Natalie: Seven Months

My baby girl is seven months old already! Where has the time gone?

Vital Stats
Natalie is 18.3 pounds and 28 inches long. She has started wearing 9-month clothing and it isn't huge on her, by any means. She still fits into most of her 6-month clothes, except for the pajamas.

Milestones This Month
Natalie crawls all over the place like a crazy person; she's quite the proficient little thing. She loves to pull herself up on EVERYTHING. She has started standing without holding on to anything, but can only hold the position for about a second before she falls down. She has learned how to get down, as well. There was about two weeks in there where she could stand up but couldn't get down.

She has started reaching for Mommy and Daddy when she wants to be picked up. She laughs more than she used to, and is ticklish on her tummy and feet.

She is down to two naps a day; morning and afternoon. It can make for long evenings, but she does okay with constant attention. She sleeps 11.5-12 hours at night, and 3 hours of naps during the day. Natalie is still a great sleeper, for the most part. She has started sleeping with a teddy bear, which she loves to snuggle. Most naps and bedtimes she goes to sleep without crying.

Natalie eats solids three times a day at (almost) normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner times; dinner is a little early still. She has a bottle with each meal, and one before bed. She does well with her solids and likes almost everything, although she still isn't a fan of peas or green beans. Some of her new favorites are chicken with apples, turkey with sweet potatoes, and an apple/plum mixture. She hates Mommy's homemade chicken puree, but loves Gerber's.

Finger foods are fun! She loves to feed herself, and especially loves her puffs. We haven't had too much success with banana and avacado; she likes them, but has a hard time picking them up because they are so slippery.

Natalie likes to drink out of her sippy cup like a big girl, even though she's usually soaked by the time it's over.

Natalie recognizes the sign for "milk." She gets very excited whenever she sees it because she knows her bottle is coming. She still likes the "all done" sign but doesn't understand what it means yet.

Natalie is learning the word "no." She probably hears it more than any other word. Sometimes it seems like she understands, sometimes it doesn't. Occasionally she cries because she isn't getting what she wants.

She doesn't say much more than she did last month; still no babbling. There is a fair amount of screeching, though.

Play Time
Natalie's favorite toys are her Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Fun With Friends Musical Table, her plastic squeaky blocks, her Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy, and her exersaucer. She also loves everything that's not her toy; i.e., the garbage can, the bookshelf, and the computer.

She loves it when Mommy or Daddy get on the floor and crawl around with her, and she likes to play "chase." She also loves applause, especially directed at her. Natalie still tries to eat books instead of just looking at them, so we don't spend too much time reading. She loves when Mommy or Daddy sings and dances.

Sometimes when Mommy or Daddy need a sanity break, Natalie gets to watch 20 minutes of Elmo's World, which she enjoys.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

photo shoot

We took Natalie to JCPenney portrait studio last Friday to have her pictures taken. She did great. She laughed and smiled for the photographer. She didn't sit still very well, but that's par for the course, so I wasn't expecting much there. She kept trying to get the camera, which she does at home, too. Here's just a quick peek at some of my favorite pictures.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

parking ramp trivia

What is the second largest river in the U.S.?

That was the question hand-written on a piece of paper, taped to the window as I payed to exit the parking garage after work yesterday.

The parking attendant, Kong (seriously, that is what's on his name tag), said, "If you would like, take a look at our trivia question."

The only rivers I could think of were the Mississippi and the St. Croix. And I was pretty darn sure it wasn't the St. Croix. And isn't the Mississippi the largest? I thought while he swiped my debit card, and then had to tell him I had no idea.

"Mississippi," was his answer.

"Really? What's the largest then?" I asked.

"Missouri." Well, huh.

I think I need to study up my U.S. geography. Pretty sure I didn't even know the Missouri river existed.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Natalie: An Update

A lot has already changed since I wrote Natalie's six-month update here. In just a few days, she started pulling to a standing position.

She also started pushing herself up to a sitting position from crawling.

And she figured out how to drink from her sippy cup.

I can't believe how fast she changes!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Once Natalie started actually crawling we figured it was time to babyproof.

My aunt and uncle were kind enough to lend us a gate until we were able to make a Babies 'R Us trip to buy our own. Of course, because Natalie is Natalie, she was very interested in the new changes around the house.

Since she started crawling, she never once tried to make a run for the stairs, but the second that gate went up she was over there checking it out.

She also had never tried to get into the cabinet under the TV until we put the childproof lock on it.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Natalie's Hats

I decided to try my hand at crochet again.

Largely because of Pinterest, I must admit. I saw this one photo of a crocheted hat and thought, "I bet I could do that." Not that I was a master crocheter in my day or anything, but that crochet really isn't that hard. I mean, I learned when I was what, ten?

*Cough, cough* Mistake number one.

I ripped apart the first hat I started so many times. The nice thing about crochet at least, is that you don't waste materials with mistakes. You just pull the yarn apart and start over. I finally gave up on that hat and moved on to another one.

And another one.

Until finally I came upon a pattern (click for link) for this hat:

I ripped it apart a time or two - it didn't help that the pattern I used had errors - but finally got it figured out for the most part. I'm sure there are several mistakes in it, because I had the hardest time counting stitches, something I'm not very good at in the first place. In any case, I was mostly satisfied. I decided to try a different pattern (click for link).

This one was way easier. No fancy stitching, a spiral design, and - best of all - stitch count. A heartfelt thanks to the creator of this pattern for including stitch counts. For beginners like me, they're a life saver.

I think I'll make a hat for myself next.

Disclaimer: Patterns for the above hats belong to their individuals creators, as linked. I do not own, nor did I create, these patterns. Thanks to their creators for making them available.