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[Comments] (3) Food and Money: My Two Loves: I've come to realize that I love grocery shopping. Maybe it's because I shop at Wal-Mart now. Maybe because Maggie is so well-behaved and kind of fun to take. I think it has more to do with my 3-month food storage supply organizing, and my bargain hunting/budget staying-within. I try to make my list up ahead of time, with things we want to eat during the week, ingredients for new recipes I want to try (I've been trying a lot of new recipes lately) and things I need to bring to any events coming up (this is the hard part). It takes me about an hour to do all the shopping.

I love coming home with groceries to unload, and putting them away in my neat, organized (and full!) pantry. Maggie usually plays on her car in the garage while I'm bringing them in; she also likes to take things off the bottom shelf of the pantry and put them back on. Today we went to the store much later than usual because we went to the PO and the library first, so she fell asleep in the car on the way home.

After everything is put away, I got to Mommysavers to record how much I spent vs. my budget. I was under budget $5 last month. Not so impressive considering my budget keeps going up!

As I have been making more and more things from scratch, some rather experimentally, I created a spreadsheet to help me calculate the cost of making an item at home. (I'll admit I got the idea from the Tightwad Gazette, just about the only thing I got from the book.) I put the cost-per-ounce and weight of ingredients, and formulas to show me cost-per-cup, per tablespoon etc. It is about 40 cents for me to make chocolate pudding from scratch (plus milk). Even the house brand pudding is more than that, and my pudding is much more delicious.

Also, it cost about 1/6 as much to mail Leonard's birthday present as it did Rachel's.

[Comments] (2) The Fourth: I try to remember to call "the Fourth of July" "Independence Day", but whatever. We were lucky enough to attend another exciting gathering at the Lehi Pool with all of John's extended family (Grandma June's posterity). It was a lot of fun. Maggie scoped the scene from her floatie, I jumped off the high dive, and John and I both participated in the relay races. I got put on the "misc" team - the other teams were made up of people from the same family - with people who probably didn't really know who I was, and we didn't win, but I had fun trying and am sore.

After the pool we went up to the cabin for a giant BBQ. Maggie got dragged around (literally) by John's cousin's 3 year old. They were pretty cute playing together and I think it was good for Maggie who will soon be subjected to such things in nursery. We need to get her around more kids in that age group. We spent the night at the cabin and took a few nice walks with Jodi. Saturday morning Maggie came with us and got to pet a horse! She was just tickled.

John and I are lamenting the attitude of the kids (including, most likely, ours in the future) at being at the cabin. Whatever happened to going for an exploration hike, or playing hide and seek? When did kids start moping about and begging to go home because there's nothing to do? Of course there's nothing to do! There's supposed to be nothing to do! In the past John has made exciting treasure hunts for the little ones, but James and Hannah are gone.

Speaking of James and Hannah, Nathan dropped off SIX BAGS of hand-me-downs on their way to Las Vegas. Of course, it'll be years before Maggie grows into some of it, and now we have 8 years worth of boy clothes to store, but I'm still excited. Maggie has claimed the Care Bear Halloween costume as her new snuggly.

If you are worried I have died: No fear: that great honor belongs to my computer. Boo.

Overheard: "Maggie, I want you to know that Daddy loves Mommy." I think John knew I could hear him, but that doesn't make it any less sweet.

: Maggie learned how to do "Ring Around the Rosies" by herself today. We did it in Cuddle Time last week, and after doing it once with me today she caught on. So cute.

I am getting ready to go to Chicago for CHA with Jamie later this week. A new state to visit, if we don't have major air travel trouble. I'm so excited; I love CHA.

Yay Me: I turned on Mom's laptop to type up some recipes during Maggie's nap, and behold! I got the internet to work. I tried this last week, but I don't know what I was doing wrong. This computer is a whole lot better than nothing, that's for sure.

[Comments] (1) : I took Maggie to story time today. Aside from her usual story time friend, I invited two girls from the ward with little ones. The premise was a playdate for Maggie with a girl who will be in nursery with her. We had a lot of fun.

I also dropped Maggie off for Erin, Ember and Jazzy to babysit while I went to the temple.

Leaving for Chicago very early tomorrow. I'm very excited for trip, but I will miss John and my little baby.

[Comments] (3) Chicago Travelogue: I made it home about 10:30 last night. It was a long trip, but I had so much fun! I am already excited for CHA winter in Anaheim in January. So here's the scoop on our trip.

First of all, I would like to say that I love my Rainbow sandals. Yes, I wore flipflops to the show. Don't worry, I checked with Jamie first and she insisted she wouldn't be embarassed. I wore flipflops for two treks halfway across the country, walking all over downtown Chicago, and two days of the trade show, and my feet loved it. Way to go, Rainbow.

I didn't read a thing about Chicago or what we could do there ahead of time because for some reason I thought we weren't arriving until 6 pm, either because that's how long the flight took, or because Jamie had me convinced we'd be delayed. So when we arrived at our hotel at noon, we were a bit bewildered. After a chat with a friendly concierge, we set out (quite unprepared I might add) for a sight-seeing adventure. We paid $5 each for a transit pass and rode the train 1 hour into the city. Hmm. Should have asked how long the trip would take. I think the subway was a cultural experience for Jamie.

We were intended to take a free shuttle to Navy Pier and have lunch, but we were starving, and finally ate at a Corner Bakery. The free shuttle had a huge line and was no where in sight, so when a bus that said "Navy Pier" drove up, we thought "hey! transit pass... let's take the bus," and did. We walked around the Pier, hot and sticky (me wearing jeans and flipflops and *gasp* no sunscreen). We used a BOGO coupon on a speedboat ride out on Lake Michigan for a quick tour and view of the city. It was great and refreshing (Jamie got splashed). Then we made the 2 hour trek back to the hotel.

Thursday night we went with Jamie's friend Ashley to some sneak peek events - one was SEI, the other some company we weren't interested in, but they had better free food. Ashley won a small prize, and we all got a pack of an older line, a mini book and an album.

Friday morning we got up bright and early to march around the show collecting catalogues. We did the catalogue thing, aisle by aisle, I made an adorable Halloween book by Little Yellow Bicycle, and we shuffled back to the hotel. I should mention that the convention center has zero eateries anywhere nearby (although O'hare has the best airport food selection I've ever seen). Yuck. We ate in the bar for dinner and didn't eat lunch at all.

Evenings are spent with catalogues covering every inch of flat space, planning out kits. Overall we got about 4 1/2 months of kits planned, which is awesome and record-breaking. I got to do exciting jobs like picking out Bazzill (this is not nearly as exciting as it sounds and is also very difficult) and copying down what we ordered. I also kept a running list of places to go, people to see, stuff to buy, mistakes to fix, orders to make, papers to match etc.

Saturday was more of the same only a little more refined. We'd visited all the booths and looked at all the new products. This day we ran around making sure things matched, picking things out, coming up with embellishment and add on ideas, and doing the occasional make n take. I made a notebook using Basic Grey's new Eva line, a recipe book by Teresa Collins and a wooden mini book at Kaiser Craft. Kaiser is awesome because the art director stands there and throws out stuff while you're waiting in line (and I had to wait a while). I got 8 packages of their rhinestones and pearls, which I know love. Don't worry, Jamie ordered ALL of their new sparklies which I now get to enter into the store. Saturday night, more sprawling, more order making, more Bazzill swatching.

By Sunday we were killer organized. We handed in orders, made a few changes, did a make n take and ended up sitting in the lobby going through our free stuff because we had nothing else to do. CHA=free stuff to me. Seriously. I won a huge prize, plus a lot of companies give you gifts/samples when you order. Basic Grey and Scenic Route handed out a sheet of each one of their new papers. So that's all in addition to the make n takes. I took pictures on Jamie's camera, although that was before we'd turned in most of our orders and gotten more. I am only keeping about 1/3 of the stuff, so CC prize winners will be seeing some of it soon!

We ended up going to the airport 4 hours early because we were tired of eating hot tamales for lunch. (Thanks, Bazzill!) We ate a Macaroni Grill, then sat around reading for hours. I'm so glad to be home. Maggie was kind enough to sleep three hours so I could sleep a bit in addition to getting laundry and unpacking done. I missed my baby and it's good to be home.

[Comments] (1) Now I Know How My Mother-in-Law Feels: When I'm making dinner Maggie likes to take things from my pantry and cupboards for her own little kitchen. Sneaky, sneaky. She used to be satisfied with Matzo mix and Pasta Roni, but lately has been branching out (reaching up) to beef and chicken broth and olives.

[Comments] (1) My Cissy Lies Over the Ocean: One nice thing about having my sister so far away is that it's easier for her to keep a secret. Just over two years ago (I hadn't been to the doctor yet) I said to her, "So would you rather have a niece or a nephew for your birthday?" then sent her off to Serbia for two months.

The other nice thing is that she sends nice presents to Maggie. I miss having my sister aound so I'm looking on the bright side.

Poor Maggie is quite sick. John was up with her most of the night and had to go teach Sunday School this morning. I hope Maggie will take some semblance of a nap because we are having a Chadwick July birthday party this afternoon.


© 1999-2022 Susanna Chadwick.