Monday, January 31, 2011

In Case You Think I Don't Mention Her Enough

M turned 2 months old yesterday and has started smiling and cooing. I present to you... the cutest smiles ever.

The 0:31 mark is the biggest and best smile. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

So Far, So Good

So, I've been trying the No-Name stuff.

First up, the Gingerale - this was a surprising one. Paul was really skeptical, but we tried it and it was really good. Much better, even, then other generic brands (Big8, Safeway brand) we've tried. It was actually gingery, a bit spicy and pretty tasty.
Conclusion: Totally worth it.

Second up, the Mayo - I tried it both mixed in tuna, and just spread on a sandwich. It was decent in the tuna, but as a spread, it didn't really stand up. It was watery and not tangy. I love my mayo - especially Hellman's, and especially NOT Miracle Whip. But, it would be fine as a mixer - in tuna, in dips, in salad dressing, just not on it's own.
Conclusion: Moderately worth it

Thirdly: Tortilla Chips

We eat quite a bit of tortilla chips. Chips and Salsa, Nachos, these are our go-to snacks. So, I bought a big bag (Club Pack in No-Name terms). We hadn't had yellow corn in awhile, since we've mostly been eating white corn. They were fairly tasty. Unfortunately, they don't come in a reduced-salt version, which I quite like about brand name.
Conclusion: Moderately worth it for the savings, but I would buy brand name occasionally as well.

Lastly: Granola Bars, specifically these Sweet and Salty ones:


I like the brand name ones quite a bit, so I thought I'd try them. This, my friends, this is what this experiment is all about. These are exactly the same as brand name, and at half the price. They are super yummy and, like two boxes for $5.
Conclusion: So very, very worth it. I highly recommend.

So, that's part one. So far, so good. Thanks for all the comments on the last one! I'm glad people are interested. I'm not going to buy anything that I wouldn't normally buy, so that leaves out quite a bit of pre-prepared stuff, and I am going for the savings over the experiment, so when (for example) Black Diamond cheese was cheaper this week - I bought it instead.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Story by a Two Year Old

So G, she loves to talk. She talks pretty much all day. So, we told her to tell us a story and I attempted to transcript the chatter.
Keep in mind, she told this while pacing around the living room, and dancing during the dancing part.

"Once upon a time there was a picnic time
and there were two little monkeys jumping on the bed
and there were five little monkeys
they all jumped 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9... two monkeys!

Puppies, they all run outside and play with Piglet and Nila
and then all monkeys and monkeys and monkeys jumping on the bed

...and they sat on the potty next to G.

And they sang this song "Dance around, Dance dance dance Laalalalaaa they all go play, they was sad, then they saw a wombat wombat wombaaaaaaaaat wombat."

So they all run outside, so they lots and lots of ...

They all go right to the birthday and get some money
and then they get the money pig
then they all play with books
lots of books

then he jumps then he was scary

then he dived and...(fat?)
They all was a monkey, there were lots of dinosaur, right on the bed! So they crawl, crawl, to bed. They all crawl to bed.
They hang monkey onto a ROPE! They stand with him on his shoulder then hang him, they pull out his legs, and then pull out his arms, and then Puppy ran out and

and then fell right over!

I'm not scary. Five bucks! Five bucks? A tree? Oh a tree! That's good.
I can be a tree and ball. I give you a blanket and a book.

Alllllll falling down to... they all read a book, and they with Polar Bears and Superman, and they all go right inside a monkey bear and jumped RIGHT ONTO THE COUCH.

And then they pick this book and to bring outside and open this door. Where is that door going to go in?

A little baby? A little baby."

The End.

And now you know what my average day is like.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The No-Name Experiment

So with my new car, I've been able to shop at Dominion (Newfoundland's version of Superstore/Loblaws/President's Choice), which tends to have cheaper food then other places. And I've decided that I'd perform an experiment.
I tend to buy generic brands of things (again, with the cheapness), but there's generic store brand and then there's No-Name. No-Name brand is... like the lowest of the low when it comes to generic. With it's yellow and black packaging and complete lack of anything to attract you to it, it's the cheapest option out there. Most Canadians are pretty familiar with it.
But does it make a difference? I've definitely found that for some things, it doesn't matter at all, but I'm sure there are others where it makes a difference.
So, this is my experiment. From now on, anytime I buy something new, I'm going to buy No-Name. And I'll rate it: Worth the Savings, Not Worth the Savings and Somewhat Worth the Savings.

I'm thinking this will be an ongoing feature on this blog. I'll let you know some of the products I'm trying out and whether I think it makes any difference.

Today I bought Gingerale:

and Mayonnaise:

I haven't had a chance to try either at this point, but I'll let you know. I'm pretty passionate about my mayo, so I'm skeptical. And Paul gagged when he saw that I bought No-Name Gingerale, so he's pretty passionate about that.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Carl the Car

So, we have acquired a car. After living through 2 months of a public transit strike, we decided it was time to get our own vehicle. Even when the buses were running, they failed to get us many places we wanted to go. So, when we got home from Ontario, we looked at a few cars and chose a silver 1999 Honda Civic. It's old and has no frills whatsoever - we even have to press the locks down by hand! Really takes me back...

We've named it Carl the Car, and it has greatly improved our lives already. We have never owned a car in our 6.5 years of marriage. So, we have rarely bought groceries in large batches. This week, I went to the store (the cheaper, but further away store!) and stocked up on a month's worth of groceries. Such a novelty! I was able to just buy cans and cans of things without stressing about the weight of carrying them home/pushing them in the stroller.
We also love Freecycle, but have rarely been able to take advantage of all the stuff people offer, because we can't get to their houses. This weekend, I picked up two large garbage bags full of kids clothes for free! Now G has a snowsuit for this year and next year, and M has one for next year.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Doing what newborns do best

M in all her glory. If you listen carefully, you'll hear G in the background talking about Puppy 'Jamas.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Of Christmastime and Thereafter

So, Christmas happened, and New Years and Epiphany... and now here I am, it's January somethingth and I'm officially at home with TWO girls. So far, it's been good. M eats and sleeps and poops and spits up, G eats and sleeps and talks and talks and talks...
Christmas was a great and relaxing time in Ontario, even though we did spend a good part of it sick with the flu (we were asleep before midnight on New Years). I'm really glad that I had time with my parents here and then two weeks with Paul's parents so that the adjustment to a new baby at home alone was after a full month. Having two kids is definitely an adjustment, but it's also so much easier since I feel much more confident this time. I am not stressed out to leave the house without M. In fact, it was fantastic to go to the grocery store by myself yesterday.  It's also great for Paul to get a chance to be at home with the girls by himself, even if it's just an hour.
Not that it's all sunshine and roses. G seems to pick every time I'm feeding M (which, granted, is often) to want to do something that requires my hands. She'll ask for a snack, a story, for me to play with her in exactly the way she wants to be played with and get a bit frustrated when the answer is "in a minute". But, I keep congratulating her when she's patient and playing with her when I can.
Her new toys are great for distraction. She got a very fun new play kitchen for Christmas, and we got her an adorable fake sushi set, so she makes dinner in her little kitchen while I'm making mine.

One of her new toys is a doctor's kit, which she loved - in fact, it was the hit of the family Christmas, most of her cousins also played with it. The best part is that she will take the stethoscope and go around listening to people's hearts, except she heard heartbeats as heartbeeps, so she'll put the stethoscope on your chest (or any other random body part) and loudly say "BEEP!". It's pretty hilarious.

A followup to our new 12-days of Christmas tradition - it went quite well. I divided two boxes worth of Smarties into little origami boxes, which were in her shoe outside her door each morning. I don't think G really got the meaning, she was just excited to eat Smarties before breakfast, but it's the beginning of something she can expect every year. I think in the future, I'll try mix up what they get every day, so it's not just the same thing. I don't want to add too much extra stress to future holidays, so my hope is to keep it pretty simple.

What's on the horizon this month? Buying our very first car, since the bus strike continues (2 months and counting!).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Puppy Jamas

G would very much like the world to know that she LOVES her Puppy Pajamas and wants to wear them every night, regardless of dirtiness. She would even like to wear them for her nap. 

Some one liners from Christmas:
Her new play stove talks, and it said "Don't forget to clean up!", G responded "No! I don't want to clean up!" At least she comes by it honestly.

"No M, don't cry! Don't. Cry." - this is less of a comfort to her sister as a command. 2 year olds are bossy.

"Go away Marley [her Aunt's dog]. Don't eat my face."

In the grocery store, about Kraft Dinner: "Packaroni! Packaroni! Mommy buy packaroni!"... and when we got home... "Packaroni for lunch, Mommy!"