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What a week!

ready to go outside!

I believe that the events of the past week have graduated this adorable kid to be Frugalgirl3 instead of the Frugalbaby. She's been 2 for a while, but as the youngest, it's easy to still call her the baby. This week she learned to use the potty. The gods of parenting have finally granted me some justice, and she was, by far, the easiest to train of all four of my kids. It's been 11 days since we started the process, and not only is she accident-free, she goes to the bathroom on her own without being asked or reminded.

A couple days before we started the potty thing, I made a decision. I quit complaining about her sleep issues (long time readers will remember--you can go peruse the archives at the other site) since every time I thought I had them resolved, she'd quit sleeping through the night again. She has been climbing out of her bed and into mine and nursing throughout the night. I decided that it had to stop, so I told her no, snuggled her, and let her sleep by me. To my surprise, she didn't protest that much. After a week of no night-nursing and only nursing her once per day, right at bedtime, I cut her off from the last nursing, too. Now she is weaned. I never thought this day would come.

It's not quite as bittersweet as I thought it might be since I plan to have more babies, but it still a little sad when she asks for milk at bedtime.

Zen and the art of homemaking

Lately I am finding myself struggling to get it all done. I've been a loyal Kerflop reader for years, and while it makes me sound like some crazed Internet stalker, I enjoy getting a glimpse into her life because in some ways we are similar. Jessica's post earlier last week hit close to home for me because I also try to do everything. Most things I try, I do well. Unfortunately, as my family has gotten larger, the menagerie of pets has grown, and our home life has gotten a little crazy, I have come to the sad realization that I can't do everything. I can't make all our meals from scratch off of a month-long preplanned menu, sew all the kids pajamas and the majority of their clothes, knit all of our socks, hats, and scarves, keep a picture-perfect spotlessly clean home, stay skinny, be a blogging rock star, study my scriptures daily and actually learn something, and get a good nights' sleep. I just can't do it all.

I usually figure that the main reason I can't get it all done is I don't have my priorities right yet. When I was a teenager, I was very consistent in my scripture reading. Getting married through a wrench in my consistency, but it was having kids that really sent me over the edge. All of a sudden, I was very sleep deprived, and rising early in the morning to read was not an option for me. Staying up late to read wasn't an option either, since often I will fall asleep if I sit still for any amount of time.

I know that by giving the Lord a few minutes each day in scripture study I'll be blessed with patience, motivation, and the ability to get more things done. But taking that first step is so hard! It's the proverbial "sand in my shoes."

One of the ladies in Relief Society mentioned a few months ago that she didn't read anything until she had read her scriptures that day. I like to read a magazine while I eat lunch, so I decided that I can read my scriptures instead. Oh my word, the opposition is great. I am interrupted so many times every time I sit to read, though I try to get the little girls everything they need before I sit down. I'm only getting a chapter read each day, but something is better than nothing, and it alleviates a little of my guilt.

2008/02/02 Lunch: Navajo tacos

Today was bread-baking day. Usually when I bake bread, I try to time it so that we can have warm bread either for lunch or dinner. I didn't have any lunch meat to make sandwiches, but I did have ground beef in the freezer, so I decided to make Navajo fry bread with some of the dough. I had never done it before so I consulted a few websites to double-check my method. Instead of deep-frying, I shallow-fried them in about 1/4" or less of oil. I served the fry breads with taco fixings, and the fry bread was definitely a winner. The girls ate their tacos better than they eat tacos made on tortillas, and both Frugaldad and I thought it was fabulous. Despite the fact that the dough was about 2/3 whole wheat, they were still delicious. Often whole-wheat bread products aren't as tender or tasty as their white counterparts, but as fry bread, the whole wheat dough was definitely usable. The fry bread is almost as much work as tortillas, but will make it into our regular menu rotation.


If you read something that doesn't sound exactly like I wrote it, I probably didn't. Frugaldad has been helping set this site up and he really enjoys playing around and uploading pictures and such. So a lot of the menu items and picture descriptions are his words, not mine. They aren't always exactly as I would have written them, but I appreciate his help tremendously. I don't re-write, just like I have learned to not re-load when he loads the dishwasher. Different isn't necessarily better or worse.

Eat well

Last spring I saw a recipe on the PBS series Everyday Food and once I made it, I was hooked. You'd never believe that something with a name like bulgur could taste so fancy and fabulous. I started making variations on the recipe and almost every one has turned out great. The original recipe says it serves 2, but trust me, you'll eat it all yourself! This is actually quite inexpensive to make as well. The feta and nuts are the most expensive ingredients, but are used sparingly and are optional.

My basic formula is as follows

1/2 cup bulgur, reconsituted in 3/4 cup boiling water and 1/2 tsp salt
a fruit (1/2 an apple, diced with the skin on, grapes cut in half, strawberries)
onions (I prefer green onions, but regular are fine if you use less. I use 2 green onions, sliced, or a tablespoon of chopped onion)
nuts (about a 1/2 cup of pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds, cashews)
other veggies (celery, cucumber, bell pepper)
crumbled feta cheese (1-2 tbsp is enough. I buy this at Costco for less than $3/lb so while this is a "splurge" ingredient, it really isn't all that much)

for the dressing
2 tbsp citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange) or vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil

I love the original recipe, but some of my other favorite combinations are:
apple, celery, walnut for a "Waldorf"version
cucumber and tomatoes (no nuts) for a delicious straight-from-the-garden version. You can also add some fresh basil from your herb garden

The one I made with raisins and curry powder didn't turn out too well, but I'm sure could taste better with some tweaking.

I just finished a dish of the Waldorf version, and I wish there was more!

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