Saturday, January 15, 2011


Miss Isabella Grace made her appearance last evening, January 14, in the 10:30 PM ish time.  She was 5 lb 11 oz and 19" long. 

She is a petite little thing.

I haven't been able to talk to Jenny personally, but Mom relayed all the info.  They did put Jenny on magnesium to avoid preeclampsia, but given that we have a similar blood clotting disorder problem, I'm thinking that she'll be under close watch for eclampsia for the next month.

For those of you who have done so, you'll appreciate that apparently, it was a "perfect birth."  Three pushes and bitty baby thing came strolling out. 

I thank all of you for all of your prayers and ask that continued prayers be put forth for Jenny that she has no other residual health issues and for little Isabella that she is able to roll through a chilly and yucky cold season unscathed. 


Friday, January 14, 2011

Cleaners stink.

A while ago, I did a review on Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner and their little toilet cleaner stick-on things.  I wasn't overly impressed with either one, but thought that the little toilet stick-on things made my bathroom smell "clean" thus making it feel more clean.  A blogger friend had commented that they call them alien tur*ds or something like that and that they smelled horrible.

Today, I would say the same.

I had commented to a neighbor that I've been using natural cleaners, but they don't seem to be doing a good job on the soap scum in my bathroom.  I've been tossing around the idea of using Murphy's Oil soap in a diluted solution to see if that works.  It is 98% natural, so I thought it wouldn't be that bad.  He had an Arm & Hammer Essentials All Purpose Cleaner.  I noticed that it wasn't "natural" and that it did list that it had plant based cleaning properties to it.  I was willing to give it a try.

Now I did and now I can say that:
1.  It stinks.  Literally.  It smells so bad. 
2.  It is bright green.  A seriously green green and I have to admit that I don't think "environmental" and "plant-based" when I see that color of neon glowing green.  I've never seen a cleaner more brilliantly colored in all my life.  They didn't say "environmental," but the plant-based gives that suggestion.  Yes, I did know that it was a chemical.
3.  It took a lot to do anything and finally when it did something, it didn't do much. 

Well, the stink has finally left the bathroom.  (No, we aren't talking a natural occurring stink or the broccoli from last night.)  I think that I can finally re-enter.  Thank goodness that I had a meeting to attend.  I had a headache anyhow and the cleaner didn't help.

While in the LRC awaiting the beginning of the building meeting, the school nurse went around and started wiping the tables with disposable bleach wipes.  A year ago, I would have thought it smelled delightful.  Now, all I could smell was chemical and it was horrible.  It didn't help the headache at all.

See what all these months of using baking soda, vinegar and washing soda have done to me?  I can't stand the smell.  I did have Mrs. Meyer's in my hand the other day, but I was concerned about the chemicals in it, too. 

Any ideas of something natural that will help me to remove soap scum from my bathroom?  The vinegar just isn't kicking it. 

Smiles in my day:
-  I think that the school secretary now understands that I'm doing what other people told me to do and not just as I pleased.  We worked out a lovely place for me to do 100 book challenge book distribution and a time that is good for everyone.  I really want to do what works for the school and certainly don't want people to think that I'm plowing over them.  Sadly, when our secretarial assistant retired, a lot of the way 100 BC ran was through her.  We're working it all out and it will be on track soon.
-  A homemade pot pie in the oven.  Yum.
-  The new secretarial assistant knows me and caught me to say, "Did you get my message about the speech IEP meeting being canceled?"  Hee!  Hee!  She's only been there a week and a half and she's already got me down!  ;)  Mrs. S-, K-'s teacher, caught me as I was taking her for the building meeting and said, "It's not for the IEP meeting, is it?"  "Nope, I know it was canceled and need to go to the building meeting."  She just wanted to make certain that I knew!  A school of 520+ kids and yet, there are people who are still willing to track you down and make certain that you know.  That's a good thing.
-  They've decided to re-district our school system (argh) and now we are ever more thankful that I pushed for the school to be made larger.  We'll stand to earn a minimum of 30 children from re-districting alone. 
-  Homemade lasagna leftovers for lunch.  Yum. 
-  Soft flannel sheets. 
-  The syndrome of the week appears to be subsiding, but giving me a monster headache on the way out.  I can medicate and caffeinate the headache. 
-  The snow plow made a trip down the road today.  That is a miracle alone.  It did, however, plow the driveways on the street shut.  Some wonderful neighbor went up and down the street and used their snow blower to clear out the ends of every driveway on our block.  How absolutely wonderful!  Now I don't have to baja into our driveway and I don't need to shovel it before Hubs gets home! 

Off to check on the pot pie and get some dishes handled before Hubs arrives home.  Have a wonderful night!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I've tried to behave.

Y'all, I've been battling the biggest case of PMS known to man.  I know, I know, it's far more than you wanted to know, but we keep it real here at the blog of Bailey's Leaf.  Besides, most of you who read this are still in that zone of life, so I know that you have a bit of sympathy there for it.

I've also had inventory.

I hate inventory. 

Numbers aren't my happy place to be. 

I survived three days of inventory and the girl who worked with me was still laughing at the end.  That's good!  One year I bawled, was called into the office (I was pregnant, so give me a little on that one) and one year I had to leave on a Friday because I had a horrible migraine that wouldn't leave me.

See, inventory is not a shining time in my life.

On a completely different subject, my husband is steaming broccoli and my house utterly stinks.  Even my Amaryllis and something-or-another candle from Root can't kill the smell.  Just sayin'.  The world of Bailey's Leaf is full of PMS, accompanying accoutrement and stinkin' steamin' broccoli.  Oh, don't you wish you were here?  Just think of what the postcards would look like.  Let's think about that one:

-  Snowy blanket outside.  Check.
-  Light flurries.  Check.
-  Toasty looking house with smoke coming out of the stack?  Check.
-  Crazy curly headed girl with PMS inside of a stinkin' house while wearing polka dotted black fleece jammies?  Check.

See, it is that sweet picture of America that you'd like to share with everyone! 

If you are out of state, never mind trying to navigate our roads.  We'd just prefer to pick you up.  Slipping and sliding all over the place while wearing out of state tags on your car make us just a hair crazy.  Really, let us handle the driving.

Perhaps by the time you get here, my house will have aired out.

Smiles in my day:
-  Fantasizing about going up and down the road with a sled.  "Too bad we don't have a truck," my co-worker said.  "Um, I do.  I have 4 wheel drive and a hitch."  My sled was at home, though.  Was it a safe thought?  No, but it was fun thinking about it.  Don't worry.  My husband would have killed me.
-  The fact that my mom got mad at me for taking K- to school today.  "I hope that you didn't take her to school!"  "Um, why not?"  "Well, with all this snow I! wouldn't!"  I understand Mom's concern.  She used to drive through white outs to get us because my sister was once on a school bus that slid into a ditch.  She needs to remember that I'm K-'s transportation in.  We didn't walk this week because of inventory and the aforementioned condition of being, so we were good.  Still, the fact that Mom still cares warms my heart.
-  Giant Eagle gave me my Lipitor today for no co-pay.  I have no idea as to why, but thank you, Big Bird!
-  Inventory is complete for the year 2011.   Hooray!
-  The new bed sheets arrived today from LL Bean.  We received a gift card for Christmas, so I treated us to some "ultra soft flannel bedding."  I have one set of flannel sheets.  I really wanted to have another since it was a wash-dry-and-remake-the-bed-at-night kind of thing.  Very nice.  I'm excited to change the bed tomorrow! 
-  Since the snow was so bad today, Hubs ended up coming home from work early so that he could get K- from school.  He has to make that time up, but he said that there was no use in us losing money by me taking off when he can just as easily make it up a bit here and a bit there.  So kind and thoughtful of him. 
-  I read this on Yahoo and laughed.  Okay, we aren't Cleveland, but we're about 45 minutes away.  Still, it gives you an idea of the snow. 

Have a great day!

ETA:  I just read about this.  49 of 50 states with snow?  Wow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Three snow days and you're out!

To specify, they call them "Calamity Days" now so that they can be used for a ton of different things.  Still, we used to have 5.  I heard that it was the hair brained governor's idea (Strickland, the previous) to knock it down to 3, have us make up for anything more AND extend the school year by basically two weeks on top of it. 

I'm all for education.  Extending the school year?  Well, we could live with that.  I like my kid to learn.  I like a summer, but education is important.

I do say, "Take your hands off the snow days."  Why?  Well, because the governor lives in the middle of the state.  The state of Ohio should be divided into North Ohio and South Ohio, much like the Dakotas.  In the northern half of the state, we have charming bodies of water called The Great Lakes.  Those lovely lakes give lake-effect snow.   We've all learned to live with it.  Occasionally, though, it gets really bad.  The southern part of the state does get snow, but isn't nearly as slammed as the north.  Perhaps the new governor that I have absolutely no faith in at all can fix it. 

Side note:  I hope that Governor Kasich proves me wrong. 

So, I'm sitting here watching it snow rather heavily.  Today shouldn't have been a snow day, but what if there are days that should be?  Districts will be out of days (I know that there are some, probably including you Janeen!) and then they'll have to make up on Saturdays, spring break and at the end of the year.  We shouldn't have kids in danger. 

To that we say, "Stinkola."

What is your state/area snow day policy?  Are you in a place that three flakes fall and the state shuts down?  Ooooo!  We laugh at that!  Whooo-boy, I was caught behind someone with Virginia plates yesterday (yes, Rachael, I thought of stories from your state) and my, oh, my-- they couldn't handle the wet roadway to save their life.  Finally, they pulled off. 

I love snow.  I love driving in snow.  I'd prefer to drive in snow than in rain any day. 

Smiles in my day:
-  Day 2 of inventory is over.
-  Watching the guys across the street from the gallery carving ice sculptures in their front yard.  It was pretty cool, even if I was supposed to be counting.
-  One, two, three, five . . .
-  K- is doing the finishing touches on her PTA Reflections art submission.  "Now, Mom, this IS a work of art!"  Bless her heart.  She's worked hard on it.  She did break away from the gene pool on that one.  I love it because she made it all herself and it is wonderful, but I don't know that it will be a prize winning work.  We talked about submitting and not everything wins.  "That's okay, Mom!" 
-  Advil.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: Stocking up for Christmas 2011

For those of you unfamiliar, I shop for Christmas in January.  (Yes, we budget for that and my husband supports it in full.)  I'm happy to say that other than my 18 month old nephew, I have gifts for 28 children purchased for next Christmas and it isn't even mid-January! 

Allow me to answer a few questions that might be coming to mind for you:

1.  I have over thirty children to purchase for.  At the moment, the number is 31.  I have nieces and nephews, friends that we exchange with and K-'s siblings.  There are generally a few more that pop up during the year.  Don't ask me how.  I think that they just grow from my woodwork.
2.  I have a limit of $5.00 and under per child.
3.  I only buy something that I consider to be a good quality gift.  No use in filling people's houses with things that will break the first time that the kids use them.
4.  I have several children that fall into different age groupings.  I often purchase in bulk stacks.
5.  I keep a sheet with me and fill it in while I'm shopping, right in the store aisle.  I have it saved on the computer and I update it with the item purchased and amount spent.
6.  I have a gift shelf in the basement that I keep organized with all the gifts that I purchase.  I label each with the name, occasion and amount spent.  Each item is detagged, labeled and placed on the shelf. 
7.  I usually buy all the birthday gifts that I know I need for the year in January, as well.  Yes, I generally have a few slosh pieces.  I've saved both my mom and sister with extras that I had.  Sadly, I had to use up most of my extras this year with the 5 additional gifts that I needed to contribute to family Christmas Eve, so that we made sure that all the children had the same number of gifts to open.  That's okay.  At least I had them!

This year, I did particularly well.  At first, I have to admit that I was a little afraid.  The clearances weren't looking so good.  Target is my go-to.  So is Joann Fabrics.  Neither one delivered on my first run.  Target did redeem themselves and I was able to get a hunk of things taken care of.

Let's get to it, shall we?  You want to know what I got, don't you?

1.  Red Toolbox Christmas Carol Building Kit for 8 children (one for K-).  Miss Patti was pretty impressed when K- brought her own tools to Build and Grow.  She told me to check out the kits marked down for $2.98. This kit was originally marked for $14.98.  Wow!
2.  Rose Art Modeling Clay Activity Kit for 7 children.  This was a Target buy of the day.  I admit that while this retailed at $4.99, they were marked down to 64 cents.  Yes, I sound cheap and cheesy, but I'm good with that.
3.  Littlest Pet Shop Postcard Pets for 2 children for 2 separate occasions.  They were marked down to $2.52 from $5.00 each.  Two girls are getting two each for Christmas, one is getting 2 for Easter and one is getting 2 for her birthday.
4.  Aqua Sand.  Three parents will be hating me for this.  I did score these for $3.48 each and they looked just fun enough for boys to flood the kitchen table out for.  Look next year for blog posts about the hate mail I've received.
5.  Chocolate Bath Sets.  5 young ladies will be receiving these lovely bags (already holiday wrapped!) with chocolate scented bath gel, lotion, bath pouf and felt ornament.  They were originally $12.50 at Kohl's, but were marked to $2.50.  I would have liked it when I was in the tween/early teen years.

I was able to get puzzles for my niece (one a scented Candy Land puzzle!), Yule Jewels OPI nail polish set for $2.50 for one of K-'s sisters, an Iron Man lego-type boat for one of our friend's son and CD book sets that I had purchased this fall for the upcoming babies.  I bought a few half price ornaments for children of a friend of mine.  I was also able to feed in the puzzles and activity wipe books that I purchased off the Target $1.00 marked-down-to-25-cents rack for a niece.  They are spiffy and don't have that dollar rack look or feel.  I was also able to score an Uno game for a somewhat difficult-to-buy-for boy for $1.00.  Turns out that he loves the game, took his home, so now he can keep this one at his dad's house.  The report was that he'll be thrilled.

My total spent?  $68.10.  The budget that I was hoping for?  $100.00.  I've even been able to fill in several birthday gifts!  The average gift price is about $2.50, and that is great!  Even better?  My grand total would have been $280.76.  Yes internet, that is a savings of $212.66.  HOORAY!  It's so good to be able to skip the retail market for gifts for almost the rest of the entire year by just shopping for a week or two in January.

Smiles in my day:
-  My husband leaving me an excited message on my cell that we had birds at our new bird feeding area.  It's the little things, you know?
-  One day of inventory down.
-  The great neighborhood that we live in with wonderful neighbors that surround us.

Have a great day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dishin' Dinners Day and Glaciation at the House of Bailey's Leaf

First, my dinner plan last went pretty well.  Unfortunately, the pot pie never came to be on Thursday.  The day just got a bit too hectic, but that is okay.  We always have this week.

Monday:  Leftover turkey tenderloin and stuffing.  We had this for Sunday dinner.

Tuesday/Wednesday:  Vegetable lasagna and green beans.

Thurs/Friday:  Chicken Pot Pie

Saturday:  Pizza crescents (saw a commercial) and chips.  It's a cheater day. 

Sunday:  I've yet to figure it out.

On to glaciation.  We have two freezers in our house.  We have the refrigerator freezer and we have the deep freeze in the basement.  Both had become a little crammed with what I was sure were a lot of things that just needed to see the interior of our outside can. 

Was that ever the case.

You see, where I have completely stripped the upstairs freezer clean (a couple of times a year), I've never done a full-on-at-once purge of the basement freezer. 

:Insert an admission here.  We've had the deep freeze since Nov 2002.:

Okay, now that you've completely shuttered in your seat, I come to promise you that I've ditched things on occasion.  It's just that I had never thawed it out to remove the glacial grooves that we had developing. I think that if I ignored it enough, it would go away.

Rest assured, it did not.

Hubs and K- were out at the "little museum" and I did some errand running ALL BY MYSELF.

Yes, it is true.  I was ON MY OWN. 

After I did all the running, including the grocery, I decided to tackle the beast.  If Hubs wasn't home, I wouldn't have him hovering.  If K- wasn't home, she wouldn't be yelling about what I was throwing away.

I took a laundry basket and started pitching things that were far past their prime.  I mean, I know it's a freezer and all, but it doesn't preserve things forever.  It did take a few laundry baskets to clear the yuck out. (A chunk of it were those popsicles in the plastic tube, because my neighbor bought them in bulk for a girlfriend and then the relationship went south.)  I boxed up our remaining food in Rubbermaid totes and took them to the driveway.  It was 22 degrees.  That was definitely cold enough to handle my frozen goods. 

Now that the purging was done, I still had to de-glaciate my deep freeze.  I decided to boil a pot of water and place it in the freezer with the door shut.  I placed the boiling pot on a folded up towel on a flipped over pyrex baking dish.  It took about two hours to fully work, but it loosened the ice jam up enough that I could break it away with a scraper.  I sopped up the water at the bottom with a big bath towel and wiped everything down.  Once it was all clean, I plugged it back in again.  Since I'm short (just a hair under 5' 1") it was no easy task.  I had myself all balanced with both feet off the ground.  It reminded me of my days in glass blowing.  There was a guy who thought that I fell into the big annealer that we had.  (It was cold, don't worry.)  All that was sticking out were my feet.  He ran across the shop, grabbed a hold of my ankles and was going to yank me out until I yelled that I was getting a casting set and I was okay. 

Back to the topic at hand.  The freezer is humming along so nicely.  I even think she thanked me.

To note:  My basement sink is still full of ice.  I filled it with the freezer ice at probably 5 PM.  It's 9:30 PM now and I've even run a couple of loads of laundry that have drained into the rinse tub!  That's some pretty thick ice!

My people were excited to go out to see the International Space Station fly by, so I mandated a freezer tote carrying session on our way back in.  We only had two boxes, but K- held the door open for us.  I let the freezer run for about an hour before bringing the things back in.

My oh my, I don't think that my freezer has ever been so organized!

It has taught me something.  I have vowed this year to be less wasteful.  Cleaning out the freezer was a pain in my behind, but it needed done.  Now that it is done, I can see everything I have, what I don't and I can fix meals accordingly. 

And thank God for cold days to allow me to do so!

Smiles in my weekend:
-  While the migraine on Saturday was certainly not a smile, I took an Excedrin Migraine and laid down across my bed with my fleece pants over my eyes.  K- came in at the end of her time out and asked what was wrong.  I told her and she said, "Oh Mommy, can I bring you a glass of water?"  I told her that I appreciated it, but what I would love to do was to take a nap.  She wanted to go outside to play, but I told her that she couldn't since I had to nap.  I asked if she wanted to lay down with me.  She got me a pillow and covered me up with a blanket and snuggled on in.  We slept for about an hour.  We would have probably slept longer, but someone was calling for the attorney in town with the same name as Hubs.  Darn. 
-  And yes, K- did play outside in the snow.
-  Getting a lot done today.
-  Taking back the enormous ball curtain rods to Kohl's and being able to get two rods at Lowe's on clearance for $4.99 each.  The original price?  $24.97 each!  Now that made me very happy!
-  Though our Ace Hardware was out of the $1.00 CFL's that they had on sale, they took a special order and said that they should have them in shortly.  How nice of them to do that!
-  The space station just flying on by.  Wow.  It took less than two minutes. 

Have a great day!