7 Quick Takes Friday, again

Well, I did it last week and it was good for me, and many of you said you enjoyed reading it too... so let's give it another go!
  1. On HEALTH: I've been trading off between the Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred and Firm Yoga. I feel good after both of them, but they're quite different. I want to keep it up but also want to be careful to maintain my milk supply, as I've felt that it's been affected some by the additional strain from exercise. I'm also trying --trying!-- to stop drinking my husband's awesome sweet tea throughout the day and just limit myself to a glass or two at dinner. But man, I got into a bad habit in the pregnant heat of this summer. So I'm aiming to replace those sweet tea hankerings with ice water. Yum. Really, there is something about water that just hits the spot. Plus, like I mentioned, I wanna keep up that milk supply.

  2. I also went to the mall all by myself-- I can't remember the last time that happened-- and bought a couple of shirts and a new skirt so I have something nice to wear from time to time. "What Not To Wear"'s Clinton & Stacey resonate in my head sometimes, and I heard them dissing my cooking-oil-stained, ill-fitting, everything-in-my-entire-wardrobe-is-several-years-old clothing selection. So I did something about it. Well, I have to be honest, I did a little something about it. Most of what I have in my drawers still fits that description, but a girl can only do so much solo shopping with a little sweet nursling waiting for her to get home at a certain time. Anyway, I had fun buying a few new things. Frugality is wonderful, and contentment is a key to joy. But it feels nice to at least feel like I can be presentable and not distracted wondering if anyone around me has noticed the huge oil stains from when I made fried eggs and forgot to wear an apron one time two years ago.

    Living overseas, getting used to different shops, sizes, and clothing quality, as well as just the normal time constraints of a homeschooling mom of (now) five has definitely put a damper on my ability to shop (and even my awareness of how to shop). In America, I used to just occasionally pop into Kohl's or Old Navy, head straight for my favorite section of the store, browse the sales rack, try a few things on, and buy what was needed. By that method, pretty much for my whole adult life, I'd continually maintained a presentable wardrobe, no matter what size I was, no matter what our budget was (both Old Navy & Kohl's have killer sales!), etc.

    But here, the quality of cotton here is poorer, the washers and dryers are harder on clothes, and it's an indoor/outdoor culture. The rules are different. Let's says you buy a few new shirts for summer, by American standards, you think you're all set, and that those shirts should last you at least 2-3 summers before wearing out. But here, the seams pull on one of the shirts and it's ripped and ruined the first wash. Or, the cotton that was strong and pretty at the beginning of the summer is faded and worn and thin by the end of the summer. Or, moths eat through it despite your best efforts to kill any ones you see and use cedar blocks and mothballs anywhere clothes are stored... because the windows and doors are constantly open since there's not central A/C. And I'm not whining, I'm just saying, the rules here are different. But at least I have a few nice things for now.

  3. On CUTTING COSTS: This week, I made a price book. And I'm really excited about it... I can't wait to go grocery shopping this weekend and have another receipt worth of prices to enter in. :) That sounds really geeky, but I really am looking forward to this. I can think of all kinds of great ways to use the information I'll learn. Not only where to stock up on which products, but also knowing for sure what constitutes a good deal.

    I don't know what happened. I used to be able to keep track of all that (really!) in my head when we lived in the US, but something about translating everything into another currency and then throwing in kilograms and milliliters just really blows a hole into whatever knowledge of price per pound or cents per unit I used to have stored away in this here brain.

  4. Oh. I probably should have mentioned this first. My computer died. It ought to be sort of a sad thing, but really, aside from the inconvenience of having to write things down to remember to do later rather than just being able to quickly answer a question or pop off an e-mail when I think of it, it's really been quite nice. (I did predict that the poor thing was declining, so I'd already copied all relevant files/pictures/music to an external hard drive, so there's no tragedy involved.) I've spent even more time with the kiddos. My house is cleaner. And my brain is less distracted, somehow. I like this. I'm not sure we're going to replace my computer, so I guess it's a good thing I like it. :)

  5. Amendment to that last point: I did lose all of my bookmarks. This is not something of tragic proportions, but I do feel a good bit of loss at all the great bookmarks I had saved up for a Show & Tell sometime soon... AND for all of my homeschool tabs. Anyone happen to know if you can retrieve bookmarks from a dead computer? It's a Dell, and I used Mozilla Firefox, if that makes a difference.

  6. I had an idea last week to share some of my best nursing tips, but as Steve Miller might say, time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin, into the future. So instead, those of you new mamas checking out Making Home and needing encouragement in the breastfeeding department ought to check out this post. She said lots of things I hoped to say.

    One thing she didn't say, particularly for avoiding breast infections, is to ditch the underwire in your nursing bras. At least initially. Something about that dadgum underwire pressing into me, well, I don't want to get too explicit, but I've found that when I wear one in those early months, it just contributes to or leads to a breast infection... and when I wear just a normal, supportive, non-underwire bra, well, I just don't end up in pain. So that's one important tip I've picked up along the way.

    And, if you're wondering, I did not obey this rule of mine and felt an infection coming on last week. It took a couple days of nursing first on the painful side, drinking tons of water, getting extra rest, and taking the occasional pain med before I got rid of that dad-blasted infection. Fifth baby, fifth infection. Go figure. I thought this would be my chance to avoid it... but I forgot my rule about no underwire. I always try to go back to wearing underwire too soon, drat! You can do better than me. Avoid underwire like the plague in those early months of nursing!

  7. A semi-embarrassing story: At some point this last week, I was reading an article online and it vexed me greatly. Though I can't now recall what the article was about, as I was reading it, I reacted out loud: "What a bunch of CRAP!"

    My four-year-old daughter looked up from across the room and said, "a bunch of crap? I want to see a bunch of crap!" And she ran over to where I was sitting as Doug & I glanced at each other (can't believe she just said that!), stifling our horrified giggles. Peering at the computer screen, she said, "where? Where are the crabs?" She thought I was referencing a picture of a bunch of CRABS. I told her there weren't any crabs, and she (quite naturally) was thoroughly confused! Oops.

    So there's a little slice of life here, just keeping it real.
Thoughts? Advice? Any response at all?

[eta: After reading back through this, I realize I'm not very good at the "quick" part of seven quick takes... oh well. It is what it is. Sorry for my long-windedness.]


Candra Georgi said...

thanks for sharing.

i enjoyed the nursing post too.

funny, my 4 year old always says "what the heck" i keep saying it...so...so does he. sigh.


Becky S said...

I also let the crap word fly this week. My 9 year old busted me: "Mom, we don't use that word!" "Oops! Sorry Honey, you're right, Mommy needs to watch her words!" It's hard to get too puffed up with pride when you are being corrected by your children (rightfully so).

Deborah said...

My computer died unexpectedly on--get this!--the day I gave birth to my daughter. It was working that morning, but I couldn't get it to shut down when I wanted to pack it to go to the hospital, so I did a hard shut down (holding the power button for 10 seconds). When I tried to boot it back up later, no luck. Wouldn't boot at all.

Anyway, I was all upset about losing my files, my bookmarks, everything, but my wonderful husband saved all of it. He bought some gadget--I think he called it a dock--and pulled the hard drive out of my laptop, transferred the files to it, and used it to put the files on my new laptop. If you want more details, email me (if you no longer have my private email address, use my blog one: ReflectionsFromMaadi[at]gmail[dot]com) and I'll have my husband give me the technical details to share with you.

Sadie said...

Hi Jess, I can totally relate to the shopping in a different country for clothes. I find it really difficult to gauge the wear and tear of clothes over here. But, I agree it is nice to have some new things once in awhile. I'm glad you were able to find the time to go shopping. Glad to know its not just me with overseas shopping disorder. :)

Jessica said...

I remember the first time I let the word "crap" come past my lips in front of my son. "What's crap mom?"

Learning daily I am!

Jess said...

YAY! A daughter! Congratulations. We were just remembering you all this week.

I definitely want more info about your husband's wonderful solution. I'll try to write you soon. Hope you guys are doing well and enjoying life with your new little one!

Mandi said...

You didn't happen to have xmarks with firefox did you? My husband had me get it awhile back, its apparently an add-on for firefox and saves all your bookmarks and saved everything... I am going to take this as a reminder to back mine up now!

Meg said...

I don't know about recovering your bookmarks, but in the future you could use Xmarks. It holds all your bookmarks on their server and works with most browsers. I love it. I can have all my bookmarks at both computers and it syncs them automatically. And if your computer dies you can just reinstall and sign in on your new computer and there are all your bookmarks. :) Hope it helps.

flyinjuju said...

These 7 Quick Takes are super fun. I love getting a glimpse into your life.
That reminded me I have been wanting to do a price list as well.

Sanders said...

I love the 'long windedness' - and dig the 7 quick takes.

So - right before I gave birth to our second, Todd went to visit his brother in a nearby country. When he and his brother came back - they took our oldest out to swing (then 2). She pointed at the swing and said 'Ah man, bird CRAP!' I was SO embarrassed!!!

Do you have a goal for how many times a week you exercise?

Anonymous said...

As a thrifty clothes-shopper myself [you would swear that I go out of my way to break at least 1-2 of Stacey and Clinton's rules on a daily basis!!], I discovered a great way to get rid of oil stains on clothes - it's about 50/50 as far as whether it works or not - probably depends on the fabric - but I have saved a few shirts this way: Pretreat it with Dawn dish detergent or a little bit of shampoo. It doesn't matter if the stain is "new" or not - if it's going to work, it's going to work. I guess it makes sense - Dawn gets rid of grease from dishes, and shampoo takes the grease out of your hair...

I hope I have helped you prolong the life of some of your shirts for a little longer, at least :o).

DKJAZ Santibanez said...

Hi Jess,
I'm glad you were able to save important files on your computer before it crashed. We lost half of our honeymoon photos in a crash and I still get a twinge of sadness- they were the photos taken while in the Rockies in Canada...sigh...
My husband says if you happened to save your "Documents and Settings" folder while saving your other stuff then you should be able to retrieve your bookmarks (and even your entire Firefox history). Does that make any sense to you?
Thanks for sharing again. :-)
Katherine S.

Leila said...

Thanks so much for linking to my post!
It's funny -- since I HATE underwire bras, nursing or not, I just didn't mention it!
God bless!

Anonymous said...

What is the name of the Firm Yoga exercise dvd? I looked up Firm yoga and several options came up.

I enjoy reading your blog.


Ryan and Sandra said...

I read the comments just now (catching up on blogs as I procrastinate doing my 'work') and can't believe no one commented on your Price book....

You see, I'm pretty geeky like that, too. :)

We recently returned to the U.S. from living in 2 Latin American countries in 2 years -- where I (in essence, without knowing the name for it) made price books! It is SO helpful, especially when it comes to the different currency and all of the mL, grams, and then the options of where to buy things. I found that buying produce in our 2nd country was actually a better deal at the supermarket where I didn't have to haggle because then the scales were generally accurate! (Not to mention I'm a pretty bad haggle-er).

I'm glad you can do this... even knowing which toilet paper is a good deal actually took a lot of stress out of my life! Have fun!