Sunday, August 31, 2014


Belle and I ate vanilla ice cream cones at McDonald’s on Saturday.  While I ate mine right up, Belle let hers drip all over her hands, her clothes and the table.  I had to help her eat it, which wasn’t difficult because I really wanted more anyway.  Belle ate her ice cream while watching children play on the play structure.  Belle never really joined these children once we finished her ice cream and got all cleaned up.  She seemed curious and observant, yet too timid to play.  This is common in these situations. 

Belle and I have been to McDonald’s Play Place three times now.  One dollar (plus tax) spent on a coffee or a cone gets Belle a couple hours of watching other kids play and me a chance to use free internet.  Last week at Play Place Belle met a child in a tie dyed tee shirt with long, flowing curls and a toy motorcycle.  The child turned out to be a boy ten months older than Belle.  He really wanted to play with Belle, and Belle wouldn’t leave my arms.  He eventually screamed at her, which inspired Belle to scream at Polly once we came home.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Belle and I spent another restless Thursday night.  The cats stayed out all night and Belle stayed up all night.  Belle would ask for food each time I would feel most at rest.  Then she’d run downstairs and pulverize the dinner rolls or muffins we’d brought home earlier.  I knew Belle couldn’t handle it when she threw herself onto the kitchen floor in tears over chocolate pudding.  I thwarted the tantrum long enough to get both cats in and fed.  I managed to brush Belle’s teeth and put her to bed after midnight.  That’s a far cry from the nine pm ideal.  It just isn’t happening this week.  How do we get back on track?

I really liked that chocolate pudding though.  I hadn’t had chocolate pudding that good since Sizzler’s in the 1980s.  Belle had mixed reactions to the pudding though.  Granted, she hadn’t slept.  There might still be hope that Belle might like pudding.  A family meal planning guide I’d brought home from the pediatrician lists custard and pudding as sources of calcium.  I found a great coconut cream custard recipe in one of my cookbooks.  I could just cut the sugar and try it!


Belle and I attended a professional mixer on Wednesday evening.  I arrived completely elated after successfully satisfying a pressing need.  I attracted a woman in need of my services and a linguist willing to spread the word about my services.  Belle attracted, or dare I say, was attracted to, a lively seven year old boy and his eleven year old cousin or friend.  Belle enjoyed chasing after these boys and grabbing their hands to hold.  I just held back and watched.  I wish Belle had the language and the conversation skills to proudly recount this and the experience she had with the six year old child we met last Friday.  That would be so much fun!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Belle is restless, especially now that both cats are roaming outside.  Maybe Belle and the cats are in a restless phase.  I don't know.  Last night I got Belle to sleep earlier than normal.  She slept two hours and woke up hungry.  I offered Belle broiled salmon, mashed potatoes and collard greens.  Belle drank pineapple juice and fed me salmon.  Satisfied from dinner, but with a restless child, I decided to boil water for tea and whip some cream.  Belle seemed insistent upon doing anything she shouldn't and didn't stop until she'd cut her finger on the can of evaporated milk I'd discarded.  That killed my desire for tea!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tot plate/cats

I am really getting the hang of My Plate.  It helps satisfy me at meal times and beyond.  This morning we ate whole wheat toast spread with almond butter, Italian sausage, lentils with okra, red onion and peppers and homemade apple and pear sauce.  Belle ate the almond butter toast and the apple and pear sauce with a glass of milk.  She ate raisins and dried seaweed later on.  I wish she would eat more iron and protein.  She might stay fuller longer.

Also, Polly is officially an indoor/outdoor cat.  Both cats disappeared yesterday and did not return before Belle's bed time.  Belle wouldn't rest at all, which meant I couldn't rest.  Belle didn't sleep until nearly two this morning.  Polly didn't come home until five am.  She followed Krishna back out later on.  May they stay safe and always return.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ronald's virtual office

I made an insanely satisfying breakfast this morning:  white rice with seaweed and sesame seeds, Italian sausage, lentils with okra, peppers and red onions and homemade apple and pear sauce.  Belle ate the apple and pear sauce and drank reduced fat milk.  We shared a mug of instant coffee later on, which was more milk and sugar than anything.  Now we are at McDonald's, taking advantage of cheap coffee, free Internet and a playground.  Belle is busy watching the children play while eating raisins.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

More My Plate

offered Thursday evening’s dinner (noodles, sausage and broccoli) as Friday morning’s breakfast.  Belle ate cheap white cake instead.  I packed up the cheese and grapes to take along with us.  Belle napped in the shade of the pushchair while I walked the long way to a café.  She ate a little cheese and grapes upon waking and fed the bulk to me. 

We came home in time for a late lunch I never got to make.  Belle gestured toward the last of the cake and promptly lunged for the door.  Belle took the cake to an apartment nearby, where we met a bright six year old child playing alone outside.  Belle fell instantly in love with this girl, as did I.  Belle’s eyes danced as she grabbed the girl’s hand.  She beamed when the girl picked her up and spun her around.  Belle slapped me when it came time to leave because she really liked this girl.

I cooked lentils with cut okra and stewed tomatoes for dinner (a perfect mix of dried, frozen and canned ingredients!).  I sautéed mild peppers and red onions in a separate pot and stirred that into the lentils.  Then I cooked jasmine rice with sweet peas in the same pot where I’d cooked the onions and peppers.  Belle refused the lentils and the rice, drinking pineapple juice instead.  We drank smoothies made from frozen bananas and mixed fruit for dessert.

I served jasmine rice with sweet peas, fried eggs, spicy shishinto peppers fried with onions, grapes, pineapple juice, sour cream and cheese for this morning's breakfast.  Belle insisted on sitting in my lap and threw a fit because I wasn't comfortable.  I couldn't reach the food on the table with Belle in my way.  Belle refused all but the cheese and fruit and overate both into the afternoon.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Plate

I bought Belle a durable plastic serving plate based on the newer "My Plate" guideline.  I found this item at a discount store.  Last night I made dinner accordingly:  cheese cubes surrounded by noodles, sausage, steamed broccoli and seedless black grapes.  Belle ate cheese and grapes only.  Then she grabbed an onion off the table and offered it to me as a mobile phone.  I ate our entire meal with an onion on my shoulder.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


We are back using wireless internet at the college.  Belle has stripped off her chocolate stained top.  Her back is scratched from my frantic, yet successful, efforts to pull her out of the street after she ran into traffic.  Now Belle is blowing raspberries, without a second though to what could have meant death for us both.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I am blogging from outside College of Alameda.  Belle is barefoot and sleeping in the pushchair.  We have had a whirlwind of a week!  God and His angels are really coming through for me right now.  Tomorrow I intend to pay it forward by visiting an ailing friend.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Screaming child

Today's food run included baby wipes, half a pack of training pants and a random can of cat food.  Belle flailed and screamed almost the entire trip.  She'd been screaming since she woke up.  She screamed as I made breakfast.  She screamed when a friend gave us crackers.  She screamed so much that she exhausted herself.  I had to carry Belle with one arm and push the pushchair with the other (I didn't have time to strap Belle into the Ergo.).  I managed to bring home what we needed though.


Belle is thirty-two months old and happily breastfeeding.  I am voraciously eating just about anything I please and nursing/walking it all off.  I can wear a size four dress again.  Last week I tried on a much loved dress, size large, only to see it hang loose.  Last night I cinched the waist with a belt and wore the dress anyway.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Money coach

I feel I can serve as a money coach, based on my experiences these past several years.  Many people fear money and react accordingly.  Maybe I can help.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tuesday spaghetti

Ruthia's unexpected visit turned into a spaghetti dinner.  Ruthia filled the boiling pot and made the salad dressing.  I made the salad and the spaghetti and meat sauce.  Belle made a complete mess.  She slapped me repeatedly and threw food and utensils.  Then Belle looked at Ruthia to make sure Ruthia was looking as Belle beat me upside my head.  I didn't need to be a disciplinarian because Ruthia addressed Belle for me.  Belle retaliated by pooping on a potty in front of Ruthia.  Ruthia left before I could serve tea.  Such was dinner!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Last Friday I offered a friend a cup of tea, to which she said, "No, thank you.  I am on a diet."  My friend soon produced a bottle of cherry soda from her bag and drank it.  I had offered her a steaming cup of black tea, mind you, with real milk and real sugar on the side.  She had rejected the antioxidants in black tea in favor of fake sugar, flavoring and food coloring,  It wasn't even a diet soda, and yet she felt this was "healthy."  What gives?


We are nurturing this mystery tree our friend Ruthia helped us move into shaded sun.  What is it?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cooking with cornbread?

Belle and I went to picnics all weekend.  We brought home cornbread, mac and cheese and watermelon.  What can I do with leftover cornbread?  The baker made it dense and dry.  Belle keeps asking to eat it and is making a giant mess.  I wouldn't let Belle eat cornbread while perched high on the kitchen counter tops so she climbed down and spit a mouthful of crumbs on clean laundry.  I need this to disappear somehow.

Generous cat haul

A Freecycle family gave us all of their cat food, supplies and toys after their toddler's allergies forced them to re-home their cat.  Interestingly enough, their cat ate the same food as Krishna and Polly, although it might be another flavor within the same brand.  The cats now have at least four months of dry food, the majority of which is Taste of The Wild.  Also, now Polly's litter box matches Krishna's (Same style in a different color.).  I am pleased.  While last Saturday's food run didn't yield cat litter, we got extra cat food.  Today we got food and litter, and we can always use more.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Being Honest

I am finally trying the Honest brand of diapers this late in the game.  Belle wears disposable pull-ups by day and a disposable diaper at night.  She either goes commando at home or she practices in cotton knickers.  That's our current plan until she learns how to communicate her needs.

I asked my usual diaper hook-up for supplies when I noticed our supply running low.  I also asked Freecycle.  No one could deliver.  Last night I found a mom in desperate need to purge a few packs of Honest diapers (and several loose) in Belle's size.  These are perfect!