Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday's Funny Phrases #8

So instead of skipping breakfast completely, which I'm guilty of more often than not, I decided to drink a Carnation Instant Breakfast. WC used to get these mixed in with his milk (per Dr. orders) for a while, so he knows he likes those. Well, I'm drinking my breakfast and I see he wants some, so I let him have a sip, which is more like him just sticking his tongue in my drink. Then I have some more, and he looks at me and says, "Mommy, drink me."

While holding WC, I ask him, "Where's Mommy's kisses?" He points to my lips and says, "Right there." Oh, I could just eat him up!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thrifty Thursday #13

You know I love me some coupons, and I'm happy to say that I'll be getting $30 of coupons from Home Made Simple. This booklet will include coupons for items like Dawn, Febreeze, etc. Thanks so much Coupon Gal.

How does some FREE baby food sound to some of you? Well, Beechnut is offering a free toddler welcome kit that includes a coupon for free products. Thank you CouponingFor4, Coupon Clippin' Mommy.

MomsByHeart showed me a great deal on FREE Right Guard deodorant at Kroger this week. It's on sale 10/$10 and there are $2 off 2 printable coupons. JD has so much deodorant already gotten from great deals, but can I pass up free? He's going to need more deodorant eventually, so I may as well add 4 more to the stockpile.

Another thing JD does not need more of is body wash, but again I cannot pass up FREE because he'll need it one day! Stockpiling Moms, A Thrifty Mom say I can get free Gillette Body Wash from Target this week. There was a coupon in the P&G insert from this past Sunday (thank goodness I got a paper this past weekend) for $4 off of 2 any Gillette Body wash or deodorant excluding trial sizes. Looks like I'll be getting 2 free body washes. JD is making out huge this week!

And while I'm at Target, I will get a few Tag reading books for AZ. She is absolutely IN LOVE with those books, and Stockpiling Moms just showed me a $3 off coupon. I'm going to start buying and saving for her birthday. Yay!

I love finding good deals! What goodies have you found this week??

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday #6

Post It Notes provided by Supah Mommy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My boy is officially 2!

OH MY GOSH! My son is officially 2 years old. My baby, my last kid, my little man is growing up. I can't help but reflect a little over the two years of his life...

With WC, the OB and I set an induction date a few days before his official due date because my body was showing signs of readiness, and I was a wreck about what we'd do with AZ and how we'd plan everything if I went into labor naturally. And I'm sooooo thankful that we set a date, because had we not, I'm certain that he would have been born in the car on the side of the road instead of in the hospital. You see, we had record breaking blizzards that winter - like "it's illegal to drive on the road because there's so much snow and ice" type of blizzards. So, thank you, GOD, for taking care of us on that end.

Well, my hubby came home from grad school that night, we ate dinner (I ate a Subway 6" sandwich because I remembered how starved I was after having AZ) and left AZ in the care of my in-laws. We got to the hospital at 10pm that night and WC was born at 6:04 the next morning. They had to turn the pitocin off after about an hour or so because I was having a contraction every minute. Thank you, GOD, that I had an epidural that actually worked this time. And in no time flat, we were back home, and now a family of 4. AZ was just 19 months old, but she did exceptionally well with adjusting. Whew!

And before I knew it he was walking, and by the time he was 1 year old he only had two speeds: running and sleeping. And a year later, those are still his only speeds. Shortly after his 1st birthday, he fell and hit his eyebrow on the rocking chair, resulting in a trip to the ER and a stitch. And not long after that he had surgery to get tubes in his ears and get a bottom tooth repaired. That tooth came in with no enamel. The worst thing ever was when he opened the oven door after dinner was eaten and done, and badly burnt both of his hands. We're STILL recovering from that one. And of course there was the time he had to get x-rays on his arm because his older sister used it as a rope to climb into his crib. There's also the fact that he forced his toddler bed upon us because he kept climbing out of his crib.

Wow! When I see all of the things my boy has been through during his short little life so far in all grouped together, I must seem like the worst mother ever. Well, I am going to assure you - I am not. :) WC is a busy, busy, busy boy and I do my best to keep up. He's my snuggle bear and my sweet sweet little man.

Happy 2nd Birthday, WC! I hope you enjoyed your fabulous birthday party! I love you bunches and bunches and want nothing but the best for you!

Dear God,
Thank you so much the blessings in my life that you have given me. Thank you so much for my children. Please help me to be the best mom I can be for both of them, so that they can grow to know you. Help me to protect them the best that I can and be who I need to be for them.
In Christ Name. Amen.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Searching the Internet Like You Normally Would + SwagBucks = FREE MONEY

Have you ever heard of Swagbucks?

Thanks to my SIL and so many blogs out there, I discovered Swagbucks a few months ago, and just by searching the Internet as I normally would - except now through Swagbucks - I have earned enough Swagbucks to purchase gift cards. It's like FREE MONEY, people! You can learn all about how Swagbucks works HERE. And if you want to take a gander, check out the bottom of my blog. Plus every Friday is Super SwagBucks Day, where you can earn extra bucks!

So sign up, keep searching online, start EARNING! Happy hunting!

Friday's Funny Phrases #7

AZ has recently discovered that her favorite Uniqua doll from The Backyardigans can be undressed. Well, after the pony incident that cost me about 20 minutes in Kroger - the incident where she insisted on bringing in her pony and then somehow dropped it somewhere and cried as loud as she possibly could after I gave up looking after hunting through the entire store - I told AZ that if she wanted to take Uniqua into the store that she'd have to be dressed. There was no way I was going to look for Uniqua's clothing if it got dropped. Well, she couldn't put the clothes back on herself, so she gave the doll to me. Did I mention we're in the car on the way to the store? So, I stop at a stop sign in my neighborhood and get her dressed. I finish up, begin driving again while handing her the doll. And since AZ always insists that I have 2 hands on the wheel at all times now, she says, "Mommy you need more arms." Me: "I think ALL mommies could use more arms. I'd like to have arms like an octopus." AZ: "No, Mommy. Then you wouldn't have fingers." My smart little girl.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thrifty Thursday #12

I have read on MANY blogs, such as Freebies4Moms, CouponingFor4, Just Call Me Lucy, The Coupon Scoop, MomsByHeart, Luvin' Great Deals, Frugal Racing Fan Mommy, Stockpiling Moms, Nickels-n-Dimes, that there is an offer for a free full-sized bottle of Pantene if you are a member of Vocalpoint. I LOVE Pantene products!

And while browsing through all the wonderful blogs I follow, I learned from She Saved about some awesome deals this week. For example, you can get Starkist Tuna for $0.02 each at Target, and for only $0.04 at Walgreens you can get Crest Toothpaste. Thanks to The Coupon Scoop who also shared the Walgreens Crest deal.

If you love candles, Glade candles to be precise, MomsByHeart, A Thrifty Mom say you can get some for only $0.16 at Target! I love the clean linen scent! Heavenly.

Have you heard of any other good deals out there?? If so, please share!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday Wishes #9

I am hoping and wishing this week that I do not have a disaster on my hands when I try to make two pillow covers on the sewing machine. I haven't sewed anything for 16 years. Seriously, I was in the 9th grade home-ec class. I really wish to do a fabulous job! I will post a picture of them no matter how they turn out...Wish me luck!

I entered a giveaway by Our Imperfect Life, who is offering some great goodies all the way from Japan. How awesome would this win be?? There was just not enough room in my suitcase to bring back a lot of things from my trip back in April, so I hope I win this giveaway!

And the giveaway hosted by Freebies 4 Mom is INCREDIBLE! Lucky for me I am already a member of E-bates, and I am soooooooo hoping to win the $100 to Macy's! What a fabulous giveaway, right!?!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Make Each Second Count

photo by mewsgirl
Looking in the past can be a little dangerous. I see a life, a skinnier gal back then, where I really only had to worry about me. I could get up and go - just like that. I see STRUCTURE, clean and organized STRUCTURE. I see going out to eat whenever I want, going shopping whenever I want, just doing whatever I want. I see lots and lots of pre-kid fun. I see dates and parties and not too many responsibilities. I was a woman, a teacher, a wife.

And now...Clean organized structure is replaced with toys - everywhere. I see wrestling kids, happy squealing wrestling kids. I must take an extra 10 minutes to get kids ready, diaper bags packed, and kids in car seats before I leave for the simplest errand. I swear sometimes it takes longer to get the kids ready and in the car than the actual errand itself. I am a more tired woman, rounder in the midsection, too. I am doctor, teacher, pharmacist, cook, maid, servant, all powerful mommy to my kids, and wonderful WONDERFUL wife. (Right, JD?) I know the messes are temporary. My kids are going to grow up. I won't see happy squealing kids. Those will be replaced by grumpy teenage kids one day. They're only little once. Soon they'll learn to eat what's made for dinner...and lunch...and breakfast. They'll learn to sleep through the night all on their own. They'll become better listeners, bigger helpers, and continue to stay happy. They'll stop calling me "Mommy" and it'll break my heart. Simply put, they'll grow up.

So, what I guess I'm trying to say is, I need to live in the now. Be present in my family and my life now. And love every second of it!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope everyone has a nice day today, and everyday. But may today be filled with lots of love, laughter, and moments that warm your heart. Oh, and CHOCOLATE!

Valentine's Day

Graphic from

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thrifty Thursday #11

Well, the last run I made in the Kroger Mega Sale was successful for me. I bought 94 items, many that were not included in the Mega Sale Event, and spent $125.42 while saving $111.88 (47%). The freezer in my basement is literally almost over flowing with food.

MoJoSavings showed me how to get FREE World's Best Cat Litter. It's through a rebate found on their site. I love getting free things, especially things I would have to get anyway. Thanks, MoJoSavings!

Another Facebook fan freebie...I got a coupon for buy 1 get 1 FREE carton of eggs by becoming a fan of Incredible Edible Eggs. And I can use my coupon on any brand. Thank you, Facebook. You are becoming quite the money saver for me!

And now I can get another coupon booklet, this one from BoxTops worth $10. Thank you to MomsByHeart for showing me how to get these coupons!

Every little bit saved helps. What good deals have you found?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday's Wishes #8

As I sit here this afternoon, working on my Wednesday's Wishes post, both of my poor kids are sick and in bed. AZ and WC both have strep throat, so my biggest wish of all this week is that my kids get healthy and then stay healthy. It's so hard to see my babies not feeling well. A quick wish number two, I really hope I don't get sick while taking care of my little ones. Mommies don't get rest during the week, even if we do get sick. And I also hope hubby doesn't get sick either. GET HEALTHY, STAY HEALTHY.

Now for the "I hope I win this giveaway" wishes:
The-Mommy Files is hosting a giveaway for a DVD called "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie's Bow-tique" and AZ would LOVE this! WC likes Mickey Mouse, too, but AZ is the bigger fan. I hope for her that we win this giveaway!

The cake I made for AZ's 3rd birthday

My Organized Chaos is giving away a Giant Daycare Combo Pack of I.D. Me Labels . With AZ in preschool, these would be VERY useful to have, especially in the winter months. I would I.D. everything, too! Hat, coat, boots, mittens, etc, etc, etc. I hope I win this giveaway!

What are you wishing for?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Holding Myself Accountable

I was thinking the other day about my 2010 goals/resolutions and thought it'd be a good idea to go back through them to see how I'm doing. And I don't think I'm starting off so badly, either. Yay!

I can't say that I've lost any weight since the year has started, though I'm fabulous at maintaining. I have, however, started walking/jogging/running on the treadmill. So far I've been on the treadmill 3 days in a row. That's HUGE for me, as I am NOT a runner. I'm a big believer that I should only run if being chased or if I have to catch one of my kids. Therefore, the fact that I've been on the treadmill 3 days in a row is kind of a big deal to me. The first day I jogged/walked for a mile. It took me about 15 minutes to do, so it definitely isn't that time consuming. Bonus. I started off with no incline, then decided that if I wasn't running, that I'd walk on an incline. Day two wasn't quite as successful. I was only on the treadmill for about 5 minutes before children started having meltdowns. That ended that. Day 3 was also about 5 minutes because I thought, I bet I can get a mile in a lot faster if I bump the mph up to 5.5 instead of 5. Well, that wasn't such a good idea. New plan - see if I can get to one mile going 5 miles an hour on an incline of 5 without having to walk at all. Then I'll slowly start speeding up. I think that sounds reasonable. What do you think?

I have definitely been doing well saving money so far this year. I don't know how much I've spent on groceries since the year has begun off hand, but since these receipts are right on the desk, here are the figures from my last 3 grocery runs. I spent out of pocket $355.38 on a total of 270 items and SAVED $414.89. It appears I am definitely hitting my goal of saving above 30% on each grocery trip. Yay for me! But I still want to do better.

And I have started taking over the bills and finances. I know I still have a long way to go in order to have a full understanding of where all of our money goes, but I have at least begun that journey.

As for sending out greeting cards, I believe I am going to revise this goal. I had wanted to actually send something out to everyone for their birthday or anniversary or special occasion. And now, for the sake of being more frugal, I am going to say that you may get a card in the mail, or a phone call, or an e-card, or a combination of those. I'll do something so that you know I'm thinking of you, but it may not be a card in the mail - a card that will probably end up in the trash or recycling anyway. Do you think it's acceptable to send out e-cards for special occasions and such? I still don't know my stand on those, but there it is.

Doing more FUN things with the kids - now unless we count coloring, arts and crafts, reading books, or just general playing with them, we haven't done much with this goal yet. I could blame the cold weather, but I won't. No excuses, I've just been lazy.

The mom's group I'm in is helping me get some more "me" time, as is my wonderful husband. JD has been absolutely amazing this year. When possible, he lets me sleep in on Saturdays and takes on the kids by himself those mornings. And I've been enjoying book club and will be hosting Bunco soon. I like where this goal is headed. :)

I've definitely been slacking on even going to church this year, so I've made zero progress in deciding on becoming a member. I need to step up my game and get out the door on Sunday mornings. Just been lazy on this goal, too. Laziness is a goal killer, huh?

And lastly, I don't want to sweat the small stuff. I think with a child like WC, this goal is forced upon me whether I want it or not. He and AZ definitely show me what's important in life. I don't think I'm as crazy about the mess unless someone is coming over or it's just gotten out of hand.

It's midish-February and I'm not doing that bad. I definitely have areas that could be improved, but overall, I'd say I get a thumbs up. How are you doing on your goals/resolutions so far in 2010?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thrifty Thursday #10

I am excited that I will be getting another coupon booklet from ConAgra, thanks to CouponingFor4 and Surviving the Stores. This one will be for $17. And thanks to MoJoSavings, MomsbyHeart, Freebies4Mom, A Thrifty Mom I'll be getting 3 coupon booklets from HomeMade Simple worth over $30 each. AND Eat Better America is sending me a $10 copuon booklet. Thank you Freebies4Mom. Gotta love my coupons!

And here's why I LOVE coupons. At my Kroger Mega Sale event where you buy 10 participating items and receive $5 off your total, I saved $266.92 (56%) of my bill. The total was $473.51 brought down to $206.59 thanks to matching sale items with coupons! I would have saved more percentage wise, but I bought over 20 items that were not part of the Mega Sale, including a ham, 2 packs of bacon, 2 packs of hot dogs, 4 gallons of milk, 2 packs of chicken, 5 lbs of ground beef, 4 pounds of ground turkey, oil for hubby's car, breakfast waffles, koolaid, and produce. I managed to save $55 just for buying the participating sale items. But I got FREE International Delight Coffee Creamer (AGAIN!!) by being a fan on their Facebook page (I think). I couldn't find the Stacy's Pita chips, but I have a coupon to get a FREE bag of those for becoming a fan of theirs on Facebook. I got a large box of Post cereal for only .19, got FREE cans of Rotel Tomatoes (which were actually money makers where I earned .13-.18 cents a can because of overage), a FREE package of Quaker Quakes (made .51 on that because of overage), and FREE I Can't Believe It's Not Butter packs of margarine (and made .02 a pack on those because of overage). All in all, I walked out of Kroger with 153 items, and my head held high. The customer behind me could not believe what she was seeing as she watched my total continue to drop. She said, "I thought I did coupons. But YOU do coupons." I am so proud of myself! And this is the second time in my life where the manager has had to come over and put a key in the register to approve all of my coupons. I'll have to run back in this week (since the sale is continued) to get the Franks Redhot Sauce for only $0.19 a bottle and 7 other items to equal my 10. Love love love this! I am CONFIDENT that I will be able to eat out of my freezer and pantry for a month or two with no problems. Hooray!

On my second trip to Kroger, I only had a few coupons that I could combine with the Mega Sale, and I bought 2 things that were not in the sale at all. I bought 23 items, spending $23.37, but I saved $36.09 (60%) of my purchase! And when I saw the lady in front of me, with about the same number of items I had, spend over $90, I smiled for myself. I'm getting really good at this couponing thing!

My next trip will hopefully be just as good. The sale ends this Saturday, and I've got well over 25 coupons burning a whole in my coupon binder meant especially for this week! ;)

Sadie as a kitty, and Sage (RIP)

And since nothing beats the price of FREE, I'm also excited to report that I am going to be getting some Cats Pride cat litter (up to a $7 value) for FREE by uploading a picture of Sadie cat onto Catster. Thanks go out, in no particular order, to Moms By Heart, A Thrifty Mom, The Coupon Scoop, Stockpiling Moms, She Saved
I'll also be getting another FREE 1/2 gallon of chocolate milk with the purchase of a gallon of milk thanks to MoJoSavings, Freebies4Mom, MomsByHeart, Faithfully Frugal and Free. I never even give my kids chocolate milk (AZ says she doesn't like it), so this is a nice treat for WC who inhales the stuff, and it's hard for me to pass up FREE.

Another shout out to coupons because I can go to Target to get some games, specifically Pictureka Card Game because it'll only cost me $0.24 and I already have and enjoy Scrabble Slam Card Game and Monopoly Card Game. Thanks to my ever so loving printable coupons and The Coupon Scoop, Moms By Heart, Couponing For 4.

Now for those in my family (and maybe other readers, too)who have or are having children, here's a deal for you. The Step Start Walk N Ride is $5 at Wal-Mart this week. They are on clearance for $10, and you'll use the $5 off of 1 coupon found HERE. Thanks, MoJo Savings, A Thrifty Mom, The Coupon Scoop. My kids have this toy, and AZ was just playing with it last night. While at Wal-Mart, if you have any My Little Pony lovers, Coupon Gal says we can get 2 ponies for $2.50 each with the BOGO coupon HERE. Also for you is the opportunity to get a FREE carseat ID tag. If you're preggo or have had a baby within the last six months, you are eligible for this deal. I got my carseat ID tags free through the fire department. I think the tags are a great thing, just in case...I learned of this deal from Freebies4Mom.

I also signed up for a FREE Glade Fragrance Gift Pack from Right at Home. Hopefully I signed up in time since only the first 10,000 people are eligible. I learned about this deal through She Saved, CouponingFor4, Freebies4Mom, MoJoSavings, Frugal Racing Fan Mommy.

She Saved, CouponingFor4 also showed me a deal for a FREE subscription to Fitness magazine. Now, I didn't sign up for this one, but maybe my very fit relatives or readers would be interested!

So that's what I've done to be thrifty this week. What have you been doing to save you and your family a little dough?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday's Wishes #7

Another giveaway wish for me to win - Faithfully Frugal and Free is hosting a giveaway for something called Teething Bling. How cool is it that your baby can chew safely on your jewelry? That would have been nice for me when my kids were in that stage. I'm hoping to win this to give to a friend or family member with a small baby or who is expecting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

I am desperately wishing that the months of February, March, and April FLY BY FOR ME! It's not that I don't want to live in each moment that may happen during those months, it's just that I am so very much looking forward to the month of May. Why? Well, I can't tell you yet. Have I mentioned that I have the BEST HUSBAND IN THE WORLD?! Without him, I would not be able to do this amazing thing that I'm going to be able to do in May. He must really love me!

I also wish that everyone continues to stay healthy this winter. Winter is almost over, right??

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Thank You, Old Wise One, Dr. Seuss

Watchmen may possibly be one of the worst movies on the planet. And I mean worse than Star Wars kind of bad. And if you know me, you know that I'd almost rather have my eyes gouged out than have to watch Star Wars. However, a line of Watchmen has stuck with me and has been swirling around in my brain since I suffered the unfortunate event of watching it Friday night. "I'm not the one still hiding behind a mask." "No. You're hiding in plain sight." And it got me thinking.

Most of the time, I am a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of gal. But other times, I wear one - a mask. I know I do. And it comes out in various ways, and in different forms. Like, my painted toe nails. I do not care about my toe nails anymore. If they are painted then it's because I want them painted, so yay, and if not, who cares? But I went to a gathering on Saturday and felt like I had to paint my toenails just in case I took my socks off. Before having kids, I had time to worry about my toe nails and care about that kind of thing. And I guess that's normal. But it's also normal to NOT worry about that kind of thing after having kids. Now I worry about more important things in my life. And I don't have the time or energy to care about my feet, or whether or not my hair is styled in something other than a pony tail, or if I have on make up, or the type of clothing I wear. That's the real me. But sometimes I put on the mask that says, "I care about my appearance, and that's important to me." And it's really not. I do care about how my husband looks and how my kids are put together because they are the most important things in the world to me. It's my job and privilege to take care of them, and I take pride in that. And I do enjoy getting dressed up and made up when I want to, not because I feel like it's a requirement to fit in.

I am at an age now, where I really shouldn't care what other people think of me. I know what's important to me and to my family. My husband and kids are my number one priority in this world. And I DON'T CARE if someone has a problem with this. I no longer have the luxury to put myself first or to think only of me. I live in the deep end of the pool now. I am abundantly blessed in life. I get to play with my kids. I get to watch my husband play with our kids I love my life, and I love where we are in life, and I love hanging out with our friends and family who understand this, our friends and family who understand ME. So, buh-bye masks. I'm glad that I've grown enough and matured enough to be comfortable with who I am. I think Dr. Seuss said it best - "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."