Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Part 2: The Carving

Daniel was being stinky yesterday about carving pumpkins. And that is putting it nicely. He did a lovely little pout session involving a quiet tirade on how he hates carving pumpkins. That's the bad news. The good news is that since I had to help all 3 girls carve their pumpkins single handedly, he actually took pictures with me in them. Unfortunately my arm was killing me from the flu shot and I had to work really hard to put on my best positive mama attitude to make it a good experience for them. More bad news, I hate the way I look in pictures. That's not going to change anytime soon though. And, let's face it, it's better to be in pictures looking bad than to have no pictures of yourself with your kids. I still need to carve mine during nap today. The way I carve takes a good bit of time and concentration. Here's the slide show.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Filler

I'm having trouble coming up with a cohesive blog topic lately. I haven't posted in a couple of days though, and I feel a mental pressure to post. So, this might be a bit random...

I am a child of the 80's. Yesterday at lunch J said, "Mama, I'm having a cow". I was so confused. It took me asking her what she meant 3 times before I realized she was not, "having a cow" Bart Simpson style, but eating a cow for lunch.

I have a mountain of laundry to do today, and need to meet Daniel at work at 1pm for our flu shots. All my maternity clothes are dirty and I look like a snake that swallowed a rat in my regular clothes.

Last night we took a walk for our Family Home Evening activity. B enjoyed the walk, but was dismayed about the randomness and kept saying, "But what does taking a walk have to do with the lesson!?" I've apparently damaged her with my usual attention to theme. She's so inflexible.

We will be carving our pumpkins tonight. Hopefully that will provide blog material for tomorrow. Unlike "the cousins", we were less adventurous this year and just got our pumpkins at Kroger. It's hard to find a nice pumpkin patch in TX. It's even harder to find the time to go to one.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Part 1

We were invited to Daniel's Aunt and Uncle's tri-ward Trunk or Treat last night. This is our 2nd year attending multiple events. I'm sure we will be drowning in candy by the time Nov 1 rolls around. Here is a slide show of the photos.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tech Support Team In Action

Bargain Blip

J and I did a quick bargain run this morning to Target and Walgreens. B never wants to come shopping. I missed out on a couple of really good deals on my Monday run and wanted to snag them up today before the sales ended. We have a Trunk or Treat to go to tonight. Total for this haul $10. 40 tubs of Gerber baby food
8 boxes of Bandaids
4 pkgs Pillsbury Ready to Bake cookies (great for FHE nights
2 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1 Pillsbury Pizza Crust
2 boxes toaster strudel (yuck! But Daniel will eat them)
2 dove facial cleansing cloths
1 glade plug in

Pre coupon/sale total: $85. I paid: $10

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hand Signals

Me: L? Are you all done with your lunch?
L: (stares at me drooling)
J: Mama, I think she's finished but she's not doing her hand signal.
Me: Well, maybe she's still hungry, I'll wait until she tells me.
L: (waves hands in the finished sign)
J: Mama! She's all done! She's making her hand signal!

Apparently J takes the "hand signals" very seriously.

Nesting

My nesting impulse is driving me crazy. I've been taking care of the kids and working non-stop for the past week. Today will be one long day of cleaning and entertaining Liliputians. One should not nest while living with 3 messy peas and the Clutter King. It's painful. At least I've convinced Daniel to take a week off of work sometime soon and work on all of his current home projects. With a week plus 2 weekends all together, hopefully some real progress will be made.

L is STILL sick, and went down early for her morning nap because she was so tired. The moment I laid her down she grabbed her quilt and closed her eyes. Poor baby. She's been sick forever. I'll have a little extra time to do things with the peas and clean today because I've got free pizzas coming for dinner. Yay! Our regular pizza place totally undercooked our pizzas the last time we ordered. I emailed them a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, they needed to raise their oven temperatures to accommodate a new type of cheese that they started using. I was not the only customer being sold "pizza soup". So, my order is being remade for free. Gotta love free. I'm just glad they fixed the problem though.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Killing Time at Kroger

I always have about 45 min to kill between picking up J and picking up B on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So, today we decided to stop in to Kroger while we were driving past to get some free stuff. Now, if this B1G1 free sale had been running at CVS I would have been able to get all 4 bottles for free (that's how CVS works), but at Kroger I have to buy 1 and then can get 3 free (2 free because of B1G1 free, and 1 free with my B1G1 free coupon). They also gave me back my other B1G1 free coupon, so I could always use it again somewhere else. The funny thing is that they took my B1G1 free guacamole coupon, and there was a B1G1 free sale on the guac, so they gave me both free. Apparently this policy is inconsistent in it's implementation. I also needed some kids shampoo, and that was on B1G1 free sale also, plus I had coupons. So, I paid about half price for one bottle and got one free. Here's what I paid for & then what I actually got...

For those interested in copying this deal the Loreal coupons were out a few weeks ago, and the guacamole coupon was in this week's coupon inserts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Unexpected Growth Patterns

Almost all of J's winter clothes are too small. This would not be a problem except for the fact that almost all of B's size 5's still fit her. She stopped growing or something. The height and weight difference between them is down to less than 2 inches and around 5 lbs. So, while J absolutely needs size 5's (4's are too small), B can wear 5's or 6's. I need to decide how to handle this clothing shortage. I'm thinking the best plan is to weed out a few of B's smaller 5's and give them to J. Then buy J some new 5's, and B some new 6's. Otherwise, I fear I will buy J an entire new wardrobe of winter clothes only to have B grow out of all the 5's immediately and then need an entire wardrobe of size 6 winter clothes also. That would be a waste considering cold weather lasts all of 3 months here. While it is in the 50's-60's today, it will be back at 80 degrees by Friday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm a Freak

This post is mostly for my own planning purposes.
I decided to go in my closet and start sorting out my stockpile of Christmas presents. I still have 5 more games from Amazon coming (2 of which will go in this pile). Now, I just need to figure out what I need to finish/balance these out into 3 kids. Not including J's Nintendo DS and DS game, I spent just under $100 total on this stuff. I should also still have 12 books coming from Amazon. I usually keep the dollar value close to equal on all the kids, but with J's DS (that Daniel insisted on buying), that's just not going to happen. They will have an equal amount of presents, that's good enough. My kids never really ask for more than a couple of things for Christmas, and I usually let Grammy & Grampy get those since she always needs ideas. Speaking of which Grammy...there has been a lot of buzz about Aquadots around here lately.

So, anyway, it looks like I still need to get something else for B to balance J's dollar amount somewhat, probably a new DS game and a webkinz. Also, she wanted an electric toothbrush, which I can squeeze in her stocking. I also need 3-4 more things for the baby. Her pile is slim, probably some clothes mostly, since she has so many baby toys already. A Scooby movie for J's stocking and a couple of things for L's stocking. If I can find a good sale on winter clothes (I can always find a good sale) I'll probably pick up an outfit or 2 for the big girls too. That should do it! Yay! I'll probably finish those things up with my check from this scoring session that is finishing tomorrow. I'm sure Daniel will appreciate that. I also want to do an angel tree angel with the girls this year. We will go pick one after Thanksgiving and do that shopping together.

I like to be finished with the peas Christmas gifts by Black Friday at the latest. It keeps all the stress out of my holiday season. Then I just need to worry about stuffing Daniel's stocking, and getting a few family gifts. No biggie.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Series of Unfortunate Events

I am having the worst luck today. First, the little girls and I ran out this morning to do our bargain run. While we were in CVS for 10 minutes a giant storm overtook us. The temperature dropped 20 degrees instantly (I was prepared and had dressed them for the impending temp drop). On my way out of the store, the double stroller was almost ripped out of my hands by extreme wind gusts. I got them into the car as my receipt (including my new ECB's) was ripped out of my hand, flew 20 feet up in the air and sailed out of the parking lot and down the highway. I went back in the store to ask if they could reprint my receipt. Answer... no. I have to call the phone number and have it credited back to my card to print out again.

I got home with 5 minutes to spare before I needed to start work. Put the baby down for nap. Worked for 1 hour and the power went out. Daniel has been trying to recharge my cell phone with a card that he got from Amazon for a week now. They sold him a $100 card without activating it, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. So, my phone line and power are out, and my cell phone is out of commission. I can't call in to work to tell them my power is out. I wait...

The power comes back on after about 20 minutes. I go in the master bedroom closet to restart the surge protector/battery backup with all of the computer stuff attached to it (VOIP, server, cable modem, etc). Blue sparks and smoke start flying out of the back of the server and the breaker trips. My closet smells like a smokey electrical fire, and it's pitch black.

I get the baby up from her nap, load everyone in the car in a crazy wind/rainstorm and drive over to my parent's house. Call in to work to tell them I am off for the rest of my shift due to catastrophic power/computer failure. I call Daniel and tell him I am having a crisis and need him to come home. I complain to my parents and get sympathy for an hour. Mom feeds the girls.

Daniel calls from the house to say, there is a dead cat (brains smashed on road and all) in front of our house in the street, and the power is out again. I wait a few more minutes then give up and come home. Fortunately, the power came back on shortly thereafter and tech support (ie Daniel) fixed everything that went boom inside the closet.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday

This Sunday I am grateful for:
-fall weather & family
-a big enough house to fit us all comfortably
-being over the halfway point of scoring this test

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ode to Footloose

I'm temporarily burned out on the memory lane Monday posts. So, I'm starting a new occasional series, "Ode to". You may remember "Ode to Coupons" from a week or so ago. As I've stated repeatedly, this blog is the only journal I have. I'm bad at keeping a journal, this is the best I can do. Journaling is my #1 purpose here, boring though it may be. So, the "Ode to" posts will serve the purpose of continuing to flesh out things that are reflective of me (and my posse). It's all about me! (just kidding). I'll just post them as they occur to me. Today, "Ode to Footloose", arguably one of the greatest movies ever.

I was too young to see Footloose when it was first released in theaters. I did however, develop a burning love for it over the years, and have seen it let's just say too many times. My mom had the soundtrack on cassette tape, and I think I still have it memorized. She did a good job training me to have diverse musical tastes from childhood.

All the kids are into this High School Musical garbage around here. Even B's 1st grader friends (thankfully B has no interest in it whatsoever). I watched a few minutes of HSM2 on the Disney Channel a few weeks ago and saw the most blatant rip off of the warehouse dance from Footloose ever witnessed. Maybe it's not intended to be a rip off. Perhaps my deep abiding love for Footloose has tainted my judgment. I'll let you decide...

First, the ever glorious Kevin Bacon (and body double of course)


And now, the Effron kid. Notice my passive aggressive tone ;) He's on a golf course for crying out loud! The teen angst is pathetic by comparison to the above.

Brownie Meeting

Yesterday we had our Brownie meeting here at our house. It was a wild and crazy time. Today I start scoring a one week session of one of the tests that I score. So, blogging will probably be light until I finish next Wednesday or so. Here is a picture of the peas after the meeting. I got an extra mask for J and let her make it after we finished our official meeting.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Day in Progress

L is napping. Here's a photo synopsis of my day so far...
Put away all the pantry items that I was too tired to put away yesterday.
6 loads of laundry (only 4 pictured)
L pulled off 2 keys while I was placing my Amazon order (and getting cookies out of oven)
Baked 36 of our favorite cookies (ate 3)
Played with and fed small people. None of us got dressed until 2pm (but who's counting).
Same story (toy explosion)
Finished cookies.

Another Bargain

This is the deal of the day today HERE

This Amazon deal shouldn't have any "issues" like the book sale did. But, you never know.

Basically they have several promotions going on related to games. You add 2 Candy Land games to your cart, then add a few other Hasbro games to get to the $25 free shipping. Also add Monopoly Here and Now to your cart (this will be free). When you are going through the checkout process you will see the price of Monopoly deducted from your total. I also chose free shipping. Now, Candy Land has a rebate on it (the website listed at the top shows that you can get the rebate twice for both Candy Lands). I don't think that is true though. If I could redo my order I would get one Candy Land and one of the other games listed on the rebate form so that I could get both rebated. I was in a hurry and didn't double check their facts. Oh well, a $2 mistake on my part for rushing, no biggie.

The other promotion running is a free year of Cookie magazine with a $25 purchase in toys & games at Amazon. But, you can get the $9.97 value of the magazine credited back to you if you do not want the magazine by... (If you would like a refund for your subscription, please send a copy of your Amazon order confirmation to: Conde Nast Publications, Cookie Shops Amazon Special Offer, PO Box 37722, Boone, IA 50037-0722 by December 31, 2007 to receive an allowance for its stated value.) I already printed my email confirmation and sent it in (cost one stamp).

So here are my stats:
"Monopoly Here & Now Limited Edition"
Hasbro; Toy; $9.99

"Hasbro Operation"
Hasbro; Toy; $8.99

"Pretty Pretty Princess Dress-Up Board Game"
Hasbro; Toy; $5.00

"Candy Land - Milton Bradley Board Games"
Hasbro; Toy; $4.00

"Candy Land - Milton Bradley Board Games"
Hasbro; Toy; $4.00

"Guess Where"
Hasbro; Toy; $6.50

Subtotal of Items: $38.48
Shipping & Handling: $12.12
Super Saver Discount -$12.12
Promotion Applied -$9.99 (free Monopoly)

------
Total: $28.49
Gift Certificates/Cards: - $10.00 (GC they sent me to apologize for the book debacle)

------
Total for this Order: $18.49
Refund for Cookie Magazine: -$9.97
Rebate on Candy Land: -$2.00 (could have been more, DOH!)

Final Cost: $6.52 shipped for 6 games
A few for us and a few for birthday party gifts.

A Momentous Occasion

It finally happened. Just a few minutes ago. I could hardly believe it. J and L are upstairs playing together and "talking" to each other. J has finally decided that L is a worthwhile playmate and they are playing some type of pretend game together. J is even pretending that L's babbling makes some kind of sense in relation to the game. Can you hear the angels singing?

I crept upstairs like some kind of wildlife photographer and tried to get a picture. Turned my camera on, poised to shoot, and..."please change battery". DOH! Thanks for the warning stupid fancy camera. My laptop does the same thing...dies and then when you plug it in and restart it says, "warning low battery". Gee that message would have been ever so helpful 5 min ago.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Free Extra Care Bucks

Join the CVS advisory panel and they will send you occasional surveys related to CVS. Then, they'll credit your account with $5-$15 in ECBs for your input. For those trying to rack up some ECB's this seems like a great way to get them for free. I just joined. Click here. If you have trouble with it, try back again the next day. I think there is some kind of limit of people that can join each day.

The Verdict Is In

Double ear infection, caused by the cold. I'm glad Daniel stayed home yesterday, because I didn't have to drag L out shopping with me (or, GASP, miss out on Monday morning bargain run, which is what I would have done if he hadn't been home). My mom came with me this morning to take her to the Dr (I'm so tired I could collapse). Then she pushed her around the grocery store in her stroller because I had to pick up some groceries or I wouldn't be able to pack lunches tomorrow. So, we're finally home. L is sleeping. My mom is picking J up at school at 2pm so that I don't have to wake her up to go out there. I could complain about my poor baby and her ear infections. But let's just face it, she basically has a team of 3 adults catering to her every need.

To the Doctor

We're off to the Dr. this morning. L has been crying day and night since Sunday night. Her fever started to get higher yesterday afternoon, but since we already had a checkup scheduled for this morning, I didn't bother calling in. I regretted that decision while we spent our 2nd night in a row with a crying, wide awake toddler. This not sleeping thing needs to stop ASAP. She was up at midnight, then from 4am-8am. I'm afraid her cold may have turned into an ear infection. We will find out shortly. She's asleep right now. Hopefully, she will stay asleep until we leave for the Dr. at 9:30am.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Weekly CVS Post (Plus Walgreens Today)

It's Monday again. Monday is my bargain shopping day!
It was a light week at CVS, so I decided to do a Walgreens run too. I haven't done Walgreens in ages. CVS turned out to be a better bargain than I expected, because the Covergirl generated double the ECBs that the ad listed. The ad said limit 1 $5 ECB on it, but both my purchases generated $10 ECBs on it, because before coupons my total was high enough to qualify twice on each card. So, perhaps the ad had a misprint and the limit was 2 deals per card.
4- Herbal Essences Shampoos and Conditioners (2/$6, $2 ECB per 2, B2G1F coupon)
5- 32oz Gatorade (5/$5, $2 ECB per 5)
1- Caress Tahitian Body Wash ($3.49, $2 ECB, .70 coupon)
2- Covergirl Liquid to Powder Compacts ($8.99 ea, $5 ECB/$15 purchase)
2- Covergirl TruBlend Powder Compacts (coupons free with purchase of above, $5ECB/$15pur)
4- Covergirl Lipstick ($6.99, B1G1F coupons, $5 ECB/$15pur)

Also used $4/$20 CVS purchase, and a bunch of my ECBs.

Total Cost: $3 (yes you read that correctly) New ECBs earned: $28

So, for my first Walgreens run in several years, I didn't do too badly.
4-Skippy Creamy PB ($1.50ea, .50 coupons)
8-Halloween cups (store coupon 8/$1)
2-Hefty One Zip Storage Bags (B1G1F, plus .20 coupons on boxes)
4-Infusium 23 Leave in Conditioner (3/$20, $4 in coupons, $10 register reward)
4-Suavitel Fabric Softener (B1G1F)
1-Giant Fructis Shampoo (free after rebate)
1-Lysol (1.99 sale, $1 rebate, $1 coupon)
2-Dial Yogurt Handsoap ($1 sale, .30 coupons)
1-Oust Candle (6.99, $3 coupon, $2 rebate)
16-packs Extra Gum (B1G1F $1.99, $1 coupon)
1-Colgate Advanced toothpaste (free after rebate)
4-Dr Suess Kids Aquafresh (Store coupon sale .99, .75 coupons)

Total up front cost: $56. Easy Saver Rebate and Register Rewards Total: $23
According to receipt amount saved in sales & coupons is $41. So, one could argue the total was really $33. But, I count my savings (ECBs, RR, Rebates) on the back end when I use them not when I earn them. Hence, the $3 total at CVS, I actually only paid them $3 total.

Whew! Long bargain breakdown. Some people read this blog just for the bargain breakdowns though (they don't actually know me). So, I like to be thorough.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Sick People

I'm at home with a load of sick people today. So, I thought I'd get a post in early. Daniel has finally come down with the fever/cold that the kids and I have been passing around for 3 weeks. The peas have still not recovered from their severe congestion. My lungs are starting to feel questionable again, so I may be in for my 2nd round of it too. We didn't want to pass it around church especially with all the pregnant women and babies there.

Things I'm grateful for today:
1. My family. They're still cute even when they are covered in "bergies"
2. We made some progress on the jungle which is our back landscape yesterday.
3. I guess I'll have time today, to catch up on the General Conference session that I missed.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cash Duck

I'm not usually big on GPT's (get paid to sites). I've heard a lot of good things about this particular company though. They've got a reputation for paying out. So, just in case you are a GPT kind of girl, or guy here's a link.

Saturday Reading

Busy day. Birthday party, cousins came over, etc. Here's an interesting article about Walmart for your reading pleasure. (In case the E* family is reading this, no offense intended toward Walmart, I just thought the article was interesting)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blogfamous (read like infamous)

I've been getting a few shout outs lately. I might start getting a big head. Check them out here and here. Don't worry, you don't have to start referring to me as the Deal Diva (wink) but you have to admit it does have a lovely ring to it.

Ach-ooo

I love overhearing amusing conversations.
L: "Ach-ooo"
J: "EWWWWWWW...I don't like your spit." "And, bless you."
At least it ended politely.

Hummingbirds Gone?

Every morning after we get B or B&J off to school, and Daniel off to work, L and I like to spend a little time watching the hummingbirds in the backyard. The hummingbirds LOVE our yard and they come like clockwork in the mornings and evenings. We have to watch them through the windows because they fly away if we try to watch them from outside. The past few mornings have been beautifully cool and we've been watching them through the opened windows (see photo above). This morning they did not come. I'm wondering if the cooler nights have made them move on to wherever they spend winters. L was a little disappointed this morning. We did however have a nice view of enormous white cranes flying over the backyard today. Their wings looked pink underneath, but that may have been the way the sun was hitting them. They were beautiful.

Spicy Chicken Packets

This is one of my favorite dinners. The recipe is simplified from its original form. This is the way I make it now. Delicious, super easy, quick, and no clean up. What more could you ask for?
On a piece of foil place sliced or julienned sweet potatoes. Then place one boneless, skinless chicken breast. Next put on some sliced green pepper. Finally drizzle generously with Heinz Chili Sauce (I put ketchup on the kids packets instead of Chili Sauce). Seal up foil packets and bake at 375 degrees for 45 min-1 hour. Depends on your oven, until sweet potatoes are cooked through. My current oven takes an hour. (Photos are before oven, and after cooking)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Select a Candidate 2008

I'm not super political. I have no idea who I'll be voting for in 2008. I usually wait until I know exactly who I need to research before I spend time thinking about it. So, as of right now, I know very little about all of them. Here is a fun little "pick your candidate" type of survey... http://www.wqad.com/Global/link.asp?L=259460

My highest correlation was a tie of 31 with Brownback and Biden. A republican and a democrat. It figures. I can't even choose a political party.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Laundry Mystery

I'm sure everyone loves reading about my random thoughts and boring housewife interests (sarcasm implied). That is the great thing about blogs. You can just click away when it gets boring. I just came across a laundry mystery. I opened up the washer to put the big girls clothes in the dryer and strangely some of the clothes were very wet, while some were very dry. My washer spins nearly all the water out of the clothes so something was definitely awry. I decided I had to bite the bullet and sniff one of B's stinky socks to determine if the load was actually clean. It was decidedly not. Stinky sock was still stinky. Isn't motherhood glamorous.

I suspect this had something to do with a certain person who has just become tall enough to press the buttons on the washer and dryer. Don't ask me how she managed to work out the combination of holding the pause/stop button for 3 seconds, then releasing and pressing it a second time to cancel the wash cycle. So, I put the load back in the washer and started over. When I went to reload the soap and softener, the softener was still in the little slot. So, the cycle was stopped sometime between the soap release and the softener release.L has some kind of obsession with putting on all of the laundry she can find by hooking it over her head. She usually looks like a Christmas tree or something. It always reminds me of that old Friends episode..."Okay, buddy-boy. Here it is. You hide my clothes, I'm wearing everything you own."

Wednesday Miscellany

Here she is...homework and a snack
J and I were at the table doing her homework this morning. I was cutting up an extra set of coupons that my mom dropped off for me yesterday. L climbed on my lap and said, "cou-pah". Smart girl. It got me thinking though. For lack of a better blog topic today, here I go...I hear a lot of people say that they don't see any benefit in bargain hunting or using coupons. They are usually the same people who are embarrassed to use coupons because they think only poor people use coupons. I'm embarrassed for them that they would 1. think that in the first place 2. care that much what people think of them and 3. are self obsessed enough to think people are watching them that closely. I couldn't care less if people use coupons or not. If it is not worth the effort to you, by all means don't use them. It's the people who think there is something wrong with it that perplex me. While I'm ranting, can someone explain to me why some people are so obsessed with "looking like" they are sitting around on a never ending pile of money? I don't know anyone who can't benefit from getting more for their money.

So, here is my "ode to coupons" if you will. Now that we are not a student family anymore, Daniel is working diligently on paying off all of our debts. I am trying to show my support for him by taking my grocery/gasoline budget (I have a separate account for this purpose with direct deposits from our main account) and stretching it for all it's worth. This month alone I have saved so much on our groceries and household products (without skimping on a single thing) that I have managed to pay for the girls Halloween costumes, all of B's brownie fees and troop dues (pricey), and as usual our cheap Netflix membership, and the large life insurance policy that I keep on Daniel. To me that is worth an hour or two per week of clipping, sorting, and reading the sale ads. Also, when I am working (which is part time and at home) you would be amazed how far those checks go, when you have the bargain hunting mindset. So, I'll keep going along my way, and I know I probably won't change any minds. That's my rant for today. Back to the laundry (which I will wash with some of the 12 bottles of my favorite detergent that I bought for 1/3 of it's regular price).

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

That's Some Hair Do



I think everyone in this house should have the middle name laptop. Seriously, we need a technology intervention.

Fast Track

Our family seems to grow and change so quickly. I had my 3rd ultrasound today. This Dr. sure does a lot of them. He said it's easier to get the heartbeat this way. Next time it will just be the regular doppler. But, the next appointment after that will be another ultrasound (I assume the last one). Here are a couple of photos from today...
Last year's model ;) growing like crazyNext year's model sucking its thumb
(13weeks 0days)

I'm Happy

I was thinking yesterday about how happy I am.

I am happy with the peas.
I am happy with Daniel.
I am happy with our neighborhood and schools (B's teacher conference went very well)
I am happy with our house (despite it's never ending projects)
I am happy that my parents live a few minutes away.
I am happy with my new piano lessons (I love learning new things)
I am happy about this baby (even though my body is definitely begging me to stop having babies)
I am happy about all the great bargains I've been getting lately.
I am happy with my low impact job. (I'll be scoring again the 3rd week of this month only)
I am happy with Daniel's job and the comfort and flexibility it offers our family. (He's always around when we need him.)

I only wish that everyone we know and love could be relieved of their current burdens. I feel guilty sometimes being happy when so many of our loved ones are going through trials right now. That is just about the only thing I am not happy about. I feel somewhat powerless to help.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Memory Lane Monday

Back to my old ways...

When we were a student family I spent a couple of years keeping a coupon notebook (using baseball card holders). It was very helpful. It takes a chunk of time to get it made, but then it only takes about 10 min once a week to file the coupons. I can also just glance through the pages and pull all the expired ones about once a month in a few minutes. Well, since I started CVS-ing my coupons have been drowning me. It was taking forever to flip through the giant piles to find what I needed. It was an ineffective system, and I couldn't stand wasting my time. So, I decided to spend several hours yesterday reviving my old system. It was a good time to do it while I was listening to conference. Just like the good old days when I was organized. Here it is...

Weekly CVS Post

I rolled all my ECB's this morning. I wasn't able to get 2 things, another Crest Night, and 2 bottles of pro health mouth rinse. They would have been paying me $4.50 to take them because they generated full price ECB's and I had coupons for them in addition. I may stop by on Friday to see if they've been restocked. All of these items were generating ECB's this week, and I had coupons for all of them. Here's what I came home with...
-16 rolls Viva paper towels
-3 bottles clean and clear facial cleanser
-6 tubes colgate fresh max and advanced clean toothpaste
-1 tube crest pro health night toothpaste
-2 18ct boxes Playtex GG
-2 Lady Speedstick 24/7
-1 8oz Purell
-10 bottles Palmolive 13oz

Spent: around $27. Got: $43 in new ECB's. My ECB's keep growing. I'm hoping soon my spent will be back near zero, and my ECB's will just keep rolling over and over. That's the goal.

So, the good thing about this morning's CVS run was that we have a new manager. He applauded my excellent shopping skills, was very friendly, and was sent to our store to "fix it" (his words). Our CVS has many bare spots on the shelves and it is practically impossible to get the advertised sale items if you don't pounce on Sunday or early Monday morning. I always try Monday morning (since I don't shop on Sunday) and it can be difficult. He assured me that he will be making sure that the shelves are more fully stocked from now on. He said they are not purposefully running out of all the sale items, the previous manager just wasn't preparing for the sales properly. So, good news for me.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pesto

I finally got back out into my poor neglected garden yesterday. I have sweet Italian basil growing, and it grows like crazy. I just cut it all the way down a month ago, and it was already right back to the same point again. I love the smell of it, but didn't know what to do with that much fresh basil. So, I decided to try my hand at pesto. It turns out, I don't really like pesto (it's ok, but not great). I had never eaten it before. So, if anyone has suggestions about what I can do with my next bounty of basil, please comment. I used this pesto recipe.

I documented my pesto making experience in photos...



High Chairs

Our kitchen table and chairs are counter height. L thinks that her purpose in life is to spend all day climbing them. I have to drag her down at least 2 dozen times each day. That is if I keep all the chairs pushed in all the way. If a chair is pulled out, her radar tells her, and she is on top of the table within 30 seconds.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Can you wash pillows?

I don't know if you can wash pillows or not, but our pillows were starting to look a bit dingy. So, after I washed all the sheets & pillowcases, I put 2 of them in the washing machine with a little bleach and laundry detergent on the gentle cycle. Does anyone know if you can wash pillows? Unless they come out completely destroyed, I'm going to put the other 2 in next.

Bad Hair Genes

I've passed bad hair genes to my poor daughters. Luckily B&J seem to be recovering from the bad hair. Theirs is starting to finally thicken up and look better. It takes them at least 4 years to grow anything resembling a decent head of hair. If L's keeps growing in it's current pattern, she's going to be sporting this look pretty soon...

Stupid Amazon

Amazon canceled my book order. Along with everyone else I've talked to. They basically said, we ran out of these books at the "specified price" so we canceled your order. People who bought them at higher prices (like the 45% price not the 80% sale) still got their books. They are still selling all of these titles at regular prices. They didn't run out of them. They just changed their mind about selling them for the advertised sale price. How can a company as large as Amazon get away with this garbage? A better question...they did the exact same thing about a year ago with a huge toy clearance that they were running. How do they do it repeatedly and get away with it? I say this is unacceptable. I won't be linking to Amazon from this blog anymore. Why give free advertising to a slimy company. End of rant.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I am a
Canna


What Flower
Are You?


Reading Buddy

B has a new reading buddy. L is totally in love with her big sister. She was happy to have B home today (early dismissal).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Lake of Dead Languages

I finished reading this book last week (pictured in my sidebar). Wendy gave it to me and said she didn't want it back, so I am passing it on. While the plot was a little too transparent for my taste, it was a very engaging read and I quite enjoyed it. So, who would like it? I'll either give it to you next time I see you, or mail it media mail to the first person who requests it.

Hmm...still no takers. Here is the review on Amazon. Maybe it will interest someone.

"It has been 20 years since Jane Hudson graduated from Heart Lake School in the Adirondacks. After marrying, having a child, and separating from her husband, she returns to her old, all-girls school to teach Latin.

Heart Lake, like many schools, has its legends, the most persistent being that the lake claims the lives of students. All three daughters of the founder of the school were drowned in it, and while the bodies were never found, it is said that three rocks rose out of the water to lure young girls to their doom. Jane is more than aware of this legend. When she was at school, two of her contemporaries drowned in the lake, and Jane has always felt that it was looking for a third victim--herself.

While she does not discuss this with her students, she is aware that they know of the legend. Her three most promising students room together, are close to each other, and look on Jane as their special teacher, a situation that mirrors Jane's experience as a student. But soon Jane is into a routine, has renewed her acquaintance with teachers, now colleagues, who are still at Heart Lake, and has met other teachers new to her.

But when a portion of her journal is left for her to see, Jane is puzzled. She has not seen the journal since she left school. Then one of her students almost drowns in what appears to be a suicide attempt, and Jane realizes that the nightmare she lived through at school may be recurring.

Jane tries to piece together what really happened in her school days and what is happening now. As a young girl, Jane was poor and managed to get to Heart Lake because she won a scholarship. She was befriended by the charismatic Lucy and her brother Matt, and it is with Lucy that she roomed, together with Deirdre. The three girls bonded with their Latin teacher, Helen Chambers. As we learn more about Jane's school days and contrast it with what is happening 20 years later, it becomes obvious that history is repeating itself--or someone is trying to make it seem that way.

While it takes a while for the pieces to fall into place, this compelling first novel is as much about the charged atmosphere of adolescents and their new and sometimes dangerous emotions as it is about what exactly is happening at Heart Lake School and why. You will want to know the answers. --Otto Penzler --"

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Usual Tuesday

Nothing much going on for blog fodder today. Just laundry and grocery shopping mainly. We got to visit with Grammy in each aisle of the grocery store as we passed each other like ships. Before someone comments on it again...yes, I know how lucky I am to have my mom living here. So anyway, I asked the peas if I could take their pictures since there was not much to blog about.L hanging out in her favorite spot...the landing. Quote of the day: "Wha dis?"

J hating the camera as usual and posing with some school work. Quote of the day: "Mama, I don't know what you're talking about, so I can't answer your question." I guess that is a more thorough answer then just ignoring my question. I was asking what she did in the science discovery lab at school. Today she made a "fall tree" in Gymboree art class, a policeman, and a number 5. B posing with a math assignment. She usually struggles to follow directions on these sheets. This one was perfect. All E's again on today's progress report too. Quote of the day: "Mellow is a word. It's what caterpillars eat. It's basically a plant." They have a bunch (one per kid) of caterpillars at school that they are growing and studying in science. Now, I need to go look up mellow to see if that is really what caterpillars eat.

Monday, October 1, 2007

CVS Fever

*Warning for those easily bored by bargains, another CVS bargain post...

I normally only go to CVS once a week at the most. I decided to run on Saturday afternoon though to pick up a few deals that I hadn't gotten around to getting during last week's stop. So, here are Saturday's deals. They were running ECB's on Quaker products and Gatorade. Out of pocket cost for this load, $12 for 17 items. I also generated some new ECBs.
Now, on to today. This week's CVS deals just started and they are great. If you need Halloween candy (and who doesn't really) go to CVS today. I don't shop on Sunday, and a lot of times I can't get what I want on Monday, because other bargain hunters have swooped in and picked up all the deals on Sunday. Today, karma was working for me, and I managed to snag everything on my list. Now, I don't need to stop back in for another week. I used my ECBs from Saturday, and generated a whole lot more to use next time. There are many ECB deals running this week. If I had 4 more candy coupons I could have paid as little as 50 cents per bag for all 10 of these bags, but I only had 1. They were on sale for $2 per bag, plus each set of 2 bags generated $2 in ECBs, for a limit of 10 bags, ie 5 deals. I had a $3 off $15 CVS products coupon which explains the apple juice, cookies, and vitamins. There is another ECB dove deal generating $5 ECBs on $15 in Dove purchases (plus I had coupons for each dove item of course in addition, coupons don't count in the ECB deals, so you only have to spend the set amount before coupons to get the ECB. The coupons then save you more on top of that). There is an ECB generating on Irish Spring 3 pks, plus I had a coupon. There is a huge medicine ECB deal, generating $10 ECBs on $20 worth of a ton of different meds. I got 2 Airbornes and 3 cough drops, all with coupons in addition. I also did one final deal that generated $5 ECBs on $20, and got a pack of newborn swaddlers (the only kind of Pampers I can tolerate are the swaddlers), 8 pack of Bounty, and 12 pack of Charmin, plus coupons. That covers everything in the picture other than the gum, which was on sale, and I had a coupon. Total out of pocket was a little high this trip. I did 2 transactions. The first one cost $26, and I got $11 ECBs. The second transaction ran $39, and I got $22 ECBs. Next weeks cost should be very low since I have $33 ECBs to start out with.

***Doh, the ad was confusing this week and I ended up having to go back and pick up 2 more things because there were 2 separate medicine deals, and I was just shy of $20 worth of ECBs. So, I picked up more airborne and some Zicam, and my $20 ECBs printed.

* I should earn extra bargain hunting points today because in the 5 min drive to CVS, J got car sick and threw up everywhere. We were literally 100 yards from CVS when out of nowhere the car sickness hit. I had to wipe her whole body down with wipes, and let her wear L's pants. I wasn't going to turn around when we were already there and I only needed 10 minutes to shop. They had baths as soon as we got home. Now, my car needs to be totally cleaned out. Yay, one more thing for the to do list.