Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sick Sunday

We have terrible health in the winter. Every winter. From March/April through October/November we are totally fine. Then, we stay sick all winter long. No amount of vitamins or hand sanitizer seems to help. In the last cycle of sickness a few weeks ago, I got off easy and was only ill for about 2 days. Now, I have caught another cold, and seem to be passing it to the rest of the family. B is hacking and sniffing as I type. Now, most of us will be stuck home from church again today. Ugh. I HATE colds!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pregnant Lady Freak Out

I just finished having a brief bargain related, irrational pregnant lady freak out. Luckily Daniel isn't home, he and the big girls were out running an errand. I just went in our closet to go retrieve my receipt and gymbucks from the Gymboree order that I placed awhile back. I had waited until Christmas Eve to wrap their clothes and so they had still been in the shipping box, with the receipt, etc. Apparently, Daniel decided to throw all the shipping boxes away without removing the packing slips/receipts from them. Very unlike him. So, he threw away my gymbucks! (edited to add: he says he didn't throw them away, but I have yet to see proof that he knows where he put them) He might as well have thrown $50 in the trash because I had every intention of using them on baby boy clothes during their redemption period in a few weeks. I also needed to exchange one of the pairs of jeans I got for a smaller size. Someone suggested that I email customer service. Supposedly they will be able to email me my code and pin number so that I can use my gymbucks online (which is the way I normally do anyway. The store is too crowded and picked over during redemption). So, now I don't have to yell at Daniel when he gets home. I don't think I will be able to exchange the jeans though, since I no longer have a receipt. I may try to bring in a printout of my receipt from my confirmation email. Maybe they will accept that.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mr. Mom


Daniel must have decided that I was procrastinating getting L's ears pierced for too long. Today, he volunteered to take the girls out to get J&L's ears rechecked (from their infections) at the Doctor's office. Then, they went to the mall and pierced my baby's ears. B got hers done at 9 months, J got hers done at 15 months, today L joined the crowd. Hopefully this will be the end of our ear piercing days. She didn't cry. I spent the morning "un-decorating" from Christmas.

Christmas Recap in Photo Overload

These are in reverse order. I don't feel like dragging them back into chronological order.
December 26 with Daniel's Grandparents.

We stopped by Daniel's Aunt and Uncle's house to see Grandma & Grandpa one more time before they left to go home. Everyone was tying a quilt.

December 25- J at Grammy & Grampy's house.

December 25- Grammy & L

December 25- Daniel & B playing the Wii

December 25- Our family at Grammy & Grampy's house.

December 25- L riding her Dora 4 wheeler. She's still getting
a hang of the power button.

December 25- J on her scooter.

December 25- B with some of her presents.

December 24- A collection of our relatives in our yard.

December 24- Another collection of our relatives in our house.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas everyone. I don't anticipate having much time to blog over the next four days. So this is my Christmas sign off. I am almost finished with all my preparations. We baked and delivered all of our chocolate chip bundt cakes last night, so that freed us up to accomplish all of our other things today. We are looking forward to spending a nice Christmas at home with lots of family.

We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. At this time we are deeply grateful for the life of Jesus Christ, and the blessing of an eternal perspective on our lives. We are also deeply grateful for the gift of 4 amazing children who help us remember what is really important.

My favorite Christmas song for as long as I can remember has been O Holy Night. There are endless versions. Here is one. Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Forget what I said before...

I knew I shouldn't have believed Daniel. I knew I should have continued to have a contingency plan. So, we're going to do this the easy way. We are indeed hosting lunch on Monday for a giant clan of all of our local family members, plus Daniel's grandparents who are in town visiting. So, I need to do some cleaning (especially mopping and bathrooms I'm thinking I'll put Daniel and the kids on this task while I make the final grocery shop tomorrow). We decided on Boars Head sandwich fixings with rolls, a crock pot of chili, large vegetable tray, chips and drinks. Not fancy, but hey it's lunch. I do have my mom's extra crockpot (that I borrowed when I was planning this meal the first time around). I may make one more crockpot dish. Any ideas? With that many people, I'd feel more comfortable with one more hot dish, but it's probably not necessary. Desserts will be brought by our guests. See the bargain blog, for how I scored free vegetables at Target again today for my vegetable tray ;)

*Mom, do you have any folding chairs?

*I also just got a call that I need to feed all the Young Women and Young Men. It was a last minute change of plans. But, they also gave me a large increased budget to do it with. Still, I need to bring 2.5 times as much food as originally planned. Time to recalculate.

The following is for my own planning/record keeping purposes (hey this is my journal remember? lol). I'm trying to keep it simple and multi-task here...
Saturday Dec 22- Ward Christmas Party - fruit and cheese skewers
Saturday Dec 22- HT/VT & neighbor gifts- Sliced chocolate chip bundt cake with vanilla glaze
Sunday Dec 23- YW refreshments - Milk, Juice, donut holes, fruit and cheese skewers +?
Monday Dec 24- Christmas Eve Lunch- Sandwiches, Chili, Veggie Tray, Chips, Soda/Water
Tuesday Dec 25- Mom's house- chocolate chip bundt cake with vanilla glaze & Christmas cookies

Execution Schedule:
Fri- make final grocery list, laundry
Sat- make 2 chocolate chip bundt cakes, and 2 large trays of fruit/cheese. Deliver sliced cake to 5 families. Attend ward party. Clean house.
Sun- Provide YW refreshments. Prepare Veggie Tray
Mon- Have chili in crockpot by 7am. Make 1 chocolate chip bundt cake and cookies. Prepare lunch.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gingerbread Houses


It is officially Christmas Vacation as of today. We made gingerbread houses this morning. It was fun. It was also a form of bribery. I put all of the stuff out, and then said, "OK, go straighten up your rooms, then come down to make graham cracker houses". Worked like a charm.
B had a little trouble with applying too much pressure.
I had to remind her that frosting is not glue. We were able
to get it propped back up again though.
J was exceptionally gentle as always. It took her twice as long.
The way she was concentrating, one would think she was cutting diamonds.
I set the timer on my camera. That's why I'm actually in a picture.
Now I remember why I prefer to be behind the camera. Every time
I take pictures in my kitchen they come out dark because of all the backlight from the windows. So annoying.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On to the next issue...(updated)

For awhile now I've been staring down the barrel of a possible impromptu dinner for 20 family members (including us) at my house on some unknown date during the next week. My loving husband (wink wink) has been insisting that it would be "too much" for me to do in my exhausted big fat pregnant lady condition, and made a ton of useless suggestions. Most of these included having all of these people over and not feeding them a meal. This goes against everything I was raised to be. It would be nigh unto impossible for my psyche to handle. Well, after calling around today he has informed me that I will not be hosting a meal at our house. I'm not sure how that came about, and I'm hesitant to believe him. But, I can't worry about contingency plans right now...so, onto the next issue. Our church Christmas party is on Saturday evening. As our last name falls in the first half of the alphabet, we are supposed to bring a "finger food". Anyone have any brilliant ideas? Also, I'm in charge of providing the refreshments for our Young Women after our Christmas lesson on Sunday. More ideas welcome.

*Comments have been sluggish lately on this blog...step it up people! ;)

*Thanks to those who have made suggestions. At the moment I'm oscillating between easy (chicken quesadilla pinwheels) or easiest (little skewers of fruit and cheese cubes). I figure...fruit and cheese is nice and light compared to what most people bring, it's good for kids and adults, healthy, and suitable for those with dietary restrictions. It seems too easy to be a valid choice though. If I do the fruit/cheese thing, I'll probably do a TON of it, and bring a tray to YW, with some donuts and juice. Two birds, one stone.

Piano Lesson Hiatus

So, I'm taking a break from piano lessons. Sad, I know. I just DO NOT have any time to practice. It's not that I don't have any time. It's that I don't have time when L is asleep, because her naps are getting shorter and shorter. When she is awake, she insists on sitting on top of me and banging the keys, while occasionally turning around to squeeze me, and lick my face. It's not conducive to practice. I'm fairly determined to continue practicing on my own...as soon as I get through Christmas. Hopefully, I'll be able to manage practicing at least a few times a week.

Another reason... I'm obsessed with getting as much done as possible before "the boy" arrives in April. I remember how hard it was the first time, when J was born and B was 20 months old. I don't want to think about how hard it will be again, when I will also have a 5&6 year old to contend with. I want to get as much done as possible because I am 99.9% sure that this will be my last baby, and I want to make sure that I thoroughly enjoy the baby phase, one last time.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm a Huggies Snob

It's true. I really prefer Huggies brand wipes and diapers strongly. So strongly in fact, that when I can get them for free or almost free I absolutely lose my mind. I am lucky that I only have two Targets to shop at, and that I refuse to clear the shelves for ethical reasons. As it stands, I've gotten 16 tubs and 8 travel packs in the last 2 days. I am storing the stockpile of diapers & wipes on the top shelf of the baby's closet, and under the crib. If I run out of space...I will branch out to the upstairs linen closet. It's not the wipes that are hard to find room for, it's those darn diapers. I will have 2 in diapers again in April. Last time I had 2 in diapers, I used about 1.5 boxes of Huggies wipes per week. You can see the math on this. In one year, I will use 78 tubs of wipes. If I was a normal person...paying $2.39/tub, that would be $186.42 just for baby wipes. If given the option...I choose free.

On my honor, I promise not to "buy" anymore wipes until the shelves are more abundantly restocked.

My new problem...finding things to blog about here other than bargains on slow days.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pony

Grammy wanted to see a picture of L's pony tail. This pony has seen better hours, like 9am. This was taken around 4pm. But, at least it's still in.

If you haven't checked the bargain blog

I just got 8 boxes of Huggies wipes at Target. 3 for free, 5 for 25 cents each. If you haven't checked...go now to Peapod Bargains

Monday Monday

I am suffering from serious blogger block. I just can't think of anything remotely interesting to blog about lately. It doesn't help that so far I've spent today doing laundry, dishes, playing checkers with J, wrestling with "mermaid L" in the tub, etc. I'm working on putting together a little holiday get together with Daniel's family (his grandparents will be in town for Christmas), but I still haven't been able to nail anyone down on an actual date. I finally finished stringing lights and garland all the way up and around our stairs this weekend. It looks festive, and the kids are totally digging it. We never did get any lights put up outside the house. At least our tree has been up for a few weeks now, the hall tree is decorated, the stairs are done up, and B&J each have a 2ft tree in their rooms. That was a bit of a mess. They've shared a room for so long, that we only needed one small tree. This year they've been trading the tree back and forth between their rooms every night since we unpacked it. I finally remembered to go buy another one this weekend and I'm sure you know what happened... They argued over who should have the new one, and who should have the old one. I can't win.

*Forgot to mention: L learned how to say "sis-er" sister, and "co-set" closet in the last few days.

I've been promising to get the separate bargain blog going for awhile now. So, I think I will start posting to it today. Click the name tag to visit.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I Love My Kids

I swear I could eat them with a spoon. I love listening to their voices carry down from the upstairs playroom (it's an open loft so it's easy to hear). J&L are playing together. I'm about to make them lunch.

Sounds effects...bangs, clicks, swooshes (I think they are writing on magna-doodles)
L: Bah, bah, yip yip, ha ha ha
J: THAT is SO BEAUTIFUL. You are an artist L. You should take that to a museum!

Gotta love positive emotional support from your siblings.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Rising Star

For lack of anything better to blog about...
Daniel had his annual review at work yesterday. You may remember his last work related brag when his "drive to completion skills" were complimented. I'm still teasing him about it, because at home...his drive to completion skills are nonexistent. So, at his annual review he was called "a rising star" at the company. Te he he. I swear, I'm going to start making him t-shirts that say things like..."I'm a rising star", or "Ask me about my drive to completion skills". Corporate life is so funny. Now, if I could make him some shirts that talked about his home life they would say, "Ask me what I've broken today", "I call my decorating style construction zone chic", or maybe "It takes a p.h.D to work my TV". That last one even rhymes. It's catchy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Ear Infections

Well, L has a double ear infection. And, J has a single ear infection. Bringing us up to a total of 6 ear infections (3 each) since August. It's getting SO OLD! The Dr. does not feel that is an abnormally high amount. It sure seems like it though. Basically every time they get congestion, they get an ear infection. Lame.

No Sleep = No Bargains

I know that there are bargains out there right now, waiting for me. Alas, I have to take J&L to the Dr. this morning because they both have ear infections...AGAIN. Daniel and I have gotten very little sleep, and are trying not to kill each other out of exhaustion induced grouchiness. I am supposed to be attending a Young Women Progressive Dinner for church tonight. At the moment, I'm still planning on attending.

I did get an online bargain in the last week. I bought myself something I've been wanting for a long, long, time.It's an InStep Safari Swivel Double Jogging stroller with the metal wheels, and the swivel front wheel. I've been wanting a double jogger with these features as long as I can remember. I have also not wanted to pay $300 for as long as I can remember. I snagged this one up at 60% off on Amazon for $119, (and it shipped free with my Amazon Prime membership) and I LOVE IT!

I also had another bargain roll in yesterday in the mail. It was the totally free toys that Playskool sent me for posting on that Cafe Mom board. They even sent 2 of the Romper Stomper things. The Tag Tails comes with 4 tails and detachable belts too. So everyone can play. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Harvard Tuition

Has anyone heard about this? I think it is SO GREAT.
http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN10429971

Voldemort

After fruitlessly trying to convince Daniel to name our son J...(after his own middle name) for a week, I've started calling him Voldemort. You know...he who must not be named. He hates my favorite boy name "X" *edited since we actually are using the name, and I hate his favorite boy name Zebulon..."Zeb" (yes I knew that was his favorite name when I was 16, and I still married him). So, we are at an impasse. I don't want to enforce my will (especially since all 3 girls ended up with names that I suggested), but this no name business is getting old. Maybe if we stop thinking about it for awhile, things will fall into place.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekend Recap

Weekends and blogging don't mix well for me.
Our Brownie troop sang on Saturday afternoon at our community's annual charity home tour. They sang last year as Daisies also. Somehow, as the troop co-leader I ended up having to stand in front of them and "direct" them while they sang. Direct is a strong word though, considering I have no music leading skills and wasn't 100% sure of all the words. But, we survived.

Brownie quotable quotes:
1. "People who abuse their kids always live in the nicest houses!" One of our Brownies misunderstood that the event was to benefit abused children. She thought the houses on the tour belonged to abusive families.
2. "...Like YOU need to exercise!" One of our Brownies said this to the somewhat large woman who was directing the tour, when we arrived in the family's lovely "home gym".
*What are you going to do? I'm just glad it wasn't B who said it.

We are dropping like flies around here with fevers and coughs. It started with L yesterday, spiking a fever right after church. It's working its way quickly through the rest of us. Yuck!

Zack spent the weekend with us. He enjoyed laying in the empty tomato patch. He also spent some time barking at joggers and laying up on the play table (we don't have cushy patio furniture like he is accustomed to.


Friday, December 7, 2007

Annoying But Funny

I've gotten this Elf Yourself thing from several different people. They're sort of annoying, yet cute. It's a complicated emotion. Daniel did a screen shot for me so that I could make it my wallpaper (which is why I did it in the first place)

Level 2 Testing

We got the Gifted/Talented letter home a couple of days ago saying that B made the cutoff (95/100 or something like that) for level 2 testing. Last year her score was 94. I'm so glad. All I wanted was for her to get the "real testing", not the stupid parent inventory and 5 min test that they do at level 1. Now, if they determine that she doesn't need GT services, I will be totally comfortable with that decision. I just wanted it to be based on a reasonable amount of information about her. I suppose considering that Daniel is teaching her about things like Fibonacci sequences at home, it doesn't really matter if she gets services at school or not.

Yesterday Was Crazy

Yesterday I...
-packed 3 lunches
-took B to school
-kicked Daniel and J out the door so they wouldn't be late
-cleaned and did dishes
-took L out to Leslie's birthday lunch
-picked up J from school
-picked up Zack (my parents dog) and brought him to our house for the weekend
-picked up B and her friend C from school
-had 9 Brownies here to practice singing for a charity event on Saturday
-crashed and let Daniel handle everything after 6:30pm

Mom, Just Because...

I make a lot of noise before I poop, doesn't mean I want to use a real toilet. L gives me so much warning with all of her sound effects, I couldn't help myself but to pull out the potty chair, so that she could do her stinky business in it.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Leslie

Today is Leslie's big 3-0. Happy Birthday to a good friend (and piano teacher). Hope you have a great birthday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Priority Mail...yeah right.

Jordan: Pretend you are opening this box, while you are at it...pretend it is a month ago...Happy Birthday! (I'm resending your gift card, and birthday cards in a package from mom)
So, 2 days before my only sibling's birthday, we sent him a box of cards, snacks, Halloween candy, and a small gift card. I sent it Priority Mail, and it should have arrived either on his birthday, or the day after. Somehow, after not picking up his mail for a few days, the post office decided he didn't live there anymore and took back the box. The box has been in limbo ever since. It's been over a month. Since there wasn't anything expensive or important really in the box...I gave it up for dead. I was a bit disappointed though, that in the 35 days since I sent it "Priority Mail", they didn't have the courtesy to return it to me. I would have expected as much from the standard shipping level. So, Daniel opened the front door to go to work this morning and there was the long lost box. It had some stickers on it saying that there was no forwarding address and that Jordan was not living there anymore. Not true. So, to make a long story, well, long...I'm sending back the important parts in a box with stuff my mom needed to send. As for the 5 lbs of candy and snacks...don't worry Jordan I'm sure your nieces will find something to do with them. ;-)

A 2008 Theme

We had our annual Relief Society Christmas party last night. Fortunately, it was held at a lovely house about 2 minutes away from ours, so I didn't have to drive all the way to the church building. I had been awake since 3:30am yesterday with the weird insomnia that I get when I am pregnant, and I was SO tired. I was glad I dragged myself out though. It's good to socialize, even though I generally don't have the motivation to attend such things.

They announced the new "theme" for next year. I don't get to attend Relief Society meetings on Sunday because I serve in the Young Women's program. The theme aligned so well with my personal goals though, that I decided to take it as my own personal theme for 2008. Here is the scripture...

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God (D&C 88:119)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's a ...

BOY! This should be an interesting change of pace in the house of pink.

Monday, December 3, 2007

She's in Love (plus a CVS photo)


We are in the process of putting up Christmas stuff. I am also in the decade long process of making all of the peas Christmas stockings. B's took me 4 years. It's literally a work of art. J's is under construction, but is much simpler. I would never be able to make 4 of the difficulty level of B's. Impossible. I would never have started B's if I had realized what I was getting into. Anyway, we have a few "extra" stockings that we use for people who haven't gotten their handmade one done yet. L inherited the Elmo stocking this year. She is madly in love with it, and has been carrying it around the house for 2 days.
I felt like I was robbing the CVS this morning. I had to fit all of this into my double stroller with 2 peas in it also. I have about 12 cases of soda stockpiled now. Somebody stop me if they hear me saying I'm going to buy more. It was hard to restrain myself when I was paying less than $1.50 per case. Considering we only drink around 6 cans per week total...I need to stop buying it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Good Deals at Target and Kroger

At Target this morning I got...
-free Revlon Nail Clippers (there have been $1 off a Revlon tool coupons out semi-recently, I had 2). Well, they were on sale for 89 cents, so I guess I made 22 cents to buy them.
-5 boxes of cereal for $1 or less per box. Take whatever cereal coupons you have and then print out the $1 off Kellogs Target coupons. A lot of varieties are also on sale in addition. For example I got Daniel's Cocoa Krispies for free between the sale and coupons.
-6 boxes of various fruit snacks. I am SO mad I didn't have all my coupons with me. I was surprised to see many types of these marked down to great prices. I know I also have coupons for them. I may drop back in next week while I'm out and score an even better deal on these.
-5lb box of Clementines. There is a 1.50 Target coupon available on these that I used.
-There are cute holiday socks at the $1 spot, we got quite a few pairs, some not pictured
-Also, Planters nuts are on sale (not pictured), and there is a target printable for $1 off Planters. I got the crazy nut loving big girls each a can for their stockings. I paid $1.50 after sale and coupons.
-(not pictured) 4 bags of Kraft shredded cheese. There is a 75 cent Target printable, and some varieties are also on sale.
-(not pictured) more cheap celery and tomatoes with the Target printables
I also stumbled across a promotion while I was getting the groceries at Kroger. Buy 3 bags of Chips Ahoy or Nilla Wafers and get a free gallon of milk. Limit 2 deals per card. Well, I was buying the milk anyway, so I figured why not get 6 bags of cookies with it, and make it a decent bargain. The cookies were on a small sale also. Also, the Pilgrim's Pride "natural" boneless skinless chicken breasts are on the buy one get one free sale again, so I picked up 4.