Wednesday, December 16, 2009

To Do List

  • Book visual estimates with moving companies & pick a company.
  • Find & book space with an auto-transport company.
  • Pack the stuff in the house back up into boxes.
  • Find a real-estate agent to help us find a rental.
  • Buy 4 one-way plane tickets to Syracuse.

Yep... thats right. Brian got the job. We're moving to New York.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Decorating for Christmas

There are two two-year-olds living at my parent's house right now. And they love Christmas trees. We started decorating today, and my mom loves her granddaughters enough to give up her pretty, perfect tree and allow them to "help" her decorate it, which means no breakable ornaments, lots of ornamnets placed down low and pretty poor ornament distrubution. They had a blast. Here are just a few pictures of Allison and her cousin Emma decorating the Christmas tree.



They had a favorite branch...

They were very particular about their placement...


Reach, reach, reach...
I really do think that the holidays only get more fun and more magical when children join your family and start to understand and enjoy the season themselves.



An Almost-Crawling Carter

Carter is so close to crawling! I'm actually a little surprised he hasn't figured it out completely yet. He's got a crazy fast army crawl and can get into crawl position and move his knees... he just can't figure the hands out yet.

Lately he's been pushing up into downward-facing dog position... I think he's trying to build strengthen in his arms.

Its a little hard to tell in this photo, but he's on his toes, not his knees.


Isn't he a handsome kid?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Developments...

I wish I had pictures. I'm sure I some point I will, but right now I'm too lazy to find my camera. Here are some fun new updates on life here at the McKee Compound:
  • Emily got married on Saturday. YAY!!!
  • The wedding is now over. YAY!!! No more wedding stress. YAY!!!!!
  • Carter is a crazy good army crawler and is teaching himself how to crawl for real. He can make it onto his and and knees, and can move his knees, but has trouble with the hands part.
  • Carter is fully weaned. YAY!!!! (He started biting.)
  • Allison's toe has healed, but still looks pretty ugly. It'll be a while before she has pretty feet again.
  • Allison loves the playland kid care at Fred Meyer so I get to grocery shop with just one kid... and the one that doesn't scream or cry or beg for things. Its a very strange sensation.

And I guess this one deserves its own space... not just a bullet point.

Brian has a face-to-face interview with a company in Syracuse (yes, in Upstate New York... across the lake from Canada). They are flying BOTH of us out week after next for several days to interview and see the area.

And we get to leave the kids behind.

YYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Its time...

for another shopping post. Its been a good while since I've posted one, so today is the day. I'm super excited about the deals I got. Today I hit up Rite Aid and Target. Couponing in Washington is SO different than couponing in Utah. Its Saturday, the last day of the Rite Aid sale and several days into the deals at Target I was after and I was able to get almost everything I wanted. Things weren't completely wiped out on Monday... weird. Even stranger, I had absolutely zero trouble using my coupons. The cashiers scanned them all, no questions asked, no register beeps. Its was awesome.

Anyway, here's my Rite Aid take:

8 Herbal Essesnces Products
-4 Free (store BOGO promo)
-3 BOGO coupons (P&G insert)
-1 Free product coupon (fro a Facebook promo, no longer available)

=All 8 products for FREEEEEE!!!! I paid just $1.50 in tax for all 8 products. I love free.

In case your Rite Aid gives you trouble, this is totally allowed and is specifically addressed in the Rite Aid Corporate Coupon Policy. Print your own copy here and take it to the store with you, just in case your store isn't very well informed.

At Target I was able to get everything I wanted except Glade Holiday Scented Oil Candles. My Target had the tins, but not the pretty glass holders and no holiday refills. So I passed. The gift card deal on it (buy 5 holiday scented Glade products and get a free $5 gift card) goes through Christmas, so I'll just wait and try another day. The other Target near me had what I wanted when I was there on Monday, but they wouldn't take my coupons so I walked away. Next time I go I'll make sure I have my Target coupon policy with the Guest Relations phone number on it.

Anyway, here's my Target take today:

  • 4 Tubs of Up & Up Baby Wipes - $0.57 each using $1 Up & Up Target coupon
  • 2 Up & Up travel wipes - $0.47 each using the same Target coupon.
  • 2 Kraft marshallows - $0.62 eash using $1/2 Target coupon
  • 1 Santa Potato Head Spud Bud - $0.99 using $5 coupon at coupons.com
  • Up! on BluRay/DVD combo pack - $9.96 using $10 coupon available from Disney

Total spent: $17.89, which is less than the sale price of the DVD. Pretty awesome. I love Target.

All Target coupons are available here.

I also got diapers at Walgreens earlier this week... no pictures, but I got 4 packs of diapers for $20 plus tax using $2 Huggies coupons from coupons.com, a $1 Huggies Walgreens coupon found in a children's coloring and activity book (they sell for 99 cents in the store) and the $5/$25 purchase Walgreens coupon.

Oh, and Mr. Potato Head... I got 2 of those at Fred Meyer. They were on sale BOGO, so I bought 2 and used 2 $2 off Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head product, so I got both of the for $3.50... Christmas for Allison. But I might return them for 2 of the Potato Head Silly Suitcases instead... we'll see.

Its been a good week for a good deal...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halloween and such...

Yes, we are still alive. And now that Halloween has come and gone (and I'd discovered that my dad's computer has an SD card reader) I have something to blog about that doesn't involve discussing how much I dislike unemployment and job hunting.
Halloween was fun this year... Allison went as Cinderella (her favorite princess) and Carter was a guitar. I got to make both kid's costumes and I loved how they turned out. Carter's didn't end up exactly how I thought it would, but I ran short on time, and what I managed worked out anyway. We took the kids to a 2-ward trunk-or-treat at the stake center. It was huge and it was a good one. Allison thouroughly enjoyed herself and has periodically been asking to go trick or treating again. We have yet to oblige her on that point, but I do let her wear her "halloween dress" around as she sees fit.
Allison. Isn't that dress (and the girl in it) too cute? Best part, it was totally free. The blue fabric was left over from decorating for my wedding. Mom donated the starry fabric and the little trim... tiara was one hanging around the house from our pagenting past. Oh... wait... I lied. I did buy a little dollar store princesses bracelet to steal the Cinderella "gem" from. So this costume cost $1.

Allison up close, with the dress all done.

Apparently Carter was the devil baby guitar... I had intended this to go on his front, but then decided it would look just as good on his back and bug him less. He was happy to just be held during trick-or-treating... no candy required for this kid.

Beyond Halloween, life has mostly been revolving around trying to find a job (which I'm beginning to think might not happen before the first of the year) and trying to help my mom accomplish as many projects as possible for Emily's wedding on the 21st (note to self: hire a wedding planner to do all the projects for Allison's wedding...).

Allison has provided us with some recent excitement too... Thursday evening she pulled a 30 inch barstool down onto her big toe, splitting the toe nail in half, pulling the nail matrix out completely, splitting her toe open pretty well and chipping the bone a little. She got her toe numbed, nail replaced 3 stitches and a splint to keep her from pushing off with her toes when she walks... oh, and 15 stickers (we've been to the urgent care 3 times now... once for the injury and two wound checks). Hopefully we'll be able to get her stitches out next Thursday when we take her in again. And, heaven willing, then never go back.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just in case you are wondering...

1) Yes, we are still alive. We made it safely through our move and are settling into a new routine pretty quickly. Allison's having a little bit of a rough transition, but really, not too bad considering how upside down her life just got turned.

2) No, we did not wreck our 24 foot moving truck. We did inflict minor damage to it and we did pay $34 to fix a Provo City street sign, but otherwise nothing is worse for the wear.

3) Yes... every muscle in my body and Brian's body aches. I never want to move again. Sadly, seeing as we're currently living with my parents, we'll be moving again at some future date. Then again, some of my aching muscles could be caused the the Zumba class I went to with my mom yesterday (WOW, FUN!)

I'll post again when I have the mental capabilites to figure out something worth posting...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Its an illness...

I've come to terms with the fact that I have an illness... its ODAD.

Obsessive Diaper Accumulation Disorder.

Yep. Diapers. Its almost like I collect them. You'd think that, given the fact that I have 3 unopened mega packs in the house, I wouldn't feel the pull to buy more. But thats just not the case. Yesterday I bought 2 more boxes of Pampers. I had to... my awesome $4 off a box of Pampers coupons were expiring yesterday. I firmly believe that letting a great coupon like that expire could cause me mortal harm. So 2 more boxes I bought... and they were a great deal (about 10 cents a diaper, if you must know).

For now, we're allowing this problem to go untreated. We'll look into getting some help if it persists once I have no more kids in diapers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Its awesome when...

your 2 year-old comes running into the living room, wearing nothing but a shirt, saying "Mommy, I peed in the potty!"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Perfect Costume

I found the perfect costume for Carter's first Halloween... nevermind that we have a perfectly good purple monster costume that that Allison wore last year and would fit him just fine this year. But I saw this one at Babies R Us the other day and we have to have it. Its $30, and I would never pay that, but I think it'll be pretty easy to make. What do you think?



Too cute, and too perfect, right? I think it'll be pretty easy to make my own... Black sweats & long sleeve onesie (good thing those are available at Halloween), little bit of red, white and black vinyl or something...

On another note, when discussing Halloween, Allison told me she would like to dress up as a princess this year (surprise, surprise!). When pressed, she informed me that Cinderella was her princess of choice. That sounds less easy. Good think we'll probably be living with the super-costume-sewing Grandma... she'll be great help. =)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Super Savings Saturday

Wanna guess how much I got all this for?

$1.82.

No joke. I've been wanting Lucky Charms since they were part of the Albertson's promo that ended on Wednesday, but I always throw away the coupons for sugary cereal thinking that 1) we get SO much cereal on WIC and 2) I'll never use them since we're not big sugary cereal people. And on that note, I'm wrong. I mean who doesn't like Lucky Charms? I'll tell you who... my brother-in-law to be, David... but he's the only person I've EVER met that doesn't.

Anyway, how'd I get it all so cheap?

  • used 5 coupons for a free glade 2 oz candle to get all the candles free
  • used a $1 off Archer Farms bread Target coupon to get the bread for free
  • customer service price matched the Lucky Charms to $1.68 (Macey's advertised price) and I used a $1 off Target coupon plus a $1 off 2 manufacturers coupon to get them for $0.18 a box.

Of the $1.82 I spent, $1.10 was tax.

I also went back to Target later and got them to mark down two about-to-pass-their-best-buy-date whole chickens to half price for me. I combined that mark down with a $1 Gold N Plump chicken on each one I bought to get two whole chickens for $3.12, including tax. Which reminds me... I need to roast those today. I really do hate dealing with bone in chicken, but I'm willing to deal with whole chickens. I just roast them in the oven, let them cool until I can handle them and pull all the meat off, toss it into ziptop bags and freeze or refridgerate for later use.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What do you think he thought?

So if it weren't for the HUGE picture of the little girl kissing the baby boy on my header above, you might not know that I have a son just based on how much I write about my daughter only. But, surprise surprise, I have a son... and I do love him and spend time with him. I promise.

I actually really love having a boy. Anyway, thats not the point... the point is this post is about Carter!
Carter tried rice cereal for the first time today. What do you think he thought?


Anyone care to offer captions for these for me? =)


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

To Train, or Not to Train...

Allison is 2. She's really good at it too. I hear most 2 year olds are pretty good at being 2. However, in spite of being 2 and a little young for it still, Allison seems to be showing so many signs of potty-training readiness. In fact, she has even had several successful trips to the potty in the last few weeks.

This thrills me, sort of. I would love to have only one kid in diapers, and I would love to not have to buy diapers for 2 kids. Granted, my 2 kids are wearing the same size diaper (size 3... Allison is a petite little thing, Carter is a chubby-tubby), but still. Anyway, the part that doesn't thrill me, is the part that she seems ready to potty train... and I'm the one who had to train her.

So today, I decided I would try potty training. I had lots of yummy drinks for her, I had peanut butter Ritz Bits to make her thirsty, I have M&Ms and Orange Slices candy for rewards, I had "big girl" underwear and plastic pants... I was ready. But I really don't think today was my day.

She had 2 accidents in 25 minutes. One of them just minutes after I had her sit on the potty. And it was while I was nursing Carter. And she just didn't seem to care much about being wet. And every time I suggested anything about the potty she'd scream and start to throw a tantrum and tell me "no potty." Put it all together and I decided that maybe she's not actually ready yet. I do realize that accidents happen, but it seems highly discouraging today. So I gave up about 2 hours into it.

You wanna know what she did right before naptime? She tells me "go potty first" and runs to the bath room. I help her out of her clothes (she's wearing a onesie and a diaper... I'd given up, remember) and her gets up onto her Dora potty seat and pees. Seriously? I tried for 2 hours this morning only to have 2 accidents and then you do this?

Apparently Allison is actually ready to potty-train, but only on her own terms.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back in the Couponing Saddle

I coupon, which if you've read my blog for more than a few months or been to my house and see the coupon stash, you know. Its pretty great. It saves lots of money and gives lots of wiggle room in our budget. But sometimes I don't want to. Sometimes it seems like its too much work for too little result, especially here in Utah County where tons of people coupon and the best deals are generally gone the first day of a sale, which can be so frustrating. I've felt pretty off lately. But tonight I got excited about how much I can save all over again.

I went to Albertsons to use my double coupons. My neighbor gave me hers (thanks, Julie!) so I had 6 sets of doublers to use (18 doublers total). Here is how I did:

  • 8 Boxes Post Selects Cereal
  • 4 pints Bryers Ice Cream
  • 4 bottles Juicy Juice
  • 4 pouches Bumblebee Tuna
  • 4 packs Kraft String Cheese
  • 2 "Family-sized" boxes Wheat Thins
  • 1 box Ritz Crackers
  • 1 box peanut butter Ritz Bits
  • 2 tubs Philidelphia Cream Cheese
  • 2 packs M&Ms (no coupon... potty training treats)
  • 1 bag Orange Slices Candy (no coupon...potty training treats, but on clearance)
  • 1 3-pack Wrigley's Gum
  • 1 loaf Earth Grains bread
  • 1 box Hefty One-Zip freezer bags
  • 2 Liter bottle A&W Rootbeer (no coupon... potty training drink)
  • 2.5 pounds 85% lean ground beef
  • A "mega pack" of Albertson's brand training pants (not pictured)

Total spent out of pocket: $17.61, including tax!

Total Saved using sales & coupons: $137.07... thats an 88% savings!

I did this in 7 transactions using 18 doublers. I used $20 in catalina coupons ($15 earned last week and $5 earned in my first transaction today) and still have $6 in catalinas to use on my next shopping trip. It took 2 hours... but not bad "earnings" for 2 hours work, eh?

Oh, and here's the best part... I'm submitting my first transaction for a $20 rebate from Kraft. So technically, once I get that rebate, everything I bought today was free!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fairy Princess

I got these pictures on Sunday afternoon. I didn't think fairy princesses were real, but I think I caught the evidence. Call the Weekly World News... I promise that these photos have not been altered!




You'll notice she's not looking at the camera... this breed of fairy princess you have to catch on memory card unawares... if she sees you trying to take a picture she immediately charges the camera and demands to "see pictures." =)

Monday, July 27, 2009

My daughter is 2...

...which, apparently means the beginning of whining, full-blown kicking and crying on the floor temper tantrums, more need for time-outs and lots of saying "no" and "I don't like it" (which means "Thats not what I want"). Yay...

Its been a long day.

Friday, July 24, 2009

2!

My baby is 2! Happy birthday, sweet pea!
The cute castle cake I made her. It should have been double layers on everything, but I didn't want to make that much cake. =) She LOVED the princesses on her cake.
Look at that happy face!
Opening presents... she's getting good at that.
On her new bike... she loves it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The House of the Lord

The Oquirrh Mountain Temple in West Jordan is in open house right now. This is the second open house in Utah in 6 months. Brian and I skipped the Draper open house, and we're glad we did. It was busy all the time from what we heard. We did decide that we couldn't pass up the opprotunity to take the kids to the Oquirrh Mountain open house.

I'm so glad we picked this open house. The temple is beautiful, and while it was busy, it wasn't too crazy to be difficult with the kids in tow. We thouroughly enjoyed our morning there.

By the way, the sun was bright and we were facing it, and it was windy... it was really tough to get a half-decent picture of the 4 of us there.

Hike up Timpanogos

Brian and I have been talking about hiking up to the Timpanogos Caves since we got married. This past weekend we finally did it! We all had lots of fun. Allison did really well... I'd say she walked at least a quarter of the way (a 1.5 mile uphill hike) by herself... she got to ride the rest of the time on daddy's shoulders (and all the way down... we didn't want her running down the trail). And she LOVED being outside and touching, picking up and throwing the rocks

She was so excited to go hiking too... while we were touring the caves she kept asking to go back outside and "go hike!" It was pretty difficult to keep her from touching inside the cave, and she REALLY didn't like it when they turned out the lights and showed us what zero light looks like... it took quite a while to get her calmed down after that.

Carter enjoyed the hike too... he took the luxury mommy carriage both up and down. =) Here's a picture of all four of us. We all had fun, but boy were we wiped out afterwards!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Provo's Freedom Ballon Festival

Brian and I have lived in Provo for 5 solid years. Apparently Provo's Freedom Festival is one of the biggest, best 4th of July festivals in the country... who knew?!? And in 5 solid years we have never willing gone to participate in any of the activities. We did see the parts of the parade our first two years, but we don't count those as willing participation... we lived on the parade route. It was much more like being a, literally, captive audience as it was incredibly difficult to get out of the driveway during the parade when you're on the parade route.
Anyway... every year they hold a hot air ballon festival. I decided that this year we should go. It would be fun and Allison would love it!

So, thanks to Carter's bad night last night, we were all awake by 6:15, which finalized the decision to go. It was so much fun. Allison loved seeing the big balloons. She also got to meet Smokey the Bear and give him five. That was pretty much all she could talk about the rest of the day.

I'm so glad we went. It was a tons of fun, turned a bad start to a day into a good one and we even managed to get this half-decent family photo of all four of us (thanks, Emily!).

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Beautiful Sight

This...

is not in my bedroom! Carter is now sleeping in our 3rd bedroom (better known as my craft room/Brian's music room). We're all sleeping so much better. Carter is falling into a nice pattern of going to bed around 7 pm and sleeping all the way until 5 am before needing to eat. Yeah for better (& more) sleep!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fat Burning Friday...



Andrea at Mommy Snacks does a "Fat Burning Friday" post every Friday, documents her ups and downs of trying to lose her mommy weight. Figured I'd jump in as a way of keeping me honest with my goals...

Since I last posted about my weight loss goals things went not well, but got better this week. Several weeks ago I strained my IT Band... its the long muscle that runs down the outside of your leg from hip to past your knee. It would hurt when I ran, then I'd rest and day and it would feel better, so I'd go running again only to have it hurt again. Its a repetitive stress strain, so it got so bad that one day I was able to run the first half of my route, but when I stopped to stretch and take my pulse my hip acted up again. I couldn't run back... I couldn't hardly walk back. So I took 3 weeks off.

In 3 weeks, I gained 2 pounds. Luckily, my little sister is now free in the mornings to come running with me and my hip is healed. We've been running 3 times this will and will go again tomorrow morning. Brian and I have also made a concerted effort to get all the sugary junk out of our house (again) in ways other than eating it. Thats helped.

So, that being said my progess is... down one pound (from my original starting weight, so down 3 pounds total). Yeah! Slow, but steady.

I'll think I'll be adding in a workout cardio/tone DVD (for the non-running days) and I keep telling myself I'll do pilates during nap time, but I end up doing things like blogging instead. Maybe I'll get the willpower soon... Emily and I are also planning to lengthen the distance of our run, but I think we'll probably stick to our current one and three quarters or two miles for next week. Don't want to get burned out... or restrain that hip!

Pounds lost to date: 1
Pounds to go: 9

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Storyteller

Carter is a very talkative baby. Wonder where he learned that from? He's my little story teller. Check it out...

video

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fingers

Something, don't ask me what, but something is telling me that Carter might end up being a finger-sucking baby and toddler. Everytime I look at him, if he's lost his binky, he looks like this:


What do you think? Am I crazy, or is there something to that feeling?

By the way, check out that thigh roll! Carter is getting CHUBBY! At his 2 month appointment her was already 12 pounds and I need to take in 4 packs of size one diapers to exchange for size 2s! And he's trying so hard to laugh... its adorable.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mmmm...

What's a girl to do when she (through no fault of her own of course) ends up with 7 pounds of strawberries in the house?

*Disclaime: they were an AMAZING price!*

Strawberry Freezer Jam! Yummy!




Want some? Its so easy. Strawberries, sugar and pectin. Be sure to buy "no cook" or freezer jam pectin. Just follow the super easy directions on the box. I made two batches... thats about 5 pints. Probably enough jam for about a year.

Too bad we'll be moving in less than a year... guess I should have thought that one through a little better and made cooked jam. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Goals: Revisited

So remember how I posted about my urge to own running shoes and lose the baby weight? Yeah... this is me reporting and being honest.

In the three weeks since I wrote that I have gone running... 5 times. Not too great. But I have GREAT excuses.

You see, Brian went out of town on the 18th (just 4 days after my post) and was gone for 5 days. I can't really leave my kids at home by themselves while I go jogging... and I don't have a double jogging stroller.

Once Brian got home I had to go back to work for a week. My doctor approved maternity leave was up and I was taking personal vacation days, which you're not allowed to take in the last week before school is out. And since I have to leave around 7:15 to be to work on time I didn't go running before then.

And here we are to this week. I still have the urge to run. Actually, I hate running. I wish I liked it, and I want to like it, but I don't. The thing is... I hate how my cute pre-baby summer clothes fit more than I hate running. So I go running in the mornings.

Needless to say, I haven't lost any weight yet. But I'll keep you posted (and keep myself honest). Maybe I'll post for Andrea at Mommy Snacks' Fat Burning Friday's.

Monday, May 25, 2009

From Allison's Mouth...

A little background info: Allison gets timeout for disobeying. She always gets a warning first, however. So often, at our house you'll hear Brian or I give a warning, ("Allison, you need to sit down in your highchair or you get a timeout.), then start to count to three to give her a chance to decide to listen.

So, here's what we heard during breakfast on Sunday morning a few minutes after a warning she obeyed:

Allison: "One, Two... timeout!"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Heads up!

Look how strong he is... and yes, that is spit-uppy drool hitting my shirt the moment this photo was taken. Such is life of a mommy, right?


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baby Weight

I'm faily lucky... baby weight comes off my fairly easily... for the most part. At 6 weeks post-partum now, I've lost 25 pounds and I'm back to wearing my regular jeans. But I've still got 8 or 10 pounds to go... and these 8 or 10 are the tough ones. Those 10 pounds is the weight I put on in 3 years of marriage. Allison was 8 months old before I was able to get them off compeltely and get back to my wedding weight (first time since my first anniversary!)... and South Beach helped me do that. Since I'm nursing Carter, I really can't do South Beach.




So, instead, running shoes.




In the last week I've had the extreme urge to own running shoes, which I don't wear on a daily basis at all. I haven't worn tennis shoes of any variety on a daily basis (or even a regular basis for anything but excercise) since the 9th grade. I want them to run in. I'm hoping that I'll have the will-power to get up and go jogging after Carter's morning feeding. I'm hoping that that will-power will get the last of my baby weight off before the end of the summer.


Thats my goal... 10 pounds gone by the end of August. Maybe I'll try to report here weekly... or biweekly to help keep me honest and accountable. Now all I need is a running partner to keep me getting out of the house for a jog around 7. Anyone near me game?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Smiley Boy

Carter started smiling on Friday, May 1st... his 5-week day (he's advanced!).



It took us a little while to get a picture of it. Isn't his smile cute? This hardly even shows it well... when he gets in a smiling mood he's all huge, full face smiles. They are adorable! In comparision, this is tiny, hardly-a-smile-at-all smile... but its still cute.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Toddler Ink


Allison's new hip method of tattooing, made especially for toddlers. No actual ink necessary!

Monday, May 11, 2009

5 Years



Five years and two kids later, I only love you more. Happy anniversary, Brian! Here's to many more...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pick Your Battles

Somethings just aren't worth the fight.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Learning to Coupon

My current career transition (from part-time teacher to full-time domestic engineer) has made me start thinking about ways to save more money and stretch our budget further. I decided that part of what I would do was learn to coupon... serious couponing where you get stuff super cheap or free. So, a few weeks ago I signed up for 3 copies of the Sunday paper and started reading lots of couponing blogs.

I've learned lots. Mostly I've learned that the way to get a ridiculous deal is to combine a good sale price with a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon. Also, when things are a good price, use all the coupons you have and stock up.

So, today, I made a Target run... they issue new store coupons (just a handful) every 2 weeks, which only makes me love them more! Anyway, here's what I bought and how I did:


*Please ignore the two lightblubs and the two bottles of Shout... those got returned. The lightblubs are the wrong ones (I have a raincheck for a specific type) and I didn't notice until I was out of the store and my one of my coupons for Shout was expired, which doesn't make it a good enough price, since I have adequate stock of it in the house right now.*

  • 2 Desitin
  • 2 Head-to-Toe Baby Wash
  • 2 Johnsons Bubble Baths
  • 1 Evenflo Nursing Pads
  • 1 Johnson's Nursing Pads
  • 2 Pledge Furnitue Wipes
  • 6 boxes Market Pantry fruit snacks
  • 2 Betty Crocker Warm Delights Minis
  • 6 Suave Naturals Shampoo & Conditioner
  • 2 Suave Professionals Shampoo & Conditioner
  • 1 trial size baby lotion (for my purse... no coupon)
  • 1 trial size "Hello Kitty" band-aid (Allison's $0.97 splurge, no coupon)
  • 1 four-pack of travel size kleenex (for the diaper bag, no coupon)
My out of pocket total: $38.82. Amount saved with coupons: $26.70... thats a 40% savings... all this stuff SHOULD have cost me over $65! I had at least one coupon for every single thing I bought... with the three exceptions noted.

I think my best deal today was a toss up between the shampoo/conditioner and the fruit snacks. The fruit snacks were just $0.52 a box using a printable Target store coupon... you can find it here. The shampoo (the "Naturals" kind) I paid just $0.39 a bottle for... I had two manufacturer coupons for $1.75 off of any 3 Suave products. A steal, right?

I love a good deal. =) I think I'm going to track what I buy this month with our regualr budget money to see how much more I can get with the same amount of money... see if my $12 newspaper subscription is worth. it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Our Addition

Our baby boy has arrived and we have decided on a name...
Carter Brian Thornock joined out family on Friday, March 27th at 9:08 am. He weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds, 10 ounces! That big of a baby was a surprise to ALL of us... I'm still wondering where on earth he was hiding himself in my belly. =)
Allison is adjusting well so far. She thinks his name is "Right There" (she'd pat my belly and say "right there" when we asked her where baby brother was... it stuck) and she only gets jealous of him when I'm nursing him. Otherwise, its all loves, hugs and kisses for brother.








Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nesting

I've been going a little crazy nesting lately. It's really kicked in pretty badly. I'm trying to be all ready and stocked for this new kid. I currently blame the state of my closet on nesting...


Yeah. If you want to know, that is over 550 diapers. Talk about stocking up. But there was a killer deal... combine the sale price on Huggies at Walgreens this week with a $5 manufacturer's coupon with an in-store instant rebate deal... it was kind of a steal for all those diapers. It doesn't seem crazy, until you understand the amount of time I spent in Walgreens and calling Walgreens this week trying to make sure I could get in on the deal (they, naturally, sold out of all Huggies diapers SO fast this week, so I was stalking their delivery truck, and at the store waiting for the diapers as they put them out on the shelves). Sadly, I'm pretty sure if I remember what newborns are like, 550 diapers will probably last us just about 2 months is all.

I think nesting is likely also to blame for he TWO lasagnes (one for dinner, one for the freezer) I made today (not that we can ever even finish one!).

I've also decided that I need and want to learn how to coupon effectively, for diapers if nothing else. I mean, I'm about to have twice as many children in diapers on half the income (okay... I get to keep receiving my paycheck through August, but I'm still freaking out about that whole situation). There just something about getting a steal of a deal that a rush. =)
By the way, for those looking for a deal on diaper, the $5 huggies coupon (along with a $3 one) can be found at coupons.com. You can print 2 from every computer you have access to. Probably the best place to use them now that the Walgreens deal is over is Walmart... my Walmart had the jumbo (small) packs for $9.72... with the $5 coupon you pay on $4.72 for the pack... thats just under 12 cents a diaper for size 3. Can you tell I'm a little obsessed with this? I think I need help...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Simply Sweet Marriage Giveaway

So I've plugged this before, but here we go again! Simply Sweet Marriage has now opened their website and they have really great prices on intimate products for married couples. Right now they're giving away free lingerie on their blog... check it out here!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Little Nurse Maid

I have a very sweet little girl. This morning I stayed home from work sick... miserably sick. Brian took advantage of me being home to get a full day's worth of school work in. Before he left, I sent him on a run to Albertson's to get me some Cup O Noodles (I don't really like canned soup) and some fruit bar popsicles. He went ahead and left Allison playing in the front room while he ran out... I was still in bed.
As soon as he left, Allison came running into my room to check on me. She offered me the bottle of juice for her baby doll. Then she brought me in her "baby"... a little pink bear that is one of her favrotie comfort items, and her blankey. She also brought me a bottle of water. Juice, baby, blankey and water were all things that we kept with Allison to help her feel good while she was sick for the last little while. She knew that mommy didn't feel good and was trying to bring me things to make me feel better.
It was sweet, and it made me smile... until the next time I coughed anyway.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sick & Tired of Sick & Tired

Allison got sick about 2 weeks ago. Some kind of yucky virus... possibly RSV. Fever, lots of congestion moving to chest congestion and a nasty cough. Poor thing! We did everything we could for her... Vicks rub, humidifier, a sippy of water in her crib, lots of comfort items and yummy hydrating food. It interrupted her sleep pretty badly for a few days and just made her miserble for several days. She's finally mostly over it... just a little cough left.

Sadly, after nearly 2 weeks, I was pretty sure that Brian and I had both gotten lucky and missed it. No such luck. I started with the cough yesterday and it makes me have so much more sympathy for Allison... this cough HURTS! Not to complain, but combine it with feeling so big, and not sleeping really well (becuase no position is comfortable)... I'm ready to say I'm done.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Petti-Skirt Giveaway!

How stinking cute is this skirt?


Not for me, but for Miss Allison. Grosgrain, a crafty blog, is giving one away! Check out the giveaway here!