Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Library Card

Snug and I took a trip to the library today.  I'm pretty sure the librarians at the counter didn't recognize us at first as I usually show up with a baby (or 2) and at least 4 other children each week.  This has been a yucky week for us in that Sunday night LMM came down with an awful stomach/intestinal bug and then sweetly shared it with Rosebud.  So today's library outing was a trip for 2.  
I don't know why I decided today would be THE DAY...but it was.  Snug got his first library card.  He was barely able to reach the counter, but he proudly signed his own name.  

I was sad that all I had was my cellphone to capture this milestone...but at least the name of our library came out fuzzy so I didn't have to do any photo editing!  There are some pictures I take of him where he looks quite a bit older than he is...I think this is one of them.  
This is the backpack one of our children's librarians gave him to commemorate the occasion.  He was very proud.  He was allowed two items for his first check-out and he chose a Cat-In-The-Hat book (they have some new ones out with all sorts of nature facts) and a Handy Manny DVD.

I just think it is very appropriate that our resident bookworm has his own library card.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Starting Our Garden

 We have plans for a garden.  Food prices aren't getting any better and there is just something about growing your own food.

 #1 cleared away some of these scrubby natural privacy fence trees(?) last fall, but we had one more to go to make the space we need.
 As it was a really big thick one he didn't saw it by hand last fall, instead was going to get his chain saw fixed this spring and do it.  Well, fixing his chainsaw will cost $9 less then getting a new that isn't happening.
Instead, he sawed at it by hand for quite some time and then remembered his "saws all" or whatever it is called.  While not as speedy as a chainsaw, it got the job done-and Snug's undivided attention.  I am not realizing that neither of them are wearing protective eye wear, but I was there and the sawdust was minimal.
 You can see the first saw #1 was using in Snug's hand.  Once daddy was done and started hauling the branches off, Snug did some sawing of his own.
So now we have a nice big garden plot.  Today we bought seeds.  Now we need the warm weather back!

*Disclaimer.  If this tree was a nice straight thing #1 would have sawed through it with no problem.  But these particular "trees" are very gnarled, and have several "trunks" very close together with intertwined branches making it very hard to get a hand saw in there.  They are just all tangled up and it is frustrating trying to get a good angle.  He is a very strong super guy.  I don't want to downplay his ability!

Friday, March 25, 2011


So.  Because my life is so boring and I have nothing better to do, I have started to use coupons (better).  I've always loved a deal, but purposeful coupon use has not been a passion of mine.  I DO use coupons on things like getting my kids pictures taken or clothes from KOHL'S or oil changes.

  I collected PediaSure coupons back when LMM was drinking his weight in it each day.  (And for the record, due to Rosebud's lack of weight gain she is also getting some each day, but not nearly the amount he consumed.

But for groceries?  Not so much.  Why not?  Well here is my pros/cons list for coupon use.

Pro:  People actually end up with FREE groceries
        It saves money
        It is fun to see how much money you can save!

Cons:  I don't have excessive amounts of extra time
           We don't subscribe to a newspaper-we don't read it and I can't justify the use of trees for paper on something I'm going to toss because I just wanted a few coupons.
            I see a coupon that is GREAT and then buy something with it I"d never usually spend money on.  Not a great way to save money! Part of our Financial Peace journey (click tag at the end of the post to learn more) was learning to NOT just buy something because it was on sale.  That can get you in money trouble-fast.  I try really hard to not get caught up in the "deal", and instead make sure it is useful.
            95% of coupons are for name brand items we never ever use OR that I'd still get cheaper buying generic brand or from ALDI.
            Most coupons are for pre-packaged, preservative laden, nutritionally void foods.

So for that very reason, it has been rare I use coupons.


I was at my parent's house awhile back and saw a show on their cable called "Extreme Coupon-ing" or something of the like.  I was fascinated.  These people bought hundreds of dollars of goods for pennies.  It really was quite something.  However, it took them tons of time, they bought and threw away tons of newspapers, and they bought junk I'd never buy.  Hmmmm.


We started getting coupons in our weekly free grocery circulars that are thrown haphazardly at the end of our driveway each Sunday morning while we're at church.  Of course I look through the grocery circular at our local grocers to see what deals they have.  Very often I can spend 10 minutes browsing them and get a store brand item at a good deal.  I always have a detailed grocery list going, and just make notes on it of where to buy what. (And no, I don't grocery shop hop as the norm, but we do go to ALDI and Kroger each week and I always compare their prices).  I also recycle the circulars when I am done and don't feel terribly about the tree usage as at least I didn't ask for it.

So I started perusing the coupons and comparing them to the ad prices.  I also started cutting coupons I might want at some point and keeping them.  Then if I notice something in the circular is on sale AND I have a coupon...well I might consider it.


I have started using coupons each week.  Granted I'm talking one or two a week...but I have been getting big savings.  The picture above is for Corn Chex.  We get the off brand Rice Chex at Aldi for $2.18/box as they are gluten free and MUCH cheaper than gluten free cheerios or the like for $4-$6/box.

This week both Rice Chex and Corn Chex were on sale at Kroger for $2.18/box (same as ALDI) regular price is $3.52/box.  I also had a "buy 3, save $1.50" coupon.  ***STAY WITH ME HERE***
If I had used the coupon any other week, I'd get 3 boxes of cereal for $9.06...but at ALDI I'd have gotten the same thing for $6.54.  That use of coupon would have been really dumb.

However, with the store deal and coupon, I got 3 boxes of cereal for $5.04, a savings of $1.50.  When I bought the 3 boxes of cereal, another coupon printed with my receipt and it was a "buy 4 boxes, save $1.50".  Not as good of a deal...but I went ahead and did it.  I got 4 boxes of cereal for $7.22, saving 38 cents/box. (I walked my groceries to my car, went back in and used the freshly printed coupon).

And in actuality I saved more like $12.38 because we got CORN, not RICE chex...something we can't get at ALDI but will buy occasionally so that LMM doesn't have to eat the same cereal day in and day out.  I figured I can get the off brand rice version any-ol-time so I bought the "fancy" stuff.

So I spent $12.26 and I saved $12.38.  Now before you ask what on earth I am going to do with 7 boxes of cereal...we go through 1 1/2-2 boxes of this cereal a week. Rosebud eats it (as we are highly suspecting she is also wheat/gluten intolerant) and LMM eats two bowls a morning, 3-4 mornings a week.  And we also give it to our daycare kids and Snug if they want it (being as it isn't the pricey gluten-free cereal).  So it will be gone within a month, easily.

Any coupon tips?  I know I'm not a HUGE fan of them...but I know some people do really well with it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Last Day

 Today was the last day.
 It was a sad day for us.
 Because although it wasn't Little Monkey Man's last day... was the last day for his EIS Miss Laura.  She is moving and we will miss her very very much.  She has been with LMM since he was 8 months old.  She feels like part of our family.  Saying Goodbye is never easy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Work In Progress while Snug was working on writing his name and such I decided to try shooting in manual (this picture wasn't, it was in "camera does everything for me" mode.  I am planning on sending him to public kindergarten in the fall, but they have a really awful schedule this next school year in which he'll attend a fulll 88 days.  I'm not terrible excited about that, so on the days he doesn't go I'll be homeschooling him.  We've already begun so he is used to working at the table by himself while everyone else is doing their own thing.
 So I began shooting.  I deleted lots, but even though this one was too dark, I still liked it.
 Getting better...
 And then as I was working on getting my settings correct, he decided I needed a silly picture.
 Ah!!! That's better.  I think all the settings are in order.  Too bad it took me like 40 pictures to get it.
 Nope too much.  My shutter speed was too slow and let in too much light.
 And then on accident I hit my little dial thing (that's the technical term I believe) and my shutter speed was too fast and didn't let in enough light.
 And then it was back to balanced.  And he was back to work.
 Oh, Someone else was doing on a Sharpie.
And someone else enjoys posing for a picture.  
 So a big thank-you to my two willing participants this afternoon.  I appreciate their willingness to sit still(ish) and smile.
Oh, and this is one of the things Snug was working on.  He was drawing things and then I had to guess what it was.  You have an astronaut, his space rocks, a balloon, a # sign (I showed him how to do that earlier and he really likes it, some random letters (i, m, l) and his sounded out word "astronot".  We said it very slowly together and he wrote the sounds he heard.  I was kinda proud  :o)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

 So...I did something for the kids for lunch that made them super happy.  I made rainbow pancakes.  I really wanted to make them, but was waiting to find natural coloring for them as we don't use food coloring unless I'm making frosting for a cake.  Even then I try to use sparingly.  I don't think it is great for them. And I mean absolutely zero offence to the SUPER SUPER creative Amanda when I say that I have an aversion to the  use food coloring.  I admire her very much-and she knows I love her! But today I used it and they loved it
 Our weather is downright fantastic.  I took Rosebud outside to take what I hoped to be her 11 month pictures (we usually go to Wal-Mart).  Still not sure I'm totally happy with the end product, but it was fun.
 I attended a photography class that was given at my church for free this past weekend.  A professional photographer and her husband (who also is a photographer) gave the 2 hour session.  I am going to start trying to take pictures in different modes...not just "action" or "micro".  I got a couple of pictures and then...
 ...she was D O N E.  I'm telling you she is either ON or OFF.  And when she is off, you better give up.
 So we tried again this afternoon while she sported her first set of pig tails.
And although she was way more interested in picking grass and eating leaves, I did get a couple of pictures.  At least I documented her new hairdo  :o)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Forgotten Photos

 Jenilee's Wednesday's Walk was perfect today.  Because I found some pictures that never made it into the right file on my computer. They were just hanging out in my computer and I stumbled upon them.  I never did anything with them apparently!
Last August the town we used to live in had a train festival.  We went to it with some friends.  They have two girls almost the exact same ages as our boys.  
 There were different rides, and this one was a train that you had to pedal with your hands.  The kids loved it.
Snug was pretty good at it, although you wouldn't know it from this picture as he's holding up traffic!
 There were also barrel rides.  If I remember right, all the rides were free but they accepted donations.
  I can't believe how much LMM has grown up!  
There was also a model train that the kids loved to watch.

As I look at these pictures and remember last summer, I wonder if Snug's bright orange crocs will still fit.  Or if he'll want a mohawk for the summer.  I wonder if LMM will ever have his beautiful long hair again.  Or if he'll still get super excited about trains.  I wonder if we'll go to this festival again, and if we do if Rosebud will be walking all over the place.  I am also wondering why my boys were wearing jeans, because if I remember right, it was SWELTERING that day!

Anyway, just a walk down memory lane.  Thanks to The Goodwin Family.

Monday, March 14, 2011

11 Months Old

I know it might seem impossible, but Rosebud is 11 months old today.

Somewhere along 10 1/2 months she quit nursing, which was    hard on me, but she made it quite clear she was D O N E.  Although she is very independent, she is still a mommy's girl.  She loves to snuggle, and is getting quite the jealous streak.  
Along with cruising the furniture she had a first today-she let go and stood by herself.  She also started using a sippy cup (we nix the bottle on your first birthday).  You can see in this picture that her mobile is still up in her crib.  The picture has weird perspective, but don't worry, she is quite a few inches from being able to reach it.  She also started clapping!  It is so cute.  If I ever figure out how to get my videos loaded, I'll record it.  
She weighs in at 16 lbs 5 oz and is now 27 inches long.  Happy eleven month old birthday Rosebud!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

You Know...One of THOSE Weeks.

We had one of THOSE weeks.  I haven't posted in awhile, because, well, this post will explain itself.  

Last week, Tuesday Snug got sick in the evening with a high fever and cough.  By Wednesday morning he was completely fine.  Everyone else around us has been sick, but I really had the audacity to think that we'd escaped.  Pride cometh before the fall.

Fast forward to Thursday night (or was it Friday all becomes a blur when you are up 5 times a night with your 2 year old).  When #1 got home from work Little Monkey Man woke up and had to "potty".  He was burning up- 103.9.  He also started coughing fits that could only be quieted with breathing treatments.  This went on all weekend, with Rosebud getting a fever (not nearly that high) and cough for, like Snug, less than 24 hours.  Monday LMM was so bad I took him to our doctor.  He was diagnosed with walking pneumonia.  Anti-biotics and more breathing treatments took us into Tuesday.  By Tuesday morning he was a new little man.  Whew, we are out of the dark.

Or not.  

Wednesday morning LMM woke up with his fever back up into the 102's and he could hardly breath.  Along with that he was so lethargic he cried every time he tried to stand up.  Back to the doctor with daddy.  I had a daycare kid that day because on Tuesday, he had been FINE!  

Doctor took him as soon as I called, checked him over briefly, and called our Children's Hospital saying he was on his way.  #1 stopped at home so I could take him in.  I could answer the "what, how much, how long, how often, when" questions as I had been the one with him since the entire sickness started.  

As we sat in the waiting room, poor little guy could hardly sit up by himself.  I filled out all the paperwork, rubbed his hot little head, and waited.  We were led to a Triage room where I answered a bunch of questions, and when they asked what medications he had taken that day I realized in the middle of giving him breathing treatments and his anti-biotic and his daily vitamins...he had NEVER HAD MOTRIN!!!  Hello.  No wonder he had a fever of 103.2 at the hospital.  He was given what looked to be a double dose by the nurse-pronto.    

We were just wrapping up the "give us your life history" portion of our ER tour when I felt the need to use the little girl's room.  I asked the nurse, who directed us across the hall, and carried LMM in there.

The end.

Or not.

I then decided that I NEEDED to use the little girls room, threw LMM's coat on the sink and used the facilities.  The sink was automatic.  Begin water flow directly on LMM"s coat sleeve.  

Poor LMM could hardly stand, he's crying, flushed, and sick as can be.  And mommy proceeds to use that hospital bathroom for the next, oh, I'm not exactly sure how long.  Many many people knocked on the door.  I'm going to guess about 30 minutes.

I was losing my breakfast, lunch, and what seemed to be last month's dinner from two directions (my mom said not to be too you can use your OWN imagination).  I finally had to use the "call a nurse" button.  In walks a young nurse who was super confused upon the scene she walked into.  I was in so much pain I didn't even really care (at the moment) what all of me she was seeing.  I just knew that my poor baby needed some help.  He just kept swaying in place and saying "mom mom.  sick.".  I felt horrible.  

She finally got me a basin and off the commode and back into the triage room where a very confused intake nurse was sitting.  She said something like "You were just in here. You were fine.  You answered all my questions".  I may or may not have said something...or nodded...dunno.

I was laid down on a child size gurney to writhe in pain and lose a few more pounds of fluid from my body.  At first they put Little Monkey Man on said gurney WITH me, but you know, there are just some things that are physically impossible.  It is a good thing I am the size of an average 14 year old (weight wise...height wise I'll give me 12)  so I could fit on the gurney at all!  By this time his mega dose of Motrin had kicked in so he sat in the chair at my bedside.  He kept telling them he needed a drink so he was blessed with not one but two slushies.  

He also kept telling the intake nurse "mom mom.  sick.  My head was spinning in pain and after another 30 minutes or so gathered my wits enough to tell the nurse there was a phone in my purse.  We called my dear dear husband who was about as confused as everyone else.  I do believe his exact words were "Are you KIDDING ME????".  

After awhile my husband, two other children, and daycare child arrived at the ER and I was put in a room.  I mean, LMM and I were.  Cause by now we BOTH have wrist bands on with our names and such.  Cause the intake nurse intook me.  I was admitted to the Children's Hospital.  (her words, not mine)

After awhile longer hives-large purple itching hives-covered me from my waist to my hair.  I was in complete misery and beginning to feel quite humiliated.  The pain and exiting was starting to subside and the full HORRIFIC truth of the situation was starting to kick in.  Also, LMM was feeling GREAT.  He was hopped up and kinda crazy on Motrin and 2 slushies.   I'd like to say for the record they assured me this was NOT the first time that they had a parent admitted who had brought in a child.  I was the first one to get so severely ill in less than 30 seconds.  

I'm not exactly sure what "admitted" means to them...we were only there a grand total of 5 hours.  After being seen by a pediatrician (yep, that hasn't happened for YEARS) I was given some Zophran (spelling?) and Benedryl.  I was pain and hive free within, oh, 10 minutes.  I then escorted LMM to his X-Ray and walked by "my" nurses.  They looked at me in shock.  Cause I was fine.  I told them I was feeling much better thanks so much!  I am so glad I do not actually know what they said about me behind my back.

LMM's lungs were clearing up nicely, but he did have respiratory flu.  Home again, home again, jiggity jig jog.

Or not.  

Cause I had gotten a dose of Benedryl.  Now, Benedryl may make the average person drowsy.  It makes me downright sedated.  I fell asleep at some point in our hospital stay.  But once I woke up we needed to drive home.  It is a wonder I didn't get a DUI.  

Thursday morning it just kept getting better.  I registered Snug for kindergarten *sniff* and while I was writing his school days on the calendar (he only goes 88 days next year...more on that at a later date) I must have gotten distracted.  Um, I do believe this is the work of LMM seems how Snug was at school and Rosebud cannot reach the table.  Yet.  At least he was kind enough to put the cap back on so it didn't dry out.  

I do believe I discovered my newly decorated calendar right after I found out that my washing machine was broken.  No idea what is wrong, they'll come look at it Monday.  

So a family of five really can't go too long without doing laundry.  Luckily we only had 3 used cloth diapers as I had JUST done them Wednesday (pre getting super sick in nothing flat and then having a miraculous healing).  We switched to disposables and tried not to dirty up too much stuff, but we were down to zero washrags or dishtowels by this morning.  

We decided to make a family trip to the laundromat this morning.  All children are well and despite wanting to keep everyone home and away from other germ infested people, #1 said it was time to get out of the house.  

We took inventory, loaded 4 baskets, and headed to a nearby town that has things to do while laundry was washing.  It is a cute town that has a kids consignment shop I love two doors down from the "mat".  The sun was shining, a light breeze blowing, 60 some degrees, and everyone was in good spirits.  And then the kids had to "potty".  

At the old train depot there is now a "chamber of commerce" and public restrooms so we headed there.  I remember hanging my purse (which I never ever use, but had used to take LMM to the hospital as I didn't need a diaper bag) on a hook in the restroom.  Then I helped him not touch anything in the bathroom, wash his hands, and we exited.  Back to the laundromat, pick up the wet clothes (our dryer is fine), back in the van, and drive to do another errand at another destination nearly 30 minutes away.  

As we arrived I reached for my purse as I had the money.  But there was no purse.  

Call police.

Drive back.

Purse was found and turned in.

Not a thing was missing.

PRAISE THE LORD.  I had prayed SO SO SO hard.  God is so good.  It could have been really bad.  

This little guy is back to 100% (minus a terrible cough that they said might linger a few more weeks).

This whole story is true.  As far as I remember it.  And that is why it was one of THOSE weeks.

Friday, March 4, 2011


 When the boys wrestle with daddy...
 ...everything is a BLUR!
 Most of the time mommy doesn't watch...
 ...because basically it makes me nervous.
 The motto seems to be...
 ...the fun doesn't start...
 ...until somebody cries.

 Boys.  It is all a blur.