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Showing posts from November, 2008

Home for the holidays

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I hope you have all had a lovely weekend. Here are some highlights from our weekend...

The obligatory family Thanksgiving dinner picture. No fancy dishes here (note the plastic mixing bowl in the middle of the table?)...maybe when the boys are a little older and their mother is a little less clumsy (ha...like that will ever happen).

Some people enjoy football...here is our annual Thanksgiving lightsaber battle.

Yes, this is our house. Yes, we decorated in what my family calls "Grandma style." Yes, that is a large plastic light up Santa. Yes, I love it.

This is one of four cats in our house...IN our Christmas tree. Good thing we decorate with toddler-proof ornaments and decorations.

This is the man I love. The father of my children. He keeps me smiling.

And I think the previous picture explains this one.

The only photo you will see of Myles with any kind of Santa. He has decided he does not care for the jolly old elf. In fact, I'd venture a guess that he kinda hates him...he s…

Frugal (Black) Friday

I scored some great deals on my Black Friday shopping trip, but I can't post about them because they're all gifts for people who may read this here blog and I don't want to spoil the surprise. :o)

I did manage one great deal...$32 worth of Revlon cosmetics for $4.91. I just love my coupons!

SP question #1

Since we've just had Thanksgiving here in the US, I'm wondering what everyone is most thankful for this year.

That's easy. My boys (the two kidlets and the big guy too). This year has been amazing and I am so so so thankful for their smiling faces...even if "boys are gross." (lol)
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7:52pm Thanksgiving eve

And the time-honored tradition of families everywhere continues...

"I am NOT going to put up with the two of you nit-picking at one another for the next four days. If you don't behave, you will lose Star Wars, TV, computer...everything that makes life fun. You will wish you were in school instead of home with me."

(taking a bow for my mom who is laughing and applauding at the moment she reads this)

yuck

Do you know what I ate yesterday?

two poptarts
a dozen peppermint lifesavers
a handful of cheetos
two corndogs
two handfuls of cheezits
three tacos
two dozen malted milk balls
a beer
a glass of wine

Not a fruit or vegetable to be seen. I feel sick just thinking about it...
I have decided that my diet will change dramatically immediately following Thanksgiving. It has to. No excuses.

Dear customer service

Dear Gerber: I love the convenience of those little plastic baby food containers with the snap on lids. I will not, however, be buying them again until you make them out of recyclable plastic. I think it's a little more important to preserve the planet for my son's future as it is to be able to conveniently carry his baby food anywhere I go. Also, we live near a landfill (too near)...we know where those things go. Would it really cost that much more to use recyclable plastic?

Dear customer service guy who called me on the phone and, when told I couldn't afford to buy another warranty on the 2005 Caravan I hate, asked me, "Well if you can't afford the warranty, how are you going to afford it if it breaks down?" I DON'T KNOW! This is something I worry about late at night and I don't appreciate you adding to my worry stress level. Also (as I said), I don't need to argue with you about it. You're not my husband (didn't say that) and I don'…

Frugal Friday

Walgreens:

2 boxes 108-count puffs
1 bag chex mix
2 holiday activity books (stocking stuffer)
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spent $0.96
saved

CVS:

5 similac ready-to-feed
2 4-packs AA Duracell
2 2-packs C Duracell
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spent $35.70
saved
received $15 extra care bucks

Grocery:

Spent $94.81
Saved $51.99

CVS:

4 Glade candles
1 184-count Huggies wipes refill pack
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Spent $1.69
Saved $19.66

Grocery:

Duncan Hines cake mix
Duncan Hines frosting
Pillsbury Savorings
2liter Diet Pepsi
2liter Sierra Mist free
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Spent $4.26
Saved $5.79

CVS:

Six 110-count boxes of Kleenex
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Spent $1.07


And I almost forgot! With fuelperks, I paid $0.759/gallon for gas this week!

Miscellaneous thoughts

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On the spot creative mommy thinking for this week :
Sam: What happened to the coupons in my Target toy catalog?
Me: I sent them to Santa...he likes a good deal too, ya know.
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Do you shop on Black Friday? I did it once and actually enjoyed it. So I'm planning a trip this year. I'm hoping to get all my shopping done on that day so that I don't have to brave the crowds again until after the new year (except for the grocery store which is, unfortunately, unavoidable).

This year we have three additional people to shop for in our family...Myles, my brother's fiancee, and her son...so the planning becomes a bit more involved than in past years where Sam was the only child (toy shopping on Black Friday is reportedly even more insane than electronics shopping). My plan...Kmart, Sears, Office Max, CVS, Target, and Kohls.

Wish me luck.
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Seriously...check this out for a lau…

Happy 1st Birthday Myles!

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Today...tomorrow...

Last year I wrote about inevitability.

Tomorrow we celebrate Myles' first birthday.

I'm at a loss for words.

I feel peace where I didn't before.

But it also feels like there is something new on the horizon...something big and important...

thanks-giving?

I picked the oldest kid up from school and we went grocery shopping. He alternately whined and acted spastic the entire time...and then asked for a chocolate bar.

We came home and, after I put all the groceries away, had an hour or so of work to do. (It's a wonder I don't get fired for all the work that has piled up in the last year.)

I made dinner...nothing special but I still made an effort. I even did the dishes while I cooked...and re-ran the load of stinky laundry that husband washed a couple days ago but failed to dry.

Husband came home with the youngest kid, quite literally plunked him down on the floor, pronounced his need for some Sudafed, and disappeared upstairs. I found him there two hours later passed out across the bed.

I fed the boys and tried to grab a few bites of my own dinner in between the baby's screams (because I wasn't shoveling it in his face fast enough), let the boys play for a bit, and thankfully announced it was bedtime. At that point Sam dec…

hi

(ring, ring, ring)

Me: Hello?

Voice on the phone: Hi!

Me: Hi...

Voice on the phone: Hi!

Me: Who is this?

Voice on the phone: Kaylee (sounding as if I should recognize her name and voice)

Me: Kaylee, I think maybe you dialed the wrong number honey, you need to hang up and have your mommy dial again for you.

Voice on the phone: OK

I relay the conversation to Steve and Sam...thinking Kaylee was trying to reach someone she regularly talks to on the phone.

Sam: Maybe it's Kaylee from my class.

Me: Does Kaylee from your class have your phone number?

Sam: No, we're not allowed to exchange phone numbers in class.

Me: Then how would Kaylee have your number?

(ring, ring, ring)

Me: Hello?

Voice on the phone: Hi!

Me: Hi...who is this?

Voice on the phone: Kaylee

Me: Hi Kaylee...who are you looking for?

Voice on the phone: Samuel

Me (laughing): Samuel? How did you get Samuel's phone number Kaylee?

Voice on the phone: He wrote it down on a piece of paper for me.

Me (laughing even harder): Oh he did, did he? S…

Frugal Friday

You do not save on groceries if you plan out your shopping trip and then never actually GO to the store.

CVS
3 12-packs of diet pepsi
1 Fructis hairspray
1 184-count Huggies sensitive wipes
5 32-oz ready-made Similac formula
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Spent $43.15
Saved $16.87
Got back $6 ECB

Miscellaneous thoughts

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Let's start out this week with a huge CONGRATULATIONS to my brother-in-law for successfully defending his MFA thesis!
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It is just wrong that they have used Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in an Aflac commercial. So wrong.
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Veteran's Day holiday...I should be reading transcripts but I'm not. I'm drinking coffee, watching Boston Legal, and crocheting. Love it!
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So parent-teacher conference went well. I wasn't in the mood to deal with a first grade teacher, so I sent Steve. He brought home a good report. The teacher said Sam could be the class valedictorian if he keeps up at his current pace. No pressure or anything. lol!

Steve had a heart to heart talk with the teacher and she acknowledged that she knows Sam is bored in class. She's going to try to challenge him with more difficult work. I'm not entirely satisfied with that answ…

I should have expected this

Myles turns one year old next Thursday and I've got all the hallmark mommy sentimentality to spew forth in the next few days as I rightly should. What I didn't expect...what I'm kicking myself for not anticipating...is the resurgence of grief that comes with these milestones.

I'm fairly used to the every day stuff by now...the smiles where I wonder if his brothers would have looked like him...the screech that I don't wish too hard would stop...the packing away of now-outgrown clothes that were actually purchased for another child. Those moments are like tiny little arrows that prick at calloused skin but don't puncture through (anymore). But as the major milestones happen, like first birthdays, it's like somebody is taking a pick axe to my heart.

I read this over at Glow in the Woods...and I was shocked to find myself at peace with the knowledge that someone gets it.
There are days that are darker than others. I want to call the office and be free to say, “S…

AUTHORS AND ARTISTS DONATE WORK TO BE AUCTIONED OFF FOR ANIMAL RESCUE CHARITY

Noah’s Wish will host an online charity auction featuring artist signed art and author signed books. Dan Rojas, Don Roth, Sharon Fernleaf, Janice Osborne and Carol Lew are some of the artists donating their art and actor Antonio Sabato Jr., The Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan, actress Diane Keaton and Celebrity Psychic Nancy Bradley are some of the authors who graciously donated autographed books to help raise funds to save pets in disasters.

“We are very excited to have so many artists and authors join us in this fun project that will help us in our mission to rescue animals left behind in disasters,” said Amy Maher, Board Chair of Noah’s Wish. “Sadly, disasters can and do happen at any time – and the funds raised by this auction will go directly to help us help animals in crisis.”

The link to the auction will be accessible via www.noahswish.info. The auction starts on November 13th, 2008 and runs for 10 days.

Thank you Shanna

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In all the illness-induced chaos at our house, I forgot to thank you for sending the Obama buttons. With yours plus what we requested from MoveOn.org, we've got quite a little collection (despite the fact that Sam lost one on the first day...sigh). Thanks so much!

These remind me of a button collection my sister once had...all kinds vintage design buttons (I Like Ike...Rosie the Riveter...etc.). I wonder what happened to those...?

Let the day of "NO" commence

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I'm home alone with Myles today (Happy Veterans Day). We've been awake and out of bed for about an hour. I've already said "no" about 3,966,240,563,127,595 times. And every time I do, he flashes me this grin...


He is currently banging the dogs' metal dog dish on the dining room chairs like a good little prisoner. If this is the last you hear from me in a while, send reinforcements.

True Love

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I read online about a Star Wars Pumpkin Carving kit available exclusively at Target. A week before Halloween, I sent Steve to find one. He called and asked me to find the SKU and text it to him...because he wasn't having any luck. I was disappointed to find that nobody had a good enough photo of the actual package so I could copy the UPC.

But my man was not to be deterred. The Daddy who, despite the sighs and eye rolls, really wants to see his son's eyes light up...the hunter/gatherer...refused to return to the nest empty-handed. He kept looking...rummaging through shelves of generic Halloween accessories...peering behind Star Wars costumes and related paraphenalia...already planning to visit a different store the next day if need be. A final desperate look behind the Disney princess pumpkin carving kits and...voila! He found one and returned home a hero!


We shall not discuss the profanity that accompanied the actual carving of the pumpkins. But they do look good, don't th…

Secret Pal 13

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Allergic to wool, but love all other natural fibers. Don't mind acrylic if it's soft and squishy.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Have a couple fabric needle/hook rolls that work well for me.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Don't knit much. Crochet is my thing and I consider myself an advanced crocheter.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Amazon, though there are a few things on there that are stitch related, it's not craft-oriented for the most part.

5. What's your favorite scent?

During the winter months I like baking scents...cinnamon/clove spices...vanilla/sugar...baked apple/orange.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

There's nothing better than good chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do …

Frugal Friday

Groceries, groceries, groceries...

Spent $126.93
Saved $56.95
Received $6 in coupons back

Formula, drugs, and peppermint life savers...

Spent $41.32
Saved $11.80

Not bad. Really working toward getting my out of pocket down.

Dear email spammer...

I do not want to earn a degree as an ultrasound technician.

More school worries

So things have gone from strange to stranger in Samuel's school world.

A couple of weeks ago, he brought home a book to read. It was, according to his proud proclamation, "the hardest reader the teacher has." He read it in under one minute. No, I'm not kidding. He whipped through the one-sentence-per-page book practically without taking a breath. I brushed off my mommy instinct and convinced myself I was worrying about nothing.

Then he came home with the two-or-three-sentence-per-page book about snakes. He stumbled over the word "reticulated" during the first reading. It was easy peasy after that. He reported that when he had to read it to the classroom reading volunteer yesterday he, "even remembered the word reticulated" without a problem. Reticulated. In first grade.

He missed two days of class and was greeted with an intimidating pile of worksheets to complete. He did so in about an hour and a half. The most difficult exercises are the new addit…

Something funny

From http://philanthropy.com/

"A Community Organizer Ascends to the White House"

I guess your headline depends on your perspective.

Knowing when to exercise the mommy power

Sam missed school this Monday and Tuesday because he had whatever stomach flu his father so graciously gave him (and me...grrr!). Yesterday, he came home from school with an obscene number of worksheets to complete. Presumably, these were worksheets that would have been completed in class had he been in attendance. When I was sifting through them after school, I muttered something about this being a day when I had scheduled a vet appointment, grocery schopping, and Cub Scouts, Sam nearly started crying. When I asked him what was wrong, he quietly pouted he didn't want to miss cub scouts because of "stupid homework." I realized my frustration up to this point has been because I've allowed this kind of silliness to continue.

So...we went ahead with our plans and I wrote a note for school...
Dear Miss C: Wednesday nights are Cub Scout nights and Sam did not have time to complete all of the work from his absence. We plan to have it completed by Friday. Thank you for unders…

Don't pat yourself on the back too much

"Barack Obama elected first black president"

On the same day that that headline ran on the front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, California, a place that my mother and I fondly refer to as "the land of fruits and nuts," passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (I'm ashamed to say that Ohio already has one)...and I read this post by Niobe.

I still have a dream.

Maybe some day.

But I know today is not that day.

Education, opportunity and optimism

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Sam helped me vote yesterday. He was THRILLED to be able to fill in the little bubble for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. He was disappointed, however, that he could not "vote the way he wanted." As is generally his nature, he is an impatient little soul and wanted the freedom to choose all on his own. I giggled when I asked him if he even knew who any of the people were and he said, "well...no...not really," because I know that he's probably as well-qualified to vote as any number of adults who cast a ballot. But when I explained that his time will come...when he's 18 he can choose to vote for whoever he wants...we started the most amazing dialogue we've ever had in his six short years of life.
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Me: When you see those millions and millions of votes being counted tonight on the news, you'll know that one of them was yours.

Sam: Really?

Me: Yep. Pretty cool, huh?

Sam: Mommy, who's…

Don't ever stop

That feeling that you feel right now...whatever it is...whatever side you fall on politically...harness that feeling and DO something with it. Let it motivate you to find your voice and express what is important to you.

Attend your local township trustee meetings...city council meetings...county commissioner meetings...whatever. Find a cause to join. Start a cause that is your passion.

Achievement...success...don't come easy. You have to want it. You have to work for it. Moving this country forward is a mammoth task that requires a monumental effort. We're not where we need to be just yet. But if we take this opportunity...all of us...to capture this moment...we can ALL make a difference in this world.

The change that we create ourselves...THAT'S the change we can believe in.

Thank you Ohio!

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Since everyone is so worried about socialism

Ever heard of the earned income tax credit?
Know what it is?
Know who started it?

Yeah...I know.
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You get what you pay for

To all those folks who didn't think we needed more money in our county budget and voted down the county-wide sales tax...enjoy standing in line waiting to vote because your precinct can only afford two machines. There's nothing I can do about it.

Dropped the phone in the toilet...

...the baby's phone.

If only they offered a warranty.