Friday, June 24, 2011

Vacation - Day 3

I know I didn't post about days 1 or 2, so here's a quick recap. Day 1 - drove from Philly to Richmond, had dinner with my folks and brother. Day 2 - picked up my grandfather (93 years old) in Fredericksburg and took him to DC to see his Uncle's plane which is in the Smithsonian. Yeah my family has a legacy *dusts off shoulders*. Headed back to Richmond and had dinner with two of my cousins. Brooks seemed to have a really good time with my cousin, Caroline and I think the love was reciprocal.

One day I will learn how to upload videos.

Day 3 - Dude woke up with a fever of 103, he has slept almost all day. Since his fever had been consistantly on the high side for over 12 hours we gave him some motrin. His fever went down, but didn't go away and he was more himself, he ate, nursed, drank some water and played. We were relieved since he hadn't been awake for more than 30 minutes at a time prior to the meds. Hopefully he'll feel better tomorrow so we can go to the family reunion.

P.S. hoepfully I'll get my computer back tomorrow. I got a virus 2 weeks ago and it crashed my computer, I was able to restore it to about 50%, hence the lack of photo uploads as of late. My computer whiz brother is working on it, and fingers crossed he'll be able to restore the other 50%.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Chapter Closed

Yesterday was our last day with Miss K. It ended with a lovely time outside on a blanket soaking up some rays. We'll still have a good amount of time together. Her mom and I are going to swap sitting duties for an hour and a half each week. Then of course there is pool time, play dates and park time. Hopefully they won't miss each other too much. Hopefully this will give her head time to heal from all the hair pulling she endured.

While I am going to miss her, I'm excited for the one on one time with Brooks. Start working on letters, numbers, colors, oh and actual talking and walking. Maybe calculus, but it is summer so maybe we'll take it easy.

We leave for vacation today so posts might be sporadic, but I'm sure we'll have some funny stuff going on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Appreciating All Things

This morning I woke up about 30 minutes earlier than I needed. Instead of rolling over and trying to get a few more winks, or catching up on Words With Friends, I stared at my son and husband.

I examined his nose, mine, his lips, John's, his eyes, all his own. His long lovely eyelashes seem to go on for days, and I think he's getting his dad's chin. It's so wonderful to look at our son and see the child he will eventually become. I hope that he has his father's disposition, back bone, and general love of life, all things I fell in love with.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How to Make my Day

I had no idea how much these little things would mean to me. In the past 6 weeks, I have gotten three of the biggest compliments of my life. In order in compliment given.

1. You always look so put together. My friend, Amanda said this to me a few weeks ago. Amanda always looks fab in my eyes, in fact a mutual friend of ours called her the brunette Barbie. She's lovely and always looks fabulous, so for her to say this to me meant so much.

2. Would you watch my daughter? I don't know that there is a bigger responsibility and parenting compliment that one can be given. To know that she thinks I am a good candidate to help with her childcare has flattered me to no end.

3. You're so adventurous. I never considered myself adventurous, but apparently I am. I do a lot of things with both kids and even more when it's just me. In the past two weeks we have taken Brooks kayaking (a failure), biked 10 miles, flown with him by myself at 5 months, I guess these things are adventurous.

So toot toot (that's my horn). And thank you to my friends for pointing out things that I didn't think about, but mean a lot to me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dinner's on Me Tonight

A few months ago I got an email from my opera union rep from DC. Apparently I was due a royalties check for a recording I did 10 years ago. WAHOO!!! I'm thinking not a lot of money, but enough to take the hubs out to dinner.

Yesterday in my mailbox a letter postmarked DC, so excited. I open it and a *drum roll please* $4.77. Yup enough to cover my Starbucks order. Still excited to get my first royalties check ever.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Day in the Life

I read Dear Baby, daily. In fact I have been known to check my reader a couple times a day to see if there are any new posts. Especially with the recent arrival of her newest little one. Since she has been on maternity leave she has had a guest blogger a day write a "Day In the Life Of...." post. I'm totally stealing her idea, it's not stealing if I give credit and lots of praise, right?

Just an average day....I get up around 6:30, roll over and stare at them for a bit and count my blessings, shower and dress, make coffee and oatmeal. Miss K arrives around 7:30, sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later. She and I "talk" while I eat and drink coffee. Brooks and John come down around 8, the boys eat, followed by play time. Around 9, Miss K eats, this is where it gets tricky. We have story and song time until it's time for naps, this could be in 30 or 90 minutes. Babies nap for an hour or two (if I'm lucky they over lap).

Wake up and they are ravenous, so we nosh, well they nosh, OK I lie, we all nosh. Husband rushes in the door to watch the babes so I can get all dolled up for my national TV interview. OK, so maybe it's not a daily occurrence, but it happened this past Tuesday.

What feels like forever ago, I started donating my extra breast milk to a mom (and now friend) that I met at our breast feeding support group. ABC, found out about us and sent a camera crew, a producer and reporter to Rachael's house. When Rachael approached me about this I thought at first she was joking. I mean I'm an attention whore and this would have been a great practical joke. She had been at my house the night before and hadn't said anything about it. I wrote her back and said I was on board, but didn't get too excited. Then the flurry of emails started between Rachael, myself and the other donors. OMG this was happening.

A few things ran through my head, first, what am I going to wear? Second, don't sound stupid, rehearse probable questions to make sure answers are concise, grammar is correct and you don't throw out large words improperly. Thirdly, this story isn't about you, it's about the message, make that a top priority. Fourth, what is Brooks going to wear?

All in all it was a great time. A very memorable experience and from the bottom of my heart I hope that this opens doors for a lot of people. I hope to never hear again of someone throwing out breast milk because it was too old, or they didn't need it anymore. And my eye makeup was fabulous, like I really should have taken a closeup and done a tutorial because it rocked!

Yeah that's Juju Chang, reporter extraordinaire, mom of three and my new BFF (OK not really, but she was really nice). I don't know how much screen time I'll get, if any. This was the day Brooks popped his teeth and he was squirmy, fussy and just not having too much of sitting still. I'll post as soon as I know when (and if) it's going to broadcast. I really hope it does so I can put the DVD in Brooks' memory book. Just another experience that would never have occurred if it hadn't been for Brooks. I guess I'll have to thank him one day, I'll try and remember to do that when he's a surly 15 year old.

And one more gratuitous shot, just to show that we didn't just run into her in the park.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You have GOT to be kidding me

Want to know how to make your kid do something that you really want them to, but they won't? Post it on the internet, and make sure you use the "F" bomb in a forum that your mother reads.

Yesterday Brooks popped three teeth, we think another is on the way. Ugh, really dude? Way to make me sound and look like a jack ass. Although I'm the one that posted it, and dropped the bomb, so maybe you come by it naturally.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where Did the Week Go?

Brooks was crazy fussy and clingy last week. When you have a 10
month old and you tell people, looking for sympathy and compassion for the HUGE bags under your eyes since you haven't slept since Jesus rode the mule and everyone responds, "Oh, it's teething", the rage that your fatigue perpetuates boils up and eventually explodes. IT'S.NOT.FUCKING.TEETHING!!!!!!!!!! But this time we really thought it was teething.

Four white looking buds on the top of his gum line are there. Glaring at as, mockingly saying, "the worst is yet to come". There was no fever, just fussiness, clinginess, and and over all blah. But no teeth, a week later all of that for still a 2 tooth grin. An amazing smile, none the less. The only good thing that we got was some amazing cuddle time. Out very active boy never cuddles anymore and last week this is how he went to sleep.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Couponing - Part 2

Yesterday I talked about saving on organic meat, I know non-organic meat does go on sale and you can usually find something that you want each week. Here’s the key, pick up a bunch of it, perhaps what you’ll want for a month of that particular cut or type.

Produce, there aren’t a lot of ways to save on fresh produce. BUT and this is a HUGE one kids, Driscoll who distributes a lot of produce all over the country has a 50cent coupon on their website. If you go to a grocery that doubles, that’s a dollar off. When I got the coupon my local store was selling strawberries in 3 pound packages for $3.49 and 1 pound packages for $1.49. Using my coupon, which I could print multiple copies of, I was able to get 3 pounds of strawberries for $1.50 a savings of $2.

The major areas of savings are going to be in toiletries and other grocery type items. (Watch out this part is VERY Glamorous!!) We needed toilet paper, no one had any on sale this particular week, so I went to the interweb and went to Angel Soft, Charmin and Northern’s web sites. Each had a coupon for 50 cents. Wegmans doesn’t see toilet paper in 4 packs, but Target and Giant do, so I used the coupons there and saved $1 on each package. Instead of buying an economy pack of 12+ rolls I bought 4 rolls at a time and got the cost of the rolls down to 25cents a roll vs 72 cents. Tampons, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, qtips, tooth paste, diaper, wipes, soda, etc, they are all perfect for this type of layering to get savings.

Another big key is noticing trends. How often does your store have toilet paper on sale? How often does meat go on sale? Once you start figuring out the trends you can figure out how much you have to buy at a time. This will help with space, so you don’t have to turn your guest room into a pantry and buy three freezers to store everything else.

Those are my tips, big and small. Just remember this is a process start small and grow with it and let it grow with you. Let the process evolve to meet you and your family’s needs. Any questions, additional advice please leave a comment so everyone can see it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Couponing - Part 1

Starting May 1st we became "couponers". You may recall I blogged about this experiment back in April. I was skeptical that we would be able to save enough money to make it worth my while.

I spent about 6 hours total in the month of May, with my coupon related pursuits. The largest amount of time was spent at the beginning of the month when I compiled all of my information. I don't think that this is really necessary, but it helped me organize our purchases and see on a large scale where we could save money. Since I only used one grocery store prior to this I was able to log into my account and pull up my past month's receipts. I came up with a spreadsheet and logged everything.

The next step was to decide how many places I would shop. If you are driving all over the place to save 15 cents on something it's not worth it. Since I drive by Giant, Target and Wegmans almost daily, those became my "go-to" places. Fortunately they all come out with their sale flyers on Sundays, this made my life exponentially easier. I also checked out their coupon doubling policies.

Once the flyers came out I would go through them (all online), and plan menus for the week, based what was on sale that week. The first thing I discovered, Giant has sales on their organic meat, a savings of $1.49 a pound when on sale. I've previously mentioned how much I love Wegman's iphone app and again it helped me save money. I went through the Giant flyer and made a grocery list and put everything on my app. As I went through the list on my phone in Giant, if it was less there I would pick it up.

I know I haven't talked about couponing yet, I promise it's part of the equation, but not the only part.

After coming up with my list I went on the interweb and searched for coupons for the items we needed for the week. I was only able to get 5 coupons and only saved about $10 using them, but that's a pretty big deal. This is such a multi-step process I didn't figure I would see huge immediate savings. But I signed up for couponing websites, searched blogs and suddenly everything started coming together.

The next week I saved $70 and the week after $85!!!! Holy cow it was working. I was so excited leaving the grocery I wanted to skip, but I didn't want to look like a total tool. Bottom line it worked for our family and we still ate organic meat and not processed food.

Tomorrow I'll break down even further what to look for and how to shop smarter.