Friday, July 31, 2009

Packing

I remember a day when I thought it was a miracle to get my own belongings packed, organized and ready for a trip. Now I'm responsible for packing up 5 people. I'm including my husband in that number because well...let's face it. He needs help. I usually find a pair of shoes he has forgotten or a pair of much needed swim trunks. I have to admit...he helps me too. He's in charge of packing the van because it has to be "just so". I don't touch that part.

It's a daunting task to gather clothing for 5 and food for a week, or at least for the trip. We're driving 12 hours to the OuterBanks where a lovely beach house awaits us. There are bike trails all over so we'll be doing a lot of riding. That also means we have to somehow get kid bikes to the beach. Hmm...Time to make a list.

I love vacation but the days leading up to it (and the trip home/recovery afterward) ALMOST negate the vacation part. Let's face it...when you have kids under the age of ten, no destination is a vacation. Let's call it a trip.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An Oldie But A Goodie

This video is 2.5 years old but a fun one. Enjoy.
video

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coupon Bzz

I'm officially on a coupon high. Today I went to Walgreens where I bought a hair dryer (a much needed hair dryer, btw!) for $14.99. A decent price. Well, when you buy this hair dyer you get $10 of Walgreens money (Register Rewards/RR) to spend on future purchase.

To buy this $14.99 hair dryer, I used $10 of Walgreens "Register Rewards" from a previous purchase. My hair dryer was then $4.99 out of pocket and I still received $10 in RR for later. So, I sorta made $5 on the deal. Not bad.

My other purchase was a Goody Ouchless hairband which I bought with a $1 off coupon and I'll be sending in the paperwork for $3.99 redemption. So essentially I made $1 off the deal. I'm definitely Bzzing and feeling good after this moneymaker AND I can finally dry my hair!

Savings Sites

So I'm on a kick. I've been conducting a little experiment to see if this crazy coupon thing could become a habit. So far it's been a few weeks and although I haven't jumped in headfirst (like yesterday, I stopped by Costco and spent $80 on some needed essentials) I am buying what I can with coupons. I've saved a lot and it's been well worth it. Details coming soon.

Here are a few sites I use on a regular basis.

www.dealseekingmom.com

www.moneysavingmom.com


www.cincinnaticents.blogspot.com


Please share any sites you have found helpful!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Great Crayon Chase

This is how absurd I am. Even though I've had my supply list since March, I wanted to wait for the best supply deals. Starting about 2 weeks ago, I began seeing ads for great prices. I bought my markers at BOGO half off in June. Then the prices started dropping. Around July 10th I found crayons for .99 cents at Kroger. I was psyched and bought two. Around July 13th I found them for .89 cents at Staples. With my $5/off coupon the price was .67 cents. I thought I found a steal. Then I found them at Marc's for 48 cents. That was the rock bottom price. Just 5 days ago, I found the same crayola crayons at Target for 20 cents. A steal.

The following day I found the Crayola 24 pack for .15 cents at Walmart.
I ended up buying from each of these stores and returning to 2 of the 4 stores. The rest of the crayons I kept while buying an additional 10 boxes at Walmart to donate to local schools in need.

My stubbornness insisted that I find the best deals even if I don't need the crayons anymore. Someone else will though so hopefully they will go to a kid in need.
Also, if you find deals, think about keeping them to stuff in Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes around Thanksgiving time. School supplies are $$$$$ during the winter months to stock up now!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Bad

So, I was wrong. We have a PTA instead of a PTO. For your reading pleasure, I've included the official description concerning the difference between PTOs and PTAs.
Don't fall asleep on me.

PTO VS PTA

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Really?

4 months ago I received a school supply list while attending Kindergarten registration and orientation. We were given a choice to order the boxed school supplies at a rate of $38 per child or buy our own supplies.

With 2 kids entering Kindergarten and me being one of the cheapest people on earth, I stubbornly decide I will beat the system. I was also rebelling against the PTO president (and when did it stop being the PTA, btw!) who said some moms decide to "go out on their own" for Kindergarten and by first grade they are purchasing the PTO boxed supplies.

To prove her wrong, I plan to buy my supplies all through elementary. That's how stubborn I am but cheap too. I'll have to count it all up but I have paid less that $15 per child on these supplies that would have cost $38. Now granted, it's not like my savings is enough to put them through college or anything but it's fun. Buying the boxed supplies takes some fun out of getting ready for school.

I'll tell a tale of my crayon chase another day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

4 Whole Days ...

without blogging. I'm so sorry. I've been taxiing people to VBS, getting ready to lead a Bible Study, on a mad search for school supplies (b/c they are INSANELY cheap right now) and basically running around with my head cut off. Isn't it supposed to be Summer Vacation? When does the vacation part start?

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Because my brain is fried from too many kids on this Saturday that should have been restful (in theory) I'm stealing a blog idea from The Activity Mom.
She was blogging about The Letter Factory and I just had to add my 2 cents. I love that thing. A few years ago I had a girls weekend in New Orleans with my mom and sister. This meant I left my husband in charge of (2) 2 year olds and a 10 month old.

(GASP INSERTED HERE)


When I returned my almost 3 year olds knew all their letters and the sounds they made. Thanks to my husband? Well, sort of. In reality, thanks to the video they watched 8,299,999 times while I was gone. And wasn't that nice of my hubby to let them watch TV all weekend? Look at all they learned! =)

Reading has come pretty easy since then. We've accompanied The Letter Factory with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.
I rarely fall for titles like this one but after hearing many moms in my twins' club raving about the book, I tried it myself. My 5 year olds are now reading and hopefully ready for Kindergarten. Yea!

So check out both of these items if you are ready for reading in your home. They sure made my life easier!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Love Saving $$$$$

So, I'm not trying to be Deal Seeking Mom or anything...I could never live up to that kind of perfection but look what I did this evening!
Count 'em. That's 10 boxes of cereal and 1 bottle of mustard. Guess how much I paid? You have to double click to see the whole receipt but the total was $4.30! The whole coupon thing is new to me. I had dabbled before but I never understood how these people save SO much money. I'm starting to catch the fever!

Too Good to Pass Up!


Check out this link! You will get a coupon for .75 cents off this 32 ounce Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade. Bring it to Whole Foods where they are on sale for .99 cents. That's just .24 cents. Buy the 12 pack and it's even cheaper. I paid about 2.50 for 12 bottles. They also have coupons behind the counter so ask for those too. My 12 pack of lemondade and 2 extra bottles was a total of $3.03 (the coupons count for the 12 pack too so you save mega $)! That's cheaper than water! My kids are so psyched because we usually only have milk and water in our home (not counting my hubby's secret stash of sodas!)

And the Years Fly By

This was written by a wise friend of mine. Her children are now in college and she's lamenting over the passed time. I thought this was an incredible perspective for those of us who are deep in the trenches. Enjoy the moment, folks.


Emma was sitting on the aisle, quiet and content with her Momma. She was four months old. She cooed, looked at Warren making funny faces, drank her bottle and was very content in her Momma’s arms.
Anna Belle was screaming at the top of her lungs behind my seat...uncontrollably. I guess she had not flown before. Her parents were a bit frazzled, the last ones on the plane with their carseats and two children.
As I sat listening to her Momma try to comfort her, talking about Jasmine, Cinderella, Ariel… the tears started streaming down my face.
Flying to Fort Collins where we have been for so many summers. It just wasn't quite right going without our two little girls.. oops they are not so little any more.. 19 in a few days and 21.
Just yesterday they were crying over not wanting to go to a new school in foreign country, not wanting to go into the pool for swim lessons. Now they have their own lives.
I love being a mom.. having someone that needs me to hold them, comfort them, talk to them about pretty princesses that make things better. Why do I still ache so much? I guess sometime I will get used to life as it is now. I don’t know. I am still crying. I wonder if Emma and Anna Belle's Momma's realize how precious this time is they are having with their little girls right by their side? Maybe so. They will one day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BIC Soleil Bella

I have to Bzz this really quickly. If you haven't tried BIC Soleil Bella yet, it is one amazing razor. It has 4 blades, a moisturizing strip and a pivoting head! I hate to shave and it allows me to go a few days between shaving...and you can't even tell. I have coupons if you want one ($3 off) or I'm sure you can find them online. I definitely recommend this razor, especially since it's swimming suit season. I can use all the help I can get during pool season!
PS> This Bzz is courtesy of BzzAgent. If you haven't checked out www.BzzAgent.com yet, do it! It's awesome.

It happened to Me!

I was sure that I had blogged about this already but I've searched and searched. I can't find a record of it so I'll have to retell the story here.

Many months ago I was on a treadmill at the athletic club. 2 women climb on the the treadmills to my right and begin gossipping in very loud voices. It just so happened that these two women were talking about my high school friend and her parents. On and On these women went. Some of it was honest, some of it was true and a lot of it was slander. I got fed up, slammed the STOP button on the treadmill and promptly announced that it was my friend they were talking about and I found a new treadmill on the other side of the club.

Needless to say, they were caught off guard. I have no idea what they said or did after that but I bet they haven't forgotten it.

Well, today it happened again but this time I was the offender. I was sitting at a park with a friend discussing the kids' school. We critiqued the school, both good and bad, giving our honest impressions. Because we were so lost in our own conversation, we failed to notice that the wife of the school's director was sitting right behind us.

While nothing unforgivable was said, it still proved to be a very awkward situation. My friend and I are now racking our brains, trying to figure out what in the world we said and how the woman might have taken our honest commentary. Oh, it's just one of those things that gives you that icky pit in your stomach. Yuck!

"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Proverbs 10:19. Someday I'll learn my lesson.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm Found!

After much prayer and supplication, I've been found. Rather...my cell phone has been found but you know. It's hard, okay, impossible to live without a cell phone these days. Curses.

In case you're curious, I was without it for a full 36 hours AND it was found in the top drawer of Little Dude's dresser. Of course it was...intermingling with his underwear. Hmm...

I'm Lost

I can't find my cell phone! Someone please tell me when they will begin embedding cell phones into the human body? I will be the first in line. I don't care how much it hurts.

Of course I turned the ringer off BEFORE I lost it so it could be a while til I make a phone call again.

I really wasn't this scatter-brained before kids.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Is This Journalism?

Here's a beauty that aired on MSNBC. And this guy writes for the New York Times.



Someone tell me why he allowed the Senator to keep his hand on his "inner thigh" the whole dinner!

Friday, July 10, 2009

5 Cows = $44 in Free Food

This is how cheap I am. I dressed up my trio (and myself) in "cow" costumes and we headed off to Chick Fila to pick up lunch before the splashpad. Hubby comes home from work this afternoon and finds out about our free lunch. He suggests that we pack up the banschees and do it again. And so we did.

Same costumes, different Chick Fila! I'm on a first name basis with the General Manager of a certain Chick Fila because we go there so often so it was necessary that we hit a different restaurant for dinner. It was well worth it. Chick Fila is expensive so live it up when we can. Best part? No dishes all day!

I love Chick Fila!
Keep in mind...this was a last minute thing...and I'm the least creative person on the planet. Grace, people! =)


Thursday, July 9, 2009

There's SMART and then there's KMART SMART!

While growing up there were 2 stores that I remember frequenting with my parents and grandparents. One was Gold Circle, basically a prehistoric Target. The other place was Kmart. Since 1980 I could probably count on one hand the number of times I've entered a Kmart. Today proved why.

After a workout, I decided to hit Kmart with my coupons as it was rumored that they were doubled this week. Amazingly, the kids were on their best behavior and even though I had a cart full of coupons, we somehow found the things we needed. It wasn't until I reached the register that the proverbial crud hit the fan.

The clerk successfully rung up my goods but as I watched the totals, I realized that I wasn't getting the BOGO deal for the mascara. I asked her about this and she said it would come at the end. Then I saw that the 4 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch were ringing up for 4/10 dollars instead of the marked 4/$6. Bitter. I ask the clerk and she refuses to help me. The woman behind me gets involved asking the clerk to look it up. Instead of calling a manager or another clerk, she hikes off to the cereal aisle leaving her register exposed and a long line of customers. 7 minutes later she returns telling me that I need to buy 5 boxes because she insisted that the sign read, "Buy 4 or more for $6". Huh? This clerk was so obstinate and dense that the customer behind me (still waiting in my line...maybe waiting for the soap opera to unravel) says, "That doesn't make any sense. 4 or MORE means you can buy 4." We seriously had to define the word OR for this woman. The clerk continues to argue until she is convinced to call the manager.

The manager moseys on over and says to the clerk, "Show me where this sign is". They BOTH leave the register with a new line of customers behind me (because the smart ones fled a long time ago). Another 8 minutes later the manager and the clerk return with the afore-mentioned sign in hand, deciding that they would take everything out of my cart, unload it all from the grocery bags AND re-ring my order. They did an override on my cereal which pleased my daughter because she was crying over the possibility of not getting Cinnamon Toast Crunch, an apparently rare delicacy in our home.

All of this and I hadn't even handed over my coupons yet. 30 minutes had already passed at this register (not including my 30 minutes of shopping time) and the nightmare was finally over. I found the REAL manager of the Kmart on my way out and told him I wouldn't be shopping there again. I thought I disliked Walmart but it's paradise compared to Kmart. I'm pretty sure the recession has nothing to do with how poorly Kmart has performed in recent years. On the bright side, I saved over $30.

They are honoring double coupons so if you have 8 hours for a KMART stop, you'll save some cash.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Oh No~

I don't have a drop of creativity left in me. That will teach me to leave a blog post til 11:45PM! I will be enjoying a nice cool evening with the windows open though! This is why I live in the Midwest. I sometimes question my sanity February but it definitely pays off come Summer. That cool breeze through my window is feeling pretty good right now. High of 83 tomorrow. I'll take it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

MJ

I just couldn't pull myself away from the Michael Jackson Memorial today. The kids were around and asked a million questions concerning MJ and funerals in general. I went outside to check on the kids and this is what I found.

Here's Girl Wondertwin with a doggy named Michael Jackson in a makeshift casket and the leaves on top are the "flowers" that she saw on the casket. I had to convince her NOT to dig a hole in our yard and bury it!
video

Monday, July 6, 2009

UP

I had every intention to hit the gym today after the fun-filled (and food-filled) holiday weekend. Unfortunately, the banschees didn't wake up until after 9:30AM! WHAT? They never sleep like that. Sadly I missed my cardio class and as if we didn't have enough fun this weekend, I decided to treat the trio to a movie. I had wanted to see UP so I decided to check out the movie deals.

We headed out to the AMC for a 11AM showing of UP. I wrongly assumed the movie would cost around $3 or $4 per person. Apparently movie prices have gone up in the last decade. It cost us $5 per person before Noon. If the movie had started at 12:01PM, we'd be paying around $7.50 and $9 at night. Really? Wow, life has gotten expensive while I've lived happily under my little rock. The perks of having too many kids in too short of a time span, huh?

The movie was super cute (although sad at the beginning) and even my 3 year old sat through the entire thing. That is saying something because that child never sits still...or maybe he was just REALLY tired from the weekend.

I'll be sticking to the free summer movies or the local Dollar Theater we have in town. No more $20 mornings for us! Yikes!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Must. Sleep.

What a weekend. I love holidays but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the 4th of July. I love summer and it's THE holiday of the SUMMER. Also, it seems like Ohio (or maybe Columbus and surrounding suburbs) does it up more than other places. When I lived in Texas you barely even knew it was the 4th.

We had a full weekend with 2 nights of fireworks, a party, a festival, a kiddie parade, a real parade, 2 5Ks that we neglected to run and a ton of food. The kids were up til almost midnight 2 nights in a row and no nap today. We hit the neighborhood festival at 4PM and stayed til 7PM. Around 6:30PM Little Dude was obviously more tired than he'd ever been in his life. J finally convinced him that he should be carried. With Little Dude wailing, J held him and within seconds, he zonked, mid scream. Pretty funny. Wish I had a video of it.

Even Boy Wondertwin asked to go to bed when we got home. Girl Wondertwin was a little harder to convince but she too was asleep before 8PM. It's now 9:30PM and I'm trying quite hard to stay up til 10PM at least. We'll see. I need a weekend to recover from my weekend.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Competition

Every year we take part in a neighborhood kiddie parade. It's actually not in our neighborhood but the one I grew up in. We started when the twins were 4 months old so this is our 6th year.
Here are the first 5 years...

2008

2007

2007 also

2006

2005


And for some reason I can't find 2004 but it was just the double stroller (not decorated) since the twins were babies.

This year we flaked a little...well, okay a lot.


And



Here was our compettion:


Way above and beyond the call of duty for a kiddie parade, don't you think? But of course I'm challenged for next year so I'm brainstorming now. Any suggestions are welcome! Oh, and just to compare how far that float went beyond normal Kiddie Parade social norms, our above floats won 1st or 2nd place every year but this year.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Those Moments...

If you're a mom, you have those moments where your kids desperately want your attention and you just want to veg, or work, or anything but give them the attention they deserve. Thursday I stole about 10 minutes where I was able to accomplish both. I was preparing for a Bible Study that evening and the kids really wanted me to play with them.

I don't know how it came about but all 3 of them started playing "beauty shop" with my hair while I read and studied. This was the result.



When it was all done, my 5 year old boy said, "Oh, Mommy! You look the most beautifullest EVER. You are going to wear it to your Bible Study, right"

Of course buddy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

He's a Rare One!

So my Little Dude, age 3 and quite good at it, might I add, has been in a lot of trouble lately. His favorite thing is to tell me NO...at the top of his lungs. He's also said a few other things that get him in mega trouble. Out of desperation, I called my friend who now has 5 (including a set of twins so she knows it all, right?) and told her my predicament. She suggested vinegar.

Desperate to try anything I waited for my next opportunity for Little Dude to mouth off. Of course it wasn't a long wait. I can't remember what he said but I got a napkin and soaked it in vinegar. I then placed it on his tongue. He was not a happy camper but almost 48 hours passed before he said something inappropriate. Notice I didn't say 2 days passed before he got in trouble!

Anyway, he's gotten the vinegar treatment 3 or 4 times in the past 10 days. Today he screamed no at me and I promptly got the vinegar out. He fought me as I opened his mouth and inserted the vinegar soaked cloth. To my surprise, he stopped crying and asked for more vinegar. More? This child is a rare one, I tell you.

Now I'm off to buy hot sauce.