Monday, November 30, 2009

Deals All Around

I can't help myself.  I'm really getting into Cyber Monday this year.  There are amazing deals everywhere I look. No worries though, as soon as I get excited the frugalista in me jumps out and takes over.   I hate spending money and I'm all about the numbers getting BIGGER in the bank account, not smaller.
This being said, I feel great about spending money when I know I'm making a smart decision.
Today I received an email in my junk account for Crazy 8.  It's owned by Gymboree but their prices are better.  Basically they compete with Childrens Place (TCP). 

I've not found a more affordable clothing store than TCP.  This is saying a lot coming from a person who does the majority of her (kid) shopping at a semi-annual consignment sale.  In fact, the prices I find at Childrens Place often rival my consignment sale AND I'm able to sell most of the clothes for the same price for which I bought them.  Oh, I love that.  I can't even tell you what that does for me.

Since I'd already purchased the deals I wanted during free shipping Friday (side note: today is also free shipping at TCP, fyi),  I ventured off to surf Crazy 8 today.  I'd been to the site in the past and found it to be much more expensive so I never went back.  Today though I hit the jackpot.  I found 11 pieces of clothing for $45 dollars AND I got $20 in Crazy 8 Bucks to spend in January.  Now, I fully realize that I'll have to go to Crazy 8 in Jan when there may or may NOT be good sales...and I'll have to spend $20 to get $20 off but the 11 items for $45 was good enough for me. 

Boy Wondertwin (BWT) got 4 long sleeve shirts (for next Winter) and 4 Tshirts (for next Spring).  Girl Wondertwin got 2 long sleeve shirts (for next Winter) and 1 pair of very nice jeans for next Winter.
I'm all about buying ahead for the following season because my savings is unbelievable.  The thing to remember though is the shopping season ends just as the real season is getting started.  I went to Gap last year after Christmas and they had Spring stuff out...no sales to be found.  TCP is later, thankfully.  Even though I've bought ahead some, I plan to hit the outlets at the end of January and stock up on 7/8s for the twins.

If you plan to check out Crazy 8 or ANY retail store today (it is Cyber Monday after all) be sure to sign up under a site like Ebates or Cashbaq.  That way you can get a percentage of your sale via paypal.  Also, don't forget to go to www.retailmenot.com to get the best deals via coupon codes.

Happy Cyber Monday to YOU!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

And Bob's Your Uncle

Okay, this one cracked me up and I had to research it.  I was watching a home improvement show on HGTV.  It was a brittish show host working with Americans and American homes.  She was demonstrating how important it is to have a clean house when you are on the market.
She was standing in front of "the cooker" or stove and explaining how easy it was to replace the metals around the coils.  She said, replace the rim and the ring, and bob's your uncle, you've got yourself a new cooker.  Thankfully I was watching the tv that has a DVR on it so I rewound.  Sure enough, she said, "and Bob's your uncle".  It's now my personal goal to spread this throughout America.  Join me.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob's_your_uncle

Friday, November 27, 2009

Toys R Us Shoppers Racist???


I so wish I had the picture to go along with this post.

On my way home from a friend's house today I stopped into Toys R Us to pick up a birthday gift for a friend of Little Dude.  The store was completely trashed and Black Friday had quite obviously had it's way with this particular store.  There were leaves and dirt all over the store.  It was gross, trash on the floor and nothing was where it was supposed to be.  I feel bad for those poor retail workers who are cleaning up that store as I blog.  Nasty.

Anyway, there was an end-cap that was practically in tact.  You know that freaky Barbie head?  The one where you can do her make-up and fix her hair but she has no body?  Well, all the blonde Barbies were gone but the shelves were full of the African American Barbie heads.  I thought that was interesting.  Again, the picture would have been better.  Reason #87 why I need an IPhone...or at the very least a data package.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Childrens Place


Today is the day to shop at The Childrens Place!!! 
Go to www.childrensplace.com to shop.  There are many shirts for 3.99, 5, 6, 7 and 8 dollars.
Once you've found your goodies, go to checkout.
On Thanksgiving ONLY, enter this code for FREE SHIPPING.  FSTG9
Then, enter marth199 HHH9 for 15% off your total bill. (Does not work on Black Friday BUT go to www.retailmenot.com for other codes that might work). 
Not a bad deal.
To add to the savings, check out www.ebates.com to get 3% cashback on your order.

I'm buying ahead for next FALL.  It's a little risky as I don't really know what size my kids will be in but at these prices, I can either sell the clothes for the same price I'm buying them OR I can hold them for a few years until they fit someone in our family.

It sure beats venturing out into the post Thanksgiving craziness.

Too Smart For Their Own Good

Anyway, thinking on my feet, I gave him some garbage about it being a gift for our friend Bryce.  I didn't lie since one of these really is for Bryce.  BWT doesn't know that we have 2 of them.  Hopefully he'll be surprised, nonetheless.  We'll see.  He's got a memory like a steel trap!

Feelin' All Bloggy

Since I'm feelin' all bloggy today, I just had to post this.


I'm in awe. 

She's like a modern day princess or something.

I don't want their life nor the stress/responsibility that rests on their shoulders but just once.  JUST ONCE.

I'd love to have an evening like that.  It's like she pulled up in a horse drawn chariot or something.

She looks amazing.

He on the other hand...looks kind of goofy.  Just being honest.

SAX HELL

Will I ever learn?  After almost 6 years of parenting, I should be a pro at this right?  A good mom knows her kids' limitations.  She knows what her kids can handle and when to call it quits.

Well, this highly choleric personality knows those limitations well but constantly crosses the line.

Take today.  We had Bible Study this morning and afterward, we decided to meet my mom for lunch.  We went to sit down restaurant and besides the 3 kids going to the bathroom twice each, they sat still well and ate their lunches.  Even my husband would have called it a successful lunch.  I promise that's saying a lot.  He's the same man who has told them numerous times that they will NEVER again see the inside of a restaurant.

Somewhat impressed with my 3 under the age of 6, we piled into the van.  Eyeing the mall across the street, I couldn't resist.  I've been meaning to step into SAX for a few weeks now.  I just couldn't resist.  (Side note, I go to SAX maybe twice per year.  It's not a regular stop on my mall tour.  I needed something that is only sold in that particular store).  I thought Sax would be an easy stop since it's just in and out.  No need to even enter the Mall.  So I thought.

We walked to the escalators and went up.  That's sounds easy right?  Did I neglect to mention that they had to put their tiny little mits on EVERY Christmas decoration we passed?  Don't forget the endless commentary about the mannequins, which ones were headless, which ones didn't have faces etc.  Oh, and my kids have no idea what an inside voice is so every grandma in the store turned to either smile (as in, Oh, I remember) or scowl (as in, what evil human would bring those germ freaks in MY store while I'M having a nice relaxing day.)

We finally hit the department I was looking for.  Lucky me.  It's right across for the the children's department.  The 6 little paws preceded to tear apart the whole place while I chased from one to the next..."No, don't touch, put that down.  That's not yours.  Etc."  You get it.

I peeled them away from the kids' area, only to observe some of the most atrocious behavior I've ever exhibited out of my children (in public).  As I was looking at the desired item (the reason for this particular hell) my boys started a spitting fight.  Yep, you know those nasty raspberries that kids like to pass back and forth.  The woman, old, ugly and obnoxious might I had, was helping me with the item.  She then turns and says, "Your children are spitting all over the clothes."

Yes, thank you Ms. *^(^#&)(#%.   I really need your commentary.

I grabbed two hands, yelled for Girl Wondertwin to follow behind us and through the store I marched these hoodlums.  We found the exit quickly and I might have yelled the whole way home.  I can't exactly remember but I know my voice is hoarse so I must have been yelling.

Needless to say, I put the kids straight to bed when we got home.  They don't nap often anymore but today was not an option.  It was either they go to sleep or I was going to have to leave the house.  To avoid possible jail time, I decided forced sleep was the only option.

Grr.  I'm still bitter.

Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention, Girl Wondertwin was messing with a toy gum ball machine that was FOR SALE and not in it's box.  She somehow got a gumball out of it AND ate it.  The boys then had fits because they didn't get one.  And this lady was surprised that a little kid would actually try to eat the gum in the machine that was placed at KID LEVEL.  Stupidity abounds.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

I was with my mom tonight when we ran into one of her old co-workers.  It had been about 5 years since they had seen each other.  They both seemed excited to reunite and the co-worker (let's call her Y) proceeded to ask my mom a million questions about her life and how she was.

My mom answered her questions, briefly and succinctly, but little detail.  The questions continued from Y as my mom gave her 1-5 word answers.  I noticed that my mom didn't ask her one question.  Nor did she give the obligatory, Wow, you look good too.

I say all of this because over the years since I made my secession from the family unit, I've noticed a few things about myself.  I somehow dodged the etiquette lessons during my growing up years.  Of course I know my pleases and thank yous.  I know the his and byes.  What I feel like what I don't do is "play the game".  You know...all the obligatory, "Oh, you look great too.  You haven't changed a bit.  You look just like you did in high school (20 years ago!!!)"  You know what I mean, all the niceties that adults are supposed to pass back and forth.

About myself I've noticed that I often let the conversation be about me without passing the spotlight back to the other person.  Over the past few years I've tried to make a conscious effort to "play the game".  (As a sidenote, it isn't always a game.  Sometimes there are those conversations where things go deep, beyond niceties...I'm more referring to the shallow, hallway conversations that happen with people you may never run into again.)

It wasn't until this afternoon that I watched my mom in this semi awkward situation and realized why I am the way I am.  Do you ever do that?  Do you see yourself in close relatives?  Sometimes it's flattering and other times you just want to run as fast as you can.  Other times it makes you want to change and be a better person.  So you can hold me accountable because I'm working on it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Very Sad but Well Worth the Read

Chris and Stephanie Spielman Story Here.

The Santa Dilemma


We're the weird ones.  We don't "do Santa" in our home.  I know, I know.  I'm stealing all the magic from Christmas.  I know.  I struggle with the idea too and I have since the twins were born.

It comes down to this.  I want Christmas to be Christmas.  I want it to be about the birth of Christ.  I can't block out every cultural influence and I don't know how to make Christmas totally about Jesus but I can take some of the distractions out.  For our family, that major distraction is Santa.  The other issue is that I am committed to being as honest as possible with my children.  I would have a really hard time playing along with the whole Santa thing.  Anyway, enough of my issues.

Here's the Santa dilemma...As committed as I am to our family's decision not to "do Santa", I don't want my kids to ruin the fun for the others.  Last year (when they were 4, turning 5) was the first time this became an issue.  I heard Boy Wondertwin ask a friend if he believed in Santa.  Then BWT proceeded to say, "Well, you know he isn't real, right?"  Fortunately, the boy thought he was talking about a ceramic Santa that happened to be in the room.  We played it off.

Afterward, I threatened BWT with his life. 

I have a feeling that this year is going to be even more awkward with their increasing verbosity and inability to guard their tongue.  We've been invited to a friends' house where Santa will arrive and presents will be given out. 

Suggestions?  Should I duct tape my kids' mouths so they can't speak all day?  Or bribe them with lots and lots of candy?  Fortunately Little Dude is still a little young to spill the beans and maybe...just maybe, the twins are old enough to understand.

From what I hear, the magic of Santa starts to fade around age 6 but I still don't want my kids to be the ones responsible for their friends' loss of youth.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Potty Trained?

I think I mentioned before that Little Dude potty trained himself without us really noticing that it happened.  This came as a gift from God after the hellacious experience of potty training Boy Wondertwin.  I think Little Dude was taking notes the first 24 months of his life so when it became his turn, he took to it pretty naturally.

Even though it came easy to him, it doesn't stop him from doing weird things like this.



Apparently Little Dude didn't feel like crossing the hallway to the kids' bathroom to relieve himself.  Instead he found this papercup/bowl thing.  I tell ya what, these men start early.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bath Time

What is the acceptable amount of baths for a child in one week?  Is it 10?  5?  3? 

My hypothesis is that it's all about the number of kids you have in your home and how many of them are able to bathe themselves.  I know several families who have only one child and these kids are the cleanest people I know.  Some of these moms claim to bathe these children twice a day.  There was a time in my kids' lives where my three were lucky to get 2 to 3 baths a week. We're up to 3 or 4 now.  More in the Summer of course.

Just feeling a little guilty after talking to a 1 kid mom.  

Friday, November 20, 2009

What Was I Thinking?


I will not go down in history as the best cook ever...or even one who could necessarily hold her own in the kitchen but this one takes the cake...so to speak.

About a week ago I decided to make chicken  and dumplings.  There is not a better cold weather food in the whole world.  Having made the Cracker Barrell recipe in the past, I didn't give a second thought to the recipe.  I pulled out the first two or three necessary ingredients and got started.

After it was too late to turn back (or turn it into another fatal concoction) I remembered that I had used all the flour in my last batch of chicken and dumplings.  Stumped, I started searching the pantry.  The desperation took hold as I can across an unlabled ziploc bag with white, flour-like contents.  I didn't give it a second thought.  Wanting to believe it was flour, I went ahead with my plan.

After mixing the water and "flour", I noticed the consistency was off.  I just figured I hadn't added enough flour so I went ahead, added more and then threw it in the broth.

That evening at dinner I wasn't getting the oohs and awes that I'd elicited on previous nights when I served this meal.  I also thought there was something a little off about it...and it was the dumpling.

It wasn't until this morning (more than a week later) when I was again in my pantry trying to concoct something (non frozen and somewhat fresh) for breakfast adn I ran across the unlabeled ziploc bag.  Wanting to believe it was pancake mix this time, I decided to taste it.  Yep.  Pancake mix.

No wonder there was something off about my Chicken and Dumplings.  On the brightside, we had a lovely breakfast this morning.

PS.  The Cracker Barrell recipe is linked above in case you want to try it with flour instead of pancake mix.  Moral of the story...label ziploc bags.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Food Failure Redemption

Thanks for the food ideas, blog friends.  I will check out those organic nuggets.  I've found some at Costco that have all kinds of omega 3 and no preservatives which has replaced Tyson.  Sorry Tyson.

Mostly I just feel guilty when I'm cramming food (or so-called food) down their throats so we can run off to gymnastics or soccer.  Tonight we actually had a real meal and it was decently healthy...and they ate it!  They really ate it.

Here's the recipe in case you want to try it.  It's a favorite (of the non kid meals) around here.

Rice Krispie Ranch Chicken

Dip chicken breasts into egg yolk (or just the whites).
Then in a separate bowl, dip the chicken into a mixture of:
parmesean cheese
rice krispie cereal
1 packet of ranch dressing (the dry kind)

(I usually pour the mixture remnants into the baking dish too...)

Place in baking pan at 375 degress for 30-45 minutes. 
I usually go in and cut the chicken breasts in half after about 30 minutes to check how they are cooking.

We had green beans and bread. 

Anyway, I redeemed myself for one day this week.  I still need to cook some extra pancakes to freeze for emergency situations.  The problem is that my kids will eat EVERY pancake I make so there are none left to freeze..and if anything IS left over, hubby jumps in and consumes.  These people can't resist a fresh pancake.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Failing on the Foodfront

So, just a question for my fellow parents out there.  What is the respectable amount of times that a child can eat pizza, chicken nuggets, and macaroni and cheese in one week?  I'm pretty sure we've busted right through that number this week and it's only Wednesday.  Children can flourish on Tyson Nuggets, right?

Any new child friendly food tips out there?  I'm needing some healthy quick meals for those times when we aren't sitting down for a family meal.  When we do sit down for dinner (maybe 3-4 times per week) the kids eat what I make but it's those off nights where I'm pretty sure my kids are living on preservatives...I hate that.

Oh yea, and did I mention the frozen pancakes and frozen waffles?  Ugh.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yep, I'm the Cool Mom

I was driving 2 other girls to gymnastics tonight.  I'd met one of them but the other was a friend of the 1st girl.  Anyway, A (the 2nd girl) gets in my car (a Toyota Sienna) and says, "Wow, this car is so cool.  It's the coolest car I've ever been in." 

Did I mention I drive a Toyota Sienna?

During the 10 minute drive this girl kept telling Girl Wondertwin what a cool car she has.  On my to do list is finding out what cars her parents drive.  I'm guessing their cars are cooler than my minivan...at least in an adult's mind. 

Had to share.  I thought that was hilarious.

Friday, November 13, 2009

For those of you in Ohio...

Free Day at the Air Force Museum in Dayton:

November 21st 10:00AM-3:00PM
Family Day at the

National Museum of the US Air force
Dayton, OH

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/

Museum Hours
Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day
Virtual Tour
Groups & Tours
FREE admission!

Museum Location
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(937) 255-3286

Driving Directions
From the West:
Take 71South to 70West - it is right off teh hioghway.
Those coming from the west on I-70 should exit at I-675 South (exit 44A).
Travel to Exit 15 (Col. Glenn Hwy), and as you exit, stay in the right-hand
lane. At the end of the exit, turn right at the traffic light (Col. Glenn
Hwy). Travel to the third traffic light (Harshman Road/Wright Brothers
Parkway) and turn right. Exit at Springfield Pike; turn right at the end of
the exit ramp. The entrance to the museum is on the right.


FAMILY DAY: November 21st 10:00AM-3:00PM

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Deals Galore

Click HERE if you are looking for deals. I blogged at the Columbus Mothers of Twins Club Blogsite.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

$255 Stinkin' Dollars Later

After THIS happened, our granite place took pity on us and gave us a deal...if you can call $255 extra dollars (that we didn't plan to spend) a deal.



Problem solved and crisis averted.

Oh yea, and to the left you can see my laundry shoot. i SOOO love that thing.

Go to Toys R US Right NOW!

I just found the best deal at Toys R Us. If you are looking for some fun games to add to your repertoire head on over to TRU right now.

Many games are on sale and Hasbro has a rebate to go along with it.

I just bought Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Boggle Jr, and 3 games of Memory.
My grand total was $29 but it gets better. 5 out of 6 games were 3.99 each. Boggle Jr was $7.99 but I'd had that on my wish list for months now so it worked out well.

With this deal, there are $2 rebates on all but the Boggle Jr game. Since I spent over $25 dollars at TRU today, I received a $10 gift card for a later purchase.

After receiving my $10 rebate check, my cost was $19 out of pocket WITH a $10 gift card in hand. Basically, I spent $9 for 6 games. My husband would call this fuzzy math but I'd call it a good deal.

*You can find the rebate information in the game aisle of Toys R Us.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Enough to Make You Sick

As I've blogged previously, we purchased a foreclosure almost 2 years ago and it has been nothing but renovations for 23 solid months.

I would list it all but you'd probably never read my blog again. It's not exciting reading. Suffice it to say (I love that phrase...although I used to think it was sufficit) we have renovated almost everything that COULD be renovated in a home. Our last major projects are the kids' bathroom and the master bath.

Just today I was saying how easy those will be compared to what we've been through so far. J said, "Oh, don't say that". I'm not a superstitious person and didn't see a problem thinking optimistically.

Until this happened.




I'm just sick.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Beginning of an Era

I wondered when this would happen. The motherly sheltering has been rendered ineffective and the daughter is stepping into the deep end, aka the land of American Girl. She has requested a trip to Chicago to go to the American Girl store to have lunch and shop. During the same conversation, Boy Wondertwin made a similar request...to go to Chicago to go to the Lego store. I informed him we have a Lego store in town and he seemed content with that.

I thought the idea of going to Chicago for the twins' birthday sounded intriguing but didn't think much of it until Girl Wondertwin mentioned the idea to my mom. Within seconds my mom had the trip planned, knowing exactly where we would stay and what we would do. Maybe I should send her and Wondertwin alone!

I'm expecting the Chicago birthday to become quite the extravaganza. If it wasn't so FREAKING cold in the Windy City in FEBRUARY, I'm sure the in-laws would insist on going as well.

All of this to say...I'm losing hold (aka influence) on my only daughter. She didn't know what American Girl was (nor what Chicago was for that matter!) til she started Kindergarten. Now she has us gallivanting all over the world for a doll and her little doggie. Hmm...

Someday I'll look back on this and laugh right? Little kids, little problems. Big kids, Big problems. That's what those "old and wise" moms tell me...usually when I'm in the grocery store with all 3 kids, one screaming at the top of their lungs while the other is pooping in his shoe...because at the time our problems feel so little. See Pooping In Shoe Post Here It really happened. I promise.

Not that this is a problem really but more of a symptom of a bigger issue. My little ones are growing up and I'm not their only influence any more. That's a good thing, right? I really do love hearing their stories from Kindergarten...who they like, who they painted with, what story they read in Library class. I love it. I just don't want them becoming independent individuals too fast...and I don't want them spending all my money at the American Girl store.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bite Your Tongue

As unique and individual as people are, they can really be grouped into types. I feel like I'm okay with people. For the most part I can talk to just about anybody and hold my own in most situations. There is a certain personality type with whom I struggle. It's the type with whom it's wise to just nod, smile, agree and move on with your day. You know the type I mean.

Yea, I'm not good at that smiling, nodding and agreeing thing. Take today for example. I have a weekly interaction with a woman who likes to uh...let's just say take me under her wing. She suggests certain activities for me, gives me unheeded advice and thinks she's way beyond me in the ways of this world.

Most peace loving people would let it slide. Yep, I don't know how. Today for example, she told me that I needed to check out this particular seminar. Dumb me. I told her that I already had experience with that particular topic and was not interested. Why couldn't I just smile, nod and thank her for her advice? Because I don't know how.

Anyway, she didn't take it well and continued to lecture me on how I needed to be better informed concerning this topic. What's wrong with me? Why do I have to make waves? I can't just keep the peace?

How is it possible to keep the peace and not be fake? IS it possible? I hate fake.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Last Post Concerning My Latest Obsession




My friend Anne thought I was referring to those 80's Eastlands. Remember those??? They were totally flat, no heel whatsoever. If you were cool you curley-qued the laces so you didn't have to tie them. I'm pretty sure that was the same time period as the "pegging" (or rolling) of the jeans. I could be off on my timetable though.

Anyway, I posted the shoes with jeans to show that admittedly they are ugly but not THAT ugly. Granted, I don't run around in them all the time but sometimes UGLY shoes are necessary...don't you think?

And NOTICE...I'm not wearing those SKINNY jeans either. WHO can look good in those things? I have a pair of skinny pants that I ONLY wear with tall boots...even a super model can look "pear-shape" in skinny jeans. Just my opinion.

Fight!

Today I was walking through the fitness club parking lot with my 3 children (any mom's favorite thing to do, right?). There were several cars waiting for one spot. An old man took the spot (prematurely, apparently) and a 30ish mom in a minivan sat there and honked like a crazy woman. She was TICKED that this man took her spot and displayed her dismay.

Why is it sooo important that these people have the BEST spot in the lot when they there whole purpose for being there is to walk/run/step or whatever. The point is to get a workout right? If I hadn't been pulling out of a closer spot, I think this woman would have had it out with this old man. Thankfully I played peacemaker in this scenario and gave this grumpy woman a better spot.

If it had been raining or really cold...or if she had 3+ kids? I could kinda get it but really. She was a 30ish mom ALONE in a minivan and was ready to come to blows with a 60ish year old man.

How ridiculous is this world.

Monday, November 2, 2009

You Decide




Okay, so I posted last week how I wore a pair of shoes on the Kindergarten field trip and Girl Wondertwin was just appalled. I admitted that they aren't my favorite shoes either but because of their pragmatic attributes, I wear them on rare occasions...basically times when I can't wear a heel. The complete post is here.

My question is:

Are they really as ugly as my 5 year old daughter says? I mean...I know they are UGLY but really, they need to be trashed? I just don't want to be THAT mom.

One of these days I'll post one of her favorite outfits that she puts together. We'll vote on that one too.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Potty Talk

How come no one told me how hard it would be to keep the toilet clean? With 2 boys in this house, 1 husband and 3 toilets, I'm pretty sure it could be a full time job just to keep these grimey bathrooms clean. Any secrets out there?

I'm about to break out the cherrios again to help Little Dude with target practice. It really isn't pretty.