Saturday, January 30, 2010

Oh, The Pressures

I remember being a teenager and hearing my mom and grandma talk about how times have changed.  Oh, well when I was a kid, they would say.  You know, the whole, "I had to walk to school 5 miles, uphill both ways, in 6 feet of snow.  And you know what?  I didn't even have shoes.  In fact, they didn't even MAKE shoes back then."

I remember thinking they must be really old.  How could times change THAT much?  Well, I'm hearing those phrases again.  This time it's in regard to school.  So often I hear, "Oh, Kindergarten isn't what it used to be".  Honestly I haven't seen that much of a difference.  It's when I see posts like the one below that I think, "Whoah...my teenage years were a little different than what my kids will be experiencing." 

I remember when 3 way calling came out.  That was a tool that killed so many friendships.  How often were you the silent one on the phone when your friend called another "friend" to see what she had to say about you?  Ooh, the dirty tricks girls play on each other. 

I can only imagine what pressures will face my teens.  I thought the below video was interesting...pretty cheesy but the whole idea of the various channels of communication that didn't exist when we were kids.  How different the teenage years would be with texting, cell phones and skype. 

Would you go back and do those teenage years again?  I think I would.  Call me crazy.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Lova Lova Lova Pei Wei!

Today Only:

Pei Wei is giving out coupons for a FREE Meal!  All you have to do is order an entree today and you will get a coupon for a specific meal that they are rolling out on Monday. 

Hubby and I took Little Dude for lunch.  I ordered my favorite:  Pad Thai!!!  Hubby got the Kung Pao.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Pei Wei.  My favorite part is if you walk in, order to go, and wait for your meal, they will give you a free drink. 

So, if you have Pei Wei, don't miss this opportunity for a free meal.  You'll have to pay for it today but you'll get one coupon (for a specific free entree) for next week.  The only catch is that you only get one coupon per payment.  Since Hubby was with me, we had to order our meals separately and pay for them separately.  Not a big deal.  Loved my Pad Thai and now I'm looking forward to my free meal next Wednesday while the kids are at AWANA.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Analytical Thinking and the 3 Year Old

I'm constantly watching and listening for developments in my kids.  You just never know what they might be learning and from whom!  Today was quite entertaining.

From the back seat of the minivan, I hear, "Mommy, I'm thinking about having a bad idea".

Me-Really?  What's your bad idea, Little Dude?

Him-Um, I'm thinking about spilling my water all over my seat.

Me- Really?  Are you thinking about it or did you already do it?

Him- Um..uh, uh, uh, I'm thinking about it.

Me-  Okay, well, don't do it, okay?

Him-  Okay.

Are we turning a corner here?  Is he really (FINALLY) thinking about things before he does them?  Like his actions really do have consequences?  If so this is a BIG corner folks.  My 3 year old might FINALLY be growing up.  And I thought this day would never come.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Too Many Words Wednesday

Just apologizing now for the plethora of words I just vomited on my last post.  I don't call it Ventalicious for nothing.

Seriously!

Do the decisions ever end?  No they just get harder and harder.  This is my 5th straight year that I'm making the inevitable "preschool decision".  Why can't I be the person who picks ONE place and sticks with it? 

The first 2 years my twins went to this great little school which was technically a Mother's Day Out.  It was better than any preschool we've been to since but for the title alone, I was a little perturbed about keeping them there for their Pre K year.  After shopping MANY preschools, I decided to homeschool them.  Mostly my decision was based on a desire to enjoy them for a year before they went to school.  Calling it "homeschooling" makes it sound so much bigger than it was.  Basically, we read a million books and visited the library, science museum and zoo a lot.  We had a blast.  There was no rushing, running around with our heads cut off and most importantly, very little "yelling". 

I've found that the busier life is, the more I yell.  This year the twins are in 1/2 day afternoon kindergarten.  We end up rushing around like crazy people trying to get from our morning activity, eating lunch and then on to the school bus by late morning.  Then I get Little Dude ready and we rush off to preschool (2x per week), the grocery or some other crazy errand we have to accomplish before the other two get home.  Several times this year I've found myself in the grocery line (with 8 million coupons) with 10 minutes to go before the twins get off the bus. 

I'm noticing the stress is building and I'm getting more and more frustrated with my kids.  I miss last year when we did PreK at home and I enjoyed my kids.  We had fun last year.  This year we're running around with our heads cut off.  Time to slow down.

That's one reason I chose the preschool I did for Little Dude next year.  This year I'm driving to a different suburb because his school has an excellent Christian education.  He won't get that next year but he will get a good overall education AND it's 8 minutes from home.  That is...if we get into that school.  Unfortunately it's already full and they haven't even opened registration to non church families yet.  Ugh.

Can anything ever be easy?  No, you don't need to answer that one.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Let's Go Krogering!

If you have a Kroger in your vicinity, don't walk, RUN!  The deals this week are amazing.  After all was said and done, my bill said that I saved over $100!  I spent $142 but I have a stockpile of snacks and frozen goods to last til March. 

In hand I had $15 in coupons.  Many of those were matched since Kroger doubles coupons (my store anyway) up to .99 cents.  Then, the Buy 10 Mega event saved me another $20.  I paired my coupons with the mega event and found myself saving $100! 

Here is a link to one blog who has done the home work on this sale.  There are many others.  Google one in your area to find local sales.  Good Luck!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Speaking the Unspeakable

Dearest Daddy isn't the only one who has taught my kids the unspeakable.  My twins were very early talkers.   I remember my mom graciously taking the twins overnight one night.  When I picked them up, they were both saying the F word. 

What ?

Surely my mom hadn't said this word in front of them but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why they would be saying that word.

I remember waking up the next morning and hearing two little voices in the baby monitor.  Fock, fock, fock.

What?

I ran upstairs and found 4 tiny socks laying on the floor in front of their cribs.  They had ripped off their socks (and knowing my twins, probably their diapers too!)  Turns out they were saying SOCKS. 

That was an embarassing month or too until they started pronouncing their "S" sound correctly.

Matching Gifts for Haiti

Want to help those in Haiti but worried about how your money might be the most useful?  Check out this site.  They are matching each gift.  Example:  Your $100 gift becomes $200.

www.columbusstewardshipfoundation.org/haiti

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How My Kids Learned a Cuss Word

Yesterday I took the day off.  Not that a day is ever OFF when you are a mom but it was as close to a half day off as a mom gets.  A friend and I decided to run down to the Outlet Malls and hit the end of season sales.  We had a great time.  I love getting away.

I wasn't in the house for 5 minutes when I hear, "Daddy, what's green Sh*t?"

WHATTTTT?????

DaddyDearest decided it would be fun to play Russian Roulette with YouTube videos.  The kids wanted to see Monsters on Youtube.  As it turns out, you have to be pretty careful with what you search for!

This particular monster spits out "Green Sh*t" from his mouth and the doofus who posted this thinks it is pretty hilarious.  This section starts at 1:35 and the actual phrase is at 1:53.  Well worth a watch....just to see how some nerd might spend a Friday night.  Can you imagine having time to put these things together to post on YouTube?  Just don't watch it while your kids are around.




Despite the "Green Sh*t", I still plan to leave my offspring alone with Dearest Daddy...with strict instructions next time.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Silly Girl!

You just never know what they are going to say next.

Daddy says to Girl Wondertwin:  Why do you give your mommy kisses and not me?

Wondertwin Girl to Daddy:  Because she doesn't have those scratchy thorns sticking out of her face (referring to a little 6 O'clock shadow).

HAHAHAHAHA!

The advantages of being Mommy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Had to Post This...

I'm always looking for a working definition of the "good mom".  The definitions that float around in my head usually involve moms who are willing to do activities that go above and beyond the call of duty...going where no mom has gone before.

Take Jen at Diagnosis Urine

I read this post and just looking at the pictures created hives up and down my body.  Do you see all of those little beans?  I can't even count the ways that this scenario would go WRONG in my home.  Beans Beans Everywhere.

I know a girl who had to be taken to the emergency room because she got a small object stuck in her...um...what's the appropriate word here.  In her you know what.  Yep, some brave medical resident had to dig that thing out of her inner workings...and she was 6.  Ick.

Anyway, Kudos to Jen for going above and beyond.  I'm inspired...but very scared to follow in her footsteps.

To Be ...offended...or Not To Be

That is the question.  Okay, this didn't happen to me but it was mentioned at my twin club meeting last night and found it quite humorous.  MLK weekend was the annual twin club pool party.  This year they had it at one of those huge indoor waterparks.  From what I hear, it was the place to be last weekend because they actually had to close it to the public after 10AM because the park had reached capacity.

Besides being the busiest weekend in their history, The SuperNanny just happened to be doing auditions in the metro area AT the hotel connected to the water park.  I guess they didn't do the best PR job because representatives from the show had to scan the waterpark crowd to find families willing to audition.

The club family event chair made this announcement at our meeting:  "For those of you who were approached by ABC representatives, please don't be offended if you were asked to audition for the SuperNanny.  Apparently they didn't have a very good audition turnout."

I might CRY if I was approached for that show...or maybe I would just choose to think, "Wow, I must look REALLY good in a bathing suit!"  Um...no.

FREE Bruegger's Bagel

Sign up for their newsletter and get the coupon sent to your inbox!  Free!  I love Brueggers!

I was obsessed with their Salt Bagel while I was in college.  Ick!  I can't imagine doing that to myself now.  I'd swell up like the pumpkin that has been sitting on our porch since Halloween!  It froze and has thawed.  It was HUGE til I stepped on it and it deflated.  I'll have to post a pic.  Never knew that could happen!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Birthday Woes

As fellow moms, you know what a pain it is to plan a birthday party.  Well, add boy/girl twins to that birthday party and it makes the task virtually impossible.

We're planning the festivities at our local athletic club.  For a fee (which is in no way nominal) they provide 1 hour with your choice of ONE of the following: gym games/pool party/rock climbing.  They also provide 1 hour for food and presents including the pizza and drinks.  My only responisbility is to send out invites, bring plates, napkins, plastic-ware and cake.

The issue I'm running into right now is who to invite.  There are 14 boys and 6 girls in their class.  We can only invite 12 kids so we won't be inviting everyone, obviously.  We've narrowed the list to 6 kids in their class (not counting them) and 5 kids from past playgroups and such.  The three of us have decided on 11 kids.  6 boys and 5 girls.  I'm wracking my brain trying to find the best 12th girl for the part.  The problem is that the 6 girls in her class are paired up as "best friends".  The 5th girl is my daughter and the 6th girl is also a twin which means we would have to invite him which would throw the numbers off completely.  So that's my predicament.  Is it even possible to have a party and not leave someone out?  Grr.

Sorry...this entry is more verbal processing than anything...didn't mean to bore you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Scary Calculations

My husband keeps immaculate records concerning our finances.  I could tell you exactly when I bought deodorant in 1999!  Immaculate.  Today he was transferring all the receipts from 2001 to be shredded to make way for 2010.  I decided to take a peek at our purchases. 

Amazingly, we spent about the same on food then as we do now.  For that particular month, November 2001, we spent $170 on restaurants/carry out/etc.  We also spent around $300 on groceries.  Pretty amazing considering there were only 2 of us...and a big, black lab/chao mix.

I then asked J to look up how much money we've spent eating out over the past 10 years.  Since 1999, we've spent $14,000 eating out.  Pretty crazy.   Until tonight I would have told you that we don't eat out all that much...maybe a restaurant (Chili's esq) and maybe a fast food place or Chipotle.  Once each per week.  That seems minimal considering how some other spend their money.

That 14,000 would look mighty nice in my bank account though.

Time to reconsider one of my favorite past times.  

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Deals and Schpeals

Over the past year I've become addicted to deals.  I just can't tear myself away.  I fully realize that if I paid myself per hour for the work I do to find these deals, I'm really not making anything.  Since no one is offering to pay me for work (and I'm not actively looking for any) why not use some of my time to find some deals.

Last week I used 1 hour (of my precious 3 hours a week alone) shopping for running shoes at DSW.  I found a pair of Saucony that I really liked.

 They were on sale for $44.95.  I was quite happy with the price but I was challenged to do better.  Instead of satisfying my "right now" needs, I went home and got online.  I found the shoes for the same price at http://www.dsw.com/ .  I then went to http://www.retailmenot.com/ and found 3 codes that gave me  1.  $10 off a pair of athletic shoes  2.  $5 off a purchase and 3.  free shipping (saving me $7.95 if I spent $35).  Unfortunately after all my coupons via retailmenot, I was below the $35 threshold.  This meant I had to buy another pair of shoes.  Oh the horror.

I found a pair of cute flats (usually I hate flats since I'm just a tad under 5 foot 4) and sorry, I can't find a picture of them online anymore.  These shoes were cute though and perfect for Spring.  So, they were $19.99.  Subtracting the amount I was already having to pay for shipping, the cost was really only 12.  Then, I went to ebates.  This site gives a percentage cash back for each purchase.  In the case of DSW, I was getting 6% of my purchase back.  Go Here to check out Ebates.

Long story short, I spent around $49 when all is said and done...for 2 pairs of shoes.  That is basically the amount I would have spent if I would have followed my "right now" instincts and bought the shoes in the store.  If you need new shoes (like me...I really need to revamp this wardrobe a little, just as my daughter said!) then check out the above system.  I love a deal!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Cow Jumped Over the Mood


It was Mother Goose Party day at Kindergarten.  The kids had to dress up like a nursery rhyme and recite it for the class.  Something about poetry and memorization.  Anyway, here is the wondertwin duo as the cow and the moon.  Sadly I wasn't swift enough to get a picture before they left for school and by the time they returned, the cow's spots had fallen off.  On a brighter note, the snow is MELTING!!!  Ah yea! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Trip Versus a Vacation

My FaceBook status yesterday read, "I need a Vacation".  The myriad of replies ran the gamit of funny to helpful.  One person offered to plan my vaction.  Very nice of her.  I of course replied, "Do you plan to pay for it too?"

One response (from a person whom I love dearly) said, "Wasn't Texas enough for you?", referring to my recent "vacation" at my in laws house over the holidays.

Yes, in not so uncertain terms, Texas was enough for me.  Don't get me wrong.  It was wonderful to get away from the snowstorms and daily grind.  We are truly blessed to be able to spend 2 weeks a year in Texas with my husband's family.  For that I'm thankful.

But it's not a vacation.  To me, a vacation is a beach, warm weather, a chance to sleep in and do what I want to do.  That's vacation.  To my husband, a vacation is a trip to some exotic city he's never been to before...preferably in Europe where there's thousands of years of history to explore.  You see the conflict.  I do love a European vacation once in a while...like every 10 years or more if I can help it.  We went to Spain in 1999 and Ireland in 2006.  That was enough for a while.

What I am dreaming of (and not going to get but you can help me dream) is a trip to the carribbean where I can chill on the beach, drink a pina colada and read to my heart's content.  That's a vacation for me.

Far cry from 20 hours in the car with 3 kids, 17 days of pure chaos (10 people in one house remember) and then 19 hours and 10 minutes (straight through!!) home in time to go back to school the next day. 

Not a vacation.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Oh The Guilt!!!

Today I stole a parking spot...from a cancer patient.  Ugh.  How will I live with myself?  I was schlepping the kids off to the gym this morning in 2 degree windchill and begging for a good parking spot.  Often we park along the side of the gym (near sidewalks) but VERY far from the only entry of the edifice. 

I lucked out today though and spotted the perfect location as close to the entry as possible.  I booked it straight for the spot.  When I stopped to wait for the car to pull out, I put on my blinker.  As the car pulled away, I saw another car waiting with blinkers on...for MY spot.

We stared each other down but the other blinked first and gave me a friendly wave to take the spot.  Happy with myself, I begin to pull in to my coveted spot...only to notice the SUV that also wanted my spot was being driven by a woman with a turbin on her head.  I've seen her at the gym before and although I don't don't know her story, there is no denying that she is recovering from a bout with chemotherapy.

I thought I was so justified in taking the spot...what with my 3 kids under 6 and the 2 degree windchill.  Until I saw her.  There is a reason that the Bible asks us to consider others better than ourselves*. 

It's ironic...I started this post as a humorous poke at myself and really all of us.  We get so worked up about parking spots and such, even though I went to the gym to get exercise.  This post that I'd hoped would be funny is now totally convicting to me.  Great.  That's really what I need today.

Next time maybe I'll remember that I'm not the only one with a handicap.  (ie.  my 3 kids of course).

Philippians 2:3
*Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh, The Places You'll Go

2 years ago (when we bought a bank owned property) we were fully aware that this house would take some major loving care to get it back to "livable condition". 

So, livable condition has been the goal everyday since November 2007.  2 years and 2 months later we are still at it.  The bright side is that we only have 2 bathrooms left.  Well, 2 bathrooms, paint in the kitchen, woodwork in many parts of the house, electrical work in 2 bathrooms and insulation throughout the attic. 
I'm sure that's not an exhaustive list but you get the idea.

Here's what we did this weekend. (Double click on each if you really want to see the pics).

Basically, we tore out all the tile and drywall (yes, drywall...some moron didn't know to use water resistant board) so we had major water issues and some fun mold.  Yuck!

Weekends are always a barrel of laughs here in our home.  When oh when will we get our social life back?


Swiper, No Swiping!

There is snow everywhere.  We left home on December 18th and the weather was getting a little chilly but it was clearly Fall.  We came home on the 3rd and it was FREAKING cold...and 2 inches of snow.  We've been home exactly one week now and there are currently 8ish inches of snow and it's even colder than it was 7 days ago. 

When life gives you snow...well, you make snowmen.  Unfortunately this is not packing snow.  It's the nice, fluffy snow that skiiers love.  Nothing wrong with that unless you have 3 kids who just don't get it.

Since we couldn't make snowmen, we went sledding.  That's all kinds of fun unless you have a 3 year old.  We've decided that if sledding fit into a box, the box would say "For ages 5 and Up".  All of my kids have detested the snow until about age 5.  The twins are currently loving that white stuff...now only if it wasn't so fluffy.

We wanted to take pictures of our fun in the snow but couldn't find the camera.  We searched all day long but it wasn't in either of the places that my husband and I like to hide it.  Again, we needed it to take some pics of a bathroom renovation...still, no camera.

Getting ready for bed tonight I found the camera.  When I turned it on, this is what I found:




Obviously one of our 3 feet tall family members got a hold of it today..and judging by the skirt, I'd say it wasn't one of my boys.  And do you think this might be a sign that she's watched me sell too many things on Craigslist and Ebay??? =)

And it runs in the family...

2 hours after Boy Wondertwin went to bed last night, hubby found him standing at the open refrigerator with a sippy cup (he's 5!), a sippy top, a gallon of milk, and a top for the milk.  He had just poured his milk and was trying to put the sippy cup top on the gallon of milk.  We have no idea how long he was in front of the refrigerator or how long he was trying to put the wrong top on the milk but one thing was clear.

He was asleep.

Pray for my life, people.  I have craziness sleep-walking all around me.  I fear for my very existence.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

And I almost forgot...

My husband is a freakshow.  Yep, I said it.

I've alluded to his strange sleeping habits but let me lay it all out right now.  He goes from a conservative, well meaning, think before he speaks kind of person to a complete freakshow within minutes of falling asleep.  Although I have stories to fill an entire blog in itself, I'll tease you with an instance from last night around midnight. 

I was reading "The First Patient" by Michael Palmer.  Decent fiction.  Anyway, hubby was asleep...maybe 20 minutes into his first sleep cycle when he props himself up on his elbow and takes a DEEP breath and says, "What was that word?"

What?  I say.

Him- "What was that WORD that just flew by"

me- WHAT word?

Him- Oh, nevermind.  I guess I'm asleep.

I then cackle with laughter...and he yells at me for waking him up.

Yep, it's pretty much a nightly affair.  Welcome to my marriage.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Words That Work

Little Dude has a slight speech delay.  Nothing for which to seek treatment but a delay nonetheless.  It's frustrating (for all invovled) sometimes when he can't get his point across.  He's improved greatly over the past 15 months.  Last September (at age 2.5) his first sentence was, "Me Go".  We were psyched.

He's not blabbing like a banschee but we don't always understand his pronunciation.  Today he was telling me a story and I understood about 90% of it...progress.

I asked him if his teachers at school understand him.  He said no.  I then asked who DOES understand him.  He answered, "God."

What a profound statement by a 3 year old.  It's something I need to take to heart on this cold Winter's day.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Years Resolutions

I'm never the one who makes resolutions, writes them down, tells them to everyone they know, and follows through.  I'm the one who thinks about things that could be different and wonder if they will ever happen.  Yep, that's me.

Last year, more by an accident in timing than anything, hubby and I decided to take the television out of our room.  This OF COURSE led to WAY less TV.  That was definitely a helpful move in my life.  With the TV out of the bedroom, I ceased watching wasteful TV (well...not completely...I still watch The HILLS) and I started reading a lot more.  I read close to 50 books last year which I think was an accomplishment for me.  4 of those included the Twilight series that completely consumed 10 days of my life.

The whole TV thing went quite well until hubby ordered a DVR when he found out it was going to be cheaper to have one than NOT have one.  Not sure how he pulled that one off.  Anyway, we got the DVR in November and since then we have been catching up on every show we've never seen.  Needless to say, those 50 books were mostly read before mid November.

This year the resolutions aren't coming as easily.  I'm going to continue exercising.  In fact, I've been running for the past 3 weeks.  Today I ran 3 miles in 8 degree windchill.  I don't recommend it.

What are your New Year's Resolutions (or as I would rather call them) goals?  Maybe I can steal a few of yours.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Whoosh!!!

I have a good excuse, I promise.  I can't belive it's been 3 weeks since I've blogged.  I didn't fall off the earth.  I just drove 19 hours (with 3 kids) to Texas and back.  That's a good excuse, right?

Also, I didn't want to broadcast to the world that my house was unoccupied for that long...blogs make me nervous sometimes.  You just never know.

And then there's the whole in-law thing.  Over 3 weeks I acquired a lot of good blog material but unfortunately, it's all for not.  I just can't go there. 

I will say that it was so good to get away for almost 3 weeks and it's even better to get home.  What did I miss the most?  My Heated Mattress Pad.  Ooh, I'm falling in love with that thing all over again.

Besides the mattress pad, I'm thankful for our home and even the few inches of snow we found on our doorstep.  It's amazing how 3 weeks away can make you feel so content about what you have. 

It also could have something to do with living with 10 people under one roof for 17 days.  Hopefully we don't have to do that again.  It was complete insanity...thus the blog material that I can't print. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.