Wednesday, March 31, 2010

GREAT DEAL

Do you love shoes?  I'm not a shoe lover per se, but I know a great deal when I see one.
Today become a fan of DSW on Facebook and get a code for $5 off of shoes.

Here are your steps to new shoes:

1.  Go to Ebates
2.  Put DSW in your browser
3.  Pick out your shoes
4.  Go to RETAILMENOT 
5. At retailmenot, put in DSW to find any deals they have or codes you can use (ie. free shipping)
6.  Buy your shoes from DSW using FB5OFF and 2 other codes you find on retailmenot.
7.  Wait for that fabulous deal to come in the mail.

I love DSW...and Ebates...and Retailmenot...and a deal is even better!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Help Me Blogworld!

It's Little Dude's birthday.  Finally, right?  He's been looking forward to this day since the WonderTwins turned 6.  Here's my dilemna.  He wants to bring a treat to preschool for his birthday.  The school has a whacked policy on school snacks. Or maybe it's not whacked.  You be the judge.
With the onslaught of allergies. the school gathered a focus group of moms of allergy ridden kids and made lists of what that particular group of kids could and could not eat.  From that list they decided upon what would be acceptable for the entire school...for years to come.
At the beginning of this year they handed out the list (that only had fruits and vegetables on it by the way) and a mom raised her hand (at orientation) and said, "Excuse me, but my son is allergic to tropical fruits so please, everyone, don't bring tropical fruits.  To this day I have no idea what is included in the "tropical fruit" category.

I asked (read: BEGGED) the director to allow Little Dude to bring Krispy Kreme donuts for snack and the director firmly said, "NO!"

But I'm still expected to provide not only a snack (of fruits or vegetables, and NOT tropical fruits) but also a special something (preferably a toy) for the 20 kids that are in his class.  Really?  I'm supposed to provide toys for 20 kids?  I asked for specifics from the 2 teachers and the director and really still did not understand what I'm supposed to do.  For the 3 times I've provided snacks thus far this school year I've brought BANANAS all THREE TIMES.

You moms of allergic kids...tell me I'm wrong.  I just feel like 17 kids should be able to enjoy whatever the snack is and the school can provide an acceptable treat for the 3 (considering how different the allergies are) if the treat falls outside the acceptable parameters.  I'm not saying it should be this way EVERY day but can't there be special occasions?  This school is down to vegetables and some fruits for snack for 3 and 4 year olds. 

At least they're healthy I guess.  Jamie Oliver would approve.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Random Question for the Blogosphere...

What is the customary amount of time or life should we say...what is the life of a toilet seat?  When we moved into this money pit lovely home I changed out all the toilet seats.  I really WANTED to change out all the toilets but that was not to be.  It's been two years.  How long must I wait until I change them again? 

I'm ready now.  I have a thing for toilet seats....or maybe against toilet seats.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ah Yea...Triple Coupons!!!

No matter how much I detest the grocery store, I LOVE triple coupon days!  In fact, I love it so much that I went twice this weekend.  It's rare for me to go to the grocery twice in one week much less one weekend.  Often I shop every other week but I made up for that tonight.  Look what I got for $35!
Sorry about the quality of the pic.  My camera is dying a slow and painful death.  For $35, I got 2 bottles of lotion, 8 rolls of paper towels, 18 rolls of TP, 1 bag of tostitos, 1 bag of pretzels, 1 vitamin water, 3 boxes of pasta, 8 boxes of organic mac&cheese, 2 bags of cheese, 2 containers of Smart Balance, 1 bottle for French's mustard, 4 jars of babyfood, 1 tube of toothpaste, 2 cans of pineapples, and 5 bars of soap,  Grocery shopping would be a lot more fun if it was always like that.  I love saving 70% off my grocery bill!

Goodreads

Where have I been!  I must have just crawled out from under a rock because I just found the site I have needed for years.  It's called Goodreads and you could probably tell me more about it than I can share with you but I'm pumped!  I'm constantly asking for suggestions via Facebook and I generally hear the same suggestions over and over.  For great books, mind you, but I happen to have already read them.  Examples are :  The Help, Three Cups of Tea, and The Lovely Bones.

Each book is worth a read for sure but I'm needing new and different suggestions.  A friend sent me to www.goodreads.com and I've found paradise.  I can't wait to read more!  I've reserved 6 books from my library and I'm just waiting for them to come in (so I can pick them up via the drive-thru at our Library.  I LOVE the drive-thru!)  Anyway, thought I'd give you the heads up on Goodreads and I'll let you know which book comes in first!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Holy Moly CNN!

This isn't FOX NEWS folks!

I Won!!!

As you know I've been following several money saving blogs lately and not only am I raking it in via coupons (and it's triple coupon weekend at Kroger in much of Ohio and West Virginia, FYI) but now I'm winning things!  I NEVER win things but over the past 3 weeks I've won $75 ($50 via Huggies and $25 via Discover) and a can of coffee via Kroger sweeps! 

Okay, so it's not the lottery but I'm over the moon anyway.

Last night I went to a professional hockey game with some friends.  We stopped by Panera for dinner and I used a gift card that I acquired via www.MYPOINTS.com.  Then we got into the hockey game for free because of a mishap my friend's dad had with USA Today.  We then stopped by a pub for a drink and I used the gift card that I won via www.Enjoytherewards.com.  Go HERE to learn how to find codes to enter and how/when to play.  If you are an extreme morning or night person, this game is for you.  Last night I was playing at 1:30AM EST and I won $25 in bill pay, meaning they will pay $25 of my cable bill or utility bill.  2 weeks ago I won a $25 gas card which turned out to be $25 on a card that I could use for anything...Including a Blue Moon at the pub.

Thought I'd give y'all a heads up on this one.  I never win anything and I tell ya what.  Winning is FUN!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Here She Goes...Getting Political

I know.  It's not socially acceptable to run your mouth concerning political views.  I live in a bell weather state.  I never know if I'm talking to a Democrat or a Republican.  It was different when I lived in Texas.  It was rare to find a Democrat down there.  My husband didn't meet a Democrat til he went to college.

I grew up in a liberal home and I come from a long line of Democrats.  I honestly believe those democrats would be rolling over in their graves right now if they could see the state of our Union.  Our country's debt is now over 12 trillion and is expected to be at 20 trillion by 2020.  Phenomenal.  I can't even fathom.

When my household has unexpected costs we tighten our belts and cut expenses.  Sometimes we cut things that are very important to the well being of our family but we do what we have to do.  It kills me to see our country spending 1 trillion dollars on the current health care bill.  It kills me. 

Please don't accuse me of not having compassion for those in difficult situations.  I have been without health insurance and I'm currently on a health savings account.  I know what it's like to worry that the unimaginable is about to happen.  I get that.  What I don't get is why we look to the government to solve our problems.  Has anyone taken a hard look at the US Postal Service lately?  Over 4 billion dollars in debt and still climbing.  Why would we ask the government to take over 18% of our economy?  That baffles me. 

Beyond compassion, what is a liberal's defense for this bill?  There are so many other ways to establish better health care systems beyond what the government has just created.  I'm all for helping the poor.  I give to many different charities and I love that it's MY choice to give.  Taxes are not a choice, they are a burden.  Why can't we incentivise better health care?  Why can't we give doctors and hospitals reason to give charity?  Why can't we give tax breaks to individuals who give of their own means? 

Please don't get me wrong.  Every American should have access to a doctor and a hospital in their time of need and for preventative care but going 1 trillion more in debt is not the answer.  Here is a post from a local paper.  I'd love to hear what you think.
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/editorials/stories/2010/03/24/health-care-accounting.html?sid=101

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Look What I Found on the Deck

Hope we don't get kicked out of the neighborhood.  Reason #47 why we need to finish this bathroom remodel ASAP!

Today I Love Giant Eagle

Just so you know that I don't have problems everywhere I go, here's a deal I just got at Giant Eagle.  The deal is 4 boxes of cereal for $10 with an instant rebate of $4.  I also had 6 coupons so the
8 Boxes of Cherrios cost me $5.90. This deal ends today. So happy!  And yes, we do eat a lot of cereal around here.
Thank You Giant Eagle!
I rescind my previous post.

Update on the Costco Fiasco

So I told you yesterday how my friend saved me from an uncertain fate.  Well, she happened to get in the same line I had been in (after she finished her own grocery shopping).  When she got to the cashier he told her that 4 people had been turned away since I had my "situation".  4 people.  A girl was turned away because she had her mom's card, not her own.  She had traveled from CINCINNATI to shop at Costco.  She must have been TICKED!

What the hades kind of business are they running?  They let people INTO the store with a membership card but do not let them BUY their purchases. What?  What kind of genius came up with that plan?  Oh, I hate it when things don't make sense.  And right now I hate Costco.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Here We Go Again

Okay, before I dive into the extreme negative (because I am a realist, not a pessimist!!!) let me say that I love Kroger.  I love Kroger.  There is not a better retailer out there.  They make my life so easy.  Since we have a Marketplace Kroger close by, I can buy anything my heart desires...right inside Kroger (sheets, towels, furniture, deodorant and...whatever).  And if I have an issue or a difficulty, they fix it for me...right then and there.  No arguing...no trying to talk sense into them...I don't even need to search through 80 different employees before I find someone with a little power.  I ALWAYS have a good experience there...that is if I don't take my 3 banshees with me.


Really, this blog isn't to DOG on the entire retail world but it seems I've had another negative experience.  Because this is VENTALICIOUS and it's my one place on earth that I can say whatever I want (well, almost) I'm going to vent.

Today I went to Costco like I do 2 or 3 times per month (for 3 years).  I always spend way too much money there but I love that place...well, I LOVED that place.

I entered with Little Dude just like I always have.  The greeter took my membership card in her hand, looked at it and welcomed me into the store.  I did my shopping with Little Dude...he behaved himself for the most part (no pooping in his shoe this time) and we got in line to check out.  After having loaded ALL of my groceries onto the conveyor belt, the cashier says, "Blah blah blah...you can't make this purchase."

Awaking from my little fog, "Huh?"
"You are not "J" are you?" says the moron.
"Well, no.  Of course not.  He's my husband" I say as if my answer is obvious.
"Where is he?" he asks.
"What do you mean where is he?  He's at work."
"Well then, you cannot make this purchase.  Your name has to be on the card to make a purchase and "J" must be present to get your name on the card.  You can't make your purchases today unless "J" is with you."

Dumfounded, I look down at my groceries (that took me 60 minutes to find...with a 3 yr old in tow) and as I looked up I saw a friend from my neighborhood.  I quickly explain to her what is happening and lo and behold, she offers to pay for my groceries.  God bless her.

Now back to the moron, he agrees to this but takes my membership card (um...make that my husband's membership card) and says that my husband has to go to Costco to pick it up and he would not return it to me.  Like I stole it from my husband.  I told you this guy's a moron.

Ticked beyond belief at this point (and incredibly relieved that my friend showed up when she did...I fully believe that was God's grace on my life today) I go to the Member Services counter hoping that SOMEONE, ANYONE could make sense of what just happened.

Nope.  It was like talking to a robot. She went all Andy Bernard on me, "mirroring" what I was saying to her and apologizing in the "I just want this situation to go away" kind of manner. All she could do was offer to call the manager (with whom I had just spoken at the register).  So, I went home with a trunk full of groceries, no Costco membership and some major stress on my heart and vital organs.  Thanks Costco.

I called the corporate customer service line and after talking to a very nice woman I was transferred to another moron (who had more "authority" than the afore-mentioned  woman) who could only recite "company policy".  Not only that but I think he canceled the membership that my husband had through his job.  Apparently his company didn't go through the correct procedures which in turn negated the membership card...even though it worked for 3 plus years.  I am angry beyond words and frustrated that Costco couldn't care less.

All I can do now is tell you how poorly Costco handled this whole situation and get a Sam's Club Membership.  I'd go to BJ's Warehouse but we don't have one.  Bitter.

Does this make any sense to anyone?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Discounts!

The Entertainment Book just went half off!  Yay!  I just got it for $17.50* but wait, there's more.  I ordered it through Ebates and got 25% more off this great book.

It is FULL of sweet coupons that save us hundreds per year.  Just click on  Ebates and if you aren't a member yet, join Ebates and get $5 just for signing up.  Then put in Entertainment Book and it will take you to the website.  You will then get 25% more through Ebates when you buy the Entertainment Book.  What a great deal.  I just love deals! 

*The book may be a different price in your city depending on how many coupons are inside.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Madness has Hit!!!

Okay, so life is always a little maddening here at our house but March Madness has really hit!

You see, I grew up 10 minutes away from a MAJOR university that LOVES its sports.  Love is not a strong enough word to describe the obsession around here.

I attended a smaller school 90 minutes away.  If we get a mention on SportsCenter, it's the talk of the year.

Last night we crushed a major basketball powerhouse and I am still giddy.  GIDDY!

Of course tomorrow is a new day with a new Goliath to face but for just one day I'm relishing in a BIG win for my small(er) alma mater.  Even though I'm a huge fan of the school in my town, it feels even better to cheer on my school.  Go Bobcats!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Everyone's Getting Older...but Me

Okay, this Facebook thing has changed everything.  Everything! 

Remember when you only saw old high school friends every 10 years?  Someone posted a picture of her husband (who was also in our class) today on Facebook.  He looked like a really old man.  He was balding and had some scruff with a triple chin.  I really couldn't have imagined him looking like that but in 2010 he does.

I see older men (seemingly older than me...I thought) who look like him all the time.  I assume that they are in their late 40's instead of mid to late 30's.  Apparently I'm a bad judge of age but he just looks BAD.  Bad.

Is that mean?  This post then makes me wonder...what are they saying about me?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

People Say the Darndest Things

People say strange things to me all the time.  Even when they are awake.  Granted, it's usually someone from my family.  Take today.  Warning tho...what comes next borders on...um...vulgar, maybe?  Ok, not vulgar...how about uncomfortable?

I don't know if you have heard that radio/tv commercial for Extense (I think that's how it is spelled).  You know...it is supposed to EXTEND the uhHEM on a man.  This commercial will not go away.  It seems to play quite often so that it's almost a daily thing.  Today my husband jokingly said that he was going to order some.  I said, "That's really the last thing you need."  Not necessarily meaning it in the way he took it he then said, "I think that is the nicest thing you've ever said to me."...really?

Note to self:  Be sweeter to husband.

Tonight in the kitchen my daughter said (right after hugging me), "You know what I love about you?  I love your soft, fudgy tummy.  It's a perfect place for me to rest my head when I hug you.  My head fits right in there."

Great.  Thank you dear daughter.  She was so sincere and meant it as the nicest compliment.  If there is anything "fudgey" about my tummy, it's because she and her twin brother had their way with me for 8 full months....and we live right down the street from the best ice cream on the planet.  But really...it's the twins' fault.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Crazy Sleeping Gene Strikes Again

It's still crazy around here and it's the next generation who is getting crazier than his dad. 


J heard some crazy noise in the kitchen LONG after the kids were in bed.  He went upstairs to investigate.

He found Boy Wondertwin (BWT) on the floor sitting in a pool of milk....MY expensive organic milk.  Grr.

Apparently he was sleep walking and decided he was thirsty.  He went into the kitchen, got a cup, poured some milk but missed the cup entirely.  Hubby put BWT to bed and attempted to clean up the half gallon of milk that was a puddle on the kitchen floor.  I came home to find a towel in the middle of my kitchen. 

Can things get any crazier around here?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Confession

I hesitate to even confess this via blog because well...maybe they are researching me too.

Let me explain.

The house across the street has been for sale off and on for over 2.5 years.  There was a brief period of about 10 months where the house was rented but basically for most of the time we've lived in our house, it's been on the market.  Really that shouldn't annoy me, right?  I'm not the one making dual mortgage payments.  But it's really gotten old.

Finally after almost 3 years the house SOLD!  I went online to find out how much it sold for and decided to google the new owners.  I found their BLOG!!!  How crazy is that?  I was able to find out just about anything and everything I'd ever want to know about them.  I told my husband how freaky I thought it was that I could find their whole life story online.  He said, "It might be even freakier that YOU are reading it".  Okay, point taken. 

So I met the said neighbor recently and it was the weirdest thing.  She referred to their previous home, how they were just putting it on the market etc.  I knew all of these things already.  Freaky. 

Admit it though...you'd do the same thing.  Right???

The Lovely Bones

I'm needing some encouragement.  I'm halfway into this book and I'm just not that into it.  So many friends have raved about this book and it's even now a motion picture so really, it must be good, right?

Maybe it's the ending that will do it for me.  So far, no rave reviews.

UPDATE:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
I finished The Lovely Bones.  While it's not on my top 1 million of fave books, it had an interesting perspective.  I admire any book that can tell a story from a dead person's point of view.  I was disturbed by the heaven that was drawn by this author and thankfully, from the Bible, we know that this is not the Heaven we will encounter but it was disturbing all the same.  The first chapter is quite violent and I could have done without that as well.  Since I've had kids my sensitivities are WAY up in that department.  That being said, I plan to rent the movie this weekend...let's hope it's better than the book.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Little Dude and his Slipper

Still trudging along here in SickVille.  Ugh, I hate being sick.

Anyway, no sick days for mom so life goes on.  Little dude got it in his head yesterday that he HAD to wear slippers to preschool.  Hmm.  There really is a good reason behind this one.  His brother and sister are studying the 7 continents in Kindergarten (by the way, do you know that different countries teach that there are different numbers of continents?  In Chile they are taught that there are 5.  In China they learn that there are 6...weird).

The twins "flew" to Japan yesterday and had to have their slippers because shoes are not worn in the house.  So, all day yesterday they wore their slippers at school.  Little Dude was convinced that he too needed to wear his slippers.  How do I explain THIS one to the teacher?

Unfortunately for Little Dude, he could only find one.  After fits and pouts he finally relented.  He put his ONE slipper into his school bag and off he went.  He wants to be "big" so badly.  Poor Little Dude.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SICK!!!

There are very few things that are worse than being sick with 3 kids who are not...okay.  Maybe having 3 sick kids while you're sick too is worse.  That happened once.  All 5 of us were puking during the same 48 hours.  It was bad.  Of course we called in reinforcements...my mom.

She was puking within 24 hours.  Poor her.

Anyway, my wild and crazy weekend got the better of me.  I'm not puking thankfully but I can barely move my  neck, my throat is sore and all the energy has been sucked out of me.  Worse?  The weather is amazing.  Of course.

Little Dude has been surprisingly good throughout all of this.  Today he has been playing on my bed (for 2 full hours and counting) while the Wondertwins are at school.  He has this Little People Circus thing on my bed (which he calls Disney World) as well as a nativity scene.  How he dragged that out in the middle of March...I have no idea.  I promise we have put away all of our Christmas decorations!

As long as I get to lay in bed and be miserable...I couldn't care less.  He can drag out the freakin' Christmas tree.  As long as he's happy and I don't have to waste undue energy.  Oh, let tomorrow be a better day!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

You're Not 22 Anymore

I think I'm getting sick.  I can feel my tonsils starting to swell as I write.  Crud.

As I stated in my previous post, I haven't sat down all week. Well, the craziness led into the weekend.  I had a weekend like I haven't had in years.  It started with a neighborhood Happy Hour and then a few hours at a friends' house.  Then my best friend came to town.  We shopped all afternoon.  Then we attended a benefit for Young Life where I saw friends from years and years ago.

It was just one of those weekends where you are bzzing the whole time (not from alcohol, of course) from the mass amounts of stimuli all around.  I crashed around 2AM this morning and was up at 7AM to greet by house guests.  I fixed breakfast, went to church and my 1PM, I was asleep.

I slept 90 minutes this afternoon and as I type, I'm still in bed.

Oh, what a glorious weekend....as long as I don't get sick.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Can I Sit Down Now?

This week has been atrocious.  I have not stopped since 7AM on Monday!  It's been a great week and I'm thankful.  It's been full of friends, fun and oh yea, 3 parent teacher conferences.

One perk with twins...2 conferences back to back...same teacher.  yep.  I like that.

I went to Little Dude's conference on Wednesday.  Keep in mind he is 3 years old.

Really.  What is there to say about a 3 year old.  He holds his crayon with a "tentative grip".

Dang it.  Call Harvard.  Guess he's not going there.  There goes his WHOLE future.

Same with grades from gym class...I mean "Physical Education".

Both my twins got mostly "3"s instead of "4"s in gym.  It's gym.

Turns out Mr. M is the hardest grader in the school.  Gym.  Crud.  Forget that Division I football scholarship.

Just love how serious things have gotten.  It's Kindergarten people.

I'd be happy if they would just stop sucking on their fingers!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Little Rocky

Navigating parenthood is something that never gets easier.  Silly me.  I thought it would.

When I had 3 kids under the age of 2, 3 kids under the age of 3, 3 kids under the age of 4 (and so on...you get the idea) I knew it was hard.  I thought it would get easier though.

In some ways I was right. In many ways I was wrong. 

Today my 3 spent an hour at a friend's house while I attended a parent/teacher conference with my husband.  Thankfully the conference went well for both twins and the teacher had many positive things to say with a  little bit of instructive criticism throw in. 

Even the playdate was going well at my friend's home...that is until I arrived. 

We heard screaming coming from the basement and we ran down there to find an injury to Boy Wondertwin.  I checked him out and despite the screaming, there was no blood.  I tried to console him but he kept screaming.  Seeing that I wasn't going to be able to quiet him, I started picking up the toys.  It was then that Boy Wondertwin decided to haul off and hit our friend's son right in the eye socket! 

There was more screaming as you can imagine.  I disciplined BWT and finally talked him into apologizing to the boy.  Ugh.  What a day.

I was so embarrassed about my son's actions and shocked that he would do such a thing.  I blame myself a little because I didn't take his injury serious enough at the time but when we got home I noticed that he is bruised and it probably was quite painful.  Maybe if I had given him more compassion (I really am the least compassionate person on the planet) maybe he wouldn't have felt that he needed to take matters into his own hands.

Anyway, these are new waters that I'm navigating as a parent.  The playgroup days were different.  There were scuffles etc but parents were always a stone's throw away to referee.  Life is different now and I have to start trusting that I'm raising them in such a way that they won't haul off and beat the crud out of someone while I'm not around.  I guess we're still working on that part.

The other aspect is my relationships with the parents of these children.  Who my kids get along with and DON'T get along with may begin to dictate my friends.  I really don't like that part.  Thankfully this particular mom is very understanding and she is becoming a good friend.  I think we might just make it through these rough waters.

Oh...all the things no one tells you BEFORE you decided to have children.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chilean Aftermath

Update from this post. Another friend of mine Paola, who was traveling to Santiago on business,  finally contacted her husband (8 hours away by bus) after the Chilean earthquake.  It took her 48 hours to get through to him and their 2 boys. She had no idea if they were dead or alive, or whether or not her house had made it through the quake.  She says the house is "intact" and the boys are fine.  I don't even have words for what the past 48 hours might have been like for her or her husband for that matter.

I've heard from almost all of my Concepcion friends and everyone is okay so far.  Answered prayers but the destruction is massive in Southern Chile.  Prayers for my friends in that long, skinny country down South.

What 15 Years Brings

Okay, first of all a wake up call.  It's been 15 years since 1995.  Goodness.  Doesn't it feel like 5 years ago?  I referenced something happening in 1997 and an adult (at least I thought she was!!) said, Oh, I was 10 years old in 1997.  Yep.  That's what I wanted to hear.

Anyway, I found this article about the internet and how this columnist predicted that the internet would fail.  FAIL.  Hmm...how wrong he was but as I read it, I can see where he was going with it.  Without the inventions of search engines, Facebook, Paypal...I get it.

I remember my GRANDFATHER going online in 1990.  It would make that loud "BEEP BEEP BEEP" sound as it went over the phone lines and my grandmother would complain how she was missing all of her phone calls and couldn't talk to any of her friends anymore.  Ha!  Anyway, I have no idea where he was going once he got online or who he talked to but he was definitely one of the "old guys" that this article references.  Check it out.  Fun walk down memory lane.  It goes well with the book "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedmann that I've been reading lately.

http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2010/02/27/newsweek-1995-buy-books-newspapers-straight-intenet-uh/