Saturday, October 31, 2009

When it rains...

I'm checking in after quite a week! In Mom to Mom this week we went around the room stating our best moments and worst moments. Not that I'm a pessimist (actually I'm the opposite), but I started with the worst...cause that's how my week started.

On this past Sunday, on the way home from NC, our transmission went a big way. Not just the trans, but all these other things all around it. We were very close to an exit, so they towed us to Cracker Barrel. Luckily, we were only about 30-40 minutes past where my brother lives, so they rescued us. M thought it was pretty great cause she got to spend an extra day with her beloved cousin.

Oops I accidentally published this post by clicking the wrong button. I'll be finishing the story momentarily!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Standing my ground

So I went to this Southern Savers Extreme Couponing 101 class last night. I know I mentioned this. The head hauncho was saying that if you zone out in the 5-10 minutes during check out then you are doing yourself a great disservice cause a lot of mistakes happen at the register. Now, I do know this is true, but I'm a little bit timid when it comes to correcting other people's mistakes. You really don't wanna hack off the cashier as you will likely run into them again and again if you intend on continuing to shop at that grocery store.

Having said all that, let me recount my latest shopping experience.

#1 Mistake was HAVING to go to the store. Cause then I was buying my food that I had to have right then on their terms...thus paying a great deal more than I would if I were waiting for the deal. But alas, Mom to mom was in need of last minute breakfast items, so I went early this morning. I was going to purchase two bags of mini bagels, some cream cheese, and a package of cutlery so that I could provide a knife for the cream cheese. Oh and an additional carton of fave Pineapple Orange Banana! So I found the best deals on all of these and then noticed "peelies" on the bags of bagels. One said buy a loaf of bread and get this bag of bagels free. Well, the bread was cheaper than buying the bag of bagels alone, so this way I'm paying less than I would if I had just bought the bagels, but i'm also getting a loaf of bread. I can live with that since i HAD to have the bagels anyway. (Of course I would never pay anywhere near $2 and something for a loaf of bread!) Then the other coupon said buy a bag of bagels and get $2 off a pumpkin. Cool. Again, I was buying that bag of bagels regardless.

We don't have a pumpkin yet even though this is seriously one of M's favorite holidays. We just haven't been able to make it to the pumpkin patch to take advantage of all that between illnesses and injuries this season. So I roll over to the pumpkins and I see a medium sized Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin with a sign that says $1.99! Perfect. Not too tiny, Not too big...AND I can use the insides to make delicious concoctions. AND MOST OF ALL, the coupon makes it -1 cent. so I gain a cent. Awesome.

Well we ring it all up and I scan my bonus card knocking a good deal off my purchases then I use my coupons and it knocks more off, but then I see it! The price that the pumpkin rang up on the computer is listed at $2.99. That's a dollar more than the sign where I picked it out. So I point this out kindly to the cashier and she says, well that is before the coupon. Now it's .99cents. I say yes, but the pumpkin is supposed to be ringing up at a dollar less so that it is free after the coupon. She says to me that I'm still getting a good deal with the coupons. And I say, yes, but if the pumpkin is supposed to be $1.99, then I would like to pay only that and not the extra dollar. She appears a great deal annoyed and calls for a price check. 6 employees come for this price check!

Oh Geez Louise! So, not trying to be trouble, I have now gotten the woman behind me in the line in on this. She is now clarifying to the employees that I am due an extra dollar as the price listed should be ringing up at $1.99 instead of $2.99. Turns out, in a sense, I am right. The pumpkin label from last week's sale was still listed because they forgot to take it down. So, in the end, I got my free pumpkin...and I suppose I got my feet wet for reclaiming the dollars that are rightfully mine! Score one more for the coupon crazies!

All in all, I left the store having spent $10 for $18 or $19 worth of stuff, so for a trip that I HAD to make with no pre-planning, that's not bad! BTW, this was Bilo not the beloved Publix.

Mac Truck

Well, one can only go so long at full speed before there engine gets run down. I think that is most likely where I am right now. Hope that's all that is making me feel so sluggish anyway! The house was so quiet just moments ago cause of the naps, but I swear that W can hear the clicking of the keyboard or something because he always wakes up! Still, he will stay in there a bit while he is at least happy.

He has been extremely cranky lately and my mother's intuition (which is likely skewed by my own feelings at this point) tells me that something is wrong. Let's hope I'm off on that one. MOST likely he is just cutting teeth. I believe he's a good bit overdue for 2 or 3 anyway. He is very mommy-centric right now, which I would think I am supposed to love and eat it up, but truthfully it gets old.

I won't wish it away...not for anything in the world, cause I'm certain it will disappear soooo quickly, but the demands being ever constant get rather cumbersome with a 16 month old hanging off one hip! I think I managed to get mostly all of the resewing projects done for M and even added an extra one in. So the other night I was able to finish up about 10 pieces of clothing for her and 2 for myself. I believe I only have about one or two more for her. Then on to W! Got to throw him together some really cute things before the cold sets in for good.

Went to a huge couponing seminar/workshop thing last night. I waffled a good bit on whether or not to go. I mean the point of couponing is to save money and I was going to spend $10 to learn more about it. I felt like I knew most of it. I decided that I needed to get my behind out of the little world that can consume me, and step out and be sociable. (This didn't used to be so difficult!) And it wasn't really difficult, just with all that is forever on my plate I don't want to do something else before I've finished what's in front of me. J said I'd be glad I went cause even though I think I know it all, there will be some nugget that will make it worth it.

He was right of course. I learned 2 nuggets. The most exciting one was about B1G1 sales in the drugstore! Apparently the way the items ring up is different than at a grocer, making a bogo at the drug store a much better deal! Never new that! Then there was the nugget that freed me from coupon hell (excuse my french if that bothers you). I was spending/wasting (you decide) about 3 nights a week working with coupons! yuck. I would much rather be sewing, working out, spending time with my hubs! Well, now I know the quickest and easiest way to organize my coupons that takes little to no time at all! Seriously! File the whole insert after you have written the date at the top. Don't cut those coupons! Then when you read the Southern Savers list you know where to look in your file. AFTER you make your list, cut the coupon and your ready to roll!

Aha moment for me there! Well, there is always more to tell, but for now I will have to go get the baby who is now very aware that I'm right outside his room and awake.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hoping to Make It

Hoping to make it to North Carolina this week. We were scheduled to go 2 weeks ago, but we have really been through it around here. We saw a Dr. 4 times in 9 days and had to other incidents that we chose to skip the Doctor for.

Poor W got his finger smashed in a door and now the entire nail was bleeding and is black. And yesterday he decided to climb the back of his high chair which is nice solid wood and it fell over on him. He luckily only got his other finger caught and injured. It may actually be broken but it is just the tip and he is using what could they do for it anyway. It's nice and purple as well but not on the finger nail, on the tip.

Unfortunately he is in the climbing stage! Just waiting for him to attempt to climb out of his crib! He is also in the talking stage. I guess since he has mastered walking and is pretty good at running and dancing, he is now working on his verbal skills. He has been talking up a blue streak lately! He says "basketball", attempts to say "soccer ball", his sister's name; he said, "pants" cookie, water, puffs, wiggles, peepee, shoe, soup, ...and mostly anything he wants to repeat! So fun!

I have been sewing a good bit as well. I went Goodwill shopping on Dollar day again. I was at a loss as it has turned quite cold here and I realized I didn't have much by way of long sleeve for my 4 year old. I bought up a little less that $20 worth of clothes (so about 19 items), and have been resizing the ones that were too big. Now this may sound like a pain to some, but once you've done it once...IT IS SO EASY! Seriously. I resized a sweat shirt with a shooting star and the word "wish" on it (with sparkles of course) in 20 minutes! For real! Then it took me maybe an hour tops to resize a Tinkerbell hoodie from the Disney store. It was more complicated because it was a different shape, and I had to replace a pocket and put on the arm bands and bottom band. Still this is one of M's favorites! I also found a yellow turtleneck in her size, a red turtleneck, a very rocker chick long sleeve T in her size, a BT Kids pink sweater with a tiny hole I will patch tonight, a dress that's long sleeved in her size, and the list goes on.

I know I owe you guys pics, but my camera has been out of batteries. I haven't finished the shirt to pants conversion yet. My machine is actually in need of repair. Thank goodness for my serger. It's been carrying the load lately. I did convert an adult turtleneck into a child's long sleeved T in creme color. I converted another sparkly gold adult turtleneck into a very sassy dress! Very cute. Did another adult to child conversion of a navy turtleneck and still have a charcoal gray one to do if I think she needs it. Fun for me and for her and inexpensive for the family! Must do pics! I will work on it. So much to do so little time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Goods

Been triple couponing again this week as Bloom did another sale. The savings were right at about 50%...obviously that is over all. There were things that I needed that I bought at regular price (or at least sale without a coupon), so between triple coupons and regular prices, the money I spent was the same as the money that I saved.

I made a CVS run today as my hubs was craving Coke products (not my favorite thing at all), but CVS had a deal that made them 4/$10. So we stocked up. I was disappointed because one item that I wanted was going to make me $3 extra, but they were already out, so I had to settle for the similar product that was only going to make me $1 extra in the end. Oh well. Over all I spent $18.50 and saved $30.00 AND got back $10 in ECB for the next visit. I'd say that went well.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Thank You Sis!

A BIG shout out to my sister in Auburn for helping me to fix my silly blog! And mom too. No more random color mixing! And yes, there is certainly much more to say here.

I have been couponing again...til 1 am in the morning again! There just aren't enough waking hours sometimes. I just about missed the triple coupons at BLOOM which ended tuesday I certainly wasn't expecting it as I just did this about 2 weeks ago! A friend on Facebook informed me and so I spent the rest of the night sewing and couponing to get ready for an early morning run to the store. Much success ensued. I was and possibly still am a little bit confused on the actual specifications of using coupons in the triple coupon scenario and I will hopefully get clarification tomorrow. I spent $18.73 and saved $36.05.! That's not bad! This time I didn't get coupon crazy and buy things I wouldn't normally. I got a lot of rice, juice, bathroom tissue, spaghetti I gelt even better about my $18 purchases.

But my week has been much more full than even that! Monday, I took W to the dr. for a recheck of his ears...which were clear! But Tuesday after my Bloom run, I picked M up from school and she was out of sorts. Apparently she had taken quite a fall in the gym about 30 minutes prior to schools end. She was running full force and ran into a boy. Bonk heads and then fell backwards and hit her head on the gym floor. Once the screaming subsided, the teacher said she kind of got back to playing, but no too long after she started to deteriorate.

On the way home she was droopy trying to fall asleep. I called the dr. He said she could sleep but just wake her up after about an hour. She did not want any lunch. So she laid down to sleep, but then she started throwing up. This is when mama knew we'd most likely be on our way to the ER. And the Dr. said we went.

Of course the minute we arrive at the ER she is her old self again...for the most part. Funny, entertaining everyone, happy, excited about this new adventure. She stuttered a little over the word "flower" at one point. And not much later, stumbled over an entire sentence...that is a little scary as she is extremely clear and articulate verbally. But the dr. said that is very normal for a good joggle of the brain. He felt like "her cognitive skills are amazing!" So after a long day of blood pressure taking, pulse taking, heart listening, hospital gowns and gatorade, we were able to go home. Lots of special treatment of course. Happy meal on the way home and then dinner right after that!

The next day we tell her teachers to keep an eye on her. She was fine. Chose to have quiet time rather than actually sleep during nap time. But...after that she felt really warm. 102.9! sheesh. So we call the Dr. We called the ER. They say it is not likely to be related to her head injury, so we schedule an appt for first thing in the morning. And hey, she has Strep! Which she most likely got from the ER! So we have now been to the Dr or ER 3 times this week! So we have been taking care of our patient for the rest of the week. Very high temps have subsided and we are now fever free. Runny noses on both counts of the kids, so we had to miss Cuz's bday! So sad. We had so been looking forward to it! Still I guess we now have something to do for fall break in 2 weeks.

Here's hoping that next week is much more calm! I've done and redone so much laundry that I'm surprised the machine still works! Trying to keep the germs to a minimum.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Among other things...

I have been up till 1 am the past two nights (or mornings I should say). Partially due to a late cup of coffee and a thousand and one things I'm attempting to squeeze into my life.

Among other things, I have managed to resize one adult turtleneck into M's size! Cream so it can go with and under MANY things. It was quite simple actually! I cut down 3 adult turtle necks actually the same night. Another one I made into a dress which looks pretty awesome actually and the last one will just be a shirt, but it's not quite finished yet. Almost. I was going to take pics and then realized 2 things. The batteries in the camera were dead and I don't have anymore batteries in the stock pile.
I will take some pics though...eventually.

Among other things, I've been faithfully clipping coupons still in preparation for another try at the grocery game. Got 2 of each coupon for the past 4 weeks. Still have to sort the ones from this week though. Not sure if this is going to really hook me cause ALDI is just easier and I always know I'm getting the best price! I keep saying, if I can get stuff for basically free, then I suppose that would be better and thus worth it.

Among other things, we decorated for Halloween last night. We don't do this. The whole evil scene is not something we encourage. In fact, it makes me rightfully nervous. So, hubs and I talked it over...since M was really wanting to decorate, and we decided that if we could do it where in all the "creatures" looked cartoony and happy...not scary even a little, then we would let M decorate. Obviously we didn't go overboard on those decorations either. We went to the dollar store for this extravaganza. We bought a cartoony totem pole type door hanging with all sorts of Halloweeny characters. We got two inflatable cutesy ghosts and some "spider webbing" and a biggish spider. That's it. The ghosts are hung in the tree with colorful ribbon, the door hanging is on the door after a little redrawing and fashioning of the witches face cause even the cartoon character in this instance looked a little mean. Not anymore! A sharpy and some pseudo googly eyes did the trick! We spread the spider webs in the front bushes and used pipe cleaners to attach the spider to the white post out front.

We don't believe in Halloween and celebrating evil...but we do believe in making something good out of something that may have originally been intended for bad. We believe in play and imagination...dressing up, etc.

Among other things, we may have found a resting place for awhile as far as churches go. This could be a long paragraph, but I will keep it short. 2 years ago we were severely injured by a local church. We haven't recovered...may never fully. So we have wandered around trying to reconcile the situation. M has been going to school (much by accident--though I don't really believe in accidents) at Duncan Christian Academy. We love it and love that our child is talking more about God and asking questions...singing songs, learning Bible verses weekly. They had DCA day at the church there.

We get that they are just trying to "hook" the parents a bit by bringing the into the church to present the gospel. And truthfully they did an excellent job! I much prefer a going out approach, but we went understanding this concept cause we both grew up in Baptist churches. They honored our very deserving teachers. They featured the children singing. They had some very well done music with a choir that packed out the loft! I wasn't thrilled that it was generally done to tracks, but this is a rather small church. The gospel presentation was well done. I was annoyed at first by the phraseology. The church phrases that lost people would absolutely never understand without explanation. But I won't complain because the pastor did explain the phrases he used; one by one. The thing that struck me most about the church is that it had LIFE! the people were glad to be there and seemed to genuinely be worshiping God! Hallelujah!

So, who knows what it's like every week...but we finally found something that we are excited to try again. Who would've ever thought it would be a "first baptist church". At least in some respects, we know the drill! Ha ha!

Among other things, I exploded two hard boiled eggs in the microwave yesterday! Lesson learned! Not a centimeter of the microwave was left untouched! Shew! What a mess, what a smell, and what a clean up!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Deconstruct Reconstruct

I'm in the middle of all kinds of unusual sewing projects. If you know me personally you know several things. 1. I am decently frugal. Out of necessity I do my best to save money. 2. I love to take something old and make it new somehow. This gives me a great sense of accomplishment and I generally have enough patience to deconstruct. 3. I like the idea of recycling...not sending something to Goodwill that hasn't already been there before. (Get what I'm saying?)

Why buy something brand new that I can get at goodwill, or create from something I got from goodwill. We obviously have enough stuff (unwanted or otherwise) floating around in this world. So, it's part frugality and part responsibility that I shop second hand most of the time. Having said that, on come the projects.

And I will have to post pics before and after of these projects cause even I am curious. I purchase an adorable sweater/pull over type shirt from the children's place via Goodwill on the $1 day. I also found a striped turtleneck with the exact color blue in the adult portion also for $1. So I picked it up, knowing that it'd be close, but I could most likely create pants out of the turtle neck to go with the shirt. I am right. I have measured out the pattern onto the shirt and its striped pattern and it will just fit. Sadly this will be the last year and can get pants out of a shirt for my little girl...but I still have a little boy! If I have enough shirt fabric left over, I will also make an applique to go on the inspired by two friends new to sewing!

I also bought some cream colored adult turtlenecks at that same $1 sale for M because she was in need of that color for several pieces. Trying to stretch her clothes a little further, I am making or remaking bottoms or tops to put together with pieces we already have. Then I'll have outfits for fall and winter, instead of going out and buying already put together new outfits. I am going to take the adult shirts and resize them down to make the sizes we need, and I'm going to attept a knit jacket much like those selling at Target in the girl's section. I love to throw out a pattern and do it myself. That's the way my brain works. So good luck to me in finding time and energy to plow through these projects as the cold sets in!

Also have a few things planned for the little man as I found a handful of baby boy ties at goodwill 3/$1! I intend on using dress shirts or even short sleeved dress shirts put in the back to goodwill pile by my hubs to piece together some long sleeved t-shirts that appear to have a dress shirt underneath and a tie on top...this will be sewn down for safety reason however so it won't get caught. We shall see how this all goes! Excited to get started and plow away at these project. Now to find the time to do so!