Thursday, July 29, 2010

A letter on your first birthday

Baby Girl,

How can I begin to thank you for all you've done for me over the last year?  It may sound odd for a parent to thank their child, but that's what I'm doing.  You have taught me so much in the last 365 days.  You've taught me what true love is, what it's like to love another person more than you love anything else.  You've taught me things about myself that I never knew, some good and some bad, but always a blessing. 

You are such a beautiful little girl, physically and emotionally.  You have the biggest, brownest eyes that always have a sparkle in them.  They tend to reveal what you're feeling, much like your mommy's.  You love fiercely, like I've never witnessed from someone so small.  You give hugs and kisses freely, wrapping your sweet little arms around my neck and opening your mouth wide to engulf my cheek in your wet, warm mouth.  You also love to give hugs and kisses to other children, tackling them many times, trying to show them how much you love them and you even give kisses to babies in books and the baby in the mirror.

I love that you love people so much.  You give smiles (after you're done investigating) and waves and even scream "HI!" at random people whereever we go.  I hope you'll always be as friendly as you are (although you could probably hold off on the flirting with men in uniform).  Everyone is charmed by you and wants to be with you.  We're told every time we go out how beautiful you are and we just nod because we know it's true. 

You are smarter than I ever could have dreamed.  We see you learning every single day and you seem to be reasoning at a level far beyond your age.  Your daddy and I are always amazed at what you seem to comprehend.  I always feared that my expectations of you would be too high, but now I fear they won't be high enough!  Keep learning, little one, and maintain that love of books.  Both will serve you well for the rest of your life. 

I look forward to seeing the little girl you become, but please don't grow up too quickly on me!  You're already becoming so independent, always wanting to do things yourself and getting frustrated when Mommy and Daddy slow you down.  Keep on smiling and the world will smile with you.

I love you more than words can ever say, but I've done the best I can to express myself.  You make me proud every single day to call myself your mommy.  Thank you for answering my prayers by coming into our life one year ago today.

All my love,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So many posts...

On this, the day before the first anniversary of my baby's birth, I have a lot of blog posts I want to write, but no time to do it!  I want to write up my normal developmental update, a letter *to* her, a post about my year of nursing, and a post about where *I* am a year later.

I will say here, though, that I was just looking at my phone and saw a picture in there from one year ago today.  One blessing of having a scheduled C-section, assuming everything goes according to plan, is that on July 28, 2009 I knew I would be having my baby the next day.  I knew it was my last day of work (yes, I worked up through the day before I gave birth).  I knew it was my last day of having this baby inside my belly, going with me everywhere, quiet, kicking.  I knew it was my last day of having a baby bump.  So I took a picture.  It's from my vantage point--what I saw every day.  It's my bo.obs and then the bump.  No feet, of course (I haven't seen them on a regular basis since puberty).  Just and bump.  And I have to admit, I miss it (the bump, I mean...the are the same as they were--pre-pregnancy, pregnant, and nursing).  But I'm so very glad I had the presence of mind to take that picture to remember where I was one year ago today.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My baby has made me bipolar

Okay, that's a little overdramatic.

But seriously, folks.

When I was trying to conceive Baby Girl, I thought *that* was a roller coaster of emotion.  But now I've realized that that was nothing.  That was the Blue Streak of roller coasters (you Ohioans probably know what I'm talking about).

Don't get me wrong.  That sucked.  But this is a whole new level of suck.  A year's worth of suck.

My every emotion is tied to my baby.  To her sleeping.  Her eating.  Her temperment. 

So when she's *not* sleeping...well...I feel sad.  And when she's not interested in nursing, I feel sad.  And when she's sad?  Yup.  Sad.

But when she's happy, curious, interested?  I'm happy.  Relaxed.  Blissful, even. 

And then an hour later when she's screaming bloody murder because, God forbid, we think she should take a nap because she was laying on the ground on her belly, rubbing her face on the carpet?  I feel so sad again.

I'm emotionally exhausted.  I'm tired of having my every emotion hinge on the feelings and behavior of my daughter.  I have a feeling it's going to be like this for the rest of my life and I need to figure out how to deal.  I know that the fact that I care so incredibly much about how she's feeling is just an example of how I'm a good mommy.  I know I love her more than words can say and really just want the best for her.  I'd be perfectly okay waking up overnight with her if she were just HAPPY.

Saturday was great.  We had so much fun partying it up.  And I was able to overlook the maniac she'd become at bedtime.  But then Sunday...oh Sunday.  And Sunday bled into Monday.  And here I sit.  Tired.  Exhausted.  Watching the clock and waiting for the moment I can walk in the door and hear that resounding "HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (yes, WITH the exclamation points) and feel my mood lift again.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Meal Plan 7/25-7/31

I owe you all a post about the party yesterday.  Let's just say it was overwhelming but a lot of fun.  It's great to see all these people who love us and our little girl.

Onto the meal plan (because we can't eat leftovers all week) (although there might be enough....)

7/25: Leftover shredded chicken for lunch and BBQ pork for dinner
7/26: Red Quinoa and Summer Grilled Veggies
7/27: Pork Loin Chops w/Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce with rice
7/28: Burgers & corn on the cob
7/29: Chipotle for Baby Girl's actual birthday (The Hubby's choice)
7/30: Either leftovers or we'll be heading to the husband's parents' house (which deserves a whole separate post all of its own)
7/31: At DH's grandma's 70th (yes, you read that right...DH is 30, his mom is 50, and his grandma is 70...and he and his mom aren't even the oldest children in their immediate families) surprise birthday party

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Kroger Deal for my readers

Easy deal:
Buy 10 packages of Philadephia cream cheese for $14.90 ($1.49 apiece)
Print off 2 coupons from on every computer you have access to (worth $1 apiece--we'll just say 2 coupons for this super easy deal)
When you buy 10 of these, you get $5 off instantly (Mega event)
$14.90 - $2 (2 $1 coupons) - $5 = $7.90
Get a coupon for $5 off your next order when you buy any 5 Kraft cheese items
So in essence you're paying $2.90 for 10 bricks of cream cheese!

You can make the deal fit your life better by looking at other items in the Mega event--as long as you get at least 5 Kraft cheese items (Philadephia is a Kraft brand) and 10 of the Mega event items, this deal will work for you!

I, for instance, did this deal:
4 packages of Philadelphia: $5.96
6 packages of Kraft shredded cheese (also part of the Mega event & $1.99 apiece): $11.94
Printed 2 Philadephia coupons: -$2
Had 3 Kraft coupons for $1 off 2 packages of cheese (found on the shelf at my store): -$3
$17.90 - $2 - $3 - $5 (Mega event) = $7.90 with $5 coupon on your next Kroger order

Check out all the great items that are part of the Mega event at
A different easy deal!
Buy 9 packages of 24-count Crayola crayons (in the back-to-school area) for $0.25 apiece : $2.25

There is a deal going on right now where you buy $20 worth of school supplies and you get a $4 off coupon for your next Kroger purchase.  The thing is, the calculation to figure if you've spent $20 is based on the original price before sale.  These crayons are $2.25 apiece regularly, so to get to $20, you need to buy 9 (see above).

Pay $2.25 out of pocket and get a coupon for $4 off later!

Now you have two easy deals to get stuff for cheap or to make money--get out there and shop!!!

Thrifty Thursday: Online Coupon Resources

Hello again!  You don't have to buy the Sunday paper to get coupons and I'm going to tell you about different places you can get them.

Printable coupon sites:
Coupons, Inc.

For most of these sites you'll probably need to install a coupon printer plug-in, but once you do that, you can print until your heart's content! 

Coupons, Inc. is a bit different than the others because it's a source for all coupons that are hosted by Bricks, which is a company that has many printable coupons.  The key to Bricks coupons is that you can print two copies per computer by hitting the back button after you print the first one. 

Product websites:

If you're going to buy a specific product, check their website!  Many times there are coupons available on the product website.  Look for a link called "Special Offers" or something like that.  Colgate is one of my favorites and you'll notice that Special Offers is the last link in the top bar of links.

Coupon Databases:

There are a lot of sites out there that track all available coupons, including mailers (flyers mailed to your home), inserts (those that come in the paper), printables (those you can print online), peelies (coupons attached to products found in stores) and blinkies (coupons in little coupon machines found hanging on store shelves).  Here is a list of those that I've used at one time or another:

CouponMom (you'll need to create a login*--I've never received any spam from them)
Bargain Briana
Deal Seeking Mom
Hot Coupon World

Many of these databases function so that you could enter in something you're going to buy, like "beans" and it will pull up coupons for any brand of beans that is available.  That way you can comparison shop when at the store and decide which coupon matches up with which product for the best deal (but remember that generic with no coupon may STILL be cheaper!!!).

Please let me know if you have any questions or any other good suggestions for online couponing resources (I will cover online resources for shopping other than food/toiletries/paper products later)! 
Next week Thrifty Thursday will be on a hiatus because I'll be spending the day with my daughter and husband celebrating Baby Girl's FIRST BIRTHDAY!  But stay tuned--I will turn the following week and hope to dive into answer the question, "How do you match up coupons with grocery ads to get the best deals"? 

*Because many sites require a login to get the best deals, I suggest creating an email address that you can have all your accounts tied to.  That way if you do end up getting a bunch of spam from the site, you don't have to weed through it every day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quick points

1) You know how I said in mid-June that the bitch is back?  Yeah, that was just a little warning shot.  She officially made her way back into my life in all her gory glory this past Sunday night.  Nice.  Perrrrrfect timing.

2) Speaking of Sunday night...OH.EM.GEE, y'all, that was rough.  Really rough.  Last night wasn't great--it took her a full half an hour of coddling to get her to sleep.  But it wasn't anything like the screaming-fighting-sleeping-with-all-her-might bullshit stuff we had Sunday night.  And of course I can say that because The Hubby was the one dealing with her last night.  We're starting to think she needs some combination of a later bedtime, more wind-down time before bed, and more food.  We'll see how she does tonight (hoping she is taking normal naps today so we can truly judge it as a "normal" day).

3) Yesterday was not a normal day.  I ended up taking her to the doctor at 10 am, which is during naptime, normally.  No ear infection.  No sinus infection.  And not really any signs of teeth.  Of course.  Oh well.  The appointment served two purposes: it proved that my mommy instinct isn't 100% off (I didn't think she had an ear infection) and it gave us the peace of mind that nothing is seriously wrong.  But of course the crazy napping lead to being up overnight.  Twice.  Yawn.

4) Thank you SO much for the comments on my Sunday post.  I really appreciate the reassurance from you all that it's totally normal to feel the way I did (do?).  I agree that more mommies need to be more forthcoming about the struggles we face.  I had someone ask me the other day, "Isn't being a mommy the best thing in the world?"  I had to pause and think about it.  I LOVE Baby girl.  LOVE LOVE LOVE her.  But right now I'm having a hard time thinking of anything but a secluded beach, sun, 70 degree weather, and a strawberry daiquiri as the best thing in the world.  I, of course, smiled and talked about how wonderful it is.  And I felt like a big fat liar.  And this was when she was sleeping through the night!

5) Baby Girl's party...we're in the last few days.  We have a plan.  It's a plan that's going to mean less sleep for The Hubby and me, but we'll have a presentable house, some food, some decorations, and hopefully a fun party for everyone.  We will be crashing on Sunday, though.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bad bad bad

(this is a raw, painful post.  if you can't handle it, read no further.)

We are in the midst of the absolute worst night I think we've ever had.  Bad enough that I'm considering cancelling the party on Saturday.  Bad enough that I just walked out the door with my car keys and phone and thought about not telling The Hubby where I was headed.  Bad enough that I just WEEDED.  (I don't weed)  Bad enough that I'm burying myself in my computer.

I don't know what's wrong with this kid.  I feel like a failure for not being in tune enough to her to have any idea what's going on.  Friday July 9th through Thursday July 15th were perfect.  Baby Girl was happy, took good naps, slept through the night...  Every night since has been awful.  She's fought bedtime, fought every single nap.  She's screamed and screamed, been whiny all day long, been fussy.  And then she'd stop and be the sweetest, most charming little lady in the world.  We haven't ever dealt with anything like this for teeth, so it *could* be teeth, I suppose.  She's not really messing with her ears and isn't running any fever, so I don't *think* it's a fever (but it could be).

I honestly want to leave.  I hate what Baby Girl has done to my self-esteem.  I hate feeling like this.  And I hate feeling like I want to leave.  I want to love this baby an want to be with her and still be able to see the positive through this.  I have friends who say they've never been to where I am right now and it makes me jealous and makes me feel even more like I don't know what I'm doing and I'm not meant to be a mommy.

And I'm going to hit publish now.  I might regret it later, but I need to get it out there.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


This is what greeted me as I came down the stairs this morning.

Baby Girl *might* say a few words, but none has come out as clearly as "Hi!".  She says "Da" sometimes when her daddy walks in the room or when she looks at him...or when she wants something...or when she sees something whose name doesn't start with a "d".  lol  You see what I mean?  Hard to tell! 

And she babbles "mamamamamamamama", but we still haven't exactly related it to her "mama". 

I've also heard "Duck" a couple of times (once directed toward a toy duck and once toward Big Bird...who I suppose looks like a duck, even though he's technically a canary), but also hear it in random places.  So I still don't know what her first word is.  But I do know that her first very clear word is "hi" and it's the sweetest sound!  I was greeted by it twice this morning, both times just by coming down the stairs.  And one time when I headed up the stairs she waved "bye-bye".  Apparently she waves at the parents dropping off at the sitter's all the time...who knew?  She doesn't wave consistently for us ever!

So much for that

I was going to write this really nice, reflective post today about Baby Girl's sleep.  And she still slept okay last night, so that's not really why I say "was".  I'm just not in the mood after the way she's been acting today.  She's been clingy and cranky--two words I would NEVER use to describe my baby.  She has no fever and has been chewing on everything, which makes me think (hope?  pray?) that it's her teeth and not another ear infection.  I noticed the two teeth on either side of her middle bottom teeth are just below the surface on Thursday. 

And then there's that pesky top right tooth.  Most people think it's actually already in because her gums are so white, but it's looked like that for WEEKS (almost a month).  So who knows.  Maybe we'll get all three this weekend.  Or maybe my baby has a raging ear infection and I'm ignoring it by just chalking it up to teeth.

This would be a lot easier if she could talk and tell me what, exactly, hurts.  Oh, and if she'd take her finger out of her ear (which she does whether she's got an earache or not). 

This could be a long weekend.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: The Sickness Edition

Yep, I realize it's Friday again, but this time I have a real excuse--I was sick!!!

Over the last few days, I've gotten a couple of thrifty ideas for you, though, so I'm calling this "The Sickness Edition"

First, if you have to go to the pharmacy to get medication, look around online or in your flyers for coupons to get a free gift card when you fill a new or transferrred prescription at the pharmacy (Target has them in their flyer fairly often).  Even if you are pretty loyal to your pharmacy, most of them will take competitor's coupons.  I was able to find a coupon for KMart's pharmacy to get a $25 gift card, take it to my CVS, and get a $25 gift card when I filled my $5 prescription. 

My second tip really has very little to do with being sick besides that my head was cloudy and I didn't realize what I'd done until this morning.

I've preached and preached about buying stuff (especially meat) and freezing it.  So I had purchased a huge package of chicken and had 4 different chicken meals planned, so I pulled the package out of the freezer and put it into my sink.  Baby Girl's bedtime was a teeny bit rough, so we didn't get dinner until after she went to bed.  By that time, neither of us felt like cooking so we had leftover pizza.  The Hubby did all the cooking while I ran to the pharmacy.  I thought he would put the chicken in the fridge, but he apparently didn't notice the ginormous package of chicken in the sink.  So the chicken sat out overnight.  You all know what happens when you assume.  And there's $8 (good thing I bought it on sale!) gone.  Wasted. 

So the moral of the story is to USE what you buy!  It's the same thing with produce or anything that can expire.  Think of all the effort you go to to save a few pennies with coupons and think about how many DOLLARS you throw into the trash when you waste your food.  If you aren't going to use it, find a way to freeze it.  Or at least don't leave it in the sink overnight to spoil.

The Sickness

Let me tell you, the month of July hasn't been a healthy one in our household!!!

Baby Girl and I started feeling icky at the end of June and we both suffered from a cold over the next couple of weeks.  It wasn't fun, but we both took it in stride and still went about our normal business.

Then The Hubby got it (while Baby Girl and I were still coughing a bit).  And you know how men can be when they get sick.  While I was sick, I was still doing laundry, cooking, cleaning up after may not have been the cleanest time in our lives, but I kept up on things so we weren't living in an absolute pigsty.  When he got sick, though, I got zero help.  He's not a baby about being sick...just lazy. 

Two days after The Hubby got sick (on Tuesday morning), Baby Girl had a few cases of diarrhea.  And then a couple more.  I called the doctor and they told us to give her a probiotic, so we tried, but the kid wouldn't drink it mixed with water, I was home with her, so she was directly nursing...we didn't think to put it in her food until Wednesday morning (of course!).

The Hubby and I hung out at home with her on Tuesday (The Hubby was still recovering from his own illness, so I figured I should stick around with her).  By the end of the day on Tuesday, it was apparent that we were ALL sick again.  *sigh*  I ended up staying home Wednesday and Thursday and even going to the doctor for some heavy-duty antibiotics on Thursday.  Two colds in one month?!?!?!  Really???  Hopefully this is just getting it out of our systems so we aren't sick for the BIG PARTY next weekend.

This morning, though, (after, I think, the worst had passed) I was realizing how incredibly fortunate we are.  Both The Hubby and I have the sick time we can take if we're sick or if Baby Girl is sick.  We have great health insurance so we didn't even have to consider if we could afford to go to the doctor's office.  We paid our copays and I got my meds and spent $45 total.  Could things have been better?  Of course.  We could've not gotten sick.  I could *not* be breastfeeding and therefore able to take good cold meds.  But it could've been SO. Much. Worse.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Going into pregnancy, I was a firm believer in the positive impact of sign language.  I've known sign language since I took a class when I was 5 or 6 and it's come in really useful throughout my life and I've even taught a few classes myself.  For this reason, I'd love to teach it to Baby Girl and was so excited to learn that it is something that is becoming trendy to teach babies to help them communicate!

However, once Baby Girl was born, I got a little lax about working on sign language with her.  It seemed like I was always focusing on other pieces of development and keeping her safe and the priority to teach her sign langauge really sank to the bottom of the list.  While feeding her, it just wasn't easy to ask her "More?" between every bite.  So it's been REALLY sporadic.  I do typically sign "milk" to her when it's time for her to nurse (and now she comes crawling or running over the second I ask her if she wants milk), so that one we've had down for awhile and she's now starting to ask for it herself. 

This weekend, though, Baby Girl started signing both "more" and "all done" (well, she's done "all done" once or twice...but it was in context!).  I couldn't believe it!  The Hubby and I both use the signs just a few times a week, but apparently she's picked up on them and has started using them (the sitter refuses, so we know she isn't getting it there).  The best part is that her "more" isn't clapping, so we're able to tell the difference (many kids start out signing "more" by clapping, which gets confusing--do they want more or are they happy with themselves?  'Cause this kid claps whenever she hears a laugh track on TV, if someone says "yay", if she's done something she's proud can see how it would be confusing for us!).  Her "all done" was pretty impressive, too!  I'm hoping we can get her to start using these all the time and maybe we can add in "water" or "juice" sometime!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meal Plan 7/11-7/17

I don't think I can even try to plan which nights we'll have here are our meals for the week:

Tonight: Baby Back Ribs, cornbread, and some sort of veggie

The rest of the week:
Cayenne Chicken
Sweet & Sour Chicken
Lemon Chicken
BBQ Chicken Pasta
Veggie Quesadillas

Almost Perfect

Yesterday was the best day (I think) since Baby Girl was born. 

It started with The Hubby and me realizing that the sun was up and it was almost 6 a.m.  Why is this a big deal?  Well, the last time we'd spoken to each other was 10:30 the night before.  That's right, folks, Baby Girl slept through the night.  Woohoo!  That, alone, would have made the day great!

We all got up, had breakfast, then went to Wal.mart (I still think there need to be more 24-hour stores...) to look for a polo shirt for The Hubby and to pick up a few jars of baby food (easier to take out of the house).  When we got back, we went on a short bike ride with the new bike trailer we picked up.  Baby Girl seems to love it and it was great to get out of the house.

When we returned, I worked on getting ready--took a shower, packed up some stuff for the day, made sure Baby Girl and The Hubby were doing okay.

At about 8:55, I left the two of them alone and drove to Goodale Park to meet up with a local photographer.  I was hosting a portrait party!  A portrait party is when there are many 30-minute sessions back-to-back throughout the day.  In turn, the client gets a reduced session fee and usually a reduction in price in prints.  We had 5 other clients besides my family booked.  The first family arrived at 9:30 that morning and we (I say "we", but really all I did was entertain guests, help make babies smile, and carry the camera bag) had shoots from then through mine, which started at 11:30.  We got a bit off schedule and our shoot was over around 12:30.  At that point The Hubby, Baby Girl, and I sat on our blanket with our friends S, R, and their little boy, A to have some lunch in the park.  It was a lot of fun!  The kiddos played and we all ate and chatted. 

Around 1, the last client showed up, another friend, M, with her little man.  We did their shoot, then all of us (3 babies and 5 adults) hung out for a little while.  A little after 2, we realized it was probably nap time, so we loaded up the cars and headed home. 

Baby Girl fell asleep in the car with The Hubby pretty close to home, so he got her out of the car and took her straight up to her room.  Many times if she's fallen asleep in the car, putting her back down doesn't go well (and no, she doesn't sleep at all in her carrier if it isn't in a moving car), but he took her upstairs and she cried for just a minute or so and fell asleep (it was about 2:40). 

The Hubby and I came downstairs and did a lot of relaxing and I got dinner (the Buffalo Chicken Lasagna (there you go, Colleen!!)) cooking.  We figured Baby Girl would be up after 1 1/2 hours, or around 4:10.  Imagine our surprise when she didn't wake up until 4:40!  Woohoo!

She got up in good spirit, had some milk, played for a bit, then we had some dinner.  We played after dinner, then she nursed and went to bed around 7:15.  I cleaned up after dinner, then The Hubby and I watched a movie that had been in our DVR for a long time--27 Dresses.  It was really cute!  We went to bed around 10:30.

The near perfect day carried over to today, too...when we realized she'd pretty much slept through the night again!  She woke at 4:00 with a little fuss and The Hubby was near the door to go to her when I told him to wait...and sure enough she fell back asleep on her own.  She slept until 6:30!!!

(yes, I am absolutely aware that I might be jinxing things by talking about this sleeping, but even if it doesn't happen again for awhile, I'm happy for these two nights)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thrifty Thursday (on Friday): Electronic Coupons

I was planning on starting an entire series on coupons, but thought this was more timely to discuss now, as I got an email with about 200 electronic coupons for Kroger.

I know most of my readers are local to the Central Ohio area, but I'm sure these resources exist even outside Central Ohio.

If you shop at Kroger, as I do, there are electronic coupons available on their site here: Kroger E-Coupons

You need to create an account with them and enter your Kroger card number with your account.  Then go to that site that I've linked and load up to 150 coupons to your Kroger card.  They won't double, but you can use them with any paper coupons you have to double your savings**.

For instance, there is a coupon on there to save $0.40 when you buy 6 Yoplait yogurts (which usually run between $0.40 and $0.50 apiece, depending on sale).  Say they're $0.50 apiece--buy 6 and it costs you $3.  $0.40 off doesn't sound like much, but when you combine it with a printable coupon from that's also for $0.40 off 6 (but will double), it's $3 - $0.40 - $0.40 - $0.40 = $1.80 for 6 or $0.30 apiece. 

Here's another deal you could do.  Betty Crocker Warm Delights are sometimes marked down to $1.50 apiece.  Load a $0.75 coupon from Kroger's site to your card and print off a $0.50 coupon from  $1.50 - $0.75 - $0.50 - $0.50 means you get $0.25 overage.

You don't just have to use coupons--I just know you ALL have access to those!

You can also load electronic coupons through these sites:

Shortcuts (works for both Giant Eagle and Kroger)
Cellfire (I've never used this b/c I didn't have free data stuff on my phone, but it seems like there are good coupons there!)
P&G E Saver (these look like the same ones you can load from Kroger's website and that they're linked up so if you load them from Kroger's website, they aren't available from P&G's)

There are quite a few deals to make items free or near free when combining electronic coupons with printed coupons.  Can you find any others?  If so, post in the comments!

Next week I'm planning on discussing resources for coupons--there are a lot of them!

** Disclaimer:  I don't believe this is the intended useage of these electronic coupons.  I don't think you're supposed to use them in conjunction with other manufacturer's coupons for the same item.  But it works as long as the cashier with scan the coupon (which they have no reason not to, since they don't know you have the electronic coupon loaded).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Meal Plan 7/4-7/10

7/4: Chicken Alfredo
7/5: Cookout (turkey burgers, hamburgers, hot dogs, pretzels, chips, macaroni salad (blech), roasted potatoes, and cake)
7/6: Chicken & Pesto w/ Ravioli
7/7: Chicken Kebabs
7/8: Baby Back Ribs, Frozen Veggies, and Cornbread
7/9: Foil Packet Chicken
7/10: Buffalo Chicken Lasagna (seriously...someday we'll have this again...)

Monday, July 5, 2010

A teenage boy in my house, Smurfing Smurfs, and snot

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these are the things that my weekend was made of.

First of all, I didn't have a real teenager in my house.  But my daughter was eating like one!  She couldn't be satisfied and just ate like there was no bottom to her stomach.  Peas, green beans, corn, cheerios, applesauce...anything we put on her tray she devoured and still wanted more!  She even got fussy for the first time in a VERY long time because she was hungry.  We're hoping this means a growth spurt is on the horizon, especially since she didn't grow even a quarter of an inch in two months.

Smurfs.  You know, those little blue guys?  You know how, when they talk, they substitute the word "Smurf" in place of other words?  Well, The Hubby is finally on board with trying to tone down his potty mouth, so we've both been making a concerted effort (mine had been toned way down already) and have been subbing in "Smurf" when we want to cuss.  The funniest was when I decided to sing "Shoop"...but with the word "Smurf" instead of any words I didn't think I'd want Baby Girl to say.  :)

And lastly...there's still a good amount of sickness going on in our house.  I started feeling congested last weekend and Baby Girl did, too.  I thought maybe mine was allergies, but by the middle of the week, it was apparent that I was getting a cold and so was she.  The worst day for me was Thursday, I think.  My head was just cloudy and it hurt.  I took a good nap that day and ended up staying home from work on Friday.  Baby Girl was still in great spirits, so she went to the sitter's.  By Saturday, mine developed into a cough, but the baby's head seemed to be drying up, so I was hoping the worst was over for her.  My cough got a bit worse on Sunday but she still seemed to be feeling okay.  But it seems someone turned on the faucets today...Baby Girl has snot EVERYWHERE and is coughing some.   *sigh*  I don't know why she suddenly got worse, but I'm a bit nervous and am not sure whether to send her to the sitter's tomorrow.  She's still acting fine and so far as been sleeping okay.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

So that was our weekend.  It was nice.  We went to see my best college friend and her family on Saturday (she lives in Wisconsin) and then the ILs came down today for a cookout.  It was relaxing and enjoyable.  We got the invitations out for The Party on Saturday.  Now I just don't want to go back to work tomorrow...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It's Official!!!

I'm calling it now.  Baby Girl is a walker.  It's been 3 weeks 1 day since she took her first unassisted steps and she's been practicing toddling off and on since then.  She'd take up to 8 unassisted steps, but it would take a LOT of coaxing.  Today, however, we'll just plop her down on her feet (or not--she's also mastering standing up without pulling up on anything...a skill Mommy has apparently lost along the way) and she'll walk over to where she wants to go--Daddy, a toy, a book, the VCR, the piano...

We first realized that she was a walker about 2:45 this afternoon when I put her down on her feet from my lap and she immediately walked over to her Daddy without any prompting and also without shuffling (she'd been taking a step sideways, then bringing her other foot to it).  Just like she'd been doing it forever.

Look out, thing you know, we'll have a runner!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: You Don't Have to Use a Coupon

It's true!  You do NOT have to use a coupon.

You could very well be thinking "duh", but I wanted to make this point very clear.  You do NOT need to use a coupon for items that you could have a coupon for (most of you time you won't have coupons for meat, milk, or produce...although they do come around every once in awhile!). 

All of us have things for which we're brand-loyal. For those, make sure you're always seeking out the coupons for that brand.  But re-evaluate every once in awhile.  Give the generic or the other brand a shot if it'll be cheaper.  If you still don't like it, that's fine.

But for things that you're not brand-loyal to, check the unit price on everything.  Take your coupons with you, so you're prepared, but it is absolutely okay to buy the generic (or cheaper brand name) if it's still cheaper than the brand you have a coupon for.  I see way too many people in the store, for instance, buying something for $3 after coupon when they could get it for $2 without a coupon if they just bought a different brand. 

Just don't get sucked into the common belief that if you're using a coupon, you're getting a deal!