Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sound Mind, Sound Mom Book Club for '09

If you are setting some goals for 2009, I would highly encourage you to read more. I love to read and have decided that I'm going to give this book club a try in '09. If you would like to join, take a look at the book list . . . it's a great one! I just ordered the first two books on the list and added a third that I want to read on my own The Millionaire Next Door. We will see if this mommy of two babies can get her reading done in 2009! Anyone want to join me?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One of These Things Doesn't Belong

I know most people are packing up their Christmas decor, but I had to publish this a little late rather than never. You see, there's a twist to the traditional manger scene here at our house this Christmas season. According to a two year old . . . this is how it looks. Apparently Dusty (from Handy Manny's tools) joined the crowd this year.
PS - It's been this way for a week!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Being a Crazy Coupon Lady . . .

sure has benefits! When I attended a recent class taught by the ladies over at Frugal Living Online, I was told to set goals of why I'm couponing. Don't just do it because. Be purposeful with my savings. So, I definately took that to heart and came up with several reasons why it would be okay for me to be the lady in line at the grocery store who pulls out her huge wad of coupons. So here are a few of my reasons in no particular order.

  1. To be resourceful with what I've been given.

  2. To cut my previously generous grocery/eating out budget in half.

  3. To pay cash for our Christmas gifts.

  4. To save for our upcoming Disneyland vacation in '09.

  5. To eliminate our credit card debt.

I'm so excited to say that we were successful with our goal of paying cash for all our Christmas gifts this year. There is a huge relief that we did not add to our debt with Christmas, and that come January we just keep chippin' away at our cc instead of watching the balance go up. Another goal that I'm seeing progress towards is goal #2. I have cut our food budget by $220 a month with coupons. In order to pay for Christmas I still pulled out the original amount I would have spent on groceries (I use cash for our groceries/dining out) and kept a portion of that money in an envelope for Christmas. This is what I will continue to do in order to save for our vacation next fall. However, there have been some recent developments with Baby #2 where she is currently on soy formula. Buying formula will most definately increase our food budget. I did manage to do a formula/coupon swap with someone off craigslist and received $30 in formula coupons! Another noteworthy thing to mention is that I am now including toiletries and dog food in this new food budget also. I had never previously figured that into my grocery money seeing as how things like toilet paper and razor blades aren't edible. But! We are still saving money each month and I include food for two dogs and our toilet paper, paper towels, razor blades etc. So, I encourage you, if you need to make some changes in your budget for 2009 . . . you just might look into becoming a crazy coupon lady too!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Graphics

Luke 2 The Birth of Jesus

  1. In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

  2. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

  3. And everyone went to his own town to register.

  4. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

  5. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

  6. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,

  7. and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

  8. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

  9. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

  10. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

  11. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord.

  12. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

  13. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

  14. "Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

  15. When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

  16. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

  17. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,

  18. and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

  19. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

  20. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours. May you celebrate today the true reason for Christmas and worship the God who gave everything, including His son, so that you could have life. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve - BAH HUMBUG!

Okay, I love Christmas. I love Christmastime. I love snow. So what the H E double hockeysticks is wrong with me today? My husband just asked me if I'm pregnant. GRRRRR. (For all you wondering if I am - NO)! Our garbage isn't being picked up for the second week in a row. And I just checked the status of Luke's "big gift" and it left Hermiston on Monday, arrived in Portland Tuesday morning, and arrived back in Hermiston today, CHRISTMAS EVE! UGH. So frustrating. And sad. He's only two, so I'm sure he won't care, but I'm frustrated and sad about it. He is completely die hard for Mickey Mouse these days, and will absolutely love his gift. Now if it could just get here. So, anyhow I gotta feed the babies breakfast and get this Christmas Eve show on the road. Gonna slide on down the road to my mom's today. What would normally take 10 minutes will probably take approximately 30 minutes or more. Especially since we have to drive through all the last minute Christmas mall goers. Oh, and we gotta borrow a rig or go get chains for our 4 wheel drive so we can get there. Details. Details. I gotta change this 'tude. We are healthy. We had a great day at the mall thanks to Baker's folks. The girls went to the nail salon, (I got a pretty red sparkly pedi) and the boys went to a movie. Plus a little more Christmas shopping. Totally fun and holidayish. Not to mention that we aren't stuck in an airport, stranded on a highway or not able to see our family for Christmas. Totally grateful for all that. So this bad attitude needs to go away and be kicked to the curb. With all my two weeks of garbage.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More?! Seriously?

I like snow. However, this is getting to be a bit much. Snow is pretty. Ice is horrible. It's impossible to drive on ice and Christmas will soon be here. Not to mention Baker & I REALLY want to hit the day after Christmas sales with his bro & SIL April. Okay, Baker probably isn't chomping at the bits to go shopping, but I am! So please God. Please don't send anymore freezing rain. And please. Could we go shopping the day after Christmas?

Food for Thought

Earlier this week

Sunday Morning

So, this morning we awoke to freezing rain on top of our snow. I was up before the boys as Natalie needed to be fed. After she was snug as a bug in her bed for a nap, I looked out the upstairs window. It's beautiful. Everything is covered in white. The thing about snow is it slows everything down. Sometimes we need that especially here at our house. We need time to be together without running here and there and being so consumed with doing things & other stuff. I always think God is sending us a little time out to refocus, rejuvinate and remind us that He is still in control no matter what the weatherman says. Today I'm thankful that instead of Baker heading to work to clean up after Friday's inventory, we get to be together. Even if we are housebound. Back to this morning. There was lots of cracking and creeking outside as as the trees are weighted down with ice. Reminded me of this verse - Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Which then led me to this passage. Happy Sunday!
Psalm 96

  1. Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
  2. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.
  3. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
  4. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.
  5. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
  6. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
  7. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
  8. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.
  9. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his [a] holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.
  10. Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.
  11. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
  12. let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
  13. they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finally Done!

I'm so happy! Last night there was a short break in our lovely Oregon winter snowstorm and Baker and I headed out to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. Now, those of you who know me, understand how much I love it when my babies nap. Because of that, I'm somewhat scheduled with their nap and bed times. But, we had been in the house ALL week and needed to finish up our Christmas shopping so I was determined to go. At precisely 7:30 pm I do believe that both babies were crying and I thought, "great! We'll never make it . . . it's almost time for bed." Now, normally Baby #1 goes to bed between 8-8:30 and Baby #2 has been shifting to an earlier bedtime between 8:30-9pm. But, thanks to Baker he was just as determined to go to the mall (weird, I know) and because of that we got out the door. (BTW - Baker had inventory and didn't get home until 7 or so). Even though he had a long day, well, we all did (see this post) we stuck with our plan and went shopping. At 8pm at night. We were the people at the mall with their kids at 9:30 at night. Those are the people I look at and their kids are screaming and I think, "what are they doing? Those kids need to be at home and in bed!" Anyhow, I must say we finished our Christmas shopping - yippee!!! (Disclaimer: I finished my Christmas shopping, but Baker still needs to get his gifts for me I might add.) To top it off, the kiddos were great! Okay, Luke was yelling for Mickey Mouse a couple times, but mostly they did awesome. And we had a really fun family night. Even though we were up since 5am.

Friday, December 19, 2008

This day just gets better!

Baker is doing inventory this week at work. Could be a late night. Maybe not. Could have to work in the morning. Maybe not. Tomorrow is our first Christmas celebration. Brunch at my moms. She's stayed home from work because she has been sick the last two days. So I check the weather. We are now under a severe weather warning. Great. I gotta finish Christmas shopping! Will we be celebrating tomorrow or not? Who knows. The day can only get better. Right? RIGHT?

It just wasn't meant to be!

So, I was all set for a good night's sleep. In bed by 11:30, kinda late but I got a couple things done, so I was okay with that. Then Baker didn't come to bed until after midnight. Then at precisely 5am the two year old came to visit. And wanted MILK. So, daddy got him a warm cup of milk and jumped into the shower. So this little squirmy toddler was now in my bed and 5 am is WAY to early to wake up unless you're going on a fun vacation and need to head to the airport. Catch my drift? Apparently the goober had a wet diaper that leaked through to his pajamas. UGH. Daddy kindly changes diaper and off to work. At which point I head to the toddler's bed and make him lay down. Determined to sleep, I grab a blanket and join him. After a couple wacks to the face and kidney jabs in the back . . . I'm outta there. Not only that but Baker's dog is barking directly underneath us in the garage. ARGGGGGHH. The dog pauses. I jump into my own warm cozy bed and close my eyes. Baker's dumb dog. BARK.BARK.BARK. I head downstairs thinking bad thoughts about the dogs, let them outside put them back in the garage and give them a warm blanket in their kennel. Surely I've shown enough kindness to counteract the harsh warnings and thump on the nose. Back upstairs and jump into my bed. Few minutes later . . . BARK.BARK.BARK. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Back downstairs this warning shows the mean side of mommy harshly repremanding, "STOP BARKING" in the fierces harsh whisper. Afterall we are directly under both babies rooms. Baker's dog runs for it and escapes into the house running for my room. I catch her and throw her into the garage. NOT HAPPY. Still determined to sleep, back to bed I go. I'm drifting off to sleep dreaming about how to ring up starbucks drinks, void them out and re-ring the order correctly with my 10% off goldclub membership when . . . WAHHHHH. A sharp short wail comes from baby #2's room. Time for a diaper change and the first feeding of the day. It is now 7am and I haven't slept yet. Change diaper. Make bottle. Crawl back in bed to feed baby. Surely she will fall back asleep. NOPE. She's found her voice recently and wants to talk. And burp. And not sleep. Put her back in bed. Go back to my bed. Another cry. Change diaper. So happy and awake I pick her up and put her in my bed. Within 5 minutes here comes Baby #1 - running. "HE - WOE? HE-WOE?" He's looking for daddy. Great. Were all up. And together. In my bed. Along with Handy Manny and the tools. Thankfully they are only a couple inches tall and take up hardly any room.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My First Ebates Purchases

I just completed my first couple transactions through Ebates. Very simple and I got things I needed . . . I wasn't just shopping to buy! I got a winter coat for Luke for $15 with free shipping. Plus did a little more Christmas shopping over at Anyhow, I shall see how all this works and I'm a little excited to see what I'll be doing with that .45 cents I earned buying Luke's coat. Ha ha! If you haven't checked them out yet please visit ebates. My SIL (April) swears by them and so does Frugal Living. . . but please, put in my email as your referal ; )

Friday, December 12, 2008

If Money Was No Object

I would take these for Christmas . . .

A suburban for the fam and me! One without puke stains, and where my knees don't touch the glovebox because Nat's carseat makes me put my seat forward. Minor details . . .

A personal trainer here to uh, lose the baby weight

This might help too -

Then, I could fit into these designer jeans . . .

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Christmas Quiz

My SIL April posted this on her blog, and in the spirit of Christmas I wanted to post it too. Hope you learn a little and feel free to post on your blog (with your own answers of course)!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Depends on the shape of the gift and the amount of time I have to prep gifts! The year Luke was born, it was bags all around.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Are you kidding??? We live in Oregon. Plus didn't you know? A real tree is part of "going green." : ) Okay. If I had a big house with a beautiful front room I would probably get a big artificial tree (hypothetically speaking).

3. When do you put up the tree? Depends. Around the first weekend of December.

4. When do you take the tree down? New Years.

5. Do you like eggnog? A little goes a long way. Unless it's an eggnog latte - yummy!!!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A light pink skirt and matching white/pink sweashirt top to match.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My mom-in-law. She has good taste and has everything she needs.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My babies.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. A hand-me-down from my Grandma who passed away. I grew up playing with it. Very sentimental. But if you ever visit you're welcome to play with Baby Jesus & the fam- LOL!!!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail - if I could just get them ordered.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? An electric pencil sharpener from my parents. Ugh.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Santa Clause. OH! But I like Family Man too.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Around Thanksgiving.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't recall.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Peanut Butter Balls.

16. Lights on the tree? Of course! Not doin' candles - sheesh.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night.

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? Parents house's (local).

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Doubt it.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither. Never have bought one before. Maybe this year on the 26th!

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Both. We have so much family we celebrate on both days. Midnight Christmas Eve has been Baker's and my tradition to exchange our gifts. Now that the babies are here . . . we need a new tradition.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Bad drivers.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Angels, snowmen and handmade ornaments.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Don't really care as long as it's homemade and warm : )

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? My babies to be healthy & a table & chairs for my kitchen.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I love shopping at Safeway!

Safeway had some awesome coupons for this weekend and I took advantage of several of them. A 4lb. bag of oranges for $1.88, coke products are buy 2 get 3 free (Baker is a coca-cola addict, and he admits it too) and some killer cereal deals. I did 2 separate cereal transactions (my aunt was with me and did one set of coupons for me). One transaction was 4 boxes of General Mills cereals. Normal price would have cost me $14.46 for all 4 boxes. I paid $3.50 for 4 boxes. How? I'm so glad you asked. First they were on sale for $2.50 each. Then Safeway had a weekend coupon special 4 for $6. Then I had a coupon for buy 3 General Mills cereals, get $1.50 off and another coupon for .50 cents off cheerios which doubled with my Safeway double coupon. Bringing my grand total to $$3.50. My second transaction was for another 5 boxes of cereal. The sale was for Fruit Loops & Rice Krispies. Regular price was $14.46 and I paid .45 cents. That's right people FORTY-FIVE FREEKIN CENTS!!! How? Safeway had those 2 kinds of cereal on sale for $2.49 each. Buy 5 boxes and get another $5 off. Then I had 5 $1 off coupons for another $5 off. Then 4 of those coupons doubled (coupons only double up to .50 cents and only 4 coupons per transaction) for an additional $2 off. Bringing my grand total to .45 cents. Anyhow, I don't think I should buy anymore cereal for a long time considering it's coming out my ears now, but those two deals were pretty fun. I mean seriously, how often can you buy cereal for less than 10 cents a box? So . . . who wants cereal for Christmas?

A Perfect Latte

Today I helped my aunt run an errand. She wanted to pay me for gas money and I said, "how about coffee instead?" So no money out of my pocket, I got to see my aunt and get outta the house with two babies who aren't feeling so hot and I received the best latte in return. I went out on a limb and ordered an eggnog latte. It was so stinkin' yummy! I want another one. So, if you live near a Peet's Coffee . . . go try one for yourself and you won't be sorry!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby is 3 months!

Isn't she a doll? She's actually this happy all the time too! I had to brag because she's changing so fast (sniff, sniff). Plus, she loves her brother so much, and he's starting to be pretty fond of her too!

My First Christmas Present!

I know it's early, and only December 3rd, but I received my first Christmas present today. I got my ENTIRE house cleaned! Thanks to my in laws, I have a sparkling clean, dust free house. And while Luke is still napping, it'll stay clutter free from toys too! From top to bottom, my fridge, the windows, the blinds and Luke's sheets were even changed. How awesome is that? Now, if it could just stay that way . . . I think I'll order pizza for dinner!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thomas the Train . . . Boring?

So the way I get a shower everyday is while the baby is sleeping, I close the gate at the top of the stairs and have Luke watch a show while I hurry up and get clean. Who knows how long this will last, but today I felt my opportunity slipping away as the day was getting later. So I quickly seized the moment and put on Thomas the Train. Luke has never watched this show, but I thought he might like it. I may never know, but I must say I might have to try this show again. With great results like this . . . who knew that Thomas could put a very active 2 year old to sleep in his chair at 12:30pm before lunch?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Almost Free

So, Saturday I decided to head to Albertsons for a mini shopping trip to grab a couple deals. I received a couple samples this week from Fiber One and Kashi . . . and samples include COUPONS!!! I must say that Fiber One bars are super yummy! I splurged and got Fiber One Toaster treats (pop tarts) which I mostly just never ever buy. But since I love chocolate I figured this was a good alternative to ice cream or cookies. Kashi ceral bars are good too. They taste like a cereal bar : ) I got the apples ones for Baker to see if I can entice him into starting a new trend in 2009 of eating breakfast. We'll see if it works. If it doesn't then at least Luke will eat them and they were way less expensive than those organic toddler bars! Anyhow, regular price these three items total $12.57. I paid $1.00. Gotta love a good deal!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dunkin Donuts - DUD!

Still on the quest for great coffee and cutting back on spending, I found this coffee on sale. I thought I'd give it a try because I'd heard such great things about it. I heard wrong. It's gross. It's not in my house anymore and I won't be buying it again. At least the decaf version.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Red is back!

I always know that Christmas is around the corner when these happy colored cups come back to Starbucks. A few weeks ago they made their appearance . . . and that ALWAYS makes me warm and fuzzy on the inside and smile on the outside : )
By the way . . . my fav Christmas drink is a peppermint mocha. What's yours?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

This last weekend Natalie and I had the awesome opportunity to go away to Seattle for a weekend of shopping and fun with Nana (MIL), April (SIL), Aunt Linda, Mary & Macey (Mary's 6 month old daughter). Even with two little babies, we had a great time. We started our weekend on Friday morning by meeting at Biscuits for breakfasts - YUMMY! We then made a pit stop before heading out on the road to . . . you guessed it: STARBUCKS!

We arrived in Seattle, checked into our hotel (the staff friendly & the beds sooooo comfy) and headed out to the Seattle Premium Outlets. We shopped until they closed at 9pm. Coach, Gap, Juicy, Kate Spade . . . just a few of our groups favs! I scored big at Gap and finally found a great pair of jeans that this post prego bod looks good in. YIPEE. Since I had gift cards I only spent a total of $1.64 at GAP. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Saturday started out with breakfast at Starbucks (directly across from our hotel . . . such divine placement for this Starbucks junkie), and then walked to the Palace. Uh, I mean downtown Seattle's Nordstroms.
That is where I met up with my bff Jessica.
After a long day of shopping and a yummy lunch, Natalie, Nana & I along with Macey & Aunt Linda headed back to the hotel to regroup. Later we headed back out for dessert at The Cheesecake Factory but decided to get it to go once we heard it was a 45 minute wait. We shopped a little more . . . stopping in at H&M and Old Navy (4 stories high) and then headed back to the hotel. We had a great evening filled with dessert, funny stories & tons of belly laughs. To top it off April & I stayed up until 3am talking like girls at a slumber party. SO FUN!
Sunday we slept in - YAY! Once again headed to Starbucks and then off to Pike's Market.

Natalie & I were spoiled rotten by Nana all weekend. And little Miss Nat had Auntie April front pack her around on Friday AND Sunday. Such a lucky girl. It was a TON of fun and we are excited for next year. When's the Nordstroms Annivery Sale???

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Under $40

I got all these groceries for under forty dollars. Can you freakin' believe it? It's kind-of a rush - crazy or not. I got over a hundred dollars in groceries an I only paid $38.63. ALmost everything was a name brand. Except for the gallon of apple juice was Safeway brand & the organic pasta was Safeway's Organic brand (but I like their organic brand), so it's all good. I also think my cashier was slightly generous with the coupons. I think she gave me an additional $1 off. I wasn't watching exactly how she did the coupons because I was pre-occupied with Baker calling re: my baby screaming at him and not going to sleep. And I heard her screaming on the phone - that scared me. (Side note: she doesn't normally scream, and hardly ever crys . . . except with daddy in the evenings). So sad. Any how, I'll have to watch closely next time. At least this cashier knew what she was doing and didn't think that double coupons were "just information."
Here's my loot:

2 lbs. red grapes,

6 bananas,

3 pears,

2 Tree Top 100% fresh pressed apple juice (not from concentrate),

1/2 gallon of Tropicanan OJ with no pulp + calcium,

1/2 gallon of Very Vanilla Kids Soymilk,

6 Tillamook yogurts,

Tropicana Pure Valencia with Mango (SO YUMMY),

1 gallon of apple juice,

2 Progresso New England Clam Chowder,

2 Rosarita Chile & Lime Refried Beans,

1 lb. Decaf Millstone Coffee,

2 boxes of Kelloggs Frosted Mini Wheats,

1.87 lbs Pork loin boneless Roast,

1 lb of stew beef,

1 pkg. of All Natural Farmland Honey Ham lunch meat,

Lucerne spreadable butter,

4 cans of tomato soup,

4pk Delmonte diced pears,

1 pkg. Organic Fusilli pasta,

2 pkg. Organic Spaghetti, &

2 pkgs. of Nestle Tollhouse cookie dough

What does your family do to conserve resources and save money? Leave me a comment,
I'd love to hear from you!
PS - I have to apologize for the run - on look. For some reason I can't get my blogs to look like a list even though it preview like a list. Help anyone? Is it my settings, cause I can't find where to change it!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Coupon Give Away

If you wanna save a little on everyday items then check out this coupon give away!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Victoria Secret - 2 bras, a pair of undies all shipped to me for $15.99 total!

Check out this blog Common Sense With Money for the coupon codes on how to get your two bras and pair of underwear all shipped directly to your door for $15.99. This deal might end tomorrow so hurry and check it out! You won't be sorry!

My Little Ducklings . . .

Luke is almost 2 years old and yet he already has his mind made up about certain things. One of those things he had made his mind up about was his Halloween costume. It didn't matter what costume . . . he wasn't going to wear one. He adores Buzz Lightyear ande yet the costume hung on the hanger and everytime I asked him if he wanted to put it on,"NO!" So, round two I decided that he loves his hooded duck bath towel and my best bet was to try a duck costume. The first one I got was a size 2T and came up to his ankeles not to mention he couldn't fit into the body portion. So, I found a third costume (also a duck) size 3T and figured I had a winner. I figured once he saw other kids dressed up, especially his cousins he would be more inclined to put on his costume and he might actually have fun. I was wrong. Plans changed and we weren't able to go trick or treating with his cousins so, Patrick and I put him in his costume for pictures and that is the entire length of time that he wore his costume. Three costumes later, a couple of minutes and a few pictures. I guess dressing up just isn't for everyone!

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Art of Couponing . . .

takes more than cutting a coupon and "saving" money. Boy! It's a little more difficult than originally anticipated. I thought I had my list, my coupons and my determination and that was good, but what happens when the store is out of stock on your sale items??? OH NO! This was not good and threw a complete wrench into my planned trip to Safeway. I took my mom with me and that proved to be a great decision because at the check out line she put a buffer between me and the 10 other people behind us who were at the store for one item. And here I was explaining to the cashier that a double coupon was actually a coupon and not just "information." I in turn was . . . THE CRAZY COUPON LADY! Oh, no!!! The funny part is, that I didn't care one bit. I was determined to save some money, and you know what? I did! I saved 63% on my grocery bill. I only got 7 items, but it's a start. In fact, if you wanna see some great savings you should check out Super Coupon Girl's blog. INCREDIBLE!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I've been tagged!

Okay, so the tag is from April (SIL) and tt's called Fourth of Fourth. Take your 4th picture from your 4th picture folder, write about it and tag 4 more people. If I look on my computer in my picture folder the fourth folder is labeled BABY. And it results in this picture. It's a belly shot from my pregnancy with Natalie at 20 weeks. The sad thing is . . . I think my belly still looks about the same - EEK! Now, I just need to update my Ipod for the gym.

Now, I tag:
1. Timmons
2. Photos Fingerprints Crayons and Coffee
3. Discovering Him Daily
4. Tran Family

Monday, October 27, 2008

Birthday Buddies

Okay, so I celebrated my birthday with two other family members who also share my birthday date (October 25th for anyone out there who forgot). First my step dad. As I mentioned in the previous post, he turned 50. Unfortunately, everyone at breakfast forgot a camera including me (SIGH). So, no picture. But, at dinner there were several cameras! Katie, my husbands' cousins wife turned 31 and she was so thoughtful and came to MY birthday dinner on HER birthday! Ha, ha! It was a great dinner, blah, blah, blah. Here's the pics!

A pic of all the girls

Baker's brother and sister in law and us . . . clean up nice, huh?!

My sis helped organize the event - thank you!

Katie & Me (the birthday girls)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

Saturday was my 30th birthday. It was a great day and so much fun! My babies slept until after 8am (some days Luke is up before 7), we went to breakfast with my step-dad who shares my birthday. He turned 50 and said, "fifty is stupid." Luckily, I'm only 30 . . . and thirty is AWESOME! Then, my sister picked me up and we went to the spa for an hour long massage. A little bit of heaven on earth. I then met my cousin at the mall for a backup outfit for my big birthday dinner and a Nordstrom coffee (YUM . . . also doubled as my lunch)! My dad and step-mom watched the babies while Baker and I met friends/family at the Melting Pot for a yummy dinner and wonderful evening. A fabulous way to turn thirty!

Friday, October 17, 2008


DISCLAIMER: This blog entry contains adult information. Please read at your own discretion!

With Luke, my high hopes of breastfeeding quickly were dashed to the ground. My milk took forever to come in and my supply wasn't adequate which equalled a very loud, crying and screaming baby that lost weight during the first two weeks. So, the this time around I knew some of my mistakes I made with breastfeeding and was determined not to do the same thing twice. To my delight Miss Nat was an excellent breastfeeder (is that a word?) in the hospital and once we were home. For the first week. At precisely 11pm at one week old, Miss Nat refused to eat. And she was hungry. Crying hungry. After 10 minutes and not wanting to wake up daddy and lil bro, I gave her a bottle. The next three feedings she arched and refused to nurse, so she was fingerfed via a tube and syringe, and by the fourth feeding another bottle. And so I pumped, and pumped, and pumped to help maintain my milk supply. Apparently, my miss smarty pants realized (after only 4 nights) that once a night in the middle of the night she was getting a bottle. I went to the store and got a silicone hat for my boob (okay, a nipple shield) and success! The next two feedings she nursed. But then she seemed hungry and I seemed, well, voluptuous. So I pumped and got several ounces and decided to see if Nat wasn't nursing and still hungry or just didn't nurse long enough. SHE WAS STARVING. Great. The next morning the lactation nurse called from the hospital and we made an appointment but it wasn't for another week. So I pumped for a week! Turns out my kiddos prefer silicone over organic nipples and an hour and a half with the lactation consultant didn't change Miss Nat's mind one bit. She was chewing instead of nursing. Yes, ouch. So, I learned that I can pump and still maintain an adequate supply for my baby. Did you know some women pump for a year? Amazing. To me at least. So, I'm trying it. And when I've absolutely had it and am ready to move on I will. But for now it works. And my baby is getting chubby. Plus, did you know breastfeeding women get an extra 500 calories a day? Bonus. I wonder if that works for breastpumping women as well. So, I've figured out that by not using formula so far, that in the first six weeks I've saved over $292. And I've learned a new word. Breastpumper.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another Set of Bare Feet!

So, apparently Nana (MIL) had a little talk with Nattie J. And Nattie told her that she doesn't like wearing socks because she likes her feet to be bare just like her Nana's. I didn't know 5 week old babies knew how to communicate these things . . . I just thought those stupid infant socks wouldn't stay on!
As of now, four out of four pairs of feet in our household prefer to be bare!
(PHOTO by: EM)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My New Favorite Things

A good stoller can be hard to find. I finally found an umbrella stroller at a garage sale that my son liked . . . and that was stoller #3. So with two babies under 2 I went searching for a great stroller. I did my research and thought that the side by side chicco trevi twin was the solution. However, my car seat didn't fit and Natalie is too small to put next to her 30+ pound brother. So, I went searching for a different stroller and this is what I found.

I didn't think Luke would like this stroller at all considering he would have to sit in the back, but so far (it's been sitting in our front room where I assembled it) he loves to play in it. In fact he even took his blankies, Buzz (Lightyear), and Itsy Bitsy (his toy spider) into the back seat to keep him company while he played. So far, this stoller has manuvered perfectly around the island in our kitchen and I'm excited to try it out during vacation next week.

A new fav is my diaper bag. I wanted something that would keep my hands free, not slide off my shoulder and hold enough for 2 kids plus my wallet, phone, keys etc. So, one of my sister-in-laws friends had twins and had a ju ju be packabe backpack. I had never seen or heard of this brand or a bag with these features . . . but as I researched this bag, I liked it more and more. So this is my new diaper bag!

One of the things I like to carry in my bag are the shout wipes. I like these WAY more than the tide pens (they leave a smell and a ring around the stain) while these wipes don't have a smell or any remnant of a previous spill.

This leads me to my last favorite. There are days I've had enough of this thing, and days where I don't want to put it away because I know the benefits of breastmilk for my baby girl. I'm not the worlds foremost advocate on breastfeeding mostly because it's been a difficult road for me. But with a breastpump I've been able to continue feeding Natalie breastmilk since breastfeeding was well . . . a difficult option. I don't have this exact model (mine's a 2006 model from the year I had Luke) but they still function the same! The longer I give Natalie breastmilk the more excited I am to have a third child and maybe, just maybe I'll successfully be able to breastfeed! You never know . . . third time could be a charm.

Meanwhile, I'm still in search of a favorite bottle. I've had so many spills with the platex drop ins that it's driving me nuts! So if anyone has a favorite bottle, please leave me a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fall Entertainment

Baker (the name I call my husband when I need his attention) and I have been talking lately how we don't think there are very many shows worth watching lately. One of our favorites October Road, we thought had lots of promise and were very excited to see return. However, the show was cancelled after two seasons. So, there are only a few shows which I enjoy watching and try to follow when time allows - and, yes I have a dvr - but that requires forethought and that Baker delete all of his recorded sports shows from the last 2 years - UGH!

Sundays - Desparate Housewives & sometimes Brothers & Sisters (although, I don't like all the content of these shows, and sometimes they get turned off)

Mondays - Jon & Kate Plus Eight

Tuesday - Biggest Loser Family

Wednesday - Private Practice (My absolute fav)

Thursday - Grey's Anatomy - SOOOO disappointed with the 2 hr. season opener!

What shows are your fav? Any you care to share?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Only a month away!

By the way, today marks one month until my 30th birthday. Hmmmm . . . probably won't have abs like the gal wearing my white tank from the gap in the picture below by then. Only in my dreams & with a very tight girdle - LOL!!!

Clothes to live in . . .

Before I headed off to the hospital for my c-section with Natalie, I did a little online shopping @ Gap. I knew I would need a few essential pieces to help ease the transition from maternity clothing back to "normal" clothes. I'm so glad I have these pieces, they are my fav! But that doesn't change the fact I think I hear the gym calling my name every time I reach into the bag of m&m's!
I got this tank in black & white. It's so stretchy and comfy for day or night!

I got these lounge pants in black and they are lightweight & wonderful for hangin' around the house.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Not dead . . . just dead tired.

It's been 16 days since Miss Natalie joined our family. And I'm haven't updated my blog. So, just a short note to say I'm alive even if some days I don't feel alive!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Compliment of Sorts

Yesterday morning we took Patrick's folks to breakfast at Bob's Red Mill. They have some of the most delicious breakfast and lunch foods and are very reasonably priced. Seeing as how Patrick and his dad had just returned from New York we wanted to say thank you for the trip and all his folks have done to help us prepare for our next baby's arrival. One last breakfast before baby #2!
Anyhow, you have to order your meal at the counter prior to finding a seat, and help yourself to your own drinks and it was a busy Saturday morning. The lady behind the counter was a bit frazzled as we kept adding another carton of milk, another cup of coffee, a yogurt, and one of the staff was talking to her in one ear and we were talking to figure out who wanted what, "did we need another coffee?" She didn't seem THAT friendly, and told us it would be a half hour until we got our food. Okay. So, Patrick and I are standing there waiting for her to re-read our order to us and she tells us the total. I pull an envelope out of my purse that has some cash in it, and the lady behind the counter says, "Alright! Dave Ramsey!" I smile. Suddenly she is friendly and tells us that she took Dave Ramseys class and that she is flunking. She needs to take it again because she is getting an "F." We chuckle and smile and I realize that Patrick & I have been paid a compliment. We received a little pat on the back from a complete stranger who recognized that we are attempting to be responsible with our finances. Not a bad start to the weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mama said there'd be days like this . . .

Ever have one of those days? Everyone around you would have had a better day if you had just stayed in bed . . . except you can't because of the 21 month old little monkey who figured out how to open the gate to his room and is now skipping around your bed. Oh well. Need to feed the baby in the belly anyhow. And then the hormones kick in and an arguement with the husband while he's at work and then the waterworks start. And then monkey takes his diaper off and pee's on the newly cleaned carpets. I hate it when I yell. Anyhow, the day actually flew by and thank the Lord . . . because day's like this need to be few and far between!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Coffee note

I've had a coffee blog that I've been trying to post for a couple weeks. I've been tweeking it and playing with it and couldn't get the youtube code to copy correctly no matter how much I played with it. Wouldn't you know, today it finally copied correctly. So, that being said, I have an old post if you scroll down that just posted today. HAPPY TGIF!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rain, Rain, Rain . . . It's Good to See You Again!

Oh the rain! It's back! I am a true native homegrown Oregonian. I never carry an umbrella and rairly do I ever remember to wear a coat. I love the rain. Period. There's a rather annoying song that get's stuck in my head from one of Luke's favorite dvds - BOZ. Hence the title to my blog entry. Anyhow, I like the cool weather as opposed to the 102 degree heat we had last week at this same time. I don't like to be hot, I'm miserable when I'm hot. I overheat really easily, burn, sweat, and swell when I'm hot. Maybe a little like menopause. Who knows. Anyhow, it's raining today and it makes me kinda happy. I love falling asleep to the sound of the rain in the gutters and cuddling under the covers on the cool sheets. Rain means jeans and sweatshirts and warm vanilla lattes and blankies on the couch. Happy Day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's Just Money!

Earlier this year my husband Patrick and I took a 13 week Dave Ramsey class called "Financial Peace University." I first heard about this course through a local mom's group I attended throughout the year. The first speaker at my mom's class back in October 2007 was passionate about finances, giving, helping people get out of debt etc. I was of course intrigued. At one point I was also watching a local morning show when who else appeared as a guest but, Dave Ramsey! I watched him and thought, how cool! So, Patrick and I checked out his website and found out that low and behold our church offered Dave Ramsey's class. We paid our hundred dollars cash, got our packet, lined up babysitting and were all set. We attended the first class and were wowwed! We learned about the seven baby steps and what happens when you start saving money early on in life, and how much borrowing with credit really cost, and the hook, line and sinker: how a $5 coffee cost $150 per month and if invested @ 12% from age 16-76 totals $19,371,943. OUCH. So Patrick introduced us to the entire class and our reason for taking the class was, "because his wife is a coffee junkie." Ha, ha, ha, ha.... but, hmmmmm, true. Then we were given our homework assignment, to complete a quickie budget meaning just one page of what it would take for us to survive every month. Another ouch.
Another week would come and we would be all set for class and then the "discussions" in the car on the ride home (we live 5 minutes from our church) would escalate into dare we say, arguements??? Or maybe just "lively discussions." Ha, ha, ha. It wasn't all too funny. There were weeks it was downright agonizing and tearful and all that had to be set aside as we walked into the house to greet the sitter for the evening and put our little boy to bed. I probably have never mentioned that my husband and I are both firstborns. We both lived on our own prior to getting married. And we were both raised in separate families who loved God, taught us right from wrong and in fact were raised very much the same in many, many ways. However, my husband being a man, and me being a woman have very different thoughts on how to operate our own household's finances. And taking this class revealed that we have different ideas about money. Not only that, but it revealed areas in our marriage where we needed to make changes because how we weren't paying attention to our finances was wrong. One of the verses that keeps replaying in both Patrick and my minds from our class is Proverbs 22:7 - The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. We don't want to be slaves to our finances. If we truely believe that everything is God's and He has entrusted us with "our" money, then we have a responsibility. This is an area we have been wrestling with and our character tested and stretched during this entire year. I expect this is gonna continue, especially after the baby comes and birthdays & holidays approach.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


This is my view from the driver's seat in my car. When I look in the rearview mirror, this is the reflection that looks back at me. And early, on this particular warm summer day we were on our way for coffee and a breakfast treat. However, as I went to the take the picture, Luke told me, "mommy no!" "No!" "NO!" He wasn't the least bit interested in having his picture taken what-so-ever. Silly boy. I can't believe how fast he's growing, and that 20 months after his birth, he still changes daily. Maybe I could learn something from that. I drag my feet with change. I like consistency, and people & things I can count on and change is unpredictable. And fortunately for me my second baby is arriving soon and that means . . . change! Time for me to grow and learn and stretch and know that change is good.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A New Recipe

I had four bananas that were sitting on my counter and they were starting to get brown spots and I don't like banana's when they are that ripe. Instead, I like them just a tad bit firm just past the green stage. So, Luke and I had a pajama day on Monday and I decided to tackle some projects such as washing his huge stuffed dog that he lays on while watching tv and drinking milk (therefore it's full of spots) and other miscellaneous projects. One of those projects including getting rid of those spotted bananas that were on the counter. So, I pulled out my banana bread recipe and realized I should check for a recipe in my new cookbook "Deceptively Delicious." Low and behold I found a banana bread recipe that included cauliflower. So, I set out to try it and see if my men would eat the new banana bread or refuse and demand the old recipe. It ended up being a huge hit and I would definately use this recipe again! I decided to see how long it would take me to defrost the cauliflower puree, mix the banana puree, make the recipe and get it into the oven. It ended up taking about 30 minutes from start until I got the bread into the oven and that to me was a little bit longer than I wanted, partially because I cleaned up as I went, talked to my sister on the phone for 5 minutes and paused to take pictures.

Step 1: (as modified to ingredients in my cupboard), mix and set
aside: 1-1/4 c. organic flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon & 1/4 tsp. baking powder.

Step 2: In large bowl mix 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar, & 1/4 c. vegetable oil until well combined. Mix in 2 large organic egg whites, 1-1/2 c. banana puree, 1/2 c. cauliflower puree, and 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract.

Step 3: Add flower mixture and mix just until combined.

Step 4: Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake approximately 55-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean
Blog Design by April Showers