Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

As we are on the verge of 2011, I think of all the things the new year might bring. A new family member, joy, change, sleeplessness, happiness... probably more blizzards, lol! I look forward to all the good times ahead, and pray that the hard times will be few and far between.

We aren't doing much for New Years Eve. We're having a blizzard right now (which I was hopeful would miss us since we were supposed to get it two days ago). We ordered Chinese food for supper and are being lazy and watching TV. We're perfectly fine with that. I plan to go to bed soon, and I'm putting my cell phone on silent so I won't be awakened by the inevitable "Happy new year!" texts that will come at midnight.

Today I became an auntie for the 5th time. Another beautiful baby girl - Jaclyn Rose. This means that Isaac is STILL the only grandson out of six grandchildren. We were kind of hoping for a boy this time, just so Isaac could have a playmate. But we're very happy to have another niece! Welcome to the world, Jaclyn!

Now on to OUR baby... :)

Our first prenatal appointment is on January 3rd. This is a far cry from the last time I was pregnant. With Isaac, I had a family doctor who delivers babies. Since I had a c-section last time, I had to switch to an OB/GYN for this pregnancy. Our old doctor saw us at 5 weeks, 9 weeks, and 13 weeks. Last time we saw the doctor three times already by the time we'll see this new doctor once. However, I'm fine with this. Anyone who's ever had a baby knows that the first few appointments are just about hearing the heartbeat and, as long as everything sounds fine, they send you on your merry little way. I'll be sure to update the blog after our appointment.

On January 3rd, I'll be 12w5d. Should be far enough along to hear the heartbeat! But along with this knowledge comes a plethora of worries. Like that we won't be able to find a heartbeat, or something else will go wrong. I just don't think I'd be strong enough to handle it if something happened to the baby. I try not to think too much about things like that though, or I'll go crazy.

As it is, I know that baby is alive and kicking because of the massive amounts of nausea I've had to endure lately. I hate morning sickness, but it does tell me that I am indeed pregnant and baby is growing. I think the nausea and vomiting is harder for me to handle at this stage in my pregnancy because I know it should be going away now-ish. Morning sickness generally only lasts through the first trimester, which for me is over in about a week. However, I almost feel as though it's just starting to get worse. It doesn't matter what I eat, I get a terrible aftertaste in my mouth, so I've been going through breath mints like they're, well... candy. Lots of food smells make me want to toss my cookies, too. Even just opening the fridge makes me gag. It doesn't smell bad, per se, it's just a smell that gets to me. And if there are leftovers of any kind in there that give off any type of odor (ex: pizza), forget it. I hold my breath when I open the fridge. Also, the change in temperature when I go outside makes me gag. I'm not sure why, but that's how it works for me. I do a lot of gagging these days. I am looking forward to this part of the pregnancy being over.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Questions Answered

When people find out that someone is having a baby, it seems as though everyone has the same questions for them. At least, that is what I've noticed. So I thought I'd write a post answering those common questions that I've answered 100 times in the two months since I've gotten pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind answering them over and over again. I love talking about my baby and our future plans (most of the time). So don't feel bad if you're one of the 100 that have asked. I don't find it annoying... yet. :)

Do you want a boy or a girl?
Since our first baby was a boy, people always want to know if we'll be disappointed if we have another boy. The answer is no, of course not. We'd love to have a girl this time because we want the experience of raising both a boy and a girl, but if God decides to give us two boys, we'll be perfectly fine with that. All we want is a healthy baby - cliche, I know, but true.

Are you going to have any more kids after this one?
Probably not. Although I'm not totally ready to commit to that answer just yet. We'll see how it goes. If we do have another, it wouldn't be until Isaac is in school. As James said, "We could always have that one baby who's so much younger than it's siblings that everyone wonders if it was an accident." LOL.

Are you going to buy a bigger house?
Not right now. We probably won't move for another four or five years. We're perfectly happy in our house right now. I used to think that each kid needed their own bedroom because that's how I grew up. James, however, grew up in a small, three-bedroom trailer house with his family of six. He never had his own room until his 3rd or 4th year in college. Kids can share rooms. I am concerned about having an infant and a toddler in the same room - that they'll wake each other up (mainly the little one crying and waking Isaac up). But it will work. People do it all the time. Plus the baby will be in a bassinet in our room for a while right away. Also, we've put so much work into our house that it feels like it's a part of us as a family - part of our identity. To be totally honest, I will be a little sad to leave it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Big Announcement

Ok, here it is.

I'm pregnant!!

Baby #2 is due on his/her big brother's birthday, July 13th! We were a bit surpised by this one, not because we weren't trying, but because it happened on our first cycle of trying. When we were trying to get pregnant the first time, it took us 6 cycles. We decided we wanted our kids to be 2-3 years apart in age, so we started trying in October. We figured if it happened right away, they'd be 2 years apart, and if it didn't happen for 6 or 7 or 8 months, that would be ok too.

We're thrilled! It may be hard to have two little kids only two years apart, but once they get a bit older I think it will be great! They'll be interested in the same type of stuff at the same time (or close). For example, if we were to go to Disney World, they would both be into it rather than one being too old for it, or one being too young. Also, my hope is that they'll be close - and by close, I mean like friends.

Here's how we found out:
I wasn't temping and charting like I was last time, but I was using ovulation tests. I started using them around cycle day 14 (I know from last time that I ovulate later than average, like day 18 or 19). I also get ovulation pain, so I pretty much know exactly when it's happening. I am pretty in tune with my body. So anyway, on the evening of Monday, November 1st, for some odd reason I felt this very strong compulsion to take a pregnancy test. It was totally stupid because I was only 8 dpo (days past ovulation), which is way too early to get a positive test. Plus it was at night, and you're supposed to test with your first morning urine because the pregnancy hormone is more concentrated. I knew I was going to get a negative result, but I tested anyway. I waited about 10 minutes before I even looked at it because I wasn't expecting anything. When I looked at it, I initally saw nothing. I looked very close, put it closer to the light, tilted it this way and that, and I'll be damned if I didn't think I maybe, possibly saw the very faintest line. I wasn't convinced. I thought it must be an evaporation line or something. So I brought it to J and said "Do you see a line?" He did the same things as me, looked at it under the light from all sorts of different angles. I was surprised when he said, "Hmm... maybe." Neither of us were sure though. I shrugged it off as a fluke and told J that I'd test again in the morning.

So the next morning came, and I got the same result. Maybe a line, but not sure. This is when I started thinking that I could actually be pregnant! So after work on Tuesday I stopped at Kmart (I don't usually shop there, in fact, I hate Kmart, but it was close and I wanted to know!) and bought a Clear Blue Digital. No ifs, ands or buts. This test would give it to me straight - pregnant or not pregnant. So I ran to the bathroom as soon as I got home, and used it. Low and behold - PREGNANT! I showed J when he got home. We were both shocked! And excited, of course!

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Smart Little Man

This morning while I was making breakfast, James was just walking out the door. I said, "Bye! I love you, Dad!" (Yes, I'm one of those mom's who refers to her husband as "dad" when the kid is around. You got a problem with that? I didn't think so.) Anyway, I said, "Bye! I love you, Dad!" and Isaac totally repeated me. Well, it sounded more like, "Bye! Die dov to Dad!" but his tone was exactly the same as mine, so we both knew what he was trying to say. James was half way out the door when Isaac said it, and he walked back in and looked at me like, "I love that little guy so much!" (I love it when he gives Isaac those looks. It happens frequently, and my heart melts every time.) I said "I heard it too!" and we both just smiled. God, I love my family. I am so blessed.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Cat Came Back

You know that little ditty, right? "The cat came back, he just couldn't stay away..." I feel like that cat. I just can't seem to stay away from Target. This is probably mostly because I live in an area where my other option is Wal-Mart. But now that I know a little more about these coupon glitches (thanks to Kerry at Totally Target), I feel more confident that I'll be able to either avoid it or catch it at the register and have the cashier fix it.

Anyway, I went to Target last night and found a few really good deals that I wanted to share.

Kraft Cheese 7 or 8 oz Blocks or Shredded, Assorted Varieties $2
I bought 5 bags of shredded cheese = $10
- 2x $1/2 Kraft Shredded or Block Cheese 7 or 8 oz Target Coupon HERE
- $5/5 Kraft Dairy Products Manufacturer Coupon HERE
= $3 for 5 bags of cheese or $0.60 each

*NOTE: You have to watch when your cashier scans the $5/5 MQ because it will most likely ring up at $0.00. Make sure you point it out right away and have them correct it.

Buy Any 5 Select Glade Holiday Air Care Items, Get a $5 Target Gift Card
I bought 10 candles @ $2.99 each = $29.90
- 5x B1G1 Free Glade Jar Candle, any 4 oz Manufacturer Coupon (9-26 SS)
- 2x $1.50/2 Glade Jar Candle, any 4 oz Manufacturer Coupon HERE
- $10 Target Gift Cards
= $1.95 for 10 candles, or about $0.20 each

* NOTE: This deal is effected by the $10 invisible manufacturer coupon gift card glitch so make sure you watch it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tag Junior Deal is a No Go :(

I just got this e-mail from Target:

Hi from Target.com.

Due to an unexpected error, the following item(s) you have ordered were incorrectly priced at the time of your order.

LeapFrog Tag Junior Book Pal

We're sorry, but we are unable to offer this item for the incorrect price. The correct price is $29.99. We have canceled your order for
this item.

Despite our best efforts, a small number of items on our site are occasionally mis-priced. We do, however, verify prices as part of our
shipping procedures. If an item's correct price is lower than our stated price, we charge the lower amount and ship you the item. If an item's
correct price is higher than our stated price we will cancel your order and notify you of such cancellation via email. This pricing policy is posted in the
Help section on Target.com as well as on the order acknowledgment that you received.

Again, we regret any inconvenience this may have caused you. Thank you for being our valued guest.


Sincerely,
Online Guest Services
Target.com


This is not the first time something like this has happened. Back in 2008 when I was trying to get pregnant the first time, I ordered a Britax car seat for like, $40 or something ridiculously cheap like that. It turned out to be an error and they cancelled all the orders and gave everyone a $5 or $10 (I can't remember which one it was) e-gift certificate. I didn't really care then because I wasn't even pregnant yet. But I really wanted these Tag Junior things! :(

I don't know about you anymore, Target. I feel as though you have your head up your ass nowadays. Let me know when you get your poop in a group and maybe I'll see you again someday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cautious Target Trip

I say cautious because I don't totally trust Target anymore because of this ongoing coupon computer glitch. But I fould a lot of great deals at Target with sales and coupons and such, so I decided to give it a go. I watched very, very closely when the cashier was scanning them and made sure they all went through correctly.

Here are the fruits of my labor:
I'm not going to write exactly how I got these deals with links like I usually do, simply because I just don't have time. But I will tell you how much each things regular price vs. the price I got it for. If you want details on something, just ask me.

Hungry Man (2) - Reg. $2.94 each, Paid $0.94 each.
Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese (2) - Reg.$2.28 each, Paid $0.53 each.
Curel Hand Repair Lotion (2) - Reg. $4.49 each, Paid $0 (FREE plus $0.02 money maker!).
Quaker Oatmeal 18 pack instant oatmeal - Sale $2.50, Paid $0.50.
Quaker Oatmeal 10 pack instant oatmeal - Sale $2.39, Paid $0.39.
Herbal Essences conditioner - Reg. $2.99, Paid $1.99.
Reach dental floss - Reg. $0.98, Paid $0.00 (FREE!)
Crest toothpaste - Reg. $2.49, Paid $0.49.
LeapFrog Tag Junior books - Reg. $10.99 each, Paid $5.00 each.

I paid $16.29 for all of this, which is great considering that the Tag Junior books alone would normally cost more than that. Without coupons and sales, this would have cost me $52.75. I saved about 70%! Go me!

My favorite deal was the LeapFrog Tag Junior books.

They are on sale this week for $10, plus I used this $5/1 MQ! The Curious George one is for Isaac for Christmas, and the Sesame Street one is for my niece for her birthday. Which brings me to the next thing I want to talk about...

I bought two Tag Junior Book Pals earlier today on Target.com.
These babies are normally $29.99 and for some odd reason, the green ones (not the purple ones, even though they're the same) were on sale for $9.99 + free shipping for a few short hours today. About 10 minutes after I placed my order, they went out of stock. In fact, it's not even on their website anymore. I actually checked my email before posting this to make sure they didn't cancel my order. I'll be keeping the receipt for the books just in case. I'd love Isaac to have one of these, so it's a great, cheap Christmas present! And my nieces birthday was earlier this month, and we haven't bought her a gift yet because we probably won't see her until Thanksgiving. I think this Tag Junior Book Pal plus the Sesame Street book is a great gift!

After I ordered the Tag Junior Book Pals, I went here and signed up for my free Tag Junior book!

Whew! What a day full or good deals! :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

$0.48 Toilet Paper

I hate buying toilet paper. It's expensive and gets used up fast. But it's a necessity, so I buy it anyway. But I don't like it.

So when I found out that I could get a $20 Groupon + free shippin to Soap.com (a website that sells household products) for $10, I jumped at the chance. Things are generally a little more expensive at Soap.com, but getting 50% off plus free shipping more than makes up for that. Here's my order summary:
So that's 30 packs of TP for $0.48! Well, actually $10.48, since I had to buy the Groupon, but still a pretty good deal! Plus I don't have to go out to buy it. They deliver it right to my door for free! I ordered it on Friday evening and will get it on Wednesday.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Groupon, it's a site where you can buy gift certificates (or Groupons) for certain stores, restaurants, salons, etc... in various cities in the US and Canada. This is what their website says about it:

"Groupon negotiates huge discounts on popular local goods, services and cultural events. Then we offer the deals to thousands of subscribers in a free daily email. The deals are activated only when a minimum number of people agree to buy. So our subscribers get a great deal and the business gets a ton of new customers. Win-win."

If you live in a bigger city, you'll have lots to choose from! Usually there are one or two deals per day for each city. However, if you live in a podunk town in a podunk state, you'll still have a few options. Not local options, but occasionally Groupon will have deals for online stores, like Soap.com. It's a pretty awesome deal! You can sign up here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Free Stuff!

Looky what I got in the mail yesterday!
Back in May or June, the teacher with whom I work (who is also addicted to couponing and free stuff) won a Schick instant win game. She won a gift pack for herself and a friend. She knows I like free stuff too, so she picked me! :) Anyway, it came today. It's a four-pack of disposable razors (really nice ones!) and a Trim Style razor, which is a razor on the top and a battery operated bikini trimmer on the bottom. Sweet! I never treat myself to good razors. I guess now I'll have to shave my legs.

I just love free stuff!

I also love extremely discounted stuff. Like the two FoodSaver Handheld Vacuum Sealing Systems I got in the mail yesterday (what can I say, it was a good mail day!).

I didn't take a picture so I used a stock photo from the website. Anyway, these babies are regularly $19.99 each and I got them for $3.60 each (shipped!) by using a coupon code I found on Hip2Save. I bought one for myself and one for my mom. My parents just happened to be at our house when they were delivered, and my mom told me she didn't want it, so I guess maybe I'll give it to my mother-in-law or someone else. Anyone want a Foodsaver handheld vacuum sealer?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Windows!

Guess what we got this week? You guessed it! New windows! They look great!

We opted to do the jam extentions and inside trim ourselves to save about $1K, so that isn't going to get done for a little while. James talked to his dad tonight and he said they could come up next weekend to help with that. That's WAY faster than I thought it would get done! Makes me happy! I hate half finished projects.

So in addition to the $7K we spent on windows, we also had to drop $350 on blinds. It maybe wouldn't have to cost so much, but for some reason, my husband has his heart set on vertical blinds. Apparently those are spendy. And apparently we have one humongo window at 108 inches, plus you want the blinds to hang past the window a few inches. The biggest pre-fab vertical blinds you can get are 104 inches. So, of course, we have to special order it. I ended up getting them online. They're fabric and really nice. I'm excited to get them.

But until we get the blinds delivered, we have no window treatments in the living room. This is what our house looks like from the outside at night.

You can see right through the living room and into the kitchen. As you can imagine, we're feeling a bit exposed. I mean, you can see what's on TV, for crying out loud! Most evenings, once Isaac goes to bed, I retreat to the bedroom where I can relax safely behind our curtains.

In other news, I'm sick. I have a cold and a possible sinus infection (I've had a headache for over a week and now I'm blowing my nose a LOT). Tonight will be a NyQuil kind of night.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Learned a New Trick!

Sometimes I do random Google searches for things like, "how to create modern looking photos with photoshop elements". Last night I searched for exactly that, and came up with a site that showed me, step-by-step, "how to make a modern photo look vintage". It showed a before and after photo, and I thought it looked kinda cool! So I gave it a shot and here's what I got. (Note: the before photos have already been edited to enhance the color and clarity.)

Before:


After:


Pretty neat, huh? I bookmarked that site for future use. This process involved a lot of steps, so there's no way I'll remember how to do this again next time.

I liked this effect so much that I tried it on another photo. I don't like the second one as much as the first, but it's still pretty cool.

Before:


After:


Monday, October 4, 2010

Click to Give


As I was browsing one of my favorite money saving blogs this evening, I happened upon a post about a site called Click to Give. It's one of those sites that donates things (like 1/2 cup of rice to starving children, 1/2 cup of dog food to animal shelters, etc...) when you click on that cause. The best part is that you don't have to choose among all the causes listed in the above banner; you can click on them all once every day!

Please take a minute to go to this site. It takes 30 seconds, but makes a very large impact. You can also sign up for daily e-mail reminders. It's never been easier to donate to your favorite cause - for free!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Giving Up on Target (For Now)

James and I went on our bi-weekly shopping trip on Friday. Usually we go to Target because I have all sorts of coupons. This time, we went to Wal-Mart. You heard me right - Wal-Mart. It's true that I am an avid Wal-Mart hater, but Target is really getting on my nerves lately.

For the last month or so, every single time I go to Target and use lots of coupons, there is at least one coupon that rang up for less than the full amount. It's frustrating. Target has been having these issues all over the country since June. I started having problems in September. I usually watch my receipt very closely, but it's irritating when I have to go to customer service to get money back for my coupons every. single. time. I go shopping. Plus, then I get the money back in cash, which I don't want. I want it taken off my order so I don't have to pay as much initially! That's the point of a coupon!

I think the thing that bothers me the most is that Target knows about this issue. It has been happening since June. Why haven't they fixed it yet? Probably because when they send the coupons in to the manufacturer, they get reimbursed the full amount - yet Target isn't giving the full amount to the customer; therefore, they are making money on this "glitch".

So unless I only have one or two coupons, I think I'll steer clear of Target until they can get this whole thing figured out.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Zumba!

I survived my second night of Zumba! After the first time on Tuesday night I was absolutely EXHAUSTED afterwards. I was ready for bed at 8pm. Tonight was a different story though. I got home, took a shower (because I was extremely sweaty) and I just don't feel as tired! I feel like I could sleep if I tried, but I don't feel like slipping into a coma like I did on Thursday.

The best part is that I feel great after Zumba! It's definitely not for the faint of heart. For those of you who don't know what Zumba is, it's essentially dancing to Latin and other international music. And boy is it intense! One whole hour of high paced dancing - no breaks! But it's really fun, and it doesn't seem like an hour. Everytime I look at the clock, I think "Wow, this is going fast!"

When I mention that I've been going to Zumba, lots of people have said, "I've always wanted to try that, but I am very uncoordinated/a bad dancer/have two left feet." Well, I am all three of those things and I do just fine. Sure, sometimes I find myself doing random moves with my feet because I have no idea what I'm actually supposed to be doing, or I'll look up and realize that everyone else is doing something different than I am - but the point of it is to keep moving, and I'm doing that, even if it isn't always the right moves. Nobody cares. Seriously. Nobody is judging. Everyone is there for the same reasons - exercise and fun! It's a blast and I am looking forward to next week!

Now I need to cut the junk out of my diet and I'll be golden! :s

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday (Non) Weigh-In

Today is Monday - that means it's weigh-in day. However, I had a lot of fun last night. A lot of fun involving two friends and a whole lot of booze under the disguise of a True Blood marathon. We only got through one episode. I guess we got side tracked. Anywho, I was mucho hung over this morning and forgot to weigh in. And that's probably a good thing. I'm going to use a "no weigh-in pass" today.

In other news, I'm officially joining the YMCA tomorrow. My aunt wants a buddy with whom to go to Zumba, and I'm going to be that buddy. I'm a little nervous just because I suck at dancing, but I think it will be fun! I'll be sure to report back so my faithful two or three readers can know how it went.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tutus

Yesterday at the farmers market, there was a booth where a lady was selling tutus that she makes. I was looking at them, since two of my nieces have birthdays coming up (well, one birthday has already passed, but we haven't seen her since, so we haven't given her a gift yet). I looked very closely and realized that the strips of tulle were just tied onto an elastic band. It actually looked really easy to make, so I decided I'd try my hand at it.

After we got home and I recovered from my wasp sting, I headed to the fabric store and got some dark pink and light pink tulle, and some elastic. I hand sewed the elastic together so it was in a circle, and then cut the tulle into strips and looped it through itself on the elastic.


I am pretty happy with the results, and I think I'm going to make them as Christmas presents for my nieces. I just have to figure out the sizing. This one is a little loose on Isaac (yes, I put a tutu on my son, but I just wanted to see how it fit someone his size), but I'm not quite sure if it would fit a 5 year old. It might fit one of the 2 year olds, but I kind of wanted her to have a different colored tutu. She's not really a pink kind of girl. So I may not even use this one. We'll see.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wasps Suck

I got stung by a wasp today. On my freakin' tongue. Ouuuuch.

Isaac and I went with my parents to the last farmer's market of the season this morning. I had a Diet Coke in the cup holder on the stroller. Apparently, when I wasn't looking, a wasp managed to sneak it's way into the can. I took a drink and felt something in my mouth - something that most definitely shouldn't be there. I immediately spit it out, but it was too late. It had stung me on my tongue. It started out as a very dull stinging feeling, which quickly progressed to a very intense pain. I could feel it all over my tongue, not just the place that had gotten stung. It really, really hurt. This is the first time I've ever been stung.

Seriously, who gets stung on their tongue? Me, I guess.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jamesy!

It's my fabulous hubby's 32nd birthday today!
He is the most wonderful, loyal, hard-working, loving husband and father. I couldn't possibly ask for a better person to spend my life with. Isaac and I are SO lucky to have him and I thank God every day for giving him to me.

So Jamesy, if you're reading this - I love you so much! I love you more every day and I couldn't imagine being with anyone else. My heart has always been yours, and it always will be, even though you're practically an old man now :). (I'm kidding about the old man part, of course.) I love our life together. I love you!

And I also want to wish our niece, Kaylee, a happy 5th birthday today too! She's James's birthday buddy. Here is a picture of them at their birthday party back in 2006.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spiffy Little Man!

Last Saturday I got a call from my good friend, Cat. She said she was sorting through her three year old son's old clothes and found a few things she wanted Isaac to get some use out of. James's grandma's funeral was going to be that Tuesday, and I had nothing for Isaac to wear. As luck would have it, the clothes that Cat wanted Isaac to borrow were dressy! He looked soooo freakin' cute! Grandma Loverne would have LOVED it!

Cat let me look through some of MJ's old stuff while I was there, and I came away with a few pairs of PJs, some shoes, some other semi-dressy clothes (sweaters and button up shirts), and a Sioux sweatshirt, which as you can see, also looks extremely adorable on him (despite the bed head). He wore it while we were tailgating on Saturday. Love!

Thanks Cat!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Life Update and Weigh-Ins

I've been a busy girl lately! I feel like life is whizzing by at the speed of light, and as a result, I've been neglecting my blog. I also haven't had time to do much couponing or researching deals. And work has been busy with lots of high-maintenance kids.

Last Friday (Sept. 10th), James's grandma passed away, so we were in SD for her funeral and related events for a good portion of last week. She was 88 years old and had had skin cancer on her nose for about four years. She had several surgeries to remove it, resulting in the almost complete removal of her nose, and they still couldn't get it all. Toward the end she was in a lot of pain and very disoriented. She was a very stubborn lady, but also one who loved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was pretty old-fashioned and had the mindset that men are superior, so she had an affinity for Isaac, who is her only great-grandson. I'll never forget when Isaac was about 3 months old, he accidentally waved to her when she was leaving once and she exclaimed, "He's so smart! He's going to be president someday!"

RIP Grandma Loverne. You will be missed.

And last Thursday through about Sunday or Monday, Isaac had a cold. He wasn't sleeping well because of this. And therefore, mom and dad weren't sleeping well either. After the cold subsided, he was still sporadically cranky for seemingly no reason at all. And still not sleeping well. At all. On Saturday he started tugging on his right ear, so this morning I brought him to the walk-in pediatric clinic for an ear check. The good news - no ear infection. The bad news - he has something called eustachian tube dysfunction. Essentially, he has an imbalance of air in his ear, and the tube to relieve the pressure isn't working correctly. From what I hear, it can be pretty painful. The doctor said it's usually irritated by some sort of sickness, in this case most likely the cold he had last week. There's nothing we can do besides wait it out. It will go away on it's own. Hopefully my poor baby will be feeling better soon - and mom and dad can get some sleep!

Taking a seat on the back burner, right next to my blog, is my diet. No, I haven't given up just yet. Last week I weighed in on Sunday rather than Monday because I knew we were leaving for SD on Sunday and I wanted to be able to use my own scale. So last week I was -0.8 lbs for a total of -6.4. I can live with that.

However, whenever we visit the in-laws, my diet goes to pot. My mother-in-law just has too much junk laying around, tempting me, calling my name. And it doesn't help that we stopped at the Olive Garden in Fargo on the way. Then this weekend, I went tailgating. Tailgate food is generally pretty bad. Anyway, I weighed in this morning and I gained one lb. So my grand total is back down to -5.4. Here's to hoping for a better week. Although today wasn't great either. I just need to get my willpower back to where it was two weeks ago.

And since we're on the subject of weight loss, I think I'm going to join the YMCA. Originally, I wanted to join during the summer so I could bring Isaac to the free (for members) drop-in childcare while I swam laps in the pool. However, the $48/mo membership fee was a bit much for someone who is making no money during the summer. Now that I'm getting paid again, we can swing it. And today I found out that employees of the school district get a 10% discount. Plus, I'm already at the YMCA three days a week. We take the kids there for Phy Ed on Mon, Thurs, Fri. It doesn't get easier to get my butt to the gym than already being there. So... I might go in sometime this week and get things set up. Hopefully that will speed the weight loss up a little, or at least boost my energy a bit.

Also, while I was at the YMCA today, I signed Isaac up for swimming lessons. He's in the infant/toddler class, which is ages 6 mo to 3 years. Obviously, a parent needs to be in the pool with them, so I'll be there with him. It will be twice a week for four weeks, starting the first week in October. I'm excited! Isaac loves the water!

Well, that's all for now, folks. Thanks for reading. Hopefully I'll be able to post again soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yo Quiero Taco... John's?

After work today, I was sorting through my coupons when I happened upon a $10 gift certificate for Taco John's that I had gotten for being a secret shopper there this summer. I didn't really feel like cooking, and with it being Taco Tuesday and all, I decided on Taco John's for supper tonight.

I looked through my coupon book for a Taco John's coupon to no avail, so I turned to my good friend, Google. I found out that I could print a coupon for free Potato Ole's with any purchase if I signed up for My Town Mania. So I did.

So I headed to TJ's and here's what I ordered.
-6 hard shell tacos
-3 soft shell tacos
-large Potato Ole's
-side of nacho cheese
-2 churros

The thing about my $10 gift certificate is that it's the kind where you don't get change if you don't use the whole thing. So I had to be sure to use it all up. That's why I ordered an inordinate amount of food. After my free Potato Oles and my $10 gift certificate, I paid only $0.68 for ALL of that. Don't worry, I behaved myself. Sort of. And we did have leftovers, although I never knew how many tacos J could polish off in one sitting until today.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Weigh-In











-0.4

I think my pseudo dieting is catching up with me. I knew this day would come! But it's still a loss, so I'm ok with that. I was especially bad yesterday. The in-laws were staying with us again this weekend, so my diet kind of went out the window. I'll try to be extra good this week to make up for it.

Happy Labor Day!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Credit Card Mayhem

I have a Chase Visa card. For the most part, I like it. I has a good rewards program. The problem is, we have carried a balance (for the first time ever in our lives) since last fall when I was off work for longer than expected and had unanticipated medical bills.

I had a pretty good interest rate at 8.99% up until last year when the credit laws changed. Then my "fixed" rate went up to a 13.99% variable rate. I was not happy. I called and complained. What's the point of having a fixed rate if they can just change it whenever they want anyway? I was told that's the best interest rate they had at the time and when I threatened to close my account, the account specialist refunded my finance charge for the month. I told him that was fine for now, but it was simply a bandaid for the real problem, and I couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't call next month and close it.

So I found a new credit card. I'm not one to go through credit cards like I go through underwear, so this was a long, thought-out process for me. I went with a Citi Master Card with a not-as-good rewards program, but a better interest rate at 9.99% variable and a 0% intro rate on purchases and balance transfers until January 2012. I transferred my balance to this card.

Last week, I get my credit card bill from Chase. It says I owe a $7 finance charge. I called and told them that I don't understand why I have an finance charge if I paid off the balance. They gave me some lame, BS reason, so I said I wanted to cancel (again). She transferred me to an account specialist, who asked me why I wanted to close my account. I told her I felt as though I've been jerked around for various reasons and I just want to be done with them. Of course, I didn't actually care if I closed the card or not. I've had it for almost 5 years, and for a 25 year old, that's a big chunk of credit history. It would be better for my credit score to keep it open - although we don't plan on applying for credit again for a while, so it probably would have time to recover.

Anyway, the account specialist apologized and asked if I would consider keeping my account open if she refunded the finance charge and sent me a $25 gift card to one of the various places she listed off. Victory! I didn't want to close the account anyway. In fact, all I really wanted was for her to refund my finance charge. So I ended up getting a $25 gift card to a Darden restaurant (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, or Longhorn Steakhouse).

I've been wanting Olive Garden soooo badly lately! We'll probably save the gift card for at time when we're driving home from SD so we can stop in Fargo and eat there!

So children, the moral of this story is: Always call your credit card company, even for the smallest thing. They want to keep you as a customer! It will most likely work in your favor.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Weigh-In











-2.4!

I have to admit, last night I was dreading writing this post because I thought for sure I would have gained again. I didn't expect to lose anything, much less 2.4 lbs! I guess all the little things really do help, like not snacking so much. I haven't changed the things I'm eating at all, I've just been more mindful of my portions.

This brings my total weight loss to -5.2. If I was actually going to Weight Watchers meeting, I would have gotten my first 5 lb star today! Oh heck, I'll give myself a 5 lb star. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Super Mom

That's me!

Or at least I felt like it last week! I spent Monday and Tuesday shopping for groceries/household items (most were VERY cheap if not free) and cleaning. I wanted to the house to be clean before I went back to work because who knows when I'll feel like cleaning again (if anyone ever feels like cleaning).

Wednesday was the first day of school. It went really well. We have a great group of kids, with the exception of a few. I do think those exceptions will be a lot of work though. We'll see this week when they actually have work to do. At any rate, I am now a working mama again.

Speaking of school, I didn't get that library para job. My mom (who is a library para) got an email introducing the new library para at the high school I had applied at. Oh well. It's not the end of the world.

On Thursday, I was a cooking machine! I made two lasagnas, one for supper on Friday, and I froze the other to cook at a later date (probably this weekend when my in-laws come to visit). Then I also made a tater tot casserole and froze it, and a batch of chili, which I just kept in the fridge because we're going to eat it today. I love making freezer meals! It's soooo nice to be able to come home from work, just throw something into the oven, and have a nice, homemade meal! Plus, then I'm not tempted to order something or go out.

This weekend, J is working, so I'm home with the munchkin. Just like old times, hehe. I feel like I don't get anything done when I'm home alone with him. Sometimes I don't even shower. But today, we had to run to CVS to exchange a 12-pack of Pepsi. The seal was not put on correctly on about half the cans, and they have no carbonation. I've never seen that happen before - weird. We also had to stop at the grocery store to get some saltines and oyster crackers for the chili we're having tonight.

A mother's work is never done!

Colossal Clearance!

First of all, I want to offer all you women out there a piece of advice. Don't take your husband shopping if you're just going for a few things. You'll end up with way more than a few things.

I needed to go to Target yesterday to get rid of some of my coupons before they expire, or before the items I wanted went off of price cut. I won't write about all those things because it's all stuff that I've blogged about before, I just picked up some more for the stockpile. But J and I decided to scour the store for clearance. What can I say? We both love a good deal!

We didn't find a whole lot, but the things we did pick up were REALLY on clearance!

You might be thinking, "Why on earth would you need 252 size 1-2 diapers, Rachael?" Well, I don't... right now. Hopefully I will in about a year or so though. For the price, I'll store them in the basement until then! Oh, the price...

Yes, you're seeing this correctly. $10.56 for 252 diapers. Plus I had a $3/1 MQ that I got in a sample from Vocalpoint (it's a site where you can sign up for tons of awesome samples). So I paid $7.56 for 252 diapers. $0.03 per diaper. That's unheard of!


With winter fast approaching, I'm sure we'll be needing these types of things soon. J likes things that dissove into drinks (Alka-Seltzer, Air Borne, etc...), so I thought he might like these as an alternative to nasty liquid medicine. In case you can't see the clearance sticker, here's a close up.

I can't imagine actually paying $10.99 for this. Do people actually pay that much? Evidently not, that's probably why it was on clearance.

We saved 75% on these two items! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Days Off = Shopping!

Since Isaac was at daycare for the past two days, and I don't start work until tomorrow, I had a few days to myself! I spent most of it running errands and cleaning, but I did fit some shopping in, of course!

First, I went to Target on Monday morning. Let me tell you that Target is pretty dead at 8am on a Monday morning. I went right after I dropped Isaac off at daycare. It was fabulous! I felt like I was the only one there. I also went to Target today with my mom, and so I am going to lump these two shopping trips together, since yesterday's trip was so small (less than a dollar).

Suave (3 shampoo, 1 conditioner) - $0.14 each, for a total of $0.56
These were on price cut for $0.89 each, and I used four $0.75/1 Target Qs, making them $0.14 each. This is the kind of shampoo that James uses and I use it too from time to time, so I wanted to stock up! I printed two from each of our computers, and James so kindly reminded me today that we have a third computer, which I have completely forgotten about (the laptop he is borrowing from my brother) so I may have to print some more of these. I sort of doubt there will be any left tomorrow though. I bought two of them yesterday and the shelves were full. When I went today, there was hardly any left. That's why I had to get the blue kind instead of the coconut kind we usually get.


Vaseline Aloe Fresh lotion - $0.49
This is my favorite kind of lotion, so when I can get it cheap, I do. It's regularly priced at $2.99. I used a $1/1 manufacturer Q and a $1.50/1 Target Q.


Glade Tough Odor Solutions air freshener spray - $0.99
Glade Tough Odor Solutions carpet refresher - FREE
The spray was $2.99 and the carpet refresher was $1.99. I used two $1/1 Target Qs and one $2/2 MQ (from the 8/22 SS insert) to get both of these for $0.99. I could have gotten two carpet refreshers and paid nothing for both products, but I don't think we'd use two carpet refreshers. I wanted one for the upstairs carpet though. We kind of have a funky smell up there.


Chef Boyardee - FREE
Campbells microwavable cups of soup - FREE
The Chef Boyardee is on price cut for $0.80 each (or something like that), and I used two $1/1 Target Qs to get them both free.
The Campbells soup cups were on price cut for $1.50 each. I used two $1/1 MQs and two $0.50/1 Target Qs to get them both free. Perfect for lunches since I start work again tomorrow.

The rest are incidental finds.

I decided I wanted to make a few lasagnas to throw in the freezer for days when I don't feel like cooking, so I bought some cottage cheese at full price (the store brand, of course. It was $2.49) and some Parmesan/Asiago/Romano cheese in a shaker, which was on sale (reg. $3.54) for $2. I forgot to take pictures of those two things because they were in the fridge when I was taking picture.


We need some spaghetti sauce if I'm going to make lasagnas. This is our favorite kind, and they were on price cut for $1.50 each, plus I used a $0.50/2 Target Q and got them for $1.25 each. I guess that's not bad.

Then, as I was looking through my coupons, I saw a $1/1 coupon I had clipped from some insert for a Taco Bell dinner kit. I just happened to be in the taco aisle, right in front of the Taco Bell dinner kits. I saw that they only cost $1.97, so I used my coupon and got one for $0.97. I like having these on hand so all I need is the meat and cheese, which we usually have anyway.


I wasn't sure if I had enough lasagna noodles, so I decided to get these whole wheat egg noodles. I'll use them for a lasagna casserole, instead of using actual lasagna noodles. It's easier. They were $1.19. And I've been wanting to try tuna salad (for myself, James won't eat that), so I got a pack of Tuna for $0.84 (reg $0.94). My mom said the kind in the package is way better than the kind in the can.

And there you have it. I spent a total of $12.02 on ALL of this stuff! I saved $18.80 for a total savings of 61%!

And I'm not done yet... I also went to CVS yesterday. They have Pepsi products on sale for 4/$10. I jump at the chance to get a 12 pack of pop for $2.50. I usually hate buying pop because it's so expensive! I bought four, and used $3 ECB that I had from a previous purchase. So I got 4/$7, or $1.75 each.

And I'm still not done! I also went to Lane Bryant yesterday to look for some pants. I wanted some khaki Capri's, but I have a really hard time finding pants. I guess I'm shaped funny or something. The only pants that really work for me are their Right Fit line (I'm red), and they don't have any Right Fit Capri's or khakis. But I did find a pair of jeans I liked. And they had a sale, B1G1 50% off on all their jeans, so I decided to get two. The problem is, their jeans are like, $50. Even with B1G1 50% off, that's still $75 for two pairs of jeans! Well I needed them, and when I got to the register, the lady asked if I had any coupons. I mentioned that I have a ton of them, but they're all expired. Much to my surprise, she said "Ok, well I'll just use the complimentary promo code for you then." That promo code saved me about $25! With tax, it came to $57.something. Much better!

Nope, still not done. So when I got home, I looked on the Lane Bryant website thinking maybe they would have some right fit khakis. They didn't but I clicked the link to their sister company, Fashion Bug, and looked around. They happened to have some Capri's in my size, on clearance for $6.49! They weren't Right Fit, but they're made of a more stretchy material, and that's generally what fits me best. I thought for $6.49 I'd take a chance and bought two, khaki and brown. I really hope they fit!

Whew! That was a long one. I sure know how to keep myself busy! I also cleaned the house today!

Well, it's back to school tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Weigh-In











Whew! I've been busy today! Today was Isaac's first day of daycare since school got out. I was afraid it would take some time for him to aclimate to it, but he jumped right in and had a fun-filled day of playing with his friends! He was so tired tonight that he fell asleep at 7pm! James changed him into his PJs without him even waking up!

I don't have to go back to work until Wednesday, so I had the day to myself today! After I dropped Isaac off at daycare, I went to Target (got some great deals that I'll blog about tomorrow, so stay tuned!), back home to get some pictures and stuff in the mail and let Gizmo outside, then Green Mill for lunch with my mom, then shopping for some pants, then home for a nap. After I picked Isaac up from daycare, we went to visit Grandma and Grandpa since James had a business dinner. Grandpa babysat while my mom and I went to Applebee's for some $2 margaritas. Yep, I was spoiled today. But believe me, I needed it.

Anyhoo, back to the weigh-in. I'd like to preface the results by saying I had a rough week. I want to make excuses and say that I've had a rough week (which is true, but not an excuse for bad eating), but when it's all said and done, my loss/gain is a result of my choices. You can tell this isn't going to be good, can't you?

I'm +1.2 lbs this week, for a total of -2.8. And I'm not discouraged in the least. I knew it was going to be a bad weigh-in. Those will happen every once in a while. I think the culprit is going out for lunch a lot. I was going out a lot thinking that in a few short days, I'll have to go back to work and won't have the chance to do it anymore. And I tried to curb the emotional eating, but it did get the best of me toward the end of the week.

But I really think that it will get easier for me to stick to it once I go back to work and get back on more of a schedule. So, I have high hopes for this week (minus the Green Mill and margaritas today, hehe).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

That's the Way that the World Goes Round

...One minute you're up, the next you're down.

According to John Prine, anyway. And Miranda Lambert. And I totally know what their talking about right now. I haven't had the greatest few days.

I mentioned how Gizmo was peeing/pooping in his kennel, so I brought him to the vet yesterday. When we got there, they weighed him, and he was 15 lbs, which is 4 lbs less than he weighed when he got his yearly shots two months ago. That freaked me out and I had all kinds of things running through my head while we were waiting.

After what seemed like forever, the vet came back and told us that he has an intestinal parasite. I can't remember the scientific name, but the street name is Raccoon Roundworm. He got it from either eating raccoon poop (most likely at the lake in July), or by eating a rodent that was infected (Gizmo is a Cairn Terrier, so that's not out of the question either). I guess it's easily treatable, unless it spreads too far and causes neurological damage (which I don't think it has , thankfully). I guess it's not that common here because I had to run across town to a clinic that had the treatment on hand.


Today, I talked to Isaac's pediatrician's nurse about maybe coming in to get checked out, since this Raccoon Roundworm is able to spread to humans (through Gizmo's feces, like if Isaac got some on his hand while playing outside and then put his hand in his mouth). She said that the doctor said it can't be identified through feces, only through a tissue sample, which they did not take from Gizmo yesterday, so she's not sure what to tell me. I guess she didn't think that's what Gizmo really had.

So I called the vet and explained this. The vet said, "I don't know how you identify it in humans, but in dogs you can find it in their feces. We saw the larvae in his stool sample." I figure the vet probably knows a little more about it, but it still leaves me wondering what to think...

Then I started looking it up on the Internet. Bad idea. The vet made it sound like no big deal, but lots of animals and even some humans have died from this infection. And I read that it's nearly impossible to detect, so even though this may have nothing to do with Gizmo's urination/defecation in his kennel, I'm SOOOO glad we brought him in. Otherwise we may have never known he had it until it was too late. And it freaks me out because how am I supposed to know if Isaac catches it?

I am just so stressed out about all of this. And on top of it all, I lost my wallet last night. I found it in my car this morning wedged between the passenger seat and the door, but it still didn't help my stress levels. And I go back to work on Wednesday, so I'm a little apprehensive about that, too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Emotional Compulsions

Today I am stressed out. We've been having issues with Gizmo peeing in his kennel when we're not home, and it's really starting to wear on me. It didn't occur to us until yesterday that a dog peeing in a place where he has to sleep (which Gizmo has never done until a few months ago) is not normal behavior, and there could be something medically wrong with him. So today I'm taking him to the vet. When I made the appointment, the receptionist told me to bring a urine and fecal sample. That's easier said than done, but I finally got the urine sample this morning. Now I just have to wait for him to poop and go pick it up.

Also, I have a baby who is getting molars. Not the most fun I've had in a while.

I'm stressed. And what do I want to do? Eat. Eat very bad things. Why? Because that's what we women do when we're stressed. It's called emotional eating. But I can't. Why? Because I put myself on this stupid diet.

So instead, I want to shop. Why? Because that's what we women do when we're stressed. It's called retail therapy. And Gymboree has 30% off of everything right now. But I can't. Why? Because we're low on funds due to me not working for the past 12 weeks, and that is not something I'm willing to dip into our savings for. That would just be ridiculous.

I'm stressed and I have no outlet. This sucks.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Weigh-In











Well, I weighed in this morning and I'm down 4 lbs!

I have to to admit, I totally didn't see that coming. I stopped counting points half way through the week. I still was using the points as a general guideline, but it's hard to figure the points out when you're cooking for the whole family. And James and I even had date night on Thursday, complete with movie theater popcorn and an uninhibited trip to Applebee's. So 4 lbs? I'm shocked.

Keep in mind that the pounds come off easily in the first week of a diet. I do not expect to lose this much every week, in fact, it would be unhealthy to do so. It will slow down now to 1-2 lbs per week if I'm good. And honestly, I don't expect to be good all the time. I need to cheat every once in a while to stay sane.

Oh, and I'm changing my water goal to half a gallon. I can do a gallon, but I'm peeing way too much. It's just not convenient.

Here's to hoping for another good week!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Just a Quick "WTF?"

I went to Target to get a few things today. One of the things on my list was hamburger buns.

Here's what I found...
Yeah... those aren't hamburger buns. Those are hotdog buns. In a package that says "hamburger buns." Those would be some pretty odd looking hamburgers.

Most of them were that way. Although you can see the one in the bottom left hand corner on this picture has it right.

I was like, WTF?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Whole Afternoon of Shopping for $16

This morning I headed out to go to two garage sales. Both advertised that they had lots of boy clothes for sale. I left around 9am because that's what time the first one opened. I wanted to get there right away because usually when I go to garage sales, they tell me "We had tons of boy clothes but they all got sold right away." Toddler boy clothes are hard to find at garage sales! Everyone has girl clothes, but I rarely see boy clothes.

Anyway, while I was pulling out of my driveway, I called my parents to see if they wanted to come with me because the one I was going to was close to their house. My dad said they were going to go to some anyway, so he made up a list and we all went garage sal(e?)ing.

The two sales that I wanted to go to proved very fruitful! Most of the stuff I came home with, I bought at those two.

Here's what I found:
18 month Children's Place PJs - $0.50 each
Isaac suffers from a lack of jammies, so I bought lots of them today.

Winnie the Pooh sweat outfit - Grandma bought this one.
It's 12 months, but Isaac is tiny, so this will be perfect for fall.

3T Children's Place sweater - $0.50
Isaac won't be able to wear this for a while, but I think sweaters on little boys are absolutely adorable, and for the price, I'll store it until it fits!


18 months Children's Place t-shirts - $0.50 each
I found lots of Children's Place clothes today! And it's no wonder I bought them because I like that store. And I have a special place in my heart for boy's polos.

12 month Children's Place jeans - $0.50
These will probably fit him for a while. Like I said, he's tiny.

18-24 month Baby Gap PJs - $0.50
These look smaller than the tag says. I think he'll be able to wear it soon.

24 month Pooh PJ's - $0.50
I told you I bought lots of jammies. These are really cute.

12 month Leap Frog jammies - $0.50
These are adorable! The little frog feet say "Right Foot" and "Left Foot" and the hands say "Right Hand" and "Left Hand." So cute!

Boppy Newborn Pillow - $5
At the same garage sale I also bought some maternity pants for $0.50. I know what you're thinking, and no, I'm not pregnant. But we will start trying for baby #2 soon, and that's all I'm going to say about that. Anyhoo, I almost bought one of these when I was pregnant with Isaac because I've heard good things about them, but for the amount of time a baby would use it, I didn't want to spend $30 plus the cost of a cover. This pillow + cover was marked for $8 and I talked her down to $5. Totally worth it (I hope)!

Then we stopped at the farmer's market for some carrots and green beans. We've come to LOVE green beans in this house. Even Isaac gobbles them right up! I got two bunches of carrots and one bag of green beans for $6.50.

So I spent the afternoon shopping and got tons of stuff, all for $16! Have I mentioned how much I love garage sales?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fahrenheit 451


I finished reading this a few days ago, but I'm just now getting around to blogging about it.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is essentially a story about the decline of literacy among humans. The main character, Guy Montag, is a fireman - except in this future, firemen don't put out fires, they start them. Also in this future, books are illegal. If someone thinks you have books, they call in an alarm on you and the firemen come and burn them, along with pretty much everything else in your house. But don't worry, the actual houses are fireproof - that's how they make them now.

In this future, people don't want to have to think, which is what lead to the banning of books. Instead of living room walls, there are large television screens where people watch short, mindless programs about nothing at all. After all, they don't want to have to think about it too much.

One day, Montag meets a mysterious young girl who has a lot of thoughts and ideas - something that is very unusual. It makes Montag realize that he is not happy in this thoughtless world, and wonders what is in these books that he's spent so many years burning, and might it change his life? So he takes a book home with him from a house that he burned one night.

Chaos ensues. His wife calls in the alarm on her own husband. There is a long chase, but Montag is eventually able to escape the city just in time to see it completely destroyed by a giant bomb dropped on it because a war has just broken out.

It really casts humanity in a dark light. After reading the coda at the end of the book, it's clear that Bradbury had written this book as a warning and he believes that this is the way the world is heading. And sadly, he's sort of right. He wrote about how textbook publishing companies write him to ask if they can publish his work in a textbook, but they censor it so much that he refuses to let them. They want to cut out anything with substance, anything with more than a three-sylable word, every "damn" and "hell" because, heaven forbid we corrupt any of the young minds that might read it. This is all very ironic considering the topic of the book they're trying to censor. Think about it - they want to cut out big chunks of a book about the deliteracy (and yes, I am fully aware that "deliteracy" may not actually be a word - that's ironic too) of humanity. Hmmm...

It makes you think. Of course, if you're reading the book for entertainment purposes, you're not part of the problem. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day One

Today marks the first day of my diet. I weighed in this morning. Then I put my scale in my closet so I'll only weigh myself once a week. That will take some self-control in and of itself, but I think I'll stay more motivated if I don't stress about the number on the scale every day.

I was surprised when I weighed myself that I weigh only 1.4 lbs more than at my first doctors appointment when I was pregnant. That was when I was only 5 weeks along, so I use that as my pre-pregnancy weight. However, that was a different scale, and every scale I've ever stepped on has said something different, so that could be way off. And although 1.4 lbs is a negligable difference, I wear it so very differently now. I feel a lot bigger than before. More saggy and flabby. I guess being all stretched out will do that to a person.

I think I'm off to a pretty good start. I discovered that the cereal I like is only 3 points (including the milk), and I was surprised at the serving size. It's about the same amount of cereal that I usually pour into the bowl, so I was happy with that.

I decided that my daily water goal will be one gallon. I may not make it every day, but if that's how much I shoot for, then I'm sure I'll be drinking more water than I do now! I have a two-quart container that I can fill up and keep in the fridge, so my goal is to drink two of them every day. A few years back, I was drinking a gallon of water per day. I had to pee a lot, but it was very doable. When I think about it, I just head to the fridge, pour a glass, and chug it right then and there. That way, I hardly even notice I'm drinking so much water.

I think my main challange will be trying to figure out what to cook for supper, since I have to cook for James and Isaac too.

That's all folks! Tune in evey Monday for my weekly weigh in.

CVS - 8/8

I hate Extra Care Bucks. Hate hate hate. I had $10 ECB a while ago from a diaper deal that I did. Then CVS had less than thrilling ads for a couple of weeks, so I didn't shop there for a while. Then I stumbled across this $10 ECB that I forgot I had. I checked the expiration date and guess what? It had expired the day before. Just my luck. So the 6-year-old in me threw a tantrum and I swore to myself that I'd never shop there again because they're nothing but a bunch of big, fat, stupid heads.

Then yesterday, I broke my promise. Oh well, so much for being dramatic.

When I got there and ran my card through the scanner, I got four worthless coupons that I didn't need and one free $1 ECB! Pretty sweet!

Here's what I bought. This lot cost me $5.82 when all was said and done. And I used a gift card that I got when I transferred a prescription to pay, so I paid $0 out of pocket.



And here's the breakdown.


Xtra laundry detergent- $0.99
This stuff is dirt cheap. Even when it's not on sale. I've never used it before but I figured you can't lose for a buck!
Reg. $2.99
Sale $1.99 - $1/1 MQ (6/6 SS) = $0.99

All laundry detergent - $2.75 each
You can never have enough laundry detergent - especially when you have a toddler. So I though I'd stock up. I got the free & clear kind because that's what I use for Isaac's clothes. I bought the x2 detergent. The x3 super concentrated kind was also on sale, but I'll let you in on a little secret - the measurements for one load of the x2 kind, and the measurements for one load of the x3 kind are exactly the same. Sneaky, huh? Good thing we, the consumer, are smarter than the mucky mucks at All. Ha!
Reg. $7.49 each
Sale B1G1 free
$7.49 for two - two $1/1 MQs (here) = $5.49, or $2.75 each.

BIC Soleil razors - $0.17 each
That's right, I said seventeen cents each. This is my favorite deal of the day. I usually use the bottom-of-the-barrel cheapo disposable razors, so I'm excited about these fancy ones! How lame is that?
Reg. $6.69 each
Sale B1G1 50% off
$13.38 (for two) - $3.35 (B1G1 deal) - $6.69 B1G1 free MQ (8/1 SS) - $3/1 MQ (7/11 SS) = $0.34, or $0.17 each.

The bottom of my receipt tells me that I saved $25.53 off of their rediculously overinflated prices! That's 81%!

And not one of these deals required any ECB. I guess CVS has redeemed itself.