Friday, December 30, 2011

January Meal Plan

1 – French toast PB & J’s

2 – Chicken Stuffing bake

3 – pierogies

4 – fish sticks, noodles

5 – spaghetti & meatballs

6 – baked potato soup, sammies

7 – sausage stroganoff

8 – roast chicken

9 – breakfast biscuit bowls

10 – takeout

11 – spaghetti and meatballs

12 – sloppy joe sliders

13 – chicken spaghetti bake (taste of home) 

14 – crescent dogs

15 – fish, noodles

16 – spaghetti & meatballs

17 – chicken nuggets tacos

18 – pizza

19 – beef lo mein

20 – leftovers

21 – soup and sammies

22 – leftovers

23 – pizza

24 – ham and noodle dinner (taste of home)

25 – spaghetti & meatballs

26 – pierogies

27 – baked potato soup and sammies

28 – fish, noodles

29 – takeout

30 – frittata, smoothies

31 - spaghetti & meatballs

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Some Serious Stuff

Well, after many days and nights arguing with J about why I didn't think it was a good idea for him to come to our home for a holiday visit (family asked him to leave for questionable behavior, not following counselors recommendations, fear of what might be brewing in him again) I don't think it's going to matter anyhow.
3 days away from Christmas and J is in the hospital - neurological ICU - being given testing to figure out what is causing his strange symptoms of fever, high white blood cell count,not making sense when talking and confusion to the point of not really knowing where he is, or remembering how he got there.
Yesterday afternoon they tested him for meningitis. I think they are also testing for encephalitis.
Serious stuff - even more so for someone with diabetes that is not well controlled.

As much as I can be angry with him for the problems, this is frightening me.

*Updated to add - not menengitis or encephalitis. Diagnosis is double pneumonia. Still serious in someone with their spleen removed and diabetic.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Chrismoose

We finished our moose crafts that we are giving to some family for Christmas gifts. I think they came out pretty cute too! You'll notice the feet prints are not made of painted feet like the hands. The boys decided that they were NOT putting their feet into the paint. So, we comprimised and we traced our feet out of felt.

We may be crossing one item off our ten projects list tonight. I've finally convinced my children to get professional haircuts - this evening! I did have to bribe them with the promise of going out for dinner for pizza and ice cream but hey, you do what you gotta do, right?

So, I'm guessing we won't have time for a project tonight.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Edible Snowflakes

We made these last night. They were super-easy. Kids had fun watching me transform a tortilla into a snowflake. They also loved the sugar on top and licked it off and asked for more at least 3 or 4 times each. My carpet looks like it snowed in the house from all the sugar falling off the snowflakes. Good thing vacuuming is on the agenda today.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

C is for Cookie

I know, I said we'd do sugar cookie cutouts, decorated, and given out to neighbors and daycare provider. Maybe that one was a little stretch.
We did make Christmas looking chocolate chip cookies (from a package) and ate them with hot cocoa with mini marshmallows in it. Yum!

That's the best I could do on this one.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Decorating Stockings

This was the next project in our Christmas lineup. The boys were a bit more excited about this one than the candy making, go figure.

Anyhow, I think they came out pretty cute, and I love their artistic differences. I think we've come up with a new annual tradition - a different stocking each year. How fun!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Peppermint Bark

Our first project in my 10 nights 'til Christmas line-up was making candy last night. I chose the peppermint bark because it seemed easy.
Only three ingredients.

Plus this, of course, for Mommy's sanity.

Kiddos loved smashing the candy canes! Alex didn't quite get why you need to use the bottom of the bowl for smashing.

And, licking the bowl out was, of course, the best part!

The finished product. Went a little bit crazy with the peppermint but today after sitting in the fridge all night, it looked wonderful! And we brought some to share at daycare.

...and kept a bunch home for ourselves.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Insecurity, Failure, and Thankfulness

I try to remember all year long that I need to be more thankful for what I have. Sometimes, at least it appears to myself, I tend to be a complainer. Sometimes the need to voice my complaints comes from my feelings of failure and the need to put it out there and hear, whether from the rational voice in my head, or from others who might comment, that I really am not a failure at things, that I really am trying and doing my best. 

My furnace is still working albeit at only 60% efficiency according to the recent energy audit I had done on the house - so I'm thankful for that. Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

It's OK to feel like I'm going to pull my hair out while the boys are running circles around me and I can't talk loud enough for them to even hear me so I have to start literally screaming just to be heard. I have to say having infertility=parenting guilt (topic for another post). But infertility also equals the ability to remember that somebody wants what I have.

It's OK to feel angry and hurt by the problems that are my marriage right now. I probably did not do much to cause them although I feel differently.

It's OK to feel angry with J when I am taking out the trash, cooking dinner, cleaning the dishes, giving the boys a bath, breaking up the kids arguments, cleaning up the toys at night, and trying to get two stalling three year olds to go to sleep. Anger is not always a wasted emotion. Sometimes it helps me power through.

It's OK to pare down the gift buying because I am a single income household.

It's OK if the laundry piles up in the laundry room.

Even though I do complain, a lot, I am truly thankful for what I have. It may not be perfect but at the end of each day, when I'm finally able to sit down (with glass, or bottle, of wine in hand) I do feel a sense of joy.

My life may be full of hurdles, and I may not be able to jump over them, but I can walk around them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the 1st Day of Christmas

OK, I know that the real 12 days of Christmas start on December 25th. And I know there should be 12 and we're now a few days short. But, no one is perfect.
The countdown is on - 10 more nights until Christmas!
I bought the boys Advent calendars so everyday as soon as we get home from work/daycare they are ripping off their coats, hats, and mittens to get at the piece of candy. You would think that the tiny piece of chocolate held some magical powers for three year old boys!
I have really nice memories of Christmas from my childhood. One memory I have is decorating the house and tree with my Mom, and I still have some of those same decorations on my own tree now. It's humorous to try to explain to a three year old how old that ornament really is.
So, to try to give Alex and Landon some of those same decorating kind of memories here's my plan for the next ten nights. Keep in mind I am on vacation after tomorrow so that could be where my overachieving ideas are coming from.

10 - making sugar cookie cutouts to give to our daycare provider and neighbors.
9 - snowman paper plate crafts
8 - Christmas tree desserts out of ice cream cones and cookies
7 - finishing our Christmas Moose crafts for family gifts
6 - make handprint wreath
5 - making chocolate bark
4 - edible snowflakes
3 - decorating our Christmas stockings
2 - walking through our neighborhood looking at decorations
1 - making chex mix for Santa's snack - he doesn't have a sweet tooth this year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

911, What's Your Emergency? has a t-shirt for sale the says "Parenthood means having 911 on speed dial." I am thinking about buying it for myself. Between having two boys, who seem to get injured more often (although that may be a myth because I'm a girl and only had sisters so no real experience growing up in a household with boys) and my own weird hypochondriac nature, I feel like having 911 on speed dial is in my foreseeable future.
This morning, while getting dressed, the boys were running between their room and the bathroom. I heard the water running and them chatting about brushing their teeth - but thought no way they could actually do it themselves (without me supervising AND opening the toothpaste tube.)
Next thing I know, Alex is standing behind me drinking the toothpaste out of the tube. WHAT?!?! I grabbed it from him and of course it says if swallowed to call poison control. I immediately began thinking my child was in grave danger. I asked him, repeatedly how much he drank. He said he didn't know, he said a lot, he said a little, he said up to 6. Again, WHAT?!?!
I said I was going to have to call the doctor. He's crying, Landon's crying, they are saying they don't want to go to the doctor's. I actually called my friend, who is a mom of two grown children (so she survived as did they) and asked her opinion. After a few minutes on the phone we concluded that since the tube was still rather full, and he didn't have it all over the place, it was probably safe to just give him lots of water to drink and watch him. The alternative being going to the ER, inducing vomiting, and having a child who for the rest of his life will refuse to brush his teeth.

I did however, tell them that it was the doctor on the phone, and that he said they should NEVER do that again. They bought my story. They escaped injury this time. And, hopefully, there was a lesson learned about drinking Crest. Plus I'm sure Alex had fresh breath for the entire day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Two in the Bed and the Little One Said

I was getting ready for work this morning and it was time for the boys to start getting dressed. Alex was in my bed (as he often is at 7:00am) and Landon was still in his bed. I went into the kids' room, with Alex following. I asked them both to pick out a shirt to wear for the day. Alex proceeded to climb into Landon's bed, get under the covers and snuggle with his brother. And they both told me how tired they were - and could they sleep for just 11 more minutes?


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December Meal Plan

1 - Chicken Stuffing Bake, vegetables 

2 - fish sticks, vegetables, noodles or rice

3 - spaghetti and meatballs

4 - chunky soup with rice

5 - Layered Meatball bake

6 - pierogies, vegetables

7 - unstuffed shells, salad

8 - pierogies, vegetables

9 - chili, veggie sticks, breadsticks

10 - spaghetti and meatballs

11 - rigatoni with greens and beans (see October for recipe)

12 - cream cheese chicken, rice

13 - sausage stroganoff

14 - Breakfast biscuit bowls, fruit

15 - Sausage Tater Crescent Pizza, fruit

16 - Pasta with Spinach and Sausage, garlic bread

17 - Ratatouille with pasta (recipe in Women's World magazine)

18 - Ham and Cheese Ziti, salad (Taste of Home)

19 - Chicken nugget tacos, mexican rice

20 - spaghetti and meatballs

21 - dinner out

22 - baked potato soup, grilled sandwiches

23 - Beefy tomato and spinach rotini

24 - Lasagna casserole

25 - Visiting family

26 - visiting family

27 - visiting family

28 - visiting family

29 - spaghetti and meatballs

30 - Cheesy Vegetable Chowder, rolls

31 - take out dinner

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shopping savings 11/11/11

Went to Tops this past weekend - Got 5 packages of pasta, 4 boxes of hot chocolate mix, 8 boxes of brownie mix, snacks, and a package of sweet moments dessert bites (Yum!!)
Total retail value- $42.00
Total OOP - $6.95

Saved - $35.05 or 83%!!

Now that's the kind if savings that'll get us on that cruise or help pay for college!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Guns and Roses singing in my head

"All we need is just a little patience..."
As I sit here tonight, the words of Axel Rose spinning in my head, I can't help but wonder how many other people have concerns about their level of patience with their families.
I am normally a pretty patient person. I don't seem to have the instant gratification gene,  I have no problem waiting for my favorite movie to come out on DVD before seeing it, and I pride myself on my ability to (most of the time) speak to people in a calm manner, even when I'm upset about something. I even wonder at times if I have the ability to get angry. I have a hard time expressing anger. But tonight, for whatever reason, my patience tank was completely empty.
We've been looking at different comforter sets for the boys beds, since all summer they only used light blankets. I wanted to get the sets before it gets really cold. I found really cute train sets and when I went online to order them found out they were discontinued. I finally broke down and asked the boys what sets they wanted - of course the answer was Thomas the Train. So, I ordered them. They were backordered and nearly every day the boys asked when they would be coming. Finally today I got the text that they had arrived. I ran to the store on my lunch so they would be waiting for the boys when they got home. And they so happy when they saw them. They kept saying thank you, thank you, thank you.
When we went upstairs for bed I went to put the sheets on the beds and they didn't want them. I sort of lost it. I didn't yell, or say anything mean, but I did kind of blow up and start ranting about how I was going to return them to the store and get my money back, yadda, yadda, yadda.....

Alex looked at me and said, "Mommy, calm, calm..."

I don't know what happened. I read parenting books. Walk away when your children upset you, count to ten, we all know the suggestions for keeping it under control. I know that 3 year olds are creatures of habit, finding comfort in the confines of routine and sameness. Why did it upset me so much that they didn't want to change the blankets they use tonight? 

After he said that, I did calm down. We read our stories, asked our stalling questions, and finally got into bed. As I tucked Alex in, I thanked him for telling me to calm down. I told him that just like when he gets upset and I tell him to calm down and think things through, sometimes Mommy needs to be reminded to do that too, when she is getting upset for maybe no good reason. I asked him if he would be my "calmer downer" when I need it. He said he would.

Lesson learned little boy....Thank you for helping to teach me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Verdict - Cheesy Potato Soup

I made the potato soup yesterday. I have a weird obsession with this stuff lately. I had lunch at Panera the other day and got it for lunch. This stuff was fabulous! So, I decided to make my own. The recipe was super simple and I made it in the crockpot which made it even easier. I was bummed that I didn't get to the store as I would have liked some fresh chives in it but I will add those next time. I did nearly burn my house down making the bacon - the boys and I were playing some Mickey Mouse game on the computer (Landon's love for computer games is already beginning to worry me) and forgot that it was cooking until I heard some strange crackling and went into the kitchen to find the smoke beginning to get out of control. Made it just in time to turn on the fan and NOT set off the smoke alarm. Good thing I changed those batteries with the daylight savings time change.
The soup turned out great. Anything with cheese and bacon in it is great in my book.
The boys wouldn't touch it - they don't like soup (they've never even tried soup) but assured me that when they get bigger they will like soup.
Who cares....they ate grilled cheese sandwiches. I got delicious, cheesy, soup. Everyone was happy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween

We did great for the first Halloween that the boys actually understood what it was, what to do, and could get excited about it! The costumes turned out fabulous and we got tons of comments about how great they looked! I'm thinking about entering them into the best and cheapest homemade costume contest on facebook. Boys had a ball getting candy and will now have a ball eating it. What a great day - I have never had so much fun trick or treating as I did last night.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Verdict - Sausage Pasta Skillet

This recipe worked well for our family. The boys like sausage (will rarely touch hamburger) and macaroni. I served theirs' with sauce on it, instead of the veggies andcheese sauce that the recipe suggests. I just put that into mine. Because Alex and Landon are also creatures of habit and any kind of macaroni should be served with red sauce on it. Only.Red.Sauce.Always.

Good dinner, good leftovers too. It's a keeper!

Friday, October 28, 2011

All the live long day

I'm finishing up the train costumes today. I have to; trick of treating is this weekend. Why I chose to be an overachiever and make costumes, I don't know. But someone, PLEASE remind me next year that even though it may cost a little bit more it may be so much easier to BUY the costumes (especially when one's strength is not making crafts)
J is coming for a visit this weekend. To trickk or treat with the boys. Look for an update in the Marriage Chronicles on how this visit goes. I'm going to try to write my letter, outlining my expectations, tonight so I can share with him over the weekend. On my therapists suggestion. Apparently I have a ton of thoughts on the subject in my head, but I'm not very good at sharing them. And, it's only fair for him to know exactly what my expectations for future work on our marriage are.

Happy Halloween.

Pictures of costumes, pumpkins, and trick or treating to come next week.

November Meal Plan

1 - Spinach Artichoke Pasta

2 - Chicken Stuffing Bake, vegetables  (OAMC - Make two, freeze one for December)

3 - Toddler Cheesy Potato Soup, sandwiches

4 - spaghetti and meatballs

5- Frittata, hash browns, toast

6- Goldfish pizza, veggie sticks

7- fish sticks, vegetables, noodles or rice

8- pierogies, vegetables

9- spaghetti and meatballs

10- chili, veggie sticks, breadsticks

11- unstuffed shells, salad

12 - rigatoni with greens and beans (see October for recipe)

13 - Bacon Alfredo casserole

14 - chunky soup with rice or biscuits

15 - cheeseburger macaroni, veggies (Alex SWORE he would eat this - we'll see)

16 - spaghetti and meatballs

17 - fish sticks, vegetables, noodles or rice

18 - Make ahead sausage casserole, smoothies

19 - Breakfast biscuit bowls, fruit

20 - Macaroni and Cheese with Beef, salad

21 - pierogies, vegetables

22 - Cream cheese chicken, rice (frozen from October OAMC cooking) (crockpot)

23 - spaghetti and meatballs

24 - Thanksgiving Dinner

25 - visiting family

26 - visiting family

27 - visiting family

28 - Sausage Tater Crescent Pizza, fruit

29 - Pasta with Spinach and Sausage, garlic bread

30 - spaghetti and meatballs

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I've been working on the railroad

Last night we began working on making the boys Halloween costumes. They've both decided that they want to be Thomas and James, trains from the Thomas the Tank Train series. Not conductors, or train passengers, but actual trains. So my thought was, "how in the He*! am I going to do this?"
I am probably the least crafty person around. When I make something it always appears that a four year old constructed it. I am great at drawing stick figures but that's about it. So, how do I build a train costume and make it look halfway decent?
I searched the Internet and found some great directions. We had two boxes in the house so last night we cut them, and taped them into the proper shape for trains. I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself after this first step - they don't look half bad!
Next step is painting them. Which the kids want to help with. Which should be rather interesting (read: messy)
We're headed to Wal-Mart tonight after dinner to buy the paint; and may start painting tomorrow. Well, if they end up looking terrible I think I'll still have time to go out and BUY a costume.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Always Heart Breaking

We traveled to Grandpa's for the weekend to take part in the Making Strides for Breast Cancer walk with some family (more about that later). We visited with J. The boys had a great time.
I came home feeling torn, and sad. I never imagined our marriage would be this way - I didn't ask for this. And, it makes me so angry that J's decisions caused all of this. And if it were just me I could walk away from him in a moment's notice. But what makes it so hard, and makes me cry, inside and out, is when I hear my 3 year olds tell their daddy that they love him. And, then tell me that they miss their daddy and they want daddy to come back and live at our house again. It breaks my heart into a million pieces every time I hear the boys say things like that.
I wish that I could feel like it would be "safe" for that to happen.
I wish J never put our family in this situation.
I wish I knew how to explain this all to a 3 year old.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Therapy is awesome

So, I've been seeing a therapist for about two months now to help to sort out thoughts about the future of my relationship with J. As I mentioned a while back J has some serious issues that have yet to be completely resolved and I am still not sure how I should be handling the issue.

Therapy is a great thing - for any of you who have never been. It is so refreshing to be able to just sit, open your mouth and let everything out, with no filters like you may have when talking to family or friends. It really makes things far clearer than when they are muddied up with filtering. Kind of like the air conditioner filter - you take it out and it is full of gunk. No filter, no gunk to cloud things.
I give J credit for taking it upon himself to go to rehab, for the fourth time, back in July. And he did it on his own - no legal mumbo jumbo forcing it. But now he's been out since the beginning of August, living with his family, and I still do not see any evidence of steps he's taking to deal with his addiction. Sure a 30 day stint is a good thing - but what about after-care? Isn't that the most important part of recovery? Things you do to keep yourself on track? He does nothing. Which is what he's always done. Which make me fairly certain we'll end up with the same result we've always gotten - relapse.
I have ideas in my head about what I think potentially successful reocvery looks like - I think I'm going to share them with J. I just don't want to get further down the road, with him continuing to do nothing, and then drop a bomb on him that I can't work on our rleationship unless he's taking what I believe to be some positive steps toward recovery. And, while he can make his own decisions about what steps he feels he needs to take - I also have to make my own decisions about what I can live with confortably

Thursday, October 13, 2011

FREE arrid deodorant

I rarely find deodorant that is either for female use or gender neutral for a good stock up price, let alone for free. So I must get some of this this week.
Looks like we'll be making a trip over to Walgreens.

Thanks Money Saving Mom!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Free Listerine Total Care Mouthwash

Print off this coupon for $2.00 off any Listerine total care mouthwash. Take it to your Walmart and you could score some free mouthwash, plus possibly even make a little change depending on your store's prices.

Thanks, I heart the mart!

Verdict - Cream Cheese Chicken

We had the cream cheese chicken this weekend while my sister was visiting. I let her pick three items off our October meal plan that she wanted to try. First thing I loved about this recipe was the simplicity! I threw a pound of frozen chicken breast into the crockpot. No need to thaw! Then covered that with one packet of dry Italian dressing mix, one can of cream of chicken soup, and one 8ounce container of cream cheese. Put lid on, set on low, and you're done.
8 hours later - with the house filled with a delicious aroma, we sat down to have dinner.
We had this over rice and it was awesome!You could even add some frozen peas toward the end of the cooking time to round out the meal.
While the kids are not big meat eaters yet and I still needed to give them some picky-eater pre-schooler staple like fish sticks, I did mix some of the chicken bits and sauce with the rice and Landon ate three servings of rice.
This was a hit and will definitely be added to a rotating monthly meal plan.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Free Tissues

You can get a FREE box of Kleenex cool touch tissues and also send one to a friend. Since I feel like I'm getting cold this weekend this couldn't come at a better time.

Request one here

Thanks Living rich with coupons!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Getting Big

FREE Progresso Soup

Right now Progresso soup has a rebate for a free can of Progresso Rich and Hearty Soup, any variety (up to $2.68)
Purchase must be made between 9/1/11-1/31/12
You can find the rebate form here.

Love soup in the fall and winter! Wish I could get the kids to like it more - maybe in time.

Thanks, Krazy Coupon Lady!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

$1.00 off any 4 Scotties

$1.00 off any 4 Scotties tissues. Love these coupons - they had some great printable ones on their website a while back but for now they are gone. I do check now and then to see if they will bring them back - those were $0.50 off one which, doubled, made for free tissues.
For now I'll take this one, makes them only $0.75 each at my store.

Thanks, Printable Coupons and Deals!

QOTW - What do I love about fall?

Fall is my absolute favorite season. Something about the cool, crisp weather, the colors of the leaves changing, the fall holidays, and pumpkin anything. I even picked the first day of autumn as the day to get married.
I think my favorite thing about the fall season is the sense of renewal I feel. I know that most people view the spring season as the season of renewal but I think fall is the season of renewal. I think about the new school year starting and that fresh start you get from that. I work now in a organization where our year kicks off in the fall - so again - a new chance to reach goals, achieve things, begin something new.
The sound of a football game taking place, the smell of pumpkin pie, the taste of a juice sweet apple just picked from the tree, and seeing the kids jumping in big piles of colorful leaves brings me joy.

Friday, September 30, 2011

October Menu Plan

As a single working mom with two busy kids I thought I'd try to take up menu planning. I have some friends who are great at it - and I've been taking some advice and tips from them. Plus, menu planning is a BIG step in couponing and saving money. So, we're gonna give it a go. And, I'll do my best to give some reviews of new things we try. Since a lot of my menu planning will be focused on families with picky eaters.

1- Breakfast Biscuit Bowls, fruit

2 - Pizza Chicken, noodles (crockpot)

3- Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread

4- Pierogies, vegetables

5 - Cream Cheese Chicken, rice (crockpot) (OAMC - make two, freeze one for November)

6 - Baked Mexican Penne, (OAMC - make two, freeze one for Nov/Dec)

7 - Goldfish Pizza, veggie sticks

8- Sausage and Pasta Skillet

9- Fish Sticks, rice or noodles, fruit

10- Spaghetti and Meatballs, garlic bread

11- Breakfast Burritos, yogurt fruit smoothies

12 - Ham and Pasta Skillet

13- Chicken Lickin drumsticks, rice, veggies

14- Unstuffed Shells, salad (OAMC, freeze one for November/December)

15- We're all staying at Grandpa's for weekend

16- We're all staying at Grandpa's for weekend

17- Spaghetti and Meatballs, garlic bread

18- Savory Italian Sausage Stew, pasta

19- Pierogies, vegetables

20- Chunky soup with rice

21- dinner out

22- Sausage Stroganoff (using Hamburger Helper)

23- Grilled Cheese sandwiches, soup

24- Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread

25- Salisbury Steak, potatoes, vegetables

26- Frittata with broccoli and cheese, fruit, toast

27- Crescent Dogs, fries

28- fish sticks, rice or noodles, fruit

29 - Rigatoni with greens and beans (omit red pepper)

30- Pizza (Takeout)

31 - Monster Claws

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


best deals I found for myself today: - will be great with my breakfast for dinner day - already have one of these BUT it is a $6.00 moneymaker so may need an additional one.

Thanks, Printable coupons and deals and Krazy coupon lady!

Pork with Sauerkraut Recipe

Pork tenderloin - had a $1.00 of coupon for these making total less than $5.00
two bags sauerkraut - free from our Fun on the Farm excursion over the weekend
one apple - $1.00

Put all in crockpot. Cook on low for 10 hours.

Dinnner will be wiating for us when we get home. Just boil some water for some Idahoan bag potatoes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Deals 9-26-11

My Deal of the day was Walgreens 24ct maxi pads - I paid $2.00 and got a $2.00 RR
Gotta love FREE.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fun on the Farm

The kids and I went to a fun event this weekend called "Fun on the Farm." Every year a different local farmer hosts it and they have a tour of the farm, local farmer vendors, food samples, and education and awareness of farming. I figured since the boys love animals it would be a fun thing to do together.

We got to sample local apples, strawberry milk, and apple chips. And some cheese, which before I realized it, I gave Alex a sample of roasted garlic cheddar. I was fully expecting him to spit it everywhere but to my surprise he told me it was, and I quote, Yummmmy!

The kids played some fun farm games, like bowling with cabbage, and ring toss over milk jugs, and we won some bags of sauerkraut, and string cheese.

We saw some cows being milked and got to pet a baby calf.

We did not take a hay ride because Landon informed me that tractors drive too fast.

And, when we were leaving Alex told me that while we were in the milking barn he was sure one of the cows was going to start chasing him. What an imagination!

On the way back to the car we stopped at some HUGE tractors which they loved - anything trucks, cars, or machinery is amazing. Definate male mentality.

It really was fun on the farm. And we got to get out of the house, learn some new things together, and enjoy a beautiful fall day.

Deals 9-25-11

I only found one deal I was interested in today. A new coupon for $1.00/3 Furmano's canned tomatoes - I use these to make spaghetti sauce in big batches that I then freeze for the month.

Thanks, Living Rich with Coupons!

Deals of the day

I check a lot of couponing websites on a daily basis to help with my couponing "habit". There are more deals out there than you could imagine. I wish I had known about all of these tips sooner - could have been saving a bundle for years.
I'm going to share my top 3 deals of the day - look under the deals of the day tab for these posts.
Happy shopping and saving!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shopping 9-23-11

First trip was to Rite Aid - where I got pull-ups, wipes, tampons, tissues, and dishwasher soap. I am fully stocked up on the tampons, tissues, and dishwasher soap now for probably 3 months.
Total retail value was $77.48
My OOP was 32.37
savings of 55%

Then Walmart - I never really save a huge percentage on my walmart trips because they are big trips, meant for a purchase that will cover two weeks of food, and the kids are with me (and they are now able to throw things into the cart that they want - like yogurt smoothies, cookies, extra grapes, etc)
Between price matching and coupons I was able to save 13% off this trip as well.
Not too shabby.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

You say it's your birthday....

Happy Birthday boys. I can not believe that you are 3.years.old Time goes so quickly - sometimes I look at you and I still can't believe that you are here. Other times, like when you're fighting over a toy, or WWF wrestling in the living room, the noise in our house makes it very clear that you are here.

I will never forgot what it was like to have a silent home.

And, I'll take the noise any day.

Happy Birthday. I love you both very much!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

4th Blogoversary

Tomorrow is my 4 year Blogoversary. Four years since I started writing as a way to sort out my feelings of despair as J and I struggled with infertility and how we would ever build a family.
I now struggle sometimes with continuing to blog - although I do love to write and always have found that I feel I can express myself best in writing. There are so many issues with maintaining a blog - time to write and whether or not anyone is interested in what I'm writing are the two main ones for me.
It is so often difficult to write, trying to raise two small children alone and maintain a household as well. So many times, I think to myself, "OMG, I'd love to tell the world about this." But by the time, we finish whatever it is that we're doing, and the boys get to bed, and I actually have some time to sit down and write, I'm often too exhausted to sign on to the computer and put our story down on virtual paper. I should try harder because 1. I hope that someday my children will be able to see this blog as a virtual memory book and 2. I don't want to use the excuse of having to raise two children alone as an excuse for not doing something. There are probably millions of people doing the same things every day - and I try to live by the idea that if something is important to you you will find time for it.
I guess the bigger issue for me now is whether anyone is interested in what I have to say. I guess I don't always feel like we have the most exciting life - I see it more as pretty average. With the one small difference being my children are twins. So most posts are about them and where they are at developmentally, pictures, etc. Nothing extraordinarily exciting. Except to me and the people who know and love them.
Before my blog turned into a parenting multiples blog the writing came so easily for me - I could spew off post after post about my subject matter - infertility - and I had such clear opinions on the subject. I also felt really confident in my knowledge of the subject matter - I felt like I was an expert on infertility - having been in the trenches for nearly 7 years. Now, with the parenting multiples blog, well, I'm not a parenting expert. I'm not an expert at raising kids. Hell, most days I feel like I don't know what the hell I'm doing and my kids will be lucky if we can get through to adulthood without major mistakes on my part. I yell sometimes when I probably shouldn't, I let them watch maybe too much t.v, and eat junk food snacks instead of apples, I just don't know how much I'm doing right or wrong.
So, that makes it even more difficult to write - like what the heck does this chick know about raising multiples?

But I do know that I am learning more and more about parenting multiples each day and maybe someday I will be an expert. Maybe I'll publish a book about raising twins and all the joy and chaos that goes along with that. Even if I'm not a one-day expert though, at least my children will be able to look back on this blog and have some evidence of the mistakes I made to use against me - and some evidence of my love for them as well.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I've been DVR'ing and watching Dr. Phil at night after the boys go to bed. It's my me-time (sometimes a drink, almost always potato chips, and Dr. Phil or a book - on the kindle)

Last night Dr. Phil said something that resonated with me -- "There are a few absolute drop dead dealbreakers in a marriage."

What J did was, according to Dr. Phil, a dealbreaker - so why can I not be more angry? Should I be? Every day I wonder if I'm handling the situation the way I should be. Everyone I talk to about it is biased - they are my family and friends. So, I've decided to seek out the opinion and help of a professional counselor. I need to make sure I handle this situation in the best possible manner for the boys and their future.

Savings 8-14-11

Grocery shopping trip this week included shopping at Rite Aid, Top's and Walmart - plus ordering pull ups from Amazon

Amazon - $21.11 for 96 count pampers pull ups - 21cents each

Total merchandise - $277.00
Total OOP - $202.00
Savings of $75.00 or about 27%

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Staycation July 2011

We had a staycation this past week. Tons of fun! We did so much and it completely stunk going back to work. And try explaining to two 3 year olds why today is a work day and not another vacation day. Not fun.

To start off the week we spent the weekend at Grandpa's house visiting. We went to the beach - but once again the boys were not willing to go in the water, or even near the water for that matter. So, needless to say we didn't stay long in the 95 degree weather. I don't understand my children and their obsession with keeping their socks and shoes on. Must come from J. I prefer to go around barefoot as much as possible.

On Monday we visited Grandpa with the beard and then drove home, with Aunt Stef, to our house. This was the first visit with Grandpa with the beard that Alex did not cry at (those beards are a scary thing you know). He even was willing to ride next to Grandpa in the golf cart.

Tuesday the boys did go to daycare so that Mommy could car shop - the car is in desperate need of being retired. And we were able to find one so we should have it soon.

Then for the rest of the week we did different fun things.

We went to the fair, and saw all the animals, attempted rides but were too scared, and won a nemo fish by playing a ball toss game. Sadly though, Nemo wanted to go back to the ocean to visit his own Mom and dad so we sent him there by way of toilet flush the next day. We went to the play museum and saw Big Bird's nest, rode on a train, and shopped at the pretend grocery store. We went to the playground and the beach and actually went into the water (although we did keep our socks on) and had fun building a sand castle. If I tell my children I need their superpowers to help build the castle they are much more willing to go close to the water.

There was one incident where we got a little too tired and had a major meltdown. But luckily no one actually called the police on Mommy - they just thought I was abducting Alex from Walmart as he screamed at the top of his lungs, "No, No, Go back, No, I won't get in the car! I NEED a Toy!!" Good thing he threw in the last part about the toy or I seriously might have been sitting in a jail cell while Aunt Stef went to get the boys birth certificates for my proof of parenthood.

They say marriage is for better or for worse. So is parenthood I guess.

All in all it was a great staycation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shopping plans 7-22-2011

I won't be buying much this week as we're headed on a road trip to visit family for the weekend. But there are two great deals I can't pass up.

Charmin big roll toilet paper 16 count $4.99
Use coupon from P&G insert
Final cost - $4.74 or 29 cents per roll

Rite Aid
Samy Fat Foam Hair color $8.99
Buy 2
Use $3.00/$15.00 order receipt coupon
Use (2) $3.00/1 coupon from Samy Fat Foam Facebook page
OOP cost - $8.98
Get $10.00 in UPR's
Final cost - FREE plus $1.02 money maker

Stocking up on toilet paper because I know that with two boys who will soon (read: hopefully) be potty trained we'll be using more of this. And, need those hair colors since single handedly raising two pre-schoolers seems to be causing a few (read: lots) more grays to appear on my head.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Savings 7-15-11

I shopped at Rite Aid, Tops, and Walmart this week. Trip included groceries for two weeks, toys for boys (two puzzles and two cars/truck), plus two t-shirts for Mommy.
Total merchandise $234.16
Total OOP $179.01
Savings of 23%

Not quite extreme couponing...but near a quarter % savings. Not bad.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekly Freebies 7-15-11

This week in my mailbox I got:
Sample pack of Playtex Sport tampons which included a high-value coupon for $1.00 off an 18count box
Coupon for a FREE Suave Naturals Body Lotion
Organize in STyle coupon book worth $35.00 in savings

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's normal for you may not be for me

We visted the zoo this past weekend. While watching the wolf circle around his area, Alex asked me, "Mommmy where is his twin?" I explained that maybe he didn't have a twin. Then Landon said, "well of course he does; he's right there" and pointed out the second wolf.
Cute that they think that everything has a twin.

Shopping Plans 7-15-11

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I am seriously trying to save money and couponing has become my latest obsession. With being a single income household and two children to educate I've got to find ways to reduce my debt and build my savings and give us a little breathing room in our monthly budget so that I can sometimes buy that toy the boys want or maybe even take a little vacation. Couponing, from my brief research, seems to be a good strategy to start with.
I shop every other week - so I'll try to post some of my lists, and coupon strategies, and of course, what I saved. Maybe you'll find it helpful.

Plan for week of 7/15 -
Rite Aid
Simplicity toilet paper 24 rolls $5.00 (that is 21 cents per roll!) Buy 2
Purex laundry detergent $1.97 Buy 2
Total - 13.94
Use $4.86 UPR's from previous shopping trip
Total OOP - $9.08

I'll be buying some of the items listed here --
Thanks Coupons for your family!

Regular groceries needed (milk, half and half, eggs, pull-ups, meat, produce) I've got to organize my coupons for my Walmart trip myself sometime before this weekend.

I'll post after the shopping what my savings were.

Does this thing blow bubbles?

The new lawn mower arrived this morning. The boys were super excited about it coming and wanted me to open the box right away. No time though - had to get to work. So, after work tonight we'll be unpacking the mower, and READING THE DIRECTIONS this time, so that this mower might last more than a year. Who knows, maybe it will even last so long that one day in the future the boys will be fighting over who gets to mow the lawn.
Ha! Who am I kidding? I remember that chore as a teenager - it was great when I was in a "I'm getting in shape this summer" mode but that quickly got old, and then the cool air conditioner and daytime television began calling me....

While Landon loves to push his bubble mower around the yard now I'm sure that in another ten years, the mower will be in the middle of the yard, grass half-cut, and he will be in the house, on the phone, watching television, playing video games, or out playing with friends.
Alex has already laid his claim as the one who likes to watch his brother mow the lawn. His bubble mower had spider webs all over it from lack of use.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July

The boys and I spent the weekend with family enjoying the zoo, the lake, making sandcastles and eating BBQ.
They had a ball seeing all the animals at the zoo and it never ceases to amaze me when one of them steps out of their comfort zone to do something I would have never thought they would. Alex, who is normally hesitant to try new things, loved petting the deer at the zoo. Couldn't get enough of it. He said it was, "Cool."
We made sandcastles at the beach and Landon counted close to 100 boats that went by that day. He has informed me that we have to get a boat. Sure, but first a lawn mower to replace the broken one so I can get the lawn mowed before I lose you in it.

I love summer.

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Hobbies

If you can call it a hobby that is. What with having two near-three year olds, working, and being a Mom thrown once again into single parenthood by a husband with far too many issues, I have taken up the "hobby" of couponing. It is quickly becoming an obssession with me - how much can I save, where can I find the best deal. I figure with two boys heading to college at the same time I need to get a jump on this savings plan NOW.
Landon actually called me the coupon lady the other day.

One thing that's come along with couponing is signing my self up for freebies everywhere I can. Today I found this
I look forward to getting my sample in the mail. I'm sure the bugs will love it and will tell you about it when they've tried it. Anything with less sugar is a good thing.

I'll post an update about the boys soon. They are up to soooo much lately - the conversations, the increasing independence, what a fun, fun age we're at!

Looking forward to a fun summer - the car's movie coming out, and winnie the pooh (those will be our first trips to a movie theater), going to our family's cmap at the lake, the splash park, zoo, and the Great American Backyard Campout (we're going to make S'mores!)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Serious Update

Seriously, I am the worst blogger on the face of the earth. I haven't posted since December - how can that be? Gosh, life goes by way to fast. So, for updates:
1. I see the last post had to do with my favorite holiday cookies. The bugs and I made them - and I am not a baker. LOVE to cook, but baking is not my thing. When the cookies were done I gave them to the bugs, who proceeded to spit them out and tell me, "Mommy, these are yucky." We won't try that again.
2. Christmas was fabulous! The first year they are beginning to understand about Santa. Spent way too much money and also way too much time putting together toys Christmas Eve night - while cursing a lot I might add - but their faces Christmas morning made it all worth it. And to this day, some mornings Landon still comes down the stairs and sees his toys and says, "Santa brought new toys!"
3. Went away for the first time leaving the bugs home for 4 days - for a work convention. It was scary anticipating how it would go and I missed them terribly. But we all survived. Them better than me I think.
4. We are still not interested in the potty. Nearly 31 months old and I'm told, "We like our diapers, Mommy." I try not to stress about it - they'll be out of diapers before high school, right?
5. We have become seriously picky eaters although we always have room for dessert. Hummmm?
6. We can count in English and Spanish, jump with both feet off the ground, climb stairs really fast, and basically make Mommy crazy with worry a lot.
7. We have already begun the, "He's touching me. Stop touching me." phase of our lives - if I remember correctly from my own personal experience with my siblings this will last until they turn 30 years old.
8. We are the best of friends (at times) and complete opposites. If Alex says black, Landon says white - often just to push the other one's buttons.

I will post a picture update post soon.

If this blog is ever going to become a story for my boys to look back on when their grown then I have got to get serious about posting more - so my goal - at least a once a week post. Starting NOW.