Thursday, December 25, 2008

Only a few hours of Christmas day left

Today was such a fun day. Starting at 7:20 the girls both got up ready to open presents. Chadwick and I looked at each other, both excited as well and got the camera rolling. We were both excited to see the girls open their presents and experience Sophie's first Christmas.

I realized a few things today:

1. This is our first and last Christmas with 2 children. Next year there will be 3!

2. Sophie could care less at this age about opening presents. She just wants to crawl all over the empty boxes and mounds of wrapping paper.

3. It is a hard thing to share new toys!

4. My husband bought me a more thoughtful gift than I expected. A thoughtful gift that took over a year of saving and planning for. I am very blessed! (P.s. It's a new green laptop!)

5. Sophie loved her "last minute" stocking gift the best out of all of them- "Mr. Giraffe"

Here is a picture of each girl and their "favorite gift" of the day.

Here is Sophie with Mr. Giraffe. She loved Mr. Giraffe. She carried it around ALL DAY! Seriously, she was crawling and pulling it along by a leg or a tail wherever she went. We would lose it admist all the wrapping paper and she would wind up finding it. She's also doing her tongue roll trick for the camera.
If you were to ask Addie what she wanted for Christmas she would always say "Baby Chou Chou!" Granted, hardly anyone could understand what she was trying to say, mommy and daddy knew what she wanted. This is not technically a "baby chou cou" doll, but I think it's even better. It talks, giggles, says words, drinks from a bottle (even makes the sounds) and cries. Chou Chou came with her own bed, diaper bag (with bottles, paci, clothes, diapers, spoon, food dish) and a pillow and blanket. Addie loves it! She even went to bed w/ Chou Chou tonight and fed her a bottle while she dozed off.

We had a great Christmas and were so thankful for all of our family and friends that we were able to spend it with. Whether on the phone or in person, thanks for taking the time to wish us a "Merry Christmas!"

And now... Merry Christmas to all, and to all a GOOD NIGHT!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Needing a bit of fresh summer air

A few days ago, a friend and I were discussing how were both are so tired of winter already! We grew to hate it even more when we realized that we still have about 3 months of winter to go. The snow, the cold temperatures, the ice sticking to your car, the gray sky and slippery ground makes me want to stay inside. How in the world, we asked each other, are we going to make it for 3 more months?! My friend, Katie, recently posted 10 things she would do to make it through winter successfully and joyfully. I felt the need to respond and create my own list.

I have 11 things :<)

1. Music- I just got 3 great new country albums from my sis- in law! Yes, country- I am trying a new genre! After all, I love country line dancing. :<) hey... that could be added to my list
2. Country Line dance in my kitchen- and teach Addie a few moves!
3. Play more music myself. I can play the piano and should play!
4. Definitely be caught with a good book. Maybe picking a book with a warm season going on would make me feel better.
5. Research and learn more about gardening, that way when spring does come around I will feel prepared!
6. Plan our family vacation for next spring/summer... wait,I will be 8 months pregnant then! Okay make that summer/fall vacation.
7. Speaking of being pregnant... Enjoy life with 2 kiddos! Try to venture out to the mall to let them play.
8. Plan my next decorating attack on our house. Will it be the living room? Bedroom? Kitchen? Or the Brabsons coming over to help us refinish our hardwood floors?
9. Absolutely take more video/pictures of the girls every day.
10. Scrapbook, scrapbook, scrapbook! I need to catch up, and love doing it. It's the perfect inside activity. :<)
11. Learn how to make the perfect cup of hot tea and find my favorite type of tea along the way. Speaking of cute pictures... Here are a few recent ones. Addie and Sophie playing with the nativity.

"Baby Jesus!"Addie loves to point out baby jesus whenever we drive by a nativity scene.

Sophie with a funny face.

Addie eating the icing instead of icing her Christmas cookie

Monday, October 20, 2008

Meal Planning Mommies


If you haven't checked out my Meal Planning Mommies blog yet, you absolutely have to!
I am a co-author w/ 2 other friends of mine: Alisha from Indiana and Katie from Springfield,IL.

Our blog is all about MEAL PLANNING! What is meal planning? Meal planning is basically just like is says- planning out your meals ahead of time. Meal planning is important if you are busy, but it even becomes more important when you have kids plus your busy schedule!

Here are some benefits of meal planning:

1. Stops your husband/kids from asking the annoying question over and over of:
"What's for dinner?!?"

2. Prevents you from looking in the freezer then the cabinet and back to the freezer again trying to put some kind of healthy meal together at 5 p.m. (dinner time in our house!)

3. Allows your family to eat healthier (b/c you plan it that way!)

4. You can eat on a budget b/c you know exactly what you need for each meal. You can base your meals around sales at your grocery store or coupons you have.

5. Prevents last minute spending at the grocery store.

6. Makes YOU happier! It takes away one more last minute decision and stress for the day!



On our blog not only can you learn how to meal plan, but EVEN BETTER we MEAL PLAN FOR YOU!

Each week we will post on Sunday a Meal plan and Grocery list for the week. Then each day we will post the specific recipe for dinner that night along with step by step pictures with each recipe.

If you haven't started meal planning, definitely check out meal planning mommies.
Better yet, add us to your blog roll (www.mealplanningmommies.blogspot.com)!

We've got some yummy things going on!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thoughts from an organizer...

So, my sister-in-law, Cassie recently posted about a "color" test you can do online that is supposed to identify your career path and personality. This is what mine resulted in:

Based on the colors I chose I am described as:
  • Key Words:
    Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate

    These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. They often enjoy mathematics and data management activities such as accounting and investment management. Persistence and patience allows them to do detailed paperwork, operate office machines, write business reports, and make charts and graphs.

    ORGANIZER CAREERS
    Suggested careers are Administrator, Secretary, Printer, Paralegal, Building Inspector, Bank Cashier, Private Secretary, Statistician, Operations Manager, Financial Analyst, Bookkeeper, Medical Records Technician, Developer of Business or Computer Systems, Clerical Worker, Proofreader, Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Banker, Certified Public Accountant, Credit Manager, Store Salesperson, Actuary, Dental Assistant, Business Education Teacher, Food Service Manager, IRS Agent, Budget Analyst, and Underwriter.

    ORGANIZER WORKPLACES
    Your very careful, conscientious, conservative nature gives others the confidence to trust you with handling money and material possessions. Structured organizations that have well-ordered chains of command work best for you.

    Suggested Organizer workplaces are large corporations, business offices, financial lending institutions, banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and quality control and inspection departments.

  • 2nd Best Occupational Category

    You're a DOER

    Key Words:
    Emotionally Stable, Reliable, High Energy, Practical, Thrifty, and Persistent These adventurous types prefer action-oriented, concrete problems rather than dealing with thought-provoking, ambiguous, abstract dilemmas. Fields of interest include mechanical, construction, and outdoor careers. They might also enjoy working with machines, tools, and equipment to repair or build something.

So, for those of you that know me well... I'd like to hear your thoughts. Do you think it identified me well?

The test only took about 3 minutes to complete. Try the test out for yourself!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Coupon Crazy at Walgreens

There are some incredible deals to be made at Walgreens this week. Check out all that I got for a whopping total of $7.37. No kidding. Here is the pic:




2 packs of diapers, 4 Oust Air and Surface Sanitizers, 3 Robitussin, 2 boxes of south beach High Protein Bars, 4 Heberts Fully loaded candy bars.

The total for all of these items rang up to be $50.98, I had coupons for every item plus double (wags and Man.) on some items.

I did 2 transactions: the robuitussin was first and you get $10 back in Register Rewards when you buy 3 robitussins at $3.99 each. I had $3 off coupons for each robitussin and then I got $10 back in R.Rewards.

Then I had 2 B1G1 coupons for Oust, plus 2 $1 off coupons for Oust and Walgreens had a coupon in their easy saver- making these FREE.

The Heberts chocolate bars were 2/$3. In the easysaver catalog there is a coupon for $3 off of 2- making these FREE. This is a deal everyone should be able to do. No prep work, just walk into Walgreens. Grab the coupon out of the easysaver (you only need 1 coupon... it will scan for all the candy bars you get) and how every many Heberts candy bars you want (at my walgreens they were at the front by the register). Needless to say, my husband says... "Let's go buy out the store!"

The South Beach Bars are on sale for $2.50 and online you can print off a coupon for $2.00 off each box. Making each box cost only 50 cents.

The diapers ended up costing me $2 for both packs b/c on the second transaction I used my $10 RR I earned on the 1st transaction.

Okay... I know that all sounds complicated, but it really isn't that hard! Go to moneysavingmom.com and click on her Walgreens deals. She has the links to all of the coupons you can print off to get close to the same deals I did!

Happy Shopping!

p.s. I AM GOING BACK FOR MORE FREE CHOCOLATE!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Wild CVS trip

I went to CVS today, not expecting to get much... but I would up with a lot of great deals!

Transaction #1

2 covergirl lipgloss - $5.99 each (use B1G1 CG in today's paper as well as $1 off CG products)
4 Suave body washes- $2 each (had 2 B1G1 coupons from a previous paper)
1 twin pack "Off "bug spray- $2.25 (on clearance plus I had a 75 cents off coupon)

Used 2/10 CVS coupon

Paid $1 and some change out of pocket, sorry I don't have my reciept with me!
(plus $5.99 and $2.99 ECB)

Got back $5.99 (lipgloss) and $2.00 (for Suave) ECB

THEN- our cashier told us that summer stuff was on 75% off clearance! Whoah, I had to check it out!

I got:
1 Christmas gift- Princess tent for $4.99 (down from $20)
1 Christmas gift- remote control cars for $3.75 (down from $14.99)
Dora gardening gloves for my daughter- 75 cents
gardening tools for my daughter- $1.00
Huggies little swimmers diapers- 75 cents for 1 pack and $1.25 for the other (on clearance for $2.25 and I had 2 different coupons to add to it)

So I broke out my ECBs and used them to buy some great and cheap deals!

Check out your CVS for Summer Markdowns!

Target = Snackage!

Target has a great deal this week on snacks: Rice Krispie treats, keebler cookies, cheez-its and pop-tarts (12ct.). These items are on sale for 4 for $9. Not a great, great deal. But here is the catch- if you buy 4 of those snacks at once, you get a FREE $5 Target gift card back at the register. So it's like getting 4 namebrand snacks for $4. Also, it gets even better. Recently Kellogs had an insert with coupons for rice krispie treats, cheez-its and pop-tarts. I have a $1 off 2 pop tarts and $1 off of 2 rice krispie treats. If you use these you are paying $2 for 4 boxes of snacks! AND IT GETS EVEN BETTER! KELLOG'S HAS A REBATE GOING WERE IF YOU BUY 10 KELLOGS ITEMS IN ONE TRANSACTION, SEND IN THE RECIEPT AND 10 UPC'S, YOU GET $10.00 BACK!

HERE IS WHAT I DID:


Trans.#1

2 boxes of rice krispie treats
4 boxes of cheez-its
4 boxes of pop-tarts
2 packs of keebler cookies

Total- $28 and some change
Use these coupons: $1.00 of 2 rice krispie treats, 2/ $1.00 off of 2 pop tarts and 1/ $1.00 off of 2 keebler cookies. PLUS target has an e-coupon (go to www.afullcup.com for this coupon) for 50 cents off of a box of pop-tarts. You can print as many of these as you want. I used 2 of these coupons (i couldn't find my other ones, I left them at home!)

Total before coupons- $27.11
Total after coupons- $22.11

Get back $15 Target Gift Card to use on next transaction
Plus I have a $10 mail in rebate

I MADE $5 OFF OF THIS DEAL!

Go soon though b/c the add says "quantities limited and no rainchecks."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

5 Pepsi 12 packs for less than the price of 1

My CVS deal for today was only one transaction. It was a crazy day, but I made it out to work one deal. Here is what I got:

5- 12 packs of Pepsi products (4/$12)
5- Sobe Life Waters (all free)
1 - Kotex liners (free, plus $1.00 overage)
1- Fizz Energy packets ($5.99)
1- CVS brand hand soap (free, plus $1.20 overage)

Coupons:
1. 3/15 CVS total purchase (e-mailed to me... sign up for their e-mails if you haven't already. They send you a coupon almost every 2 weeks)
2. Kotex coupon $1.00, printable
3. Pepsi coupon (buy 4 12, packs- get 1 free)
4. Used 5 Sobe coupons (buy a 12 pack of Pepsi and get a FREE sobe) * note, this coupon can typically be printed only twice per computer.
5. $2 CVS beauty coupon (no longer available)
6. Used $11 ECB

Total before coupons - approx. $30 (give or take a few cents)
Paid out of pocket- $6.40

Got back approx.$13 ECB.

Therefore I got about $30 worth of products at CVS today for about $4.40!

That's the price of 1 of the 12 packs!

Woohoo! My husband loves me, I got him Mt. Dew ;<)

Thanks to Moneysavingmom.com for helping me figure out these great deals!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Brilliant Spontaniety

Today a friend and I took our kids to the park for a picnic. It was a moment of spontaneity. The kids played, we ate, we chased the kids around the park and it was a relaxing, fun time. As I was sitting relaxing, I realized that although I like our neighborhood, It would be great to live somewhere with a nicer park within walking distance.

That- however is the wrong way to look at it. Instead I sat there with Katie and we talked about what I could do to change the park so that I and our kids could enjoy it more. My list looked like this: add mulch to the play area, clean the equipment (especially the obscene pictures and profane language so the kids don't ask- "What's that, mommy?"), and a park bench for the mommy's and daddy's, trim the trees and generally weed/clean up the area.

Often times when I have a good idea, I just sit on it and nothing gets done. My friend Katie told me, today- go home and just get contact info and then tomorrow go from there. So today I wrote a comment (on the website) for someone to contact me about the park. It looked somewhat like this:

Living within walking distance of a park is wonderful and our daughter loves to spend time there. We even celebrated her 2nd birthday at the park. As a parent, I am concerned about the condition of Oak Grove Park.
I am not writing to complain, but writing to see what I can do to make the park better. The toddler play area (near the tennis courts) is my main concern. This play area is perfect for toddlers and I would love to see it kept up. Adding mulch to the play area, having the play equipment cleaned (i.e.removal of profanities and inappropriate drawings), adding a bench and trimming the trees around the area would help drastically.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make this happen. Some ideas I had are: Organize a neighborhood park cleaning day and finding sponsorship. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!


If you have any great ideas or would like to help see this get done, please post a comment or contact me.

Here's to making a safer, more enjoyable park for our kids to play!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pillsbury Kroger Deal



*****
Update:
The coupon works, but the crescent rolls and sweet rolls are the small packs: 4 crescent rolls and 5 sweet rolls per pack. The pizza dough is a great deal, as it is absolutely free! Also, the coupons that said "do not double" on them, automatically doubled at Kroger. It may depend on your cashier, b/c I had had cashiers before who have adjusted the coupon b/c it said "do not double."
*****

Starting tomorrow, August 7th, Pillsbury crescent rolls, biscuits, pizza dough and sweet rolls are on sale at Kroger in a 10 for $10 special. At my Kroger, you do not have to buy 10 items to get them for $1 a piece. To sweeten the deal: there are several sites that have coupons for the pillsbury items on sale: smartsource and pillsbury are two.

If you are able to print out these coupons ranging from 35 cents on 1 crescent roll or sweet roll (if your Kroger doubles, it will be 30 cents a piece) to $1.00 for 1 pizza dough (this should be FREE!), you can get some great deal... especially if your Kroger will double the coupon.

Even though dough boy was happy. See him dance! :<)

I am going to do the deal tomorrow, check back for how it went!


Happy saving!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Walgreens Free items


This month at Walgreens, there are several excellent rebate options. Plus, Walgreens has started doing rebates online, so you don't have to mail in your reciepts etc. anymore. Still not as good as CVS, but getting better!

Free items:
2 BioInfusions Organic shampoo/conditioner or styling product
1 Walgreens brand pitcher filter (works on brita also)
4 pack walgreens soft light light bulbs
2 Living Solutions vacuum storage bag
1 Pert Plus shampoo + conditioner- coupon for $1 off
Jane Pure mineral foundation or powder

Pick up an Easysaver catalog at your Walgreens and get your free monthly items.

Children's Advil for Free at CVS



This month at CVS, Childrens and Infant's Advil is free. PLUS if you can get a $1 off coupon, making it a $1 money maker. If you are new to CVS here is how it works:
1. Get a CVS card (you can get this at the register when you check out, absolutely free!)
2. Pick up 1 Children's Advil or Infant's Advil
3. Purchase at register. Give cashier your CVS card plus the $1 off coupon you printed. You should be able to print 2 coupons per computer.
4. You will pay the cashier for the advil, $4.ish w/ coupon
5. You will get back an ECB on your reciept good for $5.79 (cost of the Advil) at CVS. (an ECB is like a coupon or gift card that prints and you use it on your next visit)

My CVS is allowing 2 advils per CVS card. So here is what you do: you buy 1 children's advil, get ECB's back and then use those ECBs to buy your next children's advil w/ a coupon (so you don't pay any more out of pocket), but you will get another $5.79 to print. Here is a small catch, the 2nd time you do a transaction, if you are going to use your $5.79 ECB AND $1 off coupon- you need to get a "filler". Meaning- you need to buy something to counteract your $1 off coupon. So, a pop or a couple of candybars. Those items will be "free" b/c you are using your $5.79 ECB and getting $5.79 back.

It sounds complicated, but really isn't. I have gotten my 2 Children's advils with coupons with no problem! If any of you(family and friends) have a CVS near you, but don't have children to get the medicine for and are willing- we would love to stock up (if you get two... buy 1 infants and 1 children's, one for each girl).

This deal is good all month! Yeah, CVS!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Even my husband was proud....

Today was a great shopping day. My incredible husband stayed home with the girls while they napped so I could go on a 1 1/2 hr. shopping trip. I printed coupons last night, researched blogs, outlined my trips, clipped coupons this morning and bought the Chicago Tribune... I was ready!

I made it to 3 different stores: Kroger, Walgreens and (of course!) CVS. I spent a total of $10.27 out of pocket at ALL 3 STORES. Here is was $10.27 bought me:



Walgreens:

Glade Fabric and Air spray
Glade Fabric and Air spray
Cherry Coke Zero (not pictured)

Spent:$1.96 Saved $8.00

Kroger

4 Betty Crocker Cookie mixes
4 Betty Crocker tubs of Frosting
1 3 pack Irish spring soap
1 box of Cheez-its (no coupon for these... but my husband loves them and they were a part of the Mega 10 deal)

Spent: $6.43 Saved $17.67


CVS

Colgate Total toothpaste (online coupon)
Infant Advil (1.00 off online coupon- get $5.79 ECB back)
2 covergirl, trueblend foundations (on sale B1G1, coupon for B1G1 in today's paper = FREE!)
1 covergirl, trueblend powder (same as above)
1 covergirl, trueblend concealer (same as above)
2 pert plus (on sale B1G1, had $3.00 in coupons from today's paper)
1 2 pack extreme energy 6-hour shots (I don't promote these, but they were $4.99, w/ $4.99 ECB back)

Spent: $4.67 (minus $2.79 ECB gained, spent $1.88) Saved: $52.74
(I used a $9.99 ECB, but got back $12.78 in ECBs... if you are new to CVSing, check out moneysavingmom.com, you can learn all the ins and outs of CVS!
Overall:
Total spent: $10.27 Total Saved: $78.41



A new coupon secret, buy the Chicago Tribune. It has 3 xs the coupons as the Herald and Review. Seriously, if you have not gotten it today- go to Walgreens (the only place I know of that carries it in town), and buy one for $2.50. Go crazy- buy 2! Then you can use your pert plus coupons (2-$2.00 coupons) and covergirl (b1 g1) at CVS and immediately get your money back b/c you will get all of your stuff for FREE!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cheesecake and Pellegrino



If you are lucky enough to live near a Cheesecake Factory, you will want to save room for some Cheesecake on July 30th. July 30th is National Cheesecake Day. To commemorate this and their 30th anniversary, The cheesecake Factory will be offering slices of over 30 different varieties of cheesecake for $1.50 on that day. If you need an excuse to eat 2 slices, eat one for me (White Chocolate Raspberry, please!) because we are about 2 1/2 hours away from the closest restaurant.



Thanks to a mishap of my sister and a friend in my small group (yeah, Katie!), I have found a new favorite drink. It's not just an "anytime" drink. It is definitely for the times when the girls are napping at the same time or when they are in bed for the night.
Pellegrino with ice, lime and sugar. Sigh. It makes a great summer drink. My husband makes fun of me b/c he says it is just expensive Sprite/7-up. Maybe so... but to me- it is my special drink! It's great to sip on it while reading, chatting w/a friend or sitting outside. Since I am such a stickler lately for saving $$$, I haven't bought any Pellegrino. Imagine my surprise when I went to Kroger yesterday and found 2 6-packs on sale for 1/2 off b/c someone ripped the packaging. Sigh... pellegrino is my new friend.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wal-Mart and my girls

So today was an extremely busy morning at the Anderson house. I got up early, around 7 :15 to go walking with a friend (shout out to Bobbi Jo), then came home to get ready for the day. My wonderful husband got both girls ready and then we were off to take him to work. On the way to work, we stopped by Kroger so I could pick up a movie ($1 movie rental, moviecube.com) and something small for lunch. I was so disappointed b/c the moviecube was not working... anyway. Dropped Chadwick off at work, then went to my mom's so Addie could play w/ her cousin, Ella. While they played, I made peanut butter cookies for my friend who is really having a rough time with her back during her pregnancy. Then I took the girls home and made Chicken quesadilla's for lunch for myself, the girls and my sister and cousin (who were going to watch Addie and Sophie for me that afternoon). Busy, busy busy!

I made it to wal-mart tonight and finally picked up some deals I had been working on. My total before coupons was $27.00. After coupons, drumroll please.. $12.40. Not too shabby! I had a coupon for almost everything I bought. I also price matched a couple of really great deals- If you live in Decatur, Cubs has Duncan Hines brownie mixes on sale for $1.00, if you go to this link you can get a coupon for $1.00 of 2 duncan hines brownie mixes. Making the mixes $.50 each. Also, cubs has totinos on sale for $1.00 also- there is a $.35 coupon online as well (same website, I believe). Wal-mart price matched these deals, so I didn't have to go to cubs as well. A few other things I picked up were: Bertolli pasta sauce (in the pouch), 2 bags of frozen organic veggies, 1 box of blue bunny rocket pops, 1 jar of dry roasted planters peanuts, 3 packs of Kool-aid, 1 pack of HP paper, 4 tubes of biscuits, 1 jar of pizza sauce, 1 box of Honey Bunches of Oats caramel granola, the 4 boxes of brownie mix and 2 boxes of totino pizza rolls. Not too bad for around $12!

Our Sophie Grace turned 5 months old today. Time is really going way TOO FAST! She is so big, she can sit in her bumbo now, hold onto toys, roll over, laugh, eat rice cereal. She really is not a newborn anymore. Our oldest is going to turn 2 in less than a month. That thought scares me! Each day Addie is learning new words and remembering more and more of what we teach her. I love my girls, I love my husband and our simple (yet sometimes busy!) life.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Free Playtex BPA free bottle

For those of you that have babies and those of you that don't... click on this link to get a free Playtex BPA free bottle. I did it and recieved mine in less than 2 weeks! It is a playtex drop-in system bottle that comes with everything (liners, nipple, cover etc.) you need for a bottle. We use the drop-in system and love it.

Even if you don't have a baby, get a free one for a baby-shower gift or to give to someone who has a baby :<)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Coupons, Real or Fake?

Tomorrow morning Good Morning America will be having a segment on coupons. They are talking about the increase in fake coupons. I am sure if you miss the segment on t.v., you can check out their website to see what they have to say. I have just gotten into the "couponing" thing and I am always worried about printing coupons online. I always want to make sure it's a coupon that can be used legally. Anyway, this may be a good segment to check out!

Free Date Night




Free Date Night! Well... kind of. Subway is having a promotion right now for the movie Get Smart. If you go on their website, there is a game to play to win prizes. You can play up to 3 times a day (depending on how many secret codes you find). The first time I played, I won a free movie pass. The pass is good for any movie (up to $12) at your local theatre. Chadwick got on and played and he won a pass also! We have also won about 20 bags of free chips from Subway. It seems like we always win something. It is worth a try!

You can log in with as many e-mail addresses as you have. Also, to get free codes for extra plays, click on the "rules and regulations" link at the bottom, scroll through and you will see a big "HERE" underlined. Click on that and they will send you free codes to get your 3 plays for the day! There are lots of prizes: movie tickets, free chips, $5 subway card, a vespa (motorized bike), free movie, etc.

The contest goes through August 10th.

I don't often play these, but I don't often win something either!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Transition from one to two... independence day

Addie was 18 mo. when Sophie Grace was born. It seems like such a long time ago and it's hard at time to remember what life was like with just 1 child around. Before having Sophie, I had all the fears that a typical mom would have. "Can we handle 2 kids? Will I love Sophie as much as Addie? How will this transition affect Addison?"

In order to prepare Addison for her coming sister, I read all the articles I could get my hands on as well as books about how to transition your toddler to becoming a sister/brother. One tip I read that has been THE MOST helpful is to start teaching your toddler BEFORE the new baby comes to be more independent. This was a little hard for me because Addison was still my "baby." I didn't think that I needed to start teaching her to be independent, I thought that would eventually just happen. Here are some ways I worked w/ Addie:

1. While working in the kitchen or elsewhere in the house, I would start letting Addie (around 14 mo. or so) play in her room by herself. I was always definitely within hearing distance of her room and I made sure it was babyproofed before letting her play by herself. I would go in and play with her, show her some puzzles/books etc. and then leave the room to let her play by herself. This may take some time for you to establish, but start with 5 minutes at a time and work your way up to about 20 min. or so.

2. Another BIG step was to start letting Addie walk beside me and follow me instead of ALWAYS carrying her. When the new little baby comes you won't be able to carry both at the same time. Especially when you have a car seat in one arm- man are those heavy! So when we would go to church out to the store, I started teaching Addie to walk out our front door behind me, walk down the steps on her own and walk to the side of the car where her carseat is by herself. Then whenever we got where we were going, it was important to teach her to hold my hand and walk with me in parking lots/etc. This is so beneficial and will allow you to become more independent if you do not have a spouse with you. Trust me, this is something you must TEACH before the new baby arrives.

I know you are probably thinking, "I don't need to/want to teach my child to be independent yet- they are only 1, he/she is still a baby!"

Trust me... when the new little one comes along... you will be thinking to yourself, "When did they (your toddler) grow up so fast!?" Your new little one is now the "baby" and you realize you have a little toddler on your hands now!

Watch for more posts on transitioning from 1 to 2... next up, how disciplining is LOVING your child.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

CVS and Walgreens deals today

We have been so busy lately and I have not had time to get on here and blog. I wanted to get on and post some great deals I got today!

This is what I got at CVS:

2 - Coppertone SunBlock Baby Face Sticks ($4.69 ea.- $10 EBC back)
1- Physicians Formula Mascara ($7.99 ea.- $7.99 EBC back)
1 -Swiffer Sweeper Starter Kit ($7.99 - $5 off Manuf. coupon, $5 ECB for $10 of Swiffer prod.)
1- Swiffer wet mop refill kit($5.99- $1 off Maunf. coupon)
2- Kashi Cereal ( Sale 2/$5, I had 2- $2 off coupons)
1 pack Orbit gum (filler)
1 Reese's candy (filler)

So- My total cost was: $3 ish out of pocket and $12 ECB... But I got back $10 ECB
Not Bad!

Walgreens:

6- packs (40 diapers per pack) of Walgreens comfort diapers- on sale for $5.99
*used Walgreens coupon (in Easy Saver)- $5 off of 2 packs (this will automatically take $2.50 off of each pack of diapers... so $7.50 off of 3 packs, $15 off of 6 packs-)
*After purchasing $15 worth diapers, you will get a $5 Register Rewards at the end of your reciept (To make the most of this deal, you really need to buy 3 packs of diapers twice. At each transaction, you will get $5 back- therefore earning $10 back total. Do not use your register rewards to buy the diapers b/c you will not get register rewards back)

After getting $10 back in Rewards (this is like a coupon good for $10 at Walgreens on anything)I spent around $15 out of pocket... Which equals, $2.50 per pack of 40 diapers or about .05 cents per diaper. Incredible! :<) If you want to do this deal, HURRY! I went to 2 Walgreen stores today and still could not get the size of diapers I wanted. I figured that I would just buy all Addie's size (size 3) and then return a few for Sophie's size (size 2) when they get back in stock.

Thanks to moneysavingmom.com for all the great leads on deals!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Aloha

Well, admist many difficulties... we finally made it to Hawaii! Our first flight was cancelled and we had to get from Decatur to St. Louis to catch our next flight in a short amount of time. Both flights were completely packed, so the girls could not have a seat and it was tight quarters. However, we are HERE! When you first get off the plane into the airport in Lihue, you can smell the ocean in the air. It is warm here, but it doesn't feel very warm because of the constant cool breeze.

Our resort is incredible, with about 5 different pools/jacuzzi's all over looking the ocean. While walking throught the hallways in the resort, you often feel like you are outside b/c at time there are no doors or windows- it's just open.

We have some great stories- about snorkeling, swimming, the resort, the girls, the locals etc. I wanted to get on here though, to post some pictures. Enjoy!



Watching Dora on the plane

Our Resort has great views

The private beach on our Resort
We got up the morning after we got there at 6 a.m. and walked the beach.

Addie playing at the beach. She did not like the water, but loved the sand!

Sophie and mommy hanging out in the shade.

Jason and Chadwick after Snorkeling in the ocean. Don't ask about the Lobster.

Our beautiful island. We kept expecting to see Jack and Katie jump out of the bushes.

Aloha baby! There are flowers on the ground EVERYWHERE. They fall from the trees and they are so perfect to put behind your ear, they stay with no trouble!

Our hotel lobby has a great view.

Addie picking bananas from the banana bush in our hotel lobby.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fishing for Good Deals

So this week, I have been researching, enjoying a great coupon party (that ended w/ us running in the pouring down rain to a basement during a tornado- not so much fun, but totally going to do it again!), and debating what deals to make this week.

Today I went out and made my first "deal" of the week. Pictured below is what I got at CVS for a total of.... you ready? Drum Roll...

$1.35 out of pocket!
That's right, 3 packs of pampers- 2 Dawn dish soaps and 1 bottle of Huggies baby wash for $1.35 and I got back $8 ECB Here is how I made the deal at CVS:

Dawn- $1.00 (sale this week)
Dawn- $1.00 (sale this week)
Pampers- $7.99 (sale this week)
Pampers- $7.99 (sale this week)
Pampers- $7.99 (sale this week)
Huggies Soap-$3.49

Coupons Used:
$2.00 off Pampers
$2.00 off Pampers
$1.50 off Pampers
$1.00 off Huggies Wash
25 cents off Dawn Soap
$3 off $15 purchase at CVS (I can tell you where to get this... check out moneysavingmom's blog and go to her CVS link)

Combined with:

About $19 of ECB to add to that from previous transactions

And b/c of the Deals at CVS for the Month of June I got $8 in ECB back:
$2.00 Back on Huggies Baby Wash
$1.00 Back on Dawn Soap
$5 Back on Pampers when you spend $20 on Pampers products

That's my DEAL OF THE DAY! If you want to do this deal too- go soon... the Pampers were going FAST!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Past the expiration date

Just a quick note. Check the expiration dates on your coupons, often. I missed out on two GREAT deals b/c they expired this past weekend. I thought I had a couple more days to get the deal... but they are gone now. :<( So sad! I could have gotten Wish laund. detergent for 97 cents and Cover Girl Mascara- 2 for 50 cents. :<( Mourn with me!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Looking for a cheap dinner?

At Kroger (Bretwood) I ran across a great deal. They had salad mixes for 99 cents on managers special. The were on special b/c they have a sell by date of June 2. If, however you were going to use them that day or the next- you are getting a great deal! Not only were they on special for 99 cents, BUT there was a coupon dispenser right there for an additional 55 cents off! I got a BLT Ceasar salad kit for 45 cents. It made a great lunch to share! Also, a good idea would be to grill some chicken and make some chicken ceasar salad wraps! :<)

Chex Mix and Pantene

Two quick things:

1. CVS has Chex Mix on sale this week for $1. So, if you still have your $1 off chex mix coupons from coupons.com- you can use them up this week at CVS and get your Chex Mix for FREE! If not, see if friends/family are going to use the ones they can print off. Maybe they'd let you print a few more for yourself if they aren't going to use them.

2. The Pantene deal I talked about goes until 7/15 or until supplies last (that is what the sign says at Target) The stickies with buy 2 get 1 free, however were gone 2 days after I posted my blog. The deal is still pretty good and there was $1.50 off Pantene coupon in the Sunday paper. If you can get a hold of 3 of those- then there is an extra 4.50 off. (By the way you can use 1 manuf. coupon AND 1 store coupon PER item,not per order) So the new scenario would look like this:

3 Pantene bottles at 3.97- Around $12

Minus $4.50 (3 Pantene coupons you have from paper) $7.50

Minus $5 gift card you get back at register $2.50 for 3 full sized bottles

***Remember this deal only applies to the Pantene on the end cap at Target. There should be a sign there that says $3.97 w/ a gift card symbol next to it.

There are some other good deals out there this week- Like Dawn soap, 2 for 50 cents. Check out the moneysavingmom link on the right to see all the great CVS deals for the week. (If you have not started the CVS program yet... feel free to ask me your questions, it can be a little confusing... but you just have to jump in with both feet and do it! You get SOO MUCH for SOO LITTLE! Just start out by spending $15 or so out of pocket and keep going back to use your ECB (Free $$$ at the end of your reciept) to buy more free stuff)

I'll post later when I find some more deals for the week!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Deal of the Day!

Today's Deal of the Day:

Chex Mix for FREE!

Walgreens has Chex Mix on sale for 99 cents this week (Today is the last day to get it!) and if you click here coupons.com you can get a $1.00 off coupon for Chex Mix. Time to stock up! We went and got 5 bags. There is a trick, however because some of the registers do not take the coupon b/c it is "over" the amount you owe. (on salfe for 99 cents, coupon for $1.00- the would owe you 1 cent). So... here is the deal.

Some Walgreens will just readjust the price of the item so that you can use the coupon. Some Walgreens will not. If they will not, just grab 2 bags of Chex Mix per coupon you use. That way you get the Chex Mix for 50 cents each.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How I got 6 bottles of Pantene for the price of 1

Wow, what an awesome trip to Target I had tonight. My title says it all: I got 6 bottles of Pantene (full size) for the price of 1! Here is how I did it happened.

Online today I was reading the blog on moneysavingmom. They wrote about a deal at Target that is currently going on, but is not really advertised. Buy 3 Pantene products and get a $5 Target gift card back at the register. Then, if you add coupons you already have you get an even better deal!

So, if you have a Target near you this is what you do... On an endcap are the Pantene products that are "on sale" for $3.79. Attached to each bottle are 2 trial size bottles of cond./shampoo etc. There should be a sign on the endcap that says $3.97 and then there is a gift card logo next to it. If you read the fine print on that sign it will say something like: recieve a $5 Target gift card at the register when you buy 3 of these Pantene products (basically anything on that endcap... mousse, condit/shampoo, hairspray... - did you hear that Cassie Oring- I know we both use it!). Limit 2 per customer. So- you can get up to 6 in one transaction.

Then if you already have a Target manuf. coupon-great! Use it!!! But if you don't... go down the Pantene aisle. On the regular size pantene bottles (not that ones on sale!), there are coupons on the front of bottles for buy 2, get 1 free. If you get 2 of those coupons(they are Target coupons, so you can use those coupons and the manuf. coupons at the same time to get an even better deal!)... You get 6 bottles of Pantene for the price of 1! So my total was $14.57 and I recieved $10 back in a Target gift card. So I paid $4.57 for 2 full size Shampoo, 2 full size Condit. and 2 full size hairsprays! Plus 6 sets of trial size shampoo/condit. that were attached.

Sidenote, when looking for the coupons on the bottles- you may have to look at bottles in the back b/c others may have taken the coupons already. Search... you may find one- but even just one coupon takes $3.79 off of your total! (Yeah, Alisha... so proud of you for finding the ONE left at your Target!!!)

Couponing is addicting... but so much fun! Let me know if you find any other deals. And don't forget to check out moneysavingmom daily... that is where I find most of my deals!

More Free Items...

Here are a few links I have found for free things:


Coupon for FREE bottle of Coffee Mate Liquid Creamer (fill out form by 6/2/08)




Printable Coupon for $2.00 off honey bunches of oats chocolate cereal
(Cereal is $1.98 at our Wal-mart. Bottom left on website is link to $2.00 off coupon)


Also, Check out Moneysavingmom to get some great coupons for FREE items at Target!


If you haven't made it to CVS this week, check it out. This is the last week for the May deals. June deals start next week!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

CVS trip number 2

I went back to CVS today to use my Extra Bucks I earned yesterday. Here is what I got:

2 Aquafresh extreme clean toothpastes (2.99 each) FREE after ECB
2 Colgate 360 degree toothbrushes(3.99 each) FREE after ECB
2 Addidas deodorant (4.99 each) FREE after ECB
4 Sobe Life Water (1.69 each) FREE after ECB and 2 B1G1 coupons

The goal is, of course, to spend AS LITTLE out of pocket as possible. Yesterday I spent $16.96 out of pocket, but remember I got back $16.97 at the end of my reciept in coupons. I had the cashier ring me up twice today so that I wouldn't have to pay any out of pocket. The first time she rang me up I bought:

4 Sobe Life Waters (had 2 buy one one get one free coupons- see coupons.com)
1 Colg 360 toothbrush
1 aqua fresh toothpaste
1 addidas deodorant

I paid 2.31 out of pocket ( I messed up somehow and didn't give her enough of my ECB from last time... I had a screaming 3 month old in my arms and a toddler in the shopping cart handing me things at the same time I am trying to figure out which coupons to hand her... :<)

I used $11.98 in my ECB from yesterday

I got back $13.97 in ECB to use on the next transaction

The second transaction:
1 colg. 360 toothbrush
1 aqua fresh toothpaste
1 addidas deodorant

Paid $0 out of pocket

I used $11.97 ECB that I just got back from the previous transaction

I got back $11.97 in ECB at the end of my reciept


Total spent out of Pocket at CVS (yesterday and today): $19.27

Total amount I saved: $37.19

Total ECB I still have to use for the next trip: $18.96


So technically in the past 2 days... I have gotten: 3 sticks of deodorant, 3 toothbrushes, 3 tubes of toothpaste, 4 liters of Sierra Mist, 2 bottles of Excedrin (24 ct.), 9 SOBE Life waters and 1 Revlon Nail polish for 31 cents!



Just a sidenote... even if you may not use the brands you can get for free, get them anyway- give them to someone who does use them or donate them to charity! :<)

Monday, May 26, 2008

I made ONE PENNY today!

Today I started my CVS adventure. If you don't have a CVS near you, it is like a Walgreens. CVS has a special "Rewards" program. Kind of like a Rebate program. I am not going to go into all the details today (check back later this week), but I had to post about my awesome deals!

By using "moneysavingmom" (see link to right) I was able to buy $28.52 worth of stuff for FREE!

Here is what I got:

1 Revlon Nail Color
5 Sobe Life Water
4 Sierra Mist 2 Liters
1 Colgate 360 degree toothbrush
1 Aquafresh Extreme Clean Toothpaste
1 Addidas Men's deodorant
2 Excedrin Migrane (24 gel caplets each)

The total after all the EXTRA coupons I had (the items were on sale already) was:

$16.96

Then with CVS you get $$$ back called ECB (Extra Care Bucks) The coupon for the amount prints at the end of your coupon and acts like a gift card to CVS.

I recieved $16.97 back in ECB.

So... I made ONE PENNY!

You can get these AWESOME deals too! Everything is still on sale/rebate this week (except for the nail polish... that was a 2 day sale). BUT, you need to make sure and do 3 things:

1. Click on my moneysaving mom link to get your extra coupons (they will tell you step by step how to get the deals I got and provide a link to print out your extra coupons)

2. Go to Wal-Mart and get the All you Mag. to get a coupon for FREE Addidas deodorant (you get it free anyway with the ECB, but this allows you to actually make $$ on it)

3. Go to CVS and make sure to get your rewards card before you check out!

Hope you have as much fun as I did. I love to shop, especially when it's for FREE!
So you don't technically have to get this coupon, but you can if you want!
3.

How Couponing is like playing Poker...

It is very true. In Poker you have to learn to play your cards at the right time or else you are out of the game with not much/if any extra money to show for it. Couponing is the same. Collect, Save, Organize your coupons so that when the time is right, you can "play" your coupons and get your items FREE or at an amazing discount.

So, when is the right time to play your coupons? The best scenario would be to use your coupons when the item is on sale (at it's rock bottom price), when you have a store coupon and a manufacter coupon. For example- let's just say that this week CVS has Revlon nail polish on Sale from $3.99 to 1.99 (which they do! Monday only-you get $2 in ECB... more on Rebates later). You also have a coupon for $2 off a Revlon Nail Polish item. You will be getting that item for FREE. Now, would it be awesome if you had 2, 3 or 10 of those coupons? You could stock up on nail polish, mascara etc. for FREE.

Another scenario, CVS has Pepsi 2-liters on sale, buy 1 get 1 free. You can print an online coupon for buy 1 get 1 free Sierra mist. (Check out my coupon website on the right to find the coupon...). You can print out a few coupons- and get your Sierra Mist 2 liters for FREE.

Hold on to your coupons, guys and gals until you are able to use them for a DEAL! I admit, couponing takes TIME. I have been trying to find a part time job/stay at home job that would work and actually make $$$ since I have been home. Honestly, there are not any good options out there right now. So.. instead, I have resolved to try and SAVE our Family as much $$$ as possible. Couponing has turned into a "job" for me. Yes, it takes time and effort... but if you find the right resources, there are people out there who do most of the work for you (math included!).

The website I have linked to the right on coupons is an awesome website. They provide links to coupons, give you the Math to get the deals and provide several scenarios to make the most of your $$$. The only thing you have to do is save your coupons and get online to read what the deals are for the week!

Another awesome website is www.thegrocerygame.com. When couponing with groceries at a grocery store- it can take a lot of time to match your coupons/with the rock bottom sale. How do you know when an item is at it's lowest?? This website has tracked specific grocery store prices across the country and will tell you when an item is at it's rock bottom price. You don't have to do the work! Not only will it tell you when it is at it's lowest price, it will tell you what coupon (from YOUR local paper) you can use to get it even cheaper.

This is how it works. I signed up (on a $1 4 week trial... it goes up to $10 every 8 weeks after that for 1 store, then $5 for each additional store... but Really you only NEED the major grocery store on the list. Plus, go in on it with a friend in your town- trade who pays for the site!) under Kroger, which is where I usually shop at. I do sometimes buy things at Aldi, but meats and some other things I buy at Kroger when they are on sale.

Okay back to "the list." This website will take the current ad and pair it up with advertised and unadvertised specials along with your coupons to tell you what to buy when. If an item is black on the list, she advises that you only buy it now if you absolutely NEED it- b/c it is not at it's lowest price. If an item is blue, it is at it's lowest price- STOCK UP!, It it is green... you can get it FREE along w/ a coupon you have collected from your paper.

I hate reading long blogs and I know this has been a long blog. BUT- I am excited about couponing and what I have learned so far. If you are in the Decatur area and want to learn more and get involved in couponing with me... let me know. I'd LOVE to share ideas and great deals we find. :<)

Next post... REBATES and CVS Extra Bucks!!! If you can't wait until I post... go to my coupon link on the right :<) These ladies have it down to a science!

OH- AND IF YOU DO SIGN UP FOR THEGROCERYGAME.COM PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE PUT ME IN AS YOUR REFERRAL. YOU NEED TO PUT IN MY E-MAIL, youthsarah@hotmail.com I can EARN FREE MEMBERSHIP FOR A FEW WEEKS!!!! :<)

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Whole New World

My eyes have been opened to a whole new world in the past week. All thanks to my husband who was watching a money saving show on the food network. As you all probably know, by my previous posts, we are cutting back on spending $ in major ways. I have found a new and very addicting way to save $$$.

COUPONING! (I don't know if this is a real word...but it is now!)

Okay, I am sure many of you are thinking the same thing I used to think about coupons. 25 cents here, 50 cents there- maybe $1.00 every once in awhile. It's not really worth my time or energy. But IT IS SO WORTH IT!

Let me give you an example. 2 days ago I went to Wal-Mart and bought 2 boxes of honey bunches of oat (choc. kind) cereal, 1 glade spray and 1 pizza. I only paid $3.40 for all of it. I could have paid less, but I didn't have a coupon for the pizza :<(. I had 2, $2.00 off coupons for the cereal. They were $1.98 each. So I got them both free! The glade spray was 97 cents and I had a $1.00 off coupon for it, so it was free also. The only thing I paid for was the pizza!

Coupons, coupons, coupons. Where do I get them? There are a few ways to get coupons.
1. Newspaper (if there are really good coupons, buy a couple or steal coupons from family/friends)

2. Online - there are tons of online coupons. My $2.00 off coupons for the cereal I got FREE were from online. You can print them out also. I'll put a link on the bottom of my blog.

3. In store- Lots of times stores will have their own coupons, Walgreens, CVS, Target, Kroger. Sometimes the coupons are in the ads, sometimes they are on the item and sometimes they are on your reciept. (yesterday I found a $1.50 off swimmers diapers coupon on the box at Target. The diapers were already on sale for $9.99, plus I had a $1.50 off coupon already from the paper- plus the $1.50 off coupon on the box!)

4. E-bay- Believe it or not, you can buy coupons on E-bay! Why pay for coupons? Because you can buy specific coupons in large quantities for items you use everyday and want to stock up on. For example- I just bought 15, $2.00 off 1 Garnier shampoo or conditioner coupons on e-bay. I paid about $3.50 for the coupons. This week CVS has garnier shampoo/cond. on sale for 1.99, with my 2.00 off coupon, I get them FREE! Time to STOCK UP!

5. All You magazine from Wal-Mart. The mag. is about $1.99 and in it are about 25 coupons. A lot of $1.00 off coupons.

Okay... Can you see how much I have gotten in to this over the past week? I have done a lot of research/reading online and there is so much out there. Here are a few of my favorite websites/blogs currently on this topic:

moneysavingmom.com (I have a link to this on my blog-)This is my favorite!
coupons.com
thegrocerygame.com (This is awesome, you can sign up for a 4 week trial for $1. More about this website tomorrow)

So... if I haven't convinced you yet that coupons are the way to go... SEND ME YOUR COUPONS! Or, just check back and read my next blog. :<)

4.10

I totally flipped out last night when we drove by the gas station. $4.10 for a gallon of gas, are you kidding me?!? How can gas jump 20 cents over night. I know for awhile now we have been warned that this was coming. At the same time, I feel blindsided. Next thing you know we are going to be worrying about gas getting to $5.00 a gallon. I am just so glad that we don't have a driving trip planned until July. Maybe by then gas will be back down a bit.

Monday, May 19, 2008

10 to 6

Sophie Grace has turned 3 months old this week. She is growing so fast. We checked out the statistics and Sophie is definitely bigger than Addie was at this stage. So funny because Sophie was so much smaller starting out.





Sophie has made another accomplishment this past week also. She is now sleeping from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. straight! The picture above shows the reason why. She has found and started sucking her thumb completely on her own. We tried to prevent it by using pacifiers. I always thought that pacifiers were the way to go b/c you could easily break a child from a paci, well compared to a thumb anyway. You can't take a thumb away from a child!

Anyway, I believe (at this point) that I love that she sucks her thumb. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, she is able to find her thumb easily and put herself back to sleep. With a pacifier that is not so. Mom or Dad would have to go in and put the pacifier back in every time it falls out- until she is at least 7-8 mo. old and can find it herself. The same is true during the day when she is napping or in the car.

I am sure that breaking her of the habit of thumb sucking will not be easy later on. But, right now- we are enjoying the sleep!

Monday, May 12, 2008

P.S.

So yesterday was Mother's Day. My husband surprised me with a collage of pictures that he created on the computer. He even put it in a shadow box with a few of Addie/Sophie's baby items. So cute! We had a fun day with family.

When the day began to wind down, Chadwick and I settled in to watch a girlie movie: P.S.,I Love you. He surprised me by renting it for us. I remember seeing previews for it and really wanting to see it. The movie itself was a little slow, but I really liked it. I wouldn't go out and buy it or anything, but it was a good movie to watch to wind up the day. I won't say too much about it, in case you want to see it. I will say, however that it is a good reminder to Enjoy Life to it's Fullest. Some days it is easy to do what you need to do to "get by." My goal every day is to not do that, but to make connections with friends/neighbors etc. daily, to use the creativity God has given me daily and to ENJOY the task of being a stay at home mom DAILY and to remember that my girls are growing fast....In a few short years (3 1/2 yrs.) Addie will be off to Kindergarten. That seems like a long ways off, but in reality it isn't. Addie and Sophie will never be this age again. I want to do everything I can to relish in it! I do LOVE my "job!"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

If You Give A Mom A Muffin

If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
The coffee will get spilled by her three-year old.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she will find some dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do somelaundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over some snow boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper for tonight.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for the cookbook. (101 Things to Make with a Pound of Hamburger.)
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll changer the two-year old.
While she is changing the two-year-old the phone will ring. (Of course!)
Her five-year old will answer it and hang up.
She remembers that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee on Friday.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
She will pour herself some.
And chances are,
If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Author- Kathy Fictorie



I read this poem and had to post it. Especially for all of you other moms out there. I definitely have days (most) that are like this. Chadwick will often come home and find 5 different projects started, but not finished- The dishwasher with clean dishes, but not fully unloaded; a load of laundry started- but forgotten about; Half of a room clean, but not all of it; some weeds pulled in the front yard- but many to go. Sometimes it's just the little things, but as a mom you are multi-tasking all day and so very often, you forget what your intentions were and get sidetracked.

Admist all the chaos, I wouldn't trade it for a trip to Hawaii. Oh wait, we are going to Hawaii... 6 1/2 weeks to go! That reminds me...

Friday, April 18, 2008

EARTHQUAKE!

So at 4:30 ish this morning Chadwick and I both woke up to our house literally shaking. We looked at each other and both jumped out of bed to get our girls. Chadwick ran to the t.v. to see if we could figure out what it was. Chadwick thought at first it was a tornado, but I knew for sure it was an earthquake. I have no why I was so sure, I mean I've never been in an earthquake and come on,an earthquake in Illinois? Yes, we are on a fault line- but it has not been active for at least a decade. It was the strangest experience, waking up to our bed shaking- jumping out of bed and realizing the whole house was shaking. Now I can say I have experienced a tornado and an earthquake! What's next... Tsunami/Hurricane while we are in Hawaii??? Let's pray not!

So... I want to know, what did you do when you woke up to your house shaking and what did you think it was? (for those readers who are in the earthquake zone)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Day Off!

My incredible husband gave ME the day off today! What did I decide to do? Well... I ran a few errands and spent the rest of the day being creative. I love to scrapbook, card make and basically anything that is a "paper" craft. I have been developing an idea over the past few weeks and was able to make it today- so exciting!



This is my "Noteworthy" book. It is a place I can put great notes or clippings. Whenever I read through magazines or books I always find great things I want to remember. I often, however end up throwing away old magazines and hardly open the same book twice. That's when I came up with this book. It is a place for me to keep all these great ideas, quotes, ads, inspiring decorating pictures, tips, advice etc. in one place. I took a three ring binder (yes, I had to decorate it- that's most of the fun!) and made dividers for different sections. I included sections for: Family, Home, Food, Love, Healthy, Beauty, Crafts and Money. Behind each section is blank paper and page protectors. The blank paper is to tape/glue pictures/clippings from magazines or to write quotes from books. The page protectors are in case I want to tear out a page of a magazine.

Now when I read through my magazines/books I know that I have an organized place to keep all the great things I want to remember.

An added bonus... I won't have magazines piling up all over my house!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Growing up too Fast...

Addie still loves to color and mommy still loves to try and put her hair up in pigtails. This rarely happens because she hates to have her hair put in a ponytail. Isn't she adorable, though?


Pretty Blue Eyes!


So Sweet! She loves to lay next to her "sissy."


Addie loves to kiss Sophie. She does it all the time! So cute! Sophie is semi-smiling too.


Sweet Baby Face


Friday, April 11, 2008

Thankful...

The past few days have been... well, anything but relaxing. Chadwick was gone for 3 nights and 4 days at a youth conference near Chicago. I am so glad that he was given the opportunity to meet up with other youth pastors, hear encouraging speakers and be given direction for his ministry.
I am thankful for this...

While Chadwick was away, my best friend came to stay with me for 2 nights and 3 days. She brought along her 1 1/2 year old son and doggie. Addie and Samuel played beside each other (not really together...), squealed and laughed with each other, danced, played with cars, watched Elmo, fought over cars, took baths, fingerpainted (almost) and just stared at each other. It was so great having a friend here to combat my insane moments. Even though adding another child to the mix, did spice things up a bit... I would not of had it any other way.
I am so thankful for this...

Sophie did a lot of screaming, some sleeping, pooping (totally out of her diapers) and spitting up (all over my pants) during the 4 days Chadwick was gone. She also did a lot of smiling, staring into my eyes and cooing.
I am thankful for this...

The last few hours Addie woke up from her 30 minute nap and cried BIG tears for mommy to not make her take a nap. Mommy broke and let her stay up. Addie, Sophie and I hung out on my bed- Addie watched Aladdin while Sophie watched the ceiling fan. I was hoping Addie would fall asleep, instead she summed up all the energy she had left and we played "airplane", "fall on the bed and laugh" and "mommy is a jungle gym."
I am so thankful for this...

The doorbell rang, Addie cried (she always cries when the doorbell rings!?), I picked up Sophie and we ran to the door (okay more like "tottled") to meet (sigh of relief) dad. Addie warmed up to her daddy real quick (especially when medieval times' crowns and cookies are given...) and Sophie started smiling the instant her daddy started talking to her. Sigh...

I am SO THANKFUL FOR THIS.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What is your "Real Life?"

We watched a movie a few nights ago, "Dan in Real Life." Going into the movie, I thought that it would be a typical, cookie cutter, predictable movie. In a lot of ways, this movie was just that. However, it was also a breath of fresh air.
The funny thing is, I didn't really pay attention to the main plot of the story. Sure, I knew what was going on and I was rooting for Dan. What really made me enjoy the movie, was the way the family did life.
The premise of the movie is that a family gets together once a year for a reunion at their parents' house on the lake. Dan falls in love with a woman the first time he meets her, who turns out to be his brother's new girlfriend. That is the main plot. Behind the scenes, however the family interacts through totally random things: 1. guys vs. girls crossword race with the daily paper, 2. family talent show, 3. working out together (exercising... as if they were an exercise class- maybe you just have to see the movie). Those were a few things that stuck out among many others.

If you have the chance, check this movie out and rethink the way your family does "real life."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Finding "Memo" and other random thoughts

Addison's latest obsession is "Finding Nemo", only she calls it "Memo." From the minute she wakes up until she is fighting her sleep at night it is "Memo! Memo! Memo!" As a parent, I have find myself going between the two thoughts- "It's so cute to hear her say "Memo." and "If she says "Memo" one more time, that DVD is a going out the window!" She now has a Nemo blanket (thanks, Aunt Brooke and cousin Ella) which she carries around and sleeps with. She also has a Nemo backpack (so cute on!), a Nemo glitter globe and a huge stuffed Nemo. I think we are going to borrow some Nemo books from her cousin, that way we can read about Nemo instead of watching 2 hours of Nemo a day!


Just picture this face, pleading with you to watch "Memo...." only to have to distract or simply say "No" 99% of the time. It's not easy! :<)


Sophie, on the other hand is getting HUGE! She is almost 7 weeks and has gained at least 5 pounds since she was born. She is smiling now and is sleeping more at night (she only woke up twice last night!). We are learning how to parent a 2nd child who is the complete opposite of the first. Addie was a completely content baby. She would eat every 4 hours, sleep all the time and rarely cried (seriously!). Sophie eats every 2 hours, sleeps 20 min. at a time (during the day), and cries or is fussy quite consistently. Let's just say, I am ready to be beyond the newborn phase! To Sophie's defense she does have reflux, which causes most of her fussiness. We love, love, LOVE her- but I can't wait until the crying phase is over. Maybe a few more weeks?? Isn't she so cute! Here she is with a contemplative look going on... what is she thinking about??





I am currently reading 3 books. One of which is extremely motivational. In dealing with finances and budgets I often get frustrated and confused, but Dave Ramseys, "A Total Money Makeover" holds a lot of wisdom and practical tips. Here is a huge tip I have learned so far from this book:
1. Staying away from car payments by driving reliable used cars is what the average millionare does. If you invested $378 per month (average American car payment) from age 25 to 65, a normal working lifetime, in the average mutual fund averaging 12 % (the 70-year stock market average), you would have $4,447,084.01 at the age of 65.

Can I just say, Wow, that would be some retirement! Our goal now is to pay off our one car payment and to never have a car payment again. That way we can put the $ from our car payment and hopefully save for our future. Now, I know you are saying- "You will eventually have to buy another car..." True, but we plan on having cash for our next car (van?). Dave also has an excellent tip for how to save to pay cash for a car.... totally do able! Want to know? Gotta read the book.... :<) Or... maybe I'll post on it next time if there are those that want to know.

For now... just think about how nice it would be to have $4.4 mil. to retire on...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What is your morning cup of coffee?

There is a commercial that has been on recently that goes through a few different scenarios of people and their morning "coffee." To some people, it is indeed just that, a cup of coffee to wake them up and perk them up for their day ahead. However, not everyone is a coffee person, to them I ask, "What is your morning cup of coffee?"

I enjoy a cup of coffee every now and again, but I can't do regular coffee in the morning. I think the morning cup of coffee has it's benefits.... It does cause you to slow down and take a second to sip (not gulp) and enjoy the warmth and fragrance of a good cup of coffee (I'm a Folgers girl myself). Caffeine seems to affect me profoundly in the morning. I don't ever seem to get the
"perk" most often associated with coffee, but I get just the crash that causes me to continue drinking coffee or some caffeinated beverage the rest of the day to avoid feeling so miserable. (F.Y.I. A Grande coffee from Starbucks has 330 mg of caffeine per cup- to put that in perspective, Mountain dew has only 55 mg of caffeine per 12 oz.- no wonder I can only do Folgers!)

So, what is my morning coffee? What wakes me up and gets me ready and prepared for the day? A good long, hot shower is my coffee. I have only recently discovered this aspect of myself. A shower causes me to slow down and prepare for my day, it gives me time to myself before a day with the girls and it allows me to get out of my morning "fog" before having to jump into the day. Yes, my morning "coffee" has become my lifeline through the past few days of interrupted sleep and keeping my head just above water during the day.

To you, I ask.... What is your morning cup of "coffee?"

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Girls

So today marks day 4 of being a stay at home mommy of 2. Many people want to know what it's like. So... here is a typical schedule (as typical as can be) of our day.

7 a.m.- Chadwick gets up and gets a shower
7:30 ish- Addie gets up with daddy and he gets breakfast for her
8:00- Chadwick comes and wakes me up and takes Sophie (I either sleep a little longer or get up and get ready, depending on how the night before went)
8:30- Chadwick leaves for work. It's mommy and the girls!
8:30-9:00- Addie eats breakfast, watches cartoons and plays while I eat, get ready & feed Sophie.
9:00-9:30- I get Sophie changed and dressed, hopefully at this point she is ready for a little nap.
9:30-11:00- Mommy & Addie play (this usually includes, running in circles in the kitchen to Barney, coloring, reading 1 page of 6 different books, talking to baby, trying on mommy's shoes, eating a snack etc.). This used to be easy- with just mommy and Addie. Now that Sophie is here, this is all done when Sophie is content. When she cries, it is all done while I hold Sophie or Addie is pretty good at playing by herself for awhile.
11:00- Lunch for Addie while Sophie eats
11:15- Clean up Addie's lunch, lay Sophie down
11:15-12:15-Addie plays
12:15-Addie's Nap Time

12:00-1:30- While Addie is sleeping, I feed Sophie and typically end up holding her the whole time. For some reason Sophie is particularly fussy during early afternoon/early evening. Sometimes I try and take a nap or maybe get some housework/reading/phone calls/blogs written (I've been working on this one for 5 days...) etc. done, however time is usually interrupted.
1:30-4:00- Same as the morning. Addie eats a snack, Sophie eats (every 2 hours), Sophie sleeps, Sophie grunts (a lot!), We wait for daddy to come home!


Our day is never the same from one to the next. Being a stay at home mom of 2 is definitely more challenging. Like I said earlier, your time is usually spent with one child or the other. There is rarely a chunk of more than 10 min. at a time (when Chadwick's not home), to do much. As I type... Addie is playing in her room and Sophie is laying on the floor in front of me crying, ready to be picked up! (So... maybe on day 5 I will get this post done)


Aren't my two girls the cutest? Sophie is growing so fast (already 9 lbs!) and Addie is becoming so independent (we started potty training this week). I love my girls and I love being home with them! :<)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Life with TWO!

Introducing the 4th member of the Anderson family:

Sophie Grace Anderson
7lbs 4 oz. 21 inches
2-15-08 9:20 p.m.


Here is Daddy showing off his footprint tattoo. We were so excited to have Sophie in our room after she was born. We had a "celebration party" and everyone who was there when she was born was able to come in to see her. We had so much fun and were so excited to have Sophie safely arrive.
Addison came to the hospital the next day to meet her brand new sister. We had it all planned out... we would bring Addie in the room w/out Sophie first, to visit with her because we had been "away." Then we would bring Sophie in the room and Addie would smile, hold her and all would be well! That's not exactly how it happened. Addie came to the hospital with a terrible cough, so we had to make sure she kept her distance from Sophie. Then about 5 different people (nurses, chaplain, Baby Talk Lady, pediatrician) came in to talk to us while Addie was in there. At this point Addie was starting to get bored and didn't want to stay in our hospital room. So, with about 5 other people in the room trying to talk to us and Addie running around- Addison went to our hospital room door just as the nurse (who was bringing Sophie in the room so the two could meet) was coming in and accidentally hit Addie in the head. Addie starts crying, and doesn't really care to meet her sister at this point. She was tired, hungry, hurt and bored. Anyway, the two exchanged gifts and Addie eventually warmed up to "baby" (which is what she calls her).


Eventually we came home as a family and have started learning how to manage as a family of four. We are so blessed by an incredible church who gave Chadwick 2 weeks off paternity leave. It was such a huge help to have him home. Addie is starting to turn into a "daddy's girl" and Sophie definitely still needs her mommy.
Before having Sophie, I wouldn't of thought that adding one more would have changed our lives a whole lot. I was wrong. It has definitely impacted every area of our life. The best thing about it- I wouldn't have it any other way! Sophie and Addie (as you can see by the picture) are getting a long great. Addie wakes up in the morning and instead of saying "mommy? mommy?" she says "baby? baby?" Addie is a big girl now and helps us take care of her sissy.

Isn't she beautiful?!? Sophie doesn't seem to look a whole lot like Chadwick or myself. When Addie was born, we knew immediately that she looked a lot more like Chadwick.
Any opinions???
I love this face she makes! She is definitely an expressive baby, she even pouted at Daddy today trying to convince him to stay home from work. Her eyes are still dark blue, but there may be a hint of green in there. Time will tell!
For now, we will continue to enjoy learning how to be a family of four!

Thanks to all of you who helped take care of Addie (grandma and grandpa, nana and papa, Ashely and Kyle, Joy, Mary and Brooke), all of you who offered to help to take of her, everyone who visited us at the hospital, those of you who have made meals or brought gifts for Addie and Sophie. We feel so loved!