Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Morning Mayhem

The sun has risen again and cruelly peering through my bedroom blinds. I'm sooooo not ready to get out of bed! It can't be morning already! After being up with my son a half a dozen times last night(teething I think) It actually pisses me off that night is already gone. This is how my morning went, I was greeted by my oldest daughter blasting through my bedroom door:

"Moooom! Lili pooped in her panties again!"

(Lili screaming in the background) "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!

Me: "Shhh your gonna wake up your brother!"

Me: "I'll be there in a minute"

As I crawl out of bed and down the hall to clean up the poop mess that was sure to greet me, my oldest says, "Oh mom, I forgot to tell you, the toilet is clogged again!" Yes, the very toilet that my daughter was sitting on. Just then, my son starts crying from his crib. " Seriously, you have got to be kidding me!" Ahhhhhh!! "Where is the nanny?" "She is so going to be fired!" "Oh wait, that was a dream, I don't have a nanny!" Ahhhhh!

We have a strict rule in our house that the bathroom door must be closed at all times because Liam (my son) will go in and fish in the toilet. After cleaning Lili up and getting my son out of bed, I headed to the kitchen for my morning tea fix (I'm not a coffee drinker). After putting on the tea kettle and letting the dog out,it dawns on me that my son is being way too quiet. That is never a good sign unless he is sleeping. I immediately headed for the bathroom and sure enough there he is fishing in the toilet. I could suddenly hear the theme to "Jaws" in my head... Dun,Dun,Dun, my horror, he was holding a TURD!"Oh this will be a great story to tell on prom night!" One of the girls had not only failed to leave the bathroom door open but neglected to flush the toilet as well! "OMG! could this morning get any worse!?" I just had to ask. Murphy's Law was working in overtime apparently, because shortly after the toilet mishap, my door bell rings. "Oh goody, maybe it's Publisher's Clearinghouse!" No, just the opposite. The mail man with a certified letter from the IRS! "Alright, you got me, where's the hidden camera!?" To quote the line of a famous old commercial..."Calgon take me away!!!!"


Thursday, July 15, 2010

If Barbie really had kids....

 Barbie, I know how you feel!

The thrifty mom in me

I have always considered myself thrifty. I attribute that to my mom and my grandmother.  I was raised by a single mother with four children on one income! My mom could stretch a dime in five different directions and still have change left over!  My grandmother who is a self proclaimed "Pack Rat" taught me the importance of reusing and recycling things. "Don't throw it away because you never know when it might come in handy" was sort of her motto. Well,that and "One mans junk is another man's treasure". You get the idea.   It was sure cool when we were kids! If we needed something fixed or just needed something to further enhance our imaginative play, Mornie(my grandma) most likely had it or could make it!
So, needless to say, I have a greater appreciation for coupons, bargains and junk.  I love to decorate.  It's a passion of mine. Unfortunately, my income does not support the expense that goes into such a hobby. You could say that I have a caviar taste on a mac'n cheese budget. So, I have learned how to cut corners and improvise to obtain some of the same results as buying something new and expensive.  I've had a lot of friends and family compliment me on my decorating skills over the years and ask me for advise and tips on how they can do the same.  It's really not that difficult. You don't really even need to have a huge imagination.  The number one thing I tell people is if you see something you like and it's out of your price range, copy it!  Take a picture of it and chances are you can copy it for much cheaper with results you will be just as happy with. Here is a list of some of my favorite places to shop where I think some of the best deals can be found:

1. Ross Dress For Less is a great place to find knick knacks of various kinds such as wall decor, picture frames, lamps and my favorite items to purchase there are curtains and window hardware! All at super low prices!

2. Jo-Ann Fabrics is not just for crafts and fabric! They carry lots of decorating items for the home as well.They are a great place to go if you are looking for a gift. They carry lots of seasonal items such as yard and patio decor.

3.Goodwill or other local thrift shops are a great resource for decorating also.  Yes, they can be a little dingy and smell like a nursing home, but items like lamps, furniture, frames etc. can be spruced up with a little paint and no one would ever know they came from a thrift store. Just the other day, I found an adorable lamp base at Goodwill that matched a lamp shade I had previously made for my daughter's room. It matched perfectly! I bought is for $4!

4.Yard sales are another great resource! My grandmother always says "One man's junk is another man's treasure!"  You can really get some great deals and don't be afraid to barter! People expect you to. I bought my son's whole wardrobe for next winter over the course of the summer. I think I paid around $30!
5.Pier One Imports sounds a little funny to find bargains I know, but you would be surprised at some of the things I have found in the clearance section. The stuff that is on clearance is not junk. You can find candles, mirrors, picture frames, candle holders and more! At Christmas time you can find an even better deal on ornaments, dishes and candles.

6. Target is my favorite place to shop as far as the "everything" stores go. (I am not a fan of Wal Mart! The isles are too small and It gives me isle rage to be in there!) I think Target's prices are just as comparable in most cases and It is a much friendlier shopping atmosphere and experience. Be sure to check their clearance sections on the end caps of the isles. I have found some really great buys there!
*NOTE* One thing that I always buy at Wal Mart though is paint! Their paint is good quality and much, much cheaper than other stores. It's a great place to buy painting supplies too!

I don't even want to think about how much money I have spent in the last six years on diapers and disposable training pants! Just the thought makes me cringe. So, I have begun a quest for the best coupon offers out there! What started as a hunt for printable diaper coupons, turned into an "everything" coupon hunt! Below you find my pics for the best, user friendly ,free online coupon sites:  Coupon Divas is my favorite site! It is user friendly and easy to navigate. They usually have great diaper coupons you can print right from home among others! P&G Every Day Solutions is another great site. They are a little different than some of the others I have found. You register with them and request samples from participating companies. They send you all the samples you requested really quickly in a cute little box along with a bunch of great coupons! You can request samples with every new edition. They send it directly to your email. Target online is a great place to print in store coupons. Plus, once you start printing them they will start mailing you coupons as well. 

Check back with me frequently because I will be adding more sites as I find them! Happy bargain hunting!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A day at the lake

We had our first family outing of the summer yesterday! We packed up the kids, a picnic lunch and headed for the lake. It was a beautiful day! Warm, sunny and not a cloud in the sky.

I was hoping to get some sun on this pale body of mine! It's getting scary. I'm starting to think my "Twilight" obsession is taking it's toll. I should audition for the next movie. I wouldn't even need makeup! Step a side Bella, there is a new wanna be vampire in town! Wait...Do vampires have cellulite??

This turned out to be a really great day despite the fact that when we were almost to our destination my husband remembered he forgot the play pen aka: (Baby Jail). Oh great! So much for any chance of relaxation.

This may sound funny, but this little day trip really helped me remember some of the true joys of parenting.  My son (16 months old today) was the most precious he could be! He was so easy going the whole day.  He didn't complain one bit about having to wear the life jacket that made him closely resemble the "State Puff Marshmallow Man".
He didn't wander off at all! That was the thing that amazed us the most. Normally he will take off to explore, the second you take your eyes off of him! Hence the concern for not having the" baby jail ". On this day though, he was perfectly content sitting on the shore line splashing in the water and picking up rocks which he insisted were balls! Right now balls are his most favorite thing in the world...his own included (he, he).

My girls didn't argue once and gladly took turns sitting with their little brother and practicing learning to swim with daddy. brace yourself for this one, my mother in law, who was in town for the weekend came with us. We didn't argue ONCE! It's a miracle, HALLELUJAH!

It really was a fun relaxing day. God knows I've needed some relaxation lately.  I feel like, if you took me, my husband and kids and all of my responsibilities and threw them in one of those "Tilt O'Whirls" at the fair, you would have my life! Complete with the motion sickness and anxiety! Just when I think I have my footing in this whole marriage/parenting thing, something happens to prove me wrong!  You would think after nine years of marriage and three kids, I would have figured out, somewhere along the line, that the only thing predictable about life is that it's unpredictable! Oh wait... I just figured that out!  Well, better late than never!