Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Could it be?

4 years already!?  Our 4 year wedding anniversary is tomorrow.  I can't believe it.  In some ways it seems like just yesterday and in other ways I feel like it's been WAY longer than that.  I'm sure everyone can relate to that.   We've done some big things the last 4 years. We've bought a house. Had 2 kids. Haven't killed each other. Paid off most of our debt. (everything but out mortgage) and figured each other out pretty well (the goods and the bads).

It's been a fun ride too.  And I'm so thankful to have a husband like Adam.  Who is kind and sweet (always saving me the folded over sour cream and onion chips, or the last crunchy bit on the stick of the corn dog).  Makes me laugh even when I am so mad I don't know how I find anything funny.  Who balances me very well with his obsessive need to shop around for things, as everyone who knows me, knows that I'm an impulse buyer.  A man who would do anything for his friends and family, and has friends and family who would do the same for him. 

I have wondered what life would be like without him.  Sure it would be a lot quieter (and probably cleaner) But without him I wouldn't have my beautiful girls and a best friend that I can tell everything to.  And so in short.  I'm glad I married him.  That he married me.  And that we chose each other and love each other through the good, the bad and the screaming (the children that is).

I love you Adam.  Happy 4 years!  Here's to many MANY more.

(as a sidenote:  OMG look how skinny I was.  Makes me sick. HA)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Claire's almost 5 month update


 Colored eggs.  It is easter after all!

Miss Claire Helping mommy make dinner.

12 pounds even (7th percentile)
25.5 inches (90th percentile)
Head is about 10th percentile.

Miss Claire is practically perfect in every way.  She is right on track with where she should be.  Heck she barely even cried when they gave her shots.  Which was nice.

Here is a long overdue update on Claire at 4.5 months old.


....Smiles and giggles at us all the time.  For the most part seems like a pretty happy baby.

....Can still be pretty fussy from time to time.

....Still loves to be cuddled...mostly by mommy.

....Is so infatuated with her big sister.

....Usually drinks about 6 ounces at a time now. 

....Has been measured and casted for her helmet.  She gets that put on on May 3rd.

.....Loves to be played with and tossed in the air.

....Still wakes up at least once a night to eat a bottle.

....Loves food.  Pears. Apples. Carrots. Green beans. Peaches. Sweet potatoes. And of course Oatmeal.  She eats a whole container of fruit or veg along with her oatmeal.  Once a day.

....She's getting easier to take places now that she doesn't scream like you are murdering her in her car seat.

That's about all I can think of right now.  I'm sure there's more that I'm just not thinking about right now so I'll update the list if I think of anything.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

36% You say?

Yup!  That's what I said!  I saved 36% on my grocery bill this week.  I scored some AWESOME deals and saved a lot of money on stuff I would have bought anyway.  I can't tell you how much yogurt I've bought without a coupon.  Or how many ketchups I bought without thinking twice.  But THAT is a thing of the past.  Here are some highlights of this weeks shopping trip!

I went to Coborns as they do Double coupons on Tuesdays through April. (it's something they do pretty frequently actually)  ***Beware though, they only double up to 10 coupons.***

Heinz Ketchup.  Priced at $1.99.  I had a $2.00 off 1 coupon.  So in theory I made a 1 cent profit.  However the girl told me they could only scan the coupon for $1.99.  Oh darn right?  FREE

Lawrys Marinades. 96 cents each with Penny Pincher Coborns Coupon.  PLUS I had a 50 cent coupon that doubled to $1.00  I got two of these so I made 8 cents on this deal.  FREE + 8cents.

Food Club 1 Dozen eggs.  98Cents with penny pincher coborns coupon.  PLUS I had a 55cents of 2 coupon that doubled to 1.10 off 2.  for a total of 43 cents for each dozen of eggs.  (perfect for coloring eggs for Easter!)

I spent a total of 98.24.  And I saved 53.92.  I can handle that.  ALL on things I would buy anyway.  I just got the name brand instead of generic this time!

I was also complaining yesterday on Facebook about Coborns double coupon policy.  The woman told me that I can only double up to 10 coupons.  Which was true.  I was irritated because I would have done two transactions or I would have chosen different coupons to double.  But when I really sit down and look at my receipt I noticed two things.  1.  That I THOUGHT when it says they double up to $1.  I thought that meant if I had a coupon for 75cents, they would throw in 25cents to make it equal $1.00.  But that is not the case.  I had some $1.00 coupons and they gave me the full amount so I got $2.00 off on those coupons which is a pretty good deal.   2. I was irritated cause I would have picked out the highest coupons to double since I could only do 10.  Again after looking at my receipt, I noticed that their system actually does that for you!  So it went though and only doubled the 10 highest coupons!  So I actually ended up saving more money than I thought I would.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coupon Frustrations and a Question.

Hi all.  Lately I've been doing a lot of coupon research and inspired by the TV show "Extreme Couponing" on TLC, I've been trying to find some good deals.  The hard part is this:  Here in St. Cloud we don't get as good of coupons as some other areas of the country.  Not to mention we have a pretty limited selection for stores.  There is Coborns and CashWise (which are owned by the same people and pretty much the SAME store)  and Walmart.  Sure we have a Target and they offer some groceries but not as much as a big grocery store.  We have an Aldi, but they don't accept coupons and even if they did they don't carry name brand products there (ok rarely).  Awe sweet Walgreens.  Really where you can get the best deals and where you can actually find information online regarding sales and such.  And none of the stores around here offer double coupons...except Coborns and that's just one day a week monthly promotion right now.  And they only double up to a dollar.  So if you have a 75cent coupon they will only bring it to a dollar, which, hey.  IS better than nothing but still.

So I'm feeling motivated.  Motivated enough to maybe try out some of these deal match ups.  I think I could do this and do it pretty well.  (I'm not talking extreme or anything) Just well.  Get some discounts on name brand stuff cheaper than store brand, which has always been my number one complaint.

So I want to know...Is ANYONE interested in me posting these deals?  Will ANYONE actually read and use the match ups I post?  I mean I don't really wanna be wasting my time with this (as it IS super time consuming) if no one will read it.  So either post here if you are interested OR comment on my facebook link if you are interested...And of course you can pass this on to other people too!

Monday, April 11, 2011


I know that talking about money is a taboo subject for some.  For me, I just really don't care if people know how much money we make, or how much our house cost.  Maybe because it's really not much.  Maybe if we made more money I'd be more reluctant to share our money business.

In reality we pay out more each month than we take in.  The main reason? Daycare.  We pay over $800 a month in daycare costs.   We knew this before deciding to have another baby and yet we went for it anyway.  Does that make us crazy?  Probably.  But to us having a family was so important and we were selfish and wanted our kids to be close together.

We don't have a lot of debt.  In fact the ONLY debt we do have is our mortgage.  No car payments, no credit card debt, no student loans.  We don't go on lavish trips, or buy expensive things.  We have the most basic of all basic phone plans and cable plans.  We do splurge on netflix, but we VERY much use that and since going out to a movie is so expensive we find this a justifiable expense and we definitely get our money's worth out of it per month.  Our mortgage is a very manageable amount and well within our means.  I use coupons whenever possible and almost always buy the girls' clothes at pre-owned sales.  We don't go out to eat an unusual amount (though probably a little more than we should.  But hey, we do have to LIVE too)

And yet knowing all of that, we still have to pull just a very little bit of money out of savings every month to cover expenses.  We  have analyzed and re-analyzed our money to see where it all goes and yet we just can't seem to find places where we can cut back any significant amount.  I'm frustrated to say the least.  And now we get to pay for a portion of this fancy helmet Claire gets to wear.  Thank goodness for insurance though even just paying 10% is sometimes more than manageable.

So there it is.  All laid out on the line for everyone to read.  I know in the long haul we are doing ok.  That things will get better, and for goodness sakes that we are way luckier than a lot of people.  But for now, I hate money.  I hate how much stuff costs and I hate how no MATTER what you never seem to have enough.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


The girls are sick.  Need I say more?  Yes?  OK then I will.

I actually feel pretty lucky.  Lily will be 3 just NEXT month and she has never really been sick, she's had 1 or 2 very minor colds but no puking, no diarrhea, barely ever a fever.  She is built like us.  Everyone around her can be sick and it just seems to avoid her for some reason.  So when she puked on Wednesday night after eating dinner, it was odd. But we figured she just really didn't like the asparagus that I made.  OK, don't eat it.  So she has her bath and then she pukes like 3 more times.  Insert another shower.  Then she wakes up around 2:30 in the morning and pukes a few times and I finally take her downstairs cause she is keeping the baby up so she gets to sleep on the floor with her bucket and I slept on the couch.  She puked off and on a bit throughout the day but between that she seemed fine.  All day Friday she was fine.  No puking until right before bed.  *sigh*  Then again this morning.  Then during nap time she had a major blowout and had to take a shower to get cleaned up.  She has been better since then so I'm hoping she is just about to the end of it.

Claire seems to have just a bit of a cold, raspy drippy nose and wants to sleep a lot, which is fine with me.  Seriously the girl slept til 9:30 this morning, which is SO unlike her. (No she did not sleep through the night, she got up twice) (she never sleeps through the night. LOL)

Otherwise Claire had her Physical Therapy follow up appointment yesterday and it turns out she gets to have a helmet.  I need to call and schedule the appointments to get that put on for her.  I also know it's not that big of a deal, in fact I know it's becoming more and more common.  But I can't help but feel sad about it.  Like it's my fault (please don't tell me it's not my fault, I rationally KNOW that).  I just can't get my heart to believe it.  I keep thinking...."if only I had held her differently" "If only I had been more diligent about keeping her on her left side"  Whatever.  Insurance covers most of it so I'm hoping it won't cost too much out of pocket as money has been super tight for us lately.

Anyway.  Not the most fun weekend around our house I guess.  But it's been long overdue that Lily is sick and I sorta saw the helmet thing coming.

Let's hope tomorrow is a better day.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fear of Success or Just Fear?

I've been wondering lately what makes me tick.  Why I start so many things and quit them.  Is it that I don't have the time or the energy it takes to do it?  I don't think so.  Is it that I am afraid of being successful?  Possibly?  Am I afraid of being a failure like I have done so many times in the past?  Most likely.

Last night Adam and I were talking about working out and stuff and the idea of a gym came up.  I went to the gym ages ago and I actually really enjoyed it (when I went that is)  I like strength training and I don't mind the elliptical.  So why when Adam gave me the go ahead to sign up am I hesitant?  I think I'm nervous that I'll start and never go, or start and go for a while and then quit.  Either way I can't seem to get myself to just relax about this and go check the place out.  I'm worried about finding the time to go and actually being consistent and going as often as I should.  I mean the VERY last thing we need to be doing is spending money on something I am afraid I won't get a use out of.

So I think I'll take a baby step and go visit the gym after work and check it out.  No harm in that, right?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Claire's 4 month update....

Happy 4 months Miss Claire! 

At four months Miss Claire.... constantly smiling.  Such a happy girl and it's so easy to make her giggle.

...Loves to be cuddled and loved on.

...but is starting to get fearful of strangers.

...thinks her big sister is the best thing ever EVER.

...always wants to be sitting up right so she can see what's going on at all times.

...can roll over if she really puts her mind to it. (back to tummy)

...does not like to stay in the same place for long...she wiggles away and spins herself around.

...still has a pretty flat head on one side.  She has  PT appt this week so I'm hoping there will be some marked improvement.

...Loves apples, peaches, sweet potatoes.  Not so much green beans but we'll keep trying.

...Still wakes up at least once a night to eat.  I'm so used to it I think I'd freak out now if she slept past 3:30. 

...definitely prefers mommy, though she's warming up to daddy quite nicely.

...still sleeps in a swaddle (which makes me wonder why they don't make swaddles that fit bigger babies anyway?) becoming pretty fun as she learns new things each day.

...reaches for and grabs at toys

...really isn't a big nuk baby.  When she is super fussy during the day she likes it, otherwise not so much and she never takes it at night (and never has)

Regardless, we love you Claire and we can't imagine life without you now.  Though a little more sleep would be wonderful!