Monday, March 31, 2008

Update:

Sorry about the horrendous lack of posting, friends. This is probably going to be the last week that Dave is home and I have been soaking in the family time. For the most part, we've had a pretty good month. Yes, MONTH! I can hardly believe that this is Dave's fourth week home. We haven't been able to see each other this much since the first year we were married.

So, in short, this is how we've spent the month: we had to take the ducks to the lake as our town doesn't allow ducks as pets, Little David moved into a big boy bed, we bough a little paddle pool for the kids (yes, in Texas we swim in March!), we picked paint colors for all the bedrooms (purple for Tot, yellow for LD and gray-blue for us, in case you were interested), I stripped the wallpaper off in the entryway (something I've been dying to do since we moved in), we've all taken turns being sick (Me, then Tot with 3 successive 102.5 + fevers, Little Dave with a wee cold and now David with a major sick coming through), we started mowing season, had easter fun with Mom & Tim, cleaned the house top to bottom after leaving it messy for three weeks, rearranged our master bedroom, caught up on seasons 1 - 2 of Grey's Anatomy (okay, that was just me), walked to the library a lot, went to brunch at the Worthington in downtown Fort Worth, visited a lot of parks, and got lots of free stuff that I haven't taken a picture of.

So, yeah, it's been a good month.

Oh wait? You wanted pictures?? Why, yes, I think I can oblige.

Actually, I can't. Blogger is being a pain in my heiny and you'll just have to wait. I know, I know. Your day is ruined.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tot Speak

Warning: This post contains graphic descriptions of toddler life.

****
In the car, on the way home from the park


UK: Tot, you need to wipe your nose, you have some stuff going on there.
T: No, I don't.
UK: What is that coming out of your nose, then?
T: Snot.
UK: Gross.
T: Mommy, Snot is not gross. It is delicious, delicious, delicious.

Then she licks it all up.

Gross.

****
In the bathroom, Tot is trying to make #2.

T: Mommy, my bottom is not strong enough.
UK: Oh, no?
T: No, it needs more air.
UK: Um, what?
T: It needs more air and gas to push the poops out.
UK: Well, how about that.
T: (sighs) The Mommy poops and Daddy poops said no. All done.
UK: Okay, then.

Monday, March 24, 2008

E!True Hollywood Story: The Mullet Family.

Yes. I'm afraid it's so. My whole family has all had the unfortunate luck as to sport the hair"style" that is quite possibly the most awful look in the entire known hair world: The Mullet. Whether by accident or on purpose, we have all suffered the same fate.

Here is our story.


My David cut his mullet on purpose as a Halloween costume. Way, way, too realistic for my tastes.



And of course, what would be more redneck perfect than to subject your son to the same fate on the same day so that he and his daddy could have matching mullets?


And poor Tot. We certainly didn't mean to give her a mullet. We simply asked for her bangs to be cut and a few too many snips later... the Mullet revealed itself as a force to be reckoned with.
And look at her. She knows.



But perhaps the most tragic of these stories is my very own. I am... the survivor of a Shmullet. A She-Mullet if you will. In the fifth grade I thought it would be a fantastic idea to get a perm. Sadly, my hair was just growing back from a boyish short cut that made perming it a truly terrible idea. For some reason, my Mom decided this was the perfect time to start letting me take control of my hair decisions and well... you see the result. A rather unfortunate Doogie Howser 'do that now lives in infamy.


So there you have it. Our True Life Bad Haircut story. Please tell me yours so that I'm not alone in my grief.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday, Monday.

Okay, I have about forty billion posts swirling around in my head right now and I just haven't had the time to spit them all out. So, here they are in bullet form. If you'd like to hear more, let me know.

1. We are rearranging our room and it looks much better.
2. Dave quit his job and we're very, very happy with the decision.
3. Little David can crawl out of his crib (which, after a multitude of action/reaction things, made us rearrange our room).
4. Tot can climb to the tip top shelf in her closet. You know, the one above the hangers.
5. I got some crazy awesome new lip stain/gloss for free at CVS.
6. I leave for my Dad's wedding in 3 weeks (yes, both of my parents will have gotten re-married in a 6 month spread. It's incredible that I don't need therapy.) and I think Little David and I will have a great time.
7. Tot has become quite the "arteest" and I will be posting pictures of her creations soon.
8. Why am I not posting each week about The Biggest Loser?? I love that show.
9. That whole "no tv, less internet break" thing? Totally didn't do it. I mean, I cut way back on TV and I cut way back on the internet, but mostly I just didn't blog. Wouldn't you know, all this fun stuff happened and now I don't have the energy to do it justice! Ah well, I'm sure I can scrounge up some full sized posts for you this week.
10. I have ten, Ten, loads of laundry to get through today. When I take a break, dude, I take a break.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Good Day, Tater

The Chapman family is maxin' and relaxin' en masse, so until tomorrow (or Monday, whichever) enjoy these enjoyable Lolcats. I am a smidge addicted to them. Oh, and for a good update on what why we're relaxing like, such as - go visit my David's site (link on the sidebar)!







Thursday, March 13, 2008

Say It With Me Now....Awwwww

This weekend I let go of a huge hold I had on Tot's babyhood. Up until Saturday morning, Tot had never, ever had a haircut. I had been trimming her bangs regularly, but had never touched those adorably sweet little curls in the back. They were scrawny and scraggly and inevitably got in her face every time she had a cold (blech), but they were baby curls.

If you've never had a little girl who maintains a reign of terror over every unmarked surface in your home by tightly wielding an unerasable sharpie, and who has never come in from playing outdoors without being caked in mud and grass, then you may not understand how much those girly curls meant to me. Tot is the very definition of "strong willed". In fact, you know that poem about the girl with the curl in her forehead? "When she was good, she was very, very good. But when she was bad, she was horrid. "? That's my Tot.

I feared that if I cut those little curls, the very, very good Tot might be lost to me forever. Aside from her penchant for dressing up in fancy clothes to go to sleep, Tot is incredible rowdy and loves to get messy. And oh, how it softened the blow of seeing her shove a little playmate into the ground when I could also see her skip away, curls blowing in the breeze.

But alas, it had to be done. She and I had finally gotten sick of having to brush her hair every hour because it had gotten tangled, and of having to scrape a comb through the mud and yogurt and cheese (sigh) everytime she ate breakfast. The cute little styles I could make couldn't outweigh the total grossness of her hair getting in everything she ate and everything she played with.

So, Saturday morning after she took a bath, I took the step and got out the haircutting scissors. I had her sit in front of a cartoon and I took a deep breath and with nary a backwards glance, I began to cut. And cut. And cut. Apparently, this haircutting business isn't as easy as it looks, because my one swift cut in the middle (her hair had grown into a point and I was trying to make sortof a line of demarcation) actually turned into about five mini cuts, each at a different angle. Sigh. So, Dave being the actual haircutter here (seriously.), he took up the scissors and tried to even out the left side. At this point, Tot decided that Dora was no longer exploring anything remotely interesting and started to try to see what we were doing. And that was the end of Dave's straight line. At this point, we have a middle that is a wee bit choppy, a left side that looks almost layered, and a right side that is completely untouched. Off to the kids hair cut place we go.

After seeing that fixing our mistake would cost around $20, we decided to give it the ol' college retry. I got the scissors back out at home and mangled my way through the right side of her hair while she cried about not getting a "real" haircut and shaking her head back and forth daring me to mess up even worse. By this point, her hair had pretty much dried and once I was finished, I was pleased (so pleased.) to see that there was indeed a little curl left. In fact, there was just enough curl left to hide the worst of our cuts and she wound up looking rather darling, if I do say so myself. And I do.



And so, Tot got her hair out of her face and I got my little girl with just enough curl to (hopefully) balance out the horridness.


I'll get back to you on that one. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Full Disclosure: These Burgers Are Delicious.

Okay, since I've been gone so long (you know you missed me) I thought I would come back with a flare. A giant, burger shaped flare.

For those of you that don't know (and that would be most of you since this is a recent thing) I've become a BzzAgent. You get to try new products and then, if you like them, tell all your friends about them.

Well, my first thing to try was Chili's Smokehouse Bacon Burger.

Oh. My. Lanta.

This is perhaps the most delicious thing I've ever had, with the notable exception of M&M's & Diet Dr. Pepper (I mean, I can't lie.). There are a few different kinds, but the one Dave and I unanimously adore is the Southern Smokehouse Bacon Burger. It has it all: Bacon, Onion crunchy things, BEEF, cheese....sigh.

You all remember our Eureka & Pizza date night, right? Well, it's turned into Biggest Loser & Bacon Burger date night. There is something uniquely satisfying in eating a hugely giant burger while watching other people run. But anyways, this has started to be an almost weekly occurance, which I'm sure isn't healthy, but I CAN'T RESIST THE BACON. It's thick, it's sugary, and it's freakishly yummy. What's an Unsinkable to do? Add in chips and chili queso and I'm done. I'm not leaving the couch for decades, friends.

But anyways, I knew that once I tried these and found they were delicious that I couldn't just eat this burger and never tell my closet friends about it. I mean, that would be selfish. And also, I got to try these burgers for free (FREE!) and you all know my recent fascination with all stuff free. And even more also, you know that I would never tell you to try them without throwing myself under the experimental bus first. It was a hard road, but one does what one can.

So there you go, basically I dare you to eat the burger and not like it.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

No, Really, I Mean It This Time

Okay, I'm totally serious about this break, but DUDE - it snowed here! Like, 4 inches!! We haven't seen snow like this in at least 4 years. So, in honor of the huge event, I'm breaking radio silence for just 6 sentences and giving you a picture post. And I swear this is the last you'll hear from me :)







Okay, one last thing.
A back yard full of snow and what does my son choose to do?
Lay face first on our patio and drink the rainwater. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

It's That Time Again

Where your dear Unsinkable needs a break.

It seems about every six months or so, I get the Blahs. The can't shake 'em, can't break 'em Blahs. And funny enough, it usually coincides with a change in the kid's routine and growth stage. They start doing things differently, I'm completely unprepared (having just acclimated to the change from the past six months), and of course, I have responded by dropping all of my normal coping skills (praying, reading the Bible, cleaning, planning, talking with friends) and instead I spend a little more time in my pajamas, a little more time on the internet (sigh...a lot more time), I don't go outside as much and I let the kids watch way more TV than is healthy (can you say 24 hour PBS?). For all purposes, I climb inside my little shell and hope that they go back to the way they were, when I had at least an inking on how to handle them.

But Alice, it doesn't work that way.
Here's the breaks:

Tot is on a hunger strike. A hunger strike that includes only Chicken Nuggets and Mac & Cheese. And cold hot dogs (ugh.). She has also changed every sleep habit she's ever had. My once impeccable sleeper has gone AWOL. She has decided that she only wants a nap about once or twice a week. When she takes a nap, she stays up later that night and sleeps later that day. So of course, that afternoon she doesn't want a nap. That night she is a total crab pot and is exhausted at 7pm and goes to sleep and then wakes up early and then by 1pm she needs a nap. And we start it all over. Combine that with her personal little twitch inside that insists she buck me at every turn to establish her independence and how much I really plan to enforce those boundaries, along with a healthy dose of hyper activity (NEVER have I seen a more energetic and curious toddler. Never.) means that I am exhausted from dealing with her, and a lot of days I just give up. I still maintain most rules, but my spark is gone and I just want to hole up and not deal with it.

And then there is my snuggle bug, Little David. He's still a champ of a sleeper (God Bless Him), but he, too, is on a hunger strike. Only his strike does not include Mac & Cheese and hot dogs. His includes Chicken Nuggets and crackers. And that's it. He is still not talking more than 4 or 5 words, and truth be told, he really only says "Oh No" and sometimes "Mama" without prompting. He completely understands everything we say, and is very attentive and interactive, it's just like he's decided he can get along quite well without talking thankyouverymuch and would just as soon not even bother with it. Which means that if you are in my home for more than five minutes you will become intimately familiar with his own brand of communication - we call it The Call Of The Wookie. And it's loud. Little David is just now learning that he can fight back with Tot and whew! Am I playing referee more than ever. He is still my little Mama's Boy, only a little more now than ever. I seriously can not go to the bathroom without hearing crying or banging on the door and seeing some little fingers underneath. And heaven forbid I don't shut the door. Then he wants a lap seat. Can you say "too close"?

Now that I've whined, let me get to the point. We're dealing with some major transitions here and I am totally not on the ball. I really just want to keep things at that nice little stage we had about six months ago when I felt I had finally hit my stride. Then the little suckers had to go and grow up on me. Ugh. Anyways, I've just noticed that all these changes had been sneaking up on me and I was still trying to deal with it in my old ways. And when that failed (and it has been, frequently) I get frustrated, sulk and complain a little, throw up my hands, turn on the tv and skulk back to my computer and try to do something I understand.

Well, I think I'm done with that. I've decided that I'm going to take a wee break from some things. Maybe a lot of things. I'm going to take a break from blogging until next Wednesday. I realize that that is only a week and is a pretty wimpy break, but I just adore you all so much that I can't stay away too long. Also, and this is a biggie, I am going to not even get online until naptime. Eek! And that's going to be it for me for the day. And, whew I'm freaking myself out, I'm going to take a No TV break as well.

**woozy spots in my eyes**

Okay, sorry, I'm back. That was a close one. But for real, I'm going to keep the TV turned off all day except for the time Dave is home at night and wants to watch his shows (no use penalizing the poor guy for my Blahs). This will really force me to rethink how I spend my mornings and how I let my kids spend their time. I've been using the TV and the computer as crutches for too long now and I need to get back in the land of the living. I'm going to work on a few more aspects of my day to day life (I know, this is all crazy ambitious for a week, but well, you know me) and I'll let you know how it goes.

Consider this my signing off. I'll be back next Wednesday, same Bat time, same Bat channel.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tuesday Favorites: Bargain Shopping Edition

Okay, Friends. Here is the secret to my success. I look all over the internet for other blogs and websites that coupon and deal shop better than I do. I pool together all their ideas and pick the deals that fit my list and family best. It's not that hard if you don't mind putting in the extra time. I really think hunting for deals is fun, so this is kindof a hobby for me :) Here are the websites I frequent the most and do most of my shopping from. Use them as much or as little as you'd like, oh, and be sure to tell me if you know any ones I don't!

On to the show.

1. www.couponmom.com - This website will let you pick your state, and your grocery store chain, and then will tell you the best deals you can expect that week. It factors in weekly sales as well as coupons. Personally, I use this as a front runner in my search. It's a great place to start off and to see what you can expect. The list is pretty good, however, some of the more complex deals it misses. She has lists for Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and crazy many more.

2. www.afullcup.com - This is a coupon forum where anyone can post about the deals they've found and how they got them. If you are starting to get a little more involved in your couponing, this is a good place to get your feet wet. Also, this is a great place to look for individual deals, not necessarily to base your grocery shopping on.

3. www.hotcouponworld.com - For the serious couponers, here is your place. The lingo is a little harder to understand (dang internet acronyms!), but once you have your foot it, the deals are insane. Here is where you hear the stories of women getting $120 of stuff for $5 or some kind of ridiculousness. These gals are hardcore.

4. www.moneysavingmom.com - Ah, my newest favorite site. This is one of the easiest to use money saving blogs I've visited. She spells out each sale for you and each transaction with each coupon you need to get the best deal. There are a lot of people that participate via comments, so be sure to check those out as well. But seriously, this place rocks.

5. www.thegrocerygame.com - And to the big one, The Grocery Game. This is without question, the best site to use for your regular grocery shopping. End of story. There are no store wide deals that are not listed and you are pretty much guaranteed to not miss a sale item. You log into the website on Sundays and you click on the store you shop at and the deal list for that week pops up. But (and this is a big but) you have to pay for it. The first store list you choose is $10/8 weeks of use. Since you will definitely save at least that much by using the list, it's a pretty great deal. Each additional store list you want to look at is a little extra (I can't remember how much). One great thing is that you can do a four week trial for $1. It's a great way to see if you like the system and if it will be of any use for you. At the moment, I don't use The Grocery Game (mostly because I just don't want to pay for it), but I know lots of people who do and swear by it.



Anyways, so there is what I do. Comment away and tell me what you do to cut down on your grocery bill or, even better, what are those items that you splurge on regardless of whether or not they are on sale (DIET DR. PEPPER!!).

Monday, March 03, 2008

Eek! I Can't Stop Myself!

Must. Buy. Bargains.




I got all of the stuff in this picture for 30 cents.

And dude, you better believe I paid in change.

That Caramel Cadbury Egg? It was 9 cents. The Sally Hansen Hard As Nails in some clear-ish color? That was 21 cents. The two bags of chips, the hair stuff, and the toothpaste were free, baby! Have I mentioned, perhaps recently, that I love me some free stuff? This time I got my deals mostly from observing my surroundings and getting a great tip from a friend. April pointed me to a deal online where I could get a bag of Flat Earth chips for free (go to their website, try to print the $1 off coupon, and it will direct you to sign up for their mailing list and then tell you to print, and you get a free bag instead of a $1 off - I got two :) ), then at the store I noticed some things on clearance that I happened to have coupons for - like the hair stuff was clearanced to 1.99 and I had two $2 off coupons. Score. Same thing with the toothpaste and the nail stuff. The cadbury egg was actually just a filler because at the end of the first transaction the store owed me 55 cents and they weren't too crazy about that. Also, I just love Cadbury.

Anyways, I just had to share. Again, I recognize the true gooberness of taking a picture of my findings, but DUDE! 30 cents for $23.50 worth of stuff!