Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Wealth Of Information

Another cheat day. But seriously, friends, I've just come across a few blogs that are so chock full of useful information on mothering, teaching, keeping your home, personal health, personal finances, etc., that all I can do is use every spare moment to soak it all in.

I think I'm in a reading binge.

Anyways, here are some of the places I'm visiting, come along!

Preschoolers And Peace

Mom Advice

Such Treasures

Hillbilly Housewife



Anyways, I hope you all are enjoying your fabulous day. If I can tear myself away from the blogs, I may even take the kids outside and swim in the kiddie pool a bit!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bullet Point Tuesday: Because I Don't Feel Like Writing A Long Post

But that title was almost as long as a post. Anyways, here are some tidbits I wanted to share with you today:

* Tot is basically potty trained as she has been accident free in almost two weeks. WooHoo!

* The kids and I planted some wildflowers today in containers on our backporch. I'll let you know how they do.

* Little David says "Kroger!!!" whenever we pass the store. It's one of about 5 words he'll say voluntarily.

* We had a lovely Brinner (breakfast for dinner) with our friends, The Spicers, last night and we ate like kings: pancakes, bacon, biscuits, omlettes, and juice. Much fun was had.

* After two bunk phone experiences, my new PINK Verizon Rzr (or however you're supposed to spell the silly thing) came in the mail today!! I'm officially reachable 100% of the time, as opposed to when the weather is partially cloudy and I have a hangnail and the planets are aligned just so.

* We're planning on pouring a sidewalk in our backyard this weekend. Pictures to follow.

* Our 6th anniversary is less than 2 1/2 weeks away!

* Our roses are blooming now and are quite pretty. I'm sure they would be better if I had any idea on how to care for them, but I'll just enjoy God's natural handiwork.

* Dave is bringing me some Arby's for lunch today. Have I mentioned that I love my husband more than Diet Dr. Pepper? Total truth.

* I got a fabulous deal at CVS this week and then forgot to take pictures. It worked out that I got a jack load of Post It products and a magazine and some twizzlers and a 24 oz coke and a 24 oz DDP for a little over a buck. Strong. Technically, the post it's were the great deal, I just used some ECB's to splurge and get Dave and I some snacks for the rest. Scoot on over to www.moneysavingmom.com for details on the rock star deal.

* It's been gorgeous here lately and we've been spending lots of time outside. Are you guys doing anything neat with your yards this Spring? We're running through some plans and I could use some fun ideas.

* I think that about covers it. Any random bits you've been wanting to share but didn't want to make a whole post about? Pray tell.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Party Like You've Got An Economic Stimulus Coming

So, even though I think it's a colossally bad idea for the government to just hand out cash, and even though I think that when you do get that cash you should put it towards your debt or in savings and thus negate the whole stimulating of the economy thing, I am totally stoked to get out direct deposit. Why? Because I'm not following a lick of my own advice.

Since Dave and I took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course last fall, we've paid off over $12,000 in consumer debt and plan to be debt free (excluding our mortgage and my insane private Christian college student loan) by the end of this year. We've been living pretty lean and mean to get to this point and I have to say we're pretty proud of ourselves. And here is where our economic stimulus plan comes in. Instead of moving up our debt free date, Dave and I decided to go splitsies on the money and have some fun. Oh yes, that means we're drawing a line straight down the middle and he gets to do whatever he wants to with his half and I get to do whatever I want with mine. The Ramsey would be so disappointed.

I, however, am totally geeked. Here's the plan, once the check hits the bank, Dave and I are going to go get a little swing set for the kids. The rest of the cash dollars will get split and into our hot little hands. Dave will most likely be purchasing a bunk motorcycle to work on to his tinkering hearts content, and I will be purchasing...something. I'm thinking of maybe getting something off of my Christmas Fantasy List, even though my dream purse has changed. Maybe I'll fix up the house a little and paint some rooms (ha.), maybe I'll replace some items in my wardrobe that have seen some better days. Maybe I'll use the money for CVS shopping and get a billion things for my money :).

After living for quite some time (relatively, anyways) on a pretty strict budget, I'm kind of excited about spending a little willy nilly. What's funny is that this is kindof throwing me for a loop. I mean, I haven't felt deprived on our budget, I haven't felt like I've missed out on a lot. Dave and I discussed where we wanted our money to go and at what level we were content to live at to get out of debt the fastest. And so, while I wasn't getting to do all the stuff we'd done in the past (eating out whenever we wanted to, buying clothes just because, getting the kids a fun little toy whenever we went to a store), I was so excited at seeing the debt get lower that it didn't seem to matter. And now, all of a sudden, I am able to throw caution to the wind and do some fun stuff and have it not mess up my plan at all!!

I have to say, in case you couldn't tell, I'm quite excited. But what about you? What are you doing with your check?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for...

1. A great (early) grocery shopping trip, where I saved 54% and now I get to try out some new automatic air fresheners and some yummy looking granola bars.

2. My newly clean(er) and organized car. I might make a full post about this later, suffice to say Dave came up with some great ideas and now my tiny little Rav-4 is much more functional for our needs.

3. My awesome little Tot who is currently sitting in a laundry basket in her room reading books during naptime. The gloriousness that is not having to fight her on this is unparalleled.

4. My pink roses that I got at Kroger to sparkle up our kitchen table. Friends, don't wait for a guy to send you flowers! Get some at the grocery store yourself. They make you feel so nice. Also, some stores have a markdown bin for flowers that have already bloomed to peak, BUY THESE. I just bought a dozen roses for $3.99. They are totally worth it and will last all week, until my next shopping trip.

5. My mom, who is awesome.

6. My socks and lotion, which are slowly and surely healing my troll foot. Explanatory post to follow.

7. My engagement ring, which I've only started to wear again recently. For awhile I was too big for it, then it scratched the kids all the time. Now, it's perfect again. And I forgot how sparkly it is!!

8. Tonights awesome TV lineup. I mean, seriously, Scrubs, The Office (!!), 30 Rock, Lost AND Grey's Anatomy???? Is it any wonder I'm geeked?

9. Quiet. It's quiet in my house, during the day, for the first time in a few days. Sigh.

10. My church. My friend, Diana, and I were talking last night about what our lives would look like if we didn't have a church home. I honestly don't know who my friends would be and what my family would do all the time. Our church is so much a part of us that I think we would be so very lonely without them. God definitely tells us not to give up meeting together for a reason. Our lives are so full and blessed because of our church family.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tot Speak

There will only be one Tot speak today, because it's a doozy.

***
After a successful potty trip, I am reminding Tot of her reward.

UK: Good job going on the potty, Tot!! Now, you know you get some ice cream because you made poo-poo's on the potty, right?
T: Mommy, when I put ice cream in my bottom it makes it feel much better.
UK: Um, in your bottom?
T: Yes, it takes away the horns (what she calls a diaper rash).
(pause for desperate praying)

UK: Please tell me you haven't actually done that.
T: Um, not really.
UK: Thank you.



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

You Down With T-O-T? Yeah, You Know Me.

Three and a half?? Are you kidding me?? Well, I'm about a month late there (so, technically, she is 3 and 7/12ths, but whatever), but it's been forever since I've done a Stats, Yo post on the kids so Tot is getting hers now and Little David will gets his when he turns (sob!) two in a month and a half.

Anyways, here are the Stats, Yo:

Weight: 38 lbs.
Height: a little over three feet
Shoe Size: 9 (kids, otherwise she would look like she was on skis)

Eating: Unlike when she was a baby, I can't really force Tot to eat anymore. This has both advantages and disadvantages. I like that I don't have to spoon feed her, that's convenient, and I like that she doesn't make as much of a mess when eating anymore. However, now it's pretty much up to her on how much she eats and how much of that is good food. I can provide all the good stuff on her plate, but I can't really make her chew up carrots, you know? Luckily, she's not an uber picky eater and she'll even branch out into veggies now and then. She munches up fruit like a champ (no lie, yesterday she ate almost half a pound of strawberries when I wasn't looking) and nibbles around the other food groups. Favorite Foods? Chicken Nuggets, Strawberries, Oranges, Dipping Sauces, and Goldfish Crackers.

Sleeping:
Well, you knew from my previous post about Tot's Secret Bed that I wasn't going to be a fount of good sleep news. Tot sleeps, at the best, okay. We are back to taking naps (thank You, Lord) a few times a week since we pushed her bedtime back to 8 - 8:30 pm from 7pm (when Little David goes down). She has quiet time in her room (with puzzles, books or a movie) from 7pm until 8ish, and then she goes to the bathroom and gets her bedtime milk and usually goes to sleep pretty easily (usually. This routine can go out the window faster than you can say IWANNAWATCHMORESLEEPINGDEWTY!). Most nights she sleeps through the night, but a few times a week she wakes up with nightmares, boredom, or hunger. On these nights it takes forever to get her back to sleep and most of the time she winds up in our room. She wakes up about 7am, and will snuggle and watch cartoons until we want to get up as well. Nap time is about 2pm, and it can be either "rest time" or an actual nap. Favorite Bedtime Things? Her Grumpy Bear stuffed animal, Dora the Explorer Pillow, and no pajamas. That's right, we have a noodie boodie sleeper.

Milestones: POTTY TRAINING!!! Oh yes, friends, we're almost there. Tot has currently been in Big Girl Panties (sorry, Sarah Tiffany, I know you hate that word) for about four days now, and has been staying dry in her pull-up for about a week and a half. I hate to say she's technically Potty Trained because we still have to remind her to go. I don't consider it really potty trained if the parent is the one initiating all the visits. That's being Parent Trained. So, we're working on that, but for the first time I think she really understands what we're talking about and is capable of doing it. Woohoo! I can't tell you how glad I'll be when I am only buying diapers for one kid. Sigh. Good times.

In other milestones, Tot has started to "practice school" as she calls it. Each day after Little David goes down for nap, Tot and I go to the kitchen table and we practice writing her name, learning a letter, and doing some readiness skills like tracing, comparisons, and like, such as. Then we send some one some mail, by letter or by ecard, and we play a computer game. Next we do a craft or something, and then I read her a book and she goes down for naptime. This routine varies by the day and the moods we are in, but that's the basic set up. I've noticed her attitude and behavior changing for the much much greater since we've been spending more concentrated one on one time together. Thank goodness. Favorite Activities? Drawing pictures, sending mail, playing PlayDoh, and jump rope.

Here are some pictures of the Tot since this past January. I know nothing is as boring as pictures of someone else's kid, but if you love me but at all, tell me how stinking adorable this Tot is :)


Can't decide if this is a picture of how big Tot is compared to our (then) new dog, Foxy, or how small she is compared to our giant dog, Bear.


And the "Seriously, Mom?" looks start already.


Could she be any cuter??

Apparently.


I'm not sure why she's feeling me up, but it's funny so I'll let it pass.


Can you see how I'm using my hand to force her to look at the camera? Nothing says "Mom and Daughter fun on the train picture" like a vulcan death grip on the neck.


No drama here, folks. Straight up realism all the way.

I just love her face here.


Tot and her pal, Noah. I'm sorry, but could they be more twinsie?

Finally! A picture where she looks like me. Whew.


Monday, April 21, 2008

CVS Suprise (or Shama Lama Ding Dong, I Got A Great Deal)

Hey friends. I was going to try to wait and post this for my Frugal Friday, but some of these deals you can do yourself and I wanted to let you get in on it as soon as you could. To the left is a picture of all the stuff that I got. Guess how much I spent?? $4.89.

Here's the scoop:

CVS is running some great deals this week and if you combine them right, you can get a lot of very useful stuff (shampoo, makeup, allergy medicine for your crazy allergic husband) for very little. Oh, and if you weren't aware, ECB's are "Extra Care Bucks". They are slips of paper you can "earn" from CVS for buying certain things and you can use them towards buying anything in their store. For a great tutorial, go here.

Here are the deals I took advantage of:

*Buy Two Maybelline Moist Extreme Lip on sale $2 for $9.99, Get $6 ECBs (Limit 5) (all this week)
*Buy 1 Alavert on sale for $6.99, Get $4 ECBs (Limit 5)
*Buy 1, Get 1 Free Herbal Essences products (prices starting at $3.99)
*Buy 3 Essence of Beauty Products, Get $5 ECBs (Limit 5) (all this month)

Here is what I did:

1st Trip (I went back when I realized I could do it twice :) ):

Items:
2 Maybelline Lipsticks - $9.99
1 Alavert Allergy - $6.99
1 Alavert Allergy - $6.99
1 Essence of Beauty Nail Brush - $1.99
1 InStyle Magazine - $3.99 (This was really just a filler item so that I could use a coupon I needed. Also, I like the magazine :) )
2 Herbal Essences Shampoo/Conditioner - $3.99

Coupons/ECB:
1 Maybelline $2/1 Lipstick coupon
1 Herbal Essences $3.00/2 coupon
2 Alavert $4/1 coupon
2 CVS $5/$25 purchase (you can get these from using your CVS card, or by signing up on their website, it's pretty random)
$10.00 in ECB (extra care bucks I got from a diaper deal a few weeks back)


Total Before CVS Sales/Coupons/ECB: $49.92

Total After CVS Sales/Coupons/ECB:
$.94

Total ECB Recieved: $14.00 ($6 from buying two Maybellines, $8 from buying 2 Alaverts)

*****

2nd Trip:

Items
:
2 Maybelline Lipsticks - $9.99
1 Alavert Allergy - $6.99
1 Alavert Allergy - $6.99
2 Herbal Essences Shampoo/Conditioner - $3.99
1 Essence of Beauty Face Sponge - $1.99
1 Essence of Beauty Back Massager - $1.99

Coupons/ECB:

1 Herbal Essences $2/1 coupon
2 Alavert $4/1 coupons
2 CVS $5/ $25 purchase (I got these two from the previous transaction, they printed with the receipt and ECB's)
$8 in ECB (I used the ECB's I got from the Alavert in the previous transaction)

Total Before CVS Sales/Coupons/ECB: $47.92

Total After CVS Sales/Coupons/ECB: $3.95

Total ECB's Recieved: $19.00 ($6 from buying two Maybelline's, $8 from buying two Alaverts, and $5 from buying 3 Essence of Beauty products)

****
Total Value Of Items Purchased: $97.85
Total Spent Out Of Pocket:
$4.89
Total ECB's Earned To Use For Next Time:
$25.00



Not too shabby! Many thanks to www.moneysavingmom.com for the coupon link and for alerting me to the deals! Remember, you don't have to do all of this and you can pick and choose what deals you do. The key is to remember to buy deals that give you ECB's and to use those ECB's to buy things that will give you ECB's and so on and so forth. Okay, so let me know if you have any questions and I will point you to those that have better answers than I. Happy CVSing!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Smart Habit Saturday: hahahahahahahaha

No, really. I'm laughing here. You see, I managed to not only not do a load of laundry a day this week, but I barely managed to do a load of laundry at all this week. Tot's clothes (which I washed Monday) are still sitting clean as can be in her laundry basket on the fire place (where I put it because I thought it would shame me into folding them, how I kid myself).

But I have excuses (really!). On Wednesday (conveniently forget about Monday and Tuesday for me, mmkthanks), Dave GOT A JOB!!!!

I KNOW!!!

Talk about some crazy awesome news that will make you forget your grand housekeeping plans and go play! I'll refrain from the details until he actually walks into the office for the first time (you know, luck and privacy and all) but I will tell you that God is faithful in every way shape and form, and when Dave followed His calling, God answered in a mighty way for us and we are stinking crazy grateful.

So, here's for starting afresh this week with some good motivation. Gotta keep my workin' man in clean, fancy clothes!

For more Smart Habits, visit The Lazy Organizer!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Frugal Friday

Oh, the grocery deals were sweet this week. Here are the stats, yo.

Manufacturers Coupon Savings: $44.54
Bonus Coupon Savings (where Kroger doubles/triples a coupon): $1.15
Kroger Plus Card Savings: $17.33
Total Savings: $63.02 (57%)

All totaled, I got $111.10 worth of groceries for $48.08. Not too shabby for Kristen! Oh, and that includes diapers for both kids - Squee!

And the sweetest deal?


I got all of that for a $1.50!! Strong.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Me: First Thing In The Morning

No, seriously. This is me, no brushing of the hair or the teeth, no spot checking of the make up that I didn't wash off last night because I was lazy.

I do this, not because I'm a glutton for punishment, but because I read a blog post the other day (Truthiness In Self Portraiting.) where this girl took a picture of herself first thing in the morning and posted it and asked all her readers to do the same and she totally inspired me. You know, I try to be pretty transparent in what I write here. I know that sometimes I worry that I over share (um, sometimes? probably most of the time.) but it's so important to me that I give it to you the way it really is. I try to tell you about my struggles in parenting, how I work on my weight, and what I spend on the groceries. I do my best to tell you when I'm feeling like crap and when my world just couldn't get any better. Because, you know, I think we're friends now. We've been together, what, almost 3 years now? I figure we're close enough I can tell you the truth. I do all of this, but the one thing I hold back on is any, any, picture that I haven't personally triple checked for spots, extra chins, lighting, and relative thin-ness to whatever object is next to me.

It's ridiculous, I know, mostly because half of you readers know me in real life and my appearance is of no shock to you. But for you other guys, I figure I owe you a shot of me at my worst, to kind of counter balance all of the pictures I give you of half of my face.

I'm sure this is also some kind of feminist leap and a rage against "the man" who makes me feel like I have to look pretty all the time or something.

So, join me as I join billions millions thousands dozens of women who are telling the world exactly what they look like of a morning. We won't laugh. I mean, really, did you see my picture??


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday: Tot's Secret Bed

Tot is a co-sleeper. I say Tot, because Dave and I are decidedly not co-sleepers. Both kids slept in our bed as nursing babies, and then moved into their own rooms once they were about 4-5 months old. This arrangement worked really well for us, allowing me to nurse in relative comfort and get the most amount of sleep, and the baby to feel good and cozy and safe. Dave sleeps like the dead and didn't notice one way or the other.

Once the kids were less nursing infants and more wiggling babies, the cosleeping lost it's charm and effectiveness and they were off to their own rooms to move about in peace. I would get up to nurse as needed, but the days of all night family bed were over.

At least, we thought they were.

Both my kids have been okay sleepers. Tot was a phenomenal sleeper as a baby and early toddler. I mean, she slept all the time. Awesome. Little David had a rough start (and by rough start, I mean he didn't sleep through the night until he was almost a year old) but now he is a great sleeper and goes from 7pm until almost 8 - 8:30am and still takes a two hour nap. I'm telling you, awesome. Tot, however, has backslidden. She has nightmares, she gets bored, she gets hungry, she gets lonely. And all of these things add up to her coming into our bed for a little sleep and snuggle anywhere from 3am to 7am.

You know, about the time when you are finally in your best and deepest sleep, at your best temperature, and in your best sleeping position and coversharing with your husband. Sigh.

With her, Tot brings her giant adult sized Dora the Explorer pillow, her queen sized crocheted blanket, and an assortment of stuffed animals she didn't want to get lonely. Needless to say, it gets a little crowded in the Chapman bed. While I would infinitely prefer this set up to what she used to do (raid the pantry at 4am and eat all the peanut butter, cut up her curtains and pj's with pinking shears, color her room and bedspread with blue sharpie), I LIKE MY SPACE. And I like my husband in it, not on the completely opposite side of the bed with a sweaty toddler in the middle.

And so, after listening to me whine and gripe about missing my morning snuggles and pillow space, Dave came to the rescue with the perfect solution. And I mean, perfect.

Let's all take a look (um...but not too close of a look. My carpet needs to be vacuumed again):


Since Tot is now in a twin sized bed, we just had her crib mattress hanging around. Dave realized that it would fit underneath our bed perfectly and wham the best idea in the world was born. Whenever Tot gets a hankering to be with Mommy and Daddy at night, she can bring all the junk in the world into our room and pull out her very own Secret Bed (the title was key to convincing her that it was cooler than sleeping all up in our grill) and sleep there until morning.

We know that it's still not getting her to stay in her own room at night, but we're thinking baby steps, friends. And right now, the most important one is getting her out of our bed. We thought about just making a pallet or something, but there is a lot of floor space and a mattress gives her a defined place where she needs to stay and not dink around messing with stuff in our room (like rifling through my drawers and finding a highlighter and highlighting all my library books) while we sleep. And the best part?

It seriously does fit perfectly underneath our bed and doesn't change how the room works at all. It's small enough that Tot can pull it out by herself and put it back by herself without me having to get out of bed at all.

Sigh.

Do you hear that?

It's the sound of an Unsinkable getting a full night's sleep with no children licking her face pretending they're dogs or wondering if Mommy's nose ring will come out if you pull it hard enough.

Strong.

For more Works For Me Wednesday, visit www.rocksinmydryer.typepad.com!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's You And Me Tonight, Baby.


Biggest Loser Finale...













Chili's Southern Smokehouse Bacon Burger...













= One Very Happy & Full Unsinkable

Monday, April 14, 2008

Freebie Day!

Hey friends! While perusing the coupon sites this weekend, I found two beautiful coupons that I knew my dearest reader friends would just eat off a cracker. Well, not this first one, but you know what I mean.

Deal #1: Free (Free!) Scotch Brite Toilet Scrubbers

I know, totally gross to be talking about, but my couth goes unchecked when free-ness is involved. This coupon is good for one free (free!) Scotch Brite Toilet Scrubber Starter Kit or Refill Kit, up to $4.99. Now listen, that $4.99 part is important. I went to Target yesterday armed to the gill with coupons, and lo and behold, they were selling the Starter Kits for $6.49. A good bargain, but totally not free. So, I went to Kroger, and they were indeed $4.99 there, so that is where I would suggest looking for them. Also, they are not with the regular toilet cleaning things, they are with the mops and scrubbers. Weird, yes. So, anyways, click HERE for the link, yo!

(thanks to iMommies for the heads up!)

Deal #2: Free (Free!) 4x6 Prints from Walgreens

In honor of Tax Day, Walgreens is offering 15 free (free!) prints from their online photo shop. All you do is register on their website, upload your chosen pictures and proceed to check out. There will be a box asking you for any discount codes or gift card codes. Enter in: TAXDAY and your total comes out to be $0. :) Again, click HERE for your link!

(thanks to Mommy Gets Paid for the link!)




Hope you all enjoy saving crazy money! Have a lovely and deal-filled Monday :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Smart Habit Saturday

So, I'm going to be joining The Lazy Organizer in her quest to make good habits. Each month, I'll pick a habit that I'm going to work on, and each Saturday (um..ish) I'll let you know how I'm doing. Since April is underway, I decided to pick a habit that I really need to work on so that I would feel a little more pressure (a la, showing you all Tot's messy room). So, of course, I've picked Laundry. Dum Dum Duuuummmmmmmm.

You all know my hate/hate relationship with Laundry. I wait and wait, put it off until the very last pair of underwear, and then I do it all in a frenzied rush until the next time we run out of "necessaries" and I am late for church. So, as of today, I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world's delight. Things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight. I WILL HASTEN TO HIM, HASTEN SO GLAD AAAANNND FREEEEE. JESUS, GREATEST, HIGHEST I WILLLLL COME TO THEEEEEE!

Er. Sorry. Got a little carried away. Love that song.

Anyways, so the plan, Stan, is to do a load of laundry a day. I know, I know. I've promised this before. But this time, I'm putting myself out there and making a "thing" out of it. Because we all know I can do nothing without ceremony. I'm not going to make a huge schedule or anything, I'm just going to look and see who has too much in their basket and do that one. Ground breaking, I know.

So there you have it. My Smart Habit this Saturday is doing a load of laundry a day. Wish me luck people, and feel free to hop on over to Lara's site, The Lazy Organizer, and join in the fun!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring Cleaning: Tot's Room

Let's just say I'm not quite done yet.




This weekend I will (hopefully) be catching up on Tot's room and on the bathroom and hallway. I shouldn't need the pressure of you all seeing pictures of the mess to force me to clean our bathroom and hallway, since they aren't too bad. However, I did need to post these horrible pictures of Tot's room so that I would be shamed into cleaning it this weekend :).

Hope you all have a great weekend! See you Monday for pictures of my nasty kitchen :)

(ps - Project Keep The Living Room, Master Bedroom, And Little David's Room Clean is going well. Whew!)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring Cleaning: Little David's Room

Whew! An early finish - strong! Well, technically, I had cleaned out Little David's room pretty well when we moved him to the big boy bed, but still. It's nice and clean now and smells fresh and his closet doesn't have all that old baby stuff anymore (sob!). Since we had some big furniture in there to begin with, I hadn't done much decorating. But with the big stuff gone his room looks a little....bare. So, I'm going to be brainstorming the next few days to try to decide what I want to do with it. Look for a redecorating post in the next year or two.


Before:
See? Total bare bones. And that mattress? It was Tot's crib mattress and was being stored in there and soon became a way to block light coming in through the blinds. Classy.


Oh the shame.


After:
Ah. See the light shining? There is a breeze, too, but you can't see it.





I finally took the crib quilt off the wall and let him use it as an actual blanket. I figure he's old enough to have piles of blankets and stuffed animals in his bed, it's probably safe to use the crib quilt. And you can't see it because my little pale child is standing in front, but I turned over a wicker basket that I haven't been able to find a use for and made it into a little bedside table for him. It has his night time book, his pacifier and his sippy cup on it. Brilliant!

Tune in tomorrow for the hole that is Tot's room.

Spring Cleaning: Master Bedroom, Part Deux

Whew!! Okay, so I completely didn't realize (again) my proclivity towards never doing laundry. Seriously. You wouldn't believe how many loads of clothes I have washed and dried and folded and put away in the last day. Thank heavens for TV, right? Anyways, I managed to drag myself through it all and I'm quite pleased with the end product. Here is what the room looked like before, fresh from my arrival from Charleston (Note the gigantor suitcase):



And here is what a managed to carve out from underneath that mess:



Now I can get behind that. Today, on the Spring Cleaning Schedule, is Little David's room. This shouldn't be hard at all seeing as his room is almost completely empty. Now that he is sleeping in a big boy bed, we are trying to let him adjust without having a roomful of junk to get into. The major obstacle will be the closet. Sigh. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

Again, feel free to join me, k?

(Ps - The Living Room is still clean!! Here's for trying to keep the Living Room and the Master Bedroom clean :) )

Spring Cleaning: Master Bedroom

Let's just say we didn't quite finish today. I may have understated when I typed "doozy".

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spring Cleaning: Living Room

Well, Happy Tuesday Readers! Seeing as it's the first full week of April, what better way to start the month than with Spring Cleaning?? I'm joining some friends at Titus 2 Christian HomeKeepers, and you are welcome to come along. Yesterday was the Master Bedroom, but since I was out of town, I didn't so much do that. Today and tomorrow are the Living Room. I did the Living Room today and plan to finish up the Master Bedroom tomorrow. But cleaning isn't the only thing on the schedule. The point of this Spring Cleaning is to clean not only the inside of your home, but the inside of yourself as well. For me, that means waking up earlier than the kids and having a little quiet time before starting the day. I've wanted to do that forever, but being a lover of all things sleep, I haven't quite managed. However, I'm feeling good and I want to try this. Maybe not as a lifelong change, but certainly something I can do for the next two weeks.

So, today I told the kids that since Winter was over and we would be playing outside more, that we needed to get the house clean from all that Winter playing we did. Tot was quite excited to be a Big Helper, and Little David was just along for the ride. Here is what the Living Room looked like before:


Not bad, but certainly not very clean. So, I loaded the kids up with wet wipes and myself with some all natural cleaner and paper towels (and some super awesome Pledge multi surface wipes that I got as a free sample in the mail) and we started cleaning away. The kids helped pick up all the toys and then put them in the appropriate room, then while I cleaned off all the knick knacks and frames and such, they wiped down the coffee table...

and they wiped down the red bench that has no purpose and is no longer in the Living Room...


and then they helped me clean the windows, the entertainment center, and the walls. I vacuumed the couch cushions and went over the floor many, many times in hopes of just vacuuming up all those old stains (didn't work) and finally, we were done.


Not too shabby! I have to say that I feel much better having one room in the house that is totally clean and sparkling. Tonight and tomorrow I'll be working on the Master Bedroom and well, we'll just say it'll be a doozy! Do join me and give me a little company!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I know!! It's been forever since I've done Thankful Thursday and I'm completely embarrassed. With Dave home I completely forget to blog until I'm too tired to write anything good and so my weekly staples (Thankful Thursday and Tuesday Favorites) have gone by the wayside. I promise I'll try to be better :)

Anyways, here we go:

1. I am thankful that last night Tot slept 12 hours straight and Little David slept 14. I know!!! Little David was sick and needed the sleep, but Tot had been a major pain in the patootie yesterday and I think maybe she was just still getting over her sickiness. Regardless, they are both in MUCH better moods today and I am grateful.

2. I am thankful that I've had Dave home with me for almost an entire month now. I don't think I can express how much I've enjoyed having my best pal around all the time. I'm going to go through some serious withdrawal when he goes back to work.

3. I am thankful for the library having kids movies. Sigh. Really, really, thankful.

4. I am thankful that tomorrow I leave to go see my Dad and brother in Charleston and that I'll get to see all of the Grile family as well.

5. I am thankful for my new short and easy to do hair cut :)

6. I am thankful that the sickiness has passed through all four of us now and we should be finished with the fevers and coughing. Ick.

7. I am thankful for my awesome friend, Tiffany, who sent me chocolate when she knew I was having a bad day (and Lindor chocolate!!!) and I am thankful for my other awesome friend, Diana, who brought me back real live "Emergency Chocolate" from her trip to Boston. Seriously, the package looks like a first aid box and says Emergency Chocolate. Do my friends know me, or what?! I hope everyone has as good of friends as this.

8. I am thankful that God provided me with a way to cut the grocery spending and have fun while we have a tighter budget. It's been a huge blessing.

9. I am thankful that Dave is so good looking. I mean, I know I say this a lot, but seriously. Dude.

10. I am thankful for my family. I don't think I expected to enjoy this time with Dave home as much as I have. I think I expected more stress and more uncertainty. Instead, I've gotten countless family breakfasts, children that have started to sleep in, a husband who's stress levels are at an all time low, pleasant errands, loose schedules, and lots and lots of quality (and quantity) time. For that, I am very, very thankful.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I'm Sorry, I Can't Hear You Over The Sound Of How Awesome I Am

First of all, I did cut my hair and I'll get you a picture of my hair as soon as I figure out how to style it. It didn't turn out exactly like the picture and while it doesn't look bad, it just looks like I have no idea what to do with it. I am, however, crazy pleased with how quick I can dry my hair. Seriously under two minutes. Also, many thanks on your hairpinions. I will be going back to get some cute, chunky highlights and hopefully, finishing the "look". :)

But, that's not what I came here to post. I needed to let you all know that today, today, is the day to get your couponing on. If you have never couponed before, get thee to a Kroger. Starting today (at least here in Texas, and I know the sale is going on elsewhere, just check) there is a deal where you buy 10 specially marked products and you get $5 off your purchase. You can do this up to three times at once. This is a great deal in and of itself because it means a LOT of things are on sale and a there is a huge list of things that are under $2.00. However, if you have coupons, you are in for an even crazier treat. Most Krogers double and/or triple coupons up to a certain amount, which makes a large variety of things free. Here is what I did:


I got all of this for a little over $20.00.

But that's not the best part. See, I had four groupings of ten and since I had to separate those into two transactions, I had one transaction that had more expensive things in it. Which left me with this jewel:


Items:

2 Goldfish Crackers
2 Cake Mixes (.55/2 coupon)
2 Cookie Mixes (2 - .35/1 coupon, tripled)
4 Spicy Mustards (Dave's favorite) (4 - .50/1 coupon, doubled)
4 travel containers Excedrin (2 - 2.00/1 coupon)
3 pints Ice Cream
2 cans Crescent Rolls (2 - 25/1 coupon, tripled)
8 cans Biscuits (4 - .50/2 coupon, doubled)
3 cans Cinnamon Rolls (3 - .35/1 coupon, tripled)

Grand Total: $5.15

Mwah ha ha. I love good deals.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I Need Your Hairpinion.

I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow and I need my internet peeps to give me a good (honest) opinion on the cut I'm pretty sure I'm going to get.




Questions:

1. Cute cut?
2. Would it look okay without the blonde parts?
3. Will I look dorky?

Please - honest opinion :)