Saturday, July 31, 2010
I am a stay at home mom, and I make no income, z-e-r-o, since I have made the choice to be home. I find that shopping wisely is my way of contributing to the family. I’ll share more of these tips in the future. When I do place an order, it is usually for merchandise that is about 50-75% off retail prices. Additionally, I often have a coupon that has a set dollar amount off when you spend a certain amount. For example, $25 off a $50 purchase. If not, I use a coupon code as described above. I rarely pay shipping. It is a rush for me to get things for such a great price.
Sometimes it doesn’t go so well, and I am robbed of the warm rush of retail therapy. Here is a specific instance that happened several months ago. The day started like any other day. I was checking email with my morning coffee at hand. I opened a “70% off” email from one of my favorite stores. I went to the site, very happy to see lovely things at such a great discount. I filled my cart with some pleasing choices. Unfortunately, I had no coupon to use, so I scoured the internet for additional discounts that could be applied. Hmmmm. No luck there. I tried a few expired coupon codes, okay many, and I kept striking out. This particular store always has a great coupon that accompanies great sales, but nothing could be found. I couldn’t pull the trigger on this order. The deal was not sweet enough. All of a sudden, a pop-up type box appears that reads, “Upon leaving please fill out this survey.” What????? I was just electronically escorted from the store. Hey, I’m taking this personal. How did I get this frugal? I’m blaming it on my parents.
Friday, July 30, 2010
I’m glad to be back in my somewhat stinky home. The stench of a wet load of forgotten laundry in the washer greeted our arrival. I also forgot to toss the once very ripe bananas. Did you know that bananas ooze bubbles after they pass the “banana bread” ripeness factor? Now you know. I’m also very happy to have my clutter dispersed over a 2900 square foot area, as opposed to our little hotel room and suv. It is much less disturbing in its diluted state.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I had a nice day today. I had the annual appointment that we ladies look forward to so much. This time, however, my office offered a complimentary facial immediately following. I was game for that generous offer. It was wonderful, the facial that is. I felt so pampered. I’m not one to have a whole lot done for me. I do my own nails, my pool, my yard, my house cleaning. I’ve even cut my hair for about 13 years. I now actually have someone cut it for me. Don’t get me wrong, my husband helps with the yard and pool, but I’m seriously putting in effort in these areas as well. And when I say I do my house cleaning, I mean I’m not paying anyone else to do it. Let’s just leave it at that, shall we.
Anyway, I was so glad that I had shopped for school supplies before the blessed facial because I truly felt “too good” for back to school supply shopping. I can see how taking care of ourselves can really make us better, I mean nicer, moms. It takes the edge off. You know what else takes the edge off? A breeze accompanied by a 20 degree drop in temperature in an hour or so, in the desert, in July. My husband was able to wax the car, the girls made up a dance routine, and our boy played hockey in the driveway. We also were able to swim in a pool that was 5 degrees warmer than the air. That is always a delightful experience.
I must say today was a memorable gift, filled with pampering, retail therapy, a gorgeous sunset and I currently have possession of the TV remote control for the first time in about two weeks. Somebody pinch me. I’m not sure it gets any better than this.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The morning after we arrived home from the airport, I was able to see the darling little guy again, hopping around our little grassy area. The wonderful sight was welcome considering we had just dealt with two more unsuccessful bunny events. Actually, our amazing, pool-watching neighbors handled one bunny loss (thank you) and we cleaned up the other. I can’t even go into the details of our clean up effort. UGH!!! It was the worst situation imaginable. It is just another reminder to keep your eyes open and be observant so you don’t miss the magic. It is there. And it will recharge you so that you can make it through the next “bunny loss.”
Monday, July 19, 2010
The short story is that Wisconsin won, and was successful in its mission of sending us back where we came from. I can take a hint! We had a great time seeing everyone on our 10 day adventure, despite my mosquito issues. We are very happy to be home. The desert welcomed our midnight arrival with 105 degree open arms. We also brought with us a few raindrops as our plane was waiting to unload at the gate, but they quickly subsided. Apparently Wisconsin has its limits. So, na-na-nah-boo-boo Wisconsin, you can’t get me here in Arizona.
Monday, July 12, 2010
In the first chapter, we are encouraged to pick our life’s metaphor. Apparently, rat race was taken, and it was the wrong answer anyway. This is what I picked. Life is a stroll on a beach. It is all a matter of where, on the beach, you are walking. Let me explain. Living in balance is like walking at the water’s edge, where the sand is packed and cool, it is both effortless and pleasure full. Where are you walking? Are you shuffling deep in the loose hot sand, stepping on sharp shells, maybe stumbling at times? Are you trudging ankle-deep in the water? It takes extra effort to get to the same destination. Algae and debris can get caught under your step. Occasionally you may be stung by a jellyfish. Maybe you are worried about some looming unseen danger hidden in the water.
I imagine that life can be the vacation beach stroll, where we are free to be human beings and not human doings. I recently read that eloquent human “doing” idea somewhere, unfortunately, I can’t remember whose lovely aunt said it. It is my choice where and how I walk. I’m aiming for the cool, damp sand where the water rhythmically refreshes me along my chosen path. Why don’t you join me?
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Well, I just witnessed him helping. And I feel like I could use an adult beverage. It is 5:00 somewhere, right? He was super motivated and loving his new role as a kitchen crew member. He was pulling my china dinner plates out of the dishwasher rack and heading toward the granite counter top with them in tow. The girls didn’t seem very surprised at this sight. Well, I’ve now explained the rules on “to what degree” a toddler can help and I think I may have to stick around just to make sure my guidelines are followed. Maybe I should just unload it myself. I don’t like where this is going.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Today I decided to make an appointment for my boy. He has been congested for a month. Mother of the Year, I know, I know. Seriously, he’s been happy, eating, sleeping, playing hockey, scaling tall buildings, etc. I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a sinus or ear infection. No one needs a male toddler, sporting an ear infection, sitting next to you on a plane. His ears have always checked out fine on these appointments. This was not the case today. He has an ear infection in his right ear. She said it was probably slowly building up and he would have become miserable soon.
We live in an amazing country where we can call and get a same day appointment, drop off and pick up a prescription, and shop for anything we may need in a matter of a couple hours. Granted, they were a couple of hours I didn’t have to spare, but non-the-less, still a fantastic place to call home. The problem is that I couldn’t refuse the $.88 strawberries. So now I have two more quarts of produce that I have to get in the bellies of my crew. I can only imagine that our last remaining meals will become a little more creative, shall we say. One thing for sure, we will be exceeding the RDA in vitamin C.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
If you would like to read today's post, please find it under the July 4th entry, called Amazing frugal tip!!! Enjoy.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Rewind back to January 2008. Unfortunately, my husband’s grandma had been ill and made her passing. My husband made the trek back to Indiana on his own. He spent the few days with a huge extended family. Parents, aunts, uncles, cousins galore, in fact I believe the count was 22 grandchildren and 44 great grandchildren! He made his way back to us, only to jump in the car and drive to Disneyland the next day. We had a family vacation planned before Grandma’s passing.
As we were packing the car up that same night. He said very matter-of-factly, “I think I made my decision.” I stopped loading. Hair stood up on my neck. I have the uncanny ability to know what my husband is going to say by the tone of his voice, after the first two words have been spoken. I have to fight an intense urge not to finish all of his sentences. Trust me on that.
Our girls were then 7 and 5. I felt like I was home free. No diapers, soon to be no car seats. I had kids that listened. My world was rocking, big time. I sat in silence for part of the trip. I felt as an attorney may feel, planning the closing arguments. Let's just say, the con list overfloweth. I subscribe to a monthly publication called Daily Word. It has uplifting words for living. I opened the booklet to January 19th, and read. “I am healthy and wise, at peace, and open to my good. Let go, let God.” It continued and spoke directly to my soul. I was 35, and I had previously considered myself to be past that season. Short story is that I was willing to let go and let God, for one month, after my first mammogram.
I’d like to bring us back to last night, July 4th! We were at a restaurant with the kids prior to watching the fireworks. My boy was running around on the dance floor of the cowboy-themed restaurant, complete with peanut shells discarded on the floor. The girls had already eaten their meals, he had already refused his. It was our turn to enjoy our entrees. It came to me. The reason we waited so long, was that we needed back up. The girls are 10 and 7 and are always on call as back up for our little fire ball. God bless them.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I guess this is so exciting because I would never use a new swiffer sheet on the garage floor or patio. I mean they are “outside” and are supposed to be dirty. I told this idea to my husband and oldest daughter. They seem to be missing something. They keep waiting for a punchline or something. Try this tip, I promise, you will like it.
My little guy is just dipping his feet into the time-out phase of his life. Time-outs are our first line of defense regarding discipline. Okay, they are the third. First we ignore, then we think “Hey, this kid is getting out of hand,” then we remember the blessed time-out.
As you know, if you’ve been reading here, our little guy is a climber. He looks proudly at us from each challenge he conquers. He acts like he has no clue that we mean business. We’ve gently introduced him to his time-out spot. No counting 1,2, 3 for him. When we come to an impasse (he climbs something and won’t get down after we ask 5 times or so), we say, “Okay I think you need a time-out.” He eagerly climbs down and sits in his designated time-out spot. We set the timer for a minute. He quietly looks up at us with the sweetest little face and waits. The timer goes off. We tell him to get up. He comes to us with kisses and hugs. Here is the best part, he forgets what he was doing to get into the time-out in the first place.
My girls think he is the most adorable thing ever as he serves his time. We are all careful not to let him know our feelings, until after the timer rings. We all wait patiently for our kisses. I think it is our favorite time of the day.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Having a little boy is quite different than how I remember things being when the girls were little. He wakes up, yelling and pointing with amazement “Ball! Vroom, vroom! Hockey!” He goes to bed, yelling “Moon! Dog! Ball!” Did I mention the climbing? We were watching a very girlie movie tonight. A field of flowers, where fairies live, is about to be destroyed by a bunch of big tractors and trucks. My boy’s eyes opened wide at the sight of the construction vehicles. “Wow,” he said in awe. The movie just became worth watching! Let’s just say that he has a passion for life. He is on the go and he loves life! We need to remember our passions that really light our fire, and not let the daily grind snuff out all sparks. You know, the endless laundry loads, the dishwasher full of clean dishes while the sink is full of dirty dishes, the dust bunny reunion in the back hall, please tell me I don’t need to continue.
Looking back 10, 20, 50 years down the road, hopefully we will look back and have so many unique experiences and memories. I hope that dishes and laundry do not make the cut into the Top 100 Exciting Moments of My Life. This blog is sure to remind me that there is life outside of chores and duties. I am blessed to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those around me. I better get cracking, time is ticking.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Stunned, I tell my husband the news. “Good job, buddy! He’s a boy,” he proudly informs me. That was not my first response. He is 20 months old. I have no place to put him anymore where I know he will be safe. I’m in shock. I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with this. After the shock wears off, I attempt to put him back to bed. He willingly goes with me and cuddles up to his fuzzy blanket and dogs, as usual. As soon as I leave the room, he stands up and effortlessly scales the crib, dismounting with ease. He appears in front of me with the same wild expression.
In yoga class, the teacher explained to me that we are building muscle memory when we stay in difficult poses for long periods of time. Next time, the same pose will take a little less effort. Apparently, in male toddlers, the rate at which muscle remembers is accelerated. My boy is a prodigy, hence his father’s pride.
It took about 4 attempts of putting him back to bed, and a firm order to lay down, for it to finally stick. I’m not willing to give up on the 4-sided enclosure yet. Morning, thank you God, went fine. He was awake at 6:00 am and contentedly babbling until 7:00. Phew! I was worried.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I present this question in light of packing for vacation. The intensity of my love for “early” packing is matched only by that of my hatred for unpacking. With the pull-back in the economy and the introduction of fees for checked bags, my propensity for early packing has been intensified. I believe that with all the laundry that I have to process for a family of 5, coupled with the fact that we have soooooooo many clothes, a week early probably wouldn’t raise too many eyebrows. If only I could wait that long.
Each and every item has been scrutinized, washed, folded, and in some cases ironed. My 7 year old recently asked, “What is that called?” “Honey, that is an ironing board,” I whispered. I’m not expecting a nomination for Mother of the Year for that one. This year on our 10 day family trip, we are not checking bags. Our toddler flies free as a lap child (pray for me), so we all have to absorb his belongings. I love a good challenge. I don’t watch Survivor on TV, but I imagine this is what it is like. It is all about strategy. My 10 year old is buckling down to finish the fourth Harry Potter book. She knows she can’t bring two Harry Potter books.
Anyone who has ever moved knows that when it comes down to the wire, moving day, and you think you have only about an hour of work left, in reality it is about 6-12 hours of stress-filled chaos. I guess I’m compensating for that last hellish hour. I’m not crazy. It is a form of self-love.