Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A change long overdue

Come visit me at my new virtual home.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

When Grocery Shopping is FUN

I have always been a bargain hunter, but lately I have REALLY gotten into couponing. There are tons of great blogs out there devoted to the cause of saving money, and I consult these blogs weekly to find the best coupons, as well as shopping lists that do the work for me of matching up sale prices to available coupons.

I think this was my best week yet. I just came home from the grocery store (Cub Foods) where I spent $63.50 for $95 worth of groceries. But, wait! That's not even the best part! (30% off retail is my goal, which I meet almost every single week.) I received $26.50 worth of catalina coupons off of my next order - that means, not coupons for specific products but coupons that take money off the total order! Awesome! So this is what I got for basically $37.00.

For perspective, this filled up 5 grocery bags, so it's more stuff than it even appears to be from the picture. Now my pantry is full, so I expect to spend about $20 a week for the next 3-4 weeks. Thank goodness, because we're going to be plopping down $2000 tomorrow on carpet.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Still Trucking Along

Time for a brief check-in....I'm alive, still just overwhelmed with life. Which means, I've had to mostly eliminate a few things from my life - sleep, showering, and internet.

However! I am online today for a very good, very exciting reason. My sister called a few minutes ago to tell me that she is engaged! I couldn't be more happy for her. My future brother-in-law M is a great guy and I'm so happy to be adding him to the family. I immediately logged on to my Facebook account to tell him so, and it so happened that my cousin (who happens to be one of M's best friends) was online, and we spent a few minutes chatting about the happy news.

Isn't the internet grand? It makes the world seem so small.

I don't think I've posted since before Natalie's birthday, which has been almost a month ago already. She's now 2 going on 20. One minute she will be carrying on a mature conversation with me about death ("The baby toad died. I squished him. That was so sad." Trust me, you probably don't want to hear that story. I still get queasy when I think of it.)

And the next minute, she is throwing a tantrum because I chose the WRONG shirt out of her closet.


And now, I hear SpongeBob SquarePants coming to an end out in the living room, which means the end of my time on the internet. Once I get my life straightened out, hopefully within the next month, I will start posting more again.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nothing About Nothing, Really

The kids and I went to the State Fair earlier this week, which is always a lot of fun. Except when it's not.

Probably due to this summer's much-cooler-than-average temperatures, there has been a huge turnout at the Fair this year. Even more so than usual, and it always is a zoo. By about noon, I'd had it with the crowds.

And then it got worse. I took the kids into the bathroom and, because there were no stalls big enough to accommodate a stroller, I pulled my wallet out of the bottom compartment and brought it into the stall with the kids and me. About five minutes later, I realized I'd forgotten it there.
In a panic, I went back into the bathroom and that stall was occupied. I waited, and waited, and waited some more for the occupants to come out (I could see two pairs of shoes under the door). In my mind, I debated - do I yell over the top, "Hey, do you see a wallet in there?" but I didn't want to bring any attention to it if it hadn't already been noticed. When the mom and daughter finally came out of the stall, I was disappointed but not surprised to see that my wallet wasn't there anymore.

After about fifteen more panicked minutes, I located the Lost and Found and was thrilled to discover my wallet had been turned in. The "good Samaritan" had taken a $20 finder's fee, but other than that, everything was there. I was incredibly lucky, and I am still hyperventilating at the thought of all the money and time it would have taken to replace its contents, including my bus pass, driver's license, a credit card and a debit card, and all of the ride tickets I'd pre-purchased for the kids.

The other craziness in my life at the moment revolves around our rental duplex. One of our long-time tenants just moved out, and we've been crazy busy trying to replace carpeting, paint walls, and all the other maintenance-type things that go along with making a house renter-ready. Not to mention, fielding all the phone calls from prospective tenants. One couple was ready to sign the lease - and then they backed out of the deal. Sigh and start over from square one, putting the ad back in the paper and digging out the "For Rent" sign again. I will be really glad to be
done with this. As if I have all this spare time to spend cleaning a SECOND house.

You meet some interesting characters when you have an apartment for rent, though. The last time we had to do this, in 2006, we had the Beverly Hillbillies themselves drive up in their rusty, primer-colored pickup truck to take a look at the place. Four people piled out of the short cab pickup, like clowns out of a clown car. When the wife smiled and showed me her teeth (all two of them), I started looking around to see where the cameras were, because surely I was being punk'd. They showed an unnatural interest in the furnace, which alarmed me. A furnace is a furnace, right? Needless to say, we didn't rent to them. We found out a month later that they had
moved into the rental duplex next door. And then, four months later, we saw the eviction notice on their door.

My favorite Sammy-isms of the week:

#1: "Natalie has such pretty white hair. And I have such pretty brown hair. And Mom has such pretty black hair. And Dad has...Dad really needs a haircut."

#2: I'd given him a piece of gum, a rare treat. He was riding his trike in the driveway, and flipped it over backwards. He was unhurt, but "apparently I swallowed my gum!" he said, in shock. Natalie, standing off to the side, pursed her lips in an "O" of surprise and clasped her hands over her mouth. Oh, the horror - a wasted piece of gum, down the tubes, so to speak.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Town Festival

Our town festival was this past weekend, and the kids had so much fun. First was the parade. Sam rode on his daycare's float and then got to join us for the second half of the parade. I don't have any pictures of him because his daycare's name was displayed prominently on his t-shirt and I don't have the time or inclination to blur it out. But here's a couple of pictures of Natalie instead.

Then was the petting zoo. They have a pretty awesome petting zoo each year, with llamas, chickens and geese, sheep and goats, calves, and a horse and a donkey. This year, there was also a huge bounce house - actually, an entire bounce neighborhood.

On Sunday, Ron and Sam went to the classic car show while Natalie and I went shopping. When the boys got home, I asked Sam how it was. "Great!" he said. "They even had the hoods open so I could look at the engines!" My little budding mechanic.

Needless to say, we were all exhausted by the end of the weekend.