Monday, January 31, 2011

18 month update

My lil' girl is turning into a "big girl" right before our eyes.  At the ripe old age of 18 months old, she's convinced that she knows what she wants & is not above stomping her little feet to make sure we get just how much she wants something.

Fits are usually short-lived around here...mostly because my husband and I are really good at just carrying on as if someone is not throwing a fit behind us because we won't let them chew on the remote. 

But aside from fits, there are some great new things that Lucy's been up to. 

-She's learned how to remove all the couch cushions from the couch...and tries to do this while we are sitting on them.
-She can officially climb up onto the kitchen chairs and subsequently, the table.  (Problem is, our table is my temporary office space..)
-She's giving on the mouth kisses & still blows kisses...but now insists that you kiss her hand to blow her a kiss.  (Even our doctor couldn't get away without kissing Lucy's hand..)
-She still is convinced the baby is in HER belly
-Started saying a few more words, but still mostly babbles and points.
-She's convinced that if I'm talking on the phone, I must be talking to "da-da."  She also likes to put things to her ear and "call" people..."el-o?    el-o?   el-o?"  All.  Day.  Long.
-Recently started to want to be rocked, something she has NEVER let us do.

It's a crazy fun stage.  Full of messes memories.  Lots of tears laughter.



Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bargain of the Week: Cheap Diapers and Wipes!

Retail value for the above (1 box size 5 -156 count Pampers), 3-218 count Huggies Natural Care Wipes Refill packages, 3-184 count Huggies Sensitive Wipe Refill Packages=$75.68 pre-tax.

Amount I paid?

(Savings of $48.83)

My husband and I took advantage of a Living Social deal a week or so ago (no longer available) in which you could purchase a $20 off amazon gift card for only $10!  We purchased one each---(as my husband says, we're just making our money stretch as far as possible!)

The diapers were $40.88 standard price.  I utilized subscribe & Save which dropped the price to $28.62.  I combined that with a 20% off amazon diapers I had gotten out of a magazine which took off an additional $8.  I then used one of our $20 gift cards that we only paid $10 for.  Total additional out of pocket was $ $11.63 total for the diapers.

The wipes were standard $17.40 per 3 refills, or $34.80.  I did two separate transactions and utilized Subscribe & Save, which dropped the price to $12.18 per 3 refills, or $24.36.  I used our second $20 off gift card that we paid $10 for.  Total additional out of pocket was $5.22, so $15.22 for all 6 refills!


Later in the week I stumbled on an even more incredible deal that I emailed over to Money Saving Mom.  I purchased this box of diapers for only .53 out of pocket!!!!
Price was $23.99 to begin with.
I utilized subscribe and save which took off $7.20.
I used a 20% off coupon that was set to expire at the end of the month--took off $4.80
I was able to stack an additional $10 off Amazon Baby Store purchase coupon I had received in a magazine--took off $10
There was also a $1.50 off Pampers coupon that showed up on the page while I was ordering.

Total out of pocket .53 shipped to my door!  :)

Any good bargains you found this week????  Please share!

(Oh, and for more help on buying diapers on Amazon...check out my previous post)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Freezer Filled UP

(Ok, so I haven't quite completed my freezer cooking this month as I want to put up some regular pancakes and pizza pockets--but those items have been put on hold and I'll just make excess when I decide to make them :)

With much assistance from my husband and my tiny little helper, we put away the makings of plenty of dinners, breakfast foods, lunches & snacks!  (Oh and the photo?  The only one my husband captured happened to be of me blending up smoothies in my mis-matched sweats...awesome :)

This time around I took an in-depth inventory of everything we had on hand in our pantry, fridge & freezers.  I took that inventory and figured out what I could cook with purchasing just one or two ingredients.  Example: I had two boxes of cornbread mix, cans of beans & chilli seasoning.  So, I put up a pound of cooked hamburger in the freezer & am one step closer to chilli!

So what are we going to be eating for awhile from our freezer?

Taco Kits & Taco Rice 1 2 3 4 
Enchiladas & Taco Rice 1 2
Cooked Chicken in bags (for quesadillas or fillers) 1 2
Chili & Cornbread 1
Lasagna 1 2
Biscuits/Gravy + Hashbrowns 1 2
Bacon Roll-up +Beans/Fries 1 2
BBQ Beef Sandwiches 1
Pizza Pockets 1 2 (making more...)
Chicken/bacon Subs 1 2 3 4 5 6
Smoothies 1 (I've already eaten most!)
Chicken/bean Burritos 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 (lunches for Jon)
Pumpkin Pancakes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1213 14 15 16 17 18 19 2021 22 23 24 (breakfast)
Hashbrowns 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

That's 19 meals in the freezer (not including burritos, pancakes, or pizza pockets) and I have ingredients in the pantry/freezer for 8 additional meals...most of which have to be cooked the day of (Spaghetti, Chicken & veggies, chicken/rice casserole, breakfast for dinner, spanish chicken skillet, etc...)  The freezer meals help out on busy nights...or ones where I'm just tired & my husband is working late (a lot of which happens during the end of the month/first week of the following month with his wok schedule)
We're already planning for our next cooking which will be a short one towards the end of February to get us meals to hold us over for a month.  After that I'm hoping to have a BIG cooking session near my due date and really fill up our freezer and cupboards before baby arrives.
The one thing we're working on is buying groceries throughout the month.  While we had only spent about $20 in groceries for 3 weeks before we bought food to fill up our freezer, we spent most of our monthly grocery budget in that trip.  Now we're going to get back into the habit of stocking up throughout the month (and have already started)---especially on chicken and beef!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"While I'm waiting..."

I've alluded before that real life right now has been it likely is for most people.  In fact, I know several people right now where life is just plain HARD in this moment.  I have felt discouraged, uncertain, angry & forgotten.  I've felt similarily in the past...(ironically the last time I remember feeling this way was during my last pregnancy---but that was a totally different and un-related situation.)

Financial stress is our primary reason for feeling so discouraged in this moment---add to that car troubles, medical bills that are piling up, a second little one on the way & an unexpected loss of income and it all adds up to confusion for us.  We're trying.  Trying to trust, listen & discern.  And most of all...trying to remember just how faithful God has been to us.  (My goodness...Heaven only knows the conditions we've been rescued from time & time again.)

While we wait, we're trying to act at the same time...something that isn't always easy.  I think there are two extremes that people get caught in---overaction OR no action.  Overactive people jump before prayer, trying to lean on their own strength.  No action people tend to wait...and wait...and wait....

We have been guilty of being BOTH people...though I think we're finally reaching some middle ground in this particular situation and time.  Trying to balance action WITH patient waiting.

And with that, I leave you with a song that sums up best what our heart's desire is right now...

While I'm Waiting---John Waller

I'm waiting

I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Takeing every step in obedience

While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

(You should search for the video on YouTube....just to hear it if you never have!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A toddler lives here...

...a freakishly strong one at that!

Yes, this is what our living room entire home looks like much of the time.

(Except from the hours of 8pm-8am when the person responsible for the destruction is tucked in for the night.)

I have a toddler.  A VERY active, adventure-seeking, risk-taking, furniture-flipping toddler.  I love it.  My husband and I giggle as we watch her try and flip over another small piece of furniture...or drag a 10lb turkey across the living room floor.  We encourage her to pull out toys, "cook" for us & climb on the boxes of diet coke that used to be stacked up neatly.

A toddler lives here...and call me strange, but I like that it shows.  I could worry myself sick about toys being scattered about, not being able to have "nice" things sitting out, or the fact that the toys are usually never ALL picked up.  But I don't...because I have a toddler.

...And years from now, I won't.  I'll have grown children who have (hopefully) left the nest & aren't scattering toys from every corner of the house.  I'll be able to have nice things sitting out & a home that always looks clean & "company ready."  Our home will look like only adults live here...because that will be the case.

No need to rush the inevitable.

I can live with a play kitchen in my real kitchen, blocks on my floor, furniture flipped over, animal crackers in the couch cushions and every stinkin' blanket we own gathered into a huge pile in the living room.  I can enjoy this season of couch cushions pulled off because apparently it's REALLY fun to do that, magnets shoved in my purse, flashlights in the crib & everything being torn off the fridge.

Because someday,  I'm going to miss this....

Monday, January 24, 2011

" look....."



That was my response this past week as someone struggled with coming up with just the right thing to say to me in reference to my ever-expanding belly.

Yes folks, I'm huge. 

It's true.

And do you want to know a secret??? 

I LOVE it.

a HUGE belly means a growing that is set to appear in the next two months!

So here we are at 31 weeks (though I post these usually when the week is almost really, I'll be nearly 32 weeks when you read this!)

Had a doctor's appointment this week and we are starting every other week appointments now!  I thought it was seriously last week when I just confirmed I was pregnant in the bathroom of a local Wal-Mart.

(True story...I had to go & figured I'd take advantage of my recent purchase of a HPT.)

Baby is measuring right on target.  Weight gain is up to 20lbs total...and I am SO okay with that!  My weight gain has been much more concentrated this pregnancy than with my last in which I felt like I gained all over.  I feel very heavy in the belly section...but not anywhere else...yet.

I don't have GD & when we mentioned the fact that I was having strong "practice" contractions seemingly all the time, our doctor gave us a checklist of what to watch for "just in case."

We ran a few baby errands this weekend & almost have all the items we need to welcome a baby home.  We started working on moving baby stuff back downstairs this weekend as well & I'm hoping to start washing up blankets & clothing in the next few weeks!

Our big challenge this week has been in searching for an adequate double stroller.  We know we'll need one & we very much want one (we use ours all the time now...and our daughter is not one that can be trusted to walk & hold hands :) 

Do you have a double stroller?  What kind?

Seriously, if you aren't buying diapers online....

...well, then I'd have to argue that you aren't getting the most bang for your buck.

I've mentioned before that I am an avid fan of buying our diapers (and now wipes!) online through Amazon's Mom program via their subscribe and save method.  And before you read any further...I'm not receiving anything for my rave review.  I just love saving money & I love this program!

We started this summer when the program first began and were delighted to see our savings add up.  This week I actually took the time to sit down and do some math on Amazon prices vs. Wal-Mart prices for the products we specifically buy & I was SHOCKED to discover just how much we were saving!  I knew we were saving a few bucks, but never imagined that it added up to OVER $150 a year...just on diapers.

Allow me to demonstrate....


We purchase Pampers.  (Note: Amazon offers the subscribe and save deals on Huggies, Luvs, Pull-ups, etc..)

Wal-mart offers size 5 diapers in a 136 count box for $35 (pre-tax).  That works out to .26 per diaper

Amazon offers size 5 diapers in a 156 count box for a base price of $40.88  (pre-tax).  That works out to .26  per diaper

If you sign up for the free Amazon Mom program & opt for the subscribe & save delivery, the price drops to $28.62 , or  .18 per diaper.  (Diapers ship for free through subscribe & save.)  Right there you are saving .08 per diaper, or $12.50 for the entire box!

It gets better!  If you receive Parents, Parenting the Early Years, or Fit may find an additional 20% off your diaper purchase on amazon.  This coupon can be combined with a subscribe & save purchase.  For us, it takes off about $8.00.  Making our total price for a box of 156 size 5 Pampers, to right around $20.62 (give or take).  Bringing the price per diaper down to .13, saving us .13 per diaper (compared to Wal-Mart) or $20 on the entire box!  :)

(Anddddddddd...if you have any Amazon giftcards through Swagbucks,'re really going to save a LOT!)


We purchase Huggies wipes.  (Yes, we love our Pampers diapers...but seriously dislike their wipes...) 

Price per package of refill wipes at Wal-mart is $5.97 (pre-tax).  Assuming each package contains 184 wipes, total for three packages is $17.91 (pre-tax), or .03 per wipe.  (yes, we figure per wipe and per diaper prices so we know what the best deal is!)

Amazon offers Huggies Sensitive Wipes at a base price of $16.53 for a box containing three refills.  Similar to Wal-Mart Price.

If you opt for subscribe & save, that price drops to $11.57 for a box containing three refills, saving us $6.34 over Wal-Mart's price...shipped right to our door for free!!

(again, if you have Amazon gift cards earned through Swagbucks, this deal gets sweeter!)

Go here to preview items available for Subscribe & Save discounts (there are more, just look around.  I searched for breast milk storage bags and found their prices to be cheaper than Babies R' Us).  Compare your brand's prices to Amazon and see if it might save you money as well!

If it does (which I'm pretty confident you'll find some savings...) Go here to sign up for Amazon Mom (you'll also receive free Prime shipping on other eligibile products).  After your first order arrives (should be about two days.)  You can log in and cancel your subscription, if you'd like.  If not, Amazon will continue to ship your diapers/wipes every X amount of months you selected for their current subscribe & save price.  (We choose to cancel our subscription each time & check to see if there is a better deal when need be.  This also allows us to combine 20% off coupons & giftcards if we have them.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bargain of the week: 7 shirts for less than $50

My bargain of the week was just received last weekend via our wonderful mail system!

Baby #2 is hanging out a lot lower in my belly than Baby#1 ever did.


My maternity shirts were slowly not covering my belly anymore.  Most days I hang out in my husband's attire at home, but I was in need of some shirts to cover me for these last few months.

Enter Old Navy Maternity Clearance! 

A few weeks ago I sifted through their online selection and ended up selecting 5 long sleeve shirt, 1 Cardigan, and 1 layering tank top.  My original total was going to be over $50 (more than I wanted to spend)--but I knew that would qualify me for free shipping.  Wanting to see if I could get in on any other promotional offers, I did a quick search on Retail Me Not  (which, if you're buying anything online--check out this site first!)  Anyways, I found a discount code for $10 off a $50 purchase if I signed up for the Old Navy Newsletter. 

Fantastic!  With my total down to $48, I was a happy camper!

..but the absolute best part is that the $48 was paid in the form of a gift card, a Christmas gift from my in-laws!

Did you find any good bargains this week?  I'd love to hear about them!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

i (heart) community.


I'm a fan of it.

From hometown communities---to stay-at-home mom communities---to online blog communities---to Christian Community.

I love what the purpose of being in community with others is supposed to bring.  I appreciate the design of community.  I enjoy the relationships developed within community.

Simply stated, I heart community.

My husband and I are blessed to be apart of a Church Community in which we are consistently challenged, encouraged & equipped.  This year, we have jumped into being involved in a small group within our church community.

We gather (married couples) about twice a month in someone's home. 

We joke.
We discuss.
We engage.
We challenge.
We pray.
We encourage.
We learn.

I've always desired to be apart of community like this...where you can share your story & hear someone else's.  Where someone is there to encourage you through the messy parts of life & laugh with you when you share about your daughter getting her hair stuck in her snotty nose...(true story.) 

I haven't always understood God's design for community & why it's so necessary to be apart of it.  I haven't always recognized my need for others to speak into my life, or my need to be able to bear someone else's burdens.  I haven't always recognized that being apart of a smaller community is not about having the "best answers" or "praying the most elaborately."

I'm getting it now.

We are meant to do life together.

We NEED to do life together.

....and that's just what I'm trying to do....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bargain of the week: better than free hot chocolate....

So I had a picture of this deal, but it won't imagine a photo of two boxes of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate.

Are you imagining it?


Our bargain of the week was those two boxes!  My husband is greatly addicted to hot chocolate right now, and I'm learning to enjoy it just as much!  The boxes were on sale for $1 per box last week.  I had  coupons for $2 off each box.


2 boxes of hot chocolate=$2
MINUS 2/ $2 off coupons= +$2

Yes, our store gave us coupon overage so we were actually paid to take the hot chocolate out of the store!  Well, the overage went towards other items in the purchase, but you get the idea!

What about you?  What good bargains did you find this week?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thank you, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse....

This week has been challenging...actually, the last few weeks have been "challenging."  Between illness, financial stress, cars breaking down, job frustrations and a due date that is nearing ever so quickly....I've just been ready to wave the white flag.

"You win."  (I'm not really sure who I'm referring to when I utter that statement, but I've said it...and some things I'll never publicly admit to.)

I told my husband this week that I was angry. Not at him, of course, but angry seems to sum up all the feelings I'm dealing with.  (You could toss in bitter, resentful, fogotten, worried, sad, etc....but angry really sums it up best.) What's most frustrating is that whenever I feel angry--I almost immediately feel guilty.  "But I should be thankful to have a job that allows me to work-from-home/thankful that I have any food in my pantry/thankful that I have a home to sleep in/thankful that I have heat, water, clothing..."

And I am thankful...but right now, I still feel pretty darn angry.

And you know, I could probably blame most of these feelings (and I do!) on pregnancy emotions...and who can blame me?  In less than 10 weeks I'm going to be a mamma to two little ones under two.  And maybe I'm even more angry because I want this time to be about preparing for that stage, preparing a nursery, enjoying this time as a little family of 3....

So this morning my precious little gal' (sensing my need for some extra zzzz's) chose to sleep until about 9:30.  I checked my email on my phone before hopping out of bed & came upon even more disappointing news.  I changed her diaper, filled up a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch & a cup of apple juice, and I plopped her down on the sofa with the latest episode of "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse." 

Yes, I did that.  I'm that mom today.

I set to responding emails, balancing our bank account, & brainstorming with my husband over ideas of what to do about our car.  I ended the phone call and tears of frustration set in (another side-effect of pregnancy/the "angry" feeling.)  Right about that time the familiar tune from this cartoon came on.."Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog...we've got ears come on...."

My daughter always stops what she's doing and begins dancing when this song comes on.

Today she toddled into the dining room where I was sitting at and she just had the biggest grin on as she continued to dance for me.  I smiled.  She smiled.  Snot ran down her face (illness side effect) & tears ran down mine.

~You (again, whoever "you" are) can take my car, my bank account, my time.....but you can't take away the joy of the "hot dog dance"~

Thursday, January 13, 2011

30 weeks...

wow.  wow.  wow.


We are 10 weeks away from the official due date, 6 weeks away from being full-term!

-I'm having lots of contractions (braxton-hicks I do believe) though they are getting stronger and tighter everyday!

-Had the 3 hour glucose tolerance test last week (assuming I passed since I haven't heard back from the doctor..)  Wasn't horrible---but my arm was sore and I crashed that afternoon!

-Feeling really sore already...bending over is hard to come by---and forget about tying my own shoes...

-working on rocking babies with Lucy (she's finally showing some interest in her baby dolls!)

We have LOTS to finish up the next few weeks before baby arrives.  I'd like to be "ready" with all the big things with a month or so left to wrap up details, rest & treasure our time as a family of just three.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm no June Cleaver....

not.  even.  close.

I unashamedly gave you a glimpse into our home last week when "real life" happens.  (Truth be told, while the mess got picked up, it's pretty much back to the same state.)

I certainly don't have my hair and make-up done up to perfection.  I'm not dressed in a cute polka-dot dress (with a an adorable apron tied around my small waist) as I wait for my made from scratch cookies to be cooked to perfection, so that I can sit down with my children at the table for an afternoon heart-to-heart.

no no no no no.

While I did fix my hair this morning (only because I left the house for the first time in days)---my make-up is a wreck and the dark circles are prominent.  I was dressed in a cute little outfit, but changed quickly into my husband's sweats when I arrived home.  My waist is anything but small at this point and I begged my daughter to take a nap today so that I could rest on the couch.  And the cookies?  Well, I found an expired pouch of cookie mix in my pantry last weekend and begged my husband to make them.

I am no June Cleaver.

Sometimes I catch myself trying to "brand" myself as a mom---trying to fit some mold of what I think I ought to be--rather than appreciating the kind of mom God has so clearly made me.  I dwell on my weaknesses as a wife/mom and forget about the unique strengths I have when it comes to loving MY husband and guiding OUR children.

While I find it important to challenge myself in new areas of homemaking (sewing, cleaning, cooking, organizing, etc...)  I'm also learning to recognize that there are certain areas God has really gifted me in & others that are never going to be talents I can claim.  And boy, if I could learn that--and remember that---how freeing that would be!

We let our daughter stay up late when she fights her bedtime.  I turn on movies on her DVD player when nap time seems elusive.  She joins me in bed EVERY morning to watch cartoons while Daddy gets ready for work....and we eat a lot of meals as "picnics" on the living room floor.  We have toys from one end of the house to the other (and I love it---even when I stub my toe...because a kid REALLY does live here!).  We spend lots of days in our pajamas...and even if she gets dressed it's usually after lunch time.  We keep her out late on Friday nights as it's a family "date" night out of the house.  We let her use her crib mattress as a slide & I don't get upset (usually) when she decides to empty out her dresser drawers.

A few people have told my husband and I on different occasions that we are very laid-back parents (especially for first-timers.) I never would have classified myself as this, but I suppose I get what they mean.

We do "real life" here. And as much as I love a clean home & routines, they often don't happen...

Because, as I said...I'm no June Cleaver.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Want to spice up your blog?!?!

Designer Blogs is hosting a giveaway in honor of their two-year anniversary!

If you're selected, you could win a gift certificate for $30, $50, or $70 to use towards a custom or premade blog design.

Check it out!

Bargain of the week

A new regular post I want to try out is featuring my favorite "bargain" of the week. I've been out of the coupon game for about a month now (by choice) & have kept my bargains to online deals---which have been plentiful! My goal is to be challenged to get back in the game and re-stock our linen closet and pantry before baby #2 arrives.

Anyways, this week...I could tell you about the great finds I found for baby #2, but that might give away the gender...and we don't want that! Or I could share about the Little People Trash Truck/recycling Truck toy we found at wal-mart for $5 (50% off) that Lucy loves...but that may be gifted to a cousin.

But favorite bargain of the week was found on Saturday. My husband and I bundled Lucy up and went out in the cold for a little New Years Day shopping. Needing a snack, we ventured to our favorite little pretzel place in the mall. After ringing up our two pretzels, water, and a dipping sauce, we had to question them that the price ($3.89) was correct.

Indeed it apparently they were running a "Buy one, get one" free promotion on their pretzels!

My favorite bargain is often the one you don't expect....and when you're pinching pennies and allowing yourself to indulge in a mall food court treat...well, it's quite the little blessing to discover your treat is half off! :)

What about you? Any good bargains this week??

Friday, January 7, 2011

Top 10 in 2010

Saw this on my friend Kat's blog--had to copy! So, here you top favorite photos from 2010....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

$20 Bill Challenge...

I mentioned the other day when writing about my minimal goals for 2011, that my husband and I were going to attempt the $20 challenge.

I read about this unique venture about a year ago over on this blog. We had grand ideas of attempting this challenge then, but somehow decided to buy a house...and well all good intentions went out the window. (And I fully recognize that I'm seven months pregnant & this challenge might be an epic fail with Baby #2 set to arrive this Spring...)

My husband and I thrive off of challenges, goals & just a general direction for where we're headed and where we want to end up. Our biggest obstacle in life for the last several months was a knowledge of knowing we needed more money coming in--and how to get there. I've spent the last few months feeling quite down about finances, jobs & even about having to work from home. But lately? We're feeling good--we're feeling excited---we're feeling thankful.

And that attitude just begs for a challenge to sharpen our creativity to think outside of the box, stretch a buck, try something new & learn some lessons along the way.

We'll each start out with $20. The goal is to turn that original $20 into more money. We've set our own rules--here's the basic rundown.

Our rules:
-You cannot "borrow" money if your funds are all tied up elsewhere
-We'll track any money coming in or out
-We're giving ourselves one year
-You can use items on hand (ie: fabric for crafts)--but anything purchased must come from your $20 (ie: additional thread)
-You can sell items to add to your $20 investment, but they must be agreed upon! Furthermore, we've decided to split the money with savings for anything we sell--& any large items (example an old bed we have) the money will be split three ways: Jon, Rachel, Savings. It's our hope that "sharing" with our savings will help grow that area!

...and that's it!

We're hoping for fresh ideas to get us excited about earning and saving money again & we're hopeful this will inspire us to de-junk and sell all those items we keep saying "we need to sell_____"

Please join in if you want! We're hoping to update monthly with how our challenge is going. My personal goal is to turn the original $20 into $200. Ambitious goal, but I have a few ideas that I'm pretty excited about.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas 2010

A glimpse into our Christmas.....

We saw Santa...and believe it or not, my child did not cry. In fact, it took effort to get Lucy off his lap!

We spent Christmas Eve (day) at home gearing up for the holiday. We headed out in the late afternoon and went to Mass with my family & spent Christmas Eve with them.
Christmas morning Lucy slept in and we all enjoyed some time watching cartoons in Mommy & Daddy's bed. When we finally got up to see what Santa had left it was somewhere around 10am...
Anyways, Lucy was VERY excited about opening gifts this year which made it so much fun! Santa brought her some large legos and a hippo pillow/sleeping bag. We played with toys, ate cinnamon rolls, and spent the day at home relaxing and enjoying the time as a little family.
That afternoon we headed to my cousin's home and spent Christmas night playing games, catching up & eating Christmas dinner.
My in-laws made a trip to see us on New Years & we celebrated Christmas with them. We had the traditional junk food while watching a "Christmas Carol" & we opened presents. The next morning we made a Christmas Dinner & just relaxed!
I'm so thankful for the time we had with family & the time we had at home....a perfect blend!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

28 (1/2) weeks....

So as this posts I'll actually be well on my way to 29 weeks....but here is my 28 week belly update!
28 weeks, wow!!!! We are officially 3 months away from meeting our new baby.
(side note: usually that sounds like a very short time considering how quickly this pregnancy has passed, but given the current cold my body is fighting...12 weeks sounds like a long time away!)
I am having Braxton-Hicks ALL. THE. TIME. Thankfully they don't hurt, but man it's such a different experience this time! My husband told me I was starting to waddle, and I'm afraid he's correct :)
We bought a "coming home outfit" for baby this past weekend & after picking up a few items here and there throughout pregnancy & stocking up on amazon diapers we almost have everything on my list of needs before baby! Setting up the nursery will commence in the next few weeks! It's our hope to have all "major" things done by 32ish weeks....
At my 28 week appointment:
-I'm officially up 15 pounds this pregnancy. So excited with that number and expecting it to climb in the coming weeks :)
-Baby's heartrate was 160 (much higher than normal, but also taken after the glucose test)
-FAILED the 1 hour glucose test :( Will be re-scheduling the three hour tolerance test as I am scheduled to do that today and my body is fighting off a cold with such force, I need all the energy (read:food) I can get!
-Iron levels were low and I was instructed to begin a supplement (had the same problem with Lucy)
-Doctor insisted we know where we plan to deliver at the next appointment! :)
The office was so empty last Thursday that I got a chance to talk with our doctor about my concerns with breastfeeding this baby. We did not have a good experience nursing Lucy and I'm fearful this time might be much of the same.
Lucy was jaundice and just did not have the energy to nurse. They brought us a pump to use on Day #2 and started her on formula because she had become dehydrated. From then until 7 months when I "officially" quit we always had to supplement because my supply NEVER established...despite all the supplements, pumping, oatmeal, etc...
I would love to nurse baby #2 (if for nothing else who wants to pay for formula?!?!)---but my husband and I are also preparing ourselves should it not work this time.
Thankfully our doctor is amazingly encouraging and had some good tips/thoughts.
Guess we'll know in 12 weeks what works! :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

keepin' it real...

Just to "keep it real" around here....

(this laundy has been in the dryer for 5 days...)

....just in case you thought that because I love to organize & we really do follow a cleaning schedule around here....

...that somehow life doesn't happen around here

.....well, you'd be wrong.....because THIS is how our house looked when we went to bed last night (and unfortunately it actually looks worse right now....

...because life does happen. babies get sick. mommies get sick. daddies return to work after four-day weekends......

...and suddenly being organized and having a cleaning schedule means nothing when there is no energy to implement it.....

But that's ok. And honestly? I'm not even the least bit embarassed about giving a glimpse inside our home right now. Because as I've said before, having a clean home is the LEAST of my worries...and it certainly never takes priority over extra cuddles, cartoons and rest time for this expectant mamma.

~this is real life, baby~

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 focus.

We rang in 2011 with my in-laws this year. I did my best to make it to midnight, and by some miracle I pulled it off. New Years Eve brought news of a failed glucose test (meaning a three-hour one to rule out gestational diabetes is in my near future), failed iron bloodwork (meaning a need for iron supplements....again.), & a headcold. This shouldn't be a huge complaint...but let's face it. Headcolds stink....and when you're pregnant/nursing and medicine options are slim....they just get down right irritating.

That being said, I don't expect any of these short-term ailments to ruin my excitement for 2011.
My husband and I, being the goal-setters that we are, sat down and brainstormed some 2011 mutual goals. I took some time to reflect on what I'd like to see happen personally this year as well.

The key is...well, I'm aiming low. I tend to "overshoot" when it comes to long-term goal-setting and knowing that fact along with the fact that in three short months I'm going to be a mamma to TWO kiddos under the age of TWO...I'm definitely aiming low :)

We're still planning to set monthly goals, but here is where I'm putting my focus in 2011

-Set up and use our craft space. (This is a work in progress as we transform our finished attic area)
-Read 4 books. (Yes, four...aiming low, remember?)
-Take a Mom's Day Out/In twice a month

-Write one article a week for Associated Content
-Produce income from writing hobbies
-Learn to do my own blog design

-Complete the "master to-do list"
-Have a garage sale
-Continue to de-junk/organize
-Create a freezer cooking master list to simplify the process

-Read the Total Money Makeover with Jonathan
-Turn $20 into $200 (more on this later!)
-Save a specified amount over the course of the year
-Bring in enough income to start a debt payoff plan we have researched

As a wife...
-Date night in once a week. (We already sort of do this--but focusing on a much more intentional plan)
-Date night out once every two months
-Work through the 31 days of Praying for your Husband
-Read one Marriage book
-Continue with devotional/prayer time with the Mr.

As a mom...
-Date "day" with Lucy 1/per month
-Finish Lucy's Baby Book with writing
-Start her second year book
-Start baby's baby book :)
-Read one "Mom" book

-Finish Belly Book
-Have Monthly Planning Meeting with Jonathan (for budget, dates, etc...we've done this before and loved it)

There you have not-so-ambitious 2011 Goals! :)

Additionally, there are a few new features I'm working on at rachelonrewind.

In addition to featuring updates on our goal progress, I'm hoping to start some regular features/check-ins, including:
-Bookin' it in 2011 with Life as Mom (Though again, I'm aiming low...four books, remember?)
-Taking some direction from Money Saving Mom, and going to attempt 12 new things myself!
-Monthly Freezer Cooking posts
-"Bargain of the week"--hoping to inspire non-deal seekers & motivate myself!
-"I organized...."--because most of my master to-do list involves areas of our home in desperate need of an organization overhaul--I'm going to attempt a monthly (or bi-weekly) look at what we've organized/how
-updates on our own version of this $20 challenge (more details to come this week!)