Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jasper can sit up

I know I didn't post any photos of Jasper the other day, so I'm trying to make up for it tonight. The reason was that I didn't get any photos of him, because he was asleep when I got home from work on Friday night ... at 5:40. He sometimes dozes off really early.

But he can sit up some now on his own. Not long...maybe 10 seconds up straight...and maybe a minute leaning forward.

This afternoon while I was trying to make room for more vegetable plants, the children sat on the blanket and played. Well, Petra ate a bowl of loquats for her afternoon snack. You can't leave her outside unattended or she will eat the ones off the ground. So we picked some off the tree together and she sat quietly with her bowl for about 20 minutes .

Anyone want a loquat?

You can save on the basics

For all of you who think you can't save money on the items you need to purchase. You can.

It finally came about that I needed all the basics, i.e. soy milk, almond milk, eggs, bread, butter, half-n-half, fruit, etc. I actually went to Publix to get a BOGO item, but they were out. So, my shopping trip didn't include any fabulous sales, and instead I purchased only the basics we needed. I still saved $16, and spent a total of $22. Not bad for items you have to have.

Today's trip to CVS was also successful. I always spend something, because at a minimum you have to pay the sales tax on what you buy. Tonight, I spent a grand total of $1.05 on the following.
2 boxes of VEET gel hair removal
2 box PAAS egg coloring dye kits
1 swiffer wetjet all-purpose cleaner
1 lysol nutra-air spray
1 bath body sponge
1 almond snickers bar (my filler item necessary to keep me above a negative transaction)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Messy girl

I've heard a few comments from family about the lack of photos online lately ... so despite the fact that Petra was filthy after eating dinner and homemade chocolate oatmeal chip cookies (made by my dear husband), I decided to take out the camera for a few photos. Tonight was pretty great. I came home to flowers, dinner, wine, dessert and a movie - all prepared by my man.To top it off he had done several home repairs throughout the day! It just doesn't get any better. =)

And here are a few videos for your enjoyment.

Now, on to other matters - we found our missing socks. Have you ever wondered where all those socks go that you loose in the laundry. Well, I knew that they seemed to disappear. Our frontload washing machine (that is less than a year old) stopped working, and Thomas went to fix it and found these in the drain pipe!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quick Update on the Family

I don't have much time, so this will be fast. Our camera has had dead batteries for the last two weeks so I don't have new pics of the children. However, I pulled this wonderful family photo from Petra's adoption day.

Thomas and I are starting a new workout routine in the morning at 5am - so I need to get to bed soon. The most horrible part of the day was look at our "before" photos that we took. Uggh. Lots of room for improvement I guess.

The children are fantastic. Jasper has been on this new formula for 2 weeks now and it is definitely helping. He doesn't wake up any more in the night screaming and scratching his head. I'm loving that. But his eczema on his cheeks is worse. I'm not sure why, or what to do about it, I'll keep trying things. The doctor said he still may be allergic to this formula, but just to know that this is as good as it gets ... if he was on anything else he would be worse.

Petra is good. Her favorite words are "up, please." It sounds like "up-py." She is doing really well with her alphabet and numbers. This week we realized that she recognized that print was letters. She went up to Thomas' license plate and pointed at the letters and started saying "E, A" and other random letters. She can't identify any letters, but I was glad to see she knew that it was print. Same thing happened with the sewer plate on the street. She squats down, points at the letters, and starts naming off random letters.

This weekend I worked on our garden. I am so happy to get this started. The past two years I've been so busy in the spring due to work. This is the first time we have planted anything since moving into our house. I planted tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, stevia, basil, lavendar, oregeno, leeks, cilantro. I still have to left squash, more zucchini, carrots, and watermelon to find room for somewhere else in the backyard. We are planning on putting them on the hill around the pool ... there is plenty of room there ... once we get weeds cleared out. We also planted a fig bush and blueberry bushes. And I ordered some plants for our shady front yard from Springhill Nursery in TX - they are giving away $20 in free plants - you just have to pay shipping.

Our loquat tree is full of fruit right now also. I'm trying to decide what to do with them. We have hundreds ripe at the moment. The past two years the birds ate them all, so far I've only seen two birds in tree this year. Below are two pictures of the tree, its about 2 stories high, and covered. The fruit is sordof a cross between an apricot and kumkwat. Petra and I can eat dozens straight off the tree, but just one seems to tear up Thomas' stomach. I'm considering trying to make a cobbler - but it seems like so much work to deseed them all for something like that.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Success at CVS

This week was a good week at CVS.
I went twice this week, on Sunday and again tonight. Both times I made money ot came back getting everything for free.

CVS shopping takes a little practice ... you have to learn to roll your extra care bucks to make more extra care bucks ... and do several transactions so that you pay little in cash.

I can't remember all the details from my trip on Sunday, but I'll tell you about tonight.

Transaction 1:
4 cans progresso soup on sale 4/$5 - and I had a coupon for $2 off that I printed off the computer
Dry idea deodorant - on sale for $2.99, plus I had a coupon for $2 off that I printed off the computer

Transaction 2:
Right Guard extreme deodorant

Total spent: $4 cash and $2 extra care bucks (for about $14 in product)
Total received: $6 extra care bucks.
So I basically got everything for $0.

There was toothpaste that was free this week after extra care bucks, but every CVS I went to didn't have it in stock. It drives me crazy. Every week I go in there for something on sale, and its not there. Tonight I drove to the next closest CVS to look for it and they didn't have it either. So I guess you can say I wasted 3 miles in gas.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sherri on the TV promoting adoption

Because I know she won't want to talk about it herself, here's Sherri from this morning on the morning news. I think she did a great job. Most people seemed surprised, but I don't think they know she has a background in TV. It's been a while, but it's clear she's still got it! grrrh.

I'm so proud of her and where she gets the energy to do everything she does is anybody's guess. I can't wait until I get back to working full time so she can start working full time at making a difference in the world. Look at everything she gets done just part time! Amazing.


Oh, and more on the tv front, here's the news spot talking about the calendar Petra is going to be in. You have to watch the whole thing to see her picture because it's the last one they show. But the other babies are cute too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Best Deal this week

This is easily the best deal of the week.

Walgreens is having a sale on Huggies diapers - $10 for each jumbo pack.
Plus, you can print coupons online to save an additional $5. That makes it $5 for a pack of diapers.

If you go to Walgreens, buy 3 packs of diapers for $15, you will get $10 back to spend on your next shopping trip!

Now, that is a deal.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I wanted to take some photos of the children today since the weather was so nice. Petra wasn't interested in smiling for the camera. She does have three teeth that are coming in, so maybe that is why she has been grumpy. You can see above, Petra is very patient with Jasper when he cries.

I love getting outside. Yesterday was great because we went hiking. We only went a little over 4 miles so I'm surprised that my calves were throbbing all night and are sore again today. I bought a new framed carrier for Petra off Craigslist last month for $40. You can see it in the photo below. We hadn't been out lately because she was too big for all the baby carriers we had.

two great websites

Shopping made better.

Two sites most everyone may be interested in:

1)Get gift cards at reduced prices to eat around town. Just type in your zip code and see the offers. One of our local restaurants is offering a $25 gift card for $10.

2)Find coupons for online stores - Office Depot, Kohls, etc.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Shopping week #2

Quick update.

Tonight, I went to Publix. Spent $32.26 and saved $56.60 (64%). This was an improvement over last week. I finally had a store coupon and manufacturer coupon to match, which is how these folks save so much, but the lady at checkout wouldn't let me use a store coupon and manufacturer coupon on the same item. Which is completely allowable ... so I will go up there later this week during daytime hours to get a store manager that knows this. The coupons were for Advil PM - it would have been 68 cents after the coupons.

In case you are interested, here is what I bought:
5 lbs boneless chicken breast
3 2L sodas
Cranberry juice
Cran-apple juice
2 Hellmann's Mayo
3 Egg beaters
3 bags frozen stir-fry veggies
1 Atkins shake package (6 individual shakes)
2 Contessa frozen meals
Almond Breeze milk

I also went to CVS today and Walgreens. CVS went really well, I bought 1 package of Atkins drinks (4 shakes) and 4 atkins bars. I had coupons and ECBs from last week. Spent $7.76 and got back $7 in ECBs for next time.

Friday, March 6, 2009

No pictures please!

Hello. We are all great. The legislative session has started - week 1 is done - thankfully. I can't wait for it to be over. But it is nice to be busy, the days go so much faster.
The children are fantastic. Jasper is still scratching his head like a maniac. I can't seem to get his nails short enough because he is so spastic about it. We switched his formula to Nutrimigen AA. It is $54 a small can - so basically every 2.5 days we go through a can. It is absurd! WIC is going to cover 9 cans a month for us, but they had to order it and I'm waiting. The doctor's office is trying to get insurance to cover the rest. In the meantime, we spent about $200 just in the last week on baby formula.
So saving money on other things is necessary right now. I was thrilled this week that I bought 40 cans of green giant veggies at just 34 cents each. But this pales in comparison to this girl's shopping trip to Walgreens. She spent $7 and saved $187; and brought home $13 in reward bucks ... so she basically made $6. Check it out on her blog, there is a picture of what she bought and the receipt.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Calendar Girl

I entered just one photo of Petra into a local calendar contest; because it was $5 a photo and we are on a budget now. Well, it paid off. Today we received the letter.
"Congratulations! Out of 210 photograph entries, Petra's photograph was selected as a winner to appear in Brehon's 5th Annual Blue Ribbon Baby Calendar for 2009-2010." Winners are being announced on the ABC later on March 5th, between 5-6pm. We are also asked to walk/stroll in the Springtime Tallahassee Parade later this month. Thomas and I received 2 tickets to the Charity Ball (valued at $100). And Petra won a prize package totaling $200!
We think she is going to be the September 2009 calendar photo. If anyone is interested in a calendar, please let us know. They are 18 month calendars and $15 each. All proceeds benefit local nonprofit causes related to helping improve the lives of children and families, e.g., child abuse, homeless pregnant women and infants.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Shopping trip #2

Today, I attempted to use my new coupon skills to pick up a few items at CVS. This was much trickier than the grocery store, because CVS gives you "extra care bucks" (ECB) on certain purchases. Basically, these extra care bucks are equivalent to cash at CVS. Experts at this game keep a rolling number of these bucks on hand, and often make several trips to CVS ... or possible several transactions in one trip.

Today, I went to CVS twice. Here is how it worked.

1st trip, I bought:
Carnation Instant Breakfast Mix - $4.99; receive $4.99 in ECBs - basically free
Playskool wipes - on sale for $2.50, minus $2 coupon = .50
Total price about $6; but I brought home $4.99 in ECBs

2nd trip; I bought:
Playskool wipes, - on sale for $2.50, minus $2 coupon = .50
Always pads - $2.99
Viatamin D - $2.99, receive $2.99 in ECBs - basically free
total - used my ECBs from earlier in the day plus an extra dollar, plus brought home more ECBs

These things take a while to build up, plus I didn't have coupons for as much as I would have liked. But generally, I thought this was great. I think it was fantastic that I basically got Carnation Instant Breakfast Mix for free. This is something we almost always keep on hand, thomas really likes it. Plus I got two packs of wipes at just 50 cents each!

I don't think I have this whole thing anywhere near downpat; but its been an interesting start.