Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wait for it . . .

After a long holiday weekend, I have many blog posts rattling around in my head. Since I am just mainly thankful to be home in one piece after ice skating for hours on I-35, I'll give you a quick preview:
  • fun with relatives
  • coming home minus two teeth (Emma, not me)
  • drive home from hell
  • wouldn't be fun without someone puking

Hope you can wait for more details!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shop 'til You Drop

Or shop until you get a raging migraine; you pick. Yes, I am one of those crazy shoppers who is out early on Black Friday. This year there was nothing in particular that was pulling me out of bed at 4 am. But there must've been something pulling my hubby out of bed at 4 am and I subsequently couldn't fall back asleep, so I was at the stores by 6 am. One of the toys I was looking for I couldn't find at Kohl's (they opened at 4 am, so everyone had a 2 hour head start) but it will still be there at the same price sometime in the next few weeks. Otherwise I bought things for the kiddos and maybe a few things for me.

Black Friday shopping isn't that bad when you encounter nice people, which was the majority of people. Yes, we may have been up at an ungodly hour and yes, we may have all been fighting for the same $49 DVD player, but over all most people were overly polite today.

The biggest example of how "safe" and trusting people here are in the Midwest occured at Target today. Target was c.ra.z.y. when I got there around 7:30 am. I only had a few things on my list there and after grabbing those, I got in line to wait what I thought may take 2 hrs (the line snaked around the entire store). I started chit-chating with a nice guy behind me who was buying a $300 TV. An older gentleman approached him with a cart and the same TV. He said something to the effect of, "Here, use my cart. Here is some money for the TV. I need to go meet my wife in front of Kohl's and I'll be back." From the way the conversation went, I assumed the two men knew each other. The guy in line and I were chatting some more and he said, "Wow, I must really look like a trustworthy person." The two men had never met before. Here a guy hands another guy $300 cash and trusts that he'll get his TV at the end of the line. We made comments about "Oh, take the money and run" or "Sell the TV for more money once you get out the door." We were joking, but I'm sure those thoughts would cross most people's minds. The line at Target took about 1/2 hr and right before we got to the cash registers, the older gentleman came back and said, "I sure appreciate you doing that for me." He introduced himself and the two men chatted for the next 10 mintues until we hit the front of the store. I'm glad I live where strangers are nice and don't trample each other to get in the stores.

By the time I had shopped for 5 hours (hitting Kohl's, Bed/Bath/Beyond, Target, multiple store in the mall, Toys R Us, and Walmart), I was about done. What put me over the top was the lovely gift of a speeding ticket I received as I drove to meet hubby, BIL, and two SIL's for lunch. Merry freakin' Christmas.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am Thankful

With the rush to Christmas, it is hard to slow down and remember to celebrate Thanksgiving. It has been a crazy year but we still have been blessed and are thankful for many things (in no particular order):
  • A job for hubby--Even though it's not a dream job, he doesn't get paid enough, and his commute sucks, I am so thankful that he has a job and we were able to stay where we wanted to be.
  • Insurance--With the presidential election, there were many discussions about insurance and how a lot of people go without. We used ours to the max this year and are taking advantage of everything we can before Jan. 1. CT scan anyone? We've already had two in the family this year--let's go for three. We may not have had the healthiest year, but at least we were able to take care of things and not worry too much about the cost.
  • Doctors--Goes hand-in-hand with insurance. We are thankful for skilled surgeons and doctors who take care of our whole family.
  • Family--we have an awesome family. From hubby who works too hard and makes many sacrifices for us to our dd's who make us laugh everyday to our parents who are always there to our siblings whom we love each and every one. Who else do you know is as excited as I am to go to the in-laws for 4 days and see all our family?
  • Friends--in real life and online. I have found a group of friends IRL where we have fun and help each other out. And to all my online friends, you are what keeps me going throughout the day! Don't mind all those high numbers on your tickers, it is probably me checking your blog 20 times a day.
  • Our home--we've been here 1 year on Sunday. I love our house and our neighborhood.

We hope that your year has been filled with many blessings as well.

Since it is that time of year, Emma has made many turkey crafts at school.




(Note that it says she is thankful for her dog. She doesn't have a dog, except her stuffed dogs--I guess she's thankful for those)


She came home wearing this yesterday. They must've made them at the end of the day because her hair was all full of glue. Nice.


This Emma created at home all by herself. At the time, she and I were having some "issues" so she went off to play in her room by herself. She came down to show me what she made--this turkey, and inside the cup were things she was thankful for. (Including the plastic spider ring and candy that were still in the cup from Halloween, but you get the idea). Very creative and heart warming.

Now, go forth and eat lots of turkey!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shopping Karma

Yesterday the girls and I spent the day running errands, which mostly included shopping malls and big box stores. Going shopping on a Saturday is usually busier than during the week, but now that Christmas is approaching, its starting to get crazy. I first noticed it at our small mall last weekend. The girls and I ran to drop "letter" off to Santa (he wasn't there yet, just his mailbox). The mall was fairly busy for a Saturday evening, especially since there was a home football game going on. Okay, so it was 20 degrees out and most people would prefer to shop in a controlled environment rather than sit outside in 20 degree weather plus windchill, but you get the idea.

The first stop I had to make was to a mall. I knew which entrance I needed--it was a quick in-and-out operation--I just needed to exchange the size of the shirt. Shopping karma was with me as I found a parking spot right outside the door. The next stop was to Kohl's for a couple of returns. Once again, shopping karma with a great parking space. I did my returns, picked up a couple things, and we were out the door.

The next stop was to Old Navy where I had to exchange a winter coat for Leah. The shopping karma was especially good to me there when I walked up to the coats and there was one left hanging on the rack--the size and color that I needed. It was like the hand of the shopping maven reached down and handed it to me herself. How could I be that lucky? When I went to check out, I had to return the coat but in buying it again the gal would give me the price I paid for it. The coat was selling for $27, but I had paid $18. I had an extra 20% off, so the $42 coat cost me $15 and change.

Our final stop was to another mall, where our main purpose was to play on the large, germ-infested, foam animals and objects in the middle of the mall. It was the girls reward for letting me drag them around for half the day. First we had to eat and the food court was a zoo. At 1 o'clock in the afternoon every table was taken and I had to wait in line 15 minutes to order Subway. We did score a booth right as we were ready to sit down. The girls did get to run around (and catch multiple illnesses) for a good 45 minutes after we ate.

I guess all the shopping, the constant Christmas music on the radio, and the inch of snow that fell while we were shopping put me over the edge into a Christmas mood. I put the girls in their Christmas pj's last night and we had our first holiday viewing of "The Polar Express".

I do realize we still have Thanksgiving coming up; I have a whole post I want to do about Thanksgiving. I'm not ready to skip to Christmas just yet, I need a turkey sandwich with some mashed potatoes and gravy first.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Can you tell me how to get

How to get to Sesame Street? I was watching a bit of Sesame Street with Leah yesterday morning and the show just cracks me up. You really need to watch it as an adult and appreciate some of the humor and parodies they do. Yes, my child may be learning her numbers and letters and how to speak Spanish and learning a few sign language signs, but this stuff can be hilarious.

I was only half-way watching yesterday morning when I heard this dialogue. Telly (big, red furry monster who is a little scatter-brained) was reading a book with some others and you could hear a motorcycle revving sound. One of the other characters asked, "What's that?" Telly says excitedly, "It's a herd of lactose intolerant antelope and they've just eaten cottage cheese!" No three-to-five year old is going to understand the gastric ramifications of this statement, but to me it was quite funny at the moment.

The parodies they do are also witty. Yesterday there was a segment called "A's Anatomy". There is also "RSI: Rhyme Scene Investigation", "Law and Order: Special Letters Unit", "Meal or No Meal", "Dr. Feel"---you get the idea. Once again, I don't think that the kids know the shows they are referencing, but it is entertaining for the parents.

There are still the classic pieces on Sesame Street as well, and our library just got in DVD sets of "Old School" Sesame Street which the girls love to watch. If you have nothing else to do today (and I know you don't--ha!) take a few minutes to watch a classic that still is around for a reason.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gettin' in the mood

The holiday mood, that is. I have always liked Bath & Body Works holiday scents, so this year I picked some up again. I am constantly getting awesome coupons from them that are "Free Item w/ any purchase". That means a cheapskate like me goes in and buys something for $1.50 and then gets an $11 item for free. Gotta work the system. Anyway, the past few years they have had a peppermint lotion out during the holidays and I've always steered clear. I didn't think I wanted to go around smelling like a giant candy cane. But this year I gave in and bought this

I used it once and I was hooked. It smells wonderful, and it left my bathroom smelling so good for hours after I used it as well. Then I got brave and bought this

Can I just say "love it"?! The smell is sweet without being overpowering and it makes your skin tingle, too--in a good way. ;) I have since gone on and bought this

and this

At least I know I will smell good for the next few month, and will also be clean and germ-free. And with my bargain abilities, I think I paid about $13 for all of it.
I also found a new favorite lip gloss. I love the B&BW C.O. Bigelow lip gloss, thanks to my loving sister (she has a bit of a lip gloss obsession), and have at least 3-4 at a time. My latest addition was this

It is a ginger mint with a hint of sparkle. It's what I'm wearing right now.

B&BW has also come out with a new kids line, and the girls will be getting some stocking stuffer items from there as well

Should I be worried that the gals who work in B&BW know Leah and I by name? Everytime we go to the mall we have to go to the "lip stuff" store. They get her all dolled up with lip gloss, lotion, and sparkly body spray.

I did pick up one more thing for me. I'm going to wrap it up and put it under the tree with a label that says "To Mom, Love your girls"

The gift would be the robe, not the girl. If that were the case, the tag may have to say "To Hubby, Love your wife".

I know I may come off sounding like I'm being paid by B&BW, but that isn't the case. I haven't been paid by them for the past 12 years--I worked there for awhile right after the store opened in our mall. As long as they keep sending me the good coupons, I'll keep coming back. And smelling great is a bonus.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm trying to do my part!

As you probably already know, our economy is pretty much in the crapper right now. Housing bust, credit meltdown, consumer spending lower than its ever been. Gloom. Doom.

One of the latest retailers to be hit hard was Target. Honestly people, I think my spending alone should keep Target above water. Last week I was there every. single. day. This week I had to go on Saturday before my child would be having accidents all over the floor (that is a post for a different day) and my cat would starve to death. Both items were on sale--bonus! And now I need to go again today to refill a prescription and find some shoes to fit Emma. Her feet are doing their part to keep the economy going as well; I swear she's grown two sizes since school started.

Target says sales are lacking in their home decorating departments and clothing. Again, I'm trying to help! Half our beds have bedding from Target, as well as a bathroom done totally in Target. Granted there are a lot of accessory pieces I could be buying for our bare walls, but maybe I will now that they are supposed to be slashing prices.

Please, Target, do whatever you need to do to stay in the game. The world would be a sad, sad place if we only had Wal-Mart. Every time I have to go to Wally World, I come running back to you for all the reasons I love you so much. Your pretty red carts, your bright interior, your friendly smiling staff, your great prices. And clearance, that magical red tag that means I'm saving a lot. I love it all, and I'll always shop at Target. I'm doing my part--I swear!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The eyes have it

So yesterday I went and ordered a new pair of glasses--something I haven't done in 5 years. Since both hubby and I wear glasses/contacts it can get pretty expensive. We tend to only buy glasses when we need to clear $250 out of our reimbursement account. The last time that happened was in 2003 when he was let go in February and we had $1000 to spend in less than a month.

My last pair of glasses I got I ended up not wearing that much. I didn't like them--I'm so vain. Don't ask me why I picked them, I guess I thought they were "in" at the time. They were very thin, 1/2 wire frames in a color that blended into my face. Right now if I wear my glasses, I wear my pair from before that, so I don't even know how many years old they are. Older than both my children, and possibly the cat. You can see a picture of me sporting them here.

I think I like the pair I picked out. Yes, they are a little trendy. Yes, they have something written on the side (I always hated that, though it was obnoxious to be advertising what "brand" I wear). Yes, they have a blue accent--I don't wear blue. But I hope I will like them!

The best part about getting glasses right now is hubby finally has eye coverage. With co-pays and upgrading to a thinner lens (that was $40) the final cost was $67.20. I think we had about $65 left in our FSA, so everything worked out. With our vision plan you can get new lenses (glasses or contacts, not both) every year and new frames every 2 years. I'll have to pay for my contacts out of pocket next year, but I've been doing that for 12+ years now.

I do have a habit of picking out things I really like, and then end up not liking them down the road. When we got married we (I) registered for fine china, crystal, and silverware. I was in a gold phase, so everything has gold accents. The china has a gold rim (and other colors, including blue, which is not my favorite), the crystal has a gold rim, and the silverware has gold accents. A bit much now that I look back on it 10 years later. Maybe in another 10-20 years, gold will be all the rage again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

'Tis the season

Thanks to the retailers who have had Christmas stuff up before Halloween, I am starting to get into the Christmas mood early. Yesterday as the girls and I drove to the mall to deposit "letters" to Santa, one of the radio stations was already into its holiday rotation. Nothing says Christmas like a trip to the mall listening to "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas". On November 15th.
The Santa "display" has been up at the mall for a good week or more, even though Santa doesn't officially arrive until next weekend (making his grand entrance on a fire truck--the reindeer must stay at the North Pole). Behind the display is a mailbox where you can conviently deposit your letters to Santa--no trips to the post office needed. The girls have been diligently coloring pictures for Santa and had envelopes ready to go. Mind you, this isn't their "list" yet--merely a ploy to butter Santa up with pretty pictures and gifts so he will remember them fondly this year. Since hubby was off watching a football game last night, the girls and I made a trip to the mall so they could "mail" their letters. This will be just the first of many trips to the mall this season I'm sure. They love to go see Santa--from a safe viewing distance. This was as close as Emma got last year (notice how she is attached to John's hip and the forced "I'm scared to death" smile)
Emma is all talk--for the past two years she has said she will not be afraid of Santa. Get within 5 feet and that brave front falls fast. We'll see how this year goes.
I used to not be able to bring myself to buy a present before December 1st. Then I started to do some shopping on Black Friday, so that time frame was moved up. This year I bought some Christmas presents in October. Gasp! The trick will be to remember that I have them when I go to wrap Christmas present later next month. I also bought the girls' Christmas outfits already. Last year I waited until Thanksgiving and the pickings were slim already. Who knew that if I wanted to find a decent Christmas dress I should've bought it in September.
For now, I'm starting to get into the holiday mood. We'll see how long it lasts before the Grinch in me comes out.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I was reading someone's blog and they had been tagged to do a photo post, which was the 6th picture in the 6th folder. If you remember, I've already done the 4th in the 4th (which happend to be a picture from the 4th of July). So I looked at my 6th in the 6th and it wasn't very exciting. I decided to look at the 15th picture in the 11th folder since today is 11-15. When I got to the 11th folder, it had many sub-folders so it is actually the 11th folder in the 11th folder, the 15th picture. Follow that?

That would be Miss Emma at about 7 months old. We were at the IL's for Christmas. She was a big drooler and had just gotten done destroying a bunch of magazines we gave her to play with (yes, she actually got REAL toys for Christmas, this was just for cheap entertainment). She looks likes she's saying "hi" to whoever is taking the picture--probably hubby.

It was fitting that the picture was of Emma. Today is her 1/2 birthday, so she is now officially 5.5 years old. She was quite tickled when we told her this fact today. "REALLY?" she said as she giggled at the thought. Just 6 short months until she turns 6.

I could do this random picture thing all day--I've got 56 folders. ;) Give me two numbers and I'll give you a picture!

Teachable Moments

One of the things we do as parents is try to use every opportunity to teach our kids. Yesterday I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies, so I had Emma help me. She read the ingredients, then we read the recipe. She helped me measure everything and she learned about fractions (she would read it "three slash four"). What did we take away from this teachable moment? Don't let mom bake cookies. I can make a cupcake look like a golf course or an ice cream cone, but I can't make a chocolate chip cookie to save my life. Even though they are flat, crispy and greasy, somehow I think they may still all get eaten.

We had another teachable moment last night. The space shuttle was being launched which hubby just loves watching, and Emma shares in his enthusiasm. You should see him, he's just like a little kid again---"Wow, that is so cool!" He almost became an aerospace engineer instead of a chemical engineer; I could totally see him as an astronaut in another parallel life. I was telling Emma that there are female astronauts and maybe someday she could be one. Emma told hubby that if she was an astronaut, she would take him into outer space with her. A dream come true.

So we watched the shuttle do their pre-launch checks (there was a pin missing on a door/hatch that they determined wouldn't be a problem), watched items be pulled away from the ship in preparation for launch, heard them do the countdown, and watched the ship blast off. Emma and hubby were excited, so Leah faked her excitement as well. As soon as the ship was just a dot in the sky Leah says, "After the ship is in outer space, can we watch Pucca Pucca party?" She may not be following the same path as her sister as an astronaut.

p.s. I don't even fully know what Pucca is--I know it is a cartoon that we don't watch, but the girls see commercials for it and sing a little "Pucca Pucca dance party" song. Huh?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The magic word

Leah to Emma: "Please will you help me do this?" (trying to get pieces of toys together)
Emma: "What's the magic word?" (I honestly think Leah said please in the first place, Emma must've missed that)
Leah: "Hocus pocus"
Mom: laughs hysterically from the kitchen

I think I have a budding magician on my hands, and a polite one at that!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Saying goodbye

I knew the time was coming, I think I was just putting it off. It is finally time to say goodbye to this:
Not the child, the crib. The child would be Emma--I think she is going to be around for quite awhile.

The crib was first put up about 5.5 years ago. Like any piece of furniture we buy, we shopped for that thing forever. It has made it through two children and three moves so far. Emma used it for about 26 months. One day a month or so before Leah was due she jumped out for the first and last time during naptime. We put the mattress on the floor that day and she's been sleeping on a mattress on the floor ever since. For the next two years or so it was an air mattress (we did go through two of them, Glenda got the pleasure of buying one on her watch). Now she actually has a real mattress, but it is still on the floor. We may be getting closer to getting her an actual bed. Maybe.

Leah has slept in the crib since she was 6 weeks old (that's when she came home from the hospital). She has never attempted to climb out or jump out or sneak out, so why mess with a good thing? Maybe because she is 3 years old and no longer really needs a crib. I think I'm sending mixed signals by telling her she needs to be a big girl and potty train yet she still sleeps in a crib.

The past week she's had trouble sleeping since she hasn't felt well. Usually if she wakes up crying in the middle of the night, I will take her downstairs to sleep with her. She sleeps on the floor and I sleep in the guest bed. The past two nights she has felt better, but has woken up at 9:30 pm crying and wants to go sleep downstairs. The jig is up, sister. No more sleeping downstairs--Mommy needs to sleep in her own bed. I have got her to sleep in her room on the floor. So once again I moved the crib mattress to the floor; we'll see what she thinks.

Honestly, I don't know where we are going to put it right now, but first we have to get it apart. I will be spending the rest of the day looking for the allen wrench that came with the crib so hubby can disassemble it once he gets home.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's my blog, so I can brag if I want to

We had Emma's parent teacher conference for kindergarten last night, and of course it went well. We knew that she was bright and loved school, and her teacher just confirmed that for us. In the teacher's words, she is a "phenomenal" reader. Right now the reading level where she is is about the end of 2nd grade. It is nice to know that there is another child who is around the same level, so the two of them get to go to "extra" enrichment classes three times a week. One of our worries was that Emma wouldn't be challenged, and the teacher is doing a great job to make sure she has things for Emma to keep her interested and thinking in class. The teacher gave us some ideas of things to work on--Emma tends to read for speed right now and needs to slow down and work on comprehension. The teacher did say that reading is definitely Emma's strong point; she is ahead of the game in mathematics/critical thinking, but reading comes easier. Sounds like her dear mother who made it through 6 years of higher education without taking a math/science class in college above Stat 101. I told hubby he can tutor her in the math department, that is what those enginerds are good for.

I think I'll pull out the "Dick and Jane" book today and get my second child started on reading. ;) Never too early, right?

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's "D" day

As in "D" for disinfect. First we had pink eye (contained to one child so far), then sore throats (one WAY worse than the other), and then the vomiting (again, one WAY worse than the other--opposite child). Yesterday was a trip to urgent care. Early this morning was a puke fest. Once again, slumber parties are fun except when someone is hurling for 2 hours straight. Fun times.

Now I have this urge to wash every sheet/blanket/pillow/pj in site. Break out the Clorox wipes. Bring on the Lysol. Let's get this house clean again and the sickies gone.

A side note: Emma is our tomboy who loves sports. She wanted to watch TV early this morning while she was up, so we were watching the bad cartoon that are on at 3am. The DVR kicked in because there was a replay of Super Bowl XXXIII where the Broncos play the Falcons--hubbie has it on his record list. Emma wanted to watch the football game rather than cartoons. I fell asleep, but I heard her use words like "tackle" and "get the ball!" She knows more about football at age 5 than I did at age 25.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Books, Books, Books

I don't have much to talk about today. Maybe because my brain is mush--Emma was up at 3:30am poking my leg because she had a bad dream and then Leah was up for the morning at 6:30am (damn daylight savings). My blog topic generator (a.k.a Glenda) once offered up the topic of books, so I'm going with that today. That also means she must send ideas for other blog posts to come.

We have a long history of reading in my family. Growing up, every year for Christmas we would get books from my maternal grandparents. You can still go to my parent's house, pull a book off the kids' bookshelf and usually find an inscription on the inside: "Merry Christmas, Kristyn! Christmas 1981". Even when they stopped sending books and just sent a small amount of money, I would still use it to buy books. Once they started sending the great-grandchildren money for birthdays, I would use it for books.

Before I had kids I worked in the schools and bought a lot of books from the Scholastic Book orders. It was like Christmas everytime we ordered books, I would pick a few out and then write them off as an occupational expense.

I still love giving and getting books. Here are just a few favorites--if I tried to post every book I love we may be here for awhile!

For the baby crowd:

You can't go wrong with anything Sandra Boyton. We are also big fans of her books with CD like


Another set of boards books we love are the Diaper David series by David Shannon

I got this for Emma for her 1st birthday

It is a very sweet book, and very fitting for Emma. The author has a few other Emma books that we've read from the library. The same author, David McPhail, also has this book:

Emma went through a "cowgirl" phase when she was about 3.5 years old. One of my favorite books for a little cow girl is

Or maybe you have pirates at your house

I found this book at a local children's store for Emma a few years ago. It is perfect for the non-vegetable lover and her mom, who may not like vegetables much, either.

There are a few other Daisy books, we've also read this one from the library

Another book fitting for my sweet toothed, non-vegetable eating daughters

I could go on and on about books, everytime I post one I think of two or three others. This may be an on-going feature, especially as I start Christmas shopping. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Let's hope it's not a repeat

Last year we really didn't get snow/ice until December 1st, and then we had a 4 in layer of ice for the next 5+ months. I kid you not, we had a horribly long and cold winter. We moved on November 30th with clear skies and green grass. The next day was a winter storm and it never let up. It wasn't fun when we just moved to a new neighborhood, hubby was gone almost the entire month of December for work (including a 2 state road trip in an ice storm), and I've never run the snow blower. Thank goodness for great neighbors or we may still have been snowed in most of 2008.

Today we are getting the remains of the blizzard that went through South Dakota. There really isn't any snow accumulation, but the girls woke up to snow and its been a freezy, sleety mess ever since. It's the kind of day where you turn the fireplace on and curl up on the couch. I have chicken wild rice stew in the crock pot for summer, perfect for today. I just spend the majority of the day yesterday searching for snow boots for Emma and buying a couple extra hat/mitten sets for school. We're ready for the snow, but that doesn't mean we want it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Now THAT'S how you get pink eye

Hubby and I enjoy the sophomoric humor in movie like "Talledega Nights" and "Knocked Up". When Leah came down with pink eye this week, all I could think about were the scenes and lines from "Knocked Up" where the guys have pink eye. I would post a video link, but I try to keep the blog at least PG. ;)

Anyway, Leah had a very goopy eye on Tuesday and with a quick call to the Dr. we had a precription for antibiodic eye drops. I'm so glad they didn't make us come in, I'm sure we would've picked up something just as lovely to go along with the pink eye. The next day it decided to jump on over to the other eye, so she seriously did look like a scene from the movie. Of coures I was "that" mom who had her out at Target, re-infecting the cart we probably got it from in the first place. Thankfully the drops worked their magic and she's looking much better today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Star of the Week

Emma is the Star of the Week in her class this week. The kids fill out a short "interview" sheet and can bring pictures and special things from home. I let Emma help me pick out pictures to share at school, including a picture of each of her great-grandma's named Emma, her decked out in Cyclone gear at 5 months, a picture of her with Cy from VEISHEA this year (she was wearing a full-out snowsuit, it was so darn cold!), pictures of the three houses she's lived in, a picture of her eating at Hickory Park, and a picture of her and Leah. She said that a friend had brought in a baby picture, so I let her pick a picture out of her "birth" photo file. This is what she picked:


When I asked her after school yesterday how things went, she said that everyone laughed at her baby picture. She said, "I was thinking over and over in my head, 'I wish I wouldn't have brought that picture, I wish I wouldn't have brought that picture'". It was too cute how she was dealing with her "embarrassment". Hubby told her that every one of her classmates probably had pictures that looked very similar. I think that made her feel maybe a little better, but not much. Believe me, there are pictures we could've sent in that would've been way more embarrassing! ;)

Penny pinchers

I think I've mentioned this before, but hubby and I are kind of cheapskates. We like to hold onto our money and try to spend wisely. Hubby comes by it naturally; he had to pay out-of-state tuition for college and worked hard every summer to help pay for school. He always had a balanced check book and soon became interested in investing/money managment on his own.

Me, I didn't come by it naturally. In college I had a credit card attached to my parent's account and used it well. I only knew my bank account balance when I checked at the ATM, which usually prompted a phone call home to say, "Dad, I need some money in my account." I took out student loans to pay for tuition (I'm still paying off tuition) and my parents helped out greatly with the day-to-day expenses.

I guess being married to hubby has rubbed off on me. I realize I can't stay home and spend money, so I've become "cheap" to a point. I try hard to buy things only on sale. If I'm buying something online, I'll only order if I can find a free shipping code. I do clip coupons some, but not as much as I could. As some of you may know, finding a bargain gives you a "high" and you always wonder how much cheaper you could've gotten the item.

I thought I was doing good at Target last week when I had good coupons ($1 off or more) for items I usually buy. I also found the body wash I wanted on the clearance shelf for 1/2 of what I was going to pay. I was feeling good about my bargains, so I shared them with hubby. He one-uped me when he went golfing on Sunday and paid (drum roll please) . . . 25 cents for a round of golf. He had some expired gift certificates to a course here in town, but the course was flooded for half the summer so they still honored them. I was glad hubby could get in one more round before the snow flies--it was 75 degrees on Sunday.

Because we are bargain shoppers, we are also Black Friday shoppers. For the past 4-5 years, we have gotten up at the crack of dawn (actually a few hours before, even) to head to the store to grab all the bargains. We aren't those crazies who grab one of everything on sale, we have our lists in mind and look for those items. We will hit the sales once again this year when we are in Sioux Falls over Thanksgiving. One year hubby was even interviewed by one of the local TV stations as he waited outside of Target before the store opened. I can usually get all my shopping in and be back to Grandma's before the girls even wake up.

I'm off to see if the Halloween stuff has gone 75% off at Target yet--costumes make great dress up items! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sugar Rush

If we had a lot of candy in the house before, we have even more now. A LOT more. I wasn't sure how many kids we would get trick-or-treating, so I had plenty of candy and treats on hand. How many did we get? About 20. That's it. What does that mean? That I have a lot of candy left over, and that doesn't include what Emma got when she went out trick-or-treating. I'm trying to get my fill this weekend and then I'm going to get it out of sight.

Friday was Emma's Halloween party at school. I had signed up to volunteer at the party so I got to enjoy the festivities as well. All the kids put on their costumes, then there were 5 different "centers" they went around to play games, make crafts, and make their snack. Then all the kindergarten classes got to parade around the school. Only the kindergarteners did the parades, but I think the kids up to 3rd grade got to wear their costumes and have parties in their room.

Here is Emma's class

Of course when I was making Emma's costume I thought it was perfect that it was all fleece. This is late October in Iowa and we have been known to have pretty cold Halloweens. The costume was perfect for layering and she would be nice and warm. Nice and warm is an understatement when you are dressed head to toe in fleece in 70 degree weather. Way to go, mom. How was I supposed to know we would be 15 degrees above normal?! She did get hot at the class party but was just fine when out trick-or-treating. (And I did pack a t-shirt for her to put on so she could take the top off at school, but of course she failed to put that on).

This is our new dog, Spot

Hubby said she got lots of compliments while they were out, and some of the kids even asked to "pet" her. I know she will wear the costume around the house for the next few months.

And every Spot needs a beautiful pink princess

Leah is in her element dressed up like a princess. Not a day goes by where she isn't dressed up in this dress, a purple princess dress, or her Ariel costume.

Before trick-or-treating stared, we were invited over to the neighbor's house for dinner. Most of the other families there were coaches' wives and kids (the team was in Oklahoma for the game already) that we didn't know, but it was a fun time. The rest of the kids all went out t-o-t'ing together, but Hubby took our girls. Here are all the kids before the left:

Hubby took the girls out just after 5:30 pm. Leah lasted for about 1/2 hr, then she came back home and helped me pass out candy (the 4 times the doorbell rang). Emma stayed out the entire two hours and came back with this:

Elway always has to check out the haul to see if anyone accidently slipped kitty treats into the bag. Sorry, kitty--no treats for you.

Last weekend when my mom was here we carved a pumpkin. Of course I failed to take pictures of the finished product and it was probably the second most elaborate pumpkin I've carved. Here is what Emma thought of pumpkin carving:

I did carve another pumpkin later last week. By Friday night, our spider pumpkin from last week was looking pretty sad. Even the jack o'lantern I did was starting to wilt, but it was fun.

Happy Halloween!