Monday, April 28, 2008

Gender is Relative

Avery and Abby are really into playing table "games" lately. I mentioned the Pinching Game in a previous post. They also play the Squirting Game, which involves an orange, and the Spraying Game, which involves water and mouths.

So at lunch today, I said "We're going to play the eating game! Whoever eats the most wins a cherry Icee!" Yup, I'm rewarding/bribing them with sugar.

So Abby and Avery are eating and eating, and Abby says, "I'm winning!"

Avery replies, "No, I'm a woman!"

Apparently the sugar bribe is not the only issue with this "game" - it also may or may not change your gender.


Okay, several people have asked me how to "CVS," so I'm going to tell you how I do it.

First, get a CVS Extra Care card at CVS. Next, scan through the CVS ad & make a note of everything that you will ever use that gives you back Extra Care Bucks. Look through your coupons and try to match coupons to the Extra Care Buck deals in the ad. If you have coupons for the items, great! You can also use a CVS coupon with a manufacturer's coupon, making it even cheaper. Take your list of Extra Care Buck items, coupons, and about $15-20 with you for your first trip to CVS.

Now this is the hard part. Buy only items that give back Extra Care Bucks, not matter how much more they may cost than at other stores. Once you buy this first $15-20 worth of stuff, you'll never have to spend more than $1 at CVS again (if you keep up this system). You'll spend $15-20 this time, but if you use those Extra Care Bucks that you got back and use them next time instead of cash to buy more Extra Care Buck deals, you have yourself an unending cycle of free products.

You just have to be really disciplined to buy only what you'll use in the future without over-doing it, to buy only items that give back Extra Care Bucks, and to ignore the prices. You also have to be super diligent about clipping and saving coupons for anything that you would ever use, not just what you need right now. You never know what will go on sale at CVS, so if you have a coupon you're going to be really happy.

Sites such as MoneySavingMom, IHeartCVS, and MoreThanEnough will also help you match coupons to deals, as well as give you links to CVS coupons when available.

Any more questions, leave them in the comments and I will answer.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Best Intentions

Well, I really have nothing interesting to blog about today. It's just a great early summer breezy day - even though it's Spring. We no longer have Spring, you know - that's so last year. We just go from winter to summer now.

Anyway, today I hope to inventory my stockpile that I've obtained free from CVS, Walgreens, Meijer, and Kroger. Getting stuff for free (or less than $1) has become a game for me. I love looking through the ads, matching coupons to sales. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. We literally get approximately 90% of our household goods and toiletries for free now - even diapers.

So, now that I have this stockpile, I need to slow down a little. I have to force myself not to "buy" more - even if it's free. I say I'll donate the stuff to shelters or give it to friends, but really I won't. My intentions are good, but also lazy. I've actually tried to give people toothpaste after I got 14 tubes for free at Meijer, but they look at me like I'm crazy and no one will take it. I guess its weird for someone to give you toiletries, for some reason. At least I didn't go crazy getting the free KY Jelly (I got none) and try to give that to my friends. Or maybe that would be a good thing to donate to shelters. Hmmm...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What I Believe

It's "What I Believe Tuesday" on The Natural Mommy, so get ready to hear what I believe.

First of all, note that I have only three children, and note that I had them rather close together (currently 1, 2, & 4). Also, note that I often say I will probably (probably) not have any more kids.

That said, I will now indulge my ego by saying the following:

How many kids you have shouldn't matter to anyone else, nor should how often you have them. When Daniel & I were pregnant with Abby, everyone thought it was awesome, just great. When we were pregnant with Avery we were asked "already?" And with Ethan, "I hope you know what you're getting yourselves into." Well, yes, we do know what we're getting ourselves into and its great, it sucks, its wonderful and horrible. But such is raising any number or any age of children.

It's going to be hard sometimes to have one kid or 20 kids, and it's also going to be fun sometimes. No one should judge you because you have a lot of kids, and no one should judge you because you have not that many kids (or even no kids).

I personally do not believe that God expects everyone - or really anyone - to just have kid after kid until they go through menopause - but its none of my business if they do. I do believe that some people shouldn't have kids at all, or should only have one - and I really know for sure that God won't judge them for that - unless of course, He specifically told them personally to have lots of children. "Be fruitful and multiple" doesn't imply that you have to be able to multiply by tens and twenties in my mind.

So go ahead - try for another one, or buy that product to prevent another one - it's none of my (or anyone else's) business.

Being a Mommy

I was thinking... If I'm so uncomfortable driving my new minivan (yes, I still am), then am I really comfortable being a mommy at all? I mean, it seems like every mom I know with more than one kid has a minivan, and they drive them and look normal while doing it. I just feel that I look odd driving my minivan. Like I'm just driving my mom's car or something. Not that I think I look young or anything, I just don't think I look like a minivan driver.

As for being comfortable with being a mom, I've wondered this before. I feel very uncomfortable at places where lots of moms gather, like "momtopia" at the mall, baby gym classes, and busy playgrounds. I even feel weird at Chick-Fil-A if there are lots of moms there. But, I also feel very strange if I go anywhere without the kids. Like I forgot something.

So I'm not really sure what it is that makes me feel different around other moms. Inadequacy, I guess. Age, maybe. Of course it helps that my kids are the cutest in the whole world. (sorry other moms)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Links of the Week (And a Shameless Plug)

Two good links for this week:

Hand Made Mother's Day Gifts that Guys can Make


Make a Baby Sling

Friday, April 18, 2008


Don't these muffins look good? Daniel was playing around with our digital camera and took this picture as a test. I know, it almost looked like I was going to give you the recipe for these awesome muffins of mine. Okay.

Betty Crocker Muffins

1. Buy muffin mix.
2. Open muffin mix.
3. Prepare muffin mix.
4. Bake muffins.
5. Eat muffins.

I know, that joke never gets old.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


We finally bought a minivan. Go ahead, tell me I'm now a real mom, officially an adult/old/boring, whatever you'd like. The truth is, its really hard to have three kids between the ages of 1 and 4 in the backseat of an Oldsmobile Alero. Don't judge until you've tried it! The constant "pinching game" that Abby taught Avery was the last straw. I would get the kids out of the car, and their arms were literally covered in red scratches and welts from this game. Abby also had quite a few clumps of hair pulled out of her head the past few months.

Now the kids love the new space they have, being able to see everything from their seats, and running around the van before I strap them all in. There are things I really like about the van, but gee, I really miss my car. Now it's Daniel's car, because he never has to go anywhere alone with the kids.... He's enjoying the sunroof that I loved - even though he never uses it.

What I really miss is having the kids right behind me. I know, that's why we got the van. But I can't hand them food, pacifiers, or toys if they need them. I can't tickle their little toes while I drive and make them all 3 laugh at once. (There is no cuter sound). I have to actually pull over, put the van in park, and walk to the back to give them food.

Also, I just feel weird driving this gigantic minivan. In my eyes, it appears to be bigger than anyone else's van. Is this how it always feels to drive a van? I can't wait to go to the ATM and not have to climb out of my car to reach it, though. No more complaining that not everyone has a van/SUV/truck!

Another thing I do like about this van is the space to carry stuff, whether I need it or not. I currently have a stroller, a big box full of newspapers to recycle, a box of toys, a blanket, a bundle me, and a huge box containing a porch glider in my van. The first day we had the van, I went to Ikea just to buy a rug. Just because I could.

I guess I'll have to just tickle my kid's feet at home from now on...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mommies are the Best

You know how they say that when you kiss a boo boo it makes it all better? I mean there are actually scientists out there studying this to see if it's true. This must be serious healing.

Kids just pick this up all on their own, too. I mean one day they get hurt and they just run up to you and say "kiss my boo boo, Mommy." And you do, and then they walk away happy despite the spleen hanging outside of their bodies. (Mommy kisses truly do work that well.)

Well Ethan has picked this up as well - but with a twist. Apparently, one day he hurt his finger and I said "let me kiss your finger and make it all better." Now anytime he hurts himself anywhere on his body, I have to kiss his finger. He stubs a toe, he brings me his finger. He bonks his head, he brings me his finger. He falls off the couch, he brings me his finger to kiss.

That combined with the cute kissey sound he makes and puckered lips means he gets lots and lots of kisses - boo boo or no boo boo.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Link of Week

I just think everyone needs to check out this site. Unless, or course, you don't need to save any of your hard-earned money.

Money Saving Mom

Friday, April 11, 2008

Some Bragging

My most popular (read: 3 comments) blog post has been published through Associated Content.
You can re-live the magic of getting shoes on Ethan's feet here:

Finding a First Pair of Shoes for a Baby with Fat Feet

Isn't it Funny...

I was thinking today about all the things I can't have with kids in the house. I'm not talking about guns and liquor - I mean simple things like food in the cabinets and stuff on tables.

Today I walk into the kitchen, and Avery has dragged the desk chair into the room, used it to climb onto the counter, and get into the cabinet. He's sitting there on the counter eating leftover Easter candy. He does this all the time. I seriously cannot put stuff in the cabinets unless its okay for him to get into it. One time he was sitting on the counter using my kitchen knives to cut various things he found in the cabinets.

Today the kids also put an unknown number of DVDs into an electronic device Daniel owns. He doesn't know about this yet - hopefully he'll read this blog at work and be calmed down about this by the time he gets home. These DVDs were in the TV armoire - how silly of me to leave them where any normal person would have left them.

I also have this nice Bath & Body Works soap pump full of soap on my bathroom sink. It gets emptied into various cups, bowls, potties, and washcloths daily. That is the same soap Avery used to wash the doll hangers in his potty.

The kids get into the fridge at their leisure - eating string cheese, mustard, and juice pouches as often as they want. They get into my purse and backpack and chew up all my gum, then use my chapstick to cover anything they want. If I leave my coupons down low, Abby soon has them scattered all over her bedroom. If I leave the computer on, the kids have about 1,000 different windows opened on it before I can turn around.

Sometimes I just reminisce about the days before I had kids and could leave a candle lit somewhere other than on top of a TV armoire 6 feet tall. I miss the days when I could leave the newspaper on the couch for a minute and it wasn't shredded and wrinkled beyond recognition. I used to actually be able to set a can of Coke down...

Now we have a garage that we can't really use because its crowded with all the stuff we have to keep away from the kids. Thank goodness you need a key to get in there! I also have a full refrigerator top with the same kinds of things, although they have gotten up there before.

So tell me, is this normal, or are my kids just extra annoying?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm Not THAT Old!

Sometimes I feel old. Today I feel young. Maybe I'm a schizophrenic... But really, I think it just has to do these kids of mine. When I'm chasing them around the yard yelling (playfully, not angrily), "I'm going to get you!" I feel young. But when they keep running and running and demanding that I chase them more as I fall to the grass and grab my heart gasping for breath, I feel old. Wait a minute. Maybe I'm just having a heart attack. I'd better call my doctor, which I don't have - but that's another story altogether.

I have this habit of getting really, really frustrated with the kids and with Daniel and with other drivers and with the entire world - to the point of strangling them all. Don't worry, I only dream about strangling everyone, I don't really do it. After all, how strong would my hands have to be to strangle entire world? *** My talk about strangling is a joke. Please don't call children's services on me.***

In other words, I'm an angry person. I know, "what??!!" You never guessed that about me, I know. When I'm angry, I feel old. I feel like I'm just too old to be a mom, and I am just too old and too tired of life to enjoy it.

Well, since I said that today I feel young, let me explain. I have a friend who is having her second baby on Monday. She's 41. I started to think about this, and about my feeling old at 28. Already it sounds off to me. I'm feeling that I'm too old to be a mom, but this friend of mine is pregnant at 41. Wow.

So I started doing a little thinking, and that led to me doing a little math (go figure! - pun intended). When Abby graduates from high school, guess how old I'll be?? 41!

Now I feel young, and I sincerely hope that my aforementioned friend doesn't feel old if she reads this. Cause really, you're not.

Monday, April 7, 2008

On Second Thought...

I was going to get rid of this baby seat...

But it's Ethan's favorite place to jam:

...and Avery's favorite place to lounge around in my robe:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Kids are Jerks

The other night Daniel, the kids, and I were at our bi-weekly Bible study. There were our 3 kids, plus 4 others - in other words, chaos. The adults were discussing sacrifice and trying to have a serious Bible study, but the kids found lots of fun in running around the room screaming and laughing. It got to the point that no adults could fully concentrate or even hear each other.

All of a sudden, everyone started singing the song, "Jesus Love the Little Children." I just sat there and listened, not really knowing what was going on. Later I asked Daniel why everyone did that. He said, "Because kids are jerks." He didn't really mean that, of course, but it got the point across anyway. Apparently, the song was a reminder that God loves them all the time - no matter how much they interrupt our studying and worship of Him.

You know, both of these points are very, very true. God does love each and every kid, no matter what they do. And, kids are jerks. I deal more often with the second truth in my day-to-day life, however, so that's what I will blog about today.

I know every parent must have an endless supply of "kids are jerks" stories. I mean, like two days ago when I was trying to straighten up the house, do my homework, and cook lunch all at the same time, and I heard water running. I run towards the bathroom and find a dismantled potty seat, an open doll armoire, and a very wet Avery washing doll hangers in his potty bucket. The sink, the floor, the potty, and the Avery were all covered in soap bubbles as well.

Or the night before that, when I go into the bathroom (are you seeing a pattern here?) and find that Abby has used one of Avery's white t-shirts to dry her not-quite-completely-clean marker covered hands. Now Avery has a nice white and red t-shirt instead. Why do they even make markers that are not washable??

Anyway, the point is, kids are jerks. I know, I said that already - but really, kids are jerks. But don't we just love them anyway? Don't we just forget about the bad thing they did ten minutes ago, go clean the mess they're making right now, and then go clean the messes that the other two made while we were cleaning that first mess?

And if you really think about it, its not just kids that are jerks. Its all people. Its even animals. There are some really, really jerky cats in my neighborhood. Just ask the one that pooped in my driveway - or the one that pooped on my doormat. Flaming bags of dog poop would be lost on us.

So think about how you forgive your kids when they're jerks the next time an adult is a jerk. If God can do it, maybe we can try too. I've got to close this post now - Ethan is in the kitchen pulling down the sweaters I have hanging up to dry. What a jerk.....

p.s. I don't really think that my kids are jerks, and Daniel doesn't really think anyone's kids are jerks. That was just for emphasis.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Eternal Beings

Yesterday I caught a Focus on the Family "Family Minute" on the radio that really made me stop and think. It was a great reminder that my kids (and your kids, and everyone else's kids) are eternal beings. The people they are now will live forever... somewhere.

Sometimes I wonder about these kids of mine. They seem so rebellious and just downright bad at times. But then you see a sight like this, and it puts everything in perspective:

Eternal beings, indeed.

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