Friday, July 31, 2009

Photo contest #2

Well as you will quickly see by this post, the photo contest for us was a failure! :(

Amy linked to my blog and I am sorry to come up short. We had a few pictures from this contest but I won't bother uploading them since we didn't complete it.

I was excited to do another one, but Todd told me he would take the pictures for this one. Not that I blame him because he works so much but he didn't complete this. If I would have known that he wasn't going to be able to complete it, I would have done it myself but that is ok. I love him anyway and there will always be next time! I am going to have to check both blogs to see if there is another photo contest for the month of August and if so I will have to start out working on that one.

Hope anyone else who did it had fun! We will be sure to vote for the pictures from this contest anyway!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Xander at 8 months

I can't believe our baby is 8 months old! He actually was 8 months last week. It is amazing to me how much he has changed in the last month. He has been changing quickly since he was born but it seems the number of changes this last month have been the most obvious and the biggest. He is not crawling yet but he does an army crawl on his belly by pulling himself forward with his arms. He can move pretty fast! Also, he can roll just about anywhere! He rolls all over and very fast. He can roll across the room in less than a minute! The other thing he just started doing is pulling himself up to a sitting position from being on his belly or his back. He just started doing it a day or two ago but he can do it anytime he wants and does it several times a day now! It seems like he will crawl the 'right' way pretty soon, I assume in the next few weeks. He can get up to all fours and he rocks back and forth like that but has yet to actually crawl that way. He still doesn't really put much weight on his legs so standing and pulling himself up seem a ways away yet. But you never know, sometimes kids seem to learn new things overnight! He still has no teeth yet but I am hoping one pops through one of these days!

Here are a few pics I took the day he turned 8 months. He is looking more like a toddler every day and less like a baby!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend Fun!

This weekend was a fun one, mostly due to the fact that Todd and I had our first 'date' since X was born! We had Todd's mom babysit and we went to lunch, the gun range and to see Harry Potter. We had been wanting to see the movie since it came out but thought it was a good idea to wait until it was out a week or so so it was a little less busy in the theater.

Todd has two handguns and he has learned to shoot them, but I had yet to handle them until Saturday. We went to the local gun range - The Bullet Hole. We have a 9 and a 22. I started with the 22 and it was actually really fun to shoot! I tried the 9, shot it twice and said 'no more'. It has more kick back than the 22 and it is a heck of a lot louder! I didn't hate it, but for my first time shooting, I wanted to stick with one I am more comfortable with. The only negative things was that the actual range where you shoot is through two sets of doors and when you go in, it is a lot warmer in there than in the regular building and since it is summer, obviously warmer than the rest of the year. They must not air condition that part of the building. Oh, well.

We went to lunch after the gun range at one of our favorite places to eat - Qdoba. We love their nachos! We then went and purchased our movie tickets and headed to Barnes and Noble to waste a little time before the movie. It was so odd not having Xander with us since I take him with me almost everywhere and since I hadn't been away from him for more than about 2 hours since has been born! We then went to the movie and come home afterwards.

It was fun overall, but I was surprised how much I missed Xander! I thought about him almost the whole time we were out. I think the reason is because I stay home with him so I am around him all day every day. I think I was worried that he would cry the whole time. Todd's mom said he did good and barely cried at all. I am glad that he didn't miss us too much. At this phase they say that kids can start having separation anxiety so I was worried about that.

Sunday was fun too - I took Xander to JC Penney to see his daddy since his dad had to go into work for a few hours. We saw daddy, found a cute, cheap pair of shoes for mom and got a few clothing items for next summer for X! The prices were so cheap so that made it a fun shopping trip!

Overall it was a good weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Free and cheap!

I just love getting free and cheap stuff - but who doesn't? I have been getting lots of good deals as usual! It seems like if you miss one deal, there will always be another. That is great since I can't run to the store every day.

Here a couple of pics of the things I have gotten free and cheap recently. There is a lot more that is not pictured, but these are a few of the highlights.

This first picture is of the stuff that I have gotten in the mail for free recently. The nice thing is that some samples come with coupons and often they are higher value than the ones in the paper. The two big bottles were definitely the best (ok, not technically free, but almost compared how much they retail for - I paid $1.95 for both items but saved $20). The two bigger items came with two small samples, I got a paper towel sample, a lotion sample and a body wash sample for Todd. Love it!

First let me preface this picture by saying NO I am not pregnant. I did get a Clearblue Easy pregnancy test box but only because it cost me $0.99! There are two tests in the box and they don't expire for a year so I thought in case we had a 'surprise' I wouldn't have to go out and spend $10 or more on a test! Everything in this picture cost me $3.82 with tax! That is two bars of soap (for when X is older), four packs of wipes - 42 in each pack, a glade scented oil candle holder (I already burned the candle it came with), two tubes of toothpaste, a 10 pack of Schick razors, Skintimate shaving cream, Olay body wash and Johnson's body wash as well as the pregnancy tests. Before I used so many coupons, this would have all cost me about $25 or more! I LOVE bargain shopping!

Couch to 5k

So, I have decided to try out the couch to 5k plan. I will explain a little about it, but if you really want to know how it's done, go here.

I started on Tuesday (I know, most people start things on Monday - whatev) and I did my second workout today. You are supposed to do this every other day in case you were thinking I only did two workouts in three days and was slacking.

The whole plan is to get you from not running at all (aka couch potato) to running a 5k in about 8-9 weeks. I am not sure I will ever be able to run the whole thing, but if I can stick to the plan, towards the end I think I am going to sign up for one or two 5k races for this fall.

Those who know me well know that I am the furthest thing from a runner you will ever see. For one thing, I am not particularly thin right now. But, I am hoping this gets me closer to thin. I hope by the time I am done with this I weigh at least 15-20 pounds less. I am about 3 or so pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, but I weighed too much when I got pregnant, so that is not saying much.

I feel so good after just the first two workouts that I really want to stick with it! I know it is so cheesy to say it, but exercise really does make you feel so good about yourself. I feel like I have more energy and I feel happier.

I am actually trying to do additional workouts on my 'off' days, but not running workouts. I am going to stick more to strength training and walking to give my legs a rest. I have already gotten pretty sore from this, but it feels nice to be sore - it makes me realize I worked out hard. I am planning on working out 5-6 days a week total even though the running workout is only 3 days a week.

I don't want to get down on myself but I will be pretty surprised if I stick with this all the way to the end! I am not known for sticking to a workout plan. I really want to do this and think it will be easier than other plans I have tried because I have a very specific goal in mind. I am hoping that will push me to make it all the way through!

Monday, July 20, 2009

My sweetie pie!


Naked boy! Just changed his diaper and had to run upstairs and get an outfit for him!

Not happy, sitting in the grass. I think he hated how the grass was poking him and this was the face he had the whole time while in the backyard.

Hanging out on daddy's lap.

Playing with some toys on the floor.

Sitting in daddy's chair. Big boy!

Saving money...

In the interest of saving money, I have gone to using many products in generic form. I am not too picky with most things. The only thing that I have to be careful about with generics is food. Most food and drinks are ok in generic, but there are a few things out there that just don't taste the same.

With non-food items, I don't think there has been anything so far that I have hated in generics. Recently, I have been trying as many different generic diapers as I can. I have tried a few kinds of generic baby wipes also. My most recent generic diaper purchase was from Big Lots last night. There diapers are called 'comfees'. They are cheaper than most generics (at least they were with the 20% off coupon I used last night). The thing that surprised me the most if they are actually softer on the outside than a lot of the other generics I have tried. As we speak, Xander is in the first diaper from this brand and I am interested to see how they do. Most generics seem to work about the same and they don't really leak anymore since he no longer has the 'breastfed baby poop' anymore. I think I am more interested in if they will leak pee instead.

I think saving money and being frugal is my newest hobby. I really started taking it seriously after I quit my job to stay home with Xander. I feel like I have saved so much money over the last 5-6 months. I have gotten so many free or nearly free items since I started 'couponing'. Some people might think it is silly to worry so much about it, but I figure, I have the time on my hands and no income of my own, so I might as well save as much as I can!

Here is a picture of the package of diapers I just bought. We will just have to see how they do! Obviously that will determine whether or not I will ever buy them again.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A duh moment!

So, this may be one of the biggest duh moments I have had, but something just hit me tonight. I realized why skinny people are skinny. I do think genetics play a big role in the size of a person's frame and also just how big they will tend to be in general, but I realized that skinny people are skinny because of the way they eat. I love when skinny girls say 'I eat what I want'. The reason this works for them is because what they 'want' is a lot different than what I want! I want to eat a whole container of ice cream and skinny girls want 1 oreo. Also, I think they have anything they want, they just eat very little of it and they eat very healthy the rest of the time. Duh!

Friday, July 17, 2009

This would be fun to win!

Fun giveaway!

I saw this giveaway here and thought this would be fun to win! These bags are adorable! Take a look at all of them here!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Target price matching???


So I read on a few blogs out there that in some regions of the country, Target is going to now match prices on any advertised sale. I also saw it in my local ad. That is so weird to me! I have always wanted them to price match since I love to shop at Target more than Walmart. If I wanted to go to Target, I would always go there first to get a few things, then go to Walmart to get most of my stuff. I get all of my prescriptions at Target, so it would be much easier for me to do one stop shopping more of the time.

I read that it is a pilot program and they may not do this forever but hey, while they are doing it, I will take advantage of it! Especially since they do Target coupons - I might be able to save even more! I think the only bad thing is they don't price match at the register, you have to take your receipt to customer service after your transaction to get money back. Weird. I think they will learn pretty quickly that this is not the way to do it. They will probably end up getting super long lines in customer service to take care of all the price matches. Walmart just does it at the register, which if you ask me, is the right way to do it. Anyway, I am excited about this and will take advantage of it for sure! I hope it is not too difficult to get it done once you are done shopping. I love shopping at Target so I am excited to give them more of my business!

Thanks Target! I hope you stick with it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Easy Homemade Baby Food

I just got finished making some homemade baby food for Xander. I made carrots/spinach and green beans. All I did was boil the vegetables according to package directions (about 10 minutes) and threw it in the blender on the puree setting. I add the water that it boiled in as needed and voila! So easy and so much cheaper than buying already made food. I got 7 servings out of each bag of veggies and they only cost $1 each! Normally, you can buy two servings of fruits or veggies from Gerber for about $0.90. I got more about three times that much for just about the same price. It doesn't even take much time to make! Plus, I know exactly what goes into the food and don't have to worry about preservatives. I just freeze the excess and thaw as necessary. Yay!

Here are some pics of my escapades.

The spinach/carrots in the blender

The spinach/carrots done and in containers.

The blender I used along with some water I added and the food in the containers.

The green beans in their containers once I was done.

The Simple Things

Sometimes the simple, little things in life are what makes it so nice.

My son is one of those 'little' things but this isn't about him. He does make my life awesome, but I have this one new thing that I just love as of late.

It is a body wash. Yes, a body wash. I have used so many different brands and scents of body wash over the years and never really found one that I am in love with (unless you count the Bed Head body wash in Oatmeal Cookie that they don't make anymore).

I recently got a sample of Caress Evenly Gorgeous body wash in the mail and after I used it once, I was hooked! I love the scent and I love that is has exfoliating beads also. I like that as I do have dry skin quite a bit. I bought one full size bottle and swore the next time it went on sale, I would get another one.

I recently got a Target coupon in the mail and combined that with a manufacturer coupon to get $2 off a bottle. That made the bottle $1.89. For me, that is actually more than I would like to spend but it's not like spending $5 or more on a bottle of Olay or even Bath and Body Works. Since I have been trying to be so frugal recently, I prefer to get my body wash for $1 or less a bottle. This is just one of those things worth splurging on. I would never pay full price for it, but might pay about $2-$2.50 a bottle.

I know this is silly to write about, but it is the first time I have gotten excited about any beauty/healthcare product in a while! Go out and try it - but at least smell it in the bottle first to make sure you would like it. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

30 by 30

I had previously posted about doing 30 things by the time I am 30 (copying my sister-in-law). I am actually making a list of the things I am wanting to do and then trying to do them all by the time I turn 30. I also made a note that I reserve the right to change/substitute any of these at any time since it is my list after all! You can see my previous post here.

I am going to list the first 10 things I came up with and attempt to add to them now.

1. Get a tattoo - still want to do this and might since Todd wants to get one soon too.

2. Lose 30 pounds - On my way. I am down about 10 or 11 pounds.

3. Scrapbook my son's first year of life - Doing ok on this, need to catch up though.

4. Go on a hiking trip .

5. Get family pictures taken - plan on doing this when Xander turns 1.

6. Start playing piano again.

7. Start swimming again.

8. Do another scrapbook of some sort besides Xander's baby scrapbook - also working on this.

9. Visit two states that I haven't been to yet.

10. Be able to run 3 miles without stopping.

Ok, now to add to the list.

11. Read at least 25 of these novels.

12. Have my A1C level below 6.5 for 1 straight year.

13. Have our second child if we decide to have another.

14. Have at least one car that is paid off.

15. Travel overseas, preferably to France/Spain.

16. Have made at least one cake with fondant and be able to say it turned out well.

17. Win a photo hunt contest like this one. Just one picture needs to win for me to be happy!

18. Sew at least one article of clothing from scratch.

19. Have hair longer than my shoulder for once in the last 10 years!

I am stuck. I couldn't even get to 20. Any other ideas? Feel free to help me out and give me ideas! I guess if I have three years to accomplish all of this, I can use some of that time coming up with the next 11 right?

Why I Love My Husband!

There are so many reasons I love my husband, but on a day to day basis, sometimes it is easier to see the bad than the good. It is easy to get annoyed with him or mad at him, but at the end of the day, I am always able to love him and here are a few of the reasons:

He mows the lawn so I don't have to
He takes out the trash 95% of the time
He listens while I talk a lot
He loves our son so much and shows it daily
He works hard at his job each day to provide for us
He will do me 'favors' when I ask - anything from making Xander's bottle to filling my water bottle to getting me a newspaper on Sunday - I love his willingness to help me out
He has some cute habits including biting his nails (bothers him, not me)
He can't stand having his hair long because it curls up so he cuts it often
He lets me get all excited about getting a good deal at the store without making fun of me
He loves me despite my flaws
He has more patience with me than you will even know
He is the opposite of me in so many ways, but I love it
He likes many of the same things I do even though we are opposites

I could make a list longer than anyone would care to read but those are a few of the things I love about my husband.

We will be celebrating 5 years of marriage in about 2 months. I can't believe it has gone this fast and now we have this awesome little boy in our lives also. I love them both and look forward to many more years of marriage and mommyhood!

Ready to be bored

I think I am ready to be bored for a little while. We had a crazy last week and a half. Starting July 3rd, it seems we didn't have 2 minutes to breathe!

We had our neighbors over on July 3rd for a 4th of July party. That last until about 2 to 3 in the morning. I spent most of the next day recovering from the previous night and getting ready for my family to come over that night. They didn't stay too late that night so we got to bed a little earlier. Sunday was spent cleaning up from the last two days and resting up. Monday we went to Lincoln in the evening to see my sister and brother-in-law and their kids. They were in from out of town so we went to have dinner with them and the rest of my family. Tuesday, I spent at home cleaning and catching up and we went to Lincoln again Wednesday. We were gone most of the day Wednesday so Thursday was spent catching up again. Friday, I decided to go to Lincoln to spend one last day with my sister and we went to the Lincoln Children's Museum. On Saturday, we had Todd's parents over along with two of his nephews. Yesterday (Sunday) was a catch up day again and today I was gone half the day getting groceries. When I got home, I had to feed Xander, put away the groceries, give him a bath, take a shower and clean the kitchen.

I am looking forward to the next few days as I don't have anything planned. I am looking forward to catching up on laundry, dishes, sleep, cleaning and other things. I need to work on my scrapbooks, upload pictures, edit pictures, order pictures, clean the basement, pay bills, clean the kitchen, clean the family room, change our sheets and the list goes on and on. Anyway, I am just ready to not have a bunch of stuff to do for a while. It will be nice to be home for the next few days and get stuff done around here. Boring is good!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wal-Mart Haters

Why is it that so many people hate Wal-mart? I have been trying to figure that out for a while. Don't get me wrong - Wal-mart is not perfect. It has its flaws, but what store doesn't? I don't go to any grocery store expecting to be waited on hand and foot. If I need something, I will ask but it seems like some people expect too much. You are not going to get that cheap of prices and get great service people! Get a clue!

We have several choices for groceries here in Omaha. We have Wal-Mart, Super Target, Baker's, Bag N' Save, Super Saver, Hy-Vee, No Frills and Fareway to name a few. I don't expect much from any of those. The problem with the nicer, cleaner, friendlier stores is that you usually pay for it!

The fact that Wal-Mart price matches is the main reason I go there. I write out my list, take along my ads and coupons and go crazy! I actually like the layout of the Wal-Marts we have here and I feel like I can find almost anything I need there. They also carry a lot more brands than most of the other stores do. The only thing I noticed is, they don't have as much organic stuff, but I don't buy that much of it anyway. I just know if they did carry more organic stuff and I had a coupon that Wal-Mart would end up being a way lower price.

Because I can price match and I am so into coupons, I save a ton of money shopping! The only thing they don't have which some other stores do is store coupons. I like Target for that reason and I flip flop between there and Wal-Mart a lot. I tend to buy more non-grocery items at Target and most of the groceries at Wal-Mart. I can get a lot of things for free at Target when I combine a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon. I went to Target just a few days ago and got a bunch of stuff for free or almost free with coupons (but that will be a separate post). I just love the thrill of a good deal!

Anyway, I know down south in some smaller towns, Wal-Mart is one of the only options and that is true where my sister lives. She doesn't seem to mind though since she can get everything she wants there and gets great prices too. If we ever move somewhere where Wal-Mart is one of the only options, I will be ok with that.

Stop hating on Wal-Mart people! :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another photo hunt!

Todd decided he wanted to do this shoot and the thinks he can win! Here is the photo hunt we are going to do for July. Good luck to us!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our 4th of July Weekend

We had quite the weekend for the 4th of July. We had a neighborhood party on Friday night which didn't end until about 3 am. We then had my side of the family up to our house on Saturday night. I was recovering from the party on Friday night for most of the day Saturday, but luckily by the time my family came on Saturday, I felt pretty much back to normal, mostly thanks to a 2 hour nap that afternoon.

Here are a few pictures of the weekend!

Not the best fireworks pic - I couldn't get all the parts of the camera to work together.

Again, not a great pic, but tried to get a few of the big ones.

Blurry picture of the boys being boys.

Another not great shot.

Jen and Sam.

Dad, Xander and Ryan.

Xander in his outfit and holding the flag. Not his best smile, but this was the best pic of the ones I took.

Neighbors hanging out in our garage.

Todd with a neighbor boy watching fireworks.

All the neighbors outside our house before it got really dark.

Terri with the girls' hair bows around her wrists.

More of the neighbors hanging out.

Me and my baby boy!

The neighbors enjoying the food.

Todd holding Xander.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Busy Weekend

So this weekend is going to be pretty busy and go fast I am sure! We are getting together with the neighbors tonight for dinner and some fireworks and tomorrow night, we have my side of the family coming up for dinner and more fireworks. I am excited for both days because they will both be fun in different ways. The only bad thing about this weekend is all the cleaning and preparing I am having to do. I barely sat still all day yesterday and have been busy today so far also. I need to clean the bathroom, give my son a bath, clean out the garage, do some laundry and get myself ready. As I am typing this, I only have a little over 4 hours to get it all done. I hope everything goes as smooth as I planned and that I can get everything done on time! I am also thinking about making some spinach dip later but am not sure yet if I will.

I think the 4th is one of my favorite holidays besides Christmas. I love getting together with friends and family and I love fireworks - there is something magical about them. It makes me feel like a kid again!

I am also excited for this weekend to go fast because I get to see my sister and brother in law and their kids next week. That will be so much fun!

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Babywise, Edition #3

So, I have written 2 previous posts regarding Babywise and I think I have shown in some of the things I talked about how much I believe in it.

However, I will say there is one big problem I have....not with the Babywise books, but more with myself than anything.

I love all the principals in the book and agree with about 95% of them. The problem I have is this - every single day I think to myself "Am I doing enough? Has Xander had his playtime, his nap time, his learning time? Did I practice the sign language enough during high chair time? Do I need to discourage him from pulling on my hair while nursing? Do I need to play with him more or less? Is he feeling lonely or smothered? Is he developing fast enough? Do I need to do more learning activities or let him have more free play time? Is it a cop out to put him in the swing? What if I can't put him down for a nap the exact time every day? How am I supposed to get all my shopping done in an hour to get him home in time for a nap? Should I try to force him to be on his tummy more to get him to crawl?" And on and on and on it goes.

In a way I feel like Babywise almost puts too many ideas and rules into your head and I almost feel like a failure if I can't follow them all or don't execute everything perfectly every day. I know I am a smart person and can use my common sense, but I still worry sometimes. I think that is also the curse of a stay-at-home mom. I have all day to think about this kind of thing. I know if I was at work all day, the 'rules' of Babywise would be one of the last things on my mind. I would mostly just care if my kid cried all day while at daycare or about if I can get the laundry and dishes done that night.

I don't worry as much as I am making it sound like, but all of those thoughts and more do cross my mind most days. I know that you can't get everything you want to get done in a day done every day. If I could, I would be super woman! I just hope every day I am doing enough to make sure my kid knows I love him and I hope he is getting enough structure, learning opportunities and playtime. Nothing in life is perfect and I don't think there is such a thing as using Babywise perfectly. I think everyone will interpret it different and apply it different to their child and life and I think that is the way it should be.