Saturday, February 28, 2009

Our Week (and More) in Pictures and Blurbs

My Valentine brought home a beautiful treat.

What I spent the better part of a day dealing with:

9:07 a.m. last Friday. For those who are not aware: we are full-swing into potty training here at the moo house, meaning no mamsy-pamsy Pull-ups around here. A millimeter of thin cotton is all that separates us from danger.

I find the whole training thing goes faster when they have some serious discomfort to deal with if they don't go in the potty. So panties it is, even when we're away from home.

Claire has done so well with only a couple accidents for the 2+ weeks while she trained herself, and I believe only 3 accidents since "I" have been potty training her. The responsibility for this accident lies squarely on my shoulders. I forgot to take Claire to the potty before we left Costco (in my defense, I did take her when we arrived there!) and she almost made it all the way home.

Eleven minutes later, I finally have the cover off and in the washer. What a pain this car seat is to take apart! I'm actually looking forward to its expiration date in 2010 (which I conveniently looked for while cleaning the beast)!

Twelve hours and one minute later: good as new, and smelling better than ever! To my relief, putting everything back together took only a moment, and even better--no extra parts! As to learning a lesson, I believe it is I who have learned mine: nixing Pull-ups means Mommy has to be a little less absent-minded while running errands.

I have no picture for this one, but Case started his new job last Friday. He was busy that first day, which he says is a good sign. So far, he's enjoying it. Sounds like it will be nice and challenging for him. Like I've said before, he seems to like challenges and stress (though he prefers to keep the stress at work and doesn't so much thrive on it here at home--for which I am very thankful).

Okay, now on with the weekend:

Sandy flew in on Saturday, so we picked her up on the way to Casey's flying lesson and we ladies all went to lunch while Casey worked on taking off and landing techniques (he's hoping to actually get in the air next lesson).

While we watched him at the end, a guy came up and told me Casey's technique was perfect. Good to know, since I have no idea what I'm seeing (looks a little like an alien, doesn't it?).

Monday: Sandy and the girls go on a date to Wal-Mart.

Tuesday: Sandy's been waiting to see Ruby at her ballet class and finally got to see her with her friends. This class has really grown. I counted 12 girls last week. Amazingly, it is not chaotic in the least (though I do miss the more individualized time).

Almost done! Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of buying this house. It is seriously hard to believe we have been here that long. And none-too-soon, we actually have something on our balcony now! (Though that niche is still bare. . . any suggestions?)

Now we'll have two reasons to remember February 26th: it is also the day we bought our first brand new vehicle. Casey is very excited about his little Toyota. He's been shopping for it for a few weeks, and decided to go brand spankin' new this time.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Perfectionism is a Tough Habit to Break

So many things have been going on this past week. I have no idea where to start. My brain is thinking many things, and I'm just going to say that this list will in no way flow, and that's going to have to be okay with me. The girls have another cold as of late last week, and it's creating more night waking, even among usually good sleepers and I'm pretty much ready to have a good 6 hour stretch of straight sleep . . . please! I have a whole post dedicated to this topic. As to whether or not it will ever get written and posted, I cannot tell.

Sandy, my MIL (also sick :() is in town this week as well. What? Yes, she was here last month, and had a free ticket that had an expiration date and we were her choice in all the destinations she could have picked. Okay, it isn't that amazing, but we are honored, nonetheless. Even though she sounds and feels terrible, she has been such a help and a blessing to our family.

Today, having Sandy here helped me quickly jet (by myself!) to Walgreens and do my first couponing assignment: pick up all six items at Walgreens that end up being free after rebate (and by the way, I'm LOVING that I can submit the rebate so VERY quickly online, instead of in the mail.) I have nothing to report about the actual savings yet, but theoretically, I should be receiving my Walgreens gift card in the next couple weeks worth what the items cost plus 10%. I then will use it for my next purchase of free or next-to-free items. Sounds easy enough, right?

To tell the truth, when I read the assignment for this week, I thought it sounded so easy that I should go ahead and try to do a little more. A couple hours later, confused and frustrated (where in the ad is this item that is supposedly on sale? Why does this coupon link say the offer is expired?) I got offline and decided to just take baby steps. I know. Novel idea, right? This is a problem I have. I see that something is simple and think: how can I make it more complicated? Not that that actually crosses my mind, but I get carried away with what "could be" and end up burning out before I've done what I was supposed to, forget all my other plans. I have to remind myself with this couponing thing: "I am not a coupon maven. I may be one day, but I am not one right now. Just do what you're told. Don't add anything." So next week, I'll stick to the assignment only.

Well, there are many things on my list of what I want to blog, but alas, it is almost 9 p.m. and that is my new bedtime. (Silence) . . . (pin dropping). I know. You're wondering how long I'll keep it up. I have no idea. But my guess is that I may not be blogging much while I try to get into this new routine. This is truly a stretch for me to go to bed several hours before I'm accustomed to "retiring," but one good thing is that sleep helps keep one healthy, and as of this moment, I am the only healthy human being in the household, and it would be really wonderful for all of us if I could stay that way.

Couponing: Is it for Me?

Hello, friends! I have just a moment to share with you what I signed up for last week: a 10-week course in couponing.

Like others, I am sure, I have enjoyed using the occasional coupon for that occasional thing that I actually need or use, but in the past, when I have tried to get into serious, money-saving (and making!) couponing, I have never been able to make it worth my while or save enough to keep it up.

My problem, I believe, was that I did not know what I was doing. Last week, I signed up with Claire at choystercash and I have hopes that she can prove me wrong in my coupon naysaying. I hope to update this blog with some of my experiences along this journey, but wanted to invite any of you who are also critical of the whole money-making couponing craze to join me in what I hope to be at the least a bit fun, and perhaps generate a few free toiletries and extra items for donation (chances are, there will still be things I don't and won't use!).

Please visit the above link and if it sounds fun to you, please join me in signing up!