Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Both of my older kids had milk allergies as babies and were diagnosed after having blood in their stools. With both of them I eliminated milk from my diet and the blood disappeared. With this baby I kind of figured she would also have a milk allergy and last month after her being super fussy and gassy her doctor and I decided that I should eliminate milk from my diet yet again.
From the week before Christmas until now I have not had any dairy and my little darling still had blood in her stool yesterday. I do have to admit that I have not been super militant about the dairy thing- obviously food that states it has dairy in the ingredients was avoided but I have been eating things that said they were made in a factory that also uses milk in other products and I have also been assuming that the cheese-less subs I have been getting from the pizza place up the street don't have dairy in the bread.
So now it's on- I am going to be downright psychotic about what I eat. Nothing with dairy, nothing made in a factory that processes dairy, nothing with "caramel color" added, nothing with natural or artificial flavors, no deli meats or hot dogs, no food from restaurants and I'm sure there are other things I am forgetting. This pretty much means that any and all processed food is my enemy.
It is sad to think of food as an enemy and to distrust it. Even when I read a food label I am always thinking "is the label telling the truth?" I really do feel for those people who have life long food allergies- mine is just until I wean my daughter from breastfeeding when she is a year old (hopefully she outgrows her allergy like my other kids did) so it is only a minor and temporary annoyance. I cannot imagine having to deal with this my whole life- not being able to eat at family holidays, fearing that my restaurant food was accidentally contaminated, having to carefully read every label.
Starting tomorrow I am going to go back to my crunchy, hippy, Birkenstock wearing ways (I actually do have a very comfy pair of Birkenstock clogs that I love) and will be making as much from possible from scratch for myself and I suppose this means my husband and kids will be jumping on the bandwagon as well. How I will accomplish this I do not know but I need to try my best because my little baby is depending on me to keep her healthy and in turn to also keep myself healthy.
I still reserve the right to drool whenever I get near a Reeses cup, though...
Sunday, January 29, 2012
I haven't posted in awhile due to laziness and the fact that I feel like my brain is all discombobulated.
Things are getting better though. Here is a recap of my wonderful life:
-The baby has been taking a couple of naps during the day in her swing and a couple more naps in my awesome Beco baby carrier. This has allowed me to actually be able to eat my lunch before three o'clock and to clean the house a bit. She is smiling now and doing that silly baby babbling which makes me feel like she thinks I'm an awesome mom. I am still sleeping with her every night on the couch because I don't want my husband to turn into a zombie from lack of sleep, because she doesn't want to sleep alone at night and because I'm lazy and it makes breastfeeding so much easier. I am planning on transitioning her to at least sleeping in her swing at night I just don't know when because I have a feeling she won't like it.
-I decided to treat myself and buy a steam mop, so that has been my new cleaning obsession. Every day I vacuum and then steam mop the kitchen, laundry room, hallway and bathroom- I suppose my life is that boring that a steam mopped floor is a basis of excitement for me.
-My husband got a promotion at work. He turned in his work van and got a car so now on Saturdays I can drive myself to work instead of dragging the whole family out of bed to drive me. He will also be making more money which means that we can bump up our emergency fund to at least a few thousand dollars and then pay off or debt fairly quickly (that is, if my husband doesn't go buy something dumb and expensive).
-My son has no interest in learning the alphabet or writing his name so I am on a mission to help him do these things in a fun way. I have a meeting with his teacher next week to discuss his preparedness for Kindergarten which seems so silly because back when I was a kid you were prepared for Kindergarten by just hitting a certain age. Why is it that our educational system is so awful these days but way back in the day before you were expected to know how to write a novel to enter Kindergarten it was much better? I have many theories on this but I will keep them to myself for now...
-My 2 1/2 year old daughter is the biggest diva I've ever met and I am trying to break her of it. I try to ignore her whining and screaming which she does right away when she wants something instead of asking nicely. Then if that does not work she goes to her bedroom where she throws everyhing off of her bed during her tantrum. When she calms down I talk to her about why she was put in her room and then I make her pick up all of the crap she threw everywhere- sometimes this results in another tantrum but if I threaten to leave her in her room again she ususally stops crying and picks up her mess.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
This means that tomorrow I will be doing my shopping at Target. I love doing my food shopping at Target because their regular prices are way cheaper that the grocery store. I hate doing my food shopping at Target because I have no self control when I step in that store and tend to buy stuff on clearance that I don't technically need. But, I did just watch an episode of Hoarders where the guy had tons of Target bags full of stupid crap piled up so maybe I'll keep that image in my head when I'm perusing the end caps of the store.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
|I got this pattern because it was the cheapest|
and I think it's cute. I'm guessing my hubby won't
want to be using this carrier...
My back is killing me and it is thanks to the deplorable baby carrier that my husband and I bought when we had our first child (you may make great car seats Chicco but your baby carriers suck!). It took me this long to realize how awful it was because I rarely used it with my first two kids. Those kids loved the baby swing and the little lambie seat. This new baby, not so much. She is a hold me all of the time type of baby.
I don't mind having her attached to me all day but the fact that the baby carrier is such a piece of crap is making me miserable. That is why I broke down and bought a new one. I thought that I could solider throught the back pain but I'm a wimp and I can't. I was trying to be cheap as this is our last baby and the last thing I wanted to do was buy any more baby gear but being cheap can be shortsighted sometimes. If I had kept using the baby carrier from hell I would have done damage to my back and down the road would have been cursing myself for being such a frugal fool.
Tomorrow the wonderful UPS man will be bringing me a brand new Beco Butterfly II Baby Carrier. I found it for $91.06 on Amazon and used a $5 gift card I earned from Swagbucks bringing my grand total to $86.06 with free shipping. It normally goes for around $140 so I got a good deal on it, plus it has really good reviews on Amazon (click on all of the color options because some are cheaper than others). If it's as comfortable as the reviews say then the money spent will be well worth it.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
This is why I stock up- we always have something to eat for dinner and I don't have to drag the kids out to the store for a last minute ingredient. The most important thing about stocking up is being able to store the meat properly. I know others just wrap it up in some plastic wrap and aluminum foil but I use my awesome Food Saver which we've had for over six years and is still going strong. I am very picky about food quality so I like to vacuum pack my food to eliminate freezer burn and any hint of ice crystals. The food also lasts way longer in the freezer when vacuum packed and in my opinion, tastes better. The bags can be pricey but I usually wait to buy them when Kohl's has a 30% off coupon. It is well worth the price of the bags though because like I said, I won't eat meat from the freezer unless it's vacuum packed.
Going dairy free hasn't been that bad, considering this is the third time I've had to do it (darn babies and their milk allergies). The only thing that is different with this baby is that I have less time to cook from scratch. What is a mom to do? Well, when the kids and I made this pumpkin bread I popped the baby in the baby carrier and she was in on the action too.
This is my favorite pumpkin bread recipe and as you can tell from the title of this post, there is no milk in it. If you wanted to get really extreme, there is even a substitution you can make for the eggs so that it is vegan.
I ended up making to smallish loaves of bread for me and a bunch on mini-muffins for the kids. This is not a healthy recipe by any stretch of the imagination due to all of the oil and sugar but it's got to be better than chocolate chip cookies right? Maybe in my lazy mom head I could even justify this as a serving of fruit/veggies...
Would you like some free carpet cleaner? With all of the crap (literally) that my kids and dog gets on our carpets I need some.
Kids N' Pets has a rebate on their website to get any of their products for free. They sell their products at Walmart, so you can pick up a bottle there and send in for the rebate. But, if you are lazy like me and also cannot stand Walmart like me then you can pick up their products at Drugstore.com and send in for the rebate. Shipping is free if you have Shop Runner and if you don't, shipping is free with a $25 purchase.
To make the deal even better (yes, there is something better than free), go through Ebates and you can get 12% cash back.
I already ordered mine so now I just have to remember to send in for the rebate!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
I first shopped on their website because of an awesome deal posted on Slickdeals back in December. Since then they are my new favorite store.
My absolute favorite product is the Body Butter- my skin gets disgustingly dry in the winter and this is the only product that makes me look human again. I loved it so much that I bought the baby version for my newborn daughter and that is by far the best baby lotion I have ever used.
I signed up for their Love Your Body club because I'm a sucker for a deal. I paid $10 for a one year membership and get 10% off of every purchase I make. Also, on my birthday month they sent me a $10 reward. You can also earn rewards: you earn one point for each purchase of $20 or more and two points for each purchase of $50 or more. Once you earn four points you get a $15 reward and when you earn eight points you get a $30 reward.
I know their stuff seems expensive but if you hold out for a good sale there are some awesome deals to be had. Right now they have their Spiced Vanilla Body Butter and Candied Ginger Body Butter on sale for $5 each (normally $18 each) with free shipping. You can get an extra 10% off with the code JOY10 (this stacks with the Love Your Body 10% discount). The free shipping is good through Monday Jan. 16th.
Disclaimer: I am in no way receiving any compensation for writing this post- I just really love The Body Shop. I always, always, always disclose when I post affiliate and referral links.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
So, said baby decided that she was not going to peacefully nap in her car seat at the store which meant that I had to hold her the whole time. Not fun considering she is a chunky baby and my arms were getting tired. My son had tons of fun picking out what he wanted and ended up getting a bunch of stuff he didn't need and probably will forget about in a few days (he randomly got an Angry Birds umbrella- kids are weird). I bought a box of overpriced baby wipes and two boxes of overpriced nursing pads (on sale for buy one get one 50% off) with my rewards. I used to use reusable nursing pads but after my front loading washing machine at some of them I threw in the towel and decided that I would contribute to our Earth's supposed global warming crisis buy throwing more stuff in the trash.
At the register (they had only one open) I got stuck behind a woman arguing about the prices of some cheap ass Babies R Us brand clothes that my kids would not be caught dead in (I spend way less on Gap clothing for my kids which is way better quality because I shop ahead and pair sales with coupons). The baby was back in her car seat but started to cry. I kept popping the pacifier back in her mouth but after ten minutes she started getting pissed off at which time the wonderful employees decided to open another register because the line was getting very long (way to go Toys R Us employees- customers love seeing four people standing around talking to each other instead of one of the people opening up a register). At the register I had to take the baby out of her car seat to hold her because she was freaking out. We paid for our crap (I also scored three rolls of Spongebob wrapping paper for .40 cents each) and pulled up away from the registers so I could deposit the baby back into her seat. Once the screaming baby was buckled in I noticed that I forgot to pay for the little Lego set that my son wanted. I gave it back to the cashier to put back because I did not have time to wait back in line with a screaming baby. I felt really bad but I told my son that when we got home I would buy it online.
On the way home the baby was quiet but right when I pulled into the garage and turned the car off she was back to screaming. I was so annoyed- I would love to just once be able to go to the store sans baby so I could shop in peace. Even though I had just fed her before we left (we were only gone for a little over an hour) I sat on the couch and whipped out my boob to feed her again which finally made her quiet. While feeding her, because being a mom is all about multitasking even when you have a baby latched onto you, I went on the lap top to order my son's toy. We ended up getting him something better than the dinky little Lego truck and since I compared prices between Amazon and Toys R Us, I got a Streetz play set he wanted that came with a bonus set for $10 whereas the one play set was $14.99 at Toys R Us.
What did I learn from this trip to the toy store?
-I hate going into the actual Toys R Us store because I feel like I'm being ripped off the second I step foot in the door
-Toys R Us has terrible customer service; my husband also had a terrible experience when we did a store pick up at this particular store (North Attleboro, Ma) though I did a store pick up at the Dedham store and it was wonderful. I guess North Attleboro just sucks.
-My baby hates being in her car seat where my other two kids loved being in their car seat. This further cements my husband's theory that the baby is not his
-The Toys R Us near me is too close to some really crappy towns and draws a lot of trashy, rude people to it
-Toys R Us can be really overpriced so comparing prices is a must which means shopping on their website is five hundred million times better than shopping in the store
-I should just become a shut in because I hate going to stores- give me a lap top and credit card and I'm good to go
-My four year old son is such a delightful little boy sometimes; he was so good at the store and was just an all around sweetie-pie
The moral of the story is that I hate the Toys R Us in my town and will avoid it at all costs and that my baby is only happy when she's latched onto my breast. I have still have $25 in rewards to use but I figure I use them at Babies R Us which is a much nicer and happier place, plus I have to pick up the wipes I bought today so I can kill two birds with one stone and use them then.
This is a good deal on baby wipes- Babies R Us has 400 count boxes of Babyganics wipes for $10 and they are buy one get one free. This comes out to .013 a wipe which is pretty good considering the sub par wipes deals that have been around lately. They are not available for shipping but you can do store pick up for free.
Go through Ebates for 2% cash back.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Having a family, I know how important it is to have access to good healthcare and one important component of that is prescription coverage. Thankfully no one in my family takes any medications at the moment but in the past we have and having coverage that lowers the cost of our prescriptions was something that has always put our minds at ease.
Prescription coverage is not just about your out of pocket cost, it is also about the pharmacy you choose to do business with. Recently Walgreens and Express Script were in negotiations to continue their contract with each other but were not able to come to an agreement, even after Walgreens stated they would not raise rates for the coming year.
Due to the termination of their relationship, many Express Script members will no longer be able to visit their Walgreens pharmacies. This can cause great stress in someone, especially if they have been a long time customer of Walgreens and have formed a relationship with their pharmacist. If you are someone who takes many medications, your pharmacist can be as important as your doctor in your healthcare- trying to find a new one you can trust can be a daunting task.
Walgreens would like to ease the burden of those who find themselves affected by this recent change and is offering a discounted annual membership to their Walgreens Prescription Savings Club; $5 for an individual and $10 for a family. Members receive discounted prices on their prescriptions as well as savings on medications, discounts on flu shots and pet prescriptions and bonuses when they buy Walgreens brand products and photo finishing services.
This has to be the cutest thing ever!
My kids will either think it's so cool to see Santa in our house or be so freaked out that a fat man in a red suit was in our house. This may even be bordering on creepy- just like that Elf on a Shelf (we have one and I feel like he is going to go all Chucky on me and try to murder me in my sleep).
At least it will stop the annoying questions about if Santa is real for at least one more year.
Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate link If enough people click through it I may be able to afford a pair of ear plugs so I can't hear my kids screaming, whining and fighting all day.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
|sorry for the awful picture- we just bought a really nice|
camera but I have no idea how to use it nor due I have
the inclination to learn
The real easy thing would be to hire someone to clean the house but that wouldn't work for two reasons: I am too cheap and I am a control freak.
So, it is all back to me (my husband does help clean when he can but he gets to escape to this place "work" for forty plus hours a week).
One area of the house that gets neglected is the second floor, mostly because we're only up there when we sleep so it doesn't get particularly messy and lets face it- out of sight, out of mind. For some reason though, dust loves the second floor. I try to keep up on the dusting but other stuff comes up and it gets forgotten.
That is where my bright, yet somewhat lazy and non-frugal, idea came in. I bought Swiffer Dusters on Amazon and will keep one duster upstairs where I can grab it to quickly dust when I have a nanosecond. I like these because they lock the dust into them instead of spreading it all over the floor and they don't require chemicals so I can leave them upstairs knowing that the kids won't be guzzling down cleaning solution.
As for actually polishing the furniture, that won't be happening for awhile- not with the amount of time I spend refereeing my three kids. Maybe when the youngest is ten I'll be able to bust out the Pledge...
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Being a housewife is a commendable thing- I could be raising the next president (insert laughter here). I stay home because I don't want to pay someone else to screw up my kids when I can do it for free. Sometimes I get jealous of people with jobs- I miss being praised for doing a good job and getting promotions and raises. Yes, my husband tells me I'm doing a good job but what choice does he have? It's not like he can fire me and hire a new housewife- he's stuck with me so he may as well try to pump up my ego by telling me how great I'm doing (sometimes I really do wish he would fire me, especially when the kids are being terrible).
My excitement used to be trips to Target but now having three kids to tow around with me which sucked the enjoyment out of that. Now I get excited when the baby sleeps for more than ten minutes during the day so I can clean the house a little.
I know all of this sounds so lavish and decadent but you know what? If I could go back in time I would choose the same path again. It's not a glamorous life but at least I get to spend lots of time with my kids, who really aren't all that bad when they're not screaming and fighting.
Now I am off to scrape dried Rice Krispies from the kitchen floor...
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I am going to drink 64 ounces of water a day, which is my gigantic water bottle filled two times. Why do I want to do this? Well, I've heard drinking water is good for you.
Hopefully being hydrated makes me feel better all around because then it will be worth having to pee twenty times a day.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
I try to save my family money in whatever ways I can but there are some things that I will not scrimp on. Some of those things include car seats (I buy the top of the line because my kids' safety trumps everything else), my vehicle (I must drive a safe and reliable vehicle even if it means having a hefty car payment), health care (we have the top level plan through my husband's work) and my dog.
Yep, I said my dog. We have a six year old min pin who drives me crazy with his barking at anyone and anything who dares to even walk by our house. My husband bought him about six years ago, after I had my first miscarriage and I used to cuddle with him every night. He is a good little dog and so very patient with my kids- the annoyances he endures with are many but he never bites them.
I used to be ho-hum about my pets when it came to taking them to the vet, especially after having the kids. But then last year our other dog, Buddie, got put down due to liver failure. He was the best dog- we got him from a rescue group when we lived down in Georgia eight years ago. Buddie had all of the symptoms of liver failure but I was so busy with my life that I just didn't see any of it or put two and two together until it was too late. I felt very guilty about that.
Now with our min pin, Binky, I pay attention. I made his long overdue check-up appointment shortly after Buddie was put down. I even finally took the vet's recommendation and had his teeth cleaned as poor teeth care can lead to many problems in dogs and could have been the reason for Buddie's liver failure. After we ran out of our cheap Pedigree dog food I bought high quality dog food for him.
Then there is the grooming. Yes, you can wash your dog at home which we have done in the past but I find it easier once in awhile to just have it professionally done as they also clean his ears and clip his nails (he has black nails so I am scared to cut them myself because you can't see the quick which is like a little vein in his nail).
Was any of this cheap? Hell no. Vet visits and shots are not cheap as well as flea and tick prevention and heart worm prevention. I dropped about $600 alone on Binky's teeth cleaning, blood work, some needed shots and the aforementioned preventative treatments. High quality dog food with minimal junky fillers can cost upwards of $2 a pound. We also have to get an annual dog license for him through our town.
I guess what I am saying here is pets are not some frugal thing you do. Having a dog is a commitment; he relies on you to take care of him and provide him with a good and loving life. Food and shelter are not enough because pets also need proper preventative care and not provided that because your cheapness wants to save money is irresponsible. Plus, good preventative care can catch issues before they become major problems. I am not saying that your dog needs to live like a human because even though he is a part of the family he is still just an animal but he does rely on you to keep him healthy and alive.
If you want to do the frugal pet thing, get a hermit crab because lord knows sometimes I wish I took that route instead!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
All inserts have been clipped and all coupons have been filed. I feel like I am completely starting over, which I guess I kind of am considering when I went through my coupons about 90% of them were expired.
So, how do I organize my coupons? Am I one of those people who carries a big ass binder that screams "I'm a crazy hoarder like on the show that shall not be named"? No, no I am not that person. I actually have three small accordion files that house my coupons; one for food, one for health and beauty and one for household, baby and cleaning items. I also keep all of my Target coupons in a separate envelope as well as my other store coupons in envelopes. This method has worked for me for the past eight years and I am extremely adverse to change so no binder in the near future for me.
Each week I make shopping lists for each store I plan on going to. I make the list on a sheet of notebook paper folded side to side and then I fold it in half so I can place the coupons I need in it as well as any I think I may need. This way I have all of the coupons together so I'm not frantically searching for them when checking out. I also bring my coupon files with me in my purse so that if I see any other deals I can pounce on them.
I feel great that I am all caught up- now I can fully embrace my old shopping habits of making lists, using coupons and sticking to my budget. Now if only I could go shopping by myself.... I can dream, can't I?
It looks like a fun thing to do with the kids and I don't have to worry about almost killing them at the park. Plus the baby is so little and it's been cold out so I don't like to drag her outside so the kids can play. The Monkey Joes in my town charges about $9 per child and $5 for two year olds which seems to be a fair price, especially since the kids get to run around like maniacs somewhere other than my house. Even though I have gift cards my frugal self decided to sign up for their emails to see if maybe I would be blessed with a coupon of some sort.
Guess what? Minutes later I had a coupon for buy one get one free admission. I saved myself $5 (what my daughter's admission price would have been) and will therefore have stretched our gift cards out a bit further.
Yes, I could have been content with just going and spending our gift cards with abandon as they were free to us but why not make that "free" money last longer?
The lesson in this is always sign up for newsletters and emails from companies because you never know when that 30 seconds of typing will snag you some awesome savings (if you don't like getting tons of promotional email, sign up for a free email account where you can have this sort of stuff sent).