Saturday, November 29, 2008

Big Lots Saturday Deals

Just got a couple of great bargains! We got a Graco Video Monitor (normally $199; got it for $50) and an Apex 65 car seat (normally $130-ish; got it for $65.) And got a $10 off coupon for being there early. :D The car seat is to replace the backup Bridget has grown out of; it will harness to 65 lbs. and has higher top slots. Nice. (Of course now that my kids all have backup seats that fit, I think Jeff thinks I should be getting rid of the backups that don't fit...)

The prices are all day though the coupon offer isn't. Of note the Apex, while a nice seat, is a bit wide (we have a Radian to go next to it so I think it will still work for 3 across in many situations but for most people, not so much) and needs a headrest or very tall seat back behind it since the top is not reinforced; it is outgrown when tips of the ears go over the top of the seat back or headrest, not just the seat. But on the other hand it does make a decent booster (it is a combination seat that harnesses and then is a booster.) Again, must have support behind it. But all around I am quite thrilled with it because for the price it's an excellent seat! I mean, when can you usually get a higher-weight harnessing seat for $65?

Now I have to go check out the date of manufacture and stuff. :D

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And right now I am thankful... get out of my clothes and into my nightie and lay down!

We had a great dinner with my mom. The kids actually took to heart my talk in the car about being polite and did it! Even Bridget, who I thought was not listening because she didn't say "Okay" like Emma did, instead asking questions about things we were driving past. She must have been listening because she spent the entire dinner asking people how they were doing, did they like their dinner, and how was their day going? LOL!

We got to see my aunt and uncle, my sister Erin, she brought her friend and her friend's 11 year old son, and my grandma was also there. And of course my mom, since it was at her house. :) And the food was great of course! The girls ate very well, and Maggie had a jar of sweet potatoes and some finely-chopped turkey, as well as some Gerber apple wheel snacks. She was very tired and finally conked out, and I even got her to sleep for a while in the play pen.
I got some pics of the girls in their cute jumpers (they all wore jumpers with white long sleeved blouses this year, a very classic look and allowed them to "coordinate" without matching at all.) And Emma even got one of me! But I do not feel like pulling them off now-- so I will try to post them tomorrow or the next day. My aunt gave them markers (washable of course!) and note pads. They adored them. My sister gave us some Shel Silverstein cds the library was getting rid of. My aunt also gave us a pretty dress for Maggie; it's 24 mos. but I think it will fit in a month or 2 because she is so LONG!

For now I am grateful for a nice evening with my wonderful family, my kids and their wonderful behavior (they made me look good for once ;) ) and the blessings of the bounty of food we have, the shelter we enjoy, and the ability to buy clothes for my kids and even get them new ones for Thanksgiving. I just got a new picture of my sponsored child, with his cleft lip repaired, and it is kind of making me reflect on how much I take for granted in being able to provide for my children. And also, that I can now veg out instead of cleaning up since I didn't host Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a good one. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Portraits yesterday!

We (finally, now that Maggie is almost 7 months old) got some family portraits done yesterday. We got family portraits done, and I got some of the three girls together, and a few of just Emma and Bridey. (Maggie was not in the mood to cooperate with solo shots, but the photographer pulled some good ones of her from group shots!) It went better than it has before, but we got no really great grins from Bridey. But we got decent shots, so I was satisfied! I had planned to photograph them in their Christmas dresses, but some new dresses came that I got from that Gagas clearance... They were too cute to pass up for Christmas portraits, came with headbands (made doing hair easy) and also, it was easier for Jeff and I to coordinate with! We had a great coupon and got a portrait collage free. We did all our portrait buying for sending with Christmas gifts, etc. We ended up with a lot of portraits! But it was still a great deal because the coupon also gives 20% off. And, they sent me an identical offer that's good through April in the mail. So, we'll be taking them in at the end of December/beginning of January to get those portraits in the Christmas dresses. (Only we won't be in those pictures, and we'll just get 2 sheets of wallets of one pose-- which will be $30 but with the discount, $24, to make it no session fee (regular $15-ish), 2 sheets of wallet size pictures (that's 16 in total), and a portrait collage (regular price $30-ish) for $24. Not bad! Anyway, enough about the great discount and on to what you really want-- the pictures. :D Here you go!

Now I can change my Blogger image! ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Household Tip of the Day

Do not put an unopened (still quality-sealed) plastic-lidded, plastic jar of mayonnaise in the refrigerator. It is shelf-stable until opened and does not require said refrigeration until after you break the seal, and putting it in the fridge before the seal is broken will only cause it to contract and seal even more tightly, making it impossible to open without super-human strength and necessitating running the lid under warm water to warm it up (not the happiest thing to have to do to a jar of mayo) before you can open it for your two year old who is screeching at the top of her lungs, "May-nays! Want may-nays bread kheese!" and getting underfoot as you try to open it to spread it on her bread and make her a cheese sandwich.

(Hear that, Jeff?)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Well, looks like the deal's dead

Don't know if any of you managed to get it! It was sweet while it lasted though! (We're betting someone got fired over that. But they're legally required to honor that price so we'll see what happens!)

Britax Marathon for the price of a Cosco Scenera

If you need a new carseat this is the time!!!

In Granite, $42.99
In Cowmooflage, $59.99

Shipping is free. If you have AAA, go through their website. They have a 10% discount. Don't worry if you don't like the cover. Buy it anyway, covers are available for $70 new or considerably less on eBay or Craigslist. You're not going to get a better price even factoring in the price of a new cover!!! I got 3, one for my niece, two for me (everyone needs extra carseats, right?) I'm going to buy my niece a pink cover. Incredible, incredible deals.

Out of stock but still taking orders. Get them before they change the price!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Super Deal Alert!!!

Okay, you all know I'm huge on buying used, not consuming unnecessarily, thrift store shopping, etc.

You also know that that all goes out the window when I find a good deal on matching clothes for my girls. :D

(Okay, let's be honest, I'd buy used if I could and get matching. Sometimes I do, on eBay-- find a Gymboree line a few years old that I like and buy used in all their sizes, for example. But most of the time it's very hard to get what I want in all 3 girls' sizes unless it's new.)

So for those of you who may be interested in dress up clothes (for boys too, not just girls) at incredible prices, check this out: kids' clothing web-rental store Gaga's is going out of business and they have a ton of NEVER WORN dress-up clothes and accessories for boys and girls for sale. You get them to KEEP for less than what their rental price was in most cases, most of the stuff is now 90% off its original retail price. And shipping over $50 is free, no tax; I just got 6 dresses (2 sets of 3 matching/coordinating dresses) plus 3 headbands (to go with one of the sets of dresses) for less than $70 shipped. And these are FANCY dresses. Incredible deal! Go check it out! Be warned that stuff is selling out fast-- I was going to get one more headband, a different kind, for Maggie, and by the time I went to check out it was out of stock. But they still have a ton of beautiful dresses, babies to big girls (and most of them MODEST), as well as adorable suits, tuxes, shirts, etc. for boys! Great time to buy next year's Easter clothes if you're fairly certain of what will fit next Spring, or to buy Christmas clothes if you haven't yet!

(Okay, I know I used too many exclaimation points. But I am SO STOKED about these deals!)

Friday, November 07, 2008


Emma had an audiology appointment this morning. All is well, her hearing is perfect. (Now, on to the speech eval...)

Maggie had a well-baby check, too, and shots. We saw a doc we haven't seen before at the clinic. Nice but said things in a weird way. Had to ask her what percentile Maggie was in because she was trying to tell me she's the "weight of a 7 month old" or some such nonsense. (She's six months, so quite obviously, she's the weight of a six month old. She happens to be in the 80th to 95th percentile for weight, that's all. Of course, since she's above the 97th for length, when you look at the weight-for-length chart, she's actually only in the 50th percentile for weight-for-length. She's not really that chubby, just BIG.)

While we were there, I weighed and measured Emma and Bridey too while Maggie was in getting her shots. Measurements are with shoes and clothes so not as accurate as could be but a good estimation.

Here's everyone's stats:

Emma: 41 inches tall, 36 lbs. (That makes her 75th to 90th percentile for height, a little under 50th for weight, according to the CDC. They have her BMI as being in the 25th to 50th percentile. Are they counting kids in third world countries? She's healthy but thin.)

Bridget: 37 inches tall, 34 lbs. (That puts her in the 97th percentile for height, around the 95th for weight, and the CDC claims she's obese based on her BMI. Um, no... She's not as skinny as Ems but not by any means obese. Talked to my mom; she says BMI is spectacularly inaccurate for a highly muscular child, which she definitely is. And both of them go up and down in weight depending on what time it is, when they last ate and how much, when they've had a bowel movement, etc. So I'm not really worried about that; in fact, to the contrary, I take it as a sign all that activity is building some good muscle. When she's charted on the 0-3 weight-for-length chart she's only in the 70th percentile or so, another good sign.)

Maggie: (get ready for this one!) just under 28 inches long, 18 lbs. 13 oz.! BIG girl! And about 14.5 inches of that is in her torso, she is ALL torso. She is already close to outgrowing the Scenera rear-facing by height, which Bridget did not do until, well, around the time she outgrew it by weight! She's almost to the fourth slots on her Radian. I seriously worry about being able to keep her rear-facing until she hits the weight limit! It may not happen!

Anyway, they're all growing well, all tall as they've ever been. I am starting to buy 12 month clothes for Maggie; Emma is a 5T (in tops and dresses at least) or sometimes 6 and Bridey is a 3T, 4T, or sometimes 5T depending on the brand. Wild! I'm taking advantage of them all being in "infant/toddler" sizes at once to dress them in matching clothes if only for a few months, though!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Been busy...

Went trick or treating for Halloween. (May have pics at some point, may not.)

Traded beds with my aunt (her king for our full) and all the attendant cleaning, moving of furniture, and hauling of mattresses to make that happen.

Bridget has a snotty nose and cough; think Maggie may be coming down with it.

Trying to keep the kiddos from going crazy with the candy (which is kept out of reach and rationed out); last night Emma said a prayer before her dinner (they were eating before us) that went, "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day, please bless that I will grow strong and healthy and not eat too much sugar..."

Grumpiness seems to abound anyway. Emma was making upset noises and I asked her what was the matter. She said, "I'm not going to tell you." I asked why not, and she replied, "Because it's JUST MY answer! I'm not going to answer you because it's my answer!" *sigh* Four year olds...

Keep getting annoying political calls. We voted 2 weeks ago (we're permanent absentee voters.) Can't wait for the stupid thing to be done with.

Maggie is crawling (not creeping, up off the ground; crawling, like a Marine.) She also rolls very precisely in the direction she wants to go. This is quite a leap from a few days ago. She seems to enjoy it. Likes to play with anything she can get her hand on, and shred paper like the cats do. Has destroyed 2 books so far ("We READ the books, we don't EAT the books" has become a common refrain.)

Went to the library two or 3 weeks in a row now. Getting to be a tradition now, after dance class on Thursdays. I think I like it. It seems good for me. Just found out that you can now pay your library fines online (for a long time you could view them and pay by phone, but they've added a credit card interface, apparently.) Coolness.

Finally decided what to make for Christmas gifts. Can't wait for Thanksgiving. Jeff is taking time off that week. Not sure if we'll get out of town or not. Hoping so, really want a change of pace.

Feeling very good some days, weepy and frustrated others. Some days I'm upset with myself and disappointed in how little self-control I seem to have, how I sometimes snap too readily at my kids. I think I need to remember that this is a partnership, not just between me and my husband, but between us and Heavenly Father. They're His kids, too, and I can ask Him for help in parenting them the way He wants it done. But it's hard to remember that when you have a migraine and they WON'T stop jumping on you and they're making messes in the room they've been told not to enter and breaking things and life just makes you want to cry and scream in frustration. Other days they are a joy, helpful and kind and loving with each other, and that makes me ashamed I don't treat them all the time the way I want them to treat each other.

I think the election is adding a lot of stress to our household, on top of the rest of it. I'll be REALLY glad when it's over. Did I say that already? Also dealing with multiple insurance companies and agencies trying to get Bridget's tooth covered. We're about ready to pay for it ourselves. Why do we have insurance if we have to pay for it out of pocket or wait eight months to get a potentially life-threatening condition treated? So annoying.

But then the weather is changing and that makes me happy. I try to find happiness in the small things around me that I enjoy. I try to do things that make me happy and help the kids do them too. Bridget likes to be read to and get to sit in a lap. Maggie likes just about any one-on-one playtime. Emma loves to help me cook. I try to let her as much as possible because that is a GOOD habit to develop. Personally, I would love to get away to a little cafe/bookstore, sip a cup of cocoa, eat a yummy sandwich, and read some good secondhand mystery. Very unlikely that will happen, though... Oh, well, at least I can go to the library and snatch a few words here and there from a good old Mary Higgins Clark (whom I have just discovered, after years of rather unintentional avoidance, that I really like.)