Monday, September 29, 2008

Getting Ready for Blake (plus some recent shopping)

Brandon went to the Auburn game this weekend, so Kate and I stayed at my parents' house to relax and go through baby stuff. We don't have much storage here, so we have stored things at their house, and this weekend we sorted through it all! I went through all of Kate's clothes from newborn until now and organized them by size to put them in Space Bags (they are awesome by the way)! Piles and piles of clothes turned into 3 vacuum-packed, easy-to-move bags. I did find a few things that were neutral so Blake can use them, and I got out the baby bath, activity mats, Bumbo seat, etc. When Brandon got back in town, he loaded things up and we finally brought Blake's cradle home.

Kate has been loving her baby doll! She carries her around the house, makes sure she has her pacifier in, and pushes her in the stroller. She calls her "Baby," and she knows where she is at all times! The only thing that concerns me after watching her with Baby is that we may need to work on being more gentle before she is introduced to Blake. She holds Baby by her head and drops her whenever something more interesting comes along. Not quite ready to hold a real baby yet!

We set up Blake's cradle at the foot of our bed (it is kind of hard to see since the cradle, bed, and floors are all the same color wood). I found the cream colored cradle sheet and bumper at a consignment sale for $3, and it is in perfect condition! We washed all of his newborn to 3 month clothes, socks, hats, bibs, and blanket so it would be ready. We are going to clean out one of our drawers in the bedroom for his stuff soon. It feels GREAT to get this stuff done- not because I think he is coming too soon, but I know my energy level is dwindling by the day and I want to know things are done!
Now... if you care to see today's shopping steals:

Publix:
Lysol, $1.60 (b1g1 free $3.19, but I just bought 1) used $0.50 off coupon and they doubled it, paid $0.60
8 Dannon yogurts, $0.75 each (on sale $0.50 each) used $1 off 8 coupon, paid $3 for 8
Quaker oatmeal, $1.90 (b1g1 free $3.79, but I bought 1) used $1 off coupon, paid $0.90
2 Voila! meals, $2.35 each (b1g1 free $4.69) used $2 off 2 coupon, paid $1.35 each
10 Green Giant frozen vegetables, $1.75 (on sale $1.00 each) used (5) $1 off 2 coupons, paid $0.50 each
4 Toaster Strudels, $1.25 each (b1g1 free $2.49) used $1 off 2 and $0.75 off 2 coupons, paid $0.80 each
2 Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta, $0.90 each (b1g1 free $1.79) used $1 off coupon, paid $0.39 each
2 Campbells Select Harvest Soup, $1.20 each (b1g1 free $2.39) used $1 off 2 coupon and $0.50 off 2 coupon that they doubled, paid $0.20 each
2 Dole Fruit Cup Packs, $1.33 each (b1g1 free $2.65) used $0.75 off 2 coupon, paid $0.95 each
Bananas, $1.03 (no sale, just needed them!)
Apples, $1.77 (saved $0.95 since they were on sale for $1.29/lb)
Used $3 off $15 CVS coupon and $5 off $25 Piggly Wiggly coupon for entire purchase
Total Value: $67.25
Total Saved: $51.77
Total Spent Out Of Pocket: $15.48

CVS:
Transaction 1
Covergirl Foundation $5.49
Covergirl Powder $5.49
Febreze Noticeables $6.99, on sale from $8.49
Total- 17.97
Coupons Used:
$1 off Covergirl
$5.49 off, B1G1 free Covergirl Face Product
$5 off Febreze Noticeables
$3 off $15 purchase
$3 ECB from last time
My total out of pocket was $1.68
I earned $5.79 ECB from Covergirl (so they paid me $0.30 to buy Covergirl)
Transaction 2
3 cans Pringles $0.99 each, on sale from $1.99
Dawn Dish Soap $0.99, on sale from $1.99
Dawn with Hand Renewal Soap $0.99, on sale from $2.39 (NOT an advertised sale)
Softsoap $0.99, on sale from $2.49
Gillette Fusion Razor $9.99
M&Ms $0.79 (just to make my total above 0)
Total- 16.72
Coupons Used:
$0.30 off 3 cans Pringles
$0.25 off Dawn
$1.00 off Dawn with Hand Renewal
$0.35 off Softsoap
$4.00 off Fusion Razor
$3 off $15 CVS coupon
$5.79 ECB from last transaction
$2 ECB from last week
My total out of pocket was $0.62
I earned $5 ECB from the razor.
I started with 10 ECB and ended with 10 ECB, so my out of pocket of $2.30 paid for ALL of this stuff that was worth $43.09! Brandon has a hard time understanding how you roll ECB and not lose money, but it really works when you split transactions up!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Packed Weekend


My sister, my mom, and me at a tailgate for the Auburn game. I wish the final score was different, but we had a really fun day! I did actually have a girl say to me that she can't wait to be pregnant so she can get big and fat and waddle around... that was not my favorite comment! Sometimes you just have to laugh at things people say and realize that they have no idea what it sounds like, or realize that they may be drunk. I took Kate over to Brandon's parents in the morning and I went to tailgate for the whole day with NO worries. They were so excited to keep her, and I was excited to not chase her around a tailgate. Brandon was in charge of the grill and I knew I would want to be free to visit with people and not run around after Kate. I saw tons of friends that we never get to see and I also got to walk around campus a little- I miss being in Auburn! Kate had a blast with Papa-G and JoJo, they wore her out and she slept like a log Saturday night.

We made it back into Birmingham just in time to have a small shower for me and Blake. I have some sweet friends that made such an effort to make me feel special! This was the diaper cake that Krystle made- so cute and so useful (when you take it apart)!

Kelly was obsessed with us taking pictures of being pregnant together, so here is one after the shower.

Notice I am not smiling that much here... I am a little tired of the belly pictures! She wanted a back-to-back picture and now I think it was just to make her feel better about herself. Wow, a side view makes me feel enormous!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Little Copycat


Kate steals my phone and says, "Hey, Baby!" I am not sure where she got this obsession with the phone. :) I guess when I answer Brandon's calls, I say, "Hey, Babe," so she copies me and says the same thing. It is really funny because she knows how to open the phone and hold it right up next to her ear. I picked Kate up at the nursery today and she was in the swing. When she saw me at the door, she waved and said, "Hey, baby!" I just laugh because she really copies everything now. I always call her "baby" and now she calls me the same thing! We were just talking at Bible study about how kids copy you and watch your every move; what a way to see how you really act!

It was a big day for eating too! We are all officially over the stomach bug at our house... after spreading it to my brother-in-law, my brother, both grandparents, and my dad! That bug was a beast! Kate usually does NOT eat vegetables (on purpose), but tonight she ate carrots and green beans like a champ! I would take a bite and say, "Mmm, yummy" and then she would eat and say "Mmm, Nummy-num!" She said this the other day when she saw a Subway commercial... how weird is that? She has never eaten Subway or even seen one. She just knows that is what we say with food to try to get her to eat, which usually does not work.
We have been trying to show Kate about praying before meals, and usually Brandon and I hold hands, but Kate felt a little left out and kept trying to pull our hands apart, so we started folding our hands. The other night, she didn't really catch on at first, but during the prayer, I peaked and she was trying to figure out how to fold her hands like we were... so precious! I really do pray that she picks up some good habits instead of learning impatience, quick tempers, and other bad habits that she sees a little too much. We learned very quickly almost 4 years ago that marriage brings out your true personality and your sinfulness, but we had no idea the kind of mirror that would be up to us as parents! Kate teaches us so much every single day, and we are so thankful for her!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Knocked Down

Warning, this could get gross, so you can stop reading now.
It all started last Friday morning... Kate had been coughing all night (this strange softer cough than usual), and I stuck to my guns and did not go into her room. She didn't cry, she would just cough and then go back to sleep. Kate and I were supposed to meet some friends to go to a consignment sale at 8:30 that morning. She was sleeping late, so I just got up and got completely ready. When I went in her room to get her, I had another thing coming. She just weakly lifted her head up and I noticed that she looked dirty. She was- and her bed was filthy too. She was covered in vomit! She wasn't coughing, she was throwing up all night long and I didn't even think twice about going in there. I felt horrible! We have dealt with spit up of milk before, but never REAL throw up of real table food. AWFUL! Luckily, Brandon was home to help get everything cleaned up. I started giving her a bath, but he took over when I started gagging. It took several loads of laundry to get her sheet, bumper pad, stuffed animals, pajamas, etc. clean. What a mess!
Anyway, the night before had been a big eating night for Kate. Brandon had made a wonderful dinner creation (I don't know what to call it) of beef, onions, cheese and spices all baked in a crescent roll crust. Ground beef is the only meat that Kate will eat more than one bite of, so she tore it up! She never eats much and she ate her heart out, so I thought that was what made her sick. She was acting fine, playing like normal, and still a finicky eater (no big change there).
We had my parents, grandparents, brother, brother-in-law, and a friend from Auburn over Saturday night to eat and watch the Auburn game. Kate entertained as usual by running around, dancing, showing off her toys, and squealing loudly. Before we went to bed, I told Brandon that I thought Kate's stomach might still be upset because she had some funky diapers, and he said, "we just don't need to have you get sick." We ate a ton, and I felt a little stuffed when I went to bed, so I had taken some Pepcid (reflux medicine) just in case. I woke up around midnight and I thought I was drowning in acid, so I searched for my tums. I was out, but I was so desperate that I acted like a drug addict, and I poured out the powder from the bottom of the Tums bottle and licked it out of my hand. I know, it is pitiful, but I absolutely could not lay down because my throat was on fire. I finally had to wake Brandon up to help me find something for the acid. Then, out of nowhere, I just started violently throwing up, and when I thought Brandon was just coming to check on me, he was actually trying to get in there so he could throw up too. That is the joy of having one bathroom!
We were up the rest of the night, and I finally called my parents at 7 and asked if they would be willing to come get Kate for the day. Luckily, they came and got her right when she was getting up and had her the entire day so we could get some rest. They brought her back for bedtime last night, and we could barely muster up the strength to put her in bed. My mom stayed to change her and give her some milk before bed, so I didn't have much to do after that. What would we do without my parents?
I went to the doctor this morning (just a scheduled visit) and I had lost 3 pounds, if that tells you about the toll this stomach bug took on us! He did not seem very worried since I have been able to hold gatorade down since last night. Brandon took today off to recover, and we were able to keep down some grits, so I think we are off to a good start today. I have to say, it is rough when the whole house is sick! Usually there is at least one to pick up the slack and take care of the other one... not this time! We have officially been knocked down by this bug, but we are on our way back up to speed. By the way, my sister called this morning and said that Heath was violently sick now. So we know that at least one other person got it from Kate the other night, so please pray that we did not infect the whole guestlist from the other night.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

She Keeps Us Laughing!

I have had lots of posts on saving lately, and not too many about Kate. She is ALL over the place these days, and is constantly getting into things. As mischevious as she is, she really has such a good-natured personality. She is easy-going, and she is really developing social skills everyday. She tries her hardest to communicate with everyone, and you can understand a few words here and there. It makes her so happy when she is telling you about something and you catch on to what she is saying. This morning, she kept talking and talking and I finally caught on to the word "shoes" and when I grabbed her shoe and played along, she acted like I was totally speaking her language. She makes us laugh all the time, and I wanted to share a few funny pictures we have taken recently...

Want to know why she is soaking wet? Because she just couldn't stand to let me have a 5 minute shower without her little head poking in. Usually I set up soap bottles on top of the curtain edges so she cannot pull them easily and so they will fall, letting me know she is being nosy. Somehow, she managed to get by me and hold the curtain open the entire time I had my eyes closed, while I was washing my face! So when I rinsed off my face and opened my eyes, look who was practically in the shower with me...

Don't think she didn't enjoy it though! She squealed when she realized that I caught her. She thought she was pretty funny!

She has not been eating well for me AT ALL! I have been worried about her eating habits since she did not gain any weight from her 12 month to her 15 month visit, but her pediatrician is not concerned. She keeps telling me that toddlers' eating habits change daily, and that she just may not be in a growth spurt and need as much food right now. She told me not to worry about it, that Kate would eat when she gets hungry. She may not eat sitting in her high chair when I try to feed her, but she will eat standing up from her daddy! He was eating some leftover fried rice (of all things to capture her interest) and she could not get enough of it. She would take a few bites, then run around in circles waving her arms up and down- we call it her "spazzing out" move. I guess if she will eat this way, I will take it. I am tired of the battle of the wills when it comes to meal time.

We were putting stuff up in her nursery and Brandon put her in the swing for a minute to keep her occupied and she would not get out. I haven't put her in it in months because I thought she was too big and way too busy to sit still and enjoy it. Apparently, it is fun again, because she sat in it for a while watching us clean and organize stuff. I love the leg-up-lounge she has going on.

Brandon was putting a new pack of diapers in her basket that stays on her changing table shelf, but I guess he was too slow. She jumped right in. She had the best time sitting there, rocking herself back and forth every so often. I wish she would get this excited over the toys we have sitting all over the house!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This Week At CVS


Transaction #1
L'Oreal Skin Genesis Cleanser, $5.99 (on sale from 7.99)
Right Guard Xtreme Deodorant, $2.99 (on sale from 4.49)
2 Chex Mix, $1.00 each (on sale from 1.99 each)
Coupons:
-1.00 off L'Oreal
-1.00 off Right Guard
-1.00 off Chex Mix
-1.00 off Chex Mix
-2.00 CVS coupon
-200 ECB from last week
Total out of pocket: $3.68 (originally 16.46 worth of stuff). I earned 5.99 ECB from the L'Oreal and 2 ECB from the Right Guard. So, a profit of 4.31!
Transaction #2
Arnicare Pain Relief Gel (random money maker, going to my grandfather), $9.49
Renuzit Tri-Scents Plug In, $7.99 (on sale from 9.99)
Butterfinger Fun Size Bag (part of B1G1 free Nestle deal), $2.99
Nestle Crunch Fun Size Bag, free (other half of B1G1 deal)
Vicks Kids Thermometer Patches, $0.33 (in clearance basket from 2.69)
Coupons:
-1.00 off Nestle candy
-2.00 off Arnicare pain gel
-4.00 off Renuzit
-4.00 off 20 CVS coupon
-7.99 ECB from last purchase
Total out of pocket: $2.69 (originally 28.15 worth of stuff). I earned 8 ECB from the Arnicare and 3 ECB from the Renuzit. So, a profit of 8.31!
Transaction #3
Right Guard Professional, $6.99 (on sale from 9.99)
Soft & Dri, $2.99 (on sale from 4.29)
Glade Fabric and Air Spray, $2.99 (on sale from 3.99)
Skittles, $0.50 (on sale from 0.79, I just had to buy them to make my total above 0.00)
Coupons:
-0.75 off Soft & Dri
-1.00 off Right Guard
-1.50 off Glade
-2.00 CVS coupon
-8.00 ECB from last purchase
Total out of pocket: $0.57 (originally 19.06 worth of stuff). I earned 5 ECB from the Right Guard Professional and 2 ECB from the Soft & Dri. So, a profit of 6.43!
And, I still have 3 ECB from Transaction #2, leaving me with a total of 10 ECB for next week and another $4 off 20 purchase coupon printed on the register receipt.
Bonus Transaction
Kate has a killer diaper rash right now that is making her miserable, so we had to get her doctor to call in a prescription for Vusion ointment. This stuff costs $234 per tube before insurance kicks in (if your insurance covers it), that is right $234!!! Thank God that our insurance covers it and thanks to Katie Compton, I learned about their website offer to make your copay only $10! And, we don't usually get our medicine at CVS, but now that I am obsessed with them, we switched... so I got a $25 gift card to CVS just for bringing a new prescription to them. I can't wait to use it for my weekly deals!
This may seem like a neat little hobby to some people, but I am truly thankful that I have found ways to get groceries and household/personal items at such low prices. It can really open up room in your budget for other things. I feel like it is something I can do to keep our costs low since I am not working much (at all, these days). I just wish I had learned the art of "couponing" a long time ago!
For those of you interested in starting couponing on your own, I started a new link list to the right of other blogs I stalk to get ideas and coupons. Each one of them has a blog link list of their own that I can trail off on, but they are my original favorites. There are sidebars or advertisements on their blogs of coupons you can print there, but you can also go to Eversave.com, couponmom.com, coupons.com, smartsource.com, and you can just google "printable coupons" for certain items. For example, the other day, I wanted to use a coupon to make a CVS deal cheaper on Neutrogena cosmetics, so I just googled "printable neutrogena cosmetic coupon" and I found one! Most sites will let you print a coupon at least twice, so hang on to those extra coupons, you never know when something will be B1G1 free and you can use 2 coupons at once!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New Stroller and a Great Trip to Publix

Sorry... I don't feel like making 2 separate posts. But, we got the new stroller in the mail (after pretty much threatening the seller to cancel payment if he didn't send it soon) and then I had an AMAZING trip to Publix this morning that I just have to share!



Before I could even get the box out of the way, she was trying to climb into the stroller. She loved both seats, which is good because I wondered if she would like the back (which is where she will be for a while). She actually got to sit in it for a while because she cried really hard when I tried to get her out. I had to have the back against the couch because when she moved, her weight shifted too much and made it try to tip over.


And she enjoyed the front. I think I am going to have to get some sort of attachment for the bar to hold cups and snacks. There is a foam pad and cover that goes over the bar, but it is just not on it here.


Now- you may not be interested in this, but I am so excited about what a little coupon clipping can do for you. I will tell you what I bought with the store sale and what coupons I used to show you how I got these groceries for $14.44.

Milk, $3.39 (no coupons, just needed)
5 Publix Yogurts, $0.45 each (on sale from 0.55)
Green Giant Corn Steamers, $0.89 (on sale from 1.79) (used $1.00 off coupon, I earned $0.11)
Green Giant Broccolit Steamers, $1.19 (on sale from 2.39) (used $1.00 off coupon, made them $0.19)
Ore Ida Hash Browns, $2.50 (on sale from 2.99) (used $2.00 off coupon, made them $0.50)
Ore Ida French Fries, $2.50 (on sale from 2.99) (used $2.00 off coupon, made them $0.50)
2 boxes Aunt Jemima frozen pancakes, $2.49 (on sale B1G1 free) (used $1.00 off coupon, made them $1.49)
2 boxes Old El Paso Dinner Kits, $2.93 (on sale B1G1 free) (used $1.00 off coupon, made them $1.93)
2 boxes Pasta Roni, $1.59 (on sale B1G1 free) (used 2 $0.50 coupons that were both doubled, so I made $0.41 here too)
4 boxes Hamburger/Chicken Helper, $1.89 each (on sale B1G1 free) (used $0.80 off of 3, which made them $2.98 for all 4)
2 boxes Cheerios, $1.99 (on sale for 3.49) (used 2 $1.00 off coupons, which made them $1.98 for both)
2 Spray & Wash, $2.79 (on sale B1G1 free) (used 2 $0.75 off coupons, which made them $1.29 for both)
2 Old El Paso Salsas, $2.39 (on sale B1G1 free) (used $1.00 off coupon, which made them $1.39 for both)
Maxwell House coffee, $2.50 (on sale for 3.39)

For the total, I used a $5 Piggly Wiggly coupon and a $2 CVS coupon, and somehow another coupon for $0.75 was on my receipt that I cannot figure out where it is from... but I am glad it was there! My total was $14.44, and I saved $46.42 today!!! Here are some Publix coupon tips for you... they take coupons from ANYWHERE! I had 2 printed off from Food Lion online and there is no Food Lion anywhere around here! They also double coupons that are $0.50 or less. And, if an item is B1G1 free, you can buy just one of the item for 1/2 price instead of having to buy both. Also, if you are buying a B1G1 free item, you can use 2 coupons to make it an even sweeter deal! That is how I got the frozen vegetables and the pasta roni for free (they actually paid me to take them home)! I am obsessed with coupons lately, but after this morning I don't feel so crazy. I hope anyone actually cares about this, and if you do- I put some links to other blogs of coupon clipping moms with several links to coupons on them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

War Eagle... Hey!


Kate with her Daddy cheering for Auburn. She knows when to throw her arms up, and she says "T" when you say "Touchdown Auburn."

Brandon always makes sure that we are wearing orange and blue. Kate's dress was a little too big, but she will grow into it throughout the season. She really had a blast running around the tailgate talking to everyone she could find.

Kate wanted to crawl on the stage with the band/equipment at Brandon's fraternity's tailgate. Kate got a little tired after a few hours of tailgating, so she and I went back to the Slagleys' condo for a nap and to watch football in the air conditioning. It was a little too hot for us to last very long, especially after walking all over campus. I have to say I was a little jealous of Kate's stroller ride! Looking forward to more Auburn games (while I can still travel)! War Eagle!

Monday, September 1, 2008

CVS Again...


Transaction #1
1 Dawn Botanicals Dishwashing Detergent $1.89, on sale for $0.99
2 Colgate Toothpastes, $3.89, on sale for $2.99 each
1 Covergirl Wetslicks Lipgloss, $7.99, on sale for $5.99
1 Neutrogena Moisture Shine, $8.99, on sale for $5.99
Coupons:
$0.50 off Dawn
$1.50 off Colgate
$1.50 off Colgate
$1.00 off Covergirl
$1.00 off Neutrogena
$2.00 off CVS coupon
$8.99 ECB from last purchase
Total Out Of Pocket: $3.26!!! And, I earned $4 ECB from the toothpaste, $5.99 ECB from the Covergirl, and $3 ECB from the Neutrogena.
Transaction #2
1 Pantene Shampoo $4.99, on sale for $3.33 (3 pantene products for 9.99)
1 Pantene Conditioner $4.99, on sale for $3.33
1 Pantene Curl Gel $4.99, on sale for $3.33
1 Febreze Noticeables Plug-In $8.99, on sale for $6.99
2 Covergirl Outlast Lipcolors $9.99 each, on sale B1G1 free
Coupons:
$4 off $20 CVS coupon printed with last week's purchase
$3.33 off Pantene (buy 2 shampoo/conditioners, get styler free)
$5.00 off Febreze Noticeables
$9.99 off Covergirl (B1G1 free lipcolor coupon, which made both FREE)
$5.99 ECB earned from last transaction
This made my total to $-1.34 before tax, so I only spent $0.36 out of pocket. I earned 2 more ECB from the Pantene products.
Transaction #3
1 Old Spice deodorant $3.49, on sale for $2.49
1 Crest Spinbrush Replacement Head $7.99, on sale for $4.99
1 Neutrogena Lipgloss $8.99, on sale for $5.99
Coupons:
$2 off CVS coupon
$1.00 off Neutrogena coupon
$10 ECB from last purchases
I paid $1.62 total for these and walked away with 3 more ECB from the Neutrogena.
Basically, I got $81.07 worth of merchandise for $5.24 out of pocket cash. I did plow through some ECBs this time around, but I still have 5 to go for next week! This was my best run yet!!!