Saturday, November 27, 2010

My sick girls

Man have we had a week!  Somehow, Ivey and Olive came down with bad colds that the rest of the family managed to avoid.  Ivey only ran a fever for a day, was a little sniffly and then was totally over it in 24 hours.  Olive, on the other hand, ran a 102-103 fever for three days and is still so snotty she can't sleep.  I've spent the last three nights sleeping in a nest made of 5 pillows, with her propped up on my arm or my chest.  Not fun.  I am hoping this doesn't last much longer so we can go back to our normal dysfunctional sleep schedule.  The girl requires so little sleep it's unbelievable.  I stopped trying to force her into two naps a day and now I'm going more on her cues.  Sometimes it's one nap, and some time the little nine month old only takes one!  It's unreal.  All of my other babies loved to sleep. 

Turkey day at our house was a success.  I was a bit worried, as it was our first holiday where we lived in the middle of the action.  The house may not have been spotless, but thanks to Jenn and Mary's help, the baby was happy and I could help mom prepare a mountain of food!  The great thing is that now we live right where all the leftovers are! 

Thanksgiving day came and went, with me in a sleep deprived frazzled state of mommyhood.  I must say, even though I spent a night last week laying in the floor with a sobbing Ivey, on a towel, with vomit in my hair... I wouldn't want any other job.  I am thankful for each and every one of my fabulous children, my ability to stay at home with them all, and my wonderful husband who makes it all possible.  I am thankful for my country and those who protect it... as of now, it's still a country where I can worship and teach my children as I see fit. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Getting Back to the Coupons

Okay, it's been about two months since I've been able to get my act together enough to coupon... and this week I was totally on my game!  Let me brag a little....

This week I visited three grocery stores:  Ingles, Kroger, and Publix.  Nothing I bought was off brand, mind you.

INGLES-- (8 items, including 32oz olive oil)

Total - $22.33
Used Advantage Card...
Total came to - $13.08
Used Coupons...
Total came to - $8.58 out of pocket


Total - $160.77
Used Kroger Card...
Total came to $123.86
Used Coupons...
Got $8 off order because I bought eligible items...
Total came to $74.37 out of pocket!
(included a 6 pack of Viva Paper Towels, 2 Boxes of Hefty Trash Bags, Salmon and NY strip!!)


Total - $93.36
After B1G1 Deals...
Total came to - $57.97
After coupons...
Total came to $45.82 out of pocket


As if that wasn't enough... check out my Drug Store deals for the week...

RITE AID-- (I started out with $10 worth of +UP rewards, or Rite Aid Bucks, to use from last week)

Two 34 packs of Huggies Diapers
Two 4 packs of Cottonelle Double Rolls
1 Gain Dish Soap
2 Boxes Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa
2 Cans Pineapple
2 Colgate Total Toothpaste
1 Colgate 360 toothbrush
1 Aussie Shampoo

Used $20.80 worth of coupons
Used my $10 in +UP bucks
Paid $6.49 out of pocket AND received $10 in +UP rewards to use!!!!

Turned around and bought...

1 Aussie Conditioner
1 Aussie Shampoo
1 Mentos gum

Used $5 in +UP rewards from last transaction
Paid 46 CENTS OUT OF POCKET and got back $4 more +UP REWARDS!!!

My CVS trip was not as impressive, mostly due to the Progresso soup and Bread that I needed but didn't get rewards bucks back for... and I didn't have any bucks going in to use... and I had no coupon for the bread.  But, I got 4 cans of Progresso soup for (89 cents each!), a loaf of Sara Lee bread, Dry Idea Deoderant & Blistex for $9.95 after coupons and sales with $2.50 back in Extra Care Bucks to use next time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fall Fun

Taylor and Cameron came to visit last weekend, and the kids had an absolute blast!  I expected wild and crazy outdoor playing, but with an 8 yr. old girl and my homeschool room set up, Taylor ended up "convincing" all the kids to play school the whole time!  Taylor came bearing gifts... giving Ivey all of her old dress up clothes.  Ivey wasn't in the mood for dress up last weekend, but pretty soon I'm going to get some great pictures!

In school news, we have been enjoying having Anna, Bennett, and baby Carris joining us on Fridays!  It's nice to do school together... and it seems that we end up making cookies every time.  Bonus!  Yesterday, Asa and Addison went to run errands with Jeff while I finished up with Anna.  It was just us girls, which is a concept that I'm slowly getting used to.  We had a great time, Anna was a big help, and I can't wait until next Friday when hopefully we will have another joint school session!

Ivey had her Thanksgiving feast at school this week.  I went to pick her up and there was my little Indian, all dressed up.  She seemed to be the only munchkin still in full Indian garb... imagine that!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Asa says to me today...

"Mom, I want to tell you something so you don't freak out when you see it."
-He pauses for dramatic effect-

"I wear glasses."

(Turns out he was referring to the safety glasses his aunt made him wear while playing darts.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ivey Style

Ivey has always loved to accessorize.  She loves hats, shoes, and glasses.  I have to hide sunscreen and chapstick, else she rubs it all over her entire face over and over and over... as if in a trance.  Lately, I realized that glue sticks also must be hidden or she will do the same.  She also loves to wear socks on her hands, goggles, headbands, and her daddy or big brothers' shirts.  The other day she wore Jeff's tee shirt for the entire day, even out on errands.  This girl is too much.  I am hoping that it will all translate to some pretty rockin' fashion sense later on... I mean, how could it not?  It's pretty rockin' now.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Catching up.

I have not had this long of a break posting since I began.  Even through bed rest and hospitalizations and all sorts of insanity, I've managed not to go a single month without posting something.  This move proved to be a massive undertaking.  Not only did we move out of our house, but we are not moving directly into our future house.  So, I had to pack for our immediate future with Mom and R, plus pack up things that we don't need right now to be unpacked after the house renovations are completed... or at least, completed enough.  Add a baby that needs to eat all the time, a two year old who unpacks the boxes as you pack them, goats who have to be milked every day, animals to be fed, clothes to be washed, food to be prepared, and two seven year olds for whom you provide their sole education and that leaves a stressed out momma.  Over a month later, we are here.  Things are getting close to being put away.  The new "normal" has almost manifested itself.  I think we may make it, after all.

Now, for the updates...


Addison has settled in to his new room, filling his floor with the strategic placement of his trillion army men.  Not long after the move, he spotted a copy of the Hobbit in a box.  Jeff had read the Hobbit to them over the course of a few months before Olive was born.  Addison decided that he wanted to read it for himself.  I have to admit, I didn't expect him to finish the whole book.  Yet, finish it he did.  He took that book everywhere.  He read it in the bathroom, on the couch, he read it before we all woke up in the morning, he read in his bed every night, Papa even spotted him attempting to read it while riding his bike (no joke).  In only nine days, he had finished the book.  If we had any doubt as to his comprehension, he put it to rest as he asked Jeff if various characters would show up in Lord of the Rings... and let Jeff know that Gandolf had to leave during part of the Hobbit to go and help trap Sauron in the eye in the sky. He got it.  For the first week after reading it, Addison took a well deserved book break.  He informed me that he wanted to be picky about the next big book that he read.  I campaigned for Harry Potter, The Indian in the Cupboard, How to Train Your Dragon.  None of them interested him, even after reading a few pages of each.  Jeff gave him a 1100 page copy of the Lord of the Rings, with all three books included in one.  Addison flipped through the massive book, read a couple pages, and eagerly decided to go for it.  He is on page 45 and just decided that there are just too many hard words for him to read it right now.  For now he must settle for Harry Potter.


After his new room was set up, Asa was allowed to open his 500 piece Kinex motorized Rollercoaster set.  He has been dying to open it since last Christmas, but we wanted to teach him the importance of following the directions first.  He went through a few other projects and kits, managing to keep his wildly hyperactive imagination in check in order to complete the directions.  After the project is completed, I encourage him to tear it down and make some crazy contraption from scratch.  He has finally realized that, if you learn how to use the parts, you can come up with even more awesome ideas of your own.  After opening the rollercoaster, he disappeared into his room for the entire day.  In 12 hours, he had it completely assembled.  That kid is 100% mechanical engineer.

Asa has also been reading lately!  I have been trying and trying to motivate him to read, even buying socially depraved reading material such as "Super Diaper Baby" and "Captain Underpants".  Finally, the ice cream book chart that I came up with captured his sweet tooth.  He read five chapter books in a week and off to Dairy Queen we ran!  Hey, who cares if it takes potty humor and high fructose corn syrup... as long as he's reading!

Both boys have been doing their chores and saving their allowance.  I made a new chore chart for our new environment.  They decided that it would be best for one boy to have outdoor chores for the week and one to have indoor ones.  Then, it's like having the week off.  So, one boy will feed the goats and chickens, water the goats and chickens, and collect eggs while the other one feeds the cats and turtles, cleans the litter box and does laundry.  Everyone has to straighten up toys and do their school work.  Before we moved, Asa decided to save up money for a go cart.  He was determined to get one... that is... until Papa let him ride the four wheeler.  Now, Asa has determined that it would be silly to spend money on a go cart if he has a four wheeler to ride.

School has finally gotten back into a good rhythm.  We have a school room now... half of the former playroom/garage was turned into the boys' room while the other half is the school area.  I am getting spoiled.  I have somewhere to leave our school work, a bulletin board, and a white board that can just stay put on the wall without being an eye sore in the middle of my dining room.  Each morning, the boys wake up to find their "seatwork" on the board.  After breakfast, they come back to the school room and get to work.  By the time I'm finished feeding the girls and changing diapers, they are usually finished with all of their independent seatwork and ready for me to teach.  On Fridays, we have been meeting Anna at Chick-Fil-A to play and then coming back home for some group teaching.  It would seem that education would be impossible with two adults and seven kids seven and under, but the babies nap, Bennett plays, and Asa, Addison, and Anna get to learn together.  So far, it works!


My spunky little Ivey has had a big month!  She had her second birthday party right after our move!  We just met with family and friends at Partner's pizza, played video games, opened presents, and had a really yummy Mickey Mouse cake.  Of course, Addison was extremely concerned about the candles, informing me over and over again that he felt that it was a dangerous idea to place them next to Ivey for her to blow out.  She has turned into such a big girl.  We made a discipline breakthrough with her, as she now actually responds to us counting to three.  It took a lot of time out, temper tantrums and sobs to get to this point.  Now, we just have to keep it up.  How can two be the cutest and the most exhausting age at the same time?  Her favorite word these days?  "Self".  Just try to help her.  "SELF!"

At the beginning of October, Ivey began going to PlayPals at the preschool... the same preschool that I went to when I was little.  It's so funny being back home.  I've run into so many people that I didn't even know I knew!  Due to Ivey's shy side, I expected her to freak out at the idea of school.  To my surprise, she is eating it up.  Because we do school with the boys, she knew exactly what I was talking about.  Even on day one, she went right in, sat down, and worked a puzzle.  She fell in love with her Hello Kitty lunch box and is little Miss Independent about the whole thing!  Before Halloween, they had the Fall Fun Day at her school.  The kids and I hung out as she ran around in her Princess Peach costume and Converse.  She had a blast.

Her acceptance of school isn't the only thing that Ivey has done to surprise me last month.  She also started to sing.  She sings the "A Dream Is A Wish" song from Cinderella, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Row Row Row Your Boat... pretty much all the preschool favorites.  She even came out with her ABC's all of the sudden.  I swear, that girl is a sponge.  One night in the car I caught her singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Olive".  How sweet it that?  Of course, she also tried to convince Olive to crawl into a cat carrier.

A couple weeks ago, Ivey was taking a shower with Asa and Addison when she decided to leap into the air.  Before I knew it, she was face first on the shower floor, blood going down the drain.  I picked her up and instantly knew we were headed to the hospital.  This is the first hospital trip since moving in with Mom and R... it took us what, three weeks?  Mom and I took her to the ER while Jeff and R stayed with the boys and Olive.  It seems a rite of passage for all of my children need facial stitches before the age of three.  We stood there, in the waiting room, forever. I wouldn't sit down, nor would I let Ivey touch anything, so Mom and I took turns holding the 23lb girl for over two hours!  Once in the room, the doctor worked magic.  He gave her something to relax, which was just plain awesome of him.  If he hadn't, we would have had to restrain her while she had a crazed traumatic experience.  This way, she was able to flip through Martha Stewart magazines saying, "Wowwww.  Looooook." She thought Martha Stewart was Grandmomma every time she saw her.  Yes, Ivey cried during the stitches, but she had no memory of it and left there with a purple popsicle and a smile.  If her little drugged self hadn't vomited that purple popcicle all over the van on the way home, it really would have been a successful trip.   Her stitches dissolved and it looks like she won't have much of a scar.  Unfortunately, she now looks even worse than before after losing a battle with Herman the rooster.  Luckily, I was there to witness the attack and punt the evil creature across the yard.


Olive is still on the fast track to full mobility.  During the move, at six and a half months old, she was pulling up and standing up at boxes.  In the past month or so, she has perfected this and taken it to full blown furniture cruisin'.  She has managed all this like Olympic athletes do.  Practicing every chance she gets.  She can't seem to do anything without pulling up.  She has been pulling up in her sleep and waking up all night long to do it. This week, she has really started crawling instead of army crawling.  She's picking up speed and loves chasing the kitten around the house.  She now says, "ba ba ba" and can finally munch on Cheerios!  My big girl is almost as heavy as her big sister... at 8 months old she weighed in at 19.5lbs.  No wonder my back hurts.

Between the change of scenery, the new-found tricks, and some possible congestion or reflux, I haven't been sleeping much.  Olive has started waking up a lot at night.  For some reason, you can get up every two hours with a newborn, but to go back and start waking up again once a baby has slept through the night is just unbearable.  I have been a walking zombie for weeks now.

I actually decided to just go ahead and wean her at eight months.  For me, that's a pretty big deal.  I am a strictly supply/demand girl when it comes to nursing, but I had become totally unsure that Olive was getting enough to eat.  Plus, I only had a four month span that I wasn't nursing a baby since October of 2008.  I have been either pregnant or nursing (thus, thinking of every little thing that I eat or drink) since January of 2008.  No break.  So, I felt alright about weaning Olive at this point.  Actually, it feels kinda nice.  Now, I just need to get this little girl figured out so that I can get some shut eye.

As for Jeff and I, we are settling in as well.  Jeff is getting the hang of his new commute, which seems doable.  He and R have been spending the weekends working on the Inman House.  It is amazing how much change can be made during the demolition phase of renovation.  So far, they have been working on the upstairs rooms (which is going to be one big awesome room for the boys!) and have removed a wall in the main room, which got rid of a closet in the bedroom and made the main area (which we will use as a dining room) bigger.  We'll make a new closet for the bedroom somewhere else.  Are we really doing all this old house stuff again so soon?!  I think the time line for us moving in is longer than we expected, but I also think the house will be much better than I ever dreamed! 

I have enjoyed being back home, but I am having to get used to the fact that I am no longer anonymously wandering around my days.  Now, I run into people all the time that I know, that know me, or that I should know but cannot for the life of me remember.  It's nice, but different!  I have totally enjoyed being around family, and I love getting together with Ellen, Anna, Bennett, and little Carris for school.  Once we are truly settled I am sure the stress will start to subside and we'll truly get in a rhythm. 


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mama Mia!

Although life has been hectic and crazy and I still could not locate my socks at the time, Halloween costumes were a success.  The kids' first choice was an Alice in Wonderland theme.  I do believe we will pull that one off one year, but the thought of trying to concoct awesome Mad Hatter, Alice, King of Hearts, and Caterpillar costumes out of thin air sounded a bit too involved for me at the moment.  Then, Asa came up with the Mario Brothers theme.  Perfecto!

With some felt, a hot glue gun, and some craft foam, I whipped up a couple Mario and Luigi hats in under 45 minutes.  Olive's mushroom hat came via the web, from a nice woman who crochets them.  Very cute.  Olive happened to already have some red and white striped pants and I picked up a red ruffled shirt and we had an instant Power Up Mushroom.  I found a generic princess costume for $9 at Marshalls, glued on a blue gem and made a crown out of craft foam and a dixie cup.  The boys just needed some red and green shirts, some overalls, and a couple cheap plungers.  It was a major success!

The weekend before Halloween, we went to Trunk or Treat at Mom and R's church.  The kids played on jumpies and Ivey loved the pony rides.  Olive even won a ribbon for her cute mushroom costume.  The weekend of Halloween, we went to Jeff's parents' church for their Trunk or Treat.  Needless to say, we have enough candy to last us 'till Easter.  These two events would have been great on their own, but we also found ourselves Trick-or-Treating oldschool in my aunt and uncle's neighborhood.  My cousin, Marissa, helped me as we walked the kids up the sidewalk.  I don't know if the kids thought it was all that cool, but I absolutely loved going door to door in their neighborhood.  It felt a little bit like 1985.