Thursday, December 8, 2011

All in a Day's Work

Ever wonder what it's like to be a Stay at Home Mom?! Well, here's a rundown of what my Wednesday was like...

Up at 4:00am...potty break...7 months prego & can't go back to sleep...finally get out of bed around on our budget since it's payday

Cole up at 6:00am & Owen up at 7:00am...breakfast and cleanup (it's craziness, but I'll spare you)

Our goal for the morning is to purge toys that the boys hardly ever or never play with anymore. Christmas is in two weeks and it'll be like Toys R Us up in here.

All hell breaks loose.

Timeouts. Spankings. Disciplining for hitting baby brother. Endless.

As I put up toys that we are going to keep, the boys are right behind me taking them back out...argh!

Time to get ready for gymnastics. I take a half shower (no time to wash my hair...oh well, the other mommies understand). During my whole 5-minute shower, the boys have managed to throw my shoes EVERYwhere...on the floor, shelves and in the laundry basket. Then Cole says "mommy's undies stuck on the shelf!" What?! Yup, he found a pair of my undies and somehow got them stuck up on the top's about 7-feet high (or something like that, I'm short so I dunno know). They're still stuck up there today.

Get Owen dressed...onto brushing our teeth. Owen climbs up the step stool before I get in there and he's using Cole's toothbrush. Moving on. As I'm fixing Cole's hair, I look over to see Owen reaching his toothbrush into the toilet...I squeal. He stops. Must stay one step ahead of this little guy!

I FINALLY get Cole dressed (he's entered this phase of not wanting to get dressed...boys). We're out the door. Oh, I made sure to take him potty before we left. I KNOW he has to poop, but I don't DARE put him in a pull-up...he's been potty-trained way too long! In the middle of gymnastics, his teacher comes running towards me carrying Cole. Oh crap. Literally. She says they were jumping on the trampoline and worked it right out of him. Crap. I practically throw Owen at his instructor and run Cole off to the bathroom. Get him cleaned up (hooray for an extra set of clothes and undies in the car). Back to class. Thankfully the instructors are understanding and say they have dealt with MUCH worse. I don't even want to know.

As we leave the gym, Owen decides to have a meltdown. Oh joy. Hard enough to handle those when I'm not prego, but after having Braxton Hicks all morning, carrying a screaming squirming 18-month old is going to make me drop one of these babies, if you know what I mean.

We make it home. Yay!

As I'm making lunch, I hear a crash and a muffled "mom, hurry over here" cry. Owen has fallen head-first into a small toy box we keep in the living room. It was full prior to the toy purge, but afterwards, it was hard for him to reach the toys at the bottom. Cole promptly tells me "Owen real stuck!" I look over to see this...

I'll spare you the details of all the boring tasks I completed during naptime, but let's just say it's a whirlwind once the boys fall to-do list seems to grow rather than shorten so I have to work like a madwoman.

With all the craziness aside, my boys certainly have their moments of sweetness and compassion. For instance, when Cole gets up in the morning (the boys now share a bedroom in preparation for baby #3), he quietly closes the door leaving it slightly cracked so that Owen can continue to sleep :) So sweet! And in the middle of the toy purge, I decided to lower a bookshelf full of text books (I've done it a million times trying to get it just right), but this time the shelf tipped and all the books fell on my head and around me. Before the books were done hitting the floor, Owen was by my side (as close as he could get without being smashed himself), whimpering hysterically. He then starts frantically grabbing at books trying to get close to me. Poor guy needed more consoling than I did! But it sure put a smile on my face to see how concerned he was. Sweet boys! I love them and all their craziness!

And even though I am one pooped puppy at the end of the day, I sure get joy out of making my husband laugh as I share the craziness that happens in our house in a day :)

Friday, December 2, 2011


Deuteronomy 15:10 - Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

Every Christmas we try to give some sort of gift to those in need. This year, I decided we would give in a few different ways. One gesture we are keeping secret (except for the recipient), the second gift we donated this past week (discussed below), and the third we plan to go in with other members of our family & adopt a child or family from the Angel Tree. The reason I share this is in hopes that it encourages you to give if you don't already, I absolutely believe that you will be blessed many times over for even the smallest gesture! And for anyone who is still skeptical about couponing, maybe this will help sway you towards the coupon side (and save you some big bucks!).

So, I decided I wanted to take a set amount of money, work my coupon magic and donate items to a local charity. Here's how it went. I took $105 to CVS and purchased $185 worth of items...that is a 43% savings! I called a local charity to find out their needs at this time and tailored my shopping to what they needed most in their stockpile.

Transaction 1:
(4) Pantene $6.97/for 2 (on sale) - $3/off 2 & $1/off 2 = $9.94
(9) Jumbo packs of Pampers @ $9.50 (on sale) - (4) $2/off 2 bags = $77.50
(1) Jumbo packs of Pampers @ $9.50 (on sale) - (1) $1/off 1 bags = $8.50
(1) Tide $5.94 (on sale) - $0.50/off 1 = $5.44
(3) Puffs $0.99 ea (on sale) - $0.25/off 3 = $2.72
(3) Dawn dish soap $0.99 ea (on sale) - $0.50/off 1 & $0.50/off 1 & $0.25/off 1 = $1.72
SUBTotal before tax = $105.82
*Special Promo this week, for every $30 you spend on specified products, you get a $10 gift card, I received $40 in gift cards because my balance BEFORE coupons was $120.82.
*I got (1) $10 gas card to donate and $30 in CVS gift card,
so onto...

Transaction 2:
(2) Always $6/for 2 (on sale) - $1.00/off 1 & $0.50/off 1 = $4.50
(1) Glide floss $4.29 (on sale) - $0.50/off 1 = $3.79
(1) Crest 6oz toothpaste $4.69 (on sale) - $0.75/off 1 = $3.94
(1) Crest double pack 8oz toothpaste $8.29 (on sale) - $0.75/off 1 = $7.54
(2) Crest mouthwash 500mL $4.89ea (on sale) - (2) $1.00/off 1 = $7.78
SUBTotal before tax = $27.55 (I then used the $30 CVS GC and owed $0.30 out of pocket to cover tax!)
*Special Promo this week, for every $10 spent on Crest ProHealth, get $5 ECB, I earned one $5ECB (I goofed and came up $1.24 short to get my second $5ECB...but had the boys with me so I didn't have time to go back). So onto...

Transaction 3:
(2) Old Spice deodorants $5/for 2 (on sale) - $1/off 2 = $4
(1) M&M (impulse buy to keep boys from running out of patience, plus needed to get to $5 to use all my ECB) = $1.19
SUBTotal before tax = $5.19 - $5 ECB = $0.71 out of pocket to cover tax!

BOTTOM LINE...had I just walked in and bought all these items on a random day, I could have paid up to $184.35 before tax
If I got lucky on my random day and the items were all on sale, I would have paid $141.82 before tax
However, I did about 30 minutes of planning with coupons and promos before going to CVS & only paid $105.82!!! That equals a 43% savings from retail and 26% from sale price!!

Anywho, my point was to give more than just cash, but to use something I've been practicing and am enthusiastic about to give even more than I imagined! Good luck to you & I hope you find some way to give this Christmas season!