Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Know. I Know.

I totally haven't blogged today.  Or announced the winner of my giveaway.  I'm in kind of a funk brought on by out-of-town hubby, broken fridge (yes, AGAIN), children being children, and lack of sleep.  I'll be back (and brighter?) tomorrow.  With the announcement of three winners for yummy snacks!!

Bear with my funk, y'all.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday Confession

See yesterday's post about my new Blackberry to see today's preemptive confession.  As an update, I think I can now call people.  Bonus!  Because, I mean, that's what phones are FOR, you know.

Last Few Hours for Snikiddy Snacks!

I'm running the giveaway for Snikiddy Snacks samples through midnight tonight over on my review blog!  Head over there if you still want a chance to try their baked fries!

Close-Talking with Lincoln

Sawyer has been so amazing and sweet with Linc lately.  (Other than that one time he hit him in the face with a toy.)  It's adorable and I can't wait to see how they are when Linc can actually interact more.  For now he just gives his big brother these huge grins.  Sawyer, for his part, doesn't ask to "have it" anymore, but does like to put his arm around him and give him high fives (which is quite the production if you can imagine him trying to hold Linc's fist open with one hand while high fiving at the same time).  Those cute brother photos?  Totally set up by Sawyer, not Mommy.

I'm been trying to encourage Saw to talk to Lincoln, just like I talk to both of them about things they certainly don't understand. I'm a big fan of talking.  Saw has just picked this up and for the last few days, he's been coming up to Lincoln with things to say.  But here's how he does it:  he gets like one inch from Lincoln's face and then very slowly and loudly says whatever he feels like saying.  Which is mostly one word, his favorite word.  Playground.

This plays out very much like Americans are always portrayed talking to people of another language and trying to make them understand by just being louder and slower.  Saw goes:  "Lincoln, playground.  PLAYGROUND.  PLAYGROUND!"

Suffice to say, I LOVE this.  I'll try to get a video.  It's really adorable.  He's also still into giving him kisses and nose rubs, as seen below.  Such great boys.

Sometimes Dog Poop IS Funny

The other day, I rode Sawyer over to the playground nearby to play.  Playgrounds are his favorite thing these days, but when we got there, he was most interested in this giant pile of dried-up dog poop.  I kept trying to get him to climb on the jungle gym and I was successful in getting him to swing for a little while, but he just kept coming back to the poopy.  He'd crouch down and look at it and say, "Dog poopy.  Watch out for poopy.  Ants."  Because of course ants were all over it.

The playground ended when Sawyer accidentally whacked me in the face with a stick and in the fight to get him back to the bike, I forgot all about the poopy and stepped in it.

Fast forward to the next day when I was riding in the car with him.  He was touching the mark on my face where he hit me and I said, "That's where you hit me with the stick when we were at the playground.  Do you remember when we went to the playground yesterday?"  And he said, "Dog poopy."

Dog poopy.  Of all the things we did, that's what he remembered.  And I couldn't help it.  I laughed.  Really hard.  Which made him laugh really hard.  The problem is that he thinks that the funny thing is the word dog poopy, so now he says, "Dog poopy!"  all the time trying to get me to laugh.  Not the best teaching tool, but hey.  That's what happens sometimes.  You have to laugh at dog poopy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Photo(s) of the Day

My Fave Deals of the Week

I've really been burning you out on this coupon thing, I'm sure, so I'm just going to start posting a few favorite deals of the week.  Then, if you're inspired, you too can have these deals! (If they're available in your area...)

8 O'Clock Coffee $3.99
-My Kroger had it on sale for $4.99 a bag and has a $1 off coupon that expires July 6th.

Pantene Conditioner and Shampoo for $3 (total)
-This is one you may not be able to get, but my thinking could score you something like this in your store.  I had a few great Pantene coupons and caught sight of a few in the clearance area.  The coupon was $1 off any two products, so I got shampoo and conditioner that were a total of $4 and then got my dollar off.  Clearance baskets are your friends, especially when you can use coupons!

I've got some good CVS things coming up this week, so I'll probably post about those later.  Right now, the Extra Care box in CVS is printing (sometimes) a $2 off Bounty paper towels coupon, and they have Bounty on sale, so I think the total is $3.97 for a jumbo pack.

Would a Smartphone for Dummies Be Called a Stupidphone??

After years of waiting and using old Go Phones and other people's used Razors to replace whatever phone I lost or broke, I finally arrived:  today I am the proud owner of a Blackberry Bold.  Before you rise up and say "You should have gotten an iPhone," realize that I briefly dabbled in iPhone.  Me no likey the touchpad.  (Also, I do have an iPhone that we bought on sale for like $10, so if I break the Blackberry, I'm set.)  I'm super excited to have a new phone that didn't cost $20 and wasn't someone else's phone first.

Except...I don't know how to use it.  Being out of the smartphone loop has left me, well, out of the smartphone loop.  I added one contact to the thing, and can't figure out how to call this person.  (It's my Mom.)  And yes, I read the manual.  Or at least part of it.  Obviously I missed something crucial, so we will have some bedtime reading.  Can I tell you how dumb it feels to have a fancy phone and not know how to use it??  I know how to check my email, which is so much fun to do via phone.  I can ANSWER my phone. But I don't know how to call people or do things like change my ringtone.

I realize how dumb this makes me sound, so can this be my Tuesday Confession early?  I think so.  Confession:  I don't know how to call people on my new phone.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sleeping These Days

I mentioned in my post about Lincoln that he's sleeping wonderfully, which is mostly true.  Every now and then we have a night like tonight, where he seemed to be very uncomfortable (maybe gas??) and was kicking and really fighting sleep even though you could tell he was exhausted.  Unlike Sawyer, who would scream and pitch a total fit even at four months, I let Linc fuss it out with occasional pats and he conked out finally.  He never even cried really, just kind of eh-eh-eh-ed.  I did give him a bit of a top off when he woke up at 9pm, since I think he's in a growth spurt time based on his hibernation during the day today.

Sawyer has been interesting.  (And let me say for the record that I think his sleep will always be.)  Last week he started freaking out at bedtime, even moreso than he had in the past year, for no discernible reason.  Crying, getting out of bed, just going nuts.  Which was hard since my parents just got here and were looking forward to doing the normal, pleasant reading and getting him to bed routine that we'd had for the past two months or so.  This week, he's been AMAZING at going to sleep and has basically just stayed in bed and gone to sleep after I read Jesus (which is what he calls our nightly Bible time) to him.  It's great!

But.  I mentioned a while ago that I wondered again about some kind of night disturbance, and I'm thinking he's either prone to night terrors or sleep walking.  (Jenna--you may have to give me advice about the sleep walking!!)  He often still wakes up once a night around midnight, but will go right back to sleep.  But for several nights he's had these crazy episodes of either screaming loudly or talking or shouting in his room while asleep (and I know he's asleep because he doesn't come out of his room or call for us) or getting up out of bed when he's obviously asleep.

The first weird incident was last week, and I heard him talking and thought I'd head him off before he came out of his room, so I just went in and patted him and said, "Shhh.  Mommy's here.  You're alright."  He FLIPPED OUT.  Started trying to climb up his bunk bed from the inside and was screaming, totally hysterical.  It got to the point where I bought him out and let him sit with me for like twenty minutes on the couch until he stopped hyperventilating. I realized with what I've read about night terrors that he wasn't actually awake when I went in, and that my waking him actually disturbed him.

So this week when I hear him screaming or talking or doing anything, I leave him alone.  A few times he's actually come out of his room or gotten out of bed and obviously still been asleep. Two nights ago he opened his door and when I went to put him back to bed, he was behind it, hiding in his blanket like it was a fort.  Definitely not awake.  He let me lead him back to bed and just went to sleep.  Tonight he came out crying, and definitely wasn't awake either. I don't know how to tell you that I know he's not, but with as much as we've dealt with night waking and know our kid, I can tell you that he was pretty much asleep.  He went right back to sleep no problem.

He's already not the greatest sleeper, so I don't know what the heck adding in something like sleep-walking or night terrors might do.  So far, it hasn't been horrible, but has just been something I've noticed and plan to keep an eye on.  My poor little man!  I am thankful that he's at least going to bed earlier, especially after last week's craziness. I'm also thankful for my parents being here and getting up with him at the 6 o'clock hour so I can stay in bed.  Thanks, Gammy and Turkey!

Lincoln at (Almost) Four Months

I'm sorry...did you say FOUR MONTHS??  Yes, my little baby is becoming a big baby, and there have been so many changes just in the last few weeks!  My little man now weighs in at about 15 pounds and is almost 26 inches long.  He's wearing size six month clothes and is starting to sport some seriously chubby thighs.  His hair is now growing back in and he has enough that it kind of stands up like chick fluff in the back. I predict that in two months he's going to have serious HAIR.

He is all smiles, all the time.  I think that he's cried once in the last four or five days, and that was because he was hungry.  I fed him.  He stopped.  That's the kind of sunny personality he has.  He really just exudes a kind of joy and peace that make him so much fun to be around.  He'd sit and stare at you and talk or smile all day if you let him.

As for sleeping, during the day he is all over the place and still doesn't have good nap patterns.  Some days, no matter what I try, he'll only take 45 minutes to an hour nap, three times during the day.  Today he's taken two naps that were two or more hours.  You just never know.  The great thing is that his night sleeping is almost always consistent:  he goes down around 7pm and sleeps until either 4:30am or 6am.  Then he'll eat and sleep a few more hours.  Sometimes at 6am, I'll get him up, since Saw is up, and that puts him down for a nap at around 8-9am, but if my parents are hanging out with Saw, I'll often sleep til 8 or so, and he'll sleep beside me after that feeding. I am so intensely grateful for his sleeping.

As for activity and development, he is now able to see and grasp toys really well, and yesterday found his feet for the first time.  Now his favorite thing is to lie on his back and grab his toes, though he can only do his right side for now.  He has almost rolled over a few times accidentally, so I know that we're on our way to that.  During tummy time, he can lift his whole chest off the floor, and really grabs and stretches and digs in his toes and knees so that he can scoot.  Not quickly, but often when he wakes up at 4:30 or 6am, he will have moved a good 6-8 inches forward in the bed.  If he has the desire, I think he'll crawl on the early side because he is so STRONG.  That being said, I still feel like his neck is not as sturdy as Saw's was at this age.  I'm not really sure why, but it's definitely gotten better in the past few weeks.

My boy is growing so quickly, and I feel like we are just so close to seeing him interact with Saw in a totally new way.  We're a few months out from starting solid food, and really starting to move.  It's weird to me how much faster it goes with the second.  I want to slow it down!  My little boys need to stay little and stop being so huge and old!   But at least they're sweet and cute.

Turkey Time

Both my boys LOVE their Grandpa Turkey.  Actually, they love all their grandparents, but there is some kind of special boy bond with both the Boppy and the Turkey that makes the time they spend really fun.  Here are a few cute photos of the boys with Turkey.

Reviews and Giveaways!

If you're interested in a new potty-training product and want a chance to win some free snacks, head over to my review blog!  Happy to say that in the past 24-hours Sawyer pooped and peed on the toilet.  Not exclusively, but he initiated in and is doing so well.  I'm excited!!  There are only three people entered in the giveaway right now, which means that all three of them are winning if no one else enters.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What Do Coupons, Body Wash, and Cops Have in Common??


Today I had the weirdest coupon experience ever.  No, really.  I totally mean it.  You can't beat this one--I dare you to try.

So here I am in Walgreens buying (you guessed it!) body wash with a very slow cashier.  Slooooow does not describe her.  I had been trying to ring up my first transaction for probably five minutes, and my first transaction was two bodywashes with one coupon.  Yeah, slow.  Suddenly this woman comes running in yelling, "Call the police!  There's a man out there and he's choking her!  Call 911!!"

The cashier looks startled and then picks up the phone to call...the manager.  (Did I mention she was slow?)  I would have called 911, but my phone is broken and only receives incoming calls.  A different story altogether.  A very long time seems to pass before I see a large man knock a woman to the ground right outside the front doors.  The woman who had come in yelling says, "See?  He's trying to kill her!"

I am thinking to myself:  Do I run?  Should I help? (I do, after all, have some useful skills acquired from roller derby.)  Should I remind my cashier that I'm still waiting?

I had no real answers to those questions, so I just stood there and watched, realizing suddenly that what the man was doing to the woman on the sidewalk outside was actually handcuffing her, and that he had an undercover cop type of badge around his neck.  My thought:  good.  Now I can get my body wash and get back home.

Of course, I'd forgotten that I had the super slow cashier, who still has not returned to the register.  Did I mention that she left?  She went to call the police. From another phone. Because apparently the phone by the register is only good for calling the manager.  Or something.  It was confusing.  She comes back and starts talking about how crazy that was and wondering what happened and basically doing everything except ringing me up.  I want to know what happened too, but I have four transactions to go and two kids waiting at home.  I gently remind her to ring me up, please.

She starts to ring me up, she really does, when the doors open.  The police have arrived.  In addition, the woman in handcuffs is now standing up on the sidewalk yelling, "I didn't take nothing! I swear!"  Oh, and she doesn't have a shirt on for some reason, so she's just in her bra.  And her pants are unzipped.  This, to me, is the most confusing part.  Where is her shirt?  How did it come off in the scuffle?  Why is it still off? Oh, right--the handcuffs.

My cashier also finds this confusing.  Which explains, I guess, why I am still standing at the register ten minutes later, still trying to remind her that I am there.  She feels the need to talk to every cop that comes in the door (and why are there so many cops?  slow afternoon?) and then keeps trying to ring my coupons up the wrong way or not ring them up at all, and likes to remind me that I can only do five transactions at a time, though I'm only on my second. Because she is So. Slow.

The whole party moves inside, and there is another man in handcuffs, and they've draped some form of clothing over the woman, and apparently the story is that the couple broke into the back door of Walgreens and had a car full of stuff.

I am so close to being done, but my cashier just can't get it together.  At Walgreens, your register rewards print out of a separate machine than your receipt, and in my third transaction, I don't get my $5 for buying body wash.  Which is the ONLY reason I'm buying my 200th body wash.  I ask her why I didn't get one and she says sometimes that happens. I explain very softly and slowly that I am ONLY  buying body wash to get the register rewards and I should have them.  She just shrugs.

I've been here a long time now, and am debating whether or not to make a stink.  Or to ring up my last set of buy one get one free body wash.  If the machine isn't printing my register rewards, I don't want more body wash.  I ask about the manager and my favorite cashier ever tells me that she's probably busy with the police.  I am going to leave.  Without my $5 from the body wash I just bought and don't need, and without my last set of body washes, which should have earned me another $5.

The manager, it turns out, is right around the corner at cosmetics and is able to get me the $5 that didn't print and ring up my last transaction for another $5 faster than my cashier was able to ring up any one transaction.  I cannot tell you how grateful I was for this manager.  I considered asking her to fire my cashier, but decided no one's day needed to be ruined.

Between the cops and my cashier, I am pretty sure I spent 45 minutes in Walgreens.  But I spent $10 and bought six body washes, 24 rolls of toilet paper, and have $9 in Walgreens register rewards to spend at my discretion.  If you do the math, that means that basically, I got all that for a dollar, and will be able to buy 9 more dollars worth of stuff.  That, my friends, is the magic of coupons.  Usually, it's just not so hard.  And doesn't involve shirtless women being handcuffs by the cops.

As a little addendum to this story, I left my whole coupon organizer there in the store and my Dad had to go back and get it a few hours later.  Today was:  AN EXPERIENCE.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Snack Giveaway!

If you are at all interested in gluten free or just good cheesy snacks, head over to my review blog where you can enter to win a sample from Snikiddy Snacks!  I can say from personal experience that they are yummy.

Plaid Is My Favorite Color

These two can pull off any fashion statement.  I especially like this one.

Sawyer Never Met a Pair of Heels He Didn't Like

I don't know what to say about this photo other than, if he can really walk in these, I'm impressed.

Body Wash Buys My Groceries

Something else I'm learning about coupons:  there are seasons.  This is the season of body wash. I am pretty certain that we could wash the entire state of Texas with the body wash in our house.  Maybe not, but really, we have more body wash than we could use in a year.  And I plan to buy more tomorrow.  Why, you ask?  Let me tell you a little something about couponing and body wash.

Last month, Old Spice and Gillette went nuts with their coupons.  Buy one, get one frees abounded in the Sunday papers. Probably they're both launching new products.  Whatever the reason, every store also has had great deals, mostly in the form of buy one get one free or buy one and get extra bucks or buy one (or two or three) and get a gift card.  Rob loves Old Spice body wash and deodorant, so I started buying when it went on sale.  Then it kept going on sale.   And kept going on sale.

My mom today asked why I didn't just stop buying body wash.  It's become a big joke around the house.  Body wash is coming out of every bathroom cabinet.  Let me give you an example of why I keep buying.  Today at Walgreens, they were running a special.  Buy Gillette or Old Spice body wash and get the exact amount back in the form of rewards, which print on your receipt.  I paired this with buy one, get one coupons and ended up spending $8 buying three body washes and a deodorant.  AND two jumbo packs of paper towels.   As in, 24 rolls of papers towels, plus the body washes.  Not only am I getting double the amount of body washes with the coupons, but I'm able to use the reward refund to purchase other items I need.

I would not do this if the product were something like baby powder, which we really don't use, or Hamburger Helper.  (Though honestly, I would probably buy that and then donate to food banks if I could get a deal.)  But Rob uses body wash, and will be using it for years to come.  Meanwhile, I'm stocking up on a month or more worth of paper towels for less money than just buying paper towels.

I'm hoping that next month, the hot product is something I like, but I'm not holding my breath.  Why would I hold my breath?  My husband smells fantastic.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Three's Still Company, But We're a Party of Two

Last week, Rob's parents drove to the wedding and carried a bunch of my junk in their car so I wouldn't have to fly with it.  Like the pack and play.  Which meant for the last two nights that I was here, Linc had to sleep in his crib.  We tried this a while back when he was sleeping all night, but he kept waking up and I kept getting up and I didn't like it.  Here's the great thing:  he slept all night both nights!!

Since our trip, we've kept him in there, and he's sleeping basically from 7pm-ish to 6am-ish.  Pretty outstanding for such a little guy.  And while I love snuggling with him for his 6am feeding when I bring him into my bed, I really kind of am excited to have our room back.  You know, nice and romantic: just me and Rob.  And the dog.

Linktastic Thursday

This is an oldie but goodie, one dear to my heart since my mother is here with me.  I love you, Mom.  It's called Postcards from Yo Momma and is basically people's submissions of correspondences with their mothers.  Once, my mom said something that I submitted and it made it on the site!  That's how amazing my mom is.  She drops them daily, but I don't have time to keep submitting them.  Enjoy!

A Sad Sack

Cue the Charlie Brown music.  If you're wondering why I haven't posted today, here's the low-down on my down-low day:

-Finally got my manuscript sent off.  Fingers crossed.  The only high point of the day, other than loving my kids and fam.  We had some good laughs.

-Once again, the freezer breaks.  And the fridge.  So it's back to my neighbor's (thanks again, Sharon and Alicia!!) to put all of the things I care about that won't fit in the mini fridge in our garage.  It's still not fixed.  Mommy doesn't like it.

-My eyes felt better and are now goopy and ouchy again.  Grr.

-My throat feels better when I take advil, and when I don't, it gets so swollen (like right this minute) that it hurts to move my jaw (as in, talk) and is especially painful when I swallow. Like, I want to cry painful.

-The bills, oh, the bills.  We are continually getting hospital bills and bills from our pediatrician that for reasons we don't understand, our insurance is rejecting.  Which means that Rob spent an inordinate amount of time on the phone trying to clear it up, and we have no money. I guess we never really did have money, so not much has changed.  Now we just have less. Yet another reason to stick with the simple home birth:  ONE BILL.

-Rob leaves again tomorrow for a week.  Enough said.

That's a good deal of whining, at least for right now.  I'll have some pictures tomorrow if my throat doesn't totally close up. And if it does, be sure you're getting a picture of me doing one of those tracheotomies on myself with a ball-point pen.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Photo of the Day

My Week, Thus Far

Life is really crazy.  But honestly, every day I am thankful for that day, and for having my kids, my husband, my family, and the life we have.  It's great.  Even with the bumps.

Here are some of the good and bad bumps right now:

-My eye is clearing up, but not sleeping a lot for four straight days is catching up and my throat is basically swollen shut.  I'm staving it off with Airborne and Advil as much as possible.

-Our fridge broke again.  The freezer broke last week the night before I left, which meant going up and down the street to neighbors putting stuff in their freezer.  The fridge wasn't working either, so we lost some food and my poor parents had to deal with that and the repairman while I was wedding-bound. I'm ticked that it's broken. AGAIN.  At least the freezer is working now, but it's a three-year old fridge!  This is ridiculous.

-I spent $90 in groceries this week and saved $70.  Pretty great.  (As long as my freezer works...)

-I have an assistant publisher waiting to read my first novel, which I'm hastily reading over one last time before sending it out. I know that this is my first baby's last chance, really, unless I have a really successful second novel where people want to buy more or something.  I don't want to have hopes, but I do, which is why I spent the three and a half hours I drove from Atlanta to almost mobile writing a sequel in my head.

-I love my boys.  Rob is leaving Friday morning again, but I am enjoying his brief time here and so are Linc and Saw.  Sawyer is cracking me up with his huge personality and Lincoln is winning me over with his sweet smile.  My parents are helping hold down the fort and I couldn't be more thankful for them!

I think that's about it.  I'm up to my elbows in coupons to cut, thank-you notes to write, boys to take care of, and novels to edit, but at least I'm not bored.


Linc is really starting to use those strong legs now.  At the wedding, he learned that he LOVES standing up, so he did a lot of supported standing, and he also has started really scooting and pushing forward when crawling. I've noticed this in the mornings when I find him in a totally different place in the crib.  Here you can see a few shots of him really working that body!  I remember Saw doing this kind of stuff really close to the time he started crawling.  Linc doesn't have the desire that Saw did (Saw came out of the womb wanting to run), but definitely has some serious strength!  Here are some pre-crawling tips from Linc.

First, you get really frustrated.
Then lift your chest and dig in your knees.
When that doesn't work, face plant.
Then dig in your toes.
Finally, end in plank position.  It's good for the abs.
When all else fails, try some parental encouragement!

Travels in Greensboro

Here are some of my photos from the Greensboro portion of our trip.  How I missed getting photos of Lee and Sandy or Erik, Rob and Seth together, I don't know.  Comprehensive photos: fail.   Rob and I agree that the two years I was getting my MFA there were some of our favorites in our marriage.  Tex was our only baby, and we had a great time just hanging out, eating, and enjoying friends there.  It was super fun and nostalgic, and we ate like five meals in one day to get through some of our favorite restaurants. We didn't quite see all our friends, and family, but for just over 24 hours, I think we did pretty well. 

Here's how you know you're not in Texas anymore. 
Our old casa.  Those windows on the top left (as you're looking at the photo) were ours.  Aw.
Linc hanging with his new buddy Will.
An iphone photo of what Rob and I would look like if we had twins that were two months apart.
Lorin with Will.  He's a cutie!
A fabulous junk store downtown.  The entire inside is like this: stacked floor to ceiling. It's a little horror movie-esque.
Linc flying high.
Rob and Linc bjorning in downtown.
Laurie and Linc.
A goofy pic of me with Laurie and Linc.  They were all goofy somehow, but this one at least looked semi-intentional...

Wedding Weekend Photos!

Of course I forgot to charge the camera battery so it died immediately following David and Taya's walk down the aisle, but here are my favorite photos of the things I did catch on film.  

Another of my favorite from-the-plane-window shots.  Man, those clouds are amazing!
We met up with Daniel in the airport--a fun surprise!
Linc hanging with Uncle Peter at the rehearsal.
Linc meeting Knox.  They were pretty chill.
Super cute details by Lynn for the rehearsal dinner!
Buck giving a taste of his wedding sermon for the next day.
The happy couple!
Denise and Linc.
Daddy and Linc reuniting!  (Rob had been gone for almost a week by the time we saw him Saturday morning.)
Three of my beautiful sisters-in-law!
Watching Taya come down the aisle.  Aw...
It is finished!!  The new Mr. and Mrs. David O.

Travels with Lincoln Logs

Lincoln has proved himself to be a worthy traveler, enduring the crazy of this past weekend:  a flight leaving Houston at 7am (read: getting up at 4:30am) with a two-hour layover, two nights of hotel stay, one night with friends, and one night of all-night driving to get home.  Add in a wedding where he was passed around like a virus (except that people hate viruses, and people LOVE Linc) and meeting about 30 new people, and I think it was quite a bit for the boy to handle.

He did more than just handle.  He was sweet and wonderful and quiet and full of smiles and cheer.  Other than that one ten-minute car ride after the wedding when he was super hungry.  And can you blame him?  He was super hungry.  He had a few fussy moments (pretty much all related to needing milk) but other than that one crying jag, he was all smiles.

He's not a huge fan of being in the car seat, so that made our trip home interesting.  We chose to drive all night, which we used to do a ton before kids, mostly because no matter what he did during the day, he still kept his 12-ish hour night sleeping.  We figured that if we drove during that time, we wouldn't have to stop so much.  We left Greensboro at like 2pm and in the few hours before his bed time, we had to stop three times because he was unhappy or needed to eat.  It just wasn't worth it to spend the night sleeping hours in a hotel or something.  And it made me VERY glad I chose to fly out rather than drive with five other people in the car.  (Though I am sorry that I didn't realize those five people were driving solely because of me.)  We did have some exciting Mommy-leaning-over-the-car-seat-to-nurse-Linc moments on the highway, but other than Rob and I being exhausted and me being sick, the trip was great with a baby.  Yay for a flexible, happy boy!

And a much bigger yay for arriving home!

The Honest Truth about Coupons

Let me just say that when you're out of town, catching up on coupons is quite the task. I was wading through several sunday papers this morning while browsing websites and making store lists. It was, in a word, ANNOYING. I still have not gotten this down to a quick and timely process, and coming back in the middle of the week is particularly annoying, because my Kroger's sales switch on Tuesday at midnight. Many of the sites are ahead of my area, so they have the specials up, but a few that I really like are still showing the ones that ended yesterday. Ack! If you are like me, trying to figure this out, head over to Couponing 101 where she is doing a series called Teach a (Wo)Man How to Fish...for Nutritious Deals. Basically, the posts help you to get started finding the deals and feeding your family good food.

With all my complaints, I can't complain about the 20 or so minutes it took me to get ready this morning, because I saved $30 at Target this morning. I did (once again) learn that I need to READ THE FINE PRINT so that when the cashier told me I'd bought the wrong product for the coupon, put my whole transaction on hold for me to buy the right product, and I left to go find the right product, I would have known that I DID have the right product and she read the coupon incorrectly. Sigh. Here's what my Mom and I did to save.

-Old Spice had great coupons last month for buy one, get one free on body wash and deodorants. Target has body wash on sale for $3.99. I bought 6 body washes, so that I can now wash the entire state of Texas (if you add in the supply I have from last week). I applied three b1,g1 coupons plus another $1 off coupon that I had. Target also had a buy 3, get $5 gift card promotion. So...I got six body washes for $11 and then got a $10 Target gift card. Yes, that's $1 for 6 body washes. I did a separate transaction just after and used the gift cards to buy swim diapers, which I also had a coupon for. Nice!

That was the main big sale, but we also bought a few clearance items that I know I'll use, plus diapers with Target and printable coupons. There is a big promotion as well right now for razors, and if you buy the Gillette Fusion at Target, you get a $5 gift card. I have a $4 off coupon for that razor, and don't know how much it's on sale right now, but that's a potentially great deal! If I'd spent ten more minutes this morning in front of my computer or clipping the coupons I'd missed Sunday, I would have known this.

All in all, the time spent is annoying. But the money saved MORE than makes up for it. Plus I can wash my entire state now with body wash that was basically free.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lies, All Lies

So, I won't be blogging any more today. I feel like poo. You've seen my creepy vampire/zombie eyes, and now my throat is closing up and my nose is filling up and I just need to sleep. This is what happens when you're sick, get a little better, sleep less than three hours before flying across the country, spend three nights with fun people staying up til 1am or later, and then drive home all night from NC to TX. I'm taking airborne, advil, and getting in my bed.

Here are some cute photos of my boys reunited to tide you over. Look forward to wedding pics and posts about traveling via automobile with a baby for 18 hours straight.

Eyeballs Are Underrated

Just before I left, my Mom had a crazy eye thing, which we assumed was pink eye. Her eyes swelled shut, got goopy and red. Not fun! She went to the doctor just after I left, and the doctor said it wasn't pink eye, but was some kind of inflammation or severe irritation. Now I've got it. My mom and I have been poring over what things we have shared (contact solution, mascara), but nothing makes sense because all the products were my products and I used them first, but got the issue second. It really isn't fun, and I'm in pain and can't see well. My friend Shawn said breastmilk will clear it up, so I tried that, and it felt better for a little bit, but now are feeling bad again. I'm sharing my mom's prescriptions for her eyes--both pain and an antibiotic--so we'll see how that goes. Here you can see my awesomeness! I'm like a vampire, but with red whites instead of red irises.

80% Off Restaurants

Right now, is running their promotion for 80% off their restaurant certificates. This price will show up after you click to add a restaurant to your cart and apply the promo code "summer." That means you pay $2 for $25 gift certificates to restaurants. Please read the fine print--each restaurant has a minimum you must purchase, so even though it's a good deal no matter what, if there is a $50 minimum versus a $35 minimum, you will be paying more for your dinner. Rob and I just bought a ton of these that will be our date nights for the next year. I don't know if they have offers in every area, so check yours!

Tuesday Confession: I Missed You

Today's confession is that going several consecutive days without internet access makes me CRAZY and also very sad, lonely, and bored.

I'll work on that not happening again anytime soon. I'm back, my babies. Look for more posts later today, after I happily reunite with Sawyer and my 'rents.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shaken, Not Stirred


Linc having fun with cousin--I mean UNCLE--Tim. We'll see if he still develops normally.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Because Freezers NEVER Stop Working

This week when I came home with a stockpile of sale meat from my couponing adventures, my mom said, "Yeah, that's great until your freezer goes out."   I must have said something cheeky, like, "Well, how often does THAT happen?"  'Cuz next thing you know, my freezer (and fridge) is dying.

Just in time for me to go out of town.  Just when I bought so much great stuff and froze it.  There is no way they can eat what's in there.  It's already started defrosting.  Thankfully just the top shelf, which is some mystery meat someone gave us and I was thinking about tossing anyway.  I'm pretty sure it's like two years old.  The stuff I bought and froze this week seems okay and is hiding in my neighbor's freezer (thank you, Sharon!!!) .  I'm headed out in a few hours and who knows if someone can fix it in time to save all my food?  

I suppose I deserve this for being so nonchalant about freezers never breaking, huh?  Let's just hope this is my one time, and from now on, we'll have a forever-working fridge for all my goodies.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

By the Way, David Is Getting Married

I've been meaning to write for the past month about how Rob's brother is getting married.  Now we are two days from the wedding and I am less than 7 hours from leaving my house and just finished packing.  Okay, mostly finished.  How did this happen??  It's been very busy and a week filled with a lot of odds and ends. Here are some of the things going on in our household:

-Mom and Dad are here--yay!  We've been having a great time playing with them and the boys and just generally enjoying life.

-I am re-reading my first manuscript (you know, the one that a year ago all the publishers loved but passed on?  Yeah, that one.)  because a friend (I love you Beth D!) is passing it on to a close contact at HarperCollins.  This could be my last read for this baby, and so I wanted to go back through and just make sure it was what I wanted someone to read.  It's my first novel, and honestly, I think it's just too good to sit on my hard drive.  So there's that.

-Mom has some kind of insane eye infection (this after the shingles she got last month) and has only one working eyeball right now.  So when she says, "I'll keep an eye on Sawyer," she means it.  Literally.  Poor Mom.

-I'm playing guitar and singing in the wedding, so I should have really been working on that.

-I still can't fit into any of the lovely dresses I own, which prompted a trip to Ross.  Less than $50 bucks later, Mom and I got me two dresses and a pair of heels.  Love you Ross.  Love. You.

Is that enough? Oh, yeah, and trying to prep for our mini-vacay through NC that's following the wedding and gathering Father's Day gifts and cards and going to derby tonight and all that.  Sheesh.  It's been a long week.  I'll try to blog as much as possible while I'm gone, but it totally depends on whether or not the hotel (and other places) have wifi.  I hate being at the mercy of other people's wifi.

Let's go ahead and end with a picture of the happy couple, just after they got engaged.  You can see that GLOW.  Congrats to David and Taya!!

When Grandparents Babysit...

Giveaway Winner

Attention:  AMY.  You have won my latest giveaway!  I have not heard from you and have no contact info from which to reach you.  Please email me by Friday with your info, or I will be forced to give your prize to another commenter!!  Shoot me an email istillhatepickles at gmail dot com .

You Capture: WATER

Here are a few water photos for You Capture this week, sponsored by I Should Be Folding Laundry.  Water is an easy one during the summer....

Man I can't wait until I get a DSLR.  I estimate in two months I'll be abel to afford.  Feel free to email me your suggestions!!



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