Monday, November 15

My $100 Christmas for 24 people

*** Spolier Alert for Family Members - Do not read!***

Between Dear Husband and I, there are 6 nieces, 4 nephews, 8 siblings (4 blood and 4 in-law), 4 parents, and now, 1 child. And dare I forget to mention The Crazy One. Even he has a stocking that Santa likes to fill. Plus this year, we decided to adopt a child. Even though we are staying on a budget this year, we know there are people out there who have NO budget for the holidays.

The first thing I did was head straight to my credit card's rewards program. There, I had enough points for $200 Visa gift card(GC) and a $20 Walmart GC. Score! Along with those I had a $20 Best Buy GC that I received for purchasing a video game for Dear Husband's birthday.

Here are my purchases. Not everyone is bought for yet. I still have 2 nephews, 1 niece, and 1 couple (sister and brother-in-law) left to buy for. But I'm feeling very good about what I have accomplised with very little spent out of pocket.

First thing I bought was $100 worth of credit to Picaboo for only $35 on Groupon. This will pay for photobooks of Little Man for both sets of parents (and one for us too!)
3 Star Wars Panckae Molds from Williams Sonoma - $63.44 or $21.15 per couple. My goal was $20 per couple, so I was very close.

Twister ($11.65-$3.00 Hasbro Rebate) to shared by nieces #1 & #2, and nephew #1
Elefun ($13.77 - $3.00 Hasbro Rebate) for nephew #1
Spider-Man Memory ($5.30 - $2.00 Hasbro Rebate) for nephew #2 (he's got more coming...)
Chutes & Ladders ($3.18 - $2.00 Hasbro Rebate) for Adopted Child (he's getting more too!)
Pitcureka ($10.60) for niece #3
Funglish ($16.95) for niece #4 (It was orginally $19.99 + tax but I had a 20% one toy coupon)
Total for that trip was $61.45 but I am getting $10 in rebates and I also recieved a $10 GC to TRU since I spent more than $35 on Hasbro games.

Next trip was to A.C. Moore to pick up an art set and paper for niece #1. After being allowed to use two 50% of one item coupons, I spent $13.49.

Target has great clearance sales on clothing for kids. I purchased 2 pants and 2 long sleeved tops for $13 for Adopted Child. That's $3.25 a piece!

Today I went back to TRU because I had a $10 GC burning a hole in my pocket, and one of the toys on my list was on sale.
Iron Man Rocket Boost ($10.89 -was on sale for $14.99 and I had a $5 off coupon ) for nephew #2
Friendship Bracelet Craft Kit ($10.59) for niece #2
Sesame Street On the Go Purse ($13.77) for niece #5
Tap a Tune Drum ($10.59) for Adopted Child
My workbench ($22.25) for Little Man (Christmas)
Crawl & Play Tunnel ($31.79) for Little Man (Birthday)*
Total for Christmas Gifts this trip $68.09

*The reason I bought Little Man's birthday gift now, was because I had a coupon for a $10 GC if I spent $75.

Total for Christmas Gifts so far.... $254.47
Thanks to my Visa GC, I only spent $54.47 out of pocket. And I am getting $10 back from Hasbro!

What I have left to spend:
I still have a $20 GC to Walmart, a $20 GC to Best Buy, and a $10 GC to TRU and I have 5 people left (as mentioned above) to shop for. I am trying not to spend more than $100 total out of pocket, and it looks like I will make that goal.

Oh and if you're wondering what I'm getting Dear Husband, we've talked about it, but aren't sure what we're going to do yet.

Thursday, October 7

All I Want for October is My Two Front (Bottom) Teeth

About 2 weeks ago, I had a dream that Little Man had his bottom tooth. The next day, he was chewing on my finger and, whoah! Guess what I felt trying to come through?  I couldn't see it, but I could definitely feel it! By the end of that week, I could feel not just one tooth, but two teeth trying to poke through.

Now, the teeth aren't all the way out yet, but they are definitely visible. It's crazy and sad to think that I will never see that toothless smile ever again. I get a little teary-eyed thinking about how fast he is growing up and changing...


It's been awhile, but with school and trying to keep up with such a mobile baby boy, I haven't had much time to update.
But today, during Little Man's second nap (I think we're officially down to 2 naps a day!) I am taking the time to write.

I am officially counting down to Halloween. It is one of my favorite holidays. I love dressing up and decorating. And on Halloween night I love to see the costumes the kids in our neighborhood come up with. (Although sometimes I feel so old because I don't recognize the character a child is dressed as....)

Little Man during my "photo shoot" of him
 for Halloween cards for the Grandparents

This year, I am making our costumes. I decided due to his blond hair and his affinity to hit things, Little Man will be Bam Bam Rubble.

So that means Dear Husband and I are going to be Barney and Betty Rubble.

All 3 costumes are relatively easy to make, so instead of shelling out $20 each (at minimum), I'll have all 3 of dressed up for less than $15. Woo hoo!

To add to Little Man's first Halloween fun, we picked up some pumpkins at a local nursery to carve later this month. (Dear Husband and I learned a few years back that you shouldn't carve a pumpkin more than 2 weeks before Halloween because rotting pumpkins on your front porch are not attractive!)

Not our pumpkins, but you get the idea...

I will try to remember to post pictures of our creations. I also want to throw out there that my pumpkin will be better looking than Dear Husband's. Don't feel bad for him; It's one of the few things I can actually do better than him....

Friday, September 10

Crawling Fever: Little Man Has It

Little Man has reached a milestone that is both revered and dreaded by every mother I know: Crawling (or more accurately, "creeping").

I am excited for Little Man, since he would sit and whine and try so hard to get whatever toy that was just out of reach. Now he can get on all fours and crawl over to whatever he desires.  Normally this includes wires, The Crazy One's bone, Dear Husband's shoes, or The Crazy One's water bowl (see picture below...)

(Little Man wants The Crazy One's water bowl)

I was one of those mother's who thought, "The later he starts to crawl, the better", but I enjoy watching him move towards his desired object with quick efficiency while hearing the "slap, slap, slap" of his palms on the hard floor.

However, as much as he is enjoying this new found freedom, he is already moving on to the next feat: Pulling up.  He tries so hard to pull up on the coffee table, me, or even his crib. I'm not sure I'm ready for that, but we'll see when the time comes!

Tuesday, August 31

School Daze

Tomorrow I officially start a new chapter in my life: I am going back to school.

It's been 2 1/2 years since I've stepped foot in a classroom.  I dreamt last night that I was late for my first class, and then, due to to much socializing, I completely missed my second class.  I hope that dream does not come true!

I am nervous about school tomorrow for many reasons.
1) I am taking anatomy and physiology. I have not taken a science class since junior year of high school (11 years ago!) and have not biology since freshman year... ugh!

(My anatomy book. I hope it is easy to understand!)

2) I am going to a school I have never attended before. I am not familiar with the campus, the teachers, the students, etc. I have a hard time accepting change - tomorrow will be no different.

3) I am leaving Little Man for the whole day. Every Wednesday, for the next 15 weeks, I will be away from Little Man for the majority of his awake time. As much I know I will enjoy the break of motherhood to focus on me for a little bit (let's face it, all mothers need their "me" time) I will miss him terribly.

4) I am leaving Little Man alone with Dear Husband every Wednesday for the next 15 weeks.  Dear Husband has not had much alone time with Little Man. A few hours here and there, while I go to the gym, or get my nails done.  Once, I was gone for a large part of the day, but I was easily accessible if Dear Husband needed to call me.  I know he can handle it, but it'll take me a few weeks before I'll really be at ease with the situation. Which is silly because Dear Husband is a wonderful and attentive father.  Now that I think about it, he should be fine.

Wednesday, August 25

So Crafty

Dear Husband has been wanting a tie dye tee for a few weeks now. He even looked in a shop while we were on vacation that specialized in tie dye tees. After perusing the inventory, we were impressed by the designs, but not so impressed by the prices. The average was about $40 per tee. Granted, the woman in the shop hand made all of them, and the store was on Martha's Vineyard (nothing on that island is cheap), but we weren't that desperate to buy!

So after we got back home, we went to the nearest craft store (A.C. Moore) and bought a tie dye kit and 4 tees for less than $30. After Little Man was sound asleep in bed, we went tie dye crazy!

(Dear Husband with one of his tees - He made two!)

(Finished Product)

(Dear Husband's other tee with Little Man's tee)

(Little Man's tee! It's a 2T (that's the smallest they had) so he'll have to wait to wear it.)

(Dear Husband's other tee, finished. He is such a good model, isn't he?)

(Lastly, my tee's "before")

(My "after". I wasn't going to let the boys have all the fun!)

Dear Husband had fun doing this project so there is a strong possibility we'll be doing it again. I'll have to purchase some plain onesies so Little Man can wear his Hippie Tee now instead of later. :)

Summertime Fun

Dear Husband, Little Man, The Crazy One, and I took a trip up to Martha's Vineyard to spend a week with my parents. My sister and her family (1 husband, 3 kids, and 1 black lab) were also there. It was a full house!

We relaxed, read books and did crosswords while the kids were running in the yard or napping. Little Man enjoyed some "helmet free" time as well, since his helmet couldn't have been worn during some of our activities. But I was a good plagio mommy and made sure his helmet was on every other moment of the day!

We also got to enjoy some nice days on the beach. The ocean water was a little cold for Little Man, so we set him up with his own personal pool on the beach. He is so spoiled!

He also enojyed digging in the sand. I was surprised that not much sand made it into his mouth.

We also went out on my father's boat. Both Little Man and The Crazy One enjoyed themselves, though Little Man wasn't a fan of his life vest.

Overall, a great time was had by all! We were sad to leave, but happy to get back home, to our beds, and our daily routines.