Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas shopping...or the lack thereof

I really hope other people are as behind on Christmas shopping as I am this year.  I know it's tacky of me to wish that on others but it really would make me feel better about myself if others could be as far behind as I am.  I so sluggish this year!
I've been browsing through some blogs and found some really great deals and giveaways.  I'd never heard of before but it's a neat concept.  Check out their home site for a twitter giveaway and also check out Mrs. Moneysaver for another giveaway.
Will update post more later hear dogs whining outside.  It is 20-something degrees guess I should let them in.

Sick Angel Baby

Angel Baby has had a cold off and on for a couple of weeks now.  She's been so stopped up this week that she couldn't sleep.  When she'd lay down to try to sleep the coughing and hacking would start.  She needed to get some sleep.  I needed to get some sleep. 

Our oldest always has loved Johnson's Baby Soothing Vapor Cream.  I can slather it all over her chest and back and she will sleep like a baby.  Well of course Angel Baby can't stand the cream.  She says it makes her sticky and just pitches a fit when I try to put it on her.  I was at Walgreens buying some more refills for the Vicks vapor plug-ins (LOVE those!  I think I have 8--one for every room!) and I happened upon these TheraFlu vapor patches.

They stick to your clothes and last about 6 hrs (it claims 8hrs but I haven't noticed it working that long.) It works long enough to allow her to fall good and asleep at night before it wears off. She's worn one the past 3 nights and it's really helped. She asked for her patch before bed tonight!  (Hubby told me it sounds like I'm putting one of those stop-smoking patches on her.)  I think the packaging technically says for ages 6 and up and Angel Baby is 4 but when dealing with a sick child you have to improvise and try anything.  She may not be their target demographic but all I know is it works.  It helps her breathe so she can sleep and as a by product I get sleep too! yea!  I saw online that they make Puffs Plus with Vicks in them too but I haven't found them in any stores yet. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

IRL? huh?

Have I walked into an alternate universe in the blog world?  I know I'm brand new at all this but I really don't understand what a "Mommy Blogger" or "Mom Blog" means?  Is that some sort of official title you get by joining some club or group or does it just mean any mom with a blog?  I'm beginning to see that there are cliques/sororities/associations online that are well organized and (in some cases) very controlling.  Isn't the point of having a blog being able to have your OWN say about things?  I just don't get it, but I never was the sorority type of girl.  I sure as hell wasn't going to have someone bossing me around just so I could be allowed (dripping with sarcasm) to be their friend.  And I LOVE (note the saracasm here too) when people write "IRL" such as "I've met her IRL" as though there is a seperation between the blog world and in real life.  I thought that's what blogs were supposed to be--an extension of our thoughts and ideas and just whatever we want to write about--isn't that real life?  Shouldn't everything that you put on your blog be IRL if it's the truth?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Black Friday letdown

Hubby and I tried to do a little shopping yesterday.  Crowds don't bother me as I'm from a much bigger city than the town we currently live in but I had not expected the level of hoarding that we witnessed yesterday.  From toys at Toy R Us to little things like grabbing 20 of the $.99 poinsettas at Home Depot (even though there was a limit of 10) people were just grabbing everything and keeping it in their buggies whether they intended to get it or not.  Why would you want to prevent others from getting them?  Makes no sense to me. 

The things we were looking for were not any of the doorbusters but were still "gone."  Although one of the stock boys at Toys R Us said it's probable that they still had them somewhere in the store but that people were taking buggies full of items such as Barbies and then leaving them in other sections of the store.  I hate greed.  It makes people so ugly.  So I'm still on the look out for Barbie Candy Glam Styling Head and any Harumika kits for the oldest.  I still have hope that I might win one of the Harumika sets from Santa's Picks but I'm running out of hope on the Barbie head.  I found the last Bath Magic Ariel at Walmart last night for the youngest.  Unfortunately she was with me at the time but there was no way I was going to risk not getting it.  I tried to hide it under some stuff and upside down in the buggy but of course she eventually saw it.  Darn it!  So since she's seen it and it can no longer be a Santa gift, we're using it to bribe her for good behavior from now until Christmas.  Hey you gotta do, what you gotta do this time of year! :)

I have nothing for the husband yet and I have no clue what to get him.  I've always worked up until our move last year so I've never had to worry about spending money for presents for him until now.  It's difficult to surprise him with a gift without him already knowing what it is and how much it cost because I've either had to take cash out or used the debit card.  I found this awesome Timex Compass watch giveaway on Energizer Bunny's Mommy Reports site and it would be great to give him something totally unexpected for a change.  Any other ideas???

...and while I'm at it...I want these too please...they will be perfect for the over indulgence needed to get through the holidays and dealing with my mother-in-law.  Can't you just picture me finally having a relaxing holiday with not a care in the world as I'm drinking from my new Lenox wine glasses thanks to EBMR... shameless I know!  :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dear Lord please send me patience, and lots of it...

My mother-in-law is coming tomorrow. 
That is all.  That is more than enough.

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

God grant me the control
to bite my tongue until it bleeds if necessary...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Here turkey turkey

I am not a fan of turkey.  It's just not my favorite.  In the interest of full disclosure, I shot and killed my first turkey when I was 9yrs old and quickly decided thereafter that being in the woods at 3am to hunt turkeys was not at all appealing. 

I'm a red meat kind of girl and I love ham.  My hubby and oldest truly love turkey though.  So while they have turkey on Thanksgiving, I always cook a brown sugar glazed ham as well (mainly for me.)  Our youngest doesn't eat much of anything so it really doesn't matter to her if we have McDonald's for Thanksgiving.  In fact she'd probably be much happier with McD's.

So while I'm not a fan of turkey, I am a fan of good deals and saving money and was thrilled to score a 16lb turkey for a little over $6 at Wal-mart a couple of weeks ago when they announced their $.40/lb turkey deal.  That's pretty darn good.  If we had an extra freezer I'd be tempted to buy 5 or 6 birds and stock pile them.  Now that I have the turkey taken care of I'm on the look out for a good deal on a ham.  I sure hope hams go on sale at Christmas because they are just not marked down very much right now.  So until Wal-mart announces $.40/lb for hams I'm going to hope I win Mommy Mandy's giveaway so that I can use the gift card to Wal-mart to buy myself a ham.

Now I have to share a cute personal story.  I had a sack of turkey feathers that I took to use as quills at my oldest's class today for her Thanksgiving party.  After sending all the kids in the class home with a feather, I had about 8 left over.  When we got home I left the sack on the kitchen floor and let the dogs in because it was so cold.  The beagle went straight for the sack and started attacking it.  She got about half her body into the sack before emerging with a mouth full of turkey feathers.  She carried those feathers around in her mouth and paraded through the kitchen like "Look what I got!"  She was so cute.  She was so proud of herself for killing an already dead turkey!  (And while we were distracted watching the Beagle, our opportunistic big dog snuck half a loaf of homemade sour dough bread off the counter!)

New Year's Eve

My husband and I have the unique (for us!) opportunity to pretty much go or do anything we want for New Years this year. The only limits are financial. My parents want to take the kids back to their house for a few days after Christmas leaving us with no children on NYE. Who wouldn't jump on the opportunity to go somewhere fun for a few days? But of course this has led to a major dilemma: where to go and what to do?

The first word out of his mouth was: Vegas. I say yuck even though we've never been. I would probably love the shopping and shows but I hate casinos. I don't have anything against them morally or religiously but I just HATE the idea of throwing money away or literally handing it over to the casino. I am the worst person in the world to take to the casino because I sit there and every hand that hubby plays I'm telling him things like "you just lost a week's worth of diapers" or "that would have been a new pair of shoes for the kids." He tried to convince me to give to Vegas by saying we could get married again. I told him once was enough for me. Been there, done that, and don’t tempt me because I might not make the same choice over again. :)

So his next great idea was Lake Tahoe to go skiing. Guess who's never skied before in their life? Yep, me. And do I think being sore and black and blue sounds like a relaxing fun way to spend time without the kids and to start off the New Year? Ha!

If you can't tell hubby craves excitement. I crave a spa, room service, a nice bed, and going to an adult dinner sans children. A cabin in the Smokey mountains sounds like a great trip to me but somehow I don't think he's going to go for it.

SO here's my latest greatest idea. I'm going to try to get a trip I would like by cunning him into thinking it's a trip he would like. Here are the two most feasible options: 1) Washington DC. I've never been before and would like to go once. Hubby is huge Redskins fan and they play the Cowboys that Sunday night. Perfect timing. OR 2) Orlando. Looks like Ole Miss might get the Capital One bowl and if they do then we could go to the game and go to Disney World. Or would that make us really bad parents to go to Disney World without the children? I could reason that it would be best for us to go first so we could scope it out and see if we think our youngest is ready for it yet. Or we could just not tell them where we’re going…ooh so bad I know. 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ocho makes my day

Let me start by saying I am in no way a Bengals fan.  In fact I grew up a Saints fan during the time when they were fondly known as the "Aint’s" and all we hoped for each year was wins over those Dirty Birds from the ATL. Now I add the Titans to my list of teams because we currently live closest to them and are fortunate enough to see a couple of games each year and because I am seriously impressed with Jeff Fisher as a coach and role model.

BUT here and now I want to publically declare my love for Chad Ocho Cinco Johnson.  If you are not following him on Twitter @OGOchoCinco you are missing out. Reading his tweets always put a smile on my face. I think he realizes that while football is his profession, it is called the GAME of football for a reason. Through his media network, he is putting the fun back in football and more actively involving the fans. His fan interactions aren't orchestrated by some yuppy PR firm. They are unfilted straight from him. If he thinks it, he's going to say it whether on the air, on the field, or online. He respects and understands the average fan because he is one himself.  Strangely enough, he's a great example of living as a Christian should. He publically quotes Bible verses and I love reading his comments about his Grandmamma and church, but most importantly he's doing what Jesus asked from all of us by constantly giving to those in need and even those not in need. He just gives for the sake of doing so. He defines being a "giver" and for that I respect him oh so much more than just as a pro football player. (Hey Tank Johnson, Matt Jones, and Pacman are you paying attention here?!?)

Coming from someone who played college tennis (yes, I'm well aware not the most respected sport out there!) I can vouched for the level of hard work and dedication it takes to play any sport at more than a general recreational level. I know how many hours I spent on the court during school (again not knocking it but keeping it real that tennis does not involve the same level of physical demands football does) and I cannot imagine the hours one would have to give to take football skills to the pro level. To add to this, that Ocho has the time, drive, commitment, and energy to spend on his family, friends, and finally fans is amazing.

This is not meant to be a "Make Ocho Out to be a Saint" post but rather a pat on the back to say "Thanks for getting it." Thanks for understanding that fans want to like players. Thanks for understanding that the fans help pay your paycheck. Thanks for being a fan yourself. Thanks for realizing that you are richly blessed in many areas and for feeling a responsibility to contribute to the greater good of society.  Thanks for being your unique quirky self. And from a communications major, thanks for giving the collective media giants the middle finger and for pushing back at the mainstream media and reminding them that their agendas do not dictate what the average fan wants to know/see!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

My girls wish list for Christmas

Oldest daughter 8yrs old:
*laptop (geez!!) We're thinking about trying to hit some of the Black Friday online deals at Best Buy or Office Max.  I have no desire to go face those crowds though.
*new DSi (geez more $$) If she gets a laptop then she can do without a DSi
*American Girl stuff (omg can you say this kid is expensive!)  Here's my hint of the day: the Target Our Generation doll stuff fits American Girls exactly.  If you remove the packaging then you'd never know that it wasn't AG stuff.  My mom already got her the OG daybed and trundle set. 
*Moxie Girl (thankgoodness for one thing that's reasonable!)  I've seen these at Walmart and Target and they appear to be around $30 or less.  Frugal Housewife has a giveaway going on for Lexa right now too.  Check it out at

Youngest daughter 4yrs old:
her list is really easy--she wants whatever toy is advertised during the next commercial!  every commercial she sees she says "that's what I want Santa to bring me for Christmas"

WOOPS we have an update!  Angel Baby "weally" wants Disney's new movie Santa Buddies.  I have to admit it looks pretty cute and the dogs look exactly like how our big dog Sam looked as a puppy.  I looked on Disney Movie Rewards but I don't have enough points to redeem to get it for her so right now I'm hoping to win it at Frugal Houswife's site. Can you tell I'm addicted to her site?!? She has awesome giveaways going on right now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Don't forget...

  • Don't forget to use your free Herbal Essence facebook coupons at Walgreens this week for a better than free deal with register rewards
  • Don't forget that Thursday November 5th is double points day at Disney Movie Rewards (using your points could make for some GREAT free Christmas presents for the kiddies or any Disney lover.)
  • Don't forget to be sure you have working CO2 monitors installed this time of year.
  • Don't forget to stock up on super cheap frozen veggies this week at Kroger during the MEGA sale for vegetable soup during the really cold nights of winter.
  • Don't forget about Bergwood!  It's not too late to sign up and earn points.  Even if you don't want any of the stuff for just a few clicks for a dozen or so days you can have enough points to get a good pair of socks or tshirt to donate to someone who does need them.
  • Don't forget Operation Christmas Child box collection starts November 16th.  Put all those extra free goodies you have stockpiled in a closet to good use.  check out Operation Christmas Child here
  • Don't forget Veteran's Day.  It is as much a relevant holiday today as it has ever been. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Phone call from Kraft/ Oscar Mayer regarding my new Lunchables inquiry

I only have a second to post this but wanted everyone to know that I just got off the phone with a representative from Kraft/ Oscar Mayer and she was fantastic and has totally changed my attitude towards the company.  I think they actually do care what consumers think and listen to our opinions--wow! Who knew that there were still companies like that around?!?  I will add more later...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lay a way? NO way

I was participating in a discussion on another site and just need to vent my feelings about some things.

First, I do not understand the concept of lay-a-way at all. Why not just save up your money and THEN go buy the item rather than paying for it in installments when you don't even get to take home the item. I'm paying for my car in installments but I got the car at the front end rather than at the end. You are paying for an item you don't have...doesn't make sense to me.

Second, yes the economy stinks.  Yes, you may have to go without some big ticket items, but Christmas does not have to be a meager sad pity party.  My dad's favorite quote of all time is:
Prior planning prevents poor performance
Write that down.  You need to remember it.  We may be spending less at our housethis Christmas but we are getting/giving way more this year. I stocked up on toys during Toys R Us christmas in July sale and Target's clearance sale in August. Also if you watch they will post toy coupons frequently such as My Little Pony and Nerf. If you pair these coupons with the specials at Toys R Us or KMart (both almost always have a $5 off $25 coupon that you can stack) you can get lots of toys very cheap. You also can use register rewards at Walgreens for both toys and photo lab. For teachers gifts I always go to Bath and Body works. When they release coupons that say (for ex) "1 free lotion with any purchase" they really mean ANY purchase. You can buy a nail file on sale for $.50 and get the $5 lotion free. These coupons are usually released every other week so if you watch for it throughout the year then you have a large stockpile by Christmas time for gifts. I also love MyPoints, SurveyHead, and other survey sites. They are quick and easy to do and pay out in checks, paypal or gift cards. At MyPoints it takes no time to reach enough points to get a $10 Kohls gift card.  Pair that with Kohls weekly deals and you can get a really nice present for someone for next to nothing.
So it's actually very easy to have a cheap Christmas and by cheap I mean on your bank balance and not sacrificing quality or quantity.

New Lunchables Flawed UPDATED response from Kraft

I finally got a response from Kraft regarding my problem with the new lunchables
I wrote them originally on 10/13, got the first auto response on 10/15, I wrote them back on 10/18 asking for an update after not hearing anything from them, then wrote them again on 10/21 saying that it had been a week and I still had not heard a word, and finally today here's the reply I recieved:
Thank you for taking the time to visit us at and for letting me know about your experience.

Thank you for getting back to me

I'm sorry to hear you were not happy with the taste of the Kool Aid in the Oscar Mayer Lunchables. I am sending you reimbursement coupons in the mail for this product, which you should receive within 7-10 business days.

The problem you described sounds like the product was not properly stored during distribution. We take care at our manufacturing facilities to ensure that our products are stored at the correct temperature and time frame until we are able to distribute them. Once our products are in distribution, the storage is out of our control. If the product was exposed to excessive temperatures it could cause the problem you described.

You may use the 8 oz Kool-Aid singles packet in the 6.5 oz water bottle in the Lunchables Complete meal. Once mixed together you'll still enjoy great flavor. We are however working to replace the 8 oz KA Single with a smaller packet.

Again, I apologize for this experience. Thank you for your loyalty and we hope that your next experience is a good one.

Kim M-----
Associate Director, Consumer Relations
Does Kraft think consumers are stupid?  Excessive temperatures did not cause the problem I described.  Having too much Kool Aid or too little water (whichever way you want to look at it) caused the problem.  Sounds like they do realize that they have a problem if they are replacing the packet.  Seems to me that would have been something easier to fix on the front end.

How do you do it?

I started my blog a couple weeks ago thinking that since the kids had been back in school a little while and everyone had sort of gotten back into a routine that I would have time to write/keep a blog. HA! of course the past week has been insane with everything from our youngest's birthday to issues at our oldest's school to one of our dogs getting sick and nearly dying! (the dog survived--though not without a few hundred in vet bill of course!) Oh did I mention my 2yr old car died last Saturday too?!? Murphy seems to have moved in with us recently.

So my question is HOW DO YOU DO IT?  I read these other people's blogs and they write 4 or 5 posts a day every day and some have 4 or 5 kids!  When do they find time to write this much?  Sure, I could write that much if I stayed up until 2am each night but I like sleep and sleep likes me...and I like sleep more than I like blogging to be frank.  I really am being serious though that I truly would love to know how other "mommy bloggers" do it. 

I do hope to get more content up soon. My mom was a sort of a parenting "guru" who spoke at parenting confrences back in the 80's across the south and still occassionally writes articles for various Christian publications so my hope is to get a few of her articles up soon to share.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blogger's Guilt?

I didn't post at all yesterday and you know what? I felt guilty about it!  What in the world is that about?!?  I know all about Christian guilt and mother's guilt but now I've got to add blogger's guilt to the list too?  How strange it is that starting a forum like this that makes you feel compelled to be loyal and dedicated to write even if no one is reading!   This is why I didn't have a chance to write yesterday.  'Nuff said...

New Lunchables Flawed

I bought my 8yr old several of the new OSCAR MAYER LUNCHABLES SUB SANDWICHES. Surely by now you've seen these new Lunchables on the shelves at grocery stores or Wal-mart. Specifically I bought 5 of these to cover her lunches for this week: 3 Ham plus American and 2 Turkey plus Cheddar. This was the first time we had tried this new Lunchable product. When she came home from school Monday she said she did not like her lunch at all. I asked what was wrong and she said the sub sandwich was good (she took the ham version yesterday) but the water was horrible. I asked her to explain and she said the water plus Kool Aid Single was "bitter" and "made my mouth turn like it was sour."

I could not figure out what could be wrong because we regularly buy Kool Aid singles and have a box of the tropical punch in our pantry right now. She drinks Kool Aid singles often and knows how to properly pour the contents into the bottle of water and to be sure to shake it up well. She absolutely did not want me to send her another lunchables to school the next day. I certainly did not want them to go to waste considering I had bought 5 at one time so I opened one of the Turkey plus Cheddar versions for my own lunch Tuesday. I took one sip of the water plus Kool Aid mixture and nearly spit it out!

Then I realized what the very obvious problem is: the Kool Aid Singles packet very clearly states "Add to 8 fl oz glass or bottle of water" but yet in the Lunchable the bottle of water included is only 6.5oz! Of course it's bitter--there's too much Kool Aid mix for the amount of water provided.

And please don't tell me that the company expects children to know not to pour the entire contents of the Kool Aid packet into the bottle of water to compensate for the lack of enough water to properly dissolve the Kool Aid. I also find it hard to believe that no one taste tested this before production since this would have been a very easy fix just to use a slightly larger bottle of water to add the needed extra 1.5 fl oz.

I want to be very clear that this is in no way to defame Lunchables, Oscar Mayer, or Kraft at all.  To the contrary I just want other moms to be aware of this problem so that their children aren't stuck having to drink something that tastes nasty with their lunch.  I have bought Lunchables for years and will probably continue to do so because they are so convenient in a pinch but I am very disappointed that such an obvious problem was overlooked.  ESPECIALLY in this day an age when there are so many opportunities to make use of the different testing communities to test products vigorously before they hit the market. 

I wrote Kraft foods (parent company of Oscar Mayer) to alert them about the design flaw.  I received the automatic response first and then I recieved a response from a person  who's title is "Associate Director, Consumer Relations" saying "I appreciate your patience; I need some additional time to research your inquiry. I'll contact you again as soon as possible."  I'm waiting....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Is it too early to put up my Christmas trees yet?  My reasoning is that if Lowes, Hobby Lobby, Macys, and every other retail store in America can have their trees out already then I can start my decorating too.  Now don't think for a minute that my decorating is a work of art or anything fancy.  In fact my mom regularly refers to it as based on the artistic period known as "early yard sale" but I have a lot of it--lots and lots of it.  Last year I think I started the 2nd week of November and still didn't get everything out that I wanted to (of course we had just moved and I couldn't find half my stuff either.)  Now that we've been in our house for a year I know where I want things to go so I'm eager to get started and see if it all turns out like I have it planned in my mind.  Did I mention that last year I put out 6 trees?  Yes, really and I've already seen a great purple tree on sale at Big Lots for $20 that I think needs a home in my oldest daughter's room so this year it may be lucky number 7.  I'm looking for Christmas card display solutions so if you come by any clever (and UN-CLUTTERED!) ones please send it my way.  I found this idea online and it's really cute but counter/table/shelf space is at a premium in my house so not sure how well that would work.

Monday, October 12, 2009

EBMR--check it out

Energizer Bunny's Mommy Reports has a ton of great giveaways going on right now (actually she pretty much always has great giveaways going on so I highly suggest you follow her blog--unless that decreases my chance in winning these prizes so in that case you should totally ignore her site.)  Here is a sampling of my current favorites from her site:

Surely you know a child who needs Patches the bear to help them better express their feelings.  Unfortunately I know too many

Firm belief in our house that you can never have too many Bibles

I want to bake, I really do, but it's just safer for all of us if I stay out of the kitchen.  Plus it keeps the ovens and stove top clean!  My mom on the other hand is Martha-freakin-Stewart (only more genuine and grandmotherly!) and she and my girls would love this cupcake set


When I graduated high school I was part of a select group called "Alpha Omega."  We were the group of students who started at our school in PreK and went all the way through graduation together.  This meant the 12 or so of us (I only had 44 in my graduating class) had been together for 14 years straight.  We knew everything about each other: who's grandmother was sick, who had wet their pants in 1st grade, who was who's first kiss, and so on.  I don't presume to make this blog quite that detailed as I'm not one to gush about myself or my family but I do find this an interesting avenue to express myself.  Whether anyone reads it or not is a whole other issue but at least what I have to say will be out there floating around cyberland in case someone happens upon it.