Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

Well it is definately Christmas time at our house and I have the low bank balance to prove it! I will be the first one to admit that we probably went overboard on the kids this year, spending more this year than we did last year and the year before. While it seems most people overspend due to competition (which admittedly played a small part in mine as well), I also had another driving force.


The revelation came about slowly, when he wouldn't write Santa a letter but wrote out his Christmas list for us. He also chose to not go on the Santa excursion train ride that his grandmother offered to take him on. Finally he refused to even go see Santa at the mall.

Finally, when I picked him up last Friday, he told me that Santa didn't bring him stuff, I bought it.

I panicked! This was a discussion he should have with this Dad, or his Mom...not ME!
I quickly told him that I only bought the stuff under the tree, and trust me I HAD SPENT ENOUGH on that stuff. I couldn't afford to buy him the things Santa brought too.

He dropped it after that. I told my husband about the conversation, and when they were alone (Christmas shopping) the next day, my husband asked him about it. He denied ever saying anything like that.

I am telling myself that he chose me to test the waters with because he trusts me. I have worked hard to have a trusting relationship with him, beleiving that that would be the best foundation to build a lasting relationship with my step son.

But what happens when he finds out I just right out lied to him? Where will our trusting relationship go? How will I keep him from telling his little sister...and brothers at his mom's house?

Bring on the last minute shopping, Bring on the holiday baking...just don't make me have to have "the talk".

Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby Book Bing

I remember picking out that special perfect book for my baby and promising to write religiously in it. I had heard other stories of mom's who never finished the baby book, but that was always with their second child...this was MY FIRST..and at times had never thought I would even have her. I would write.
Then, last night I had an epiphany...I had not written in my daughters baby book in well over six months. Wow...so much had happened in the 15-21 month stage.
So in the last six months what have I missed writing? A couple of teeth, graduating to a toddler bed, her first hair cut (given by daddy), and last night...her first somersault!
I've thought about making an online album, at least then I wouldn't have to actually get pictures developed, but I also couldn't attach those sweet little keepsakes...like a clipping of her hair from her first hair cut.
Who am I kidding, I wouldn't have the time for an online baby book either..Unless...UNLESS...IT UPDATED STRAIGHT FROM MY FACEBOOK OR TWITTER PAGE!!!! What a great idea! Status's, Pictures, Notes...anything with my child's name in it, goes straight to her online book! It would be the greatest invention ever! So I'll go ahead and toss that in my "Brooke's Great Ideas That She Never Made Happen" Box along with:
1.) Remote call buttons on TV's
2.) Clap on Remote Finder
3.) Using the technology from hand warmers for hunter to make bottle warmers for on the go
and now...
4.) Online Baby book that uses your status updates

See I really should be rich and famous...I just don't have the time.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Keeping Up

I have been a bad bad blogger. I haven't written in well over a week now and therefor do not know which cute story to share.
I could share Zachary's wisdom of the difference between a girlfriend and a girl friend....
Or his wisdom of "thin as a peice of glass"...
Or how proud he was after he changed his first tire.
I could share the story as I sat nervously watching Shiloh suck on her first peice of hard candy....
Or how cute it was when I asked her to pick out a toy to take and she instead started puting all of her toys back in the toy box.
I could share stories of how to heal a doll from my three year old neice...
Or the fact that she would rather dance with someone watching.

There have been so many good times these past couple of weeks, looking back I realize how blessed I have been. I think sometimes we focus on the negative, on everything that goes wrong in life...and we try to learn from it. This week I am choosing to do the opposit. I am focusing on the good timesk, and picking my lessons from those times of laughter. So this is what I have learned from the kids in my life this week:

-Dont read too much into what someone says, there could be another meaning.
-Perspective and Experience changes everything.
-The hard work is worth a worthwhile accomplishment.
-You will never know if you can unless you try.
-Risks are worth taking.
-Picking up isn't all that bad, and sometimes even better than the alternative.
-What matters most, is what you beleive.
-Why would you dance when no one is watching...its much more fun to be silly with someone.

I am going to be all smiles today. =)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I want this stuff out of my house!

Me and Jeremy have spent the last few weeks cleaning out the kids rooms to make room for the inevitable Christmas toy mountain. We do not want anything for these items, except to get them out of our house. If you or someone you know could use them, please let me know and I will try and arrange to get it to you or for you to pick up.
Here are the items I can remember:
*Playpen (neutral colors)-it is a playpen only but is in good condition, would be excellent at a grandparents house so you do not have to haul yours back and forth.
*Size 4 infant brown suede Mary Jane type shoes (brand new)
*Baby Einstein DVDs and a Fisher Price DVD that is basically the same thing
*a dog toy that you pull behind you and it barks
*a "tv" that you wind up and it plays music and pictures scroll by
*Stuffed animals and baby dolls.
*Twister (the game)
*Tinker Toys
*Marvel matching game
*Pirates of the Carribean bath paints (never opened)
*Pirates of the Carribean poster size coloring book (only one picture was colored and has been torn out)
*Red Power Ranger (bigger than a barbie doll)
*Another Power Ranger that morphs that I don't understand but was really cool last year
*Some small (g.i. joe size) action heros

I also have
*Pregnancy books that I did not write in
*LOTS of fiction books


Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween....ha ha ha

Saturday night was the first time in a long time that I have been trick or treating. We got the kids all dressed up as bikers (see the pictures here)and set out on our Halloween adventure. I learned alot about Halloween this year:

1. Halloween now starts before nightfall. I thought we would be "early" at 6PM, nope...we were running late.

2. Most people no longer go all out for halloween. In fact a great number of houses just had bowls of cand on the porch for youngsters to come up and get. What is the fun in that?

3. You now have to cover much more ground to get a decent (sack full) amount of candy. A portion of a subdivision and a trunk or treat and the bags were not even half full!

4. Why trunk or treat??? That just seems like the lazy way.

5. Halloween now ends earlier, probably because it starts earlier. By 8PM we could not find any more candy =(

So next year I will be prepared. We will start trick or treating before nightfall, and we will cover the ENTIRE subdivison...and then some. CANDY! CANDY! CANDY!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Frugal Friday

One of my top priorities at the moment is saving money, and making some on the side as well. In this spirit, I have decided to start "Frugal Fridays" where I share my newest ideas to save money.

Earlier this months I wrote about birthday freebies, and now I have stumbled upon savings from radio stations. I have found two radio stations in town, 103.3 and 107.5, that have half priced gift certificates and other deals to local restraunts and attractions. Sometimes you even get good deals on travel.

Don't pass up registering for radio station giveaways either! Your chances are pretty decent with local giveaways. If its free and your interested, what's the harm??

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Terrible Two's Have Debuted

How do I know my 20 month old is full blow terrible twos? Because I had this conversation this morning with my daughters daycare teacher:

Me: "Sorry, I didn't make it to the store last night, Shiloh wasn't having a good night."

Teacher: "Does Shiloh throw fits at home?"

Me: "Yeah, She is getting in the rest of her two year molars"

Teacher: "Well Yesterday she was playing with my name badge and I had to ask her to quit and she started screaming and then she was standing in the chair and I told her to get down and she went ballistic."

I did not really know how to respond at that point. I was secretly hoping she had not started throwing things at daycare like she did at home, when she was told "No". I was secretly hoping she was not full blown back talking with "No I do it."

I was secretly hoping that we would somehow skip the terrible two's, but my daughter and the word ballistic in the same sentence? I think the terrible two's have officially debuted.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Is it the right time?

The first picture, lot 23, is our current house. Second picture parcel 7.17 is what we are considering.

Sometimes things unexpectedly land in your lap! Recently an very nice couple that has been a long time family friend offered me their house at a discounted price, if no realtors are involved. I have explained that we have a house currently that would HAVE to be sold, before we could even think about being in a posistion to buy their house. They said they would hold on the their house for now and give us a chance to sell ours.

Anytime anyone offers you a house a good 25 thousand below appraisal, it deserves some serious consideration. We were not currently looking to sell our house, though we have talked about moving in the future to be closer to Zachary. We just both thought we needed to get in a better financial situation and our house could use a little work before its "market" worthy.

Whenever I am faced with a major decision, I find myself mentally making Pros/Cons lists, just like my dad taught me the first time I was considering spending my allowance I had saved for oh so long.

Pros: we would be considerably closer to Zachary; bigger yard; the hubby would be closer to his friends and family, making him much happier; we would already have equity in the house.

Cons: Shiloh would have to change daycares and I dearly love her daycare, so does she; the montly payment would be more, not helping the financial posistion; the stress of having to sell our house and knock out a couple of other bills so we can afford this purchase.

If this were just a house we had found on the internet, I don't even know if I would seriously consider it. I would fall back on the "this just doesn't seem like the right time" excuse and tell myself houses like this would still be there when we decided we were ready.

However, with everything going on lately, for this house to basically just fall into our laps, I wonder if this is a sign? The odds are certainly not in our favor, but everything does happen for a reason right? The stars do align just right sometimes?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Birthday Freebies

Yes, Shiloh's birthday is still 4 months away with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas between now and then. Yes, I am already obsessed with where we will have it this year. I am having absolutely NO luck finding an affordable (cheap) and approriate place to have a 2 year olds birthday party.

However, I have found some awesome birthday freebies!!!

My Three Favorites are:

1. Toys R Us looks like it will be my favorite. Register your child's birthday and you will get a 10% off coupon for the month leading up to his/her birthday and THEN your child will get their very own card and gift (I hear it is a $5 gift certificate) from Geoffrey on their birthday!

2. If you register your child at Sonic.com, they will get a coupon for a free kids meal the month of their birthday. Register yourself too as an adult and you'll get a special treat on your birthday as well (though I am not sure what)!

3. The Childrens Place will send you a 15% off coupon for use during your child's birthday month. Who doesn't need a new birthday outfit?

Well back to my search for a party place. If you have any affordable (cheap) and appropriate ideas, please let me know!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Three Months Paci Free!

This morning, I innocently planned to replace my daughters summer back up clothes with winter back up clothes at daycare. When I got her bin down at daycare this morning, I saw it. The LAST emergency paci.

Three months ago, my daughter gave up her paci cold turkey. Looking back I really think I was more dependent upon it than her. My daughter loved her paci and it went everywhere with us. In 17 months, we had only lost one pacifier. I dreaded taking her pacifier away. I imagined days of screaming and weeks of not sleeping.

The first day was a little rough, with her whining for it from time to time, but we made it. It helped to have my husband there, because when one of us thought about giving in, we reminded each other how long we HAD made it, and stayed strong. I tried to distract her with gold fish crackers, sippy cups and her favorite toys and books and we made it through the day. Getting her to sleep that night was rough. She just would not stay in her toddler bed and kept crying. I let her fall asleep watching TV with me that night.

The second day was much easier. She asked and looked for her beloved paci a few times, but no whining and crying. Bedtime went much better as well. She cried for about 5 minutes, but she stayed in her bed and went to sleep all on her own.

From the third day on, she has not asked for it, not once! We used to keep one in her car seat and it took almost a month for her to stop looking for it each time we got in the car, but she never cried.

For the first couple of weeks, I kept an extra paci with the tip cut off (from our first attempt at breaking the habbit)in my purse. Other emergency paci's were in diaper bags and even one hidden in my car. Slowly all of these made it into a cabinet and then finally into a box to be stored. I had forgotten about the one at daycare. This morning as I left daycare, I put in my pocket so tonight I can place it in the box with the others to close a chapter of our lives. She is a big girl now, and mommy doesn't know how to feel.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wal-Mart Failed

Wal-Mart you have failed me. Yesterday I requested that someone at the corporate level please contact me about my complaint, and I also requested that any contact be made by e-mail, and provided my e-mail address. Last night, I once again received a call from the Franklin, KY store, from yet another manager. I did not answer the phone, nor did I call him back. I am through playing games.

Today, however, I was searching for an Ipod touch as a Christmas gift, and google returned a search showing Wal-Mart had one of the lowest prices, so I reluctantly went to the website to look. Sure enough, an 8 gig 2nd Generation Ipod Touch was listed for $179.00. Below that was a Value Bundle package for an 8 gig 2nd Generation Ipod touch and a $10 Wal-Mart gift card for $197.98. I am sorry, I thought it was supposed to be a VALUE BUNDLE, as in saves me money, not makes them $8.98?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last Chance Wal-Mart

Friday afternoon I received a call from a manager at the Franklin Walmart store. She was a very nice lady, she said she was sorry about the incident and had corrected the problem, but did not do a whole lot for my confidence in Wal-Mart in general. She talked fast, and laid out alot of PR bull about the economic times and how Wal-Mart wanted to help not hurt their customers. Then she ended the conversation by asking if she had answered my question. What question? I had a complaint. So I sent another complaint to Wal-Mart today. I explained that I had sent a complaint on Friday, and copied that complaint into the body, then below it I added:

Friday afternoon, I received a call from a store manager, who applogized and stated the problem had been corrected and assured me she did not know how this had happened. She then asked me if she had answered my question. At the time, I was in the middle of feeding my daughter and said yes. But I am not satisfied. First, I didn't have a question, I had a complaint. Second, I wanted to complain at the corporate level, not the store level. At about this same time last year a similar experience happened, and I received just as nice of a call from a different manager trying to talk fast and appologize. But I am truely left wondering how often this happens. Most of the items on the "Clearance" aisle don't have price tags, just UPC codes, how often have I bought something that has been marked up, but put on the clearance aisle to sell quickly. How often are the tags underneath those items, listing the wrong orignal price? I am not looking for anything but corporate acknowledgment of my complaint. Please respond only using my email address listed above. Thank You.

Last chance Wal-Mart, Last chance!

Friday, October 2, 2009

My letter to Wal-Mart

Please enjoy my below complaint I just sent to Wal-Mart corporate about Franklin, KY walmart:

Last night, I was shopping at this store and went down the "clearence" aisle. There were two boxes of plastic toy trucks, bulldozers, etc with a tag underneath saying they were $3.00 reduced from $3.44. The tag ON the toy said $2.97. I am furious about this because this is not the first time this has happened. Last year, I complained because there was a tag underneath childrens swimming pools listing it as reduced from one price to another, when again, the tag on the item itself listed the price lower. I received a call from the store's manager, telling me that those items had been put in the wrong place, and the tag did not match the item above it. He appologized for the confusion and promised it would be corrected and should not happen again. This time I took pictures. If you will give me an email address to email the pictures to, I would be happy to share. This is ridiculous.

I will keep you posted on my war with Wal-Mart. I've been disgusted with their raising prices here lately anyway. I think Target and Food Lion are my new friends. In the mean time, beware of the clearance aisle!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

If I ignore it....

....will it go away? Today is just one of those days when everything hits me all at once: The stress of our situation and uncertainty of what is to come, the worries of money and how we will survive, and the feeling disconnected from the world. Day in and day out, I try to look at the bright side and hope and pray for the best. I do research to affirm where we stand and the likliness of a good outcome. I have thrown everything I have into finding ways to make and save money, telling myself it will make a difference. I never stop racking my brain. However, I never seem to shake the feeling of being disconnected from the world. My only social outlet is work, and being that, is limited. I seem to have very little in common with the people who are easily accessible to me outside of my family, and very little time for those with which I can relate. I crave something creative...to paint, photograph, write, but by the end of the night, when I alot my self some time, I am too mentally tired to do anything but loose myself in a decent T.V. program. Those few times when I do get some "me" time, I feel I need to use the time for the benefit of my family. Is this the life of a working mommy and wife? If I ignore the feelings, will they go away?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mommy Kisses

My daughter has been sick since Thursday, running a high fever. Luckily its just an ear infection and not the flu. However early Sunday morning (and I stress Early, well before 8AM) my dogs started barking and woke Shiloh up. Since I was not ready to get up, and she didn't look like she was ready to face the world either, I took her into my room and laid back down with her. I was in a light doze, and she seemed to go in and out of dozing with some wiggling in between. After one wiggling bout, she started whining and I opened my eyes just wide enough to see her holding her hand in the air. Now at 19 months old, we are heavily following the "I hurt it, so mommy kisses it and its all better" philosophy. I naturally assumed the hand or finger had been pinched, rolled on, or otherwise "hurt" and needed a mommy kiss so we could both go back to sleep. I kissed it, and that is when I realized...THERE WAS POOP ON THE HAND! Now what do I do...there are not baby wipes near by...Do I go vigurously wash my face while her hand smears poop everywhere? Do I go clean her up in her room while my face remains poopy? WHAT DO I DO?? Well I finally pick her up and run into her room, grab the baby wipes to clean up her hands and then head to the bath room to take care of my face. By the time I got to the diaper, she neede a full change of clothes as well... I guess on the bright side, kissing the poopy hand still "fixed" it and she quit whining. Mommy kisses fix everything!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Spanking your IQ

I read an interesting article that proposes that spanking your child lowers your childs IQ. I thought the article brought up several good points about how stress and emotional factors could affect a person's IQ, but I don't necessarily buy the fact that you hare intellectually harming your child by spanking him. The study does not seem to account for differences such as class, parents educational level, etc that also play a big part of a person's IQ. I also do not see how a spanking, done properly, causes more stress or emotional harm of any other discapline, done properly. Now I do agree, that frequent spankings, could cause damage emotionally, and in my opinion that also borders on abuse. I think it really comes down to parents needing to know how and when to discapline and when to just ignore a behavior or redirect. Read the article for yourself here

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kool-Aid and Rainbows

This morning was an exciting morning! Shiloh is back on a nasty antibiotic for an ear infection and mommy forgot to get it flavored at Walgreens. Today, I put a little bit of koolaid powder in this morning's dose and she took it with out any complaints! Woo Hoo for not only fixing a mommy mistake, but finding a more economical way to flavor the meds! Then, as we were pulling out of the driveway I saw this magnificent rainbow! I finally got Shiloh to see it and she called it "pretty." When I got to the end of the road, you could see both ends of the rainbow... I think that was a first for me. I was in awe.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Welcome to my Blog

Welcome to my Blog. Blogs are probably supposed to have a theme or purpose I don't know that I have one yet. Over the weeks you will probably see my current obsessions displayed here including: money saving/budgeting ideas, creative ideas, parenting and children, tv and whatever else grabs my attention. Also check out my photo blog PhotoTonic . Indecision is the key to flexibility!!