Wednesday, September 28, 2011

First Play Group

We had another meeting with Early on today.  Karen brought along a speech therapist named Heather.  I liked her before she even walked through the door.  She immediately sat on the floor with Ryder and opened him right up by playing peek a boo with him.  She said she's not worried about his speech at all, but highly recommends a play group with other children his age where he can learn to be social and hopefully improve his vocabulary.  They said he is the perfect candidate for the group because of how fun and playful he is.... and how cute.

We go tomorrow for the first play group.  I'm a bit nervous, but thrilled to meet other mom's my age and hopefully get some little friends for my Ryder.  He loves to play.  We shall see how it goes.

I'm off to organize the closet, and then make a last minute trip to the grocery store.  Having a new spin on Shane's favorite dish tonight.  He should be surprised.  Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells.


Taco Stuffed Shells

Vote For Us @!

Monday, September 26, 2011

More diverse or... More something...

Pinterest has made me a more diverse chef.  If I could actually call myself a chef... I think you actually need schooling to take that title and I'm sure the 1/2 semester of cooking class I took in high school doesn't count.

Last night we tried 'hot dog in a bowl'.  Of course I put my spin in it, but this is where my inspiration came from.

With mine, I took grilled hot dog bun and laid it on a plate.  Cut up grilled hot dog pieces over top, then added chili, cheese, onion, jalapeno, banana pepper, and sweet and hot pickles. Topped it all with mustard and ketchup. Next time I will add tomato and maybe some other items.  The way I see it, the best part of the dog is the toppings.  This dish is heaven because its the dog with TONS of toppings.  

My husband loved it.

Ryder actually pulled my plate away from me, took my fork and ate about half of mine on his own.  All together it was a big success.  The best part... it took about 10 minutes.

I also found the ultimate comfort food.  This is my next kitchen adventure.  

Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Mac & Cheese.


I'll probably give this a try tomorrow night.  Tonight is a pizza night if you ask me.  It's nice to have a break from cooking sometimes.  This way I can worry about the next trouble Ryder will get into instead of worrying about what I'm making for dinner tonight.

I have gotten more efficient.  Being the queen of the calender anymore, I have a meal plan written out weekly.  It really does help.  It makes sure I have all the ingredients available without a surprise run to the grocery store, and there isn't the hours worth of planning to figure out what I am going to feed my family for the night.  And pinning meal ideas has gotten me more creative with what I cook.

It's amazing the tricks you learn when you become a mom

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This weeks new Obsessions... Free Samples, Pinterest

I wish I could post these in my house.  They are so perfect.  

Free Samples.

I used to think it was such a waste of time to sign up for free samples (and maybe it still is).  Now though, when I receive that little package in the mail with whatever goodie it has inside.. its fun.  It's like getting an unexpected present (because you never know when they will arrive).  And... inside every one of those joy-filled boxes is a coupon for money off the full sized product.  Oh, how I love coupons.


Pinterest is my new found love and addiction.  I can never quite get enough of it, and in fact, I leave my computer on the site all day just in case I get a minute to sit down and look through all the great pictures.

Pinterest: a website where the pictures you love can be saved and linked back to the site where they came from.  You can share with friends, or repin their ideas.


Life has been fun recently.  I'm feeling very domestic, and have very much enjoyed all the extra trouble that seems to be pouring out of my boys.  Once again quoting the wise Auntie K.... "learning experience".  I've said that a lot this week... taken a deep breath and remind myself of it with every mess, broken item, spilt milk, or cry that has come my way this week.  

Wy's hair after waking from a nap.  {Priceless}

I went in to wake Ryder up to go to the store and found him like this.  Too adorable.

Walked into the kitchen after being in the bathroom for just a minute and found Ryder doing this.  He had out my flour canister and was mixing the flour into the butter with the knife I'd used for breakfast.  Bad me for leaving the knife where he could reach... but how cute is that?  Maybe I have a little baker for a son.

Trevor and Ryder are inseparable this weekend.  When Trevor is sitting on the couch, Ryder has to be right next to him watching whatever he is.  Trevor was dancing and singing in the kitchen, so Ryder was dancing and singing right along with him (Ryder's sort of singing of course).  He loves Trevor so much that I wish Trevor could be here more often to spend time with him.  I feel its so important for Ryder to have a big brother, as well as be a big brother.  

Vote For Us @!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Couponing and Transformations

As I've said a thousand times, couponing has now become a lifestyle.  It's literally become a normal part of every day, like brushing your teeth.  Paying full price for something is out of the question, and in the case where I absolutely HAVE to pay full price... I cringe.

This week I was able to get right around 12 bags of cat treats, 4 packages of Shick disposable razors, 3 travel size connect 4 games, and some Toy Story 3 Operation games for whatever tax was on all those items.  I didn't pay a dime to the store itself.

I've starting stocking up for Christmas.  If I'm able to find this many deals on toys all season, then couponing may very well pay for my Christmas this year too!  Of course, I'm going to apologize now if instead of getting a basket full of chocolates, cookies, cakes and other Christmas treats, you're probably going to get a basket full of body wash, toothpaste, and air freshener.

Ryder is transforming again.  It's a funny word to use when describing a toddler, but it really is as if a transformation is going on right in front of my face.  He's at the stage where everything changes very quickly.  He has finally... yes, finally... started to talk.  I can see the concentration in his face when he watches us speak, and if I say something enough, he will try to copy it.  He now says 'more' and 'one more' many times on a daily basis, and we're almost getting him to say 'drink'.  He amazes us.

We also cannot take our eyes off him.  Ryder decided this morning that Wy needed to wear a hat.  He gets into more trouble than I can keep up with, but I'm loving every second of it. 

My baby isn't really a baby anymore either.  He eats baby food, he crawls around the floor like a pro, and hes starting to sit up.  I'm beginning to get the itch for a little warm bundle to cuddle again.  

Ryder just took the lid off his sippy cup, went running for the kitchen, got up on the counter and poured what was left of Wy's water into his cup, and then put the lid bad on.  (and now he's filling it with what was left of his blueberries from lunch.)

My favorite coupon find recently... while not free, still an awesome deal.  Huggies diapers, only $2.99 for a package.  You can see how a momma with two in diapers would love this deal!  I get the name brand good diapers for cheaper than the store brand!

I have a small sense of accomplishment for that.  It wasn't there a week ago.  After the first accident I was on the phone with the local road commission asking that they put a sign up on that corner.  When the second accident happened I was on the phone with the same gentleman politely demanding that something be done there.  He made me aware that he agrees with me, it probably won't do any good with teenagers and drunk drivers anyway because they don't pay attention to signs, and that it would probably take months for anything to happen because the township has to pay for it.  Within two weeks of that second call they were out putting the signs up.  I wanted something more like "35mph recommended" or "SLOW"  but anything is better than nothing.  Maybe it will save someone's life... and my garage.

I had no idea that being a mother would be so rewarding.  Three years ago I spent almost every night crying myself to sleep hopeless of every having any children.  God has blessed me in the biggest way with my boys.  They are about as special as any little boys could be.  Even when their faces are smudged with leftover lunch and there is lines of snot running down their nose like the little man that is standing there looking at me now.

Off to wash faces.

Vote For Us @!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Uninspired for words today.  I've been sick, but pushing on through life, monster children, painting my bathroom, and a benefit dinner.

The dinner was for Shane's dad.  He was diagnosed with Lyme's Disease and the mediciation and proceedure that is needed to get him better costs right around the 10 grand range.  Ouch, right?  His insurance is paying for 80% of the proceedure but isn't touching the medication itself.  We've called everywhere and the best help we could get was a coupon and a prescription discount card.  So we held a dinner.  It was at our house, in our newly fenced in yard.  The weather was beautiful, the food was gone very quickly, we got to see a lot of faces that we haven't for awhile, and we were able to raise around $2,000 for Gary's antibiotics.  It's a small chunk out of a big number, but I'd say it went perfect. 

We are so appreciative of all the kindness that everyone put forward.  To be honest, looking at some of the numbers on the checks, I was shocked to know that people can open their hearts that much when most of them are fighting to pay their own bills.  God really does His work.

Ryder and Shane were sitting on the chair playing with some bionics toys.  Ryder loves anything that he can put together.  Shane and I were talking, and Shane says "I just need one more of these to put this together" and Ryder didn't even look up from what he was doing, but out of his mouth came "one more".  I think that both of our jaws dropped at the same time.  It really was something more like "uhn moh" but for that precious little silent boy to spout out anything, much less TWO words... amazing.

The three of us spent the next hour saying 'one more'.

I still haven't got my car back.  I'm a little disapointed at the amount of time that it's taking him to fix it.  As soon as we get it back we have to hand over Shane's truck.  How long will that take?  At least its getting fixed and hopefully, after that, my car will be sold and I can get something more affordable.... as in... paid for. 

Like I said, uninspired for words.  They just aren't flowing today.

The last picture is the new door that Shane and his brother put in my dinning room.  The room was like a cave before and now its bright, and very enjoyable.  I actually find myself sitting there looking outside now.  And Ryder mopping up the mess for me.  If I get the broom, mop, or vacuum out without him getting to help I'd better be ready for a tantrum!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Life has been busy recently.  Blogging seems to be the last thing in the very back of my mind.  Coming after dirty diapers, house painting, two-year-old-fits, benefit dinner, landscaping, starting solid foods, house cleaning,  and a beefed up high iron diet.

I never told you about my exciting two-week shopping spree.  The local store was having its Proctor and Gamble Mega Sale.  Buy 4 P&G items, receive $4.00 off at the register.  With a store that doubles $1 coupons, it made 99% of my shopping cart free.  I went 4 times.  I stocked up on things like Gillette body wash, 3 different kinds of deodorant, dawn dish soap, floss picks, Scope mouthwash, Crest toothpaste, Aussie Shampoo and conditioner, Febreze Set and Refresh, Febreze Air freshener, and more!  The only thing I paid anything for was the shampoo.  I got around $700 worth of items for $25.  Not bad right?

Now you tell me... could you ever pay full price for anything again after doing that?

I want to teach the world.  I've been greatly considering starting a class at the church.  There are so many people out there that don't have the money to buy these items, or they do without something so that they can buy something else.  Believe me, I've been there.  You wouldn't believe some of the things that are sacrificed if you really need diapers.

I've been given a gift, and I want to share.

Ryder is currently trying to figure out how to get his oreo (I needed comfort food) into his cup of milk.  The lid seems like just a temporary blockade.

I went to Walmart the other day.  They now give cash back if you have an overage after coupons.  I purchased 6 Air Freshener warmers, and 4 trial size Cascade packages.  I walked out of the store with $7.46 in my pocket that they paid me.  It went right into the gas tank.  Since they had been so nice to give me that money, I used their gas station.

I now have a fenced in yard.  It brings me such joy to sit outside and watch Ryder run and play with the knowledge that he doesn't have access to run near the road now.  And thanks to my wonderful husband and his brother, I now have a beautiful patio to sit on while I watch them.  They did an amazing job of it too.  It's more than I ever expected, and I've been dreaming of a deck since we moved in here.  

Life is good.  Times are hard, there are problems to solve and messes to clean up, emotions to mask and deal with later, people to forgive and insults to forget, but life is good and I'm happy. 

And babies to comfort.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Home sweet home

My house feels different. I feel different. Its funny how you make the slightest change and it can give you peace. A small sort of peace, because there is only one way to real peace, but peace at that.  I feel happy, better than I have in months even.

A good lesson to us all: if you burn enough bridges eventually no one will be on your side.

Ryder is beginning to act two. I have a few months left until I can actually say I have a two year old though.  He really is a handful. One of his new favorites is to make Wyatt cry and then run as fast as he can so he doesn't get in trouble. I have to try really hard not to laugh at the way his little legs move faster then the rest of him.

I have lots of pictures to post, those will come tomorrow. I finally have the whole day to myself in my house where everything is finally mine again. I think even my pillow will feel slightly better tonight.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finally a safe place to play

Vote if you'd like to play on the rock with Ryder!
Vote For Us @!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This week has been busy.  We've done a zoo trip, a park trip, gotten new tire machines for the shop, sent Trevor home for school, dealt with stupid insurance issues, hopefully sold my car, and saved a TON of money couponing.

The zoo trip was fun.  I love that zoo because its small, and its beautiful with all the trees and the gardens.
Ryder was more interested in playing in the dirt and throwing rocks than looking at animals but he still had fun.  He was a little scared of the goats.  Trevor and Jake (Trevor's cousin) had a great time looking at all the animals and telling each other facts about them.

After a very successful coupon trip we took Ryder to the zoo to play while we waited for Wyatt's doctor's appointment.  It was the coolest zoo I've ever seen.  It was about the size of my house and never ending.  I was a little afraid Ryder would get lost in it (even though its as safe as it could be) so I spent the whole time going down as many slides and tunnels as he did.  We had fun.

Hes in pajama's still because we left the house at 5am.  I didn't feel the need to get him dressed that early.  

Shane made cheeseburgers for dinner the other night.  We interrupted color time to eat them. I'm thinking now that it wasn't such a good idea to mix crayons with mealtime.

I had an extremely great week in couponing.  I will break it all down for you in another post.  Now I'm off to clean my house, fold the laundry, vacuum the floors, change diapers and make dinner.  Can I borrow someone's extra hands?

Vote if you think cheeseburgers taste better with crayon in them.
Vote For Us @!