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Entries from March 2010

Moving To The Beat

That title doesn't mean anything. It's just the song that's on my iPod right now. Yes, it's the Black Eyed Peas. I'm still listening to their The E.N.D. album constantly. It's catchy, y'all!

I haven't been productive this week. I've been sleepy. Today was no different; I slept until 1300 after being up 'til 0500 or so. I can't do that tomorrow, because Rob is on days just for the day for a Safety Stand-down, so I think I'm going to be staying up all night. It's the only way. I haven't been hearing my alarm at ALL. The lunches are already packed and ready go, so I just have to get the chillens up, fed and dressed.


After I got up, I sat at the computer to try and work out the weekly deals for Target, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Farm Fresh and Kroger! Dude. It's like a full-time job keeping up with everything! I don't know how I'm going to be able to do it when I'm subbing every day, seeing as how it's already Wednesday (well, Thursday now) and I haven't even gone to get the stuff that started on Sunday.

I already decided that I'm going to take off every Wednesday, though, because there's no way I can finish a sub job, get home, pick up the kids from the after-school house where they'll be, and get Sophie to her dance class on time. We'd be lucky to get there by the time it ended! So I won't work Wednesdays, and that will allow me to shop the weekly deals, too.

I didn't get much done on the deals, just because it really is a time-consuming task, before 1500. I had barely just enough time to shower, get dressed and run a comb through my hair, grab a magazine and the dance bag, and drive down to the bus stop to pick up the kids. We flew to class and got Sophie there five minutes late. Now that school ends 20 minutes later every day, it's going to have to be like that.

The plan, as usual, was to have Jack and Chloë work on their homework while Sophia danced, but neither of them had a pencil or anything with them, and I forgot to bring the "homework box." So none of it was finished in the whole two hours we sat there, between both girls' classes. Suckage. Jack covered his head with his coat and fell asleep for most of it, and Chloë read her library book. I read my magazine and alternately played Scrabble on my iPhone. I think have 22 games going at once right now!

Oh, did I mention (I know I didn't, so why am I asking?) that Sophia cut her hair again last night? Yeah. A third time. I sent the kids to bed, waited about 3½ seconds, and then went to lie down myself. I wasn't really tired, but I was super cold, so the only thing I could do was get under some blankets. Before I knew it, I was fast asleep. I woke up a couple hours later and found that the kids (Jack and Sophia, I later determined) had come down and eaten up almost all of those Ghirardelli chocolate bars I'd saved in the freezer for Rob! Then I went to the bathroom and found locks of little blond girl hair all over the floor. ARGHHHHH. And Sophie drew all over our yellow sheets with purple marker, too. That's where Rob found her when he came home - asleep in our bed, on top of her "artwork."

This is what she looked like after her last haircut, when all three of the kids went to get their hair fixed just a week  and a half ago:

010 (5)

 And this is what she looked like after dance class, outside the hair salon where I brought her for a fix-up tonight:


Ohhh, Sophie, Sophie, Sophie! You really did a number on yourself. Here's after the newest fix:


I have to admit, except for the extra-short piece where her bangs are screwy, it's actually pretty cute on her. But don't tell her that, please!!


Our box from The Children's Place was waiting for us on the porch when we came home after the haircut. I'd gotten 18 shirts (sizes 4 & 5 for Jack and size 7/8 for Chloë, for the future if they ever grow that big...) on clearance for $2.54 each! If you know TCP, then you know that's an excellent price. People mock those of us who like to dress our children in TCP and Gymboree, and the like, but if you shop the deals and clearances, you can pay less than what you'd spend on less cute and, often, lower quality clothes at Target and Wal-mart! I showed the kids all their new clothes - none for Sophie, since she mostly gets Chlo's hand-me-downs - and they were very excited about everything. Coupla clothes horses I've got here!

Chloë had decided to cash in 105 of her 108 Dad Dollars to treat herself and her siblings to kids' meals at Wendy's, so we had hit the drive-thru on the way home. I'm glad she did that, because she's had so many in her envelope, she wouldn't do anything for me, saying, "I don't need any more Dad Dollars." Of course, I haven't been making them spend them as much lately, letting them just watch DVDs and play games on my iPhone without "paying" me for them, so it's my own fault. Time to crack the whip again!


After the kids ate dinner, I helped with homework while working on the Double-Dollar Wednesday Farm Fresh deals. There were a LOT of excellent deals this week! It was after 8 by the time we got in the car to go get 'em, but I really couldn't pass up the goods. I'll spare you all the details (just this time, 'kay?), but I'll say I spent a grand total of $37.59 on all of the above! I saved a veritable crapload of money! And let me just tell you, those ZonePerfect bars, which I got for 19¢ each, are NASTY. I took one bite of one and, after gagging a little (not really), left the rest for Rob. His opinion was the same, but he ate it anyway! If you want the breakdown on what I got, I'll tell you, but it won't do you any good since (a) you probably don't live where there's a Farm Fresh and (b) it's no longer Wednesday, anyway! 

{If you DO live here in Hampton Roads and want to get the Double-Dollar Wednesday deals each week, be sure and subscribe to The Coupon Consultant in your blog reader! That's pretty much all she's good for, but it's worth it not to have to work it all out myself.}

After Farm Fresh, we actually tried to go to two other FF stores, because although I managed to get the four packs of yogurt above for free (two Dan-o-nino and two Activia), I could have also gotten four more (two DanActive and two Danimals Crush Cups - Jack's FAVORITE) for free. Every store in the area was sold out! So 2100 is definitely not the time to go out and shop the deals. First thing is the best thing. Oh, well - win some, lose some.

{I'm finding it seriously hard to type this up and listen/sing to the Peas at the same time, so if it's all crazy, forgive me!}

We went back home, and the kids helped me carry in the food. They always get so excited to see what I bought, even when they were there with me! It's so funny. I kind of feel the same way, though. Before my surgery, I'd get so excited about all the fun new food, I'd eat way too much of it that first night. They were all hungry again, so I let them each have a yogurt before getting ready for bed.

I was cleaning up the kitchen when Rob came home not long after that. He got off early tonight; I think he was home before 10, whereas he normally strolls in sometime between 0100 and 0400. That was nice, even though I was sorta cranky with him! I don't care how mad I am at him, I still love it when he comes home and is near me. And he knows it, the punk.

Okay, back to my deals for tomorrow. And my tunes.


PS I spoke to the person in charge of new leaders over at the Girl Scout council today. I'm getting the ball rolling already on being Sophie's Daisy leader. I'm so excited to begin my training!

PPS When Rob got home, I set him to work fixing the Hoover FloorMate I got from Freecycle, because the dog has pretty much painted the ENTIRE downstairs flooring with her muddy footprints, and I do not relish the idea of cleaning the entire thing on my hands and knees. Welp, it's beyond repair. Man, I was really excited about the idea of a simple clean every single night, too. Maybe I'll get one off Amazon, since I just cashed in my Swagbucks for my fourth $5 Amazon gift certificate! Between SB and Deal Seeking Mom's Coupon Database, I have $45 in free money already, since mid-January or so. Woot!

Just Another Manic Monday

I'm going to be brief. Ish. For me. No pics, because my camera's being a pain, and I'm really not in the mood to upload a dozent times right now.

Today was pretty crazy. I crashed - without making that banana bread - at around 0500 this morning, but Rob woke me up at 0730ish to get the kids ready for school. He had to go to the doctor or he would have done it for me. I made their lunches and got them out the door on time, as he'd already given them breakfast.

I would have loved to go back to sleep after that, but I had a meeting at the school at 10. It was 0815 by then, so I just stayed up, had some caffeine, and puttered until it was time to take a shower. I got to the school on time, but the social worker I was meeting with was running late. He soon came in, all rush-rush, and took me back to the conference room.

I was there to give him all the social history on Jack, who is being re-evaluated for special ed services. We talked at length about the boy-child, filling in those pieces of the puzzle. It will be really interesting to find out the results when we have a meeting about them in a few weeks, because it has long been debated whether he is actually disabled or just a stubborn little punkass!!

After that meeting, I got Chloë's records to try and find out what her gifted and IQ testing showed. I couldn't really decipher anything - other than that she's in the 98th percentile for verbal skills and something like 57th for nonverbal, which sounds about right! - so I'll need to call down to the testing center for more information. I'm just curious, really.  The gifted cluster teacher came down and talked to me, but she isn't trained to read all those numbers, so she couldn't help me too much. She was very reassuring, though, about all my concerns with Chloë's progress in school.

Education is a high priority for me as well as for Rob, so it's of the utmost importance to me to do the right thing for all three kids. Should we homeschool or keep them in the public school? I don't know. I go back and forth in my mind every single day. I just wish I knew the right thing to do!

Anyway. As I was leaving, I talked to the special ed teacher who helps Jack every day, and she said he has been making tremendous progress lately. Good news is always welcome. My take-home message for the day seems to be, "Don't worry so much, Mom!"

After leaving the school, I stopped by the bank to deposit a huge chunk of money from the weekend's cookie sales. It's always such a relief to get all that cash out of my hands and into a safe place!

I went home and found Rob home from his appointment, cleaning the kitchen. I really wanted that banana bread, so I immediately started throwing the ingredients together in the new mixer. Using it is such a pleasure, I almost made five more things right after that. I stopped myself when I realized we either didn't have the ingredients or wouldn't be able to use them up before they went bad!

The bread finished just minutes before Rob had to leave for work, so I wrapped up a big piece for his lunch. He texted me later to say that it was really good. I'm just glad he had a treat today in his pack.

After that, around 1400 or so, I fell asleep. I had intended to lie down just for an hour, and be completely recharged after that, but it didn't quite happen that way. The kids normally get home on the bus around 1515, but their school day is now extended by 20 minutes each day to make up for all the inclement weather we've had lately.  I guess I slept right through my alarm, because the next thing I knew, Chloë and Jack burst through the door yelling at me, "Mom! Mom! Sophia is still on the bus!"

I jumped up, shouting, "Oh, shit!" and ignored the urgent need to pee so I could run the kids down to the school to pick her up. Well, Chloë neglected to tell me that the bus driver was going to swing back around, in case I had been confused about the new drop-off time. The bus driver had my number, thankfully, and she called me to see where I was. I was halfway to the school, and traffic was insane, so it took me a minute to get back to their corner. Sophia came flying off the bus and into my arms, happily. I was worried she might be upset. I apologized to the driver, who laughed it off, and then we zoomed off to the kids' dentist appointments.

While we waited in the lobby, Chloë and I went over all the different choices for summer camp programs for this year. At first, she was adamant that she didn't want to go to camp this year, but I told her I would read her the descriptions and then let her decide. In the end, she was really excited about four different programs! Two for sleep-away camp in Williamsburg for a week (the bookworm and arts ones), and two for day camp in Chesapeake for a week (the spa and dance ones). I decided to let her do one of each, and we chose the bookworm and spa ones. She's really excited, and I'm glad she's decided to go after all. I think it's good for her.

I filled out all the paperwork for that, and started reading all about the coursework and opportunities for being a Daisy leader for next year (yay! I'm thrilled now that I've decided to do it), while they were in with the dentist. Thankfully we've qualified for financial assistance from the council for camp every year; hopefully this year will be no different, although of course they only cover part of one session.

The dentist's report was NOT good this time, oh my. Sophia was fine; we just talked about how long she would be without her two front teeth. It could be another two or three years, and it's already been almost two. Poor kid. I can't WAIT to see her with teeth again! We also talked about getting some of that nasty stuff to help her stop sucking her thumb. She is thoroughly attached to it and frequently tells me how much she adores it.

Chloë has a crossbite, which we knew, and the doc said it was time to start gathering orthodontic information on her. I'll have to make an appointment for that, as well as one for a frenectomy. Did I mention that last time? Her upper frenulum is really thick, and he wants to cut that so her teeth can come into the proper position. We both think she'll do okay with it in his office and a little numbing, so hopefully we're right!  Also, she had that black stuff on her teeth again, so they had to scrape it off again.

Jack was the worst. None of our kids have ever had cavities, but he came back with EIGHT cavities this time!!!!! Oh, my word. I nearly fainted. We'll need to get started on filling those right away. Hopefully they'll call me tomorrow to schedule that. The doc said that if it were Sophia, who is very nervous in his chair despite liking him a thousand times better than our last dentist, he'd do it all at once at the hospital under sedation, but he doesn't think Jack needs to do that. Instead, we'll break it up into about four different appointments, attacking one area at a time. Poor kid. He brushes - I swear! - so there's just no telling sometimes.

The kids were starving after that - it was nearly 1800 - so we went home and had dinner. Which consisted of Cheerios, but oh well. It was better than nothing, and it's what they all wanted.  I had a troop dad pick up some cookies, and then we got ready to go out to Jack's Tiger cub meeting.

Instead of meeing at the church as usual, tonight's meeting was down at the local police department. A very nice officer gave us an informative talk and tour; I have lots of pictures that I'll share tomorrow when I'm (hopefully) in the mood. The boys were freaking hysterical with all their questions; we parents were in stitches most of the time! My girls had a good time, too. The hour and a half visit was a well worth the time.

On the way home, we delivered Chloë's last box of cookies. She's all paid up, yay!

When we came home, the kids were hungry again, so I gave them each a bowl of ice cream and realized we'd forgotten entirely about homework! Oops. I wrote notes to the kids' teachers, since it was already 2100, and I wasn't going to keep them up another hour or two for that. No way.

I went upstairs and helped them get ready for bed, and then I sat there outside their rooms for a minute, playing Scrabble on my iPhone (thanks for getting me addicted, Mom!!) to make sure they went right to sleep. Normally, I just go downstairs and have to holler up, "GO TO SLEEP!!!!" every ten minutes, because they play. I wasn't in the mood to deal with that, and guess what? All three were zonked out in minutes. Guess I've got a new bedtime strategy.

Welp, I had a billion trillion things I wanted to do tonight, but I'm freezing, exhausted, and unmotivated. I suppose I oughtta go to bed at a semi-decent time for once. Night!



A Few Things I Neglected To Tell You This Week

... along with my usual rambling shit. No "deals" or coupons will be mentioned in this post. I promise! ;)


(All BEP pictures taken by yours truly)

If you're friends with me on Facebook, then you already know all about the fact that last Friday, I won tickets from our newspaper to go see the Black Eyed Peas!!!  The concert was on Monday, so I quickly posted on Facebook to find a "date," since Rob works nights and couldn't go. So sad, so sad. A friend, Linda (not the one who sometimes babysits the kids) whom we met through Chloë's acting & modeling stuff, jumped right up and asked to go, so I thought, why not? Steph surely wasn't going to leave the baby to go with me, anyone else who I would seriously want to go with either has a baby, couldn't have gone, or lives a jillion miles away. And so it was.


The funny thing was, on Saturday, Linda (pictured above at the concert with me, looking terrible in this pic) called to tell me her daughter had just won tickets to the same concert! So Linda, Laura, her guy friend, and I headed up to Hampton on Monday to watch LMFAO, Ludacris (what an awesome opening act!!) and the Peas. Tabitha's 14yo daughter, Gia, watched the kids. I kind of felt bad leaving them for so long (ended up being 7 hours!) on a school night, especially since Jack wasn't feeling well... but it was the BLACK EYED PEAS, for Pete's sake! I couldn't pass up the chance. I ♥ them!


LMFAO, the opener, was, um, interesting. I'd never heard of them before this concert, and that's just fine with me. I didn't hate them - they were pretty funny, actually - but I didn't love them, either. They entertained, but when their set was over, I was ready for it.


Between each act, Linda and I moved up closer and closer to the stage. Oh, did I mention our tickets were on the FLOOR, and we were maybe 5-8 people from the stage at any given time?! We were so close to them. It was awesome. Her daughter wasn't so lucky, but their seats weren't terrible, either. Ludacris (above, on the right) was pretty awesome. That was a good time. 


The crowd went crazy when the Peas finally came onstage. Taboo (left) and (right) were looking as hot as I've ever seen them. I was feelin' it!


When did his freestyle rap, oh, man... HOT.


Fergie... what's there to say? It was incredible being in the same room with this phenomenal (IMO) talent. Loved it, loved every minute of the whole concert!! I really had a ball and, a week later, am still way amped about going. What a great night!!

I didn't get home until nearly 0100, and poor Gia was exhausted. She'd slept, but not much. Just as we were pulling in, she texted me that Chloë woke up with an earache.


So, sick kid #2 for the week. On Tuesday, Jack stayed home, but Chloë felt better after a dose of meds. By Thursday, Sophia was sick, too! She came home early on Thursday and stayed home all day Friday. Poor kiddos had a rough week. I came down with Sophie's upset tummy on Friday, which wasn't too bad and hey, it probably helped me lose a little weight. I didn't really mind it...!

Friday, Sophia felt a lot better, but they wouldn't let her go back to school until she'd been 24 hours without the poopies. She went along and did all my running for the day. We went to the Navy base and got my TB test read (all clear), and then we went out and turned in all my sub documentation so that I could finally get fingerprinted. At last, I've only been waiting since September! Now I'm just waiting to get my official letter in the mail and then I can start. Can't wait!


Jack's very $$$ growth hormone meds had been delivered the week before, so we just started up giving him his nightly shots again. Unfortunately, I gave him one of the shots upstairs one night, and then I asked him to bring the box - which contained not only that night's meds but ALL seven vials of HGH - back down to the refrigerator. The meds MUST be refrigerated. I never went back downstairs that night, so imagine my dismay the following night when I found the box on an oft-neglected counter instead of in the refrigerator!!  Augh!! I called up the manufacturer and discussed the problem with them at length on Friday; we finally concluded that the medicine was not longer effective nor guaranteed safe, and it would have to be discarded. Holy cow.

So then I called up the military mail-order pharmacy that ships it to us, to see about getting a replacement. I explained what happened, and the guy on the phone told me, "Well, I can send an early refill, but you'll have to pay for it." With much trepidation and a lump in my throat, I asked, "How much will that be?" I expected the answer to be in the thousands of dollars, so I was overjoyed when he told me, "It wasn't our fault, so you'll have to pay the nine-dollar co-pay again." Hell yeah, I'll pay nine bucks!! Phew phew phew!!!

Guarantee you I won't be keeping all seven vials in one place like that ever again!

On Friday night after the kids were in bed, I had a little manic streak and found myself busy in the kitchen. I was looking for something under the kitchen sink, which was a scary scene with all the cheap cleaning products I've been stocking up on lately. I pulled everything out, clean the disgusting shelf, and reorganized everything by current usage requirements, type, size, shape, color and alphabet. Okay, maybe not those last few things, but it looks good! I give it maybe five days before Rob messes it all up again, though.

After that, I decided to give the Hoover FloorMate I'd picked up a few months ago from a fellow Freecycler a try. Our floor is nastay right now, so it really needed a good scrubbing.  Well, I took a "before" picture of the floor, but the damn thing didn't work. I had my water and baking soda solution all over the floor, but no suction. That sucked. I dried it up, but not before Lily (the dog) came in with her muddy footprints all over everything. That was fun.


Then, I spied the brown bananas on top of the fridge and finally decided to give my new mixer a spin! I know, I know, it's not the first thing I was supposed to make with it, which was the first thing Rob told me when he came home from work that night. Hmph. At least I finally used it! And believe-you-me, it was quite the thrill! That machine is a Godsend. I love it, love it, love it and will be using it much more frequently after this! So powerful and fast! My banana bread was mixed up in seconds. It even mashed the bananas for me, effortlessly!


And as good as that chocolate chip banana bread looked, it tasted even better. Yeah, I had some. More than a little. SO FREAKING GOOD! We have more bananas, so I may be making another loaf before I get to Rob's lemon poppy seed bread. I think this was the best banana bread I ever made. Seriously. And I thank the KitchenAid.

I stayed up all night that night, with the help of the caffeine-full Diet Coke I'd gotten earlier that day and the Black Eyed Peas on my iPod. Chloë and I had an 0800-1000 booth sale at one of the Food Lion stores in town, and I was in a really hyped mood, so there was no point in going to sleep for just a couple hours and possibly missing the booth. The time passed really quickly, although I can't say I got a lot accomplished after the kitchen stuff. I started packing up the van around 0630, but it was so extremely cold out (for here) that I was shivering uncontrollably and in tears when I finally woke Rob up to help me finish packing the cookies. Could. Not. Get. Warm.

That booth sale SUCKED. The girls were freezing and miserable, and we barely had any customers. No cookies were sold at all for the first 50 minutes, and in the end, we only sold 18 boxes. It was awful!

However, I had a good conversation with Nikki, our Leader who was there with her daughter, and we/I decided that I'm going to lead Sophia and her daughter next year - along with whomever else I take on - in their Daisy troop!! I'd been toying with the idea (I mentioned it here recently) for a while, but I finally decided to go for it. I don't know how to let them know, but I'll find out soon. I'm excited!! Technically, Nikki and I are both going to Co-Lead Chloë's Juniors troop (they'll bridge to Juniors at the end of this year) and Sophie's Daisy troop, but she'll mainly take over the duties for the older girls, and I'll have the younger ones. We'll help each other out as needed. She doesn't like to go to all the meetings, whereas I like that stuff. But I don't want to drag all the kids with me, so I'll go do that if she keeps my kids. She's got four of her own, so it'll be, uh, fun in her house during the meetings! It sounds like a really good plan to me. I can't wait to get started, now.


I napped (I think? I can't remember) after that, and then it was time to get ready to go to the evening booth sale at Farm Fresh. Rob and Jack were off to Hampton (the same place where the BEP concert was on Monday) to watch the car races with the Cub Scout pack. They couldn't get an extra ticket, and I couldn't find a babysitter, so Sophia had to come with me to the booth sale. I put her in Chloë's old Daisy uniform (which will be hers next year) and made her an honorary Daisy for the night. How cute does she look?! (The one pigtail was blowing in the wind; they really did match, I swear!)

Sophia was beyond excited to help sell cookies! She couldn't wait. I had to talk to her repeatedly about behaving like a big girl, but for the first hour, she really did great. She asked the customers if they would like to buy cookies and relished saying, " support our troop!" Her favorite part was leading them over to the cookie table, where I was, and helping them select their varieties. She would hold a box of cookies up that she wanted them to buy with one hand, with her other thumb in her mouth, and just look cute. It worked so well, we ran out of the three slow-selling kinds of cookies that I kept telling her to "push"!

After the next mom-Brownie pair arrived to relieve Nikki and her daughter, Sophie and I quickly ran home to grab the rest of our cookie stock. In the five minutes we were there, Sophie had time time go potty, grab a drink, and get a booboo. The booboo part deflated her, and she wanted no part of selling cookies when we got back. She sat by me or near/under a table behind me for a while, until her mood improved, and then she got back out on the floor again. It was by far our best booth sale this year, and we had a lot of fun!

The boys were still out at their races when we got home, and Rob texted me picture after picture of Jack having the time of his life. It was a thrill-a-minute for him, I heard. He loved the crashes! I'll have to get those pictures off my phone and share them another time.



The girls and I watched Little Women, and Chloë was sobbing big, happy tears during the whole thing. My little emotional baby girl. It would not surprise me at all if it turned out she's bipolar, too. She loved the movie, though, and watched it again on Sunday. Sophia and I fell asleep snuggled up on the couch together, and I didn't wake up until Chloë was kissing me good-night. And then again when Rob and Jack came home, and he lifted Sophie off me so I could be comfortable. She's getting so big and heavy!

I did not wake up until noon the next day, thanks to someone coming to buy some cookies from us after seeing the soap-writing I'd done on Vanna's windows about the sale. Thank goodness she did, because I was supposed to pick up more cookies at 1100 for the booth sale at 1300! I raced out, picked up the cookies, and then dropped them off at M's house for the booth. Chloë and I didn't have to do this one, thankfully.

While that was going on, Rob and the Littles were outside in the sunshine. He was painting the house trim, while the kids and Neighbor Kid were driving the Power Wheels all over the driveway. Chloë and I went out delivering and selling more cookies. We didn't sell a whole lot - less than 10 boxes - but every little bit counts. She was just starting to fuss about being cold and hungry when M. called to say she was on her way back from the booth sale with the cookies. Saved by the bell!

M. and I chatted in the driveway for an hour after taking inventory of the cookies and money. Her daughter got in the toy cars and drove around, having lots of fun. It was a good visit; we plan to do it again soon. After they left, Chloë and I delivered more cookies until dark. It was a full cookie weekend! Two more weeks, and then it's OVER. Yay.

And now that it's 0300, I should either go crash... or make some banana bread. I'll let you know tomorrow what I decided!