Sunday, October 19, 2008

Coupon University

Well, it's finally happened! I've become one of those stay-at-home moms who clip coupons! You know - the ones you hate to get behind at the grocery store! Yep, that's me - fist full of coupons, basket full of groceries...just trying to see how low I can get that grocery bill to go! I even have a fancy shmancy coupon holder! Of course, it's not anywhere NEAR as fancy as my friend Teri has...that girl's got a touch of coupon clipping OCD, I think...but the funny thing is I'm aspiring to be just like her! :)

My Mother-In-Love (hearafter referred to lovingly as Mom J) & Sister-In-Love (Betsy - David's middle brother's wife) have been coupon queens for years. And bless her heart, Mom J has been passing coupons along to us for the last 6+ years we've been married. We've used a few here and there - but when I was working, David did most of the grocery shopping - so consequently, not many coupons got used because he usually stopped on the way home from work and the coupons were almost always here at the house. But not anymore! Now, thanks to my handy-dandy coupon holder (which I'm quickly outgrowing, by the way) - those coupons now get filed away and taken with me to the grocery store on Sundays!

I know, I know - Sunday is probably the worst day in the world to go shopping because everybody and their brother is also at the store doing their weekly shopping...but, in some strange way, there's something fun about that because you never know who you might run into while doing your weekly shopping! :) I actually choose Sundays because that's when the paper with all the coupons comes out! One less stop I have to make during the week.

Today, I was so proud of myself! My first stop was Costco, where I saved $30.50 with coupons on stuff we use anyway (some of which will last us a long, long time...but that's OK because it's non-perishable)! :) Then after a brief stop at the bank to deposit my Avon monies, I headed off to Publix. I am so very thankful for the BOGO tip! If you find the Buy One Get One Free sales at Publix & have 2 coupons (each good for $ off 1 item), then you can use both! For example, Kellogg's cereal was on a BOGO sale this week at Publix & I had two $1 off 1 box coupons. One box of cereal is usually about $4, but today, I bought 2 boxes of cereal for $2 - that's a dollar a box! Gotta love that! I saved $63.89 at Publix today (could have been more if I'd remembered to use the $5 off $25 coupons...oh well, I'm learning!), again, savings were on stuff we use anyway! My rule is I don't use a coupon unless it's something I'd buy anyway...and I'm trying to use them on BOGO sales as much as possible! :) The lady at the checkout wasn't too happy with me & she was obviously not very familiar with coupons. It took a long time to check out because she first took time before checking me out to study the coupons I'd have so she'd know what I had coupons for & then proceeded to find the coupon for each item I purchased (and considering I had a coupon for almost everything I bought today, that was a lot)! I just kept apologizing to the poor souls who showed up in line behind me...only to decide after a few minutes that they'd be better off finding another line! :) If I hadn't realized when I got home that I saved almost $100 today, I might never have clipped another coupon! But, the coupon bug has bitten! Think I'll be signing up for lessons from my couponing friends & family so I can save even more! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tonsillitis Strikes! Yikes!

I took Christopher to the doctor today because he started running a fever last night and was complaining of a sore throat. Christopher is very rarely sick, and when he is, it's usually something minor. So, as I packed him up to go to Dr. Wilson's office, I thought maybe we'd get a prescription, directions for rest and fluids, and he'd be back to school tomorrow or the next day. But oh no...not this time! I knew it was going to be different the minute the nurse told me to hope that the throat culture came back positive for strep! What!?! I never thought I'd see the day I actually HOPED my child would have Strep Throat! But, I'm here to tell you...that day has arrived!

Christopher is such a trooper! He actually likes going to see Dr. Wilson - but he was a little concerned that he might get a shot. He kept telling me, "Mommy, I don't want a shot." Fortunately, no shots this time...but he had to endure his very first throat culture. Bless his heart, he sat there better than most grown-ups and let the nurse poke that Q-tip thing down his throat. Tears welling in his eyes and the gagging noises were all that gave any indication what he was experiencing was at all uncomfortable. He didn't fight or pull away, he just obediently let her do what she needed to do. When she was finished, he simply said, "I don't like that." Bless his precious little heart!

If you read the title to this post, then you've probably already guessed correctly, the quick test came back negative for Strep Throat. They'll send it off to be sure, but Dr. Wilson said he'd be surprised if he got a different result. Since Tonsillitis is viral, there's not much we can do but let it run its course. So, Christopher's home from school for at least the rest of the week...maybe next week, too - depending on how he's feeling. We can give him Tylenol or Motrin for the fever & pain and we're supposed to get him to eat whatever he will and to drink lots of fluids.

The good news is that he doesn't seem to feel all that bad. He'll tell you his throat is sick, but he's still playing - just a little more quietly right now. Shortly after we got home, he told me, "Mommy, I'm all better now!" I'm not sure if he thinks just going to Dr. Wilson's office makes him all better or if he's somehow realizing that he's going to miss out on some stuff we'd planned to do this week. Hopefully, he really will be better soon and be able to go to school next week. :) Please say a prayer for us!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Update on Us

I look at all my friends' blogs every day...and I know that feeling of disappointment when there's nothing new to read, and yet, I'm just as guilty! So, here I am trying to catch those who read my ramblings up on our life!

The first thing I have to share is that Christopher FINALLY had a fully green week at school! YEA!!! Up until now, he's been 3 green & 1 yellow (see my post on the Highs & Lows of PK4 to see what these colors mean). Then a couple weeks ago, he was home sick two of the four days - but got Green tickets both days. David and I decided that it might be the opportunity to follow through on his reward so he could see what was at stake if he earned 4 green tickets! Well, it must have done the trick...because he's now had FIVE green tickets in a row (4 last week and one today)! So, last Thursday, we drove up to Carvel and Christopher got to pick out his own ice cream (blue something-or-other) and add as many sprinkles as he wanted (they have a self-serve sprinkle bar)! We'll see if we can make it 2 full weeks in a row!

The next fun thing is Christopher is starting to learn sight words and recognizing them in text other than his special books from school. His favorite one (probably because you can find it in just about any story) is "the" - here's a video of him finding it on a page of his children's Bible (never mind the orientation of the book):

It was a very impromptu moment. We were relaxing on mine & David's bed just before bedtime & Christopher decided he was going to read us a bedtime story (which he almost always does from his story Bible - probably because he can read the pictures fairly well! Here is an example of him "reading" to us from his Bible:

Yes, he was got a little sidetracked by finding one of his sight words - he was SO excited! I hope he always stays this excited about reading!

Last night, Christopher and I had to fight off some monsters! It was a little after midnight and I had finally been able to settle down enough to just about fall asleep when I heard a terrified little boy calling for his mommy from across the house. I practically leapt from our bed and sprinted across the house to Christopher's bedroom (I'm sure it was quite the sight to see...thankfully, David was snoring soundly and there were no witnesses to my lack of agility)! Tears pouring down his face, sobs racking his body, I could tell it was a bad dream. I scooped him up in my arms and held him tight - he held me tighter. I asked him if he wanted to tell me about his dream. Between sobs, he told me it was about monsters and they were biting him! Poor kid! After awhile, he finally relaxed enough that I could lay him down, but his heavy breathing told me the fear was not gone. so I lay next to him - rubbing his back & running my fingers through his hair. When his breathing slowed down, I decided it might be OK to head back to my own bed. My actions were met with a very tearful "I wanna go you bed, Mommy!" I decided under the circumstances, it would be OK. So, I scooped up frightened little boy and his Cars pillow and headed back to our bed. Even nestled between Mommy and David, he still needed the reassurance of holding my hand to finally fall asleep.

We rarely let Christopher sleep in our bed - for many reasons, but partly because he is NOT a very good bed partner (bless his poor wife someday). For some reason, he always sleeps sideways - his head is almost always sharing David's pillow or somewhere on David's body...his feet (which are NEVER still) are on ME! Finally, around 5am, I had endured enough of the kicking and figured the crisis was over, so I again scooped up my little boy and his pillow and escorted them back to Christopher's bed. I think I got about 45 minutes of good sleep before the alarm clock went off this morning! Yawwwwnnnnn!