Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Open House

Today was the open house for Hailey's new school (actually, it's a Mom's day out program, but a lot of parents use it as a preschool). And it couldn't have gone better!

I was a bit worried when we first arrived. Hailey got to the doorway, saw all of the kids and parents, took two steps back, and proclaimed "no, no, no!"

To my relief, once we got in the door and she saw how much cool stuff they had to play with, she loved it! They have an indoor water table with waterproof smocks for keeping clothes dry, a table set up with homemade play-doh and all sorts of cookie cutters and tools, and a coloring table with markers, crayons and colored pencils set out. And that's just the first room!

Across the hall in a separate room there are puzzles, books, and all sorts of other toys, including a car table (like a train table, except it has roads instead of train tracks painted on it.)

But this place isn't just about free-play. The kids learn to count to 20 in English and Spanish (Hailey can already count to 12 in English and 10 in Spanish), colors (she's got those mastered, too), the alphabet (she can get to "F" all on her own), and all sorts of other things. For me, the most important aspect of this program is it doesn't involve me. She will benefit from learning how to function when Mom's not around.

Hailey had a blast and made lots of friends today! Score!

Even I made a friend - a sweet gal named Mary. She's got a little girl who is about Hailey's age and a 9 month old baby boy. We chatted almost the whole time and made plans to get together for a playdate. Yay! I love new friends!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What a steal!

Many of you know that I am no longer babysitting for little Sergio. It was a decision that caused me a lot of stress, but ultimately it was the right decision for me and my family. I won't go any further than that since this post is about something completely different. The only reason I mention it is because losing part of my income has forced me to find other ways to stretch our money.

(However, I do hope to have time for more blogging since it's just Haily and me now!)

Anyway, my post today is about a stellar deal I got today. Here's how it came about:

Thanks to my friend Nata-Leigh, I am now getting into 'couponing' to save money. Nata-Leigh turned me on to a blog called Stretching a Buck. The wonderful woman who writes this blog does boat loads of research (and also links to other bloggers who do boat loads of research) to pass on fantastic deals via her blog. If you're into saving money and you have the time to clip and print coupons, this blog is for you. I highly recommend it!

And now for the deal...

I purchased these three items at Target today:

From left to right, here are their shelf prices: $0.97, $2.99 & $3.14.

My grand total at the register was $2.43! How did I do it? I came equipped with 4 coupons: Three were Target coupons which offered $1 off a Johnson & Johnson product. And one was a Johnson & Johnson manufacturer's coupon offering $2 off 2 items.

Many people don't know that Target lets you use one manufacturer's coupon and one Target coupon for the same item - it's called 'stacking'. (Awesome, huh? I didn't know this until about a week ago!)

I guess I could have gone crazy and stocked up on Johnson & Johnson products, but the idea here is to save money. So I'm trying to only buy what I need for the near future, no matter how good the deal.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Great Day for the Dads

As you know, Sunday was Father's Day. We had a great day! After Hailey's nap, we went to our town's annual festival and met up with my Dad & Cheryl, my sister, her hubby and their three kids. The kids rode the carnival rides, took pony rides and pet some pretty cute animals in the petting zoo.

But my favorite part of the day was giving RJ his Father's Day gift. One of his gifts was a hand painted plaque that Hailey made at the Painted Penguin.

I think she actually preferred to paint herself! And of course, the paint was not washable! Luckily I had planned for this and brought an old t-shirt for her to wear.

She had fun painting it! She did the whole thing by herself (and I painted the black lettering afterwards). Believe it or not she started out with six different colors. But she kept double dipping her brush, so the finished product was teal.

Daddy was very impressed!