Wednesday, August 26, 2009
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
(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
Daddy was very impressed!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
And because Sparky is such a good sport and absolutely eats up the attention, she puts up with it. But even Sparky surprised me yesterday. She sat still while Hailey brushed her with a dolly brush!
And then she moved on the brush her feet...
And just to prove there was no hard feelings about the all of the leg pulling, Sparky gave Hailey a little kiss...
Okay, so maybe it's not Puppy Love since Sparky is an old dog. But Old, crusty dog love wasn't as catchy of a title. Either way, it's so stinkin' cute!
Monday, June 8, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
This giveaway is for everyone who reads my blog, but does not follow it. Yet.
Here are the terms:
- You must not be currently following my blog. In other words, if you see your picture in the "My Entourage" area in the upper left section of this page, you're not eligible. So sorry to all 7 of you! If this giveaway is successful I'll do another one for my current followers. I promise!
- You have to start following my blog by 11:59 am on May 10th. It's easy! Just click "Follow Me in the upper left section of this page. If you have a Google, AIM, Blogger or Yahoo account then you're good to go! And if you don't have any of these, it's easy to sign up! And you'll rest easy knowing that Blogger never sends spam.
- I will use Random.org to pick a winner and I will post the winner on my blog on May 11th.
The giveaway is a surprise, but I will tell you that it's a gift card from a very popular, nation-wide store.
If you like this idea, thank Jules. She did this type of giveaway in April.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Per Jules' instructions, I had to finish this statement: "I am...", write out my answer in black marker on white paper, take a picture of it, and post in on my blog. So here ya go!
Call me corny. I know I am!
Maybe some of you who know me well know that I'm not always this corny. But I can be depending on my mood. And right now I'm extremely happy, which brings out the corniness!
Why am I so happy? Not sure exactly. Maybe it's the weather turning nice. Or my daughter's approaching birthday. Don't ask why, just go with it!
In general what makes me happiest are these things:
- I have a healthy, beautiful daughter.
- I have a wonderful husband who works so hard to bring home the bacon for our family. He supports me in all I do and loves me unconditionally (despite some of my hair-brained schemes). I couldn't possibly ask for anything more.
- I get to be a stay at home mommy and spend oodles of time with my little princess.
1) Post your response in a photo on your blog. Please use white paper& black marker
2) Link to this post on my blog
3) Just let me know you have done so in a comment so I (and others) can come visit.
Read Jules' "I am" post.
Jules is doing this exercise in conjunction with a giveaway, but since I have nothing to give away, I'm not. Unless anyone wants a VCR. Or maybe an old desk lamp.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
The next step was to assemble the project. I glued the wood at all of the intersections and inserted two nails at each intersection. And the best part? I got to use RJ's nail gun! See Exhibit C.
Exhibit C -->
I'll be the first to admit I'm not thrilled to work outside my comfort zone. In other words, I'll usually let RJ do the manly projects. My projects consist of re-organizing the cabinets or cleaning out the pantry.
But this project was fun! RJ was really good about standing back and letting me "do my thing" unless I asked for his help. (Which I did. Many times.)
Saturday, May 2, 2009
The Fam went garage saleing (is that a real word?) this morning in my dad's town - Sheridan, Illinois. They had their town-wide garage sale today. We found some good deals - toys and clothes for Hailey. Card stock for me. Nothing for RJ. But that's probably because he's the worst garage sale companion you could ever imagine.
After two sales, he was already tired of getting in and out of the car. And around sale number four, he was sick of looking at other people's junk. I'll admit we did see a lot of junk today. A dirty comforter (ew!), knick-knacks galore, and more technology-challenged printers than you could shake a stick at.
And if that wasn't enough, we subjected ourselves to a flea market held at a retirement community on the way home. It was a strange mixture of old equipment (walkers, rolling tables you would find in a hospital room, bed pans) and brand new in package items (sheets, toiletries) along with a bake sale.
Oh well, we got a good laugh. It was free entertainment. Plus we got a brand new set of 700 thread count sheets for 25 bucks! Woo-hoo!
All in all it was a fun day. We had good company - my dad & Cheryl (affectionately known to Hailey as "Gampai & Gamai"). And we had good weather - cooler in the shade, but no rain. Finally.
Hip-hip-hooray for garage sale season!
Friday, May 1, 2009
I am super excited to reveal my progress on Hailey's new room. As many of you know, RJ and I have spent a considerable amount of time over the last few months working on Hailey's "big girl" room. Her current room is staying as-is for a possible future baby Mitchell (this is by no means an announcement, just a plan for the future) and she'll be moving into the bigger room across the hall.
I chose a butterfly theme because I love butterflies. Hopefully Hailey will love them too, because I've never seem so many in a 13 x 14 room. And if not, maybe they will grow on her!
Anyway, on with the show........
The walls are painted a lilac-pink color and the butterflies are stenciled in a color called "vintage orange." I saw this color combination in a kids' decor book, but once the walls were painted and the orange stencil was about to go on, I got cold feet.
Much to RJ's dismay, I was about to ditch the orange and go with a dark pink color kind of like the one on the fan blades. But I decided to go with my first instinct and use the orange. I'm glad I did...I like the way it turned out. Plus there is a LOT of pink in the room already!
We bought everything used with the exception of the bedding, curtains and the fan. Most everything we found on Craigslist, including the metal butterfly bed, which is my favorite find.
The dresser was a mere $50! But it did need a lot of work. RJ sanded it down, repaired the base on one side and painted it. I added the knobs, which I found on eBay.
The bi-fold doors and new entry door went up last weekend. Now we need to buy and install a closet organizer and decorate!
Then all we need to add is the little girl! We're not quite ready to move her yet. I'm sure she'll be ready sometime soon after her second bithday.
Stay tuned for more updates as we continue the work!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Why, you ask? He is so sweet! Yesterday for no special reason he brought me home a special treat from Edible Arrangements - six decadent chocolate covered strawberries.
Yes, I know there are only five in the picture, but I couldn't contain myself and had to have one as soon as I opened the box! I get that way around chocolate sometimes. Or all of the time. But whatever, that's not the point.
XOXO to my hubby.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
This time of year I find myself anxious about the impending warm weather and frustrated when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate! The Chicagoland area has been hit with precipitation off and on for the last week. Luckily the weekend wasn't a complete washout. The sun poked out for a couple of hours at a time and kept us pretty warm!
During one of those dry spells on Sunday, Hailey went on her first outing with Grandpa & Grandma (a.k.a. my Dad & Cheryl). There are so many Grandparents! It's even hard for us to keep track.
Anywho...my Dad and Cheryl picked Hailey up and took her to the downtown park along the river to play and feed the ducks. I was worried about how she'd do on her first outing with them because she refused to nap that day, but they said she was very well-behaved. They even took her out to dinner after the park!
She came home about 8pm happy, but tired. Daddy to put her to bed right away and she was out like a light. Which is surprising because she had ice cream for dessert. I guess her sleepiness took priority over her sugar rush.
While Hailey was on her outing RJ got the new door to Hailey's "big girl" room hung and the bi-fold closet doors installed. I supervised. Clearly that is what I am best at when it comes to handywork.
The room is coming together now. All that is left is the closet organizer, which we have yet to buy, and some art for the walls. So far we have some cute fabric butterflies, which we are going to hang from the ceiling and walls. And Auntie Lisa is going to make some artwork using the butterfly stencil I used for the walls. So exciting!
If you have any ideas for butterfly-themed decor, email them my way. I'll be on the scout for the perfect pieces!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
So, you want to know why I think half of the Chicagoland area is following me?
Event #1: Last week we went to the Helicopter Egg Drop and there were literally thousands of people there. The event was very cool. But the traffic? Not so much.
Event #2: Yesterday Rachel from our playgroup and I took the kids to the Brookfield Zoo. I have never seen it so packed! We waited in traffic to get into the zoo parking lot for at least a half hour. And once we were in, it was so hard to see anything because of the massive amounts of people. While on our way out of the zoo parking lot, there wasn't an open parking space to be found. People were parked in the grass and everywhere else that technically wasn't a parking spot.
Okay, so maybe I'm being a little paranoid about being followed. Maybe the warm weather that occurred on both of these days was the reason for the masses.
But whatever. No one better follow me tonight. It's date night with my hubby!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The invitations for her birthday party are done and ready to be mailed! I made all of the characters on the card with my trusty 'ol Cricut machine and assembled the cards myself. At first, I thought using my Cricut to make the invitations was going to be easy. But I was wrong! If anyone has ever used one of these, you know that it cuts out predetermined shapes in which you choose the size. Because of the intricate characters I chose, they required multiple layers of different colored cardstock.
If you've never used one of these, I probably lost you like three sentences ago.
Anywho. Because of all of the layers necessary, these cards are heavy! I'm thinking they are going to require at least 2, maybe 3 stamps to mail. But they are worth it - I love the way they came and so does Hailey!
I don't want to give away the card by posting a picture, but I will say it includes this guy (affectionately known around here as "Kikis")...
...and some of his friends! I know...real original right? But Hailey is really into Elmo (a.ka. "LaLa") right now, so I figured this is the year to do it. She probably won't be so into it next year. We'll probably move on to something just as unoriginal....like Dora!
My friend Nata-Leigh is doing a "tie dye" theme for her son Lubbock's birthday (he turns 2 the day before Hailey). It's so unique! No wonder other Moms keep asking her to help them plan their kids' birthday parties.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The past month I've been planning a surprise 40th party for my middle sister, Lori. Her husband was the ring leader and I'm grateful for that. I've never planned a surprise party before - it's hard keeping secrets!
Lori was under the assumption she was having a birthday party for her 6 year old, Ryan, that day, so we didn't totally ambush her with a houseful of people! And the best part of the surprise was that our oldest sister, Lisa, and a good family friend, Suzanne, traveled here for the celebration. (In the photo: Lisa, me, Lori & Suzanne) Lori seemed quite surprised! And the party was fun!
My Dad & Cheryl (his long-time main squeeze) unleashed their creative genius and compiled old pictures of Lori and our family into a posterboard collage. It was really cool....and I just realized I didn't get a picture of it! Dang it!
And for the record, I hate surprises and never want a surprise party thrown for me! Got it?!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Daddy: (disapproving look) "Okay then."
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Anytime I get a free moment to myself the last thing on my mind is writing. So I decided to just ride out my blog slump and see how I felt when things around here slowed down.
Now that my last jam-packed weekend (for a while) is over, I'm finding I have a little more free time. But with the return of our tax money on the horizon, we have several projects lined up. And you know how I feel about that!
But before I delve into our "to-do" list, I owe all of you a status update on our last project....our closet makeover. I was dreading the idea of it, but it wasn't so bad. It only took RJ one weekend and I absolutely love the result!
I couldn't figure out how to "stitch" the photos together, so you'll have to use your imagination! The top picture is the far left of the closet and the bottom picture is the far right.
The closet used to be just one shelf/clothes bar all of the way around. Now we have two tier hanging, a shoe organizer, built-in hampers, and a ton of room for folded clothes.
The only problem now it too much empty space! I'll use any excuse to shop!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I was going to post this yesterday, but didn't have the time because RJ & I started a new project. (sigh)
More to come about that....stay tuned! But now back to Valentine's Day!
RJ & I are not big romantic V-Day people. We don't like to make a big fuss of it or fight the crowds to go out for dinner. So we decided no gifts, and we'd take Hailey out for an early dinner in her cute little V-Day outfit.
After our project shopping we decided to do lunch at Chili's instead of dinner since we were already out and it would be less crowded. And then we worked on our project the rest of the day and then watched X-Men after Hailey went to bed, which I fell asleep to on the couch.
See...told you we weren't romantic V-Day people!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thanks for hanging in there with me while I obsess over my soon-to-be-absent twenties. Don't worry. It'll all be over soon.
Hopefully I won't be too decrepit to type tomorrow.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Here she is showing off in RJ's work boots.
And now she's in RJ's sandals! (And, no. I don't dress her in tan & white every day. This is just a strange coincidence.)
Monday, January 26, 2009
Anyway, one of Jules' recent posts: Tag. Open your photos folder and post your 4th picture in your 4th folder. Explain the picture - no editing or cropping!
Here is what I came up with:
This is a picture of my daughter's completed nursery. It was taken a few months before she was born.
My husband did most of the work - he painted the room, constructed and installed the chair rail, and made those shelves you see in the picture there. My mom made the curtains. And I....ummm.....okay, so I supervised. But I carried the baby...isn't that enough?!?!
Anyway, this picture brings back fond memories. I remember sitting in the glider and rubbing my belly while anxiously awaiting the birth of my beautiful baby girl.
For anyone who wants to participate, consider yourself tagged! I can't wait to see your picture!
Friday, January 23, 2009
To be exact, it's T minus 8 days 'till I turn 30. Wow....the big THREE-OH. I know some of you older and wiser folks will say that is young. I guess it's all relative.
What is so strange for me about leaving my twenties is I still feel young. And I'm not sure why. I've accomplished everything I thought I would by the this time in my life. I'm married, I have a child, I earned by Bachelor's Degree (better late than never, right?) and I own a home.
All things considered I am okay with saying adios to my twenties. Anyway, it's not like I have a choice, right?
Monday, January 19, 2009
Today, more than ever, I am proud to be an American.
Friday, January 16, 2009
I should mention that almost everyone who knows me knows I hate mushrooms. A friend will even attest to the fact that I had a pizza re-made because some of the mushrooms on the other half slid over and invaded my cheese-only half.
It was a kit to grow gourmet mushrooms at home from a company called Fungi Perfecti. And who wouldn't want to grow fungus on a log in their back yard to have anytime they craved it? Yuck!
What do you all think? Would you mushrooms lovers ever eat this fungus growing on a log in their back yard?
Friday, January 9, 2009
Some of you have kids...some of you don't. A good friend recently sent me this great article that appeared in the Washington Post. It answers the age old question: what does a stay at home mom do all day?
Click here to read it. Whether you're a stay at home mom or not, you won't be disappointed.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
It's a 2009 Chevy Traverse. It's brand new this year, but it's a lot like a GMC Acadia or a Chrysler Pacifica. It's got a third row and tons of room for us to grow into. You can't tell from the picture, but the color is called "dark cherry". It looks like the color of a cola-cherry soda.
Besides getting a good deal on the car itself, the Chevy dealer threw in leather heated seats and remote start to seal the deal. Those were two of our sticking points for our new car and they didn't have any cars on the lot that included these features.
Yay! Driving is fun again! At least for a little bit....