Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 Resolutions

2008 has been a long and exhausting year for me. I started out the year with a 2 year old and a 2 month old. Now I am ending the year with a 3 year old and a 14 month old.

I have been pretty much in survival mode up until the last 2 months.

At the beginning of the year I would feel so accomplished if I were to get a shower AND dry my hair on the same day! The house was never really clean. I would either start on the kitchen and then someone would start screaming and if I were lucky I would be able to also make it to the den. That would be about as far as I would go.

Out of desperation to live in a seemingly clean house I started a schedule.

Mondays- laundry, and the grocery store
Tuesdays- bathrooms
Wednesdays- downstairs
Thursdays- Kitchen
Fridays- Upstairs

This truly saved me. I felt as though I had at least a little bit of a hold of my house again.

It is the simple things that make you happy.

At least the older you get.

Then this year I also started couponing. (Don't know if that is an actual word, but it is actually a verb in my house)

I have always been a sale shopper. When walking into any store I walk straight back to the sale section not even looking at anything else in the store. I could always find the best deals on clothes, furniture, even shrubs, but with groceries I just didn't know how to even start.

I really wish I knew about how to coupon when Mr. Genius and I first got married. We were so poor then. Our first Christmas we barely made it through. I remember I was so embarrassed we bought my cousins socks for Christmas because that was all we could afford.

Then I was introduced to and that totally opened up a new way of shopping to me. The main place I shop at that I have never paid attention before is CVS.

On CVS's receipts it keeps a tally of the money that you can saved by buying their same items. This doesn't include the coupons that you have used more the Extra Care Bucks that you used to pay for the item (for those that do not "CVS" Extra Care Bucks are it is like store credit) I have saved over $1600 and only spent out of pocket for the whole year a little over $70. Now remember I have gone to CVS every week starting in April or May (I can't remember exactly) and have only skipped out on only 3 weeks since starting. I have probably gotten over 30 tubes of toothpaste, 15 toothbrushes, 20 deodorants, 20 hair styling products, more lip gloss that I care to count. I even have enough mascara to last me to the year 2015 just to name a few items that I have accumulated this year.

Now don't get me wrong I think it is a great thing to never have to pay for essential toiletries. The problem with all of this is I feel like the junk is overtaking the house.

I think I will have enough toothpaste and I will see that CVS has a sale of their crest health pro toothpaste (my fav) where it is on sale for $2.99 and they will give me $2.99 of ECBs (Extra Care Bucks) back. I also have a $1 off coupon and $2 of Extra Care Bucks left over from the week before so I walk out with another tube of toothpaste for like 15 cents. So you can't pass that up.

I have given bags and bags away to family and friends or whoever even mentions that they use a certain type of medicine. But it stills more keeps coming in.

Which also brings me to another point. Because of "CVSing" and couponing we have been able to give to people who truly needed it when we couldn't give financially. Because lets face it everything has gotten ridiculously expensive and if you have to run to the store just to get your basic needs of toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, and body wash. You could easily spend $30. When that $30 could really need to use to put food in their mouths. This is not to toot my own horn but to show you that couponing can lead to helping others when you wouldn't normally be able to help.

Sorry about... that didn't mean to go there.

Now I am quietly backing off of my pedestal.

Any who.

So because of all the stuff that we have been stocking up on I have an amazing urge to ORGANIZE!!

I really can't stand it any longer.

So my New Years Resolution is the organize every room in my house.

And now you are rolling your eyes at me.

I want to post about this so I will help myself stay accountable/motivated about it.

I have even come up with a schedule to keep me on track. Plus I will try to post pictures up. Depending on how humble I am feeling I may even post some before pictures. But then again you all did see my disgusting carpets before we ripped it up. So I guess I have no shame.

Well so far this is what I am thinking for my schedule:

January- Kitchen

February- Boy's room- Consignment sale will start the next month so I will be going through their clothes anyways to get them ready to sale and see what I need to buy

March- Attic, I am thinking that this time of year it won't be freezing cold and it won't be so hot will be passing out either. Oh and we don't just have 1 attic we actually have 3. We have 2 side attics that are connected to the boys rooms. Which actually are wonderful. But it is very easy to just throw stuff in there. So there is no telling what we are going to find in those side attics. So this will be a long month. Lucky Me.

April- Garage- I picked this month for kind of the same reason I picked the attic, plus my parents and us are planning on having a garage sale this summer so we really need to clean out the attic and the garage before that so we can get out as much as possible...and make a little dough in the process.

June- My bedroom, my goal is to have lost all of my weight by this time. OK... stop laughing. I really want to get rid of all my "fat" clothes. So if I haven't lost all my weight by now I guess I will have to go around naked. Wouldn't that be helpful for the psychological development for my boys. All the more reason to make sure that I make this goal.

July- Den- I now have 2 pantries and one is in my den. I think I still need both of them because of stocking up but it just some type of rhyme or reason about it.

August- Playroom- With have two kids fairly close in age, over the past 6 weeks with their birthday and Christmas they have inherited the entire selection of toys from Toys R Us for kids 3 and under. If you are looking for any type of toy I am sure we have it here for you.

September- Dining room, not much to do in there. Come to think of it maybe I should move this one to January considering we just redid our bedroom and put up and took down Christmas decor all month. We may need to rest to keep our sanity.

October- Laundry room-Eventhough it is our smallest room it is one of the rooms that gets the most traffic since you walk through it to get to and from the garage. My next house will have an actual laundry room. Not a closet or a breezeway. A room where you can close the door and the only reason you need to go in there is to DO THE LAUNDRY. Just a thought.

November and December- I think I have listed all the rooms in the house so either I can rest or I can think of another project to do on the house.

I probably should rest but I am pretty sure I will be doing the latter anyways.

I have everyone has a great New Year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I interupt this blogging break for a quick message..

I am in the middle of writing a blog for Wild Man's birthday (which I know it is a week late, but I have a good excuse for that too), and I needed to share what just happened in our house.

Nature called and I needed to use the restroom. In that brief minute Wild Man decided that he would try out his artistic side on Mr. Genius's beloved Apple computer.

His weapon of choice was a blue sharpie.

For those of you who know Mr. Genius at all know how he is about Apple computers.

He LOVES Apple.

He loves his apple about as much as he loves his children. I will bet that today would be one of those days that the computers are a little better ranking then the boys... well Wild Man.

Luckily Mr. Genius wasn't home when the incident occurred.

Not to say that I wasn't upset. All I was thinking is that we are going to have to buy another computer. And the computers on Mr. Genius' list are not cheap!

I did call Mr. Genius and warn him so when he came home there wouldn't be a surprise.

I also put Wild Man to sleep early.

So everyone could calm down.

So here are some pictures of the computer.

It is really hard to take pictures of a computer screen. They are not nearly as clear as you would like.

So first I called to Apple store (where Mr. Genius use to work) to see if this has happened to anyone else. Apparently it hasn't, and we gave the store a good laugh. But she did mention to me to use rubbing alcohol and lightly wipe the screen to see if it would work.

I then googled it and a couple of other people mentioned about the rubbing alcohol thing.

And it worked!

So if this happens to anyone else, keep your house stocked with rubbing alcohol. Apparently it isn't just for sterilizing.

Happy Birthday Bugger Boo!

I know, I know, this is a week late.

But I have a really good excuse. Mr. Genius and I redecorated our bedroom as a Christmas gift to each other and it has been under construction for a while and I was spending every extra minute I had in there. I love how it has turned out. I will post some pictures about it soon.

Anyways I still wanted to write a letter to Wild Man like I did with Romeo on his birthday so I can remember highlights of things that we did and went through each year.

So here goes...

Wild Man you are 3 years old!

Can you believe it!

Considering that I have never been able to keep any plants alive I am thrilled that you have survived.

Your first month in the world was a rough time. Because of your jaundice you had trouble eating and was 1 oz away of having to be admitted back into the hospital, as a failure to thrive child. Then Dad (who has never had the flu before) got the flu and was banned to the upstairs so as to not get either one of us sick. Then I got my mysterious infection and was back in the hospital for 4 days.

As crazy as that time was. You were the happiest and most relaxed baby I have ever been around.

You totally spoiled me by being such a easy baby.

I took you just about everywhere and anyone who looked at you would get the biggest smile from you. And the rest of the people would not even know you were in the room because you were so quiet.

Although that time did not last forever.

Because then you turned 15 months old.

I refer to this time as when you turned on me.

James Dobson wrote in Bringing Up Boys that there is a time in every little boys life between 15 months and 3 years that they defy their mothers and test their boundaries.

So apparently you started right on time.

Ironically this is also the time we found out we were pregnant with Romeo... I think that had more to do with it then anything.

As crazy as it was to have a spirited toddler while balancing on my short legs with a whale of a body, it was just a small glimpse as to what our future would be like.

You are definitely one very fun and funny person to be around. We just never know what you are going to do or say next.

One time you overheard Dad and I on the phone and you could tell that we weren't agreeing with each other. You then asked me if Daddy was mad at me. I said that was just didn't agree on something. Your response was the smartest thing you have every said to me.

You told me to "Tell daddy that mommy is always right."

A major reason I wanted to start this blog was to have a place to write down all the things that you do. So that I won't forget them.

We are so excited to see what you have in store for us this next year.

You are also a big people person. You have no problem making friends and always want to know what everybody is doing. Which is a question you ask me multiple times a day. By listing everyone you know (family, friends, your friends parents and siblings) and wanting to know what they are doing right then.

You never stop amazing up with how fast you learn things.

Like with the Polar Bear book. We read the book to you maybe 5 times and you completely memorized it.

Your Daddy is so proud of the little techie you are turning out to be.

What use to be my Ipod touch is now yours. You can play with that thing forever. And it has been wonderful when we have had to wait in places like the Dr's. office.

This year has been so much fun to take you to so many places.

One of your favorites was the Memphis Zoo (aka Uncy Andy's zoo). Which you ask at least once a week to go back to.

We went to Gatlinburg and while there you got to go to the Ripley's Aquarium.

We went strawberry and blueberry picking.

We got to see Thomas!

Though it has been rough at times you are turning into a great big brother.

Especially lately, you are turning into such a loving and caring little boy.

And then there is the potty training.

We tried different things to get you to go to the big boy potty. Unfortunately none of them have worked so far.

We tried the timer, bribing, and even running around outside bottomless.

We are confident that you know what to do and one day I will just walk by the bathroom and you will be sitting on the potty with no help from anyone.

I just hope it is before you start kindergarten.

This year we had one day of snow and that was a really fun day.

On your actual birthday, we went to The Grinch on Ice and then ate at the Rainforest Cafe. What a fun and eventful day.

But even though you are growing everyday and having real intellectual conversations with us.

You will always be my little baby boy.

I love you so much,


Sunday, December 14, 2008

I have a confession!

Some of you probably got our Christmas Card in the mail this week.

Well I have to say I am pretty proud of our card. I worked really hard on it. But I have a confession. After quite a few people came up to me a church and asked me how in the world I could get my boys to sit still and look in the same direction. I feel that it is time to tell the truth.

...I couldn't get them to sit together and look in the same direction.

The entire Christmas picture was photo edited.

You are actually looking at 3 pictures...well 5 if you count the border and the hats.

The hats are obviously copy and pasted onto the picture, but the boys were too.

This was my first time to use photo editing software and I am sure that if you do it for a living, you can totally tell that it was edited.

The day we decided to take pictures I moved all the dining room furniture out and then hung up a bed sheet by uses chip clips on our big mirror.

Don't be jealous of our set up.

Then I put them in matching shirts, which ended up being too small on them. But I had in my head that I wanted a black and white photo of them. So I keep the shirts on figuring the white shirts would look best.

And we would now just do head shots.

I also at the last minute decided that I wanted them to wear Santa hats. So sweet Mr. Genius ran out and got two and well....

They would too small even for little 3 month old Griffin. They were tiny.

Oh well, he tried.

Bless him.

I then tried to bribe Wild Man with anything under the sun to sit next to Romeo without hitting or pushing him.

It worked for about 2 minutes.

This is the picture I used of Mason.

I think he was trying to fly away here.

Then this is the one for Wild Man. He was looking the wrong way though. So there is a great flipping tool in the photo editing software so it looked like they were looking in the same direction.

I am so sneaky.

Because I didn't exactly know what I was doing when editing I had to start from scratch and get a background rather then just move the boys around and use the same background.

So at the point that Wild Man didn't want to sit still anymore and he put Romeo in a choke hold.

I used that picture to cut out our background.

So with all of you having trouble with your kids sitting still for pictures.

I say photo edit all the way!

...just still use your own kids, cuz that would just be weird if you added random people in the picture.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Elf on the Shelf

We got the boys Elf on the Shelf for their Birthday and we just love it. I just have to share with everyone that has young kids. It will make your life so much easier... for at least 20 more days.

The premise behind this game is that there is a little elf that watches over the children all day and then every night he flies back to Santa and tells him if the child has been good or bad. When he comes back he is in a different place in the house and the children are suppose to look for him each morning. The children cannot touch the elf but they can talk to it and tell him what they would like for Santa to bring them. They can also name the elf. It comes with a book to read to your children so that they can understand everything.

Isn't this just the best idea!

Romeo is obviously too young for this, but Wild Man is just the right age. As we were reading the book and they tell you to name him he decided on the name Raykul.

Yeah I don't know were he got that either.

The part that I am having trouble with is to remember to move him each night. Even this morning I sent Wild Man to look for something in my room so I could put him somewhere different before Wild Man remember he needed to look for Raykul.

Wild Man has been acting so much better since we have had Raykul in our lives. Sometimes I just have to remind him that Raykul is watching and he immediately stops. Now this doesn't work everytime. He is still a two year old after all. But I will take what I can get.

Here is our little Raykul in our dining room wreath.

He was conviently located to look over Wild Man's time out spot. We were having trouble with him facing the corner and not talking while in time out.

Yesterday he did great.

Thank you Raykul. I will forever look forward to seeing you every year.

Now just to find something like this I could use for every holiday...