Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Calling all procrastinators

So I was shopping around on the Coupon Chief Web site today, laughing about all the last minute Valentine's Day deals they have going right now. But I can't laugh too hard, because it's not like I've done any of MY Valentine's Day shopping yet. Whoops.

But Valentine's Day is like the one time that you're allowd to procrastinate, because who wants week-old droopy flowers? I'm sure my mom with much prefer the shiny fresh ones that I will be picking up for her tomorrow.

But if you're the kind of person that buys actual gifts for Valentine's Day, you should check out these Target coupons because Target rocks and has the best stuff ever. It's probably where I will be picking up a card for my husband. (At this point in our debt-paying existence, I really shouldn't get anything more than that.)

But if we were in a good place financially, do you know who'd be getting Valentine's Day love? BEN!!! You should see the awesome Children's Place coupons and the adorable stuff they have. Simply adorable.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone

Learning heaven

I found this store downtown today with a ton of stuff for kids. It's almost a toy store, but more like a learning store. It had art supplies and books and puzzles and toys, but only good ones. Lots of Melissa and Doug stuff. I think it was like a homeschooling supply store or something I don't know. All I know is that Ben sat and played with a wooden Thomas the Train set for like 20 minutes without getting into trouble while I shopped and drooled all over everything. He also found a little wooden tool/peg set thing that he played nicely with.

I finally chose my purchase, a pack of three books about numbers with a dry erase marker, crayons and stickers all included. It also has a cd with more stuff to color. I guess you put it in the computer and then print out more coloring book pages. That's pretty awesome for $10. We were happy campers.

And the sticker book was a huge hit! We spent about 25 minutes putting stickers in the book this afternoon. And if you know my son, you know that anything that causes him to sit still and do one thing for that long is a miraculous invention.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Save some money

It was about a year ago when my husband convinced me to at least let him call and check if we could save some money on our car insurance. We were previously with progressive and I was pretty loyal to them, but I said, hey, money is money, right? So he called some little company that I'd never heard of, and sure enough, they saved us a TON of money!!!

I was shocked! The price was seriously like 1/5 of what we were previously paying. I highly recommend getting quotes from anyone and everyone who is selling car insurance. I mean, what do you have to lose?

We've been visited by a fairy

Last night, Ben was up from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and it was horrible and we all wanted to die. I knew he'd been teething for quite some time now, from his finger and clothes chewing. We even went out and bought him some popsicles the other day because he's been so miserable.

Obviously, popsicles weren't an option in the middle of the night, so I went ahead and gave him two tylenol meltaway tablets. (He calls them "medicine candies" and was happy for the idea.) STILL no luck. Finally, Stephen took him out of our bed and layed down with him in his own bed and he went to sleep. At least he managed to sleep through the rest of the night from that point until 8:45 when we got up.

This morning, I found out why the medicine didn't work. He spit it out!!! Both tablets were in the bed smooshed under the sheets. Well, no wonder! Grr. I'm so frustrated because we were pretty harsh with him by the end, assuming there was no way he could still be in pain and was just being obnoxious. Why would he spit it out? He begs for that stuff. Mmmm grape.

Anyway, as we were laying down for our nap (this is a completely different story that I'll have to get to later) he said, "Mouf no more ouchie. Mouf all better." And he even let me look. Sure enough, the first of his four 2-year molars has finally broken the surface.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Time to be proactive

It's so hard to think of myself as an adult, you know? I mean, sure I'm married and have a kid, and am closer to 30 than to 20, but some things, like retirement, seem like things that only GROWNUPS have to worry about. But I've seen those articles that state how much money you'll have if you invest $5,000 at various ages. The main point is the earlier you invest, the more your money can do for you. On this NewRetirement Web site, it explains a lot of the things you need to know in order to be prepared for your future.

I wish we were in a position to actually follow all these suggestions, but its so hard with the amount of debt that we have to justify not putting every extra penny toward reducing it. I mean, with the interest we're paying, we're really got to get this stuff paid off before we can even think about future plans.

Now or never

Well, sort of. We're going back to Aberdeen tomorrow (Ben will stay with Grandma) to meet with ANOTHER real estate agent about the house. I mean, sure it's lame that the market sucks and it probably won't sell right away.

But it CAN'T sell if its not listed. Ignoring our problems until they go away on their own hasn't really worked out for us in the past, so I'm proud that we're learning and growing and aggressively pursuing this, you know? It's nice at my mom's house, but I don't want to live here forever!!!!

Wish us luck :-)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

How many cars do we need anyway?

I was so excited to move back to Puget Sound where there is nice public transportation and lots of city type things within walking distance. But then my mom offered to let me use Joe's car while we lived here, and I have to admit, now I'm kind of spoiled by being a SAHM with my own car.

I know that it makes no financial sense for us to be a two-car family once we don't live here anymore. But it doesn't stop me from browsing the internet, looking at Car Prices, wondering how horrible a person I am for wanting a family car when we don't even know how many kids we will be having yet.

I mean sure, if there are three, then I can see that we would need one. But only two? And a gas guzzler? Not a good plan. But its so NICE having so much room in my vehicle for the dog and groceries and stuff. Oh well.

Waste not, want not

I heard a factoid in 8th grade that has stuck with me throughout my life. "Your garbabge disposal eats better than half of the world's population"

At the time, I didn't really understand it. I thought, why would people want to eat orange peels and egg shells. But once I did get it, I strove to make sure it wasn't true. If I didn't finish my meal, even if it was only by a few bites, it went back in the fridge.

The same held true for Ben, and since he's a baby, this obviously happens a lot. He doesn't eat a whole yogurt, he eats like 1/5 of it. So I usually put the rest back and he finishes it over the next couple days.

Well, my mom took one look at how fast her fridge was filling up with open yogurt and cans of peaches and half-eaten string cheeses, and she snipped at me that this wasn't going to work.

So now I'm stuck with either finishing everything that Ben doesn't eat (yipes! that will make me fat quickly) or throwing it away. That's pretty sad too. I've already thrown away pieces of hot dog bun and smashed banana. And I know I'm not really stealing food from third world countries when I do it, but it still sucks.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The big V debate

My husband goes back and forth on his opinion of the big V day. Sometimes he thinks its a capitalistic evil trick designed to make men look bad. Other times, he's disgruntled because he thinks that he should be allowed to do sweet things for me whenever he wants, and doesn't need a special day with "expectations" surrounding it. But other years, things are good between us and he's feeling laid back and romantic. Then I get stuff.

Chocolate, flowers, dinner, a movie, a massage, whatever he can think of. He sometimes gets original things, like a painting for the wall, but most of the time, I think he understands that a cheesy holiday equals cheesy things, like these pink gifts. Would I buy any of these things for myself? No way! But if he came home with something like this for me on V-day, would I be happy? You betcha! With our history, I'm happy for his thoughtfulness. Besides, everybody likes pink stuff at least one day out of the year. ;-)

Clean again

I was just talking today about how nice it feels to be warm and not have to worry about how much every degree is costing, but there's even more than that. I was in our "apartment" with Ben, letting him have some free play (it's almost toddler proof!) while I put laundry away. I was folding some of his older T-shirts, which are now only used as pajamas because they're so gross. I don't know if you've ever smelled a shirt that has been constantly drooled on, but it really is gross. Most of Ben's shirts smell like dishrags.

So we get him new clothes every so often (thankfully, this has so far corresponded approximately with when he would outgrow things anyway) and make his old clothes for sleeping only so that no one thinks he's gross for smelling like a dishrag. It totally ruins the sweet smell of his soft skin and freshly washed hair.

Anyway, I was folding the shirts, and noticed that I didn't notice the smell. So I bravely pressed my nose into the collar of the T-shirt. Mmmm. Detergent.


Who knew that all this time, our discount detergent was the cause of Ben's clothes not coming clean? Our clothes came clean just fine, so I always thought that it was just some sort of toxic toddler goo that didn't come out. Nope. Mom's super pricy stuff did the trick. Man, it sure is nice to have luxery stuff around without having to pay for it ourselves!