Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday, Reid!!

We celebrated Reid's 2nd birthday on Saturday with a Mickey Mouse party!! He even shared his hat with Drake:

Aren't these cupcakes adorable?
 The birthday boy eating his dinner.
 He LOVED his new truck!
 And the "Brown Bear" book!
Happy 2nd Birthday, Reid!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Great Grocery Challenge - Week 19

Walgreens: spent $5.13, saved $45.68

Meijer: spent $40.24, saved $23.58

 Anyone know of a way to get great deals on dog food? We buy a bag about every two weeks and it's almost $20! There were coupons in this weekend's paper for Iams (that's what we use), so I'm excited about that, but $1 off a $20 product doesn't seem that great.

CVS: spent $1.34, saved $12.00

Bought 2 Purex & Gold Emblem Jelly Beans
Used 2-$1/1 Purex coupons and $2 ECB (forgot to use my gift card! oops!)

Target: spent $22.07, saved $92.54

Our Target had the awesome frozen deal promo last week (buy any 7 frozen products, get a $5 gift card), so I did that three times in addition to some other things. 

Weekly Total: spent $68.78, saved $173.80!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thanks & New Schedule

First things first...

THANKS for all the wonderful, supportive comments! You guys are the best!!

It's been kind of a crazy week. I started my new schedule on Monday, and the day went perfectly. Drake was awake right on time, dropped him off at the sitter's, and then headed to work. Tuesday, my sitter had an appointment in the morning so I took Drake into the office for everyone to see him and then we made a quick stop at Target. He went to daycare and decided he didn't want to eat lunch or snack and then had a nice blow out diaper! Wednesday started out fine, but Drake wasn't having a good day. Our sitter called about 12:30pm and had us come pick him up. Poor kiddo wasn't feeling well, so I stayed home with him today. He took two great naps and ate well for me, and we're following the BRAT diet pretty closely. (This kid loves some Pedia.lite! He drank a whole sippy cup full at one sitting, and that is not like him.) We decided to keep him home tomorrow, too. I plan to go to work, but I hear we're supposed to get 6-8 inches of a heavy, wet snow tonight so we'll see. Now, I need to figure out how to calculate the hours I was gone since it was such a crazy schedule. lol!

Hopefully he'll be feeling back to normal because we have his cousin's birthday party to attend on Saturday!

And, maybe next week, I'll really be able to start my new schedule! :-)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dear Anonymous:

Dear Anonymous,

Over the past two days, I've been debating on whether or not to respond to you and your comments at all. In reality, it doesn't matter what you think about my situation or the choices my family makes, but I just want you to know that I feel it was a pretty cowardly thing to do. At least own up to your comments if you are going to make them.

My husband and I are making choices that we feel are best for our family. It doesn't mean that I don't struggle with things that happen in my life or wish that things might be a little different. The fact is that I was willing to put them out there and acknowledge that's how I felt. My blog has always been a place that I could find support when we were going through the toughest time of our lives. I will not let you ruin that for me.

I'm assuming that I don't know you. And, if I do, I'm sorry that you didn't feel our relationship was strong enough that you could talk to me personally about how you felt after reading my posts.

Since I can't have this conversation with you, I guess this blog post will have to suffice. So, here are a few of your comments and my responses.

"She doesn't love your little boy like you do! That should not surprise you!"

Nope, this doesn't surprise me at all. I don't expect her to love him like I do. It doesn't mean that she shouldn't (or doesn't) care about him enough to want to celebrate his birthday or attend his party. There were plenty of people there who don't love him like my husband and I do. (and, plenty that see him A LOT less than her)

"Remember you are his mom - she is the baby sitter...she it the one you have chosen to raise your child (she spends way more waking hours with him that you do during the week) 

Yes, you are right - she spends more hours with him than I do. However, I have to disagree that I have chosen her to "raise" my child. Yes, she has a huge role in his child-rearing, but ultimately, my husband and I will be making choices for him that have a lasting impression. I expect her to work with us in handling tough situations if/when they arise and follow our lead in raising him.

"Odd you trust her enough with your son all day, but not enough to speak truth to her!"

I'm not sure what trust has to do with the other things I referred to in my post. As I mentioned, the feelings I was having are NOT deal breakers. My sitter takes very good care of my son when I cannot be there, and I appreciate her more than you know.

"You are giving up so much by working. Re-read your post, it is all about you. You have a little one now who will never be 1 again or two again. It is so important to have his mom there with him. You have no idea what you are missing and you won't until it is too late! Wow - so you would rather stay in your house than raise your little boy on your own with your values. Don't kid yourself - two or three hours a day with your child does not equate to raising him. Who ever is spending the majority of his waking hours ( because the time you spend at home with him while he is sleeping really does not count ) is raising him and I know for a fact whoever that is does not love him near as much as you. I would live in a condo before I gave up those precious years with my baby!!!"

Thanks. You sure know how to make someone feel good about themselves when they are already feeling like they don't get enough time with their child. Maybe you didn't realize that we spent 5 long years trying to have our little boy. We love him more than anything on this earth. Yes, the post is about me. It's my blog and my feelings. Since I can't tell you what Drake is feeling (which by the way, I'm sure he is just fine), it's the only way I can communicate on the blog. By working, I am able to provide more for him than I could if I wasn't working. Besides, if I had a burning desire to stay home with him all day long, you better believe that I would make it happen, but I don't. (By the way, I love how you mention a condo in your post. Apparently, condos in your area are fairly inexpensive because they cost about the same as my house here!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Great Grocery Challenge - Week 18

Another great week! Hopefully I can keep this up. :-)

CVS: spent $0, saved $9.95 ($1.15 on gift card)

Bought - 2 Colgate Sensitive toothpastes
Used - 2 $1/1 Colgate coupons plus ECBs

Target: spent $0.67, saved $3.50

Bought - 2-3 packs of Dentyne gum
Used - 2 $1/1 Dentyne 3 packs and 2 $0.75/1 Dentyne Target coupons

Walgreens: spent $2.77, saved $9.33

Bought - 3 Kettle Brand potato chips on sale for $1.50 each and 4 Campbell's Tomato Soup
Used - 3-$1/1 Kettle Brand chip coupons, Walgreens in-ad coupon 2/$1 on Campbell's soup, and 2-$0.40/2 Campbell's soup coupons

Meijer: spent $38.99, saved $56.16

I'll just give you my best purchases from this trip...
Free Meijer bread (mPerks deal)
Free Ronzoni pasta (on sale for $1, had $0.50/1 coupon that doubled)
4 Free Helper meals (on sale for a $1, had 4-$0.50/1 coupons that doubled)
$1.02 Money Maker on Gain Fabric Softener (on sale for $3.99, bought 2, used 2-$3/1 coupons and got $3 of my next purchase)

Weekly Total: spent $42.43, saved $78.94

Friday, February 18, 2011

Working Mother

Before I really started thinking about having a family, I believed that the ideal situation when I did have kids would be to work part-time. Today, I'm working full-time.

Honestly, I'm not interested in staying home all day (of course, I'm allowed to change my mind in the future). It's not because I don't think there is value in staying home, I do. It just isn't for me. I really enjoy my j.o.b., and I like the social aspect of working outside of the home. Financially, staying at home right now would mean cutting back significantly and possibly even moving out of our neighborhood. This isn't what we want. But, the sermon at church last week got me thinking. It was about giving - mostly financial, but it made me realize that we give more than our money...we give our time, resources, and talents, too. The reason this really got me thinking is because two of my other major concerns about being a SAHM are re-entering the workforce and retirement. So the question is, am I "storing up too many treasures on earth"? I pray that I'm not. I'm a planner, and God has created me this way, but am I too concerned about the things we have today instead of really worrying about where I am spending eternity? I do believe that we need to be realistic and save for the day when retirement comes, but I also believe that God will provide for us. I still believe working part-time would be ideal.

Working full-time outside of the home is HARD! Yes, I can run errands over my lunch hour, but it still seems that there aren't enough hours in the day. By the time I get home, have dinner made and we eat, there's only 30-45 minutes of time to really spend with Drake before he goes to bed. I also feel like I'm slacking a bit in my role as a Big Sister. My Little Sister and I have been matched since June 2008. We used to get together every other week and now we're barely getting together once a month. Don't get me wrong, being a mom comes first, but I still feel some responsibility to her. If I was working part-time, I would have more time to get things done, spend more time with Drake and hopefully get more time with my Little Sister.

During my performance evaluation last year, I talked to my boss about going down to a 4-day work week, but I wasn't (and still am not) willing to work 4 10-hour days. This would have been a bit of an adjustment for us as our insurance premiums would have went up and my salary would have been cut, but it was a good compromise. Unfortunately, my boss didn't see this as an option. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I might be able to maneuver my schedule so I could get more time with Drake. Until recently, he was sleeping until 7am and still taking a bottle in the morning. I wasn't willing to wake him up early...I really enjoyed sleeping until 7am on the weekends. :-) But, now that he's getting up a little earlier (about 6:45am) and doesn't take a bottle, I really considered altering my schedule.

I'm SO excited to start my new hours next week! I'll be working 7:30am-4:30pm Monday through Thursday and 7:30am-2pm on Friday! I know it might not sound like much, but getting that extra 2.5 hours on Friday afternoon is going to be wonderful! I'm really excited about my new schedule!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Drake's Party!!

I got the CD of pictures from Drake's party so I can finally share some pictures with you all!!

We had his party on Saturday, February 5th at our house. We invited our family and close friends to join us in celebrating his special day and it went perfect! Jason was a little worried because we had the big snowstorm just a few days before, but it all worked out fine. We had Avanti's gondolas, bbq meatballs, chips, veggies, and cake and ice cream.

I hired my friend, Barbie, to take pictures during the party and it was probably one of the best things! Thanks for the idea, Jill! I didn't have to worry about a thing, and she got some great pictures!!

Drake did great at the party and loves all of his new presents. Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate his birthday with us!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's day! I was surprised by two cards and mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cup candies this morning from my guys. Then, for dinner, I picked up a heart-shaped pizza at Papa Murphy's.

(This is the best picture I could get of my on-the-move 1 year old!)

Happy Valentine's Day from the Patterson's!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Great Grocery Challenge - Week 17

There wasn't much to purchase and not much in the way of awesome deals this week, but I still shopped. :-)

Walgreens: spent $4.41, saved $18.82

Transaction #1 - 
Bought 2 Colgate + 3 gravy
Used 1-$0.75/1 Colgate coupon, 1-$1/1 Colgate coupon + $4 RR

Transaction #2:
Bought Gillette Fusion Razor + 1 gravy
Used $4 Gillette coupon + $3 RR from Trans #1 (got $4 RR)
CVS: spent $0, saved $22.46
(This was kind of messed up because I forgot to use the 2 Quaker coupons so I went back, returned them and re-purchased them using my coupons.)

Bought 2 Quaker oatmeal, 1 Trident Layers, 4 Nivea lip care
Used 2-B1G1 Nivea, 2-$1/1 Quaker coupon, $3/10 coupon from the magic machine, + ECB

Meijer - spent $32.06, saved $22.49
Target: spent $2.27, saved $6.39
Weekly Totals: spent $38.74, saved $70.16

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Flack's

On the Friday before Drake's party my friend Jackie came down early with her two kiddos - Carter is three years old and Lucy is 10 months old. It was so nice to spend a little extra time with them.
 Isn't she just adorable? She knew just what to do when the camera came out. 
After dinner, we gave all three kiddos a bath together and put them to bed. Unfortunately, Lucy didn't want to sleep for Jackie. We had quite a full day on Saturday so I'm sure she was glad to get in the car and head back North with some sleeping kiddos! (I wasn't very good at getting pictures, but at least there were a couple to choose from.) Thanks again for coming, Jackie!! We'll see you in April for Miss Lucy's big birthday bash!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Let me start off by saying that I really like our sitter. She interacts with Drake well. She gives us a sheet with everything that has gone on throughout the day when we pick him up. And, she's watched Drake since the day he turned three months old. I totally trust her with him.

Obviously, there are things that I probably wish were a little different and that's where this post is going.

I wish she would have acknowledged his birthday.    We kept him home with us on his actual birthday, but he was with her the following day. She didn't say anything to him (in front of me) on Friday. 
I wish she would have come to his party.   I know she doesn't have to come. She never gave me a straight answer about coming, but as someone who spends as much if not more time with him than I do, I would have really appreciated it.

I wish she did more "crafts" with him.   We've gotten one handmade thing from him so far...his hands in paint at Halloween. Yes, Halloween, of all the holidays!

I wish she provided whole milk!     I mean, really? Our doctor has told us that Drake should be on whole milk until he turns two. I'm fine with this. He's on the small side and could probably use a little extra fat in his diet. She provides 2% milk so what's the difference in providing whole milk? It's more of a pain than anything.

I wish she wouldn't take on more kids.     When we interviewed her 15 months ago, she told us she was planning to take 2-3 kids in addition to her son who will be 4 this summer. Currently, she has Drake, a 16 month old, twin 4 year old boys, and her son. I'm fine with that. But, she's also watching an infant on a very part-time random schedule until the end of the school year when she'll be adding an infant full-time 4 days a week. And...we'd like to have another one (Lord willing) sometime. At least by the time that child went to her, the 3 4-year olds would be in Kindergarten?!

Obviously, I know that we could go somewhere else, but I really do like her! And Drake likes her. And she lives three minutes from my house. As my friend, Jean Ann, says, "Sometimes the momma bear comes out."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Great Grocery Challenge - Week 16

I'm a little behind in posting last week's purchases, but I've been sick. :-( Luckily, I felt fine through Drake's party on Saturday and this didn't come along until Sunday night, but it was pretty nasty. Fever of 101*-102* through yesterday and now it's in my ears and sinuses. Hopefully it doesn't stick around long.

This was definitely not a good savings week since we had to purchase some things for the party on Saturday. I included a little information about my trips since a few people requested it. Hope this helps, but I know it doesn't explain everything. The basic idea is to purchase items when they are on sale and you have a coupon.

Walgreens: spent $11.60, saved $32.94

Bought - 2 Gillette Fusion Razors @ $9.99 each, 3 Dove deodorant & 1 Dove body wash @ 4/$15
Used - 2-$4/1 coupons on the razors, 3-$2/1 coupons on the deodorants and 1-$1/1 coupon on the body wash
Got - 2-$4 RR on the razors and a $5 RR on the Dove products
(2 transactions)

Target: spent $13.88, saved $29.19

Bought - 2 Gerber Yogurts, Swiffer Sweeper Starter Kit, Swiffer Sweeper refill, 2-Olay bar soap, 2 Secret deodorant, 4 boxes of Kellogg's cereal, 3 Market Pantry Tomato soups

Used - 2-$0.75/1 Gerber coupons, 1-$1/1 Swiffer starter kit, 1-Buy 1 Swiffer starter kit, get 1 refill free coupon, 2-$2/1 Olay bar soap, 2-Buy Olay bar soap, get a free Secret deoderant, 2- B1G1 Kellogg's cereal (Target Q), 4-$1/1 Kellogg's cereal (manufacturer coupon), 1-$1/3 Market pantry soups (Target Q)

Schnucks: spent $2.39 (needed milk!)

Kroger: spent $1.19, saved $40.70

Bought - 4 Rotel tomatoes, 2 Electrasol Tabs, 2 Heinz ketchup, 2 DelMonte corn, Dog food

Used - B3G1 Rotel, 1-$0.30/1 Rotel, 2-$2.25/1 Electrasol and my $25 gift card from Cady!

This was my first time shopping at Kroger. I loaded all kinds of coupons onto the card, but I have no clue how to keep track of them. Personally, it's a little overwhelming so I basically didn't worry about them. I just gave her my card at the check out...apparently there was a $1 coupon there that worked with what I purchased. :-) I'm not sure if I'll go back or not. It seems like there are some really great deals to be had there, but it will take some time to get used to the layout and get organized.

Meijer: spent $152.14, saved $77.49

I won't go into this trip since there was a lot of stuff. I was kind of shocked at the savings since I was picking up some things without coupons for the party on Saturday. By the way, the place was BARE! They were almost completely out of produce, bread, frozen pizza, etc.

CVS: spent $4, saved $77.08 (paid $4 for a $10 gift card a few weeks ago - can't remember the website)

This was a great trip! I used $14 in ECB and got $15 in ECB back! Plus, I still have $3.99 on a gift card. 

Walmart - spent $17.94

Weekly Total: spent $201.95, saved $257.40

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Drake's party

We had a wonderful time yesterday celebrating Drake's birthday with many family and friends. The party went great, and I was glad to have Barbie taking pictures for us. I haven't seen them all yet, but you can go here to get a sneak peak.

Friday, February 4, 2011

12 Month Dr. Appointment

Today was Drake's 12 month well baby visit. We got there right on time and got his measurements taken. They were also trying to get a urine sample. Have you ever heard of this? Poor kid, they basically took a "baggie" that had a sticky part and put it around his boy parts. They were hoping he would go potty sometime during the visit, but, of course, he didn't! If I would have known, I would have tried to load him up on liquids. Good thing is that they will just try it again at his 15 month appointment, and I'll be sure to push the liquids!

Once again, Dr. Rosa thought he was cute as can be. The only thing I was concerned about was Drake getting enough milk since we just transitioned this week. She said as long as he's getting 2 cups a day, he is fine. I'm constantly offering it throughout the day so hopefully he'll start taking more when he realizes that the bottle isn't coming back.

Drake's stats:
Weight - 20lbs 3.5oz (13th percentile) --- gained almost 2lbs
Length - 29.5 inches (42nd percentile) - grew 2 inches
Head Circumference - 69th percentile

We had a bit of a wait in the room this morning so we did lots of playing!I was a little bummed not to get a picture of him on the scale, but he didn't have a diaper on so I don't think he would like that much. :-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Drake's Birthday

Jason and I plan to take Drake's birthday off work every year to do something special with him. Since we've been snowed in for two days, we were just excited to get out of the house today!

After Drake's morning nap, we had his professional 1 year and family pictures taken. I think she got some good smiles of him so I'm really excited to see how they turned out. After pictures, we took him to lunch at Qdoba then back home for his afternoon nap. We ran a few errands including getting more supplies for his party on Saturday then came home for dinner. After dinner, we had to give Drake his first cake!!
waiting patiently while momma gets the camera ready
what is this?
need every last crumb
That was good!
Cake makes a boy thirsty!!

Of course, after cake, he went straight to the tubby! It was a wonderful day celebrating and remembering his birth one year ago!