Wednesday, April 27, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week - April 24-30

The last time I posted about National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) was two years ago...just one month before we found out our second IVF cycle was a success. You can see that post here. Last year, I had an almost three month old and was enjoying what was left of my maternity leave. And, this year, well...I am working full-time with an almost 15-month old at home and imagining the day we'll be pregnant again. (We can overcome this again, right?)

Resolve's theme this year is "Bust a Myth about Infertility". You can check out some myths here, but one of my "favorites" is If you just relax, you will get pregnant.

Really? Infertility is a medical issue whether you are able to diagnose the specific reason or not. Relaxing will not get you pregnant. Yes, stress is not good for your body, but how easy is it to relax after attempting something for months or years and getting the same negative result?

"Some diseases and medical conditions defy explanation. They just happen. The term "unexplained infertility" really reflects the present limitations of medical science. The fact is that current technology does not have the tools for revealing the cause of your infertility." (from

I never thought we would have a problem getting pregnant. I mean, why would I have paid for and taken birth control pills if I thought there might be an issue? Jason and I tried for 3.5 years before talking to a doctor about other options. We spent five months on Clomid, did three IUIs and two IVF cycles to get our baby.

Even after having Drake, I don't think I can count the number of people who have told me that we'll probably get pregnant now with no assistance since we've been pregnant once. Well, I've got news for them. First, I hope they are right! I would love to miss my period one month, take a home pregnancy test and surprise my husband with it! Do they really think I want to go through all of that again?

Second, Drake wasn't our first pregnancy. We actually were pregnant once before (our 2nd IUI), but it sadly ended in miscarriage. Even then, we were told by some that "people are really fertile after a miscarriage". Nope, it took us two more medicated cycles.

Third, pregnancy doesn't cure infertility. Yes, it can happen. And, I really hope it does. While searching for statistics on this, I found this article - it's a little old (1999), but I imagine the information is still the same.

If you want a basic understanding of infertility, go here. And, you can go here for the background of National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Great Grocery Challenge - Week 27

CVS: OOP $1.86 ($0.19 before tax!), saved $43.02!

Not a bad trip to CVS, but I used my high value ECBs. I still have some, but not as many as I started with. :-)
Walgreens: OOP $5.40, saved $23.41!
 Target: OOP $4.90, saved $18.08
Meijer: OOP $25.20, saved $89.21!

I am LOVING shopping at Meijer these days, and I think it has everything to do with finding the right websites that provide matchups. This week I got $.15 dish soap, $.17 Lysol wipes and homestyle mac and cheese, $.25 brownies & Stove Top and much more!If you have a Meijer in your area, check out Spectacular Savings for match ups.
I was at Walmart for an oil change, so I figured I would do a little shopping and try out their new coupon policy. They now allow for an overage! So, if you have an item that is $.94 and the coupon is for $1 off. You "make" six cents! I had coupons for each of these items and I actually paid $23.13 for all of the above and my oil change. The oil change was regularly $24! :-)

Weekly Total: OOP $37.36, saved $173.72! (82% savings!)


We had a wonderful Easter Sunday! Our church decided to have three services today to accommodate all the additional people so I was there at 7:30am to work in the nursery. :-) It actually wasn't too bad, even with Drake not sleeping well last night. We only had 5 kids in our room (age 15-18months) with three adults, but I'm guessing the next two services were packed. It was a WONDERFUL service about Jesus' resurrection and also a baptism Sunday. It's always so emotional watching baptisms. Amazing! If you want to check out the sermon, you can go here after Tuesday:

After church, we came home for lunch and a much needed nap! Then, we headed north to meet my family at Starved Rock.  We had a nice dinner and even got a little time outside.

 Drake's cousin, Reid
 An attempt at a picture of Grandma & Grandpa Williams with two of their grandsons. :-)
Drake's goodies!!

You can see Drake's first Easter here.

Saturday fun!

 This was the first Saturday that we didn't have plans in a while. I spent the morning cleaning, including clearing out some of my coupon inserts. Drake found them in the garbage and pulled them out. He spent about 20 minutes playing in them!
They got stuck to his bare feet when he was walking in them and then he laid down "swimming" in them.
 Jason threw them up over his head like confetti, and Drake tried doing the same thing to Kahlua. :-)

After all this playtime fun, we were able to get outside for a walk since the weather was pretty nice.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Hudson!!

This weekend, we headed north for another birthday party. This time it was for my college friend's son. It's hard to believe he turned three! I remember the day he was born and my first time meeting/holding him at a mere 4 pounds in the NICU. He is such a smart boy and so cute! His birthday party was held at Monkey Joe's. We had lots of fun in the bounce houses and slides. They even had a small one that was a little more firm for the little kiddos. Drake loved it (one I got him inside). 

 Tuckered out after an afternoon of running!
 Janell and Hudson
 Hudson's cake - How cute is this?

After a fun party, both the kiddos needed a bath. Drake wasn't sure what to think of the bubbles at first, but once he got some cups, he loved it! We didn't hear a peep out of him once we put him down for the night. 

Utensils - toddler or adult?

Drake is learning to use utensils and doing a great job!!

Tonight, I cut up his dinner (lasagna, corn & garlic bread) and put it on his plate along with his spoon. He was fussing and tried grabbing for my fork so I gave it to him.
And, he got food on it and in his mouth!

I think we'll try sticking with the toddler utensils, but he was so proud of himself. Just one more way he is just like his momma...stubborn! :-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Great Grocery Challenge - Week 26

CVS: OOP $0.24, saved $8.12
Walgreens: OOP $2.80, saved $32.32
Target: OOP $0, saved $6.00

So, how is my OOP $0, you ask? I actually paid $4.51, but I bought 2 Easter cards to cover some overage from coupons. Easter cards aren't really part of the grocery budget so I'm not counting it. :-)
 Meijer: OOP $15.92, saved $57.55

A HUGE thanks to Spectacular Savings for my awesome savings at Meijer the past two weeks!  I have been looking for a blog with good match-ups and I think I found it. For those of you wondering...No, I don't need 9 jars of peanut butter, but our food pantry at church will be happy when they get 5 of them! 

Walmart: OOP $4.17, saved $6

Weekly Total: OOP: $23.13, saved $109.99!! (83% savings!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

What do you do with all of the pictures you take? 

Are they still on your memory card or computer? 

Are they sitting in a box in the basement? 

At least 15 years ago, my mom started scrapbooking and got me, my sister, and my sister-in-law started, too! My "style" has changed over the years, but I love the basic idea of getting pictures somewhere where they will be looked at and I'll remember the experiences. My newest issue is the storage of all these books! I have at least 10 books already, and Drake has two books for his first year of life! :-)  Right now, they are stored in our formal living room (that isn't so formal. lol!) on our china cabinet. If you have any great storage ideas for the books, I'd love to hear it!

The only way I really get a chance to work on my books is if I am out of the house so we usually plan a few weekends each year to go somewhere. This past weekend, we were at The Craftin' Cabin by the Lake. It was wonderful!
My sister, my friend Jackie, and myself

Our group of ladies:
top-Michelle, Jackie, me, my mom
bottom-Brenda N and Brenda C

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Great Grocery Challenge - Week 25


CVS: spent $13.16 (more than 1/2 was tax!), saved $92.34!

My CVS trip was good. I got a lot of things I needed, but I did run into one "issue". The cashier and one of the managers would not accept a $/1 coupon with a B1G1 coupon. Don't worry...I didn't make a scene. :-) I still purchased the products and left the store happy. I tried to do a little research online to see what their exact policy is and apparently, there is nothing printed for their customers. So, I called their customer service number to see about the policy just so I know for future. According to Ann, their "Guidelines" state that they should accept the coupon. She was very nice and even offered to give me $2 ECB since that is what I was out from my coupons. I haven't been there to see if they will print, but I'll check it out next week.If they would have accepted my coupons, it would have been 89% savings!! CVS is by far my favorite place to shop for household items.

Target: spent $13.13, saved $17.17!

Meijer: spent $36.71, saved $19.15!

Best deals: $1.47 money maker on U by Kotex (2 on clearance for $1.03, used 2-$1/1 coupons, got $1.50 in catalina), 2 free Green Giant vegetables ($1, used 2-$.50/1 coupons), free can of fruit

The Powerade Zero were supposed to be free, but it didn't come off with my mPerks. Only paid $.79 for two, still not bad.

My first trip at Meijer was awesome (pictured above), but while I was out of town this weekend Jason had to go pick up milk and dog food. That transaction was $27.79 with nothing saved. yikes!!! 

Walgreens: spent $5.83, saved $29.86

I made two trips to Walgreens since I had a little extra time on lunch one day this week. I was hoping to find the Crayola Wonder "things" for $.50, but that didn't happen. I did find two other ones at $1.99 so I got those anyway...good Easter presents for the nephews. 

Weekly Total: spent: $68.83, saved $158.52 (70% savings)!