Our Fam

Our Fam

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Getting ready for Halloween!

It's the weekend again! A lot has happened in one week and we are definitely ready for Halloween! As Dylan gets older, Halloween gets more fun. He is so excited about dressing up, pumpkins and all the decorations. My mom was in town and joined us at Tolmachoff Farms last Sunday to go pumpkin hunting. She squeezed in between the two car seats while Dylan read her a book on the way over. :)

The pumpkin patch was SOOO HOT! We were excited to participate in all of the fun activities, but found ourselves zipping through pretty fast because everyones' cheeks were getting pinker and pinker. Some day we'll do this in "normal" Fall weather.

Ava's driving, but she's not watching where she's going. :)
Dylan was given the job of picking out our pumpkins.

He lined up 5 large pumpkins in a row and said we all got one. :) Love the thought, but I'm not spending $50 on pumpkins this year. So...we got one big one and a couple smaller ones along with apple butter and canned apples to make cobbler. Yummy! Randy waited in the wagon.

Then we added the hot and tired kids to the wagon and headed home.

My mom stayed until Thursday. We spent the week shopping at some of our favorite places...Target, Michael's, Joann's and Old Navy. Of course we shopped the sales and I had coupons! :) Joann's was giving 70% off on all Halloween items. FUN! Of course I had buy a few items. I really don't have a lot of Halloween decorations, but now that Dylan has so much fun with holidays it will be more fun to decorate.

These were on the window by the front door, but one morning Dylan decided to redecorate. :)
We didn't carve the pumpkins until later in the week. He was more interested this year than last year. :)

Every night we need to go outside and turn on the jack-o-lanterns.
I should have taken the picture a couple of days ago. They are wilting in the 80-90 degree weather. Ooops.

What was Ava doing during all of this? She's a happy observer. :) We did have her try on the pumpkin headband though.

Today we were going to go to the kiddo Halloween party hosted my one of the families in our mom's group then to a hockey event in costume. Unfortunately, Dylan has croup. :( He was better today, but still sounded like a sea lion. Yesterday he was on the verge of tears most of the day because he just hurt. Today he was in better spirits. I do like his tone of voice while sick though...a whisper. :) I'm sure he'll be back to his energetic self by Monday. He has to be...he's been wearing his costume for three weeks now! We can't wait for Halloween!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

We Got to Party Last Night!

It was an early morning at 6:30am, but an easy morning. My mom came over at 8am with liquid energy and I had a wonderful breakfast!

My favorite...a breakfast burrito with onion and cheese. The best part is the avocado! I will add avocado to almost anything. :)

It's been a few days since I checked in. We've been a busy group. For starters, I know you are on pins and needles wondering if Maxim behaved after being released from jail. ;) Well, I wish I could say he's been cured, but unfortunately it is going to be a bit more challenging with this one. His first night out, Maxim did awesome. I was feeling good, but afraid to be too confident. The second night, Maxim went back to his old ways. The worst part about this is that I grazed it with my toe when I was putting Ava back to bed after a 4:30am feed. GROSS!!! He's now spending the nights back in the bathroom while we devise a new plan.

So...by Friday I had a return of the pooping cat, however, I felt like I was back to myself...the tired mom with two kids instead of the "feel like I'm about to die" mom with two kids. :)

On Friday night, Dylan's school had their first "Movie Night" out on the grass. They were showing Monster's Inc.

Now, the chances of Dylan actually sitting and watching the movie was pretty rare. :) We went anyway because it was a free family event that was only 2 min. away. Pretty good don't you think?! Dylan ended up playing with his friends on the playground supervised by Randy while Ava and I hung out on the blanket. It was fun. :)

Yesterday afternoon my mom drove out to visit us. :)

Randy and I were invited to a Halloween party about a month ago so I immediately called Mom to see if she wanted to visit. ;) Now that she is retired, she said she is always available for babysitting. Love it!  We had a free babysitter and the kiddos get to see their Grammy. Win Win!

Getting dressed up for the party was fun!

Dylan wanted to get in with the fun!

I haven't gotten decked out in a costume for awhile so I enjoyed breaking out the dark makeup and fake blood. I did have to go to Target (my favorite place) earlier in the day to buy booty shorts to go under my shirt/dress. It was short!! I think it would've been a bit breezy without the shorts. I even painted my nails, but they got all jacked up while they were drying.

Randy said that a serial killer doesn't have perfect nails. True statement, but I would've like to keep them for awhile.

Dylan's eyes got so big when he saw us! My mom kept him away until we were just about done. Ava wouldn't kiss me goodbye, but she regretted that decision later when she going to bed.

Our friends do such a great job with their Halloween parties. This is the 2nd year we've gone and it gets more and more fun. This year I got to drink because I wasn't preggo!

Ladies of the mom's group. Don't you love the preggo pumpkin belly?!

Randy's arm was twisted to play a little flip cup.

We were a great team back in VA, but haven't played since. Randy's skills came right back to him. :)

It was a fun night! So glad to have Mom babysitting because there wasn't any clockwatching. When we have a paid babysitter I'm usually checking my phone and the clock to make sure we don't stay out too late. When you begin the night knowing that it will cost at least $40-$50 for a sitter, it just changes the mood.

Now we're headed to Tolmachoff Farms for a pumpkin picking among many other fun activities! Have a great Sunday! Hopefully all you fantasy players have your rosters set! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Miss Sleep!

I love being a mom and taking care of my cute kids, but I miss SLEEP! I remember when I was preggo with Dylan,

He was born a week after this pic was taken. :)
all of my friends that were already mommies told me to get lots of sleep. I took this piece of advice in stride. I knew that it was good advice, but I had no idea how much I would truly miss quality sleep!

Today is the most tired I have been in a while! When Ava was a newborn I was exhausted, but that's to be expected. Well, she is a different type of sleeper than Dylan which means I'm getting different sleep too. Dylan was a formula baby because he didn't want me. So, he began sleeping through the night regularly at 4 months. I knew I was lucky then, however, now I appreciate it even more! Ava is a little peanut and she is a nursing baby so sleep is just different. I got her to the point of only getting up once a night then she turned 6 months and started growing again. For those that don't know or may have forgotten, a growing baby means more eating which means more wake ups for mommy. Teething also becomes a factor that affects sleep and I/Ava are experiencing both of these...growing and teething!

So that brings me to this week of very little sleep. Monday night had nothing to do with Ava. Unfortunately, Dylan's tummy wasn't doing so well. He woke up twice to use the bathroom and not the kind anyone wants to do if you know what I mean. ;) The positive is that he woke up to use the bathroom...he never does this which is why he wears a pull-up at night. Between Dylan's tummy and an Ava feeding, I was up 3 times on Monday night.

Tuesday night Ava had a teething issue. For those of you that went to baby Steven's shower, you may remember what this type of incident looks like...inconsolable screaming. By 11:15pm I had her asleep in her crib after trying everything and resorting to prescribed motrin. Once it kicked in her mood changed. I was naive to think we were done. She proceeded to wake up 3 more times that night. Argh!!

Last night I got in to bed and I was praying for sleep. I knew that I was getting up once with Ava, but I had given her the motrin at bedtime to hopefully ensure that she didn't have any teething issues at night. Well, last night her mouth was great, but she was super hungry! Really?! I was up every 2 hours! At 6:30am it became apparent that everyone was getting up. I felt like my eyelids had weights on them! I needed my coffee!

I wish I could say I perked right up, but it didn't happen quite that fast. I was the crabby mommy for the first part of the morning which I really hate. I don't want to be like that! Dylan had a great night sleep so he was filled with super energy. This pair does not mesh well in the morning.

After my 2nd cup of coffee...

I was hoping for "magic"!
BTW, I don't know what happened to the pic...I didn't even take it this way. Hmmm.
I finally felt like I was crawling out of the sleepy hole. I'm not saying I feel alert now, but I feel like I can handle my day. Dylan and I read some books together; one being No, David! by David Shannon.

If you don't know the book, most of the text is "No, David!" as a little boy makes all the wrong choices. In the end him and his mom make up. Such an appropriate book for us sometimes. :)

When Ava woke up from her morning nap, Dylan wrestled a little. I usually have him stop right away, but she was having fun and I thought it was cute so I took a pic before stopping it.

We then headed to get the oil changed in my car. It comes with a free car wash...my favorite part. I now love the car wash for a different reason.

I think after 2 cups of coffee and fresh air, I may actually make it through this day. The tester will be if Maxim behaves. He's out and roaming!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cat Will Be Released in 12 Hours!

Today I went on a cleaning binge and it felt great. It all started because our cat, Maxim, will be let out of jail on Thursday. :) Let me explain...

Many weeks ago I posted a blurb about my obese cat that has this pooping issue that I absolutely can't stand!! I've got enough bodily functions to worry about with my two kiddos, I don't need issues with my 7 yr old cat! I am proud to say that he has lost a 1/2 pound bringing him down to 23.5 lbs. :) As a refresher, Max has chosen to poop in our common room only at night. Hate it!! So, after consulting a friend of mine that is a vet then actually taking him to the vet, the conclusion is that he is perfectly healthy, besides the obvious weight, and that his issues are purely behavioral. For all you cat lovers out there you know that this piece of info is almost worse because cats are so stubborn. Anyway, Maxim has been segregated to the bathroom since Friday.

We tried this once before, but just shut him in at night since that is when he does his business. Didn't work! So in order to do this "litterbox retraining" I had to purchase these items...

These aren't on the coupon list. :( After $53 and a week of Maxim howling at night to get out, we only have about 12 hours to go. I vaccummed the entire common room and have sprayed the cleaner (red bottle) over the floor.

I feel ready, but scared. What if he goes back to his old ways? I can't handle this behavior! So cross your fingers that this works!

Maxim may have been the initial motivation, but then the house was just looking so good that I kept finding more chores. I even prepped dinner, Southwestern Turkey Meatloaf, so that I could rest during naptime. It worked! Now I'm catching up on my DVR shows.

So along with the daily happenings of Ava and Dylan, I'm also busy making sure our house runs smoothly. That means kids, cats, hubby and somewhere in there me too. :)

Have a great Wednesday!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hyped Up From Couponing!

This morning was the best couponing yet! I started prepping for my shopping trips on Saturday because I discovered Commissaries.com. For those of you that shop at a commissary (military grocery store) you have to check out this website. It lists everything that is on sale in the store! Before this discovery I had always wished for that knowledge so that I could really get the best deal. Here it is!! So after filtering through that enormous list and adding items that we need for the next two weeks, I had a large list! I then got really organized and put it in a spreadsheet with the cost, coupon amount and total so I knew what to expect.

There is a back side. :)
You may think this is the end, but oh no...I then moved to the Fry's circular and Target web coupons. I finished up my lists, yes more than one, this morning. :)

The plan was to go to three stores and I was able to hit two of them while Dylan was at school. I knew I was shopping at Target for groceries because our Target just added that section so they are running deals. I also had a catalina coupon requiring me to spend $25 to save $3. In addition, I had a $15 gift card that I had won on a sweepstake spin I did online. My list wasn't solid going in because I didn't really know what I would find so I had a calculator to make sure I hit $25. I also had my coupons of course. This is my envelope that I always keep my lists and coupons I am planning on using inside.

This way I don't have to always go to the binder. Are you ready to see what I bought?!

I only paid $11.10!! That's a 82% savings! To make it even better, I got a $5 gift card back for buying to Curel products. I was so excited that I sent this picture to both Randy and my mom to brag. They are great cheerleaders. :)
Fry's was next, but I really wanted Ava to nap first! Unfortunately her knew skill of standing, which is very exciting, has taken over her desire to nap.

So by noon I decided we were heading for Fry's because she needed some assitance in getting to sleep...the car. :)

My Fry's trip was pretty planned out, but I had to make some adjustments when some of the items weren't available and I discovered a few more things on sale. The target here was spend $35 and save $5 on fresh or frozen beef. This is before coupons. I also had two $8 Cover Girl coupons that were going to give me an overage so I had "extra" money. It was another fun and very successful trip.

This one cost $21.90 and I saved 76%! You can't see the detergent very well, but yes...this includes a bottle of Tide. Again, I sent this picture to my cheerleaders so they could share in the excitement. I actually called my mom on the way out of the parking lot. :)

So the grand total for today is $148.52 worth of groceries, but only spent $33 plus a $5 Target card. Love it! I do still need to go to the commissary and I will take care of that tomorrow. It's harder to get my savings percentage up on that one because the groceries are already discounted between 40-45%. So, if I save 30% there I'm feeling good. I usually go twice a month to stock up on some essentials. Tomorrow I'm stocking up on cereal. All the boxes I'm buying are $2 then I have a coupon as well as snacks that are sale and ground turkey. I don't do this much every week, it just worked out this way this week.

I mentioned in a previous post that I have a second account to park away my coupon savings. So, for the dollar amount on that coupon, I get to save that amount in another account. For example, today I found Pampers wipes for $1.99, but I had a $.50 coupon that doubles to $1. I got the wipes for $.99, but I only get $.50 in my account. Today, I got to add $76 to my account making it over $500! Woot woot! I really have fun couponing because it feels like a game and I love shopping!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Costume Time!

Today was a fun day. We weren't super busy, but got out to take care of some important business. ;) It did begin at a nice 6am with Dylan checking to see if he could get out of bed yet. I reminded him of our agreement, "if it is dark stay in bed; if it is light then you can get up". Thirty minutes later Ava is letting me know that she wants to get up too.

This wasn't this morning, but a very similar scene. :)
It was light outside so I couldn't be too upset. ;) What is even more important is that she slept through the night!! I do give her a "dream feed" before going to bed to increase the chances of both of us sleeping through the night. :) A "dream feed" is when mom feeds the baby right before she goes to bed. Since I was up late, Ava ate at 11pm. I'm crossing my fingers for a repeat performance tonight.

By 8am everyone has had breakfast, I'm drinking my coffee

and Dylan is running around in the backyard. Even though the high today was 101 degrees (so crazy for the middle of Oct.), the mornings are usually pretty nice. I guess the term "pretty nice" is all relative. :) He is such an outdoor kid! If he could spend the entire day outside he would. This is always a great start. :)

The first event for the day was to hit Party City for Halloween costumes. I think I was more excited about costumes than anyone else. After Ava's morning nap, the fam headed to Party City with a coupon in hand. :) We were going for a Princess Leia and Han Solo costume I saw online. It wasn't "online only", however, our location didn't carry it. :(

We decided to go more bloody this year. I've never done bloody so I'm excited! We decided on this one for the hockey theme, it looked comfortable and I get to do some make-up. :)

My mom is coming out to babysit and we are going to an adult party. Woohoo!

After afternoon naps we headed to the park! Dylan has been wanting to ride his car

and our backyard isn't big enough.

But, when we got there, he played on the equipment and did soooo much running instead. He had the cutest pink cheeks. Unfortunately this was the only picture I was able to take of him and it was at the beginning. I got in trouble. :)
The supervisor! :)
With the energy expelled at the park, our night went smoothly and the kiddos are sleeping. When I was saying good night to him he said, "Mommy, my go to the big park more." So I guess that's going to be our thing for a while. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Where does he get his energy?

I would call this a lazy Saturday because we didn't do much out of the house, but there wasn't a lack of energy in our house! Dylan got up before the sun and Ava got up at 8:30am. Usually on the weekends Randy gets up with Dylan and I get up when Ava gives me the signal. Well, at 6am Dylan watched cartoons on his own. :) I got to sleep until 8am! It felt great so I was sure today was going to be great.

It has been a day of highs and lows. With Dylan's early morning rise, the potential for tantrums greatly increases. He spent all morning with a tremendous amount of energy! He didn't throw any tantrums (yay!), but his energy didn't always lead him to the best choices. Unfortunately for him, some of his choices sent him to time-out. :( 

She's fighting back! :)
I decided while Ava was in her morning nap, it was time for the park. I say morning nap, but with her getting up late it wasn't exactly morning. Now the high today was forcasted at 100 degress, but at 11am it was probably high 80's. Most of the parks have a tarp that covers the equipment so it was actually an enjoyable trip to the park. After running around for 30 minutes we went home for lunch. Unfortunately for us, the energy followed us home!

By Dylan's naptime I was so ready! He wore me out! Ava and I took this opportunity for a girls errand excursion. I needed to get out! We scored some good deals at Walgreens and Safeway walking out of Safeway with a nf iced pumpkin spice latte. I decided that it was needed. :)

This afternoon has been better because now Randy is playing with Dylan in a way only dads can do...wrestle! They have been practicing hockey checks, sleeper holds and now Dylan has a "googy" move he uses to get out of it all.

Hopefully he'll sleep in tomorrow after all of this activity.

Ava's sleeping has been all messed up since she got up later than usual. She's got a small temperature, I think due to teething, so she is a bit more fussy than usual. She went down for her afternoon nap at almost 5pm so we'll see what the evening entails.

The lesson of the day...just roll with it and be flexible!