Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Well, I'm glad you asked because I have a whole list of things...

After Sarah wrote the note about going to the store, we took her.  She had been saving up her money and decided she finally wanted to spend it.

In addition to Tooth Fairy money, it was also money she had received and been saving from her grandparents for various reasons.

So we headed to Wal-mart on Sunday afternoon and proceeded to stimulate the economy.

Peter was very upset that he didn't have any money to spend.  I had to remind him that he spent his money about a month ago.

After he finished grousing and complaining about not having any more money he said, "So what's a guy got to do to earn some money around here?"

Well, I'm glad you asked because I have a whole list of things!

We've tried several times to institute chores and allowances but the kids were never interested in receiving small sums of money for manual labor.  They prefer to receive large sums of money for doing absolutely nothing.

But things may be changing around here.

After Christmas they decided to pool the money they both received  to purchase a Wii.  They had just enough money between the two of them to buy the system.  But they also wanted a Super Mario Bros. game which cost around $50.  I told them they were going to have work around the house to earn the money to buy the game they wanted. 

So they worked very hard doing anything I asked them (and without complaint!) for three weeks and I bought them the game. We instituted a checklist.  Anytime they did a chore without complaining they got a check.  After they reached 200 checks, we got the game.

Now that Peter would like to purchase more games, he seems agreeable to the concept of working to earn money and then actually saving it for a specific purpose.  And Sarah will always do whatever Peter does so now they have a weekly chore chart and an allowance.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will actually work this time.

Who says computer games are ruining our kids?  In this case they may actually be helping mine and now I'm not the only one dusting around here!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Of course. Just sound it out!

Peter is very much like his momma in that almost as soon as his head hits the pillow, he is sound asleep.

Sarah, on the other hand, is very much like her daddy in that she is a night owl and needs some time to unwind before falling asleep.

So every night after we put the kids to bed, we can hear Sarah in her room opening and closing drawers, jumping on her bed, pulling tomorrow's outfit out of the closet, flipping through books or whatever may strike her fancy.

And many times, we will find notes that she has written to us on our bed or somewhere in her room.

She wrote the following note to us on Saturday night:

It says:

Mom and Dad
Tomorrow can we go to the store
I will bring my money

As I was reading it out loud to her and trying my hardest to make out all of the words I got stuck on "sowr" or store.  I was struggling with it and pronounced it "sour" knowing that wasn't the word she had in mind but not knowing what she really meant.

Sarah in her most exasperated and teacher-like tone said, "Mommmmm!  If there's a word you don't know, just sound it out!"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Well if our President is black...

I feel like I owe an apology to all the parents in Sarah's class.

I have just added one more thing to their Tooth Fairy to-do lists by perpetuating the latest in Tooth Fairy lore.

Apparently, according to Jennifer's daughter Caity (who is almost 9 and is an expert on such things), if you leave a glass of water out for the tooth fairy she will drink it and the water will turn whatever color she is.

When Caity told us this last year, I said to myself, there's no way I'm playing along with that.

But then Caity lost a tooth and her tooth fairy was red and then her brother lost a tooth and his tooth fairy was blue.  And I knew by how excited Peter and Sarah were with the whole thing that once again, I would be eating my words. 

Peter has lost three teeth and has yet to think about leaving out the glass of water but last night as we were placing Sarah's tooth under her pillow she declares, "I want to know what color my tooth fairy is.  Get a glass of water!"

And then Peter excitedly joins in, "Yeah, yeah!  Get a glass of water Mom."

Is it not enough that I have to remember to constantly have a wallet full of singles just in case one of the kids happens to lose a tooth?  Now I am also supposed to remember to put some food coloring in a glass of water while I'm trying to slide said singles under their the pillow without waking them?

I tried to talk her out of it but she had her mind made up.  So we left a glass of water out and the kids went to bed wondering what color Sarah's tooth fairy would be.

Before I went to bed, I placed three gold $1 coins under her pillow and remembered to remove the tooth.  And then I placed a couple of drops of blue food coloring and a couple of drops of red food coloring in the glass. I thought a purple tooth fairy would be nice.

Imagine my surprise when woke Sarah up this morning and turned on her light to see what color the tooth fairy was.

Apparently I got too much food coloring in the glass.

My husband, knowing I was going for purple, snickered a little and said, "Hmmm...apparently the tooth fairy is black!"

Sarah looked confused for a moment.  I'm sure she was thinking that fairies should be pales yellow, light blue or a delicate shade of pink.  But then she shrugged her shoulders as if to say, "whatever".

And I thought to myself, well, if our President is black, it only stands to reason that the Tooth Fairy is black too!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Ever since this happened last April, Sarah has been wiggling and jiggling in the hopes that one of her little teeth might be loose.

About three months ago one of them finally seemed like it might be a teeny tiny bit loose so she has been working on that one ever since.

Finally this morning at breakfast it came out!

She is floating on cloud nine.  When her friends at school started losing their teeth, they all thought she lost two teeth as well because of the big gap on the top and on the bottom.  But now it's official!

Love that toothless grin, baby girl!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Either this child embarrasses easily or I sing worse than I thought.

I was listening to the radio this morning as I was driving the kids to school.

The kids were in the backseat.  Peter was playing his DSi and Sarah was flipping through a book.

It was a rare moment of quiet on a normally hectic school morning and as I was enjoying the solace,  I did the unthinkable - I started to softly sing out loud to the song playing on the radio.

"Mom!  Could you please stop singing?!  You're embarrassing me!" said my horrified 5-year-old daughter from the backseat.

 Oh, sweetie, you think you're embarrassed now?  Just wait a few years until I'm singing and you have some actual friends in the car with you.  Then we'll talk embarrassed.

Embarrassed?  Please!  I ought to make that girl ride the school bus.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jerry Seinfeld he ain't.

Peter's Cub Scout pack visited a local Christian radio station last night.

As I was tucking him into bed he told me that he had wanted to tell a joke on the air.

"Oh, really?  What joke would you have told?" I inquired.

"I made up a good one.  It goes like this:  What do you call a horse with a mustache?"  he asked with a twinkle in his eye.

"I don't know.  What?"

"I don't know either.  It's a horse with a mustache for crying out loud!"  he said collapsing into a heap of giggles.


Monday, March 22, 2010

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Last Fall, Peter got all four of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.  I got him one and my mom got him the other three at the school's Fall Book Fair.  (Our school has a Grandparent's Day where all the grandparents are invited to have lunch with the kids and then join them at the book fair where hopefully they will spend oodles of their retirement money.)

Peter devoured these books.  Here is a picture I took of Peter reading one of them last October.  I was inside taking this picture through a window because I didn't want to disturb him.  Look at his little furrowed brow - isn't it cute?

He has since read each of them at least twice so when I heard there was a movie coming out, I knew we would be going.

We took the kids this Saturday and what a cute movie it was!  We laughed, we giggled, and we were grossed out.  It was the perfect movie for a 7-year-old boy!  (And a 40-year-old girl for that matter.)

Last week at the school's Spring Book Fair, Grandma got Peter the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Journal and the poster.  Peter has been drawing his own comics and writing in this journal ever since. 

The only problem is that he keeps asking me when there's going to be a new book out.  The fourth book just came out in September so he's disappointed when I tell him it's probably going to be another year or more.

Meanwhile, I guess he'll just keep re-reading the first four and writing his own diary.

Although both Greg and Peter will tell you - "It's not a diary.  It's a journal!"

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Sleepover

Last Friday night we let Sarah have a little sleepover.  Caity and Cheyanne were going to spend the night with her to make up for the fact that she missed Colton's birthday sleepover a couple of weeks before.

Peter and Dan were at a Boy Scout lock-in so it was the perfect opportunity for a little girls-only fun.

Sarah was so excited about this sleepover.  She talked about it for days and even made a list of activities:

In case you can't read this list it says:

Talk with girls
Eat pizza
Watch TV

Two days before the party Sarah told me she wanted to bake a cake.

"Bake a cake?" I questioned.

"For the party," was her reply.

"I'm busy trying to cook dinner now.  Maybe I'll get a cake at the store on Friday."

"O.k. but make sure Hannah Montana is on the cake."

"Hannah Montana?  I'm not getting a Hannah Montana cake for the sleepover!"  Those things are expensive just because they've got Miley's face plastered all over them.

"I was thinking just a plain little cake," I offered.

"How about one with flowers?" she grudgingly countered.

So even though this was just a regular sleepover and not a birthday party, we had birthday cake.

And the girls did everything on Sarah's list - even sleep.  So everyone was happy - even Mommy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010



Perhaps I should rethink running with my iPod. 

Poor guy.  He literally never knew what hit him.

I probably shouldn't mention this but...

Guess what?

I just discovered that 5 kilometers is not 3.2 miles like I previously thought.  It's only 3.1 miles! 

It may not sound like much but when you are try to run, one tenth of a mile is huge.

With this little bit of knowledge, I feel like I just received a teeny tiny little present today.  Although I'm sure once my husband reads this post and gives me a hard time, I will be wishing that I kept this tidbit of info all to myself.

Carry on.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I had the old iPod Shuffle for a week and hated it.  Hated. It.

The Shuffle is the cheapo iPod.  And while it holds a lot of music for $55.00, there is no screen so to increase the volume or select your play list you have to push a tiny button that is built into the earphone wires.  And this button is very high up on the wire - a little too close to my ears.  Not sure why they wouldn't have put this button closer to the jack that goes into the Shuffle.

 (Photo courtesy of the Apple Store)

(The rectangular piece of plastic with the + and - is the "button" I was referring to.)

In addition to the button being in an awkward place, I could never get it to forward to my play list. (And in order to do this, you have to memorize a series of beeps.  It's all I can do to run and breath.  I can't be expected to remember a series of beeps as well!)

So I was stuck listening to my husband's play list.  Boo.  Yuck.  Gross.

So after trying and trying to get it to work for a week, and getting more annoyed with each run, I returned it and upgraded to the iPod Nano.  It is completely worth the extra $95.00.

(Photo courtesy of the Apple Store)

See the nice screen and the roller button?  I can actually use those and they actually work!  While I'm running!

And the music I am downloading is actually making my run...dare I say it?....enjoyable!

My current favorite song to run to is "Single Ladies" by Beyonce.  I start to giggle every time it comes on.  I can't get Kurt from Glee out of my head.  (Super excited about it coming back on the air in April!)

The only problem I have with my iPod is that I want to sing while I'm running. And as my husband told me the other day when I had my earphones in singing at the top of my lungs, "I can hear you.  It's not good."

But I guess it's just as well because there's no way I could sing and run and breathe!

Does anybody have a really good workout or running song?  I'm always on the lookout for something new to keep these runs interesting.  Let me know!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Can you help a sister out?

I read several frugal living blogs and during Christmas I kept hearing about Swagbucks.  Everyone was using Swagbucks to pay for their Christmas gifts.

I ignored it for a while but finally a few weeks ago, I decided to see what all of the fuss was about and I signed up.

If you aren't familiar with it, Swagbucks is a search engine very much like Google. But instead of simply searching for information, periodically they will award you with bucks. And once you've earned enough, you can redeem them for prizes including gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Target, iTunes.  (Hello!  I love all of these!)

After just 3 weeks of using Swagbucks, I have already accumulated 568 bucks.  And I have to say I am addicted.  It's like a game - how many bucks can I earn in one day?

I use Swagbucks to search for everything - even if I already know where I want to go on the internet, I type it into Swagbucks.  I usually earn 20-40 bucks a day.

You can also earn extra bucks by reading their blog where they will inform you of codes that you can enter for even more bucks.  You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter to get extra codes as well.

And if you download the Swagbucks tool bar you can earn extra points every day as well.

Another way to earn points is by referrals.  If this is something that you would like to check out, click over to Swagbucks through the icon on the left-hand side of my blog.  (Do you see it over there??)  And I will get some extra points.  And once you've signed up you can tell all of your friends about it and they can sign up and then you will get extra points. 

I am on a mission to see how much of my Christmas I can cover with these Swagbucks. (That is if I don't spend all the bucks on iTunes first.)

Jen over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam (one of my favorite frugal blogs) wrote a good post in February about how to earn Swagbucks.  Check it out for more information.

And if you do sign up, can you help a sister out and sign up with me?

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Busy Mom's Bible

Right around the time I finally finished reading The Bible in 90 Days (or in my case alternately titled The Bible in 198 Days), I received an email from Zondervan that said they were giving away 5000 Busy Mom's Bibles to anyone who would use it and write a review about it on their blog.

So here I am to give you  a quick review of the Busy Mom's Bible.

  • I love the pink cover.  It's nice and soft and flexible.  Very pretty.
  • The font on the inside of the Bible is clean and crisp and easy to read.  It's also modern looking.  No boring Times New Roman here.
  • This Bible includes 52 "Thought Starters" that as Zondervan puts it "are designed to let you dip into God's word for refreshment." And as a busy mom this is a good thing.  Another good thing is that it lists further scripture for you to read if you have more time and it even gives you the page number.  That's a nice feature as well. 
  • Also included are 52 "Reflect and Pray" sections if you have 5 minutes and 52 "Study" sections if you have 10 minutes to devote to Bible study.
  • These "Thought Starters" are spread equally throughout the book on harder paper than the rest of the Bible.  This means that as you are trying to read this Bible or trying to search through it, you invariably end up on one of these "Thought Starter" pages.  It's just as annoying as trying to flip through your favorite magazine before you've pulled out all the perfume samples and reorder cards.
  • The devotionals didn't quite do it for me and I can't quite put my finger on why.  Maybe it's because I get several daily devotionals emailed to me every morning and they just more relevant and useful to me than these.
I have the Mom's Devotional Bible which is also published by Zondervan.  (Thanks, Heather!)  The devotionals in this Bible are more longer and seemed to speak to me more than these very short ones in the Busy Mom's Bible.  Even busy moms need to slow down and spend more than 1 minute with God every day.  Or let me rephrase that - busy moms especially need to slow down and spend more than one minute with God every day.

The Busy Mom's Bible doesn't work for me for my morning devotionals and Bible reading but I do keep it in the car.  Now I have something to do while I'm stuck in the pick-up line at school!  It's good to get a little dose of God's Word right before the kids get in the car and start fighting.  Nothing like a little sustenance to strengthen me before the whining begins.

Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It was pink and glittery and 100% polyester. What's not to love?

This past Sunday was the annual Mother-Daughter tea at our church.

Sarah and I attended the tea for the first time last year and she loved it.  And why wouldn't she?  She got a new dress and a whole girly afternoon devoted to just Sarah and Mommy.

So we were definitely going this year and of course, I promised her a new dress.  But due to lots of snow days, sickness and other annoying schedule conflicts, I wasn't able to get to the store to pick out the dress that I thought she would look best in.

Instead, we went together. 

Before we headed to the store we went to to get an idea of what they had.  We picked several very pretty dresses that were all less than $16.00.  And I had a 15% off coupon to make the price even nicer.

But on the very last page of girl's dresses, Sarah spotted this little number...

The IZ Byer California Glitter Bubble Dress.

And it could be ours for the low, low price of $30.00.


Well of course, I also had my coupon but we also had to get new shoes as well and I was less than thrilled with the look of the dress. It looked a little Wal-Mart to me but I figured I could steer her toward something I liked better once we were in the store.  (And heavens knows I don't  have anything against buying clothes at Wal-Mart.  I get lots of the kid's clothes from there.  I was just hoping for something a smidgen less trashy for the Mother-Daughter tea.  Something more along the lines of what she wore last year.)

As we browsed through all of the dresses at Kohls, Sarah kept turning down dress after dress and I knew why.  Girlfriend was on the lookout for the Wal-Mart dress.

And sure enough, as soon as she spotted it she squealed and screamed, "This is it!  This is the dress I want!"

I held it up and determined it was even more Wal-Mart in person.  It was 100% polyester and it was loaded with glitter.  Glitter that we later discovered came off on everything.

My sweet Sarah was positively giddy as we took it into the dressing room.  I was secretly hoping that the size 6 wouldn't fit but it did.  She swirled and twirled and gleamed as I was telling her that we would have to wear tights and her white sweater to the tea.

She said she didn't care.  I believe her exact words were, "Yeah, yeah, whatever." 

As we walked into the tea on Sunday, she took off her sweater, shook her hair and proclaimed, "I'm really hot in this sweater.  And besides, I want everyone to see my dress." 

So who am I to keep the parishoners of Holy Family Catholic Church from seeing my 5 year old in all of her polyester and glitter glory.  And I guess it really didn't matter.  Because as Sarah put it, "I am so beautiful Mommy!"

And she's right.  She was.  (And self-confidant.  This girl knows she's got it going on!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

You better believe I was editing!

I was reading the Bible to my kids at breakfast the other day.  The Bible that we use is written specifically for kids between the ages of 7-10. 

We have been reading all about David and this particular morning we were reading 2 Samuel 11.  And then I saw the word "Bathsheba" and thought to myself, Uh-oh.  Wonder how the author is going to handle this for 7-10 year olds.  So I paused from reading out loud and silently skimmed ahead.

Well I'll tell you how:

"Then David sent someone to get Bathsheba.  She came, and David loved her.  He slept with her as if he were his wife.  Then she went home again.  Later, she found out she was going to have a baby.  It was because David had slept with her like a husband would."

All righty then. 

I decided that I didn't really want to have THE TALK with my 5 and 7 year old over breakfast right before school, so I stuttered a little, tried to string some coherent sentences together and skipped ahead several chapters.

With a delighted look on his face, in a sing-songy voice my husband said, "Someone's editing!" 

And not too well, I might add!  Perhaps I should see if the author has written a Bible for 5-7 year olds with the editing already built in. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Doing the iPod Shuffle!

I was out running the other day and decided that the only thing worse than the sound of my feet crunching against the pavement in sync with the sound of my labored breathing was the sound of my high school Algebra teacher's fingernails scraping against the chalkboard.

So I bought myself a little iPod Shuffle. 

I was out running the other day and decided that the only thing worse than the sound of my high school Algebra teacher's fingernails scraping against the chalkboard was the sound of my husband's music on my little iPod Shuffle.

I really need to figure out how to make a play list.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Not quite what we had in mind.

It wasn't quite the weekend she had planned.

She had two basketball games on Saturday afternoon and then a sleepover with her brother at Jennifer's house on Saturday evening. (Jennifer's four kids and my two kids would be celebrating Colton's 7th birthday.)

They were to be her last basketball games of the season and she was excited to play in them.  And as for the sleepover.  Well let's just say she started packing her pink backpack with supplies - two stuffed animals, one pink rhinestone covered purse, one toy baseball bat, two rubber balls and a spiral notebook - on Friday afternoon, a good 24 hours prior to the actual event.

On Saturday, after a breakfast of two bites of a muffin, Sarah announced that she didn't feel well.  But minutes after saying this she was playing and excitedly jumping on the sofa.  She mentioned a couple of more times that she didn't feel well and I chalked it up to pregame jitters.  I even took her temperature and it was 98.7 so all systems go for the Saturday we had all been looking forward to. 

Before the 3rd quarter of the basketball game started, Sarah came up to me and said, "I don't feel good." 

"Get back out there honey.  You're doing great!"  was my nervous response.  And I gave her a little bit of a shove toward the direction of her team's bench.

After she got back on the court and started running up and down it, Jennifer turned to me and said, "Sarah's color isn't very good."

I looked at her and I agreed.  Even after all that running, her entire face wasn't a flushed red as it normally was.  It was more of a pallid gray.

Uh-oh, I thought.  I began to think of all the things that probably weren't going to happen now  based on the look of her ashen skin - basketball game number two, the long-awaited sleepover, my relaxing dinner out with my husband who had been gone all week on a business trip. 

I could almost hear the "slurrrrrpppping" noise that last little bit of water makes as it courses down the bathtub drain - our weekend plans down the drain with it.

When we got home after the game, I took her temperature.  102.9!  And to think, I sent her back out on the basketball court.  But I have to give my girl props - she did it and with no complaining.  (That should have been a giveaway right there of how bad she truly was feeling.)

After reading the thermometer, I told her that we wouldn't be going to the 4:00 game and then I broke the news that she wasn't going to be going to the sleepover either.

She and Peter both started crying.  When I told Peter he could still go his tears dried up.  But through tears and her now bright red cheeks, Sarah demanded that Peter be made to stay home too. 

She kept saying over and over again, "I'm not going to keep staying at home.  I'm not going to keep staying at home."  

She cried for almost an hour and then she thankfully finally fell into a fever-induced sleep.  I was hoping to be able to get Peter to the sleepover before she woke up; but unfortunately she woke up about 15 minutes before I took him to Colton's. 

At this point, she had accepted her fate and  was o.k. with it.  I chalk this up to the fact that she felt so bad it didn't matter any more and the fact that I told her Colton's sisters, Caity and Cheyenne, could have a sleepover with just her in a couple of weeks when the boys are at an overnight Scout event.

And then Peter started to cry - real tears this time.  He kept hugging her saying that he was sorry she couldn't come to the sleepover.  It was all so very cute and loving but I just kept wondering where was this love when they were fighting over which game to play on the Wii, which TV show to watch or who was going to get a bath in the big tub.

We got Peter to the sleepover, Sarah got to spend a couple of hours with Grandma and Grandpa and Dan and I got to enjoy 2 peaceful hours with no tears, food that I did not have to prepare, and uninterrupted conversation that revolved around - you guessed it - those crazy kids of ours!