Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The giant Christmas post!

Everyone that has a blog has a big post after Christmas...right?

We had quite the busy Christmas this year, but I loved it. We celebrated at home on the night of the 17th. A was thrilled to get even more Littlest Pet Shop toys, except for the fact that she had to start counting all over again. I have no clue how many of those things she has now. Last count was close to 50, but that was before opening any gifts. She also did surprisingly well with the iQuest games. She knew answers to 5th grade questions like she had known them all her life!

H wasn't so keen on opening gifts this night. He was pretty ticked that we kept taking off the pretty paper and he kept trying to put the bows back on them. He did love his drum set though!

AJ slept through it all. Once she crashes, she's out for a while. Here are some pictures of our first night of Christmas.

PS: for mamaw: If you click on the pictures, they'll pop up in original size. Love you!



Then, on the morning of the 18th we hit the road for Mamaw and Papaw's house!! Daddy hasn't been home for Christmas in a long time, so it was more than his turn. :) It was a loooong ride, but it ended well and that's what matters. We arrived safe and sound.

We were met by this fire breathing guy along the way. I always see it, but never pay much attention. After sitting in that one spot for over an hour though, he was starting to look sort of creepy. Like he had his reign over the interstate and traffic wasn't moving until he said so.

While at Will's parents, H, A, and AJ got to see lots of family and do lots of things. I apparently, am still horrible at taking enough pictures. :( I don't have many, but my wonderful mother-in-law (aka: MOM) has a CD put together for me. She's the best! Here are the few that I do have that came out ok.

I love my husband's family. There's so much love and caring between them and I've always felt right at home with them. Most people complain about their in-laws, but I have never once had a reason to do that.

So after a week there, we moved on to my Grandmother's house in North Carolina. It was a quick stop, getting there Saturday evening and leaving Monday morning. Christmas came on so fast when we got there that I didn't even have the time to get my camera out of the van. :( Hopefully my mom will have some pictures to share with me. A decided to spend the rest of the week there and she will be home on Friday. Sure do miss having my girl around the house. It's too quiet (with the exception of AJ's fits) and I keep waiting for her to get off the bus in the afternoons.

Monday, December 14, 2009

All In a day's Laundry

As I have mentioned to a few of you in person, I finally caved and tried out the new Tide Stain Release. Of course, I was waiting around for a coupon deal, but that never came along. Instead, I took my $1.50 coupon and bought the product from that big, mass retailer. ;0) The price wasn't outrageous with the coupon. The price came out to be about $2.50 after savings for a 10 pack of the "Duo-Paks". Not too shabby if it can save this busy mama some time by eliminating the need to scrub stains with a toothbrush.

I tried out the Tide Stain Release on several items.

1) Set in spit-up stain (AJ's onesie)
1) New ketchup (A's sweater complete with wearable school lunch)
1) Pair of socks (A's socks that she frequently wears outdoors with no shoes)
1) Pair of socks with new (not set in) spit-up stain (yes, she even gets her feet with this reflux!)
1) Shirt with mystery stain

The short of it:
Overall, yes I would buy this product. I wouldn't use it in every load of laundry, but would certainly use it in the baby's laundry and if I knew that A's laundry had something that need to be cleaned a little better, I would throw one in. The product was easy to use. Simply toss one in with your detergent while the washer is filling. Sort of defeats the purpose of using the Country Save for the purposes of having a healthier laundry detergent, but that's another story (I have yet to find a green stain remover that works).

The long of it:

So how did it work?

#1- The set in spit-up on A's onesie
Result: AWESOME! 
I have been trying for months to get this stain out. So long in fact, that AJ has outgrown the thing. It worked the first time, just like the slogan says.

#2 - The ketchup stain
Result: Worked well
I can't say for sure the Stain Release is what got the ketchup out because it wasn't set-in. It had been on the sweater for a few hours though.

#3 - Abbie's socks
Result: Didn't work
Don't worry. I didn't expect it to, but I was praying for a miracle. Nothing works on a pre-teen's socks.

#4 -New spit-up
Result: Awesome
Couldn't even tell it was there to begin with. Just like I like it. :)

#5- The Mystery Stain
Result: I'm surprised
While the stain isn't completely gone, it is faded quite considerably. This is something red and I have no clue what it is, but of course whatever it was had to land on a beautiful white shirt. I'm actually excited about throwing it in with the next Stain Release duo-pack to see if it fades even more.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Easy knit baby headband

If you're new to knitting (or want to learn), you know that finding true "beginner" patterns can be tough! Aside from knitting a thousand dishcloths, I have had a hard time finding something else functional and easy to knit up. I also like patterns that don't take a lot of time because I am an instant-gratification kind of girl.

I've been wanting to make something for baby A for a while now, but couldn't find anything easy enough. You see...I'm a beginner and because I only get about 2 seconds to myself a day, I'll probably be a beginner for all of my life. I came across this really cute knit baby headband pattern the other day over at HipKnitIzed and decided it was simple enough for me to give it a go! I had it finished in a couple of hours...shouldn't have taken that long, but it did. I'm also dying to try out those shortbread snowballs on the home page of her blog!

The directions are easy:

Get yarn. Ok..that's a given, but I need all the direction I can get some days. I chose to use Shepard Shades 100% wool in Shrimp because I just have a love for animal fibers. I'm guessing you could use just about anything with such a simple pattern.

 Man, my ottoman needs a new fabric!

Use size 5US needles and cast on 70 stitches

You then knit 5 rows, bind off, and sew the ends together! DONE!

I don't have a picture of my headband sewn together, but that part is extremely simple. I was too busy playing with little A, who really enjoys watching her mommy knit from her bouncy. I also made the fabulous felted flower from the Michael's website and I'm trying to figure out if I want to attach it or just make it a clip on.

Here is little A watching mommy make her a headband.

My headband came out just a teensy bit too big for little A. I'm guessing it's because I used a different type of yarn. Next time I'll just cast on fewer stitches.

If you are just learning how to knit, watching videos is way better than one of those books that you buy at craft stores. You can check some out here and here.

I am officially in love with the Shepard's Shades yarn. It doesn't split like other wool yarns that I have used. Also, it's a very smooth knitting yarn.  All in all, this is a great pattern for beginners. I have already sent a few friends over to HipKnitized to get started on their first knitting projects.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Home decor on the cheap!

This one cost me a buck. :) I had most of the supplies on hand. Just had to go to the local dollar tree and pick up a Styrofoam wreath. This project came from Living with Lindsay. Check out her site and Dollar Store Crafts for some great ideas! My wreath is just as lovely as Lindsay's....I just have a normal, everyday digital camera and poor photography skills. This would make a GREAT Christmas gift for friends.

Right now it looks a little out of place because I just stuck it in an empty spot on the wall. I have wonderful plans for it when we move. I'm thinking near the entrance, over a little black table with some vintage or fabric covered books. Of course the table and books I will have to find once were there. Just no bringing in new furniture before we get moved. Those are my orders from the man of the house. Ha!

Speaking of moving....not much longer! I'm going to be calling around to some extended stay hotels later today to check out weekly rates and maybe some apartments or townhomes to find one that does a month to month agreement. They say there is a 2-4 month wait for housing. My husband's sponsor however, let him know that they told him 6 months and he had a home in 17 days. So I don't want to sign a lease somewhere and then have to break it. I WANT...make that NEED to live in base housing. Right now a break from having to worry about who I'm going to pay rent to, paying the electric bill, paying the water bill, and fixing things that break sounds like a nice idea to me. I will only have to make the car/insurance payments, the mortgage, and the phone. I can handle that. This mommy's brain is fried to the point that I totally forget to pay bills.....a lot lately.

With all of that said, it's time to start the day here. I think my baby boy is ready for a nap already. I guess he can't handle getting up at 5am like he thought he could. Scratch that. He just has no patience for his juice cup running out. That thing is evil you know? Running out of juice at the most inopportune times.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More savings, the house and a big boy bed!

Just a quick note of my great savings this week....Thursday: Got a better deal at Kohl's than I intended to! I ended up getting Miss A a Fisher Price Soothe & Glow Seahorse for 21 cents!!!! People wanted to know here it is. Kohl's had their fisher price items on sale for 30%-50% off. The seahorse was originally $16.99, but was on sale for $10.18. I had a coupon sent in the mail by the store for $10 off of any $10 purchase. Add .02 for tax and there you have it. 21 Cents. ;0) I want to start posting these deals as I find them so other people can take advantage of some money saving also, but that takes time. Let's face it..time isn't something I have a lot of right now.

Also, my bi-lo savings tonight was 54%!! I didn't shop for all of my groceries, but still got things I needed for a "party" with DH's department next week.

We had our first showing of the house today since we will be renting it out when we move. I had already spoken with the wife on the phone since she is out of state and her husband came by today. He loved it and is bringing the deposit over tomorrow! This is such a burden off of our shoulders. The Lord has really blessed us today.

H's crib was also converted into a toddler bed this morning. Thank goodness his is really simple to convert. No extra pieces to buy or anything. The front just comes off and viola! He did well at naptime. Yes, he crawled out to play, but as soon as he was sleepy he crawled back in and went to sleep. Tonight he wanted nothing to do with it. So for now, the front is back on. But I'll take just naptime. It's one step closer and there's no rush. I'm just afraid that since he has fallen out once, that it will happen again and he will get hurt. Slowly goes the turtle though...and the turtle always wins!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How much will we spend on Christmas?

Hopefully not a ton. Each kid is getting 2 gifts. I'm finished with A's gifts. She is getting a set of Littlest Pet Shop pets and a Leap Frog iQuest. Thing is, her littlest pet shop was on sale for $18 and the iQuest, which also comes with the mind station and 2 cartridges to download games to, came from Ebay for a whopping $14.

Also finished with H's gifts. He is getting an Elmo drumset, which was on sale for $20 and a Leap Frog Tag Junior. After coupons I got that for $8.99.

Now all that's left is AJ. I'm hoping to get a great deal on a gloworm at Kohl's if I can make it in there this evening. She may only get one present from us. She's still itty bitty, plus she will be getting tons from her grandparents.

As for my clue what to get him. I want to get him a toolbox, but they're expensive. We'll see how that option works out. Whatever he gets I'm sure it will be on sale. :D

My mother and mother-in-law are both getting great gifts and those are free with free shipping! Woohoo! I'm sort of jealous because I want one. No mentioning it here though because I don't want them seeing it.

My goal this year is to see how LITTLE I can spend. Afterall, Christmas isn't about gifts anyway. It's about the celebration of Jesus............................... and these little guys:

Playing around in the van. Silly girl!

Eating rice for dinner. :)

Look at those feet!!