Sunday, February 27, 2011

Coupon Crazy

With a family that has been sick for 2 straight months and medical bills mounting, I've been determined to find ways to save money & also prepare for a future that includes a new sweet baby!
This weekend while my two very sick guys healed & I played nurse, I did just that: deal hunted.

Project 1: Bedding for the Big Boy Room
It just so happens I love expensive things BUT the best thing is I won't buy expensive things.
So while I LOVE a specific Serena & Lily bedding set, I absolutely refuse to spend $150 on a single comforter that will get spilled or puked on.
While I had to compromise on the ultimate look, I was able to find an adorable quilt at Marshalls after weeks of looking for only $30.

Project 2: Begin to store up Diapers
Through AmazonMom & some coupon codes, I was able to start setting us up to receive boxes of diapers to prepare for the new ones arrival. Instead of having all of the expenses hit us at once, we want to start preparing for the budget adjustments now.I was able to get 1 box of Newborn Pampers Swaddlers for $13.15 (free because we had a gift card however from an earlier purchase on & 1 box of Size 1 Pampers Swaddlers for $19.96.
In addition, I signed up for Parents Magazine (which is the place to get the 20% Amazon coupons).
I got the 1 Year Subscription to the magazine for $3.56 by subscribing through & applying an additional code MPS10.
The savings I'll get from the $3.56 investment will be well worth it!

Project 3: Scour my favorite Money Saving Blogs
I ended up setting myself up with a new email address just so I could sign up for new coupons and deals and my personal email wouldn't get flooded. (I got this idea from my cousin when we were Flea'ing!)Over the weekend I was able to get a free Toddler Snack Kit from BeechNut, get a free stick of Secret Deodorant, get a buy 1 get 1 free at Chipotle, get 2 free Nivea Chapsticks, & stock up on the husband's face wash--2 8oz bottles of Clean & Clear for a total of $6.50 (regular price for one is $6.99).

Ultimately our thoughts in this house are, the more we can prepare now, the better off we will be in August. In general we like to keep back ups of our usual needs like detergents, paper towels, shampoo & conditioner, etc. so in case we ever ran into a job loss or financial stress there would be some essentials we wouldn't need to worry about right away.

What ways do YOU save?
What are YOUR favorite saving blogs or tips?!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

15 weeks & Counting

Who knew that being pregnant with another lil' one could be so different from the first time!
Aside from the physical symptoms, the biggest difference is how little time there is to sit, refuel, or even think about a nursery, a name, or the little hopes.
When I'm not tied to my desk, I'm struggling just to find time to love on the two men in my life let alone figure out how to call a friend, stay up late enough to watch a show, or grocery shop. UNREAL how exhausted I am.

Um--also, incredibly unreal how much faster I have shown this time around!
At 15 weeks now, I am definitely all belly'd up!
If the Dr. hadn't told me I've gained the same amount of weight I had at the same time my last pregnancy, I'd be thinking I was in serious trouble!
It hasn't stopped me from wanting to post a sign on my shirt that says, "KNOCKED UP" buuut oh well!

So we talk to the midge about him becoming a big brother and ask for his opinion on the little things like, "What do you want to name the baby?" (to which we get no real answer) & the hus' favorite question is, "Do you want a white baby like mommy or a brown baby like daddy?" (to which he always says, "white baby!" and we laugh)
{*I should probably mention for any new readers that I'm a blond (usually) & blue eyed Norwegian while my husband is straight up Portuguese and our first babe was a total shock of bright blond, blue eyes, and fair skin just like Mama.}And life just keeps moving forward
(despite the fact that I feel like this pregnancy is surprisingly taking forever after spending 2 weeks at 14 weeks when my due date was bumped up---lame!!--but I truly think they're wrong. Guess I do have to keep on their time line however.)

So, all is just movin' along over here.
How are YOU doing?!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Wordy Update!

A LOT has been going on in the past month or so...both challenges & blessings.
And here I am, a little lost in where to start because I haven't heard my own voice in so long
but I'll make this attempt to start somewhere!
About a month ago now my little man got a pretty intense cold and it turned into just the start of a series of illnesses.
It seems to have come to an end about a week ago after a trip to the Dr. & then a request we go to the ER for blood work & X rays.
For weeks the Dr's had been telling me, "He doesn't have symptoms now" and I would leave $20 poorer and feeling frustrated-- THIS ISN'T MY KID! I don't care if you say he's ok right now!
To make a very long story short, he ended up with a hip infection that limited his ability to walk and PRAISE GOD there was no bacteria. I couldn't handle another bout with sepsis in my life!

During that same time of illness, I was visited with a very dark moment in my life.
I had been working my butt off and essentially discovered I was letting it kill me.
I had a come to Jesus moment and fell apart and through my dear, dear friend & my mom, I heard Him calling me home & I decided to fight for my life.
I reclaimed my servant's heart and redirected my attention.
It seems I've spent months in this fight.
Something feels different now.

So there we were with a sick midget and a broken hearted but refound me and we got some news, work life was going to look different for my husband- his hours were being cut.
Faith or Fight moment.
We chose faith.
Ok, Lord-fearless we say, let this moment be yours.
He gave us this time for my husband to:
a) be a stay at home dad
b) keep our son from daycare and allow his immunity to rebuild
c) look at me one afternoon and say, "I really want this for you"
meaning, he wants me to be a stay at home mom, too.
He gave us this time for me to:
a) Come to Him and Choose Him...daily
b) Make room for Him in my heart
c) To challenge who I say He is - If I believe He can move mountains and work miracles, why do I limit Him with my doubt?
This unchosen moment has actually been one I wouldn't take away.

And in & amongst ALL of this is the greatest blessing of all....
We are expecting a little cherub this August!
Just days to making it exactly 1 year since my most challenging loss, we were given a new life to love.
The emotions I have had with that are a different post in itself but above all
I am so thankful.

To close it out for the moment, I heard Rick Warren say something on a sermon I relistened to today: If the devil can't make you bad he'll make you busy.
All of a sudden, the past several weeks and how they have slowed us down felt like an unbelievable blessing to see all the things I was filling my life with that were not of Him or for Him.
He's at work in it all!