Monday, March 28, 2011

Not Much to Say...

This is short and sweet. Just wanted to update my work progress...I wrote 8 today...Could possibly get a few more in if I wanted to tonight since it's only 10:45. But I'm tired and want to get some sleep. Hope to have a productive day again tomorrow!

8 Down - 72 to go (in 9 days...)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Plan...

Since I have been struggling to motivate myself work wise, I'm challenging myself to get some work done. Several times over the last year, I have challenged myself to write 100 in 10 days. (In otherwise, 10 a day...) I'd love to take this challenge again, but I know that's not an option with keeping Amelia 7 of the next 10 days. So, I've decided to modify the challenge. My goal is to complete 80 in the next 10 days. To keep myself motivated, I'm going to look for a counter online that I can plug into the blog that shows the countdown and the amount completed.
So, wish me luck. It's going to be a long 10 days with Amelia here 7:30-2 M-F, the kids, cooking, cleaning (because I want the house spotless before surgery) and hopefully making some freezer meals to make cooking easy...Plus, I still plan to go to Zumba 3 times this week and have some playdates scheduled...Needless to say, I'm going to be looking forward to my "day off" for surgery. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Motivation? Where can a find some?

Motivation has not been my friend these last few days. I have been working, just not nearly enough. Bills will be paid, but I should be "ahead". I'm just getting by this week. A lot of it has to do with the copy editing queue for work being so high. They were doing great, reviewing everything post within a couple of hours. Now, it's at about 3-4 days to review. Of course, I know that what I write today, will get reviewed in 4 days and be on that paycheck, but it's frustrating not see the queue move. Then you top that off with a nice little cherry of exhaustion on top, not much getting done.
I had a bad day foodwise yesterday. I've been craving junk the last few days. Yesterday, I broke down and ate a brownie (I know, a brownie isn't awful. A little treat here and there...But then I washed it down with a real coke. And had a cookie chaser...). But, that being said, I've done really well the rest of the week. Feel better today and don't want the junk anymore. So I guess that was a safe "diet diversion" as diversions go.
I wrote a blog post for this new company this week. The owner of the company read all entries and from those chose a select number to pay $50.00. I was selected as one of the select few. YEA! That was the easiest $50.00 I've ever made - 15-20 minutes of writing to talk about myself and I was paid. It also puts me in the running for a $500.00 contract for 10 more posts. I think that decision is going to be made next week or the week after. Fingers crossed! And from those, another $1000 contract will be given later on. Not sure what will happen, but I'm hoping to get the $500.00 contract. Fingers crossed. If you'll visit the link and like it (at the top) that might convince him to take me on! Thanks :)
On the child front - oh my...Chloe has become that child I see in public and think "thank God my child doesn't act like that..." Sigh. She is running all over the place when we're in public. (Yesterday I had to get her out of the stockroom at Babies R Us...Turned my head for a minute and she was gone!!!) Then she had a crying meltdown when we left Panera from  picking daddy up from work...This is a true test for my new effort at patience. Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Should Have Named My Daughter Grace...

So, we get to Grandma and Papaw's tonight. And Chloe decides to face-plant on the driveway. Busted up the inside of her lip. Her nose and upper lip are scraped up too. Poor thing is talking funny too so I can't understand what she's saying...But, she's being a trooper about it (aside from the 20 minute cry-fest - but I understand. It looks painful!)
She ended up staying up until 10, so I'm hoping she'll sleep in tomorrow. Finn just passed out himself. But I'm guessing he'll still be up at 7:30. Good news is I don't have to get up early for Amelia. :) Love the munchkin but I need some sleep!
Zumba was rough tonight. My whole body hurts already. But, I just got to keep plugging away. Lots of weight to loose...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hi, I'm forgetful...

Forgot to do this last night.

Nothing major to report for this weekend. Except...Since I weighed myself 10 days ago, I've lost 4 lbs. (5.5 since I started this blog). Not a huge loss, but I'm very proud of it. After I get going full swing with Zumba, hopefully the pounds will keep rolling off!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day (Late)

First of all - HUGE congrats to my dear friends Amanda and Greg (and their son Cal)...Baby Cate is beautiful!

Had a great day yesterday. Started the day by making green eggs, bacon and green shamrock pancakes. Then took a walk with the little ones while daddy and Chloe took a nap. Pushing the babies in that double stroller does a number on my back! But I survived. For dinner we had pot roast - actually one of the best I'd ever done. Very moist and yummy. Oh, and LOTS of house work done.
 I skipped Zumba again last night. We agreed with it being happy Irish drinking day and I would have to pass a bunch of bars on the way it was best to stay in last night. Plus, my back was killing me (and still is today) so it was probably for the best.
I've had a productive day already today. Got up at 5:30 for Amelia. Got some writing done. Now John's asleep on the couch, Amelia's swinging away, Chloe's playing in her room and Finn is asleep across my arm as I type this one handed (pardon any major grammatical errors!)
So while there is silence and my arm is trapped, I will enjoy the peace.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What a Wonderful Day!!!!

Today was a great day. I was productive (both work wise and around the house)...Patience was at an all time high. Chloe was so sweet and loving today. No arguing or talking back. She even asked to sit on the potty tonight and pee-peed (a little) in it! I was very proud of her...(We've kind of put the potty training in the backseat lately. She doesn't seem to want to do it and the forcing her to sit thing isn't working. Especially because we sit there for hours (literally) and nothing happens. I've decided to take a step back and give her a few weeks and try again. But if she keeps asking and doing on her own. AWESOME!)
Tomorrow will be a LONG day. My niece will be here around 6. Lots of writing to do. Plus, I have Zumba tomorrow at 6:30. Thinking I'll be feeling it by the time I get home...But John's off tomorrow so he can help with the kids.
Here's hoping tomorrow is another great day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Productive Day

Despite not getting an early start, I had a productive work day. Plus I had a decent shopping trip to Krogers...

Add to that a very patient day with Chloe. :) Things went well today!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Not much going on.

Not very motivated . Got some work done, met my minimum goal, just didn't go beyond. Very tired and feeling kind of lousy with this cold. Plus the complete exhaustion running through my body. But it looks like I'm going to be able to go to bed early and don't have to be until 7:15...

My patience was GREAT today. I have to pat myself on the back. Despite the sheer and utter exhaustion, I didn't loose my patience today.

Well, today's post is short because I'm off to bed...night all.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Money Saving Idea: Foaming Soaps

So, I don't really have much to say today, but I thought I'd start something new. I'm going to start sharing some simple money saving ideas of things I do or make that saves me tons of money. So this is the first one: foaming soap.

Dish soap, hand soap and even baby wash comes in foaming forms now. I love the foaming because I feel it washes away cleaner. But, the cost of the foaming dispensers and the refills is considerably higher than the gels. So, here's how I still "indulge" in foaming soaps without the cost.

You need to invest in a couple of foaming soap dispensers if you do not have them already. One for each product you want to make. For example, I have a foaming dish soap (I'm pretty sure it's from Dawn), a hand soap for the bathroom (I think it's Dial - or if you have some of the Bath and Body, use those) and a Johnson's and Johnson's one for baby shampoo and wash (Although I can't find these anymore so use any other foaming dispenser).
Use up the soap that comes with it. When it is empty, instead of buying a new one or buying the refill for them, make your own. Fill the dispenser 1/4 of the way full with regular gel soap (hand soap, dish soap, baby soap, etc). Then fill the bottle to the "fill line" with water. Put the lid on and shake it up a bit. The first few uses will be an odd consistency, but after that the rest will be just like the foaming stuff.

You're saving money because the cost of the gel refills are cheaper and you use less to fill the bottle.

Catch up...

I missed my daily update yesterday...Totally forgot.

Yesterday was a fun, but long day. The kids and went to Amanda's baby shower. It was great to see her after 3 months! Can't believe the little princess will be here Thursday! Yay! Too bad I can't get up there to see her soon...
Anyways, I showed a lot of self-restraint at the party. Lots of yummy yummy food. I tried several dips but mostly stuck to the veggie tray (yummo snap peas!!! Whoever came up with putting snap peas on a party tray is genius!!!) I did "splurge" and have a small (I'm talking a 1/4 inch thick sliver) of chocolate cake. It just looked too good!
Chloe got to go outside and play with the boys and Uncle Greg and Ben. She had a blast. She ran and swung and slid for a couple of hours. She was so tired she fell asleep in the car on the way home. She never does that! It's been over a year since the last time she fell asleep in the car!

I was really tired yesterday after 4 hours sleep so I was a bit cranky and short with Chloe. This is the one change I'm REALLY struggling with. I find myself getting after her a lot, over little things. And then as soon as I do, I instantly think - you shouldn't have done that. I just can't stop myself. I'm trying to do what my mom said and stop and think before I speak, but I'm not doing a great job at it. I think part of its the lack of sleep - getting up really early and staying up really late to get work done and then when I do go to bed at a decent time, fighting insomnia for several hours or better yet, falling asleep only to wake up every 30-40 minutes...But that's not a good excuse to snap at her. She's just a 3 year old. I need to learn to control myself.
I haven't spent any money this week because I haven't had any to spend. :) GREAT way to not splurge is to be broke! But, I'm working hard to change the broke part of the equation.
I'm looking forward to Zumba again this week. I'm going to try something I will most likely regret - 3 days of Zumba in a row. But I know I'm going to miss 6 weeks of exercise starting 4/6 so I might as well do as much as I can now. I'm using the same theory with writing. I think I'm going to work every day (at least 2-3 if not more) until 4/6 to have a little extra in the bank. Then I can take a week off and not worry about it. We'll see how that goes though.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Zumba kicked my but yesterday. My back is sore, especially when I turn my body. BUt still looking forward to going again next week.
Been fairly productive even with a sick kiddo. He's had a fever all day, but seems to be happy anyways.

I have to say, it's odd having a "weekend" again (Amelia is here Monday through Friday). She's a joy to have and for the most part it is easy, but getting up super early is starting wear me out. Looking forward to "sleeping" in tomorrow (7:30...8 if the kids really cooperate!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beat-y Beat Beat Beat-y Beat Beat Beat...*

I'm wore out tonight. Had my first night at Zumba. Yea for exercising. Had a good time, even if I had no idea what I was actually doing. The important thing is I kept moving the whole hour and had a good time doing it. Glad I get a few days to recoop though. This cold is draining me!
Finn is sick again, I think. He's been screaming like crazy most of the night. Going to call the doctor for him.

The day was good all in all. John surprised me with a clean kitchen and breakfast this morning. Then he took Chloe, just the two of them, to Target to get me a couple things and walk around. Then they went to the pet store and pet the bunny. Chloe loved it. Amelia was great today. She slept the entire time - literally!

Now, with my eyes refusing to stay open and my cold throbbing in my head, I say good-night...5:30 am is looking way too early right now...

*A Gabba song I have stuck in my head...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Workout Advisory....

For those of you who may be in the Kettering area, I will be attending Zumba tomorrow evening at 6:30. This is a warning to you...I have no coordination and the chances of someone getting hurt, fairly certain. ;) But, I'll wear my knee brace, watch where I step and keep smiling! (And I'm pretty sure my butt will be thoroughly kicked when I'm done!)

Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I fought the Migraine and the Migraine won...

Yet another migraine day. I'm doing better about working through those days. I guess that's good but bad that I have enough that I've had the opportunity to learn it!

I started making schedule for the day on what needs to be by what time. Seems to be making a HUGE difference on my productivity. Not feeling as stressed or burnt out. We'll see if it continues this way.

I didn't make it to Zumba tonight because of this migraine. I finally got rid of the loss of vision. Still have the numbness in my face. The pain is fairly dull now that I took a pain killer...But the side effect is I have no idea what my work quality is like tonight. But on the Zumba front, I'll be starting Thursday. Looking forward to it. Well, looking forward to getting in shape, not so much the making a fool out of myself.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I miss my kiddos :(

Nothing about change to report here...Just missing my babies and wanted to share. They're at my in-laws tonight (thanks again Grandma and Papaw!). John's sick and I thought it best to keep them away so they didn't get it, too. Plus all the noise earlier wasn't doing him any favors with his head hurting. And, it gives me a chance to work work work! But, the result is a mommy who misses her snugglebugs. I know they'd be in bed right now, but I wish they were in bed HERE! Can't wait to go get them in the morning!

Let's Play a Game: What's in Your Mailbox? I got $98.60!!!

I sign up for freebies and coupons and samples all the time. I always look forward to getting the mail because usually on top of the mountain of bills there's usually at least one coupon. Today was a great day for the mailbox. Here's what I got:

  • $25.00 Visa Gift Card from a blog giveaway I won last week. ( Winner, Winner, WINesday! - Love her site.)
  • Huggies Coupons ($6.25 in savings)
  • Coupons from Amanda (Thanks sweetie! Can't wait to buy super cheap formula!!!!)
  • Organize in Style Coupon Book ($35.00 in coupons)
  • Free Tony's Pizza Coupon from Sweeps (Freebies 4 Mom - Sweeps - Check this site out if you're interested in doing sweeps. She keeps it fairly up-to-date. I enter all of them, once a day for me and Amanda - she has luck at giveaways. I have luck at sweeps. It takes me about 10 minutes to do them for both of us...)
  • And coupon for Free Travel-Size hand relief from Aveda - $8.00 value. (Don't remember this one...Probably a freebie on a website).
So, today I got $98.60 in my mailbox of gift cards, coupons, gift checks (those were from Amanda for formula), freebies and samples! Not too shabby for a lazy Monday!

On another note, the kids are going to my wonderful in-laws tonight. I'll be picking them up in the morning before John has to go to work. He's feeling pretty sick (started on Friday night or Saturday). He doesn't seem to be getting better so I figure let's keep the kiddos away from him as much as possible to keep them from getting sick again (they're just now seeming to be a bit better). Plus, I can use this time with them gone and John sleeping to work, work, work!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Calgon, Take Me Away

Feeling very spent today. Tired doesn't begin to cover it and it seems that everyone just isn't feeling great here. John's fighting something, Finn is still snotty and coughing and Chloe has ben a mess. I"'m assuming she's fighting something too. Cried and fussed all day, over nothing. Today was rough. Worked pretty much all day, either cleaning or writing or keeping the kids happy. Very tired now and just about ready for bed. I have an early morning with Amelia coming bright and early. Hoping for a productive day tomorrow.
So with that, I'll call it a night.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Patience is NOT my virtue...

Food wise, today was a great day. Ate well all day long. And for dessert tonight, a little treat - homemade rice pudding.
Got a great deal on wipes. A box of Huggies wipes and a small tub of wipes for $5.56 after tax. That is a great deal for those of you who don't buy baby wipes...I used a coupon for buy any wipe refill and get the tub of wipes for free (normally $2.99 and the box I got is usually $9.99 - at least at Kmart). Then I used my Kmart points on my saver card. With a third bottom to wipe clean now during the week, I figured it was time to start stockpiling the wipes. We're still working on Chloe and the potty training thing doesn't look like it is going to take anytime soon.
I actually feel awful on the patience front. I had none...Granted, she wasn't listening to a word I said. But I still should have remained calmer today. It's just infuriating to me that she never listens anymore. We'll just keep working at it and we'll get there eventually.
Work didn't go very well today. The patience thing got in the way. When I get frustrated and eventually angry, I can't focus. But I'm ok with the lapse in work today. I'll jsut work harder tomorrow (hopefully!)

Friday, March 4, 2011

No witty title today. :)

Not much to report today. Did VERY well on the diet. Smart choices all day. Starting to actually like the taste of the Coke Zero - but have to have lemon in it to cut the aspartame taste...
It was just me and Amelia today. She slept most of the time, giving me the opportunity to write, all day long. Found out that we're starting Zumba Tuesday - eek! I know I need to do this and because I have to be accountable, I'll do it. But I'm really not looking forward to it! I have no rhythm and I'm self conscious about, well, about just about everything anymore. Don't get me wrong - I love me and I'm proud of me, but I still get self conscious just the same...
Tomorrow is another full day of work, with some house work sprinkled in...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala and Aloo Gobi

If you don't know what that is, my best description is it is YUM! That was our dinner tonight. Granted it took us about 2 hours to make it (not including the prep earlier in the day) but it was worth it. I don't have a nutritional table for it, but I can't imagine it was bad for us! The worst parts would be the fat-free half and half and VERY minimal amount of plain yogurt consumed...Oh and the potatoes and cauliflower aren't bursting at he seems with nutrition, but not bad for us, especially in the small serving sizes...
It was a yummy eating day at the Ringwald house! We started the day with eggs and sausage (well, John had sausage - Chloe and I had eggs...and she kept eating and had some yogurt and some crackers too). Then for lunch I made crescent roll ups (crescent rolls wrapped around about a teaspoon of shredded cheese and about a teaspoon of chopped bacon - again not high on the nutritional count, but not bad either...No fried today. No sweets. No pop - other than the Coke Zero...)
We took half a walk. Well, half of a half of a walk. We made it about a quarter of the way around the block before I realized it was WAY to cold for the babies. So we turned around and went back. But the good news on the exercise front is my cousin went to get the information for Zumba tonight, so we'll be starting next week sometime!
Didn't spend a dime today, so that was good!
Patience was a little short. Chloe got in BIG trouble for coloring on the fridge - she knows better. I actually stayed pretty calm with that. My patience issue was when we were on the walk and she ran into the back of my feet with her little stroller 5 times in 2 minutes...But surprisingly, the rest of the day went pretty well.
Work-wise. Not so great. I wrote this morning about my grand plan of 8-10 a day. A bit of a failure on day one - I got two done this morning before Finn and Amelia had their meltdowns. Finn wasn't feel 100 percent today and wouldn't eat so he was just plain hungry. Then with everything else going on I didn't start writing again until 8:30 tonight. Being as tired as I am I worked for 2 hours and got 2 done. Not a good pace at all! So, with eyes fighting to stay open, I wrote this post. But now, I'm calling it a night.
Tomorrow is a new day with new possibilities!


I guess I didn't realize how yesterday wore me out until I passed out in the chair last night with Finn on my chest. I woke up after about 20-30 minutes, got up, put him in his crib and kept walking straight to bed. So all my grand plans last night of lots of writing, cleaning up the huge stack of unclipped coupons and adding my daily blog post was shot. Oh well. It happens right?
Yesterday was the first day with Amelia and we all did really well. We took a walk which put Finn to sleep for a 4 hour nap...He would have slept longer but we woke him. The lessons I learned yesterday are as follows:
1. The kids (or at least Finn) is going to have to spend the night at Grandma & Papaw's once a week (assuming this amazing people agree). It's going to be difficult to get my work done when the 2 littles are back and forth taking turns who needs the attention.
2. I do actually have patience. Even when both babies were screaming because they both wanted to be held and Chloe wanted to sit on the potty in the bathroom (instead of the one in the little one in the living room) for an hour and half (and I had to stay in there to listen if she actually pottied so I could reward her!), even throughout all of that. I stayed calm. Granted after 10 minutes of them both crying, I told Chloe that she was just going to have to sit there on her own and left the bathroom. I finally got her on the little potty in the living room by putting the cushy big potty ring on it. She says the little potty is too rough...No success yesterday but she sat on it yesterday morning for 2 hours and then an hour last night - and asked each time. So that's improvement.
3. Walks wear everyone out and put them all to sleep. So when in doubt, take a walk! The only drawback? It's not a walk for exercise...not with Chloe walking herself. But it was great being outside with them.

On other fronts, I've decided to do a little bit of hardcore writing. I need to get some money saved up for next month. So, to help jump start the process, I will be writing 8-10 a day for the next 10 days. I know that I might falter some and I'll accept that. But as long as I have between 80 to 100 articles by the 12th, I've met my goal...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Today's Lesson - Why Coupons ROCK!

I took the extra time to really do my research this week. More than normal. I still have I Krogers and Rite Aid trip to make and might go get an extra thing of diapers at Walgreens, but today's CVS (particularly) and Target. (The breakdown is at the end for those of you who care! But I ended up with $119.93 worth of stuff after tax but only paid $39.72! So I saved 67%...Very happy!!!
Food wise, I made smart choices. As much as I really wanted some junk today, I held strong. I also won battles on the patience front. Chloe was a bit fussy ALL DAY LONG! Kept having meltdowns over things that didn't make sense. More emotion than normal. I'm thinking she doesn't feel great and that's what happened. And even through that, I managed to stay fairly calm and collected today.
So today, all in all, was a success...On the books for tomorrow - a trip to Kroger and Rite Aid, but not until AFTER my sister picks up Amelia (tomorrow is Day One of my the new "babysitting" gig!). Then we're either having Coconut Chicken and Parsnip Chips or else Chicken Tikka Masala and Aloo Gobi...Just depends how long the grocery run takes...

Transaction 1:
Oral B Cross Action Toothbrush
Crest w/ Scope
Total: $9.29 - Out of Pocket after Tax: $2.88
Used 2 manufacturer coupons totaling $4.00 and 2 ECBs from the trip I took Sunday totaling $3.00.

Transaction 2:
Gilette Fusion Razor
Total: $9.99 - Out of Pocket after Tax: $0.70
Used 1 manufacturer coupon for $4.00 and 2 ECBs from the prior transaction for $5.99.

Transaction 3:
Total: $5.99 - Out of Pocket after Tax: $2.41
Used the $4.00 ECB from the prior transaction.

Transaction 4:
Excedrin PM - 20 ct
Excedrin Extra Strength - 24 ct (with bonus 8 ct PM)
Excedrin Extra Strength - 20 ct
Excedrin Migraine - 50 ct
Total: $22.86 - Out of Pocket after Tax: $8.69
Used one FREE coupon, and 3 manufacturer coupons totaling $4.00. Also used 1 ECB from the prior transaction.

Transaction 5: (and this one made me down right giddy!)
Huggies Snug and Dry Box (96 count)
Total: $19.99 - Out of Pocket after tax: $4.89!!!!
Used 1 store coupon for $3.00, 1 manufacturer coupon for $3.50, and $10.00 ECB from last week...

Then I headed to Target.
I ended up with:
Airwick Freshmatic (clearance)
Febreeze Flameless Luminary Starter Kit (clearance)
Febreeze Flameless Luminary Refill (clearance)
UP & UP Spray Cleaner with Bleach
UP & UP Bleach
Oscar Meyer Bacon
UP & UP Floss
UP & UP Allergy Medicine
Excedrin Migraine (50 ct)
Excedrin Extra Strength (20 ct with bonus 8 ct PM)
Friskies Cat food
And a pair of small scissors, because I keep loosing mine...)

Total: $43.44 - Out of Pocket after tax: $20.15 (Used lots of coupons!)