Monday, November 24, 2008

CHACHACHACHING


Thank you Emily and Brittney. Emily for inviting to what I thought was going to be a stupid "learn how to save money party". I had nothing better to do, and figured "hey, I can try something new, afterall, I'm having to cut back". Brittney was the teacher (and a friend).
I sat there throughout the class somewhat mesmorized and baffled, wondering if it was really true. Had my money saving ship really finally come in when it comes to groceries.
Anyone who knows a DeLong knows that we basically are tightwads. No, make that frugal. I don't think that I have ever bought anything (accept a bra or two) that wasn't on sale. I know where all of the clearance racks are at every single store. Full price for clothes or shoes, not on your life (unless Casey was with me - he always seemed to steer me away from the sale racks which isn't a bad thing). Most of my 5 sisters and my mom can quote you a location and price on any item we are wearing at any second, and just about any item in any of our 7 homes. Somewhat pathetic isn't it?
Anywho, I have never been able to make coupons work for me and hate reading the paper, so just figured that I was doomed to shop at Walmart for the rest of my existance. Not the case. I am now a loyal Albertson's shopper. Albertson's of all places. It was the one store I avoided in my old pre-food money saving life. As you can see from the above receipts however, it's now my best friend (that and Rocky Road Ice Cream). Okay, so maybe you can't see the fine print numbers. Let me tell you what they are:
Reciept number one : Spent $18.57 and saved $41.57
Reciept number two: Spent $42.94 and saved $44.23
Reciept number three: Spent $16.22 and saved $49.24
That's only three of them. I have more evidence, but you get the point.
I learned a lot that night that I thought I was wasting my time and only going for the food. It's basically very simple information: only buy what's on major sale and use coupons on top of that and you get your food almost for nothing. There are a few other tricks and I'm still getting the hang of it. I'm super paranoid now about someone stealing my SUnday papers (I get two now only for the coupons) and would love to have anyones coupons that doesn't use them. Just set them aside and let me know you are and I will swing by and pick them up.
It's become a game for me now and I walk away some days feeling like I have just beat the system, something that us DeLong's love almost more than eachother.
So, Casey is wondering why I never learned this before, and I'm just happy that I finally got the message and that Emily called at the last minute and invited me to the party. Good thing I like food enough to sit through just about any "party" huh?
Isn't saving money so much fun!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Has it been one year already!!

Sammy turned one on Saturday the 8th. I honestly can't believe that it's been a year! It has gone by so quickly. I would do the typical list what you love about the kid on their birthday, but since it's only his first, there are a lot more than one thing that I adore about him.

I was telling my family that with Kate and Jane I just "got through it". I was a good mom and loved them so much (as I still do), but didn't relish in it and just love every day. This baby was different. I wanted Sammy SO SO SO badly and was so grateful for him and for the blessing of having him. I finally realized in my old ripe age of 35 that having a baby was truly a gift from our Heavenly Father, not an obligation and something to just get through. It's not that I loved getting up with him during the night, or that I adored the sore, bleeding nipples, but it also didn't upset me like it had in the past I'm sorry to say. When he would wake up in the night I would just lye him next to me and cuddle with him, lettin him suck on those sore, bleeding nippples to his little hearts content. And when we finally moved him upstairs to his own room, I would fall asleep with him cuddled on my chest.

I can really say that I have LOVED Sammy's first year. Okay, so I may have "lost" it a couple of times. He still is a horrible napper, but has slept through the night since he was two months old. I have had moments of frustration, but honestly, very rarely are they focused on him because I finally realize with this baby that it's just okay and that he doesn't ever mean to frustrate me.

He has been the greatest blessing and is the sweetest baby. His temperment is incredibly darling and he is also at the same time SO much a boy. He climbs the kitchen drawers, gets into eveything, won't sit still for 5 seconds, loves anything with wheels, throws blocks, and when I hold him he will put his head down on my shoulder, put his free arm around me and pat me like I have always patted him on the back. WHen I ask for kisses, he turns towards me with a huge open, slobbery mouth and lays one right on my lips and I love them. When I leave the room he hollers "mom" and it's music to my ears. If I have his blanky on my lap, he will dive into it head first, grab it and stick his thumb in his mouth for a quick drive by comfort compliments of mom's lap, his blue blankey, and his beloved right thumb. it lasts only for seconds, then he's off on another adventure.

I love Sammy with all of my heart and am SO SO SO SO grateful that I have enjoyed every day of this last year. Having a baby when you are a little older is a good thing. I may not have the energy I had when Kate and jane were his age, but I have the wisdom to let the dishes sit in the sink and sit on the ground and play cars with him. I have a lot of blessings to be grateful for, but my three children are by far the greatest and learning that time truly does fly by and enjoying every day for what it is, is also a great gift. This whole getting older thing isn't all that bad!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

There are a few things that should be against the law or to be uses with some serious eduction (or proof that you can do it correctly)

When Casey bought our house that I no longer live in, I spent HOURS redecorating. I have a problem though and I do admit knowingly that I have this problem. I think that I could actually be treated for this disorder to be honest with you. I CANNOT stand certain types of decor and become obsessed until those certain things are gone with no evidence of them remaining.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not any expert, but we all have our "things". Here are a few of them:

*white walls DO NOT exist in any home of mine.
*color is my friend
*you are NEVER done with interior design
*there is always something that can improve the look of every room
*more is never better
*oak anything that is not painted to hide the fact that it's oak should not be allowed, especially when it is paired with the words "kitchen cabinets"
*and my all time number one big daddy of never do's is WALLPAPER BOARDER BELONG NOWHERE NOWHERE NOWHERE AND SHOULD BE TOTALLY OUTLAWED

I realize that I may have just offended people by the above issues that I have, but please realize that just because they are my issues does not mean they are issues for everyone. Except the wallpaper border issue should be an issue for absolutely everyone.

I spent, literally, hours and hours scraping wallpaper borders from the tops and middles of just about every single room in my old house that Casey is now enjoying. I cannot even tell you the tears that were shed, the bloody knuckles that appeared, and the totally inappropriate words that flowed like water from the niagra, while stripping wallpaper borders. I swore that I would kill the woman that had spent hours thinking that a "glow in the dark" robert kinkaid border belonged in her room and bathroom. First of all, wallpaper and fine art should never be mixed (I don't personally love his artwork, but on the fear that I might offend everyone that wasn't offended by the above list, I had better not say that I hate his artwork and stick with the fine art thing). Back to the subject at hand, I hate wallpaper borders and spent so much time, energy, and emotion getting rid of miles of them in my past that I never wanted to do it again.

I would typically stick by the whole wallpaper is evil in general. However, think that in small areas, and done very subtly, it can be a good thing. After spending a night at the Grand America I decided that I wanted a bathroom that somewhat resembled the feel of theirs (good luck on that one right). So I redid my SMALL 1/2 bath. Wallpaper was on the list of things to be done. Here is my idea of wallpaper done correctly. Everyone that walked in that bathroom (okay, not everyone I guess) LOVED that bathroom and the accompanying wallpaper. You can't really get the whole feel from just this snapshot, so if you really want it, you will have to knock on Casey's door and see for yourself. That, however, is wallpaper done right in my not to humble opinion.

This is wallpaper done HORRIBLY wrong. THis is what was around the top of the kitchen in the town home I live in. Can I just tell you that this one little wallpaper border and the lovely burnt orange color on the wall was almost reason enough to keep me from renting the largest of all the town homes I saw, which also included a real garage and 3 bathrooms!

I asked the owner if I could repaint and they gladly bought the paint for the entire townhome (I even was given the chance to pick my own color). They brought over 12 gallons of paint, two gallons of primer, and all the tools I would need to get it done. I have painted so many walls and could really charge for it at this point. I'm nerotic. Who paints a rental? ME, that's who. I told you, I can't stand white walls, or orange ones for that matter. COlor is my friend, just not colors that could be mistaken for a holiday hue.
So yesterday I finally, after a month, got up the courage to tackle the kitchen. Since it is a rental, I will admit that I didn't spend the three hours or so it would take to actually remove this lovely border, but sanded the edge, primed over it, and painted it. It took all day to complete the kitchen and entry way, but I LOVE IT now and walk in and feel a sense of beauty and peace.
As I've told Emily, my all too close sister that lives all too close (for her husband, not us), that I'm going for this new feel in my decorating style. It's called "coastal norweigen". I think I've been watching too much HGTV - what do you think? It's kind of a joke, but I am trying to be light and airy in my decorating and that term just fits it perfectly. The border and orange color were definetly not coastal or norweigen!!!
LIke I said, I'm neurotic and psycho, but for some reason I have always had to have my home be a sanctuary and a feel clean and free of white walls. Some can live fine without paint, or artwork. I'm definetly not one of those people and I'm proud to admit it.
Long live those that hate wallpaper borders!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PLEASE READ THIS AND MAKE SURE AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU THINK NEED IT DO THE SAME

I only share this because I think that it may benefit some people out there. It's not urgent or life or death, but a good thing to know.

Kate has the chicken pox, as does her 4 year old cousin. Both of which have been immunized. I was not informed this, but after doing some research and talking to the state health office in charge of immunizations, you need TWO immunizations for Chicken Pox. SO, if you have a child that has not had the chicken pox, and has not had TWO shots for it at least 6 months apart, you need to get them that booster or they are very much succeptible. Take it from me, who now has been through 2 of my 3 kids (Cole has it too by the way) having the chicken pox, get the booster if you have not.

I WAS NOT aware that they were needed, and when Sam was diagnosed, my pediatrician never said a word about anyone needing it, and acted like it was no big deal to have Sam around my entire family if they have been immunized. NOT THE CASE AT ALL.

The state said that they CDC came out with new recommendations that all kids get 2 shots, and the state is in the process of changing the requirments. In less than a year, the new requirment for Kindergarten will be 2 varicella shots and that anyone at that time that has not had the booster will need to get one.

I just thought I would save anyone the misery of being cooped up with a very miserable illness that can have serious side effects and leave horrible scars. So, if you have a child that has not had the booster, GET IT. It is obviously going around this area!!