Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mrs. Kate comes to play

I remember when I was a youngin going to see Raffi play in concert with my mom. I always enjoyed children's music and Nolan does too. He stomps his foot and bounces to dance. Because of this, I wanted to find a way to have a fun music themed play date for my mom's group. Today it all came together.


I found Mrs. Kate Carpenter, a local musician, who performs folk and family songs and eventually got all the details worked out. Today 20 moms and their kids gathered for our fun play date. Nolan had a blast. His buddies loved it too and they even tried out Mrs. Kate's microphone. Lucky Nolan even left with his own rain stick and a few shakers. He spent the afternoon back at home trying it out.


Even baby Brooklynn got in on the fun. She went to the playdate with us. When I was demonstrating the motions she sat in the bumbo watching and clapping along. She even did some fun dancing and clapping in my arms too. Unfortunately, I had to demo motions and was running from the front of the room back to the 2 kiddos in the front row so no extensive picture taking during the event! Here is one another momma shot.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Taped Tuesday

Aren't I clever? I came up with a great blog theme for today. A little taped video of Nolan for Tuesday!!

video

Friday, May 13, 2011

My tiny monster

Nolan had his first feeding therapy appointment and saw a GI specialist this week. As you all know, he has been pretty tiny ever since he was a few months old. Even though he was tiny, he was consistently gaining weight and stayed on his own growth curve. Right after his first birthday though, he lost weight and dropped off his own curve. He has never recovered from that and his weight has been very slow to increase. He is in the 1st percentile for weight right now and 45th for height. Since I'm somewhat skinny that would not have been too much concern to us except he has been having other issues. As I look back at pictures though, his baby chub, the little he had, is definitely gone.



He eats very small amounts and when he finally has a meal that is normal in size he has often been throwing it all up a short time later. We've also battled constipation and infrequent bowel movements. After trying lots of different things, our doctor referred us on.

Feeding therapy went great. Much like I knew, he has no structural issues and is perfectly able to eat just fine. However, it's another story getting him to actually do so. For now we are making meal time fun and working on distraction. These aren't things I'll want to do forever because I want him to have nice table manners but for now we play with toys while eating and even blow bubbles. It is working somewhat! We will probably only be going back for one or two more visits to work on getting Nolan to drink.

The GI appt. was interesting. It's the first time anyone other than our pediatrician has spoken about his weight and stomach problems. Nolan weighed in at 20lbs 4oz which meant they automatically labelled him as failure to thrive on all the paperwork and in their system. My own pediatrician looks at more than weight but technically any child under the 3rd% in weight or less than 20% if the weight to height ratio gets the label. It's still frustrating and hard to hear as a mom especially when your little one isn't having developmental issues besides his size. Nolan took his first steps days before his 10mo birthday and could go across the entire room less than two weeks later. He now runs and climbs everything. He is as active as can be and is starting to get more and more vocal everyday. It seems to me that being tiny needs a new label besides FTT if nothing else is compromised!! I was happy to hear the GI doctor comment on his level of activity and state that besides the weight and vomiting he appears completely healthy.

GI is sending us out for quite a few tests. We'll have those done over the next month and a half then return to discuss the results. There are a lot of unknowns right now but things being considered include silent reflux, irritable bowels, slow digestion, and the likes. Hopefully we'll get some answers and get his tummy back to normal!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Coupons Galore!! Again!

If you’re only here to see Nolan pictures this is going to be one long post you’ll want to skip! Lots of people have asked me how I get such great grocery deals. Here is a little run down of what exactly I do to save and what my latest purchase was. I read the blog www.savingthefamilymoney.com and follow her on Facebook. I print off coupons as they are released and they sit by the printer until I am ready to organize them. To save on paper costs I’ve gotten all my paper free at Staples (with rebate) and buy as that deal appears. I buy my ink in bulk on Amazon but do use about $10-15 dollars of ink a month. I get one paper delivered to the house on Sundays for $1 a week. I also subscribe to All You magazine which is available in Walmart for $2.50 per issue but I purchased using ebates.com on magazines.com. It made it $0.49 an issue and comes with $75-80 in coupons each month.

My coupons are organized and this is the key! The longer I’ve been doing it the better I’ve-- become. My first few deals were good but not this great! My three ring binder has individual page protector holders in which I put each weeks inserts and label them accordingly. I keep the inserts in there until all the coupons inside expire. –At- the back I have a labeled page protector holder for each store I go to and put store coupons I receive there. It makes it easy to find the coupons the various websites tell you were sent out. If I see a coupon I really want to make sure I use I clip it. Those coupons along with all printed coupons and coupons I see in the grocery store are put into a small accordion file and organized by what kind they are. A new thing I am trying is actually putting what each coupon is for into an excel spreadsheet before I file it away. That takes about an hour every two weeks but is making it easy to search the coupons I’ve found along the way and collected. If at any time I am buying something I do not have a known coupon for, I search the coupon database (on saving the family money’s website) and double check. That saves a lot on items I have to buy anyways. Even items you don’t think of as having coupons really do!! Last week it helped on rechargeable batteries. I also sign up for samples as manufacturers usually send coupon with the sample.

Before I go to any store I know 90% of what I will buy and what it will cost. All the coupon for the trip get moved to a small envelope in the front of the binder and as I pick up the items in the store I put the coupons in a pile. This holds me accountable for finding everything. The stores in other parts of the country are different but each area has one main grocery chain that couponers will shop at. They will have the most liberal coupon policy and often double coupons or accept competitor’s coupons. Here in FL it is Publix which accepts competitor’s coupons. For me competitors include Whole foods, Target, and Winn Dixie. Whole Foods and Target have coupons available online that I print as they are released and Winn Dixie gives them out in store. Since meat is most affordable at Winn Dixie and not really purchasable by coupon often, I pick up Winn Dixie coupons when buying meat. Publix accepts one manufacturer’s coupon and one store coupon for each item purchased. This allows me to “stack” coupons. It’s the best deal when an item is on sale, preferably B1G1 free, and I have a manufacturer coupon and store coupon for it waiting. You can use coupons on the “free” item in a B1G1 free transaction too.

Here is what I got!!
2 Yoplait Smoothie Mix, assorted, 7.6 oz bag, $3.19 B1G1 free
  $1/1 Yoplait Frozen Smoothie use 2
Paid $1.19 for 2

2 Knorr Sides, assorted, 3.8-6.4 oz pouch, $1.53 B1G1 free
   $0.55/2 Knorr's Recipe/Sauce/Gravy Mix Product 4/17/2011 RP Insert (exp 5/14/2011)
Paid $1.00 for 2

10 Crystal Light Drink Mix, assorted, $2.99 B1G1 free
  B2G1 Crystal Light Drink Mix Product 4/3/2011 SS Insert (exp 5/31/2011) use 1
  Hanging in my Publix store by the item was a booklet of Publix coupons for $2.00 off each.   
  I hadn’t planned to buy this many but did plan to use a target coupon for $1/3 instead   
  which was still a great deal.
Cost $14.95 to buy, used $22.99 in coupons – MADE $8.04 for purchasing them

2 Hawaiian Bread Snackers (these are sub rolls of the Hawaiian bread) 2/$3.00
  $1/2 King's Hawaiian Product 4/17/2011 RP Insert (exp 6/19/2011)
  $1/2 King's Hawaiian Snackers Publix Spring Booklet
Paid $1.00 for 2

2 Odwalla Smoothies 2/$4.00
  $1.00/2 Publix Healthy Living Coupon Booklet
  $0.55/1 (use 2) in store smart source machine
Paid $1.90 for 2

2 Sunchips $3.79/ea
  $1.00/1 Sunchips – Target.com coupon (expires 5/7) use 2
  $2/2 Lays, Sunchips or Rold Gold Products 5/1/2011 Moments to Save Insert (exp 5/21/2011) Paid $3.58 for 2
2 2-liter Sierra Mist
  B1G1 Sierra Mist Natural WYB SunChips or Lay's 5/1/2011 Moments to Save (exp 5/21/2011) use 2
  Got this online as it was missing from my paper http://savingthefamilymoney.com/printable-pepsico-coupons/
Both free

2 I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray Made w/ Extra Virgin Olive Oil Product B1G1 $3.19
   $1/1 I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Spray printable after you like them on Facebook use 2
Paid $1.19 for 2

1 Uncle Ben’s ready Rice $1.99/ea
  Free coupon mailed to my home for becoming their fan on Facebook
Free

2 Ore-Ida Sweet Potato fries and 1 Ore-Ida Steak Fries $3.81/ea
  $1/1 Ore-Ida Sweet Potato Fries use 2
  Free Bag of Ore-Ida Fries when you buy 2 - Publix Spring Booklet
Paid $5.62 for 3

$50 Gas Card to shell (Winn Dixie offers money off per gallon for groceries (i.e. meat) I’ve purchased.)
  $10 Off the Purchase of Any $50 Gas Card w/Grocery Purchase of $25. Remember you only have to reach $25 BEFORE all other coupons!
Paid $40.00

Coupon for $5 Off the Purchase of Any $55 in groceries – Winn Dixie register coupon

No picture this time as it was after 10pm when I got home. Before coupons, my total was over $100.  That already included $23 in store sale prices. I used 19.00 in store coupons and $38 in manufacturer coupons bringing my total bill down to $44.46!! Amazing considering I walked away with a gas card good for $50.00 in gas!! This isn’t all of my groceries but by making a small stockpile, using our freezers, and buying fresh produce from the local art’s market our costs are drastically cut.

Walgreens is another store I frequent for deals and this week I got 2 digital collage prints of Nolan, Reach toothbrushes, Reach floss, Right Guard Men’s deodorant, Old Spice body wash, and BIC Soleil razors all for free!! Same concept as above!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Stash

I love my cloth diapers! Yes, I'm addicted to buying them but even though I own more than are absolutely necessary I've still saved over disposable! I decided to take a picture of all I own and count them after I did a big clean and soak this last week. People have asked how many diapers I own and I honestly wasn't sure. Turns out it is a bit more than I thought.

The final totals include:
21 BumGenius OneSize (3.0 and 4.0)
5 FuzziBunz (Perfect Size M and OneSize)
3 Happy Heiney OneSize
2 Babykicks 3.0 OneSize
1 Grovia All-in-one
1 Kawaii OneSize

the above diapers get me through washing only every 5-6 days and still having a few diapers clean. Besides this I have my newborn prefolds and covers and toddler prefolds and covers plus extra inserts and such!

I definitely did not have this many diapers to start out with. I buy as we go and as they are on sale. I got five of these absolutely free and a steep discount on quite a few more. A local diaper seller changed ownership and clearanced out a lot of diapers meaning great deals for me! I also bought some on the baby half off sites like BabySteals.com and BabyHalfOff.com.

To add to my stash, here is my latest diaper which hasn't yet arrived. I can't wait to see how nice and cute it is! It was made by a work at home mom who runs Two Hip Peas in a Pod.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Nolan and the Nebulizer

My little boy has been sick this week. That has meant a lot of indoor time away from his baby friends. I think he is starting to get restless. Tuesday he was diagnosed with his first ever ear infection. Last week at his 18mo checkup his ears were a little red and we started preventatively using garlic oil but apparently it wasn't enough. One was much worse this week. He got his first dose of antibiotics and so far no penicillin allergy like his grandma and dad.

After two days on the antibiotics he developed a pretty nasty cough. Back to the doctor we went. There was a little concern because he was getting worse instead of better with the treatment we were doing. The doctor recommended breathing treatments with saline to moisten his passages and loosen the congestion. This is where Margie Moo came in.

 Maggie Moo is Nolan's new nebulizer. For such a  loud scary machine he is getting used to it and sometimes has fun using it too! Hopefully just a few more days and he'll be back to his good ole self!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our week, so far, in pictures






Give me back to Momma!
First ice cream cone!


I love my new hat Miranda made for me!!