Saturday, February 16, 2013

What the what???

Even if I tried to make up the last couple of months & the events that have surrounded me I don't think I could come up with some of this crazy stuff on my own. Stranger than fiction...that's my life right now. The ups, the downs, the sickness, the sudden job changes, the CHANGES period!  Whew! I'm exhausted!

Yep, if I've learned anything in the last couple of months it's that change isn't just part of IS my life right now. I've given up on making any concrete plans for the time being. If you ask me to make plans with you for anytime "in the future" don't be surprised if I stare at you blankly & and momentarily lose consciousness. Lately, anytime my brain has tried to process anything but pure survival for myself and my family I feel like I start to overheat & shut down. Maybe it's all the sickness talking, but man do I feel out of sorts!

I'm sure I'll find a new normal sometime soon, but right now I feel like I'm on a hamster wheel on a road to nowhere. I'm working really, really hard to GET SOMEWHERE, but I'm pretty sure I'm not actually moving forward quite yet. But let me tell you, when I DO get to going somewhere it's gonna be good. Because lord knows I'm working my booty off to see something good happen!

Here is a rundown of just the last month. I'll put it in a shortened "bullet" format, because if I went into all the details it would be a novel.

  • Dec 31st - Jon gets sick. We try to celebrate the New Year, but he is just plain sick & we call it a night as soon as midnight strikes.
  • Jan - Jon's job is getting miserable. I worry about my husbands well being because of his work situation. Pure misery.
  • Jan 14th McKenna is sick..just a fever, but she is sick enough to miss school for a day.
  • Jan 15 - I accept a full time job offer.
  • Jan 21 - Maya gets sick...really sick. Misses an entire week of school.
  • Jan 24th - Jon's boss fires him. No reason. Oh, and he calls it putting him "on notice" instead of "firing" him (Which we learn is a big, messed up, legal way of trying to screw him on the way out the door). 
  • Jan 28th - I start my full time hours. I get sick. I muscle through, but I'm miserable.
  • Jan 29th - 13th anniversary. I'm sick. Jon gets sick again. We've been here before. Blah! 
  • Jan 31st -Chandler has a full on meltdown at school. It's been a long time since we had one of these & I get a frantic call from the vice principal saying I need to come get him right away! Another reminder that autism never goes away, not even when you are trying your best to manage things the best way you know how. I cry in the shower because that's the only place I can find any solitude. My heart aches for my sweet boy. I wake up the next morning with more determination than ever to change our situation. We need to get him to a new school...which is why I'm working full time! I can do this!
  • Feb 5th - the preschool calls me...Judah is running a fever, we need to come get him. The fever lasts for 24 hours & goes away. We figure it was just a small virus.
  • Feb 8th - Maya pukes at school. I get the call at work that we need to come get her.
  • Feb 11th - Jon officially resigns (yes, he worked for a few weeks while "on notice"). I said it was a long story......  I have a mini breakdown at work. The events of the last 2 weeks feel so heavy!
  • Feb 12th- Maya is still sick, and now I get a call from the preschool saying Judah just puked! I fight the urge to cry at work for two days in a row. Thankfully, I keep it together.
  • *Somewhere in there I was trying to figure out if I should even be trying to work full time. A dark feeling of complete hopelessness overcomes me. It would seem that the forces of nature were trying to make the possibility of working full time a complete and total disaster. I even try to entertain thoughts of finding another part time job because the stress of figuring out how to arrange care for my sick kids is proving to be a very bad thing for my mental well being. 
  • Feb 13th, Jon has a new job offer! We are making it through the dark, dark tunnel. Now we need everyone to get well, and stay well. 
  • Now....if I could just find someone to watch my kids for 15 min every school morning then I can keep my full time job! Oh, the joys of being a working mom!

So, there is the last month in a nutshell. The only reason I'm even bothering to write all this out isn't to make anyone feel sorry for me, or even to garner any extra sympathy. Basically I want you all to know that if you are feeling frustrated with me because I've been hard to get a hold of ^^^^all of that is why!  I'm confident that "this too shall pass". I know that the hard times don't last forever, but I very much feel like I'm operating in complete and total survival mode right now. I was just telling my boss the other day that I feel like no one at my work has seen the best version of me yet & I hate that! I want to get back to a place of peace again where things don't feel so out of control all the time. 

I'd love to say that I'm staying positive, but that would be a lie. And...I think it's pretty apparent that I'm not blowing rainbows & sunshine out my rear end right now either. However, when I have allowed myself to suspend my crazy thoughts for long enough to take stock of what really matters I can clearly see that I truly am still a blessed woman. 

I have a beautiful husband that just spent the last week staying home every day with our sick kids. He hasn't had more than one or two days off of work in the last 18 months, and for the first time in a LONG time he was going to enjoy a little break between jobs, but he ended up pulling sick kid duty all week so I could keep my job! My family is the only reason I have been able to even survive for the last month. The grandparents have taken turns watching my sick kids & taking Judah to preschool two days a week. Without them I would have had no other choice but to wave the white flag & surrender my job because I wouldn't have been able to work at all for the last three weeks solid.  My poor mom even got sick after she took care of my puking kid last week (sorry grandma!!).  Now, that's love!

While this may not be me at my best, this is me surviving some pretty rough stuff and being carried along the way by some pretty amazing people. If I have to put a silver lining around the crap I just bullet listed above that's what it would be. If this was some sort of test to see if I could survive the rigors of the working mom world, I hope I passed the test and can move on now! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger....right?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Are you ready for this?

Yesterday when I picked Judah up from the sitter I wrote out a check with a new amount on it & I stared at the check for a minute before I handed it to her. She looked at me and said: "So, are you ready for this?".  Today, when I dropped Judah off at Preschool his teacher said: "So, next week is the week...are you ready for it?". Later on this morning, when I had to call my dentist to reschedule my appointment today & I struggled with how and when to fit in something as simple as a dental cleaning into my schedule the secretary (that has known me for the last 9 years) said: "Oh, that's right, next week is the week...are you ready?".

To all of those people I gave the same answer: a resounding "NO". I don't think anyone was ready for me to say anything but "yes", because that's what you are supposed to say when someone asks you a quick question in passing. But, the truth is, I have this huge change coming up & everyone knows I'm the kind of person that is ALWAYS they expect me to say, "yep...I'm ready". But, this time it's not so much about getting ready, because honestly I am ready. This time, it really has more to do with letting go of my old vision for the future & recreating a new vision with a new plan. This time, I'm in uncharted waters & I don't know my way.  That's never a place where I feel very comfortable, but I'm learning that in life when you want a different outcome, you have to go places you've never been. So, next week I'm putting on a new "hat" called the "Full-time working mom" hat &'s gonna be a new adventure alright!

For most of my adult life I've primarily been one thing, and one thing only. I was always a "stay at home mom", maybe even the only "stay at home mom" that some of my friends even knew. So, the fact that I am now changing roles is kinda rocking more than just MY world!  I was always the one who you knew would be at home, would have the time to do this or that for you, and the fact that I will not be available in the same ways I used to be is a huge adjustment for everyone (myself included).

The reasons I stayed at home for 10 years were multifaceted, but the main reason was because I had a strong desire to be with my kids and be their main caretaker. It's a role I cherished & one that I wish I would have treasured just a little more now that it appears those days are part of my sweet & precious past. I don't regret anything about staying home for 10+ years & I'm proud that I can say I did that & loved it! Those will always be years that I look back on & can honestly say that the sacrifices we made in order for me to stay at home were worth it.

The reasons why I am now changing roles are also multifaceted, but let's be honest....we are are in a recession, people!   In the wise words of Bob Dylan: "The times they are a changin' ". Yup, that's never been more true in the White house than it is right now, because everything that "used to be" around here pretty much is no longer.  But, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Changes happen, and times, they do change & we change with them. So, that's what's going on in my life. I'm learning to do more with less time, & "no" I don't have that one mastered just yet either!

If I've proven anything to myself in the last decade it would be that I am confident in my ability to cope very well when times change. Did I anticipate that this was the way, or even the exact time that I thought I would be making these life changes? Nope! Not at all! But, there just comes a time when you have to decide what changes need to happen in your life in order to move things forward.  For us, changing course seemed to be a logical next step to get things moving in a forward direction again. So, we picked up one proverbial foot & put it in front of the other. Heck, I don't even know what the next step is supposed to be after this one, but I'll figure that one out as I go too!

I will say that this "move forward" has not been without it's growing pains that's for sure! I feel like I've been in a bit of mourning this past week. There is a price to be paid for every choice we make & I knew that going into all of this, but I thought I was ready because I didn't think "that much" would change at first. Then, I realized that right off the bat Judah may not be able to go to his Tue/Thur preschool program any longer because finding someone who can pick him up from his babysitters house (who lives ONE street over from the Church/preschool) may not be as simple as I thought! Ugh! That's the first time I learned that when you are a full time working mom E-V-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G is more complicated. The very simplest of arrangements can become so complicated when you can't be there to do them. Preschool was a big deal to me & the fact that something so simple has become SO difficult was a tough one for me to swallow. But, as I said before...I'm a cope-er, so I'm sure I'll figure this one out too.

My hope is that the payoff for this sacrifice will be worth it.  We sacrificed a great deal so that I could stay at home for those 10 years & I know in my heart that was the right choice for us. I feel like making the choice to go back to work full time right now is also a good choice, but I wouldn't call it an "easy" one. Because, let's be honest, there is no easy answer when you are stuck between the two places I am at.

The long story short here is this: Am I ready for all these changes? No...but I'll get ready! I'll roll with the changes & I'll do what I do best...I'll cope. I've got a lot of learning to do & I know I'm going to make mistakes (both at work & at home), but I'll learn from those mistakes and move forward some more. Hopefully in another year or so I'll be able to say I've charted a small territory of these new waters & can find my way around a little bit. At least for now that's the plan...

It's true.....

First, let's all take a moment to get over our shock and disbelief that I'm actually doing a blog post again........whew! Hope you didn't need the smelling salts to wake you back up after that. I know the shock of seeing a new blog post after my 5 year hiatus is something that will take some time to recover from, but you will get there eventually!

The truth is, I miss my blog. I miss keeping a journal of my little adventures with my family & recording my thoughts and feelings as we move through this thing called "life".  So, I decided to start off 2013 with a new goal to take time for the things that matter & this one matters! It also helps that I finally have a phone that will make things like posting pictures on my blog something relatively painless now.

Friday, July 22, 2011

When you don't always have the words...

This is not the "come back" story I was planning for my blog. It's really not even a story...tonight I'm just venting I guess. I have had MANY happy times I could have hopped on here to share...and I promise to do that & share more of those moments in the coming months (still waiting for my camera software to be my IT guy...). But, today was different. Today was a turning point in my parenting journey & I think I'm quickly learning the real meaning of the phrase: "Let go & let God".

Today, I spent a lot of time crying for my son. Today, I didn't have any answers. Today, I had to put my faith into practice & simply pray when I didn't know what else to do. I wished so badly I could swallow up all of my child's pain and bear it for him...but I knew the reality of it was that I was going to have to give this one to Jesus & leave it there

It was a little over 5 years ago that Jon and I were given a diagnosis for our non-verbal, tantrum-throwing 2 year old...."PDDNOS". It stands for "Pervasive Developmental Delay Not Otherwise Specified". PDD is an autism spectrum learning disability & my Channy was diagnosed with this just before his third birthday.  I've shared on here some of the ups and downs of our journey as we've dealt with behavior therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and special education classes. In so many ways I feel blessed to be able to say that Chandler has done remarkably well in school & he continues to progress every year, which is a huge blessing.

However, as my little guy grows & matures one aspect of PDD that has been especially hard to overcome is the social development challenges. Simply put...Channy has a really hard time making friends. Social situations are often the hardest part of any situation for Channy to navigate. I've seen him overcome SO much, but watching him struggle though the social/emotional stuff in life has often been the hardest part of all, because I feel so helpless. Today was just one of those days where the "helpless" feelings overwhelmed me & the rest just kinda spiraled downward from there.

Recently, Chandler has become (painfully) aware that he has no friends. :-( Today, it all started when I had to discipline him for being mean to his sister. I sent him to his room to think about it & when I came into his room to talk to him about it he burst into tears! I was shocked because he usually just tells me what he did that was wrong & then he will apologize and move on. But...not today!  Today, he started crying and said "he hates his face" (?)..."he hates that he is 'a mean kid' "... and, "he hates not having any friends that like him"! Wowza! Where did that all come from??? I could tell these were the things he must think to himself & say to himself when he is all alone, and right then and there my heart broke for him! I knew there wasn't a whole lot I could say to him in that moment to make it all better, so we just prayed together & I tried my best to say as many encouraging  things as I could.

Friends have never been easy for Chandler to come by & it's heartbreaking  to watch him muddle through the world of social experiences. It's one of the most painful things to watch your child struggle with their differences, especially when they become more aware of how others see them, talk about them, and treat them. There is nothing I can do to "fix" that & I HATE that more than anything!

Today Chandler was basically trying to say he doesn't know why he is the way he is....but that he still needs/wants a friend! What's even more tough is that Jon and I can't do much to soothe that hurt in his little heart. He wants to know that someone besides mom & dad like him & want to spend time with him. We tried asking people close to Channy if they could spend a little time just hanging out with him to let him know that someone outside of his 4 walls cares about him...but that ended in a sad way too. :-(  We just wanted Chan to know someone else besides us cared about him, and liked him just the way he is!

I'm out of ideas. Out of people to ask. I don't want anyone else thinking I'm too "lazy" to do my job as Chandler's parent either. I could spend 1,000 hours one-on-one with him...but I'm still his "mom" & Jon is still "dad". He needs to know he's good enough for someone else to want to spend time with him! I'm just hurting for my little boy that falls asleep at night feeling like he's not good enough for friends...

I know Jesus sees my little boy & that He has a plan for Chandler's life that is good, even if I can't see it right now. But, I've seen him struggle with EVERY facet of his little life & some days it gets to be too much for my heart to bear. Some days I wonder what God sees in me that he picked me to be Chandler's mom. Most of the time I feel weak and unprepared for these kinds of struggles & I didn't know what to say, so we just prayed & then I cried alone in my room. I always knew there was going to be challenges in raising my kids, I just never knew it was going to look and feel like this. I guess in my naivety I always thought I'd have some idea what to say, or what to do. It just seems like it's too soon for my little boy to feel this defeated.

Jesus-be close to my little boy & surround him with the love & comfort that only YOU can give!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So Much......

I've been on a blogging break for almost a year, but it's certainly not because I've had a shortage of things to share! No, there has been PLENTY to talk about, blog about, and share with you in pictures and songs....but the one thing I did lose was my drive to do that! Since my last blog entry we've completed another school year, graduated one from preschool, had birthday's, holiday's, and  anniversary celebrations. We've made some small life changes, and even had a new family member join the ranks of our extended family (a new cousin!).  We've laughed, cried, and been blessed beyond measure...and I let it all happen without blogging about it!!!

Every time I sat down to share something on my blog I kept letting other things get in the way of completing my goal of blogging about it. Facebook is partly to blame because it's so gosh darn quick to just spit out a line or two status update & be done with it. My desire for a little more anonymity was probably just as big a factor too. I realized I was letting a lot of myself hang out there & while I stand by my "heart-on-my-sleeve" mentality, I have to admit it got to be too much sometimes. I realized it was a lot easier to say things on my blog that maybe I wouldn't really say in "real" life. Hence the LONG break... until now!

One thing I love about myself is that I'm honest, but often times that quality can work to my detriment too! That also happens to be one thing I hate about myself....I'm too honest sometimes! I let people see the good, the bad, and the U-G-L-Y sides of me! Ugh.....why do I have to have so much ugly in me!!! I think that's one thing I need to learn to let the Lord have more often. Sometimes I'm so proud of my honesty that I don't always let the Lord humble me with that like I should.  Sure, it's my strength....but it's a pretty bad weakness too.  I can cut people with my words so fast they don't see it coming & then I realize; "Oh...crap...I should have kept my mouth shut"!!!   Do you ever do that? Please say you do! Be honest....ha!

Anyway....I'm back! And I'll have pictures, kid stories, and recipes to share very soon! WooHoo! Sadly,  I don't have very many good running stories to tell because it was a long, cold winter & I let the hot coffee & warm covers keep me from running too often this winter (and now it shows!). But, never fear....there will be more running stories coming your way this summer!  I think I will also start a new sub-category on my blog called: "Adventures at the Westport Flea Market"...only a few of you out there will get that joke right now, but soon ALL of you will understand!

To end on a more serious note, I'd like to thank all of you that have come up to me over the last couple of months and said, "Hey, Amber....I miss your blog!". That makes me smile to think that anyone misses my non-sense rambling, or my Patty McFatty recipes...but, "thank you" for pretending like you care :-)!  I'll try my best not to let you down this time. But, right now it's 1:00 am & I've got a load a laundry to change out & kids that have school in a few hours, so I'll just leave you with this beautiful song that I've had spinning in my head for the last couple of days.....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Golden Friendships!

There's a saying "Make new friends, keep the old, one is silver, the other is gold",  and last weekend on our little vacation to Minnesota I felt every bit of those words! Jon and I have been going through some "trying" times in the friendship department & it started to feel like we were never going to make any new friends, much less keep the old ones! To say things felt "depressing" would be an understatement!

I actually spent a lot of time pouring out my heart here on my blog & when I went back and re-read those words it just seemed like I sounded whiny and "Woe is me-ish". Blah! That's not what I was trying to portray, but it probably sounded like that.  So, I stepped back from doing much blogging and instead poured myself a little more into running again (thank God for my running girlfriends that stick by me even when I quit running for months at a time!).  I love running because it gives me the space and time to just clear my head sometimes. While I was "clearing things out" of my busy head I also prayed that God would give me a fresh start  this year & maybe,  just maybe give me one opportunity connect with an old friend (or two!) to bring a little bit of hope back into the picture. 

Man, am I glad I asked God for that little blessing! I love it when God proves that He not only cares about the big things in our lives, but that the little things matter too! Shortly after asking God for an opportunity to re-connect with old friends we got that opportunity & spent a wonderful evening over at an old friends house for dinner. It felt so refreshing to spend time with people who know you & have a little "history" with you. Shortly after that little "re-connection"  we were  making our plans for our MN trip we found out that another good friend was going to be able to fly home to MN while we were there! WooHoo! Things just kept getting better! I thought those two things were pretty awesome, but it just kept getting better!  I had re-connected with my running girls, had an awesome evening spent with old friends, and found out that another good friend was going to be able to hang out with us during our trip (where we were already going to stay with old friends!) to MN! I love those kinds of happy surprises!

Then, as I was washing clothes and packing for our trip to MN I thought "Hmmm....I wonder if I should contact Kevin and Gina & see what they are up to since we will be in their neck of the woods this week". "Kevin & Gina" are old friends of Jon and I that go WAY back to the days before Jon and I were even married. They were the cool young married couple that Jon and I looked up to & hoped to be one day! ;-) They are originally from MN, but Kevin is a Dr & they spent a few short years in KC during Kevin's residency. After KC they moved to Indiana & we never got a chance to see them again. We kept in touch a little bit over the years through Christmas cards and an occasional e-mail, but they were busy, we were busy, we lived several states know how it goes. However, last year Kevin and Gina moved back to MN to be closer to their family & suddenly the idea of maybe seeing them again one day didn't seem so far off!  

So, as I was packing I posted something on facebook about getting ready for our trip to MN & that's when Gina beat me to the punch! She saw me post that & sent me a quick message that said "Are you guys coming to MN?". From there we made plans to have dinner together & I laughed at all the wonderful surprises that just kept rolling in for this years trip to MN! 

We arrived in MN on Thursday evening & our fantastic friends/hosts Bob and Irene were waiting with open arms to receive our wild crew of 6 for the weekend! Everyone should have a "Bob & Irene" in their lives, because they always make you feel so special & so loved! I count them as one of the greatest blessings in our lives....and that's not an exaggeration! We come up to MN every year over Labor Day & they always go above and beyond to host our family & each year it just gets better and better! It's become one of our family's favorite traditions & I LOVE that my children will always have these years to look back on and remember with fondness. 

One little "gift" that Bob and Irene wanted to give Jon and I this year was a "date night" since they knew that was something that doesn't happen too often in our world!  Because of their sweet offer we were able to go out on a double date with Kevin and Gina on Friday night. I should mention here that Kevin and Gina have 6 children, so the fact that both of us could manage and evening away was a bit of a miracle in and of itself! So, with babysitters secured we made reservations at a fun downtown Minneapolis restaurant called "Hell's Kitchen" & embarked on our journey to re-connect! We had a lot of  catching up to do too since it had been, oh... 13 years or so since we had last seen each other! 

Once we hugged each other and sat down something amazing happened....we started talking and never stopped! There was almost no unfamiliarity  in the air even though it had been so long since we had seen each other! Our waitress stopped by our table several times to try to take our order, but it took us about an hour to even start looking at the menu! Instead, we ordered drinks and appetizers & told our poor waitress that we hadn't seen each other for 13 or so we were gonna be awhile! :-)  We laughed, swapped stories about our kids, we pulled out cameras and phones to share pictures with each other, and we then we talked some more! We talked about the good stuff, the bad stuff, the happy times, the hard times, the things that have made us who we are today & and how blessed we each were for the very unique stories we have to tell.  We even went to a second restaurant for dessert since we had been at the first one so long! We closed down the second restaurant & kept talking all the way out to the parking garage! Now that's what I call a great night! When Jon and I drove away that night we both smiled & then talked about how incredible it was that we were able to just pick right back up where we had left off some 13 years ago! Now that's a golden friendship & one I KNOW I'll keep forever!

Thanks for the great memories!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

First Day of School.

The two older kids went back to school August 16th! Can you believe that?!! That was way, WAY too early in my book  & I'm not ashamed to admit I was the one with a bad "back-to-school" attitude this year.  I just miss my kids so much during the school year!  The kids always enjoy getting new school supplies & clothes, so that's what gets them through those first few days.  But, me....I just pray a lot!  It's just that I enjoy summer SO much & I dread the feeling of "heaviness" that each new school year brings.  However, I tried my best to put on my positive "happy" face & tackle the first few days of the new school year with as much "go-get-em" energy as I could summon.

Here are few cute pictures of my kiddos on that first day back at school.

Cute little posers!

All set! But those bags with school supplies are HEAVY!

My sweet little 2nd & 3rd graders.

Chandler is SO stinking excited to see that brick prison school house once again.

"Uh...Mom...can we go into the school's kinda bright out here?"

The cutest boy in the the whole 2nd grade!

Right after this picture he said: "So as soon as I'm done taking pictures we can go to the pool...right?"

I know...I know...she will never need mascara! So not fair!

The Fantastic Fifth Birthday!

My baby girl is no baby any longer! Miss Maya turned the big 5 back in August & it was a little bittersweet. I love 5!  My kids seem to "blossom" a little more at 5 & because of that I am able to forgive them for the 2's, and the 3's, and the "awkward-in-between" 4's when they were a little harder to love.  I call those years the "survival years", because that's what it feel like much of the time.  I'll bet if you can make it through those years with a scrap of patience remaining & a few good brain cells you just might be able to handle the teen years without losing your mind completely! Yes, in my book 5 is a great age! However, it seemed a little strange to me as I was watching Maya blow out her 5 candles on her Barbie cake that I swear just yesterday I was snuggling that cute little newborn girl in my arms . It's weird how our minds don't like to catch up with the present day sometimes! In so many ways I still think of her as my "baby", because it's still hard to grasp that time has flown by so quickly. Makes me want to go give her a few extra snuggles as she sleeps right now because I'm kinda scared I'm going to wake up and find a teenager in her bed tomorrow!

Here are a few pictures of Miss Maya Moo's BIG day!

Here Are A Few Fun Facts About Maya:
-She was my fastest & easiest labor and delivery (less than 2 hours!).
-She was born with BLACK hair...but it didn't stay that way for long.
-She can recite entire blocks of Disney movie dialogue & not miss a beat.
-She also has the lyrics to many songs fully memorized.
-She LOVES to sing & dance. She is our little "performer".
-She RARELY tells a lie. She may be my drama queen, but this little sister can tell it to you straight!
-She "loves" lots of things & "hates" very few things (with the exception of veggies!). 
-She is my curious one. 
-She is also my "risk taker" & my bold one. She fears very little & I love that about her so, so much. This quality will take her far in life!
-She knows no stranger.
-Her favorite breakfast is....pb&j or grilled cheese & applesauce!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Weekend Deals & A Update

It was a good weekend on the savings front. I'm only including the stuff I bought in my trip yesterday, because I'm lazy and I didn't want to gather up all the school supplies I bought on Friday & Saturday. We won't mention the 6 jars of Skippy PB I snagged for $3 either ;-). was a good shopping weekend & I continue to learn new things every time I shop. 

Here is what you are looking at:
(2) Diet Pepsi 2 liters (BOGO coupon off facebook)
(1) Doritos Snack package (free with Pepsi purchase...tear pad at CVS )
(2) Betty Crocker Warm Delights (2 x .75 cp from 8/08 paper)
(1) Air Wick iMotion room air freshener ($4.00 cp from 8/08 paper)
(3) Colgate Toothpaste (3 x cp from 8/01 paper)
(1) 9 roll Angel Soft TP
(1) 24 ct Zyrtec Liquid Gels ($4.00 cp from website)
(2) 24 ct Benadryl Products ($2 and $1 peelies from CVS)
(2) Kleenex Tissues
(2) Schick Hydro 5 razors ($5.00 cp in 8/08 paper)
(2) Schick Shaving Cream (FREE peelies on razor package!)
(1) 4 oz Bio True solution ($1.00 cp from website)
(1) Dulcolax Balance ($4.00 cp from website)
(1) Dial body wash ($1.00 cp from website)
(2) Walgreen's hand sanitizer
(2) Soft Soap hand soap (2 x .35 cp from 7/25 paper)
(4) Bic Grip pens ($1.00/2 coupon from 8/01 paper)

Like I said, I'm lazy today, so I don't feel like linking to all the coupon sites where I got the "website" coupons from. However, the girls over at Sam's Secrets & Coupon Mom will get you all the info you need if you want to save on any of the above items :-) I bought all of these items at Walgreen's and CVS. I had $10 in RR at Walgreen's to use & I still have $2 in RR left. I had $3 EB from CVS to use & I do not have any more EB's left over.  I will also get $8.97 back in rebates! My total oop was $15.65, but with the $8.97 rebate from the razor that drops my total drops down to $6.68!  Not too bad considering the sale price on the Zyrtec alone was $18.99!  In total, I got $111.89 worth of products for $6.68!!!  Oh, and I am donating several of the products you see to charity. That is one of the best perks from doing all this coupon shopping. Now I can afford to help other people out, while I continue to shop and save on items my family needs ;-).  Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you enjoy finding your own deals this week!

*In other news.....I finally got to run this weekend! It was so refreshing to get back to doing something I love. I'm doing the KC 1/2 in October, so I figured I better start getting serious about running again. 

*Miss Maya will turn 5 this week! Can't hardly believe it! Stay tuned for pictures of her birthday at the T-Rex cafe :-).

*This is the kids last week of summer vacation (sniff....sniff!). They go back to school on Monday! Can't believe my summer flew by like it did. I'm gonna miss them, but I think I'm ready to have a little more of a routine back in our life. McKenna will be in third grade & Chandler in second grade. Miss Maya missed the Kindergarten cut off by 11 days, so she will have one more year of Pre-K.  Mr. Judah never wants to go to school because he wants to be stuck like velcro to his Mommy's side until he is 10! No, really...I'm a little worried that's how it's gonna be with my little buddy! I love him so much, but he can drive me a little nutty sometimes with his clingy-ness. He is adding new words to his vocabulary every day & we think he has a bright future as a guitar tech since he routinely gets into Daddy's pedal board & "rearranges" all Daddy's guitar equipment! 

So, there you have it...a small "update" of sorts on what we are up to. Hope you are enjoying your end-of-the-summer fun & are all geared up for fall. I'm looking forward to sharing  more recipes with you in the near future, and having more "running stories" to tell. It's been a LONG time since I did those two things on here, but as soon as the kids go back to school I'll have a little more time for those kind of blog posts. Stay tuned....

*The Fab 4 White's*

Sometimes I don't get dressed for the day until, and on the weekend I let my kids eat cookies for breakfast. I drank coffee (and sometimes diet coke) when I was pregnant. I use under eye concealer to cover up my zits & I bake when I'm stressed. If you can deal with all that....then welcome to our family blog!