Happy Bargain Hunting

December 3, 2008

So, I just finished reading a great blog, that I read religiously.  Today she was talking about being a stay-at-home mom during a recession.  She listed many great ways to cut corners, some of which, I use myself.   She asked readers to comment on ways that they cut back, and since it wouldn’t let me comment without a google account, I decided to blog about it instead.

Being a one-income family right now is definately difficult.  I, myself, haven’t worked since we left NC last March!  It has been wonderful to be able to stay home with Tanner.  I hate the thought of someone else getting to be a part of his little world the way I am everyday.  But, for everything there is always a trade-off, it seems.  Our pocketbook seems to be seriously suffering from this.  We have made due now for 9 months.  It has meant, not going out to eat (except when my parents take us!!!), not shopping whenever I feel like it (which is difficult), not getting things because I think we need them, but only because we DO truly need them!  It has meant staying home when everyone else is doing something fun, simply because you don’t have the extra money.  I tell myself at these times, no I don’t have the extra money, but what I do have is far more precious than a night out!  Somedays this works, and somedays (like today, with a whiny, teething 1 year old) not so much. 

I have definately started paying way more attention to the price of things than I ever have before.  We buy generic if possible, shop at Aldi’s or Save-a-Lot and use COUPONS!  I have found several websites/blogs that do nothing but post great deals, everyday.  Some of them have tons of freebies.  Companies that want you to want their stuff, so you sign up for the freebie (opt out of the newsletter) and in a few weeks, your mailbox will be flooded with stuff that you buy from the store everyday.  There are sites that list great deals in the stores, and how and when to get those great deals.  There is so much stuff on the web to help us SAHM’s cut corners.  Here are a few of the sites that I frequent…

http://freebies4mom.blogspot.com/

http://www.5dollardinners.com/

http://www.stlmommy.com/

http://www.bargainist.com/

http://www.classymommy.com/blog.htm

http://www.moneysavingmom.com/

http://bargainshopperlady.com/

And this one is special for Christy

http://www.hotcouponworld.com/forums/freebies-individuals/76337-kids-eat-free-thread.html It lists all the restaraunts that have kids-eat-free.  It breaks it down into days, and who has what!  Nothing tastier than FREE FOOD!!

One last thing, I read yesterday that WalMart’s official policy now is to take ALL COMPETITORS COUPONS, for identical product.  This means that if you have a bunch of store coupons and don’t want to go store to store to buy everything cheaper (including food) GO TO WALMART!  They will match all prices. 

I only wish I had known that on Black Friday, I might have gotten away with going to one store for the doorbuster savings, instead of 4!!!

Happy Bargain Hunting!

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To My Sweet Angel Baby

October 15, 2008

 

Today is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.   I didn’t know until recently that this day even existed.  All 50 states have signed proclamations designating Oct 15 as a day to acknowledge that even the shortest lives have value and to honor their memories. This includes all babies who have died because of miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or any other infant death.  Did you know that each year, approximately 1 million pregnancies end in miscarriage, stillbirth or death.  There are 1 million mommies out there without their babies.  That’s 1 million mommies grieving for the hopes, dreams and wishes that will never be.

I decided that I was going to use this day to write about my sweet angel baby.  This day I chose to publically honor the memory of him/her.  I have recently been introduced to a great blog, Bring The Rain.  The link is in my blogroll.  If you have ever experienced a miscarriage or infant loss, this blog is for you!!!  Start from the beginning and make sure you have kleenex!

Reading Bring the Rain has helped me come to terms with my loss in a completely different way than I have for the past 2 1/2 years.  To be quite honest, I’m not sure that I EVER really dealt with it at all.  Let me start at the beginning…

Brian and I got married in May ’05, and I moved a week later to NC, where he was stationed.  Two days of driving and 960 miles later and we were in our new home (some honeymoon!) 

Brian & Kelli sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…First comes love, second comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage.

I think I was born wanting to be a mommy.  What I remember most of my childhood is playing house.  We played ALL THE TIME!  I remember always having to be “the mom.”  One instance sticks out in my mind the most.  I was 5, we had just moved to our new neighborhood and I was playing in the neighbors backyard.  She had a little playhouse, and it was perfect for the imagination.  First, before you play house, you must establish who is who.  I, of course, had to be “mom.”  Well, so did another little neighbor girl.  We fought for awhile, and then I did something I have only done one time in my life.  I punched her in the nose.  Scratch that, I bloodied the poor girl’s nose.  Needless to say, since I was five, I have been very passionate about being a mommy one day. 

So when the day came when I found myself married, those maternal instincts were on OVER DRIVE!  My clock was ticking, but apparently not to the same beat as my husbands!  So, “we” decided to wait.  9 months went by and we decided, ok, let’s try.  Then he got orders to leave for Iraq.  Several weeks later, on Monday March 13, after 2 tests, it was official….I WAS PREGNANT!  I will never forget that walk from the bathroom to the bedroom to tell my sweet husband that he was gonna be a Daddy.  The look on his face when the whole thing hit him will forever be a priceless moment to me.  We just layed there and basked in the miracle that we had created. 

Brian was leaving the next morning before dawn to go into the field for training until Friday.  We weren’t going to tell anyone until he got home on Friday, but I knew that I couldn’t contain myself that long so we called our parents and we told them they were going to be grandparents.  We couldn’t have been happier or more proud.  Life was perfect.

I kissed my husband, and baby-daddy goodbye that morning and went to work myself.  Later that day I started cramping and left work to go to the doctor.  I hadn’t even been to a doctor yet, I had only known for 12 hours.  They ran tests and told me to come back in 48 hours to repeat them, so they could compare the two.  They assured me that I was indeed pregnant.  Everyone told me not to worry, it could be nothing.  But, I knew.  I just knew that I knew that I knew!  I didn’t want my mind to go there, but I KNEW.  I had no way to get ahold of Brian.  I left voicemails, but they weren’t even supposed to turn their phones on in the field.  Luckily, he checked it later that night and hid for like a minute and a half, enough to call me.  The sound of his voice comforted me, but nothing was enough.

I think that moment was one of the loneliest and helpless moments of my life.  I wanted this baby more than anything I’ve ever wanted and yet I was losing it.  There wasn’t one thing I could do, my angel baby was slipping away.  Brian also felt so helpless in that moment.  He tried his best to comfort me, while I know he was going through his own fear and pain at the same time.  He could not leave the field, and so I had to sit alone.  I had no friends, didn’t know my neighbors, needless to say, it was a very difficult few days. 

On Thursday, March 16, after further testing, it was confirmed that I did indeed “lose” the baby.  I hate that term “lose.”  Because, I knew right where it was all along, I never “lost” it.   I had some people tell me that really it was a blessing because there was probably something wrong with the baby.  It was my baby, no matter what was wrong, I was it’s mommy and I wanted the opportunity to take care of it.  No one asked what I wanted!!  I wanted to hold it and love on it.  If something was wrong with the baby, and God saw fit that he take it back to heaven, then why did he send it to me in the first place???   It just didn’t seem fair!  Nothing made sense.  Others told me that I was lucky it happened now (after knowing for such a short time) then to have carried the baby further along and then “lost” it.    As if you love it less at the beginning.  I will never know which kind of loss is more painful, but I do know that my kind was, and still is very painful. 

I questioned everything!  I wanted it to make sense to me.  I just wanted to know what I did wrong.  I think I will always wonder if I did something to cause it.  Either while I was pregnant, or even in my past, I wondered if maybe this was payback for a wrong that I had comitted.  Like karma.  I felt like a failure.  All my life I wanted that baby, my husband wanted that baby…and I couldn’t keep it healthy.  I felt guilty that I had let my husband and our families down.  I felt like my husband had made a wrong choice in marrying me.

And then came the part that I carried with me for 1 full year.  WHAT IF I CAN’T HAVE A BABY?   This question consumed me…and I mean CONSUMED!  Looking back now, that I have a happy, healthy 11 1/2 month old baby boy, I can see that alot of my fears of not being able to have a baby came from the fact that I didn’t have the opportunity to try again for 7 more months.  Now, that seems like a short time to wait.  But, it was an excrutiatingly long 7 months, full of lots of questions and doubts.

 

 

Two weeks after my sweet angel went to heaven, I drove my husband to the base, kissed him goodbye and watched him leave to go Iraq to fight for our country.  Once that bus drove away, I stood and sobbed until I couldn’t anymore.  That feeling of complete and total emptiness, it was all consuming.  I couldn’t even bring myself to go home because it was already packed and in a storage unit.  I was leaving the next week to go be with family for a few months.  When I finally did come home, it was completely and totally empty.  I was completely and totally empty.  That was the most gut wrenching night of my life.  I was so scared that I would “lose” my husband too.  To be quite honest, I felt abandoned.

Thank God above, Brian came home to me, safe and whole!  But, those 7 months all run together for me in my memory now.  I can just remember feeling so alone, even when surrounded by people that I loved and loved me.  I should have been with my husband in NC grieving for our child together.  Instead, I was in the Midwest and he was in the Mideast.  The last thing you want to do when you get to talk to your husband when he is at war is talk about sad things, or stressful things.  Part of a military spouse’s role is to uplift their soldier and keep their head where it needs to be to keep them safe.  So for 7 months I tried with all of my might to not let it be the center of attention, to not let it “bring him down.”  All the while, it was all I thought about, besides his safety, of course!  I can remember telling people that I honestly did not feel like I was going to be able to have children.  I just felt that there was something wrong with me.  I had myself prepared for adoption by the time he got home.  I had no doubt…I can’t have children!  Boy, am I glad that I’m not always right! 

One year and 3 days after my baby met Jesus, I found out I was pregnant again.  For the most part, I had an uneventful pregnancy.  He was born 5 weeks early, but was born healthy on November 1, 2007.  15 days shy of what would have been my first baby’s 1st Birthday. 

 

When I look at my son I realize how much we have missed with our first baby. We’ll never get to see him/her ( I like that much better than “it”) roll over, cut teeth, crawl, pull up.  I’ll never rock him/her to sleep, singing Jesus loves Me.  I don’t even know if it was a boy or a girl.  Blue eyed like Mommy, or brown like Daddy?  It just breaks my heart all over to think of what could and would have been.  I will never understand why God took our baby.  But, I will always, always, always be eternally grateful that he gave me a second chance. 

Reading Bring The Rain made me realize something that any person that grew up going to church 3x or more a week should have thought of right away.  It actually suprises me that I never thought of it, and NO ONE ever mentioned it to me.  Here it is…I WILL GET TO HOLD MY BABY ONE DAY.  For 2 1/2 years I have mourned the right to hold and kiss my sweet angel.  It was literally like…Holy Cow Kelli, someday, you are going to get to hold your baby.  Someday he or she will finally be in their mommy’s arms for the first time.  I don’t know why it had never dawned on me before that my Grandpas are up there holding and loving on my baby for me, that I have loved ones that are holding my sweet baby until it is my turn.  I feel so “SPIRITUALLY STUPID.”  I mean seriously, this isn’t some BOLD revelation.  But, the peace that washed over me the instant that I realized this, is unexplainable.  March 16 has always been marked as “the end” to me.  But, again I WAS WRONG!  God spoke to me through Angie (Bring the Rain) and showed me exactly what I needed to see.  His loving arms are always around me, and around my sweet angel baby.  He also reminded me that he too loves that baby and I know that he is watching over him/her until the day when He decides it’s time to bring me home as well.

 

So to my sweet baby, I love you and I miss you everyday.  I know that you are in loving arms and I cannot wait until the day when I can feel you in mine.  I can’t wait to see you run and play on streets of gold with your little brother.  I can’t wait to see you sit at Jesus’s feet, please save a good spot for Mommy.  I’ll be there in a twinkling of an eye my sweet angel baby, I promise.  I love you so much.  Love, Your Mommy. Read the rest of this entry »

I love my boy!

September 26, 2008

My Scrapblog

My new obsession

August 21, 2008

Although it is in it’s 10th season, Big Brother has never caught my attention, UNTIL THIS SEASON!  It really was by partial accident that I watched the season premiere.  Six months ago I knew absolutely nothing about this show/game.  Actually, my first encounter with BB was this past April.  One night around 11:30, I was at my friend Sheree’s house.  We were just talking and all of sudden I realized what was on the tv (which was muted).  I say “Sheree, are we watching some guy take a shower outside?”  She laughed and said, “Yeah, it’s Big Brother After Dark on Showtime.”  Since that was like a foreign language to me, she explained the game to me, and I was partially intrigued.  But, not enough to even watch the finale the following week. 

In July, I was at my parent’s house dog-sitting.  I was looking through their recorded show’s on their DVR, and saw Big Brother Season Premiere.  *Lightbulb*  I remember that show!  It seemed like the type of show that, number 1…I probably wouldn’t like (I don’t watch ANY reality tv), and 2…it seemed like the type of show that you couldn’t just pick up mid-season and start watching.  I made the fateful decision that I would watch the 1st episode, and see how it goes.  That’s my theory, you read the first chapter, if it doesn’t grab you then move on!  So, I just applied it to this situation.

I came home from watching the 1st episode, and watched the 2nd show that night at home on TV!  I WAS/AM HOOKED!  Now, if you are a BB fan, then I know you know what I mean when I say HOOKED.   But, let me let you in on my definition of hooked, may I?  

I not only watch it 3 nights a week (which is alot for me, because honestly I watch 3 shows a week, 1x each).  I don’t watch TV, I watch cartoons!!!!  I also find myself reading about it on blogs, and BB websites.  And, if I am being totally honest here, I have to tell you that yes, I watch the 24/7 live feeds on the internet.  Not 24/7, but they are atleast up on my computer during waking hours. They’re there to atleast give me something to walk by and get me a good dose of voyeurism.  This is not normal for me.  I don’t get this into stuff, but this has got me.  I do realize that I have missed what most would call, “the best seasons.”  But, I just like how real it is, unscripted, uncut (well the live feeds aren’t edited anyway).  I just really, really like it!  10 years past it’s prime, but oh well!

If you aren’t a BB fan, then I’m assuming you are wondering why you are still reading.   And also what the heck I’ve gotten myself into!!  Ha.

So, now you know it’s possible that I may randomly talk about this new found hobby, I’m anticipating a very random blog here, so as they say on Big Brother….”EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.”  Please bare with me, for I am very new at this blogging thing, and not too good at it, to boot! 

Try, Try Again, right??

 

I leave you with this….an awesome inside look at the production of Big Brother 10.

Thanks for reading.

Hello world!

August 20, 2008

So, I’ve been secretly reading random people from my past’s blogs.  I’m quite fascinated with the idea of sharing the thoughts in my brain at random moments in my life.  Everyday I keep telling myself that I should start one myself.  I feel like I have something to say.  Maybe it won’t be profound, but it’ll be something.  So, here’s to my first post!! 

My life really isn’t that interesting at all.  But, fortunately, I have a 9 month old son, and he fills my day with all kinds of excitement.  Sometimes that is in the form of giggles and sometimes it’s a poopy diaper!!  😛  (Real exciting, and sometimes colorful)  So, mainly I think that this will be my outlet, and also my memory keeper for all my awesome experiences with Tanner.  Honestly, I don’t really expect anyone to read this, with the obvious exception of grandparents that can’t get enough!!!!  (We love you!)  But, to them and to any other random reader, like myself, thanks for reading!  I hope to keep you entertained! 

Here’s a little something to make you smile! 

Unless, you are my husband, and then I know what you’re saying…”Get that pretty pretty princess ball out of his hand!” Hehe   Good Job Aunt Becky!

This is Tanner, he's what it's all about!

He's what it's all about!

Stay tuned for more!