As much as I despise McDonald's and would avoid eating there at all costs, they are currently on my good list. On Tuesday nights from 5-7 pm they offer half priced kids meals. There is a limit of 4 kids meals per transaction. So, you can get a hamburger kids meal for $1.30. We can feed our family on about $5. We sneak and get ourselves a mighty kids meal. Like I mentioned earlier, I HATE the food; however, I join my kids in the fun and choke down a happy meal. Every mother needs a vacation from the kitchen and if McDonald's is my ticket, so be it! I think I will be looking forward to Tuesdays from now on.
Since I posted the slide show of my digital scrapbook pages, many have written asking questions. I decided the best way to answer the basic questions is to post it. But, before I go any further, I owe my addiction to my cousin Michelle. She introduced this into my life and rescued my sanity! I am her "little copy cat" because her hobbies are now my hobbies. THANKS Michelle! She has started a little craft boutique, so click on her link on my blog, then the craft link on her blog to check it out. For digital scrapbooking, I use Adobe Photoshop CS2. It is quite spendy, but well worth the investment. You can also you Adobe Elements which is much cheaper. My sister found it on eBay for about $30. There are other programs you can use; however, I am not familiar with any of them. As far as the digital scrapbooking kits, there are TONS of sites out there that offer freebies. I have not paid for any kit that I have and I probably have 300+ kits. (Thanks for sharing Jen!) The average kit includes: papers, ribbons, frames, brads, bows, embellishments, etc.
My favorite sites to download digital scrapbooking kits are listed below: www.peppermintcreative.com (monthly freebie, click on downloads) www.shabbyprincess.com (quarterly freebies) www.digitalscrapbookingfreebies.com (monthly freebie) www.digitalfreebies.com (Friday freebies) www.twopeasinabucket.com (click on Digital Scrapbooking, Digital kits, Freebies) www.digiscrapdepot.com (daily freebies...95% junk, but has some cute) www.happyscrapgirl.blogspot.com (daily freebies...95% junk, has some cute) *The Two Peas in a Bucket website also has free fonts that you can download.
Once I have completed my pages, I print my books off through www.winkflash.com. They run promotions on their books. You can get an unlimited (up to 100 pages) book for a flat rate of $19.95. With shipping included it is $26.94. WOW...for a 100 page scrapbook! That is really cheap. You don't have to buy your paper supplies and you don't have to print off any pictures because it is all done on the computer. Another thing I love about it is, if you were to buy a piece of paper at a scrapbook store, you would go home and use it, and then have to buy more. But, with digital scrapbooking, you can use the kits you download over and over and over again. Plus, did I mention they are FREE! I finally found a hobby I love and fits our budget...or lack of! If you are really interested in getting started, buy the program, download some kits, and then email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will call and help you get going. If you feel stupid emailing/calling me because we may not know each other that well...your loss! It is really a lot more simple than it looks. If I can do it, anyone can. I love doing this and would LOVE to help you get started as well because as my cousin Michelle would say...it is CHEAPER than THERAPY!
I would like to think that we are pretty clean people. I have a little of what some would call the "neat freak" syndrome. I LOVE things in their place and when they are moved even the slightest, I fix it. I am a huge fan of "Friends", the old t.v. show, and related myself a lot to Monica...an obsessive cleaner...a vacuum to clean the vacuum...you get the idea. Anyways, I am starting to feel extremely squished in our tiny, two bedroom, 1100 sq. foot apartment. Conrad has suggested moving multiple times in the last few months; however, he graduates in December and I don't want to move just to pack up and move again. So we're sticking it out! I came home from a baby shower last weekend and Conrad was going through his closet. *Timeout: I have been waiting for Conrad to do this for months. I have tried making D.I. piles from his clothes before...well, he catches me and 95% goes back in the closet before I can sneak out the door. He is sort of a minor pack rat. I LOVE you babe! Okay...back to the story...he started a mad cleaning, de-cluttering, organizing frenzy. I hate "Spring" cleaning, as they call it, because you end up making a bigger mess than what you started with. Moral of our story...we can now shut the doors to our dresser. We have extra hangers in our closet. Our shoes each have their own place on a shoe rack. We can actually see under the bed. And, the vacuum no longer acts as a coat rack in our coat closet. SIGH! That was tough work!
I went to the dentist for a teeth cleaning a couple weeks ago. We received an "explanation of our benefits" letter from our insurance company which is pretty common after we have a dental, doctor, etc., so I didn't think anything of it. WRONG! Backstabbing, money making insurance company...don't want to name any names...but if your thinking United Health Care, you are right. It stated that our service was denied. I figured something had to have been entered incorrectly because our dental insurance covers two cleanings a year. Conrad called our dental office inquiring about the denial. It just so happens that I had my teeth cleaned a couple days before my six month mark. Our insurance only covers cleanings every six months (to the day...in small, fine print). So, we are stuck with paying the bill. "It's only $110. And because we have a contract with United Health Care we give a discount so really you are still getting a great deal," states the lady at the dental office who takes care of the policies. Why pay $110 when we should have gotten for free? I understand that the policy is between us and the insurance company and not the dental office. But, we are NOT paying the money and are putting our game face on. On your mark, get set....APPEAL!
I have a huge phobia of snakes. They make my skin crawl. But, yet, as odd as it sounds, they intrigue me (from a distance, of course). My sister-in-law sent this picture to me in an email. I thought it was magnificent, in a gross, creepy kind of way. This picture was taken from Western Australia by some rock climbers. The snake is pulling a cow...I repeat...a cow, out of the water. Pay attention to the size of the snake. YIKES!Rock Climbing, anyone?
You know when you buy a product and they always want you to buy insurance or an extended warranty on it. I HATE that. Is the product so bad that they have to offer a "backup" for when it breaks, or are they trying to get more money out of your pocket. I vote the second answer. I never purchase "extended" anything. I'll take my chances. Well, today I did just that. I was at a friends house and had to use the bathroom. Every thing went smooth and normal until I flushed the toilet and heard a "plop"! I look down as my cell phone....pause....SCREAM!....okay, now we can move on...is caught in a circular motion and headed for the dreadful unknown. I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and had my phone in the front pouch. STUPID! When I purchased my phone plan, they (Verizon), asked if I wanted insurance in case my phone was accidently washed or dropped in the toilet. "No thanks. Who does that anyways?! Irresponsible people!" I discovered that maybe they aren't just trying to make more money off of me, but they realize that consumers can be THAT stupid! So, here I sit waiting to see if my phone will come back to life or if I am going to purchase a new one. In the mean time, don't call because I CAN'T answer it! Maybe this time when they ask me if I want the insurance I'll say, "Yes, please!" Nah, I think I'll take my chances!
As a wife and mother of two, you find that you need an "out". For some people it may be reading a book in a bubble bath and for others it may be going shopping with girlfriends. My out is my weekly volleyball game. I have been playing on a city volleyball league and loving every minute of it. I am old and not as capable as I was in high school, but I love the sport the same. Two of our games this season were at 9:30 p.m. We had a couple games at this time last season and due to my situation...husband working nights...I was not able to attend because my kids have a bedtime of 8:30ish. Well, this season, I have missed two other games because of sick kids, so I decided to be selfish and take them with me (some of the other husbands that attend the game watch them for me). Poor Jax. He was crying to go to bed before we even left the house. Which in most cases is a good thing for a mother that a child is wanting to go to bed (usually we can't wait for that time of day/night). Anyways, I took my kids in their pajamas...bad, selfish mom I know, but, it makes me happy and in turn will make them happy, right?! It was our last season game (unless we make it to the tournament...keep your fingers crossed for us...Go Aamco Attack!). It was the worst referee I have ever had, but I won't get into that much. That's another post. It didn't help that our ref plays on a different team in our division. I was really discouraged at the way the game was playing out and I looked over and Maycie is standing on the side lines clapping her hands and yelling "go Mommy"! How do they do it? In a single moment they can make you realize how lucky you are. The game was just a game, but I had my daughter cheering me on. Usually your kids want you to be proud of them, but, I realized, it felt great knowing she was proud of me. In the midst of every day life as a mom and through the ups and downs, I think I need a little cheering on from my little cheerleader, "go Mommy!"
P.S. - I'm the one right over Maycie's shoulder (your left) bent down under the net. And the "meany", rotten ref is right above her head.
Copy and paste to your own post. Rules of the game are that you have to answer the question but you can't repeat anyone else's answer. Make sure you copy and paste the previous answers. At the end of the questions. So, my answers are the first, the person who tagged me, etc. tag 3 people.
Name something you use in the shower. Water, Washcloth
Name something people hate to find on their windshield. Flyers, Bird poop
Name something a man might buy before a date. Tank of gas, Flowers
Name another word for blemish. ZIT, Pimple
Name something you'd cook in the microwave. Easy Mac, Bottle
Name a piece of furniture people need help moving. Bed, Piano
Name something a dog does that embarrasses its owner. Licks its own butt, Poops in someone else's yard
Name a kind of test you cannot study for. Life, Parenthood (only those of you without kids question whether this is a test!)
Name something a boy scout gets a badge for. Swimming, Archery?
Name a phrase with the word "home" in it. Home is where the heart is, Love at home
Name a sport where players lose teeth. Hockey, Boxing
Name something a teacher can do to ruin a student's day. No recess, Give them a pop quiz
Name a bird you wouldn't want to eat. Ostrich, Seagull
Name something that gets folded. Money in a wallet, Clothes
Name something a person wears even if it has a hole in it. Nylons (sshh!), Socks
Name something that gets smaller the more you use it. Checking account, Eraser
I have so many days when I am in a rotten mood, depressed, and discouraged. I get frustrated that my job is never ending. I am tired of cleaning...or in my case...re-cleaning the house. The dishwasher is always full and there are still dirty dishes in the sink. My laundry basket is always full. It blows my mind. Some days, I just want to run away. When your career is a SAHM (stay at home mom) it is really hard to measure your success. You don't get a pay check, paid time off, or even quarterly bonuses. And, now days, society doesn't really consider what you do is important. BUMMER! But, then, you look in to the eyes of your child and embrace their smile and you realize...IT IS WORTH IT! Maybe I'll wait and runaway tomorrow! jk
You know those people at church who have a hard time keeping their child quiet during church. They spend part of sacrament meeting, most of Sunday school, and ALL of Relief Society/Elder's Quorum in the hall trying to tame a child who is screaming to get down and crawl around. Well, we are those people. Sometimes I wonder why we go to church. AARRGGHH! We can't wait for September 14, 2008...Jaxon attends nursery...poor nursery leaders! Only 23 more Sundays to go...BRING IT ON!
Let's go back in time, say about one year. Con and I were in the hospital where I had just given birth to our little boy. My mom and dad bring Maycie to see the new baby. My mom walks in and has this look on her face like somebody died. She says, "Mandie, I went to feed your frog last night, and it wasn't in the bowl." (We had the little African dwarf frogs that live in a fish bowl). Hhmm! What do you mean it wasn't in the bowl? It must have jumped out and ventured off to froggy land because we still have not found it, nor smelt it! My poor mom stressed over a $2.39 frog.
Anyways, the Anderson family has grieved and mourned for the last year. We finally feel we can accept the fact that our old frog is gone, and get a new one. So, we did. Maycie's first pet (we had the last one before she was born, so technically, it wasn't hers). We asked her what she wanted to name it, "Frog!" Wow, Maycie, that one's original, you're a creative thinker! We also got a female beta to keep it company. Nobody likes to be alone. Anyways, I went to go get my camera (it was a scrapbook moment...Maycie's first pet), and when I came back, she had her arms around the bowl. "Maycie, what ya' doin'?" "Giving frog a hug." Oh, isn't that sweet. I am just waiting for the day when I walk into the kitchen and she is doing just that...without the bowl...YIKES!
Jaxon had his one year baby wellness check yesterday. He weighed 19.8 lbs. He is in the 10th percentile for his weight, 50th for his height, and 90th for his head (no surprise there). The doctor highly encouraged me to sit him 5-6 times throughout the day to eat. Are you FREAKIN' kidding me?! This kids eats more in one meal than Maycie does all day. If I feed him anymore, the USA is going to become a third world country because there won't be enough food to go around! There is no exaggeration when I say he is half of our grocery bill alone (it doesn't help that he is still hooked on Gerber foods). If the doctor wants me to sit him for a feeding 5-6 times a day, she can come the other 2-3 times a day. I don't get a whole lot done in most days anyway, and you add 2-3 more feedings onto that...there is no hope for me! Oh, this story gets better (worse for Jaxon). Our pediatrician's nurse is now a black male. It is the first male nurse we have had, EVER. No worries or problems there, until he starts to give him his shots. Usually, the nurses pin the child's leg in between the table and their own body, right? No, not him. I remember thinking as I tucked my head next to Jaxon's ear to whisper comfort, "That ain't gonna work for this kid". And, I was right. Jaxon's legs were flying and flopping and the poor nurse was trying to grab them and hold them still long enough to give the shot. Well, needless to say, by the time he was done giving the 3 shots, blood was streaming down both legs (usually you don't see an ounce). Jaxon was screaming so hard he couldn't catch his breath. The bandaids on both legs were saturated with blood within 5 minutes. Poor kid! He'll thank me later, I hope. The only thing I like about my kids getting their shots is after the nurse is done, they leap into your arms and they cling onto you and for just a few moments, they don't want to let go, because for a single moment, YOU ARE THE NICE ONE!
Maycie found my makeup drawer. It is really hard to get mad at her when she puts makeup on HERSELF because her reply is, "But, mommy I look like a beautiful princess". Yes, my love, you do....but your still in trouble!
I have nothing spectacular to say nor a cute picture of my family to post. There was no exciting event that happened this weekend (except listening to the prophet). Boring, right? Well, I have been thinking about it and I am kind of glad. Boring and normal is nice for a change. To have nothing going on (except the daily routine) feels really nice. I'll even let you in on an Anderson family secret...we had a pajama day today! It felt great. I get so caught up in staying busy with my gazillion projects and keeping my house clean that I forget to stop and "live in the moment" like we were taught yesterday (I don't recall who said it). So, today, I have read books, played with puzzles, sang songs, flown a kite, and watched Alvin and the chipmunks (the movie), and even took a family nap in "mom and daddy's bed". My dishwasher needs to be unloaded, the laundry switched, garbages taken out, carpet vaccumed, and the toilets scrubbed, but for today, it doesn't matter...it will still be there tomorrow!
Maycie has been doing "chores" (remember she's only 2 1/2). She unloads the silverware from the dishwasher, picks up her toys, and helps her dad take out the garbage. When she does these things, she gets some money to put in her jar. Side note: I am really glad she doesn't recognize the difference between a nickel, dime, quarter, and penny. That way, I can just give her what ever I have in my purse or pocket. So, she might receive a penny for unloading the silverware. I know what you are thinking....overworked and underpaid. I feel the same way sometimes! Anyways, her jar was getting full so we decided to go to the store (Dollar Tree) and she could pick her prize. Of all the fun toys (in a child's eyes...parents just see it as cheap junk), she chose a baby doll. She already has about 6, but I told her she could choose and as a parent you suffer the consequences of allowing them their free agency. She hasn't put the baby down. She rocks it, loves it, etc. Well, it HAD to come to my volleyball game with us last night. I told her no, but Maycie insisted that "my baby will be a good girl!" How do you say no to that. After we got back from my game, she tucked it in bed. We woke up this morning and the first thing she does is pick her baby up. Then she turns to me and says, "mommy, it is time for baby's nap". I got thinking to myself...wouldn't that be a great day...to have your kids wake up, give you a love and a kiss and then it is already time for nap. Maybe my list of things to do that day wouldn't go from 10 to 15, instead maybe 10 to 5. WOW...only in my dreams!
Conrad had Spring Break last week so we ventured to Maycie's favorite vacation spot...GRANDMA's. We went bowling with her cousins. She loved it. It was the first time she had ever bowled. Every time the ball starting roll down the lane, she would jump up and down. Once the pins fell, she would turn around and give us a big thumbs up...along with an ear to ear smile.
Conrad's grandparents celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary (50 years) while we were there. I have been married for 4 1/2 years now....holy cow...50! I love being married, but it definitely has its ups and downs. Congrats to them! Anyways, there children put together an open house to celebrate. My mother-in-law was in charge of the refreshments so I was in the kitchen helping her (150+ people showed up...so I was busy...sort of). It was held at the church house and they opened the nursery room for all the grandkids to play in during the open house. While I was helping Con's mom, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a little boy pushing another little boy in a "toy grocery cart". My first thought was, holy crap! Then my second thought was HOLY CRAP...that is my son being pushed. Jaxon's cousin had put him in the cart and was racing him down the hall. Needless to stay, he was quite startled and not appreciative of his cousins imagination.