Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Switching the Clothes - The Reality

I, by no means, start at 8 am and finish X amount of time later. I have a preschooler and a toddler! I pick up a box of clothes in time to hear "I'm hungry" (even though we just cleaned up breakfast). So, I put down the box and attend the hunger, then I go back to the box, in time to see Gator climbing the new boxes in the living room. I take her down, explain that we don't climb boxes...try to get her playing with some toys, turn back to box one...Baby Gilr wants me to look at the Winnie-the-Pooh puzzel that she has finished all by herself (for the millionth time)...before I can get back to box one...I smell something foul from Gator...go to change her diaper...get to box one...I get it opened this time, but pull nothing from it, Gator is rolling around the floor rubbing her eyes...NAP TIME...go lay Gator in her bed...get back to the opened box one...Bbay Girl asks for a banana (who can say no to healthy snacks!)...get the banana..."not like a monkey Mama, I want to eat it cut up"...return to kitchen to fix Mama's mistake...always offer snack whole, it is easier to cut a banana that is whole, than trying to make a cut up banana whole! (Again, learned it the hard way)...now panic sets in...Gator will only sleep 20 mins at best, but she will also sleep for 2 hours..and I know not which she will do from day to day...I want to make progress on the clothes! So I dig in and start emptying clothes, moving from baox to box as quickly and qietly as possible...once Baby Girl realsizes that I am doing something she will need something or she will want to help, as happy as I am that she likes to have a "job" it slows me down to slower than snail pace! And I know as soon as Gator wakes up she will be hungry, so what will be for lunch??? Leftovers, yes, leftovers...wait did Daddy take the leftovers for lunch? put clothes down and check fridge...good leftovers are there!! Back to clothes...wait did I pull out something fro supper? put clothes down...head to kitchen to take inventory...looks like frozen pizza tonight....back to clothes...was that Gator??? No, Baby Girl has gone to watch some cartoons in Mama's room...good, I can blow through some boxes before Gator wakes up....did I turn on the dishwasher after I loaded it last night? put clothes down, and go check...nope, start dishwasher....head back to clothes...augh, I hear Gator...go get her from her bed and get lunch warmed up...offer food to Baby Girl...she's not hungry, all that snacking while Gator was sleeping...get Gator started, turn back to clothes and boxes so that I can get some done while Gator is contained in her high chair....Mama just wants to sit and take a break...no rest for the weary...must get these clothes at least switched out of the boxes, maybe not back into the closet, but at least as neat as possible so that when Daddy gets home from a long day of fighting crime that he doesn't want to lock me up for leaving a mountain of clothes for him to relax in while I am at dance...Gator is done...let her down...and she goes right for the clothes and starts pulling the piles down...she smiles, great, it is now a game to her....I get her attention diverted...but she is quickly climbing up the boxes and the sofa...ok, enough for today...lets sit and play...glance at clock...nope, time to pack snacks for dance classes (Baby Girl and Gator spend 2 hours at the dance studio while I teach...and it is right through supper time), lunch bag packed, Gator smells again, change that....head to the bedroom to get Mama dressed for dance class..pick out clothes for Gator and get her dressed, find dance clothes for Baby Girl and get her dressed...why is Gator crying? Where is her milk sip, where did the brush go?? Mama starts yelling...Mama takes a deep breath...brush is found, milk is found, and shoes are on, bags picked up, head to the car...

Sigh, maybe I will get all the closets all changed over before summer really gets here (we don't get much spring weather here in the south...but lots of summer!!!)

Sorry, no pictures...just think boxes, clothes, EVERYWHERE!!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Just Made Potatoe Chips?!?!?

I have been doing things very differently lately...like trying to use what is in the house instead of saying "nothing to eat" and running to the grocery store.

Baby Girl wanted some chips...I had none on hand...

but I did have potatoes, a deep fryer, and a whole bunch of seasonings.

Gator was napping and I started slicing...and frying, and sprinkling, and well...I am no commercial chip maker, but they weren't bad...and I am sure I will get the hang of it...

for something that we do not eat often...because chips are so expensive...it wasn't bad...and I used what I had on hand...and Baby Girl said they were so yummy mommy!!!

Tried anything new lately??

Monday, April 4, 2011

Changing of the Closets

I change the girls' closet, and mine as well, from Spring/Summer to Fall/Winter, and back again. It is a good way to check on hand me downs, on sizes, on clothes that are needed and on what can be given away. Plus, I just do not have space for all of their clothes!

This is no easy task! But it is necessary. I have learned a few things to help make the switch a little easier, less dreaded.

Whenever I get clothes...whether it is a gift, a few items off clearance or a consignment sale, or a large batch of hand-me-downs...I always sort by size...which are then stored in empty diaper boxes, labeled by size. That is step one and a very important step...I learned that step the hard way...to change Baby Girl's closet the first few times it took me DAYS and DAYS and DAYS...then I got smart and had a clothing sort day with my sisters while I was pregnant with Gator!

Then step two - decide when to make the switch...the "last frost" day is estimated as March 15th...so I shoot for that as my switch date...and in the fall its around October. I pull out every box out of the closet. I stack boxes all over the living room. I try to keep the boxes I haven't dealt with yet on one side and then move them to the other side of the room as I deal with them, so that as I am interrupted (and I will be interrupted) I will know which boxes are finished and which need to be gone through. I will also empty all the clothes off the hanging rack in the closet.

Step three - decide what sizes will be used this season...make a choice, stick with it. Baby Girl has a small waist...summer she tends to where a smaller size because length is a non-issue. Gator, I will give a bigger range since I am not sure how her growth spurts are affecting her yet. But stick with that size...if it is cute, but not in the sizes you've choosen...pack it in the correct box...move on...make this easy!

Step four - pick a box and start taking out the clothes that are going back into the closet for that season. I make two piles...one for Baby Girl and one for Gator. Continue until all boxes have been gone through in the sizes that were chosen in step 3...look at tag move on.

Step five - take clothes that are going into storage and pack away according to size (VERY IMPORTANT!) I always just want to get my living room back from the clothes, but I know that if I don't pack according to size I will hate myself in 6 months!

Step six - put boxes back into closet. Hang clothes.

Step seven - sit and enjoy a cup of coffee...or your beverage of choice.

Wow! Didn't realize how many steps there were!! I guess that is why it takes me awhile to actually finish! I do keep 2 empty bins in the bottom of the girls closet year round...one is for clothes that are outgrown during the season, the other is for clothes that were for the last season and were in the wash cycle while the switch was being made. When it is time to switch again, I will sort those 2 boxes by size and repeat the whole process. And of course, Murphy's Law...I began the switch and the next day it went below freezing during the night!

Keep watching and I will post what those steps look like in action!!!

CVS trip 3/8/11

Yikes! I was so rushed last night...dance pictures, raining, CVS out of one of my planned ECBs builders, multiple trips to unload car, supper time...needless to say I forgot to take a picture of the trip...and this was a good one! I had a transaction that had a $0.00 subtotal....I just had to pay tax...I was so excited! And ready to plan next weeks trip, milk and coke products on sale!  Can't wait!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Why Clutter is NOT Cool

As I prepare to do our taxes...which by the way I have been trying to do since all my 1099 and W-2 came in week ago...I have to gather all the receipts and such...and it is just a task I dread...actually doing the taxes doesn't bother me.

I have a basket that I toss all the "I have got to get to that soon" papers in...it is piled about a foot and a half higher than the basket.

I spent Gator's nap going through this said basket....trash...taxes...coupons...get to that soon...

After I had my 4 piles, I put away said piles. As I was going through the coupons, I wanted to KICK myself...no they weren't expired...but I had some that I could have used on my last trip to CVS...are you kidding me?? I could have saved $2 more!! Augh!

And in my world of little income, that $2 is a LOT of money...one outfit from a consignment sale, or nearly a gallon of milk, or a pack of cheese, or some sale meat, or 2 packs of frozen veggies, or ... I have to stop...

So, get to your getting to box and get rid of the clutter!!! Let us know what you find!!! I know you will be amazed!

And, no, I still haven't gotten to the taxes, and no, I haven't gotten rid of the clutter...ah, the chaos we call life!

Monday, March 28, 2011

CVS Trip 3/1/11

Getting pretty good at this "game"...but I know I have so much more to learn. Here is a picture of my trip from a few weeks ago...(getting better with coupons, still along way to go with blogging!!!)

Today I had 5 transactions....in 8 minates at the register...so not too bad....and I let someone behind me go ahead (this keeps other cutomers and the cashier happy...good gaming ettiquette).

  • Transaction #1 - saved $1.35, OOP (out of pocket) - $5.77 
  • Transaction #2 - saved $6.15, OOP - $1.06
  • Transaction #3 - saved $22.57, OOP - $25.13
  • Transaction #4 - saved $21.37, OOP - $8.93
  • Transaction #5 - saved $10.05, OOP - $0.89
I am only buying things that I would normally buy, that have Extra Bucks attached so that I can roll then to the next transaction. I did match up some coupons from the past few Sunday's papers. I don't have a printer, so I don't use printable coupons. So, that being said I might have been able to do better...but my goal is to save money...not necessarily get all the EB (Extra Bucks) in the store.

I did scan for coupons at the CVS coupon machine...none would have helped me on this trip so I am putting them into the coupon envelope for possible use later.

I have found that, my hubby goes through about 5 2 liters in a week, we use 9 rolls of the good toliet paper in about 25 days...which will make planning easier for future trips...I want to save money remember!?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stormy Times

True southern weather...two weeks ago so much snow we can't function...then a week of really nice spring weather...then up at midnight running to the basement to take cover from a possible tornado...just to wake up to much cooler weather, and a downed tree...

Here's how it happened...

We had a long night at the dance studio with pictures. We get home. I get the girls to bed really easy (should have known). I put a few things away, and head to bed myself. It was a windy night, but on our hill...this is not uncommon.

Dear hubby has been having some troubles sleeping lately....first a stomach virus, then a cough...so he was up watching some tv. The winds REALLY started to pick up, so he checked the local news...and sure enough our area was under a Tornado Warning.

Hubby comes and wakes me up, fills me in on the weather. I go into "Get Ready for a Tornado Mode". Let me mention here that I DO. NOT. LIKE. STORMS...I am overcome with so much fear I cannot calm myself...I shake and my heart beats so bad I think it is going to burst...every storm, every time.

Here is "Get Ready for a Tornado":
  • Panic, breathe, put on shoes
  • Panic, breathe, get Gator's milk and diapers and place next to basement door
  • Panic, breathe, get coat on
  • Panic, breathe, get Gator's car seat (sometimes she is easy to contain during a storm if she's buckled in...and in my mind she is safer!)
  • Panic, breathe, get shoes for the girls and place in box with diapers and milk
  • Panic, breathe, get pillows and blankets off my bed and place by basement door
  • Panic, breathe, check the local news
As soon as Mr. Weather Man says, about a minute until the possible tornado is in my small town...Hubby decides to get the girls. In seconds, we are all in the basement..with the dogs who are sooooo happy to see the girls....with the girls who are bewildered to be out of bed (I mentioned it was midnight right??) and in no mood to play with the dogs!

We sit and wait and listen. Man do I hate those moments....the winds whipping around the house...bangs and bumps of unknown origin...the waiting to hear the house fall in on itself...my heart beating so hard in my ears...I try not to listen....I sit and rock Baby Girl....praying over and over...Please, Lord, keep us safe...

and until last night I never realized that I have always said "keep us safe". I don't pray that the storm leaves us with an untouched home or anything like that...I just want to get through the storm as safe as possible....another personal Whoa moment.

So, the winds subside, the satellite service is back, and Mr. Weather Man is telling us that it is safe to return the girls to bed. Which was way easier than I thought it would be...Baby Girl just wanted to know why we got her out of bed. (I just told her that the Weather Man said it was safer in the basement...I try not to transfer my fears to the girls)

We get the girls snuggled back into bed, I close my eyes...and then I jump out of bed!! Around 3 am, the worst noise I have ever heard in my life threw me from my bed...CHAINSAWS! Apparently a very large tree had fallen during the storm and was blocking the street...I am glad that the town or county or whoever felt so good that they wanted to be sure that everyone could get to work and school....but really? 3 am?? and this tree fell, blocking the road, right in front of our house...it sounded as if they were cutting the tree in my bedroom!

ok, so it doesn't look as big in the picture...I zoomed in and left off the top...but this tree is large!

My prayer quickly changed to..."Please don't let Gator wake up, please don't let Gator wake up"

She didn't wake up and they soon finished, and quiet returned to our little home...and I fell asleep, not to wake until the usual morning Gator wake up call.

What Stormy Times have you been going through?