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Thursday, August 20, 2009


I wanted to repost this per Whitaker's post on how much she has saved with coupons at her local grocery store. This website has just about everything listed all over the country for you savy parents : ) Enjoy!

Grocery Coupons

Also a little tid bit that I did not know is (and I love shopping at Target), Target will accept the Target coupon plus the manufacture coupon on the same product, so you can either use just the manufacture coupon OR get a double coupon bonus!

Check out my new side menu bar under coupons for more savings!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Entertainment For The Road

As parents one of the big things you have to think about when taking a trip with younger kids, especially a long trip, is how to entertain your kids for the car ride. I remember and appreciate the things my parents used to do for me during long car trips to my Grandparents house. I have thought of some other ideas and perhaps you can share some of your ideas with me.

For this trip, I am going to purchase one of those travel tables that attach to the car seat. It will sort of resemble the one pictured below. This will allow my son to play with his little car toys (he likes to line them up), color (his new favorite thing) and have various snacks. Snacks were a huge consideration for the road and for when we arrive. To ease the burden a bit on having to bring large containers of goldfish that will probably end up spilling all over the car, we decided to buy some individual packs to save us a little bit of trouble. Thankfully Target had a great sale on packets of goldfish, cheese mix crackers and little chocolate chip cookies.

My son loves to have us point things out while we're on the road. Be it farm animals, a big truck (that will be easy on 95) or something interesting. I remember as a kid my parents who knew the landmarks going up to my Grandparents house and would show me the barn that would "smile" (it had two windows up top and a big barn door that faced the road)and the lake made of jello (not really but I believed it and always wanted to stop there. Thankfully I can remember some cool things on 95 to point out to him...if he's awake.

I will also be giving a small present to my son for the road trip. Something under $5 that will keep him occupied as he opens it (I'll wrap it to make it more special) and since it is new hopefully that will entertain him for a while as we travel down the road.

Lastly and THANK GOD, I will be storing DVDs in the car for my little guy. I feel so lucky to have a DVD player for him as he can watch his favorite show, Sesame Street. I wish I had such things when I was a kid to entertain me for an hour or so at a time, but when I got older Game Boy kept me busy enough.

Planning a road trip with kids certainly is an adventure. You have to think about so many things and ways to entertain them. We'll of course make several stops to stretch our legs and let the little guy run around. Hopefully he'll sleep most of the way through it. Do you have any great ideas on how you entertain your kids on long trips?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Packing...everything BUT the kitchen sink

Soon my family and I will be heading out for our summer vacation. I have ONE child and yet my list is a mile long of things that I need to do before the vacation and things to bring with me on our vacation. I remember when my husband and I could each pack a small suitcase for a ten day vacation, and hit the road at whatever hour, but that is now a distant memory.

Perhaps some of you are not list makers, but I am. That has been pretty clear throughout this blog as I write lists for practically anything. When I became a Mom, the list making thing came in full swing. I do it more or less out of necessity because I will forget things. I am a Mom that is tired the majority of the time and has about a billion things running through my head all day and everyday. Forgetting something is quite easy for me in this day in age if it is not written down.

Perhaps this may bore you or interest you, but seriously...this is my list and yes I check each one off as it is completed.

Before we leave:
~Take all garbage out of the house (empty all trashcans)
~Take the diaper pail garbage out of the house
~Take the dogs to my parent (cages and pills)
~Pick up the mail (we do this once a week if not less)
~Look around for crumbs/trash around the house that would attract bugs and remove.
~Do a quick vacuum of house (in case didn’t see crumbs)
~Make sure all dishes are washed
~Tidy up the house for a nice return home (my husband and I both love a clean home to return to)

Son's List:
~ Dozen outfits
~ Jacket
~ Long Pants
~ Two PJs (one additional warm one)
~ Swim trunks
~ Little Swimmer diapers
~ Beach Towel
~ Johnson’s shampoo
~ Infant Motrin
~ Hair Brush
~ Bottle cleaner
~ Soap for sippy cups
~ Sippy Cups (three)
~ Snacks
~ Bibs
~ Travel booster seat
~ Pack and Play
~ Extra sheet
~ Two blankets
~ Diapers
~ Extra Wipes
~ Sun Hat
~ Diaper Bag
~ Back pack (for Beach)
~ Sunscreen (face and body)
~ Umbrella Stroller
~ Ride on Toy
~ Grover doll for comfort
~ Books
~ Small cars
~ Ball
~ Bucket/shovel (for the beach)
~ sunglasses

Family List:
~ Two beach towels
~ Large Beach Towel
~ Husband's swim suit
~ My swim suit
~ Jacket for me
~ Jacket for husband (or something warm)
~ Long pants for both
~ First Aid Kit (Band Aids/Neosporin)
~ Tweezers
~ Small Scissors (somehow I always use them)
~ Skin So Soft (best bug repellent ever)
~ Shampoo/Conditioner
~ Body soap
~ Wash sponge thingy
~ 8 outfits for husband
~ 8 outfits for me
~ Sleepwear for me (lounge pants and shirt)
~ Trash bag for Dirty clothes
~ Sunscreen
~ My Make up
~ Extra contacts
~ Contact Solution
~ Sunglasses for both
~ My wallet or at least ID.
~ Advil
~ Laptop
~ Laptop charger
~ Camera
~ Snack stuff for us
~ Soda for car ride
~ Small Cooler
~ Thermos
~ Sandals (for both) maybe two pair
~ Tennis shoes (for both)
~ Socks
~ Underwear (yes I could forget)
~ Bra
~ Extra razor blade
~ Tooth brush
~ Tooth paste
~ Q-Tips
~ Hair Ties (obviously for me)
~ Brush
~ Deodorant (for both)
~ Extra blanket (I always get cold)
~ Vapor Rub
~ Aloe
~ USB Camera Cable
~ Camera Battery charger
~ Tampons (lets hope not but watch it will show up)
~ Cell phone charger

Even after all of that. I wonder if I forgotten something or if I could of remembered something that would of made this or that easier for us. I think I have mostly everything covered, but seriously...I am glad I have a large car that fits all of this stuff. I just can't not wait till vacation : ) At least this lists will cut down a tad...after I'm packed and ready to go. : )


I know there are plenty of people, Moms, or soon to be Moms out there that would never even think of ever owning a minivan. I used to be one of them as I thought having a "Mommy Van" was just not my style. Then I had a kid and witnessed so many other moms struggling less getting their kids in the car, groceries or other items tossed into it and having actual room to spare with their minivans. Once I saw that there were automatic side doors to these things by just pressing a button from a key ring...forget about it, the damn thing won me over.

After my husband (the car expert) did some research and shopping around, he brought home my beloved nearly fully loaded minivan, a Honda Odyssey. It had a DVD player, navigation and automatic doors on BOTH sides (some makes only have one automatic door)and I was one happy camper. I can honestly say that I love my minivan. Even if my husband and I won a fantastic lottery, I would still be sporting a minivan. When you're a Mom or when you actually come to grips with reality, when things become more convenient for you, you tend to appreciate it a lot more.

Sure I could of had an SUV. We actually did have one and it was a pretty nice SUV. It just wasn't as convenient. With vans you have better gas mileage, tend to have better pick up, more room overall, a passenger in the front seat can easily navigate to the back to help out a screaming child and you get those awesome automatic doors. How I LOVE my automatic doors. SUVs just can't compare to the convenience of that. Sure they are a little cooler on the cool scale and some may have better pick up if you pay for it. I am just over trying to look cool for the person next to me on the road and my van doesn't need to do 0-60 in 4 seconds. It has plenty of pick up so I won't be killing myself or anyone traveling behind me while merging onto a highway. Plus, we aren't running the quarter mile people.

What I am trying to get at, is if you're in the market for a new car and could use more room and more convenience then check one out. You may surprise yourself. I could not imagine myself loving a van five years ago, but today I can't imagine not having it.


For all you Northern Virgina savy Moms, I have found a great place for you!

Little Lords and Ladies located in Chantilly, Virginia is one of the most fantastic consignment shops I have ever been to and I have been to my share of consignment shops. The scale of the shop is rather large as it has a section for new items (with tags) and a section for second hand items such as clothing, shoes, toys, and other various items. The store is also divided by boy clothes and girl clothes. The girl clothing section is almost overwhelming with racks up on racks divided by size (this a good thing) but it also has a fair share of boys clothing divided by size, which for me is awesome! Another great thing about this place it has a nice play area for smaller kids that is gated off so while you do some quick shopping (keeping one eye on the racks and one eye on your kids), your kid isn't completely bored with store. From what I can also tell, is this is also a family run shop and the staff there is very courteous.

This weekend I was able to walk away with over half my child's fall wardrobe. We got Janie and Jack items, Gymboree items and even a Burberry t-shirt for my little guy. I also found a nice winter jacket that looks barely worn for $5 and its probably worth nearly $50 brand new.

Its a definably a must see and saves a pretty penny!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Inconsiderate and Rude

There are things that just annoy me when I am out and about in the world either by myself or with my family. I wonder why people have this "entitlement" to themselves where they feel they are most important and the people around them aren't. Perhaps its the area I live but seriously what gives?

I don't understand

...why people won't hold the elevator for you when they see you coming.

...why people can make off color statements and not expect to get a reaction.

...why more and more Moms or just bitchy people use their shopping carts as a tool to push people out of there way.

...why people pick their nose or scratch their balls in meetings. Do you think we don't see you?

...why some people think that heating some nasty smelling food isn't going to impact an office area. Don't heat up fish, sour krout, and whatever else smells like butt.

...why some people think they know more about your kid then you do.

...why some people think just because they knew you when you were young that you still have the same mind capacity when you're an adult.

...why people try to throw other people under the bus for no apparent reason.

...why people don't apologize when they have done something wrong. It makes a difference!

...why people think they can preach the word but not abide by their own faith.

...why people can still be so prejudice against a last name. I guess you have an issue with jews?

...why people aren't genuinely honest but know how to tone it in the correct manner.

...why people don't ask more if they can help when you've always helped them.

...why people don't hold doors for someone, especially when you need them too.

...why bike riders HAVE to ride on the road. They slow up traffic and its annoying. There's a path nearby.

...when people make comments that what you eat is fattening. Yes its happened and I was eating reduced fat Wheat Thins...

...why people categorize a person because of their culture and talk badly about it when they know so little about it. Educate yourself. You may be surprised.

I've said it. ITs things that just annoy me or I think are just plain rude and inconsiderate.

Fun Website

I found a new website called ToddlerToddler. If you go to the right menu under List of Activities, there are just so many fun and interesting things and crafts to do with your toddler! Check it out!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Haves and Have Nots

I decided for an interesting and fun post today. I need some amusement while I am feeling out of sorts. Thanks to BU who inspired me on this one and to BB11 who inspired the title of this post.

20 Things I Have Never Done

1)I have never had a cavity.
2)I have never drank a cup of coffee (nor do I want to).
3)I have never tried a big mac.
4)I have never been inside The Monument or The Statue of Liberty.
5)I have never swam in the Amazon and after seeing the Oprah show with Dr. Oz and the "pee fish"... I never will because thats just nasty.
6)I have never tried Tabasco sauce.
7)I have never eaten a pickle.
8)I have never been hunting nor do I really want to. I would just feel bad.
9)I have never played with a Nintendo 64.
10) I have never read some of the classics like The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn or Robinson Crusoe.
11) I have never lived in more then three cities.
12) I have never like green peppers until I was pregnant and I still like them.
13) I have never liked mushrooms until my husband made them for me and now love them.
14) I have never saved a life.
15) I have never watched the sunrise (really watch it).
16) I have never eaten a pistachio but have sucked off the salt from the shells.
17) I have never purchased a cell phone or paid (well sort of) for a plan. My parents or husband always had.
18) I have never done my taxes. It has always been done for me.
19) I have never lived alone nor do I want to.
20) I have never fallen asleep without first thinking for a moment about the people I love.

20 Things I Have

1) I have had a knife pulled to my neck.
2) I have had a gun pointed at my head.
3) I have almost drowned and would have if my Dad and two other men didn't save me.
4) I have flown in a black hawk helicopter (w/ the doors opened)yet never been in the military.
5) I have gotten a nomination when I was in high school to attend West Point but didn't.
6) I have rapelled down a 100ft tower even with my fears of heights.
7) I have been ridiculed and/or had people prejudice against me because of my last name.
8) I have seen the KKK. (No I am not a member).
9) I have had a herd of cows run through my yard and never lived on or really near a farm.
10)I have memories of being inside my crib as a child.
11)I have rode in a car that had three flat tires in one night.
12)I have seen evil.
13)I have accidentally walked inside a mens bathroom, use the bathroom and then have a group of Hungarian men escort me out.
14)I have marched in a protest.
15)I have almost been trampled during a riot.
16)I have had a toboggan ride on the alps in Austria.
17) I have been to the Rock N'Roll hall of fame.
18) I have been to four other countries besides the USA.
19) I have enjoyed a fantastic authentic Louisiana Mardi Gras feast complete with crawfish.
20) I have been to the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Next One Will Be A Girl

Every Mom has had some one at some time ask that question on if you're going to have another kid. My reply is yes and for some reason it is usually followed up with some response that basically hopes that I have a girl as if I am missing out by not having one. I have to ask...why? Sure pink dresses, cute hair bows and doing "girl things" are fun, but whats wrong with boys? Why do they get the shaft? I just hope that God will give me more and that whatever I do have is healthy. The sex of the child just does not matter.

I think boys are great. Before I had my son I really never took care of a boy during all my babysitting years (at least a little boy). Having a son truly is wonderful. With my son, he looks and acts so much like his Dad. He has the same facial expressions, the same quietness with spurts of energy. He even organizes things just like his Dad does. My husband is the biggest organizer I know. I also blame the dramatic side of my son on that good old Russian temperament. I get to also witness the joy on my husband's face because he is so proud of his boy, his son. Although the two have a wonderful Father/Son relationship, you can also see a friendship emerging even at such a young age. They will sit together watching hockey or football (both cheering for goals or touch downs). They'll play cars, build awesome lego building (that my son loves to knock down) and read little Russian stories together. It truly is a beautiful thing to watch.

As a Mom, I couldn't be happier to raise a son. I get to mold this child. Help this little boy grow up in this crazy world. Show him how to treat and respect women and through my relationship with his Father, also let him see how a woman should treat a man. There is also a depth of compassion he will learn for all things such as animals and human beings. Let him know that chivalry isn't dead and that men should open doors for women or offer his coat (when he's older) if a girl is cold. My job is to teach him how to be a real man. A man that loves, that can cry, be strong and love his family and God unconditionally.

I always imagined myself having a herd (yes a herd) of boys. I imagine weekly trips to Costco as being our basic grocery store, having prepared meals actually appreciated and devoured in my house, wondering how to organize the piles of sports equipment and dirty, stinking tennis shoes and making that solid rule of NO reptiles or creepy crawlies being permitted in the house. If I do have a girl at some point during my life then I'll be happy too. Perhaps she'll be a tomboy like I was. Like I said, whatever God will give me will be a blessing.

Below I put some cute quotes I love about boys...enjoy : )

A boy is Truth with dirt on it's face,
Beauty with a cut on its finger,
Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair,
and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.
-- Author Unknown


A boy's will is the wind's will.
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Boys are God's way of telling you that your house is too neat!
-- Author Unknown


Mothers of little boys work from son up till son down!
-- Author Unknown


My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys."
--- Harmon Killebrew


My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
-- Mark Twain


Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys.
-- Author Unknown


Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.
-- Marc Brown


There are 3 stages in a man's life: 'My Daddy can whip you Daddy.' 'Aw, Dad, you don't know anything.' 'My father used to say . . .'.
-- Dwight McSmith


There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.
-- Mark Twain


There never has been, nor will there ever be, anything quite so special as the love between a mother and a son.
-- Author Unknown


To become a real boy you must prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish.
-- From "Pinnochio"


When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
--Author Unknown


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Are You Scared?

I thought when I became an adult that everything would change. It has for the most part. I manage bills, care for a toddler and work with my husband as team (God I love that man). I just thought that someday that I would magically like to drink endless amounts of coffee, love the taste of wine and not have scared irrational feelings when I became an adult. However, I still can't stand coffee (or really the smell of it for that matter). Wine to me is one of the nastiest beverages ever and I have silly spurts when I get scared of things.

Last night as I was trying to drift off to sleep, I swore I heard what sounded like a 12 piece jazz/swing band playing. Thumpty thump, thumpty thump with an occasional sound of brass instruments hitting a good beat. I checked to see if I saw the light from the television beaming up from the downstairs, but it was off. Our house was pitch black. Both my husband and my phones were turned off and we have no radio to speak of in our house. The noise wasn't coming from a car stereo outside, so what the heck? I asked my sleepy sick husband if he heard anything. He is the first to hear any sort of noise and told me no. Okay, then I must be going crazy because I hear a band playing. After ten minutes of thinking I was OUT of my mind, my sleepy husband told me that he now heard the noise but it was so distant that he doesn't know why its bothering me and promptly went back to sleep. Then my imagination got the best of me.

Was there some crazy man in the attic hanging out listening to music? Was there some ghost messing with my head? I mean come on band music on at 11 o'clock at night? I don't have old neighbors and on either side of me they have relatively young kids so they wouldn't be blasting music at such a late hour anyways. So I did what any scared human being would do, I put a pillow over my head to drown out the noise and snuggled next to my husband. He'd protect me if anything started happening or at least I'd be able to be close enough to hit him to wake up so he could.

I know it all sounds silly. I rationalize that nothing is coming out to get me. When I feel irrational I pray and snuggle into my husbands for protection. Nothing wrong with that right? So I ask you, what do you get scared of?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More To Love

I am not one of those women that typically watch love interest shows like the The Bachelorette or The Bachelor. I do love my reality shows like Big Brother, Kathy Griffin's Life on the D List and (eek) Jon and Kate Plus 8. This summer I actually got interested in a show called More To Love.

More To Love is a show that has a group of woman with a little bit more curves (aka over weight) all trying to win one man. It essentially has the same premise as my usual unwatched love interest shows. I am not sure why I started watching it, but I am kind of glad I did. I am not really for women or men that try to fight for one mans or one womans attention on a show. I think finding love on network television just isn't the way to go. I just think the show has a good premise behind it, that even if you're over weight and not that perfect (well industry perfect) size 2, that a man can see you as beautiful and sexy.

Luke, the man that all of the women are essentially fighting to win over, is really a pretty cool human being. I don't think that kissing multiple women (call me prude) is really great, but he has a demeanor about him that is just appealing. He is calm, a great listener, decently cute and overall has a great ora about him. He says over and over in the show to each of the women how beautiful they look and is sincere about it. I am not saying that all overweight women never hear that they look beautiful, but I think the majority of overweight women don't hear it very often and when we do it is special. I wouldn't categorize myself as the same weight class as some of these women, but I am pleasantly plump.

At the end of the show last night a light bulb went off in my head. I realized it is okay to be a little overweight. If you want to lose some weight for yourself then do it but do not do it for anyone else. I think that we all have image issues because we may feel our boobs are too small, our nose is too big or that we're overweight. What is the perfect weight anyways? I think that inside we all need to feel beautiful, sexy and appealing. We need to realize that some of our bodies are never going to look like Angelina Jolie's because God made us in all different shapes and sizes. Some of us have always been a little overweight and some of us have seen the weight add up as the years progress into adult hood and/or after us women push out a few kids. The key is to be happy with you because there are Luke's out there that see beauty in all types of ways. Don't try to make yourself something that you're not.