9 Months Old

Playing on the stairs
Can you believe Noah is 9 months old? As excited as I am that Spring is around the corner, it reminds me that Noah will be a year old before I know it. CRAZY! He had his 9 month check up with Dr. Gloyeske on Tuesday. It was the first time I've taken him to the doctor, and he hasn't had to get any shots. It was wonderful! At this appointment, Noah weighed 19 lbs., 2 1/2 oz. and was 27 1/2 inches tall. This puts him in the 25th percentile for both weight and height...and people call him chunky. He's just a little guy compared to others his age! :) I think most of his weight must be in those cheeks.

Hanging out with Cousin Micah - Thanks for the matching outfits, Mama & Papa!

Noah is crawling everywhere! Of course, although crawling has been fun for him, apparently it's not good enough for him because now all he wants to do is stand up and walk along furniture, the stairs, his crib, etc. It's so much fun to see him gain so much independence! He seems to be eating much faster...10 to 15 minutes on most occasions. I have been a little worried about it, and then right before I started to write this post, I read this on a handout that the doctor gave me: "If your baby's interest in nursing is decreasing, don't take this as a sign that he's ready to stop. Weaning is a gradual process." PHEW! I'm so glad to see that! I just don't want to have to give him formula because 1) I'm too cheap since I haven't had to buy any for the past 9 months, 2) I don't want to clean bottles, and 3) it just isn't as good for him as breastmilk. So, we'll see what the next 3 months bring! Here are some pictures for you to enjoy! Isn't he getting so big?!

Waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs

Chasing me around the house


Noah's 8 Month Pictures

Here is the link to see Noah's 8 month pictures: http://detailsportraitart.com/clients. You will need to put in an email address and password to create an account...then type in this access code: 4333c761. We're happy with the way they turned out! We ended up ordering just 6 pictures this time, but we love them. :)

Noah has really taken off with crawling the past few days. He is all over the place! He found Kya's water bowl and the stairs yesterday. So, needless to say, my days of rest while he is awake are over. For the past month or so, I've been saying "Drink Milk" in sign language to Noah just about every time he eats. About 2 days ago, we could've sworn that he signed "Milk" to me, but it's hard to tell because it looks a lot like the way he waves. Later that same night, he signed "Milk" and started crawling toward me with lightening speed. We were pretty sure it was him communicating but agian weren't completely sure. Well, this morning it definitely happened. Ryan was holding him right after he woke up. I signed to him, "Drink Milk", and he signed back, "Milk" and started leaning toward me. It was really cute! There is just something so much fun about him communicating to us with language rather than laughs and screams.

Ryan's friend, Jason, and his wife, Kim, had their first baby boy recently. Ryan and Jason have known each other since junior high. Ryan was born May 22, 1980, and Jason was born February 15, 1981. Well, Noah was born May 15, 2008, and Chase was born February 4, 2009, so it's like recreating the same amount of time between their birthdays. Anyway, we're excited for our little boys to grow up together. It's hard to believe that they are so different in size and development right now, but will be almost the same in just a year or two.


Money Saving Madness

Did I mention that this money saving madness is very habit forming? I am really having so much fun saving our family money! If I can't make as much money as I did when working full time, then I might as well save as much as possible, right? I have a couple highlights that I wanted to mention.

First of all, I have been saving a $10 off Build-A-Bear coupon for a year or two. We had bought our nieces bears and some accessories for their birthdays and Christmas a while back. For their rewards program, we had earned a $10 certificate. Even though Ryan gave me a hard time for saving it for so long, he was SO glad that I decided to keep it b/c we had so much fun getting Noah his very first Build-A-Bear. We took Noah to the mall wearing these jammies and picked out "Teddy Bear Roar"...or just "Roar" for short. We walked around the mall eating our BOGO (buy one get one) Free Auntie Anne's pretzels, while Noah squeezed his new furry friend. It was SO sweet! The total cost of Roar was a mere 70 cents. :)

A second highlight was filing our tax return! I have HATED doing my taxes ever since I first began working. I have painful memories of sitting down with forms, W-2's, a calculator, etc., wanting to pull my hair out every other minute. Thanks to Tax Act, a program that only costs $16.95 to file your state and federal taxes, finishing our taxes was not only quick but also very stress free! God has blessed us so much this year with our return!!! We are excited to be so close to being debt free, with the exception of our mortgage. Thank you God!

I made a big shopping trip a week ago to Walgreens, CVS, and Meijer. Although I didn't take pictures this time, I do have the total value of the products, total amount spent, total saved, and total money earned for future purchases through rebates, extra care bucks, and register rewards.

Total Value: $220.47
Total Spent: $134.23
Total Saved with coupons and sales: $86.24
Total Money Earned for Future Spending: $42.46

Isn't that so exciting???

The last thing I wanted to share happened today. By turning in 3 old cell phones to http://flipswap.com/, we earned $53.78 in an Amazon Gift Certificate. We then exchanged 80,000 points from our National City Points account (we still have over 50,000 more points) for an additional $200 in Amazon Gift Certificates, totalling $253.78 to put toward purchases from Amazon. Britax Marathon car seats are REALLY nice AND safe car seats, but they cost LOTS of money. Amazon is currently running a sale on the Britax car seats. So, we were able to purchase Noah's next car seat, the last Harry Potter hardback book I need to complete the series, and a bowl/spoon set for Noah for a grand total of $253.77. Talk about spending to the very penny! I can't wait until our free purchases come in the mail!!!

So, who's ready to join me in money saving madness?? Anyone? Anyone?
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