Poor Little Peepers

Last Friday, Noah was at Alissa's (his babysitter) while we were at work. Since it was going to be the first really warm day, she wanted to let Noah play in their baby pool. Because he has his daddy's skin and will burn like crazy otherwise, Alissa lathered up his little body with sunscreen. You know how kids are...as soon as you put lotion all over them, they just want to start rubbing their eyes. Well, Noah got sunscreen in his eyes, which of course made him cry...poor little guy! Alissa washed out his eyes and put him down for a nap. When Noah woke up, his eyes were all red and irritated. She called me at work to tell me about it, and she of course was apologizing all over herself. I assured her that had we put lotion on him, he would've done the same thing. No big deal! Alissa said he was acting like his normal self...his eyes just looked terrible. Ryan picked up Noah after work and brought him home. I went out to the garage to meet them, and my poor baby had tears streaming down his face, and his eyes were all purple/red. It was SO sad and pitiful!! Here is a picture of Noah at dinner right after he got home:

Can you tell that his hair is covered in suntan lotion, too? We forgot to pack a hat for him (not that he would necessarily keep it on), so she had to really douse him with lotion. After dinner we gave him a bath, and I think he cried most of the way through it, which really isn't like Noah. Then, because I wasn't sure what else to do for his eyes, we use some eye drops. Then the screaming really ensued!! He did NOT like those eye drops! BUT...within 30 minutes, his eyes looked perfectly normal again, and he wasn't fussy the rest of the evening. I got to have some girl time with some women while our husbands were all at the Men's Conference at church. Noah went right to sleep at bedtime, and we got to play games and just talk all evening. It doesn't get much better than that!


This Week's Savings

I took the big leap and lowered our grocery budget to just $300 per month! I really wanted to be a chicken and stick with $350 for one more month, but the good voices in my head were saying, "DO IT!!!" :)

Here is a quick blurb about my first week's savings on our new budget! I went to K-Mart (double coupons this week up to $2), so I got a lot of $4 items for FREE. You know I like free! I also went to Walgreens, Meijer, and Kroger tonight. Some of my favorite deals included:

Kroger: Buy 3 boxes of General Mills cereals ($1.67 each w/ coupon), get 4 half gallons of milk FREE

Meijer: 5 boxes of Green Giant Frozen Veggies for $2.83 total

Walgreens: 12 packs of A&W Root Beer (2) and Sunkist (1) for $1 each after peel-off coupons located on the packages and Register Rewards.

Walgreens: Four bags of Hershey's Kisses and Reeses Candy for $1.25 each after rebate.

Walgreens: Physician's Formula Organic Makeup was 40% off. I got new blush and eye shadow for approximately $7, but since it's on the rebate list for this month, I'll get $10 back, meaning I made $3. I LOVE making money at stores! :)


Total Products' Value: $209.85
Total Spent: $89.97
Total Saved: $119.88

Plus, I earned $6 in Register Rewards and $15 in Rebates at Walgreens for future purchases.

What can I say? The Grocery Game rules! Yeah, I said "rules"! :) Remember, if you decide to try it, please use my email as your referral: amykabell (at) gmail (dot) com. I'm happy to help you with any questions you may have.

Buttered Popcorn...WHAT?

After having a cook out with some friends last Thursday, I started feeling a little nauseous. Ryan said he would sleep with Noah's monitor on his side of the bed since I wasn't feeling well. While Ryan and I were sleeping, we heard Noah start screaming and crying. He hadn't done that in a long time! Ryan went into Noah's room to give him his pacifier. Immediately, he stopped crying. Ok. Great. Back to sleep we went.

The next morning, I woke up and got ready for work. I went into Noah's room (still feeling nauseous) and got him out of bed. I fed him and quickly left for work to share my grocery secrets with about ten women from work. A couple hours later, I got a phone call from Alissa, our sitter. She said that Noah had diarhhea when he woke up...we're talking a total blowout...all down his sleeper. POOR GUY! He has never had diarrhea before. Ryan had the flu right after my Spring Break, and it looked like both Noah and I were going to get it, too. Alissa also said, as sweet as could be, "Amy, please don't take this the wrong way, but Noah always smells good when he comes to our house, but today he smelled kind of like...spit up." He also had a fever. I then called Ryan to see if he could pick up Noah because I had two conferences that afternoon that I really couldn't miss. When I told him about the diarhhea and the smell, Ryan said, "You know what? I saw a big stain on his crib sheet this morning." WHAT!?! I always keep the light really dim in the morning so I don't startle Noah with bright lights when waking him up, so I didn't see the stain. I left work as soon as my conferences were over and went straight up to Noah's room. Sure enough, he had gotten sick in the middle of the night. That was why he started screaming...POOR GUY! Oh I felt just awful! He had never thrown up before, and we just left him in there by himself. I can't tell you had bad I felt!

Saturday I still felt really nauseous. We were hanging out at home, and Noah climbing around on the couch with us. All of the sudden, I smelled buttered popcorn. WHAT? I looked at Ryan and asked if he had made popcorn, and he said, "No," saying that he smelled it, too. Noah climbed over me again, and I smelled it again. WHAT? We realized that he had diarhhea again, and that it totally smelled like buttered popcorn!! It was sick AND hilarious all at the same time. I couldn't really complain that it smelled like buttered popcorn because that was definitely better than the alternative...BUT...it was still gross....kind of like those buttered popcorn Jelly Bellies. It's different but totally nasty.

Later that afternoon Noah was playing in the kitchen, walking along the sliding glass door. I looked over and saw diarrhea all down his poor little pant legs! Talk about a complete blow out! Even Pampers were no match for those cha-cha-chas. :) And yes, it did smell like buttered popcorn again. YUCK.

I felt nauseous Friday morning until last night, Tuesday evening. I had barely eaten anything those five days except for cereal and a couple grilled cheese sandwiches. I was forcing myself to drink water but even then wasn't very good at it. I knew my milk supply was probably suffering. Noah was starting to wake up early from naps, and he was fussing while eating. That was not normal at all. His diapers have been plenty wet, but I feel like he's getting more like skim milk right now since I haven't taken in many calories. I called our doctor today to see what his recommendation was. I was planning to wean Noah at 12 months anyway, and we're only 3 weeks away from that mark. The nurse called me back and said that Dr. Gloyeske recommends waiting until the 12 month mark. GRRR! I was really hoping that they would just give me the ok to transition him to whole milk. I know I have been SO fortunate to have been able to breastfeed him for this past year without having to use formula. I am really happy about that! I just don't want to transition him into formula just for him to go to whole milk in 3 weeks anyway. At the same time, I don't know if I'll be able to build things back up at this point either. If you're the praying type, I would really appreciate prayers for my milk! That may sound kind of silly, but I just want this to be a fairly easy transition. I hope we can make it 3 more weeks!


Tuesday Shopping

Ok, I don't have any pictures this time around, but I wanted to share my exciting savings today.

Market Pantry Fruit Snacks - 44 cents
2 Johnson's buddy soaps - 22 cents each
Gatorade - 3.25 (Ryan loves this, and I love him, so I'm willing to spend more on him than on anything else...hehe) :)
2 Loofahs - $1 each
Axe body wash (trial size) - FREE
3 Johnson and Johnson First Aid Kits - FREE

Softsoap Body Wash - FREE plus overage (I had a $1 off coupon)
Kelloggs Corn Pops - $1

Meijer (not sure of individual costs)
White Bread
2 Ziplock Freezer Bags
2 Freshlike Frozen Green Beans
Skim Milk
4 Campbell's Cream Soups (Mushroom, Celery, and Chicken)
Kraft Dressing
French's Mustard
Breyer's Vanilla Ice Cream

Shank Ham - 77 cents per pound
Eggs - 89 cents
6 shredded cheese - 99 cents each
3 Pillsbury Pizza Crusts - 45 cents each

And the grand total....

Total Value of all Products: $95.19
Total Spent: $38.55
Total Saved: $56.64

I have $12 left in my grocery fund until Saturday, and I already cut my total grocery budget down to $350 a month. I'll be at $300 per month in no time! :)

Noah the Dog...I Mean Boy

Because Kya is the only other four-legged person in the house, I'm afraid that Noah thinks he is a dog, too. What do you think?

He is constantly crawling around the house with this toy car in his mouth...just like Kya with her toys. It is so cute!


Happy Easter

Happy Easter! It is hard to believe that it's been two years since we started attending our church. Our first service there was Easter Sunday in 2007. Our lives have really changed since then. This Sunday, Pastor Danny's message was about "Rethinking the Recession," and how the current state of our world really ties into the events we celebrate on Easter. I really enjoyed it!

My dad and Danette came to visit us this weekend. Friday night we went out to dinner at Edelweiss, a German restaurant in Greenwood. We felt like we took a step back in time! It was fun to go somewhere different, and my dad had been wanting to go there for a long time. Saturday Ryan and I took Dad and Danette to the Fountain Square area for lunch. I really like living so close to Indy that we can visit the cultural hot spots at a moment's notice. That night, I made our Easter meal...my first ever! :) I was pretty excited about the way it turned out. I made my first glazed ham with pineapple rings, mashed potatoes, green beans almondine, and crescent rolls.
Ryan had band practice that night to get ready for Sunday's service at 9 p.m. He called at 10:15 p.m. saying that he was packing up his stuff and would be home in a couple minutes. Well, twenty minutes later I started to wonder where he was. So, I gave him a quick call. No answer. Another call...no answer. I proceeded to call him probably 9 more times, and there was no answer. Then I started to PANIC. You often hear about churches being broken into, especially around the holidays, people getting killed, and the churches money and equipment being stolen. I was SO worried that this is what was happening that night. Noah, Dad, and Danette were all in bed. My mind was racing! I was thinking about Noah growing up without a dad, what the next day's service would look like if such an event happened, etc. I was trying to decide whether or not to leave and go to the church or stay with Noah. I thought to myself, "Well, if something happened to Ryan, I am the only parent Noah has left." But then I thought, "If the guys are all back there injured or dying, I have a chance to save them by going there rather than hiding in my house." I know, I know...it was crazy! To understand why these things were going through my head, you have to understand that Ryan ALWAYS calls me back if he doesn't answer his phone. It was 45 minutes past the time that he said he would be home. So, I woke up my dad and Danette and told them that I was scared and that I was going back to the church. I decided that God would take care of Noah and that I couldn't let the guys in the band die if I could do something to help them. I never would have thought that I would have to make a decision between my husbands life, my life, and my son's life so early on. My dad said he wanted to come with me, so we jumped in my car and drove to the church. All the while, my dad was trying to keep me calm (thanks, Dad!). We got to the church, and I was nervous when I didn't hear any music. As we got closer to the sanctuary, we heard their voices. Everyone was fine. Of course, I immediately started crying. Ryan drove home with us, and I just balled when we got to our house. I really was so scared, and I was so thankful that everyone was fine. Ryan apologized up and down about not calling. The time just got away from him when they decided to practice for a bit longer, and he couldn't hear or feel his phone vibrating. I wanted to share that story because it was really a scary situation where I really felt put into a position to make decisions about all three of our lives. I'm so thankful that I felt peace that God would provide for Noah in case something did happen to Ryan and me. What do people do without that peace?

So where does that bring us? Oh yeah, Easter Sunday! :) We went to the 8:30 a.m. service that morning. The music sounded great, and Pastor Danny's message was awesome. I'm really looking forward to the next three sessions in the series. Dad and Ryan grilled some steaks for lunch, and Noah got to find his Easter basket. It was a good day! After Dad and Danette left to go home, I took a good two hour nap (thanks Ryan!). All in all, it was a very Happy Easter. I am so thankful for my family and friends, and most of all, I am thankful for the cross.

"That's all folks!!!"


Monday Madness

Wow! I am exhausted! Ryan started getting sick at 11:30 p.m. last night and continued to get sick throughout the night and this morning. It kind of came out of nowhere, too. We have no idea where he caught this flu, but I'm just thankful that neither Noah nor I have it. Since Ryan was home today, I was able to leave the house during Noah's naps to do some shopping. Plus, I broke my cardinal shopping rule and actually took Noah with me to Kroger before his first nap. He really does pretty well in the store still at this age. You would hardly know he was there, until he hits the back of his head on the shopping cart. Poor little guy!

Anyway, I went to Kroger, Target, CVS, and Walgreens today. I usually don't go to four stores in a day, but I just wanted to knock it all out today. Here is a picture of all my goodies! Some of my favorite deals are listed below.

Drumroll pleeeeeeeasse........

Total Purchase Value: $253.21
Total Spent: $115.25
Total Saved: $137.96

Kroger: There are great deals on Pampers, Bounty Paper Towels, Iams dog food, and Charmin Toilet Paper. If you buy three of these items, you get $3 off ($1 per item). I also had $1-2 off coupons from my PG coupon booklet that I received for buying $50 worth of P&G products a few months ago for each of those items. This is a HUGE steal because usually you only get 25-50 cent off coupons in the Sunday paper for Bounty and Charmin. I also loaded my Kroger Plus card here with more coupons for each of these products because you can use the e-coupons, as well as clipped manufacturer coupons. This made Pampers $6.99 (plus one pack for $5.99 b/c I had a $2 off coupon), Bounty $4.49, Charmin $4.49, and Iams dog food $13.99. These are the steals of the century on high quality brand name products! We are really flexible with trying new products while trying to save money, but these are non-negotiable in our house. :) Half gallons of milk were 99 cents. I had to get a rain check for the Pillsbury pizza crusts and Italian breads, so that will mean big savings on my next trip.

Total Spent $72.05
Total Saved $47.53

Target: They had a special on the Gillette Power Fusion razor ($7.99) and Gillette shaving gel ($1.89). Buy these two products, get a $5 Target gift card. I also had $3 worth of coupons to add on top of this deal, meaning that I only spent $1.89 total. I also got two mini-loaves of artisan bread for FREE with Target printable coupons here. Through that same website, I was also able to print a coupon that allowed me to pay on 99 cents for Dole Salad. Skim milk was only $2, eggs were 99 cents, and I also bought some candy and Nestle Tollhouse morsels since I had coupons for both, and they were both on sale.

Total Spent: $11.03
Total Saved: $17.95

Walgreens: I bought lots of goodies here! I won't mention them all but will focus on some of my favorites instead. I got 6 boxes of Pop Tarts for $1.33 each. Oust Sanitizer (which smells so much better than Lysol!) was 2.99, but I had a $2 off coupon and will get a $1 rebate at the end of the month through Walgreens, so that item was free. :) Speaking of free, I also got some Skintimate shave gel and Chapstick Naturals for free through their register rewards program. Schick disposable razors were BOGO, and I had two manufacturer coupons and one Walgreens coupons for those two items. So, I only spent $1.99 on two packages of good razors. :) I needed a new hair dryer, and since they were offering $10 in register rewards if I bought a Revlon one there, I went for it.

Total Spent: $32.17
Total Saved: 49.56 (plus $4 in register rewards to use in the future and $1 in rebate money)

CVS: I had a mini trip to CVS today. I again got Skintimate shave gel for FREE. Revlon makeup was BOGO, so after adding two coupons to that, I got two bottles of nail polish for really cheap. I also bought a new brush and a comb because I chopped my hair back off. It is SO curly now (it got worse when I was pregnant and hasn't relaxed since), so I needed a new brush to help me blow dry it straight. I also got new plastic sleeves for my coupon inserts and a bottle of Suave body wash for FREE (coupon sent to me with a freebie).

Total Spent: $4.04
Total Saved: $23.22

As you can imagine, I really cringe when I see people paying full price for their groceries now! Because I have learned how much I can buy things for, it is so hard to watch people buying toothpaste for $3.50, cereal for $3.00 to $4.00, and 12 packs of soda for $4.00. I met with three of my friends last Thursday to give them all of the information about how they can start saving hundreds of dollars each month by changing their philosophy of grocery shopping. It is pretty incredible! I love when the cashier rings everything up, bags a bunch of items, and then looks bewildered when the total is REALLY LOW. It is hilarious!! I walk out of stores feeling like I robbed the place. Now that I have almost been doing this for three months, I need to take stock of what I have and what I still need. For example, I think we have a good 12 packages of razors in our closet. We probably don't need to buy these anymore unless I can get them for free...or better yet...unless the store actually pays me to take the items. I know, this concept is foreign, but it is totally real! I wish you happy days with your shopping. If you ever want to know more about saving money when grocery shopping, just get in touch with me!


Playground Fun

I see these beautiful eyes everyday, and they still amaze me.
A couple weeks ago when it began to warm up, Ryan and I started taking Noah and Kya to the park. Usually we go to the playground at our church because it's so close to our house. One afternoon, we took Noah to this big park where lots of other kids were playing. He loved looking around and watching all the kids running and playing. Most places have baby swings, and he loves to go down the slide with us. He'll also crawl through the tunnels. It is so sweet because Noah will have the BIGGEST smile on his face the entire time! He seriously doesn't stop smiling. This boy loves to be outside. I remember last summer spending so much time on our hammock because it was the only thing that would calm him down when he was really fussy. There was something about the sunshine and fresh air that just helped so much. Now, almost a year later, Noah is still drawn to the outdoors. Here are some pictures from a recent trip to the park.

Isn't he becoming such a little boy? Of course, all he wanted to do was eat the mulch. :)

We are getting so excited to take him to other new places this summer now that he is old enough to enjoy them. We're going to buy a membership to the Indianapolis Zoo ($100), and I can't wait! I actually think Ryan is more excited than any of us. We went to Fountain Square Diner today for lunch since Ryan took the day off work to enjoy my last real day of Spring Break. :) It was a really fun place! I'm too embarrassed to name our fatty, greasy meals, but they were GOOOD. Noah behaved himself pretty well, too. As long as we gave him plenty of puffs and bits of our meals, he was content. He has mastered signing for "more", and now we are trying to teach him "more please". :) It is so cute! I love my family. I am the luckiest person in the world.

Babysitter Blackberry

Ryan HATES his Blackberry, and considering that he doesn't hate many things, this is an especially big deal. He will get hundreds of work emails and phone calls a week, so when he is at home, usually his Blackberry is in the car where we can't hear it ring or buzz. One night, he decided to play a song on his phone and let Noah play with it. FINALLY! A good use for the Blackberry during our time at home...a babysitter for Noah! He played with it for a good 5 minutes, which for a 10 month old baby, that is a long time to attend to one thing. Here are some fun pictures of his playtime!

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