Monday, March 30, 2009

Parenting

So, I have finally finished the new Jodi Picoult book, Handle with Care. Good, not great. It's sorta sad that the first JP book I read was My Sister's Keeper and now I have to compare everything to that one. Handle with Care wasn't as good as that (nothing is) but it was better than most of her other stuff. Sucky ending. For those who are interested in My Sister's Keeper, lemme just give you a quick rundown. Parents have boy and girl, family is complete. Girl, four years old, gets leukemia. Boy not match. Parents use IVF to develop embryos (not actually cloning, they use their own sperm and egg, it's not a sci-fi book) and they pick the embryo that is a perfect match for girl with leukemia. Get preggers, carry to term, baby girl is born, use stem cells for BMT for older sister. All is well for a while, older sister has recurrences, baby sister must do another BMT and multiple blood transfusions. Story starts with big sister, now like fifteen, needing a kidney and baby sister deciding that she doesn't want to give it, so she sues her parents for the right to refuse. Ya'll. IT'S SO GOOD! At first, you think 'what a brat' and then you hate the mother, and then, if you're like me, you give birth to Ava and you realize that you would do the same thing, every last thing that mother does. Man, I love that book! I should read it again.

Anyway, I digress. So, I finished that one, and now I have to get back to the parenting book I got, because Scott is OUT OF CONTROL. Seriously. I think to myself at least a hundred times a day, 'I shoulda learned how to take care of the first two before I had another one.' Makes me feel very irresponsible. For those of you who think these kids so close together was an accident, not even close. We chose to do it this way!

Ava is a typical three year old- sassy, defiant, stubborn. She has a particular aversion to me, but she obeys Nick slightly better. At least seems to understand the need to obey, even if she has a hard time most of the time. She's finally stopped mouthing off, for the most part, but now, when we are being stern with her, she flings her hands at us. It's hard to explain unless you've seen it, but trust me, it's VERY disrespectful. She also continues to grab her brother and like, wail on him! She slaps his hand, spanks his butt, just goes crazy. Now, we do spank in this house, but not like that! And I know her sitter doesn't spank, so I don't understand where she's picked this up, and I don't know how to stop it. One night, she did it in the tub, so I yanked her out, told her she'd been naughty and was going straight to bed, then didn't speak to her while I got her ready and put her in the bed. Then I got Scott out, got him ready, and read him a story while she screamed in her bed that she wanted a story too. Then we talked about it, she apologized, and I got her out to read a quick, short book. For a while after that, whenever she got that look in her eye, I reminded her about that night, and she stopped. But by now, she's over it.

And Scott. Ohh, my little boy. He's not trying to be disrespectful like her, he just wants to have fun, he wants to do things his way, and he wants everything RIGHT NOW. He will not listen, he will not obey...he has terrible table manners, he throws food at all of us, he refuses to use a spoon...and then he just smiles and crinkles up his eyes. Now what am I supposed to do with that kid? Seriously, what I am supposed to do? All suggestions welcome, please!

And Warren, my little baby. Slept till three thirty this morning!!! Hooray! I'm still a little hurt that he didn't sleep thru at four weeks like Scott, but hey. He didn't do it on purpose. I'll take one night feeding, no problem! Well, actually, Nick took that one. But I think in a sleepy haze of confusion, I promised that I would do it from now on if he would please just do it tonight because I'm exhausted. Maybe that was a dream. I hope so. Promises made while half asleep shouldn't count!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunny Sunday

After church today (Scott no longer cries on Sundays when he gets to the nursery!) we headed out back to enjoy the EIGHTY DEGREE WEATHER!!! And you know, it was supposed to be raining, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Well, there were a few. But they were those fluffy white kind that everyone loves.

So here's some pics. Yes, I dressed Warren and Scott alike again. No, Ava has not gotten over her aversion to the camera. And just for the record, I'm not actually wearing just a tank top. I was wearing a sweater twinset, but I didn't want Warren to vom all over it, and I wanted to get some sun! Tan fat looks so much better than pasty white fat, right?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pictures

Here we go!
Email me if you guys want copies, me and Nick will eventually get them sent out!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Check Out My Savings!

All right, I've always wanted to post a pic, but I was waiting for a super savings day. And, readers, today was the day! And tomorrow will be almost as good. So here's the deal. Harris Teeter is TRIPLING coupons, up to 99 cents, for an entire week. But there's a limit of 20 coupons a day, which I actually didn't know until I was wandering around in there this morning and I heard another lady mention it to her friend. Thanks ladies! So this picture is what I got. The bananas and bread were coupon free, but the bread was buy one get one free, and at Harris Teeter, you don't have to buy both to get the first one half off.


total at first: 106.15 (Harris Teeter is ridiculously overpriced)
vic saving 19.87
coupons 52.97

total out of pocket that I paid: 33.31


Isn't that amazing? Some of my coupons weren't actually that awesome, but here's a breakdown of the most stellar ones. And I'm headed back tomorrow for frozen veggies and Pillsbury biscuits!


2 boxes honeycomb 35 cents each
2 boxes fruit by the foot 87 cents each

frosting 35 cents

2 cans diced green chiles 47 cents each

5 bottles Kens (8oz) for 56 cents each

spicy brown mustard negative 6cents!!!

small franks negative 24cents!!

large franks 50 cents

2 bags egg noodles 1.24 cents a bag

lg jar helmens may 1.70

lg jar jelly 1.45

fiber one yogurt 4pack for 1.39

2 bags (when did they stop using boxes, by the way/) Lipoton noodle sides for 36 cents each

2 packets sloppy joe mix for 9 cents each!!!


By the way, last night's Jeopardy was a total letdown. Aaron wasn't quick enough to ring in as many times as he needed to (they were FAST ya'll) and Larissa got final jeopardy WRONG so this caveman guy with a unibrow swept in and won the whole thing. Dang.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ya'll, tonight was day one of the finals on the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions, and was I ever on the edge of my seat! Man, those guys are so smart! Now, I love both Aaron and Larissa, but I'm putting my money on Larissa. I've never seen anyone who knows THAT MUCH.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Savings

Well, bargain shopping hasn't been that exciting lately. Mainly because Harris Teeter and Farm Fresh rarely beat commissary prices, even with their buy one get one free deals and double coupons. Another huge problem is that the Virginia Pilot no longer has the RedPlum coupon inserts in the Sunday papers, and my mother won't send me hers. Yes Mom, I'm trying to guilt trip you here. Mail me those inserts, I have nothing better to do!

Anyway, I did find some bargains today. Got a new razor (a real one, not the disposable kind) for 0.99 at Walgreens, along with two canisters of Similac powder (full 23oz size) for 16 dollars each. That was huge, as Warren is now eating four ounces every three hours, sometimes every two! And then at Harris Teeter today, I got two bottles of Lysol kitchen cleaner spray for 0.74 each, and two bottles of Lysol toilet bowl cleaner for somewhere around 0.54 each. Truthfully, I don't even know if we use that. Nick takes care of both bathrooms for me.

Speaking of Nick, what a guy. I am officially a plus size mama now, and I had to go to Lane Bryant for the first time and buy a giant pair of pants. Apparently my butt and thighs didn't want my belly to feel bad for getting so huge during my pregnancy, so they beefed up in support. And Nick went with me to the store and waited while I tried on the giant pants, and told me that I looked great. And he sounded really sincere. So instead of crying all afternoon, I just felt blessed.

Warren will be four weeks on Wed, so that leaves me two more weeks until I start Weight Watchers. Yuck. But, you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Aquarium

It's still ridiculously cold here, so we headed out to the Virginia Beach Aquarium yesterday for something to do. Right after Ava was born, we had a membership there, but seriously, it's probably been three years since we've been. It's just such a long ways out there! When me and Nick first got together, any time we would go anywhere for a vacation, any time we went out of town at all, we always hit the aquariums. The one in London was great! Anyway, being there yesterday just brought all that back, it was so much fun! I hope in Seattle we have a basement so Nick can get a nice saltwater fish tank going again.

Here is Ava with a (fake) snake at the little river otter exhibit next door to the aquarium. The river otters were all sleeping under this pile of sticks- we couldn't even see them!!



Getting ready to pet sting rays... naturally, Scott REALLY enjoyed this.



My personal favorite, the sea turtles. I just love those things! I really want to see one in the real world one day.




Most of my family, held hostage by a shark...





Ava taking a break...






Watching some more fish...





And me and the kids, bribed with Reeses Pieces into taking a picture with me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Picture Link

We did our spring pictures last week and I got a free smiles by wire service, so here is the link:

https://www.smilesbywire.com/home.asp?AC=LTPP0651101844JCP

When you go there, it will ask for a user name, which is JENNIFER ENGELBRECHT



I ordered a TON of pictures (I had a great coupon!) and I pick up next Wednesday, so those will be in the mail by next weekend, maybe. And of course, they'll be up here too. Now, I know I'm biased, but come on. Aren't these the abosolute cutest kids you've ever seen?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Birth Announcement

Well, at the rate I'm going, Warren will be in high school before I get around to scrapping his birth announcement, so I figured I would get it up here in cyber space for eternity. I got these on TinyPrints.com, they have the coolest stationary! Of course, I have about four shoeboxes full of stationary I still haven't used yet...but birth announcements are different! They're a necessity!




The lady who comes to the hospital to take the very first photo never showed up when we were there with Warren, so I had to improvise. How could she not show up? And I stayed forty eight hours, what about all the people who only stay twenty four? I'm just saying, I'll bet there were a lot of sad mama's out there. But I think the one we made turned out just as cute.

So there's that. I really miss scrapbooking! I just have so much stuff now that it's a pain to drag it all out just to scrap two or three layouts, which is usually all I have time for while the big kids work on a 'project.' I did a lot while Michelle was here. Man, we miss you Michelle!

And now, I'm going to watch Jeopardy. That is how big of dorks we are. It's the tournament of champions, and tonight my two absolute favorite contestants EVER should be matched up, Aaron and Larissa! I'm so excited! Hey, everyone else my age gets all ga-ga for this American Idol crap, I get excited about Jeopardy. And I'm not ashamed to admit it!

I Think I've Created a Monster

The pic above is Ava with her scissors, pretending to cut out coupons! That's like, her and Scott's new favorite thing! He's been asking to do it for a while, but I didn't understand what he was saying until a few days ago when Ava finally translated. What kind of toddlers like to pretend to cut out coupons? The kind with a frugal mom, I guess. As long as we're on the subject, I went to Target yesterday and my total before coupons was eighty three dollars. My total after? SIXTY TWO BUCKS! HA HA! The little cashier rolled her eyes at me when I handed her my stack, but too bad for her! There were barely any lines and she was empty except for me, so I really don't know what her problem was.


Anyway, I'm rambling. Today is my first day with all three, so naturally I only got three hours of sleep last night. I know the Lord is trying to work on patience with me, but sheesh. I hate working on patience! It's only ten forty five, but so far, Scott and Warren are dressed, I'm half dressed, and Ava at least is wearing a real shirt and jeans, although they are, in fact, OVER her jammies. But it still counts! And the kitchen is clean, and they haven't watched any TV. So there. I guess maybe I can do this after all.


Right now, Scott is stuck in the baby's high chair, coloring and cutting his own "coupons." Why is he in the baby's high chair? Because no matter how often we catch and punish him, we cannot get that boy to stop coloring on the walls, tables, tiles, blankets, and anything else he can get ahold of. Any suggestions would be appreciated! I want to let him color, because come on, coloring is so good for the imagination, right? Ava would color for an hour at a time when she was his age! Poor naughty guy.
On a side note, Scott's vocabulary has finally exploded! He probably adds about five or ten new words a day (AT LONG LAST) and he's really starting to understand everything we say to him now! Thank you Lord. It's way too hard to have a child who knows what he wants, but can't communicate his needs!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Sucky Things About Being Post Partum

6. How the thick, silky hair that myhormones helped me grow the entire time I was pregnant starts to fall out. And the long, strong nails start to break apart.



7. How much it hurts when I leave my husband and tiny three week old in the car so I can run in to Walgreens and the clerk asks when I am due.



But I guess it's worth it. I mean, look at this face!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wicked

Oh. My. Gosh. I am SO EXCITED! I just bought my Wicked tickets! I am literally SCREAMING with excitement in my own head. Screaming! I just can't stop smiling! I've been waiting FOREVER to see this show, ever since Kristin Chenoweth strutted onto the Jeopardy stage to sing an excerpt from 'Popular.' Man, I was hooked from that little tiny clip!!! And now I'm going to see it for real!

I know EVERY SINGLE WORD to the original Broadway soundtrack. Now I know a lot of people say that they know all the words to this CD and that CD, and they're usually lying, but, faithful readers, I am not lying. I really do know every word!!! And Ava knows a lot of the words to 'Popular' and 'What is This Feeling?' I spent many many hours waiting in line at the tunnel in the mornings after work, volume all the way up in my mini van, screaming along to 'Defying Gravity' and 'No Good Deed.' Man, I am so excited! Have I mentioned that yet? I wish wish wish I had some sort of musical talent! I need to be a composer or something!!!

I just hope that I don't get super disappointed. I went to see the Phantom once in Atlanta, and, after listening to Sara Brightman for so many years, that girl in Atlanta just totally bummed me out. She just wasn't anywhere NEAR Sara Brightman! But (deep breath) I'm sure this is going to be amazing. I'm obsessed with the music itself, so even if the voices aren't up to par, the orchestra should be.

Ryan and Melissa graciously agreed to babysit (thanks guys!!!) but let me just tell you that if something happens and that plan falls thru, Nick will be stuck at home and I'll be at the show all by myself, probably singing along with no one there to shush me, and everyone around me will get mad. But it'll be worth it! HOORAY!!!

Two Weeks Stats, and Some Random Pics

I was going thru my camera this morning and found some pics of when Brandi, my very first mommy friend who I met when I was pregnant with Ava, and her family came to see us the day after we got home from the hospital. Brandi had her first son five months before I had Ava, and her second son about five weeks before I had Warren. They are getting ready to move (!) so we are trying to get the kids together a bunch. It's so weird, Ava and Lee (her older) have always been like, best friends forever. They play SO GOOD together! No pics of Lee though :(


Here is Ava holding baby Easton, who was born Jan 6th. (too tired to do the math to figure out how old he is in this pic)






And here is Easton versus Warren.




We took Warren in for his two week check-up yesterday. He weighs 8lbs, 15.6oz and he is 21.5 inches tall. I don't know about you, but to me, that's a LOT of growing in two weeks! No wonder he's so tired and hungry!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

At Long Last, the First Real Bath!!!

Well, after hearing Ava ask a thousand times a day if his 'booger' fell off yet, Warren's cord finally fell off and we got him into the tub last night! And he didn't even freak out, which was a first for me, Ava and Scott screaming thru their entire first baths. The big kids were excited to help wash his belly and help Nick rinse him off, and Warren just sort of lay there looking around. What a tough kid.






Here's Ava giving him a kiss while I try to get some lotion on him. Now, he didn't cry in the tub, but man, he screamed and screamed while I dried him off and got his nightgown on! Hence Scott playing with his shape sorter in the background, trying to ignore the entire situation.










And the finished product, a (finally!) clean baby boy!
That's Scott, who is probably very close to thirty pounds, in the bouncy chair, reading his Highlights magazine. He and Ava take turns dragging that thing around to hang out in it! What am I gonna do when they start trying to climb into the swing!?!?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Some More Warm Weather Pics

Well, I jinxed myself Monday night. After I ran my mouth about what a great sleeper Warren is, he stayed up till midnight to 'play' and then he was up at one, two, three, five, and then for good at quarter to seven. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE TO SLEEP. I mean, seriously, I used to sleep until noon on a regular basis. That's why I liked working nights, because it gave me the illusion of sleeping more because I slept until three in the afternoon. Ohhh, how I miss those days! I love working in the clinic, but man! I am TOTALLY a night shift nurse.

Anyway. Our weather out here is mid seventies one day, mid forties the next, which is doing wonders for my allergies and sinuses. I think that's why I had such a hard time rocking my little guy to sleep- whenever his little eyes would drift shut, I would be attacked by a coughing fit (which feels GREAT on my incision, by the way) and he would bolt awake, probably terrified of the noise. But the big kids love it, and neither one of them seems to be having a problem with allergies yet. Maybe they won't need their Claritin or Zyrtec this year! I hate to have to medicate them every single day, it sucks.


Here is my husband, One Trip Nick, getting everything out of his truck and into the back yard in one fell swoop.

Me and both of my little guys. I'm still SO SO SO impressed at how well Scott is handling his little brother! He hates it when Warren cries, but other than that, he's so great!

And the big kids on a snack break. Man, my kids can eat a lot.

The Five Sucky Things I Keep Forgetting About the Post Partum Weeks

1. How tired I am. Warren sleeps great, three and four hours at a time, and then he's only up for fifteen, twenty minutes, just long enough to eat. And Nick does at least half of these, probably more. So I blame this EXHAUSTION on the blood loss from surgery. That makes sense, right? Surely it can't just be that I'm lazy. Surely.

2. How "fluffy" my belly is. How big was I? I mean, I didn't expect to loose all fifty pounds in the delivery room, but come on. The only shoes I can wear are my flip flops, and I can't even get my wedding ring on my pinky.

3. How sore my belly is. No more explanation necessary. Starting to seriously rethink my idea for a tummy tuck once I'm done with this havin' babies business. This pain wouldn't seem worth it without this cute baby as a reward!

4.How much crap you have to
pack in a bag for a brand new baby. With Ava potty trained and Scott being older, I could just toss a diaper and two sippy cups in my purse and head out. Not so much anymore.

5. How much I miss the feeling of a baby moving in my belly. I know you think it's crazy, but I just love being pregnant.

So that's my list. And you know what? It woulda been the same after Ava, and the same after Scott. I guess that's part of the mommy amnesia. But now I have it here in cyber space to forever remind me.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What do you do when it's eighty degrees in March?

You go to the zoo, along with everyone else in Norfolk. Seriously, we ran into like, everyone that we know. Before we left, I wanted to get a shot of all three kids. Let me tell you, I used to think it was difficult to get Ava and Scott in a shot together, it's impossible with three!



War Eagle! We start 'em early in the Engelbrecht family.




Here are the big kids at the zoo...





Eww, I don't know why kids like to feed the animals. They smell so bad! And they lick your hands!






Here is Scott pointing out the littlest monkeys you've ever seen...





And Ava noticing the peacock who wandered into the wrong exhibit...




Warren and his Daddy...




And our first shot as a family of five!

All right, this blog is sucking up all my sacred nap time and I'm supposed to be working on my scrapbooks! And, last thing, I swear, but how cool is it that last night at two thirty when Warren woke up to eat (he's SUCH a great sleeper, by the way) Clueless was on TBS when I turned on the TV! I mean, how cool is that?!?! All right, to the scrapbooks!