Saturday, August 29, 2009

Couponing in Connecticut

So I've been pouring over the sales ads and clipping like crazy to get my coupon collection back up to par, but the stores here are weird! They double up to 99 cents like everyone else, but instead of doubling dollars on Wednesdays or something simple like that, the print "double" coupons in the ads, so you clip those and stack them with your own, and then you can double three or four dollar coupons. That's it, three or four. What?!?!

So I finally got everything all worked out and headed to the Stop and Shop on Thursday. And while I was wandering around wondering why the sales ad didn't match up with what I was seeing on the aisles, I remembered another weird Connecticut thing. They print their ad on Thursday (instead of Wed, like the entire rest of the country) but it runs from Friday to Thursday. So the sales I was after didn't even start till the next day. Sheesh.

But I was persistent, and check it out!
-one tube covergirl lipstick, regularly $11, for 6.25 (I hate to spend money on new shades, because what if they look silly? This new shade does wonders for the 'stache, and it really does last a long time!)
-two cans shaving cream, on sale for $2 each, for FREE (doubled the two one dollar coupons!)
-two packs shick (sp?) disposal razors, BOGO for $7.50 but I had five dollars worth of coupons for that, so I got two packs for $2.50!!! That's a buck and a quarter for a pack of shavers! Yowza!
-and then a pack of chicken drumsticks for 99 cents a pound. I had to get my total over 15 bucks (after card savings) to be able to use my stupid "double your coupon" coupons.
So, grand total before any savings: $38.65
total after card savings: $22.57
Total OOP after coupons: $11.90
That's like, the price that the lipstick woulda been on a regular day. And look at all I got!

It's not anything like the awesome hauls I used to get at Harris Teeter, but I think it's a pretty nice start. And ya'll, the commissary here is amazing! It's little and sort of run down, but the prices are significantly better than the Wal Mart. And you know how much I LOVE not having to go to Wal Mart. So for those of you who don't coupon, START!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Moustache Update

Oooh, I almost forgot. Before the HORROR of this afternoon's appointment, I had my own appointment with a slightly ditzy but very reasonable family practice doctor who laughed and told me it was not that big a deal and that she hadn't even noticed (LIAR!!) but then she prescribed me some retina a for my moustache! She said it would take about eight weeks to start helping (boo!) but that it should take care of the dark skin. After the fact, I read online that I should have asked for something called tri-luma. Wonder if it'd be pushing my luck to try and sneak in and see someone different?

Now that I'm finally not pregnant for the first time in five years, I'm hurrying to a dentist to see about fixing The Snaggle. Ya'll, when I get through, you're not even gonna recognize me! Of course, I need to do all this ASAP before our healthcare system gets 'reformed' and we have to leave the country to get quality, timely they have Invisalign in Mexico? Anyone?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Six Month Stats

Yes, you heard correctly. This guy is SIX MONTHS OLD! Not two weeks, like I thought. Huh.

He is still twenty six inches tall. Sigh. Guess he'll be the same height as the other two. He's seventeen pounds and eleven ounces, and I didn't get the head circumference, but trust me. It's WAY smaller than Scott's was :)

He can sit, unassisted, for a few minutes, if you sit him up. He can't quiet figure out how to get into that position on his own. He thinks this is great fun, probably because he knows that this is bringing him closer and closer to his dream- being able to play with Ava and Scott.

He can also rock up onto his hands and knees, but when he gets there, he just wiggles around until he flattens back out. He can scoot anywhere he needs to get, so I guess that's good enough for him for now.

Lemme rant for a sec about his appointment while I'm here. Now, I knew I was going to miss my beloved Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. But I had no idea how horrified I would be when I drove down to the clinic at Groton today. Naturally, the appointment was booked incorrectly and for some reason, the desk clerk decided that it was my duty to try and fix that. She wanted me to go down to medical records and enroll him in ahlta (altha? alta? I used it for five years and I don't actually know what it's called. it's pronounced 'alta') Anyway, what? No, I'm not going to do your job for you!

So then we finally get back to see the doctor, and I mean absolutely NO OFFENSE to anyone out there, but when I go to a military facility, I expect to be seen by a military provider. It's just one of my quirks, I trust them more. I don't care if it's a nurse practitioner (my preference) or an actual doctor, I just want them to be in uniform. I just trust them better!

So our two hundred year old civilian provider walks in and starts talking to me about some Korean couple that he saw once (what?!?!) and the fact that they're out of one of the vaccines. Whatever dude, I don't care. He listens to Warren's heartbeat while he's in my lap, asks me if his testicles are descended, and walks out. Yes, you heard that right.

He ASKED me, the patient's mother, who as far as he's concerned doesn't even have a high school education, if his patients testicles are descended. WHAT?!?! He didn't look in my baby's ears, or eyes, or feel his tummy, or check his legs like they do, like at his hips? He didn't take off his diaper. He didn't put him on the exam table, or even LAY HIS HANDS ON MY SON!!!

As he was walking out, I blurted out something about the fact that Warren is STILL spitting up too much. He turned back and said "I don't typically medicate children for their parent's convenience." At which time he noticed, as I was getting Warren dressed, the huge birthmark on his arm. So he says "Has he always had that?" I say yes, and he leaves.

I literally just sat there for a moment wondering if that had really just happened. I mean, I'm a reasonably educated nurse and this is my third child in four years, so I know that Warren is healthy, but this a hole didn't know that. He didn't know us from Adam, and he didn't even care! I've never ever even once been disappointed with Navy medicine, but now, I'm just devastated. I just can't believe he treated us like that!!!

Ugh. Thanks for letting me vent.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gourmet Fantasies

So, most of you know that while I'm not that spectacular, I really enjoy cooking. Even though dinner comes at the worst part of the day (the whining hour) and my kids usually only eat one bite and after a while the left-overs get moldy, I still love to cook. And actually, Nick does too. Believe it or not, we actually have bickered a few times over who gets to dice up the onions and who gets to do the actual glory work. Weird, I know.

So naturally, when Julie&Julia came out, I was there on opening night. Now, as the mother of three kids aged three and under, and up until recently a full time work-out-of-the-house nurse, I don't make the kinds of things Julie does in the movie. I make thirty minute meals, and Sam the Cooking Guy, and recipes from the back of a can of cream of chicken soup. Julie sometimes didn't even start eating till ten thirty! That's almost ninety minutes past MY BEDTIME!

But I so long to give those recipes a try. I'm hate to admit that I'm a super picky eater, just because I've always eaten the same five things and never really cared to expand my horizons until I went off to college, and by then my taste buds were pretty stubborn. But with Nick's help and a few pregnancy cravings over the last five years (can you believe I never ate sour cream until I got preggo with Ava?!?!) I've slowly but surely tried new things. But Nick will eat anything, so if I could find the time to cook these fantastic recipes, he'd eat them. And we follow the philosophy that when children are hungry, they'll eat. So eventually the kids would eat them too.

Since I'm too scared to actually tackle Julia child, this is the cookbook I want to try.

Doesn't it look fantastic? So elegant, you just know those recipes will be divine, don't you? So, that's my fantasy. That I could somehow find the time to love on my kids during their icky "we're tired and hungry and too young to understand that if we just sat down on the couch to relax we'd feel so much better" phase of the night, but also enjoy making a fantastic, gourmet meal. I mean, I don't want my children to be in therapy one day saying 'yeah, she made a great dinner, but I just wanted a hug every now and then' right? Sigh. If you've seen the movie, you had to notice that neither Julie nor Julia had any kiddos.

On a totally separate note, has anyone been watching the revamp of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Last night, the expert was KEN JENNINGS!!! Like THE Ken Jennings! And only one friggin person called him! And he got it WRONG! It was such a bummer! I would have called him the first chance I got, even if I knew the answer, just to talk to him! Those contestants were morons. I don't think anyone's gonna win the big time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Weight Watchers Update

Well, I normally wouldn't celebrate a gain, BUT since I've been eating like I'm pregnant (I'm not!) and exercising like the laziest person alive (I am!) I actually do feel like celebrating the fact that I only gained point four pounds. Which keeps me in the one fifties. By point two pounds. Sigh. I gotta say, the one sixties were really super hard to get out of, and I do NOT want to go back! Although, going down into the one fifties, even if it's 159.8, means I get only 23 points now, instead of the 24 that I've enjoyed for so so so long. Another sigh.

So I went to my first CT meeting! I haven't found the Yankees up here to be quite as rude as I'd expected, but they definitely are NOT Southerners, know what I mean? The leader was fantastic, as opposed to the annoying leader in Biloxi, and there was this (annoying) mom there with her kids, one of them was like seven and the other was probably three. Ish. Hard for me to tell because my three year old looks like an eighteen month old. So this three ish year old is talking and acting up and being typical (HOORAY! I love it when I realize that I don't own the two naughtiest children in America, that sometimes other kids do the SAME THINGS!) until near the end of the meeting.

When she squatted down in the front of the room next to the leader.

And peed on the carpet.

And her mom giggled.

That's all I'm gonna say. I'm not gonna judge, because we lucked out and one day Ava said "I'm gonna use the potty now" and she never had an accident. She potty trained herself in a day. So I won't say anything about how disgusting this was, or about the mother's reaction. I'm just gonna let it go.

So we drove down to Hartford (up to Hartford? Your guess is as good as mine. Just yesterday I realized that we're actually on the coast. Like, the coast of the ocean. Mississippi public schools, how you've failed me) to pick up my...PRECOR EFX MACHINE!!! We said we'd look into getting one if we ended up going to Guam because naturally, they don't have a YMCA with childwatch out there. But the Y here is way over in Mystic and inconvenient with naps and preschool and all the TV I need to watch, so we just went ahead and got it now. Isn't it beautiful? It's the kind they use in gyms, it's so so so so so super duper nice.

So we cleaned out the spot in the bedroom for it, drove out and got it, Nick made friends with a neighbor who agreed to lift the two hundred pounds plus monstrosity all the way out of the truck and UP THE STAIRS...and it didn't fit thru the bedroom door.


So now what? I either have this HUGE giant monstrosity in the middle of my living room, or in the middle of the play room. Obviously, I want it in the playroom. But my son...Scott will most likely kill himself on it. And no, I can't just tell him 'don't touch.' I'm not that good a mom!


And yes, it's still ninety seven degrees here. Boo.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Well It's Semi Official...

The Navy is sending us to Guam. Guam, you say? What on earth is a Guam?

Well, since you asked, Guam "located in the Western Pacific Ocean, at approximately 13 degrees north latitude and 144 degrees east longitude. It is close to the intersection of an imaginary line drawn from Honolulu to Manila, and a line drawn from Tokyo to Sydney, Australia. Guam lies at the southern end of the Marianas Islands chain, and it is the most populated and highly developed island serving as the area's communication and transportation hub. Guam is about 30 miles long and of variable width, about 8 miles maximum." I've been told it's shaped somewhat like a peanut. So now you know as much as I do about Guam.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that ever since I was about ten and my dad took us for a vacation in the redwood forrest, I've been dying to get back to the Pacific Northwest. You gotta figure, marry a submariner, you're sure to get there eventually. After all, there's only SEVEN options! Alas, the Navy does not, I believe, care that my heart longs for the evergreens, for redwoods so magnanamous you can drive an eighteenwheeler thru.
The few people that we've told have been expectantly upset. Nick's coworkers usually respond "oh man, that sucks, I'm so sorry!" However, I am secretly a little bit excited. My very first mom friend, Brandi, moved out there this summer. It's a tropical paradise. It's exciting, sort of an adventure. I'm so so sorry that we'll be going so long without seeing our family, but this is where Nick is needed and we're going to make the best of it.
And by the way, it's only an eight hour flight for us to get to Honolulu, so if anyone wants to meet up... :)

Mystic Aquarium

Well, I'm certainly finding plenty to do to put off unpacking. Today, we headed down to Mystic, this super cute little coastal town that looks like something right out of a movie, and went to the aquarium. The usual Engelbrecht antics ensued. We had a really good time though, except for the dang heat! It's not anywhere near as miserably hot as it was in Biloxi, but man! I thought it would be midseventies, nice breezes...wrong! Connecticut is just as hot as anywhere else!

Here we go, Scott interacting with a penguin...

Kids working up the nerve to touch this huge crab!

Waiting for the beluga whales to eat their breakfast (gross!)

Waiting to get bigger...

We had a fantastic lunch at the park, then headed home to be productive while the kids napped. Nick cleaned out his entire shop. I watched some old reruns of Criminal Minds. Hmmm...

Splash Park

In the neighoborhood right next to ours, there's this little splash park type thing. So, while I treated myself to the Time Traveler's Wife at the World's Most Outdated Movie Theater, Daddy took the kids to splash around. Apparently, it was loads of fun. I, however, very much enjoyed my time away. Remember, I've had these kids to myself for five weeks, something I'm very very unaccustomed to! I've always known Nick was better than most other dads out there, but until those weeks in Biloxi, I didn't realize how much better he really is!

On a different note, the playroom has, as expected, gotten away from us. It is OUT OF CONTROL how many toys we have! I filled up four paper grocery bags, one plastic trash bag, and took them all to goodwill, and you can't even tell I took anything out of there! Ya'll, I'm dead serious, the trunk of the van was FULL of toys to donate, and I can still operate a mid sized toy store out of my front room! I'd post a picture, but I'm too ashamed!

Who's THAT Handsome Dude?

Because I am avoiding anything to do with unpacking, our big above-the-fireplace-mirror is propped against the living room wall. We have no fireplace, in case you were wondering. My parents, who live in Mississippi where it sometimes gets down to the forties but mostly stays in the nineties? They have a fireplace. Here in Connecticut where it's apparently going to snow FEET worth of the freezing (literally!) wet misery? No fireplace.

ANYWAY! Back to the topic at hand. Warren, who doesn't actually crawl yet, but scoots around very quickly and very well, scooted himself over to said mirror and was absolutely delighted that we'd finally brought home a friend his own size to play with! He used to spend all day gazing longingly at his big brother and sister, wishing with all his might that he could go and play with them. Now, he spends all day interacting with...himself. Huh. Who knew?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chuckie Cheese's

Well, I have been avoiding it since she was born, but I finally broke down and took the kids to Chuckie Cheese's. Or however you say it. We went when we were still down in Biloxi, so we had reinforcements. It's always better when the grow-ups outnumber the kids, don't you think? It was actually lots of fun. Scott really enjoyed sticking the coins in the little slots, and Ava just liked running around like a wild woman. I tried to teach them my mad skee ball skills...but I don't think they got it.


Here are a few shots of Brody and Warren 'playing' together at my mom's house. Just thought they were super cute, wanted to share.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Moving Day, Part Two

Part two, day one. But I didn't want this post title to look ridiculous.

So, after six weeks with Grandma and Grandpa in Biloxi, we finally decided it was time to head to Connecticut. So we loaded up our entired mini van, our travel trailer, and stashed everything else wherever we found an inch of space-as usual, we have WAY TOO MUCH STUFF!- and hit the open road yesterday.

It's twenty two hours of driving, most of which I have to do in the backseat, which makes me carsick, so we decided to break it up into three days. It's nice to take our time and swim at the hotels and all, but I'm so anxious to see the house!

Since Auburn was right on the way, we stopped for some pictures and to see a friend, and to drive around and say 'ohh, remember this and that?' BUT they were having summer graduation! We couldn't get anywhere near anything! Total bummer, I seriously almost cried.

But we did snap a few shots across the street from Samford Hall. You can sorta make it out in the back here. (Notice the clean new AU shirts!)

Then we met Laura and her family at Niffer's for lunch. Look how skinny she is! Not that she was ever fat or anything, but man! Needless to say, that made me feel pretty hopeless concerning Weight Watchers. So I ate an order of fried pickles and a chicken salad sandwhich. And it was so good.

Laura and I had our first two babies together, so Ava and Olivia are actually the same age. Hard to believe, I know. Ava eats like a football player, I don't know why she's such a runt.

And Scott and Noah are the same age too. Couldn't get any shots of them together, but they're more the same size.

Laura didn't join me for Baby Number Three though. Maybe that's why her kiddos are so well behaved!

We ended this leg of the trip in Greenville, SC. Fantastic hotel, nice pools, but the big kids are sharing a bed in the other room. Which means they're running around laughing. Goodness.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Video of Ava "Diving" Into the Pool


Seven Years

Well, I'm still in Biloxi, so I can't upload a wedding shot on here...but I'll still post. Nick and I said 'I do' SEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY!!! Can you even believe it? Let me tell ya'll, they've been the best seven years of my life. I married my best friend, he's still my best friend, and now we've got all these kids thrown into the mix. What could be better?

Since we were together (for the third time in seven years-thanks Navy!) we decided to take advantage of the situation and booked a room at the Hard Rock Casino. I used to go to the casinos when I was a teenager to eat, and my mom took me when I turned twenty one and I just didn't get it. We gave it a go and played at a slot machine, but after that thing took two of my dollars, I quit. I still don't understand why people do that! I could MAYBE understand playing cards, if you know how, but not slots. Who knows.

Nick surprised me-honest to God, I had NO IDEA! It's a total coincidence that I got my nails done, I swear it!- with a three stone anniversary band-hooray!

The hotel was a resort, seriously, and we couldn't just sit around selfishly and keep it to ourselves, so we convinced my mom and Arika to bring all the kids up this morning! Hey, it was my first time away from Warren at night, cut me some slack! We played at the pool all morning, then got home for some great naps and some heavy duty packing so we can get on the road tomorrow. Enjoy the pics, there's a LOT more I will post when I get on my own computer. We've been having tons of photo ops down here.

Ava for some reason thinks it's fantastic to get into Warren's floatie...

Here's cousin Brody...

And what's a pool day without a little ice cream?