Aunt Tiffany and Uncle Hank were home for Thanksgiving for a week, and while here, gave Avery her Christmas presents (they won't be here for Christmas . . . boo). Avery is enjoying her magnetic letters. She is always at the refrigerator saying "two, three, apple," and playing with the letters. She is also enjoying her hair band collection. She spent a lot of time trying on all of the hairbands. P.S. she does not like it when I try to wear her hair bands.
I blogged about the huge pumpkin earlier this month, but I thought today, how many pumpkin muffins can I really make? It happened that today was rainy/snowy and cold, and in my mind that means warm, homey baked goods. To my husband that means chili. I satisfied us both, making a crock pot of chili and pumpkin waffles (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pumpkin-Waffles-104264) for Avery and I. The pumpkin waffles were REALLY good, just the thing to make you want to curl up with the plate and start a movie. Instead though, I ate mine standing up in the kitchen, busy making the rest of the batch of waffles (to freeze) and feeding my hungry toddler. Avery ate 1 1/2 waffles and a whole banana. I was glad she liked the waffles because otherwise I would be eating the 2 dozen waffles I froze.
I wrote a post earlier this month about Avery playing with some rags. The playing has evolved into using the rags as blankets for her babies. She carefully, really carefully lays the rags out flat, with no wrinkles, and lays her babies, or lego people on the "blankets." Usually, then she covers them up completely with another rag. Then she moves all of the people and repeats the process. The other evening, Avery had 2 babies and 2 lego people out playing with the rags. She is so serious when she is doing this . . . and it keeps her occupied for quite sometime.
Avery is getting a mullet. I know you just started laughing, come on, a non-intentional mullet on a little toddler girl, its sorta funny, or sad, or whatever. For a long time Bryan and I have joked about Avery's lack of hair, but over the last few months it has actually started to grow . . . mostly at the back. Ok, laugh again. At any rate, it looked particularly bad the other day, so I got out the small hair ties and tried to fashion a solution. The pigtails, I thought, came out really well. I was getting ready to go to Target for some shopping, happy that I had solved the bad mullet hair day, until I laid Avery down to change her diaper. Laying down=death to pigtails. Or, at least when your pigtails are 1/2 inch long. Oh well, here we come Billy Ray!
Last weekend we celebrated my sister Sarah's birthday party. It was mom's idea to do a "spa" birthday for the girls, so I went over to help with facials, manicures, and hair. The girls finished the evening with a fashion show including old dance and halloween costumes. The girls looked so cute! Even Avery was not left out. My mom dressed her in her own "pretty dress," which she modeled along with an apple she stole from the diaper bag.
I have been incredibly busy lately with school work. My class competes in a Social Studies compeition every year called "We the People." It takes a lot of extra work, often more for me sometimes than the students. In fact, I'm even having a Saturday session for students today to come in and practice--since the competition is on Monday. If you are incredibly bored and want to see what this entails for the students, check out www.civiced.org and click on "We the People." Go ahead--try and answer the questions the students are supposed to know. I bet you will be floored at what they are expected to learn!
So, I don't carve pumpkins or get too fancy decorating for any season (last year we were in the crawling phase, this year the -- I will destroy or throw away anything within reach phase), but after reading several "frugal mom" blogs I decided to eat my fall decorations. Despite warnings from several online sources saying the pumpkins I bought were not the best for eating (yet edible), I set about dismembering my mammoth pumpkin. I was skeptical after starting the the somewhat harrowing task of taking the skin off of the pumpkin--that my efforts would be rewarded. After taking the skin off of the pumpkin, dicing, roasting, pureeing, and straining the pumpkin (2 hours), I was left with about 10 cups of pumpkin puree. That's pretty good considering I paid less than $4 for the pumpkin, and used it for a decoration for about a month. Out of this pumpkin that most would consider no good trash, I made pumpkin muffins with streusel topping and mini muffins for Avery to take to the sitters to share for snack.
The best part of the day . . . seeing Bryan eat his words. He told me he hated pumpkin and would never eat it--I begged him to try the muffins. You know what happened right? Yeah, he loved them.
Our student council did a teacher car wash at school this year--and being one of the sponsors, I brought home all of the rags to wash. They have been sitting in our kitchen in a bucket for about a month (what can I say, I keep forgetting to take the bucket back to school). Recently, Avery has been going into the kitchen, taking rags from the bucket, and using them for toys. Today she was laying on the couch using them to cover up (both her and Bryan) and this evening she was using them as baby blankets for her babies. Besides the duplo blocks from my parents house, this is her favorite ?toy? right now! Weird, I know!
I know the title sounds bad . . . but can I tell you that sometimes couponing can seem like robbery! I do however feel a great sense of accomplishment when I see the total of my order fall-especially into single digits. I went to Meijer today, hoping the there were still some good "mealbox" coupon items to be had. I made two trips, the second after realizing that I needed some coupons that I left at home to make some awesome deals. My first trip was good, I only spent about $40 for groceries for the week. My goal is $50/week. I went back and spend $10.42 (including tax). This trip is the one I am really proud of! Here's how it went down:
3 Glade plug-in scented oil refills (12.76)
4 boxes jello (2.00)
4 boxes Kellogs cereal (10.00)
4 boxes velveeta shells & cheese (6.67)
-2.00 off when you buy 4 boxes Kellogs (auto coupon weekly deal)
-4.00 (4 $1.00 off printable coupons Kellogs cereal)
-6.38 ( 2 BOGO Glade refills)
-3.00 (2 $1.50 off 2 Glade refills)
-3.00 (2 $1.50 off 2 boxes jello--meijer mealbox coupons)
-3.50 (now that I'm looking close at the receipt the cashier must have rang my mealbox coupons an extra time--I'll have to go to the customer service desk next trip)
with tax TOTAL: 6.44
(also printed off 2-$2.00 off next order coupons for glade plug ins, $1.00 off next order from cereal, & 3.00 off next order from shells & cheese)
2 Lysine Supplements (BOGO-5.29)
bananas (not pictured) 1.45
brown sugar 1.34
5 Green Giant Steamers 6.67
-$8.00 (catalina coupons from transaction #1)
-5 $1.00 off Green Giant Steamers
with tax TOTAL: 3.98
This is a lot of food for just over $10--which should be just under $14. Even then it would have been a great deal! I think that I am definitly stocked up on mac & cheese & cereal - I bought 4 boxes of both in my first trip to Meijer!