I shopped til I dropped.

As I’ve been mentioning, consignment sale season is upon us here in KC, and yesterday I hit my favorite sale to stock up on my girls fall and winter clothes for the year.  Since this sale is my favorite, its the one I consign to, and I volunteer as well so I can shop the earliest pre-sale the day before the sale opens to the public.  I do this because a) it’s not as crowded as when it’s open to the public and b) you get first pick of all the really great stuff at the best prices.  This is especially helpful if you’re looking for something specific or hard to find, like an outdoor toy/playset or a bike.

However I was looking for neither, this year’s trip was just for clothes.  Of course I had to get Carlie some clothes. She can still wear some of last year’s clothes, but most are getting to short on her.  They’ll only last a few months before she needs the next size.

Maddie I just needed to fill in some holes where I did not have particular items when Carlie was that age.  It’s ironic — Carlie and Maddie are the closest in age (18 months) but yet are so different in terms of size and body type.  Carlie was a chunky baby, and she’s still outgrowing the thick thighs and tummy.  She might have that tummy her whole life (poor kiddo).  Maddie is a skinny-minny who only wears a 3T for the length.  All her adjustable waist pants are on the smallest setting so they don’t fall off of her.  And she can still pull them off without unbuttoning them.  And actually, her Halloween costume is an 18 month size.  Ironic given Lizzie can wear 18 month size already (my second chunky monkey).

And even though I have a ton of baby girl clothes from my older two, Lizzie had to go and be a different size for the season.  She’ll wear 18 months but the older two wore 18 months size in the summer, so I had to buy some new clothes for her too.

I got to the sale at 4:15, and I didn’t get out of there until 8.  Four hours of shopping.  I was pretty pooped.  I guess in all fairness I shopped until 7:15 but I happened to finish around the time the consigners (who were let in at 6) were wrapping up so I caught the long line.

But I ended up with 77 pieces for just under $300 (tax included), including a Halloween costume and a winter coat.  And a “piece” is everything on a hanger.  So if someone combined a shirt, sweater and leggings on a hanger, that’s one “piece”.  So really I have more than 77 items for that much.  That’s less than $4 per piece, and I’m guessing less than $3 per item if I were to count the number of items.

I’d love to show you some pictures, but after I got home last night, kissed the girls good night, did the dishes, folded some laundry, sorted through the clothes, then sat down, I was done for the day.  So we’re picture-free today.

Now all I have to do to get the girls ready for winter is figure out what I need for tights, additional leggings and socks, and I need to find them some casual and dressy shoes.  And we’ll be ready for winter!  Well, physically at least.  Mentally I’m so not ready…..


Food Waste Friday: Nothing, nada, zip, zilch

Part of saving money, especially when it comes to groceries and food, is to not waste the food that you do buy.  If you work hard to save money and purchase good, wholesome food for your family, then why would you want to throw it in the trash each week?

Now I’m not clever enough to have come up with Food Waste Friday on my own.  I’m participating along with some other great people, including Kristen, a.k.a The Frugal Girl.  Why don’t you join us and see how much money you can save by actually eating all the food you buy?

Yes sirree Bob, nothing to be chucked out of the fridge this week.  Woo hoo!

Although in the interest of honesty and transparency, we did throw out quite a bit of uneaten tilapia from last week, about 1/2 a fillet worth.  It just didn’t get cooked all the way, and none of us like undercooked fish.  I could have saved it and cooked it some more, but I’m not sure I could have stomached it after eating the undercooked part.

Since I have no pictures of wasted food, I’ll share a few I took of Lizzie the other day.  I’ve been working on different techniques and types of shots with my camera and was practicing my mirror shots.

I love how this one looks like she’s sitting back to back with a twin.  And I couldn’t decide between the color or the B&W one, so you get both.

And I love how mirror Lizzie is in focus and real Lizzie is out of focus in this one.

Anyway, just some photo fun for you today.

Happy Friday!

How about you?  How much food do you waste each week?  Join us in trying to create a food waste-free household!

Miscellaneous Monday: YA Sci-Fi, Lizzie in jail, Fantasy Football and Who’s the Boss?

After taking the weekends off I am too lazy find it hard to remember to get a post ready for Monday.  So I’m going to try out Miscellaneous Monday.  Just random thoughts or happenings from me.  If you’re like me you probably can’t handle much more than that on Mondays anyway, right?

Whew!  That was a long post title this week.  Let’s get down to bid-ness.

Miscellaneous #1:

I’m totally into this whole sci-fi young adult genre that’s so popular today.  I’m very much a fan of The Twilight Saga, I read The Hunger Games series in like a grand total of 5 days (for all three books), and of course you can’t leave out Harry Potter.  (Is that even part of this genre?  No matter, I love HP anyway.)  I just finished reading The Giver by Lois Lowry (decent, didn’t love the ending) and have Bumped by Megan McCafferty and Feed by M.T. Anderson on hold for me at the library.  I’m such a huge sci-fi dork fan (yes, I love Star Wars and own the whole collection) and I love the young adult versions because they’re short and easy to read.  I can usually finish one in a few hours.  Which is nice when you usually only get 15 minutes at a time to read due to three monsters tearing up your home lovely children playing nicely together.  Are they the most challenging literature to tackle?  Certainly not.

Miscellaneous #2:

Lizzie has now started standing.  This kid can pull herself to standing anywhere.  All she needs is something stable to touch — a chair, a wall, a person’s leg — and she’s up.  I don’t mind so much, but of course now when she wakes up from her nap or during the night she immediately pulls herself up and starts screaming bloody murder.  Which of course is kinda funny, since when you walk into her room and see her standing there, holding on to the sides of her crib and peering out at me, it’s like she’s in a jail or something.  Not that being in jail is funny.  It’s just funny to see a baby who looks like she’s in jail.  *Sigh.*

But of course it’s not really funny because she’s doing this when she’s supposed to be sleeping.  And you know I can’t just go in and put her back down and have her drift off to sleep peacefully.  Nope, I calm her down, try to walk out and BAM!  Scream city all over again.   After spending seven months of hell where I was exhausted 24/7 I am NOT ready for this.  I’m going to be optimistic and assume this is just a quick phase that she’ll outgrown in a few days or a week, tops.  If anyone dares to tell me it lasted more than that for their child I’ll just plug my ears (eyes?) and sing “LALALALALALALALA”.   Because I’m mature like that.

Miscellaneous #3

Fantasty Football draft is next week.  I’m very excited but already anxious about the draft.  I have a hard enough time making decisions in real life, how am I supposed to pick who I want on my fantasy team?

Miscellaneous #4

Last week was a bad week.  Just a bad, rotten, no-good week.  I’m hoping this week is better.

Scratch that.  This week WILL be better.  I’m going to show this week who’s the boss.  Ha, Who’s the Boss…that was a great TV show, wasn’t it?  We need more family friendly TV like that.  Wait…a male housekeeper and his daughter living with his female boss and her son and her snarky mom wasn’t family-friendly?  Okay, maybe not.

And that’s my random train of thought for the day.

That’s all for this Monday.  10-4, over and out.

This is not a fun way to spend your last days of summer.

So on top of all the crazy business of our lives lately, we’ve been battling illness around the house too.  It started with Chad getting a cold two days before we took off for our extended weekend to Dallas.  He was popping cold pills every four hours, which seemed to help.  By the Friday of our trip he was pretty much better.

Which is good, because then he was taking care of me.  The Thursday morning that we left for our trip I woke up with some swelling above my right eye.  I thought it was just a bug bite, perhaps a mosquito got into the house, and figured it would go away during the day.

Boy, was I wrong.

By the time we hit Muskogee, Oklahoma my eye was half swelled shut.  We ended up stopping in an urgent care to have a doctor take a look.  His diagnosis was an allergic reaction to something and recommended Zyrtec or Benadryl, hydrocortisone cream, and maybe some allergy eye drops.  We grabbed the Zyrtec and hydrocortisone cream from Walgreens and headed on.  I figured it would be gone by the time we hit Dallas.

Boy, was I wrong.  Again.

By the time we hit Dallas four hours later my eye was swelled completely shut.  In fact, the entire right side of my face was swollen.  Above my eyebrow, all the way to my ear, and it was even putting pressure on my sinuses.  I was miserable.  So I took a Benadryl, on top of the Zyrtec.  Surely, it would *have* to go down by morning.

Boy, was I wrong.  Yet again.

After a horrible night of sleep and constant worry, we woke up Friday morning and decided to hit urgent care in Dallas.  A wonderful doctor saw me, decided it was definitely an allergic reaction, but I was going to have to either have it drained, have steriods injected, get an antibiotic, or some combination of all three.  But he wanted me to see an optometrist.

But we were in Dallas, out of our HMO network.  We were not exactly excited about the prospect of paying out of pocket for an optometrist visit.  So we asked if we could go to the ER instead (the HMO covers urgent/emergent care, just not office visits).  They said of course, so we did.

So we spent the next 3 hours in the ER where they took a CAT scan to make sure my eyeball or the area behind my eye wasn’t swollen (it wasn’t), and proceeded to pump me full of Benedryl and a steriod (Prednisone). And and antibiotic.

And they still sent me to an optometrist.  She agreed it was an allergic reaction, checked out my eye and declared it perfectly fine, and said ithe drugs they gave me should work but to call if it got worse.  Also, they only charged us the co-pay and since my husband works for our health insurance company he found out our insurance will cover the visit rather than make us pay out of pocket since it was an emergency situation.

So after four days of steriods, antibiotics and pain medication my eye finally went down to a fairly acceptable level of swelling.  And today, a week and half later, it’s still just a bit poofy but still very tender.  I think I need to go see my primary care physician just to make sure nothing else is going on with it.

But it kinda ruined our first day of our trip to Dallas.  Thank God for my wonderful sister-in-law and brother-in-law who helped take care of our kids while Chad and I ran around Dallas getting me fixed.

And then last week?  Well Lizzie started sounding kinda congested.  Then she started waking up during the night.  And not eating quite as well.  And then a bunch of gook was in her ears.  And then it was in her eyes.  So Thursday we made a quick stop at the doctor to confirm a double ear infection and conjunctivitis.  So she got her own dose of Prednisone.

We’re all doped up on ‘riods in our house.

And thank goodness we took her in on Thursday because we didn’t want her to be cranky for our trip back to St. Louis for my sister’s baby shower this past weekend.  And she wasn’t.  Drugs are goooood.

Needless to say it was a crazy way to spend our last two weeks of summer vacation.  Maybe now we’re all better.  The older two girls so far have escaped unscathed.  We’ll see how long that lasts.  School starts this week, so it probably won’t last long.

The crazy thing is we’re usually not a “sick” family.  Chad and I rarely get sick, and I think except for a minor cold here and there, Carlie’s only been sick twice, Maddie’s had two ear infections, and Lizzie had roseola last month (and now this), but that’s it.

Let’s just hope this isn’t the start of a long, sick fall/winter.  I don’t know if I can handle it.

Okay, I’m done babbling about our family’s health.

I sure hope you, my dear readers, are better off than we have been!

And for your viewing pleasure, a picture of my chubby baby with pouting lips.  She conked out on the way home from church and breakfast out, and I couldn’t resist snapping some pictures of that adorable little face.

Don’t you just want to kiss that little face all over?  I do.

Operation Declutter: Revised Plan

Okay, remember how last week I said I fell off the wagon on getting Operation Declutter finished?  Well this week has only gone a smidge better.  I got a few of the drawers in our Master Bedroom dresser cleaned out, and cleared out all the junk I had on top of it.

While I like schedules to try to keep myself on to a task, sometimes it ends up causing me stress — I feel I have to get it done because the schedule says so.

Well you know what, I have three kids ages 4 and under.  I have enough stress in my life.  I don’t need my own cleaning schedule (which while is good, is not considered “necessary”) to create even more.

So my new plan of attack is to try to get to one “area” each week.  Clean out a drawer here.  A closet there.  Grab that pile of stuff sitting in that one spot and go through it and put it away/throw it away/donate it.  I’ll still be going through the stuff in our house and purging but at a pace more condusive to also completing my daily chores around the house.

Okay, that’s all I have for today.  Sorry for such a lame post.  I have to go get ready to take the girls to Lizzie’s 9 month and Carlie’s 4 year checkups.  I’m pretty sure Lizzie has some vaccinations today (I can’t remember offhand which ones our pediatrician does at 9 months that are part of the 6-18 month vaccination schedule), and I think its possible we might do Carlie’s 4/5 year boosters today — the younger kids tolerate them better, and we’ll get them before entering Kindergarten next year anyway, so why not do them now?  So I may have a pair of crabby kids on my hands later today.  Or maybe not.  We’ll see.

In the meantime here are some more fun photos that I’ve played around with in Photoshop.  Enjoy!

Sunkissed and Lovely & Ethereal

Soft & Faded