Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just let me brag a little

I've been totally sucked into the world of couponing. I'm having so much fun with it, and Jim loves it because I'm actually saving us money and getting some things for free or as close to free as it comes.

Anyways, I know you don't really care, but I have to be a big huge dork and brag about my purchases. I was tempted to take a picture of everything I got, but decided against it. But believe me I got some GOOD stuff!! :)

I WOULD HAVE spent $112.67 without my coupons and thrifty deals

I actually spent $33.98

For a savings of $78.69!!!

I'm so proud of myself, and now my food storage is a little more stocked. Hooray!

Monday, March 30, 2009


I use this blog as a family journal of sorts, so this entry is more for our records than anything else. Feel free to read, but I won't be offended if the following is of little or no interest to you.

After we put Tralee to bed last night Jim and I started talking about what a little sweetheart she is and how much we love her. In the middle of all of our gushing we started telling each other some of our favorite Tralee-isms. Here are a few:

She LOVES to climb up and onto ANYTHING. After Tralee reaches her desired height (whether it be the kitchen table, the back of our couch, a bathroom counter -- all things she's not supposed to climb on) she does a three-two-one countdown and JUMPS into our arms or down on something soft. This is what the countdown sounds like:

"Wee. Two. Wee. Two. Un!! (She jumps) WEEEEEEE!!!"

When Corky has to go outside she scratches at the door. Upon hearing this Tralee usually runs up to me and says, "A Goggy, a Goggy, a Goggy dooow" Roughly translated this means, "Doggy is scratching at the door."

When Corky is eating her food Tralee says, "Goggy. . . Goggy. . . Goggy food." Or "Goggy. . . Goggy. . . Goggy eat."

I've mentioned before that Tralee's stuffies are very dear to her, and she often won't take a bite of her food until they have had the pleasure of sampling from her spoon or fork first. Depending on which one she's sharing with she usually says, "titty. . . titty. . . titty eat." or "beah. . . beah. . . beah. . Food." Titty is Kitty (yes, I know what it sounds like) Beah is Bear.

Whenever Tralee dances (which she does A LOT) her stuffies also get in on the action. She will hold them by their head, bend over so that their feet are touching the floor, and start bopping them up and down so that they dance too.

When I take Tralee grocery shopping she often refuses to sit in the cart until Kitty does first. I actually have to put Kitty in the strap or Tralee is not satisfied. Sometimes I only go in for some milk, and Tralee still insists that Kitty sits in the cart. I've tried to say "no, we don't need a cart" when this happens, but the meltdown that occurred after wasn't worth it. You have to pick your battles, you know? So. . . if what it takes to keep Tralee happy in the grocery store means I have to push a stuffed animal in a cart, so be it.

Sometimes when we walk outside Tralee holds Kitty by the head, bends over until Kitty's feet are touching the ground, and lets Kitty "walk" beside her.

When we're singing from the hymn book in church, Tralee will find one, open to a page, and start singing along too. Her words don't make sense, but it's pretty darn cute.

Whenever we pray, or a prayer is said in church, Tralee will cross her arms and bow her head, but she also has a pretty mean scowl on her face. Not sure why. At the end of a prayer she sometimes says "Amen."

Speaking of church, Tralee LOVES nursery and often doesn't want to leave when we come pick her up. One of the nursery teachers brings her guitar and at the end of class all the kids sit around on their little chairs, or in a circle, and sing songs. Tralee's favorite is "The Wheels on the Bus." The other day I walked into the kitchen and noticed that Tralee had set up a little nursery class with her stuffies. She was singing with them, and doing other activities. It was so cute, I had to capture it on video. Of course whenever the camera comes out, Tralee decides to tone it down a notch, but you get the gist of it. Enjoy:

After this, I walked into the kitchen and noticed that each of her stuffies had some sort of toy to play with. One had a pen next to it, the other a spoon, one had a baby teething thing, and the last one had one of my bracelets. Tralee wasn't around, but she left each of her stuffies with something to do in her absence. She's so thoughtful!

Now for some more Tralee-isms. . .

When I'm getting ready in the morning Tralee comes into my bathroom (which is where we keep all of her bathroom stuff as well -- it's just easier) opens the drawer and does whatever I'm doing. We brush our teeth together, floss together (she can't really floss yet, but I humor her), I gurgle with Listerine which Tralee has learned she can't have yet but she makes the gurgle sound. We brush our hair, put on some make-up (Tralee usually sticks to lip gloss), we put on deodorant (if one of her stuffies is there, they get some deodorant also -- Tralee makes sure of it), we get a squirt of body splash, and if I'm not forgetting anything, usually we're good to go.

Tralee has been into taking off her shirt lately. Sometimes she doesn't quite get it right, and I find her with her shirt in a crazy knot around her little frame.

When we tell Tralee it's time for "Night. Night" she usually plops down wherever she is, and fake snores. Believe it or not, Jim and I are NEVER fooled by this.

Tralee is SERIOUSLY into Curious George lately. The other day I wanted to get something done without Tralee's "help", so I asked her if she would like to watch something. Her eyes lit up and she immediately said, "ORGE! ORGE! ORGE!" This means George. Ever since then Tralee will run up to me and exclaim "ORGE!!" whenever she's in the mood to watch him, or play one of his games on PBS.org. Sadly, out of the hundreds of books Tralee has, not one of them is Curious George. We'll have to remedy that soon.

Two of Tralee's favorite books are Green Eggs and Ham and Dr Suess's ABC Book. Tralee can point to the words on each cover and read them. Pretty smart!

Some more of Tralee's words and phrases also include:

"Heya goo." Translation: Here you go or Here we go

"Doo Doo" Translation: Thank you

"Ooo. Cooo." Translation: Oh, that's cold

"A Titty Up" Translation: Kitty is going up. Usually Tralee will throw kitty in the air after she says this.

"A Done" Translation: All done.

There are more phrases and words, but I can't think of them right now. Also, Tralee has been really good at repeating words and phrases after we say them. Her language skills are really blossoming.

That's about all I can think of for now. I just wanted to record these things down before I forgot. Tralee sure is a little munchkin, and we sure do love her around here!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The women in my family (on both sides) are amazing in the kitchen. While both sides of my family can dish up meals that would rival any of Paula Deen's concoctions, I think the women on my father's side get the blue ribbon for baking. I seriously believe it's a generational thing.

I've heard stories about my great-grandmother's (Nana's mother's) tortes, cakes, and pies. They were all so delicious people asked her to bake them for their weddings and other celebratory occasions.

When I was little my favorite place to be at Nana's house was in her kitchen. She had several cookie jars, each one containing a different delicious delicacy. I gazed up at them and slyly said things like, "I wonder what that cookie tastes like." Nana usually caught my drift and answered back with, "would you like to try one and find out." Of course I always nodded "yes."

My Aunt Mary, Nana's daughter, gives out cartons of home-made cookies to all of her family and friends during the holiday season. This carton has at least 20+ different homemade cookies in it, and it's one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. Each cookie is amazing.

Aunt Mary has two sons and I have two brothers, so I'm the only female in the next generation of bakers. This is a position I don't take lightly. I have a lot of live up to! Apparently Nana wanted to make sure the baking gene didn't skip a generation, because my lessons started early in Nana's kitchen. I not only remember sampling from her cookie jars, but helping fill them as well. Here I am, in her kitchen, hard at work, helping her bake cookies.

There were several occasions like this. Each one I was taught something new about baking/cooking. For my sixteenth birthday I received a cookbook from Nana. This cookbook is filled with Nana's famous recipes lovingly written out on recipe cards in Nana's handwriting. Some of the recipes are the tortes/cakes my great-grandmother created for the celebrations she baked for. It's not only a book of recipes, but an important piece of my family history. Of all the cookbooks that fill my shelves, this is the one I turn to the most.

I know I have a long way to go until I'm up-to-par with my great-grandmother's, Nana's, and Aunt's baking abilities, but with each batch of cookies, cake, pie, bread, or torte I make that turns out, I know I'm getting a little closer.

I also know I want to keep the baking gene alive. That's why Tralee is my new helper in the kitchen. I love that Tralee is old enough to understand when I say things like, "pour this in" or "stir this up." It's to the point that if Tralee sees me pull out the mixer, she comes running into the kitchen, pulls a chair up to the counter, and makes herself readily available to help. It's so fun having a daughter I can bake with. I also can't deny the fact that everything Tralee has helped me bake has turned out oh-so-tasty. The most important ingredient of baking is not forgotten when Tralee helps: LOVE.

Yes, my Nana needn't worry, the next generation will do just fine in the kitchen.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I've been a bit of a blog slacker lately. There were things I could have blogged about, but choose not to. Why? We've been a little on the busy side with out-of-town visitors, church callings, being huge and pregnant, errands, work, doctor's appointments, watching people's kids, you get the picture. When I do finally sit down at the computer I just don't feel like taking the time to download pictures and write out a post. Hopefully I'll get back on track. I can't promise I'll stay on track once we welcome the new baby into our home. Then we'll REALLY be busy doing all things new-baby and attempting to keep Tralee's routine in tact. So, don't worry about no new posts. I'll do my best to keep you all informed. Until I get bitten by the blogging bug again, enjoy these pictures. We took them a few weeks ago.

Tralee's a little climber, and we often ask ourselves how she managed to climb up on something. A few weeks ago I wandered into our bathroom and found Tralee sitting in the sink. She was "feeding" kitty some soap, and enjoying her own reflection. It was pretty cute. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mind Nausea

I'm awake. Can't sleep. This is a frequent behavior of mine recently. It's 4:30 am and my mind is racing.

Racing with oh-s0-many thoughts. Some good. Some bad.

The good thoughts are mostly about the baby we'll welcome into this world in a few short weeks, all the money I saved with my coupons yesterday (I spent around $50 and saved over $100! Plus, with my thrifty deals I got several items for FREE!!), and about the cute little munchkin named Tralee. She brings us so much joy!

The bad ones are all the usual mumbo-jumbo. Finances (always finances), career choices, whether I should go back to school after the baby is born so that I can do medical transcription from home, whether or not we should keep this property or move on, whether or not I should apologize for chewing out our neighbor for not fixing the water pump and having our water turn off sporadically several days in a row (I didn't know I had it in me, but boy he got an earful! However, he later told Jim I hurt his feelings and now I feel bad), all the cleaning/laundry I've been putting off and REALLY need to get to, and more thoughts are circling around and around in my head.

It's dizzying, and because of my mind-nausea I can't sleep.

I guess I should try that saying: When you can't sleep, stop counting sheep and talk to The Shepard. Hopefully He can help. Well, we all know He can help.

So here I go, I'm off to talk to The Shepard and hopefully get a few hours of rest before The Munchkin wakes up and demands my attention.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Birthday Lunch

We had a little birthday lunch yesterday afternoon with Jim's cousin's family. Their daughter's, Jovie's, birthday is on the same day as Jim's, so we planned a little lunch to celebrate both birthdays. We were watching Jim's Uncle's kids, so we had the lunch at their house. The lunch was fun, but it was REALLY fun watching Tralee and Jovie play together.

We watched them jump on the tramp, throw sand in each other's faces, and see-saw together.

This was the first time Tralee actually see-sawed with someone in her size category. Both girls loved it. . . even though some of the pictures don't really portray it.

Like this one. . .

Not really a face that screams "I love this!"

Or this one. . .

If you didn't know any better you would think she was miserable

But then I managed to snap a few of the girls smiling. Not at the same time of course, that would be too perfect.

Look closely and you'll see that Jovie is sporting a fantastic grin!

And here is Tralee, equally as enthused to be see-sawing with a pal.

Next time I'll try and get a pic of BOTH girls smiling at the same time. It's not an easy task getting a 2 and 3 year old to smile sequentially, but we'll try.

Jim's Birthday

Jim's birthday was pretty low-key, but he had fun. I mean, how can you not have fun if presents and cake are involved?

Jim's mom bought him an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen (a family tradition), and since we were babysitting Jim's Uncle's kids whilst Jim celebrated his 30 years of life, they also baked him a birthday cake. It was very sweet of them to do.

Jim opened his gifts and got some birthday money, an Irish t-shirt from Tralee and me (also a tradition we started in our family), and the entire Astro Boy series from Jim's sister Sue and her family. He felt pretty happy about it all.

When it came time to blow out the candles the kids put fifteen in one cake, and fifteen in the other. It took a lot of air to blow out all thirty candles, but Jim managed to do it. Actually, he blew out all but one in one breath and then announced, "Only one left, that means I have one girlfriend."

That's right, and I'm proud to say, I'm her!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Shhhh. . . Somebody's 30 Today.

I'll give you 50 points if you can tell me who this is. I'll give you a hint: This same person is 30 today, but it's a secret. He doesn't want anybody to know, because apparently, when you turn 30, it officially means you're old. (No offense to people in their 30's, this isn't coming from me.)

So. . . I guess that means

Happy 29th+1 Birthday Jim!

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Country Walk

Jim took off this fine Saturday to go snowboarding with some cousins. Well, first he was going to help a cousin move, and then he was going up to Bogus Basin to snowboard his little feet off.

So, what's a mommy to do on a beautiful Saturday afternoon with her daughter? After some lounging around on both of our parts, Tralee and I finally got ready, grabbed the camera, and headed outside to do a little damage of our own.

Since we've moved here, we've pretty much kept to the two acres we live on. Tralee thinks it's fine, and usually has a blast running around, playing in the dirt, throwing rocks, and feeding our neighbor's horses. But, today we decided to broaden our horizons. I busted out the stroller (it's been gathering some serious dust this winter) and we hit the road for a country walk.

I've mentioned before that we live right in the midst of some peach and apple orchards, so on our walk we stopped and ran around an orchard. Tralee loved it, and I got some cute pictures of her. I'm not sure if we're allowed in the orchard, but I figured if someone had a problem with it, they would come let us know. Fortunately, no one came and we had the orchard all to ourselves to run around in, pick up sticks, and point to the birdies. Tralee and I had fun, and I can only imagine how beautiful it will be when the trees start to blossom!

The picture above is one of my favorites I took of Tralee today.

This one's pretty good too.

Just playing around with my little camera. Oh, how I long for a nice SLR. But, at least my little point-and-shoot gets the job done.

I only put the above picture in because it shows my belly, and I haven't been taking too many "belly shots" this pregnancy. No one was with us, so I set the camera's timer and put it on top of the stroller. As you can see, it didn't work out too great since my head is chopped off. BUT. . . my belly is as clear as day!

The best picture I managed to get of Tralee and me. She didn't want to sit still. . . not for a second!

I'm sure this is an outing that will be repeated several times.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Here are a few websites I've been visiting lately for some steals and deals. I saw the first one on another mom's blog this morning. I'm glad she posted about it, because now I can pass along the info.

The woman who blogs athriftymom.com lives in my neck-of-the-woods, and was recently featured on the local news. Just click on the button to view her blog for some money saving tips.

My Aunt let me know about this next blog. Just click on the link and it should take you there.


And a few more Jim's cousin sent me:


I really like knowing I got a good deal on something, however I don't have the time/energy/attention span to sift through coupons and browse the internet for deals. Luckily the two women who run these blogs have it down, and they're nice enough to pass along the info!

Hope it helps you save a few bucks!

Monday, March 2, 2009


Tralee has a pretty good imagination for her age.

One imagination game she likes to play is "Bear, Kitty, and Doggy." That's what Jim and I named it. She watched Milo and Otis one day, and there's a scene in it where a bear is trying to get at a kitty. Shortly after Otis, the doggy, shows up and saves the day. The day after Tralee saw this for the first time, she started saying, "Bear: Rar! Rar! Kitty: Meow! Meow! Doggy: Woof! Woof!" Since then Jim and I have joined in the fun, one of us is the bear, one of us the kitty, and one of us the doggy. We act out our respective parts much to the delight of Tralee.

I've also come to the conclusion that Tralee believes her stuffed animals are real. Why do I think this? I'll give you an example. Tralee won't eat her own food until her stuffies have had a bite first. Last night I got some pretzels out for Tralee and she refused to take a bite until her kitty and her bear each had a nibble. This morning she pulled out a kitchen chair, sat her kitty on it, and then walked around to the other end of the table where she pulled a chair out for herself and sat down. I asked if she was hungry to which I recieved an "uh-huh" so I fed her a banana. Tralee wasn't satisfied until I placed part of the banana in front of kitty also. There are more examples, such has when Tralee babbles to her stuffies, does "this little piggy" to their paws, and counts to three upon which her stuffies "jump" into her arms.

It's so stinken' fun to watch Tralee play and use that little imagination of hers!