Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cravings Derail Our Budget

This pregnancy so far has been rough. I'm trying to remember my pregnancy with Marshal...I know I couldn't get out of bed in the morning without having a cracker or two. But this all day long nausea is getting old.

11 Weeks 4 Days Old Little Peanut
But the cravings are almost as bad as the nausea  And they are wreaking havoc on our budget. I typically am nagging hubby about eating out but I've been the worst offender over the last month and a half.

I've gone out of my way to go to my favorite Thai restaurant, which is almost 45 minutes away, at least three times. That's my most expensive craving...Galanga Thai and their Panang Curry makes my mouth water. :) If they were closer my budget would be out of this world high.

Between cravings and exhaustion, my endeavor to cook more foods at home has gone out the window. Pizza - Check. Burger King - check. Pho - Check. Local Sandwich Shop (lunch meat nuked of course) - Check.

It's getting out of hand and I'm not sure how to combat it! We truly cannot afford to continue to eat out so often.

Of course as I write this I'm craving Chinese Food.

I did make Panang Curry at home the other wasn't the same but it did taste pretty good. I've never been able to make my favorite Chinese food though. My pizza recipe is decent. But I do love me some Dominoes.

What to do???

I will say that our grocery bill has shrunk...but not enough to justify eating out so much.

12 weeks down...can our budget survive the rest!?!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spending Quality Time

As the baby in my belly grows I get a little more nervous about how my little Marshal man will react come the arrival. I'm not the best mom...sometimes I want my alone time and let Marshal play Angry Birds or watch cartoons too much. But I do want to spend special time with him now and when the baby arrives.

Last weekend I took him on a "date" to Burger King and Walmart. :) Sounds silly but it was really fun. We purchased a Gingerbread Train, which we then put together Tuesday night.

Date Night

Gingerbread Train

Cutting down the Christmas Tree Saturday
When daddy is home I step aside as much as possible to let them bond, but since he's with me most of the time it's tough to get him to unlatch. I want them to bond ... and it's especially hard when daddy is working nights.

This weekend we are planning a trip to Zoo Lights in Seattle and I can't wait. =) It's going to be a full family bonding event with daddy, me, Marshal, and Aunt Jennifer.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Best Intentions

One of my favorite blogs is Free Range Kids. Today's parents are so overly concerned about what their kids are doing every single second. I want my son to be independent and confident. I refuse to be a helicopter parent.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving my church had a wonderful brunch after service. The food was incredible. :)

Marshal loves church and I love how comfortable he is there. He rarely panics if he can't find me right away, but at three he has had his moments.

Well, on this particular Sunday we were all sitting at tables and eating (our church meets at a high school and we are in the common area) and Marshal wanted to go play. I told him that was just fine...go for it.
Dancing with my boy in public.
So he starts looking for another kid to play with and he wanders a ways off - but I could still see him. Then he gets to one of the double doors to go outside. I'm still watching him and I was absolutely fine with him venturing outside. Practically the whole wall is glass and I could easily see him if he was outside. He is a strong little kid and started pushing one of the doors open.

And an adult interferes and brings him back over to my table. I tell her it's okay...he can go outside if he wants. She looks a little surprised but accepted it just fine. This happened a couple of times with other adults.

So he continues to play and ends up outside with another little kid for a few minutes. It was pretty cold so they were going in and out. She ended up inside and he was on his way out again. He was doing just fine outside by himself...and I could SEE him.

Next thing I know he's under the arm of one of the older ladies. She actually PICKED him up and was carrying him over to our table to ask who's child he was. [I'm actually surprised he tolerated being picked up by a stranger.]

It was all I could do not to be sarcastic but I told her that I knew what he was doing and I was watching him and he had permission to go outside. She looked at me as though I had two heads, set him down, and walked off muttering.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm glad that our church is so close and that people look out for each other and our kids. I just found it amusing. Yes, he's three and most of the other three year olds are right next to their parents. But I don't WANT him to be like other kids.

I want him to grow into a confident and independent adult. I wasn't letting him play in the road or anywhere near the road. There weren't huge crowds of people. I could still see him. He wasn't panicking. He was being an independent little boy.

I also let him climb and explore at the play ground on toys that are considered "unsafe" for his age. I figure if he has the confidence to do it I'm not going to stop him.

Going on the BIG slide at the fair. It was pretty scary but he did awesome.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gift Giving Ideas for Ladies - Jewelry

It's that time of year very favorite time of year. I love getting pretty and unique gifts for my friends and family. I really like to find JUST the right gift for each person, which is what makes Etsy such an amazing way to shop. They have all kinds of unique gift ideas for everyone from the littlest baby to the biggest. =)

Obviously jewelry is going to be a big hit for ladies. Not everyone will find my jewelry style to their liking (though I'll have a separate post with suggestions from my own shop!) but Etsy has you covered there too. From hippy to chic you will find all styles of jewelry!

I've known Sylvia of Sylvia Swasey Designs for many years. We met at a craft show and hit it off. She makes great jewelry using mostly dichroic glass and crystal. Her style is very distinct and she is now on Etsy. She's a local gal too but she travels around Washington, Oregon, and Montana - and she's in over 200 stores!

Another local gal, from Chehalis, Washington is Wendy of Sand & Sea Designs. I love the colorful pieces she puts together using gemstones and glass. As the name implies she has a very beach, ocean theme going on.

If dainty metal is more your or your lady's style then check out Rebekah of Burnish from Alaska. Her pieces are simple but stunning.

For some real outrageous glamour head over to BijouxOdalisque where the artist caught my eye several years ago with her amazing photos and jewelry. She has an amazing eye for gems.

Etsy even has the Steampunk jewelry scene covered. This is another artist I found who lives in Washington state, up in Seattle. London Particulars specializes in Steampunk and Gothic jewelry.

As you can see, there really is something for everyone on Etsy. I encourage everyone to support handmade artisans this year for all your gift giving needs.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's Been Awhile and We Have News

I thought it'd actually been two months since I'd updated my blog but really it's only been a month. So at least that's some thing.

It was hard to stay away but I knew if I tried to blog all I'd want to talk about is being pregnant and we didn't tell people until Thanksgiving day when we announced the news to the family.

This was our announcement ...

My uncle noticed first. Then my little cousin who proceeded to shout "Are you pregnant?" so everyone looked over.

Marshal is so excited to be a big brother and he seems convinced that he's getting a sister. We have no way of knowing yet what we're having as it's still a little too early. In fact my first ultra sound is today.

I'm sure this blog will get very boring with pregnancy news but I do want to document our a diary. :)

Now that the secret is out I won't have to stay away.

I got Marshal's shirt on Etsy from this awesome shop called Zoey's Attic.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Support Handmade for New Baby Gifts

There seem to be a lot of pregnant women (and new moms) in my church these days. I love new babies. :) And gift giving is so much fun!

I always love supporting handmade and artisans who work at home (like moms!). Here are some cute finds from Etsy.

A great way to announce a new little one...Only Child Club t-shirt. So cute!

This is great for daddy's who don't want foo foo things like baby animals. Tractors are manly! And daddy couldn't object to a tractor changing pad!

I love elephants! This would be a great uni-sex shower gift

What a great idea! Marshal had some cool bibs but he was messy and often got stuff everywhere - including his shoulders!

Etsy has all sorts of cool baby gifts - and gifts for a mom to be. From natural teething rings to toys to clothes. You can find pretty much anything!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Etsy Now Offers Gift Cards!

Etsy just keeps adding to the awesomeness that is their site. I've been a seller on Etsy since 2005...that's the year they started. I thought it was great back then, but obviously there were some bumps.

Today it's leaps and bounds above where it was back then. Not only do they accept credit cards directly on the site (as opposed to going through Paypal, which some customers didn't like as it added an extra step to the process) but now you can buy a gift card for someone.

Birthdays? Anniversaries? Graduations? Christmas?

While some people say gift cards are impersonal, I would LOVE a gift card to Etsy. I have so many things I'd love to get but money is tight. A gift card would seriously let me treat myself.

Don't know what to get that hard to shop for person but want to support hand made? This is the solution!

You can customize your card with a graphic and with denominations of $25, $50, $100, or $250. Hopefully someday you'll be able to do a custom amount but those seem like good amounts to start with.

The "card" is electronic and you can have Etsy send it or you can print it at home and hand it to a person life and in person! :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dollar Tree Accepting Manufacturer Coupons

As if shopping at Dollar Tree didn't already provide for great deals...they stepped it up. Starting August 26th they started accepting manufacturer coupons.

If you just started couponing I wouldn't jump right in without really knowing your stuff or you may get pretty frustrated.

I was the very first person to use coupons at my local store (I win!) and my experience was pretty mild compared to some of the horror stories I've read. I used two coupons and got two Soft Soaps for $0.65 each ($1 - $0.35 coupon each). Some places sell it for over $2! So it's a great deal and if I had more of the coupons I'd go back for more.

But here are some things to consider if you are going to coupon at Dollar Tree.

First, read through their coupon policy, which is helpfully posted online. My store had theirs taped up to their register which was great too.

There seems to be some confusion over one of them...
We are unable to accept coupons for “Free” items with no purchase requirements or where the amount for the product is blank.
Apparently some stores are interpreting this as $1 coupon, making an item free plus tax, unacceptable. That is NOT how I read this rule.

I read it that if you have a coupon that says an item is FREE and the cashier has to write in the price that they will not take it. Even if the item is free with purchase, I read the policy as not allowing that either because most of those coupons require the cashier to write in the actual price of the free item.

I haven't tried to use a coupon for an item to get it free yet but I will. Hopefully my cashier will know what she's doing. I think most of the issues people are having are related to untrained cashiers.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Organize Meal Delivery for Times of Need with MealTrain

A facebook friend lost a child suddenly last week. I cannot even comprehend the loss and pain this brings. When a major event happens in a family's life it creates havoc, not just because it throws people into an emotional tailspin (whether death, birth, marriage, or divorce or even a major injury or illness) but it throws off people's schedules. Including their meals!

I know when my dad died, my mom remembers people bringing meals to her and how much it helped.

But what if three people bring dinner one night and then no one brings anything for a few days?

Enter Meal Train.

Organize and help make sure meals are covered for a family or individual during their time of need. If hubby and I ever have another little kiddo I'd sure love something like this. You get to pick a date to delivery a meal and can see where the biggest need is.

I love that they even have an etiquette section with some great tips.

My Facebook friend posted it and I wish they also had an option to pay for a meal because I live so far away I can't exactly drop by with food. And I'm thinking my freezer burritos wouldn't travel cross country very well.

I'd never heard of this website but think it's an outstanding idea. Imagine a church using this to plan meals for people in need. Simply fantastic!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Are We Creating Lazy Parents?

I admit, I'm not the world's best mother. I do my best but I have limits and have snapped at him when he didn't deserve it. I've left him alone to watch TV so I could have "me" time. I've fed him things that weren't very healthy (macaroni and cheese is a favorite meal!).

While he hasn't started school yet, and we're still debating on what direction his schooling will take, as I drove to work the other day I thought about the state of our schools. More specifically, the state of our parents.

At church we had a request from a teacher. She asked for us to donate granola bars and other non perishable food stuff for their elementary school classrooms. The reason? The population of kids there is more transient than most and they do not have a lot of parental participation.

How sad is that? Just because you move around a lot you aren't going to participate in your child's education? And why is that? Do these parents think that it's the schools job to feed as well as educate their kids?

Schools now a days provide breakfasts, lunches, and sometimes even dinners. Why???

I can totally understand if people are super, super poor and can't afford fancy foods. But if you are that poor there is state assistance - food stamps, welfare, etc. There's really no excuse for any child to go to school without a peanut butter sandwich at a minimum. Or a cheese sandwich. Something.

Are parents who can provide simply defaulting to the schools to take over their parenting responsibilities?

I donated several bags of granola bars - because it's not the kids' faults that their parents aren't participating. But then we are passing on that message to kids - don't have personal responsibility because the government will take care of you no matter what.

And I find that sad.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

People Are Sheep

At last week's bible study we talked a lot about sheep.

Yes. Sheep.

We learned all kinds of fun facts about sheep - and some of those facts can describe humans too.

  • Sheep are social animals
  • Sheep are stubborn - hence the necessary herding by the Shepherd.
  • Sheep can't sleep if hungry - they will continuously search until they find contentment.
  • Sheep are creatures of habit - to the point of eating grass in the same area until it is bad and destroying the land.
  • Sheep are followers - mass minded - and will follow the crowd, preferring to stay together.
  • Sheep have no natural defenses and rely on the Shepherd to protect them.

There were a lot of other facts but these were the ones that stood out to me most.

The one that I related to the most was that sheep will search continuously until they find contentment.

Doesn't that describe us all? We are constantly looking for something...something to fill that voice, sadness, loneliness, desperation...whatever it is in our lives that we find lacking. We don't stop looking for contentment. Some people look for it in alcohol. Others, like me, try to find it in food. Some use their work to define their lives.

What is it we all really need in our lives to be content? I certainly do not have the answer to that as I can't describe myself as content. I have moments of contentedness. Is that a word? But not an overall feeling of being content at all times.

Just like sheep, we need a strong Shepherd that protects and watches over us to give us the opportunity to be content...and full. Full in the spirit. Full in His word. Content.

"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and his sheep will follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." John 10:1-5

How many things come into our lives as thieves? Alcoholism robs us of families, friends, jobs. Compulsive eating robs us of our health (and money). These things come into our lives as enticing - with the promise of fulfillment, but they are thieves sneaking into our lives - not coming through the front door - or the gate - where Jesus stands watch for us.

"All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen tot hem. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved." John 10:9

Only through Christ can we find true fulfillment in life. Nothing else will substitute. It's a difficult thing to wrap my mind around and one that, honestly, I struggle with constantly. But it doesn't make it any less true.

It just makes me a stubborn sheep.

Save and Stock Up - Video Games at Target

Great deals at Target (have I mentioned that I'm a Target addict?!?)...and just in time to get shopping for Christmas out of the way - Buy two video games and get one FREE. Yup. Free.

If you have a big gamer on your list for Christmas, buy them today and don't worry about standing in line on Black Friday. They have over 150 titles available for this deal.

This sale ends 10/20/12 so hurry!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This is News? Men and Women are...DIFFERENT!

I've always been fascinated by some people's stubborn determination to believe that men and women are identical...the same...interchangeable.

I realize the whole women's liberation movement wanted to even the playing field for women, and I'm pretty sure it succeeded...and then some.

But the idea that men and women are exactly the same...can do all the same illogical.

Sure there are some women outside the norm who can bench press a cow - but they are few and far between. There are some men who prefer designing jewelry or their favorite color is pink. But again, they aren't going to be considered the norm for men.

You can call it sexist...I call it logic. And some people call it science!
""As with other senses, such as hearing and the olfactory system, there are marked sex differences in vision between men and women. "
It makes sense. We are created by a wonderful God who designed us specifically to be together - man and woman. We're made differently but we work together. Like two puzzle pieces.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Gen. 2:24

We aren't meant to be the same. How boring if men and women were all the same!

Yes, there will always be those on the outer edges of the standard deviation. It doesn't make them evil or bad or weird. It also doesn't mean that we should revamp our entire society to make abnormal the new normal.

Buy One Get One 50% off - Until 10/13/12

When did rain boots get so cute? 

Even better, they are Buy One Get One Half off...along with other shoes AND purses. Seriously! What could be better!

Hurry though...this sale ends 10/13/12. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - 50% off at Target 10/2/12

Have a Tom Cruise fan on your Christmas list? How about Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 50% off at Target! Today's daily deal.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Freezer Cooking - Planning

My goal this week is to make a list.

Sad, right?

Not a real lofty goal, but a necessary one. I want to do a marathon of freezer cooking this weekend. To do a good job, and be the most effective, I need to plan and make a list.

Thankfully there are a lot of resources out there to help. I already downloaded a couple of forms from Money Saving Mom to help me make my lists. She also has some recipes that do great in the freezer.

My biggest issue right now...fear. I am a planner and kind of a control freak. I worry about not having every single aspect planned out ahead of time before going to the store or starting to cook. Since this will be my first real freezer cooking marathon attempt, I've been stressing about it for a good two weeks already!

But my goal is to have at least seven meals prepared this weekend to put in our freezer to have throughout the month. I'll do my best to take photos as I'm preparing...if I haven't lost my mind yet!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mossimo Women's Ruffled Ponte Jackets - 30% Off Target Daily Deal

These Mossimo Women's Ruffled Ponte jackets are gorgeous! And perfect for the cool fall mornings to layer over a nice top.

Even better, they're 30% off today!

And, as always, free shipping for orders over $50.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Getting Paid to Shop at Walgreens - New Points Program

If you've never shopped at Walgreens you're missing out on some great deals. It doesn't take *that* much time to browse an ad and see what the best deals are for each week.

This last week's ad introduced a new rewards system called "Balance Rewards". These rewards accrue when you make purchases but there are also bonus rewards each week for certain purchases.

I purchased 10 packs of the new ID Gum and earned 5,000 points, which equates to $5.

The gum only cost me $5 out of pocket because it was on sale and I had coupons. So essentially the gum is free (although I don't tend to look at it that way because I'm still OUT $5 with another $5 to spend there later on at the store ... getting twice the amount of products for the same money).

With the Balance Rewards, Walgreens is also STILL doing Register Rewards. So I got back another $2 in Register Rewards for getting the Blistek chapstick for $2 out of pocket.

Then I got two twenty four packs of water for $1.99 a piece and 500 Bonus Rewards. We don't drink bottled water on a regular basis. This is more for trips and our emergency stock pile. At $0.08 a bottle this is a stock up price!

All in all...

Total Out of Pocket = $6.41 (My total savings was 78% off retail)
Reward Points = 6,000 (At 10,000 I'll earn $10 rewards)
Register Rewards = $2

Essentially I gave Walgreens $6.41 and they gave me back $7 to spend on other stuff we need at their store. Not too shabby.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dealing with Disappointment

I mentioned I was going to go to the fair for the third time in this post. I was really looking forward to it because I'd be all by myself ... except hubby was going up to work and I'd be riding with him and get to have lunch with him on his break. so often happens, plans changed. As disappointed as I was, I feel like I have grown a lot in the last few years because my response wasn't pleading or trying to force the situation to be what I wanted. Instead I thought about it and just went back home.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
God has plans for me and trying to FORCE my plans into being I interfere with what HE has designed. I *could* have figured out a way to still go to the fair but it would have cost me more money than our original plans. And I'd have to rely on someone else (who is wonderful and did offer) to give me a ride home.

So often in the past I've found myself trying to find a way to make my plans happen...through all kinds of maneuvering  bargaining, planning. And usually if something is not meant to happen and I try to force it, I screw it up.

Being home for the day, I have tons of stuff to do - including my job, which I can thankfully do from home - and getting the house ready for Marshal's birthday. Maybe this is the path I was supposed to take for the day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Should I Get a Target Debit Card?

Shopping at Target can be dangerous for me, but it's a thrill I enjoy. Between coupons and the store itself, I LOVE shopping there.

My most recent excursion resulted in several free items including air freshener, razors, and really inexpensive cleaning spray.

24850_The Shops at Target + Spend $50 Get Free Shipping on Select Items

At checkout I heard the cashier talking to another gal about the Target Visa. I don't want or need another Visa but the cashier also mentioned that you can get a Target DEBIT card and earn Save 5% When Using Your Target REDcard.

Well blow me over. I always thought it had to be a target now I have to decide if I should switch my debit card to a Target one.

I don't use my current debit card all that much. I usually use my VISA and pay it off every month. Every once in awhile I grab my debit...usually by accident. We earn points on the Visa card that we turn in for gift cards several times a year. I'm pretty sure it doesn't equal 5% of our purchases though. I've tried doing the math but my brain just can't wrap around the math...1 point per $1 and it takes $6,000 points for a $50 gift card. Somebody?

So do we get a target debit card for those times we shop at Target or should I just keep using the Visa card to earn points towards gift cards????

Dyson Asthma & Allergy Cleaning Accessory Kit - 30% off Target Daily Deal

Does your family struggle with allergies? Or just dust? Maybe asthma. Mine has all of these. 

This Dyson Asthma & Allergy Cleaning Accessory Kit is a great option to add to your cleaning repertoire. 

Get it today for 30% off ... and get free shipping with orders over $50.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Earrings - Awareness Ribbons

Combining jewelry with awareness...I decided I like the looks of my handmade earrings using sterling silver awareness ribbons. I was looking through my charms and had some extras and experimented with some pretty smooth Amethyst rondelles.

There are colors assigned to all sorts of causes. Ribbons are our symbol to show others we support or want to raise awareness of a certain cause. I'm going to try to get stones that match all the different colors for causes. I'll also get some additional kinds of charms (i.e. Autism awareness puzzle pieces) and possibly some gold filled ribbons.

Part of the sale from each pair will go toward a charity ... I'm too bipolar to choose just one ... throughout each year I donate to American Cancer Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, CareNet Pregnancy Center, and Saving Shelter Pets. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fred Meyer, Walgreens, Target Deals 9/23-9/29/12

It's Sunday, which means new ads for Target, Fred Meyer, and three favorite stores.

I don't see a TON of things that I need to run out and get but there are a few good deals out there.

Fred Meyer

Twix, Snickers, or Milky Way Candy
     2 for $4 ($2 a piece)
     Coupon $1.50 off Three bags
     Buy 3 = $6 - $1.50 = $4.50 for three bags
     Final Price $1.50 per bag

Fred Meyer Water 24 pack
     Fred Meyer Coupon $1.99
     Limit 2

Tillamook Shredded Cheese 8 oz
     4 for $5 = $1.25 per bag

Kotex Pads 14-24 ct, Tampons 18 ct, Liners 33-64 ct
     $2.99 each
     Buy 2 = $5.98
     Use $2 off 2 Kotex Natural Balance Printable Coupon (not valid on liners 14-22 ct)
     Final Price $1.99 per package

V05 Shampoo or Conditioner
     $0.79 a piece with In Ad Coupon
     A great price even without a manufacturer's coupon.

For a more extensive Fred Meyer list visit The Coupon Project's Fred Meyer Coupon Deals post.


Gain Laundry Detergent 24-32 loads
     $4.99 each
     Buy 2 and get 1,000 Bonus Rewards
     Use $2/2 Coupon (found in 9/16 Red Plum Insert)
     Final Price = $3.99 per Bottle plus 1,000 Bonus Rewards

More deals can be found at The Coupon Project's Rite Aid and Walgreens deal post.


Head over to Hip 2 Save's blog post for this week's Target savings. I don't see anything I can't live without this week at Target but these would be my favorite deals...

Magnum Ice Cream Bars 3 pk $3.25
     Use the $1/1 Magnum Bars 3-Pack Ice Cream coupon found here
     Final cost only $2.25 each!

Old El Paso Seasoning Packets $0.79
     Use the $0.50/1 Old El Paso Product coupon found Here
     (or, use the $.60/3 Old El Paso Products coupon found in the 9/9 SS)
     Final cost as low as $0.29!

Have a great week!

40% off C9 By Champion Men's Jacket - Target Daily Deal

What a great looking jacket!

This is a great deal at 40% off.

Plus, don't forget you get free shipping for orders over $50.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Avoidance and Imperfection - Compulsive Overeating Overtakes Me

It's been a rough couple of weeks...or months depending on how I look at it. when you're in denial it's hard to determine exactly when things started going south.

Food has always been a struggle for me. Our whole family struggles with addictions...smoking, alcohol, gambling, runs through my veins to be addicted to something.

Just like an alcoholic who sucks up drink after drink after drink with no thought and no care for consequences...I eat. And eat. And eat more. And then a little more.

I only stop when I'm so full I could throw up (which I don't...I have never been able to binge and purge which would officially make me bulimic). The first phase of Bulimia definitely applies to me:
"Recurrent episodes of binge eating, with an episode characterized by (1) eating in a discrete period of time, usually less than two hours, an amount of food that is significantly larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances; and, (2) a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode, such as a feeling that one cannot stop eating."
Oh yeah. That's me. I clearly fall into the Binge Eating or Compulsive Eater category.
"Compulsive overeaters will typically eat when they are not hungry. Their obsession is demonstrated in that they spend excessive amounts of time and thought devoted to food, and secretly plan or fantasize about eating alone."
I'm pretty sure it's a miracle that I'm not over 200 pounds. I the beginning of the year I was 207 and I dropped down to 175 but I've slowly been seeing that number creep back up and I know it's because I've lost control ... again.

For six months or so I was doing okay. Tracking my food and calories...staying within my limits most days. I wasn't perfect and I still had episodes, but for the most part I was moving the right direction....which was a smaller and healthier me. It's not so much about how heavy I am. It's MUCH more important that I'm not giving myself diabetes and that I'm able to keep up with an active little boy.

When exactly I stopped focusing I'm not sure...but I know that it's been worse than it has been in a LONG time. I'm absolutely miserable but at the same time ... even though I know I could logically stop ... I can't.

I've actually been avoiding blogging this because if I ignored it I could pretend that I could control it myself. Which I obviously can't.

Friday, September 21, 2012

First Soccer Practice

Marshal started soccer on Sunday. Who decides to schedule a class for three year olds at 2:30 in the afternoon? Isn't that a universal nap time?

Anyway, I managed to keep him from taking a nap and he was excited to go to his first class but this whole nap time issue may trip us up in weeks to come. I signed him up for soccer even though I HATE (yes, I capitalized it) soccer.

It is a completely boring sport to me. I like baseball better and I know lots of people think that's pretty boring to watch.

But I sucked it up and got him enrolled. He's also enrolled in swimming lessons again so between swimming and soccer he'll have activities three days a week. Do you think that's too much for a three year old?

Anyway...I admire Coach Curtis, Marshal's new soccer coach. You have to have a lot of patience to put up with trying to "coach" three year olds. I wouldn't be able to handle it.

Marshal was first nervous...then excited...then quiet and tired and wanting mommy to kick the ball. He preferred to pick up the ball and throw it - maybe he'll be a goalie!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Puyallup Fair Replay

We went to the fair once already but decided we needed to go again. We got free tickets with our Rodeo tickets so Marshal, his Nanny, and I went up to see daddy who was working the fair for the day.

Talk about spoiled. Marshal was the only kid who got to go INSIDE the cop car (it was his daddy's after all) and on a cop motorcycle.

I'm Winning!

Oh my gosh! My first Roller Coaster!

Pure Joy

Bubble Fight!
On this trip I got Marshal a "Dizzy" pass...which meant unlimited rides. Oh dear Lord! This kid did not slow down all day! And I took way too many pictures...but the look on his face on most of them was just priceless.

I admit...I threw up after the Tilt-A-Whirl. He wanted to go on it so badly and for some reason he met the height requirement. So I sucked it up and took him on it...bad decision. He loved it. He was laughing and giggling and having a blast. As I was getting more and more green. Not ok.

All in all it was a fabulous day. Marshal had a total blast and it was divine seeing the joy on his face at experiencing new things. It's going to be very hard to not spoil him this much as he gets older!!!

And even though I've been to the fair twice already, I'm going again! :) This time I'll hitch a ride with the hubs who is working so I can get in free and not pay for parking (or gas to drive up). I'll get to walk around and do the stuff I want to do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling 45% Off - Target Daily Deal 9/18/12

I'm a HUGE JK Rowling fan...I have all the Harry Potter books and movies...even have the books on CD (and on my iPhone!).

Her new book, The Casual Vacancy, comes out soon and you can get it 45% off at Target today only. It is released on 9/27.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Angry Birds Boys PJ Pants - Target Daily Deal 9/17/12

Head over to Target and get Boys PJ Pants with Angry Birds on them for only $8 a piece! Stock up - these would make a great Christmas gift.

These aren't sold in more pairs to save even more money! Buy 2 get 10% off...Buy 3 get 20% off!


What Do I Want to Be?

Remember having those discussions in school with your friends? What do you want to be when you grow up? At one point, all my friends wanted to be teachers. Then interior decorators. A couple of my friends knew they wanted to be mommies.

Will I be a Fireman? Police Officer? Architect?
I'm not a teacher. I'm not an interior decorator. I am a mom and a wife. Those two things are constants in my life. Everything else is a constant state of change.

Career wise, I was with a large financial company for a long time - ten years...I left as an Analyst and now work as an agent with Aflac for the last two and a half years. I love working most days but lately have been feeling such tugging to be away from the office and back at home.

How do you make a decision to be XYZ when you grow up? I've never been a person who has known exactly what I want to do. I got my Bachelor's degree and it's pretty worthless career wise (Political Science).

There are days like today when I absolutely love my job and am so thankful for what I do. When I get to help clients in their times of stress...a client had a MAJOR accident involving amputation...that is when I really do my best. I hate selling. But I love helping.

It's a fine line...a balancing act. Tomorrow we are going to go to a movie matinee with Marshal. Today I worked until after 4 pm. Friday I'll take off to go to the fair again. I figure as long as I don't say yes to too many extra curricular activities on top of work and Marshal I shouldn't get so overwhelmed that I can't handle life. Let's hope!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Puyallup Fair Rodeo - Good Times

We headed out to the Puyallup Fair (also known as the Western Washington Fair) ... the largest single attraction held in Washington State, and the top ten fairs in the United States. It's big. We never do get to see everything when we go.

This year I decided that Marshal would love to see a Rodeo. I was right. :) It was a BLAST!

The bull riding is the main attraction and of course comes at the very end. Marshal was getting antsy and wanting to go "play" (i.e. ride the rides). But when the bulls came out he was pretty impressed. Even hubby (who was grouchy from only five hours of sleep) enjoyed himself.

The video above is boring for the first 54 seconds...and then it's heart stopping.

Finally we hit the rides and my son impressed me with his much so that we are going back for a redo day and more rides! :)

A Happy Face

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fossils are Fun!

Part of my "inheretance" from my grandfather (who hasn't passed yet, but is in a home) is his entire rock and lapidary collection...which includes a TON (literally) of fossils.

What are Fossils?

According to Wikipedia:

Ammonite Fossils
"Fossils (from Latin fossus, literally "having been dug up") are the preserved remains or traces of animals (also known as zoolites), plants, and other organisms from the remote past."
Well isn't that dry and boring?

To me, fossils aren't super terms of rock excitement. I prefer pretty rocks like garnets, perodite, charoite, etc. But fossils are just kind of...dull. To me.

I can appreciate fossils for their historical value and in some cases their earthy beauty. I made a pendant out of a piece of fossilized tree. Which, I must admit, is pretty cool.

Apparently it's pretty hard to become a fossil...even though I feel like I have tons of the things from my grandpa's collection.
Fossilization is an exceptionally rare occurrence, because most components of formerly living things tend to decompose relatively quickly following death. In order for an organism to be fossilized, the remains normally need to be covered by sediment as soon as possible. However there are exceptions to this, such as if an organism becomes frozen, desiccated, or comes to rest in an anoxic (oxygen-free) environment. 

I had no idea. I've been around fossils a lot...mostly petrified wood which decorated my grandparent's home and gardens. I never really saw it as a big deal but when you read about how rare it is and what it takes to's kind of a big deal. :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Savings at Walgreens 9/10/12

It wasn't a super organized planned trip, but I had a few extra minutes and had seen some deals posted on Facebook so I decided to try Walgreens.

I paid $10 out of pocket and received $7 in Register Rewards to spend later.

I got...

7 x Dawn @ $0.24 each
7 x Dawn @ $0.49 each
4 x Wet & Wild Nail Polish @ FREE
2 x Suave @ $1 each plus $2 Register Rewards Back
1 x Infusium Shampoo @ $3.99 + $3 Register Rewards Back
2 x Kleenex 4 Packs @ $3 each plus $2 Register Rewards Back
2 x Dove Chocolate Bars @ $0.34 each
3 x Good & Natural Bars @ FREE

Not too shabby for a quick stop in...Walgreens is so fun!