Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dog Abuse

Poor Harley. We decided he likes it, at least he is getting attention.


video

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Winnie the Pooh on Helmets Too!

Well, we took the tray off the high chair and pushed it as close to the table as it can go. There was still a huge gap but then I remembered these place mats we had up in the cupboard for “when Claire is older” which sadly appears to be now. The place mats are really neat, they have suction cups on the bottom so they don’t slide or the baby doesn’t pull the, up and they have a little trough that hangs off the table to catch any food that missed that target. We have matching bibs too that have a big pocket to catch food. The bib is a little cumbersome but otherwise, it works well.
I especially like when she eats directly out of the bib.

Mmmm....cornbread and beans....

On Wednesday, I made my weekly trip to my mom's house and we went thrift storing as always. We didn’t find much but we did found this adorable helmet for Claire. I couldn’t believe it! It looked brand new inside. No lice:)

Side view.

It makes me laugh every time! Poppy had been working on a bike seat - also a thrift store purchase, to get it to fit on the beach cruisers that Josh and I have. He engineered a way to get it hooked on and took Claire for her first ride. (which he deserved after all the work he did on that seat) Thank you Poppy!

She really liked it. She maybe was a little nervous, but when they were moving she was smiling. I am wondering how old she will be before she is totally embarrassed by the pooh helmet.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter

What a busy Easter weekend we had! The day before Easter, we went to my mom’s house to celebrate my grandma’s birthday. She and her husband Al drove out from California (which RARELY happens) so we all met up to be there with them. Steve and Michelle came down from Anthem and saw Claire for the first time since Christmas and my Aunt and Uncle and cousins from Tucson came up as well. (Last time we saw them I was 7 days over due with Claire). So Claire got to meet the rest of the family. Thank goodness for Claire. She makes our family get- togethers slightly more entertaining.

We couldn’t agree whether Claire was a second cousin to my cousins, or if she was a first-cousin-once-removed. After a lengthy, dizzying, conversation and a quick look on the internet, we discovered that they are in fact, first-cousins-once-removed. Whoever came up with that is truly a pathetic person.

The FCORs - Kevin and Sara with Claire

Steve and Michelle (Claire was not cooperating)

The whole family.

Claire with her Gigi

On Easter Sunday, Josh was up at 4am to get ready for the sunrise service, which I opted out on because of Claire. We got to church, ate breakfast and went to the first 15 minutes of service until we had to leave, because somebody was screaming for no reason. So, it was my first Sunday in a long time that I didn’t really go to an Easter Service.

Back at my parents house that afternoon, the original 3 o’clock dinner was pushed back to 6:30 because as my Grandma and Al put it...“you can’t eat that soon after eating pancakes for lunch! We aren’t even going to be hungry.” So we all were our exciting selves and stood around watching Claire most of the day. We got a ton of pictures of her in her Easter dress though so that was good. She tried jello for the first time and that ended up being a huge mess.

Claire also received 3 different Easter gifts from everyone (which was nice because the Easter bunny was too lazy to bother this year). She really enjoyed them all. While we were opening her
gifts Al asked, “Is it her birthday?” and he was not kidding.

Claire loves her little lamb from Aunt Faith

The four generations of girls


FCOR Marisol
Lounging with Dada

Nana and Claire


Claire is such a Poppy’s girl. Every time he would walk in the room she would run to him and cling to his leg until he picked her up. She always wants him to hold her - more than her mommy even!

It was a nice weekend all in all. We are sad we didn't make it to Grandma and Grandpa McKenzie's house but hopefully we will be able to see them soon!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thrift Store, How I Love Thee

Awhile ago, I was watching Jon and Kate Plus 8. Kate stated that since she doesn't work to bring in money, her job is to save in whatever way possible. That is how she contributes to the family financially. I have adopted this philosophy and put it to practice all the time and one way I do that is to buy used and save the difference. This is how I have come to love ‘thrift storing’. I do not understand why people buy things new. If you have the time, patience, a strict budget and love to shop then thrift storing is for you.

Here are a few tips and tricks to make thrift storing successful for you.

1.) Go, and go often. Items change ALL THE TIME.

2.) If you see something you are thinking about getting, PICK IT UP. Sooooo many times I have seen something (usually bigger toys for Claire that I don’t want to carry around) and when I come back for it when I am done shopping, it is already gone.

3.) Try things on. This is not gross. If you have ever gone bowling and put on those sweaty shoes, then you can try on an outfit that was most likely washed before it was donated.

4.) Before you buy a clothing item, make sure the staple used to attach the tag (at Goodwill only, Savers uses regular plastic tags) didn’t make a hole in the garment. Do this at the check out so the clerk won’t think you are trying to switch tags.

5.) Know your weeks and colors. Each week Goodwill has a different colored tag and week # on sale for 50% off. Here is a rotation of the Goodwill color tag sales. Today starts week 12.

6.) Know what day you want to shop. There are certain days that are better to shop then others. Here is what I have discovered. (Goodwill only)

-Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are no sale (just 50% off the special color tag or week) -Thursday is dollar day the selected color tag and week # is only 1 dollar no matter what the
original price.
-Friday - the color and week # change.
-Saturday - every other Saturday is a 50% off sale on the entire store. These are crazy and you
have to go when they open to get anything good.
-Sunday is 25% off your purchases if you are a student and have a student ID.

Savers has 20% off all used items on Tuesdays, Wednesdays are senior days, and Fridays are 50% off a selected color tag. (I do not have a rotation on this yet)

7.) The earlier in the day, the better. After about 3pm is just a waste of your time.

8.) Remember, items that are dirty can be cleaned. Some of the things I bought looked like they had been collecting dust in a garage for years. Obviously, you are going to clean it when you get home so try to envision it after a good scrub.

9.) The goodwill website always has a coupon for 20% off your purchase of $10 or more.

The more you are acquainted with your stores, the easier and faster it is to shop. Savers is redoing the layout of their locations to make them all the same. That is helpful.


Here are a few pictures of things I have found in the recent past at thrift stores - and this is only some of it. The priciest thing out of all these pictures was the blue mate with stars. It was $10. (or you can buy it on amazon for $99)


Here are a few clothes for Claire...

Since I took this picture I have tripled the amount of these that I have. The most expensive one was $3.

I don't feel like taking picture of all my clothes because literally 99% of them are from a thrift store. I have been finding a lot of Banana Republic, Ann Taylor Loft and American Eagle in my size lately. It seems to go is shifts somehow. All of Josh's dress shirts are also thrift.

Oh, I almost forgot... There is a thrift store called Deseret Industries in Mesa and there is one in Phoenix as well. They have amazing prices on everything but their clothes are always pathetic.

For those of you that live out on the west-side, there is a new store that just opened in February called Swift Thrift, (Swift like the trucking company) on 75th and Thomas. I have only been in there one time but it was very large and seemed to have excellent prices and selection.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

White Babies Can't Dance

I was pretty excited this morning because I got myself and Claire together and went shopping before Claire's morning nap (9:30ish) and found some great deals! I had always known that Fry's has manager's specials on items that are going to reach their expiration dates within a few days, but apparently, you have to go early to get the good items. (Haha, last week I bought a gallon of skim milk this way for only 99 cents. I knew Josh wouldn't drink it if he knew it was skim so I put it in an empty milk jug that was our regular 1%. He didn't say anything but when I told him a few days ago, after the milk was gone, he said he noticed it tasted "not good". Oh well, it was cheap milk.)

So many things were marked down in the dairy case this morning and I happened to see they had 2lb tubs of organic yogurt marked down to only 99 cents! (regularly $3.48) I bought all three that were on sale and put two of them in my freezer. I love yogurt but I won't eat it if it
(1 .) has sugar cancer in it, i.e. splenda, or (2.) if it doesn't say it was made from cows not treated with RBST, or (3.) it is expensive.

This evening we replaced the batteries in our Hallmark singing bunny and Claire decided to dance with it. Poor Claire. Those who can't dance, clap.


video

Saturday, April 4, 2009

10 months!


Today is Claire's 10th month birthday. She weighs in at a whopping 15 and a half pounds and is 27.5 inches tall.

Josh spent all day in the backyard cleaning up the mounds of dog poop and pulling weeds. Then he planted a tree and a few bushes. It may sound like an easy time, but digging a hole for that tree in the concrete-like dirt was no picnic. 7 bottles of water, one youth helper and 6 hours later, the tree was in the ground and he even planted a little (and I do mean little) flower garden around the base of it.













We are hoping to get a sprinkler system, sod and a cement patio put in by the end of this month. I can't wait to have a yard so Claire can play in the grass back there instead of in the community green belt.

My sweet pea flowers are finally blooming. I don't know why they are so far behind my sugar snap peas.


It was a very productive day in the backyard and a day of celebration for Claire's 10 months with us. How fast the time is going by!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shoes!


Claire is now wearing shoes! We went shopping yesterday and all she wanted to do is walk. Riding in the cart was no good, being held was no good, she HAD to walk... s-l-o-w-l-y. I didn't really care but we were in a Goodwill and people were giving me ill-favored looks (and if people shopping at Goodwill in central Phoenix can judge you, you KNOW you have a problem) so I decided that she needs to wear shoes if she is walking in stores. (Seems obvious I know).

We got home and found some shoes graciously handed down to us by our friends at church and found she wears a size 2. I chose high tops since I thought they might help her turned in feet and rolling ankles. The poor girl was so good and patient as I tried to shove her foot in the shoe for over 20 minutes. I was so frustrated I was starting to hurt her and for her safety and my sanity we just let it go and decided Nana would be able to put them on when we went to see her the next day.

Alas! Nana was able to put them on, but after they were on they were not coming of until we were done with all our activities. Claire had a hard time standing up and getting moving but after a while she got the hang of it.

She looks like such a big girl in her shoes!

We went to the Freestone Park that afternoon and looked at some ducks and then played in the sand. She also practiced walking in the shoes in the grass and over small hills. It takes a lot of concentration apparently!