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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Saving $

So being a one income family the past two years, we try to pinch the pennies a bit.

Here are some examples of what I've been doing:

1. I cut the girls' hair myself.
Hearing some of the horror stories from some people who have taken their kids to the kid salons, perhaps it's just as well. Their hair is simple right now anyways, thick blunt China girl bangs and one length hair. The hair all Chinese girls start with.

2. Reduce eating out.
When I worked, we used to eat take out more on the weekdays because we were just tired. Now we don't eat out on weekdays, and may do one or two meals on the weekend, depending on our schedules, and sometimes just as a treat since the kids are finally functioning as human beings and can go out now.

3. Packing bulk food.
For example, instant oatmeal. We used to the buy the individually packed ones, you know, with 10 packages, add water. I'd usually look for a sale. But now I just pack my own, by buying a big package and packing the individual baggies. I also make my own pancake mix now too, with ingredients already in my pantry.

4. Shop cheap clothes.
I bought myself some new clothes this year, but many were under $10 a piece! Superstore/Joe collection and H&M were good ones, as is Old Navy. I also buy most of my kids' clothes a season ahead, can't beat $4 leggings and such. Also, since I have 2 girls, I usually get two wears out of their clothes, and I'm also fortunate that I get good hand me downs from one of our friends.

5. Shop year round for birthday and Christmas gifts.
I keep a stash at home for birthday gifts, present fillers, and Christmas gifts, though I do the bulk of Christmas towards the latter part of the year, I actually just ordered some today. Sometimes this doesn't work, as I sometimes lose track/misplace what I have. It also depends on circumstance. A few years ago I bought some baby sleepers that were a good price, but didn't choose all unisex ones. I still have a girl one because apparently friends/family have only been having boys. There was one friend with a baby girl, but I had misplaced the sleeper, only to find it she was too old.

6. Joining store clubs/memberships.
I may get special discounts or freebies. I get a free Starbucks drink on my birthday, as well as a nice Sephora freebie. This year it was a Marc Jacobs lipstick and eyeliner. I also earn points at Superstore, Save On Foods and Chapters/Indigo which eventually add up to money off my purchase. Even if it may take awhile to accumulate, I think it is worth it.

So there are a few off the top of my head! Until next time, have a good one.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Allergies

So I guess my little A has a peanut allergy.

We've suspected since she was probably a year and a half that she had a peanut sensitivity. I think the the first inkling was when we were at the airport and getting ready to head to Disneyland. We had an early flight and got there early to have breakfast prior to boarding. We had given A some peanut butter on toast and her skin got a bit pink and hivey. So we thought we'd play it safe and just keep her away from peanuts. She knew not to eat it.

Another time was last summer I think, and it was breakfast time again. We had coupons for A&W and went there for a breakfast, S and I had the big one, and the kids had a bacon and egger and hash browns. A was mooching sausages off of me. I had spread my toast with peanut butter, and cut some more sausage for her without cleaning the knife. She didn't want that piece of sausage offered to her an spat it out. So I don't know if it was the taste of peanut butter, the texture, or if it made her mouth feel funny. In any case, it seems she didn't care for the peanut butter.

I like peanut butter, but only eat it once in awhile. C doesn't care too much for it and prefers the soy butter, which she is used to eating, since she has it in sandwiches for school lunches once awhile. In this day and age, I can't make peanut butter cookies to share, so we don't have too much of it at home. I knew A didn't have a major allergy, since she eats food that is 'manufactured in a facility that may contain peanuts', and food that 'may contain peanuts'. I have been eating snack mixes where she comes by and picks out some of the non-nut snacks to eat, and she has had other food that may contain, or touch peanuts and has eaten them without issue.

Now, I keep forgetting to ask the pediatrician about her potential allergy. I figured it's not major, and that maybe I'd make peanut butter cookies on a weekend and feed them to her to see how she reacts. I didn't get to do that, but she did have one or two M&Ms after dinner that contain peanut butter inside this past weekend. She spat them out and threw up immediately. She threw up a few more times that evening, mostly just trace amounts of peanut butter, saliva and a little bit of dinner.

So yeah, no more peanut butter or peanuts. And thankful that if she has an allergy, it's not a life threatening one.

I wonder why there are so many allergies now. As a kid, I don't recall any classmates with peanut allergies, or any allergies really.

We made cookies today. Obviously not peanut butter. One of my go to recipes for gingersnaps. Yum.

Have a good one! :)







Friday, August 19, 2016

It's the last dog days of summer! I can't believe that school starts in two weeks. It starts super early this year on September 1. C is heading into grade 2, and A will be attending her second year of preschool. Her orientation day is also on September first, and then her official first day of school is after Labour Day.

We've been pretty busy, trying to cram in play dates and appointments for the latter part of August. C went to the optometrist on Tuesday and her fate has officially been sealed: she needs glasses. With her genetics alone, plus love of reading and watching tv, we knew it was only a matter of time before she'd need glasses. Plus she'd told the teacher that she wanted to stay sitting in the front row because she was having trouble seeing when sitting further away. I needed glasses in grade 1, so at least she's ahead of me. We took her to Costco and got her a cute pair, and they just left a message today to say that they're ready.

We had a play date with one of my besties on Tuesday. My friend also has two girls who are 9 and 10, and my girls love them. We tye-dyed shirts last year, and decided to do it again this year. The girls all did a great job last year, their shirts were way nicer than ours. My friend offered to do the fun task of rinsing and washing, so here's one pic of some of the shirts, the batch that my girls made.



We also hosted a sushi night this past Saturday at our house. Our eight closest friends came over with their kids, and a sushi chef came over and made our dinner in the comfort of our own home. We fed the kids pasta and hot dogs, and they did get scraps, a sushi cone and ice cream from the chef at the end of the night. The kids liked watching chef in action, and one of the older girls was so cute, she sat at the island all night to observe the sushi chef. It was so delicious, and we were so full by the end of the night. A great experience with good food, good company, and a chance to have some good drinks, haha. Mmm, I want sushi again now.



A couple weeks back we went to Prairie Gardens up in Bon Accord for a family trip and my girls had a good time. It was pretty quiet, which I always appreciate since I don't like crowds. The girls had their first experience in a little corn maze, got their face painted, and their favorite part (mine too!) was mining gems. Basically we bought a bucket that contained sand and gems, and we had to wash and sift through the sand with water to reveal gems, like gold panning. I wish I got to take a picture, but hands were too busy and dirty.



Happy Friday! Let's see what this weekend will bring us. Until next time!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

My Mother Was Right

Did you ever have a time in your childhood where you thought your mother was horribly unfair and now in retrospect, and as a mother yourself, realize your mother was right?

C has been invited to a good number of birthday parties. The friends are people she does play with and I'm familiar with the names; I have met at least one parent of most of these friends.

When I was in grade 5, I was invited to a birthday party of one of my friends in my class. She wasn't one of my besties, but someone I liked and talked to a lot. Anyways, I was invited, but she didn't pass out an official invitation, just her address on a scrap piece of paper. I wanted to go, I had other friends that were going. However, my mother had other ideas, she did not permit me to go. She told me it wasn't an official invitation, there was no other information provided, she did not know my classmate, never mind her parents or family. So I didn't go, and I thought she was so unfair, especially since my other friends did go to the party that weekend.

But now as an adult, as a mother, I completely understand. Obviously my friends survived the party, and I assume nothing weird happened at the birthday party house. However, you can't be too sure, it's a risk I would not be willing to take, and should the same scenario ever take place with one of my children, I would not let them go. For the very same reasons my mother outlined.

My mother was right.

Wait, does this mean she was right in other circumstances?? Haha, until next time :)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Things I Didn’t Know Would Cost More Once I Had Kids


1. Toilet paper.

Definitely cheaper than diapers, but now we go through an amazing number of rolls.

2. Restaurant/Take Out Meals.

This was more for convenience, but now that they are eating, it’s getting more costly. Who knew my six year old would be asking for salmon sashimi every weekend. And now my 4 year old has just decided to join the raw fish game.

3. Shoes.

After a long winter of boots, shoes never fit any more when spring comes. And vice versa.

4. Lessons.

Seriously, their gym class costs more than grown up ones.

5. Spending Money.

I’ll spend less on myself so I can buy more for them. ❤

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mommy Brain

Not just prego brain, but mommy brain.

Sometimes I feel like my brain isn't used to working as much now that I stay at home. I mean, it certainly works, but only certain parts of it. Like the parts that make mac n cheese, and make Barbie clothes, while the parts that can run queries and do coding have gone dormant and into hibernation.

I haven't been reading as much as I'd like to, though the last few weeks have picked up. When the hardwood was getting redone in our house on the main floor due to the leak, I was trapped in the upstairs bonus room. I actually got a lot done. Did a lot of reading. Watched some Netflix. Finished the scrapbook on Disneyland (we went over two years ago, and my goal was to paste in the pictures before we go again), and finally started C's baby scrapbook--it only took over six years to do that. Still not done, but I only have month eleven and first birthday to finish up.

I spend a lot of time online, checking Facebook, looking at blogs, and too many minutes/hours on Pinterest. Resurrecting this blog has been good for the brain. I'm typing again on the lap top as opposed to poking at the keyboard on the ipad. And typing out full words as opposed to using auto fill. Writing the blog has helped sort out thoughts, and sharpen up the brain. Ugh, I sound like a senior citizen.

One bad example of my deterioration is a mini high school reunion with some friends last week. I was so looking forward to it, a couple of friends I hadn't seen in years, and one lives in Ontario and was back to visit family. I even kicked out one of my contractors to go. We were bringing the kids along, and meeting at one of those indoor playgrounds, which was a good call, because I swear it's been raining every.single.day in Edmonton for the past month, if not more. Anyways, I was ready to go, and even pre-filled out the waiver form that morning. We were running late because of the renos, so I texted a couple of the friends to let them know.

I got to the playground, which I think is the biggest one in Edmonton, in the south side anyways, Hmm, I didn't see any of my friends' cars. That should have been my first clue. Went inside, paid and didn't see them. In fact, the facility was pretty empty, which was actually a good thing, because if it was busy, it would have taken even longer to realize that they weren't there. I checked my emails. There, in black and white was the name of the playground we were to meet at. The other indoor playground, not this one.

Auggh! Do they do refunds here? We'd only been here five minutes at the most. If they don't, should I stay?? I took my girls and went back to front counter to ask if they do refunds by any chance, as I was at the wrong place, my friends were at another location.

They were really good, no hesitation that they do refunds. Got my money, off we went to the other indoor playground, which wasn't even five minutes away, and much cheaper, which is good on this one income (and it's not mine) pocketbook. We made it and met my friends, and had a great time. I look forward to the next reunion.

So that's what got me thinking about my mommy brain. On the other hand, maybe it's not mommy brain. Ack, maybe it's just my brain!!!

Until next time!

E

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

10 Reasons I’m Not Having Another Child

It’s inevitable that we get asked if we will be having another child. I get it, sometimes it’s to make conversation, especially since I already have two girls. 

Here are my replies: (reasons for resounding no)

1.Even if we wanted to try for a boy, it’s still a 50-50 chance.

2. We’re at a good place right now, our youngest is potty trained, in preschool, and semi-functional as a human being.

3.We’d have to get a mini van. Not to dis mini vans, but my current little SUV would be too small for three rugrats.

4. Odd numbered kids complicates roller coaster rides.

5. We’d pretty much have to start from scratch. New baby clothes, new car seats, new crib. Every baby item has either been passed on or expired.

6.  Fear of having twins.

7. Or triplets.

8. Figuring out how to fit another kid in the house when there are no more upstairs bedrooms. Hey kids, who wants to live in the basement? 

9. My health would be questionable. I’m not getting any younger, and I had pre-eclampsia with the first one, gestational diabetes with the second.

10. We’d be outnumbered.

Hahaha :) Have a good one!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer Time

Hello hello! I can not believe it is August! This means the kids go back to school in exactly one month. Summer feels like it's been flying, but I asked C if she thought summer was moving by fast, and she said the opposite, haha, just like how I used to feel like a kid.

I had grand plans of having wonderful days planned out for the kids, such as fun learning lessons, awesome crafts, cool day outings and adventures. Instead, our leak from the end of May has meant slow slow renovations, sending the kids off to the grandparents so they can run around and not have microwaved meals for over a week, and plans rescheduled.

In between renos we've managed to have some fun though. On Canada Day long weekend we went to Calgary to Heritage Park, Calaway Park, and to hang out with my brother and sister-in-law who live down there. We had a good trip. Calaway Park was really good, it wasn't too busy, it was clean, and the park is geared for smaller kids, and the girls went on a lot of the rides all by themselves, leaving me and S free.



Since we did Calaway Park, we told the girls no K-Days this year, which is the exhibition in Edmonton. They were cool with that.

On Friday, we did an impromptu trip out to Sylvan Lake. The girls had a lot of fun, the water was nice and shallow for their little legs, the day was beautiful, and they even saw schools of little fish in the water, and caught a snail to boot!


And yesterday we even managed to squeeze in a craft. The girls painted some little bird houses that I'd bought earlier in anticipation of keeping them busy over summer, and because I have materials for pretty much every type of craft project, I even had little birdies on hand to accessorize the houses. They turned out pretty cute.


For some reason the bird house pic reminds of 70s/80s claymation, haha. Maybe it's just the light of the picture.

Today's the last day of another long weekend, but we have a good week planned. That's it for me tonight, have a good one! :)