Thursday, February 26, 2009

Free Day

That, my friends, is what I got for FREE (!) today. Two cases of formula and a prescription for amoxicillin.
Of course there's a story behind all this.
Yesterday morning, I noticed Piper wheezing a bit and it was time for her flu booster, since she is sufficiently over the virus. So, I made an appointment yesterday for her to see her pediatrician. As we entered the office, I noticed the coupon rack where people could drop off coupons and pick up any that would be beneficial to them. I always try to look through this rack, on the off chance that someone would have dropped of a coupon for this type of formula, as it runs nearly $30 a can. Quite pricey, but it's what we used with Caleb and knew that Piper would probably tolerate it well too, and has. I mentioned to the front desk girl that I was looking for a coupon for this and she asked me what type and I told her the brand and the color of the can. She disappeared into the back and came out with 2 cases of it and told me to take it to the car right then. They had just received a delivery from the reps and I was thrilled to take it all off their hands! Freebie number 1!
So, we saw the doctor and I explained P's symptoms to him and he determined that she has a sinus infection, secondary to the flu she had. It's pretty common, but an antibiotic is necessary. Since Piper's never had any they always try amoxicillin first. The doctor mentioned that a local store in town, Market Street, has a whole list of 70 or so medications that they are giving away free to their patrons to compete with the other big store in town and did I want to go to the hassle of going there to get it? Hello? It's free and I'll take it! Freebie number 2!
The moral to today's story is this, mention to your pediatrician's office staff what products you are using and they might just hook you up and a little extra effort to go to a different store might net you free medicine!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Disappointed? Not Really.

I think I may have mentioned a few times on our blog how we were considering putting Caleb in a school near our home that is both private and a university model school. Basically, that means that he would go on MWF and be home with me on TTh, homeschooled those two days.
Tonight was the open house and it seems as if this school is just not going to be Caleb's school next year. Alot of this decision is financial, not that we can't afford it, but more that it would derail our plans for getting completely out of debt, something that would benefit our family long term. I don't like to discuss money on our blog, or anywhere else, but with the economy the way it is and Jes being in such a volatile profession, we just can't commit to spending that amount of money every month starting just this next month, March.
The biggest question was this, "Do our kids REALLY need to attend preschool?" I know that I never went to preschool, as is true for most of my friends, however the standards for kids coming into Kindergarten these days just seems so much more stringent. We just had to make the difficult decision of what would be BEST for the WHOLE family, longterm, not what we WANT for Caleb.
So the plan now? We go back to our original plan: homeschooling. I will be getting online this week and looking at curriculum for Caleb. I had researched this two years ago, but let it go by the wayside as we thought that we would be going another direction.
I have heard from multiple friends about "needing a break" from their kids and that preschool would afford this for me, but to be completely honest the past couple of months with Caleb at home, while hard, has been some of the best months we have had. Caleb is more well behaved, is totally done potty training and has learned some essential skills that he hadn't been able to pick up when he was in Mother's Day Out. He has also returned to the sweet natured little boy that I knew before the beginning of last year. He no longer has melt downs and is, for the most part, very well behaved. All in all, the behavior that sent us into such a tail spin 4 or 5 months ago has resolved.
In many ways I'm disappointed for Caleb, but in more ways I'm relieved. It's good to have a plan and something to be moving toward.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Best Friends

All afternoon, Caleb has been running up to me, hugging me and saying, "You're my best friend in the whole world."


Funny, I thought this guy was his best friend. I guess I can settle for being his best friend today, or at least just his Mama. What a pleasure!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Consignment Mania!

This time of year is one of my favorites, not because of the weather, because really, it's a never ending cycle of 80 degree days and ice the next. No, it's consignment sale time!
I have lots of mommy friends who would never even consider dressing their kiddos in consignment sale finds, but I have to tell you that over the past few years these sales have become like a sport to me. I have found some of the cutest things for each of my kiddos in the sales that I frequent. Case in point: at the last sale I attended, I procured a precious navy and white gingham print smocked dress from one of those fancy boutiques, with the tags attached. I paid $10.00 for it and it was marked for $55.00 on the tag from the original store. I would NEVER buy my child a $55 dress, at least not now. We'll see how things change when we're looking at prom and such, but for a 7 month old, it's just not practical.
I've also heard from some of my mommy friends that they don't want to bother with going to the sales because they only want to dress their kids in high quality, usually name brand things.
Here is a picture of Caleb in a Ralph Lauren long sleeved, button down shirt that retails normally for between $25-$35. Again, not something I would buy in a store, however my mom found this at one of our local resale shops for less than $10. A steal to say the least.
All this jabbering on about consignment sales leads me to this:
This is the consignment sale that my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group puts on biannually. It is not only a huge fundraiser for us and for the other groups we support, but it is a great ministry to our community and to other moms that need a group for belonging. The sale is March 28th at Trinity Presbyterian Church in McKinney. It runs from 7am to noon with a half price sale from 12:30 to 3pm. You can find everything here from baby and children's clothing, toys, accessories, books, games, and even outdoor playthings. We only take cash, so come prepared and stocked. Just fyi, in the fall I shopped for both Caleb and Piper with $120 with me and left with about $30 in my pocket. I didn't get everything I went for, but they were both well stocked for the fall and winter, only needing a few pieces to fill in here and there.
Ok, that ends the advertisement portion of our show. I must go assist a little boy on the potty.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The BEST Valentine's Day Gift E.V.E.R.!

Valentine's night, after returning from visiting the family, I was presented with my normal box of chocolates and cards. One was from the kids and oh so cute, the other from Jes. When I opened it inside was a coupon that he had made (I would post a picture but my Picasa isn't cooperating today). It read:

This coupon is redeemable for 1 day of shopping with you mom without Caleb and Piper.
This time and the cash is provided for the redeemer of this coupon to shop for herself and not for her family, as her family is well provided for by her and her husband. This requirement must be met for future coupons to appear.
Expiration: My love has no expiration.

While a day of shopping may not seem like a big deal to most, it really is to me. Jes has complained since we were dating that I wouldn't ever buy myself anything, unless it was needed right then. I know that this is something that I do, but I find much more enjoyment in shopping for others than I do myself. Also, like most people right now, all of our disposable income is either going to buy something for the kids or paying off debts. This means that Jes has been planning this for months as he has to stash money away without me knowing about it. So sweet. I'm a lucky gal!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Her Father Was Horrified, But She Looks Pretty Proud

One day last week, Caleb came running up to me saying something about Piper and her shirt and her arm. I couldn't figure what he was trying to tell me, as he just didn't have the correct words. When I came around the corner, this is what I saw. I instantly took a picture on my Blackberry and sent it to Jes. He texted me back with the following words:
"Isn't she a little too young to be taking her clothes off for just anyone?"
Yea, well. What can I say? Silly girl.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Flu- Part Deaux

Guess who started running a fever this afternoon? That's right, the boy. He's now coughing and sneezing and acting like he'll be felled by this flu soon. We're hoping for best case scenario, that it is very short lived, like his sister's case is (she's feeling much better today but is still quite cranky). We've dusted off the nebulizer, as we haven't had to use it in a month or so, so we're ready to go. The lock down continues.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Flu

We found out today, after a few days of fevers and feeling not so great, that Piper has the flu. It's not just any type of flu, it's the type A strain of the flu. This happens to be the strain that is totally resistant to TamiFlu, the normal treatment for this issue. It is really a non-issue right now for her because even if it were another strain, she's entirely too young to take it. So, we are watching and hoping that no other more serious respiratory symptoms develop. If so, we're headed for the hospital.
The more scary part of this is that Caleb is at risk to get it. Jes and I are old enough to take the alternative drug to help prevent us developing symptoms, but Caleb is just too young. Kids have to be 6 or older to take it. So, we're in a holding pattern with Caleb. The big problem here is that if Caleb were to develop the symptoms then it would impact him much more than any of the rest of us due to his significant asthma. Last time, in 2007, when he had flu the first time, it deteriorated into pneumonia and we ended up in the hospital for just a few days. He was on TamiFlu then, so his symptoms were somewhat lessened, but he couldn't this time due to the resistance. So, needless to say we're pretty concerned.
We are hunkering down in the house this week and I'm cancelling all activities as well as missing some meetings and even working at the church on Wednesday morning. What a nightmare.
Oh, and if anyone wants to know, we were ALL vaccinated... Sigh.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

7 Months


Can you believe I'm doing this again already? I'm a couple of days late, but our baby girl is officially 7 months old. Isn't she the cutest thing? It's ok, you can admit it...




The mutual admiration between Caleb and his sister continues. Now that Piper is a little older, the do enjoy playing together as much as possible. Piper is trying to sit up unassisted and is mostly successful, however she does tend to fall to the side when bumped so we can't leave them alone too long. Caleb and Piper seem to have a language all their own. Sometimes they are just looking at each other and laughing and you know that there is more going on there and that they understand each other. It is exactly the type of relationship I hoped my kiddos would have.



On the feeding front, the pediatrician told us at her 6 month appointment that we could start introducing proteins into her diet. I wasted no time at all incorporating yogurt, which she looks forward to everyday. However, the idea of making some type of baby food with chicken (the suggested place to start) seemed a little daunting. I did get up the nerve to try it and eventually mixed it with squash, one of her favorites. Turns out, Piper loves chicken. She eats up everything that you mix it with, well except peas. The girl still doesn't like peas, but I try to mix them into various things so that she'll eat them. She seems to have some type of pea radar though because she ALWAYS makes a face when they are included. Silly girl.


I also decided to purchase and try some puffs to see if she liked them as they are a good snack. She loves the rice rusks and devours those, but the puffs seemed to be another story. The first and second time we tried, P turned up her nose and spit them out when we finally just stuck one in her mouth. The third time, I just place a couple on her highchair tray, turned around to wash some dishes and turned back around to see her clutching on in each fist, licking her hand. She seems to like them ok right now, but they are still not her favorite!


By this point in Caleb's growth, I had him completely on a sippy cup. Piper, on the other hand, just doesn't want one. Call it second child syndrome or whatever, but I just don't care if she doesn't want it right now. We try it every once in a while with water, but she just wants to chew on it and doesn't care to drink out of it. When she does happen to get some water in her mouth she likes it, but we're not forcing the issue quite yet.

Earlier this month I got the hairbrained idea that we would all watch the swearing in of the president together. Of course the kids could not have cared less, but I wanted to document it for future reference. Now they can say that they saw it on tv.


Piper is a very aware and observant child. We love to go places and do things and she is just as happy in her car seat looking at the people around and the surroundings as she is out and playing. In fact, most times she is perfectly content to people watch while we are browsing in a store or playing at the park.


video
Piper also has developed quite the personality lately. While she's always been quite smiley, she has discovered her voice and just loves to use it, constantly. Is Piper is awake, she talking, squealing, or making some type of happy noise. Piper is quite expressive as well. The video above is very short, but shows some of her personality and of course her ever present doll that she loves to attack. I was hoping that the doll could be a lifelong keepsake, but the way that she attacks and beats that poor doll around, it might not make it to her first birthday!



On the health front, Piper has been a very well baby, certainly far more so than her brother. She caught the dreaded stomach bug that we all had a couple of months ago, but this past month she officially had her first cold. I figure that if that is the first respiratory issue we've had with her thus far, then hopefully we are headed down a good path toward avoiding all the issues we've had with Caleb.


Piper also perfected her raspberry this month. She loves to do this at any time. She really gets her "motor" going when she's super excited and laughing. She is also sleeping much better these days than in the past. Towards the end of this past month, when we started giving her more protein at dinner, she will actually sleep from 8 or 9ish until at least 5am. After nearly 7 months of having to get up at least once, most times twice, a night it has been a VERY welcome change!
Piper is really the best little girl and more than we could have ever asked for in a baby girl! She is just so laid back and patient with us and is just such a loving little girl. We feel so blessed that we have the opportunity to share our lives with her!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Here We Go Again

Caleb was exactly 7 months old when he uttered his first word, Mama. Perhaps it was just an accident during a regular babbling session, but I counted it and it became an oft repeated word for him. From that time on, he has never ceased the chattering, even during sleep.
This morning, Piper, now 7 months old, said her first word: Dada. I've told Jes over and over that I've finally birthed a child for him, this just is another thing to prove it. I guess this means we have another talker on our hands. It will be a loud next few years!