Saturday, August 30, 2008

Money Makin' and Money Savin'

Since I've been on bedrest this summer, I've been doing a lot of reading on the internet of other "mom blogs". I've found a lot of really cool things and gotten a lot of tips. I thought I would pass on a couple of the things I've found out.

First of all, I've recently learned of a couple of easy to use sites that can earn you a little extra side money. I'm not trying to sound like an infomercial or something, but I thought they were pretty cool. These websites pay you to take surveys and read emails. They are: Cashcrate and InBox Dollars. If you click on the names, they will take you right to the websites. Anyways, I thought this was pretty cool and so I signed up and made ten bucks yesterday in like an hour! I read another mom blog where the woman makes a hundred bucks a week just on these sites and spends about 12 minutes a day average working on them.

The other thing I'm learning a lot about is using coupons. Now, I'm already a coupon clipper, but there are ladies out there that should be considered professionals! They get crazy amounts of groceries for like five dollars, it's awesome. I don't think I will go as far as they do, but I've learned a thing or two. First of all to make sure you know your favorite stores coupon policies, especially when it comes to printed coupons off the net. My favorite stores are Walmart and Target and here is what they say. I got these from couponmom:

From Wal-Mart:

“Wal-Mart Stores can accept coupons that are available on the Internet for customers to print from their home computers. The following are guidelines for the stores for accepting Internet coupons:
- The coupon should be legible and say "Manufacturer Coupon". There should be a valid remit address for the manufacturer, to ensure the coupon can be processed for payment.
- The coupon should have a scan-able bar code.
- The coupon should have an expiration date.
- The coupon cannot be a photocopy.
- The limit is one coupon per item, per Customer.
- A Salaried Manager can refuse to accept a coupon if it does not meet any or all of these guidelines.”

From Target:

“Coupons are a great way to save even more when shopping at Target, and we make it easy to use them at our stores. But because of the variety of coupons available to our guests, we do have some guidelines for how coupons can be redeemed at Target:

-We accept two kinds of coupons: Target-issued coupons and manufacturer-issued coupons.
-We'll accept one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon for the same item, unless either coupon prohibits it.
-We can't give cash back if the face value of a coupon is greater than the purchase value of the item; in that case, we'll adjust the value of the coupon to equal the price of the item.
-We can't accept coupons from other retailers, or coupons for products not carried in our stores.

All valid coupons should be presented to the cashier at the time of sale."

So there ya go. Also, I've been using my coupons whenever I need a certain item. However, the key that the "pros" use is to make surey you only use your coupon when an item is also on sale. This way, you are getting your item practically free or close to it. A lot of these moms actually make money when using coupons and rebates! This mom on moneysavingmom uses her Walgreens to do just that. She always uses the coupons Walgreens puts out and gets most of her self care items for free or close to it. Here is one of her favorite coupons:
Here's an example of how she got 6 Fructis items for $2 or free depending on what coupons you have:

Garnier Fructis hair care items--$3.99

Buy 6 Garnier Fructis items at $3.99 each
Use $1/1 coupon from August EasySaver booklet (this should take off $6)
Use 6 $1/1 coupons (from 05/04 and 06/22 RedPlum inserts) or 6 $2/1 from tearpads found at Dollar General
Spend $12 plus tax out of pocket (or approx. $6 out of pocket if you have the $2/1 coupons)
Get $10 rebate from September EasySaver booklet
$2 out of pocket (or free plus overage with $2/1 coupons) after coupons and rebate!

I just think that's so cool! Some other tips include: getting the magazine All You. It has some awesome coupons in it and the magazine is only $1.77 at Walmart. Also, organize yourself. I use an accordian folder that I got for $1 at Target. It's broken down into different catagories that work for me like Baby Items, Groceries, Gift Cards, Restaraunts, Personal Items, ect. You just need to find what works for you. I've seen other people use binders or folders. Another pointer is to ask your friends and family to save their Sunday paper for you, which has all the best coupon inserts.

I'm going to be posting some more things about coupons this week, since that's what I'm into lately! :) I'll try to find other tips that seem to be working for other people across the web. Check out this site A Full Cup to get started. Or click on the Money Saving Mom link to the right under "my favorite blogs" box. Also, feel free to comment on your money saving tips to share with all the other moms who read my blog!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby Horoscopes

Everyone knows how much I love psychics, horoscopes, and all that stuff...Here are some things I found about Scorpio (Parker) and Virgo (Callie) babies. It's just for fun!!

So looks like Callie will be a Virgo baby. Here is what the universe is predicting for her!!

August 23 - September 22
Planet - Mercury
Element - Earth

For better or for worse, the Virgo baby is plenty fussy! How else do you expect these kids to grow up to be perfectionists? Get used to it: the Virgo baby can be quite particular and needs to have a routine. At least having a routine isn't all bad, but don't even think of changing it! This baby will not respond well to a lot of change. The Virgo baby can also be picky about food, so keep it simple at mealtimes. Aside from these peculiarities, this tot doesn't require a lot. A clean bedroom and simple clothing are sure to keep this baby dry-eyed.
As well, the Virgo baby is quite good at amusing itself for hours with the most basic of games, feeling very little need for the attention of others. The Virgo child also wants to talk early on, probably earlier than most of the other babies around. There's a lot going on in that mind, so it may as well come out!
From an early age, this baby can also be seen as mother's little helper, as the need to serve others is a strong Virgo trait. They also won't make a fuss over their accomplishments, since by nature these kids are a bit shy. To sum up, the Virgo baby is fine on their own but also happy to help others, loves cleanliness, and can easily keep themselves amused. Pretty (albeit picky!) good kid.

Mr. Parker is a Scorpio, which fits him pretty well:

October 23 - November 21
Planet - Mars & Pluto
Element - Water

When a Scorpio baby enters the world, all eyes will focus on them. And that's exactly how it will be for a long time to come, as this baby must be the center of attention! To that end, this is quite the manipulative little tot, sucking up energy from everyone around.
The Scorpio baby is also a bit mysterious, making it hard to figure out what's wrong when the crying starts. So often, it's something which is seething below the surface and will be very hard to draw out of this child. You must also consider power struggles when thinking of this child, as the Scorpio baby will expect that Mom, Dad, and everyone else will fit into their schedule and plans. Make no mistake, this is a powerful child!
The flip side of this is that this baby is quite clear on what they want and can get that message across. One important note: Scorpio babes loathe lounging in dirty diapers, so change them often! Many times, this can be the simple source of their discomfort, although the malady may not always be so clear. For that reason, the Scorpio baby should be watched closely.
Someone will generally be watching this child, though, as the Scorpio tot enjoys a crowd, especially one where it can lead. To sum up, the Scorpio baby is clever, wants things on their own terms, and will know how to get it. Watch out!

Copyright 1999-2008, and KnowledgeWeb

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

35 week appointment

Well today I'm 34 weeks, 5 days and had another appointment. I had another ultrasound of the baby and she is measuring about 5 pounds, 6 ounces. The amniotic fluid level was a little low, so the Dr. is going to check on that again next week (if I make it!). He did an internal exam and I am almost 3 cm's dilated and 80% effaced. He said Callie could come at any time now, so we're ready!! Dr. Turner also was a little concerned because I gained 6 pounds since last week. He said it's physically impossible to gain that much fat in 1 week and it's got to be from swelling and fluid retention. So I also had to have some labs done to check for preeclampsia. He said it's okay because that's the kind of weight you can "just pee off". Yeah right!! I think it's because we just went out to breakfast at McDonalds before the appointment and Callie gained a half pound this week. I'm not concerned because I'm not showing any signs of preeclamsia and I haven't gained 1 pound in 5 weeks, so who cares if I had a big jump this time? Dr. Turner also loved seeing Parker. He was really happy I've made it this far and said, "I think we've done a good job!" I would have to agree!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Parker's 10 month appt.

Sorry I never got to updating about Parker's appointment on Wednesday. He had a really great appointment and didn't need any shots. He weighs 18 pounds, 1 ounce and is up to 27 3/4 inches! He's about in the 10th percentile for both weight and height so that's exciting. He fell off the chart for height at his last appointment, so he really grew these past couple months.
The Doctor is really happy with how Parker is coming along developmentally too. He's right where he expects a 10 month old to be! We don't think he'll be needing that physical therapy too much longer.
The "rash" around his eye and face isn't really a rash, but a form of milia. That's just oil clogging his tiny pores, or baby acne! It looks a lot worse than it is I guess since it's around his eye.
His Dr. also said Parker won't be needing the RSV shots this winter! Yay!! At about six thousand dollars per injection, we are still paying off last seasons! LOL! Since Parker didn't really need much time on the CPap and wasn't on a ventilator at all, his lung damage was minimal, so Dr. Taylor thinks we'll be just fine. We are so happy!
As far as how much formula intake he's getting, we're pretty much okay there too. The Dr. would like him to get 24 ounces per day as a minimum, which the majority of days, he gets. As for weening him off his bottle, we are doing the right thing there too. The Dr. recommends babies be completely off a bottle between 18-24 months, so we are on the right track. We've tried giving him a sippy cup of formula for breakfast and then give him the rest in his bottle. He really still loves his bottle, so we might have a challenge on our hands. But he's still got 8 months to get used to it, so we'll take it real slow.
So it was a typical check-up with no worries!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Everyone To The Doctor!

Had a weekly appointment yesterday..what a shock! lol! Well they decided to do an actual ultrasound of the baby instead of just my cervix. They just wanted to check on the growth of Ms. Callie and check the amniotic fluid level. After the ultrasound, my doctor got called to the hospital for an emergency so I saw the P.A., Laura, who was really nice. She said she had Dr. Turner look at the ultrasound before he left and he agreed everything looked great. She was measuring 4 pounds, 14 ounces!! Parker was around 4 pounds 8 ounces when we brought him home last year, so she is going to seem so big to us! Cory says he can't see anything on the screen during the ultrasound so that was pretty funny. He really wants one of those 4D ultrasounds, but I tried to explain they would only do one if they were concerned about the baby, not just for fun. And since the problem is with my body, not the baby, we probably won't be getting one. I didn't bother getting any pictures printed because the baby is head down, facing my back so there wasn't really anything to see. They scheduled 2 more ultrasounds for my next 2 appointments, so hopefully I can get some good shots then.

Other than that, some more exciting news...I'll be 34 weeks on Friday! Yay!! They would not try and stop labor at this point. The doctor explained to us that at 34 weeks, most babies do fine breathing on their own, however, some do not. She said even if the baby went to the NICU, sometimes they have to be intubated, but only for a very short time and maybe even still get to go home right away. I've already had the betamethasone injections for her lungs, so that's great. Also, I don't need anymore progesterone shots, and after Friday, I can stop the procardia and erythromycin! It's so more pills or shots!! Obviously, they've been working though, so I'm kinda nervous I'll go into labor or something. She also said after Friday, I can start very very VERY gradually start doing more on my feet like going to the kichen or walking from room to room a little bit. She said if I'm not having contrations or cramping, I can build up my activity level. If I do, she said just cut back and go back to strict bedrest. I'm so excited! Cory wasn't very happy she said that because he thinks if they give me an inch, I'm going to take a mile. He said she can't tell "someone like you" to take it so slow because I'll just dive right in. I don't know what he means by "someone like you", but I don't think it's a compliment! :) I would never do anything to risk the health of the baby, so I will follow Dr. orders.

Parker goes in for his monthly appointment today with his pediatrician too. I'll get back on today and let ya know what happens. We had a few concerns: Parker has a rash around his eye and part of his face. We wanted to know about getting the RSV shots for the 2nd RSV season (the NICU recommended geting the shots through the 2nd year because he is still high risk through this year), and when we should start weening him off his bottle. Also, I want to make sure he's getting enough formula during the day because he seems to be really filling up more on table foods now. Well, I'll letcha know!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Aww, poor Parker got stung by a bee last night! Cory and I were sitting outside and Cory went to put Parker in the grass to practice standing. All of a sudden, Parker started crying like he was just shot or something! I looked at the bottom of his foot, and sure enough, he had been stung. Poor Bubbahs! We put an ice pack on his foot and gave him some tylenol, then we soaked his foot in the pool which seemed to instantly help. He's so tough! So here's a picture of Parker from the other morning. As you can tell, he's pulling himself up to standing now!! He's very unbalanced once he gets up there so I'm always worrying about him. He's had a couple spills, but nothing too bad...yet!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yet another appointment!

Had my weekly OB appointment today. Dr. Turner was out, on-call at the hospital, so I saw another Dr. I actually saw the Dr. that admitted me to the hospital when I went in with Parker last year. I was measuring at 1.6, so pretty much the same! The Dr. said, "Well, nothing is really going on with you except your cervix is really, really, really short!" He said I was his most high-risk patient of the day, but I was being boring! lol. I guess boring is good at this point! My belly is measuring right on target, vital signs were all good, Callie's heartrate was great...all wonderful things!

Parker has started pulling himself up to his feet! It's so exciting! He's only been crawling for about a month and now he's trying to be on the go even more! He pretty much topples over right when he gets up, but hey, we are pretty proud. I'll try to get a picture posted of him doing it. The physical therapist will be so impressed!

I'm so bored lately! I've been watching a lot of Olympics. I can't believe the are getting rid of baseball!!! I love watching the volleyball too. Does anyone want to join a league with me this winter? Also, had a mean game of Scrabble last night with mom. She beat me by 1 point. Gotta step up my game I guess!! lol! Oh, and I deleted my mypace page too. It's the end of an era!

Cory is plugging along down at Spectrum. We are just waiting for his city license to come through and his doors will officially be open to anyone and everyone! It should be coming in hopefully this week. His sign is up too, you should go check it out. I will try to put pics of that up too this week. His shop is at the bottom of the Cable Bridge, across from the mini golf place. Which, by the way, is not open this year! What's up with that?? I love mini golf! Not that I would be going, but still- that place is like a landmark in the Tri-Cities!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We Have a Name!

We finally have a name for our little lady! After all this it is...we are going to name her....

Callie Dee
It means "Beautiful Lucky One"

So that's it! Finally! As for an pregnancy update, I was admitted to the hospital last week. I went in for my weekly check up and the cervical length shortened up a lot from about a 2.5 to 1.9 and showed funneling. The dr. decided to check me and I was dilated 1 1/2 cm and 70% effaced. He did the FFN test too (which can predict preterm labor), luckily, that was negative. That means I had less than a 1% chance of going into labor within the next 7-14 days. He decided he wanted to admit me to KMC. I got the betamethasone injections for the babies lungs, nonstress tests, IV antibioitics. I guess the monitor showed I was having contractions, although I couldn't feel them at all!! So, he started me on a couple of meds to stop that. Only bad thing is they are for lowering BP, so they made me pretty dizzy!! My BP's were like 90's/40's! oh well, it's worth it!! Anyway, got another ultrasound that Thursday and I was measuring at a 2.0. The Dr. said since it's about the same, either I could stay in the hospital and wait to have the baby and stay on complete bedrest, or go home, stay on bedrest, take all kinds of meds, and swear to come back in if ANYTHING changes. Of course, I cant take being away from Parker, and since everything seems stable, and they weren't really doing much for me at that point, I decided to come home that night.
Then, not such good news. I had another US and appt. yesterday, and cervix was measuring about 1.5. Dr. Turner was pretty upset and felt like he should have kept me in the hospital. He says studies have shown women do better on hospital bedrest than at-home bedrest. I don't know how much more I can stay off my feet though! I barely move to begin with! Okay, there have been a few times I've pushed it, but I'm about to go crazy!! Anyways, after some convincing, he decided I should come back in tomorrow to have another ultrasound and we could go from there. I had another nonstress test too, which looked good. I guess when the measurement is 1.0 or less, labor is immenent. I'm 31 weeks, 5 days today, which is what I was when I went into labor with Parker. I consider everything from here on out a success really. The Dr. isn't sure if I will make it to 34 weeks, but he really doesn't want us to give up. We are disappointed that we are going to have another baby in the NICU, but it's something we knew was probably coming. The Dr. is out of the office, so I will have the ultrasound and then he will call me at home to discuss the results. How nervewrecking!