Monday, July 18, 2011

That's Life 7/18/11

So much going on, where do I begin?

L finally recovered from his tonsil surgery. He's back to normal except he's no longer drinking his prescription formula. Mostly that's good, but it's also scary because that means we have to replace 900 calories from formula with actual food. And he's still quite a picky eater. So meal time is even harder than ever.

We succeeded in moving our speech appointments to a later time for the start of kindergarten and full school days. Amazing, miraculous achievement! So far, I'm enjoying our new schedule.

We had L's birthday party. Once again it was at Peter Piper Pizza and again they did a super awesome job. Everything went smoothly and I actually had time to talk to the other moms. And it ended up being a great group, really pleased how it turned out. :-)

As usual, I have tons of things I want to post about but I'm lousy at the follow through. We'll see if I can get some new posts up this week. Fingers crossed!

What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments. How's your summer going?!

Washcloths instead of Paper Towels {Works for Me}

We've been pinching pennies lately {like pretty much everyone, right?} and here's how we've been saving money on paper towels. It basically started on Mother's Day when my husband asked what I wanted and I mentioned dish towels, because I'd been running through them faster, using them to dry wet surfaces instead of paper towels.

My husband, genius that he is, bought 2 packages of 12 washcloths. This turned out to be a great idea. Here's why:

-They're cheap! We got ours at Kohl's and each set of 12 was about $4--3 cloths for a dollar, (33 cents each) doesn't get much cheaper than that!

-They're absorbent. They work as well as a paper towel, if not better.

-They're white, so I can throw them in any load of laundry. I don't care if they get discolored in a red or dark load (which they don't, because I use Color Catchers), nor do I care if they get stained by food or 409.

Since I throw them in whatever wash I'm doing that day, we always have clean washcloths. They are stuffed in a kitchen drawer (I'm not much for folding). My husband uses 3 each night when he 409s the counters and table and I use them throughout the day to soak up messes or clean/dry a counter. I'd say we save a bunch of paper towels (and therefore money) this way.

Cheap and easy. {Oh and green, saving those trees!} That's how I like it!

How do you save on paper products?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July recap

In the past, I've not gotten too excited about the 4th of July. I had a wonderful 4th of July tradition growing up--the annual block party--so much fun! But as an adult, and especially here in Phoenix where it's Too Darn Hot to do anything, we haven't really celebrated Independence Day.

Then when I was in Walmart recently, I thought about buying 4th of July shirts for the kids. Usually, I've been against this because hey, they've already got red and blue clothes. I think this year was different for 2 reasons. 1) With L's tonsil surgery, I needed to look forward to something coming up after the whole ordeal would be over. And 2) my parents live here now and I knew we'd be going over to their place to watch fireworks on July 3rd.

As I was looking at the kids' shirts, I saw they had matching adult shirts. And CHEAP! The kids' sizes were $3 and the adults' were $3.50. And of course Hubby and I can wear our shirts in future years. I was sold! Here are our 4 matching shirts (girls in red, boys in blue) we wore to the "party" on July 3rd: On an earlier whim, I bought 2 4th of July hats from the dollar area of Target. I was only going to get one but remembered my kids don't share, and bought 2. Then the day before the celebration I went back to Target for the flags (3 for $1).

I was "in charge" of desserts for party night. There were tons of ideas around the web for fun patriotic desserts, but L wanted cupcakes, so that's what we did. These are gluten free yellow cupcakes (Betty Crocker) with cream cheese frosting (also Betty Crocker), with blue and red sprinkles (applied by L) and I bought the package of cupcake wrappers and festive pics from Walmart for $1.88 (for 24). Easy peasy.

The celebration at my parents' was lots of fun. My sister was also in town for a visit so the more the merrier. We did typical picnic foods (burgers and brats) but indoors. We had bubbles and glow sticks and planned to go on their patio when the sun went down, but there was a lightning storm! We were afraid the fireworks show would be canceled. Anyway, we played inside with the glow sticks and the kids had a great time and finally, the fireworks began. It was a great show and a super easy (and cool!) place to watch it. We ventured to the patio for just a minute when we thought the lightning had died down, but both kids thought it was too loud, so inside was athe best place to watch from. This is a picture of the kids watching the fireworks through the window (if you click to enlarge, you should see their silhouettes):

We celebrated on the 3rd because that's when the fireworks were scheduled, but I thought that worked super well. On Monday the 4th, we relaxed and got things ready for the week ahead.

As long as my parents live in this house and the church keeps putting on the fireworks show, this should make a great tradition.

Oh and I should mention I was worried about the kids being up late. Turns out T is a night owl like me, she had tons of energy late into the night (relatively speaking--the fireworks started at 8:45). We left right after the fireworks ended and I made it my goal to have the kids in bed by 10:00. I came pretty close. Staying up late is another reason I'm glad we celebrated on Sunday night and not Monday.

How was your 4th of July?