Thursday, February 28, 2008

Six Years Ago Today

I became a mom. It was an extremely long, bumpy, and eventful journey but once we arrived at the end and I recovered enough to see those two little boys in their isolettes, even with all the beeps and buzzers of the NICU, it was worth it. And now they're six. It feels like a lifetime ago since I first became pregnant.

I would love to walk down memory lane and also write about what has been going on this week, but I need to go make mac and cheese (for A) and pizza (for B), enough for all fourteen people who will be here tonight, frost their cupcakes, clean up the downstairs, figure out some way that all those people will be able to SIT while they eat . . . and, if I can squeeze it in, prep everything I need for the party I'm doing tomorrow afternoon. Woohoo - let's go!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Check out my hubby!

Today and tomorrow are the last two nights of DH's show. Here are some pictures from it - doesn't he look cute?!!!

200thebestman pcs 2008 4x6

185thebestman pcs 2008 4x6

I'm going to FINALLY see it tomorrow night. If you are local and would like to join me, leave a comment (C'mon, you local lurkers, I know you're out there!) and I'll send you the details.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Updating My Layout

Okay, how did I miss this? When I first started my blog with Blogger, updating or changing any aspect of it was somewhat complicated, at least for me. I wasn't too comfortable working with the HTML code, so making any revisions was a big deal to me. Blogger had made some big changes a while ago, but I pretty much ignored them. Don't ask me why. Tonight I discovered how SIMPLE it is to move things around and add cool stuff.

So....what do you think?!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Ever hear of PayPerPost?

I never had either until I read about it on one of the frugal living blogs I've been using as research on ways to .... well, live more frugally! I don't even remember which one it was now - I've been reading so many of them recently to get new ideas. In addition to trying to figure out new ways to cut our expenses, I'm always searching for additional ways to bring in more income. PayPerPost might be a great way for me to earn some money!

I just signed up. This post is my first attempt to earn money. If I'm doing it correctly (and it doesn't seem that complicated, so I THINK I am) I will earn twenty dollars. Yes, you read that right, twenty dollars just for letting you know about PayPerPost!

From what I understand, there is a big list of "opps" or opportunities for me to look through and possibly select. The opportunities are all from various websites and advertisers who are looking for other ways to get the word out about their site or their articles or even their product. The opps specify how much they will pay you. It looks really easy and profitable.

And when I'm finished this post, I will receive $20. I'm almost giddy! Well, not quite, but I'm excited about it. At first I was thinking that my minimum fee would be $20, but most of the opps seemed to be for less than that, so I'll have to see if that's typical or not. I'm thinking for now I'll take any money I make from this to go towards my list of things to buy for around the house. For example, I just rearranged the furniture (AGAIN) in my living room and am now looking to buy a white nine cube storage unit to help organize our entryway. Since I have something similar in the dining room for much more money that I got from IKEA, I think it will help pull the rooms together nicely. In any case, right now it's on sale for $40 - significantly cheaper than the bigger one I have already! I'm really looking forward to splurging on this.

As soon as I get the $ from PayPerPost I'll be able to let everyone know how quick and easy it actually was. Hope this works out just like I expect it to! Don't worry, I'm not going to be doing these types of posts all the time, but it might be nice to be able to earn some money from this blog!

One of the requirements is that I include this link:
drive traffic

Edited to add:
Just saw a way that YOU can make some money too! Just click on this button:

and review this post. You make money AND I make money. Win/win!!!

Barely coughing anymore

I'm finally returning to the land of the living!!! Woohoo! Thanks to my DH, who took care of the kids all afternoon yesterday (allowing me to go to bed at 4) and took over again today as soon as he got home at 6 so he could give them dinner, baths, and put them to bed, AND my incredible sister, who had me bring all the kids to her house for the entire afternoon so I could rest, I no longer have the pain and pressure filling and surrounding my head and the heavy weight on my chest. What a relief!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Good Night

Taught today. Mistake. Totally wore me out.

DH got home at 3:30. SOOOOOOooo glad to see him. I went upstairs and went to sleep propped up in bed. Woke at 8 only because my bladder was so full it hurt. Peed, went downstairs to eat a little, and am now ready to go back to bed. I got a sub for tomorrow. Luckily the party I was going to do tomorrow has been rescheduled for Friday because the birthday boy got sick too. That makes Friday a very long day, but at least helps me out for tomorrow. Now besides getting the kids to school I only have to teach my drama class at 4 tomorrow afternoon - not bad. Have to e-mail a few more people about tomorrow and then I'm back to bed.

Cough. ZZZZZzzz. Cough.

And now I have to REALLY suck it up. School starts again today. I'm going to get a sub for Hebrew school tonight, but I think it's just too hard to get a sub for my little guys today, so I'm going to go in and demonstrate how to do the "elephant cough" the right way. What? You don't know what the elephant cough is? That's how we teach the kids to cough: put your arm across your face so you end up coughing into the inside of your arm, on the other side of your elbow. Do it right and it looks like you're making an elephant trunk. Cute, huh. So I'll be showing them all how Miss R "elephant coughs" all morning long. And I'll be washing my hands a lot.

I know I have to suck it up, so I'll just take a moment now to whine and complain. Then I'll be done and ready to face the rest of the day.
  • My chest hurts from all the coughing I've been doing.
  • My nose is red, raw, dry, and sore.
  • The house is a mess because I have not been able to stay on top of it for the last few days.
  • My neck hurts from both all the coughing and from attempting to sleep sitting up, forcing my neck to rest at an unatural angle.
  • I am still coughing a lot - though I think the cold medicine has finally started taking effect. I'm sure I will need to take another dose by nine or so. I can take another dose at 11.
  • I'm SO SO SO tired. Couldn't stop coughing until about midnight, and woke up coughing terribly around 6:30 or so. Not bad, but definitely not enough. Especially since I have not had enough sleep the last few days.
  • Blech!

Okay, that being said, I'm doing much better!

Anybody else watch the Today show this morning? I heard a mom talk about this GREAT web business she started in October, kind of a Netflix for toys. What a great idea!!!

Alright, time to get moving. I'm not dying anymore, but I may be sleepwalking.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Did you know that my fake Nyquil medicine I took wears off after SIX hours? That ended up being at 4 AM. I knew to the minute when it wore off because I suddenly could not stop coughing. I did eventually doze off on the couch with my near empty tea cup in my hand, but not for long, so basically have been up since 4. Cough, cough.

I was able to get a babysitter that is with the kids now. She's here until 12, so pretty soon I just need to suck it up. I'm going to take a long hot shower in a moment and take some more medicine. After I give the kids lunch I need to take them on a couple errands: first to drop off my holter monitor to the cardioligist's (hopefully they will give me some answers soon!), then to the dollar store to see if I can get some more supplies for the party I'm doing on Wednesday, then to the produce store to get some fruits and veggies, then to Rite Aid to pick up some medicine. Ugh. I'm hoping I can convince the kids that this is a big adventure and they need to be Mommy's helpers. Cross your fingers.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sniff, sniff, cough, cough


I'm dying.

I know I'm not. I know I'm being a total baby. I know I'm exaggerating my symptoms only to get much needed sympathy. I know I'm being totally insensitive and ingrateful to the fact that I DON'T actually have a terminal disease, it's just a cold, suck it up, there are people out there that have it much worse than I do.

But I'm still dying.

DH is doing a show right now. It's getting great reviews, I can't wait to see it, how fabulous for him that he is getting such positive recognition.


He was there last night while I was dying, but still had to get the kids ready for bed. To be fair, he had been in charge of them ALL day, not just them but also my niece and nephew to help out my sister who has been so wonderful in helping us out with child-care whenever we have needed it. Instead of spending the day in bed as I should have, I went out and worked on the laptop at my favorite coffee place. I managed to plan out preschool for the next two weeks, plus type the newsletters to send home, plus revise my Religious School plans AND type a newsletter to send home for that too. It was good, even though I forgot to bring tissues and had to rely on at least three dozen of their cardboard-like napkins to blow my nose.

He's preparing for his matinee right now. I had promised to get up with the kids today, but since I was dying, he volunteered not just to get up with them but to also let me stay in bed until the last possible minute before he had to leave at 11:30.

He's a good person.

But, bottom line, I'm dying and the kids keep nagging me for food and drink, claiming its time for lunch or some such nonsense, and I'm the only one here who can get it for them. Though A just walked by with one of the snack containers I had in the snack box (I've filled the box with lots of kid-sized portions of various snacks they like to eat), so maybe they'll all just get food for themselves. Naaah, I don't think that will work.

On the plus side, I found some medicine in the closet that I took and I GUESS it's helping a little, even though my chest still hurts from congestion.

My heart is still jumping around inside my chest, but the good news is I just did yet another 48 hour holter test (where I get all wired for sound with five leads on my chest and a Walkman size recorder thingy that I keep in my pocket) and this time my heart decided to perform. Every time I've done this before my heart has decided to behave impeccably, going ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump just like it's supposed to. I made the mistake of praying that my heart would DO the funky thing it does when the monitor is actually on, so it did. Oh, did it. Normally it will jump/skip a beat/whatever about six times in an evening once in a while. That would be a "bad" night. Apparently God answered my prayers by making my heart REALLY jump around so there would be PLENTY of funky beats for the cardiologists to analyze. Plenty. As in around 35 extra beats that make me gasp and jump all day long on Friday. Fun. Lots of fun. And even though the monitor is off now, my heart still thinks it needs to be doing step aerobics or something, so even though I'm sitting calmly at the computer, every once in awhile my heart decides to make me jump out of the seat.

It's a good thing I was wired for sound Thursday - Saturday because otherwise I would have called the doctor to ask what the heck was going on! I return the monitor tomorrow, so hopefully the doctor will soon be able to say THIS is what's going on. That would be nice. Especially if he says either, "This is actually no big deal; just learn to live with it and try to ignore it." OR "This is actually no big deal; just take this pill every day and it will stop giving you that jolt every once in a while out of the blue." Honestly, either would be fine.

Okay, I've put off making them lunch and getting them drinks long enough. Here I go.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I'm sick.
Crumpled, used tissues surround this laptop.
I should be spraying everything with Lysol.
My head is stuffed - my sinuses, my nose. My eyes are burning, My nose is red and sore.

And yet I have three kids sucking on their lollipops, dancing all around me, talking at the top of their lungs. It's bedtime. Finish the damn lollipops - it's time for bed!!!

I have lots more to write, but must respond to J who is repeating, "Boys, look at me in the inside of the house!" over and over and over again. Seriously. At least twenty times so far. Oh my gosh - stop it already!!!

Okay, just gave them all the one minute warning, whether they're finishes their lollipops or not. I'm just mean that way.

Hmmm...any way I can just snap my fingers and find them all changed, teeth brushed, and in bed instantly?

For the record, in case you're curious, it didn't work. Because the idea sounded really, really good and I thought it couldn't hurt to try.

Alright, one minute's up, time to get out of this chair and get them all ready for bed. I love my kids, but man, I sure would love a sick day right about now.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Fatigue

7:00 AM - I am woken from a sound sleep by three children jumping on my bed saying, "Mommy, Wake up!" over and over again. To their credit I DID ask them to help me get out of bed on time today (what was I thinking?) but WHAT a rude awakening.

7:20 AM - Actually dragged my body out of bed and into the shower. Challenged the kids to get dressed before I finish my shower (we race every morning).

7:35 AM - Now that all four of us were dressed we headed downstairs were I quickly made everyone's breakfast, reminding them that our goal was to leave the house by 8:00 (so the boys could have time to play at my friend's house who drives them to school MWF). I set the timer for 15 minutes for everyone to eat.

7:50 AM - Began begging/nagging/encouraging the kids to MOVE: clean up from breakfast, brush hair and teeth, wash faces, put on coats, get their school bags, etc. all while I finish getting ready for the day ahead by packing lunches, applying makeup, brushing my own hair and teeth.

8:15 AM - Headed to the car

8:20 - Dropped the boys off at friends' house

8:25 - J and I arrived at school and headed to my room to finish setting up my room for today.

8:55 - Dropped J off at her classroom and began working with my first two kids.

9:00 - 12:00 - Worked with my group of two/three year olds to help them make their own challah, decorate a brown bag to bring said challah home, use words to take turns and ask for things, sing and dance to new songs, read stories, celebrate Shabbat with the whole school, enjoy an oneg Shabbat (a snack of grape juice, challah, and the oh so traditional Pirate Booty) back in our room, and then run and play outside for recess time.

12:00 - 2:00 -Lead a Parent/Child Shabbat lunch, service, craft, and snack

2:15 - Arrived at home. Pushed kids to do their regular to do lists and then lay on the couch to have some "Quiet Time" - totally necessary for them and me.

2:45 - Sat down to blog.

Here's the plan for the rest of this LOOOONG day:
Fold one load of laundry and put it away (it's being "fluffed" as we speak - well, as I type)

3:25 - Go pick up friend's daughter from her second preschool (E. picks up the boys from Kindergarten a few times a week and brings them to school, I pick up E's daughter on Fridays and keep her with us until around 7:15/7:30)

Make deposits at two banks (or "Lollipop Stores" - just depends on who you ask

Respond to two inquiries about parties (one phone call, one e-mail)

Make potatoes and cooked carrots (only vegetable we have in the house right now - I'm overdue to go to Produce Junction) to bring with me to Shabbat dinner at my parents'.

Fold and put away next load of launry

Clean kitchen counters (they're not too bad right now so shouldn't take too long)

Clear off dining room table (also not too bad)

Pick up crap in living room, including the pile of pretzels that spilled out of one of the boys' schoolbags

Get all four kids to use the potty, put on their shoes and coats, and into the car.

Go to my parents' for dinner and help get everything set up for all of us, all while refereeing the six kids (my niece and nephew will be there too)

"Sit" for dinner: make sure all the kids say the blessings as we light the candles and bless the food then work with my sister to cut up and pass out food to all of the kids. Try to eat a bite or two before one or two of the kids needs something else.

Clean up dishes, toys, children.

Change my three into their pjs.

Go home.

Put kids in bed.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Bragging About My Hubby

Got this meme from MommyChicky and figured I really needed to do it to show the world (or at least the ten of you that read this blog) how wonderful my DH really is, even if I do get frustrated with his schedule from time to time.

Brag About Your Husband

What is his name: DH

How long have you been married: Almost 13 years

How long did you date: Four years - we were engaged for two of those years

How old is he: 35

How old are you: 36 (I know, I robbed the cradle)

Who eats more sweets: While I do eat my fair share of sweets, I'd have to say that he wins out in this category.

Whose parents do you see most? I'd say it's equal. Most weeks we have dinner with my parents on Friday nights for Shabbat and get together with his parents for dinner on Sundays (DH brings the kids there and hangs out all afternoon, I join them around 4:30).

Who said I love you first: I think it was him, but the feeling was definitely mutual!

Who is taller: Him.

Who can sing better: DH has a wonderful sounding voice, but has trouble hearing the pitch sometimes. So....without sounding too
Who is smarter: We are both smart about different things.

Who does the laundry: Mostly me.

Who does the dishes: DH is in charge of running the dishwasher at night and emptying it in the morning. I load it with dishes throughout the day.

Who pays the bills: Me.

His guilty pleasure: Watching TiVoed episodes of Cops, watching DVDs of Family Guy, The Simpsons, and Star Trek over and over and over again.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed: Me.

Who mows the lawn: DH.

Who has more friends: Between my local Flylady group, my synagogue, and the two different mom groups I am in, I would have to say me.

Besides you, who is his best friend: I think he considers his friend D. to be his best friend - they've been friends since they were about seven or eight!

Who cooks dinner: Me

Who is more stubborn: Me, but I'm really working on it!

Who kissed who first: I still remember it so clearly in my mind, even though it was almost 17 years ago! It was definitely mutual, but I waited for him to initiate it.

Who asked who out first: He did. And because he wanted to make sure it would be perfect, he made sure to ask me what kind of flowers I liked and what type of food I liked to eat. So cute.

What was your first date: We ate dinner at ChiChi's (Mexican food) and then saw The King and I at a local community theater.

Who proposed: We knew we were going to get married early on in our relationship, but since we were so young we didn't make it offical for a couple years. His parents allowed us to use the stones in a diamond ring that had been in their family for a long time to work with a jeweler and design our own engagement ring. I told DH that even though we both know it's a sure thing, I would not consider it official until he got down on one knee and asked with the ring. I made very clear to him that I thought proposals in public places like restaurants were the most romantic. I knew even then that it's better to speak up about those kinds of things than leave it to chance. It's not like I spelled everything out to him, just hinted at what I wanted. Even with all that, he still managed to totally surprise me when he actually did it. It was amazing, I cried, so romantic, we were engaged. So, in short, he did.

Who has more siblings: Me - he's an only child and I have both a brother AND a sister. My sister has done what she can to make him get a sense of what it would have been like to grow up with an annoying younger sister (Love you, J.!).

What is your favorite thing about him: I'd say top of the list is he makes me laugh (one of the first things that attracted me to him). We both have a very similar sense of humor - weird and twisted. We've been together first as friends for three years, then dating for two years, then being engaged for two years, and now married for almost 13 years - that's almost twenty years altogether, and I still enjoy just talking and laughing with him. At this point in our lives together, I'd say another quality that is close to the top of the list of favorite things about him is what an amazing father he is. I love watching him play with the kids. I know I was only supposed to name one thing and have already named two, but I just have to add one more. I love that no matter what the problem is, he really listens to me about it so we can work together to solve it, or at least make it more manageable. He also totally respects what I do as a SAHM and is in awe with all that I do to make the household run somewhat smoothly (as well he should be) and understands that when he in not teaching, it is only fair that we each shoulder the parenting responsiblities equally. I know, that was one more thing. What can I say? I love him. Neither one of us is perfect (and wouldn't it be boring if we were?) but he is still my partner for life, my best friend, the person I want to grow old with, the father of my children, and my true love. What else is there?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Frugal Living

I've said that money is tight a few times. I have a budget worked out that if we stick to, we'll be okay, but as everyone knows, it's not fun to stick to a budget and you really need to have self-control and commit to it. But my current financial goal is to not only stick to the budget but even try to come in under-budget each month.

The first step was to look at the last few months' spending in every category and edit the budget to be more realistic. For example, I had budgeted $150 each month for gas, but when I analyzed what we actually were spending I was shocked to discover it was around $400 each month! Damn those high gas prices!!! So that was one spot I needed to adjust.

But now that I have a more practical budget, I need to work on cutting down any extra spending, constantly asking if we REALLY need it right now or if it can wait.

I planned out inexpensive meals for the month yesterday. The first step for me was to create a list of meals that I can make without even looking at a recipe and that the kids all eat.

I put the meals in four categories: Meat, Chicken, Breakfast, and Pasta/Vegetarian.

I decided on a category for each day of the week: Mondays = Pasta/Vegetarian, Tuesdays = Meat or Chicken, Wednesdays = Breakfast, Thursdays = Homemade pizza (we make this together with veggies), Fridays = Shabbat dinner at my parents' - I bring a hot vegetable and a side dish, Saturday = "Buffet" of leftovers, Sunday = Dinner at my in-laws'.

I'm purposely only going to do a meat/chicken meal once a week to save on expenses (and of course will only use stuff on sale). Breakfast for dinner is another really cheap way that I like to do a meal. And I'm really focusing on using what we have at home and avoiding impulse buys or "quick trips" to the store, trying to make do with what we have at home. After planning out our meals for the month, I went ahead and ordered them from Genuardi's since they had just sent me a "Welcome Back" postcard for free delivery. I bought it all for $200, minus the meat which is cheapest at Giant so I'll buy that this weekend. The groceries won't be delivered until tomorrow afternoon, so we needed to "make do" for breakfast today and tomorrow. I made a big pot of oatmeal for the kids and I with the last of our milk, the last of our raisins, chopping up almonds into it to add more protein to it, and sweetened it with the last of our brown sugar. And the kids actually ate it!!! Well, I really had to stress how much sugar I put in it and how sweet it was, blah, blah, blah, but that at least got them to try it. When DH was disappointed that the groceries wouldn't arrive until tomorrow since it contains the bagels he eats for breakfast (he feels the need to eat in the car since he leaves for work so early), I just made up an egg sandwich for him and packed it up for him to grab tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow the kids and I will go to Produce Junction and stock up on fruits and vegetables, which can usually last us for about two weeks. I'm pushing the kids to eat the fruits and veggies for snacks, which is not only healthier, it seems to fill them up more than snacking on the pretzels and crackers that I put out in their "snack box." I can usually buy produce for less than $40 that last for two weeks, so that's about $80 a month. But it's only worth it if I make sure we eat everything we buy. In the past we've bought stuff that has gotten pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten that I eventually have to toss. Last month I managed to actually use up everything we bought - no waste!

So my frugal goal for the month is to see if we can get by on LESS than $400 for the five of us, including produce, dairy (we normally go through two gallons every 2 - 3 days), and meat.

Anyone else have any frugal tips on food that don't require too much time?