Monday, January 31, 2011

Adventures in Couponing

So I have decided to try my hand at "couponing".  I hadn't realized that the act of using a bunch of coupons and groceries for next to nothing had it's own verb.  I have clipped coupons off and on for years, only to lose them, forget them, or have them expire.  But when I saw a recent FB post of a friend talking about how she was "couponing"  I was intrigued.  We are now a one income family and I wanted to work a little harder at saving money where possible.  And I thought, if I truly can buy things as cheap as "couponers" say you can, maybe I can donate some of my items to a local food bank.  I have been looking for ways to help in my community, but it is a little tricky with my little one.

Another reason I stopped clipping coupons was because I thought that I don't need or buy half the stuff that are on the coupons.  I don't eat frozen foods, and I try to avoid all of the boxed and processed stuff as much as possible.  I try to stick to the periphery of the grocery store.  But, I do use some canned foods like beans, tomatoes, and corn.  And I buy pasta and toiletry items.  All of those items have coupons regularly.  So I decided to give it a go again.  I looked at a few blogs and sites, got organized, and then, because I had to pick something up for tomorrow I decided I would go to the store tonight.  The sites I read recommended you go at a time when the store isn't busy--morning or evening.  My baby was in bed, so I decided I would go to the store tonight, and I would pick up my 3 coupon related items and then the other item on my list.

Well, apparently tomorrow it is supposed to get cold around here, so that was another reason I decided to just go tonight so I didn't need to go out with my little guy tomorrow.  Well, the store was packed.  And then the items I wanted to buy with my coupons were almost completely out.  Apparently, I am not the only "couponer" out there.  But I might be the only rookie.  I got my items, and some of them, if you bought 10 of the items (that would cost me 20-30 cents) I would get $5 off at the checkout.  That sounded like a pretty good deal.  So I did that.  And thought, cool, I will be a coupon expert my first time and have a receipt total of something like $1.

Too bad things didn't work out quite the way I had hoped.  I got it line.  No one was behind me until I got to the front of the line.  And then I had 2 people pull up ready to get checked out and on their way.  My items were rung up and it came to $15.  First of all, I have no idea how it all those cans came to $15, but I had people behind me, and I didn't want to squabble over every little thing.  But, I did tell the checker that she didn't take $5 off.  She said, I only bought 8 eligible items.  I said no, I counted them them as they went down the conveyer belt, and that actually I had purchased 11 items.   She pulled out the receipt and said nope, only 8.  So I said, "ok, can I run and get 2 more cans?"  She said, "okay", but her face said, "are you kidding me?"

She was less than thrilled.  I wasn't too happy either.  And the people behind me definitely weren't either.   I ran and got 2 more cans of corn.  She rang them up, and said, "those didn't work".  I said, "they were on the shelf with the sale tag.  What do you mean they didn't work?"  She told me, I got the mixed yellow and white corn, and the deal was only for the yellow corn.  Now I was the one thinking, "Are you kidding me?  I thought this couponing thing was supposed to be a cinch."  I asked the checker if she could just override it.  But apparently a can of yellow corn and a can of yellow/white corn is that big of a difference and she wasn't able to do that.  I asked, "Do you mind if I go grab the different cans then?"  I apologized to the people behind me and then ran even faster to get the correct cans.  You can imagine how happy they were at this point.  I ran back, finished my transaction, and got out of there as fast as I could.

And that was my first experience in my attempt to become a "couponer".  To be completely honest, I am not looking forward to the next time I go "couponing".  It doesn't sound as exciting as it did last week.  I am not sure all that running around was worth saving $5, if I even saved that.  I was so confused by the end, and just wanted to leave.  But, I am not one to give up so easily, so I will give it the "old college try" again.  

Wish me luck.  I'm gonna need it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

My dream job

is the one I have.  I had no idea I would go through such a rigorous process to become a mom; but I am so grateful I made it.

I no longer work outside the home, and it is so wonderful to be at home full time to care for my little one.

I remember the day I found out we had been matched for our adoption I was talking with a friend who had come by my hospital that day.  As I was walking her and one of her kids out to the car we were chatting and she told me that I had her "dream job".  I replied, "And you have mine.  Wanna switch?"  She is a sweet friend and knew of my infertility issues, so we always talked freely about everything.  The funny thing about this conversation was that I hadn't told her yet of our hopes to adopt.  And I didn't receive the call from our agency until later that afternoon.  So it was fun to call her back and tell her that soon I would be getting my dream job.

I love being a mom.  Last night my husband and I were sitting on the couch making faces and sounds with our baby.  And he would laugh and coo and it was so fun.  This was what I had been waiting for all this time.  He has brought so much happiness and joy into my home.  I can't imagine life without him.  It makes me look back and be even more at peace with all the negative infertility treatments, because if they hadn't failed, I don't know that we would have pursued adoption, or if we had it would've been much later and we wouldn't have our little guy with us as part of our family.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: My child loves his birth mother

Okay,  I can't not write anything under this picture.   My little guy is such a happy, smiley boy.  This is how he greets me when he wakes up from his nap. Ready to play and have some fun.  I enjoyed seeing my little boy in this shirt all day yesterday.  Every time I looked at it I thought to myself, "I love your birth mother too."  She is such an a amazing, courageous, beautiful, and loving person.  I consider myself very blessed to know her and to have had my life changed by her.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Birth Stories

Last week a friend from work invited me to hang out with her and her mom group.  I decided to join her and had a nice time.  At lunchtime we went to the food court and while there I overheard some of the ladies discussing their children's "birth stories".  I was a few seats over from them, so I wasn't engaged in their conversation, but over the noise of the food court I heard the words: labor, epidural, dilated, tired, and c-section, just to name a few.  I wondered if they would ask me how my child's birth went, and I wondered what I would say.  To be honest, I felt a bit like an outsider.  If I had a birth story like theirs I might have been tempted to join in.  But, I didn't, and I wondered if it would be awkward if they were to ask me and I then related how my child was adopted.

Trust me, I am not embarrassed in the least to tell about my child's adoption.  You just never know how others will react, and I didn't know these ladies that well, and it just didn't come up.

But, the more I thought about after the play group was over, the more I wished I had been asked about his birth.  I would have told them about how anxious I was to hear news about him on the day of his delivery.  I know a few details about his birth that I could share.  And then I could tell about how stressful it was getting the flowers delivered to his birthmother.  And how I was an emotional mess when there was a glitch with the flower delivery.  I would tell them about how we went out to dinner to celebrate our little guy's birthday.  Not many ladies can do that.  I could also tell about how we packed up our favorite snacks and all of his gear to take with us on our travels to meet our little guy for the first time.  I might also tell them how the social worker and I were wearing the same style and color shirt when we went to meet up with everyone in the hospital for the first time.   Our little guy was so cute and little.  I fell in love with him the minute I laid eyes on him.  (I loved him before that, but to see him and hold him, was so special).  I would tell about feeding him while I was there and how I was praying he would be a good eater and not be fussy when I held him.  He was great!  I might share  how we finally found a hotel in that area with a semi-comfortable bed to sleep on, for what few hours of sleep I was able to get with everything going on.   And then if I were asked if I was nervous about getting everything finalized I would reply, most definitely.  But I would tell them of my love and respect for our little guy's birthparents.  There were a few bumps in the road, and I was a nervous wreck that last day, but everything worked out in the end.  I might share about the gifts we gave our birthparents and that we were able to meet some of their family members.  And then I would share that we traveled home with our baby in the backseat calling our family members to share the news as quickly as we could.  I would share how happy we were and how excited everyone was to hear the news.  And by that point in my story my smile would be wide, my eyes would be wet, and I would feel a great happiness in my heart.  How do I know that?  Well, because that is what is happening right now as I type this.

And that is my child's birth story.  I think it's amazing and I love it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I hate being on my period

Why do I have to get so crabby, irritated, and emotional?  No idea.  I really want to just go to sleep and have a new day to start fresh on, but unfortunately I took a late afternoon nap and don't feel tired at all.  Bummer.

Having a unicornuate uterus with a very thin lining makes it so my bleeding is next to nothing.  You would think that would come with the additional perk of very little irritability and emotional ups and downs.  But no such luck.  I think I will put a request in to the "Man upstairs" that He gives those of us dealing with infertility a break when it comes to dealing with this monthly visitor of ours.  I don't think that is too much to ask.  Also, you would think that with dealing with this month after month for how many years, I would've figured out how to ride this wave of irritability.  Nope, sure haven't.  I think one mistake I made this month was thinking I had figured it out.  I guess the bright side is, I will get another opportunity next month to see if I learned anything.  Don't hold your breath on that one.

I like to think I am easy to live with the rest of the month, but right now I am really not so sure.  Right now I just don't remember what my excuses are the rest of the time.

Enough of this already.

I guess I will go peek in on my sleeping baby and that will bring a smile to my face and make everything better.  Looks like he is awake and wants a little snack and some snuggle time.  I am happy to oblige him.

*update*  Yep, the snuggle time with my baby did the trick.  There is something about holding him and listening to his heavy breathing that just brings peace and happiness to my heart.  Now, I am off to try and get some zzzzs as well.

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's that time of the month again.

Yes it's time for ICLW.

And yes, Aunt Flo is visiting as well.  I think the thing that bothers me most about her is how she gets me irritated and moody.  I have come to terms with the realization that her arrival means no baby, but I wish I could just not get bugged with my closest friends and family when she comes by.  I am working on that.  I think I did a better job this month.  I'll have to ask my hubby.

I haven't done a welcome ICLW letter for awhile, so I thought I would do one this time.  You can see the info on the side bar of my blog.  But here it is quick and dirty.  I spent a lot of time, money, and energy doing infertility treatments and dealing with insurance companies.  None of which turned out well.  I spent some more time, money, and energy devoted towards adoption, and have reaped the benefits of it.  I have a beautiful baby boy who is a joy to be with.  He has such a pleasant, happy personality and is always smiling and laughing except for when he's not.  :D  Which isn't too often.  :D

As you can see from my header, my blog is about finding joy now, today, not later, and not tomorrow.  In the throes of life and the ups and downs it brings, I have found that if I can keep my perspective and focus on being happy, then I can get through anything--even infertility treatments and the stress of adoption.

I still write about infertility and adoption.  But now I also write about being a mom.  I also write about ordinary things like exercise, crafts, and whatever else I feel like at the moment.  I enjoy photography, reading, being outside, and learning most anything.  I am working on my cooking skills and am hoping to find pockets of time in between naps to learn how to garden, work on some crafts, and edit and digitally scrapbook my photos.  I hope you will stick around and join me in finding joy in life.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Date Night with Spit up on my Sleeve

That is my kind of night out.  As I was looking in the mirror right before my hubby and I walked out the door for our first time out without the little one I saw that I had a small trail of dried spit up on the red sleeve of my sweatshirt.  I considered changing, but then I thought,  no I think I would like to wear it.

This was just another moment that reminded me how going through such great lengths to have a child has completely changed my perspective.  Other people might groan and be upset that their child spit up on them again and they have to change to look presentable.  But not me.  I was happy to have this be a part of my outfit.  It was like a badge of honor.

My hubby and I had a great night out.  We saw the movie True Grit.  I highly recommend it.  And then we went out to dinner at a Thai restaurant.  We cleaned our plates which was just as well because we already had a doggie bag waiting for us at home.  (see the picture below)

This is my little guy in his pajama sack.  Some call them potato sacks, we prefer to call this one his "doggie bag".  They are great pjs because just one zip and you are done.  This is him first thing in the morning.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Keep Calm and Blog On & Great Video

Thank you for your kind comments and words of encouragement.

I do enjoy writing my thoughts and feelings, and knowing that you are out there whether you comment or not, encourages me to keep writing here.

On a different note. I watched this video today, and I just love it. So I wanted to share it. Enjoy.

Friday, January 14, 2011

To blog or not to blog, that is the Question.

I have been wondering lately if I should continue this blog...

I have drastically seen my visitors and comments decline, and I just don't know if I have anything I feel like sharing because I don't know if anyone cares to read it.  When I first started blogging I didn't think I would have many people read my blog, nor did I care all that much.  My focus was to record my joyful daily moments and not let the pain of infertility envelope me.  I soon found that I belonged to a group that welcomed me in with open arms.  Now, I am not so sure if I still belong to this group.  I am still infertile.  I would still like to have other children join my family and I am pretty sure whether that is through infertility treatments or adoption, that it won't necessarily be a walk in the park.  I think we would all agree that we would much prefer to have a baby over a blog.  And while I thought I would do both, --have a blog and enjoy my baby when he came, now I am not so sure.

I don't really feel all that motivated to blog.  I can write in my journal about all the memorable experiences I am having with my boy.  Or I can write them here and feel that no one cares that I shared it.  And maybe that is partly my fault.  My little one has kept me pretty busy and I don't visit too many blogs anymore.  And I don't comment on the ALI blogs as much anymore because I don't want the person whose blog I commented on to then come over to my blog and end up feeling sad that she doesn't have a baby to hug and hold.

So, if you would like to continue reading my blog and having me add to it please let me know.  Also, I would like to know if there are any things in particular you would like to hear about?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Adventures in Nail and Hair Care

I have officially declared war on my son's sharp nails and cradle cap, (unaffectionately also referred to as cradle crap).

I will focus on his nails tonight.  I file them everyday but to no avail.  They keep growing, and they are always sharp.  If my little guy isn't careful, he will live with socks on his hands until he learns to stop scratching his face.  Any ideas when that might be?

I tried clipping his nails, that was quite a feat that I was unable to repeat many times.  I would wait until his was asleep, try to clip them, only to end up waking him up.

Then I started filing them, and that has worked out better.  We actually have a little system down.  While he drinks his milk, I work on his nails.  Thank goodness for the art of distraction.  But like I said, by the end of the day, or for sure by the next morning, at least one of his nails will be sharp, and my quest to keep his nails smooth continues.

Thankfully, he doesn't scratch his face too much, but I hate it when I see a fresh scratch.  I obsessively check and feel his nails to figure out which one caused the damage.  Then I find a bottle of milk and my trusty file and continue my adventures with my child's nails.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The impossible happened

This morning by 10 am I discovered I had exercised, eaten breakfast, and showered, before my little guy had woken up from his am nap. I couldn't believe it. It took focus and efficiency, but it gave me hope that I could accomplish the impossible from time to time. Now to see if I can ever repeat this feat. I think it did help that I had gotten quite a bit of sleep last night. I woke up to my hungry baby at 4 am. I felt refreshed and was tempted to clean the kitchen and exercise then but ended up going back to bed, only to wake up feeling tired the next time my alarm clock (my baby) went off at 7:15. But I recovered and had a great morning

The afternoon went pretty well. The little one was a bit fussy and had a hard time
going down for a nap. But now he is asleep and I don't know if I should but him down for the night. What to do? I guess I will roll the dice and see how long he sleep.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Taking time for me

That is hard for me to do lately. I am constantly watching over and caring for my little guy and either run out of time or don't make the time.

Well tonight I was making dinner and was just exhausted. I barely had the energy to eat it. Thankfully, my hubby sent me to take a bubble bath and said he would watch the little guy the rest of the night. Hip hip hooray for my hubby.

The bubble bath was so relXing and was just what I needed. I think it I need to start making time for me. I will be a much better and happier person, wife, and mother if I do that

I guess the time has come to get my butt in gear and start waking up early enough to exercise. Aaargh. It will be worth it though. I also have to take the time to eat. My baby gets to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom, so I guess I should take a turn too.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sweating off the Sweets

That is what I am trying to do.  Unfortunately, I have been slacking lately.  My little guy keeps me pretty busy.  Every time I go to the doctor I ask when I can take him out in the jogging stroller.  I am hoping to wear her down.  I think pretty soon I will get the green light to do so.  I can hardly wait until I can take him out for a run with me.  Then I will have to get creative and come up with another excuse as to why I can't exercise.  :D

In the meantime my options are:
--to work out before my husband goes to work.  So far that has happened maybe twice.
--do indoor exercises like a yoga DVD.  So far that has happened twice.
--exercise in the evening after my husband is home.  That has also happened maybe twice.

Things are not looking too good for my exercise routine right now.  Hopefully I will kick things into gear soon.