Tuesday, May 11, 2010

give it up for SpongeBob!

Trinity has been WANTING to tie her own shoes for quite some time now. I mean REALLY wanting to. She was the only one in her class that still had Velcro shoes (granted, there are only five kids in her kindergarten class). So you get what I mean when I say she was DYING to tie her shoes! We tried to teach her a few times, but she just wasn't quite ready, so we told her to be patient and that she would tie her own shoes one day.

A few weeks ago, Trinity and Natalie were watching the ever-infamous SpongeBob. Sometimes he grosses me out, sometimes I think he is really funny. Other times I wonder if he really is appropriate for their age. Oh well. I'm not perfect. Anyway, we were watching an episode that we had all seen before, but had only mindlessly watched in the past. This time, Trinity was actually learning something. You see, SpongeBob had forgotten how to tie his shoes! He went around all day terribly upset, until he finally stopped to pay attention to what his pet snail, Gary, had to say to him. Gary turned out to have an awesome record, which played an awesome song, about tying your shoes! "It's called the loop de loop!" Trinity stared at the TV with huge eyes, soaking in every moment. Then, she got up, went to her daddy's shoes, and tried to tie them! I saw what she was doing, so I went over to help her. She got it! Then she exclaimed, "SpongeBob taught me how to tie my shoes!" We all busted out laughing. It was the funniest thing-a cartoon-teaching our child how to do something useful!

That whole day she practiced and practiced. The next day, I went to Walmart and bought her some tie-shoes. My happiness came from the fact that the shoes were on clearance for only $7.00! :) Steal of a deal! When I picked her up from school, I gave her the surprise. She was ecstatic. She immediately put them on, and then continued to do something else funny...she would be walking around, shoes tied and all, then suddenly stop. She dropped to the ground, untied her shoes, and then tied them again! I guess it was such a novelty to her that she wanted to do it again and again! The next day she wore her new shoes to school and showed everyone and anyone who would watch that she could tie her shoes. Her teacher even said that she continued to "STOP, DROP, and TIE!" I love this little girl so much, and really am happy that she can now tie her shoes! Thanks to SpongeBob for teaching her!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

couponing 101.

So, I have been trying to figure out how to save money. Turns out I'm not very good at it. I don't buy useless, unnecessary items. I don't go shopping all the time, just to go. (Oh yeah, I totally used to do that.) But I have been married for over 10 years now, have 2 children, and I really think that I have "grown up." I try to save money anyway I can, I am always looking for ways to make money, and I never ever buy things that are not on sale, unless we are talking about the $4.99 kids clothing line at Target (You can't really complain or get much cheaper than that!), or something that is really needed, like medicine. I don't buy things on a whim, and I try to make a list. But I still pretty much suck at saving money.

Lately I have been trying to play the coupon game. I searched and searched for coupons, figured out what was on sale, and even made a menu to go with those sale items. I was pretty excited about saving some money! But I was highly disappointed. I thought about going all over town, to buy certain things at certain places that were on sale and had a coupon, but then I figured that would take up way too much time. Plus, the cost of gas would really cancel out the savings. So I chose to shop at Publix.

I really like Publix. They are always friendly, the store is always clean (including the bathrooms), and they always have BOGO free sales! They also offer FREE antibiotics at their pharmacy, and I just happened to have a little girl who went to the ER last night for what we thought was appendicitis or a UTI but turned out to be an ear infection, who needed antibiotics! Such a deal! The bakery also gives out FREE cookies to the kids, so that kept them busy for a few moments while I checked out my list and got ready to shop.

I started down the first isle. So far, so good. I got my items, and even grabbed some "blinkie" coupons while I was there. But then the kids started getting restless. Natalie started whining about wanting a cupcake from the bakery, and as usual, I became the mockery of the store, with everyone staring at me, thinking "What bratty kids. What a bad mom." No, no one actually said those words, but I know they were thinking it. I've thought it about other people. Someone did say to Natalie that she was "never going to get it acting like that." Whatever. I somehow got her distracted, until she saw the "blinkie" coupon dispensers. She always has to run to each one, and grab ALL the coupons out! I hate it. But, oh well. Then Trini had to use the bathroom. Even though I had asked her to go before we left the house. By this point I was getting confused and frustrated with all of my papers (coupons plus my list) in hand, so I sent her in alone (something I NEVER do) and kept trying to reach the sour cream that was on sale. I finally had to get someone to help me reach it. Then Trini came out and we pressed on. The rest of the trip went the same. Trini had to pee AGAIN, I kept having to look at my papers, and the girls kept running around like hooligans. It took me over 2 hours to do my grocery shopping for one week's worth of food. And that isn't the worst part. My bill was $145.00!!! Looking at my full cart, I knew it was going to be high. I did have some items in there like cat litter and toilet paper, and a SunPass, but I didn't buy anything extra. My receipt did show that I saved almost $40.00 by purchasing items on sale, and I saved almost $15.00 with my coupons.

So what did I do wrong? I know that only time and practice will help me do the shopping faster. But what about my approach? I just know there's gotta be a trick to this thing. I did buy a lot of produce and "healthier" items. Maybe that was my downfall? But the thing is, I HAVE to buy those things. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am in serious need of lowering my triglycerides, and the only way to do that without medication is to eat more fruits and vegetables and less bread and pasta. Seriously, if you have the answers, please tell me! I really do want to save money, but I also want to save my life!