Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Target, 8/30/11

Today I actually went to Wal-mart and Target.  There were a few items at Wal-mart that I needed that weren't on sale and I didn't have coupons for.  So, instead of trying to subtract out those items just to give you the amounts I spent on deals, I decided to not bother.  I did end up with free Cars Yoplait yogurt and men's body wash and cheap Dannon Real Fruit bites and Kashi granola bars.

So, Target wasn't the cheapest trip, but it went pretty well.  The Cascade was all free.  They were $0.97 - $1.00 cpn = $0.03 money maker on all three.  The trail mix were $2.99 ea and I had 2 $1.50/2 cpns, making them $2.24 ea.  These will be great for an upcoming car trip.  The Diet Pepsi was $2.75 ea - $1 = $1.75 ea.  The Prevacid was $10.49 ea - (4) $3/1 cpns = $7.49 ea.  I also got 2 $5 gift cards, making the Prevacid more like $4.99 each.  That is an awesome deal!  Considering that a 48-ct pack is normally $25 and I got 56 for $19.96.  So, I got $76.01 in product for $42.28 before tax, a 44.4% savings and I still have $10 in gift cards to spend.


First, go to this link and view the flow chart, then come back.  Be warned, this may offend some, but it is hilarious.

Now that you have had a laugh, you can read the rest of my rant.

I can usually be pretty levelheaded about a lot of things.  There are two things that I cannot stay levelheaded about:  incompetence and incorrect information (usually leading to generalizations).  Needless to say, I encountered both today.

The first was incompetence, but what else should I expect from customer service at a certain warehouse store?  Good thing I didn't renew my membership!

The incorrect information is really what this post is about.  There is a group that I follow on Facebook (hence the link above) that is geared towards younger mothers.  I like the page because I feel there is information I can add, from my experience, to help these younger mothers (teens and early 20's).  Today, one of the admins went off on a tangent about a mother at Wal-mart who had a screaming child.  The mother sat down on a bench and lifted her shirt to "whip out" her breast to feed her daughter.  The admin started going off about how she should have covered or gone to her car and no one needed to see her breasts.  I, and many others were furious.  Yet, it wasn't so much these statements that got my blood boiling, it was the comments made by the administrators later on in the discussion.  One told a story about how a woman in line in front of her and her younger brother started to breastfeed her child and she asked the woman to go elsewhere and the woman went off on her (as would I).  The person telling this story then went on to say that if she was a man, she wouldn't whip her penis out and display it to everyone.  SERIOUSLY!  How can anyone be so inept as to try and compare the two!  Then there was a discussion about the sexuality of breastfeeding and how husbands shouldn't see another woman's breasts.  Someone tried to say how the main point of breasts was to feed a child, but everyone seemed stuck on the sexual aspect of it.  Sorry to tell you, when it comes to the evolution aspect of the human body, women's breasts were designed to feed their children.  Anything else after that is just a bonus.

On top of this, the women attacked the mother for not having a cover.  They felt that you should have a bottle or be prepared with everything you need.  Otherwise, you should go out to the car.

The thing that upset me the most about this entire thread was the group it took place in.  Those who breastfeed, or at least try and stay informed about it, know that the number of teen and younger moms who breastfeed is very low.  For a page that is geared towards this age group to start badmouthing a mother for breastfeeding her child is horrible.  Can you imagine the discussion if she had ignored her baby's cries to avoid breastfeeding in public?  I understand wanting to vent (hence, this post), but the way this was handled was inappropriate.  Instead of belittling this mother, a discussion regarding covering while breastfeeding or appropriate places to breastfeed could have been started.  The thread then wouldn't have reached the outrageous tone that it did.

It also upsets me that it was felt as though this mother, and others, don't know their children well enough if they don't know when they will want to be fed.  I am the first to admit that I carry the bare minimum nowadays.  If I think I may be eating at a restaurant or be someplace that may not normally have someone breastfeeding there, I will bring a cover.  For the most part though, I make sure I have fed Sweet Pea and changed her before we head out.  When we get to a store, I take the wet bag, stick a diaper, cloth wipes, solution and my forms of payment and head in.  When you have two kids, the last thing you want to do is drag a huge bag in and out of the store with you.  Most of the time, I can do a few stores before Sweet Pea wants to eat.  Other times, like today when she is teething, she wants to nurse more often.  Am I going to leave my cart and drag her and Wildman out to the car just to nurse where I won't offend anyone?  NO!  I am going to try and be discreet, but she is my number one priority at that moment.

I just hope that the discussion didn't dissuade some mothers from breastfeeding because they are more concerned about what other people think instead of considering what is best for their child.

One last note, another page that I have been following is also frustrating me because there is a mother who's son is having some similar problems to what Wildman has been having and there are people left and right telling her that a chiropractor will fix it all.  I have tried to put all the info in regards to our situation and what we have found and what we are doing, I just hate when people assume a one size fits all approach.  I hate to break it to them but a chiropractor will never be able to fix everything.  That is why there are doctors who specialize in every part of the body.

Alright, enough for now.  I must need to get a sandwich so I don't end up in the insult inferno (again, read the link above).

OK, last thing, keep Wildman in your thoughts.  We have two different specialists for two different issues that we are heading to this week.  We wanted to get it all done before vacation so we weren't focused on the issues and could have fun.  I am sure everything will be fine, but I go through "mommy moments" where I feel like my little man is falling apart!

I am really done now!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Walgreens, CVS and Krogers, 08/14/11

 I decided to try doing the shopping on a Sunday this week for a couple reasons:
1.  I wanted to see if the items would be in stock
2.  I wanted to get my shopping over with for the next two weeks
3.  I was prepared

So, first we headed to Walgreens.  I did 3 separate transactions.  The first was the Revlon nail polish, regularly $4.78, sale price $3.99 - $2 cpn = $2.35 after tax and $3 RR.  The next transaction was the Dove hair products, regularly $5.98 each, sale price 4/$15 - (2) BOGO cpns (-$8.98) - $3 RR from first transaction - $2 RR from last week = $2.37 after taxes and $5 RR.  The last transaction was the Brach's candy, regularly $1.33, sale $0.99 - $0.50 cpn = $0.49, Bic Hilighters sale $1.58 for both ($0.79 ea) - $1.00 cpn = $0.58 for both, Pert shampoo sale $3.99 - $1 cpn = $2.99 and $3 RR, Colgate Sensitive toothpaste sale $4.99 - $1.50 cpn = $3.49 and $3 RR.  The M&M's were a filler and on sale for $0.49.  I then used my $5 RR from 2nd transaction so my total came to $4.08 after tax and $6 RR left to spend.  My grand total is $45.59 worth of product for $8.80, an 80.7% savings.

Minus a candy bar and a Gatorade
Next was CVS.  I just did one transaction because I had a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase.  The Caramello candy bar (eaten by my husband before I could take a picture ;-) was $1.19 - $1.19 cpn from CVS machine = $0, Trident gum was 2/$6 - (2) $1 CVS cpns (this was more a filler item), Milk $3.19 (received $1 ECB), Gatorade was 5/$5 (Wildman drank one of those) plus $5 ECB, Sunglasses $9.99, Bandages $3.49 - $4.29 cpn from CVS machine.  I also used $5 ECB from last week.  Total product was $34.49, I spent $12.78 after tax and have $6 ECB left to spend, a 62.95% savings.

We then headed over to Krogers.  I didn't get a picture of all our purchases but I did score free eggs and frozen vegetables.  I ended up with $74.41 worth of product for $44.65, a 40% savings.  I scored some great printed coupons for more Almond Milk, which I may use this week since the Silk Almond milk is on sale.  We went to Aldi's today and got TONS of fruits and veggies, along with some canned goods to stock the pantry. 

I was also able to make and can some salsa tonight and I hope to make some Strawberry fruit leather tomorrow and banana chocolate chip muffins to freeze as great breakfast options or snacks.  I made some pickles last week, which is a savings of almost $3 a jar (depending on your usual brand).  I LOVE CANNING!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why so mean? Learn how to debate!

Debate or debating is a formal method of interactive and representational argument. Debate is a broader form of argument than logical argument, which only examines consistency from axiom, and factual argument, which only examines what is or isn't the case or rhetoric which is a technique of persuasion. Though logical consistency, factual accuracy and some degree of emotional appeal to the audience are important elements of the art of persuasion, in debating, one side often prevails over the other side by presenting a superior "context" and/or framework of the issue, which is far more subtle and strategic.

First I want to start by saying I am not going to get into specifics of the debate I am referring to in this post.  What the debate was about is not the point.  It is how the debate was handled. 


As all of us know, being a parent seems to entitle us to some very strong opinions.  Some of which we can't help but share with everyone.  I find myself in debates most often due to someone making a false generalization.  Whether it is political or parenting, I feel every opinion deserves to be heard.  I just can't stand it when someone tries to support a point with lies or name calling.

I recently responded to a link that someone had posted that was political.  I wasn't so much even taking a side as stating that there was more to the issue than what they posted.  As the debate progressed, I chose not to stick so much with my political side, but to point out the errors of politicians, on both sides of the aisle, over the past few decades.  All I received in return was name calling and absolutely no facts were presented.  Literally, I was called ignorant and a litany of other names.  At no point was anything I said attacking this persons specific political affiliation, just that the issue at hand was bigger than what they were focusing on. 

It was during this debate that I started to realize that the art of debate has really declined.  I love a good debate.  I love learning and I love when someone with an opposing view can give me verifiable facts that I can research.  I am willing to debate over anything, as long as it is a true debate, not a personal attack.  I look at politicians, religious figures, parents and I realize that we all could use a lesson in how a debate works.  I am simply amazed how dumbed down debates have become over the years.  They are almost to the point of grade school recess arguments.  The person who can come up with the best name calling wins.  Why have we let it come to this?

The kicker to the "debate" I had with this person is that they consider themselves a born again Christian.  I asked at one point why they were so bitter, a question that went unanswered.  I would have expected someone who is very religious to not stoop to name calling and personal attacks.  I guess I just like to live in my happy little place where my world revolves solely around Wildman and Sweet Pea.  As this person said to me, "Ignorance is bliss, you must be very blissful".  If only it was that easy, right?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Wildman!

August 4, 2007

To my Wildman,

August 2008, first canoe trip
I know I tell you often, but not often enough, you are one of the best things to every happen to me.  You are my little man.  My confidant.  You have been there for me through a lot and you have taught me even more.  You have done all of this and today you are turning the ripe age of 4.

I remember how excited your dad and I were waiting for your arrival.  We decided not to find out if you would be a boy or girl, but I secretly knew you were a boy.  Your stubbornness was evident from the beginning.  First you didn't want to come out.  I do think having me push for 4 hours was a little excessive, but I see you just wanted to make a grander entrance.

1st Birthday, August 2008
You will always hold a special place in my heart.  Not just because you are my first, and only, son, but because you have taught me so much and made me grow even more.  There are no words to describe the feeling of you saying "Mama" for the first time.  Yes, you decided to be stubborn when it came to talking, and now we wonder if you will ever stop talking sometimes :-) but your words are beautiful.  Your first smiles, your first "I love you", the first kisses and hugs.  You have always been a mama's boy, even though you are starting to transition into more of a daddy's boy.

August 2009, Celtic Festival
I never get tired of having people tell me how precious you are, how special you are, how kind and sharing you are.  I never get tired of telling them how lucky we are.  You have this way of touching people, even though you are too young to understand the how and why of it.  I could never have asked for a more perfect son.  You made me realize there is a reason to this madness we call life.

I know I can be short sometimes.  I can be complicated.  You roll with it.  There is nothing in this universe that I wouldn't do for you.  I will always strive to show you how much I love you.  There are no words to truly describe how much I love you and how lucky your dad and I are to have you in our lives.

3rd Birthday, August 2010
We are lucky and honored to call you our son!

We love you so much and we wish you nothing but the best on your birthday!

Happy Birthday Wildman!

Mommy and Daddy

July 2011, with the sister he desperately wanted

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

CVS 8/2/11

Well, I was hoping to get to 3 stores today, but I ran into some difficulty.  First, I am already off on my days after having a small stint in the ER Sunday morning, which threw off the rest of the plans for the weekend and made us a day late getting home.  Then, I chose to go to CVS first, since I figured I would have cold items at Aldi's.  Big mistake.  Aldi's closes at 7 pm, so I was 1 minute late getting there.  Then, I thought about getting a few free items from Walgreens, but they were out.  So, looks like tomorrow I should be inundating you with updates about Walgreens, Aldi's and Krogers.  As for now, I did pretty well at CVS.  We got $47.74 worth of product for $6.83, before tax, an 85.7% savings.  We also ended up with $6 in RR and 10% off our next beauty purchase, so it was more like $0.83 we paid.  I used $5 RR from last week, a $3 off $10 beauty purchase (2/$5 Nivea lip gloss and then 2 more that were clearanced at $1.04 + Pantene Pro-V at $3.49), free Pantene Pro-V coupon, $3/2 Nivea lip products, $3/1 Bic Soleil Razor, $1.50/1 Colgate toothpaste, (2) $0.25/3 Puffs tissue, $2/1 CVS snack item (marked at $1.49).  Now I need to finish tomorrow's shopping lists!