Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

We have had a great Labor Day Weekend so far. First, me and Jackson went to Spartanburg Thursday while Charlie went to the game with a friend. It is the last weekend the pool was open, so Jackson had one last time to get to go to the pool there. He loves the pool and we have a hard time getting him out of it. We had a great time and came back yesterday. Today after church, we met Charlie family out to eat for lunch. Jake (Jackson's first cousin) and Jackson got to have some quick fun together at lunch. Hope yall have a great Labor Day weekend!

Update on Jackson 23 months

Jackson's hearing is perfectly normal. Babynet came last Thursday and did a complete evaluation on his development in all areas. He did great in all sections except the speech area. He failed two sections in the speaking area. We chose Bright Star provider. . . this is the group from where we will get the speech therapist from. Right now all that has been determined is that he has "speech delay."

Pray that
  • We get a good speech therapist and Jackson responds to the therapy (if we do not click with the therapist we can always try other therapists)
  • That things move along faster (since Jackson did so well on all other tests he is not a high priority for them).
  • That Jackson will just be able to correctly repeat words he is trying to say. He should be saying minimum 20 words a day and he only has about 5 to 10 words that he uses daily.
PS- I have my 3 hour glucose test Tuesday so pray that I pass it! All these tests that both me and Jackson are having are getting a little stressful but we rather be safe than sorry!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Curtain Climber

I was told by a few moms when Jackson was a baby that he would be a curtain climber. Well, his new favorite activity to do is to climb up and down the video rocker. Yes we have a video rocker because someone in the house plays a certain college football game all summer long. Jackson really could do this for hours. We hope to transition to a big boy bed at the end of September. Any advice on how to do this successfully, I am all ears!

Also, Charlie and Jackson went and kicked the ball around yesterday and Jackson can dribble the ball with both of his feet and then aim the ball to the target and kick it very far. It really is crazy to watch and I will have to get video of it soon. We are going to get a soccer goal soon because at church he successfully kicks the ball in a goal. I think he is a little young to be playing soccer this well and we have not taught him any of this. He loves soccer and golf already (he could watch golf for hours). Are any of your little ones loving to play soccer at this age?

Babynet is coming tomorrow to evaluate Jackson speech and I will hopefully have an update about that either tomorrow or the next day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How We Spent Less than $130 on both Groceries and Out to Eat Food This Week

I have to admit, I have been really discouraged with our grocery/out to eat budget for the last three weeks. One week we spent $180 and then the next week we spent $200. Ah! That is ridiculous. Here are the four reasons/excuses on how this happened:
  1. During July we had VBS for a week and then went out of town and I just did not go major grocery shopping or use any coupons for two weeks.
  2. Because of the lack of shopping on my part for those two weeks, one week I had to spend $115 on groceries alone
  3. Many of my coupons were about to expire on really good deals on food we usually eat, and I went ahead and bought these foods...I went over our weekly budget to stock up.
  4. Jackson got off of milk and I have had sympathy for him and have been getting him kids meals at fast food places for lunch
Here is how we spent less than $130 on groceries and out to eat food this week:
  1. Because I spent so much the last week and stocked up on breakfast foods, I did not have to make a major Kroger shopping trip this week.
  2. Dream Diners has helped so much this week! My goal is to cook at least 3 to 4 nights a week. One night a week we cook breakfast food which is really cheap and yummy. I have cooked three dream dinners and we only went out to eat one night this week
  3. CVS had deals on drinks, and shampoo and I earned money for buying these items and had CVS extrabucks to use for this purchase. To view all CVS deals for this week go to
What do you think, is it worth it to go over on your budget one week to save the next week (and still keep within your monthly budget)? If you have any suggestions on how to keep our grocery/out to eat budget down, I would love to hear from you!

Friday, August 22, 2008

6 Quirky Things about Me:

I have been tagged by Melinda to tell yall six quirky things about me. I have been tagged before but the lists were so long I just never found the time to do the 20 something point is Friday night and I can do six things real quick.

Here are the Top 6 Quirky Thing about Me

  1. I always always have to have my toenails painted. It does not matter if it is winter and no one sees my toes, I have to have them painted. I do not think Charlie has ever laid eyes on my toenails without any kind of paint on them
  2. I sleep with a mask over my face. I think I started this my sophomore year in college and I really have trouble going to sleep without one now.
  3. I also have to have the tv on some sort of news program in order to go to sleep (or to go to sleep quickly). We sleep with the sleep timer on the tv which was really hard for Charlie to get used to.
  4. I cannot/refuse to blow my nose
  5. I cannot spell and Charlie proofreads/edits everything that I write (that is a big task)
  6. I am a huge planner and have two separate plan books that I look at daily. Every morning when I wake up I plan my day down to the hour. Having an unpredictable baby has made me more laid back in this area however.

the rules:
i tag six more people.
they link back to me.
they tag six more.
and quirkiness is shared with all.

I tag:

Charlie, Mandy, Kristi, Leah, Ashley, Betsy

Fun stuff

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thanks for Your Prayers----Everything Went Well (Updated)

Wow, it has been a crazy day!

First, Jackson woke up at 6:40...I guess he did notice that his morning bottle was gone after all (we took it away Monday morning). He ate his food very fast this morning! Jackson went to work with daddy which he loved (they have childcare on Tuesdays at the church)

Second, the glucose test went well. I never felt like I was going to throw up or pass out like I did last time. I will find out the results tomorrow and post them here on this post. Update: The nurse called today and I failed the test by 8 points...ahhhh! I scored a 138 and 130 is passing. I did some research and 138 in some cases is passing. So now I have to go to the hospital next Tuesday for the 3 hour test (I know I only have to drink the terrible drink 1 time and then they draw my blood every hour for 3 sad). It is just frustrating because I failed by such a few points. It is depressing but I am not concerned with me...I am just concerned with Abigail.

I am measuring 24 weeks and cannot believe I only have 4 more weeks until I will be considered in my 3rd trimester. Her heart beat was strong and she was moving all around for the doctor. I forgot to mention that last week I was 23 weeks pregnant and Jackson turned 23 months old...crazy!

Third, Jackson's hearing test went well. His hearing is normal in every way. There is no scar tissue damage but he does have a ton of ear wax in his ears which the doctor said was almost impossible to get out of toddlers' ears. I was so glad Charlie was there with me because I was so exhausted and could have never held him down in my lap for that long. He did great in the sound proof booth and I actually think he had fun during that part. However, when we put the device in his ear you would have thought we were killing him.

I am real excited about Babynet coming to the house next Thursday. I talked to the coordinator and she said they will just observe him and ask me questions for a couple of hours. They will be able to evaluate where he exactly is on his language development and I have heard of families that have had unbelievable results once their child starting working with them.

It is just hard for me sometimes because if there is a problem I want to fix it and move on. But God is teaching me to completely trust Him and rely on Him. I am on His timetable not my own. I am completely praising Him that Jackson's hearing is completely normal...we are so blessed!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pray for Me and Jackson Tomorrow

Here is a picture of Jake (Jackson's only first cousin) and Jackson having fun playing together last Saturday.

Tomorrow is a big day for me and Jackson.

I have my glucose test tomorrow morning at 8:30. With Jackson, I failed this test (my sugar levels were high) so I am praying that I can pass it tomorrow. I am going to be sure to eat plain foods tonight. So if you can say a quick prayer for me that would be great (I almost passed out during this test when I was pregnant with Jackson).

Second, Jackson has his hearing test tomorrow at 3 pm. I am praying that that all is well. It is the hardest for me when doctors say that everything is fine. I am just not a patient person and God might just be trying to teach me more patience when it comes to Jackson and his speech. I really have a feeling that the more recent double ear infection that lasted six weeks caused scar tissue damage to his ear - especially after doing some research online and talking to the doctor. However, he might just have his own little language for a while (at least he can throw a spiral football across the room and he is not even 2 years old yet....haha). I will be glad if someone can come to the house and help him speak better. Hopefully, I will have an update on how things went tomorrow night.

Ps- Today we got rid of the morning bottle. It went really well. He ate an entire container of yogurt and lots of cereal this morning. We have three more weeks until his 2 year old birthday and these last two bottles have got to go before then. We are going to give him two more weeks with just the night bottle and then the night bottle is going as well. He did fine, but when we went to Gold's Gym they could not give him his nutter butters because there was a child in there who had a peanut allergy. He was hungry, so of course he cried for a good while and they had to come get me out of the class. So far, the only repercussions of getting rid of his other 10 ozs has been one night where he woke up in the middle of the night and played in his crib for about an hour, as well as one instance of him being so hungry that he ate a piece of Millie's dog food...gross.

He refuses to drink milk out of a cup. Any advice on how to get him to drink milk out of a cup this I am all ears! The doctor said she did not care if he drank any milk she just wanted the bottles gone. He will drink juice out of a cup all day long, just not milk or water at all.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fun at the Saluda Shoals Splash Park

Today, we had another great play date with First Baptist. We went to Saluda Shoals Splash Park and the total cost was $13 for all three of us which is really not bad (it is a huge park with so much to do). If you have not been there yet, I definitely recommend it! At first, Jackson stood back from all the activities, but then once his Sunday School teacher got there, he really warmed up to it, and before I knew it he was running through everything not scared at all. He was so brave (you never knew when the water was going to spray up at you). He is like his mommy and loves the water. Before each playdate, I think that he is too young to enjoy some of it, but he surprises me every time and loves it (probably enjoys doing something fun and different).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Go Cocks!

Here is Jackson yelling "Go Cocks." He gets so excited when we say "go cocks," (I even do hand motions.) It really is hilarious and I am glad we are in the process of changing his room to a Gamecock themed room... at least he already loves saying gamecocks. I need to get video of this soon so you can see his entire reaction.

This Week's CVS Purchases

First Purchase:

2 Packs of Huggies (30 ct) for $8.99 each saved $3.50 on each pack
2 destin ointment at $2.99 each saved $2 on each pack
1 JJ baby shampoo $2.99 saved $1.30

I had to spend $25 on these baby products in order to earn by $5 (that does not expire in the store till Sept 11th). However, I had 2 coupons from Sunday's paper on Huggies diapers for $1 off each pack. Also, I printed off a $2 off coupon at CVS when you spend $10 from money saving mom's blog under this post:
It came up under a pdf file and all I had to do was print page 30.

So, I had $4 in coupons so I did not have to spend the entire $25. I spent about $23 and earned $5 on all these baby products. My newest hobby is definitely couponing. It is strange, but I really enjoy it and saving us money any way I can.

Second Purchase:

I had to spend $10 in candy to get $5 back to spend on anything in the store.

I only spent $5 on all this candy because I used my $5 that I earned in the first purchase and then I made another $5 to take home and use next week. I was a big dork and had the CVS ad book out and my calculator so I knew exactly what I was going to spend before I went there since I knew I would have Jackson with me.

Note: The airhead are for my 4th grade girls Sunday School class when they answer questions right. I hide them under a bed so I forget about them. The Sprees are for Charlie and the M&M's are for the whole family as a chocolate treat (I got the Hershey bar for Charlie for free for some reason when I bought my last week purchases from CVS).

If you really want to earn money at CVS use your extracare bucks for deals that make you more extracare money. If I had saved mine from last week then I would have only spend $10 on the baby products. My problems is that I spend my bucks as soon as I earn them. Any other advice how to not spend any money on these transactions, I am all ears!

Also, if you want to save money you will shop at more than 1 store a week (more like 4 stores....CVS, Kroger, Walmart, and Aldi).

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I am a Big Fan of Dream Dinners!

Friday night we made the "dream dinner" that I prepared last Tuesday. It was some of the best chicken I have ever tasted (the chicken was cooked the whitest that I have ever made). I prepared the Orangey Asian Chicken while I was there - the preparation was a little more involved than I was expecting but Jackson's Sunday School teacher (Rene) helped me some and for that I was thankful. Here are the top three reasons we loved the "dream dinner":
  • First, we are not expert cooks, and therefore, having all these meals to choose from shows us how we can make great summer-time meals (they even suggest what side to have with your meal). We are getting a 20 percent discount this month on our meals, thanks to Ashley, so we can make 5 great meals for cheaper than going out to eat. I making four three-serving meals next Thursday and one six-serving meal. I will be preparing five different meals in all. Normally it would be $75 but we are getting it around $50 and you can freeze these meals for up to 3-4 months. I am going to be making McCormick Honey & Dijon Glazed Salmon, Buffalo Chicken, Chicken Yakitori with Rive, Tuscan Steaks, and Sesame Crusted Pork Chops. Yum! I am so sick of everything we have been eating so with this we get restaurant-quality food without the price.
  • Second, I love how we make everything there and all we have to do is cook the meal once we get home.
  • I am a huge planner so this gives me no excuse not to have time or to not feel like making dinner for that night.
With the Orangey Asian Chicken that we made Friday night we were able to stretch it into two meals and they suggest having white rice with it. All we had to do was:
  • Heat the sauce that I had already prepared
  • Place the chicken in the breaded zip lock bag that I had already prepared
  • Brown the chicken using veg oil in a skillet and then pour the sauce over the brown chicken in a baking pan
  • Bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees and it was ready!
Ps-Charlie is a great cook and a perfectionist when it comes to cooking...he should have gone to culinary school!

Go here for more info

Back to the Food Budget
  • I went to Kroger this week and had to spend $100 because I had not gone in weeks. With VBS, and going out of town, we really have not stuck to our food budget all too well.
  • I used about 10 coupons at Kroger. I had a coupon for pop tarts, Nutrigain bars, cereal, yogurt, toaster strudels, drier sheets, etc. All items that we normally use. I have been using coupons for 6 months now and I am getting better at figuring it out. If I have a coupon for under $1 I use it at Kroger because they double my coupons up to $1. So if I have a coupon for .50 cents they will give me another .50 to make it $1. If my coupon is for a $1 or more I will use it at Walmart because it is so cheap there on certain items. I would strongly suggest that you compare two or three stores prices with what you normal buy weekly and it might surprise you on what stores have better deals. I also finally read SuperMarket 101, an e-book by Money Saving Mom, and she had a link to a great coupon organizer book that you can get for $14 at
  • CVS has great deals this week especially on baby products. If you buy $25 worth of (diapers includes) you get $5 back to spend on anything in the store. I have huggies coupons that I will be using so I will not be spending the entire $25, plus I will be making money since their diapers are on such a great sale.
New meal ideas:

Cinnamon roles from Pillsbury that only take 20 minutes (all you have to do is put them in the oven) and cost usually $2.30 (and you can usually find a coupon for them
online) Jackson has eggs and yogurt alternating every other morning with cereal as well.

Lunch: For Charlie we are struggling with what to pack him. Any suggestions? We are going to try this new hearty soup. I really like these new chicken wraps that you heat up in the microwave. Jackson loves grilled cheese sandwhiches and, praise the Lord, he is trying more new things. He even ate some of a cheeseburger the other day for lunch. He love nutter-butters (which is new).

Dinners: With Jackson I found these potatoes that are meant to cook for 7 minutes so he eats them every other night. He loves potatoes! We are going to try waffles for dinner sometime soon with our waffle maker. And of course, we are trying dream dinners this month.

Jackson's eating: Has gotten better. It is totally my fault but he was having 20 ozs of whole milk a day through a bottle. He is now cut that in half to 10-12 ozs. It was a little rough but not as nearly as bad as we thought it was going to be. One night he woke up at 3 am talking and playing for like an hour Charlie said (I did not hear a thing). He asks for his bottle in the morning, so we do not know if we are going to get rid of the night or the morning bottle first. If I was used to drinking 20 ozs of coke a day, I would try to cut it in half first and get my body use to that for a week or so and then try to ween myself off the rest of it. He refuses to drink milk through a cup (he drinks half juice/half water in a cup all day long). But, once we get rid of the other bottles, he will only be offered milk and not a lot of juice. He will definitely be out of bottle by September 12 (his 2 year old birthday). Poor Jackson, our next baby is not going to have to go through any of this!

4 More Months Till We Meet Our Baby Girl!

Since my due date is December 9th, we only have four more months until we get to meet Abigail. I am so excited! With Jackson, I was pregnant 10 full months. (40 weeks=10 months). Since I went 40 weeks with Jackson and will not be having a scheduled c-section, I do not have any hope of going early with this baby. God stretched me in ways I did not know I could be stretched waiting on Jackson to be born, and I am determined to have more patience with this baby. However, I just looked at the calendar and I will be 38 weeks pregnant the week of Thanksgiving in November, so we could have a Thanksgiving baby. So:
  • I am 22 weeks pregnant, 23 on Tuesday
  • I am having my glucose test August 19th so pray for me that day. I definitely failed the glucose test with Jackson (I almost passed out during the test) and had to take the 3 hour test at the hospital which was no fun. However, I did pass that test. The doctor told me to be sure to eat real plain foods the night before. I had no idea what I was doing with Jackson and I think I had cake or something the night before.
  • I feel our little girl moving and kicking all the time which is a blessing. With Jackson, I had an anterior placenta and I could not really feel him moving which would always concern me.
  • I have gained 15 fun filled pounds, and you probably will not see me post pictures of me pregnant...haha. I looked like a sumo wrestler towards the end of the pregnancy with Jackson.
  • I can get full when I eat during this pregnancy, which is a blessing. With Jackson, I was never full.
  • I am still working out by doing the classes although it is getting harder and harder. I went three times last week. So far, I have not struggled with depression at all during this pregnancy which is a huge blessing, and I really think working out is really helping this. I am so blessed!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Video of Jackson Eating Yogurt

Here is video of Jackson eating yogurt with Charlie last night while I was at the Dream Dinners with a group from First Baptist. We were given a "sneak peak" and able to make a free meal (six servings if you wished). Many of us are going back next Thursday night at 6 pm where I will be making four three serving meals and one six serving meal. ...I am really excited. Go here for more info:
We had the best time, and I will have to blog about it tomorrow Enjoy!

Update on Jackson 22 months

Jackson is doing well but we had to go back to the doctor last Monday morning. For the last couple of months, Charlie and I have noticed that Jackson has regressed in his speech. When he was a year old he seemed to speak clearly and could say "mama." Now, he can not say any words that start with an "m." So, our doctor told us about a month ago to write down all the words he says within a 24 hour period and call her back in one month. I thought Jackson might still have fluid in his ears so we went to see the doctor on Monday to discuss his speech. I know that boys are not as verbal as girls, but it just alarms me that he cannot say words that he used to be able to say (if he had never been able to say certain words I probably would not be as concerned). So:

  1. The doctor said if he had any fluid in his ears at this checkup then he would need to have tubes placed in his ears. He had zero fluid so no tubes for Jackson for now.
  2. The doctor is concerned that there was damage done to his ears when he had his last double ear infection that lasted four weeks (from the end of May till like almost July).
  3. So, we are going to get a hearing test at Lake Murray Hearing Associates in a couple of weeks (August 19th - the same day I have my glucose test...pray for us on that day!).
  4. Also, we have a Babynet coordinator that has been assigned to us. I think a woman will come to our house and help Jackson with his speech for free until he turns three years old. We have someone at the church that works for them so I am going to have to give her a call soon.
  5. He is developing noramlly with everything but his speech. In fact, she said he was advanced when it came to problem solving skills. Have any of you dealt with speech issues with your toddlers?
  6. He still has a night bottle and a morning bottle and we have to get rid of those which will be difficult, so pray for us. The doctor said she did not care if he drank any milk during the day, but that she just wants the bottle gone because of his ears (studies are divided on if prolonged bottle usage can cause ear issues).
  7. Jackson has lost almost two pounds in the last month, which is a concern as well. He just refuses to eat certain foods, and meal time is a huge challenge in general.
  8. Just pray that we can figure out what is going on and why he cannot say his "m" words (labials). He can say "Bible book," and a host of other words, but he still calls me "daddy"...sad. Also, many words that he tries to repeat come out "ga ga."

Monday, August 04, 2008

Decorating Our House

Our new floating shelves we got at Lowe's (they look better in person than on the camera)A couple new frames I got at Micheals
More frames (I got 9 total frames) from Michaels. Wouldn't a storage unit from Ikea look great under these pictures?
Charlie figured out how to hang these pictures in the perfect cluster of pictures

The huge white wall before the pictures were hung.

After we had the fire, in 2007, many of the wonderful pictures we had got bent, and finding a frame for them was last on our priority list. I love pictures and want our house to be full of pictures (I have always been pretty obsessed with pictures ) So, when Micheals had most of their frames for 40 percent off last week, I was able to get nine really great frames shown in the pictures above. Anyway, does anyone have any more suggestions of what we can do with this huge white wall? I really want one of those storage binds from Ikea to go under the one cluster of pictures. Does anyone know somewhere else I can get the storage unit shown in the first picture? I would like it to be brown, cheaper than the one from Ikea and from a store around here (maybe just six baskets in the storage unit). Any advice on decorating our living room, I am all ears!

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Latest

We have had a busy and fun week:

Monday: We went to the gym in the morning, and then I decided to clean out my entire closet and put all my winter and summer clothes in bins and get all my maternity clothes out and hang them up. This took from like 5 pm to 9 pm...exhausting but rewarding to get it all organized and cleaned out.

Tuesday: In the morning, we went over to the Northeast side of town and went shopping with Mimi. We have this huge white wall and I could not look at for another week. Charlie's mom, Mimi, is very creative and talked about putting floating shelves on the wall above our desk. I want to make the entire white wall just pictures of our family in chronological order. I hope to post pictures of the these shelves and the new frames I got and hear your opinion on how I should decorate the huge white wall. We had a great time with Mimi. Jackson had fun at Chick Fil A (he even got brave enough to climb up the playground equipment). Tuesday night we stayed up late trying to install these new floating shelves that we got at Lowe's and put them above our desk (I got all the great frames at Michaels).

Wednesday: Gym in the morning, church at night and again trying to install the shelves and we again did not get to bed till late

Thursday: In the morning, I cleaned and vacuumed the entire house, cleaned out the guest room. Then, our great friend from Sumter, Carol, come to stay with us and we had a great time. This picture is of Carol and Jackson and Jackson loved saying her name and seeing her.

Friday: Carol and I went shopping to Marshall's, Once Upon a Child, and back to Michaels for me to exchange this one frame that had a mark on it. At Once Upon a Child Jackson found this golf club and ball with it and was not letting go of it. He pushed this little plastic golf club around the entire of course we had to get it. I have a feeling I am going to be going to a lot of ball games in my life. Jackson loves any game that has a ball with it.

Not to many people's surprise who know me, but I have already bought Abigail three bows at Once Upon a Child (for $1.50 each which is the best price I can find) and I have only known that I am having a girl for like 11 days. Two white bows and one pink one. I am pretty obsessed with bows (bows are even our our everyday china) and so me having a girl is very dangerous for our budget. I need to learn how to make these bows, pronto. Abigail's theme will be bows and her monogram initials. Right now, the plan for her room is to have bows as the border of her room and then Charlie is going to paint the room a light pink color and then we are going to try to paint her monogram initials on the wall. I am so excited about her room! Carol bought Abigail the cutest little outfit...I have no idea how to shop for little girl outfits but I am quickly learning.

Friday afternoon/night: We dropped Jackson off at Clinton (halfway to Spart.) to spend the weekend with my parents. He was excited to see my parents and he does not even want to be with me when my dad is around...he just wants my dad to hold him. Crazy, but this is such a blessing. I am so blessed that they want to keep him once a weekend a is a great break for us especially now that I am pregnant. Finally, tonight we went to the Rhinehart's house for the deacon family picnic. We had a great time fellowshipping with everyone and really being able to talk to everyone without worrying about Jackson. We have absolutely no plans for tomorrow and I am so excited about that!

Just thought yall might like a update on our busy fun week (this is definitely not our typical week).