Where’s the Flag?

Every Sunday in the fall, our family snuggles on the couch and watches the Pittsburgh Steelers game. Today is no exception.

A ‘lil bit ago, Mr. Burgher got upset about the lack of a flag for a hold against Mike Wallace. He was yelling, “Where’s the flag? Awwwww, c’mon! Where’s the flag?”.

‘lil Miss A notices something on the TV and yells, “There’s the flag, Daddy!” I couldn’t help but laugh (as much as I love my husband, Mike Wallace, and the Steelers). You probably will, too.


“There’s the flag!”

(She was right!)

Harvest Festival

The weekend before we went away on vacation, we were pretty busy folks. First, there was dinner as usual at my Grandma’s followed by whines of, “I want to go home with Grammie and Pappy!”. Saturday morning, ‘lil Miss A got to go to a pumpkin patch while the rest of us ‘lil Burghers were busy at the Heart Walk and being good citizens. Then, it was off to my parents’ house to spend some time with my dad’s side of the family and attend a local Harvest Festival put on by a church.

The kids dressed as Princess Leia and an Ewok (and Princess Leia enjoyed some pre-festival snacks…).

The Ewok enjoyed the little walk through town in the glorious fall sun.

When we got there, they took pictures of the kids for the costume contest (which the kids won 2nd and 3rd place in their age division along with an adorable watermelon). Then, fun and games commenced. We tried to get ‘lil Miss A to jump in the bounce house, but she wasn’t having it. She wanted to paint a pumpkin instead. Because paint and white costumes mix oh so well…

Then she got to play some games.

The little kid games gave out ring pops and stuffed animals as prizes; but she got to turn in tickets earned from the big kid games (like darts and ring toss) and get her first ever orange soda.

(Such a lady!)

‘Lil Man was pretty content just hanging out, looking cool, and making eyes at the ladies. He knows the deal.

After the contest winners were announced, we left for dinner…but not before ‘lil Miss A conned the dart game attendant into giving her two Christmas themed balloons (which she discovered made colored shadows in the sun and tickled her so).

Their pumpkins turned out pretty cool, and have lasted almost two weeks now. These were the ones we used to decorate our house while the bigger ones…well…you’ll just have to see what happened with them.

How have you celebrated fall?

Preparing for Easter

Good afternoon! After a much need release of some stress last night, I woke up energized and ready to prepare for tomorrow, Easter! (By the way, I am so glad I can admit my faults and let you know that life is not always smooth ’round here!)

Ideally, I would have taken A to an Easter Egg hunt, but we decided the town hunts were probably too crowded (she gets really clingy in big groups) and she decided to spend the night at my parents’ house (spoiled cutie). That means today we’ve been extremely lazy. I had a wonderful conversation with a ::ahem:: favorite* ::ahem:: aunt and snuggles in bed with Evan and Greg. We put up some dishes and cleared the snacks off the island in prep for lunch here tomorrow. And, I got an idea up my butt.

One of my favorite things to do is be in the kitchen cooking or baking. But this year, I got a pre-made sweet potato casserole and planned on making some pickled eggs. Well…now I have expanded my desires and am going to attempt to make some cake balls to dip like How Sweet’s Cupcake Fondue. Ari’s been begging for cake all week since I bought spring sprinkles, anyways. And I can’t forget deviled eggs. They are one of my favorites, and I know my cousin R would disown me if I didn’t have them for him tomorrow. But then I got to thinking about dinner, and I really wanted chicken casserole (because there so happens to be leftover mushroom soup in the fridge…). So, needless to say, Mr Mister is off to the grocery store to buy more eggs and oil so I can get to cooking! The house is about to smell great, and there just might be a mini-revival of Lil Burgher Delights!

Hope you all have a great day–the sun is shining and the sky is blue here in our part of the ‘Burgh Burbs, so enjoy it!

*shh they are all favorites! 😉

Cleaning Up

Remember earlier this week when I begged to get my hour back? Well, I quickly figured out what has been holding me up. There are a lot of mini projects around the house begging to be done, and it would probably take all of two hours to take care of them.

Since I didn’t get to schedule a blog for last night, I woke up this morning vowing to blog, blog, blog! (Most of you know that I spend time on Saturday nights scheduling blogs for the week. This past Saturday, however, I didn’t get everything accomplished, so I am a bit behind.)

When I went to the kitchen to grab some breakfast, I realized just how far behind I am. Since I fully admit that although we are living a life not without t’s and d’s (tests and difficulties, Ash!), I am going to share with you a little glimpse at what else besides blogging I have to tackle today. No judging!

Yikes! I am a bit out of control! There are a lot of items on that table that need taken up to our storage closet (results of recent coupon trips). A box of coupon inserts that Mr. Burgher may or may not have recycle dumpster dived for needs final organization (probably into file folders because that box is FULL of organized inserts, at least 10 per insert for the last 4 weeks of 2 inserts). Books on Vegas that need read and/or returned to the library. Tastefully Simple food that needs put in the pantry. A table that needs moved back up to my scrapping room (which also misses me lots). Sigh. It will get done–hold me to it!

In the meantime, I am going to work on a few blog posts in preparation for the busy week ahead. E is calmly laying next to me on the couch while his big sister and Daddy snooze away. Once I feel pretty confident, I will tackle that mess. Wish me luck.

Oh, in the meantime, while you are waiting, take a look at last month’s post about our house because I’ve updated it with pics of the upstairs bathroom and guest room.

And if you are feeling extra sparky? Offer to post a guest blog for me to post while I am away next week. I am taking offers up until Thursday (I need to be able to schedule them before I fly out). Bonus points if you write about something related to our kids!

Give Me My Hour Back!

This past weekend we switched to Daylight Savings Time, usually a time of great joy. The days get longer and our moods brighten. Spring really is just around the corner. But, this time around left me begging for my hour back.

While I understand that the hour was technically taken while sleeping, for me it was not. The Mister and I had a night out with a few cousins to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while the kids were visiting my parents. So, I was still awake when the clock jumped from 1:59:59 to 3:00 AM.

This hour lost has made me feel off all week, and not in the right way. For instance, I am really hungry at 11:00, which would normally have been 10:00. Lunch wouldn’t be for another 2 hours if it were “this time last week”. I want to stay up later, bordering on 1:00 AM (“this time last week”, it was 12). My whole cycle is off.

It makes me wonder if I am forgetting to do something. Sure, I have a list of blogs I want to write, scrapbook pages to be filled, and a Spring Cleaning list dying to get down on paper. My inboxes, both work and personal, are empty with less than 10 follow-ups that are all waiting response from someone else. My Google Reader is current. My “stash” of milk for Evan while in Vegas is quite ready. What am I forgetting?

It has got to be that hour. Anyone else feeling this way?


A bench in our town, taken on my phone just after 2:00 3:00 AM Sunday

Frugality

It is no secret that one of my favorite hobbies is couponing. I love to shop, but I have always loved to shop for a deal. With couponing, I get my shopping fix and spend little to nothing, and usually have “money” to go toward the next week’s shopping trip. When I know a product can be bought for less at another store, I will put it down and wait. I have been known on (most) Sundays to spend 3-4 hours shopping for freebies and finish up with a great deal at the local grocery store. To me, that’s the best way to spend my money!

Does that mean we live frugal? Well, I question that. One day I was cleaning up my pump and looked at the accessory wipe. It is far too large, and they really should be cut in half. But, that’s the way the companies make their money. I seriously considered pulling every wipe out of the package and cutting them. Then I snapped out of it. There is a point where you become too frugal. That was too frugal. I make enough for us to be stable and save. There is no reason to be “cheap” and not skimp on some things. But through couponing, I also open up opportunities within our budget that didn’t used to be there before.

Couponing is not easy. Couponing is not always fun. You do not always get the deals that are advertised. You do not always get the right coupons in the newspaper. But, it can be well worth it. You have to think about your time. I work full time and feel that I put my heart and soul into my job. I want and need to spend time with my kids. But I also like to provide for them. So, we try to make it a family ordeal. Arianna loves to help me carry products around the stores. Evan likes to just hang out and ride in the cart or be in his Moby while we walk around. Greg and I get walks in. And at the end of the day, we return home with bags of goodies, most of them on the free and cheap. It really brings a smile to my face.

You look at that closet up there and think, wow, they are hogging all the good products! Let me tell you that it is really nice to have all this on hand when guests come (think welcome baskets, extra products that you don’t mind sharing). It’s nice to try different products out to know what you’d be willing to actually pay for. It’s nice to know that if you hear someone needs to run to the store for something, you can just say, hey, I have that. We do realize that there are expiration dates on some of the products, so we do realize we will get a chance to make donations too. Right now, I am saving up that toothpaste for health kits for my dad’s church.

Every week, the “store” grows. But once you stop going every week, you wouldn’t believe how quickly it goes down. Since my maternity leave, I have put most of my energy into grocery couponing and picking up a few freebies here and there. This way, the store doesn’t get out of control, but I can keep “rolling” my deals.

What are some of the best specials we’ve got couponing? Free diapers. Free cold medicine. Free kids’ aspirin. These are the things that go fastest in our house–and how great is it that the rest of the products help us get them for free?!?!?!

Luck

The other day while Greg was getting his Wisdom Teeth pulled, my dad took the kids to visit with their Great Great. They apparently gave her some luck for the slots that evening, because on Friday at dinner, she gave them a small gift thanking them for bringing her luck.

Also at dinner, little Miss A had a tantrum. Out of nowhere, she said, “I want to go back to Pappy’s house.” I told her no, because she hadn’t asked and we really had no reason to send her back home with them. She insisted, and began to cry. Then she banged her head on the table and clung to my dad’s arm. She turned to G and asked him, “Please, Daddy, can I go to Pappy’s?”, and it was the saddest thing ever. My dad said sure, my mom said sure, and Greg said sure. So there I was, having to decide if I was going to be selfish bad-cop and tell her no, she was coming home to be with Mama. That kid has us wrapped, though, because I caved, too.

That got Greg and I asking each other, “Are we that awful that she wouldn’t want to be at home with us with all of her toys, shoes, books, babies, brother, mom, dad and dog?”. We surely didn’t think so, so when we got to my Grandma’s (post-dinner), we asked my parents. Of course they said no, and that they love having the chance to spend time with her. My dad brought up a good point–soon enough that kid is going to want nothing to do with any of us, so we need to cherish it.

Yesterday morning, the house was so quiet without our little princess. G, E, and I snuggled in bed for hours, wishing she was there, but glad she was having a good time. It’s good that she can get one-on-one time while Evan is little, it will help with jealous down the road. It gives us time to bond with Lil Man, too.

The fact that our kids have not one but two sets of extremely involved and loving grandparents plus a Great Grandmother is more than luck, it’s another blessing. Thanks Pappy, Grammie, 2 Pop For Sure, Grandma, and Great Great for being such great role models and so active in our babies’ lives!

Babywearing, Part 2

(This post is a continuation of the story I started yesterday about Babywearing.)

Fast forward to my pregnancy with E. I started to take a more laid-back approach to motherhood (ok, it’s probably the whole 2nd baby thing), and realized I could try to rock the baby wearing look. When I ordered my free (pay shipping) Udder Cover, I soon got an offer for a free Seven Sling. It involved sizing (which I measure all the time and according to their site have correct). Sizing scared me. What if I gained more weight than I expected? What if I suddenly lost weight post-baby? What if my ladies ballooned in cup size? So many ifs, so I bought size insurance. Evan arrived, and after he was a few weeks old, I decided to put him in the sling and walk around the house with him. I was comfortable, but he wasn’t exactly “close enough to kiss”. After about 5 minutes, he would get really upset. Now I see realize that the sling was pretty uncomfortable for him–I compare it to low thread count sheets. Basically, he didn’t like being held in a sling position by a carrier that I wouldn’t think twice about wearing as a piece of clothing.

I didn’t want to give up. So, I became a Twitter lurker on some chats and learned about the Moby Wrap. After many reviews, this seemed like the one for me. This carrier was made of higher quality material that felt like a t-shirt. Unlike other similar carriers, there wasn’t a size to be chosen. This was great, because as a plus-size mama and tall and lanky daddy pair, we needed a carrier that would work for both of us. So, I bought the wrap, washed it, and started to wear it that night. I hadn’t felt closer to E than when I was pregnant! It was love at first wear.

(Here’s a shot of me wearing Evan.)

My husband was a bit unsure of it at first, but after he realized all I could do while wearing the baby, he wanted to join in, too. We were both hooked.


(Greg and Evan)

So when the opportunity was presented to join Mrs. ‘Ski at a Baby Wearing Class, I was all about it. It took a few days, but Greg was interested too. Off to Robinson’s Happy Baby Company for a free class presented by Pittsburgh Babywearers. Let me warn you, the store is adorable, especially if you are into cloth diapers, I already have a wish list. But, my Navigation (on my phone) did NOT take us far enough down the road and we got lost. Thankfully, the class waited on us, and we hung out for over 2 hours learning about the right carriers for us and what we could move into.

It was nice to have our choice of the Moby Wrap affirmed because unlike other similar carriers, it keeps baby from sagging (until they get too heavy) and their chin off their chest. Evan is extremely comfortable in the wrap, which helps a lot. You really have to find what is right for you; however, the wraps or carriers that require sizing are not necessarily the best. We also have a lot to look forward to–other ways to wrap the Moby Wrap, carriers like the Beco and Ring Slings (that if we really wanted, we could carry Ari in. There is also a lending library from Pittsburgh Babywearers and meetings you can attend to learn more about baby wearing. Exciting!

Spring is coming, and you are guaranteed to see us rocking our lil man wrapped while we are out and about! (Greg even whipped out the Moby later in the afternoon at a cousin’s birthday party.) Thank you, Pittsburgh Babywearers & Happy Baby Company, for helping us with our journey as Baby Wearers!