Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Deal of the Week: Kenmoore

I can't believe it's Tuesday (for 30 more minutes) and I forgot to tell you about our very awesome Deal of the Week!

First, I have a huge crush on Craig's List. I'm addicted. I used to be an every-dayer-twice-a-dayer but new baby and no money has helped slow my addiction to once every other day or so. THANKFULLY, my very sweet and very awesome and wonderfully patient boyfriend has been a little more diligent.

If you do not Craig's List regularly I am just sorry for you and all the money you're spending on things that you could get second-hand for much, much less. OR FREE! Which is the case with our new garage refrigerator!!!

Well, it's new to us. And did I mention IT. WAS. FREE!?! Yep. A local couple was redoing their kitchen and needed to get rid of the existing stuff. We've wanted a second fridge for years and now - just in time for the holidays - we have one. It's only been a few days but in those few days I think we've each declared our love for our new FREE fridge about 10 times each. Can you blame us?! It's a SECOND FRIDGE. IN OUR GARAGE!!! I'm so happy I could spit.

Thank you, Craig, for your wonderful list. Kisses.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Deal of the Week: Snapfish

This was a pretty good week at the Goodwill, I must say. I hit the 50% off sale and picked up a bunch of neat stuff for next year's Halloween festivities. OH! And I found the cutest Santa Claus Pototo Heads for only $1.50. NIB!

But the DOTW was from Snapfish who offered a free 8x11 album to all Oprah viewers. My SIL sent me the link just in time. $50 value for only $7 (shipping and handling). That is a deal! I'm going to make a book for Brody from this past summer of our time with family and friends in Texas, Colorado and Phoenix.

Since that opportunity for this free album has passed, I want to share another great deal with you - my faithful readers. The few...the bored... ;)

First, check out http://www.restaurant.com/ and look up the participating restaurants in your neighborhood. From this website you can buy $25 gift certificates for only $10. That's a good deal. But there's more...

Then, go to http://www.couponmom.com/ to see if she is offering an coupons. Sometimes, she offers 80% coupon codes which means you can get $25 worth of gift certs for only $2!!! No joke. Talk about great stocking stuffers. Check it out.

Santa Barbara Tea Fire

Last week Santa Barbara caught on fire again. It happens a couple of time a year. Earlier this year we had the Zaca fire. This one is known as the Tea Fire because it started near the Tea House in Montecito.

Brody and I were playing outside with Melina. It was a really warm night. I'm still not sure if the heat was from the fire or if it was the Santa Anas which were blowing thru but at about 5PM I remember asking remarking about what felt like a wall of hot air. At 5:30PM you could see the smoke. At 6pm you could see the flames above the homes on the Riviera.

Our entire neighborhood was in the street...with their adult beverages...enjoying the view. I on the other had was in full panic mode. One of our neighbors has lived in his home for over 30 years and remembered the last time this fire happened. He told us the fire reached the top of our street which only freaked me out more. By 7PM the flames were huge. Homes were clearly being engulfed, palm trees were popping and propane tanks were erupting with huge bangs.

We managed to get Mia and Brody in bed but I am pretty sure they could feel my panic vibes because both of them decided to go bananas. Brody was sacked out until he woke up suddenly and loudly screaming about shin pains. And Mia cried for an hour before deciding to finally give up. Meanwhile (and between shushing Mia) I was gathering all of our valuables.

Our valuables turned out to be mostly photos. Wedding photos, professional photos of the kids, scrapbooks and the boxes of snapshots taken over the past 7 years. And packing clothes for a couple of days. And all of Brody's Christmas presents! It took about an hour to completely pack up. I also felt completely compelled to clean the kitchen. I was NOT going to have my house burn down w/a messy kitchen! It was probably just an attempt at controlling something when I felt so completely out of control.

All the while we're watching the local news realizing that hundreds of homes are being devastated just over the hill.
The smoke was becoming really thick. Our eyes were stinging and we were worrying about the kids being exposed to the smoke. Around 10:30PM the police SUV (which I've never seen before?) turned onto our street notifying residents of the evacuation orders. Well, that did it for us. You say "GO"; we go! Many of our neighbors were laughing it off but we weren't going to stick around with danger this close.

Earlier in the week Brody wanted to rent the Elmo Visits the Firehouse from the library. I knew he'd get bored quickly but we rented it. He watched it twice and we talked the whole time about "get out of the house", "stay low", etc. Of course this came to me the night of the fire. Did we watch that video together so he'd know what to do? Was my house going to burn down tonight? We had to leave.

Our precious friend's, Sharon and Jono, invited us to stay at their house so at 11PM we loaded up the kids and took off to Carpinteria. We ended up staying there for two nights even though our house/neighborhood was unharmed. The air was thick with smoke and the Santa Ana winds continued to make the still-burning fires a danger. We came home on Saturday and rested. Thankful for our safety and for good friends.

Our hearts are breaking for the many families who lost so much. For the Westmont students who left campus with none of their things and have nowhere to return. For Westmont faculty who lost their homes in a moment. Please remember these people and Westmont College in your prayers tonight.

The best way to help faculty is by sending gift cards (grocery stores, clothing stores, department stores, hardware stores, etc.) to:

Warren Rogers, Academic Dean
Faculty Fire Donation
955 La Paz Rd
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

For student donations:

Jane Higa, Dean of Students
Student Fire Donation
955 La Paz Rd
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Deal of the Week

The truth is I am not a fan of shopping. I never have been. I think it's a waste of time and I'm usually disappointed or stressed out and so the experience is not exciting for me.

What I LOVE - as you know - is a deal.

I'm starting a new weekly post. AGAIN? I know. But I love this idea and I love my deals so I should be able to stay on top of this commitment. And if I don't? Who cares? My four loyal readers will forgive me b/c they are my people and my people know to not have too high expectations of me ;)

That said.

This week, I found a brand-new-never-been-opened one of these at our local Goodwill (aka Little Target). I bought it for $15 and I found it listed online for $35! I'm so psyched! I had just been telling mom that I wanted to get Brody something like this for Christmas and not two days later did I find it. It was meant to be.

I also found a slew of Cars die-cast characters from Target that we somehow didn't already have - NIB (new in box) for only $1.99. They are regularly $3.50-$4.00 each! These will make great stocking stuffers for Brody and I picked up extra for his little buddy, Owen.

Go me!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Mia Letter: Seven months

The month that Mia woke up.
Until this past month, I really enjoyed bragging about what a great sleeper you are/were. Suddenly, you stopped being such a champ sleeper. Naps became harder, going to bed became a much longer process. Sleep became an issue. Now, in fairness to you, my sweet baby girl, you do still have your shining sleep moments. One time in this past month, Daddy took you to breakfast w/him and a friend. Rumor has it, you sat quietly in your stroller - chattering to yourself and looking pretty - till you decided to fall asleep. Daddy was able to enjoy his visit for 45 minute while you slept nearby. His friend remarked that none of his kids would ever have done this. So, you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have: the facts of life. [I'll explain that reference when you're a little older...]

Besides the sleeping struggles you are still a perfect angel baby. You love to laugh and flirt and watch your brother be silly. You get a lot of attention for being so gosh-darn cute and I've learned to be more humble about it. Instead of 'Right??!" I can now say quasi-meekly, "Oh, thank you. That really means a lot to me." Because it does! You are so precious. I complain about the sleep thing but it never fails that when I go up to get you from one of your mini-naps...I can't help but pick you up, chew on your face, swing you around and sing happy songs about how much I love you. One look and I'm goofy all over again. What a good baby you are!

Let's see. October was a lot of fun! This month we did some very Fall-like things - in spite of our unseasonably warm weather. We went to the pumpkin patch with the Wolds and capture the requisite First Visit to the Pumpkin Patch photos. So precious. You started sitting up this month but hadn't really mastered it at the time of the photo-session. We remember your brother's first visit to the pumpkin patch vividly b/c it was the first time he clapped his hands. This made me panic because you, my darling, are not clapping. I realized with much guilt that we don't clap for you very much! You know, "Yeaaa, Mia" + clapping. So we've been practicing. He clapped on the 29th of October. At press, we're into November and there is no signs of clapping but I'm optimistic ;)

The day after the punk'n patch we went APPLE PICKEN! First time. Wasn't a mind blowing experience but it was fun b/c we were there with some of our favorite friends. You and Caleb Wold rode in the Bjorns while your older sibs ran around eating/throwing/picking/kicking rotten apples from the ground. You just liked being part of the action. And we loved you being there!

Halloween was so fun! Your brother was supposed to be a Dallas Cowboy football player. For the sake of record keeping I'll explain why. It's certainly not because we're dedicated Cowboy fans. Daddy is a Bronco's guy and Mommy couldn't not care less about football than she does micro-physics. Here's the short story. I bought some football cleats for Brody at Ross b/c (1) they were cheap and (2) I thought they were soccer cleats. Daddy thinks this is really funny but I think it's an easy mistake. Anyway, instead of taking them back we decided to use them for Halloween and wear the full football uniform + helmet that G'mama got him for Christmas last year. Well, logically, you HAD to be a Cowboy cheerleader, right?

I have to give a shout out to your grandmother here. She made THE cutest cheer uniform in the history of baby costumes. I think she could make money doing this. It was precious. She found pompons at the craft store and chopped them down to size, found the sneakers and added the blue puffs, and hand-created the skirt w/no measurements or anything. It was perfect. We downloaded the star from the Internet, printed it on transfer paper and presto-bamo: 1 Cowboy cheerleader costume. She went all out and then flew in for the occasion. I mean, really? Thank you, Grandmama. You outdid yourself once again. Thanks for the memories!

So on Halloween day, Brody got a little cold + fever so we weren't sure we'd be doing any door-knocking but 'round about 6:30pm he rallied; insisted on being Iron Man instead of a football player and we hit the streets. We only walked a couple of streets but this was his first real experience w/trick-or-treating and he got the hang of it quickly. Sweet Mimi was handed off between the 4 of us (Rah Rah joined the festivities) and we had a blast. It was just the most perfect Halloween yet.

Oh, I need to remember that you got a cold this month. Mild. Mostly sniffles and runny noses. We busted out the sweet cow humidifier and you cleared up w/a week or so. I'm so thankful that it wasn't worse! On the 3rd of Nov. you had your Six Month check up (we're a month behind) and you are still in the 90% for weight, my dear. LET 'EM GIGGLE! You're beautiful and perfect. You also got your flu shot. Can I just say that once again you were remarkable? You talked and smiled and behaved so marvelously the entire visit. You cried for the (6) shots in your legs but stopped right when they were over. I am so proud of you.

You love to eat but of course. You've had peas, butternut squash, zucc, carrots, yellow squash, prunes (yuck), bananas, apples, grapes, avocado and yogurt. All homemade I might add, thankyouverymuch Magic Bullet! You've also gotten mobile this month. It's not a crawl per se but more of a pull-scoot type thing. By the end of the month you were really moving! More on this next month, I'm sure. I'm so impressed by your genius.

Basically, it was a full month and I anticipate the coming months to be even busier and more exciting. Thanks to all the people who might read every word of this entry...we love you. And Mimi-kins. I love you, you little girlfriend. I can't wait to see you tomorrow.

Love, Mommy

[Note: I realize my paragraphs are not aligned...can't figure out how to fix it. grrrr.]

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Rock Obala

Yesterday, Kevin and I were talking politics again and out of nowhere Brody said, "Rock Obala". It got our attention immediately. "What did you say?". He told us he did a project today about him at school. Naturally we were curious.

Here is the project. How great is this? It doesn't matter that we disagree with Obama on pretty much all of his policies, this is a historical event. This is major. There were 14-something million MORE voters in this election than the last one. 14 MILLION. That's nuts.

I already journaled about the whole thing so Brody and Mia have some personal historical record of this election. And I'll probably make a scrapbook page out of this project.

Here's the deal. This country is renewed and it's 100% in thanks to this man. I whole-heartedly wish the outcome had gone differently. I truly, deeply, personally believe that our nation is in jeopardy and that Obama is not the man who will change that status. BUT I can not deny that he's a charismatic man. That he has been able to get people so excited is a testament to his leadership abilities. I will support our president. I will pray for our leader's safety everytime I pray for our nations safety.

By the way, did you know that Kenya has proclaimed a national holiday in honor of Obama's Presidential win? Very cool.

I love that Brody did an "Rock Obala" project and am proud to display it on our fridge. We've since taught him who the man is and Brody can tell you that he's the "...President of the United States of America". So smart!
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