and this all the while using www.pocketyourdollars.com
i want to learn how to save money with coupons (and not actually end up spending more just because i have a coupon on something i wouldn't normally buy anyway).
but i don't have to do it anymore.
just look for a few things on my list that are less than what i listed as the best price i've seen and then pocketyourdollars does all the rest for me.
thank you so much, carrie.
if you live in mn or the twin cities area, seriously, give it a try.
but i still spent an hour doing this.
see, i need lots of practice.
today, at supper (or dinner, we go back and forth at our house, but definitely not lunch)chris sincerely said to me, "good job, dear," about something (i have NO idea what exactly it was about!).
this prompted maya to ask, "dad? why did you call mom deer?"
chris: "because she is a dear!"
maya: "she's not a deer!"
(do you see where this could be going?)
chris: "yes, she is. what else could she be? an elephant?" (if you don't remember, maya's favorite friend in the whole world is her stuffed elephant, so i guess technically it would be a compliment, right?)
maya: "no, she's not an elephant?"
chris: "a lion?" (where is this going?)
g-mama: "a teddy bear?"
chris and maya together: "no! (add chris, "you are definitely NOT that!" grin grin)"
then, maya piped up with a huge grin on her face: "a COW!"
she called me a cow!
my daughter called me a cow!
and all i could do was laugh my head off!
this is how:
in the twin cities there are 4 telephone area codes: 612, 651, 952, 763.
i work at a doctor's office.
when people call and give me their phone number without their area codes, i get so annoyed.
the other day, i was talking to one of the nurses at work to call in a prescription for dane and i gave her the phone number of the pharmacy.
without the area code.
her response was, "oh, you're one of THOSE people."
i'm usually not.
but this time i was.
i am humbled.
we brought the girls over to abby and lydia's house for a sleepover (thanks, dacia, for taking care of 5 children: 3 months, 2, 3, 4, 5! YOu are the best!), so that i would be able to concentrate solely on dane!
last night we woke him up at 10:00 to eat a banana and give him some tylenol. this morning, i got him up, dressed, and out the door by 7:25. things go so much faster when there is only one child and not 3! (not that i would trade them for anything.)
we are about to leave the house and mister dane was just waking up. we got into the surgery waiting area and after we had all his vitals checked, dane was allowed to play with the toys. oh, there were great toys! twice i caught him crawling through the barn that was made for dolls, but he is such a little squirt, he was able to fit himself through without a problem! it was like he didn't even know that he hadn't eaten for like 10 hours!
after playing for a little while, dane was called back by the anestethiologist (totally sp) and we walked into a darkened room with lots and lots of star lights shining on the ceiling. he LOVED them. once the nurse held his arms down, dane breathed in the anesthethia and was soon out. i think it helped that i got to be right in front him, talking to him.
he's such a great sport. the surgery went well. no major complications. his ear canal on his left side was really really small so they had to use a super small tube! the regular sized tube is dinky so i can't even imagine a smaller tube. crazy!
maya:i'm going to tell you all about it.
my name is maya.
brin: no, i want to talk.
maya: no, brin, i'm taking my turn.
brin: but i wanna tell them.
maya: brin, brin, bbbbrrrrrriiiiinnnnn. it's MY turn!
brin: no! you're hurting my feelings!
giannamama: if you guys don't tell it nicely, i'm going to take over and you won't get to talk. brin, let maya go first and then you can have a turn, okay?
brin: hmph! *arms crossed*
maya: first we took this really long car ride. mommy and daddy got off of work and tried to pack everything as fast as they could, but it didn't work out that well. we have a lot of stuff. plus, daddy's cousin, melody, was going to ride with us (although we didn't have to "wait" for her) we wanted to leave a 6:00. by 7:00, we finally left. we drove from new brighton, mn to burlington, wi to uncle chip and aunt ruhama's house. we watched lots of movies. mommy rode in the back with us because melody rode up with daddy. dane didn't like the car ride at all. he screamed a lot. we got to uncle chip and aunt ruhama's house at 12:30 am. (mommy told me that). aunt ruhama had her sleeping bags on the floor ready for brin and me to sleep in. dane got to sleep in mommy and daddy's room. we woke up at 6:30 and ran out to find melody and saw that she was awake.
she told me she wasn't awake, but her eyes were open! she was awake. we played around aunt ruhama's house for the morning and then had to get back into the car to drive to indiana. we had thought we would leave late morning. at 1:00, we were on the road.
brin: i get to talk, maya! we FINALLY made it to indiana. dane was SOOOO happy to get out of the van. we all played at a church. this chuch is so big it has its own discovery zone play area. all of daddy's cousins' kids were already playing and maya and i wanted to play. everyone was SO loud that i didn't like it. i went down other slides because everyone was yelling for jimmy to come play. at first i didn't like jimmy very much. once maya said, "i don't want to go down the slide because everyone is so loud." and maya doesn't care about that usually. jimmy wanted to play with me AGAIN, but no way!
giannamama: okay, this is starting to talk too long. i need to fill in the highlights! saturday, everyone met at a park. the park used to be the farm of the wilsons (chris's mom's family)
a picnic was provided by aunt pat. she does food so WELL! and she knew to have the food out early for the kids! smart grandma, she is!
usually at these big family get togethers, my kids tend to be in the background. i am such an out there in your face type person, this kind of bugs me. i want people to see how AWESOME my kids are! that didn't happen this time. my kids were so loved!
(tom and melissa sproul were some of the most beautiful people i have EVER seen!)
brin loved and was loved by melody. i knew mel was "in" when i found brin at the house one morning sitting as close to mel as she could without actually sitting on her!
this is kent taking asher for a ride. asher is 2 and belongs to pete and natalie--not kent.
at the movie, maya couldn't find me (since i was in the house) so she attached herself to marta (who is dan's fiance) and told her that they needed to find me. not that she wanted to sit with me at the movie, but that i needed to BE at the movie. it was ratatoille and i do like that movie, but it was getting cold.
finally on sunday afternoon, after we had a sharing time together at liberty bible church, brin accepted jimmy.
after a nap and drive back to milton (another 4 hours), our trip was finally nearing the end. the girls got to ride with grandma and grandpa to milton pointing at every single water tower and shouting at the top of their lungs, "WATERTOWER!" which i'm not sure how we encouraged, but it is going to take YEARS before they stop doing that!
what a great time. i could do that again in 3 years! anyone up for that?
a street in zuumod, mongolia, where we held street dances for the townspeople.
photo courtesy of http://www.mongolei.de/bilder/bo/MarktstandZuunmod.JPG
in 2000, less than one year of marriage, chris and i headed to mongolia with our church for a 14 day mission trip.
our team taught english at an english summer camp being held at an english college in this little town called zuumod about an hour outside of ulaanbaater (ub) the capital city.
that first year was SOOOOOO awesome!
we met 20 awesome teenagers.
we fell in love with this teenagers.
3 in particular were our "favorites" for lack of a better word: tumee, tuugi, jacky.
in 2001, we went back and even though we didn't teach the teenagers this time, we connected with them each night dancing in the street or playing games or hiking or whatever. and i met the coolest mongolian girl ever. i still LOVE her and miss her.
in 2002, i went to mongolia without chris to a completely different town and didn't get to see our guys (i ran into tengiss, but barely)
all this to say one thing.
today, tumee found me on facebook!
tumee found me!
i don't think i've ever been more surprised or excited about my past!
you may not think this is amazing, but he lives in MONGOLIA! i live in MINNESOTA!
this is seriously amazing.
it's been almost 10 years since we have seen him.
thank you, facebook. i may actually use you more often now!
i know i keep showing you all these pictures of our family, but i can't help it.
this little guy is fighting again.
call her what you may (but it better be nice), she is the picture of a 2 year old.
i have never known a 2 year old to be so....well, 2.
she is the cuddliest kid. she snuggles and lays with you for "hours" and wants you to hold her all the time.
okay, so probably not you. if she doesn't know you and maya hasn't cleared you, she won't come near you unless i pry her little fingers from my shoulder and hand her on over. if she has to, she will, but she won't go willingly.
when i pick her up from sunday school and she comes with me to pick up maya, she RUNS to maya's class and before she is at the door yells, "MAYA!" as loudly as she can. all you can see over the top of the 1/2 door is her eyes and the top of her nose.
she is so short.
maya is a good 8 inches taller than her and they aren't even 2 years apart. dane is closer to her height than maya.
she loves to read and when she's tired, she will go to bed so willingly.
she knows her letters and loves to learn.
she loves to color and play with stickers and get into all my scrapbooking stuff and pretty much destroy any order i have assembled there (or in life in general)
then, the swtich will flip.
if i speak to her with even a hint of disapproval in my voice, wailing and screaming and temper tantrums ensue.
and it doesn't really stop until you ignore it.
this is pleasant.
she is potty training and unless she thinks of it herself (which isn't very frequently yet), you can expect a struggle to happen on the potty. or to the potty. or about the potty.
we try not to make a big deal about having accidents, but she doesn't like them very much.
so i have started using the love and logic techniques on her potty training.
going potty is not an option, but how she goes is.
"brin, do you want to go potty by yourself or do you want me to help?'
"i don't want to go potty."
"i asked you if you want to go by yourself or if you want me to help."
"i'll do it mySELF." (i am so grateful for learning this technique)
is that not a 2 year old?
i thank God every day that she is in our family. she brings so much life to our home.
she brings so much joy and excitement. and she brings so many stretching moments as well.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
i want to learn soon. i tried to learn by reading it on the internet, but i am such an auditory and tactile learner that reading it doesn't help me at all except that i know WHERE to go to change it. from there, i get lost in all the html mumbo jumbo!
chris was at work and i was at home with the 3 kids.
i called him and said, "i'm not saying you have to come home, but i just want you to know i feel awful." earlier in the week, i had asked him to come home early because we had a sick kid in the house. i knew his work would look down on that if it happened again.
the room was spinning so much that i was nauseaus. my mom and dad couldn't come down to help me. i couldn't get a hold of my aunt lis or our old nanny, elizabeth. i didn't want to call my friend, dacia because she has a 2 month old, and i didn't want to burden her or megan whose life is absolutely nuts right now.
3 hours later i was getting desperate because i felt so awful. i knew it was going to be a long day because when dane knocked over a pile of clean laundry, i just looked at it on the floor. i couldn't get off the couch to pick it up. i had put in 2 movies before the hour of 8 o'clock and the second one was on continuous play.
so i did the only thing i could think of.
i called andrea.
andrea who watches our kids 2 to 3 days a week already.
this was the conversation:
gianna: hi, todd. is andrea there?
todd: she hasn't quite gotten up yet.
gianna: oh, okay. when she gets up, can you have her call me? but it's no rush.
gianna: thanks, bye.
10 minutes passed. the phone rang. it was andrea.
gianna: you didn't have to get up just to call me.
andrea: i had to get up anyway.
gianna: so this is what's going on. my head is spinning like crazy. i feel sick to my stomach. i tried to throw up but it didn't really work and i don't feel any better. and the girls are watching their second movie and that started before 8:00. i feel horrible. and well, i was thinking that you could listen to me complain or if you wanted to, you could come over and help? but you don't have to. i know this your day to do what you want to do.
andrea: i can come over for a while.
gianna: that would be so nice. but you don't have to, you could just listen to me complain.
andrea: but you're sick.
gianna: are you sure?
andrea: i'll be over after i get dressed and eat some breakfast.
gianna: oh, thank you.
we hung up and i started to bawl. then, dane banged his head on my lip and gave me a fat lip and i cried some more.
40 minutes later (at approximately 10:00), andrea came in and i greeted her with dane in his pajamas and said, "he's the only one whose eaten breakfast. the girls are downstairs watching a movie and aren't dressed either." (little did i know they were downstairs trashing the basement! andrea was greeted with that picture and cleaned it up before i saw it)
andrea taking dane: you go get some rest
gianna: thank you so much!
and off to bed i headed. after i got some much needed sleep, i felt a little better. andrea had EVERYTHING under control. and she didn't leave right away. after being there over 2 hours, she made sure i was feeling okay enough for her to leave.
at 12:30 she left but not before she asked: are you sure you're okay?
thank you, andrea, for you gift of time and energy for my kids.
you are a gift from the lord.
and thank you, jesus, for andrea and for her self sacrificing love.
our administrator asked me how much i had lost since i had started working on it. and i realized that since from before dane was born, i have lost over 60 pounds. i cannot believe it.
dr. kurachek had me blushing like crazy because he wouldn't stop talking about it.
he asked me how i had lost the weight and then said, "whenever i picture you, i think of you... as well....pregnant."
i cracked up on the phone and said, "i can't blame you?"
for 3 years in a row in the past 4 years, this is what dr. kurachek (and the rest of the world) has seen....
pregnant with maya
this past may and june, our neighbor's daughter has been up from florida. she has a little girl who is one day shy of being a month younger than brin. we have met her before, but this year, brin and little s were pretty inseperable. little s was probably one of brin's first REAL friends (besides m who is andrea's little girl!)
also ten minutes ago (maybe more like 20 minutes), my littlest boy was screaming at the top of his lungs when he should have been fast asleep. he once again is, but there was some tension there for a bit.
anyway, now i have 4 minutes and counting before i need to wake up my girls so that they we can play in the sprinkler and i promised a short movie, too.
anyway, i am waiting for the pics to download. come on! come on! come on!
2 minutes. let's go computer!
it was literally poopy.
well, maybe more correctly i should have entitled this post: our bodily fluid vacation.
i haven't downloaded our pics yet to upload them to my post, but i will update the pics later.
this is what made our vacation very bodily fluidy.
sunday: brin woke up throwing up.
it was weird, too. there wasn't anything in her tummy really to throw up so it was kind of frothy foam. but she was seriously throwing up. the sound was throwing up, the feel of her tummy's acitivity was throwing up, the look on her face when she was done was definitely throwing up, the fact that she was white as a sheet was definitely throwing up. poor thing
i called chris to come home early from work because i didn't know how to take care of all 3 kids with one throwing up and the littlest one still needing to nurse and just needing basic 13 month old attention.
when he came home, he helped for a while and then brin fell asleep. so chris took a nap, too. i took dane and maya for a walk to see let everyone else sleep.
brin woke up still pale and threw up one more time, but then started to eat like crazy and kept it all done, so we piled into the van and took off for portage, wi!
monday: the kids and i went down for naps after a morning at mackenzie enviromental center. brin had to poop. once again, she decided that she should try to figure out how to do it herself. i was brought a little girl who didn't have a diaper. poor grandma! i cleaned up brin and the floor, but she cleaned up the toilet and the bathroom. it was pretty much everywhere. grandma isn't used to brin's claim to independence. but she was a great sport and just helped. thanks!
tuesday: i HAD to take a nap in the morning this day because dane had gotten up in the middle of the night and had been awake for 2 hours! AAAAHHHH!!!! what are you doing, boy? so during naptime this day, grandma took the kids so the rest of us could go to devil's lake state park. beautiful state park. while we hiked one of the beautiful bluffs, she was cleaning up not 1 but 2 horrible poopy dame diapers (who by the way didn't nap). one of his poopy diapers was completely PURPLE because he has discovered the JOY of blueberries!
tuesday night: we put the kids to bed, but instead of going to bed, brin decided to be completely independent again with her poopy diaper. THIS time, grandpa found her. he came down to the rest of us in the living room to tell us that a little creature was running around getting turds everywhere. this time, chris and i tagged teamed it. while chris tried to clean up the carpet and bed and room, i put brin on the toilet on the side that wasn't smeared with poop. she completely FELL IN! so far that she got her pajama top soaked. he he he! oops! i cleaned her up, got her a new shirt, cleaned up the toilet, put her back to bed, and hoped for the best. luckily she went to sleep soon after it was all cleaned up!