Thursday, December 09, 2010

Hadley's Birth Story!

Ok, MIL is getting some Hadley time, so here is your birth story!!! :) Sorry, my kitty dying is intermingled with this story because it's part of the day's events.

On the morning of Black Friday (November 26th), I woke up around 2:30 AM with contractions. They weren't painful, but were coming at regular intervals between 7-20 minutes apart. I went downstairs and watched TV, etc so I wouldn't keep Gregg up. After a bit, I realized that I hadn't yet seen my kitty that day - she was not looking good the night before (breathing funny & just not being herself) & I actually cried at that time (Thanksgiving night) because something in me just told me it was the beginning of the end. I checked her usual spots & couldn't find her anywhere. I laid back down on the couch for a while, read, watched TV, etc & for some reason, though to check for her in the basement. As soon as I saw her lying on the concrete (something she would never normally do) and she didn't respond when I said her name (I didn't get close enough), I knew that she was gone. I was so, so sad. She was only 7 years old & she was a dating anniversary gift from Gregg for our 2nd anniversary. It was around 4:30 AM at this time & I ran upstairs to Gregg & woke him up: "Baby - um, two things...I think Faithy died and I'm in labor" - according to him, that was not the way he had planned on waking up that morning.

He went down into the basement and confirmed that she was gone & then texted his mom & dad so that they would call when they woke up. I continued with contractions throughout the morning until his dad called back. They were shocked at the news of Faithy passing & his Dad came over to take care of her. I wanted to see her to get some closure, but her eyes were open (according to G) and they could not be shut again, so I didn't get to see her. We drove over to G's parents' house & she was buried in their "pet cemetary" behind their house. G had basketball practice, so I stayed at his parents' house and continued laboring while he was gone (yeah, I know, I told him to go to practice...LOL). His mom and one of his sisters (Mel) timed my contractions all morning/afternoon. They were continuing to get stronger throughout the day & definitely becoming more regular. When they were about 7 minutes apart, I texted my mom and told her that I thought it was the real thing (after G's mom felt my contractions in my stomach and confirmed that this was most likely true labor).

We went home & I got showered & then we called the doctor around 3:30 when my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. Gregg had to take the call from the doctor when she returned our call (it goes to the answering service first) because I was busy throwing up. Despite the fact that my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart at this time, they told us to wait an hour and then leave for the hospital. My contractions were definitely stronger at this point & I was SO upset that we weren't able to go to the hospital yet. I was face-down on my exercise ball with a heating pad on my back, or with G rubbing my back constantly. We determined that my parents were about an hour away, so we waited for them to get there & then we left immediately.

The car ride was not a fun one & it seemed to take forever with lots of curvy, windy roads, despite the fact that it was only about 25 minutes. When we got there around 5PM, we went to L&D to get checked in & they told me that I needed to wait in the waiting room because they didn't have room for me. I was SO upset, I'm surprised I didn't cry. I ended up kneeling on the floor in front of one of the waiting room chairs, with my face in the chair, while mom or G rubbed my back and I breathed through all of the contractions, which were gaining in strength and frequency. To make matters worse, there were some annoying kids in the waiting room and I think I remember telling my mom that I was going to kill them - LOL.

After FORTY FIVE MINUTES (5:45pm) of laboring in the waiting room (there were about 4 other pg women there, but none as obviously into labor as I was), I was finally taken back into a triage room. A midwife came in to check me and immediately said, "whoa! We've got an active one - she's 8cm!" We were shocked! I knew the contractions were strong, but I was breathing through them and didn't think they were THAT awful. The doctor came in and I pretty much had to decide on the spot whether I wanted an epidural or not. I told her that I felt really good, but I was worried about the pushing part. She said, "I won't lie, the pushing is intense, but you're really going to feel that part either way" so I decided to tough it out (which is good since the anesthesiologist never got around to seeing me anyway, which they're supposed to do either way). They moved me to an L&D room & checked me again maybe half an hour later (6:30) and I was 9cm. The doctor broke my water & an hour later, I was 10 cm. I really didn't notice a difference in the strength of my contractions until the very end (right before I was checked at 10cm) - the nurse told me that if I felt the urge to push, I should take a deep breath in and breathe out in spurts like I'm blowing out candles - those were the hardest ones by far.

Once I was able to push, it was actually a great relief - fighting the pushing was definitely the worst part of labor. I began pushing around 8:15pm. There was definitely a learning curve in learning how to push, but the doctor and nurse were both great with encouragement & G was there the whole time with my ice chips, rubbing my back. After about an hour of pushing, I started to get really frustrated because I felt like I was doing it wrong or that it should be going faster, but the dr. assured me I was doing an amazing job. I remember both she & the nurse saying that they seriously should have made an educational video about laboring on me because they never ever would have guessed that I didn't have an epidural - I was one of the best "breathe through it" patients they ever saw! They encouraged me to change pushing positions (on my side) and those really helped to bring her down. Just before 2 hours, they switched me back to my back and I knew it must be time because they took off the bottom of my table, put up the stirrups & the dr. put on her gown. About 5 pushes later, I felt her head come out & another push or two came her shoulders & she was out! I did not even feel the "ring of fire" that so many women talk about - I honestly don't remember any pain during the pushing process - it was just exhausting...I think my nerve endings must be dead down there or something! :) And I was so proud of Gregg, he watched the whole thing and didn't pass out or get sick or anything (HUGE accomplishment for him)! Hadley Rebecca Scholl was born at 10:08PM, 19 inches long! They put her on my chest and it was all just so surreal - I almost felt like it was happening to someone else - some kind of out-of-body experience.

H was whisked away to the nursery (G went along) because they wanted to check her breathing (she was "grunting" a bit), but everything was fine. I delivered the afterbirth & was stitched back up for my 2nd degree tear & then I ended up watching What Not To Wear on TV alone in the room for 45 minutes while G was gone, even though I had asked the nurse to go get my family, which they never did. Our parents, G & H all ended up coming back at the same time and stayed with us until about midnight. I was so glad that both sets of parents could be there to see her right away. Though we hadn't planned on it, we ended up sending H to the nursery that night because we were both so exhausted and needed to get some sleep...of course I couldn't sleep anyway due to worrying about her, plus being on the adrenaline high, but that's a whole different story!

My doctor was amazing throughout the whole thing - before coming to me, she had only had an emergency c-section & then I was her only patient. She sat on the bottom of my bed the entire time - there are about 10 doctors at the practice and if I could have chosen, she would have been the one that I wanted, so I was SO happy when I knew she would be with me.

We texted Becki to tell her the good news and she cried when she heard the name - she said it was just perfect and she couldn't wait to meet her!

In the end, we said it's almost as though Faithy (our kitty) was like our filler baby - one angel left us just as the other came into our lives...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Can I still post here?

I feel really strange posting over on this blog (hence the HUGE hiatus from posting). I'm still in the frame of mind where I don't want to offend or hurt anyone, but I also want everyone out there (who doesn't also read my baby blog) to know that all is still well in our world. Things have been mostly uneventful & I am truly blessed by that!!

I do want everyone to know that I still don't feel like I belong in the world of fertiles...or in the world of mommies for that matter. It was very evident when attending our education classes at the hospital or going to the doctor that most of the population at large just doesn't "get it." I definitely get the feeling that I'll never truly "belong" with other moms - there are so few people out there (not saying there aren't any, just not many) who really cherish their pregnancies for the miracles that they actually are!

I hope you're all doing well! T-minus 6 weeks (or less!) & counting until H's arrival!

Friday, July 30, 2010

You are not alone

A fellow IF-er posted this today on my IF board and I asked her permission to share it with you...

I try and thank all of you often, but I don’t know how to impress how deeply my thanks to you goes. I have come to learn the hard way that infertility is one of the most brutal inhumane, unrelenting battles a person can fight. Each disappointment feels like a small death. SO many dreams die when you are struggling to create a family. I was always one of those girls who stuffed pillows up her dress and pretended to be pregnant. It wasn’t just a dream, it was an inevitability. Of course I would fall in love, get married and get pregnant like everyone else. Why wouldn’t I? That’s how life works isn’t it? Not so much for me. I’m coming to grips with the fact that a big round belly doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me. I know that I will be a mother, but it’s still painful to let go of the dream that I will carry my own baby.

This is where you come in. Every time I see that doctor no matter how much I try and prepare myself for bad news it feels like someone has sliced my heart wide open. The pain is something I have only experienced when someone I love has died. The problem is that nobody has died. I am expected to pick myself up, dust myself off and head back to work. How am I supposed to go on with my life when a huge hole has been cut into my heart? This is where all of you come in. Over and over you immediately swoop in with your needles and thread and sew my heart back together. Each of you put a little stitch or two into my mangled heart and mend it with your love. Your constant and unwavering love heals my heart right back up and it’s stronger than ever. This battle has not weakened my heart, but made it stronger. It is thick and strong with all of the scars of this merciless struggle. My heart is this big huge patchwork quilt of your love. It is now stronger and capable of holding more love than ever thanks to all of your handiwork. I will never be able to thank you, especially my war buddies who rescue me over and over while they are still on the battlefield themselves. When we do welcome a baby into our family, because one way or another we will, it is going to be the luckiest child in the entire world to be loved by each and every one of you.

With all of that said, I am going to stop crying and I am going to go read my book of baby names because as sad as I am, you are all sewing away right now, I will be better shortly and I know that we will have a baby that will need a name very soon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's a...

GIRL! I was SHOCKED as I told Gregg that I was 90% sure we were having a boy! We both shed some tears & were so incredibly happy!

Little Hadley was adorable (we even got a yawn) and the doctor said she looked perfect (we thought so, too! Her heartbeat was 157 bpm and we're pretty sure she's going to be a little gymnast...just look at these legs up over her head!

I'll admit that I was a little disappointed that the u/s tech didn't give us a "girl" ultrasound shot, but I'm working on getting one elsewhere.

I've been feeling tons of movement in there lately which is SO exciting, and Gregg gets in at least one good kick a night!

I had an amazing time over the weekend and got all sorts of wonderful baby gifts for our little girl from my IF friends at our GTG. What amazing women - I had an awesome time & can't wait until we can do it again! I am so blessed!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Rite Aid & CVS goodies

I had a great shopping trip out to Rite Aid & CVS again today. Take a look!

First I stopped at CVS. I got 6 SOBE LifeWaters, 1 Dawn Hand Renewal Detergent & 2 Old Spice Body Washes for $3.60.

The breakdown...
SOBE LifeWater on sale for BOGO & I had BOGO coupons - 6 bottles FREE (saved $10.14)
Dawn Hand Renewal Dish Detergent - on sale for $.99, had $1 coupon - FREE
Old Spice Body Wash on sale for 2/$7, coupon for BOGO - $1.75 each!

And at Rite-Aid, I did 3 separate transactions...

Transaction #1:
Zyrtec 30ct on sale for $18.99, $4 manufact. coupon, $1/$10 RA Allergy coupon = $13.99
(I stupidly thought that the Allergy rewards were still running, not realizing that they were done on the 26th of June, so I was bummed about that, thinking I would get a $5 RA gift card).
Edy's Ice Cream - $2.99 (got $1 UPR at check-out)
Used $5/$20 coupon
Total OOP $12

Transaction #2
Pampers Jumbo Pack $8.99, used $3 coupon (will get $2SCR) - $3.99
Tide w/ Febreze $5.99, used $1 coupon - $4.99
2 Gillette Body Washes on sale 2/$8, coupon for BOGO (will get $2SCR) - $1 each
2 Malt o Meal cereals on sale 2/$3 (got $1 UPR) - $3
Used $1 UPR
Used $5/$25 coupon
Total OOP $12.03

Transaction #3
Dawn Dish Detergent on sale for $.99, used $1 coupon - FREE
Crest ProHealth Toothpaste on sale for $2.99, used $1 coupon (got $2 UPR) - $1.99
Renu Sensitive on sale for $7.29, $2 RA coupon, $4 manufact. coup (+$7.29SCR) - $6 overage!
Glide Floss Twin Pack $5.99, $1 coupon (+$4 SCR) - $.99
Crest Mouth Rinse $4.99, $1 coupon (+$3 SCR) - $.99
Used $1/$10 Oral Care Products reward
Used $5/$20 RA Coupon
Total OOP $5.75

Total paid at Rite Aid today = $29.76
Received $4 UPR to use next time
Will get $18.29 in SCR
Total OOP = $11.47 on $93.47 (retail), an $82 savings!

I plan on going back tomorrow to redeem my $4 in UPR toward some skin care products so that I can qualify for $15 in RA gift cards w/ their skin care rewards program!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Questions & more savings

For once, I can say that my blogging absence has not been caused by lack of time, but more out of confusion over what to write about. I would love to hear from my readers who are still out there in the "trenches" of IF and tell me your feelings on the matter. I have ideas for a few posts that I would like to write, but I never want to make someone hurt or put someone through more pain than they're already feeling. Please, even if you've been a lurker until now, let me know your feelings on this!!! On one hand, I hate that this blog is venturing away from its initial purpose (infertility support/venting/etc.) and into one of blogging solely about my shopping trip savings & craft ventures...on the other hand, life circumstances kind of make it difficult to blog about actual infertility now.

And now for my weekly savings! It was another great week to add to my stockpile at Rite-Aid!

(pic coming soon)

Here's the breakdown:
2 Old Spice Deodorants - $1.50 each (plus I got $1 UPR for next time)
1 bottle Welch's Grape juice - $1
10oz Coppertone SPF 50 - $2.99
Cover Girl eyeliner 2-pack - $.89
Crest Sensitive - $1 OVERAGE
Drinking straws - $1
***and my exciting buy for the day...
3 Clearasil face washes (from the clearance aisle!) - $2.64 each - I had a $3/1 VV coupon, a $3/1 in-ad coupon & a $2/1 manufacturer coupon. They gave me overage on the $3 coupons (most likely because the clearance price didn't originally ring up & the cashier had to key it in to come up 50% off), so I got all 3 bottles for $.08 overage! When I originally went in to the store, I had intended to use all 3 coupons on one bottle of the reg. priced stuff, so this was a great find!

I used the $5/20 VV coupon & will get $2.99 in SCR. Once all is said and done, I will have paid $2.78 out of pocket!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Life After Infertility

I've been swirling this post around in my head for a while now, trying to make sense of it. Trying to figure out what to write. Trying to figure out if I should write it at all. Truth be told, there really is no life after infertility, or success after infertility, or whatever you want to call it. No matter how you overcome your infertility demons, be it adoption, surgery, surrogacy, IVF or a miracle, nothing can repair the damage done by the countless tears you've cried, the sympathetic looks from friends and family members, the hurtful (though often well-intentioned) comments that people make, the painful pregnancy announcements where you paste the "I'm so happy for you" face on to mask the tears that are welling up behind it, the money you spent on making a baby that you had reserved for a baby. And then there's the weird curve ball that infertility throws at your marriage. When you take those vows, you never realize just how literally God takes them; how he pushes them to their utmost limits & tests you beyond measure.

But then there are the unexpected blessings...the crazy little things that you can somehow appreciate along the crooked & rocky path...and although I never would have chosen this path to parenthood in a million years, I can honestly say that it has made me count my blessings. And I definitely think it will make me a better parent. It has made our marriage so incredibly strong...stronger than any other couple our age that I know, actually. And I've learned about how giving of yourself can change someone's life completely, like Becki did for us. I certainly wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. Finally, there are the friends I've made; you, my bloggy buddies & my IF-support group girls who get "it" more than anyone else possibly could I not admit that I'm at least a little grateful for the hand that I've been dealt?

Do you have blessings to share from your life with infertility?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Super Rite-Aid Shopping!

I'm so excited about today's Rite-Aid trip! I told G as soon as he got home today - it doesn't take much to make me happy!

Here's a breakdown of the goods:
12-pack Charmin Basic - reg $8.49-on sale for $5.49 - $1/1 coupon = $4.49
Cascade Action Pacs - reg $4.99-on sale for $2.99 - $2/1 coupon = $.99
Schick Hydro 5 - reg $9.99-on sale for $6.99 - $5/1 coupon = $1.99
(2) Old Spice body wash -reg $4.79-on sale for $2.99/BOGO coupon/$2.99 SCR=2 FREE!
(2) Old Spice deodorant -reg $3.29-on sale for $2.49-$1/2 coupon-$3/2 SCR=$.50 each!
Pantene shampoo -reg $4.99-on sale for $3.50-$1/1 coupon-$3 bonus SCR=$.50 overage!
Herbal Essences mousse-reg $4.49-on sale for $2.49-$1/1 coupon-$1.50 SCR=FREE!

I also used a $5/$25 coupon & will submit for a $6.99 Schick rebate. I paid $13.44 out of pocket on $49 worth of merchandise. I will submit for $17+ worth of rebates (Schick + SCR) making this trip a $4+ money-maker!!!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Big (LONG) Update (finally!)

It's time to come clean about the big BFP. Though not spontaneous by any means, it is as big of a shock to us as it is to you. Read might want some's a long one (some is for self-documentation purposes, so feel free to skim!) Pictures from every ultrasound (and the embryos) can be found at our baby blog:

As I mildly hinted back in February, we decided that we were going to do our FET (2 frozen embryos from our donor egg cycle in July 2009) in March. We decided (after little debate) that we weren't going to let ANYONE in on it, including our parents...after all that we had been through, it was just easier not to have the questions, "when is your shot? how are you feeling? when is your beta? when is this? when is that?," etc, etc, etc...even though of course we know those questions always come out of love and concern. A couple people at each of our workplaces knew, but otherwise, no one! My online infertility girls didn't even find out about it until the evening of the transfer.

On March 18th, I went in to work with G. We were supposed to get the call about an hour and a half before we needed to be at the doctor's office, so there was no way for me to go in to work & still have enough time to meet up with him & leave on such short notice, even though we knew that the call probably wouldn't be made until after 10. Around lunch time, we got the call & they asked if we could be there by 2:00, which was no problem. We ate our lunches, G secured his coverage & then we picked up and left, getting there with plenty of time to spare. They took us back almost immediately and got us set up in our "room" (basically one large room with curtains between each). There were about 4 other couples there. We had elected to receive laser acupuncture both before and after the transfer. It was only an extra $200 and we figured this was our last chance...we would do everything possible to increase our chances of success. It was completely painless and took about 5 minutes. Around 3:00, the RE (Dr. Kim) came in and told us that both of our embryos thawed beautifully (which was honestly the biggest obstacle to pass of the day!). He said that they picked up right where they had left off as far as growing was concerned. By 3:30, we were in and out of the transfer room & I was receiving my 2nd dose of laser acupuncture. After my mandatory 20 minutes rest, G & I made the long (traffic!!!!) trek home with a stop at Wendy's for dinner (because, after all, baby likes HEALTHY food!). By the time we made it home, I barely had any rest time before actual bed time, but G made sure I didn't do too much. I returned to work the next 4-year-olds are easy enough, so I wasn't worried about over-doing it.

We had already made plans to travel up to my parents' house for a family spaghetti dinner that weekend. This meant that, for the first time, I would have to do my PIO shot by myself (G is terrified of needles & passes out - but it's ok - I still love him LOTS!). I was terrified, but my co-worker (former nurse who had been doing my shots for me) guided me through it & watched me do it by myself the next day. She marked out a few spots for me with a Sharpie & I prayed for confidence! The next day, though still extremely nervous, I did it! Complete with finding a good spot (my sharpie marks had washed away!) and drawing back to check for blood! Over time, while doing my own, G became my band-aid man & would stand on the sidelines (not watching) until I was ready for him! Though still not my favorite thing to do (and I'm glad I am officially off of the PIOs), I can do an IM shot like a pro!

So, back to the story...on March 26th, the night before my beta, I went to a social event with my co-workers. While there, I started to feel crampy & went to the bathroom to discover some brownish pink spotting. I was completely miserable the rest of the night (despite the fact that I won 2 prizes while there) & texted G for the duration of the party about how I wanted to come home (I had carpooled with someone else, so I couldn't leave). The next day was beta day and I felt that my fate had already been revealed the night before, but I took a HPT that morning anyway. I couldn't sleep, so I was up way before G. I peed on the stick, waited the obligatory 3 minutes, saw no line & went back to bed. I was so numb. Even though I felt like I had gotten my answer the night before, the blank spot where the line was supposed to be, staring me straight in the face, was like a punch in the gut. Looking back in regular lighting, later in the day (much past the 10 minute window), we could see what MAY or MAY NOT have been a line, but at 9dp5dt, we were looking for a nice, dark line. We kept telling ourselves we were ready to adopt and ready to move on and "just be parents in whatever way we could" but the reality was that those 2 little embies still gave us hope...and try as we might to not get those hopes up, that was virtually impossible.

By the grace of God, I held it together all morning for the blood draw. Several hours later, we got the call that I WAS PREGNANT with a super beta of 163! The nurse on the phone probably thought I was a real witch or something because she told me and I didn't even react - I still could not believe that 2 negatives (spotting and the BFN on the HPT) could equal a positive. I just said "ok" after every statement she said. After I hung up, we were both in shock, but not excited like we should have been. We had been to that place before & we knew better than to get our hopes up prematurely. But we hoped, and we prayed, and we prayed some more.

2 days later (16dpo), I went back for repeat bloodwork & discovered that not only had my number doubled, it had almost tripled to 412! I was beginning to get more excited at this point. However, when I inquired about my progesterone level, which they said looked "good," I discovered that it was low by most RE's standards at 13. So I did what any desperate girl would do. I first called and got my PIO dosage increased (they would only let me do an extra 1/2 mL). I also pleaded for a prescription for progesterone suppositories, but to no avail. So again, I did what any desperate girl would do...please don't tell...I self-medicated. You see, I had some expired progesterone suppositories in my refrigerator & with the help of my enablers (aka my online infertility girls), I started taking them daily for nothing more than some peace of mind. I also begged for a 2nd repeat beta for some additional peace of mind (especially since we were traveling to my parents' house for Easter). Again, I got the call with good news! My beta needed to be at least 1648 to meet the standard 48 doubling time (now at 20dpo) & it came back with a SUPER STAR number of 2379 & my p4 went up to a comfortable (for me) number of 20. Not sure if it was the extra p4 supplementation, but I'll take it. Many of my online girls were thinking twins at that point because my betas were so high...

The day after Easter, April 5th, we went back to the RE for our first ultrasound. We were both terrified, as this was the point in our previous pregnancy where we had the ultrasound and they saw nothing, betas began to decline & we lost the baby. BUT NOT THIS TIME!!! This time we saw ONE beautiful gestational sac with a yolk sac inside! Just what we wanted to see. The PA said it was too early to measure for a due date, but that everything looked just like it was supposed to look (5w2d). My bloodwork also came back stellar with my p4 holding steady at 20 & my beta shooting up to 8067!! In the week between my ultrasounds, I would live on an ultrasound- (and beta-) high for about two days, before reality (and Satan with his doubt) would begin to creep back in. I had no symptoms at that point beyond bigger BBs (although I wasn't complaining about that one)...and I knew that was just from the progesterone.

On Monday, April 12th, we saw and heard one of the most beautiful things in the world...our baby's heartbeat! We were in shock and awe mode. I had myself completely convinced that we would get there and see that the gestational sac and yolk sac had disappeared...G thought I was just being ridiculous & I told him I was glad that he could say "I told you so!" We also saw another mass at the ultrasound which we've determined was likely a 2nd sac that just never developed (considering how high my betas were, this would make perfect sense, since I was right in the average range for twins). Progesterone was holding steady at 20 & hcg rose steadily to 30,896. My TSH came back still slightly elevated (at 3.6) so they increased my dosage a 2nd time & continued to monitor it. The baby measured right around 6 weeks at that time, which was perfect & a HB of 120bpm.

At the 7 week scan (April 19th), they discovered that the 2nd sac had continued to grow. They still saw it as no cause for concern, which was encouraging. We heard the heartbeat again (136bpm) and the baby measured right on target (7w2d). Finally on April 26th, we went for our 8 week ultrasound & for the first time, our baby looked like a baby (or a gummy bear)! The baby measured 2 days ahead (8w4d) & HB was 164bpm! The RE's office "released" me with a really cute ultrasound pic baby card & a stack of pregnancy magazines, though they can't officially release me while I'm still on progesterone (though they actually did since I REFUSED to go cold-turkey so early-on). My TSH went back down to normal levels at 1.86 and they finally gave us a due-date of December 3rd, 2010! And still, our families had NO CLUE.

We traveled up to my parents' house on the evening of my birthday, April 30th. They were throwing a 30th bday picnic (family) for me the following day. My mom & dad were busy getting things ready for the picnic that they were having for my bday. They were both finally in the house at the same time and I told my mom that I wanted her to open her Mother's Day gift (a week early) before she was up to her elbows in something dad almost left but I told him he had to stay. Mom opened the card and started crying (nothing in the card but a sappy little verse) and then she opened the frame and SCREAMED, CRIED & she and my dad made a Teri-Sandwich out of me. My dad cried and my mom sobbed, "This is the BEST MOTHER'S DAY PRESENT EVER" was awesome. When she got to the party, we told my little cousin Jenna (19) because she's our bud - she and Gregg always "pretend" they are Ron & Hermione from Harry Potter when we go camping (mainly just finding sticks & pretending they are stupifying each other, or quoting the movie, etc). Gregg asked Jenna if she wanted to be Aunt Jenna or Aunt Hermione - and her eyes got wide and she looked at me & I smiled and she got SO excited & screamed - she had to compose herself before we went back to the rest of the family. My mom showed the frame to the rest of the family after we had eaten & they happily passed it around & congratulated us on the wonderful (and long over-due!) news!

On Tuesday, May 11th, we had a great OB appointment with the heartbeat at 170bpm. The little sucker was in there moving all over the place - it even looked like it was waving at us!!!! The following weekend, we went to the shore with G's family for Mother's Day. Before we went out to breakfast, G gave his mom her Mother's Day gift. His mom was a little confused at first (or we were just confused at what she was asking us)! G's dad is a radiologist, so he looked at the date at the top & saw my name & knew right away what was going on & hugged me immediately. His mom started sobbing and couldn't figure out how we'd been keeping it a secret for so long! We told G's 2 younger sisters and they FLIPPED, then he called his oldest sister and her kids told her that she said Oh My God 21 times! LOL! We emailed the rest of G's brothers and sisters to tell them & we heard back from every single one of them within 12 hours!

We had our NT scan at the Maternal Fetal Medicine unit on the 28th (which was so cool!!). The ultrasound tech got all the measurements (which the doctor said looked normal, putting us at low risk for Downs or Trisomy 18) and then we officially "came out" on Facebook that afternoon! That.Was.Awesome!

And that brings us (finally!) to where we are now, 14 weeks. It's been an insanely long and nerve-racking journey, but we're just thrilled to finally have a chance to experience all of it. The good, the bad & the ugly. I go back to the OB on Tuesday (I'm anxious to hear the HB) and we don't have another ultrasound until the 19th of July (the "big" one)! Please keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Rite Aid Savings

First of all, let me say that I PROMISE my next post will be one explaining my most recent big news (my BFP!). I've been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to spend less time on the computer & more time getting the house in order, now that I'm only working 3-hour work days until the 11th. The house is slowly getting into better shape, but somehow I'm still spending way too much time online.

I took advantage of some great savings/deals at Rite-Aid today. I had to make 2 trips because I forgot my diaper coupons (yes, I'm already starting to stock up! We plan to use cloth diapers mostly, but I figure for travel & babysitter purposes, it will be nice to have some disposables on hand). It turns out to be a good thing that I DID forget my diaper coupons because even though I spent a little more money, I got a GREAT deal on the diapers & I'm excited to share!

Here's a pic of the goodies that I got & the cost breakdown below! I had to make 2 separate transactions on my 2nd trip to the store, but it really was no problem at all! No hassles!

Sorry it's a bad pic (phone camera), but here's the break-down:
1st trip:
4-pack Scott Bathroom Tissue: reg $4.79, on sale $2.99
(2) Ziploc Freezer Bags: reg $3.99 ea, on sale BOGO + BOGO coupon (only up to $2.19): paid $.90 each
2nd trip (1st transaction):
Schick Hydro Razor: reg. $8.99, $5 newspaper coupon, $1 Video Values coupon: $2.99
Nature Made Vitamin D: $4.79
Rite-Aid Baby Aspirin (108ct): reg $4.99, on sale $4.49
Coppertone Spray SPF 50: reg. $10.49, on sale for $8.99, $2 in-ad coupon, $3 Video Values coupon, $1 printable coupon: $2.99
Also used $5/$25 Video Values printable = $10.32 total (less than the regular price of the sunscreen alone!)
2nd trip (2nd transaction):
Huggies Newborn Diapers (36ct): reg. $11.99, on sale $8.99, used $3 Huggies printable: $5.99
Huggies Size 1 Diapers (40 ct):
reg. $11.99, on sale $8.99, used $3 Huggies printable: $5.99
Huggies Size 2 Diapers (36 ct): reg. $11.99, on sale $8.99, used $3 Huggies printable: $5.99
Used (1) $1 Video Values coupon and (1) $5/$25 Video Values printable, plus a $2 SCR = $9.97 or just under $3.33 per package of diapers!

In total, I spent $25.26 out of pocket on $78 worth of merchandise with a savings of $52.74!

Yesterday was also a good day at the grocery store! I ended up sticking to my weekly budget of $50 and saved over $30!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sorry to keep you out of the loop

But after 5 years, lots of tears, thousands of prayers & a gift from a very special friend...

I'm GONNA BE A MAMA! I'm 13 weeks pregnant!

Pictures & story to come!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Here's a little sampling of the things I have been crazily working on in the past week - remember how busy I said I've been? I wasn't lying!....(sorry about the photo quality - they were mostly with my phone)

I made this today. It's a knot blanket for a friend's birthday coming up this week. I think it's my favorite blanket I've ever made (and I've made about 30 of them!).

These are the t-shirts that I made for my three-year-olds (7 of them). They have their names, the name of the school & 2010 on the backs! I also made 8 tote bags (exactly like the t-shirts) for my 4 year olds. I can proudly say I came up with this little saying on my own :)

I did three Father's Day projects with both classes this week, one of which was this card that looks like a shirt & tie. Another was a tin can covered w/ scrapbooking paper, which says "My Dad 'can' do it all!" (I know it's early for Father's Day, but we only have two weeks of preschool left!) - and the last one was a card w/ their footprint on the front w/ a poem, and a survey (answered by the kids) about their dad's favorite things on the inside!

These are the 2 different photo albums for my classes, too. The solid colored ones are for the 3s. I just wrote their names & then embellished with stickers. The patterned ones are for the 4s. I bought the albums at Wal-mart, but didn't like the covers, so I added scrapbook paper to make them a little prettier!

Friday, May 14, 2010


I'm a finalist! Go here and vote for the name that I created (Take a Walk on the Wild Side) to help me win some free bling! Thank you so much!!!

PS - I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth...graduation time at preschool is pretty much like our 2nd Christmas of the year - so much to do, so little time!! I'll be back VERY SOON! Give me another week, ok????

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Idol Chat: Top 6

Sorry I've been sparse with the idol updates. I don't have a ton to say about the show this week - I love country music, but most ppl opted out of the country vibe. This week tends to make it or break it for so many of the contestants, so that's probably why.

1. Lee - You're Still the One - best song choice of the night, IMO. He's a true star.
2. Casey - Don't - I was glad to see a departure from his normal style. I thought this was his best performance
3. Crystal - No One Needs to Know - this is my favorite Shania song ever and I was really disappointed. She took so much of the spunk out of this song. It was too slow
4. Mike - It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing - I'm not a fan of Mike's "sappy love song" rut, but Shania was in tears, so I guess it was good
5. Aaron - It's In the Way You Love Me - I thought he sounded good but looked sick or on the verge of tears.
6. Siobhan - Any Man of Mine - Am I the only one who thinks that the judges all must've been ON something. I thought she murdered that song - what a horrible song choice! Of all the contestants to NOT do a country vibe, I would have picked her, yet they gave her accolades! I just didn't get it AT ALL

I think it's a toss-up between Siobhan and Aaron, but my bets are on Aaron to go

Sunday, April 25, 2010

We have a winner!

Using to generate a number, the winner of my giveaway has been selected! Entry #17 was Missy! I'll be contacting you via email! Congratulations!

17 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Scrubbing Bubbles

I'm a member of a really awesome consumer group called (see the link in my right side-bar if you'd like to join)! They send you a product, ask you to test it out & then rely on your word-of-mouth opinions to make a "buzz" about the product.

The most recent product they sent me came about 2 weeks ago. I'll say that I've been a bad girl & hadn't done anything with it until today, but things have been quite busy around here, so I hope they'll forgive me!

I took it out of the box and was really impressed with how easy it was to set up! There aren't a ton of complicated parts (the unit, the refill & the hanger) & there's really no assembly to do (the 3 parts just need to be snapped together! You just hook it up to the shower-head and you're good to go! I will say that I was a bit disappointed that the starter kit didn't come complete with the 4 AA batteries that are required to run the unit, but I understand that this is the same kit that consumers buy in the store, therefore they would also not receive batteries....and that beggars can't be choosy!

I plan to update in another week with another review of how well the unit cleans my shower. I am especially interested in this, with my hard water issues! In the mean time, if you would like to try one out for yourself, I have coupons for $3 off & I would be glad to send them to my readers! Just leave a comment with your email address & I'll be in touch! This coupon would be a great deal, especially when stacked with a retailer coupon (Target, Rite-Aid, etc)!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Another Great Day at Rite Aid

This week is a fabulous week for Rite-Aid savings!! Sorry it's a bad pic but here's what I got at Rite-Aid this week, followed by the breakdown!

Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets (2 pkg): reg $8.99 ea, on sale for BOGO, (2) $2/1 coupons from the Sunday paper plus a $2/1 Rite-Aid video values coupon: $1.50 each
GE Reveal Light bulbs (two 4-packs): reg $5.29 ea, on sale for $3 ea, $4 SCR on 2, (2) $1/1 coupons from the Sunday paper: FREE
TGIF Potato Skins: reg $2.19, on sale for $.99, $1.50 printable coupon: FREE (plus $.51 overage)
Kotex Ultra Thin Liners: reg $4.49, on sale for $3.49, SCR for $3.49, $1 coupon: FREE (plus $1 overage)
Old Spice Body Wash (2 bottles): reg $4.79 ea, on sale for $3.50, $1 SCR/2, BOGO coupon from Sunday paper: $1.25 ea
Rite-Aid brand antacid: reg $3.99, on sale for $3.59

I also used a $5/$25 purchase that came with my new Rite-Aid Wellness Rewards card

In total (after single-check rebates are returned), I bought $48.81 worth of merchandise for $3.11!!!!!

Don't forget to check out my giveaway here!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Giveaway: Swarovski Pearl Bling ring

I'm so excited to be hosting my first-ever giveaway on my blog!

A few weeks ago, I won a ring from You may remember the post where I blogged about them; they're an online designer/seller of awesome chunky jewelry designs. When I got the ring in the mail, I couldn't have been happier! You see, originally, I was supposed to get a Swarovski crystal ring, but the designer emailed me and said that they were out of the particular bead needed to make the type of ring that I had won... She asked if I would like to choose a ring from their Swarovski pearl ring line instead. I was super excited since I immediately fell in love with this ring & thought it would be the perfect accessory for a dress that I'm wearing to a friend's wedding in May.

Now I have a second ring, exactly like my own, to give away to one of my lucky readers! There are several ways to enter & you may submit as many entries as you like, but the first is required! Please submit a separate comment for each entry method used.

Ways to enter:
1) Go to the Chunky Bling website & enter their Name that Bling weekly contest. After doing so, come back here & submit the jewelry name that you entered in the contest. (REQUIRED)
2) Become a fan of Chunky Bling on Facebook
3) Blog about this giveaway & then comment here with a link to your blog entry
4) Tell me how you found out about this giveaway (Do you know me? Did you find me through a giveaway site?)
5) Share a personal connection you have (self, friend, family member) with infertility
6) Become a follower of my blog (or let me know if you already are one!)

Chunky Bling has also set up a coupon code exclusively for readers of my blog! Enter TERI805 at checkout to receive 15% off your order through May 2nd.

One winner will be chosen via at noon on April 25th (EST). Good Luck!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rite Aid Deals & updates

Things have been crazy around here. Preschool is very busy & becoming slowly more stressful as the end of the year/graduation approaches. We just found out yesterday that we're getting these my-boss-has-gone-off-the-deep-end evaluations at some point before the end of the year. Seriously. These evals are like 5 pages long & rate you on about 50 things on a scale of 1-5 where she says "3 is good, expect lots of 3s" - um no - a 3 is NOT good - a 3 would be like her child bringing home a C and I know that is not acceptable. Especially when the next category up says that a 4 is "above average" - so that shows you right there that 3 is just average. I'm not worried about it though. I certainly don't care what she thinks when I've gotten glowing recommendations from principals and fellow teachers over the years. It just makes me mad that she thinks she can come in and pick apart our teaching techniques when A) no one is required to be a certified teacher at our preschool & therefore they don't have the benefit of years of college preparation in planning and implementation and B) she herself was about as lazy as they came when she was a teacher at our facility. UGH!

I released my evaluation stress with a bit of retail therapy after work today. I went to Rite-Aid to take advantage of a few sales/coupons & also to spend my $20 gift certificate that was to expire at the end of the month.

Brita Filter: $21.99 - $2 Video Values coupon = $19.99
Ziploc Slider Bags: originally $2.99 each, on sale for $1.99 each, coupon for BOGO: $1 each
Puffs Plus: originally $1.99, on sale for $.99, coupon for $1 = $.01 money maker
Complete Contact Solution: originally $9.99, on sale for $7.99, single-check rebate $7.99: FREE
Schick Hydro Razor: originally $9.99, on sale for $8.99, coupon for $2 off, single-check rebate $6: $.99

I used a $5/$20 Video Values coupon plus my $20 gift certificate & ended up spending $12.67 out of pocket on $49.95 worth of merchandise. I will be getting $13.99 back in single-check rebates, making this trip a $1.32 money maker!

I plan to go back tomorrow to take advantage of the $6 off zyrtec coupon I found online plus the $2 off zyrtec coupon I printed off the Rite Aid Video Values site.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Giveaway coming soon!

Keep your eyes peeled for a giveaway next week & an update, too - I'm so sorry, but I haven't really had anything blog-worthy just yet...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Idol Chat: Top 9

Much to my surprise, I wasn't too enthralled by yesterday's show. I am a HUGE Beatles fan, so I was excited for it, but only a couple of performances really "did it" for me this week! I did love seeing the little extras to learn more about their personalities. It makes me kind of like them all and not want to choose someone to go home....

1. Lee - Hey Jude - G keeps saying he sounds just like the guy from the Counting Crows. I love the gravelly-ness of his voice. I thought the song was awesome, but agreed that the bagpipe was a bit out of place.
2. Casey - Jealous Guy - I wasn't familiar with his song so it was a little harder for me to get into but I thought he was really great again last night. I like how he held back a bit to highlight the vocals.
3. Crystal - Come Together - good solid performance for her. Very much in her vibe, but nothing super outstanding about the song in general.
4. Mike - Eleanor Rigby - I agreed with the judges that there were certain parts that just didn't do it for me, but the break down at the end was awesome - it almost put me in mind a bit of Gangster's Paradise (which is kinda weird, I guess).
5. Katie - Let it Be - this is such a pure-vocal song that her rendition left me feeling a little flat at the end. I was expecting a little more power behind her voice, etc, but the judges loved it, so what do I know?
6. Siobhan - Across the Universe - I thought it was nice that she held back and didn't scream this week, but I was definitely sleepy by the end.
7. Tim - All My Lovin - Definitely Tim's best performance, IMO. I like that he was playing the guitar...he may have bought himself one more week???
8. Andrew - Can't Buy Me Love - I liked the vibe of the song (especially the funk near the middle) & that it was still enough like the original, yet showed some of his personality. However, I thought that the trumpets along with the acoustic guitar made it sound kind of disjointed.
9. Aaron - Long & Winding Road - very true to his style, but when will he break out? I think he's treading into dangerous territory by setting himself up as the "ballad guy".

Bottom 3 Tonight: Katie, Andrew & Tim/Aaron (though I am going to say Tim for the record, just because he's been to the bottom 3 before and Aaron hasn't)
Going home: Andrew

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Idol Chat: Top 10

Sorry I haven't updated about my life in a while - I promise I will very soon!

When G & I were talking about last night's show, I asked him if he knew what the theme was. He said, hopefully not "Boring" LOL! Here they are from the best to the worst (in my opinion, of course!)

1. Lee - Treat Her Like a Lady - Lee was awesome last night & totally rocked the house! Great vibe for him & I LOVED it! What a confidence builder for him
2. Crystal - Midnight Train - neat to see her doing something different & I agree with Simon for her to be true to who she is. I'm glad to see she can be versatile! That's talent!
3. Casey - Hold On, I'm Coming - besides the fact that he looked like he was hopped up on something, I really liked this performance. It seemed a little safe, but I loved seeing him rock out on the guitar & I did like that he had more energy than in weeks past.
4. Mike - Ready for Love - although I'm tired of him doing sappy love songs & really hoped to see him embrace his inner soul, I thought he picked a good song for his voice. He had a great, clean pitch/tone, but it seemed a little bit boring.
5. Katie - Chain of Fools - First of all, what was with her outfit? Her hair and earrings (BIG!) were cute, but her outfit was horrible. I agreed with Simon that it did seem somewhat robotic & put her back into the "old" vibe...she should've done a Christina or Alicia Keys song, IMO. Definitely not as pitchy as past weeks.
6. Andrew - Forever - so much better than weeks past, but I didn't think it was as super-wonderful as the judges said. I think they just liked that he went for the acoustic vibe again since that seems to work for him.
7. Aaron - Aint No Sunshine - perfect vibe for him - I felt like he should've built more throughout the song but overall another solid (albeit predictable) performance for Aaron. I still think he's adorable.
8. Siobhan - Through the Fire - Pitchier than I've ever heard her be. Not the best song choice, IMO & I've had enough with the screaming, really. I was very "bleh" about this performance.
9. Tim - Sweet Love - It seemed like Tim had some mic issues at the beginning of this song. He looked kind of uncomfortable (maybe because of the "connect" advice that Usher gave him - he was almost looking creepily at the camera). Even so, it was one of his better performances.
10. Didi - What Becomes of the Broken Hearted - I thought this was an interesting song choice & came across as very show-tunesy. It was very disjointed throughout & I just didn't get it. And what makes me sad about that is that she has such a neat voice but she chooses terrible songs to showcase that. If she makes it through far enough, I think her saving grace would be when the judges choose the songs for them!

Bottom 3: Tim, Didi, Katie/Andrew (can't decide - if I had to choose, I would say Katie)
Going home: Tim

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Idol Chat: Top 11

It seems we're back to the old, torturous idol of past weeks now....I wasn't really a HUGE fan of too many performances last night. In order from best to worst...

1. Crystal - Bobby McGee - I was sitting at my computer last night while watching idol & for a few moments, I forgot that I was even listening to an Idol contestant. She's just so much more consistent than EVERYONE else on the show & while I may not always love her song choice (she's sort of in a rut, IMO), she knows who she is & stays true to that each week. I predict her to win this season.

2. Casey - The Power of Love - I have to say that it's a pretty sad night when we couldn't find anything better than a good rendition of Huey Lewis to come in at #2...I love the rasp of his voice (perfect for that song) & how he's showing more versatility each week.

3. Siobhan - Superstition - Dear Siobhan, just because you can shriek every week doesn't mean you should. That last note did not make my ears happy. Sincerely, Me

4. Lee - The Letter - I liked the bluesy, big-band vibe of the song. I felt like he got into it more than in past weeks but it was a bit safe. I'm still a Lee fan and I would've put him above Siobhan if I hadn't let the judges persuade me by their comments about the two contestants.

5. Didi - You're No Good - I LOVE Didi's voice & I do think that she was better than the judges gave her credit for (just KIND OF pitchy), but I do agree that the slowed tempo of the song made it very dramatic & theatrical almost.

6. Aaron - I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing - great song choice for Aaron again, but he's becoming predictable in that he always chooses the ballads. I'd like to see more personality from him by rocking it out or something. I think he's so adorable :)

7. Mike - When a Man Loves a Woman - I loved the sincerity and power in Mike's voice, however I do feel as though he's plateaued somewhat. I would love to see him really knock it out of the park next week.

8. Katie - Big Girls Don't Cry - I have no idea what the judges were hearing last night but that performance was a hot mess - does anyone agree with me? She was just pitchy and all over the place. I've been expecting so much more from her based on what we'd seen in the past.

9. Andrew - Heard it Through the Grapevine - I thought the performance overall was kind of safe and didn't really have any big elements to show off what he could do. I do think it's good that Miley got him to ditch the guitar because I have a hard time seeing how it would have really fit with the vibe of the song. There was nothing particularly outstanding about his performance & it lacked energy.

10. Tim - Crazy Little Thing Called Love - I agree with the judges that it was kind of corny, but I sort of missed Kara's point about how he's strutting around & sliding around up there like he's an established star & he's not - isn't the point to ENTERTAIN? It was an OK vocal, but not winner material. This song is always the kiss of death (David Radford - cutie crooner several seasons back performed it and got cut that week!) **VFTW candidate still

11. Paige - Against All Odds - not much to say about this one. She totally butchered that song - it was pitchy and all over the place throughout. There really were no positive elements other than she looked really cute.

Bottom 3: Paige, Tim & Andrew.
Going Home: Paige

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Idol Chat: Top 12

DH & I agreed that last night was BY FAR the best (finally!) Idol episode so far this season...I wasn't bored to tears, despite the fact that I'm not too well-versed on Stones songs, so I only knew about 5 of them. I didn't completely agree with the judges on some (so you'll notice that my favorite was not their favorite)...I think it's that whole thing where it sounds so much different at home & they'll see that when they watch it back. I just didn't get a couple of the performances like they did! Share your thoughts & comments! DISCUSS! smile(Remember! These are just my/our opinions!!)

Here they are from my favorite to least favorite!

1. Didi - Play with Fire - what a come-back! I didn't know her song but I loved the intensity & passion in her voice. Defintely her best performance since Hollywood!
2. Crystal - You Can't Always Get What You Want - She's a great performer and she performs like a true star who knows herself and her strengths/limitations. She chose a great song, but I felt it was a bit safe. She's my clear pick to win the comp, but I think she's in danger of all of her songs sounding the same over and over. I think next week she might need to ditch the guitar and really rock it out or do a ballad to surprise everyone.
3. Aaron - Angie - what a doll & from (sort-of) central PA, so I love that, too! I thought the song was a PERFECT choice for him...right before Simon said that he sounded like a Justin Timberlake or something, I told G that he sounded like Jesse McCartney or Nick Carter...
4. Michael - Miss You - loved to see him rock it out and go soulful/bluesy after his serious song last week. The falsetto was pretty good & I love his confidence. I didn't think Simon should be preaching to a brotha' about his corny dancing!! :)
5. Siobhan - Paint it Black - I was excited to hear that she was doing this song because it's my favorite Stones song (like I said, I don't know many) & I thought it was a great match in that the song is pretty dark & she's so mysterious & different. I was kind of disappointed & didn't really get why the judges were going so crazy over it. I know that musically, she changed the intro by switching up the time signature & I didn't like it at all, which I guess they did (this is the only reason I put her ahead of Lee, because her musical talent is evident). I wanted to see her really rock out & I didn't think that she really did.
6. Lee - Beast of Burden - I loved the John Mayer/Dave Matthews vibe that he has. I did feel like he was holding back a bit, but I did love how his version of the song let the lyrics & vocals shine without all the bells & whistles. I think it suits him perfectly!
****I think these 6 could be the top 6!****
7. Katie - Wild Horses - I thought she did better than the past few weeks, as she was finally strong throughout. We loved how she held back at the beginning and really let it build throughout the song. She's got such a pure, trained tone to her voice that we like, but she's inconsistent.
8. Paige - Honky Tonk Woman - good song choice for her (maybe a little corny, surprisingly Simon didn't say that) & amazing that she had laryngitis. She is definitely the diva of the show, but like Katie, she's inconsistent, especially with song choice.
9. Casey - It's All Over Now - G & I had big hopes for Casey but we thought that his song fell flat - his was one of the the ones that we just didn't "get" like the judges did. We loved the bluesy, almost country/southern rock version of the song, but we weren't impressed with his performance & almost felt like he got lost in the song or behind the beat at times throughout. (As Randy would say, I'm still a fan, dawg!)
10. Andrew - Gimme Shelter - I wasn't familiar w/ his song & he really felt like he was holding back. The song needed more intensity, but much better than his past 2 weeks.
11. Lacey - Ruby Tuesday - I'm afraid this might be the end for poor Lacey. She's one of those ones that just hasn't seem to have gotten her stride yet. The song was a good choice for her, but I felt like it almost had an old-timey vibe to it that made it kind of forgettable, especially as early in the show as she performed. It got better through the 2nd chorus & I agreed w/ Ellen about the whole sitting/standing thing!
12. Tim - Under My Thumb - Oh Tim...dear Tim. What can I say? You're cute but you single-handedly turned off every Rolling Stones star with the beach rendition of that song. VFTW or not, I'm afraid his days are numbered.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (Sunday)!

Here we go with another week's menu! We haven't gotten the details all worked out yet, but here's what it's shaping up like so far...

Sunday - Meatloaf,* peas & garlic mashed potatoes
Monday - quick leftovers from Sunday's dinner before set construction crew @ G's school
Tuesday - chicken fajitas
Wednesday - family night w/ G's family?
Thursday - G's doing dinner! Sloppy joes maybe?
Friday - heading up to my parents' house, so we'll have a late meal of lenten fish dinners when we get there! I am so excited!
Saturday - extended family spaghetti dinner! I'm making Paula Deen's Toffee Gooey Butter Cake for dessert! Yum!

*Mom's Tried & True Meatloaf Recipe

2lb. ground beef
1 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
2tsp salt
1 cup bread crumbs/cracker crumbs/oatmeal combination
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
big squirt of ketchup (1T) plus some for the topping
1 small onion, chopped

1. Heat oven to 350
2. Mix all ingredients & shape into a loaf, smear ketchup over the top
3. Bake 1.5 hr on a wire drip pan, inside a baking dish
4. Remove from oven & let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Idol Chat: Top 16

Before I start posting about the lowdown of this week's Idol shows, I have to throw a question at you...for those of you hanging in there with me, does it bother you that I haven't blogged about IF? For those of you who are IF, would you like to see more posts or does it provide some strange comfort that I'm IF and NOT blogging about it, exclusively? Please give me your feedback...I know this is an IF blog, after all, but I also know that there's life outside of & apart from infertility & I want to know where you stand! Thanks!

Now for the idol week, I'll start up w/ the more in depth coverage of the individual performances, but for now, I'll just do my overall rankings!

The girls were once again very boring in my opinion...:
Crystal (the line there shows how head & shoulders Crystal is over the other my opinion, while they are all very talented, the other girls just pale in comparison to her (and I never thought I'd say that!)
Paige* (VFTW candidate)

I think Crystal, Lily & Siobhan are the only 3 truly safe ones tonight!

The guys (from the best listed first):
Big Mike
Tim (never thought I'd see him up here!)(VFTW candidate)

I think that it was a very mixed up & backwards night for the guys...some of the better ones in my opinion are down at the bottom (Casey, Lee, Andrew) while some of the weaker ones really excelled (Alex, Todrick, Tim - although Alex still does look like a deer in headlights). I don't think Alex or Todrick are completely safe tonight either, though, simply based on prior performances.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Menu Plan Monday!

I'm so excited to be back to menu planning - I don't know why, but it always seems that when my life is busier, I menu plan less...which is ridiculous since it makes my life SO much easier during the week. If I get a full-time job next year, the one thing I must be better at is meal-planning so that I can continue to make fresh meals each night (meaning cooked, not from a box/package).

Here's what this week looks like:
Sunday - Multi-grain angel hair w/ homemade meatballs, steamed snow peas
Monday - Creamy White Bean Chicken Chili (omitting the green chili peppers this first time)
Tuesday - Skillet Chili Macaroni
Wednesday - Pretzel Crusted Chicken for MIL's birthday
Thursday - leftovers?
Friday - on my own since DH will be in NYC chaperoning a trip to see Wicked (**jealous**)

Friday, March 05, 2010

More savings and a recipe!

Ok, I can take it...raise your hand if you're sick of hearing (reading?) me blog about my Rite-Aid savings and nothing else...anyone?? No? Ok, great, then I'll continue to tell you about them. I do promise to throw in a few posts about other goings-on in the upcoming weeks, though, ok? And I plan to be better about MPMs (menu-plan Mondays), too!

Today, I made a quick pit-stop at Rite-Aid to take advantage of a couple of great sales they were having. When all was said and done, I walked out of the store with $32 worth of merchandise for $8.20 - that's a 75% savings!!! I'll insert a pic later when G comes home and lets me use his camera phone or camera (the camera part of my phone went kerplooey!)
As always seems to happen, I go in to Rite-Aid, coupons in hand, in hopes of getting just a few specific things, which my store just never seems to carry (certain sizes of certain brands...Scott Extra Soft TP in the larger multi-pack sizes, for example). Today was no exception, but I made the best of it anyway. Here's the breakdown of what I got....

  • Charmin Basic 12-pack - reg. $8.49 - $1 coupon = $7.49
  • 2 - 20 pack Kotex liners - reg $1.49 each - on sale for $.99 each - $2/2 coupon = $.02 overage!
  • Excedrin 24ct. - reg. $4.99 - free product coupon = free!
  • Finish Quantum Dishwasher Tabs - reg $6.49 - clearance 50% off - $1 VideoValues coupon = $2.24
  • 2 - Kashi Heart to Heart cereals - reg $4.99 each - on sale BOGO - $1.50 printable coupon = $1.74 each!
  • I also had a $5/$20 Video Values coupon!
And I'll leave you with our dinner plans for tonight...even though G & I are now Methodist & therefore no longer need to abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent, we were both raised with meat-free Fridays, so we continue the tradition in our home as much as possible. G is ecstatic because tonight for dinner we're having Pioneer Woman's French Onion Soup! It takes a while to make (mostly in the oven) but the results are well worth it - this soup is amazing!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bloggin 'bout bling!

If you know me, you know that I love to shop, but I don't love to spend a lot of money...that's why I love the convenience of internet shopping. There are always thousands of options (and discounts!) right at your fingertips! A while ago, I stumbled upon & I think it is just awesome! The pieces are both trendy & affordable! You can find everything there from chunky jewelry to interchangeable beaded watches and interchangeable charm necklaces. You can even host an online jewelry party to share with your family and friends! You definitely need to check out this site! Look them up on facebook for more info, as well!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Was going to do MPM

Hey everyone! I was going to do an MPM this week when I realized that it would only look like this:

Sunday - stromboli leftovers from Thursday
Monday - Chinese leftovers from Sunday's lunch
Tuesday - family night w/ G's family ?
Wednesday - lasagna leftovers from Saturday
Thursday - Roast Chicken
Friday - Broccoli & Cheese rice

--and that's pretty boring, right?

I had heard from another online couponing buddy that Wal-mart (ack! My least favorite place to shop!) would be discounting their V-day decor/gifts to 75% off on Saturday. My mom and I headed over to try and find some good end-of-year gifts for our kids at great prices! We ended up finding 4-packs of heart-shaped sunglasses (you have no idea how much 4-5 yr-olds love those things!) and 6-packs of stampers, both for $.50 a package. That came out to about $.12 per pair of glasses and less than $.09 per stamper. This really helps me to stretch my gift giving dollars for my kids since it does come out of my own pocket! I usually end up spending $2 per child (I have 15 students), so the fact that I've just used about $.21 per child so far gives me some wiggle room!

Using coupons, I also got a 1lb package of lunch meat for $1 (using $2 off Land-o-Frost printable), Cetaphil daily face wash for $.87 (click on the "my Cetaphil" in the bottom left corner to take their survey, then you'll get a $5 printable in your email), a cute Schick razor for $.98 - a $4 value, 2 Reach dental floss for $.03 overage each & a free travel size Downy Wrinkle Release. We also paid full price for a couple small things. In total, we got 22 items for $17! That's well under $1 per item, including meat and cheese on that bill! Not bad at all!!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Almost there!

I can very excitedly say that cheerleading season is almost over and I couldn't be more anxious for it to end! We've had so much drama with the girls (I know, I know, it's par for the course when you throw 25 middle school girls together) that I'm just ready for a break! I haven't decided yet if I'll do it next year or not. A large part will depend on whether or not I get a regular teaching much as I would love to work with the group of 7th graders we have this year, I still feel like the cons outweigh the pros...I'm just SO exhausted!

Today was a pretty good shopping day at Weis and Rite Aid, so I thought I'd document my savings for you! I didn't need much from Weis but when I saw some of the great sales that paired with my coupons, I couldn't pass them up! I stuck pretty closely to my $50/week budget, only going over by $4.03.

Some of my best deals were:

  • 2 free bottles of International Delights coffee creamers (free product coupons, originally $1.50 each)
  • Wheatables Crackers, originally $3.69, on sale for 2/$4, plus I had 2 coupons for $1.50/1 box, so I got each box for only $.50!
  • Chicken breasts were on sale for $1.69/lb.
  • Lipton Onion soup mix (originally $1.39/box) was on sale for $1.25/box, plus I had a coupon that doubled to $1/2 boxes, making mine $.75/box
  • Free 1/2 gal of chocolate milk w/ purchase of 2 gallons of white milk
  • Finally, the small size bottle of Tabasco sauce (originally $1.39) was on sale for $1 & I had a coupon for $1/1, making it free!

In all, I spent $54.03 on $87.75 worth of groceries, with a 38% total savings ($33.72)...which isn't great, but after looking at my bill, most of what I got was produce

At Rite Aid, I wanted to take advantage of a couple rebates and free-product coupons. I spent $8.91 OOP for $32.72 worth of merchandise. 2 of the products qualify for Single-Check Rebates, totaling $9.99, making this trip a $1.08 money-maker! Here is the breakdown:

RiceWorks rice chips reg. $3.29, on sale for $2.50, $1 off coupon: $1.50
Stacy's Pita Chips reg. $3.29, on sale for $2.50, free product coupon: free!
Always Infinity 18 ct reg. $5.29, free product coupon: free!
Advil Liquid Gels 40ct reg. $6.99, on sale for $4.49, $2/1 mfg coupon, $1 SCR: $1.49 after discounts
AMO Complete contact lens solution reg. $9.99, on sale for $7.99, SCR for $7.99, $2 mfg coupon: $2 money maker!
3 packs of gum @ $1.29 each (used for filler to fulfill my $5/$25 coupon)

Between the two trips, I scored $120.47 worth of merchandise for $52.95, a 56% savings...not my best trip, but definitely not bad at all!!!

As for the infertility world...I'm waiting on AF to possibly get started on our FET probably won't hear much from me on that, though!