Thursday, September 28, 2006

Did you know groceries can give you gas?

CHEAP gas!

Grocery store chains that also run gas stations have been selling gas at a lower cost than your average gas station. Many of these grocery store-owned fuel centers offer 3 cent discounts per gallon when you use your club card. Here in Texas, the Randall's grocery store chain has a special extended through mid October. With your club card and a $50 purchase of groceries, they'll discount your gas 10 cents a gallon. If you're a parent with an infant and/or toddler, you're spending $50 on diapers alone. You have to buy groceries, take advantage of this great deal! Get rewarded for all those groceries! You simply pull up to the pump. swipe your club card or enter the phone number associated with the account and the savings are automatic. I bought gas for $1.91 a gallon yesterday.

The grocery store/gas stations I use are Kroger's and Randall's. I would imagine several stores are offering these gas reward discounts in other states as well.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Does this look like a book marker to you?

This was a recent craft project my daughter created at day's supposed to be a book marker...

Okay, I realize maybe my mind is thinking out-of-the-box and in the gutter, but COME ON!!!

I can't be the only parent who did a double-take on this phallic, construction-paper craft.

And look at the top edge-the teacher even made inch marks on the book marker like a ruler-a six inch ruler.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Buying a home & keeping the kids in mind

So I've been living with my sister and her family for just over 3 months now. My husband and I really want to buy a home, but working out the logistics has been tricky. First, we work in different states and second, do we want that responsibility? We've decided it's time to buy-to make a home for our family and for the investment. Now, we're trying to decide the all important location. Plus, having kids complicates the search for the perfect home. To give you an idea of why this decision has been so difficult for us, here's a list of our considerations when buying a home and keeping the kids in mind:

-LOCATION I want to be near family in case of emergencies or for a date night with the hubby. Living near my sister makes the most sense in terms of help, but also means a long commute to work. Does an instant babysitter out weigh the extra expense of gas and toll way charges?
We want to be close to good daycare and excellent public schools.
Is the area prone to flooding? In Houston, you have to worry about flooding during Hurrican Season.
We like being close to downtown Houston & being able to stroll down to cafes and museums, but the area has few sidewalks and lots of thru-traffic-is it a good, safe place for kids to play? The homes are twice the cost as the suburbs, smaller and few have garages. Do we choose the lifestyle we're used to and make it work with kids or assume a more kid-friendly community is best to raise children?
-SCHOOLS I don't want to pay for private schooling when Texas has such great public school districts. We pay more in property taxes here for those great schools-but you get what you're paying for. Which school district is the best for our kids and is consistent?
-SIZE Home size-lots of room for the family also means more to clean and more yard to mow. A 4 bedroom home sounds so appealing, but mowing the yard doesn't. How much is lawn service? Is it comparable to maintenance fees with a town home?
Community size-do we want a small, cozy community where everyone knows each other and there are few or no amenities (pools, etc) or a large, expanded community with lots of extras (fancy pools, parks, playgrounds, hiking trails) and more traffic. Can I live in the suburbs? Is it worth a community pool with a lazy river and a playground that includes a rock wall? And what is the difference in home owner association fees? Property taxes?
-INVESTMENT How's the market in the area we buy? Would the house sell or rent well?
-IMPROVEMENTS/REMODEL Do I have the time, money or inclination to upgrade or fix a house we a buy? If yes, how would the improvements/remodeling effect the kids' safety? My son gets into everything.
-LONG TERM Do we plan on living in the house for the duration of the kids' schooling or jump on a good investment and then find something else? I grew up in the same neighborhood for 14 years and went to elementary, middle and high school with the same kids. I really enjoyed the closeness I shared with my friends and the community. Would my kids want that?
-THE HOME One or two story? how many bedrooms? are the bedrooms the same size so the kids aren't fighting for the larger room? how many bathrooms? attached or detached garage? master bedroom up or downstairs? a large or small lot? square-footage? gas or electric? how old is the roof & AC? New or older home? are appliances included? what type of flooring? storm windows? The list goes on for days...

There are so many things to consider when buying a home especially when kids are in the picture. It's not an easy decision. I didn't even get into the financing aspects. Oh, the HORROR!
But, I look forward to making a HOME for our kids soon. It will all be worth it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I recently took the kids to visit their daddy in Venice, CA. We had a wonderful trip and stayed at a motel right on the beach.
Though I was prepared with several kid-distractions for the flight, my daughter discovered the vomit bag in her front seat pocket. She performed a lil' vomit bag puppet show for her brother and me...

My daughter enjoyed a lift along the Venice boardwalk with her daddy...
The motel was nice, but didn't have a bath. I needed to wash the beach off of the kids and the lovely, yet soft, rain showerhead just wouldn't cut it-trying to hold wet kids up close to the showerhead to get enough power to remove the stubborn sand just seemed a bit too dangerous.
I opted for the large, double kitchen sink...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Favorite Teething Remedy - Best Baby & Child Products Series #3

Special thanks to Taralyn for this post-she introduced me to this amazing teething rememdy.

HUMPHREY'S Teething Tablets No. 3
My son has been very fussy during his teething. Baby Oral gel works pretty good, as does chewing on frozen fruit-but these tablets have really done the trick to relieve his fussiness. It's amazing how quickly the tablets calm down my son. Other remedies only help with the pain and swelling. Humphrey's gives my son (and me) more restful sleep-naturally without having to use so much Tylenol or other medications.

Here's some more info about Humphrey's Teething Tablets from

-Safe effective relief for children
-100% All natural
-Fast acting
-Pleasant tasting
-No side effects
-Not tested on animals
-Contains no animal ingredients
-Made in USA
Temporarily relieves minor irritation, pain and wakefulness associated with teething in infants

Place 1 to 3 pellets in 1/2 teaspoon of water and allow to dissolve
After dissolving, apply to child's gums
If needed, repeat every 2 hours up to 4 times per day
If preferred, mixture may be administered under the tongue
If child is persistently irritable, wakeful and restless, administer 3 pellets before bed - repeat in an hour if necessary or as directed by a healthcare professional

Active Ingredients:
Chamomilla 3X HPUS Chamomile , Coffea Cruda 3X HPUS Coffee Seeds , Belladonna 3X HPUS 0000095% Alkaloids , Calcarea Phosphorica 12X HPUS Calcium Phosphate Ingredients Sucrose NF Sugar

Here's a link to other Humphrey's products

Monday, September 04, 2006

Mini Vans sure can fit a lot of attitude...

Since 8th grade, I've been told being short has many advantages. While that statement may be true, it still gets me a seat at the kiddy table during holidays and in the back of this mini van:

(Does my expression say enough for you...luckily most of the kiddos were preoccupied-remember to be prepared on road trips with kids)