Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WIP Wednesday

I have gotten several more squares done in the past two weeks, and I think John's blanket is coming along nicely. Instead of being done in time for winter next year, I think I may have it done for our 100 degree days of July. I guess there's no hurry, is there? Oh, and I figured out what my problem is with this blanket, why I keep having to frog sections. I feel like this blanket should require no thought at all since the pattern is so easy; however, it does require a little thought, and that is where I'm messing up. I wish you could see the green up at the top, but I'm excited that there will be more green and maroon as the blanket progresses. Maybe you'll be able to see it when I take the next picture, whenever that is.

What projects are you working on?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday's Tip: Halvsies

I have found that some products are worth paying a little more for, things like Puffs Plus with lotion and Huggies wipes. Puffs Plus with lotion are the best tissues because they do not irritate noses. Remember that sinus infection I had over Christmas? I went through three big boxes of tissues all by myself in a week without a chapped nose because I used these wonderful tissues. Huggies wipes are thicker than the other wipes, so I don't need as many of them for, ah, messy diapers.

However, I also don't want to waste these more expensive products; for example, it seems wasteful to me to use a whole tissue just to wipe a little runny nose. The solution? I cut them in half. That's right, I actually cut my tissues (Puffs Plus with lotion; remember, the good ones) in half. I also cut Huggies wipes in half for Rachel. At the risk of being crude, her little bottom just doesn't need a whole Huggies wipe. I do not cut the wipes we use for Daniel in half, though; he needs the full thing.

At my mother's suggestion a few years ago, I started cutting dryer sheets in half, too. Half a sheet seems to do just as good a job as the whole sheet. (I also don't use dryer sheets in the summer because we have so much humidity that there is absolutely no static cling.)

I don't cut paper towels in half because I buy them already cut in half: Bounty Select-a-Size. We haven't gone completely paper-towel-less, and I don't think we ever will, so it's nice to save money by using only half a paper towel without having to cut it in half myself.

Am I missing anything? Is there anything that you cut in half (or use half of at a time) that saves you money? Please share. I'm always looking for ways to save money.

Monday, March 29, 2010

So Grown Up

I took this picture of Sarah Beth this weekend, and doesn't she look so grown up? I cannot believe how quickly time goes by. In a blink of an eye, Rachel will be this old.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Two Month Update

Rachel is two months old today. I take her to the doctor next week, and I can't wait to see how much she has grown. Those little chicken legs are turning into thunder thighs, and it's so much fun to see! Other than growing, what else is Rachel doing?
  • She still likes to eat once during the night. She has slept through the night a couple of times, but that was after a really rough evening. (I have to admit that I'm ready for a full night's sleep.)
  • Just this week, she has started sleeping in the swing in her room. A good friend lent me her second swing so that I could have one in Rachel's room because both Daniel and Sarah Beth refused to nap anywhere except the swing for the first few months, and I figured Rachel would be the same. It's so nice not to have to worry about Sarah Beth and Daniel making too much noise and waking Rachel up.
  • She has started smiling, although those smiles are still fairly elusive.
  • She is learning to go to sleep on her own. I have to admit that this is my least favorite stage of life, from about six week to three months old. Babies stop sleeping all the time, but they don't know how to go to sleep on their own. So there is a lot of fussing. At least, this is true of my children. And my babies won't cry themselves to sleep.
Similar to a one month old, two month old babies don't do a whole lot...except look precious!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday's Tip: Online Banking

Have you tried online banking yet? I was doubtful at first because I thought it would take a lot of time on the computer: setting up accounts, checking things, and finally paying the bills. While John was on "paternity" leave (he took two weeks off when Rachel was born), he set up an online account with our bank. I'm not sure how long that took, but I don't think it was very long. Then he showed me how to use it. It couldn't be any easier, even to set it up to pay a new bill. Besides saving me time, because it is actually quicker to pay bills online than the "normal" way, it also saves us money because we don't have to buy stamps.

Just to show you how easy it is, I thought I would show you our account.

Just kidding! But you ought to give it a try. Seriously.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Look What I Caught Today!

Rachel started smiling recently, but it is fleeting and elusive, so I haven't even tried to catch it with a camera. I decided to take a few pictures of her this afternoon, and look what I caught!

I was thrilled to get that smile! But then she did me one better.

Not to be outdone, Sarah Beth wanted her picture taken. She made a little fort on the couch with all the pillows and was hiding in it. Isn't she silly?

Of course, Daniel also wanted his picture taken. What a cutie!

What have your children been up to lately?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WIP Wednesday

I have been working and working on this blanket for John because I have had to redo a significant part of each square, except one, for this thing. I keep having to frog whatever square I'm working on and stitch it back. This is unusual for me because I usually learn from my mistakes, at least when I'm crocheting. *Sigh* I think I will blame my problems on lack of sleep. The thing is the pattern is fairly easy, so I don't know why I'm having such problems. Maybe, just maybe, I'll have it done in time for John to use next winter.

This blanket is long and narrow, so I had to take two pictures of it to show you the whole thing. I'm sorry the colors don't show up well in the first one.

I wasn't too sure about that red yarn, but I think it goes well with the other colors. I knew I had picked the right shade of red, however, when John told me that he really liked that color.

Do you see the mistake in the dark blue square? I was too lazy to rip it out and redo it (again!), so I left it. I don't think it's too obvious, actually. Of course, I didn't discover it until I was joining it to the other squares. That's how it's been going with this blanket.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday's Tip: Working with the Time You Have

I don't know what it is, but I seem to nest after the baby is born. I did it with Sarah Beth, and now I'm doing it with Rachel. (We were in the middle of a move with Daniel, so I did it then, too, I suppose.) When I look around the house, I see clutter, inefficiency, and wasted space. I am a little impulsive, too, so I feel like I have to take care of it NOW!!

The problem is (and it sure is a sweet problem) my new little baby. You know how much time a baby takes, and of course, we cannot forget the older two children as well. I stewed over my problems for a while, and I realized that I did not have to tackle the whole house at once. I did not even have to do a whole room or closet at once. I decided to try for fifteen minutes a day. Usually, I can find fifteen minutes, or even five minutes at three different times, per day to work on things. Obviously, that is not enough time to pull everything out of the closet and put it back in reorganized, but it is something. And I've discovered that something is enough. Honestly, I'm amazed at what I have accomplished in these short bursts. And if a day goes by when nothing in this area is accomplished, that's okay, too.

How about you? Do you have a big project that would take a lot of time to complete? Could you work on it a little at a time? Or do you already use this method?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Week and a Half

I cannot believe that it has been a week and a half since I last posted anything new on my blog. Have you wondered where I was? Or have you assumed that I have just been too busy to blog?
I have been fairly busy lately. Just having three children under four makes me busy, especially since one of them is only six weeks old. Yes, she is. Can you believe that it has been that long since she was born?

We are still staying home most of the time, but we have gone out a few times. We went to Laura's house one day last week for lunch and were able to visit with Ivy (who is in town) and another friend. This week I had my six week doctor's appointment, and we went shoe shopping afterwards because the shoe store has a sale going on. We, also, went to church last weekend, but Rachel and I spent most of the time in the nursery. I hoped she would fall asleep in the car on the way and then sleep through the service, but she had other ideas. The church is child-friendly, but a crying baby is a distraction to everyone.

Okay, it does not sound like we have been too busy, does it? But the day to day chores take longer these days, and I had forgotten how much time a baby takes. Honestly, I also haven't had much to say. And when I do find a few minutes to myself, I don't necessarily want to spend it on the computer. Remember, I am working on a blanket for John, and I hope to have it ready for next winter.

Right now, I'm looking forward to having some dessert with friends this afternoon to celebrate a birthday!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

WIP Wednesday

I started the blanket for John this week. I have to admit that I am disappointed by my lack of progress, but I just don't have time to do much crocheting. I really miss it! This blanket seems like it will be very masculine, and I love its texture.

I did finish this baby blanket, but it didn't take much since it just needed to have the loose ends woven in. I really like the color and the pattern. It's too bad that this blanket is so boyish so I cannot use it with Rachel.

Here is a close up so that you can see the color and the pattern a little better.

For more works in progress, or to add your own, head over to the Place of H.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tuesday's Tip -- Websites that Save or Earn You Money

I thought I would start something new with my blog: Tuesday's Tips. Since I know that I don't know everything about being a homemaker, I figure that you don't either. However, I have picked up a few tricks over the years that you may not know, and this will give me the opportunity to share them. I hope that, in return, you will share tips with me that are similar to the tip of the week.

As you probably gleaned from the title of this post, this week's tip is about websites that either pay me or save me money. I'm certainly not growing rich using these websites, but every little bit helps, doesn't it? I'm also not trying to make a lot of money because then it would become work, and I already have a job. Besides, work isn't fun, and I blog because it's fun!
  1. Money Saving Mom. I think most if not all of my readers are already familiar with her blog, but I have to mention it because there are always links to great coupons or freebies on it. She also shows how to save money at various stores among other ways to use your money frugally. I found out about most of the rest of these websites via her blog.
  2. ebates. If you shop online, you need to join ebates. It's free, and when you order from your favorite companies through its website, you can often get cash back. Of course, they don't send you a check until you have earned at least $5, but it's real money. I know there are other sites like this one, but I haven't explored them.
  3. Beruby. This site also pays you, but I don't actually know much about it. I think you can order through it like with ebates and earn cash back, but the companies I shop aren't listed with it. However, it pays you just for visiting its website. I earn $0.01/per day when I visit the site, and $0.005 (yes, that's half a penny) when I visit hotmail and facebook. It certainly isn't much, and I figure it will take about three years to earn the $10 needed to actually get a check, but it's something.
  4. Paper Back Swap. As you know, I love books. I don't just love to read them, but I love to own them. If I let myself, I could bankrupt us just by buying books. I used to order them through amazon, but this site is even cheaper. When you post ten books to swap, you get a credit to order someone else's book. It comes to you absolutely free! But when someone order's one of your books, you have to pay the shipping for it to get to them. In my experience, shipping is usually about $2 which is a bargain for a book. You earn credits by having others request your books. There is also a site for CD's and DVD's.
  5. swagbucks. With this site, you earn swagbucks by searching the internet. Then you can redeem the swagbucks for different things, including gift cards. I have gotten a couple of gift cards to amazon.
There are my favorite websites for earning and saving money. Which ones do you use? Do you know of one that I should add to my list?