Monthly Archives: October 2008

Frugal Friday

We are living on a tighter than usual budget right now since DH is forgoing his commission check, so I’ve been enjoying the Frugal Friday blog posts around the internet.

My contribution to Frugal Friday is a relatively new discovery of mine — Redbox. It’s a stand alone DVD kiosk that is located at McDonalds and grocery stores throughout the country. The rentals cost just $1 a night. We use the Redbox at Hy-Vee’s mostly, but a nearby gas station, Casey’s General Store, has one outside. We’re still waiting for the even closer neighborhood McDonald’s to get one, but no such luck yet.

One dollar for a DVD rental is pretty frugal entertainment, but it gets even better. If you go to the Redbox website you can sign up to receive a free rental code by text message every Monday. Yes, you do have to use the code that day, but Monday night TV is generally pretty bad, so it’s as good a night as any to enjoy a movie, especially since the cold weather season is upon us.

I don’t have a text messaging plan on my phone….(well, I do, but they cost me 20 cents per text)….because I’ve never been able to understand the appeal of texting. I heartily embrace all technology, but the appeal of texting is lost on me. My 16 year-old son, however, only uses his phone to text (do teens ever actually TALK on their phones anymore?) and he has an unlimited texting plan so I signed him up to get the Monday free rental codes. Hey, 20 cents is 20 cents! If I can save it, I will.

Speaking of texting–I’ve figured out a way I can send a text to my son fast and free. I email him text messages. It doesn’t cost me a dime (or rather TWO dimes) and I don’t have to thumb type (ugh). Check with your kid’s cell phone provider to get their “texting email address”. For Sprint, it is XXXXXXXXXX@messaging.sprintpcs.com where the X’s are their full 10 digit phone number.

Be sure to check the Redbox website for the nearest Redbox kiosk to you.

What is your Frugal Friday tip?

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Filed under Debt Reduction, Everyday stuff

I have time to update!

Things have been nuts since DH’s new store opened on October 7th. I’ve been working there, too, in addition to my regular job, so basically I’m at work from 8 am until 10 pm several days a week. There just hasn’t been time for blogging or email….just a few quick minutes for Facebook here and there to keep in touch with family.

The newness of the store is wearing off, so it’s not quite a busy (not necessarily a good thing), but DH is cutting back on hours so I’m working less now. This week I’m off from my “real” job since it’s fall break in our school system, so I thought I’d take a few minutes to blog.

Yesterday we took Baylee to Omaha for two doctor appointments–dental and GI. She was a model patient at both of them, especially the dentist. I don’t think we’ll need to do any more routine cleanings under anesthesia again! Yay! During the appointment I kept thinking “Who are you and what did you do with my daughter??”. She allowed them to do a quick cleaning, cooperated like an angel and they got some good x-rays which sadly revealed she’s missing quite a few adult teeth. The dentist also recommended we consider having orthodontic work done. He knows a great orthodontist that works with special needs kids that is practical as well when it comes to creating treatment plans for children like Baylee. Baylee has a lot of flaring of her front teeth and a severe overbite which makes biting and tearing food difficult for her (though she eats like a champ!). The flaring also means that her front teeth are vulnerable to damage or injury. Colton knocked his upper permanent front tooth out in a bike accident a few years ago, so we know that scenario well.

Last week I wrote a check for Colton’s braces (ouch). I’m not thrilled to have to write another, especially with the uncertain economy, certain recession, and higher tax bill coming with the new administration. We have some time so I think we can probably safely wait for awhile before we seriously consider the orthodontic work to see how things play out economically.

The GI specialist appointment went well, but she recommended that we do another endoscopy because Baylee has been gagging so much lately. Our GI specialist usually lets us get by with a bi-annual endoscopies, but yearly ones are usually recommended for kids with CdLS. We will be scheduling the endoscopy tomorrow to happen within the next two weeks. Back to Omaha we go.

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Filed under Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, Everyday stuff

Special Exposure/Wordless Wednesday

5 Minutes for Special Needs

Cameroid.com Fun

Cameroid.com Fun

Cameroid.com fun. Try it. It’s free! It was the most fun these three have had in a long time. See our Flickr feed for more wacky photos.

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Filed under Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, Special Exposure/Wordless Wednesday

Note to self…

Note to self.....

Note to self.....

Four firefighters, a plumber and 90 minutes later, Dave was freed from his dishroom purgatory with his hand mostly intact.

Who designed a commercial disposal with such a small hole???

Lesson learned.

Sometimes our adventures don’t always involve Baylee. 😉

In case you’re wondering, the rubber spatula was saved.

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CdLS-KIDS Blog Challenge: What’s on your iPod?

I’ve been slacking lately and neglecting my blog.  Things have been crazy at DH’s new Hy-Vee and he is working me to death.   He thinks I’m superwoman or something.  Anyway, since I sleep with the boss, I told him that he needs to work me less….the late nights are killing me.  I can’t seem to get the old “paper route schedule” out of my biological clock.  I think if I didn’t keep waking up at 3:45 am every day, I wouldn’t be so tired.  Who would have thunk I’d still be feeling the effects of the paper route days six months later?

Anyhoo….to the blog challenge.  I have a few minutes before I have to go to work.

This week’s blog challenge:

If you are an iTunes fan, you are probably familiar with their “Celebrity Play Lists” where celebrities tell us what is on their iPods.

Since we are all “celebrities” here on this list, this week’s blog challenge is to blog about what is on YOUR playlist. To keep things simple, just list your top 10 favorite songs or most played songs at this moment in time that are on you iPod/mp3 player/cd player. You can just list them, or you can also elaborate on what appeals to you about that particular song.

Extra credit–music seems to be something most of our kids with CdLS enjoy. What songs, artists or kinds of music does your child with CdLS enjoy most? What role does music play in his or her life?

I love my iPod and iTunes, but I mostly listen to my iPod when I run.  Unfortunately, I haven’t run since the new store opened.  I’m just too beat in the morning.

I love all kinds of music.  You’ll find everything from hard classic rock to pop to bluegrass to classical on my iPod.  However, country music is my first love, and you’ll find that gets the most airplay on my playlists.  I’m anxiously awaiting AC/DC’s new album this week, too.  I’m also digging the new Sugarland song, though I haven’t had a spare moment to download it from iTunes.

As for Baylee, like many kids with CdLS, she loves music.  She has an iPod Shuffle (the clip on one in green), and she loves it.  Unfortunately, it went AWOL this week.  I cannot find it anywhere and she’s been “asking” for it everyday.  She points to both her ears to “ask” for her iPod.  Sorry Baylee, I cannot find it!  She doesn’t seem to know where it went either.  She’s historically been an iPod killer, and has thrown a few in the bathtub or the sink, but for the past year she’s been much nicer to this iPod which she got last Christmas.  If we don’t find this iPod soon, it looks like she’ll probably get another one for Xmas.  Good thing the price has gone down and the storage has gone up.  She doesn’t seem to have a preference for any particular type of music, but I have the Happy Feet soundtrack and several Veggie Tales songs on her iPod, plus many of my favorite country tunes.  Seems to work for her.  She also likes the Cotton Eye Joe song and will attempt to do the dance for it.  However, she cannot listen to a song in its entirety.  She presses the next song button during every song.  Good thing iPods are durable.  I also have to use parental controls set the volume on her iPod to a lower level….she blasts it as loud as she can if I don’t.  Guess she gets that habit from me….I like my music loud.

I have found the iPod is a great calming mechanism for her as she can be very excitable.  If I don’t find her iPod in the next couple of days, I may have to get her an early Christmas present just for my own sanity.

ETA:  The iPod was found!  Baylee is a happy camper.  And so is mom.

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Filed under CdLS-KIDS Blog Challenges, Cornelia de Lange Syndrome

It’s nuts around here….

Things are coming down to the wire right now.  You’d think we’d be more prepared for this because we’ve had about 17 years to prepare, but we aren’t ready.

But finally the day is here…..on Tuesday, DH will finally have state-of-the-art facilities.  They literally went from the worst building to the best.

Since DH is a commissioned employee, this also means our income is being cut in half.  He won’t commission until his department is paid for and in the black.  We went gang busters with Dave’s Ramsey’s debt-free plan anticipating the day when our income would be slashed, but DH’s massive ankle injury in February left him off work for three months right at the moment when we were on the cusp of debt-free-ness.  The dream wasn’t achieved, but it is on hold while we learn to live on half.  We haven’t given up!

In any case, DH is still very excited about finally having the facilities to do things right and eventually generate a great income.  We just have to be patient.

Even though I thought we were living a frugal life before, I’ve really gone into a frugal mode.  It’s amazing what we really don’t need and what we can live without when we have to.   I think also, as I mature, I realize how unimportant “stuff” is.  I take a lesson from Baylee who really needs very little to be happy–water, family, hugs, her dolly, and lately, her iPod which she’s had since Christmas, but only in the last week has cared to use it at all.  Now it’s attached to her permanently and she hasn’t thrown it in the toilet!

Other updates at our house–

Lukas is driving and I worry all the time until he pulls into the driveway.

Lukas has a girlfriend and I worry all the time he’ll make me a grandmother.

Colton gets braces in 2 weeks.  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

DH is at work all the time.  I’m officially a work widow.

All DH can talk about is his new store.  He’s like a kid in a candy store.

Baylee has been having lots of potty accidents.  We don’t know why.  Hopefully this behavior will pass soon.

We took her to Old Navy to get a new pair of jeans.  She’s really filled out this summer, and nothing from last season fits.  Dave went with me.  I quickly took her into the dressing room, got her undressed and into the new pants.  They fit, but she was in a “mood”.  Getting her dressed was frustrating and she thought she was pretty funny fighting me at every step.  I got her dressed, and passed her off to Dave with instructions to take her straight to the car.  Colton was trying on jeans so I would wait for him, then pay for the jeans and meet him at the car.  Just as Dave walked out of the store with her she promptly wet her pants even though I had taken her to the potty less than a half hour ago.  He walked her to the car as she dripped urine all the way while yelling “WET! WET!” to Dave.  It is an outdoor mall, so it was outside, but it was a beautiful fall evening and there were lots of people there to see the little girl with wet pants screaming “WET”.

I’m glad it was Dave and not me.  It was his turn to have an “adventure”.  He has a thick skin and a good sense of humor….most of the time.

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Filed under Cornelia de Lange Syndrome