I fully intended my next blog post (this one!) to include pics of the dresser project, and pics of what else I have been sewing, and pics of organizing toys, but here I sit with my laptop not attached to my hard drive, (external hard drive where I store all my files/pics) and so I really really REALLY don't want to leave this cushy spot and blog from that hard chair at the desk.... so those things might have to wait.
The kids are down for a little "quiet time" - which is code for "If I don't say the word nap you won't have a hysterical meltdown and if I let you snuggle in your freshly made pajamas in your warm bed while watching some little Einstiens, you might just happen to fall asleep on your own and I can have a few moments of peace to gather my thoughts and make supper." So far, so good. Of course Marek just nursed and went right to sleep. I normally wouldn't be to thrilled with this late of a nap (it's almost 5:30pm and my kids usually nap anywhere from 2:30-3:30pm) but we have had a busy day and I know that they are both just so sleepy, and would be evil children by bedtime... so a little snooze won't hurt them (or me.)
We got up and got dressed and ate our breakfast (our current favorite is multigrain cheerios with sliced bananas and milk) and then we met our neighbors Elizabeth, Kelsea, and Jadeyn for a nice long walk (2.5 miles we believe) around town, and some time at the thawed out playground (slides and swings and merry-go-rounds! yay!) which was really awesome and it felt so good to breathe in all that fresh air. I can feel some activity has done me good mentally and my arms and legs too! The kids played well and we had a minimal amount of meltdowns and we only had to make yellow snow once (why oh why couldn't the park bathrooms be unlocked?!) so it was a pretty successful morning. We came home to lunch (soup for mom, spaghettios with meatballs for kids, which was a treat!) and then we played. And played. And played. And I made Ardyn another pajama dress (pics later, I promise. I have three more that I have made that you haven't seen yet :) and then Grandma Deb stopped by for a nice little visit between haircut and chiro. appointments.
The kids wanted a snack so we had apple slices and milk, and Ardyn requested cheetos so I gave her a little handful of those too. She was on cloud 9. Now they are resting peacefully, the dog is on the couch, and I have snuggled in my own bed to blog and perhaps watch some TV. I could be folding diapers, but the house is all picked up and the dishes are all done, so really it's not rocket science that mommy deserves a break. right?
Last night was a great MOPS meeting (aren't they ALL!?) where we had Breakfast for supper. We also had some really cute craft ideas and kids' songs and poems from Joyce, who provides us with a little monthly "newsletter" of preschool ideas (she is the teacher for the church's preschool, which we just registered Ardyn for next year. I am SUPER excited about it!)
Our group is a rapidly growing group of awesome women, and it is crazy because sometimes we don't get a chance to talk to everyone, and it can be like "Oh man, I saw you, but we didn't get time to talk!" After the meeting, I ran to Wal-mart because I had some pajamas that I needed to exchange. For years (and I mean years) if I see something I like and it's the end of the season, I buy the item to ensure that I get the size I want for the next year, and then keep the receipt and keep the tags/packaging on, and if they go on clearance, you can go back and present the receipt and the items and get the price difference. Most people don't even know you can do that apparently (I thought that was common knowledge) but it turns out that this year they have started to change their policies. You CAN return them, but the only way you can get the actual price difference is if the price is put on ROLLBACK and not on CLEARANCE. However if your items are in the correct time frame (which of course mine are) with receipt, you CAN return them and then use the money to buy the clearance items (it's really the same thing) EXCEPT some people won't let you buy the ones that you just returned. Although, last night, that turned out to work in my favor.
Because they wouldn't give me the price difference, they told me that I could return them and then go into the store and buy the ones that WERE on clearance... no problem. What I had were kids' pajamas. Ever since having kids, I have bought Gerber 2-packs of sleepers. They were $9.50 this year, but at the end of the season, they go on clearance pretty cheap. So I have never bought them at the beginning of the year... I always but the kids' clothes on clearance for the next year. While this can be a bit difficult when they are smaller, once they hit toddler sizes, they don't grow as quickly, and so it can be a great great great way to save money. It really is helpful, but Evan hates all the totes of kids clothes that we have in the attic. And now not only do we have girl clothes, but we have BOY clothes, so double what we have packed up there. I generally have Marek clothed until 2T, and have some things for 3T-5T for him as well. I have Ardyn clothed to 4T, with some bigger things here and there. Especially like finding snowpants and coats for like $2 at garage sales, I buy those in advance and just have a list that I keep of what I have and need for future sizes. I am also getting fairly good at estimating shoe sizes for the next year, although that can bite you in the ass here and there as some shoes are pretty seasonal :) But you can't go wrong with cheap tennis shoes, because we always have a good pair and at least one or two "play" tennis shoes in case they get dirty or are in the wash. And you can always use staples like black mary janes.
Anyway, I digress. When I went to go through the clearance PJ's on the shelves, there were a TON. One of the employees mentioned to me that they were going on clearance even more (they were marked at $5 for a two pack) and that they were supposed to be $3, but they had so many price markdowns to do that they hadn't gotten to them yet. So they marked down all the ones that I had in the cart to $3 a two pack. So I had purchased (previously) 4 pair of pj's for each kid for the next winter. That was 4- two packs at $9.50 each, totaling $40 and some odd change after tax. When I returned them, they put $40 on a gift card, so I was able to get 24 pair of pajamas for the same price! Whoot! I got enough for both kids to wear from now until they are in 5T. Gerber jammies run a bit small (especially over cloth diapers stuffed for overnights) so my kids are always sized up. So you should have SEEN my excitement to walk up to the checkout with a whole cart full of PJ's! Yay!
I am also happy because I know that they are starting to change the way they accept returns and they won't refund you easily, so I don't have to do this with PJ's anymore, since I have them covered up to 5T.
But, for example, this spring I will bring down Ardyn's 3T tote from the attic and there will be all sorts of clothes ready to wear, some from garage sales, and some from clearance aisles.... and I will go through and take off the tags and wash them and fill her closet. Right now I am getting ready to pull each kids' tote down and see what type of staples I might still be needing. I am guessing a few pair of short PJ sets for Marek and maybe some solid color T's for each kid. Otherwise, I should be good. I already got them each 4 pair of CROCS on eBay, Marek's were dirt cheap.... I got 4 pair for 99 cents plus shipping. Ardyn's cost a bit more because they were authentic crocs, but they are lightweight and I love crocs in the summer. LOVE them. So really we are just ready to get this time changed and the weather nice!
Last night when I got home I worked on my calendar for the upcoming month. Things are getting busy! We are getting a couple of estimates for a new furnace, EVERYONE in the family has a Doctor's appointment this month, We have the Hearts at Home Conference, we are taking Ardyn to the children's Museum, We are hosting a St Patty's Day Playdate, we are attending two other playdates, I have MOPS again, a MOPS Game night, my monthly Bunco group, The MOPS Pottery Night for moms, Two scrapbooking nights, and we need to go see the Easter Bunny and bake a cake and decorate for Marek's birthday party this month too! We have a birthday party for a friend to attend... and so the calendar is filling up FAST.
I can't believe that Marek is almost 1. It's unbelievable. It's heart wrenching in a lot of ways, this year has gone SO fast, and although I want to have more kids, I often think that there are sometimes circumstances that prevent that, and what IF this is my last baby? That just breaks my heart and I just want to hug him and squeeze him and keep him little forever. Especially when I see that he's gonna just keep getting older and bigger like Ardyn. *tear*
I bought him a few pair of shorts and t-shirts that I will wrap up for his birthday, otherwise I am hoping that people will know that we are already blessed with a zillion toys, and hopefully will get him something inexpensive to open (like an outside toy... bubbles, sandbox or pool toys perhaps) and then maybe some cash or Wal-Mart gift cards so we can get his Graco Nautilus car seat, which will carry him through many years! He might perhaps need some tennis shoes, like size 4's.... since he is just now starting to wear his size 3 New Balance shoes... otherwise he really does have all the clothes he needs for the summer! We bought him a swim trunk/flip flop/rash guard shirt on clearance at Old Navy last year, and I have a ton of clothes.... so should be good to go!
I do wonder if we will have a cozy coupe fight all summer, since we have one cozy coupe and one "other" car... and Ardyn is so attached to the cozy coupe as HER car.... It might be war! We would like to get a pool (like the turtle) with a cover over it, so that we can just leave it filled and keep the water warm and bug free. Those inflatable pools really annoy me, you can't cover them (bugs! leaves!) and you have to blow them up and deflate them, and it drives me bonkers. I just want one that we can fill and leave covered, and dump every once in a while. Seriously, I think it's probably good practice to dump it after use, and then fill it right back up and cover it so that the next time you want to use it, the water is warm. I just feel horrible sticking a baby into a freezing cold pool with water from the hose.
I can't wait for the kids to play in the sandbox, and I wonder how much sand Marek is going to eat? It will be interesting!