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Stuttering Shell: November 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And what are you thankful for?

On Wednesday night during our drive to my parents house, Adam and I asked the kids what they were thankful for. Malia's response was short, sweet, simple and to the point -- her family & her friends. When we asked Aidan, he thought for a moment and replied...


And, when asked how many girlfriends he had, he replied, "A hundred of them."

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Are you Ebating?

It's no secret...I love to shop. What I love even more is to get a good deal while shopping...whether that means getting a discount on my purchases or earning some cash back from my purchases. This is why I love Ebates and I am eternally grateful to my dear friend, Emily, for showing me the way!

You can't go wrong, people...just follow this link:

Sign's free. You don't get spammed. They don't sell your name and info. The only thing you have to do is remember to log into your Ebates account any time you wish to make an online purchase and see if that retailer participates. If they do, shop via Ebates' website and start earning some cash back from your purchases.

Still don't believe me? Well, here's a copy of my first "Big Fat Check" as proof. I made $76.72...not too shabby, huh?

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Advocate Spotlight

Guess who is featured in this week's Advocate Spotlight at Method Lust???


Go check it out and "ooh" and "aah" over my time in the spotlight.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

First snow

It snowed yesterday for the first time this year. Nothing stuck...not here in Virginia Beach...but it was still neat and pretty to watch falling down from the sky. Of course, in true Virginia Beach (or maybe it's Hampton Roads overall) fashion, the drive to work was horrible. Absolutely horrible.

And, me being the highly organized and always ready mother than I am (bwahahaha) did NOT take a picture of the fluffy white stuff as it was coming down. Oh, time.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

You are aware of the cost, right?


I wasn't.

Aidan had an appointment with the dermatologist on Wednesday to discuss the molluscum (or is it mollusca if it's more than one??) on his back. It's nothing nasty or's just something kids get. It's a viral thing and it's related to the wart family and it has just been a pain in our rear ends for quite some time now.

The Differin that our pediatrician gave us to use wasn't was just irritating his already sensitive skin. So, after seeing my dermatologist, Aidan was given a prescription for Alavera...or is it's NOT Aloe Vera. Apparently it's a new cream and it's suppose to work like a charm.

I took the prescription to Wal-Mart last night on the way home from work and went back today to pick it up (our Wal-Mart pharmacy is swamped...'tis the season!). I was expecting to have maybe a $20 co-pay...$40 tops. Well, whenever anyone asks you if you are aware of the cost you know that the next sentence isn't going to be good.


I wasn't aware of the cost...all $105 of it. Yes. One hundred and five dollars. One. Oh. Five. For some cream. Cream that is in single-use packets. Aidan's prescription is for double the usual dose of 12 "caplets." That's a lot of money for some cream. A lot.

I didn't get it. I called Adam and he said to go for it, but I opted to call our insurance company for a list of the different drug tiers (the pharmacist called it something else but I don't remember the actual term she used). I plan on calling our insurance tomorrow and then I'll call the dermatologists office to see if there is an alternate cream/medication Aidan can use that won't be so tough on the wallet. If all else fails, then we'll take a holistic approach (which maybe we should have in the first place) and head to the Heritage store for some natural remedy.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ho ho ho...and stuff...

It's bad enough that the radio is already playing holiday music and Santa Claus is already parked in center court at MacArthur Mall.................but I can totally feel my heartstrings being tugged by all things Christmas. As much as the Grinch in me wants to deny it, I need to just face it and realize that the holidays are coming in full force whether I'm ready or not.

Much to my surprise, I've already started shopping for a few gifts here and there. I'm also already thinking about what we'll wear for a family picture AND what kind of pajamas I will get the kids for their annual picture in front of the tree. Heck, I even bought some clear glass ornaments from Michael's to paint, but that is a different blog entry. :)

Every year since Aidan was born (except for 2006 because momma had a brain burp), the kids have worn matching Christmas-themed pajamas and had their picture taken in them. The picture always wound up on our Christmas card for that year.




Wouldn't ya know...the 2006 and 2007 pictures are on the laptop and the laptop is conviently located at the office.

Anyway, it's time to start looking for this years pajama sets so after I hit "Publish Post" I will be on my way to Gymboree's website and Hanna Andersson's website. MAYBE I'll check out The Children's Place, but I am pretty certain I'll find what I need at Gymboree. It's been far too long since I've shopped there and, if I remember correctly, they participate with Ebates!

P.S. Stay on the lookout for my post tomorrow about Ebates...I just received my first "Big Fat Check" in the mail and I made a copy as proof! $76 sent back to me just from shopping online. Yee haw!

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We're headed southbound on Rt. 12...

Well, no, we're not, but if given the chance, we would be! If only the weather were warmer...because Hatteras, North Carolina is one of our favorite places to be. We look foward to making semi-annual treks to our favorite village on Hatteras Island. Sometimes we rent a house, but most of the time we're hanging out in a tent at the NPS site near the Billy Mitchell Airstrip in Frisco. No matter where we stay, it is always a good time for the whole family.
Oh, the memories of a Hatteras vacation from September 2005...

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We're all in this together...

I just want to say that Facebook has gotten me back in touch with so many long, lost friends...over the last few months it's been like a mini high school reunion! It's been so neat to see what everyone has been up to and "ooh" and "aah" over their photos.

Senior year was just over 13 years ago, but Facebook makes it seem like it was only yesterday.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

purging and reorganizing...

So my Spring cleaning has come a bit too late in the year (or maybe it's just early??)...but I'm sitting in my computer room trying to figure out what I'm going to do with the mess I have made in here. This space should be our formal dining room, but considering we are not formal dining people we made this into the computer room/office/catch-all room. It's been everything from the junkyard to the play room. There has been a couch in here and a foosball table in here. Right now, all that's here is a big ole mess.

I've never known what to do with this space. I mean, I know what I want to use it for, but getting it laid out how I want it and making the room how I want it have been challenges since the day we moved into this house.

What I do know is that I don't want to paint it. Three years ago, Jennifer Finch who owns Jaden's Dreaming Tree came over and painted a huge Hatteras mural on two walls. She eventually went on to paint in M & A's bedrooms, but both bedrooms have been painted over since. At any rate, the mural is fabulous and I love it and it goes so well with the "beachy" theme that our house has (ok, so maybe it isn't so beachy cottage-like, but it's my version of a beach cottage, ok?).

Here is a link to the picture of our room (this is the can see the itty, bitty Hatteras lighthouse):

Jennifer has two more pictures of the room posted as well.

Right now I have a computer armoire that has to go. I originally wanted it, but the dark cherry wood just doesn't go with the room. It matches my college diploma's frame, but that's about it. I'd really like to get a new armoire that is a whitewashed wood style, but with the finances being what they are I am going to have to continue to settle for the old computer desk that came from my now EX mother-in-law. I don't think it has any bad ju-ju surrounding it, but maybe a good cleansing ritual wouldn't hurt. I have two bookshelves from Ikea that are not the most spectacular, but they do the job. I also have a small shelving system and small cabinet from Target. In the corner I have an old white cabinet (again from the EX MIL) that holds all of my scrapbooking/crafting supplies.

Ideally I'd like to put a chair, table and lamp in here for reading and just to make the room more cozy, but again with the finances being what they are I probably shouldn't. Besides, Christmas is around the corner and I'll just move the chair out of the living room into this room when we put our tree up.

I suppose it would help to show pictures of the room and how it's laid out...but with the state it's currently in, I'm not going to do that. I do have my pride, ya know! So, for now I guess it's just a work in that I hope to figure out really soon.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

my cell phone can do what?

I really, really, REALLY need to learn how to use my cell phone to it's fullest know, so that way I can justify the really, really, REALLY silly payment.

I'm lucky I know how to answer a phone call and text people. Don't ask me to do anything else with the darned thing.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

We've fallen off the wagon...

For some reason...well, I'm pretty sure that I KNOW the reason...but we've veered off-track and have fallen off of the "save money" wagon. My sister's wedding was last weekend so I know that there was an excess of money spent...mostly on my part. OK, ALL on my part. Some of it was justified and there was no way around it all. Other parts, well, I just really didn't need that new pair of jeans, now did I? But, what can you do? I'm not taking my purchases back -- mostly because it's all been worn by now.

I just have to move forward from here and cut back tremendously. We're in the middle of the month crunch (it happens every month) and with the holidays approaching at ridiculous speed I'm just worried about how we're going to make everything happen.

On the debt front, we are making good progress and our highest interest rate card was transferred to a card with 0% interest until January 2010 with no fees so that is a huge sigh of relief. I feel pretty proud of that accomplishment. Of course, I'll feel even better when it's all paid in full.

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Bow Mania!

I've taken up a new's craziness, I tell ya!

They are not fancy by any stretch of the imagination...nor are they boutique quality, but it was fun making them and I really enjoy it. Given the gloomy weather this weekend, I'm hoping to make more and experiment with putting bows on hair elastics. We'll see how it all goes!!

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Monday, November 10, 2008

The whirlwind wedding weekend is over!

Whew...try saying whirlwind wedding weekend three times fast...I had issues just typing it!

Things turned out for the good...the weather cleared and up we saw the sun, the ceremony was short & sweet, the food at the reception was good, drinks were a-flowin' and my hair didn't loose it's oomph! Yay!

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Here's a combo meal for ya!

Malia & Aidan, Halloween 2008

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I'm ready for a vacation...

I caught myself looking at airfare prices today at Spirit's website. Of course, I was only checking out the fares between D.C. and Cancun -- I looked at dates in January and March.

I'm thinking that this is my subconscious talking...I'm secretly longing for another vacation. Who knows. I think I'm just ready for a break.

Maybe we could swing something in March for Adam's birthday...who knows.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

White Chicken Chili

Since the weather is getting cooler, I thought I would pass along a recipe that I got from my friend, Jenn...and, if I read on Facebook correctly, this is a recipe from her friend, Amy, so thanks Jenn & Amy! Enjoy!

White Chicken Chili
1 T. cumin
1 T. oregano
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (red pepper)
1 small onion, chopped
2 (4 oz) cans diced green chilis
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 (4 oz) can diced jalapeno peppers (add more if you like it hot)
4 cans white beans
1 32 oz. box of chicken broth
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 T. olive oil
1/4-1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
2 c. shredded monterey-jack cheese

Pour olive oil in large pot. Cook onion until tender. Add green chilis, jalapenos, and garlic and cook approx. 3-4 minutes. Add cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin, chicken, chicken broth, cilantro and beans. Mash 1-2 cans of the beans for a thicker consistency, if desired. Bring to a boil, then simmer for appox. 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese just before serving.

Serve with sour cream, diced tomato, extra cheese, and crushed tortilla chips.

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