Tuesday, May 27, 2008

OOhhh, I love getting a bargain!

So a few months ago, my friend was telling me about how her friend saves tons of money on groceries by subscribing to this online thing. Then this morning I happened to be watching this morning show and they had this lady on that was talking about her website, www.thegrocerygame.com that helps you save money on groceries. I went to the website and it sounds like it must be what my friend had been talking about. Have any of you heard of it? Anyone want to try it with me?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mothers' Day and some other stuff

So I told you how my washing machine broke. Well, after two weeks and a $240 bill, we're enjoying clean stuff again. The silver lining on this dark little cloud? I got to go to the laundromat! Man, what a cool place. I think that was the most peaceful, enjoyable thing I did all week. I went after 9 pm on Tuesday night and was there until 11. The place was all mine, except for a guy who was just finishing up his folding when I got there, and another guy who had taken a shower there (they have showers there, too) and then blow dried his hair and sat to read for a while. As there was no attendant on duty, I may have been freaked out by the possibility of being dragged under the folding counter to be taken advantage of, but I was too caught up in the serenity of the situation and I was not going to let my fears ruin it. I just made sure to look up from my This Old House magazine every few minutes. Besides, my appearance that night was totally appropriate for a laundromat, if you know what I mean. I'm totally kidding. Anyway...after that night, I had a LOT of laundry to fold. Like eight loads.

And I've come to have a love hate relationship with Mothers' Day.

When I got married and became a future mother and then a mother, I was all about taking advantage of every holiday where I could get presents and extra appreciation. I've realized that receiving gifts and extra attention on special occasions is one of my love languages, and Brian has become good at accommodating this, so I loved Mothers' Day. And when Camp was a baby, I was ridiculously naive and I felt like motherhood was a piece-0-cake. I knew my calling as a mother was the most important one a person could have and frankly, I felt like I was doing great at it. So I was totally surprised when my mom told me that she had never really liked Mothers' Day. How could someone not like a day when they are guaranteed to be recognized--even if it just means a cookie or a flower at church or breakfast in bed. It would still be a little more special than a normal day, right? Well, my mom said that all Mothers' Day did for her was remind her of all of the ways she was not a perfect mother. Given the way I feel about my mom, that seemed so ridiculous to me.
But here I am, 29 years old with three kids, and I'm not sure I want Mothers' Day to come yet. I've had this plan the last month and especially this week, that I am going to be the best wife and mother ever so that on Mothers' day, Brian and the kids will feel great about being super nice to me. Although I'm definitely still looking forward to a little extra special treatment, I'm not ready for Mothers' Day to be here because I've managed to screw up another good plan. I think I've managed to nag Brian about something every day this week, and I don't think there has been a day that I haven't yelled several times and handled things poorly with my kids. Dang it. I hate it when I do this. Next year, though, I'm going to be an amazing wife and mother, and I'm going to be excited for Mothers' Day.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Ann, how come you are always talking big about being amazing in the future but you're always failing to be amazing in the present? " Well, you know what? Just be quiet. I'm working on it, alright? These are the things I will be working on this upcoming year:
I will not nag Brian or try to control the way he manages his time. (He is a super hard worker and does well at providing for our family, so I am very rarely justified in nagging him.)
I will not call Brian a jerk or call my kids brats--even under my breath.
I will use greater physical restraint when handling my kids
I will not give guilt trips.
I will try very, very hard not to yell.
Maybe you guys could check up on my progress every now and then. I think that would really help me. Ok. So enough about that.

Do you want to know what I have asked for for Mothers' Day this year? Well, I have been searching for a decorating solution for my big, blank family room wall. Everything I've thought of is either too small for such a big space, or big enough but kind of generic and impersonal looking and way too expensive. So I was looking through my Better Homes and Gardens magazine several weeks ago, when I found my solution. I decided that I was going to get a collection of fern prints (ferns grow all over the place here) from chartingnature.com (see pictures) and mat and frame them and hang them in a grid.

Because the prints are $18 and that doesn't include a mat or frame, I decided I would just get a couple at a time until I had twelve of them. Then I decided that that would take way too long, but buying all of them at once (plus the mats and frames) was definitely out of the question as well. But THEN I saw some fabric in a Ballard Designs catalog that I really like and decided that if I bought one yard of it at $21, I could cut it into six pieces and mat and frame them just like they were prints.

So my current plan is to hang a grid of white frames with six fern prints and six pieces of fabric. So starting this project will be my Mothers' Day gift. What do you think? I hope you can see the prints and fabric in these pictures. I will post pictures of the finished product when I've gotten everything and put it up on my wall.

P.S. Lest you worry for the welfare of my children and husband, I do do a few things well as a mother and wife. I tell them each I love them at least 10 times a day, I am very affectionate with them, I praise them every chance I get, and I fix dinner for them a few times a week.