Sep 29, 2008

Financial Peace University!

Woohoo! We are going to attend Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University in November at a local church. Woohoo!! I am so excited! :D

Sep 25, 2008

Yay, TWO milestones

So, last night, my little boy slept in underwear and woke up dry!! YAY! I was pretty hesitant to make the plunge since his Fuzzi Bunz were wet every morning when he woke up, but he has been potty trained during the day since August, so hubby convinced me it was time to trust him. I only have one kiddo in diapers now, that means less diapers to wash.

Speaking of the kiddo in diapers... baby girl rolled over from back to belly, and then belly to back this morning. :) This is a day for milestones indeed!

Sep 21, 2008

My freaking grocery store haul

I just got my first AMAZING score at King Soopers today (Kroger), the first time I have ever saved above 34%, I saved 72%!

I got

3 gallons of milk
2 boxes of cereal
2 onions
1 4 pack of cottonelle bath tissue
2 packs of bologna
1 bag of spring mix salad
1 jar grape jelly

Shelf Price - $23.17
I paid $6.57!!

Milk was $1.97 a gallon, -.91*3 or -2.73
Bologna was BOGO, -1.89
Salad was 2/$5, +.75 coupon (dbl +.45) for -1.99
TP was .99, -.50q (dbl -.49) for FREE!
Then I had two $2.00 off q's on anything in the store (I got these my last trip for buying Glade plug in air fresheners)
AND a $5 gc from The Denver Post for subscribing

Woohoo! I saved $16.60!! Plus I got .10 a gallon off my gas to boot!

Sep 19, 2008

I got tagged!

Terri Tagged Me!

Here's the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 6 random things/unspectacular quirks about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

6 Random Things

  1. I am covered in baby poo & breast milk right now, lovely huh? I started leaking while nursing Soph and before I could change my top, she pooped, but because she was nursing it blew out (her diaper gapped just a bit from being on her side). Then she promptly fell asleep. Everyone knows rule #1 of parenting is "NEVER wake a sleeping baby" and since she has not napped today AND has been a pill, we both get to suffer until she wakes up.

  2. I adore documentaries, the more obscure, the better. One I can think of off the top of my head that I loved was "Little Man", or "Born into Brothels", I liked that one too.

  3. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, but no one can tell because rather than organize my garage correctly, I just let it stay dirty. When I vacuum, I have to pull out the hose to get the edges, as I cannot just "trust" the vacuum to get it good enough.

  4. I HATE owing people money. It eats away at me, even if it is just $5. If I win an auction on eBay, I pay for it within seconds of getting the notification because I just cannot stand giving my word to pay something and not paying it. If I forget to pay something, I really makes me feel guilty.

  5. Along the same lines, I almost "dined and dashed" last week without even realizing it. I ate lunch with a couple friends and when we were splitting the bill I misunderstood when she was telling the waitress how to split the bill (and now I feel like an idiot because she meant her daughter's food when she said "I am paying for her too", duh) so when I thanked her as we were getting ready to leave she was like "I didn't get your lunch" and the waitress never gave me a receipt so I just assumed. Thank goodness I caught it in time because I would have left without paying and not known it, OR figured it out at a much later time and felt like an asshole for life (and I would have of course gone back to pay, even if it was months later when I realized).

  6. I wish yahoo IM had a spell check. I adore spell check, and will often copy and paste stuff into Word if it has no spell check. I love Fire Fox for having built in spell check. I have made sure to integrate spell check into Outlook Express any time I set it up. I am not a horrid speller, nor am I a wonderful speller, but it bugs me if I misspell something. - With that said, I am SURE my blog is chock-full of spelling and grammar errors.

So here is who I am going to tag, lets see who does it! :)

  1. Earthmama

  2. Tali (who is probably too busy with school to do it, but check out her blog anyways, her adorable little guy just got his first "boy badge" and he's just too darn cute not to go look at)

  3. Dana (PG-13, or maybe just PG)

  4. Elisa (also PG-13 or just PG depending on your level of prudence

  5. Amy

  6. Allison

Sophia vs. the Government

Two months ago, when we picked up Sophie's birth certificate, I headed to the Social Security office to get her SS card ordered. They would not give me one because I did not have enough documentation to prover her identity, I had a little giggle because she just did not seem to understand by "home birth" I meant "not at the hospital" because she mentioned about a dozen times that "the hospital she was born at was supposed to file that" to "can you get certified copies of her newborn screening from the hospital?" We had only at that point had well baby checks from our midwife as our insurance was also having issues getting her added to our policy.

So time rolls on, the insurance FINALLY adds her to our plan after the papers were submitted a second time Sophie has her well baby exam so I ask her ped to write a letter so I can get her SS card. I get it home to find the doctor has added an i to the end of her last name! I find out yesterday, that the medical group she goes to has a Sophia [our last name] + i in the practice, hence the confusion on the letter. Can you believe it??

Wait, it gets better!

My midwife calls today to see if she had left her air pump & thermometers at my house when she attended my birth (she hadn't) and I asked her if any of her other clients had ever had this nightmare getting their babies numbers. She said "no, it should have come in the mail 4-8 weeks after I submitted the paperwork." I guess in that paperwork packet that Bobby and her filled out to get her birth certificate, ALSO goes to the SSA to get her SS card. I did not know this (I was a little busy the next day when they did the paperwork) and Bobby only remembered after I reminded him (he was a little sleep deprived also). So Jan (midwife) calls her contact in the records division and her checks on her SS card and apparently it was rejected on 6/17 for incorrect characters in the address. Our address is odd because we do not have a N, S, E, or W in the typical sense, it is in the street name itself. So my address is not like 123 N Main, my address is more like 123 Main Ave W, and the sign at the end of the block says something like "Main Ave W". I guess SSA did not like that, and rejected it without notifying Jan or us.

So I call the SSA again and fight with the automated service that wants nothing else but to get me to go to the website or use the automated library, but neither one can answer the question so I hold for about 15 minutes where the woman explains to me that they cannot re-do the paperwork because after 30 days if an application is rejected the info is dumped... BUT since no one *told* us they could not process it, we had no way to *fix* the error.

Since she does not have a photo ID as her second proof of ID, they gave me a list of "acceptable" documentation, most stuff being things she would not have like school records, drivers license, etc. They said I could use her original medical records (which my dr's office cannot release for legal reasons) a certified copy of her records (which she did not know what the difference between a copy & a certified copy was), but not a notarized copy. They would not accept records from my midwife, who is a state licensed, legal medical provider, but they would accept shot records if she had them, which is not even signed by a Dr, but rather initialed by a RN. Whatever.

Jan is sending me Sophie's PKU results which is from the state, and I am hoping her ped mails me a corrected letter soon, so maybe I can brave the trenches of the SSA again next week. I also have to update Austin's social security info anyways, so I am hoping I can kill two birds with one stone so to speak. I hope we can get this done ASAP so we can get her added to his VA benefits. What a pain.

Sophie's pretty face

I called the insurance yesterday to see the status of the referral for Sophie's rash; to my shock and dismay they stated they never received the request! I imagine in the hubbub of the last work day before the holiday weekend it either got forgotten or the person(s) who do the referrals was gone for the day and did not get the message. When I called the ped's office yesterday and explained the situation they said they would get right on it and call me with the answer.

This morning they called me to say the insurance denied my referral because they felt it was unnecessary for her to see a pediatric dermatologist without the referral from a regular dermatologist. They gave me the name of a great dermatologist, but when I called she did not have any appointments until DECEMBER!! I was almost in tears because Children's Hospital would have seen her in 1-2 weeks. So I took the next available with ANY derm. and that was almost a month away.

I am angry, annoyed, and feel guilty. Had I called back on Tuesday after Labor Day she would closer to being seen. I am annoyed my insurance company won't let me go to Children's Hospital. And I am angry my baby girl has to wait another month before someone can tell me what is causing this rash, she is so uncomfortable.

On the positive side, none of the typical eczema treatments are making a difference at all, making me believe it is a bad case of "cradle cap" or something else. Eczema in my mind was kind of the "worst case scenario".

Sep 18, 2008

Frugal Living

You may have noticed a theme lately of grocery shopping on the cheap, to other ways to save. I have been turned on to Dave Ramsey by some of the girls on one of my message boards I go to. I have started listening to him on the radio and DVRing him on TV and I have reserved some of his books at the library... unfortunately he is in high demand and the books have around 80 people in line for them, so I purchased one from eBay and I am going to go through my books to see what I have to sell to local used bookstores and then look to see if they sell any used copies of his books.

So one of the main teachings of Dave Ramsey is his "baby steps" which are found here, but they include:

  1. $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund

  2. Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball

  3. 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings

  4. Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement

  5. College funding for children

  6. Pay off home early

  7. Build wealth and give!
    Invest in mutual funds and real estate

I have reevaluated my thinking and realized even though we have enough to live on, we were not putting enough in savings or towards debt. I have found *simple* expenses to cut and made it a priority to save more on groceries, and eat at home instead of eating out. I found if I look at the sales ads and use that to make my menu, I can get great deals at the store, keep my menu interesting by not making the same 7 things each week. This last trip I got enough meals to last us almost a full month, and I only spent around $150! This includes meat and veggies at every dinner, so I am not skimping on nutrition. I saved almost $100 last week just by shopping from the sales adds and using coupons; since they have the sales flier online at my local stores it is easy to make my list Sunday, organize my coupons, and shop on Monday or Tuesday. I also buy a lot of the sales items and freeze what I don't need for later use, this goes beyond just meat, I also freeze bell peppers, bread, cheese, etc. If I keep this up, I can save 50% of our average grocery bill, and 75% of our food budget, all while improving the foods we eat. The savings can then be passed to my savings account, then we can start snowballing debt to pay off credit cards, and my car loan.

Sep 15, 2008

This is freaking funny!

It had me in tears I was laughing so hard!

Sep 12, 2008

UPS Vs. Microsoft

I forgot to update about my afternoon with UPS yesterday.

So I call UPS with the same song and dance that Bobby had used the night before. They tell me to go ahead and go to our customer service office that is open from 11 am to 6 pm. I get down there with the receipt from us mailing the Xbox to TX, my mortgage statement with mine & Bobby's name on it and our address, and the "we missed you" slip with tracking # and of course the two little ones in tow. I explain that the person who took down my hubby's info spoke broken English, and that he did not verify the spelling of our last name (it was not even misspelled honestly, a it was a whole new word!).

Well the UPS woman said she could not release it because the name was wrong, but that the story is just too crazy NOT to be true. That and he freaking got our name, phone number AND address wrong! Our street starts with J, he spelled it with a G... my street name is super easy, so think "Gar Lids" instead of "Jar Lids".....??

So she called her manager or maybe another co-worker over, they both looked at the receipt, the tracking #, the package, my ID, the mortgage statement, made some jokes, had some laughs and fawned over my kids. I told her we joke that my baby's daddy is the UPS man (since we don't have a milk man) and she said "I will have to tell James I met his daughter, her coloring is a little light though"... LOL

The error his Xbox was apparently a time consuming, impossible, or difficult fix, because the Xbox we got yesterday is brand spankin' new (or refurbished), this *almost* makes up for their clueless phone reps, thank goodness UPS is on the ball!

Sep 11, 2008

Not going to talk politics...

...but if you are a political figure... shouldn't you have a freaking clue about OPSEC???

Can this information hurt me?
Can this information hurt others?
Can this information destroy property?

If yes... SHUT UP!

Photobucket Image Hosting

'nuff said.

Sep 10, 2008

I've lost that loving feeling

In several ways:

Earlier this week I told you how I joined the Grocery Game... well, I found a couple similar sources of the same information.... except it is FREE!

Coupon Mom

Pinching Your Pennies

A Full Cup

Here are just a few to get you started.

Christopher.... that boy is driving me bonkers!! Started today when he came home and told me he had detention for three "refocuses", or reminders to do better. He got his refocuses because he failed to take his science journal to science class... something that would be easy enough to do had he just paid-a-freaking-attention to the teacher, his classmates, etc. Ended when he was told to get ready for bed without finishing his homework because he still was not done at 7:30 pm. He started at 3 pm and had no more homework than normal, he just played around instead of doing his work.

Outsourcing.... Our Xbox is being held for ransom by the shipping company because the person who made the work order did not understand our last name (not a difficult name... think Smith or Jones or Brown). The name he put on the work order does not rhyme with our name, or start with the same letters. He also got our phone number wrong by two digits. So when the delivery company tried to leave the XBox with Austin, he did not feel right leaving it because the names do not match. Bobby spent close to an hour on the phone with the company trying to straighten it out, without any resolution.

Sep 8, 2008

Le Sigh

Still no referral for Sophie for her skin issues, but her face is starting to lighten. My friend is a MA and has been asking around and one of the MDs she works with said it looks (from what he can see) like cradle cap that has spread onto the face. So we used some Selsun Blue (since she already had it on her head) and after one treatment she is looking better, we will do another treatment tonight and see if it improves it some more.

Bobby is almost finished with his first week of school at his new school, and it seems to be going well. I am exploring low cost textbook solutions and playing around with a new program called "The Grocery Game", so far I am saving around 31% off my grocery bill. Had we paid the shelf prices, we would have spent $185.52, instead we spent $128.80 for a savings of $56.72. Not bad for my first week. Now I just have to work on cooking more meals at home and more careful meal planning. I am going to pay closer attention to my frugal living message boards on Diaper Swappers and the Grocery Game board.