Thursday, January 11, 2018

Stay At Home Mom

Jake just graduated nursing school and has started the job hunting process. My job is allowing me the opportunity to work from home. This all means that I will soon become a stay at home mom.

I have dreamed of this day for so long and have always been so very excited for the opportunity. I couldn't wait to be able to spend every day with my kids and watch every aspect from sun up to sun down, inside and outside, every day of the week. Now that it's finally here - I'm honestly terrified! I have heard so many mom's talk about how hard it is to be a SAHM and I know it's going to be a hard transition for me. I have worked outside the home for so long that I am so afraid of what the future holds. Admitting how afraid I am brings me to tears and I'm sure it makes me sound ridiculous. I love my children and I know we will find a way to make it work for all of us and we will love it; but right now, I'm afraid.

I'm afraid I'll lose my identity and sanity.
I'm afraid we'll get bored and not know what to do
I'm afraid I won't feel appreciated, accomplished or recognized.
I'm afraid I won't fit in all the things I want/need to.
I'm afraid my kids will be disappointed in me.
I'm afraid chaos will ensue and I won't have a system or organization to juggle all the tasks.
I'm afraid my anxiety will take hold or depression will find me.
I'm afraid I won't find my "mom group" that will accept me and my kids.
I'm afraid I won't find my "groove" that all mom's seem to have.
I'm afraid of losing control.
I'm afraid I won't be able to handle it.
I'm afraid I'm going to fail - fail my children, fail myself, fail my husband.
I'm afraid I won't like it as much as I always dreamed I would.

I have so many shining examples of wonderful mothers that I hope I can gleam some knowledge from to make this transition smoother. I can't wait to be home with my kids and love on them every second of every day. I'm going to figure out this stay at home mom thing and face all my fears so I can become a better mom and person overall. In the meantime - I'm totally open to all kinds of play dates and advice anyone has to offer. :)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Life Lately

Just a few cute things I wanted to make a note of that have been going on with our family lately. Cute/silly things the kids have said or things they are interested in as of late.

The kids are so into scary stories right now, Jake and I have gotten pretty creative with our story telling capabilities. I tell a great scary version of basically any Disney movie, just throw in a ghost here or there and they love it!!

The kids are also really into telling jokes right now too - 90% of the jokes go something like this: "What do you call a dog with no feet? .... No feet dog!!! ha ha ha ha ha"

We recently watched the movie SING and the girls have been saying "! Look at her butt!" It's really great when they say this while we are out running errands at stores... not!!

When we were driving back from buying some new summer clothes Marlie told me, "Mom, don't tell dad about how much money we spent on clothes, he might be frustrated."

"Mom, just close your eyes."  Marlie always says this after I tell her not to do something but she wants to do it anyway.

"Is it going to take a long day?" For some reason I think it's so cute that they say this, they usually mean a long time or all day long but just get the words mixed up.

There is ALWAYS a wedding going on - usually it's June getting married to me, or dad, or Lincoln, or one of her "friends." I think in her mind wedding is synonymous with party, so if she's getting married it's because she wants to dance, wear a pretty dress, and carry flowers.

One of June's favorite books right now is a book about a little girl and her dolls. There is a line in the book that says "These are my dollies and I am there Mommy, their names are Annabelle, Betsy and Bonny." Now whenever we ask her what her friends, or dolls, or animals names are it's always "Betsy and Bonny."

The girls have gotten really good at playing with Lincoln and now Marlie thinks she is his official translator. If he says something I can't understand or if he starts crying she will tell me, "Mom, Lincoln needs his bottle." (Or whatever she thinks he needs at the time.) It's really cute.

I told June the other day that I wanted her to stay close to me at the mall because I didn't want her to get lost and she told me - "Mom, no one would take me! They know that I'm yours!!"

Lincoln has a new obsession with spiders; if he sees any lint, crumb, dirt or anything that even slightly resembles a spider he is down on all fours trying to grab it. "PIDER!!"

We lost a balloon in the wind a few weeks back and ever since then Marlie has had a huge fear of the wind. Anytime we go outside she asks me if her ponytail, toy, food, money, etc. is going to blow away. June on the other hand, walks out the front door everyday and unless it's raining she says "It's a beautiful day!" .

The twins learned that the Holy Ghost can help you find lost things, so they are always asking me to "call" the Holy Ghost to come help them find their lost bouncy ball and lost pink bottle.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Extra Income

As Jake is going through nursing school right now money is a little tight so I found a few ways to make a little extra money outside of my full time job. Don't get me wrong - these things individually will in no way supplement a full time income, but they are good little penny pinchers and really add up over time. Jake used to tease me about this all the time but now that he sees how much money we are making/saving from these things he thinks it's great too. Just through scanning items, taking pictures of grocery receipts and doing a few quick activities on these websites/apps throughout the year we were able to pay for all our Christmas and birthday gifts. (This includes cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and our family of 5!!) I've thought about posting this for a few months but always stopped myself because I thought no one would find it interesting and didn't know if it was really worth documenting, then I realized how many blogs and websites I investigated before I found these solid few that worked really well for me. I decided maybe I should do the same for someone else who might be looking for some options. I am no expert and I'm not being sponsored in any way but just wanted to share a few things that I have tried out that really help to supplement our income for anyone else looking for options.

Jake donates plasma 2x a week and makes $25 at the first donation, $30 at the second donation and there is always some sort of bonus for donating a certain amount of times in a month. On average - we make about $250 a month through plasma donations. It usually only takes him 1-2 hrs total (drive time, wait time, donation time), he has been doing this off an on for years!! Plus, you get bonuses for referring people, bonuses for it being your first time, and there's tons of random giveaways and perks. (Jake won an iPad while we were dating through donating plasma.) There are tons of locations for donating plasma, Jake goes to the Grifols Biomat in Orem off University and State. I once tried to donate plasma and threw up... I still got paid for donating even though I didn't make it through a full donation, we decided it probably wasn't worth it for me to try that any more. The first donation takes a little longer because you have to be screened but once you are screened its usually pretty quick.

Office Building Cleaning
Once a week Jake and I clean my office building and it maybe takes us 30 minutes tops. We take the kids and they run around while I empty garbages and Jake cleans toilets. (I got the easy part!!) He also cleans an office building in Orem every night. If you know someone that has a small business and is willing to pay to have their office cleaned it's a really easy side job that provides pretty good money.

Bank Rewards Programs
All banks have some sort of free rewards program whether it be cash, gift cards, trips, presents, etc. Our bank gives points for each dollar you spend and they can be redeemed on their website. We have used this multiple times for gift cards to restaurants and stores.

I never thought I would be a crazy coupon lady but I totally am!! I'm not so ridiculous that I buy like 200 toothbrushes and it only costs me $1, I only use coupons for things that I was already going to buy anyway. Trust me, when I first started using coupons I went crazy and bought a ton of things I didn't even need just because I had a coupon and totally thought it was a great deal even if it wasn't. I have started to restrain myself and use coupons when they actually benefit me, even if that means I sometimes meal plan based on my coupons. :) They are so easy to use and it's become more of a game for me, it's rewarding to see how much money I can save. I mostly get my coupons off Swagbucks (which I will go in detail about further down) or use coupons that come in the mail or are at the stores. There are TONS of coupons websites. I tried to look at several and use those coupons too but it quickly became too much for me. Many blogs are dedicated to couponing that teach you how to find coupons, how to use them to get the most bang for your buck, how to read them properly, etc. It's a full time job - seriously! I know I'm not expert in this area but I do what I can to save here and there.

I showed this app to my sister-in-laws over Thanksgiving and was so happy that were as excited about this app as I am!! You literally make money for walking into stores and for scanning items in the store - THAT'S IT!! I make it a game with my kids sometimes and let them help me find items and scan them - they love it too! It's so easy and quick, I use it every time I go to the mall, grocery shopping, and sometimes I will just drive by the store to get a few extra points. You can also submit your receipt if you buy certain items to get a rebate. Great app!

This site has several options of different things to do to earn money, it also has an app you can use as well. You can play games, watch movie trailers and other video clips, take surveys, shop on other sites and still get points back, download different things for points, clip coupons, sign up for free trials on products, and so much more. Whenever I have downtime at work I will take a few surveys or watch some video clips on my phone to get a few extra points. You can even run videos in the background while you are doing something else and still get points. You have to check out the website to see all the stuff you can do but it's great. It can sometimes be time consuming but I have still gotten several giftcards from this site through minimal effort.

These last 2 are grocery shopping apps - once again, I went crazy when I first downloaded them and bought a ton of stuff just because it was on rebate, but I've learned how to use them better now so that it benefits me more. These apps seem more rewarding to me than couponing for some reason - I think it's the fact that you physically get money back for them in a lump sum instead of just seeing the price on your groceries drop a few cents each trip. It's great!! 

Checkout 51
On this app you can stop at any grocery store and redeem the rebates that are listed on the app. It's great because you can go to any store, but they only have name brand products and sometimes the deals aren't as great on this app as on others. They also mail you a check instead of getting an instant giftcard or money put in your account. Still great, just not my absolute favorite. You have to get a minimum of $20 to cash out, and when you first sign up they give you a $10 bonus.

On this app you can stop at certain stores to get certain rebates. This app often has rebates that are items I would absolutely buy no matter if they were on rebate or not. IE: any brand of milk and you get a 25 cent rebate. Super great!! The turnaround cash back is also super quick. You also have to get a $20 minimum to cash out but if you use the app regularly that comes pretty quick. I have recently hit a hold up with online grocery shopping and this app which has frustrated me but I'm hoping they find a solution.

That's pretty much it for the side "jobs" we have to save a little here and there. To wrap the post up and give you a little motivation I thought I'd share a success story - I went shopping for diapers a few months back and noticed that they were on rebate $4.00 off on Ibotta, $2.00 off on Checkout 51, and I had a coupon for $2.00 off - diapers ended up only costing $2.00!! It was so great! Anyway... hopefully this post helped someone out there. :)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Kid Vocabulary Lesson

Alligator - Elevator, Gatorade or actually alligator
Shreezing - Freezing
Skiz - Fix
Building - Temple (Jake and I got married in ALL the temples according to June and Marlie, any temple we pass they say, "You got married in that building")
Hoopten Hoopten Who - Horton Hears a Who (One of their favorite movies)
Bood - Food
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner - All are interchangeable, a meal is a meal no matter the name
Lady - All cashiers (male and female) and the person that draws smiles on your receipt at Costco
Nuggle - Snuggle, pretty self explanatory but it's still so cute!
Srozen - Frozen - this can either mean something cold, the actual movie, or Elsa (Can you tell we have a bit of a hard time with making our F sound, it often comes out as an S)
Junie Olivia Kay - June's true name in her mind - she is not just June and she must always add Kay, even though that's really Marlie's middle name
Machiss - The air mattress that they ALWAYS request to sleep, or jump, on every night
Pone - Phone; always meant for coloring, taking pictures, doing puzzles and watching movies
Safety Skizzers - Kid scissors, their new obsession
Dat - "that" - this is a Lincoln word, it's in the running for his favorite word along with "No" and "Mama"

Monday, October 31, 2016

Family Pictures

Girls Date

A few weeks ago,  ("Liberty Land" as we like to call it) but technically known as "Seven Peaks Fun Center - Lehi Location" had a Halloween Celebration going on. We had originally planned on going as a family but after a LONG hike up to the Y, Dad and Lincoln were a little tired (and ornery) and decided to stay home. The girls were so excited to have a mommy date and I was thrilled to give them a little extra attention. Here are a few pictures to document the fun. 

They were upset because the roller coaster shut down. June was crying just moments before I told her to just smile for the picture and she put on this cheeser. To this day they still talk about how upset they were that the roller coaster broke down and we couldn't ride it after we waited in line FOREVER!! It was a bummer. 

This is her new go-to smile. She squints her eyes up tight and does a no teeth smile. ha ha. 

Loving the Merry Go Round. 

I love going on little dates with each of my kids - it's a fun tradition I hope we always continue. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

More Kid Conversations

Marlie: Mom - you forgot to say prayers. If we don't pray, then Jesus won't want to come into our house.

I have been doing a lot of work at home lately since we are currently short staffed. I can tell that the girls have been noticing it by little conversations I have with them. For example see below:

June: Mom, you have to be quiet, it's my work calling. (She then "answers" her pretend phone) Access Home Care, this is June, how can I help you?

I used to work with a lady that got sick one day but still came into the office. The kids wanted to come visit me at work that day but I told them they couldn't because there was a sick lady there and I didn't want them to get sick. Now they are constantly asking me - "How is the sick lady at work?"
 Whenever I get a work call, "Was that your sick lady?"
Whenever they get a pretend work call on their phone - "Hang on mom, it's my sick lady at work."
This lady was sick ONE DAY, and it was months ago. She hasn't even worked with me for over a month, but she will always be referred to as the sick lady - poor lady!