Saturday, July 25, 2015

Clutter and Chaos

I've read many articles on how to tackle clutter and get organized. Mostly I read them to get more tips or just to reaffirm that what I'm doing is sane, because sometimes I feel like my obsession with organization is a little cuckoo. Anyways, I wanted to share this particle article because I found it to be succinct in it's explanation of clutter and how to tackle it realistically.

Happy decluttering!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Bucket List: Have a Picnic

This is a bit of a stretch, but we were at a park and there was food and games. We attended our friends' son's 1st birthday party. It was a hot day, but what a perfect location! There was plenty of shade and a nice breeze, so all the guests were relaxed and comfortable. The kids even got a chance to have fun with water balloons and buckets of water (sorry drought). While the kids played, we got to catch up with friends. It was a fun day at the park. And yes, it was a picnic in my book. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Bucket List: Visit the Bookstore

Lots of books to read. Not enough time!
 Hmm...where's that one dragon book I love?
 I don't just play Pokemon, I read about it, too!
Read? I'm just checking out the cool stickers. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer Bucket List: Watch a Dollar Movie at the Theater

 Just finished watching "The Night at the Museum". This is the first time 
we had little interruption and no whining. Wow! We are growing up!
But even after a two-hour movie these boys were
full of energy and just about bulldozed the adults. I'm not 
sure what's harder - when they were little or now?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Bucket List: Have a Sleepover

 Having pizza for dinner cause it's the easiest thing to 
get them to eat when all they really want to do is play, play, play!
When these boys get together, clothes are always optional. 
Why oh why? It's like they overheat or something. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Couponing of the Week: Rite Aid

This is my haul from last week's trip to Rite Aid. I don't visit a particular store anymore unless I'm picking up at least two deals from there. It just isn't worth a trip to the store if I'm not able to take advantage of more than one deal. So, it's been a while since I've visited Rite Aid. I almost lost hope that my favorite store wasn't coming through anymore. But that's not the case from last week.

Bought (2) Crest Pro-Health Rinse, $5/ea
Used one $1.50/2 Crest Pro-Health Rinse Mouthwash coupon
Paid $8.50, Received 900 Plenti Points
Final Price: $0.50 moneymaker when I bought 2

Bought (2) Suave Body Washes, $1.50/ea
Used two $0.50/1 Suave Body Wash coupon
Paid $2.00, Received $2.00 Catalina
Final Price: FREE

Bought 1 Colgate Optic White Toothpaste $3.50/ea
Used $1.00/1 Colgate Optic White Toothpaste coupon
Paid $2.50, Received 300 Plenti Points
Final Price: $0.50 Moneymaker

Bought (2) Ziploc Sandwich Bags, 40ct 2/$7
Used one $1.00/2 Ziploc Products Coupon
Paid $6.00, Received 100 Plenti Points
Final Price: $2.50/each

Paid: $19.94, Received 1300 Plenti Points and $2.00 Catalina
Final Price Paid: $4.94

Lots of Plenti Points to use on my next visit to Rite Aid. Can't wait!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Passing the Torch: Giving Up His Blankie

Lucas has had a blankie that he has kept near and dear to his heart. From the time he was a wee bitty newborn this special item has been by his side. The blanket use to be a soft baby blue fleece with baby-like airplanes. Over the years it became a very faded almost grayish-white fleece with baby-like airplanes. He was a thumb sucker, so like many little ones before him that thumb and blankie were inseparable. Around the time he turned 5 years old, we urged him to give up his thumb sucking ways and blankie.  He stopped sucking his thumb, but the blankie remained. We would watch him methodically find a special spot on the blankie that he would rub between his fingers. At night we would often find our son sleeping outside of his covers, sprawled out comfortably with only his blankie wrapped around his neck like a scarf.   

That blankie has been everywhere - sleepovers, road trips, hotels, cruises, airplanes and camping trips. When it went missing our family would automatically go into defcon one searching high and low for it, knowing that if it went missing indefinitely, we would all reap the negative consequences. 

This went on for years and after a while we decided that he would be the one to determine when it was time to give up his trusty blankie. Fast forward to 8 years old. Lucas had been talking recently about giving up the blankie to his best friend's little sister. He said he was ready and that it was time to pass it along to someone else who could love it as much as he did. So that day came. He presented the blankie to her and said she could take care of it now. Her little face lit up and she immediately took to the blankie. That made him happy and I think seeing her happy made it easier for him to give it up - or in his words - pass it along. 

Lucas had a bit of a panic attack when he realized it would be his first night without blankie. "Mommy, I think you were right, I don't think I was ready to give up blankie plane. I miss it." After some comforting and laying with him he quietly fell asleep. We reminded him the next day of what a big boy he was and that he made it through the night without blankie. And not to worry, it would get easier as each day passed. He was surprisingly compliant. 

The transition, though fairly smooth, has sort of morphed into something else. He shared that what he missed most was how soft blankie was and that he would try to find something else just as soft. Maybe a new blanket? Maybe a stuffed animal? Well, it turned out to be a soft little teddy bear that he found in his brother's collection. He even remembered the significance of that bear, as it was one that Ronin received when he went to surgery and one of the nurses gifted him with it while he waited for the doctor to arrive. Lucas has since called it his own and has named it Bear Bear. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer Bucket List: Have a Play Date

Ronin and his dear friend Gentle (yes, Gentle) have been friends since 2nd grade. They had a bit of a rough start, but soon became fast friends. When Gentle moved to a different city and school Ronin was really bummed about it. I promised that his mother and I would stay in touch and that he and Gentle could try to see each other during the school holidays.  So, in between both having summer camps, we were able to sneak in a play date. They were so excited to spend this uninterrupted time with each other. First on the agenda, lunch! Afterwards we headed back to the house where they talked each other's ears off about video games, cartoons and Legos. 
 So happy to see each other. 
 Little brother had to get in on the fun. 
 The art of beyblade battling. 
Cartoons are more fun with friends. 

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Summer Bucket List: Not Pictured

We've been steadily checking things off our bucket list. However, I've not been good about taking pictures of all of it. Here's what we've been able to check off so far: 

1. Play Laser Tag
The boys went on a field trip with their summer day camp to a laser tag place called Q-zar. I obviously wasn't there but my son Ronin absolutely loved it. It really spoke to his video-game fascination because he said he felt like he was in a video game while playing. Lucas loved the team battles and was stoked that his team won both battles.

2. Visit our Farmer's Market
Last week we visited our farmer's market. The boys love it when they are able to buy stuff but they can also be pills when the focus is about checking out the fruits and veggies. While we would like to spend more time checking out the purveyors, it seems we spend most of our time taking the boys to the bathroom, getting snacks, climbing fountains and looking at sweets. Sigh. I think my husband and I will have to do the farmer's market on our own next time. 

3. Bake Cookies
I totally dropped the ball here. Ronin and I made chocolate chip cookies yesterday and I totally forgot to document it. But rest assure, they were delicious and perfectly made by my son. We have ZERO evidence left and that's a good thing!  

4. Learn our Multiplications (Lucas)
We are slowly going through this, but making progress. Lucas has confidently memorized his 2's, 5's, 10's, 3's and 4's. We are moving on to 6's and 7's for the next couple of weeks. By summer's end we hope to got through all of it!

5. Attend a Summer Day Camp
The boys attended their first summer day camp at our city's community center. It was call Fungineering Camp, where they learned about robotics, circuitry, built Lego cities, played minecraft, did sports and other crafty things. There was one rough day, but for the most part they enjoyed themselves. However, I'm weary about doing it next year unless they completely beg me to. I could certainly pass on it. 

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Fireworks Fun in Napa Valley

 At least the grass is still green in this park. The drought is killing us. 
 Waiting for night to fall and the fireworks to begin. 
 Luckily it wasn't as cold as last year, but at least we were prepared this time. 
 Jenny yanking her man to take a picture with her. 
 Xavier was doubly excited that night: fireworks and lost his front tooth!
 Andre was busy making videos and capturing all the moments with his camera. 
 We are happy because we got our coffee!
 The ladies - and we are all smiling!
The boys in awe of the fireworks - it never gets old!