Thursday, August 26, 2010

Confessions of an addict

Okay, I have to make a confession. I have a serious addiction and I think I need rehab to kick the habit!

A couple of months ago I was making fun of a friend of mine, Courtney Palfreeman, and she wasn't the only one either. I was at Loving Choices, where I serve as a crisis counselor, and every time she walked in she had a Sonic cup in her hand. Me never being a pop drinker and a penny pincher, I had a hard time understanding why EVERYONE EVERYWHERE I went had a sonic cup in their hand.

I would go to school, Sonic cups in hand driving through the pick up line. I would go to church, Sonic cups in choir practice, and once every person on the praise team had one by their chair, no kidding. I would go to Loving Choices, Sonic cups with shakes,pop, and limeades. (Courtney drinks a strawberry limeade)

Anyway, she told me wait until you move into your new house and you'll see. Of course it was obvious why she said that, because I live within walking distance (one block) away from a Sonic Drive in. BUT there was NO way that just by living near a Sonic I was going to become a junky!!!

Well, the craziest thing happened. During my last trimester of pregnancy I started craving pop. I don't drink pop so I didn't know which one I wanted to drink. I drank a little bit of Mt. Dew in high school and didn't want that much caffeine in my body, especially being pregnant. So I started "experimenting"

I tried Coke and my mother-in-law drinks it so I thought it would be okay. Needless to say 3 months later I am hooked and I can't stop. It doesn't stop there though. I drove to the Sonic to get my first Coke and it was at "Happy Hour" and for a large Coke it was only $1.00, tax included! It was so easy to get!!!

I am a stick to a budget kinda gal, and this definately didn't fall into any of my spending categories. So that my husband wouldn't find out I started robbing the change jar in the kitchen. Who is going to notice a dollar a day gone?

When I get that Coke I slurpe down a huge swig and then ahhhhhh, total quenching happiness. I have been a "sharer" my whole life. My big brothers were bullies to me and even when they picked on me I was known to STILL share with them. My mom and dad always tried to toughen me up, but it never worked. When we go out to eat I always sacfice and order something "kid friendly" so that I can share with the kids and that way everyone is happy and we save money. BUT when it comes to my COKE from SONIC you couldn't pry it out of my hands and NO I won't even share a sip with my kids. Do you know why, it's bad for them. It has too much sugar and too much caffeine. So why am I drinking it???

Well, if that's not bad enough, I stopped drinking it when I delivered and started nursing Abigail, but when she was in the NICU I started have these excruciating headaches. I went to my Dr. and she said that I needed to drink at least one Coke and it would help. So it was at this point that I knew I had become and addict and my body was expecting and NEEDING that high and that I couldn't quit. Since my Dr. told me that I should drink one a day, I thought well there you go, my Dr. advised it and I can keep drinking it.

I lost 30 some pounds right away and was so excited and hopeful about a bright new future. Well now I've plateaued and someone brought to my attention that maybe I should stop drinking Coke AND on shopping day Jeff asked me if I need a 2 liter of Coke and I was taken back. WHAT do you mean, I said? He too had noticed that I had been drinking Coke. I said, I only drink ice water at home and ice tea when we go out to eat, and he told me that I had not hid it as well as I had thought. It was such a bad feeling, but at least my dirty little secret was out. Then one night it was just he and I awake and I asked him at 10pm to run to, yes you guessed it, Sonic to get me one, and of course he did.

So now you see my dilemma. I have not only done this to myself, but I've drug my family into it too. I never thought I would be "One of those people" BUT I have to admit that YES, yes I am.

So after being in denial, and then finally admitting it I've decided that I am going to exercise regularly and go back to NOT drinking Coke, except for a special occasion. Don't think for a second, that driving down that road, especially on my way to pick up the girls at 3pm right in the middle of Happy Hour it's not torturous! But I have faith that I can beat it. Pray for me and embrace my entire family.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Day of School

Well, first things first. My blog is getting a facelift. This week I will be overhauling it! For some strange reason there is a HUGE gap at the bottom and I don't know why. I've tried to fix and figure it out and if you know PLEASE TELL ME!!!

Ammorae started school on Friday. I ALWAYS take a pix infront of the school on the first day. I hope she doesn't mind cause I'm gonna keep doing it.

Aydan will be going to prek five days a week this year. She has Mrs. Kirkendall at Shiloh Christian. She is such a big girl and is so smart. I have no worries for her, and her teacher has already told me that she has a loving heart. Awwww!

Addy is probably the most excited!!! She has been waiting for a year to go to school. All summer long she asked and asked and asked ,"When does school start" When we took Ammorae on Friday she had to wear her new backpack, she was SO excited. She only goes Mon. and Tues. and when I told her that Tues. after school she was SO put out and did not understand why I would do that to her! She has Mrs. Russel and she seems to be very sweet.

She got in the car when I picked her up and she asked me, "did you know that you are not bigger than God" and I said, "Yes, I do know that" she then asked if I knew that her and Aydan were not bigger than God. Then when she started saying more peoples names, I cut her off and said, "No one is bigger than God" She quickly said, "Dad is bigger than God." I laughed and said, "No, he isn't, No one is" She of course argued with me and lastly stated, "He is bigger, because he growed that way, mom" I quit arguing and then debated whether or not to tell Jeff, his head is BIG enough the way it is. No wonder he loves having all these girls. He feels like a king.

The fun thing is that we did several craft projects leading up to the first day of school. We made personalized pillow cases for the girls for nap time.

All of Ammorae's friends decided to decorate the inside of their lockers a few days ahead of time. We made a clipboard that has fancy scrapbook paper on it and then we put a pix (that Tamara took) on it. We also put a magnet on the back so it could hang in her locker. We took zebra paper and taped to the inside of the door and then used fluzzy boas to outline it. On the back wall we put school color and taped up pix of her in her cheer uniform. We also took letters that spelled out her name and put magnets on the back of them.

The FUNNY thing is that after all that work (and it's totally over the top, just like Ammorae) the boa got stuck in the lock and she couldn't get into it after first hour. She asked Mrs. Sabatini to help her. She came prepared with heavy dute screwdrivers to fix it. The handle completely busted and she couldn't use her locker for two days! Maintenance had to replace it all. Hahahahahahha! So the first two days have truly been an adventure. If this is any indication of the rest of the year, this is going to be an adventure. She is so much like Tamara it's not even funny!!! ahhhhhh, help!!!

Then on top of all that, Ava has followed me around all day and asked 1,000 questions. She doesn't know what to do with herself now that those sisters are gone. She wouldn't watch cartoons, read a book, or play with any toys. She is a card for sure! heheheh!

Abigail is 11 1/2 weeks old and is getting used to Ava "helping" her all day! eye yi yi!!

What a crazy and fun week! Memories that we will have forever!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Coupon King

I think we've created a MONSTER!!!

In our continual search to save money we've found many websites that assist and advise to use coupons, newspaper savings ads, and store promotions together to get the best for your money.

I am in charge of the shopping in our house, obviously. I am a GREAT bargain shopper. I can stick to a budget like no other and I can feed a family of 7 most weeks for under $150.

Now, my husband on the other hand...well, I think we've created a MONSTER!

It was a game at first, but now it's out of control CRAZY! Every morning it's a race to see what "good bargains" he can find in the paper and then he cross references it with the helpful websites and then each stores circulars and coupon books. WOW, he's a math wiz and on FiRe to save us money!!!

He's now enlisted the help of our eldest child, Ammorae. I was so happy that he was taking this opportunity to start teaching her one of the most important life lessons, budgeting and spending. I'm pretty sure they are obsessed and having too much fun. He is showing her how to combine all the opportunities so that she can get things FREE. She is getting lip gloss, hair things, snacks, and so many others things FREE or with pennies by making smart decisions.

Lastnight, they took advantage of Walgreen's 15% everything day, with a special coupon. They researched, clipped, and plotted out their big plan and this is what they came home with.

With no savings of any kind this would have cost $248.00. But they only paid $73.00. Which is a savings of $175.00. And also from that we have $26.00 worth of register rewards, which is like cash in your pocket, to spend the next time we go in.

The pantry and linen closets are getting full and there is talk of donating a lot of these goods to Mama Dean's or a shelter.

Just another FUN chapter in the Bryan family story!