Coupons. Coupons have become my big thing lately. I've been bragging to everyone how I went shopping at Babies-R-Us while my mom was out here and bought 180-something dollars worth of stuff and between sales, coupons, and formula checks, I paid less than half of that amount. I'm not feeding Hannah formula, of course, but I'm using all the formula checks I keep getting to collect formula to donate to the Laurel Pregnancy Center for Christmas. I like to give some sort of gift to charity every year, but since we're on such a tight budget this year with my questionable job status and Hannah pushing up our bills, I figured those "free money" checks were just the thing. Then today we went to Babies-R-Us again, and Shoppers, and I managed to save us another $50 altogether. I love coupon collecting. It's like a scavenger hunt to save money! If life's a game, I should win a prize, lol!
Cash. While I'm on the subject of money, I should really be giving some credit to God here for the enormous financial blessings He's been surrounding us with. Not only have I been able to find coupons for almost half of everything we buy, but everything we need lately seems to be on sale, plus we keep recieving money and gift cards and rebate checks in the mail. Now that I stop and think about it, it really has been amazing the way God has provided for us ever since Hannah was born. I know I'm showcasing my lack of faith here, but that was something I was really worried about during the pregnancy. I didn't know how we would manage on JOhnny's income if I couldn't find a job right away. Now it seems God has taken things into His own hands and given me this sort of "trial period" while the disability checks are still coming in to show me He's got us taken care of, no matter the situation. Praise God, the strengthener of my feeble faith!
Coincidence and Cosi in Columbia. We ran into some old friends, a husband and wife, that used to go to our church today while we were at Target, and they ended up inviting us to go out to lunch with them at a little restaurant in Columbia called Cosi. It's a sandwich shop on the level of Panera bread, but with much better food. I had a steak and gorgonzola cheese melt and tomato-basil soup, and Johnny had a chicken tomato-bacon melt. We were both highly satisfied with our purchases. Plus, they actually serve you at your table, which I am beginning to appreciate more and more with a baby carrier and diaper bag to lug around. We chatted about grocery shopping and RV camping and babies. They have two grown boys, one of which just got engaged, so the wife especially was reminiscing about their infancy as she fed a bottle to Hannah. It was fun. There was a family a table over from ours that had ordered what looked like a mini s'mores-making set, and they were toasting marshmallows over a little flame and having a ball. I am definitely getting one of those next time! Anyway, the place was a little noisy, but it was the lunch rush on a shopping center on a Saturday, so that was understandable. Any other time, I think the atmosphere would have been lovely. (You didn't realize this was part restaurant-review blog, did you? lol)
Crying Fits. Hannah was such a good baby today. She waited until 5pm to have her meltdown, and we were at a good stopping place in our grocery shopping spree. It's funny how her crying fits affect me. When she starts really getting mad, she gets to the point where she'll cry so hard she forgets to breathe and makes this choking sound before gasping for air. The second she gets to that point I start crying, every time. I don't know if maybe God just wired me so that was the one sound I couldn't handle or what, but as soon as she gets that frantic, I start breaking down too. If I had been driving the car, I probably would have pulled over right there to feed her and hold her, I felt so awful. Just one more little adventure in this new life of mommyhood.
Christmas. Our whole household is gearing up for Christmas at this point. Johnny has started playing Christmas carols on Pandora, and I've gotten a good chunk of our family gift list crossed off. I need two more gifts for the cousins, or three if you count baby Zachary, who will be a brand new cousin by then. I'm really not sure what to get for an infant, though. We're having trouble figuring out what to get for Hannah, even! We were thinking maybe a playmat... but I'm not really sure how useful those are even. Any moms have some input on that for me? We decided we would each get her something special from us, then one thing we got her together. For my special mommy-gift, I'm going to make her a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament. I'm thinking a big turtle on it's back with a santa hat on, holding a little santa-hat wearing turtle on its belly. I enjoy making stuff out of Sculpey clay, and I'm not too shabby at it, so I think it'll be cute. Also, I'm getting my addresses together for Christmas letters. Sending out announcements has helped motivate me on that. I'm kind of wondering if my biological father will actually respond in time to give me his address. His response time isn't the best, but maybe now that he's remarried his wife will prod him out of his procrastination. Who knows? In any case, I'm excited for Christmas period. Even with the huge to-do list, it's my favorite holiday of the year. There so many good things to eat and do and watch and go to. Plus, this year we'll be enjoying a week off afterward, at the time-share cabin Mommy and Daddy Grove got down in Virginia. Hopefully it'll snow, so Johnny and I can let the grands babysit while we make a snowman together. That would be a blast. ::sigh:: Come on, Christmas...