Letter From a Tired Mom

It’s 1 o’clock in the morning and here I am, awake. I should have been asleep hours ago. But instead, I sit here alone in the tub. No, there isn’t anything so interesting to stay up for. No, I haven’t been so busy that I had to stay up late. But I am alone. Finally. Not only am I alone but it is quiet. I can hear myself think. It’s kind of nice sometimes (other times thinking to much gets me into trouble). I should be in bed, resting up for what tomorrow holds. But I don’t stand up – I don’t get out. I sit. Thinking – or not thinking. Just sitting. Because I know the moment I get in the bed, the day is over. Which is good because today was hard. Shouldn’t I be looking forward to bedtime? Dreaming of it all day. But I constantly find myself up till early in the morning because I can’t bear to let the day go. Because I know tomorrow could be as hard as – or harder – than today. I know tomorrow will come and I’ll wake up to those two happy, smiling faces that I love. But what also awaits me are tantrums and messes, dirty diapers, lessons in sharing and snotty noses. The hustle and bustle of the day that makes it almost impossible to sit back and enjoy the moment.

“It goes by so fast. Don’t blink.”

“I wish mine were that young again.”

“One day you will miss this.”

Those words are heard so often and are so meaningfully passed along. Just like everyone who told you to enjoy being young before you became an adult. You didn’t listen, did you? Because you just knew if you could get through this, freedom awaited you. Unfortunately, this is the same mindset of every mother of young children. “If I can just get through today…this week…this year.” Pretty soon, your babies are all grown up and you are saying those same things to someone else. We know this, yet it seems as though we can do nothing to fix it.

That’s because this stage of life is hard. For me, it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I am constantly needed. “Pick me up, put me down, feed me, hold me.” I must stay constantly busy because if I waste too much time, I am left with two weeks of laundry, an empty pantry and dirty floors.

This stage is hard. Because you start every day with a to-do list a mile long and no way of ever getting it done. Messes happen, accidents happen and the unexpected always manages to throw your life into chaos – every day. Things are so hard sometimes that I miss my youth – and I’m only 27. Some days, I feel like an old, run down housewife with bags under my eyes, messy hair and the same clothes I’ve worn for days. Sometimes I wonder if I should have waited a little longer to let go of my much-anticipated adult freedom. I long for the days of being alone after work or sleeping until noon. I long for trips to the grocery store or even clothes shopping where I had no schedule to keep or toddlers to chase. Now, simple errands are exhausting.

Then, there are those moments – some days they are scarce – where you remember a post you read or something someone said and you get to stop. Stop and think about what’s actually going on in your life.

I am a mom. I have been given the greatest honor to raise my two beautiful children. To share in their memories and, if even for a little while, be their favorite person. I remember that post that said “you will never be this loved and needed again”. I have been run ragged today. I am tired but still have things to do before I can even consider bed.  And as I tuck my son into bed for the 5th time and he asks me to “lay down please”, instead of telling him “goodnight” and closing the door, I do what he asked. I lay there and hold him and think about how lucky I am to know such a beautiful person. He wraps his arm around my neck and I remember that I will never be this loved again.

And some nights, I let my daughter cry a little to put herself to sleep. But sometimes, I pick her up and rock her. Because I can’t remember the last time I rocked my son. Because someone once told me “one day you will pick them, put them down and never pick them up again.”

And those are the short moments that get me through the long days. And although tomorrow, my attitude may be different and I may forget those precious moments amid my chaos, they are still there. My life is not perfect. Sometimes, I don’t handle things well. Sometimes I don’t control my temper – I yell (or cry). Some days I don’t feel like getting up to face the day. And some days, I don’t have a single moment of clarity or calm reflection. But sometimes … I DO.

And for me, those moments are worth every hard thing I face. Every difficult situation or exhausting day. Those moments, I believe, are the glue that holds us moms together. We must remember that God made us for this. And again, this is without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. But if it weren’t for this, I would never have known how strong I can be. There’s a tingle of joy in me to know that God thinks I can handle this. How amazing to know that He has that much faith in me. After all, He made me this way.

So, I will go to sleep. I will sleep as long as my children will allow. Then, I will get up and start a new day. I will sing and dance and play with my children – while I still can.

I am not a perfect mom and I judge myself against how I see others. I know you do too. Just remember, every mom has felt the way you do right now. It’s a comfort to know that I’m not the only one that sneaks into the closet to eat her candy bar in peace. I hope you find comfort in knowing that we all go through it. And it ok if sometimes you don’t like this motherhood thing all that much because sometimes … you DO.

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Avon Review: Anew Vitale Skin Care

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I recently began using the Anew Vitale Skin Care – a fairly new skin care line from Avon. The line includes a day cream, night cream, gel cleanser, day lotion and eye gel cream. I am currently using the day and night cream along with the gel cleanser to wash my face. I will have to say it has drastically changed the condition of my face. No more problems with breakouts and my skin is incredibly soft. Also, the day cream is a great base to use under my foundation.

Good news is that this skin care line is part of a great sale included in Campaign 13, which runs from now through June 6. All Anew skin care is dramatically reduced, almost 50% off. This particular line, which is usually $28 per item, is on sale for $14.99 each.

Avon does have a rather extensive offering of skin care items and it is somewhat overwhelming trying to figure out which is best for your unique skin. Thankfully, we are provided with a handy chart to help us with our decision.

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Campaign 13 is also offering a discount on Anew try-it-size mini moisturizers  from each age category, only $6.99 each. I bought these mini jars when I was trying to decide what skin care to use and they actually lasted longer than I thought they would – long enough, at least, for me to decide that it was worth it to spend the money on the whole line.

This is the perfect opportunity to snag the full size set for a great price. Catch it while it’s available, because these don’t get discounted this much very often. Head over to my website http://www.youravon.com/epowers and take a look or send me an email with your order or to request a catalog. If you would rather buy online, through the end of the month, you can get free direct delivery to your front door with a $40 order. Happy shopping!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Surprise

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Let me start out by saying that I borrowed this picture from the blog Can’t Stay Out Of the Kitchen, which is also where I got the recipe, because I didn’t get a picture of my own finished product.

I stumbled across the recipe when I was trying to find a dessert to take to a family reunion a few weeks ago. This side of the family is particularly known for their good cooking, so I was aiming for something simple that looked slightly complex with a low probability of failure (I, unfortunately, didn’t inherit the cooking gene). This was a long forgotten pin on my “Foods That Look Yummy But I’ll Probably Never Attempt Them” board but I do love Reese’s cups, so I thought I would give it a try. Surprisingly, this is a pretty simple recipe and, if I do say so myself, turned out tremendously! It’s like a giant chocolate chip cookie ate a bunch of Reese’s cups! What could be better?!?

My Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter (softened) (as you can see, I was out of stick butter)
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (I was only able to use about 1 tsp because I was out but it didn’t seem to make a difference)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 12 oz bag Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini chips but I think I’ll use half as much next time. This just depends on how much sweetness you like)
  • 24 Reese’s peanut butter cups

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

  First, mix all of your yummy ingredients into cookie dough using a whisk or mixer. Wait until everything is mixed then add your flour and chocolate chips in and mix with a wooden spoon. The dish I used was a 9×13, which will makes the 24 Reese’s cups fit perfectly. Be sure to spray your dish with cooking spray.

Separate your cookie dough in two, and spread one half across the bottom of the dish.

  Next, unwrap your Reese’s cups and place them on top of the cookie dough.

Use the remaining cookie dough to cover the Reese’s cups. (This step did prove harder than it sounds because at that point, the cookie dough is falling in between the cups. Good luck with that!)

Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. So easy, even the cooking-impaired can do it! 🙂

It’s A Great Week To Coupon!

Hello followers and fellow couponers! I’ve got a couple of great deals for this week that I just had to share. Remember, these end on Saturday, so go get you shop on!

First was my trip to Target (and you all know how much I love Target)! Purina Beneful dog food is on sale again. The 15.5lb bag is $13.99 and when you buy 2 bags, you get a $5 gift card. Already a great deal, right? Let’s make this deal better:

(2) Beneful dry dog food – $13.99 each (Buy 2 bags, get $5 gift card)

  • (2) $3 mfq (this was printed from coupons.com but I don’t think it is available anymore)
  • (2) $3 Target coupons (printed from Target.com)
  • Free $10 gift card w/ purchase of 2 Purina dry dog foods (this coupon is a Target coupon from Sunday coupon insert RP 7/26)

T = $15.98, get back $15 in gift cards

This is a great example of why you should print coupons for products you use as soon as they are available. You may not need them right now but chances are, if you wait, when you do need them, they will already be gone. (Remember, you get 2 prints per device!)  

These are my absolute favorite razors and they are frequently on sale at CVS. What makes them better are CVS coupons to stack!

(2) Schick Hydro Silk Disposable Razors – $13.99 each  (Buy $25 Schick, get $10 ECB)

(2) Skintimate Shaving Cream $3.29

  • BOGO free razor coupon (this was printed from coupons.com, should still be available)
  • (2) Buy one Schick razor, get one shaving cream free (printed from coupons.com)
  • $4/$10 razors CVS q
  • $2/$10 Schick CVS q
  • $5 ECB (from previous trip)

T = $2.99, got back $10 ECB

(I will make one note about this. It was brought to my attention when I posted this on Facebook that using more than one BOGO coupon at the same time could be considered misuse. The rules are a little unclear on this subject and even having done research, I’m a little confused. So do you own searches and use your best judgment. I didn’t even think about it being a problem because the coupons all scanned into the system without any problem.)

My last deal was for diapers. I always jump on a Pampers deal because they are my favorite and tend to be quite expensive. This was as simple as it gets.

(3) Pampers diapers $9.99 (Buy $30, get $10 ECB)

  • (3) $2 mfq (printed from coupons.com under zipcode 77477)
  • $10 ECB (from previous trip)

T = $13.97, got back $10 ECB

As a general rule at CVS, if you spend at least 98% of the required amount, it will trigger the Extra Care Bucks savings. So, for 3 packs of diapers, I spent $29.97 which qualified for the $30/ $10 deal.

Happy couponing and have a great week!

Target Baby Deal: Baby Food!

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We are currently transitioning Little Man from baby food to table food, which has proven to be quite a challenge. I jump on every baby food deal I can find, since he is loving baby food pouches right now and boy, are they expensive! Target’s got a great deal on Happy Baby pouches this week, so if you’re needing to stock up, you still have one more day. I’ll show you what I did for this deal but check a coupon database (like this one at Southern Savers) for your own coupons. Some were not available to me because I had already printed them. 

(15) Happy Baby (or Tot) pouches (Buy 15, get $5 gift card)

(They were all around $1.59-$1.79 per pouch)

Total before coupons $24.65

Used

(2) $1/2 Happy baby coupons

(2) Buy one, get one free 

$1/3 Target mobile coupon (text Baby4 to 827438)

T = $18.94 (w/ tax), got $5 gift card

That’s $.93 per pouch….not to shabby!

Happy couponing!

Happy couponing!

Target Summer Deal: Banana Boat Sunscreen

I can’t get enough of these sunscreen deals at Target! It definitely gets you into the summer spirit!! Last week, I stocked up on new Banana Boat Sunscreen for me (yeah, for me…it smells manly haha!) and Banana Boat Sun Comfort, which is apparently supposed to keep sand from sticking to you. I’ll keep you posted on our success with that one!

Anyway, back to the deal this week. You still have tomorrow to take advantage of this deal:

(2) Banana Boat Sport Performance $6.69 ea. (Buy 2, get $5 gift card)

Used:

$3/2 Banana Boat coupon from RP 5/17

$1 Target coupon (from Target.com)

T = 9.38, get back $5 gift card 

You can also submit for a $1 Ibotta Rebate!

Happy Couponing!

CVS Diaper Deal

I have an overabundance of diapers from my recent Target hauls (I know, can you really have too many diapers?) but I wanted to share a deal that everyone seems to be jumping on this week. The CVS weekly ad is offering Huggies diapers for $8.99 each, buy $30, get back $10 Extra Care Bucks. Also, the Coupon Center is giving out diaper coupons this week to pair with manufacturer coupons. Check your app or online at CVS.com and go to the Coupon Center in CVS and scan your card for more coupons. Here’s a senario you can use. There have been a lot of Huggies coupons available lately, so check a coupon database (like this one at Southern Savers) to find enough for this deal.

(4) Huggies Diapers $8.99 = $35.96

– (4) $2 Huggies coupons 

– $5/$30 Diapers or Wipes (you may or may not have this one)

– $2/$10 CVS Huggies coupon (this can be used with the one above, found at CVS.com)

Total = $20.96, get back $10 Extra Care Bucks

That’s $2.74 per pack after the ECB. Your deal may vary depending on the coupons available to you. 

Happy couponing!

Target Haul: Personal Care Jackpot!

Found an incredible, cannot-pass-up, clear-the-shelf deal at Target this week! Crest 3D White Strips on sale for $5.99, reg. price $59.99!!!!!! Now, I was told at the store that this was apparently a mistake but I have been following this deal since Sunday and it has been country-wide. Also, in this Sunday’s paper, there was a $5 Crest Whitestrips coupon, making my total $.99 per box! I saved a total of $354Unbelievable! This is definitely my best haul yet!

For the weekly ad sales, I purchased shampoo for my husband and myself. Here’s the deal:

(2) Dove Men + Care Shampoo $3.99

– $1.50 coupon from RedPlum 5/17

– 5% Cartwheel

(2) Dove Shampoo & Conditioner $4.89

– $2 coupon from RedPlum 5/17

Total $10.36, Got back $5 gift card (for purchasing 4 participating items)

That makes it $1.34 per bottle after gift card! 

Happy couponing!

Deal of the Day: Beneful Dog Food

Oh, Target! I admit I have an addiction, so let’s move on…

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Found a great deal today on Beneful Dog Food. I usually buy Purina Dog Chow but this is also a Purina brand and my dogs seem to love it! This week at Target, you can buy 2 bags of Beneful dog food and get a $5 gift card. But of course, that isn’t all!

My transaction today:

(2) Beneful Healthy Weight Dog Food 15.5 lb bag $12.79 

– (2) $5 Beneful coupon (here’s the link)

– 15% Cartwheel

Total $11.74 (that’s $5.87 a bag!!!), get back $5 gift card

Don’t forget to use your REDcard for another 5% and if you don’t have one…WHY NOT?!? They offer both debit and credit cards and they have the same benefits! This deal also includes the larger bags (I believe the 31.1 lb bags were $24.99) but you really get a better deal with the smaller bags. And there’s no limit, so if you have access to extra coupons, you can really stock up on this deal!

Happy couponing!

Target Steal: Chicco Echo Stroller

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Hello fellow couponers! I apologize in advance that I wasn’t able to post this awesome deal last week but my little guy has been sick. Target had another great baby deal last week, buy $125 in baby items, get back $20 gift card. However, with all the diapers I bought the week before, I was going to skip this week. That is, until I came across a post on my Target couponing group on Facebook. So, here’s the scoop and further evidence that Facebook is your friend! 

The Chicco Echo Stroller was, of course, included in the weekly ad special but as it turns out, this stroller was offering it’s own gift card deal as well. And if you got the red one shown above (it’s actually called “garnet” but “potato” “potato”….hmmm, that doesn’t have the same effect when it’s written.), it included a $40 gift card back.

So, I got… 

  • Chicco Echo Stroller (in garnet) $99
    • Get $40 gift card
  • (2) Diaper Genie refills $13.19 each

Buy $125, get back $20 gift card

Use REDcard, get extra 5% off and free shipping!!!

My total ended up being $123.24, got back $60 in gift cards. To be honest, we were in the market for a smaller stroller but I considered selling the stroller for make a little money. If only I hadn’t gotten it out of the box. BIG MISTAKE! I LOVE IT!!!! So, this can serve as a review for the stroller too – IT IS AWESOME! As far as the diaper genie refills, there was no special deal but I needed them and they got me the closest to $125 without going over. 

I will do my best to keep you guys informed of the awesome deals I encounter, because saving money is an awesome feeling and I want to share that with everyone! Stay tuned! Happy couponing!