His First Visit To His New School

Kyle starts school in just a few days!  He will be starting 6th grade at a brand new school, in a new school district.  

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Trying to stick with it

Yesterday, I decided to get back into working out again.  I had stopped over the past few weeks and stepped away from it when Kyle was off from school for the Christmas holidays.  I am trying to get back into it.  I started Turbo Fire yesterday and woke up so sore today.  I did the second day of the workout this morning but now I am rethinking the regular schedule.  Instead,  I may switch to the "prep" schedule.  I don't want to burn myself out nor do I want to start hating the program because I am unable to keep up.

I love working out and I love Turbo Fire.  I'd rather do this right, than struggling through it.  

New Year's Eve

I can't believe today is the last day of 2011!  Although, that means tomorrow is my 9th Wedding Anniversary

I am looking forward to the New Year!  I just started a new project.  I am organizing virtual book tours for authors.  Since I love to read and review books, I decided to do this. 

I am still unsure if I should go back to college at this time.  I am loving what I am doing now with organizing book tours.  This allows me to be a stay at home mom and earn a little extra income. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our dryer

While I don't mind doing laundry, I was starting to hate our dryer.  I realize we have a stackable washer and dryer, but it would take several hours to dry one load of laundry.  I should preface this by saying that when we first moved in, we had to call customer service because we needed someone to show us how to hook up the washer to our kitchen sink (we rent the washer and dryer).  Also, we asked about the screen and how to remove it to remove the lint.  The lady on the phone told Shannon that we don't have to, since it's connect to the hose. 

It would literally take 4-6 hours to dry one load of towels.  Let's say I was doing 6 towels, I would have to split the load and dry 3 towels at a time and each load could take 2 to 3 hours to dry!  I really didn't look forward to drying jeans, which is why I started hang drying them! 

Just today, Shannon was playing around with the dryer and he found out that there is a screen and it does need to be cleaned.  It was filled with at least 3 inches thick of lint!  I was in the middle of drying our bedsheets (for a second round in the dryer) and who knows how long that would have taken to dry.  I also cut that load in half so I was only on the first half.  After Shannon cleaned the screen, I couldn't wait to try our dryer.  My second load of our sheets dried so quickly!  I didn't even have to do a second, third, or fourth round in the dryer. 

I have a desktop again

This week, Shannon put together my desk so that I have a place to use the computer.  

After using a laptop since 2007 or so, it's nice to have my own desktop computer to use.  My in-laws gave us their old desktop, so we Shannon set it up this week. When Shannon went to turn it on, it wouldn't work and the button got stuck inside.  When he opened up the tower, he realized that the hard drive had been removed.  Then he remembered telling his dad how to remove it a few months ago.  We think his parents forgot that they removed the hard drive when they gave us their old computer. 

After realizing the tower was useless, we were thankful to at least have a new computer screen, keyboard, and mouse.  We decided to shop online at Best Buy for an affordable tower.  I left that to Shannon to choose.  Last night, we ordered it online and picked it up at the next closest Best Buy.  Shannon set up my desktop and I have been working on setting it up to my preference and will work on transferring my files to my desktop. 

Do I see a flat screen in our future?

Earlier this week, Shannon and I read a news article called TV Prices Fall and we are optimistic!  Our current TV is a "flat screen" but it's not HDTV, LCD, or Plasma.  We bought our TV back in 2004 or 2005!  I am a fan of Clark Howard, he's a money saving guru on HLN.  About a month ago, he said that flat screens will go on sale for the holidays.  He gave examples such as, "32 inch screens will be $399, etc."  I am sure he did not predict that TV prices will lower even more! 

We are hopeful in the fact that TV's will drop so significantly that by the time we have money, we could buy one. 

Applied for college

Yesterday, I spoke with an Ashford University Admissions Counselor and she explained the school, background, and answered my questions.  I am unsure if I can fit college in my life and of course, I don't want to any more debt (school loans).  I am also intimidated by the idea of going back to college and having school assignments, homework, and essays to write!

On the other hand, I am excited at the Bachelor's Degree program.  The subject interests me.  

Since I already have an Associate's Degree, it would take me about 2 years to complete my Bachelor's Degree.  If I qualify for Pell Grants, it may cover about half of my tuition.  I was informed that I could also apply for other grants that I wouldn't have to pay back.  I really want to avoid school loans!

I ended up applying for the college last night and we'll see what happens from there.  

Also, would I have the time to put into school studying and learning?  Kyle can be time consuming.  The best time for me to study would be when he's in school.

I also have to consider our current situation, we are both unemployed and one of us will have to start working (most likely me).  But if he wins his case, we would be okay financially. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Another week off of school

Kyle is off of school this week.  This past Monday, December 26th, I was feeling bored and decided to go for a walk.  I took Kyle with  me and he loved it.  We walked about a mile or so and then he wanted to go play on the playground that we have in our apartment complex. 

The next day, Tuesday, December 27th, I took him for another walk.  This time, we walked across the street to the park.  The little park has a playground and two tennis courts in the middle and there are walking trails all around.  It's not a huge park, but it's a nice place to walk.  Kyle also played on the playground at the park.

We couldn't go for a walk yesterday because of the weather.  It decided to rain throughout the day.  Today's weather looks promising.  The sun is out, but it's still cold! 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Last night, I was having trouble falling asleep.  My throat was hurting and I kept coughing.  I ended up taking some cold medicine just so I could fall asleep.  I only took half of the dose recommended because I hate taking liquid cold medicine. 

Kyle and I woke up this morning around 7am.  I did a few things for my blog and I also did 2 loads of laundry. 

I tend to feel tired in the afternoon time and I usually take a nap.  Instead, I opted to take Kyle for a walk and enjoy the fresh air.  We took a 30 minute walk and then he wanted to go on the swings.  We spent a good 45 minutes outside.  It was cold, but he was bundled up in his jacket. 

I think I will take him for a walk in the afternoon time for the rest of the week since he's off of school.  Plus it will give us some time outside!  Kyle loved it!   It is also great exercise for the both of us! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Talking More

We have noticed that Kyle is really trying to talk more.  He likes to use signs and say the word.  Just this week, we heard him say "dog" as in hot dog.  He wanted hot dogs so it comes out, "daw."

Overall, he's talking more.  He also understands our words because he does what we ask of him.  When I tell him to put on his jacket, he'll run to find it and put it on.  He also understands "shower" because his daddy started taking showers with him.

He likes to dance.

Last sickness of the year

Kyle started showing signs of being sick last Sunday, but I sent him to school on Monday and Tuesday since it was his last days until his Holiday vacation from school. 

By Wednesday, Shannon and I started getting sick.  He and I have either runny nose, stuffy nose, feeling achy, or headaches.  Hopefully we won't be sick much longer.  I don't think it's that severe of a cold as I haven't had to take cold medicine.  Kyle seems to be feeling better for a few days already. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sociology or Social Science

I was thinking about going back to college again and I would love to find an accredited online college to attend.  Shannon is almost done with his school, he will have his Bachelors in Criminal Justice.  I stumbled onto Ashford University and found two bachelor programs that really caught my attention!  I am interested in either Bachelor of Arts in Sociology or Bachelor of Arts in Social Science. Both have different advantages and disadvantages.  I would need to talk to an admissions rep or counselor to weigh my options. 

When I was attending the local community college right after high school, I remember I was interested in Sociology but the classes were always full because they were so popular and the teacher was popular too!

Both programs interest me, I can't wait to find out more info.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So close to home!

I received an email from my son's principal with no subject line.  Normally when she sends out emails, she uses a subject line, so that was a bit surprising.  When I opened it, this is what I found:

As you can see, I erased any personal information, email address, phone numbers, and our County that we live in. 

Receiving this email was a complete shock because I had no idea about this investigation.  In my defense, I don't always watch the news and when I did a search online, I could only find that our Fox affiliate news station covered the story.  They didn't name the teacher involved in this in the article either. 

I still can't believe this happened at my son's school.  Although, I am glad they seemed to handle this in a professional manner and not just accuse him and assume he was guilty.  I don't believe that all teachers are child molesters.  They are innocent until proven guilty. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dinner invite

Today was Kyle's last day of school for the year!  He has the next two weeks off from school.  On his way off the bus, his bus driver gave him a candy cane, which was really nice of him.  I didn't see him give a candy cane to any of the other kids either!

Our neighbor gave us an invite to another dinner party they are having on New Years Eve (the day before our 9th Wedding Anniversary).  They invited us over to make dumplings and then have dinner.

They invited us to a dinner party they were having for last Saturday but we ended up not going.  We have two reasons for not going: 1. My diet.  I'm a vegetarian and I would feel rude for not eating their food.  2. Kyle's special needs.  Sometimes Most of the time he can be a complete handful and take all of our energy trying to hold him and keep him from misbehaving.

Anyway, they ended up bringing over some of the leftover food they had.  Their kids were all dressed up and the little girl looked so cute in her red plaid dress!  Both kids are so adorable!  The little boy happens to be 4 months older than Kyle and they ride the same bus to school.  They ended up giving us 2 slices of pizza, 4 chicken breasts, 1 slice of cake, 1 slice of pumpkin cheesecake, and some bread.   Shannon was so shocked at how generous they were for bringing over the food.  I had the pumpkin cheesecake, which was really good.  Shannon ate the pizza and chicken breasts! 

The last time they invited us, Shannon straight out said that we shouldn't go.  He doesn't like to be social.  I would like to be friends/social with neighbors every once in awhile, but I'd also like to share it with my family! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Special Olympics ribbon

Kyle came home with his first ribbon!  Apparently he participated in the Special Olympics at school!  Even though Kyle had no idea what he was playing, I am pretty sure he had fun!  He loves being active, playing and running around! 

I've never seen the Special Olympics in action, but playing in this type of set up teaches the kids confidence, having fun, sportsmanship, and so much more! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm on the list!

Every Tuesday, the school sends the students home with a packet.  It's a weekly information packet full of school information, updates, announcements, and any classroom information as well.  There was a flyer from the school asking for volunteers to help with the annual talent show in February!  I asked Shannon what he thought about me volunteering and he had no problems with it.  So, I emailed the contact person and she took down my name and cell phone number (I also gave her our home phone number since that is the best number to contact us at).  I've been added me to the list!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Computer Desk

A few months ago, my in-laws gave us their old desktop computer (they have since upgraded their computer).  I just ordered a computer desk from Walmart.  I plan on using the desktop computer in our second bedroom.  I hope to do my workouts in the second bedroom if I am unable to do them in the family room.  I can also use the computer if I don't want to use my laptop.  I can't wait to use a desktop computer again as I have not had my own since 2007.  I miss not having a mouse to navigate too. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bed and Bath items from Walmart

When we moved into our current apartment back in May of 2011, we bought decorative bathroom towels, matching bath mats and a bed set at Walmart.  We chose their Canopy brand because we thought it was supposed to be better quality.  Shannon chose the colors of course -- he loves blue, so it's in a light blue color.  Our towels are gold/yellow color. 

We soon found out that Walmart bed and bath products do not last.  Our towels started unraveling, losing it's shape, and shrinking after a few months!  Our sheets are okay but the bedspread slowly started beading up and making a lot of fuzz balls!  We were forced to wash our bedspread for the first time since May and I can only imagine how it will look when it's washed and dried. 

Since we finally saw how low quality Walmart stuff is, Shannon and I have decided to buy any future things at a department store.  We've been buying our clothes at JC Penney and I just purchased a new bedspread at JC Penney as well.  I am tired of my clothes unraveling, losing it's shape, etc after only a few months. 

I also plan on buying Kyle's clothes and shoes from a department store. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

How nice!

This morning, our neighbor (they live across the street from us and live in the same apartment community as us) stopped by and asked if I could possibly watch his son after school (meet him at the bus stop).  He had to take his car in to get fixed because he was in an accident yesterday (the other guy hit him).  Anyway, he wanted me to wanted me to watch his son just in case he didn't make it home in time to meet his son at the bus stop.  I told him it wouldn't be a problem and he gave me his apartment key. 

Well, he just returned home (about 20 minutes before the bus drops off the kids).  He said he went to Costco and he gave us two apples and two grapefruits and a fresh loaf of bread (made at the store).  The package of bread had two loaves so he gave us one of them!  I thought it was so nice of him to give us the food! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Changed his shoes

Awhile back, when it was time to buy Kyle new shoes, I ended up buying 2 pairs of shoes.  He only ended up wanting to wear one pair, the blue ones.  He wore them until they literally ripped at the soles!  Earlier this week, I brought out his other pair of shoes (white ones) and he reluctantly put them on and as soon as I walked away, he took them off and tried to put them back.  I ended up helping him put them back on his feet and I quickly changed the situation (this usually helps when he's about to have a tantrum). 

Kyle does not like change.  He does not like new clothes either.  It is very difficult to bring in new clothes for him to wear.  He thrives on routine.  I would love to dress him up in cute boy clothes but I have to stick to his school clothes. 

All this week, he's been having tantrums, morning and night.  It is very out of the ordinary for him.  We don't know what triggers it either.  There are times when he bangs his head against the wall.  The other morning, he was a happy boy and smiling with me.  The next minute he starts having a tantrum!  It has been frustrating. 

Shannon has said he does NOT want to put Kyle on medication, even though I am open to the idea.  Then I thought about the possibility of trying an alternative herbal remedy that would be all natural and safe to use with no side effects.  I found a product for tantrums but it's almost $40.  If you buy 2, you get one free and that's about $70! 

When Kyle got home from school, he was much better from the rest of this week.  He cried and got upset at the usual issues that triggers him but that quickly passed.   We're thinking he's used to his new shoes by now.  It usually takes him a few days to get used to something new.  After that, it's part of his routine. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Possible babysitting on Monday

Ever since Kyle started riding the bus this year, I have befriended another parent of a child who rides the same bus.  All the kids that wait at our bus stop happen to live in the same apartment community as us.  The father that I have befriended happens to live across the street.  He and his wife are both Chinese, however, they are 5-7 years older than we are.  They have two very adorable kids, they are so precious!  I love talking to them because they are able to respond verbally when I ask them questions.  The little boy is a few months older than Kyle, so he is 6 and also in Kindergarten (he's in a different classroom than Kyle) and the little girl is 3 years old and she goes to preschool at a church.  The dad has a Ph.D. in Mathematics and the mom has a Ph.D. in Chemistry.  Wow, right?! 

Anyway, the dad asked me if I would be available to watch his son on Monday afternoon.  He has a job interview and he's not sure he'll be back home in time to meet his son at the bus stop.  I agreed and let Shannon know about it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Back on track

While Kyle was off from school last week, I was unable to workout.  He was sick and he would wake up soon after I did.  I just couldn't find the time to workout as I like to workout right after I put him on the bus in the morning.  Since he started back at school yesterday, I am back on track with my workouts! 

I definitely missed working out!  I've had to start over on the workout schedule.  I started over 2 weeks ago and now I'm on week 2!  I've already completed this workout once, so this is considered Round 2! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I subscribed to the newspaper

I just subscribed to our local Sunday paper delivery, which I never thought I would.  I ended up subscribing because I went to purchase the Sunday paper at the corner gas station [for the first time in almost 2 months] and found out that the price was raised from $1.50 to $2.00!  I only brought $1.50 with me! 

I decided to look on the newspaper website to see how much it would be to subscribe for the Sunday paper delivery and it's only $8.84 a month.  It's only 84 cents more to subscribe, so I decided to sign up!  It will save me from getting dressed and getting Kyle ready and taking him for a little walk to buy the paper.  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Walmart after Black Friday

We ended up going to Walmart today.  We wanted to go yesterday but Kyle was still feeling sick, coughing and throwing up.  Today he's a little better.  I hope he'll be ready for school on Monday, either way, I hope to send him! 

We bought the usually groceries.  I plan on making a green bean casserole and banana nut muffins this week.  We also bought 2 pumpkin pies!  I also decided we should buy a small bag of potatoes to have baked potatoes and any leftovers can be re-heated the next day or I can add them to soups or as a side for dinner. 

Walmart wasn't as busy in the grocery section.  Shannon and I figured that everyone has plenty of leftovers, so they don't need to be shopping for food. 

I also bought a few cleaning supplies: sponges, dishwasher tabs, baking soda (to clean), and zote laundry bar (to make homemade laundry soap).

Kyle behaved at the store.  I think he was so distracted looking all around the store and he never got bored.  If he gets bored, he'll start to whine.  I think there was too much going on for him to get bored. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Holiday

Kyle is off from school this week.  He had school on Monday and Tuesday and has the rest of the week off, which means 5 days off from school!  Unfortunately, he is sick!  We're not sure if it's the flu (again) or a cold but we can tell he has a sore throat because he keeps coughing.  Yesterday and today, he's been sleeping throughout the day.  He doesn't like to be left alone so he'll sleep in the living room with us.  Poor little bug should be asleep in bed, but he doesn't like to be alone.  He also feels much warmer to the touch than normal.  I haven't checked his temperature since Tuesday but he is warmer than he should be. 

He showed symptoms of being sick on Monday and Tuesday but I still sent him to school since he has the Thanksgiving holiday off. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving meal at school

We received a flyer last week from Kyle's teachers letting us know that they were having a Thanksgiving meal in the classroom on Tuesday, November 22nd.  They listed the planned menu and asked the parents for donations of $10.  I've been debating on whether or not to send Kyle to school with the $10.  When I asked Shannon if we should donate, he would say, "yes."  But he's not the one who insures that the bills are paid, he doesn't see how little money we have.  Finally, I asked him last night if we should donate the money he finally agreed that we shouldn't and to send a note to school.  I wrote a simple note saying we are unable to donate as we have been unemployed for almost 2 years.  I also asked if we need to pick him up early from school that day. 

I am so tired of the teachers always asking for school supplies, snacks, and other items. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lots of fruit and a veggie tray!

Shannon and I went to Walmart while Kyle was at school this afternoon.  It was really nice going shopping without him because he can get irritated and bored after so long.  With Kyle, he is unpredictable.

As we were shopping, we saw a lot of people shopping for their Thanksgiving dinner.  I made a comment about everyone shopping for their Thanksgiving dinner and he replied, "so that's what it is?"  He had no idea why it was a little busy in the store.  We didn't buy anything for Thanksgiving, just our regular groceries.  We bought a lot of fruits just because we haven't had fruit in the house for so long.  Shannon also bought a little veggie tray that he likes to eat on his own.

Ever since he had to take a Health class and now he's having to go through another Health class, he's been trying to choose healthier food and buying more fruits and veggies. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

The things I love!

Happy Monday!  It's a new week! 

I decided to do the things that make me happy.  This past weekend, I made more soy candles and had extra wax leftover to make tarts too!  I also put some candles up for sale through my Facebook page.  Once I sell the soy candle sets I have for sale, I hope to buy more candle supplies! 

Last week, I was still getting over the flu but while I wasn't feeling 100%, I was working out.  Instead of doing Turbo Fire, I went back to Turbo Jam all of last week.  This week, I am back to doing Turbo Fire!  I am restarting the schedule from the beginning.  I hope to stick to the schedule as much as possible! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Filling our time

I've been trying to find a variety of volunteer opportunities and even contacted a local "Autism Society" and they said to call a number and they would call "when they had opportunities available."  I felt like they were blowing me off.  I even emailed someone with Kyle's school.  A few months ago, they sent home a flyer asking for volunteers for various projects and it had an email address listed as well.  I emailed the contact person a few days ago and have yet to hear anything back!  I just don't understand why it's so hard to find VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES!  LOL

This afternoon, I saw a commercial for serve.gov with Obama encouraging American's to volunteer our time.  I quickly went to the website and did a search.  I found many opportunities and I even found opportunities that would interest Shannon.  There were two of them, one to volunteer at the Sheriff's Department and at the Police Department.  I emailed the Police Department lead to Shannon and explained why he should go for this volunteer opportunity.

Well, it turns out, after I listed my reasoning and thoughts on why he should volunteer at the Police Department, he ended up emailing them letting them know he was interested! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hoping to win something!

Lately, I've been entering as many blog giveaways as I can find!  Most of the giveaways I am entering are for gift cards, cash and other prizes!  I would love to win!  It would be nice to be able to get something special for my family! 

I am also making an effort to enter the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes on a daily basis.  I used to enter every time they sent me an email, but I am now going to enter daily.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hit with the flu

I am convinced we were hit with the flu.  Kyle was sick with the flu for over a week and as he was getting over it, I started showing symptoms.  I am getting over it and now Shannon is showing symptoms.  I looked up the "flu symptoms" online and most of our symptoms matched up.  Kyle did throw up a few times and they said that was common in children, rather than adults. 

Since I was sick, I put off my workouts.  As I am feeling better these days, I am trying to get back on track with my workouts.  Last night, I did pilates just before bed.  I am also doing Turbo Jam for a bit before I jump back into Turbo Fire.  My asthma has been acting up lately too. 

Thankfully, Kyle seems to be much better and only missed one day of school since he caught the flu.  I can only imagine how bad it is in his classroom if he caught it. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wrong bra size

While we were in Myrtle Beach, SC, we walked around one of their outdoor malls (Broadway at the Beach) on one of our date nights.  I stopped in Victoria's Secret and started looking around and one of the sales associates approached me and ended up asking me if I wanted a bra fitting.  Well, lo and behold, it turns out I am wearing the wrong bra size.  It's really hard to believe the cup size but instead of wearing a 34B, I wear a 32C.  I am thinking the cup size may be wrong though.  I haven't tried on any new bras since receiving my new bra size so I don't know if it's right or not. 

Drip Drop, Drip Drop...

Around 6pm, I hear drip drop, drip drop coming from the bathroom.  I had taken a shower and just finished giving Kyle a bath.  I went into the bathroom to check it out and I look up to see water dripping from our ceiling!  Then I remembered just as I was leaving the bathroom after giving Kyle a bath, I heard a big "whoosh" sound, like a toilet flushing or a dishwasher running upstairs.  It sounds like water gushing! 

As I am trying to find the number to "emergency maintenance" pager for our complex (since it's after business hours), I am worrying and freaking out about what is causing the whole mess.  Of course I can't find the paper with the information.  I gave Shannon the main office number and the recording had the pager number for us to call.  Shannon called the number and left our phone number for them to call us back.  Thankfully they called back within 2 minutes or so.  They told us they would be here in half an hour.

I just hope this can be fixed quickly without us having to stay elsewhere. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Four Days in Myrtle Beach, SC

We decided to go out of town this past weekend since Kyle had a 4 day weekend from school.  We ended up keeping him home from school on Thursday because he still wasn’t feeling well and he had thrown up the night before.  We had originally planned to leave on Thursday afternoon soon after we picked Kyle up from school.  We planned to pick him up at 2pm when school let out, and bring him back home.  I had planned to give him a quick bath and then we would hit the road.  We ended up leaving on Thursday around noon.  It took a little over 4 hours to reach Myrtle Beach, SC.

My in-laws live in an apartment community that offers an apartment suite for guests for about $55 a night.  We were able to stay in the suite while we were in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Luckily we are about a building away from their apartment home.  It was nice to stay in an apartment, it has a kitchen which is great when you are away from home.  The apartment also has a washer and dryer but the washer wasn’t working so we weren’t able to do laundry.

Our four days have been eventful.  We stopped at the beach on Friday, but only stayed about 5 minutes because the wind was blowing and the waves were a little rough and we weren’t sure how Kyle would be around the ocean.  I did find about 4 seashells! 

On Friday night, my in-laws offered to watch Kyle so Shannon and I could go out on a date.  Shannon and I have not been out as a couple since Kyle was born.  It’s not easy to leave him with just anyone, especially with his Autism and special needs.  We ended up going to a place called Broadway at the Beach, which is a bunch of shops on the beach.  It’s like an outdoor mall with all kinds of shops.  There are also restaurants, IMAX, and movie theater.  We saw a Starbucks and had to stop in there.  I had a hot Chai Tea Latte and Shannon and a White Chocolate Mocha.  It was really fun enjoying coffee and just walking around alone!  While I went into some of the shops, Shannon fed the catfish in the water.  I ended up buying 2 Yankee Candles!  I really wanted to buy more, but I have to remind myself that I can make my own soy candles!  This has definitely inspired me to make more candles, especially Christmas scented candles!  It was fun to smell all the Yankee Candles.  We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Abuelo’s.  It was delicious!  It was really nice to be out without Kyle! 

On Saturday, we went to an indoor playground type of place for Kyle.  They have bouncy houses and bouncy house with slides and other playground type equipment that are padded.  We stayed for a little over an hour, but Shannon and I were pooped out by that time.  Kyle dragged us to go play with him.  He had us bouncing along with him and going down the slides with him.  We also had to swing him on the soft swings.  Shannon and I took turns and we were both sweaty and worn out afterwards.  We stopped by the beach after that and stayed for a half hour or so.  Kyle loved the beach!  While he was picking up seashells and throwing them back in the ocean, I was collecting as many seashells I could fit in one hand!  I honestly think Kyle thought he was cleaning up the beach by throwing the seashells back into the ocean.  At the end, he started picking up handfuls of sand and throwing it back into the ocean. 

On Saturday night, my in-laws watched Kyle again so Shannon and I could go out!  Shannon really wanted to see a movie at IMAX and we wanted to go back to the Broadway at the Beach again.  It was fun the first time around since we walked around and it was really good exercise for us!  It got us out and about and walking!  Instead of going to see Harry Potter at the IMAX theater, we ended up seeing Puss in Boots in 3D.  I really didn’t want to see Harry Potter as the books or the movies interest me.  I have no desire to read the books and I really tried watching one of the movies, but didn’t really understand the hype.  We had a big lunch so we weren’t hungry by the time we headed out, so we didn’t eat dinner out.  We walked around the Broadway at the Beach and had Starbucks again (we ordered the same coffee drinks as the night before).

Saturday night was Halloween night at the Broadway at the Beach so we saw a lot of people dressed up in their costumes. They also had live music. We saw one costume in particular that got a lot of attention. There was a person dressed as Death and he was walking around with a guillotine. There was a mannequin set up in the guillotine and the sign said, “Casey Anthony’s Retrial.” Just before he brought down the guillotine, the mannequin would fidget a bit and then the blade came down! Everyone was taking pictures and video of it. It was very creative! We also saw two guys dressed up as plastic army men, I think they got that idea from the Disney theme parks.

We took it easy on Sunday.  My husband and Kyle stayed home while my mother-in-law and I went to the mall.  We shopped at JC Penney and just walked around for a bit.  While I love shopping, it’s no fun when you don’t have money to spend.  I saw a lot of cute clothes, but I kept reminding myself that I don’t “absolutely need them.”  It’s just too bad when my husband gambled away our savings the week before.  My MIL saw a cute leather jacket and looked at the price tag and said, “It’s only $89.  That’s not bad.”  All I could think was, “um, sure.”  Again, her son just gambled away all of our savings the week before.  I didn’t even dream about or think about getting anything.  We also looked at shoes and saw a few cute boots that I would have liked to get. 

We stopped at PetSmart on the way home since my MIL needed cat food.  It was so odd going in to a store that allowed pets.  As a non-pet owner, I have no reason to go to PetSmart. 

My MIL watched Kyle on Sunday night so Shannon and I could go out again.  We ended up having dinner at Hard Rock Café.  The service and employees were so-so.  I bought a Hard Rock Café glass cup.  Our first date was at a Hard Rock Café in Sacramento and I got a glass cup back then. 

Being in Myrtle Beach, SC, it’s been a nice change to be in a city with plenty of restaurants, shopping, and things to do!  Even though we were out of town, we were able to fit in plenty of exercise. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Too Dependent

If my in-laws hadn't moved out of their house, we would still be living there.  Shannon would have loved to live with them for years.  He seems to like to live/depend on his parents and also living off the money my mom who would send ME for MY birthday. 

We are still unemployed, but Shannon has had his surgery to where his hernia is no longer an issue (it's been fixed).  Before, his excuse for not looking for a job was his hernia.  Now that his hernia is fixed, his new excuse is that he's working on his case.  There are no issues with him finding a weekend job, or even an overnight job.

This past weekend, we went to Harrah's where he gambled away our little bit of savings egg, plus took out another $200 from our bank account to gamble with.  He decided we're going to Myrtle Beach this weekend since Kyle has a 4 day weekend from school.  He and his parents planned this without my knowledge.  I told him we need to cancel this trip because we can really afford to go.  Now he's saying that he'll need $200 to print stuff out for his case.  Obviously he wants to use MY SAVINGS BONDS to live off of and use to spend on his case.  It just makes me so mad that he doesn't even think about the future/bills/paying for things that come up!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Back to JC Penney

Shannon and I went back to the mall this afternoon.  We wanted to leave the house since they were having a representative from the bank inspecting our building and the inside structuring of each of the apartments (for insurance purposes).  They said it wasn't necessary for us to be home.

It's nice to get out of the house, especially while Kyle is at school.  We usually aren't able to go out alone, except when Kyle is in school.  It's a weird feeling being out and about without Kyle, but we also miss him.  

I ended up returning the Liz Claiborne crops because when I tried them on again, I didn't like how the legs were so wide and loose around my legs.  Anyway, I ended up finding 4 long sleeved tops (much needed for the dropping temperatures), and a fleece sweatshirt and matching fleece pants.  As I was checking out, the cashier informed me that they are actively hiring for the Christmas season and that I should definitely apply!  I told Shannon about this and decided that at the end of this month, I will choose between getting a job or sign up for college!  I am interested in taking a Medical Transcription course that is offered through a community college.  The course is done completely online!  Also, they offer a special price for NC residents only of $350 total for the 2 part course.  It will take 8 months to complete.  It's done through a company that also offers job placement assistance/resume assistance. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

JC Penney yesterday and today!

After Kyle got home yesterday, we ended up going to the mall.  The mall is less than 10 minutes from where we live, so it's a short drive.  Since we were shopping with Kyle, we can't "shop" too long in a store because he gets anxious and wants to keep going.  We rent a stroller to keep him "strapped in," otherwise he will pull us on try to run away.  We walked around the mall for a bit, mostly to get out and for the exercise. 

We stopped at JC Penney and I found 2 pairs of corduroy pants in Petite size that were on sale.  I bought one in light grey and a dark brown color.  I also bought a few tops from the clereance rack.  One of the tops was a yoga tank.  I am unable to try clothes on because that would upset Kyle if he can't SEE me.  I bought what I thought would fit me.  I also had a 20% off coupon that JC Penney sent me via email. 

I tried on my goodies at home.  The pants fit nice in the waste, perfect fit, but I prefer not to have that because my weight could and does fluctuate from day to day, week to week.  The length was perfect, but I could just imagine them shrinking just a bit and they would look weird on me.  They were labeled as 6 Petite Short

I liked the tops that I bought, except one and ended up returning that one today.  I exchanged my corduroy pants for size 6 Petite Average and they are perfect!  I also bought a pair of jeans on sale, and a Liz Claibourne brand crops in brown color.  My crops were on the clearance rack and I only paid $8.14 for them.  They were originally $44!  Shannon also bought some much needed casual pants, boxers, and a new shirt. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Autism Perspective 10/16

As I peered out of our front window, I watched mother and daughter walking about 5 feet away from each other.  Mom walking in the parking lot and daughter walking alongside on the sidewalk.  Daughter holding an umbrella over her head as the rain fell.  Mom wearing a black hat. 

What's different with this picture?  For me, it's the freedom of not having to hold your child's hand as you walk.  It may sound so simple, but for me, I am envious. 

Whenever we are walking with our son, we must hold his hand.  While our son is about the same age as the girl I saw walking alongside her mother, we must hold our son's hand at all times.  For one thing, our son has Autism.  He can and will try to run away and he can easily run into the street without looking out for cars.  Second, there are times he prefers to hold our hand because it's part of a routine.  He loves routine and gets upset if we break routine. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Over $150 grocery trip!

Wow!  We went grocery shopping about an hour after Kyle arrived home from school.  We decided to shop at a grocery store only a few blocks away, instead of going to Walmart which is about 15 minutes away.  I bought fresh fruits and vegetables, and a ton of other things.  It was a fun trip because it's been at least 3 weeks since we've been food shopping.  We went to the store last Friday and decided to not buy food (we ended up buying 3 cases of bottled water) and return the next day, however the next day turned into 6 days later.  The past few days, we've been eating out!  UGH!  I hope to make up for my bad eating with good food again!  I plan on making more Quinoa with a vegetables and meatless chicken or salmon. 

At checkout, they had to open additional registers and they had to call additional help to help check out customers.  I saw a manager, a worker with a big fabric/plastic apron on and another worker come up to help customers! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Remember the Orange Julius?

I remember when I was a kid, when my parents took us to the mall we usually stopped to get an orange julius -- a sweet treat!  It truly was a treat because we didn't get to enjoy this every day! 

This evening, we went to the mall and there was an Orange Julius!  We stopped and got a medium size drink to share.  I remember back in the late 80s and 90s, Orange Julius used to have a handful of blenders and they would make your julius right in front of you.  Well, today, it seems they no longer do that.  The orange julius comes out of a machine! 

As we walked away from the Orange Julius place, I thought about look up a homemade recipe version!  We tried making it years ago and I even found a recipe I wanted to try, but Shannon just took that over and made it the way he wanted.  This time I will make it the way I want to, with a recipe. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Yummy smelling day

This morning I made more soy candles!  I made lavendar colored candles in a Pineapple Jasmine scent.  I had plenty of soy wax leftover to make tarts too.  They smelled so delicious as they were curing.

As my candles and tarts were curing, I decided to make blueberry muffins.  I am having a hard time finding one ingredient to make them, so I also bought "Duncan Hines" blueberry muffin mix.  They turned out pretty good!  I put most of them in the freezer and will take some out the night before so that Shannon can eat them.

The entire day, our home smell like candles and blueberry muffins!  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bath adventures

A few nights ago, Shannon was taking a bath and Kyle would always play in the water with him.  He'd put his whole arm in the water or take one of his toys and play with it in the water.  The other night, Kyle decided to get in the bath with his daddy!  It was so cute!  So they took a bath together! 

Last night I was taking a bath and Kyle decided to take a bath with me too!  It was too funny and cute at the same time.  So we ended up taking a bath together.  I shampoo'd his hair and washed his body as usual.  He seems to like how high the water is in the bathtub.  When I give him a bath, I fill it about 4 or 5 inches high. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Unexpected call

I received an unexpected call today.  I was surprised they called because they had called two Saturdays ago and didn't leave a message which left me regretting not answering the phone.  Then I reminded myself that "things happen for a reason."  Shannon and I have learned to think like that for the last few years.

I applied online at JC Penney two Fridays ago and they called me the next day (two Saturdays ago) but didn't leave a message.  I thought that maybe they would call again a few days later and when they still didn't call, I remembered that "things happen for a reason." I tried not to dwell on it, and just forgot about it until they called today.  I've been so busy and preoccupied with other things lately.

I received a call today and she said they have an opening in "Family Shoes" and asked if I was interested and of course I said, "Yes!"  We set up an interview for Thursday afternoon.

After I got off the phone with her, I went over the conversation and I realized she never mentioned the word, "interview."  She only asked if I was "interested" in the position.  Does that mean she won't really "interview" me, she'll just tell me about the position and then give me a little tour?  She also sounded like she needed to fill the position quickly, at least I hope so. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Something old and new

While I was working out yesterday, I looked down at my abs and was not happy with what I saw.  Since I don't want to use belly wraps or spanx, mainly because I can't afford to buy them, and second they are only temporary solutions.  There is a home business out there that sells "body wraps" and other wraps to "melt the fat" I believe.  But they seem to be temporary solutions.  I was tempted to look further into them but I'd rather go back to something that actually worked for me.

This morning, I woke up sore [from my workout yesterday] and thought about doing pilates again.  I did a 30 minute pilates workout and felt really good afterwards.  I am going to start incorporating pilates in my workout schedule.  If I am feeling sore, I will do pilates instead.  Or just add it on after my cardio.   I already know pilates works for me, so I don't need products to "hide" my fat.  I am going to use pilates to tone my body. 

Pilates worked for me after I had Kyle.  Eight days after I had Kyle, I started doing pilates again.  I had done pilates before and loved it so I couldn't wait to start doing it again.  I think pilates really helped me tone my stomach and my entire body. 

I am having a lot of fun trying to figure out how to make soy candles.  I love burning soy candles, so making them seems to make sense.  For now it's a hobby.  Plus, burning soy candles has an additional benefit, it adds fragrance to our apartment!

Moonlight Path

I made another batch of soy candles last night.  My monkey farts candles are almost gone, I am on my second candle and it's halfway gone.  I've been burning my candles as often as I can, especially while Kyle is at school. 

I made 2 8oz soy candles in "Moonlight Path" scent.  It's described as: This BBW duplicate has top notes of pink rose, jasmine, and light violets. Base notes of sweet musk enriched with unique woodsy notes. A true favorite.

I still need a few more candle making supplies, such as a "candy thermometer" since the one I am using doesn't seem to work right.  I also need tart molds since I have soy wax leftover and I can make tarts with the unused wax.  Lastly, I want to get an electric candle warmer that can melt tarts and container candles. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Monkey Farts!

I made 2 8oz soy candles the other night.  I decided to make Monkey Farts first!  I love this scent and the name!  The thermometers that I have weren't working right.  Thankfully my candle is burning correctly.  I need a few more candle making supplies such as a different thermometer and tart tins (to use for the leftover soy wax).  I am hoping I can find both at the local craft supply store. 

I've been burning my Monkey Farts yesterday and today and so far so good!  It smells wonderful too!  No issues with burning or with the wick!  I am so happy! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So sad, he hasn't learned!

Apparently my brother hasn't learned.  He is still as selfish as ever!  He really should get over himself.  He thinks the world revolves around him and expects everyone to drop what they are doing to cater to him.  I am BUSY dealing with my own life as well as my son (who has special needs) and he seems to be whining about getting his coat!  Hello dumb ass!  It's HOT here!  You don't need a fucking coat right this second.  You can see our weather as of today, September 14th at 3:50pm:

As far as I know, he's already burned every bridge with the family (nobody wanted to take him in) and nobody really wants to help him because all he does is TAKE, TAKE, TAKE.  Not only does he TAKE, he treats you and your family like crap and calls your apartment dirty!  Oh and he expects you to drive him to and from school, even though he never asked for rides.  He also expects to use your car and not even help with gas.  He also expects to use YOUR laptop that your husband bought you for your BIRTHDAY and use your internet and leave the computer on all night downloading crap.  Oh and he doesn't help with any of the bills! 

I hope he gets over himself and realize people aren't going to drop everything or stop their life for him.

Unfortunately we have some of his stuff.  I have banned him from calling us and emailing me.  Not only that, my husband has said he doesn't want him over here.  Hahahahahaha!  so fucking funny.  His stuff really deserves to go to Goodwill rather than him.  I am not sure how he's going to get his stuff.  He needs to come here and we can leave his shit on our porch. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let's see if this works!

I have heard that adding epsom salts to your bath helps relax and relieve sore muscles and wanted to try it.  Since I started Turbo Fire, I am sore the following day and even several days after my workout.  My workout schedule is normally 6 days a week of workouts and one day of rest but I've been taking every other day off, if not more because of muscle soreness! 

I am using a vitamin supplement that helps with energy, endurance, and recovery but they are a little costly compared to a bag of epsom salts!  Plus the supplement isn't helping with the recovery part.

We went to Walmart today for a quick trip.  I ended up getting a 4 lb bag of epsom salts for less than $4 or so.  They also had a 6 lb bag, but I opted for the 4 lb instead.  I also bought a thermometer to use when I attempt to make soy candles (I should receive my package tomorrow).  I already have a thermometer but it doesn't go lower than 120 degrees.  I also bought some socks since I needed some.  Shannon and I stocked up on more food as well!

This time, we went to a different Walmart than the one we normally go to.  The one we usually go to is less than 6 miles away but the one we went to today is only a mile further, so it's about 7 miles away from where we live.  We dislike/hate/despise the Walmart we've been going to because every time we went to check out, we've had issues.  One time that stood out is some bitch of a customer just cut in front of us...  Every other time at check out, we've had to wait 15 minutes or more just to check out!!!  It's just insane.  By that time, our frozen food is half thawed!  They only have 4 registers open and the lines are 5 or 6 [full] carts deep!  They never request for additional cashiers to help and I noticed that the majority of their registers go unused because they don't work!!!  They always have the "self checkout" lanes open but when you have a full cart, you can't use that option. 

The Walmart we went to today was much nicer looking and newer looking.  It looked cleaned and was a little less crowded!  And guess what?  We didn't have to wait longer than a minute to get helped because there were no lines!  They had much more registers open!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our organic dinner

Today I made quinoa for the first time!  I've heard of it before and then my MIL told me that they eat it and that I can use vegetable broth to cook it, as opposed to using water.  I read online that I could use a rice cooker to make it. 

I made organic quinoa (and organic vegetable broth in place of the water) in my rice cooker!  I also made organic tofu and organic spinach.  I cut the tofu into cubes and let them marinate in olive oil and soy sauce for about 15 minutes.  I cooked the tofu and spinach in my non-stick pan. 

It turned out really good!!!!  Shannon said it tasted good and said that he likes spinach, so I guess that means I'll need to make more of it! 

I am searching online for more quinoa recipes and found 3 that look easy for me to make! 

I caught up on cleaning!

I've been wanting to get some baking soda to use for general cleaning, but I remembered I have Borax which can be used to clean and deodorize.  I used borax to deep clean our bathtub and bathroom sink.  They are both now squeaky clean and as white as they can be (they are old fixtures).  I also cleaned our floors with my swiffer. 

I also wanted to clean up the spot stains on our carpet so I used borax and warm water.  I mixed 1/2 cup of borax and about 2 cups of warm water.  I used a towel to scrub it in to the carpet.  I let it sit for about a half hour and then used the vacuum on the carpet.  The grey stains are gone!  I plan on using dry borax on the carpet.  Sprinkle it on the carpet and let it absorb for about a half hour and then vacuum it up.  I need to do this while Kyle is in school so he won't get into the borax!  This will help remove any odors in the carpet and hopefully make it smell fresher!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My 2 oz candle

I am still in shock that my 2 oz candle that I made came out so perfect!  I've been burning it here and there and I finally brought it out in to the living room for a bit.  I blew out the candle about 15 minutes ago and I can still smell the candle scent throughout the room! 

I've been searching all day for a soy candle making kit and finally found one I like that was reasonably priced.  It comes with everything I need to make more candles, including the jars.  Next time I plan on buying the jars at Walmart.  I hope to get these by next week, so I chose a kit that included the jars.  I really hope to make more candles soon.  I love burning candles and it will be nice to have some on hand if the power goes out.  It rains here frequently and sometimes there is lightning and thunder, which can also result in a power outage. 

His first sickness of the school year

Last night, I could tell Kyle was getting sick.  He was sniffling his nose in his sleep.  When he woke up this morning, he sort of stayed in bed and didn't seem in a hurry to get up.  When I finally got out of bed at 8am or so, he got up with me.  He didn't eat much today except 2 pancakes that I made.  He did drink water this morning, but that's about it. 

I could also tell he has a sore throat.  His nose hasn't been bothering him today.  He's been taking it easy all day today.  He just fell asleep on the couch. 

I am a little relieved that he got sick on the weekend, rather than during the week.  This is most likely a 24 hour bug and hopefully he'll be ready for school on Monday!  I would hate for him to miss school since he loves it so much! 

The moment of truth: soy candle making

Well, as Dora the Explorer says...

My soy candle turned out perfect! I didn't mess it up. I burned it this morning and there were no issues!  I am so happy with the result.  I can't wait to make more soy candles!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Second attempt at riding the bus

When we picked Kyle up from school yesterday afternoon, we were told by his teachers that he could start riding the bus tomorrow [the Assistant Principal also came out to introduce himself].  The teachers also gave us the harness that he will have to wear on the bus going to school.  The school bus he rides home already has a built-in harness! 

So this morning, Kyle rode the school bus to school.  He seemed happy to go to school, just like any other day.  He didn't like the harness at first but after a bit, he seemed to forget about it.  He was just excited to get on the bus! 

While Kyle was at school, I made my soy candle.  I followed the directions and now I'm letting it cure for 24 hours before burning it!  If it burns correctly, I *hope* to get more soy wax and fragrance oils! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

I want to try again

I want to try soy candle making again.  I want to try something crafty to do while Kyle is in school.  Today I made a homemade batch of chai tea mix and it was pretty fun!

Instead of buying a starter kit for $70, I found a itty bitty kit to try.  This kit will make a 2 oz candle.  I'd rather start with this little kit instead of something bigger.  This should give me an idea of soy candle making.  Plus, if my candle turns out okay, I can try to make more candles!  I love having candles burning, so I want to try making them again! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Groceries is what we now have!

After we picked Kyle up from school, we stopped at home and then we ended up going to the post office, the bank, and then to Walmart!  I don't think we had that much fun at the store in a long time.  It's fun shopping for food when you have food stamps.  We bought a lot of extra food just because they are nice to have on hand.  We also bought food that Kyle needs for school (snacks and drinks).  We ended up spending over $225! 

I ended up returning some spices I bought the last time we went to the store because we used our own money.  Just 4 spices cost over $24, so it's nice to have that money back in our pocket.  I also brought a pair of Kyle's pants back with the receipt because they were marked at $8 but I was charged $8.92.  I bought 4 pairs.  Only one of the pairs was marked at $8 and the guy gave me back my 92 cents for all 4 pairs!  LOL  I should have said something, but we're both unemployed and I am not going to speak up when someone is giving me too much money back!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Just a bit of good news!

Yesterday, we received a bit of good news!  We received a notice in the mail that we are approved for Food Stamps!  We are so happy and relieved to be back on food stamps.  The letter stated our benefits are good between 7/11-12/11!  We have a month and a half worth of food stamps on the card right now! 

Last week, I bought 4 new pairs of pants for Kyle to wear for school, but I realize he will need a few more pairs!  He has a total of 6 pairs of pants but 1 pair is kept at school.  I also want a few more shirts for him. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

What a mess!

We put Kyle on the school bus this morning because we informed the EC Case Manager his "start date."  She and I have been emailing each other since a week before school started.  I emailed her a few days before school started that he would be a bus rider and she said she filled out the forms for us.  Apparently there was some miscommunication because here is what happened (keep in mind, we had no idea about the miscommunication as we thought everything was already set up)...

We have a neighbor girl (who is about 8 or 9 years old) who also attends the same school as Kyle.  She also rides the bus.  There are at least 10 other kids that have the same bus stop as Kyle.  Anyway, her mother asked if we wanted her daughter to "watch over" Kyle and make sure he gets on the right bus and gets off at the right place, etc.  We agreed! 

We put Kyle on the bus this morning.  The neighbor girl takes Kyle's hand while waiting in line to get on the bus (cute) and she gets on right after him.  Kyle sits down at the first seat and she sits right next to him.  She informs us through the window that there is no seat belt!  Before the bus drove off, I wanted to let the bus driver know of his "EC status" but she closed the door so fast and then drove off!  The neighbor girl's mom reassured me that her daughter would watch him.  She said her daughter is very "motherly" and loves the responsibility. 

As soon as I walked in the door [after getting Kyle on the bus], I told Shannon that there was no seat belt on the bus and the driver shut the door before I could let her know about his special needs.  Shannon immediately starting worrying about Kyle's safety (as was I).  I told him that I would email the "EC Case Manager" and let her know our concerns.  Here's the email I sent her at 7:33am, Shannon helped me with the message we wanted to convey:

Dear _____

I just put Kyle on the bus [number 750] and there were no seat belts.  Also, the bus driver seemed oblivious and I didn't have a chance to let her know of his special needs/EC status.  As soon as the last child boarded the bus, she quickly closed the bus doors and drove off.  We have a neighbor girl who also rides the same bus and she said she would "watch" over him, but as parents we can't rely on that.  While we do trust the neighbor girl, it shouldn't be up to a 8-9 year old to watch a special needs child.

  This bus situation really worries us because he does not talk and he will try to stand up or even get up in the bus and walk around without a seat belt on. 

  If the school is unable to accommodate his special needs (seat belt), we will take him to school ourselves.  However, there may be days where we are unable to take him and he won't be attending school those days. 

Shannon then wanted me to call the school to make sure he made it to his classroom, so I ended up calling a little after 8am and asked to be transferred to his classroom.  I talked to one of the assistant teachers and asked her if Kyle made it to the classroom and she said yes.  Shannon and I were so relieved!  We also decided (beforehand) that we would pick him up, so I told the teacher that we would be picking him up! 

When we went to pick him up, I asked the teacher how this morning went.  She said that he was actually standing in the other Kindergarten line!  The other assistant teacher (for his class) saw him and gathered him up to take him to class.  I was just so relieved he made it to his class.  The teacher also told me that "Mr. Harley" was supposed to call us and he didn't.  I guess he one of the "bus coordinators" for the school.  She asked if we could drive him to school on Monday and Tuesday and hopefully by then the bus would be equipped for Kyle's needs.  I even told Shannon what the teacher told me. 

Here's where it gets crazy...

This afternoon, the neighbor girl stopped by to make sure we had Kyle.  Shannon told her that we picked him up.  While they were outside talking, they find out that another girl that rides the bus was put on the wrong bus and had to be taken home by Mr. Hartley!  But it was her mom's mistake as she forgot to let the school know that she moved! 

The neighbor girl also told Shannon what REALLY happened this morning and how Kyle ended up in the Kindergarten line.  The bus stops at the school and the bus driver announces, "all Kindergartners need to get off the bus first."  The neighbor girl (not knowing what to do) tells Kyle to go ahead and get off the bus.  He gets off and he just starts walking and walking.  The teachers are oblivious because they are too busy talking to each other to watch the children.  The neighbor girl was watching this all go down through the window.  When it was her turn to get off the bus, she quickly goes to get him (because he's still walking) and puts him in the Kindergarten line.  She waited in the Kindergarten line until his assistant teacher came to get him!  I don't even want to know what would have happened if we didn't have the neighbor girl watching him! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Food Pantries

About a month ago, I was emailed a list of local food pantries from the main food bank of North Carolina.  I found at least 5 churches that are located in our zip code and made a list of their information including website and when the pantry is open.  Two of the churches on the list didn't have a website, so I need to call for more information on their food pantry. 

We went to Walmart last night and spent close to $200 buying groceries, school clothes, and school supplies for Kyle.  I think it finally hit Shannon that we need to turn to food banks for help.  I asked him about it a few days before he said we should wait another 2 weeks before we even consider that (I have a feeling it was a pride thing).  However, on the way home from Walmart, I brought up the food banks again and he agreed that we should definitely look into them. 

Unfortunately, we are still waiting to be approved for food stamps.  It's frustrating having to wait so long. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is that really necessary?

I've been looking at Kyle's school supply list over and over again and after confirming with Shannon, we are only going to get the supplies we are able to.  There are some things on the list that make me wonder if they are really imperative to his learning, rather than what the teacher needs for the classroom supply.

I plan on writing a note to the teacher letting her know that we are unable to get every item on the list due to our situation.  Since we filled out the application for free lunch, I am sending Kyle to school with lunch money until we are approved for that. 

I really don't see the need for Kyle to have latex gloves, and hand sanitizer [he'll only use it if we offer it to him, otherwise he can wash his hands like he does at home].  There is also facial tissue (2 boxes), Gallon size ziploc bags, and Sandwich bags - to which I have because I bought them with coupons.  I really think all of the items above is for the classroom supply, which I don't think we as parents should be responsible for supplying.  Then again, this is coming from a household with no income! 

Went searching for recipes...

I looked online for vegetarian recipes and stumbled onto marthastewart.com.  She had a tab for vegetarian recipes and I found a few that I liked.  I found 4 recipes that I want to try.  I am surprised that I found any recipes at all on Martha Stewart's website.  I would have thought Martha's recipes were difficult and "high class" type of foods.  The recipes I found had a short list of ingredients and it was easy to prepare! 

I made a new recipe today and Shannon said he liked it.  Hopefully I can try to make more. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Open House

We went to Kyle's Open House at his school tonight.  We arrived super early before we were supposed to be there.  They had certain times you were supposed to be there based on your last name.  They had popsicles in the cafeteria for the kids but we didn't want him eating a popsicle (it would get all over the place).  We also went to the Gym, but all they had there was booths.  The only one we stopped at was one that wasn't asking for money.  I filled out the sign up sheet with our grocery store membership number, I guess the school gets credit for every purchase...  There was a booth to join the PTA, but it was $7 ($7 we don't have).  There was another booth to purchase t-shirts and sweatshirts with the school mascot and a yearbook table.  So I skipped all of those tables. 

We met his teacher and her two teacher assistants!  We filled out the application for free lunches!  They also gave us a list of school supplies he will need, which happens to be completely different from the supply list they have on the school website!  I am a little pissed, not at anyone, but at the situation.  If they had given us a school supply list weeks ago, I would have had time to use my coupons to buy everything.  Although, there are a few items that I need to return (glue sticks, crayons).  I am upset because my husband and I are both unemployed, it's not like we have jobs and have money just laying around to buy things on a whim. 

As his first day of school gets closer, I realized he doesn't even have enough clothes to last a week of school!  We're going to Walmart to buy some of the things on his supply and also more clothes for school.  Shannon said it best, "we'll get every thing that we can."

Monday, August 22, 2011


We gave Kyle a haircut!  He really needed one, considering his last haircut was back in April!  His hair was so long.  Shannon shaved it while I made sure he stayed sitting on the counter.  After his haircut, I gave him a bath.  He looks completely different! 

He starts school in two days!  We have his open house tomorrow night! 

Almost Back to School Time!

It's almost "back to school" time for Kyle!  We have open house on Tuesday night.  I want to go so he can "meet" the teacher and "see" his classroom.  I don't want to send him to school on the first day and have him spend the day with strangers!  I think it will help a bit if he can see his teacher and the classroom before the first day. 

I also plan on applying for the free lunch program at the school for Kyle since I'm pretty sure we qualify!  I still don't have all of his "back to school" supplies but I am not going to stress over that. 

His first day of school is Wednesday.  He's going to be a bus rider, so I need to double check with the teacher.  Otherwise, we have a neighbor who will be taking the same bus to school that Kyle will be riding.  The one thing I don't like about this year and this school district is that they don't have a bus specifically for special needs children.  Kyle must ride the big bus with every bus rider (K thru 5th grade)!   And there won't be a second adult on the bus to help strap him in, so I guess I will be doing that.

We're still waiting to hear whether or not we are approved for food stamps!  I hope we get the answer soon! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dog biscuits at the bank?

My husband and I stopped at the bank yesterday and as I was waiting for the teller to finish my transaction, I look behind him on the counter (where the drive-thru counter is) and saw a box of dog biscuits sitting on the counter.  I asked him if they had a dog back there and he looked behind him confused and I said, "because you have dog biscuits on the counter."  He laughed and said that people bring their dogs through the drive-thru and they give them dog biscuits!  How sweet is that?  So unexpected, especially at a bank.  You would expect the employees to be "serious" and "professional."  On my way out of the door, I saw other customers sitting in an office with their dog with them!  

I told Shannon about the dog biscuits and he said, "only in the South."  We both laughed.  We don't mean to be offensive, it's just we would never see something like that on the West coast at a bank... 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

School Supplies and Supplements Update

I went to Walgreens for the second time this week.  I bought 12 more rolls of Cottonelle toilet paper for only $3.25 with my coupons!  I am pretty sure we're set on toilet paper for a few weeks!  *wink wink*  I also snagged a few more items from Kyle's back to school supplies list.  I bought 2 boxes of Kleenex tissue for only $0.84 each!  I used a Walgreens coupon plus a manufacturer's coupon that I found going through my coupons!  I just couldn't pass up that deal for Kleenex!  I also bought crayons and glue sticks with coupons. 

I also had to buy some Raid (ant killer) because we've been having an ant problem for awhile now.  I am tired of using the vacuum to suck them up and then they end up coming back.  Thankfully the Raid was on sale, plus I used a Walgreens coupon.  The kind that I bought is "household/indoor friendly."  They are actually made with a pleasant scent! 

I ended up purchasing another bottle of an energy/vitamin/supplement (I'm almost out).  I have used it before but stopped taking it for the last few weeks.  When I was taking it, I didn't wake up sore from my workouts the previous days.  I hate taking extra rest days due to soreness, especially with workout schedule that I want to try to stick to.  Hopefully I can get back on track with this vitamin/supplement. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's been nice!

The last few days have been so calm around here.  I love having our 928 sq ft apartment to ourselves again.  Hubby and I have gone over what my brother could have done to be a part of the household.  He chose to act the way he does and that's gotten him kicked out of Grandma's house and now our place.  Unfortunately he doesn't seem to get it. 

I hope we get approved for food stamps soon!  Using our own money to buy groceries is really taking a toll on our bank account. 

I am also slowly working on Kyle's back to school supply list!  I don't think we'll be able to get everything on the list so I'll just talk to the teacher and hopefully she can refer us somewhere that helps low income families with school supplies.  Since I don't see school supplies as a necessity for us to survive, I am putting those purchases on the back burner.  I am also waiting until I can find them on sale or a really low price!  I am now making the effort to limit my purchases at Walgreens to the things we need.  We have plenty of toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, and shampoo/conditioner to last us until the end of the year.  It's just so easy to get all of those things super cheap with coupons matchups!  Just today, I bought 12 rolls of Cottonelle toilet paper for $3.25 after coupons!  I plan on buying another 12 rolls this week since I have the coupons! 

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm "sorry" about how it all went down

I am "sorry" about how it all went down.  My brother had plenty of time to change his ways.  All we asked for is a little respect.  Be nice to us.  Say "hello" or even "good morning" to us!  Say something to us.  All he had to do was acknowledge us when he walked by.  Instead he ignored us.  If he would have just given us a little friendly chatter, he could still be living here.  If he took more initiative to help clean, offered to help pay our bills, etc that would have really helped too. 

In order for us to get this apartment, we pre-paid our entire lease (9 months).  As you can imagine, that took up a majority of our savings.  It bothered me to no end that my brother acted like he was entitled to live here.  He just basically swooped in and stayed in his room all day.  My husband and I offered him a roof over his head, a bed, a shower, paid for his groceries when he first got here and he treated us the way he did. 

He seemed fine when he first got here but as the days and weeks went on, he eventually stopped coming out to hang out with us.   He acted like he was too good to be around us.  I did not appreciate how he shut my son out and was even rude to him.   Your his only Uncle and that's how you treat your nephew?  Really?!  He just didn't want to be a part of our household/family.

My husband took my brother to find a weekly motel to stay in, so he is finally out of our apartment.  Kyle can have his own room again! 

It's just really sad that he's depending on other people to support him.  I had to stop enabling him and get him out of here. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Applying for food stamps...never-ending saga

Over two weeks ago, we went in to the Social Services office to complete our food stamp application.  Unfortunately, we were told we needed additional paperwork.  We also had to call the county we used to live in that we have since moved and to please close our file.  I made that call the next day.  In addition, we needed my husband's college to fill out a form (and return it to us) and also a copy of our lease.  Well, it took over two weeks for the college to finally fill out the form and email it back to us.  First, they sent it to the wrong department and then told us that they have since forwarded it to the right department. Then they wrote us back saying he needed to fill out a form giving them permission to send the form out, to which he had to email them back explaining what exactly he needed!  It was a confusing process and I am disappointed it took this long for them to return the form to us.

We finally have everything we need and will be mailing it out in tomorrow's mail.  Let's hope they approve our application by the end of this month, even though they have 30 days to decide whether or not we are approved. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tax Free Weekend

This past weekend was tax free on "back to school" items here in North Carolina.  They offer tax free purchases towards school uniforms and school supplies.  I took advantage and bought a binder, dividers, and scissors.  The binder that I bought came with dividers, so I really didn't need to buy the extra set.  Oh well, now I have 10 dividers!  LOL  My coupon binder is almost complete, I still need plastic baseball card holders.  For now, my coupons are divided up and in different sections. 

I still want to get new pants for Kyle.  So far, I bought 2 pairs.  He now wears size 4/5 in Boys, he is no longer in "toddler" sizes.  Since Kyle doesn't like change, he doesn't want to wear the new pairs of pants.  I've already had to throw out a pair of his corduroy pants because they had a hole in the knee and Kyle kept making the hole bigger.  His other corduroy pants have holes in the knees now.  His pants are getting thin around his butt too.  Plus his pants are a little snug in the waist and I can see they are getting shorter on him. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Shannon had his surgery yesterday!  He was gone from 11am and didn't get home until 8:20pm or so.  While he was gone, it was just Kyle and me!  We had fun!  I read a book and wrote a review, did two loads of laundry and did some cleaning here and there. 

Before coming home, they stopped at CVS for a prescription (vicodin) and a few other things.  Shannon had called me about 3 hours after his surgery and said he would need ice packs.  So I took Kyle for a walk and we went to Walgreens to get two ice packs.  They happen to be "buy one get one 50%" so I paid under $5 for two of them.  I also used $3 in Register Rewards. 

It sounds like Shannon will be recovering for at least 5 days.  Thankfully we don't have any obligations, such as school, work, etc.

Our couch is scheduled to arrive today!  I am so excited! 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I just learned something!

A few weeks ago, I noticed that after my workouts, I get red in the face and it has never happened before!  I drink water during and after my workout, just because I  know I need to stay hydrated.  I have also noticed that I get a little more sweaty during my workouts too.  I thought it could be the weather, but I workout between 6am-8am or so.

Out of the blue, I decided to look up one of the medications I have been taking for a month and read the side effects.  I don't like taking medications because of the long list of side effects and the dependency of a doctor and pharmacy.  Here is the side effect that caught my eye: This medication can cause decreased sweating. Avoid becoming overheated in hot weather, saunas, or during exercise or other strenuous activities since heatstroke may occur.

When I clicked on "heatstroke," two of the things listed caught my eye:
Sweating that may be heavy or may have stopped.
Skin that may be red, hot, and dry, even in the armpits.

I did noticed an increase in sweat during my workouts and my face is red afterwards!  Scary!  I am just glad I know why both things were happening to me. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ordered a Couch

When we were packing and preparing to move to our apartment, we ended up throwing away our couch and loveseat that we had since 2003 (the same year we got married).  There were a couple of reasons why we decided to throw them away: 1. They were dirty and grungy from sitting in a garage for close to 4 years (off and on); 2. Shannon would be unable to lift them due to his injury; 3. They were a little torn up from Cyrus chewing on them.  So when we moved to our apartment, all we had for the living room were two chairs that my in-laws gave us.  They were old and grungy from being in the garage but they would be all we had to sit on in the living room.  Well, since they are flimsy and bendable, Kyle quickly learned he could lean on them and also jump on and off of them.  One of them is broken from Kyle's abuse!  LOL 

We have been talking about getting a couch for awhile now and after one of the chairs finally broke, we decided to just buy a couch!  We found one at Rooms to Go and Shannon ordered it online. 

Shannon really liked it for the dark brown color since our TV stand is dark brown!  And yes, we still have a TV stand as we do not have a flat screen TV.  I just noticed that the couch is made of blended leather!  We also like the sale price!  There are shipping fees, but it's better than ordering a couch online and having to put it together!  We liked that Rooms to Go delivers, considering we don't have a truck.  I think this will be the "nicest and fanciest" couch we have ever owned! 

It will be nice to be able to sit on the couch next to Shannon, instead of in separate chairs.  I will also enjoy cuddling with Kyle, even though he can sit still for about 2 seconds before he's off running or playing around elsewhere. 

A refill

Earlier this month, I mentioned having to pay $3 for medication.  Well, I had to get a refill, so I called my doctor to see if I could get the "generic" form of the medication.  Anyway, I went to pick up my prescription and was told by the pharmacy that there isn't a generic form!  So, I had to pay another $3!  Oh well, $3 is much better than $188.99!!! 

While at Walgreens, I bought a few things.  They were either on sale or free.  I only used 2 coupons and still saved almost $19!!  Here's what I bought:

Huggies ~ on sale for $8.99
Total: $8.99

Arizona Green Tea ~ $0.99 each.  Used Walgreens coupon 2/$1
Total: $1

Pantene Conditioner ~ $4.99  Used a coupon from Pantene
Total: FREE

Finesse Shampoo and Conditioner (BOGO FREE) ~ $3.99 for both*
Total: $1.99 after $2 Finesse rebate

Scunci No Damage Hair Elastics ~ 2/$3
Total: FREE with $3 in Register Rewards towards next purchase

(Not pictured)

Walgreens brand Wet Cleaning Clothes (for the Swiffer) (BOGO FREE) ~ $3.99
Total Savings: $18.95

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pop Rocks and Boy Socks

Kyle had Pop Rocks for the first time yesterday.  Shannon bought them at the "corner store" and brought them out for Kyle to see.  Kyle was curious and he was even eager to eat them, even though he had no idea what they were.  We're never sure how he will react to new things.  He could either like it, hate it, and/or freak out.  When Kyle wanted more Pop Rocks, we gave him a little plate with more Pop Rocks to eat and he loved them. 

I picked up the Sunday paper and found 2 coupon inserts (I normally only receive one insert), so I was very happy about that!  Unfortunately my Sunday paper didn't have the Walgreens ad, but luckily I can access it online.  We stopped at Walgreens and picked up the ad (I like to have a copy in my possession so I can scour the ad and compare them with the coupons that I have) and a few things we needed.  After Walgreens, we went to Walmart for a few groceries.  Shannon also needed computer ink and printer paper.  I also picked up some boy socks for Kyle.  His "toddler" socks were getting old and he needed a bigger size.  Luckily I found the "smallest" size I could find in the boys section.  I also looked at pants for him but the smallest size (4/5) looked too big for him.  He will eventually need more clothes for school. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

I've been a busy bee!

It's been a productive day for me!  I woke up and did my 55 minute workout (I always seem to put this one off by taking an extra rest day from working out).  I am also catching up on laundry today since I realized we were almost out of clean clothes.  I am doing at least 4 loads of laundry (darks, whites, and two loads of towels & bath mats)! 

Kyle starts Kindergarten on August 25th and I am looking to get him more clothes for school.  His school district doesn't not require school uniforms, but we're going to stick with the same theme.  Kyle will also be attending 5 days a week, which means I will need to have more clothes for him, plus extras when I need to do laundry.  He's still the same size as last year - 5T, which I can only seem to find at JC Penney. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A difference of $27.30

We just received our electric/energy bill today and it was $27.30 more than last month.  First, when we called to set up service, we were offered the option of "equal payment plan" and it would be around $80 a month.  Since our bill was more than $80, I called and asked why.  I was told that we weren't set up for the equal payment plan, but she was able to change it for us.

We're in the process of re-applying for food stamps in our current county.  We just need additional paperwork to send to our local office.  Since we are without food stamps, we are forced to pay out of pocket.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Just a few things

I am always looking forward to Sunday -- to get the Sunday paper for the coupons.  I found a few in the Walgreens ad that I wanted to get.  I took Kyle with me and thankfully it was cool outside!   I used coupons for every item I bought and ended up saving over $19! 

We went to Walmart today for a few groceries. 

I applied for food stamps last week and we received a letter asking us to come in to "interview" so that they can determine our eligibility.  I guess they require all applicants to come in (unlike the former county we lived in where we did everything via mail).  The letter also stated that we may qualify for "expedited services" so hopefully we can get our food stamps as soon as possible!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


We just got back a little while ago from a mini-getaway!  We decided to stay two nights in Cherokee, NC.  We stayed one night at Fairfield Inn & Suites and then stayed the second night at Harrah's.  Our hotel at Harrah's was comped.  We were also able to comp our breakfast from this morning as well as a few other purchases. 

On our first night, I ended up finishing a book I had already started and was able to write the review the same day.  Our second night, I didn't have internet access because Harrah's charges their guests to use their Wi-Fi, so instead, I started reading a new book and already over half way done!

On a whim, we decided to get away.  Thursday afternoon, we just decided to go.  While Shannon made the hotel reservations, I packed our stuff.  Kyle was easy to pack and I packed my clothes pretty quickly.  The "hardest" part was gathering our toiletries.  We were able to fit all of our stuff into one suitcase!  It only took us 45 minutes to get packed, make hotel reservations, and out the door. 

Now that we're back, I am catching up on laundry and just trying to get back into our normal every day schedule.  Thankfully, I only have 2 loads of clothes to do!