Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ten Months

It seems like I just wrote the nine month update, and now Ollie's ten months old already! His top teeth continue to grow in, but no more new ones. He's eating more table food and loves to feed himself. I like to make him laugh by playing peekaboo, tickling him, and making silly faces and noises.

Testing out the new car seat.

Just a Few Groceries

My foot was still bothering me after I twisted it last Saturday, so I had it checked out at the clinic. Nothing is broken, so it's just a sprain. I need to keep icing and wrapping it.
I needed to pick up a few things at Super One while I was there:

Old Orchard apple juice, Arrowhead orange juice and mini carrots were all $1.
Lightdays were $1, used $1.50/2 coupon=$0.25 each
Coffee creamer was $1.88, used $1/2 coupon=$1.38 each. Holiday flavors are out--gingerbread and pumpkin spice!
Sunflower seeds: $1.29-$1 coupon=$0.29
Cheez Its were $1.69, used $1.50/2 coupon=$0.94 each
I also bought four pumpkins at $2.50 each. I used a store coupon for a free pumpkin when you buy two loaves of Sara Lee bread, and a manufacturer's coupon for $2 off a pumpkin when you buy Sara Lee bread, so all four pumpkins were only $5.50, or $1.38 each. They aren't little pumpkins, either!
I also got Ollie's sock back that he lost at the store last week.
Overall, I saved $31.05, or 39%.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hiking in the Woods with Kids

On Saturday afternoon, we decided to take advantage of one of the last nice days of the fall, and go hiking along the Split Rock River. At the entrance to the hiking trail, the distance of the loop was 5.1 miles. We thought we'd give it a try and see how far we could get.

Just getting started.

A boy in a tree . . .

and a girl in a tree.

Mushrooms? growing on a downed tree limb.

Checking out the river up close.

Ollie enjoyed the walk.

A nice walking path.

Raina, full of energy.

Barry carried Remy in the backpack most of the way. Remy did walk part of the way at the end of the hike. I carried Ollie in the Hip Hammock, which I find very comfortable as it distributes weight evenly so my back and shoulders don't get sore and I have both hands free. He slept through the second half of the hike.

Taking a little break.

The rocks that are the inspiration for the name "Split Rock"

It was only around 50 degrees, but we quickly warmed up going up and down steep hills. The river was beautiful and the scenery varied from waterfalls, still pools, cliffs, trees and vegetation.

Split Rock River

What's left of a foot bridge that was destroyed by an ice jam in 2006.

Raina and Jackson seemed to have endless energy for the long journey, except for the very end when they were getting tired.
At about the halfway point, we crossed the river and the hike got a little easier. The path veered away from the river and was less steep and easier to navigate. However, I was getting a little concerned that we wouldn't make it out of the woods before dark. You know how moms worry. The sun was getting lower in the sky, and a person can start to second guess herself. What if we somehow missed the loop and were hiking to Beaver Bay, which was 11 miles away? Would we have to huddle together in the forest all night long, facing wild animals and freezing temperatures?

Split Rock Lighthouse, about 4 miles away.

Lake Superior

Raina was quite the trooper on this long hike.

Lake Superior through the trees.

But we kept going and soon came to the clearing where the Spur Trail split off to the parking lot where our car was parked.

Remy decided we had hiked enough.

The view of Lake Superior at the top was spectacular. The smell of fall--leaves, fresh air, woodsy scents--was definitely in the air. Was it worth a twisted ankle (I guess I jinxed myself by saying it's a good thing I don't have weak ankles, because at one point I did twist my ankle enough to finish the hike with a little limp)? Absolutely. There's something to be said about finishing, rather than turning back when the going gets rough. Although from this point on, I think we'll stick to hikes that are three miles or less, at least until all the kids are mobile and can hike on by themself.

Grocery Highlights

I busted the budget a little last week, spending over $200 when I usually spend about $150, but I won't need to do any shopping this week other than a couple things like milk. I saved 35%, or $121.05.
The highlights:
Green Giant boxed veggies were $0.99, I used 2-$1/2 coupons, making each box $0.49

Gold'n Plump chicken was buy $25, get $10 off, so for $18.34 I got a whole chicken, two packs of chicken breasts, chicken breast tenders, and two packs of drumsticks at an average of $3.06 per pack.

Earthgrains thin buns were $2.99, used $0.55 coupon, and had a coupon for $2 off produce (that I would have bought anyway) when you buy the buns=$0.44.

Canned goods
Joan of Arc beans were 4/$3=$0.75 each
Swanson broth was 5/$3, used $0.40/3 coupon=$0.52 each
Campbell's tomato and chicken noodle soup was $0.50 each, used $1/10 coupon=$0.40 each

Del Monte peaches were 5/$5, used $1/5 coupon=$0.80 each
Dole pineapple was 4/$5, used 2-$0.50 coupons=$0.75 each

Hershey chocolate chips--$0.99 each

Creamette pasta--FREE when you buy 2 Ragu (at 2/$3, used $0.75/2 coupon=$1.13 each)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Remy Takes a Hike

When I was with Ollie on Monday, Remy stayed with Barry. They took a hike down to Lake Superior and had some good daddy bonding time.

Sitting on the rocks.

Deep in thought.

Licking a rock.

The easy part.

Getting steeper (he did climb the whole way by himself).

Muddy legs? Par for the course.

$300 in groceries for $162.08

After Ollie's checkup, the two of us went to the grocery store. I had some good coupon/sale match-ups and saved 46%, or $138.02.
For free:

Creamette vermicelli, FREE with purchase of two Ragus (2/$3, used $0.75/2 coupon=$1.13 each)
Flavorite marshmallows, FREE with purchase of three Swiss Miss hot cocoa ($1 each)
Hansen's Natural 6 pack vanilla cola (made with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup), FREE with coupon sent from company
Kangaroo pita bread, FREE with coupon sent from company (they sent me FIVE free coupons!)
Soup/broth deals:

Campbell's condensed soups (good for Saturday lunch)--$1 each, used 2-$0.40/2 coupons=$0.84 each
Campbell's cream soups (good for cooking with)--4/$3, used $0.25/4 coupon=$0.69 each
Swanson broth--5/$3, used $0.43/3 coupon=$0.52 each, plus it printed a $1 catalina (coupon printed at the register) from Swanson to use on my next grocery trip
Baking ingredients:

This time of year, baking ingredients start to go on sale, including
Pillsbury flour--$0.99
Parade brown sugar--$0.99
Reese's chocolate/peanut butter chips--$0.99 each
and non-baking
Act II popcorn--$1-$0.40 coupon=$0.60
Pop Tarts--$2 each, used 2-$1 coupons=$1 each
Fisher sunflower seeds--$1.29-$1 coupon=$0.29
Musselman's applesauce--4/$5, used 1-$1 and 2-$0.50 coupon=$0.75 each

Quilted Northern was $5.95, used $0.55 coupon=$5.40
Brawny paper towels (8 pack) were $5.95, used $4 when you buy Quilted Northern coupon=$1.95
Klement's brats were $2.50, used $2 coupon=$0.50

Ollie Checkup

Ollie had his nine month checkup on Monday. He's 19 pounds, 6 ounces, almost 28 inches, and has an 18 1/2 inch head. No shots this time!

Ollie loves to pull out all the plastic containers and play with them.

Garden Update

Our garden is done for the year, but we did end up getting a few cucumbers before it quit producing. We had only planted beans and tomatoes in previous years, so we did pretty well for our first garden. The squash and peppers never sprouted, but we got lots of peas, a fair amount of beans and carrots, and four cucumbers. The pumpkins had a lot of blossoms, but none grew into pumpkins. We also grew Lilliputian Zinnias and Cosmos.

The Jack Sprat and his wife of cucumbers.

Ollie checks out the pumpkins.

Bees enjoy the zinnias and cosmos.