Category Archives: Parenting

FREE Clothing at Target

Logo of Target, US-based retail chain

Image via Wikipedia

Being the frugalista that I am, I am always on the lookout for the next best deal.  I dream of good deals and free stuff.  On occasion, I crave “free shopping”.  This week, my craze has been the free clothing at Target.  They have coupons out for $5 off Merona Bottoms excludes swimwear, $5 off any Mossimo apparel item, $3 off any Xhilaration item excludes swimwear, $3 off any Mossimo item, $3 off any Liz Lange item (mostly maternity) and $2 off Newborn to kids denim items.

Since summer is quickly becoming a thing of the past, there are lots of deals to be had.  The $5 and $3 Mossimo item coupons can get you free shorts, jean capris, and various shirts and tank tops.  The $3 off any Liz Lange item can get you free and very cheap maternity tops, reasonably priced maternity dresses, shorts, capris and pants.  The $5 off Merona bottoms can get you free shorts and capri pants for less than 50 cents.  I haven’t found any cheap Xhilaration clothing, but they do have sandals on clearance for $1.98 and $3.24.  The coupon includes footwear, so you can get free and cheap sandals if you can find them.

All of my finds are clearance finds, which means you may or may not find them at your stores.  If you do find them, there may be a lot or a little and sizes you find will vary.

I’m stocked on summer items for myself.  I’ll probably end up donating some of it since I got things that may be too small or just plain ugly.  Hey, free is free and who am I to pass it up?

In one Target location I was in today, I saw some lady taking several pairs of Merona capri’s  off the racks.  I am pretty sure she was going to buy them with coupons.  It irritates me how people are so open with employees about how many coupons they have.   Target’s site allows you to print two coupons per computer.  However, there are alternate methods of obtaining more copies of the coupons.  It’s just irritating for someone to use a questionable amount of coupons on one shopping trip.  In my opinion, it brings attention to couponers and can give them a bad name.  I do use a lot of their coupons, but I make several trips.  It may seem like a waste of gas, but I rather do that then have the cashiers referring to me as the coupon lady and hassling me every time I use coupons.

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Boys that wear pink shirts and play with dolls.

I was on freecycle this evening when I saw a post for a free pink JJ Cole Bundle me.  I love these things but am to cheap to buy one.  So I hopped on this item by e-mailing the user to see if it was still available.  It was! If you recall, I have four boys and no girls.

The lady offering the item also offered me other things.  As we were talking, I mentioned he.  She was confused.  She reiterated the fact that some items were pink.  I told her that it was fine.  It’s just a bundle me.  As long as it’s not a dress.

She didn’t seem to mind either.  I know there are some people out there that think that pink is for girls and blue is for boys.  It is my firm belief that pink is not just for girls.  My son took his preschool picture is a dark pink shirt.  I bought it for a school event (it was a must that he wore a pink shirt) and figured he could wear it at any time.  This same son of mine also owns a pink DSI–something he asked for.

While we are dispelling the myths that certain colors relate to certain genders, I would also like to say that I believe the same principle applies to toys.  My second to youngest son owns two barbies-something we found at a flea market.  He liked them and I figured what the hell?  Who is he hurting?  After all, he can play with “action figures”.  I consider these dolls by a different name.  My second husband used to refer to them as dolls and I always laughed.

Anyhow, I know that I am probably one of the few that feels this way.  Sound off!!  What’s your opinion?

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Half Sibling vs Whole Siblings?

Children in Jerusalem.

Image via Wikipedia

While visiting a friend, I met a group of children.  All of them are related by their mother, but have different fathers.  I know what this is like as my only sister has a different father than I do.  Growing up, my mother always told me that my sister was my sister–there was no “half” sister.  Thinking about it, there is no way she is my half sister.  She is a whole person, has grown up with me, and is the only sister I know.  However, these children spoke of their sibilings in terms of half.  I was introduced to one sibling, by another sibling.  The girl said “This is my half-brother ____________”.  I was completely shocked and stunned.  I thought they were all raised by their mother and couldn’t see how any mother, baring children, would allow her children to refer to their brothers and sisters as half.

After talking to a friend of mine that knows them better, she explained the situation: the mother raises some of the children, the grandmother raises some of them, and some of the children’s fathers raise them.  It kind of made sense to me, but I guess I just don’t agree with it.  Not that it is any of my business.

I have four children, two of which share the same father.  They all live with me and are MY children.  When they talk about their siblings, they refer to them as “my brother” or “my brothers”.  It would hurt my heart if I heard my children use the term half.  Even when I had a step-child, I would tell people he was my son.  He was and I didn’t feel it was necessary for anyone to know he wasn’t related to me biologically.  He would occasionally refer to me as his step-mom when speaking to some of his friends, which was fine.

I’d like to imagine that all of my children will be close-knit and loving enough to look at their emotional ties, rather than their biological ties.


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Taco Soup Recipe: A New Take on Chili

As a busy mother, I am always looking for quick and easy meals to make.  I like for them to be as nutritious as possible too.  While on my daily hunt for deals, I came across this recipe.  It probably isn’t the healthiest with the high sodium content, but the nutrition is there with the beans, corn, and tomatoes.  Cheese is a plus if you decide to throw in it.  Put it over brown rice and I think it is the perfect quick, weeknight meal.  Reminds me a lot of chili, but the author calls it Taco SoupCheck it out and let me know what you think!



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The Parenting Blues


Image by Possum1500 via Flickr

Someone sent me this article and I really enjoyed it.  Here is my favorite quote:


“A baby is like the worst houseguest ever: endlessly demanding, keeping you up at all hours, needing to be fed and making a mess of the whole place.

And the little darling never leaves”.

It seems as if talking about the parenting blues is somehow taboo.  Many make it seem as if once you become a parent, you should always be happy, never stressed, and perfect.

This is simply not true.  Too bad more parents don’t express their frustration.  It would most likely make for happier parents.

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The Extended Breastfeeding Debate

Breastfeeding of a child

Image via Wikipedia

I was pumping breast milk today and my two older children, ages 3 and 5 were in the room with me.  My three-year old had been asking for breast milk.  I thought it was brought on by jealousy of his newborn baby brother.  I finally asked him if he wanted to try some and he said yes.  Then my five-year old asked for some too.  So I gave them each a taste of the expressed milk.

My three-year old looked disgusted and when I offered him more, he declined.  Then I left my five-year old try it and he too, had an unpleasant look on his face.  Then he said it tasted plain.  I offered them both more and while they would have taken it, I didn’t give them any.  My oldest though the whole situation was disgusting and didn’t want me to start breastfeeding them again.  I told him there is a difference between breastfeeding and giving them breast milk.  Then I also asked him what’s the difference if the milk is pumped out of a cow or a human?  I think cows milk is pretty disgusting.  I don’t drink it and rarely use it.  A gallon could last us a month if it would stay good that long!

I began thinking about extended breastfeeding and decided to look it up.  Although the most people object to breastfeeding past infancy and toddler ages, some people choose to breastfeed their school aged children.  The you tube video I linked to details the story of a woman breastfeeding her school aged children.  What is your opinion?

I couldn’t do it myself.  My children are big and it would feel awkward.  I breastfed my oldest till he was 15 months and I felt that it was long enough.

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Thumb and Finger Sucking: Remedies?

Lindner - Thumb sucking

Image via Wikipedia

Anyone having this problem?  I have a five-year old that sucks his thumb and a three-year old that sucks his two middle fingers.  My five-year old began thumb-sucking while I was pregnant with him and my three-year old began sucking his two middle fingers shortly after birth when he decided he didn’t like his pacifier anymore.

When they were babies, I didn’t think much of it.  Even as toddlers, the behavior wasn’t bothersome.  But as a preschooler and school aged child, I find thumb and finger sucking a bit repulsive.  Dirty hands and the awful sucking sounds are what bother me most.  As I sit here and type, my three-year old is sucking his fingers while sleeping.

Any suggestions on how to stop it?

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Today’s Savior: The Baby Swing

Having a newborn baby coupled with being a single parent isn’t easy.  I’ve found myself asking the baby why he won’t sleep, if he has gas, and so on.  My oldest has been my savior since the day I brought him home, but he tires of guessing what the baby wants as well.

I bought the baby swing a few months before he was born, bought batteries a week after he was born, but the day I decided to put him in there, it just looked like it was swinging too fast for a newborn.  Then I decided I’d try the bouncer.  He’d sit in it for a few minutes only to begin crying again.

I was almost at my wits end today when I decided to try the swing again.  I put him in there and he just looked around, but stayed quiet.  Next thing I know, he was sleeping (like a baby lol).  It was at that time that I decided that maybe, just maybe I was being a little over protective.  I left him in there and was able to get some chores done.

An hour later and he is still in there and I still have my sanity.  Wish I would have realized this a week ago or even this morning, when I was trying to sleep and he decided that it was not time to sleep 🙂

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Moving with Children

I am wondering how difficult challenging it will be to move with four children.  The last time I moved, my ex-husband and I hired movers.  Although we had a small child at the time, we found time to pack up all the boxes and we were actually ready when it came time to move.

This time, it’s a different story.  There is me and the four boys, but I feel some stress about just how to get everything packed (and quickly) with a breastfeeding newborn.  I might actually have to pull out my breast pump and recruit some help with the baby, so I can sort through everything (clean house style) and pack whatever we are taking.

I’m also wondering if the whole moving plan will work.  I am planning on selling my house and moving into a friend’s house temporarily until we can find a new home.  Then, we will face the task of moving again.  Sounds like a  lot of work, huh?  I think it is.  On top of all of this, I am supposed to continue working and going to school.

One big problem with moving in with my friend is that she doesn’t have children and never has.  She is considerably older than me (about 21 years), so in essence, she could be my mother.  However, it is my personal belief that people that do not have children have a somewhat distorted view about raising children.  Even more so, everyone has different beliefs about parenting children and, with the age difference, we don’t see eye to eye on things.  Parenting is not as easy as it looks!

BUT, I am willing to deal with it to get out of this hell hole I live in.  I need a child friendly neighborhood, better school districts and a sense of community.  Where I live now, the children curse more than I do, steal, lie, cheat, and talk back.  My children are not allowed to play outside and as they get older, they wonder why.  With my oldest son, I’ve created a computer monster.  His interests include using the computer, using it some more, eating some ice cream, and then using the computer again lol.  I want a child that has more interests than that.

While I am nervous, I think it is time…time to make sacrifices and move.

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