Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Consignment Sale Success!

Our local Spring consignment sale that I participate in was a few weeks ago. I love participating in this sale so much! I love the challenge of seeing how much I can sell and how much money I can make, as well as finding the best bargains! It's an added bonus that I am able to get rid of a lot of Ayden and Rylee's outgrown clothes and toys. This time around was my most successful sale yet!

All the consignors set their own prices for items in the sale. We also have the choice on whether we want to discount our items for the half price sale on the last day. I go into this with the mentality of trying to sell as much as possible and having very little to have to take back home when it's over. I try to price my things to sell, and I still make a decent amount! And I ALWAYS allow my things to be discounted for the half price sale. I know as a shopper, I go into that last day looking specifically for phenomenal deals and don't even entertain the idea of buying something that isn't half price. I mean, if you are selling an item for only $1 anyway, why the hell wouldn't you be willing to sell it for $.50? I get the big ticket items. Maybe something that has a lot more value that you are willing to let go for $40, but not $20. I get that. Although I personally still discount those items too!

Anyway, it's like a game for me. How much can I mark things for to make the most money, but still be okay with if it goes at half price instead?

I love the whole process of the consignment sale, including volunteering and working at it. This year I volunteered for three shifts. It's actually a lot of work, 100% being on your feet the entire time. I logged between 19-22,000 steps on my Fitbit on the three different days I worked during the week of the sale!

And the shopping! I love looking for great deals for the kids. As a consignor and volunteer, I got the privilege of shopping early for the pre-sale. Here's what I found:

  • A puppy purse and princess purse for Rylee
  • A "man purse" for Ayden
  • A big dinosaur floor puzzle
  • Minnie Mouse puzzle
  • The movies Bambi and Planes
  • A new truck for Ayden that makes obnoxious sounds all the time. I seriously questioned my sanity buying that truck, but he LOVES it so much that it was totally worth the whole $1 I spent on it, lol
  • A pair of brand new, never worn Saucony tennis shoes for Rylee that only cost me $6
  • And a pair of super cute StrideRite boots for Rylee

 We're saving the Minnie Mouse puzzle to go in Rylee's Easter basket, to match the Mickey Mouse one I got Ayden at the last consignment sale and have been holding on to! Otherwise, they've been given everything else. They have been over the moon excited for their new-to-them things! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited Rylee was over that puppy purse. I debated getting it, but I'm soooo happy I got it for her! And Ayden loves that silly little truck and the dinosaur puzzle. The movies were big hits as well.

After we put the new dinosaur puzzle together the first time.

I also found these things for Rylee at the pre-sale:

  • A raincoat
  • 2 fleece hooded zip up jackets
  • 3 pairs of pj's
  • 3 dresses
  • 2 tops
  • 4 pairs of shorts
  • 1 pair of capri leggings
  • a rashguard for this summer
  • and a bucket hat

The things I scored on for Ayden include:
  • An Old Navy coat
  • a fleece 3/4 zip GAP pullover
  • a Lightning McQueen jacket
  • 2 Nike sweatpants
  • jean shorts
  • 1 set of pj's
  • swim trunks and a rashguard set
  • tank top
  • and a long sleeve OSU Beaver shirt

The Lightning McQueen jacket is a size 6, but I had to get it for only $2 and in excellent condition! He'll be able to wear it next Winter, and I figure it will be timeless, especially with a new Cars movie coming out this summer. He also really didn't need new swim trunks or a rashguard, but it was super cute and perfect for 4th of July!

Rylee always seems to make out bigger when it comes to finding clothes. I think people tend to buy more girls clothes, so then they give away more and there's more of a selection for girls at the sales. I know that theory holds true for me, anyway. Poor Ayden...

One of my volunteer shifts was right after I finished shopping the pre-sale. Between shopping and working, I walked over 19,000 steps!

Please ignore the fact that I never get enough sleep! haha

I always go in first thing on the last morning for the half price sale. By this point, I don't NEED to find anything specific, but just browse for any phenomenal half price deals. I found a few things. It could have been so much more, but I they already have so much stuff, so I really tried to limit myself and ended up putting a lot back on the rack. Here's what I walked away with on the last day:
  • A set of 4 wooden Dora the Explorer puzzles (inside the wood box)
  • puzzle for my nephew's birthday coming up
  • a Nike outfit for Rylee
  • and a skirt, obviously for Rylee as well. lol

I spent a grand total of $4.50 for this stuff.
The Dora puzzles. I can never get a good picture without getting the glare from the overhead lights!

My total spending's at the sale was $116.50. BUT! But today, I just received my check for my earnings from the sale. It was for $427.50!!!! Eeeeeek! My goal was $325, which would have been a record for me! I knew I had done well, but I hadn't realized HOW well! Between what I spent and what I made, I profited $311. So happy. Seriously, I'm so ridiculously pleased with myself, I should probably be embarrassed. My addiction for participating in these consignment sales has reached a new level!

Monday, March 20, 2017

MicroblogMonday: A Few Favorite Pics

I'm a little stumped as to what to write for today's Microblog Monday post, so I'm just going to share some of my most recent favorite pics of my babies. Who doesn't love cute pictures???

My shopping partners

Snow White and Prince Charming

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, please click here.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Fun

I'm not one that's real big into celebrating all the little holidays in a big way, but I do like to buy my kids cute shirts to at least recognize the day. I felt a little guilty on Valentine's day when I saw the gifts some of my friends gave their kids! I mean, it was almost like a full on Easter basket! Only it was Valentine's day.... I didn't even give my kids a box of chocolates or a card. They got shirts to wear to their Valentine's day party at Playgroup, and that was it!

Don't get me wrong. I don't have an issue with other people going big. I do the Elf on the Shelf in December, and I know that drives some people nuts. I think people should celebrate and have fun with their kids however they want!

I didn't realize that St. Patrick's day was a day for such big shenanigans! I knew some people liked to feed their kids green food, and that you're supposed to wear green or you get pinched, but that's it! I didn't know that a leprechaun was supposed to leave green footprints in your house and leave a trail of gold coins to help you find a pot of (chocolate) gold. The extent of my planning for St. Patrick's day was to get my kids green t-shirts! Ha!

The outtakes

We did have a little St. Patrick's day party at our Community Playgroup on Thursday. The kids all wore green, we had special snacks, and a craft for them to do.

Being crafty.

The extent of what I had planned for Friday, was to wash their shirts so they could wear them again! But then I saw someone post on Facebook the green pancake breakfast they'd made for their kids and I got inspired to do that too. I had some kiwis in the fridge, so I added that, ate off green plates, and used green forks!

Helping make the pancakes

We also had green milk!

I don't think I'll ever get into doing the whole leprechaun bit (watch me eat my words in a few years), but I can get behind feeding them green foods. That's easy enough, and different enough to stand out and be something special. They had fun, despite not really understanding what St. Patrick's day is all about!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Microblog Monday: Fevers Suck

Last Tuesday, the kids both woke up with low grade fevers, but they went away after just a few hours. But then Wednesday and Thursday they battled temps between 99.5 and 101. Friday afternoon, Ayden's temp got as high as 104 degrees! Rylee's never got any higher than 101.4, but you would have never even known she was sick! Ayden on the other hand, was pretty pitiful. He barely ate anything on Friday, and even crawled into bed and put himself down for a nap. That never happens!

By Saturday afternoon they were both fever free. They had coughs and runny noses, but I'll take a cold any old day over a fever! They were fever free all day yesterday, although a little cranky and took long naps.

This morning, they woke up with no temperatures, but Miss Rylee was super cranky!!! She pretty much was crying over everything by lunch time. I took her temperature right before putting her down for a nap, only to find her fever was back up to 100.4! Ugh! Thankfully she went to sleep pretty quickly. We'll see how she is when she wakes up from nap.

I'm so over them being sick. I'll take the colds (if I have to), but I don't like the fevers. Fevers can be scary. Fevers suck.

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, please click here.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Microblog Monday: Impending Time Change

I'm really dreading the upcoming time change and the extended daylight hours. Don't get me wrong, I love that it stays lighter later and isn't dark before 5:00pm. But not only will it still be light outside when the kids go to sleep, potentially messing with their bedtime, it also gets lighter earlier!

Ayden quite frequently wakes up between 5:30-6:00 in the mornings. I'm pretty sure he's waking up because he has to pee. I've been able to get him to go back to bed using the excuse that it's still dark outside, so it's still sleepy time. He generally will then stay in his room another 30-60 minutes.

I'm afraid that will be coming to an end this next weekend. Insert sad face.

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts by other bloggers, click here.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Right Now

Reading: Blogs when I have a chance, but unfortunately even that's been pretty slim lately. I would love to make more time to actually read books again (and catch up on my blog reading).

Watching: I was so sad that This is Us wasn't on this week! I'm on pins and needles for the next episode as soon as the first one ends. It kills me to wait a full week, and then it wasn't even on this week! Also, I have recently reintroduced Daniel Tiger. I've turned it on a few times over the past year and a half and they've never really gotten into it, but now they ask for it almost every morning! Do-Do-Do-Dora the Explorer is also starting to become a hit in our house.

Listening: I finally can play the entire Frozen soundtrack and not just the Let It Go song on repeat! I've pretty much got every song memorized :)

Drinking: Water. I'm trying to get in 100 oz per day, but I've only been getting about 64 oz. This used to be so easy for me! I don't know why I struggle to drink my water these days.

Eating: My favorite meal by far is a salad. I made some salsa chicken in the crockpot this week that I've been putting in my salads, which also include spinach, red pepper, grape tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese (my favorite!), and Italian dressing. I usually add a little brown rice or quinoa too, but forgot that part! I could eat these salads every lunch and dinner. If only salads weren't so time consuming to make...

Wearing: Jeans, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt from my softball coaching days.

Loving: Story time at the library! I started taking the kids again last week and it has been amazing. They have been amazing! Both of them are actually sitting and participating in what's going on in the class, instead of being the only two that run around the room and get into ev.er.y.thing. We've been twice now, and my heart bursts with pride watching them pay attention and engage in the activities. Also, my kids are SMART! Makes me feel proud that they know their shapes and colors and can shout out the answers to questions being asked.

Anticipating: The big semi annual consignment sale coming up in just a few weeks! I can't wait to see what bargains I can find and how much I make from selling all the clothes and toys the kids have grown out of.

Hoping: That warmer (and dryer) weather isn't too far away. I'm ready for 65 degree weather and blue sky. It actually snowed some last weekend. Not enough to stick around for long, but enough for the kids to want to go play outside while the giant flakes were coming down. And it's supposed to snow again this weekend too... I'm tired of feeling cold all the time. I'll be happy if we can just hit 50 degree weather consistently! lol

Just enough snow to make tiny snow balls to eat!

Following: I just read an article on Facebook last night about the new Beauty and the Beast movie coming out, about how it has the "first ever exclusively gay moment." I've been sucked into reading the comments that followed on that post.

Wondering: Will Ayden ever nap again??? He has gone this entire week without taking a nap. Rylee is also struggling to nap this week. PLEASE don't let this be the end of our napping era.

Trying: To exercise more. We had a break in rain the last few days and we were able to walk to story time at the library and to Community Playgroup this week. I'd love to be able to get out and walk on a more regular basis, but the forecast is calling for rain all of next week (with the exception of snow on Sunday!).

Worrying: About money, of course. We got ANOTHER almost $200 doctor bill this week. And Tony needs to have some dental work done that will cost us another $1301. Insane.

Planning: A trip to the southern Oregon coast next month! Tony will be running an open house at the Brookings office and the kids and I will be going with him. Yay! While he works, we'll be playing.

Contemplating: Doing a garage sale this spring. We've gotten rid of a lot of stuff over the past few years, down sizing our "crap" a little more with each move, but we've I've still got a lot more I can get rid of.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Third Birthday

Over two months after the fact, I'm finally sitting down to start this birthday post. I would have been motivated to do it sooner, but I totally messed up on getting them in for their 3 year well check. I had known it was coming up, even knowing the date it fell on, but I didn't pay close enough attention to the calendar. I didn't realize it was their appointment day, until the morning of! And I made this discovery with only 15 minutes until their appointment time. The clinic is 30 minutes away. Oops! I immediately called in to let them know we wouldn't be able to make it, and apologized several times. The gal on the phone was not very nice about it, but got us rescheduled. That appointment is finally coming up next week. About a week later, I got a nice (not really) form letter in the mail, telling me how I need to call in advance if we need to cancel an appointment and how we will be dropped from their clinic if it happens again. Oh, and also telling me I needed to call to reschedule, which had already been done! As if I didn't feel bad enough about missing the appointment in the first place.

We had Rylee and Ayden's birthday party the week before their actual birthday. With their birthday falling on December 23rd, that's pretty much the way it probably always will be. This is the first time I'd planned an actual theme to their party. It was so much fun! We were a little lot nervous about how many people would be coming. Between all our family, and adding in all their little friends from Playgroup, we were expecting a very full house! The snow and ice storms we had around then did end up keeping quite a few from being able to come. It ended up working out perfectly. Our house was full, but not over crowded.

My three year olds!

It was a Dinosaur-Princess party! I had found Ayden's birthday shirt on Zulily and thought it was absolutely perfect. One of my friends was able to make a shirt for Rylee to match. I found bead necklaces at the Dollar Store and princess/prince crowns on Amazon to give out to all the kids as they arrived. They each got a few temporary dinosaur tattoos as well, which was a huge hit. I got a Dinosaur cake from Costco. I served BBQ meatballs, chips and a seven layer dip, pasta salad, and had a fruit platter. We had princess and dinosaur plates and colorful napkins. I had found balloons on Amazon with dinosaurs and princesses, so we blew those up the night before the party. When the kids opened their birthday gifts, I had little goody bags for the rest of the kids. I really tried my best not to just fill them with junk. Each bag had two mini candy canes, a glow bracelet, extra dinosaur tattoos for them to take home, princess fruit snacks, and three little dinosaur figures (about the size of little army men).

I didn't take pictures of everything set up (although I wish I had thought to take them), so I don't have a lot to share. I did get a great group picture of all the kids together, but don't feel comfortable sharing it here on my blog without asking for permission from each of the parents. Although, I'm not sure it would be a lot different from posting it on Facebook. So, not a lot of birthday party pics to share, but here's a few...

Sis helped me by being our "tattoo artist" for the party.

Getting ready to sing  Happy Birthday and blow out candles. They each got three candles to blow out.

With their cousin Adilyn.

They had sooooo much fun at their party! They still sing the happy birthday song regularly and Ayden tries to convince me it's his birthday at least once a week. lol

The night before their actual birthday, we (mostly Tony) blew up a ton of balloons and put them in the hallway so that would be the first thing they saw when walking out of their rooms in the morning. They LOVED it and thought the balloons were pretty much the coolest thing ever. Fun fact - we STILL have some (too many) of those balloons left. They just won't die! I have helped many of them meet their demise almost on a daily basis since the beginning of January.

We made them special birthday pancakes with whipped cream and strawberries. They love pancakes and they love strawberries, but for some weird reason, out kids aren't fans of whipped cream. Who would have ever thought??? We stuck 3 candles in each of their pancakes and sang them Happy birthday. They requested that we sing it several times! It was their special day, so of course we obliged them!

After breakfast, we made the trek to Salem to take them to a bounce house. They. Had. A. Blast!!! I cannot even begin to describe how much fun they had, and it was amazing for us to watch them enjoy it so much. It was nearly impossible to capture it in pictures, but I tried. They didn't slow down enough for pictures! It was Go, Go, Go!

See that smile?

Tony wanted to take them somewhere for lunch that would sing a fun birthday song for them and give them a treat, so we took them to Red Robin. His parents met us there, but before even having a chance to order, Grandpa got a call from a neighbor letting him know his cows had gotten out. He left to go round up the cows, but Grandma was able to stay and have lunch with us.

Rylee was super social at the restaurant, particularly on our trips to the bathroom. We were sitting on the opposite side of the restaurant to the bathrooms, and Rylee said hi to every table we passed on the way there and back, stopping to admire a baby at one table. She struck up an entire conversation with a lady in the bathroom. Rylee started by asking the lady her name, and vice versa. Then the lady asked how old she was and found out that it was Rylee's birthday. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever and the lady was completely charmed by my daughter (so was I). Toward the end of lunch, Tony took Ayden to the bathroom and then Grandma went too, so it was just Rylee and I left at the table. But then she decided she had to go "big poopy." My favorite part (not really) was that she then proceeded to announce loudly, all the way too the bathroom, over and over, that she had to go Big Poopy!

Ayden was pretty cranky through lunch and was ready to go before anyone was done eating. Fortunately, he didn't have any major meltdowns, but lunch was definitely not his favorite part of their birthday celebration. Neither one of them really cared about having the staff sing a birthday song for them. Although I'm sure if they sang the traditional happy birthday song, they would have loved it. They each got an ice cream sundae, but it took awhile to convince them to actually eat it because.... whipped cream. I have the strangest kids. What kid doesn't like whipped cream? Once we helped them eat the top layer and it got down to the actual ice cream, they enjoyed their birthday sundaes.

Grandma helped Ayden eat his last few bites of melted ice cream.

After lunch, we took them to the Salem Carousel, where Grandpa was able to meet back up with us. Ayden and Rylee could spend all day going round and round on the carousel! The rest of us had to take turns though, because being old sucks and spinning around in circles made all of us adults quite dizzy! lol.

The giraffe was highly sought out by many kids! It was a race to get to it first and we had to try several times before Ayden got his chance to ride on the giraffe. 

Rylee with her Grandpa

Not always the easiest to get a good family pic!

Ayden and Rylee were very excited that they got to see Santa Claus at the carousel! (Remember, their birthday was December 23rd, despite how late I am writing this post. face palm) Both of them were super into Santa this past Christmas. Ayden couldn't stop petting the fir on Santa's coat and Rylee pet Santa's beard! bahaha! It was so funny and cute, but also a little weird. I had to tell her to stop because she couldn't keep her hands off of him! lol. After petting his beard, she reached up to play with his glasses!

Rylee petting his beard. Ayden petting his coat.

The carousel has a really nice park next to it, which was the only reason we were able to get Ayden and Rylee to leave without a meltdown. They could have stayed all night, going around in circles! We were blessed with a sunny day for their birthday, and we had to take advantage of it and let them play. We don't get to go to the park very often in the winter, so this was a real treat!

Once we got back home, they got to open their birthday presents from us. Nothing too exciting. They each got three new books. They are pretty cool books though, and the kids have thoroughly enjoyed them!

Reading one of their new Shine the Light books. We call them their "flashlight" books.

We had so much fun celebrating this 3rd birthday. I was super proud of myself for how their birthday party turned out and that everyone seemed to have a great time. Ayden and Rylee enjoyed being in the spotlight and pretty much thought it was the best thing ever, which made the whole thing worthwhile. Their actual birthday was filled with a ton of fun and we couldn't have asked for the day to be any more perfect.

They may drive me crazy and make me lose my mind sometimes, but they are the most amazing little miracles. Tony and I often talk about how lucky we are that we get to be their parents. It's still sometimes hard to believe we even ARE parents. And they are THREE! How did that happen so quickly?