Monday, August 22, 2011

Baby Woes

I feel a little foolish. I've hoped and prayed that this, my fifth pregnancy, would be different than all the others. In a lot of ways it has. But in the "I'm older, not as fit, my body has already birthed four children" kind of way, not the "I'm gonna have this baby before I hit the miserable point" way. During what could possibly be the hottest summer on record, I was hoping for a little reprieve. But baby, you've got just over 48 hours before you follow in the footsteps of your older siblings. Chelsea was induced on her due date. Mackenzie was scheduled for induction 5 days after hers but I went into labor on my own a few hours beforehand. Izzie was induced 4 days after hers. Silas was scheduled for induction 5 days after his but came on his own a few hours before we were scheduled to be at the hospital.... See a trend? In a very poor attempt to get Si'bs here Graham & I tried acupressure. I don't recommend you try this without the help of a professional. Oh we read plenty of websites. All it did was cause me a night of excruciating cramping with no real results.

I worked hard cleaning house this afternoon hoping to get some good contractions going. I just wore my already tired self out and as I sat in the bubble bath* trying to console myself on what appears to be my fate I had a thought, (Other than 'I guess I didn't get the toilet brush up under the rim as well as I should have') "I should pray more about this. All my energy has been spent in 'Woe is me' mode and I've neglected to pray that God might have favor on me... and end my suffering." Whoa, hold up. WHAT?!?!? It's not God's mind that needs to be changed, it's my heart. My head knows his timing is perfect... Why can't I trust in that? My prayer needs to be for patience, not that I'll get my way. When has MY way ever done me a bit of good? So I'll meditate on this instead:

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD! - Psalm 27: 13 - 14

God knows what's best for me, what's best for baby Rhys. I'm going to spend my energy thanking Him for this marvelous creation and gift and enjoy these next days with the kiddos he's already given me. I won't be pregnant forever **. I hope :) I have my next midwife appointment on Wednesday morning with my favorite midwife , Brenda. She always starts and ends our appointment with a hug and I think I'm going to need it this week.

* I don't understand the desire to take a bubble bath. My sister loves them. I always get bored after a few minutes and want to move on to something else. The exceptions to this are when I'm really sick & when I'm really pregnant.... nothing soothes like a little soak in the tub.

** I saw a tv special once about this woman in India who got pregnant and miscarried but never birthed the child. 30 something years later, as a very old woman, she was having surgery to remove the infants calcified bones from her womb... Incredibly interesting and heartbreaking at the same time.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Shopping Trip: Walgreens

(Has anyone else noticed that the Washington Senators "W" looks just like the Walgreens logo? No? Just me? I've been watching too much Baseball.)

I used to NEVER shop at Walgreens. It seemed a little overpriced and I was always in Walmart anyway so there was really no need except for the emergency purchase here or there... Wet wipes before hopping the plane to Chicago, children's cough meds, the occasional prescription... etc. Once I started couponing though I realized that they can have some pretty good sales and when you pair it with coupons and register rewards you can really get some awesome, and sometimes free, deals. I've learned that I need to go on Sundays to make sure my deals are in stock as they seem to go really fast. There is also a super nice woman named Nancy that works on most Sundays at my store and she never minds me using ALL my coupons and she'll even go way out of her way to help me find certain items and more coupons. Plus, the Hubby is home on Sundays and I can leave the kids, although this week I was required to take Izzie, hence the unplanned highlighter purchase..... Anywhoo, I was so excited about my trip this week I decided to share.

What I bought:

(2)Expo Dry Erase Washable Markers, 6 pk $3.99
Used $2.00/2 – Expo Markers – (
And Used $3.00/1 Expo Washable Dry Erase Markers, 6 pk (takes off $6.00) (in Walgreens August coupon booklet)
Final Price: Free

(3)Trident Gum, 18 piece $0.79 (originally $1.29)
With in ad coupon, Limit 6
Use $2.00/3 Trident Gum, any single packs from SS 7/24
Final Price: $0.12 each

(1)Skintimate Shave Cream, 6 oz $1.99 (originally $3.99)
With in ad coupon, Limit 4
Used $1.50/1 – Skintimate Cream Shave – (
Final Price: $0.49 (Realized after the fact I forgot to show her the in-ad Q for this so I paid $2.49 :( )

(1) Revlon Nail Enamel $3.99
Buy 1, Receive $3.00 Register Reward, Limit 1
Used $2.00/1 Walgreens Coupon Revlon Cosmetics, Any (coupon pictures nail) from SS 7/24
Pay $1.99, Receive $3.00 Register Reward
Final Price: $1.01 Moneymaker

(1)Penway Crayons, 24 pk $0.29 (originally .79)
With in ad coupon, Limit 3
Final Price: $0.29

(1)mini highlighter - clearance item $.09

Total based on original prices $20.71
Total based on sale prices before Q's $16.71
Total after all sales & coupons $ 5.23
Used $5 in RR* from previous trips
Total Out of Pocket cost $ 0.23!
AND received $3 in RR for next time! MADE $2.77!!

I am SO bummed that I didn't realize the Skintimate sale was an in-ad coupon. I just thought it was on sale. I could have saved one of my Register Rewards. Oh well. I still made out just fine. I try to check out the Walgreens ad on Saturday evening and plan my Sunday trip ahead of time. I go with a list that lays out the sales I want to get as well as the coupons I need to use. Obviously I was a little distracted this week thanks to little red, but usually this plan helps me stay on track and not miss any of the deals I want.

* RR - Register rewards: A store credit you receive when certain purchases are made.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Four Star

Have you ever had a favorite place? One that felt like a home away from home? You knew when you walked in the door that it would never let you down? For me this place was Four Star Coffee Bar. I remember the first time I heard about it. I was fifteen and this was back in the day when there wasn't a Starbucks on every corner. I come from a long line of coffee drinkers so I was intrigued at the idea of a coffee shop but what sold me on a maiden trip was a rumor that a guy who played on the latest album of my favorite band (not local, mind you) was working behind the bar.

It was large but felt homey. Every table in the joint was hand painted by a different local artist bearing 'Dear John' letters and card games in progress. It had a reading room full of plush worn seats and an eclectic collection of books that always called my name. A large coffee roaster that sat in the back corner. If you came in on the right day (or wrong day) you would be met at the door by a plume of smoke as someone sat by that roaster creating an oh-so-tasty bean. A shelf of board games and a wall of glass jars filled with tea leaves and coffee beans. One of my favorite pieces was mounted on the wall behind the bar. A dark cherry case of shelves that housed the coffee mugs of the regulars and now hangs mounted in my kitchen holding my collection.

The food was delicious and the coffee even better. I loved when my friend Michelle and I became regulars on Wednesday nights and the barista Brett (or would it be baristo since he was male?) would have our drinks ready before we even made it up to the counter. So many nights were spent there doing homework, playing cards, or just enjoying a chat over an italian soda. I applied for a job there when I was 16 or 17 but didn't get an interview. Guess I wasn't the right kind of tree*. When I was 21 and in need of a second job Four Star seemed like a perfect fit. I could work on weekends and it was close to my current abode. I called and got an interview with a guy named Graham who was the current manager (& who sounded very cute on the phone). When I arrived later that afternoon I was surprised to see a girl that I'd hung out with in middle school come out of the kitchen and introduce herself as the owner. I knew Bonnie, the original owner, had sold it but didn't know to whom. They were getting some last minute things together for Graham's brother's wedding so my interview was rushed but I got the job.

I spent many Friday and Saturday nights behind the bar that summer, meeting all kinds of interesting people. The 'westsiders', the recovering alcoholics who'd traded one bar stool for another, the smarmy old men who'd make inappropriate jokes when I was in earshot, and the regular groups from nearby churches. I remember thinking I could work here forever - though the pay wouldn't buy my dream house, I really enjoyed the work, and the regulars (most of them anyway). There's so much more I could tell you about that summer but that's for another day.

A week ago my dad and my husband (that hottie Graham I mentioned before :) ) became the owners of Four Star. It has since moved downtown and the concept has become a little more food focused. The regulars are now XTO employees and other downtown workers. They close at 3 and there's no live music on the weekends, in fact they aren't even open on weekends typically. It's a different place with a different feel but it's ours. It's something Graham and I have talked about for ages but the timing was never right. And for whatever reason, this time, God saw fit to let us have this blessing. It's had it's hiccups for sure but the road that lies ahead is nothing short of exciting. The first week was SUPER crazy with a huge convention in town. Dad took off work and helped out everyday, worked like a dog. I came in to help a few days and ended the week with swollen ankles, but happy.

It makes me a little sad to know the original place I fell in love with will probably never exist again, (and increased by the fact that I couldn't find a picture of the old location's interior online - Isn't this the digital age?) but who knew way back when what this little coffee shop would become for me, for us. I'm a very blessed girl.

*This was one of the first job applications I ever filled out and for sure the first one that asked me what kind of tree I would consider myself.