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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Random stuff, school, couponing, funny stuff the kids say

I don't have too much on my mind tonight, just some little randoms.

First, when we were at the doctor's office today, Little Man and I were playing with some plastic dinosaurs while we waited for the nurse.  I was saying "run, dinosaur!!!" to his dino, and he looked at me in all seriousness and goes, "Karen.  No.  *sigh*  These are FAKE dinosaurs."  You know, with the "duh, idiot" look on his face.  All y'all parents know the one.

He and the Big Man have also been watching Eric play Halo on the Xbox, and so now they take their Omagles and make guns out of them and play "the shooting game".  They are all the time in there yelling "Slayer!" and "GAAAAME over".  Hilarious.  I don't really like them playing gun games, though.  I don't like the implied violence.  Mostly, though, I hate the "pppsth, pppsssth" sounds they make the guns have.  It sounds too much like spitting and makes me want to vomit up my ralphy chunks and other slang terms for vomiting.

Little Man and I have had a really great couple of days together since the Big Man went back to school.  He got a new little girlfriend at school, and he's been showing off for her with good behavior.  I was the last parent to pick him up on Tuesday, and she wouldn't let her mom leave until I got there so that they could walk out together.  They were comparing the temporary tattoos they had gotten today and giggling.  Little Man's little dimples as he shyly says, "byyyyyyye, Annika" was so cute.  He's been super duper helpful, too, vacuuming the floor and listening.  I haven't had to put him in time out in a few days, with the exception of a small one Tuesday morning that he came right down from because he did what I asked right away.  It's been so nice.  I've found when he isn't listening that I've been calmer, as well, and when I don't flip out, he's less likely to go into full meltdown mode and earn his famous, screaming for 90 minutes time outs.  We've done a lot of watching Handy Manny and playing outside in the cold for 5 minutes so that we can get good and freezing and enjoy 30 minutes of hot chocolate time to warm up.  It's just been so wonderful.

Also, my school starts Tuesday.  I've got all of my textbooks, and I'm ready to go and totally excited.  Three of my five classes have silly-buses posted already, so I've already started on quite a bit of reading.  Taking a small break from it now, actually.  At the moment, I'm reading something that isn't required called "The Political Science Student Writer's Manual".  I just finished "Writing a Research Paper in Political Science," and I think I'm going to be well prepared for the papers I'm about to start writing.  This semester marks my very first 300-level PolySci class, and my first honest-to-goodness research project on Middle Eastern Politics.  I am infinitely excited about this.  I also have an Intro to International Relations class, which is a 200-level PolySci core class.  It has parts of a full research project, but not a full one like I expected, so it is a bit of a relief to know that I'm only putting one foot in the water instead of jumping in head first and trying to do two large projects in one semester.  My three online classes are Personal Health, which is a gimme class with not many assignments but a large amount of reading, Intro to Human Geography, which is rather interesting, as I've already read the first couple of units.  I like learning about my consumption and carbon footprint.  And my third class is a prereq for my Master's in Library Science, and I am SO EXCITED TO BE A SENIOR!!  It's a simple computer technology class specifically for libraries.  Technically called Computer-Based Information Tools.  I think I get to learn how to use library databases and the like.  Very helpful in conjunction with a research-based class like Middle Eastern Politics.  It's gonna be a wonderful semester, even though I no longer have my 4.0.

Speaking of that.  I had to regroup and find a new goal.  My new goal is to not drop below a 3.8, and the reasoning is simple.  In order to be accepted into the master's program for library sciences at IU, you have to have a high GRE score, UNLESS, you have a higher than 3.8 GPA.  If you've gotta 3.8, you don't have to take the GRE, and that seems like a reasonable goal.  A 4.0 in political science at a major university is, actually, a rather unreasonable goal, though it's a bit of an embarrassment that a Children's Lit class took me out of the running.  Well, I took myself out.  I got too ambitious with a paper that I knew I only had a week to write, and I turned in something that I knew was crap.  A 3.8 GPA is definitely more reasonable.  Plus, if I don't have to take the GRE, I save money, and we all know I love saving money!

Speaking of, COUPONS!  I've been inundated with questions about my couponing from here, IndyMoms and FB.  I'm thinking about getting together at an IHOP or something one day and having a workshop and asking Alisha Ferguson to help me, since she's the reason I coupon and use Swagbucks now, and she has loads more experience than me.  Maybe sit down and have a little Q&A session and do some practice shopping.  Hit up a place with free WiFi and bring a bunch of laptops and make a little game out of deal finding.  That may help me make some more friends, too, and if I'm talking about stuff I know a little bit about, then maybe my Asperger's won't get too much in the way.  It's when I have to do small talk that's the problem and I become inappropriate.  Most of the women that would go know about my Aspie status anyway, and they'd probably cut me some slack.  I don't mean to offend people or hurt their feelings.

As for the folks that can't meet up with us because they're too far away, I could put some couponing hints here in my blog or on FB for y'all.  The first step is to get a hefty stash of coupons and pick one store to begin using them in.  Subscribe to the largest Sunday paper in your city, and check out the coupons every Sunday.  If they are for good stuff you will use, then head out to Dollar Tree and pick up a few more papers.  Make sure to check that the coupons are in the papers before you buy them.  I clip everything, and not just the stuff I'm gonna use.  I clip it for trading purposes, though I haven't done a successful online trade, yet.  Once you have a good stash of coupons built up, you are good to go.  They will need to be organized however you wanna do it.  I have a binder, and they are all alphabetized by brand name in plastic baseball card sheets.  My binder has pockets in the front and back.  I put coupons I'm going to use for a specific trip in the front and coupons that are too large to fit in my baseball sheets in the back.  Some people use zipper pouches and tab them for category.  I may switch to that method soon.  I can't remember all of the brand names for some products.  You can get more coupons by dumpster diving, too, if you aren't scared of the looks.  For pete's sake, though, have some dignity.  Wear gloves or something.  And go into the recycling dumpster, not the nasty food dumpster.  Mondays and Tuesdays I've found are the best days for this.  People throw their Sunday papers in there, coupons and all.  Also, you can write directly to the manufacturer's of your favorite brands and tell them how much you dig their stuff, and they will send you free coupons.  There are online trades at places like We Use Coupons, and you can trade coupons you don't want for coupons you do.  You can also buy coupons on eBay or use clipping services.  There's a list of them on the same website.  There's also a really great coupon database there that you can search.  If the product has a coupon out, it will be on the list, and it will tell you where to get it.  Lots of coupons can be printed right off the net.  If you need a bunch of printable coupons, go to the library to print them so you don't waste a ton of ink and because most of them only allow you to print 2 from your computer, but the library has a bunch of different computers that you can get two each off of.

Anyway, that's my first coupon tip.  Get loads and loads of coupons.

I'm gonna try my first New Year's Resolution trip at Meijer tomorrow morning after dropping the Little Man off at school.  If all goes well, I'll be getting a month's supply of food for our family of 4 for around $52.  I didn't add the tax up because here in Indy, some food has tax and some doesn't, so I have no clue what is gonna be taxed.  I also hit up a Kmart sale today and got 26 lbs of meat for $26, and I got a little bit of the month's stockpile during the trip from Hell that I last wrote about for $32.  All in all, that should come up to around $110 to feed a family of four for an entire month.  That's a nice chunk of savings from the $400 we used to spend.  Hopefully it works out, and I won't have to shop again until February.

4 You Said What?:

robin said...

Hey there Lady, as always, love your blog.

You know what you need after you move? A nice big chest freezer. Then you can stockpile your meat, butter, cheese and veggies as well. I even freeze my milk when I get free gallons of it. The only things I really NEED to buy grocery wise are the fresh vegetables I enjoy eating, avocados, salad fixings, potatoes...I love my freezer! I buy veggies in bulk when the prices are too good to beat and blanch them. When Meijer has their 10 for 10 plus one free on fresh strawberries, I buy at lease 44 of them, slice them, and freeze them in pounds increments. My kids LOVE strawberry shortcake and luckily, cool whip is in the frozen section and I also freeze pound cakes! :)

Keep it up, you are doing GREAT!

Missy - crack a lackin - Mackin said...

I would like to be invited to your coupon-anza!

Gwindylyn said...

I wish I could just hire you to do my shopping!

Wendy Gwinn said...

Hey, Karen! I took Human Geography last semester. It's a great class that you should find rather stimulating. Hope you enjoy it!