Friday, May 29, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Round 1

Triple coupons started again today! Mom usually calls me screaming after she gets her paper, but after dreaming about triple coupons last night I checked the Harris Teeter website as soon as possible this morning. Sure enough, I am a coupon prophetess! I made just one trip today but will probably make more throughout the next few days. Here are some of my favorite deals from today:

Edge shaving gel - Regular price $3.59, I paid $0.25
Betty Crocker warm delights - Regular price $1.99, I paid $0.49
Lysol toilet bowl cleaner - Regular price $2.79, I paid $1.29
Hunt Ketchup (24oz) - Regular price $1.69, I paid $1.09
Huggies baby wipes - Regular price $3.29, I paid $0.73
Viva paper towels - Regular price $2.19, I got paid $0.36
Dole fruit bowl - Regular price $2.79, I paid $0.54
Italian dressing - Regular price $2.75, I paid $0.40
Worchestershire sauce - Regular price $1.69, I paid $0.19
Skintimate shaving cream - Regular price $2.99, I got paid $0.25
Toothbrush - Regular price $2.99, I paid $0.79
Eggo waffles - Regular price $2.79, I got paid $0.58
Hot Pockets - Regular price $3.00, I paid $1.50

I did buy some items not on sale, but I still did pretty well. Overall I spent $19 and saved $41.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lovely Weekend

We have had yet another great week and weekend around the Talbert homestead. Actually, I can't remember all of what we did during the week. You know how my memory is.

Thursday night Brianna and I were lucky enough to be able to go out for dinner. We met up with Jenn and went to Lauren G.'s house first, to see her and the kids. It was REALLY cute!! I walked in and took Bri out of her car seat so that Lauren could hold her, and within a minute London had put her baby dolls in the car seat and wrapped blankets around them. Too cute! I held Dylan for a while but he just seemed so big compared to Brianna! And I'm not used to holding older kids now I guess (he's a little over a year old). As we were leaving, London really started paying more attention to Brianna, and ended up stroking her foot, whispering, "Bye, baby" as we were walking out the door. Then we went to Beefeater's, meeting Matt, Jacob and Carrie, to eat out for Carrie's birthday which was earlier in the week. Jenn was selfless enough to treat all of us with a gift certificate she had! Yums! I love Beefeaters and we rarely go. It's just too crowded usually, and pretty expensive. But I love the food. Afterward, I came back here and completed my project of the day which was cleaning out our junk drawers in the kitchen. They are all now organized and actually one is practically empty, which is nice.

Thursday afternoon, Brianna and I were fortunate enough to be able to meet up with Granny and Granddaddy for lunch! We hit "our spot", the local Chinese restaurant, and it was delicious as usual. We frequent the restaurant so much that the waitresses had been asking Granddaddy all about Brianna, and he wanted to show her off. So we were finally able to go and let them all see her! She was so good.

I got another package in the mail from Kelly in Italy!! You won't believe what was in this package...

Aren't they GORGEOUS!? They are matching masks from Italy for me and Brianna! These pictures don't do them justice. They're breathtaking, and if I'm correct, they're handmade. I want to put them somewhere around the house so that people can see them, but someday I want to be able to wear them together. Brianna's is just a little too big for her face right now!

Saturday we had big plans. We have been making room at our house for another new arrival... but this one stays outside! Several years ago in Charleston we bought an old Honda from our friend Javier Lopez (okay, not that Javier Lopez) and it has lasted us for a long time, even though it was almost ten years old when we bought it. Well, we have finally sold it:

And Saturday we drove down to Hope Mills to pick up Stephen's latest obsession...

So we went from having a 1996 Honda to a 1981 Blazer. This thing is HUGE. I drove it a little bit (Stephen loved that) and it's so hard to drive! It definitely reminds me of all the cars I grew up driving.

Saturday, Brianna and I played a new game. We really like this game! I place an object in front of her (usually something that makes a little noise) until she focuses on it. Then I move it slowly to one side so that she can follow it with her eyes. Then I move it back in front of my face, remove it, and call her name, smiling, until she smiles at me. The first time I thought it was a fluke, but we played for several minutes, and then she did it in front of Stephen. We played a different version tonight, just with me calling her name and moving from side to side. She is so alert! We love playing games like this with her. She has the prettiest smile, and when she's in the right mood, it's so easy to get her to smile at us!

Stephen and I also had a game night. We love playing games but haven't in a few weeks. So last night I made a new recipe, and then we played a rowdy game of Scene-It, and I destroyed him. This morning we were able to make it to church with enough time for me to get into the choir loft and sing in the choir. This evening was so dreary with the rain and everything that the three of us laid down for a nap, and when we woke up it was only 30 minutes until we needed to leave for church and Bri still needed to eat. Needless to say, that's why I'm sitting here posting on the blog while Stephen is at church!! Well, that's all for now. I'm looking forward to Stephen having tomorrow off! Who knows what is in store... !

Monday, May 18, 2009

May, Right?

Is it just me or is it uncomfortably chilly lately around here? says it's 64, and our thermostat inside says 71 but that doesn't explain why I've been walking around wearing thick socks and a heavy fuzzy sweater for two days. I mean, this sweater is so fuzzy and thick that I'm afraid of Brianna coughing up a hairball one of these days. This is NOT May weather! Or maybe it is, and I'm just in denial.
Weather aside, this weekend was really nice. I don't dread weekdays anymore, particularly because I'm not woken up by an alarm anymore. It's so nice to let your body be your alarm clock. I always feel much more refreshed. But I do dread weekends being over still. Mondays mean Stephen has to go back to work, which is fine, because someone has to make ends meet! But having many hours together on the weekends is especially cool.

Saturday night was our Mother/Daughter banquet at church. I am someone who is extremely fortunate, because I was able to bring my mother and daughter to the banquet for the first time ever! While I'm on this subject, I found an old journal of mine on Saturday when I was cleaning out the attic. In it I was writing things I was grateful for, and I made certain to write how thankful I was for my three moms - mom, Leila, and Liz (Taylor). I have written before about how blessed I've been with the women in my life, and considering that journal entry was written about 9 years ago, that seems to be pretty consistent in my life! I'm really grateful for that.

Mothers and daughters:

We had a great time at the banquet, eating steaks and sides, chatting with the other ladies there, and then hearing a great Bible lesson from Jan. After mom and I got home, we dropped Brianna at the curb with dad so mom and I could run to Lowe's for a couple of quick grocery items. You can read all about the fun that Bri and dad had here.

Sunday we were able to make it to church again. I thought Stephen was going to have a heart attack because Brianna has definitely solidified her personality as a grunter, and she made it a point to stretch and grunt at various times in the sermon. Certainly she wasn't loud enough to bother anyone, but I could just feel the sweat dripping from his forehead every time she made a sound. Sunday night we went back for youth drama practice. We found out later that our preacher put us on the prayer list during the night service... because we were late for the first time ever that morning!! He knows Stephen well enough to know that this could have been disastrous. But not surprisingly, Stephen is really laidback when it comes to things regarding Brianna. Late for church because of her? No problem! Spit up on the couch? No biggie! Poop sliding out from the diaper? Well, we have to draw the line somewhere. Anyway, we got a kick out of that.

So here it is, the beginning of another week, and I have no idea what's in store. I do know that I'm actually going to accomplish something tonight (laundry) and then I'll celebrate by having some raspberry cheesecake that I was able to make earlier (from a box)! Then we'll just see what comes next in this sweet, sweet life.

Stephen gives Bri a bottle for his first time (no, we don't make bottles a habit around here!):

Tummy time! i.e. gnaw on the couch time:

One happy baby!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

#37 - Finally make creme brulee

Well, I finally got around to making creme brulee. A couple of years ago I got a creme brulee kit at Target after Christmas that was 75% off so it was like $5. I jumped at the chance because it came with the ramekins and Stephen was excited because it came with the "flame thrower". I finally got around to using it all today to try out a box kit of creme brulee that I've had for a while. I guess I didn't let it sit long enough, or there's a good possibility that the stuff had expired, because it was still kind of runny when it was all over, not custardy like I've always had it. I didn't even test it because I'm not a fan of food poisoning. Mark my words, I will try this again someday!

I have forgotten for several days now to announce some great news - Stephen finally heard about that job he applied for. He got it! So he is officially the shop chief now. Well, I guess it'll still be a couple of weeks until he actually starts doing the job, and then he'll switch back to day shift. He also got a sweet cash bonus and some "reward" extra leave days as a bonus as well. Plus the job comes with a raise, so we are really thankful for this!
When he was home the first two weeks after Brianna was born, he was all the time getting phone calls, fielding questions from guys at work as well as new airmen coming to Pope. Today he took a phone call from a new airman who had enough questions to keep Stephen on the phone 25 minutes! I said, "So do you get those phone calls now that you're shop chief?" And he said, "No, I got the shop chief job because I get those phone calls!" In other words, he's been doing that job, just not getting paid for it, or the title.
I am really proud of him because he has always moved up really quickly in rank, and has always been really respected at work. He is such a hard worker. He beat out a lot of guys for this position that are a lot older than him, but he definitely deserves it. He's done an amazing job for only being 25 years old. I'm so proud of him!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lessons Learned

Brianna and I went on our longest adventure today. Well, our longest shopping adventure. I've been trying not to overload her on excursions, and just picking one or two errands to run at a time. But today I decided just to go for it and get as many things done as possible. She did great, and we learned several lessons along the way.

Our first stop was the post office. We learned not to talk to the girl behind the counter while she's on a personal call. She assumes everything you're sending goes first-class, and rings it up without asking, and then gets irritated when you interrupt her ("He said WHAT!?!?) to tell her you are sending it all media mail.

Next up was Walgreens, where I taught Bri to never pay more than $0.99 for a roll of paper towels, and if they're on sale for $0.59, you buy as many as they'll let you! (Still cheaper than most bulk packages when not on sale). I also taught her how to get some toothpaste for free.

At Rite Aid, we learned how to do rebates, and I taught her to never pay more than $1 for shampoo or conditioner. Seriously, there is no reason to ever pay more. I also picked up the prescription that will ensure (hopefully) that Bri is an only child for many more months.

Then the big stop... Walmart! Her first trip actually inside Walmart! I expected to get about halfway through my grocery list and have to leave. But she did awesome.

None of these stores make it easy to take a 3-week old baby shopping. Her car seat doesn't fit in the carts of any except Walmart, and then I had to pack the groceries around her. Not easy! She can't sit up yet (obviously), so what else am I supposed to do? At other stores I end up carrying her in one hand in the carseat and carrying a weighted-down basket in the other. Not convenient. Get a clue, stores! You should definitely cater more to moms! Aren't they your prime shoppers!?

The whole adventure took about 2 1/2 hours and she was incredibly well-behaved the whole time. I am getting spoiled rotten by this charming baby! We took her to a book sale yesterday but I was the only one who got anything. With $1 paperbacks and $2 hardbacks, we tend to become really picky. I did buy three books and can't even believe I spent that much money. How cheap do I sound? Stephen said we've just gotten too used to paying 10 cents, 25 cents per book at other library sales and book sales. Of course he's right.

Speaking of, now that I am home, I really want to start hitting yard sales during the week whenever possible. I was always disappointed when I would read about a great yard sale and then see that they were doing it Friday and Saturday. You know that by Saturday all the goods are gone. Now it's my turn to swoop in! I am so there! Actually, there's one that's starting tomorrow, and since Bri and I are doing our first mystery shop together, we might just celebrate by going yard saling first. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

I feel retired, and I love it. I love hearing Brianna cry and being able to scoop her up and comfort her. I love knowing that she's hungry and knowing that means I get to sit with her for the next 30-45 minutes to feed her. I love taking her out and showing her off. I love putting her in the kitchen in her carseat and talking to her while I make a new recipe. I love reading to her. I love hearing Stephen talk to her in his "daddy" voice, and I particularly love when she smiles or giggles when he is playing with her. Coincidence? I doubt it. She knows her daddy. I love that we haven't had to change our lives around, but have made this incredibly smooth transition to incorporate her into the things we love (i.e. parties, game nights, having fun, and being with family are a few examples!)

Sorry for the mush, but I'm just amazed how cool this little girl is! I don't want her to grow up but I definitely can't wait for certain things. I hope she has the relationship with me that both Jenn and I have with our mom. I will feel so lucky if that happens!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I've given birth to a new blog. It's called The Recipe Report and is a blog about all the recipes we try around here. It's easier to put them in a new blog rather than on here. So go there to look at yummy pictures or find out what recipes we tried and failed, tell me what works for you, and give me new recipes to try! I think of a lot of people will enjoy reading this blog, if for no other reason than to look at the pictures. So go check it out and let me know if you try any of the recipes!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lots of Firsts

The past week we have had lots of "firsts" around here! Tuesday, Brianna went to her first Cinco de Mayo party. Jenn invited us to Stephen K.'s house to have Bri make her debut. She was really good and it was nice to have a night out! Bri was definitely spoiled by all the attention, although technically she did sleep through most of it.

Thursday, we decided to go to mom and dad's because Brianna had never been to their house! We had a great time just hanging out. And Christy M. was driving by, and saw my car, so she was able to stop and see Brianna for the first time! We got home too late that night to go for a walk but it was definitely a lot of fun going to see mom and dad.

Every other night we have been able to go for a walk around our mile-long loop in our neighborhood. Half the time Brianna sleeps through these walks but I love them! The other half she is really alert, probably just picking up the scents and sounds to make up for the fact that she can't focus on anything yet!

Yesterday, for Mother's Day, we went to church so that Bri could make her debut there! Of course she was a hit, and even though she was awake for quite a while during church, she was really good. Stephen didn't put her down once, so I was only able to hold her about 30 seconds!! After church, we came home and grilled out, took a nap, and went for another walk around the neighborhood. What a great afternoon!

For Mother's Day, Stephen got me a digital picture frame. I'm actually surprised he got me anything because I definitely didn't want or expect anything. But this is great! We can create slideshows of as many pictures as we want (well, I think technically it's somewhere around 75 pictures or something) and add or delete as we wish. Great idea!!

Okay, here we go. These are pictures I haven't uploaded yet, so be prepared. I was very picky and I still feel like I'm overloading y'all. But she's just SO CUTE!!!!

10 days old: First walk around the neighborhood!

Bri and her uncle Josh:

Tummy time!

That's a beautiful smile!!

First bath!

Bath time again!

Dressed up for church!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Is this thing on?

I know, I have not been a good blogger lately. We have had so much company, phone calls, work, and that whole new person around the house, it doesn't leave much computer time! Now that Stephen has gone back to work I will probably be back to blogging to pass some time in the evenings.

The past two weeks that Stephen has been home have really not been exciting. I can sum them up for you really quickly: guests, sleeping, movies, staring at Brianna. There, now you are all caught up.

But last week we did get out of the house a bit. We took Brianna to her grandpa Steve's house to meet some of her family. She slept the whole time we were there, as she has a tendency to do, which gave us time to chow down on burgers and hot dogs, and play a few rowdy games of Redneck Golf.

Saturday was Stephen's first day back at work, and Josh was in town staying with us, so we did what any good mom and uncle would do - took Brianna to her first yard sales!! We saw mom and dad while we were out, and got some great deals, so it was definitely worth it. Brianna was the center of attention (thank goodness it's finally off of me) and she got some pretty cool books and CDs. Sunday she went to Granny and Granddaddy's for the first time for lunch. You can see some cute pictures at dad's blog, particularly of Emma and Jessie meeting Brianna for the first time. Stephen got home from work around 5, and we went for a lovely walk around the neighborhood and just chilled for the night.

Today was Brianna's two week doctor's appointment (already!?!?) and it was great! Mom met me at the doctor's office since Stephen had to go to work. Brianna has already gained almost a pound! She is now 7 pounds, 12 ounces, so like mom said, I don't have to worry that I'm not feeding her enough! She is chunking out in her cheeks and thighs! It makes me want to just smooch her all over and gobble her up! The doctor said everything looks perfect in regards to her health. Then I took Brianna to work with me so I could catch up just on a couple of things. She behaved quite nicely for all of my coworkers and I was able to get a lot done. Well done, Bri!

Tonight I wanted to take a walk but it has been raining off and on for a few hours and now it's too dark. Instead, Bri and I chilled on the couch, watching TV and reading together. We have read two books together so far (Called to the Other Side and 10 Things You Should Know About God and Life) and we've just started a new one. She's really interested in these books, don't let her snoring fool you. Then I laid her down and cleaned the kitchen which hadn't been done in a least two weeks, probably three. Now I'm just waiting for her to wake up and eat and then we'll skip off to bed!

I'm really going to try to make this blog not ENTIRELY about Brianna, but it's not like my days have been filled with much else recently!! I just have to post some pictures, so if you're not interested, you may leave now.

First doctor's appointment: 4 days old!

First walk: 10 days old!

This is pretty standard at our house now:

Brianna's Aunt Jenn Kl.!