February 2010

Our four year old loves playing Candy Land (what preschooler doesn’t?) I too have fond memories of the game, and I remember imagining myself transported into a world of candy creatures and magnificent castles. Are you ready for another “Before I had kids I said I’d never do that” parenting confession?

We stack the deck. Yup. It’s true. Let’s face it, Candy Land can drag on and on given no “tweaking” of the deck. I love to see the joy on Jimmy’s face as he plays the game, but Mommy and Daddy can only handle so much time at the game board (20 min.) before our brains turn to mush. So, we’ve taken to quickly reorganizing the deck halfway through the game to speed things up. You know what I’m talking about: “Look, you got the ice cream cone!” “Two double blues in a row? You’re almost to the castle!”

And want to hear something even worse? We always make sure he gets the Gumdrop card. It’s terrible, I know, but his sweet little face is worth it. We’ll have to play the game with real rules someday, but for now this is good enough 🙂


Are you as tired of junk mail as I am? Every time I get a credit card offer I cringe, feeling that it is such a waste of resources to send out all those forms and envelopes. What’s the solution? According to this Simple Mom post, these two websites can help to reduce some of the annoyance and waste of receiving all those offers:

I just went through and opted out of all the applicable areas listed on the WPF’s top ten. Do I expect to see a reduction in junk mail? Not really. But my day feels a little better. Now for a nap. Or chocolate. Chocolate will probably win.

P.S. – the pic is of a tank made out of junk mail. Sweet, eh??

I’ll get a photo up eventually, I promise! For now, here are the specs:

Joseph Timothy Maxwell

February 13th, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

8lbs, 10 oz

20 inches long

For baby boy #3 (which we are still awaiting, btw) we really haven’t needed to make many purchases. A coming home outfit, an extra swaddling blanket, and we’re all set. The one splurge we made this time around was researching video monitors (mostly through Amazon.com and ConsumerSearch.com). In November we purchased the Summer Infant Day & Night Video monitor from amazon. This is an awesome monitor, and we are sooo excited to be able to use it with the new baby. We’ve tested it out with Jacob (he sleeps in the baby’s room for naps) and it works really well, with terrific night vision and daytime monitoring. We can see how it will be particularly useful when #3 learns to roll over and pull up to standing. You know, those times when you’re wondering “What in the world is going on in there?” but you don’t want to creak open the door to peek.

This monitor retails for $180, but we got it from Amazon.com for $107. How? Using a tool called Amazon Price Watch we listed the url and then over the course of a couple of months, any time the listed Amazon price would change, I got an email noting the new price. It’s always a gamble when to buy (will the price drop more?) but that’s part of the fun, just like eBay 🙂 This Price Watch tool can be used to monitor any Amazon item. Sweet.

Don’t you just love when, at the peak of dark wintertime, seed catalogs start coming in? Living in Alaska, it might be worth signing up for a catalog or two even if you don’t tend a garden. Just seeing the pictures of plants so full of life is a pick-me-up for any winter day.

My favorite catalog is the Seed Savers Exchange. I have yet to order from any of these catalogs (I always end up at Fred’s) but I love looking through them. Maybe this will be the year I actually put in an order.

Planning a summer garden? Check out these gardening journals, an essential tool for keeping track of successes and failures (although, a cheap ruled notebook works well too).

Here are some pertenent garden planning articles from the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service:

Can you believe it’s already February? Planting time will be here before we know it. Yay!!!

My SIL turned me onto this great deal going on at Costco.com for a Phil and Ted’s travel cot. My little nephew uses one when they travel, and he and his parents love it. The cot only weighs 5.6 lbs, and it folds up VERY compactly (maybe 25-30% the fold-up size of our pack-n-play). This is a great option for traveling out of state, as the cot can easily be stored in the overhead bin instead of paying for another checked bag. Interested? Here’s the link.

Thanks, Monica!