My Money's Worth

I am a contradictory mix of cheap and frivolous. I hate spending a lot of money at once, but I like frequently spending little amounts of money.  I coupon, craigslist and free-on-the-side-of-the-road as verbs.  But then I buy $25 mascara or a ridiculously priced vacuum.  And I've not found a price tag on a light fixture that exceeds my ability to justify it.

But my nonsensical spending habits have short-circuited into some odd results.

Here's a list of hings I have bought at one time (well, sometimes requiring multiple trips to the store, but all within a few days):
1. 100 bottles of sweet baby ray's bbq sauce
2. 12 containers of ice cream (I've done this like 4 times this summer...it is a bit of a problem)
3. 160 POUNDS of chicken
4. 400 diapers (which I transported in my double stroller on a run back from target)
5. Something like 200 rolls of toilet paper (that was on amazon, so it was delivered conveniently)
6. 36 lbs of coffee (I've done this several times online- it nets out to $2.50 per lb, which is way better than I'd pay if I bought it weekly at the grocery store).

Just this week I bought 10 bricks of tillamook cheese (saving $30), 10 lbs of butter (saving $20), and, um, 10 more containers of ice cream (saving $40).  So see, that is a practical example of stuff I'd buy over the course of time anyhow, but I ended up saving $90.  One could argue that I'd save a lot of money (and effort in exercising) if I could kick the ice cream habit, but I'm not ready to consider it yet.

When I look upon my garage with 32 bars of soap, 8 tubes of toothpaste and 18 jars of peanut butter I feel content at the hunter/gatherer level.

On the whole, I am a "buy a new one if it breaks" kind of girl.  But there are a few things that I've kept so long that even my great Grandma Johnson would be impressed.

1. This paint brush.  If I'm not mistaken this one has lasted through the priming, painting and second-coating of the interior and exterior of our house.  In that time we've also bought, used, let dry up & thrown out about 10-15 other paint brushes, but this one keeps dodging the bullet.

2. These shorts- which along with the picture above should tell you a lot about my painting style (messy).  I bought these shorts (along with two sports bras I still have!) on my honeymoon at the Nike factory outlet in Bend-- twelve years ago.

3. This highchair.  I am completely positive that when I drop this off at Goodwill in about 2 years I will cry my eyes out.  It has been a permanent fixture in our house for the last 5 years, and well worth the $25 I paid for it off craigslist.  I have never had a seat cover on it, which helps me clearly see how much schlacked on baby food is present at all times.

Navy, current queen of the high chair.

Formerly under reign of prince Baylor

And originally purchased for this prima donna.

3. This rice cooker.  I'm pretty sure I bought this from target for $19.99 at least ten years ago.  Aside from the microwave & coffee pot, this is our most commonly used kitchen appliance.

4. This iphone case.  It has protected my phone for the last two years and been dropped in paint, dropped on the road, and handled countless times by clumsy toddlers.  It cost $20 and was worth every penny.

5. And last but not least, my double bob.  I bought it in good condition for $300 off craigslist.  Over the last three years this thing has logged some serious mileage.  I've not treated it gently and it shows.

It is ripping at the seams.  One of the harnesses is ripped too.

The handle bar foam is torn.

But it served its purpose

performs well in the airport as dual purpose child & luggage hauler

in cool weather

and hot (Disneyland!)

Handy for lulling children to sleep

3 pumpkin + 2 child capacity

or one teensy tiny one

or the biggest & smallest

or aforementioned 400 diapers (plus the baby who's gonna wear 'em)

Navy loves this stroller.

I love this stroller.

Perhaps I'll blog next about all the useless things I've purchased...


Old Friends & New Friends

Sav & Jo at 12 and 9 months

Navy & Eve at 8 and 5 months


Johonna: Winning at LIFE

Jo was born with a fully developed personality.

In terms of conquering the world, she's sort of killing it.

Like the time she totally owned turning three.

And the time she was like, "It is virtually impossible for me to get lost at Disneyland because my mom's cell phone is written in sharpie on my paw. Also I have kick ass glasses."

And the time she was the most thriller-kid at gymnastics.

She gave ballet a spin.

Got into the swing of things,

And completely dominated that genre of dance.

She totally nailed her first day of preschool outfit.

She pedicures like nobody's business.

She had a footsy-pajama period.

Closely followed by a pirate period, which she owned.

She's a craftin' fool.

She told that gingerbread house what for.

She hardly ever lets life knock her down.

It happens to even the best of us sometimes.

But it turns out she's the bossest sibling around (literally).

And practically an expert.

Her hypothesis' are always right.

She's got brows

that are on hydraulics.

And now

she's absolutely

winning at kindergarten.


Baylor's *First* Birthday Party

Here's the deal- Baylor didn't exactly get a first birthday party.  Or a second birthday party.  And the one time I throw him a legit party & make him a big dessert he nearly died by choking on a gummy worm in it and then no one ate it and I had to take it to work and pawn it off on coworkers who normally wouldn't eat something that horrible looking but when given the choice of working or eating, they're going to choose eating, no matter what the aesthetics of the food.

For Bay's first bday we had the Stephens over for take out omelettes in the morning

and did cupcakes with the Middlebrooks in the afternoon.

And then for his second birthday I think no one could really make it, so I think we did something sort of low key.  For example, for breakfast Luke fed him special birthday cornflakes:

And for dinner, I prepared for him this special birthday corn dog that he ate in a special birthday grocery cart at a special birthday store called Fred Meyer.  With his shirt on inside out.

Probably there is an entire themed table set with goodie bags and pinatas and an amazing cake just out of frame. But maybe not.

But THIS year Mr. Baylor Blitz partied like a rock star.  He got a pinterest-fail cake.  Which was actually a cookie-brownie bar dirt track with worms and trucks. I went the extra mile for health and hygiene and bought NEW trucks that I then DISHWASHED for sanitation.  I really pulled out all the stops for this kid.

I bathed him and clipped his nails.  This is as much primping as a three year old boy (and his mom) can handle, so in between the bath & scheduled guest arrival he snuck out to play in his "construction site" which is actually a dirt pile.

Then the party started.  Here's photos taken on the red carpet:
Aunt Laurie

The plaid mafia

Here's 3.26% of the Middlebrooks family

and another 3.26%

and Grandpa Dick who holds a special place in my heart, and whose extremely specific brand and flavors of condiments hold a special place in my fridge.

We had a performing bear for entertainment

There was a little bit of a bottleneck at the transportation station

and a very appropriate gift from Jack & Patty


And then he got his first chance to blow out candles,

which was quickly eclipsed by a brief choking episode in which Baylor tried to swallow a gummy worm whole and failed and luckily this guy

is the same as this guy

so he saved the day and extracted the gummy worm from my son's gullet. And saving lives is all just in a days work for this clown

Anyhow- this little fellow

had a good day judging by the end state of his paws

Here he is

making the face he makes when he is talking about something with conviction

which is to say he is probably extolling the virtues of garbage trucks, excavators and cargo trains.

He is my very favorite three year old.