Friday, September 27, 2013

Paper Coupons, A Thing of the Past???

My hubby recently told me about a story he saw on his favorite morning news show.  It was about how paper coupons will become a thing of the past.  Excuse me??  I definitely 100% disagree with that!!  First of all, not everyone in this world wants to do digital coupons! I'm what you would call, ahem, STUBBORN, and I have unwillingly had to start doing some digital coupons, just because sometimes the deals are so good. Especially like these three items I got today at Kroger (they were Friday only downloads)! If I had to pay full price it would have cost me $8.08.  I have never bought these three items before, but since they were free, I'm giving them a "test" run!
 

Second of all, take a look at the coupons below that I got recently in the mail.  The first two coupons I got because I found a small peanut shell in a jar of peanut butter and I called the company to tell them about it.  Just taking a few minutes on the phone with the company yielded me $8.00 worth of coupons.  The third coupon was because I bought a six-pack of applesauce that had already expired and I didn't notice it until I got home that day from the grocery store.
 

I have to acknowledge my Aunt "M." She was the one that told me a long time ago to take a few moments to call a company or business to let them know about a product or service - good or bad!  Third, I have saved tons of cash by using paper coupons not only at the grocery store, but also at restaurants, department stores and other stores where I shop!  I went out to lunch with one of my good friends recently and it was a buy one, get one type of deal.  It was her turn to treat me and she had no hesitation in using my coupon!!  Fourth, not everyone is a fan of Facebook, but there are many free websites out there that will do the work of finding great coupons or free things for you. That's how I found out about the booklet below.  I don't know about you, but I definitely like "finding" $13.00!  I got this sent to me FREE!


How can you not want to use coupons to save money???  Finally, if you don't get a regular subscription to a newspaper, then buy it only on Sunday.  It's definitely well worth the investment!  I'm not what you would call an "extreme" couponer, but I probably spend about one hour a week, clipping and sorting the paper coupons we get in our Sunday paper.  One hour a week is a small price to pay to reap many financial benefits, wouldn't you say???

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Feeling the Need to Comment

This past Thursday afternoon, I was at a local restaurant with a close friend of mine.  We were kind of standing off to the side trying to look at the menu and decide what we wanted to order.  I was talking to my friend and rattling off some sandwiches that sounded good.  As I mentioned one in particular, a sourdough melt, I had a guy walk right past us and say something like, "that one is really good!"  I said, "okay, thanks!"  I then said to my friend, "I guess I must have been talking kind of loud, if that guy commented!"  I did end up ordering that sandwich and it was really good, so I guess that dude was right!  It got me to thinking, how many times have I overheard a person's conversation and felt the need to comment? Probably more times than I should have!  About three weeks ago, I was in my favorite grocery store and I overheard an older woman (I'm assuming she was the grandma) talking to the two little kids that she was pushing in the cart.  I guess it had been a rough day because I heard her say, "you better stop doing that, or you are going to go sit in the car, ALONE!" Yikes, I wanted so bad to say something to the grandma, but didn't.  Just last week, I was at a grocery store I don't go to very often and I was listening to the gal and the clerk talking to each other in front of me.  The clerk said, "did you get the special loaded to your account?"  This particular store has recently put many digital "specials" on-line and you have to load them to your account.  The two women were discussing the special in great depth.  When it was my turn to check out I asked the clerk, "hey, I didn't load the special to my card either!"  Turns out you had to spend a certain amount to get a percentage off and I didn't come anywhere close to that amount, so I didn't feel too bad. I felt bad for the gal in front of me, because she qualified for the percentage off, but hadn't loaded it to her account.  When you're waiting in line, it's kind of hard not to listen to the conversations swirling around you, especially if you're by yourself! How about you? Do you ever comment on a conversation you have overheard? or would it be too awkward??

Friday, September 20, 2013

Shopping Cart "Etiquette"

I have written posts about library etiquette, parking lot etiquette and manners in general, but I feel that a post about shopping cart "etiquette" is something that also needs to be discussed!  Hold on tight, I'm hopping on top of the old soapbox.  First of all, if you take a shopping cart out of the store and into the parking lot, please return the cart to either the store or to the cart "corral." When you leave the cart in the parking lot, it creates havoc for others trying to park their cars in the lot, especially on a windy day, when the carts start having a mind of their own! If that is not possible, then please try and put it somewhere out of the way.  Second, if carts are at a premium, please don't take one that has a stroller attached.  There are lots of moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, etc. that bring children with them when they shop and they should get top priority for those type of carts.  Third, when you are shopping, especially in a grocery store, please put your cart either to the right or the left of the aisle.  Please don't leave the cart in the middle, it makes it difficult for people to get around you.  Fourth, if you are coming out of an aisle, please slow down just a little, to make sure there isn't someone coming from the right or to the left.  About a week ago, when I was at the grocery store, I assumed that a man was going to stop when he hit the end of the aisle, WRONG!! He kept right on going and almost crashed into my cart as I was passing by.  Lastly, if you see an empty cart, look around first and make sure that someone isn't using it!  Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Compassion and Tolerance

Back in late August, I heard of a story involving a child with special needs. It was about an anonymous note that was sent from "one pissed off mother" to a family who has a child with Autism.  The letter was filled with words that were offensive, hurtful and just plain mean.  Parts of it read, "I HATE people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are entitled to special treatment!"  Another line, "go live in a trailer in the woods or something with your wild animal kid."  Wow, when I read that, it made me really sad, first of all that a mom could have that much disdain for a child (and his family) and secondly, to take the time to write all that nasty stuff down and then send it?  I find it even more sad to think that this is what the "pissed off mother" is teaching her own children - that it's okay to not have tolerance for others just because they look or act different. Well, I have a news flash for the "pissed off mother" - the world isn't like that!!  Wouldn't it be a really boring world if it was???  The mom who got that anonymous letter was shaken and upset and rightfully so.   She responded to the hate filled letter on a really great special needs blog - here is the link to it - http://www.lovethatmax.com/2013/08/the-moms-response-to-that-shocking.html . In early September, I heard about another anonymous note that was left for a family whose son has epilepsy and has had three major brain surgeries.  The family had gone out to eat and as they were waiting for their meal, their son started to get loud. The mom was getting concerned that the other diners might start getting upset.  Instead, the waitress came over and said that a mystery diner had paid for their meal and had written on their bill, "God only gives special children to special people."  There is just one word that comes to mind when I read that sentence - compassion!  Wow, I think this mystery diner could teach the "pissed off mother" a thing or two, don't you think???

Friday, September 13, 2013

Too Much Information

Earlier this week I was at my favorite grocery store going up and down the aisles, looking for good deals, and getting the items on my list. The time I usually go shopping is in the morning, during the week, so most of the other customers are stay-at-home moms like myself or senior citizens.  Well, this particular time, I noticed an elderly man in a motorized wheelchair trying to reach for something on a high shelf.  I went over and said, "sir, do you want me to get something off the shelf for you?"  He said, "no, I just had bariatric surgery and I have to do it myself!" Hmm, I don't know if I wanted to know quite that much about him, considering I had never met him before. I remember hesitating about 10 seconds and then I think I said, "cool!"  Looking back, maybe that wasn't the best response.   I almost was going to ask him how much weight he lost, but that didn't seem to be appropriate.  Maybe I should have said, "good for you or good luck!" I really wish I could think quicker on my feet sometimes!!  One thing about my personality is that I sometimes have a tendency to share a little too much about myself. I can usually size someone up pretty quickly when I first meet them and determine if I can share really personal things with them.  My mother-in-law was really, really private, but I could always be myself with her. I think she definitely thought I shared way too information with people, but we still managed to have a pretty good relationship!!  How do you handle it if a friend divulges way too much information about themselves, their relationships, marriage or their kids?  Don't you wish life came with an instruction manual sometimes???

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny

A few weeks before Easter of this year, I asked Lauren if she wanted a basket from the Easter Bunny.  She said that she did.  Even though I know she doesn't believe in him anymore, I think she likes getting the candy :)  When Dominic has lost teeth at school, his teacher sends them home in a baggie. I have never started the Tooth Fairy thing with him and probably won't at this point, given that he has already lost a bunch of teeth.  I read an article in the newspaper recently that said the average amount a kid gets for a lost tooth is $3.70!  If you can believe it, there is even a Tooth Fairy Calculator "app" that will give you an idea how much to give your child based on your age, income bracket and education level.  I find that fascinating.  Back in my day of losing teeth, I seem to recall getting a quarter or two.  My hubby told me that back when he was in second grade, one of the teachers told the entire class that there was no such thing as Santa Claus.  He can't remember if he cried or not when he heard that, but he did say that some of the kids were crying. To me, I think that was kind of mean of the teacher to do that!!!  I don't know that there is any set age for a kid to find out, I think it's better if you tell them the truth if they directly ask you.  I can remember when Lauren asked me if Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny were real. I never lie and the fact that I lied to her for a number of years about their existence was kind of hard for Lauren to wrap her mind around.  Dominic having special needs, I think with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, I'm going to keep that going for the foreseeable future.  How about you? Have your kids come to you yet and asked if Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are real? How old were you when you found out they weren't? or do you "still believe so you will receive???"

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Autism and Echolalia



If you have a child with Autism, you most likely have heard of the term "echolalia." For those of you who don't know the meaning of that word, according to the Autism Speaks website, it is the "repetition of words, phrases and intonations, or sounds of the speech of others."  Out of the many, many Autism websites out there, I have found theirs to be one of the best. Here is the link:  http://www.autismspeaks.org/ . When Dominic was just learning to talk he was the "king" of echolalia.  If we asked him a question like, "what do you want to drink - water or milk?" he would either repeat back part of the sentence or the last word in the sentence.  That is called "immediate echolalia."  Dominic has a remarkable memory.  He can recite entire passages of a book, movie or video that he has seen in it's entirety.  That is called "delayed echolalia" or "scripting" because he is repeating back something that he heard a minute ago, hours ago, a day ago, or longer.  Since about the beginning of the summer, he has been saying a phrase that we don't like.  We have tried everything to stop him from saying it, but it's really not doing any good.  When he has been saying it to me I've been telling him, "do you kiss your mother with that mouth??"  Now, for the past week or so he'll say the phrase we don't like, immediately followed by, "mother with that mouth!"  He's a real comedian :) Dominic used to think taking the things to be recycled out to the bin we have out in the garage was the most coolest thing ever.  Lately, he hasn't thought it's that great (or cool) anymore.  When he stopped liking to do it, I asked him, "is it because it's lost its magic?" He didn't really respond to that, but the next time after that when I asked him to toss something into the bin, he said, "lost it's magic!" Again, he's a real comedian!! Dominic has had the most amazing social worker since he started school when he was 3.  She just retired at the end of this past school year and we will really, really miss her. She told me something once that I have never forgotten. When Dominic would start "scripting" at school she would tell him, "stop the movie!" We tell him the same thing at home now. Great advice from a very wise woman.  A few years back, Dominic started talking about "laris" incessantly. My hubby even starting asking him if it was an imaginary friend.  After many months, it was determined that "laris" was actually his word for hilarious because I guess when he did something funny once we told him he was "hilarious." One thing that is different now since he is older is that when he is "scripting" we can ask him where he heard a particular sentence, etc. and he can tell us where he heard it.  He doesn't do the intense "scripting" so much these days, so when he launches into it big time, I know something is not quite right.  It is usually when he is overstimulated or under stimulated.  Dominic does the "scripting" as a way of soothing himself.  Has anyone else had children that did a lot of echolalia?  I would be curious to hear from other parents who have had similar experiences like our family has had.   Please feel free to comment!!