Just Heather

Go ahead. Make fun of my shopping habits, but I’ve saved $6000 so far this year on my grocery bill. That may not buy a house, but it means the difference between staying at home with my three girls and getting a part-time job.

Rachael alerted me to the fact that my picture was included in an article on The Onion. Go figure. I get interviewed on national television, compared to Michael Jordan in the Chicago Tribune, and picked up as a syndicated article by the AP but it takes appearing on the front page of The Onion to impress him.

I made the front page of the Chicago Tribune! I did an interview on Wednesday about my work with coupons. I took the reporter on a shopping trip and showed her how to save a bundle. I knew the article was coming out yesterday, but I had no idea it would be front page. If I had, I wouldn’t have frantically flipped through the entire paper and gotten newsprint all over my new shirt on the way to Mother’s Day dinner with my dad’s entire family! Good thing I got to impress them with my front page news so maybe no one noticed.

In case you missed it, I was on CBS Evening News last night. I got about 2 of my “15 minutes” in.  View the video or read the article at CBS Evening News.

This week has just been awful, thus the lack of posting. I still don’t quite feel like updating so you’ll have to deal with bullets:

  • Monday we went to a funeral. Spencer’s great-grandmother passed away over the weekend. She was 94 and lived a full life. I was always amazed at what she was doing well into her 90s. She was a sweet lady who adored my children—always a plus in my book.
  • Spencer is still sick. They ran several blood tests earlier this week, but can’t figure it out. They now have him on Zithromax and it seems to be working. I’m thinking it was just a particularly difficult strand of strep throat and the first antibiotic didn’t kick it.
  • All morning sickness all the time—I won’t go into details except to say that’s pretty much why I don’t post much. Something on the second floor makes me sick so I stay downstairs.
  • So much for laundry.
  • My first Brownie field trip was postponed. There will be no hiking in the rain for me. The girls did surprisingly well for our indoor activities considering the disappointment factor.
  • Stacia’s first soccer game of the season is tomorrow. I was so glad to hear the weather has cleared. They tell us repeatedly “soccer is an all-weather sport” which pretty much means prepare to sit in the mud.
  • Brenia is now officially known as Naked Baby. She has a new thing with spontaneous shedding of clothing. She likes to be “nake” and I just don’t have the energy to fight it. At least I’ve gotten her to quit including the diaper.
  • CBS just called to say they weren’t finished editing due to another out-of-town news story. The segment has been pushed back to next Friday night. Now I get to go about the process of calling those who were planning to watch me tonight—which pretty much includes everyone I know and lots of people I don’t.

On Thursday I hosted a CBS News crew in my home. They interviewed me about my coupon use and my business, filmed me with hubby and the girls, and followed me on a shopping trip. I think it went well. Who knows what it will look like once they edit the 2 hours of film down to a short Consumer Alert segment, but it was fun anyway.

It was a strange experience. Sometimes I took direction from the producer. Sometimes the reporter chimed in. Surprisingly, a lot of times the cameraman had his own ideas. I had a great time working with all of them, though I’m pretty sure the sound guy knows a bit more about me than he wanted to.

The shopping trip was a kick. They had approval to film, but once we got there we were told we could only film down the one aisle they had prepared. Too bad I didn’t need beans. We did talk the manager into switching to the promotional aisle since it had the sale items I actually needed, but we had to wait for them to clean it up and face all the products. The store also gave me my own special checkout, cashier, and bag boy. Funny how nice and helpful everyone was once the camera was rolling!

It should air on Friday night during the CBS Evening News if you want to tune in and check me it out. I think he said it would be on around 6:30.

CBS just called and it seems they are finally ready to come. In two days. If you could see my house right about now you would laugh out loud! I’ve been so sick (and tired) for weeks. Hubby has been sick for a week. The place is well and truly trashed. I have a day and half to get it television ready. Not to mention finding a suitable outfit.

I think I’m gonna be sick.

The article about my brownie troop came out today. You can read it here. She used quotes from all 3 girls. They are a talkative bunch, and had some great things to say. They actually printed our entire collection list too. That’s something I couldn’t even get the school newsletter to do.

Now if only I can convince hubby to go out and buy 10 copies.

In other news news, the CBS producer finally got back to me. Things just keep coming up to bump our interview. Right now it’s his kiddos’ spring break. Ah, priorities. I’m just glad to hear he’s still interested. It looks like we’ll finally connect the first week of April.

Now to find a new pregnant-lady outfit since my new, hot power-suit no longer fits!

I was contacted by a reporter again this week, this time for my work with Stacia’s Brownie Troop. She wants to do a feature article in next week’s paper about the service project we are doing. I think it’s really neat that they are getting some recognition this early in their Girl Scouting “careers.”

In January, when we were planning something to do with our cookie money the girls had a bunch of suggestions for using it to help people. I was going to suggest something anyway, but it was quite impressive to hear 7 year olds say we should give our money to the Tsunami vicitms. We elected to send half of our cookie booth profits to the Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund.

I wanted them to take part in something more than watching me write a check though, so a few weeks ago I suggested a few hand-on projects: Any Soldier care packages, Ronald McDonald House toiletry collection, or one girl’s suggestion Toys for Tots. I really wanted to do an Any Soldier drive at the school, but I just knew they would vote for buying toys. We took a vote, as is the only way to make decisions with 24 1st graders. Any Soldier won by a mile. They loved the idea of helping our soldiers who were in another country.

So we have a big box setup at the school with a list of supplies the soldiers are requesting—energy bars, personal hygeine, stationary, and entertainment items—and plan to put together as many care packages as possible at our next meeting. The cookie funds come in when it is time to ship them overseas. Our principal was kind enough to not only allow us to setup a collection bin, but add our request to the school newsletter. That is, apparently, how the reporter heard about our efforts.

I’m meeting her at the school this afternoon for a short interview, and then she wants to ask a the girls some questions and take pictures. She asked for 3-5 girls. I felt bad that the whole troop doesn’t get to be involved in such an exciting aspect of it, but I just called my assistants to borrow their kids. I’m going to suggest that she do a followup at our next meeting for some shots of the girls sorting donations for our care packages. Even if she doesn’t run a second article, at least the whole troop will feel a part of the excitement.