Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tax Dance

I filed my taxes this morning.

Now, by reading this you are obligating yourself to ever help Drew out if I ever die. Honestly, he hasn't ever filed our taxes (honestly, I'm not sure he's ever filed taxes -- but most definitely not with deductions, etc. -- most likely just the 1040 EZ). I worry about what will happen to him. I am so on top of what we spend it is easy for me to pull out our deductions, who gives us interest, etc. {sigh} Again, if I die -- you are all responsible to help him.

How rare do you think it is that the wife files the taxes, almost self-sufficiently? I was wondering what percentage of households that occurs in.

I used http://www.taxact.com/ -- and I really liked it. You can get 30% off by using this link:
https://www.taxactonline.com/s_online_tax2008/introduction/registrationd.asp?return_type=DLX&bun=ULT&fed_price_code=F800012&state_price_code=S800008&sc=07103051103&t=1620.435&t=51665.05
Even though it says repeat users, anyone can use it (except for me because by the time I found this you couldn't import a previous tax return, blah, blah, blah -- I figured it was worth my 3 bucks not to have to type it all in again). Plus, this gives you the deluxe edition, which gives you tax help (if needed).

I have used Turbo Tax in the past, I must admit, mostly because it imported all of my info from the prior years. However, with our computer debacle about a year ago I lost all that good stuff, so I figured I'd start fresh. Turbo Tax is a little better, I will agree. But the cost to efile and buy the program, etc. puts it around 60 bucks to do it all (I think). My total cost with tax act was 13.99, and it keeps my info online so that it will import it to my account next year. Fairly handy if you ask me.

I am also bitter that Quicken makes you upgrade every 3 years because they can. Is anyone else bothered by this? Darn you Quicken. If anyone sees it for less than 40 bucks, lemme know.

So, this is me doing the tax dance. I must admit that we usually do something fun with our tax return (most often, lately, it's been a trip to Disneyland), but that's out of the question this year (bump getting to big)... so it's all just going into 3 month money storage account. It's something I feel strongly about and even though I HATE my couch... I figure I might as well let the baby do its thing on there, and get a nice one next year. Right? :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Good News

Sometimes you feel like bad news pours down on your head. But yesterday was a good news day.

1. I passed my 1 hour glucose. It's huge for me. I was getting depressed just thinking about doing the 3 hour. I also feel like what I'm doing is making a difference in my health, so that's always a happy thing.
2. There's a good chance Drew won't lose his job. I mean, you never know -- but he had his meeting yesterday where they usually announce cuts, and the superintendent was even there and he seemed pretty positive. I mean, I won't believe anything til' I see it. But I'm still happy.

Anyway, it was a happy day. And now to sew some more blankets (this time for a friend) -- and wait for my water heater to explode -- I mean, good news is often followed by bad. Am I right?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

TLC, Hilary style

I have some random thoughts for this fine Thursday, many of them revolving around some TLC shows. Enjoy.

1. Had to take my 1 hour glucose (AGAIN) today. I can't imagine I will pass it -- but I had to take it regardless. I've felt off ever since, and when you haven't had that much real sugar in a while it really tastes BAD. I'm trying to push the reminder that I'll get to do a 3 hour sometime soon out of the back of my mind. I mean, miracles happen -- I could pass the 1 hour. Right? For those of you thinking I did this before -- I did. I had to do it at 8 weeks, I failed the 1 hour, passed the 3 hour but my fasting was high -- so I'm on the diabetic diet. But now they're checking to see if I fail further, because then I'll have to start measuring my blood sugar 4 times/day.

2. Toddlers and Tiaras -- on TLC. O.M.G. Did anyone else watch this show? It was a mom and daughter beauty pageant. I was literally dying. Perhaps it's just that I have boys but these moms are INSANE. Really, go to your DVR, and record it. You'll have a lovely 1/2 hour of shock in store for you.

3. 17 and Counting -- the show about the Duggar family. The oldest son got married in an episode recently and he took the older girls all down to help prepare for the wedding. It was HILARIOUS to watch the parents cope actually parenting that many kids (usually the older children are given a younger child to basically parent -- which leaves the mom with a newborn and just to oversee stuff). Personally, I have a few friends who came from very large families and they weren't so hot to have children of their own -- they felt like they'd already done that, and to me it's just sad. However, I think it's nice that they're promoting large families and being self sufficient. They still seem more real then John and Kate who just got a giant new house and he STILL never works. Oh, and let's not go into how she just said that being on TV was the hardest job they've ever had. For heavens sake, didn't she work in a nursing home? I think the children stole her memory. Sorry, a little off track there.

Happy Thursday friends. Feel free to mock how much time I spend in front of my DVR. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Restaurants

Drew and I are going to Wicked in the next month. I am VERY excited, I think I should say very VERY excited. I wish it was something we could do more often since there's so much great theatre around here. I LOVE a good play. LOVE it.
Anyway, I am looking for a good restaurant near the orpheum? I'd prefer to park only once so it'd have to be something close by. Does anyone know of anything? I'd like to call and make a reservation in advance.
BTW, if anyone goes to the symphony often, Absinthe is near there, and it's DElish! I'd highly recommend it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stuff I Saw in the Ads

I do think prices are coming down a bit, but it just might be me -- or it might be the fact that it's Superbowl weekend.

Longs
  • Dryers Ice Cream 2.77
  • Cream of soups 4/3 (I will be stocking up on this price -- I think it's only Chicken and Mushroom)
Savemart/Lucky
  • Prawns 4.99/lb
  • Avocados 2/1
  • Chili 88 cents (I will also be stocking up on this)
  • Doritos 1.88 (decent price, but I don't really love Doritos as a tortilla chip)
** All of these items are on their 72 hour sale, the prices are only good Fri, Sat and Sun.

Safeway
  • Grapes 88 cents (kids have been missing these -- haven't been on this good of a sale for a while)
  • Lay's 1.69 (getting a few bags of these)
  • Nabisco Crackers 1.69 (stocking up, I'm low on the wheat thins -- seems like there's also a coupon)
  • Li'l Smokies Sausage 2/5 (still kind of expensive, but yummy....)
  • Best Foods Mayo 2.88 (Lowest I've seen in a while, I got it a few days ago at Walgreens on a RR deal for 2.80, but that's a good price for now)
  • String Cheese 2/7
  • Bagged Sliced Mushrooms 1.99
**I have heard they're coming out with some coupons over the weekend, so since I don't desperately need any of these things, I will be shopping for them on Monday after the ad comes out.

Anyway, anyone else see anything else?

Trying to "Be" With Them

I've noticed SO many moms writing on their blogs that they're trying so hard to savor the days with their kids. And while I totally agree with this, that my kids will grown up too quickly, that in a blink of an eye I'll be sending them to college wondering why they aren't dragging around blankies and bottles anymore.

Today's just not one of those days.

I told Conner last night if he was still sick in the morning he'd be in his bed all day. He woke-up feeling worse then before so guess who's in his bed, right now. Spencer's home too. He's actually pretty pitiful. Spencer rarely gets sick (unlike his brother) so it's extra sad to see him. Pus, he's been a bit cuddly with this illness, and if you know my kids, you know it's rare to get a cuddle.
So, what percentage of my days are ones that I want to "be" with them. Frankly it does seem rare. Most days are so monotonous -- getting to school, getting to soccer, doing homework, bugging them about science fair projects or pinewood derby cars....

The hard thing is breaking out of that stuff, or doing it with them (with a happy heart). I think perhaps that will be my goal. Do something with the kids each day... happily. Sometimes I plan a lot of stuff for us to do together but it just ends-up with me wanting to pull my hair out (like this past Sunday when Conner and I were making breakfast and he put the pepper grinder IN the eggs to grind the pepper -- {sigh}). It's the happy heart part. Doing it just to be with them, not so much to get a job done. Problem is, because I am not a saint, there will be times that I can't do everything with them happily and not caring about the outcome. So, once a day is a nice goal. Don't you think?

And if I'm a blithering idiot today, just remember both kids, home sick -- second day in a row. Drew practically jumped out the door.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I even have a few reviews from last week to follow this week's:
  • Mexican: Nachos (yum)
  • Pasta: Tuna Casserole (kids loved this last time, might have to use something besides egg noodles this time)
  • Kiddie: Canadian Bacon Qusadillas (use canadian bacon, pineapple and moz cheese as the insides, dip in pizza sauce -- BIG hit at our house)
  • Soup: Refried Bean Soup (SUPER quick, easy and the kids liked it -- plus I have a BUNCH of refried beans)
  • Chicken: Chicken Tenders cordon blu (chicken strips, breaded and pan-fried, put swiss cheese and ham on top -- make a little mustard sauce to dip in -- DElish)
  • Other: Pork Chops

Now, some reviews from last week (I tried a couple of new recipes, and I thought I'd share my reviews):

First off, I haven't had the mac and cheese yet from last week, we're going to have that tonight. Hopefully a review to follow next week.

Chicken Florentine was a huge success. Drew gave it 10 stars (out of 10) and the kids gave it 9 stars -- which is great for a dish that you can use frozen spinach in -- I used fresh, but I think I'd use frozen next time, to save costs -- frozen spinach is a great thing to stock-up on when it's on sale -- just make sure to squeeze-out your excess liquids before you add). I did the same thing as many of the reviewers. I pan-sauteed the chicken, then I sauteed the spinach (used about 3/4 of a bag -- could've used more) with my mushrooms. I put that on the bottom of a 9X13 (I think I'd go to the next smallest size next time), and made the sauce. I put 1/2 of the sauce on top of the spinach, put on the chicken, put on the rest of the sauce. Topped with bacon and cheese and voila. YUMMY with crusty bread, or some simple noodles.

Sausage Barley Soup was also a big hit. Drew gave it 9 stars. It was easy, and if you used turkey sausage it'd be pretty dang good for you. I put a little parmesan cheese on the top, but pretty-well followed the recipe. OH, I did use chicken broth base (bought at Costco) instead of a giant can, I find that to be cheaper (I just put in some hot water, added the base before adding my other ingredients to make sure it was blended in). I think next time I would add the spinach in the last hour, so it's not quite as well-cooked as it was. Again, another great way to feed your kids spinach.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. I am adding both of the recipes show above to my recipe database so we can have them more often. As a sidenote, I don't like to repeat my recipes to often. Unless it's tacos. I LOVE tacos. Who knows why. Anyway, that's just how I am. I like a varied meal plan. You'll find that on my menu plan Monday.

P.S. I've been adding to my recipe database this afternoon and I just had something that bugs me. When a SOUP calls for like 3 cans of SOUP be added TO IT. If I wanted to have CANNED SOUP, I'd open one and pour it in a pan. Plus, 3 cans of soup adds up... much more then broth or water.

Sickies

Why is it that your kids wake-up like death warmed-over and can barely move so you call it a sick day and then by the time school's supposed to start they're running through the house like little criminals?
Just wondering....
I just banished them to bed with some of the cube world guys.
{peace} for a moment.
K, just had to share this youtube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCnXfO7YMfk
My mind was already figuring a place to put it. And while I can't think of one right now, I still LOVE it. Of course, I'd put doors on each end, just to be all classy-like. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Games

One of my very favorite Sunday traditions is our family game. For us, it happens after breakfast, and we take turns choosing which game we are going to play. Today, Conner chose Uno. There are so many amazing things you can learn from a card game (we haven't usually played a lot of card games up until now, because it was difficult to do with two younger children). Taking turns, colors, numbers. Spencer even once almost won all on his own. We also found-out that is a kniving game player just like my family. He felt so much glee when he skipped somone or made them draw two. Anyway, I rarely have the will to play a game with kids on the weekdays, but it's the perfect "day of rest" tradition for us.

Also, just finished 2 scrapbook pages of 2008. Go me.

This Kills Me

I love Tom Hanks. I have always wished he was my neighbor, I think he'd be very cool.
Apparently he'd be cool -- but more cool towards me, rather then let's all have a BBQ kind of cool.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28816107/
Apparently at some point he said Mormons were unamerican, because we (it'd be interesting to have a % of the church who actually donated to prop 8 -- what, like 1%, if not less -- that's a pretty broad "we") donated money to Prop 8, although this is a statement about him apologizing, I woudln't say it's an apology but him saying he'd rather he'd chosen his words better.
{sad}

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Grocery Shopping at 7 am

That's right, I went to the grocery store this morning at 7am. I couldn't sleep -- I woke up and my hips were hurting, and the only thing that made them happy was sleeping on my back -- but then I was eliminating vital nutrients from my fetus.... so I just got up.

There's a lot that you can observe alone at the grocery store.
For instance, Savemart and Lucky are cheaper then Safeway. I'd always "known" it -- but know I know. On store brands Savemart's is almost always 10 cents or so cheaper. However, Safeway does have better sales. Just an FYI for you, my readers. Feel blessed.

I was able to stock-up on some of the important stuff, and all of it was on sale. Dry beans were even on sale -- about 20% off... which isn't amazing -- but what do you want on dried beans? So, I am a girl with a bunch of dried beans now. It's amazing what you can look at and take stock of when you're grocery shopping alone. It's a rarity for me, and while my 4 year old is a grocery shopping pro, it was still good. I'd recommend everyone take an hour and go check out prices on stuff. And then go to the spa. :)

{me, doing the dried bean dance}

In other news, I made Drew organize in the garage for a good two hours again this fine AM. He loves me so. Seriously, if you saw it, you would mock me for spending any time in there, but it is good to know what exactly we have, etc. Also hoping to use some reusable canvas bags when I grocery shop from now on. I have a few of them, and I hate throwing away the plastic ones.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The human dichotomy for which I am.


It's a hard lot having pregnancy be your gig and your life. In the 5 years that I was not pregnant I re-gained my jaded outlook on the swollen bellies. However, the walls are falling, I'm remembering what it's like.

My baby is a movah-and-a-shakah. I told my doctor she's insane when we ultrasound her, and she laughed (my doctor is entirely NOT sarcastic -- I am sure you could imagine with glee what our appointments are like, since my sarcasm rises exponentially to the size of my stomach). But then on went the gel and the transducer and wow... she is insane. This makes for some annoying times, I will admit. I have no idea what she's doing but it bugs. But then it doesn't bug. I've been the one on the other side of a transducer of a baby who's not moving at all. At. All. I don't want that baby, so move little one -- just move a little more considerately, please.

Will it make me a nicer nurse? Most likely not. I remain that pregnancy is a condition you both got yourself into, and you have to live with. I do feel sorry for many of my patients, but I also remember that the real "fun" starts once it's out. I try and remind myself of that part. It puts myself in check.


And yes, that is me at 26 weeks pregnant. That shirt is apparently WAY too loud for general consumption, why does no one stop me? Conner took it and I had to cut out many a water barrel and weed to get it this nice. I have a feeling that my hands and legs aren't the only thing getting swollen, WHEN did my double chin come back to haunt me. {sigh} I lost the weight once, I can lose it again... say it with me...

Step Away From the Food Storage

K, just a couple of thoughts on the food storage thing.

It is SO nice to know what I have -- and I think my little table will help me keep tabs without wanting to shoot myself. :) Now that I have 10 or so things that I'm on the hunt for the at the grocery store I realize what their regular prices are and when I should stock up. Go me. Also realizing that I need to buy these things on sale. Nothing is an absolute necessity (aka, milk) and I can make meals without them. I'd just prefer to have them. Plus, I want my shelves to look pretty and full. Prideful me. I won't lie -- it probably took 3 hours or so to go through everything and re-organize (mainly becuase I did have to transfer to some of the new shelves) -- but it will be well worth my time if I use my food more wisely.

In other news, the Bush twins -- how great is that letter they wrote to the Obama kids? How great is that letter in general? {sigh} I saw Merideth Vierra crying after they did their little montage on the Today show. She deserved a tear. :)

I cheated, I ate a brownie last night. I feel pretty dang yuckola this fine AM. Drat you sugary baked goods. I'm vowing that I will make S a birthday cake, but other then that I'm out of the sweets department until we see this little sweetie. I even brought in some of the emergency cookies I have in the garage (aka, oreos) so my kids aren't feeling too overly un-sweetened but I am not tempted (it seems like I'm mostly tempted by home-baked goods, not store-bought).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Anal

Well, again, instead of laying on the couch I figured out what I needed as far as cans.
I re-did my google document, it's awfully pretty now.
You'll see that I adjusted some of the #'s of cans I wanted. I forget that sometimes they need to go in groups of 4, or 3 or whatever, depending on the can size and space available.
I also highlighted our needs (and color coded, thanks so much) and found-out what we have WAY too much of. Those are things I will try and use up in the coming weeks.
Here's the newer version:
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddvh65z_4c8bdwscd

Re-Organizing the Storage

I have 2 extra shelves in my garage as of right now. I am wanting to make the food storage a little more do-able. So I wanted to come-up with the lists of things I really want to store, and store a lot of. So, here they are. I'm sure for many of you this is mind-numbing, but maybe it'll help a few of you out.

Staples (I think of this as the basics I use to make something else -- that isn't canned)
1. Mayo
2. Mustard
3. Salad Dressing
4. BBQ Sauce
5. Ketsup
6. Oil (mostly canola, maybe one bottle of olive)
7. Oats
8. Peanut Butter
9. Pam
10. Jam
11. Salsa
12. Dried Beans
13. Applesauce

Food We Need but Probably Shouldn't
1. Crackers
2. Graham Crackers
3. Pudding
4. Applesauce (the lunch variety)
5. Cereal
6. Fruit Snacks
7. Dried Fruit
8. Mac and Cheese
9. Pasta Sauce
10. Popcorn (microwave)
11. Popcorn (the kernal)
12. Juice Boxes
13. Granola bars
14. Pop Tarts (mock if you will -- they are a rare treat)

Canned Items:
1. Tomato sauce *
2. Tomato paste *
3. Diced Tomaotes *
4. Stewed Tomatoes
5. Tuna *
6. Chicken
7. Chili
8. Refried beans
9. Black Beans *
10. Pinto Beans/Garbanzo beans (I don't use a ton of either of these)
11. Kidney Beans
12. White Beans
13. Pie Filling/Pumpkin
14. Pineapple
15. Salmon
16. Soup *
17. Cream of soups *
18. Broth
19. Olives (sliced and whole)
20. Jalapenos
21. Evaporated Milk *
22. Enchilada Sauce
23. Sweetened Condensed Milk
I went ahead and starred the ones I really want a good supply of -- my canned shelves are weird. I have tiny shelves on top where I can fit one can, and then I have a large space below where I hope to stack large amounts of these items.

So, did I miss anything? Something I should be storing that I'm not? BTW, this is only food -- and that's all I can really get into at this point.

Ok, so instead of napping while S was at preschool I decided to re-evaluate all my food storage, and made a fancy little table. You can access it here {I hope}. It has all the things I listd, along with the best price I've ever gotten them for (from memory) and my target price (approximate), along with how many I'd like in my storage. Tell me what you think.

Target Prices

I think the biggest part of bargain grocery shopping is knowing your target prices. Yes, it's amazing when you get products for AMAZING prices, but let's face it -- that's not going to happen every week. Sometimes, there are products that I only buy once a year. Hence, the target prices change between now and then.

For instance, canned diced tomatoes are on sale this week for 77 cents (weekend only at Safeway). Now, these are a GREAT addition to your food storage. They last a fair amount of time (no, not 30 years but they do last for a while). I don't think, at this price, it's worth doing a year's worth but how great of a price is it really? So what do I do?

1. I email some friends to get their opinion. It's always great to have a network of friends around you who also share a mind that remembers prices.
2. I check my stock. If I already have 20 cans of diced tomatoes, do I need any more? Probably not at this price.
3. I take stock of the other things I'm going to buy this week. Will I have enough money to really stock up on the tomatoes? Frankly, I haven't gotten through these steps yet, so I don't know. There is a coupon out there for hunts tomatoes, so at least I'll be buying 6 of them -- because I know that tomatoes for 44 cents is a smokin' deal.

Other things I'm quandering on this week. Tuna (for 79 cents), they also have beans for 77 cents (anyone seeing a trend here). I know that's not a smokin' price on beans, but we're kind of low. Although, I'd love to get more into dried beans then canned beans... you know, if all things were possible. Tuna is a mystery to me. I used to always get it for less then 50 cents. I miss those days.

In other news, a lot of my friends blogs have gone private and I'm realizing I miss them. If you've gone private will you invite me? Oh, and Allison, why don't I have your email address. Drat my new computer and the loss of all my info. I also have a little cold. I miss my zicam. Oh, you lovely zinc -- why can't you be nicer to fetuses?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Food Storage Combo

It seems like there's two sediments when it comes to food storage.
1. Short term storage -- aka, food that you "use" (many people say this is food you rotate through into your regular eating habits)
2. Long term storage -- food that will keep you "alive" (most people buy this and let it sit in their garage, under their bed or in their shed until they move, it gets rodents, or they die).

Frankly, it's frustrating to me. I don't really do #2. I only buy food that we will use and rotate through. I also am obsessive about making sure that I rotate through my storage. I could probably live on our food for year, if properly portioned, and I was caught at the right time. It does tend to flux with sales.

No, I haven't weighed it see if we have the proper amount per pound of human or whatever it is. I figure my time is better spent using my resources wisely.

I'm all for storing rice, dried beans, popcorn, etc. Things that store for a LONG time. But, I would only store if I am going to eat it, and that means rotating through it. Which means, at some points we will most likely have more then at other points. And of course the beauty of these items is that when it's cheap you can buy a LOT of it. Most likely even cheaper then you'd get it at the cannery.

I guess I just don't know if the two can co-exist. I think if you look at #2 from a different perspective it can easily fit into your #1 (especially if you're cooking from scratch a great deal of the time, if you're not -- it would be hard to fit #2 in). Rice, beans, oats, sugar, -- they're all a part of my #1 storage. I do store them for longer than 3 months, most likely.

Last night was enrichment on food storage, and while I found it interesting, and it did make me want to take stock of things a little better, I left frustrated that I just don't have the will to buy wheat or measure my rice by the pound to see if we have "enough". :) Thoughts anyone?

** FYI: Enrichment is a meeting for LDS women, in our ward we have it monthly. Mostly we focus on making ourselves better women. Last night's was on food storage, sometimes we do crafts, we've had them on the past on photography, gardening, etc. It's an amazing idea. Genius church leaders.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's Bigger Then Me

I don't know about you, but for me -- as I was hauling little peeps to and fro, I felt like this morning should be bigger then it is. Me, sitting here eating my hummus reading my facebook -- I should be doing more. BTW, green olive hummus from TJ's -- DElish! :)

But I think what I get from him -- is that the only change you can believe in, is the change you make yourself. I'm excited today, don't get me wrong. My heart bursts with pride for a country who allows change peacefully and respects the office so much. I think Obama can bring us together, I worry about what will happen if he can't. Our hopes seem awfully high -- but honestly, if each person takes the charge to make the needed changes in their lives I think the change will happen.

In other news, DANG Lara Bush, I sure like her. I hope she stays in the public eye. Not a huge fan of her husband, but I do hope he gets the respect he deserves for giving 8 years of his life to the country. I do believe he consistantly made the choices he thought were best for us.

It's a big day for the country. As I slipped into Conner's class today I saw a bunch of 3rd graders enraptured by the TV and his speech. It did my heart good. History happens, and we watch. It's time to make history of our own.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here's my plan for the week -- just to inspire everyone. :)

Mexican: Chicken Quesadillas
Pasta: Macaroni and Cheese (I'm on a personal mission to find the very best)
Kiddie: Hot Dogs
Chicken: Chicken and Everything and also Chicken Florentine (mushrooms on sale this week)
Soup: Sausage and Barley Soup
Other: Pork Chops and baked potato

The only thing I need to pick-up is some spinach for the Chicken Florentine.
I am sensing a cheese-heavy menu, esp on the top. Oh well. Macaroni and cheese fits surprisingly well into my diet, lots of protein and as long as I don't over-indulge, a perfect amount of carbs.

BTW, chicken and everything was something I cooked a LOT in my newlywed days. You can seve it on a roll as a sandwich or just as it is. It's cut-up chicken that you saute with some onions and green peppers (red peppers are prettier, but usually more expensive), add some mushrooms and top with low-fat moz cheese. Yumiola and it gets some veggies hidden amongst the chicken.
Go me.

The Trimester of Doom and Gloom

If the 2nd trimester is the perky trimester, I think the third trimester is the one of doom and gloom. Really, I've been feeling really great, as long as I stay on my diet and don't do anything particularly dumb.

Kaiser and I disagree on my weeks (just by one) but as I've floated into the next trimester (officially, even by my date) it's all happening:

1. I'm swelling? WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? I'm only 26 or 27 weeks. I could barely get my boots zipped up yesterday for church. It's not a ton, only a trace but still... I'm bitter. My plan is to really stick to the diet (I have had a few sugary things as of late, and perhaps that needs to stop -- I am working it into the carbs in my plan -- aka, I have a brownie instead of dinner, but it's not actually "on the plan" -- or, obviously, that great for me), do yoga at least 2 times a week (and cardio another 2 times/week) and make sure I'm getting my water in.

2. I'm bitter. Don't get near me, I might bite. Seriously. Poor Drew, that's all I have to say.

3. I was at J's buying some stuff and the girl behind the counter said, "Man, you're only 6 months?" I had Conner take some pictures of me before church yesterday, which I don't particularly have high hopes for but I don't think I'm THAT big yet. Oh, and see #2. :)

4. I am counting down the times I have to do things. I only have 3 more Costco trips before the baby's born, and 3 or 4 more trips to the library. Two things I hate, and Costco isn't that fun when you have a belly. Period. Oh, and see #2. :)

5. This kind of goes along with #4 but people are asking me when I'm due and I'm sure I always look at them with big eyes like "WHY THE HECK WOULD YOU ASK ANYONE THAT?" I'm always shocked people are noticing I'm pregnant and not just figuring I'm fat. My personal opinion is that I don't ask if you're due unless the baby is coming out, but whatever. At least I am actually pregnant. Unlike another friend of mine who was recently asked when she was due at playgroup. Her response, "2011". Nice. Oh, and see #2. :)

6. Baby names. Thanks Amie for bringing this up. No, we don't have a name. As my friends say "you will have a very warm name-less baby" (because of all the blankets with no name for said baby). We never have a name at this stage. We don't even usually narrow it to 10 before 30 weeks. There are a few I've taken for "test drives". I apparently only really like long names and that is a shame because my last name is also fairly long. It will not be Sophia or Chloe. Those are guranteed. Don't be bitter if your child is named that (as MANY of my best friend's childrens are) but wow, they are popular right now, aren't they? We do call the baby "fina" because she is the big "finish" but it won't be her real name. Althugh, I have tossed around "finale". Whatcha think? :)

Anyway, I'm only 26 weeks and I hate nothing more then a pregnancy complainer. I think pregnancy is a way of life, not a condition. You live with it and move on, but it is interesting to see it all from the inside from time to time and realize that hormones are nasty little friends. Oh, perhaps you'd like to know that on this day of equality I am home alone with the munchkins while Drew swishes down the slopes. Perhaps you'd like to see #2 in your spare time... :) I have a dream....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I can Barely Type

This past week, I've been a crafting machine. I thought I'd share a bit of what I've been up to:

1. First off, I went to Joann's in search of some material to dampen the sound of my piano (those who truly care for me will remember that our piano is WAY too loud). I was going to just get some felt, but then I saw the quilted fabric. Let me see if I can find a picture of it on fabric.com... Umm, no it's kind of like this stuff... but it only has fabric on one side, so the batting is open on the back (but still quilted). It was also only like 5.99/yd, I do believe. So, I had measured our piano, and added an inch to each side and got that much fabric (54 inches, I do believe it was) and then I came home, sewed seams on each edge so it wouldn't fray and get ugly (this cloth is pretty darn thick so beware -- this isn't as easy as I just made it sound, had some choice mental swear words during it). Then, we tacked it to the top of the piano. Has it made a difference? Yes, I think it has. Mostly in the bottom register, not so much in the top register for me, but thankfully when my kids pound, they prefer to be in the bottom register (and no, we don't allow "pounding" but sometimes when he practices there's not much difference). I am happy, I think (because I used a coupon) it was only like 6 dollars for the whole project, pus the cost of tacks.

2. Of course, I continue on crocheting around my baby blankets, this time for myself. I even took some pictures yesterday. I know, CHECK OUT THE PINK (although, I think I love the red one with the flowers the most).















3. Then, like the complete fool that I am, while I was at J's I decided I could NOT resist the cute minky fabrics, and that they NEEDED to be made into a quilt. Do I quilt? No. but, I have friends that do. They have been kind enough to hold my hand, and the internet has been my friend as I've tried to figure it out. I'm actually almost done, but here's the pictures I took yesterday before I tied the layers together. Hopefully I'll do a post about what I've learned on it in a few days.





So, there you have it, nesting in full swing. I was also thinking I could use a few cute burp cloths, for church n' stuff... I found this great tutorial. I am wondering about the batting in the middle though, do you think that's OK? Anyone else have any great burp cloth patterns? I'm also gonna make a tiny little ribbon blanket with some scraps from my quilt. Although, my fingers are almost blistered to the bone, I just can't stop :) Someone help me. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Priorities

Last night I was reading the Ensign and they had some suggestions for studying the Doctrine and Covenants this year. One of them was to, along with the suggested readings for each week, go ahead and be reading the D&C cover to cover as well. Immediately I had that sense of overwhelming-ness wash over me. I'm really trying to stay prepared this year, along with trying to get in a little book of Mormon time each week (I have finally let go of the fact that I can't study the Book of Mormon every day and keep up with the lessons in SS/RS -- but I can try and study it a bit every week, and make sure it's a part of my life), but now they want us to read the whole book cover to cover as well? I know, I freak-out easily. Feel free to mock.

So, this morning in my prayers I asked for a way to make this all work for me. I actually haven't read the D&C cover to cover in a while, and I am guessing I could benefit from it. I worked it out in my mind to where I can read it, read some book of Mormon and stay up with my studying for class. It's not what I hear recommended, but it's going to work for me and I feel good about it.

Today, as I was vacuuming my hardwoods (yes, with my shark vacuum which I LOVE) I realized that there are so many delicate balancing acts as a member of the church, as a mom as a person.

For instance, there is no way I could be a full time stay at home mom, and we could stay out of debt. We would incur living expenses as debt, and for me that just isn't OK. So, I work outside the home (and only one day a week), and I am OK with that. If you're not, that's your problem, most likely working outside the home isn't your solution.

You can't take casseroles to someone, be an amazing mom, support your husband in his calling, be on the PTA board, help out with the yearbook, go to playgroup and keep the spirit of Christ about you at all times. It's just not possible. Sometimes something has to drop. You take an out on the PTA meeting, or skip the casserole this week.

Sometimes when I read through the Ensign ALL OF THAT COUNCIL is just overwhelming. There's just no way to do it all. The beauty is, is that we are individuals who have to make an individual path back to our Heavenly Father, and even just make our way day-by-day, and our church encourages that. I am so grateful to have a testimony of that fact.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One Bitter Female

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DREW!!!! I'd write a blog entry about you, except I already did a few weeks ago. It'd be nothing new to my readers. But I will mention it's SO important to marry someone who is older than you? It's so nice to throw that in their face about how they are as old as the hills, etc. Personally, I think the gift of sarcasm just keeps giving. Don't you? :)

ANYWAY, back to my bitterness. Drew can eat ANYTHING. Last night he sits down on the couch with 3 slices of cheese for a snack. I start moaning, WHY AM I THE FAT ONE? I eat small meals, I work out, I'm big on veggies (someone else is not particularly into veggies). It's just not fair how my estrogen holds onto fat like it should hold onto money.

It's
JUST.
NOT.
FAIR.

In other news I am crocheting baby blankets up a storm. I'm hoping to take a picture of them, since they're for me and I won't be ruining anyone's surprise. Of course, if I have a boy -- someone might be a lucky winner.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An Ecclectic Viewer

Did I mention I have a hernia? I don't think I did. So far, not too painful but I after googling it and reading some of these ladies stories about how much it hurts I started to get nauseated. I talked to one of the doctors at work and she told me not to worry, I'd most likely be fine. However, after a few hours of standing, leaning over and all the motherly-wifely-stuff that I do I tend to feel it quite a lot, and I'm not a big fan of pain.

So I lay down. Left side if possible on my couch. And while I'm there I don't do anything productive like read a novel, I watch TV (well, sometimes I do flip through grocery ads {high-five}). And of course most of my shows were on their holiday break so I had to find something else to record on my DVR. So I have two shows that have been my "go-to" shows... Bones and Little House on the Prairie.

I'm not sure you could find shows less alike, other then the fact I think Temperance and Lara might be good friends...

Drew finds it wildly amusing to see as I click between the two of them on my DVR. I think one day I watched like 8 bones episodes (a day after I worked, I do believe, when I'm especially tired). Anyway, just a little tidbit of my life.

Which name do you like better Temperence or Lara for our little girl? {kidding}

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yummy Pie

Two bits of exciting news:
#1. Sewing machine is back -- and it's BETTA THEN EVAH. Really, stitch lengths are even, and I can even make it baste (before it only did really tiny stitches). GENIUS! Working on a blanket for the wee one now.
#2. Made some super yummy pie for FHE. I can't really have any (although I think I'm gonna work a nibble or two into my evening snack), but it was super delish, according to my husband -- and the couple of crumbs I tasted, and the smell. Here's the link:
Oats and Honey Granola Pie
It's in a similar genre to Pecan pie, but with less nuts and more crunch and CHOCOLATE, hello! Anyway, I also made it with Spencer and he had a great time breaking up the granola bar to go in it. I usually love the Pillsbury bake-off recipes, and this was no exception.

Keep On Hand

I am a huge fan of the well-stocked pantry, so that you'r rarely out of things.
I found this handout on one of the blogs I read.
http://everydayfoodstorage.net/handouts/pantry.pdf
I read through it and was happy to say I'm pretty well stocked on all the things they mentioned. BUT, if you're just starting out stockpiling, this list is a great way to prioritize what you think you need.

Fix Me Monday

First off, I just finished my menu plan for the week:

Mexican: Enchilada Casserole
Pasta: Spaghetti Carbonara
Kiddie: Hamburgers
Chicken: Balsamic chicken and Au gratin potatoes
(we had this chicken last week, but Drew liked it so much, he asked for it for his birthday meal)
Other: Tuna Melts and Pork Chops
(not together, but I have both ingredients on hand)
You'll notice there are carry-overs from last week -- and that's normal because we don't usually eat at home 6 or 7 nights/week. I would guess we eat out at least once. Plus, Drew doesn't always go off the menu plan when I work in the evening. It's nice to just have to fill in a few holes. Oh, one other thing I'm trying is taking inventory of what I have leftover in the fridge on Mondays (which is also the day I clean-out the fridge). This week, I realized I had leftover enchilada sauce, and pineapple -- which is where the tuna melts and enchilada casserole came in. I like not wasting food, and we've done far too much of that in the past. Don't you feel so defeated when you throw away moldy leftovers?

So, I have some questions for my fellow blog readers, now that I'm trying to fix my life. I thought some of you might have some answers:

1. Our piano is freakin' loud. It's insane. Our house is very small and it sits in the corner on hardwood so it's just echoing all over. I can't STAND it when Conner plays when I'm trying to get anything else done, it's just SO loud. It's even loud when I practice myself. I've toyed with a couple of ideas. a) Get some carpet scraps to place behind it. I don't think we'd actually be able to get the piano ON a piece of carpet, so I thought this was a good idea. b) Buy some felt to tack to the back of it. Is this an OK thing to do? Something's gotta be done, esp. before the baby's born because I know I can't take crying, and piano and my personal wailing. :)

2. Do you print your digital scrapbooking pages, and if so where? I'm toying with the idea of doing more of them, but having them in a book, for me, is a must. I also need them to be printed 8.5X11 so they can go with my regular paper scrapbook pages. I've printed them 8X10 at Costco before, but I'd like them full sized if possible, and reasonably priced. :)

3. I am having a really hard time combining eating consciously with my diabetic deali-o. I have to eat set # of carbs, along with some protein. Obviously, the protein is a place where I can increase or decrease as needed. I very rarely eat to the point that I'm REALLY full (unless I fall off my diet all together), but I still probably eat past the point I need to, esp since I eat 6 times/day now. Anyway, it's one of my goals that I made for myself during church yesterday -- learning how to eat consciously in this new "realm", I know it's the only way I'm going to lose weight (or at least not pack it on -- I've only gained about 11 pounds so far, and I'm 25 weeks, but I still was hoping to only have gained 6 pounds at this point).

So, can you fix me? Or am I hopeless? :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

So Happy

Big news peeps, Mr Fix-it called, said my sewing machine just needed a new bobbin case -- it's all fixed, and hopefully it still rocks as my little machine (well, as good as it did -- let's remember this little guy's 30 years old). To celebrate, I'm posting the 4 layouts I did today. I thought I was going to swear-off 2 page layouts, but let's face it -- I'm a gal who likes to get a lot of pictures on a page. So, we'll see how that works. Yesteday I went through and pulled out all the pictures I want to scrapbook for 2008. I just need to send them to Costco for printing. Go me.

You'll notice the layouts are not the masterpieces I used to think I needed. Turns out -- getting the pictures down and journaling is enough for now. I also feel extreme excitement by using up my stock. I think I'd like to digi-scrap some day -- esp. when my kids are older, but for now I have about 2 tons of cardstock and patterned paper to use up. :)






Buggin'

This morning I woke-up at 5 am. I did it yesterday too (I always wake-up before my alarm on the days I work, and then I didn't end-up working...) it's buggin' me as of late.
But instead of going back to sleep, I decided to sit around and stew about my life. Want to hear my brain thoughts of the am? I knew you did.

1. My sewing machine. Still not back, still no calls. I'm totally freaking out about it. I can't think about it without some serious panic -- so this morning I decided to explore the whys. All in all it comes down to the fact that I hate change. It's not a mild dislike, it's truly a hate. I know this machine, I know how it works and I have a cabinet that fits it. Most likely, my cabinet will not fit another machine (seriously, how annoying is that?). I still have hope that it can be fixed, but I've made some realizations about what I can do if it doesn't get fixed. Sheesh, you'd think I was a seamstress for a living. Nope, just a paranoid pregnant woman. Please continue to pray for my fix-it man. I'm sure there's a way to fix it. Just sure of it....

2. Comments on my blog. My friend Lara has like nine MILLION comments on her blog, well, maybe 20. I'd love to have that many, frankly I'd like about 5 or so... just know what people are thinking. Then, I realized I've become a lax commenter myself. I read your blogs, but I don't comment, so why should you? Well, you'll notice a whole other bag of chips now, I think it's only fair if you're reading. As if it takes a long time to comment anyway, and I can always practice my typing skills with all the word verification.

3. RS lesson for today. I went ahead and read that. I'm trying to be better about reading through the lessons that will be presented on Sundays. Today's is about leadership. I really enjoyed it, because it's how you have to be as a mother. I went to a LOT of leadership training back in my band days, and I have come to realize that no one is more of a leader than a mom. They watch your every move, and it's all up to you. {sigh} How's that for pressure? I hope we have some good conversations in Relief Society.

4. I actually thumbed through the newest Creating Keepsakes (which I got before I cancelled my subscription). It drove me insane. So much time, so many pages with hardly any journaling. The main reason I'm gettin' back in the scrap game is to journal, say what's really happening in our lives and put it with photos. Of course, I've always been a big journaler on my pages... but I was obviously in a mood to be bothered by SOMETHING this AM. :)

I also chose to hear every noise that happened from 5 am til' around 6:30 when I heard waking children noises and wondered if they were burglers, or rats. Which is worse? You be the judge.

P.S. time to take the holiday decor down. Honestly, I haven't installed hardly any brushes on our new computer, so designing in PSP has been pretty ugly -- I got a BUNCH this am, and it makes me far too happy.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Favorite Thing

It's not raindrops on roses, or whiskers on kittens... it's organizing.
It is literally orgasmic the pleasure I get from throwing things away and seeing space freed up. We currently have 2 shelves available in our garage. TWO. FULL. SHELVES. And I just went though the 9 million sticker books/coloring books/activity books I have (entirely embarrassing -- but literally, my kids have a 1 year activity storage in our garage, besides the fact the rest of our food storage is cereal and macaroni and cheese) and organized them all. I could just take me a nice tall glass of water and sit out there and look at it. Re-analyze, and decide where I could be doing better.
It drives Drew crazy. I re-put things away 3 or 4 times, trying to make sure I'm using space as well as I can.
Drew, I apologize.

My other favorite thing? My 2008 video. I. LOVE. IT. I put some of my recent i-tunes downloads on it, and while I'm sure those songs will be long forgotten in a few years, it will be fun to have some "current" songs on it. There's just something about listening to the song "bubbly" ("Everytime I see your bubbly face, I crinkle my nose... ") while seeing pictures of your kids at Disneyland flash by that does the soul good.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you guys do it.
Really, it's a happy thing.

In other news, I was cancelled today -- that's right, these little fingers were supposed to be checking cervixes today, not typing on my keyboard. It's been so nice to have this "extra" time -- no, I'm not earning money, but Drew's been able to go to a funeral, and you can all see I've been enjoying myself. Sad, but true. :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Good and the Bad

First off, the bad. I called Mr. Sewing Machine today -- he said they'd ordered a part, but he wasn't sure he could fix it. The good? He says, "Have you been sewing on this machine recently?"
"uh, yeah" I reply.
"Wow, you're good."
A gal just doesn't get that kind of response often enough. Why, in fact I am good... and that sewing machine was always bringin' me down, I just knew it.
However, I am very worried about my little old Futura. I really hope that the spring he ordered will fix it. I really only have eyes for it, not some new cheap model.
Please say a prayer for Mr Sewing Machine and his fixing ability for me. And for my sanity.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

My friend Shannon was talking on her blog about making this year "The Year of the Homemaker" -- and I think a lot of people are thinking the same things. There are a lot of moms deciding to stay at home, perhaps for the first time. Either way, many people who prior to now maybe had maids or services to do many of the things that are included in "homemaking" -- and they just can't afford (or choose not to afford) those things now.

One of the things I do that really helps is planning out some menus at the beginning of each week. Some of you may see the blogs that do "Menu Plan Monday" and I do the same thing, but I don't like be tied to having to cook a certain meal on a certain day. SO, I do it this way:
Mexican
Kiddie (hot dogs, mini pizzas -- something the kids will think is fun, etc.)
Soup (salad during the summer)
Chicken
Pasta
Other
Then, I fill in stuff for each of those categories. Since I no longer buy things to fill in my menu, and I'm trying to make things off of what I buy that's on sale it is a little more difficult. BUT, if I find something on sale I usually incorporate it into my menu. For this week it looked like this:

Mexican: Pineapple Sausage tacos (Costco has all those yummy sausage and they make quick, easy meals)
Kiddie: Hamburgers (I usually let the kids pick this one anyway)
Soup: Delicious Potato ham chowder
Chicken: Balsamic Vinegar chicken with cornbread
Pasta: Alfredo sausage pasta (anyone else seeing a theme of sausage -- and yes, I do have a TON in my freezer that I got on good sales)
Other: Potato Bar

My main goal is to not go out to eat because I am either too lazy or haven't planned ahead. We do still go out to eat, but I prefer to make it an "event" and special thing that we can enjoy together as a family (also it's hard to stick to my diet when we go out to eat).

Anyway, I know a lot of people are trying to go out to eat less, and this is the way that's working for us. I plan it all out on Mondays, and then each AM I pick something off the list. It's important that I pick it in the morning too -- get the stuff out to defrost, make sure I really have all the ingredients, etc.

Another way to do it is to come-up with your menu before you go to the grocery store, and then buy just the needed ingredients. This is a good first step in trying to save money at the grocery store.

Anyway, kind of a random entry but it's working for us. I think all of us could post things that work for us in the area of homemaking on our blogs. I know I am always learning from the people whose feeds I follow.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sometimes you have to trust, and YES I'm talking to YOU pregnant women!

Sometimes we get patients that come in that have READ SO much on the Internet and know SO much about their bodies they don't believe us.

"My baby is really low, and I am pretty sure that's dangerous" A) Your baby is not that low in the pelvis -- I know this because I just touched her head and it wasn't that low, I have a sure knowledge, and I've checked about 1,000 pregnant women -- I know low when I see low. B) Not dangerous, annoying yes -- but not dangerous.

"My water is broken" -- well, after 1.5 hours of sitting on a pad you have a bit of moisture -- but that's not your water. Believe me, I've seen people with water flowing off the bed. No kidding. FYI -- if you think you water is broken here's my advice. 1. Make sure there's nothing hanging out -- aka, a cord. 2. Change youre pants/panties and then wait a bit. If your water really IS broken it will keep coming, and coming and coming, you will have wet panties within the hour, at least. If it doesn't, there's a strong possibility you wet your pants. Get over it, and move on. Be glad I saved you from making a nurse tell you that. However, if you do have a question you can always go in beacause we have little paper we test to see if it's your water (in this case, it wasn't...)

Anyway, it's hard to have patience with the patients when you're pregnant yourself. While I was watching Oprah yesterday I had to laugh. "Get all your doctors in the same room, where they can discuss lab results and your situation." Seriously, you have to be Oprah to get that kind of attention. It's not like she was dying, she had some heart palpitations. She wasn't even admitted. And frankly, she had SO many doctors on her case who all probably thought her first doctor did a thyroid test. Anyway, I laughed. I'm all for a patient advocate, but in at least 90% of cases you need to be your OWN advocate. Even if you are Oprah.

**I did want to add that I think nothing is more important then listetning to your patient, but I think it's a two way road. Don't think you have more information than me because you read it on the internet. It's my job for a reason. :)

In other news, my sewing machine is still at the fix-it shop, I hope he calls me soon. I just hope it can be fixed.

Monday, January 05, 2009

A New Blog

Hey peeps, I found a new blog that I am really liking. It's abot preparedness... and I just clicked with today's entry. You do have to be a user to see the blogs, but they will come up on your feed reader, and you can click and log in.
Here's the link:
http://www.simplylivingsmart.com/
Let me know what you think!

Welcome to Grump-Ville

MAN, it was ugly this morning. Usually I end-up working a lot during Christmas break, but this year I steered clear of the craziest time of the year at our hospital. I even got used to sleeping in (sometimes til' 7:30 -- {gasp}). BUT, we've pretty well let the kids stay up later, and giggle in their beds for the break, but last night I reminded them we had to get up early.

That didn't help.

Woo, boy. Conner was a GRUMP-ville, and Spencer just laid in his bed and said "I'm STILL SLEEPING!" I must admit it was hard to pull myself out of bed for yoga this AM, but it did help my achy little body. So good to get back into the routine, but also so hard.

In other news, after last week's lesson about Sacrament meeting, someone mentioned having a notebook to take notes in. I found one in my stash (I love cute notebooks, don't you?), and I really enjoyed writing a few thoughts down yesterday. During the sacrament I reflected on things that I really want to try harder on. I hope to do this every week... and I wouldn't be shocked if my goals center around the same thing, but that's what life's about. We struggle and struggle with the same things. I wanted to make a "natural man" goal (this week is' getting back to my pre-Christmas weight), and then a spiritual goal (having better prayers, this is something I always struggle with -- when my prayers are good I feel SO good, but it's usually lacking).

Anyway, it's always nice to start your week "anew" with goals and thoughts for the new week. We had a good lesson in RS about moving forward with our lives. It helped me focus on this too.

In other news, I think sewing the scouting patches on Conner's shirt did a number on my sewing machine (no, that's not mine, but I'd give you a picture to realize how old it is). For the first time it's off for a check-up. I REALLY hope that it's fixable. I really like my sewing cabinet, and although the machine is VERY old it's supposedly one of the last good singer models. We actually got it for free in the beginning, due to some small miracles, so a small investment is probably worthwhile {crossing fingers}.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2 down

Did two scrapbook pages this fine am. I'm not going to post them, one of them I'd have to blur out stuff -- but you'll just have to trust me on this one.

We have afternoon church... and now that I don't have too little of littles (and newborns are too messed up to be particularly effected by afternoon church) and because I found a good way to use our time before church I'm a big fan. I am also hoping to use an hour of it to scrapbook every week. If I could even do two pages every week I know I'd be pretty on top of it all.

I think I went into detail about our afternoon regime on one of my blogs. Let me find it. It's here (last paragraph of that entry). Mostly I just got tired of all being lazy on Sunday mornings. I mean, one of the MAJOR benefits to afternoon church is the ability to be lazy, don't get me wrong -- but when you're not getting up til' 10 I think you're just missing out. SO, we plan to be up at 8:30 (which is still 2.5 hours later than I usually get up), have some family scripture study (we read the cartoon scriptures on Sunday AM's -- mostly because it helps us to stay up to date what we might be studying in Sunday School that day). Then, a BIG ol' breakfast, a family game, the kids get dressed for church, and then it's about an hour or so of quiet time (this is when I scrapbook and then get ready for church), a snack/lunch and then off for the meeting block (Drew leaves an hour before us thanks to choir). When we get home it will be a regular dinner (I have yet to get into giant dinner mode for Sundays... just don't have it in me) and then popcorn and a movie (a short one) before bed. I want it to be a day of rest, a day of family, and after last week's lesson, a day of preparation to take the sacrament.

Everyone around here is very excited to find out who their new teacher is all the joy that comes with changes. Spencer's no longer a sunbeam, and I'll have to mourn that on my own time. WHY oh WHY did they take away stars? I'd really like him to shine for the whole world to see.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Feathering the Nest

This has been a really great break. I have felt pretty good, my parents were here and we've had a nice time just being at home.

One of the super perks is that I'm feeling good enough to clean out this house (actually, cleaning is kept to a minimum -- it's mostly just organizing, and throwing/giving away). We have to clean out more than your average family since our house is less than 1200 square feet. Mostly I just wanted to go through EVERY. THING. Make sure it's all stuff we want, use and need. My husband has been less than enthused with my wanting to clean, clean, clean. It's so envigorating though, and you get ideas about how to use the stuff better that you have. I think I always get that bug at the new year. Mostly because my husband is home and we're all off and it's a good time to throw out old papers, etc.

One of our big issues is that all 3 kids will share a room, at least for the time being (Conner could move into the office if he ever gets a Greg Brady in his system and needs some privacy). I am trying to figure out how to get all their stuff in the room. It's definitely a challenge, to say the least. I think I have it pretty well figured out. But, do you have kids in the same room, and how does it work out? I should mention we don't do much playing in their bedroom. We have a playroom that holds most of the toys, so that helps out a lot. I'm sure some of you are aghast at the thought of it -- but it's part of living here. We will never be able to afford a larger home here. However, we are able to use our yard almost the entire year, so that's nice. Just a part of the CA living. At least we don't roll out mattresses in our living room (yet).

Friday, January 02, 2009

Walk the Walk

My doctor recommended I try walking. I haven't been much into walking since my feet started hurting so much (arch issues) but now I have that pretty well under control. I've also wanted Conner to understand trust, so Drew and I went out on a walk this AM. It was just around our block and we both had our cell phones and he had the number. Two observations:

1. Morning walks are invigorating. I don't usually have the time, and Drew's usually already at work so it won't happen often, but perhaps on Saturdays we could start trying it out. We were able to talk some things out, it was almost like being on a date, but without the fat of cheese fries (yummmm, cheese fries!).

2. Conner felt a lot of responsibility while we were gone. They got their jobs done and all that jazz while he was in charge. Honestly, it was just what I needed him to have. I want him to know I trust him, and I know he will do the right thing. I need to give him opportunities to do that. I called him 10 minutes into it and he made an accounting on how they were doing, I was impressed.

So, would you leave your 8 year old at home while you were just down the block? Frankly, as hard as I've been napping lately, I was probably more available down the block then I was on the couch. :)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year, Same Stuff

I don't do resolutions. I do goal setting throughout the year, when the mood strikes me, but I'm not a big fan of feeling like at the beginning of the year I have to do something VERY exciting with my life. I did lose some weight last year, and I am very proud of that, but this baby is eating that all up. That was a long time coming for me, and I usually renewed my interest in it when the kids went back to school.

I am also not a huge fan of New Years day. We had a lovely evening with friends last night, but it left me tired and well, all of us were tired. Every single one of us took a nap today. I don't remember the last time that happened.

We don't really have any traditional New Years stuff... I make bean dip, and this year I tried my hand at making scones (apparently, they're Utah scones -- everyone else bakes their scones except for Mormons, who knew?). Kids liked them, and they were very yummy. Not helping much with the baby weight. Plus, I can only eat two tiny ones with my fancy diet, and even with that I had to find a way to include protein with it. Maybe it will be a new tradition. Maybe I'll just find joy in being able to have honey on it.

Do you have any traditional New Years stuff? Is it a day to remind you that even though time passes you have the same battles as before?

The Christmas decorations are put away (thank you Drew), talk of the science fair, basketball games and baby names take up our time now. Life goes on. Perhaps that's it. It does seem like life stands still for so much of Christmas. Everyone's a child, and you have full days to just play. But, every day can't be that way. For we all have to grow up and move on to what's next. For me, I just hope it's deep fried with a bit of powdered sugar.

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