Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A picture's worth a thousand words

A picture may be worth a thousand words but I think just a few will describe what is going on here.

Mommy's in the shower.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Long Weekend

Ahhh lovely long weekend.

Thursday I worked, picked up the kids and went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. I gave Alina a sheet of stickers while she was in her carseat. She enjoyed them.

Friday was my and Brent's date night. He decided last year that he would celebrate our 6mo anniversaries as well as our years. For some reason, last year, he thought it would be on the 25th of August. This year he sent me a letter (or left it in the car, rather) that stated he'd consulted great mathmaticians and came to the conclusion that Sept 25th was in fact the 6 month mark. He made a French cuisine dinner. To prepare for our Paris trip (hopefully at the 5 year mark, probably at 10years though) we had a great dinner!

We had flambe'd cheese as our appetizer, served with homemade bread

Reverse Chicken Cordon Bleu for the entree, served with the most amazing mashed potatoes EVER (which just looked like mashed potato bake but were AWESOME)

And he'd made these tiny little puffy cream cookies for desert but they fell and wouldn't come off the pan. They tasted amazing though, and we're gonna try again sometime.

Saturday, I had the day off and so did Brent. It was wonderful. Alina and Raziel played like angels.

Well, until naptime. Alina has kindof stopped napping. She'll lay down for about 30 minutes and then get up and play. Raziel is still taking 3 hour naps, so we let them "nap" at the same time since Alina is content with playing in her room. The problem arose when Alina found some old paint-by-number kit (that Mommy was sure she'd thrown away) and decorated her mural wall with fingerpainting. Mommy was SOO upset that she made Daddy talk to Alina about why you don't paint on the walls. It took a coat of wall paint to cover because scrubbing (even with bleach cleaner) wasn't doing the job. But, we got it covered up.

Afterwards, Alina and Raz hung out in my room and watched some Sesame Street together while we cleaned the living room.

They are learning how to share!

Sunday, daddy had to work! We cleaned alot and had a long tiresome day. But, Alina wasn't too worried about it because that night, Alina made dinner for daddy. We had italian chicken on rice and sugar cookies! I must say Alina was VERY proud of herself because she helped cook (almost) everything!

Monday, daddy had to work again, but he got to open! That was fun. Alina, Raziel and I slept until 9:30 (wow!) and then had a relaxing day, finishing the painting in mommy's room and washing dishes together in the kitchen. Raziel decided he likes apple and cherrios mashed together (his own creation). Oh! I forgot to mention his little endeavor to give mommy a heart attack!!

Alina and I were in my bedroom where I was comforting her because she'd hit her foot on something and was crying. I wasn't watching Raz as closely as I should have and he escaped into my bathroom. Well, I went to go look for him not but moments later and guess what he'd found!!

That's right! RAT POISON!!! I looked in his mouth and his hands and everywhere and found no residue. I had been pretty sure we didn't have any rat poison anywhere so I'm sure the box was empty. Nonetheless, I scooped Raz up, threw shoes on Alina and stuck em in the car. I was about to go insane, started flying down the road when I saw Nene pulling around the corner. Nene calmed me down, I called poison control, and they said that he'd have to eat like 30 of those little caplets before it affected him. I was sure he hadn't had that much. She said not to worry about it - kids had eaten whole boxes and it just makes their blood thin for a few days. I was so relieved!

We hung out at nene's for a while and Nene, Caba and Jessie invited Alina to come over that night for a slumber party! Alina didn't know what it was at first, but as the day went on she got more exctited. She packed all her little things into her backpack and went over to Nene's at dark.

They watched Sleeping Beauty, painted their fingernails, and had pizza for dinner. When we picked her up this morning, Nene said she did great. She only woke up once and started to run into another room when Nene asked her where she was going and she said "Nene?" and got back in bed with her. I think she was just confused - she's never stayed anywhere without Mommy and Daddy! She was so excited to see us this morning. She's a little grumpy but that's what slumber parties are all about! Staying up late!

So my weekend was WONDERFUL!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

5 new things I'm proud of in Alina

Alina has gotten way too big.

#1) She doesn't go to sleep when it's bedtime. She reads and plays quietly in her room. Last night she played quietly until midnight. I wanted to go tell her to go to sleep but figured I might win the battle but definitly not the war.

#2) She is speaking French!! That's right! French! Brent is taking French lessons on CD to get ready for our trip to Paris (in like 2 or 3 years). Alina rides with him to work so she's taking them too. We are encouraging her alot to use the words she's learned. We make her say "Oui" (yes), "Bonjour" (hello), "S'il vous plait" (please) and "merci" (thank you). She's also learning to say "comment allez vous" (how are you?) and "que voulez-vous manger" (what do you want to eat?). Brent and I want to incoperate French and Spanish into her vocab early on so that she's got a broader spectrum to learn. Brent thinks its not acurate but in teacher cadet we learned about small children having bridges and pathways in their minds that will shut down if they're not used. This is why many adults have a hard time learning a language - foreign languages are rarely introduced before the age of 14 and by then, in theory, those pathways have shut down from non-use. Brent calls me crazy but I think it's a great thing to incorperate languages so early on in her life.

#3) She knows Tamari is coming in April (well we think that's when she's coming anyways). We finally had to discuss it with her because she was asking every day if Tamari was coming that day and if not then would she be here on Thursday. This was adorable but we realized she had no idea that Tamari will be growing for another good 5 or 6 months before she's here and Alina would drive us nuts asking us that every day. Now she will inform you Tamari is in Mommy's tummy and she'll be here in April. She also hugs and kisses Tamari (or my belly, rather) every morning when I leave for work and tells her "I love you Mari"

#4) She recognizes places. She knows the difference between Walmart and the Grocery store. She also congradulates me when I get gas (this is hysterical) by saying "good job." She also is aware of where she's going for the day; "am I going to Miss Berely (beverly)'s today?" "Not today, Alina." "Oh!! Can I stay home with Daddy all day?"

#5) She is aware of safety factors! "Stop, Mommy, Raziel's not in his carseat!" "Stop, Mommy, my carseat is broken!" (it slid over onto its side because it wasn't in tightly enough). My absolute favorite was when I was driving down the road and she goes "Stop the car Mommy!!" So I stopped because I wasn't in a hurry and was interested in what her reasoning was. "You didn't buckle! Buckle up Mommy!" I was astonished that she is so observant!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Weekend Thrifty Finds

Ok so if you read my last post you know that I've been trying to be thrifty and save money for kid things... So I have posted my recent finds to share with you because I'm a bit excited about them!!

First were my finds at the Mothers For Multiples Consignment Sale (the place that had the $40 carseat)

This one I remember reading as a child and was so super excited to come across it at the sale. Given, it was $1 and that seems like a bit much for a second hand book, but I bought it anyways. Alina calls it her Super Grover book and reads it to me all the time - usually talking about the pictures in a imitation Grover voice, but I am reading it with her often and pointing to the letters and having her say them with me.

This is a picture of something super similar to what I bought (I'll put up a real pic when I remember to take a picture). It's called a "voile" technically, I call it a window scarf thing. Hers is a really baby light pink that has furry stuff sticking out of it - almost like a boa, but not feathery. We draped it over her sheer white curtain and she was so excited when she saw it and told me it was pretty. I plan to put up a curtain rod soon, now that there's enough curtiain hanging to actually cover the window and it won't look tacky. But, that's on the day that I finish her room... so that's on a day I have alot of time and about $25 to buy molding for the top of her room.

Next: My craigslist add worked!! I had given up on finding a carseat at a thrift store and began looking at yard sales and such. Finally I posted on craigslist, asking to buy a forward facing carseat for $10-$15, hoping someone has an old one collecting dust or something they want to get rid of. I had a lady contact me on Saturday and said she'd sell me one they used in Grandma's car for $15. She says its clean and hardly used at all. I frankly don't care, if it's $15, it's sold!! I'll update later (tomorrow) with a picture of it.

Next: My newest craigslist find! I was meandering around looking at random junk and went to the free section on craigslist and noticed a listing for a bunch of free stuff, including a double stroller. She says it's a bit scratched on the plastic and the cover needs washed but that she's just giving it away. I called her up and am picking it up on the way home. I'll also post a picture of that tomorrow!

Anyways... I'm super excited about all the cool stuff I found!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Not how I planned it

I had it all planned out. Get up at 7:30, eat breakfast, go grab 2 carseats from the Mothers for Multiples consignment sale for like $20 each, get to work a bit early, have good old tuna for lunch and get home in a timely fashion to enjoy a meal made by hubby while I soaked in the tub.


Ok so we all know life doesn't go how we plan it. Ever. Here's how my day went.
7:30 - I did get up bright and early, and got on my way by 8:00 with donughts and apple juice in hand.
8:10 - flat tire.

Yeah, not even 10 minutes down the road, I hit a pothole and got a flat tire. And, do I have a wrench? No. Just a jack and a spare. And, when hubby shows up with our 4-way wrench (made to fit just about anything) does it fit? Nope. Had to borrow one from a guy who stopped to help but really, beside the wrench, just got in the way because he wanted to help but didn't seem to understand that a Suzuki with a full body kit is a little different from a stuck up lawyer volvo. In the meantime, I call in and take a personal day for work.

10:30 - follow Brent on spare tire to mechanic, then take kids home to dress and feed
11:00 - trade cars back with Brent
12:00 - get to the sale. The only carseats they had were $40. HAHAHAHAHAHA.
3:00 - give up searching local thrift stores and go home
4:00 - take a nap on the couch
5:00 - watch Robin hood the tv show
6:00 - start my long relaxing bath while brent has the kids across the street
8:00 - help watch kids while brent makes lazagna
10:00 - go to bed, exhausted.

Funny... not exactly how I planned it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Monster in the Window

Last night, Alina was all snuggled down in her bed to go to sleep. We'd gotten home a little late and I was worn out so I just plopped Raziel down with a bottle of milk and cuddled Alina into her bed, sang a few lullabies and told her good night.

After a little while, Brent got home and we had chili for dinner. I never used to think I liked chili - maybe it was the home made recipes that are always at potlucks. But, if it's VanCamp canned chili heated up on the stove, I'm game. Throw a bunch of shredded cheddar and a glop of sour cream up top and we're all set. We were chatting about the day when I noticed a little 2 year old hand reaching out from under her bedroom door and tapping the floor with a magna-doodle pen. I smiled and showed Brent who went and opened her door and went to cuddle in her bed with her.

Alina wanted us both to cuddle. We all cuddled for a little while and finally Brent and I got up to go to bed and we had the following conversation.

Alina: No, Mommy, don't go!
Me: I have to go to bed, honey, I'm tired.
Alina: But I'm scared.
Me: What are you scared of?
Alina: A monster.

At this point I had to do everything I could not to pick her up, cover her with kisses, and laugh while I brought her to my bed. I thought we'd never come to this because she LOVES the pixar movie Monster's Inc. which explains monsters are just doing their job and aren't really going to hurt you or even touch you.

Me: Where's the monster, honey?
Alina points to her window.
Me: Daddy? Can you come here?
Brent enters
Me: Alina says she is scared.
Brent; What's the matter, honey?
Alina: There's a monster, Daddy!
Brent: WEll, I'll go scare it away while Mommy cuddles with you to keep you safe, okay?
Alina: OK daddy.
Brent goes out to the front yard (though the window is to the backyard, LOL), walks around for a minute, then comes back.
Brent: Ok honey, I made him go away.
Alina: Thank you Daddy. Night night!

Kisses and night nights from all and Brent and I went to bed, pleased as the daylights that our little girl has decided to be scared of imaginary monsters.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Halloween... I know it's early

So for some reason, the last few days I have been thinking about Halloween. Maybe it's all the stuff all over Walmart that is causing the issue! Maybe it's all the orange pumpkins at the grocery store. It makes me remember that big church on HWY 17 back home that stacks a ton of pumpkins out in the front yard of their church every year.

So I asked Alina what she wanted to be for Halloween. I asked if she wanted to be Spiderman or maybe Dora the Explorer. She wants to be Tinkerbell!!! So, like any good mommy, I ebayed it!!

Starting Bid:$34.99

Starting Bid: $37.99

Ok so NO. Nope not happning. Nope. Notta. Not at all.

Who pays that much for a kid's halloween costume, anyways???

So here's my plan: MAKE IT

What an ingenious idea! It worked last year when she was a princess... cutest outfit EVER. So, my plan is to take this little green bathing suit she has (she's got 2 others) and add a little skirt and sleeves, and make or buy a tiara and slippers and throw her in stockings and one of the pairs of fairy wings she already has. Total cost: probably less than $10. It'll be EASY.

Raziel has a little puppy dog fuzzy suit given to me when he was born - it's white with brown polka dots and a tail and ears on the hood. WAY too cute.

What I REALLY want to do for Brent and I would probably be kind of expensive. I'd really really really like to do Jubilee and Gambit from X-Men.

There's only one problem.


So, again I ebayed... and the issue seems to be that the current definition of a trenchcoat is really more what I'd call a pea coat -- stopping just past the waist.

This was really the only one that they have in yellow... So I'm going to hit Walmart and see about making one. It would be ALOT of work, but paying $30 for something I don't really think fits the style I want isn't something I'm prepared to do.

I even tried ebaying costumes for Jubilee and unfortunately, not even the "Official Marvel Shop" had her on the list. She's not the most popular as of late which is sad to me because SHE ROCKS.

So I tried to google it.... and I'm looking at about $175 to get her boots and trenchcoat and outfit and the outfit is so lame I wouldn't even use it. I'd only use the boots and coat... and I'm not paying that much LOL

So I guess I'm going to look for fabric and patterns at Walmart.... cause I'm not paying that kind of money!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday... to everyone!!!

Well I calculated carefully and came up with the fact that Raziel shares a birthday week with JUST ABOUT EVERYONE!!

Louise Weld (a friend from my parents church) is the 8th
Joseph Elliot (whom I used to babysit) is the also the 8th
Uncle Karl (my side) is the 9th
Raziel's is the 10th
Also, friends that I graduated with, Ky and Johnathan Warton share the 10th birthday and also their grandfather (oddly enough!)
Uncle Scot (brent's side) is the 11th, as is Gill Broyles (someone's little brother)
my Mom's is the 12th, and on my mom's FB a friend even commented that she shared a birthday with another mutual friend's son!

so -- wow... that's alot of babies born on the same week! Anyways, the most important one in my life (sorry Mom, you're a close second!) is my very own Raziel Alaxander Haley!!!

Thursday, Raziel turned 1!!! I remember the day I had him. I'd had contractions all morning and finally went into the OB-GYN to have them check me because I didn't want to go back and forth from the hospital (I'd done that with Alina). My midwife said I was only at a centimeter (around 10am) but that she was pretty sure I'd be having him that day. If I remember right, he was due on the 11th... maybe the 12th? I remember talking to my mom about when I'd want him born and that I didn't want him born on Sept 11th (in case it turned into some national holiday) and I'd rather him not share it with her, just so he'd have his very own day. I was so glad when the midwife said it would be that day, the tenth!

I was determined NOT to get sent home from labor and delivery a single time so I took Alina over to NeNe's and laid in the bed for a long time. I had contractions and such and finally was able to take a nap. The midwife said it would be rough in the morning, lay off for a while, but when it came back they would be "let's get to the hospital" contractions. Brent came home from work around 4 and he opted we should go for a walk. I drug myself out of the bed and actually felt up to a walk. We walked down the hill and down the street a bit (like 2 houses down) and decided it was time to go back home. This time, when Brent said he thought it was time to go to the hospital, I agreed. I didn't even go back in the house. I just got into the car and let him get my things.
About 2 hours later we had Raziel. It wasn't a long process and I just hope it's that easy with #3. Labor and Delivery was just leaps easier because my body seemed to know what it was doing, I knew what to expect, and I was able to focus my energy so well. I'm very proud of Raziel and how quickly he came, it was so planned.

Anyways well we celebrated his 1st birthday on thursday (I'm just now posting because picture mail didn't work all weekend and that's how I upload photos from my phone to the internet). We had Nene and Paw and Jess and CaBa (though Alina insists on calling her Becca now that she can say it) and Aunt Jenjen over to have chocolate cupcakes and open presents. Raziel was given alot of clothes (my request) and a few toys - a bath surfing turtle and a hammer that makes noise when you hit stuff... Alina also got a present - a puzzle!! She's loving it so far. It's just the right difficulty level for her (the kind they have at doctor offices where there's a bunch of holes cut out of a board and the pieces fit into their respective spots (with correlating pictures of -say, a cat - both on the board and on the piece.) She's got it down pat because there's only 8 pieces but she's really enjoyed it so far. I think this year Alina will get alot of educational things for christmas - books, puzzles, and so on.

But -- that which you've all been waiting for -- here's the pictures!!

First, the presents:

Alina showing Raziel his toys

Raziel opening presents

Raziel checking out the situation

Like any good big sister, Alina opened Raziel's presents for him!!

Alina even got her own present!

"You want some cupcake, Mommy??"

Raziel enjoying his cupcake

Getting serious

He even got it in his ears!!

This is my favorite picture all night -- He looks so excited and happy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Raziel!!!

Today is Raziel's birthday!! He is 1 year old as of today!! Woohoo!!

To commemorate his birth and growth I've made a digital scrapbook page of his growing up over the last year.

Raziel at Birth (maybe 2 hours old)

Raziel at 1 month

Raziel at 5 months

Raziel at 8 months

Raziel at 10 months

Raziel at 1 year

Happy Birthday Buddy!!! I can't wait to post pictures of him eating the cupcakes I made for him!! We're having a little mini-party for him and we're really excited - especially Alina, who had sung happy birthday 6 times before I left this morning. I love my kids!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Photos!! Woohoo!

I finally got more photos of Alina from the film festival. The guy helping her with the beanbags is Lloyd Tate, the director from the film that we went to see the premier of. She had a total blast, and these photos are adorable.

This is my favorite (above)

Unfortunately, I don't have any of me and Brent yet... my pics from the premier didn't turn out and I've yet to be tagged on facebook but I'll load some as soon as I find some, for sure.

Last night on the way home from the sitter, Raziel finally did it to me -- he escaped his car seat. Alina started yelling "Mommy! Stop! Raziel's out! He's escaping!" I thought this was adorable... and like a bad blogging mommy instead of a good disciplinary mommy, I took pictures.

Well, kids will be kids!! I love my babies!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

I had a LOVELY weekend off!!

Well, I worked Saturday, but Sunday and Monday was a very nice break and I have off this next weekend (Sat, Sun & Mon) as well!

Sunday we got up bright and early, took baths and got dressed and then realized that Daddy had stolen Raziel's car seat!! :-D so we just hung out all day. We straightened the house a little bit and that was really all! No laundry, no dishes, and no lawn mowing because it was rainy. Instead we watched TV and played and didn't take naps... well, Raziel took a 3 hour nap but Alina opted out and read her books for about an hour before she decided she was "awake" again.

We had dinner at Nene's and practiced walking with Raziel. He took 5 or 6 steps several times between me and Brent. He's so funny - he gets so excited and runs for the goal and practically falls to the goal person in the process. I remember when Alina would fall down and sit and clap because she fell on her little diapered butt. She would clap and smile and be so proud of herself. Raziel does a very similar thing - he claps when he stands up before he walks. This is so adorable. He stands up, gets his balance (with help), claps his hands and smiles his adorable toothy grin and then takes off running. Then he falls to the target and stands back up and claps again. Alina has been so intent on helping, and she is so proud of Raziel. She says "he's walking!" like its a miracle. I guess it really is -- I can't believe they're both getting so big so fast.

Monday, Brent was off and Uncle Tyler came over to play video games. Alina and Raziel (thank God!) took a 3 hour nap and I actually had to wake them up! They went down around 12:30 and didn't get back up till it was almost 4 and I realized they still weren't awake playing in their respective rooms! I took the most amazing 30 minute nap of my life (Not kidding either) and watched the guys play video games for a big portion of the day, drinking Mountain dew and eating grilled cheese. It was nice. We hung out at Nene's alot and I had a girls night over there after the babies went down.

We watched Confessions of a Shopaholic (reason Brent and Tyler opted to return to their video games... I guess Army of Two is a bit more manly than the movie we picked). I really enjoyed the watching of the movie but looking back it was pretty stupid. If you've watched it recently, ask yourself the following questions. Why would a businessman send multiple people to an auction and bid-war with himself, a hundred dollars after everyone else drops out? Doesn't that just make it more expensive for the same result? Also -- the Saver magazine editor got mad and fired the girl when #1) she was lying about her debt and #2) she was using their small time mag to get a job at a more prestigious one. Looking at this, let's be reasonable! A mag editor is going to understand that if they aren't top dog, their journalists are going to want to work for the one that is!! Also, a financially based magazine should realize that their prime focus group is, indeed, the indebted, and that their journalists might know about money (or pretend to in her case, really) because they have made mistakes. These were his reasons? I felt like the thing that he should have been angry about was the fact that she had so little handle on her personal financial situation that it came public on a morning talk show making the magazine look bad. I don't think debt collectors get that crazy and rude, but hey - it was for story sake. If you're going to go that far - have the editor get mad about the way that the talk show fiasco affected (or could have affected) his mag'z business and sales instead of the fact that she was a fake. Anyway, besides that, it was a good movie with good clothes and good shoes :-) I'd give it 3 stars really. Enjoyability about a 4 but plot was weak and could've been fixed very easily. It's like they didn't show it to a focus group before release.

That was my weekend -- wonderful and relaxing. Hubby actually loaded up his car to take trash to the dump (hallelujah!) and asked me to make a list of things that need to be done around the house -- daily, weekly, and biweekly/monthly. I am thrilled out of my very mind! I really think if we follow my little 4 or 5 things per section, we won't have to spend significant time cleaning up on our days off (the point, obviously). I didn't do any laundry or any more dishes after Friday - and that was nice. I needed to do some, but once in a while, its nice to just have some time off.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thoughts from my Job on a Saturday

Well I've been Facebooking all day and David and some other peeps that work for the company I work for have been all conversating about stupid arguments we have with customers so I decided to blog on it. (I have nothing else to do, LOL)

So -- for anyone who decides to go into a service repair/ sales center for your cell phone, let me crash course you on what to expect!

1. If you broke it, you will have to pay to have it replaced.
-- your insurance (if you have it) covers the phone quitting, not you running it over with your car, dropping it in a pool, your child's drool damage or your dog ingesting it. These are considered physical damage (wonder why) and you pay a deductible!! That's right ladies and gents -- its just like your car or medical coverage. If its your fault, you're gonna pay a little bit!!!

2. No, we do not give away things for free.
-- It amuses me the sob stories that I hear on a constant basis, as if they'll make a difference. I feel like telling my customer "I'm sorry you're cheap but I'm not giving you a charger for free." It gets worse. People try to justify why they should get the product without paying; example: # of lines or # of years they've been with Sprint. Frankly, I don't know if they understand this or not, but I DON'T CARE!!! You pay your bill to Sprint, not to me. When you buy an accessory, you pay me. We paid to get it from Sprint, you pay to get it from us. Want something free? Call customer care and they can laugh at you, too. And, as far as phones are concerned, only some of them are free, usually after a mail in rebate, and it's ONLY with the 2 year contract!! If you don't want to stay with Sprint for another 2 years, we aren't giving you something for free!!!

3. I don't care what the guy at the other store said!
-- Well, I guess it would make a difference at some places, but we aren't connected to the other stores in the town at all except that we both sell the same product. They're our competition. Additionally, the other guys aren't service centers so I don't really care if they said I could fix it in the store, would replace it for free, etc! It doesn't make it true or legit! If he said we'd fix it free then let him fix it. And, the other guys (not being service centers) just don't know what they're talking about. You ran over your phone with a pickup truck? I'm sorry. I can't fix stupid.

4. Simply because someone on the phone told you it should be this way, doesn't mean it is.
-- This one's a bit trickier but for the love of all that is good, please understand this!!! Let's start with my favorite example. I had a customer come into my store and tell me Sprint said he could have a new top-of-the-line touchscreen phone and that it would be covered and not cost him anything. Well, that's all well and good, and lovely that they said that but -- #1 it doesn't mean I don't have to verify that. #2 It doesn't mean I don't have to ask my regional supervisor's permission to do so once verified. #3. It doesn't mean I can do it this instant. You may have to wait till I #1 get permission or #2 get the appropriate phone in stock.

5. This is not Wal-mart. Please don't be trashy and pushy and threaten to take your business elsewhere. If you don't like it, leave. I DON'T CARE where you pay your bill! I don't care where you change your plan. All I care about it where you buy it and since you didn't buy it here (most cases) I am only being nice by helping you at all. Oh, and sir? yes, you, the fat man in the corner complaining about the abilities of your 8350i blackberry. You may pay $100/month for the simply everything, and you may think that makes you special. But guess what- a lot of people do that -- its just cheaper! And, know what else? You bought that phone on e-bay, so don't complain to me about the fact that it doesn't have Sprint TV (a function you admittedly don't even use). Yes, if you'd asked, I would have told you that we don't have any phones that support everything that the everything plan has -- you get everything but you have to pick between a walkie talkie or the TV. But, you didn't ask. And, you know what? It's still cheaper for you to have the everything plan because any other competitor is going to charge you $100 for unlimited voice, $20 for unlimited text, $15-30 for unlimited data, $25 for unlimited walkie talkie, and that handy extra $40 blackberry charge that's just there to make money on you. So I don't really care if you're upset that you "pay" for TV and can't use it. We're still $115 cheaper than everyone else.

Ahh... I feel better. Too bad I can't post that on my wall in my store. LOL I think I'd get fired when my upper area supervisors came to visit. Oh well. We'll keep it on the internet for now.

Raziel & Alina

So this morning was so adorable I had to share about it.

Yesterday I went to the WIC office and got vouchers for the next 3 months (which, total bummer, I don't get all the fruit, bread and such till December! They're changing WIC in our area and are actually cutting back the 10 gallons of milk and 6 cartons of eggs a month -- which is too much -- and giving us dollar amounts for fruit & veggies along with vouchers for bread and grains. I'm sooo excited and thought we'd get it in October when they're starting the transition but we don't get it till December. (I'm glad because it will provide more of what we need and I'll be throwing out/giving away less food) At least they didn't want proof that I'm pregnant again and they just stuck me back on) and they took Raziel off of formula and onto normal food and such. I was sooo worried he wouldn't like real milk but he drank it just like formula, no big deal. He's so laid back -- I love him! But point being, we finally have an excess of juice and milk and cheese again!! (specifically juice)

He and Alina both were up around 8 and after I took my shower and dressed everyone I put him in his high chair and Alina wanted her chair right up against his so they could share. They had graham crackers (newest love of their lives) and juice. I gave them each sippy cups of apple juice. Alina thought it was adorable how Raziel was eating big person food. I've been impressed with his little transition - he's eating solids and such, no issue. Cheerios, crackers, cheese tortillas, etc. We're slowly easing him into stuff that's easy to chew but he's coming along nicely.

I took a picture of them sharing breakfast and I thought it was adorable and had to show you!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In the Meantime

Well today was almost a tragic day.

Of course, anything that goes wrong promises tragedy when I'm involved. Especially when it comes to money or cars or things like that. I won't go into all the details because it's pretty much the same old story - no money, need money, don't have enough money, etc. I think if you've ever read my blog you understand this factor. LOL!

Well so the reason that I bring it up without explaining is to comment on how far Brent and I have come on the money front. We are out approx $400... but it's okay. Yup, you heard me -- we're not borrowing money, I'm not taking money people offer, we aren't talking about our issue to people beyond this little blog and its 7 followers and occasional glances from Facebook. My electricity will stay on, the water will stay on, and I have plenty of food and even gas money.

It astonishes me that even a few months ago I would have been devastated at the prospect of what we currently are looking at. Maybe it's Brent's attitude - it is, after all - only money. I like to think that I've grown a bit as well - because today my tragic moments lasted for about 10 minutes. I got upset, explain to Brent what happened, cried, wiped away my tears and sat down and budgeted. And, since we've been preparing ourselves for unexpected issues and things, we have money for the next two weeks, and we'll still pay all our bills this month.

I remember moving out of my parents house when I was 18. Brent and I got an apartment together in Chattanooga. We paid $300 a month in rent, approx $40 a month in electric, and our water was covered. We shared a car, I took the bus alot. Brent and I both had full time jobs, making decent money for 18 year olds. We paid $300 a month on the car.... that was it. All the other money we had was food or whatever we needed or wanted. Within a few short months, we had not only depleted our savings (about $2000) but were also quickly creating credit card debt. Now in some defense, most of the savings went to deposits and down payments to living on our own. But, the debt? That I can't explain or defend, it was just stupid.

What I want to know is what in the world I did with all that money!!! No kids, no diapers, and a 2 lb dog that required a $30 dog food purchase once a month or so. Now we have a mortgage ($615), debt to repay for another year ($365 - yeah we did a number on our credit), Car insurance ($80), Cell phones ($100), Electric ($100), Water ($40) and the list goes on for the monthly bills! Not to mention the 2 kids with one on the way supplies --- food, diapers, formula, clothes, toys, etc. etc. etc.

I used to think that Brent and I were so poor and badly off. I used to think we didn't make enough money and the government should just give us food stamps or something to help us. What I didn't realize was that we were living in luxury - and really, we still are. We're out $400 and is that a problem? Nope, just a slight frustration. Really? it's just money. We're up to date on our house payment. Even if we couldn't get caught up on the other necessary things this month, worst to worst we could skip the house payment, or just pay part and catch it next month! We are 22 and own our own property and house, 2 cars and feed 2 children and an 120lb dog. We're not doing so bad! I don't have a second job. Neither does Brent. I don't have out a second mortgage on my house. By February or so, we'll be out of extra non-house debt (thanks to the gov't and their big whopping tax returns on families with kids.) Next summer we hope to premier our movie and make a few extra thousand dollars - which is very realistic with our budget on the movie (since we only spent $3000 it won't be hard to make our cost back selling tickets at $20 a piece. That's only 300 tickets if we just make 50% on each sale.... we can -- and will-- do better than that!

I really think I've decided what my problem is. I compare myself with people I respect for financial stability. My friends that are in their 30's and can lend money or cover cost on something whenever they feel like it. My husbands grandparents that have perfect credit (literally). My grandparents who have retired and don't have to work at all. What I don't see is the following: The years that my 30 year old friends spent saving and being over drafted and working two jobs and not being married/having kids. The times that my friends don't talk about - when money is tight. The years my hubby's grandfather spent working a full time job at night and serving for the air force during the day. The years he didn't spend any time with his wife but when he slept and she was at home, not working her job. The years my grandparents put into saving and penny pinching and not buying expensive things so that they could retire well.

From now on, I've decided to remind myself that I am simply in those middle years and no one is going to be financially stable 4 years after they move out on their own without being independantly wealthy (which I am not!). I've decided that Brent and I made choices for our future knowing it would be hard in the meantime - and we're simply in the meantime right now; like the choice to buy a house when we were 19. Who does that? NO ONE! The benefit? By the time we are 50 we won't have a house payment. The choice to have children off the bat - and not by mistake. The benefit? Enjoying our children while we have the energy, and being around for their kids and grandkids too. The choice to spend $2500 on an industrial video camera. The benefit? The ability to make film with very little expense and potentially make back a lot of money. The choice to pay off our cars with tax returns. The benefit? No $300 a month car payment. Our choices have been responsible! Its simply that I forget we're "in the meantime" right now and not to all the benefits yet.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Life as a Movie Star

Saturday was the Brigand Shorts Film Festival done by our friends, Ben Todd and Lloyd Tait and bunch of other people we know. We had a lot of fun - Alina got to play their little street game. You took a beanbag and tried to throw it into the hole on this board. She wasn't very good at it but had a blast regardless.

When she was done, finally, she decided to take a break on the game itself.

We watched the shorts, and hung out with Chrissy, our make up artist friend, who took the opportunity to work on hollywood's newest little star-in-the-making

Altogether it was a really fun day! Brent and I also went to the premier of Thick as Thieves but I don't have those pictures with me today so I'll have to get those up when I get them!