Monday, November 30, 2009

Setting up the Christmas Tree

I took a bunch of pictures from the other day when we set up the Christmas tree and wanted to share them, because I think there are some really adorable ones! We printed a few of these and sent them in Christmas cards to the great-grands and I am really excited how they turned out.

Alina and Daddy putting together the tree

Raziel helping Daddy with the tree

Alina was allowed to help with the ornaments

Raziel was allowed to look at them

Alina wanted to pose by the snowmen to show you they changed colors - she didn't understand you'd only see one color.

Raziel and Daddy hanging ornaments

Alina and Daddy hanging ornaments

Alina posing by the tree (this was a christmas card photo)

Alina and Daddy putting on the star

Christmas card photo

Christmas Card Photo

Raziel and Daddy hanging out

If Raziel had been looking this woulda been a great Christmas card photo but I couldn't get him to stay still!!

Well, that's our Christmas Tree photos! Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Show us your Life: Christmas Traditions

Well, when I was a kid we always used to cut down a fresh tree on the weekend after Thanksgiving. My husband's family used the same artificial tree every year and it became sort of like a tradition of its own to use that tree for Christmas. So, as much as I fought for the evergreen smell every year, we decided to go with an artifical tree and it's been a really fun experience using the same tree and having the kids help put it together. We put up our tree Thanksgiving weekend - this year we actually did it on Monday (before Thanksgiving) but we just felt like getting into the spirit a bit early. Now that we have toddlers, I sit on the floor and sort the limbs into piles according to the level they're assigned to and then hand them to the kids who carry them across the living room one at a time to Brent who puts the tree together. Then, we put the lights and ornaments on, cover it in tinsel and top it with the star (Alina and Daddy put that on together).

One of our traditions is to buy a new ornament for each family member every year. This is really neat because every ornament on our tree will eventually mean something significant. Right now we have a fair amount of specific ornaments and a decent amount of plain decorative balls as well - but we're only on year 5 so we've got a while to get some more.

Last year, I bought this one for Brent. He loves this musical and the whole story. I liked this ornament because the couple actually twirl and dance to the Beauty and the Beast song when you wind the thingy.

This is the shape and color of the ornament Brent had made for me last year. My big Christmas present was Orchestra Seat Tickets to see Wicked on Broadway on our anniversary trip (March), so he had the word "Wicked" painted on it and picked out the most adorable little polka dot ribbon to hang it by. I love this ornament!
Wow. Can you tell we like musicals? LOL! It's not like that every year - we've done all sorts of ornaments. It's one of my fav traditions!

Another tradition is our current rule to give 10 presents to each member of the family - no more, no less. While we only apply this rule to ourselves (IE we give 10 presents to each child but the kids only give one to everyone else) it's been really nice and alot of fun. This tradition sprung from our desire to have a "big Christmas" all the time. We both grew up in families that didn't always have alot of money for Christmas, and both know how it is to get a few small things for Christmas and want to avoid having that as a memory for our kids. So, while the budget for total Christmas spending may fluxuate (the first year was $250 a piece when it was just Brent and I, and this year it's $150 to spend on Brent, $150 to spend on me, and $50 per kid) the tradition is that we have to make that budget stretch over 10 presents. We also require that at least 1 present is handmade and not purchased.

While alot of other traditions vary with divorces, which family can travel when, etc, we maintain 3 others;

1) Each family member opens one present on Christmas Eve night (this helps build the excitment for the following day! After this we watch It's a Wonderful Life

2) We spend Christmas Morning as a family - just us four (plus any more that we have) and no extended family. No aunts, uncles, siblings, parents, nothing. We want to spend Christmas with our kids and let that be that.

3) We spend New Years Eve & Day with Brent's grandparents - we have one big Christmas party with all his extended family every single year. This is alot of fun and it's been a tradition forever and I love going!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Shopping

Well I wasn't going to do it. I'd sworn it off since I worked in the mall for all those years and have seen people run, hit, bite, yell, scream, pinch and shove other people over getting hot christmas items on the day after thanksgiving. But, alas, I got online last night to check out some prices and saw an add for something I wanted to buy Brent for Christmas and figured Walmart would have a similar sale (which they did) and decided maybe I should go. I was undecided until Oden woke me up at 5:30 by getting his chain wrapped around the remaining pool pieces and barking constantly. The barking was bad enough but in his attempt to untangle himself he was trampling the wall piece of the pool and since that's made of aluminum it was quite noisy. So I rolled over, looked at the clock, went out to help the poor dog and noticed it wasn't that cold and then went on to get up the kids and put them into the car so we could go to Walmart.

I won't disclose the thing that I purchased for Brent although I will clue everyone in that it's something I'd already been looking at buying for him, and that usually costs about $40 or $50 at least... I'd found one at amazon for $20 but hadn't bought and then what do you know it was on sale for $3. I also purchased an accessory to go along with it for another $3.

I will show you the other cool stuff I got!!

First, something that's not a gift for anyone, just something we needed. A 30 piece Rubbermaid tupperware set. Usually about $25. I paid $7.

These are footie pajamas for Raziel, size 18 months. They've got Lightning McQueen on them, and aren't the super thick kind but they're nice. Usually footie PJ's cost $12. I paid $5.

Yes, it's a 3T. I couldn't pass up the deal, or find Dora in a smaller size. I know, they'll be too big probably but Alina won't mind. Usually a pajama set like this is $18. I paid $3.

Towels were so cheap I bought 2, just to help fill out our supply. You always need towels after all. Usually these towels are $5 each. I paid $2 each and bought 2 towels. I would have bought more but they were gone. The lady working that section said as soon as it was 5 0'clock (when the sale began), that people just picked up entire stacks and dropped them in their carts and took off. I wouldn't have bought black either but $2 a towel? Man. I put up with the color. I didn't find these in the stackout either, they were in the isle shoved to the side and probably not seen by shorter people. I didn't think they were the right style for the price but picked them up and price checked them and they were the right price!

These beautifully soft blankets (I got a light blue one as well) were so soft I was astonished at how many were still laying around when I showed up at 6:15. The lady who was shopping the stackout as I was standing there purchased about 10 of these blankets. She just picked up a great big box of them and went on her way. I chose this cute orange one for Alina and a light blue for Raziel and plan to sew fleece with their favorite cartoon character to the reverse and pattern sew it in the middle to help hold it together. I planned to do this anyway and it would cost more than I paid for this much fabric. Usually throws like this are $20 or so, depending on time of year. I paid $4 each.

Total spending: $38.41
Total approximated savings: $120

Man. They should let us do shopping like this more often!

Sad side note: the poor lady was that doing the same job Brent was doing, only at the store across town (loading the TV's into people's cars) got shot this morning. WHAT?!?! I know!! Essentially, to get your TV at Walmart, you buy the ticket and reciept and take it aound back and trade your ticket and show your reciept for the TV. This man drove up to the loading station at the store on the other side of town (thank God it wasn't Brent) and told the woman he wanted a 50" TV. She asked if he had his reciept and ticket. He said "I've got this" and showed her a gun. She said "okay" and got him his TV loaded up and everything. He shot her and left. What is the matter with people?!?! they were selling those for $600! $600 or someone's life!? And when he gets caught (because it's not like they don't have it all on tape) he'll spend life in prison for trying to kill this poor lady.... all over a TV

Everyone's Okay

I'm okay, baby's okay, everything's fine.

Tuesday I left work shortly after writing my blog and went to the OBGYN. They midwife poked around my back and stomach, asked alot of questions about my urination and checked my cervix. There was actually nothing going on with the baby at all (Thank GOD) and it was kidney issues. She scared the daylights out of me because she thought it was some terrible kidney infection that puts pregnant women in the hospital for weeks but they finally decided on kidney stones after doing an ultrasound to check it out.

The remainder of Tuesday I stayed in bed taking 2 Tylonol Codines every 4 hours. I didn't sleep much that night, I was hurting too bad. Brent didn't sleep much either because I was kicking and moaning and screaming from pain. Wednesday I felt all right in the morning and decided to try to go to work. Ten minutes down the road I puked because I couldn't handle the sudden pain that decided it'd announce itself. I took the kids to the sitter, swung by work to make sure I could switch my day off so I could get paid for the holiday, and went home. I continued my pattern of medication and screaming and writhing until about 11pm. I fell asleep and slept (still in pain some) until about 4 am when I woke up to pee, went back to sleep and then I woke at 8am on Thursday. That was when I asked for meds again, and Brent hadn't given me any since midnight so I saw that as improvement. I laid low for a while in the morning, took the kids to Nene and slept on her couch for an hour or two. By noon I felt really well and took the kids home for their nap. I was still taking meds but I'd cut back to one pill every 4 hours instead of 2. I decided to make us lunch after I put Raziel down and I sat down to have lunch with Alina. I ate about half of my grilled cheese sandwich and stuck her in bed with the other half because I felt like passing out.

I gave Alina a Jolly Rancher and went to bed. About 10 minutes later Alina started screaming. I leapt out of bed and went to her room and she was choking on the candy. She stuck her hand in her mouth to try and get it out and she told me "it's too far mommy." I took her into the bathroom because she was gagging and I thought she would puke it up. Nothing came. She was screaming and coughing and I was terrified. I called Nene and she came right over. In the meantime, I tried to get Alina to drink some water but she just got more upset. We couldn't get it out and didn't want to keep trying becuase as it was she could breathe and we didn't want that to change. So, we got her to settle down and she fell asleep. I took her to bed with me and watched her carefully to make sure she kept breathing easily. When she woke up about 45 minutes later she'd swallowed the thing compleatly and she wasn't choking anymore. She was a happy camper, laughing and chattering away so I was very relieved. I could tell she was relieved too - I'm sure that freaked her out pretty badly. She told everyone at Thanksgiving about how she choked on her candy and coughed and Mommy and Nene made it go away while she slept. I thought this was adorable. She has also been pretending that her imaginary friends are choking on candy and that she is helping them by rocking them to sleep. I love how she takes her experiences and acts them out -it seems to help her cope with the trauma.

Anyways, that evening after the candy trauma and everything, I was feeling all better. I was tired, but up and cooking and eating with everyone. I slept well last night and I'm all better with no meds today. I'm a bit sore and tired - like I'm recovering from a long trip or something - but I'm at work and all so I'm doing abundantly better.

Now that I've experienced both a kidney stone and childbirth, I will clear up this massive disallusion that men have that kidney stones are worse. Let me make this very very clear; Kidney stones suck really badly. The thing that makes kidney stones so terrible is that the pain never lets up - it's all the time and it takes longer than many labors - where as contractions are every so many minutes like clockwork. You know when your contraction will be done and when to expect another one. BUT the delivery of a child is much worse than a kidney stone. That 30 or so minutes of pushing and breathing and pushing and breathing beat a kidney stone by far. So, yes, kidney stones are worse than labor. Kidney stones ARE NOT worse than childbirth. Now - that's given you're doing the childbirth naturally... Epidurals don't count in this little comparison because I've never had one so I can't tell you. I took IV drugs for the childbirth (which takes the edge off the pain) and I had codine for the kidney stone which totally knocks you out but epidurals supposedly numb everything so I can't see how that would hurt anything like the other two...

Well that's my thoughts on all that and my update on my disasterous few days.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Today I came to work, I was even 10 minutes early. I have had a decent day but my stomach has been hurting a bit all day. I ate potatoes and brocolli with cheese for lunch and have been drinking water but I keep thinking there's something wrong with the baby or with me. Baby's moving around just fine, but I'm actually in alot of pain and it's that lower abdominal pain that is familiar to the end of pregnancy. I rolled down my leggings so they weren't putting any extra pressure on my belly, I've been drinking water and peeing regularly to make sure there's no blood or anything strange going on down there but I am definitly contracting or something. I wasn't sure until just now when I was sitting here thinking "well maybe I'm feeling better" and then I started feeling the tightening and pressure of a contraction.

Brent's not answering, niether is Pam or Becca so I can't get a hold of him at all. I called the OBGYN and left a message for the nurse but they haven't called back and I am getting more and more worried as time passes and I continue to feel badly. I initally thought I'd just eaten something bad but I'm positive now that I've got something more going on. It has been 48 minutes since I left a message and I am going crazy. I can't decide if I need to go home or if I'm just freaking out but chances are the doctor's gonna get me to come in being as how this is my third baby and I know what is normal and what's strange. My palms are sweaty and clammy I'm having hot flashes and I feel awful. I think I'm just gonna go home but I hate to just work a half day but gosh I'd hate for me to be stuck here in Cleveland if there really is something wrong... but i'd hate to leave early if it's really nothing but I know its not really nothing. I am loosing my mind and just need someone to tell me "just go home" but I can't get a hold of Brent and have him make that decision for me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I've been online today looking at potential Christmas buys. I am so excited because we have found kids laptops made for kids aged 3-5. We had thought that we were gonna get this little spiderman one they had on sale super cheap at walmart but we were waiting for the price to drop as low as we knew it'd go and the toys girl came over to tell Brent it had finally dropped and by the time they walked back over there(3 minutes?) it had been bought. Man. But, that's ok, because now I'm looking at them online. Here's what I found and think we'll get

V-Tech Laptop

I read the reviews on Amazon and it seems like it'll be great for Alina - geared right at her age - a tiny advanced for some 3 year olds but she's smart and plus it seemed those people that said it was too hard weren't playing with their kids on the thing so I don't think that'll be a problem for Alina because we'll be playing with her alot of the time. It teaches letters and shapes and stuff and seems really cool. They have it at the Walmart here in town for $20 so we're gonna get it and use our discount instead of ordering it online.

Then I looked at what similar customers had bought when they purchased this item and another great idea occured to me.


This dollhouse is only $30 at and if we do site to store (a nice little feature that allows you to buy online and have it sent to your neighborly Walmart) it's free shipping so that's a GREAT deal. I'm gonna try to talk Brent into getting this for her as well because we went to Tamra's a few weeks ago and they had a dollhouse over there and that's all Alina was interested in playing with. I think this would be great especially with the new baby on the way because its something she can do alone quietly. It comes with a momm, daddy and a baby and I think that's great too because she's started role-playing alot when she plays... she makes dinner, she rocks her baby to sleep, etc. I think the dollhouse would be a fantastic idea. It will take some room but I'm looking and getting a few of her non-used toys (that were free anyway) out of her room and giving them away or selling them to a kids shop down here for a few bucks to make up for the space.

I also found out in the progress of looking around on Amazon that they have a Black Friday sale (what?!?!) and that starts Monday. So, if you are planning to do any of your shopping online, check out pricing this next week on Amazon and other sites. I never woulda thought they'd do black friday sales online but they do so that's really cool -- you get all the pricing benefits of the internet and black friday but none of the waiting in line at those stores or the rushes or crazy people beating eachother for the last hot item. Its funny that I'm plugging the net stores right now because Brent and I have pretty much decided that's why the economy is doing so poorly but whatever - it's cheaper, right? lol. So, I am getting online this next week and ordering a few of my gifts for Brent at the discounted rates instead of waiting closer to Christmas, paying more and all that stuff. I'll blog about how much I save and what I get at what price or whatever (well the non-Brent stuff because he reads this blog so I can't exactly list it all lol)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Healthy Eating Habits

Today I have not had the bestest eating habits. Okay. I had 2 muffins for breakfast smuthered in butter but have been soooo busy at work that I didn't get a chance to eat lunch and since it's 4:45 and I'm just now getting any time to do anything, my mountain dew and swiss cake roll will be it until I go home at 6 and have a real dinner.

I don't know what to do about meals on the go. I've started getting up in the mornings a bit earlier so that I can make something for the kids in the car because Raziel inevitably dumps his entire cup of cereal all over the car and doesn't actually eat any of it. This morning I baked muffins (59 cents for a box of Jiffy) and we had that in the car and that worked out really well but... I was late to work so I will have to work on cooking those muffins the night before instead of the morning of. Total bummer because I love hot muffins for breakfast but owell. It's life. I'm trying to think of other good things that are kid-friendly that aren't terribly messy in the car and/or easy to clean up like crumbs out of the bottom of the carseat because he doesn't feel the need to throw pieces of his muffin all over. But, I have yet to think of anything beside muffins. I considered bagels but I'm not sure how well they'd do with em because bagels tend to be sort of tough.

Lunches have been interesting. We're bringing lunches from home 95% of the workweek now, to help cut costs. But, unless I have leftovers or a hotpocket (only the first 3 days after grocery shopping) , it's tuna salad for me. I want to come up with some more things I can keep at work that aren't expensive but that I can have some variety in but for some reason I'm just striking out on creativity.

Maybe that has to do with all the hours I've been working. I worked an hour late 3 nights in a row last week and then already once this week. I got an email from our HR lady that said "hey don't be late anymore" and didn't feel like I'd been late much... but I was 5 mins late 2x last week and 5 minutes late yesterday and then 15 minutes today so I guess she's right... In my defense, I worked till 7:30 last night and then had to stop at the grocery store- how dare that Walmart be set up different from my Walmart? I spent 30 minutes trying to find hamburger buns! and then got home at about 8:25 and then we had dinner and watched Dane Cook's viscous Cycle - hilarious but NOT clean at all and not recomended! All I know is that tonight I'm locking the doors at 5:55 and that's that. I am so tired and wore out. I had so much to do at work today - I had to clean up, do piles paperwork, and run the whole place alone. Tomorrow Bob's back and while he may not do much at all, he's another person so I can be more productive. I've had a headache since 3pm yesterday that didn't ever subside.

Well I guess that's life for now. I'm so tired I can't really accumulate more thoughts and I'm too worn out to really try anymore. Maybe I should go fill those prenatal vitamens the OBGYN perscribed and start taking them... And maybe if I make it through Thursday and I have another 4 day weekend I will enjoy the break. Maybe my brain will return from the mush it seems to be.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day of Rest - HAH

Ok so maybe it's a restful thing to have a clean house, and for today that will be my translation of the Day of Rest ideal about Sunday.

What I did my Sunday (After Church)

#1) Picked up and mowed 1/2 the backyard. **this is a feat. I own a full acre that I have to keep up with and I also keep my mother-in-law's acre because she has asthma and can't mow it herself and on top of it we have a push mower so it's alot to have a yard in partial order** Oden is much happier now that he has room to play without the harrasment of weeds and mini-trees. All I have left is the unused half of my backyard that has alot of junk left by the previous owner that I'm just now (I know, I know) getting to take down because I FINALLY know people that have trucks so we can haul it off.

#2) Did ALL the laundry. Washed, dried, folded, hung and put away. I even paired socks.

#3) Washed all dishes, dried and put away. Also cleaned the counters and stove.

#4) Picked up and swept all rooms; Raziel's room, Alina's room, the living room, my room, both bathrooms, Brent's workout room, and the dinning/kitchen space.

#5) Organized all Alina and Raziel's toys back into the proper bins and threw out non-working toys (such as a magnadoodle with no magnets or magnet pen)

#6) Sorted Alina and Raziel's clothes, removing and storing outgrown/summer items and adding winters (and grow-intos for Raziel). Alina is still a 2-t with adjustable waist taken in while Raziel (now 14 months) is wearing 12-18 months and an occasional pair of jeans that are 9 months, although those mainly fit because he's short in the legs and I can't really say they fit well in the waist.

#7) Cleaned both bathrooms

#8) Swept leaves off the front porch.

#9) Bathed the kids - twice.

#10) Made a delicious dinner of chicken strips (injected with butter), mashed potatoes, Rotini & Brocolli, and cheddar buscuits. I also cleaned the dishes after dinner.

#11) Cleaned up a big mess -- Alina and Raziel were playing in the cabinets while I cooked (as usual) and apparently some time ago I opted to put away our fyer full of oil instead of draining it (Brent claims he told me it was a stupid idea) and they knocked the entire thing (probably a full gallon of oil) over and spilled it all over the inside of my cabinet and effectively all over my crockpot, countertop-skillet, and every other rarely-used electrical device I had stored down there.

So I guess I didn't rest much during the day but it was WONDERFUL and I really really really love having the house and yard so clean and pretty. I loved having Brent come home and tell me how good the house looked. I love the fact that all he has to do today is watch the kids and take a load of trash to the dump (I would have yesterday lol but it's closed Sundays). I love the fact that I am a capable woman and can both provide for her home and care for it as well. Do I know that I'll have to sweep and probably clean Alina's room (at least) again when I get home? Absolutely. Is that my job as a mommy? Absolutely. Do I love it? Absolutely. I'm an acomplished person today and I'm proud of my home. I can't wait till we get that pool taken down (gosh, I went to look at it the other day and theres about 150 screws holding it all together, it's gonna take FOREVER! I'm thinking I'll talk Tamera into helping or at least loaning me a power screw-driver) and have the whole place really fixed up. And I'm really proud that I get so much done while keeping my two toddlers happy and cared for, and being pregnant with a very healthy strong baby.

That's my bragging for the day. I had to tell someone about it. :-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baby Pictures

So the quality is horrid because I don't have a scanner so I took a photo of the photo of the baby but here he is!!!

This is a full body shot from the side. Along the top you can see his spine, his little head is to the right.

And this is a picture of his little face. To the right is his chest and to the left is his head - the black spot in the middle of the top of that white circle is where his little brain is :-) Also, if you look directly beneath his head, you can see his fist is held to his cheek, just like his sister and brother both did in their ultrasounds.

** if you aren't ultrasound savy, just smile and pretend that you're excited to see pictures of the baby. I know most of you folks probably can't read these things but it's okay! It took me til this baby to properly identify things without the doctor saying it first!**

We've decided on the name Dante Judah, meaning "Everlasting Praise." I debated for a long time if I wanted to use the name Dante or not but I decided the meaning is just too cool to pass up. (He will go by Judah) Last night Brent and I sat down with a list of 5 name combonations each that we liked - including things like Leonardo and Armeadus on his list and Aiden and Judah on mine. The rule was that we couldn't use the same name combo twice (Judah Aslan ; Aslan Judah), and we couldn't use our favorite name more than twice. Both lists included Elijah - but we they were both names we put down as "mmmm what else could we name him" and not as a favored option. I was given 2 vetos (Dante Raphael and Aaron Armedus went off instantly) and Brent took one (Judah Aiden) and told me to pick the name I wanted because we named Raziel what he wanted to name him and it should be my turn. I chose Judah Aslan last night but when I woke up this morning I didn't think it was fair to rule out anything Brent had suggested and settled on Dante Judah. Alina is set on calling the baby Dante, which Brent thinks is hysterical and is fully encouraging her for the time being, but in the end I am determined that he will go by Judah.

We'll see how that goes. Brent and Alina are the 2 most stubborn people I know.

New cute thing that Raziel is doing: Every time I leave him in his room to play while I take a shower or make dinner or something, he ends up in his laundry basket. He doesn't tip it over or spill it all out somehow, and just sits on top of the pile of laundry and the basket, babbling to himself and drinking a bottle or juice cup. It's really cute.

New cute thing that Alina's doing: She's been waking up in the night and complaining that there's a monster "above her crib" (her big girl bed technically but in the night she refers to it as her crib). This is fun sometimes but is getting tiresome. Our guess is that our mouse (yes, we have a mouse and there are 4 packets of poisen out for the darn little guy) has been going into her room at night as a part of his routine and that she sees/hears it and freaks out because its clearly not mommy, daddy or Raziel. We shall see if her monsters go away when I get rid of this darn mouse.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Ahh the sweet feeling that is payday. The sweet achievement of getting to payday without overdrafting (Hallelujah!). The wonderful thought of making it! The fact that I can go grocery shopping and buy things like brownies and chocolate along with the veggies and bread! Paying bills on time and not the day before the power it cut off! What will I ever do with all this wonderful fuzzy feelings?!?!

You know, it's so funny to me because it's not like we've started making THAT much more money. I mean, Brent got a raise a few weeks ago and that's made a difference, but it's really not that much in terms of reality (its only like $20 a check). I think there's a few things that have finally started coming in to play:

#1) Cash. Hubby and I have started using cash for gas and our personal lunches. For some reason this has made a very large difference. I guess we know exactly what we've got left and what we've spent and it prevents us from over spending.

#2) We're finally out of short-term payments and short-term loans. There've been several different things we've had that just were supposed to affect us for a few weeks that stretched out and got expensive. Well we finally got all that taken care of and it's freed up alot more cash than I realized it would!

#3) Online Banking. I can get online and see exactly what's cleared, what hasn't, who spent what where, etc. This has been so much better than trying to remember to write everything down. I don't ledger anything anymore - except confrimation numbers and such.

#4) Online Bill-Pay. Paying things online, on time, when I have money makes a BIG difference. There's no extra fee for anything that I pay online, where theres alot of fees for paying bills in cash or over the phone. Since that was usually what I had to do since I wasn't ever sure when checks would hit and so couldn't plan right etc etc etc online has been great for us.

We are so excited because now that we're back on our feet and have our money under control, we can start talking about Christmas and birthdays and renovating the house and such whatnot. We're going to have about $600 put away for Christmas by the time it rolls around! I never thought I'd be able to say that! That's really great, too, because this year Alina knows what's going on and Raziel is finally old enough to really participate. I'm really excited about it all. It can be so hard to have money saved up for Christmas, but it is also really hard to pay bills in December if you haven't saved up!!

On top of our brillancy in spending our money better (LOL), come December 1st my grocery bill is about to go waaaaay down. Food stamps? Hah! I wish! WIC has finally overhauled their program and have adjusted their food supply for semi-needy families like us that don't get food stamps but could use some help. Instead of the 10 dozen eggs a month and 12 gallons of milk and 6 boxes of cereal (not even kidding a little bit, either!) They're cutting back on those things a little bit and giving grains (bread, tortilla and rice) and dollar amounts for fresh or canned fruits and veggies! So I'll still have to suplement this a bit, and buy my own meat and junk food (who woulda thought?!?! lol) but the tiny things will help alot. I've always wondered why WIC supplied milk and eggs but not bread or veggies when they hand out that little pyramid and the base is bread and then theres milk and protien, but right above that is fruits and veggies? How is covering one or two of the main food groups really going to help out on the nutrition of kids? So I guess someone else said the same thing and WIC said "hmm maybe they don't need 10 dozen eggs a month for a family of 4" and adjusted things. And, effectively, December is when we get changed over.

Well that's the lifestyles of the poor and nameless for now! LOL

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What to name him?

So hubby has possibly convinced me Judah isn't the greatest name since it could be rhymed with budah and being as that is the name of a big fat and fake god, that is potentially a mean nickname.... sad that we have to consider that but geez nothing rhymes with Raziel so it hasn't been much of a discussion previously.... But I haven't given up yet, because I really like the name alot anyway and will keep fighting for it.

I looked up the meaning of Dante Leonardo and it means "everlasting strength." Like the literature relation people put with Dante or not, that's a freaking awesome meaning.... And, Brent argues that people are simply stupid because the story of Dante's Inferno is actually about a man that goes through the 13 rings of hell to get to his wife Beatrice (who died young) and be in heaven with her. She sends Virgil, an angel, to walk through it with him. Plus, he enters hell on Good Friday emerges from Hell on Easter morning -- I wonder if the author meant that the way it seems... that Dante was a picture of Christ figthing through hell to get to spend eternity with his beloved. Scholars look to Dante as an allegory and the relationship between Dante and Beatrice to represent spiritual love.... That's cool... Maybe people just don't know what they're talking about because that story is really freaking awesome. Plus... I wonder about how many people will even think that because it's a fine line - you have to be well-read enough to know about Dante's Inferno, but not well-read enough to know what it's about... that's a small population of the world... and happens to be that there's a few of those in my family, lol.

And hey, people really could pick on our kids for alot of things -the fact that they have odd names for one... so I might be convinced of this Dante idea.... Realistically, if Gwenyth can name her kid "Apple", Courtney Cox can name hers "Coco" then Dante isn't so bad. It's better then Brent's newest proposition of "Armaidus" To me that just sounds like a man from like the Roman Empire or the Bible... You know, this person begat this one, that one begat this one, and this person begat "Armaidus." -- which doesn't have a cool meaning btw, it doesn't even come up as a real name.

Note: In the process of trying to remember which crazy celebrity named their kid Apple, I came across this listing of Wacky Celebrity Baby Names and had to show some of the best (craziest) ones.
Shannyn Sossaman & Dallas Clayton: Baby son; Audio Science
Julia Roberts & Danny Moder: Twins; Phinnaeus Walter and Hazel Patricia (I like Hazel but Phinnaeus? omg!)
Jools Norton & Jamie Oliver: Baby daughters; Daisy Boo and Poppy Honey
Geri Halliwell & Sacha Gervasi: Baby daughter; Bluebell Madonna
Beth Riesgraf & Jason Lee: Baby son; Pilot Inspektor
Paula Yates & Bob Geldof: Baby daughters; Fifi-Trixibelle, Peaches, Little Trixie, and Honeyblossom (4 girls? all bad names? aww poor things! they sound like little fluffy purse-dog names!)

Dante, Judah, Aslan, anything is better than Fifi or Phinnaeus! They must not have considered their kids getting picked on as middle schoolers... and not to mention that Paula & Bob's girls all have stripper names.

Last night was sweet because Alina was sleeping when we got home. (it was rainy, and dark, I picked up the kids because Brent had forgotten his wallet and had no gas in his car... and when we got home it was like 8:20) We put Raziel right down with a bottle (I know I need to break him but it makes life so much easier!) and I went to put Alina in bed but she woke up enough to tell me she was hungry. So, she sat in my lap at the dinner table while daddy served mashed-potato-barbeque-hamburger-with-cheese-on-top casserole that pam makes and MAN it was yummy. Alina told me I was her best friend (I love that) and she talked about what we should name the baby. Her suggestion? Little Joe Bob the Tomato. While Joseph Robert is a nice name (though not weird enough for us really) I could never name my child that because he would always be Little Joe Bob the Tomato to me, and I can't handle that LOL!

ahhh... back to the drawing board. Too bad LienRoth means "Red Flower" because it would be so cool if it was like "dragon" or something. Alas.... it's the fall back plan but I don't see it happening. Well, I'm going to continue my hunt for a cool name to go with Dante that doesn't sound like a ninja turtle. Too bad Judah and Dante don't really go together.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Long Weekend

Wow I had 4 days off in a row!! Let's recap....

Friday: Boring... hung out with Brent and the kids and didn't do much besides clean and watch Brent play his new video game.

Saturday: I mowed the lawn.... and Pam's... and cleaned the backyard... and that's about it... nothing else fun to report.

Sunday: went to church, took a long break while the kids napped, and had dinner and went to bed early. It was nice.

Monday: Well, Monday wasn't so hot. We couldn't go anywhere or do anything because we're tight on cash until Thursday. Brent and I were both off, and we were SUPER excited because we had an OBGYN appt. (see below for details..) but his sister's dog hung itself and died so Brent had the honor of getting the 100lb golden retriever they'd had for 8 years down from where it was hanging and to the landfill where we could legally bury a dog that big. So he didn't get to come because Pam wasn't home and he couldn't really leave the girls alone, and he had to take care of the body so it SUCKED because he didn't get to come for any of the fun stuff.

So; the jucies: That's right, ladies and gents, I finally went to the OBGYN. I got to see Cheryl, the midwife that works at the practice. She's the one who I saw when I was fixing to go into labor with Raziel, and I LOVE her, she's awesome. Anyways, she measured my uterus to about 23 weeks, but the ultrasound showed about 20 weeks so we've settled on March 22nd for the duedate (which sounds right to Brent and I). Baby is a boy (what?!?!) and is a bit on the little side, but no big deal the others were too.

So, now that we know its a boy we don't like the name LienRoth at all and we're debating between Dante and other ideas. Brent really likes Dante but I'm not digging it so much.... Dante alone means eternal or lasting, but when paired with inferno it means Hell soooooo I don't think so. I could handle Dante maybe but its known for #1) a video game and #2) a famous book about hell sooooo maybe not so much. So, I put on the table "Judah Aslan" and we're considering it. I REALLY like that name, he'd go by Judah, but Brent's on the fence so we're letting it soak in to see if it grows on him. Judah means "the praised one" and and Aslan (duh) means "lion". I like it because of the biblical/spiritual connotations. But, we'll see.

thats all for now... will add pics of baby soon.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween and other tidbits

First, Halloween photos. The kids were SUPER grumpy whenever I got home from work on Saturday. Brent had only had them home for about an hour and was already loosing his mind. Still don't know why they were so grumpy but they were - that's life with kids.
We started by carving pumpkins. Alina kept saying "it stinks!" (about a hundred times). She got mad at Raziel who thought it would be great to eat the pumpkin we cut out of our jack-o-laterns and told him "NO! IT STINKS!" and hit him. Well, a few minutes after discipline, Brent and I thought the whole concept was pretty funny!

Raziel enjoyed the pumpkin. He wouldn't stop eating it.

The finished product

Then, we dressed up and went trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.

Alina is tinkerbell and Raziel is a monkey! (in case you couldn't tell) We had a great time. Alina remembered from last year and was really excited and did great saying thank you. Raziel got excited after a few houses too though I'm not sure he understood what was going on, not really. It was a ton of fun and they were VERY well behaved!

And lastly, Sunday was my project day. I mowed the front lawn, cleaned the living room, babies rooms, bathrooms, and did some dishes. Around 3:30 Tamara came over to help me repair a pipe in the master bathroom and fix a clogged toilet in the hall bathroom. Well, the pipe repair didn't go well. We opted for a quick fix cast thing that should have rememdied it acording to the package, instead of doing it right and replacing the fitting. It didn't leak as bad but still leaked. The hall toilet was a pain; we spent 5 hours on it. We bought a toilet auger (AKA "snake") and stuck the thing in there and it got stuck. We finally pulled it back out and nothing came loose, so we decided it must be a toy flushed down there by Alina. I'd never caught her doing this but okay, I thought, she's 2. Entirely possible.
Well we couldn't get anything working so we took the toilet up off the floor, stuck it upside down in the tub and tried from the other way. Well, apparently snakes don't work when stuck in the wrong way and so well it got stuck. Brent got home a while later and finally got this out

All we know is that its been about 3 months since we've had toilet problems and that was right in the middle of shooting the movie.... we don't really know what color it was origonally because the picture you see here shows the phone after 4 bottles of draino in various types and brands and obviously have done something to the chemical make up of the thing. Wish I'd known it was a phone down there! Who flushes a phone down the toilet at someone's house and then... doesn't tell the owners of said toilet?!?! I wouldn't have wasted $50+ on draino if I'd known this was down there! And, its not like we know who lost this phone... it's Verizon which we and our family don't have... but that's all we know. LOL well, Tamara said she had a blast but left soon after resealing the toilet and took a shower. I did the same after bleaching every inch of the toilet and bathroom and bathtub.