Saturday, February 27, 2010

Remembering to be Thankful

So after my ranting and raving this morning I'm sitting here at work where it's quiet and peacefull and people aren't coming in much at all. I'm sitting with my feet up in the service area trying to relax and catching up on reading assigned from Bible study and what do you know, God makes it a point to mention thankfulness. Of course, I'm instantly convicted. So I'm blogging again.

1) I'm thankful that my pregnancies are full term and my babies are born healthy - that I don't have any issues besides my discomfort. There are alot of moms that can't have babies or that have issues like this for the full term of their pregnancy. I'm thankful I don't have problems like that.

2) I'm thankful to have this baby. I'm thankful that God has blessed us again, for a 3rd time, with a beautiful little child to strengthen our marriage and expand our family.

3) I'm thankful that my children are so sensitive to my aches and pains and when I don't feel well they pray for me. I'm thankful that my children are respectful and I have learned how to really handle them and teach them to be who they are and who they should be.

4) I'm thankful that I am supported by an awesome husband who cares deeply about me and who stays tired and exhausted but keeps a positive additude and reminds me about the best for me and the best for the baby and the best for our family.

5) I'm thankful that my job is relaxed and my supervisors are understanding. Many places of work would not let me leave at a moments notice because I might be in labor, or there might be something wrong. My last place of work required that I stand - until I went on leave. That was really tough. I'm thankful that I've been moved to this job where I sit and hardly even have to walk.

6) I'm thankful to have a church and a family here to support me. Just a few weeks ago, on Valentines, I was talking about how blessed I felt by my church and my family and today I complained.

That's all for now. I need to get some food.

Yes it goes on and on my friends

OK. I am dedicating this post to complaining. That's right. I'm going to complain. So if you don't want to hear it skip it.

#1) My house is a wreck. If I don't constantly work on it, it gets really messy really fast. My kids are equally messy. Example of the day: Alina went into the kitchen and got a whole jar of peanut butter this morning and proceeded to feed all her action figures with it (this is at 5am before I got up... we forgot to lock the baby gate last night). Apparently that got boring so she smeared it all over them. I now have 1/2 a jar of peanut butter all over her toys, her bed, her clothes and her floor as well as on her as well. I didn't have time to bathe her this morning so she went to the sitter with peanut butter in her hair. I hate that because I look like a terrible mom that doesn't care about what her kids look like. And I really do care. I put shoes and socks and jackets on them when we go out. I wash them and brush their teeth. I just didn't bathe her this morning and she looks like a ragamuffin.

2) I am TIRED of being pregnant. Yesterday coming home from the sitter, I started having contractions. Really bad ones. I start breathing through them, I call Brent and tell him to make arrangements. I get home, lay down and start relaxing and the contractions stop. I was mad. Brent left the kids at Nene's and put me in bed at home, breathing with me, trying to get me to calm down. I was so irritable I wanted to scream at him (and probably did). I struggled and squirmed and kicked my legs around, frusterated and irritated by anything that touched me. Brent finally told me that I was going to have to relax because I wasn't in labor and I needed to stop freaking myself out so we wouldn't waste another trip to the hospital. This (although true) made me so angry that I cried hysterically for about 45 minutes before I finally went to sleep. I didn't sleep well, I woke up about every 2 or 3 hours, uncomfortable and hurting. And, although I got to sleep in this morning, I was grumpy and had to clean up a huge sticky mess when I got up.

3) My husband is tired. I like taking care of him when he's tired and worn out. I like fixing a nice dinner, tucking him in, having the kids in bed, etc when he gets home. But I'm tired too. And I can't do very many things right now. I can't even stand up for very long without having to sit back down, much less cook a meal or feed his dog so he doesn't have to or wash his clothes like he asked me to 3 days ago. And really, I may be miserable and all, but he's had very little sleep too. He probably has only had one good full night sleep in the last 4 days. And it's not fair that no one asks how he's feeling and how he's doing and if he's ready for this baby. Because he works just as hard as I do to have this baby. He might not be pushing it out of him but he's staying up sleepless night after sleepless night, trying to make me breathe regularly, and then going to work at his full-time-super-hard-labor job where he's lifting and throwing 45lb tires and leaning over car hoods all day long. I'm not being fair to him by not taking care of him and that makes me angry. But I can't hardly take care of him becuase I can't do much of anything and I really honesltly can't - not the fake I don't feel like it can't.

4) The world doesn't stop simply because I'm having my baby sometime in the next 3 weeks. I still have to work. I still have to drive. I still have to get the bills paid. I still have to drop off paperwork at the Clerk of Courts because of this stupid case against Capital One where they litterally have no ground against me because I've been paying them for a year solid, every month on the same day. I still have to get up and take the kids to the sitter and pay the sitter and buy the groceries and call my family and my friends and all I hear is "when are you due again" or "has the baby come yet" or "any news" and I really just want to wear a sign on my forehead that says "NO I HAVEN'T HAD THE BABY YET AND I'M GOING CRAZY!!"

5) The more I think about it and the more I walk around and live life, the more angry I am that I am walking around at 2cm and no one seems to notice that I might be uncomfortable. Given, I have an appointment with Cheryl on Monday and I'm sure she'll have some ideas. But Brent doesn't even seem to want to try home-remedies because it's "too early" and we might get sent back home. In the meantime, I'm having to function like a normal person and I'm litterally paused half through labor. And, if Judah decides to come as fast as Raziel did whenever he decides to come, I could really only have 45 minutes to get to the hospital and get in before he comes out. I dont want it to be that way. After Raziel's birth, I was in post-labor pain and kept having contractions for a whole 12 hours. My body had basically delivered him too fast and was trying to catch up. I was miserable. I don't want to do that again.

6) Which brings me to how I am sick and tired of my co-worker being so freaking on edge about this baby. He's 63 bless his old person soul, but good lord, every time I sigh or anything he freaks out and is ready to kick everyone out of the store and drive me to the hospital. This just makes matters worse. And I don't like him much so I would despise for him to be the one taking me to the hospital.

I'm tired of not being hungry.
I'm tired of having indigestion.
I'm tired of my back and legs hurting.
I'm tired of telling people any day now
I'm tired of having people tell me to relax.
I'm tired of wondering when Judah's really coming.
I'm tired of waiting.
I'm tired of packing and unpacking my toiletries.
I'm tired of hurting all the time.
I'm tired of trying to be nice.
I'm tired of everything.

And the baby hasn't even come yet. I haven't even ventured the world of no sleep and nursing every 3 hours and infant diapers and "Raziel don't hit Judah"

OK. I know I'm whiney. I can't help it today. I wanted to whine. It's that or cry hysterically and being as how I'm at work that's not really an option.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Juuuust Kidding

So after a very hectic round of phone tag, I left work early on Wednesday afternoon to head over to my OB. My back had been hurting really badly all day and I was getting to where I couldn't really stand - but no contractions. I went out to grab lunch and sat quietly in the car for a bit and started noticing contractions - 1 minute long, every 12 minutes. "OK, time to go," I thought.

I head down to my OB going 65 mph down the 40 mph highway just challenging a cop to stop a woman in labor. I get there around 3:30 and my OB checks me. Between 1 and 2 cm but still rather thick. So, they monitor me for an hour. Minute long contractions every 8 minutes - like clockwork. She comes back and checks me again. 2cm! WOOOHOO Judah is coming!! A conversation between my midwife and the doctor she works with suggests me to go home, pack my bags and try to rest.

So, I call in to work, tell them I'm not coming back, and I make my way home. I hurriedly pack the bags for the 2 kids, calls being made this whole time "oh the baby's coming! I'm in labor!" and arrangements are made for Alina and Raziel's care for the evening as well as Thursday. I pack up a bag for Brent and I, lovingly picking out the bring home outfit and some blankets for Judah, and go crawl into the bed because by now I'm stopping every 5 minutes to breathe.

Brent gets off around 6:00 and calls to see what the progress is. I'm laying in bed, unable to fall asleep, still having contractions. He gets the kids and takes them directly to Nene's and comes over to see how I am. I tell him I'm hurting but it will be a little while. He brings me some water and I lay in the bed relaxing. Around 9:30 I fall asleep. Brent breathes a sigh of relief, thinking it was just braxton hicks. Around 11 I wake up and wake Brent up, "honey, its worse" I'm breathing through contractions every 3-4 minutes. Brent leaps out of bed and starts throwing things in the car. (he hadn't done so thinking I wasn't gonna have the baby that night since I fell asleep.) I keep having contractions, they're bad too. We fly down the road to the hospital.

Brent pulls up beside the entrance and drops me off. The woman in registry took FOREVER. It was her last night - she was retiring apparently. But she still took way too freaking long and wouldn't let Brent register for me (as they had with Raziel). FINALLY the woman lets us go back. A nurse brings a wheelchair since I'm not doing too well walking and she wheels us back to the pre-labor unit to see what's going on. No broken water, no strange discharge, no signs of labor except the TERRIBLY regular contractions - same with both children before. I change into a gown and crawl into the bed. Blood pressure is a bit high, I look a little dehydrated, and am still at 2cm. But, no worries, I checked in at 2cm with Raziel and delivered him 45 minutes later, right?

So we monitor contractions. 60 seconds long every 3-5 minutes - very regular. We watch some TV, drink alot of water, and wait. An hour later the nurse comes back to check on me. I'm still miserable but I'm still in that in-between place. I'm wondering to myself if I'm just tolerating the pain better since I know what's going on and I'm not freaking out... this was my assumtion. But, no change. The nurse suggests waiting it out another hour and seeing how it goes. Well, an hour comes and goes and I'm still hanging out at 2cm. It gets to be 2:30am and the nurse goes to talk to our midwife on call (same practice as mine but not Cheryl). They say we can do one of 2 things; 1) try walking for an hour and see if we make progress or 2) take some painkiller and go home and try to sleep again. Brent and I opt for option 1 and we go walking.

This 60 minutes of my life is excruciatingly long. I'm tired. I'm in pain. I'm deliberately walking, trying to convince things to get stronger and make change. I know I'm getting no where. I'm sobbing as I walk the big loop around post-partum, hearing other women's newborn's crying for their mothers or for milk or whatever they need. My nurse checks me at 30 minutes. Still no change. I walk more. I'm staying hydrated, I'm still frusterated, I'm exhausted and emotionally worn out. By the time we go back to our room I'm feeling hopeless. The nurse checks me again. 2cm. I broke out in tears again and started sobbing.

She says something about how I am having contractions and she sees that on the machiene even, I guess she's trying to tell me I haven't lost my mind. I'm dying in pain and sobbing my heart out. This is like when I had Alina - we went back and forth and I never had any progress. By the time I actually went into labor I was too tired to really participate in her delivery. I'm so hysterical I can't put together sentances. Brent tells the lady we think we should just go home. She gives me a shot of morphine in the hip to help settle down my body. She tells us that this should stop the contractions and reminds us of the signs of labor like contractions every 3 minutes, broken water or bleeding. She leaves us for another 20 minutes so I can calm down and we can be sure the contractions start slowing down.

They eventually stop and I'm so loopy I can't verbalize much of anything. Brent is exhausted. We head home - and arrive around 5am. I feel so terrible for keeping Brent up late that I make a pizza in the microwave. He can't call in because he (finally) got approved to have one personal day off without a write up whenever the baby comes - but only one. So Brent has to get up and go to work in 3 hours. We scarf down the pizza and collapse into the bed. Brent got to sleep until 8:15 and I slept all day Thursday. I woke up occasionally to answer a text or answer a call. I got up a few times to pee, and eventually to feed Odin and make grilled cheese and popcorn for everyone for dinner. Brent and the kids got home around 8:30 (they had car trouble) and we all sat in the bed and watched Mork & Mindy eating grilled cheese and popcorn. The kids were both so happy to see me and I was glad to see them too. We put them in bed after a bit and Brent and I both collapsed in an exhausted sleep.

Brent woke up a few times, asking if the baby was okay and did we need to go to the hospital. I think he was dreaming because I wasn't in pain. (or if I was I was way too loopy to realize it.)

Today, I am at work.. I am uncomfortable. Everything is sore and hurts. My stomach and uterus are all exhausted feeling, and Judah seems to be taking up more room than usual. I am having frequent short pains and constant aches. Well, no wonder. I was in labor for over 12 hours and got to 2 cm and then they decided to stop my labor. I don't know how much longer it will be before baby comes. I'm worn out and not worth much of anything at work today. I have paperwork and things that need done and I'm having a hard time motivating myself to do any of it.

Pray for me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Getting ready for Judah is really a wonderful thing but I'm so not ready. OK the house is finally clean (mostly.... Brent was home with the kids yesterday and their rooms were terrorized buuuut at least it was contained to their rooms besides a bit of mess in the living room that I've already cleaned up). And, the bassinett is set up, clothes are washed and ready for baby but Mommy has yet to pack her bags or the bags for Alina and Raziel when they go to stay with Nene. So maybe I should get on that.... like yesterday.

You know what's gonna happen, right? I'm gonna go to pack these bags and things and go into labor. So really, I shouldn't pack until Saturday because I really want the baby to come on a Saturday night or Sunday morning so that Brent can be there with me. The way it stands right now, Brent has no vacation time or personal time until August so if Judah decides to come along on like, a thursday morning, for example, Brent won't neccesarily be availible. And I don't want to deliver by myself. And I don't want to drive myself. I'm thinking about asking Tamara to be my back-up labor-coach in case Brent can't be there but I'm not sure how I feel about that... I don't want a back up. I want my husband.

So, needless to say, every Saturday and Sunday night between now and whenever Judah shows up, Brent and I are hard-core working on natural induction. Spicy food, walking, anything and everything in the book. And then, if he doesn't come, we lay off on Monday and take it easy all week. If there's anything we can actually do to influence his arrival, it will be done!

I guess it makes me mad that Brent's job is so stupid. They aren't reasonable about time off and such. Its stupid to me how the whole system works. I guess I'm just spoiled in jobs where if I have a reason thats decent than they understand. Its not like I'll get paid time off or whatever neccesarily but I don't get fired because of a family emergency, you know? I wonder really how much of the policy is really THAT strict or if Brent just hasn't been explained it properly. It frusterates me that I can't really investigate further into how it all works and stuff and that I should just trust him on it. Though he's my husband, and I really should just trust him and plus who am I to think I know better than him? He works there after all. I don't. LOL. That's mighty arrogant to think I know better than him.

OK well I have things to take care of today at the store and in the way of paying off bills. Oh and I have to file AGAIN that these crazy lawyer people are out of their freaking minds. I have a court case with Capitol One. They're saying I haven't paid on my account and that I refuse to pay. I've been paying them for a year. They get a check every month. They brought up the case in October and I filed a response showing where I've been paying and where they've been cashing the checks. Yeah. Then I get another court document that I need to file a response to another claim that I haven't paid anything. Stupid people. Apparently they don't know how to document or something.

Monday, February 22, 2010


We had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday the kids and I went out in the morning, had McDonalds for breakfast and then headed to Chattanooga. We went to Babies R US to spend a $25 giftcard we got at the baby shower. I bought bottles, nipples, and some really awesome sippy cups that were buy one get one half off. (I paid $1.20) Then we headed to Target so I could spend some money -- bought 4 new bras (woohoo!), a shower curtain, and flip flops for the kids. We stopped for lunch at Wendy's, then we headed over to McKay's bookstore and I traded in some pregnancy books that I had duplicates to and we bought some Brad Paisley CD's and some kids books for Alina too. (I paid $2.38)

We got home around 2 o'clock and the kids crashed pretty hardcore for naptime. I cleaned the WHOLE house! That's right -- the dishes are (finally) all finished, the laundry is all washed and mostly put away. There is a pile for Brent to hang up today. The bathroom is clean and looks wonderful with its new shower curtain. The kids rooms are spic and span, and I even took a load of trash out to the dump. The living room is clean, the bedroom is clean.... I need to wash the kids sheets but it's not too pressing. I will have to wait till I have some dirty clothes to throw in with it. I was really super impressed with how clean I got the house.

Sunday we went to church and had a lovely time there :) I'm still getting over how nice it is to have my hubby there with me. We had a $10 pizza at Pizza Hut (one of those $18 pizzas they're doing for $10 right now) and came home for naptime. Brent and I enjoyed relaxing without the kids for a while. I cooked that 8lb ham I'd gotten from Tamara and made sweet potatoes and cheddar broccoli for dinner. It was really pretty awesome if I say so myself.

Well that was my awesome weekend. I'm way too busy to blog more.

Friday, February 19, 2010


So we got our state return yesterday and I mentioned to Brent that it might have been the whole tax return but the bank holds deposits over a certain amount (and a $5,000 deposit would qualify) for an extra day to verify it. Well I guess I was right because there was a $5,388 deposit in my account bright and early this morning and I was EXCITED!!

Its just fun to open your bank account page and see a huge number like that on the screen. WOoohoo!!

So, I paid up our morgatge (we'd fallen a bit behind) and called a few creditors to find out settlement amounts. Victoria's Secret continues to be total ********* when it comes to anytime I call them. If you remember a few months ago (November I think) they were the ones that wanted to charge me $9.95 a month to make payments by phone and didn't want to tell me I could mail a check? Anyways, now I called to get a settlement arrangement and they quoted me a price and I told them they were out of their minds because they'd quoted me lower origonally and then I've paid $60 in the meantime so they can just try agin. He finally came to what is approximately 50% minus the payments I've made and I told him that'd be fine and I'd mail a check. Well dude says if I send a check a settlement won't be made, and it was to be done on the phone to settle and close the account so it will cost the extra $9.95. Well, I can live with that to be done with them. So I tell him I have to chat with my husband about it and I'd call back tomorrow. Well, homeboy gets really rude and basically tells me they won't make that deal with me tomorrow and I have to do it today. I told him, firmly, that I was going to talk to my husband about it and basically he couldn't bully me into anything and I'll just call back tomorrow and do the same thing I did today to get that offer and they'd give it to me, I'm sure. He wasn't too happy with me. Poor baby. It's so stupid to me. I'm calling you to pay off this debt you've been trying to collect on and you're being a jerk about it? Wonderful. Great way to do business. HAHA.

Well I am excited though because I was betting on paying Victoria's secret $300 and I'm going to pay off for less than $200 so that's pretty freaking AWESOME. At&t wasn't so nice... I owe them $300 and I need to pay $300 and that's that. LOL, oh well. Good thing I called At&t back when I first got that bill becuase it was initially like $576 or something and I had to work them down to $300. I can handle paying the $300 because I know I owe them that much and it's not like increased from the principle or anything. VS has been collecting interest for ages before I even realized I still owed them money. I had like a remaining balance of $85 and I stopped getting bills and voila suddenly they say I owe them $413. Funny how that works. And no, they wouldn't let me cut the check for $85 and call it even. LOL.

Well so once I collect all the proper information from the peeps we owe money to, Brent and I are going to sit down tonight with all the figures and chat about priorities and what to do when. I'm really glad to be getting our debts settled and still have money for fun things.... like interior decorating!!

JUDAH UPDATE: Had an OB appt this morning. My midwife is of the additude that if I'm not worried she's not worried so I'm at 36 weeks and they haven't checked my cervix in months LOL (well since the kidney stone I guess). I love Cheryl, and I really hope she's the one who delivers Judah. She's guessing it'll be another week or two, though he's definitely head-down and (womanly-warning) she said I'm swelling alot in that reigon. They did the strep test today which is why she was even looking around at all. (sorry lol). She's guessing he'll be around 7 lbs and he seems to be about 5lbs right now (so hoping for the full 4 more weeks here for the sake of my paycheck arrangements!)

She also asked (again) how long I was in labor with Raziel and encouraged me not to wait around and do laundry if I think I'm in labor. She said just go to the hospital and don't run errands on the way because I just don't won't have much time whenever I'm actually in labor. Which it is funny that she told me not to do laundry because that's totally my nature... oh, contractions, no big deal, I'll just finish up washing this pot and we'll pack up the kids and go on over to Nene's and then yeah I'll make it over there to the hospital eventually. Cheryl knows the life of a mother way too well :-)

That's all the fun for now kids. TTYL!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Today is Thursday

Well today is Thursday. I've been thinking it was Thursday all week, reminding myself of the OB appt I have tomorrow and the fact that I needed to be here at 9am today instead of 10am. I wake up around 7:30, give Raziel a bottle, and go to check on Alina. She'd made a mess already.... she ate the apple I left for her last night after we went to bed and had helped herself to mini-wheats which effectively made a crumbly mess in her room but a quick sweep resolved that.

She decided to play in her room some more so I went back to bed for a bit until she came into our room around 8 saying something about her hands being yucky. I asked her what it was and she said it was poop and it was from her butt. So that ended my sleeping in. We washed hands, doorknobs and clothing. She hadn't made that big of a mess -- she actually stuck her fingers in her diaper and realized she was messy and came to inform me without touching much - if anything.

Dressed both kids, I'm about to hop into the shower at 8:15 when I realize suddenly that I should have left at 7:30 this morning and not 8:30 becuase I had to be at work early. My wonderful, loving, amazing husband not only took the kids and was a bit late to work himself so I wouldn't be late, but he also took the time to start my car before he left and he left it running so it would warm up while I was getting ready.

Between this disasterous morning, it's really sunk in how smart Alina is and how much she understand about life. Alina came into my room (I don't really know when, it was before I realized I was late) and sat in my lap and asked if Judah was coming today. I told her probably not today, but soon. She told me that she loved Judah and was ready for him to get here. I told her it wouldn't be too much longer. Daddy came in and joined the conversation, and Alina proceeded to tell us how she and Judah were going to play together and paint together, and that Judah would paint a picture of her. Brent told her that he would do that eventually, but when Judah first comes, he'll be really little and won't do much but lay there. Alina didn't quite grasp this and insisted that Judah would be ready to play whenever he showed up. Trying to clarify further, Brent said "no, honey, the baby is going to be a new baby. A really little one, like your baby dolls." Alina looks at me and then Brent and asks "Mommy's having Dante?" Confused, Brent and I exchange looks and say "no, Mommy's having Judah (thinking she just was interchanging names again.) She thinks for a second and then asks "Mommy's having another Judah?" It was then that it occured to us that Alina did not think of Judah as a "new" baby because he was already an accepted part of the family and that new would imply a person not in the family yet. It astonished me that my 3 year old graps so firmly that this baby in mommy's tummy is a valued member of the family and that she already loves him, and that it's been this way long enough that Judah is not "new."

If only the country as a whole could grasp that.

She's really ready for him to be here -- moreso than me probably! Last night Alina picked out one of her small (beanie babie size) teddy bears and brought it to Judah's bassinett asking if she could give it to him as a present. This morning while she was riding with Brent, she was singing songs and asking Brent if he thought Judah would like each song. She said she was practicing to sing to him. It touches me how sweet and loving she is and the baby hasn't even arrived yet.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feeling Better

I'm totally feeling alot better now. My cough is almost totally gone and I have no more headache or fever or anything.

Yesterday was good. I got home around 6:45 and Brent got home at about 7:15 with the kids. I was able to get Alina's room nice and clean (she'd opened grits and rubbed it on the floor with koolaid and it had dried... yuck) and I cleaned Raziel's room, and the bathroom as well... started some laundry, sorted and folded some of the clothes and made grilled cheese for dinner.

This morning, we had a really good morning. Brent and I both slept really well (I didn't wake up coughing all night!) and we got up out of the bed around 7:45. OK, Brent got up at 7:45 and I was out of the bed before 8. Brent had already started the shower when I waddled in there. Alina was awake and hanging out in her room. She had decided not to go exploring this morning for breakfast (YES!) because I'd left her juice and an apple on her table so she'd have it available without having to poke around anywhere for food. Raziel was happily playing in his crib, diaperless. He's gotten into this strange new habit of taking off his diaper. We don't know why. He'll do it even if he's wearing a full one-piece outfit, and we have yet to figure out how he does that because he doesn't unbutton himself. We just find him without a diaper on and the diaper laying somewhere nearby. This morning is was just a wet one - thank goodness. I stuck a new diaper on him and gave him some bread and milk and hopped in the shower and it was really just lovely. I hope that every morning from now on goes so smoothly!

We are still waiting on our tax return. It was filed like on the 2nd and the IRS site says they've received it and we'll have it back by February 23rd. Wow. Way to go, IRS, I know it takes that long to cut a check and put it in my bank account. Anyway, they are taking their sweet time and I am impatient. I get to go bra shopping as soon as we get it back, and I need it! I haven't bought new bras in over a year and a half and the ones I have are all falling apart now. So, I need to throw them out and buy a new stock, but I can't until we get the money for it. I was going to go to Victoria's secret but I think I'm really too rough on my underwear to pay that much for every-day use stuff so I'm gonna try some Walmart stuff and see how it works out.

Brent and I are also investing in a desktop computer for our film business. (No Mom, not Internet yet, just a computer) We're getting a super-duper one with bells and whistles that's made specifically for film editing for about $800.... it has like 8GB of ram and a terabyte of something and a video card that's top notch... and that's about all I've retained of the endless string of specs Brent has been talking about besides that it's a 19" monitor which is the size of a small TV. Brent is also finally replacing his PS3 (they're down to $300 now!) and purchasing a few games he's really excited about. Besides those small fun things (really, the computer is more of a business investment and less about the fun) we're putting all remaining towards debt and a big chunk is going into savings. I am proud of Brent and I because we're getting a $6,000 check and we're only spending about $500 on fun things and all the rest is being sensible, responsible adults working on building our credit, our business, and getting out of debt. Its hard to do that when you're looking at that big of a check.

On lunch today I am running down to Target to buy the carseat with my 10% off coupon that I got in the mail. I am excited about it! I'm also buying some little baskets for the boys closet so that I can have my laundry basket back (it's holding Judah's recently washed clothes right now). Saturday I'm going up to the Babies R us to spend the $25 gift card on sensible things - bottles, pacifiers, nursing pads, etc - that I haven't stopped to stock up on yet. Babies R Us isn't the cheapest place to buy this kind of stuff, but I don't need any more clothes or blankets and so I'm going to use it for things we do need.

I am hoping that with the 30 minutes or so I have at home after work before Brent and the kids get home, I'll be able to keep up with the house and catch up on the things I've been lacking. We're making progress on the dishes though I've discovered that my dishwasher (which doesn't work but I've used as a drainer) has a bad leak and every time I wash dishes, all the water that drips off of them ends up in my floor. So that adds another project to the list of things to work on.

I am super excited because Brent's check this week was supposed to have $150 go towards food and gas but with all the conscientious purchasing I've been doing lately, we don't need any food! It has been an act of discipline to continue eating the same boring foods consistently (there's been variety, just not fun stuff like frozen pizzas)... but we're doing really well and I think we've made a big step of progress in our finances as a result of this. I do want to go and buy beef so that I can make some stew sometime soon, but this is not going to happen until we need to go grocery shopping again.

Well, I don't have too much more to say for the time being. I've finally finished my thank you notes and I think I'm going to go watch the Food Network whilst I sit around at work getting paid to do... nothing.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Man on the Phone

Sometimes I wonder what in the heck is the matter with the man on the other end of the phone. In this case, I just want to know who raised him and who in the heck taught him manners, or if anyone did for that matter.

Yesterday we recieved a letter in the mail from a credit collection agency, stating that they could get us a settlement on a $289 bill. It stated there was further information regarding the creditor on the back, but all the back stated was the name of some company I've never heard of and the same dollar amount as the front stated. There was nothing at all that would tell me what in the world this supposed debt came from. So, I called them up today because I felt it was important to resolve said debt if it is indeed ligit.

So I call in and I describe to the man who I was and why I was calling. I provided him with the correct numbers and codes on the letter so he could pull up the account. I asked, very politely, if he could provide me with information on the creditor their company was representing because neither myself or my husband had any knowledge of this debt. The man was not very communicative - I could tell that he was either not practiced or just not any good at this telemarketing-type job. He said his name about 5 times, stumbling and stuttering in between, and going on to read the little thing they have to tell you about how the call could be recorded and that it's an attempt to collect a debt. I say this not to make fun of him but to point out that I noticed his uncomfortable aire and was going to make it a point to be patient with his fumbling.

Once he got all that out, he pulls up our account and tells me about the settlement arrangement that they were offering. I told the man, very politely, that I was aware of their offer but just wanted information on where this debt had origonated because I did not recognize the names on the invoice. The gentleman told me "Emergency Services." Well, I don't know about you, but there's alot of things that could qualify as emergency services and that doesn't exactly stick out in my mind like "oh this is your victoria's secret credit card" would. I ask him who that was. The gentleman repeated the name again two or three times and I finally tell him that I understood the name he'd stated but that I didn't know who that was. I asked him if there was an incident date listed. So, he goes back and pulls up record of an emergency room visit from May of 2006 and gives me yet another name - Medcore something-or-other that was clearly an abbreviation. I told the man, very patiently, that I remembered this visit and had not recieved anything with this amount on it as far as I could remember and asked, AGAIN, for clarification as to what this bill was for. (this is the 6th time at this point that I've asked who was billing me and why).

Well the gentleman says the Med-something name again and says that it was some kind of bill from this emergency room visit and goes on to offer me the settlement sum again. I tried to interject several times that I still didn't understand. Well the guy starts to get rude - I guess he was frusterated that I wasn't taking this spectacular deal he had to offer. Eventually I raised my voice a bit and asked him if he'd let me ask a question please. He finished whatever he'd been saying and told me to go ahead. I explained very simply that I did not know why we would have any remaining bills from this incident because we'd resolved them all with the hospital back in 2006. He said that Med-core-whatever had taken care of alot of the debt but that we were left with a bill of $289 and then (again) offers the settlement.

OK, I don't know about you, but I believe I've told him about 15 times that I don't understand this bill and I don't know why I'm being charged it and by this point I'm getting frusterated - mostly because he's CLEARLY not listening. I'm not asking him to make it go away, I'm just asking him to tell me who is billing me and why before I dish out any amount to some random person that I'm talking to on the phone with some random collection agency. The man goes on to ask if I'd like to go ahead with the settlement. I told him no, because I had never recieved a bill for this amount and I needed further information before I was sending anyone a check for anything. Well, he continues to get more hateful with me and says that it was probably the ambulance call that we made and I owed this money.

I begin to tell the man that I wasn't paying anything until I had further information about this debt but he interrupts me and says "here's what I'll do for you" and tells me that he's sending my account back to these Medcare people with the request for information and they'd bill me out the full $289 and I'd owe that to them. I tell him I just need to know who they are and why I'm being billed and I'd pay the debt if I really do owe it. He interrupts me (again) and tells me that he'd just explained he'd send it back and they'd give me full detailed records of the event and the billing action and get it signed by us etc. He wouldn't listen to me at all. I didn't need the full detailed report, I just want to know WHO IT IS!!

I'm not entirely convinced that this was anything but a scam. I didn't provide them with our ss#'s and did nothing but verify the information that he stated. They had all the right info so I don't really know if they were real or not. It was stupid that he couldn't simply say "oh we don't have that information, let me get it sent to you" or tell me what it was.

The thing that gets me is that he wouldn't let me talk. At all. Every time I began to ask a question or explain that I remembered the incident but had been told all the debt was resolved, or anything at all, he'd interrupt me and treat me as if I was dodging the situation. If I really do owe these Medcore people $289 from that emergency room visit, by all means, I'll pay it off! But, I've never heard of them, don't remember getting any bills after we talked to the hospital, and don't know why I wouldn't be recieving bills if I still owed these people $289 from 4 years ago. And, plus, who is he to treat me that way? I was decent enough to call in when I got a letter from them about it instead of just throwing it away. What in the heck was he so upset about really?!?!?!

Sorry, I had to vent about the man on the phone.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Valentines

I had a wonderful Valentine's day. Brent was a good hubby and brought home a boquet of roses and some other pink flower along with a box of chocolate for me (that was Saturday night). Sunday was very nice. We were both off :-) and we slept in and then went to church together.

I loved spending time with Brent at church. It was so encouraging to see Brent playing with the kids, spending time with the kids, dancing and singing with them, worshiping and stopping to pick them up with the biggest grin ever.... I think it was good for him as much as it was for me. It's like all God wanted to say to us on Sunday was "See? I'm listening. I know better than you." Like my own personal love gift from Him.

Sunday afternoon we relaxed pretty hardcore. I have this horrible cough. It started as a sore throat and headache, I lost my voice for a day, then it morphed into the coughing beast. I talked to my OB and they let me take Robitussin DM and that's been helping. I haven't taken it EVERY 4 hours but I've been taking it pretty frequently because I just can't sleep at night because I cough too much. Last night I hardly slept till about 6 am and then only for about 2 hours. But, Sunday afternoon the kids took like a 3 hour nap and played quietly for another hour so Brent and I just slept the day away, cuddling and relaxing and doing nothing special. We'd had plans to clean the kitchen and the rest of the house. HAHA.

So Alina is getting too big. She can open her door now. So she lets herself out in the morning, goes and gets some form of breakfast and usually gives some to Raziel. The first morning we realized she could do this that breakfast was oreos. Several of them. Since then we've gotten smarter and the sweets are high up out of reach and the nutritious, non-messy, non-choking-hazard foods are easy to reach. I'm thinking of even keeping a few bottles of milk on the low shelf in the fridge since Alina just helps herself and gets food for Raziel too. How horrible is that?!?! She's good about shutting the fridge though.... and if it's prepped healthy snacks and things, that's just encouraging independance, right?

I am going to go and get that carseat today. They have it in stock at our Target, and I got a 10% off coupon from Target in the mail yesterday. Oh, and I'm so excited! Yesterday, at church, God did another really cool thing. I remember a while ago talking to Brent about moving to Charleston because I was lonely. I told him I didn't have any friends and wasn't making friends and I was tired of it. Well, since then we looked at houses and things and decided to just sorta stay here and see how things went.

Of course, I've gotten really close to my friend Tamara and I'm really happy at my job, and I've been able to get closer to my family through google and blogging and such... but it was another one (well 3) of those God saying "hey, I do listen to you" moments right back to back during meet&greet at church. Chelle Regal, one of the ladies at church with kids came up to me and gave me some jeans for Raziel that her daughter had outgrown (boy jeans) and asked when the baby was due. I told her and she said that she'd really like to make dinner for us when we had Judah. I was sooo excited! I remember being at churches where people made dinners for other people when they had babies or got sick or someone died or something, and I'd always been sad that no one had ever offered to do something like that for my family because to me it was a huge act of 2 things -- 1) they noticed your struggle and 2) they wanted to help. I'm so blessed to be in a church that someone walked up to me and said "I want to provide dinner for you when you have your baby."

Then, before Chelle and I were even finished chatting, Darien (my cell group leader) walked up to us and told me she wanted to ask me something. She and others in the cell group and other members of the church are going to all get together and get as many diapers together for us as they can. WOW!! What a blessing! I told her we already had a few newborns (thanks to Walgreens sale) so size 1's would be best. Between Walgreens and the church, I won't have to buy diapers for MONTHS. Litterally.

And then, right after church, we went to lunch with Tamara and Brian at Taco Bell. We were chatting about the church giving us diapers and Tamara informed me that she was not donating diapers to our cause. I laughed and said that was okay and she went on to tell me that she's making a sling for me. I am so excited! I've got a front-pack that my mom made, and I have a heavy-duty-hiking backpack for a bigger kid, but I have never owned a sling. The major thing that I am excited about in the sling is that (when properly made and worn) you can breastfeed while the baby is in the sling and you don't need any extra cover-up and no one can even tell your feeding the baby. This sounds AWESOME. Plus, I've always been interested in using a sling vs a front pack because my friends have all talked about how much they liked their slings but I have never asked for one because I have the front-pack and it does the job well. Anyway, Tamara wanted to make one for me so that's what I'm going to use this baby and I'm excited to see how it works.

Anyways, that was my valentines. Flowers and chocolate from my husband plus a LOVELY afternoon, and blessing upon blessing from God and I am just a happy happy camper.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Judah Preperations

Preperations are under way (now that I'm at 35 weeks haha). The pack and play is set up in our bedroom with the bassinet in it. I washed everything (clothes and sheets and blankets) in the dermetologist recommended stuff. It's piled neatly in a basket... it will end up in the mini-closet I have in Raziel's room, but I haven't bought the little baskets I need for it yet for Judah's clothes so it's still just in a laundry basket.

Lately I've been thinking alot about finishing the boys room... Painting it the rest of the way, organizing the closet, setting things up for... well for a baby. Which is funny because Raziel's been in there for a while but he's so laid back and chill. I want to do maybe a cute white and blue theme for them... Brent wants to make it Mario. Well, okay, maybe there's a way to make that cute. Maybe I could paint the walls white the rest of the way, border 3 walls with light blue and some light green, and then make a Mario mural on the last wall. It could be really cute. And, it could be a boy room that a boy would want. Really, how many boys will want polka dots and swirlys? I mean, I love Alina's room with all the dragon flies and butterflies and flowers. It's really sweet. When will I do all this painting I'm ready for? After the dishes get done. LOL

I have looked online and picked out a few carseats I like... I've opted to go convertible. You have all these inserts and stuff for infancy and it works rearfacing or forward. This will eliminate the need for another carseat purchase once he's one.

This one was really cool looking, and I thought it would be super neat. But then I looked at the price tag and well... Let's just say that the Riley clan (Sarah, her mom and her sister) were very generous but $299.99 is a bit extravagant.

This one was really cool too, high ratings, etc... but you know, $319.99 is pretty over the top.

So I think we're choosing this one. It's very reasonably priced around $80 which will allow the gift card to cover taxes and we may still have $15 or so for diapers and whatnot. I wanted to make it a point to purchase a carseat that was close to the same price as the giftcard because that's what it was given for but I really like this one better than some of the ones that are right at $100 so I'm just going to buy the one that I want (lol I'm sure thats okay) and use the rest for other baby items.

I'm not sure though, I'm going to look at it with Brent and go from there....

Maybe I should stop biding my time and start being ready for this baby :-)

Snowy Saturday

Its funny, I've been sitting here at work for 3 hours and the minute I stop reading and start typing my blog for the day, a customer pulls up.

Ok now that that's done.

Whole family has a nasty runny nose and I suspect the headaches and sore throat has got the kids as well as Brent and I though they can't really tell me as well as Brent can. I've got a nice thick cough that I expect Brent will have tomorrow (because he's about one day behind me in this sickness). The OB okayed me on Robitussin DM and I've been taking that pretty regularly because I can't take any more time off work and the first night I was sick I couldn't sleep at all and that just won't work for me when I've only got a few weeks til Judah shows up.

My sister called this morning to tell me they got snow in Charleston. I'm really happy for them because I don't think Alisha or Tim have ever really seen snow at all... The way I understand it they got "a few inches" though from the pictures I think I'd say they got about an inch, since it's not even stuck to the trees. David said people are calling in to work because it's not safe to drive and places are staying closed... haha.

Well, okay, last year here would've been the same. The beginning of the winter this year, maybe then as well. But today we have about 3 inches on the ground -- the good fluffy kind, too. This is about our 4th or 5th snow this winter, each time we've gotten between 2 and 5 inches. I'm glad Charleston finally got some but it's funny how we southerners react when we get snow and ice on the ground.... as if the little patches of white on the grass would impact our ability to drive. In Charleston, its more difficult to drive when it rains since all the water sits on the road and drains to nowhere. Haha. Well, they'll live through it I'm sure. Clint lives in Minnesota (Brent's brother) and keeps picking on me for complaining about the cold and the snow on Facebook. He thinks its funny when we talk about the 3 inches we got like it was significant or worth noting on FB.

I'm looking forward to Brent having tomorrow off. His new schedule is officially in effect. He works Tues-Saturday 9-6 and is off on Sundays and Mondays. It's REALLY good. And, he's been really encouraged lately by a few things.

#1) the boss (coop)that he has a hate/hate relationship with that got that promotion/move thing called him up this morning because there was a position open along with the one Coop got traveling around and working visual sets for other stores. It'd be a bit of a raise for Brent but he'd be traveling 5 days of the week. Anyway, Coop called to ask Brent if he wanted the job because Coop was asked if there was anyone he'd like to have work with him and Brent was the only one he'd want to bring from the shop he worked in Dalton. Brent was very flattered, though he had to decline due to the travel thing.

#2) There's a girl that's been working with Brent for some time named Sam. Brent and Sam have always been complete polar anomilties. One day they get along great, laugh, talk about crazy things they're both into (she's an EMT and Brent studies alot of health stuff being a CPT). The next day they both hate eachother's guts and try to get eachother fired. Don't know why. Brent has always tried on the bad days to be encouraging and sweet and all to Sam but there are days nothing worked to make the day better. I could tell you all kinds of horror stories about their days working together... Anyways, it'd been more bad than good for a long time, and Sam got a job offer working on an ambulance (what she went to school for, just hadn't landed a job yet). Friday was her last day. Sam didn't make it a point to say goodbye to anyone, she didn't even say it to most people she worked with, she just left. But, she made it a point to say goodbye to Brent and give him a hug and she cried! (what?!) Anyway, it was funny and in a strange way encouraging because Brent had always tried so hard to be kind to her and she apparently felt that he cared about her enough to realize he'd miss her.... (in a totally plutonic way).

Oh, my Walgreens deal of the week. OK so me and Tamara were watching the sales, waiting for a good diaper deal. We've been watching Walgreens for a few weeks because they've been running a $9.99 Huggies sale and you get $3 register rewards (a voucher off your next purchase) and we had a $2 off cupon from the manufacture. This would leave the diapers at $5 a pack (for 30-something diapers). Well, you had to buy like 3 packs to get this deal and it just wasn't quite good enough to really justify the purchase... It was a good deal, sure, but it netted out to be about the same as buying Luv's in bulk at Walmart. This week, they went down to $8.99 and we were thrilled because that was a good deal. THEN -- Friday, Walgreens ran a 15%off sale on all products. So, the diapers were actually $7.65 a pack. Plus, the $2 off cupon and $3 register rewards, they netted out at $2.65 a pack. BUT - there is also another sale at Walgreens for Men's Dove Body wash (which we also had a cupon for) to get a $6 and get $6 in RR when you bought it... Here's what we did:
1) Buy Men's body wash for $5.99 & a 99c box of kleenex (which i needed, coulda picked some cheap candy though) ($6.98)
-- Save 15% making it $5.94
-- use a $1.50 manufacture's cupon
-- use a $3 RR from a previous transaction (counts as a cupon, which is why you needed the candy)
-- Pay $1.44 plus tax (about $2)
-- Recieve $6 RR back!!
2) Buy Huggies for $8.99 & a 39c piece of candy ($9.38)
-- Save 15% making it $7.54
-- use a $2 manufacture cupon
-- use the $6 RR from last purchase
(which idk why they took this because then my total is actually -6c)
-- but yeah, I paid around 93c
-- Recieve $3 RR back!! (which I just used on the dove LOL)
Repeat steps one and two as many times as they have packs of diapers in the size you need. In my case, that would be 3 packs of diapers. I did something similar at another 2 stores and included a money-making deal on Wet Ones wipes (they were on sale for 2/$2 ($1.70 each with 15% off) with a $1 RR, I had a 75c cupon per pack, so I made money on the deal really...) instead of using kleenex

So my net total for the weekend is about $15 and here's what I got:
5 packs of Huggies (2 newborns and 3 size 4's)
5 bottles of Men's dove's body wash
5 boxes of Kleenex
4 bottles of Wet Ones
3 boxes of conversational hearts
a bottle of robitussin -- lol which I needed.

Well I absolutely have to clean my kitchen this week. And I have to find some good uses for Evaporated milk, canned beans, and other canned veggies. We cleaned out our regular cabinet because there was too much stuffed in there and I have realized that we have ALOT of food behind there!! WIC has started giving us all sorts of extra food, if you remember me talking about it in December. Anyway, one thing they give us in excess is Evaporated Milk. We get 8 cans a month. What do I do with it? I have about 20 cans and need to start doing something with it. And then, of course, they've bumped up our cereal to 9 boxes a month (too much) so I'm taking like 10 boxes to church tomorrow because we just can't keep up. And with the cuponing I've got Hunts sauce backstocked and I've got plenty of canned veggies because I can only go through the fresh produce so quickly and we get $20/month for it and I'd hate to just waste it when I can buy canned and put it back for future use cuz that stuff takes like 4 years to expire....

Basically Brent and I have decided we need to start using all the WIC food more and stop using WIC for primarily milk & cheese. So, we comitted to spending little-no money on food this month. I spent $40 at the store to buy sauces and mixes and spices and things to basically supplement it, but between wic and the meats I've backstocked and frozen, we have plenty to eat if we just EAT it. So, that's really good, its just going to take a bit extra work and a bit less "honey it's late, let's just grab a pizza." We might have to buy little things to go with every now and then to give us variety with all our food, but making a can of green beans or spinach with a meal is VERY easy (given the pots are clean.......... )

which brings me back to point 1 of this part of my blog and that was that I need to wash dishes. Really, I'd love to buy a new dishwasher with our taxes this year but we have debts we need to resolve and money we need to invest in our movie and spending a few hundred on it because I'm lazy and don't want to wash the dishes just isn't on the top of the to-do list. It's been hard enough to convince Brent to let us pay off debts instead of planning to pay them off through the year (which is always the plan and never happens).

Really, I just need to get off my lazy butt and wash the dishes more often. It's just never the top of my priority list... I get the trash out, the kids rooms cleans, bathrooms clean, floors swept, laundry cleaned and put away... and then I look at the kitchen and realize I'm out of time.

Well, that's life I guess. Being a grown up and taking care of your own crap. LOL. I'm gonna go shop and see about finding a carseat... maybe I'll stumble across a cupon for one too!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Another early morning this morning... got up at 6:20 and put the kids in the car, warmed it up and had some cheese toast. Took Brent over to work, came back home and watched some Mork & Mindy with the kids while we got ready (dressed, breakfast, diaper changes, etc). We left around 8:30 and I came to work and almost fell asleep at the wheel in the process because I'M TIRED!!

So I sold a few phones, worked on a few others, and then I got a text message from my wonderful husband that was very interesting. He asked me if I'd like to have a day off together every other week. I answered Of course!! So I called him and found out that Jessie (a newer supervisor above his direct manager) had actually gone up about his wanting Sunday mornings off and he was getting not only Sunday mornings off, but he was also getting to have every other Thursday off with me! Well, I'm thrilled and he's thrilled, and he goes back after break and then sends me a text and says "how bout a day off together every week instead of every other?" and I'm like What?!?!? Apparently, he mentioned to a co-worker that he finally had gotten Sunday mornings off and his co-worker, Gary, asks "you want Sundays off?" and Brent says yes of course and Gary tells him that he'll trade schedules with Brent because he has had every Sunday off and wanted to work Sundays (because they pay time and a half on Sundays). Well when it's all said and done, Brent is off every Sunday, all day, and every Monday too and works 9-6 Tuesday through Saturday.

WOW~ how amazing!! We started really praying for this to happen when we went on encounter -- for our schedules to correlate more and for Brent to be able to come to church. Now, since I take the kids in the morning and Brent picks them up at night, we will BOTH leave at 8:30am and get home around 7:00pm and always always always be off on Sundays!!! He'll get to spend Monday with the kids, and I'll get to spend either Thursday or Saturday with them. THANK YOU JESUS!!

Oh, and yes, there's more!

In addition to this amazing turn of scheduling events, the boss that hates Brent and has always been soooo negative about EVERYTHING (the one that complains when Brent asks to have his daughter's birthday off, or mentions he's going out on a date with his wife, etc etc etc) has FINALLY been moved out of the store! He got promoted/moved to another store. So the one that has made life so hard allthe time and that has really contributed on the miserable-ness of his job is finally GONE.

Anyway, I was so excited I had to share. And plus, we're still sharing a car because O'reily's auto parts ordered the wrong part (what?!?!) so we're still out a car till Thursday at least.... but that's really okay. Because in spite of it all, God is doing amazing things just for us.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekend in Charleston

Thursday: was a long day, before I even got to it I knew it would be. After work I headed to get the kids, grabbed Brent from home and hit KFC on the way out. We got the kids settled down and enjoyed our trip.

Friday: We arrived at David and Sarah's at 4am, and while Alina laid right down happily and snuggled with Daddy, Raziel was way too excited about the new environment and the doggies and the playpen and everything. I set him in the playpen to let him just hang out but he didn't want to be the only one awake and would start screaming if we all laid down to sleep. So I finally gave up and crawled into the playpen with him (snug fit) and put up with about 20 minutes of hair pulling, belly flopping and sticking his fingers up my nose and in my ears when I finally just pinned him down and let him scream for about 10 minutes. Luci, (D&S's doggie) broke into our room to see what all the commotion was about as I prayed that D&S weren't woken by our screaming son. Something about Luci checking on him distracted Raziel long enough for him to forget what he was so mad about. Once Brent put the doggie back out, Raziel picked up his bottle and blanket and laid on my tummy and conked straight out.

Around noon we headed to James Island and spent the afternoon with Mom, and then Alisha and Timothy after 3. Brent and I both took naps while the kids played happily with Baba and she enjoyed them fully. Raziel took a nap eventually, too.
Around 7:30 Brent and I went out to dinner with Sarah and David, John, Kendall (I'd never met her), Eric and Danny. It was noisy and loud (it was a bar & wings place) but the food was good and we enjoyed it alot. They had some interesting thing that we'd never heard of that I have to tell you about. I looked online forever to find a photo so I could show you but there were NO pictures and google didn't even really know what I'd typed in (lol). At DD Peckers, you can get your burger "frunked." Basically, they make and cook the hamburger patty, cover it in cheese and chili and then they dip this concoction into funnel cake batter and deep fry in (in place of the bun). Sounds odd and maybe gross but it was INCREDIBLE. I couldn't have eaten the whole thing, Brent ordered it and I ordered wings, but I had a bite or two and it did taste really good.

Upon return to my parent's house to get the kids, we saw what the kids had been doing.

Alina found her new favorite book which was read by various family members at least 45 times (not an exaggeration at all!)

Raziel found a new game, too. He took these out and put them back for about an hour.

And Alina got to play on the Wii Fit board, although an adult had to stand with her most of the time because she wasn't heavy enough to register on the board.

At this point it was 10:30 and we headed back to David and Sarah's where we crashed and the kids were out by the time we got there.

Saturday: We woke up around 9:30 or so and Brent left with the kids. The shower was wonderful, the gifts were all lovely. I want to post pictures but haven't gotten to take any yet, but I did get a pack and play from my parents with the bassinet and changing table attachments (AWESOME) and $100 towards a new carseat from Sarah's family (her, her mom and her sister) along with a few gift cards, diapers, blankets, clothes and other fun little things. Christine (has a baby boy that's 10 months) gave me a bunch of clothes that her son had never had a chance to wear that'd been given to her. I can't wait to dress Judah in these little overalls and collared shirts and things - so Charleston and so preppy and so adorable.

We spent the afternoon with the grands and had dinner over there. Again the kids fell asleep easily and we went back to David & Sarah's. We got to stay up late (til about 1) chatting with Sarah and David which was really nice to catch up some.

Sunday: we left Summerville around 10:30 and grabbed some bagels at Brueggar's downtown, then headed back home. The trip was rather uneventful - kids were a bit grumpy, but we got home around 8pm or so and unpacked the car and I went ahead and started some laundry. And honey, it's COLD here compared to charleston!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

5:30 again

So actually it was 6:04 when I dragged my butt out of bed and stumbled into the shower to stand in there for 10 minutes and progressively wake up enough to feed and dress the children, pack the car, get dressed myself and feed Oden while Brent got ready and added transmission fluid to the neon. Suzuki was left with a spare in the ignition and the tow truck is billing the mechanic and we're paying the mechanic when we return and pick up the car. (it's not like anyone's gonna steal it when you can't start the thing!)

Kids were grumpy at first but cheered up a bit after breakfast, and even more when I treated them to a second and yummier breakfast -- sonic french toast sticks. They were dropped off at the sitter and now I'm at work and ready to crash becasue I'm exhausted.

Well that's all I can do right now because I am totally worn out

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


So I slept from 9:30pm (yeah, I totally crashed early) till 7:00am and then laid in the bed until 10 til 8. It was nice. I'm still exhausted.

Mostly it's my brain needing to make a to-do list. So I'm sharing with you because I've found that it soothes me to have it on the internet somewhere that I can acess it incase I loose my list because I usually loose my to-do lists and that doesn't help.

1) Tow the Suzuki
Turns out the belt came off because one of the pullys has a bad bearing inside it and needs to be replaced, but the problem is that we'll have to drop out the engine to get to that $20 part so we have to pay $80+ to tow the car 5 miles to our friend's mechanic shop so they can drop out the motor and replace the part. We're looking into options today as opposed to a tow truck but we can't drive the thing becuase we'd blow the head gasket and that means we're buying a new engine. So unless we want to pay $3000 for a new engine to avoid a $80 tow and a bit for the part and labor, we're towing it. Good news is that we're getting it fixed on the weekend while we're in SC so we won't be out a vehicle anymore when we get back

2) Packing List, make plans, etc
Don't know when I'm leaving. Don't know who's driving first. Don't know when I'm packing. Don't know when I'm arriving. I need to decide these things. But, with the whole car thing and the whole I haven't slept much lately thing I still don't know. I just know that I need to know so that I can. Did you follow that?

3) Get Brent to tune up the Neon
Somewhere during the midst of this Brent needs to add transmission fluid to the Neon. It's leaking some somewhere and it's acting funny again so Brent says that was the problem in the first place and I should really mention it if my car is leaking something. LOL. I guess that's probably true.

4) Clean house.
As if I have time/energy to do so. But I need to clean the kitchen, wash clothes, sweep, straighten up and take the trash to the dump. In all my spare time.

5) Clean the car
It's full of mail and trash and clothes and diaperbags and etc and etc and etc and we're leaving tomorrow night. Sigh.

When do I have time to do this? Well I work until 6 tonight, get the kids by 7, pick up Brent at 8 (there, there's 30 minutes extra in that gap) and then go home, feed my family and go to bed because I have to get up and have everyone ready and leave by 6:30am so everyone's to work on time.... Wait, oh, I have an extra 30 minutes there too between dropping Brent off at 7 and needing to drop the kids off at 8.

So its either today at work (how to pack at work? I don't know that.) or in the cumulative total of 1 hour between today and tomorrow morning. Ech. I'm so not ready for the trip but I can't wait to get away.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Proud of Myself

Last night I stayed up until 12 midnight helping Brent fix his vehicle. I am not particularly excited about how I stayed up, or the fact that the car didn't end up fixed, but I am proud of the fact that I looked at the skematics for his pullys and said "hey, this is the way I think it should go" and helped him decide the way that was right, and then I -- dun dun da dun -- got my hands oily and nasty and gross because I actually had my hands down in the engine right along with him pulling the belt around the pullys and tugging and shifting things. When we got in the shower after the fact we had to use dishsoap and a bristle brush (my dishes brush actually) scrub and scrub and scrub and get the grease off. My hands are still that stained mechanic look, and theres some gunk on the sides of my nails that I can't get off. Maybe that's gross, but I am incredibly proud of the fact that I stayed up late and got my hands dirty right along with my hubby.

We didn't get it all back together right, because we couldn't physically pull it hard enough to get the belt around the last pully -- its supposed to be incredibly tight and so obviously it's hard to get it there. But, we sure tried and man I'm tired today because I had gotten up at 7:30 to go to my OB appt (baby's about 4 lbs now and will be along in 6 weeks or less) and then I worked and then went to cell group and then came home and worked on Brent's car till midnight, and then got up at 5:45 am because we are sharing a car right now and Brent worked at 7am so I had to take him and then come back home, get dressed, get the kids dressed and fed, and then back out the door to the sitters and then to work and got here right exactly on time and now I'm ready to fall asleep on my desk!

Oh, Reason numbero dos that I am super proud of myself is the amount of money I saved this weekend. I went shopping with my friend Tamara who has become a huge cupon clipper and she uses this website to stack her cupons with sales and gets stuff cheap/free. Let me list all the things that I got this weekend with her for a total of $22.

1) An 8 lb spiral ham -- origonally cost $25 and was marked down at the store a few weeks ago (i might've mentioned this before?) and Tamara called me and asked if I was interested and I paid about $5 for it (well she bought it and I paid her back)
2)5 (8oz) blocks of Kraft cheddar cheese -- FREE after cupons and the sale
3)Men's 3-in-1 shampoo/conditioner/body wash by Perts -- FREE after cupons and sale
4)2 cans of comet powder -- 15c each after cupons and sale
5)2 sticks of some brand of chapstick -- free after cupons and sale
6)10 cans of Hunts tomato sauce/paste -- 50c each after sale and register rewards
7)5lbs of medium quality hamburger -- $8 (that's about $1.60/lb)

and a few various other goodies that were just for fun and not on sale or anything. So I guess I actually spent $18 on amazing priced items and $4 on normal stuff. Anyway, I'm super excited about how all this works and Tamara is too so we're getting a bunch of stuff free. How does this work you may ask? Let me explain.

This week, Walmart's 8oz Cheese Nips boxes are $1 each. On the website above, there's a link to a manufacture's cupon for $2 off when you buy 2. So you buy 2 Cheese Nips in the 8oz size at the sale price and get the $2 off and you pay nothing! (well taxes on $2 but that's unavoidable really). Or, at Rite Aid this week, the Ganier Fructis Hair Care is on sale for $2.50. There's a $1 off any one bottle from the paper that was published on the tenth. And, there's a printable cupon on the manufacture's website. Stack the cupons and you just bought a bottle of $4 shampoo for 50c. Then there's the "Register Rewards" that alot of places are doing right now to get you to shop there more. Walgreens, for instance, had one particular flavor of chapstick on sale for $2.99 a stick. You got $2 in RR when you purchased it, making the Walgreens ad claim it was $1 (you actually pay the cash and get a $2 off voucher back, but Tamera has been doing it for a while so she already had a bunch of vouchers so we didn't go out of pocket because we paid with a $2 voucher). We got online and printed off a $1 off cupon and voila -- free chapstick.

It's definitely something you have to be into for a while before you save alot because you have to match cupons with the right sales to save the most. Sometimes, it's just being observant -- the comet was 2/$1 at Walgreens and we had a cupon from that weeks paper for 35c off each can you purchased. So we used 2 cupons because it was 2 cans, and it was already on sale for 2/$1 and that made it 30c total, 15c a can. And that stuff is usually $1.29 a can. Here's the plan though -- if I can buy 2 cans of comet at 15c a can, next time I need it I won't be paying $1.29 for a can, I've already spent my 15c and it's in my cabinet. I may not need that shampoo stuff for Brent yet because he still has stuff from Christmas, but when he's out of that, we have a $5 bottle waiting for him that was FREE. If I stock up when it's free or basically free, I won't have to spend the money later. And that's good because later I'll be on maternity leave and I am only getting a little over $900 for an entire 6 weeks of leave and that SUCKS.

I am going to go apply for foodstamps during that time when I have no income and we'll get em for a few months at least. The medicaid lady actually suggested it - I thought it'd be cheating the system but she said that if I was on leave - even for just 6 weeks - then we only had 1 income and that income is low enough to qualify us for foodstamps. And if we qualify, then GET THEM. She said they usually re-evaluate every 6 months, but even if it's only for a month or two, it'll be better than nothing.
So I looked up online and the foodstamp benefit for a family of 5 is $763 a month! What kind of family of 5 needs $763 a month?!?!?! But that's what the gov thinks I need and if I don't use it it's just lost to no-where. So my plan is to stock up on non-perishables and things that I can freeze during that $763/month and that will help us in future. It's like what I was doing buying 10 cans of tomato sauce. Do I need 10 cans right now? No. Will I use 10 cans over a course of time? Yes. Would I pay ALOT more by buying them one at a time? Yes. Same concept with the hamburger. 5lbs of hamburger is ALOT. But, I cooked it all that night and seperated it into bags the size of meals and froze most of it. That stuff stays good forever. And I only saved about 20c a lb but I got a nicer quality meat and I actually put it all away so it's not what usually happens where I cook a lb, use half, and leave the other half sitting on the counter till I realize it the next morning and have to feed it to Oden. And, it's the same concept with that ham -- can my family eat that much ham? No! But if I cook it, devide it and freeze it, we won't be buying meats for quite some time. And meat is the most expensive stuff we buy. Between meat and the stuff I can backstock during foodstamps and WIC, I really won't have to spend much in groceries. And if this cuponing thing keeps up, I don't have to spend alot of money on shampoos and toothpaste and stuff like that.

Anyways, thats what's up in my life right now. I gotta start thinking about our trip to SC because its in 3 days and I should really at least decide what time we're traveling!!!