Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Multifamily Yard Sale!!!

We are having a huge multifamily yard sale this Saturday from 8:00 am - noon. Our contribution alone to the sale is quite large. We have finally gone through the backroom which was chuck full of my parents' leftovers. It was the craftroom, among other things, so we have TONS of scrapbooking/crafting supplies that we just want to get rid of, and consequently are dirt cheap. I'm talking about $2.00 for an entire album of stickers and diecuts (some sheets alone which were worth $5.00 to begin with) and for a two foot long tote of paper. We also combined my scrapbook room with the office so I had to limit the supplies of my own that I kept. We also have a lot of books, Cds, DVDs, toys, games, electronics, kitchen supplies and furniture (TV stands, king size mattress set, kitchen table, coffee table, desks, book shelves, a plush rocking chair, etc.) from us and the other families involved.

Our house is almost all ours (we will have to finish the garage and attic next year), but all the rooms now are dejunked, full of only our stuff and cleared out to make room for the new baby. It is a great feeling!

Here are a few funny/embarrassing items we found in our process of purging. I'll leave it up to your imagination to decide which items were my parents' and which were actually among our possessions.

  • Backstreet Boys CD
  • Spice Girls CD
  • a bag of shopping bags that someone thought were cute enough to save for years
  • NES Nintendo complete with Dr. Mario
  • a crochet hoop that is approximately the size of a human
  • three packages of the same LDS card game
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun, seasons one and two on DVD
  • every decoration (including tied ribbon bows) from my wedding reception
  • a whole lot of LDS teenage fiction novels (i.e. Anita Stansfield, Jack Weyland, Chris Heimerdinger...)
  • the tackiest, gaudiest motorized suncatcher I have ever seen (which I secretly love because it so reminds me of my mom)
  • an album full of newspaper clippings from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, not to mention a Beret, and about 30 collector pins
  • an old broken hamper full of dirty towels
  • a box full of rusty pipes and broken sprinkler heads
  • a 20 year old ward cookbook with Relief Society incorrectly spelled

FYI - many of these embarrassing items were thrown away or in the case of a rare collector, marked for a quarter.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hives Update

Today is the fourth day and the hives are still making their presence known. It seems to come and go in stages. One afternoon he will be almost cleared up and then that evening he will be all blotchy and swollen again. Yesterday morning it was as bad as the first morning, and I decided to take him back to the doctor Monday morning, but now it is lightening up, so I suppose we will wait it out. We have washed all his clothes and bedding and are hoping whatever caused the reaction is now gone. It's interesting going out in public with him. We get a lot of stares and it makes me very self conscious and very protective at the same time. A few people where brave enough to ask in a brazen voice, "What's wrong with your baby!?" I did appreciate the honesty over the staring because at least when asked I could explain that it was just an allergic reaction and that he was not contagious. He still seems to be his normal happy and energetic self. He is a little bit more sensitive; I'm sure because he is itchy and hot and uncomfortable. I lovingly refer to him as polka-dotted Palmer. Greg sometimes calls him a leper, also lovingly and in good sport.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hives


This is the state we found Palmer in when went in his room to wake him this morning. I have racked my brain and can't think of anything he has eaten the last 24 hours that he had not had before. Since it is a state holiday, his pediatrician wasn't in so we took him to the instacare. All the receptionists gasped when we walked in the door. The doctor greeted us with a "Whoa!" and said it was one of the most impressive cases of hives he had ever seen. Everyone was very concerned for our little guy. However, he didn't have a fever and was acting like his normal rambunctious self, so the doctor said there was nothing to worry about. I am to give him steroids and Benedryl for the next five days, and it should clear up in about three days. My poor baby!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quirky Sleeper

I was awoken at four this morning to Palmer jumping in his bed. He was talking and laughing and jumping with such force that the wall was shaking. This is not too uncommon for our little guy. He loves to play in his crib, which is fabulous for me when it's not four in the morning; I can easily leave him in bed a half hour after he wakes without him complaining. He has always woken in such a good mood. When he was little we knew he was up because we would hear him laughing, instead of crying as most babies do.

We also love the way he sleeps. Lately he often has his butt sticking up in the air. When he is really ready for a good sleep he puts both arms behind his head. This is the same position we found him in during his first ultrasound. If he is having a hard time and is grumpy we are always rewarded with a big smile and a contented sigh when we give him his blankie and place him in bed. How thankful I am to have such a sweet, quirky sleeper!

However, he is not the most sound sleeper. He gets his light sleeping from me. (Greg slept right though the jumping in the bed incident last night.) In fact, when I have to go pee in the middle of the night, I don't flush the toilet until the morning because the bathroom is right next to his room and I'm afraid to wake him. I'm sure once we add a screaming newborn into the mix in a few months he will either learn to get used to more noise or I will desperately be missing his previously good sleeping habits. I am truly hoping the former circumstance will occur.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Crafty Charlie's Angel

I know the title of this post is a little out there, but I had to use it. It stems from one of my favorite comments left on our blog. My little sister made the comment that us three sisters were like Charlie's Angels, but with crafts. I thought that was hilarious. These are a couple of posters I made for my calling on the Relief Society Home, Family and Personal Enrichment board. I made 10 copies of the smaller one to hang up around the church and one larger one for the Relief Society room. I think I was inspired by my intense craving for watermelon during this pregnancy.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Recipe - Cranberry Apple Pork Roast

I just finished putting cranberry apple pork roast in the crockpot for our dinner tonight. I love this recipe. It is extremely easy and the results are delicious! I've made it often for guests and it always impresses. We always buy our pork roasts from Costco. They are very sweet, of great quality and a good price.

Cranberry Apple Pork Roast

3-4 lb pork roast
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
2 golden delicious apples, cored, skinned and coarsely chopped

Put pork roast in a slow cooker. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl and pour over meat. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. Shred meat and allow it to soak up gravy before serving.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cutting Back

As just about everyone else who has been woken up by our country's economic condition, we have realized that we were living far beyond our means. And more importantly, that it was time to change. We have been following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover for about three months now. At first, in the novelty of it all, it was fun and exciting, but now it's honestly becoming hard. Don't get me wrong, it's a good hard. We have realized how we should have been living all along. We've been successful in no longer going farther into debt and even have been digging ourselves out as quickly as possible. But, basically I've been feeling pretty darn poor. We've been dieing to take a vacation. Truly, it's been a LONG time, as in since our honeymoon to the ever so exotic and thrilling Idaho (once again, don't get me wrong, it was a good vacation, and you don't need too many touristy things to fill your time on a honeymoon, if you know what I mean). Our blog labels will confirm this lack of traveling, as in there are only two posts under the label vacation, and both are from visits to see Greg's dad in Ely, Nevada. Sadly, this thirst for travel will not been quenched anytime soon. Here are a few other luxuries we have heretofore eliminated.

  • Buying drinks/appetizers/dessert at restaurants. We have a small budget for dining out and usually work in a coupon on our visits to optimize the possibility of going out more often.
  • Renting movies. Goodbye to our dear friend Blockbuster. Once in a while when there is a new film we have been dying to see we will splurge on a Redbox rental, but it is always sure to make it back the next day before extra charges.
  • Compulsive grocery shopping. As I mentioned before, I have a vigorous grocery list system, which includes a detailed and specific list of meal needs, ad matching, and coupon printing. Gone are the days when we would add candy bars or IBC Cream Sodas into the cart on impulse. We also only go shopping every other week, which makes for a very full cart, but less trips to the store with less odds and ends to pick up and add up on the bill.
  • Shakes. Once or twice a month Greg and I liked to enjoy specialty milkshakes. We consider ourselves to be icecream connoisseurs and have been known to often frequent Jakes, Abs, Iceberg, Leatherbys and Coldstone. Now I work whichever icecream is on sale into the grocery budget and make the milkshake from home.
  • Books and magazines. I love to read and I love to scrapbook. Before I always bought the book our book group was currently reading and I subscribed to my favorite scrapbook magazine for inspiration. Now, both outlets come from the library. The library has become my best friend. I know every inch of it. I reserve novels, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, cookbooks and most recently Creating Keepsake magazines.
  • Dates. Not that I feel we went out a whole lot before, but now the phenomenon is fairly nonexistent. Mostly because it costs money to get a babysitter and it costs money to go to a movie, bowling, etc. However, we have more frequently begun to take advantage of free entertainment opportunities as a family. We love the park, we visit it often. We go on walks. We swim at the fitness center with my free membership. If you are looking, there really is a lot out there to enjoy at little or no cost.

So, my conclusion on budgeting: yes, it's difficult, yes, in many regards it outright stinks, but I do believe it is worth it. We are sacrificing yet we are gaining many advantages and opportunities through such sacrifice. We are realizing the difference between wants and needs. We are being humbled. We are growing together as a family as we purge material things and refocus on what is important. We are better for it, not just financially, but also spiritually and even emotionally. And as for that vacation... we'll get there someday and since we'll be debt free, it'll be all that much more enjoyable.

Alright, I'm off my soap box now. But I would like to know, how have you cut back? Do you know any great money saving tips?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Happy 4th

We had a good time celebrating our nation's Independence Day this year. We had a BBQ/potluck with some ward friends. Palmer had a great time playing with all the kids and exploring a nice backyard and all it's playground amenities, and we had a great time chatting with our friends. I, of course brought lemon bars for the occasion.

Then we headed to Thanksgiving Point along with my sisters, nephews, and my sister's friend Shea to join our other friends, the Jennes, for a fireworks display. The fireworks were great; huge, loud, very colorful and they lasted about 40 minutes. It did take us until midnight to get out of the parking lot, but hey, I guess that's what free holiday events are all about!

Into Uglies

I have a new obsession! A couple weeks ago I read Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and I was instantly hooked. I then proceeded to neglect my housework for the next several days as I devoured the entire trilogy (Pretties and Specials, I still have Extras to check out from the library this week). I'm really not a big science fiction fan, but these novels really appealed to me. The story reminded me of The Giver (one of my favorite books) but with Harry Potter adventure, and as a bonus there is a bit of romance worked into the mix. I also was pleasantly surprised by the unpredictable plot. I more often than not figure out the endings of stories before I finish them, but not with these. The material isn't all just fun and fluff. The novels bring up a lot of questions about appearance, independent thinking and the power of government. I passed the books onto my sisters after I finished them and they also sped through them within a couple weeks, and are likewise infatuated. So, those of you who are looking for a fun, well written and addicting read, check it out!

I feel like I am finally getting into the swing of things in regards to being a mom. I can keep a semi-clean house, put a nice meal on the table each day, take good care of my son and still find a little me time to read and scrapbook. Unfortunately, I only have three more months of this newfound success and then we are adding another little guy's schedule to adapt to and work around. I am a bit nervous about how I will handle two babies. It seems it took me a whole year to figure out how to deal with the one. I guess all I can do is have faith, hope I learned some good lessons from the first time around and possibly work a babysitting fund into our budget so that I don't lose my mind.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Big Boy

Our baby Palmer is no longer such a baby. Everyday he looks and acts more and more like a toddler. This month he has started walking. He's throwing temper tantrums, and he regularly points at everything (or nothing at all) and asks, "What's that?" He's learning signs and new words everyday. He's also been going through a crazy growth spurt and has quite often been out eating both Greg and me. He loves playing outside and exploring. He likes slides and swings, and likes to go swimming. He climbs objects that are just about as big as he is. He is very interested in electronics and is often found pushing buttons on our phones, mp3 players, computer, TV, DVD, alarm clock, etc. He is into everything! Here he is playing Greg's drums, one of his favorite noisy pastimes. He sure is one big boy!