Tuesday, November 25, 2008

holiday ideas

The holidays are rapidly approaching and I've been racking my poor mind trying to think of great gifts for everyone. It's been a bit more difficult this year considering I also have to factor in the shipping. We don't want to only send gift cards though. So, I've been on the look-out for some great, inexpensive gifts.

Something Blue Studios has some great magnets, magnet calendars and even some jewelry that they will add your pictures or art to. The prices seem fair, though I have never ordered from them before, so I can't say how their quality or service is. I'm thinking of ordering some of these flair buttons for our fridge to slip in everyone's stocking.

I've also been thinking about our Christmas cards for this year. I would like to send out photo Christmas cards this year since we won't be able to make it to MI to see everyone. Memory Makers has 3 card sets from Michelle Coleman, so far these are probably my favorite set. Though the ones from Traci Reed are keeping me from making a decision. lol

Monday, November 24, 2008

like i need anymore projects

I have three boys, you'd think that would be enough to keep me busy. And it is, please don't think that I'm not busy. lol

This past Friday as we went to Wal-Mart for more diapers for the littlest man I decided that I was going to look for some knitting needles and a how-to book. So, off to the craft department we went. Then DH reminded me about my hopeful endeavor of making the boys some sleep pants for Christmas. So, quick stop at the fabric before hitting the yarn and needles. Found some inexpensive but nice enough fabric to try to make one pair of pants. Then it's off to find the pattern I bought because I can't remember how much fabric I needed. Figures.

Long line at the cutting table means there's time to look for the how-to book, yarn and knitting needles. So, 2 sets of needes, 2 skeins of yarn, 1 promising how-to book and 2 2/3 yard of candy cane fabric and we were finally ready to exit the craft department.

Did I mention that I've NEVER knitted before? I've also never followed a sewing pattern before. The closest to sewing I've ever gotten is piecing some blocks together to attempt to make a quilt. I can fix a button, and do a half-assed job at hemming some pj pants for Tommy, but that is the extent of my sewing skills. So, probably after Thanksgiving I am going to attempt to sew together a pair of sleep pants for my oldest. Hopefully they'll resemble something like sleep pants so that I won't be too embarrassed. lol

Of course there's also my hopeful photography business, taking care of the house, the digital scrapbooking, and the medical transcription school. The last isn't going very well, I don't know what I had envisioned when I signed up for it, I knew it wouldn't be a piece of cake by any means, but I think I convinced myself that there was enough time in the day for everything. I really should call and see about possibly getting a refund. It's just too much and I don't think I would be successful in finding a job, I think there are probably way more qualified people out there.

The kids are off school for the week, so I'm off to be mommy. Today we are going to learn how to clean the bathrooms! Yay!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Just need to talk to myself for a moment

I haven't had my allotted chit-chat time today (insert sarcastic tone here - I was on the phone for over an hour with dear Kathy earlier this morning) so I feel the need for a totally incoherent blog post today. *big smile* So, don't mind me, I'm just going to ramble on, maybe talk over some of my other thoughts, and maybe I'll break out into song. Just go about your business, don't mind the crazy lady.

Tommy and Anthony have this thing about bouncing around while they are playing games. No matter what game they are playing, we have to constantly tell them to sit still. When they begin playing the game they are sitting at least 10+ feet from the tv on the couch. As they play and they begin their routine hop-fest they get closer, and closer to the tv. It's not like they can't see the tv, 56" of screen is pretty hard to miss. At this very moment, Tommy is sitting no more than 2 feet away from the tv.

I must've misheard the doctors when my children were born, because I could have sworn that they all told me that the new little being was a boy. They sure look like boys, most of the time they act like boys, but man-o-man, do they ever scream like little girls.

Alex is just a little jabbermouth now. Each day I am amazed at how much better he is getting at communicating what he wants. His vocabulary has probably doubled from 6 months ago. I find it just amazing that I am having what resembles a conversation with the little man.

Kathy asked me to take her family photos when they come for Thanksgiving. Did I mention that she's draggin her husband & two children down here for a long weekend? It was kind of up in the air until the other day, I might've forgotten. I can't wait to have one of my friends come to visit. Usually it's always Tom's friends, or my SIL. We're going to make a ton of food for Thanksgiving, run off taking pictures and maybe head out in the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday to try to catch a good deal or two. Not sure what the deals are looking like this year, so we haven't committed to anything yet.

I've been debating on whether or not it would help if I got a job. That's right, I said it, a j-o-b. It scares the crap out of me to think about going back to work. I haven't worked since March 8th, 2001. I don't have a degree or any training that would make me a good candidate for anything other than customer service in some form or another. I did work at a bank and credit union before having Tommy, I'm not sure though if a 9-5 is something I want to do though. What I would much prefer is to get my photography business moving and take clients on the weekends. I need to get all the info on starting a business in SoCal first. I'm not sure the cost or how much time and paperwork it'll take, first things first.

So, now that you are happier knowing the rambling thoughts that are posessing my mind at the current moment I am going to sit back and wait for the hubs to come home with our food.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I loathe minimum days

The boys school calls their short, or half, days minimum days. Every Wednesday is a minimum day. Basically all that means is that Tommy gets out of school at 1:13pm instead of 3:22pm. Not a problem for one day a week. We are on day 2 of the minimum days this week due to parent/teacher conferences and it's swiftly kicking my butt.

Here was my schedule yesterday:
8:45am - take Tommy to school
11:45am - take Anthony to school
1:13pm - pick up Tommy from school (walk - so need to leave about 20 min early)
3:22pm - pick up Anthony from school

This morning we need to leave a few minutes early since Anthony's parent/teacher conference is at 8:40am. I'm just hoping that we can find a decent parking spot. It's really a long shot with the parking situation at the school. It's probably the biggest frustration of my day getting the kids to & from school. I loved them taking the school bus.

Just wait until I tell you about the 1st Wednesday of the month's schedule. You want me to go ahead and just tell you now? Ok, if you insist. The first Wednesday of every month the PM kindergarteners go to AM kindergarten. So, on these Wednesdays at least I can say that I'm not at the school 4 times a day like I am for 3 days of this week. I'm cross-eyed just thinking about it.

So, I need to go get the littlest man up & decent for the trip to the school. I should probably take the time to make myself look presentable also. Don't want the teacher to think I just roll out of bed to drop my kids off at school in the morning. What ever would she think?!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I have to shamefully admit that budgeting has never been my forte. Though, all of our bills are paid, in full and on time and we always have what we need. Sometimes we are also able to get ourselves things we want also.

My hardest thing to come to terms with is shopping at places like Target and Wal-Mart. There's just such a variety of "stuff" there that it's easy to become tempted to let it slide into your cart. I also have this inability to say "no" to the hubby. I feel like I've let him down somehow if I tell him that we can't buy something that he wants. It's his paycheck. Especially if it's the new movie of the week, we can surely swing $16 to make him happy. We've cut our movie spending down greatly. I've been struggling with all of this for a few months now, especially knowing that our rent in CA is slightly higher than our housing allowance, and our utility cost will more than likely be higher due to the rates out here.

I have commited myself to thoroughly diving into our finances and making a plan to implement come January 1st. I need time to get it all sorted through, then to present it to the hubby. He has no idea how much we pay for things or how much his paycheck it and I'm irritated when he seems to think that there is always money in the account.

Anyway, I should end this post considering it's almost 5pm on Saturday and I started this around 11pm on Friday. This is my second goal for the new year; the first is to quit smoking, again.

Friday, November 14, 2008

playing catch up & some pictures

I hate playing catch up from being out of town.

The mountain of dirty clothing that was lurking in my laundry room is almost all gone. I have a working dishwasher now. Alex's room no longer looks to be in limbo, the stacks of clothing have disappeared, the bed resembles a place one could sleep and random things won't fall out of the closet when you slide open the doors. Our living room is also in a much better state now. It no longer resembles a war zone of cardboard and packing paper.

My garage still resembles a storage unit unfortunately. The reason the house still looks like we just received our stuff is because my dear Tom likes to sit and play Saints Row 2 and while he wastes his time away playing video games, I sit on my ever expanding butt and surf the 'net. I find interesting sites here and there, open a new tab...continue surfing and find some great blogs, bookmark...and on and on.

Ah, well....I'll post a few pictures from the weekend. Then I'm removing myself from the couch and hoping that there isn't an imprint from my butt in the cushion when I finally stand up. lol

Alright, that took longer than I anticipated. I wish more of the photos had turned out, oh well, I was having much more fun watching everyone have a good time and having a good time myself to dwell on making sure all my shots were great. I still wonder about this whole professional photographer thing - I really want to do it, I just don't think I can put myself out there enough to do that. Besides my editing skills are really lacking as is any idea of how to go about getting a business started. Wonder if I can run a business out of my house?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dancing Machine Alex

This past Thursday we headed out of town to Phoenix for Tom's cousin's wedding. It was nice to see DH's family again. Things were a bit disorganized as far as who was going where, when, but it all worked out in the end. The wedding was so beautiful, Jason and Amy looked so happy. Alex did his job as ring bearer as best as a 2 year old could do.

At the reception Alex really was the star of the night. He danced and danced. He had such a good time and was the last one standing on the dance floor. Jason spun him around on his butt on the dance floor and that was when Alex was introduced to the art of break-dancing. lol It was so cute to watch him spin around. He even ran from off the dance floor, onto the floor and slid on his knees. The whole night I wished I had thought to bring our video camera. Though, in my defense, I really thought I would end up bringing a cranky 2 year old back up to the hotel room around 8pm.

The older two didn't have nearly as good of a time, but all they wanted to do was sit at the table. So many different people drug them onto the dance floor to try to get them to entertain the idea of dancing, but they weren't having it.

I have a lot to catch up on since we were away for the weekend. I've got CT requirements that need to be met, an extra-ordinary amount of laundry lurking in my laundry room and more boxes that still need to be unpacked. I also have the best of intentions of writing out the gritty details of our drive from VA to CA. I know that soon I will forget some of them, so I want to get them written down somewhere before I forget the experience.

I really should run, our trusty Home Depot appliance delivery guy is here. This is his third trip to our house, and hopefully his last. The dishwasher is being installed as well as our new, energy efficent washing machine. So now I have to list the washer & dryer set on Craigs List to try to help offset the cost of our new set. Oh the joys of moving!

Monday, November 3, 2008

1st Day of school in CA

Tommy and Anthony had their first day of class at their new school today. We arrived early to find their classrooms and talk with Tommy's teacher. I knew he'd be ok, he's pretty resilient. I was worried about Anthony. His first year of school, going from all day to half day and the fact that he was just getting over being upset in the mornings as he got on the bus. He keeps hoping that there will be a bus #85 for him at his new school. lol

Tommy went to school just before 9. The 4 of us headed home for some building time. The boys have a new-to-them bunk bed set, courtesy of my good friend Tiff. It went up with no problems and now their room looks like a room instead of it resembling a home with squatters. lmao At about 11:35 Anthony and I made the drive to school. He said he was going to miss me (awwww!) and I reminded him that he would be gone 1/2 the amount of time he was used to. He reluctantly gave me a hug once his teacher explained the outside play rules and went off to play.

Fast forward through our pretty dull afternoon to 2:45 and we set out for an afternoon walk to get the boys from school. Thankfully it only took us 15 minutes even with allowing Alex to walk at his own pace for the first few minutes. Once he went into his stroller and Tom started playing games with it he had a blast. The walk back took a little longer, obviously, but it was nice.

'Til tomorrow...