Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Our first Carnival!

We live a small town. Nothing exciting ever happens here. So imagine my kids' delight when we stopped by Rite Aid and seen a carnival set-up in the parking lot of an abandoned shopping center. For three days, my daughter has talked non-stop about the carnival. Today her dream finally came true...

The kids LOVED it. My babies are getting so big. They can ride carnival rides all by themselves. Sniff, sniff. Where has all the time gone?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I am sharing too much information AGAIN

So peeps, I have some serious stomach issues. I have had these problems for years. Actually, most of these problems started when I was in college. I am not going to candy coat this for you - I am very prone to diarrhea and stomach cramps. And it is negatively affecting my life.

Back in the days of my youth, my stomach issues seemed to be triggered by stress. I distinctly remember being doubled over in pain during most of my final exams. I expected things to get better after college, but they never really did. Because I am not too bright, I thought that perhaps I was lactose intolerant. But after going vegan, I realized that I still had tummy trouble.

Then I got pregnant with Porgie and had the exact opposite problem. I was constipated for 9 months straight. After I had her, my diarrhea returned. Then I got pregnant with Izzy and once again constipation ruled my life. Shortly after I gave birth to Izzy, I had my gall bladder removed. I was really hopeful that this would solve all of my stomach issues. But sadly, it did not. In fact, it made things even worse.

For the past year, my diarrhea has been out of control. Within minutes of eating a meal, I am rushing to the bathroom. If I can't get to the toilet right away, the stomach cramps are overwhelmingly painful. And often times, 1 trip to the bathroom doesn't cut it. I end up running back to the bathroom 2 or 3 times over the course of the next hour. It is really starting to negatively affect my life. I refuse to eat out in public anymore. I avoid snacking between meals. And I dread dinner time (my symptoms are worse at night).

I know I need to go to the doctor, but I don't want to. It is an embarrassing subject (yet I am sharing my tummy troubles with the entire internet??). Any advice?

Monday, June 28, 2010

We made it!

Sunday was the BIG day - Porgie's dance recital. On the way to the school, Porgie seemed a little nervous. She was oddly quiet during the drive, which is highly unusual for my baby girl. After we arrived and got her situated in the dressing room, Porgie returned to her normal, happy-go-lucky self.

The show was so darn cute. All of the girls were amazing and did a great job dancing. I was very impressed. But the funniest/cutest/most wonderful part of the show was watching my daughter perform. Porgie was quite the character - flapping her arms, running around like a maniac, and jumping with sheer excitement. Although I am not sure she was performing ballet, she certainly did dance. We were so proud of her!

Unfortunately, parents were not allowed to take pictures or videos during the recital. So, here are some pictures of my baby girl before the show...

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Remember the tree that fell in my front yard? Well before it landed on my lawn,the tree was located next to the curb. Apparently trees planted on the curb are the city's responsibility, not the homeowners. So, the city paid to have the tree removed from our lawn! AWESOME. However, the city would not pay to repair our neighbor's fence (the tree belongs to the city, but all the damage the tree causes belongs to the homeowners - how is that fair?). Because the tree was located in front of our house, we volunteered to repair the fence. John was able to do the work himself, and it only cost us about $30 out of pocket. Not too bad. Unfortunately, in our backyard there are some HUGE broken branches dangling 30 feet over our swing-set, so we still have to hire someone to safely dispose of those branches.

In addition to hiring someone to removed the broken branches, we also have to pick out some new trees to plant in the front yard. To replace the huge tree we lost, we are planning to plant three smaller trees. We are thinking of planting two trees on the curb and one tree in the middle of our front yard. With all of these unexpected expenses, we aren't going to be able to afford my fancy shmancy new camera next month. I am sad. After hearing about our misfortune, my mother sent me a new point and shoot camera, which was incredibly nice of her. It is really cheap and takes crappy pictures, but I appreciate her kindness and I intend to use the camera until I can afford something nicer.

This past week has been full of disappointment, but also full of kindness. I am a very lucky girl.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bad things come in threes

Today started out great. I took the kids blueberry picking. Then we ate some custard. Next we went swimming at the lake (and I even remembered sunscreen!). We got home late in the afternoon, exhausted and happy. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a thunderstorm tore across our town. There was lots of thunder, strong winds, and heavy rain. I was in the kitchen trying to make dinner when my husband (who was looking out the front door) yelled, "OH MY GOD! OUR TREE JUST FELL DOWN!"

I ran to the front door and seen a huge tree laying on our front lawn. I freaked out and demanded that everyone go down into the basement. On our way downstairs, we noticed that the fence in our backyard (which we just had installed last summer) was demolished. FUCK! I dragged the kids down to the basement, while my husband started making calls to the insurance company. After about 15 minutes, the storm seemed to let up, so we ventured back upstairs. I shit you not, there was a news van and a reporter in front of my house. About 20 people were gathered around our uprooted tree.

The neighbor to our left used a chainsaw to cut the branches that were blocking our other neighbor's driveway, which was very nice. I thanked him a million times. While the rain was still pouring outside, the man who lives behind us helped my husband repair our fence. Our neighbors all came together to lend a helping hand. It warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

Here are some pictures of the tree in our front yard...

We actually got very lucky. The tree narrowly missed my husband's work van and our neighbor's car. The tip of the tree landed about 5 feet from our house. Close call!

Here is a picture of our broken fence...
After all this hectic activity, we finally came inside to rest. I looked up and noticed this...That is a water stain on my living room ceiling. So, that would be three bad things - a tree fell over in my front yard, my fence was knocked down, and water leaked into my living room. I have met my quota, and I expect smooth sailing from here on out.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

money and stuff

I have made up my mind on the camera issue. We are going to buy a Canon Rebel XS. It is insanely expensive, and I am worried that I will never learn how to use it correctly, but I really want a nice camera. And since we have paid off our credit card debt (!!!!), I plan on buying the camera at the end of next month. I have read a million reviews, and they all seem to be pretty positive. So, I am excited! However, I also think I need a point and shoot camera to leave in my purse. I am pretty sure John won't go along with that plan, so I guess I am going to have to get used to lugging around a bigger camera.

Can you believe we paid off all our credit card debt? We are finally in a position to start SAVING money instead of always PAYING money to credit card companies. I am shocked at how quickly we accomplished this goal. I am not going to lie, the past six months have sucked. We never had extra money. I was always fretting about the amount of money in our checking account. Some months we would get down to $20. But, it was all worth it. The only extra bill we have now is for my orthodontic work. Next up, we plan to pay off a home equity line of credit. According to my calculations, we should have the loan paid off in roughly 3 years. So, 3 more years of scrimping and saving every penny (ugh).

On a completely unrelated subject, can you believe this freaking oil spill? What in the hell is everyone doing about the problem? Is oil going to spill into the Gulf FOREVER? I thought Americans were creative, resourceful people. Why are we twiddling our thumbs like dumb-asses?

Monday, June 21, 2010

As you know, my husband and I often butt heads over the whole vaccine issue. Although I am pro-vaccine, I do expect our pediatrician to respect any decisions we make regarding vaccines (regardless of his opinion). At Porgie's last visit, the doctor seemed very agitated with my request for a titer test. I was kind of irritated at his nasty attitude, and I commented to a friend about his unprofessional response. She wasn't surprised, because she claimed that doctors make decent money from the vaccine industry. I largely dismissed her claim, and just assumed that the doctor was irritated because I broke from the status quo.

Last week I received a statement from my insurance company for Porgie's 4 year check-up. On the statement I noticed that I was charged for two office visits. The first one was for a preventative exam ($190) and the second one was for a sick visit ($140). What? This didn't make any sense. She wasn't sick. So even though my insurance company paid the entire claim, I called the pediatrician's office to find out what this second charge was for.

You will not believe this, but the doctor charged me $140 extra because I asked him for advice regarding Porgie's constipation. WHAT THE FUCK? Apparently I am not allowed to ask questions or seek advice during a well check-up. I told that woman I spoke to that this was insurance fraud, and that I intended to report it to my insurance company. She told me she would talk to the doctor and call me back.

I am honestly heart broken over this whole incident. I feel like maybe my friend was right. The doctor isn't concerned about the health and well-being of my child. He is only concerned about money. Since I refused the vaccines, he just charged me for an extra office visit to make up the difference. Why else would he charge me a total of $330 for a 10 minute office visit? Maybe I am reading too much into this. Perhaps he just charged me the extra $140 out of spite.

So now, after fighting with my insurance company for 5 month (FIVE MONTHS!) to have my current pediatrician covered, I am in the process of trying to find a new doctor. I am disappointed and sad.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Deals to be had

I went shopping yesterday. I should probably feel guilty about my budget indiscretion, but oddly enough, I don't. I managed to snag some truly AWESOME deals, so it actually felt like I was being thrifty!

We stopped by Old Navy first. I was actually planning on buying the kids a couple new pairs of pajamas. However, I never made it back to the kids section. The Old Navy by me (and maybe by you too?) has a HUGE selection of jeans on clearance. Most of the jeans are marked down to between $10-$12. On top of that, all clearance clothes are an additional 30% off! I got three pairs of jeans for $18! Now, I just have to maintain my weight until the fall when I can actually wear them (easier said than done).

We also stopped by Target. They had a ton of girl's shirts and shorts marked down to $2.80 a piece! Holy crap! It is a good thing my husband just got paid, because I ended up buying Porgie 2 pairs of shorts, 3 shirts, and 1 pair of capris. I bought all of them in a 5t for next summer, because she already has a ton of clothes for this summer. While picking out Porgies clothes, I came to a startling realization. The baby section in Target only goes up to 5t. Next year I'll be shopping on the clearance racks in the big kids section. That makes me a little teary eyed.

In summary, there are lots of good clearance rack deals right now. If you have a little extra money, I recommend that you go shopping. NOW!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Its that time again...

Yesterday was Ortho day. I went in for my 2nd adjustment. I was feeling pretty confident, because last time my teeth only ached for a few days. Easy peasy! But those sick bastards got me again. They introduced something new - the powerchain. Just typing the word gives me cold chills.

They powerchained 2 of my upper teeth and 4 of my lower teeth. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. It hurts. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say that my teeth are at least at an 8. A throbbing, uncomfortable, miserable 8. Not only does it hurt to eat, but it also just hurts for no reason whatsoever. The pressure is overwhelming. I am always aware of the pushing, pushing, pushing sensation.

So the bad news is that I can't eat again. The good news is that I am going to be one skinny bitch by the end of this whole experience.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Parenting Fail

I took the kids swimming at a lake yesterday. The morning started out overcast and decidedly gloomy. I didn't have any sunscreen, but I assumed that we would be fine. It looked like it was going to start raining any second, so I figured that we wouldn't be in the water for long.

Well, it never rained. We were having so much fun, that we ended up staying for a few hours. And I completely forgot about the sunscreen. When we got home, we all jumped in the shower together. I noticed that Izzy's back was a little red. After we got out, I rubbed him down with lotion and largely forgot about the "mild" sunburn.

Fast forward to bedtime. Oh my freaking god! My child has a horrible sunburn. His entire back is bright red. He cries when you touch his skin. I feel like the worst mother EVER. We are fair skinned people. I know better than to go swimming without sunscreen. Why didn't I stop at Target before heading to the lake? Today I am feeling incredibly guilty for my lackluster parenting skills.

I suck.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A post I probably should have deleted

I just experienced the most boring weekend EVER. We didn't go anywhere. We didn't do anything. At first I thought it was going to be a lazy, relaxing weekend. But no, it was just REALLY boring. On the up side, I did get a lot of reading done.

We blew up a kiddie pool for Porgie and Izzy on Saturday. They LOVE it. But me? Not so much. They kept getting in and out of the pool, tracking in tons of grass and dirt. I probably won't have to deal with the pool much longer, because I am fairly confident that the lawn mowers are going to pop it with their damn weed whackers this afternoon. Then the kids will be completely and totally devastated.

In other news, I bought Porgie this fishing game for her birthday. This is basically the most awesome gift she has ever received. This cheap game puts the fancy 4 ft. tall dollhouse we bought her to shame. So, if you are looking for the perfect gift for four year old, look no further.

Geez, this post serves no purpose whatsoever. I am just rambling about nonsense. Okay, I am off to go do something productive! Okay, I am not going to be productive, but by golly, I am going to GO SOMEWHERE. I cannot sit around this house for another damn second.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Issues in my life right now

So, my husband won. Porgie's titer test showed that she is immune to Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Chickenpox. She will not be receiving a second dose of the MMR vaccine or the Varicella vaccine. And although I didn't expect to feel so emotional about the results, I have to say that I am tremendously relieved. I can rest easy because she is immune to these potentially deadly diseases, and my husband can rest easy because she won't have to have any unnecessary vaccines. So for the time being, we are all happy. THANK GOD.

My camera is officially dead. There was a tiny little internal battery that my husband thought might be causing the problem. After replacing the battery, my camera still doesn't work correctly. My husband is currently trying to talk me into a Canon Rebel. But the price tag is a little steep. And remember, we are thisclose to paying off our credit card debt. I am not sure that this is a good time to make a big purchase.

We are back on the potty training bandwagon with Porgie. And once again, she is holding in her poop for insanely long periods of time. We are currently on day 4 with no poop in sight. I mentioned this at her 4 year check up, and the doctor once again told me to put her back in a diaper. But I am not really happy with this advice. I mean, the kid is FOUR YEARS OLD. We need to get this show on the road. I am going to try the prune juice route tomorrow. Fortunately, Izzy is still pooping and peeing on the potty like a champ. My good little guy!

My Coca Cola addiction has been getting the better of me lately. I often find myself looking for excuses to go out, just so I can purchase an ice cold Coca Cola Classic. A little piece of heaven, right here on Earth.

It suddenly got very chilly on Monday, so we never made it to the beach. I am keeping my fingers crossed for next weekend. Last weekend we did have the opportunity to go our local swim club for free (it was open house weekend). The kids LOVED it. I inquired about a membership, and they wanted $580 for a family membership! FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY DOLLARS! thank you swim club. We'll just play with the hose in our back yard.

Well, I hope you all have a fabulous weekend:)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Relationships are hard

My husband and I have been fighting a lot lately. Mostly, these fights center around vaccines. John is very anti-vaccination. I, on the other hand, think our kids should be fully vaccinated. Since we are both stubborn assholes, neither of us wants to make concessions.

Today I took Porgie for her 4 year check-up. At my husband's request, I asked the doctor to perform a titer test to check for Porgie's immunity to Measles, Mumps, and Rubella. Apparently, the second dose of MMR is not a booster. After the first shot, most people are immune. However about 5% of people will not develop immunity. The second shot is administered to give that 5% (or 1 in 20 people) another shot at immunity. Before giving the second MMR shot, a titer test can be performed to measure a person's immunity. In an effort to compromise with my husband, I agreed to have the titer test completed before giving Porgie a potentially unnecessary vaccine.

Unfortunately for me, the doctor was a little rude about the whole situation. I explained my husband's point of view, yet the doctor kept insisting that the titer test wasn't effective. I was starting to feel a little flustered, because this really isn't my battle to fight. My husband really needed to be there to voice his concerns. By the time I left, I had the distinct feeling that the doctor thought I was an idiot.

My husband and I love our children and want nothing but the best for them. John worries that something in the vaccines might harm them, whereas I worry that getting one of these preventable diseases will harm them. We both want our children to be safe and healthy, but we differ on where we think the danger lies. It is a frustrating situation, and I wish that there was a easy solution. Sadly, someone always ends up angry and hurt.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Camera Conundrum

I need camera help! I have been searching the internet, but there are just too many options. Everything has positive and negative reviews. How in the hell am I suppose to know which camera to pick? Basically, I just want a camera that is relatively small and simple to use, that takes great pictures (obviously). And cost under $300. Since I can't seem to make a decision, I thought I would turn to the old trusty blog. What kind of camera do you use? Do you like it? Is there a camera you have had your eye on? Tell me what to buy!

P.S. Our current camera is a Canon Powershot A460, so please don't recommend that. Thanks!

Monday, June 7, 2010

How did we get here?

It is such a cliche, but time really does fly. I blinked my eyes, and my baby girl turned four.






Happy birthday sweet baby girl. I love you with all my heart.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Technology is a pain in the ass.

So, my camera is on the fritz. We went to the Please Touch Museum for FREE on Friday (It was mommy blogger day. How cool is that?). It was AMAZING. I tried to take pictures, but my camera kept insisting that it had a low battery, despite the fact that I had just replaced the freaking batteries.

We threw Porgie's 4th birthday party today. Things started out good, and I was snapping pictures left and right, but then the images started going white. My friend's husband looked at my camera and declared that I just had it on the wrong setting. He "fixed" it and then the images were just fuzzy. So, I guess we need to buy a new camera. Gah.

Anyways, I thought I would share a few of the pictures that didn't turn out shitty.

The birthday girl! She is so long and lanky. My baby girl doesn't look like a baby anymore...

My fabulous homemade "dragon" cake (Okay, it is really a dinosaur. Shhh...don't tell Porgie)...

Playing in the yard with friends...

Pin the tail on the donkey...


Sadly, this is the last picture I snapped before the camera died completely. No blowing out the candle pictures:( Makes me sad.

Porgie's actual birthday is tomorrow. If it doesn't rain, we plan on going to the beach. We have to enjoy the ocean now before that damn oil spill destroys the entire coast.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Saving dough

I have been a wee bit cranky lately. Little things have been getting under my skin - like how OTHER people spend their money. What the hell? I shouldn't care about other people's finances. But for some strange reason, watching people spend money really pisses me off. Especially people who spend frivolously. Those people are the WORST. All of this tension is probably stemming from the fact that I only have $150 dollars in my bank account. And that $150 needs to last until the 15th. Ugh.

So, we are thisclose to having our credit card debt paid off. We are so close I can taste it. But paying off our credit cards does not equal more spending money. We plan on taking this cash, and paying it toward a loan we have on our house. And when the loan is repaid, we are going to start paying all of that extra cash toward our mortgage. Basically, we plan on never having money ever again.

On one level, this plan makes me giddy with excitement. We could actually be completely debt free by the time our kids head off to college! WOW! That is awesome. But on the other hand, I am already sick of living paycheck to paycheck. I want to have a little extra spending money. And maybe a new outfit or two.

I know that we will have more in the long run by living frugally now, so I am trying to make the most of our current situation. Here are a list of thing we currently do to save money...
1. We never eat out. Okay, maybe we eat out occasionally - but never more than twice a month.
2. We no longer buy paper towels (they are wasteful and expensive).
3. We have set our central air to 79 degrees (in the past, we set it at 72 degrees).
4. I pack a lunch for my husband everyday.
5. I buy gently used toys for my kids off of Craig's list (stay tuned for pictures of Porgie's AMAZING used birthday gift).
6. I clip coupons.
7. I used Swagbucks and Opinion Outpost to earn a little extra spending cash.
8. I have been baking my own bread/pizza dough/desserts. There is so much stuff you can make at home for a fraction of the cost.

I am sure there is more, but that is all I can think of right now. Our hard work is paying off, because by the end of July, we will have paid off a huge debt in just 7 months. I am proud of us and our thriftiness! And apparently, I expect you to be thrifty now too. Don't let me catch you spending money on goofy shit. I'll give you the evil eye, while calling you names under my breath.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I have talked about the idea of homeschooling several times in the past, but I just haven't been able to fully commit to the idea. With my husband's encouragement, I finally contacted a local homeschool co-op. Last Friday I went to visit the facility and meet the other parents. And holy crap, I LOVED it.

Basically, a group of homeschooling mothers have organized a k-5 school in the basement of a church. The parents do everything. They teach the classes, develop the lessons, decorate the rooms, and take care of the little babies. I was amazed by the level of involvement. Parents do not drop off their children and leave. They are active participants in the entire learning process. Everyone has a job and everyone works to teach and guide the children. I can't say enough good things about the co-op. I was smitten.

So, I signed my family up for the co-op in the fall. Porgie and Izzy will be in the preschool class, and I will work as an aide in that room. We will be together the entire time, working and learning side by side. And I couldn't be happier with my decision. Even if we decide not to homeschool next year, I think this will be a wonderful experience for me and my children.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Losing myself

People are always changing. We are constantly in motion, moving from one phase of our lives to the next. My life has changed dramatically in the past few years. I can honestly say, without a doubt, having kids has been the best phase of my life. However, I can't help but feel like I have lost something along the way.

I no longer feel feminine, girly, or pretty. I don't know how to phrase this exactly, but I no longer feel like I am attractive (to anyone - even my husband). And the most disturbing part is that I don't really even care. I never wear makeup anymore. I rarely buy new clothes. And I am a little pudgier than I need to be.

Although I have been fairly at peace with my lackluster appearance, something has been bothering me lately - my hair. When I look in the mirror, I see my mother's unruly and disheveled mane. It is everything - the color, the cut, the texture. And it disturbs me on so many levels.

This realization has awoken something inside of me. Why have I let myself go? If I don't like what I see in the mirror, then I need to change it. First up is my hair - I need to have it cut and dyed (For the past several months, I have been skipping the dye to save money). Next, I am going to work on shedding a few pounds. Although I personally don't really have a problem with my weight right now, I know that I could stand to shed a few pounds. And it is almost summer, so bathing suit season is just around the corner. Finally, I am going to start wearing a little makeup everyday. Hopefully it will make me feel a little more put together and maybe, just maybe, a little more feminine and girly and pretty. And I think that is exactly what I need right now.