Thursday, October 30, 2008
She found what she wanted- kittys and fish-- for $6.99. And now Nathan needed the doggies and bones too for a pair of his jeans at home for $6.99- so I not only saved $0 on Leila, I spent extra in the name of being fair and getting some for Nathan, not to mention time and gas. Next time, we are buying the $16.99 pair. And a note to the grandma's- Leila is a size six, not a seven- she is so thin and long it may be years before she actually fills in a seven waistband. By the time she outgrows the length, hopefully it will be summer and capris will be back in season.
They do both love thier unique jeans however and had fun placing the little emblishments exactly where they wanted them, and used every single item. Gotta love it:
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I LOVE feeling the baby move, I don't love getting kicked directly on the bladder- ping, ping, ping
I LOVE having my family feel the baby move, I don't love strangers touching my tummy or me
I LOVE not feeling like I need to restrict what I eat, I don't love heart burn or waking up in the middle of the night hungry
I LOVE no guilt with a middle of the night PB Sandwich or bowl of ice cream
I LOVE back rubs by my husband, I don't love feeling indebted to him to return the favor
I LOVE seeing my baby in the ultrasound screens, I don't love the internal ultrasound screens
I LOVE strong fingernails
I LOVE dreaming about and thinking about and loving my baby already.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
He asked me the other day how people get under the ground after passing by the cemetery. I told him people get old or sick and die and then they are buried and they have a spot where family can visit and remember them. He then asked if there are monkeys under the ground too.
Every morning he asks me "What are we doing today Mommy?" and on the days when the answer is nothing, he seems completely satisfied.
He asks me about every sign we pass while driving. Finally today I was getting a bit tired of responding(And telling him that the signs say he is cute doesn't work for him) I told him he needed to learn to read so he could read the signs himself. He said "OK Mommy" but kept asking me what the signs say.
He is very sharing, most of the time. Today our friends Hunter and Paige came to visit and when I told him they were coming he immediately said: I will share my cars with Hunter. His teachers at his Nature Class also commented on his sharing attitude. I asked him to share some cheez-its with mommy and he said no. After a few more times I asked him to share them with the baby in mommy's tummy. He very willingly gave me one.
I asked him if he loved me: Yes. I asked him if I love him: Yes. I asked him if he loves cars: Yes. I asked him if I love cars: Ummm no mommy- you like Barbies.
Tonight he made his very own stoplight out of red, yellow and green legos. He is planning on using it in his room so he can control who comes in or not.
He is very creative spending his time and talents on building things. He loves stacking and lining up things. He loves order. In fact, I wonder if I see the beginnings of OCD on some days!
Check out his car lines:
I am not the most political person around. In fact, I might even say I am non-political. While I do believe voting is an important action on my part, I do not like discussing politics. I do not like listening to others discuss politics. I do not like making decisions when I feel either option is not optimal. I don't like making decisions when I am not completely sure what the question even is. There is so much crap flying around that the actual issues are no where to be seen. I don't trust politicians, because ultimately they are soliciting for votes and will likely say what needs to be said to earn those votes. It takes someone with true integrity to follow thru on their word and their commitments to the voters- most politicians are not that someone. Its not in their job description.
I do not belong to either major party and am registered independent not only because I am a very independent person, but also because at 18, who can commit to a political party? And I did register to vote at 18 and am proud I did so. I am still independent because while I am more on the conservative side, I am open minded or possibly even liberal enough that some of the more conservative matters don't feel right. I am concerned about who has my back and I could care less what party they are affiliated with. Me and my family are struggling thanks to the economic state, and I am not talking about the crash we had a few weeks back, but am talking about the general slow down we have seen over the past several months and year. Who is coming to my aid? Who will bail me and my husband out? Why can I not get these simple questions answered instead of getting distracted by all the other political issues that are going on? These other issues I am sure is as important is the economy, but feeling quite egocentric right now, I want to focus on what is right for my family, and how we are going to be taken care of by a government who claims to want to take care of its people.
I've been reading the voters pamphlet at night after the kids are down. You would think my insomnia issues would be taken care of by now, but no, I just think more. I often find myself thinking I understand the issue, then I read the supportive and opposition statements and begin to wonder what, if anything, these arguments have to do with the real bones of the matter. Is this each person interpretation? Did they have the measure explained to them by someone who wrote it? I also find myself looking at who is writing these statements- very suspicious when it is a person running for office with one, and then their party affiliations with several more. Makes me wonder if they are trying to pull something over on me, or are they really so passionate they feel the need to have so much said one way or the other. I like to think its passion. But the cynic in me doesn't quite buy that.
I feel pretty good about my votes. I have made most of my decisions, although this is like a test, the second I turn in my ballot, I am sure will have forgotten most if not all of my answers. Too bad I won't be able to discuss it with anyone. I am grateful I have the opportunity to vote- or even choose not to. I lived in a country where it was ILLEGAL to NOT vote! The fact this is our freedom to vote, and we are all part of this democracy by living in this country more people should vote, but I often wonder if we were forced if we would have a lot more write-ins, or maybe feel a little distrust in the outcome if someone is just punching because if not they will be fined, assigned community service or put in jail(though I doubt many actually go to jail).
I will be glad the commercials will be off the TV. I will be glad the phone calls will stop. I will be glad the mail will slow down, although my kids have enjoyed coloring or cutting up the mail that has come in- they love getting mail. Can't wait for 11-4-08. Look forward to seeing who will win President because we are in desperate need of change. The cynic in me doesn't think whoever is elected can make those changes in 4 years.
So its time for my civic duty again. My one vote really doesn't matter-- it is the act of my voting that matters. The act of your voting matters too..
Sunday, October 19, 2008
For Sale: Beautiful Husband, Amazing Daughter and Adorable Son. Usually the lights of my life. Will give a discount for all three....
(Wow, I feel better already- venting helps doesn't it? By the way, the daughter and son did come in while writing this to tell me they love me. I think they really do. I also think Husband put them up to it, which means he loves me too. The day is turning again as I write....)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Who wants to budget? Eeeewww... The brat in me just wants to spend and get what I want when I want it. But, as everyone knows, this is not only not possible, it is also not healthy. I grew up in a home that was middle class. We had everything we needed, and a lot of what we wanted- but not everything by far. There were several years while my dad was unemployed and our income was down and I know now my parents faced a lot of uncertainty and stress. But we as children were mostly shielded from those stresses because my parents didn't want us to worry. We were still provided for and our basic needs met. What a blessing.
When I enrolled at PCC at the tender age of 18 I got an application to my very first credit card. Now there is nothing like a credit card to make a teenager feel grown up and cool. I wasn't completely stupid and didn't run it up first thing, BUT, I did enjoy being able to have something when I really couldn't afford it and became quite accustomed to living that way. Credit was easy- I kept paying more than the minimum payments and my credit score and available balance soared. I got better and better jobs and adjusted my lifestyle accordingly, including my use of my credit cards(Sounds messed up, right?). So while everything in my life- my credit score, my income, my level of living went up, unfortunately so did my balance on my CC. But I was somewhat smart and financially savvy like my Dad raised me to be and I was able to keep that under control- somewhat- at least I never maxed a card out and have never had a collection call. Jeremy and I got together and a double income was a nice thing. Together we let our balances increase, but we both hated having this debt hanging over our heads. Twice we paid off rather large balances together and I am happy to say we have not used our credit cards in several years.
So, two and half years ago I was able to leave my job that paid me pretty well and take a job with my Dad's CPA business. While we work our bums off for about 3 1/2 months, we have it pretty easy the rest of the year, so my income dropped down to around 20% of what I was normally getting paid. This was OK- Jeremy and I knew it would meet our minimum needs, we could keep up with the house payments, and the reward was I could stay home with my children(which has no price), saving us money on childcare, commuting costs, and the other little things that come up while working(shopping at lunch was a big one). Now, I am sad to say, that income is gone too. Jeremy and I were aware this would eventually happen, but we aren't quite prepared for it like I would like us to be. So, it is time for a serious budget and learning to stick to the budget. This was and is hard for us, but so far so good.
First we needed to figure out where our money is actually going. I look at our bank statements and trying to categorize, even online, was a much too big of task. I subscribed to mint.com. They track and categorize our spending habits. The send notices when you get close to or exceed a limit in an online budget you set. It's very interesting information. I started this in the summer knowing while our expenses were higher with an out of country guest, we would still get an idea of the big unknown categories: Gas, groceries, misc shopping. This has helped give us a good idea of what we are spending so we can actually establish realistic budget amounts.
I did get paid in September, but we pretended I did not. We put that money in savings. In Sept. we needed some of it, and transferred it over, but are trying really hard to not use it in Oct. I started making grocery lists based on a weekly meal plan. I was shocked my first trip was $30 less. I didn't go off of that list, which isn't completely realistic because I like to stock up on things for our food storage(like if I had a jar of spaghetti sauce, I will buy two or three), but I know if I stick to a list of basics for the first pay day of the month(the one that includes our mortgage expense), I will be able to buy the extras the next trip. Hopefully. Jeremy started car-pooling almost from the beginning of getting this job- and that has helped with the climbing gas prices. I think before I turn up the heat and you are likely to see us wearing warmer clothes- I bought warm clothes for this time of year- I need to make use of them after all! I don't window shop. I can't go shopping without spending money, and I have found over the past several years I really don't enjoy myself shopping when I can't afford it or only allow myself to check out the clearance rack(though I love a good clearance deal). I do make sure we have money for fun stuff. We went to family swim last week for only $9 total- that was a totally cheap evening, and we all had a blast. We also have several things listed out that don't cost us much more than that, or anything at all.
Christmas is stressing me out a bit because while I do not believe that gifts are the reason for the season, I do enjoy giving things to people that have meaning and not worry about the costs. I want my kids to experience the magic of the holidays and the excitement of new toys. My extended family has avoided causing hardship for years by choosing a fun gift exchange with a $10 limit. I still usually get the kids something fun, but the exchange thing takes the pressure off. Last year I did get a part time job to help pay for Christmas, but that is not an option this year. I did notice several stores either bringing back lay-away or advertising it again(I have never used lay-away and am interested in figuring it out). I am still trying to find the ones in our area that offer it. I also am a bit crafty and plan to make some things for fun gifts and be satisfied with that. Its not about the amount you spend on a gift- its about the thought behind it. Right?
Now, I don't want my kids to worry about money. But, I do want them to be aware. If they want something and we don't have the cash on hand we tell them its not in the budget, and maybe we can wait for next pay-day. I see Leila thinking about money and she has even referenced our not doing something because we don't have money. She has also asked me when Daddy was getting paid again so we could do something fun(like go out to eat or something like that). I am hoping our honest approach will not stress her out but rather teach her we don't have to have everything right now, that we can save and plan for future purchases. We are creatures capable of waiting a week or two or even saving up for something that we want so badly. I have noticed after two weeks when we finally have the money, the desire is sometimes gone too. But she does like to get just like I do- this waiting for somthing you really really really want is a tough concept for me, a 32 year old. Its ever harder for a 5 year old. Yesterday, after asking for a trip to the dollar tree and my telling her no and explaining its not in our budget she thought about it for a bit and pulled out her beloved $2 from her little pink wallet. She gave $1 to Nathan so he could get something too. Very thoughtful. I did double check to make sure she really wanted to spend her dollars on this, and she was very confident that this was exactly what she wanted to do with her money. I put in my own $2 and bought us some pretzels and a soda to share at the park on our way home.
So, we have 1/2 a gallon of milk in the fridge, and don't get paid until the end of next week. Our balance on our checking account is alarmingly low. I will not have a problem transferring over some money so we can get our basics from the grocery store at the end of this week, but I know I can't buy more than our basic needs, which at this point is milk and pie crust(I have a major craving for pecan pie and am only missing the crust ingrediant and dont know how to make a successful one yet- and as any pregnant woman will tell you, a craving is a need, not a want!). We simply need to stay home and have fun and try not to waste what we do have- and I know we are capable of doing so. My friend Rebecca is into couponing and with coupons she is able to maintain a budget of $145 a month for all grocery, personal hygiene, paper products, etc. Wow! She does spend a lot of time organizing and searching out some of these deals, but if I can learn a tip or two from her and save even $75-100/month that would be great. I need to spend some time with her.
I feel now that my income is gone, I need to work even harder for a "hidden income" which is saving money and really knowing where we are spending our money. This adds yet another layer of pressure on me to make sure my home is running smoothly. And I do not enjoy this pressure. I have many wants- that include moving closer to Jeremy's work and upgrading homes, getting a massage or even a pedicure, going to Costco and stocking up on everything we might ever need just to have it, get more take-out dinners, buying some non-used maternity clothes, getting my kids anything they want for Christmas(Not necessarily in that order). BUT- these are wants and not needs. I feel confident we can live and be happy on Jeremy's salary alone. We won't have the extras, and won't be able to have fun weekends away or as many dinners out or fun shopping trips on things that aren't totally neccesary, but again- those are wants, not needs. Another month of sticking to this budget and I will feel much more secure in the way things are going. Learning to behave this way has leant me a feeling of increase control in what we do despite the fact we actually can't do as much. Its OK for us to tighten our belts once in a while- it makes me appreciate what I have even so much more. I do not need anything and everything the minute I see it.
So while I am now a full-time SAHM, I am also CFO of the Conser Home. Heavy titles, but important ones.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
As a teenager I was obsessed with Anne Rices' vampire novels- wanting to become one myself. They was fun to read about and I loved the settings and the history- but life got busy and I guess you could say growing up got in the way and other than the occasional costume at Halloween, vampires ceased to be a topic my mind thought about. Then about a year ago we had book club, and I reunited with the dark, yet exciting topic of vampires. Stephanie Meyers books take place in high school, which reminded of all that teenage angst I happened to be going thru while reading Rices books. It definitely took me back and I enjoyed the "escape" the Meyers books gave me.
I will admit to reading all 4 of the Twilight Series. I have to say how very grateful I am that there will be no more books in this series because I simply sat around for as many days at it took to read the books to completion(I read the first two books in a matter of days. The third too me several weeks. The fourth maybe a month-- so I did slow down and was somewhat more productive during the last two books.) Meyers is a new author and I really admire her for writing and publishing and investing her time in her creative talent. I have the writing bug in me, but simply do not invest my time to see if it would be possible to have decent results. Maybe I am lazy, maybe I am afraid nothing really good would come out of it, maybe I simply don't have the time-- who knows. So, for a beginner(and I know I couldn't do any better), I don't think she is the best author in the world. But she is a beginner and will definitely improve, and did improve from the first book to the fourth. And her writing is entertaining and exciting none the less. And that is what these books were for me: Entertainment.
So, I plan to never discuss these books again, and this entry is simply ridding my life of further discussion(Although I know me... I will likely still join in). I liked these books for the escapism. I liked revisiting vampires and their lives. I like the "vegetarian" aspect of the vampire family. I LOVED that it took place in the Northwest. I didn't like Bella so much- I don't think she deserved Edwards or Jacobs admiration. I think she was probably a typical teenager, but it annoyed me that she tried to "mother" her father so much, but still acted like a little punk at times(like I did when I was her age). If she was really so mature, she wouldn't have pulled half of the crap she did. Maybe just a note that no matter how old/mature you behave, your age is still your age and you will end up acting it at some point. Also it annoyed me she couldn't see beyond her love of Edward to really plan her future? I had a boyfriend in high school- one I am sure I really loved- but I still could plan my future. And when we broke up I was crushed, but was not about to die- so either my love was not as great as hers- or her ambition for life wasn't as great as mine. I liked Jacob- his fault was falling in love with Bella. He invested way too much time with her when he could totally see she was head over heals in love with Edward. He was also warm-- I like warmth. Especially important for me to have a(my husbands) warm body in my bed for my cold toes this time of year. Edward was cool and collected and I could only dream someone that sophisticated would fall for me. I loved how he loved Bella for who she was. She painted herself as a pretty plain Jane, and he loved her anyway. Maybe it was their connection that I appreciated. But, I am not sure why a guy this old would want to hang out in High School. With the resources of that family, the high school set up seemed like kind of a stretch(maybe I am forgetting some details as to why they were going to school in the first place). And he would probably kill me with hypothermia-- no midnight snuggling for us- I would be too cold to get that close to him. He would be seeing me wearing several layers of sweats, and we all know sweats don't do much for the figure. He would either suck my blood to get rid of me, or run up the coast to live with his cousins in Canada.
So now the movie is coming out. I am sure I will see it at some point, but I am not looking forward to it. I am never satisfied with movies made from books. My imagination is just too far advanced for film. That, or I am a spoiled brat and want to see things the way I imagined it, not someone else's interpretation. When I do finally see the movie I just need to keep an open mind and enjoy the movie for what I enjoyed the books: Entertainment.
(Thanks Julie for posting the preview on your blog- it got me thinking and caused me to take a few minutes to free-write.)
Saturday, October 11, 2008
These pictures were taken begining of September(pre-haircut-yes I am still sad)-- I am just slow to post them.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Anyway, I felt impressed to say thanks again. I love you all. I am one blessed little girl.
The party was fun and full of kid friendly activites and food(out of this world mac and cheez!). I was able to go maternity clothes shopping at Kimberly's Bin of Prego Clothes. Way cool- I borrowed some great things and won't need to buy much at all considering I do not need as much without the professional aspect of my life(work out of the home). My previous clothes didn't fit me so well since I have lost weight since then and honestly I look at these clothes and have no desire to wear them again. Some of them anyway! I even found $3 in one of the pockets, so all in all I made it out ahead! Thanks Kimberly!
That night we took it easy at home playing and reading and watching some Halloween movie on the Disney channel.
Sunday(10/5/08) we watched General Conference, the twice yearly meeting for all members to review church business, activities and hear instruction from other members and leaders. The kids weren't "into" it at first, so I had several crafts for them to work on during the two 2-hour sessions. Leila was very excited when the choir started singing a song she knew, and it melted both Jeremy's and my heart to hear her sing along while playing with her play dough. The best thing about conference is it gives us chance to take a little break while still being uplifted thru the talks and instruction from our church leaders. Its amazing to see the many people gathered in SLC, and knowing that broadcasts are available at almost every location in the world so any member can join and listen to the words. This is a nice reminder that the LDS church is so very big. Its quite comforting actually- so often I feel like a minority with my beliefs and have my defenses up without realizing it. In the past I have been treated poorly for being "different" and having my beliefs. I am always amazed that there are so many closed minded people out there in regards to religion and views on God. How can something so personal and precious to my heart be up for debate to anyone else? I do not push my beliefs on anyone or tell people they are wrong if they believe something else(Although I am always open to discuss anything assuming I know the answers- I have studied many other religions and enjoy seeing contrasts among the many faiths--part of what helps my mind stay open I assume), however many people feel they need to correct my beliefs point out the differences without an open mind to hear the truths and beliefs of my side- go figure. But that is a side note. Twice yearly I forget these feelings and feel ready to be myself after being with so many people who share my beliefs- even if only one weekend and watching it on TV. I guess you could say I feel "built up" in a way.
Nathan and I started the morning off by making chocolate chip muffins- a dozen muffins that were gone by lunchtime. Hmmm. I started up some rolls towards the end of the first session and made some potato cheddar soup for lunch, and mixed up some honey butter. Not only did we have our fill of comfort food, we also turned on our fire for the first time of the season and enjoyed a rainy, blustery day from the inside of a warm and comfortable environment. Jeremy also sold his older-than-our-relationship stereo on craigslist and made $10! Woohoo. Wonderful day!
Today(10/6/08) both kids went to school. We walked to Leila's preschool and then after Nathan and I got home we dropped off some things and the library and I dropped him off at the Nature park where he takes a once weekly class and gets to play with dirt and slugs and grasshoppers and fun stuff boys like. I have a whole hour and a half to myself once a week. And what do I do- usually run errands for the family. After we picked up both kids we realized they had practice for their primary program coming up at church in a few weeks. Once a year the children in our church put on a program during the first hour to show what they are learning. Both of my kids are quite the singers and belt out the tunes. I am so thankful they haven't stopped doing this- one day I am sure they will realize all the other kids aren't singing as loudly and correct themselves, so enjoy it while I can. Also, we try to have a family meeting once a week. Today we realized our "Conser Family Reward Chart" was all filled up for our first "Conser Reward Activity"! Yahoo! The kids earn stars for doing different chores around the house. I am trying to convince them they would prbably earn enough each week to go on a fun activity every weekend, but so far we haven't been that aggressive. Jeremy drew family swim from a number of options in a hat- now I just hope my swimsuit still fits...eeek! We will likely do this sometime this weekend.
Here are some fun photos from the weeend:
I started really imagining our little girl and happened to have Leila's hospital T-shirt near, so I looked at it, put it on a pillow and could just imaging her inside of the it. I showed it to Jeremy and his first comment was: Will our baby really fit in that? The answer is YES! DUH! Leila came home with this little shirt and she was not busting out of it, and at 9 1/2 pounds was bigger than this baby will be(hopefully!). And even a 9 1/2 pounder is small enough to fit in your arms- her little belly will be only as big as my hand.
Here is Goofy Naters- dressed himself on Sunday Morning. Notice the tie- in honor of it being Sunday I assume. I feel I do need to mention he doesn't normally wear a tie to church, but whatever... I try not to question a 3-year-old mind and its logic. I do like his knee popped up- what a model!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Here goes nothing- 7 Random and/or weird facts about myself:
1. I started dance lessons at age 3 and loved it- I get very nostalgic when I go to plays or dance events...wondering what could have been...so much so I don't even like going and watching them much anymore. It almost hurts.
2. Even though I love a good steak, I would be a vegetarian due to my disgust in the way most animals for meat are raised, as well as the health factor. BUT, I don't care much for vegetables- and who likes a picky vegetarian?
3. I knew they day my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, moved his playstation into my apartment that this relationship was going to be serious.
4. I have several novels started. I also have a pen name in mind so you will never know when its mine...
5. I can whistle three different ways, and no, thru my nose is not one of them.
6. Last Halloween I let my kids eat their halloween candy for breakfast if they promised to drink their milk. I did this for two mornings ina row.
7. I still don't know what I want to "be" when I grow up. However I do know I am supposed to "be" something. I have numerous passions, but can't decide what is best for me and my family(And dancing is not one of them... I am so over that).
Now its my turn to tag others: My family that I have found online: Amy L., Marella, Bethany, Aunt Renetta, Cuzin Wendy, and because I simply want to know more about you: Took, and because I think I know everything about you I am sure you will surprise me: Amy W.