Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pillow Talk

Apartment Therapy has a post up about how many pillows are too many on the bed.



Come back.

Now confess.

I'll go first.

In the past we've had jillions of pillows on the bed. Jillions. Two euro, two standard, four decorative..... all in addition to the actual sleeping pillows... Why? Call it "I registered and they purchased" syndrome. Wedding gifts. Those pillows are repurposed. Our new simplified bed still has a lot:

Hot's sleeping pillow (one of the tempurpedic looking neck things)
My sleeping pillow (one of those half-sized buckwheat jobs)
The middle pillow (a very tired and flat feather pillow for, um, snuggling.... or whatever kid is sleeping between us or additional belly support later in pregnancy)
Two feather fluffy but dense pillows (for reading in bed and to cover the hodge-podge of other pillows for decoration)
One decorative square pillow with some really cool beadwork (that keeps coming off and ending up in Willie's* belly)

And aren't you glad I didn't mention the we-are-trying-to-make-a-baby-hip-elevator pillow?? Oh, come on, you know you all had one.
*Willie is the roomba. Please.... I'm not feeding the dog beads.

Maternity with a B-word

No.... BUDGET, silly.

I'm almost into maternity clothes.

Here's the deal. My maternity wardrobe needs a re-vamp. As Elle has said.... styles have changed since we began birthin' pups. So I'm trying. I'm not going for a whole new wardrobe... just a few pieces to freshen things up a bit.

First, let's do the math. Baby Due June 29. And, to make it easy, let's start March 1st..... that gives us about 121 days...... seventeen weeks plus. So 85-ish work days. So how many work outfits do I really even need? Ten? Twelve? And I can wear the same things over and over again on the weekends..... I have no problem with that. Ok, maybe this is do-able. I'm planning a splurge of Victoria Secret yoga pants (unless someone has a better idea) for post-baby work wear.... think this fall. Probably 2 pairs. And I have about 4 tops I really like that are good for work.... and a few others that are ok. So what I really need is maybe 3-4 top-half outfits.

1. I don't like crew necks.... tight crew necks anyway.
2. I don't like spaghetti straps.... my maternal instinct is to corral these puppies... with a heavy-duty brassiere. (I love that word.... it reminds me of my Grandma.)
3. I don't like super tight.
4. No horizontal stripes. (Trust me, my mom has me covered in this area.... she has purchased MANY horizontally striped items for me.)
5. I like black yoga-style pants.
6. No ironing.
7. Everything must go with either black professional danskos or black Keen sandals (sorry, no linky.)

Any suggestions? Links would be appreciated. Should I just go to Target and get it over with? Shopko had some cute stuff last time I looked (ok, that was years ago). What about Kmart? My favorite summer maternity top came from there. Old Ebay. Gap. Anywhere else I should be looking?

Next week we will tackle my post-baby wardrobe.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The B Word

Elle has a post up about the dread word... BUDGET.

I don't have a copy of the most current budget for our household right now but here are some estimates:

House Insurance: $850/year
Pellets: $750/year ($250/ton)
Daycare: $8500/year
Vehicle Insurance (3 vehicles): $1700/year (geez-UM. Need to shop this around.)
Property Tax: $2000/year
House: $10,000/year
Propane: $300/year
Vehicle Licensing (3 vehicles): $600/year
Student Loan: $4000/year
Electricity: $1800/year (is $150/month average?)
Land line: $480/year
Cell phones: $1020/year (3 phones)
Internet: $265/year
Netflix: $200/year
Fuel: $3600/year
Groceries: $2400/year (this seems low)
TP & Stuff: $1800/year
Entertainment/Gifts: $1200/year
Hot Stuff Lunches: $400/year (not much in winter.... lots in summer)
Spending Cash: $960/year
Things I'm failing to report: Donations, shopping, home repairs, car repairs.... um, what else?

SHIT. It isn't pretty when you list it out like that, is it??

Things we've dropped: $47/month for health club membership is on hold until June.... I'll probably pick it back up for the summer so we can swim but I have to add Tuff for $6/month so maybe not. Video store rentals..... we were spending about $30/month so netflix is a great deal for us plus we can get tv shows and no fuel expenses driving to town to get or drop off a movie. Take out pizza.... we get take-n-bake from Costco or make it at home now.

Things we are getting more careful about: I'm planning to "shop" our insurance... but I've been saying that for years. We've done more "winterizing" work on the house but the price of electricity is out of control. We are watching our credit card bill more closely and really working to keep it under $1500/month. We are saving for some major home repairs that are going to strike at any moment.... like a new roof and a new water heater. I really want text messaging but I'm not getting it yet. I also really want high speed internet.

Things I WANT but I'm not buying because of the economy and/or our budget: frontloading washer/dryer, recliner, dvd recorder, new slipcovers for the couch, a new mattress, new flooring, headboards/bedframes.

Things we've bought but budgeted carefully for: a new fridge (happy anniversary 2006), an elliptical trainer (happy anniversary 2008), a new tv (happy birthday 2008).

How about you?

Still trying to justify stimulating the economy

Go read SarahP's comment on the last post.

Ok, now stop laughing.

I sprained my ankle on February 6th.

How? Oh, I tried to stand up and rolled it. Then I was off balance and stepped on it and rolled it again.

It is now February 24th. I'm wearing "real shoes" for the first time.

Yes, I did get an xray. No, it isn't broken.

But it is still black and blue around my toes and on the outside of my foot.

Poor me.

The sprain (and the fact that I can't bend my foot to properly heel-toe when I walk) is making my back hurt.

Does this justify the purchase of a new mattress for our bed?


A tempurpedic? One of those sleep number ones?

Help me out here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It is time to support the economy, I'm going shopping....

Ridiculous things I will purchase in an effort to support the economy.... come on now... we all have to do our part.

For the mama:
Be Band
Pink Converse
pale peacock blue curtain panels for the bedroom
Calphalon pans

For the daddy:
mp3 player
dvd recorder
Metallica cd

For the girl:
Pink Converse
Pink baseball cap
lip gloss

For the boy:
pre-school workbooks

For the baby:
baby legs
turtle night light
baby socks
Dr. Seuss onsies at Costco

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Meal Planning again

I did a three-meal wonder this weekend.

I gave in to my secret Costco desires and bought a bag of chicken tenders.

Hot ate two sandwiches from them cooked in the microwave before I pointed out it says on the bag in BIG LETTERS to NOT cook them in the microwave. They are raw. So far he isn't showing any outward symptoms of salmonella.

But anyway... back to my giant Costco bag of tenders.

First. I cooked a pan of them and have been eating them all week on salad mix (from Costco, of course) with cheddar cheese blocks, sliced almonds & ranch dressing. (A total Costco meal.... except the ranch dressing mix.... I would LOVE a Costco-sized tub or ranch dressing powder. Do they make that??)

Twosie. For dinner on Saturday night we had chicken tenders, salad & rice.

Three-fer. For dinner on Sunday we had leftover rice mixed with potatoes and topped with cheese and sliced meat.... just like the potato-rice bowls at Staggering Ox..... wow, I love those things. And I love their blue horsies dressing.

I also made mashed potatoes and burgers with the other potatoes and I'm planning a little fried rice for tonight.

I do love a meal plan.

Guess what?

Last night at 9:45 I absolutely had to have a grilled cheese sandwich.

Made in my new calphalon pan.

With a side of peperoncinis.

I've been having a lot of cravings lately.... makes one suspicious, doesn't it???

Monday, February 02, 2009

Boys Vs Girls

Is it just me or are girls more complicated than boys?

I mean... in the little-ones stage of life?

Or is it that my boy is older and can do more things for himself?

But no. It's a social thing.

We have a basic weekday morning schedule around here:
Get dressed.
Eat breakfast (if you are going with Daddy we skip this step and eat at daycare).
Hair, face & teeth.
Gather special things.
Coat & shoes.
To the car.

Sweet gets dressed. He has a few decisions to make. He has to decide between spiderman and batman undies and short or long white socks. His bottoms choices are jeans, silky running pants, camo cargo pants or sweats. His tops are long or short sleeve t-shirts. Sometimes he wears a sweatshirt.

Tuff has so many more options. Dresses, skirts, tights, white socks, pink socks, t-shirts, fancy shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, ponchos, vests, jeans, leggings, fight mama asking to wear a leotard (no... not to daycare), turtlenecks, sweats, stripes, dots, flowers, camo, solids, pastels.

Girls have hair issues. Sweet has a buzz cut. His daddy does his hair. Tuff has bangs and end-trims and squirty leave-in conditioner with an octopus on the label. Tuff has ponytail holders and clippies and headbands. She can wear piggies, clips, ponies, pony-in-a-clip, a little up and a little down, and "I wanna wear my hair like Grandma." (That would be up in a grabby clip in the back.)

Even the shoes are complicated. Sweet has snowboots, cowboy boots, mud boots, tennis shoes and sandals. Tuff has all of that plus more.

Poor kid. No wonder she's so contrary.

Is it just another Hallmark Holiday??

VD is coming.

You know what I'm talking about.

How do you keep it fresh?

How to you combine romantic and practical?

How do you make the littles happy without creating gimme-gift kids?

Flowers. Hot used to sent me lots of flowers. I loved them, but, as Elle has always said, "I prefer them with the roots on...." A flat of pansies is more my style. We've found our balance..... the Costco flower department. I get flowers. He gets style points. Our budget stays in line and no more useless vases collecting in the laundry room.

Cards. Let me go on the record as stating I think cards are the dumbest thing in the world. Just throw away a couple of bucks or, better yet, buy me a bag of m&m's with that money. BUT. Hot likes cards. Hot's family does cards for everything. So I suck it up. I get simple cards at the dollar store and try to use plain cards with a photo stuck on them when I can..... and when I have to do it I visit the card row at my local Target.

Candy. Bring it on. This year I got the kids each a big-sized Hershey's bar. Each. And I won't nag or make them save it. Does that say "I love you" or what? It will be FUN. I might also hit the 2-day sale at CVS tonight for a couple of bags of holiday kisses. We love kisses at our house. And they are 2/$3. Confession time: I DO buy red-silver-green bags on clearance after Christmas and then put the red-silver ones in the sweets jar for Valentine's. Then the green ones go in for St Patrick's day. Seriously. Don't YOU do that?

Gifts. I try not to commercialize my love. Try being the key word there. This year I got a good deal on an mp3 player ($40 for a 1000 song one at Shopko). So that's what I got for Hot. Let's just skip over the part where he was trying to help me clean the pile off the counter on Saturday and found the bag. And proceeded to read all about it while I squealed at him from the living room. The kids are each getting a little white piggy bank ($1.99 from Ben Franklin) to live on the cabinet by the phone for their "lowances" and "special monies." Last weekend it was dog poo. This weekend Sweet swept the garage and broke down all the recycling boxes. Tuff used the stroller to haul things from the back of the garage to the front and pile them there for me. Sweet is getting the Diego Leapster game (that was supposed to be his Christmas present but we ended up with too much stuff so I saved it) and Tuff is getting some lip gloss and a princess wand set (Target clearance). Is it too much? Probably.

Friends. We haven't had to do valentine's for classmates yet. I dread the day.

Food. Lasagna is the usual tradition at our house. Although last year it was steak. No dinner out. That's a nightmare. I like lasagna, salad, wine, cheesecake & peppermint tea.