Monday, February 28, 2011

Lord give me the strength

We are starting sleep training tonight. It is our first night of trying to get Gage to sleep in his own bed, and let me tell you, it is not going smoothly! We started a bedtime routine, and he fell asleep in my lap. Then I put him in his crib and he awoke, crying instantly.

So I got him calmed back down, rocked him a bit more, and then Brian and I agreed to let him cry for 20 minutes to see if he'd sleep. We have less than four minutes remaining, and while he has quieted down a bit, he is definitely NOT sleeping. Listening to your child cry for you is so miserable.

I feel like a total failure as a Momma for ever letting him get in the habit of sleeping with us. I did it around 4 months because he was a frequent night nurser and it seemed like a good way for all of us to get some sleep. Little did I know the battles we'd face down the road, trying to get him to sleep alone. This is horrendous.

Only a minute left til I go get him. Although he seems to be winding down, so I don't know if I'll get him, or give him a little more time... God give me the wisdom to know the right things to do for this child. And the strength to do it, even when it is difficult. All I've ever wanted was what's right for him and I feel like I've messed up so bad.

Update: he fell asleep not five minutes after I posted this, but ten minutes later, I went to check on him and woke him up. ARGH! So I cuddled and rocked him, he went back to sleep, and 20 minutes later, I was able to lay him down. So we'll see how long he stays out! Maybe my prayers will be answered and it'll be all night. Who knows?

Friday, February 25, 2011

One more thing...

I bet you'd be rejoicing in my two-post-in-one-day thing, if I had anything exciting to write about. I felt the need to clear one thing up though, and that is the negative tone to a couple of my posts regarding our apartment, coffee maker, and what-not.

I love our apartment. I wake up every day feeling thankful that we found this complex, with the space we get for our money, the fact that it isn't that old, and the crown moldings. Because, really, what apartments have crown moldings?! I may or may not also have a totally irrational love for the size of our laundry room. So the complaining neighbors and Stompy McBirdseed upstairs don't diminish my love for being here, and my thankfulness of having this place to live that I'm so happy with. You know, for an apartment.

As far as the coffee maker goes, my parents would never give us a coffee maker they knew to be defective. Because my dad is retired, he wakes up every morning and makes coffee; they don't use the auto setting. There's also a strong possibility that the seals have dried out over the time the coffee maker sat in my parent's basement. In any case, there shouldn't have been the implication that my parents would give us a coffee maker that was broken. But, because my mom has a strong sense of justice, she took me to Target yesterday and bought Brian and I a beautiful new, red coffee maker. It is the first brand new coffee maker I have ever had, and it is everything I'd ever hoped it would be. Now I just have to get filters that fit it.

That was more interesting that my musings on the weather, right? Ok, maybe not. But at least it made some semblance of sense.

Oh, that's right! It IS still winter!

We've had a run of really beautiful weather these last few weeks. Really, pretty much since the somewhat large snow storm in early February. I always love when it feels like spring comes early in Colorado, although our winters are peppered with insanely cold, snowy days alternating with warm, sunny days. A long run of warm days start to give me spring fever.

When I woke up today, my Droid's weather app showed a different story... 17 degrees and foggy. Oh, how I missed the fog when we lived in Albuquerque. The closest you got to fog there was when the 65 mile/hour winds would blow all the sands out of the west and you'd feel like an extra in The Scorpion King. There were more than a few times that I tied a bandana around my face and wore sunglesses just to drag the trash can up to the garage before it was swept down the street and gone forever. I don't miss that wind.

But I did miss the fog. Way back when Brian and I lived in Castle Rock, we'd go for these fog drives where we'd drive through the deepest of fogs. It would feel like we were the only two people on earth. We would talk about all sorts of things and once we ended up pretty far from home, almost without realizing it. It was beautiful and mysterious.

Today, the fog is neither beautiful nor mysterious, it is just very cold outside. When I took the dog for a walk, I was reminded that in spite of my slight case of spring fever, it is still winter. That made me a little melancholy, but I'm ok. I'm just so thankful for being back in Colorado and away from the winds of Albuquerque.

I though maybe something profound would come out of those ramblings, but it seems not. I think I just told a very random story that loosely connected to the original plan I'd devised. You know, kind of like The Scorpion King.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

We Slept In! But Sleep is A Relative Term

It's 7:45 and Gage is still in and out of sleep! Of course he's been in and out of sleep for many hours... by which I mean all night!

I hope and pray that when the time comes (soon) that we'll have the wisdom to get the little guy sleep trained and into his crib. Oh, and night weaned.

Back when he was born I had this fantasy that at 12 months sharp we'd start weaning, and by 13 months he'd be done. Of course in this fantasy, I also never saw him taking over our bed, either. I never thought we'd even entertain the idea of co-sleeping. But when life happened, and we knew we'd be leaving my parent's house when he was 14 months old, I thought there was enough change in the works for him, without adding weaning and sleep training. God willing, we'll be starting sleep training next week.

I know there will be lots of crying, jumping up and down and difficulty falling asleep. But hopefully Gage can sleep though me doing all that. Seriously though, I know it won't be easy. But I know He will guide us and help us do the right thing, for all of us.

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's Been A Hard Day's Night

Gage woke up at about 6:00, and that is about 4 hours earlier than I would prefer him to get up. Although I don't mind as much when he starts our day at 7 because then at least the sun is coming up.

Between my groggy mumblings for him to go back to sleep and his giggles, I heard the sound of crackling from the kitchen, reminiscent of water left on the bottom of the coffee pot when the burner kicks on. I first thought maybe a little water had remained on the bottom of the pot when I set it to start for 6:15 so Brian could have coffee before work. When it continued, I went to see if coffee was leaking from the pot. There was no coffee in the pot, so I stuck with my theory of water under the pot until I realized that it was 6:25 and while this coffee pot is new to me, I figured that there should have been coffee in 10 minutes. New to me because my parents gave us their old one. (We may now know why they got a new one. But I digress.) So I went to the kitchen and took another look... apparently all the water I had put in to have the coffee automatically brew in the morning had leaked out in the night. I got the pleasure of moving everything around while toweling up 8 cups of water from the counter. And discovering the water had soaked the whole brand new box of coffee filters I'd bought a few days prior.
What a way to start the day.

I used one soaked filter to brew a new pot of coffee which came out fine. But I can't live with a coffee pot that can't even hold water for 8 hours to auto brew in the morning. I know where I'll be Friday. That's right, Target! To buy a new coffee pot!


So when my delightful sister-in-law mentioned lunch, I told her how about today?! 'Cause I just want to get out of the house at this point! My parents are coming tonight to watch Gage so we can hopefully wrap up the incredible disorganization that is OUR APARTMENT.

Our apartment, complete with partially functioning caffeine machine. And upstairs neighbor who's bird feeders perpetually belch bird seed all over our porch, making me feel like I'm likely to die of Avian flu in the next month as bird seed reigns down on our things that live on the patio.

Just because it's a new day doesn't mean it's gonna be a good one.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's a New Week, A New Day

Well, it was a new day anyway, except now it is getting close to tomorrow. Which is also mid week. So you can see I meant this post for yesterday. The problem with yesterday was that it was just one of those miserable days and I wanted to curl up in a ball and forget about it. But I'll tell you about it instead and may've you'll tell me it wasn't that bad, because it won't seem that way.

But first, the weekend! Saturday Brian worked and Gage and I hung out, then I went to the beauty supply store with Alecia. If you aren't familiar with beauty supply stores, I will tell you they are the magical places where the pros buy their hair care, skin care, and hair coloring needs. At wholesale prices! Alecia is a certified professional so she is special and can shop there. My mom and I take TOTAL advantage. It's magical. We shopped it up and then had lunch at Smashburger. If you're not familiar with it, don't worry. Their claim to fame is the sauce and it is 100% pure gross. It has horseradish in it, a fact I wished I'd known before I slathered my whole burger in it. All-in-all, it was tasty though, if not a little overpriced. But of course, Alecia and I had a blast, talking about very important things of little importance. Like horseradish on a burger. Yuck.

Saturday night, we ACTUALLY had plans that involved getting dressed and leaving the house! Brian's cousin Jordan is marrying his FABULOUS girlfriend, Baylee, and they had an engagement party at her salon in downtown. I mean to tell you, I did my hair and everything. I put on a great pair of dark khaki pants that I haven't worn since pre-Gage and ooooh, they were loose. They fit great. Anyway, I realized I had been over-zealous in weeding out my extensive shoe collection before the move. I discovered I had no winter shoes with any sort of heel,  so I had to wear flats with khakis that were a touch too long. Horrible, I tell you! I did my hair a certain way knowing it was windy outside, so I could lay it back down inside. What I hadn't counted on was the torrential downpour that was happening in downtown Denver. Fortunately, I had a tiny Z car umbrella in the Subaru, so I could keep my hair dry.

Oh, I am kidding. I was more concerned about keeping Gage dry. So I carried him high, next to my hair.

It was a blast, although I will say I'm not used to having the most natural hair in a place, and the combination of my growing out my hair and being in a place filled with hair stylists, friends of hairstylists, and fun, rockabilly folks made me feel like my un-dyed hair was in the minority. But it looked good anyway, it was my floor-dragging, soaked pant cuffs that offended everyone. In my head. Because surely no one was concerned about my pants. Especially considering that Baylee looked amazing in a one shoulder dress. Can't wait for their wedding, it'll be combination beautiful, fun, and touching. Baylee and Jordan are one of those neat couples who are just made for each other.

We left about 9:30 because someone was getting sleepy and cranky, and didn't want to be carried around anymore. I thought Gage might be ready to go home, too. It was a really nice night, and it was nice to see how Baylee and Jordan have gathered such a great group of friends.

Sunday we worked on the apartment, then spent hours getting ready to go have our friend Ben, who is an amazing photographer, take some family portraits and some candids as well. Ok, the hours getting ready was me, although Brian did shave and look amazing. I chose outfits for all of us in complementary colors, to try and avoid the all-of-us-wearing-black look. I can't wait to see the pics, I know they'll look great.

We had dinner with them also which was great fun. I met Ben's wife (I can call them married since they've been together longer than Brian and I) way back when I worked for a company called AGI. It was an awful job and we bonded over the awfulness. We've been friends for almost 9 years!! Andria rocks, she is a terrific mom and great friend.

Speaking of awfulness, now we're to Monday. It started out well, I met my folks at the Denver Botanical Gardens because it was free day. We met at 9 am, and we had a furniture delivery window from 10:45 to 1:15 so American Furniture could deliver our non-damaged head and foot boards. That's another story even more boring than this one. Anyway, I figured Gage and I could hang for an hour or so, then head home. The furniture delivery guys always call at the stop before ours anyway. But then I lost track of time, and while we driving home, Brian called to tell me the furniture guys were on their way. I called them, asked where they were, and they were pulling up to our building. Oops.

They agreed to do their next stop and come back, as I apologized profusely. They were super nice. They came and put on the new head and foot boards; while they were finishing up there was a knock at my door. I answered to find a neighbor. He started out with, "I'm sorry to bother you," which you know will never be good. He rudely informed me that the delivery vehicle was blocking his wife's car, and could they drop what they were doing to move their truck so she could get out. I told him sure they'd move it, cause they were almost done. By the time I relayed the message, they were done. I fought with our realtor about the Albuquerque house all morning as well so I was starting to feel irritable. We are also having some domestic issues that related to nothing about our relationship or parenting, but not something I want to post here. Suffice it to say, some difficult decisions are being made. It was depressing me.

Then, we had lunch with Brian's dad. That was really fun until we got stuck in traffic on I-25, with Gage screaming like he was being stabbed every time we went under 10 mph. Which we did, a lot. It felt like a really lame version of Speed. But no less stressful than watching Keanu Reeves act.

We got home and had a little while til Brian was off, so I figured Gage would have time for a good nap. He had other plans, and spent 1.5 hours refusing the nap. He fell asleep a little after 6, otherwise known as 1.5 hours before his Daddy would get home and nap would be over. Also known as so late as to cause bedtime issues. Which, if you're curious, it did.

When Brian got home and Gage shot awake at the first sound of the key in the door, we decided to walk Chevy. We also took some trash to the dumpster, where I slid on some rocks. I blew out both knees and broke my back, but didn't fall or drop Gage. Ok, I might be exaggerating just a bit with the knees and back, but it didn't feel too good.

It was a good weekend, followed by a bummer Monday. Today was much better, and tomorrow will be better still.

Except for my blown out knees. That'll make things difficult.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Downloaded the Androidify App...

And here's what I would look like, if I were a Droid. Complete with a Gagebaby Android baby. Haha.

Awww, I don't have enough to occupy my time, between baby raisin' and unpacking. Of course sleep is out of the question due to unforeseen circumstances, so there it is.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Neighbors Be Warned!

My friend Alecia and I go way back. And by way back, I mean far enough back that we wrote each other notes in school. Despite going to different schools, which meant whenever we hung out (every weekend) we'd deliver each other a package of notes. Oh, y'all, we were so awesome.

Like all great friendships, ours started out with mutual dislike. Alecia and her mom joined the Guide Dog 4-H club that I had recently joined and we were most assuredly not friends. But then my mom, or her mom, I can't remember, asked my mom or her mom to give one of us a ride to a meeting. This was met with grumbling on both of our parts, but ultimately the outcome was a friend I've had for more than half of my life. She is hilarious and smart and fun to hang out with.

Back in the day, we thought we were way cool and we would sneak out at night when she would spend the night. We'd wander the mean streets of unincorporated Littleton (kidding about the mean streets, my parent's neighborhood couldn't even be called the unfriendly streets.) Every now and then, we'd fancy ourselves to be real hoodlums, and we'd get up to mischief. But we were too nice to TP anyone or key cars because that could cause lasting damage or take too much time to clean up! We were so bad. Anyway, I dated this guy who lived close to my parents house for a brief time, and something about the breakup made us desire retribution.

We took to the streets in the nighttime armed with crushed Cheerios to pour on his parent's lawn and aromatherapy oil to pour on their car! Deviants, we were. Neither of us can remember what was up with the crushed Cheerios, but I guess we thought it would be a nuisance. And the aromatherapy oil... wouldn't it just be a hoot for them to come out in the morning and the car handles be all oily and strong-smelling?! Oh, the memories.

I got to thinking about this today because Alecia and I were talking about Brian and my new neighbors to the bottom of us being a little uppity and asking us to stop "stomping and banging" when we'd been watching T.V. for the past 1.5 hours and watching our 22 pound toddler walk around. He isn't a very effective stomper, what with his 22 pounds. Anyway, Alecia (jokingly, emphasis on that) offered to come over and handle our problem with the neighbor, in an amusing and non-violent way. I told her we should just grab up some aromatherapy oils and oil her car, although her lack of grass that could be Cheerio'd was regretable. Alecia thought maybe aromatherapy oil was too harsh and suggested stress relief oil. I suggested Cheerios in her front door mat! And then I cracked up laughing and the laughter really helped me feel better about a not-so-good neighbor situation, which in reality, does really suck. We've got to live above this whiny lady for some time to come. Sigh.

Ah, friends. What would we do without them?! Who else will help you pour breakfast cereal in someone else's yard and giggle with you about how unpleasant greasy door handles will be? Thanks for approximately 17 years of friendship, Alecia. Not counting a brief hiatus. You rock!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ah, Mid-February...

When my thoughts turn to love! NO, not because of Valentine's day. We really don't celebrate it. But because, around this time nine years ago, I happened to get pretty close to an awesome guy named Brian.

We met at work as I was being given a tour by my new boss, who was showing me around the parts department. I was single, twenty, and had decided to stop dating for a while. But because I was twenty, I still approached all circumstances with a critical eye to the male population in the room... "is there anyone here I would ever go out with?" And the workplace was no exception. Because what would work be for, other than finding me a guy to spend time with? Oh, the brilliant work ethic of a 20 year old girl. Anyway. When I met Brian in the parts department, I thought to myself, "huh, that parts guy is the ONLY guy in this whole dealership I'd consider going out with!" You can guess I was pretty full of myself in those days, obviously not taking into consideration if a guy would want to date ME.

Not too long after my grand tour, I was hanging out at the service desk with my co-worker Jean (who was awesome. She was my manager down the line at another dealership and we kind of fell out, but she was awesome and I would love to get back in touch with her.) Brian, the date-able guy from parts, came up to talk to us. Jean said, "Oh, that's Brian. You won't like him. He's an a-hole." I said, full of 20 year old bravado, and myself, "It's cool. He won't be an a-hole to me, 'cause if he is I'll kick his butt." Of course I didn't say butt, but ya know. Poor Brian. He was trying to come up there to talk to me because he thought I had beautiful, uh, eyes.

He said, "I'm not an a-hole! Hey, I heard you have some cool tattoos. Can I see 'em?" That's not exactly what he said, but it's close. It was more smooth than that, and at that moment, I thought, uh-oh... dating hiatus may come to an end. Over the next few weeks, we spent an inordinate amount of time together, with Brian leaving in the midst of conversations if I did, and with me wandering around parts making moony eyes at him. We pretended no one else could see what was going on, but everyone surely could. My mom could definitely tell. Once when I talked to her, and she asked what I was doing, and I casually said, "Oh, ya know, hanging out with that guy from work, Brian." She said, "Is he your boyfriend, or what?" Defensive, I said, "No! We're just good friends!" She commented on the obvious nature of our friendship, when everytime she talked to me I was hanging out with Brian.

Brian's favorite part of this story is when he tried to kiss me for the first time. We used to always hug goodbye, then talk some more, then hug some more, then talk some more, and then finally one of us would leave. We were going through this ritual when I noticed Brian leaning in. I thought, oh, how nice, another hug! It was late January/early February in Colorado, and COLD. So hugs are nice! I pulled him in close and put my head on his shoulder... realizing waaaay too late that he wasn't trying to hug me. Oh, no. He was going in for a kiss. Needless to say, he got out of there pretty quick and I felt like SUCH a loser. I really did have feelings for him then, and would have loved the kiss, but I blew it. The following night when we got together, I laid one on him, and told him I was sorry about missing his the night before. And pretty much from that point, we were together... although we still thought no one at work knew, and everyone did. Except the weirdo detail guy, who kept asking me out.

So, that has been around nine years ago. NINE years! That's about a third of my life. The BEST third of my life by far. We've shared ups and downs, good times and bad, two dogs, the death of one of those dogs, the loss of family, sickness and health, richer and poorer (although I can't quite pinpoint the richer), and the birth and life of our amazing son together. Twenty year old me definitely couldn't have seen this coming when she threatened to kick his butt, but Brian has been the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I know now that God gave him to me, for me, just as He gave me to Brian, for Brian. And how amazing a gift Brian is! He is a wonderful husband and an amazing father. It never ceases to warm my heart when I watch Brian with Gage. He is a hard worker and tireless provider for our little band of three. He does what needs to be done so I can stay home with our son and for that I will never cease being thankful. He turned around my wayward ways of spending and "forgetting" to pay my bills and helped me rebuild my credit. He made me want to be the person he saw in me.

The day we got married 3.5 years ago was one of the happiest of my life, when we said our vows and promised to love each other forever. I'd have done that even without those vows, but they meant everything to me.

I love you with all my heart, soul, and being, Brian. I am so blessed to not only have you as my husband, but as the father of our sweet little son. I can't imagine life without you, and I wouldn't want to. Happy nine year anniversary, whatever date it actually is.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Moving and Grooving: Now with 97% Less Grooving

Well, y'all, we are officially moved in. My folks did two Murano loads (well, just dad did the second) bless them!! So now we have all of our stuff here in 1,000 square feet. Whew! We've got a little storage deal off our balcony, so that helps with random things like our camping tub and sleeping bags. My mom was kind enough to chase Gage around for a few hours, feed him, AND give him a nice, long bath while Brian and I toiled away unpacking the kitchen. If you've ever moved, you know the kitchen is easily the bulk of the putting away, and also the first room you tackle. So while the counter tops are still covered in random items that are, as yet, homeless, the majority of our kitchen wares are placed. Not to say there won't be a massive kitchen reorganization in a month. Because there will be. I love reorganizing a kitchen, especially when I know for a fact it's imperfect. And let me tell you, mine is imperfect.

I also got the bulk of the master bathroom unpacked while my parents spirited away my son on a little walk. It was nice to see the countertops in the bathroom, and be able to wash my hands at that sink instead of the guest bath sink. I got about half of my shoes put away on my new shoe racks that may just save my marriage. No, my marriage is not in danger. However, Brian really hates the tangle of shoes that usually is the floor of my side of the closet. So hopefully neat and tidy shoe racks are the answer!

And once we unpack the master bedroom boxes, of which there are roughly six, the nightmare begins. The nightmare I refer to has gathered in Gage's bedroom. Because he still sleeps with us and we have yet to start the necessary sleep training with him, his bedroom became storage for practical purposes. At least until the main rooms of the house are unpacked, his room collected all of the boxes of random things that have been sitting in our storage unit while we stayed with my folks.

Now, I am fighting what I know is a totally irrational urge to just take those unopened boxes straight to the dumpster and pitch 'em in. I know that in reality, I'm just tired and a little punchy from three straight days of Moving Madness. But I keep thinking to myself, "I haven't even seen, let alone needed, any of those things for SIX months! Do I need them now?!" But then I wonder how I would feel a few months down the road when I started looking for things that I probably threw away in a fit of insanity. So, no unopened boxes will be sacrificed.

But don't you just love that feeling in a freshly unpacked house when everything is fresh and clean, nothing is out of place, and everything is safe and secure in it's new home? The desire to reach that feeling is keeping me going.

I think we might even be halfway there.

Happy Sunday, everyone.

Gage Loves Mandarin Oranges!

And because we're moving and I don't have time for a REAL post, this adorable picture of our son eating oranges in his high chair in the living room is the best you get for today!

The move is going fairly smoothly, although we have mountains of unpacking to accomplish today. 99% of our things are here in our apartment with the other 1% being brought by my parents today, in their awesome Murano. Hey, they offered! Can't wait for the house to start being put together... living amongst the boxes is anything but fun!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rocky Mountain Health Plan... Defrauding Honest Coloradoans

About 2 months ago, Brian and I started the process of trying to get Gage and the two of us insurance while we await Brian's coverage start date of mid-March (Autonation has their employees wait 6 months. Auto industry has high turnover rates!) We did quotes through multiple companies, and Rocky Mountain Health Plan had the best rates. So we started the process of trying to get coverage.

They had an exhaustive application online; it took me three days to complete. And then, after a couple weeks, they started demanding exhaustive medical records. At first we complied, until we got to the point where every time we sent in the last thing they needed, they needed something more. They told us it would cost $149 to insure just Gage, so we jumped on that, deciding that Brian and I would be ok until his coverage went into effect. We agreed that Gage would be covered with RMHP from Feb. 1-Mar. 31. We got his card in the mail, and set his well child check up with his new pediatrician for Feb. 2. I checked to be sure she would be covered under both plans so I wouldn't have to switch him.

Today, I go to the credit union to get cashier's checks for our apartment. As I'm signing the paperwork, I notice that our account balance is DRASTICALLY less than it should be after taking out the apartment money. When I got to the car, I pulled up our account on my phone, and found our checking balance to be $1.00 and savings as low as they'd said. Heart pounding, I pulled up our history and found that our checking had syphoned money from savings to cover the RMHP premium... which was $401 MORE than they'd quoted me!!!!!! FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS more they pulled out.

Furious, I called customer service. I figured maybe they had just charged the premium for all of us even though we weren't all covered. Nope, that wasn't it. They told me that was the cost to insure just a dependant under the age of 2. PER MONTH. $549 and change to cover ONE baby for ONE month. I told the guy that wasn't ok, that we were quoted by email $150, roughly. In his smarmy you're-wrong-and-I'm-right tone, he informed me that I needed to find that email because no one would have told me that and they have to disclose their rates before signing anyone up.

Fuming, I got home and pulled up the email, verified, and called them back. They verified, and the woman says, "Well. What do you want us to do?" I said, "give me back the premium that is above what you quoted!" She put me on hold, consulted with her manager, and told me they'll cancel Gage and refund our premium. Great! So we get our money back but Gage goes back to uninsured til Brian's benes take effect.

Oh well. We'll take it. Bottom line?! Stay away from RMHP at ALL costs. Wonder how many others they pull this scam on who don't watch their accounts so closely? All I have to say it, they better consider themselves darn lucky we had enough in savings to cover their mess AND our apartment fees. Because if this had effected us getting our apartment, I would be talking to an attorney right now!

Gonna Go Scrape Your Car...

... Be Right Back! He has been on the move with this snow scraper all morning. He grabbed it and now has declared it his. Wish he would go scrape my car! Got a foot of snow and still falling.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I Was Gonna Tell You About the House... but Life Happened! So Here Goes.

As you know, our house in Albuquerque is going through short sale. We've been waiting to see what would happen for close to a year (I think we put it on the market the first time in June.) So we have received word that the bank selected the offer they wanted to start with, the highest and best. I believe we had 4 offers in. We signed off on it, then it goes to the bank to be reworked; i.e. they will basically turn it into a counteroffer if there are things requested that they won't pay for. They're the bank so it'll probably get reworked.

Anyway, after they counter, the buyer can either accept the bank's offer, counter again, or just back out. If they accept the offer, the buyer can move forward into securing financing. This takes us to the point where the house is ALMOST sold, because once they've got financing, a closing date can be set and then the house is gone after closing! If they choose to counter the banks's offer, it'll needlessly drag the process on - because the bank won't budge once they've given their offer. And if, of course, they back out of the deal, we're back to where we were a couple weeks ago, with our realtor pulling our NEXT highest and best, contacting them, sending us the offer to sign, and then presenting that to that bank. This has been SUCH a hassle!

But at least we're in the downswing. Hopefully within a month or so we'll be out from under that house!! We sure miss our neighbors from that house, though. We were lucky enough to get good neighbors at both residences we lived at in Albuquerque! Having fun neighbors means having friends next door or across the street. You can walk to their house! So I just hope maybe we'll make some nice neighbor friends at the apartment complex.

That's the house update. I can't wait til it's sold because it makes me sad that OUR house that we picked everything in and thought would be our perfect home, is just sitting there vacant and sad.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chili's is the Carl's Jr. of Family Dining Establishments

It's true. You know how if you're going to eat fast food, you know there are fast food establishments that aren't AS bad for you (Chick-Fil-a) and then there is the worst of the worst for you... Carl's Jr. Chili's is so bad for you yet their food is pretty tasty with all that fat. We went to Chili's last night for Brian's birthday. We had so much fun, it was just the three of us.

Brian got a buffalo chicken sandwich and I got the Shiner Bock BBQ burger. We split an order of queso. Just so you have something to reference, I am alloted 31 points per day on Weight Watchers. Now, I didn't think my burger was going to be a healthy choice by any stretch; I figured 20-25 points for the burger and a few fries. I figured 10 for half the queso. You get extra points each week on WW so you can enjoy a splurge now and then. So I knew I would go over for the day, but figured I would fall well short of the weekly points allotment. Boy was I wrong.

My burger, as served, with fries (I ate less than half but still) was 41 points. The queso, as served, was also 41 points, so 20.5 per person for those of us splitting. I counted my burger and fries as 31 since I didn't eat all of my fries, or even half. I counted half the queso. I ate 51.5 points for dinner alone!!! Ugh!!

I didn't regret it. We had fun and enjoyed our dinners. It made me thankful though, for Weight Watchers and tracking. I'll need to have a low-points, healthy-eating, exercise-packed week from now until Sunday! The old, fat thinking me would have chowed that meal (including ALL of the fries), and never thought twice about it. Now I know that what I ate was unhealthy, and I can correct for it.

Did you know that Chili's Chipotle Chicken Crispers are one of the worst restaurant foods in America? It's true. Thanks, Chili's, the Carl's Jr. of family dining, for doing your part to add to America's obesity problem.
Thank you to Brian for this topic. He said last night after we figured points for my dinner, "Chili's is like Carl's Jr.!" And this topic was born. :) I have such a terrific, witty husband. I love you, Brian. I hope you had a fun birthday!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This and That...

Let's see... I've wanted to do a meaningful update for a few days now but it hasn't exactly been good time. First of all, a couple things about my aunt, just to get it out there. She was a good lady, and she'll be missed. She had some health problems that sometimes made it harder to interact with family, so we weren't as close as we could've been. I hold nothing against her in that regard though. She was a mom and a grandma, a wife and a sister. She'll be missed, and your thoughts and prayers for the family she left behind are appreciated. She didn't get to see my grandma before my grandma passed last summer, but I know they're reunited now.

I've totally fallen off the wagon with both Weight Watchers and my sugar challenge. It's been a few weeks since I've tracked and the scale shows it with nothing lost, nothing gained. So this week, I recommit to Weight Watchers, exercise, and a healthy happy lifestyle. I've come too far to be derailed now... and I still have too far to go! Brian's b-day is tomorrow, and in my family's case, just won't be right without cake. So I will recommit to the sugar challenge, starting fresh, on Monday of next week. I know that's usually a cop-out, but it's just easier for me to start on a fresh week. I'll update as I get going again.

Cloth diapering is still going great. I'm really happy with the decision to switch. Gage's delicate skin is, too. The exceptions have been when we've gone outside today. I didn't want any chance of cold wetness or leaks, so we did 'sposies to go outside. It worked fine but caused a bit of irritation. All I can think is that his nether-regions were accustomed to the chemicals in disposables but aren't any longer. That's a GOOD thing to not be accustomed to!

Speaking of going outside, you've probably noticed we're in a cold snap. It was -2 today at the warmest. That is colder than even I'm used to, and I'm from this state. I do not like it when it's so cold you could have frostbite in under 30 minutes. I do not like feeling like Alaskans are laughing at us as they enjoy a balmy 15° day. Anyway. Be careful. This is cold that can do damage. The phone says it's -9° now, and the low tonight is some ridiculous number like -21°. Gage has his well baby check tomorrow (no shots) so we'll have to venture into the cold. High of 3° tomorrow. Ugh.

I love our little Subaru. That car rocks this weather. It warms up fast and the heater is strong, it hardly slips, and save two minor incidents (one where a Dodge Ram narrowly missed us as we slid into his path and one where we narrowly missed a Tacoma, a curb, and a Kia, in that order,) the ABS does a decent job stopping it. I feel like it's sad and neglected though. I finally got the Subaru Badge of Ownership on it. If you own a Subaru, you can visit the Subaru Badge of Ownership website and request a complimentary one. It says how many Subies you've owned and has little badges to show what you're into. I was all excited about it, then it sat in the envelope for 3 months. So I could put it on in the dead of winter. Go figure. Kind of a cool deal, but I've seen a total of zero other Subies with them so I guess it hasn't quite caught on. I'm on my third Sube, by the way. I haven't, however, had the time or motivation to give the car love via touch up paint. As most used cars, it has some paint dings, and I pride myself in being a pretty decent touch up artist. Usually I take care of dings within the first month of purchase. We bought the car in September. It is now February. Sad! One of these days, I'll get it touched up!

As I typed about the Subaru, I thought of something Brian and I have discussed. I call/think of our Maxima as "the Maxima" or just "the Max," but never "the Nissan." I think of the Subaru as "the Subaru," "the Sube," the Subie," or even "the Subarachi"... (never mind that last one.) But I never think of it as the Impreza, the Outback, or the Impreza Outback. Weird! Wonder how many of you I bored there? Anyway. I'm not much of a car namer, so that's the best I've got. My Forester was named Forest Whittaker by folks on the RCPM discussion board. It stuck. Brian's old Max was named Maxine, and my old blue Max was called Subtle Hustle, after a Clutch song. Neither current car has a name. So why is one the make and one the model? Oh well. There sure is a lot of punctuation in this paragraph. So here is a bit more... with an emoticon! :)

I think that's about all I've got for now. If you're reading me (and I don't think anyone does) tell me your car's name... or at least what you refer to it as. Tomorrow I'll give you an update on the house debacle.