Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Rocks

The rocks (see previous post) are gone! A family of 7 came by this afternoon and shoveled all the yucky gray rocks out of our front flower bed and into the back of their truck! I thought there was no way anyone would seriously come take these things away for free. Alex suggested I post them on craigslist...hoping to avoid all the heavy lifting...and he was RIGHT! Now we've just got bare dirt and some bush roots to pull! So - if you want something gone and don't want to haul it away - post it on craigslist in the free just never know!

Happy Birthday Week!

We took the girls for their free birthday lunch at Red Robin today (if you register online they send both kids and adults free food certificates). The girls LOVED it. They got balloons, a free kids meal, a sundae to share, and a birthday song. The girls didn't know what to think of the four adults singing and clapping "Happy Birthday"! Apparently though they caught the birthday spirit, because they bounced and giggled and caused general mayhem in the cribs for about 30 minutes before going to sleep at naptime!

The girls are saying more and more words and stringing them together into mini sentances. We are always amused! Here Addie is telling her stuffed animals to "sit down and eat breffast". Alex gets up earlier than I do to get ready for work, Addie is usually next (Alex gets her up) and then she comes and finds me in bed. She's become quite insistent in the mornings. Here are some samplings of what she says to me first thing:

"Light on!"
"Mommy, out (off bed)" - said while peeling the covers back
"Mommy, eat breffast"
"Mommy, pants on!" - I sleep in a t-shirt
and on the sweet mornings - "Mommy, huggg..."

We have a fun week ahead! The girls turn 2 on Thursday, but I don't think we are "officially celebrating" until the Saturday before Easter...still working on the plans for that. We just know it won't be as grand an affair as last year...we sort of traumatized the girls with all the people! We also have MOPS, Parent's Day Out, Mommy Prayer Group, PDO at my dad's school, and nice weather to boot!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Taking the Plunge

We've been busy doing a few things around the rental house. Here are some pictures of Addie and Alex moving a shelf into the pantry. (And some of Mina jumping on a trampoline at a birthday party last weekend!)

Last January, we sold one of our two cars in an effort to get a jump start on paying off our $10,000+ in credit card debt. The year we spent with just one car flew by - and we didn't really even notice. I think the worst day with one car was the day we sold it - I had a sinking dread feeling in the pit of my stomach...but I hardly noticed after a few days. The girls and I actually missed taking Alex to and from work when we purchased a second car in January this year. Before we knew it, we'd paid off the $10,000 credit card debt & a $3,000 car loan.

As many of you know, we sold our house in September last year because we wanted to move closer to Alex's work...thinking maybe he could bike sometimes. There was nothing on the market that we wanted to buy by the time we had to close and vacate so we moved into a rental house. We were thinking we'd be here 2-3 months tops...and then it was longer and longer. We pay 1/3 of what our mortgage was in rent. Then we decided we'd pay cash for our next vehicle - so we stayed a bit longer until we could re-save money for a down payment...which we now have.

And then we realized that we were truly in denial about our other remaining debt...student loans. My student loans to be exact - from graduate school...ugh! Alex calculated that if we paid off the $29,000 we owe in 2-3 years, we'll pay $1,000 in interest. If we continue to make the minimum monthly payments, we'll pay $14,000 in interest...ugh again.

Every fiber of my being wants my own house, actually my "dream house" to be exact...but waste $14,000 knowingly....grrr. It took Alex several days of patience as I got MAD at even the suggestion that we stay in this rental house and pay the low rent so we could pay of the loan. Then slowly I came around. So that's the big news...we're staying here - we are taking on debt challenge #2 and paying off my student loans as fast as we can. We're going to throw every extra bit of money we have at them (tax returns, bonus checks, unexpected income, etc.) until they are GONE! Then we're going to throw a big party and celebrate being truly debt free!!

So this resolution is going to bring the rental house up yet another notch - because we're going to be focusing all our organizing/decorating/improving efforts on this house. One of the first things to go will be this "flower bed" of rocks in front that has the roots of three dead bushes. We are removing it one shovel at a time...although a guy on craigslist said he wants to come get the rock...we'll see if he actually shows up! There are cabinets to be painted, other landscaping to be improved, carpet to remove in the kitchen...a pregnant lady has to nest...even if it is in a rental house!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Here's a "Mary & Martha" moment from this week. Addie was busy helping me make cookies and wash dishes. I hadn't seen Mina for a few minutes so I went looking for her. She was sitting in her room in the chair "reading" - quite content to be all by herself.

The girls have discovered the love of sunglasses. They put them on, take them off, laugh at each other in between, try them upside down, push them back on their heads like headbands, etc. We can't believe how "big" they are getting! We're definitely loving all the big girl stuff they are figuring out how to do - like climb into and out of the car, sit at the table, wash their hands, pick up, hold hands with each other and friends, etc.!

I realized I hadn't taken any sweet sleeping photos since the girls were babies - so here's one from yesterday when they nodded off on the way home from playing outside at a friend's house. The girls are sleeping like logs at naptime and bedtime because we play play play outside in the sun since the weather has been so nice. (The photo with Alex is from last Saturday when they all watched some cartoons together - so sweet!)

Yesterday the girls and I took the dogs to Springfield's new dog park with my friend, Farrow and her son Holton. It was SO FUN! I loved seeing Belle (Tinsley was scared and glued to my leg) run and play with all the other dogs. The girls had a good time exploring with their friend Holton while the dogs got rid of some excess energy.