Monday, June 30, 2008

Adjusting to rising costs. . .

I like to think that my house hold is smart.
I know that some people call me cheap, but I really don't think so. . .
We spend money when there is something we want.
We go out to eat when we want.

I am also realistic.
With rising costs (gas and food), I have to be a bit more smart so we can do the things we want.
Some smart things I am trying to do:

  • Car Pooling! MBB and I park a car closer to the highway and ride together two days a week.
  • "Buy a $330 prepaid card for $300!" I have enjoyed $60 in free groceries so far.
  • Rather than make a special weekend trip, I do the grocery run on my way home from work.
  • Craigslist! I've mentioned before the great deals we have found on craigslist.
  • Coupons! I am careful not to buy what we don't need just because I have a coupon.
  • Volume Discounts! With the amount of paint that we are going to buy over the next year, I was able to get a contractor's account with the local paint store - yep, saves us 20%!
  • Bulk Groceries (without a membership fee)! I have been swinging by GFS lately to stock up.
  • Gardening! OK, we spent about $60 in plants / seeds, but will get much more out of it!
  • Frugal Ideas! I have started reading blogs that have great ideas about ways to save.
  • Reward Deals! I just cashed in on my Visa rewards - they are sending me $100 in free cash.
  • Reward Programs! We got $400 in gift cards from Lowe's for letting them track our Kitchen and Bath purchases for a specific amount of time (when we were working on the new bath).
  • Frequent Flyer Miles! I planned a vacation pre-family and needed airline tickets. . .Cost: $7.50.

Anyone else have smart saving tips?


Saturday, June 28, 2008


I was in the garden for 15 minutes.
I transplanted 8 corn plants.
I killed 4 bugs.
I now have 58 mosquito bites on my legs.


Friday, June 27, 2008


Anyone who knows me knows that I have a lot of allergies.
They aren't the normal - grass, nut, bee ones that a lot of people do have.
No, I have to be allergic to things like bar soap, orange juice and mushrooms.

I know that I am on the odd side and people are naturally curious.
But at times, all the allergy questions get a little old.
I so enjoyed learning how this little guy reacts in the situation.
Looks like I got a reminder on how I need to stop and enjoy life a bit more!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Koodos to Tim McGraw

My faith in people has been restored, at least for today.

At a concert in Auburn, Washington, Tim McGraw saw a rowdy male fan being not so kind to a female fan (he was trying to get to the front row and was allegedly pushing/shoving people out of his way - I heard a radio interview with the female fan's sister which claimed that he was yanking her about by her hair). When security was not able to respond quickly, he (and his crew) stepped in to take care of the issue.
Click here for more details!

Why does this make me happy?
Too many times now, I see people just turn their back to situations that ‘aren’t any of their business’. How easy would it have been for Tim to just keep singing and ignore the situation? Pretty easy. But he stepped up and was the man that he claims to be.

I know that there is a fine line between needing to get involved and needing to mind your own business and I tiptoe on that line daily . . . But at least I am trying and not just ignoring what is going on around me.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Weekend Plans. . .

I am so excited about this weekend!
I FINALLY get to start PAINTING!!!

Granted, I don't expect that I will be happy about painting for very long, especially as we have to paint every single room in the house.

But for now, I am extremely happy that I get to start working on two rooms. :)
Maybe this will kick-start my butt into gear to get other stuff done!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Work Visitors

I had some visitors at work yesterday: OB and one of his friends.

They are attending a sport camp at a college close to work so it is very easy for me to pick them up and bring them back to work until MBB can pick them up.

They were here for just over two hours and very few people knew that they were here.
They were quiet and kept themselves entertained. . .I even got some work done while they were here!

I'm extremely thankful that it went well 'cause we're doing it again tomorrow.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Bad Habit

I know that I have some bad habits. . .Doesn't everyone?
I try to work on them when I can, sometimes successful, sometimes not.

I have always known that I use incorrect pronouns. I didn't think much about it until someone brought it to my attention this weekend - apparently I do it so much that it is pretty noticeable.

"Our products" instead of Big T's products.

"Our property" instead of MBB's house, Our house and My condo.
"Our kids" instead of MBB's kids.
"Our garden" instead of MBBs Dad's garden.
"Our cars" instead of MBB's car and My car.

It just always seemed simpler, but I think that I need to be truthful rather than simpler.
Wish me luck.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Last Game of Tournament

First Bat: Fly out to Pitcher
Second Bat: Struck Out
Third Bat: Hit by pitch --> Stole 2nd --> Stole 3rd
Fourth Bat: Stuck Out

Final Score: Lost


Friday, June 20, 2008

Transformation Update

Today was the final weigh-in for the competition.
The goal was 5% in 6 weeks.

My results?

Drum roll, please. . .


I am extremely proud of myself. I wasn't real confident that I was going to make it with my new lifestyle. I just have a few more pounds to go to be back at my "met MBB weight".

Then the transformation will transition into the maintain stage.


"To work in the world lovingly means that we are defining what we will be for, rather than reacting to what we are against."
-Christina Baldwin

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Final Days. . .

. . .of the weight loss competition.
I am in serious weight loss mode today as the final weigh-in is tomorrow.
Wish me luck. . . :)

One of the obstacles that I have found during this stage of the transformation is the gym.

I used to get to the gym about 23 times a month. Now, I am struggling to get there 12. The gym is about 45 minutes from the new house and with the rising cost of gas, I no longer work out on the weekends. I am able to get there on Tuesdays and Thursdays with no problem, but the other days become a struggle as I balance gym time with sporting events and some days - sleep.

MBB and I are searching for an elliptical to buy for the house. It is a interesting trying to find something within our budget. Having equipment at home won't help me reach the required 12 visits to the gym each month, but it will help with keeping the clothes looking decent!


"The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them."
-Denis Watley

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Game Stats Catch-up

Game #10 (Last Saturday - Double Header)
First Bat: Stuck Out
Second Bat: Hit caught by Center Fielder
Third Bat: Struck Out

Final Score: 3-15 L

Game #11 (Last Saturday - Double Header)
First Bat: Hit By Pitch
Second Bat: Hit threw out at First
Third Bat: Struck Out

Final Score: 2 - 13 L

Game #12 (Last Night - 1st Round of Tournament)
First Bat: Single to 3rd --> Stole 2nd --> Stole 3rd --> Stole Home with a Superman Slide
Second Bat: Single to Left Field --> Stole 2nd
Third Bat: Walked --> Stole 2nd
Fourth Bat: Single to 3rd --> Stole 2nd --> Stole 3rd

Final Score: 7 - 16 L


"It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it."
-Somerset Maugham

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gotta Do It. . .

If the big boss tells me to do something, I do it.
If it violates my ethics or breaks a law, then I'll blow the whistle.

Don't get me wrong. . .
I do not dedicate my life to my job. I have a pretty good work / life balance.
When I am on break or lunching at my desk, I'm surfing the net (safe sites only, of course) or writing on my blog. When I have a system taking five minutes to refresh, I may check the weather, check the families cell phone minutes or jot down some ideas for the blog.

But. . .
If they say write this report - I'm on it.
If they say dress this way - I'm fashioning the big boss way.

If they say get here at this time - I'm there.
After all - they give me the paycheck to do it.

I do not understand the people who refuse to do the little things that are required. . .
Like recycling!
We have a major push to recycle EVERYTHING and send 0% to the land fill.

I walked by the paper only bin and saw a Styrofoam plate.
What the???
It made matters even worse when I found out who did it. . .


"Diamonds are only chunks of coal, that stuck to their jobs, you see."

-Minnie Richard Smith

Monday, June 16, 2008

Daddy's Day. . .

I apologize for the lack of posting over the weekend - we were busy doing lots of stuff and then I came down with a monster headache on Sunday. The pain is barely there now, so life is feeling a bit better today (I will post OB's double header results from Saturday later for those of you who are interested. . .the info is at home and I'm not).

We celebrated Daddy's Day Saturday night by taking MBB out to dinner. The food was good, but now I have to be really careful this week - final weigh-in for the Weight Loss Competition is this Friday. You may not want me posting this week! :)

Happy Belated Daddy's Day to all those who are fathers by birth, by marriage, by stepping in and caring about someone - or all three above! You make a difference.


"The heart has eyes that the brain knows nothing of."
-Charles H. Parkhurst

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Game #9

First Bat: Walked
Second Bat: Walked --> Stole 2nd --> Stole 3rd --> Stole Home
Third Bat: Struck Out
Fourth Bat: Single to Center Field --> Stole 2nd --> Stole 3rd --> Stole Home
Fifth Bat: Single to Shortstop (turned into a double on an error)

Final Score: TBD

The game had gone to extra innings because of a tie (did I happen to mention that we were playing an undefeated team?) and the conclusion of this game has been postponed due to lightning.

Luckily, we all got to our cars before the downpour began.


"Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those you hold well."
-Josh Billings

Friday, June 13, 2008

Searching. . .

I am in desperate need of a new camera.
I have pretty much decided that I am going with a Canon Eos Rebel XT (or something higher speced in the same family if I happen to stumble on a huge sale). . .
It will be great for vacation shots and most importantly - sports shots! The problem is that I need to get a second lens pretty quickly in order to take pictures of OB playing football this fall.

I am still searching for that perfect sale! With all of the extras that I want, places like Best Buy are way too expensive for me. I have a budget that I have to stay pretty close to - I can handle going over a few dollars to cover shipping, but that's it!!! Of course, if I can get a "bundle" on eBay with cool stuff, like a 300mm lens - I'm all about that!

Wish me luck - and let me know if you hear of a great sale!!! :)


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some Thoughts

I have never done things in a normal manner - that's just not the way that my mind works.
I bought a new bed to go with a comforter that I liked. Don't most people buy the bed first?

I've always been told that I'd meet the man of my dreams, marry, have a baby.
Go through the normal cycle of growing pains. . .
The midnight feedings.
The terrible twos.
The potty training.
The sassing off, etc.

Well, they had to put that "normal" word in there. . .And of course, I couldn't do it.
I didn't do it on purpose. . .It just happened that way!

The man of my dreams was already a full-time father.
I jumped right into the pre-teen and teenage years - 24/7. . .
The hormones.
The cell phone addiction.
The personality swings.
The drama of middle school friendships.
The hormones.
The text messaging addiction.
The peer pressure.

As hard as it has been, I took on a package deal when MBB and I decided to have a life together.
I have no idea what I am doing - I have no idea if I am being a "reasonable" parent.
I can try to put myself in their position to try to understand the reason behind the action.
I can try to be a friend, but I have to be a parent too.
I can only hope, pray and work with MBB the best that I can.

I do have my past to fall back on. . .
I was the child that had a new parent stepping in.
I was the child who had a mom 24/7 because the "sp*rm donor" didn't want to have the responsibility of a 5-year old - even every other weekend.

These are my kids - the ones of my heart.

It doesn't matter that I didn't give birth to them.
It doesn't matter that legally, I have no right to them.

To have the good, I have to have the bad.
On a micro level, sometimes I just want to sit down and cry.
On a macro level, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I guess this is my version of normal.


Ooops. . .

We got so busy for awhile that we had to take a break from working on the house.
We just recently started working on the drywall again - I am so looking forward to getting a new paint color on the walls and getting rid of all the wallpaper border!

The other night, MaBell tripped over OB's ball and went hand first into - you guessed it - wet drywall mud! Her attempt to fix it with a dustpan didn't work very well!

Never fear, MBB smoothed it out with the appropriate tools! :)
Luckily, it wasn't the final coat, so it wasn't that big of a deal - but a good Kodak moment!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Game #8

First Bat: Struck Out
Second Bat: Home Run to Left Field (with the help of an overthrow)
Third Bat: PO to Short Stop
Fourth Bat: Struck Out

Final Score: 11-6 W


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Game #7

First Bat: Struck Out
Second Bat: Struck Out
Third Bat: Walked
Fourth Bat: Fly Out to 3rd Base (it was a sweet hit - more of a line drive and a sweet catch)

Fifth Bat: Struck Out

Final Score: 6-13 L


Monday, June 09, 2008

It's A Growin. . .

A few years ago, I wanted a garden. . . But living in a condo made it kinda difficult (condo = postage stamp size yard). When I had my postage stamp landscaped, I got a bag of dirt added in for a garden (okay, so it was really four bags of dirt, but you get the idea!). I had enough room for six tomato plants, two cucumber plants and one pepper. They weren't all successful, but I at least got them planted.

Fast forward to this year. . .

I am no longer doing the condo lifestyle!

The house is on 2.1 acres which means I GET A GARDEN!!!
I spent about $50 in plants and seeds to grow produce for the household.

Then MBB's dad joined me (it was his garden when he lived in the house) and the thing is HUGE!

Did I mention that it is HUGE???

You don't even see the entire garden in this picture - the corn rows are in the back part to the left (behind where the water is coming out of the hose).

Let's hope that the plants and seeds like the garden as much as I do and give us lots of food for the summer. My budget would also love that!!! I planted some tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon, banana peppers and corn (just to name a few). . .

I was working in the garden this past weekend - You would have thought that after the downpours we had a few days ago that I wouldn't need to water, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. . .The ground was bone dry!


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Guest Blogger. . .MaBell!

. . . . . . . After 48hours of labor, my twin boyz: Thumper (left) and Playboy Bunny (right).

I found Thumper in RockSt@r's (my dog) mouth when I got home from school. I ended up leaving 4 a boosters meeting and when I came home OB was like "m@B3ll look in da box there is 2 of dim". So, I went to the box I put Thumper in. . .Wat do you know there is 2 of dim!

OB says he thought dat Rock had got da 1st one, but dat wasnt da case. . .He had found playboy!!!! Multiplyin like rabbits!

- m@B3ll

Translation: MaBell found the first bunny in Rockstar's (AKA Rocky - her dog) mouth. While we were at a meeting, OB found a second bunny - also in Rockstar's mouth. She named them Thumper and Playboy Bunny even though we aren't keeping them.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Game #6

First Bat: Hit by Pitch --> Scored
Second Bat: Walked --> Scored
Third Bat: Struck Out :(
Fourth Bat: Walked

Final Score: 6-15 L


Friday, June 06, 2008

Food Journal?

For the first time in my weight loss transformation, I am debating whether to keep a food journal.

In researching the calorie content of some food via Google, I found a
site that helps you track your food intake and your exercide output for the day. The problem that I foresee happening is not always being near the internet when I eat to log and my short-term memory isn't always to best.

You can also add "friends" - I think for accountability, but since I just set up my account I'm not sure how it all works.

Has anyone else had success with food journals?


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Eating Out. . .

Group work lunches and diets do not mix well.
I always struggle with being able to participate and have to do more at the gym or being rude and not going.

Last week, my group decided to order from
Moe's for an event. I really wanted to participate and didn't have the extra time or energy to punish myself more so I went a searching. I found this great nutrition calculator on their website (go through menu, nutrition, then click on an item and the calculator will pop up).

Who would have thought that if I ordered a salad, I would have blown my diet for the day - 1,030 calories! Instead, I ordered a Joey Bag of Donuts Streaker (burrito without the tortilla shell, no cheese or sauce add cucumbers and lettuce) and was still on target for the day with 340 calories! The website let you take off / add on and updated the info with each change. WOWSA - I am impressed!

I haven't always been a big fan of Moe's, but that may change now that I have a good understanding of what I can and cannot eat. I wish more restaurants made it this easy!


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Moving Up In The World!

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, we are moving up in the world!
We have Internet again!

With not being able to check my personal email at work and not having Internet at home, I have felt a bit cut off from the world. Not to mention incredibly behind on uploading pictures onto kodak gallery!

Never fear, I got through the 81 emails that I had waiting on me (only 2 were SPAM) and have begun the painful uploading process. Keep in mind that our Internet connection is called "high speed", but isn't really. Don't get me wrong - it is WAY better than dial-up, but is far from what people have come to expect when the words "high speed" are used. It takes about 15 minutes to upload ten pictures if you are doing other things on the Internet. I think I'll take a long nap when uploading the pics from Japan! :)


Monday, June 02, 2008

Game #5

Another make-up game!

First Bat: Walked
Second Bat: Double to Center --> 1 RBI
Could have been a triple, but OB decided to watch the ball for awhile instead of running to first! :)
Third Bat: Struck out
Fourth Bat: Single to Shortstop, Stole Third

Final Score: 2-19 L (Called after two hours of play)


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Game #4 - A Win!

First Bat: Double to Center --> Scored
Second Bat: Pop out to Shortstop
Third Bat: Walked -->Out at 1st on a force
Fourth Bat: Single to Left --> Scored
Fifth Bat: Single to Shortstop --> RBIed the winning run!

Final Score: 15-14 W