Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shaylee Sings You Are My Sunshine

It's Been A While!

Wow- it HAS been a while since I last updated this blog, hasn’t it?

Well, here is the 411 on what’s been going on with us….

1. Nils and I decided it was not worth spending money to fill out a loan application to see how much money we qualified for a home until we had a good lump of money already saved for the down-payment. Almost everyone required 20% down anyhow and too many things could happen between now and then that could change our credit rating, that it’s just not worth doing anything right now.

2. Speaking of house savings, I have recently become an Independent Sales Representative and Beauty Advisor for Avon to help put a little extra money into savings. So far all my commission has gone to my own personal purchases or start up business expenses so I haven’t been able to say I have put much into savings. I guess in the long run, I really am saving money because the items I am purchasing for myself are at cost and therefore not coming out of my pocket to some other rep like in the past. I get the things I want and still don’t spend nearly as much as I would have had I not become a representative myself, it pretty much breaks even.

3. Nils continues to be smoke free! Our weight loss adventures had not been so successful. We seem to both be stuck on a plateau, not losing but not gaining either. Personally, I could care less…as long as I don’t gain, I am happy. Sure I would like to look better this summer in a bikini, but with our schedules, I don’t really see too many opportunities where I would be in a swimsuit anyhow. I would like to tone up a few areas (lose the wiggle and jiggle of my upper arms when I wave for instance) so we need to get back to being more consistent on our super cool new Wii Fit!

4. I start class next week! I actually had to drop two classes….I just could not afford to pay for four classes a semester up front. Even though I enrolled in a payment plan, it would have been over $300 upfront but $600 in books, with two payments of $500. Comcast offers reimbursement but not until final grades come out, which means being short that money until sometime in August. Besides, working full time and having a toddler plus four classes might have been too much anyhow. Two are much more manageable and with the payment plan, I only had to put about $187 down and my books were about $250…my other two payments will be just over $281. Much better! One class is an online class (Microcomputers) and the other is at the campus (Developmental Algebra).

5. I had a recipe awarded runner up in Taste of Homes Healthy Cooking June/July issue! The theme was “Summer Potluck” so I chose a recipe that was seasonal, inexpensive, easy, and one that could be doubled or tripled depending on the number of guest at a potluck. It was for Fresh Peach Salsa and I won a year’s subscription! Of course winning the first place price of $600 would have been nice, but this is really cool too! Funny thing is, I have never made that recipe before. I have no idea what it tastes like! LOL!

6. Shaylee is getting really big and very talkative. I swear it’s like having a conversation with a kindergartner sometimes. You really do forget she is just going on three! And she is so tall. I am 5’4” and she comes to my bellybutton. With the warmer months coming up, we are going back to our potty-training efforts. She is still taking the pacifier, unfortunately. And still sleeping in our bed. She is also a very picky eater but the baby books say that is normal for kids her age. We started giving her Ensure just so we could ensure (heehee) that she was getting nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The bad thing is now she turns down her usual warm milk for Ensure drinks. We did find that she loves bologna! And Pizza Bagels. I know, not very healthy but at this point ANYTHING seems better than nothing. And its not like she only eats junk food…she just doesn’t eat- that’s what concerns us.

When and if she says she is hungry, she WILL eat things like my homemade Cheddar Broccoli Orzo. Its super easy to make- a box of orzo pasta- cooked according to package directions, a can of cheddar soup concentrate, a can of broccoli cheddar soup concentrate, two cans of milk, one bag of frozen broccoli (ran thru the Magic Bullet food processor to break up the florets) salt and pepper to taste, and some feta cheese. Tasty!

7. Nils and I have both found an author we love- Jen Lancaster. She is hilarious! Sure, she writes chick lit and Nils feels funny reading a book with a dress and swirly, girly writing on the cover in the presence of others, but he too appreciates her wickedly funny, unapologetic, sarcastic style of writing.

I mean, come on, the titles of her books are “Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office”; Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me?”; and “ Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big or Why Pie Is Not the Answer”. Classic.

8. I start a bible study group May 17th. It consists of three sections and each section runs for about four weeks. Shaylee continues to really enjoy her Sunday school classes. I don’t think she is actually learning anything biblical yet, but she is learning to get along with other kids and behind looked after by someone other than her parents, grandparents, or G.G. She hasn’t cried since that first day and is so happy to see me when I come back to get her.

9. My brother no longer lives in the house with us. He originally got thrown out by my dad who accused him of breaking into their bedroom and stealing his prescription drugs. The problem is Anthony has taken things without asking in the past but my dad has also been careless and misplaced items he accused my brother of stealing in the past. The thing with Anthony is that, if confronted, he will not lie. If you ask him if he took something, he will answer you honestly. So when confronted about the medication, he said he didn’t take them. And I believe him as does my mom.

So Anthony went to stay with G.G for a week and then my dad finally came around and apologized and asked him if he wanted to move back home. Anthony declined the offer as he is much happier having his own room (vs. sleeping in a loft), a real bed (rather than a mattress on the floor of the loft), and a closet and drawers to keep his clothes in (vs. having them piled in various laundry baskets and crammed in a closet filled with storage). Wanna know something interesting? On Sunday, at church, during communion, I asked God to have my father forgive my brother as my mom and I both think he is innocent and on Monday after work, he did! Talk about quickly answered prayers!

10. Nils unfortunately did not get the supervisor’s position he has been waiting to hear back from for about a month now. Bummer.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I have some big news......

The big day is coming up. April 10th. What big day is that, you might be wondering?

Well.... it is the day we are about to see what our future holds for us. It is the day Nils and I are going to our bank and finding out how much we qualify for a home loan. Its that time to find out how close (or far away) we are from becoming home owners. And I am scared! I don't really know why, I guess its just because its the most grown-up and responsible purchase I have ever made...and the largest.

So I am afraid they say either ...
1. We qualify for nothing because our credit is lousy and we have barely saved anything for a down-payment so we will either be living with my parents for a couple years (!) so we can save for a hefty down-payment or be forced to rent forever (probably an exaggeration, but anyways...)

2. that if we qualify for a loan, it will be so small that we won't be able to get more than a teeny tiny rundown ex-crack house in a crappy part of town that needs loads of TLC, a new roof, and TONS of Lysol and Raid to de-funk the place.....or .......

3. that we will qualify for a decent loan and then its time to take that next big step which is actually actively looking for a home and eventually making a purchase- the big time scary moment. Gulp.

"Welcome to the real grown up world. Now suck it up."

I am excited and scared all at the same time but definitely looking into FINALLY being a my own home....decorated my own way....and finally feeling like Nils, Shaylee and I are....well, settled. HOME.