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Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Rather than try to give you excuses again to why I have been gone so long, I will just tell you what we have done since my last post.

1.Moved from our basement dwelling into our new home (10 days before Christmas). This required us to rent a UHaul load and unload our boxes stored in a friend’s garage (just the two of us), move all of our furniture from a storage unit, move the rest of our stuff from the basement.  Clean the basement. I think this is the hardest move we have made yet.  Thanks to our friends who helped us out.

2.Set up house…you know what that involves…unpacking, unpacking and more unpacking…as well as… organizing, moving more boxes.

3.Decorated for Christmas, finished buying and wrapping presents, and baked fun Christmas treats.

4.Huge snow storm.  Started the day we began our move.  Couldn’t move our cars for two weeks.  Snow was over our bumpers.  Thank goodness Brandon’s office is only 4 blocks away.

5.Had Christmas, my parents came, my brother and sis-in-law came.

6.Turned 34…Brandon threw me a surprise party in our new house.

7.Eyob turned 2….we threw him a party.  Since he was only home a month before his first birthday we didn’t have a party last year.

8.Brandon turned 35….I took him out for a surprise dinner. I was so excited to actually surprise him for once.

9.Lots of baking and cooking going on. Making up for the months with no oven.

10.Lots of enjoying our own home and the wood heat.  What is it with men and their wood supply.  Brandon is seriously obsessed about how much wood we have in our wood shed.  There isn’t enough ever.  He even came home early tonight to chop some wood. 

11.Started some new crochet projects…had my mom teach me how to read a pattern. 

12.Made four New Year’s resolutions… 1. Keep it simple…..in keeping with that 2. Floss my teeth….3. Wash my face….4.Above all keep it simple…Doing pretty good so far.

13.Stayed at home more in the last 6 weeks than I have in I can’t remember how long.  I am actually loving it.

14.Started walking in the morning again.  This neighborhood is a little sketchy in the dark so I carry my mace, but also pray my way around it for 45 minutes.  So glad to be back into that routine. 

15.Read a couple of new books in front of my woodstove.

16.Enjoying having dvr again…you know recording shows to watch later.  So glad to be done with the commercials.

17.Had our first family movie night last night….watched Kung Fu Panda…ate popcorn and candy curled up together on the livingroom floor. Yes, we used our new big pillows mom!  I can’t believe we haven’t done this before.  It was so much fun.  Can’t get “Kung Fu Fighting” out of my head now though.

18.Brandon’s parents visited this past weekend.  We had a blast. So good to see you both.

19.Made 3 dozen muffins, 15 dozen cookies, 2 dozen granola bars, and five dinners today. How’s that for a big day.  Oh yah and did a boat load of laundry that I need to go fold.  Found some great recipes that I will post soon.

20.Got involved in a new blog project that will launch tomorrow. So check back for details.

Pictures to come soon.

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I admit it… I am not proud of it, but honestly I didn’t even realize I was one until recently…. I am a waster. 

I am terrible about turning off lights, I let the water run when I brush my teeth, and lots of times I leave the refrigerator door open when I am pouring the boys apple juice.  I can’t say I have been ignorant about it completely, but truthfully I am a little on the lazy side when it comes to this kind-of stuff.  I have been sacrificing frugality (is this a word?) for ease.

Anyway, about a month ago now, I watched an Oprah (by the way Oprah has lost her recording place on my DVR schedule, more on that in another post) about how much the average American wastes, from food, to electricity, to time.  She gave two families, one with high school-aged children and one with kids around my kids age (maybe slightly older) a challenge… they were not allowed to watch tv or use any of their electronic devises, including cell phones. They were not allowed to go to the store (of any kind), no bottled water, no eating out and they had to do it for a week.  They started out by showing the us, the viewers, what an average wasteful week was like for the families and then we got to watch as they experienced what turned out to be a really interesting challenge. 

As I was sitting there completely appalled by their wastefulness, I suddenly realized that I am not much better. Sure my boys don’t play five hours of video games a day and talk on their cell phones and we don’t have our TV on 24/7 in every room of the house (only one TV anyway), I often throw out food because I bought more than I needed and didn’t plan meals using the food we had.  Unlike one of the families, I don’t buy my four year-old Starbucks 4 times a week, I do, however,  buy myself a lot of coffee at a coffee shop when I could just as easily make it at home.  As I watched, I realized that my wastefulness may not be in the same areas as these families, but I am still wasteful. 

I was challenged by watching these wasteful families and decided to try and change some of the things that I do in my life, in order to be more frugal with our finances, food, time, and the amount of waste we create.  Here is a list of what I have come up with…

1. stop buying bottled water- plan ahead and bring water bottle from home for everyone

2. only buy coffee at a coffee shop once a week and make my lattes at home (they are turning out pretty good by the way)

3. turn off lights when we leave the room, shut the door to the fridge all the time, adjust the water heater temp, and set the temp throughout the house as low as we are comfortable, turn water off during teeth brushing and remind the boys to do these things as well

4. limit the boys TV time to 1/2 hour a day if that (this is harder than I thought)……  I was appalled at how much TV the kids on the challenge watched…. video games too…. I am determined that I will avoid video games for as long as possible…I am NOT judging those of you who let your kids play them.

5. inventory what I have in our pantry and fridge and plan meals based on what we have already, avoiding the grocery store as much as possible- this has actually been pretty fun and Brandon is even getting into the challenge with me…

6. plan weekly menus and grocery lists- when I shop only buy what is on list (hard!)

7. clip coupons!!! … Never thought I would be doing this….I have a post coming on this later… I am amazed that in my first few tries I have gotten a ton of free stuff as well as saved myself so much money….I have some amazing websites to share later

8.  recycle everything that I can- even those cans that I would rather just throw away because I don’t want to wash them out and that glass that I will actually have to drive to dispose off because it doesn’t go in our recycling cans (I am amazed at how much this has cut down on our waste)  I am even getting things out of the garbage that others have thrown away that should have been recycled… yeah me!

9.  limit our eating out… plan when we will do it and stick to it

10.  pay attention to what is wasteful, what I don’t need, what my family doesn’t need

So far, I have done pretty well.  Over all, I am being more conscious about what I do, especially where I spend my money.  If you have ways that you are letting go of being a waster let me know…. I know there is so much more that I could do.

 

 

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Sometimes you can be rescued by the oddest things.  Since Brandon has gone back to work our bedtime routine has been in much need of an overhaul.  Because of our poop problems each boy has to take a seperate bath, Sloan likes a story and singing before bed and can handle staying up a little later, Sean likes singing but can’t hold still at that time of night to read a complete story, and Eyob is completely DONE after his bath. Eyob needs some good bonding time as I put him to bed, Sloan needs a little mommy time with our special songs and Sean needs fifty cups of appy juice (apple juice) at bedtime. 

As I get cups of appy juice and bottles ready before we head up stairs everynight, I steel myself for the torture that is to come.  I start Eyob in the bath while I try to keep Sean and Sloan from destroying Sloan’s room, I drain the tub spray it down and undress Sean all the while trying to keep a diaperless Eyob from peeing on the floor.  I get Sean in the tub, lube up Eyob with lotion, keeping an close eye on Sean who likes to enter and exit the tub at random.  Once Eyob is jammied up it is into the bathroom to soap up Sean and the routine continues until Sloan is properlly jammied and everyone is ready for bed.  It was much simpler when they were all contained in the tub at the same time.  Curse that giardia!  Then I would put Sloan and Sean into Sloan’s room while I sped through feeding Eyob and getting him down all the while wondering what kind of chaos Sean is creating because he is so ready for bed and alone with his brother.  Needless to say I have felt stretched beyond my flexibility and find myself frustrated and dreading bedtime every night, instead of looking forward to the quiet time it could give me with each of the boys. 

So last night I gave up another one of the expectations I had on myself to do it all without help and I cried out for Diego to rescue me!  I allowed the TV to babysit my kids for a half hour while I quietly put a much more satisfied Eyob to bed.  Because the older two boys were bathed and quietly watching an educational show (I might add for all of you judging me right now) I was able to even lay down on the bed with Eyob, stroke his face and sing him to sleep.  Then when I came downstairs to the other two, who were entranced with the African Safari, Seany crawled onto my lap and sat with me until it was over.  Because his touch tank was a little more full, he was much easier to put down and then I was able to read and sing to Sloan who put his arms around me and told me he loved to read and sing with me. 

Sometimes as moms we have to let go of what we think makes us a “good” mom and embrace the help around us, be it Diego or something else.  Often, I am so trapped by my own expectations that I cause myself more pain and in turn deprive my boys of the best I can be. So as Seany says, “Go Giego Go!  Giego mama Giego mama!  Which translated means, “Go Diego Go!  Vamos Diego Vamos!” 

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Home Team- Part I

As we speak or should I say, as I write there is a camera crew assembling outside our home.  I mean right outside…… ok..ok… they aren’t taking pictures of my house but of the one right next door and since that house is actually physically attached to my house (we live in a townhouse) then I think I can say they are outside my house.  Anyway, they are filming a reality home show. Cool, huh? 

I actually introduced myself to one of the guys who runs the show (I am not sure what his title is, he is said he owns something, anyway…not important), Dan, on Monday when he was here checking out the place with the producer of the show. I was surprised but he actually spent almost 1/2 an hour talking with me.  It is a reality show called, “The Home Team.”  His company started it in order to encourage home ownership.  Basically the premiss is similar to that of Extreme Home Makeover, if any of you watch that.  A family is chosen and so is a house.  The friends and family of the family come in and renovate, decorate, etc the house in a couple of days, while they are filmed (starting today).  By the way, the family has no idea at all what is going on.  It is a total surprise.  Dan (I am calling him by his first name since I can’t remember his last name at the moment.  Sorry Dan!) told me that this family is receiving about $18,000 dollars in furniture from RC Willey and their first year of mortgage payments, as well as, as the downpayment for free.  I don’t know a whole lot about the family except that this will be their first home and he is a coach at an area highschool. Plus they have a three year old. 

I told Brandon that I am going to try to get myself on tv.  I think I will just pop over every once in a while and be that really annoying neighbor.  What do you think?  Doesn’t that just sound like me?  Hopefully, you answered no to that question.  Sloan and Sean already got themselves introduced.  I always open the front window, which incidentally opens to where the camera crew is setting up, so the boys can say bye to Brandon in the morning.  Anyway, I went upstairs to get dressed and I can hear the producer telling his crew what to do and then I hear Sloan say, “This is my Seany.”  They were looking out the window and talking to the crew.  Pretty cute.

Dan, the owner will also be hosting this particular show (I actually talked to someone on tv!).  My window is open and I actually heard them say, “Action!”  Dan is standing on the front steps doing his little intro to a pretend crowd of people. 

I know, I know………. I won’t become a groupy I promise. 

This show will air the week of June 25th on KPNZ.  Their website is www.hometeam.com and you can check their site for your local times. 

I will post pictures as I take them.

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