Thursday, May 25, 2006

Money, money, money, money...Money!

Okay, I have to admit that I have been stressing out about finances recently. It is in my nature, to be perfectly don't get a degree in Accounting, and then neglect to budget and balance your checkbook, after all! (In fact, I tend to balance other people's checkbooks as well...I tried to be my MILs financial helper...but let me just tell you, she is a lost cause!) Something about owning two houses and having one income just stresses me out.

Hubby was trying to comfort me last night with the words "God won't give us anything we can't handle." Which is a great sentiment, I must admit...but unfortunately, I'm pretty sure we could handle repossession and bankruptcy! (I just really, really, really, REALLY don't want to have to handle those!) That sentiment, in my case should probably be reserved for the days that I am freaking out about medical issues (such as days I'm terrified about the concept of having this baby, as my delivery with Eva went so very badly!) rather than financial issues, because I am pretty sure I could handle almost anything financial thrown at us!

So, one of the things that has been stressing me out is that when we got our bridge loan it was based upon both hubby's income and the income from our part time job at the theatre. Unforunately, we got fewer and fewer hours (as other employees wanted more hours and were more easily available) and as gas prices went up, it made less and less sense to drive the 40 miles each way for a part time job. So, as of Tuesday, we are done at the theatre. Mostly, it's a really good thing for us financially. The problem is that mortgages are based upon debt to income ratios...and we don't have much debt (a few student loans, and of course, our mortgage on our old house!) but we also don't have much income! (Though it is a lot more income than we used to have!)

So, I've been thinking about ways to make a little extra money...I thought about working evenings at the grocery store, but as hubby's schedule is so flexible (I mean, we have to be flexible about it...not that the job itself is flexible!) it would be difficult to work out my schedule. In our old town, I did direct sales of home decor stuff...but the company went in a direction I didn't like, and I didn't feel like starting up the business again after our move. So, I have been thinking about other direct sales companies. So many of them have a lot of consultants in our area. (I don't know if it is all rural areas, but I never even heard of home parties until I met my hubby! It just wasn't something I was exposed to in my upbringing in suburbia!) Obviously, when doing direct sales, it is important to like the product, so that was my main concern! Also, commission and expenses are important things to know about as well. Finally, I wanted to do something that I could more easily find a market for (for instance, I looked into a crystal company, but as I really couldn't afford the stuff, I didn't figure that I would know too many people who could!)

So, on Monday, I decided to sign up with the Big Yellow Box, which is a direct sales company from Crayola. They've only been around two years, and I haven't ever seen a consultant around here. Also, since it is crafty stuff that is appropriate for families with kids as young as 3 and has cool stuff that would appeal to adults without children as well. So, I have my work cut out for me in booking parties and finding hostesses, and learning about the products! I am anxiously awaiting my kit so I can get started on some of my samples...and read through/watch the training materials! It'll be pretty cool being involved in something so new! The last company I was a rep for had been around over 30 years, so they had all their systems figured out to a T...BYB has been very nice, but I've already caused great confusion between my upline, the main office and myself (I'm just not smart enough for the contract!) and I think that there will be some unique challenges working with something so new. But I am excited, as EVERYONE knows the Crayola name, and the items should be very new to people out the fact that we don't have any craft stores anywhere near here...hopefully that will help my business!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

We have a yard...and my hubby is insane!

Well, the sod is in...the chain link fence is up...and we are all enjoying being able to throw the dog outside in the morning rather than taking him for a walk! It took from Friday to Friday to get the yard done. Friday the 12th, hubby's cousin brought down their rototiller. Friday and Saturday were about rototilling (around his work schedule of course!) and raking out the clumps. Sunday night was more raking. Monday was prep work for the sod while FIL and MIL picked it up. Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment in Denver, so MIL, Eva and I left for that and all the boys (hubby, BIL, and FIL) along with our dog and FILs dog (our dog's sister) spent the day down here putting in the sod. Apparently, they got done putting in the sod by the time I got out of my HOUR AND A HALF doctor's appointment! (I still have a bruise from the blood draw a week later!)

So, FIL and BIL decided to go start tearing down the chainlink fence at "the old trailerhouse" (one of the farm's properties that hasn't been lived in except by mice for about 3 years) so that we could reuse it here. Wednesday morning, BIL came down with fence parts. DH went and bought poles and quickcrete (as the old poles were very well cemented in up there!) and the boys went to work...problem with this plan? Hubby was (as usual) working a split shift...and went back to work about the time Eva went down for a, I got to help put in all the poles! My BIL is a slavedriver...As we were finishing up a pole I said "I need a glass of water, would you like one?" and his response was "One more pole, then you can have a break...I'm not a slavedriver or anything!" (Weird kid!) Thursday BIL returned to put up the top bars. Again, hubby was working split shift and went back when Eva went to I got to help with that one too! When hubby got home from work, they got about half of the chain link up, and then MIL and FIL came down and we went out to the "new steakhouse" (as the name it was going to have became something else, and now everyone just calls it the new steakhouse or the steakhouse!) which was fun, but apparently three cooks and one manager all took the day off figuring that a Thursday wouldn't be too bad...they were wrong!

Finally, BIL came down after hubby got off work on Friday, and they got the rest of the chain link up! So we have a yard! Saturday hubby had to work the long shift, so when he got home, we did a little housework but mostly just relaxed. So, I was looking forward to a nice relaxing Sunday starting with church at our parish at 10:30.

I took my shower a little earlier than usual (because we usually wait until the last minute and the second showerer gets cold water...I usually shower second!) and then hubby jumped in the shower early. He got out, threw the dog out in the yard and announced (at about 9 am) "we're going to Denver!" So, after asking him about a dozen times if he was serious (he was) I changed out of my dress and dress shoes and into some pants (I'm not driving 3+ hours in a dress and dress shoes!) and figured out what church in the area we were heading had an evening Life Teen mass. So, we went shopping first (I know, we've gone back and forth on the Sunday shopping thing, but as neither of us actually enjoys shopping, and since hubby only has Sundays off...well, sometimes shopping happens on Sunday!) and got some maternity clothes for me! (YEAH!!! I only had one pair of maternity pants, and the whole holding together my regular jeans with a hair tie thing will only last a month or so longer...and requires longer maternity style shirts!) I got a pair of pants (kinda khaki) two skirts (one denim, one black) two t-shirts (purple and blue) and a long sleeved blouse (kinda hippy style, in brown). I also got a pair of crocs, since with Eva by month 6 or 7, I exclusively wore flip-flops...and I was thinking that flip-flops in November might be a little cold!

We also made a trip to Sam's club for misc. stuff (including a bunch of supplies for my MIL to make a wedding cake for this weekend!) and I found the most awesome patio furniture there...the was $350 (so will never be in our price range) but it was a super comfy double chaise lounger...just what I need out on the porch to supervise the girl and the pug when they are playing!

So, we went to the Life Teen mass at a pretty liberal catholic church (they call themselves a "Catholic community"...) which was fun, and Eva enjoyed a lot...but I couldn't handle it regularly...and there were a couple of things that just seemed like liturgical abuses there (like doing some weird song version of the creed to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it"...) But they had some first communicants, and they were pretty cute. I have to admit, I have come a long way since becoming Catholic...the first time I went to a mass with guitar music I literally walked out (I couldn't take it) and when hubby and I went to a marriage conference when we were first married, they started off by singing some song with hand gestures (I don't remember the song, but I do remember that one of hubby's cousins and her husband were there, and her husband stood there with his arms crossed and scowling, just like I was!) At the Life Teen mass, they started off with the song "His Banner Over Me Is Love" with hand gestures...which I did (and which I already knew from the music portion of religious education when I was CRE at our old parish!)

So, after Mass, we went out for supper, then headed home. Got back home at about 11 pm...had a horrible thunderstorm all night long that kept me awake until 4 am. Didn't get much of a nap yesterday with toddler monster going full speed...had to work at the movie theatre last night (and have to work again tonight...but it will be the last night for us! YEAH!!!) So, I am just now getting a chance to breathe! WHEW!!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

My Political Profile

Your Political Profile:
Overall: 70% Conservative, 30% Liberal
Social Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
How Liberal Or Conservative Are You?

Apparently, I am getting WAY more conservative as I get older...

Try it yourself at:

Monday, May 15, 2006

Pants update and general craziness!

We are in the middle of a project right now...(I wrote a really long post about it, but managed to lose it by being an idiot!) Basically, what it boils down to is that we have no landscaping at our new house (okay, hubby did build a walkway with paving stones to our side door so that we wouldn't have to walk through the sandburs!) and hopefully, by tomorrow evening, we will!

We bought 1000 sq ft of sod off of the PBS auction, and had to ask FIL to pick it up for us in a horse trailer. Well, FIL thought while he was getting it, they would just go ahead and buy us more sod to make a better yard. So, we (by we, I mean mostly hubby as I haven't been allowed to touch the rototiller and get tired pretty easily with raking and hauling) have been prepping our lawn for the between other commitments. Hubby's cousin dropped off the rototiller on Friday morning, so Friday evening was breaking up the weeds and soil. Saturday was raking out clumps, rocks, roots, and approximately 60 bricks (???) then going up to visit the in-laws to help with graduation cake decorating while hubby drove into our old town to work at the movie theatre (this is our last month, and we have two more nights to work before we are done!!!) Then, we spent the night up there, as hubby didn't get done at the theatre until midnight, so we had to go to 8 am Mass (rather than the nice and easy to get to 10:30 Mass in our new town) went out for breakfast to celebrate Mother's day, loaded up some of our old furniture out of the house we STILL haven't sold for my BILs new place at college, had a couple of hours off, then went to the graduation MILs stepmother's daughter...
Went to her reception afterwards, where for some UNKNOWN reason they had a bubble machine in an area with a gym floor (that was soon covered in soap) they covered some of the slick spots with a towel, but refused to turn the machine off. We left when Eva slipped in the solution, conked her head really hard...let's just say NONE of us were happy by the time we were leaving. On the plus side for the weekend, my bloom'n belly band arrived before we left, so I was able to wear my jeans (with a hair tie to keep the button shut) all weekend long. I was hoping I'd be more impressed by this contraption, but I guess I'll give it a little more time before I decide, as the tag says they are oversized because they will shrink about 2% in the wash...
So, hubby wanted to get straight to work when we got home from the graduation party, but I desperately needed a nap (and felt like throwing up) and Eva was not in the mood for napping. So they played and watched some TV while I slept. I woke up at 8:30 as hubby was getting Eva ready for bed. (Eva refused to go to bed until she brushed her teeth, and hubby couldn't find her toothbrush.) So, after Eva went to sleep, hubby went out and worked on the yard for 1 1/2 hours in the dark. Today he worked a little bit on it during his lunch hour...and will probably spend most of the evening finishing up.
FIL and MIL delivered furniture to BILs new place this morning, and should have picked up our sod a couple of hours FIL and BIL will (I think!) come down tomorrow to help lay sod while MIL takes me and Eva up to Denver for a doctor's appointment...and we will hopefully meet up with my mother for lunch before hand! I think us women will be very glad to NOT be around for the 3 anal "I know what I'm doing so do it MY way!" men attempt to work together on this project!
Later, I'll try to describe the almost indescribable state of our yard and what the plans are to make a nice yard for Eva and our dumb dog...let's just say, we can't afford much so we are going to have to spend some time scavenging...
On a good note, my mother is talking about buying us some trees or shrubs for my birthday this summer...though I don't know that August is the ideal time to be planting trees or shrubs!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Baby names...

I don't know whether other people have this problem, but naming a baby is hard work!!! I remember when I was young I had a set of names, and those were the names I was going to use when I had kids (shockingly enough, when I did have my daughter, she didn't get my #1 girls name "Fiona Keely"!) I guess this is exacerbated by the fact that I am one of those weirdos who don't want to know the gender of the baby until birth. (Well, most days I don't want to know...I do have my moments of weakness!) As we are fairly traditional, and don't like trendy names (like, for instance "Addison" which was the name of two different babies announced in the same week in hubby's hometown paper...) we tend towards family, and of course, Saint's names. Naming our daughter caused a sort of conundrum. Very early on in the pregnancy, we decided that if we had a girl (and I was fairly convinced we were having a boy!) we would name her after hubby's grandma who passed away around the time we found out we were expecting (in fact, hubby announced the good news to the family the evening of the funeral...) So, our girl's name was Eva. Now, middle name is slightly more complicated. At first, we thought something boring and traditional like "Marie" would be a good option.
Around the same time, I decided that if it were a boy, we would name him after St. Gerard Majella. We played around with that name, and decided on Gerard Michael (Michael being a family name on both sides...) We had done a novena asking for St. Gerard's intercession to have a child, so it seemed fitting. Naturally, as my desire to name the baby after St. Gerard increased, Eva's middle name became Majella.
Now, you can't just name your first child Eva Majella, and then name the next one Peggy Sue (or any number of non-discript names!) So, we've been banging our heads against the wall trying to figure out names that are traditional enough, and Catholic enough to fit into our naming scheme. A couple of weeks ago, my grandmother passed away. So, I thought that it might be fitting if we have another girl to name her Charlotte, after my grandma. Hubby thought on this, and was having trouble envisioning himself calling a little baby girl Charlotte. You see, our families have different trains of thoughts on names. His family believes the more nicknames the better. My family named us short names so that we wouldn't need nicknames (so I've spent a great deal of my life explaining that my name is NOT short for anything!) So, anyway, hubby decided that Charlotte was fine if I was okay with him calling her Charlie. I decided I could handle that. Further, I thought that maybe we should name the baby Charles if it turns out to be a boy. Thus, we are waiting for Charlie either way. (Hubby has cousins who did something very similar, last time they were expecting, the baby was going to be Frances or Francis...she is Frances)
Now, on to the middle name saga...and here is where the slightly creepy stuff starts! First, we chose a middle name to go with Charles, and took the easy way out. So, if we have a boy he will be Charles Borromeo (after St. Charles Borromeo...yes, we are that creative!!!) Of course, I am having to go through training to be able to pronounce Borromeo (I have some sort of mental block...) so that I'll be able to yell it if need be...
So, picking a middle name that honored a Saint and didn't sound dumb with the name Charlotte was a little more difficult. We tried many different Saint's names, and none of them seemed to work! Finally, I was surfing some Saint's sites, and ran across St. Angela Merici (whom I have read about before, but isn't one of the first Saints to pop into my mind...) So, I refreshed my memory about her, and like the way that Charlotte Merici sounded, so I brought the name idea to hubby. So, we grabbed our trusty and not-so-trusty Saints books (the one that is not-so-trusty is called All Saints and has a bunch of people who are not cannonized Saints in it...) to look and see if they had St. Angela Merici and/or St. Charles Borromeo. Sadly, neither are listed in the "Loyola Kids Book of Saints", but St. Angela was in All Saints, and both were in our "One Year Book of Saints." So we read about St. Angela in All Saints...foundress of the Ursalines, which were not a religious community in the sense of nuns until after her death. Then we read about her in the One Year book, and same basic information until the end when it said that after her death, St. Charles Borromeo organized the Ursalines into a religious order and got permission from the pope.
Basically, my thought is this...if your boy's Saint's name shows up in the blurb about a proposed girl's Saint's name, you have found your Saint's name! Just too much of a coincidence for me!
So, Charlie will now be either Charles Borromeo, or Charlotte Merici!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Okay, so I am what I like to call "plus sized" and my medical records like to call "morbidly obese" (I like my way of looking at it better!) Add to this pregnancy, and I have really, really, REALLY been stressing about pants!

So, I guess that skinny and medium-sized women have "fat pants" and "skinny pants"...I've heard the terms all over the place, and it seems as though that is standard. I have two sized pants, too! "Regular pants" and "maternity pants" (though at the moment I only have one pair of maternity pants...) You see, with us fat women, it generally is a fact that our pants are tight...and then if we lose a bunch of weight, our pants become loose! When we become pregnant (at least in my case) our pants become sweat pants, since we can no longer pry ourselves into any other type of pants.

Honestly, I can lose 50 lbs (well, I've only done it once, and technically, I only lost 48.5 lbs) and STILL WEAR THE SAME PANTS!!! Of course, said pants currently do not fit, and so my current wardrobe is either sweatpants with a t-shirt, or dresses or skirts (I look poochy, but at least I can keep them on!) That being said, I was so excited to hear about something called a Bella Band.

Nope, I didn't go ahead and get a Bella Band...but let me explain the theory. It is a tubular piece of cloth that you wear around your unzipped regular pants (or theoretically, pants that are too big for you...not that I'll ever have that problem!) Sounds like a great plan, but then there's the plus-sized thing...but, hallelujah!!! They carry a size they call 3, which is for sizes 16+ (Let's just say I'm in the + category on that one!) So, I get all excited and try to find a place to buy one. Several sites only carry sizes 1 and 2 (for skinny minis!) and then I finally find one that carries the size 3. I spend 15 minutes deciding on what color I want...I mean, these things are like $25, so this was a big decision!!! I finally decide on stone...then change my mind to white. Okay, white it is! Checkout time! Shipping amount...remember this is a tube of FABRIC that goes around the waist...$10!!!!
So, no Bella Band. Still, I spend time looking around for similar products. Find one that looks promising called Belly Brites, which are reversible and have two colors...unfortunately, they are made in Australia! (So, let's not go into the shipping for that either!) I gave up hope...decided that I'd be wearing sweatpants until I fit into my one pair of maternity pants...then today, I found out about ANOTHER one called bloom'n belly band from an ebay store, these were only $16, come in actual sizes, have more fabric choices and ship USPS for $1.95! So, hopefully it will be made and sent to me soon, as I am VERY excited at the prospect of wearing pants that don't have the word "sweat" (something I don't like to do anyway!) in front of them!


Okay, so here is my very first attempt with anything as high tech as a blog...

I guess I have to face the facts that I am woefully behind the I just finally got into the whole MP3 thing this year.

And I used to be so high tech that I built my own computers...sigh!