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Archive for October, 2009

No shame in second-hand Christmas, right?>

October 31st, 2009 at 08:06 pm

So, Bean is interested in playing with train sets. He thinks they are fun, and from what I understand,that phase tends to last for a couple of years for little boys.

So, I am orchestrating with the grandparents to assemble some Brio and other compatible wood-track sets for Bean's Christmas presents.

I got the deal of the century today on a used Brio train table on Craigslist-- $50. New, they are $125 just for the frame, with no insert. The lady also gave me two Thomas Dvds, a plastic Thomas train, and a train case. Great deal! I was also searching for some track pieces.

Well, my mom pipes up with "But honey, it's Christmas. Can't he have something new?"

My thought is of course, but when it comes to stuff like wood tracks, does it matter if they are new or not? And with all the money we saved just on the table, doesn't that free up more money for tracks and trains??

I guess I disagree that Christmas gifts are devalued if they aren't new from the store. If you can get more bang for your gift buck and really assemble something spectacular, does it matter that it's not in its original package?

Any thoughts?

Plus, I already bought the Bean a NEW Magnadoodle, an IKEA rocking moose, and the Leapster Word Whammer.

stick a fork in me, please

October 30th, 2009 at 06:38 pm

I am So done being pregnant. Two weeks to go and I feel like I am going to explode. So much pressure on my organs. Constant heart burn. Ugh! I guess this is how nature prepares you for the goriness of birth- by making you feel so terrible you don't care how the baby comes out as long as it's out!

That said, we managed to get through 90 percent of the to-do list. Thank goodness. Most of the stuff around the house is finished. We have all of our bathrooms working, we have all the light fixtures working and/or converted to ceiling fans. The cars are all in working order, oils changed, and all repairs big and small are finished (fingers crossed for nothing else to go wrong...). The firewood is chopped and stacked.

My reward for all the last few weeks of heartache and hard work-- I'm getting a prenatal massage tomorrow. Oh, I hope it's great. Of course, any sort of relaxation and quiet time would feel nice at this point.

On another note, I decided to bump up our biweekly automatic savings transfer by $50, to $300 per paycheck. It may not sound like a lot, but it would mean an extra $100 a month, which can really add up. I'm hoping we won't miss the extra $25 a week.

It also dawned on me today that our college savings will have to go up dramatically once the new baby arrives. we put about $5,000 a year away for Bean, and we'll have to do the same for Bean Two. Not sure how we will come up with the extra money, since the recession has basically killed my income, but we'll figure it out somehow.

Getting all the ducks in a row before baby arrives

October 27th, 2009 at 07:49 pm

I am seriously feeling the deadline pressure. Little Sid is supposed to arrive between Nov. 13 and 19 (hopefully not earlier).

I managed to knock some stuff off the to-do list this week:

We managed to get oil changes and new wipers on both cars, a muffler and new brakes, turn signal bulb, and serpentine belt on the cars that needed them.

We also got all the ceiling fans installed. The plumber is coming tomorrow to reseat the toilet on the floating floor (we had been unsucessful).

The giant pile of firewood is chopped, and the chimney has been swept.

I finally got my H1N1 vaccine, and have heard there is a clinic for babies next week so I can take Bean in for his.

Only things left on the to-do are seasonal flu shots for me and hubby. (Bean had his today), and H1N1 for bean and hubby.

Then, I hope, we will be ready for baby No. 2.

Of course, it would be nice to get most of the Christmas shopping out of the way too. I've done some, but getting all of it finished seems darn near impossible.

I'll also have to hope I can stock the freezer and pantry with easy to make foods before I go into labor. Last time, I felt like I was starving all the time, and I had never seemed to have the right food on hand. Not this time!

Hemorraghing money, 4 weeks til new baby arrives

October 17th, 2009 at 09:21 pm

Well, it's 4 weeks until my due date for Bean No. 2. I have been knocking some things off my to-do list, because even though it's hard to move with a big preggo belly, it's more impossible to get things done once you have a newborn keeping you up all night.

So, we've been spending way too much:
$300, unexpected brake repair on car
$130, new muffler for car
$60, replace broken belt on car (see a theme here?)
$300, installation of ceiling fans in kitchen, 2 kids rooms (converted from recessed light fixtures a la 1957).
$400, cost of fans for rooms

I still need to get oil changes and new wipers for both cars, replace the door between my kitchen and garage with something that will actually block the cold air (and pay to have it installed), and pay a plumber to reseat the toilet in our guest bath. We can't seem to get it right since we had a floating floor installed and the flange is slightly below floor level now-- and I can no longer pick up and move the toilet.

Note to everyone: my hubby is so not handy. I do all the home improvement projects (dad was an engineer...it rubbed off.). So when I can't physically do the work, it gets expensive.

Also, while the light fixtures were being converted to fan boxes, I realized there is no insulation above one of the bedrooms. That explains why it is so cold in there all the time. I have no idea why, as I can see the batts and the cellulose above the other rooms, but all I see if roof rafters and no insulation in this one room. I may have to pay someone to go put something up there, as this is Bean two's new bedroom, and you can't have a freezing newborn.

I am currently two round to fit into the attic access panel, and probably shouldn't be breathing or handling insulation at this late date.

So, money money everywhere!! It never seems to want to stay in my bank account.