Monday, August 29, 2011

Budget Schmudget

A food mill, a new faucet, new door knobs for the entire house, a new dress, some new pants, new dish towels (mine are getting kind of grungy), a 36" flat screen for the play room, a Frappucino, some fabric for new pillows in the bedroom, 31 Flavors, some fancy dish soap, a Groupon for Lasher's, a new car, some new clothes for both boys, and new makeup are all things that I thought about buying today. Like in the last 12 hours. Is this normal? Please tell me this is normal. I mean I don't really think I'm obsessed with shopping as I don't actually spend money on all of these things. But I think about them. All day. Every time I walk from one room to another something pops into my mind that I would like to have. I mean I truly believe I could blow through wads of cash every day if only given the opportunity. I think it is the same sensation that prompts me to indulge int the dollar section at Target every time I'm there (though maybe that is a different sensation all together which only makes my problem worse). And although I am not obsessed with shopping per se, I seem to spend quite a bit of money all the same. And its running out. Quickly.
Today I actually thought about going on a bit of a debt diet. Really, how hard could it be to go a whole month only buying the necessities? Trips to Target could be wonderfully streamlined, only buying those important items off the list such as toilet paper and tooth paste, not a new sweater and earrings and a Hot Wheel for Anderson. I could plan my menus and go to the grocery to buy only those ingredients I need for the recipes instead of filling my basket with "Mini Mint Mouthfuls" and dark chocolate covered salted caramel bites.
Yes! I can do it. I can give up fancy coffee and wear my old pre-pregnancy clothes. I can cook at home and settle for eating what we have instead of going out and getting what I feel like. I can use coupons (Lord knows I spend enough time clipping them!) I can live within my means and and give our budget a little breathing room. At least I think I can. Well, maybe it's more like I hope I can. I suppose all I can do is try. And given that I did not buy one un-necessary item today I think I'm off to a pretty good start. Though, technically, the month hasn't started yet so I guess it was more just like practice.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Super Secret Birthday Surprise

I'm not sure why doing something special always seems so hard. Maybe it's just that I think too much about it. Or maybe I don't think about it enough. All I know is that after being together nearly 11 years, it just keeps getting harder to come up with ways to show my love/appreciation/admiration. Gosh, I even find myself choosing the same card that I have given before and I am pretty sure that I write nearly the exact same message for every occasion, be it a birthday, anniversary, Valentine's Day, etc. This year I got smart (or lazy, sometimes the two go hand in hand). I enlisted the help of others to help me wish Gabe a happy birthday.

40 is a milestone (though not one I am excited to experience) and it just seemed fitting to call upon the masses. About 3 and a half weeks prior to the big day I sent out an email and hoped for the best:

Dear friend or family member,

I have a little surprise I am working on for my most wonderful husband. You know, Gabe, the cute redheaded drummer/surfer/stay-at-home dad and all around good guy? Well, he’s turning 40 here really soon. August 26, to be exact. Can you believe it? I mean, truly he doesn’t look a day over 30! Anyway, back to the reason for the email. I have a favor to ask of you. You see, no matter how great our little family thinks he is, we have trouble convincing him how great everyone else thinks he is. So what I am asking is this: please write him a special note. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. In fact, I’ve included a couple of templates should that make it easier. You can simply print it out, fill it in, and drop it in the mail. Of course, you can get creative here, too, people. Who needs a template when you’ve got creativity! I swear we must have some of the most talented friends and family on the planet. All I ask is that you mail it to me rather than email it. It’s just more special that way. (Of course if you are a total procrastinator and you cannot get it mailed in time, trust me I understand completely, emailing it will be acceptable!) Either way, just make sure I have it no later than August 25. On his birthday I am going to hang all of the messages in the house so that he can truly feel the love of his friends and family. I’ll even take pictures so you can see your contribution to the installation! Good idea, don’t you think?!

So get to it! Conjure up a memory, tell a story, draw a picture, or just fill in the blanks, but have fun and help me let this special guy know just how much he is loved/appreciated/admired/etc.

And because one of Gabe’s obsessions is getting the mail as soon as it is delivered, I am having to use an alternate address (kind of makes it like a top secret mission, doesn’t it?).

Thanks so much for your help! And shhhhhh!!! It's a secret!



Oh! And one more thing...I am not a very good hacker and therefore I was not able to send this to everyone that I would have liked from Gabe's address book (family and friends). If you can think of anyone who would like to participate, PLEASE either forward this to them or send me their email address so I can do so. As a matter of fact, if you do forward it, please just let me know to whom you did so that I do not email them again once my hacking skills have improved and I've gotten into Gabe's address book. ;)
And I think it turned out great:
Some messages were funny, some were touching, and some taught me a little more about the guy I married. But they were all special. It was fun to see how one person plays a role in so many others' lives. Despite the last minute printing, the frantic "am I too late?" texts and messages, and the fact that I had to send out a couple of harassing reminder emails, I am so happy I was able to give something to Gabe that he will always remember. He is truly a great guy and I think the response I received makes that pretty darn clear.

Feliz cumpleaƱos

Any excuse for a fiesta is appropriate in my book, so Gabe's 40th birthday party was a bit of a no brainer. For a guy who doesn't like to have parties, he sure had a good time.
ruffled streamer idea from here

Happy Birthday, Gabe!

I think you are now what they refer to as "middle-aged", which isn't such a bad thing. I can think of a lot of "middles" that I like a whole lot. For example, the middle of a Nutter Butter, the middle of those amazing salted carmel chocolate bars from Trader Joe's, and the middle of the day are all pretty good "middles". So enjoy this year. It's a new decade. A time to set new goals and to settle in to the nice little life that we've made for ourselves. A time to really feel like a grown up (I, myself, have a few more years before having to do so). So happy birthday, honey. I love you. And you don't look a day over 27. Wink, wink.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Boy Love

Tonight I said this to Gabe: "Before we had kids did you ever think kids could be this awesome?"

Seriosuly, I have the two (well, three if Gabe counts) most amazing boys. They make me laugh like crazy. I never knew being a boy mom could be this fun. As a matter of fact, I never really even knew that I could like kids.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


  • I love my boys more than life itself, but sometimes I force them both to take a nap at the same time, ready or not, just because I need a moment. Or an hour or so, as it were.
  • Speaking of naps, I sometimes put on Caillou while Baby Beck is sleeping because I know Anderson will go into a "Caillou coma" and I can sneak in a nap.
  • I gave Anderson slightly stale crackers the other day because I knew he wouldn't know the difference.
  • I just ate 2 Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches and am seriously considering a third. I really should have eaten a proper dinner so as not to be so darn hungry right now.

Baby Beck at 4 months

Oh my, four months already? You really are growing too fast. Or maybe not fast enough. Depends on the day. You are now over 13 pounds and apparently rather tall (so says the doctor). You have chunky little legs and the sweetest dimples on those chubby cheeks. You smile and laugh constantly and you sucker me into taking you out of your crib (even when you really should stay and sleep a little longer) with your giant gummy grin. You look more and more like a little boy and less and less like a baby every day. I just love watching you grow. This week you decided that sleeping through the night (or most of it anyway) is really not such a bad idea. You go down at 6:30, wake around 2:30 to eat and then go back to sleep until around 6:30 (except for yesterday when you decided you were ready to party at 5:45 as did your brother. Please stop that.). You are interested in rolling from your back to your belly but extremely uninterested in staying on your belly once you get there. You are learning to love your jumper and your pod which is really very good news as making dinner has been next to impossible for the last couple of months. You really don't cry unless you are hungry or tired and you give me very little about which to complain (and that is saying a LOT). This month you also took your first trip and you were by far the best traveler in the family. We are going away again next week, though not on a plane, and I just hope it goes as smoothly as the first. We only have a few more weeks, just you and me, before daddy takes over. I'm training him now. He's a pretty good intern. We'll give him a test here in the next week or so.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beach Days

Loving the warm weather and the impromptu trips to the beach.
 Anderson is a bit aprehensive about letting his feet touch the sand.