Monday, March 30, 2009

Whose responsibility?

I am planning my boys' birthday party for this Sunday. We have a small group of close family as guests, and it's always laid-back and informal. In past years, the menu has been mostly pizza, Stromboli, chicken fingers, meatballs or sandwiches. Last year, my aunt was diagnosed with Celiac's disease and must not follow a gluten-free diet.

Of course, this means I need to change our normal menu a bit, because she can't eat any of the foods I mentioned! After some research and thought, I decided to buy a whole ham which I will serve cold (I will offer breads and rolls for those who are able to eat wheat products). I will also have an assortment of cheeses, veggies, fruits, potato salad, munchies and, of course, cake and ice cream.

I've learned which brands and flavors of ice cream are gluten free so that my aunt can enjoy that as a dessert (the cake is just not an option).

But I am wondering, whose responsibility is it when it comes to special dietary needs?

As I planned my menu, I received different opinions from people. Some said that I should continue to serve what I normally would - my aunt is free to eat what she is able from the food I have provided. Others thought I should plan for a gluten-free "entree."

What's your take on this? If you know a guest must follow a certain diet (for medical reasons - not for weight watching), are you obligated as a host to accommodate that diet? How would you feel if you found out AFTER a party that one of your guest had dietary restrictions you were not aware of at the time?

I personally feel that I have invited my aunt as a guest in my home - it is my responsibility to provide her with a meal she can eat. I am fully aware of her restrictions, and I am willing to take a few extra minutes to change my normal menu (it wasn't hard, and I actually think this ham will feed more people and prove to be cheaper than some other options we have had in the past).

My aunt would never want to know that I am having this conversation at all. She will always say "don't worry about me - I have plenty I can eat." But I do think it's my responsibility as a host.

how do you feel?

Helllloooo April!

I know, I am early, but I am very excited that April is almost here! April is the first "real" month of spring (in my opinion) and I can't wait for some lovely April weather.

April 1st is also my wedding anniversary, and we're looking forward to celebrating 9 years together!

My boys have April birthdays - Jacob will turn 3 on the 3rd and Ryan will be 6 on the 7th!

So this week is a busy, busy week for us. Thankfully Maddie is finally feeling better (this morning was her first morning in a week without a fever!) because we have lots to do! Craig and I are going to try to find time to go out for our anniversary sometime this week. The boys' have a birthday party with our family on Sunday afternoon, so I have lots to do to get ready for that. We also have an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday morning, and I am so excited that I can go with the children (I normally work on Saturdays, but I offered to switch with a co-worker and now I'll be off that day! Yay!).

So goodbye cold, windy March and bring on the April springtime!


That's the noise we heard on Sunday night as a huge storm blew through town. There was thunder, lightening, and HAIL - lots of hail. It started out as pea-sized and then got much bigger. We were worried about our cars (we have a one-car garage which is too small for either car, so they are parked in the driveway), but there doesn't seem to be any damage.

The kids were terrified! We have a skylight in the living room and the hail was REALLY loud on it. I was actually a little worried that if the hail got any bigger that it would crack the skylight, so we stayed out of the living room!

Here's the hail about 20 minutes AFTER the storm:

And the rain waters running through our backyard:

And, because we can't have the camera out and NOT have Jacob posing, a picture of a very silly Jacob and Mommy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our "Honey-Do" List

Here's what needs to be done around our house in the near future:

  • Remove old (DEAD) microwave from above the stovetop
  • Install NEW microwave
  • Take yard waste to recycling center
  • Repair and repaint water-damaged drywall around the front window (we had an ice dam and leak on Christmas Eve).
  • Caulk around front window outside.
There's lots more to do, but that's the focus for the next few weeks. We have VERY limited time to work on projects. Craig and I both work Monday-Friday (I work from home doing childcare, but it still means there is no time for extra projects. I am lucky if I can get a load of laundry done now and then). I also work outside of the home on Saturday mornings. That only leaves a tiny bit of Saturday afternoon and Sundays to do any projects. So this simple list will take us a few weeks.

I long for summer when I will have time to tackle things during the week AND I no longer work on Saturdays (I work for a college and have no hours during the summer semester). We'll get so much done (when I am done recovering from surgery that its!).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ready and waiting...

Spring can't get here soon enough for me! I prepped the garden about 2 weeks ago, and I planted our sugar snap peas on St. Patrick's Day! Of course, it got COLD right after that, so I am not sure how well they will do.

I am a gardening novice. I made this raised bed 2 years ago, and the first year we had a GREAT yield! Last year, nothing did overly well. I am hoping to do a little better this year.

And, we're going to expand the garden! Maddie asked for her own little patch of ground, so we're going to add a few raised beds for the kids to call their own. I may make a few extra for ME too!

We used raised beds because the quality of our soil is terrible. It's mostly clay, but our house is actually built over top an old junk yard, so there is all sorts of YUCK mixed in our soil. The raised beds have worked well.

I am going to a composting seminar in May, so we'll be giving that a try this year too!

It's Wednesday -

and Day Three of Maddie being sick. :(

She started with a fever on Monday evening and was home from school yesterday and today. We paid the doctor a visit today, and she said there is a nasty virus going around that can last up to 5 days! So we're at the halfway mark.

She feels a little better today, but still has fever and is achy once the Motrin wears off. I wish I could make her feel a little better, but there isn't much to do.

The doctor said keeping her hydrated and keeping her blood sugars up are very important, so "put nutrition rules aside" and get her to eat or drink anything!

So, she had an ice pop for breakfast and a glass of Hawaiian Punch and half a blueberry muffin for lunch. The doctor did say put nutrition aside, right?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is today over yet?

I had so many plans for today - and then NOTHING went according to plan at all.

Maddie was not feeling well last night, so it was not a big surprise to have her wake up with a fever and still feeling icky. So Maddie got to stay home from school.

I spent nearly 45 minutes on the phone with Disney Dining trying to (once again) get a reservation for the Sci-Fi Restaurant. There are NO reservations available - lunch or dinner - the entire week we will be in Orlando. I did, however, manage to snag a dinner reservation at Le Cellier for my parents. Yay!

Then it was time for lunch prep - and my barely 5-year-old microwave DIES. It runs - the timer works - but it will not heat food. Doesn't even make it break a sweat.

Therefore, I got to spend my afternoon researching new microwaves (because one call to our appliance repair shop told us it was cheaper to buy a new one rather than repair the "old" one).

By 4:00 my mind was fried. The daycare boys were WILD all afternoon, and my daycare girl came home and didn't seem like her normal self. She pretty much reinforced that when she began vomiting in my kitchen (at least she made it to the garbage can!).

So, now I have my own sick child (who at this point is feeling worse and the fever has gone up to 102.5), a sick daycare child, a toddler who just pooped in his big boy pants, a broken microwave and have to plan to somehow get to a store and purchase a new microwave.

My dad was nice enough to offer to pick me up to go shopping (so that Craig could stay home and tend to the boys and poor, sick Maddie). I quick opted to reheat leftovers for dinner - BUT NO MICROWAVE! LOL Thankfully Craig had one in his office so he brought that home and saved the day.

In the end, poor Maddie is still super sick (I am actually a little worried if this fever doesn't go down after this latest dose of Motrin). I did manage to buy a new microwave at Sears tonight (after visiting MANY stores).

I have a feeling tomorrow isn't going to be much easier than today - and Craig works late on Wednesdays! I think I am going to shortly be switching over to "survival mode." These are the days that I am super glad my kids have way too many clothes - because I just don't know how I would even fit laundry in my day!

Hope you all are having a better Tuesday!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Prayers please

I have a prayer request - I just spoke with my sister after she received some test results back from the doctor - she is having her second miscarriage this year. :(

This will be the second "chemical pregnancy" for her, and although the doctors say it's perfectly normal and she has every reason to believe she will get pregnant again soon, she's still devastated beyond belief.

I am very sad for her. I feel like I have no words, because I have never been in this situation. I just let her cry and be sad and angry and hurt - and hope that she feels better some day soon.

She has a beautiful 2-year-old son already and she loves him to pieces, but people keep telling her that she basically shouldn't be too upset about this loss because she has a son already. I understand that she hurts for THIS baby too.

Also, her husband has 2 sisters who have been trying to conceive for nearly 2 years. One has had a string of miscarriages - the other is unable to conceive at all. My sister's MIL has lost 5 grandchildren this year.

So if you could keep her (Lori) and her family in your prayers I would appreciate it. They would too.

My favorite appliances

Sometimes, you just need to step back and be thankful to be a housewife and mother in the 21st century. There are a few things that make my day a little easier.

First - my best friend - the Shark cordless sweeper. I originally bought one of these for $11 off of a Kohl's clearance rack. It quickly became the most used appliance in the house. I keep this bad boy in the kitchen and use him after every single meal! It has a rolling brush, so it even gets crumbs and dirt off of the kitchen mats! Shark #1 finally died a month ago, so I have a replacement. This one wasn't $11, but still worth every penny!

Second - my slow cooker. I use my slow cooker fairly often, and love how easy it is to make a meal in it! Tonight, we're having spaghetti and meatballs. BUT I found a slice in the slow cookers cord today *GASP* So tonight, it's off to Kohl's for a new slow cooker (I guess 9 years is a good life).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Preparing for our Disney Vacation

I have mentioned our Disney vacation before. It's a huge deal to all of us in our family. We have taken a few small trips with the kids in the past (we've gone on short 3-day trips to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA and spent a mini-week at Rehoboth Beach, DE two years ago), but we've never done a BIG vacation. This was partly due to cost, and partly due to us being kind of chicken to take 3 yound children very far.

In June, we're headed to Disney for 8 days! And we're driving - from PA to Florida - for a total of 4 days on the road. We have saved our pennies (and nickles, and dimes - and a whole bunch of dollars too!) so that we can pay for this trip in cash (which is such a great feeling).

This trip started out as a 5-day visit to Orlando for our family (while Craig attends a conference there). We were going to do DIsney for just 2 days. It has grown to 8 days in Orlando (plus our travel time), a huge vacation rental home (to accomodate our family of 5 PLUS my parents who offered to come help with the kids) and lots and lots of planning!

We are less than 90 days from our vacation now, I have launched into full Disney mode. My focus this week was on FOOD - we made reservations for 2 charachter meals at Disney! Now that those reservations are in place, I have shifted my focus to the actual care ride to Florida.

I have been collecting little gifts to give the kids along the way - little toys and games for the car ride, special edible treats, etc. I am trying to find some special "state line" gifts too - something to represent the states we will be driving through. If you have any ideas for PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, NC, SC, GA & FL - let me know!!!!!

I'll be posting a lot more about our trip prep, as it's the biggest thing on our adjenda for the next few months. I need packing lists, itinerary plans, new clothes (we've started trying on all of the kids summer clothes so we know what we are lacking), new shoes and lots and lots of sunscreen!

If your family likes to travel, what are your best tips for a good trip?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How a hernia made up my mind

First, I had my surgical consult yesterday and it went well. I indeed have a hernia which should be repaired, but it's not an emergency case, and my surgeon said I will be perfectly fine waiting until this summer (after we return from Disney) to have the surgery. The doctor was really nice and made me feel very comfortable. He said I'll need about 2 weeks to fully recover - meaning Craig will get to use some of his vacation time to help me take care of the kids while I recover. I am not really looking forward to the surgery, but I feel that I should have it done before it becomes more problematic. I am glad I can do it on my own time - and that I am not having it done next week!

BUT - I think I finally have my answer about what to do about my childcare position. I am going to finish the school year (which is only 12 more weeks) with the set of brothers I have. I will not take them next year. The other 5-year-old boy I will also take only through the end of the school year. I was undecided about taking him this summer, but now that I know i need 2 weeks off for our vacation, and now another 2 weeks off for my surgery, I feel the best thing for everyone is to give them notice that I can only take them until school is over.

This leaves me with my 8-year-old girl that I have been watching for 2 years. She is such a good kid and Craig and I have decided that she can come to our house when Craig is covering for me after surgery. Just having "K" here will be so much easier - I can take the kids to the park and on little outings (we love doing the summer reading club at the local library!). I think it will be the best of both worlds - a little income but a lot less stress.

Once school starts again in the fall, "K" will only come before/after school, so I will pretty much be back to "SAHM" status again. I couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Surgical Consult today

This afternoon I have a surgical consult about my hernia. I am a bit scared, but have to remind myself that this is an elective surgery so they can't force me into doing something that I am not comfortable with at this point.

I am hoping to hear that this is a very small hernia with little risk of complications, and that surgery can be put off for a few months until it's a better time for all parties involved.

I'll be sure to post an update tonight. I still have a house-full of kids today. My father offered to come watch the kids while I go to the doctor (since Craig had an important meeting this afternoon). I wish him luck with a house full of 7 kids! LOL

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another Family Dinner

I just had to add a quick post, since I wrote about Family Dinners last week. My mom invited us all over for dinner again tonight! I think our BIG FAMILY DINNERS have been brought back to life!

Hooray! It's a beautiful day here in Pennsylvania - the sun is shining, the birds are singing and we've been playing outside most of the day! And now I don't have to cook dinner! What could be better?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Easy crockpot French Dip sandwiches

I LOVE my crockpot! It just makes my day to prep all of my dinner in the morning and have it ready to go at dinnertime!

A few years ago I borrowed a cookbook from my Grammy and found a yummy (and super easy) recipe for a French Dip sandwich that my whole family loves! I actually made it for a baby shower once too!

The super easy recipe calls for a 2-3 lb chuck roast (trimmed) - but London Broil was on sale CHEAP this week, so I tried that and it worked wonderfully (in fact, Craig liked it even more because it was leaner).

Add a can of beef broth, a can of beef consume (my regular grocery store carries this, but I have not been able to find it at Super-Walmart), and a can of onion soup. You can stir in a tsp of beef bouillon if you'd like (I didn't have any today, so we did and it was still yummy!).

Just let that cook away (8 hrs on low -or- 4 hrs on high). Shred the beef using 2 forks - serve on nice, crusty hoagie rolls (you can add some cheese too!) and dip in the juice! It's so yummy!

I choose to use the low sodium soups and broth.

We had some leftover beef and "juice" so I threw it all back in the crockpot and made some soup! I've never made soup before, so I hope it tastes as yummy as it looks. I tossed in more broth, some potatoes, carrots, celery, peas and a can of tomato paste. Should make a great lunch tomorrow!

Hold Me Accountable

I am stealing this idea from April over at

Things to do this week:

1 - Workout on the WiiFit at least 30 minutes for at least 5 days

2 - Plan my Brownie meeting

3 - Declutter/Clean for 15-minutes a day

4 - Make & mail birthday invitations for the boys' birthday party.

5 - Eat dinner at home at least 5 days.

Hold me to this! We're trying to turn over a new leaf here! We've been very lazy when it comes to our budget because I have been making a nice chunk of money each week doing childcare. I will be cutting that money by at least half this summer - possibly even more. By September, I will only be watching one par-time girl and making next to nothing - so we need to ease back into our budget!

Friday, March 13, 2009

A boy and his broccoli


After dinner this evening, Jacob had a bit of dessert. We were clearing the table and turned to find him digging into the big bowl of broccoli that was still sitting on the table. He just shoveled that broccoli into his mouth - using the big serving spoon!

This boy loves his broccoli!

You can also enjoy a RARE photo of me with Jacob. Usually I am behind the camera, but Craig was quick to grab the camera tonight and I got caught! Please ignore whatever Star Wars guy that is behind me!

Disney Countdown Night

This is my first time posting on Furthering His Kingdom Fridays (stop over and see Kelly at The Barefoot Mama).

We have a big family vacation planned for June - our first trip to Disney World! Craig has a business trip planned for the Orlando area, and we decided to piggyback on that trip (which means that some of our expenses will be paid for by Craig's work!). We've been saving our pennies (and dimes, and quarters) for about a year so that we can pay for this trip in cash and truly enjoy this big family vacation.

We are all so excited to be heading to see Disney, so we've been doing a Disney Countdown Night for a few weeks. It's been a fun way to spend a Friday night as a family. We pick a movie and plan our dinner and evening activities around that theme. Some nights, the kids opt to actually watch the Disney movie; other times, they play or do a craft.

Tonight, we are going to celebrate Lady and the Tramp. We will be eating spaghetti and meatballs (of course!) and having some brownies with little plastic dogs on top!

We've had pirate ship hot dogs, Finding Nemo desserts (blue jello with some candy fish), And Make-Your-Own-Pizza (Planet) pizza night (from Toy Story). The kids get so excited abut their special dinners and look forward to it all week!

Even if you aren't counting down to Disney, you can easily start a family tradition of a special theme Family Night once a week. I love seeing the kids faces when they find out we're having "walk the plank french fries" and it's helped me be more creative in the kitchen too!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Family Meals

My mom invited us for dinner tonight (yay! I don't have to cook!). Of course, my sister and her family will also be there, making the total 10 people for a Thursday night dinner. Fun!

We used to do these big family dinners once a week. I loved those dinners! As a young stay-at-home mom (with limited contact with the outside world) I had something to look forward to all week. We were able to enjoy a yummy meal and the company of our family. Moreover, *I* got to eat that meal with 2 hands because there were other people helping to look after my children and have some adult conversation! My children got to see their grandparents, aunt and uncle on a regular basis. It really was a pleasant event for all parties involved!

Unfortunately, these big family dinners stopped when my parents sold my childhood home and moved to a new home. They are still very close to us, but just the stresses of moving stopped the dinners and they never really resumed. Now, both my sister and I have busy families and it's harder to find a time that everyone is able to get together. It makes me sad that we don't have these family dinners regularly anymore.

But family meals are still a regular part of our life. We eat nearly all of our meals as a family. During the week, the children and I have breakfast and lunch together, and all 5 of us eat together for dinner. On weekends, we eat nearly every meal together as a family. I like to connection it gives us - taking time to break bread together. I hope that we continue to do this even as my children grow and get busier and busier.

We spend a lot of time in our kitchen. It has to be the most used room in the house; however, it's pretty neglected. We've been in our house for 5 years, and the kitchen has yet to see even a simple coat of paint.

Coming Next: See my poor, naked kitchen and help me pick some paint colors for it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I love my Wii Fit!

I am going to totally own up to having some weight issues today. i was always one of those people everyone hated in high school and college. You know who I am talking about - the girl who could eat an entire bag of potato chips in one sitting and still wear a size 5 - without one single sit-up.

That was me - 15 years ago. Now is a whole different story. My metabolism slowed down right around when I turned 21, however, I never really changed my eating habits. Add three pregnancies, working nights (and coming home hungry and eating a second dinner at 11:30 PM) and having general bad eating habits, and I have a whopping 40 extra pounds on me these days.

I was in denial about how much weight I had gained for some time, but I fully own up to it now. I've tried several things to lose weight, but nothing really stuck. I joined Curves after Jacob was born - and it worked and I enjoyed it, but a work-related schedule change made it impossible for me to get there. Same with the gym I joined last year - I would faithfully go at least three times a week UNTIL I got a new babysitting client and had to be home.

BUT - Craig got me a Wii for Christmas and we've had lots and lots of fun playing WiiSports games as a family. However, I really wanted a Wii Fit. I had to wait 2 months, but we did finally find one. I LOVE my Wii Fit.

I haven't actually seen any weight loss yet, but I feel so much better. I do at least 30 minutes a day - and it's fun! I've started doing the Free Run option and actually did a 20-minute (3.5 mile) run during Desperate Housewives this week! :) I am hoping that once it's nice outside that I can do the run outdoors in addition to the Wii Fit in the evening. The Yoga feels so nice to do, and the Strength Training seems to work my muscles at my own snail's pace. The kids love watching and doing the balance games!

I am hoping that the Wii Fit has helped me to turn over a new leaf. I am now getting 30 minutes of exercise a day, and I am starting towork on my portion control when I am eating. Hoepfully, I'll start to see some results soon (like before I have to put on a bathing suit in Florida this June!).

What sort of exercise do you actually do and love?

Monday, March 9, 2009

So much for the NO SPEND MARCH

I guess this was a bad time of the year to try to not spend. After all, in just a few weeks we have a lot of celebrating to do:

  • April 1st is my 9th anniversary with my wonderful husband Craig
  • April 3rd is Jacob's 3rd birthday
  • April 7th is Ryan's 6th birthday (and he shares a birthday with my Grandpa - who will be 79!)
  • April 12th is Easter
  • May 10th is Mother's Day
  • May 20th is Madeline's 8th birthday
Scattered in there we also have several other family birthdays! It's a busy time of the year for us, but I love it. I know it's truly spring when we start planning the boys' birthdays!

This weekend we made a trip to Sam's Club for some needed grocery items. We also stopped at the party supply store to see if they had any Indiana Jones party supplies. They did not, so I had to order them this morning. The boys have a joint party with our family and friends in April and Maddie has one in May. This year, both Maddie and Ryan were interested in celebrating their birthdays at Bounce U with some friends, so we booked a joint party for them there later in April. Because I spend my days with a houseful of kids (doing childcare) the idea of hosting a home birthday party for my kids friends is enough to send me to the looney bin! So Bounce U it is (and, since Maddie and Ryan are sharing the party, it's actually quite affordable!).

But I just spent $100 on party goods! Yikes! This was a total for 3 different parties, so it isn't as bad as it seems. With my possible surgery looming in the near future, I feel better knowing that I have the party stuff under control and we'll be ready to go (especially if I am recovering from a surgery). The boys are having Indiana Jones and Maddie chose a horse pattern that we actually have not had in previous years!

Now I just need to work on the menus for the parties!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Friday Night Fun?

Well, I am not sure this is everyone's idea of Friday Night Fun, but I started my weekend with a night of cleaning. :) Craig kept an eye on Jacob while Maddie and Ryan had a playdate with our neighbor, so I was free to clean.

This week I focused on the Family Room. Great name - "Family Room." We do spend a considerable amount of time in there as a family. That means we also leave a considerable mess in there as a family.

But I put everything in its home, dusted and vacuumed until the room looked nice and clean.

It's a nice-sized room (about 12' x 19') and we use it for everything! I love that it's right next to the kitchen, so the kids can play, read or watch tv while I prep our meals or clean up after we have eaten. We also have my piano in this room (oh how I miss playing! One of these days I need to find the time!).

You can see two doors in one photo - those lead to the laundry room and a small powder room. Everything is so close to the Family Room!

We decorated this room about 3.5 years ago, and I do like it, but I think I am almost ready for a change. I love that this room gets tons of light during the day, and that we were able to use a dark color on the walls. However, I am thinking of changing this room a bit (again, when I find the time).

As you get to see more of my home, you'll quickly discover that I don't have a very defined style. Our house is a mish-mash of hand-me-downs, sale items and more. One thing that I would love to do is finally put some thought into my decorating.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My poor kitchen table

We recently (in the past 6 months) bought a new kitchen table. Two reasons. First - Jacob outgrew his highchair and we needed seating for 5 at our kitchen table. Second - the 4-year-old table was losing its finish and looked all cracked and yucky.

We have a tiny space in the kitchen for a table, so we didn't have many choices (tiny space + seating for 5 = almost no selection). We found a set that works for us at Ashley Furniture and have been happy with it thus far.

But today, I made a quick decision to use paper plates (which I almost never do) to feed the kids chicken nuggets for lunch. They really weren't super hot, but must have been hot enough because when I cleared the table I found white spots all over the table where ever a chicken nugget had been!

It looked like bleached spots all over the table! I cried. And then I called my husband and cried to him. And he did a quick internet search and told me to rub Vasoline on the spots.

It's working! At this point, the vasoline has been on for 2 hours and the bleach-white spots now look like dull water stains. My table is still slightly marred, but it's not a glaring problem now.

Hope this tip can help someone else too!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Update on me

On the suggestion of a doctor-friend of mine, I called a different surgical practice this afternoon. This new practice was able to get me a consult appointment in two weeks (rather than the 2 months the other practice wanted me to wait). So it looks like surgery is a good possibility in my near future.

I am still quite scared about it, but would like to just get it done and over with at this point.

Someone call the Spending Police!

I said this was a "No Spend March" - that I would really REALLY try to not to buy anything we didn't need.

I am not sure my purchase tonight qualifies as a "need" but I think it was okay.

My daughter is going to be attending a Father-Daughter dance through Girl Scouts. The dance is in mid-April, but with a slew of early April birthdays and anniversaries AND Easter, I want to be prepared now while I have the time.

Madeline does not wear dresses. She pretty much only wears jeans, which is normally fine. We discussed that she would need to wear something appropriate for the dance, and she agreed to go shopping with me to try to find something.

Kohl's was offering an extra 20% off, and she actually agreed to buy a dress! I am not thrilled with the choice - the pea green color is just not the prettiest for her, but I wasn't about to argue! I am pleased that she came home with something!

Honestly, she has no dresses (or even a skirt) in her closet, so I guess this does sort of fall into a "need" for us. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Livin' with a Hernia

Okay - so my kids love Weird Al songs - and they have come to know about hernias through his video Livin' with a Hernia.

My son thinks it's so funny that I have a hernia now. I am not nearly as amused!

My family doctor confirmed that I do indeed have a hernia (not the world's ugliest belly button, as I previously thought!). I have an appointment with a surgeon at the end of April. I thought I would get an appointment sooner - nearly everyone I talked to said they had appointments within days of diagnosis. So I am looking for another practice to call (in addition to the one I was referred to by my doc).

I am just glad that I have no pain and it's a small hernia. I am hoping that I can now schedule a surgery AFTER our DisneyWorld trip in June.

Monday, March 2, 2009

"No Spend" March

I am trying something new this month - I am going "No Spend" for March. My plan is to try to not buying anything we don't need. I will continue to do my regular grocery shopping and allow us to eat out once a week (hey, old habits are hard to break!). Basically, I am focusing on not buying THINGS at this point.

Fair warning - if you have stock in Kohl's department store, you may want to sell now - because I am NOT shopping this month! :)

I am doing this mostly to just see how hard it is to stay on track. I also want to see what our budget looks like if I curb my spending habits. It's also an effort to stockpile some savings before I am no longer employed this summer.

Oh - and I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon to have the assumed-hernia checked out. I am hoping for an opinion that will let me push off correcting this until after our vacation in June!