Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Quiet Memorial Day

It has been an overcast and gloomy Memorial Day here in Milwaukee. We were even awoken by a thunderstorm! Jason is working and Amelia and I have had a pretty lo-key day of doing nothing. I dug out a red, white and blue outfit from last summer that she never wore and put it on her today:


It is supposed to be a dress and bloomers but this year it looks like a tank top and bloomers! Wearing it like this you can even see the ruffles on her bottom:


I think it looks ok and I know she is staying nice and cool on this humid Memorial Day! I think she is even itching to get outside:


Maybe if Jason gets home soon we can take a family walk before I head into work this evening!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Simplifying

I have been working really hard the past few weeks at getting rid of things. Finding things that we don't use, things I forgot we had, clothes that don't fit. You get the idea. I want to clear out clutter now instead of when we get home and eventually have to unpack. I would rather not move things that are not necessary in our lives! That means more time packing, more boxes, more carrying and more importantly more to unpack when we move into a new place this summer! This afternoon I dropped off a trunk full at Goodwill.


I am amazed at how much stuff we have accumulated. I bet there is still more we can part with too. I am enjoying this bout of "spring cleaning" that we are getting done in preparation for our move! Some things it has been hard to part with, like that last pair of pre-pregnancy pants I was holding onto for a reason unknown even to me. Other things, like trinkets from high school, were a little easier to part with.

Packing is coming alone nicely. Only a week and a half left!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our Week in a Nutshell

Things have been busy around here. There is so much to do in the next 13 days that I don't know if it will all get done!

Monday Jason worked late and we had laundry to do. Since he worked late we were at the laundromat until closing time and then we had a vey filthy baby to bathe...at 10 p.m.! I just couldn't let her go to bed looking like this:



Tuesday Amelia and walked to Target for a few things and she fell asleep...


Doesn't look to comfortable to me!

After dinner we took a walk to the park since it was so nice out. Amelia finally decided that the swings are fun:


She also practiced her walking a little:


(she is happy in this picture, I promise)

Tuesday night, Jason's friend from work, Ben, came over so we could go see a movie together at the Oriental one last time. We saw Exit Through the Gift Shop and enjoyed it! Click here to see the trailer if interested! We really enjoyed it!

Wednesday we went to the Milwaukee Public Museum. We decided to skip the exhibit - The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible - because there was no way Amelia was going to make it through there. It takes about 90 minutes to go through and strollers aren't allowed and babies must be worn facing forward. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen for us! Oh well, we saved a bundle by just seeing the regular museum!

Here a few pictures from our museum visit:




We had a good time exploring the museum!

For dinner we went to Amelia's, because we have our own Amelia! It is out by the airport and it was good!


Last night I worked the midnight premiere of Sex and the City 2. It was a late night. Enough said.

Today I am feeling under the weather - congested and such. I have been taking it easy and Amelia played with her Ducky all afternoon.



He just follwed her around from room to room (or vice versa) and they hung out.


I have been working on Amelia's table skills and today she ate from a bowl with success!


That's all for now. I am going to take some Sudafed and lay down so I can feel better!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Opting Out


Tired of recieving credit card offers in the mail? I am! This afternoon I called to "opt-out" and have my name removed from recieving credit card and insurance offers in the mail. This is something that we learned about in Financial Peace University and Jason had actually already done it. I had not. I had it on my to-do list to look into doing and then when I was shredding a credit card offer I noticed a little box. In it was the toll free number to call to "opt-out".

I spent 6 minutes on the phone, mostly because the automated "person" couldn't figure out my last name, and now I will not be recieving credit offers in the mail for 5 years! It did say that it may take a few months to stop recieving offer, as some companies already have my information and may not have processed through it yet.

The number to call is 888-5OPTOUT or 888-567-8688. I just wanted to share with any family members that might be interested in removing their name as well!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Big Move


We have been keeping busy here, getting things organized and sorted out for our move in a couple of weeks. For those of you who don't know all the details yet, here they are:

Jason's last day at HoneyPie is June 3
My last day at the Oriental is June 6
Our expected departure date, from Milwaukee, is June 9

I have been busy the last couple of days going through our house and getting Goodwill boxes ready. Several times I have been forced to seriously evaluate the need of items. For instance, I have been using a Harry Potter (plastic) bank and a book prop for, what else, my Harry Potter books. I got it when K-Mart went out of business ages ago and I have decided it is just not a necessity. My bookshelf will look much less cluttered without it in the future! I already have 3 boxes in my trunk with items to donate at Goodwill!

A no-brainer I found was my Buffalo Wild Wings server training manual. Seriously? Why did that even make the move to Milwaukee, let alone the move from one apartment to the next in Milwaukee? I am really loving the fact that I am simplifying before we move so we don't move a bunch of unwanted/un-needed stuff! It should make unpacking much more enjoyable.

We have also started packing. It started with one box:


Which has multiplied to nearly 20 boxes!


We are packing mostly in beer cases, as that is what is available to us. I think that will work out better. They are a bit smaller, so the contents are more specific which will make living out of the boxes easier when we get back. We will be temporarily staying with Jason's grandpa so Jason can get situated at his new job, I can start looking for a job and we can find an apartment that we love and can afford!

Amelia has had late nights this week. Last night she even "helped" us pack a little:


(I wish I had been in front of her and lower for this picture. Look at her leg! She is walking pretty fast in spurts now. Before we know it she will be running!)

I am excited to move back home but I am also sad to leave Milwaukee. I really do like living here. I like living on Lake Michigan. I like my job - more than I have liked any other part-time position in the past. I like a lot of things. I also don't like a lot of things, like never being able to find decent parking on Friday and Saturday nights because of shows at the Cactus Club. I don't like street parking in the winter and all the winter parking regulations. Wait, those are pretty similar. Maybe I just need a driveway?

Anyways, bottom line is, the chapter of our lives in Milwaukee is coming to a very abrupt end and I am feeling confused over it. It all happened so fast and I just can't wrap my head around the fact that we won't be here any longer. It was barely a month ago that we started tossing the idea of moving home around and here we are, packing already. I thought we would at least be here the summer!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Catching Up

We have been so busy this week! So many things are getting crossed off the ever-growing to-do list!

Tuesday was our final class for Financial Peace University and we took Amelia with us... That was interesting, to say the least. By the time we got home she was ready for bed so we let her sleep in her t-shirt:


Wednesday we were running all over town getting things done. We were able to pick up Jason's car, finally! It even cost $200 less than we were quoted at, which was a great feeling!

We had lunch at Beans and Barley since Jason had never eaten there and we are moving soon! Amelia was so loud while we were there. She loved listening to her voice echo in their tall, windowed dining room! She also kept turning around to "talk" (ie-yell) at the ladies behind us. They were good sports and talked back to her. Finally, right before we left she dumped an entire glass of water onto herself and the floor. I bet they were glad to be rid of us! Here is an interesting picture of her we took in the parking lot:


(that is a straw half in her mouth)

Jason had an appointment after that. While he was at his appointment, Amelia and I walked to look at the lake.


It was so beautiful! It made me a little sad to be moving next month :( I tried to take some pictures of Amelia but it didn't really work out too well:



I think the grass, the other people in the park and the shining sun were just too much for her to be able to look at me and smile!

After Jason's appointment we went to the UWM bookstore to find a diploma frame for me. We have talked about doing this for some time now and figured we better do it before we move! We settled on this one:


It was one of the less expensive ones but we thought it looked the best. It is also made out of 100% recycled wood! We put it right back in the box for safe keeping until we have a new place and can hang it up.

Yesterday afternoon we spent way too much time watching the squirrels on our neighbors roof. We have discovered that they are living in his roof which can't be good. Jason tempted them out with some snacks so we could watch them. That, and Jason really loves squirrels it seems. I do not want to bore you with all our squirrel pictures but here are a few good ones:



Today we had an errand to run and after that brought Poopy outside with us while we switched Amelia's car seats.


We finally decided to forward-face Amelia in the car. We kept putting it off but she has passed the age and weight recommendations they say are "ok" to forward-face, so we did it. We put her in my car to see if it would be any easier to get her in and out and boy, it was so much easier! Here she is checking out the new views:


And this is my new view of her:


I think this change will be good for us all!

I think that about gets everyone caught up with our busy, but not very interesting week! I do plan to share the details of our move soon. I just have some other things that I need to get done right now!

Financial Peace - Graduates


Jason and I completed our Financial Peace University classes on Tuesday night this week! We had a pot luck party in conjunction with the class so we braved it and took Amelia with us. It was interesting...but we made it through the class and I don't think anyone was overly annoyed with us :)

We talked a lot about giving and tithing. We learned that a tithe is literally ten percent of your income. Tithe means "tenth". So, until you are giving a tenth, you are not tithing but rather offering, which is just as good as tithing! It was interesting to learn a little about the meaning of the word and how our understanding of it has shifted in modern times.

At the end of the lesson, Dave just went through a list of things that were basically common wisdom. Things like, be the worker no one else is. Stay late and finish things. Help out when you can, even if no one else will. It was funn because Jason nudged me at that point because he and I had just talked about that that evening before class! I get frustrated because at his work he does so much more, which takes time away from his family and no else ever seems to be willing to do the same. I guess he won that one...

We were also encouraged to read, which is another thing Jason and I talk about often! I want him to read. Not only is it something to do but it sharpens your mind! I think Jason will make an effort to read. He tries. We just need to find him some reading material that he can really get in to I think.

We all filled out an evaluation Tuesday night and one of the things we answered was how much debt we paid off during the class and what we managed to save. Our class coordinator totaled it all up and our class was able to pay off $42,900 in debts and save $27,350 in just 13 short weeks. That is awesome! There were only about a dozen of us in the class so those numbers really are huge!

Financial Peace University has put Jason and I on the same page, financially. We now think more alike in terms of how we should use our money and how we can make the most of it. We also are much more motivated to eliminate our debts as quickly as we can. Before, we would pay off a chunk of a card and then just fill it right back up! Since starting the class we have only used one credit card a few times and it was when I was between checking accounts and did not have a check card yet, so it was almost justifiable. We have paid off one card so far and are on track to have another paid off next month!

While we didn't like having our Tuesdays tied up for 13 weeks, I think it will be worth it! We have learned a TON! Yes, some of it was common sense but sometimes you just need to be pushed to follow through on things and that is what this class did for us. Pushed us to use the things we already knew and taught us new, valuable skills!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our Day Alone

Amelia and I have been on our own all day. Jason got stuck working open to close because someone is "sick" (read - a likely hangover) and no one would work for said person, so since Jason was there he was conned into it. Can you tell I am a little bitter? We have this one night at home together and now I am here, alone, eating fruity pebbles for dinner because there is no point in cooking for just me.

Amelia and I had a pretty good day. We even rented a movie for Jason and I tonight and then promptly returned it since he wasn't even going to be home. It was one that we both want to see so I figured I should wait for him.

Amelia is turning into quite the climber lately.


This morning she figured out she can reach everything on the end table if she stands in her toy box.

We spent a lot of time following Lucky around the house. He is very tolerant of Amelia and just kind of wanders around, lets her climb on him, tug on him and "pet" him. When he rolls over for belly rubs she takes that as a sign that he wants to be played like a set of bongos. I do work with her on playing nicely with him and petting him, instead of hitting him, and we are making some progress.


She even shared "her" cat toy with him. What a nice girl! She loves that toy so much it is silly! Look at her posing with it:


Told you she was silly!

She also made some messes for me today, as usual. One mess that I have been able to avoid for quite some time is her bookshelf. I put a rubbermaid in front of it, which holds her 12 month clothes - which we are still using, to keep her away from her books when I am not around. Today, she managed to move the rubber maid aside...


...and take all her books off the top shelf. As usual! She heard me coming and I think that is why she is posing like she did nothing wrong! Here is a view of all her books she removed!


I had a pretty good day with my silly girl.


Lastly, here is a video of Amelia's new favorite game!

video

That's right, she is learning how to put things into things and then remove them. It is fun! I love that she is learning how to "pick things up" (ie-put them away, in a sense).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Amelia Loves Woodmans

Last night we went grocery shopping at Woodmans for probably the last time ever. Amelia loves Woodmans.


If the TV is on and a Woodmans commercial comes on, she stops whatever she is doing, starts to laugh and walk towards the TV. Their commercials look "homemade" and the guy in them uses phrases like "karumba do we have low prices!".


Yep, we will miss going to Woodmans once we move. They have everything you could ever want (food-wise) there.

Here is a short video of Amelia having some fun while we shopped:

video

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Friday Fails - Diaper Bag Fail

I pride myself on having a pretty well stocked diaper bag. Diapers, wipes, snacks, bottles and maybe even a toy or two. I also keep a change of clothes in the bottom, you know, for emergencies. Well, this past Sunday we had one of those emergencies...

We were out at the Olive Garden for Mother's Day and ended up waiting over an hour to eat because it was just crazy. Well, in that time we had a major diaper leakage. So, I grabbed Amelia and rushed to the back of the crowed restaurant, holding her in front of me since she was soaked, getting stared at by everyone I passed because we looked ridiculous. Well, it got worse...


The spare clothes I had in the diaper bag? Yeah, they were fleece, Christmas jammies. As I was changing my baby into Christmas jammies, her father yelled into the ladies room, "Shelley? Shelley? We got a table. It is right out to the left. I'll wait there". At about this time a woman came out of a stall, laughing, and telling me that we have all been there but when she was there years ago, she didn't have a change of clothes so, as bad as it seemed, I at least had that going for me. She was right!

Note to Self: when re-stocking the diaper bag, check to make sure the spare clothes have been updated for the appropriate season/time of year!

For more "fails", go to myblessedlife.net!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Auntie K is Here

Yesterday my sister arrived in Milwaukee around lunch time. Later in the afternoon we headed over to the Mitchell Park Domes since the weather was gray and misty. We got there and I had brought my good camera but I forgot the memory card on the microwave! Luckily Kim had her camera in her purse so we got some pictures while we were there.




Last night Jason and I attended Financial Peace together, which was nice as it was on mortgages and such!

Today we headed to Miller Park to see the Brewers take on the Braves!







It was in the 40s out today and rain was expected so the dome was closed:


And of course, we enjoyed the sausage race of the sixth inning:


Chorizo won by a lot this afternoon. (click image to enlarge it!)

Amelia had a bath and a bottle this evening and is now getting some rest after her long day!