Friday, November 30, 2012

Crazy Cravings

Good morning and Happy Friday!  

I am sure you have noticed the lack of food pictures over here.  I haven't been including them because I am mostly eating crackers, bread, and pretzels.  My appetite has been all over the place.  However, yesterday I was determined to get in some fruit and veg, so I made a green monster smoothie for breakfast.

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In the mix - two frozen bananas, 1/2 C frozen spinach, a scoop of chocolate protein powder, TBS almond butter, ~1.5 C milk.

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It made a nice and beautiful greenish sludge.  

I had left over taco soup for lunch - full on nutritious beans, corn, tomatoes, etc.  

After that I think my body went into revolt.  After my midwife appointment (during which she said everything is still going absolutely perfectly) I had to stop by the grocery store and pick up Dan's prescription.  

Then, before I knew it, this happened.

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I really wanted to dump the egg nog into the Velveeta shells and cheese, but I resisted  I haven't had shells and cheese in years - Dan is a strict blue box Kraft guy, but I was raised on shells and cheese.  It was glorious.  

Other random things I bought at the grocery store - the stuff to make Chex Mix (I smelled some at work and couldn't stop thinking about it), eggs, a head of cabbage, peppermint ice cream, a bar of wax, and grapes.

I am looking forward to the day when a salad sounds great for every meal again!  

Thought for the day

 Question for the day

Velveeta shells and cheese or Kraft blue box?  Obviously I would choose homemade anyway, but I didn't have time for that nonsense.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Little Note

Sometimes all it takes is a little note left on your car (that you thought was a parking ticket) to make your day better. 

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(It was sweet enough to forgive the use of "u" instead of "you."  Seriously - two more letters....)

Or a BIG meal.  

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After debating on making dinner versus eating graham crackers and icing, I buckled down and cooked.  Meatloaf, roasted potatoes, and green beans - Margaret and Dan were happy.  

We ate dinner while watching the movie 50/50. 

 

Although some parts were funny, with this baby on the way I don't feel we were emotionally stable enough for this movie. Lots of tears.  Lots of pauses for philosophical talks about why life is the way it is.  If you plan to watch this movie, prepare yourself.   

Thought for the day

 

 Question for the day

Do you like sad movies?  My dad will change the channel if he thinks the movie will make him sad.  It used to not make sense to me, but now I am starting to get where he is coming from.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

37 Weeks: (Almost) Complete Nursery

 Holy Moly!  Only THREE more weeks!

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I am so excited to show you pictures of the nursery so you can be in awe of how fan-freaking-bomb-tastic my Aunt Charmen is.  To get the full effect, here is before: 

 

And now after:

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See, I told you my aunt is a rockstar.  

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When Dan saw the canopy over the crib he said, "Oh my, she really is going to be a princess."  Ha!

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The rocker / glider is going to go in this corner below the puff balls.

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This is an old wardrobe that has been in my family for years.  My grandparents painted it pink and we added black knobs.  I think it turned out adorable.

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The dresser that we are going to use as a changing table also has been in my family for quite some time.  We still need a changing pad to put on top and I am in the market for a few more black frames, but you get the idea.

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After we finished putting everything up, Dan and I sat down and looked at each other at the same time and said, "hopefully Margaret isn't a boy!" 

Other updates: 

  • I am starting to slightly swell.  I think this would go away if I could keep hydrated, but it seems no matter how much water I chug and ice I chew I am still thirsty.  I had to take my wedding ring off.   I know it is going to be hard to keep the men away, but I only have 3 weeks.  Hehehe.
  • Every day I wake up and think, only xx more days until my life is going to change FOREVER
  • I have discovered that through the new preventative health act that goes into effect in 2013, I am going to get my breast pump for FREE (minus the 3 hours I spent on the phone with my insurance company to figure that out).  Holla!
  • Margaret still moves all the time.  You would think she would run out of room, but she seems quite comfy in there.  
  • I keep on waiting for that truly uncomfortable feeling that people describe in the last few weeks of pregnancy.  I hope it stays away as long as possible, but for now, I am feeling pretty good.
  • I found a pediatrician and I think I have decided to put Margaret on Dan's insurance - both little things that were nagging to-dos.  We are getting closer and closer to being as ready as we can!

Thought for the day

Question for the day

Is there such a thing as too much pink?  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Buying Gifts for Men

Every single year my dad, my grandpa, and my uncle are the last 3 people on my Christmas list.  I spend the few days before Christmas frantically Googling "gifts for men" or "dad gifts" only to find a top ten list that always include cufflinks.  I don't know about you, but the men in my life have absolutely no use for cuff links.  

For being fairly simple to please, why are men so difficult to buy Christmas presents for?  It isn't that they don't have hobbies or interests, it is just that if they want something, they buy it for themselves.  

Here is what has worked for me in the past.  I am hoping that by putting my thoughts into words I will come up with some ideas for this year:

Electronics - Of course, anyone would love a brand new TV, computer, ipad, etc.  However, usually big ticket items like that aren't in the budget.  This is where electronic accessories come in.  This year, I bought my dad an Lifeproof iPad cover for him to take on to his job sites that involve water.  They also makes these for iphones.  Other ideas: headphones, video games, subscription to an extra movie / sports package from his cable provider, a few months paid for Hulu Plus or Netflix

Sports memorabilia - I know it isn't the most exciting present in the world, but if I buy a Chiefs sweatshirt or a Royals t-shirt for the 5th year in a row, it will get more use than the remote control organizer that I would have bought instead.  Last year, I bought my uncle (who literally has everything) 3 iphone covers for his 3 favorites teams to switch out throughout the year.  He LOVED them.  Sports tickets are also really good presents.

Tools - the gift that gives you a gift in return.  No matter how handy the man, everyone needs a drill, screw driver set, hammer, ladder, flashlight, etc.  I also feel like you could always use an extra set of jumper cables - mine always seem to disappear.

Hobby accessories - my dad hunts and my uncle golfs.  There are plenty of accessories out there for these types of hobbies, but I feel like they can come close to the "useless gift" line if you aren't careful.  

Kid pictures - Shutterfly is an amazing place.  My sister made my grandpa a coffee cup with pictures of Kauffman on it and he drank from it every morning until my cousin broke it and I thought he was going to cry.  She also made everyone a calendar with pictures of his first year on it.  Unfortunately, it would be weird for me to give people pictures of my sister's kids.  Next year, watch out.  

Food or alcohol - When in extreme doubt, a stick of sausage or a fifth of whiskey will always work wonders.  Dan usually buys all of his friends alcohol for Christmas.  It is the gift that keeps on giving.  

That is all I have.  How about you?  Do you have any suggestions for a good man-gift?  I still have two on my list.  Help me please.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork

It is amazing how much stuff you can accomplish with 10 worker bees at your house.

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In one day we finished painting the nursery (Hallaway is a little Michaelango),

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put together the crib,

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(after I took that picture I exited the area until I got the "all clear" that it was together and my dad and husband were still talking to each other)

painted the changing table / dresser, 

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washed / folded / hung / organized all the baby clothes, put up the pack N play, and so much more.

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We had some time for eating,

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and some time for playing (Uncle Dan finally released his Hot Wheels collection),

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but mostly we worked the day away.  I feel so much more ready for this baby to come now. 

Still to do:

  • buy a rocker (thinking about this one)
  • get a book shelf
  • put up the chandelier - ordered but not here yet
  • pick up the bassinet from my cousin
  • finish hanging the picture frames / mirrors in the room
  • find a pediatrician
  • figure out if Margaret will be on my insurance or Dan's
  • pack the adult hospital bags (my fantastic sister already packed Margaret's)

The longer I sit here the more the list grows, so to ease my anxiety, I will stop now.  Ha!

Have a fantastic week!

Thought for the day

 

Question for the day

Was your nursery ready when your bebe came?  Ours probably won't be completely ready, but it will be good enough.  Anything else important I am forgetting to do before the baby comes?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Time Warp

Where did the last 3 days go?  

I feel like I went to bed on Wednesday night and woke up on Sunday morning.  Looking back, I can tell there are a few reasons why the time went so fast.

 - I spent Thanksgiving day sick.  Not really sick, just the nauseous, somewhat achey type of sick, enough to keep me on the couch most of the day without an appetite.  The next day I felt absolutely fine.  I think it was part of some cruel, evil, sick, and twisted joke to make the pregnant lady lose her appetite on Thanksgiving.  Not funny.  Don't worry, it came back in full force the next day - I was the first one to the table for dinner.  

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- Cards.  I spent most of Friday playing cards with my family.  This is very similar to what happens when I sit down at a Pai Gow table in Las Vegas - the time just flies by.

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- Nursery painting.  My aunt and cousins put another big dent in the nursery painting yesterday, but we still have a long way to go.  If you ever plan on stenciling a baby room, you better start before you try to conceive, because it takes a while.  

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- Babies.  Kauffman was just as entertaining as ever and Hallaway crawled all over the house all weekend.  Wishing time would stand still so you can soak in this part of their life inevitably makes the tock click faster.

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I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend!  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dad's Surprise 50th Birthday

Last night my family threw a surprise party for my dad's 50th birthday.  I cannot tell you how many hours of sleep I have forgone thinking about this party and wondering if my dad would have a good time.  

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The worrying ended up being completely ridiculous because he had a blast.  However, he was obviously suspicious because about 30 minutes before the party started we caught his car lurking in the next cup-de-sac over.  When he saw my family's cars parked at my house, he thought he had us figured out, that we were having a party at my house.

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So, to be a stinker, he took his sweet time getting here, which of course just made the party bus late.

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I think he was even more surprised when we drove to the Boulevard Brewery where we had a room rented for an entire night of drinks, dinner, and fun.

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My favorite part of the night was an impromptu roast, where all of us got up and told funny stories about him.  

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It was a good night with great people.

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I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving - soak in every single second of that precious family time.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

36 Weeks: Dear Non-Pregnant Racheal

Dear Non-Pregnant Racheal,

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- When (if ever) you get some sleep, soak in every second you get to spend on your back without feeling like you are being suffocated by an elephant.  Celebrate the fact that it doesn't take 5 strategically placed pillows to make you comfortable, that you don't have to get up 4 times in the night to use the bathroom, and then spend 20 minutes re-placing the pillows.

- Really enjoy that glass of red wine after a long day at work or that cold beer on a hot day.  Yes, it really does taste that good.

 

 -When you don't feel like running, just appreciate the fact that you are able to.  Remember when you drove to work for months, glaring jealously at the women jogging on the sidewalk next to you, wishing you were in their shoes.  Remember how you missed that sweat-soaked, out of breath, heart racing, energy drained feeling for 5 months.  You have a lot of catching up to do.

 

 - Never underestimate the ability to paint your toenails and breathe at the same time.  Or the ability to see your toes and notice they need to be painted.

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- The next time Dan upsets you, remember how he was during the last few months of your pregnancy.  How he came home after working 14 hours on his feet and cooked you multiple dinners, sang to you and the baby, rubbed your back in the middle of the night, brought you glass after glass of ice water, attentively (mostly) participated in child birth and breast feeding classes, took care of you while you were sick, the list goes on and on.  You have yourself a keeper, and if you ever think otherwise, you are an idiot.

- Sushi - get some as soon as possible.  With LOTS of wasabi.

- When you wish you could eat whatever you want and you get sick of tracking your food, remember when you could eat whatever you wanted, and it didn't make you any happier.  You appreciate your food more when you track it.  

- The ice cream in the freezer in the cafeteria at work is freezer burnt, so don't buy it,  because no one buys ice cream for lunch, except for pregnant women.  

- Most of all, please don't ever forget this completely different, unconditional love you have for the person inside of you that you haven't even met.  When she is two and coloring on the walls or when she is 15 and sneaks out at night, please  remember.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Financial Peace University Review: What Was Saved

I am going to start with a very surprising statistic: The average family pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 in the first 90 days of taking Financial Peace University (source).  Wow.  Those are some impressively large numbers.  

 (This picture was taken before we started the course.  Now Dan would be hugging that box.)

Over the last 9 weeks, I have told every person i know about this incredible course.  If you need help with money, debt, retirement, buying a house, your marriage, etc, this course is for you.  Do yourself a favor and take it.  Please.  

When we started our leader told us, "this class will change your life."  When I heard that I was skeptical, but now I am telling you, THIS CLASS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Here are some things I saw saved in the first 9 weeks of FPU - 

-Money Those numbers above are from the 12 week course, which was just decreased to a 9 week course.  Dan and I didn't quite make the average, but we were darn close.  

-Marriages Because I love to watch people, during the first weeks of the class I saw many couples who truly needed help.  They sat far away from each other.  The only time they looked at each other was when Dave would say we shouldn't be doing something and one would give an I told you so look to the other.  During the middle of the course I could tell they were coming together, sitting closer, working as a team on their budget, etc.  In the last class, these very same couples had their arms around each other, were whispering / giggling in each others' ears.  It was like watching a miracle occur right in front of me.  Although Dan and I weren't divided because of money, I feel like making a plan together and sticking to it has really brought us closer.

-My math skills I have spent the last 10 years paying for everything with either a credit or debit card.  So, switching to cash has been painful, but not in the way that I expected.  I am one of those "exact change" people, and so I always try to give as close as possible to that and not fill up my wallet / envelope.  The problem was that I kept on giving people the wrong amount - usually too much. The cashiers would just stare at me like, "are you serious?"  One time Dan was with me and he just laughed and told the poor girl, "She doesn't get out much."  The sad thing is, I do math for a living.  It is a good thing I am brushing up on these skills now, instead of when Margaret is learning about money in school.  I don't want to fail her.  

-Family Fun One night, while Dan was getting money out of our envelopes for something he laughed and said, "this is actually fun."  I agree. Anytime either one of us needs something from the envelopes it forces us to sit down, think about how much we need that day, and talk.  If we were still using our credit cards, I would have just seen it on the statement at the end of the month.  Watching the number rise in our savings account together has also been incredibly fun.  

-Appreciation Making a budget for restaurants and entertainment and sticking to it has made us really appreciate the opportunities we get to use the money.  I can't tell you how much more I enjoy going out to eat two to three times per month instead of two to three times per week.  

Again, I cannot say enough wonderful things about FPU.  Please, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.  Dan and I already plan to take it again once we get over the first two baby steps.  

Other Resources: 

FPU Website

The Seven Baby Steps

Dave's Christmas Budget Form - I am currently using something very similar to this in Excel

Weekly Recaps

Week 1: Super Saving

Week 2: Relating with Money

Week 3: Cash Flow Planning

Week 4: Dumping Debt (<--- my favorite lesson)

Week 5: Buyer Beware

Week 6: The Role of Insurance

Week 7: Retirement and College Planning

Week 8: Real Estate and Mortgages

Week 9: The Great Misunderstanding

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Great Misunderstanding: Financial Peace University Week 9

In general, I would consider Dan and I giving people.  We really enjoy buying others presents, paying for some friends' dinner or drinks, taking people on vacation, etc.  Dan is always giving the guy on the corner a dollar or a cup of coffee (or a beer - only in Vegas).  

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Since starting FPU and a budget, I have felt incredibly selfish.  We have been so focused on saving, that all of that giving has virtually stopped (aside from the occasional dinner at our house or birthday present), and at the same time, our friends and family have been so overly generous to us while starting a family.

So, last night's lesson on giving was just what I needed.  Dave explained that being able to give freely (the last baby step) is the goal of this class.  If you pay off your debt, save enough money for retirement, and then hold onto the rest of your money tightly, you will have finances, but will never have financial peace.  However, if you get to a good financial ground, you will have more fun giving money away than you thought possible. 

I know I haven't really mentioned this before, but FPU is a Christian based class.  The principals that Dave teaches on money are all biblically supported.  He often says something to the effect of, "I am going to teach you to manage your money the way God and your grandma intended."  

If you are Christian, I think the way Dave explained giving (especially to the church) is very interesting.  He said at first he thought God wanted us to give because God needed our money.  Wrong.  Then, he thought God wanted us to give because the church needed our money.  Wrong again.  The answer is instead that God wants us to give because God is a giver -He gave us the ultimate gift - His son.  We were made in God's image.  Therefore, the more we give, the closer we are to God.  

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Pretty cool.  

Dan and I left FPU (for the last time) feeling very inspired and more motivated than ever to continue down this path.  Our small group even decided to meet about once a month to continue the accountability we have created.  

I cannot wait for the day that we can pay it forward and give to others what we have been so blessed to receive, and hopefully more.  

I am going to write a full review on the entire course tomorrow, but as I am sure you can tell (spoiler alert), I think it is fan-freaking-tastic.  

Thought for the day

 Question for the day

What is your favorite thing to give?  I like to give experiences - but obviously those can be more expensive.  :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gift Card Date Night

Last weekend Dan and I had a date night in.   This weekend, I decided that because we will probably have lots of nights at home in our near future, we should have a date night out.  (However, I still wore leggings as pants and flip flops, so I am not sure if it counts all the way.)

Dan picked the restaurant - Thai.  

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Thai hot crab fried rice is his go-to order.  I had pad thai.  Both were delish.

I picked the movie.

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Yes, we went to dinner before the 6:15 movie.  Don't judge.

This was my first time at a movie theater with recliners.  Changed my life- don't think I will see a movie any other way but horizontal.

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We went to the movie courtesy of one of Dan's customers who gave him an AMC gift card.  

I quickly realized that I am going to have a whole new appreciation for gift cards now that we are on a budget.  Of course, I have always been very thankful for any gift card that I have received in the past, but could have bought the same thing with my money.  Now, receiving a gift card is extra special, because it allows us to buy or do something that we would have likely not otherwise.  

The night ended with frozen custard and sleepy time before 10 FTW.

I am looking forward to this short work week / long family weekend coming up!  

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