Saturday, January 30, 2010

What's Eating Connor's College Fund?

At the first of each year, we review our budget and our spending habits to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to achieve our goals. It sounds much easier than it is, especially since this years revision includes an expensive addition as of June last year.

I am interested in other people's suggestions here, so please feel free to give any and all opinions and advice. Dennis and I typically spend about $500 a month on groceries. AND, that doesn't even include Connor's formula (which is far from cheap, by the way) or Echo's Eukanuba. That's WAY too much money. And I mean, WAY.

Last week when I was meeting with customers over lunch, one lady shared with me how little she spends on groceries. Sure, she goes to at least three different grocery stores a week, but she claims to spend only about $60 per week and she feeds FOUR PEOPLE with that. Her trick, as she unveiled, is using coupons. No challenge will go unanswered so I am pledging to be the best couponing expert you've ever seen.

I even used some coupons last week. It was fun. And exciting, in a weird way.

AND, did you know that most grocery stores DOUBLE coupons every day (as long as the coupons are for $.50 or less)? I didn't know that. And now that I'm empowered with this information, I will go forth... and save money. We'll stop eating Connor's college fund and instead eat the same food as before...just on the cheap.

My scissors are ready as I anxiously await the newspaper tomorrow morning. Maybe I'll even practice cutting tonight. Hmmm....

Thursday, January 21, 2010


As many of y'all know, Dennis and I are starting our own business and we are very excited about it. Margarentals, as the name suggests, is a frozen drink machine rental business. The machines will be used for adult get-togethers (parties, wedding receptions, outdoor events, tenant parties at office or apartment buildings, etc.) and childrens events (birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvah's, school events).

We won't supply the booze - - just the machines, the instructions, and the mix. Our task - and we do not take it lightly - is to save people from having (or attending) an average party. We will single-handedly bring Atlanta's events to the next level.

Our website should be up and running very soon. In the meantime, though, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. And, if you have any marketing ideas or suggestions, please let us know.

Until then, Dennis and I will be drinking - eh, I mean, hard at work testing out - the numerous flavors and syrups to make sure we have the best product for our customers.

It's a hard job, but somebody's gotta do it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy 33 Weeks

You have been out in the "real world" for almost as long as you were inside of me. Isn't that hard to believe? Every morning when I shower, I look at my c-section scar and remember that crazy - but wonderful - day 33 weeks ago. Wow.

What have you been up to since my last letter to you? Well, you've accomplished a lot. We celebrated your first Christmas here on Earth (last Christmas doesn't were on another planet, I guess, not sure of the name of that planet, but we'll skip that part for now). Your grandparents indundated you with presents, as you can imagine. After our drive to Missouri, you can officially say that you've been in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. I guess that brings your grand total of state visits up to six when you include going to Hilton Head several months ago and the fact that we live in Georgia. You are very well traveled for such a little man.

As you can tell from the pictures, your mouth has been very busy. Not only are you jabbering a lot lately (and I mean that in the most endearing way possible), but your teeth are coming in and you look like such a little BOY now. A little boy...not a baby anymore! Your first two teeth, the bottom two, came in on December 15th and your top ones are still coming in but cut through not too long after the first ones.

Your smile is still the sweetest thing in the world. We can measure your mood and how you feel by the number of smiles we get each day. Unfortunately, last weekend there were only a few smiles that crossed your sweet little face. You were really sick for the first time - - and are still getting better. We've been giving you nebulizer treatments (albuterol), amoxicillin, and prednisone to help cure your croup and, as the doctor said, "a touch of pneumonia".

The first few days that you were sick, we only saw 3 or 4 smiles cross your face ALL DAY LONG. That's when we really knew something was wrong. Now that you are taking medicine, we see at least that many smiles in the first few minutes of the day. So, we're progressing along nicely.

Connor, you have been so busy growing, teething, jabbering, and playing in your walker that you haven't learned to crawl or sit up on your own just yet. That'll come, I know, and Dennis and I will be running around even more than we are now just to see what you are getting into. You change every day and I hope you know that we love you and are so happy to have such a sweet, beautiful, smiling baby.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sleep Talking, Anyone?

Has anyone ever told you that you talk - or walk - in your sleep? Dennis will make weird noises from time to time but what wakes me up the most is the screeching sound of his teeth grinding. Pretty sweet, I know.

Today started off extra early because our Little Man hasn't been feeling that great. And don't worry, he's not sleep walking just yet. He does offer up a scream or loud noise in the middle of the night fairly frequently, though. I wonder what a baby could have have a nightmare about? Maybe he's really more concerned than I realized about the Obamacare disaster that is taking place in Washington?

Speaking of politics, I'm not usually too excited about the Fox & Friends segment on Fox News. But, as we had it on this morning, I heard something that made me laugh. Please check out this blog, it's absolutely hilarious.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Anything to get a giggle

I am a wuss, there is no question there. And now that Connor has 2 - almost 4 - teeth in his mouth, it does hurt when he bites down on a finger. It hurts, but I may have exaggerated a little bit in this clip just to get him to react.

Man, I just can't get enough of his laugh. It's SO contagious and SO friggin' cute.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Making it Official

I've lost the majority of weight from being pregnant - and taking the myriad of drugs that helped me to get pregnant - but I haven't reached my goal of my pre-thinking-about-being-pregnant weight.

Drastic times call for drastic measures. So, as of today, January 9th 2009, I've started P90x. Yes, it is the THIRD TIME that I've started this program in the past few months. This time, though, I'm going to do it for more than just one day. I'm committed and it is official. And we all know that anytime you post something in your blog, it's for real. It's as official as writing a law or signing a contract.

The Challenge: Keep up with the P90X program FOR REAL this time.

I will even go so far as to weigh myself and keep you up to date with my progress. My actual poundage won't be displayed for all of the world to see but I'll keep you posted on the amount of LB's that I am dropping.

I'm not going to weigh myself til Monday, though, because I am going to a 2 year-old's birthday party this afternoon and I'm sure that there will icing. And cake. So it just doesn't make sense to really start til then, I guess.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Over the river, and through the woods...

..and over some hills, through the mountains, through the plains, and 11 hours later, we are at Grandma and Grandpa Lang's house in Missouri.

Since Connor sleeps so well at night, I thought that it would be easier (notice, I didn't say EASY, but easiER) for us to drive through the night. I figured that if we (Dennis, Kelly, Connor and I) left right after Connor's last feeding, we'd be able to make really good time because we wouldn't have to stop to feed him until we arrived at my parents house. Well, I was right in that sense - we didn't have to stop for him. But, we did have to stop to get coffee, use the restroom, and let Echo out. Yes, we brought Echo, too.

Kelly was great. She is never short on things to talk about so she sat up front with Dennis to keep him awake. Echo was at her feet because she (Echo) refused to stay in the very back as we originally planned. The photo below shows our attempt to keep Echo satisfied in the very back of the car. But OHHH NNOOOO...she had other plans.

So, Dennis, Kelly and Echo in the front. Connor and I were in back. Connor slept off and on throughout the longest 11 hours of all of our lives. I can't really blame him, though, because that car seat doesn't look all that comfortable. Thank goodness we didn't have to be strapped in to those things when we were little.

Dennis is amazing for too many reason to list but the one reason that stood out in my mind that night was because he drove 9.5 hours of the 11 hour trip. He woke me up around 4:30am to drive the last hour or so of the trip. In the dark. And the rain. Fun times, let me tell ya.

We pulled into the driveway at my parents house just as my mom was about to leave for work. She usually leaves around 6am but was probably a few minutes late that morning since her two daughters, her son-in-law, her grandson and grand-dog came bounding in the house at the ungodly hour of 6am. Early mornings aren't a bad thing. They are only bad when they follow a night of very minimal, if any, sleep and being in a car for 11 hours. That's when 6am sucks.

You are probably wondering what we learned from this driving adventure. How do I say this nicely...we are not going to do that EVER AGAIN. We vowed to never drive through the night without stopping to get a hotel room or find some way to sleep. At least a little.

Being the experienced parent-with-child-travelers that we were at this point, we decided on the trip home that we would drive only a few hours after Connor had has 7pm bottle, spend the night at a dog-friendly hotel, and then get up early the next day to finish the drive feeling refreshed. Yeah, that sounded great. But, as Dennis and I have learned, the best laid plans never EVER work out as you anticipate.

Around 7:15pm on a snowy December 27th, we gave my parents good-bye hugs and kisses, loaded up the car, and left town. We made a pit-stop right away to get some wine for Dennis (he said that he'd need a glass before bed after the drive), baby food for Connor, and some Red Bull.

Echo and I sat in front this time since my sister wasn't riding with us (she flew home a few days earlier). We drove and drove and drove, or so it seemed. Around 11pm, we stopped in Marion, Illinois and stayed at a luxurious Drury Inn. As we unloaded the car - not an easy task - Echo barked and Connor started to cry. FANtastic. Both Dennis and I were looking forward to going to sleep.

Once we were in the SMALL hotel room, we used baby gates to pin Echo in a corner (we found out the hard way that she will bark at people in the hall if she isn't pinned in a corner) with her bed and covers and set up Connor's pack-and-play. Connor didn't want to go back to sleep. Instead, he thought that crying was a much better option. We bounced, we sang, we rocked and finally begged Connor to please go to sleep. He gave in around midnight and as he drifted off, Dennis realized that he was finally going to have a chance to open his much-needed bottle of wine.

The lights were out and our kiddos were asleep. Finally, a little peace and quiet. I looked over to the other side of the bed and although I could hardly make out Dennis' shape in the darkness, I started to laugh at him. And at us. He was drinking his glass of wine in bed. Under the covers. And in the dark. Man how things have changed.

So, when you decide to travel with a young child, a sister, and a dog, don't ask Dennis or me for advice because we clearly haven't figured it out yet. Or, maybe the realization here is that there isn't an easy way and so you might as well drive during the day so you can at least see where you are going.