Thursday, June 26, 2008

Somebody please hold my hand.....

I am back on the horse again. I have to get this done. We are doing okay, but could be better (isn't that the story of EVERYONE in this world?) I got started once, I can do it again. I have to stop being so afraid. I have to grab the bull by the horns. Suck it up and go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am going to go back to school. I have been talking about it for years. I wanted to start spring semester, but Cecelia was too small and needy. I am doing it this fall!!!!!!!! I am going to set up a meeting with a financial advisor and an academic advisor and I am doing it. As far as I know, I have ONE class to take until I can enroll in the nursing program and then one class to take while I am on the waiting list. I think it might be advisable to take a few of my classes over to boost my GPA but we will wait on that to see what "they" say. It's funny to look at my transcripts and see how my grades improved as I went from being an 18 year old college student to being a 22 year old "career" woman. Kinda makes me giggle.

I KNOW I can do this. I am smart. I am a go-getter. I USED to pull some great grades- honor roll ALL thru school- elementary-highschool. I just need to remember how to do this. I need to find the time. I need to rely a little more on my husband and a little less on myself all the time. He can take care of the house and the kids. He's good at it. I just never give him much of a chance since he works so freaking hard all the time. But, I have to stand back and realize what I want in life. I don't want to live my life worrying about money and Jay's job. I want to know that we have money for whatever we want. And I want to know that I am contributing and that IF Jay were to get laid off, we would have me to rely on. I. CAN. DO. THIS! I figure if I get into the program within one year of applying, I can be working by 2012- that seems eons away, but that's only 3.5 years!!!!!! Emily will be 3rd grade, Elle in 1st, Cecelia in Kindergarten (right??) and MAYBE if we have one more he or she will be in preschool or pretty darn close. Thats exactly when I wanted to go back. When my baby started school. So, four MORE years of penny pinching. We can handle that.

Now, all I need is a kick in the ass and someone to hold my hand and tell me it's going to be okay and that my kids will survive this. :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's easy being green

I bought Cecelia a onsie that says that. It's got Kermit the frog on it. It's so cute and so true.
We have switched over to a semi green household over here. We do a ton to preserve the environment and actually enjoy it. *gasp*

I know people look at me funny and I have a feeling some even giggle about me behind my back. I did tell my brother that I do these things to save the earth for my kids and grandkids. :)

Some "green" things our family partakes in.
1) We recycle. Our community offers recycling centers that we have to take our recyclables to. Its not too far. Our garage is generally packed to the gills with plastics, papers, glasses, anything and everything. Though, I can honestly say with all the recycling we do, we have dropped our output of trash from 4 cans to 1!!

2) We cloth diaper. This helps immensely with the trash situation, too. :) Elle was in cloth from 16 months till potty trained at almost 3. The girls wear cloth dipes at night as Pull Ups. Cecelia has been in cloth since birth- all almost 9 months of her life with the exception of trips (but we do use Seventh Generation)

3) We use a lot of cloth and a TON less paper towel. I use paper towel these days for one puke. Thats it. A roll lasts 6 months or more. We have a lot of cloth towels and microfiber towels. Drives my mom and sister in law nuts, but hey, what can I say? We also use cloth napkins instead of paper and I can honestly say that I have not bought a paper plate in years!

4) We collect rain water for plants. I have a large 55 gallon drum out to collect water for my flowers. So far so good. I just found out about a contraption to hook the barrel up to my downspouts which might be Jay's next project.

5) I have started line drying all of our clothes. Jay hooked me up with some lines in the basement and I am going to eventually buy a clotheline for the backyard (wihin a week or so) I want to see the difference in our electricity bills in the next few months. Hopefully its a good difference. Instead of running about 3 hours a day, my dryer is only working 20 minutes a day on the air fluff mode. LOVE IT!

6) We use reusable cloth grocery bags. I have a few chico bags, I have a few Meijer bags and Kroger bags and Babies R Us bags. IF I do need grocery bags at the store, I always ask for paper so that I have something to put my paper recyclables in. I love not having a ton of plastic bags hanging about.

7) We have switched to all those flourescent light bulbs (well all except the dimmer lights in thehouse cause Jay says they are REALLY expensive, but are still fairly new so when they come down in price, he will get some- considering we have 6 lighbulbs in our chandelier, that could get pricey)

8) We are really watching how much electricity and water we are using. We are teaching the kids to turn the water off when they are brushing their teeth and to turn lights off when they aren't in a room and to use natural light instead. :)

9) I have switched to all natural cleaners. I use a ton of vinegar and baking soda and have done away with all the chemical cleaners. I use a lot of Method products from Target and good old elbow grease.

10) When we reinsulate the house this fall, we are using the "green" option insulation. It's made from recycled paper. Insulation was supposed to be done already, but Jay ran out of time. We are doing what we can to make this house as green as we can, but we can only do so much. Wait until I get my dream house in the country- totally self sufficient and TOTALLY GREEN!

You know, it's not much. It's not a lot of extra work. I don't do it because I am cheap or frugal (okay well, maybe a little) but I do it because I genuinely care about the earth. So, for those of you who look at me like I have three heads, at least I can say that I tried. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I miss the gym

With a week of sickies, I haven't been able to get to the gym. I would feel horrible taking a few snot nosed kids with me, so I just haven't gone. I have been trying to do as much as possible at home, but I miss the gym terribly. I am praying for rain tomorrow so Jay can't work on the garage and I can leave the kids home with him while I go and work out. Hopefully these sickies will get better soon cause I know the kids miss their friends at the gym and its just been crappy for all of us. :(


Emily is a tad bit obsessed with butterflies. She has been for some time now. I am not sure when or how I got the idea, but I decided I wanted to get a butterfly nursery to share in a learning experience with the girls.

One Friday afternoon, we trekked out to Lakeshore Learning Store and ordered our butterfly nursery as there were none on the shelves. It was right before Memorial Day that our nursery arrived at the store. We decided to wait until after our Memorial Day vacation to send away for our caterpillars so they wouldn't arrive when we were gone.

Our caterpillars arrived about a week after we sent away for them. Four black little creepy looking caterpillars in a plastic container filled with what looked like peanut butter with a coffee filter on top. We read the directions and it said to leave them alone and in 7-10 days they would turn into their chrysalis. We watched them grow....and grow....and grow. Then finally one day the first caterpillar turned...and then another and another and finally the last one.

We moved the coffee filter with the four chyrsalis' on it into the butterfly nursery. That was 5 days ago. Today, after breakfast, Elle was on her way up the stairs to wash her face and hands and she said, "Look Momma, a butterfly." I have been watching these things like a hawk and I knew that 15 minutes prior there was nothing, but now there was a beautiful butterfly just emerging from it's chrysalis. We watched it for a bit and spent the day checking on the rest.

While we were eating lunch, butterfly #2 was "born." Go figure. The minute our eyes were off it, it came out. We are now waiting patiently to see #3 and #4. My guess is the darn things will emerge tonight while we are sleeping. Thats just our luck. I am still amazed, though, that they all lived and we didn't kill them. Haha! We mixed up our first batch of sugar water for them and they actually seem to like it.

I can't wait to see all four of them out! And even more I can't wait to set them free. Did you know that a butterfly only has a three week life span? We are going to let them be free and not die in our care. That sounds like a great plan to me. :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Father's Day weekend

This one's gonna take some time....

Our weekend started Friday. My brother, Leon, his wife Jaylene and little man Lucias flew in for the weekend. WE all met at my mom and dad's for dinner and our first visit of the weekend. We BBQ'ed and hung out with the babers and stayed way too late. It was so great to see the three of them and so so so very great to hold and cuddle my nephew.

Saturday we spent the majority of the day with Jay's family for his nephew Luke's first birthday party. I still can't imagine that the little man is a year old. I remember going to meet him at the hospital the day he was born. I was still pregnant with Cecelia and laughed to him that he was laying on his baby cousin. I could feel my baby kicking him from the inside and it was the most magical thing. The party was great, we had a lot of time to spend with Jay's cousins and aunts and uncles. After we left there we headed back out to my mom and dads cause my brother was having a party with all of his friends. We got there late, but had some time to visit. My dad lit off some fireworks and we all just hung out.

Sunday we went back to my mom and dad's after stopping to pick up a Dairy Queen ice cream cake since I had NO time to make my dessert I was supposed to bring. We had dinner with my dad's family- all 40 ish of us. I think everyone was there except my cousins Duane and Kerry and their two boys which kinda sucked cause we didn't get a pic of all 7 great grandkids. ugh. We met my cousin Tracey's baby Noilyn from Costa Rica. She's a doll. We took plenty of pictures that I will be sure to post as soon as I can. I need to play around with it and figure out how to post more than one pic at a time. (I know...I know...Miss computer illiterate over here)

Monday we took the day off from visiting cause Elizabeth was coughing and I didn't want her to spread germs. Especially since she sounded kinda croupy. Yuck! Tuesday (my birthday) we headed to Pizza Hut for our traditional birthday lunch. Everyone was there except Laura cause she got stuck in a meeting that she couldn't get out of and Rob cause his meeting got moved up and he was in Livonia. We got home from Pizza Hut and Elle was covered in a rash, so I assumed she had roseola, but by evening the rash dissipitated, so I am not sure what the issue was. My mom and dad took Leon and Jaylene and Lucias to the airport and home they went. I miss them already- they won't be back till Christmas!!!!

Thats our weekend in a nutshell. Busy, but fun! Lots of family and friends and great conversation. To me, thats more important than anything else in the world!

Happy Friday!

I miss the gym

It's been 5 days and I am sad. Elizabeth has a cough though that is almost gone, so maybe I can get back tomorrow. I am not taking a hacking kid to spray her germs everywhere. I have been trying to get things done at home- walking, dvds, etc, but its just not the same. I miss the gym terribly and can't wait to get back.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

I just woofed down a piece of carrot cake and a scoop of ice cream and I don't feel the least bit guilty. Okay....well maybe a little. It's my birthday and if you can't cheat on your birthday, then whats the point? Haha!

My nephew, Luke, turned one today and I am 28. I call him my 27th birthday present and the best present ever. After years and years of waiting to be an aunt, I got to be one on my birthday! Last year, it was also Father's Day. What a special day.

We had a busy weekend and as soon as I replant the plants that Em and Elle tipped over today, I will have time to blog about our wonderful weekend with our out of town guests. We had a lot of quality time together.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fixing to be fun!

Only THREE more days until the day we have been anticipating for months. THREE more days until the girls get to meet their newest cousin. THREE more days until all my mom and dad's grandkids will be in the same state. My brother, his wife and our nephew will be at Metro airport at 3pm on Friday give or take. I CAN'T WAIT! The big girls can't wait! Cecelia doesn't know any better, but I am sure if she did she'd be jumping up and down!

Cecelia and I met Lucias back in February, but Em, Elle and Jay have yet to meet him. I can't wait to have some good quality time with them and take a ton of pics of the four of them together. I called to my mom's attention the other day that her grandkids are in opposite order of her kids. She had a boy then three girls and now her grandkids are three girls and then a boy. Kinda cool like that.

As if we weren't in for enough fun, our nephew Luke turns one in a week and his birthday party is Saturday. We will go and celebrate with him and the family. I can't wait for that one either cause we will see some family that we rarely see. A shame, I know, but it's so true.

Then, Sunday we will be back at my parents to celebrate father's day with the whole entire Niedzwiecki clan. My cousin and her new baby Noilyn from Costa Rica are in town- so my grandfather will get to spend his Father's Day with all 7 of his great grandkids. This will be a rareity, so we are going to make the best of it.

I am so excited for this weekend I can barely stand it. I can't wait to see everyone and spend time with the fam. It's really all that matters, isn't it??

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm having a love affair

I'll admit it. I will own up to it. I am having a love affair with the gym. I am in love. (at least for this week and last) I was there 5 times last week and have started this week off right by spending 75 minutes there today. The girls love going to the Kids Club- yes, even Cecelia. Plus, the women in there love her, so she gets a bit of extra attention. I have been reading my Bob Harper book and in it he says to spend the first four weeks of your time in the gym doing cardio, so thats what I have been doing. I alternate between the stair master, the elliptical, the treadmill and the bike. Surprisingly I could spend the whole amount of time on the ellipitical. I love it. Thats amazing considering the first time I went I had a hard time cranking out 6 minutes and today I did 45!!! I am so proud of me.

So far the healthy eating thing has been a breeze for me. I am back to counting calories and even have enough left during the day to have a sherbert cone in the evening. I must be doing something right- I have lost 5 lbs in one week and while I know those results are not typical I am still pretty darn excited! Again, I am so proud of me!!

We had a slow uneventful weekend. We went out to dinner Saturday evening to celebrate Jay's dad's 70th birthday and Sunday we worked outside a bit and cleaned a bit and then watched the storms that left a big fat mess in the neighborhood. We are waiting for our neighbors behind us to pick up their LARGE tree limb that cracked and is laying in our yard, inches from the garage. In fact, I doubt Jay will get back there to paint unless its moved- so hopefully thats soon!

Hope everyone made it thru the storms okay and hopefully your power is all up and running. My mom called and they FINALLY got theirs restored at 7pm. Yikes. Until next time....

Monday, June 2, 2008

I did it!!

After nearly a month of playing hookey, I made it back to the gym today. (Thank you Kim) I managed 75 minutes of a combo of elliptical, stairs and the treadmill. I am so proud of me. I thought I was going to D-I-E on the stairs (note to the elliptical first then tackle the stairs) but I managed. I pulled thru. Surprisingly I can still walk! lol.

I started my food journal again today, too. I have to get serious about this healthy lifestyle thing again. I mean, it's not all about losing the weight. I want to make my body healthy. I want to be able to run after my kids and not be out of breath. I mean, I surely won't complain about slipping into those size 12's again either. Not even a 10. Just a 12 would be nice. A nice slender 12. I'll take it.

Back to the gym in the a.m. I CAN DO THIS!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Good times. Fun times.

What a super day we had today! It was so beautiful outside. How did I spend my day you ask? Cleaning. Inside. Yep. You read that right. I am still on that "clean out every nook and cranny" mission. It sucks. lol.

I did get a ton accomplished today. I did a few loads of laundry, unloaded four heaping laundry baskets, cleaned out Em and Elle's drawers and sorted out all the too small stuff and winter stuff, cleaned the kitchen top to bottom, washed every blanket in the house, cleaned off the never ending stack on the microwave, clipped some coupons, sorted some coupons, went over the budget again, made breakfast, lunch AND dinner, sorted out some toys, cleaned a BIT of the garage (didn't even make a dent in Jay's dumping grounds) blah blah blah. The kids played outside the majority of the day and Cecelia took two NICE naps for me. It was avery productive day to say the least.

Yesterday we went to Hessells to get our flowers to plant. I got a few ferns and perennials and got those planted along with all of my alysum in the back. Tomorrow I will plant impatients and petunias in the front. Then I am D-O-N-E with flowers for the year. At least thats what I am telling myself. lol. Jay worked yesterday and today on the garage. He has the whole front sanded and primed. What a job! We are busy as beavers over here.

Tomorrow I am up bright and early and at the gym as soon as the girls have breakfast. Thirty pounds by Cecelia's birthday. Think I can do it? Thats 4 months from tomorrow. I figure its 7.5 pounds a month, 2 pounds a week. Might be rough, but dang it, I'm gonna try. Hell, at this point I will take anything I can get. LOL!!!!