Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Travis!

This little Tis now this little bit bigger T.
And isn't it sad that I had to go back to December to find a pic of my second son. Sucks to be the second born, don't I know?

My mellow, melancholy baby has grown into my sensitive, snuggable boy. While his big brother is way too cool to give out hugs and kisses, Travis is willing to pick up the extras. The plight of the over looked second child.
He is a 9 year old today, which is just way too close to 10, which is one digit closer to being a teen. Ugh. How are they growing so fast right underneath my nose?
Happy Birthday Trav! We love you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quote for the day

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
- Anonymous

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another birthday and some updates

First off I'd like to say,

Happy Birthday to my baby Daddy!

It's been 15 long years and he still hangs around. Of course, what guy wouldn't if he got to sit around watching TV and buying motorcycles?

Just teasing, honey.

I know you do alot more than watch TV. In fact, the house would be a disaster and the kids would go unfed most days if it weren't for you. I'm not taking back the motorcycle comment though. You know that is a thorn in my side. :op

I know I don't tell you enough, but I appreciate all that you do, Bobby. I could not raise these kids alone, and there is no way I could make it through school without your help.

You gave me beautiful babies, and you put up with my poor attitude, and for that, I love you.
Speaking of my babies, the littlest T had her 6 month check up Monday. She is still a peanut, just 26 inches long and 13lbs 7 oz. And here I was thinking I needed to buy her bigger clothes.

And speaking of spending money, let's just say, budget, smudget. It is out the window this month. I have blown it completely. Let me count thy ways.

  1. Frickers
  2. Taco Bell
  3. KFC
  4. McD's
  5. Donato's

We've eaten out enough in one weekend to cover the next few months. But let me explain. Bobby went out to Frickers with his buddies, and I'm calling that his birthday present. (Uh, yeah honey, that was your birthday present). I hung out with the sis all day Saturday and was starving so stopped by Taco Bell, but only for a cheesy gordita crunch (and a birthday burrito supreme for her). KFC? Well, there was really no excuse for that. We could have cooked instead. Sunday was Tanner's birthday dinner which should explain the McD's and Donato's. What? That doesn't explain it? You mean, other people don't go through McD's for happy meals and then order pizza? Well, all I have to say is, weirdos.

The birthdays did us in. And we still have one more to go this month. And that's going to be the worst one because that kid wants to go to Bounce*U.

So Saturday, Bad Influence and I went to the outlet mall. Outlet mall and budget don't really go in the same sentence. I spent way too much on a child who refuses to grow into the next size up.

Yes, this child.Check out the drooping eye lids.




Oops, there might have been a little boobage in that first shot. Ignore that. I am not a blanket over the head kinda Mom.

A couple other check ins, we're still throwing too much food away,and we're still freezing our buns off, despite the $400 gas bill. Vectren bastards.

And school? Going surprisingly well, actually. I got a 98% on my last essay. Hurrah! No final drafts for me. Only two more assignments in Leadership. AND, I am halfway through the modules in Statistics. After my little breakdown, I guess I had an epiphany and it all became clear to me. Well, clear as mud, but at least I could finish the assignments.

Off to finish more Stats!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The T Between

This little T, my dimpley, cuddly, perpetually happy baby boy is now this big T, my dimpley, standoffish, persnickety tween.
He turns 12 today. Or turned 12, at 6:52 this morning to be exact. He could choose whatever he wanted to do for his birthday. Since Kings Island is closed for the season, he opted to go to Grandma's.He has a toy stash there that he likes to keep away from the prying hands of siblings. The siblings did go too, though, for pizza and cake. (Check out Tate and Teag "rocking" their big sibling Tshirts they got from Aunt Krista.)

The next to last T had to help put the candles on.

And yeah, that is a store bought cake.
I tried to make his birthday cake. Apparently, if it is not completely cooled and you flip one layer upside down on the other, it will just crack and fall apart. Yes, there is a piece missing, but you can still see the devastation that was my attempt at a homemade birthday cake.

Tanner picked out carrot cake which didn't go over too well with the younger, pickier crowd. They weren't too keen on the raisins. (Teagan and Travis said my cake was way better.)

He was pretty happy with his birthday gifts. Grandma got him some more K*nex, which is the new obsession. He got money from everyone else, $100 total, which he thought was way cool.

Uncle Travis was there with his camera too. We'll have to check out his flicker page and see if he adds some pics soon.

This is how you know your big kid is now a tween:

Mom: You really made out with the money.

Tanner: Made out. Hehehehe



Saturday, February 14, 2009

Money, money, money

Or should I say taxes, taxes, taxes? Nope, I'll say money, money, money. Cuz I'm getting some back. A surprising amount too, considering I upped my deductions on my W4 last year. Yeah, I kind of figured, having 5 kids and all, I should probably increase my deductions from 1 to 4 at least.

Surprisingly enough, if you got a crap load of kids, you won't owe any taxes. I knew there was a reason I had all these kids. Just kidding. It was my money to begin with, remember? The govt was just borrowing it briefly and doing a piss poor job at it, at that.

Anyway, for those of you cheappos like me who like to file for free, check out ESmart Tax. I have used this site for the last two years, and it is sooooo easy. (I itemize too). I just plug in the forms that I have, they put the numbers where they need to go, and voila, taxes complete. I use the free I file, although you can upgrade for some added help. They will also file your state taxes for a fee, but Ohio allows you to I File for free on their website, so save your dinero there. It took me about 2 hours to complete my federal taxes, because people kept bugging me. Go figure. My state taxes (and school district taxes) took me all of 15 minutes.

And I was wondering, should I have another? No, I am not pregnant, and no, I don't need another tax deduction. I meant, another blog. I kind of feel like Tales of the T's should be about the T's. Sometimes, I seem to bog it down with a lot of other crap. So, what say you people of blogdom? (Those 2 or 3 that read my blog, anyway). Is it okay that the Mommy blog has morphed into a catch all, or should I separate the house, school, garden, budget, blah, blah, blah from the kiddos pics and stuff?

Feel free to vote and let me know what you think.

Oh, and happy V day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Big Sis!

My big sis, the greatest aunt in the world, is having a birthday today! Not sure if she has any special plans, since it it Friday the 13th and all, but I'm sure if she does, it involves margaritas. She will be..... older than me... today. :op What am I saying? She's always older than me, which of course, is why she is so much smarter and all knowing. Just teasing, Krista.
I can't say she was always the best big sister growing up, because she could be a mean little witch. But, since we've matured (and I've gotten past the throwing my favorite doll on the roof incident, and the ripping off of that same doll's head incident, oh, and the locking me out of the house causing me to kick in the glass storm door incident, oh, and the encouraging me to ride Barbie's motor home down an insanely long hill resulting in me sliding face first down said hill, with my mouth open, requiring multiple stitches incident, oh, and even further back, encouraging me to sit in the open bedroom window resulting in me falling out into a sticker bush incident), I couldn't imagine not having her for a sister.
She is always there for me (and no longer causes me physical or emotional pain except for this), and is an absolutely amazing aunt. I am so thankful my children have her in their lives.
Happy Birthday Krista!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

6 months

From her water baby beginning,
this cuddly little
precious, pink bundle, is now a sweet potato faced

wanna be crawling
happy girl.
Happy 6 month birthday Baby Tess.
We love you.

Monday, February 09, 2009

In case you were wondering

why I haven't been posting as much as usual.......

My statistics course has melted my brain and I cannot form a coherent thought.

No, seriously, it's not completely melted. There is enough of it left to cause an emotional imbalance and spontaneous crying.

If you are ever required to take a statistics course, and you are not a mathematician, run. Run as fast as you can. And then get a job at McD's. You can just use your fingers to count there.

Skew this!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A quiet Saturday

There are certain things you don't want to hear when you have a house full of little people. One of them is a loud crash, followed by "Call 911 right now!" Luckily, I only had a minute to think oh my God, who is choking, bleeding, blue, before Bobby said there is a huge accident outside. This is what I looked out the front door to see. Fortunately, what initially appeared to be a three car collision, ended up being one car colliding into two parked cars. The black SUV on the right was actually going the opposite direction. He said he was just driving along when the lady in the Buick slammed into the parked cars. He turned around to check on her.
There was an officer on the scene within a few minutes. The fire department showed up eventually. Longer than it seemed like it should have taken considering they are only 3 blocks from us. A unit from the next town over was actually here about 5 minutes after them, even with the 10 minute drive.

Yes, those are two of my children being nosy, but Dad was out there too. The only officer on the scene had him get in the back of the car to hold traction on the driver's head until the paramedics arrived so she could stop traffic. Bobby said they weren't sure if she had hit her head since she was confused and didn't know what happened. See the people by the white house? Yep, those are their cars. Well, not the guy in blue. That's my husband. Can you imagine how crappy your day would suck? To look out your door and discover that not one, but two of your cars are totaled.

Scarier thought, Bobby talked to the woman who owns those two cars. She was heading out to get into the little green car, but went back into her house to fix her hair. She shut the door and heard the crash. Thankfully, she was not in the car or on her way to the car when this happened. Amazingly, the Buick didn't have a tremendous amount of damage. The doors both opened easily and were not bent. And the front end was still intact, just inside the green car.

The Lincoln was parked to the left of this driveway. The green car was behind it with a car length space between. It was hit so hard, it smashed into the Lincoln and pushed it several feet forward into that telephone pole on the right of the picture.

This is what is left of the little four door Chevy. Can you imagine if someone had been in the backseat? A baby in a carseat? I don't even want to think about it. The police estimated the driver's speed at 65-70 mph. This is a 35 mph zone. She did say that she has diabetes so they think she may have passed out. It is just amazing that she only hit parked cars and no one was seriously injured.
Bobby said she was lucky the cars were parked there. If not, she could have slammed into the telephone pole, or ran up the embankment a couple houses down and flipped her car. So much for an uneventful Saturday.
And for Sarah's curiosity, yes, I did finish my paper. I turned it in at 3 and it wasn't even due until midnight. How's that for being on the ball?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A budget recap

So the budget for January was eye opening. Our regular bills were just that, regular. We went way over budget on groceries. Now, is that because we didn't eat out much, or because I was really oblivious to how much money I was really spending to feed a family of 7? Probably the latter. I budgeted $600 to feed this large family. Bwaa ha ha ha. Okay, so maybe $900 was a more realistic figure. But darn, that's alot of money. That's more than my mortgage. How scary is that?

Anyway, it didn't go too badly. Even though I under budgeted for food, I apparently don't know how much money I make either because I under budgeted that too. So, in the end, it all worked out.

There were a few transgressions. The trip to Target, of course. Although, like I mentioned before, needs or wants? Probably things I would have needed to buy eventually anyway. I did go out to dinner twice, okay, three times. Twice for my birthday, cuz I'm that special, and once because my SISTER is a bad influence and made me go to Olive*Garden on THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH! So much for a spending freeze.

However, I would like to point out that one of my coworkers paid for my second birthday dinner. The dinner out with the hubby and dinner with the bad influence were covered by my birthday check from the grandfolks. (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!)

Bad influence also coerced me into going to Babies R Us. Yes, we did need a gift certificate for a baby shower, but Krista was all like, "there's this great sale, we really need to go look......". Seriously. She twisted my arm. I did buy some things that I don't necessarily need, yet. But Tess will be moving into bigger sizes soon, so I got her some onesies, pants, an outfit, and a pair of cute little gymmie shoes that were on clearance for $4.00. The Diva, AKA Tatum, conned me out of $15 for an insulated thermos straw cup. It is stainless and it is BPA free, and she has used it for every drink she's had since I bought it. So I guess it wasn't a total waste.

So, between the baby store, Target, and the 1 night of ordering out at work, I didn't do too terribly bad. Oh, forgot to mention the Skyline and McD's I had to pick up for the munchkins on the way to gram's house. That was the first time this month I have gotten them anything. I was amazed when I realized how often we used to eat out. 1-2 times a week really adds up. No wonder I have "extra" money now.

Visit Bossy to join in the poverty party.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Reducing your food waste

Food Waste Reduction Challenge - February 2009

I'm a conformer, sort of. I'm joining in on Crunchy Chicken's food waste reduction challenge. I know, with our picky eaters, and our disdain for leftovers, we waste quite a bit of food. Which just sucks when you take into consideration the waste of time, money, and energy that goes along with throwing away food.

  • time and energy for growing, processing, packaging
  • money and energy for transporting
  • time working to earn money to buy groceries
  • time and energy spent buying groceries
  • money spent buying groceries
  • time and energy spent preparing food
  • money wasted when it is not eaten

According to Crunchy:

A University of Arizona study showed that 40 to 50% of U.S. edible food never gets eaten. That's $100 billion worth of edible food discarded every year in the U.S.

That's alot of waste. So, we've joined in. The challenge is to shop wisely, cook wisely, waste less for the month of February (and hopefully, beyond). It started yesterday with Operation Clean Sweep, the cleaning out of the fridge. Tossed out for this week

  • 1 cup of gravy
  • 2 wilted looking peaches
  • 1 squishy cucumber
  • 1 serving of week old green beans
  • cheese dip stuck to the bottom of a bowl that I'm not completely sure should have been saved in the first place.
  • a ziploc bag of pizza rolls that I was deluding myself into thinking someone would actually eat

I did throw the banana that was just about to pass it's prime into my cereal bowl this morning, and plan on munching on the soon to be brown lettuce for lunch.

Join in. Save the world.... your friend, Moonbeam. :op