Why Does it Feel Like Monday?

All day today I have thought it was Monday.  Not that this is a bad thing.  When you don’t work during the week, the days just run together.  I keep thinking it’s Monday, though.  The fact that it’s Tuesday does frighten me a bit.  Next Thursday our meetings at work begin, and two weeks from today our students start!  Yikes!  I am not ready!

Today I did run by Target after getting my hair cut (at a beauty school for $7.00 +$2.00 tip– not too shabby!).  I needed to get some padded envelopes for all my eBay sales.  I also stopped at the dollar spot and picked up some goodies for back-to-school goodie bags.  Each child will get a little bag with two pencils, a small star eraser, a big Dr. Seuss eraser, a Dr. Seuss silly band, and a couple pieces of candy.  I already had the little baggies, ribbon to tie the bags shut, and candy for the bags.  I made 20 bags tonight, but have a feeling I will need about 24 total.  If I make all 24, then the total cost of the bags are $13.00.  That means only $0.54 per baggie.  I think that’s a pretty good deal for goodie bags.

My eBay auctions ended today, and we ended up getting $187.83 total!  I was aiming at $50, and about 20 minutes before the first sale ended I didn’t think we would break $150.  I have to say I am pretty happy with how these sales have gone the past two months.  We will have to pay $18.80 in fees to eBay, so we will end up with just under $170 profit.  When figuring shipping, I do make sure that it will cover not only my shipping costs from the post office, but also the packing items.  I spent about $30 for padded envelopes today, but I may be able to return some of them if I don’t use them all.  That cost should be covered by the shipping costs that I charged.

I am also happy to report that I was under budget at the grocery store this week!  This RARELY happens.  I try so hard, but somehow it just never works.  I budgeted $90 this week for groceries… I spent a little over $18 earlier this week on refills of items (like milk and stuff for Hubs’ lunches).  Today I spent a little over $63 for our weekly haul.  That adds up to only $81!  I even have a little bit left over if I need another refill of anything!  I love being under budget!  (Don’t worry, I am not under budget with everything this month… I wouldn’t be that lucky.)

My mom and I are heading up to school tomorrow to work on my classroom some more.  I will bring back some updated photos so you can see before and after pics.  I hope to get quite a bit done tomorrow, so I am not completely overwhelmed with everything that needs to get accomplished in the next two weeks.  Wish me luck!

A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On

No, not me… I am not a very good dancer (ask Hubs).  It’s Miss Blue… my 10 year old Toyota Corolla.  For the past few months, she would shake uncontrollably, especially when I would drive her at high speeds.  (High speeds meaning 70 mph on interstate– not drag racing or anything).  The last time I went in for an oil change, we went ahead and had my wheels balanced to see if that was the problem.  They weren’t off by much, so the guys at Midas (best place ever!) didn’t charge me for the balance.  Basically they said if it fixed the problem, let them know and they would charge me the next time I came in, but since they weren’t off that much, they didn’t think that was the problem.  They were right.  It wasn’t the problem, and my little car kept shaking.  It got to the point that I was getting a little nervous driving around and tried my best to stick to any roads that were about 55 mph or lower.  I held out on taking her back until my next oil change.  Since my driving decreases by about tenfold in the summer, since I am not driving to work everyday, I just waited.

Well, it’s oil change time today!  I took my car in to the shop, and within an hour they had called me back with a verdict.  Apparently the back tires were chopped terribly.  I am not sure what this means, but they said it was some of the worst they had seen.  The guy didn’t know if a belt had broken internally at some point which caused them to chop so much, but it was bad!  So, now I get 4 new tires for the little girl and a front-end alignment… all to the tune of $560ish.

Originally the price quoted to me was about $575, but as soon as I got off the phone with Mike from Midas, he called back!  He had found a coupon that were buy 3 and get 1 free for tires.  The tires on the coupon are better quality and are actually more expensive than the ones he first quoted me for.  Because of the coupon, though, I was able to get the four better tires for less!  (I told you… these guys at Midas are the best!)  And with the other tires, I wouldn’t have had my car back until tomorrow.  With the better tires, I get my car back today!  It saved me $15, which doesn’t seem like much… but trust me, I will take it!

Going into this, I was honestly worried that we may have to do some car shopping.  Miss Blue isn’t exactly a spring chicken and isn’t worth much, so we didn’t want to have to put down thousands of dollars on repairs.  Luckily we do have enough money set aside, but I am having to borrow from some different savings accounts to put it all together.  Our car repair account only had about $235 in it, so it wasn’t enough to just empty that account.  I also had to empty our miscellaneous emergency account (another $125) and then take some from our maternity leave account ($200).  That was the one that I wasn’t happy about.  I am happy though that we don’t have to go into debt for this repair, but it makes me sad that we had to empty two accounts and take some from one account that is very important at this time.  A good thing, though, is that August is a 3 paycheck month for Hubs, so I had already planned on putting quite a bit extra into savings next month.  We will also have our CC paid off in September, so we will have that extra to put into savings.

I guess it’s not terrible news, but who wants to spend hard earned money on tires?  There are so many other, more fun things to spend money on… like baby stuff! 🙂

I’m Not Good at Titles

I never know what to title my posts.  I feel like I put the same thing up there over and over again.  Maybe if I were better at posting more consistently, then I wouldn’t feel like every post was a list of updates, but that seems to be what they are.

I am happy to report that I am finished with my Master’s class for the summer!  I went into the final assignment with a 100%.  I was able to compute my grade and even if I get a 0 on the final assignment, I would get an A in the class.  I still did my best, but it was really hard to get motivated to just get it done.  At least I have a couple weeks off before my next round of classes begin.

I am also happy to report that I cleaned my kitchen today finally.  It was hard to force myself to do it, but I am happy it’s done.  I have one load of dishes in the dishwasher, and another load of dishes waiting on stand-by in the sink.  That’s how long it was since I had done dishes… I had two complete loads hanging out on my kitchen counters.  Yeah, it was bad.

In finance news, my brother shared a database that he created to help me keep up with our budget and finances.  It isn’t 100% perfect for what I want, but it is SO MUCH better than my Excel spreadsheet.  I probably won’t start using it exclusively until our next financial month (August 15).

We are also doing well with our budget.  We just got our utility bill, though, and were $20 over budget.  Yikes!  This heatwave and drought have not been helping at all.  Hopefully we will catch a break in the heat soon and be able to lower our bill.  Most everything else has been going ok with the budget.  I did update the sidebars, so they are currently up to date!  I can’t wait until my September paycheck… that will be our last payment to the credit card!  Woo-hoo!

We surpassed our eBay goal already!  There are still 3 days left on all the auctions and we are already at $77.75!  I really didn’t think we would get over $50 this time around.  Maybe there is a chance we will get over $100!  I am not going to hold my breath, but I can hope.  Some of the money will go to some Rubbermaid containers to pack up the few scrapbooking supplies I do plan to hold onto, and the rest will go into our maternity leave fund.

I do have some photos of my classroom to share, but they are still on my camera.  I forgot to do some after shots, but will get them when I go back next week.

Feeling Crummy

Feeling pretty crummy today.  I have been dealing with indigestion and acid reflux, thanks to the baby that is taking up prime real estate in the center of my body.  No matter what I eat, it feels like it just sits in my esophagus and doesn’t want to move.  It is not a comfortable feeling.  I have heard that taking walks after I eat will help aid in digestion, but with it being so hot right now, I don’t think that will happen.  I suppose I could walk up and down my stairs for 20 minutes.

I have one more homework assignment due tomorrow that I am hoping to get done tonight.  I have to write a paper that is a minimum of 100 words.  This kind of makes me laugh because this blog post is currently over 280 words.  100 words is not hard to complete.  Besides that, I don’t think much else will get done.  I really need to do dishes (the bane of my existence), but I really don’t want to.  I also need to update my checkbook.  My brother has shared his financial database with me, and I finally was able to install Microsoft Office on my home computer, so I may play around with that if I have some time.  Right now I just use an excel spreadsheet for our finances, but I want something a little more in depth.  I built the spreadsheet myself, but I think I am at the top of my skill level and wouldn’t be able to get it to what I want it to be.

Tomorrow my parents are meeting me at my school to help work in my classroom.  There is a lot to get done, so hopefully I will get a lot crossed off my to-do list there.

Not much else going on around here.  How are things going in your life?

Updates

Let’s start with a picture of a grumpy dog…

This little guy just got a bath and is now super grumpy.

I decided to splurge a little bit this evening and met Hubs for dinner.  He was having a tough day, so I thought he could use a break.  When I got home, Bandit’s neck and chest was bright red!  I took off his cone, which I usually do when I get home, then took Rose out to potty.  In the five minutes that we were outside, Bandit managed to scratch his head, ears, and snout to the point of bleeding.  I decided it was time to do something about it, so he got a bath.  I hope that the soothing shampoo, cool water, and soothing lotion will help.  I also hope it will get off any allergens that were on him.  This means he isn’t allowed on the couch right now, so he is on the dog bed pouting.  Poor little guy.

I know I have been MIA the past couple days.  I did go up to school on Monday and got some things arranged.  Don’t worry, I had a friend help me move the furniture, so I wasn’t trying to do it all on my own.  My mom and I are going up to school again on Friday to get some more stuff done.  I really haven’t been that motivated lately to get anything done.  That needs to change soon because we are running out of time!

In another update, I listed another bunch of scrapbooking stuff on ebay.  I listed it all about a day ago and am already up to over $13.00 $16.00 $21.00.  Not much yet, but I am shocked it is that much in just 24 hours.  Usually most of the bidding doesn’t happen until the last couple days.  The items I am selling are not quite as valuable as the last set of items (although I did relist a bunch of other items that didn’t sell last time).  I am going to aim for $50 again.  Maybe I will get lucky and make more than that, but I am not holding my breath too much.

In tomato news… take a look:

Almost ready!

So many green tomatoes!

The first picture shows my little tomatoes from weeks ago!  I had started to give up hope, as they have been this size and green for what seems like about a month.  I didn’t think they would ever turn red, but look at them!  I believe they are cherry tomatoes, so this is as big as they are getting… Maybe 1″-1.5″ (2.5 cm – 3.8 cm) in diameter.
The second picture shows my second plant… the one that was just a twig with no leaves the week after I planted them in their pots.  Now look at this bad boy!  One day I went out to water and counted at least 25 little tomatoes!  If these all ripen at the same time, we will have cherry tomatoes for quite some time!  I am super excited about these plants, as they are my first attempt at container gardening… and I got the seedlings for free!  Not too shabby!

Last update… one blogger that I follow has started a new blog:  The Year of Less.  They have a goal to try a small change each day and a challenge each month to help simplify their lives.  I love the concept and am going to join in on the August challenge:  No dryer month.  I already dry my clothes on a rack outside, but I usually use my dryer for about 10 minutes to fluff everything so it’s not crunchy.  I will try and completely eliminate the dryer in August, and we would love for you to join, also!

That is it for now!  I will try and remember to take my camera to school on Friday and get some pictures of my pre-decorated classroom.

…And I will try to blog on a more regular basis. 🙂  Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

Found this ecard on Pinterest, and I can’t agree with it more!  I will head back to my classroom tomorrow to start setting up for the school year.  I haven’t been in my room this entire summer, so I don’t know what it looks like.  All of the teachers had to move classrooms over the summer, so it could possibly be a complete mess.  We will find out.

Here we go again for our Sunday Night Chit-Chat from Carla.
What are you…

Reading? Still the text book.  I have one more assignment due on Friday, and then I will be done with this class.  I have two more classes for the fall, but I will have a couple weeks off.

Watching?  Lately we have been watching a lot of the news coverage of the shooting in Colorado.  I have shed many tears over the stories about the victims and just can not wrap my head around what would make someone do such a horrendous thing.

Listening to?  Hubs is watching TV, and I glance over occasionally.  I also hear the air conditioner, which is such a wonderful sound.  We are predicted to be in the triple digits for the next three days.  There is a 30% chance of rain on Thursday, but I am not holding my breath.

Cooking/Baking?  We had leftover pizza this afternoon for lunch and went out for dinner this evening.  I was craving a chocolate shake, so we stopped at Sonic.  I will menu plan and get my grocery list ready to go tonight, so I can shop early in the morning tomorrow before it gets too hot.

Looking forward to this week? I get to babysit my nephews on Thursday while my sister goes to an appointment.  They are a hoot… We have been teasing the boys about our baby lately and telling them that if we have a girl, we will have to sell some of the boy toys at grandma and grandpa’s so we could buy some girl toys.  They do not like this.  Yesterday we were teasing them some more, and the youngest one dramatically told me, “I really need this thing to be a boy.”  It was quite funny coming from an almost 4 year old.

Thankful for today?  Sleeping in!  Hubs and I slept until about 9:30, which is rather late for us.  Even after we woke up, we just snuggled with the dogs.  The rest of the day has been a super lazy day.  I figure it’s my last day until I am back to “work.”  I only have 2.5 weeks until the real work starts (meetings and whatnot start on August 9).  I need to really soak up this last bit of summer.  It’s my last one alone… next summer I will have a little one to keep me company. 🙂

*Bonus*
What is your favorite summer food/drink treat?
I don’t know if I really have a favorite.  I really enjoy cold slushies and shakes from various places.  I do love that I get to grill out and enjoy those types of meals more in the summer.  My favorite food would probably have to be grilled BBQ porkchops.  Yummy!

Now it’s your turn!  You can answer in the comments or link up to Carla’s blog!  I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

23 Week Bump Report

23 weeks and 2 days

Hubs took this photo before our appointment.  We usually don’t take them until after, but I figured I wanted to look my best… as good as I can look these days when it’s a million degrees outside and I am 5 months pregnant.  Today was probably the 3rd time this entire summer that I did my hair and makeup.

We had yet another ultrasound tech tell us that we had a very active baby.  This makes 2 techs and 2 midwives who have told us the same thing.  The baby was moving the entire time and when the tech was trying to get the heartrate, the baby moved away (which does not seem very unusual for this baby anymore).

Here is our official report:

How far along?  23 weeks and 2 days

How big is the baby?  They did not do a size scan, but did get the heart rate.  It was up again to 163.  Last month it was 152, but it wasn’t as active.

Total weight gain?  20 lbs.  This is not good.  The midwife said I need to start watching my weight gain.  She said it wasn’t bad, but I may want to aim for 0.5 to 1 lb a week.  I need to watch what type of calories I am taking in and what types of food I am eating.  This is going to be hard, since I have never had to watch my weight or what I eat.  Wish me luck!  (I also don’t own a scale, so we may be borrowing one from my parents.)

Sleep?  Not too bad.  I still wake up at least once a night to use the bathroom.  I have been having bad dreams lately… mainly about the first day of school.  I did have one dream a while ago that the baby was a boy.  Don’t know how true that will be, but I guess we will have to wait to find out.

Maternity clothes?  Still rocking the same few that I own.  I did have a friend let me borrow a lot of her clothes, which will be great for the fall and when school is back in session.  I am noticing that some of the maternity clothes that were still a little big when I bought them are now getting more snug in the hips and thighs.  I really don’t want to have to buy more clothes, so let’s hope that I can use what I have for the rest of the pregnancy.  I do need to invest in a new bra or two.  My chest is expanding, and it is getting hard to keep the girls contained in my current bra… I also don’t think I need a push-up bra anymore.

Best moments of the week?  Well, obviously having the ultrasound today was fantastic!  I did get to do a bit of shopping with some teacher friends today, which was fun.  Besides that, I have been trying to just relax and enjoy my last little bit of summer.  I plan to start going back to school to work next week, so I am really down to my last big of complete freedom.

Food cravings?  Waffles with peanut butter and syrup… Also cinnamon rolls.  (This could be part of my weight gain problem.)  Hubs and I have gone through 2 cans of cinnamon rolls each week for a couple weeks now, and the past few days I have been eating a couple waffles for my afternoon snack.  Yeah, this watching my food intake is going to take a lot of work.  I don’t know how people with a lot allergies or health issues do it (Carla, I’m looking at you). 🙂

Food aversions?  I really haven’t had any lately.

Symptoms?  Lower back pain.  I have had a couple Braxton Hicks, but my midwife said not to worry about them unless they get to the point that I can time them out.  Right now I just have one or two a day, and then other days I won’t have any.  They are very random and not painful, but it is crazy to feel your stomach get so hard.  I haven’t had any leg cramps lately.  I did put a bar of Ivory soap under our sheets and besides having to keep Rose away from it, I think it’s working!  (Thanks for the tip, Autumn!)

Exercise?  Well, I did great for about 2 weeks.  Then I quit.  We have been going through a major heat wave (as has most of the US).  By the time I get up around 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning it’s already 85ish F (29 C) degrees.  It is hard to get motivated to go out and walk the dogs.  My friend who is also pregnant has a yoga DVD that she does, and she really enjoys it.  I may have to splurge a bit and order one so I can get some other exercise done.

Movement?  Like crazy!  This child is very active!  I will agree with everyone who says so.  I have been able to see my stomach move a little bit too, which is quite weird looking.  Hubs has gotten the chance to feel the baby and see my stomach move also.  Last night we had a big storm and one crash of thunder scared me out of a sleep.  I could tell as soon as the adrenaline hit the baby because it started moving like crazy too!  Then I had to try and go back to sleep, which wasn’t that easy.

Next appointment?  4 weeks from today.  August 15th.  I am going in for my glucose test, so we will hope that I pass and don’t have gestational diabetes.  I am worried that I will, but we can still hope!

… And there you have it!  I will leave you with a picture of one of our sonogram pictures from today.  What a cutie!

Our sweet little one!

Cash is King

I don’t know about you, but I love saving up money and being able to pay with cash.  This past week we had 2 big purchases that we had saved up for and were able to pay with cash.  I love not having to worry about if we have the money in our checking account or if we will have to use our emergency savings or if we will have to scrimp on other areas of our life.

The first purchase was renewing our car tags and paying taxes on our cars.  Last year we saved cash for this, but the first year we were married we had not saved.  It ends up being around $400 a year for our cars.  The first year we had to pay, we had to scrape together the money and empty what little savings we had.  The past two years, we have been doing awesome!  This past year I had been putting $35 cash into our cash envelope each month.  We ended up with $420 total, and the total ended up being $383.  I took what was left over and split it up.  I put $7 into our vacation fund and $30 went back into car tags for next year.  Because cars depreciate each year, the amount will be lower next year.  With the $30 already in there, we will be able to lower our monthly deposit to just $30 a month instead of $35.  That’s not a huge break, but I will now be able to put an extra $5 into something else.  I haven’t figured out where I want the money to go, but after I talk to Hubs we will figure it out.

The second purchase I had to get was dog meds.  Bandit needed heartworm prevention meds and both dogs needed flea/tick meds.  I do have a cash envelope for the dogs each month, but I also have an ING account for vet bills which gets its own money each month also.  All of the meds together ended up being about $140– ~$35 for a 6 month supply of heartworm prevention for Bandit, and ~$105 for a 4 month supply of flea/tick meds for both dogs.  Again, I was able to pay cash!  Some people may look at how much I put into the dogs’ envelope each month and say it’s too much (between $75 and $100 each month).  I do this so it carries over each month and when we have these occasional purchases, we don’t have to figure out where to get it.  The money each month also goes to yearly vet visits, dog food, treats, occasional toys, antlers, etc.  Those things all get paid with cash, and I love the feeling.  The money in the ING account is saved for any vet emergencies, yearly shots, kenneling if we need it, etc.

Now that those are out of the way, we don’t have anything in particular to save for.  We have some baby items that we will probably end up paying for, so I guess we are saving for that, but nothing specific.

Do you save up for large items and pay with cash, or do you use your credit card and pay it off immediately (or later with interest)?  If you have never paid for something large with cash, I would recommend it… You walk away without any regret or doubt about the purchase.  It’s fantastic!

Short, Funny Story

Here is a short, funny, little story that goes along with my rant from yesterday:

Last night Hubs got home from work and read my blog.  (He’s such a great guy!).  He told me that one of the officers he was working with decided to try and guess his age.  Now, Hubs is only 9 months older than me and will turn 29 in August.  The officer started his guessing at 32.  Hubs said no, and the officer increased his guess to 35.  Um, wrong way!  The officer guessing Hubs’ age was shocked that he was only 28 right now!  Poor Hubs 😦

Now, Hubs does have a bit of gray hair, which does not help.  But all of this makes me wonder:  What do we look like when we are together?  Does he look like a creepier old guy who knocked up a teenager?  That can’t be good combination.

Judge Not

*This post is a little bit of a rant, and yes, I realize there are people out there going through bigger problems than this, but I just wanted to write about it because it bothers me.*

We are all guilty of it… judging people around us based solely on what we see.  We look at the outside and make a snap judgement.  It is human nature.  We look at their clothing, their size, what they drive, what they have in their grocery carts, etc.  Without knowing anything, we quickly sum them up without knowing anything else.

Lately I feel as though I have been unfairly judged.  For those people who don’t know me IRL or can’t tell from the picture on my About Me page, I look young.  I constantly shock people when I tell them I am 28.  They assume I am just getting ready to go off to college.  Add together looking super young with being 5 months pregnant, and you can imagine the judging I get.  I see the looks I get, especially when I am out and about with just my parents (and it doesn’t help that I live in a super small town).  This makes me very uncomfortable, although there really isn’t much I can do about it.  I really want to make a shirt that says “I am 28, married, and this was planned.” I know I shouldn’t care about what other people think, but I am quite conservative and do not like people thinking I am a pregnant teenager.

Another thing that goes along with this, and I know those people who are older than me will tell me this, is when people tell me I will be so happy when I am older that I look so young.  I have heard this before.  Yes, I have also been told this since I was in high school (looking like I was in middle school), and I have yet to be thankful for it.  I am sure there is a point that I will appreciate it, but so far it’s not the case.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to wake up looking like I am 50 (no offense to those 50 year-olds out there), but I would love to look my age.  I feel that my youthful look and my small stature makes people take me less seriously than my peers.

I am getting ready to start my 6th year of teaching, and although it has gotten easier since my first year, I still feel as though many parents view me less as a professional because my appearance.  I am not that much younger than many of the parents I deal with, but I still feel as though I am seen as someone who doesn’t know much.  As I said, it has definitely gotten easier since my first year, but even this last year I had some parents who tried to go over my head instead of speaking to me about a problem in the classroom.

I know this is a long complaint of a post, but it is just something that I have been dwelling on and though I should get it out.