Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cartoons and diapers.

I guess this is a typical name of a post when you are a mommy.

The funny thing is, my kiddo doesn't really understand how to watch tv yet. Sometimes something on tv catches his eye, but he won't sit there and just watch tv for a long time yet. I guess that is a good thing. Anyway, it's funny because I watch more cartoons than he does. Come Saturday morning, I bring him down to the family room and turn on the tv. Well, there isn't anything else on in the morning so I end up watching cartoons. It's sad how I even know the name of some of them - the emperor's new school, hannah montana (I guess that's not a cartoon), the suite life of zach and cody (also not a cartoon), and there are two others that are always on that I am not sure the names of but one has these cute little animals like ducks, a rabbit, a hippo, an elephant - I think it might be rabbit and friends, and the other is this girl that lives with her dad and all these wild animals. They are all actually really cute and I am sure X will like them more as he gets older.

So, in regards to the diapers, I think it is safe to say that I have a slight obsession with diapers. Right now in Xander's closet, he has over 1000 diapers. Yes, you read that right. It is because I am obsessed with finding a deal. This way, I never ever have to pay full price for diapers. I think it is funny how some people think that getting a pack of the nice brands of diapers for about $7 is a great price. I guess I see why they think that - the regular price for a pack of Huggies or Pampers is about $10 - a crazy price if you ask me for about 4 or 5 days worth of diapers. Anyway, they go on sale for $8.99 which still isn't that good of a price but people think - oh, I better get some since they are sale and they will use their $1 or $2 off coupon and think the got a deal on diapers. I don't consider these people unintelligent but I have gotten some amazing deals on diapers and I pretty much refuse to pay more than about $6 a pack and have bought most of them for closer to $5. Anyway, I think I just need to stop buying diapers for a while as I think I have enough to last a while. But I will say one thing - think about how many diapers a kid goes through in his life. I figured right now he is going through 5 or more diapers a day and when he was younger, he went through more like 8 a day. So let's just use 6 as our factor. Say the kid potty trains at 2 1/2, your kid will go through like 5400 diapers! Crazy! So even if it seems like I have so many diapers, my kid will use them all eventually!

On that note I suppose I better go fold some laundry and finish the dishes so my house isn't a mess going into the work week.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Random thoughts on a Friday night

So here are my random thoughts for the week.

-It's funny how defensive you can become when someone questions your parenting skills or something that you do as a parent. Until this week, no one had questioned the way I parented at all so I didn't know what it felt like to have your parenting called into question. Frankly, it upset me quite a bit and it wasn't even something with regards to my child's behavior or the way we discipline. I won't get into it more but I was furious.

-I am always hoping that the work week will go fast as I live for the weekends! I said this to someone at work and she told me ' my mom always said, don't wish your life away'. I don't think that I am wishing my life away but am wishing for a better time in my life, hoping that if this part of my life goes faster, I can get a to a better part and enjoy it more. I do agree everyone needs to take some time to enjoy life and each day though, even the work days.

-My boss ordered my series 24 book for me this week which means once I get the book I am going to hit the ground running. I figured I might as well get my studying out of the way and get the test taken quickly rather then letting it drag on and on. I think I want to take my test by the end of April. I hope I can pass the test the first time. I am sure I can but I know it will be hard and will take a lot of studying. I am already feeling guilty for how much time I am going to have to study and how much time it will take away from my son and I haven't even started yet!

-Xander is walking so much more now and it is so fun to watch him! He still falls and crawls sometimes but overall, he is a walker and takes lots of steps each day. He still doesn't really say any words (but can imitate mama and dada sometimes) but he sure babbles a lot.

-My sister-in-law is due to have her baby any day now and I can't wait until she has him! I love little babies and can't wait to meet my newest nephew!

-I am going to work on the baby shoes for X this weekend and hopefully will get 2 or 3 pairs done. I cut out most of the pieces of fabric this week while I had free time at work and all I need to do before sewing the pieces together is iron on the interfacing. I hope I can get at least one pair to turn out good. I think even if one or two of them don't turn out that great, I will still use them as 'house shoes' to keep his feet warm and for some traction while he walks.

-On that note, I hope to get a lot done this weekend. I always hope to but am hoping to get even more done this weekend than usual as I feel I have so much more to do than usual. I need to do laundry, dishes and lots of other cleaning.

-I was always proud of my little boy that he slept through the night so well since he was little. Now all of a sudden he is waking up a couple of times a night. Granted, I usually only hear him once because I sleep harder than Todd but he seems to hear him a few times a night. Anyway, I am not sure if he is teething or what his deal is. I guess he doesn't get up every night but he has been up more than ever before. I know he did get a big molar recently so I wonder if that was hurting him for a while.

-I am tired and it is only 9:55 on Saturday night. I am going to bed. Hope this weekend is a good one!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Not much progress

First of all, it is funny how that title applies to my plans for the weekend to get some of my crafts done as well as many other things in my life such as my weight loss and a few other things. But that is not what this post is about - just pointing that out.

I successfully made my first chain crocheting but I couldn't get the turn right to start on my second row so I basically did a single chain over and over and over just to practice and then I pulled it out to start over. I practiced my slip knot several times also but I have nothing done. :(

Maybe I will try again later this week or next weekend.

I wanted to get at least one pair of shoes for Xander done this weekend but that didn't happen either. I did get all the fabric cut and the interfacing fused on to each piece but I got stuck when the stitching on the sole of my shoe was all loose and funny on the bottom. I think I am having bobbin issues but am not sure how to fix them. I have the manual for the sewing machine so I will be digging it out this week to try and figure out what is wrong. I pulled out the bobbin and now I don't know how to put it back in. This is a super old Singer (my moms) so it probably isn't the most user friendly but I am going to try to fix it.

I picked up some new fabric at Walmart tonight to make some more shoes. I have a bunch of pieces cut out to make several pairs of shoes (6 pairs I think). This is going to be a time consuming project at least at first until I get the hang of it I think. I still want to do it but am not even sure how the first pair will turn out. We will see I guess.

I got zero done on my scrapbooking and I am a little depressed about that. I am so far behind and almost feel like I will never catch up. I just don't know when I will have the time with working now. It seems like each weekend there are just too many other things to do. Although I guess I spent time cutting out the fabric for the shoes so I could have spent that time scrapbooking. Whatever.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Crafty weekend (I'm hoping)

So I am hoping to get a few crafty things done this weekend.

I successfully taught myself to crochet this evening (following directions from a book of course) but my chains aren't very pretty yet. I will need much practice. I am willing to put in the work to end up crocheting a blanket and a scarf at some point.

I hope to make a pair of baby shoes for Xander as well. I have the baby shoe pattern that is floating around the internet and I am hoping to get a pair made this weekend. I have some cute green printed fabric that I am going to use for the top of the shoes and some brown corduroy for the bottom of the shoes. I also have the elastic and the interfacing. I just need to start cutting, ironing and sewing.

I am also hoping to work on Xander's scrapbook at some point this weekend. I am still at 6 months and he just turned 14 months! Way behind! The only good thing is that I probably won't scrap month by month after his first year but I have 6 months to catch up on! I have a lot of the pictures but just have to decide on the layouts and glue it all down. I do need to order his most recent pictures though and that in and of itself is time consuming so I will feel good to get that done.

If I get enough done I think I will post some pictures on Sunday showing my progress (if there is any).

I am afraid I will not get as much done as I would like since I have to get groceries, do laundry and a lot of other cleaning this weekend also. I don't want to neglect my kiddo either so we will see just how much I can get done on my crafts this weekend. I guess that is life! Good luck to me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Melts my heart and a few randoms

Ok lets start with the randoms.

- How is it that you can be neighbors with someone yet be so different and worlds away? Just a thought.

- I love pink. I am sure many people know that about me but I thought I would mention it again. I have as much pink stuff as possible at my desk at work and though people tease me about it, that is what they know me for and it is kinda fun!

- I swore I wasn't going to size my diamond ring when I couldn't wear it anymore after having Xander. I told myself I was just going to lose enough weight so I could wear it again. I decided that just wasn't cutting it after a year so I broke down last fall and had it sized. Now I am hoping to finally lose that weight and hopefully I will need to get it sized down.

- Why are people so clueless when it comes to their money? All I am saying is, it is your money people. Be smart about it, educate yourself on where it is going and protect it the best you can. Don't invest in something without knowing the risks.

Ok, on to what melts my heart.

My sweet little boy learned to wave a few months ago and it was always so fun to see him wave at you when you would leave. He would always wave at daddy when it was bedtime (it is our tradition for me to take him up to bed, get him ready and put him down) and for some reason he stopped waving at daddy. Recently, instead of waving his whole arm to say bye, he just opens and closes his fist. That, in and of itself, is cute. Tonight when I took him up to bed and put him in his crib, I gave him his Curious George (the stuffed toy he sleeps with) and he starting doing his newest wave to me. It was the sweetest little thing and it was one of those moments in time you wish you could freeze and enjoy forever. So sweet! He did it to me without me saying good night. I just rubbed his little said and told him I loved him and then said good night. Ahhhh! I am blessed and should never forget it! Don't you just love moments that melt your heart?

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm not as sad as I seem

So I have to come to find out that some of my recent posts might be a little too depressing and make me sound like I am unhappy about everything.

I think I need to clarify. Oh and just a warning, this could be long. Very long. :)

First of all, I realize the importance of having gratitude and being thankful and positive. My mom always made us write thank you notes and say thank you for everything growing up. I am by nature a grateful person.

I guess by reading my blog people might think I am an unhappy person who just complains a lot. In real life - I am not 'that girl'. At least not most of the time. (Hey, everyone has their bad days, right?)

It seems I have been more of 'that girl' recently. I have been down lately about things going on in our life. I guess I sometimes do feel like things have been unfair and I have wondered 'why me?' more than once.

You see, it all started with the birth of my son. I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom for as long as I can remember. When I got pregnant with Xander, my husband and I talked about how I would stay home. The problem is, we didn't plan for it. At all. In other words, we really didn't save our money or spend smartly like we should have. So after 11 months, I went back to work.

I think this is the main source of my sadness. As I said, all I ever wanted was to be a stay at home mom. It is like having your dreams shattered. I cry about it. Often. Think about it this way - imagine all you ever wanted was to be a nurse. You went to school, put in your time learning and then there are no jobs. Anywhere. Ever. That is what it feels like to me. I know I don't 'deserve' to stay at home with my son but I miss him so much every day it hurts.

The other thing that makes me complain more than I would like to is my actual job, not just the fact that I have to work at it. The job I am doing is not something I would like to do long term. The job is ok, but I feel like it is not a job that I want to do much longer. I am not complaining about the job because I should be grateful to have a job (I know I know) but I also know realistically the job I am doing now will not make me happy and will not fulfill me if I have to stay working permanently.

So on to the positive.

I am so thankful that I have an amazing husband. Taking him for granted is one of the worst things I can do and I think I sometimes do it. He is hard working and smart and kind and a great father. He works so hard at his job - he has literally called in sick twice in the last 2-3 years. He is dedicated and always puts in extra time at his job (which I sometimes wish he wouldn't so we could see him more). I have to remember he could be so much worse - a drug addict or an alcoholic or someone who is not there for me and my baby.

I am so thankful for my little man too. He is so sweet and he has been so healthy since he was born. He did have jaundice right after he was born but other than that he has been pretty healthy. Every time I see a story about a little kid with cancer or something else it makes me sad but also very thankful for the health of my little boy. He is such a joy to watch and be around and I love him more than words can say. I can't imagine life without him and wouldn't give him up for anything in he world.

I am thankful for my health (and I use that term loosely because I am diabetic and am overweight - but I don't have cancer or anything like that). I am thankful for my parents and my siblings and my in laws too. I could have a strange or dysfunctional family. I have a great family and am very thankful.

I am thankful we have a roof over our head. Our house is not falling apart and though we could stand to do some things to it, it is overall a nice house.

We have two cars that are running (for now) and they get us where we need to go.

Ok so now that I talked about some things I am thankful for, I want you to know something you would never know unless you worked with me.

If I ask for help on something at work and you help me I will thank you every way I can. I probably will say thanks at least 3 times because that is how I am. I don't like confrontation and I want people to know that I am grateful and not rude or ungrateful. I make sure to say thanks every time and try to keep a positive attitude at all times. Or at least to most people and most of the time. It is sad that I can take out my frustrations on my family and friends that are closest to me.

So in summary, I am sad and sometimes mad but I am going to work hard at being more positive and happy. Not because anyone tells me I should but because I know I should and because I want to be happy and I want to try and be positive. All I do is drag myself down and sometimes those around me when I have a negative attitude. I do think right now is harder for me because of the season (winter always gives me the blahs - as diagnosed by Travel & Dive Girl) and also because of other circumstances in my life. But, I think this year could be a good year if I believe it will be and if I make good choices. I think that is my goal this year. Make better choices and try to be happier.

There you have it. Take from it what you will. I will try to be more positive - after all, the title of my blog is 'our happy life' and gosh darn it, we do have a happy life! Oh and one last thing, I realize my thoughts are very random and don't always go in order but that is just how my mind works! :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Short and sweet

Tomorrow is Monday and I am so not looking forward to going to work. Every Monday I consider calling in and quitting my job. All I want is to be able to quit and stay home with my kiddo again but I can't.

The one good thing is that tomorrow is a bank holiday which means the stock market it closed and hopefully we will be slow at work. My boss said in the past it is usually a slow day so if that is the case, I think I will survive.

Hope everyone else has a great Monday!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

2010 survey

Here is a follow up questionnaire to my previous post. The previous one was more about last year and this one is about this year. Here we go.....

1. One habit you'd like to break totally:
Eating because I am bored, mad, sad or lonely. In other words, eating when I am not hungry.

2. One person you'd like to get to know better:
Hmmm. I am not sure there really is anyone. I am really bad at this - I tend to avoid getting to know people too much because then I feel bad if I don't maintain a friendship with them forever.

3. One random act of kindness that you'd like to make a habit this year:
I think this is something I will have to think about more. I guess maybe letting people in while merging while driving. I dunno.

4. Something that you'd like to own by the end of 2010:
Two new (not brand new, just different) cars.

5. Something that you'd like to get rid of by the end of 2010:
40 pounds of chub!

6. One change you'd like to see in your life in 2010:
More time for crafty things like scrapbooking and sewing.

7. One thing you'd like to memorize in 2010:
Um that is a weird one. I guess I would say I want to memorize enough material to pass my 24, 66 and potentially the 53 (securities licenses).

8. Something that you'd like to improve on in 2010:
My patience. For sure.

9. Something new you'd like to learn in 2010.
Again, probably the material for the 24 and 66. I guess how to sew more, knit and crochet also.

10. Something you're looking forward to this year.
Todd getting a new job! Also losing some weight once and for all and maybe a mini vacation.

11. One thing you're going to make sure DOESN'T happen this year.
Gaining any more weight. I am big enough and it's time to lose, not gain.

12. One person that you want to be closer to this year.
My best friend Laura. I feel like part of the year last year we talked a lot but since I got my job I feel like we never talk anymore.

13. One place you want to visit this year.
If money was no issue I want to go to France but on our limited budget, maybe Chicago or Kansas City.

14. One thing that you'll move from 2009's to do list to 2010's to do list.
Lose weight. Do you see a theme from this survey? I do.

15. One old acquaintance that you'd like to reconnect with this year.
Once again, a tough one since I am bad with close relationships. I would love to talk more with my best friend this year.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Year's Questionnaire

I realize this is a little late, but I have seen this around the blog world and thought I would fill it out for myself if for no one else.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you have never done before?
I was a mommy all year for the first time! Xander was born in 2008 but I didn't have a full year with him then since he was born in November.

Oh yes and one more thing I am super proud of - I ran for 20 minutes straight. For me that is a big deal. I realize for most people that is no big deal but for me it is.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for 2010?
I don't think I made any last year but I did make a few for this year (although I didn't call them resolutions, just goals).

3. Did anyone close to you give birth in 2009?
My sister Nicole had her son Eli in April. :)

4. Did anyone close to you die in 2009?
No and I am grateful for this.

5. What countries did you visit this year?
Countries? How many people in the US visit more than one country a year? (I guess if you are on a cruise you might stop at more than one). But for this girl it was a big fat zero and probably will be again for the next few years. Traveling to other countries requires lots of money which is something I don't have!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
More money, less debt and better health.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 21st. My baby boy's first birthday! Other than that it was a boring year.

8. What was your biggest struggle in 2009?
Realizing I had to go back to work because we couldn't afford for me to stay home anymore. I am bitter about it almost every day and wish something would change so I can stay home again.

9. Did you suffer any illness or injury in 2009?
Nothing new that I didn't already have before.

10. What was the best thing you bought this year?
My Cricut machine for scrapbooking. I can't think of anything else interesting I bought so we will go with that.

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I suppose my little boy's. He is a good boy and learning to listen to his mommy when she tells him to do something.

12. Whose behavior disappointed you?
I suppose my own.

13. Where did most of your money go?
My hospital bills from having the kiddo. Also diapers and clothes for Xander!

14. What did you get really really excited about this year?
Christmas and Xander's birthday.

15. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Hmmm, I would have to say several but there are too many to name.

16. Compared to this time last year, are you: much happier, much nicer or richer?
No to all of these which is sad.

17. What do you wish you had done more of?
Exercise and saving money.

18. What do you wish you had done less of?
Eating, spending money, being lazy and taking for granted staying home with my son.

19. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I didn't fall in love for the first time but fell more in love with my husband and son.

20. What was your favorite TV Program in 2009?
Tough one because I like several but I will have to say The Biggest Loser.

21. What was the best book you read this year?
Babywise, Babywise II and Toddlerwise. My kiddo would be much worse off if I hadn't.

22. What was your greatest musical discovery this past year?
I know many other people have said the same thing but Lady Gaga for sure.

23. What did you want and get?
I don't think much of anything. It seems more like I wanted a lot of things that I didn't get, and not just physical things.

24. What was the best movie you saw this year?
Harry Potter hands down!

25. What did you do on your birthday and how old did you turn?
I didn't do much I don't think and I turned 27. I think me and my husband went out sometime within a week of my birthday for dinner.

26. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
Oh, a few things. To have lost more weight, if I would have been able to keep staying at home with my son and if we would have been better with our money.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion statement this year?
For most of the year I would have said sloppy since I stayed at home but since the end of the year I would say dressy since I wear nice work clothes 5 days a week.

28. What kept you sane this year?
My son and husband.

29. What celebrity did you fancy the most?
I am not sure what that means but I don't follow any one celebrity. I just read occasional articles on celebs.

30. Who did you miss this past year?
Not really anyone but if I had to pick I would say my sister since she lives the farthest away.

31. Who were the best new people you met this year?
I would say my new co-workers. Especially Christina!

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year.
Life is hard and never fair. No matter how bad you want some things, sometimes you will never get them. If you want something you have to work really really hard for it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I want a new car....among other things

So in my last post I was complaining about how expensive the tires are for my car. I guess it would just be smarter to get a cheaper car that doesn't require such expensive tires on it. Right?

We have been talking about getting two new cars (or not new, but new to us) to have lower car payments and also better gas mileage. The Jeep has terrible gas mileage. I think on a good day it gets 15 miles per gallon. I have liked having it for this crappy weather but other than that both cars have not been my favorite.

I can't decide what I want to do for a new car or cars. Should we go with two really small really cheap cars to get by for a while or should be get one small somewhat cheap can and a small cheaper SUV? I am torn on what to do. The funny thing is, I am talking about this as if it is going to happen. I guess a lot of things would have to go right for us to even get one car, let alone two!

The situation is, we have two cars and two car payments and we would like to have lower payments. It's not that we will have no payments if we get different cars (obviously) but we think we might be able to reduce our car payments which will help us out in other areas.

I think several things will have to go right for us over the next few months but I will just have to wait and see what happens.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A whole lotta nothing

There is just nothing much new in our life right now. At least not much that is interesting. I suppose I will write anyway about the latest.

Xander is getting more and more mobile. He isn't walking all of the way yet but he is taking several steps at a time several times a day but hasn't walked more than a few feet at a time. He is getting more brave but isn't quite there yet. He also crawls super fast no and gets away from us in now time. He can crawl up the stairs faster than we can catch him and tries to go up the stairs to our upper level (which is about 8 steps) and I am terrified of him falling. It is fun to watch him go go go though!

Xander is also getting more verbal by the day. He babbles all of the time and it is fun to listen to him. He can say mama, and dada and sometimes imitates other words we say. He is getting better at waving and points all of the time. In the last few months he has changed so much and it's crazy to think about! I know he will continue to change but the last few months have been the most fun since he was born.

I am working and every Monday morning I debate not going to work and quitting my job or if there is a way for me to call in sick and not get fired. I miss being at home with my baby so much and it sucks. I keep hoping Todd gets his own store and we move or I can move on to a job within the company that I will enjoy more long term. I feel like I am in a funk and I need to get out of it somehow.

We have had three tires on our Maxima go flat in the last two years and I am getting pretty sick of it. The tires are $300 each and that is enough to annoy anyone. Todd has been driving on a donut (yes I admit it) for over a month (terrible for the car) because we simply have not had the money to buy a new tire. How pathetic is that? Sad. Beyond sad. The point of this story, though, is that Todd decided to research the tires and found out there are some MUCH cheaper tires that will fit the car just fine and still perform pretty well. How about $140 instead of $300??? Yeah, what the heck was I doing replacing the flat tires with $300 ones when I could have been replacing them with $140 tires? What is wrong with me? Lesson learned.

I feel like I have been learning a lot of life lessons recently. I feel like I have learned my lesson with every purchase I have ever made in life because it seems like they have gotten me to this point where I have to work full time instead of staying home with my little boy. We have made so many bad decisions in life and now we are paying the price. I just can't believe I wasn't smarter. All we can do is make better decisions going forward.

On a positive note, we have one last payment on my hospital bill and we are finally done with all payments for our medical bills from when Xander was born. Kinda sad it took 14 months to pay off, but we had crappy insurance and we had to pay more than $3500 out of pocket. Booooo.

I am starting to get worried about our Jeep because it is making awful noises. I think the reason for the noises is because of how cold it has been but the emergency break light is on all the time now even though I don't have the actual break on. I can't believe how bad it sounds some times but I am hoping it gets better as it gets warmer out.

I finally took the trees down today and put all the Christmas stuff away. I only didn't do it before now because all of the boxes were up in the attic and it is really hard to get up there so I had to wait until Todd had a weekend off to help me. Because of the holidays, this is the first weekend he had off so not only did we take the Christmas stuff down but we also got a LOT of other cleaning done today. I actually feel really accomplished. I still have some laundry to put away but overall, we have a much cleaner house.

I suppose that's about it for now. I have a pretty boring life but it is my life! What can I say? :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New blog title....again

I started with a name for my blog (A day in the life) and then discovered there were a bunch of blogs with the same name already. I then decided to change it, but couldn't come up with a name I liked so I used 'it is what it is' as a temporary title. I never liked that as a title for my blog so I decided to come up with a new one again. I think I am going to leave this one as this is a mental attitude I would like to adopt. Though everything in my life may not be perfect, I still have many thing to be happy about and thankful for. I could focus on the negative, but there are so many happy moments in my life that I ought to focus on them.

I am sure everyone has many things to be happy about and thankful for and I encourage you to focus on those things!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My 2010 non-resolution list

Well, everyone is talking about the new year and their 'goals'. I hate resolutions because I never seem to accomplish them. I decided this year to make a list of things I would like to do. I guess it is pretty much the same as resolutions but I guess I am just not calling them that.

Here it goes:

1. Be healthy. I am using this broad term instead of saying I want to lose a certain amount of weight. A specific number can be scary and feel overwhelming.

2. Finish Xander's 2 scrapbooks by the end of April. This will be tough since I am working full time now. I really want to get them done though because they are supposed to be for his first year of life and I am only on month 6!

3. Have a garage sale in the spring. We have so much junk to get rid of, I just want to sell what we can and then I can donate the rest.

4. Reorganize the shelves in the family room. They are just a big mess right now with no rhyme or reason to them.

5. Have two lower car payments. We are thinking about getting different cars with lower payments and also better gas mileage than the Jeep.

6. Read 10 books that aren't chick lit. I love to read but never seem to find the time. I would like to read about 10 classic books this year including Moby Dick.

7. Buy a piano. I will have to get a used one to start with since they are so much, but I played piano growing up and would love to have one and be able to play it again.

8. Get the backyard all seeded and the deck finished off. Ever since we tore out the pool, the backyard has been a mess. I want it to finally look nice.

9. On that same note, I want to have the deck stained this year.

10. Make a few homemade items for Xander. I want to make him a pair or two of cloth shoes as well as a blanket or toy or a shirt or something like that. I love the idea of making homemade stuff but just don't take the time to do it.

11. Make a mini Christmas scrapbook. I have the small album already but need to print the pictures and put it together.

12. Go ice skating. I love to ice skate though I am not good at it. I want to get a sitter for Xander and take Todd either this winter or next.

13. Get Xander's toys organized. He has so many right now and a full toybox so we stack them up against the entertainment center when we want to clean up. It is absurd how many toys he has and we need to get rid of a few and store the rest better.

14. Start running again. I did the couch to 5k plan last year and made it to week 7. It was hard but very rewarding and I want to start jogging/running again on a regular basis as well as doing other workouts. This goal is directly related to goal #1. This is a huge goal. Both Todd and I want to eat healthier and work out more and make it a daily habit to be healthy.

15. Get my series 24 if I am still at my current job. I want to get this done within the next 4-5 months. It will take me at least 2 months to study but I want to get it done as soon as possible as I get a raise for doing it!

16. Get my hospital bill paid off from having Xander. Believe it or not, we still have a small balance left so this should be the easiest goal to accomplish as I will make my last payment soon.

17. Get a new kitchen table. We hate ours because it is glass and shows every little fingerprint. We got this as a wedding gift and loved it for a while but it is not our favorite anymore and we would love to find a basic square table with four chairs that is inexpensive. We have a rectangular table right now and we don't really have room for it either. It needs to be a square table to fit.

18. Get bedroom furniture. We have horrible bedroom furniture right now - two mismatched dressers, an old night stand and no headboard or foot rails. Our mattress sits on just the floor frame right now and it looks bad. I want a matching dresser, chest and night stand and either a matching headboard or something that at least coordinates.

19. Get a new kitchen sink. This is something I have wanted for a while and we will probably only get it if we know we are staying in Omaha for a while longer.

20. New bathroom faucets. The bathrooms have the original faucets and are about 12 years old. They are the most basic ones you can find and I would like upgrading slightly.

21. Change all the doorknobs from gold to silver. I hate gold accents so I would love to get the doorknobs all switched to silver. I think we have 9 doorknobs to change so maybe we will do it 1-2 at a time.

I think that is all for now. I am sure I will think of some other things this month and maybe I will post again later with more. I think this is enough to work on for now. I am hoping this year will be better than last in certain ways. I know a lot of how the year turns out is up to me and my attitude towards it but there are also things that could go our way and make the year easier.

I hope everyone else has a blessed new year!