Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Excess Baggage

Can you relate to this? Do you get overwhelmed by things, by material stuff? I was just looking around my house for a specific photo album. It was not with the other photo albums and that intrigued me. I wander from room to room with the focus quickly changing from the photo album to simply feeling overwhelmed. So much stuff is unorganized.

Let me give you a bit of background on my quirky personality so you'll understand why I'm troubled. When I was a teen and in my 20's before I got married I used to be super organized: the Cd's, Videos, and DVDs were in alphabetical order. My clothes were categorized and then color-coordinated. Those are just to name a few; I could go on and on. My friend Suzanne used to mess with me by moving things around. I made Monica from Friends look easy-going. I was very happy this way. I knew that my ways were a bit unusual but it was not a problem for me so I didn't feel like changing.

Then came a house, dog, cat, two desert tortoises, husband, and a child. With all of those things come a lot of stuff (not so much the dog and cat). Please understand that I'd rather have all of those things than be super organized but I get stressed out by my lack of organization. I've also become more lazy over the years so that doesn't help. I used to stay up late organizing things; now I choose sleep.

When my mom passed away I took on all of her stuff that didn't sell in the estate sale or go to Good Will. Things that are sentimental and the like. Again, more stuff. I'm not a minimalist by any means but I have a strong belief that material things tie us down by taking up space physically and emotionally.

A normal person would take the situation step by step and organize a little bit at a time realizing that Rome wasn't built in a day. Me, on the other hand, I look at all of it and don't even want to deal with it unless I can do a marathon organizational stretch. This is all a part of my quirky-perfectionist personality type.If things can't be done the way I want them to be I don't want to even try. Wow, now all of you probably think I'm more crazy than you originally thought!

PS-The reason the CD's, videos, and DVD's are not in alphabedical order is because Tyler has a lot of fun playing with the cases. I was actually able to let go of the desire to keep alphabedizing them! That was an accomplishment for me.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Naps No More

I have been out of sorts this week. Tyler has been weening himself off the afternoon nap for a couple of weeks and this week he is totally done. His sleep schedule used to be that he'd get up at 7am, nap between 2-5:30pm, and go to bed at 10pm. A lot of people commented that his bedtime was quite late but that is what works for our family. I loved that schedule because I got a break in the afternoon, Rick got to spend lots of time with Ty in the evening, and I didn't have to get up very early in the morning. Actually, Rick hangs out with Ty first thing in the morning; I don't get up until 8am. I know, I'm spoiled. At least I appreciate it.

This week Ty has been sick for most of the week and still isn't taking naps. He still fights going to bed until 10pm. It's strange. Something's gotta give. May I sound selfish for a moment? Taking care of a sick child who isn't sleeping much has not been fun. We've been home bound. I make it a point to get out of the house a lot for my own sanity, for Tyler's well-being, and as a way to prevent Ty from watching/listening to the TV. His expectation is that the TV should be on if he's home. This is not to say that I necessarily give in to his expectation. He doesn't veg out and watch it but he likes knowing it's on. I only allow him to watch or listen to educational shows but still.....it's a huge bone of contention with me. I've been working on it. Okay, time to stop feeling guilty.

I guess I'll need to make it a point to put him to bed by 8pm since he's not napping anymore. He will totally hate it at first but he'll get used to it. No more afternoon break for me. Can you hear me whining like a baby?!

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Zealand

Rick and I were watching The Amazing Race last night and it brought back such wonderful memories. The competitors were on the North Island of New Zealand and were in Auckland most of the time. We visited almost all of the places that they featured on the show! It was so cool! I thought I'd post a few photos of our three week trip there four years ago. We hope to make it to the South Island someday.

Auckland, NZ

Me and our friend Kylie at Mount Eden

View from the Sky Tower (it's the TALL, pointy building in the first photo)

Rick took one of the Lord of the Rings tours.

Someone took his photo from inside a doorway of a Hobbit Hole within Hobbiton.

Napier, NZ - Rick at a memorial right by the Tasman Sea.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Potty Training Update

I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that Tyler urinated on the potty this evening. He drank about 7 oz. of milk with dinner and I knew he'd have to go potty shortly after that. He sat there for about 5 minutes or so, which I was pretty impressed with, and when he got up there was pee-pee! We praised him like crazy. I showed him that we take the pee-pee, dump it into the toilet, and so on.

The bad news is that I remembered something: Tyler has rather loose stools. He has what is called a short gut which is a result of having part of his large intestine removed. He had a horrible condition called Necrotizing Entrocolitis (NEC) when he was a newborn. Anyway, a lasting effect of NEC can be loose stools. How do I train him to go to the potty with so many loose stools? I brought this to Rick's attention and he said that he doesn't think that a lot of Tyler's stools are loose. I hope that Rick is right.

I'm sorry if I'm not being too graphic in the posting.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Big Boy Underpants

I bought Tyler several pair of big boy underpants today. I tried a pair on him and he looked so darn cute! I decided to do the "cold turkey" method of potty training with him. We'll probably need to stay home for a couple days straight. He'll wear the underpants and I'll probably be cleaning up a lot of urine and bowel movements. Good thing we have a steam cleaner for the carpet. I've been introducing the idea of the potty chair and he's sat on it a few times. He totally knows what it is for but he doesn't want to use it.

I bought a boy baby doll that takes a bottle and urinates. I tried to show Ty that the baby can use the potty instead of going in it's diapers. The problem is that the baby doll urinates within about a second of taking the bottle so it doesn't make a lot of sense. Tyler figured out it was the exact water coming out of the baby doll that was going in. There is no delay, like the way it works with people. I have a pretty good feeling about this whole thing. I'm just going to make sure we do it over a weekend so Rick can help me clean up and encourage Tyler. I do not like being homebound, though, so that part will be rough. Wish me luck because we're going to dive in this weekend or next.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tyler: Tricycle and Filling Some Big Shoes

This is Tyler learning how to ride a tricycle with his Physical Therapist, Jennifer.

Two days ago Tyler discovered the fun of wearing Daddy's shoes. I remember walking around in my Mom's shoes when I was 3 or 4!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

To Market, To Market

I am no longer worried about the stock market. In fact, I now have the opposite feeling toward it. Almost everything is on clearance, and since that is one of my favorite words, Rick and I have decided to peruse the clearance rack to see if we're interested in any bargains! 30%, 40%, 50%, 60% off...hmmmmm.....

But are all sales final? What if I have my receipt?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicken Little, The Sky is Falling

Now, I am really worried. The Dow fell below 9,000 points today. That is bad. Really bad. I don't dare log-on to look at our brokerage account, our retirement accounts, and Tyler's college fund.

I knew that the economy was bad. Yet I was trying to heed the consolation that I used to give my clients when I was a Registered Representative, "If you're in the market as a long term investor try not to let dips in the market dissuade you. Over time, the market will correct itself and it is likely (not guaranteed) that the value of your account will recoup itself and even go up." I drank that Cool-aid. Those were the days when the market would go down a bit here and there. The occasional 200 point dip still wasn't that bad. Remember, there was a lot of optimism in that Cool-aid. Heck, the market even recovered (kind of) from 9/11.

My heart wants to sell everything and go solely into money market. This is the true test of Cool-aid. Will I believe what I used to tell my clients? We have not seen times like these. These times are unique.

Or do I do the opposite and invest more into the market?! That's really what I should do but I simply don't have the nerve. I'm not a big risk taker! I truly think that everything will be okay with our economy but it will take several years.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Little Old Lady

I know that I'll sound like a little old lady saying this but back in the day groceries were not so expensive. Lately, prices have been crazy, nuts, big! I went to Harris Teeter today and was taken aback! I don't usually shop there.

When we moved here almost 2 years ago, I was surprised at the price of groceries in Charlotte. Grocery prices in Phoenix are noticeably cheaper. But I had faith in myself with my method of shopping by buying things on sale with coupons that get doubled and buying meat mark-downs (usually on meats that were already on sale. Well, I still had a much lower grocery bill in Phoenix but what are you going to do? The house I have here would have cost almost twice as much in Phoenix so perhaps things even out.

To my Phoenix friends, I miss Sprouts the most!

Now I have plenty of room for my groceries but they are too expensive to buy. Just kidding. I do realize that groceries and almost everything else is quite reasonable compared to other countries. :-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Baby? Maybe. Maybe Not.

As you know, I have been focused on having another baby. I think about it each and every day. I pray quite a bit and try not to obsess about it because stress does not help the process of getting pregnant! The two miscarriages over the past 9 months have added to the complicity of the situation. However, I can honestly say that I feel blessed in the sense that those miscarriages could have been A LOT worse than what they were.

I have been feeling like the clock is ticking because I'm 36. Today I was looking at my day planner. For several years I have kept careful track of my cycle. I would especially note when I would most likely ovulate. I'm not doing that this month or over the next few months at minimum. I need a break. Poor Rick would probably like a break, too.

The way I figure it, Tyler needs me to focus more on him anyway. I shall focus on what I have as opposed to what I don't have. Whatever happens, I will focus on the positives and not the negatives regarding the size of my family. Besides, I grew up as an only child and look how kick-butt I am! (just kidding)

I feel rather relieved.