Thursday, November 19, 2009

Week 28

Well it's the final lap of this nine month race, which means it's week 28 for me (7 months) and final trimester!! woo hoo .. and I am starting to really feel the effects of the pregnancy. I had a Dr. appointment last week and found out that my blood sugar levels were a little wacky, so now I have to go back to the Dr. this weekend and get a 3 hour glucose screening test. I In other words I have to get blood taken out of me 4 times that day... I feel like fainting thinking about it!.. uhhg. I HATE needles.

Anyway- baby seems to be doing fine. I have been reading all of the baby books and most of them say that at this point the baby begins to dream. How they know that, I have no clue. They saay that brain wave activity measured in a developing fetus shows different sleep cycles in this stage, including the rapid eye movement phase, the stage when dreaming occurs. And what would a baby who has never seen the outside world dream of anyway?? lol. But in any case, it's kind of cute to think of the little one dreaming away.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Black Friday?

I am starting my black friday list today and came across a really helpful website:

You can search through the adds and make your list right on their website! They have most of the stores opening hours.

I will admit, I have not been a huge black Friday person. I went one year in high school and vowed to never go again, but then again, I didn't make a list and was just going through the stores aimlessly looking for deals. Make a list. Map out your route this year!I think I will attempt it this year.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Saving Time

Wow. Thanksgivng is almost here! This is crazy. Christmas is soon coming and then New Years. Unusual as it seems, I am more ahead of the game than usual. Not only have I started my Christmas shopping, BUT I am already thinking long and hard about a good new year’s resolution. Usually I am not one of those resolutionee types, but this year I am. Well, I roughly know what will go on the list already but to “keep it real”, I need to put it all onto paper and make a PLAN!.

As you may or may not know, I’ve been on a managing money spree.… I know, this sounds pretty cliché for my age group. Especially considering that I have grown up in a world where a simple swipe of a card can provide you with a new life. It obviously all started when Justin and I married and the realization of combined debt smacked us in the back of the heads. On top of the school debt that we accrued, 90% of our wedding sits right in our visa and we get to review it every month… how sweet… forget wedding pictures- we get to see every little detail of it monthly!
Anyway- It didn’t take long before I realized that our lifestyle was to quickly change if we were to make any headway, .and since then I’ve been blabbing on to Justin about investments and the options available AND MOSTLY Since there is a little MacQuarrie on his way I thought that there is no better time to get serious than now! We have taken a financial peace class through our church and we are on our way!! I’ve learned to push away my impulse to impulsuvley buy, and surprisingly, have found it rewarding! Actually, I have collected some really great ways to save money- at least for me.

One funny story- Justin and I have been in dire need of a bedset. Dire need. We are using the full sized set/mattress that I bought in college. I had purchased it at Goodwill… so, let’s just say that it’s life has came to an end. In any case- with our vow to never use another credit card this was the first thing that really tested that vow. For months we walked through furniture stores dreaming of the bed set we wanted all while passing little attractive signs that would say “pay as little as $20 a month with our store card”… oh did we drool..But we were strong. We held it together. We put back money weekly, and in the end we bought a nice set with cash…Dave Ramsey would have teared up had he saw us in action. Now when they asked “would you like a mattress/boxspring with that?” we had to count our pennies and say “maybe next week.” But we have a nice cherry wood bedroom set sitting in it’s room… no mattress or boxspring.. But maybe next week will be another story. Justin’s mom thought that we were funny to purchase a set and get the mattress and boxspring later- but you have to set your financial goals and stick to em! And we did. It felt good too.

But I will tell you, saving money seems to have gone out of fashion in the world we live in. Maybe we’re all too caught up in the material world (cue Madonna) these days, and it’s ever so easy with just a swipe of the card to build that fantasy life that we so aspire for. Maybe it’s peer pressure - everyone else is having fun, everyone is driving a cool snazzy car…why shouldn’t I too. When Justin and I walked into a furniture store and appliance stores and handed them cold hard cash you would think that we were speaking gibberish. The salesmen kind of give you the confused dog look when their heads tilt to the side. It’s amusing!

What do you do when the world around you is about consuming? Even the government wants us to constantly consume “It’s good for the economy”…as evidenced by the stimulants offered in Budget 2008.

For Justin and I, we knew that our lifestyle, although not as elaborate as most, still defiantly needed some financial tweeking.

So here’s how we started our savings:
• Use a clothes line—at least in the summer! I know, it’s just too embarrassingly simple- but throughout the year we averaged a good 10-20 bucks a month.
• Coupon- couponing was one of those annoying things that I hated! But coupons are literally money in hand. Who throws away money in hand? Well I did until recently! Not now… no sir.
• Buy generic- We’ve recently started buying everything generic and have generated an average savings of $60 a month
• Eat your leftovers! Seriously, I hated leftovers growing up- but when we actually took them for lunch the next day or had a leftovers night instead of providing a whole new meal, we generated a savings of $30-50 bucks a month.
• Two star bucks a month (if that!). Yep-one starbucks outing every two weeks. If you were a weekly starbucks person like I was, this may be a task- but you can do it!
• And Most importantly- SET A BUDGET… if it’s not in the budget, it’s not an expense. Simple as that.

I have realized that we are saving hundreds a month doing these simple little things! Seriously. And where do we put that saving?? We but it into our debts! Our plan is be debt free… Maybe not this year- but very soon!

At first I thought that setting all of the guidelines would do nothing more than imprison us. Instead, it’s done the opposite.

So taking stock of the world we live in, here briefly are some reasons why I think that cultivating the savings habit and committing to it is a very good thing if you’re still coming up with your 2010 list:

1) It makes you self-reliant in your older years - no hand-outs needed from parents, friends, family. No burden to society.

2) You are in control of your life and you will probably feel less stressed, guilty etc. etc.

3) You learn to appreciate the small and simple things in life…taking a walk, hanging out with friends, playing with the cat (substitute with a baby come February)

4) It’s good for the soul!! This is especially true if instead of consuming, we learn to create. So next time, you get the urge to consume (buy things, watch TV, buy yet another CD), maybe you should think…what can I draw, build, write (like keeping a blog for example!)…

5) If you are faced with a major expenditure if your car needs new tires, or you get pregnant and have to pay 1500 dollars to have the baby—you can handle it!

6) You can give some to charity and make the world a better place. Tis the season to give!

7) Very importantly….the younger you start saving, the more you save!!! Remember the 8th wonder of the world as touted by Einstein? The power of compound interest means that over a longer period of time, what money you tuck away in your piggy today will be worth more. So it doesn’t matter if it’s just 100 or 600 or even 50 bucks a month. Just start!!!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Week 27

Well This week marks the beginning of the third trimester for me, which for those who don't know what that means, I am starting month 7! Ahhh.. Very crazy! Avery Grant is now a perfectly formed albeit very tiny human being. This is when all of the fun belly growing really goes into high gear. I am a little scared about that. I keep looking in the mirror thinking "how the heck am I going to fix this when it's all said and done!" I can't imagine being much bigger- but according to the docs thats exactly what I should start preparing for.

Today I get to start going to the fun "pre-term labor classes" that my doctor requires me to go to. I am NOT excited about that. I skipped one class and have already got my slap on the wrist from the doc, so I am going to suck it up. I never really understood the need for classes. To me, this baby is coming out of me no matter what the heck I do. Now if the classes were about practicle things- like feeding, changing, cleaning, burping and taking care of newborns- sure! But this is strickly labor classes.

Also, another change is this week begins the 'every two week appointments'. So i get to venture to the doc every two weeks until the little one is here. So that's exciting!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pet Carrier

Funny story that I have to share. Justin just called, he usually calls around 3:30 pm while he is on his way to work. Well, he called and was telling me his experience dropping Autumn off at the vet.

A couple of years ago I had gave away my nice pet carrier and since I haven't really had to tote her around that much I never went out of my way to buy a new one. A about 6 months ago I was at Big Lots and found this cute pink barbie carrier. I thought "well, I may need it one day!" so i bought it for a couple dollars. We did use it to tote Autumn when we moved from one house to the other. But one thing i did not take into account was Justin dropping Autumn off at the vet.. Here is how our conversation today went:

Justin: Well, Autumn is dropped off. They have the Barbie carrier too.

Amber: You took her in in the Barbie purse?! I thought that you would take her out of it!

Justin: Yeah Man! I just took her in it and gave them the whole thing. I know I looked gay..

Amber: (laughing) Did you put it on your arm?

Justin: Yeah. I was trying to hide the barbie logo.. But the ladies saw it. They were trying not to laugh.

If you could just picture it like I do- you would be laughing too... poor Justin.


Poor little Autumn

This is my 17lb. cat Autumn whom likes to sit by the door and wait for me to come home from work. She's like a dog in the way that she gets so excited to see me come home from work.. She jumps on my lap and purrs and meows until I stop in my tracks to greet her. It's something that I look forward to everyday.... But today is different. Today when I walk into the house, her little food will be untouched and she will not be there. Today is a sad day for me. My little Autumn is sitting in the vet's office right now as we speak getting her little finger claws chopped off.

From the time I got her, I had told myself that she needed to get declawed, but somehow I had always talked myself out of it. I thought that I could train her to not scratch... nope... I tried alternative methods like Soft Paws which seemed to work for several months until she finally figured out how to leave her mark with them on. I tried to pretend that she was not ruining our furniture... but she was.

After going through several good pieces of furniture, laundry baskets, and carpet pieces Justin finally put is manly foot down when we made the move to the new house and forced me to make the dreaded appointment. Of course, I understand and would be equally as upset as him if she would ruin something in the new house... but I still pleaded and begged to no avail when we caught her scratching up our new couch. 'Sigh'.

Now that she is 4 1/2 years old, the healing process is going to be that much harder on her... poor little thing. I hope that she doesn't hate me! When I got her fixed she seriously walked around ignoring me for a week solid.... ahh.. the guilt is killing me!


Friday, November 06, 2009

26 weeks pregnant!

It's Friday and I have a confession! I almost forgot to make the week 26 post! I was running late this morning/ getting ready and then it hit me. Whoops. So I took a super quick pic.

Well this week I may just have to brake out the sparkling apple juice—baby Avery has now completed two-thirds of his stay in Hotel Womb. I am 26 weeks and 2 days along. At the end of this week I will be ending this 2nd trimester and begining a final stage of pregnancy! It's so crazy. I know that I keep saying it, but it just blows my mind how fast 9 months go by. I still feel as though I just found out!

Anyway this week I have noticed a ton of activity from the little guy..I feel like I am carrying the Karate Kid since he's become a pro at all the kicks and jabs. Also, this week, his eyes, which until now were developing under fused eyelids, start to open and close.

Tons of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming weeks!


Tuesday, November 03, 2009


I don't know where I got it, but it's here. This nagging bug that gives me the worst cough I have had. It's not accompanied by any other symptom- no headache, no fever, just a cough. But when you get to this point in the pregnancy there is this weird breathing issue that you deal with. At least for me, as the baby grows the more space for him the less space for me and he pushes on my lungs.. So between the two- sickness and breathing issues I have been miserable!! I kind of figure that I got from Justin. He can't stay away from me when he's sick. He's like a little puppy that follows you around. He was sick with a cough last week and it's a good possibility that he is the culprit. Either way- I am holding out and hoping that this is the worst.

On another note- I had a Dr. appointment yesterday. I am realizing the one thing that I dread the most at these appointments are the scale. I nearly fell off the scale in disbelief at the number that I saw. Yes, I'm pregnant- but if someone has been pregnant and they say that they never looked in the mirror at some point and said "what the heck have I done to myself" then they are lieing! Outright liars! For me, it's not that I feel like I am HUGE yet, but I think that all of the changes that you go through in such a short period of time can become overwhelming! Seriously! But I guess that's just all a part of the game.


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