31 October 2008

Baby's First Halloween

And I'm sure he'll remember it. We reversed trick-or-treated this year. We visited family and brought them treats (these to be specific). Although, he did get a new Elmo doll and a book at one stop. Now there's a treat I can support. Maybe next year I'll dress him as Mr. Mullet. That's an interesting costume that no one would understand.

28 October 2008

Credit When Credit's Due

I've never been a "I-lost-my-keys-and-then-prayed-and-then-poof!-there-they-were" type of girl. I believe that Heavenly Father can and does intervene at times...for you, not necessarily for me. Not that I'm bitter; I'm not. Instead, I believe that Heavenly Father gave me a brain and that I am expected to use it. And I do. It's that simple. However, in the past 24 hours I've had an experience I cannot chalk up to my genius alone.

Here's the long, long story reduced to only semi-long: In yesterday's mail Chuck and I find that our mortgage holder has found that our escrow account is running a deficit. (And this coming the day that I'm already feeling incredibly financially tapped; it was not a good day.) In order to fix this, we must either pay $2,000 immediately or spread that $2,000 over the next year, by an increase in our mortgage of nearly $200 per month. This increase would not be an easy thing for us, in fact it would be nearly devastating. After the tears evaporated (or were licked, I forget which), I spent a lot of time on the phone with those I deem on par with HR workers: idiots, in other words. In addition to the stress of the mortgage escrow account problems I find that I have not received a property tax credit that I was due months ago. But the good news: I might be on a list somewhere to receive said credit. Oh the joy.

When Chuck, Rhett, and I say our family prayers that night, we pray that things will work out. I silently plead for the blessings of tithe paying to come upon us as, well, we're faithful tithe payers.

Here's where the story gets good (and ends): In all of my research and hours and hours of being on the phone today, I am able to put together all of the pieces of this sordid tale. I find that not only is my escrow account not in shortage, but the mortgage company prepaid my taxes through the end of the year (hence the shortage). And that tax credit? Being mailed to me. Today. From owing $2,000 to receiving nearly $600--that's a $2,600 swing people.

The moral for me: Yes, Heavenly Father can and does intercede, even for me. I still have to work for it, however. That doesn't mean that I'm any less grateful however. But don't you worry; I haven't gone all crazy religious on you. I don't expect steaks on my doorstep, well, not yet anyway. (See the fourth story.)

24 October 2008

Well That's One Way to Handle It

So remember when we were having that problem with the dog doing his bid-ness in our yard? Yeah, so apparently one way to handle that is for the dog to get heartworm disease, the owners do nothing, and then the dog dies. Huh. Who knew?

But we did find another option, you know, in case the whole heartworm thing doesn't pan out next time. On a walk one day, someone had written in chalk on their sidewalk these words: "Please keep your dogs off of our yard or pick up after them. Thanks!" I love it. If we ever have this problem again, that will be my chosen solution. And if we ever have this problem again AND we live in Utah, well, we'll use Linda's solution.

21 October 2008

I Can't Not Post this Picture

This little boy turns seven months old today. The time is finally starting to go by quickly, as compared the sloooooooooow days of the newly-born. He's getting better at crawling, although he still uses the skill only sparingly. He loves all of his vegetables, but hates apple juice. He's still sleeping like a champ. And he can go from being prone to sitting up on his own. It's all very exciting.
(And yes, I look forward to the time when I can just count his age in years. Not a fan of this "six-and-three-fourths-month" thing.)

20 October 2008

Made for Monday

I'm going to start posting my re-creations on Mondays. Here's the latest: a funny hat for a baby, or a pug.

18 October 2008

An Interesting Discussion

Last night Chuck's brother and sister-in-law came over to play Settlers of Catan with us. As I can't get into the game as much as Chuck can, I have to have conversation. This was one topic:

Who do you think knows your spouse better: you or your mother-in-law?

In our house, Chuck and I both feel that I know him better than his mom. (It's unclear whether she would agree.) But Chuck's SIL thinks that the boys' mom knows her husband better. I can't imagine this. I know that we've only been married for just less than four years, and I admit that I do not know everything that has happened to Chuck. But I feel like I know the man that he is better than his mom does. I also feel that Chuck knows me better than my own mother. He agrees.

How is it in your house?

15 October 2008

Latest Projects

Click on the picture to see it better. The first two came about when we realized just how cold our house is getting. And if I need blankets at night, I'm pretty sure a onesie isn't keeping that little boy warm. And the baby legs, well, they just looked like fun. (Made from a tutorial found here.)

11 October 2008

We Did Stuff!

Soon after Chuck and I got married, I realized that I wanted to be a couple that did stuff. I didn't want to come home from work and just watch TV, well, at least not every day. So we didn't. We joined a local running club. We went on overnight trips. We went on day trips. We got a dog and explored with him. I feel like we got pretty good at doing "stuff." And then we had a baby. Sigh.

I knew that this would be one of those hard-things-about-parenthood for me. I loved (and still love) my freedom. I even loved my freedom with Chuck. But we don't enjoy that same freedom with Rhett. It's just not that easy to go to the Baltimore Craft Show with a six-month-old. So for the past six months I've been too afraid to try things. And this was going to have to change as doing nothing was certainly the easy thing, but it was not the make-erin-happy thing.

So we decided that this weekend we'd do something that we'd done in the B.E. (Before Everett) days: go camping. We didn't do it the same way we used to, but we did it. We had pigs in a blanket (modeled after these), tin-foil potatoes, and Smores, (the latter two only because a couple from our ward ended up joining us; they also spoiled us with breakfast from Great Harvest) instead of the B.E. gourmet camp dinners. We hiked for 45 minutes instead of the B.E. hikes of eight hours.

But I knew that wasn't the point. The point was to build my confidence in being able to get out and do things...with Rhett in tow. Maybe next time we'll try a campsite that's farther than 30 minutes north of our house.

07 October 2008

Helpful Household Tip # 4

How many of us could eat an entire bag of Oreos at one sitting? Me, me! How many of us would probably feel sick (and even guilty) about eating that entire bag of Oreos at one sitting? Me, me! And probably everyone else, unless you're Michael Phelps. But how many of us would do it again a couple of months later? Me, me!

Chuck and I learned very early in our marriage that if we wanted to make the bags of Oreos, Goldfish, Cheez-its (or whatever snacky yumminess) last longer than one day, we needed to portion them. As each bag is labeled with a serving size, we take the treats and bag them into little Ziploc snack-sized baggies as soon as we get home from the grocery store. These bags are then put into the pantry, ready for lunches or a quick afternoon snack.

So if we want Oreos, we just grab a little bag of three. If we want pretzels, we just grab a little bag of 30 grams. If we want six snickerdoodles, well, we grab two little bags. (But we know that if the snickerdoodles were not bagged, we'd easily pack away a dozen. Easily. And remember, one erin-sized cookie is approximately two normal-sized cookies, so it's all good.)

This helped us realize exactly how much snacks we were consuming, but also helped make them last. It's amazing how satisfied we can be with 52 Goldfish crackers.

05 October 2008

Why Didn't I Think of this Earlier?

Can anyone explain to me why I've been carrying this bag to church and work?

After remembering, "Hey, you like to sew stuff," and "Hey, you like to sew bags," Chuck challenged me to make a bag for myself, maybe even one like I made for last year's
fall swap. So that's just what I did.

04 October 2008

A One-Year-Old's Birthday Present

As Rhett is not yet one year old, I have no idea what one-year-olds like. So I took a guess: blocks. Trying to stick with more natural toys (although who are we kidding, everything Rhett has is plastic), I found some wooden blocks at Michael's and decoupaged pages from a Babar book onto it. Then whipped up a soft carrying case for the set. Voila! Happy birthday baby!

P.S. The book was purchased at the Unique Thrift Store. I am in LOVE with buying kids' books at that place. I bought 17 books for $10.03. Love me some Unique Thrift Store.

02 October 2008

Shameless Plea for Help

A few months ago I was called to be the co-chair of the Activities Committee in my ward. Surprising even myself, I don't hate it. As it's not a calling from which I can slack, I don't. And as it's not a calling where I have to be at church every single Sunday, well, let's just say the pressure is off.

I was called in June. Luckily, the August activity and October's activity are yearly events. No extreme creativity is involved with recycled events, although they still require planning and work. Since we all know by now that I am re-creative rather than creative, I need help. While I believe in traditions, I also would like to try new things for 2009. So, anyone been to any ward activities that they enjoyed? Please share!

And to show you that I've been working on it, I've come up with a couple of my own ideas (read: I've searched the internet to find these ideas). Tell me which would be cool, just eh, or lame. Ward Olympics (maybe better in Winter 2010?), Book of Mormon night (I know, I know, probably not something I'd go to, but not everyone's like me...thank goodness), Yak and Snack, Game show night (Family Feud, Name that Tune, Survivor, Price is Right...), No Talent Show, Luau, Ward 5K. Okay, your turn.

And since I couldn't think of a picture relating to the ward activities calling, you get this. What is this, you ask? It's a hat I found online that is supposed to help babies sleep. And boy does it work! The past two Sundays we've been able to get Rhett to nap during Sacrament meeting, something that hasn't happened since he was really wee. And if we could have stopped laughing (and if the family in front of us could have stopped laughing) maybe he would have even slept though Sunday School!