Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness in Words and Pictures, Part 1

Day 1 - Today I am Thankful for traditions. Our Halloween tradition of going to my Dad's house for dinner and Trick-or-Treating is probably my favorite one of the entire year.
Halloween 2012

Day 2 - I am thankful for access to affordable healthcare. Especially on a day like today when I have already had one medical appointment for myself, Lily has her 9 month well visit, Noelle has a pediatrician visit, and Noelle also has an eye appointment. 
Waiting for her second flu shot...ouch!

Day 3 - Today I am Thankful for my husband. We have our share of ups and downs, but we work through them and try to come out stronger than before.
Justin - Father's Day 2012

Day 4 - I'm Thankful for my amazing son Adam. He is a sweet, loving, and sensitive child. He made me a mom and I couldn't be more happy about that.
Space Derby October 2012

Day 5 - I'm Thankful for Noelle. She is such a caring and helpful big sister. Noelle taught me that no two children are alike and you have to learn to appreciate each for who they are as individuals. She amazes me daily with how smart she is!

Ready for her first Girl Scout meeting

Day 6 -  I'm Thankful for Lillian! My sweet Lily Bug. She really is my sunshine and has completed me as a mom. I love her so much! She is truly the happiest, smiliest child I have EVER met.
October 2012

Day 7 - I am Thankful to live in such a gorgeous state that has graced us with some amazingly warm days this week.
My gorgeous view of the mountains from work!

Day 8 - I am Thankful for my family. They are some of my favorite people in the world and are always so loving, caring, and accepting. Love you all!
HUGE Allen family - September 2012

Day 9 - Today I am Thankful for the amazing preschool teachers Noelle had at LOTH and B&B. At her first Kindi conference last night we learned that she reads at a DRA of 16 which equals an end of 1st grade level and has the math skills of a strong 1st Grader. It is such a blessing to us that she excels in school. With all of the behavior problems we have at home it is very nice to know that she does not struggle in any way at school.

B&B June 2012

Day 10 -  I am Thankful for my IRL friends. I love having you all as part of my life. You make me laugh and smile on a daily basis. Thanks especially to Lorien Klette and Melinda Beckman for scrap booking with me last night!
Some of my favorite people.  This is an oldie, that is baby Noelle in my lap!!

Day 11 -  I am Thankful to all the Veterans! Thank you for keeping us safe and giving us our freedom. A special thanks to my brother Merle Cordova for serving in the Navy!
My brother, Merle Cordova - US Navy.

Day 12 - Today I am thankful to be able to work as a Nanny. Not only do I get to play and teach all day long, I get to do it with Lily. I LOVE my job!
Lily and Miss M reading together.

Day 13 - Today I am Thankful for all my FB friends. I enjoy keeping up with everyone's lives. It's fun to hear what you all are doing, learn about your kids, and to be able to "like" from afar.

Day 14 - Today I am thankful that my kids' school is going traditional next year. Yeah!! If I were a stay at home mom I would love and embrace the track system. But since I work FT and therefor have to pay for 3 weeks of FT care every 9 weeks I am really excited to be done with it. I am also excited for my kids to get a "real" summer vacation.

Summer 2012

Day 15 - I am Thankful to be able to shop online for Christmas gifts. Not only is it hard to get out to stores to buy things without kids in tow, I no longer have the extra time to do it! This year I am excited to use the Box Tops site as a portal to all our favorite stores, that way my children's school earns money while I shop.
Christmas 2011

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Word of warning, this is a rant.  It's a way for me to "just write" and get things off my chest to hopefully move on and feel a little better.

I'm just frustrated.  With life.  With our finances.  Despite the fact that it would seem my entire life story is splashed across your Facebook feed and this blog, I actually hold quite a bit back.  But I've come to the point with this situation where I think writing will help.  The problem is trivial, but is really bothering me.

To be blunt...I am tired of having no money.  We are a two income household, we both work FT during the week and both work extra, when possible, to bring in even more.  I really thought it would get easier when we started our new jobs in August.  But due to never ending medical bills and credit card bills, from trying to make ends meet for so long, we STILL have zero money.  We STILL overdraft onto that credit card at least once a month.  It's so incredibly frustrating!  We both bring in decent salaries from our jobs and therefor make too much to qualify for any help.  Yet just buying groceries for our family is a struggle every week.

One aspect that bothers me is that we can't do anything "extra" for our kids or ourselves.  This will be the second year in a row that we have not been able to go to a Pumpkin Patch or Fall Festival.  The second year with no pumpkins to carve as a family.  The second year with homemade and reused costumes.  Not because we want to, but because we can't afford to buy them costumes.  It's such a little thing, but something we took for granted would happen in the past.  I know it's not a necessity for our children to have these things, BUT...I want it for them sooo badly.

Over the last few weeks a mouse/mice has destroyed three pairs of winter boots and both kids' backpacks.  We don't have the money to buy ourselves, Justin and I, new boots.  Getting Adam boots was already necessary and thank goodness we have another pair to fit Noelle.  Clearly the kids HAVE to have backpacks for school.  A friend gave us an old one of her daughter's that they no longer used and Adam will use one we have around that was Justin's from over ten years ago.  It'll work, but I wish we were able to take them to the store and let them pick backpacks that they want to use.  Again, not a necessity,  but a want on my part.

You might think to yourself, "Well you just went to Texas, how did you afford that?  Why did you go?"  Wow, that trip was stressful.  Let me tell you, it's HARD to go on vacation when you have no money.  Justin and Noelle were both invited to be in the wedding and it was Justin's brother so we wanted to be there.   We didn't feel the trip was an option and cut costs any way we could.   We brought food for the drive so we wouldn't eat out.  We bought food for the hotel.  We turned down outings.  AND, the entire trip went on the credit card.  There was no other way to afford it.  It was very hard.

It's easy for someone to say, "Well, such and such only costs so much.  Just get a new one." or "Why don't you just buy this or that, I'd be easier."  It's hard to say I CAN'T.  Especially when the person is a well meaning family member.  It's not easy to talk of finances.  I naturally want to hind that we struggle and pretend everything is peachy-keen.

I think as a parent it is ingrained in me to want the best for my kids.  It's really hard to face the reality of not being able to do that.  I'm working on the acceptance part, but it's hard and slow going.

There's so much more, but I'm weary and sad.  I try not to think about everything we can't do and embrace what we can.  It's a work in progress.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Busy Little Bug

Lily has been a busy little bug this week. 
She is now crawling and getting into a sitting position on her own. 
But apparently that's not enough for her.
Now she can do this:

She has discovered these:

And the table itself:
Oh, see the tree in the background there...she has found that too.  I was feeding Marisa a bottle and every time I told her "no" she would cry with actual tears going down her face.  She wanted that tree SO bad.  LOL!  Thank goodness it is fake and I can just move it if it becomes a problem.

And look at this...she put herself in the corner and took a nap!  I guess she wore herself out with all the discovering.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Texas - Day 4

Wedding Day!  We spent the first half of the day just hanging out at the hotel and getting ready for the big night. 
The kids relaxing.

I painted my toes for the first time in I don't even KNOW how long.  Then I proceeded to wear cowboy boots to the wedding.  LOL!

I french braided Mary and Noelle's hair and pinned the flower from the dress into it.
Desiree, Mary's mom, painted the girls' finger and toe nails.

It had been raining for several days, but the sun came out just in time for the ceremony and it didn't rain anymore that day.  :)
Grant waiting for his Bride!

Noelle did great walking down the isle dropping rose petals about.  When it came time to stand there and do nothing though she failed miserably.  She was twitchy and kept lifting her dress up in the front.  We tried what we could to get her to stop, but it was worthless since she was on the other side and we couldn't really talk to her.  Only give dirty looks.

Mary and Noelle  
The Bride and Groom

Noelle just adores her Uncle Derrick.  It had only been a few months since he moved to Alaska, but she was so happy to see him!

 Such a tired little bug!  About 8pm I rocked her to sleep and she was out for about 30 minutes before she was ready to dance the night away.

By far the coolest Groom's Cake I have ever seen.

WOW, Adam can dance like you wouldn't believe.  I have video and will have to try and edit it so I can upload it .
This was the best wedding I have ever been to.  Great venue and wonderful friends and family!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Texas - Day 3

It was really nice to wake up Friday morning and not have to pack up and get in the car.  We were able to relax in the rooms until mid afternoon.  Justin, Lily, and I went grocery shopping and to find me a skirt while Adam and Noelle played with their cousins in the morning.   Lily and I even took a nice long nap after lunch!
Breakfast of donuts and applesauce.  Perfect!

We tried to put her on the floor to play anytime we could since most of the trip was spent in the car, stroller, and our arms.
This is how Lily and I's room was set up.  I tried to make it so she couldn't see me when she was going down and waking up.

Mid afternoon we headed out to the wedding venue for the rehearsal.  It was a beautiful place and very peaceful.
Mommy and Lily in front of the Lily Pond.

Lily and I checked out the donkeys and goats.  This goat checked us out and decided we were lacking some dirt.  It proceeded to butt the fence and knocked us down on MY butt.  Lily had a tiny spot on her forehead where the fence hit it, otherwise we were fine.  JERK!

Daddy and Lily
The rehearsal dinner was at Thirsty Planet Brewery.
Aunt Jenna and Lily

The cousins checking out the equipment on the Brewery tour.
Noelle, Adam, Ethan. and Mary
Noelle was super excited to get a Flower Girl cup with her name on it from Lindsay.
We finally made our way back to the hotel about 9:30pm.  Desiree had told us that she was able to get moved to a suite like she had reserved and that they made it sound like there were several available.  We decided to ask about it and were able to get one as well.  We headed upstairs and packed up the two rooms and moved downstairs into a room all together.  YEAH!!  It was 10pm by the time we got settled and put the kids to bed.  What a long day!