Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 1.0

Many of you know about Andrew's friends/playgroup and my "mom friends", who we met at the New Mom's Group right after Andrew was born. We have been getting together weekly for almost 4 years now...hard to believe! Sometimes we even see each other several times in one week...when things are rough and we just can't be home by ourselves :) We also have an annual Halloween party. What's better than a bunch of kids running around hyped up on sugar, while their parents are enjoying pizza and beer?!?! When Carter's mom brought out the festive orange kool-aid, something these kids definitely don't see everyday, he said to his buddies, "C'mon guys. Let's get all sugared up!" That had to be one of the funniest things I've heard lately! This year we did the party in the late afternoon/evening, since the kids have school during the day. It worked out well, because the dad's were able to join us too. In 4 years, this is the first picture we have of everyone, including the dads and newest babies! Here's a pic of just the kids too...note the look of "Would you quit that cryin' Jacob!"on Andrew's face...

Anna holding little brother Shay, Ben & Carter, Max holding little sis Evelyn, Andrew & Jacob


Andrew slept in underwear for the first time and stayed dry!!! When he woke up this morning, he used the bathroom and was SO proud of himself! The funny thing, is that he really had no choice about the underwear because when I was getting him ready for bed last night, I realized we were out of Pull-Ups! I tried to make it exciting for him and asked who else he knows who wears underwear to sleep. He said with a big smile, "Lauren and Emma-Claire" and that was all it took!!!

Happy Halloween to all! I'll try to have pictures up as soon as possible...hopefully over the weekend!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Turns out...I've been robbed!!!

As you know from reading my blog, I have become quite conscious of our family spending and for that matter, our family savings. I am proud to say that we have not only been writing down all of our spending, which has indeed led to less spending, but we also evaluated our monthly expenses (bills, etc). In doing so, I realized that we do not have too much wiggle room. We already cut off our home phone, which is now saving us $20/month :) I have to give a shout out to my cousin Lisa, who after reading my blog, decided to do the same - WAHOO! So, other than my gym membership (aka: my sanity!) and satellite TV our expenses are not ours to change. With that in mind, I decided to get to work and see what I could do to lower our monthly satellite bill. I researched the competition and called our current provider. I told them that I was quite happy with my service and had no complaints; however I could sign up with their competitor and reduce my monthly bill from $70 to only $30. Much to my surprise, the customer service rep did not hesitate at all. Within seconds, he was taking charges off my monthly bill, such as a service charge and protection plan charge. In less than 5 minutes, he had lowered my monthly payment to $50. Even with these reduced charges, he explained to me that I would still receive the SAME service and SAME protection plan. At first, I was excited about my new savings. But then it hit me…WHAT?!?! You’ve been charging me these fees EVERY month for 2 years and all it took was a simple phone call and a threat of discontinuing my service, for you to reduce my charges! Are you kidding!?!?! What kind of robbery is this? I thanked the customer service rep and told him I would call back once I decided whether to take this offer or switch to the other company. So, now I ponder…do I stay with this company which has ROBBED me and will continue to charge me more per month than the competition, or switch to their competitor, who will most likely end up robbing me too…but in the meantime, I’ll be paying $15 less every month?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Southern Charm

After 7 hours in the car (yes, traffic was BAD!) and seeing way too many McCain/Palin signs along the way, we made it to Greensboro, NC to visit the Johnson family. The fun story behind the Johnson family, is that Derek and I introduced Erin and Steve to each other back in the day, when we all lived in G'boro. Erin and I had met in the neighborhood and D worked with Steve. Fast forward to today and our lives are incredibly parallel...we were married within about a year of each other, had our first children within 3 weeks of each other (Emma-Claire is 3 weeks older than Andrew), both moved into our houses at the same time, and then finally, we both had our second children within 5 weeks of each other (Jacob is 5 weeks older than Nolan). This was our first visit with all 4 kids...and it was a BLAST! Within minutes of meeting, Andrew and Emma-Claire were getting along great! Mind you, it was 10pm when we arrived and they had to wake EC, who had fallen asleep on the couch waiting for "that boy" to arrive. Erin and I often commiserate with each other about our "spirited" almost 4 year olds. The stories we share are are so similar. Together, they were like an old married couple! I mean, they were actually negotiating with each other after arguing! It was honestly SO CUTE!!! Despite plans to head to a pumpkin patch and maize maze on Saturday, we ended up staying home and just hanging out. Andrew and EC played their hearts out all day. Andrew loved driving EC's Barbie Jeep, which worked out well, because she only likes to ride in it, not drive it (see...perfect couple!). At night, we made S'mores...the kids played with glow sticks and ran around the backyard (including playing in a tent!), while the adults did what we do best...chatted and drank beer :) The whole weekend was so much fun and I just wish we lived closer to the Johnson's, so we could spend more time together. Hopefully they'll visit us in the spring...and even if it takes them 7 hours to get here, at least they won't have to stare at McCain/Palin signs along the way...that is, of course, because Obama will have won the election by then! :)

Click here to see pics!

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