Thursday, March 18, 2010


I love Birthdays and the Countdown to our "Family Birthday Week" has officially begun. The party started today, with me renewing my Drivers License. That is right, your Drivers License expires on your birthday. But who wants to go renew it on their birthday? So I went early (by a day or so) and to my surprise, those people at the Draper DLD know what they are doing. I thought I was smart, I printed out the application at home, completed it and took it with me. Save time I thought, after all, I have heard plenty of horror stories of people waiting at the DLD for 8 HOURS......luckily for me I was born in March and I knew what I needed to bring with me (birth certificate, proof of a social security number and 2 forms of address verification i.e bills).

I pulled into the parking lot at 8:30, once inside the Office, J quickly ran away from me, he was only a few feet away playing with the automatic door button, I wasn't too worried, though there were a few strangers that tried to help him not pinch his fingers in the door....(one of them even felt the need to talk to me about it, to which I responded, "I have watched him, his fingers are no where near the door hinge, he just likes to open the door and watch it shut....) But anyway. It was at this point that I realized the actual application is about twice as long as the one I was able to print of the DLD site, so I had to fill it out again, and yes, the entire time I was also watching J.

So that took about 5 min, then I went and got my picture taken (no line) and the kind picture lady asked me if I had brought the appropriate documents with me. I proudly announced that I had. At this point I heard the woman in the picture booth next to me yell (yes, yell) "What do you mean I need a birth certificate, I don't have a birth certificate and I don't have the time or Money to get one...." I had a moment of gratitude for my Mother! Thanks Mom for my Birth Certificate which you had the foresight to acquire over 30 years ago. I also was grateful that I read the letter that the DLD sent to me regarding the changes implemented in January of this year and the need to bring such things as your birth certificate. Anyway, back to the story.

So after a minute in the photo booth I was given a number and went to take a seat, or should I say, chased J towards the seats. As I was scoping out the many empty seats and wondering where exactly I should sit I heard a man say, "Miss, I can help you over here" I looked over and there was a man waiting for me, with my number flashing right above his head! Miracle. I presented my application and all of my documents and J ran away towards the large bank of computers where people take the written drivers test. I retrieved him and returned. After a few more questions I was given my new temporary paper license.

"Will I have to come back in 5 years to renew my license?" I asked.

"Oh No, This is the only time, you will be able to renew online next time" my new friend answered.

"Can I change my weight when I renew on line or would I have to come back in for that?"

"You can change it online" he said.

"Good, because I am pregnant now and I am hoping to weigh less in 5 years" I said

He chuckled and said "Well you know, you don't really have to be accurate when it comes to the weight you list."

At which point I countered "Yes, but I didn't want to get laughed at by putting my goal weight of 145 down when I am clearly no where near that"

By this time the two ladies working on either side of him were also laughing and smiling. I figure they see plenty of people a day who put down a "not so accurate" weight.

I got into my car at 8:50- 20 minutes total including walking/chasing J time. Pretty good Birthday present the state just gave me, AND I now have 5 years to make it to my goal weight.

Little J has started his countdown as well. Last year I let him practice attacking a cake, which he really wasn't too good at. This year I thought I would give him another chance, it was especially easy to do as our Home Teachers brought us some birthday cupcakes earlier in the week. So after we got home from the DLD, J got to practice. Here it what he looked like during, I love the fact that he was dancing and eating.
And here is the after shot, does he look mad? I think he wanted another cupcake.
It is Ken's birthday soon too, but he doesn't do much preparing. He just likes to remind me for a few days that I am 1 year older than him. Silly Ken.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

All Boy, All the Time

Here is a picture of a rare moment. J sitting down, contemplating life. Well I assume he was contemplating life, I guess he could have been planning his next escape. He made plenty of escapes attempts and even had a few successful escapes yesterday. He also had way to much fun playing outside, so much fun that he kept asking for more. I loved to see that sign used for something other than food. (He also has started using it for the Educational Videos we have been watching, which makes me smile. Funny He never asks for more news programs....)
With the warm weather we have had lately (warm being near 60!) we have spent much more time outside, and I have discovered some amazing things about my boy. I knew he liked to climb. He will climb anything in the house. But at the park? I thought he would be a little more, um, scared, I am not sure that is the word. But anyway. We have a park directly behind our house. I have kept this a secret from J, he has always been taken to the park "The Long Way" but yesterday I did some yard work in our back yard and he did some discovering while I was out there. It actually took him a while to notice the open gate, but once he peeked out and saw the park I saw the light go on in his head. He looked at me, looked at the park, looked at me and then tried to make a run for it. Luckily we had some friends there with their kids and Ken asked one of them if she could watch J while we pruned the roses. (I pruned, i.e. cut back 90% of the plant while Ken hauled away pile after pile of thorny trash). And our Boy loved every minute of it.

Now we are having a hard time keeping him inside. I think this is going to be a good thing. The Vitamin D is going to be nice, and so is the interaction with other kids his age. Though I don't feel like I interact well with the parents, because I am constantly chasing down a 2 year old and, or, coaxing him away from the edge of the top of the play structure. He really is all boy, all the time, and I love him.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wants VS. Needs

Sometimes it is really hard to tell wants and needs apart. For example, I WANT homemade pizza for dinner, which means I should make some dough, But I NEED to take a nap....or is it the other way round, I WANT to take a nap, but I NEED to make dinner. See how hard it is. It is amazing that I even get up in the morning. Well no it is not amazing, but I do get up, and through the day I manage to get some things done, sadly I don't always do the things I NEED to do each day, but that is another story. Today's story is about the new baby and the $500 we have set aside to prepare for the new baby.

If the creation and use of Excel spreadsheets was a game- the likes of "World of Warcraft" or "Diablo II" Ken would be a Wizard- or what ever really high level you can achieve in those games. Our family has a spreadsheet for everything. The Family Budget- complete with what checking or savings account budgeted items will be paid for out of. The Personal Finance spreadsheet- which tracks EVERY CENT that we spend and categorizes it! The Lehi Expenses spreadsheet- that tracks how much we spend each month on things like Power, Gas, Telephone, it comes in very handy when we review our budget. Today I took a look at a new spreadsheet titled "Bonus Wants & Needs 2010" and the very first category was "New Baby".

Ken is a very good listener and I was pleased to see that 7 out of the 9 things I have been thinking that we NEED for the new baby were already on his list. I guess he has heard me talk about these items enough that he felt confident in writing them down. I added my last two needs and then I added some other things that he hasn't found yet, after all, in the game of Excel, I have achieved the level of Princess. Ken had a column of needs and a column for Price, I split the Price column in two and made one Used and the other New, then I added a Paid column. Then I started to enter the information that I have been collecting over the past month or two.

So this is what it basically looks like

Baby needs ($500 cap) Price Paid
Used New
Toddler Bed $60
Gate for Loft
Swing/Bouncy Chair $60 $107
Mattress ---- $40
Sheets (4) ---- $25
Mattress Cover ---- $10
Super Yard Gate $60
Double Stroller $130
Baby Sling

I did a quick SUM and discovered that even with two items not having a price listed I was already over $400. It is becoming very clear that if each one of these things is really a NEED then some of them will need to be second hand items. There are some things I don't want to buy used- i.e. my baby deserves a new mattress and sheets, I can give that to my baby. But other things are very much worth trying to find "Gently" used. Like the Swing, I WANT the Fisher Price Smart Stages 3 in 1 Swing, it is a Swing, a Bouncy Chair and a Toddler Rocker, so both kids can get some use from it. I might even go look at one tomorrow that I found on, I say might because the seller hasn't gotten back to me to say when they are available to show the swing, I am hoping to talk them down to $50, but $60 is a pretty good price.

Anyway, back to Wants VS. Needs. I feel like I NEED most of these things.
1-Little J will need a bed, because he will have to relinquish the crib to the new baby. In order to get everything to fit into the baby room (the only other bedroom on the same floor as the master) we will need to get a small Toddler bed which means we need....
2. A new crib size mattress.
3.We will also need a mattress pad/cover and new sheets to go with the new mattress- especially if we have a baby that likes pink, because half of our current sheets are blue.
Those are all definite NEEDS. But wait, there's more.
4.We need a gate for the loft, because that way, I can let J play up there on his own without wondering if he is going to jump out and see if he can land on his feet 10 feet down. I have delightful daydreams about J playing up there for an hour or two at a time, I am pretty sure they are semi-delusional daydreams, but even a half hour a day would help me out. And then there is....
5. The baby sling. You know those things that let you wear your baby. I have a feeling that J will be a very loving and helpful brother, thus this baby may be in constant danger and will need protection, I think that a very easy way to protect my second born would be to wear it. I know and trust many women who "Wear" their babies and I have been watching them. I don't really like the look of 10 yards of fabric draped around a mother or father, I like the simple sling, one loop over one shoulder and around the torso, with the baby right there in front. (Sadly, I saw on the news today that apparently some children have suffocated while in these types of devices, being a really good news source, I can't remember which local morning news program it was, while reporting the story they showed a picture of just about every type of baby carrying/wearing device they could find. So if in the next 5 months it comes out that baby slings are bad, then maybe this won't be on the list anymore) I do have a "Snugli"baby carrier that I used with J and I am sure we will continue to use with our next baby, but I really wasn't able to do much with a baby right there in front of me with it arms and legs dangling out.

So those things really feel like needs to me, but what about the swing, or the double stroller or the Super Yard gate.
1. The Gate, basically a large freestanding pen, will go around my treadmill. Then I can exercise while children are near. Right now if I want to use the treadmill I have to wait until nap time or for Ken to get home, because J is all about trying new things and new dangerous things are his favorite. I could wake up early or continue to wait until nap time etc. So do we really need this. (It could also go around the Christmas Tree.)
2. The Swing. I am not sure it is a need because we didn't have one with J. I wished we had one sometimes but we were able to get by without one. So it really feels like a want.
3. The Double Stroller. I found one I like, we even took it for a test drive. It is called the Baby Trend Sit N Stand "Havenwood" which retails for $129. As of yet I have not been able to find a used one for sale. But do I need a double stroller? I could wear the baby and J could sit in our current stroller, or I could put J's monkey harness on him, strap him to the front of our current stroller and let him pull the baby. I could also go for a cheaper stroller, but I really like this one. And that is why it must be categorized as a want.

In the end Ken has told me several times that this is money I can spend however I want. WANT or NEED it doesn't really matter. But I want to be wise. I don't want to waste money on something when the money really could have been put to better use.

So if you made it this far you deserve to give your opinion. Is there something that you had, or wished you could have had, that helped you out with your second child, (or first, or third, etc...) What do you think of my 3 wants? Or my 5 needs? If you could spend my money for me how would you do it? I really want to know.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Yummy Flourless Cookies

Ken has a coworker who can't eat gluten. She made these cookies and brought them in to work and Ken liked them so much that he asked for the recipe. I love them, and now, if I make Peanut Butter Cookies, I usually make these, because they are super easy to make and taste delicious.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg

(I usually double or triple the recipe)

Preheat Oven to 350

Cream together peanut butter and sugar in a bowl. (Works well when mixed by hand or with hand held mixer, stand mixers don't work very well on small batches.) Beat in baking powder and add egg. Mix until well combined

The dough will be sticky, be prepared to get your hands messy. Roll some dough into a ball. (The smaller the ball/cookie the better it holds together, larger cookies are also gooier in the middle.) Roll ball in white sugar and place on baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes. Cookies are done when they feel coherent, but still a little soft. Take the tray out of the oven and let the cookies rest for at least 5 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. After 10 minutes they will have hardened and be glistening with sugar.
Eat them!