Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It ain't cheap if it is for a good cause

Rant of the Week
Y'all already know that I am quite the penny pincher and dare I say cheap. I clip my coupons and buy generic, and do so with pride. But as of right now, I have decided that I am no longer going to be a cheap sake. Don't get me wrong, I am not going to change my thrifty ways. Instead, I am just going to better market all of my frugal ways. I have decided that nobody thinks your cheap if you are doing so for a good cause.

As of today, I no longer keep the thermostat at the house at 79 to lower the power bill, I do it to reduce our carbon footprint. I go to the salon every six months not because I can't stand the exorbitant prices but because I grew out my hair to donate to cancer patients. I buy used cars so that we can reduce, reuse, and recycle, not to save our bank account. We rarely go out to eat so that our family eats healthier meals. I shop at Sam's Club so that we can buy in bulk to reduce packaging. I push the limit on how often I change Jaley's diaper so that we reduce how much goes to the landfill. I don't go to the car wash so that we conserve water. And the list goes on and on.

They say that our grandparents have a much smaller impact on the planet than we do. I don't think it is because they love the planet more, they just grew up in during the Great Depression. They learned the hard way how to conserve their dollars and ended up conserving a few other things too.

So I am no longer cheap (though I will always be frugal). I am just conserving a little bit of everything and if my wallet is a little fatter at the end of the month all the better. As for the coupons and the generics, I can't quite think of what cause that is helping, but I'll going to keep at it nonetheless.

Life in the Stroller Lane
Around the home front, things are pretty much status quo - which in suburbia means life is pretty good. Scott is home for the next couple of weeks. The temperature is a good bit cooler (mid-90's). And it has been quite a while since we had any major crises.

Jaley is into
and climbing just about everything. A regular kiddie gate won't work on our stairs and Jaley has already outsmarted our homemade blocker. Sarah was almost 2 before she figured it out. So now I can't even contain her to one floor. When she isn't giving me a heart attack with her feats of agility, she is lots of fun. She tries (often succeeding) to do everything that Sarah does. That includes delivering a top-notch temper tantrum when we say no.

As Sarah heads toward four she is heading toward being a kid. She tells me at least five times a day, "she isn't a baby anymore", and it's true. She runs off to play alone with her friends leaving me wondering what they are up to. She rides her bike so fast I can barely keep up. She sits in the backseat of the car and critiques my directions and my driving. "Mommy you aren't supposed to go fast through the yellow light." And as much as I hate to see her grow up, I love the person she is becoming. Plus, I still have my little baby Jaley.

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Did I move to Phoenix?

Rant of the Week
Did I move to Phoenix? It hasn't rained in about a month and yesterday the thermometer on my car said it was 107 outside. This is the land where 92 is considered hot and 100 isn't in the vocabulary. This August has been one for the record books. We have been sweltering and trying to avoid the outdoors during the heat of the day (which is currently from 6AM to 8PM). Of course, I complain about the heat as I sit in my air conditioned home. I really shouldn't be complaining at all, except that it's hot and everyone bitches when it's hot.

Life in the Stroller Lane
When I last left off we were off to the Myrtle Beach for Scott's family reunion. It was hot there too. With a heat index on the beach of 117, it made Raleigh's 107 seem cool . But the sun was
shining and the girls were up early, so we hit the pools, the beach, and the sand before the crowds or the heat. We built great sand castles and had a blast playing in the resort pools.



As promised I made use of the pool side bar and Scott played some golf. I definitely got the better end of that deal, because the guys almost melted on the back 9. It was great to see all of the family and finally meet Chip and Cindy's adorable twins. I can't wait until they're are just a little older, our kids, theirs, and the soon-to-debut Baby Teems will have great fun together at reunions to come.


After the beach, we were off again. Scott took
the girls to the mountains to meet up again with Jan and Mike. Thinking that they were would escape the heat, they stayed the week at a friends' cabin in the Boone area. But the mercury is high everywhere and the cabin didn't have AC, so summer was felt. Nonetheless, they had fun hiking and swimming at the pool. Mimi and Poppa treated Sarah to a special day at Tweetsie Railroad. It is an amusement park that's pretty much for kids 10 and under. Sarah had a blast and wore out her grandparents as she begged to ride every ride (twice).

I headed down to Florida to spend some time with my dad. He had minor surgery, which thankfully went well. And since the girls weren't in tow, we had a little quiet father-daughter time. Plus as a bonus, my mom drove over to Orlando for a quick visit too. So after the Beeman reunion, I got to have my own mini reunion too.

We all got home this weekend, but Scott flew to California at 6AM on Monday morning. He has been gone so much, I may have to give him directions home. The girls and I are hanging low and getting back into the regular routine (do we have one?) after all the fun adventures. Sarah has announced it is so hot here that we need to go swimming. I should take this as a teaching moment and explain the between needs and wants, but I tend to agree. So we are off to the pool to cool off.

That's the life in the stroller lane. Stay cool. Lots of love.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

One-year-olds Don't Need Birthday Parties

Rant of the Week
Jaley turned one last week. And I decided that to honor this momentous occasion we were not going to have a party. Sarah didn't have a party until she was three and even then I thought it might be too early. In my opinion kids need birthday parties, but one-year-olds only need need to eat a little cake and make a big mess.

So the decision was made - no party. Even if we don't have a party I need a few cupcakes. But, we aren't having a party. I need some of the cupcakes to take to the photographers for her one year pictures (check them out at: http://port77.com/laurencelynnphotography.com/gigi1/). But, we aren't having a party. And I need some of them to take to daycare so she can share with her classmates. But, we aren't having a party. And if Jaley is having cupcakes at school, Sarah needs cupcakes at school too. But, we aren't having a party. And we were due to reciprocate in hosting our neighbors for a cookout, so we need some cupcakes for that night too. But, we aren't having a party. And then we needed some cupcakes for her actual birthday. But, we aren't having a party. Four dozen cupcakes later, we didn't have one party for Jaley - we had three. And in the end it will be four, because Jaley is still getting one more party when we are at the beach for Scott's family reunion so that Mimi and Poppa can celebrate too.

After a straight week of cupcakes, I am still on a sugar high and smiling from ear to ear. That plus the joy that Jaley is one. Her birthday is quite a milestone, it marks the transition from baby to toddler. And this mommy, is honestly not a baby person. Don't get me wrong, I loved my girls when they were infants. But something about the wobbly head always made me a little nervous. As Jaley moves into toddlerhood, it is a beautiful thing for me. She loves to give hugs and kisses. She waves hello and good-bye. She sleeps through the night. She plays with all her toys and squeals in delight. She doesn't need my boobs for nourishment. She chases the cats and yanks their tails. She pulls all the Tupperware out of the cabinets and revels in the mess she makes. She is fun to be around.

But as a seasoned mom, I know what the toddler years hold in store -tantrums and fights, stubbornness and tears. But any day, I will trade you any day a newborn with colic for a toddler having a tantrum. So hats off to Jaley for turning one. Scott and I are so happy that she is a big , beautiful girl now.

Life in the Stroller Lane
Jaley's birthday wasn't the only birthday of the week. Grandpa Perry (my dad) turned 70 on Saturday. It is definitely a milestone worth celebrating. But after 70 years, he is willing to let the exact day for visiting slide a bit. So, I am headed down in two weeks to see him in person.

Plus, life in real estate continues in full gear. In just one week, two families moved out, we did all the clean up and repairs, I sold one house, and I rented another. And though it has been a really busy couple of weeks, things should slow down drastically for me. I guess I will be back to bothering Scott about my next career pretty soon, but first the beach.

On Wednesday, we are headed south to Myrtle Beach to meet up with a posse of Scott's family for some much needed R&R. All of Scott's mom's side will be there. And since we aren't the only ones having kids these days, the family is getting bigger and bigger. I am fully planning to take advantage of the pool side bar at the hotel and having built in baby sitters (named Mimi and Poppa) nearby. Scott plans involve beer and hitting the links.

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.