Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Isle O' Palms

Walking with Mimi and Terry

This weekend we decided to take an impromptu trip down to Charleston with Brian's mom, Debra, his sister, Katelin, and Debra's fiance, Terry. We drove down Friday night to spend the night and the whole day Saturday. The last time we took Andrew to the beach in Charleston, he was six months old. We thought it was high time for him to check it out again, now that he's mobile, and can communicate, play, etc.

Dinner at Shem Creek

Collecting shells and mud...

Saturday morning we went to Isle of Palms to play on the beach for a bit, before the 104 degree heat was supposed to descend upon us. Andrew wasn't too keen on the ocean (which, in truthfulness, is more than a bit frightening for a small child!) But he really enjoyed digging for shells and playing in the small tidal pools. After an hour, he decided he was done. Thank goodness, I was done too!!

The highlight of the day was the boat ride we took across the harbor over to Mt Pleasant. Within five minutes of leaving the dock, we saw no less (and probably far more) than 30 dolphins! We even saw one dolphin with a calf! Andrew just loved it, they came right up to the boat, you could even hear them blowing. The rest of the trip Andrew would point at the water and scream "WHALE!" and then point out a Mommy, a Daddy, and a Baby 'whale' to us. Watching pelicans dive into the ocean was of utmost entertainment also!

Shark!!! No, just dolphin!

Riding with Mommy on the boat

So thanks, Mimi, Terry, and Kate, for a nice, quick little vacation!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Calling All Advice

Ok, all you moms, young and old, I need some advice! We need to get Andrew off the 'paci.' He only gets it in the bed, and no other time. He's two and a half years old, and we think it's time to give it up for good. He falls asleep without his paci when he's in the car, so we know he can do it.

Brian and I think that we should just go cold-turkey, and cut it out completely. But, should we take it away at nap time, and give it to him at night? I think it'll only confuse him if he can't have it at nap but he can have it at night, which is why I think cold-turkey is the way to go.

On the other hand, I've heard family and friends tell me of how they cut the nipple part of the paci, so that it was "broken" and the child couldn't use it, and therefore the child made the decision to give it up. Does this really work?

Any and all advice would be appreciated!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Budget Is Still Going Strong

We're still truckin' along with our couponing and budgeting! I've had some great grocery shopping trips as of late, getting stocked up on things that are necessities around here. The stockpile is humming along nicely, so nicely, in fact, that this week's grocery bill totaled $27!

We've also found other ways to save cash that was otherwise being 'wasted.' For example, we put up a clothesline in the yard, and now about 1/3 of our laundry is dried outside. Sheets, blankets, t-shirts, and occasional other items are all dried outside. And believe it or not, the sheets dry FASTER when they're outside! Not to mention they smell so good! For every three loads that go in the wash, only one load is dried in the dryer. Another way we've cut cash flow is by utilizing a rain barrel.
I found a large, 50-gallon rain barrel on clearance last year at Wal-Mart. I use the rain water collected to water all my window-boxes, pots, and my vegetable garden. And from a scientific, horticultural standpoint, the rainwater is SO MUCH better than the city water (fancy words, I know). No chlorine, no fluoride, none of those chemicals. It's cut our water bill down big time.
Our biggest way we've saved cash is to get smart about using the air-conditioner. In our large, large house, it doesn't take long to run up a $200 electric bill. We've got 2,000 square feet of 11 foot tall ceilings and UN-INSULATED walls. However, we've just recently installed brand-new ceiling fans in every room. We made a deal to not turn on the A/C until June 1st, and when we did turn it on, we'd be responsible about it. We only run the air from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. And if we're gone most of the day, we won't turn it on. We also close blinds/shades at certain parts of the day, and only run the dryer in late evening. We've found that the 11-foot tall ceilings do help the heat rise off the bottom half of the room, and if we keep the fans running 24/7, it's actually pleasant even without the A/C. But as they say, it's 'not the heat, it's the humidity.' And it's the danged truth!

I'm telling you, people, it's these little things that are helping to free up the cash that's needed to add to our debt snowball. We're 'gazelle intense,' as Dave Ramsey says, and we're not losing sight of that debt-free place we want to be in!

We're Still Here...

It's been a while, hasn't it? We're still here, still alive. Just extremely busy!

For the past three weeks, we've undergone a pretty large-scale renovation of our house. It's been a four-part project, and we're about 90% done with all four projects.

To make a long story short, we're turning our two bedroom house into a three bedroom house. Our house was built in the late 1800's and is made completely out of beadboard. We learned the hard way a few years ago that when you do a renovation in a house like ours, it takes 10 times longer than you plan!

I've been dutifully taking lots of pictures at various stages of the projects, so as soon as we're finished (hopefully by this Saturday!) we'll have a nice step-by-step story for you all to see!

In the meantime, here's a picture of our little man wearing his daddy's shoes!