Monday, December 26, 2005

Holiday Madness and Christmas Poo!

It's been a whirlwind of Christmas fun...and LOTS of hard work. And now, it's over.

It started with my in-laws coming into town. Guests in the house! I basically threw a rotisserie chicken at them and said "have at it!". Why? Because all of the real cooking lay ahead! First we had a giant fondue feast on Christmas Eve. As easy as fondue sounds, it took a LOT of prep work. We had our in-laws, one neighbor, two cousins (and a partridge in a pear tree) over for dinner. Eight people total. When we were kids, we had hot oil fondue at my grandparents house for special occasions. I always remember that it was great fun. We got a fondue pot last year and my daughter thinks it's great fun, too. My husband ran to Bed Beth and Beyond at the last minute and got us another pot for the party. We had chicken, shrimp, filet, steamed cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms and hushpuppies. Plus loads of different dipping sauces and tempura batter for the veggies and shrimp. I also provided salad and bread which mostly got overlooked.

Everyone had a great time! If it worked out well, I figured that this might be the first year of a new tradition for us. It looks like a winner! I did spend the entire day preparing everything ahead of time so when dinner time rolled around, I could just sit down and relax. Ha, ha, ha. I'm so silly!

Breakfast for Christmas morning was a breakfast casserole (also prepared the previous day), Sara Lee Pecan Coffee Cake, crescent rolls and fresh orange slices. I thought it was great but the reception for it seemed lukewarm. Whatever.

Then my sister came over early. I crammed her full of breakfast and then we hit the kitchen. She brought with her a Honey Baked Ham and a turkey which she set to work prepping and cooking. She also brought homemade dinner rolls. To that we added mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and corn casserole. Oh! And sugar....LOTS and LOTS of sugar! Must....stop....eating....sweets! Ahhhhhhhh!

Santa was very good to everyone this year. My daughter hasn't even begun to waver on the whole Santa thing yet. Yeah! My son showed his Christmas spirit a day late. When I went to change a stinky diaper this morning, something shiny caught my eye. In the diaper. I have no idea what it was, but it was about the size of pea, flat, red and shiny. Some type of wrapping paper, no doubt. That kid was jonesing to jam paper into his mouth, and this morning I saw that at least ONE of my attempts to fish random items out of his mouth had failed. Oh well.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Wake Me When It's Over....

My husband and I saw Syriana last night. That was and hour and 45 minutes of my life I will NEVER get back. It's a two hour movie. We left. This is the first movie I've walked out of in 20 years. (I think Better Off Dead was the last. And I like that one now!). PLEASE take my advice and take a PASS! You'd thank me later.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Trimming the Fat

Here's a little confession: I don't live by any kind of budget. At all. Until now. Yikes! When you really sit down and put things on paper it blows your mind what you've been spending and what things are costing you month to month. My husband and I have our eye on making a sizable investment in the near future so we're trying to see where we stand, money-wise. It means we will have to cut out extras for a lonnnnng time. We're nixing the fax-only phone line. We're trimming back our satellite service (but I REFUSE to give up my DVR!), and my husband actually brought up SELLING HIS BOAT. Wow. If I had been the one to suggest it, I probably would've caught hell, so imagine my surprise when HE brought it up.

Eventually we may be able to do part-time day care for the baby (which is STILL 6 hours a day) and that would save us a bundle. The hardest part will be to grocery shop on a budget. I like going to the store and getting pretty much whatever I want. I just need to be trained. We also contacted our utility companies to find out about paying a monthly average on our bills. Gas and electric will let us do this.

We also refinanced our house for 30 years, which is really like a knife in the gut since we were pacing into a 15 year note before. I really wanted to have the house paid off before the kids head to college. The real kicker is that our damn payment will be about the same as it is now! Why? We wrapped our annual taxes, insurance and a small home-equity line of credit into the new loan. Ultimately, we'll save about $300 bucks a month with the re-fi. Sigh.

It's a bit stressful to comb over all this stuff, but you know what they say: You can't make money without risking money. Is it just me, or do you ever get tired of being all grown up and shit? There are days when I feel like I'm 10 years old again, but have to deal with real adult responsibilities. Right about now that Algebra homework ain't lookin' so bad!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Who needs toilet paper?

When you can use $20 bills instead! That's how I feel about the co-pays I've been paying at the pediatrician lately. When my daughter and I had food poisoning, I took her to the doctor before her actual ailment was apparent. She was in quite a bit of distress so it seemed like the right thing to do. The physician's assistant took one look at her and basically shrugged. "Give her an enema". Well THANK GOD I didn't do that since we both ended up with raging diarrhea whilst vomiting.

So today I took her to the doctor since she has had a hoarse cough for over a week. The cough medicine SPECIFICALLY SAYS "If cough persists more than 7 days, see your doctor, as this can indicate a serious illness". OK. Today is day 8. The doctor looks in her ears, her nose, her throat and listens to her breathing. "Well, everything looks great". WHAT? I mean, I don't WANT there to be anything wrong with her, but I'd like to treat this horrible cough SOMEHOW? So we get some random samples of allergy meds and nasal spray. If that doesn't work, I am to call the doctor back in 8 more days. Ohhhhhkay. "Hey, while we're here can we get her a flu shot since they're available now?" Nope. Not during "urgent care" hours. That'll be ANOTHER $20 to come back ANOTHER time. Geez. What a flippin' racquet! God forbid they could accommodate busy working parents. If I didn't really like my usual doc, I'd break up with them like I dumped my vet.

So that's my rant du jour.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?