Wednesday, January 28, 2009

TAX prep organization

I promise to take some pictures of the boy and post soon, but in the meantime I'm doing our taxes. I want to tell you a couple things not everyone is aware of. If you do the long form you get a sales tax deduction. The standard was $1505 last year, only $1200 this year. I don't know about you guys but with our huge sales tax we definitely paid over $1200 in tax over the course of the year---and if you save all your receipts (like we do!) you can deduct the EXACT amount you actually paid...something that works out to be fair, who knew? I love it! ALSO if you spend over a certain percentage of your adjusted gross income in medical costs you can deduct those too. I don't know the % this year but Turbo Tax popped up a dollar amount for us and we actually qualified again this year. SO to make it easy for next year I got a notebook to keep track. I'm writing each appointment and how much we pay out of pocket. Right now I am scouring through our records to figure out exactly what we paid in '08. What you need to keep track of is: monthly insurance premiums, co-pays, $ to doctor, dentist, eye doctor, physical therapist, lab fees, prescriptions, contact lens solutions (not the lenses or glasses though), hearing aids and associated supplies, did you travel to a doctor---mileage, parking fee, ferry fee and tolls; did you need to get a hotel? You can claim $50 per night-----we spent $200 at the hotel by Swedish last summer--that included the hospital's surgery discount, but still the $50 helps. Also any hospital, clinic, rehab facility costs.
SOOOO keep a good record of this stuff as it happens so next January you aren't scrambling and next APril you don't throw up your hands and say forget it-------you are giving away money you don't have to spend!!!
Hope you guys get lots of money refunded!!

Monday, January 26, 2009


We had so many leftovers I feel like we made nothing on our list last week---we seriously ate the taste of home spanish rice casserole for like 3 days. And over the weekend we went to Red Lobster for Valentine's Day to avoid the February crowd--a spur of the moment decision, but we both wanted $25 meals so we decided to make it count for the holiday. So this week I think I'll plan less due to the abundance of leftovers--maybe I need to cut my recipes in half.

Monday: sloppy joes and we'll have salad later in the evening before our ice cream
Tuesday: jambalaya
Wednesday: OB appointment--leftovers
Thursday: Red Bean and Quinoa Chili
Friday: baked ziti -- I use Robin Miller's recipe from Quick Fix Meals cookbook, I think this link is the same basic recipe but I use ground sausage.
Saturday and Sunday: leftovers

So Kyle went to the grocery store to grab sour cream last week-- I fogot I needed it --- and came home with 4 Ben and Jerry's so now I am forced to eat ice cream every single night until it's gone! geez!
2 weeks ago I found green bell peppers on sale for $0.69 cents each so I bought a bunch and diced them and froze them in individual ziploc bags so they are ready to be thrown in recipes like the chili---yippeee!! So for this week the only thing I need to buy is ricotta for my ziti and I'll use my last package of penne (instead of ziti because I can't find it in whole wheat).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Reese's Busy Day

Reese began his day by seriously harassing Yodi. The poor cat thinks under the bed is a safe haven, but no more!

He couldn't find his sticks but needed to get in a little drum time, so he used them like bongos.
Got in a little more practice drumming on the front of the washing machine. He also really loves to take out the lint trap and shake the lint all around then put it back, and take it out, and put it back.....
We ran some errands after dinner and when we got home Daddy shared his rice krispy treat!He got a haircut Thursday, but when I suggested we wet his bed head before heading out Daddy thought some gel would do the trick, so it's a bit unkempt. We'll go with wetting next time.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Currently Pre-eclampsia Free

I had my first appointment at UW Hypertension Clinic. In preparation I had to do a 12 hour urine collection---yippee!!! This is when you pee in the "hat" --- that kiddie toilet that fits over the seat --- then you pour it in a big jug that you have to refrigerate, you know, next to your food! FUN! Anyway my OB's office said my proteins were high....not to critical level but closing in. But today we discovered that they calculated my 12 hour collection as 24 hour resulting in elevated numbers. So, I have more protein than I should but WAY below critical. And my BP is still within acceptable range so no blood pressure meds for me (yet) YIPPEE!!
I had my cardiac output measured---they use an ultrasound with a wand that has like a roller ball on the end on your neck arteries. It measures how much blood is pumped thorugh each minute (cardiac output) and the amount of constriction of vessels (peripheral resistance). If either is higher than normal that causes high blood pressure. The high blood pressure causes cells from the liver, kidneys and placenta to "spill" into urine, hence the term "spilling protein" when you do the pee in a cup at every OB appointment. So my peripheral resistance is higher than it should be but my body is compensating by pumping the blood a little faster, which is what it's supposed to do to maintain normal function. For now that's okay. So I go back at 22 weeks for an ultrasound to verify no fetal growth restriction, which high BP causes (but the BP drugs can cause this too, so they want to wait until I really need them). So I'm all set for the next 7 weeks provided I have no high BPs or an increase in proteins. I go to my regular OB the 28th, but I have been checking my BP at home regularly in case anything changes in between appointments.

What's crazy is that I'm a week and a half past the halfway point of my pregnancy with Reese, weird! If this baby comes the same as Reese it would be April 24 instead of July 10. That's crazy soon!!!

While I was at UW, Reese got another hair cut with Daddy. Apparently he was much more "active" in the chair than the last 3 times.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Reese's Monday Shenanigans

Reese took his nap in his big boy room---only 1 hour---and woke up to immediately start drumming.
He likes to sit on the picnic table bench while he plays these days since the stool is still too high.
Later he investigated Daddy's carpentry activities through the vent in his floor. Eventually Daddy will finish his home improvement job and this will be closed up so Reese can't look through his floor into the basement.
But for now he finds it endlessly amusing to run and look every time he hears a drill sound or a nail being hammered. Notice the drum sticks to the left? He abandoned a performance to investigate a new sound emanating from the floor.
For the time being we're using my "Freshly Squeezed" quilt to cover the vent, but Reese flings it off so he can see.

menu plan monday

This is what we're eating this week. You can get more ideas here. If you aren't doing this you really should. Planning for the week make sit much easier than coming up with a new idea everyday especially when your hubby starts asking what are we doing about eating the NANOSECOND he awakens! The best part about this week is the only thing I needed to buy is sour cream for Monday's meal and the ravioli. We still have to grocery shop for fruit, bread, milk and salad fixings.
Monday: spanish rice turkey casserole except I'm using chicken
Tuesday: Lobster and Gruyere ravioli (Costco did not have butternut squash, but they had this so hopefully it's just as yummy) with the Cibo alfredo sauce
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: Jambalaya--I use Zatarain's reduced sodium and I add the extra plain rice to stretch it and make it a bit less spicy with Jennie-O turkey kielbasa and shrimp
Saturday: Chicken (either Stubb's or BBQ), Parmesan Wacky Wheels pasta, Broccoli
Sunday: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I forgot to mention Holly Ridge where Reese gets his speech and occupational therapy is launching the annual fundraiser which provides the funds to replace worn out/broken toys and manipulatives used for therapy. We are selling Taco Time coupon books for $1. They include 4 $1 off coupons and one coupon for a free taco. Taco Time donates all the proceeds directly to Holly Ridge. So it's a great deal you'll only put out one dollar but end up saving 3 dollars and the cost of a taco. SO if anyone is willing to buy one (or some) just post a comment and we'll be able to pick up how many we want on Tuesday.

cute boy

Reese sat at the table like a BIG BOY in the costco food court and ate his hot dog with a fork all by himself. In this photo he is busily making eyes at the lady sitting at the next table.
Later his retched parents made him take a nap in the shopping cart at WalMart. His wonderful Mommy did at least have a blanket for him to lay on.
Later he played horsey with Daddy, but absolutely refused to look up at the camera.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

a day full of grandparents

We started off the day at Mimi's (my mom) house while Daddy borrowed Poppop's truck to go to the dump. Reese worked on playing "gentle" with he gave kisses.
He was a little nervous but Mimi helped him practice giving Maddie hugs.
Then we had dinner with Great-Gamma and Great-Grandpa (Kyle's grandparents) -- Reese was a bit uncooperative about sitting nicely for photos.

He danced to Candy Gram (kyle's mom) singing Delta Dawn on Karaoke.

He snapped a photo of Gamma and Grandpa taking a photo of him.

And he helped Granddad (Kyle's dad) sing his karaoke pick.

Reese LOVES the microphone. Once he got it he really didn't want to give it up!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Almost Two

Wow I can't believe Reese is 23 months old today! On the one hand it seems impossible he's almost 2 years old, but on the other it seems like he's always been here.
He's practicing his big boy skills...mommy is even brave enough to give the boy his oatmeal in a Longaberger bowl.
We dropped the Nitro off last night to get the oil changed and something in the passenger seat fixed. So Mimi took us back to pick it up today and then we hit Joann's:

Reese seemed to want the boas,

but then he really wanted them off

and Michaels for some craft shopping.
cool pirate sword
and "whoa what is this on my head?" He wasn't really into the hats and they have so many cute ones! He had a fabulous time shopping, especially when he he got to get out of the cart at Target.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mr. Independent

Reese really wants to do everything by himself now. He wants his own, metal fork---no plastic baby fork will do, and he must hold it himself or he doesn't want to eat. He likes to drink out of our drink container (glass, coffee mug whatever). He used to let us help hold it so it didn't spill everywhere, but now he demands to hold it solo. He is constantly pushing my hand away if I am touching anything he's playing with or holding him on my lap at the computer (he'd rather slide down than have me holding on) or if I'm keeping a hand at the ready to catch him from falling off the bed or couch.
Here I caught him playing with a car at his picnic table because I realized he was playing in his room and I couldn't hear anything--uh oh! But he was not up to no good, he was very nicely playing independently. I got my turbo tax almost completely filled out while he played!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Menul Plan Monday

If you haven't been doing menu plan monday this is the week to start. Laura at OrgJunkie is the host of this helpful tool and she has a great giveaway this week. All you have to do is post your menu plan to be eligible. We ended up eating at Kyle's parents tonight and we had so much leftovers we never got to spaghetti last week either. I forgot to mention last week's menu required NO SHOPPING. Everything was from what was already in the freezer and pantry. This week I needed whipping cream and that was it. WOO HOO! Of course we still shopped for milk, bread, bananas, apples, coffee creamer and salad fixings. I really try to avoid the need to freeze my bread because the counter isn't big enough fo rthe toaster so it's stored out of my reasonable reach. So really we always have to make extra trips for milk, bread and fresh produce. Anyway, on to this week!
Monday: 15 bean soup and veggie burgers
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: Chicken Tetrazini (recipe to come tomorrow) and brussel sprouts
Thursday: BBQ chicken, sweet potato fries and green beans
Friday: burritos
Saturday: out to eat with Kyle's grandparents
Sunday: leftovers -- or eating with the grandparents (if they are still here)

weekend fun

This weekend we hung out with my friend Laura and her girls, Briar and Delaney (Reese's future bride). They had loads of fun at Red Robin then we hit the mall play place. Reese really liked squishing down in the boat. He headbutted Delaney and hit nearly every kid that came near him. He also gave hugs to a number of strangers. Hopefully these 2 phases will pass quickly.

Also this weekend Kyle's grandparents were finally able to make it up for Christmas after being snowed out over the holiday followed up by flooding. Reese still didn't get the unwrapping concept but he liked playing with his new toys and great-grandpa. He was a wild man! He had a pretty good time chasing the kitty, Lily too. But of course I failed to bring out my camera until the last minute---I have pregnant brain rot!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

the ferries

gotta hit the sack so I'm not going to search for a photo, but I want to spread the word that this ferry situation is getting kind of crazy. Apparently we are in serious danger of losing 1 of the 2 boats for the Bremerton run. You can read about it here. The Gig Harbor rep is requesting emails with your legitimate ideas to come up with a plan "c" as plan A is 5 billion more than our 22 year allotment of money and plan B cuts out a ton of ferry service, including night runs---how will we get home from Safeco Field?
So ponder the situation and send in your ideas. I read through the comments at the end of the article and really people are hopping mad and getting a little heated and ridiculous.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Great Deals

Since I had a smidge of energy today Reese and I did some errands. Albertson's had chicken breast, pork chops and some kind of roasts for $1.88 per pound. We headed over to get some and found out the trucks couldn't make it over the pass since it's been closed due to snow, flooding, avalanche etc etc. SO, we got no meat for cheap. But Reese did discover he LOVES to shop out of the cart since he can touch EVERYTHING. Here he is making his selection.

He is in awe of his magnificent find. 3 for $1--we only bought the 2 that he threw around the store since last week he spit all the oranges out and I'm not a super fan, but I felt an obligation to buy the fruit he abused.
At home he's carrying his oranges around instead of helping put them away. Note he is also hanging onto his drum sticks.
See these cool little plastic tote baskets I found in the $1 bin at Target!!! They are made in China, probably by a 2 year old chinese girl given to the factory so her parents could try for a boy and filled to the brim with disgusting carcinogenic chemicals, but I love them and regret not buying MORE!
He really loved these oranges. They are beat to death. Thrown and dropped and rolled on the grocery store floor. Thrown and dropped on our floor. Thrown into the heater vent many times due to the cool noise it made. Bashed together like cymbals about a million times. I'm sure they'll be lovely when we peel them! He finally relinquished them to go to bed, but not a second before.oh yeah my last great deal of the day is to get Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan for FREE! $9.99 in the store right now.

Feeling Winter Blahs?

Sick of winter already? Missing the pre-snow up to your knees days? How about some organic Washington fresh fruit to cheer you up?

The Kitsap Food Co-op has been doing lots of fundraising to try to get up and running---meaning we can go to one local place to buy local organic food---For January, Rob Story is continuing the fruit fundraisers for the Kitsap Food Co-op -- order boxes of organic fruit for canning and winter eating, and the co-op receives a share of the profits!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Back to the grind----ugh. This week we were so discombobulated that we didn't stick to the plan well. With Kyle not taking leftovers to work there was SO MUCH leftover.

Monday: ham casserole
Tuesday: butternut squash ravioli with alfredo -- Little Tykes Day
Wednesday: eat out -- OB appointment
Thursday: Penne and Smoked Sausage casserole
Friday: teriyaki chicken, brown rice, broccoli
Saturday: spaghetti
Sunday: 15 bean soup with ham hock

Need some new ideas for your dinner? Check out what everyone else is making: MPM at OrgJunkie


About 3pm the snow started AGAIN! Reese and I went out in his regular fleece jacket and sneakers when it was first starting to stick. He was perturbed by the build up of snow flakes on his sleeve, but intrigued by the foot prints he was making.
About 8pm we went out again and this time he didn't want to go back in! But he wanted to stand safely on the step while I picked up snowballs for him to throw. The plow guy has been running about every 5-7 minutes for the last half hour, so hopefully they'll be able to stay on top of it this time. Last snow fall our street was fine but I noticed they didn't start plowing until the 2nd or 3rd day and they just couldn't stay ahead of it.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a snow day for Kyle.