Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Car decisions

We've been debating what our next car move is going to be.

In 2001 we bought a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 for me. I'm still driving it. Since then it's had a new head gasket (which was actually broken when we bought it and fixed by the dealer), a brand spanking new engine 3 years ago, as well as all the typical brakes, muffler, exhaust, tires, tie rods (whatever the heck those are), etc. The car has had no A/C for about 4 years. Summers are BRUTAL in that car.

Chris had been driving a 99 wrangler until last spring when he traded it in for a 2008 Liberty which was more suitable for his job and all the driving he was doing.

Turns out he's not driving as much anymore and he is heartbroken without his wrangler. He seriously weeps when we see one. It's so sad.

The plan was for him to get another "new" car and me to take the liberty. Turns out neither of us are crazy about the liberty.

So our options are to:

1. Keep the 11 year old 151K (engine only has 20K on it though) mile cherokee for me but put a good amount of money fixing it up (currently it needs A/C, some body work, a complete interior detail, it's making some crazy rattling sound when I accelerate, and I'm sure the mechanic can come up with a fantastic amount of other things.) I really like the car, it drives very well and the V8 engine is like butter.
Chris would trade in the liberty for a less expensive wrangler.

2. trade in the cherokee for a wrangler and I take the liberty

3. trade in the cherokee for a wrangler and trade in the liberty for something else for me (thinking VW or an 07 audi...need awd or 4wd)

Financially speaking #1 would save us a lot of money in the long run but we are ok with the finances of 2 & 3 since it wouldn't be anything different from what we're doing now.

We both can't decide so what do you think?

Friday, March 25, 2011

My wedding dress

We were visiting with a friend yesterday and she pulled out pictures she took at my wedding almost ten years ago. Maddie was so happy to see them and loved my dress. I said to her, when you get married you can wear a dress like that.". She said, "I want to wear THAT dress.". Today at home I told her I could let her look at the dress and She was so excited! I pulled the preservation box out from under my bed. She was in love!
I told her that maybe when she grew up that she might want to pick out her own dress and she said, "no, I want to wear THAT dress!"

How cute is that??

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Random and visit with Gigi

Out of nowhere one day Jackson tried to put a crayon behind his ear and said "Dat's wike Handy Manny!" He couldn't get it to stay so I helped him get them to balance.
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This kid just loves to make people laugh. He came running into the living room likeone day.
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My friend Michelle got a boxer puppy for her kids for Christmas. We met him in January when we went for a visit and oh was he fresh! So freaking adorable. When we visited the other day he so was so much bigger and headed in the right direction behavior wise. I love this dog! The funniest thing is that my friends oldest daughter named him Jackson!

I had fun taking his picture while we were there.
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I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before but I adore the fact that M&J love animals and aren't afraid. I've always exposed them to animals and I'm glad they haven't learned to be afraid. And if they aren't afraid of a large puppy jumping and biting (playfully) then they won't be afraid of any dog!

Jackson and Jackson playing.
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Poor Jackson (my son) was horrified every time Michelle would reprimand the dog he thought she was talking to him! He would have such a sad face because she yelled "at him".
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Friends since birth! They all play SOOOOO well together. The only issues we need to deal with during our play dates are between my two kids! It is funny though, I feel like Gigi interacts with Jackson more than Madison. Maddie can come off as kind of cold sometimes so I hope Gigi doesn't feel bad about Madison not being more warm toward her.
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That day was super foggy. When we went to leave I had to take some pictures of random things.

This is a tree in front of Michelle's house. When we pulled up to the house in the morning Maddie said, "Those leaves are looking down. That tree is sad."
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Saturday, March 12, 2011


Random post not well written...

This blog post has some amazing information in it.

I'm not overly strict with how we eat. I do not buy into organic products being necessary. But I do like to learn about different food facts and take them into consideration when feeding my family.

At the moment the "no grain" way of eating makes a lot of sense to me and I've tried really hard to incorporate it. It's easy to feed Chris and myself that way but the kids are a different story. They don't eat bread so that makes it a little easier but they live on TJ's cereal bars, TJ's honey nut O's, TJ's whole milk yogurt, TJ's apple/carrot sauce, mozzarella cheese sticks (I think they're low fat but that's the only version of them), milk (1%), grapes, and carnation instant breakfast.

They do eat boxed mac and cheese once a week at most. I would prefer they eat macaroni with melted cheese on it but they can tell the difference a mile away AND I want to avoid pasta with them.

They will not touch a carrot, a pepper, a cucumber, an apple, an orange, watermelon, green beans, eggs (maddie will occasionally), beef, real chicken (except rotisserie chicken), or anything that is mixed together like a chili or casserole and a million other things I would love for them to eat. Jackson is almost repulsed by food. If we sit near him with our plate of food he will make a horrible face and whine "I don't wike that!!!"

I've always been leery of low fat food. What is the fat being replaced with AND good fat isn't even bad for you! So after reading the linked blog post I have another reason to not like it.

I read a few years ago about soy being horribly bad for you so we don't eat it at all! Well, you know, sometimes it sneaks in there, but i'm very strict about us not eating soy.

I also read a few years ago about dairy not being good for us either. "Casein in milk has been described as a primary cause of mucous, congestion and childhood earaches. Without dairy consumption, there might not be a need for those antidotes." Cutting out dairy products is something I think about a lot! I haven't done it yet though. Seems like a pretty big leap.

And while I'm at it I've been more aware of the chemicals we put on our body through soap, shampoo, lotions, etc. The kids and I are now washed from head to toe with baking soda. It's been three months now and my hairdresser is blown away by how healthy my hair looks. I've cut that expense out of our lives, and those chemicals are not seeping into our scalps and into our blood streams. I heard once that we're brain washed to think that in order for something to get clean that you need suds to do it but that's completely untrue.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Maddie's dance costume

This is a bad cell phone pic of maddie's dance costume for their recital in June. They are dancing to "going to the chapel" and Jackson will be wearing a tux and top hat and lead all of the girls in the class onto the stage.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Toy Story on Ice (overload)

I found someone through a friend on facebook that was selling 5 tickets in the THIRD row center ice. I pounced on them. Last year we were relatively far away so I was really excited.
A friend of mine bought the other two tickets for her daughter's birthday.
Madison, Jackson and I took the train from Salem to North Station which is in the same building as the Boston Garden (where the show was) so it was an easy commute. They absolutely love to take the train.
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I had goosebumps walking along the ice to our seats. I was definitely more excited than they were.
This picture was taken from our seats.
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$42 worth of light up toys that by the end they said they didn't want. Luckily they let you exchange things so I let them pick out new things on our way out. Jackson got a Buzz gun that was half the price of the light up toy and Maddie got a Woody pendant that was a quarter the cost of her light up toy!
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I took all of these pictures with my 50mm lens. I was loving how close we were.
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When the characters would sit on the side of the ice while others were performing they would turn around and wave at the kids and even touch the ones in the front row. They were SO excited when Barbie waved at them!
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The show was fantastic and Maddie cried when it was over. I must admit I had a tear in my eye too.
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New windows and lightning and school pictures

It's time for some construction on our old house. My parents bought us windows for the playroom for Christmas so my dad came over a couple weeks ago to take out the old ones and put in the new ones.
Maddie was serenading Grandpa while he worked on the scaffolding outside.
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He got the new window in pretty quick and went home.
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Unfortunately after sleeping on it he couldn't continue putting in new windows without replacing the 211 year old sheathing that was rotting underneath the siding.
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So the sheathing came off, the new window came out, the new sheathing went on and the new window was put back in. This is where we stand today. The second window still needs to be cut out of the green part and put in.
All this time we've had a whole lot of playroom items in our teeny tiny living room. It's not pretty.
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One night a week or so ago we had a mad thunder storm. I took some video out of the window. I was surprised to find some bolts in the frames!
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The kids had school picture day a couple of weeks ago. As much as I hate school pictures I was excited about them getting them. I think it's a neat thing to have from year to year. Plus I think the class picture is so much fun to look at when you're a grown up :-)
Within a week the packages were returned to school. I was shocked at the speed and was very pleased with how they came out. I was really worried they would have goofy faces. Although the class picture wasn't as good of them.
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