Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kennedy Grace Lasch!

My beautiful beautiful niece, Kennedy Grace, arrived early this morning at 8:31 a.m. She weighed 8 lbs, 3 oz. and is 19 1/2 inches long. She is so amazingly gorgeous, I cannot even say it enough!! I had to work until 430 so the whole time, I was just itching to get out of there and head down to the hospital to meet this wonderful little lady! ...take a look...tell me she's not the most beautiful little girl you've ever seen!

I am soooo proud of Christie! This is going to sound sooo cheesy but will be entirely true until I have kids of my favorite thing in this world is being an aunt to such a wonderful nephew and now such a beautiful niece. There is nothing in the world better than seeing your sisters become mommy's and watching these little babies grow up!! (Don't roll your eyes at me Stef)

Beautiful new momma with lil KG! (Oh btw...did I mention that's my nickname for her?! Since her initials are KG and I'm so in love with Kevin Garnett, we decided that Kennedy can be my own mini KG!---totally Christie's idea...and what a good one!)
I love love love this picture!!!
Cole already loves his little cousin! I can just see it now...they'll be bff getting into trouble at all the family events!


Cole and Auntie fun time!

So I had this week off of nannying so I watched Cole for the day on Monday and then on Tuesday night...and we had lots of fun! Call me obsessed but i LOVE taking's some from my time with Cole...enjoy!

ok this picture deserves a story...this was right before naptime on Monday...Cole and I were watching an episode of Blues Clues and he was cuddled up right next to me for the first 10 minutes or so. Then all of a sudden he starts scooting his little body forward and I'm sitting there thinking "what the heck is this kid doing?!" Well, once he goes close enough to the coffee table, he puts his feet up on the table...and then leans back and watches the rest of the episode. it was the cutest thing ever!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Birthday/Pre-Get Well Bonfire!

So on Saturday night, we had a co birthday party for Jeff and pre-get well party for Aunt Sue. It's actually Jeff's birthday today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROTHER!) so we celebrated that. And Aunt Sue is having heart surgery on Friday the 25th so we had a pre-get well party for her since we're not sure when she'll be back in the cities (she's having her surgery in Rochester)! So please keep her in your thoughts next Friday and pray that everything goes well for her! And also pray for a speedy recovery...she's not one to take it easy so hopefully she'll recover faster than doctors expect...otherwise we're going to have a tough time getting her to slow down!! Anyways, here's some fun pics from the night that I took...

here we are, pre-darkness....
ok so i kind of think this picture of the bonfire is cool....but that could just be me

of course, i had to throw in a "pretty typical and ridiculous" picture of stefanie and me...

but then we smiled we usually do...this time it only took a couple picture though :)

just havin some fun....

and stefanie had a little more fun...

And that's all folks! Hope you had a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All-Star Tuesday I'm sitting here watching the All-Star game, I realized I might as well update so I don't go a month without updating's only been, GASP, a week!

What's new in my life? Umm...I house-sat and puppy nephew-sat for Stef and Greg from Thursday to Sunday...that was fun! Jacky and I had a good time snuggling every night! And he had fun waking me at 445 and 630 every morning! Except Sunday...sunday he waited until 830 to wake me up...that was very considerate of him! Apparantly Sunday is a day of rest for dogs too...

Then on Monday, we had Mom's speech. Mom (Belinda to all you folks who are not her children) is going back to school at Northwestern College to get a degree in some counseling/preachy/something I can't remember. That's a horrible description but I honestly can't remember what it's called. All I know is that she wants to help sick people in a Godly way or something. lol...ok stop laughing at the description. Anyways, before she can officially start that degree, she's got to get a few gen ed credits out of the way--so right now, she's taking an independent study speech class...and since it's independent study, she has to find 12 people to listen to each speech (there's 4). This was her last one so we had a bunch of family, and Greg's family, over to Stefs last night to listen to the speech and then have dinner together. That was actually a lot of fun! It's nice every once in awhile to get together with everyone...even though I didn't get to talk to everyone for a long time, it's still nice to see them periodically.

So, after a long few days, I got a surprise today! Christy didn't have to go into work today which means I didn't have to go into work today either! That was nice. Although, it would have been better if I didn't have to go tomorrow for my 11--possibly, 12--hour day! haha Noo...I really don't mind it, I love my job and I actually kinda miss Gracie so it'll be nice to get back tomorrow...and hopefully get Gracie back on her schedule that I'm sure she was off of today. :)

Other than that, not much else is new...OH! I talked to padre about my plan and he said he wants me to stay for a year. Or that he thought I would stay for a year. So my plan is basically to have a goal of moving out in October, just saving up plenty but know that I have the option to stay. It's basically going to come down to how much I make at my next job. If I make enough, I think I'll still stick to my plan of October...if not, I may stay awhile longer and really save everything. So cross your fingers that I can find a family who will pay me enough that I can move out! Not that I don't love living with dad but at almost 23, I'm itching to get out on my own and have my own place!

So that's that...hopefully I'll see you again soon! ;) Peace!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

In....West Philadelphia born and raised...

*edit*loooooong bypass if you like!

Soo...lack of updates has basically been lack of motivation. And really just not a necessity since there's pretty much only one person that reads this...anywho, I shall oblige her a new post since I bother her when she doesn't update in two days... =D

Nanny job still going good. Check.
Annoyed that I'm working retail again. Check.
Loving padre's place (minus the centipedes). Check.
Still have the most adorable nephew on the face of the earth. Check.

Let's see, let's see...what else is new. Umm I have to start paying student loans soon. That will be fun. If I don't consolidate, I'll be paying $363/month which is RI.DIC.ULOUS. Therefore, I am consolidating...not sure how I want to do it yet...I have a few different option. We'll see where they take me. But I'm really not too concerned about extending the length of paying them off since I can always make extra payments to get them paid off earlier.

I also suppose I should get my medical/dental insurance started up here. Again, lack of motivation. I know, I know..."WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO YOU?!" Well, I'm pretty positive that what I did to my foot earlier this year WAS a break so I don't think anything much worse than that can happen...unless of course, I get cancer. Cross your fingers! (Ok stef...that wasn't funny.)

One exciting thing going on is that I'm actually. making. money. GASP! Right, I've had the job for just over a month but I obviously didn't get paid right away since you always have to wait the week or two for payment to get started. Plus my first paycheck was just for one week. So let me tell you how nice it is to get paid for TWO weeks of work! Without getting into specifics, let's just say that I've never had a paycheck be as much as my last one was. It's wonderful being able to actually put money into my savings account and leave it there and to have more than a couple hundred dollars in my checking account! Luckily staying at padre's gives me the opportunity to SAVE SAVE SAVE so I am fully taking advantage of that.

Also...I have a new plan. And padre doesn't know about it yet but I'm pretty sure he'll be cool with it since he said I could stay as long as I wanted...and since he told me that he'd like me to stay so I can save. I don't know what's going on with moving in with Gina right now but regardless of what happens with that, my hope is to be able to stay with padre until my current job is over (October 24th is my last day I believe). Ideally, I'd like to take that last week of October off and then start with a new family (or job) on November 3rd (a monday). Even more ideally, I would like to have enough saved by then and be making enough at my new job that I would be able to be in my own apartment by then. It would work out perfectly if I could take off that last week in October, move into my new place then, have a week to get accustomed and enjoy some time off and then start a new job on Monday. In a perfect world, that's how I envision the future. =)

Hopefully I can make that vision a reality! I've been really good about not spending money (and I feel I can get pretty personal here with details since no one really reads this except for those people that would already know the details). Really the only money I spend now is on gas, groceries, cell phone, and gifts! That sounds funny...I'm racking my brain and I really can't come up with anything else I spend money on...I mean, occasionally I'll go out to dinner with family or friends but typically, we don't go anywhere expensive so it's under $10. And I don't even do that a lot. And occasionally if I find a good deal for something that I do actually need or will need in the near future, then I will get it when I see it--but there really hasn't even been much of that! In the next month-ish, we can add student loans and insurance in there but even that isn't too bad.

Plus, on a positive note, I was talking to Christy (the mom of my nanny family) and she said that she's been lucky with this summer being able to have some half days but once the summer ends, she'll be back to working full days which means I will as well. And as much as I LOVE sleeping in a little on Tuesdays, I find that {in my old age} it's better if I get up earlier anyways...sleeping in just makes me more tired during the rest of the day. (Plus I can sleep when Gracie takes her first nap of the day!) Basically what that means is an increase in hours (yes I know I have a minimum but working even 3 hours over that per week is good extra money!). As of since I started, I've been averaging in between 35 and 40 hours--so when Christy stops half days, I'm anticipating 40-45 but even hoping for a little more. I think my Thursdays will stay half days (7am-130pm) since Jeff is the one that gets home early but Tuesdays and Fridays will be full days. Even going up from 35 to 40 hours a week, that's an extra $55 (about) per week so over the course of the month, that adds up! I mean think about it, that would pay for my student loans and cell phone plus some...not too shabby! Ok so maybe it's not that big of a deal but I'm a dork and I get excited about stuff like that! Anyways, my whole reasoning for explaining that was so I can visualize reaching my goal! Hopefully by working a few more hours a week, I'll be able to save more and my apartment can be in reach!

Explanation: If I HAD to move out on my own right now, I could afford it. I could afford the apartment, the utilities, the cable, the internet, everything. However, I couldn't afford the apartment that I really really really want. Especially if I end up living on my own. The apartment I want is much nicer than your average apartment--they're brand new and super nice plus they're in a great location! Ideally (I like this word tonight apparantly), I'd like to save up so I can get the apartment I want. But it's nice to know that if I absolutely had to, I could afford to live on my own. My goal by the time I move out is to have at least half a years rent saved up--so at least a few thousand. If I can have that in my savings and be able to pay all my current bills without dipping into that, then I think I will be in great shape!

Something i'm excited about is learning lots of cost-saving ideas! Before living on my own in the "real world" (and this includes down at school), I just never really thought about it. I didn't have big kid bills to pay so it just didn't really phase me. I mean yeah, I was your average college student and I had a cell phone bill and car insurance, credit cards and tuition to pay for. But I was at that stage where as long as I worked full-time over the summer and had a part-time job during the school year, I could afford all that. Now that I'm realizing what entails living a big kid life, I'm enjoying finding ways to save! I used to laugh at Stef for cutting coupons--I think my normal quote was "who cares, it's 30 cents!" Ok well multiply that by 20 coupons and you're on your way to saving! I am TOTALLY a coupon cutter now! It's ridiculous. I look for good deals, I try to buy everything on sale, I use as many coupons as I can--if I find something that I need on a regular basis and it's a great deal, I'll stock up on it so I won't need to buy it for awhile. I am officially a geeky penny pincher. And luckily when I did my budget, I estimated OVER what I would actually spend so that I could save the extra.

One place that I overestimated a little too much was in the grocery area. Now, granted, I--again--have coupons so those help too--but I've definitely been spending less on groceries than I thought I would. And I think part of that has to do with the fact that I'm trying to be healthier and eat less anyways--so the less I eat, the less I need to buy which means saving more!

Which brings me to the next cool part of my life (seriously...stop reading if you're bored...I know I'm rambling on but I'll just keep going...). Caela told me about this website,, and it is awesome! It's basically like Weight Watchers, only free. You can keep a food and fitness diary and it calculates all your totals for the day. It sets up a plan for you--you say how much you want to lose, when you want to lose it by and they tell you how many calories to eat. Pretty simple. There's also recipes and a 'community' of people that are there to support you and help you every step of the way. You can advice, recipes, questions answered or just have a conversation with someone about something--it's pretty awesome. So Stef and I both signed up for that and we decided we're going to check up on each other and make sure that we're both staying on track. For me it was a combination of lack of motivation and disgust in seeing what I was eating that made me quit every other "diet" before. (Well..I don't consider this a diet...just eating healthy. That's probably a good start.) But Stef and I agreed that we would be honest in our food and fitness diaries and be positive reinforcement for each other. I definitely need someone that can look at what I'm eating and let me know when I probably didn't do the greatest job. And I know Stef will do that..I mean obviously it won't be beneficial to hear "you suck, you're getting fat" but I have every confidence that if I screw up, Stef will say something like "hey look at this kind of strayed on the healthy stuff didn't you?" and that will help so much--because I really don't want to hear that. So if I know Stef is going to look at my food journal, I want to be hearing something like "wow, you're eating great lately!"

And I'm also going to try and get more exercise than I have been...eventually, once I have my health insurance and am pretty set in my income, I'll be getting a membership at a fitness health insurance will give me $20 towards one every month so depending upon where I go, I may end up paying anywhere from only $10 to somewhere around $30 (which still isn't bad). Until then, I'd like to take Gracie on at least one walk a day for at least 30 minutes. Tuesdays might be the day that proves tough--at least while Christy has half days--the mornings are when I like to go because it's not too hot. Afternoons have been pretty hot lately with no breeze so its tough to take Gracie out--since I have to either close up her stroller so the sun doesn't get on her skin or cover her up with a blanket cuz of the sun (Christy doesn't want her wearing sunscreen yet). But even if I can do 4 out of 5 days, that's a good start! Plus I'm thinking about bringing an exercise tape over to the Furmaneks to do while Gracie naps. I'll probably only bring it on days that I don't work at Linens N Things at night so I'm not all gross and sweaty and smelly going to there's my plans! All of them I guess...haha

So now that I've written about 20,000 more sentences than I meant to....have a great night!

P.S. If any of you got to this! I don't think I could stick it out and I wrote it...