Monday, May 31, 2010

What's cooking?

This is what Nathan is cooking this Memorial Day.

beef dinner

In fact, he is usually cooking his Little People Animals. So if you ever come to dinner when Nathan is cooking, I hope you aren't vegetarian. Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What's wrong with this picture? (updated)

Update:
You were all right, his diaper isn't snapped correctly but Nathan did not do it himself. If he could put his diaper on all by himself I don't think I would care how it looked, I would be doing cartwheels. Jay did it, but in his defense - this particular diaper is getting pretty snug on Nathan so Jay thought the side snaps would dig into his hip. His intentions were good but it still looks silly.

Original:
It stands out like a sore thumb to me, can you tell what's wrong with this picture? Here is a big hint: I didn't do it! {giggle} And while you are at it, can you guess who did do it?

cding daddy-1

Friday, May 28, 2010

A glimpse into our fridge

It is Flash Me! Friday and here is our fridge.

I have a love hate relationship with stainless steel. I love how sleek it looks but I hate, absolutely hate fingerprints. I love Nathan's fingerprints but I hate messy adult fingerprints, including my own, all over the fridge.

We have a few photos on the side of our fridge along with a family calendar and a "breastmilk storage guidelines" magnet. I have no clue why this is still on the fridge since I have not breastfed in over a year and I know all the guidelines by memory. Oh, almost forgot Nathan's alphabet magnets, they are there too!

My favorite feature on our fridge is the "lock out" button for the water and ice maker. Based on experience, this feature is a total must have with a toddler around.

flash friday - outside fridge -1

And the inside of our fridge is pretty self explanatory.

flash friday - inside fridge

Click here to view more Flash Me! Friday at a fellow CF family, the Groettum's blog.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

27 weeks pregnant (a new perspective)

Today I am 27 weeks pregnant, the last week of my second trimester. I've gained a total of 18 pounds thus far.

If you assume I gain a pound a week for the remainder of the pregnancy I should really gain no more than 13 more pounds. I'd like to keep that number closer to 10 but I guess as long as I don't gain 50 pounds total like I did with Nathan I should be ahead of the game when it comes to losing the weight in September.

I'm feeling great with only a surprise night of nausea here and there. I'm still not sleeping well but I wouldn't expect a sound sleep with baby girl using me as a punching bag all night long.

And here is my 27 week baby belly, from a new perspective. My husband was around and was nice enough to take a non blurry photo of my baby belly. He rescued me from having to clean my photo mirror this week since I am trying to stay cool. Did I mention it is over 90 degrees today?

37 week baby belly-1

Previous baby belly photos:
12 week baby belly
16 week baby belly
21 week baby belly
22 week baby belly
23 week baby belly
24 week baby belly
25 week baby belly

Being 27 weeks pregnant can be difficult at times, to learn more about it, please visit PregnancyCorner.com.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Durable Medical

Nathan has medical insurance through NJ. We had excellent insurance when he was first born through my employer but when I resigned from my job to take care of him I was happy to find he would be eligible for NJ Family Care. His current insurance is excellent with one exception - NO durable medical coverage.

I really wish he had durable medical coverage since out of pocket expenses add up for nebulizer cups and instances when we blow the motor on the nebulizer compressor. This happens especially when you add up how many hours a day the machines are actually operating.

As far as his nebulizer cups, they are reusable for 6 months. We sterilize them after every treatment by boiling them. The nebulizer cups are about $20 each and we use 3-4 for the 6 month time period.



I admit we continue to use them past the recommended 6 months. Our clinic actually wants us to replace the cups each time we treat a pseudomonas infection as well. Do you know how quickly these $20 nebulizer cups add up? Now every time I see a Pari representative or go to clinic I am always trying to get a free nebulizer cup.

Now for the really important part of the story, we received a letter over the weekend stating that Nathan's health insurance was denying coverage for his Vest. We assumed this would be the outcome since his insurance policy has no durable medical coverage but that is not the reason they stated in the letter. The reason stated was:
"Due to insufficient clinical evidence to support medical efficacy of high frequency chest wall oscillation, Milliman medical necessity criteria are not met for this request. Authorization is denied."
As of May 18th (3 months and 10 days after first received) Nathan has used his Vest for 100 hours and I have noticed a difference from manual "CPT" chest pounding. 100 hours in 100 days. It is obvious that this piece of medical equipment gets used in our household.



We will fight it.

Please, please pray that we can find a way to convince the insurance company to cover this machine. It is a very expensive device, let me just say way more expensive than our car, and it is an additional payment that we really do not need at the moment.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm a winner!

A true winner, and I am not just talking self encouragement or positive thinking here. I just found out I actually won the Picky Sticky Giveaway. I am still not quite sure how I happened upon Ellie-Town but I noticed photos of an adorable little girl wearing a "monthsie" with her age in months on it.

Immediately I thought of Baby Girl on the way and my obsession with photographing each and every milestone and non-milestone for that matter. What a perfect addition these adorably cute decals will make to Baby Girl's ever growning wardrobe.

And yes, we hope to have a real name for Baby Girl by the time she arrives at the end of the summer. My husband are tossing several names back and forth but still no definite decision.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Busy Sunday

Yesterday was an extremely lazy day. I was busy working on my blog design but was inactive most of the day and felt like a zombie by the evening. But now I don't feel so bad about relaxing yesterday because we have a busy day planned today.

I'm not going to bore you with all the minute details of my day but we will be heading out to a party soon and then have a bunch of other things to do so we probably will not be returning until much later in the day.

Time to get myself moving, maybe I will get dressed, do my hair, and my makeup. Very rarely do I accomplish all three.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lazy Saturday

I've done pretty much nothing all day long besides sit on sofa with my feet up and redesign my blog layout. I really loved my previous layout which was designed by my friend, Carla, but what can I say nesting leaves nothing untouched.

But now, as I am tossing handfuls of M&Ms into my mouth, I am realized that I've done nothing at all today. My ankles and feet aren't swollen which means I've been lazy and now my head is hurting from looking at the computer screen that I've gotta get out of the house.

As soon as Nathan wakes up we are going to the park!

Sidenote, Nathan's insurance company denied coverage for his Vest, surprise, surprise. More on this later. Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weekend.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Video Games {Male Bonding}

I swear Jay has Nathan trained. Nathan grabs the Playstation controller and while handing it to Jay demands "Play!". Jay then looks at me and shrugs his shoulders, "I guess I have to play, Nathan will get upset if I don't".

Looks like I'm outnumbered.

Here is Jay playing Grand Theft Auto with our little sponge absorbing it all. I made Jay promise to keep the volume down and NOT to kill anyone. So basically all he is allowed to do is drive around the city. Gosh, it couldn't be an innocent game, it has to be the most violent and vulgar game to expose our little guy to.

daddy must play PS2

And since it is Friday, here is a little Flash of our master bathroom from all sorts of angles. So go ahead and take a peek, get nosy.

When you walk in the door to the bathroom from our bedroom you can see the toilet, my husband's vanity, and the bathtub. His sink is usually filled with his facial hair clippings but not today because he is sporting the scruffy, mountain man look. I admit that I use Jay's vanity to brush my teeth since my drawers are full of cosmetics, lotions, hair products, and other miscellaneous girl stuff. And this is also the mirror I use to take my belly photos.

flash master bath-1

Directly to the right of his vanity is our large tub. Oh how I love soaking in this tub. It is even large enough for Nathan to swim in.

flash master bath-2

This is one of our first photos taken the day we moved into our house:

first photo in tub

Then to the right of our our tub is my vanity.

flash master bath-3

And lastly, the view from the tub. Here you can see our unmade bed, that devilish contraption used to measure weight, our master shower (small yet functional), and the door to our toilet room (if that's what it's called).

flash master bath-4

Click here to view more Flash Me! Friday at a fellow CF family, the Groettum's blog.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Confessions

I'm thinking of regularly posting "confessions" on my blog since I have many.

Today's confession:

Ever since we transitioned from crib to toddler bed nap time has disappeared. I have recently taken to driving my toddler around town until he falls asleep. These almost daily short car rides have reinstated nap time for the most part. It usually takes about 12 minutes of driving on a back road with soft music playing to knock Nathan out. The road can't be too bumpy but it also can't be too smooth, I can't drive too slow but I also can't drive too fast. Utilizing a short car ride to put my son to sleep is becoming an art form. I hope he doesn't catch on too soon. {grin}

Now time to relax while working on the million projects I have yet to begin. I can say relax because it will be a piece of cake not to have to multitask the projects with keeping Nathan happy and out of trouble.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

babywearing daddy

For more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom or Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What's the point? (26 weeks pregnant)

Yesterday I had routine prenatal visit and being that I now weigh as much as I did when I delivered Nathan, I was a little nervous that I was going to be lectured. I've only gained 18 pounds so far in 26 weeks which is way less than my first pregnancy but still I would really like to NOT hit the 200 pound mark.

For the record the midwife did not lecture me about my weight gain. I am not sure if it was because I brought up the topic before she had a chance to or if she just wasn't concerned.

Anyway, I am trying really hard to eat healthy balanced well proportioned meals. I've been doing great at limiting my carbohydrates and increasing my proteins. She said if I am worried to replace the fruits with vegetables. Yuck! Not that I don't like vegetables but I LOVE fruits!

I ate really well all day long today until I topped off my dinner with a bowl of dulce de leche ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and Reese's pieces on top. What's the point of eating healthy all day then binging in the evening?

Tomorrow I will officially be 26 weeks pregnant. I can't believe how fast the time is going.

No baby belly photo this week because I am feeling lazy but you can check out the previous photos by clicking here.

Being 26 weeks pregnant can be difficult at times, to learn more about it, please visit PregnancyCorner.com.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Confessions of a Garbage Picker

Yes, I am admitting that I am a garbage picker. If I am driving down the road and see a pile of "garbage" I might just slow down and take a glance. If anything peaks my interest I may even turn the car around, get out, and take a closer look.

This morning on my way to my prenatal checkup I saw some children's items out for trash on a back road and pulled a quick k turn. Some of the stuff was in real rough condition, true junk. But then I saw this treasure:

garbage find

I would say it is a diamond in the rough but it doesn't lack any potential at all. I snatched this $80 item for free. I'm pretty sure Nathan will prefer his big spring horse that my friend and former coworker passed along to us but I am equally certain baby girl will love this horse. The pony needs a bath but I am giddy with my find.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Great Strides 2010 (Paramus, NJ)

UPDATE: $261,000 was raised at the Paramus, NJ walk. Greater New Jersey raised $1,247,000 at 12 different walk locations.


Today was a GREAT day for taking GREAT STRIDES towards a cure for Cystic Fibrosis!! If I heard correctly, over $300,000 was raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Paramus, NJ.

I will confirm the total money raised but don't forget, it is still not too late to donate! Actually you can donate any amount ($5, $10, $25, $500) here. Our team total is not accurate as more donations were received today.

It has been a long day and past treatment time so here is a short photo recap of our day.

Great Strides 2010 collage3

Great Strides 2010 collage

Great Strides 2010 collage2

Saturday, May 15, 2010

a chef in training

Cooking collage

Nathan sure does love his new cookware but the greens in his wok, not so much.

cooking-3

And can you tell what shirt Nathan is wearing?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Monster House (a scary movie)

Nathan doesn't usually let us relax and watch any movies but my father and his girlfriend brought over a movie and we figured we would give it a shot.

The movie is called Monster House (2006). I can't really give a full impression because we only made it 20 minutes into the movie, Nathan was terrified. I thought he would watch for a few minutes and then get up to play with his toys but he sat on my dad's lap then shifted onto his girlfriend's lap and wrapped her arm tightly around his waist. He then brought one of his blankies halfway up his face because he was scared. But at the same time he did not cover his eyes because he couldn't look away.

scary movie

The moment I turned the movie off he became noticeably more relaxed. After treatments Jay and I will finish the movie because we are hooked. It looks like it might be a really good movie but the combination of dark colors, scary and jumpy noises, and yelling is just too much for a little guy. We just may have an extra body in our bed tonight.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

25 weeks pregnant

Why must I always forget to take my weekly belly photo? Really, I see very little change week to week, I probably should've taken monthly belly photos instead but at least it gives me a reason to clean the toothpaste off the bathroom mirror once a week. Here I am 25 weeks, 1 day pregnant.

25 week belly photo

And it would be so much easier to have Jay take the photos for me but then again our bathroom mirror would remain filthy for months. I'm still feeling pretty good, still nesting like crazy, still not sleeping soundly, still just taking life one day at a time. I've gained 17 pounds thus far and I am hoping not to double that.

Just got our 90 day call from Hill Rom regarding Nathan's Vest. I rarely ever look at the built in time counter on the compresser but was shocked that it currently reads 95.2 hours! That's 95.2 hours of mommy (occasionally daddy) and Nathan shakey shakey time. Baby Girl is going to be born wanting constant vibration.

Previous baby belly photos:
12 week baby belly
16 week baby belly
21 week baby belly
22 week baby belly
23 week baby belly
24 week baby belly


Being 25 weeks pregnant can be difficult at times, to learn more about it, please visit PregnancyCorner.com

Final Thoughts on "Project Grow Moringa"

Growing Moringa trees to harvest leaf powder is just not worth it in Northern NJ. I collected my first harvest of leaves yesterday and dried them last night. This morning I searched the internet for a price comparison of what a years worth of hard work has gotten me.

Here is a photo of the dried leaves in a sandwich sized ziploc bag:

Dried Moringa

It looked like a lot yesterday immediately after harvesting but this morning not so much. I weighed the bag anyhow not even close to an ounce including the sandwich bag. Really it was closer to 10 grams. This makes me chuckle because I've put so much work into caring for these trees and it is just not suited for the NJ climate.

I don't regret experimenting with growing Moringa in NJ because I knew it would be just that, an experiment.

Now for the price comparison. I've found Moringa leaf powder locally in the US for about $25 for 16 ounces. It is much more expensive if obtained from Africa or other foreign countries. What I harvested was about 10 grams, or .35 ounces. So after a years worth of hard work, supplies, and electricity I harvested about 55 cents worth of Moringa leaf powder. I can't put a price tag on hard work but I purchased way more than $25 worth of supplies (fluorescent fixtures, 4 fluorescent tube lights, an automatic timer, pots, soil, seeds, etc) and then add on the cost of electricity for running the tube lights for 12 hours each day throughout the Fall, Winter, and early Spring.

No regrets but I think I will be purchasing my Moringa leaf powder from now on.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My First Moringa Harvest

This morning I decided to harvest the leaves on my Moringa plants. I read a few articles online including this one about exactly how to harvest the leaves to make leaf powder. Remember everything on the Moringa tree is edible including flowers, roots, and pods but I am focusing on making leaf powder.

My first and hopefully not last Moringa harvest:
Moringa harvest1

The reason I say hopefully not my last harvest is because my Moringa trees are relatively small and it is difficult for me to distinguish leaf stems from the actual branches. I pretty much snapped all the stems which contained large leaves and left some of the smaller leaves alone. I'm not quite sure how to regrowth happens but I shall see. This project is basically experimental and being that I don't have the greenest thumb I am satisfied with just being able to harvest!

After I harvested the leaves, I spread them out a little so they can dry, although the article said I should strip the leaves of their stems and rinse them with clean water. If I can escape Nathan for a few minutes today I will do that and then let them dry out.

Moringa harvest2

I'm thinking I might use low the oven at a low temperature (150 degrees F) to help dry the leaves without exposing them to sunlight which can reduce the nutritional (vitamin) value.


I guess my next step is

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nutella

With 9 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons, it is a perfect food for a CFer BUT not for a 20 month old for dessert. Serving Nutella after 7 pm may be one of the worst ideas I have ever had.

After Nathan's evening breathing treatments he usually goes directly to bed, no fuss. Tonight he wanted to finish what he was watching. After the show he still did not want to sleep so he watched the next show. After that show he still did not want to sleep. It is currently 10 pm and our munchkin is WIDE awake. I told Jay to just change the channel and maybe we can bore him to sleep.

Jay is now laying on the floor playing a video game and Nathan is sitting on his daddy's belly observing his gaming skills. Still not even close to falling asleep. One would think this means he is going to sleep really late tomorrow morning but he will probably wake up at 6 am anyway. Just our luck!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My morning as a hair model

When I found out a friend needed a model to give an unstructured bob hair cut to, I was a bit hesitant. "Unstructured" I am okay with but when I hear "bob" I typically think very short. And I, the queen of lazy ponytails, am not okay with very short. But I figured I would go for it anyway and I am so glad I did. The class (of hair stylists) was taught by a celebrity hairstylist from Oribe. I didn't catch his name but his happiness was contagious.



Apparently, an unstructured bob is the type of haircut that isn't really high maintenance. I can wake up in the morning and go or if I want to (which I most likely won't) I can style it. And the entire cut was performed with a razor, a very strange experience.

Now for the funny part of the story. I am always a bit neurotic about going places I have never been before. I checked out the location of the salon on google maps and found it not too far from Nathan's CF clinic. I basically knew exactly where it was. Then I got into the car and plugged the address into my GPS just in case. When I got close to the salon (1/2 mile away) I parked in the first parking lot I came across because God forbid I should drive to the salon and then find the nearest parking lot.

My husband can totally understand my insanity here. I did the same thing on our honeymoon in Cancun. We were on a bus heading back to the resort from a water park and I was nervous that we might miss our stop so I pushed the button to get off. To make a long story short, my extremely sun burned husband and I had to walk a couple of miles back to the resort under high noon sun in 100 degree weather. Again God forbid we would have missed our stop and then gotten off at the very next stop to walk back to the resort. That just may have been too much walking. I am really lucky he loves me because sometimes I can really be insane.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Mother's Day Surprise

First let me preface by saying I had an amazing Mother's Day. I got exactly what I wanted - a relaxing morning with no rush to get out of bed, a nice leisurely shower followed by eggs and coffee, a day at home without having to think or make decisions, a day without having to change dirty diapers.

What I didn't want to get on Mother's Day - spider veins!!! I may have had them for some time but they have made their appearance known on the back of my thighs and my dearest husband made sure I became aware of their presence today, Mother's Day. I still love him, even though he is clueless about his Mother's Day manners. I'd prefer spider veins over cellulite, but oh yea I got that too. At least I have a good sense of humor.

In between my bouts of relaxation I also spent a good deal of time nesting. Really isn't Mother's Day the perfect day to nest? Nesting in the garage, a load of laundry, sanitizing the slop sink, scrubbing spots on the hardwood floor - it's all good!

And the absolute best part of the day - I was sitting on the sofa doing a little bit of graphic design and all of a sudden Nathan runs over to me and throws something on my lap, it was a card that had Mommy scribbled on the envelope. Made my heart smile. Jay wrote Mommy on the envelope and whispered to Nathan "go give this to mama" and he did! The funny thing is that this all happened in the room I was in. It was a good day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Nathan's New Blue Vest

It's been one week since Nathan's new blue Vest arrived on our doorstep. We had been using Hill Rom's previous Vest garment and were so excited to be upgrading to the new model.

We first saw the new garment line at the Cystic Fibrosis Learning Center's Continuum of Care Conference. I would be lying if I didn't admit that the first thing to catch my eye was the assortment of colors: blue, pink, and black. Upon closer inspection and after speaking with the Hill Rom representative the features became more apparent.

  1. The new Vest comes in two parts, an internal bladder and an outer shell. The bladder snaps securely into the shell and then the shell is zippered closed. The outer shell is also machine washable, very important for the bacteria containing mucus that is bound to come up.
  2. The actual material of the outer shell is super soft and the velcro is not as rough as our original. The old Vest used to irritate Nathan's neck during the treatments, not anymore!
  3. The straps are a bit difficult to adjust but once you get them just right they aren't going anywhere.
  4. The clasps have been redesigned and are very easy to attach and quietly disconnect when Nathan happens to fall asleep during treatments.
  5. The hoses fit inside the L shaped connectors and stay connected unlike the previous garment where they pushed onto a soft rubber connector and often popped off during treatments. They also pivot so you don't have the hoses sticking straight out on either side of the body.
  6. No more air holes! Nathan and mommy are very happy that we no longer freeze twice a day.
And don't let this photo be an indication of how much we enjoy our new coastal blue Vest. The only reason Nathan looks like he is being tortured is because it was not yet time for treatments. Jay warned me that Nathan would not take lightly to the fact that I was taking him away from his Matchbox cars just to have a fashion show. We have been using the new Vest for a week now and we absolutely LOVE it!

new blue vest

Thursday, May 6, 2010

24 weeks pregnant

Actually 24 weeks, 1 day pregnant. Seems to be a trend of posting my weekly updates a bit late.

Most of the time I feel great but a good part of the time I feel mediocre. I am having trouble coping with stress especially since Xanax is a no no while pregnant. Some days I feel like I can't breathe maybe because the baby is puttting pressure on my diaphragm. Other days I let people get to me and I feel my heart pounding away.

Needless to say I am having one of those days regardless of the great news I received yesterday. Right now I am laying on the sofa trying to relax, Jay is working, Nathan is cranky. And by cranky I mean whining, screaming, crying, wanting to go outside but in desperate need of a nap like his mommy. I do not have the energy to entertain him right now and I feel terrible.

Here is my 24 week, 1 day baby belly!!
24 week 1 day baby belly

Previous baby belly photos:
12 week baby belly
16 week baby belly
21 week baby belly
22 week baby belly
23 week baby belly


Being 24 weeks pregnant can be difficult at times, to learn more about it, please visit PregnancyCorner.com.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

No pseudomas again!

I got in touch with the clinic today and received the good news directly from my favorite nurse, Kristin. For the second time in a row Nathan has not cultured pseudomonas aeruginosa. This truly is music to my ears.

He did culture staphylococcus aureus again in addition to yeast in his mouth. We will not be treating staph this time nor did we treat it last time because he is asymptomatic and because there has been noted to be synergy between staph and pseudomonas.

As far as the yeast goes, there is a good chance that his immune system will take care of it since he isn't going on antibiotic which would make it worse. But just to make sure I am going to check his mouth and tongue for signs of thrush tonight. His nurse told me that treatment for thrush is not much fun since it would require Nathan to gargle a solution (yea right!) that tastes disgusting 4 times a day for 2 weeks or for me to use a sponge to wipe down his mouth for the same length of time.

In 3 more months I am hoping we receive even more good that the pseudomonas has yet to return. If and when Nathan gets his 3rd negative pseudomonas culture he will undergo a bronchoscopy.

Reasons why I prefer cloth diapers with snaps over velcro.

Many people prefer cloth diapers with velcro because, since they are designed to fasten similar to disposables, they are easier to put on. It is true, they are easier to put on but they are also easier to remove.

The other morning Nathan woke up, wearing or maybe I should say not wearing a disposable diaper. Jay first happened upon the scene, reminiscent of a horror movie, and while he was bathing Nathan I was sent in to tend to the cleanup and decontamination.

I did find the diaper in his bedroom, perfectly clean. I cannot say the same thing about the rest of his room though. This is possibly how it all went down: Nathan woke up and since he wasn't wearing pajama bottoms or shorts due to the heat, and easily unfastened and removed his clean disposable diaper. He then climbed out of his bed and popped a squat on his carpet, leaving two nicely sized terds. After an "uh oh", which we heard from our bedroom, he then proceeded to track his doings all over his carpet, stuffed animals, crib sheet, and crib rails.

Perhaps we should have immediately heeded the after the fact warning of "uh oh". The damage was already done but we could have prevented the situation from escalating to the point it did.

So that is the main reason I prefer snaps on cloth diapers. We do have cloth diapers that velcro and Nathan removes them as easily as he removes his disposables. This morning I was lounging on the sofa and Nathan was standing behind me, wearing nothing but a velcro bumGenius cloth diaper. He was behaving as he typically does, bouncing up and down on my side while saying "horse". Then all of a sudden I felt a steady stream on my backside. Yes he did it again, he removed his diaper to do his business but this time all over me! And then he laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

Naked bum2
Naked bum

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The release of Avatar!

I was so excited for the release of Avatar mainly because I loved seeing it in Imax 3D and loved it. This was the first time I had ever gone to see a real movie in Imax and 3D. My TV is typically stuck on Sprout, Nick Jr, or some Sesame Street DVD so I rarely see previews for current movies. I heard a lot of hype about Avatar when it was in the theater and never really was gung ho about seeing it.

I figured I would give it a chance when my husband and I went on a double date with our friends, Breanne and Wally. The girls were just happy to be toddler free for the evening and the guys really wanted to see Avatar. I was nervous because I was smack in the middle of my first trimester and was nauseous as ever. I anticipated getting sick because of the 3D effects. There were a few moments that I had to close my eyes because I thought I would yak but thank God I never did. Ultimately, I loved every second of the movie and found it well worth an overpriced ticket to see it in Imax 3D. It could have been a 5 hour movie and I wouldn't have noticed.

So again, I am really excited that it was recently released BUT am a little disappointed that it is not yet released on 3D blu-ray. Not that I have a 3D tv or expensive 3D glasses but I don't want to spend money on a blu-ray/DVD combo now when a 3D blu-ray is anticipated to be released in 2011. We will just have to wait until then!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Time out

I mentioned a short while ago on Facebook that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed today. I've had this feeling before, many times. I am actually the queen of stress, anxiety, and being overwhelmed. You would think I would be better at dealing with these feelings by now. Unfortunately this is not true. My entire body seems to slowly shut down in these circumstances.

Nothing serious is going on that I should feel overwhelmed, I just do. I have so much to do, nothing urgent or extremely important, just stuff that needs to get done. I need to organize myself and my house because I can't find anything whether it be information inside my head or papers on my counter.

Today was almost reminiscent of one of the days leading up to a big event, a marriage or a birth of a baby. I love emails, phone calls, and text messages...just not when I am overwhelmed. Nobody take this the wrong way, keep the calls and messages coming because I would just go crazy if I were dealing with life all by myself. Today it seemed that the moment I managed to focus on something, my attention was broken by something else.

On the bright side, the rainbow after the rainstorm, I had a great time at the park today with Nathan today. After a downpour we all took a walk down to the park (including my dad and brother). Someone left a soccer ball near the basketball court and we all shot some hoops, I couldn't believe that most of my shots were all net! If you know me, I was never good at shooting and making baskets. I was much better at stealing and rebounding, defense. We even helped Nathan shoot baskets and he was so excited each time that he clapped his hands and was jumping up and down.

I don't know what Nathan enjoyed more, playing basketball or rolling around and splashing in puddles. I caught him laying on his stomach in the puddles trying to drink the rain water, GROSS! I wasn't sure he was trying to drink the water until I put my hand under his face and felt him sticking his tongue out. All in all, I very much enjoyed my time out from being overwhelmed.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Making Home Affordable Mortgage Modification - The Final Chapter

Here is a photograph of our most recent correspondence with Nationstar regarding Obama's Making Home Affordable program.

mortgage mod letter1

We've gotten plenty of letters telling us what we can do if we are experiencing hardship. I guess the departments don't communicate within the company otherwise they would have known that we submitted an application for this program over a year ago.

But guess what, this is not one of those letters outlining our options. They do outline our options at the end of the letter but the first sentence, and only one sentence, says we are ineligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

The good news is that we assumed this would be their final answer eventually. After a year of receiving no answers and prank calls telling us to call them or to wait on the phone line for a representative at the most inconvenient times, we finally got an answer.

A couple of months ago we kinda gave up on the government program and decided to see if there was any way we could negotiate the terms of our mortgage directly with the mortgage company. We called several times, some representatives said there would be no way we would be eligible for an in house modification if we were not eligible for the federal program.

Finally we got a representative on the phone who recommended an in house modification. It would not be 1/3 of our income as outlined in the federal HAMP program but it would be less than our current payment. THAT IS ALL WE WANTED, a smaller payment that would allow us to get closer to being able to afford more of our monthly bills.

It is still going to be extremely difficult and tight but the paperwork has been signed and should be processed by today. Our modified payments begin on June 1st. The reduced mortgage in addition to the elimination of our second vehicle (payment and insurance) should reduce our monthly debt tremendously.

I am hoping this is the Final Chapter in our "book", Our Long and Drawn Out Attempts to Negotiate and Modify our Mortgage.