Thursday, February 26, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In most PA townships around my area, recycling is a requirement and I'm glad. However, there is a specific listing of material which can and cannot be recycled in our area. A lot of times, we are still discarding plastics that really should be recycled because it's not a specific number. This leaves me perplexed. Why is it that we are not recycling EVERYTHING that we can? Why is it that lids cannot be thrown into the recycling trash can along with their bottles?

Our family has quit buying bottled water. Because we use well water, we filter our water through a pitcher. Steve and I know fill containers with water and drink them throughout the day while at work. At first the thought of not having bottled water was quite foreign to me because carrying a bottle of water is as common as carrying your drivers license. Having well water eliminates a utility bill (it's free) and because we are replacing the pitcher filter every 2 months, we are only spending $5 per filter which is costing us only $30 annually. A pack of 24, 16.9 fl oz water bottles were $5-$6 per week. That is a bi-monthly savings of $35-$42 for an annual savings of $210-$252. With the extra savings, Baby Fowler will actually have formula. KIDDING! Seriously, this money will be put towards other things more important like a weekend trip to the beach, recreation sports for the girls, college funds, Christmas presents, etc.

Also, has anyone seen how expensive canned soda has gotten? Oh my word! A 12 pack now averages about $4-$5 for name brand and that is even when the grocery store is having a special. This is also something we do not buy and not only because it's expensive, it's just too much sugar for the girls. At home, we make our own tea and use Crystal Light drink mixes which are fairly cheap at your local bulk warehouse store. The girls are big into Capri Sun flavored water pouches and are also inexpensive to purchase.

Also, plastic sandwich bags are not recycled in our area either. I'm not sure if it's just not possible or again, if it doesn't meet the criteria of what the township will recycle. When I was little, my Mom would wash and reuse aluminum foil. Thank you Mommy, you are a genius! I told Steve that I want to start washing and reusing our sandwich bags before discarding them. Between lunches for everyone, we use about 15 baggies per day. This may sound gross to everyone because as a kid, it sounded gross to me. However it's a way to reduce waste and save money. Of course this doesn't stop Steve from making fun of me. He told me last night that as a kid he had to reuse his toilet paper by washing and drying it. Go ahead, baby, poke fun! You'll be thanking this fat chic for extra money in the bank.

If anyone has any other good ideas on how my family can reduce waste and put a little extra back into our pockets, let me know. I enjoy annoying Steve and the girls with my "people are starving so eat your dinner" and "don't throw that away, we can reuse it" speeches.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

jump back jack!!!

hey everyone!!! its rb!!! i went to my friend danielle's gymnastics tornament and she was amazing she did a roundoff back hand spring!!! OMG!!! thats awesome and there were little girls that were so good they looked like rubber bands it was awesome i want to get into gymnastics and cheerleading so i can look like a rubber band like danielle!!! wow!!! lol...!!! i could never do something like that!!! HAHAHA!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Progression of a Fat Chic: Belly Update

So here we go again. I still don't understand the excitement that's involved when it comes to watching my belly expand to where it looks like I swallowed a pillow. Normally, I do not publish my belly pictures until the 25th of every month, but RB wanted to blog about her night spent watching her friend doing gymnastics. So RB is posting tomorrow (everyone, make sure to tune in) and I am posting today. Bubbles will also be posting about her new bank account she just opened with Steve. Isn't that awesome! Her entry will probably not be posted until Sunday as they will be gone all this weekend with their Mommy.

Okay, back to baby Fowler...the itsawhatsit is kicking. It's so funny right now to feel baby Fowler because it's a tickling sensation inside my tummy. The baby does most of the kicking while I am at work so Steve has not been able to share in the experience until a few days ago when he felt his "little man" (Steve is convinced!) karate chop his hand.

My belly is starting to take the shape of a baby bump. Saturday as I was laying down, my tummy was completely shifted to the right as if Baby Fowler found the vacant area of my kidney and settled there...HAHAHAHAHA! It was weird looking, but so cool at the same time. Because my tummy is finally filling out, I was able to wear the "baby bump" shirt Steve bought me for Christmas. I have to act like a superstar for a moment and say he bought it from Motherhood. Okay my superstar moment is over. Don't worry, according to Steve, the t-shirt was on sale so he didn't squander away the girls' college savings buying it. Even though I love the "baby bump" shirt, it made me a joke target around the office. You would not believe how many times people thought they were being original and said the same thing over and over again..."You are pregnant? I thought you were just getting fat". HAHAHAHA...NOT! It's almost like driving with a "baby on board" warning sign suction cupped to your back window hoping people will actually take time to read it and respect your little ones in the car. Ah, not in this current day world. The drivers will most likely find humor in tailgating and running you off the road.

The family joining in on the fun...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

CRASH, BAM, BOOM!

Do I have everyone's attention yet? Both RB and Bubbles made a blanket campground in the living room and slept together last night. A few hours into the night, Bubbles had a very bad tummy ache so Steve spent time laying down with her and rubbing her belly until she fell asleep. I ended up getting up to use the restroom, get a drink of water, and take some Tums because I felt as if I had swallowed a ball of fire. I'm sure this is, too, courtesy of Baby Fowler. When everyone managed to get settled, we then heard a loud noise. I can't even begin to describe the noise. Steve and I thought the cats knocked over pots and pans in the kitchen. I looked around, but didn't look in detail before I hopped into bed. RB and Bubbles came running upstairs because they heard the noise as well. Steve went downstairs to investigate. All of a sudden the girls run back upstairs and said there is a car flipped over in our yard. HOLY CRAP! I jump out of bed, Steve is trying to get dressed, the girls are scared, and I ran towards the kitchen door to see what in the world had happened. I immediately called 911 as Steve proceeded outside to find out if anyone is okay. At this point I should make those aware who have not been to our house that we have no street lights anywhere, so it was pitch black. The outside lights from our house didn't even help illuminate the yard. By this time, I'm outside reporting to the dispatcher what I see and Steve confirmed there is no one in the SUV. NO ONE IN THE SUV? As the reader, you may think, enough time had transpired for someone to flee the accident. No! All this happened in a matter of minutes and the driver just vanished. For all we knew, the driver was still somewhere in our yard, but we certainly wouldn't have known in the dark. The dispatcher said this was becoming increasingly common for drivers to run away. After seeing the SUV, I'm not even sure how the driver got out and was coherent enough to run anywhere. After getting off the phone with 911, I grab a flashlight and a bat. I wasn't sure what to do next. I was worried for Steve because he was still investigating the SUV in the dark by himself. I asked the girls to stay in the living and they wanted to know why I had a bat. I told them I was going to beat the crap out of the person who crashed their SUV into Steve's SUV and the yard. In a matter of minutes, police cars and fire engines arrived. Talk about trying to keep a low profile in my neighborhood! I overheard the cops talking and it seems the owner of the vehicle was discovered after a student I.D. was found near the site. I was then told a man was picked up about a quarter of a mile from the house who was apparently intoxicated and bloody. The man denied being the driver of the vehicle was taken to the local hospital. DUH! I don't care what the man denied. It was too much of a coincidence. There is a field with an embankment across the street from us. It appeared the driver lost control of the vehicle and flipped the SUV after hitting the embankment. There were no tire marks, just scuff marks where the roof was sliding on the road. It knocked the mailbox out of the ground and into our driveway and bumped into Steve's SUV just loosening his bumper and making a tiny dent above the back left light. It turns out, a woman reported the SUV stolen about 90 minutes before the accident occurred outside our house. She eventually arrived in a police car and took video of the scene and immediately left. At this point, I'm only assuming she was the owner. I will not have a copy of the police report until Tuesday since it's the weekend. It's a miracle Steve's SUV was not seriously mashed. If my car was parked on that side of the driveway, who knows what damage would have been sustained and I would have been one angry pregnant woman as I only have 4 more car payments to make. I do not feel remorse for the drunk who crashed the car. I hope his injuries are painful and evidence can be gathered to bring forward a conviction. Unforunately, none of us witnessed him driving since he abandoned the vehicle. He impacted the vehicle owner's life. Who knows what kind of economic struggle the owner was in and now must deal with a vehicle which more than likely will become totaled. This foolish drunk scared myself, Steve, and most importantly the girls half to death with his stupidity. What if this driver killed someone? I hope justice is served.







Friday, February 20, 2009

My First Charley Horse

Well, you hear people say that you must try to experience everything in life, even it is only one time. I hope my experience will be my first and last. Yesterday morning, I woke up with a sudden pain in my right calf muscle that lasted for a few minutes. My leg seem to be stuck in place and my first reaction was to move my foot to stretch my calf, but I couldn't even do that. It's like I had rigomortis in just my right leg. All I could do was whimper and hoped that Steve would wake up and breathe life back into my frozen limb. He didn't and when I told him about my brush with death, he commented that he didn't even hear me move or make a sound. Eventually, the pain subsided and I spent some time the next day googling what in the world had happened. Well folks, I had my very first charley horse. Charley horse is a popular North American term for a painful leg or foot cramp. These cramps have many possible causes, one being a common side effect to being pregnant. Thanks baby Fowler! It's not enough that I'm vomiting, constipated, tired, bloated, and that you insist on kicking me causing internal tummy tickles that make me crack up laughing in the middle of conversations. No, you had to unleash the beast and cause me to think I was having a heart attack, just in the wrong spot. Was I unkind to you that day? Did I not feed you enough? Do you already think I'm a bad Mother? Tell me!

On another note, the term "charley horse" may date back to the late 1800's from American baseball. A pitcher named Charlie "Old Hoss" Radbourn suffered from painful cramps. Others speculate the term was inspired by a horse named Charley who was used at the Chicago White Sox's ballpark.

Other countries have their own terms. The UK refers to it as a dead leg. In Norway, it's called a thigh hen. Wooden thigh is a term used by Denmark and in Sweden, it's called a thigh cake. Australians refer to it as a corked thigh or corkie.

It's been over 24 hours since Baby Fowler attempted to end my life with a charley horse and I have to say, my calf is still so sore that I can hardly put pressure on it. What's even more surprising is who would have actually thought I had a calf muscle that could even cramp!?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Father's Love

Normally, I'm in charge of lunches for Steve, the girls, and I. However, Steve has been making them when he has time so I don't have to do it when I get home from work. What a sweety! This was the lunch he packed for RB for school last Friday. I wanted to share this with everyone because I thought it was absolutely adorable. The action of loving someone is obvious when a birthday present is wrapped extra nice or when your partner brings home flowers, or when someone holds the door open for you. RB's lunch, to me, was an action of love. Steve made sure everyone food group was included, veggies were nicely trimmed, grapes were throughly washed, and he filled her drink jug with one of her favorites. The girls and I just stood back after dumping the contents and sighed. Bubbles said that Steve did good and it was the cutest moment for the girls and I. Little did he realize that RB is not allowed to take plastic containers to school, there is no refrigerator available to hold her lunch so the yogurt would have been too soupy to consume, RB will not eat the veggies, brown lunchbags aren't as cool as they once were, and it's probably not any cooler to print "RB" on the outside of the brown bag.

To my Schmoopy - Regardless if you almost had your daughter beat up in school for carrying a paper bag (KIDDING), the girls and I love you. You are a wonderful Father to them and everything you do shows that you love them with everything you have, even when you must show tough love. You are the total opposite of today's Father figure...while most of them don't want anything to do with their children, you are always there. This is one of the many reasons why I love you and why you are going to be, yet again, a wonderful Father to our itsawhatzit.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekend in Review

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to...

Okay, there was no crying involved except for those who fell like Jasmine. Poor girl! Steve and I had Bubble's 9th birthday party at Roll-R-Way, which is a small skating rink in the York area. This is a wonderful example of the lesson we all had to learn as a child...don't judge a book by its cover. The outside of the roller rink did not do the inside justice. There was a disco ball, funky lights, and up to date music (which as time went on caused me a huge headache, which is a definite sign of old age). The kids skated for four hours and we had 45 minutes in the party room. The only negative is that you think the 45 minutes is enough time to round up sweaty hyper kids, keep them still long enough to actually eat something, push Bubbles along in opening her gifts, and once again make the kids stand still long enough for cake and ice cream. WRONG! We were given free passes which we were supposed to hand out to all the kids who attended, but we totally forgot. Now, we have 15 passes to use between Bubbles and RB. That's okay because even though we tried to keep everything to a minimal, we still spent a small fortune which is why Steve wouldn't allow me to accompany him when he paid the bill. So the free passes will come in handy. Luckily for Steve and I, we didn't spend a lot of money on Bubble's birthday gift. HOW MUCH DID WE SPEND YOU ASK? Well, I'm so glad you did because here's another chance for me to illustrate our creative ways of saving mucho dinero. We bought Bubbles a SpyGear tank which she can use to spy on us and listen in to what we are saying. The original price tag was $100 and Target was overstocked with them during the Christmas season. By early February, it was marked down by 75%. I traded in my gas points and received a $25 Target gift card, so the total was $0. Of course, this tank required 12 batteries, but we already had Target gift cards totaling $10 from a few weeks ago which was part of a promotion with cat litter. So even the batteries were free! Hallelujah! Later that night, both Steve and I felt a little like "Jon & Kate, Plus 8" when we attempted to feed 9 people with hamburger helper and a pound of beef. We did by making sure everyone filled up on Crystal Light Rasphberry Ice and butter/jelly bread.
Rednecks in the big city...

Sunday, we spent the day at Washington, D.C. visiting the Air & Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. It was a little chilly, but the sun was shining brightly. The metro is always a fun experience for me and after so many times of riding it and having to pee so badly, I've gotten smart and made everyone use the rest stop before we arrived at the Greenbelt station. Along with Steve, Bubbles, RB, and myself was Kathy (real name is Kandace, but Jasmine kept calling her Kathy the first few times of being around her that we all adopted that name for her as well) and Lizzie. Kathy is RB's best friend and Lizzie is Bubble's best friend. Everyone was well behaved until the end. I still can't get over how kids act when they are tired. You would think we had 50 lb weights strapped to their butts the entire time. Come on ladies, toughen up! Steve is old and I'm pregnant. I just like to take this time to thank a good samaritan who helped us by giving us a package of tissues. Poor Lizzie's nose started to bleed and while Steve was looking for the bathroom, which is difficult to do in the Natural History Museum, some lady walked by and noticed our dilemma and gave us tissues. An act of kindness is very scarce in this world nowadays, but we were witnesses to the fact that it still exists yesterday. Thank you kleenex carrying lady!

No caption necessary on this one

Bubbles being swallowed by a Great White

Is this really necessary?

Our dangerous journey up the metro escalator onto the streets of D.C. If you tried to look backwards to see how far up you were, you lost your balance because it looked like a straight fall down....ARGH!

Poor Lizzie! I wonder if some of the attendees though she was an exhibit?


Hey, this is the same psycho look RRF had before her daily regimen of prozac.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I just saved money...no, it wasn't on my car insurance

I am so super excited that I must post this! I love being frugal and because each of us are trying to survive in this economy, I get to be even more spastic with my frugality. Unforunately, Steve and I use gas to heat our home along with our hot water tank. In the summer, it's great because we are using A/C. The winter weather is not the only thing that can be harsh...so can our gas bill. I must say this is a new thing for me...switching gas suppliers. It's kind of like re-negotiating your interest rate with credit card companies. I've just never been one to do that. Well, no sir-eee bob. Last month both Steve and I had mini-attacks trying to understand why our gas bill was so high. We spent more money paying for the gas to be supplied to our house then actual usage. How is that possible? I thought I was going to have to actually sell my other kidney this time (HAHAHAHAHA, come on Jackie, that was hilarious!). In a matter of just 2 months and after switching gas suppliers, my per Ccf (not really sure what type of measurement that means) has dropped from $1.43 to $0.729. Hollaback! I'm so super excited. Of course, it's a little annoying because pretty much every quarter, I have to call up each supplier and find out who has the lowest rate and then pretty much jump back and forth. However, as long as there are no penalties for early terminations by switching and reswitching so much, I'll do it!


This summer the girls and I are going to be making our own summer dresses. The summer dresses are pretty much just sewn together using one sheet of material, but yet each store seems to charge over $20 for them. What?! It's going to be a fun way to spend quality time with the girls and save money. If only I can get Steve to wear dresses then we won't have to spend any money on his clothes this summer. We are also going to attempt to grow our own vegetables and displaying our progress on this blog will keep us motivated.

What are you doing to save money?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy 9th Birthday Bubbles!

Happy Birthday Bubbles! We love you very much! You are growing up so fast, soon your Dad and I can put you in charge of cleaning one of the bathrooms and mowing the lawn. We're so excited! HAHAHAHAHA...XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rice Krispy Sweets

This event happened a little while ago, but whenever I intended to set aside a day to blog about this activity, something else occurred and I posted that instead. So here are pictures from our rice krispy sweet treat making evening. But later then never!

Stir faster, the marshmallows are cooling!

RB's masterpiece!

Ew, Bubbles threw a smurf into her rice krispy mixture!

Nah, it wasn't a smurf. It was just blue dye!

It was a fun and inexpensive activity. I think I'm getting old because I still rather just buy them in the store. Unforunately, not all the rice krispy sweets were consumed. I'm sure the wild animals enjoyed them as much as we did. Hmmmm!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Duh!

Over the weekend, Steve and I played around with our newly purchased Quicken Deluxe software. We spent a quiet evening loading income, entering mortgage/car/credit card debt, etc., and logging all the cash we had in the house. This task lead us to counting all the loose change and dollar bills in our money jug. I don't know how accountants do it because after a few short hours, we were exhausted. The very next day after cleaning, we had a few hours to relax before picking up RB and Bubbles so we decided to watch some TV. However, we couldn't find the Direct TV remote control. We searched everywhere, but were unsuccessful.

Guess what I found in my satchel while rummaging through it today at work, 2 days later?
I guess this means it's time to clean out my bag. Who knows what else I have in there?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekend in Review

I haven't had the opportunity to post for this weekend until now. This Saturday was Bubble's first day of soccer practice for the YMCA. It's a weekly event and lasts until April 4th. She is with the 6-8 year old league. Even though the record receipt I obtained showed her starting practice at 9AM, she was actually not supposed to start until 10AM. That's okay, she had a chance to watch the first batch of kids practice so she knew what Coach Doug expected of her. She had a blast! One thing that I did not think was fair was Coach Doug paired the experienced soccer players with the beginners so the experienced kids kept hogging the ball. Hey, if Rocky can bring two countries together like the U.S. and Russia while he was fighting the Soviet, then by golly, Bubbles can learn to play soccer.

Wasn't it cool that her laces matched the ball?

The kids practiced dribbling and control of the ball

She had to wear a stinky jersey

After soccer practice, the girls wanted to go to Old Country Buffet. I've never been and I have to say I am still not sure what the excitement was all about. It cost us $30 for food that could have been prepared at home for half that amount. The highlight is when Bubbles tied my hair to a balloon and let it float.



This was a chore weekend for everyone. Bubbles and RB eached earned $10 for completing their list of chores and Steve and I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. Our house is spotless. Right now him and I are in the compulsive stage where if either one of us sees a mess, we immediately sprint to clean it up. I have diagnosed us with post cleaning disorder. Give us another week of messy animals and kids and our disorder will miraculously disappear and we won't be sprinting as much to clean up mess we spot. We may just walk over it counting down to the next chore weekend.

Last, but not least....

Happy 8th Birthday to my niece, Sydney!!!! If she lived in Maryland, by law, she could stay home by herself...CRAZY, huh? Thankfully she resides in Pennsyltucky where by 8, kids probably would already know how to skin a deer.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

RRF is on her way to recovery

video

RRF had a follow-up vet visit tonight with her doctor, Dr. Cheek, so she could replace the tail bandage. I think RRF is famous at Leader Heights Animal Hospital now because they instantly recognized me. I'm not quite sure if it's a good thing or not to be recognized as the Mommy of the "crazy tailing chewing cat".

RRF's first tail bandage was yellow, but now it's the most bestest color in the world...green. The kitzac is helping tremendously and she shouldn't have to be on it forever. Just for a few weeks while her hormones readjust from her surgery. She purrs and is very playful with yarn just as a kitten should be. She seems to want to groom everything now - stuffed animals, hands, the floor, etc. She even tried grooming my house slippers this morning as I was spending time with her. She loves playing "chase the yarn" with Steve. I tried using yarn a few times when playing with her, but I just don't have his skills. She seemed to get bored with me.

While some might find this video boring, I thought it was the cutest thing. Knowing how she was before the spay and chewing off her tail, it's amazing to see the transformation just a week after her traumatic experience. What's really amazing is now that RRF's behavior is under control, the girls can bond with her. We are hoping her reintroduction back with the other house pets won't cause her loving behavior to become less loving.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Family Game Night



Hello everyone,


Its Steve (Schmoopy). I am posting an entry for the first time. Alicia is behind me with a knife forcing me. (To be precise its the knife I still have not received for my birthday.. Jan 14th) Anyway tonight was family fun night at Bubbles school. We were all in the school gym in a big circle playing games. We played Simon says, Hoky poky, & a few other games. One of our favorite events of the evening was when we were given some newspaper and masking tape & were told to make a hat as a family. We ended up with an airplane hat & Bubbles got to walk around the circle with it on. Here is a picture of Bubbles in her hat. ENJOY!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rupenzel, let your hair down

I got to have fun and trim Steve's mohawk yesterday. I had more fun with the spray bottle since I took every opportunity available to me to soak him with water. Hey, I had to make sure his hair stayed wet!

This is the longest we've gone not cutting his hair

I wanted to put a lightning bolt on the side. He didn't seem to share my vision.

I never did get an official "after" shot. This was close to after as all I had to do was shave down his mohawk. He shaved his beard too afterwards. Ain't he perty?