Saturday, September 25, 2010

Garage Sale Find!

This morning, for whatever reason, I woke up fairly well-rested with Dan at 7:15 am. He was getting ready to go to work for the morning, and I decided that I would go around to the hundreds of garage sales out here on Saturdays.

I didn't really have anything specific in mind that I was looking for. Of course, I knew any real cheap baby stuff would be good if it was in good shape. Otherwise, I was just going to see if I could find any hidden treasures.

I got out at one of the first sales I went to, and then the next probably 25 after that, I just drove by slowly and kept going when I didn't see anything of interest. I was starting to get a little disappointed at my lack of garage sale luck for the day, but I decided I would go through one more subdivision and then head back home.

Boy am I glad I did...

The first and only sale I ended up driving past had something I've been searching for months for. You may or may not remember the table we bought from Craigslist back in January. I posted about the refinishing we did to it shortly after getting it, as we were planning on it being our kitchen table after we moved out of Tucson. Up until now, we have been using it as our kitchen table, but have had an office chair and a folding chair as the chairs since it didn't come with any.

I've been searching Craigslist since January for a certain style and design of chairs that I wanted to go with it. I've found a few sets, but they have all been well over $100 for a set of 4. I also knew that if worse came to worse, I could either buy new chairs from the store for about $150 each, or just buy a new kitchen table and chairs set from Craigslist and use the table we refinished as a scrapbooking table or whatever. This has been my plan for the past few weeks, as now we have a baby coming and need to have an actual kitchen table with real chairs to sit in.

Until today...

I pulled up to this sale, and was immediately in disbelief. The exact style and design of chairs I've been wanting for our table were sitting out on the driveway for sale. 4 of them. In black, just like our table. I ran across the street and up the driveway to see they were priced at $10 each! $40 for the set of 4 chairs!!! I couldn't believe it. They were used, but still in good shape. Honestly they just need a little touch up and they'll be good as new. Even if they were a little used...they were the chairs I'd been wanting forever... 4 of them for $40...and we've been sitting on a folding chair (which hardly works at a counter height table) and an office chair for 3 months now.

I paid them all the cash I had ($20) and luckily the lady was super nice and said she'd hold the whole set for me since she knew I'd be coming back for them and that I could just bring the rest of the money then. I had to wait until Dan got home from work with the Trailblazer so we could go get them, but as soon as he did we ran right over. I was so excited.

They look SO good with our table, and I'm so excited that it actually looks like we have a kitchen table and chairs set instead of just random stuff all thrown together.

Here is a picture of the table with 3 chairs around it. (For now, with the placement of the table, that's all we can have. Eventually when we move, all 4 will be used :))

(I know it's a little dark, but don't worry. There will definitely be more pictures to come when I get a tablecloth and some halloween decorations put together on it :D)

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Favorite Thing About Sundays

Dan and I were called a few weeks ago to work in the older nursery. We were actually excited because we really do love being in nursery and love those kids. We were in the nursery before in Tucson for about 9 months and loved it. I mean come on, when 2/3 of your Sunday meetings include playing with toys, coloring, eating snacks and blowing bubbles, what is there not to love?

While I love those little ones in our class, and have a lot of fun with them each week, I do have to say that this is my favorite part of our Sunday meetings...

I absolutely love watching my husband play and interact with these children. He has such a sweet spirit about him that draws the kids to him and are they are so comfortable with him. Many of our screamers settle down within a minute or two after Dan holds them, talks to them and sits down to play with them. He has such a love for children and I have never met a kid, of any age, that has not been completely enthralled with him. Kids love him. They think he is so fun and are just drawn to him.

This has always been one of the things I have loved most about Dan. His love and knack for children has always been one of his most attractive qualities. The fact that he doesn't mind when he has kids climbing all over him, and has no problem sitting down, kicking his shoes off and playing whatever toys or books they're interested in at the time. He makes it so fun for them.

It makes me so excited to see how he will be with the baby coming. He is going to be such a wonderful dad. I have a feeling when it comes time for "play time", whether it's a boy or a girl, Daddy will be their first choice of play time buddies.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I received a promotion at work today.

I have been somewhat expecting it, because I knew they were going to be looking for at least 1 person to promote within the first month or so. My boss has asked my opinion on many things and has left me in charge of things many times when he has to leave for a while. I am the oldest employee in the store and the one with the most experience.

So, it wasn't a complete surprise; but I wasn't expecting it today.

I won't have too many more duties than what I already do, which is just about everything. Only now I will make more and will be given the responsibility of opening and possibly closing the store on my own from time to time.

I'm kind of excited. I have really enjoyed getting to know my boss and his wife. We have a pretty good friendship and it makes working so much more relaxed. This job really has been just what I was looking for. It's a great extra income for the extra things we like to buy occasionally. It will also be wonderful when it comes time to start buying baby stuff.

We went to Texas Roadhouse tonight for dinner to celebrate. Then to continue our family night, we went to Target to get me a body pillow for sleeping. Last night I was in so much pain with my lower back, I could hardly move. Hopefully the body pillow helps.

It made for an exciting evening and a gave us a reason to celebrate.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I went to Superstition Springs Mall today (for probably the first time in 2 or 3 it's changed a lot since I worked there in high school). I went to pick up a few things at Clinique that I've been out of for a while since they were having a bonus! (Spend $21.50 or more and get $60 worth of stuff free!) I love Clinique bonuses!

Dan came and met me for lunch in the food court. But after he left, I walked over to JCPenny to look at some baby stuff. Since I never get to the mall, I wanted to take the opportunity to look at some of these stores in person instead of just seeing everything online.

I browsed through some sale racks, and saw a ton of cute stuff of course. But since we haven't found out whether we're having a boy or a girl yet, it makes it kinda hard to buy clothes...

I looked around a little more on the other side of the baby section, just mainly getting ideas of all the cute stuff I'll want to buy as soon as I do know what we're having! the back corner, on a small clearance rack, I found these 2 things!
They were both things that I thought could be worn by either a boy or a girl, which is pretty hard to find anyway. Plus, the prices on them was something I just couldn't pass up!

I have usually have mixed feelings about "Baby's 1st..." things because they will probably wear them once or twice, and that's it. But since this was a bib, I figured you can never have enough bibs, no matter what they say on them. And, even though this bib has an adorable bow on the side, I decided we'll either deal with it or cut it off if we end up having a boy.

The shorts were just adorable. And while they were probably meant to be boy shorts, I thought since they were khaki, and they didn't have anything particularly boy-ish on them, I could definitely put them on a girl with maybe a longer shirt and be ok.

Now for the deals...

The bib, was originally $9.00. I paid $1.97 for it!

The shorts, were originally $36.00. I paid $2.99 for them!!

Full price, I would have spent about $50 for these 2 things, and today...I spent $5.19!

I absolutely love finding deals like this, and usually just can't pass them up! This time was no different...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

I think everyone would agree that long weekends are never long enough, however they are still very enjoyable while they last. This weekend we were able to enjoy time together as well as with family while relaxing from the cares of the working world.

Friday night, we started with this guy in our closet right by my shoes...
Since it was in the groove, we didn't really have a good shot at killing it with a shoe or anything else for that matter without risking missing and it running to hide somewhere else in the closet. So...we decided to vacuum it up. Dan is good about killing virtually all bugs, but he hates spiders about as much as I do. But he got out the vacuum and sucked it right up. Good-bye Mr. Wolf Spider in our closet.

Saturday morning, we had a meeting with the 2nd counselor in the bishopric. We were called to work in the nursery again and also asked to speak in church next Sunday. We haven't given talks in church once since we've been married. I was trying to remember back to the last time I spoke in church, and I'm pretty sure it was when I was in high school. Our topic is Elder Nelson's talk from last conference entitled "Generations Linked with Love". I'm kind of excited that it's on genealogy because I have a deep love and appreciation for the family history efforts of the church, as well as the blessings that come to the family through the temple. We'll see how excited I am though when I'm sitting on the stand this Sunday...

After our meeting, we met up with Dan's family and took all of his siblings except his sister Lacey (who was camping for the weekend), plus a few more and headed to Safford to see the Gila Valley Temple. Dan's been wanting to go for months now and we just haven't ever had a good opportunity. But Saturday was free, and it was fun to go and spend time with his family. We had fun walking around the temple grounds and taking pictures. We were going to go to a park nearby that has a lot of hands-on space like stuff, but it was closed. It was a quick trip, but still very enjoyable.

Sunday, we had fun in the nursery and then came home for lunch and a nap before our evening of family visits. We spent the evening with my dad and family for dinner. It was an interesting night considering there has been some drama on that side of the family lately and we haven't seen or heard from some of them since. It was still nice to be able to catch up and visit.

Monday we spent an hour or so at my mom's visiting with my grandparents and having lunch. They always enjoy coming over to visit for the holidays and we hadn't seen them in a while. It's always fun to be able to catch up with them and for them to see how we're doing. We hadn't seen them since I've been pregnant, so I think that was fun for them too.

After lunch, we headed over to Chase Field for the Diamondbacks/Giants game. We got tickets free from our friends Benson and Sarah Garner, and enjoyed sitting next to the suites and having the fancy restaurants outside. Unfortunately, the D-Backs couldn't pull it off and lost 2-0 in 11 innings. It was still fun to go to a baseball game for free and spend some time together.

After the game, we went to Dan's parents' for a BBQ and some whiffleball (which I did not partake in). The boys always love to play whiffleball, especially on these summer holidays. We visited with the family and played a few games before returning home last night.

Overall it was a great weekend. We're excited for the upcoming holiday season, that always seems to be kicked off with Labor Day, and to spend it with family and friends. We were mentioning this weekend how much better this season will be now that we don't have to drive to and from Tucson for each holiday when we have to be back for work the next day.

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, and good luck on getting back to reality this week!

Friday, September 3, 2010

August in Review

I realized today that it has been almost exactly a month since that last time I updated. August sure was a busy month around here. Most of it has been work related, as Dan and I are both working 2 jobs at the moment.

We are still trying to catch up on all of our bills and the higher-than-expected costs we incurred during the move back in June. It was tough right when we moved because Dan was still working for the company he did in Tucson. Which was fine, at least it was a job, however it was a 75 minute drive one way over to west Phoenix, costing about $15 in gas per day, and he was not given the "cost of living" raise he was expecting since it costs more to live here than in Tucson. So, not only was he not making anymore, but he was spending about 20-25% of his paycheck on gas. This was not conducive to our catching up.

Dan started a new job at a small bank based out of ND that is located in east Gilbert. This cut his commute time from 75 min. down to 30 min. which is about average for just about everyone who lives out where we do. He loves his job and the people he works with. It is a very laid back environment, which took him a few weeks to get used to, but makes for a much happier Dan when he gets home. This has been key for me. So often at his old job he would come home beyond frustrated and at his wits end. Naturally, he would need to vent it off to someone, which I didn't mind until it became almost a daily occurance. I can't express how much better this new job has been. Not to mention the fact that he's making about $3 more an hour and there will hopefully be room for advancement eventually.

He also started a part time job with the Town of Queen Creek Parks and Rec during mid-July. He has been refereeing/site supervising 6 & 7 year old basketball for the past 6 weeks or so, and has thoroughly enjoyed it. It's good exercise for him, and it's an easy job working with kids, which he loves. He's looking forward to the fall league of adult co-ed softball that will be starting in the next week or two. He's even making more at this job than he was at the job in west Phoenix...It has been a nice supplement.

At the beginning of August, I was hired for a part-time position at a brand-new Baskin Robbins store that was opening in Queen Creek. The store was not yet open when I was hired, and we actually just opened about 2 weeks ago. It is just a small part-time thing that has been a good way for me to get out of the house and earn a little extra money for baby stuff/black Friday shopping/Christmas. It has definitely been hard for me to tell people that I work at Baskin Robbins, when I have 2 college degrees and am a Registered Dental Hygienist. I am the oldest employee at the store, and I am 98% sure I am in for a promotion/raise in the next few weeks. However, at the same time it is hard to fathom that all my hard work and dedication to school has gotten me to Baskin Robbins, making minimum wage.
Let me explain my thought process behind getting this job for those wondering, and partially to help remind myself also. Right after hygiene school, I waited for my license to come and then immediately began putting out resumes to just about every hygienist position I could find. I submitted probably 10-15 resumes within a week or 2 and had 1 office call for an interview. I went to the interview, but was not so hyped on the office or it's practices. They never called back. I wasn't too sad about it...The day after that interview, I found out I was pregnant. I immediately knew that any small chance I had in finding a job as a hygienist would be pretty much out the door as soon as they found out I was going to need 6 months of maternity leave in less than a year. The office manager of the office I interviewed at said she had over 150 resumes that came in for the hygiene position. People who were willing to move from out of state for the job. Somehow I made it to the top 3 who got interviews, but I knew that if that was the case in her office, there was a very good chance that's how it was everywhere. She said her temp agency contact told her she has hundreds of hygienists call everyday looking for work. Then, when I was pregnant, I knew I needed to and felt good about just giving up on the search for a job as a hygienist right now. Not only would an office not want to hire me when I was pregnant, but I didn't know that I wanted to start a new job in a new office when I would only be working there 6 months at the most before going on leave. As much as the salary of a hygienist would be SO incredibly helpful right now, and as worried as I am that I will lose the skills that I worked for 2 long years to build, I felt good about that choice.
But I knew I needed something. I knew I couldn't just sit around the house all day, everyday for the next 9 months waiting for the baby to come. That's when I found the job at BR. It was just what I wanted. Easy, fun, close, flexible, and somewhere that I wouldn't feel bad leaving in 8 months or so if I needed to. So yes, I am making minimum wage, working with mainly high school students in their "entry level" job, but it's enough of a supplement for our needs and frankly is exactly the type of position I needed. I will soon be promoted to a shift leader, which will come with a pay increase as well as more of a managerial role than just a general employee who does dishes and scoops ice cream all day. It's tough. It's tough to tell people, and it's tough to hear our customers say "oh yeah, I worked at a Baskin Robbins years ago when I was in high school". But I just have to remember why I'm there and what I want out of it.

I also was hired by a company called Rise Services, which is a company my mom works with to get respite and habilitation services for my 9 year old Down Syndrome sister, Annie. Now that we live back in town, and hopefully by the end of the year will be moving even closer, I wanted to become qualified and certified to provide these services for Annie. For the past 9 years, my mom has taken Annie to other people's homes where they have provided respite (essentially babysat her) for a few hours a day. It was a great arrangement, until a few years ago when the girl my mom had been taking Annie to for years got married and didn't want to do it anymore. Since then she's gone around to different providers here and there, but it's gotten even more difficult as Annie gets older and harder to manage. My mom never felt comfortable having other people/strangers come into her home to watch Annie, even though it would have been much more convenient for her and much easier on Annie. But now that can be the case. Now, I can go to my moms and watch Annie while my mom runs errands, takes a shower, and does whatever other motherly things she needs to do around the house. I have been doing this for Annie's whole life really, but have just done it as a sisterly/daughterly duty and have never been paid. But now, I get paid by the state to watch Annie. The best part for my mom is they could even go somewhere overnight if they needed to, because Dan and I can just go stay at my mom's and Annie still sleeps in her own bed, etc. It's been a great arrangement, it's just a little difficult to do often right now because I still live 45 minutes from my mom. But soon, hopefully we will take advantage of it even more.

Essentially, this has been our August in a nut shell. A lot of working with a few small things here and there.

I had my monthly OB appointment yesterday and finally met the Dr. herself. It was a very short visit, but she did ask if I was interested in having the NTS testing done. I told her I had thought about it, but still hadn't made a decision. She explained the procedure to me and what it looks for, and told me I had until my next appointment to decide. So, this is the big question in my mind at the moment. I'm not sure if my insurance covers it. But if so, I'm leaning towards having it done. Being my first pregnancy, I want to know all I can about the baby that's growing inside of me. If there is something that isn't right, I'd like to know about it now so I can prepare for it for when they get here. I think of my mom having an Amnio done and finding out Annie had Downs. Those were some very dark days for probably a good month, followed by intensive reading and research to find out all she could about it and be as ready as she could be to care for it. I couldn't imagine if they wouldn't have known and had to try to cope with it and research the condition and everything after she was already here.

What do you think? Did you have the NTS done? Were you glad you did? Would you do it again?