Ugh – taxes!

Here it is April 15 and we still haven’t filed our 2005 income taxes. Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting it on my very public blog, but the good thing is that since “tax day” falls on a Saturday this year, we have until Monday to file. So we aren’t late – yet. What a relief!

Generally we would’ve filed by now, because let’s face it, everybody wants their tax return. But…this year we aren’t getting any money back. In fact, we owe. (Not a lot, but still.) Jody adjusted his withholdings this past year so that we’d get the maximum amount of money in each paycheck so we could afford to actually pay our bills. (Novel concept, I know.) But because of this, the gov’t didn’t get quite enough and we owe a couple hundred bucks.

Anyway, I am thankful for Turbo Tax and the fact that we pretty much have our taxes already done, we just need to give it the old once-over and submit it and send off our hard-earned moolah. Should be pretty easy, so why do we keep putting it off?

Off to the dentist (and other stuff)

I’m embarrassed to say it, but I haven’t been to the dentist for a cleaning in over 2 years *gasp* – since before Ava was born.

I grew up going to the dentist for cleanings every 6 months without fail. Mom was very good about that. It was something I kept up for the most part after I left home. I prided myself on not having a single cavity until I was in my late 20s and was shocked when it finally happened.

Anyway, my regular dental appointments were easy to keep up, that is, until I had Ava. It seems once you become a mommy, you don’t always take the time for necessary upkeep for yourself that you need to. I know I should have gone, but then there was a change in our insurance and we didn’t have coverage at *that* dentist anymore, and I just let it go from there.

Well, as a result of my lackadaisical attitude, I think I now have more than a few cavities. πŸ™

It’s not that I haven’t taken care of my teeth since then – I still brush and floss regularly – but I really think the professional cleanings make a good deal of difference.

I bring all of this up because I finally made myself an appointment and am going for a cleaning tomorrow (Tues.) morning. I’ve never been afraid of the dentist or had any worries about going there, but I admit I’m a bit afraid of what they may find tomorrow. However, I know it’s better to get in there sooner than later, before any problems I may have worsen.

I’ll keep ya posted. πŸ˜‰

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In other news, had a nice weekend here. Went back to the dairy farm on Saturday and saw the goats again. Then had a yummy lunch of Chinese food and hung out at Jody’s work (the place was empty) and played a round of pool. Jody won. :oP On Sunday I had a maternity photoshoot for a friend, which went pretty well. Didn’t do much for the rest of the day, other than spend some time outside because it was gorgeous out, but that was cool with me. Oh, and I made my own marinara sauce (yum!) using fresh tomatoes and we had pasta (that Barilla Plus brand which is really good) for dinner.

Today, after a trip to Vitamin Cottage for some groceries, I tried out a recipe for Black Bean and Sweet Potato (with Kale) Enchiladas from my “Vegetarian Mother” cookbook. Got to use up some of the veggies we got from our Door to Door organics delivery this morning. πŸ™‚ I even made my own enchilada sauce! I took some pics, but I have to admit it wasn’t as delicious as I hoped it would be. It was good, but just not *WOW* good. I may post the pics and recipe another day.

That’s all for now.

Fun on the farm

We met a group of friends at a goat dairy today for a free self-guided tour. We saw lots of baby goats – some who were less than a week old, pregnant goats, milking goats and the bucks.

Ava enjoyed petting and feeding all of the goats and had a grand old time. πŸ™‚ I think all of the kids enjoyed themselves and it was a fun way for us to spend the afternoon. Plus the weather was perfect. Who could’ve asked for more?

After we finished making the rounds, we sampled some cheeses and bought some chevre marinated in olive olive with garlic and spices. OMG. It’s soooo yummy.

Here are some pics from the day. (Click the pic to see it larger.)

Checking out the older baby goats.





Ava and a couple of her friends (the boys, not the goats). πŸ˜‰

Feeding the pregnant mama goats.


Ava and her buddy Creed.

He’s baaaaaack and other random stuff

I didn’t write about it earlier (for safety, etc.), but Jody was back out in California for work for much of this past week. It was hard having him gone two weeks in a row (much props to all the single parents out there), but this looks like it will be a rare occurence.

He spent most of his time at the Googleplex this week and keeps raving about the gourmet meals he ate while there. (For those of you who missed it, Jody’s company was recently acquired by Google.) They actually have gourmet chefs that work in the cafeterias on the Google campus. He was proud to say that he can’t recall being hungry the whole time he was there because there was always food to eat. I guess they joke that when you first start working there many employees gain the “Google 15” just like the “Freshman 15” in college. I can see how that would be very easy to do after all the yummy things Jody has said he ate. The thing he keeps bringing up though is some cheesecake topped with mango marmelade and damnit it all if that doesn’t get my jonesin’ for some myself. Mmmmmmm.

Now onto other random stuff…

Anyway, now that he’s back, he will be tackling the delightful necessary task of rounding up the deceased mice in the garage tomorrow. Not a fun job, but one that I gladly saved for him (and I’m so grateful that he will be doing it and not me). πŸ˜‰

I had a great photoshoot today with a 6-month-old little girl. I’m excited to start proofing it, but since Jody has been gone so much lately, I’m not spending much time on the computer this weekend so we can have some family time. πŸ™‚

This coming week should be a fun one. We are planning on going on a tour with some friends of a local dairy to see the new baby goats on Tuesday. Then Tuesday night Jody’s work is having a big party to celebrate the Google acquisition. Families are invited and I think it will be a fun time for all of us. On Wednesday we are going to try to go to a play group (if we can get our butts out of bed early enough).

Oh, Ava’s started singing song with the actual words lately. She can sing the “Happy Birthday” song. It’s not in key, but it’s so cute. πŸ™‚ She also loves to sing “Itssshh spider” (Itsy bitsy spider) and “Tinkle tinkle” (Twinkle twinkle little star) though can’t do the words to those as well as “Happy birthday.”

This time change thing is going to be a beotch to get used to, I can already tell. We’re already late to bed, late to rise kind of people and this will make us even later (which we really don’t need). Anyway, hopefully we can do some adjusting this week.

On that note, I should probably get myself to bed.

The things you can do with felt

I bought some blue felt yesterday to try out as a backdrop for future photoshoots, specifically the one I have on Saturday of a 6-month-old girl. Ava was kind enough to indulge me a bit today, so that I could play, I mean, practice. πŸ˜‰

I think I need to iron it to get out the wrinkles (you can really see them in the first pic) and find a way to get it to hang tighter on my backdrop stand, but I think it will work out pretty nicely and is a relatively inexpensive backdrop.

I was pleased to discover the light in my livingroom was better than I originally thought, so maybe I could do shoots here at my house after all. We’ll see. Oh, and I ran an action on these pics called “colour wow” which I just LOVE. Really makes the colors pop! πŸ™‚

Here’s my lil punkin. Thanks for looking.


I think this one is my new favorite of her. πŸ™‚

Stuff n things

Haven’t had time to blog lately, but I figured a little recap was in order, so here goes…

Ava officially learned to jump (with BOTH feet off the ground at the same time last night)! It was pretty exciting for all of us. πŸ™‚

I’ve been busy proofing my two photo sessions from this weekend. Neither went as well as I would’ve liked (mostly weather-related problems), but I rolled with the punches and am pleased with several of the pictures. Maybe one of these days I’ll get around to posting a little gallery from some of my recent shoots.

The weather was gorgeous today, so, after running some errands, Ava and I spent a good deal of time playing in the backyard along with the dogs. It’s nice to see spring has returned (at least for now). πŸ™‚

We’ve been dealing with a major infestation of mice in our garage for the past few weeks. I won’t get into too many details but after trying many ways of getting rid of them without killing them (catch and release traps – they got out of, those sonic noise things that are supposed to make mice leave the premises – which hasn’t bothered them in the least, etc.), we have had to resort to more drastic measures (some kind of poison “food” that causes them to fall into a coma and die, because neither of us could bear the thought of using actual mouse traps). *Gulp* It sucks and I feel horrible about it, but I think there are at least 15 of them out there and 15 mice make a LOT of poop and a BIG mess which certainly can’t be healthy for us. So Jody’s been taking care of all of that, both setting out the “food” and cleaning up the ridiculous mess of poop they’ve left us. Thank God.
Looks like I went into more detail than I’d originally planned. Oops.

I’m sure there are those of you out there who think this is absolutely cruel and horrible for us to do, but I ask that you keep your comments to yourselves. I feel bad about resorting to killing them, but I honestly value the health of my family more than I do the health of rodents. Sorry. πŸ™

That’s all I have time for right now. Must find something to make for dinner while the little one naps. Eww. The thought of food doesn’t sound appetizing after all that talk about mice. Gah.

The kids need chaperones already?

Since both my husband and my friend’s husband were going to be out of town yesterday (both on separate trips), we decided to get together to hang out, have dinner, chat and watch a movie. Obviously since our guys were gone, we had the kids in tow.

You would’ve thought it was “date night” for Ava and Creed, more than a relaxing night for the mommies the way those two kept kissing and hugging each other. I swear they gave each other at least 10 to 12 kisses last night, plus several hugs. LOL We joked around that we were just there to chaperone.

One hug was so sweet, they were holding onto each other so tight that they lost their balance and fell over while still hugging. Unfortunately Ava bonked her head and was reduced to tears. πŸ™ Awww. What can I say honey? – sometimes love hurts. πŸ˜‰

At one point, while we were watching “Fried Green Tomatoes,” Creed snuck behind their futon and Ava soon followed after. They were just sitting back there playing together, but it was pretty funny. Like they had to sneak away so they could be alone. hehe. πŸ˜‰

We had a fun evening. It was nice to get out and do something with a friend since Jody’s been gone since Tuesday night. We ordered Indian food and spent a lot of time just chit-chatting. In fact, we didn’t start the movie ’til pretty late so we didn’t get to watch all of it, but that’s ok because I’ve seen it before (years ago) and since it was my Netflix rental, I’ll probably watch the rest here tonight.

Anyway, Jody gets home later today – yay! I’ll be happy to have him back and I know Ava will be too. πŸ™‚

This weekend is a busy one – two photoshoots with toddlers! Should be fun and interesting I’m sure. πŸ˜‰ Thankfully, after lots of crazy snow here lately, the weather looks like it will cooperate for outdoor pics – in the 50s and partly cloudy.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend. πŸ™‚

Say it ain’t soy ;)

Since making the switch to vegetarianism back in January (I think it was), we’ve been consuming a lot of soy in this house. Not just tofu and tempeh, but I’ve been buying a lot of the fake meat products in the freezer and refrigerator sections. This is in addition to drinking soy milk.

Well, guess what. I think I’m WAY overdoing it.

All of this soy consumption is causing me major gastro-intestinal issues. I won’t go into detail (you don’t want to hear it – doh! no pun intended), but things have gotten a little too gassy around our house lately.

A mama on one of my message boards recently posted a link to an article from Mothering magazine called Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food and it really got me thinking about our eating habits. (That, and I chatted via email with Miriam about soy, protein and other stuff. I wish she could just come cook for me. Not like she has anything to keep her busy with a baby coming any day now. ;))

I admit to going gung-ho over all of these soy products, thinking they were a healthy meat substitute, while they are really just heavily processed foods being marketed as “healthy” because they are made with soy. And so I’m cutting back on these processed foods. It only makes sense. I wouldn’t buy processed frozen chicken nuggets for our family before we were vegetarian, so why would I buy processed frozen soy “chicken” nuggets, etc. now?? The convenience of them definitely appealed to me, but convenience can have it’s drawbacks.

So now I need to figure out some healthy alternatives (like more beans/lentils/whole grains/etc.). This isn’t to say I won’t buy any of these things fake meat products again, but, like ALL things we do/consume in life, I believe that the key is MODERATION. πŸ™‚ So we will be consuming them far less often.

Anyway, if any of you vegetarians or vegans out there have some ideas for me, I’m all ears. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

Dreams and cleaning

I had a dream about some old friends (and a former friend) last night. This time they were all going on a cruise without me, but I heard about it or was invited or something at the last minute so I decided to hang out with them for a bit. I didn’t buy a ticket for the cruise so I could only stay on the boat until it was about to leave the port. (Weird.) Anyway, I don’t remember much about it, but it seems like me and my former friend were able to work out some of our issues, though it was definitely awkward and strange.

I am sure I dreamt about this because I recently learned that the old gang is getting together for a trip to visit one of our mutual friends. We all did the trip together last year, but since then, me and the one friend had a major falling out (that I, to this day, still don’t understand) and so they are going without me this year. (Which is fine by the way. No hard feelings to any parties involved.)

Anyway, despite the several inches of snow we have on the ground, I was doing some spring cleaning today and came across this big tote box thing full of paraphernalia from planning my wedding. I have about 6 wedding planning books as well as several wedding/bride magazines, a slew of receipts from our wedding stuff, a bajillion wedding and shower cards and all kinds of notes relating to our wedding. In addition to this, I found “souvenirs” from friends’ weddings – including about 10 programs, a handful of napkins and matches and a bottle of bubbles from the one friend that I had the falling out with. I’m not sure why I saved all that stuff (I can see one program, but 10??!), but, for a number of reasons, I couldn’t see holding onto it any longer. I parted with a bunch of MY wedding stuff (our recycle bin will be full of paper this week!) and plan to donate all of my books and magazines (God willing, I’ll never need those again!), so I parted with her wedding memorabilia as well.

I’m not sure how this all ties in together, but it felt good to get some cleaning done today, even if it was a very small dent in the huge amount of stuff I need to go through. It felt sort of like an emotional cleansing too. First I had the dream that things had been patched up with this friend and then I physically removed some of the stuff related to her from my life. Not saying that I want her out of my life, but I think fresh starts are always good.

A few treats for myself

Since we have a little extra money at the moment, I decided to treat myself to a few new things this weekend.

First off, I finally got a pair of Crocs. I’ve been wanting some for well over a year now (maybe two or three, I don’t remember) but just never took the plunge. Jody was buying a new pair of shoes today so I took advantage of the moment and asked if I could get some too (he hates Crocs by the way), and he indulged me. Yay! I got the fuschia pair. I wanted to get a pair for Ava too, but the smallest size seems a little too big for her still. hehe. Just wait. πŸ˜‰

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Crocs, the company that makes them is based right near here in Boulder, CO, and just about everyone and their sister/brother has at least one pair around here. They are supposed to be uber-comfy. I guess I’ll let ya know. πŸ˜‰ I know a lot of people think they are fugly as can be, but c’est la vie. I like ’em.

The other thing I got for myself (which was VERY much needed) was a new nursing bra. My “good” one that I bought before Ava was born has seen much better days (and it doesn’t fit quite right now that my boobs are not nearly as big as they were right after she was born). So I got a nice, new Bravado bra. Yay again!

It’s not often that I get to splurge on myself so it’s pretty fun when I do. πŸ™‚

I also picked up a few things for the photography business – two large pots and a wooden crate (to help keep babies/kids in one place), and some faux flowers. I really need to pick up some tulle and ribbon to make some tutus as well. πŸ™‚

Oh, speaking of the biz, I got my backdrop stand and a free roll of white seamless paper in this week so I did a bit of playing with it with Ava the other day. Here are a few that I took. (click the pic to see it larger.)




Hope you all have a nice weekend. It’s raining here and snow is expected overnight and tomorrow. Blah.