Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Saturday 7

1. I only read one book this week: A Melody for James by Hallee Bridgeman  It was a book I found while randomly scrolling through Goodreads. It was one of the most highly rated books I've come across so far (4.5 stars), so while I thought the cover was heinous, I decided to give it a try. I remained skeptical when it came in at the library. It seriously looks self-published. But it was actually really good!! The writing was excellent, the story was engrossing, the characters were well-developed. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the next in the series. 

2. This has already been on facebook, but needs to be noted here as well. Our tax refund was direct deposited this week, and I immediately paid off the last of our student loans. I can't believe the day has finally come!! I dropped out after 2.5 years, so don't even have a degree to show for it. And Justin doesn't use his degree. So our $60,000 of student debt was extremely frustrating. But now, 4 years after moving in with my parents, 2 years after profiting off the sale of our house, 10 years after making monthly payments, we are DONE! Actually, we are totally debt-free now. We drive clunker cars, we pay off our credit cards in full every month, and we obviously don't have a mortgage to worry about. Free, free, we're free at last!!

3. We had gorgeous weather this week. Highs in the 50s and 60s. Unheard of for February in Michigan! It came at just the right time, though, because the cabin fever is really starting to kick in by this time of the year. It was so nice to get outside!
Fun Dips on the front step

Trump hair don't care

This little car has been a huge hit. Levi loves riding in it, and the girls love pushing him in it.

February sunset

Cold enough for a coat, not cold enough for pants? (And looking at this, I realize it looks like we're driving next to a bus while Lena hangs out the front window. Let me clarify: we were in the pick-up lane at school, which runs parallel with the bus lane. Neither my van nor the bus was moving in this picture.)
4. As you might be able to tell from the above picture, Lena is still wearing pull-ups. But she's made some amazing progress with potty training this week. The rule this week was that she only gets 2 pull-ups a day. Once both of those are wet she has to wear undies the rest of the day. I know it's not the smartest move to use undies as punishment, but it's effective! She only had to wear undies twice this week (for a total of like an hour both days). And I had bribed her a week or so ago with a trip to Chuck E. Cheese if she could keep her pull-up dry all day. She accomplished that Herculean feat on Thursday - even despite a trip to Olive Garden that was a least a couple hours long. She refuses to use any bathroom but ours at home, so she held it the whole time we were gone. She pretty consistently tells me when she needs to go, now, and is staying dry in between bathroom trips. Next week, we'll move down to one pull-up a day, and then I have to start working with her on wearing undies. She is unreasonably terrified of them. She's also extremely embarrassed/shy about the whole potty training thing. She does not like to be congratulated or applauded. She does not like to be asked about it. She will only let me take her to the bathroom. So if you see her in person, please don't mention it!
Hard-earned trip to Chuck E. Cheese

Their favorite ride.

5. It became apparent to me today that I have some serious procrastination issues. Today was Levi's first birthday party. I definitely did not go all out on it, but we were having our family over, so I at least wanted the house clean and a few decorations set up. I've known about this party all week. But did I prepare at all during the week? No. Did I prepare at all yesterday? No. The party didn't start 'til 3:00 this afternoon, so I knew I'd have time today. Why do it ahead of time, when I can do a mad dash all at once for hours beforehand? Oy.

Similarly, I have until the end of the month to re-enroll Lucy at school. It's a long, tedious process that involves scanning tax documents into my computer (for the financial aid application), and finding immunization records, and other boring tasks. We got an email from the administrator last week advising us not to wait until the last minute. Psh. You're not the boss of me, Administrator. I'm an ISFJ. Pinterest tells me this applies to me:
I'll get it done on time! I just need a little pressure to motivate me!
6. Anyway, back to the party. My baby is turning 1 in 3 (4?) days, but no one wants to party on a Tuesday, so we partied today instead. I wasn't going to do a theme or anything Pinterest-y since he's one and he doesn't care, but if Valentine's Day taught me anything, it's that my girls do care. They love decorating and preparing and helping, so I consulted Pinterest and had a little fun. Our theme was "The Big One." I liked it because 1.It's a play on words (my kind of thing), 2. It's fishing-inspired (Justin's kind of thing), and 3. It's easy. A few bobbers, a few fish die-cuts, some streamers, and fishing supplies that Justin already owns. Good to go.

Those are bobbers in the front. Not poke-balls.


My cousin gave me that frame when Levi was born. I printed off a picture from our trip to Bass Pro Shops to put in it. Found a random reel in Justin's fishing supplies, some of his tackle-boxes, and a "Legal Fish Gauge" that my dad had laying around. Haha.
Punch with bobbers floating on top.

Monthly photos on more bobbers.


This is the poster Lucy and Lena worked on all morning for the party.
<3

Present time!

Thanks Uncle Luke and Aunt Esther!

And then it was time for cake! I like the idea of a smash cake, but I balk at the price. So when I saw Meijer sells individual cupcakes with a huge tower of frosting for $1,88, I jumped at it.
It didn't survive the drive home very well. Lol.

At first, Levi wasn't sure what to do with it, but he caught on quickly . . .



Sharing with Grandpa





7. Just a few more pictures from our week because I know this post doesn't have enough already. ;-)
This is how Lucy "plays outside." (Reading in my van.)

This does my heart good.

My little kitchen helper.



"Mommy, take my picture to show everyone my cute outfit!"
"You got food up there?"

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