Saturday, November 21, 2009

Because everyone needs a good laugh sometimes

I got this from my friend's facebook profile. Her mom wrote it:

"That reminds me of the story about your Grandma Beatrice. Grandpa was away and she had to kill the turkey. She couldn't do it, so she 'gassed' it in the oven then plucked all the feathers off. When she came back in the kitchen the 'naked' turkey was standing on the table. She was so shocked that she couldn't 'kill' it again so she knitted it a sweater. Well needless to say Grandpa made sure he made the Christmas table."

The mental images from this story are killing me!

Oh man, I haven't laughed that hard in a good long time. Good times. :)

And now for some family stuff...
Amelia went for a swim. Now we make sure to empty the tub and close the bathroom door.

Felix found a Warhead and wanted to try it out.

Doesn't he look quite heroic here? He's actually a very smiley kid, but he doesn't show off for the camera.

I used to play in the dirt (and eat it) when I was a kid. We can barely keep them away. I wonder if it's genetic.

Pillows. You're doing it wrong!

How she feels rested after this I'll never know.

Snuggled into daddy's side.

Amelia has found a few pacifiers laying around and has decided that she likes them. She's never been a binky baby, but sometimes she liked to chew on them (still no teeth). So she now wanders around sticking these otherwise-unused binkies in her mouth, often at weird angles. She doesn't care, which makes it even cuter.

She's still not walking, although she's still very close. And in the past couple of days I've noticed her trying out sounds as if she's trying to imitate our speech. More than just mumbling and baby talk though, she's actually getting some of the sounds right. She's a very smart little girl and Brent and I are constantly awed by her. She's also incredibly cute and has even started snuggling with us more than when she's tired. Sure, it only lasts a couple of seconds, but it's adorable!

Felix is finally growing some legs. Poor kid had this long torso and short little legs, but now all his pants are looking too short. He's still dragging his feet about potty training, but it's not like we're making a big push for it either. I keep telling him it can be my Christmas present from him - no more diapers. He has no idea what I'm talking about. :)

Brent read a Parenting with Love and Logic book that suggested saying (with toddlers especially) "I can't hear/understand you when you're whining." Even when he's sick or super tired, if we tell him we don't understand (which often is the absolute truth) he will stop, gather his breath, and say, "Please can I have..." Saying it purposely actually makes it easier to understand, as well as teaching him to be polite. He is also starting to say "thank you" without prompting.

Amelia loves her daddy. He gets up with her in the mornings and also gets her to sleep. I'm often taking Felix out on errands to give Brent some quiet so she can take a nap. Felix, since he spends so much time with me, much prefers his mommy. This is both heartwarming and frustrating, since if I'm around at all, he will refuse to be comforted by daddy.

Either way, we have some seriously cute kids. Don't you agree?

Good thing, because they're snot monsters at the moment. Both have bad colds that make them cough so hard they throw up. Amelia was the latest, and it came at a really bad time. Let me tell you, it's not much fun to have a sweet sleeping baby cough so much it wakes her up, only to be covered by everything in her stomach (just formula, thankfully). I was standing there in Walmart, holding my hand a couple inches from her face so I didn't get covered, all the while dismaying that it was dripping through her car seat over the groceries and forming a nice-sized puddle on the floor. Fun times.

After considering all the options with regards to finances, I called a recommended bankruptcy lawyer in Salt Lake. Besides being one of the most annoying people I've ever spoken to on the phone, I left the call feeling really unhappy. I had gotten some amazing information from my brother Nephi, who is in law school, and this lawyer had contradicted too much of it to be comfortable. The biggest part was about my medical bills. Nephi had told me that because Utah is an equitable distribution state, all debts 'belong' to the spouse whose name is on the debt. This lawyer told me that medical procedures are considered to be community property because they benefit the marriage, so if one spouse declares bankruptcy, the creditors will just go after the spouse. Not cool.

This lawyer actually suggested I get a second opinion, so I did, even though I was pretty hopeless at this point.

Turned out that the very next lawyer I spoke to answered all my concerns.

Like Nephi had said, Utah is an equitable distribution state, and the medical bills are covered under that too. So unless Brent's name is on the medical bills, they can't come after him. This lawyer also said that although he couldn't charge any less than $1400 (ouch!), I could actually file on my own, which would cost me less than $500. Because this lawyer was both honest and respectful (and not obnoxiously annoying), I'm almost tempted to have him do all the work anyway. Then again, the whole reason for the bankruptcy is that I don't have enough money, so cheaper might be better. I figure if I can talk Nephi into guiding me through the process I might be okay without a lawyer. We'll see what he says.

Either way, I have hope again with regards to finances.

Part of that hope comes from a new employer. Starting Monday, I will be working full time for PDC Pages (Phone Directories Company) as an office coordinator. I think it'll be a great fit. The plan is to work for a year to get nice and financially settled (finally get this financial crap behind us). Then we can work on more expansions to our family. One of the nice things about this new job is benefits. I'm almost excited to have insurance again, although I don't know many details about it. That'll come after 90 days. It will also be nice to feel like we're not completely strapped with regards to Christmas. That's no fun at all.

So, while I'll mourn the loss of freedom of time and time with my children, I will really enjoy not feeling so much financial stress. The combination of the bankruptcy and the job should help a whole lot. Heck, maybe someday we'll even be able to pay rent again. :)

Life is good. A bit stressful and overwhelming at times, but still good.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I don't know what it is about blogging lately, but I've had no desire to do it or read it. I'm sorry I'm behind on everyone's blogs, and I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while.

I've been fighting with a migraine for the past couple of weeks now, and although I can function every day, it's a struggle every day. There have certainly been good times in the middle when I can forget about the pain/nausea/discomfort, but maybe there's a bit of depression in there too that makes those difficult and not as often as I'd like.

It has become somewhat of a tradition to play on mommy and daddy's big bed every morning. Brent has been an absolute life-saver in getting up with Amelia, so once Felix and I wake up they come back and play with us. One morning I woke up to Felix crawling around the bed, calling out: "Miiiiiiiaaaaaa.... Miiiiiiiaaaaaa... Mimipaaaaannnnts... Baaaaabycaaaaakes..."

I love the joy on their faces as they discover each other in the mornings.

About a week ago I contacted a debt management company to consolidate all my bills. Brent didn't want to participate (understandably) because he was wary of their business ethics and the effects on credit and such. Turns out that every bit of bad debt that we have is in my name only. I do still have a couple of long-closed credit accounts that we have paid on for 7+ years, but two years ago I had an emergency appendectomy that turned out to be unnecessary. I had no insurance*, so $15,000 of medical bills later, and we're struggling.

The debt management company I found online turned out to be awesome. Kind and respectful and helpful and incredibly knowledgeable. And rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. I was happy to finally have this under control... till Saturday, when I got a call from one of the medical collection agencies. The lady assigned to my account is an absolute jerk (and I'm not just saying that because she's trying to get money from me - her phone manners are terrible) and she informed me that they don't work with debt management companies. Period. And if I don't want them to take me to court, I have to pay them an additional $300 per month - additional to the money I'm going to pay to the debt management company.

Talk about ruining the day! Happily for me, I have a little brother who is somewhat of an expert on bankruptcy law, so I wrote him an email asking for information. The email I got back was full of all the information that I needed. Now, I just need to find a lawyer who can file for me.

I don't think this will solve all my problems or anything. And I still hate the idea of bankruptcy. But unless I get a full-time job, I will never be able to stay on top of these bills. And having a full-time job would pose all sorts of other problems with Brent's own work. It's just not possible right now (besides the fact that it would be nearly impossible to find a job in the first place).

Anyway, I do feel somewhat better now that I've made the decision. Some of the stress that has been plaguing me has lifted.

Now I can concentrate on finishing off this stupid migraine, my new cool calling (primary chorister), losing more weight (50 pounds down!), and keeping up with my two little tornadoes.

Amelia is still not walking and still has no teeth. She has been on the verge of walking for weeks now so it's getting exciting to see her inch closer every day. She and Felix take some sort of perverse pleasure in dragging things from one end of the house to the other, so I'm constantly finding things in the wrong place and missing things that I know I've put away. They also are both totally obsessed with their grandma's plants. I actually remember liking dirt when I was a kid, so I can't totally be mad about it, but pulling them away and putting back the barriers gets old after a while. As does all the sweeping. Maybe that's why I'm not ready for plants.

I can't think of anything else that would be interesting enough to share, so I guess this post is done. :)