Thursday, March 30, 2006


I’ve been thinking that since I’ve been so quiet for the past couple of months, I’ve lost a lot of people in the “blog” world. I’m wondering if it’s time for me to hang my hat for a while and stay low. I realize that my blogging may be boring now since, I can’t relate to most of you that are dieting and exercising, since mine is pretty much out of the window for the following 20 + weeks.

I guess what I’m saying is… not many comments = boring and uninteresting Carole HA!

It’s cool though, I’m ok with it since, I’ve kind of done it to myself anyway.

I’ll lay low for now….

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Cost of Rasing Children!

I copied this email that I have received from a friend, it's a really nice read! A great and positive way at looking at the cost of raising a child :-)! ENJOY!!

I have repeatedly seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It's nice. The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition. But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down.

It translates into:
* $8,896.66 a year,
* $741.38 a month, or
* $171.08 a week.
* That's a mere $24.24 a day!
* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children if you want to be "wealthy." Actually, it is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $160,140?
* Naming rights. First, middle, and last.
* Glimpses of God every day.
* Giggles under the covers every night.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
* A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
* A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites.
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day

For $160,140, you never have to grow up.

You get to:
* finger-paint,
* carve pumpkins,
* play hide-and-seek,
* catch lightning bugs, and
* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:
* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
* watching Saturday morning cartoons,
* going to Disney movies, and
* wishing on stars.
* You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to
be a hero just for:
* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
* taking the training wheels off a bike,
* removing a splinter,
* filling a wading pool,
* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the:
* first step,
* first word,
* first bra,
* first date, and
* first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits. So, one day they will,like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!! Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Debt Snowball - Baby Steps

Dave Ramsey – Baby Steps – My Total Money Maker Over
Some of you probably read my post back in early January talking about my finances and how we were going to tackle our debt. Some of you may have already heard of Dave Ramsey and applying his Baby Steps…but for those of you that haven’t and would like to get a good handle on your debt, I highly suggest buying and reading his book. Many of us complain about being broke all the time, and when you look at the overall picture, we get sort of depressed and say “it’s impossible” to live the debt free lifestyle. I use to think that way, but not anymore. I’ve started the Baby Steps and although we haven’t paid off half as much as we wanted to thus far, we are still plugging away at our existing debt.

Here’s what we have done during the past four months:

Save $1000.00 in Emergency Funds
Switch Cell Phone Carriers to save $60.00+ dollars a month. Termination fee of $350.00. OUCH!
Paid off House Security System Service, $200.00
Paid off first credit card debt, approximately $950.00
Paid off second credit card debt, approximately $1,500.00
Recurring $250.00 doctor’s payment (maternity - for the next four months).
Next task…tackle $2,800 credit card debt

My husband is actually in the process of looking for a new and better paying job. Currently, he’s working 50+hours a week, never has a weekend off and barely makes minimum salary (not counting his commissions, but those are few and far in between). The current job has potential but it’s been almost a year now and we can’t live off of what he’s currently making, we are paying stuff off but at “turtle” speed. I has already interviewed twice for “Lowes”, and it’s seems like he’ll be hired at corporate level, which means, a normal 8 to 5 job, with weekends off, paid vacation, excellent benefits and paid at almost twice the amount that he’s currently making right now. This means, after careful review of our budget, we’ll be able to put $500.00 more on our debt each month. I’ve also “STRONGLY” suggested to my husband that he pick up a second job at night to help us on our debt snowball, at least, until all credit cards and equity line of credit are paid off (which is about $8,000 total). I won’t push for the second job until he’s enjoyed several weekends off, he deserves it and there’s a lot of stuff that needs to get done around the house and inside that I need his help on! Right now, I feel like I’m doing it all alone, the cleaning, cooking, etc. I, personally, would love to do a second job, such as cleaning houses on weekends, etc. I could easily pull in an additional $200 a week but it’s impossible with being pregnant and taking care of a toddler. My job is to be at home with my kids at night. :)

Anyway, here’s a summary of the “Baby Steps” for those of you that need a refresher (a kick in the ass! *lol*) and for those of you that are curious:

1. $1,000 in an Emergency Fund
After you do your first budget, save up $1,000 as fast as you can. Just take care of the essentials (housing, utilities, transportation, food, clothing) and make the minimum payments on your debt until you get the $1,000 saved up. An Emergency Fund will help you keep your head above water while you're getting out of debt. As soon as you start this journey, life will happen. Murphy's Law goes into effect. Murphy might even move in with you. For example, your refrigerator might break down but guess what? You have an emergency fund to take care of that so you don't have to stop your debt snowball. Always replenish your Emergency Fund when using or depleting before continuing with the debt snowball.

2. Pay off all debt (except the house) utilizing the “Debt Snowball”
The debt snowball is simple, yet effective. First, list all your debts smallest to largest. Next, make minimum payments on all the debts except the smallest one. Put as much money as you possibly can on that debt. Once the smallest debt is knocked out, carry the money you were putting on your smallest debt up to the next smallest debt and attack that one. Over time, you'll knock out debt after debt until they're all gone! Don’t tackle the credit card with the “highest interest rate”, just pay off the smallest and work your way to the biggest (there’s many reasons for this, just no time to get into them, get the book!!! *lol*).

3. 3-6 months expenses in savings for emergencies
Once your debt is gone, build a larger emergency fund of 3-6 months. This emergency fund is important as it will serve you in case loss of employment occurs. This fund allows you to continue living the way you are without stress and fear. It gives you time to choose your next step and place of employment.It allows you to stay on the plan.

4. Fully fund 15% into pre-tax retirement plans and ROTH IRA, if eligible
Once you've reached this point, it's time to put a little away for retirement! Take advantage of your company's 401k if they have one, put money in mutual funds...whatever it is, just start putting away 15% of your income.

5. College funding
You have kids? Guess what...high school graduation comes before you know it! What better gift to pass on to your children than a college education. They might not understand now, but they will someday!
6. Pay off home early
It's time to own a home! On Baby Step 6, you pay off your home as fast as you can. Put as much extra money as possible toward your house payment. Once that house is paid off, you just gave yourself a raise because you have NO PAYMENTS, BABY!

7. Build wealth!
Keep socking away money and making it work for you so that you can retire with dignity.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Gardening, anyone!?

Interesting title huh? *lol* Actually, I'm tackeling a new little learning project, VEGETABLE GARDENING!! Wahoo! I've never planted a thing in a my life so, this is going to be quite interesting.

My husband has just put together a permanent raised bed, measuring about 4' wide by 16' feet long, it runs along one side of my house. Sounds small but I'll be doing a thing called "Square Foot Gardening", where you plan your garden by "square foot" and depending on what you are planting, you can put "so many" vegetable per square foot, ie: 16 carrots, 16 radishs psf, 16 onions, 1 tomato plant, etc. I was so excited about this project UNTIL I discovered that my NEIGHBOR'S outdoor cat has decided to use it at a KITTY LITTER BOX! OOOOOOOH the frustration! Pregnant and Cat Poop don't get along (toxoplasmosis, if I'm spelling it correctly!).....Anyway, when I thought this was going to be a fairly not too pricey project is now doubling in cost since I have to make it so that my neighbor's cat doesn't use it! I had to purchase a Scarecrow Sprinkler (motion sensor), that thing was about $80.00. I also tried to trap the cat in a cage at night but he didn't get in it, so now I'm having to return the cat trap to the Animal Control shelter today... WHAT TO DO!?!? *lol* Me and my bright ideas! *LOL* Anyway, I'm going to go talk to my neighbor this morning and see if she can be "kind enough" to keep her cat indoor, I just don't have a good feeling about this. I don't talk to my neighbors since, I don't want to create any problems...but this time, I'm put in a situation where I have no choice to say something. If she doesn't fix the problem and her cat still comes in my yard to poop, I'm going to sling all of my dog's crap onto her porch and see how she likes it! HA! :-) One thing that works for me is that in the county that I live in, it's very much illegal for a pet owner to have their pet litter in someone else's property. The neighbor can catch the pet, bring it the the animal shelter, the owner will receive a call to come and pick up their pet and will get fined... with each offense the fine is more.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes with my first garden and the cat problem.

Anybody that has a garden, feel free to comment and share your tips and tricks !!!! I dont' have a green thumb! HA!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Lack of motivation..NO MORE!

I have been reading a few blogs the past couple of days and it seems that some of you are having food and motivational struggles, either to eat right or get into a normal exercise routine. This is what brings me out today to “Write” to you all (and you KNOW I’ve been very quiet lately but I can’t be any more! Need to RE-MOTIVATE you all!)

One quote that comes to mind for my struggling friends "When you say "I will" with conviction, magic begins to happen." When you’ve been “out” of it for a long period of time, getting into an exercise routine can be quite a challenge, but mostly, it’s a mental one. You simply have to “kick” yourself in the rear and get it done! After approximately one month, more then likely, you’ll have a routine established and you’ll actually start enjoying it vs. dreading it!

I, for one, haven’t been the best “example” the past couple of months. Mostly because I have been mentally abusing myself, destroying my self-confidence a little each day and would drown myself into sugary foods. I was actually dreading my pregnancy vs. enjoying it, knowing that looking “big and fat” was inevitable. What the hell was I doing to myself??? Why??? I’m going to have a beautiful little miracle in my hands in less then 23 weeks and I’m worried about getting FAT? What a crooked and weird way of thinking! I should be enjoying every day, every hour, every minute and every second of this pregnancy! The problem is; we always find excuses to make our “actions” justifiable, especially when you know what you are doing is not the best thing or the right decision…hmmmm….well no more excuses for me!! Anybody else exhausted of being “sick and tired” and feeling pitiful for themselves???? I for one certainly am, and I’m DOING (not “going”, but DOING) something about it, started this morning. I’m going to look myself in the mirror each morning, NAKED, with my beautiful round belly and say I FEEL and AM SEXY!

So, I repeat "When you say "I will" with conviction, magic begins to happen." Be positive, optimistic, realistic, and patient and surely, your motivation will come back to you and good things will start happening.

Instead of eating to lose weight, just reprogram your thinking and say “I’m eating right for good health!”

A recipe I want to share with you all:

Breakfast Oatmeal Medley
½ cup of Oatmeal
1 tbsp of Natural Peanut Butter
1 whole egg
3 egg whites
Pinch of cinnamon
1 to 2 tbsp of Splenda (the kind that measures like sugar)

Mix all together in a bowl and cook as you would scrambled eggs. EAT UP!

Friday, March 17, 2006


To all of my friends, wish you a HAPPY ST-PATRICKS DAY!

P.s. I'm now 17 weeks pregnant..going for a second ultrasound in 3 weeks, on 4-6-06... I've got a pretty strong feeling that it's a boy!!

P.s.s. MISS YOU GUYS!!!!