Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Debt Obliterated

On March 8, 2006, between 2 student loans and a credit card bill, V and I had 31 THOUSAND 8 HUNDRED and 23 dollars in debt. Well fast forward 33 months, 2 children, and a boatload of sacrifice later, and we are (absurdly) proud to announce that as of 8:34 am on December 31, we will officially be entering the new year of 2009 DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The progression was about $2000 paid off in 2006 (not much but you've gotta start somewhere), $12000 in 2007, and a whopping $19000 in 2008. Of course, I've already got my eye on baby step #6, which is paying off our home early... but one step at a time. As for now, I could write a book about what it took for us to get here and what we plan to do next now that the money we make at work will actually be ours! (we get to keep our own money... what a concept... lol)... but instead, we just want to...

1. thank everyone who was supportive of us during the grueling process of babysteps 1 & 2
2. thank the people that we know who are steps ahead of us in the babystep game for encouraging us through their example and reminding us that it can be done... and lastly,
3. send an encouraging word to the handful of people that have joined us on this journey of financial freedom.  

So Happy New Year from the newest debt-free family! 

... And no, you can't borrow 10 dollars.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Babies Everywhere

Once again we bounced between in-laws for the holidays. As a repeat of last year, my parents won the Thanksgiving Justin sweepstakes while V's family got us for the Christmas season [next year everyone is invited to Norfolk... hint hint]. This year we split time between Greer, Atlanta, Dacula, and (mostly) Greenville; not to mention time with Abuelo and Moises who made the flight from the Dominican Republic.

As for what everyone has been up to since last Christmas, the answer is pretty obvious from the photos... BABY MAKING. My goodness. Between Justin, Zuri, Danny, Hayden, and two more on the way; there's gotta be something reproductive about that South Carolina water. Take a sip if you want, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Lots more photos in the archive. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

72 degrees

After a week long excursion, V, Justin, and I got back to Norfolk today to find our house in tact and the weather simply gorgeous. 72 degrees on December 28. Awesome. And with that, we brushed off the 7+ hour commute that we had just endured (3:30 to 11 am), grabbed lunch, a quick nap for the pregnant member of the family, and we were off to the zoo.

And so after a couple of hours of ripping, running, climbing, and sunbathing; I guess we are officially back from our holiday travels. Lots of fun, and plenty of photos. Over the next few days I'll do my best to get the blog up to date. Some of the entries may be retrodated, so be sure the check the tabs on the right. And hopefully I'll have time to close out the year on the (3 months behind) photo archive as well. Ambitious goals given the length of my to-do list and only a week before my vacation comes to the end. But at least I'll get an E for effort.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hyatt Place

Happy 4th wedding anniversary to us! 

In the midst of our SC holiday visit, V and I took advantage of having family around and got away for a night as a belated celebration of our 4-year anniversary. With all of the travel that we had already done, it was enough for us to book a room right in Greenville and simply enjoy some quiet time, a good dinner and breakfast; all baby-free... Oh, and a television in the bedroom (which, along with cable, is a treat we only get on vacations). In all, it was a great little getaway and a nice reminder that our lives didn't always revolve around Justin and his sibling-to-be. Ahhh... remember the days.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Since we gypped him of a tree this year, we decided to at least let Justin have a little pre-Christmas fun this evening. So gift #1 has officially been opened. Let the games begin.

Thanksgiving Pt. II

I forgot that we brought the video camera to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. Here's a fun snippet from the same tape as the blackmail video.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Out Cold

In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders the wives who make incriminating blackmail videos. These are their stories. [Doink Doink]

I had an extremely long day, but I was determined to top it off with a new episode of Law and Order... especially after last nights SVU episode was cancelled. And man, I SO almost made it. I cleaned the whole house during the 9 o'clock hour just to make sure I'd be awake at 10. And so I sat down at 9:59 (and 59 seconds)... just in time to catch the intro and set up. But the first commercial break came and it was over. In the end it wasn't even close. I was out cold.

I'm just glad she didn't catch me drooling.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Unconventional Comfort

Crib, mattress and bedding: $500
Toddler Bed with mattress and bedding: $300
Leaving them both to sleep on the floor with a $8 blanket: priceless

Milestones Pt. XX

I Stand Corrected
I just recently mentioned that Justin hadn't made much progress in learning to dress or undress himself. And it wasn't until I re-read the entry myself that I thought, "Duh... how could he if we haven't tried to teach him yet." And it turns out that he was quite ready to do so... I guess he was just waiting for a little direction; because just a few days after we set out to be more deliberate with involving him in the procedure, we got word from the babysitter that Justin prefers to run around with no clothes on... ridding himself of his pants and socks numerous times throughout the day. Ha! Sorry, Justin. Next time we'll stay on the ball and make sure we're doing out part. Now, um... in the meantime, can you put your pants back on for us? Thanks.

And speaking of which, he's making good progress on the rest of the dressing skill set as well. Ask him to "Quita la ropa" and he'll do what he can to take his shirt off (though he still needs plenty of help getting it over his head)... and after we step him into his pants, he'll pull 'em up on cue if you help him stand and balance. As of late, he seems pretty intent on learning to put on his own socks and shoes, but I think that takes a lot more dexterity than he has right now (which of course means that he'll make a mockery of my comments and master the art in the next 12 minutes).

As for other corrections, the word "No" has also popped into his vocabulary over the past few days and appropriately accompanies his emphatic head nod when he's telling us the 10,000 things that he doesn't want us to do for him. So opinionated at 18 months. Hard to believe that it's only the beginning.

BellyWatch2 | 20 Weeks

We are now at the halfway mark of the pregnancy. Can you say fast forward?! I have no idea where the last 20 weeks went. Those same weeks seemed like an eternity the first time around. But then Justin has certainly done his part in keeping us too busy to bask in the surrealism of the moment, let alone start planning for the next baby's arrival. Part of me fears that we will be comically unprepared for this baby, which of course will be the very antithesis of Justin's arrival... but another part of me knows that we'll figure out the details (small things like, um... choosing a name...) in due time. For now, we'll just continue perfecting our doggie paddle and try to keep everything afloat.

As for specifics on baby #2, (s)he weighs 11 ounces now, is also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. V started feeling the baby move about a week or two ago. Not the heavy kicks that Justin delivered at around 26 weeks, but for now it's just the flutters of movement that politely remind us that something is cooking on the insides.

Also, we did finally get our sonograms last Friday... and while it was totally cool to watch the baby on the screen and marvel at his/her every hand wave, foot wiggle, and somersault... my thoughts on the sonogram printouts themselves have not changed a whole lot since the first pregnancy. I mean, for real... am I the only one that feels like I'm taking an ink blot test when you're looking at those things? And even the ones that you can make out, they just look so doggone skeletal to me. And so as the lab technician started to make googly sounds and tell us how cute the baby is, I starting thinking to myself, "How long would I have to be trapped in this room before I starting seeing what she sees"... because she sees "just the most beautiful little baby... " and I see a Steven Spielberg movie in the making. Hey maybe V and I are just not warm and fuzzy enough to appreciate the images (which I refuse to post)... but have no fear "little baby-in-the-making". Once you start to put some flesh on those bones and finish cooking, we're gonna love you with everything that we've got!

Just don't tell Justin... who, by the way, is apparently going for the record in terms of number of teeth in a span of time. I lost count, but I think he's up to 11 total that have broken the surface... SEVEN of which came in the past 6 weeks or so. And talk about temperamental...