Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another Tax Tip

I had my first quiz on Thursday and I got 100%!!!! I also completed my first North Carolina state tax pencil! I made one small mistake that ruined the entire return, but I found it and fixed it.

Here's a little tax tip:

In the unfortunate event that your spouse passes away, you will file Married Filing Jointly (as long as you met the requirements for MFJ the previous year) for that year. 2 years after that, you are able to file as a Qualifying Widow(er) as long as you have a Qualifying Child. Don't ask me to explain what is a qualifying child/relative. I had total brain lock up the night we discussed it!!!!! Shew!!!

I'm still enjoying the class and am learning more than I ever thought I would.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Say WHAT????

Brandon had his second speech evaluation on Friday. I took Connor to MDO and dropped him off all by himself. When I picked him up, they said he just moped around the whole time. I should probably do that more often. It was really nice to have just one boy, and it's good for them to be away from each other a little bit.

Brandon officially qualifies for some speech therapy through Cumberland County. We might have a small co-pay, but the therapist didn't think we would. On a very positive note, Brandon tested at the 22 month old level on his receptive skills. He followed all of their directions very well and played by himself very well. On a not so positive note, his verbal skills tested at about a 8 month level and his expressive skills were at about a 14 month level. I'm not worried about his delay because I've known this for a while. I know how much Eric and I work with him and offer him the environment to learn, but his mind just isn't picking it up the way it should. They gave me a list of therapists to consider and I'm to call the office back early next week to start the approval process through our insurance company. I have a friend who is a Speech Pathologist for the school system here and is very familiar with the therapists in the area. I hope to chat with her a little bit and get her opinion on the therapists made available to me. Brandon charmed the 3 ladies that came over and they described him as a very curious active toddler who explores his environment well. Once again, I'm very thankful to have the option of being a stay at home mom so I can pay very close attention to the boys. I've seen the lack of progress in B's verbal skills from the very beginning. Now, at 20 months, there's no problem trying to get him the therapy he needs!

He should get one 30 minute session a week for a period of time still to be determined. We'll keep y'all posted!!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Day In The Life...

It's 845 am on Wednesday morning and I'm impatiently awaiting the awakening of my boys. I can't believe they are still asleep, but I guess I'm not surprised. We've gone down to 1 nap a day, but it's only for an hour and a half. We started putting them down at night around 730 or 745 and they usually sleep until 730 or 8. They must have needed some extra sleep today. I figured I should post some pictures with this unexpected time to myself!

Yesterday, we all got up and got dressed..look at how cute they look! Thanks for the shirts Grandma Dorie!!! Those khakis are the same ones they wore in the 1 year old pictures...can't believe they still fit! Although, Connor is really thinning out.

While they were at MDO, I went into work for a little bit and then ran a few other errands. When we got home, I started making a yummy lunch of grilled cheese, lima beans, and raisins. All of a sudden, I noticed my house was silent. SILENT = TROUBLE. Brandon was searching for treasure in the trash can....

and Connor was playing with the remote control. What is it about those things that kids are so drawn to??? Connor will pick it up, hold it, and even caress it. Brandon yanks it and starts pushing as many buttons as possible.
To keep them entertained, I decided to give them straw cups to see if they could figure it out. Other kids the same age can already do I figured it was time to try. They both did really well, but I remembered WHY I didn't like the straw cups...THEY LEAK!!! I need to purchase a different brand. For now, they can have the straw cups with water only!

Soon after lunch, it was nap time. They really only slept for about an hour, but were playing quietly, so I left them in their room. All of a sudden, I heard a big BANG...then silence. Since I wasn't sure if that sound was a toy or a kid falling out of the crib, I decided I better check it out. This was Connor...shirt half on...goof ball
and this was their room. They threw everything out of their cribs and pulled one of the baskets off the dresser....that was the crashing sound I heard.
After naps, we played until Eric got home. I made us all dinner, cleaned most of it up, and then took the kiddos for a walk. After our walk, we played outside for a while because it was beautiful here! That's pretty much every day around here.

P.S. It's now 9:07 and they are STILL asleep!!!

Here's a funny video from the other day. This is scientific proof that our boys are goofballs to the bone!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Battalion Formal

Eric and I attended the Battalion Formal tonight up at the Officer's Club. We had a really nice time! The Battalion Colonel will be leaving next month, so Eric and I snapped a few pictures with him and his wonderful wife, Lory.

Beth, a friend and fellow military spouse, and her husband moved to Kansas in June, but made it back in town for the formal.
Me and my man!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Brandon's Trick

The boys are learning like sponges lately. I started teaching them their body parts a few months ago, but they weren't picking up on them. Now, all I have to do is show them once and they know it. Brandon would like to show you what he knows. Well, he knows a little more than what the video shows, but this was all he was willing to show. Enjoy.

p.s. He calls his pacie a "baba" and I put them on top of their dresser...that's what he's asking for in the video

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sweet Brothers

The boys are still getting better and better! They have become such sweet boys and also sweet brothers. They know which color cup is theirs and will hand the other one to his brother. They are really big into giving hugs and love to follow directions. We try to come up with crazy things for them to do just to see if they will do it. They love to run around the couch while Eric sits on the floor. As they round the couch, they stop to give him a hug and then go around the couch again. Brandon likes to "shake his booty" I'll try to get that on camera.

I wanted to make some cookies today, so I pulled out the old pots, pans, and spoons for them to play with. That always keeps them entertained and happy. Brandon played his little heart out and then crashed on the kitchen floor. He snuggled up with his blankie, and I actually covered him up. Connor came over and started patting him on his sweet!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Classes

A few of you have asked what "classes" I'm taking. I'm taking the H & R Block Tax Class. I've been working in the tax/accounting field for 4 years now and have developed an interest for it. No matter where Eric and I move, I can always prepare taxes! Because it's a profession that travels easily, the military actually offers spouses scholarships to take the course. FREE...heck yeah! Plus, with Eric starting a residency next summer, I won't be able to do anything like this. He'll be on call frequently, studying, and at work a lot! This was my chance to do something for myself and to expand my mind. I haven't furthered my education since I graduated with my Bachelors degree, and my mind was beginning to turn to Mommy Mush! Even though we've only had 2 classes, I'm very excited about it and am learning a lot.

I'll try to post a TAX TIP that I learned in a class that I didn't know and think is important for other people to know. Here's TAX TIP #1

Cancellation of Debt

Taxes are due on any debt that is abolished. For example, Jane has 10,000 worth of credit card debt and is having trouble making payments. She calls the company and manages to get her debt reduced to 1,000. WOOHOO is what Jane is thinking, but she won't be thinking that come tax time. Jane will receive a 1099 in the amount of 9,000 at the beginning of the year. The IRS considers the amount the credit company reduced her debt as INCOME. Jane can expect to pay taxes on that 9,000. If Jane had paid the full 10,000 on her own, it would have been with wages she earned that were already taxed. The same idea applies to foreclosures. I knew foreclosures and debt consolidations affected credit ratings, but I had no idea it would also be included on a tax return. More tips to come. This class is 2 nights a week for about 11 weeks!

The boys are on the mend. I didn't take them to MDO yesterday, but took them to the commissary with me instead. Connor was fine until we hit the frozen foods (the last 2 aisles). The ear piercing screams started, so I made a mad dash to the check out and made it home before the meltdown got really bad. I put them down for a nap and Connor slept for 5 WHOLE HOURS! Brandon was up around 12 so I took him with me to run some errands while Eric stayed at the house. Connor was still asleep when we got back. He actually ate dinner, after he skipped 3 previous meals. They woke up this morning in an OK mood. They took a good morning nap while I cut the grass. It's 330 now and they are both sound asleep again. A few more days of medicine and they should be back to their normal selves.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pics of the Sick Babies :(

Poor Connor! Eric and I held him all day long! Eric did most of the holding while I kept up with Brandon. Connor really didn't eat dinner, which is SO not like him. My boys never pass up a chance to chow down. Once Brandon's ear "popped" and the blood and gunk started coming out, he's been in a pretty good you can tell from his picture. I went to class tonight while Eric stayed home with the boys. He put them down about 45 minutes early and they didn't seem to mind. I'm not sure if I'm going to take them to Mother's Day Out. I know they aren't contagious or anything, but Connor doesn't need to be there if he's going to cry the whole time, or demand to be held. I can still get all of my normal Friday errands run if I have just one kiddo.

Look at Connor...holding onto Eric. He would hold even tighter if Eric tried to put him down.

Me and my B!

Ear Infections for $1000 please, Alex

The name of the cutest twins ever who are super sick and suffering from bleeding ear infections..


Crazy is the best way to describe our household over the last week. Both boys started with runny noses on Sunday which quickly led to fevers, coughs, and overall aches. However, when blood started coming out of Brandon's ear, I knew it was time to call the doctor. But wait, it was 12:45 on a Wednesday and our pediatrician's office closes at NOON. The nurses line advised me to go to the ER. I decided to call the ENT who put in his tubes...hoping to possibly get a same day appointment. It's only 1 pm, I should be able to get it. Nope! We ended up at the ER only to wait 2 hours before I decided to leave. The ER was full of kids and a few of them were covered in blood. When those kids kept trying to play with Brandon while their parents sat in the chair and texted people, I said THAT'S IT. Eric and I had the boys up, fed, and out the door to be standing at the front door of the pediatrician's office by 8 this morning. The both have ear infections. Brandon's is so bad that she couldn't see past the blood and "congealed" gunk to see the tube. They are both on oral antibiotics and Brandon has an addition antibiotic to be put directly in his ear. He's also back on his breathing treatments every 4 hours or so. I've been giving him treatments the last couple days, but I need to increase them. I've spent all morning calling my insurance company and LOTS of family medicine offices to switch. Their pediatrician is great, but their office hours are horrible. My kids decide to get sick on Wednesdays after noon or any other day at 3...which is when they close. No luck on a new doctor yet, but I'm working on it. I'll try to get some pictures of the boys for everyone, but they won't let us do anything other than hold them right now. Hope everyone is having a great week.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Little Red Wagon

I've been looking for a wagon for the boys since the spring. They are just too expensive in the stores. $100 for a plastic wagon is too much. I was in the same shopping center as the used kids clothing store and guess what I saw in the window???? A USED WAGON. Rock on! I paid less than HALF of what they cost in the stores, and it's in really good condition. I took the boys for a stroll last night and they liked it.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Long post!

I know there are a few readers out there who have been checking our blog A LOT and probably getting upset that I haven't posted, but we've been crazy busy. We just got back from a 2 week trip from NC to KY to PA back to NC. We spent a week in KY with my family and then a week in PA with Eric's. The boys loved Gma and Gpa D's open yard, fresh off-the bush blueberries and beautiful weather. I can't possibly write every single thing we did, but here's an overview!

Once we got to PA, the boys played outside....

running up and down a slight hill in the backyard...

pushing the swings REALLY HARD and then letting them hit them in the chest...

riding in the swings...
chilling with Gma and Gpa D...
putting rocks, dirt, and grass in the bed of one of Eric's old trucks when he was little...
chasing each other down the hill...notice Connor on the left!!!...
going to the Pittsburgh Zoo. This zoo was amazing!!! They had every kind of animal you could imagine...even an aquarium! Here's a lazy lion...
BABY ELEPHANT!!! There were 2 babies there that were just born in July. So cute!
We all got to pet a deer too! These were some of the most docile deers I've ever seen. Well, Connor and I pet the deer while Brandon hunted for treasures in his nose...gotta love boys!
Connor and his fish face...sweaty fish face
Brandon and his sweaty's HARD running in that big yard
We had a good time with all of our family and friends, but are SO glad to be back home. Safe and sound!

We didn't have any car problems this trip because...WE BOUGHT A NEW CAR!! Eric spoiled us with a 2008 GMC Yukon XL. This is a mean MEAN plowing beast of a car. We love it and couldn't have been happier to unload our Explorer. That car was problem after problem. If I think about it, I'll take a picture of the car and show y'all.

I'm going to curl up on the couch with Eric and explore the wide world of DVR. We finally got it today and are both ready to play with it.