Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well, we had a fun Christmas and are looking forward to a Happy New Year this weekend!

  • Trips to see the lights at Temple Square
  • Going to the Bountiful Temple to see the artwork and read the gospel story. Phillip said that there is room for Joseph, Mary and Jesus in his room.
  • Seeing family Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas
  • Doing a kick line in matching plaid pajamas with Pete's Sisters
  • The kids faces Christmas Morning
  • Phillip amazed by the Lollypop that Santa brought him!
  • Smashing Gingerbread houses on the porch
  • Getting Christmas cards and taping them next to the fireplace
  • Gingerbread cookies and Sugar Cookies
  • Eating a LOT of good food!

Christmas Morning:

Phillip and Pete and the robot "RedMan"

Smashing Gingerbread Houses:

The beginning of the end of Christmas ... Now there is a nice family of deer on our porch. Please don't turn me into the "Hoarders" show. I promise we have room to store this AMAZING collection of Christmas junk.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Meltdown in December

Neither me, nor the kids had a meltdown, (did I get ya?) but all of the snow is almost off the ground. Can you believe it!! There is no snow in December!! I was tempted to string some more lights ... (when is my Christmas Intervention scheduled?! ha!) Instead we went to the park with the kids.

Here's a quick update on the kids:
Amelia is walking now. She waddles around pretty good. She can go down the stairs which I think has opened up a whole new world for her. We kept all of the toys in the toy room and she never went down there unless I went with her. Now she is free to crawl down the stairs and dump out the madame alexander dollies whenever she wants! It's funny how she is turning into a little kid so quickly. EVERYTHING has to be fair. We now have to get 3 courtesy cones at Artic Circle.

Lily is potty trained!! YAY!! I was putting it off. Around when she turned 2 she started showing signs that she was ready .. but I wasn't ready. The Summer came and went so quickly. I even marked a week on my calendar (which kept getting pushed back). Anywho, I figured I wouldn't worry anymore and try again when she was 3. But one morning she managed to take off her jammies put her diaper in the garbage and was laying on the floor trying to put on a new diaper. That's when I thought to myself .. she's ready ... whether or not I am. She did pretty good the first week. Only a few accidents. Now she does really well. If we are out, she LOVES to announce that she has to go potty. It sometimes turns into a game, but I keep taking her to the bathroom as many times as she wants. Yay Lily! You are a BIG GIRL!!

Phillip is really excited for Christmas. My mom gave us an advent calendar and he moves the marker for the date first thing in the morning. He recently discovered the game cube downstairs and can play on it by himself. He said, "I am a video game guy." ha! I think at pre-school they had taught the kids about brains and other organs. I told Phillip he could play a video game if he played the toy room. He came back up stairs really frustrated, "MOM, I can't clean because when I go in the toy room, my brain tells me to play with toys and not clean!!"

I hope everyone is enjoying this fun season!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Cutting Cable!!

Oh cable, you have been my friend for a LONG time. I remember going to friends' houses in elementary school and my eyes being glued to "Nickelodeon" & "The Disney Channel". The mom's would ask "Does your mom normally let you watch THIS much TV?!" We got cable in High School, I had cable through college, and living in Philadelphia. My studio apartment didn't have much furniture, but it had a HUGE arm chair that sat right in front of the TV. Ahhhh bliss! ;-)

So WHY cut the cable?! It all started when we switched to the Comcast bundle this past spring. I didn't like the TV program guide ... they make it so hard to find shows and half of the time you aren't subscribed to the show. They have On Demand, but a lot of the shows that you see on the guide you also have to pay additional charge. I felt like they were trying to gouge us for every additional charge .. etc. and I was a paying customer! We started looking into other options and realized we don't watch much shows that aren't on the broadcast channels.

This is what we did:

Google Voice Phone Number - (Not a phone line) - This is a phone number that I give people. It has very good customized voicemail. (speech to text that is sent to your e-mail, personalized greetings depending on the caller). You can have it forward to all your phones at once. When people call it, my cell phone, home phone, and computer starts ringing. Good thing for me because I can never seem to find a phone before it goes to voicemail. You can text people on their phone. You can easily block numbers .. etc. It's free right now. There are apps that you can get on a smart phone and can call people for free (similar to skype).

Magic Jack - Home line - It's not ideal. It has to be plugged into your computer. $40 for the majic Jack and $70.00 for 5 years of service. I had to change my phone number because they don't port numbers. Other options: ooma - I didn't go with ooma because of the $250 up front fee. Ooma works like vonage, (plugged into your cable modem, then into your phone base) and has only $12.00/year fee. They can port your number for $40 fee.

We bought an antenna. ($60) Pete put it in the attic and attached it to the cable that runs to our TV. (free) - you can watch a lot of shows online. I may look at paying for hulu+ which comes in HD and you don't have to watch commercials. We'll see though. I hook up my laptop to the TV if we want to watch a show.
Netflix ($9.99)- I LOVE netflix. We have one blueray player that can stream netflix and there are a TON of tv shows and movies that you can stream. I also like getting the DVD in the mail. It feels like a present.
(reading between the lines, I will NOT be watching LESS TV, I just will be watching it differently: Live TV, online, or streaming to the TV)

Still with Comcast. Sadly, our town only has 2 options for high-speed Internet and Comcast has the faster speeds. The other companies that I would look at if they are in your area is: Utopia - Fiber options in your area; Clear - Internet & Phone wholesaler.

So now we only have our Internet bill & Netflix (I pre-paid for majic jack). Even though we did buy some new equipment, we will be saving $90 a month.

If I, a licensed TV bum, can cut cable, anyone can!!