Sunday, September 28, 2008


So, Andy blew up Isabel a balloon from out of our bag of assorted balloons that we bought about 9 months ago (they are not almost gone) and check this one out. Andy admits that he did blow the stem up quite a bit, as we think it is actually supposed to be a heart balloon, but that is not what it looks like. It's very phallic.

So, Andy told me that I would see some pictures on my camera that he took. Look what I found.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another Room Re-do

So, this is a small room in the basement. Once upon a time it used to house the drum set, guitars, & bookcase of CD's & bookcase of movies. Now it is the arts & crafts room. When we thought we were moving Andy sold his drumset and his electric guitar (he brought his acoustic guitar into the office) and the bookcase of CD's and all the movies got moved into the living room area in the basement. So, I didn't think of taking a picture until I already started cutting in with the primer, so it didn't really look this shitty the whole time.

Remember, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them and see them larger & in more detail. Since the cash isn't flowing this too had to be done on the cheap. So, I finished off the primer that I used in the playroom & in the bathroom (oh, we fixed the wall in the main bathroom upstairs, which meant we had to repaint 2 walls, so we left 2 blue and painted 2 a high-gloss white). Then I took the leftover paint from the playroom and mixed it with the leftover high-gloss from the bathroom (which makes it washable and we need that in an art room). So, it's a lighter shade (& shinier too) than the playroom.

I used some leftover wallpaper paste to put up these borders we bought a long time ago for a penny a piece. I needed 3 borders, so that was 3 cents well spent. On the floor I put these foam puzzles squares that Target sold as part of their College series. I got them for 30% off, so the 2 packages (each makes a 4x6 area) cost me $35. I am using the bedrail on the wall again (mainly because I couldn't get one of them off) but this time I found some kind of metal trim in the garage that I spray painted with some leftover silver paint and nailed to the wood. Add a couple of magnets (which later we will make some kind of decoration to attach to) and we have a fun way to display her artwork.

The easel we had at the lake house rental with us; I got the little table & chair from Freecycle; the desk was mine when I was a kid & the chair was something I bought a several years back at a thrift store for $2 and painted black, and we are using the cabinet that once had movies in it to store art supplies.

Oh! And I put a set of double hooks I bought a long time ago for some other project (that obviously was never used) that holds her smock & some old t-shirts to use as smocks. And I think I literally paid 12 cents for that clock on the wall at Office Depot. Oh, and I bought a couple of bins (not pictured) for 75% off at Target.

So, for under $45 I have completely transformed this room and we are going to have a lot of fun with it. Isabel already found her crayons & a coloring book in the desk and was coloring in there tonight.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Cholesterol Levels

So, I had my annual physical & pap smear this past Friday. With that I had a cholesterol test, which I was curious about the results because the last one I had was in 2005 before I got pregnant. At that time was borderline high, but they were not concerned because my HDL level was so high that they were happy and my triglycerides were very low, which they were pleased with. My LDL level was borderline high but because of the super high HDL they just weren't concerned.

Then the next couple years I could not get a test because I was pregnant or nursing and apparently that can give different levels. I'm not sure why that is, but I went with it. So, now in 2008, I finally had another cholesterol test and wouldn't you know it, but it was almost the exact same numbers.

You can learn about cholesterol levels here:

Calculate your risk for heart disease here. I have a less than 1 percent risk of heart disease in the next 10 years. The big things were that I am young, a non-smoker, have really great blood pressure and high HDL. It is the excellent blood pressure (usually around 106/65) and high HDL numbers that really lower my risk.

They say you are supposed to determine if you have a good LDL to HDL ratio and want it under 5:1, but with best level being 3.5:1. Well, Mine are just under 2:1. Pretty Good.

Total - 221
HDL - 70
LDL - 138
Triglycerides - 63

To firgure out your total cholesterol you do this calculation:

Total cholesterol = LDL cholesterol + HDL cholesterol + [triglycerides/5]

So, I guess my cholesterol is 220.6 and they just rounded up. My total level in 2005 was 220. So, it is basically the same and all the other levels are basically the same.

Since heart disease is common on my maternal side of the family I want to stay on top of my cholesterol levels. My mom had 2 siblings die of heart attacks before age 50, which is pretty scary. Although they both lead pretty rough lifestyles which contributed to their demise.

Kudos to HyVee

So, I went shopping with Isabel at HyVee this weekend and being on a budget (but even if I wasn't I would still do it) I pay particular attention to sale prices and make sure I am grabbing the right item and comparing prices.

When I got to the checkout there were 2 errors where things were coming up different than the price labeled in front of them in the aisles. The first was diapers, which did turn out to be on sale which they gave to me for free (store policy to give you the item for free if something that is on sale does not come up as free at the register due to human error of NOT entering it.) The second was some Kleenex with lotion that was labeled on sale, but turns out that variety was not on sale. They gave me the sale price because the label was indeed in front of it.

So, I was pleased that they took care of things and I wasn't punished for something that wasn't my fault. The manager then took notes on both these items and made corrections in signs & in the computer.

I was just glad I didn't need to go back & look for new stuff, as Kleenex was one of the things I specifically stopped to buy. And I wasn't going to just say that they should grab me any ole box because I would have wanted to know the price beforehand. It's just who I am.