1. Our $8K tax credit finally arrived! Woohoo! We were so happy the day it came then we went out to Red Lobster and had appetizers, entrees, dessert and wine.
2. The first thing we bought was a new dining room table to replace the rickety card table we've been using since we moved to AZ. It'll be delivered on August 2 and we can't WAIT. We realized, during the purchasing process, that it's the first piece of brand-new furniture we've ever purchased together -- all our other furniture has been secondhand or bought for us by a family member.
3. We're still looking at LCD TVs as well, but we haven't made a decision yet. There are a lot of choices!! I think we'll go with a 42", or maybe a 46" if we can find a good deal.
4. We may end up buying a new car (!) as our Ford Escort is slowly but surely dying. It has no air conditioning (estimate to fix is $500, which is about the car's value), the fuel tank has a leak and the windshield wiper fluid spayers have stopped working. We're thinking we may have to chalk it up as a loss and get something else. Since the summer heat started I've been taking the van to work, but I want to get a smaller, fuel efficient car to take to work every day -- driving the van is so wasteful (and expensive) when I'm the only one in it, especially given that I drive about 90 miles every day. I've been taking the Ford the last few days because the van needs a new battery (it's getting it today), and boy it's been HOT. If it was just the faulty A/C I could probably grin and bear it, but combined with the fuel tank issue and the windshield wiper fluid problem... it probably makes more sense safety-wise to get a new(er) vehicle.
5. Speaking of work, my immediate boss resigned to take a position at another company, so I've gotten a promotion of sorts. I've taken over four of his projects as well as his old office. One of my other co-workers is taking over the other half of his projects (and she has her own office now, too). It's weird, but good, to have my own little room after having cubicles for so long! I'm hoping that along with my new responsibilites will come more money, but I haven't heard anything about that yet. We'll see. In the meantime I'm just trying to juggle everything successfully!
6. In family news, Elanor starts KINDERGARTEN on August 9! I've met her new principal; a very nice lady. We'll meet her new teacher on August 5 and we'll probably get her school supplies the following weekend. She saw a picture of a Disney princess backpack in a Target flyer and it's all she's been able to talk about.
7. We're taking a quick weekend trip to Flagstaff, AZ this weekend to return my friend Rose's cat, whom we've been watching, to her. Should be fun -- beautiful area this time of year.
1. Violet had her 4-month check-up today. The doctor was a little concerned because she is slightly underweight. I don't have her exact stats yet (Collin took her, and I think he still has them) but I'm rather surprised -- she seems to be eating well, she has plenty of wet and poopy diapers, etc. She's just not gaining a lot of weight for some reason. I'm not sure what to do. The doctor (who I trust) advised supplementing with formula or rice cereal. I'm hesitant to do either. I'd rather do formula given that I'm wary about starting solids so early, but I worry that supplementing at all might detrimentally affect our breastfeeding relationship, and it's hard enough as it is pumping 3x per day. I'll have to do some more research before I make a decision.
2. Collin called the IRS today, and OUR AMENDED TAX RETURN HAS BEEN APPROVED!! We filed it back in April. A check for our $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit will be mailed late next week. WOOHOO!
3. The first thing we plan to do with the money is get our Ford Escort's air-conditioning fixed. It's around 110 degrees here lately, so I've been taking the van to and from work; I would much rather take our smaller and more fuel-efficient car, especially since I no longer need to take kids to/from daycare.
4. Another item high on our list is a dining room set. Since we moved to Arizona, we've been using a rather rickety card table and folding chairs. I desperately want a sturdy wooden kitchen table, one that will last us for years and years to come, and one that can seat at least five (preferably more, or at least one that has leaves so it can expand for company and such). I'm thinking something like this. If you have a recommendation, let me know!
5. We're also considering purchasing a flat-screen LCD TV (40"-42") and Nintendo Wii as a joint anniversary gift (our 9th anniversary is September 1). Flat-screens have really come down in price, and we've both really wanted a Wii ever since they came out. We've never had the room or the money for either until now. Again, any recommendations are welcome.
6. I may also try to talk Collin into getting a deep freeze so we can buy more meat and etc. in bulk, but we'll see about that. I think we'd rather both use the remainder of the money to pay off some debt and/or put into savings.
7. We had a terrific trip to Las Vegas last weekend. We didn't do everything we'd planned, but we certainly kept busy! I think my favorite parts were the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur and the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. The kids LOVED the Excalibur; they were thrilled to be staying in a castle. We bought Elanor a princess hat and she's hardly taken it off since we've been home. I think my dad had a fun time too.
We got home the evening of the 3rd. We went to a Rookie League baseball game, with a fantastic fireworks show afterward, on the Fourth of July. A great time was had by all!