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Catch-up for December 2011

Ok, cheapest I was doing some surfing on Facebook and I came upon some stuff by Dan Savage, here and then I did some video surfing for him. I found a video that was talking about the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal. They were discussing the issue of gay and straight people showering together and the associated horrors of repealing DADT and integrating gay and straight personnel. A point was made that nothing will honestly change, angina because right now they are showering together, but they happen to be barred from opening discussing their (homo) sexuality. DADT is not really going to change the way things are done since gay people are currently there and working, but just cannot talk about their sexuality. (A violation of their first amendment rights, because it makes someone squeamish? Seriously!)
I have not been posting since life – family, website
business, and work has kept me really busy, so here is a quick update. =)

Reading: I have not had much time to read, but recently I have finished “The Da Vinci Code”  and I am working on “Angels and Demons” now in what little spare time I find.

Writing: I am looking at attempting some writing of some fiction…

Broken Toe: For Thanksgiving I broke my toe while taking Uliana downstairs to put her down for her nap. If you did not know I was sailor before that, you sure knew it afterwards. =O

Uliana: For a few months now Uliana has been sleeping without a pacifier and is pedaling a tricycle on her own. She is getting so big. We are watching too much Sesame Street… hence the previous post!

Smart Phone: Tanya and I both got our first smart phones in August 2011 – droid based smart phones and I love having a smart phone.

Cars: Both of our cars are in the process of dying so we are looking for a new car to at least replace one of ours. We are considering trading in both of our cars to purchase one, and going without a second car for a while. It will be annoying, but we can handle it.

Work: Work has just been really busy with new projects here and there.

Studio: We bought a second house in Baraboo to live in and to run our Yoga Studio out of in May of 2010. We went from having 5-6 classes a week to 15-19 classes per week and we brought on 2-4 more instructors. I am also working on a new Drupal based website for the studio.

Dells House: In July of 2011 we spent a bunch of money fixing up our Dells house to prepare it for new tenants and we have luckily found great tenants. Fixing it up was a weeks worth of vacation.

 

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Updates – New House, New Studio, and a Crawling Kid…

Someone asked what I am up to on Facebook – Hi Matt! – and I have not written much in quite a while about what is happening in my life so here’s a little catch up for everyone. I am sure that there is more than this, pills but this is all that I can remember for now.

Uliana

We will be celebrating her 1st birthday here in a little bit. She is a good little girl and officially started to crawl on Fathers Day! =) This is of course a mixed blessing. It is great that she is crawling, symptoms but that now means she has another method to find stuff to put in her mouth. =O

New House in Baraboo

We bought a second house in Baraboo which is twice the size (1300 sq ft) of our first house (700 sq ft). We closed on it on May 21, food and finished moving in on Friday and Saturday – June 18th and 19th. Two days ago we finally got Charter installed so now I have internet! Yea! I have moved up from a 768/128 DSL up to 8 meg Cable. Happy Days! =) Our first, fortunately, shall be rented by Tanya’s brother and his wife.

Baby sitters: We are looking for a few baby sitters in Baraboo that either occasional or fairly steady as options. We are set for now, but are looking for more baby sitting options.

New Yoga Studio

New Classes and New Studio: Tanya (and a few others) will be teaching Yoga out of our new house. We have a grand opening on Saturday, June 26 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm, with classes starting there on July 1. Classes will be free to all through the entire month of July, so come and bring your friends and family and give it a try. We have 18 classes scheduled for every one young and old. We have some children’s classes, beginners, intermediate, and advanced classes, as well as relaxation classes.

You can check our website for our new schedule and  more information. We also have an article about us and the new studio opening in the Baraboo News Republic too. We were quite nervous for this interview.

Candles: We are looking for any spare candles that you may have for some of our studio classes. Feel free to drop them by or let us know so we can pick them up.

Life Update (June 22, 2009)

Pregnancy

So, breast here we are about a week or so before Tanya’s due date. She is so ready for this pregnancy to be over with. Her feet are in pain from carrying so much extra weight. Some good things about it is that during this pregnancy her body tempurature has been warmer than normal, which puts her at being comfortable most of the time. Normally she is always chilly or cold, but not now, so that has been a nice change for her.

We are getting the emergency pregnancy bag together are making sure we have everything we need to get this scary and throroughly exciting new era of our lives started. We have most everything we need from a crib, bassinet, diaper genie and a whole host of other things mostly donated or given as gifts by the wonderful people in our lives. =)

My mother is excited beyond all belief, especially after fearing that I may never have children since I have waited so long. I am currently 35 =O and not getting any younger. =)

Hopefully, in the next week we will be able to post that our new daughter has been born.

Immigrating Family

Tanya’s brother and his wife have one a Green Card through the US’ Green Card Lottery and have been here for a few weeks. We have been able to get a lot done. We have their Social Security CardsNumbers and Green Cards, as well as having a job for her and a car for them, plus back accounts and debit cards setup. We have some thoughts on work for him. He is a mechanic and are working towards those jobs. We are currently working towards getting their divers licenses and finding and getting them an apartment.

The primary issue we have is their English knowledge. Neither learned a lot of English in school back in Belarus. They are now really  just starting to learn English so that is going to slow their progress down. They are learning it each day. They have MP3 based lessons as well as books that they are working with so things are progressing. Yea!

Father’s Day

Fathers day was a combo of 2 days. My father wanted to have a cook-out and fire so we arranged to have a cook-out at our house on Saturday. My parents brought over most of the food and stuff so Tanya would not have to worry about things so much. I had to work at First Weber in the morning until about 14:30 (2:30pm) or so. After that we prepared things for them to come over.

I have 3 used grills and will be looking forward to buying a new grill some day. My wife prefer’s the flavor of food cook over fire instead of gas or charcoal, so after talking with my Dad and Tanya we started the grill with charcoal and then added some wood on top of it. Now, of course the wood would put the flame right at the grills surface and cook/burn things too quickly and make it really hard to control, so I brought out the metal cooking griddle that I bought for camping and placed that comfortably over the grill. It fit right on the edge allowing the heat from the flame to more evenly heat the griddle to cook. That seemed to work really well. The only issues with it were that the mesquite chips we used were not effective in imparting their flavor and the griddle was too small to cook a lot quickly, other than that, it seemed to work really well.

We ate and drank and enjoyed ourselves. It was a good time.

Sunday, was more my day. We went to church at the Free Congregation where we discussed Evolutionary Creationism which is a pet topic of mine, so I found it really enlightening and enjoyable. Our speaker, Andrew Kerr is always a delight to listen to. He is quite intellectual and challenging.

New friends

After that we stopped by a couple that contacted us, since Tanya was Russian and so was the wife. We made plans to meet for the first time and it was a pleasure, especially for me. The husband was an American who was a geek as well as a former US Navy nuke, so we had a lot in common there. The wife was Russian, and was an English as a Second Language teacher and has a degree in Linguistics which I found interesting since I am reading a little bit about it due to my interest in Esperanto.

Dugeons and Dragons

D&D Sunday was great, We got together with the group and killed a few things but spent most of our time in an puzzle/trap room and a Skill Challenge with a long dead adventuring party. A good time. =)

All-in-all a good Fathers Day weekend.

Baby Shower, Refinancing, and more…

Baby Shower

We had a baby shower on Sunday with great turnout. Laura was of tremendous help in organizing this with Tanya. The party was at her house in Baraboo. I would like to send a special thank you to her! =)

The attendees were mostly those of the Yoga persuasion. Many were able to make it and it was a lot of fun. There was plenty of food, more about especially Tanya’s favorite Russian dishes which are always a hit. There was also the painting of Tanya’s belly which had a lot of neat designs. My contribution was a red outline of a heart with a Mountain Dew/Irish green center.

The Hunt for Gollum

A Tolkien Estate sanctioned 40 minute fan film called “The Hunt for Gollum” went live Sunday. I cannot wait to find the time to watch this.

Refinancing our Home

The best option I have (and that we are pursuing) is what is called a Veteran’s Streamline of my existing Veteran backed mortgage. We are planning on paying for all of the expenses to make this happen, in the area of $2,500 so we do not loose what little equity we have accrued so far, and this will reduce our mortgage payment by a little over $100 a month. Yea! More money!

I am currently with GMAC Mortgage and through them they will charge and additional $2,000 in lenders fees on top of the other standard fees to originate this. I am going with Wells Fargo which has a branch in Baraboo here due to the low base cost of the refinance, and they also have the Equity Rewards credit card that helps to buy down your mortgage principle. All-in-all, a good deal. =)

This will be especially important due to Tanya giving birth to our first child in July. We are going to need to extra money. =)

A Little November Catchup

Here’s a little catchup for the last month or so or our busy, ask busy lives.

Yoga Studio

As I have written about Tanya has been teaching Yoga in the old Baraboo News Republic building and that has been going well. We have not advertised this and a few of her classes have maxed out (6 people which is all we can fit in the room), case and that is great. It is a nice place and the owner is very amiable and helpful.

We had our first day where the Jiu-Jitsu classes were being taught. We have been waiting for this day, neurosurgeon and well, it wasn’t so bad, but I am pretty sure that we are going to have to find somewhere else to teach. =( Once this one month trial is over we will most likely look for a new place to teach.

Roof

We have known that we have need to replace the roof since we bought the house and now we are doing it. Hopefully, the roofers will be here this week to get it done. This will pretty much tap us out of our savings, but at least that will be fixed. Annoying, but necessary.

Early Thanksgiving

My sister’s kids were down from Thursday to Sunday to spend time with my parents and us. That was a lot of fun. I beat Tyler and Dad in racquetball, as well as tennis (2 on 1). We played cards and watched movies. It was a good time.

My Birthday

My birthday was quiet. I spent it with Tanya and my parents. We went to church, ate my mother’s deep fried chicken (which I love), and we saw the movies ‘Madagascar 2’ and ‘Quantum of Solace’. IT was a good day.

Tanya bought for me a Garmin GPS. I almost cried. It was electronic. It has buttons. Yea, I love buttons…. and most of all it may keep us from getting lost. I had thought about picking one up especially since I have become a Realtor. My sense of direction is horrible and this is rather ironic since I am in real estate. How on earth would I ever find the places or be on time. Well, now that is answered. Whew!

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Catching up…

Belarus

So life has been busy. Tanya was back in Belarus for 3 months to finish the first half of the last year of her degree in Economics (or something like that). It was a long three months and several people have said I was lost while she was gone. I was in many ways. =) I really missed her and I am soooo very glad to have her back.

Real Estate License

I have been studying for my Real Estate Sales License. That has been a slow and painful process. There was a lot more to it than I expected, there but it has been very good information to know. I really look forward to having this done and so does Tanya, stomach that way I can move forward with life’s plans.

Vacation

Tanya and I bound for Cancun for the first week in December, this site which will be a lot of fun. We will be alone with the sun and the water at an all inclusive resort. This is kind of our birthday/New Years/Christmas presents to each other.

New Digital Camera

In preparation for the trip we have bought a digital camera: a Canon CAPSSX100B PowerShot SX100 IS (8 Megapixel, 10x optical zoom). The camera that I bought in St. Martin N.A. (Canon EOS 5000) in like 1994 has seen its better days and has been dropped way to many times. If you know me you will know how unfortunate this camera was to have me as its owner. It has served me well but it is not working so well, plus it is a pain in the but to have the film developed and them make a CD of it.

New Computer

We are also going to be looking at getting a new computer for Christmas as well. This is an expensive Christmas for us, but we really need a new one. The girls are going bonkers because of how slow mine is. =(

Computer Work

I spent a bit of time doing a full reinstall and update of Windows XP for my mother’s work computer. That was fun as all full reinstalls are. I also replaces the Bios Battery thingy for the mother board in another.

Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving we will be going to my sisters house up North and then on Friday we will have another Thanksgiving with my Wife and grandmother as Tanya has to work all day on Thanksgiving. My poor hardworking and wonderful wife. I love her so very much.

Church Website

I am also taking over the maintenance of my churches website :The Free Congregation of Sauk County. I have started with that and eventually we will go through a complete redesign.

Life Update – Holidays

My Birthday

Wednesday night, infertility My Wife said that we would stay up until midnight and that I could not go back into our bedroom. I was quite curious about this and I had no idea what she had planned. We watched two episodes of Friends, an episode of Studio 60, and something else while waiting for midnight. She was so anxious and impatient for midnight to come. Our Roommate was sitting on the couch with us working on finishing knitting her sweater.

A little before midnight we opened and poured some champaign for the three of us. They brought out some Mint Baily’s Irish Creme and tried that. Delicious. Yummmy! … and then a close friend of ours called to wish me a happy birthday.

Star Wars at Midnight

Before My Wife let me go into the bedroom to see what was in there she asked me what I thought was in there. I had no idea. =) After a few completely off-the-wall guessed I was finally allowed to go into the bedroom. I looked and saw my Star Wars picture hanging up and I was so surprised. I could not believe it. I just stood there smiling and pointing at the picture. I did not know what to say. I was so very happy. Why is this such a big deal? Well, I have had this Star Wars oil painting over my bed since I was very, very young. My mother bought it for me the year the movie came out. It is like 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide and is of the original Star Wars picture. When we moved into the house we went back adn forth about where to put it and, of course, it sat in the basement and did not end up anywhere where it could be seen.

And then they pointed out the wrapped present on the bed. I would have been more than happy with just the Star Wars picture over the bed, but there was more. =) I opened that and it was the special edition of the original Star Wars movies, which contains the original unmodified movies and and the reconditioned movies. Very cool! Shortly after a lot of hugging and kissing both of them we decided to go to bed.

The Morning

Mom called me at at little after 07:00 thinking that I would be going to work and that I had the next day off. We talked for a moment and she wished me happy birthday and then I went to bed. A little after 09:00 My Wonderful Wife came in and carefully and lovingly woke me up with kisses. I was still quite tired, and then she brought up the tray for breakfast in bed. She brought a peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich along with champaign and hot chocolate. What a great way to wake up.

Then I went into the living room and our Roommoate was making me a mudslide with the mint Baileys and was making popcorn so that we could watch one of the Star Wars movies. We sat down and watched the first movie. Very cool! =) My Wife and I then went to take a short bath and then a shower and there I found another present. It is called Pro-Active. It is a specialized program for acne which we saw on TV. Cool! Hopefully, this will help to remove some of the pimples I have.

Then we talked a little bit about what to wear to go shopping for shoes and after a few suggestion of this shirt or those pants, The Wife said “Don’t you want to ask me what shirt you should wear?”, which I do quite often. So I did, and she pulled out another present a medium blue cashmere sweater. I wore a white and blue stripped dress shirt with the cashmere sweater over it; the Belarussian jeans, and the brown shoes. Sigh!!

Shopping for Shoes

So we all hopped in our cars (The Roomate went in hers because she wanted to go swimming and give The Wife and I some time together) and My wife and I in my car and we went to go shopping. My Wife drove us, and she followed The Roommate who got onto I-90 going West which confused me because, as far as I remember, the Outlet Mall is near the Wintergreen off exit 92 and this was the wrong way for that. I could be wrong and and I was verbalizing this to My Wife and she did not say so much, mostly smiled and laughed at me. =) We took exit 87 and then we stopped off at Taco Bell for lunch The Wife and I ate, and our Roomate was not hungry having eaten breakfast and having popcorn and mudslide. Very cool!!

We then went to the Outlet Mall and The Roommate went swimming (at least I think she did). We started at one end and went from shop to shop. We looked for shoes for work and sports shoes as well as I need both desparately. We looked here and looked there. When we got about 75% of the way through the shops I got really tired at looking for shoes. We were at Sketchers and found some shoes there and they had a small sale. Buy one and get 50% of a second pair. I was somewhat ready to try something different in sports shoes. We both found a grey pair that we both liked but it was not in my size (10.5), and could only find an 11 which fit pretty well. There was another shoe that fit really well and we both thought it was ok. It is mostly grey with black trim and white laces and soles. We put the white laced shoes and some dress shoes for work on hold and continued onto the rest of the 25% of the mall that we wanted to look through, but I was like walk in and walk out. I was not so interesting in looking any more, The Wife was feeling a little bit the same, so we ran through the rest of the stores really quickly and then went back to the Sketchers store and bought the shoes. Yea!

Watching Star Wars Some More

We came home and The Roommate was home and we changed and started to watch the second Star Wars movie and we watched a little over half of it and then it was about time to meet my parents at Applebees (18:00). I was not really hungry. I was full on Taco bell, Mudslide, and popcorn, but was very much looking forward to seeing them and eating at Applebees again.

We then were getting ready to go shopping to Applebees – getting our coats on and Our Roommate gave me a scarf (brown and dark orange). I was so happy. This week I have been thinking about the black and grey scarf that she made me as well as my black coat. I was wishing that I had the scarf here to wear. They are so good to me. I was so happy.

Applebees

We drove to Applebees and met our parents at one of the small round tables near the bar. We hugged and talked and mom was a little bit teary eyed. Such a mommy. We talked and ate and laughed. I had the Bourben Street Steak, which I miss so very much. It was so hard to finish it, but I did. Yummy.

After eating we went to my parents to play Euchre. the Roomate was quite tired and sat down to watch some TV while we played cards. The Wife and I beat my parents 10 to 0, 10 to 2, 10 to 8, and 10 to 6. It was crazy how well things went for us. Before we left we ate the chocolate cake that my mom made. My parents also bought for me a cube of Mountain Dew and they took us to see the new James Bond movie “Casino Royale” with the new actor playing Bond which rocked. We then went home and watched a little bit of TV and then went to bed.

Christmas Holidays

Tuesday (Dec 19) We did the rest of our shopping. We bought some clothes for grandma and a fancy grey metal picture frame of The Wife and I on our wedding day.

I have been congested and on Friday (Dec 22) I called in sick and went to the doctor. The doctor said that it was most likely viral and nothing we really could do to help it. They gave me a prescription for an guyfensin based decongestant and sent me on my way. This stuff works wonders to help clear out my nose and chest. Great stuff.

Saturday (Dec 23) I did not sleep well at all. I woke up at about 03:30 and I could not get back to sleep until after 06:30 or so. I did not go to Karate and I tried to sleep in. After My Wife went to work I went into Baraboo to my friend house where a bunch of our gaming buddies are getting together to play a little bit and visit. We played a board game and then went to eat at Uno’s in the Lake Delton. I was not hungry then, but I ate until I could not eat any more. It was good to see everyone again. I was so full when I got home – I brought what I could not finish and Our Roommate finished it when she came home from work.

Sunday (Dec 24 – Christmas Eve) The Wife has today and tomorrow off – Yea!!! In the morning We watched a little TV and started to cook a cheese cake. At about noon we went over to my parents house for lunch. My Youngest Niece was there and my parents had to take her back My Sister’s at about 15:00 or so. We played cards and ate. They left to take the little one at 15:00 and we went home to prepare to go to a party tonight.

At about 17:45 or so we went to Deforest (about exit 126 towards Madison on I-90) to a small party that the couple that I play D&D with is having. We arrived a little before 19:00 and were the first people there. We brought a bottle of Merlot and Lambrusco. We left there at little after 22:00 when my friend Brian finally came. We talked for a little bit aand then we left. Tanya slept for most of the way home. It went well. Tanya was a little bit bored as was I. I knew only 3 people there, but it was good to get out and socialize. It is good for Tanya too. =)

When we got home Katia was there with Natasha, and a girl that she works with from Sundara named Tanya and we opened up a bottle of champagne and they snacked on some of the chocolate and Christmas snacks that mom made for us. We went to bed and they stayed up for a little while longer.

Monday (Dec 25) Tanya and I went over for lunch and we ate. The Roommate came over to eat at about 13:30 or so. She ate and we visited for a while, and we are going to wait until she finishes work to open presents.Shortly after that we played a game of Euchre and then we brought out a new game called Rook which is something that I bought for The Wife’s birthday incase we had some spare time (not). We played two games of that and it is really fun. I almost like it a little bit more than Euchre.

The Roommate came over at about 17:30 or so and we opened presents. She left shortly after that to go chat with the boyfriend. We watched the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” which was good. It was not what any of us expected, but it was a good movie. We went home after that which was about 21:00.

Tuesday (Dec 26) I was not sure if I worked today and pretty much thought I did. I woke up and got ready as I normally do and went in to work. Whe I got there the parking lot was empty and was beginning to think I might not work today. =) I went to the court house and there was a sign that declared that we were closed Dec 25 and 26. Yea! So I went back home and the girls were up. We talked a little and The Roommate went to work.

We took an application for The Wife to the Wellness Center for her to teach Yoga. While we were in the are I stopped by Ho-Chunk where my friend, Brian, works to pick up my phone which I left at the party Saturday night. We talked for a little bit and then left.

We went to Kohls to exchange some white undershirts that Tanya bought me and they were having huge after Christmas sales. We stayed a little while and bought some clothes for both of us. Ugghhh!! Damn Sales. =) I got some pants for work and a new dress shirt. The Wife bought two pairs of warm pants for yoga and two shirts, as well as a pair of jeans that fit her really well.

The Wife and I went to Culvers to eat and on our way home we dropped of a small Custard Sunday for The Roommate while she was at work.