Thursday, January 27, 2011

Better Day...

Its still cold.  Its still gloomy.  I'm still coughing.  And I'm still late.  BUT... today was better.  And TOMORROW is FRIDAY!!!  YAY!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Trying to Fight the Blahs...

Since I'm pretty sure no one reads this, I'm going to just put it all out there...

My period is 6 days late.  But, I do not feel pregnant.  I took a test last night with either SUPER light positive or too much pee on the stick.  I know it doesn't pay to take another test...  for atleast a week... and I LIGHTLY spotted yesterday.

I have a bad cough that doesn't seem to be getting better.

Its cold!  And murky.  I can't seem to get enough sunshine and feel needy and whiney for it.  I'm HUNGRY for sunshine.  I'm sad.  I miss my friends.  But seem to inflict grouchiness in some of them.

I am starting to worry that "something" is wrong with me again.  I am upset with myself for not being satisfied with two kids.  Or my house. 

I say I want to go places and do stuff but then am not sure if I really want to go and do. 

I NEED to get outta this funk!  Help!  HELP!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday's Wandering: Babu's First Time Sledding

What a WONDERFUL time.  We live around the corner from the best sledding hill in town... yet tonight was the  first sledding this season for me, and the first time in Babu's life!  Aapi, Babu and I went and took turns heading down the hill.  Babu is a natural!  He sits still the whole time, lets me just wipe his face at the bottom and then waits for his turn again. Aapi is an old pro.  She pushes herself down the hill, then carries her own sled back up all by herself.  What an awesome night!  We all three hit the hill a few times and of course had hot cocoa to sip on in the warming house.  I was sad that Baba missed out on the fun, but alas, his bowling night is a little bit sacred... and there will be other times. 

The kids got a couple hours of activity.  We all came home tired and happy.  The Babu fell asleep in my arms tonight and transitioned to crib so sweetly.  Aapi was asleep by the time I went to check on her.  I enjoyed a little ice cream and a tv show in my flannel jammies.  All in all a great night!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: Crying it Out Advice

Anyone who knows me even a little bit, knows that if I have a parenting style it is "attachment." So here is ALL I have to say...

DO NOT wait to transfer your Babu to the crib until he is 14 months old.

Not a good idea. :(

Menu Planning Monday: Week 2 (Jan. 10-17, 2011)

Monday Jan. 10, 2011
Breakfast: Egg Bagels
Dinner: Noodles (out to eat with cousins while Baba is out of town)

Tuesday Jan. 11, 2011
Breakfast: Cereal
Dinner: Salmon and Asparagus

Wednesday Jan. 12, 2011
Breakfast: Toast
Dinner: Walking Tacos

Thursday Jan. 13, 2011
Breakfast: Bagels and cream cheese
Dinner: Spaghetti

Friday Jan. 14, 2011
Breakfast: Cereal
Dinner: "Burgers" and Fries

Saturday Jan. 15, 2011
Breakfast: Egg Sandwiches
Dinner: Chicken Stirfry and Rice

Sunday Jan. 16, 2011
Breakfast: Waffles with Syrup
Dinner: Popcorn Plus

Monday Jan. 17, 2011
Dinner: Homemade Pizza

Friday's Foolery: Laughter this week...

Things we laughed at this week:
Babu's current favorite toy is anything resembling a phone-- actual phones will do the trick but has also used remote controls, cucumbers, candy bars etc. His one-way conversation goes like this:
Lo? Ya. Bah. and then he SLAMS down the phone.

All week I was hitting the gym and running what I thought to be a 5k. And feeling really good about it. On Friday night, I put a 5k trail into the elliptical machine I was using only to find out that a 5k translates to 3.1 miles..........................not 2.1 miles. One third the distance shorter! So much for my fitness.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday: Gratitude for Sweet Husbands circumstances

This week during a family art session,Baba (Sweet husband) drew a picture of his home in Bahrain, where he grew up. Then he got out the photo album and began sharing stories about things that happened in and near his home over the course of his 15 years there.

I've heard the stories of happiness and silliness. How one sister ran into a wall while making faces and sticking her tongue out at Baba or how another sister stumbled after running through the whole house and while trying to drum up dramatic tears, farted three times and couldn't cry for the wild laughter she was siezed by.

But this time I heard stories about the time his bike was stolen from within the compound. And how, while visiting a friend, a tear gas bomb was tossed into the house and they had to escape and cover their mouths with wet cloths. There was a time that a tire and gas tank was set on fire just outside their back window. It didn't explode by some miracle. There was a time that men came with sticks and broke the light so they could attack Baba's family in darkness. Baba's father convinced them to leave.

I was struck by these stories. I've been so cavalier about his transition to America and how easy it all seemed for him to acclimate. Surely his life must have been easy and modern in Bahrain. Not that things were terrible, but I was wrong!

This story telling time really got me thinking. And I am so grateful for Baba's grace. For his ability to slip into my type of life and my type of lifestyle and my type of eating habits and ... you get the picture. I used to believe that I was the one who bent over backwards to become flexible to his culture, his family, his lifestyle. Now I see things differently.

I have always been a wife that sees the bounty in her husband. I have always felt that I received the better end of the deal when we married. But today I am more humbled.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday's Wandering: Not How I Expected Things to Go...

Today I thought I'd be writing about my Sunday morning walk with Aapi (big girl).. But today was worth a post.

This is how my day was going to go in my head:
Get up, Drive Aapi to school.
Go to the Y, Drop Babu (baby boy) off in childcare room.
Run a 5K
Shower, dress, pick Babu up and start shopping.
Hit all three stores, SAVE money, pay with cash.
Get home, eat steak lunch with Baba (sweet husband) while Babu sleeps.
Wake Babu, pick up Aapi and head home for dinner, tubby and stories.

Here is the reality of my wandering:
I was feelig especially proud of myself today because I had both babies dressed, school and y bags packed, and Aapi dropped off with enough time to play outside for a few minutes before school started.
So far so good.
Then Babu and I did make it to the y only to find the communicable disease report showing strep in the room. Uh oh, I think, maybe we shouldn't play today. Nah, I think... let's DO this! I drop Babu off, introduce him to the worker, mention that this is time number 2 for him and that he was a little sad last time. Then I leave.
I begin my run. 5 minutes of walking, then jogging at 6 miles an hour. 1.74 miles in, I am surprised to see the childcare worker in the fitness center. "He hasn't stopped crying." she says. Okay, I say, I'll go get him.
Dripping with sweat, I grab my stuff from the locker room, head to the baby room and pick up Babu. He is sobbing and staring out the window. :(
With no shower, I head home only to find him sleeping. But he wakes in transition to the crib and I go change. I proceed to attempt to get him to sleep for the next 3 hours (give or take.)

Baba comes home. Makes an awesome steak. We eat a plate of meat for lunch. Babu watches... doesn't like steak yet I guess.

babu falls asleep after Baba goes back to work. HAAA--LLLAAAY-LOOO-YAAAH!

Babu sleeps until it is time to pick up Aapi. I laid down at this point. Yes I know... I should have showered.

With shopping left to do, I pack up Babu, pick up Aapi and head to store number 1. Smooth. My original bill was $36.00 and I paid $11.00 due to deals and coupons. Stor number 2. Pretty smooth. My original bill was $50.00 and I paid $26.00 due to coupons and sales... but I bought more than as on my list. FATAL ERROR. Store number 3. Still pretty good considering I have two kids with me... save the end.
At check out... I think to myself... well, I bought more than I thought I would but couldn't pass the deals up. It will help in the long run. PLUS, I have my wallet. I can use my allowance to pay any leftover amount. Ultimately I spent $68.00 for a $100.00 bill. Awesome savings...but I was $9 DOLLARS SHORT. Okay I think... just pay with your personal cash....

Uh oh... where's my personal cash?

So, I realize then, that when I brought my y bag into the house, with it I brought my wallet. Hadn't missed it because I was using my cash envelope on the grocery trip.
Suspend Sale. Call Baba.
Baba brings money, I go in to pay.

Come out with most of my pride. But, I'm already out of cash for the week... and it' only Wednesday. Nice.

The rest of the night goes smoothly enough. But I'm perplexed. This cash only system is going to be a LOT tougher than I thought.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: Cash System and Food Savings Tips

As taken from my facebook page: (Gotta love all my friends for weighing in on this topic!)

ME: Okay folks, we're going without credit cards in 2011... any shopping tips for saving money without eating mac-n-cheese/ ramen every day?
1. Aldis is a great place to save money when grocery shopping.

2. Lentils, rice, homemade pasta (super easy!), garden, canning. :)

3. Oh yeah gardening and canning for sure!

4. Make sure that you use your freezer! We save a ton on food by buying larger quantities of things when they are on sale and freezing what we are not going to use right away.

ME: I'm trying the coupon clipping thing for the first time... advice please?!?!

5. Go to eBay u can buy them. check it out!

6. COUPONS! I use alot. Also, something I've been doing recently is going to websites of products I use alot (especially like health & beauty stuff) and see if they have any coupons you can print. I recently got $2 any Clean & Clear products...sometimes you have to sign up to get them but definitely worth it!

7. I hardly ever use coupons but I buy generic all the time! Just make sure the generic isn't higher in salt and sugar :) I only use coupons for things I refuse up but generic like cheerios. Also totally agree with eating beans...we eat vegetarian 3-4 times a week and my 2 year old loves it!

8. re: beans, don't be afraid of dry beans. They are way cheaper than canned beans and are super easy if you own a crock pot. Truthfully, I don't use coupons, but I do buy a lot of generic brands if they look comparable. Be wary of the high fructose corn syrup, though - that ingredient does NOT make something a bargain, in my opinion.

9. 1. Aldi. 2. Aldi. 3. Aldi. :)

10. We are on the Dave Ramsey plan for has been almost a year now...overall, working pretty well. We work out of an envelope system budget.

11. coupons around here are hard since there isn't much grocery competition and they hardly do the double coupons. but i agree with patty and do use coupons for the things you always use - go to the product website.

12. just don't go too much to the "evil empire" of Wal-Mart. I will be the first to admit however....sometimes saving a buck means saving a buck!!!

13. This was our 2010 resolution. We just celebrated 1 year using no plastic. I stockpile when sales hit, that helps.And by stockpile I mean if an item is on sale for a really great price, I buy one or two more than normal. Helps and saves on "emergency" runs to the store for that one item that turns into ten.

14. We have not used plastic or credit in over two years. Buy Dave Ramsey's book "Total Money Makeover" . We took his class in August 2008 and haven't looked back. And of course I use coupons but only if the item is on sale too! Also you have to have a budget with every cent going somewhere. Start emergency fund also so ur not tempted with those cards.

15. We also use the envelope cash system. One tip - be sure to give yourselves one envelope of "fun" money - doesn't matter how much, or what you spend it on, but you need to have a little bit of discretionary funds to play with.

16. I now buy all of our bread products at Gardner's Bakery in town. It helps to save some cost.

17. We have several friends in Atlanta who follow Dave Ramsey and they actually get to "live" life! We're only buying the "needs" this year. Our goal is to move back to Texas permanently within the next five years. Life is less expensive in every way, in Texas. I guess my point is we've made short term goals and long term goals and we're starting "small" and hoping to move to a life without plastic within the next two years. Finally, by year five, hopefully we've not just committed to make a lifestyle change, but actually living the lifestyle and living life!

18. Oh, and we're doing Dave as well. Nothing empowers you like making a major purchase using cash.....unless it's saving it and watching it grow. Good luck! First 8 weeks are the hardest, and then it becomes habit.

19. I always ask whether it's a "need" or a "want" - that goes for food, material items, and even leisure activities. Been doing it for at least 5 years and really heavy since economic collapse of 2008. We were able to not only pay off debt but establish a *very* healthy investment savings since then. Just find what works best for your family because then you will stick to it!!

Happy new year!


My menu plan for the week!
Sunday Jan. 2
Breakfast: Hot Cereal (Red Mill 7 Grain)
Dinner: Popcorn Plus (on Sunday Nights we eat Popcorn, cheese, fruit, cookies)and Chicken Wings

Monday Jan. 3
Breakfast: Egg in the Hole
Dinner: Kids get Instant Noodles, Apples and Cookies (Shabbar and I are celebrating 8 years together with a sitter and a date!)

Tuesday Jan. 4
Breakfast: Cereal
Dinner: Turkey Barley Soup with Fresh Bread

Wednesday Jan. 5
Breakfast: Cereal/ Oatmeal
Dinner: Beef Roast with Potatoes and Carrots and Roasted Squash

Thursday Jan. 6
Breakfast: Egg Sandwiches
Dinner: "Chicken" Parmigiana

Friday Jan. 7
Breakfast: Bagels and Cream Cheese
Dinner: Shrimp, String Cheese, Fruit, Cocktail Sauce, Snackies

Saturday Jan. 8
Breakfast: Oatmeal
Dinner: Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Sunday Jan. 9
Breakfast: Fried Potatoes and Eggs
Lunch: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Dinner: Popcorn Plus