Sunday, April 27, 2008

weekend wrapup 04/26-4/27

What an awesome way to end the week/start the upcoming warm weather :) I had the opportunity to escape the house w/o kids (although it seemed like everywhere I went, babys were too!) for the whole day. I went to the outlets w/ a friend of mine, and a friend of her's, and we had a blast! Shopping for myself was a bi harder than I thought, not because of money (although that was never far from my mind), but because I love how certain things look, but now having kids makes me think twice about stain resistance, and liklihood of fading (given how ketchup, dirt, and baby spitup are drawn to me, leading to frequent washings).I did score on 2 shorts, a pair of capris, and 2 nice shirts. I also bought a few items for the bin of clothes I have as the boys get older. I also found a bread knife, so now I can use my bread maker, knowing I won't shred my yummy creations to bits. To top it off, I got some pampering treats at the Bath and Body Works store, can't wait to start using my treats :) Capped off with a lunch at a grown up place (no cutting up food, eating a hot meal), and boy I was feeling good! Grand total, including money for gas, was $134~and every penny was well spent.
As for hubby and the boys, as far as I could tell, it only cost him $6 ($3 each) to go out yesterday-and that was on two helium ballons at the rodeo parade. I normally would have said something, but the boys were happy, intact, and happy to see mommy at the end of the day.
Today we hit the zoo, and the boys had even more fun than normal. Maybe it was he ice cream daddy bought, or the fact that M got to see more than when I'm by myself w/ the three kiddies, but it was a good time. We didn't stay for lunch, chose to get some decent food out since we had one stop to make in the city, before heading home, and we still had 1 1/2 hours to kill before we could get that errand done. A tantrum changed our location to eat, but it turned out well. We ended up spending less, and had a coupon for a free kid's meal to boot, so we only paid for the 2 of us, leading us to spend $24 for the 4 of us to eat-much cheaper and more filling than the zoo food-where it cost 8.45 for a hamburger, small fry, and med drink. It was worth the money spent.
While it wasn't the most frugal of weekends, it was highly enjoyable. I think this weekend showed us that we are capable of choosing the best way of what and how we spend our money.

Friday, April 25, 2008

marching ahead

Well, I gotta say I passed up quite a few temptations today, and only spent money at the grocery store. I bought fresh produce this afternoon, and plan on making a delish salad to go w/ the cheap pizza for dinner. The kids will be thrilled, and I'll have a chance to unwind before hubby gets home super late tonight. The zoo was fun, a bit congested at the entrance, but I had no problems on our adventure. The sling is a great tool to have, saved my arms for sure! Had a picnic lunch w/ some people who I haven't seen very often in the past couple of years, definitely felt like I had more in common w/ them now as we all have more than one child, even though I now had the youngest one among us. I definitely missed the mom's group, realize how important it was to my sanity. Now I'm pondering running for a club position-how this will factor in if/when I get a job I don't know, but we'll see.

In other news, I have an interview w/ the University of Phoeniz (satellite college) next Friday evening, thanks in part to L's husband telling me about his own experience teaching at another college. I never would have considered looking into teaching positions, but thought it couldn't hurt to try. I'm super nervous, having this type of part time job would be a major asset, not only to my sense of self, but to our financial plans too. I have to do a mock presentation-and another person gave me the idea of incorporating my senior project into it, so that will not only save me time, but really show that I know my stuff.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

thoughts/comments from this weekend

"m doesn't want to be prince eric" (from the little mermaid)-m's friend at the playdate yesterday
a minute later, "he doesn't want to marry me"-m's friend, upset that he's more interested riding her girly bike than being a prince and rescuing her
"i pooped on the potty"-after 6 weeks of wearing big boy underware and no more pullups, and a full day out both yesterday and today, this was music to our ears!
"i crap!"-where m got this from, i don't know-but it struck hubby as insanely funny
we hit the festival today. it was a ton of fun, and we didn't blow the bank. ate the snacks/drinks brought from home. did splurge on wristbands for the older boys, but they were cheap ($2 each), and the boys did art activities, played in a couple of bounce houses, and each had a pony ride. we got our money's worth. next year, we'll stay longer, or go earlier. it was too close to naptime to do much else in the kid zone, but i don't think the boys noticed.
hit up costco on the way home. had a late lunch there too since we didn't eat at the festival. used the coupons and bought groceries for the week. walked out of there $76 later, but that included $18 of dog food, $5 on lunch, so it was close to the $50 i planned on spending on our main needs. i'm planning on cooking some make-ahead meals tomorrow. that should help esae the crunch of eating at home this week, since we have some activites going on during the day.
and my last bit of good news, actually one of two bits, i get to hit up the outlets next weekend w/ one of my girlfriends and another woman. no kids, no hubbys, just a jaunt to the big ol outlets in the bay area. i'm super excited, and plan on getting some summer clothes to fit my post baby (my last one, eek!) body.
and my last happy news-thursday is our 4th wedding anniversary. its amazing how time flies by. i am trying to think of something to do for hubby as a suprise, and have a bunch of ideas. i think i'll work on some tomorrow and see what pans out. i'll post once i know more :)
here's some snapshots from today

happy saturday

the weekend is here, hooray! hubby took the older boys to the dog park, and i'm relishing the relative peace by folding clean laundry :-) and of course i have my tivo'd shows to keep me company. the plan for this weekend is to it up vintage days in the big city and/or a local community festival geared towards families. we'll end the day by hitting up costco for some fresh fruit, and have dinner at home.

last night was a lot of fun-i had taken the boys for an late afternoon playdate w/ one of matthew's friends from preschool. i've become friends w/ the mom-she and i both were going to grad school at the same time, and our youngest children are only two months apart. of course, living in the same town, it's nice having them around-since we don't have any family, i know if an emergency came up-i'd have someone very local that could pick up the boys. we ended up ordering pizza and robert met us at the other family's home after work. the kids fought bedtime, but we were all in bed by 9:30-and of course up at the crack of dawn today.

i did learn more about the organic farming cc-op available here in town. she showed me the box of produce, and it looked delish! here's the link:
another site to find a local co-op is i need to research this more, but i think we'll start something up in june or july.

the boys are back, so got to run. happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

new perspective

i love to read. read magazines, online communities, newspapers, you name it, chances are i've either read it, or mean to read it. today however, i read something that just made my heart swell. it was the blog of a momma i know from a mom's group. the mom of one, she reminds me of how i was with one child. i may have been thoughtful about money then, but nowhere to how i am now. i seriously have changed perspectives-i definitely think going to grad school has broadened my perspective on life, the ups and downs, the cruelness of others, and the sheer kindness of strangers. i think what i need to do is twofold-one, i think its time i try to go back on my meds for ppd-i have a couple of refills left before my next exam, and i've debated for awhile whether to refill it-i'm not sure if my money worries are tied into this, but given how my mood swings have been since having baby e, anything is possible. secondly, i'm not going to just use this blog for finances, but for my daily ramblings too-most of it is tied into money, but others into different facets of my life. i think by documenting the goodness of my life i can once again feel whole. i miss who i was; then again, maybe i just lost sight of who i've become, and need a space within to write, dream, breathe-without a child nursing, or clinging to my leg, or a husband asking me for the umpteenth time where the ketchup is in the fridge. this is me. and who i want to be.

no longer hiding

debt is a cloak i don't want to wear.its suffocating, gives me the chills, and makes me feel like i'm living under a microscope. i hate it. why do i make the choices i do, when sometimes, wait, when always i know there's an alternative-just saying no. its frustrating, there's times when i want to just blow money, and i do. then reality sinks in when i see the balance of our bank account. i'm working on not beating myself up, but it really is a challenge when hubby asks me where money goes and i say, like every other time, bills, expenses, the stuff both you and i want but do we really need at that moment.
i've reflected on why i'm writing this, and its because i want to be the best i can be. live life to the fullest, and not hide behind a wall. i want to live the truth, be a whole person, and like what i see in the mirror. its something i'm working on, one dollar, one minute at a time. that's all i can handle right now. as long as i'm moving forward, that's what really counts.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

grocery shopping drama

how i'd love to go into a store and not worry about the prices of items. to know i can get the gourmet cheese, fresh bread, the seafood, all the yummy steak we can eat at home. mind you-its not that i want to eat out more, i just don't want to watch our dollars so closely. at the same time, i know my efforts pay off-we're able to eat healthy (although i won't give up my mommy treat stash, hahaha) i have a filled pantry with canned goods, spices, and mixes. we also have a freezer that's somewhat full of meat and items. i just wonder, is it ever enough?
i'm reading a book now, "You don't have to be rich : comfort, happiness, and financial security on your own terms" by Jean Chatzkywhich calls attention to why we spend what we spend-its been enlightening, and it really makes me think about how we value money. i think i need to incorporate this into how i do my grocery shopping. food for thought.
well, at least for the time being, i know our fridge is busting full of food, and i spent $60 between yesterday and today. this should leave us with enough food to last the week, except for milk (seems like a gallon only lasts us 1 1/2 days between the 4 main eaters). now i'm off to make myself lunch-something yummy from the stuff i bought today :-)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

weekend wrapup

this weekend was definitely a mixed bag.
saturday i was at a festival most of the day alone w/ the baby, and prepared myself for the sunny weather. along w/ a cooler of drinks, i brought plenty of munchies. that kept me satisfied, and when i called home, i was pleased to hear that hubby was feeding the kids at home. he didn't want to bring the kids out to me, and while i was somewhat disappointed, i was relieved; not only was gas money not being spent, but also the temptation of the food booths. as a treat for myself, i did hit mc d's on the way home for an iced coffee, but spent a fraction of the price it would have cost me had i indulged in a venti iced frappachino that was served at the festival (a pricey $5-ouch!)
once i got home, we hit costco for our groceries, and asa treat for the family hit cold stone creamery-coupon included! hubby wanted a largersize, but i convincd him a smaller one was enough, and between the 4 of us, we shared the two small ice creams. mind you, we spent $5, and could have spent more-and i knew i really wanted more ice cream. however, i couldn't see buying more there, when really we could get a gallon of ice cream for the same price at the grocery store. i did want to treat hubby though, since i really appreciated his watching the older boys so i didn't have to take them to the festival with me.
today (sunday) was a nice restful day at home. did 4 loads of laundry, and made a nice enchilada dinner-with leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. we had the contractor stop by w/ the estimate for the bathroom/bedroom renovation, and that went as well as could be expected. hubby is having his draw up a couple other estimates, based on us doing one room at a time-vs doing all three together. while the contractor said he'd give us a price break if we did all at the same time, honestly, i don't want to tap out our resources. we have enough saved up, but i really do't want to tap us out. i know as soon as we sign the dotted line, something major will happen, as always. i guess we'll just have to wait and see-hubby is also going to touch base w/ some other contacts and get a few more estimates.
one last thing, our anniversary is coming up and we met w/ our future babysitter today. she's going to watch the older two boys, so we'll pay her $10 an hour. while i'd love to get away w/o all the kids, having eli with us will prevent us from going overboard-whether its to dinner, movies, and something else, or heading to the indian reservation's casino -which thankfully is a no-go since we'll have the baby. now its just about seeing what's in the entertainment book, so we can try a new place w/o breaking the bank.

Monday, April 7, 2008

weekend wrapup

this weekend was a good weekend. we had our yard sale on saturday, and cleared out a bunch of clutter. i made $35 and was thrilled more by the reduction in junk than anything else.
i came home for lunch, instead of blowing the money on starbucks (which i was really craving after getting up so early). hubby had taken the boys to costco for lunch, bu considering he was also running errands, and we've been good about eating meals at home, it wasn't a big deal. later on that night, we ran into the possibility of spending a ton of money,but i convinced hubby to research his purchase more thouroughly before we bought the item. he thinks we need a special fence for the dog, and in store, the prices range anywhere from $150-$300. i don't think we need it, but i'm willing to negotiate if the price is right, because i do undestand his reasning behind wanting the item. we almost blew it on dinner, as we were out really late at night. i totally forgot to pack food for the boys, but i was not in the mood to go to a sit down restaurant w/ the boys being near exhaustion. we ended up doing a drive thru run to mcdonalds,. i bought one meal and split it between the boys. hubby wasn't hungry, and i figured i'd eat once we got home. the boys went to bed, and i had leftovers from the past week. overall, it was the best thing we could have done.
sunday was better planned out. hubby worked 4 hours of overtime, and i spent the morning at home w/ the boys, catching up on laundry and prepping the crock pot for dinner. we had planned on going to a festival later in the day, and while i was prepared for hubby to want everything under the sun food-wise, i knew i'd rather pick something up at costco and feed us all for $7, than get a tiny sandwich or chocolate dipped strawberries for the same amount. i was prepared to indulge hubby, since we did have the yardsale money from the night before. however, once he saw the prices, he agreed that we were better off getting a snack while grocery shopping. we left the festival only spending $3 on a homemade dip mix, which i knew would satisfy the whole family as a treat. at costco, we only got the necessities (milk, eggs, bagels, some produce), and our total was $30. i went to win-co in the same lot, to see if i could find any better deals on produce, as i wasn't too sure if costco had the lowest price. i ended up buying bell peppers, zucchinni, apples, yougurt, tortillas and enchilada sauce for dinner this week. together i spent $20, bringing our grocery shopping to $50 for this week. if we can keep up the momentum of eating at home and using our grocery store purchases, we'll be sitting pretty at the end of the month. as for dinner last night, hubby and i had the crock pot meal (enough for lunch for today) and the boys were full from their early dinner at costco. another temptation averted!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

some sites to check out

trying to catch up on my reading, found some sites to check out later this week, maybe this weekend
Andrew Tobias's-The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
Find out about mutual funds-Vanguard, Fidelity, or T. Rowe Price-once our savings accounts hit $1000

here are some parenting sites