Monday, June 30, 2008

June wrap up

Being its the last day of June, I figure its a good idea to see how we did this month. Reviewing our spending, we ate nearly every meal at home. There were occasional meals out-but those were the birthday parties, family in town, or just too tired lets get something while we're out meals. Overall, I think we did fantastic! I think having the fresh fruit and veggies on hand has been key-who wants to go out when there's a delish salad waiting in the wings? Yum-o! It did feel like we were at Costco a lot this month-then again-there's only so much room in our fridge for fresh produce and perishables-add in the pitchers of tea, sliced fruit/veggies, and the premade lunch portions of last nights dinners, and you eventually run out of space. Knowing there's always room for improvement, I want to work on how big I make certain items. I try and make enough for hubby's lunch, but sometimes I cut it too close-or make too much and we have a ton that needs to be frozen (and everyone is reluctant to eat). I'd love a happy balance-but its hard to judge what is a family favorite, and what is a "please don't make this again" meal.
Anyways, that's something small to work on. The bigger issue for the coming month is the cost of the mold damage. We'll be alright, its just a matter of making the best choices and decisions for our family.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

weekends at home

Now that its costing a ton of money to fill up the van, we've been spending more time at home. At first that was a hard thing to deal with, but we're finding that with staying home, we're not as stressed out when we do take 3 kids out, eating at home more, and using our resources wisely. Its not to say that we won't venture out at all-or can't afford to-quite the contrary. I'm finding the additional benefits of staying close to home is about enjoying what we have instead of looking for a quick fix-whether its entertainment, snacks, or junk. I hope we continue to feel this way, as the boys get older and teach them to value experiences over material objects.

Yesterday we had two birthday parties-Hubby took M to his preschool friend's one at the local park, and I took the two younger ones to a baby's first birthday at someone's home. Both were the way birthday parties should be-a wading pool for the kids, a small bounce house, and hot dogs and hamburgers. Quite a switch from the mega birthday parties we've attended in the past-and just as enjoyable. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the cool a/c of our home-enough of the hot summer morning was spent outside.

Today we went grocery shopping at Costco. I have routinely budgeted $100 for our weekly Costco run and/or grocery shopping and am always pleasantly suprised when we average $75. Mind you, we're far from going hungry. I've just started to buy our produce at a local farm stand for .50 a pound, and the quality surpasses the discount supermarket (and has a lower price too!) We're also using up what we have first, unless I find a great deal to stockpile. We're far from doing without, and it feels great to know that we're making our dollars stretch.
I'm off to figure out our meal plan for the week.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Caved in....

of sorts. Yesterday was my day trip to Sacramento to see my MIL, sell her baby clothes for our niece who' due next month, and my dental appointment. I figured how much I spent on gas was just a fraction of what it would have cost me to ship everything, plus it helped out a friend get rid of her baby stuff, and give my niece a ton of really adorable, high end baby clothes, as ewell as an activity mat, baby bjorn, and deluxe bouncer that she'd never be able to afford on her own.

Robert picked up the boys from preschool, so I only took E w/ me. He did well while I had my cleaning. I am pleased to say I don't have to go back for another 6 months, which is incredible since I've been on 3 month recall for a year, followed by 4 month recall for the past two visits. Plus, not having to pay for additional dental work-yay! I'm still paying off all the work I had done last year, but thankfully that'll be done with in the next couple of months.

I planned a side trip to IKEA< but decided to head home early since everything got done way earlier than expected. I thought it was best to be home to make dinner (what wss I thinking?) Next time, I'll just do my side trip-its hard just kicking back and doing something fun, instead of thinking abput the kids, so I have to work on that.

E and I did have lunch on the way back home, so it was still nice to just eat and remember how I used to do it w M an think it was the hardest thing in the world-now its a piece of cake! I was dead tired from driving, so dinner ended being from Papa Murphey's, and the boys had a hard time comprehending why we had to cook it once we brought it home. Next time we'll prepare it w/o letting them see it uncooked, or just opt for the pizza place in town.

TOngith should be a great family night. We're headed to the high school pool for Dive in at the Movies-$2 gets you in for the night of swimming and a showing of Little Mermaid. I'm packing us a picnic dinner, and looking forward to eating under the stars. Thats it for now. Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Combining errands

What a day-we left the house at 8:45 a.m., and didn't return home until 4 p.m. Had a beautiful playdate at the park, I thought my boys would be tired-no such luck. Headed to the library for storytime, I thought it was a waste at first-the boys and I headed outside to run around 10 minutes after getting there. It turned out okay though, since their friends joined us, and were entertained by the foam football and tennis ball I had stashed in the trunk. We munched on the remaining snacks from the park, and left right around nap time. Used the initial peace in the car to pick up stuff from Freecycle, I then headed to Costco for grocery shopping. I stayed on target, only buying creamer, bread, chicken stock, quick rising yeast (for making bread), and chai tea (a yummy treat for me!). I gave boys more snacks from the sample ladies, and split a hot dog between the two boys since G said he was still hungry. We hit the post office once we got back into town, as well as the vegetable stand. I loaded up on 8 lbs of organic peaches, zucchinni, onions, squash, and cucumbers for the amazing price of $4. Where else but K town can you find such delish food? Yummy! The rest of the afternoon will be low-key, I have to face the bill from the mold remediator-yuck, and list stuff on freecycle and craigslist to sell. 7:30 can't come fast enough-that's when hubby will be home, and I will finally be able to go to the bathroom in private.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

broadening my options

on the encouragement of a mom friend, i've now registered for the cbest exam in august. if i do well, i can be a substitute teacher. while i'm not crazy about the idea-heck, its not related to my field of study, it gives me another outlet of bringing money into our home. as for the obvious concern about child care, there is a place in town that offers part-time infant and toddler care. this may be the best option for e, while the older boys are at preschool a couple days a week. we'll see how everything progresses-maybe the magic part time job will appear, but if not, oh well. nothings written in stone.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

what a success

Despite it being brutally hot today, the day went pretty well. Storytime netted the boys a free piece of fruit of their choice, plus an activity book that'll earn them another piece of fruit. I saw the "damaged" fruit cart, and got 2 lbs of cherries, 4 lbs of bananas, and 2 1/2 lbs of peaches for under $3.00. There was nothing wrong w/ any of the fruit, if anything it was super sweet from being so ripe. Tomorrow I'm going to make an awesome fruit salad.
Costco was a breeze-$35 for the basic necessities of the week, milk, tortillas, eggs, cheese, and salad fixings for the week, including lunch too. The boys munched on samples, so they were pretty happy during the trip.
I got some really cool videos today from freecycle, and also some bath and body works items from another freecycler. While picking those things up, I also distributed the things I was giving away, plus returned the baby bouncer someone lent to us.
We spent 1 1/2 hours w/ the wading pool-It took forever to get us all situated outside, but once we got settled, the boys had a blast. think I'm going to have to keep a play thing for E outside-or set up the water earlier in the morning-it was still to cold for him, and I had to hold him the entire time.
Dinner was a breeze too. Homemade chicken salad from all the stuff we bought at Costco. DH loved it, and it kept the house cool. THe boys also chowed down on the lettuce, even though they didn't like anything I also made a pitcher of blackberry iced tea for tomorrow-love it! I'll need to get that stuff again next time I go to Trader Joe's. Its worth the $4, since I get at least 4 pitchers worth of delish iced tea.
Tomorrow should be a quiet day. I'm planning on making pancakes for the boys-M loves chocolate chip ones, and I think I may make more to freeze and pull out more this week. May hit up the zoo early in the morning, or maybe the park. Anything before the heat settles in, and then we'll utilize the wading pool once again.
That's it for tonight. Once the boys are in bed, I think I'll head out for a swim. That's definitely an upside to having the pool (even though the maintenance is a PITA sometimes).

busy day ahead

Today hubby is working, so its up to me to keep the boys occupied. Normally, its not that big of a deal, but with the temp closing in on 104 degrees, it becomes necessary for me to think of creative ideas. We're going to hit up the supermarket in town for free storytime, followed by running errands in the city. I have multiple things to drop off at peoples homes, and then picking up some items from freecycle. I'm excited about those, since one of the pick ups is for childrens videos, and that will come in handy when we can't venture outside. We'll end our morning by hitting up Costco for perishables, and possibly lunch. After naptime at home (I can only hope!), I'll take the boys outside to use the wading pool. I'm sure E will enjoy splashing w/ his older brothers, and I'll see how easily I can use the pool w/ three small children. Not sure about dinner, but I'm defrosting chicken thighs. Going to hit up the farm stand nearby for some fresh squash, zucchini, and onions. Maybe sauteed veggies? Either way, I want to suprise hubby w/ a nice dinner, he's working hard, and I know he's stressed about everything going on. We'll see what devine dish I come up with. Have a great Saturday everyone!

Friday, June 20, 2008

silver linings abound

Emotions have run the gamut this week-eveything from joy and happiness of being a parent, to frustration and anger over having to deal with adult issues. Today is one of those days where I can really say everything is in balance, or at least, I'm keeping everything in perspective.

I've avoided talking about the household stuff that we were hit with earlier this week, only because it was hard to accept. I can now say I've accepted it, and can speak about it. On Tuesday morning while out in the tool room, I discovered the water heater stand had something on it-some sort of stain, debris, I couldn't figure out what it was. Then it hit me-it was freaking (think of another word) mold. I called the mold remediator we used to get our house cleared last fall, and luckily, someone was able to come out that afternoon to inspect the area. Sure enough, there was mold. its apparent that either the water heater has a leak, or the plumbing in the wall has a leak, but something is leaking, and something is growing. This isn't something we can avoid, we need to take care of. Thankfully its in an unhabital living space, so all of us are okay to stay in our home. In fact, cleanup of the mess would be cheaper if we didn't have young children in the home, but because we do, we have to do the extended clean up. Thankfully, we have the money set aside for the bathroom remodel to use towards this problem, but its still going to be costly. The initial cost forlab work, clean up plan, and clearance report is $1400. We will have to come up with the money to pay the contractor once we decide how to fix the space, but since its just used for storage, we're planning on the bare minimum.
I did make the calls to our home warrenty, and they will cover the replacement of the water heater unit, minus our $50 deductible. I talked to our broker that we use for our home owner's insurance and came to the conclusion that we cannot file a homeowner's claim, since we have been with our carrier for less than a year, and if we do,we run the risk of being dropped (not renewed) once our year is up. While that's incredibly frustrating (since its going to be our expense), the fact remains that our homeowner's insurance doesn't cover mold anyways, so it would hurt us to report something that wasn't covered by it. We'll just bite the bullet, and figure it out as we go along.
In other news, I got the ambulance bill for the ER visit last weekend. Grand total: $1058.00. That includes the $880 fee for the ambulance, $150 for the 6 miles to the hospital, and $28 for the EKG monitor. What we have to pay.....

Our insurance will cover the entire cost since we went to the ER, and we'll have to pay the $50 copay for that visit.

And now something else-after getting something in the mail from our insurance on something unrelated, I look up our benefits and learn we have two different co-pays for dr visits-$15 for reg. dr. appts (when we request to be seen) and $0 for preventative visits-well baby visits (immunizations), physicals from 3-19 years old, and may other things. Yet, I've been paying for all the boys, every time, $10-$15 for those visits. There's a miscommunication somewhere, and its obvious we're entitled to a refund of some sort, just not sure how much at this point. Knowing that I was just at the pediatrician's office and paid $30 for services that should have been $0-well, that just irks me. I know it goes much deeper, since over the past 4 years we've had 3 kids and many, many well dr. visits. Goes to show that I should have followed up w/ our benefits more closely-now I know. This shall be continued.....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

raising children/memory lane

Today is an in-home day-we have our last parenting workshop this evening, and its a pot luck for everyone. Its been great to meet and get to know other parents who live in town, those who have older and younger children than us (plus those who have just as many children than us too). We've already had one of the dads come over to help hubby w/ something, and I think both of them like having another father to talk to about stuff other than work. I'm making a delish pasta salad, something everyone will eat, and plus, it'll stand up to this warm weather.
While posting pictures yesterday, I dug up some ones from the years past, amazing to see the progression of my children (and my hair getting shorter, and more frazzled, hahaha!)
On a side note, hubby made the day trip to S town to help his sister navigate the murkey waters of custody and child support. Love Amtrak-he left the same time we did, and I picked him up at 9:30 last night. I am so proud of him for stepping up to help his sister, who is so frazzled by life right now. How I hate the word divorce-not only does it do ugly things to adults, but it destroys relationships between family members (parents/children/extended I'm so grateful for what we have, and know I have a wonderful parenting partner in my husband. I told hubby last night I want us to have a date night this week, so we can reclaim the part of us that aren't the parents to 3 little boys.
Onto the pics from years past:
June 2005-W/ M (13 months old), preg w/ G

June 2006-w/ M (2), G 6 months

June 2006-G 6 months

June 2006-M 2 years, G 6 months)
June 2007, M 3 years, preg w/ E (G was with friends last year)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Can you say choo choo?

After a hellish day yesterday (house related), I was thrilled beyond belief to spend quality time with my children at our play group's annual train trip to H town. This year, the group was much smaller, 8 moms, 25 kids between us all (really!), but the fun was amazing. I planned ahead, packing us lunch, drinks, and plenty of munchies. We also brought a bit of spending money for ice cream and anything we may see along the way. Despite any reservations I had about traveling by myself w/ three young children, I must say-wow-I can really do this! I did worry how it would go w/ potty trained little boys, diapered baby, and of course, a toddler who wants to be Mr. Independent. Nothing says I had cooperation like the 10+ carousel rides the boys went on, or the 20 minute firetruck ride around town. G kept saying "the train, the train", and M loved Superior Dairy's ice cream (between the older boys and myself, we shared one massive double scoop ice cream cone -and the boys were satisifed w/ what they got!) I got some incredible shots of all my boys-really-I am beyond amazed that I got pictures w/ all three boys in them, and they're all smiling-or at least not crying. W/o further ado, here are some snapshots.

Monday, June 16, 2008

little of everything

I don't have a title for today. I'm using FlyLady once again, to help me get back on track in the house department. I want to have more time to do the things I enjoy (besides playing w/ the boys), and w/ everything we've just acquired, its too easy to say to hell w/ everything (and let everything slide!).
Today the boys have swim lessons, and then we'll be running errands in the city. Playgroup was cancelled for the day-but it all works out. I'm beginning the sorting process of all the goodies we just got,and took "before" pictures of the open spaces (and messes too!) While I'm not proud of the messes, I do like seeing room transformations, so figured this is the best way of seeing how far we've come.
My goal for this week is to up my water intake-keeping a glass full, always within arms reach. Dinner will be taken out to defrost once we return from errands, something simple-depends on what deals are found at the grocery store.
Hope everyone has a spendid day :-)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

weekend wrapup

We had an incredible, fast paced weekend.
W/o geting too much into it, since it's still hard to believe, our weekend started out horribly, at the emergency room w/ G at 9:30 at night. He's okay now, but it certainly taught me about how fast children move. i'm relieved that we have good health insurance, and our ambulance ride, and medical expenses will be covered by our insurance. Its strange to already know that we'll only have our $50 copay for the er visit (since we've already been there, done that with ambulance rides to ERs.) Thank god everything is okay-look out for another post/email from me about this subject.
The second half of our weekend started at 5am yesterday (w/ us not getting home from the hospital until 2am-you can see how little sleep we were running on!), with the plan to help hubby's aunt move out of her studio. She lives 3 hours away, and this was the best time to leave so we could get an early start, and get home within a decent hour. Hubby's aunt intended to give us all her belongings, as she was planning to move to the tropics, and wanted to travel light. We hired someone off of craigslist to assist hubby, and hubby couldn't have been more pleased with the caliber of the person. It was $100 well spent for 5 hours of work, plus the cost of breakfast and lunch for this person. It saved hubby time, and I was able to occupy the boys, and carry home the fragile items that didn't go in the moving van.
Looking at all her stuff, its like Christmas morning here. She gave me beautiful furniture from IKEA-all stuff I would have picked out for myself. Loads of kitchen, bath, bedroom items-all things that are classy, but way more $ than I could afford to spend at this time in our lives. We also got a bed and a couch-both items that we have needed for the additional rooms in our home, but never got around to buying. I'm so glad I waited to purchase those items. I plan on going through our own items, and freecycling lots of stuff in the coming weeks.
The children were well behaved on the trip. We loaded the car with drinks, snacks, and toys. We stopped frequently on the way home-in part so hubby would arrive home before us, and have a chance to unload the moving van w/o the children underfoot. Since we had food w/ us, the only meals we ate were the ones paid for by hubby's aunt, and the boys enjoyed the variety of stuff that was available to them. It worked out well, so that by the time we arrived in the city, hubby was on his way to drop off his helper at his home, and the moving van at the shop. We saved a trip doing it that way, and hubby rode back home in the van w/ us.
Today we spent a quiet Father's Day at home. Since we traveled yesterday, we planned to stay home and recuperate-and also go through some of the items we brought home. I made breakfast for hubby, and it was well worth it. We ran errands in V town, and spent the morning at Costco getting groceries. We only spent $20 to replenish the stuff I got from last week, and didn't get anything special for dinner. Hubby said he wanted to use what we had here, so tonight we're having chicken wings in the crock pot for dinner. I may make hubby brownies for dessert. Overall, it was a busy weekend, and I look forward to seeing what the week ahead brings us.

Friday, June 13, 2008

what a night

talking stuff over w/ another mom of kids, it really puts life into perspective. i've been feeling discouraged about how life in general is going, think i need to reenergize my mind, body, spirit, on so many levels. i want to be in control, but then again, the conversations today made me think that maybe my need for control is just way too much. i need to enjoy what i have, and let go of everything else. there's always going to be drama-whether its with my extended family, playgroups, or kids. however, i can't get wrapped up in stuff that's not my own doing. i am blessed to have a husband who loves me for me, and all the baggage i have; i am blessed to have a man who i love, who i chose to have children with, and love despite the craziness of his own family. we have three beautiful, healthy boys, who despite being overwhelming and noisy, are still our boys. we have a roof, food on the table, and clothes on our backs. the rest is just benefits. i must say, while i'm still somewhat peeved about the mess we had earlier today, its given me a fresh slate w/ one heck of a messy room. it'll be interesting to see the transformation in the coming days.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

before i crack

there is poop ground into my playroom carpet. to the point where i'm having to pay an arm and a leg to have someone steam clean the carpet this afternoon. this is life w/ a 2 1/2 year old. i want to run far far away.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

blowing off steam

I got an email from a local mom I know-her husband was laid off two weeks ago, and they're trying to figure out how to make the best of the situation. She's a SAHP to their 3 kids, have a relatively new car (thanks to kid #3), and a nice house. While I know her husband is in an unrelated field to hubby's (computers vs. public safety) it makes me very nervous. This was something they weren't prepared for, and frankly, I know we're not prepared for something, anything like that to happen here. Its reassuring to know we have savings, but hell, it doesn't take much to wipe that out.

I've made changes in the way we live our lives. Eating at home, not using the a/c unless necessary, staying at home to reduce the need of filling up our gas tank more than once every 4-5 days. I'm used to those changes, I know there's more we could cut. It really comes down to whether or not we do it. Dave Ramsey comes to mind "Live like no one else so you can live like no one else later". I've thought about working part time, someone's blog gave me an idea, time to check out the local area here and see if there's anything available.

I'm exasperated. Maybe it'd be different if my 2 1/2 year old went to bed before 10pm, unlike the past week. I'm off to spend time w/the kids.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

universal frustration

today i read the newspaper, and i was reminded of why i've been avoiding it lately. too much about the poor economy, risng gas prices, and poor social situations. its enough tomake this mom wonder what kind of world her children are going to have as they get older.
swim lessons went well yesterday. not too many tears, and it took up most the morning. even though the lesson itself was only a 1/2 hour, its no easy feat getting all of us there, doing the lesson, and then getting everyone put back together afterwards. we didn't leave the pool area until after 10:15, and that was w/ not too big of a fight. i'm sort of apprehensive, knowing that meltdown of one or both older boys would set our morning routine back further, limiting our morning activities. at least it keeps us busy.
there's more i want to write, but kids are antsy this morning. sigh. its going to be a long day....

Thursday, June 5, 2008

weekend wrapup

as i sit here w/ my glass of wine, i must say, this weekend was jam packed and very eventful! the birthday party went off almost w/o a hitch, and my visit w/ my sister and her boyfriend went well too. i made plenty of food, which was promptly devoured by the guests. love how those pb&j sandwiches disappeared, and the parents seemed equally happy w/ adult food too. the kids loved the bounce house, and the art activity was a success. i need to remember to do that next year. the only thing i'd change is that i really want a way for everyone to mingle and introduce each other. i'm new at playing hostess, and found myself unable to really introduce the different people (playgroup vs preschool) to each other. my sister told me its nearly impossible to supervise my own kids, host a party, and introduce everyone to each other, so not to beat myself up. then again, the kids had a good time, and that's really while we were there. i guess i just want things to be perfect.
i took the boys w/ my sister and her boyfriend to the zoo last night for a special zoo event. renewed my membership while we were there, and boy was it worth it! m couldn't stop talking about the alligator, and the behind the scene tour of the elephant exhibit was wonderful. g was scared of the giraffee feeding, but since it normally cost $2 per person to feed the animal, i did my best to have him try it. he was reluctant w/ me, but auntie stephanie knew how to coax him into holding the leaves to the giraffee. the boys gobbled up the snacks i had prepacked, and we left the zoo w/o giving into the expensive, not great tasting food at the zoo. we left late (it was after 8pm when we got in the car), and decided to hit up red robin for dinner. i was reluctant-after all, i had the 3 boys, and it was just about bed time. they must have been hungry, because they were the most well behaved children, and sat between all of us while we devoured our burgers. they topped it off by falling asleep on the way home-heaven! auntie treated for dinner, and i was a bit relieved-since after the zoo and party expenses, i was not too keen on spending a ton of money out (when we still had leftovers at home). guess that's what you get for being single and kid-free.
today was relaxed. we ventured to visalia, and explored mooney grove park. we fed the ducks, and saw some gosslings (baby geese) while we were there. i spotted a family of 2 parents and 3 baby geese, reminded me of how i feel w/ my boys trailing after me wherever we go. m spotted the paddle boats, and i was reluctant to go, let alone have them go, since i wasn't sure they'd behave, be cooperative, etc. auntie said she'd take the boys, and her and her boyfriend were super careful about having the boys sit next to them, and i relaxed w/ hubby and baby e nearby. i got some amazing pictures, and on the way home, all m could talk about was his trip on a boat. g loved it too, and couldn't get enough of pointing to everything. e had a nice rest, and a snuggle w/ mommy, nothing could get better than that!
we had dinner at home (thanks to costco's rotisserie chicken-yum-o!) and my sister left home this evening. i'm glad she came, wished we could have snuck out for a drink or two, but w/ money and gas being at the forefront of our minds, we chose to stay home. maybe next time i'm in the bay area, we'll get away. i had a nice visit w/ her boyfriend too-he treats my sister well, and didn't mind the boys hanging onto him throughout their stay.
oh, and my sister took a ton of pics of me and hubby w/ the boys throughout the weekend. fell in love w/ her digital camera. guess what i want next?
anyways, i'm off to bed, have first swim lessons tomorrow morning. i'm a bit nervous-my boys are growing up too fast, way too fast it seems.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

never hurts to ask

scored free rental of 3 tables and 15 chairs, just by posting a request on freecycle! now i don't have to rent them from a supply company, or ask friends for some :-) never hurts to ask!

planning a birthday

gosh i love having my boys. i get to plan a birthday party, and while i'm a total novice at it, i'm enjoying it quite a bit. the one thing i have learned though-flexibility is important. i had planned on it being steaming hot by now, so i planned on a wading pool for the kids. since the forecast is for sat is now a high of 86, and m's party is early in the morning, it occured to me that it may be too chilly to go play in the water. i broke down and rented a bounce house-a sesame street one. mind you, i hold nothing against sesame street-i just don't like getting sucked into the themed stuff. then again, it is just a bounce house, and given that m doesn't have a clue about it, and it is a cheap form of entertainment for kids his age and younger, i'm sure it'll be a hit. at the very least, my boys will use it, and take a long nap after playing in it all morning. now onto the food.
fruit kabobs anyone?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

busy as a bee

it's amazing how much stuff a family of five can acquire. i swear, no sooner do i get the boys clothes, they outgrow them. no sooner do we get food, the fridge is empty once again. i spent the past two days going through things, making up stuff to offer on freecycle, others to offer to my sister when she rolls into town next weekend. freeing the space frees my mind. i love how that feels.
we finally got hubby shoes tonight. sunday was a day at the mall, and nothing fit right. my poor man, size 13 feet, broken down shoes, and works really hard on his feet. i really felt bad for him. we left discouraged, went to costco for dinner and groceries, and spent only $30. yay! if only we had gotten him shoes, it would have been better.
yesterday playgroup fell through, so the house was clean for no reason-but it was clean, so i was still happy-less to do this week in preparation for m's birthday gathering/my sister visiting for the weekend. went to the grocery store and loaded up on expensive and yummy salad dressing, cereal, and granola bars. shelf value of groceries before coupons and savings cards, the total was $172.36. after coupons and savings card, the total was $62.76 w/ a grand total of $109.60 saved (64% savings). yay!!!
today was a stay at home day, since we decided to go shoe shopping for hubby after work. this time we went to the new balance store in a nice shopping center. i took the younger two boys to whole foods for a snack, while hubby tried on sneakers w/ m being a great supervisor. i walked out only spending $3 on snacks for the 4 of us, and we ate outside once hubby paid for his new shoes. love how his face lit up when his feet no longer were in his old, worn out shoes. he hated spending $100 on them, but w/ size 13 feet, and the cheap shoes at payless/famous footwear/even footlocker hurting him, this was the way to go. i was in love at whole foods w/ all the amazing treats, but knew our pantry and freezer and fridge are stocked, and really who can spend $7 on a small thing of cheese, when we're watching our dollars closely now. then again, we gave in tonight and ate out.
it's been about 3 weeks since we ate out at all, and it was a bit disconcerting to see how much the prices had risen in the past couple of month-it was more noticable since we hadn't been to the buffet place since gas prices had started to skyrocket. the boys were acting up, eli was hungry, dh and i were reminded on why we rather get ice cream and make brownies at home instead of eating out w/ three kids. yet we do it to save our minds, to give me a break from cooking. it just shows me that i rather eat a simple salad at home, or even cheese w/ crackers, than a big ol meal out with the family. much easier to do that instead of eat out w/ kids in tow. ah well, i got my break. now i can make something tomorrow and get back on the home cooking train.
its a long day tomorrow. hubby's working until 7pm. i'm thinking crockpot, but we'll see where my mind goes at 6am wakeup call. that being said, have a good night.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Welcome to June!

The birds are chirping outside, and the sun is shining! Welcome to June :-) May went by too quickly. Was it just yesterday we celbrated Mother's Day or Matthew's birthday? Seems that way. We stayed track on ou goals and had most of our meals at home. Weekends seem to be our downfall, but so far we've managed.
This weekend we've done well w/o any troubles. We spent yesterday at home up until it was time to go to the birthday party. We stopped by Target on the way there, since hubby needed deoderant-it hasn't been on sale, and its the only kind he'll use. It figures that today there's coupons, and its on sale, but what we paid is comparable to how much it's on sale for. We did share a snack there, but the $3 kept the peace since we arrived in town too early for the party, and for all of us to share and have no disagreements, it was well worth the cost.
The kids had a good time, and fell asleep later one w/o too long of a struggle. Hubby went to the store and picked up ice cream for us, and I whipped up a batch of brownies. It wasn't Cold Stone, but it hit the spot for our sweet tooth.
Today we're headed to check out the work of a contractor we're considering for our bathroom renovation. We're paying for a babysitter for the two older boys-while I'm not keen on spending $20 for 2 hours, I know its impossible to complete the task at hand w/ all 3 boys with us. I think we'll take advantage of the time and hit up the grocery store and/or go shoe shopping depending on how quickly we get to and from each location.
Tomorrow I'm hosting a baby playgroup at the house. Saving money by making chocolate chocolate chip muffins. I doubled the recipe so we could enjoy them too. Ooh, the timer went off, I better get them out. Have a happy day!