Monday, January 31, 2011

Dealing with the sickies

Sickness has been floating around here for the past week or so, its gotten old, fast. When there's no where to go because you're too sick to go (and/or don't want others to get sick) it makes life very simple. I was very blessed last week to have Robert come home early from work, as well as help out with the day to day stuff that takes place here. I feel like I got into a good groove with four children (and my expectations help too) so now that I've been out of commission again-well, its easy for the house to become a shambles. I wanted to throw in the proverbial towel a few times this week eating at home-yet didn't have the energy to pick up take out. The cash I normally have on hand isn't enough to have pizzas delivered for all of us (just enough for the produce at the farmers stands) so that was out too. We managed-lots of soup, raiding the well stocked pantry and freezer.

When we finally went out on Saturday for groceries, it was well overdue. Just getting out of the house was nice, but getting groceries as a family was nice too. I like having the extra hands-the input too-and we tend to be on the same page when it comes to what we're getting at the store. I also like our kids to see how we work as a team-even for something as mundane as grocery shopping. I think with all my thoughts about how I saw my parents growing up, and their approach to who did what, and the lack of communication-I have an appreciation for this randomness in our lives.

Later on that night, when my friend/Robert's teacher was visiting, we talked about groceries and kids, and how our boys (she has three of her own, the oldest just turned 8, the younger two are Matthew's and Elijah's age) are eating more with each passing week. I was taken aback by how Robert spoke of our taking turns cooking and how we shopped together-with love and pride. My friend was surprised-her husband doesn't do any of that-she does it all. She wished he would help, but he doesn't. :( It made me appreciate my husband that much more-because when he is home, he helps. Its not expected of him, but he does it because he sees how its better for all of us. I just want to say-I love this man, he loves me for my quirks, and I am truly blessed and thankful.

So with the last day of the month, I hope the sickness leaves our home. I'll air out the house in a bit, throw in some fixings for soup, and curl up with the ones home from school. Hopefully we'll all feel better soon.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Family update

The phrases I hear myself saying more each day are "Enjoy this time." "This too shall pass." "I'm the lucky one." Life has presented some challenges lately, but its nothing I can't tackle head on. Anytime I feel overwhelmed, or feel burdened somehow-I see these faces, my kids.

Such a pretty girl
Hilarious story, the boys had a friend over, and they all decided to pretend being pregnant. My friend and I cracked up "we're having a baby!" that would be a cute baby annoucement (but we're done here!)
My homemade Stampin' Up project from our technique day this month. I'm going to add a photo of Robert and I, and give it to him for Valentines Day. Love how it turned out :)
My sweet baby girl, 2 months old today!
Its game time!

She's my baby!
Life at home is chugging along. Robert went back to school last week, and I'm relieved that we figured out a good arrangement. He's carpooling with the professor (who we know in town) and I am going to watch her boys when she tutors Robert on the weekends. Who cares its a really full house, her three boys play with our three boys, and Rebecca and I chill out. I'm used to the never ending noise (except at 8pm, when it usually settles down). I was worried about how to manage dinner, homework, and babyhood. but it seems that as long as I have low expectations (we eat, we get homework done, and Rebecca gets her needs met) I can't ask for anything more.

We officially suspended our Directv and are checking out Netflix. As much as we've hemmed and hawed about going back when the trial is over-Robert and I both agree its not worth a $63 price tag. The Roku was easy to set up-and I loved using the amazon gift cards I earned through Swagbucks and Opinion Outpost Surveys to pay for it.

I have wondered if my love for stretching dollars and bargain hunting now is getting weird-and I say weird, because while I'm normally a bargain hunting person, I feel that sometimes it can get out of hand. I don't know why I feel I need to do it now more-wait, I know it has something to do w/ Robert's job, but to the extent that I feel I need to do it-maybe because it gives me purpose, or something positive to do instead of freaking out over Rebecca's weight (which will still be an issue until I get her checked out in the next couple of weeks), or it just helps with the shift in dynamics. Anyways, now I'm doing other things that I had never done before, cutting satellite was one, baking our bread, another. What's next? Maybe I just need to ignore that bit of self doubt aside, and push forward. I love seeing how friends are scoring awesome deals online and in stores, and it seems ridiculous to me to pay full price for something (but only because I love finding good deals.) Food for thought on this cold winter morning...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Four children do a lot to a home. They fill it up with noise, chaos, spilled food, lots of laundry. There's also a lot of love and laughter filled too. This weekend was one of those weekends where everything was in overabundance-including my emotions. Its been a reality check in some ways having Rebecca-things that were important, aren't so much, and vise versa.
It used to be about meal planning, staying one load ahead of laundry, thinking of what fun stuff to do after school. Now to some degree, its there, but so is taking care of our kids in the long term.

I posted something on facebook that may have been taken out of context-or maybe I'm just reading too much into it-a picture of G after a mishap w/ the new set of clippers I purchased. I was so eager to try them out-wait-Robert was so eager to try them out, he had G sit down for a hair cut as soon as I opened the box from Amazon. Mind you-neither of us have ever clipped hair before, but we are willing to learn. The result isn't so bad now-but at the time, it looked like Robert had set a bowl on top of G's head and gone crazy w/ the clippers. Someone posted about how they knew saving money can go too far in my house. It bugged me-for a minute. Then again, I had to remember-Forget the Joneses. With R's mom's health issues, and our increase in health insurance fees, taking care of our health and the safety and well being of our children has been on our minds. We've looked at what we can trim from our budget in order to pay for life insurance and not live check to check between that cost and the decrease in our take home pay.

The first things that came to mind were satellite and hair cuts for the boys, among other things. It didn't hurt that our satellite cost was going up yet again, and I have become disenchanted with how much we pay and how little we watch. I bought (or giftcards) An update from my last post-I bought the Roku, have it set up-and we're going to try HuluPlus and Netflix with their trial periods, and see which one we prefer. I downgraded our satellite to the bare bones package, so until we decide what option we go with we'll pay $20 instead of $60 for service. I also purchased (with giftcards) a set of clippers, so we'll save an additional $40+ monthly, just by me clipping the boys hair. I can't obsess over what others do, or the choices they make. I know what I have to do for my children, and respect what others do for their own family. I rather learn from each other than cast stones-because that gets everyone nowhere-fast. So I'm taking a chill pill-and counting my blessings that I have four children that have made me see the big picture.

Friday, January 14, 2011

TV time

I'm struggling with the simplest of decisions-yet one that I almost feel I cannot make by myself-getting rid of our satellite service all together. Its already getting slashed in half tomorrow, so why not take the plunge and do the entire thing? Why is this such a problem? I have no problem going to the grocery store and buying just what we need to get through the week-bypassing the jelly that's not on sale but a want of my husband, and the sugary snacks begged on by one of three kids dangling from my arms, legs, cart. However, turning something off-just a wee bit scary. I already know that we give off the impression of living in the dark ages; we don't have gaming systems; we don't have big tvs, electronics, etc. Our kids don't have leapsters or dsis. Yet, we go out and do fun things. We explore nature, the library, the park. I may be a frugal shopper, and could possibly find great deals on these devices, but I don't want to buy something and just have it sit there-and my kids play with cardboard boxes, couch cushions, and junk and have active imaginations. Why not do it? Cutting it in half is the easy part-but changing up our system all together-just a wee bit scary. The roku would be free (thanks to all my survey site amazon gift cards) so really, we'd only have to pay the $7.99 for netflix per month (or $9.99 if we added in dvds). That's a lot less than the $30 we'll be paying next month. Wow-how ironic is it that having four kids and a chaotic house is managable, yet I'm flustered by something as easy as switching service providers.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Its only 12:40 a.m., and I'm just now having a minute to myself. The day has passed by in a blur-from getting up with the baby, to getting kids off to school, Moms Club play date, lunch, run errands, back home, pick kids up. Talk with moms outside at school, make dinner, fold laundry, feed baby, 15 minutes of Flying, its the end of the day. The moby wrap is saving my sanity in more ways than one; talk radio, not so much. It does help to listen to something other than kid music/cartoons, but still, its depressing. Brings me to my point of writing so late at night. I've been worried about having the baby blues this time around; hypersensitive to the point of purposely letting things go and trying not to dwell on things I cannot control. Someone told me to pray; be faithful; Let it go with God. Strange how hearing those words has clicked for me, in more ways than one the past few days. We've been dealt some rough blows with R's work. None that will have a resounding, permanent impact on our lives forever, but at the time I found out, I was more upset and frustrated than I am now. Now I'm at peace-life could be so much worse. We'll make the sacrifices, and get by. It'll be interesting to see what the kids say when changes take place, but the one thing I feel I can say to them is that we're doing the best we can to be responsible.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

One hour at a time

Today was Rebecca's GI appointment-I had high hopes that after the successful weigh in yesterday at her one month check up-8 lbs 1 oz-up from 6 lbs 11 (or 12) oz two weeks ago. Apparently, its not high enough-she should be at the 9 lb mark, given her length. I met w/ a dietitian who while I'm sure had no intent of making me feel bad-rattled my nerves when she said Rebecca wasn't getting enough intake of fluids-mind you, I see her cheeks getting fuller and she's alert more. Coupled with the frustration felt by having more of our paycheck cut this month to go for healthcare, I was in a sour mood leaving Children's hospital today-and then I saw him. The obviously ill child wheeled in off the ambulance into the hospital, and my inner grump ceased. Seriously-I'm complaining about us having more money taken out-and yet I get to have my child go home with me? Sigh....I'm thankful we don't have any credit cards, so we'll get by on what we take home. I'm thankful that we're stocked thanks to some generous friends with clothes for the first two years of Rebecca's life. I'm thankful that Elijah was playing with my (squishy) belly and commenting on how the baby was no longer in there but here instead. Really, I may be taking it hour by hour, dealing with this odd feeding schedule of a 6 week old, but life could be so much harder.