Saturday, January 2, 2021

All the big hugs

I am looking forward to the new, as always. Of starting a new chapter. Certainly of leaving behind 2020. Of a fresh calendar filled with holidays and birthdays. I have goals, dreams, ideas of what a good year would look like but no list of resolutions, besides one. My resolution for 2021 is to say yes to all the big hugs.

To be more specific, I will be saying yes to all of my little Wren's big hugs. Our little girl is a smart one! She potty trained around 20 months and quickly realized she could use the desperate call of, "poo poo," to get out of just about any uncomfortable situation. She'd be done eating, want out of her high chair, and despite the fact that everyone else was still enjoying dinner she'd do the call, "poo poo." She'd be getting sick of her car seat and start the alarm, "poo poo!" She'd be in bed for the night but not want to sleep... yep, "poo poo." She found out right quick that poo poo could get her out of just about anything. Because lets be real, my potty trained 20 month old isn't going to be told, "No, you can just hold it."

A good ten months has elapsed since the call of poo was first utilized and she's moved on to more crafty methods. Thus I introduce the big hug. Just about anytime she's gotten herself in trouble she gives a little pout and sadly asks, "big hug mom mom?" I mean, tugging at your heart strings always works right? If she wants me to stop doing something, like cooking dinner, or folding laundry, anything, you name it, little Wren needs attention, so, "big hug mom mom?" She uses, "big hug?" to try and get out of bed at night. She uses "big hug" for all the things she used to us the "poo poo" alarm for. Generally she's not really wanting a hug (sometimes she is but generally) "big hug" is a method to get at something or out of something she wants.

Most of the time my little Wren gets her big hug. Come on, I'd have to have a heart of ice to say no to her little ploy but sometimes she doesn't. Sometimes, without saying so, I let her know that I am on to her little game and she won't be winning this match. Sometimes the disciplinarian comes out. I mean, that's my job right? Yeah, maybe... The other day I said no, or that she could wait a few minutes. I was going to finish up what I was working on in the other room, not drop what I was doing and come give her a hug. But as she walked away on the other side of the baby gate I had this thought, if she were gone, if something had ever happened to this precious gift I'd regret it every day for the rest of my life that I'd said no to her request(s) for a "big hug." I would. I'm certain of that. Additionally, the poo poo alarm has mostly been abandoned and lets be real, the big hug ploy won't go on forever either. Sometime sooner than I could ever realize I am going to desperately miss her constant inconvenient requests for a big hug. At that moment, when I told her no, I made this year's resolution. I will say yes to all of the big hugs.

It's so little, right? It's so simple. I mean, she might ask for a "big hug mom mom," 30 times in a day but I can stop what I'm doing every single one of those 30 times to say, "yes." I can wash the bubbles off my hands. I can push the laundry aside. I can let her get up from her pillow at night or get a little ketchup on my shirt (while she sits there eating dinner and needing a big hug). And I will. I will say yes to all the big hugs.

Happy New Year!!!
I hope yours is filled with big hugs too







Wednesday, October 28, 2020

November Resolutions

Goals, to-do's; I sometimes think I might be the most dysfunctional person I know. I generally have a few million goals/ to-do's swirling around and fighting with each other in my head. Generally, as in at least 95% of the time every day. How can it be possible to need to address so many issues at all times?

This coming month there will be no less than a million goals swirling around up there but I've resolved to tackle just a handful in specified categories.

NOVEMBER RESOLUTIONS
Category 1.) Abe
-Work on gratitude
Okay, that's an entire blog post in itself. Can I do a quick synapsis... and go! 

My boy, growing so unbelievably fast has recently, or maybe not so recently been spending all of his time wanting. I'm not exaggerating. He watches maybe 15 to 30 minutes a day of youtube videos about Nerf guns, Legos, other random toys: scooters, hoverboards, oooh, can't forget the dog videos; he's constantly planning future pets. 15 to 30 minutes of youtube leads him to start dreaming and planning (both fantastic things) ALL DAY about how much money he'd need to save for which ever thing he's wanting most that day. What the time frame would be for acquiring said thing. When he's on an animal kick he's trying to decide which type of cat or dog would be best to start out with (when he's an adult and moves into his own place and gets his first pet). The problem is that he spends all of his free time and all of his head space dreaming. There's genuinely no gratitude for right now. And he makes himself crazy wanting, planning, dreaming. 

This month's "work on gratitude" plan includes:
-No youtube videos about toy stuff (or dogs or cats).
-Spending sometime each day consciously thinking and talking and doing some writing about things he's thankful and happy for RIGHT NOW.
-A bit less TV and more books.
-Purposed time playing with toys everyday. Yes, I am going to make him play with his toys.
-Have him train the dog, at least two new tricks
-And last but not least spending more quality time with him; going to the playground, doing puzzles, baking cookies, etc; Life gets so busy. He has TONS of stuff but it would do his little heart good to have more quality time.

Category 2.) Little Wren
-Get rid of baby potty
My baby is fully potty trained. No accidents, no naptime diaper, no longer needs reminders to go, but we still have the baby potty scooting around the living quarters with her. It's how we potty train. Judge away if you'd like but both my babies were potty trained almost fully at 20 months. It's going to take a little work on my part (MUCH less work than getting a 20 month old toddler potty trained) but I need to get rid of the baby potty. She's fully capable of using the regular one.

-Return three baby proofed areas back to normal.
It's not dangerous stuff like the cleaning supplies cabinet, more like, returning books to the front book case. Previously she would rip pages out of our books or totally shred them. And if not destroying them she would at least empty them all onto the floor (over and over and over). She's old enough now for these sorts of things to slowly return to normal. To clarify, she has her own book shelf filled with board books that she can access at all times.

Category 3.) Me
-Spending fast
Here we go again, back to the same old beast. The holidays are upon us. I am honestly not looking forward to Christmas expenses at all. I want to implement a serious spending fast like the good old days, at least for the rest of the year. Christmas presents will not be a part of the spending fast but that doesn't mean I intend to spend all willy nilly on Christmas either. 

Yesterday was the first time in a very long time that I really spent super creatively and it was so fun. I'm ready to spend a few months hyper focused on spending.

Yesterday I went to work with a $1.75 store coupon in my pocket. I grabbed a big handful of loose change from the change pile where my husband plops his loose change that he never uses. I brought my mug, a few bags of tea, and peanuts.

The first thing I did before ever clocking in was spend 99cents in change on a bag of m&ms for my little Wren who woke up when I was leaving and was crying franticly at my departure. I promised her m&ms upon my return (which calmed her down for my husband) and I knew that I needed to buy them so that I wouldn't forget, because for certain she would remember.

At my first break I jotted down a list of meals for the next two days:
Tues. Dinner :Cheese burgers with roasted sweet potato and onion (no necessary groceries)
Wed. breakfast: Bagels and cream cheese (check)
Wed. lunch: Alfredo on Rotini (check)
Wed. Dinner: Eggs and rice with peppers, broccoli, and onion -need rice and eggs
Thurs. breakfast: Eggs and Sausage (check)

My grocery list:
eggs $1.19
rice $1.59

I wasn't sure if I actually needed to buy eggs and I wasn't positive that we had rotini. I didn't have enough change in my pocket, combined with the coupon for both. The eggs were part a main meal and I was pretty sure we did have noodles so I chanced it. 

Unfortunately I have been having sugar problems this year (it's been boiled down to hypoglycemia). I started to feel a bit shaky with mild dizzy spells hitting. The mild dizzy with shaky is not too troubling but when full on vertigo hits at work it terrifying so I knew that I needed additional food. I ended up going to my car to dig up more change because I was determined to not use the bank card yesterday. I found enough to buy some Quaker rice cakes $1.69 which worked wonderfully at kicking the shaky dizzy feeling I'd been battling for about an hour.

I spent $5.46 yesterday.
$1.75 was the coupon
$3.71 loose change

I like that kind of spending day and I loved getting rid of so many pennies.
Today will be a good old fashioned NO SPEND. Even better.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Punk Pie Day

 



Last week Friday was a field trip day. We went to a really fun farm/ petting zoo with a ton of other homeschoolers and picked pumpkins from their pumpkin patch.




It's sort of become tradition to make pumpkin pie after we get home from the pumpkin patch. So both the kids have been asking if it's pie day everyday for the past week. This little one carried around her pumpkin all week asking for "punk pie."

We sliced the pumpkins in half, seeded, baked, and pureed them. Will roast the seeds later. We made pie crust from scratch. Baked it, then after mixing up the filling baked our punk pie. While it cooled we whipped up heavy whipping cream and wahla!



Hooray for our traditional punk pie day!!!








Tuesday, October 13, 2020

speak strength, live with honour

This year has been nothing if not absurd. I decided towards the end of last month that I was just done with it, done with the "chalk it up to 2020," done with the frustration, annoyances, overwhelmedness. I'm ready to make the most of what's left of an awful year. I am done with the muck!

I read the following quote in a book yesterday and I am ready to live this out to the fullest for the remainder of 2020, the most colorful year of my lifetime:




In January I wrote the following here on my blog:

New Year's Resolutions is a season. We fill the store with exercise equipment endcaps, weights, water bottles, yoga mats. The seasonal area (you know, where Holidays and garden time live) fills with vitamins, diet bars, protein shakes, the list goes on and on. The grocery side of the store runs ads and sales on "the healthy foods." It's tradition. People want to hope for a fresh start in January. Right? And the stores market to that. 
Not this year. I have the vast majority of my Valentines AND Easter displayers out right now. A few hit the floor before Christmas was over. The main aisles house a slew of Valentines items. The seasonal pad... can you guess what it's gone to now that the 90% off Christmas clearance has been stormed? GARDEN! Mind you, the Farmer's Almanac estimates our last frost date to be MAY 2. GARDEN? 
I noticed on facebook this month that almost no one was posting New Year's Resolution related things. I noticed that more people posted New Year's Resolution mocking memes and comments than that actually posted the fresh start ideas. Maybe my friends are just extra cynical. I can go with that. But the enormous store I work in too? Who decided that 2020 was the year that the New Year's Resolutions tradition dies?

Remembering this ponderance at the start of the year I have been thinking more and more, maybe a large portion of the population wasn't feeling the "new" vibe at the beginning of the year. By March, 2020 was like, "oh yeah, you think I'm nothing special, huh? Well, lookie here!!!"

I am going to try my darnedest for that fresh start right now. When it's time to say adieu to 2020 I will be the first and among the most eager to wave good bye. I will be all ready and waiting for the next fresh start. I will be happy to greet, with optimism and eagerness 2021. But for right now, I am ready to speak strength. I am ready to live with purpose and honour. I am ready to redeem 2020 and start fresh right here.


Another way of saying it (and also written in my journal):



 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Walked through it


One very positive thing that can be said for this wacky year is that my family got a whole lot of Vitamin D.



Between the stay at home orders (which, to clarify, instructed people that it was acceptable to go for walks), everything being shut down, and half of our favorite businesses closing down permanently we've gone for so many super long walks together this year it's unbelievable.




We live in a really nice beach town so walking around town for fun is really very enjoyable. We almost always walk from our house, down to Lake Michigan, and back through town. And for at least half the year there are fun little places that can cater to outside only business so an occasional ice cream, corn dog, or snow cone is an added bonus for the little ones.






One of my favorite things about this year's strangeness, encouraging us to walk about town TONS is that before the kiddos were born my husband and I went for really long walks or bike rides all the time.


This one was taken on a VERY hot day when we
were all melting, covering in sweat, almost didn't 
make it home. SOOOOOOOO hot!!!


2020 you have been a terror. I could say so many awful things about you. But try as you might there have been good things this year. So HA!



Sunday, September 13, 2020

Because you asked about the carrots

I did plant carrots this year!




I used up all the remaining seeds I had from years prior, a good sprinkling of purple carrot seeds and not quite as many traditional orange. They weren't planted in the purple bin from years ago, nor in the bin that followed. If you have old plastic storage totes, or happen upon free ones they work  REALLY well as garden planters BUT I can only say as much for one, two, maybe three years max if you treat them really well. Between the frigged cold winters here (making the bins brittle) and my exuberant son dueling with them, sticks as swords, those prior two bins are long gone.

This year I used the planter I had my first strawberry plants in. 

So, I used up old seeds, utilized an empty planter, filled it with remaining dirt I had from filling in puppy dog holes in the back yard and then... well, puppy dog jumped my garden fence and had a good dig in a bin full of tiny carrot sprouts.


I love this photo because one can really tell how playful he is in it. The fuzzy black dog will be ten months old in four days (the yellow lab belongs to my in laws). Our pup has been A HANDFUL!!! But he's overflowing with love, affection, and puppy-ness. He is a sweetie. None the less, long legs Party jumped my garden fence and demolished the carrot bin. I was really upset but I salvaged it and we just went on with the summer. I think we've picked a total of three orange carrots from the bin this year but there have been many more purple ones. Considering the catastrophe it's been a really nice year for carrots in our garden. It was also a decent year for zucchini and tomatoes. Now beans, that's another story. I have green beans taking over the world here!!! Beans! Beans! Beans! 

Our tiny garden: a really bright spot during 2020.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Wren is Two

 In June, wowwy that seems like a million years ago, the baby sister turned TWO!


I last posted about my Abe in May so here's a quick update about our little feisty Wren.
And feisty she is! It's fun raising a second little one, observing the similarities and the vast differences between her and her big brother. In truth, it appears that many of their shared traits, thus far she's learned from him. But it's wild how different they in fact are.



She's talking up a storm but she's pretty difficult to understand (at least if you don't live with her) and actually she's made up a little language of her own. Like how she calls a blanket - met, our dog Party - Neigh neigh, and her brother - Amm. She also likes to babble, even though she can speak real words, and sing made up songs. Her brother was a very clear speaker at a very young age and I don't recall him making up any words for things.

Abe also NEVER opened doors, until he was much older and allowed to. This little lady has been opening doors almost since she could walk (at around 12 months). Her brother NEVER climbed out his crib. Actually never, not once. She can climb out and in! He detested coloring pictures and she lives for the activity. I suppose it's unfair to compare the two but it's fun and fascinating both.

This little lady is overflowing with energy. She can run faster than me. She is silly as silly could be. She takes a good solid nap everyday but apart from that she NEVER slows down. She loves life, has fun with everything, and (another comparison) her big brother never went through the terrible two's thing but our small Wren has perfected the tantrum. Even down to calming herself down so that she receives praise and admiration. Daniel Tiger taught her how to "count-down to cool down." She can only count to two so the sweet little thing will be as upset as can be imagined, will stop herself, tears filling her eyes, put her palm level with the ground and say, "One (short pause) Two (short pause)." And then slowly sigh, with a big pouty lip and puppy dog eyes turned up towards you. Oh be still my heart!

She is wild. She is determined. She is silly, crazy, sweet. She is 100% a blessing!



Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Digital connection, social media, world wide web of disaster

How do you navigate the intense political discourse thickening/ darkening the atmosphere like a billion hungry bats out for blood?

The two sides are so unbelievably polarized that they've literally taken to the streets. Buildings are being burned down in the name of politics. People are being attacked (killed even) in the name of politics. The "system" is so critically broken that it needs to be quite literally burned down and in the meantime the great USofA is tearing itself apart??? While the peaceful masses hold onto their seats in hopes of the world calming the crap down we're very, dreadfully aware that's it only about to get worse.

How? How do you get through a single day without dread? How do you look at your small children and have hope for a better, brighter future? How do you connect to the internet without nausea? There is a very real, very strong possibility that the toxic spewing on social media (a dimension that people spend multiple hours a day residing in) has triggered the unrest that's now oozing through the streets.

I'm not on instagram. I'm not on twitter. I have never "watched?" a ticktoc, been on skype, or zoomed... facebook and blogger are my only glimpse into the social connect and I generally don't have enough time to stop by blogger. But facebook... oh...

I love the local home school field trip group that we utilize regularly on facebook. I love watching my friend's children, essentially my friend's lives progress on the other side of the world or half way across this enormous country. I love seeing silly photos of people's dogs or cats. And truly funny memes, non-political funny memes. Yes please!

I have actually "unfollowed" some of my, no MANY of my closest friends because I can't handle the toxic political spewing that comes from their posts like 10 to 20 times daily! I can't. But then I find myself, once a month maybe, stopping by their facebook page to see if they've posted about their real life. Politics is important. I have my own VERY strong political views. It affects real life. BUT my world, people I literally interact with on a weekly basis, my place of employment, my home, and yard, and friends are REAL life. Politics is an extension of that, like news about my hometown, my state, my country. Like news about the lake or the oceans. Weather events worldwide, etc; Real life, by my definition is something that I can touch. So, I stop on by these close friend's pages to check on them, people I care so deeply about who live quite far away and I can only find three snippets about them amidst 30 political posts that make my stomach turn. I "like" the three bits I find among the thirty three and I leave sick to my stomach, feeling gross inside for a few hours, and wondering how we've become so unbelievably polarized.

I have my own very strong views. You have your very strong views. We possibly don't agree on a single thing politically but when did we stop agreeing that both view points matter? Both view points are important? The person on the other side of your opinion 99% of the time isn't a bad guy. He or she just has a different world view. That's not a reason to attack someone. Intense differing view points are actually a reason to have a really polite, mature conversation. But it seems we've gotten to a place where that can't happen, or at least can very VERY rarely happen. And those of us who choose to post 10 or 20 times daily about their intense political viewpoints (remember, I do have my own too) aren't encouraging mature conversation they're really just insulting people who disagree with them. <big deep sad sigh>

I don't know what to do. Is keeping up with people I care about via the interwebs worth it? How do you navigate the intense political discourse thickening/ darkening the atmosphere like a billion hungry bats out for blood? How? 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

It's That Time Again!


This year has been... yeah, um. Anyway, the summer here was quite hot. Today at the tale end of it all, when glimpses of autumn are beginning to peak through, the breeze was cool, storm clouds were lingering and I was able to keep the windows open all day long. It was fabulous! The most perfect of days for simmering a hearty fall meal on the stove top from early morn to early eve.

That's right, it's goose stew time once again in our home. Wild goose is such a tough gamey meat. It can be next to impossible to prepare to deliciousness. BUT a six hour stewed pot of goosey goodness is a once a year treat in our home that marks the beginning of the most wonderful time of year here. My father in law was excited to bring over the geese knowing how much we enjoy it. I can safely say it will be a twice a year meal for us in 2020 as he brought a lot this time round.

Our stew consists of water, goose breast, LOTS of onions, LOTS of sweet potatoes, a handful of fresh garlic cloves, sage, and salt stewed for hours on the stove top. No thickener, as I've learned that stewing sweet potatoes from the start thickens up the pot so well and makes the meal so unbelievably delicious that I don't need to add flour or corn starch. There's also no broth added. The meat and veggies, sage and salt take care of that on their own. An hour before we're ready dine I chop up a load of veggies. Today's goose stew hosts more sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, corn from the freezer, pole beans from the garden, and large chops of baby carrot.


 

Goodbye summer, lovely fun, sweaty, busy, odd as it may have been summer.
Hello autumn, attempt to salvage a rotten year, season of pumpkins, apples, goose stew and thankfulness autumn. Oh, and candy corn. Can never forget that little joy!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Spending, June Week 1


June (May)31 thru (June)6

Groceries: $177.17

Pets: $39.05

Eating out: $92.48
Goodness gracious we ate out a lot this week! Fajitas one night, burritos one night, fast food breakfast one morning, and food on our walk downtown one afternoon.

Household supplies/ toiletries: $57.85

Stuff: $33.86
A life jacket for each of the kids.
A tiny plastic pool.
A sippy cup.

Grand total this week: $400.41

$57.20 a day spending so far for June.

I've set a record. I'm pretty sure that's the highest recorded spending for one week that I've ever had. Woohoo, what a come back.

YIKES!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

My Abe

My Abe is 8 years old, 8 years plus 2 months.
You know how the old saying goes: time flies!

He had a fantastic birthday party this year, a Nerf-ing party with a handful of his closest friends. We were very fortunate that the virus fear, panic, and hysteria began after his celebration.


My 8 year old loves Nerf, loves Lego, and loves dogs and cats. He spends his days making his sister laugh or scolding her for getting a hold of his toys or the remote or for scaling something in the house that she shouldn't be climbing. He's outside A LOT, digging holes, playing with sticks, riding his bike. Kid gets a lot of sun. He loves his Grandma! His favorite thing in the world is spending time with his cousins. He's incredibly athletic but has less than zero desire to be involved with sports (we try often to change his mind).

All those years ago, when I posted the announcement here that our baby Abe was going to make his appearance into the world I could only dream of these days, days when he would be a good big brother, an athletic energetic big kid, a great helper around the home. These days were nowhere on my radar back then, days where he'd spend hours writing notes and mailing them out to people he misses because of this nonsense; when he'd work on "the corona-virus is over" party decorations for a party he's planning on his own day after day after day.

My Abe is growing up.


 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Walks, toilet paper, hazard pay, murder, and appreciation

WELL, things have gotten worse. Hooray!

A relative passed last week. No visitations. No funeral. Nothing. This whole thing is so... His very elderly wife is now in the hospital with the virus. AND two other very close relatives of ours have now been highly exposed to the virus as they had been attending to the relative who is now being hospitalized after the passing of her husband. There really are no words. It was brought into the home by health care workers, not that you can really blame anyone as far as this crazy, unheard of, wildfire is concerned. Now it's just a waiting game; a hoping and praying and keeping our heads up waiting game.
(We have not been exposed to any of those individuals, as we've been following all of the darn rules. To clarify we are not actually concerned for ourselves. I've been following the data. I've been looking at the numbers. We're very healthy and our chance of getting incredibly ill from this virus is incredibly minimal, however, my husband and I both working in direct contact with hundreds/ thousands of individuals, we don't want to carry any of these nasty germs to anyone we know)

So now I will do my regular thing, what I'm prone to always doing when I visit blogland. I will attempt to list good things, to talk myself out of going completely batty. I will look at the good in the world, or at least the good that's directly outside my window.

1.) My current mental state, and the anxiousness of Party pup, has encouraged me to take regular long brisk walks everyday. Sometimes I take the kiddos, sometimes it's just me and the pup, but boy oh boy have I gotten the miles in. I walked about 20 miles last week alone.  Not only is this fantastic for my health but my son has been getting extra exercise. He probably got 8 to 10 miles in last week. My dog is getting good exposure to walking on his leash and working his energy out. We've all been getting a good deal of sun exposure (Vitamin D) and fresh air. Win. Win. Win!

2.) I get to supply toilet paper to my loved ones. This is weird right? But in all honesty our store has toilet paper in stock just about every day, generally it's only on the shelf for 30 to 90 minutes and then we're out of stock until the next shipment arrives. I have taken a break early in the morning on several occasions to purchase a package of toilet paper for people close to me who are in need. In what universe would one ever think it'd be a gesture of kindness to supply a friend or family member with toilet paper? Well folks, it's the year 2020 and giving people toilet paper has been one of the highlights of my life.

3.) In reality I am home almost no more than I had ever been, aside from when I used to take the kids for an outing or run to my moms for a few hours, my time home is virtually the same. I don't have all this extra time for hobbies and tasks and sprucing up the house and yard (which honestly I envy others a little in this regard) but my husband and I are getting a sort of hazard pay. They're calling it thank-you pay but lets be honest, its hazard pay. Our store has given everyone the opportunity to take a voluntary leave of absence, to stay safe, to stay healthy, and on many accounts to get away from the madness. You cannot legally collect unemployment on the leave but at least you can shelter in place without any repercussions to your employment. We've both opted out of the leave and in doing so we get to endure the crazy every day, BUT we have extra income now too. So, in a long winded complaining sort of way that's my "little bit of good" point three. Hazard pay.

4.) My husband and I haven't murdered each other yet. I'll just leave that there.

5.) In my heart of hearts I think I will have a greater appreciation for many things when this is over. I like taking my kiddos to the playground but I truly believe we'll go a bit more often after all of this. If you started out with me on this blog journey you know that I DO NOT stock up on anything. It's just not a part of me. I think I will have some extra items in our pantry from now on. Not a lot. I am far from a hoarder but at least two weeks worth of non perishable items and some batteries. I'd say that's a good lesson to have learned. I truly hope to schedule a few extra visits each year with friends and relatives that I don't see often. We hardly visit my dad which in reality would only take a little extra effort to remedy. You know how you have friends that live so close by but you see them maybe once a year? I think I'll make more of an effort.

That concludes my random brainstorm for this gorgeously sunny Sunday in May.
We've already had our morning two mile walk and will most likely get a second one in this evening. One step at a time. One day at a time. This too shall pass.




Wednesday, April 29, 2020

It's totally okay for life to suck

I've lost all my marble folks. They're gone.

I'm pretty sure my son is devising an escape plan. He's been homeschooled since day one but even so he is beyond stir crazy. He needs friends and he needs his grandma.

I'm pretty sure my husband is ready to move into his own apartment, or a cave somewhere, anywhere with peace and quiet and solitude. He needs to leave BUT THERE IS NO WHERE TO GO!

Our Party pup is feeling the tension in the air. He seemed house broke shortly after he joined the family but he's been having anxiety issues and peeing indoors issues despite how often we let him out. We're not only driving each other crazy we're bugging the dog!

My sweet little Wren who'll be two in June has turned into quite the little comedian. She's come up with a dramatic silly run and a silly jump. She has an entire arsenal of silly faces possibly to cheer up her overwhelmed family.

My husband and I have both been working through this entire ordeal. Working at a supermarket we've had to endure the panic, the fear, daily wellness checks, the mad rush on toilet paper, and meat, and canned goods, and milk, etc; every day since this thing began. It's not real; at least it still doesn't seem real. The newly instated mandatory masks are suffocating. Tiny panic attacks induced after having a difficult time catching ones breath, tears randomly breaking forth simply because it's next to impossible to process the reality of having six more hours to wear the mask; this is the new normal?  Not being able to truly smile at anyone, greeting strangers with a muffled hello is mentally defeating.

I write all of this not just to vent (I totally need to vent) but to remind myself that it's totally okay for life to completely suck at times. That's life. The really awful low points help elevate the wonderful times, right? This summer when heat returns to the great outdoors, when the world is alive with flourishing vegetation, when my children are running around in swim suits playing with the hose, I can delight in the wonderfulness of those moments and remember how awful early spring was and feel all the more thankful for life.

Maybe right now it's hard to find good. I honestly cannot think of one single good thing about today. I can't think of one single good thing about yesterday. Not one! Seriously. Life has been heavy, depressing, dark and gloomy. I have definintely got my full Eeyore on right now.

“Good morning, Eeyore,” said Pooh.
“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it IS a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.
“Why, what’s the matter?”
“Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”
“Can’t all WHAT?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
“Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush. ...I’m not complaining, but There It Is.”

But today is just a collection of yucky moments, heavy moments, today, yesterday, the day before that and probably a whole lot of tomorrows, just moments. Good beautiful times will be again, and this seemingly endless dark black storm cloud will blow over, and the sun will shine brighter than any of us remember it having shone before. It will be okay.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Spending, February week 1

Quick rundown because I'm ten days behind on posting spending (falling behind is bad)

February 1 thru 8

Groceries: $132.61

Eating out: $33.78

Household supplies/ toiletries: $21.27

Stuff: $91.62
$29.14 Valentines gifts for Abe
$26.49 Water purifier pitcher (regularly $35.99)
$35.99 Baby gate (regularly $49.99)

Grand total this week: $279.28

$34.91 a day spending so far for February.
If I hadn't bought the baby gate; $30.41 a day. Grr

Sunday, February 16, 2020

January Numbers are in (only like 17 days late)

Food Groceries $641.43
Food out $175.31

Pets $0
Household supplies/ Toiletries $73.28
Clothing $26.98
Stuff $62.96
stuff subcategories 
-Christmas $9.32 
-Gifts $16.74
-Garden $0
-For Abe $20.02
-For Pretty Wren $9.98
-Other $6.90
Total spending for January: $979.96

Average daily spending for 2020: $31.61

Surprise Party

But there weren't any guests or cake.

Remember how I told you that we were going to be getting a puppy this year? Both of our pups passed away last year. We had to say good-bye to our sweet, sweet old man Bozzy in April. He'd lived with diabetes (two insulin shots a day) for three years. His eye sight was gone. His hearing was almost non-existent. The poor little guy seemed to have lost his sense of smell. His blood sugar really started to get out of control (even though we kept upping his insulin level). None the less, if you'd see him walking around the neighborhood with us you'd have thought he was in his prime. He'd frolic, he'd prance; the chivalrous little man loved life! April was an incredibly hard time for all of us, as I lost a really REALLY good buddy. Abe lost, as he referred to him from the time he started to talk, "his brother Bozz." And my husband lost his first son, a dog he wanted so badly, picked out as a pup, named, adored. Bozzy was an amazing dog!


In November, about three week before Thanksgiving, our Maggie girl suddenly became extra snuggly. Living with a one year old, the little old gal liked to go off to quiet places in the house and snooze. Don't get me wrong she acted like a pup until the very end, but in dog years she was an 85 year old pup. She liked peace and quiet when she could get it and she hadn't been too snuggly for years. But during that whole week at the beginning of November she just wanted to lay by someone (mostly my husband) and cuddle and snuggle (although NOTHING seemed out of the ordinary other than that). In fact her and little Wren just started to interact. 

But after one week of cuddly Maggie I asked my kiddo to let our little princess out one morning. In almost all of 2019 Abe was really the one who let the dogs out, ran around outside with them, fed them. He LOVES dogs (that can not be stressed enough). We knew she wouldn't be around for too much longer but we totally didn't see the end being so near either. She was completely fine when we went to bed but that morning she lay in the hallway and couldn't move. Less than ten minutes after we realized she was not okay, she was gone. I think having said good-bye to "brother Bozz" in April made losing Maggie a little easier for Abe but whoa, what a way to end the year.


Fast forward to the surprise Party. My husband had been talking about a party for my birthday this year as it's somewhat of a milestone. He's already thrown me two surprise parties folks so I would NOT put another one past him. I don't want a party. I told him several times to please not throw me a party. Still he kept talking about how I really should reconsider. I made sure to stress to him at least once a day to please NOT plan a party. So he starts to get suspicious and I start to get annoyed and then he and Abe have this secret (you know how seven year olds are with secrets, right?). Until one day the kids and I run to my mom's while hubby is at work only to return to a ten week old puppy hiding in my room with a big red bow on his collar. My husband says, "you really didn't want a surprise party but we had to do something special for your birthday so here is your surprise, his name is Party."

We now have an incredibly smart, really affectionate, obviously playful, somewhat of an old soul 12 week old little boy puppy dog named Party. And it seems that he's mine. The kids adore him and he thinks they are fantastic. And that's the story of my surprise Party.







Friday, January 31, 2020

Spending, January week 4

January 26 thru January 31

Groceries: $164.08

Eating out: $15.89
My husband got an order of fajitas for himself one night when I didn't feel like eating or cooking. The kids had hot dogs that night.


Household supplies/ toiletries: $2.29
I do not remember what I spent the $2.29 on.

Stuff: $30
I spent $5.99 on a pack of pacifiers. I bought a kids fold up/ camping chair on clearance from $9.99 to $3.99. And this next one was a lot considering I was trying to close out January with a $30 a day average. I spent $20.02 on a LEGO set for Abe. It was a $49.99 set that went on clearance and the store was running an extra 30% off toy clearance. It's hard to find LEGOs at a 60% off price point ever. My husband insisted we needed to buy it for our boy. I didn't argue. Abe spent all day yesterday building and most of today playing with it.

I had a few neat things happen with spending this week. On Saturday (okay, that was last week). Abe and I met several of my co-workers at Red Robbin for a work get together. I only ordered a black coffee for myself and then Abe got a kids meal which he scarfed down. When the bills came a co-worker grabbed ours and said they wanted to pay for Abe's meal (and my coffee). That was so nice of them!!!

Then practically the same thing happened on Sunday. We went out to eat with the guys from my husband's band and their families. One of the guys insisted on paying for everyone at the table. WOW!!! I don't even want to think about how much that bill was. Yikes. So many nice people in our circle of friends. 💓

Last, not the same at all, I spent $45 on clothes for my little Wren. I purchased three pajama sets, two pair of pants, and two shirts from Carters/ OshKosh. They were all pretty deeply clearanced. We had $50 left over from Christmas money that relatives gave her so that went towards the clothes and nothing came out of the budget. Woohoo!

Grand total this week: $212.26

Average daily spending this year: $31.61

Hoping to close out January with a $30 a day average means I spent $49.96 more this month than I was shooting for. Bummer.

On to February!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Peek at the grocery budget; meal rundown

Dinner at our house last week:

Sunday - Two orders of fajitas from a restaurant and two free kids meals.
Monday - Chicken and vegetable soup. I've gotten into the habit of boiling a chicken on Saturday which makes a lot of broth and enough meat for a few meals (mostly lunches). Soup was from Saturday chicken.
Tuesday - Beef stew, including sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, peas, sage, and thyme. I took my lunch break early in the day to get the stew started so that it had five hours to stew on the stove before I got home from work.
Wednesday - Bunless hamburgers and roasted broccoli and onion
Thursday - Turkey tacos with corn tortillas, fajita peppers, and guacamole  (I had a taco salad)
Friday - Steak and asparagus. The kids always eat the same meals as the parents in this house but I did make them hot dogs instead of the crazy expensive steak my husband brought home from the meat market. The stingy adults should have shared the steak though because we both ate way too much.
Saturday - Chili.
My chili is about two pounds of ground beef. One onion. Three peppers: yellow, red, and orange. A can of no salt added tomato sauce. A little water. Tons of spice: chili pwd. garlic pwd. salt, cumin, oregano. Simmered for about an hour. We seriously love it!


Breakfast is usually a granola bar or fruit and nut bar or scrambled eggs.
Lunches are often leftovers or very kid-ish, like dino nuggets or mac n cheese.
I feel like there's a lot of snacking in our house, dried fruits, nuts, cheese, granola bars or fruit and nut bars, crackers. Lots of snacking!

As far as beverages go I drink a lot of coffee and tea.
My husband drinks a lot of soda water.
The little lady drinks a lot of milk and Abe just drinks a lot of water.
We really don't buy pop or juice unless we're eating out somewhere.

That's pretty much the rundown 😋

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Spending, January week 3

January 19 thru January 25th

I am no where near the $24 a day budget I'm shooting for BUT I'm not upset with my spending.

We haven't been eating out much (about once a week). My husband would eat out four or five times a week if I allowed it. I haven't been buying coffees at work. And I've been bringing lunch to work with me/ not buying anything to eat or drink while working. We've been eating really healthy food; haven't been eating sugary treats or any desserts (or spending any money on such items).

My "stuff" category has had relatively light spending and I've gotten pretty good deals on what I have purchased there.

Life is expensive! Right now I think I'll shoot for closing out January with a $30 a day spending average. That allows $167 to spend next week. My weekly spending has been over $200 so it's a fair challenge.

Groceries: $123.87
Meat, veggies, fruit, fruit and nut bars, nuts. Soda water. Oh, of course, coffee grounds and tea. Milk. That about sums up all of the grocery spending.

Eating out: $41.36
This week we had the "kids eat free" Sunday meal from a local Mexican restaurant. On Thursday I took a long lunch break to meet my husband at the dentist, grab the kids (so they didn't have to sit through is hour long cleaning) and I brought them through the McDonald's drive thru for happy meals before we headed home. I also got myself a medium black coffee from McDonalds.

Household items/ toiletries: $28.98
This week I bought $24.99 worth of diapers. Won't need those for a few weeks now.

Stuff: $16.74
I spent $10.90 on a mug for mom's birthday and $5.84 on a Valentines gift for Abe. That's $16.74 this week on gifts in the stuff category.

Grand Total this week: $210.95

Average daily spending this year: $30.71

A few cents down from $30.93

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Cold, Quiet, Calm, budget rambling

I've woke up well before the kiddos this morning. Generally Abe wakes up before anyone. I've had a very lovely few hours of quiet time. I haven't been able to comment in blogger for awhile now and until this morning's strange bit of peace and quiet I haven't had an opportunity to try and figure out what the problem is. Well, after at least 30 minutes of poking around I am happy to report that I think I've figured out whats been wrong (something to do with cookies... not the delicious kind) and I was able to just leave two comments on blogger for the first time in ages!
Little victories 😊

I've also used this bit of very rare mom time to look over my very abused budget which I've set at an average of $24 a day for the year.
Currently I sit at an average of $30.93 a day .
If I wish to end January on budget there's only $187.25 left to spend this month ($14.40 a day).

In all honesty, brutal honesty is my policy, I'll be happy if I spend $187.25 or less this week. BUT I am up for the challenge, at least I feel like I am right now after having had a good amount of coffee and several hours of peace and quiet.

Thirteen Days. $187.25
and GO...