Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Triple "R" Tuesday

Recently, we had to take Lil Mr. V to the allergist because he's had several asthma attacks. We found out that he's allergic to dust mites. No matter how clean you keep your house, you will have dust mites. So we have to reduce the things that will collect dust. That is all things fabric or furry. So, we've frozen his stuffed animals and put them in a plastic tub. We are in the process of reducing the amount of big fuzzy things in his floor. PLUS we are vacuuming out our AC duct work, especially since our vents are in the ceiling. After we take care of that and the floors we're going to be washing down the walls. While we're doing all this we're transitioning from 12mo to 18/24month clothes. So we have our donate boxes and bags, and I have a friend who's getting his 12 month clothes. We are also ready to recycle our cans. I have a couple of sheets to cut up and get started on sewing together this patchwork quilt. This one I might be brave enough to quilt by hand, but honestly, I doubt it. That's such a pain in the tookus. I know this should have been posted this morning. And I do apologize. I had class first thing this morning and we were busy playing with cars and counting this morning.

So right now...I'm now going to bed. I have to head to Salvation Army and Goodwill tomorrow to give some of this stuff away and get it out of my house.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Money Mondays

Today's topic is holiday/birthday shopping. I know it seems a little early to be talking about shopping for Christmas but if you've not started already, you're already a little late, in my house. I like to be finished by Black Friday. I absolutely HATE shopping during the 4 weeks prior to Christmas. I get very stressed out over money or whether or not I'll be able to get what I want. I think I'd rather pull my teeth with a rusty set of pliers than shop during that time. Some people put money back in a Christmas club account and can't touch it until November. And that's a good idea for those that put back money and spend that. I would forget to put the money in the bank. So my return on that would be very small.

To save money for Christmas or birthday shopping is to figure out a spending limit and stick strictly to that. For me it's hard because Mr. V's birthday and my brother's birthday and my son's birthday are all in December. My son's being two days before Christmas and my brother's being two days after. So, I start early instead of doing a Christmas club account. I make a list of people that I'm going to buy/make gifts for. And I'm a firm believer in making gifts as well. One it's not nearly as expensive and sometimes it's more appreciated. I also have friends who LOVE to read. I can go to goodwill or my local salvation army and get really good books, in great shape for really cheap. And my friends who read LOVE it. Sometimes you can find really good book sales at the local library.  Like for instance, for Father's day, Mr. V got several books that he really liked and a cup that Lil Mr. V decorated for him. The cup was on Mother's Day clearance for $2, and two of the books were found at the Salvation army and cost all of $1.50 and one book purchased at Barnes & Noble for nothing because it was on a "Buy 2 get 1 free" table. I found two books I wanted to read anyways, and got his free. So for Father's Day he got things that he loved for $3.50 plus he got a big breakfast and to spend time with us.

So, you can find some really great deals if you know where to look and how to look. You really need to know the person you're getting the gift for. I already have presents for most of the people on my gift giving list. I have a little bit more to get, but that's all coming. I am going to be making some of my gifts. Like I'm making my son a G.I. Joe quilt for Christmas. I'm going to be making bread recipe jars filled with the dry ingredients for those friends that really like my bread. I have books for my friends that love to read. All found at closeouts or second hand bookstores. I also have some jewelry that I'm going to be passing on to my niece. She's older now and more responsible. This jewelry will fit her hands now too. So far, I've spent $15 on Christmas. I expect to spend around $50 more before I'm completely finished.

So my advice is, set your limits. And work whatever method works for you. If it is spending a little here and there as you find great deals, do it that way. If you can't squirrel something away for that long because of lack of space or because you get too excited and give it away too soon. Then get the Christmas club account and buy later. Make use of layaway programs if the stores that you frequent offer it. But the MOST important thing is, set the limit, and don't over buy. I know that's hard when you have kids, but don't forget that others are buying for them too.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day in the life of a Mom....

My son is 20 months old. He's walking well. He's running constantly. He's learning to walk backward. He's learning new words every day. We're in the process of teaching him his colors and how to count. I stay home with him. With the exception of times when I'm in class, I'm here and I'm playing with him, watching "Cars" with him, reading to him, fighting him out of the bathroom and trying to keep him from smacking the television. I go to bed tired every night, but I'm not exhausted. I wake up with him in the morning and we spend time cuddling before breakfast. Generally while he's eating breakfast, I take that time to check emails and take care of some stuff online. This morning, he got curious about putting things in orifices of his. So far today, I've saved his nose and ears from cheerios. I've had to convince him that HIS pants are not the same as MY pants. While we were shopping he decided that he needed more lemonade, even though we have LOTS of stuff to make lemonade here at home. Now he's napping. I'm writing this up quickly before moving into the kitchen to get everything set up for supper tonight and get started on some laundry.

The amazing thing is. I love my life. I love how unpredictable he makes it. Though at the same time I want to pull my hair out. The most amazing part is, I never wanted children. I never entertained the idea of children. I even have a fertility problem, so I shouldn't have had children. But I have one and every day is a new adventure!

Summer in review...

I haven't been very faithful here. And I apologize. I haven't forgotten about you. I promise. Life has gotten in the way. We're in the process of changing our schedule and in the change, I've been having zero alone time. I haven't been to a sewing club meeting in around a month. I miss my ladies dearly. Mr. V. has gotten a new job and it's a day shift job rather than the third shift that he normally works. So this has all of us up earlier than normal, but little man still doesn't want to go to bed before 10-11pm, nap or no nap. So I wake up with him and pretty much go to sleep with him. And because Mr. V's new job is a good distance away he doesn't get home in time for me to go to my sewing group. Even if he gets off on time. If he works late, he doesn't get home until the meeting is over. I haven't done as much sewing as I'd have liked this summer. I will blame part of that on not having any time to myself. During this time we found out that Lil Mr. V has an allergy to dust mites. This is causing us to go through our entire house and to get rid of what we don't need donate all that we can. Anything that is a dust collector gets seriously looked at. While we're scrubbing everything down we're also re-arranging the house so that lil man has all his own stuff in his room. So it's taking up a lot of our free time. It SEEMS like it would be easy, but when Lil Mr. V is allergic to dust mites you can't have him around when the dust is getting stirred up. So someone has to constantly be with him, either out of the house, or in another room of the house. Makes me wish I could just split and be in multiple places at one time. We're still recycling cans and plastic bags when we actually get them. We're using cloth bags for groceries and transporting stuff. We're donating old clothes of his, knick knacks that we're doing without and some of his old toys and a few of his plushies. I'm still cooking and trying new recipes all the time. I really need to write a few down here on Wednesdays. And all while this is going on, I've been fighting with colleges about my financial aid and my status as a student. However, that's now completely taken care of. Thank goodness! So my bachelors program has started! And I'm so excited. I've already been to a few observations and being in the classrooms felt almost like going home. :)

However, tonight, this is it. I really should be spending these few moments alone doing my history homework and quizzes, however, my eyes are too droopy. I'm going to drink some water, enjoy the cool night air and get some sleep. Tomorrow will start bright and early!