Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guided journaling day 1 - 5 things for me

I found this great website the other day as I sat surfing the web - it is articles, news stories, tips and such for single parents. You can view it at www.singleparents.about.com
I signed up for their daily newsletter with helpful tidbits of information for single parents. The current newsletter is focused on guided journaling. Each day I get a different topic in my inbox to journal about so I thought I'd share here.

I'll do my best to post each day, but if you know me at all, I am not making any promises :) Join me in journaling on these topics and share your thoughts. Doesn't matter to me if your single or married - I'd love to hear your opinions.

Today's topic -- List 5 things you can do for yourself this week and then commit to doing at least one of them


1. Read a chapter of one of the MANY books waiting for me patiently on my kindle
2. Take a 30 minute walk on my lunch hour
3. Take a bath after the kids go to bed
4. Give myself a pedicure
5. Go to a matinee movie on Friday while the kids are at daycare

I'll let you know which one I end up doing.

August Menu Plan

1 - Chicken Wing Wednesday - bbq wings

2- Spaghetti and meatballs

3- Greek chicken and pasta

4- Sweedish meatballs and noodles

5- frittata, sausage

6- taco salad dippers

7- BLT pasta

8- Chicken wing Wednesday

9- spaghetti and meatballs

10- takeout

11- pierogies with vegetables

12- pizza

13- soup/salad and sandwiches

14- Hot dogs and french fries

15- Chicken wing Wednesday

16- spaghetti and meatballs

17- fish (sticks for kids, salmon for me), noodles

18- kielbasa kabobs

19- omelets in muffin cups

20- salisbury steak, potatoes

21- sausage stroganoff

22- brown bag dinner

23- spaghetti and meatballs

24- takeout

25- Birthday dinner - kid's choice - with cake of course!

26- pizza

27- chicken nugget tacos, rice

28- soup/salad and sandwiches

29- Chicken wing Wednesday

30- spaghetti and meatballs

31- visiting relatives

Monday, July 30, 2012

Household Plan 7.30.12

I didn't get much accomplished last week. Between work being completely awful to the point where I'm ready to look elsewhere to having to work all day Saturday and being exhausted on Sunday I got nothing done. Oh well, such is life right? Have to go with the flow.

Here's the plan for this week.

Daily -

Make beds
Empty Trash
Wipe out Bathroom Sinks
Change dishtowels and bathroom hand towels

Other -
Water plants/garden
Vacuum 1st floor
Balance checkbook and finish paying 7/27/12 bills
Clean purse
Clean toaster, stove, and middle shelf in refrigerator
Clean toilets and bathroom mirrors
Change kid's sheets
Sweep porch
Dust LR, Kid's and Guest room
Clean car
Wash DR windows

Oh, and since I got nothing done I never told you all about last week's Wordless Wednesday post. Stay tuned this Thursday when I'll tell the story then.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Shopping for FREE or cheap 7.23.12

Rite Aid -
Get $1 +UP Reward wyb Stayfree Maxi Pads 14-24 ct. - $3.00

$2/1 from the 7/22 SS
Final price: FREE 

Get $1 +UP Reward wyb Playtex Gentle Glide or Sport 18-20 ct. - $3.99
$1/1 MQ coming in MOST Sunday papers.
$1/1 Playtex Sport Box printable
$1/1 Playtex Sport Tampons printable
$1/1 Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons or Sport Tampons, exp. 8/15/12 (SS 06/10/12)
$2.50/2 Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons or Sport Tampons, exp. 8/15/12 (SS 06/10/12 R)
$1/1 Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons printable
Final price: $1.99

Get $4 +UP Reward wyb (2) Revlon Nail Enamel @ B1G1 50% OFF
$2/1 Revlon Nail Enamel (RA Video Values, July)
$1/1 Revlon Nail Product, exp. 7/29/12 (SS 06/24/12)

Deal Idea:
Buy 1 Revlon Nail Enamel, $4.99 (online price)
Buy 1 Revlon Nail Enamel, $2.49 (BOGO 50% off)
-(1) $2/1 Revlon Nail Video Values Coupon
-(2) $1/1 Revlon Nail Product, exp. 7/29/12 (SS 06/24/12)
Pay: $3.48 Get: $4.00 UPR (limit 2)
as low as Free + $0.52 Money Maker after coupons & UPR

Get $1 +UP Reward wyb (2) Stride, Extra or Orbit 14-15 ct. - $1.00
$0.25/1 Stride Gum (RA Video Values, July)
$0.50/2 Extra Gum printable
$0.50/1 Extra Gum, exp. 8/31/12 (ALL YOU July '12)
$0.50/2 Extra Gum, exp. 7/31/12 (ALL YOU June '12)
Final price: FREE

Walgreens -
Butterball Turkey Bacon 6 oz - $1.29

With in-ad store coupon, limit 3.
$1/2 Butterball Turkey Dinner Sausage, Franks, Bacon, Breakfast Sausage, Lunchmeat or Chicken Strips, exp. 8/31/12 (SS 06/24/12 R)
$0.55/1 Butterball Turkey Dinner Sausage, Turkey Franks, Turkey Bacon, Turkey Breakfast Sausage, Chicken Strips or Regular or Deepfried Lunchmeat, exp. 8/31/12 (SS 06/24/12 R)
$1/2 Butterball Turkey Dinner Sausage, Turkey Franks, or Turkey Bacon, exp. 8/5/12 (ALL YOU June '12)
$1/2 Butterball Turkey Dinner Sausage or Bacon, exp. 9/9/12 (ALL YOU July '12)
Final price: $0.74

Tops -
Tostitos Tortilla Chips AND Salsa - $3.00

$1 off Tostitos Tortilla Chips AND Salsa, exp. 8/11/12 (Pepsi Moments 07/22/12)
Final price = $2.50 ea. wyb chips AND salsa

Lay's Kettle Cooked Chips - $3.00
$1/2 Lay's Kettle Cooked Chips, exp. 8/11/12 (Pepsi Moments 07/22/12)
Final price = $2.50 ea. wyb 2

Yoplait Greek Yogurt, 6 oz. - $1.00
$0.50/2 Yoplait Greek Yogurt printable
$0.60/2 Yoplait Greek Yogurt printable
$0.60/2 Yoplait Greek Yogurt printable
$0.60/2 Yoplait Greek Yogurt printable
$0.50/2 Yoplait Greek Yogurt, exp. 8/4/12 (SS 06/10/12)
$1.50/5 Yoplait Greek Yogurt, exp. 8/4/12 (SS 06/10/12 R)
$0.50/2 Yoplait Greek Yogurt (SavingStar.com)
Final price = as low as $0.40 ea. ($0.15 ea. w/SavingStar coupon)

Wise Potato Chips B1G1 FREE - $3.99

Ball Park Franks B1G1 FREE - $3.99
$0.75/2 Ball Park Franks, exp. 8/11/12 (Pepsi Moments 07/22/12)
Final price = $2.49 for 2

Stonyfield Organic Yogurt, 6 oz. - $0.60
$2/3 Stonyfield Yogurt printable
$0.50/3 Stonyfield Organic Yogurt printable
Final price = as low as $0.10 ea. wyb 4

Planters Peanut Butter - $2.00
$1/1 Planters Product, exp. 8/31/12 (SS 06/24/12)
Final price = $1.00

Tops Spaghetti Sauce, 24 fl. oz. - $1.00
$0.50 on 2 Tops Spaghetti Sauces (Click-to-Card Coupon)
Final Price = $0.75 ea. wyb 2

Pepsi NEXT 2L - $1.00
$0.55/1 Pepsi NEXT Bottle, exp. 8/11/12 (Pepsi Moments 07/22/12)
Final price = FREE

Tops Large White Bread - $1.00

Zone Perfect Bars - $1.00
$0.55/1 ZonePerfect or Perfectly Simple Item, exp. 8/15/12 (SS 07/15/12)
Final price = FREE

Fill in neccesitites at Aldi's -

Staying within bi-weekly budget of $145.00

Thanks Living Rich with Coupons and I am that Lady

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's in the bag

Over the weekend I decided to pull out a craft activity I have tucked away in a file. As I read (imagine having time for that) through magazines I tear out craft ideas, vacation ideas, tips, etc and file them in a binder. Ok, so there really is no binder. Rather, they are "filed" in a pile in our guest bedroom on top of the computer desk but that's the best I can do right now.

So, since it was hot, I thought making homemade ice cream was a good idea.
This is not the homemade ice cream that you make in some machine. Oh no. This is ice cream in a bag. It was simple, inexpensive, and the kids had fun!

The recipe calls for 2Tbsp sugar, 1/2tsp vanilla, 1c half and half - sealed in a quart size freezer bag. Then you take a gallon size freezer bag, put in 1/2c salt and fill bag halfway with ice. Put smaller bag inside larger bag, seal up, and shake. For 5 minutes.
That was the best part. The kids ran around the house shaking the bag, throwing it on the floor, and dancing to the shaking. I, of course, had to take over shaking for a while, because even though 5 minutes is not really that long, it is incredibly long when you are holding a freezing cold bag and your hands are little. 

The end result was a serving of soft serve vanilla ice cream which was really tasty.

Household Plan 7.23.12

I finished almost everything on the list last week, except the weed wacking! I feel like I accomplished a lot, in spite of everything that was going on last week) watch for that post later. Here's the plan for this week:

Daily -

Make beds
Empty Trash
Wipe out Bathroom Sinks
Change dishtowels and bathroom hand towels

Other -
Water plants/garden
Grocery shopping list
Grocery shopping
Vacuum 1st floor/2nd floor
Clean toilets, tubs/showers
Dust mstr. bedroom, organize closet
Clean microwave
Clean purse
Balance checkbook, pay 7/27/12 bills

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tell it Thursday (even if it is Friday)

The picture from wordless Wednesday was from our recent vacation. The bugs, my sister, and I traveled to Sesame Place. Thank God I have a sister willing to spend her vacation time in a kid filled circus land. I could not have made this trip alone with two pre-schoolers.
We had a great time! The kids rode all the rides, even the roller coaster. And this was not a kid rollercoaster. It was a full sized thing. No upside down loops or anything, but still coaster enough for any adult rider. The only ride where one of the kids was afraid was Elmo's Blast off. Landon was a bit fearful of the height and decided not to ride, which was fine by me since I was a little scared too. (Not that I mentioned that to them)
We even got to see Imagination Movers in concert while we were there! They were playing shows in the park for two days. I haven;t been to a concert since before the kids were born! So what if it was aimed mostly at 3-7 year olds - I had fun and got my groove thing on dancing to the songs.

Here's some things I learned while at Sesame Place --

  • I really can not think about what possible germs may be floating in public swimming facilities
  • My children are a lot like me. They cry too when they have to walk too far across a parking lot. Difference is they are 3 and I am 40-something.
  • Naps for an almost 4 year old at 6pm are the worst and require parents to then stay up until almost midnight even when suffering from near exhaustion
  • A small child can vomit completely unexpectedly, and if you are wearing flip flops near said incident it may make you want to vomit as well (this was NOT my child either!)
  • Never show your fear of rides to your children
  • All parents say the same things repeatedly throughout the day. (Stop running, I told you that's why we don't run, no I am not carrying you to the car, stop running) You just don't realize other people are saying them because you can't hear over your on voice
  • A dose of Elmo therapy will do wonders for making you understand that small shit doesn't matter and should not be sweated
  • and speaking of sweating - it is HOT at Sesame Place in July!
and now some pics....

Have you taken any vacations with your family this summer? What is your favorite family vacation? Did you learn anything from your family vacationing experience?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Grief is giving me a black eye

Grief is a funny thing.
I am the type of person who researches everything. When J and I were going through fertility treatments I read every article, book, magazine, and blog post I could on the topic. I felt like I knew more about the subject of infertility then my own RE. Maybe that's even true. Since then I've moved on to reading everything about pregnancy, everything about having two infants, everything about having a family member addicted to drugs, having potty training toddlers, and now separation and divorce and how it affects a person and their children. The research and advice on a topic is all the same no matter what you're reading. But you never really know something until you LIVE it. Why I never realized this before I don't know. But something about this separation and impending divorce and moving through the grief process, even though our marriage had probably reached it's real end a few years ago and I chose to ignore that, really makes me see how you don't know something until you really truly live it.
I can have empathy. But I will never understand something someone else is going through unless I too have experienced it. And even then my experience will always be different than someone else's, since we're unique beings.

Lately, I know from my research that I am moving through the continuum of anger and sadness. I think I am moving farther down the road to grief recovery because I don't think about my sadness and anger as much as I was a month ago. But when I do think of it it hits me even stronger than it did before. It's like it sucker punches me, out of no where, completely unexpected. With much stronger emotion than even a few weeks ago.
I don't like it. I don't like how it makes me feel. But I guess it's something I've got to experience. Otherwise I don't think I'll ever heal from this. The part that complicates all of this is that J has a disease which caused all of this mess. And part of me still feels sorry for that. Part of me still wishes that it never had to be like this. I could think that if he ever does get better who is to say we couldn't be together again - but I have to crumple that thought up like a piece of used paper, and throw it in the proverbial trash can. There is just no way our relationship could ever go back to the way it was before all this.

This is our new normal. I can only hope that someday he does get well, and we can at least share some sort of friendship, even if it's on the most basic level, again. That someday I can feel complete forgiveness for him and his disease. That someday when he calls and leaves a message I am not fearful of even speaking to him because I'm afraid it will bring  me more sadness and set me back on my own recovery from the loss of our relationship.
I can't say that I'm not happy with my life - because I am - each day I feel joy. But I hope that maybe someday I can look back and not feel sadness about the relationship J and I had together.

Inspirational messages

Monday, July 16, 2012

Household Plan 7.16.12

Finished nearly everything on the list before we left for vacation! Yeah! Now on to this week. Not really couponing this week as we're just trying to get back to normal after 10 days of vacation. So, here's the plan:

Daily -

Make beds
Empty Trash
Wipe out Bathroom Sinks
Change dishtowels and bathroom hand towels

Other -
Water plants/garden
Make grocery list
Grocery shopping
Vacuum 1st floor
Clean toilets, sweep/mop bathrooms
Dust LR, Hallway, Kid's room, and Guest room
Clean refrigerator door shelves
Sweep porch
July/August birthdays, etc.
Mow lawn
Weed wacking

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tell it Thursday

Yesterday's picture was obviously because it was July 4th. And, it was the first time my children have seen fireworks live. They loved them.

We had a relaxing forth. Stayed inside away from the 95 degree heat most of the day, except to go out and wash the car by hand and water the flowers on the porch. Ate hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner and stayed up late to go to the fireworks.

The kids had a billion questions about the colors, sounds, and smells of the fireworks. Why do they look like they are falling form the sky? Can i catch them in my hand? What is all that smoke? It was fun to watch their facial expressions, and answer all the questions. Making memories.

Now, on to packing for our vacation. Since the boys were born we have only taken one other vacation which did not involved visiting relatives. We went camping and stayed in a cabin - when they were 2.This vacation will involve staying at a hotel and lots of other fun things.

So, excited.....

Not telling where we're headed. Maybe you can guess. Sunny day......

Monday, July 2, 2012

Household Plan 7.2.12

Didn't really even come close to finishing last week's list. Oh well. This week there's a lot to do - plus getting ready for vacation so we'll need to add in planning and packing for that. No shopping though - no matter how great the deals this week I do not have time for that!

Daily -

Make beds
Empty Trash
Wipe out Bathroom Sinks
Change dishtowels and bathroom hand towels

Other -
Water plants/garden
Clean stove
Vacuum 1st floor
Clean toliets/bathrom mirrors
Clean middle shelf of refrigerator
Pay 6/29 bills and balence checkbook
Dust LR/ Clean windows
Wash car
Change kid's sheets
Trim front hedges
Mow lawn not doing it this week. It is starting to turn brown, not growing very fast, and we've got no rain forcasted for the next 10 days. It can wait until after vacation. Who cares if it's a little long, right?
Weed wacking
Plan for July/August birthdays, etc. actually going to wait until we get back from vacation - no occasions until end of July anyway.
Pack for vacation