Monday, January 31, 2011
Before he fell asleep, Jamie came up onto the couch, where he proceeded to try and push me off the entire night. It was a great time with my middle two, who are probably the two that get the least attention from mama.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
It's really unbelievable how much more Canadians pay for their groceries and Im even willing to bet that the prices are even higher in my province. I know at least that milk costs double here as it does in Ontario.
Seriously, go check it out! Your mind will be blown!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
That nasty bug stayed with me for an extra week after everyone else was feeling better. I'd wake up feeling horrible and through out the day, it would get tolerable, to the point that by dinner time I was fine. At least it's gone now.
I got a call from my boss a couple weeks ago asking if I could be ready to be backup for a conference in Portugal in February. I didn't have a passport but my work was willing to cover the cost, so I thought, why not? Well, after about a week of being not sure, it turns out that I AM going:
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Somehow the kids, with the exception of Noah, all got over it within a couple of hours. Their dad told me that Saturday night they had each woken up throwing up and so at 7:30am, Micah called to say they were coming home. This, might I remind you was only a couple hours after it hit me. I was not in the proper shape to look after children, but what could I do? So they came home and they were FINE! It was much better that way because they were able to help each other with getting drinks and snacks through out the day. Jason kept Owen (who also woke up Sunday throwing up) until late Sunday night and he was sleeping when Jason carried him in. That was a life saver. Jason also stopped by the convenience store and grabbed a couple of things to keep us going around here. If not for his help in keeping Owen and picking up those few groceries, I don't know what I would have done.
Monday, my SIL called and said she wasn't bringing the boys over because she was sick. That was great because it allowed me a couple extra hours in bed, which was the only place I still felt human. I drove my brother to school and picked him up later, then went to the grocery store. By the time I got home, I was in tears, my stomach pains were so bad. That's when I commented on facebook that it was worse than labor. It had been going on for so long, that I was just exhausted.
In the two days that I was sick I was able to eat an apple, two pieces of toast and some chips that Micah brought me. The apple was on Sunday, the other things were Monday. I think getting some food into me helped, but I know I wouldn't have been able to keep anything else in. Horrible, horrible. Even liquids were a challenge. Over the two days I drank two glasses of watered down ginger ale. That's all the fluids I had...so I know Im definitely dehydrated.
Today Micah and Noah are home from school and my nephews are here, both of whom are sick themselves. Im still queasy but not like I was.
Just gotta keep going.....
Friday, January 7, 2011
My nephews showed up this morning with coughs and sniffles
Micah is still in bed (it's nearly 11) complaining of being really tired and having a headache
Owen is covered in snot. I seriously just can't keep up with it.
James and I are outnumbered and Im just praying that we get through the next couple of days without coming down with something ourselves. At least they're all at their dads' this weekend so I can either a) clean the house and get some groceries in preparation for being sick or b) hunker down in bed with a couple of novels and a bottle of Gatorade. We'll see.
Yesterday I stopped to get gas before dropping my brother off at his school. I got home about an hour later and realised that I didn't have my wallet. Without even having to think about it, I knew I had left it on top of the garbage bin at the gas station. I remembered putting it there and thinking to myself that I had to get it before getting back in the van. Thankfully it was exactly where I had left it with everything still inside. Amazing!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Noah's will be coming up next and although Im thinking about his birthday, Im not actually planning it, yet.
He's requested a candy land theme where the guests can feel like they're really playing the game. I had thought about doing the same thing for Jamie's 4th birthday but then decided against it due to the huge amount of work. Since Noah is turning 7 and will have actual friends from school to invite, I thought this might be the right birthday for it.
I stumbled upon this birthday party planning page and although it's not quite detailed enough for this party, it could work well for future ideas.
So far, all I've got worked out is:
- that it should be held somewhere big like a local hall or something
- I could use cardboard and paint giant squares to make a path
- Id like to give out a candy land game to each child instead of a loot bag and so I've started to collect coupons from cereal boxes for $5 off each game. I know I can find candy land for around $10 so if I can get enough coupons, I think it would be reasonable.
Ive started to collect websites and pictures of other candy themed parties as well. I don't want ot get too heavy into the specifics of it just yet, but it does seem like a huge endeavor and so I should probably start in the next month or so.
What about you? Do you plan big parties or prefer more intimate ones? Or even better, do you have any ideas I could use?
Then my nephews showed up with Koolaid Jammers for themselves and my littles, so they had them this morning with their snack, stretching my juice an extra day. For lunch we had the last of the homemade mac and cheese, but the kids weren't too fussy on it. They mostly filled themselves on bread, but that's about normal for the four and under set. If we had any peanut butter left, Im sure they would have slathered that on!
My ex mother in law called the other night and I totally forgot until this afternoon that she was taking the boys today. Their cousin is visiting from another province and since his birthday is coming up, Grandma decided to have a little party with all the cousins. They'll be returning after supper, sometime. Which just means that I don't have to make supper and instead Owen just ate a cheese and mustard sandwich (he insisted!)and I had that egg salad one from yesterday.
I haven't added up the receipts yet, but tomorrow will mark a week into this challenge and I've spent no where near my limit. I AM trying to build a stockpile though and given the sales that will be in place starting Friday, Im sure Ill have no problem spending the money. At the end of these 6 weeks, I plan to have used up the few things that remained in my deep freeze and pantry and have a whole new stockpile to allow continued frugality in my shopping.
$400 child support
If you've been reading this last week then you know that I have a short fall every month, with this money alone. So in comes my money making endeavors:
$350/month renting out a bedroom
These are the things that I currently do to boost my income by up to $1150/month. I say "up to" because babysitting can change depending on how many working days are in the month, holidays and days off for my SIL.
If I was taking in kids other than my nephews, I'd charge more than the $40/day that I receive now, but seeing as how my SIL watched Owen for me last year for the same rate of pay while I worked, Im good with this amount. I work from home, as the children allow. Adding in two more children similar in age to my littles, hasn't seemed to disrupt things too much. I can bring them with me to pick up the biggs from school and they have lots of things to play with here that are age appropriate. When I work on school-type things with Jamie, I include the other two as well.
We live in a four bedroom house and to some people that would mean that we either do not have enough bedrooms or that we have just the right amount. With the set-up of this house though, there's three bedrooms on the top floor and one on the bottom. It's a four-level, side-split so there's really only a floor and a half between them, but it seems like a lot. Micah is only 9 and Im not yet ready for him to be so far away from me. Because of this, Micah and Noah share a room and the littles share a room, leaving the basement bedroom open for my university student brother.
The only other rooms on the same floor as his bedroom are a large unfinished storage area and the laundry room. There's a utility sink in there, shelves and a second fridge. When he moved in we agreed that he would use the second fridge and shelves as a place to store his food, though he cooks upstairs. There's also a bathroom on the next floor up and that's the main one he uses. The rest of us mostly stick to the upstairs one, unless the kids are in the rec room. His use of electricity is about the only thing that costs me money from his $350/month and for that reason it is well worth it to have him here.
So that's it. Two simple changes that I've worked into my circumstances allow for an extra $13800, minus expenses. Even at a conservative $10000/year, it's totally worth it. I plan to add even more this year, so watch for those posts in the coming months.
What do you do to make extra cash each month?
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
$11 000 would mean a lot of pizza, but combined with other things I hope to reduce in our budget, it shouldn't take long to get to that number. If I ordered pizza once each week for the year and only ordered one of the store's deals, I'd be looking at somewhere in the $15-1600 range. For Pizza! What a simple way to reach 1/7 of my goal! (not that I do order Pizza once a week...ahem).
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
So I sat down a couple days ago and looked at what I expected to spend each month for the next couple of months. I haven't cut spending for anything other than groceries (due to the two pantry challenges) and gas. Ill be looking at all of the other categories through out this year to see where I can cut. For this reason my numbers will probably seem really high to most of you. But remember, I live in Canada. On an island. Things ain't cheap!
Renter's Insurance 26
Vehicle Insurance 317
Aliant 150 (Digital Cable, Boxes, Internet and home phone)
Kids' Allowances 67
School 40 (pizza and ice cream days, book orders, field trips)
Giving 88 (church, compassion international, mercy house)
Micah's Cell 22
My spending 25
Bank Fees 10
There are some obvious holes in this budget, I know. For one, I haven't provided for any maintenance on the van, but I've put in $100 for birthdays and holidays. Like I said, this will need some rearranging. To be honest though, I did spend $1200 on Christmas this year and if I added all of the other holidays, plus birthdays for my four guys and family/friends parties that we might attend, it's more like double that amount.
Some of you may have noticed that the total of these expenses is more than my income of $2675/month. And that's where my other money making endeavors come into play. But Ill explain those tomorrow. One of the things Id like to do this year is to reduce my expenses to $2675, so that I can totally support us by regular, dependable income alone. That would mean finding $240, which Im not sure is totally possible.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Yesterday was Jason's birthday and Micah had asked last week if we could have a party for him. Neither Jason nor I felt comfortable with that idea and so we decided that he'd just come over for dinner, instead. Thankfully, I had a pot roast in the deep freeze and a little wine from Christmas in the fridge, because that's one of his favorite meals. I didn't want to spend any extra money, so that worked out really well. I had thought about making him a cake, before he came over but I didn't think I had any butter or margarine for the icing. It wasn't until about an hour before dinner that I realized there was a stick in the back of the fridge! Oh well. The kids and I made a gingerbread house kit the day before and so we just served that instead. Jason didn't mind and he had the honor of breaking it into little pieces for the boys.
Today we had a lazy day and all just ate what we felt like for breakfast and lunch. Mostly it was yogurt, cereal, toast or soup. Then for supper, since Jason decided to keep Owen for an extra night, I just made grilled cheese sandwiches and a can of vegetable soup. We made it fun by playing Zooreka while we ate.
Tomorrow I plan to serve homemade macaroni and cheese with broccoli, potatoes and carrots (left over from yesterday). I may or may not get around to making rolls in my bread maker, but those could be included as well. We'll have this same meal again on Tuesday and on Wednesday I plan to make what my boys like to call "cheese eggs." Ill have to pick up some eggs for that though because there's only two left after all of my Christmas baking. Otherwise, the only other spending I should be doing this week is a tank of gas in the van and a movie ticket tonight with my girlfriends.
All together, not a bad start to a new adventure.