Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Living on a budget and organizing my life....

Needless to say I do not have the time to be sitting here this very moment, but what can I say I am addicted! I usually try to wait till the evening to do this blog, but considering my hubby is home with me today, I thought I would take my "mommy" time a little early.

The purpose of today's blog is to share with you some of the ways I have created sanity in my life when it comes to living on a budget and organizing my household. My mother (a wanna be Martha Stewart) introduced me to the Household Notebook when I was going through the "nesting stage" prior to my son's birth four years ago. The household notebook is a great way to have all addresses, birthdays, phone numbers, takeout menus, business cards, etc. in one place in your house. I suggest you follow the steps below to taking the first step to organizing your household:

1. Purchase a three ring binder preferably with the clear slip pocket on the front to put a label.

2. Purchase clear page protectors to keep important papers from being torn out or spilled on. Believe me...this will happen! My Household Notebook is out there for the world to see!

3. Go to Organized Home for easy to print worksheets to organize your information. Some of their worksheets didn't work for me. I like to type my phone numbers and addresses together on a spreadsheet and print it.

4. Put together your notebook in the order you would like. Phone numbers and addresses are nice at the front for easy access. :)

Now this Household Notebook is how I keep myself organized. Plain and simple :)

Secondly, I researched and researched a way to keep my budget organized and easy to follow. It was so difficult to find things that would work for me and my family. Because I am staying home with my children, we need to watch a little closer on what we spend each month just so we aren't living paycheck to paycheck. So, I created my own book for my budgeting on the same principle as the Household Notebook. It is called Mommy's little Budget Book. I created forms to go into my budget book. The first sheet is our projected cost of each bill we have a month. Then I created a form which allows my hubby and I to write down each expense, the date it was made, how much, a check # column, and then a column to keep a running tab. Then, I created a grocery list/menu plan sheet to keep my new biweekly grocery list under control and plan my menu. I am planning on sharing these with you as soon as I figure out how to attach them to my blogs. Hopefully, this will be my next one!

I usually plan my menu for the week and keep it posted on a white board on the fridge. This allows the family to know what will be for dinner when. Works great! The last thing I created was a daily to do list to keep myself focused. It is so easy just to get up and do a regular routine and forget important things to do, so I am using this to GIT R DONE! (Sorry I had to add a little redneck in there) !!!!! Hope my ideas help someone in desperate need out there to regain control of his/her household!

Sneak peak into tomorrow's blog....FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE!!! So come back for some great dinner ideas :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My son's first day of preschool!

Today was my son's first day of preschool. He was so excited! We have been talking about it for the last month and spent time discussing the things he would be learning. We went school shopping for new school clothes, bought a new Go Diego Go backpack, school supplies, and new shoes. My little man, so brave and proud, walked up to his school. His eyes were gleaming with excitement! He wasn't the only one feeling pride. I was so proud of my Little Buddy (a nickname I call him). He went right into his classroom with his head up high. Then it started, or so I thought. I told him to put his lunch box on the table and then go sit on the rug. He did what I said, but got mesmerized by the other kids sitting on the rug by the teacher. He just stood there. The teacher assistant saw him stalling and told him (kinda sternly for talking to a new student on the first day of school, in my opinion) to put down his box and go sit. He freaked! He hid behind my legs and wouldn't move. I thought, "Way to go woman! He was so ready!" I said to my son, "Listen, she just wants you to put down your box because you are going to have lunch in a little bit after you wash your hands. Come on let's go sit down and listen." Well, she must have realized that she was too rough with her tone and words, because she sat down on the itty bitty chair beside him and tried to explain that it was her first day too like his. I walked him over to the rug where the other diverse group of little boys and girls were quietly listening to the teacher. He wanted to sit, but wanted me to sit too. I told him I had to go, but he was excited about that. The teacher recognized his separation anxiety and asked him if he'd like to come sit by her. That was PERFECT! He ran over and sat right beside her, I mean ON her, HA!

Do you see him hanging on her? So a cuddly puppy!

He didn't shed a tear all morning and the first thing he said when I came to pick him up was, "Mommy, I had fun today, but I didn't learn about my letters." I just chuckled and told him that he wasn't going to learn everything on the first day! He was so proud of himself and frankly, I could not have been more proud of my little guy! He is all grown up already! *tears*

Monday, August 27, 2007

My First Bachelorette Party!

Yeah! NO KIDDING! I am 29 and I just attended my first bachelorette party ever! I have been in five other weddings (counting my own) before this one and have never been to one! On top of that no one I was close to who got married had one! Crazy huh?? I guess that shows you how boring I am! But I'm not I??? Seriously???

My dearest friend, Kim, is getting married on September 1st, and being the Matron of Honor (which I don't do a good enough job at), I had to make sure I was there for this party. She is from Pittsburgh, PA and has grown up there all her life and refuses to ever leave! I guess that is pretty common with the folks from Pittsburgh!

Well, the night was great! We started off at the most delicious/expensive Italian restaurant called Buca di Beppo. It was wonderful! We started off with yummy salads, mozzarella garlic bread, fried calamari, then to the entrees (like I wasn't already stuffed to the max!). We had Fettuccine Alfredo, chicken parm, and cheese manicotti! Then finally we got the cheesecake for dessert! ABSOLUTELY wonderful! It was hilarious because the one bridesmaids brought these great penis straws...very interesting I might add! Should I attach a picture of one? Sure, why not??

Well, maybe it wasn't always used just in the drinks! LOL....After dinner we headed to Saddle Ridge for a country rocking time! Our night consisted of line dancing, drinks, shots, girls, creepy old man getting frisky, a married man showing his hiney to us, a stripper looking chic in a white dress, Kim taking off her bra and giving to a man and had to do jumping jacks to get it back, Kim getting phone numbers from five men, and doing a sexy butt test! We kept her busy with accomplishing tasks all night! She handled herself with respect and dignity, but still had a blast!

We then headed back to the Hilton in Pittsburgh. Let me tell you, I had the most comfortable, relaxing sleep ever! However, I think there was a bull frog in the room! HA! I wish there were more to tell, but losing my Bachelorette Party Virginity to Kim was fun and clean! (except the penis straws!) LOL...

Even though I had such a good time celebrating my best friend's last night as a bachelorette, I realized one thing, I am SO over this partying thing and I was SO out of my element. It felt so weird just being "out". I enjoyed my time away from being a mom and a wife, but I couldn't even remember what I would need for a weekend away when I was packing to leave. I didn't know I needed cash to pay for drinks at the bar. HELLO! I use plastic for everything! I couldn't remember that I "should" put on lip gloss. I dressed like a "mom" and not with a "party" shirt while going out. I wore flat Dockers sandals, while others had cute heels or cute flip flops. I danced and couldn't find my ol' groove I once had. I didn't know what to tell the bartender when he asked what I would like to drink, so I said, "Surprise me." I thought it was like riding a bike, and you never forgot...well, I forgot how to be fun and exciting....But...I must say I tried my best!

Overall, I had a blast! I enjoyed my night away from my husband and kids, but the entire time I missed them! What gives?? HUH??? Seriously...this was my fun weekend to spend with my BFF ever and I couldn't even think of what to say or do around her and her friends. Weird huh??? I wanted to tell her that she will love being married so much that even when you leave your husband for a weekend, you still can't get him out of your mind. And when you bring beautiful children into the world, the extra belly chub and stretch marks are the last things you think of as important. I want to tell her that I am the happiest and most proud Matron of Honor ever because I get to be there next to her through ups and downs, even though I sometimes seem distracted and can't get the words out how I feel about her. She is the best and I wish her and her fiance the best ever.

Kim and I dancing the night away! Isn't she beautiful??

Jamie, Kim, and I

Can you believe this guy?? If this were my hubby, that ass would not be coming home! And..I have a more revealing picture that this! If interested, I will email it to you! LOL

Kristen, Elena, Lori, Jamie, Kim, Me, and Nicole outside the Hilton. We were waiting for our shuttle to take us to Buca di Beppo.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rough Day...

I have had one of those days where I wish I didn't crawl out of bed. Granted, I didn't get up until 10:00 only because my 4 year old kept touching my face. The house remained silent. My 15 month old was still snoring away on the monitor. Here we go. I rolled over and looked at my son. He was gorgeous...simply gorgeous! He didn't say anything to me. He only crawled out of bed and went to the bathroom to start himself some bath water. I drifted back to sleep and listened to him play in the water. 10 minutes later I managed to pull myself out of bed. This is the life right? Sleeping in, staying home with my 2 beautiful children, life is easy right?? Staying home eating bon bons all day and watching soap operas (okay...okay...that is true, but just Y &R, no comments no comments) *giggle*

Lunch time is always a tricky time of the day. Somehow I manage to make my children lunch, watch Y&R, clean up the dishes and the kitchen, and then find the time to feed my starving self. Today for lunch it was peanut butter and jelly sandwich and applesauce for the 4 year old and Campbell's Spaghettios with meatballs for my daughter. Easier said than done. She kept whining and whining as I quickly microwaved her lunch. I turned around to hand it to her and missed the high chair and it fell straight down onto the floor and all I saw was flying Spaghettios! They hit the ceiling, the pantry door, the garbage can, the dog, the high chair, my daughter, my jeans, and my cupboards. It looked the same as if you would have been mixing them in a mixer and forgot the top! They went everywhere! At this point, I thought...I need to clean this up and I would die for a digital camera at this point!
My dear daughter continued to whine, the dog helped me clean up the floor (he went for all the meatballs first of course), and I was on my hands and knees scrubbing. Then my son chimed in...I am hungry mom.... well...I know what you are thinking, gosh this is the only problem this woman had today?? No, that was just the start. My son is the main issue.
I told him to wait because Mommy made a mess and as soon as I finished cleaning I would get his lunch. He threw a fit and I sat him in time-out. The afternoon went well. My daughter went down for a nap from 12:30-3:30. My son and I proceed to the basement to play with his toys and I make the point to spend time with him. When my daughter woke up, we went back upstairs. As I am preparing dinner, my husband calls. This is when my son begins acting up, chasing his sister around the house, making her scream, and pushing her to floor. All this time he is laughing like he is having such a great time tormenting his sister. Time-out I yell. He screams back at me, "NO!! I AM GOING TO BEAT YOUR BUTT!" Oh, at this point, I step back before I proceed. "I want you to go up to your room and sit there until you can calm down." He goes up the stairs saying, "I don't like you Mommy. I want a new mommy!" Keep your mind open, do not judge me for my punishments, but I went upstairs after him, grabbed a bar of soap, and put it in his mouth. "I will not have you talk back to me. Stay up here until you are ready to talk nicely." I left the room. He remained up there for about 10 minutes.
To make the long story short, he continued to back talk and yell at us the rest of the night. "I don't like you." "NO!" and so forth. Is 4 years old this difficult?? I have begun my research!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Writing to me is...

Blogging is a semi new thing for me, and I am very excited about it. So, I will begin my first blog about what writing is to me.

As a young girl until now, I have always loved to write. I wrote stories, diaries, and letters to friends. It became an obsession. I would write and type my diary entries and enjoyed being free in writing about my fears, feelings, and emotions on every topic ranging from friendships to loves many trials and successes. But writing was a negative thing as well. Getting the "grade" in high school English classes decreased my self-confidence, or maybe it did the reverse...maybe it made me work harder to prove myself. I want to believe that is how I got where I am today. High school teachers did not see my love for writing as much as I did. I didn't do as well as my friends did, and I internalized that I wasn't a writer and never would be. But writing was and is more than just grammar and mechanics. It is about releasing thoughts, visions, emotions, and sharing with others what one is going through. After many years of proving myself through writing in my undergradate classes, graduate classes, and taking the teacher certification tests to certify myself as a teacher for writers in the special education class, I have seen that I have what it takes to be a writer. Now, it is time to practice. This is my place to practice. For those of you wondering, I want to be a writer for myself, not for others. I do it because I love it. I love getting down what I am thinking whether it be ridiculous, helpful, or just venting. I guess you could say it is my "drug". What is your "drug"?