Monday, March 30, 2009

$100 a month challenge?

How did I do? Well, I went 50 cents over on my groceries. Keep in mind, this didn't count formula and baby food items (canned chicken, canned veggies, oatmeal) or household cleaning products. What we didn't do so well on was NOT eating out. We did great the first two weeks and then after that we didn't stick to our budget. We did go to happy hour and used coupons when we did. We also went out of town this past weekend so we had to eat out. Good thing our hotel had complimentary breakfast (which was actually pretty good).

I learned that I am not a coupon clipper and we mostly ate from our pantry. It also works if I plan ahead, something I didn't do that last week. We will start over on April 1 with a more strict budget and I will give my husband cash so I don't see debits from the liquor store. I'm thinking $100 total for eating out (not counting our coast trip) and $50 fun money (lunch, coffee, etc).

I think this is a learning process to see what works and doesn't work. I think I'm not into coupons because I shop alot at Trader Joes and don't buy processed foods.

So, that is the report. I'm making my grocery list and dinner list tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Let the screaming begin

It has been a trying few nights in our house as our good little sleeper has decided that he was going to start waking up at midnight, demanding a bottle. I chalked it all up to a growth spurt but after five nights of this, I realized that Benjamin was starting a habit of this. Too lazy and tired to dig through my healthy sleep habits book, I called the pediatrican’s office and talked to the nurse for some hints. Lo and behold, night time feeding is a no-no at 10 months and so is falling asleep while drinking a bottle (NOT in his crib, we’re holding him). Since he started drinking a bottle, this has been his night time ritual – bath, pjs, books, bottle/rocking. Ben has been sleeping until 5 a.m. most mornings and when he has woken up at midnight or 1 a.m., I usually rocked him back to sleep or held him. Another no-no. So, we’re faced with crying it out, again. It wasn’t hard the last time but seems harder because he can now stand up in his crib.

Last night, we had decided that if he woke up at before 3 a.m., we wouldn’t give him a bottle. The last five nights, he’s woken up at midnight. Guess what – last night, he woke up at 3:30 a.m.

My point – kids are not predictable. You’re playing Russian Roulette every night when it comes to sleep. Someone said this lasts until they are 5! Yikes. Why do ppl have more kids? Maybe parents adapt to less sleep?

In a few weeks, we plan on making some changes to his nighttime routine. Bottle will come before bath and we’ll add just a couple minutes of rocking before we lay him down in his crib for sleep. Tonight he had his bottle, cuddled and I then laid him down drowsy. No fussing at all. Bam, went to sleep. So maybe he can fall asleep on his own? Oh well.

Let the screaming begin.

Monday, March 23, 2009

10 months old!

Dear Benjamin,
Today your are 10 months old.
Yes, I'm in disbelief because of this and I'm wondering where did the time go? It flew by so fast! The last month, you spent growing and learning and are becoming more and more aware of the world. You're also into everything. You're no longer army crawling and finally crawling though you prefer to belly crawl. You're into your toys, esp. the feel and touch cards and LOVE books. You've practically worn out Dr. Seuss ABCs.

You're new trick is standing. You want to be standing at all times it seems and it was a blessing once you figured out how to sit down without crashing to the floor.

As for eating is going, you're eating more and more table food and things off our plates. Yesterday morning, you took a bite of French Toast and demanded more off my plate as you were in love with maple syrup! You love juice in the sippy but won't take milk in the sippy. We hope you warm up to this idea as you're not always going to be sucking on a bottle.

With your new standing trick, you have taken a few tumbles trying to walk. Bumps and bruise are evident and I'm always there to snuggle up and make it better.

Son, you're an amazing gift and we're truly blessed. I will take a bet that this time next month, you'll be walking. Better go baby proof the house!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Showing off his new trick

Showing off his new trick
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Ben can now stand. I didn't think standing would happen this fast but it has and now he's cruising around the furniture taking steps. Last night he suffered his first head bump when he sneezed and smacked his head against his toy box. He will crawl to get to what he wants but the next thing you know, he's pulling up on chairs, the furniture, the ottoman. And when he wakes up at night, I go in and there he is standing. He is also waking up at 4 a.m. and not going back to sleep. Our baby, well, isn't a baby anymore.

He has also dropped his 3rd 4:30 quick nap which makes 5-7 p.m. pretty unbearable as he's is crabby and usually asleep by 7 p.m. He usually pretty happy when you put him in the high chair to eat. He loves sloppy joes and veggie lasagna. And when he doesn't like something, he spits it out.

I know the fun is only beginning. I need to cherish this stage.

What happened? Wasn't he this big just yesterday?

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Since the beginning of the year, we've been making more of an effort to recycle. This has resulted in throwing away almost half as much as we did before and now our commingle bin is full when we take it to the curb. Yay for us, I guess.

I also and happy to report that I have only spent $40 on food this week. That means I have $60 for the rest of the month. Will I make it? We'll see. Might be eating alot of PB&J sandwiches by the end of the month.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

$100 grcoery challenge

So Brian and I are going to TRY to spend only $100 this month on groceries. We took inventory of our freezer and cupboards and said what the heck! The rules are as follows -- we can only spend $100 this month on groceries. We are excluding diapers, baby food (which we hardly buy), baby items, household cleaning products and beauty items like shampoo and deodorant. We are reserving $100 ($50 a piece) in a jar for fun items. Tonight, I bought a $4 box of Thin Mints so now I have $46 left. My guess is my husband will spend all of his money on beer since that does count against our groceries. Each Saturday, I will take inventory of the cupboards, freezer and make a meal list and then shop for what I need.

This week's list is:
Cheese & Vegetable Pizza
Veggie Burgers
Olive, tomato pasta
Spinach Ravioli

Now that I type this, I notice we only have one meat item. My frig is FULL of meat too so my guess is the second will we'll be diving into meat!

I also want to thank everyone for their tips. A co-worker told me that I should check out the Dollar Tree for items. I never knew they food! Grocery Outlet is an awesome place for deals as well. I did sign up for The Grocery Game's free trial as well so I will report on my findings there. If you sign up, please let them know I referred you (my email is I'll post some of the tips I've received in weeks to come as well.

If you read this blog and are on Twitter, you can follow me more closely by adding me as a friend as well.

Wish me luck!