Monday, February 23, 2009

9 Months!

Dear Benjamin,
Today you are 9 months old. I spent some time today over some of your old blog posts and videos of when you were just a peanut. Soon, you'll no longer be a baby -- you'll be a toddler. It seems with every day, you're more aware of your world. You crawl all over the house. You "tinker" in the corner with your toys (your dad coined the phrase tinker). You giggle at the cat and the dog. You get quiet when you're tired. You sometimes sleep 9 hours straight. Two weeks ago, you weaned yourself and only take a bottle now. You're quite digging peaches but can't stand broccoli. You get impatient when we feed you because you just want to feed yourself but you end up making a mess and the dog happy.. You seem to know that you're supposed to smile at the camera now where as before you'd just stare and wonder what you're suppose to do. Gone is the blue bath tub -- you're taking baths like a big boy. Also gone is your toothless grin -- you have two bottom teeth and by all the drooling and chewing, I bet you'll have two more by your 10th month.

You're a little traveling -- my guess you get this from your father. Your dad loves carrying in his backpack. You've been carried all over Bend in this pack and even Portland. You survived a long trip in the car with the company of your monkey, bunny and bear. We stopped to visit your girlfriend Sarah and you played with all of her toys while she ate her lunch. You hung out in IKEA and ate French Fries, mash potatoes and Swedish meatballs. You took long naps and watched the gorgeous Oregon scenery pass you by.

You're becoming attached to your blue blankey and white rabbit. You cuddle up next to both when you're tired.

What a month, my little man. I can't wait for next month!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Feeding your family on $100 a month

The recession has officially hit our home and that means time to make cuts. I refuse to take my child out of day care as it's a great source of socialization for him and my husband is concentrating on a few ideas until his job opportunity outlook is better. Finding a good day care is tough and I'd hate to yank Benjamin out and then have to go through the hassle of finding someone new that we all like. Plus, my day care is pretty affordable and I have $400 a month taken out pre-tax that I get reimbursed for. That being said, we have to make some cuts.

I have canceled my gym membership. I have switch car insurance companies. I have stopped buying lunch. I'm done drinking lattes that were costing me $2.50 a day. I'm getting rid of most of the cable channels and the dvr (most of the shows we watch are online). Another place that I will start to trim is our grocery bill.

I make a monthly trip to Costco and Trader Joes though sometimes I will shop at TJs and spend less than I do at Albertson's. So I'm inspired by this article about only spending $100 a month on your groceries and this article about living on $1500 a year for groceries, medical expenses and personal items.

My husband thinks I'm completely nuts but my goal for March is to only spend $100 on food (not personal items, baby formula or diapers). This means taking my lunch. Taking inventory of the refrigerator, pantry. Meal planning. I'm contemplating setting a separate budget for eating out. Maybe $100 for the whole month? Is that cheating? To make sure I'm keeping on the up and up, I will post my results for everyone to see my success.

Now, I've got some planning to do. Watch out challenge, here I come!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bee positive

Benjamin got this singing bee from his Auntie Tasha for Christmas. It says the cutest things like "Bees go buzz. Buzz, buzz buzz." I often find out myself getting what this bee says in my head. It's annoying at times. Just ask my co-worker as I've told her about this bee over and over. He is a little interested in it but mostly he has been into investigating the house. Who knew the best toy would be the door stopper, chasing the cat or dog?

Back to the singing bee. Before I had Benjamin, I was pretty happy and positive. If I really wanted to accomplish something, I worked on visualizing and thinking that "no" was never the answer. Well, all that has changed since being a mom. I find myself doubting myself -- not just as being a mom but being a good wife, friend and being a good colleague. I don't visualize anymore. I don't think positive thoughts when I find myself thinking negatively. WTF has happened?

I recently started to eat healthier and exercise. I'm also visiting a nutritionist monthly which helps me stay on track. In Bob Greene style, I'm taking it all in slowly. I started with eating healthy and then added exercise and then each week either added another day of exercise or 10 mins. I'm feeling great though I haven't lost any weight, I've lost an inch which feels good. One thing that has helped are these mp3s from iTrain which help you stay motivated and focused and really push you hard to get sweating. They also keep you positive. Then I got thinking, maybe when I'm mad about something (baby wakes up at 4 a.m. and won't go back, I start thinking positive. The past few nights, he's gone back to sleep as I rock him thinking positively.

I also HATE watching the news as of late. The economy this. The economy that. No wonder I'm a grump. Blah! You know what -- let's all start thinking positively. Maybe the economy will turn around sooner? Just a thought.

Benjamin is weaned. I'm not looking forward to the next week at all but I'm suspecting I'm not producing enough because when I try to feed him at night he won't eat and then won't go back to sleep so I just get a bottle out and that usually does the trick. I have to admit, I cried last night at 4 a.m. while rocking him to sleep. I miss nursing, more than I thought but I'm also happy to start wearing non-nursing bras and taking tequila shots (umm, kidding).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

8 months olds are fun

Once I start feeling like I have things figured out, they seem to get easier. For example, Benjamin is starting to eat table food. He loves Cheerios and toast and feeding himself. If he doesn't like something, like broccoli, I mask it with his chicken and rice.

Recently, I started putting Benjamin to sleep with his fuzzy blue blanket and Gloworm. I was using the blanket for warmth but little did I know, he has become pretty attached to them and now doesn't cry when I walk out of the room. I'll peek in and he will smile at me and then keep staring at his Gloworm. That same week, he sleep through the night twice. I like to think he's waking up seeing his Gloworm and then falling back asleep.

We've been playing peek-a-boo with his blanket for months. Tonight, he crawled over and put it over his face and then peeked over. He was playing peek-a-boo! It was so cute!!!

I'm proud of my little guy! He graduated to the tub too. He's growing up so fast!