Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Five

Mama M. hosts Five Question Friday. Click the pic to go there.




1. If you could would you go back to high school?
Absolutely not. Never. The only thing I really miss is playing soccer and being on a team. If I get too desperate I can find that again somewhere other than high school. I didn't have a bad high school experience... just nothing worth repeating. Nah. Wouldn't go back even for a day. Awkward teen years over.

2. If a genie appeared and granted you two wishes what would they be? (and no saying "more wishes")
I would wish that Mary Poppins would arrive at my doorstep and say "At your service for as long as you wish." Then I would place my second wish which would be a fully paid for two week vacation for Mike and I to Arizona.

3. What kids shows do you secretly like?
It's not a big secret but I do like Veggie Tales. :)

4. What is your beverage of choice?
Water.

5. What is something you would change about yourself (or are working to change about yourself)?
Ummm... I don't know. I'm constantly finding things to work on within myself. Change is good. Growth is awesome. I guess I would like to be better at just taking a nap. I know that sounds a bit lame but I could REALLY use naps and I am horrible at just laying down and taking one. That... and I wouldn't mind having some abs.

Happy Friday.

Crossing my fingers and hoping real hard.

I have been potty training Liza for well over a year now. It's the most frustrating thing I have ever had to deal with to date. I don't want any more kids. I'm done. Potty training turns me in to a beast. I can't win. I can't make it happen. I don't like anything about it. And Liza has been the most difficult child about it ever. She has made me cry and feel like the biggest failure in the world. She can do it. I swear she can. She just never wants to.

When she got her big girl bed I just started talking about how she is a real big girl now and big girls pee on the potty and all that. I was waiting for things to end (like school and other obligations) so that we could just throw underwear on her and be done with it.

One day I got the bag of her underwear out and let her look at them and touch them to see how soft they are. We even hung a pair on the wall. (The things we parents do.) She started talking about wanting to wear them so I told her she had to start peeing  on the potty. One of her little friends came over for a visit last week and when she used the potty she left her underwear laying on the floor. I told Liza "look at her big girl undies!" The next day when I asked her what she thought about her friend's undies Liza said in kind of a whisper "I touched um." Yeah! That's my girl!!!

And ever since she has taken an interest in using the potty. (We've used the friend method before and it never worked.)

I told myself a while ago that I would no longer get too excited when she seems to be showing potty progress because it always ends up in complete disappointment and frustration. So I'm not completely jumping for joy yet but I'm really REALLY hoping that this time is THE TIME. Maybe.

I've been putting a pullup on her when we go out in the morning but if she is dry when we come home she gets to pick out a pair of big girl undies to wear for the rest of the day.

We've had a few accidents but I think she is getting there. Yesterday she only had one accident and she was standing right in front of the toilet trying to get her underwear down. She just waited a little too long. I heard her say "I HAFTA PEEEE!" Then little feet running to the bathroom. Then "I didn't make it." And I found her standing in a puddle of her pee. But she hates when she doesn't make it. And she made it the rest of the night.

You won't hear any dancing or cheering. There are no rewards this time... just big girl undies. We've spent our money on rewards. I danced and sang until I thought I might die. We've stickered the entire house. We've had charts hanging all over the bathroom. We've given prizes and presents. We've taken things away. I'm over it all. I'm over singing and dancing and stickering and prizes. It's time to just do it all ready. So even though it's kind of a big deal... you won't hear me making a big deal about it. I used all of that up.

Pray for my sanity as we try this again today and pray that it sticks this time. I don't think I can handle another failure.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Optimistic

Someone used that little box on my sidebar to ask me a question. I'm not real sure who it is because there was no name with it but I'll answer it anyways... :)


"How are you always so positive? You see positive in EVERY situation."

Well let me start by saying this... I can be negative too. I have my gloom and doom days. It's just that others often don't see that side of me because I don't stay negative very long. And even when I am negative or mad or frustrated I seem to be making jokes and laughing. It's a strange thing.

How am I always so positive? I honestly have no idea! ha!

It must just be partly the way I was made. I don't know. This isn't a very good answer haha. I believe that if we focus on the negative we will remain negative. If we can find the positive in every situation then life will be better. Sometimes I don't see the positive of a situation until years later. Sometimes I can see it while I am in it.

Live. Laugh. Love. It's a popular thing and we see it everywhere but I believe not too many people really live by that. Life happens. Deal with it. Learn from it. Laugh. Find the humor. Find the silver lining. Don't let life defeat you. Beat it. Win. That's what I do.

Forgiveness is also another way to stay positive. If we hang on to hurts and become bitter and refuse to forgive the only person we hurt is ourself. It's not worth it. Let stuff go. Forgive.

Life is too short to just be focusing on the negatives.

I worked at a camp a few years ago and at the end of the season the camp director gave us each a laminated page with our picture, staff picture and a paragraph about what quality of leadership we bring to the team. Mine was humor. Here is what it says...

Laura - humor
Leaders, in time of crisis, must reduce a problem to real world standards. You create comic relief; you see the comedy of the situation and relieve the stress and tension from the air. You help people relax and reevaluate and refocus on what really needs to be done.

Perspective. Is the glass half empty or half full??

Life will always happen. There will always be things going on that will upset you. The key is in your reaction. Do you let that situation take over your life or do you deal with it and move on?


Well that felt a bit random. I hope I gave you something in that answer haha! You can ask a question any time in the ask anything box on my sidebar. If you want me to know who is asking be sure to leave your name or blog title.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

GOAL!!!

Remember how I tried that Couch to 5k thing? And then I begged all my friends to join me. And then I had to quit before I was even running 20 minutes straight because I got shin splints and decided it wasn't worth it. And then all my friends that started with me eventually quit as well... except for KIM!!!

Remember all that?

Well this was the week that Kim had to run for 30 minutes straight... or three miles. She didn't have time to finish her run on Monday because she had other things to get through so today was going to be the first day that she ran the full three miles.

When I woke up this morning I was feeling all kinds of frustrated and was feeling like taking a beating so I decided I would get myself to the gym and run with Kim and do what I could.

WE BOTH RAN THREE MILES!!!!

Actually Kim ran 3.1... getting ready for that 5k she registered for at the end of May. I stopped at three miles because... well... because I don't remember ever running three miles ever before. I don't remember running even two miles ever before. I'm sure I did back in the days when I played soccer but really I've never set out before and been all "I think I will run so many miles today."

I think it's been about a month since I have done any running. I wasn't sure how much I would be able to do today. When I started my body just did not want to move and by about five minutes in to the run I was bored. But Kim was beside me running her butt off so I decided to keep going. After a while my body loosened up and was working like a well oiled machine but I was still sooo bored. When I hit two miles though I figured "what the heck! Might as well keep going." And keep going I did!!! I ran three miles in 31.5 minutes. Not bad for not being a runner!!!

I can't believe that I just woke up and ran three miles today! ha. That's kind of crazy. My shins weren't bothered today but that doesn't mean I am going to try running all the time again. Maybe it is something I can do once a week and maybe that means that someday I just might be able to run in a race. Who knows. All I really know is that MY LEGS HURT!!! I'll probably be walking a bit funny tomorrow.

More little heart attacks.

Remember the post where I wrote about how the kids love to run down the hill which causes me to have a gazillion little heart attacks?

Well Liza has discovered something new... which also gives me a gazillion little heart attacks.

She has discovered that she can ride the big dump truck down the hill.




Yep. Loads of fun for me and my heart.

I much prefer moments like these...





Wifey Wednesday

It's Wifey Wednesday over at To Love, Honor and Vaccum.



I'm going to be real honest here so if you don't like  honesty and you don't want to hear about troubles in someone's life then you should just skip this post and move on to happier things. Don't worry... it's not awful awful bad stuff... just my life and where I am at and I am going to share it because I know that even if no one else will admit it that I am not alone.

The other day on the radio I heard some Christian talking about a book they wrote. I don't remember the author or the name of the book but the person said something along the lines of "You've been married for a few years and then all of a sudden you wake up one day, look at your spouse and think 'who are you?'" Well that's kind of how Mike and I feel right now. There is this distance and disconnect and a feeling of not really knowing each other.

People change. And we HAVE changed over the years. And we've let ourselves fall in to being content with our routine and that is how we got here. Now I don't want you all worrying that we are headed for divorce or going around fighting all the time. It's not like that at all. We still get along. We still loooove each other so much. We WILL work through this. But I have to say that where we are currently at in our marriage really sucks. It's not so fun. It feels like something is missing and I hate it.

I know that we need to be more intentional about our time together and how we spend it. It's tough with two little kids that always want your attention, a house that needs cleaned, meals that need cooked. There are so many things demanding our time. If we aren't purposeful about sitting down together and talking it's easy to get to the end of the day and realize we haven't said much. (It doesn't help that he leaves for work before I am up and doesn't get home till about 6pm.)

I don't know. Have you been in this place? What did you do to get out of it? I need ideas people! Help me out please. Pray for me. I would be nice if it didn't take an entire year to sort this thing out. Vacation?

Anyways... I know this is a crossroads. Something NEEDS to change and we are working on figuring that out because if we don't we will end up being those people that drift so far apart that they feel there is no hope and they walk away from each other saying there is just no other way. (We end up doing exactly what Sheila at To Love Honor and Vacuum was talking about in her little rant that was right on.) We are at a place where we either move forward and put some effort in to it all or we pretend nothing is wrong and move apart.

I choose to move forward.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I will not repost.

I've seen this a few times on facebook this week as people's status...

I traded eyeliner for dark circles, salon hair cuts for ponytails, long showers for hairy legs, late nights for early mornings, designer purses for diaper bags, nice dinners for McDonald's and I wouldn't trade a thing!! With Mother's day drawing near lets see how many Mom's repost this!

Of course this has been changed as it's gone through people and you see things like...
"Mom's don't care what we have to give up for our kids."
and
"I would give everything up for my kids without a second thought."

Ugh.

I DO CARE. And no I won't give up everything. I am a person. I have a name. I don't want to be known as Liza and Jason's mom. I am LAURA! Yes I am their mom but I am still an individual and I have things that I am not giving up. And I don't think anything is wrong with that.

Sure I might have to put a few things on hold. I know I can't do my hobbies as often as I would like. BUT... I need to keep my heart alive because some day my kids will move out and I will need to know who I am because people will no longer be calling me Liza and Jason's mommy all the time and instead they are going to want to know who Laura is.

Don't throw yourself and your dreams out the window when you have kids. Find a way to BE YOU while being a mom.

Kids are being raised these days to think they are the center of everything and the world revolves around them. This is not healthy! It's alright to have your kids sit in their bed for ten minutes and read books so you can shave your legs. It's ok to put on a video for a little while if you want to fix your hair and put on makeup. These things don't make you a bad mom... in fact they just  might make you a BETTER mom (now there's a thought!) because you took time to make yourself feel better.

I know. I'm radical like that.

But you know that saying "if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy"... I believe there is quite a bit of truth to that.

So... it's ok to change over the years. But please do not give up who you are because the world needs YOU!

Now I Know

For some reason the discussion of how often cleaning happens used to come up a lot. I don't know why... maybe it was because I hung around people who were always cleaning. Maybe.

I hate cleaning. I don't enjoy one little thing about it... except for the feeling of having a clean house... but it's almost not worth the effort. I don't think I clean nearly as much as other people. Then again, I'm not a germaphobe either. (Not that everyone who likes to clean or cleans often is a germaphobe.) I don't mind a little dirt or a little mess. My house is lived in. I have two small children. And I hate to clean. Did I already mention that? Sorry. It's just that I REALLY hate cleaning.

I used to always be completely shocked at how often people said they scrub their floors. Every other day. Once a day. Twice a day. REALLY??? Wow. I couldn't even imagine. Sure I swept the floors daily because they needed it... but scrub them? Not something that happened very often.

And then I got these laminate wood floors. Ugh. Ok... I like how they look. I really do. BUT... you can see every. single. piece. of. dirtorfoodorspillordust. Ugh.

So now I understand why they always said they scrubbed their floors so often... they didn't have carpet. However... I still don't scrub my floors as often as they need done. Because, honestly, I JUST. DON'T. CARE. So you can clearly see that something has been spilled on the floor... As long as it doesn't have ten ants hanging out around it it can wait another day. I've got a book to read.

I just hate cleaning.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Money Monday

It's time to talk about money again. Share your financial success stories, your money saving tips, or ask a question that you have and hopefully someone that stops by will have some advice for you. Write a post and put the post URL in the McLinky.

*********************************************************

Christmas is usually a time when people talk about money because they just don't seem to have enough to buy all the gifts they need to buy. A lot of people use credit cards to get through Christmas and then spend the next year paying for it. But then they need to use credit cards again for the next year... and the cycle continues and they are always behind.

When Mike and I first got married Christmas was tough for us. We didn't have the money to buy nice gifts for all the people that we used to buy gifts for. We had to make a tough decision and hope that people would understand. We let a lot of people know that we would no longer be doing the gift exchanges because we simply couldn't afford to keep doing that. We also decided that we would not start buying for nieces and nephews. Sure it's fun when there is only one or two but I have five siblings and Mike has three and when they start multiplying that is going to add up to big bucks at Christmas time. Not something we can do right now and enjoy doing.

Even though it was tough to let people know where we now stand on these things we are glad we made that decision. It has taken a lot of stress out of the holiday for us and we can enjoy it with our families.

I know Christmas is a long way off but it is something I think about all year long. I don't wait until December to try to figure out if I have money to spend on gifts or if I need to use credit cards. (Which I will never use credit cards so it would mean no gifts for anyone if I didn't have the money.) Instead I start in January. I decide how much money I want to have for Christmas gifts, divide that by twelve and then every month put aside that amount of money.

This not only means that I don't have to stress about money at all for Christmas... it also means that I have money all year long in the budget for Christmas so I can watch for sales and get great deals.

Doing this has made a huge difference in how much I am able to enjoy Christmas.



Not it's your turn. Link up!!


I heart faces... smile.

I haven't participated in the weekly challenges at I Heart Faces for a while but when I saw the theme was smile I knew I had a picture. :)

I took this photo of my friend Rainey a few weeks ago. She's beautiful inside and out!


Click the I heart Faces button below to see more entries.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

You aren't going to believe this!

I wouldn't believe it myself if there weren't pictures for proof.

Remember all the failed attempts to get Jason to wear footie jammies?? (If not you will want to check it out HERE and HERE.)
 
Well... I went out for a while and when I came back Mike told me I should check out the pictures on the camera that he got.

This is what I found!!!!


You see... Liza is in love with Jason's footie jammies. Jason has ALWAYS hated them. However, I guess Liza was putting on a pair and somehow managed to talk Jason in to putting a pair on too.

I can't believe I missed it!!!


It's pure footie jammie love and bonding going on here.



Ummm... not sure what happened to Liza in this next pic haha...
 
 
 I'm so glad that Michael knows that there are certain things that when they happen it is necessary to get the camera and document it. I never would have believed him otherwise.

 

Unfortunately this was about two weeks ago and we have not been able to get Jason to wear the footie jammies again. On a good note though... he did take a bath last night without screaming his head off. We may be making some progress.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Visiting Daddy

Mike roofs. That means he doesn't have an office for me to reach him at or to drop in with the kids. He does have a cell phone with him but he leaves it in the car and checks it on his breaks. I like to know where he is at so every morning he starts a new job he leaves me a message in the morning with the address of the roof he will be on.

This is a nice thing because if he isn't too far I like to take the kids to see him on his lunch break.

On Wednesday he was working one road down from where I had to take Liza for her little school program. Convenient. Jason and I stopped by to see Daddy after dropping Liza off at school. Jason got to see Daddy on the roof and then Mike came down to talk to us for a minute. Jason thought Daddy was the man... until he noticed the tractor across the road that was digging a hole for some new pipes or something.

Jason and I ran a few errands, picked Liza up from school and stopped to see Daddy again. He was on his lunch break so the kids got to sit in his truck. They love when they get to do that. They think Daddy is cool.





I like that the kids get a chance to see Daddy at work every once in a while. They ask me every morning "where Daddy go?" (That's Jason.) And I tell them he works and he works hard so that they can have nice things. And I teach them to say "Thanks for working Daddy." And I mean that thanks from the bottom of my heart... thanks for working so I don't have to!


I love my son.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I go to the bathroom and relieve the bladder.

Our house is pretty small and the walls are quite thin and you can hear everything everywhere.

While relieving the bladder this morning I hear Jason's sweet little voice...

"zat's a lot of pee, mommy."



Good morning. :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

A simple life.

We were all playing in Liza's room and I decided it was time to relax so I suggested that we all snuggle up in Liza's big girl bed. Jason and Liza lasted for about a minute and then they needed to run around some more. So I snuggled over to Michael.

The kids decided that we were ready for bed so they told us good night, turned the light out and closed the door.

Then I got a brilliant idea and started yelling like they sometimes do.

"I NOT READY YET!"

"I DON'T WANNA GO TO BED!"

"I GOTTA PEEEEEE!"

"I NEED A DRINK!"

The kids were curious and opened the door and walked over to the bed. They didn't get it. They just looked at us like we were crazy.

Mike decided to join in on the yelling and said:

"I'M NOT TIRED YET!!"

To that, Liza just shrugged her shoulders a bit and simply and calmly said "get out of the bed then."



If only it could always be that simple.

I love this face.

I'm pretty sure that you just can't get too many pictures of this face.




I'm baaa-aak!!!

My new computer arrived this morning. I loooove it! I got right to business setting it up, getting my programs on here, loading up some pictures and editing.
So lets just get to it. Here's the first batch of pictures....

We've taken the kids out to ride their bikes a few times now. It's not going quite as well as we had hoped. Don't get me wrong... they still love their bikes and they ask to ride them all the time. But... well...
 
 It always starts out good. Liza and Jason happy on their bikes.

 
 
 But after about two minutes things start getting a little wierd.

Liza just isn't getting the whole pedal thing down so she prefers to ride Jason's bike and push it with her feet like he does... he can't reach the pedals.

 
 So then Jason wants to ride Liza's bike but he needs pushed. So I send Mike off to push him. He cries, not because he is on a purple girly bike but because he wants Mom to push him.
 
 
 Then he decides he wants his own bike back...
 
 
 ...not so he can ride it but so he can do his new favorite thing... walk his bike.


He concentrates on this really hard.


And then Liza decides she also needs to push her bike. Perhaps we should have waited another year.

But I'm glad we didn't wait because there are so many cute moments... like these...



 
 
 
I just might have to take them to the end of the road tonight so they can push their bikes around.
Silly kids.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sheer Willpower

Ever since talking to my dad last night about kids and discipline and the stories he told me about me as a child I've been thinking.

Did you read the story about when he put me to bed when I was two and I followed him out... multiple times and put up a real good fight? I've realized that that is a big part of who I am. How God made me.

Now, I don't mean that it is good to throw tantrums (which I will admit I sometimes still do) and be disobedient. But I've definitely got some fight in me.

If you knew my history... all of it... and knew how many times I've been let down, pushed down, shut up, hurt, left, cheated, abandoned... If you really knew you wouldn't be surprised if I ended up a hard, bitter, feminist that didn't need anyone in my life. (Translated... bitter old woman who died lonely because she shut everyone out.) That story would make sense.

But that isn't me. That isn't my life. Why? Because I got that fight in me. Because I don't know how to stay down. Because I don't like to lose. Because I know what I want and I go after it. Because I don't quit.

And I am glad I don't... because I have found great things in life. I know there is a big plan for my life. I know I will cause change and make a difference. I know that something good is going to come out of my life. I know that I have to keep going, keep fighting, keep standing and keep moving forward. If I quit I will never accomplish God's plan. If I quit I will let so many people down. If I quit my life will be wasted.

I always say "It's not easy being Laura" and it's not... but I am coming to terms with it all and who God made me to be and I am learning to like it, to embrace it, to fully become it.

I think it is quite fitting that when I was out with a group of friends last weekend and we were playing the game "Imagine If." (I think that's the name.) The question was something like:

If Laura were a cold remedy what would she be?
1. Rest
2. TLC
3. I don't remember them all.
4. Sheer willpower.


I think they all picked sheer willpower.

I never stay down for long.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Strong Willed Child.

My dad reads my blog. He never comments on here but when he reads one he likes he will call me. Tonight he called me about the posts I wrote about Liza telling me to spank her the other night. First he told me he liked what all my friends said in the comments and then he went on to tell me a story about myself when I was about two. It went something like this...

Dad put me in bed one night and walked out of the room. I followed him.

He put me back in bed walked out of the room again. I followed him again.

He put me in bed AGAIN and told me if I didn't stay in bed he would spank me. He walked out of the room. I followed him.

He spanked me and put me back in bed. He walked out of the room. I followed him.

He spanked me again. Put me back in bed. Ran out of the room and held the door shut. I sat on the other side of the door screaming.

He held the door until I fell asleep. Then he picked me up, put me in bed and I started screaming again. He ran out of the room and since there was no way to lock it he got a rope and tied the door shut.

He said they had to tie the door shut for at least two weeks.

I was laughing the entire time he told me the story. I don't remember it but it sure does sound like something I would have done. I've always been a bit stubborn like that. Dad always jokes that he had to read a book because of me... The Strong Willed Child by Dobson.

Sorry Dad!

:)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Have you noticed...

 ...that Jason likes to do things with his tongue sticking out??


 
 

I love it.


Thanks.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my last post about discipline and Liza. And thank you to those of you who read and didn't jump all over me about spanking. I appreciate it!

I did get it all sorted out with Liza last night and she does know that I am the boss. (Ask her sometime who the boss is!) I'm HUGE on boundaries and what I say goes. I just questioned myself last night and that is something that doesn't normally happen so I didn't do what I thought I should. I think part of it was that when I threatened to spank and Liza looked right at me and said "do it!" something in me snapped a little bit. The attitude! The nerve haha! I think in that moment I decided not to spank her because my attitude changed. It would no longer have been the calm "I'm your Mama and I'm the boss and you do not talk to me like that" followed by a spank but instead had gone to a little bit more of... oh I don't know how to describe what I was feeling... but it would have all been wrong.

So I walked away and ignored it and got myself all sorted out.

She eventually stopped with that but started with something else so we went back to square one. I told her that if she did not get quiet I would spank her. She again told me to do it. This time I felt better about it so I went in and did it. As soon as she realized I was actually going to do it she changed haha. She was crying and saying NOOOO! But I told her when she tells me to do it I have to.

The night got much better after that.

Sometimes being a mom is really hard and it's tough to always know the right thing to do.

Live and learn. We all make some mistakes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What do you do about that!?

Liza. She's a beast sometimes. She's got a lot of her momma in her. (I'm sure my parents are chuckling just a little bit at that thinking it's payback time for all the trouble I caused them... but hey... I got a bit of my Dad passed on to me... he's the one to be blamed.)

Here's the problem. I put her to bed tonight because it was bedtime. I turn out the light and close the door like we do every single night. She then starts to scream in this hideous, beastly voice "I WAAANT TO DO IIITTT!" Meaning that she wants to turn off the light and close the door herself. No. She was already tucked in.

Well she continues to scream this for a while (I went to take the clothes off the line and I could hear her outside) and I am just ignoring her hoping she will stop. But her screaming gets Jason going and is getting him all fussed up when I already had him settled in bed.

So I go to Liza's room and tell her that if she does not stop screaming I am going to have to spank her. Usually the threat is enough to get her to stop whatever behavior needs to be stopped. Well... little stinker that she is says "Do it Mommy."

No joke. She is currently in her room yelling "DOOOO IIIIIIT!" and she just told me to hurry up! So what am I supposed to do with that? Little punk. She's throws me off my game every once in a while.


And just for the record... I know not everyone is a fan of spanking. That's ok. You do it your way and I will do it mine and we will go on being happy. Please do not write to me telling me I am an awful mommy and don't love my children and that they are going to be messed up grownups because they were spanked. I'm not here to debate it.

Then end.

But really... what would you do in this situation if you were me? Because I am sure something like this will happen again.

Money Monday

Do you have a financial success you want to share?
Have you found a way to help you save money... even if it's just a little bit at a time?
Do you have questions about money or budgeting, etc.?

These are the kinds of things we want to share today. Write a post, link back to me in it and then enter your POST URL in the McLinkey. Don't forget to stop back later in the day to see others who have linked up!

*********************************************************

One of the biggest ways that I save money is by accepting hand-me-downs.

This isn't always easy because new is fun. And if we buy new we get to go out and find exactly what we like, things in our exact taste and style. That, of course, is exciting! But it can also be expensive and often puts people in debt.

I get most of the kid's clothes second hand. HUGE savings! And they don't even know the difference. Actually you probably wouldn't even know it either if I didn't tell you.

Almost all of my furniture is second hand. MASSIVE savings. My living room doesn't have a matching thing in it but I've learned to not care. Plus my kids are still in the spill and pee on things stage so it would be silly for me to go out right now and buy that couch that I dream of one day having that costs a couple thousand.

Our latest hand-me-down item... Liza's big girl bed. It was getting to be time to move her up to a twin. She was looking too big in her toddler bed. Mike's parents saved us a ton of money by giving us one of their old twin beds with a mattress. Another mismatched piece of furniture in my house but I don't care because to move Liza from a toddler bed to a twin bed only cost me $40... I found a $100 bed set on sale. :) Perfect.

My money advice to others today is DON'T BE TOO GOOD FOR SECOND HAND STUFF!


Your turn! Link up.



Saturday, April 17, 2010

More complete randomness.

I really don't think I can wait till Thursday to get my new computer. What was I thinking!?! I should have just gone to the store and bought one and brought it home with me. Now I know better for next time.

**************************************************************

My brother-in-law and his wife just posted pics from their vacation to a place where the sun shines and there is water all around. I has me CRAVING a kidless vacation. Desperate. I NEED one. What a test... ya know... because we just got that emergency fund fully funded and the money is just sitting there. Can a vacation be considered an emergency? I mean... could I get a doctor to prescribe a nice vacation to increase my level of sanity? Anyone want to watch my kids for a weekend? I would settle with a cheap vacation to Niagara Falls or something if we had a sitter. Anyone? ANYONE??

**************************************************************


A friend emailed me asking me to keep an eye out for a good bargain on two books she is looking for. I thought I would ask if any of you had a copy of either that you wouldn't mind parting with in order to bless a single mother of three boys.

The books are titled...
The Balanced Mom raising your kids without losing yourself.
Kid Cooperation how to stop yelling, nagging & pleading & get kids to cooperate

Let me know if you can help.

**************************************************************


I have been struggling BAD with this no sugar thing. I can't eat sugar. There is no moderation here. I'm an all out addict. But lately. Oh man... I WANT sweet. All. the. time. No I am not pregnant. No I am not pmsing. I'm just a girl who loves chocolate and sweets and can't have them. Ugh. Help!

**************************************************************


Not eating sugar is paying off. (Bitter sweet. Like so many things in my life.) I went shopping yesterday. The goal was to find one dress and one swimsuit. Not usually two things I would shop for in the same day but it's also not often that Mike is home anymore to leave me large chunks of time to shop for these difficult things. However it was a completely successful day. I came home with a swimsuit and TWO dresses that I absolutely love and no tears were shed and there were no thoughts of "I'm so fat in this!" (Which is pretty amazing seeing that I was shopping for a one-piece swimsuit... not so flattering on me but necessary for swimming laps.) I was hoping Mike would help me narrow it down but he loved both dresses as well and since I have two things I need a dress for this summer he told me to keep them both! So I guess I can make it a bit longer with the no sugar thing.

**************************************************************


Jason used to love baths but all of a sudden he HATES them! It's the first thing he says in the morning when we go to get him out of bed... "I no take a bass." He will even make himself cry over it and we will be all "JASON! Stop! You are not getting a bath today!" We don't even give him baths in the morning. But he will be so upset over it that he can't stop crying. And when he does get a bath... oh man. He screams the entire time. And he holds his hand on his head and tries to stop you from washing his hair. It's awful. I make Mike give him his baths. You know... good parent, bad parent. Mike gives him the bath which makes him scream then I get to hug him and hold him and tell him it's all right.
**************************************************************


Yeah... hope you enjoyed that random view of the things that are running through my mind lately.  Oh sunshine... where are you? I need a tan for these dresses I bought.

Total Money Makeover Winner

The winner of the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey giveaway is LISA who blogs at The New Hartman. Lisa and I go way back to the high school days. Congratulations Lisa! Get in touch with your address and I will send it out soon. (In case you are curious I used random.org to pick a number. All fairness here.)


For the rest of you that were interested in the book enough to try to win a copy because you thought that just maybe it had something in it that was worth reading and could help you change your life... my challenge to you is to do what it takes to get a copy of this book in your hands! It WILL change your life. Check your library. Ask around to see if a friend has it. Financial Peace is another great one by Ramsey... real similar to the Total Money Makeover. Either one will do.

The cost of the book new is $15. It's possible that you could find it cheaper if you browsed around the web enough. I haven't looked yet. But certainly you can come up with $15 somehow.

Sell something.
Say no to that bag of chips at the store five times and put three dollars in an envelop each time instead.
Don't eat out for a week.
Find a way to cut how much you drive for a week and save the gas money to buy the book.
Search your car, pockets and couch. :) You never know!
Mow someone's grass or weed their flower bed.
Make a sacrifice.
Feed your family raman noodles for a week. Your kids might hate you for it now but they will realize it is the best thing you ever did for them when you are able to help pay their way through college.

Do whatever it takes to find that $15! Get the book! Change your life!

You now know where the information you need is. It's up to you to do something about it. Don't put it off. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Random

My new computer is on the way. It's scheduled delivery date is the 22nd. I was hoping it would get here sooner. Plus it requires a signature for delivery which means I will sit here all day until it comes. I want the new computer. I miss editing pictures and all that fun stuff. Here is the one I ordered... Gateway Laptop.

**********************************************

I'm struggling with this whole going to the gym/workout thing. I was on a roll when I decided to do the couch to 5k running program because I had something to work toward. Then the stupid shin splints happened and I am back to not having a workout goal or plan and that leaves me unmotivated to get out the door and go to the gym. I'm going swimsuit shopping today. I found someone who would like to swim with me a few times a week. Hopefully that will help. The things is that I drop my kids off in the babysitting room while I exercise. They don't change diapers in there so if one of the kids poops they will come find me and I have to stop what I am doing and go change them. Now this hasn't happened for probably over a year however... I just know that the first time I decide to swim will be the time one of them decides to poop and I will have to get out of the pool to go change them. That would not be much fun. We'll see.

***********************************************

Don't miss my giveaway of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. A winner will be picked tomorrow morning.

***********************************************

I'm cranky today. Maybe going to the gym will help my mood.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I am not a saint.

I know I just crushed the wonderful idea you had of me. You know... the saintly one. :)

When did we get to the point where it is not ok to vent a frustration? Have you noticed this change taking place??

I say "I hope that some day my husband can find a job with normal hours and holidays off" and someone just has to go and say something about how I should just be happy that he has a job because a lot of people are getting laid off these days. (Just for the record he WAS laid off at that time.)

Or I say "I am out of patience for the day" and someone feels the need to tell me I should go find some more somewhere because it won't be long before I am missing these days.

Neither of those responses helped me in any way. They told me (even though I know that the people who said them didn't mean this) that I am not doing good enough, my attitude is poor and ungrateful and they never had a day where they ran out of patience so I should be able to figure it out as well. Those kinds of comments do nothing for me except make my mood worse.

Before I continue let me just say that I am sure that I have been insensitive to others as well (remember? I'm not a saint.) but it is something I am consciously working on being better about.

I guess what I am trying to say is "Can't we all just allow others the space to be HUMANS!?!?!"

Wouldn't it have been better for someone when I voiced my frustrations about my husband's job to say:
*"How can I pray for you today?"
*"What kind of hours does he have?"
*"Did something just happen?"

Because I would have said "YES! something did just happen! It's six days before Easter. I had plans for the family and I JUST found out that Mike has to work all morning." Don't tell me that that would not have frustrated you and you would have immediately thrown your hands up in praise being all "Thank you GOD for my husband's wonderful job!" Plus that was just Mike's part time job for the winter. He gets laid off every winter and then all of a sudden he's back to work leaving at 5:45AM and who knows when he will get home. (Last night it was 7PM.)  And all day the kids are asking "where's Daddy?" Yeah. I'm not gonna lie. I'm thankful Mike has a job but I REALLY wish it was a different one.

And about the patience thing... Usually when someone gives a response like I was given it is by someone who has no idea what is going on in my life or my day. They don't know if I haven't slept good for three nights. They don't know if something has gone wrong that has had me on the phone dealing with stupid people all day. You just never know. So maybe next time try out one of these responses:

*Send an encouraging email... or a funny one.
*Ask if there is anything I need to talk about.
*Drive to my house just to give me a hug.
*While at my house offer to sit with my kids for thirty minutes so I can take a walk and hit the refresh button.
*Pray for me.
*Pick up the phone and call me.
*Be a friend.

I'm not asking that people allow me to wallow in my sorrow and self-pity and keep a bad attitude forever. But please, PLEASE stop expecting me to be a saint and allow me the space to be a human.


(This post brought to you by a human's small attempt at sanity.)

PS... my new computer has been shipped and should be here in a few days! Woo hoo!!

Tips to beat impulse buying

I am so excited about the number of people emailing me saying that they are going to read Dave Ramsey or take his Financial Peace University or start taking the necessary steps to turn their financial situations around! I'm excited!!! They keep saying things like "because of your blog Laura" and I want you to know that THAT is why I blog! It's so much fun to share the things that I have learned so that others can learn as well. And I am sooo excited to hear the success stories that come from YOU about your finances in the days to come! Remember if you have questions I am not a pro but would love to help. You can send me an email, leave a comment or if you want to go annonymous use the ask anything box in the sidebar and leave your name out of it and I will answer in a blog post.


So let's talk a little bit more about impulse buying because I know that I am not the only one to have issues with that even though I think only one person left a comment on yesterday's post saying that they impulse buy too. Come on now people! I know I'm not alone here!! :) Of course, it is tough to admit you are an impulse buyer because if you can admit it it probably means that you are going to have to own up and change your ways and change is hard... but change is worth it!

I used to be real good at buying something just because it was on sale. "Look at that amazing bargain!" Yeah. I was a sucker too many times. The stores and companies know EXACTLY what they are doing and we have to learn to win at the game.

The thing that helped me the most... my budget. Dave Ramsey tells us to add a category to the budget called "blow money". What that means is that Mike and I settle on an amount of money that we will each get every month that we can spend however we want. If I want to save it up and buy something big I can. If I want to spend it on books or at Panera Bread (which is usually where most of it goes) I can. Mike doesn't have any say in how I spend it. (Unless of course I am doing something really unhealthy and destructive with it.) It's my money to use how I want.

Ok... this is where people get thinking I am all crazy and how can I live like that... I only get $25 a month blow money. But honestly... it's more than enough for me. (And don't worry... Mike gets the same amount. Remember we only make $40,000 a year, I am a stay at home mom and we are making GREAT changes in our finanaces because we make sacrifices like this one!)

Now when I go through a store and see something and get all "Oooooh... look how cool that is! AND it's on sale!" I have to think a bit more. Do I REALLY want to spend my money on that? Because if I DO that probably means that I will be able to go to Panera Bread LESS and I REALLY like going to Panera Bread to meet up with friends and relax and chat or to just go by myself to refresh. Yeah... I should probably just put this item that I never even thought of before back on the shelf and walk away.

Amazing what a difference knowing you are limited on money makes. You should try it.

Other ways to help stop the impulse buying (because it really is just a habit and habits can be changed):

1. When grocery shopping make a list and buy only what is on the list. That way when you walk down the chip isle you aren't grabbing three different bags (impulse buys!) just because it sounds good right now.

2. Don't take your credit cards or bank cards to the store. That way you only have cash to spend and you only take about what you need. Really makes you keep that spending under control because it would be embarassing to get to the check out and discover you don't have enough for what you are buying because you threw in all kinds of extras.

3. I read in a book (not sure if it was Ramsey or Larry Burkett or someone else) that when they were faced with an impulse buy they would write it on a piece of paper and they would have to leave it there for a month before they could buy it. Then if they found something else they wanted they could write it on the list but the catch was that they had to cross the other thing off. Only one thing on the list at a time and it had to be there for a month before they actually bought it. I have not actually done this but I have used the idea... the wait. Often you will find the impulse passes and you don't really want that thing you thought you needed. (I should have done this with the Wii. Oh it is so much fun to admit when we mess up. Ugh.)

Anyways... JUST SAY NO to the impulse buys! It will save you loads of money! I can't even count how many times I have seen something, put it in the cart, thought about it and changed my mind and put it back. It feels good to be able to say no even if it is just to "stuff". It makes me feel powerful and in control instead of crazy, obsessive and out of control.

Not to mention my savings account that is getting fatter by the month loves me too. :)

How do you deal with impulse buying???


(Don't forget that we will be having Money Monday again to share your money saving tips, financial successes or questions you have about money. Start thinking now about something you can share so you can link up and help others!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hard work.

I've never believed in having every toy on the market. My kids have plenty of toys but when it comes to playing outside we only have a few. That's fine with me... outdoor toys are expensive!

Anyways... I'm always amazed at how the kids manage to have a great time and use their imaginations with what they do have. (And that is why I believe in not having every toy on the market.)

They had been blowing bubbles and running around the yard when Jason discovered this "beaw big weafs".


Distracted from his bubbles he was off with his truck. ($2 at a garage sale = AWESOME!)


Liza caught up to him while mowing the grass and decided that the truck was a good place to put all the leaves.



 
Jason was off to take the leaves somewhere... down the hill...





And Liza took a break...


After doing this a few times they decided it was time to ditch the work and go be kids and do that thing that makes me stop breathing just about every other second as I try not to have a gazillion little consecutive heart attacks... run down the hill as fast as they can.



They love it so I try to get over it. It's tough. Liza's been doing this though since she could walk and she learned to walk at 11 months. You would think I would be over it and able to just calmly watch. Does that ever really happen in a mother's heart?

Oh well... they were headed back up the hill to do it again and again and again.


Maybe someday I will be able to fully enjoy their giggles as they do this.

media buttons for post

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...