Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Some of my close friends received this text message Saturday (at least some of my friends who have iPhones and can receive loooong text messages)...
"Just when I start to think that I have this whole Mama thing down, Connor throws his poop all over the crib and while I'm cleaning him, Jake starts to eat the diaper, and not one but two babies start screaming for milk. So I'm nursing one baby while Connor's in the tub; the laundry is soaking in the washer; and I have the other baby all swaddled...and then someone rings the doorbell and both dogs start barking...causing all three babies to cry!"
Yep. True story.
Monday, August 29, 2011
I'm going to do a taboo thing this morning and talk about something you're never supposed to talk about...money!
With three kids in daycare and two of them going through a total of 10-15 diapers a day (over 100 diapers a week with Connor included), money is tight. It was a huge jump going from a family of three to a family of five (with no job raise)! We're hoping that when Mr. Howard finishes his degree (in 4 months!!! wooo-hoooo!!!), he'll be able to get a job that will work better for our family.
In the meantime we've had to be creative in how we choose to spend our money. We still need to figure some stuff out, because honestly at this rate we're still going to be spending more than we make as a net total for the year. It is funny though because, I think, once we implemented some of the changes that we did, I'm not sure we'll go back.
One of the main things we did was to plan out our meals. I never was a conscious shopper. If I wanted grapes, we bought them. If I wanted a certain brand of chicken, we bought it. I never considered what was on sale or where I could get it cheaper. One HUGE change in our life has been a weekly trip to Costco. We avoided it before because (shhhh...don't tell), Mr. Howard works for a leading grocery store in the area and we felt like spending the extra money, helped support his company. And that was fine when we had the money.
|This week's meals|
Planning out our meals means (a) we eat more healthy/balanced meals and (b) we avoid going out to "fast" food places for dinner and (c) we shop and plan based on what's on sale rather than what sounds good that night (for instance we're having corn on the cob Friday night because it goes on sale Friday - 7 ears of corn for $0.97) .
One thing I would love to figure out is how to include more vegetables in my diet. We do buy asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, and bell peppers from Costco, but they go bad fast and there's so much. I'm not really sure about freezing vegetables...anyone have any advice on that? I refuse to be one of those savvy couponers/buy in bulkers who eats all processed foods (because those are the foods that tend to be on sale). So I still have some learning to do on the vegetable-side of things. I know we could grow vegetables, but let's just be honest - Mr. Howard and I both work full-time jobs and have three kiddos two years old and younger. I'd be kidding myself if I took on that project right now. I do, however, TOTALLY see taking that on when the kiddos are at an age where they can maybe help me.
I'm so inspired by the show Extreme Couponer and have recently become a follower of SouthernSavers.com and it has been life changing. We get things on sale or for free all the time (I don't think we've paid for a redbox or blockbuster express movie in four months!).
So that's what we're doing! Like I said, we still have some things we're going to need to figure out, but we're making baby steps (no pun intended).
What do you do to save money? If you have a blog feel free to link up to me today. If not feel free to leave a comment!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Of course, with the good, comes the challenging too. And I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Having a two-year-old is rough. And having two infants who need to be held causes grief for said two-year-old. Dinner is the roughest part of the day because the hungrier and more tired we all get, the more meltdowns we encounter.
Our latest battle has been the high-chair. Connor is a big boy. He eats what we eat; he goes where we go; he can answer you and talk to you; he is starting to learn his alphabet, etc. But we still require him to sit in a highchair. We've found that if we don't, he runs around with his food and really struggles to stay put. But each time that we require him to sit in the chair, he throws a tantrum. Can I just take a tiny tangent and tell you how ridiculously smart kids are, too? I mean, he's two and he's already mastered the "throw yourself down on the ground and act like someone is killing you" pout. How do they do that?!? It is sometimes difficult to stay calm in those moments, but sometimes they just make you want to laugh. I'm sure he could fool someone.
Ha! Connor we're on to you!
Mr. Howard took this video of Little Man. And just because we love him soo much and don't ever want to forget these moments - because some day they'll be replaced with teenager pouts - much quieter, but WAY more deadly - we'll post it for all of you to see too. And in case it hurts your ears, I suggest you go to 1:28 seconds and watch him go from full-blown scream to dead silence (no tears) as he realizes he's still being filmed. I think that pretty much sums up a two-year-old tantrum in all its glory.
Friday, August 26, 2011
As you can probably deduce from what I just wrote, maternity leave has come to a sad end. Thankfully I love, love, love the people I work with (including the kids)! My poor baby girl struggled, though, all day! I'm glad I didn't call during the day to get a check-up or it would hurt my heart and been difficult to not pick up and leave!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Mr. Howard's Facebook status: We survived camping and offroading on the Rubicon Trail...Who said you can't do the Rubicon in a stock land rover?!
So, for those who know what it is, we offroaded the Rubicon Trail. To say it was hairy, is the understatement of the year. Honestly, it was pretty crazy. I would definitely not recommend it without having a full-blown offroad vehicle. We did it; but we would not do it again and we only went to Wentworth Springs (which is a teeny-tiny portion of it). For those who don't know what the Rubicon is, it is a 22 mile offroading trail that is one of the most famous offroading trails in the US. They have an event every year call the Jeepers Jamboree (the oldest, toughest and largest organized offroading event of this type in the world). Some of you may have heard of the Rubicon Jeep (which is obviously named after the trail). =)
To make matters worse, on the trail I got sick. I'm not sure if it was truly being car sick or if I was stressed or if it was just my stomach being upset. Regardless, I threw up. On the way home, Connor started throwing up from car sickness. Minutes later Isabella started throwing up. It was a horrible, horrible end to a looooong trip.
The positives were that we had a lot of fun in the beginning and Connor HAD SUCH A GOOD TIME having a buddy in the seat next to him. He kept saying, "Jameson!" and even when I went back to see how they were doing several hours into the trip, he said, "Mama, Jameson?" When I told him I knew Jameson was sitting right next to him and asked if he liked it, he said, "Mmmm-hmmmm!" really loudly while shaking his head up and down. Sooo cute!
Here's an example of what COULD happen. We were very careful and Mr. Howard and Casey are amazing offroading drivers and spotters, so I trusted them completely. And if we hadn't had babies with us, I would have felt differently. But whew! I should also mention that we got off the trail before we got to this part of the Rubicon.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
In my last nursery update (the day before the twins were born) I think I put photos up, but we hadn't done Aiden's bed yet (Connor's bedding was still in the room and we still had his crib tent up). We've since fixed that and completed Aiden and Isabella's closet. All of Connor's clothes now reside in his big boy room and the twins have all their clothes in the nursery closet. It's a very small room and it's hard to photograph, so I've done the best I can...
If you're following us on facebook, you noticed this status update on Sunday:
We did it! We camped! Five kids, four adults, one tent (with three rooms), one land rover, one truck, one stuck, one crash, one LOOOOOOONNNNGGGGG trip home...but we survived! Two two-year-olds, one six month old, and two seven-week-olds!!
Who said you can't still travel and have a life when you have kids? Of course, that life is vastly different...hehe.