Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No pictures!!!

Hey there, lots of updates for ya today.

The budget is going well. Six weeks now of tracking every penny and making sure the budget matches the checkbook ledger, has been surprisingly freeing. At times (this past week especially) I was super tempted to revert back to my old ways and just go spend money (whether it was in the budget or not). Sometimes I just get the urge to shop! But, I've been pretty good about riding out that wave, I'll get back to my frugile self soon enough. What's fun is that whenever I do a budget I budget in for things we need to buy then I get to go shopping right away and not feel bad about it. That's the biggest difference, I don't feel bad about what I buy because it was planned or allowed for in the budget. Definitely a nice change for the better. I've been using a spiral bound notebook for our budget and can do it on the go, and I like being in charge of the numbers (not a computer). I still use YNAB software for tracking our spending, but not for budgeting. I'd really like to write up a summary of the two books I mentioned before that got us started in this new stage of money management, but summer seems to be too busy for book reports. Maybe later.

We got our tax returns and put a bunch toward the school loan in the side bar, some in savings and some will go to a project that you'll all be part of really soon. I'm in need of new steps to the main door we use to our home. Ben's brother, Andy, will be coming out to help make that happen and we'll be sure to post lots of before and after pics.

Another fun thing I've been doing is collecting all my junk mail each day and going through it. I actually separate all of it into about three piles: usable, recyclable, trash. The "usable" I put into a file for spare drawing paper (backs of ads or junk letters) or we use the envelopes for notes to each other. In fact, one great use for old envelopes is for lists and budgeting. I've been writing on an envelope our grocery budget and the dates it's for, then putting receipts from grocery shopping inside, and tracking how much is left for grocery money on the outside. It's like a cash envelope for debit card users like me. I also have used separate envelopes for different grocery stores with lists for what we need from them and respective coupons inside. Lately, I've just written one list on one envelope though. Once, I even wrote a full letter on the back of a Vonage ad and used a new envelope that came inside some junk mail and just put a label over their address and wrote my friend's on it! I think that's fun recycling! I recycle non-glossy paper from junk mail that I can't use and throw away the glossy. It's amazing how little I have to throw away nowadays! I've been doing this for several weeks now and it's getting to be a quicker process.

I've also been washing my zip-lock bags for about six months now. I initially washed EVERY zip lock bag unless it had raw meat in it. Lately, though, I've been slacking on the little sandwich size bags. I've only been bothering to wash the big ones or nice freezer ones. I still toss nasty ones with cooties in them.

My goal in the recycling area is to eventually talk my sweetie into a small composting box that I've heard, if you do it right, does NOT smell.

We have been sans cable for several weeks now. Honestly, it's hard to remember at times how little was on and how stinky the programming was when you're going through media withdrawal. I absolutely devour the radio whenever I can (shower, car). Z still, honestly, watches lots of videos still (trips to the library give us reprieve from Veggie Tales). It does take a conscious effort to turn a video on and I'm very mindful if he's watched the half hour "Pingu" we rented from the library three times in one day. Before, with cable, I could turn on the TV for Z and sit and blog or clean or whatever for 2-3 hours without a second thought. Not that I did that a lot, and I did feel very guilty when I did, but boy was it a nice break! So, last week we walked every day in the morning to get out while it wasn't too hot yet. We walked to a different park each day. Some were further than others, so I got a workout too most days. We'll probably get back to that once Z is feeling better...

...We were those paranoid parents that didn't want our child to get the MMR vaccine. BUT, we didn't want to freak out about it and not vaccinate our children. So, after reading some literature about the whole deal, I learned that vaccinations are truly our friends, but we need to follow some guidelines when we get them. They should be given as individually as possible (not four combination shots at once), they should be on a safer timeline (4-6 months between shots) and most definitely, your child should be in stellar health when they receive the shots. Well, we took our time between visits to the Health Dept. but we allowed them to combine everything but the MMR. That one we worried about. So, here it's been about a year since his last vaccine, he's been in great health for this entire calendar year, we decided to take the plunge a week ago. They did combine MMR and Chickenpox, but you don't get much choice when you go to the Health Dept. Sure enough, as they warned, a week later, he comes down with a fever. We're on day #2 of the fever. When it first came on, he also was in pain from his muscles aching. It's been pretty awful and we've had to medicate him constantly so he doesn't spike too high of a fever or scream in pain. Not fun at all. I'm super glad we didn't combine this vaccination with lots of others, or else we'd never know which one it was from (could be chicken pox I guess, but I doubt it!). So, that's our MMR story. We're sure he'll get better, very sure he won't develop Autism from it, but are very glad we did things as safely as we could.

On totally different note about Z, he can identify about half his alphabet now, and he can repeat the other half when we say it first. Also, (this is big!!!) we think he read his first word!!! It might have been a fluke as he didn't do it again yesterday, but two days ago, he read "Go" on one of his websites before anyone else said it. He's done that with apples and alligators too, but there were pictures of them, so I kind of doubt those were really read.

Alright, his Veggie Tale is over, I need to go. Take a moment and give me your opinion on the survey in the side bar when you get a chance! Thanks! Also, anyone notice that the owner's wife from the Heating and Cooling Place left a comment on my last post?!!! How cool is that!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yay for budgeting!!! Doesn't it feel good to be more in charge of your money? Shhh... don't tell anyone, but sometimes, I am SO good at that I feel like I am somehow performing magic and making it grow... Or, maybe I am just a nut job. :)

And Yay for recycyling. I am off an on about reusing plastic bags. I set up premixed bags of dry ingredients for things like bread, corn bread, muffins, zucchini bread, etc. I write the contents of the bag (so I can refill it after), the wet ingredients I need to add, and the temp/time to cook it. I reuse those over and over. I also reuse bags that I froze things like snacks and veggies in. Mostly, though, I try to avoid plastic bags.

Oh, and I also have been saving most of my glass jars (from peanut butter, brown rice syrup, stuff like that) that have standard size lids, and then buy things from the bulk section(like sea salt and cinnamon and corn starch...) and put them in the jars. That way, I am further reducing the packaging I bring into my home.

Did you ever ask if you could separate the MMR shots into three individual shots? I know people that have done that. Maybe won't work for Z, since you already started, but maybe for your little girl-on-the-way.

Okay. I think I took up enough space on your comments page. :)