Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Done with That-Onto this

Done with This

I finished my Christmas shopping today. I picked up some last minute Lotto Scratchers (a family tradition) at a gas station. Then the kids and I ran through Target and bought food items for the mail carrier, recycling guys, and the trash men. Tomorrow I take my credit card out of my purse. I'm out of cash so I'll be limping along with my debit card for gas and grocery purchases. I've spent more for this Christmas than in years past, I'm almost sure. I'm glad all shopping is done. Now I just have to wrap and send.
Here's to a joyful December!

Onto This
Ever had one of those moments where rational thinking goes out the window and you do something impulsive? I guess it's not really that impulsive since I've been thinking about it for awhile.

Today I bought mice for pets. I have always had an affinity for rodents and have had many hamsters and mice before. While I think hamsters are a lot cuter and cuddlier, they also have a nasty bite. Mice don't bite. But, they do stink a lot.

I also bought a cage with kit for them while I was in the pet store. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying close attention and bought a cage that has bars that are a bit too wide and they can sneak through. Hubby found one sitting on top of the cage when he came home. They are both black and white males. One is fuzzier than the other. The fuzzy one is wily. Little Guy named him Stabber. The sleek one is shy and timid. Big Girl named him Road Runner. I'm probably going to regret this purchase before long but we're having fun watching them run around in a ball right now while Hubby is on his way to Petco to get a better cage for them. He's being a real sport about it since I didn't consult him about our new pets. I KNOW I told him what he was getting into when he married me with the pet situation. I've never been without a pet. Even when I lived in the dorms at college, I had a contraband pet mouse named Morton. He was awesome and sneezed every time you held him. He lived for about three years. I don't know if Road Runner and Stabber will live up to his legacy.

Our pet total comes to 5.
One Abby dog (the best dog in the world!)
Two Cats- Mr. Fusty (big, furry, grumpy, and snuggly) and Sarah (docile, agile, and very silly)
Two Mice- Stabber and Road Runner (withholding judgement until further notice)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Consumer Crapfest

On December 1st I will officially be done Christmas shopping. Whether I like it or not.

Yesterday, on a long drive to Grandma's house our family had a discussion (again) concerning the fact that Christmas is not a holiday about presents but rather about rejoicing in the birth of our Savior. I love to give gifts. I love wrapping presents with bows and ribbons. I like finding good gifts I know people will like. I love stuffing stockings with little treats. I wonder if I get so excited by the giving part of it that I am not properly displaying the true meaning of the holiday to my young children.

I want all of December to be about doing fun family things together- watching holiday movies, sipping cocoa, worship, retelling the Christmas story, making gingerbread houses, and baking cookies for the neighbors. I want to make the holiday more magical by doing less shopping and more relaxing. And not just for my children but for myself as well.

One more day to get Daddy's last Christmas gift!

How are you making your holidays less stressful?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Blackish Friday

Nothing has gone as planned this Thanksgiving. Our trip to the In-laws farm in Indiana was canceled because our Dr. thought Hubby might have mono. Turns out he just has some other generic virus and is feeling better everyday.

Little Guy and Big Girl have been playing musical beds and you never quite know who's going to turn up in your room in the dead of night. This crowds out Hubby who has a hard time sleeping anyway, and he ends up going to one of the kids beds. So, I'm usually the only one who wakes up in the bed they went to sleep in.

So, without a holiday plan in place and with nightly sleep interruptions I have been a little foggy. Wednesday Big Girl informed me that Polly Pockets were no longer a toy she was interested in playing with. I have a nice collection of Polly Pockets (some new, some pristine garage saled condition) in a pretty case stored away as a big Christmas present. Oops.
So, I asked what she really wanted. Enter Squinkies. They are tiny rubber toys that look like gumball machine fodder. A few months ago we found a small set of these at Target on clearance. I let her buy them with her own money. Apparently, a few is not enough.
Target is the only store around here that carries them. Target opened at 4 am on Black Friday.

Guess who was awake during the musical beds portion of our evening at 3:30 on Thursday?
I showered and left the building. Driving down the road in the dark I had brief thoughts of how it would probably just be me and a few other people in the store at that hour. Um, pardon my first timer Black Friday ignorance. I had to park across the road at another store. It was cold.
I began to wonder how badly nightly sleep disturbances had affected my rational thinking. When I got up to the sidewalk of the Target I had to walk past the debris left behind from the overnight campers. Bottles, folding chair covers, portable heaters, all tossed aside like a marauding rabid bear had come charging and they had to run for their lives.
I entered the store at 4:20. I left the store at 6:30. An hour and a half of that time was spent waiting in line for a cashier. I got the Squinkies and a few other items others discarded that I picked off the shelves while I waited in the long curling queue thru housewares.
Anyway, that was my first and probably last experience as a Black Friday shopper. Especially alone. Others traveled in pairs or as a family and were able to leave the line to go to the bathroom, get drinks from the open cafe, or to retrieve forgotten wanted items from store shelves. I was a one woman army determined to leave that store with a blister pack of Squinkies which consequently were not even on sale and also in great supply.
Mission Accomplished.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting Spendy Up in Here

Wowee Wow Wow. Our Discover card bill is $6,000 this month. Ouch. About half of that is two trips to the mechanic for both of ours to have routine maintenance/tires and Hubby's work expenses that he gets reimbursed for. The rest is mostly free spending and willy nilly dinners/lunches out.
We'll pay it off this month but Ouch.
The one good thing is that I have managed to scramble together a lot of gift cards for Christmas presents from our cash back rewards. I have only three kids presents left to buy for Christmas.
Looking for a fresh start sometime soon. I'm also waiting for our mortgage bill to come in the mail so I can see the drop our recent 10 G payment made in our balance. I keep forgetting how badly I want to get the mortgage monkey off of our back. Maybe I should tape the mortgage balance on my credit card so I see what is really important to me before I swipe my card.

Off to rescue what's left of this day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Gazingus Pin

According to Your Money or Your Life a gazingus pin is something for sale that you can't pass without wanting to buy it and add it to your collection.

I don't have just one gazingus pin. Here's a quick but not complete list of things I have a hard time passing up-

Nail Polish
Kids Clothes

Yesterday I bought both kids clothes (shoes and jeans) and a "new" purse for myself at resale shops. The shoes I could argue that I needed because my son doesn't have a decent pair that fit right. But, the jeans for Big Girl and my new purse were completely unnecessary. And since I was shopping at upscale resale shops the price was much higher that Goodwill prices.

I don't have a grand point to this post. I'm just acknowledging some of my shopping behavior problems. The first step is acknowledging that you have a problem, right?

I'm off to switch out purses. Again.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Thankful for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving doesn't get the recognition it deserves. It's a quiet holiday. There are no sparkly tinsel trappings. The fanciest thing you might get is pretty whipped cream swirls on top of your pumpkin pie or seeing the Rockettes on tv during the Macy's parade. It's a humble holiday that lets me spend a quiet day with my family, eating good food, and remembering to count my abundant blessings.

But, we tend to gloss right over it as though after Halloween the only holiday is Christmas. And it's a material filled marketers Christmas- not the holy, simple, yule logged Christmas of yore. Even Black Friday seems sexier than Thanksgiving.

Lately, I've been preferring Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to a whole day spent with my family when our days are filled up and our weekends are crazy busy with soccer and birthday parties. Christmas, as much as I love it, has become a season of stress and chores. I'm tired already for trying to decide what gifts to give people who have everything (and might turn up their nose at the wrong gift). I have some issues to work out with Christmas. But, Thanksgiving- it's all good with Thanksgiving.

I've been lax about keeping on top of our pantry items. I'll be shopping from the list on this old post about our holiday meal planning.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What Do I Do With All My Free Time?

Since my Little Guy is in preschool for a total of three full days a week I've had many friends ask me what I do with "all" my free time. Ha!

Here's a brief synopsis of my week:

Had visitors until Tuesday morning. Monday was spent shopping- (some thrift/some grocery) with laundry and dishes thrown in. Picked up both kids and had a play date in the back yard.
Tuesday- voting, oil change in my car (plus scheduled more maintenance for this weekend), bank, grocery store stock up, plus a shopping errand. Then I picked up both kids from school and did homework with Big Girl.
Wednesday- got my blood drawn for a health check up, took the boy out for a quick lunch, ran through the library to do returns, dropped him off at pre/k. I can't remember the afternoon but I bet dishes and laundry were involved. Picked up both kids- homework, dinner, etc.
Thursday- Hubby left for an out of town business trip. Gathered all trash and put outside for trash day. Had a sick girl home with me all day. Spent the day snuggling, care giving, and washing/putting away a mountain of laundry. Also, ran through Save-A-Lot for 7 up for Big Girl's tummy. Picked up Little Guy from preschool with a bundled up shivering, moaning Big Girl in the car. Dropped off bills at the post office and came home to more care giving and laundry. Two of us had cereal for dinner. One of us had sips of 7 up.
Friday- rescheduled Little Gym for Little Guy because of Big Girl's virus. Folded another load of laundry. Now almost caught up if I wash one more load. Today I am putting away laundry, more care giving, and doing dishes. The kids are watching a Spiderman cartoon marathon on Netflix and I can't wait until Hubby gets home tonight.
Right now I must got get the recycling ready because I hear the truck outside.

No, I still haven't bought a dishwasher. We really haven't found the time to shop. If I fill the prewash container and put it on the ultra hot wash our dishwasher does a little better.