Monday, February 28, 2011

Pudding Anyone?

Decent day today. We took a trip to Target this morning to pick up some "rubber britches" for Chloe. I think the pantie thing would work to train her but I got sick of sitting on trash bags! So, we'll see how it goes. But I'm going to wait a week or two to start because I start watching Amelia tomorrow (well, just 2 hours tomorrow then full time on Wednesday). I'm very excited to get to play with my baby niece! And Finn thinks she's pretty neat (they were "playing" together earlier when they came over for a visit. And by playing I mean he was messing with her toes and she was getting annoyed with him.)
Took a trip to CVS and Kroger this evening. Did great at CVS. I got 9 packs of Hunts Pudding (yes, pudding is coming out of our ears!), 2 boxes of Kashi cereal, and 4 cans of Chef BoyRDee. Used 3 Hunts coupons, 2 Kashi coupons, one Chef coupon and several ECBs (the register printed rewards - I think there were $6 or $7 worth, but not positive). In the end I paid around $4.50 for everything and got 2 ECBs for $5.00 total. I'm not sure of the exacts because I don't have the receipt handy - sorry Amanda. :) Kroger's wasn't bad either: Milk, Bush's Black Beans x2, diced ham steak, parsnips, Tuna Helper, Uncle Ben's Rice, a pencil zipper pouch, cookies (Kroger soft batch - for Chloe). $14.50 - no coupons.
For dinner, I made homemade Pasta Carbonara (or our version of it). Then I did splurge and have a cupcake. The stupid things have been staring at me since Saturday and I've really wanted one. But I don't feel guilty about it at all. I've been drinking water and Coke Zero since I started this last week and a little treat is ok now and then. :)
I'm toying with the idea of doing one week of the Cabbage Soup Diet to get things jump started. Looks like something I'd do fine on, but we'll see. I'm just an instant gratification girl...too impatient to weight for change, so this might help me avoid getting discouraged. And it's only one week...I found a website that breaks it all down fairly well then gives you info on how to make the other necessary changes to make it last. I'll let you know if I decide to try it....

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Ancestors were Clear...

Great day today. Everyone woke up in a good mood this morning. Finn was content to be a tea cup in his saucer this morning when I wasn't in the room. So I got a little house work done. Then it was off to the in-laws for a very delicious homemade breakfast of blueberry pancakes with homemade blueberry syrup, biscuits and gravy and free-range eggs. Ate well but small portions with a yummy cup o' Joe...
Finn stayed there while we came home with Chloe. While she was down for her nap we cleanedthe garage. You could barely walk when it all began and now we could park 2 cars in there, assuming we had 3 cars. :)
Then I ran around to Walgreens and Krogers to pick up a few things and then to pick up Finn. Got some good deals but nothing specatular. Although my big find for the day were two amazingly HUGE steaks (we're not sure what they were, but they were excellent quality, very tender and juicy). They were on manager special for 5.98, normally 9.50. And they weren't all grey like they usually are on special. So for dinner we had the steaks and parsnip chips (thanks baby for such a delicious meal!)
We also took a trip Kmart as a family. I was hoping to find great deals on the P&G they had on special. Nothing amazing. So I just got a bunch of kitty litter. (3 bags of Tidy Cat - we're talking GIANT bags - for 10.00 total.) And Chloe got a toy for being such a great girl today. She reminds me of that poem - There was a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very, very good. But when she was bad she was horrid! We don't normally "reward" her for doing what she's suppose to do, but she was kind of extra special today.
When I was at my in-laws this morning, I agreed to join my mother-in-law and cousin-in-law in Zumba classes at a local church. The classes are free, they just ask for a donation or canned good, etc. So, it's not going to cost an arm and a leg. But, for those of you who have never had the misfortune of watching me dance, well let's just say, this isn't going to be pretty...A good friend of mine once told me that my ancestors weren't white, they were clear....I have zero rhythm. Grace and coordination? We're not on speaking terms...I think we're starting this week or next, so the post from that may be title: When Erin Met Earth... or Letters from an ER.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Do Baby Bears Sit in Chairs?

Epic fail today, all around.
The day got off to a good start. Everyone happy, lots of patience, eating well, etc. Then the day happened and it got kind of ugly...
1) Trip to Target was a bust. Chloe was talking NON-STOP, making it a little distracting trying to figure out what I was doing. Finn started crying (more stress) and John was REALLY hungry so wanted to go...So, out of stress I was trying to rush. I wasn't taking the time to really check coupons, sale prices, etc and then I dropped my coupons everywhere. So I think I lost some under the shelves. The clerk wasn't very friendly either, adding to the stress. Some of the coupons wouldn't scan. She said she got them, but then looking at the receipt when I got home, I don't think she did. So, I got some good deals, but not what it should have been - should have saved another $10.00 at least...
2) Patience was shot. I did well most of the day, but the shopping trip stressed me out because I know I could have done much better. So, when Chloe started her gradual night time decent (the time between nap time and bed time when she goes from my angel daughter Chloe to her devil twin Zoe), I didn't have the patience for it. This was exasperated by her dropping a cupcake frosting side down on the kitchen floor (after cleaning it earlier today) and then making a HUGE mess in the living room - chocolate crumbs in her hair, up her nose and all over the floor.
3) Eating. Started out great. Healthy breakfast. No Coke. Etc, etc, etc...But, then for dinner John wanted Godfather's Pizza. So I had a few slices...not the healthiest. Then I had a couple tastes of the frosting from the cupcakes I made John for his birthday. Very yummy. But in the end, I'm not going to beat myself on this one. It was his birthday so a little food issues now in then isn't a horrible thing, just need to make sure tomorrow is better.

But, in the end, I enjoyed reading Chloe one of my books when I was little one - Do Baby Bears Sit in Chairs? She loves the book and it makes me smile when I read it. So despite not having a great "change" day, I'm ok with the fails. I'll get them tomorrow!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Good day.

I'm proud of me today. Ate well. No slip ups. No real desire to slip up. I think this accountability thing is going to work for me! No Coke again today. But I have had a Coke Zero (or the Cola O). Got to have my caffeine or the migraines win! For dinner, I just put a little Best Life Buttery spread (or whatever it is called) on my spaghetti instead of the sauce (never a big spaghetti sauce eater anyways, unless I've made it from scratch...which I did not tonight). Then while Chloe and John enjoyed some ice cream, I had a glass of Pinot Grigio and a Activia Vanilla Bean yogurt. Smart choices today. Hope it's the same tomorrow!

Kroger Trip - Yea savings!

So here's my savings breakdown for today. Took a trip to Kroger and got:
4 boxes of Pillsbury Toaster Strudels
1 Gallon Milk
5 2 Liters (2 Cola O and 3 Cola - Big K variety) (Note: The cola is for John the Zero is for me - baby steps)
1 4-pack Activia Vanilla Bean (YUM! My new favorite treat.)
1 16oz carton EggBeaters
1 Vitamin Water Zero (going to see what I think of the flavors before I stock up)

Before Coupons/Kroger Plus: $26.63 (after tax)
After Coupons/Kroger Plus: $3.55!!! *
Savings: 86%

*And for Amanda:
I used -
Free box of Toaster Strudels x4 (from a sweeps prize)
$0.50/1 Toaster Strudel x2 (since these were from my electronic coupons on the Kroger plus and rang up first he didn't realize it and gave me the full price of the strudels off PLUS got an extra $1.00 with this)
$1.00/1 Activia
Free 16oz carton of EggBeaters (from one of Walmarts freebie giveaways)
$1.00/1 Vitamin Water (Catalina - register coupon)
$3.00 off any purchase (From Kroger's Daytona promo - bought 10 Gatorades last week.)

All in all I'm proud of the trip.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Coke Intervention

Hello. My name is Erin and I'm addicted to Coke.
There I said it. I can't get enough of the stuff. This is probably my biggest roadblock to weight loss success! I drink it like it is water. So today, I made a HUGE step to my weight loss goal. I have not had a single Coke! This morning, I opted for coffee to get me going. Then I drank a Gatorade during the afternoon. I did "slip" and have a Coke Zero at dinner but that's only because Chipotle was trying to bribe me to be happy by giving me a free drink while I stood in their dining room for 20 minutes waiting for them to fill the order I'd placed 20 minutes earlier on-line. But I'm proud of me, especially considering there's a full 2-liter in the fridge! So, one step towards one change. Still a day by day thing, but I'm happy I made it through the first day without cracking.

I'm fat, lazy, broke, self-centered and short tempered.

Don't think that I am bashing myself, I'm just laying out my short comings that I want to change. I know there are other faults I have, but these are the big ones. (If you have other things you want to see me change, keep them to yourself until I've gotten these under control :) ). I also know that for each fault, I have two more positive personality traits. I know I am a good person, I'm just trying to make myself a better person!!!

So I guess it's time to set my goals. After starting this last night, I lay awake for about an hour. I kept thinking about what I really wanted to accomplish. So time to make myself truly accountable.

1. Lose weight. I've always been a "big girl" (or as my friend says - I'm "juicy"), but it has gotten ridiculous. My senior year of high school, when I graduated, I weighed 124 pounds and was a size 2. (For those of you who didn't know me in school, that was a short term thing - I was about 175 pounds and a size 14 most of my high school years). Now, this was WAY TOO SMALL! But, I'm using this as a reminder that I have lost lots of weight before and can do it again. I don't want to be that small again, but I want to be "skinny" again. I had so much more energy. So here we go, going to lay it out there. I am now a full person bigger than my graduating weight - 279 pounds. (Please know this is very embarrassing for me, but I'm laying it out there in hopes of keeping myself accountable. No lying about it!)
So now that I've put it out there, it's time to make some changes. My weight loss goals are tiered. The first goal? To lose 15-20 lbs in the next 6 weeks - by 4/6 to be exact. I think I can do this. That's approximately 3 pounds a week. Then after that, I have a 6 month goal of 40 lbs. My end goal is 155 lbs. But to be honest, anything under 200 and a size 14 or smaller will make me happy.

2. Work. I have a new found energy for work since my suspension was lifted. But I don't want to get lazy again. I have a goal of 35 articles a week - or 7 a day. That will allow me to pay our bills and have fun money and grocery shop and do my couponing and still put some in savings. But I think if I keep a tracker for the days work will make sure I don't get lazy.

3. Debt. I'm tired of living paycheck to paycheck. I don't expect to ever be loaded, but I want to feel comfortable. I want to know that if something else goes wrong I won't be back at square one, struggling to figure out how to feed my family and diaper my kids. So, my financial goal is to put a minimum of $200.00 a month into savings. I want to pay off one credit card or other debt (loans, medical bills, etc), every 4 months. My first one I have on the plate only has $350.00 left to pay off...So I think this one is doable. To meet my goals, I need to follow through on the working thing. And stick to the budget I made. And in the process, enjoy my couponing!

4. Looking outward. This is an on-going struggle. I find that I focus on my needs a lot and forget about those around me. This is something I think I've improved on over the last few years, but I want it to get even better. This goes for my family and my friends, too. This means, putting the computer down and playing with Chloe when she asks or forgetting about my daily stress and listening to someone else's instead of just complaining. This isn't to say I'm giving up on me and my needs, but I'm going to try and prioritize when my needs are more important and when they're not.

5. Patience. This one is huge and probably my hardest. Chloe didn't really go through a terrible twos. But she's become a heathen the last few months. She's still so sweet and smart and loving, but she does not listen. She tells us what to do and then yells when we don't do it. Basically she's become super spoiled. I know this is my fault. I've been too easy on her because "she's just a baby/toddler/little girl". Well, now I'm paying the price and so is she in turn. I'm yelling all the time. I guess yelling isn't the right word. I'm getting after her. And I end up so frustrated . It breaks my heart when she looks at me and says, "Mommy. Am I making you frustrated?" She sees and understands my emotions now. So, along with working to teach her discipline (in a constructive way) I am going to work on being patient. She is who she is, yes. But part of that is who I've helped make her. So accountability time! I need to do my part to help make her a better person and control my emotions.

That's it. Simple goals, but I think together they're all going to make me a better person in the end. So hopefully in one year, I'll be a new person (or at least well on the road!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why "Moms Blogging for a Change"?

The idea of change has several meanings for me. I'm looking to change my life. I want to see my family financially unburdened - or as best we can be. I want to get rid of our debt by paying down our bills and saving some money in the process. I want to be able to take family vacations, have two cars that run the way they are suppose to and eventually own our own home. Saving change is a way to do that. So I'm going to work on sharing some of money saving methods to help anyone who reads this do the same. 
I also want to change me in several ways. As a parent, I find myself faltering, struggling. Sometimes I find I'm incredibly impatient and find myself frustrated. I know it all stems from personal struggles and not actually what my daughter is doing - at least not all the time. I want to work on my on being a better mom for both my children so they don't grow up remembering me as angry or impatient, but rather the mom who loved them and would do anything for them. Part of that is taking a step away from the things that "bind" me (ie. the computer, the cell phone, etc.) and focusing more on the things that make them happy. 
The next big change is me physically. I have wanted to get into shape and lose weight for a long time. I know that losing weight will give me more energy to focus on the rest of the changes I want to make. But I need accountability. I'm hoping this will help me do it. 
Now, all that said, I know I'm not perfect. I know that I will fail at many things I try, but I have to try just the same. So this is going to be my voice to help me change. Feel free to follow, comment or share to help you on your path to change, as well, no matter what that "change" is.