I regularly read the Smiley Saturday post links on Lightenings blog, today I have one of my own.
Yesterday was DD#1 first day at a main stream school, she started Kindergarten which in NSW is the first compulsory full time year of school. Why this is smile worthy - 18 months ago we got the paper work for a special autistic school that is near us cause no one who saw her thought she would be able to go to a mainstream school, we were told over and over again to hurry with the forms cause of waiting list etc. Something held me back and I devoted my time to finding therapys we could do now to improve her ability to cope within a society that is not set up for a child like mine.
Yesterday she went off to school with all the other little kids who live in our suburbs and not only did she cope but she loved it. She made a new little friend, she doesn't know his name so is calling him 'the boy' but this is huge for us cause she knows two little girls in her class, the school put her with those two girls so she would have some familar faces and feel more at ease. I asked her if she played with either of the girls and she said no, which both amazed and excited me - she made a friend, I want to do a happy dance.
Once in the car instead of the meltdown screaming match I both expected and prepared for I got a detailed description of her day and how great it was. I honestly want to cry, I can't believe how wonderfully great this is. I know its only one day and it could all change on Monday but one day of calm happiness is... enough to give me chills. Her teacher was gushing when I picked her up, she was so excited and happy at how great the day was and how much she interacted with both her and the other kids. We had done as much as we could to set her up for success, I had started having meeting with the principal and her current teacher in April last year and its truly proved to be benefitial.
So thats my Smiley Saturday. I have not stopped smiling since I picked her up yesterday afternoon.
This week I didn't lose any weight but I'm not overly complaining, I did get a bit of exercise in and my muscles have that slightly sore feeling so thats OK.
Its been a hard week. The kids have been real out of sorts, my youngest who is naturally a sooky crying child has been in tears at the drop of a hat every single day. The three boys in her swimming class made her cry 4 times in a half hour lesson. I ended up changing her lesson to a later time so she can be in a class with more girls. Why they thought one girl would be good with three boys is beyond me. My eldest has been relentless in annoying, hurting and generally being mean to her so tears are happening all day at home too. Speaking of my eldest, argh... I'm actually glad school is starting on Friday, I never thought I would say that cause I love having kids and being at home with them but she is going crazy. Unfortunately she is a overpowering mix of being extremely intelligent who is moderate but high functioning autistic and suffers from severe anxiety. Yesterday she spent a hour screaming at me through a closed door that she wanted to go home to her real mum!!! I would love to explain to her that I still have intense memories to giving birth to her 37cm head. (Only slightly replaced by giving birth to her sisters 38 cm head).
Deep down I think she is really worried about starting school, she is really excited and desperate to learn (though she is doing 2nd grade maths so she is going to be a bit bored I think for the first 2 yrs) but she is anxious and worried, yesterday she ended up breaking down at the end of the day and saying she didn't want a new teacher when she moves up a class. Poor little thing, worrying about something that won't be happening for a year. I told her if she ended up being really unhappy then I would do something about it for her, I promise. I have pretty much gotten to the point of accepting one day I'll have to homeschool her.
Anyway all in all its made for a pretty full on noisy week and I'm so tired. Last night I went to bed and my head was running and when hubby started to snore I ended up moving to the lounge to watch a movie - I woke at 6.30 this morning with the TV still on.
Today is a public holiday in Australia, Australia Day in fact. There is a movement going to change the day cause the aborigines feel that its not a day to celebrate seeing its the day the white man came to this country. I'm not sure where I sit on it all really I am considered white in this country but have alot of aborigines in my family tree, my mums grandfather was a aborigine.
Most of my family still work on public holidays, my mum is a nurse and she is working this afternoon, my father works in a RSL Club as a supervisor so that is open today as well, hubby is self employed so if he doesnt work he does get paid, and my future sister in law is currently working in a cafe until Uni starts so she works too. But we are all going to be available for brunch today so we are grabbing the opportunity to eat together, we are about to leave for mums shortly.
This coming week is a huge one for us. #2 child starts her extra day at preschool as well as move up into the next class, she goes off to school next year so is in the 'big' class at preschool, so she is there 2 days a week from this week on. And my eldest starts school on Friday. Also mum and I are going to not only go to the funeral on Wednesday but while down in Sydney we are going to take the opportunity to visit my cousin in hospital. Its been a marathon to get the girls minded for the day. I'm dropping them off at mums so my future SIL can mind them until my MIL arrives to have them for the day then she is dropping them off to my dad who will then take them to hubby when he finishes work. What a mess but the drive is going to be too long for them to do and come back in one day and also my eldest is already obsessed with death as it is, a funeral would be... awkward.
On the organising front and budget mess. I've gotten no further. With the kids being they way they have been I've been far to crazy to think straight. Hubby did move some stuff from the garage this week so I have a bit more room in there to do some sorting. But really our accounts and budget must come first.... and I'll keep working on it.
My cousin is getting married soon. Weddings, how lovely. I loved my wedding and enjoy weddings as much as most romantic souls but... the couple have decided they want a big fancy wedding, good on them, whatever. But they can't afford it, so they have asked all the guest to pay for their own meals - at $45 per person. I'm not going, neither are most of the cousins but my parents are. Mum's put away the $90 for the meal plus she needs to pay for accommodations cause they live so far away and although my cousin has told people a gift is unnecessary it was said in a way they would still appreciate them, so she is buying a gift too, I told her not too but she feels like she will be the only one who doesn't so she is.
My winge is, if you want a big fancy wedding then great but damn well pay for it yourself. Our weekly food budget is between $200-250 per week so that works out to be between $7-9 per person PER DAY. $45 is expensive I think, I know that for weddings this is average or even cheap. My best friend paid $65 per head for her wedding. But really... Also they have listed the dress code as strictly formal. I laughed and laughed when I read that cause at my own wedding the three most worst dressed was my aunt and uncle (parents of the groom) and my other uncle, which I expected cause what do you expect when you invite a fully tattoo'd biker who spent many years in jail ;-)
Fine they want the dress to be formal but... my grandmother, a women who is well into her 70's and living completely on an australian pension, which we all know is terrible, was told her best outfit, a blue pant suit was not good enough. Hello, she is paying $45 for her own dinner at your wedding, she can wear her pj's if she wants... is what I think.
Look weddings are lovely and we all want ours to be special but it doesn't have to be expensive to be nice. My wedding was so lovely, we were 22 & 21 so had next to no money, my husband had just finished his apprenticeship and my receptionist wage was higher then his wage so we were broke. We were also madly saving for a deposit on a house. So we found a beautfiul old fashion 'bed and breakfast' that had lovely manicured gardens with big fig trees shading everything and we had a garden wedding complete with afternoon tea. My mum booked the rooms at the bed and breakfast for older relatives and out of towners like my grandmother so they could stay there for the night and the owners daugher was getting into the catering business so she made a huge spread of hot and cold foods. There were chairs and lovesets put all through out the garden for guest to relax. I think the whole cost of the wedding ended up working out to be somethink like $15 per head, and with keeping the guest list down it was affordable.
OK, I'll get off my soap box now but I'm so annoyed at my cousins, having been married for 10 yrs now I'm not up with wedding do's and don'ts but I think expecting people to pay $45 plus saying they need to dress to the nines, as well as hoping for a gift is a bit rude. ((although not a surprise from this family))
Well my sad news, as mentioned my great aunt died the other day, the funeral is on wednesday but on the same day one of my cousins who I'm very close to was rushed to hospital with breathing problems, and once there it was deteremined he also had a staff infection in his shoulder and a blood clot near his heart. He has been very ill for a long time, many years ago he was in a serious accident while working on a road crew for a council. His back was almost broken and walking and moving has been an issue ever since. There is nothing more doctors can do, his spine has been fused and thats it really. He will be in pain for the rest of his like. He may of picked up the staff infection during one of his back operations, hospitals are a common place to get it. But I have no idea what will happen with the blood clot, its a waiting game now.
Now for my hair..... I've finally figured out what it feels like. You know when you use heaps of hair spray and the next day you wake up and your hair is sticky and really knotty, thats what it feels like. Every time i brush my hair it clumps together again and gets knotty. Is this oily??? I don't know, having dry frizzy hair I've never had oily hair before, I expected oily to be shiny and slippery. I think I'm up to 4 wks today so hopefully something better will happen soon cause really right now no matter how many times I brush my hair it gets knotty as soon as my hair moves again. Last night I brushed for an hour and it was still getting knotty, I ended up braiding it which I'll redo today.
I'll update later today with my meter readings, I'm dreading the electricity reading though, yesterday was 41 degrees here, and the whole week has been so so hot. The air con has got a big workout.
It was 3 weeks and 4 days ago that I last washed my hair with shampoo... I have very dry curly frizzy hair and shampoo has always been pretty mean to it, the last few months I've been buying very expensive creamy shampoo & conditioner which was slightly better but still not great. Usually I'd wash my hair and tie it back with lots of products in it for 4 days maybe even 7. Once was hair was a bit 'dirty' it was manageable, but then I'd wash it again after a week (so only ever went 2 wks without washing my hair). Last month I got really sick of it and decided to give No Shampoo a go. I've heard about it from a lot of people, heard about how the hair naturally sorts it self out after about 6 wks or so. I wonder if mine will do so around 6 wks as well or not. Right now it feels OK, not dry like it usually is but definitely not oily like others would be at this stage, I think being so dry it will take longer for the oily look to happen. The only problem is its hard to brush, its just doesn't feel right...
Now the sad news, my grandmothers sister, so my mums aunt died today. She was in a nursing home but not overly sick or old, but she just decided that she didn't want to live anymore so she stopped eating. She lasted about 3 weeks, in the end catching colds and having breathing problems. She lives a far distance from us but I'm sure we will go to the funeral. To support nan. They were very close, she used her sisters name as my mums middle name and how appropriate it was cause my mum is alot like her aunt.
I'm a bit late in the update on me this week. I had a pretty bad week, I only lost 0.1kg. About mid week I ended up getting the worst migraine, which made me feel really sick. Hubby ordered in some thai for dinner and I consumed a huge portion of coconut rice, the more I ate the less i felt like being sick. Not happy. Anyway then the week just went downhill from there.
I'm not in a great head space, things are a bit busy. Hubby's not been around much cause the plasterer starts at the house today, so when he is here we need to touch base and make decisions etc and we aren't agreeing, we are both so tired and run down and its just so damn hot, I don't think I spoke to him at all last night, cause of a disagreement we had earlier in the afternoon. The kids have been at each others throat as well, its hot and almost too hot for outside so they are a bit over it. DD #2 is at preschool tomorrow so hopefully it means they can catch their breath and start again. DD#1 has had a few meltdowns - its hard cause with all thats going on we aren't as routined as we usually are and she doesn't like that at all.
So basically I feel I need to start again. We have nothing planned today and I'm hoping we can just plod along and have a nice day, the house is tidy and all I really have to do is make the beds so it might be a good day to read books, rest, recharge.
My plans for this coming week is to try to stick to my weight watchers eating plan, drink more water cause I've slipped with this again and also to try to go for a walk if the temperature ever drops.
I am always amazed at how different my girls are when it comes to waking up. My youngest is smiling before she even opens her eyes, she wakes up instantly and is chirpy, asking 'mum lets get up, can I have milo and milk, what are we doing today', she skips to the lounge room with her curls bouncing. My eldest however wakes slowly, with groans and grunts, her long thick hair so matted around her face you can't see her eyes. Even when awake she likes to lay there for a while, preferring to be cuddled awake by me. She then prefers to be not spoken to for 1/2hr - and don't ask her if she wants breakfast too early or woe be to you.
I understand my eldest, that is the way I greeted each day for a good 25 yrs of my life, until I had babies. I do wish however I could wake like my youngest. Today I am half way in between, I hate waking and wish I could stay in bed and some days I curse #2 chirpy voice and smiling face. But I wake quickly from necessity.
This week: I really wanted to get the bookwork close to completed, but that didn't happen. Basically I was planning on 4-5hrs on Wednesday when MIL had the girls, well MIL ended up picking them up a good 1.5hrs after I thought she would, then wanted me to go and get them a bit earlier than I thought, so after doing a quick tidy, hanging a few loads of washing on the line and cleaning out the guinea pigs I only had 2 hrs to work. Oh well, I did get a lot done in that 2 hrs so I'll just keep going. I got a letter this week from ATO asking why I haven't done the Jul-Sept BAS yet... uh oh.
Our house, the solar hot water system was mostly installed yesterday and its being finished off today, hubby is also cleaning the whole place out in preparation for plasterboard which will start this week, we will probably go over this afternoon and help clean after the plumber leaves.
Yesterday I did something I somewhat regret now. I suggested to the girls we make a paper mache pig. Of course I suggested this before reading the instructions, only to find out you need to do 4 layers, with it drying in between, then leaving it over night before painting. The paste is annoying to make and you need to make it each time you put a layer on. This was a bad idea with a 4 and 5 yrs old, on a rainy coldish day, so it ended up being an inside project. I now have paste all over my floor. The girls soaked their paper and balloon in paste which did not dry even though we went to mums for lunch and stayed there for 3 hrs... the second layer went on and even though its now been left for 16 or so hrs its still not dry. Both girls continually coated their arms in paste cause it felt nice. And I still have 3 pigs needing another 2 layers plus paint. Argh..
Coming week: We have speech therapy for #2, therapy for #1 on Monday, a little playdate on Tuesday followed by swimming lessons for #1. Yay Wednesday is completely empty so far and I'm hoping to keep it that way. Thursday is a full day with just #1 and I while #2 is at preschool, I think we will head into the shop to buy food for Friday night and claim a few medicare and NIB bills. On Friday after #2's swimming the girls are going to MIL's again. When she brings them home she is going to stay for dinner. MIL and I don't click much, we are very different, so aren't overly close, we really don't see her much, though the last few school holidays she has taken the kids for a few hrs each week. (I think she figures that most of #1 therapy stops during school holidays so they will have more time and she can then take them to her house and see them away from hubby and I).
Meter Reading: I made a huge mistake last week with my water meter reading, I was out by 1000, no wonder it was so high... Meter 1 - 28857 (usage of 133) Meter 2 - 31831 (usage of 58)
Total usage of 191 over 7 days. Or 27 per day. Still not sure what the average is or what I should be aiming for. This week hasn't been so bad though, I've hardly used the a/c.
Water was 53049. Which makes the usage 125 per day per person. More than last week but still well under our allowed usage per councils restrictions.
Just got back from the specialist, DD#1 tear ducts still don't work, after 4 operations with no success he has just recommended the 'next' stage which is 3 more operations spaced out with one every three months and also we'd need another surgeon with more experience. I have no idea what to do, her eyes are often gunky and red looking. We have to supply letters all the time to prove she doesn't have an infection. But they are heaps better than before operation 3 & 4. They are heaps worse in the morning or if she is unwell, so during the day they are a OK.
But... with her autism and severe anxiety another operation could cause some severe reactions and regression. We have done so well to prepare her for school, and to calm her down the last 6 months, I just don't want to enter into something else new yet. Just the 1.5hrs at the clinic ended with her mute and rocking, the rocking is something we haven't seen now for about 5 months, argh.
I think we will probably wait a year or 2. Hubby couldn't come today but we just spoke about it and he is still holding out that it will fix itself, I think there is only a 0.1% chance of that happening. We will need to sit down and really hash out the pro's and con's and decide what to do.
Today while running errands I saw a worm farm and a worm starter kit, so I bought it. I'm really looking forward to it maturing and expanding. There is still another level to go on. The instructions that come with it however are not overly clear.
? I can feed citrus as long as I add some lime?
? What about this - the guinea pigs eat corn cobs, which I buy when they are cheap, or the fruit shop has old ones, can I then give the empty cob to the worms, would they eat that.
? Also the guinea pigs make their bedding out of Lucerne hay and shredded paper, which I clean out each week. Can I put that in the worm farm?? The instructions mention no cat or dog poo, so does that mean no guinea pig poo too.. It seems like such a waste to throw the hay and paper away each week.
? So far I've read conflicting reports on if I can feed them meat? If I can feed them egg shells?
? So basically they live on kitchen scraps, not grass clippings? Moist paper?
This house we are living in is horrible, its badly built, you can see thru the gaps in the floor boards to the ground below and as such we get bugs, and lots of them. Even now as I'm typing it my skin is crawling cause the three things that horrify me are roaches, spiders and rats. And we have 2 of the 3 in large supply here. I would die if a rat moved in as well. Even all the water pipes and drainage pipes entering the house have a good 5mm gap around them, the bathroom vanity has a peep hole to outside as well, so god knows what crawls around in the vanity at night.
Hay I'm all for being one with nature as long as that nature is not spiders or roaches. So what do I do? I have honestly sprayed this house from top to bottom, inside and out with horrible smelly surface sprays but 1. I don't want to keep exposing my family to those chemicals and 2. the bloody bugs don't die anyway.
Please does anyone have any suggestions for me? I keep chanting to myself 'only 2 months to go' I will cry if any of the trades slow us down, I need out of here. Hubby is under strict instructions to make sure any gap in the building are plugged and filled in cause I do not want any access to inside for bugs.
Now on a totally unrelated critter matter. Both my kids guinea pigs are pregnant, planned pregnancy no less - we bought a male for them. If they became pregnant on the very day he arrived then their due date is today... so we will be on the look out every morning for babies, yay. Both girls aren't overly huge, they are noticeably bigger but not huge yet so I'm thinking maybe a few weeks to go yet and also the books I've read said you should be able to feel movement towards the end and that hasn't happened yet.
I read a lot of blog each day, my most favourite or the new ones I've found are on my blog list and the rest are bookmarked on my computer. I noticed each and everyone is aiming for something, and its been making me think about my long term goals, what I really want from this world and what I'm aiming for. Sure there are heaps of things that are dreams but never going to happen or I read something and think 'wish I could'. But what am I really wanting and working towards now and what is really possible in my life and situation. Here is what I've came with:
I've spoken before about our house, I really want to move into the bit we are building, and even though the lounge/kitchen will be temporary in the garage I want to make the house into a calm warm place where my family comes home to rest and recharge before entering into the world again. Building the rest of the house will just move along slowly, we need to put family first for a while.
We have a small mortgage in comparison but we also owe a bit of money to my parents for the land we bought so my aim would be to pay my parents back and try to overpay the mortgage as much as possible. The extra amount will be worked once we moved in and our new household expenses are worked out.
I'm really desperate to start a garden, plant veges etc. I've started doing my research on no dig gardens cause we were planning on having a few raised garden beds around the place, so I thought the theory of the no dig garden would be good. Also I am going to get chickens, the girls cubby is raised, so we were thinking of building the coop under that and then off to one side so they have a enclosed dry area.
I've already spoken of my long term goals for myself in terms of weight loss and getting healthy but also I'd love to be learn how to knit and sew, I've done a few searches on sewing classes in my area but there are none running this quarter so I'll keep looking for later in the year.
As I was hanging the clothes on the line today it accured to me that if something happened to one of my family or me today, I would not be in the position to easily just drop everything. You know if an emergency happened I would struggle to do what I needed to do without causing problems. I want to be in the position where I'm prepared to leave the house at any time. I probably am not explaining myself but I want to be up to date. If I needed to leave for a week or two then we'd have bills overdue, the accounts are already months behind, the kids and hubby would need to search for clean clothes cause although the washing is fairly up to date the clean clothes are shoved into baskets all over the place. There are no meals in the freezer so food would be an issue. I would love to go to bed at the end of the night knowing I've done all that was needed to be done today and if I slept all day tomorrow then it would only effect tomorrow, not the weeks of work I haven't done. So to be in the position I want to be I need to finish the accounts, get laundry and housework up to date, prepare ahead by cooking meals, tackle the overflowing filing tray in our office. And then maintain.
Go the above is all a bit messy, I'm trying to get all the thoughts out of my head and its jumbled but you get the general idea of what my long term goals are and what I'm working towards. So I better go and do it.... I wrote this while taking a small break from working on our accounts.
Rhonda from Down to Earth did a lovely post this morning about her husband and I've been sitting here holding a child who is getting sick, thinking about my husband.
He and I are not 100% compatible I have to say, we disagree on a lot of things. And unlike Rhonda and Hanno, we don't pick up where the other left off, things I'm bad at, so is he etc. Of course we both have a few things that are 'our own'. But regardless of all that, we get along very well, we were good friends for quite a few years before entering into a relationship (we met at school).
Right now while building our house I've realised how incredibly lucky I am to have the husband I have. He goes off to work in the morning, works on our house in the afternoon and finishes his office work at night. On the weekends he spends sun up to sun down working on our house. Over the last 6 months I'd estimate he has had a total of 4 days off. Over the last 2 years he has done labour for other men with trade skills so we can do labour swap, has collected material, like old hard wood rafters which he then de-nailed and cut to size, has collected bricks from building sites, plus heaps more. He has built racks and storage units to store all the second hand material in. Only now the job is far underway I've realised how much money he has saved us. (Also how much pride it gives me to know we have re-used material instead of buying it all new).
Of course I knew he was a good man before this. I have a condition which means when I'm pregnant I get sick, and I mean sick. For the first 16 wks of each pregnancy I can be sick up to 30 times I day. I was taken care of so well during this time, even to the point of him holding my hair out of the way. (not something I can do for another adult thats for sure, with my weak stomach).
I would love to be in a world where all women have a good caring man to be with, and visa versa. It would be nice to see marriages where a hardworking partner gets just as much back as they put in, I know this is not reality but I can dream. I can't do much at our house building, I've painted and cleaned and stuff like that but with two littlies and other committments its pretty hard. But we have fallen into a pattern. He builds the house and is the bread winner and I run the home, do the accounts both personal and business, and am the main care giver to the children, meaning I do all the research on therapy for #1, research daycares etc for #2, speech therapy, reading all that. Once I've done all the leg work I let him know the appointments on which he needs to attend and give him the run down (summary) on the therapy that I think is best. Or what budget I've worked out and why I think it works.
If you want something from a partner I've heard its best to show them by example, I agree to this on some aspects but sometimes it just doesn't work, my uncle married a lazy women who is very selfish. My uncle worked himself to the bone while being constantly sick from her dogs and she gave nothing back, unfortunately he is now a very bitter mean man who no one wants to be around, instead of showing her a better way to live he was shown a worse way to be.
I'll never want to be like this, my husband is a man who works hard for his family and in return I want to work hard for the family too, I hope we both continue to be like this to each other.
Here is my meal plan for this week, most of it is based on Weight Watchers Satisfaction Fast Track plan.
Breakfast * Banana & Berry Smoothie with a crumpet * Apple & Sultana Muesli * Boiled Egg with Ricotta & Tomato Toast. Fruit * Cereal with Fruit Salad * Egg with Bacon & Ricotta Toast * Porridge with dried Apricot * Cheese & Tomato English Muffin
Lunch * Beef, Fruit Chutney & Salad Sandwich * Ham & Cottage Cheese Roll * Tuna Nicoise Salad * Chicken & Celery Wrap * Tomato Soup with chickpeas * Cheese, Ham & Tomato Melt * Egg & Salad Sandwich
Dinner * Steak & Couscous with Balsamic Tomatos and Steamed Beans * Spagetti Bol with Rocket and Pear Salad * Homemade Chicken Schnitzel, with Salad and home made wedges * Chicken Pizza * Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni * Cheese Mustard Sage Chicken * Egg, Strawberry and Cheese Salad
Hubby has looked over the meal plan and he is all for eating the same as me, so yay. He stepped on the scales this morning and admits he needs to lost a bit over 10 kgs, and he is loving the fact that he has gone off to work today and yesterday with a packed lunch. I used to pack his lunch everyday but lately I've been so unorganised and run down I've just not done it and he has been the same so he has been buying, as I'm working on the accounts I've noticed just how much KFC and MacDonalds he has eaten.
Last week has been a pretty good week for me. In terms of weight loss, I lost 0.8kg, which is a bit less than I was hoping for but in reality all I did this week was watch what I ate. I purchased the weight watchers satisfaction plan. I've done weight watchers before successfully but fell off the wagon a few kilos from my goal. Going to meetings are pretty difficult for me, I'm not really a meeting type person and dragging two kids, one who is often a wee bit crazy, is not really something I look forward to, so this time I've elected to do the At Home plan. I think the plan I bought includes weekly communication from weight watchers to check on me, but I only got the pack on Thursday so I'm not overly sure.
My goals were: * Start drinking water daily - at least a litre (right now I'm barely having a single glass)I did drink more water over the whole week but didn't get to a litre a day, some days yes, other days no. * Lower my food intakeI did do this but this week I'm going to have to up my game a bit * Lose a kilo (hopefully) Well no, but close This weeks goals are are very similar: * Drink 1 litre of water a day * Stick to the weight watchers satisfaction fast start plan and eat 18 points per day * Go for a walk or two * I'd love to be able to lose a kilo (or ultimately 1.2kg to make up for last week)
Overall I feel pretty motivated and happy. I've sat down and wrote a whole weekly meal plan for all three meals, leaving a few points for snacks, I'll share my meal plan tomorrow cause it sounds yummy.I'm also going to feed hubby the same meals cause I think he needs to lose a bit of weight, his pants are all getting a bit tight now he is doing more office work and less construction work.
This week has been OK. I've read a few extra pages of Tightwad Gazette. I've started my price book (it has 2 items listed in it so far but its a start). I've spent many hours on our accounts and the pile is getting smaller so I'm feeling good about that. I have heaps of things I want to do and start around the house but I'm forcing myself to stay focused on getting up to date with the accounts so I can move onto the other stuff with a clear mind. Plus I know working on my budget or doing any sort of money plan will be stupid now when I have no idea of what we've spent the last 6 months. On our house front things are moving fast so yay, yesterday the girls and I went and bought ceiling fans for the bedrooms and office. Ultimately we are hoping with the cross flow of the window placements, the extra insulation and fans we can avoid using or even installing an air conditioner. Last night we trolled thru hundreds of material samples for blinds - we disagree on one thing, not the colour, we agreed on that but the type of blind, he wants light filtering and I want block out. He has no idea what the afternoon sun does to our loungeroom right now and this house faces the same way as our new house, which means sun will beat in to both the lounge, main bed and the girls room. I want block out.
So my meter readings, if anyone can help me with electrical usage that would be great as I have no idea what average is, or what I should be aiming for, this house uses electrical for everything, we have no gas, no solar, nothing but electrical. (I'm looking forward to my solar hot water system in the new house).
Meter 1 - 28724 (usage of 129) Meter 2 - 32773 (usuage of 1050)
Total usage of 1681 over 7 days making it 240 per day, or 42 per day per person. I would presume this is really high as I had the air conditioner running most days we were home.
Water was 49529 (I listed last weeks incorrectly is should have been 46839 instead of 4683.9). So usage was 2690 making it 384 per day or 96 per person per day. I'm happy with this cause our councils recommendations for Level 3 water restrictions are to keep to 150litre per day per person. Should I note that we don't drink this water at all?? The pipes running into this house are... umm, old, gross.. you know, typical old rental property quality. The water is often murky and doesn't taste the best so we get spring water delievered for drinking, I usually get 3 x 11 litre containers each fortnight so thats an extra 33litres = 2.3 litres for day (which is only a bit more than 1/2 litre each per day so I should order more and have us all drinking more water).
Next week: The coming week is busy for us. We have playdates, speech therapy (for #2) and swimming lessons cramped into the coming 2 days, Wed the girls go off to MIL's while I get stuck into accounts etc. Thurs #2 has preschool, while #1 has therapy. Friday mum takes #2 to her swimming lessons while I take #1 down to Sydney to have her eyes looked at again. She was born with her tear ducts fully closed and has so far been operated on 4 times. Our next step will probably be a huge one and one we are trying to avoid or postpone as long as possible but it means she gets junky eyes a bit and we need constant letters from doctors to prove she is catching and can still associte with other kids.
I'm also hoping to really get constant with enforcing the early to bed, early to rise system in this house. I did the day count on the calander today and its only 18 days until #1 starts school, dragging ourselves out of bed at 7.45 like this morning will not cut it. I'm also going to start up doing my evening routine again so I'm more organised and ready for each morning.
I have pantry moths, they arrived in a box of Rice Bubbles, I only caught them when the first 10 or so became moths, thats when I went searching and found the eggs and wormy things. Luckily not much else has been affected cause just about all my food is in airtight tupperware containers, yay. They certainly are sneaky little things hay.
So I'm well and truly on track to get up to date with our bookwork, not this week like I would have loved to but hopefully by next week. The girls are going to my MIL's on wednesday for the whole day so that will help heaps.
Todays plans: Is to tidy the house up, my husband was sick yesterday so while the girls and I were at swimming lessons and having morning tea with a friend he was at home generally just being a messy man. Honestly I think he can make almost as much mess at the girls can. And then once again working on the accounts.
I've heard that keeping a price book is good way to save money. I understand why, its a great way to recognise good bargains so you can stock up. I just am unsure on how to set it up. I was reading on another blog about one a few days ago, must search back and see if I can find it. From what I understood of hers, she had a page per item and had it organised in alphabetical order. I think I might do that. I was given a black organiser as a gift with a purchase but I don't need it, I already have this years diary and a family calander so it was going to sit around unused, so what I've done is kept the a-z phone directory and taken out all the other tabs. As i buy things I'll put an item on a page and write the details. The details I think I should keep is: the date, the brand name, price and a price per unit, size and finally I've worked out two letter codes for each shop I go to, for instance if I was Woolworths it would be W_ and the first initial of the suburb it was in. I shop in 1 x Woolworths, 3 x Coles, 1 x Bilo, 1 x Franklins, 2 x Aldi, 1 x IGA on fairly regular basis so working out prices difference between stores will be important too. Also with meat, I shop at 5 different meat shops and 3-4 Fruit & Vege shops.
I can see the ultimate savings will come from Meat, cause I often bulk buy cause I have a full size freezer, also Fruit and Vege cause I have no real idea of their prices, I usually buy as I need, instead of buying whats in season. Other things I bulk buy is things like toilet paper, tissues, paper towels. At this stage I haven't stockpiled much pantry items cause I'm severly lacking in space at this house but when we move I can work on that. When we first move in we will only be living in half the house while we build the rest around us, so space will still be lacking but we will have more than we do now, especially in places like the built in robes etc. Ultimately once the house is finished i will be able to stockpile and be very organised cause our kitchen has a lovely walk in pantry.
I gather a useful price book takes months to set up, especially with fruit and veges changing prices during seasons so it will take a long time for any huge benefits to be seen... its a work in progress, but I have started.
Get friendly with your local green grocer. Our local Fruit and Vege shop has just been bought by a friend of a friend. Yesterday when we went in there I bought my eldest daughter a punnet of blueberries, she loves blueberries and will eat the whole punnet on her own. The owner asked if she would eat more and I replied she would eat them all day if she could but at $5.99 a punnet she only gets one a week. The owner asked if she could give her some cause they over ordered for Christmas and they aren't selling them fast enough. So she gave us 3 more punnets, DD#1 is in heaven. She has already eated 3 of the 4 punnets and will finish the last one off later today I'm sure.
I'd like to be able to grow food in my garden. But I'm a really terrible gardener, up to now motivation has been an issue ;-)
My dad is a good gardener but he is finding it hard to keep his little garden going with working full time and heat/lack of water etc. When we were kids he had a huge garden and it was amazing. The house we are building is right next door to them so yesterday I offered to help him out when we move in, but I can foresee problems, he is happy to use seeds and plants from the local shops etc, whereas I'd like to get heirloom plants, he is happy to use bug preventatives and fertilisers that I would want to keep away from. I'm slowly starting to convert him, I bought him a heap of seeds from Diggers Club. Right now he has the corn and a mixture of tomato's in the garden. I got him a bag of mixed heirloom tomato seeds so its a real 'pot luck'. Hopefully these two foods which are always much more tasty from the garden anyway will help to convert him a bit more. Plus I'll keep buying seeds.
So back to me, right now I have 4 plants which I've successfully kept alive for a year, which is a record for me. A Lemon and a Mandarin tree, both dwarf in pots, and two strawberry plants in pots. I'm going to re-pot the strawberry plants into a bigger pot together I think, mum made them up for the girls from off shoots of her plants but the girls have lost interest and I'm looking after them now anyway so one pot might be better plus it will be a lot bigger. My mandarin tree has gotten all of about a cm bigger since I bought it over a year ago, but its still lush and green so... who knows.
Now the lemon tree, is supposed to be a meyer from the tag still hanging off it, which is supposed to bare fruit in early winter, and have a few thorns. However my plant has no thorns and never has had and its baring fruit right now in the middle of summer. Here is some pictures
I have 10 'lemons' on it but once they get to this size they get no bigger, the plant is now getting more flowers. This is the first time its produced so I'm in no mans world, mum actually asked me the other day if I was growing limes. What to do?? I don't know. I suppose I'll just have to sit and wait.
But seeing one of my wishes would be to grow food, and I've successfully kept 4 plants alive all at the same time for some time I think now is the time to expand. I did a bit of research on no dig gardens but hubby has pretty much said a garden wouldn't be a good idea for a while cause the house will be being built for atleast another year and all available space is storing material or is needed for cars, tools, etc. So another pot is the way to go. What should I grow next?? We eat alot of carrots but they can't be great in pots, the guinea pigs love spinach and bok choy which could be grown in pots surely?
My mission for the next few weeks is to research some plants which meet various different purposes, or like different conditions and when hubby wants to talk landscaping I can suggest plants which serve a purpose like produce food, but still work like his wants them too, surely fruit trees can be used a privacy screening from the neighbours??
Here is my menu plan for this week, I went shopping yesterday with the girls and bought all I need. It was a bit more expensive than what I had planned but I bought few things for DD#1 schooling so that wasn't budgeted for in my weekly shop. I went thru the freezer and am going to use up all the meat and stuff in there.
The above picture is how I list my menu plan, a whiteboard that just rests against the wall in my kitchen. I love it cause its very noticeable and keeps me on track with what I've planned - therefore what I've bought.
* Salmon Steaks (from the freezer) for the girls and I, T-Bone steak for hubby. Served with Salad. * Stir Fry, with backstrap, Veges and Hokkien Noodles. * Zucchini Slice. Served with Salad and Chips * Dhal with Rice. Served with the most yummiest yogurt from the local F & V shop. * Chicken Wrap, with Salad. * Beef Strog. I'm going to try my mums new super recipe. * Sausages (from the freezer). This will be the easy meal for the week so we will probably have it Sunday night and eat them with eggs.
And this week I'm going to bake Wholemeal Sultana Muffins.
I'm going to try to do a weekly update on Me, I want to lose weight, get healthy and fit and generally be more happier.
Today is day one of the 12 wk weight loss challenge I've joined. Not taking into account pregnancy, today I'm the heaviest I've ever been. 2 yrs ago I lost 17kgs and was only 2 kgs from my goal weight. Today I'm 19.7kgs away from my goal weight.
During the challenge we have to pick ultimate goals and then weekly mini goals so here is mine:
Ultimate goals * To be drinking enough water each day * To be eating healthier whole foods * To be not daily overeating * To lose 12kgs (I'm hoping for a kilo a week) * To be active daily with regular exercise
This weeks goals * Start drinking water daily - at least a litre (right now I'm barely having a single glass) * Lower my food intake * Lose a kilo (hopefully)
I think I'm off to a good start, this is my lunch.
This week was the week I started my blog, I feel really positive and happy about it, I'd like to be able to read back on this blog in a year or two and see how far I've come, about the positive changes I've made for myself and family, and for the environment.
This was also the week I received my much waited for book 'The Complete Tightwad Gazette', so far I'm only up to page 133 of 927 so I still have a long way to go. Being Australian a lot of points have little to no meaning to me - like the bit about the mail service and also coupons. We don't seem to have the same systems for coupons, sure they are around like two for one deals on the back of Woolworths receipts but not really on the scale of other countries I don't think, which is why I purchased this year Entertainment Book.
The last two days have been messed up and mangled from my original plans of several hours of bookwork - yesterday hubby decided we need to make the decision on bathroom tiles NOW, something to do with thickness for door frames or something, so off we went tile shopping, which was very successful. We also managed to pick up external lights for a fraction of the cost that we saw elsewhere, we bought the expensive eco globes which we will get several years of use out the them. I'm really happy with the way the house is going, my priority was to create a comfortable home that wouldn't have huge running cost and luckily so far hubby has come along for the ride. With lourved windows for cross flow ventilation, extra insulation etc it shouldn't cost much to heat and cool the house. Also hubby has been using the last year or two to collect material off building sites and from demolition jobs. It means a bit more work for him cause the timber might need de-nailing or cutting down but its meant huge savings and also huge chunks of our house are in the old hard wood timber not the new lightweight treated pine. I'm very lucky to have a man who is willing to work all day and then stay back and collect left over bricks etc. (most building sites, will allow you to collect bricks from a completed house if you do the labour yourself, brick layers scatter bricks all over a building site, so usually a builder will have to pay someone to walk around picking them all up, so if they don't need them they are happy to get rid of them, we've so far collected atleast $1,000-$2,000 worth of bricks).
I'm going to start recording my electrity and water meters on Sunday afternoons. Here is my first reading
Next Week Goals: I'd like to think I can get all the receipts entered onto MYOB this week and to start reconciling bank accounts (I'm six months behind on this). Though I only have one 3hr period kid free the whole week so it might be a bit big of a task for this week, I can only try.
I was reading thru various posts on Zen to Done last night. And stumbled upon this post, about getting up earlier. It was written in 2007 so a lot of people would have already read it but I hadn't. The quote from the Dalai Lama, who said, ” Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.’ was very touching. I'd like to be able to go thru my day like this.
The article went on to show various great reason why starting the day a bit earlier is a good idea but I loved point 8 about having a weekly goal and a mini goal each day to help you reach your weekly goal. I have a lot of things I need to get done over the next several months, with the move into the new house looming. So I think a weekly goal would be a good idea instead of what I'm doing now, casually jumping from one thing to another and getting nothing done.
I'd like to be able to get up earlier each day, our current is about 7am, my youngest woke at about 7 today and we held her off and tried to get her to keep quiet until 7.30 when we all got up. This is not a good start to the day and its also going to create a rushed and stressful morning when we introduce school runs next month.
Today's goals: The house is a mess, after the girls got home yesterday I went food shopping and they trashed the place while hubby watch grrr, I ended up going to bed at the same time as them and leaving him with cleaning up the kitchen but the rest of the house....
Also after thinking about all that needs to be done around here, I've decided getting both our business and personal accounts up to date is the top priority. So I'll be working on those on and off all day today, I say on and off all day because I'll be constantly interrupted by the girls.
I'm actually really looking forward to today, after swimming lessons for DD#2 I'm dropping the kids off at my MIL's house so they can spend the day with her and I'm heading off to the bank, our new bank. I sat down last night and thought about how I wanted to have our bank accounts and how the best way to split up everything and this is what I came up with:
Account 1: Main Account, this account will have a card attached to it, it will be for every day expenses like food, petrol, cash withdrawal etc. Account 2: Bills, this will be an account I will transfer our yearly bills which will be worked out to a monthly figure, we get paid monthly so this way the money for all bills will be sitting here in this account. I can pay the bills direct from this account Account 3: I want this account for stuff like ebay, my avon commissions etc. And finally Account 4: Savings and House Building Money
I figure this way all my money is sorted and I and hubby only have access to the first account so can't really overspend or spend bill money. I'll do the same with our business accounts, I'll have the main account with a card attached and a second account for bills, tax and superannuation.
Other plans for today: Seeing I should have the whole afternoon free to myself with no kids around I'm going to start working on my accounts, entering receipts etc onto MYOB and starting to update my budget.
Although my 2008 wasn't horrible there is certainly things about it I would like to change. Just lots of little things that made for huge stress. But its all in the past now and I can take those little things and make positive changes for 2009. I'm determined to make this my year. This will be the year I get fit and healthy, this is the year our money gets organised and we actually use it in the right way. This will also hopefully be the year we move into our house, a house we have planned for, made sacrifices for and worked hard for for about 3 yrs now.
This is also the year my eldest goes off to school, I seriously can't believe it has come about so fast, she was a tiny premmie baby just yesterday I feel. I worry for her, she is such an individual in her outlook at life, I hope she is OK. The school have been wonderful in helping us prepare her and she does have a compulsive need for routines and plans so maybe school will be perfect for her. We shall see, atleast I'll be in the position to monitor it, I've already joined up as a canteen mum.
So how did you spend the night last night? We stayed in, the family next door had a party and we were encourage to go but DD#1 isn't great with noise and crowds so.. what we ended up doing was pulling the girls mattress off their beds and making a comfy little nest for us on the lounge room floor. We watched the 9pm fire works on tellie and then watched a movie together, slowly we each dropped off to sleep, hubby being the first, lol. None of us made midnight.
Todays plans: this week we got a little mortgage to finish our house, so for convience and money saving sake I'm planning on moving all my bank accounts from our old bank to our new mortgage giving bank, I have an appointment with them tomorrow and have to take a list of all the accounts, cards, services I would like and they will try to match up my needs with their accounts etc.