Month II

Month two of our new budgeting is much better than month one. It always takes a while though to get into the swing of new things.

And, with the extra cash flow we received last month it certainly helped us to pad our bank account a little bit. We were even able to splurge a bit on a few plants and gardening supplies for our back yard.

Lil E’s 1st birthday party is coming up at the end of this month. I have been planning it in my head for a while and trying to think of creative but inexpensive ideas. After too much research on 1 year old party themes hubby and I just decided on what motif to use. I ordered the party gear on-line-which as all you mom’s know–isn’t cheap! But, I just ordered a couple of things to set the mood.

And in light of our slim budget we decided not to go crazy on a bunch of disposable paper plates and what not. So, I decided to spend the same amount (actually a little less) on plastic plates, cups, bowls and silverware from Ikea. That way, we can reuse them year after year. I don’t know if the plastic vs. paper environmental argument holds up–but the money argument sure does.


poison thoughts

I have so many things to say these days–but, I dont. I have been keeping a lot of feelings bunched up inside of me–and I think they are poisoning me.

Tell us, you say, oh so loyal blog readers? I simply must first tell the people these feelings are directed at. And then, hopefully, I can share my feelings on the matter.

As I learned in a earlier post–I could run the risk of hurting some unsuspecting friends feelings and of seeming passive-agressive. Which would not serve my cause at all.

Why am I keeping these feelings bottled up inside of me? I think I am afraid of the outcome. If I dont share–I can stave off the inevitable. Flawed logic, of course.

Breastmilk vs. soymilk vs. formula

Grrrrr. The amount of information on the Internet is amazing and wonderful, yet staggering and lets face it–occasionally down right confusing.

Elliott is still breastfeeding or drinking expressed milk 5-6 times a day. He hasn’t had a drop of formula yet. I want to stop pumping at work-but I don’t want to stop breastfeeding. So, I have been trying to research the best options to make the transition from breast milk to ‘other’. And to perhaps kick the bottle while we are making the switch.

Elliott was sensitive to dairy products when we first introduced them–yogurt in particular– but his gut seems to be adjusting to the gradual introduction of cheese (and his taste buds love it!). I have never given him anything to drink besides breast milk and water, and like I said he has never had any formula. So, I don’t know how he would tolerate these items. However, since he is only 11 months old–all of the books say not to give your child milk until they are 1 year anyway. This is the first area of confusion. Why is it OK to give your child cows milk products but not cows milk? And why the arbitrary age of 12 months? Does your child’s digestive system miraculously on their 366th day say-bling–you can tolerate cows milk? Or is simply a timeline for when most kids can tolerate it and avoid the potential of allergies later? Or, more poignant–is it suggested to avoid the possibility of parents giving their kids cows milk in place of formula as a cost saving measure?

Well, if I cant give my babe cows milk–that leaves formula or a milk alternative, right? Wanting to research all of my options, I looked on the label of the free can of formula we received in the mail last week and the second ingredient is corn syrup solids. Uhh, no. I cant in good conscious give that to my son because I don’t feel like pumping any more. Caveat: I don’t judge formula feed babies, or a Mom’s decisions to feed formula to their wee ones. I simply can not justify my decision since it is based on selfishness. Aside from that–formula is expensive. The second area of confusion is that the formula can says the age range is for babies 9-24 months. Well, does that mean my baby needs that sort of nutrition until they are 24 months old? Or, is that just a marketing tool to get me to think that feeding my babe formula is the most nutrition option? Or…? Who knows what I haven’t thought of or considered.

That leaves a milk alternative. Our household drinks soy milk. I don’t care for milk, and my husband doesn’t mind soy. So, to save space, money and waste we both drink soy. Can I give my 11 month soy milk? Does it have all of the nutrients and vitamins necessary for his age? Can I replace 5 bottles a week of breast milk with sippy cups of organic unsweetened soy milk? And if so, why is there such a cultural tendency towards cows milk? If I give my baby soy am I forcefully subjecting him to my pseudo-granola lifestyle? Am I giving him a sub-par option? Am I a bad Mom for not offering him REAL (cows) milk?

All of this worry and it doesn’t even touch on the topic of weaning–which I dread the day Elliott decides he isn’t interested in breastfeeding or worse yet–I decide I am not interested in it anymore. If you have experience, advise or suggestions for the best way to navigate this milky pitfall–please comment or email me.


Today, and several times over the last few months I have been analyzing my friendships. With this analysis, I have come to realize (through the lack of verbal conversations, emails and phone exchanges) that some of my friendships are lopsided–where I consider the person more of a friend than they consider me. This is where I get my feelings hurt. Ouch.

Month one part II

The second half of operation budget cut went better than the first. We got some money randomly in the mail. If you are thinking…hmm, that is odd. You can assume that we were thinking the same thing.

Apparently, in 2004 during one of our refi’s we overpaid for our Title Insurance. This was unbenouced to us–and since we don’t like to argue with found money–we swiftly and quickly deposited the money in our account.

Then our tax return was deposited into our account, and just a few days later the economic stimulus money was deposited. WooT!!!

So, this half of the month was much better than the first half. I did manage to deposit all of my paycheck and then some into savings. Plus, we have enough for a little (and I mean little) fun. With my part of the fun–I bought us a colorful outdoor umbrella. And with Jeff’s part of the fun he is moving forward with our first real home improvement project–the front fence.

Global food issues

With all of the horrible events that are happening worldwide–the cost of food both stateside and abroad-the number of people in need of basic supplies (food, clean water, medical aide)–the cost of oil and gasoline…it has got me thinking.

Why do we ship food from the US to regions in need? Why dont we buy the food closer to the area that needs it? We can save on the cost to ship it, we can help to stimulate local economies, and it will be food closer the diet of the region.

I realize that this often isnt possible with regions that are suffering from draught–where crops and food are simply scarce or similar events. But, in some areas it is possible. We just dont do it that I can tell.

So, it really has me wondering and thinking. If you have any insight or thoughts, please dont hestiate to share.

Month one

The first half of operation budget cut didn’t go as well as I would have liked. I was only able to put 1/3rd of my paycheck into savings. After groceries, a trip to Costco, 5 family b-days for the month of May (of which we have only bought for one so far-eek), 3 mothers day gifts (none purchased yet-another eeeeek!), and a bachelorette party from last month that I still owe for I am still trying to find my saving stride. We are slowly getting into the mind set though, and that is a start.