Today was hard. Every Thursday is now. Jesse leaves before 9am. He does not get home until after 10pm. He teaches all day. I'm a wreck all day and do not get in my "I can do this by myself" groove until 9pm or so. We're working on this, together, but it ain't easy.
Here are the highlights of my day. I just realized that if I share these it may show how low the day was. Tough bricks. I'll share them anyhow.
I hung two loads of laundry on the line! The wind is doing most of the drying and nothing is coming in frozen. I got a load out yesterday. I have two more loads ready for tomorrow, before MORE SNOW falls over the weekend.
Jess called. From work. Enough said.
Anna took two naps. Each was one hour long. In my arms. She's weaning down to one nap. I'm not ready for that yet.
Anna fed me for the first time.
And she said "book" three or four times. She first said this earlier in the week, but now she's using it frequently. That's word #16!
Leah picked up her Legos. David cleaned off his bed so I could put clean sheets on it. Sarah helped with Anna. All after 9pm. That's when I got in my groove. Remember?
I caught up on the few blogs I'm following. I fell off the blogging wagon, in case you haven't noticed. I think? one of the best ways to get traffic and make friends (my goals) is to find a niche, (working on that) comment on others' blogs, (failing. I'm back to lurking.) and write. Write? Oh yes. That.
One of my new favorite places to lurk is at Apron Thrift Girl. I feel really good there, like I fit in. I want to keep going back. Today she wrote about getting good food cheap. I followed the link at the bottom to see if there were any discount groceries near us. Nope. But we may stop by one the next time we are in Richmond. Well, in that Salvage Grocery article there is a link to folks spending $50 or less each week on all of their food. I was instantly intrigued. Could we? How much for the kids? What about all the specialty foods we have to buy due to allergies? How many exceptions would I have to make? Could we still do lots of organic?
The rules are as follows: $50 each week for each adult. One of the writers has a 3 year old. He gets an extra $25 each week. Alcohol is not counted. Caffeine is. Eating out is.
I record all our expenses. I have for almost ten years. It's easy to look at 2009 and see... our monthly average for groceries and eating out, including alcohol, was $653.99. Excuse me?? To meet the challenge we have to spend less than $700 each month. We did it last year without even trying! And the number was even more impressive before I added in what we ate when we traveled. There. The highest moment of my day. (I will disclose that for the two months after Anna was born, the bills were higher. We bought more processed food. I was always eating, to the tune of $825 and $770. Cheap months helped to balance those out.)
I've had numerous friends ask me recently about living frugally. How do we do it? I think that will be my first niche. My goal for 2010 now is to get our monthly grocery bill even lower. How does $500 sound? I'll be back, promise, and let you know how it goes.
And speaking of one thing leading to another: After my last post there was a wonderful 5 year old's birthday party. On that day, Sarah started coughing. 6 days later, I started coughing. Jesse was coughing 6 days after that. This was near the now 9 year old's party, that had to be re-scheduled due to two sick parents. The cough did not spare a single one. I'll do the math for you. David got it on Christmas Eve. Anna started around New Years. Did I mention it came with two days of fever and aches and stayed for two weeks? No? And we traveled for over two weeks smack dab in the middle of hacking and aching? No wonder I fell off the wagon.