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Checking in.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I'm not blogging as much as I used to and you can't expect daily blogging from me anymore, but this last week I was forced to stop because of lack of internet. It's tough when the phone company wants all of its money and I just don't have it. Now it's running again and here I am.

I was able to go grocery shopping this week, managing to save a lot of money in coupons, but have spent the entire budget for the month. I hope I did well enough to have a months worth of food this time (I saved over $75 spending $350 on food). I hope to get back into the habit of only spending a weeks worth at a time soon so we have fresh stuff on hand more frequently and that way I can hit up the weekly sales to stretch the budget better.

Because of being able to go shopping, I also ended up with a bunch of cookies and have eaten a bunch of cookies. They're all gone and I don't plan on replenishing them.

I'm still working on getting into a school schedule, it seems the last week went by so quickly and I didn't find real time for myself. All the time was spent being with my mom or cleaning things that really needed to be cleaned. I'm glad for the time with my mother and we plan on a weekly outing now that we don't have to bring my kids with. I'm also getting my home back in order so that I have time to do the fun things I like. My household is getting back in order slowly, I want to get it to the point where it's just little daily things instead of the full fall cleaning I'm working through. It's time to winterize the home and get rid of the summer things that need to be taken care of, like the remaining garden.

I finally got the last cake pan I've been wishing for the last couple of years. I finally own the medium pumpkin pan that I needed to complete my collection. I had stuff for other holidays, but not the pumpkin. Now my cake pan collection is complete. Perhaps I need to actually make a cake or two this year.

I've also started the planning out of volunteering at the local old folks home. I set up a day where I can try it out this week. It will help me get those extra steps in as I have to walk to the places I want to go and this is one more place within my walking distance. I got really bored last Wednesday so I find I needed to fill my time with spreading happiness throughout the community. I hope that this is a way to brighten my day as well as the people I want to help.

I think this week will be better and that my mind is finally settling into the school schedule. I hope that it won't be as hectic as last week was. Either way I'm up and doing things more now that I have my me time back.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEACHCALSIX 9/16/2014 1:32PM

    Sometimes just those first steps and organizing the routine are the hardest parts. After that it all kind of falls into place. You are doing great already, keep it up!
Those internet companies...ugh lol

Have a great week!

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TANYA602 9/16/2014 9:10AM

    Good morning! How good to see you back and to hear that you are finding things to do that you enjoy. Volunteering at the local community home sounds awesome. And I see you are getting some geocaching in. I am putting in 10+ hour days at work and just realized yesterday I am only home and awake about 4 hours. ugh. Like you, it's time to prioritize.
I hope you have a fabulous day!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 9/16/2014 6:53AM

    I sing with a church group at 3 different nursing homes in our town. The residents enjoy our visits and it's also rewarding for us. It helps put things in perspective.

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KAREN608 9/15/2014 10:39PM

    Phone companies give NO leeway when you owe them! Don't I know it!

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CATTUTT 9/15/2014 9:32PM

    Glad to see you back up and running! It's really awesome that you're going to volunteer, that's very kind of you. I think it will be great for you and the residents.

Hope you're having an awesome night!

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HOLLYM48 9/15/2014 8:03PM

    Glad to see you are getting into the school schedule once again. I hope you enjoy volunteering, sounds like it should be fun.

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FRAN0426 9/15/2014 7:50PM

    What a wonderful plan volunteering at the old folks home. It gives you more chance to get walking in and volunteering is always welcomed at those places.

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ACRAIG921 9/15/2014 5:59PM

    It's all about taking it one day at a time.

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UMBILICAL 9/15/2014 4:01PM

  Do the best you can

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Nice scale.

Friday, September 05, 2014

When I checked back in earlier this week I said I had gained 5 pounds back. That was true a couple of weeks ago when I stepped on the scale last. I just hopped on the scale, in the middle of the day at that, and it said I'm only up 3 pounds instead.

Despite not tracking my food or taking the pictures lately, I'm obviously back on the right track. Being back in the swing of school and having the house back to myself I'm not as obsessed with food. I'm more obsessed with getting the house clean again, getting stuff out the door, and getting my hobby/new business worked on than worrying about food.

I suppose it doesn't help we're low on food and I have to rethink my strategy for grocery shopping to extend what few dollars I have to spend on groceries so I'm not eating as much. I tend to have different eating habits when no one's looking, more nibbling instead of big meals. It works for me better when I can just grab a small bite than having a full meal. I know that when the kids are grown (I still have at least 8 years for that) I'll be nibbling more and not making huge meals. I never made real meals when I was single, it's only because I have to feed others that I'm making anything.

School week one is done! I hope next week goes better. Grocery shopping tomorrow. I'm clipping coupons today to help relieve some of the financial stress. I like how Target takes one manufacturer coupon, one store coupon, and it's cartwheel for one item.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEACHCALSIX 9/6/2014 4:30PM

    emoticon you're doing great, back on track and pushing through! Great job!

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FRAN0426 9/6/2014 1:24AM

    Good read on the scale--keep it moving in the right direction without tracking emoticon

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CANDYMOUSE 9/5/2014 9:03PM

    It's very hard raising family and trying to buy what everybody likes. I hope you are able to get you some good healthy food for your weight loss plan soon. Sure makes it easier, I know. emoticon

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KRISTA987 9/5/2014 8:48PM

    Congrats on your loss!

I'm big on coupons, shopping sales & price matching. It helped us out a LOT when we hit a rough patch & I still do it now. I'll go through flyers and make up a meal plan for the week based on what's on sale. One way I used to stretch a meal: I'd pick up whole chicken and make a roast for dinner, leftovers the next day & then use the bones to make a soup for the day after. Be creative, there's tons of ideas online too

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HOLLYM48 9/5/2014 5:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CATTUTT 9/5/2014 4:15PM

    Good job getting back on track now that school is back in. Sorry to hear about the tight food budget, that's rough.

Hope you're having a good afternoon!

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KAREN608 9/5/2014 4:05PM

    Glad the scale made you pleased... and sorry food budget is stretched.

I agree when we are alone we don't need big full meals.

I keep dried beans on hand, and rice for weeks when there is no food budget. I bet you will shop what is on sale and do okay.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 9/5/2014 3:57PM

    That's a very good weight result for the middle of the day. I'm always up a bit by then.
It does take creativity to stretch a food dollar. Good luck.

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Feeling judged.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I thought it was going to be a good thing, having so many parents at the bus stop. Instead, I'm still the only parent yelling at the kids (mostly mine and parentless kids) so they stopped running back and forth on the road (they get picked up in a parks parking lot, so the road isn't as busy as a street, but still has a lot of cars traveling it during that time), despite 5 of us parents being there.

While trying to corral those kids (most of them I knew from the previous years, so they're used to my parenting them), all I got were looks from the other parents. Since they are kindergartener parents, they'll still be out there all year long.

I did not come out hollering, in fact I tried to start a conversation with them, but it seems that no one knows how to talk to a stranger. There was one that seemed a little nice, so hopefully I won't get icy stares from everyone, but this is just crazy that so many people do the nod then give you looks behind your back thing.

So now I have to get this feeling out of my head and work on the rest of the day not stressing about it. If I continue to dwell on it for the day when I can't do much about anything today nor can I do anything about the behavior of these other adults (I'm the oldest one out there on days the parents are there and not the babysitter). I can't go to my normal stress behaviors of eating everything in the house and even making pastries to satisfy stress cravings.

This isn't the only time I've gotten the judging look from other parents of kids my kids are around this year. I hate the look of "I'm superior" that I get from other people.

Instead of eating all day long, I'm going to work on the laundry and some more of my models. I can get a lot of stress out through my models and they come out looking like I'm feeling. I'm getting better at them and have figured out the way to paint them, I just need the proper coloring tools for them.

I also have lists of things I need to clean, so I'll check one more thing off that list (not including the laundry I already plan on doing). I'll feel better after accomplishing something.

These are the things I hate about parenting, the games other people play.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BROOKLYN_BORN 9/5/2014 5:50AM

    I agree with the other comments. You have enough stress of your own without worrying about other people's kids.

I understand though. Long ago when children had to cross a busy street near my home to get to school, I used to get out there, hold up my hand and stop traffic. Finally, I just notified the school and police authorities. Then they stepped in.

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ACRAIG921 9/4/2014 10:02PM

    It is great that you are keeping an eye on the other children. You just want to make sure that they are safe. But also I also agree with everyone else, I would keep an eye on your own children and talk to the principal. You shouldn't have the responsibility of other people's kids.

I'm glad to see that you are back. I hope you had a good break. emoticon

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    I hear and feel you.

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KAREN608 9/4/2014 9:16PM

    It is hard to see kids running in the street like that. I'd tell the school authorities that kids are not being supervised and parents need to be notified about no running in any street. I know you are very caring and sensitive, and the other parents don't understand. I am not a parent. I would have been really over protective if I was, but I was doing childcare for a number of years, and rules are important. Some things are okay and somethings not for children. Just do what you feel is right.

Glad you do some chores everyday and mark them off your list!
I need a written list!

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KRISTA987 9/4/2014 5:29PM

    I don't have kids of my own, but when I was younger, I remember my mom constantly keeping me in line even though others were running wild. I would put up a fuss about it and always get the line 'I don't care what other people let their children do, you're not doing that!' or 'you were raised better than that'.

Like others have said, you shouldn't have the burden of other people's children on your shoulders. You already have too much to deal with! Maybe talking to the principal or whoever would help the situation. I find many times authority figures don't realize what's actually going on (at least at my work) until someone is brave enough to speak up.

I'm sorry you've been put in such a crappy situation. Hope things work out for you!

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RELIVE 9/4/2014 2:40PM

    Honestly I agree with MamaGoose. I would talk to someone in charge, and only focus on your own kids. If not they will continually resent you.

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BEACHCALSIX 9/4/2014 11:19AM

    ugh I really don't get other parents either. The worst thing is the mom is ALWAYS to blame. My husband never gets the looks. Just me and it drives me nuts. Now however, I kind of find myself ignoring them. Sometimes my son will throw a tantrum or do something bad. The looks always happen "sheesh, handle your kid lady" look
but I have been ignoring it lately. Why stress out over it? They don't know me or what kind of mom I am. I work hard taking care of my kids and that's all that matters. Hoping your feeling less stressed!

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MAMAGOOSE75 9/4/2014 10:53AM

  Honestly, I'd encourage you not to parent these other kids. As long as your kids aren't running amok, then chill. It seems like you going the extra mile for these other parents is causing or potentially causing havoc in your life. If the parents feel their kids are fine on their own, then so be it. Remember, it is not your responsibility and it sounds like from your blog that your involvement may be resented. If you have real concerns, please inform the principal and ask her to include this in the school newsletter (assuming you have one). You sound like a very caring and nurturing parent but remember that you are only a parent to your kids.

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EVIE4NOW 9/4/2014 10:41AM

  Ignore the other parents. You are looking after the kids safety. They will too once they have been around awhile.

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Getting back into the swing of things.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

It's day 3 back on Spark after my break and day 2 of back to school. Slowly I'm getting back into the healthy habits I had. I had over 10,000 steps yesterday and I'm already over 6,000 steps today. emoticon

I have still been working with my therapist and we've agreed that I'm getting much farther than I was a few months with getting back to the real me. Despite all the stresses that keep on coming my way, I'm still managing to make sure I'm not getting overwhelmed by all of it. Lists help.

This week I'm going to work on getting my home back in shape. After going through the kids' stuff, I have a couple of big boxes to get out the door, I just need to go through and toss the too horrible to donate things. I am slowly getting my cleaning done again, one room at a time. I'm going to work on the deep fall cleaning before winter hits (and I have a feeling it's going to be another cold harsh winter). emoticon

I'm pretty sure I'm going to just get rid of my garden for the season. I have a few little tomatoes starting to grow, I'll be lucky if they turn the appropriate color before the first frost. Dang cold spring. I'd usually already have a month's worth of fresh cherry tomatoes by now. At least I have my herbs back. emoticon

A good thing this year is that there are other moms at the bus stop with all the new little ones. At least two Moms and a Grandma. I'm hoping that it continues, but one already seems a little timid and easily frightened. I managed a long talk with the Grandma, so hopefully I'll have at least one person to actually have a conversation with while we're waiting. emoticon

Lastly I'd like you to keep your thoughts on my friend who's husband is back in the hospital with breathing problems. It's been six months since this started and he's still not much better. He was home for the last month, but when we visited them the other weekend, he was still a little quiet and not himself. I fear that he will leave her as a single mom and I'd love to see him get healthy and be able to be the spunky guy my friend married.

They have a youcaring site if you'd like to check it out and perhaps help out a bit to help their life out a bit while it's in so much turmoil.

Have a Sparkin' Day! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BROOKLYN_BORN 9/4/2014 7:39AM

    You have the right attitude to deal with the stress in your life. I'm a list maker too, although sometimes when I do some task not on the list, I'll add it afterwards just for the satisfaction of crossing it off.

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CATTUTT 9/3/2014 6:21PM

    Your attitude sounds great! Good job on all the things you're already accomplishing, and good luck on your goals. I have total faith you can do it all!

I will keep your friends in my thoughts. I hope he takes a turn for the better very soon.

Hope you're having a great night!

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First day of school!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

It's that time again! I'm feeling on top of it! I got the kids off to school, having made them eggs and orange juice before we walked up to the school. Tomorrow they'll ride the bus, but I needed pictures at the school of their first day outfits.

It looks like there might be one other bus mom at the stop tomorrow, but I never believe the influx of parents at the stop on the first day. I have yet to hold onto someone else to back me up at the stop with all the kids that aren't parented ever.

The walk up to the school means that I already got many steps in (even with active birds on our way, what's up with all the birds? They seem to hate me.) and will be getting more as the day goes on as my Mom is taking me out for the day. We'll probably get some GeoCaching in, there are so many right in town.

This new year (I have a 3rd and 4th grader now!) will mean a good schedule for me too. I'm not sure if I'm the only parent that really enjoys the school year and my "me time" back. I can only handle my kids so long during the day before I'm frustrated with them.

With them back on schedule, I'll be back on track too. I can pay attention to myself better when I don't have to pay attention to everyone else.

Here's to another great year!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRAN0426 9/3/2014 12:16AM

    I so remember the first day of school each year when my children were small. I totally enjoyed getting back to a schedule and some time time alone part of the day.

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CATTUTT 9/2/2014 2:36PM

    Sounds like you're having a great day, I hope it continues!

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WIO_ALISA 9/2/2014 1:17PM

    My kids start tomorrow - a freshman and an 8th grader. They've actually been at their dad's since last week. They come home today... so they can get their backpacks ready. LOL.

We did some geocaching for the first time this summer on our trip and actually found a geocache in all 50 states and DC. It was a lot of fun. I even went to an event on Sunday so I could get the 7 Souvenirs Challenge.

Enjoy the freedom!

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EVER-HOPEFUL 9/2/2014 1:04PM

    my 11year old and 8 year old go back to school on the 16th september and my 5 year old on the 22 september so can i be a little envious,lol.enjoy the extra me time. emoticon

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TATTER3 9/2/2014 12:23PM

    I remember those days

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KAREN608 9/2/2014 12:10PM

    Some people need more 'me' time than others.
Even though I do not have children, I am very comfortable being alone and actually get to feeling overwhelmed when I have to be around people all day every day.

Happy first day of school!

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    Sounds great! I forgot to take pictures - can you believe it? I will get one after school. Hope their first day goes well

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