Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Final Numbers Are In! April's Grocery Budget...

I had set my April grocery budget back at $550.  As of last week's post, I had a mere $9.95 left in the budget and I was pretty sure I would go over that.  And, well, my prediction was correct.

Here's what I spent:

Farmer's Market:  $29.00*
*offset by the fact I had four milk bottle deposits and only got two more bottles
1 quart whole milk
1 pint heavy cream
1 pint blueberry yogurt
1 pint cherry yogurt
1 full loaf of fig & walnut bread
1 bunch of ramps
1 bag of Asian salad mix
1 bunch of radishes

Total Spent for the week:  $29
Total Spent for April:  569.05
Overage:  $19.05

Not nearly as terrible as I was worried about.  I can *live* with a less than $20 overage.

Moving on to May, I plan on keeping the budget at $550.  While I do hope to be able to come in much lower (the house is pretty well stocked at the moment),  I don't  have the time/patience/ability to do any sort of self imposed challenge for May. 

How did you do with your April grocery budget?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Gas, Garbage, and G1 to the Neurologist...

Whew!  Another busy day around here today!  I'm wondering if this is how the rest of the school year is going to shape up!

Remember that $75.43 that was left in my budget last week?  That I was so proud of still having?  Yeah, well, this week's driving made up for it!  I put $60 (TWO fill ups) into the tank since last week!  It's been a crazy kind of week!  I have $15.43 left in the budget along with a half tank of gas.  Sadly, I am almost positive that I will have to do some sort of "top off" because of Friday's driving - bringing G1 to Ramsey's house.  I doubt there will be any surplus to add to my summer driving fund.

I had two kitchen sized (13 gallon) bags again.  Plus another full recycling bin.  Same old, same old....

This morning it was G1's turn to see our favorite neurologist....

We all get migraines but G1's have amped up lately in intensity and frequency.  So, it was time to get "officially" checked out by the doctor.

I thought for sure an MRI was going to be ordered but, luckily for our bank account, that wasn't the case.  The doctor has decided to try a preventative medication to see if it keeps the migraines at bay.  I dropped the script off to CVS earlier and will be picking it up later this afternoon.  Hopefully the cost will be nominal and the medication will be effective in helping manage G1's migraines.

And, with that, I'm off running again!

Time to pick G2 up from school!

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Weigh In Wednesday

I am not going to lie....

I really wanted a big loss this week!

I worked really hard exercise wise - thank you Fitbit!

However, when I got on the scale this morning...

I weighed in at..

182.1 lbs

So, I lost 1.3 lbs from last week.

While I am happy about the scale not going up, it is a bit of an eye opener....because even though I did curb some of my bad habits food wise, I am going to have to try harder on the food and diet soda front.

Okay, enough griping....

Here are the positives from this week's weight loss adventure...

1.  I did lose something! 

2.  My Fitbit is keeping me super motivated!  This thing is really working for me so far!  I love watching the number of steps go up and trying to hit all my goals for the day.  I was even invited to a "weekend warrior" challenge and won with the most logged steps of the group (42,532 steps for the weekend).

3.  Speaking of steps, over the course of the last week, I walked 58.9 miles which averages out to a little more than 8 miles per day! Not too shabby when you think about it!

4.  I do have more energy and have been able to avoid napping during the day!  When I get tired now, I try to go for a short walk to see if it helps.  So far so good!

I'm going to try to pay more attention to what I am eating and try to stay patient...

Have a good Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Groceries Lately and An Update.....

Thank you everyone for keeping my brother in law in your thoughts.  I think I have felt every emotion possible over the course of the last two years about his condition....Now I am just so sad for him and hoping for a miracle. He has a LOT of baby steps to go through before we stop worrying about him.  And, things can go either way at any time right now so it's hard to relax when it comes to him.

As of writing this on Monday night, it appears the heavy duty clotting medications have helped.  The doctors are cautiously optimistic that the bleed is slowing, if not stopped.  But, since there was no true rhyme or reason as to why it started in the first place, no one can predict if this will continue to be the case. 

The doctors decided to stop the clotting meds to see if W (Papa's brother) could hold his own.  So far, so good.  But, he is constantly being monitored and is in the "step down" ICU.    If his levels tank, they will start giving him blood again and (I'm guessing) the clotting agent.

If the doctors can get this bleeding under control, we think he would be extremely high on the liver list - he was relisted I think at least a month ago.  While we were originally told his kidneys were toast, the doctors aren't as certain now.  It's a catch 22 - if we hope his kidneys are functioning well enough on their own, his placement on the liver list goes down.

I refuse to let myself go on the rant I currently feel about his "wife".  The only thing I will say is that there is zero support coming from her and scarcely any visits from her or their children.  So, W's support mainly comes from Papa....My mother in law tries her hardest but ends up fighting a LOT with W due to her frustration/anger/sadness.  Oh, and Papa is in charge of W's living will because Papa is the only person W trusts to do the right thing...whatever the circumstances, if needed.

I think I am going to try to head up to the hospital on Wednesday morning to visit him for a bit and have lunch with Papa.  Tuesday is too crazy with appointments for both Guppies.

And, that's where it stands currently.

For April's grocery budget, I am going raising my amount back to $550.  I am hoping to stockpile some much needed pantry items this month.  We will see how it goes!
What is included biin my monthly budget?  Food, paper and cleaning products, and health/beauty items.  We are a family of four....Papa, Me, Guppy1 (18), and Guppy2 (14).  Plus we often will have an impromptu dinner guest or two thanks to the Guppies!  =)

After last week's grocery trips, I have $178.19 .   Let's see how I did this week....

Okay, so let's be honest...right now there are way bigger things in life than my grocery budget.  While I don't want to completely blow it and go crazy, I am also giving myself a little grace under the current situation.  That being said, I do plan on staying accountable to see where I end up for the month....I'm just not going to beat myself up over the end number.

Big Y:  $75.75
Big Y has been my store of choice lately....Especially when I had to drive my car around on the "donut".  Big Y is literally around the corner from my house which translates into the least amount of driving.  I'll be getting new tires towards the end of the week. (I did get the tires taken care of last week.)

1 large bottle of Tropicana OJ
1 1/2 gallon of Friendly's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream
1 package of hashbrown patties
1 bottle of Tamari soy sauce
1 bottle of rice wine vinegar
1 bottle of store brand pancake syrup
1 bottle Hershey chocolate syrup
1 container of chocolate sprinkles
1 (38 oz) bottle of Heinz ketchup
1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
1 bag of jasmine rice
1 large box of Lucky Charms
1 large box of Frosted Mini Wheats
2 (6 packs) of Gatorade
3 packages of split chicken breasts
2 lbs of strawberries
1 platter of veggie sushi with 2 spicy sauces

The above trip has more "junky" food than I would have liked but I bought the ice cream and toppings for G2 (who has been begging me to buy more).

Big Y:  $92.41
store brand cream cheese
1 lb deli American cheese
1 package grinder rolls (6)
1 bag Ore-Ida zesty fries
1 bag Ore-Ida tater tots
1 (12 pk) diet Snapple
1 bag farro
1 Rinaldi pasta sauce
1 (25 foot) foil
1 bag jasmine rice
1 package store brand "Shake n Bake"
1 (12 pack) store brand English muffins
5 (32 oz) bottles of Gatorade
2 bags of Perdue popcorn chicken
2 packages of London broil
2 packages boneless pork chops
1 jar of Maries blue cheese dressing
1 large clamshell of Olivia's organic spring mix
2 lemons
1 container of heirloom tomatoes
1 head of garlic
2 containers of "spicy sauce"
1 large container of seafood salad

Total Spent:  $168.24
Left in April Budget:  $9.95

So, that's where I stand right now.  I'm almost positive that measley $9.95 isn't going to cut it for the rest of the week.  But, I will try to keep it in mind while balancing the rest of life right now.

Hope you all have a great day!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Still Here....

It's an absolutely beautiful day here and I'm planning on stealing a little bit of time for myself with a walk in the sunshine on the rec path here in town.

But, first I thought I should write a quick post....

It's been a crazy couple of days - which is why I haven't been able to write.  Papa, the Guppies, and I are all okay...

Papa's brother is not.

He has been internally bleeding for close to a week and the doctors cannot find the source.  They have been pumping him full of blood products and still his numbers are going down.  His kidneys are also completely shot now with no hope of returning.

Papa and I were in the room when a doctor came in and told him he needs to get his affairs in order because there is a good possibility he isn't making it out of this hospitalization.  While he has been close to death's door before, I think this time is even closer.  And I know this time is the first time anyone has told him.  Mostly because this is the first time he has been lucid enough to understand.

The most difficult thing for everyone, including my brother in law, is that he feels so good at the moment and is his "old" self.  Old self as in twenty plus years ago.  The Guppies don't even really know their uncle because he hasn't been "him" for so long!  We think he is acting this way because essentially his body has all new blood - between dialysis and all the IV bags full of blood products.

Last evening, they started a last ditch effort in stopping the bleeding by giving him a blood clotting agent.  It's a very dangerous thing to do because this medication could send him in the opposite direction and have his blood clot too much....which could lead to rogue blood clots that could lodge in his heart or brain.

Papa talked to him this morning and I guess some of his numbers are going up...which could mean potentially that the area that is bleeding could be slowing/clotting now.  But, it's way too early to get too optimistic.

Papa is heading over to the hospital soon but told me to stay home today since things are as stable as they can be at the moment.

I have been trying my hardest to support Papa as needed.  Yesterday was a tough day when Papa had to start calling friends (per his brother's request) to let them know what was going on.  Papa is trying to be strong for everyone and can only do so much until he crumbles too.  My priority is to be his soft place to land whenever he needs it.

And, I really hope that my brother in law can make it through this....

No matter what happens, it is a long road ahead....

I'll try to go back to a more normal blogging schedule tomorrow or Tuesday.

For today, I'll recharge as best I can and be there for Papa when needed.

Have a great Sunday everyone.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gas, Garbage, & A New Pair of Sneakers!

Thursday already?!?! 

I can't believe how quickly April is passing by!

But, I am super excited about tonight!  A few months ago, we bought four tickets to see Frank Iero and his band at The Space in Hamden.  It's a very small venue with very limited tickets.  If the concert is anything like his last one, I'm sure we won't be disappointed.  (By the way, if you have no idea who he is -which I didn't before the Guppies, maybe you will recognize the band he used to be in...My Chemical Romance.)  Anyway, it's going to be a late night but fun!

Onto this week's totals...

Silver lining to driving on a "donut" rather than a "real" tire is that I have severely limited by driving distances!  The $75.43 I had last week is still alive and well in the budget....Although, either today or tomorrow, I will probably have to fill up to ensure I have enough gas to get to the discount tire place the next town over.  (I am currently sitting at a little under 1/4 tank.)

This week we put out 2 kitchen sized (13 gallon) bags.  This seems to be the "norm" at which we are stuck.  Truthfully, I can't say I have spent a whole lot of time thinking outside of the box - or garbage can in this case.  I've been sailing on auto-pilot with recycling and garbage. It's going to need closer examination.  I just don't know when I will have the time to dedicate to it yet.

I am not sure if there are "Bob's Stores" across the country or not.  In case you don't have one near you, Bob's is basically an athletic apparel/shoe store.  And, also the place where most people grab their UCONN Husky attire.  (LOL) 
Awhile back, I received a $10 coupon in the mail and held onto it "just in case".
My "just in case" came in the form of holey sneakers.  Remember those sneakers I bought a few months back with my Marshall's gift card?  Yeah, those.  They are already toast!  Besides have holes in the canvas, the tread is completely shot too!  When I bought them, I saw they were "ultra light".  My guess is that they aren't supposed to be worn/beaten up almost every single day.
Considering these are my main shoes of choice, I desperately needed new ones!
So, off to Bob's I went with my coupon!
I found a very nice pair of white and blue New Balance cross country trainers.  The original price was $59.99.  I got an additional 25% off thanks to my Bob's card - which brought the total down to $44.99.  Then, after the $10 coupon was applied, my price dropped to $37.85 including the tax!  I was pretty pleased with that price since I know New Balance sneakers tend to last awhile for me.
The branch I went to today is slated to be closed due to Bob's mother company (Eastern Mountain Sports) declaring bankruptcy.  I don't know when it's supposed to happen yet but I will definitely miss deals like this one!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Weigh In Wednesday!

This week I almost just skipped my morning weigh in....

It was not a stellar weekend in this house for me eating wise since it was Easter and I overindulged..




Plus, into Monday!

But, since this is a journey that I really need to take and stay accountable on, I forced myself on the scale.

It said


So, a gain of .4 lbs.

I'm not happy about it but know it could have been worse.

Last night, Papa brought me home my Fitbit though!  I can't believe it is here already since the order had to be placed by April 11th!  Talk about great timing though - I'm still learning how to use it and obviously didn't charge it enough last night in my excitement since the battery is showing half full this morning....(The battery is supposed to last five days fully charged.)  I love how slim the band is and it's really comfortable!  (I have the Fitbit Flex 2)

I'm hoping to keep my momentum going now that I have this baby....It reminds me a little bit of how much I love lists....except instead of crossing off items and feeling accomplished, I feel the need to add steps to get the same "high" as crossing stuff off.  Does that make sense?  LOL

Anyway, I'm off to try to get something accomplished today since I am not *quite* as tired as yesterday.

Happy Wednesday!