Thursday, December 31, 2009
I just can't believe that a man (term used very loosely in this blog post) can not only walk away from his child, not do what he is legally obligated to in his divorce decree and then suddenly stop paying child support as well. Well.. to be honest, he wasn't paying his child support anyway, his company was doing it on his behalf because he couldn't be trusted to do it himself. I figure he either got laid off or quit, but let's face it.. $50 a WEEK really isn't all that much. And if it were me paying the child support, I'd pick up cans on the side of the road if I had to, to make sure that my child was provided for. (Can you really call it providing for your child if you only contribute $50 a week to your child's welfare? I think not, but that is a rant for another day.)
So once again, Brandon will be there to pick up the slack for someone too sorry to be in Lainey's life, too sorry to provide health insurance like he is obligated to do, too sorry to pay half of her out of pocket medical expenses and yes.. too sorry to send $50 a week child support. Lainey is the one of the few blessings that came out of a terrible relationship. Too bad he can't see that.
So in the meantime, I'll be adjusting the budget spreadsheets to account for ZERO child support from Mr. I'm too SORRY to even call and tell you what is going on or even leave you a working phone number to call me.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
So we packed up, grabbed our envelope and list and headed out.
I think we did GREAT!
We spent $ 44.69.
Remaining January Grocery Budget: $255.31
Remaining Shopping Trips in January: 3
F 1 Collards, Sausage, Rice, Black Eyed Peas, Cornbread, served with Pepper Vinegar
S 2 Pasta Fagoili
S 3 Leftovers
M 4 Ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans
T 5 15 bean soup (use frozen ham bone)
W 6 Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan served with a Garden Salad
T 7 Shake and Bake pork chops, yellow rice, broccoli, sofrito beans
F 8 Chicken Pot pie
S 9 Vegetable Beef Soup
S 10 Leftovers
Our breakfast menu will be the same:
Monday- Baked Oatmeal Squares
Tuesday- Eggs, toast and sometimes sausage or bacon
Wednesday- Cold cereal, milk and apple or banana
Thursday- Cold cereal, milk and apple or banana
Friday- Cold cereal, milk and apple or banana
Saturday- Cold cereal, milk and apple or banana
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Unfortunately, due to quite a bit of morning sickness, holiday hectic-ness, and a stomach virus, shopping has been bare essentials so I'm not sure how much I really have to use up. LOL
2. Spend NO MORE than $300 on our groceries for the month. (This is excluding baby formula, household needs, tolietries, etc since those are separate envelopes in the Bee household for you Dave Ramsey folks.) So I have 4 eaters really.
3. Adhere to our eating out budget. It's $25 because we have some other things to take care of this month. We also have some giftcards from Christmas that I'm NOT including in the $25.
If you want to join the challenge, make your rules and c'mon!
I first went into our pantry, cabinets, freezer and refridgerator to see what we have to work with. I found quite a bit in the side dish department but I had very little for meat.
I made my list, checked it twice, looked at the ads and changed some things around. Tomorrow is shopping day!
I'll report back with what I spent... One thing is for sure, we have to come in under budget because we are using cash! Funny how that works huh?
Monday, December 28, 2009
Satan has always chosen to attack my thoughts around my parenting, child raising, and my children. He knows that my children are my heart and well... a very vulnerable spot in my heart. The most recent subject he has started to attack is our decision on a repeat csection vs. VBAC (v*ginal birth after c-section.) I desire a VBAC and am a candidate. I birthed DeLainey v*ginally and had a planned c-section for Julianne because she had her cord wrapped around her neck among other issues. I also was seeing one of the most csection happy doctors in the area I lived in. (Word to the wise, check your doctors stats and if they are out of line with the national norm, start asking questions.)
Neither one of my birthing experiences were wonderful, magical or any of the other words I've heard used for childbirth. I had several rude medical professionals cross my path each time. I was stressed, nervous, in pain (yes for both!), and just well, not anything beautiful or magical or anything like that.
Recently I've been doubting if I can do either. Which is well, laughable because the baby has to come out one way or the other right? Yes.. after giving birth twice I still doubt I can do it.
And then I logged into my favorite parenting site ever and read what a dear friend posted. She said that a friend emailed it to her. What a timely message for me!
Would you please bless us with a liberal amount of Your wisdom for the decisions that are to be made?
Scriptures used: Ps. 127:3; Prov.31:28; Ps. 113:9; Ps. 127:3; Gen 1:26; Acts 17:28a; I Pet.5:7; II Cor.12:9; Eph. 6:11, 12,16; 2 Tim. 1:7; I John 4:18; Phil. 4:8; Ps. 91:2, 11; James1:5,6a; Phil. 4:7; Pro. 3:5,6
Each time the doubt creeps in, I pray this prayer. I've prayed it several times in a row at times. Either way.. repeat csection or VBAC, God already knows the outcome and has it planned.
Thank you Father, for giving me these precious words to hold onto. I pray I stand on the truths that You've sent for us in the Word. Thank you for the awesome blessing of motherhood and yet another baby to raise to know You.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
But I drug myself down the stairs, made breakfast for the kiddos, fed Xander his bottle and had just settled in for some computer time with my caffeinated beverage of choice these days, the mini can of Pepsi. I was trying to make a game plan for the day but couldn't even form a coherent sentence... when the phone rang. It was Brandon calling from his cell but he was at the office. This is such a rare occurrence (especially in the morning) that I thought something had to be wrong.
I answered.. and I'll keep private what my husband said I sounded like. (It wasn't very flattering that is for sure! ) But I could tell he was excited about something. He asked if I wanted an early Christmas gift and when I said sure, he told me that Xander's decree of adoption finalization was signed the day before. It's official. His adoption is complete and nothing can change it!
I've held strong in my faith that this would happen but after watching faaaar too many Lifetime Movies in well.. my lifetime, that every now and then a little piece of doubt would creep in. And all of that was wiped away with that one little sentence that Brandon called to tell me.
I'm thrilled... We are so blessed. Our adoption journey went SO incredibly fast and smooth that it is really hard to believe sometimes. When we started our journey we braced ourselves for trials and some heartache but it couldn't have gone better!
If any of my readers have questions about adoption, please feel free to contact me and ask. I've been asked a lot of questions about our adoption journey (and our infertility journey) so nothing really can catch me off guard anymore. I'm sure I asked some doozies when I started walking this path but I've had great mentors that were patient and understanding and I soaked up all they could share. I truly hope to continue that cycle and give back to other potential adoptive parents in the same fashion. I plan to share the steps that we went through in order to adopt Xander. In the meantime, I'm getting our paperwork straight for adoption #2. Cause you know.. you can't ignore a calling. ;)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The girls didn't last long, so they came in and I changed their clothes and settled in for a snowed in day. The pizza man arrived, Brandon tipped him generously and we started making plates. It was Lainey's turn to pray over our meal.. and this is what we heard:
"Dear God... thank you for our food let it nourish our bodies, and protect our baby in mama's belly... oh and please bless the pizza man that came and brought us pizza in the snow. In Jesus' name, Amen."
And then she remarked, "Momma... do you think he is a Dave Ramsey listener too?" Puzzled I said, "Honey, why do you think he listens to Dave?" (Yes.. Dave and I are on a first name basis. LOL) "Well," she said, eating pizza between her thoughts, "Only a true Gazelle would deliver pizza in the snow."
Yes, honey... now that you've explained, perhaps he is a Dave Ramsey listener.
Thank you Father, for my insightful children that consistently keep me on my toes. Thank you that you've introduced us to Dave and that my 6 year old gets it. And yes, please bless that pizza delivery man through his journey today and in his future.
I knew Augusta didn't have a Godiva and my aunt is FAAAAR too practical to buy Godiva for herself. BINGO! A great gift right?
Brandon had a huge smile on his face and said "NO chocolate covered strawberries for the baby!" as he looked down at my belly. I leaned over and said "Did you hear that Baby G_____ (name not announced) Daddy says NO chocolate strawberries."
Suddenly from the back, I heard "I is allowed to have strawberries... and my name... is Julianne!" Silly girl thought I'd called her the wrong name and told her she couldn't have strawberries. It was hilarious!
Well Godiva is in our outdoor mall... and it was cold so we rushed in and made a mad dash across the mall (of course we couldn't park near the Godiva.. we aren't natives and have no idea where Godiva is in relation to the various parking lots!)
As soon as we opened the door to enter Godiva, my girls both started sniffing. You can SMELL the chocolate there. Julianne began pushing air towards her nose and inhaling deeply and then she began to look around. She looked a little like Charlie when he entered Willy Wonka's factory.
We picked the gift and Brandon stood in line to pay. He cannot resist batting eyelashes and so he got two cones of chocolate covered strawberries. One was dark chocolate and one was milk chocolate.
When we got to the van, I gave each girl 2 stawberries and I stressed for Julianne not to eat the tops. A few minutes later, we were stuck in traffic and I asked Julianne where her strawberry tops were and she said in her carseat. I asked her to pass them up to me and this is what I saw:
Not a single drop of chocolate or strawberry left on the tops... and that my friends, is how I know that she was not switched at the hospital. She is definately mine. ;)
1. The end of the 1st trimester and beginning of the second was rough. For some reason my morning sickness came back with a vengence. Things seem to be better now but I'm still a bit sensitive to texture and STILL can't eat a chicken patty to save my soul. Popeyes? Easy Peasy. Chick Fil A? Not so easy peasy.
2. My Auntie Karon came to visit us for 4 days! Of course I was wrapping up our homeschooling before Christmas break and preparing for her visit (cleaning, finishing up last minute shopping, etc. etc.) so I was very busy during that time. Then see reason #1, and well.. it was hard to do. But she came, we had a great visit, and I even got to send presents back for my mother in law and sister in laws and it saved me a trip to the Post Office.
3. I was VERY homesick after Auntie Karon left. Like curl up on my couch and cry for the entire day while I turned the children's brains into mush and let them watch cartoons. Cartoons for more than 30 minutes is a RARE thing in our household. Julianne cried off and on for "Nanny Naron" and for some reason thought that she was just going to get breakfast and then she was coming back. Poor baby girl.
4. Then we got snow.. not just a little snow. 18+ inches of snow. This Georgia girl doesn't *do* snow if it is any more than a dusting. So we were housebound on Saturday. Sunday we braved it and guess what? It is Tuesday night and we still have snow! Lainey is starting to wonder if there will be snow on the ground until spring. Please Lord, no! I can't do it! I don't have proper footwear for this. (I'm a sandal girl through and through!)
5. We've been finishing up Christmas prep. Santa pictures last night with a pedicure as a treat for mama after, preparing 17 treats for Brandon's team at work, Christmas cards, etc, etc.
6. Nesting has hit... hard! I've done somewhere around 5 consignment store drop offs, 5 Goodwill drop offs and had Brandon haul off lots of trash. Subconsciously, I think my body is preparing for bedrest like I had with Julianne's pregnancy. There are no indications that I need any bedrest though. Things are looking good and my cervix length is GREAT! (Sorry.. TMI I know!)
I hope to be a better blogger. I'll be posting a few things to you all caught up...
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
So I have quite a bit to catch up on.
1. #4 is on the way! We found out in October that what I thought was bad Chinese food was actually a little one creating hormones that cause morning sickness. After what is now years of heartache in the fertility department I was in denial. Brandon is the one that begged me to pretty please test late one night and two lines popped up quickly. I was speechless. He said "I told you so!" Okay, honey. You were right. *smile*
I was only 3 weeks and a few days... I knew it would make for a long pregnancy but I was able to get in and get some bloodwork drawn and find out that my HCG numbers were great but my progesterone was iffy. Since I've lost 2 pregnancies of my 4, the doctor seems to think that low progesterone might be the culprit. So I started progesterone supplements. I'm due June 23rd and so far everything is going well. I love the practice that I blindly picked here. LOL I've never made it to a due date before and have had issues with preterm labor so they will be following my case closely. I'm thrilled there is a peri in the office just in case!
I've had to actively battle my fear. Part of me believed that I'd just lose this baby too. Afterall, I had lost half of my pregnancies and I am ONE miscarriage away from having the most hurtful words written on my chart. "Habitual Aborter." It makes me nauseated to type that! What a terrible label for a woman that loves her children deeply and has never done anything to harm them! Even in my first pregnancy which was a complete surprise and the news came at an interesting time (like uh.. right after my ex- husband and I separated...) I NEVER considered abortion. NEVER!
But each day, I'm SO very thankful that I've been allowed to carry the baby yet another day. And here I am 11 weeks today!
2. Xander is now crawling...
and holding his bottle, except for Mama...
He is also pulling up on the edge of the couch and in his crib... and the other night attempted to stand up on his own without pulling up on anything, but well, that didn't go so well.
3. Homeschooling is going well. I'm getting a little frustrated with our particular curriculum and I've started making a list of things to change next year. I hope that I can make it to the Homeschooling Convention. I think it is June 10-13 and as mentioned above I'm due with #4 on June 23rd but haven't made it to my due date yet. We are still doing written schooling four days a week but now we have school Wednesday-Saturday so it coincides with Brandon's work week.
I promise I'll try to do a better job of keeping this up. I might make this my homepage so I see it every day. Maybe that will help. LOL
Friday, September 18, 2009
Friday is a different sort of day for us. Since we are 4 day a week, year round homeschoolers, Friday's typically do not have any written school work if the week went as planned. If not, then Lainey has to finish the work for the week. We've done pretty well at keeping everything on track and I think we've only had to do written school work on one Friday in the last six weeks.
I also use Fridays to catch up on housework and do some planning.
But the tradition is for me to bake something on Friday. Today I whipped up Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. The girls literally jumped up and down when they saw the 3 bananas defrosting on the counter. (I freeze the bananas when they get over ripe specifically for this recipe.)
Here is the recipe, at the bottom I've noted what I do differently and how I make this a speedy process.
1.5 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
3 ripe bananas
1 cup chocolate chips
1. In a large bowl, combine dry flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg and add mayonnaise. Add dry ingredients and stir until moistened.
3. Fill paper lined muffin tins 3/4 full. Sprinkle tops with chocolate chips. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Test muffins with a toothpick.
Changes: I've substituted sour cream instead of mayo when I was out. I typically use very cheap mayo for this since you cannot taste it. Sometimes I leave the chocolate chips off of the top. My aunt likes to put nuts in the mixture. Oh and I don't measure the chocolate chips. I take a handful and sprinkle them on until they look good. I never get 12 muffins as my yield since I fill the muffins a bit more than I should.
Make it fast tip: I measure out the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda and salt) for several batches of muffins at a time. I put the ingredients in ziploc bags and store them in a tub. To make the muffins, I mash the banana, add the mayo and then dump the dry ingredients in the bowl, stir and continue. I put the ziploc baggie back in the tub for the next time I measure out several batches. This method makes less dishes since I have no measuring spoons or cups each time and it saves time, since I'm not having to pull everything out and measure.
Rating: This recipe gets two thumbs up from each of us. The muffins turn out moist and yummy! I make them on Fridays because that is the end of the shopping week, so any overripe bananas get used up. They are perfect for breakfast, a snack or dessert. If they make it to Sunday (a rare event) we can eat them easily before church.
To start, I'm Stephanie, proud mother of three beautiful children. My children are DeLainey (6), Julianne (3) and Xander (5 months.) I'm happily married to Brandon, 5 years this past April. We are from Georgia but have relocated to Virginia. Alot of words can be used to describe me: Homeschooler, adoptive mother, stay at home mom, believer, family manager, bargain hunter.
I look forward to posting!