Wednesday, June 29, 2011

You Guys!!!

I've got so much to share and of course my computer is dieing.  I thought it had officially needed a death certificate the other night, but alas, it's back up and slowly working.  I've managed to get all my pictures and files off of it at least. 

I've even been super crafty lately but I'm too scared to overload the computer by trying to put pictures up, they will have to wait.

But for another shopping trip!
Hubs put $50 in the joint account for me to go grocery shopping with.  This is one way that we watch our spending.  If that's all I have to spend, that's it.  We blocked our overdrafting services, so if I go over, the card is declined.
I bought a few convenience foods this week because it's supposed to be beautiful out.  I don't want to waste too much time chopping, cutting, etc., when we could be outside playing.

Yo-Baby Yogurt - $2.49 (I have everything needed to make yogurt, I just keep forgetting to do it)
Corn Chex - $2.67  (This is one of the only Gluten-Free cereals and it's normally $4.25/box)
Hefty Fresh Extend Ziplock Bags - $2.32 (I've been buying so much produce and some of the lettuce just isn't making it a week.  I was going to try to the Tupperware but they were so expensive.  I figured I would try the ziplock backs and just keep washing them out if they work well)
2-1.75 qt Ruggles Ice Cream (Black Raspberry Chip and Moose Tracks Yogurt)- $4.00 (These were 2/$5 and if you bought 2 then you got an extra $1 off, so they ended up being 2/$4)
Smith's Sour Cream - $1.34 (This was on sale, I prefer it to store brand, it seems creamier and lasts longer)
2 Sunbelt Granola Bar Boxes (Oatmeal Raisin and Honey Oat) - $1.79/ea (These are for Hubs.  He loves them and I can't make them much cheaper than that, especially if I had to buy raisins)
2 All Natural Chorizo Sausage- $0.99/ea (These are meat department specials.  They're close to their freeze by dates.  I love them in Black Eyed Pea Stew in the crockpot).
Hickory Farms Turkey Sausage Link- $2.99  (Again, a meat department special)
4-Softsoap Hand Soaps- $1.00/ea  (I'm picky on my hand soap, these are also great for gifts)
V05 Shampoo and Conditioner- $0.99/ea  (I'm trying to find cheap shampoo and conditioner that work.  I'm almost out of the Suave so I figured I would try this one)
2 lb Baby Carrots - $1.99 (I said convenience food.  But let's face it, when I want a healthy snack and Bear is awake, I know I won't peel carrots and eat them)
2.79 lb Red Cabbage - $2.20
3 ears of bi color sweet corn - $1.00
3 cucumbers - $0.99
1.19lb Green leaf lettuce (I did myself in, I wasn't paying attention.  This should have been Boston lettuce at 2/$1.00) - $1.54 (I'm annoyed that I wasn't paying attention.  Being careless costs money. Thankfully it was only $0.54 as I had 2 heads of lettuce).
.83 lb Red Leaf Lettuce - $1.07
.27 lb Radicchio - $1.62 (Don't be daunted by the price/lb.  Radicchio is $5.99/lb, but a head of it is only about .25lb.  It's got great nutrients and I love the taste.  I think it adds so much when we have it with grilled chicken in a salad)
2 Bunches Radish - $1.00
2.51 lb Baby Red Potatoes -  $1.73 (I wasn't paying attention here either, but it worked in my favor.  These are sold in a container by weight.  I though the sticker was the sale price, it said $2.54.  Which is great.  I buy these as a treat every once in a while.  They're so sweet.  Then when I checked my receipt, I realized they were even cheaper, only $0.39/lb)
1 bunch Spinach - $1.29 (I don't usually buy spinach because for some reason I only think it comes in that bag pre-cut which is really expensive.  So when I saw the bunch for this price (it's a large amount) I was super excited!)
.89lb Roma Tomatoes - $1.15
Grand Total = $44.47 and I only had one coupon for $0.15 off my ziplock bags.
According to my receipt, I saved $14.34.  You don't need to be an Extreme Couponer to save great.  Besides, who needs 57 bottles of yellow mustard, or 34 containers of Instant Noodles. Now I have enough left to go to the other grocery store and get chicken breast if I feel like it.
I do not use a list to grocery shop.  I am really good at mental math and I'm able to keep track of prices in my head really well.  I also don't KNOW what I want. It all depends on the quality and price of produce.  Also what is on sale.  I managed to take Bear with me on this trip and it still only took us about 45 minutes. 

The one plus about our grocery store? They bag the groceries and put them on a conveyor belt with takes them outside.  You then drive up and they put them in the car for you.   A HUGE help when you're trying to wrangle a stroller into the trunk and a baby into the carseat

And this is our local grocery store (a small chain).  Remember this post?  Well I can't say I've officially stayed away from Wal-Mart 100% but I've only been there maybe 2 or 3 times in a few months now.  It feels great.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Just when you think you're starting to climb out the other side

Grief comes back in full swing.
I KNOW it takes a while but with this new round of genetic testing the reality of the situation is very scary.
They're testing for a lot of very scary disorders.  By very scary, I mean fatal. 

The worst part?

Results can take up to 4 months.  4 months?! Yes, 4 months.  4 months of not focusing on my little guy who could be very sick, but instead focusing on my little guy who is moving mountains.  He's rolling with enthusiasm and has figured out how to move on his back by shimming and pushing with his feet.  Granted, it's not the RIGHT way, but it's something.

I feel like I have two file cabinets in my brain.  One filled of all the information I learned PRE-Bear.  Calculus, Statistics, Statics, Machine Design, PLC, Thermodynamics (I majored in engineering), how long to cook a chicken, best way to clean a microwave, etc.

Then there is filing cabinet #2.  It's one of those big monstrous ugly gray office ones.  Not the pretty wood, blend into your decor ones.  And it's filled with files of Bear. Microcephaly, Sandifer's Syndrome, hypertonia, hyperreflexia, GERD, Failure to Thrive, Lumbar Puncture, Neurotransmitter Diseases, Lysosomal Enzyme Screens, Metabolic Disorders, Mitochondrial Disorders, X-Linked Genetic Disorder, Prevacid (generic Lansoprazole), Baclofen, Valium (generic Diazepam), Propofol, Versed, MRI's, CT Scans, unknown etiology, NICU, and the list goes on.

These aren't files that I ever thought I would need.

And ya know what that bottom drawer is filled with?
One file folder.  Labeled : Fatal Disorders.  And you know what's in that file folder?  NOTHING.
Because I can't imagine my life without my son.  I can't imagine the moment of receiving that diagnosis.  Heck I can't even type it without tears rolling down my cheeks much less actually think or learn about it.

I have a rare genetic orthopaedic disorder.  I've known about it for 4.5 years now (despite having it my whole life) and I can still barely grasp the concept.  Thinking that my little guy may not be permanently mine is just unbearable.

It makes me want to pack him up and run.  Run somewhere safe, somewhere that I can't be reached.  Because, surely, if you cannot receive test results then they don't exist.
You'd find us here, marveling at the view. 

Life has given me lemons.  I'm not quite sure I'm able to make lemonade just yet.  I might need to find some raspberries.  Mmmm...then I'd be able to make raspberry lemonade.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Back with my latest frugal mission.

I'm not quite ready to write my story about what I've been going through lately.  It will come, in time.  Patience, dear readers, patience.

I spent a few weeks visiting my parents halfway across the country with Bear and had a great time.  However, more than once I was asked how I could possible feed my family HEALTHY meals while sticking to a budget.  Coupons and sales are only for over processed junk and THEY like to feed their family healthy meals.

This is downright insulting.  I would say 80% of the time I shop the outside of the grocery story with cereal and pasta added to it.  We live in an agricultural area so our seasonal local produce is usually ridiculously cheap and very fresh and ripe.  Our milk products are usually inexpensive, but meat is through the roof.  Finding protein for around $2.00/lb is quite the bargain here.

After getting home yesterday, my mom kindly accompanied me to the grocery store so I could stock up.
Here's what I got all for under $25.  (Some of these are approximations because I think my mom took my receipt home).
1 head red leaf lettuce - $0.89
1 head romaine lettuce - $0.89
2 cucumbers - $0.33/each
1 bunch of radishes - $0.33
1 box (24ct) of quart sized tea bags - $1.69
1 pack of fresh stuffed mushrooms -$2.99 after a $2.00 coupon on the package (these are in the produce department)
2 mushroom burgers made with lean ground beef - $2.04
rainbow sherbet - $1.99 (ice cream was too expensive)
1.5 lbs peaches - $0.99/lb
2 lbs grapes - $0.99/lb
1.75 lbs organic bananas - $0.39/lb (these are perfectly ripe so they were on the sell fast cart in the produce section marked down)
1 seedless watermelon - $2.98
2 cantaloupe - $0.98/each
2 lb baby carrots - $1.99
1 dozen brown eggs - $2.29 (I am picky about eggs, you can buy grocery store eggs for as cheap as $1/dozen)
11 cups of dannon yogurt - $0.32/each
3 half gal of milk (1%, skim, whole) - $1.25 each
1 lb tomatoes -$0.99/lb

plus a $10 rewards coupon from my grocery store.

Somehow I'm failing to find the over processed junk food or exorbitant spending.  I even managed organic bananas.

Meal plan for the week (Bear and I didn't get home till Monday afternoon)

Dinner: Restaurant treat for my mom because she drove us home

Lunch: chicken salad over lettuce
Dinner: stuffed mushrooms, burgers and Gingered Baby Carrots

Lunch: I don't know what Hubs had, but I had a late breakfast of cereal so I didn't eat lunch
Dinner: Baked Corndogs for the Hubs (we only use all beef hot dogs (Nathans or Hebrew National) and it was a homemade cornbread mix.  I have a frozen TV dinner from Amy's Organic line.  They're all organic and some are even gluten free.  I love their Tortilla Bowl and Mac and Cheese.   They've also got new light and lean meals which are fabulous.  We both had a salad with dinner.

Lunch: Leftover corndogs and turkey salad over lettuce (I had frozen cooked turkey leftover from the last time we had a turkey, added mayo, celery and onion)
Dinner: Crockpot ribs, frozen corn and watermelon

Lunch: Salad
Dinner:  Mexican restaurant.  My Dad is out here on business so he wants to take us to dinner, yes my Mom was just here Monday and part of Tuesday.  She had to leave Tuesday by lunchtime to get home so she could drive my Dad to the airport on Wednesday morning.

I don't usually plan Saturday or Sunday meals because we usually decide together in the morning what we're having.

I do know we have a carry-in at church on Sunday for the annual meeting.  I plan to make gluten-free chocolate cupcakes and maybe corn pudding. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The other side of the double-eged sword.

A genetic condition means Bear will only improve to a certain point.  His body cannot "recover" from a genetic condition. 

I think I need a break from blogging.  I need time to focus and accept and grieve this diagnosis.  I will be back.  There are lots of things that have been going on within my family that could use some thoughts and prayers.

My thoughts are so jumbled lately, I sit here staring at the screen unable to form a useable sentence.

See you soon.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Home from the hiatus.

It has been a chaotic week and a half.  My parents came out Memorial Day, Hubs took his ATV out, other family and friends came and visited, Bear turned one and Saturday we had his big blow out birthday party!

It was a fantastic day.  Beautiful weather (I have no pictures boo!!!) and a great turnout.  The kids played games, ran through the sprinkler and Bear was generously given clothes and toys.

What a year it's been.

Followed by the most amazing day of my life today.  We visited the geneticist up at the Children's Hospital.  She has pretty much told us that this is definitely a "conception" issue (meaning it's genetic).  All those moments of blame.  The what-if's that I did something wrong.  The could-I-have's.  All over.  This is an issue that occurred without any one's fault.  This is exactly how he is intended to be.

I am amazingly happy.  I know it probably seems weird.  I had "gotten over" the feeling that I had caused this for the most part.  But it my darkest times I would still cry over the fact that I could have done something wrong while pregnant and damaged my child.  As mother's we always feel guilty for our child's suffering.  It does not mean I am excited that my child will have a more difficult life than a typical one, or that my child will be different.  I am relieved of the burden of guilt that I caused this.

In more Bear news, He showed up that Baby Book milestone (how many teeth I had for my first birthday) by getting his first tooth Tuesday night!!! Bear turned One on Wednesday.  The top two are coming in at the same time now too.  We had a teeth explosion. 

We relaxed at the Beach on Sunday and had some lovely swimming.  Wednesday Bear and I will be flying to visit family all by ourselves.  What an exciting time!
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