This past week was... difficult. It started with a very fussy day for Emily, the first time all my soothing tricks had failed in months. The next morning, I was feeling inside Emily's mouth and noticed a tooth! She was much happier as soon as I found it, so I decided that was why she'd been so fussy. Both girls were in something of a sleep regression for the rest of the week, however, and I'm not sure if I can blame that on teething or just periodic sleep disturbances. On Saturday, I found out that our dog, Rufus, who lived with my parents because of the girls, was very ill, and on Sunday evening, he died in his sleep. All of this combined, I feel like surviving last week was an achievement, never mind meeting any specific goals. Reading over my post from last week, though, I think I may have done better than I remember.
I did go to the grocery store this past week, and I tried to stick to my list and not buy anything too impulsive. I picked out a few different types of meat for various meals we like, and planned some meatless meals to add into the mix. I tried to buy enough of the things we tend to run out of (milk, bread, coffee creamer) that I didn't have to run to the store during the week, since that always seems to mean buying more than just the thing or two we're out of. I also came up with a plan for the inevitable midweek grocery store runs, since I don't ever seem to be able to get through the week without one.
I also sat down and searched for homemade Christmas gift ideas on Pinterest, and I made a list of gift recipients and then wrote down some ideas above the list so I can try and match up names with gifts. I found a few things that can be made in bulk, like aftershave, vanilla extract, infused vodka, bath salts, and hot cocoa mix. These strike me as good gifts because all you need is the ingredients and some sort of packaging. There is a store here that sells glass jars, and the Dollar Tree can be a great source for inexpensive containers. Best of all, after tweeting a request for homemade gift ideas for men, I found a list of links that had all sorts of ideas. I really think some of them could work, though I need to go back and read through the components to make sure they won't break the budget (homemade does not always equal affordable, unfortunately!)
This week, I'm going to focus on the budget and try to get something down on paper with all of our expenses. In one of my vintage home economics textbooks, I found a great description of a budget as being "telling your money where to go". The money is going to be spent anyway, so I just need to figure out how much and to whom. Then we can look for places to cut back. I need to get a Christmas budget figured out soon so I can get supplies for making gifts before I run out of time! We're also toying with the idea of using cash for expenses so we don't overspend in the "gray" areas, like food and entertainment.
As a secondary goal, we're both going to work on eating more fruit and vegetables throughout the day this week. I came up with an idea for a race to see who can eat 5 servings first, Dan or me. I think it'd be fun to have a game board of sorts to track our progress. This could be a cool app - if only I knew more about programming! I do love veggies and fruit, but they aren't always the easiest snack to grab, so I miss opportunities throughout the day to eat more. I do usually get at least three, but five or more would be better. Last night, I had frozen yogurt with mango and kiwi and it was awesome. Two servings of fruit, and the whole half gallon cost less than a trip to the fro-yo shop! I figure since we both eat at home the majority of the time, it should be easy to keep track, and by the time the girls notice what we eat, we should both be eating five servings or more a day without a problem.
One last goal for the week is to make sure I get some blogging in with the holidays and all! I did pretty well last week, and I have to say I am extremely flattered that my Thursday link-up made it into Megan's goals for this week! Thanks, Megan!
I have a form for the budget already printed out, so I just need to set aside some time to figure out all the amounts for the blanks on the forms. I will try to get that done while the girls are napping tomorrow. I am going to fill out the Christmas budget form I talked about last week, and probably get some of the supplies this week before the craft store gets really busy. Having Dan in on the fruits and vegetables aspect will be helpful, because we can keep each other accountable. Ten points for marriage!
I'm linking up with Megan at Positively (Im)perfect for Make it Count Mondays! Head on over and read her goals for the week, and then check out the other posts! Don't forget to leave an encouraging comment!