Monday, June 30, 2008

10 Things I Don't Feel Guily About...

So, today I began reading "Motherhood: The Guilt That Keeps on Giving" by Julie Ann Barnhill. I'm only on chapter 2, so I really can't comment on the book as a whole, but the preface got me thinking. She suggests, okay demands, that you list 10 things you've done as a mother that you do not feel guilty for. Truly, this is harder than it appears. I could list about a million things that I do feel guilty for, but here goes my list of non-guilt (in no particular order)...

1. I do not feel guilty for letting my 4 year old watch TV, even if she did think the proper term for this symbol - "?" - was "Mystery Mouse-ca-Tool".

2. I do not feel guilty for letting my 8 month old eat table food. It's an ego-boost that at least one of my children enjoys my culinary expertise.

3. I do not feel guilty for keeping my kids on a schedule. No one would withstand the chaos that would ensue if the family schedule did not exist.

4. I do not feel guilty for NOT enrolling my kids in every after-school activity, sport, and/or lesson that is available, nor do I feel guilty for the lack of culture they will surely endure throughout their lifetime.

5. I do not feel guilty for making my kids eat generic brands of almost everything and not buying the convenience foods they so richly crave. Hey, it's only the second best for MY family!

6. I do not feel guilty for working outside the home for the first 4 years of Abby's life, therefore putting her in daycare for 6-8 hours a day. It was what was best for our family at that time.

7. On the flip side, I do not feel guilty for quitting work now to stay home with my kids, even though it means they've had to give up things they want because we can not afford them any longer. It is what is best for our family now.

8. I do not feel guilty for taking a nap when my kids nap, even though I should probably be doing something more constructive, like laundry.

9. I do not feel guilty for making my kids play by themselves while I clean house for an hour or two each day. It's important for kids to learn how to entertain themselves. It's also important for DHR not to come take my kids because my house is nasty.

10. I do not feel guilty for disciplining my kids, even if while I'm doing it , I feel like the worst mom in the world.

There, that wasn't so painful. You should try it...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cornholio Abby

This is probably one of my favorite pictures of Abby. She is expressing her inner-"Cornholio". Yes, as a matter of fact, it does bother me that she has an inner-"Cornholio", especially (or maybe in spite of ) since she has never seen nor heard of Beavis and Butthead. She would most certainly remind us all that we don't say that word. Butt, not Beavis or head.

No, I like this picture because this is the very essence of Abby. I can be sure each day is going to bring some unexpected moment of laughter from her. It's surely one of her spiritual gifts, to put a smile on someone's face. This is why I'm a SAHM. I don't want to miss any of her "Cornholio" moments.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

CVS-Unleash the Inner-Frugal

Up until a few months ago, "frugal" was not a word that would in any way describe me. Then I quit work to stay home with my kids, effectively cutting our household income in half, and frugality was thrust upon me. Now, never to be one to back down from a challenge, I have tried to jump into frugality with both feet and no life jacket.

Enter CVS. I'll be honest, I've never been a CVS shopper. We use a small mom & pop drugstore, and I just always thought anything you could get at CVS, you could get at Wally World, faster and cheaper. So, imagine my surprise when I started reading blogs to try to enhance my newfound frugality and found entire blogs devoted to the art of CVS shopping. It was all Greek to me...they seemed to have their own little language. I had never heard of ECB (Extra Care Bucks for you CVS novices). I have to try this! I have a BS in Math, for Pete's sake! This is right up my alley! So, I went to CVS.com and got me an ExtraCare card. When it arrived via USPS this week, I immediately looked at the weekly sale flier to see what I could get for free. Lo and behold, Pepsi 12 packs- 4 for $11. Not a steal, and no ECBs for them, but hey, we gotta have the caffeine. I looked a little further, and I found my deal. Buy $20 in Charmin and Bounty products and get $10 ECBs. Who doesn't need TP and paper towels? No one, that's who.

So, this morning me and the Abster headed to town for our bi-monthly grocery shopping. Our first stop was CVS. Of course, on the last day of the sale, there was no TP. Apparently people need TP more than paper towels. Go figure... They totally had the Bounty though, so I stocked the cart with 4 8-packs of Bounty (not an easy feat, our CVS has little mini-carts. Seriously, they are Abby's size. As a matter of fact, she pushed it all over the store for me, without any major incidents, I might add.). So my first transaction was the Pepsi's and paper towels...about $3o, which might not seem so frugal...but dude, I won't have to buy paper towels for the rest of the year. Really, 32 rolls, are you kidding?!? But, I got $10 in ECBs, so I turned around and bought Buy-one-Get-one Free RightGuard deo for Burge, a tube of Colgate toothpaste, a tube of Neosporin and a 4-pack of SafeGuard soap, all for a grand total out of pocket expense of...wait for it...$.93! Less than one dinero!

Needless to say, now I'm sold. I'm a believer. I've already looked up next week's flier and worked out my list. And I will be stopping on my way home from church tomorrow, in hopes that all the good deals will not be sold out. Yes, my name is Gina, and I'm frugal. And gosh darnit, I'm proud of it!