Budget Month Experiement

So the month of only having $500 has already gone to the dogs. I’m going to try this again next month to see if I can glean from my mishaps this month and plan a bit better. I had a cushion of a some money I had made from photoshoots and selling a couple things on craigslist that quickly got depleted as well and here’s our issue:

Weekend Spending

Simple and to the point, those are the areas in which we generally over spend. Well, the weekends are overspending whereas the Childcare just happens to be that we’re really awesome busier than all get out this month.

The weather’s been wonderful so we haven’t needed to spend money on entertainment for the kids, really. Just exploring our own back yard. We’ve had a couple playdates where McDonalds was involved but I have coupons to offset it most of the time.

It’s just a big balancing act to get everything in under $500. And I think if I could take the Childcare out of the category I would be able to pull it off WAY easier. But I am going to give it another go in October.

I started the month out keeping track of everything and then it just got messy and I stopped. Which, hello, is probably another reason I’m over already this month.

We did end up doing the Angel Food box which we’ll get this weekend and I’ve gotten gift certificates from a couple of the little things I do (My Points is one of them, I’ve been doing My Points for more than 8 years now and it’s wonderfully easy free money – feel free to name me as the referral if you sign up! jodi @ jodimichelle . com)

I’ve also gotten rebate gift certificates from a couple months ago – pretty much this month has been lucky in a lot of ways. Plus it was the birthday month so there’s tons of freebies and loot that go along with that, too.

October will be better!! I can feel it! (So can my wallet)

It’s never “just an errand”

I had to quick run into Target yesterday for wipes because, like the toilet paper issue around this house, I also am quite the procrastinator when it comes to keeping the stock of wipes to butt ratio high in this house. Whatever.

So I pull into a parking space, that now I have to calculate where it’s going to be with the new van because the thing is a boat – I’m constantly worried about people denting the sides. Hey, it’s happened. So after the mathmatical decision to park far enough away, we park and then I itch my nose. BUT WAIT! What is that I feel?

A zit. Or maybe two. For crying out loud, I am not 16 any more. Lets just stop this whole oil production please, I am not kidding, cut it out. I take a quick gander in the mirror and decide I can quickly, yes I am going to say it, pop them. They were moist, if it wasn’t gross enough for you. Moist with zit puss! PUSS!

All the while I have no idea if any of the other parked cars around me have occupants and at this point I am praying to Jesus that I am o-so-very-alone in this act. I see something out of the corner of my eye but I’m distracted by the blood careening down my nose that I have to grab the closest absorbent thing to me and wipe my face.

That absorbent thing? A diaper.

I am now sitting in the parking lot of Target, unaware of anyone watching the horror show of this woman popping her zits in the mirror and then WIPING UP THE MESS WIHT A DIAPER.

I waited a good 5 minutes in the car to ensure that anyone sitting around me in other cars would leave or go in the store and not recognize me. Then I went along my merry way buying wipes for the now diaperless butt of my child because I stole the diaper for blood clotting on my zitty nose.

Garden boxes!


They’re DONE!!!
I got the idea here from the trusty Pioneer Woman. Love that site. Anyway … I emailed my dad after I read it on her site and said something like, PLEASE HELP ME! Only I’m sure I sounded less desperate.
It took us 2 afternoons – we built the first two in front in one day and the last one, behind another. I used all repurposed wood we had lying around so this project cost me 1 1/2 box of screws. I am not lying.
This is what I planted:
First two boxes in front are veggies
= Eggplant
= 4 different varieties of tomato
= 2 different varieties of lettuce
= purple pepper
= banana pepper
= summer squash
= yellow beans
The box in the back is “Jessica’s Garden” and she got to pick out her own plant – a strawberry one, then we planted some $1 packs of wildflowers from Target and some Sunflowers from the farmers market.
I recently picked up this book and am learning a TON more about planting – I’m planning on doing some staggering this year for season-round crops. And I might try some trellises for heavier fruits (melons) … lots to learn, this is so much fun!


All of these wonderful questions take some time and serious consideration to answer – I feel stumped half the time. You’re all awesome.

When do you feel most yourself in your motherhood, your marriage & your home?

In Motherhood – I feel most myself when I’m holding or cradling one of my children. When I know no one else but me is taking of their needs. Like in a bandaid situation, or just after the nap. Those cozy in between moments of sleep and wakeful happiness.

In my marriage – all the time, really. Is that cheesy? I love how “myself” I always feel with Aaron – I never felt that way with any previous boyfriend, was always afraid to actually be myself and I’ve never felt that with him. That, and, early on we had naked nights to ensure the good natured (non sexual) comfort level. (Hi mom!!) Too much? Oh well.

In my home – When my kitchen is clean and I can breathe. Or in my kitchen making a royal mess.

What do you most look forward to in your children’s lives?

This is a tough one because I don’t often look forward. I’ve really had to teach myself how to be happy with what is, right now. Not tomorrow, not in a year. Not in twenty years. So I don’t know, would be the simple answer. I think the whole friends coming over to the house thing when Jessica is in highschool will be a blast and soccer games or sports with the kids will be a lot of fun. Prom. Dating. Etc. I don’t know. It all sounds great. My favorite thing SO FAR, though – I can answer that … with Jessica it keeps happening over and over again, but when this glimpse of a little girl comes out of her toddler shell, or her preschool shell – when something mature and unexpected happens within her and she shares it with me. With Oliver – the connection we’ve had since he was born is out of this world – I look at him from across the room and he could be doing something else, but he’ll see me too – and the world stops. A mama’s boy is a special thing. I’m so glad I got one.

If you were to write and illustrate a children’s book for your kids, what would the story be about and what medium would you use to create the illustations?

I have written a children’s book! It’s sitting in my hard drive just … waiting. It’s a rhyming little thing about the morning and it’s routine. And I’d love to use painting as the medium to illustrate it. That, or some kind of drawing/chalk/pen style. Not sure.

what is your favorite thing to do when you are snowed in?

IT! (haha, who got that one??) Well, kidding aside (or am I?) curling up and watching a movie or catching up on a tv show from dvd with tea. Still in my pj’s and wrapped in a blanket and probably eating some devil chocolate.

What’s the one thing (family and religion aside) that you most absolutely, positively could never ever, in a million years, see your life without? and why?

Another stumper. First thing that came to my mind was underwear because I don’t think I’d ever be comfortable bearing it for the rest of my life, if you know what I mean. Eve ruined that one for me. But after thinking about it and forcing myself to really figure this out – I still don’t know. I think I’d have to say my hearing though. Sight is something wonderful – but I think I cherish hearing more. Hearing my daughters first words and my son’s cry of life. Those are things I’ll never forget. Ever. And to not have the ability to know the milky, husky voice that is Jessica Ranae I wouldn’t be whole. Just wouldn’t.