Chad, Jessica, Jet and Aijiahlyn

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Food Budget

Why is food so gosh darn expensive?  Over the past 6 months, I have actually tracked almost every dollar we've spent on food.  Some months have not been pretty.  But, slowly, we have been able to whittle it down a little, while still eating really yummy and healthy food.

Well, this month I set a goal to be under a certain amount.  I worked really hard to make food for Chad when he wanted to get fast food.  I tried using up all we had in the freezer (there is still lots of veggies, but no meat).  I planned ahead for the weekend so we wouldn't eat out as much.  I gave Chad updates about how little $ we had left in the food budget.  Well, we totally failed.  We still went $100 over budget.  I guess I still splurged.  I figured if Chad were eating out less I could get the REAL maple syrup.  We did get that gruyere cheese and prosciutto (because Chad came with me to the grocery store, not doing that anymore!).  I did get his favorite expensive cereal.  We did take some people out to eat.  I made dinner for a family.

I've cooked my own beans.  I've been making my own yogurt.  I guess I've been eating to many veggies.  I have been in love with stir-fry this month.  But seriously, cabbage, onions, and celery aren't expensive!  Neither is the homemade peanut sauce I put on it.

The other day my friend introduced me to a blog, 100 days of real food.  It's really cool but their family must eat like birds.  She buys barely any food, and manages to stretch it for a week.  She buys the expensive stuff.  Well, they don't eat much meat.   

It's so frustrating.  Maybe I just have issues.  We have enough money for a big food budget if we want it.  I'm not trying to say we're going in the hole because of food, AT ALL.  It's just, I hate seeing what a huge number we spend on food.  Honestly, it's not much smaller than our mortgage payment!!!  We are a small family.  Granted, we have a LOW mortgage, but still.  There are 2 adults and a 3-year-old in our family.   Our family does really love food, and we use it for recreation and feeling good and enjoying life.  But I know we can do better.

Every month I always think we will be spend less, that I can stretch things more.  I always think I can eat cheaper, but I guess I eat the same foods most of the time.  I need to change it up.  Duh.  What's that quote?  Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result.  I need to eat different foods.  I can do this.  We will meet our food budget for MARCH!      

Friday, February 22, 2013


Today, we just stayed home.  It was nourishing and relaxing.  I didn't have to get the kids all dressed and in the car.  We didn't get tired from running errands.  I didn't feel rushed through the day with thoughts of, "I still have to do this, this and this."  I just relaxed and enjoyed my kids.  I still got some the usual chores done, but at a less hurried pace.  Jet and I made a big train track in the living room, and made different train stations that I put letters on.  He had his trains make deliveries to all the letter stations.  I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with the idea, and even more happy to keep him from playing robots or fighting for awhile.  Then we had lunch.  I love plopping him on the counter and making something with him.  We usually keep it simple, grilled cheese with different fill-ins (apples or broccoli), burritos with my home-cooked beans I keep in the freezer, (learned how to cook them from dry beans in the crock pot, no soaking, no babysitting, nothing!)  or some waffles with leftover fruit mixed in.  I had a big plate of stir-fry with peanut sauce (can't get enough of it lately).  I had time to really snuggle with Aijah.  I kept her in her diaper for 10 minutes so I could love on her mushy baby-ness.  So precious.  Jet and I had a sword fight, and for once, I actually really had fun, and not pretend fun.  lol.  It was challenging trying to block his attacks.  Thank you Adam, for getting him that foam sword, it's firm, but not painful.  

Since having 2 children, it's been all about time management.  Perhaps I've even taken it to the extreme, with trying to squeeze out every drop of productivity I can.  I have learned some good time savers, and more importantly, I've eliminated a lot of fluff from my time.  I don't watch a tv show, unless I really love it.  I read more.  I'm learning more recipes.  I try to do things that are either really important, or I really love.  No more wasting my time on things that aren't uplifting or fulfilling.  Puh!  I have a speedy make-up routine.  I get more cleaning done at night, or I'm overwhelmed the next day.  Goal setting has become a weekly habit.  I love living with goals in mind.

It's been a great day.  Now, I have a really good book to read and think about.  I've been looking forward to this.    

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mom Gone Wild

Is there something in this tea?  Because I’m feeling ridiculously giddy.  Oh wait, it’s because I’m listening to Parisian music and I have the house to myself, and I’m cooking and dancing like a fool in my living room.  That’ll do it.  Give a mom a few moments in a private place, and she’ll let loose.  It’s amazing how little time it takes to feel like your “old self” again, when there aren’t little people constantly interrupting, asking for this or that, or big people, like husbands, tehe.  When moms gets a break they let it all go, because honestly, when will be the next time they’re really be alone?  It’s now or never baby!  Moms gone wild, mormon style.  Well, not so wild, but definitely a sense of liberation and giddiness. 
            Earlier today Chad took Jet to get a Raphael ninja turtle he’d being saving and saving for.  They had to go to a few stores, and didn’t have any luck.  They came home, and Chad was exhausted mentally from Jet’s plethora of questions that were peppered throughout the ENTIRE trip; in the truck, in the parking lot, and down the aisles of the stores.  When he got home, the tables were turned, for once!  I relished the moment with deep chuckles of complete understanding.  HAHAHHHHAAAAaaaaa!  It was only a 30 minute trip, and he didn’t even have Aijahlyn.  His patience was gone, energy depleted, and enthusiasm for anything but sleeping was squashed.  I just kept chuckling to myself, amazed at how easy it was to be patient with Jet and have energy and be optimistic with just 30 minutes away from him.  Chad sometimes makes comments about how I need to keep it together more around Jet, and not get frsutrated, but after today, I think those comments will be a thing of the past.  Ah ha ha!!!  “I didn’t understand,” he said.  “I know, hun.  I know you didn’t.”  LOL!!!!!      

P.S. Jet is wonderful boy.  Honestly, you couldn’t ask for a better boy, but sometimes he gets in moods (chatty or needy, or both), just like any other 3-year-old.  He is a joy to be with, and crack us up, and brings us much more happiness than anything else, but there are always those times when grown-ups just need a break to be adults…..or feel like a kid themselves again.   

Monday, February 4, 2013

Winter Doldrums

It has been my goal to ESCAPE the winter doldrums this year.  No, they will not get me, dangit!!! But oi, they really did this morning.  All I wanted was for it to be warm, so an outside adventure didn't involve bundling everyone, and still getting red noses.

Last year was the worst January.  Ug!  I was pregnant and nauseous, Chad was working crazy hours, and we were doing home repairs.  The house was a mess most of the time, and I was bummed out most of the time too.  No fun.

This January, I told myself, I wouldn't let January get the better of me.  Isn't January so lame?  There is NOTHING in January.  You come off this high from Christmas and New Years.   December is a playground for checking off all the nostalgic Christmas activities and enjoying the newness of winter.  Then January.  Dead.  Blank.  When will winter be over?  Well, we managed to fill up January with lotsa good memories.  But, now I'm a bit scared for February.  Have I exhausted all my ideas?  How can we make February fun?

Okay, HEARTS EVERYWHERE.  Why not?  Let's get crrrrrrrazy people.  I'm playin' up Valentines this year....because that's ALL THAT'S GOING ON.  I really think I need to start hosting some parties.  Parties are just fun and we barely ever have them.  In both our families, the majority of b-days are in the fall.  And, Duck football is in the fall.  Halloween, Thanksgiving.  Autumn beauty.  Fall is awesome!  Mid-winter?  Like I said, nada.

February, you're gonna be fabulous, whether you like it or not.      

Favorite things in January

It started with a trip to Hoodoo Autobahn on Monday.  The Durfees took Aijahlyn.  Okay, apparently I needed my sissiness knocked out of me.  I was scared on the first 2 runs.  Honestly, scared.  I felt like my tube was gonna flip, or fly out from under me, while spinning down a hill.  Ah!  Then I would see all these kids in line, 8-year-olds or a bit older, and they thought nothing of it.  Looking back to myself that age, I was the same.  The thought of fear didn't even cross my mind, it was just fun.  The remaining runs I went down with Jet in a double tube.  Much better, less spinning.  Jet was never scared, just thrilled.  It was so fun yelling, "Woohoo!" down the hill with him.  When we went down the steepest hill I yelled, "Holy Smokles!" out of genuine yikeness.   After a few runs, the fear was replaced with nervous exhilaration.  Sometimes, I need to do things like this so I don't turn into a wimpy girl.  That night we went bowling with Chad's family, and out to Olive Garden where I gorged myself.  Monday was full of fun, and more fun.  Nothing got done....ah ha ha! 

Jet and I have started a routine.  Lunch, read books in bed while eating apples slices, tell stories in the dark, I rub his back, he falls asleep, and me too sometimes, but luckily for only a 1/2 hour.  I finally anted-up for library card, and have since loved it.  We read new books every day, all cozy under the covers.  I feel like a good mom whenever we read, and I genuinely enjoy it when we have new books.  We also have started telling Red, Fred, and Ed stories.  Basically, I just use those characters names to make up a story about something really fun I'd like to do together, like go to Voodoo Donuts after cleaning the house, or to teach a lesson catered to him.  It's very convenient, and slightly manipulative.  Afterwards he'll say, "Can we go to Voodoo Donuts?" or "I want to be good like Red, Fred and Ed."  Hey, it's just a learning tool.    

Jet and I have had some boxing matches.  That kid always goes for a right-cross to start each attack.  So predictable.  lol.  He is starting to enjoy dancing around and singing songs.  Hurrah, stuff I like!  Preschool is going well, but it's more like every other day so far.  But still, I'm proud. 

Aijahlyn loves being sung to.  Really, she lights up whenever people talk to her.  She's starting to laugh, but it's tricky getting it out of her.  Chad is the best at it.  I say she already has a crush on him.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


A snippet of yesterdays conversations.  No wonder I'm going crazy when Chad gets off late.  Okay, there is going to be some venting involved here, but just know I really love my son, and really, I'm sure you'll understand.  And, I was really tired yesterday.  

Jet asks so many questions.  I know it's good, and I encourage him to talk, communicate, express, share, whenever he wants.  But not getting annoyed from Jet asking too many questions is my biggest challenge right now.  UG!!!  So many questions!  Holy Moly!  Why? Why?  Is Spiderman bigger than batman?  No.  Why?  Spiderman is small, because he is more like a spider, thin and light.  Why?  That’s just the way he is.  That’s how Heavenly Father made him?  Sure.  Why?  I don’t know.  Could spiderman beat up the hulk?  No.  Why?  (in my head, who cares?????!!!!)  Maybe he could wrap him up in his web.  How could he wrap him up in his web?  That’s what spiders do.  Why?  Um, so they can capture things and eat them.  Why do they eat?  Why do you think?  Because they are HUNGRY!!!!!  Mom, can I have chocolate milk?  Did I have my gummi bear today?  Yes, you already had your gummi bear.  No, I didn’t.  Yes you did.  No, I DIDN’t.  You had it this morning after breakfast and I know because I got it for you.  Oh.  What can I eat?  We just ate lunch, and you said you were full.  Oh, but I’m hungry.  Can I have an apple?  That’s such a small snippet it’s ridiculous!  Then I lose it sometimes, and say something in a mean tone, and he gets hurt and because he’s REALLY sensitive.  Then I have to talk more to explain.  Talk talk talk.  I don’t want to talk.  Does my throat hurt because I’m coming down with something, or because I’ve been answering a bazillion questions?  So often, I can’t even understand his question because he slurs his words together.  What?  Does shle skje ks orjslkf?  What?  Does ninja turtle slkjwekjf?  Huh?  Jet, I can’t understand you.  WHAT BEATS UP NINJA TURTLES???!!!!!!!  As he yells as loud as he can.  Okay, you don’t have to yell, you just need to talk slower.  What     beats   up         ninja       turtles?  Shredder.  Oh, can I buy shredder?  You’ll have to save your money for him.  Ohhhhhhhh man.  But I want him.  Well, keep working hard and you’ll have enough money.  Okay, I’ll work hard mommy.  Okay.
            Yesterday I was drained!!!!  It doesn’t happen very often, but oi, energyless!  Zombielike.  I was trying to come up with something to do that would help me get through the day.  An adventure!  Yes yes yes.  A new hiking spot.  Yes.  Well, it was a cool spot, but all the questions were 10 times more tiring than the hiking with Aijah in the bjorn.  Is this the top?  No.  Oh, is this the top?  It’s up there but we can’t see it from here.  Up where?  We have to keep following the trail up, and we’ll get there.  Can Connor hike this far?  Yes.  Can Colby hike this far?  Probably.  Is this the top?  Not yet.  I’m going faster than you.  Why are you in the back?  What’s that?  Are there monsters in that forest?  I don’t want to go in that forest.  Monsters aren’t real, Jet.  Yeah, monsters aren’t real.  Can we go back to the top?  We just got here.  Look at THIS, let’s go this way Jet.  Ohhhhhh, but it’s scary because there are monsters.  No, monsters are only on movies and in books.  Oh, okay.  Crying.  What’s wrong?  I got dirt on my shoe.  Crying.  Jet, we’re on an adventure, your shoes are supposed to get dirty.  Ohhhhh, get it off, get if off.  Jet, look how dirty my shoes are, that means we’re on a REAL adventure.  Did you see that guy with dirty legs?  No.  Well, he had really dirty legs.  Why?  Because he was on an adventure, and not only were his shoes dirty, but it went all the way up to his knee.  Wow!  Let’s keep walking.  Okay.  

That's a small part of yesterday.  I needed a break when Chad got home, so I requested to take the dogs out.  No convincing required.  They rollicked while I let loose, dancing to tunes on the ipod.  good thing it was dark, and I was alone.  First it started with a little head bobbing, and after a few songs, it was full-out lazy, tired dancing.  It was weird.  I wanted to dance and it felt really good, but I was still so dead.  But, it was the perfect thing to shift my mood.  I feel better now.    

Friday, February 1, 2013

Driving Through A Rainbow

It really happened.  I made it to the bottom of a rainbow.  I went right through the darn thing, and I guess the pot of gold was just a metaphor for how surreal it is to really be there.

I was driving home from after my Saturday run, and a rainbow sprawled across the sky.  With the runner's high still pumping, the sense of accomplishment of completing a distance I hadn't reached in YEARS, the rainbow just topped off the perfect morning.

I came down a hill on 126, and noticed the base of the rainbow was smack-dab in the middle of the freeway.  It looked like cars were driving right through it, the color spectrum shining on them.  I was in awe.  My turn was coming.  Ever since I was a kid, like most kids, you see a rainbow, and want to chase it, thinking you can reach it somehow, but it never happens.  Mostly because it disappears, or the end is in some far-off forest.  Then you learn, the rainbow gets farther away the closer you get to it.  Once you're a teenager, you abandon hope at ever seeing the end of a rainbow, realizing it's just silliness.

I was so close to it.  Then it disappeared.  NOOOooo!!!!  Stupid rain, come back!  Then I noticed the water from underneath the car ahead of me was rainbow colored.  It was spraying the rainbow right into my windshield.  It continued for about 5 seconds.  I went through the rainbow.  That moment, was the pot of gold, because it seemed so impossible.  Cheesy! My childhood fantasy!

Funny how Chad and I were just reading about the "Rainbow Room" in the, Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites the night previous.

The perfect timing also reminded me of running by the hospital just at the moment when the sun was shining through the opening in the bell tower.