July 27, 2017

5 Simple Steps to Start Being a Budgeting Mommy!!


Everyone needs to budget and stay on track. I don't care who you are if you start living outside you means to impress someone. You do not need to have the latest anything, and kids will be fine in hand me downs! Let me give you little lesson of what I have learned about knowing where your money is going and keeping track of your dollars.


I know what a lot of people are thinking "I already live paycheck to paycheck". Well guess what when I quit working to be home with my children, and we went down to one income we were living paycheck to a week of being broke before the next pay check. Now we can actually make it to that next paycheck (most of the time). Either way our bills are always caught up!

To give you a little background about where my information is coming from, I am an accounting major. When I decided to stay home I told my husband that I wanted to go back to school so when all the kids grew up I would have a real career! Well I have 4 semesters to go, but I would like to help others learn a little more about their money.

Below is a list of steps to make budgeting fool proof and keep you on track!!

1. Be Smart about your spending!
Always pay what is important before you go out to eat, shopping, or to the movies. Just because you have money doesn't mean you should start spending (we all do it). Follow the Pinterest Link below to some really cute budget sheets and make it your bible. PAY YOUR BILLS!!! Never put a bill of not matter what. If you have enough to cover it by eating at home then you better do it!!


2. Be stingy with your money

As horrible as it sounds do not go handing out money for anyone to just go blow on something unnecessary, until bills are paid and necessities are purchased. On your budget sheet be sure to include groceries, gas, and toiletries your household is low on and in need of!
3. Don't be afraid to use you savings Apps and Coupons
I use to be afraid to hold up the line when shopping, but now I compare prices everywhere, and I use any coupons I can get my hands on. It doesn't matter how irritated that person in line behind you is because if you can have that much more money left over it is worth it! I know sometimes 50 cents doesn't sound like much but when you add in all the other saving it will surprise you!! 
4. Plan you shopping ahead of time
I like to have a plan of attack, because I do go shopping with my children. I know what is cheapest and at which store. I change up our food menu depending on what is on sale! I don't go crazy and over buy just because it is cheap, I buy what is necessary. When that is done I know that my family will not starve, but I also have to meal plan ahead of time by what is on sale!
5. Keep your receipts. 
As ridiculous as it sounds do not leave that receipt crumpled on your floor board. Have some envelopes on hand so you can store ALL of your receipts. Then when you add them up and see where you are overspending it will help you make adjustments during the next pay period.
This is all just for starts. There is so many thing you can do to stay on budget and keep your family financially stable! Do not be embarrassed that you are not rich or that you have had to reuse clothes on your children, and especially don't ever let anyone make you feel like you are not good enough because you do not have the newest car, phone, or a new home. Live with in your means and most importantly make sure your children are taken care of! As long as those little ones are happy then that is what should really matter.

Amazon Mom!


When you have a holiday approaching, or a birthday, do you go to the store to do your shopping? Or do you hop online and make your wishlist? I am an amazon mom all the way. I created an Amazon Prime account for our family about 5 years ago, and I love it. I save so much money around the holidays!  I Just build my wishlist and amazon sends me notifications when my items reach a lower price.
I usually take the time about two months, sometimes longer so I know I am getting my item for the best price. Yes I do still shop other places as well, because well lets be honest Amazon doesn't always have the lower price. I still will put items in my list so that way I know I am getting the better end of the deal. I save time and money shopping for the holidays and well as a family of 6 living off one income we can use all that we can SAVE!!

The even better thing as a money saving mom is you can use coupons. The have a section of manufacturers coupons that you can use when you shop. Oh and don't even get me started on the daily deals as well as Prime Day! Seriously take a look and think about it. You are buying things you would normally have to go to the store for and they are delivered right to your door.

For me as a mom it has been a dream come true...lol Seriously when I can take a trip of 5 stops and countless shopping and cut it down to one stop and a few items count me in! Especially when I have to take four little bodies on my shopping trips. After the first stop they are restless and then I have to take them out to eat, because we live out of town. Now if it is one stop we can make it until we get home to eat, go potty, and get a drink!

Amazon has been our saving grace for Christmas as well, because we avoid all the crowds and they have some of the most amazing deals during the holidays. The best part is no holiday crowd or long wait in line! We get in our wish list (which is prepared in advance) and order things as they go on sale or as we have the money. It keeps us from waiting until the last minute and the kids get a lot more for less!

So moms seriously they have a free trial for prime, and the perks you get with prime are to die for. You get so much with prime, plus to get a free trial; how can you pass that up. I know you will love and I know you will thank me for pushing you to check it out. There is so much great buys on amazon, and they even have great homemade products. Oh I forgot about the prime pantry where you can buy groceries!!

The most amazing thing about the prime pantry is if your are ahead on your shopping and you choose the slowest shipping when you check out you get free money to shop prime pantry products. Who doesn't love free anything? I know free food in our family is a gift in itself so I take full advantage of that when I do not need the product I am ordering right away. On the other hand if you do need that product right away you receive free 2-day shipping with Prime!

Call me lazy, but if someone will deliver my everyday essentials and I can sit at home in my jammies and hang out with my kids, I am all over it! I have very little time as it is to get things done and when it comes to shopping you can never even try to plan it out and estimate when you will be done and back home. Anything could happen, plus the amount of time you spend getting your children and extra crap ready and in the car! Ugh! Just bring me my laptop...lol
I would recommend doing your free trial and take a look at all the back to school deals for all those little ones need before class begins. They have some really great deals and their platform makes it easy to search and find products you need. Plus they compare prices for you from different places that market through them. Now you just choose what you want to pay and BOOM!! You are done!

So there you have from one mom to another! Try out Amazon Prime and let me know what you think!! There is so much more to share and so many great reasons to use Prime when shopping, but do not want to overwhelm you with information!!

July 24, 2017

Kicking and Screaming!!


I recently read a post about what type of person you are, by whether you see the glass as half full, or half empty. Well all I have to say to that is I am indifferent, because if my glass is half anything...its because one of my kids drank it. Life changes so much when you have children, like your image of children. Before having my own children I did not see what the big deal was about keeping your kid/kids under control. I mean come on you have like your own little army of brats that do as you say.

Guess what?!! I learned really quick that I was WAY off! Don't get me wrong they are an army, but not my army. They are the enemy troops out to destroy our home and push me over the edge. I fear for my sanity, and the memory of what our floor looks like. They do not have firing power, but have you ever stepped on a lego. It is like stepping on a shark with its mouth wide open. Good Lord why do legos have to be so awesome to play with.

So momma are you winning your war, or are you just reloading your ammo. I know people say routines will help make life with your children easier. Well give me the magical routine to wrangle these crazy turds and I will worship you forever. I have read so many blogs, and tried so many different organizational charts, routines, and art projects to calm our home. There is no calm or quiet! For crying out loud each of them either talks or snores in there sleep so its noisy all the time.


Just so I can clarify, incase I sound like I am complaining, I am not. I would not give up those turds for any robot child ever. No child should be perfect, clean, or well behaved all the time. As long as they have their hit and miss moments I am chalking that up as a WIN. This momma is tired, and needs energy all the time!

So what if I am screaming and wanting to pull my hair out its my own fault...lol I wanted to have kids, because everyone made it look so much fun. They all had an excuse to play with toys, watch kid movie, oh and don't forget the kiddy rides at the fair! When you are grown with no kids people won't hang out with you, but its dumb because I know they want to!!

The reason I have learned to enjoy and joke about the tantrums, the fighting, the arguing, and the downright rebellious nature of my children is because one day I am going to miss it. One day our little girls will be too girly to look for bugs under all the rocks, and our little boy will be chasing girls. I just remind myself that even though I want to push down the next child that moms me...I won't and not because its against the law...lol But because one day they will grow, and try to shut us out.

What will life be like without the crazy everyday war that goes on in our house? Who will bother me every time I get comfortable? Last but not least who will leave my glass half empty? I know one day there will be grand babies, but I also know it will not be the same.

One thing I would like to point out for those who are not mom bloggers. We are not complaining when we talk about the mishaps with our children we are merely venting to those who understand. Our blogs are our outlets, and well I love all the mom bloggers who share their true life and make me feel like I am doing this right.


We use to feel like we were not doing enough, and we were worried our children were missing out. We are not perfect, and we do not have a lot of money, but we came to realize our children did not care. Our children were not judging us or comparing us to other parents...we were doing it to ourselves. Now that I have met other bloggers and read their stories I know we are doing it all right!

Parents let us be ourselves, do not compare your parenting to others. If you see those sweet parents that use their nice little voice in public, Its because they lost their voice screaming at their children on the way to the store or what have you...lol Love the time with your children while they still need you every second of everyday!!

 

July 17, 2017

Don't Judge Anyone By Their Cover!!


I found it easier to write this post rather than video it. So i sit here with a lump in my throat and a knot in my stomach to share these words with you. 


My husband and I have recently received the news that our daughter has sleep apnea, and it is severe. We were not aware of our daughters condition. All we knew was our daughter was in pain for way too long, and we needed to do everything in our power to get to the bottom of it. We spent a year and a half in and out of the doctors office, and each time we were left clueless. We were beginning to think there was no end, or answers. But for our daughters sake we were not going to accept it as that. We were going to do everything we could for her.

The pain was getting worse and nothing was changing, and that is when the nice calm mom went out the window and I began demanding answers, and whatever testing they could run. We were finally referred to a specialist in Neurology, His first response when he looked at our daughter was tough to swallow but brought so much relief. He informed us she was having chronic migraines. WOW! We had an answer and he was going to help her.

After this news he knew we had to find the underlying problem to the migraines, and as a mother and father at our wits end we were ready. We have been forced to watch our baby be in pain on a daily basis, watching her become so lethargic she could not even recognize the urge to go the bathroom; watching our bubbly little girl become a couch potato with no desire to be a kid; and having to deal with her panic attacks that ended in her hyperventilating and passing out.


He gave us our first step in his professional opinion and he ordered a sleep apnea test. His office is hours away so to make things easier he sent the order to our local hospital. I waited for the call to set up that appointment and after weeks there was nothing.After months still nothing. We were still at this time calling every time she went downhill and got a migraine so severe she would fall to the floor. The doctor always had nothing to say, she was clueless. She would just tell me to keep and eye on her and give her Motrin or Tylenol.

This back and fourth game went on for about 8 months, and we were sick and tired of being set aside. We wanted answers; we wanted this test done! So after watching my daughter suffer the worst migraine she had ever encountered for 6 straight days that was it (yes I did whatIi could and I contacted the doctor several times during this 6 days). If I called one more time and they just told me to comfort her with pain meds I was going to lose my cool. I had to demand our doctor to see her, and it took calling the Neurologist hours away, to get him to tell our doctor that she needed to stop this episode.

My daughter was given a shot of muscle relaxer and as I waited for her medicine to kick in I questioned our doctor about our sleep apnea test that was order 8 months before this. She looked at me like I was dumb and said oh they cannot give her the test. I asked why. She said there is not enough reasoning for her to need one. The part that pissed me off the most is they knew about this for months and just forgot to tell me the request was denied, not once, but twice. So basically they were calling a specialist an idiot, because they did not think she needed to be tested.

As we left that office my 4 year old looked at me, with those bright eyes this pain has torn away from her, and with all the excitement in the world she said "Mom they Fixed me!". I got a lump in my throat and behind my sunglasses my eyes filled with tears, because this was only temporary; but I was not going to take that feeling away from her. I was not going to steal her glory and her happiness of the relief she given when her pain stopped. I was so happy for her, and even though she is only four I knew deep down I did not have to tell her it was not forever. She knew.

The following day I called our Neurologist, who again is quite a drive away, and I told him we could not get our local hospital to do the test. Within an hour he got our daughter an appointment to be tested, and it was such a relief. So now my husband has to take two days off work and we have to go out of our way to make the trip to get a test done, that should have been done long ago at our local hospital.

We weren't sure what to expect, we just knew that these people were willing to help us and help our daughter. The nurse and doctor were so amazing, and they made it so much more comfortable for us knowing they cared, and they wanted to help her. At first glance he did not see the number one sign that most kids show, which is enlarged tonsils, but that didn't matter he was still willing to help prove this or rule it out.

That night, as we watched our daughter get hooked up to all these different wires and machines, the nurse was such a big help. She talked with us, and talked us through the process and assured us this was a good choice. She talked about herself and her personal life, and she took that step to comfort our crazy thoughts of what is happening. She was wonderful and I wish I would have hugged her before we left and told her how amazing she made us feel.


When she came in the next morning to wake us up after all the testing, she looked right at us and did not deedle around the truth. She made us aware that our daughter has severe sleep apnea for a child, and this was on one hand so nice to have an answer, but on the other hand hard to take in. She explained what it all meant, and when it comes down to it our daughter is not sleeping properly, and she is getting about 20 minutes of deep sleep in the early morning hours. The scariest part to take in is that every 10 minutes at night our little girl stops breathing and her brain has to make her breath, which is what keeps her out of that deep sleep.

We are at our next milestone and are awaiting the referral to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. I write this, because it broke her father and I. It was affecting me everyday to deal with the difficulty of her lethargic actions, as well as the incontinence, and the whining I didn't know how to, and I will be the first to admit it. It was affecting her father on a whole other level, because he had to get up everyday and go to work, when so many times all he wanted to do is sit on the couch and cuddle with his hurting baby all day. We did not put our pain on others, or look for pity on social media, because this was not about us...it was about her and her pain.

I understand more and more everyday the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover". We are judged, not just my husband and ,I but everyone. We let others bring us down, and saddest part about it is we can deny it to the end...it does bother us, and we do care what others think. So when my husband is at work and he looks like he is going to explode, or you see me running around like a chicken with my head cut off; it is not because we are bad people or there is anything wrong with us. It is simply that we have a full book that we keep closed and this is just one small chapter of our lives. We don't share, because we don't want pity or charity, we simply have our focus on us and ours.

So next time you are running your errands, and you see that mother at wits end with her child; or you see that man standing at the gas pump next to you. Remember they have a story to, and just because of the look on their face; or the clothes that they wear, does not mean you have the right to put them down with a snooty look. Do not think you are better than, or that you have a right to judge them. No matter your successes...no matter your demons none of us can ever actually understand what the next man, woman, or child is going through.

One smile, one hello, even one nod of your head can do so much for someone in a bad situation. You don't have to become their friend or hand them anything. Your one simple gesture could mean the world to someone in an unimaginable situation or mindset. 



July 15, 2017

Inspirational Children!



Does you child have a desire to be something important when they grow up? Do you carry on the tradition of letting you children know they can be whatever they want to be? It is a beautiful thing and it really is the best gift you can give to a child at a young age. Their imagination is beyond anything you or I could imagine, and who knows what they will achieve with the right inspiration and help along the way.

When our oldest daughter told us she wanted to be a veterinarian, and she wanted to help animals. We first just said great, you can do it babe! Well then she took an interest in all living things from animals to insects. She was bringing home scientific animal books from the library, and she was catching bugs to study them in a section of the yard she blocked off. We were not aware of it at the time until her father asked her what she was doing, and she was building a bug lab. 

So dad went out and helped her build some sturdier walls to keep her brother and sisters out of her stuff. She began gathering jars, rocks, stick, grass, and mud to build a place to keep her bugs. She wanted to care for them and she asked us what she should feed them, because she did not want them to die. That is when dad realized she needed to know a little more about which bugs she could touch, and which ones to just observe. So she now only catches the ones she knows and if she doesn't know what they are she puts them in a jar and looks them up in her bug encyclopedia, or she will ask her daddy when he gets home.

My hubby is so in love with her interest in bugs, because as a little boy he was intrigued by insects and bugs. He realized that his daughter was following in his tiny little foot steps from childhood, and he took that as a sign. He took that and gave her the lessons he learned, and helped her pursue what he was not able to. He was not given the opportunity to have an adult help him learn more, and encourage him to take that interest and run with it. Thank goodness for him, because mom is not a bug lover...lol

We later negotiated with her and decided to build a worm farm and let the other bugs go. So she still continues to catch all different kinds to draw and write about in her journal, but the worms were keepers. She now has a very successful worm farm, and she takes amazing care of them. She goes out every morning to check on them and make sure their dirt is moist and she digs down to make sure they are okay. She has a container of food for them in the freezer and they are fed regularly.

It is beautiful to me that our daughter has taken these bugs and treated them so well. I am not a bug person and I will not touch them, but she looked beyond their creepy crawly nature. She wants to know them, and wants to know all there is to know about them. She has taken her interest to a whole new level with her bug lab, and we enjoy watching her lean. We also enjoy learning with her. She has taught her father and I so much about bugs, and for that I am thankful.

She has even recently taken a liking to plants realizing they are a living thing. She really has a green thumb too. Dad is a tree lover and he has been cloning trees, and experimenting. So he gave her a clone and told her to put it in some water and the keep it moist. Fully not expecting it she successfully cloned her own tree and it is already trying to throw new branches. She did that all on her own she watched what dad did asked him a few questions and took amazing care of her tree. Now it is in some soil and growing like crazy. Now we can put it in the yard and she can watch it grow! She will always remember her first tree she cloned when she goes out into the yard to play!!

She has brought so much joy to our lives since the day we found out we were going to be parents, and she amazes us everyday with her inquisitive nature. She has taken it upon herself to also teach her siblings and now they have all found something they can do together. So as soon as they head outside to play you will find them in the shade with a container for their bugs. She has found something so small to enjoy with her brother and sisters, and I don't think she realizes how much she really inspires us all. She really is the best big sister ever!

She our my little hero! I want her to stay little, but at the same time I cannot wait to see her grow, because I know she will do something important someday. I know all parents want that for their children and we all brag our children up, but this little girls is something special and we are so blessed she is ours!!





July 13, 2017

How to successfully run errands with your children!!


Running errands is busy work that everyone has to do, but there are those who must do this with extra little bodies. Lets be honest we all wish there was an app, drive thru, or website to use for all of our errand running needs, but there is not so we have to load the car and hope that everything goes smooth enough to accomplish our agenda. I often have people tell me I am crazy and they do not know how I do it with all of my children, and I will be honest there is a science to my crazy that helps me get it all done. So I am here to share with you my successful tips to any trip with my children.



Pre-Planning

Always plan ahead, and know where you are going first. Make a list and make sure you stick to your plan. If you are forgetful like me and you tend to forget your list try putting it in your phone. If you are grocery shopping there are great apps for most grocery stores for you to make you list and see whats on sale. I am a firm believer that everything should have a drive thru...lol If I could order everything from a drive thru then that would be amazing and make my life a whole lot easier. Call me lazy, but really it is all about the hassle of taking those four little bodies in and out of the car a hundred times. It is not easy and after a few in and out trips my youngest fights be when I am getting him back in his seat. 

Check the weather!

The weather can play an important role in your day. I use to have this as part of my preplanning but the weather changes so much! Stay aware of how it looks outside and always carry extra supplies for any surprise weather that may hit while you are away from home.

Nap

If you have younger children that still need a daily nap, plan an earlier bed time and get them up earlier than usually. Doing so can aid in getting them an earlier nap, because you should never run errands until that little one has napped. Napping in the car is never a good substitute for a comfortable nap in their beds. A crabby child can wear you down, and could be the cause of all the corruption to your day!! No one wants to have their child throwing a tantrum in public so to avoid that give them their nap ahead of time.

Have a full meal before hand

When naps are in order and everyone is ready for the day feed their growing bellies. Do not do fast food in the car (used to be my way)!! If you do not want to cook take them somewhere to sit down and eat, but avoid those places with toys and play equipment (I have learned from experience). Getting them out of there for a day filled with running errands can put a real damper on their moods, complicating your day. The best solution for myself is a meal at home, followed my getting dressed. If you dress them before hand they look like a hurricane hit and covered them in every condiment imaginable.



Bring Snacks and drinks

No matter if they just ate, or you plan on making it a quick trip always bring reinforcements. I carry a small cooler and backpack with snacks and drinks. I only let them have drinks when we are stopped otherwise we are stopping at every bathroom along the way. Half the time you will not use any of it, but it is always a good idea to have them just incase your day does not go as quickly as you plan for it to.

Pull-ups and Potty Breaks

If your kids are anything like mine they have to pee only when it is inconvenient! I have learned that anytime we are near a bathroom everyone is going whether they feel the urge or not! Do not ask them if they need to go. If you are by the facilities you make everyone go in and try! I am famous for the pull ups in the car as well. As a last resort I have also found that having a pull up on hand is an amazing life saver. Children can crawl in the backseat, slip on the pull, pee in it, and you can discard of it and be on your way; rather than loading everyone back into the store, because their sister decided to be a pain and wait until you were unloading groceries into the car to make her announcement of needed to relieve herself.

Entertainment

Children can be easily entertained so do not forget to allow everyone to bring 2 toys or whatnot with them in the car. I use to use just the tablets to entertain in the car, but now it is so much easier to let them bring along something else as well. We still do the tablets they are great entertainment, but they are hard to see in the sunlight at times. So when they get bored of trying to see their screen they have a back-up source of entertainment. Another great alternative is playing car games or singing with them. We love to sing in the car, and it makes our trip go so much faster when we are having fun!!

Reward System

Also to help keep spirits high set a standard for the day, and cut you kids a deal for behaving and making your day simpler. Maybe a quick stop at a park, or an ice cream treat. I know some thing rewards should not be how we teach our children, but let me tell you what it works for me and I will continue to run the reward system until it stops working; or something better comes along.




Being a parent does not have to be hard or difficult (although there are times when it is). Parenting is just like going to school, you just have to learn the basics and everything else will start to fall into place and before you know it you will be a parenting genius.

July 11, 2017

Parental Competition

I got my hubby to get in on a video and it was so fun to hear his side and have him join me. It made it less awkward to talk with someone, rather than just to myself. Thank you Babe for being a great sport!! Again I am new to this and had to trim part of what we had off which I may use later just because it was all great! The only way I could upload was to trim the file. I hope you all enjoy!!


July 3, 2017

Parenting Whoa's

Ahhh! I did so many videos and I finally made it through one and decided to not care what people have to say and post it. Video blogging is hard! This is the first of hopefully many! I am so excited I finally have a video to post and I hope you all enjoy!