Chronicles of a SAHM, Lupus, Saving Money

Lupus said “Chill”

So, I had every intention on blogging Saturday but I had a lupus flare and it completely zapped my energy.  After grocery shopping and hanging out with my sisters,  I was supposed to come home and brag about how much I saved at the store, but I crashed and burned.  I think I was asleep before my head touched the pillow.  I had that “I’m so angry that if I don’t go to bed NOW, somebody is going to get hurt” type of sleepiness.

Then, at 2:30am, I woke up in pain in my side, in my back and I had a migraine. I didn’t even get sleepy until a half hour before I had to take my daughter to swim class – ten hours later. I couldn’t take any meds because they just make me sleepy or woozy and I never like feeling like that.  Sure, my body would’ve felt better, but it’s like walking in a fog. I decided to just drink some coffee.  LOL Yes, I have tea and I know that would’ve been a better choice, but I have a serious coffee addiction.  Thankfully, it doesn’t keep me awake. It totally relaxes me.

Having said all of that, I didn’t save a lot of money. I did okay, but I recognize that I needed more help with couponing.  I’ve signed up to a few of the Facebook couponing groups to get tips and tricks.  I’ll go tomorrow to see how well I do on buying school supplies at Target using their ideas.  Either I need more coupons or I need to make a list and travel to different stores instead of getting everything at one.  I did end up going to Kroger to get my free eggs and free Ragu pasta sauce using the coupons they sent me though.  Love those!   Here are my savings: IMG-6003.JPG

I’ll post my savings from Target tomorrow – God willing. Good night!

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Chronicles of a SAHM, organization, Saving Money

Saving Money…by any means necessary!

Today, I woke up on a mission to save more money.  I’ve already been clipping coupons, using my store rewards and shopping apps. So, I decided to go to the website of some of my favorite brands, such as Snuggle, Ziploc, Proctor & Gamble and Kelloggs to see if they have any additional savings.  I recognized that I spend more money on these brands than anything else.

What I found were pretty good coupons on Kelloggs (plus points),  P&G and Ziploc – very nice!! I didn’t find any coupons on Snuggle, but I did join the Snuggle Bear Den, so hopefully they will send some soon! It’s also really convenient to be able to link my store cards so that the savings go right onto the rewards.  I don’t have to fumble through so many coupons when I’m shopping when I’m able to do that.

I’ll post my total savings tomorrow!! Here are the links:  www.ziploc.com www.pgeveryday.com, www.snuggle.com, and www.kelloggsfamilyreward.com

Chronicles of a SAHM, Journaling, organization

SAHM Planning Day 4

Day 4 of my new Journaling Journey and I am still enjoying the process.  I’ve realized that from writing down my goals for the day, that sometimes I set the bar too high.  For example, yesterday I wrote that I would take my daughter to school, work out for an hour, then come home clean for an hour and then go back to pick up my daughter from school, cook dinner, wash dishes, etc.

Ok, so this is what really happened: I dropped her off, I worked out, then I came home and passed out for an hour.  I had to put off cleaning until after my daughter got home and had lunch.  I got it done though – house cleaned from top to bottom and I’d worked out.  I had accomplished what I didn’t think I could do in a relatively short period of time.

Also, the fact that my meals are all planned out, removes the stress of trying to think of something last minute or ordering take out.  I also learned to write on my dry erase board that’s attached to the fridge – a menu for the day. There are no changes either – no additions or deletions.  Stress free. I’m loving it so far.

Chronicles of a SAHM, Journaling, organization, Saving Money

Stay-at-Home-Mom (SAHM) Stuff

So… my husband purchased a “Life & Apples” growth planner and I’ve decided that today would be the day to start logging in my affirmations, tasks and goals for my life.   I actually started brainstorming and writing small notes a week prior so that when I opened my planner, I would be ready…hopefully.

What I soon realized however, is that what I thought were just small, attainable goals actually required many steps to achieve.  For example, under the “Career and Finances” category – I wrote that I wanted to stop using my credit cards as much as I have been in the last three months.  To do that, requires me to cut down on spending.  Therefore, I checked my bank and credit card accounts to see where the bulk of my spending was and it was *insert drum roll* grocery shopping.  Ridiculous!  I used to coupon and check the weekly ads for sales, but I’d stopped that and just started shopping every week all willy nilly. (It doesn’t help that I live within five miles of Target, two Meijer stores, Walmart and Kroger) – so my spending has definitely increased.  I realized that I would have to become more organized with my shopping lists and spending habits.

I started by writing down and numbering every meal that I like to make for the family complete with sides. I wrote down the corresponding numbers to days of the week.

Monday – #1 – Meatballs with gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans.

Tuesday – #5 – Tacos, etc…

Then, I wrote down all the necessary ingredients that I would need for each meal.

On a separate sheet of paper, I began writing down the items that I didn’t have available in my fridge or pantry and I started clipping coupons.  I then went to my Ibotta app and my Checkout 51 app to see what would be eligible for rebates later and wrote that down.    My next step was to go to each store’s website to see what was on sale, clip my rewards and go shopping.  I decided on Meijer for this shopping trip. (I also use the Shopkick app while in the store which is why I can’t shop with my kids – I need to concentrate). It seems like a lot of work but gets easier over time.   I ended up saving over $50 – with an additional $7.50 in eligible rebates!

IMG-5958

At least now I can start the week off with savings!  I knocked off a couple of tasks in pursuit of the goal of cutting down on my spending and that felt great.  I’m also going to look around to find out other ways to save today.

I think this planner is the way to go!  I can look at my goals at the beginning of the week and see much I’ve achieved at the end.  I just have to be consistent…in everything.  Wish me luck!

Lupus

Push Through

Some have asked me how Lupus has affected my life. The following is just a typical day in my life.

When I wake up in the morning, I’m already exhausted.  My mouth and eyes are bone dry, but I make sure to thank God for my life.  As I walk to the bathroom to clean my face, every joint and muscle ache but I push through. For the last two weeks, as part of my daily routine, I’ve had to deal with nose ulcers – sorry if that sounds disgusting to you, but imagine if it were actually happening to you. I just swab the vaseline in there and push through.

Next, I put on clothes -preferably those that don’t bind because occasionally, my skin gets irritated for no reason at all other than – lupus. So, I generally opt for comfortable sweats and/or flannels. I wear Ugg boots most days around the house because my feet are always freezing cold and can’t stand anything rubbing the tops of my toes, like leather from shoes or cotton socks. I pull my hair into a bun because not only is it easier, but I’m losing my hair and it hides my hair loss.  I can’t wear eye makeup because my eyes are sensitive (currently having vision issues in my left eye).  It’s hard to keep my nails done, because lupus affects my nails and makes them break and crack.  I do my best.

I think about what I’m having for breakfast: will I have just a cup of coffee or will I actually eat something that will help all these vitamins and supplements go down but requires me to cook? I usually opt for a cup of coffee and a boiled egg after drinking two bottles of water.  I currently take Vitamin B-12, C, a prescribed dose of Vitamin D (because I’m usually deficient), Biotin, Zinc, Magnesium, etc.

I make breakfast for my daughter and get her ready for her day, which would take a lot of energy from a person without Lupus, so for me – I’m super tired afterwards. She has pre-school, dance and swimming throughout the week for which I am responsible for getting her there, ready and on time.

I determine which of my house duties I will perform based on my energy level after breakfast. If my energy is high, I can usually do a couple loads of laundry, make up my bed, clean the kitchen, the dining room, and family room.  If I don’t have the energy, I usually skip the laundry.  My husband deserves a clean house when he gets home.

If I’m still on my caffeine high, I will go to the grocery store and get a few things for dinner, so my family has fresh ingredients for dinner. If not, I find something in the cabinet and make it work.

I make all the doctor/dentist appointments, handle all the home issues, etc.  I cook dinner, wash the dishes, take care of my kids’ needs, then get my daughter ready for her bath and bed. I fit in my jewelry business when I have some down time. I prepare myself for bed, read my scriptures, take my medications and go to sleep. I usually get 3-4 hours uninterrupted sleep due to pain or just time for my husband.

It’s not in my head.  I hurt ALL day. I hurt in places that don’t even make sense to hurt. It’s not something that is caused by or can be cured by changing my diet. I don’t want to hear what may be helping your friend/co-worker/cousin – they may not have the same type of Lupus or the same Lupus symptoms.  I don’t want you to feel sorry for me.  I don’t want the focus on me. I just want you to understand why I may not be able to hang out, call you back, or why I’m “always tired.”  I want you to understand that my tired is different from your tired. Please understand why I’m not always dressed up and made up.

Most importantly, please understand that while as a Christian, I don’t “claim this,” but I do have it.  I also have faith.  There were lepers in the bible who were healed because of their faith (Luke 17:11-19) and there was a woman with an issue of blood for twelve years (Luke 8:43) who was healed because of her faith.  Jesus made the blind see, He made the cripple walk again and He raised the dead. They all had something, but were healed. I know Lupus isn’t my destiny. By His stripes, I am healed.

I KNOW that my symptoms could be a lot worse, but GOD…  You may think I’m giving up – I haven’t.  I’m waiting on the Lord, while giving Him the glory for everything I’m NOT going through.  I push through EVERY day, even on those really bad days.  My God is an awesome God. So, yeah I have Lupus but it does not have me.

Chronicles of a SAHM

Nostalgia

I was making a hot dog for my daughter, when I turned and looked at this bag with one hot dog bun left in it.  It brought back a wave of nostalgia that I haven’t experienced in a while.  It reminded me of backyard parties and picnics at the local parks with opened pop cans overturned on the table and half eaten hamburgers and potato chips left on a plate.  I remembered my uncle cooking over an open flame charcoal pit with a beer can close by (for seasoning *wink wink*), playing volleyball with a net that had missing strings, kids running around tossing water balloons and screaming loud enough to “raise the dead” my mom would say; bees flying over head and ants crawling on the table looking for an uneaten morsel of food.  Wow. Good times.

But it was just a hot dog bag.

Chronicles of a SAHM, Journaling, Lavender Fields Creations

Uninspired

I find myself feeling totally uninspired. This is quite a contradiction as I am writing this because of a sudden inspiration to tell the world about how uninspired I am. (Weird)

Anyway, years ago, it was easy to put together a paragraph, a page, or a chapter. Now it’s difficult to even string two words together without having to use a dictionary. Inspiration used to flow from my fingertips onto paper, later to a keyboard where words were given life – like water – to anyone who would willingly partake of its goodness. I loved to write words describing my life and every intricate detail – it was juicy.

I don’t know if it’s the dis-ease that I have now which makes me mundane, dull, lackluster and oddly droll, but I want more. I want my old life back. I want laughter and dancing. I want poetry and fiction.

I want to feel life but how do I do this? How do I get my groove back?