It’s Monday…Best for Today

It’s Monday and I left my 15th of 17 doctors appointments this month feeling, well down, heavy, overloaded, maybe. I don’t know how many meltdowns our  Mr. Bubblewrap has had this month, but I do know that there is a marked decrease in them since he’s been on meds. I haven’t counted or kept track. If I would’ve known the doctor would ask I would’ve tried to keep better count. All I know is that whatever we are doing has helped. And golly, I am just plain happy that I have been able to keep track of what I have been able to this month considering the amount of medical and behavioral issues we’ve had.

It’s Monday at 4:00 pm and I just finished loading the dishwasher from last night’s and today’s worth of dishes.

It’s grocery shopping Monday, after 4:00 pm and I still haven’t put away all of the groceries from this morning’s trip.

It’s laundry Monday and while the clothes are clean, nothing has been put away.

It’s Monday and I need a day off.

It’s Monday and Hubby is working late after working this weekend.

It’s Monday and I am done with snotty noses, late night leg pains, sore arms and back from lifting the General again. Done with waxy ears that need their nightly dose of oil…all 8 ears! Done with bloody noses. Done with doctors appointments.

February is almost over and I couldn’t be happier. It was a rough, busy month that threatened to do me in. But with God’s help, and Hubby’s, I gained a bit more strength, a bit more patience, a bit more just let it go attitude.

It’s Monday and This momma is wore out. Popping in some chicken nuggets, making some man-n-cheese for dinner. Not the best but the best for today.

 

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​Having a Plan

When Hubby and I got married, way back in the day, we knew that at some point I would stay home and keep the house while he brought home the bacon.  After 20 plus years of marriage and just about that many years of living this way, we still get mixed reactions.  However, we are okay with it and have made it thus far, virtually on one income.

How did we do it?  Glad you asked.  Let me give you a bit of background first. I had been working for about the first three years of our marriage when it came time for me to quit.  (That is a whole other post for another day.)  At this point of our lives, we had recently moved to a new state far away from all friends and family, everything we knew.  We literally packed up our two trucks and headed East.  (Just about everywhere’s East coming from California.)  We had savings that covered the moving expenses, and our butts, while we both found a job.  We were living in a sort-of-furnished mobile home, really enjoying life.  Then I quit my kitchen job one of the local senior citizen homes, to take care of our home and possibly start a family.  Hubby was working full time, making a bit over minimum wage.

Honestly, we didn’t have a financial plan or even a budget for that matter.  I sure wish we did, though.  It would’ve helped us be a lot wiser with our money and maybe save us from debt.  We were two young lovers, just enjoying the simple things in life, like staring into each other’s eyes.  This was way before Pinterest, heck, Pinterest-worthy we didn’t even have the internet then.  So, we really didn’t feel the prePinterest-worthy home, hair, car, wall decor, meals or anything.  We simply lived simple.

In the early years we didn’t use credit cards and paid for most items in cash.  I was pretty crafty so I made a lot of our decor and gifts for friends and family.  I cooked and baked, getting better by the year.  (At least I hope so.)  Therefore, we didn’t eat out much.  We did these and many other basic frugal lifestyle habits, just trucking along.

Year five we gave birth to our first daughter.  At the same time Hubby had started a cabinet making business.  (Again, another story for another post.)  Long story short we didn’t have much business or accounting experience, one thing lead to another and we were in debt.  With a business to keep afloat, a baby to care for and rent to be paid, there was no escaping that we needed a plan.  As anyone who has been where we were you can imagine the nice, sweet, rosy (insert sarcasm) conversations Hubby and I had.  We had to get on a budget and do it fast.

The first things to get on a budget was tithe for church (which we were already paying), our groceries, rent and utilities.  This started us on a lifetime of budget living.  I wish I could say it was all easy and a bed of roses from then on.  Let’s just say that one of us is a saver, likes to live on a budget and overspending sends this one of us into cold sweats.  While the other…well, we are opposites.  Need I say more.  Budget living is not easy for everyone.  Some relish “living in a box” and “staying in the lines”.

Nonetheless, having an agreed upon plan/budget did help us navigate our way back when we got off course.  Our budget was a reference point and sometimes a referee when called upon.  Over the years there has been tweaking done to the budget as more bills got added on (piled up) and jobs and pay changed.

Whether you are single, married or rooming with someone a plan/budget is key to your financial success.  Without one you are inviting disaster to happen.  Anyone can do it, no matter how hard it is for you.  There are many budget planning resources out there.  Our favorite is Dave Ramsey.  Just make sure the financial help you get is free.  You are trying to get a handle of your money and spending.  Even if the cost is very low, it still cost you your hard earned dollars.  I just did a Bing search for free budget planning and eight topics came up under the search bar.  If you’re not on a budget, start now.  You can do this.  You are worth it.

Overloaded Calendars

Do you have those months, weeks, heck, years where you are drowning in appointments, IEPs, school events, sports events, etc.? Have you had to cancel an appointment or two (or more) due to your unorganized and overlapping schedule? I have a solution that might help you.

This month I have 12, yes twelve appointments. Not to mention the church, school events and other things like that. Just appointments. Now I have always been more of an organized person, even as a kid. Can’t help it, just am. But months like these call out to my inner organizer to help sort out the business that is my life. I have to write it down or I WILL forget. I came up with this system, golly, I can’t even remember when, but it’s was years ago. Hopefully, it can help you as well.

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I HAVE to have a calendar where I can see it. So, on the frig it goes. How to pick the right calendar.

*Pick one you like to look at. Though the top half of mine usually gets covered up with notes from school, important reminders that I need to see or year, I will forget.

*Pick one with big enough date/day spaces to write all you need. I have literary filled those nice little rectangles up before.

That’s really about it. Now get some colored fine tip markers. I use CD type markers. There is no really reason for this other than that it what we had at the time I started and it worked so well I still use this type of marker.

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*Now for the colors: RED for birthdays, BLUE for church events, GREEN for school, ORANGE for appointments, PURPLE for dates, ladies nights, etc. YELLOW for those misc. items. I rarely use YELLOW as it is hard to see. I tend not to use black as it blends in with what is already on the calendar.

Using this color coded method helps me know what type of event is coming up at a glance.

The standard calendar worked for years. I needed nothing more. Along came the ninos…and many, many appointments followed. At first I tried using my smart phone. (Which I only got when we got the kids.)  I am not good at looking at my phone calendar or writing them down on my phone calendar. I ended up over lapping my appointments. I needed to change or add something.

Introducing the purse planner!!

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THIS my friend has helped tremendoously. I use the same color coded method. I started out using the markers but they bled through the pretty papers. No bueno. While in Durango, CO I found this totally cute, totally perfect little colored pencil set.

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I keep it attached to the front with the clip in the previous photo. With the same clip I hold  all of the appointment cards on the inside. Once the appointment is done I throw away the card. I keep the cards in case I need the number, or for some reason I forget to actually write it down. Which has happened.

To make this planner really work for me and not just be a lot of wasted paper bound together. I found one that I would actually use. It had to fit in my purse, check. It had to be attractive, check. I mean from the cover to the photos throughout where so me. I plan to hang the photos up when I am done with the planner. How’s that for multipurposing! It had to have big enough date space  (Again, I have been known to fill a day like a crazy woman.)

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It also comes with encouraging phrases, that somedays are timed just right.

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I have not used all that it has to offer, but have used the secondary calendar pages for notes. I keep a big rubber band as a place marker in this section. It also helps hold any loose paperwork I sometimes acquire at IEPs, Dr’s visits, etc.

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So, if you’re struggling to keep dates, appointments straightened out and not overlapping one another, don’t despair. Start with a standard calendar. There are SO many cute ones out there. Get some colored markers and start…to quote the cover of my purse planner: “The best way to get something done is to begin.”