The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

Current state of affairs October 13, 2009

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A lot has changed since I last put a real update on this blog.

MIL issues – she is still out of my everyday life. I’ve had one session (alone) with the family therapist my husband has been seeing about our issues with his mom. It was the best 50 minutes I have spent in a long, long time! More on that later.

Weight loss – I haven’t attended Weight Watchers meetings for a few months now. I have maintained my 30-lb weight loss fairly well (not perfectly!). The last few weeks have been really rough with stress eating. I finally made myself step on the scale this morning, and it confirmed that my choices have resulted in weight gain (duh!).

GTD (Getting Things Done system by David Allen) – I am still using my GTD Coordinator (paper planner) and am benefitting from GTD, although there are things I am NOT doing well that are having an effect on the overall benefits from GTD.

Things on my mind lately

  • I love, love, love my two kids. AND. When I am not taking care of myself (showering, eating well) and not dealing effectively with my responsibilities (keeping house clean and tidy, keeping couponing in its proper place and not letting it take up too much time but also not neglecting it to the point that I am missing the point altogether) and so on, THEN, I am unhappy, worn out, and stressed out, and I am not able to be a good parent.
  • At times, circumstances beyond my control (sick kids, bad weather, sick ME) will prevent me from properly attending to all of the items listed in the above bullet point. In that case, all I can do is recognize what is causing the downward slide, and minimize the negative factors and effects as much as I can.
  • The main factor that has been driving me crazy lately is my (almost) 1yo son, Mark. His  naps have dwindled to about 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon. He is ridiculously tired  and therefore fussy for many of his waking hours. I have had more than my fill of being interrupted from any and all tasks (whether “relaxing” or “necessary” in nature). [I am thanking my lucky stars that I am even able to type this post right now.] I can’t count how many times, in the past week or two, I have stood somewhere in my house and wondered whether Mark will be content for the next 30 seconds or 3 minutes or whatever. If just 30 seconds, what is the point of even trying to do anything? But of course, there is no way to know when his next fussy-tired-meltdown will occur, so I am constantly guessing. It really does a number on my overall happiness and mental health when I don’t have the necessary “calm” in my house to string two thoughts together, much less two tasks together. That is one challenge of motherhood that I could have never fathomed before I became a parent. I don’t know how it is for other moms, but I really and truly need my time to think, to plan, to contemplate, to pray, and, of course, to actually DO things–everything from planning meals and clipping coupons to cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. When I have day after day of “Mom, Interrputed” I start to feel frustrated, depressed,and stressed. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with my kids, comfort them, feed them, and so on. It’s just that I am a person, too, and I have things I need and want to get done if I am to maintain a level of sanity and personal happiness.
  • Whew, it feels good to have that all typed out. I think I’m going to quit while I’m ahead and move on to something else before I get interrupted.

A couponer chuckles about this year’s gift exchange September 15, 2009

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Every year now for almost ten years, our group of friends has a Christmas gift exchange. Traditionally the spending limit has been around twenty dollars, and it’s not unusual for hubby and I to complemplate this year’s gift choices months in advance.

In that spirit, just now I got a chuckle thinking about what kind of gift package I could put together for a twenty dollars out-of-pocket limit. How about forty boxes of cereal? Or forty boxes of granola bars? Sixty boxes of brand-name baby wipes?

Over the last several months I have begun using coupons, sales, etc., to stockpile household necessities for rock-bottom prices (sometimes, free). Never did I imagine I would want forty boxes of cereal in my basement… but then again, I never realized I could get good, healthy, yummy, brand-name cereal for 50 cents per box (give or take). Or “fancy” Secret deodorant for 29 cents each….or men’s shampoo or body wash (brand-name) for 50 cents each or even free.

Often I run into people who are amazed at the deals that I get, but these same people are resistant to the idea of stockpiling. Now, I’m not saying that someone new to couponing needs to run out and buy forty boxes of cereal ASAP. But for me at least, if I am going to put the time and effort into deal-shopping, I want to be able to buy five or ten of a given item when I find a screamin’ deal, not just ONE item.

 It does take a bit of effort to find a good way to store the extras, but to me it is well worth it. Not one dime will come out of our household budget for peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoo, razors, bodywash, baby wash, baby wipes, flushable wipes, or toothbrushes… or even, perhaps, for a gift exchange gift …. for many months to come.


It’s all about the sleep January 21, 2009

Yesterday was pretty miserable around here with regard to naps. Adam (3 1/2 yrs) did not take a nap for some reason. I was surprised, because for the past week or so he has fallen asleep shortly after I’ve put him down around 1:00 p.m. Either he has paid off his sleep debt, or he was determined not to nap, or both.

The real problem was with Mark. His rhythm got disrupted in the morning, due to taking Adam to and from preschool. For the entire day, post-preschool, I kept thinking I was doing the right things at the right times…. only to find that we had one failed nap attempt after another. By 7 p.m. I just didn’t know if I could handle, mentally or physically, yet another trip up and down the stairs (Mark’s room is on the second floor).

Fortunately, my dearest, dearest husband let me escape from the house at that point. I went to Walgreen’s and got some great deals, with the help of coupon & sale info over at It was only my second real coupon outing, and I was wondering what the checkout guy would think of my cart full (okay, not exactly FULL) of microwave popcorn and my stack of coupons. He didn’t seem to mind, though.

I am pretty worn out today, which confirms that I need to move my bedtime to more like 9 p.m. instead of 10:30 p.m. I recently dropped one pump from my 6x/day routine, but I still pump in the middle of the night because it’s so important for my milk supply. It takes about 30 minutes to pump and, realistically, about that long to fall asleep afterwards. No wonder I’m tired!