First let me say thank you for your suggestions on Sophie's dizzy spells. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and, even though they may or may not apply to her situation it's still nice to have you all thinking of her.
Now for today's post:
I've decided to make some radical changes in my life, mainly out of necessity because we need to reign in the household spending. Believe me, I much prefer the status quo because I'm basically lazy, but life is kicking me in the pants and telling me I need to get with the program.
Change #1: So the first radical change is to make a weekly menu plan & grocery list and shop once a week.
Change #2: The weekly menu plan goes hand in hand with no more eating at restaurants, fast food or otherwise, on a regular basis. The hubs is the worst about this, but if I don't have food ready for him that he will eat, then he drives thru. And we have spent way too much money over the years on convenience foods, and that is going to stop.
Change #3: I figured out how many meals I'd need to make this week, then created a grocery list, and spent two hours shopping on Saturday afternoon at 3 different stores. I used to do all our shopping at two stores--Schnucks (a St Louis based grocery chain, the best our town has to offer) and Target--on week nights with kids in tow. I despise Wal-Mart, but I have gone over to the dark side because I'm now in money saving mode. And we also now have an Aldi, which has crazy low prices. I'll still shop at Schnucks because they have good meat and produce, but that's all I'm buying there. Saturday I spent around $150 for all our food for the week. And I don't care what I run out of--I'm not shopping again until next Saturday.
Change #4: I'm cooking like it's nobody's business. I made a pork roast Saturday night in the crock pot. First time ever! I know, I know, but still, I'm just learning to cook and a roast, to me, is intimidating. Turns out I cooked the darn thing too long and ended up with about half the meat I should have, but oh well. I'm learning. Mark liked it anyway. Tonight I'm making meatloaf. First time for that, too.
Change #5: Making a budget and sticking to it. This is going to be the toughest. But I'm serious about this money saving stuff and we're cracking down just like the rest of the country. No more impulse buying or spending unnecessary money on myself or the kiddos. I should have been doing this 5 years ago. Better late than never, I suppose.
Change #6: We cancelled our gym membership. Scratch #5 being the toughest. This is the toughest. No more swim lessons for Sophie. No more treadmill for me. No more body pump classes. No more easy summer-time pool for the family. It's going to be hard, but seriously? I just need to get over myself. Many, many people survive & thrive without a membership to the most expensive gym in town. I think we'll live.
Change #7: I'm clipping coupons! And using them!
Change #8: The little things that I used to think were no big deal, I realize all add up. As in: I'm not using mousse in my hair anymore. I tried it one day without it, and it looks exactly the same. And I'm not going to buy $15 a can hairspray any more. Understand, my hair has always been my thing, ever since I was in junior high. But it's stick straight, and the only thing that needs a spray is my bangs, so why do I need Big Sexy Hair hairspray? I don't. And my mascara is now L'oreal instead of Estee Lauder. Also, I'm not using paper towels for every little thing in the kitchen. I got one of our chamois cloths and am using a new one each day (a new one every day will hopefully keep the nasty germies away). We go through so many paper towels, it's nuts. This is going to cut that back big time. And I'm using half the laundry detergent I used to, and so far the clothes are just as clean as before. And I'm turning down the thermostat to 65 while we're at work. I'm sure there are more things I'll think of along the way.
Change #9: I'm implementing the parent skill lessons I've learned in Beyond Time Out. I'm still on a learning curve but I'm serious about changing things for the better for my kids. And my sanity.
Change #10: This one I have yet to implement, but it starts tonight. I'm going to bed at a decent time and waking up at a decent time. My habit has been to stay up until 11 or midnight (or later, like last night) and then sleep until Sophie needs to get up for school at 7 a.m. This means I don't get to work until 10 or 10:30, which is fine since I don't have a boss yelling at me, but it's not helping me be as productive or helpful to Mark as I need to be. My plan is to leave the house at 8 a.m. and be at work by 8:30. I'll let you know tomorrow how that one goes.
Notice there are no radical diet or exercise changes. I made those in 2007! This year, I'm sticking to running (ran 5 miles Sunday in 54 minutes, which is darn good considering I'm almost 10 pounds heavier than I was when I ran my half in October, and I've not been running regularly since October either) and I'm going to do the 100 push up challenge (started that yesterday, too). I'll probably throw in some pilates DVDs as needed, which Sophie will do with me. On the diet side, I really just need to focus on not eating at night. That's where I sabotage myself. And if I stick to change #10, this shouldn't be a problem because I'll be asleep by 10 p.m. instead of eating oreos.
These are not New Year's resolutions. I don't want to set myself up for failure by labeling these resolutions. They are lifestyle changes that I have to make for the sake of our family's future well being. I'm sure there will be missteps along the way, because change is hard. But for now, I feel really good about what we are doing.
Are you making any radical changes in your life this year?