Friday, April 30, 2010

Curbing the Binge Shopping

I think of myself as a binge shopper. Not like a TLC Reality Show Binge Shopper, but still bad enough. I create budgets but don't live off them. I see things I want and buy them, but only if they're on sale or I have a coupon or it's a really good deal. If I feel like eating out, I do.

So, here's the thing. I take a look at my husband's salary and what little I bring in with my this and that jobs and I think, "boy - we make pretty good money for this area, we should be doing pretty good". But, we're not. Well, not as good as I'd like. We're still well below the average debt for Americans, but that number is ridiculously high. I look at our banking statement online every couple days and I'm always amazed at the lengthy list of McDonald's (I like to stop for a Large Diet Coke almost every day and just whip out my Debit Card) or Dairy Queen (the weather's nice and I like to get the kids a treat) or Haggen and Fred Meyer (I don't feel like cooking and just want to pick something up) or my gigantic Costco charges (good deals - can't pass them up and I have three freezers stuffed with food. - can you say "problem"??) or all of my special "discount" stores that I like to stop at because the deals are so good and it goes on and on.

About a week ago, Alexander said to me that he didn't think I could go a week without spending money and less than two seconds later he said, "nevermind - you're a girl, of course you can't". Great!! I'm setting poor examples for my kids and perpetuating some kind of stereotype that women like to spend, spend, spend.

So...yesterday I decided to try to not spend money (aside from gas) for a few days. It's hard, really hard. I feel like a drug addict trying to keep off the crack.

Yesterday wasn't too bad. I stayed busy and before I knew it the day was done. Whew! Day 1 over.

Day 2...lots more difficult. This is how my day went, with my internal battles included:

Alexander is home from school sick. I decide to putz around in pajamas with Cameron and play and read books and go through all of his clothes to sort out what to keep/consign/ebay/etc... and go through my exercise clothes to sort out what to keep/consign.

I was supposed to have a meeting at Haggen at 12:00 to grab lunch and feed Cameron and have someone tell me some sordid city-involved story. Well - I called the gal and switched the meeting to 12:30 at Wood's Coffee. I figured I could grab lunch at home and scrounge a couple bucks to get coffee at Woods. This way I'm not using my debit card (which is the real problem). I did this and it worked.

Then, I came home to grab Cameron (Grandma Trudy was watching the boys) and I head to the school to pick up Bella and catch some of her play practice. No problem - no money to spend there. My friend showed up early and said she'd take Bella home. Great - now I can run to my couple places before heading home.

I swing by the consignment store and drop off my clothes and saw a couple really cute dresses, but NO - I don't need any more freakin' clothes right now and I walked out of the store.

Then, I swing by goodwill to drop stuff off and had to tell myself to keep on driving and not stop, even though they gave me a 30% off coupon to shop and it would be really easy to just pick up a couple things. But, NO - I've done lots of shopping lately and really don't NEED anything so I kept on driving!

Then I thought I had some extra time and it's Thursday and I should totally drive by that discount store that I love that gets new products on Thursday to see what they got in today since I ruined my navy capri workout pants with bleach before I even got to wear them. But NO - I have lots of other workout clothes and don't need to so I kept on driving.

Then, I had to get gas at Fred Meyer and I really wanted to just run in and grab something easy for dinner but NO - I have three freezers and a fridge filled with food and I can cook something on my own. Seriously, three freezers - it's ridiculous. My binge shopping extends to food too.

Then - I saw the T-Mobile store as I was filling up and my phone has been giving me trouble and maybe I should just stop in to see what they could do for me. But - NO, my phone is just fine and I need to keep moving.

Then - I started heading home and saw Cruisin' Coffee and thought that an Iced Mocha would be great today and I probably have a gift card somewhere. But - NO, I don't really need it and if I can't find a gift card then I'd have to use my debit card.

Seeeee....all those internal battles! Every moment of my afternoon I had to fight off spending money.

If this was a week ago I would've spent another $200 today on lunch, coffee, new clothes, stuff for the kids and maybe a new phone!

The battle continues tomorrow.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


The kids are up and moving for the day and I made Cameron a 1/2 Soy Nut Butter Sandwich. When Bella drowsily came down the stairs I asked her if she wanted the same. Her response...

Well, if you could cook pancakes, that would be fantastic.

How can I resist when my child asks so politely?

The grill is heating up now.

Single Mom Time husband is out of town, again. He's gone for 10 days this time and I'm doing the single mom thing. I must say that part of it is good and part of it just sucks.

I like that I know that what has to get done will get done on my time. If I want it done now, I better get off my butt and do it now. If I want it done later, I'll do it later. This is unlike I want it done now and ask someone to take care of it and then ask them again and then ask them again and then ask them again and then get exasperated and do it myself. This way takes a lot less energy.

I like that I don't trip over shoes and dirty clothes between my bed and the shower each day.

I really like that I don't trip over shoes and dirty clothes between my bed and the bathroom in the middle of the night.

I like that the bed is all mine and I can sleep diagonal if I want to.

I don't like that I have to do EVERYTHING. I have to do all the cooking and all the cleaning.

I don't like that I have to do all the disciplining.

I don't like that the bed is all mine and it's cold when I get in.

I don't like that I have to get the kids up and lunches packed all by myself.

I don't like that I have trouble getting to sleep and stay up wayyyy too late.

I like that I know he will come home soon and I won't be doing this on my own anymore.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bruised Face Picture Progression

Day 2 without make-up and Day 3 with.

Learned a lesson the hard way's how my morning was supposed to go: wake up, get kids ready for school, eat breakfast, pack bag for the gym, grab stuff for Cameron's playgroup Easter get-together and head out.

Instead.....woke up to a wet bed because one of my kids peed it, was late getting moving, threw all three kids in the shower to get the pee smell off of them, threw together lunch for Alexander & Bella and got them out the door. Got Cameron dressed and stepped out into the garage to grab a dozen Easter Eggs.....

So, in the garage I have this old breakfast stool. It's in the garage because it's broken. It still swivels, but some of the bolts came out and it tips if you lean over in it. This is what I used to stand on (can you see where this is going?).

I stood on the stool (like I have before) and reached the top shelf to get eggs out of the box. I put them in the bag. I squatted on the stool and held on with the other hand for balance and leaned over so I could jump off. The stool instead completely tilted over and catapaulted me face-first onto the concrete of the garage. Holy Crap it hurt worse than it sounds.

I stood up and had blood gushing out of my nose and mouth and my head was killing me. I was pretty sure my brain was expanding against my fractured skull as I was standing there. But, I have Cameron in the house and I'm only wearing a nightgown and have to get inside to be with him.

I somehow stagger up and wander into the house holding my hand over my face to catch as much blood as I can and get to the kitchen. I grab an ice pack and hold it over my face and then sit on the couch to assess what's happening. Cameron climbs onto the couch and just sits there looking at me. My face is hurting soooo badly and I'm pretty sure it's broken. Yes, my whole face is broken - I can feel it. My teeth hurt, my nose hurt and there is a LOT of blood.

So, I call the gym to cancel my appointment. Don't ask. I just knew I was supposed to be there at 8:30 and was clearly not making it. I think my message to the desk was, "tell Doug I won't be there I hurt myself. I really hurt."

Then, I called my mother-in-law and asked where she was and if she could come. I think I started babbling incoherently because she was getting a little nervous on the phone. I also think the ice pack was laying against my nose and mouth and my lips were swelling so that didn't help either.

I kept saying I hurt, there's lots of blood. She asked if she needed to call 911 and I said I didn't think so but when can she be there it really hurts and I"m so tired.

She said Ray (my father-in-law) is on his way. Then she said to hang up so she can call 911. About 3 minutes went by and I called her again. I needed to talk to someone so I wouldn't pass out I think. I felt woozy and I hurt and I was really freaking out.

Before I called her I had to go to the laundry room and hold the ice pack over my face with one hand and put underwear on with the other because there is no way the paramedics are coming in and seeing me without it on. It's bad enough I'm wearing a nightgown I wouldn't normally wear that I'm practically falling out of the top of. Which I'm pretty sure is now ruined with all the blood that's dripped onto it.

I went back to the couch and the paramedics arrived and I started babbling and crying and being a mess. They really hold it together well. I kept try to look through my blood-spattered glasses to see if I recognized any of them. I kept thinking, "please don't let any of them be a husband of someone I know..." There were so many of them. I swear it had to be about 8.

They checked me out and it of course freaked me out more. One asked me to wipe my tongue in my mouth to make sure my teeth were all there. Oh My God - I might have lost a tooth?? Breathe, feel with tongue, breathe. I'm okay.

Wiggle your toes. Oh My God...I might have done something to my back? Breathe, wiggle, breathe. I'm okay.

They squeezed my head and said they didn't feel swelling or divots or whatever. I was pretty sure it's because it was internal bleeding and they couldn't tell.

They felt up my spine and kept asking if anything hurt. No - that was good.

I kept babbling that I was either going to throw up or I was hungry, I wasn't sure. No, really I think I"m going to throw up. Wait, I'm really hungry. I couldn't even figure out what my body was feeling I was so out of it.

I noticed my leg was bleeding and started to feel pain in my legs and it appears I took out a small chunk on one shin and have a few scrapes on the other.

Then, he checked my face. My lips are really swollen and it looks like they cushioned my teeth nicely. I can't sip water because they are swollen and raw and I can't use a straw because I can't move my mouth that small.

He pushed my nose a little and that REALLY hurt. Pretty sure that's broken, but it could just be bruised.

Then, they put a collar on me and completely strapped me down to a board. Not comfortable. My head was killing me and I just felt so dang stupid for doing it in the first place. I think I babbled about someone needing to tell Jill that I can't get the kids today and they told me that was 6 hours from now and we'll deal with that later.

They started to wheel me out and decided to pull the blankets all the way over my head so the rain would stay off me. All I could think is that if anyone drives by, I look like a dead body being wheeled out of the house. Oh my goodness.

Meanwhile my father-in-law had arrived and was watching Cameron so they could take me to the hospital.

My mother in law was going to meet me there and she had contacted my mom at school and told her that I took a bad fall and was heading to the hospital in the ambulance and was incoherent. My mom got a little freaked, told her class to say the Hail Mary and the Principal told her to head to the hospital for as long as she needed.

We eventually got to the hospital and I got seen rather quickly, as opposed to walking into the ER and waiting for 5 hours. So, that was good.

However, before I left the paramedic mentioned that I might just have a bloody nose and could be fine. Which got me more upset that I did something so dang stupid, caused all this worry, had 8 paramedics and firefighters at my house and was taken to the ER in an ambulance because of a bloody nose. Can you imagine?

They did an xray on my chest and neck to check for broken bones and then they did a cat scan on my face and head.

They came back and told me I have a non-displaced broken nose. So...I look like I was hit by a truck or in a bar fight, but at least it's not as bad as it could be. Trust me, I ran through the scenarios...

What if I passed out in a pool of blood on my garage floor and Cameron got into gosh knows what before being discovered?

What if I landed on any one of the millions of things in the garage like the band saw, metal rake or whatever?

What if I cracked my skull and had a swollen brain?

But no...just a broken nose, fat lip, sore teeth, contusions up and down my legs, chunk of skin missing from my shin, horrible headache, sore shoulders, achy neck and feeling of stupidity mixed with relief.

My mom stayed with me at the hospital and my mother in law stayed at the house to clean up the blood and watch Cameron.

Mom took me home and headed back to work and my mother in law is with me until she comes back to stay overnight.

So much for the rest of my gym, no playgroup easter get together, Alexander will need to find another way to get to soccer practice, Cameron will need to find another way to gymnastics in the morning and on and on.

I'm taking a break, a breath and saying a prayer it wasn't so much worse.

One of my neighbors (Melissa M) brought by a lasagna, salad, bread and cookies for dinner tonight and I've gotten lots of calls/emails/messages of concern so that's wonderful. I'm very grateful I have such wonderful friends and family that live nearby to help take care of me in my lapses of judgement.

My friend Denise said I should've taken a picture when my face was all bloody and messed up. I didn't. I could attach one now, but I'm not sure how it would come across? Alright, I took one of myself and I must say....I've had better days!