Pages

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Donations Needed!!

I need my Blogger friends' help! I am helping stuff 60 stockings for a Christmas Party for the kids in the SNAP (Special Needs Adoption Program). These are kids that are still in foster care in Kentucky, waiting for their forever families.

 I am wanting to supply 60 toothbrushes and 60 pairs of Magic Gloves ($1 for 2 pairs @Dollar Tree). The toothbrushes are covered, but I need help with the gloves.

Donations can be sent to my PayPal address at jcmeast0305@yahoo.com

 My hope is that we get more than enough in donations and that I can do more than just the gloves and toothbrushes!

 I will continue to keep everyone updated on how we are helping these children! Comment if you have any questions. Thank you all!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Update

I haven't updated in awhile, so here we go. The spending department and paying off debt has not been good. I am really not quite ready to face the damage we've done yet. I had some stomach issues in September and ended up having my gall bladder removed the end of October. We had paid off all prior medical bills, but now that surgeries bills total to around $450. That's after paying around $1000 already down for different deposits and emergency room co-pays. I am at my out-of-pocket maximum for the year if anything else happens! I have lost 25 pounds since July. Things are kind of plateauing right now, but I was waiting until I recovered from my surgery completely to focus again. I also won 2 yearly gym memberships in a silent auction that we will redeem here soon. Now to focus on the money and getting bills paid. We finally got around to sorting through junk and have posted around 10 items on craigslist and Facebook yard sale sites. Hubby has been putting out the word that he will help with fall cleanup/gutter clean out and has had a few jobs so far. I have started back at the secret shops again. We had one for Papa Johns this past Tuesday. Not too bad to get paid $5 and a free pizza. I'm still here and still have a hate/hate relationship with money!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Moving Forward

Thankfully I was able to miscarry on my own last week and didn't need surgery. I was off of work most of the week because the bleeding was rather heavy and I had cramping that lortab couldn't handle.

Tuesday, July 16th, was the worst. I woke up at 3 am cramping horribly and stayed awake until 7. I literally took an hour long bath because that was the only thing that made it bearable. Shortly after 7 I passed what I believe to be the baby.

I went back to the dr on Friday for a scan and everything cleared itself out. They took some blood and I am borderline anemic and still have an HCG of 277 so they want me to keep going for blood work once a week until it's at 0. I started iron supplements last night for the anemia.

Yesterday and today I have felt really good. I took my first walk last night and have gotten back on track to eating healthier. My plan is to concentrate on losing weight and studying for the CPA exam, and then we will go back to the fertility doctor in January 2014.

Our time to be parents will come.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Still no heartbeat

My Father’s way may twist and turn,
My heart may throb and ache.
But in my soul I’m glad I know,
He maketh no mistake.

 
My cherished plans may go astray,
My hope may fade away
But still I’ll trust my Lord to lead,
For He doth know the way.

Tho’ night be dark and it may seem,
That day will never break;
I’ll pin my faith, my all in Him.
He maketh no mistake.


There’s so much now I cannot see,
My eyesight’s far too dim;
But come what may,
I’ll simply trust And leave it all to Him.

And by and by the mist will lift
And plain it all He’ll make.
Through all the way, tho’ dark to me,
He made not one mistake.


By A. M. Overton

Our second opinion yesterday confirmed that there is still no heartbeat. I have come home to try and miscarry on my own. I go back again next Monday to see whether anything has passed. No real bleeding so far, but the ultrasound tech did say that it looked like the sac was starting to break up.

I am back to work today. We aren't completely shocked from yesterday as we knew going in there was a very slim chance that things would be positive. My plan is to concentrate on losing weight until the end of the year (and study for my CPA) and then we will try IUI again in January.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Splurges

We went on a little spending spree, or credit card spree rather. But the good news is I don't regret it.

We bought a new king size bed. The queen we had was very tight with Mattie sprawled out in between us and most nights hubby ended up falling asleep on the couch. Of course we had to then buy new bedding. Then I decided we had to buy a new LED tv for the bedroom so we could enjoy TV in bed.

So the final damage is:
Kohls - $248.50 (bedding)
Capital One - $560 (tv)
Furniture Store - $1100 (bed, tv stand for living room, and delivery), 0% if paid in 6 months

With JC's student loans I'll pay off the Kohls and Capital One in August, and plan to pay off the furniture in 6 months, all while continuing to pay down other debt too.

I have a follow-up ultrasound on Monday to check for a heartbeat with my OB. Even if I implanted late, we should be able to hear one by this point. I think we have been long prepared for the worst.

I have been in a pretty foul mood the last 2 days. Hubby was really getting on my nerves yesterday and made me wish I had worked instead of had the day off. I'm sure the 10 inches of rain we have been getting isn't helping either. Add attitude from a co-worker on top of that and it just makes a swell mood. Honestly the only thing I want right now is to be alone with my animals.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ultrasound Update

We are still in the unknown right now of what is going to happen. We are still hopeful that miracles will happen and everything will be ok. We are praying hard for them.

We saw the gestational sac yesterday, but I also have a small amount of blood that has pooled in my uterus. The doctor thinks that the blood along with my initial slow rising HCG levels may mean I am about to miscarry.

We repeat another ultrasound next Monday. The good news that we take from yesterday is that it isn't ectopic like last time.

Today I have felt the most nauseous since I found out I was pregnant. I got some sprite about 7, and then crawled back in bed and ate 2 crackers and slept another half hour. This morning was the first time I thought I might actually throw up.

Now we pray and wait some more.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Stocking Up

I have a lot of diapers already, but my goal is to have 3,000 on hand by the time the baby gets here. I'm almost 1/3 of the way there. I am estimating going through 10 diapers a day over the course of a year. I'm sure there will be more or less here or there, but I am just averaging. Of course I have to have a control-freak spreadsheet to track them all!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

In Memory of Sadie

Yesterday was the 3 year anniversary of my golden retriever Sadie's death. She was such a good dog, and I know she will be patiently waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge, just like she would the door every time I left the house. I hate that JC never got to meet her.

 This was Church laying with Sadie when he was just a kitten.
 Missy, Mom's dog on the left and Sadie on the right.
 Between my Mom and I, we had 6 goldens this Christmas. We took one photo with the 3 obedience dogs and then struggled to get this photo with the "non-obedience" dogs.
This one were the obedience-trained puppies.
Sadie, Church and Mocha. You can just barely see Mocha at the bottom, he blends in with the bed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Great News!

I waited 6 days to have my HCG tested again and it went from 136 to 1055.

We were honestly going to be happy if it was above 550 so we are thrilled with 1055. It is now doubling every 48 hours like it should.

I AM DONE WITH BLOOD WORK (for now)!

I have an ultrasound next Tuesday to make sure it's not ectopic again. It will still probably be too early to see a heartbeat.

I am feeling really good about this pregnancy. We have passed the point where I started bleeding with the last ectopic.

As far as symptoms, I have had some nausea in the morning. Not throwing up, but feeling like I need to eat something so I have been having some cereal at home. I used to just eat when I got to work. The veins throughout my boobs are definitely darkening and noticeable. I am still having hot flashes at night and am getting up to pee twice now.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

HCG update

5/30 - 34
6/3 - 105
6/5 - 136

Doctor wants to repeat again on Friday but JC and I are discussing waiting a week to test again. No need to stress out about something that isn't necessarily the most accurate test in the world.

A lot of message boards have stated that this test isn't that reliable anyway. In Europe, they don't even do this test and just wait for the first ultrasound.

The bottom line is we are not out yet. The nurse was positive today and said that it was good that the number was still rising.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Not Taking a Day for Granted


This cycle I did injectibles of gonal-f with IUI and we got a big fat positive Thursday, May 30. This was exactly 2 weeks post-IUI. My doctor brought me in for blood work and were a little concerned that my HCG was only a 36 (they wanted to see it more than 50). They like to see these numbers double every 48 hours, but since that was the weekend, I had to wait until this morning to get blood drawn again.

I decided we would buy several different tests and kept taking them each morning leading up until today. Today it had went up to 105. It's not doubling at a 48 hour rate, but rather around 60 hours, but I had researched that 48-72 is considered ok. We are definitely still falling in the lab reference range.

I'll re-test again on Wednesday. So one hurdle has been cleared, but it seems like another one is around the corner. I am not sure when I will be able to relax and feel at ease until I am holding this baby in my arms!

Our due date is February 6, 2014.

We should be able to go for an ultrasound around June 12th (because of my history of ectopic), but it will still be too soon to see a heartbeat.

As far as signs, I have been making more trips to the bathroom and have some nausea, especially this morning. Hot flashes! These have been happening at night although I did have one this morning at the hospital. Sore boobs - this has been ongoing the last two weeks. My sense of smell is heightened with cigarette smoke being the #1 gross smell (not that I ever liked the smell before).

We are going to start celebrating because TODAY I am pregnant, and I don't want to take a single day that I am pregnant for granted.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Prayers to Oklahoma

Our struggles to have a baby seem so trivial right now in light of the recent events in Oklahoma.

I was able to go home to a roof over our head, food in the fridge, all of our pictures and possessions in tact, and all of our furkids safe inside their home (including outside/feral kitty Myra).

Maybe because I am on facebook now, I see story after story being shared that draws you in emotionally. I sometimes have to ignore my news feed because the stories make me so emotional. The same thing happened with the Boston marathon bombings and the Cleveland kidnapper case.

We wanted to feel like we did something to help out so we sent donations to two different disaster relief groups this morning.

The first donation was sent to Convoy of Hope which provides disaster relief and humanitarian aid around the world. Giving to them is very easy, just text CONVOY to 50555 for a $10 donation. (can be done up to 3 times)

The second group we donated to New Leash on Life helps the animals that have been lost and displaced. This goes beyond just dogs and cats, but they are helping horses, cows, hamsters, bearded dragons etc. that have lost their homes, and working to reunite them with their owners. They are processing donations for the Animal Resource Center in OK, so if you choose to donate to them, specify "tornado response".


Friday, May 17, 2013

IUI

My IUI went so smooth yesterday. I had a lot of pain last time, and they had trouble threading the needle through my cervix, but this time it was sooo easy!

I had taken a lortab before hand (with my doctor's permission) and that ended up making me sick even though I took it with food.

I stayed in bed the rest of the afternoon and then we had a birthday dinner with family last night.

Hubby's sperm count last time was 50 million and this time 95 million, so hopefully just 1 can make the trip and do the deed.

I can take a pregnancy test May 30....praying that this cycle is the cycle that sticks.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Not a slave to Capital One Anymore!

It felt good to log into our Capital One account this morning and see the zero balances. From now on, Capital One will be paying us money! (We have a Capital One 360 checking and savings account)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Survived the weekend

I had a really good weekend and survived Mother's Day. Hubby got me a card from all the animals which was very sweet.

This week has started off really well. I decided to pay off the remainder of Capital One #2 this morning. It feels so good to be 2 credit cards lighter. I don't expect JC's financial aid to come through until June so we likely won't make as much progress until then.

I went back to the doctor today for a follicle scan. I have 1 good size and 1 smaller follicle on my left side (the good side) and 1 good size follicle on my right (no tube). I will do one more dose of gonal-f tonight, trigger shot of Ovidrel tomorrow night and insemination Thursday morning.

I am very excited about this!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Capital One is Gone!

Just paid off Capital One #1 today and around $700 on Capital One #2! Happy dance!

Decisions, decisions

We have an extra car right now that we put up for sale this week and it looks like it's going to sell today. We also found out that JC will be receiving some financial aid that wasn't expected, so between those two things, we should be coming into around $5000 in the next few month.

Now we need a plan as to what to do with this money. Our credit cards sit at around $6700, we could pay all of them off except for the 0% interest Care Credit and would not be paying anymore interest to credit cards! That is what I am leaning towards doing.

We also owe around $4500 on JC's vehicle, so we could either pay off all high interest credit cards or JC's car.

What I am afraid of is indulging and whittling this money away until there isn't much left to do anything with.

Wouldn't it be nice to stop paying interest in one swoop!?!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day

I think it has to be the worst holiday of the year for me, as I am sure it is for many infertiles. Two years ago I celebrated Mother's Day as a mother-to-be, which was quickly lost in a matter of two weeks.

Last Mother's Day was hard. Christmas is hard too because that was he/she's due date.

I would rather stay in bed all day, but there is family to see, so I can't. I am searching for other ideas online for ways to cope. I would like to plant something, but we don't intend to stay at this house so I don't really want to plant something permanent.

I had been hopeful that maybe this time around I would be pregnant again, but that won't be the case. Our insemination will hopefully be one day next week.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Good news

Had my appt today to check one the cyst and it was gone! Yay! So on to the next cycle.

I will start injections tonight. Hopefully they won't be too bad or have bad side effects.

I have another follow up on Friday to see how I am responding to this dosage. I am waiting on the mail order pharmacy to call me to see how many appendages (I mean how much money) we will be sending them. Hopefully not too much as we do have a 75% discount card.

What a crazy last few weeks it has been. I had a yard sale/fundraiser for an animal rescue group we help out with. We split the profits with them and made $250 each this weekend. Way more successful than I ever imagined but it was a lot of work.

I have been letting the finances slide a lot lately. Oh well. I guess we can start back another day. Will not beat myself up over it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Delaying a Cycle

To my surprise I started my period right away Friday night. That never happens lately. I've had to take progesterone for 10 days to make me start the last several months.

I had to make a last minute appt with the fertility specialist yesterday so we could do the injections this month. But that's not happening.

I have a cyst on my left ovary (the good side) and we can't try another cycle until it is gone. It is a known side effect of the clomid that can happen. If it can happen, it WILL happen to me. He said the cyst could block my tube from picking up the egg so we don't want that.

I am on birth control for one month because that can help shrink it. They usually go away on their own within a month. So on to May!

We did get some good news yesterday. We are eligible to save 75% off our injectibles. We'll find out how much that is next month.

JC also was admitted into the Radiography program in the fall. It is selective admission, so we are very proud of him for that.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Big.Fat.Negative

Our hopes were not high, as after two years of trying to get pregnant we are used to the disappointment each month. The original plan was to do Clomid + IUI for 3 months.

Since I am on the highest dose of clomid and my body doesn't seem to be responding well too it. My follicles have been rather small and are usually on my bad side. The estimated cost of injectables and the whole process is $1500-$2500. AND we still aren't sure it will work.

We will be taking a 401k distribution to pay for the process, although I will be trying to come up with some fundraising ideas, especially since we could probably only afford 1 or 2 cycles (that's at the $1500 cost) on our own.

IVF seems to be lurking just around the corner, and it costs around $12,000. I have added a link to our PayPal account to accept donations from anyone that might feel any sympathy for us.

I am also planning on creating a facebook page for our cause, have garage sales, bake sales, online auctions to raise more money.

The link for a PayPal donation is to the top right if you feel inclined to donate. Thank you in advance for anyone that does.

Any un-needed donations will be donated to Inciid. They have a scholarship program that I will be looking into, as well.




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Money Ran Through Our Fingers in March!

March was a rather expensive month! With it being Spring Break for JC, we enjoyed ourselves with some dining out, travel and entertainment. March was a 3 pay period month for us, but that also means there are extra expenses with groceries and gas.

Hopefully we can get back in line with April. I started off badly though as we tried buying organic fruit, meat, dairy, etc. this week. I am loving that it doesn't taste any different, even better, and I feel healthier already. The price tag though is over our $60 a week budget.

I spent $43 on ribeyes, pork chops, milk, eggs and spaghetti sauce at a local market (Marksbury Farm). I then went to Whole Foods and spent $83 on fruits, bread and other items. We are loving organic, but I think it will be impossible for us to go completely organic right now because of cost.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Almost one week down, and 7 more days to go before I can test....I have been keeping a journal of some of the things I have been feeling lately, hoping they are pregnancy related and not medication related.

I have had an insatiable hunger these last few days. Weird dreams too, but that could be from watching all 3 season of The Walking Dead in one week.

Tax Refund is finally supposed to be direct deposited on Monday. I am probably going to have to tap into my emergency fund to pay our state taxes ($259) that are due, and to apply to take the CPA exam ($60). We may also have to use some to pay for some of JC's classes over the summer.

My fallback, last resort option, if needed, is to take a 401k distribution.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hopefully getting Knocked Up

Today was my first ever insemination (hoping only one I'll need). Hopefully 1 of JC's 52 million sperm will do a good job and meet up with my egg.

With some people the doctor has a hard time getting the needle through the cervix, and of course I was one of those lucky people. He ended up having to use some sort of clamp to get it open. It made me cramp and bleed. I continued to cramp for a good hour afterwards, but things have subsided now.

The doctor set a timer for 5 minutes and had me lie still in the room before I could leave. I had brought some headphones and had made a playlist of classical music and soundtracks to listen to and relax. It definitely helped.

I should be able to take a test two weeks from today if I haven't gotten my period. Very excited. This will be the longest two week wait EVER!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Good day!

Yesterday was a great day at the fertility specialist. I had a good feeling going in, it's amazing the intuition you can have about your body.

I had a good size follicle so we can go through with the insemination this cycle. I will pick up a shot and inject it Wednesday night to make my body release the egg. Then we go back this Friday to do the insemination.

We had a great time last week. Went to Cumberland Falls and Newport Aquarium, and spent a lot of money eating out, but it was planned for, so no real damage done.

The IRS is still holding our refund hostage. It sounds like it could still be another 4-6 weeks until we see it. I see the economy drying up if there are more people in our situation.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dr. Oz 3 Day Cleanse

I would really like to try this 3 day cleanse by Dr. Oz. I finally started my period though and our next fertility cycle so I am thinking I will try this cleanse my next period (hopefully I won't get a period though).

Today is cycle day 3. I will start the clomid again tonight, this time at 200 mg. I go for another ultrasounds Monday 3/18 to check and see if I have any good follicles (last cycle there were none that were a good size).

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tax Refund in Sight??

Today is 21 days since our tax return was submitted to the IRS. We are supposed to have our refund by now, but it is still nowhere in sight. I've checked the IRS website and it says it is still being processed. GRR!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Break


I am really excited for next week to get here. It's hubby's spring break, and I am taking off work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and we set some money aside to do fun things. Here are our plans:

Wed - Hike at a local park, go to a discount movie, Olive Garden
Thurs - Aquarium and lunch at our favorite restaurant, Don Pablos
Fri - Cumberland Falls and still working on where we'll eat


Friday, March 1, 2013

February Progress

The sickening part is how much we have sent to the auto loan and credit cards and how little of a dent it does. We sent $339 to credit cards and the balances only went down by $196.

I am very pleased with how we did on groceries. We spent $260 on groceries and $122 on dining out/fast food.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

No Spend Days

Lots of other bloggers keep track of their no spend days. I haven't tried this before because it always seems like we are stopping for something everyday.

But after having 2 no spend days this week, I have decided to set a goal for March. My goal is to have 8 no spend days in March. I have no idea if this is doable or realistic, but I'll find out!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Squeaky Tight

It's a squeaky tight week for the budget this week. Here's what we are eating thru Thursday:
M - Baked Spaghetti
T - Lasagna
W - Breakfast for dinner
Th - Free pizza from Papa Johns


I have had to use some all of our fun money that I had put aside for spring break. Pets need food and medicine before March 1st, so it is what it is.

JC will be working two extra shifts this week, and he will be doing some petsitting in early March, so the plan is to use those extra funds for our spring break/anniversary fun.

Someone (not me!) also got a ticket for not wearing his seatbelt, that I paid this week. Those unexpected expenses add up!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cable/Internet and Cell Phone

We spend a good chunk of change on these two items. Our cable bill is around $130 a month through Time Warner Cable. That is for internet and TV. We have one HD/DVR box and get the HD channels.

JC and I both have iphones, so when you add the unlimited texting, data plans, etc. our AT&T bill is $188 a month. Spending almost $2400 a year on a cell phone is kind of sickening to me.

I just got done chatting with AT&T and changed our plan to where our bill should be around $168 a month now. Our contract is up 2/8/14, so we are considering getting ipads and switching to a cheaper phone next year. Our $20 a month savings will go into a "iPad fund".

I had also cancelled our Netflix streaming, but I would really start that back up again so I can watch prior seasons of The Biggest Loser and other shows.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Capital One #1 Update

At the start of February the balance on our Capital One card was $663.

It's now down to $578. An $85 reduction (was actually $96 but $11 in interest was added). I won't be able to snowflake as much in March because I am having to set some money aside to pay for our state taxes.

We also have a care credit card that we put all of our vet bills on last year. A couple of those bills were 6 months at 0% so I have been sending a lot to that to get it paid off by May 25. Once that goes away I should have extra money to throw at the Capital One.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Back on Track

I did our grocery shopping for the week today and I was right on budget. I spent $60.65 and was very happy with what I was able to get for that price. I love it when Kroger sends me free item coupons. Today I got a family size bag of Lays Sour Cream potato chips free, originally $4.48!

I actually cleaned the house yesterday and put ALL of the laundry away when I got home from work. Very happy to get that accomplished. I think aunt flo must be right around the corner. Today is cycle day 24.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Belated Valentine's Day

Happy Belated Valentine's Day. All we did for each other this year was get each other cards. Mine to JC cost $2.99 and his to me $5.99. We went out to dinner Wednesday night which I figured qualified as our V-Day dinner.

The state of Kentucky didn't accept my taxes because H&R Block tried to take two education credits on the state. Fixed that and end up owing $259 to the state. Re-adjusted the budget here and there for there to be enough to send a check come April 15th, and will not have to dip into emergency fund.

We are getting a federal refund but that will be used up for monthly expenses so I can hold off on using his student loan money until May.

Today is my payday. I moved $111 into our "travel" fund that we will use for fun stuff around our anniversary and JC's spring break. I am taking 3 days off work and we are having a mini stay-cation.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2 Step Backs

We've had take-out the last two nights. Used debit on Sunday night and a gift card last night. They won't break the budget but I anticipate eating out again tomorrow night after a friend's wake.

Tonight I am cooking no matter what. We have done really well over the past week of getting to the park and walking with Mattie girl. She was such a timid, skittish golden retriever when we got her and she comes out of her shell more everyday. She loves other dogs. We would like to get her a friend, but right now our house is just too small, and with our budget, we just shouldn't do it right now.

JC did an observation to apply for the Radiography program this past Friday and said it was pretty boring. We decided the best route would be for him to apply for the surgical tech program instead, and he will be finished in 1 year if he gets in! I told him if he is going to have to work for the next 40 years, it needs to be a job he enjoys.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Success

After a long day and going over at the grocery store by $25 I was so tempted to just run through the Taco Bell drive-thru.

But I didn't and came home instead and made Baked Penne like I had planned. It was a new recipe and was fabulous.

Me -1, Fast Food - 0.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Confessions

I bought two pairs of maternity pants back when I got pregnant in April 2011. It was then that I discovered just how wonderful an elastic waistband was. For almost 2 years since I have continued to wear them regularly at least once a week.

It sucks putting on maternity pants when you aren't pregnant and you really want to be pregnant.

Today though, I am wearing the last pair of jeans that I bought that aren't maternity. They are NOT comfortable but I am confident that I will continue to lose weight and they will get better.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fertility Schmertility

Kind of disappointing visit at the fertility specialist yesterday.

I have a good size follicle on my right side (they want them between 18-20 mm) but I have no tube on that side. I had a small one on my left (good) side, but it wasn't big enough for the doctor to do a HCG Trigger shot and insemination this cycle. I think there still is a small chance we could get pregnant this month, but it will be on our own.

He upped my clomid next month to 200mg. I think we will give it one more month and then move on to either injectibles with IUI or IVF.

He also said no running/jogging so my couch to 5k plan is on hold. He said nothing "bouncy" because where my ovaries are swollen from the meds, it could cause a twisted ovary, so no elliptical either. It'll just be walking for me. My goal is to still walk at least 90 minutes this week.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Menu Plan Monday & Goals

Today is the day we go back to the fertility specialist and see whether I have any mature follicles to release and then do the insemination. I am very afraid that I won't have any good dominant follicles.

I went to the grocery Saturday and thanks to several things I already have on hand, I was able to stay under $60 on groceries this week.

I finished week 1 of the couch to 5k program, and I also did one 30 minute workout on the elliptical Saturday. The scale is back up a pound this morning, but hopefully that is just water. We will check with the doctor today on whether I can continue my couch to 5k program, if I need to take a week off, or just walk.

Here's the menu for the week:
Monday: Pizza and leftover chili
Tuesday: Baked Spaghetti
Wednesday: Baked Penne
Thursday: Dinner/Date night out to Logan's
Friday: Chicken or Cheese Quesadillas
Saturday: Tacos
Sunday: Pizza

Goals for the week:
Still haven't cleaned and organized the fridge/freezer...maybe this week.
90 minutes of walking or jogging if doctor allows
Find 10 items to throw away or donate in the living room.



Friday, February 1, 2013

February Goals

Baby Step 1 is complete as of today! Now time to really focus on paying off the Capital One credit card. We were able to save so much in January due to Christmas money and JC still getting a full paycheck. Income will go down significantly in February, but I am still hoping to snowflake at least $150 to the Capital One card.

I filed our taxes yesterday and completed the FAFSA for financial aid for 2013-2014.

I did my second session of Couch to 5k yesterday. It felt much better than the first one and I was able to "jog" faster than I was on Tuesday. I am almost gave up and skipped it altogether as my shoes were a muddy mess and when I cleaned them off they were soaking wet. But tossing them in the dryer for 5 minutes made them dry enough to wear, although my socks were wet at the end of my workout. I also did 25 crunches and 15 pushups. Next workout is on Saturday.

Totally unrelated, but my Dad got laid off from his job. He was planning to retire next year anyway but they were still wanting that income for the next year. Seeing that a layoff can happen at anytime, I at least feel a little more secure with the $1000 emergency fund. Now, if we could get this debt paid off I hope we could have a 6-8 month emergency fund.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Summary

I'm putting it all out there. And it ain't pretty:

We made a lot of progress during the month of January. Hoping that it will carry over into all of 2013.

On the weight loss front, I am down 3 pounds since 1/1/13. Yay! That is motivation to keep going and continuing my Couch to 5K program.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Couch to 5K

Yesterday was my first Couch to 5k exercise day and I am still alive, and believe it or not, not very sore at all. I realized just how out of shape I am, and how extra weight can really drag you down.

My 60 seconds of "jogging" were at speeds that I used to walk when I was in shape. But I guess everyone has to start somewhere, and I would rather start out slow and build up speed rather than burn myself out in the first week.

We have started watching the Biggest Loser this season and am very inspired. I think to myself, if they can push through a workout, then I can too.

Week 1 of Couch to 5k is 3 30 minute workouts, alternating between 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking. You warm up and cool down for 5 minutes each also. My goal is to do the other two workouts Thursday and Saturday this week, and maybe even throw in some pushups and situps.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Success and Failure

I went over budget at the grocery store yesterday by $35. It is a failure but it's a whole lot better than we had been doing. And we have meals at least thru Sunday and maybe more.

Baby Step #1, $1000 in the emergency fund will be complete THIS Friday. Very excited about this, and now we can concentrate on Baby Step #2, the Debt Snowball. We will be sending as much as possible to our smallest balance credit card and the minimum on the rest. For us, that is one of our Capital One Cards (yes, they are so generous to give us two credit cards) with a balance of $662.85.

Capital One #1 is going down!

I figured up yesterday that if we had no debt payments (including car) we would have an extra $550 a month. I want that money to be working for me instead of paying for something that we bought years ago.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Menu Plan & Goals for 1/28-2/3

It is really hard sticking to a $60 a week grocery budget. Some do it for less, I've seen as low as $40 and I just don't know how. We are still eating pretty well though, it's not like we are having rice and beans every night, although we might some time if we really get on a saving money kick.

Monday: Manwich, Frozen Fries
Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Tuna Casserole
Thursday: Salsa Mac
Friday: Baked Fettuccine Alfredo
Saturday: Potato Soup
Super Bowl Sunday: Chili, Sausage Balls, Charleston Cheese Dip, Chocolate Eclair Cake

How I did on my goals from last week:
Clean the microwave done and it was so easy
Clean and organize the fridge/freezer in kitchen and basement
Find 10 things to throw away or donate I found 10 things to toss out, but didn't find 5 things a day like I had hoped.

Goals for 1/28-2/3
Clean out and organize the fridge/freezer in kitchen and basement
File taxes
Declutter 10 items this week.


   

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Microwave - Check

I got one of my goals for the week out of the way already. I wish I had taken a before picture, but am kind of glad I didn't because it was pretty BAD. Those 2 marks in the front won't come off. It stunk pretty bad too and I was afraid of the smell meshing with anything I happened to be microwaving.

I also got my period yesterday. Don't think I have ever looked forward to one so badly. Now we can start this month's fertility cycle! I'll start clomid Saturday night and will see the doctor on Feb 4 to check my follicles and get a shot of Ovidrel. They'll determine then what day we go back and hubby makes his "donation" and they inseminate me. They said there is about an hour in between the two so they can process the sperm and pick out the good ones!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Clearing the Clutter

Our house (we rent) is not big, right around 1000 square feet. We've been there for 2 years now and have accumulated a LOT of stuff.

I am going to make it one of my goals every week to clear out the clutter! In my previous post I challenged myself to toss or donate 10 things this week, but I've decided that is not enough. I want to toss or donate 5 things a day instead. Now to get the husband on board with his boxful of magazines that he totes around from place to place. I bought these e-books yesterday to hopefully help me focus!

I added a widget to the side bar to show where we are on our $1000 emergency fund. Almost there!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Menu Plan 1/21-1/27

Several meals from last week got moved around so some will be scheduled for this week instead. We have been *mostly* good this past week and weekend. We did eat out at Taco Bell and McDonalds, and had another secret shop to Papa Johns Sunday night, but we have done much better than we used to do. I have a 3 lb tube of hamburger that we need to use so there will be lots of hamburger meals this week.

Monday: Melt in your mouth chicken, baked potato
Tuesday: Salsa Mac

Wednesday: Burgers, crinkle fries with Cane's sauce
Thursday: Baked Spaghetti
Friday: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Saturday: Baked Penne
Sunday: Frozen Pizza

Goals for the week:
Clean the microwave
Clean and organize the fridge/freezer in kitchen and basement
Find 10 things to throw away or donate

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grocery & Bank

I've started going to the bank and grocery on Fridays and it has worked out really well so far. I can run to the bank during work and take out cash for our cash envelopes, and then can stop and get groceries on my way home.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Taxes and the Budget

The budget is getting tighter! I was inputting some of our tax stuff into the software and it doesn't look like we are going to get as much of a refund as I expected. I usually put our numbers into 2 different online software programs (Turbotax and H&R Block) to double check.

I am going to incorporate into the menu that 1 night a week we just have sandwiches. We'll be on rice and beans before too long!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 1/14-1/20

I'll first start off by saying that we were bad last night and went through the drive-thru at Little Caesars. $15 for 2 orders of Cheesey bread and a pizza, but at least that was enough for dinner last night and lunch today.

What led up to me not cooking was not getting home until 7 pm last night. My intention was to make lasagna, but at that point I wanted something quick. It's a lot easier to cook when I am home early in the day.

Here's this week's menu. We are going out to eat for JC's birthday Wednesday (gift card) and I am doing a secret shop from Papa John's Tuesday night. They reimburse me the cost of the pizza up to $20 plus I get paid an additional $8 for my input. The website I go through to do this is here.

Monday: Lasagna
Tuesday: Papa Johns Secret Shop
Wednesday: JC's Birthday Dinner out at Carabba's (gift card)
Thursday: Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches, Baked Potatos, Baked Beans
Friday: Chicken Roll Ups, Macaroni & Cheese, Spinach
Saturday: Baked Penne
Sunday: Chicken Enchilada Soup

Friday, January 11, 2013

I have cooked 10 days in a row!

I am very excited that every day in 2013 I have cooked and we have not eaten out once! We can do this! We can stick to a budget!

Today I threw some stuff in the crockpot to make a Tortellini Soup. I need to come up with more recipes like that. So easy!

We are going ice skating this weekend. I haven't been in years, but love it so much. I'm really excited about this and hopefully won't bust my butt.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Next Week's Grocery Budget/Fertility

I have been planning and looking ahead toward what to schedule for next week's menu. Next week is also JC's birthday and he wants a white chocolate fudge cake. Those extra groceries will probably put me above my $60 weekly grocery budget, so I am going to bump the budget up for this week to $75.

I've also been working really hard at moving any extra money over into savings so that we can build our Baby Step 1 $1000 Emergency Fund. We are about half way there!

We also went to a fertility specialist this past Monday, and we feel like we have hope and a plan now. I have been on clomid for the last several months, but this month we are going to bump my clomid up a bit and do artificial insemination. The plan is to do this for 3 months (@ $600/month) and if it doesn't work during that time, move on to something else. The doctor also put me on Metformin, which is a diabetic drug but is also used to treat women with Polycycstic Ovarian Syndrome (I am not officially diagnosed with PCOS). It can help with weight loss so hopefully I can see some results. I have gained over 50 pounds since our ruptured ectopic pregnancy in May 2011.

(Photo credit http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/White-Chocolate-Fudge-Cake)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 1/7-1/13

Monday 1/7 - Manwich with frozen french fries
Tuesday 1/8 - Melt in Your Mouth Chicken, Mac and Cheese
Wednes  1/9 - Baked Alfredo, Garlic Bread
Thursday 1/10 - Tortellini Soup, Grilled Cheese
Friday 1/11 - Tuna Noodle Casserole
Saturday 1/12 - Potato Soup
Sunday 1/13 - Frozen Pizza

Accountability

Here we are, yet again.

Things are changing in our household. The hubby and I have made a fairly decent combined income over the last year, and we've spent all that we've made and then some! Hubby is getting ready to reduce his hours so he can focus entirely on school, so we are getting ready to find out just how tight we can tighten the budget belts around here.

I watch and read a lot of money shows, blogs, etc.; now it's time to start putting all that information to use. Following the Dave Ramsey plan, our first goal is to get $1000 set aside for an emergency fund, then we will focus on our debt repayment.

As far as our budget goes, I have jars and envelopes set up for all of our discretionary expenses (Mix of Princess/Dave Ramsey). My goal is to spend less than $60 a week on food and household items, and only eat out once a month (using gift cards from Christmas).

MENU PLANNING is a must! I will plan our menus for the coming week on Fridays, and hit the grocery store up Saturday morning.

2013 Financial Goals
1. $1000 in emergency fund
2. $60 a week grocery/household budget
3. Dinner out/date night once a month
4. Menu plan every week
5. Pay off $2500 in credit card debt and do not charge again! (current balance - $6825.47)
6. Pay off $694 in medical debt (current balance - 694.05)