I've had a hard time getting motivated to write lately. Some times it is because there is so much going on that I can't focus. Other times it's because there is nothing going on and I can't focus. Most of you who read this, read my other 'blogs' so I'm going to cover a lot of areas in one post here...
Grocery Budget: I had a goal of keeping my grocery budget under $500 this month. I honestly can say that I don't think we've ever done that. With e-mealz I have come really close lately, but this month I TOTALLY blew our budget. There were so many things we use on a very regular basis that were on sale and I had coupons for that it became a little bit of a stock up month. I am now stocked up on toilet paper, diapers, chicken, toaster sticks, and more. I have switched to Sam's brand diapers for Addison, but it still takes a real toll on the budget. Luckily it was just a goal and not a necessity to keep the budget under $500. I'll have to keep working at that.
Kids: First Steps came last week to evaluate Addison. It's a program that is mostly government funded. At our 1 year appointment, I talked with the pediatrician about Addison's lack of crawling, standing, pulling up, walking. She said she doesn't necessarily think she's developmentally delayed, but it was worth an evaluation. A team of 2 came to my house on Thursday afternoon. I was VERY impressed with what they do. They have a series of different toys/objects that they use to develop her skills. Some of the assessment comes from questions I answer, but it was fun to see them do the fine motor skills assessment with her. They were very caring and very careful. They weren't poking or prodding or any thing. One of them actually asked if it would be okay for them to touch her feet.
Their evaluation was interesting. Because she was 21 days past her birthday, they evaluated her on the 13-15 month scale. This helps when it comes to getting her qualified for the program, but also sort of distorts things when you talk about areas where she is lower than the guidelines (like eating hard foods when she doesn't have teeth yet). Since it also applies to a 15 month old, though, it has to include some of the harder skills too. Her fine motor skills are off-the chart. I guess this is common for babies that crawl/walk late. They have more time to sit and figure things out. Her verbal skills are pretty much on track. Again, the age range skewed it a bit and put her on the lower range. Her adaptive skills were good too. Really, the only area she was really delayed in is her gross motor skills.
The evaluator pointed out some thing interesting. Addison seems to have increased flexibility in her ankles and hips. While this sounds like a good thing, it's actually hurting her development. The increased flexibility means a lack of stability. They said she's actually quite smart in that she's figured out a very good way to get around since she doesn't have the physical ability to stand/walk. When we actually watched her, the scoot/crawl she does is really quite complex. It was fun to really watch. They come out again on Thursday to help set a "plan" for her. I love that they do every thing in my house. It makes it so much easier.
Debt: Tim will be getting an awesome bonus this month. Actually, he gets two. He gets his quarterly and his year end bonuses in the same month. He also will be getting a nice raise too - CONGRATULATIONS, TIM!!!! It means we will be able to hit our goal of being debt free before the end of the summer. We should also be able to have a fully funded emergency fund by the end of the year. One of the things that makes building an emergency fund easier is that this programs trains you to live on less than you make (in our case, only 1 income), so 3-6 months worth of expenses isn't as much as it once might have been.
The Price of Honesty: I had a $20 coupon to Children's Place and some birthday money for her, so I went to get Addison some clothes. When I checked out the total the woman gave me seemed low. I asked her if she missed some thing, whcih she responded that she was pretty sure she hadn't. I asked again and it turns out she forgot the most expensive item ($12). She said I should have just taken it, but I would have felt way too guilty. It's not worth the $12 savings.
Kids, part 2: Addison started daycare last week. Since my job gets really chaotic at times, it was important for me to have at least 1 day a week when I could focus my efforts on work. It also helps to know that she CAN make it at daycare or with a babysitter in case I need to do some thing (like go to the dentist). She did a great job (she's a happy baby in general), so it definitely makes it easier.
Okay... that's more than enough babbling for one post. I'll try to get motivated to write more often (and more insightful posts) soon.