Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fitting in Fitness: Registering for a 5K

I wanted to fit in fitness this morning while DS is with his father. I did the same trail I did a couple of weeks ago; here are the results:

Sorry my camera is out of focus. The trail is 3 miles and unlike the last time, I did add in some running; not a lot. It took me 41 min and 49 sec and it says I burned 618 calories??? Not sure that is correct, something may be off with the heart rate monitor.

I plan to do this again on Tuesday, with a goal of 40 minutes; so got to bump up running. I want to register for a 5K this week.

Added note: This trail has hills and quite a few of them.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My mother made me an offer... not sure I should refuse

My mother has offered that she take DS over the summer for roughly 4-6 weeks so that I can get ahead financially.

Right now, I have a very part-time job and it's not enough money to survive and pay for therapies. DS' father is doing his share as far as support goes, but I still need a new job.

I was working for about 2 years teaching a girl on the spectrum, but that job ended this spring. I now teach one boy, once per week.

The problem I'm having is paying childcare. Childcare costs about $13-$18 per hour on the low end. With DS being out of school in 2 weeks, he would need all day care; so that would cost me a couple of thousand dollars per month... that is crazy!

I could look for a daycare option, which could run me about $750-$1000 per month, but not sure the daycare could provide the attention he requires due to some needs.

Which brings me back to my mother; she offered to watch him for 4-6 weeks so that I can work work work work work, catch up on my bills and save. She lives 1 hour away by plane and about 8 hours drive.

I'm pondering this and as a single parent, I feel like that would be a tremendous gift and gives me a jump on my savings, pay off some bills and allow me to more money to take care of DS, without giving it to a childcare provider.

I just don't want to feel like a bad parent for leaving him for so long; we've never been apart for that long. But wouldn't I be a good parent, by working and saving more money for his basic and therapeutic needs? I don't want him to feel abandoned either. But we would talk every day, and he would understand I was coming back; he can mark off days on the calendar.

Some parents fight a war and leave their babies behind. I surely can leave my child for 4-6 weeks while I go work.

If I were to do this, it would truly have to be worthwhile. I would set a goal of saving $5,000 in those 4-6 weeks. So I would need to hustle!!! I have a few ideas.
a) Get two jobs. Temp agency by day, bartender by night, and also my student on the weekends
b) Sell stuff! I would try and sell up to $250 worth of stuff. I would take donations, whatever I can do to sell things. With $250, I can give my son 2 speech therapy lessons.
c) Summer sublet a room. I have 2 bdrms and 2 baths. IF, I decide that DS can stay with his grandparents, then why not capitalize on that space? I can get at least $750. That's 5 and half speech therapy sessions!

So I'm leaning towards doing this, but I need to feel 100% sure about it. I don't want to do this and then regret it or feel bad about my decision. But he's with his grandmother and if all else fails, I can get him earlier.

Just seems like a good offer for everyone. But still a hard decision for me to come to grips with. Logically, it sounds great. I just am not sure how I will do emotionally.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Confession: I cried at the end of Oprah

Yes, I tuned in, I wanted to see it. I admit, I will catch an Oprah show now and then if the topic is interesting.

And on the farewell walk, I did get choked up and shed a few tears.

But come on... she has been on the air 25 years, it was touching and I'm sensitive! LOL

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"I get by with a little help from my friends"

I am going through something right now with DS' school and some potential financial concerns that have really taken a toll on me.

I have to say, if it weren't for my friends, who are actually going through some hardships and major decisions themselves, I'm not sure where I would be. I believe and will always take time out to help my friends, no matter what and they do the same.

I'm so lucky to have them in my life and cherish them. And yes, I tell them all the time, how much I love them.

Post title credit: lyrics from lennon and mccartney

Monday, May 23, 2011

My sword hand is never free

Words cannot describe the nonsense that I'm currently going through with DS' IEP team. It's so convoluted that I don't even have the strength to type it all out. Bottom line is, we want our son to be mainstreamed in reading. He can read at a first grade level and he loves to read. He is socially motivated and wants to reach out to his typical peers, so why restrict him? There are also a few over the top issues, we have with the district, but I will spare you, for now.

I fight and will continue to be an advocate for my son's needs but it still blows my mind, how things are handled. I will turn into warrior mom and I will charge on my horse with my samurai sword drawn the entire time. I plan to cut off the heads of district members in the way of my son's education. I will do it gracefully though, they won't even see the blade coming.

I act in the best interest of my child and I want him to live to his potential, whatever that ends up being. I have no idea what is driving/motivating his current IEP team to make the decisions they are making; I can only imagine.

Now we have to create a task team to prove DS can be mainstreamed into the general education reading class... complete with Legal Advocates, Clinical Psychologists, Reading Assessments, etc... And that's fine with me, I have no problem doing it.

Having received my Master's degree in Education back in 1997 and studying about the future of mainstreaming and inclusion being collaborated in general education; I would have never guessed that in 2011 in the state of California, that I would be fighting for a socially driven, highly intelligent happy little boy to be mainstreamed in one class.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Early riser

Not sure why DS is waking up at 6am; it's out of his character. During the week, I cannot do anything to wake him up .

He did it again today. He came into my room at 6am, crawled in bed, but this time he didn't bother me and let me sleep.

We ended up getting up at 8:30am.

Just wondering why he is waking up so early. Not sure, but we'll see how the week goes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It was a good day, considering...

I was up at 6am.

Today, my darling son, woke me up at the ass crack of dawn! by tipping into my room and getting under the covers; I allowed it of course. I figured, as long as he turns over and goes to sleep, not a problem. But that wasn't the case. Instead, he played with my hair, tossed and turned and then started singing... wtf??

On a school day, I can't pry him out of bed, but on Saturday you want to wake up at 6am and harass me? And was it just me or did I start to smell old urine?

After 20 minutes, I had enough. I was so tired from staying up all night catching up on my TV shows; I made him go to the bathroom and then back to his own bed.

I heard peeing but it sounded so close, almost like he was in my bathroom. (Which, is a no no; he has his own bathroom and my toilet is free from urine and smells great and I like to keep it that way. Thank goodness for cleaning wipes, that's the only way to stay on top of cleaning his toilet).

I try to listen for the faucet indicating he was washing hands; it felt like 10 minutes went by and I hear nothing. What the heck is he doing!!??

I sit up, look at the clock (6:30am) and I say calmly..."Wash, your hands and go back to sleep". btw... he is in my bathroom, but I'm too tired to care.

He washes his hands, walks past my bed to his room starring at me, like I just stole his bike!

I lay back down, find my stuffed dog under the covers and cuddle up (yes, I sleep with a stuffed animal, I am single)

I drift back into sleep only to hear... 'Mommy!! about 10 minutes later.

R U Serious!? I look at the clock... really?? I answer him and he asked to come back in my bed. I tell him, no go back to sleep.

I end up getting up at 7:45am and I go into his room and he's fast asleep, snoring and all. Thanks a lot DS! You get me up and then go back to sleep? Oh well.

He doesn't get up til 9:50am, I let him sleep in because I had emails to catch up on and love that free time in the mornings to myself.

So we begin our day. It's Saturday and it's beautiful out. I planned on going to a festival, but it was too late to find parking. I needed to do something free. I decided to take DS to Clocksmith, a clock shop that specializes in vintage/antique clocks. DS has had a clock obsession since he was 2 years old.

(this is the website photo, I forgot my camera and it was too bad, they had some awesome clocks)

Of course, he loved the clock shop and the cuckoo clocks were his favorite. We got there at 12:30 and hung around til 1pm to hear all the clocks go off. That was actually cool; the dings, the gongs, the dongs and the melody's all at one time; it was great. The owner said to come next time a few minutes before 11am or 12noon, the place is really jumping then with plenty of sound.

DS wanted me to buy a clock; but these clocks average $1k, so that was not an option today; especially on free day!

Next stop was Crystal Springs to ride scooters.

(website photo... there is a paved trail along the reservoir)

That was fun too. I packed a snack that included leftover cupcakes. How obnoxious when everyone else was running, jogging, roller blading, walking... but I just had to get rid of them.

Then back home. I made a nice snack of shrimp salad and a glass of white wine. So delicious.

(My camera is so bad, it just will not capture the true beauty of things)

Savings Alert: Safeway has red leaf lettuce on sale for .99cents per head; it usually retails for $2.69.

My shrimp salad recipe is very simple and easy and it taste pretty good. I do it all by sight, so I don't have actual measurements down.

Get fresh or frozen salad shrimp, miracle whip (I start with a tablespoon and then add as needed) and about 2 stalks of green onion, diced. I also do a squirt of French's mustard. Mix and chill and top on whatever you like.

DS hates shrimp, so I made him some GF pasta and sauce.

I really had a great day and we had a lot of fun.

Tonight, it's DVD night, we are watching The Incredibles and having turkey burgers with homemade fries.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Reading Blogs

courtesy of

Ever since I started blogging again, I have found myself saying, 'not now, Mommy is blogging :)' or rather, reading blogs.

I find myself going from one blogroll to the next and discovering new people, all over the world. From a Japan housewife to a world traveler in France. There is a blog for everything and everyone! I love it.

Happy Friday, enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reigniting Fitness

My camera is, let's just say, limited and could not truly capture the beauty of the day.

View from my front door

I thought today would be a great day to reignite my health and fitness. As I mentioned in a previous post, I gained a few extra pounds, since going on a fitness hiatus. I started to get lazy, but happy to report that I'm back on track.

Here's my day...

Today's Menu

Breakfast included coffee (3 sugars), a large grapefruit, gluten free toast with almond butter and water. For lunch I had shrimp salad and water (I only drink water, and of course the occasional glass of wine). Dinner will include a BLT (GF bread, beef bacon, lettuce and tomato and a very small amount of cheese-I usually can't handle cheese but we will see).

My exercise included a 50 minute 3 mile walk. I usually run, but let's just say, I didn't have the proper gear. It took me a while because my neighborhood is very hilly--going uphill is like climbing a mountain, I almost laid out on someone's lawn on the return.

It's amazing how sunshine, good ole Vitamin D, can just change your entire mood. I felt so happy and so great. I had my iPod on I really almost started to break out into dance at one point.

Great great day :) Now I'm off to shower, pick up my little one from school and then run an errand.

PS ~ We will be making cupcakes later, and I know I will not be able to resist; tomorrow I'll take matters into the gym.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Extreme Budgeting: Summer Plans

My son is not going to camp this summer, which means I need to find low cost, out of the house activities to fill his day.

I managed to come up with a variety of things and everything comes up to $145!

~ Great America Amusement Park & Gilroy Gardens; unlimited visits and free parking ($135)
~ 10 movies at the movie theater for $5 (x2)
~ Beach (free!)
~ Music Festivals in the park (free!)
~ Swim Class (already paid)
~ Local Kid Activities; which includes a truck exhibit, circus acts, etc... (free!)
~ Fairs and Festivals (free!)
~ Playdates (free!)
~ Soccer and softball in the park (free!)

~ Bowling (free!-for kids all summer long)

I think that should keep him good and busy :o) and the best part is the majority is free!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stuck in a rut; a fitness rut!

It's been about 2 weeks since my last work out and even then I wasn't in the mood.

Earlier this year, I was a powerhouse, doing strength training, running up hill, eating healthy and doing a low carb gluten diet. I was counting calories and I even joined a new gym that offered a better facility and more cardio classes.

Now, I'm on a steady decline; I don't work out as much, my eating habits have declined and I gained about 8lbs.

I need to get out of this rut and get reignited. I guess there is nothing I can do but do it.

I think I will start Thursday. I'll just make myself do it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Where do babies come from?

There was a commercial that asked various kids where babies came from. I had never asked DS this and was curious what he would say.

Me: Hey Don...

Don: Yes (said while looking up from drawing)

Me: Where do babies come from?

Don: The crib! (and proceeded to draw again)

Ha ha!! The way he said it was like 'DUH!!! where else'. I just thought it was too innocent and cute.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Extreme Budgeting: 17 meals with $45

I am very cost effective and often times you may see an 'extreme budgeting' themed post. I have to really think about every dollar that goes out of my household and make sure it's purposeful because right now, I need to provide for my son and I also want to expose him to activities and things that he enjoys.

So back to the goal... I wanted to plan 17 meals (May 13-May 30) with $45.

I should preface this by saying, I did have quite a bit of things already in my fridge and freezer so that helped.

Between 2 stores, I spent $44.78! Yay!

How I did it? I went through my pantry, fridge and freezer and took stock of what I had. I then opened up MS excel and created a basic calendar to create a meal plan. I listed all the core items I had on hand and then went to to find some menu ideas and then Viola! 17 meals.

I only shopped for what I needed and I stuck to the list.... well, with the exception of a bottle of two buck chuck from trader joes!

Bleu :o)

Hello out there!


I’m back on the blog. I use to have a budget blog about 3 years ago that was pretty active, but things just got too hectic for me and I stopped blogging. I’m returning with a new blog that documents my daily life as a parent, friend, family member and human.

My goal is to be able to take full advantage of what life has to offer with the resources that I have, to improve my financial situation, and provide for my son.

My son is 6 years old, who I will refer to as Don. Don has special needs, he received an Autism diagnosis about 3 years ago. My goal for him is to live at his highest potential. I’ve been divorced for almost 2 years now. I will refer to my ex-husband as Luke. Like many divorces, it wasn’t easy in the beginning, but now Luke and I are at a place where we are friends. We have dealt with our individual resentments towards each other, forgave each other for what we perceived as being wronged and moved on. It’s great!

You can call me bleu (short for a longstanding email handle, california bluebunny).

Bleu :o)