February, 2013

Monday Mommy Confession #45

Sometimes I have those days when I mentally check out. It just comes so natural. The girls will be talking away and I won’t even hear them. I snap back to “mom… Mooom!” And realize I’ve done it again. I don’t mean to, and I try really hard to stay focused on the kids during those days. It’s usually when I’m tired and they are talking incessantly and their little voices lull me into a comatose state. When this happens I often think of this scene from “The Incredibles”. Queue it to 55 seconds if you want to go right to the part I’m talking about.


I often say to myself “It’s time to engage Libby, it’s time to engage!)


Do you ever have days where you’re a Zombie Mommy? What do you do to pull yourself together?

Food Budgets According to the USDA and Our Actual Food Budget


So I was visiting a blog the other day and she had a link to the USDA’s 2012 chart that shows, on average, what a person by age group/gender would eat at home per week and month (this does not include eating out). They have four categories: Thrift plan, Low cost plan, Moderate cost plan, and Liberal plan. Apparently they need to add a fifth category for my family-Dirt Poor Plan.

I worked out the numbers per individual for my family to get our numbers from their chart since my girls don’t fall exactly into their pre-calculated family chart. Lucy is only 9 months, but I put her in at one year since she is quickly increasing the amount of food she is eating. Below is the results.

Thrifty Plan


Sammie: $100.70

Emma: $104.90

Joel: $181.30

Me: $161.00

Total Monthly Budget: $640.10

Low Cost Plan

Lucy: $123.50

Sammie: $127.30

Emma: $132.70

Joel: $234.20

Me: $203.30

Total Monthly Budget: $821

Moderate Cost Plan

Lucy: $140.40

Sammie: $154.30

Emma: $163.80

Joel: $292.30

Me: $250.80

Total Monthly Budget: $1001.60

Liberal Plan

Lucy: $170.20

Sammie: $188.10

Emma: $198.90

Joel: $359.70

Me: $320.70

Total Monthly Budget: $1237.60!


I worked up the thrift plan first since I knew that would be the category we would be closest too, and I was still floored by how much they allotted for our family. Let me tell you, if we had $640 to spend on groceries every month we would be eating like kings and queens!

According to the USDA’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) We should be spending $793 a month, $500 of which we should be spending out of our budget and $293 from SNAP. We don’t receive any benefits from the government, though I’m sure we more then qualify, but the money we would receive from SNAP if we were on the program would pay for almost three quarters of our entire budget for the month (which includes food, personal, and household items like toilet paper and pull-ups)!

Just this month we decided to up our budget from $350 to $400. This was hard for me at first because before we lived with my parents our budget for three was $250, which equals $83.33 per person a month. You would think I could manage at $350 a month or $87.50 per person (not including Lucy), however, Lucy is starting to eat more so I need to start account for her. There are some other factors as well that have added to the need to increase our budget. First, the price of food has gone way up since we were last feeding only our family. We moved in with my parents in 2010 and the price of food has gone increased dramatically since then. Second, we are eating a lot more whole and organic foods and lets face it, it costs more to eat healthy. And Third, we moved to a state that taxes food purchases. Nebraska doesn’t charge taxes on food. Seven percent of our grocery budget isn’t going towards food here in Kansas. So out of the $350 we have budgeted, only $325.50 is going towards food. That’s two days, or six meals for four that is going towards taxes! Trying to make sure we have enough food for the month has been stressing me out big time. Add to that, the fact that I haven’t even begun to be able to stock up my pantry, and you’ve got one stressed mama!

So now our budget will look like this $400- $28 (7% taxes)= $372

Lucy: $20

Everyone Else: $88 (I’m just figuring the same for everyone, since I make one meal for everyone)

That’s $2.84 per person/per day

Or $0.95 per meal.

No that does’t account for snack, which we do have occasionally. We don’t always spend $0.95 per person/ per meal though. Like when we have oatmeal for breakfast. I look at these numbers and wonder how in the world we manage to do it, but somehow God always makes it happen.

We don’t eat out as a family more then two or three times a month which most of the time comes out of this budget as we, so pretty much all of our family eating comes out of this budget. Joel eats lunch in town once or twice a week when he is there over the lunch hour for meetings and doesn’t have a place to warm food up. That doesn’t come out of this budget. We are still trying to work on cutting that down further.

If our family ate according to the USDA’s “Thrifty Plan” we would have no problem eating 100% organic and whole foods. We would be eating the smoothies for breakfast that I would LOVE to do, but can’t because all that organic fruits and berries would break our budget BIG TIME. For now we will do what we can, and add new food items as we get stocked up on what we use all the time now so we aren’t buy everything every month.

What do you think of the USDA’s chart? Where does your family fit in? What do you do to keep food costs down?


I’m linking this to The Homestead Barn Hop.

Monday Mommy Confession #44

I think it’s safe to say, now that we are on our third girl, that we have far fewer surprises when it comes to parenting small children. I know as they get older we will have to cross those big (sometimes scary) bridges like breasts, periods, and the reproductive process of humans (and other creatures), but I have also found that each child doesn’t want to be left out. They want to leave their own graffiti on the wall of our parenting story board, Lucy included.

**This is a GROSS ALERT! Don’t eat while you are reading this. You have been warned**

We thought that Emma had pretty much broken us in when it came to gross situations. There was the time she had eaten pureed carrots for dinner, thrown up in the middle of the night, and went back to sleep without a peep. When I went in the next morning to get my sweet little blonde baby, she was holding onto the rail while bouncing, beaming from ear to ear, and had bright orange carrot caked in her hair among other places. Did I mention I was pregnant with baby #2 at the time? Joel had already left for work so it was just me and the babe.

Then there was the time that her diaper came off when she was sleeping in the pack and play at my parents. My poor (childless, first time uncle on our side) brother, excited to wake up his niece, went up and was horrified to find her in her own poo. It was in her finger, it was everywhere. I don’t think he was ever the same after that.

Sammie has her own stories but they weren’t quite as gross so we were a little more prepared for them.

So as you can see, we had already dealt with the two big gross factors, poop and vomit, what could be worse, right?

Ya, boy were we wrong!

It was a great morning. Everything was going so smoothly and I was getting a lot done. The sun was shining the blinds were open to let it in, the girls were behaving and mommy was in a good mood. Joel came up for a minute to get something and happened to peak his head in the bedroom where Lucy was playing in the pack and play. I don’t know if he heard something or smelled something, but boy am I glad he came up when he did.

Lucy had been dealing with a diaper rash so before I laid her down for a nap I took her diaper off and put some towels down so she could have some air time on her bottom. She woke up after about 45 minutes and the towels were still dry. I had just been into check on her not two minutes before Joel went in and everything was fine, she was playing nicely.

Then I hear “honey come here now” in a very serious tone. Immediately I knew something was wrong and it probably had to do with poo. I went in and saw Joel holding Lucy. I looked in the pack and play and sure enough there was poo but it wasn’t that bad. So said “Oh, ok” and was about to start grabbing the towel and pulling it out when Joel say “No, Look at Lucy.” And then I saw it. It was all.over.her.mouth. It was all over her hands. It was under her nails. And worst of all… it was in her mouth, between her teeth even, not just a little, but a lot.

I will openly admit that I dry heaved many times. I have dealt with a LOT of gross things; smelly, icky, things in my day, but this one about did me in. I kept it together though. I ran and got a wet washcloth and went to work scooping, yes scooping, out the poop from her mouth. Then I got her some water to try and flush the rest out. Next was the bath to clean the rest of her and finally I nursed her to help flush what she did swallow out of her system.

And here I am today, a survivor, a little worse for the wear (my stomach still gets a little queasy just writing this), but stronger for it.

What did I learn through all this? Well, it’s not going to kill your kid if they eat their own poop. According to all the forums I read, if they are going to do it, theirs is the best, since it has already been through their own system and they aren’t introducing something someone else or something else may have. It’s best to keep them well hydrated so that their body can flush it out as soon as possible. It is perfectly normal for them to get diarrhea. If they get a fever you should take them to the doctor.

Here is a very funny story from another mom, with a similar experience. I found this while nursing Lucy after the incident and searching for answers. After reading this both Joel and I have decided to start using the term “Code Red” in these situations so we can give the other a heads up as to the severity of what they are heading into.

It’s share time! What’s your grossest parenting story?

I am linking this to Encourage One Another.

It’s Finally Done!

Here it is my friends, the new blog design. It’s been hours of work on both Joel and I’s part, but we are very happy with the results! There will be more new stuff rolling out down the road, but for now we are up and running and writing again!

If you would like to take a peek at the photos scrolling in the background just click on the black up arrows on the left navigation bar and the top right of the main body, and they will pull everything up and you can check out the cool pictures, when you’re done, just click on them again and everything will drop back down! Cool huh?

Leave a comment below letting us know what you think of the new design. We’d love to hear your thoughts!


P.S. I’m so glad to be back!