i do love me a deal.

so, it's grocery shopping weekend in the van voorst house, which makes for an interesting few days. i go once every two weeks, so every other wednesday/thursday i spend time looking through the grocery ads, my coupons, online coupons/deals, and my menu plan for the next two weeks and put together my shopping list. we limit our grocery/household items budget to $80 every two weeks (not including baby stuff like diapers), which has seemed to work well for us. then i try my darndest to squeeze every little bit out of that budget as i can, which has actually become really fun; like a brain teaser or something!

the only downside to the whole process is the amount of time it takes, but i'd personally spend the time than the extra money - but that's just me, and it works well since i stay home and have more time to spend on stuff like this. (it has become a little more complicated with atticus, though, i'm not going to lie.)
so, this week i'm feeling very accomplished. i haven't yet made it to hyvee yet, but between walgreen's, fareway, walmart, and aldi, i got the following table-full of food/etc. for just under $49, with over $34 in coupon savings:

and my proudest purchases: the following stuff (which was all included above) was all bought for less than $3 total. nice.
on an unrelated note, atticus has been knocking his goals out of the park like a champ. (he's on a 3-hour schedule and has taken four crib naps and only 2 bouncy-chair-sans-vibration naps in the last 2 days. score.) so now i think we're going to tackle nighttime feedings. right now he's eating at 10:30 pm, 2:15 am, 5 am, then when he wakes up at 7. however, i was talking to allison and she said that sometimes makenna wakes up, not because she's hungry but because she's transitioning between sleep cycles and just needs a little help getting back to sleep. i have no idea if this is the case for kiddo v.v., but i thought i might try tonight to see whether he is actually hungry or just in need of a little extra help falling back to sleep.
i think atticus was trying to get back at me for waking him up at 7 the last two mornings, because he was up and at 'em at 6 this morning. thrilling. so we hit walmart, target, and salvation army, and made it home by 9:30. not too shabby.


okay, so it's day two of my new resolutions, and i'm feeling pretty good.

1. 7 am wake-up: my alarm went off at 7, and i didn't get up until 7:11...and go figure it's the one day atticus wants to sleep longer...but i did it.

2. more frequent blogging: this is my second blog in two days. check.

3. sleeping in the crib: um, well, so he took his first morning nap in the swing, which he's never done before, and which i say is a decent start, since it isn't the bouncy chair. also...he's currently sleeping in the bouncy chair. but the vibrating thing isn't on, so that's also a start... sort of.

4. cheap healthy meal planning: i made a smoothy for breakfast, as opposed to the recent eat-some-cookies-at-11 habit i'd developed. also, i will be sitting down and putting together my 2-week grocery list later today, so i might revamp my february meal calendar a little first to help with this goal.

5. memorizing scripture: i picked a couple verses yesterday, but i haven't started memorizing them yet. and LG, i will be calling you - accountability sounds like an AWESOME idea.

6. regular routine for each day: um, that's a no-go yet. but maybe i'll work on that tomorrow?

7. house cleaning: so, i started to clean the stove...but now all the burners are off, and have been for the last 15 hours - so i'd like to say i started this one, but in reality i think i just made more work for myself later. so -1 point on this goal.

8. 3-hour schedule: and DONE.

9. grocery shopping: i've come up with a few ideas, though i might have to wait until the next shopping trip to implement them.

also, i'm wanting to join a MOPS group, i think. however, the one in town meets in the evenings, and the nearest one that meets during the day is twelve miles north. so who knows. anyone want to go to MOPS with me? laura? allison? tiffany, you want to commute from pennsylvania once a week - the hardest part would be getting to town, but then MOPS is only ten minutes away, so no biggie, right? let me know.

new resolutions.

so, i have decided to get my life back in order. it has been two months now since the kiddo arrived, and i am determined that it's time to resume to my regular, organized-chaos kind of a life. so here are my goals (a month later than most people made theirs, but hey, everything happens later than typiceal now with atticus):

1. wake up at 7 am and start atticus' day. i will no longer try to cheat the system by waking him up at 6:30, feeding him QUICKLY, then putting him back down, hoping to trick him into sleeping a little later than his tiny internal clock would prefer. (i swear, 7 am on the dot, that kid's awake.)

2. blog more often - and include things other than atticus. (what did i ever talk about before?!)

3. get the babe to sleep in his crib for some naps. he can't sleep in the bouncy chair for the rest of his life (although i do wish they made them in adult sizes).

4. learn more about cheaper, healthier meal planning.

5. start memorizing scripture - and not just verses that have to do with being a wife/mom.

6. set up a regular routine (or, at least, a regular GOAL) for each day of the week.

7. include house cleaning on my goal list... and actually do it... :(

8. successfully get atticus on a 3-hr schedule, although it's been 3 days now, and he's totally fine with it, so maybe this "resolution" took care of itself. seriously, he was so ready and i couldn't be happier. a half an hour doesn't seem like a lot, but it so is.

9. figure out a more efficient method of grocery shopping: best time of day, best route, whether it's better to have someone watch atticus while i go, etc.

i think that's it, for now at least. i'll keep you updated. if i get serious about resolution #2.

also, the countdown to arizona is 13 days!!! ahh, warm weather... now i know what to do with all those 0-3 month shorts atticus ended up with somehow. i'll have to find where i put my bathing suit...i haven't worn it in a year, since we went to jamaica.

in other news, todd and i have started to look at houses, which is SUPER EXCITING!! i've been going around with teresa dodge, and when i find one that looks interesting i'll note it. then later on in the game, todd will go around and look at all the ones that are worthwhile (it seems silly that he should waste the little time he has looking at dumphole houses, so this seems like a more efficient way to do things.) so far i've looked at...11? 12? houses, mostly so-so, but a couple that have DEFINITE potential!! i'll be looking at more on friday!

okay, well, that's the dealio. peace out.

hello again

i forgot to mention a few of my very favorites:


staring at the couch (oh, man. i could do this all day long. i love that couch.)

i have decided to give a few things a chance:

..baths. they're not so bad. i guess. pacifier. we're becoming fast friends, although i get angry when it jumps out of my mouth. why does it do that?


over the weekend, my friend shaina took some amazing pictures of our little guy. they're beautiful. go here to check them out!!!

thanks miss shaina!

baby's first blog

hello all. in case some of you haven't met me yet, i figured i'd make my first post about my basic likes and dislikes.

i like when mommy carries me in the sling.

i like being the center of attention, like on my one month birthday.

i really like my activity gym.
(mommy likes sleeping in daddy's kurt cobain tshirt. kurt cobain likes staring at me while i stare at my activity gym.)

i like cuddling.

i do NOT like baths. on a related note, i do NOT like being cold.

i like cute girls.

i like sucking on daddy's fingers.
i do NOT like my pacifier. at all.

i like sucking my thumb.
mommy does NOT like it when i suck my thumb.

i do NOT like wearing my cap forward. i'm too cool.

i like wearing my cap backwards. i think it makes me look like an x-gamer.
i like doing what dad does.

i like following all the latest trends.

i do NOT like my car seat.

i like sleeping. most of the time.

i like watching football in my sweats with dad.

i like pooping. and farting. and making this face.
i like sitting in the bouncy seat that mommy's friend found on the side of the road.
mommy likes free stuff.

also, in the last few weeks, i've had many firsts:
my first bottle
my first smile
my first cooing
my first "birthday" (one month)
my first bald spot
my first kenny rogers theme party (and my first party in general)
my first ride (of many) in my new swing

and in four weeks, i will take my first airplane ride to arizona to see my grandpa tony and grandma jacqi. mommy's very interested to see what it will be like to travel with a baby. she's sure i've got a few tricks up my sleeve. who, me?!

it's all different now.

alright, so we're at growth spurt #2. it's 12:50 am, i just fed atticus about a half hour ago, and i'm currently balancing him on my legs so that he stays quiet for the next 15 minutes before he's ready to eat again. that way the yeti will stop banging on the vents. i'm not kidding; i'm getting banged at by the yeti. oh, what a topsy turvy world.

i started yoga yesterday. it was awesome; afterward i felt like i used to after i was done with a dance class or session, like taller or something. with bigger lungs. it was the first time since atticus was born that i was truly by myself - without atticus or todd with me. it was actually kind of nice. not that i don't like being with my family, actually just the opposite, but i felt like "me" for a little while. maybe it's selfish that i liked it so much, but it felt really good. my life has turned upside down and looks absolutely nothing like it used to. for the most part, i'm completely glad and i definitely would not trade atticus for the world. i'm just trying to adjust to what life is supposed to be for me now.

half the time, i don't even shower or change out of my pajamas because even if i get the time, i'm usually too tired and unmotivated. and even when i shower, i never feel clean. i don't even feel clean while i'm in the shower. i feel accomplished if i find the time to brush my teeth before noon. it has been more than a month since i've gotten more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep. it's a huge ordeal to even go to target. (do i have the diaper bag? is he dressed warm enough for the car? do i heat the car before i take him out and leave him alone in the apartment, or do i just bundle him extra and take him in a cold car? when we get there, how long do we have before we have to leave because he'll need to eat? am i paying close enough attention to not stop abruptly/talk too loudly/accidently bump anything with the cart for fear of waking him up, having him scream, and being stared at by strangers? when i leave, did i make sure to actually get my sack of purchases, or was i too distracted by trying to manage the cars eat that i forgot?)

atticus went through a growth spurt, then he spent a week refusing to sleep. then he spent a week sleeping, but not really knowing how often he would eat (his routine changed every day). now he's hit his second growth spurt. it feels like life will never "settle" into anything recognizable.

i've heard new moms say these exact things too many times to count. but i guess it just went in one ear and out the other or something, because i'm somehow surprised that it's like this for me. and i don't know if i'm just overly tired because it's 1 am and i've been listening to him cry for the last 4 hours, or if i'm actually as worn out as i feel. all i know is that during the relaxation exercises during yoga, i had to consciously avoid thinking about atticus, otherwise i would tense up and have to start all over, thinking about eating an orange or some other ridiculous suggestion made by the instructor. and i also know that it broke my heart that thinking about eating an orange (or smelling a flower or standing in the rain... the yoga instructor was a little strange) relaxed me more than thinking about my own child.

i really don't want to fall into a pattern of wishing atticus was a little older, because i want to enjoy each stage of life while i have him, but all i can think about is when he's a few months older and sleeping through the night and on a feeding schedule and past his growth spurts and actually smiling at me sometimes instead of just staring at best.

please dont' get the impression that i don't love my family, or that for even a half a second i regret anything. i'm just realizing that i maybe should have listened a little harder to so much of that unsolicited advice during pregnancy. my child is not the sinless baby i thought he would be, and i'm so far from the confident mom i thought i would be. i'm interested to see all the ways god's going to use this time in all our lives. i hope i'm able to handle it all gracefully, but if you've read any of this entry leading up to now, i'm sure you're doubting that as much as i am.