X had his tenth birthday over a week ago now. Gosh, time is zooming by, T's 8th birthday is this weekend! It's all happening pretty quickly. Let's recap:
X's birthday involved eight rowdy boys, about as many Nerf guns, and half a dozen laptops all linked together for Minecraft LAN gaming. The original plan was a six hour LAN gaming party, but the boys had other ideas - a bunch of kids brought along their Nerf guns, and X ended up with four of them as gifts, so they spent a large chunk of time running around inside and outside the house shooting each other and yelling loudly. I had my bff here for the weekend so we managed to avoid the first half of the six hour long birthday party (yes, that's right, s i x h o u r s!!! Madness!) but the three hours we were here for were complete chaos, so I can only imagine the first three were much the same. Boys are a special breed - only they can consume such copious amounts of food while simultaneously shooting each other with foam bullets, yelling at the top of their lungs and playing computer games. I do believe though, that my boys had an absolute ball of a time. And the amount of food consumed throughout the day meant nobody was hungry for dinner and I didn't have to cook. Hooray for small mercies. So now my boy is ten. Oh my, when did he get so big? He reaches the bridge of my nose, and it will be a matter of months I'm sure before he's taller than I am. Sure, I'm not exactly towering at 5', but still...
Last weekend he headed off to a birthday party of a school friend, with a Nerf gun in hand. And guess what his gift to the birthday boy was? Yep, a Nerf gun. I shall declare that ten is the Year of Nerf.
T is literally counting the days until his birthday rolls around - he tells me every morning how many days are left, just in case I forget ;-) We still have no actual plans for his day, all we know is that children have been invited. I think we'll leave it at that for now. I have learned from recent experience that kids birthday parties don't need too much structure - as long as there's food, drink, toys and games, they'll be happy. Oh, and we can't forget the cake! For T, chocolate cake covered in M&Ms. Easy-peasy! He has requested boiled eggs in little car egg cups with toast slices for breakfast, sausage sizzle for school lunch, and home made pizza for dinner. My boy has simple tastes, and for once I'm not going to complain. It gives me more time to get on with other things, like study.
Boy, this paper I'm studying at the moment is full-on! Information Systems. Very tech-orientated, with a bunch of e-commerce thrown in for good measure. I'm learning stacks (particularly the recent work with Excel spreadsheets - colour me amazed at the stuff you can do with a spreadsheet!), which I have already managed to put to good measure by writing up the mother of all budgets. Deane's been harping on at me for years about writing one up, and I finally got around to it this week. I spent the better part of three days on it, but I finished it this morning. It's the snazziest thing out, with the past six months' financial data input into it for averages, comparisons and analysis. Worksheets are linked so everything I input automatically updates where it needs to so I don't have to re-enter information. OMG the formulas! So many! I have to say I'm pretty proud of my efforts, and I hope I can manage to stick to it and possibly save some money. I'm on a bit of a roll actually, having started a weekly meal plan as well. On Saturday I went to the butcher, the vege shop and the supermarket, then sat down and planned out dinners for two weeks with the meat and veges I'd bought. So far, it's worked out pretty well. Of course, we still have to get milk when we run out, and the occasional thing we run out of and need before the next shop (like honey, bread rolls and apples for school lunches - hopeless), but if all goes to plan I'll get better at this organisation thing and eventually be able to do one shop every two weeks. We have a larger freezer sitting in the laundry, so we might as well put it to good use!
I'd fallen into the bad habit of going to the supermarket nearly every day because it was so close. I'd run out of one or two things, then swing by on my way past and grab those things, plus a few extras just because. Not good budgeting practice, let me tell you. Our grocery bill was huge! I know this because I just input all that data into my snazzy budgeting spreadsheet ;-) So here's to a more organised budget-friendly future, and hopefully some spending money for (and airfares to) Vancouver!
I have also been knitting away as much as possible on Christmas gifts - I'm about a third of the way through my knits list. With less than a month to go, it might be a tight squeeze but I may just make it. Foodie gifts are mostly done except for the last-minute stuff, and I know what else I need to get so as long as Deane doesn't throw a spanner in the works, I think we're pretty much sorted for the silly season. How about you? Are you organised? Only 26 sleeps to go...