Sunday, July 17, 2011


I guess this is nesting - Mr. Goat was out of town on business last week and so my mother and cousin came over and helped me organize the house.  Literally, all I did was sit on a chair and tell them where to put stuff.  I usually took a nap every afternoon.  But it feels like I ran a marathon every day for the last week.

It does not help that my hip pain, which I had finally gotten under control, has resumed with a vengeance.  They take you off all drugs when you get pregnant, so I am off  Nortriptyline (a tricyclic antidepressant also used effectively for migraine treatment).  Instead, I have codeine (an opiate analgesic), which I am "not supposed to take too much of," according to my doctor.  As my last round of pain problems was compounded by taking hydrocodone and acetaminophen constantly, until they messed up my body's pain system, I'm not wild to start taking another round of opiates.   I have turned to massage, which helps, but blows the budget out of the water.  Each massage is $110 each, not covered by insurance or reimbursable.  I'm just hoping that the Nortriptyline still works when I get back on it; my nightmare is that I'll have to do another year and a half round of trying medications until one works for me again.  But for now, I'm in constant low-grade pain with occasional spikes of high-grade pain, which is not conducive to rest.

I can't believe anyone does this pregnancy thing twice!  Maybe I'll feel differently when I have babies on the ground, but right now I am pretty sure that these babies are the Alpha and Omega for me.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Binge Weekend and The Chicken Test

Pregnancy eating is weird.  For one thing, I now adore bacon.  I realize that this isn't huge to the 99.9% of the world out there that normally loves bacon, but I despise bacon and have since I was a child.  And now I can happily eat it for my only food at a meal (I don't, of course, because I'd like to be able to get through doors, but really).  For another, my craving for sweets (always a bĂȘte noir for me) has mostly subsided.

I say mostly because it hit with a vengeance yesterday.  All I could think about was getting a chocolate chip cookie cake and eating it all.  Finally, I cracked, drove to Winn-Dixie, spent $9.75 on a premade one, and proceeded to eat until I was sick (I also drank a quarter gallon of milk).  Then I went to sleep with it still on the kitchen counter, with the result that I ate more of it this morning.  There was about a third left when I came to my senses and threw it to the chickens.  So I ate about 3K worth of totally empty calories, gave myself a stomachache, and wasted money all at once.  Pretty much the definition of a binge.

To add insult to injury, I'm not sure the cake is going to pass the chicken test.  I have a rule that I never eat anything sweet that the chickens reject.  Basically, if  the chickens won't eat it in a day (or refuse to eat it at all) it's not really food.  Chickens will eat anything and they love sweet things; anything they reject is serious frankenfood.  They were pretty unenthusiastic about it this morning; I plan to go check again after I write this, but I am not hopeful.  So far, the only things to fail the chicken test are store-bought cotton candy and Target brand licorice, so it's a pretty low bar.  Next time I need a better plan for when sugar cravings strike; I'd gotten out of the habit of resisting them and it shows.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Solution to the Dearth of Good Coupons

I've been a reasonably avid coupon user for the last three years.  I'm not extreme by any stretch of the imagination, but I go through all the free weekly circulars that come in the mail and I take the coupons from my parents' Sunday paper nearly every week.  Because I don't buy a lot of processed food, my savings mostly come on household products - cleaners, bath tissue, etc.  Lately, though, I've noticed a distinct downward trend in usable coupons.  In fact, I haven't found a single usable manufacturer's coupon in the last two weeks.

Since I try to be a frugal shopper, I looked around on the internet to see if there is a better way - and had another look at Amazon's Subscribe and Save feature.  Basically, you get a 15% discount if you sign up to have household items delivered to you on a regular schedule, which can be as frequently as every month or as infrequently as every six months.  What I like is that you are not locked in  - you can cancel your subscription at any time, even after just one purchase, or you can temporarily halt delivery for one or more delivery cycles.


Prices are comparable to my local Family Dollar and Dollar General (the cheapest source for household goods in my area) for Charmin Toilet PaperBounty Paper TowelsCascade Complete Gel Dishwasher Detergent (although you have to buy a lot of it at once), and Mr. Goat's favorite local coffee blend, Community Coffee Private Reserve Whole Bean Coffee, Kona Blend (we can't afford his all-time favorite coffees for everyday).  They don't carry generic, but they do have cheaper brands like Quilted Northern and Sparkle.  (I buy the premium brands because, over time, I have found little savings in buying the cheaper brands as they are less effective at their respective tasks.)

In addition to the time and gas savings of direct home delivery, I also save because Amazon does not have a physical location in my state, and so is not required to charge me sales tax.  Sales tax in the closet town is currently 9.5%, of which only 2% is state sales tax.  Plus, I get 3% cash back on everything I purchase from Amazon, versus 1% on everything I buy at discount stores.

Once I started thinking outside the coupon box, I realized that the savings from switching to Amazon really add up.  I'll continue to keep my eye out for coupon/sales combination bargains, but it will have to be a pretty sweet deal before it cancels out the benefits I get from Amazon.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Blogoversary #2

It's been 3 years since I started this blog.  I was hoping I'd be inspired with some valuable insights gained over the past three years, but valuable insights seem to be in short supply over at the Goat house today.  I never started this blog to be anything other than a "day in the life of" and my blog metrics reflect that.  According to Blogger, my top five posts by number of views are:

Why the First Year of Marriage is the Hardest

Ebay Epic Fail - hot 13 year old girls

Progressive's My Rate Program

Long Time No Post

Scotttrade and Bank of America Wouldn't Give Me My Money!  Grrrr!

Which just goes to show that Google search metrics determine the impression people get of your site.

Looking back, a few of my favorite posts are:

Orkin and The Samuel Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socieoeconomic Unfairness - Discworld + PF = Win

Credit Card Rebates and My Rules - still just as true two years later

Food Budgeting - this is still a problem for me in 2011, but I've gotten much better at finding local veggies, and the local food movement has gained more traction in my area.  

One interesting thing about taking a trip down memory lane is how few of the bloggers I used to communicate with are still around.  For instance, the food budgeting post (April 2009) has 5 comments, of which only Bridgid and jpkittie seem to still be around.  Whatever happened to DogAteMyFinances?  Google shows that she was threatened with outing last year and went private and somehow I never noticed.  Funny how the internet is both permanent and ephemeral at the same time.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Push Presents?

Make a baby, get a shiny?
I've never heard of this before, but according to the New York Times, lots of women are now getting presents from their husbands for delivering a baby, sometimes in the delivery room itself.  It's apparently enough of a phenomenon somewhere that I heard about it at all because one of my friends liked this blog post on why the blogger dislikes the custom.  A couple of friends reported in response that their husbands had, in fact, given them jewelry in the delivery room.

From a PF standpoint, this seems pretty weird to me.  As I've touched on before, pregnancy is expensive, and I don't think child-rearing gets cheaper.  So what I really need is for my household to spring for some shiny rocks?  Keep in mind that the friends who reported "push presents" both work, even though they claim they'd like to be full-time moms, but just can't afford it.  If shiny rocks can come out of your monthly "blow budget," shiny away.  But for the rest of us, it seems an inefficient use of financial resources in a time of uncertain but greater financial stress.

Did you get or give a "push present?"  Would you?  Am I crazy for thinking that this is another "Hallmark occasion" dreamed up by the jewelry industry, and scarily reminiscent of the times when a woman's value was bound up almost entirely in her ability to produce children?