Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Our budgies are senior citizens now. Jeremy is eight years old, and probably coming up on nine around the end of the year. (Budgie birthdays are an inexact science.) Aegis is about the same age, then Dana's just a little younger. Isaac and Boris are tougher because I didn't get them as bappies, but they're at least five and probably considerably more. A well-tended pet store budgie has a lifespan of about ten years, maybe a little more. Some of my budgies haven't made it this far, but the ones that have are starting to show their age. One symptom of that is beak problems. When they were younger, they could chew their cuttlebone to keep their beaks trim, but now kidney function and other bird health stuff makes their beaks grow faster than they can whittle them down. Aegis and Boris, especially, have bad problems with this, but Dana's starting to as well. I can't trim beaks at home, it's much harder than trimming nails, and the consequences for screwing up badly are grim. So I have to take them in periodically to the vet.
Bird vets are not cheap. Seriously not cheap. Especially since they insisted that Dana would need a physical too, because they haven't trimmed her before. But that's what the emergency summer savings account was there for, and you have to take care of your pets. At this point, if one of them gets very sick, it would probably not be a kindness to do much more than palliative care, but beak and claw maintenance is a quality of life issue, and we owe them that. I've taken care of most of them their entire lives, after all. And being responsible teaches Robert good lessons, even if he's too young to remember them now.
While we waited for the birds to get done at the vet, Robert and I went shopping. There is only so much soup you can eat in a week without going insane, so I picked up some of the sandwich meat and cheese on sale at the deli. I'm liking the deli sales at Meijer lately, if you can get the meat at four dollars a pound and have them slice it thin, two dollars can get you quite a few sandwiches! We got salami, mesquite turkey, and provolone cheese, plus the sale bread. I found some half-price milk that hits its sell-by tomorrow, some clearance caffeine drink to put into water bottles, and picked up some frozen peas. I had two two-dollar-off coupons for Ball Park franks, which was great, cause they're on sale for two-fifty. Fifty cent hotdogs, yay! I also used my coupon for a free Sobe, and bought a raspberry lemonade that ended up tasting very banana-y. That was all easy, and then I did the WIC stuff, which was a nightmare.
This is only my second month buying baby food, and last month was simple because I only bought peas, carrots, apricots, and peaches. I wanted to mix it up a little more this month, but that was a big mistake. It turns out it's really difficult to get 32 jars of baby food where not a one of them has any extra starch, sugar, salt, or dairy. I had to run back once because I didn't realize that I got three boxes of rice this month instead of two like last month, then canceled the transaction entirely because one set of jars had yogurt in. I didn't want to make the people behind me insane, so I had him just set all the jars aside and did the rest of my checkout. Robert, who was overdue for a nap by now, was wailing like a tiny banshee as I tied up my bags and went back to the baby section to replace the ones with yogurt. I got new jars and came back, only to find out after waiting in line and checking out again that some of my other jars had added starch! Robert was frantic, and I was so stressed out I could've cried, but a nice manager went back for me and got me some jars that would work while the cashier finished my checkout. They were both very nice to me, and even though the experience was upsetting, they washed the bad taste out of my mouth I had after the last time I did WIC at Meijer.
All told, after coupons and the WIC vouchers, I only spent 15 dollars at Meijer, which is not too bad. Robert and I then had to go pay the rent, because YOU MUST PAY THE RENT, she declares, twirling her moustache evilly. Robert and I always have a nice time talking to the ladies down in the office, even if we got the sad news that the pool closes at the end of this week. No more swimming for us, and we hardly used the pool. It was too hot to swim! Oh well, we can swim at Mimi and Papoo's house! I ended up moving three hundred fifty dollars from our emergency fund into the bank to make sure we'll cover the rent and all the bills. Really, it could be worse. This time last year we were into our credit cards, even though we had food stamps then. Now I am still on track for paying down the credit cards, and though money is a worry, we at least _have_ money to worry about.
Also, check out my big strong baby boy! He's gotten to a breakthrough point with this sitting thing. He can't pull up to a sit, but if we sit him up, he can balance and even catch himself sometimes when he starts listing. And he really enjoys sitting up, too! My squishy little chicken nugget is becoming a little boy faster every day.