A wake-up call

10 02 2011

My mother left this morning. It was a good, yet uneventful, visit.  But I think it opened my mother’s eyes to how we live: we have no spending money.

How did she figure it out?  Simple, she finally understands how we grocery shop.

We went to the store together over the weekend, and I told her we had $55 to spend.  She was floored.  This is a lady who can spend $200 on dairy products in a 30 minute trip to the store.  That’s more than our 2 week grocery budget.  She was also shocked that we buy groceries once a week.  Is that weird?  Apparently, it is.

Mom treated us to groceries–that’ll help pay for the new car bumper–and we ate like kings all week.  KB fell in love with blueberry Stilton cheese (only $20 a pound), and Winslow, well, ate everything put in front of her. She’s not snob, at least.

Anyway, today is pay day, and I think we’ll still be able to cash flow all the car repairs without decimating our savings.  And we might get enough back on our taxes to reach our 10k goal before 2015.


The poop post

3 02 2011

Yes, I’m about to talk about poop.  If that makes me dull, I don’t care.  I have three kids in diapers, of course this is part of my life.

My baby Amak is psyching me out with the toots. Stinky stuff with no results.  My eldest KB, though, is “forgetting” to tell me when she’s done the deed. Today she walked into the living room with a serious load in her pants and mentioned nothing. I had to ask and even then, it was no big deal to her that her disgusting diaper was hanging down to her knees. Gross, KB!  I’m not sure she’ll ever potty train.  I’m ready to have one fewer in diapers.  At least it’d be a break for my pocket book.

Okay, obligatory poop post is over.  So now i’ll move on to the required snow post (see? i’m killing two birds with one stone).  We had a blizzard this week and while the amount of snow wasn’t that incredible, the speed at which it fell was. The drifts are pretty amazing, too.  I shoveled a bit so that the sidewalks are clear–I almost did the neighbors’ too. Should I have done it?  On both sides, there are able bodied people living there. No senior citizens, no one disabled. Just lazy bums.  But there ARE senior citizens and disabled people who don’t have cars in my neighborhood.  I might go out and shovel this afternoon some more. I think I’ve talked myself into it.

My mother is coming into town today.  And that provides the perfect segue into another dull topic: home organization.  She’ll help out with childcare while I tackle this house.  We’ll be here at least 9 more months and I can’t live in this clutter anymore. So we’ll be getting rid of stuff.   The discards will go to charity. I plan on making a couple of runs to the thrift store down the street, and I’m hoping it brings some sanity.

Oh, and to top it all off, Hubby busted his bumper yesterday sliding into a curb (what is that now? Four birds?). It will cost us a lot of money to repair that damn car, so we’re set back even more for savings.  At this rate, it’ll be a long time before we can buy a house.  I’m just anxious to live in a place I can make my own.  Constant transition just adds to my anxiety.

So there you have it. Poop, snow, organization, and money.  There are a few I missed, but I’m sure I’ll get to those topics soon enough.

Underfunded schools

25 01 2011

It’s official.  No free preschool anymore in Kansas City.  I knew it was a long shot, but now the offer has been rescinded.  Even the promises of sliding scale tuition have gone up in smoke.

So now we’ll have to pay.  $200 sounds piddling, right?  Sure it is!  But what you get is also piddling. A measly 2.5 hours a couple of times a week.  Just enough time to drop off, drive home, and turn around to pick up.

Big bummer.  Big time.

The Nosiest Gal in Town

21 01 2011

Yup, that’s me.  I want to know the details on everyone’s circumstances.  What do they do all day?  How much did their homes cost?  What’s family life like for them?  I could go on and on. That’s why the blogging world is so wonderful to me. People share what they’re up to, sometimes baring their souls for the world to see.  I practically munch on overpriced popcorn and pop while sopping up the drama.  It’s that much fun to me.

Because my own family is on debt attack, I do prowl around for financial blogs.  Some are dull, listing debts and paychecks and snowballs.  Others are practical and amusing (who knew it was possible?) with extra tidbits on their lives thrown in there.  Many of the blogs have become too commercial and are peppered with advertisements next to the blog posts, under the blog posts, and even within the blog posts.  Usually, I’m not so interested in hearing about how buying a product will save me money.  Once a blog reaches that stage, I remove them from my favorites.

It’s a sad day when the blogs throw in the commercial towel.  One such blog, Make Love, Not Debt, made a complete turnaround and suddenly started doing sponsored posts that were irrelevant to the blog. The owners said they were taking their site in a different direction.    And now it hasn’t been updated in months.   Down into the blog graveyard.

Another favorite not finance related, Heathen Homeschoolers, hasn’t seen any action since late November.  Apparently, the owner had some problems within her social circle and while she said it wouldn’t affect her ability to post, she’s dropped off the Earth. It’s too bad since she provided a site for folks who homeschool without religious emphasis.  It’s also ironic considering all the blogging publicity she has received.   All this build up to nothing.

Thank goodness I have a few favorites still around.  But I’ve got to find some new ones to frequent since my list has become very short.

Offer me a job, please!

20 01 2011

This has been one of those days.    It is 4:30pm and I am watching the clock for hubby to come home. Of course, he’s not going to be home at 4:45 as usual. Instead, it’ll be closer to 6:00pm if we’re lucky.  He left late because of all the snow yesterday–wanted to make sure it was plowed–and he had to shovel outside.  Despite my pleas he just take PTO, he can’t anyway because the car is still in the shop even though they gave a 3pm ready time before.

Whine fest over.

Or maybe not.

Why do I want Hubby home?  Because KB has cried too many times today. Because MeiMei decided to climb all over me while I was nursing Amak so I had to punish her. Because Amak, as adorable as he is, nurses so often and then gave us tons of trouble last night leading to Hubby not getting enough rest before having to dig the car out and make the treacherous drive to work.

It’s not just that, though. I. Am. Bored.  Today, despite all the misbehaving and other excitement, I feel like nothing more than Bessy, the babysitting heifer.  My days are interminably long.  There are moments when I feel very trapped inside my house.  Ok, not moments. Entire weeks.  Yeah, I’m working now, but it’s seasonal and mind you, I’m going to work AFTER a long day with the kids.  It is beyond exhausting on those days.

I know the nursing won’t last forever and that Amak will learn to nap. I know that we’ll be able to leave the house eventually.   Even then, pinching pennies makes it difficult to leave the house.  The house with no yard.  With barely any room to move because of all this crapola.

In the meantime, I will enjoy making payments to savings with my work paycheck.  I will enjoy having the luxury of being home with my children, something many women would really like.  I will enjoy being able to wear my pajamas all day if I feel like it.  But I will also enjoy perusing the classifieds, looking for the perfect parttime job to me the stimulation I need and the free time I desire to spend with my children.  The perfect amount of togetherness.

Snow again.

19 01 2011

Today we’re expecting a snow storm. This time, it’s expected to come down fast, so we actually qualify for a winter storm warning rather than just an advisory. Should be fun. And cold.

Last storm, we didn’t get to build a snowman. We tried, but a little mound is as far as we got with the powdery snow.

Like my new boots?  In some ways, I’ve become what I always dreaded being. The SAHM with her jeans tucked into snow boots.  But Hubby says I look sexy and since I feel as sexy as an elephant in labor, I’ll stick with this look for now.

And really, isn’t the transformation to SAHM only complete when I’m wearing the snow boots in 70 degree weather with yoga pants and my freshly highlighted hair in a ponytail?

So I’ve still got a ways to go. Please send donations so I can actually get my hair  highlighted.



18 01 2011

I took my own advice and culled.  Down more than 6 pair of shoes and some clothing as well.  I can’t quite get down to the recommended 10 pair, but I’m close enough to feel lighter.

Will this suffice for now? Nope.  I am determined to have fewer *random crap* boxes the next time we move.  All the tchotchkes make me crazy. I never know what to do with them, so it’s not like they’re making my house a better place.

However, I do realize my house shouldn’t be bare. That’s no fun, either.

So I’m digging for small-scale inspiration.  My first find was a 6 month old issue of House Beautiful magazine, whose theme in July was small spaces.  What luck that my mom had sent it to me recently!  Here I am complaining about living in 1700 sqft with not enough closets, and the mag is hailing families living in far less…as small as a few hundred feet at most.   I don’t need to cut back that far, not even close, but having some smart storage solutions as well as *gasp* less stuff would do us a load of good.  Makes the prospect of moving into a smaller home less daunting.  ‘Cause it most certainly appears to be a necessity when looking at affordable homes.  Remember, though, that we’d be downsizing from 1700 sqft, hardly a mansion, so it still IS daunting.

We’ll make it work, we’ll make it work.