-Ever since we moved back to Idaho, I’ve been looking for a job. I’ve had a few prospects, but nothing really seemed worth spending nearly all of my paycheck on daycare expenses. Stephen quickly found a great job (YAY!) so I’ve been at home with the boys all day. While we can afford for me to stay home, it’s not ideal. I need to get out of the house and we’d like to put more into savings each month, so I had to figure out what to do. Luckily, Stephen offered to transfer his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to me (he won’t go to college, ever, so.) and just like that, we had a plan. Luckily, because of Stephen’s two deployments, he has plenty of active duty time saved up from the last eight years to make it worth me going back to school. I’ll essentially be “making” the same money I would working a full time job, and I’ll get to study with no debt! WIN.
-Because I’m staying at home, I’m trying to think of creative ways to save money. We seem to spend a fortune on groceries, so I started clipping coupons (I know). I ordered five Sunday subscriptions of our local paper and am planning on attending their monthly coupon class/exchange. I also subscribe to a few blogs, but I’m not a huge fan of printing coupons as I’ve had coupons rejected before. If you have any tips, I’d appreciate them!
-Dublin’s speech is delayed. I’ve mentioned this on twitter, especially over the summer when he was receiving speech therapy. He talks A LOT, but it’s not discernible English. He says “mah-jah-” for “please,” “mama” for “milk,” and “chocolate” is “c*ck.” It’s rather charming, actually. He says a few phrases, like “Oh my gosh!” and “I don’t know.” but he doesn’t use them appropriately (meaning, he doesn’t say “I don’t know” when he really, truly, doesn’t know). He has a large vocabulary, but he doesn’t put words together himself. It’s frustrating, because when he’s in distress, he’ll fling himself to the floor and throw a tantrum. I have no idea what to do to help him.
-Roman will be ONE! next month. I don’t know if we’re throwing him a party or even where. Where do you do a party for a baby in the winter? He is crawling, sitting, pulling up on his knees, but doesn’t have any inclination to walk or say anything other than “dada.”
-I’m thinking of doing a video blog. I know everyone calls it a vlog, but that words looks like something I’d fancy in an Ikea catalog. I’ve met a good handful of bloggers who likely remember what I sound like, but seeing as I grew up in Cali, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Vermont, I know I say a few things that sound strange. Like, for example, I don’t pronounce the “k” in “breakfast.” Yeah. Don’t hate. A VIDEO BLOG will likely be my next post, then.
1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
I gave birth prematurely and said goodbye to my husband for his deployment.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I’m pretty sure I wanted to lose weight and since I went and got knocked up, I didn’t keep that resolution. This year, I’m determined to FINALLY lose the weight and regain my confidence. DETERMINED.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A lot of lovely internet friends did, but the closest person was probably my cousin, Crystal. She had a very scary delivery and nearly died after her uterus came out with the baby, but she’s doing great now.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Stephen’s great-grandfather, but I’d never met him so no.
5. What countries did you visit?
None. I’m a loser!
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you didn’t have in 2010?
A fitter body and more financial stability.
7. What dates from 2010 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
September 21st – When Steve “officially” deployed, November 7th – When Roman was born, and November 9th – When I said goodbye to Stephen, again.
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
It’s a toss up between giving birth and dealing with Steve’s departure, especially since they both happened within 48 hours of one another. That was a really, really, hard week.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Finding and securing mature tenants.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had an e.coli infection in August that put me in the ER overnight, but other than that, nothing worse than a cold.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our laptops. I bought them when I cashed out an old retirement account from a previous job and wanted Stephen to have one with him overseas. They’ve really been amazing for us.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Roman’s. His triumph in the NICU was incredible.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
14. Where did most your money go?
Rent, groceries and travel (from Idaho to Vermont). I also spent a ton on formula ($500 during one month) and postage costs ($170 for December alone).
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to New Orleans to see Stephen on his four day pass. Go figure my water would break 5 hours before my flight was supposed to depart.
16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I know everyone hates Nickelback for some inexplicable reason, but their song “Far Away” really reminds me of 2010 and will remind me of 2011, too.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) both, same as last year b) same as last year c) richer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Probably focus more on a number of things. Photography, my husband, freelance, etc.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stress. The first three and last five months of 2010 were loaded with stress and part of me still worries that all that stress caused Roman’s premature birth.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
We opened presents the night before with my in-laws (Steve’s dad, stepmom, and brother) and went next door to my FIL’s parents’ house for supper.
21. Did you fall in love with 2010?
Yes. I fall more in love every year with my family.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
DEXTER! Or the Office!
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I wouldn’t say hate, but I have a STRONG DISLIKE for this person.
24. What was the best book you read?
Water for Elephants, although it was also the only book I read.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I started listening to more Dropkick Murphys, but it wasn’t a discovery, necessarily.
26. What did you want and get?
After a few weeks in the NICU, my baby home with me.
27. What did you want and not get?
More quality time with Dublin. With the move and Roman’s premature birth…I just don’t feel like I had enough one-on-one time with him.
28. What was your favorite film of 2010?
I didn’t really go to the movies, except to see the Twilight Saga: Eclipse…so I don’t think that counts.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 24 and I spent it in my best friend Sona’s apartment, while she was on base in Quantico, working. I didn’t get internet or cell signal there, so it was a really quiet day. That night, she took me to a Hibatchi restaurant with two of her funny friends, so that was awesome.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I could say “having Stephen stay with us” but that would be too easy an answer. Not having to worry about money would have made my year SO MUCH EASIER.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2010?
I spent most of 2010 pregnant, but I didn’t wear maternity clothing. Empire waist tops ruled my world.
32. What kept you sane?
Hearing my husband’s voice. And my sons, even though they made me INsane as well.
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gun legislation. I don’t bring politics onto my blog, however, so that’s all I will say about that.
34. Who did you miss?
Obviously, my husband. But I also missed all my friends in Idaho and my fellow Army wives.
35. Who was the best new person you met?
Jamie! I met her on Craigslist, as creepy as that sounds. And my friend, Sam, wife of Steve’s best friend in the Army.
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Missing someone gets easier every day because even though it’s one day further from the last time you saw each other, it’s one day closer to the next time you will.
37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“Don’t worry ’bout a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”
- “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley
The last thing in the world I like doing is airing my dirty laundry in a public manner. But my heart has been heavy for the past two months and I really need some sort of talk-therapy.
There is a distinct strain on my marriage. Nothing too dramatic, but a strain that shouldn’t have impacted our very young marriage, not this soon or so hard. It’s no secret that we’ve had financial problems and if anything can breed stress in a relationship, it is MONEY.
Thankfully, Steve and I have handled the stress, the strain, relatively okay, apart from all the “you drive me crazy!” comments (made by me, FYI). But the combination of my increasing health issues, our unpaid bills and Steve’s impending deployment has been a bit difficult to deal with, to put it mildly.
Let me admit something to you right now. Steve and I? We don’t have friends here. At all. Sure, he has his Army buddies, but he doesn’t seem them outside of the armory. We have family in town, family that has ignored my emails and voicemails and did I mention, we’re broke? All of this explains why I’ve left this apartment twice since November and each time was to grocery shop. That’s embarrassing to admit, how much of a hermit I’ve become, by default more than anything.
This is STIFLING. And I’m harboring so much bitterness in my heart towards the family that lives just up the road who pretend we don’t exist, when the family Steve and I both have in Vermont miss us terribly. I draft emails to my mom (among those I miss so much) nearly daily, all venting, “I don’t understand what I’ve done wrong, how someone can be this selfish.” (Followed by a billion “FUCK”s and “DEPRESSING”s.)
Living in Idaho has been immensely lonely. My crazy pills can only do so much. They can’t heal the pain of rejection from the immediate family nearby, or replace all the family and friends I miss to the depths of my soul. I don’t handle things of this nature well.
The Army does this thing, when deployments are imminent, for couples called Strong Bonds. It’s an all-expense paid weekend retreat at a nice hotel, with a bunch of relationship-strengthening activities. Obviously, kids aren’t part of the picture. The one for Steve’s unit is next month.
My first thought was, “wow, how perfect would that be?” But then I remembered, we have no one, NO ONE, who could take Dublin for two nights.
Thankfully, my mother-in-law, who lives in Vermont, offered to fly here to watch Dublin. It’s pretty sad that my mother-in-law can tell, just over phone conversation, that we need this weekend to ourselves, right? It’s also pretty sad that a family member has to drop several hundred dollars and fly across the country just so Steve and I can go on a date.
I don’t know how to tie this up neatly. This post was more or less a mad jumble of everything I’m feeling, not cohesive or coherent. I’m sorry to continue my Debbie Downer posts, but I can’t keep writing anything here without getting this all off my heart, my mind.
Comments are closed mostly because I feel lame, writing this. My email is always open. And thanks for sticking around, mucking through my melancholy.
10 Things I’m Not Diggin’ This Week:
- The fact that Grey’s Anatomy and CSI are both premiering on the same night at the SAME TIME.
- My $$$$$ car bill.
- My bangs being curly and in my eyes every millisecond so my hair looks like a bad 80′s repeat.
- Weight Watchers.
- ^^^And not being able to find my damn rice cakes – the only thing I can fill up on without using all my points for today and this week combined.
- My house and it’s demands of my time.
- Dropping novels in toilets.
- Having no time (because I waste my little free time on here) to hang up my work clothing in the closet. It’s still in the laundry baskets. From THREE weeks ago. (I have a lot of clothing.)
- Nutella being a million and four points on Weight Watchers.
- Fruit flies. What the hell? I can’t afford fruit, WHAT ARE YOU ALL HANGING AROUND HERE FOR?!
I started weight watchers. Yep. And since it’s something I actually have to PAY for, I better stick to it. Last night I was so hungry from eating toast and two lean pockets all day that I ate an entire can of black olives because nothing else in my pantry would satisfy me without ODing on points.
Basically, I’m ALWAYS hungry. This is bad. VERY bad.
Of course, I TOTALLY jinxed everything! Every-freaking-thing. First of all, it was a hell of a lot more signatures than merely 16. With all the addendums and changes, it feels like ten times that amount. Secondly, it’s almost been three months and are we moved in yet? Of course not. Do we even have a closing date? Pfft…in our dreams.
No, we found out a week before closing (yes, just one week), that our loan officer made a teeny mistake on our original loan application. He sent me an email from the lender that basically said, “Your clients are not married – therefore they no longer qualify for this loan.” Yes, he put that we were married. After he made a joke about us not being married early in our correspondence. After I had been on a first-name basis with him, speaking with him via phone, fax or email on a sometimes-daily basis for no less than six months. Instead of apologizing to us, after we’d put $3,000 on fees and deposits to get into the house, he suggested we get hitched that weekend.
Um. If we wanted to do it that way, we would have two years ago!
He apologized nonetheless later, and said this loan would be his priority. A month later, I finally hear that we’re approved for another loan, from a different lender. And I have to re-fax every thing I faxed to him months ago. Luckily, in one of the boxes I packed up for our new house lies the folder that holds everything, our W-2s from the last several years, our sales agreement, contract, addendums, bank pages, copies of all the checks we’ve written out, paystubs, rent checks, property information sheets - the whole thing is a whopping 64pages. At about $0.50/page to fax, I’m going to have to pull more money out of my…. to pay for this, when I sent all this information repeatedly, a month ago.
In two weeks, Shane and I leave for Idaho for 15 days. I have no clue when we’re supposed to close (the dates were May 16, then June 16, then June 29, then July 6th, then July 16th…) this time, but we’re both at the point of “Should we try to continue this?” The house is great and all, but we can always find another. I don’t know.
Sorry for the pity party.
Seeing as wordpress.com isn’t in my cache anymore, I’d say it’s been a while since I posted.
I’m so stressed, so completely annoyed right now. I was showing some pictures to someone and they totally misinterpreted everything I was doing, and yelled at me for something totally unrelated. Well, it was semi-related, but not at all related to the subjects in the photo itself. After yelling at me, they ignored me (“blocked”) on msn. PMS times a bagillion.
I haven’t been able to eat for two days. I’ve been having weird stomach pain, not like pms pain, but something else. It’s caused me to vomit each time I try to take a couple ES Tylenol. Perhaps taking those Tylenol was stupid in the first place, as I had nothing in my stomach to absorb it and the acid that it stimulates only made me worse. My ulcer doesn’t seem to be the problem, but it definitely isn’t helping the situation.
Instead, I’ve been lying awake at night, every night, thinking about this house, and how the mortgage alone will be a grand. I still need to calculate taxes, insurance, utilities, oil (eeeek) and that extra chunk for when something horrible happens to the house. (Great, now that I’ve said that, I’ve probably jinxed myself.) I’m so used to having all this spending, “fun” money now, and to have it all go away will be difficult, I have to say. (Rhyming, I know.) And why do I have so many of these: “(“, “)”…Gah!
I just want life to go slower, for me to enjoy being a twenty-year old while I can. To enjoy not having obligations that entail babysitting siblings constantly. I don’t know what it is like to be on my own, and frankly, it’s mildly daunting. I’ve always been responsible of at least one sibling, morning and night from the age of 10, and after ten years, it’s so natural for me to make plans around the child, forgoing vacations because I need to babysit. I can’t imagine what it will be like to go to the store without having to make sure that my sibling is cared for. I don’t even know if I’m ready for that.
You know something nuts? I mean, seriously nuts? The what-the-heck-was-I-thinking, gulping-for-air-with-anxiety, clammy-palms kind of nuts? Yeah, I’m all too familiar with that kind of nuts.
I’m buying a house.
Woah! NUTS! I’m 20, I can’t legally enjoy an alcoholic beverage in this country, but I can sign my life away in a matter of minutes (well, the whole process took about three hours), quite possibly sinking myself into a deep, dark credit hole. I could have purchased 37 cars identical to the one I own now, but then again, where would I park them all? Exactly.
I mean, the deal isn’t closed yet, and I could very well be getting my hopes up by saying this too soon, but hey, I’m freaking excited. And nuts, apparently.
So, I’m joyful, neurotic, confounded, eager. Maybe I’ll stop being capricious when I wake up and realize what I’m getting myself into.
Sure, 20 seems too young to take on such a huge responsibility. I was taking care of my brother and sister at age 12, and they turned out all right, right? I mean, sure, my little brother doesn’t always make the best decisions, but that’s because he doesn’t listen. A house, on the other hand, will. It better.
Also, something new. I got a dog. Not just any dog, a really weird one that humps my other dog (both males) when the other dog isn’t on top of him. His name is Guido and rhymes with my other dog, Alberto.
Man, this is all intense and rushing into my brain at rapid speeds!
More on the house thing as it develops…but sheesh!
I need a new car. The car I have now is perfectly fine, runs excellent for being 10 years old, requires minimal maintenance and besides the huge dent from last year’s accident, it’s cosmetically alright.
The boy is looking for a different job to start this summer, whereas I’ve applied for a position within our district at another school, in another town. We’ll eventually stop carpooling, which sucks as far as gas goes, but it’s truly necessary.
The whole problem is the debate we’re having. He wants a truck. I think a sedan is more practical. He insists that a truck would come in handy when we move big things, like furniture. Sure, I agree, but how often has that happened? Twice, and they were both times we moved to a new house. We’re renting a UHaul next time, so a truck isn’t important, especially when 99% of the time we’ll be using it will be to commute to and from our jobs.
Now he’s saying we should get a cheap $500 car. Sure, if we’re just going in and out of town once in a while with it, that’s a good idea. But this is a car that will see at least 40miles of pavement a day, six days a week. My car has blue book value of $5,000 (dents and all), and I can’t imagine spending less on a “new” car that will be a primary source of transportation for one of us. I can’t justify a $500 car, and then dumping triple that in it when it decides to start smoking. I had a dumpy car, technically two cars stuck together, with parts spraypainted to “match” the rest of the car. Driving around the hilly area I live in killed the transmission in a matter of weeks, and it was barely 12 years-old when I got it.
Meh. Don’t know how to solve this.