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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, from our family to yours!!!

Stationery card
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Friday, September 7, 2012

A Random Vent

Feeling anxious tonight and just need to vent/list make a little bit. So much I feel I need to do but I'm so exhausted by the time I get home from work and with very few days off I am overwhelmed. My list continues to grow and yet I never seem to truly mark things off the list. The more I/we clean the dirtier the house seems to get---or maybe its just that it get dirtier quicker. Sigh. With a dog, three cats, and the two of us the dust and critter hair and dirt is never-ending.  I know its just "stuff" and its the pregnancy hormones, my OCD, and the nesting all kicking in at the same time, but I truly cannot stand to be so disorganized!! I am quickly getting to a point in my life where clutter is not welcome anymore. I still have a terrible time getting rid of things but little by little clutter is working it's way OUT!  (Disclaimer....just because it says "I" does not mean I am not including my husband. He is a part of my "I".)    

These are the things I need/want that I feel will make this process go a little faster. I need a sewing machine. Period. That will help with a lot. I need a media cabinet for DVD's/CD's/VHS (if they will fit), and hubby's games. I need a place for the extra electronic stuff we don't use on a daily basis but that's not very pretty to look at it. I need a cabinet of sorts to house the fragile items. I will find one. Sooner than later I hope. Wish I had a place to unpack the fragile boxes to evaluate how much space I think I will need. I need some way to organize the toys, coloring books, clothes, and all else that comes with two little girls (and another on the way). I need shelves for the wall in the kitchen and the bedroom. I need some command hooks to put in the storage room for bags and coats and such. I need monkey hooks or the like for hanging the rest of the pictures/wall hangings. I need to figure out a better paper organizing system and get rid of more paper-stuff we don't need to hang on to. I need to find a way to menu plan so that maybe we eat better and don't have the constant question of "what's for dinner?". 

I need to find a way to get more income coming into our house so that we can pay off this stinking debt that is hanging over our heads and sitting on my shoulders and weighing me down. That would be a huge thing!! Not including my student loans I have probably $6000 hanging over my head.....not a lot to some people but too much for someone who doesn't make much and has many other things she'd like to do with her life.  I love the organizing blogs I read and have gathered a bunch of great ideas but getting started is the hardest part. Trying not to spend a lot of money to do so is also a challenge.  

Sigh. Well, I've vented a bit and now I need to go try to sleep as I work early in the morning. Maybe tomorrow will have a bit of productivity in it for me. I sure hope so. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Must Do!

Just a short blog...more for my sake than yours much to do and time keeps getting away from me! Usually if I write it down it gets done quicker!!

  • I need to seriously sit down and research pediatricians for this baby girl!!
  • I need to rewrite my resume cover letter and start applying for jobs at Christian day-cares. If I have to work I want to be in a Christian setting and if I have to put my baby in daycare I want it to be where I'm at if at all possible. 
  • I need to research daycare centers. 
  • I need to blog..both on my Chaos blog and on this one here!
  • Hubby and I need to put together the bunk beds in the girls' room so we can figure out how much room is leftover for baby stuff!! Plus it needs to be reorganized!
  • I need to pick up the pace a bit on the blanket I'm crocheting for Kensei!
  • Critter nails need to be trimmed & monthly meds need to be given!!!!
  • Oil change needs to happen for at least one car before our trip home!!
  • I seriously need a good manicure for my terribly destroyed nails!
  • I'm waiting on my 3 ring binders to arrive so I can redo at least one scrapbook and hopefully get it put on a shelf instead of sitting in a basket!
  • Still working on cleaning out FB friends, blocking a few, and creating lists to get junk out of my newsfeed!! Then I just have to remember to go look at those lists LOL!!
  • Same with Pinterest. I've been creating new boards and organizing those and deleting pins I don't want/don't like/links don't work, etc!
  • I need to keep writing for my childrens books and look into some local writing classes (for me) and art classes (for hubby). 
So lots to do and I'm feeling a panic attack coming on with the whirlwind of this list, plus the whirlwind of hours I'm working between now and the next two weeks!! At least at the end of those two weeks we get to go home for a mini vacation and get to see family and I get to get my hair cut!! :) 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pregnancy Memories

I'm going to try to recount 5.5 months of pregnancy here so that we can remember the milestones we have crossed with our sweet baby girl!!

Back in the beginning of March I took a home test because I had been nothing but exhausted for weeks! I was chalking it up to high stress and not enough sleep, but a friend recommended I test just in case. That test came back negative. So I was back to believing it was from stress and no sleep.

First part of April I started to feel queasy every single day. Several times I just thought I was getting sick and the rest I again chalked it up to extreme stress. I wasn't losing weight, I wasn't hanging over the toilet, I just felt sick all the time. As long as I ate something I was okay, so I was eating constantly.

I'm not sure when it started but sometime between April and May I started waking up around 4am every single day having to use the bathroom. It was really starting to get old and messing up what little sleep I was getting. Finally, on a Saturday morning, May 19, I had had enough and decided to take another test just to let myself rest easy that we weren't pregnant. Well, I took that test and a few minutes later I was shocked to see that plus sign. No way, I thought. Really? Us? Now? Oh my goodness, what were we going to do? I went back to bed but laid awake for the next several hours contemplating how to tell my sweet hubby that we were going to be parents.

First plan was to wait til his birthday, which was a week away, and make a "baby" gift for him to open (a bottle, a pacifier, a bib, or the like). If you know me, you know I can't keep a secret for very long from people I love, so while we were at Target that day I bought a blank card that said Congratulations on the front of it. When we got home I secured the pregnancy test inside the card (along with the second test I took "just to be sure") and brought it downstairs with me. After dinner, I handed it to him and said, Happy Early Birthday. I think he was really shocked because he asked me if I was joking!! I wrote inside, "...not what you were expecting, was it?" As it slowly sank in what I was telling him, we kinda stared at each other in shock!!

I made an appointment with the health department (since we have no insurance and no money) for a pregnancy test to confirm and also to sign up for WIC/SNAPS programs. After a very long process of waiting, they finally called me back into the nurses office with the results. Yes, we were very pregnant!! LOL! I went over to DSS to start the Medicaid process so I could get a doctors appointment set up for an ultrasound and prenatal care.

That night we called my parents and told them. I'm not sure who was most excited!! Over the next week I called family and close friends and began to share the news!! We were so excited even as we were still in shock! I began searching for a doctor who would accept Medicaid new patients and finally found one, but had to wait til the Medicaid was officially processed. So nearly a month after finding out I was prego, I finally got a doctors appointment on June 14th.

Somehow we agreed on a nickname for her. Phillip had drawn a really cute baby turtle scene and as soon as I saw it I was like, "Turtle!" and it kinda stuck. To further make it stick, Phillip bought me/her a cute TY turtle and I found my book, "One Tiny Turtle" . I also found my book, "The Puffalumps Pillow Poems" , both books I had had as a child.

Going into the appointment I was incredibly nervous because I had no idea what to expect. It was exciting to see the baby on the ultrasound and I remember laying there trying to figure out what I was seeing! The nurse asked us if we wanted to know the sex and we of course said yes! (Although by now we had agreed that it was most likely a girl!) The nurse confirmed that it was a girl and that I was 15 weeks and 6 day away from FOUR months!! Meaning I had basically finished up my whole first trimester. The rest of the appointment is mostly a blur as it seems that there was a lot of information to remember and a lot going on!!

The nurse had given us several ultrasound pictures and we stopped at Target right after the appointment and picked up a small, pink photo album to put them in! Her Daddy picked out her first blanket, complete with a cute little monkey attached, and together we picked out matching onesies for her. (The week before this I had stopped at a consignment sale and picked up several pooh bear onesies!)

That weekend we drove to VA to pick up our girls for the week. On the way home when we stopped for lunch, we told the girls they were going to have a baby sister!! I'm not sure if they completely got it or not but I can't wait to get a picture of all three of our girls together!!

We have been busy making our baby registry, picking out a name, planning her nursery (finally decided on a theme!!), and I've been doing a lot of research into breastfeeding, birth, baby gear, etc!! We do plan to breastfeed as long as we possibly can--no formula here I hope!! I do plan to have as natural of a birth as induction, no c-section, no epidurals, etc! People think I'm crazy but thanks to a few well educated friends who believe in more than the "traditional hospital birth", I've learned the CONS of these things and do not want to expose myself or my baby to them if they are not needed. Medicaid doesn't cover a home birth so we will be going to the local hospital but I intend to have a birth plan written up and ready to go!!

My Mom and sister are planning my baby shower back home and I cannot wait! Not only for the shower but also to see all my friends!! I cannot wait to see them and I'm excited about what "Turtle" may receive!!

In the meantime, it seems that many of my friends are pregnant too and most are due around the same time or within a few months! There will be lots of babies on facebook this winter!! :)

Tonight, Phillip got to feel her kick/punch when he laid his head on my belly!! It was an awesome feeling! I've been feeling her flutter around for probably about two weeks now, but this was the first time she was active for Daddy!!!

Needless to say we are super excited about our baby girl!! I cannot wait to meet her around the end of November, first of December. She will come when she's ready and who knows? She may just share a birthday with her Grandpa (Dec 7th). Her "official" due date is November 30, but since that is technically only 38 weeks and pregnancies are actually 40 weeks (10 months), I expect her to be an early December baby. She already has a mind of her own, though, so whenever she decides to come out into this crazy world, we will be waiting!!

Here are some ultrasounds pics from 16 weeks and a picture of her nursery theme!!
Baby King
Baby Turtle King

It's a Girl!!

Pink Monkeys for her Nursery

Monday, July 16, 2012

Honest & Raw Thoughts

After a conversation with my hubby today, I am revisiting couponing, revamping MK, and searching for any way to make a dollar/save a dollar in the next 5 months. We have a ton of debt to pay off, a baby on the way, and our poor pantry needs to be desperately stocked!! We have discussed that unless the job market improves significantly by Christmas, it probably will not make much sense for me to go back to work after baby is born....any kind of childcare is amazingly expensive and would probably be more than my check is in a month. Plus I don't value putting my child in daycare. Of course, a lot has to happen between now and of us has to work to pay bills at least!!
 With hope and a prayer, hubby will land this job at the local gun shop to work part time while in school, full time when not. Another hope and prayer is I will land this fantabulous part time job I interviewed for (which has a high possibility of becoming full time with good pay). Our housing allowance will take care of rent and my checks b/t now and then will help with the rest. We've cut our cable TV, are looking at different phone plans, have sold all that is able to be, don't go to the movies, I've stopped my manicures, & we try not to eat out too much (hard habit to break!!). I take the interstate to work to hopefully save on gas & try to combine all shopping into one round trip. We have been shopping Bilo to get fuel perks, we're on WIC & SNAP benefits, I'm on medicare to pay for all the doctor related baby stuff, and we're brainstorming any other ways to save money/increase income in this dreary, high unemployment area.
When this degree is finished, we are looking forward to moving to a smaller city, where the cost of living might not be so high!! We both thought moving to Charlotte would be a great step in the right direction for our family to get back on our feet. Big city surely would have lots of jobs.....not. Turns out moving to Charlotte has only put us farther into debt and held us back from where we could possibly be. However, we have met some good friends whom otherwise we would have never known, and we have been learning to depend on each other, since each other is all we have up here. Hind-sight's 20/20, but had we known, we would have stayed put in Charleston for a little bit longer...he would have gone to TTC & I would have found a job somewhere. We cannot undo what we have done, so we continue to push forward!
We've still got a long way to go and if a few certain things don't hurry up and happen, I'm not sure what we are going to do. BUT .... I have excelled at couponing in the past, I have built my MK business in the past and we can do it again. We can be better at how our money is spent and we can continue to find any way to increase our household income. We can get off our lazy duff's and find a church to belong to. It has been way too long since we've been in church and I'm certain that is a huge part of the issue.
I want to be debt free! I want to have a fully stocked kitchen again! I don't want to have to worry about which bills get paid, do groceries get bought, or do we buy critter food or our food? We essentially have 3 children to support (2 from his first marriage and our 1st), and we have to find a way to support ourselves before that can happen. 
It has been so frustrating not being able to make ends meet..not just for me but for my husband also. We've basically been a one car family since the spring when our/my Xterra decided to start acting up. She is 10 years old almost, but it always happens when I don't have the funds to fix it! Right now, we think she might need an alternator and thankfully someone has helped us out a little bit, but if that isn't the issue, then what?? We can't afford a new/used vehicle right now and the xterra isn't worth anything to trade it in. So we shall see.
It has also been incredibly frustrating trying to get our house organized and not having the funds to buy simple things to make that happen. And, knowing we have a baby on the way and not able to start buying baby things is even worse!!! 
I say all this to encourage ourselves & you to keep our heads up! I have honestly been incredibly negative the last few months (not like me) and it has worn me down and out. Owing tons of money to lots of people/companies & not able to pay all the monthly bills, kills both of us and I've allowed that to drag me down, down, down. 
So here we are. Five months pregnant, five months to go. Two weeks until school starts and still waiting on VA paperwork. One car family when we really need two. Outstanding debt every which way and not a dime to put towards it. Part time income that doesn't even begin to cover rent for a month. Something has to give and it has to give soon. Over a year of this is enough. Enough is enough. 
We will survive this. We will march through this and come out with soaring colors on the other side. There has to be a silver lining somewhere, a rainbow behind the clouds. Things have to get better! 
And here is to that happening. Here is to the victory that awaits. Here is to the light at the end of the tunnel. Here is to us...working to make a better life for ourselves and our children. 
Psalms 18:19.......He delivered me because He delighted in me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Random Want-To-Do List for Summer

So here's my random want to do list for summer 2012:

Clean up my all the cleanups/updates/virus scans/etc & uninstall anything that isn't being used or pertinent to my computer.

Organize all my photos and files on my computer & backup hard drive. Delete what I don't need/use and back up the whole thing when I'm done.

Upload pictures to snapfish or shutterfly so I can make them into scrapbooks/albums and get them printed quickly as specials come my way.

Organize passwords/log-ins and delete accounts of things I no longer use/have a need for.

Organize all my iTunes music/music on my computer/music on CD's etc so I can find what I'm looking for, delete songs I don't like/have multiples of, and create new, organized playlists.

Clean up and clean out ALL my email addresses and delete the OLD ones!! Unsubscribe from all the junk I get in my folders and organize the folders.
(Wow, a lot of PC housekeeping in my future!!)

Scan into my computer (and organize) all the papers in the scan pile.

Update savings list from couponing.

Make keeping the checkbook/bank account balanced a high priority (starting now). Keep a calender current for bills due, etc.

Research a way to either convert VHS to DVD or replace most of the VHS movies.

Research a way to better store DVD & CD's (music and computer) without taking up so much space.

Organize and label all electronic cords, parts, etc!!

Clean out and organize all scrap book/craft stuff.

Find a sewing machine. Cut "quilt" pieces. Make said quilt.

Have $1000 sales in Mary Kay!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rambles of 2012

I'm sitting here in my rocker on the front porch of our townhouse listening to the rain fall. There's a slight breeze blowing and oh, how it feels delightful. I haven't done this in a very long time and I gaze out across the city lights I realize I need to this more often. So relaxing.

I haven't blogged in a really long time and so much has happened since Lilly got hurt. She is completely healed now and running the show like the queen she that she is. Her eye never returned to normal and her little tongue sticks out a bit but other than that she came through with flying colors. Her bill on the other hand...yeah lets just say it will be a long time before that is paid off.

The last few months have been incredibly frustrating and very stressful. The biggest issue over everything else is, of course, finances. I truly believed we'd be back on our feet by now, but yet we're still struggling to make ends meet. It seems like the harder we try the farther behind we fall. I'm exhausted most of the time and still have school work to do, a house to clean, errands to run, bills to pay. It never ends. Work has been probably the best job I've had in a long time--I love the people I work with!! It's a great place to be and for the most part everyone works great as a team.

We had four days to move out of our apartment when we finally found a place we could afford that would accept our pets and our crappy credit. Took 3 of those 4 days to move everything because for the most part we were doing it ourselves...thankfully we had a few people help us though. Finally we were moved in and the keys to the old place turned in! I love our new place--its a 2 story townhouse with hardwood floors downstairs, stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, front loader washer/dryer, tile in the bathroom, granite countertops, 2 bed, 1.5 bath, with a little patio out back. It's small but we're making it work. I'm getting rid of a lot of stuff and trying to make a home for everything else. We still need a TV stand and some bookcases, and either two more dining chairs or some bar stools. A dresser & bed for the girls are in the works and hopefully we'll have that taken care of soon. We've decided to turn the 2nd bedroom into an office that can double as a guest room & the girls' room.

I'm hoping to start work with a caterer as their marketing associate. It won't probably pay much to start but hopefully it will be consistent & they will build quickly.  I've been trying to get back on track with  Mary Kay too but it's been hard starting over in a new city where I don't know very  many people. And since I work the close shift I don't have an evening free to go to the meetings up here.

The wedding of course is still set for June 9. We're not going to do much for it....honestly considering literally just saying "I do" without the people, cake, photographer, etc. I really do want it to be nice of course but there isn't a whole lot of wiggle room and we still have to buy the rings and the dress and such. Sigh. It'll all work out.

More soon...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Late Praise

**Obviously, this is a VERY old post-in-the-making that I apparently forgot to finish!! **

WOW has God been amazing in my life or what!?! seems like every time i turn around he has something new in store for me! you know i went through hell for a couple years and truly wondered if i would ever see the light at the end of the tunnel! and i tell you what it seems that as soon as the judge declared me legally divorced, the heavens opened and have poured down on me continuously!

It's been a rough week! I think the weather has contributed a lot to my sour mood and not feeling well. I am dealing with some sort of allergy or severe dry skin on my eyes and that makes it hard to get through the day!! 
School is back in session! I got both my books for $70 vs over $100 each brand new or used from the school bookstore. !!! I'm only taking Eng and Hist this semester, in hopes that dropping to two classes will help me bring up my GPA again and be able to keep up with studies! The plan is to take math in the Maymester & a science this summer. Not that i really want to be in school for 12 mo out of the year but I'm determined to finish sooner rather than later and this is the only way to do it!
January brings terrible budgeting issues! I went way over budget in Dec -- mostly needless spending! I am trying to catch back up and get back on track! Thankfully my current bills are not too far behind, although I do have some outstanding bills from the past that need to be paid (lawyer, sewer from house, etc).!!

WOW!! What a journey of the last few weeks! I was reunited with an old friend from high school. One that I hadn't seen or heard from in ten years. Little did I know what was in store for us ... we met up for dinner one night and spent a few hours talking ... when he hugged me good bye--neither of us wanted to let go ... it was like everything clicked into place with that one hug .. like it was always meant to be .. yet I still resisted him and tried really hard not to let a relationship form. He was persistent though and kept on gently making me fall for him :) So now we've been dating for about 2-3 weeks and its like it was always meant to be!