Check and check!

Two more items down, albeit with the same excursion.

Yesterday I took the son to a rec center to meet a new friend.

Way back in August when I was interviewing for my current position, my mom took my son to the park while I was gone all day.  There he met another little boy who was only 4 days younger than him and the same size (my son is fairly little)!  They became immediate playmates and had a great time.

Well, yesterday, they got to see each other again.  My mom was smart enough to get that mother’s phone number (well, they texted pictures to each other, which helped with the exchange).  She passed the number on to me so that I could set up a playdate for my son.

You guys, this was hard!

I am NOT a social person.  I am REALLY not a social person when I don’t know the person.  So meeting up with a complete stranger with the intention of letting our sons play, which meant I had to sit and make conversation with someone I didn’t know for a couple hours?  WAY WAY WAY outside my comfort zone.

Not that I would ever admit that or appear that way if you met me in person.  I was once accused of being able to talk to a tree.  Unfortunately fairly accurate, although whether I WANTED to talk to the tree was a different story.

However, I did it for my kid.  And you know what?  As expected, it really wasn’t that bad.  The boys got along great.  They completely tired each other out.  And we’re already making plans to get together again.

Additionally, I enjoyed talking to his mom.  Although I need to remember my Spanish as she spoke that to her son and I only understood pieces.

Afterwards we went to grab groceries and he got spoiled by a coconut macaroon!

So item #77 (have a mommy-son day) and item #91 (find a friend for son): Check and check!

We did get pictures but none of them were great and they are all on her phone, so instead, here’s my pup who is the best dog ever and who is unfortunately living in Montana right now.  It was his birthday yesterday.  Happy birthday Wazzu!

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Taking care of momma

I have suffered from depression on and off my entire life.  That was part of the reason for the list of 100 things.  A way to actually feel like I’m working towards something, and a quantitative measure of my progression.

I’ve always been happiest if I have a project to work on.  Idleness and me don’t really get along.

But I’ve realized there’s more to it than just that.  In the last 3 years, I’ve had no time to myself.  No time to curl up and read a book, or to take a nap.  No time to do whatever I wanted to do without fear of interruption.

I didn’t realize until recently how much I was missing that, and how important it is to my ability to function.

So while we’re only 19 days in, this year I’m focusing on taking more time for me.  I went to the coffee shop last weekend.  I enjoyed my time so much (and that wasn’t even productive time since for some reason my computer refused to connect to the internet), this week I went again.  I sat and read my book for an hour until the hubby let me know the kids were up from their naps and we had places to be.

Amazingly rejuvenating.  It’s wasn’t much time, but it made a difference.  I was so grumpy before I went, and so much better when I left.

But that wasn’t all I did today to help allay the depression.

When I’m depressed, I hide.  I hide from people, I hide from contact, I hide from civilization.  I can’t necessarily hide from my kids, but really that’s not always a good thing.  When I hide, I hide indoors.  I bury myself from the light of day.

Interpretation: no sunlight.  No vitamin D.  No warmth and UV rays.

Today I went outside.  I played with the puppy.  It was gorgeous outside.  Warm enough that I was in a tank top with my pants rolled up.  It was fantastic.

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The kid came out too.  (And for the record, he puts his own hat on backwards.  Not sure where he got that, but it’s pretty cute.  Even the hubby’s hat isn’t usually backwards.)

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We had a great time.  But I think the puppy had the most fun.

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Who knows, I might even have gotten a little bit of color.  The sun felt amazing, either way.

The other project I did today was something I’ve been toying with for awhile.  As I stated in the very first post on this blog, I wanted to list a reason each day why I was contented with my life, as that’s something I’ve been struggling with.  Especially since the move.  However, I’ve been failing big time with that.  It’s not that I don’t have reasons, although I admit some days I would have to think harder than others.  I just don’t typically think about the fact that I’m supposed to be coming up with things each day, until several days have gone by and then I can’t remember.  (Mommy brain is HORRIBLE!  I keep hoping my short term memory will come back some day, but seeing as the daughter was awake until 11 pm and then up at 4 am, sleep deprivation is hindering that return.)

I’ve been toying with the idea of having a jar where we can write things down as we think of them or as they happen, and put them in the jar so we can then look through all the papers at the end of the year.  This way the hubby can participate too.  And maybe the kids if we like the idea and continue it to the point they’re able to read and write.  I don’t remember where I got the idea, maybe something I saw on Pinterest?  But it stuck with me.

However, I hadn’t actually done anything about the idea.

Today I wandered a shop with my mother and found this:

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It’s perfect.  It’s pretty, it matches my rather eclectic decor.  And it’s some sort of metal so while I don’t plan on putting it within reach of the baby, at least it’s not overly breakable!  Completely necessary in a house full of kids.  Ok, well, only two and a 100 lb dog, but that definitely feels like a houseful sometimes!

First items in the jar:

– Awesome date night with hubby last night (3 out of 52!)- Wii Mariokart (we used to have full-on battles but haven’t even turned it on since the son was born) and gelato!

– Amazing day of sun and coffee and me time today

– And I’m sure if the Seahawks pull off a win, the hubby will be adding that to the jar.  🙂

Dating my husband

There’s a blog post going viral around the internet right now.  Ok, well, there’s tons.  I usually ignore them as much as possible.

But this one caught my attention for some reason.

The post is written by a pastor about how he is married but still dating someone.  Of course, the post title is meant to get you all up in arms about how someone can act like that.  How can someone publicly announce that he/she is married but still going on dates?  Of course, you realize pretty quick (or you figure it out before you even click the link) that of course he’s talking about dating his wife.

This hit home pretty hard for me.  The hubby and I used to go on dates all the time.  He was only home on weekends- we always went out to eat or to the movies.

But that changed about 3.5 years ago when I got pregnant with my son.  Everything screeched to a halt.  We stopped going on dates, we were lucky to even sit on the couch at the same time anymore.  And that hasn’t improved in the time since.

We’re working on it though!  Two dates already this year!  Ok, one was sitting on the couch watching a movie together and the other was the two of us going to dinner with friends.  But whatever.  It was time together, no kids!  It counts!

Now just 50 more to go to fulfill item #36!  Totally doable!  🙂

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(No, this picture wasn’t recent.   It was this summer at Glacier National Park.  Couldn’t find a recent pic of the two of us- obviously need to fix that!)

Trying to let go

I graduated school with a lot of loans.

Like a mortgage worth of loans.

I started out on the 10 year repayment program, and my first job was taken specifically because of loan repayment programs offered by the state.  We were gonna have those loans gone in 4 years!  Then that job turned horrible.  I left after 10 months, walking away from dirt cheap living and a loan repayment offer of $80k from the state.  I extended my loans to the 30 year payment plan because we couldn’t afford the payments while moving otherwise.

Of course, as soon as we got settled, we’d increase the payments again!  Snort, yeah right.

My next job was a vast improvement.  But then we got pregnant and bought a house, and while we always made the payments on time, we never increased the amount.  We did make some progress thanks to a small settlement and some generosity from the parents, and I paid off a chunk with money left over after paying hospital bills this last May, so our payoff date worked it’s way up to 2022.

Over the last 4 years I’ve come up with multiple plans to get the loans paid off early.  (The hubby just sits by and goes along with whatever crazy plan I come up with- including sending him to North Dakota for 6 months when our son was just 6 months old.  That was a disaster.)  Needless to say, while we’ve made steady progress and never missed a payment, none of the plans have worked.  But the one thing that kept me going was the fact that if I failed at every single plan, at least the loans would be paid off in 2022.

However, as much as I liked my last job, it wasn’t good on the family life.  I worked long days, including many overnights.  Hubby was also gone many nights.  Our schedules were totally opposite, our marriage was struggling because we never saw each other (we had one day a week off together that was spent almost entirely running errands), and I never got time with my kids.

We once again decided it was time to make a change.  I took the job in Utah.  We decided that the hubby needed to find a job that would have him at home every night instead of driving long haul, so he found a job at a local ski resort making just enough money to cover insurance and daycare.  Our household income had dropped by about 30% with the move.  Suddenly I found myself struggling to pay even the minimum payments as they’d been set for 4.5 years.  I made them (well, they were on autopay so they made themselves) but then I wondered whether I was going to have enough money to buy food, or pay the rent.  And yet I wasn’t giving up, because at least they were going to get paid off in 2022!

Well, last night I finally had a CTJ with myself, thanks to the help of some friends.

I’m letting go of my goal to pay the loans off as quickly as possible.  I moved to a place I swore I’d never live from the place I wanted to live forever, and left an exciting (although tumultuous) job to do so.  I gave up the lifestyle I wanted for a lifestyle that was better for my family.  Given that I’d already made those hard decisions, why was this one being so difficult?

So last night I applied for a consolidation loan that will decrease my payments while extending the repayment term.  No more being done in 2022.  But an easier time for us financially.

This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in a long time.  I hate having those loans over my head and so every move I’ve made for 5 years has been to get them gone.  I am finally deciding to put my family first.

This will have an impact on my list of 100 things, unfortunately.  Item #17 was to pay off $15,000 in debt, which already would have been a stretch given that we are starting new jobs and having to reestablish our emergency fund.  Now it’s definitely not going to happen, unless I have a huge income change in the next year.

So maybe my brain is continuing to ruminate on potential business ideas that could improve our income in the future.  I haven’t figured out how to shut that down entirely yet.  But I chose family over financial freedom.  At least actions speak louder than thoughts, right?

Another item down!

Today turned out to be a pretty good day!

It started out by being able to sleep in a little bit, which was even better after a full night’s sleep (thanks hubby!).

Then a nice relaxing morning, including baby girl snuggles.

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It’s been a long time since she’s fallen asleep on me other than at bedtime.  This is one of my favorite parts of having babies!  (And she’s never been as much of a snuggler as her brother was when he was little, which just makes it even better!)

The fabulous day continued when I took myself out to lunch at a coffee shop, item #60!  And ok, it was just a coffee shop, but it was a glorious 1.5 hours all to myself where I sat and worked on blog posts for my new blog.  That blog is going to be a lot of work.  So exciting!  And it was fantastic being able to sit and type without constant questions from the 2 year old or constant fending of baby girl hands off my keyboard!

2 items down, 98 to go!

Baby girl is 9 months old!

Way back when we started trying to have kids, I knew with absolutely certainty that I wanted a boy.  In fact, I wanted multiple boys.  You could sort of say I was more ambivalent about having a girl, except that I wasn’t sure it was ambivalence as much as flat-out not wanting one.

I was a total tomboy growing up.  What the hell would I do with a girl?

And you know that being a tomboy, I would end up with the frilliest girliest girl around.  No thank you.

When I was pregnant with my son, I was so convinced he was a girl that I gave myself pep talk after pep talk, to the point I was almost disappointed that he was a boy.  Then I relapsed to a total fear of having a girl the second time around.

So of course, there she was.

Today, nine months into this whole having a girl thing, I can say it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me.

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Maybe it’s just that I’m much more relaxed around babies than I used to be (I had never held an infant before having my son).

But whatever the reason, I have had so much fun with her since day 1.  I love having a daughter, and I can’t wait to see the person she turns into as she grows up.

Happy 9 months, baby girl.

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(And see, I’ve even learned how to dress her like a girl- mostly thanks to my friends who refused to let me dress her like a boy…) 🙂