Yes, I am still spoiled

I am embarrassed to admit– with all of the complaining and whining I have done over the last year or more regarding our budget that we still have a housekeeper.

However, just today I came to the realization that we should suspend her services.
For the record–we cancelled the gardener, we cancelled most of our cable services and all unneeded phone services.  We stopped eating out with special occasions as the exception.  I sewed a pair of underwear the other day–yes, you read that correctly.  We have energy and water efficient appliances.   We recycle, compost and conserve water and electricity.  We don’t have a heater or AC.  I cancelled my gym membership, several magazine subscriptions, and stopped renewing for friends (sorry!).  I started shopping at second hand stores for toys and kids clothes and accessories.  I accept all hand-me-downs from friends and family, and do my best to pass along lightly used items to those who may need them as well.  
So, keeping our housekeeper didn’t seem like a big deal with all of the other sacrifices I felt I had made.  Plus we LOVE her, and she has been with us for 5 years!!!   …except that Elliott still goes to daycare 2 days a week.  And, as much as I love my free time, I don’t really need THIS much of it.  I am bored.  Today, our housekeeper is scheduled to come (she comes every 2 weeks), but I am finding myself cleaning and doing laundry because I have the time, energy and I AM BORED.
Now, if the stars align in my favor I will be getting a hedge trimmer and maybe even a blower for the BIG day.  Our gardener works through the end of year–and then it is all me with the yard work.  I don’t have any idea what type of job I am taking on.  But, I am certainly not afraid of manual labor (just spiders, oh and any insect).  I will be certain to complain about this soon.  Look for a post about the first week of January.
I will talk with hubby about this, and see what he thinks.  But, if I am going to make ‘a go’ of staying at home–I should do my own cleaning, do you think?
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Ranting ahead

Some things I want to get off my cyber chest are:

I have been suffering from migraines lately. Out of the blue I starting getting vomit inducing, cant see or think straight, certainly cant function headaches. I cant seem to find a cause or a pattern. But, they are occurring at a clip of 4 or so a month. Not enough for meds, but enough to give me pause.

For about 2 years, maybe longer I have been having nightmares. I don’t know what else to call them. While laying in bed on the brink of falling asleep I will experience a feeling of anxiety (although perhaps it is paranoia). It isn’t a physical feeling. It is more like I start thinking about something, most often Lil E. And then I imagine something bad that could or might happen, although highly improbable. Then I get all freaked out and worried about it. Other times, I will start to think about something totally crazy and demented–and it will take over my brain. The only way for me to clear the palate is to open my eyes for a moment. Refocus on reality and then commit to putting it out of my mind. Yuck.

I don’t understand why I weigh 10 pounds less than I did when I got pregnant, yet I still wear the same size clothes. I know that muscle weights more than fat…but come on!

Today was the first day where I thought that maybe I shouldn’t be trying to get pregnant — right now anyway. Life is starting to normalize with Lil E, I am sleeping with regularity and so is he, I feel comfortable in our routine, and I like my job. The economy is stressing me (and most people I know) out, I worry about money, bills, and our household spending. I wonder if we could afford another child. What if our economy keeps getting worse, and money gets tighter. What if I get laid off, or hubby’s company’s starts to tank. My rational mind knows that no matter what we will make it work, but I like to run all of the options through my head just so I feel prepared. Yes, I know that its a false sense of security. But, let me have my fake safety net.

I could stop trying to get pregnant, which is really just a way of thinking about it anyway. And instead, just let nature take its course. If I get pregnant…well, then coolio. If not, I never think about it since it wasn’t something I was trying to do anyway. Kick ass, I love Jedi mind tricks. Especially ones I can play on myself.

Now that I am proof reading this post…It sounds like maybe I am a bit stressed out and that perhaps I am suffering from some anxiety. If I could only get a massage and not feel guilty about spending the money.

Month II

Month two of our new budgeting is much better than month one. It always takes a while though to get into the swing of new things.

And, with the extra cash flow we received last month it certainly helped us to pad our bank account a little bit. We were even able to splurge a bit on a few plants and gardening supplies for our back yard.

Lil E’s 1st birthday party is coming up at the end of this month. I have been planning it in my head for a while and trying to think of creative but inexpensive ideas. After too much research on 1 year old party themes hubby and I just decided on what motif to use. I ordered the party gear on-line-which as all you mom’s know–isn’t cheap! But, I just ordered a couple of things to set the mood.

And in light of our slim budget we decided not to go crazy on a bunch of disposable paper plates and what not. So, I decided to spend the same amount (actually a little less) on plastic plates, cups, bowls and silverware from Ikea. That way, we can reuse them year after year. I don’t know if the plastic vs. paper environmental argument holds up–but the money argument sure does.

Month one part II

The second half of operation budget cut went better than the first. We got some money randomly in the mail. If you are thinking…hmm, that is odd. You can assume that we were thinking the same thing.

Apparently, in 2004 during one of our refi’s we overpaid for our Title Insurance. This was unbenouced to us–and since we don’t like to argue with found money–we swiftly and quickly deposited the money in our account.

Then our tax return was deposited into our account, and just a few days later the economic stimulus money was deposited. WooT!!!

So, this half of the month was much better than the first half. I did manage to deposit all of my paycheck and then some into savings. Plus, we have enough for a little (and I mean little) fun. With my part of the fun–I bought us a colorful outdoor umbrella. And with Jeff’s part of the fun he is moving forward with our first real home improvement project–the front fence.

Money vs. social consciousness

I want to be the type of person who buys only organic fruits, veggies and grains. The mom who provides nutritious snacks with no trans fats, low calories and no HFCS. I want to make my own organic baby food, and cook more meals at home. I want to be environmentally aware of the different types of plastics, know about each ones harmful effects on the substances they come into contact with, and eliminate them from my repertoire of household effects. I want to eat only free range, grain fed, hormone and antibiotic free meat. I want, I want, I want…

If I only had the budget to accommodate all of my desires. Instead I buy organic when I can, shop at Whole Foods when the checking account and time allows for it. I try and eat at home and cook as often as possible. I am making more of a conscious effort to buy foods that are healthier, lower in sugar and fat, and more nutrient dense.

I feel guilty though when I can not shop or eat organic, or be as aware and socially responsible as I would like. I berate myself when I can not live up to my expectations. I often have to remind myself that I cant always get everything I want, and that I often have to make sacrifices and say no.

So, today I am trying to come to terms with the financial limitations of staying home part time with my boy. I get to spend more time with him, I get to be there for more of the firsts. I get to spend evenings laughing and playing with him without feeling rushed. And, after he goes to bed, I get to relax. It is certainly worth the trade off when I sit down and think about it.

bye bye cable

Today, after much discussion and deliberation (planting the seed, watering it, tending the garden, weeding, etc.)…we cancelled the high dollar cable, the DVR, the HD, the premium phone services and are left with BASIC cable, a telephone that rings, and of course the WWW at full power.

Yup folks, just 20 some odd channels to chose from. I can still watch Grey’s Anatomy, and hubby can still watch MLB all is well in the world. And the best part…Lil E will grow up playing outside and not planted in front of the boob tube.

Car woes

Not too much to report. I dropped my car at the VW dealer this AM, to have it inspected for the necessary parts required for the LATCH system install. And then this afternoon they called to say OOPS, it was covered under warranty until January 2007, but VW doesn’t cover the cost any longer…so sorry. And, yeah…its $350. Oh, and BTW…you need XYZ done on your car too. Cost estimate is …wait for it…$1650.00.

I am going stir crazy. I need a car, and I need to get out of the house. Now that I have the all clear to drive, I cant afford to. Hopefully I will be able to lift the car seat out of the car. The nurse came to the house yesterday and Elliott now weighs 9 lbs and 14 ounces. All he wants to do is eat. Is it possible he just wants/likes to suck? Can I give him a pacifier? Or will that cause nipple confusion? He will stay on the boob for an hour each side if I let him…and, boy my nipples are sore!

Last night we were so desperate to get some sleep that I took him out of his sleeper and let him sleep directly in the bed with us. I have been reluctant to bed share because I am a pretty hard sleeper by nature, and initially was taking pain meds post-surgery. But I might have to try it out for a while as I think he slept better and more soundly next to me.