It's been awhile. Work and adjusting to being a full time working mommy has been a struggle. Every morning up at 5:45am to get bottles together, dogs fed, lunch packed, and boobs pumped. Somehow in the tirade I produce each and every weekday morning, I'm able to get to work on time with a few mins to spare. I am fortunate though that my hubby who doesn't have to be at work a whole 30 mins later than me, always gets up and gets around with me and we all leave at the same time and he drops off the little one and gets to work 15-30 mins early every morning....just so I can have some sanity and control in my life as to having everyone up and out at the same time. I do love him greatly for that and he doesn't know how much I appreciate it.
It's the holiday time and I've been busy trying to find good deals for the family and the additional foster and angel kids I said I would buy for at Christmas. All at the same time, we are living frugally to pay off our last debt (my monster student debt) and our house. It does feel good that we accomplished so much this year. Once we have everything paid off I will feel so much better and feel more like I can really 'give' myself out to a career and to others. Right now I feel like I am confined to constantly think $, how to save it, how to spend (and not spend it), and how to use it wisely.
Little one is over 5 months now and has been growing in leaps and bounds. We're still breastfeeding which I'm very proud of myself for and he can hold his own bottle (which is pretty neat to us). He really is a happy baby and I love each and every minute of it. When I think about all the foster kids my agency alone is buying for this christmas, it makes me want to cry. So many little babies and youngsters who have no idea really what is going on in this world and what they don't have in terms of love and family. I feel for these children and all children. I really think we need to do more as a nation to help and protect the children instead of trying to only help ourselves. I would gladly pay higher taxes if that meant protection, safety, and all good things for children. But I also know just as many who would not, saying it's up to parents to do that.
It's so hard to understand how people can justify a child not having access to health care or food, yet we adults do, each and every day. These people have probably never went without food for a night, never been on food stamps, never had to think about where the next meal is coming from, and probably never wore 'off brand' clothing. For example, taxes, they say, will increase in the forms of the health care bill going around....yes but if you read the fine print it is only for families who are already making a very nice salary ($200,000K+ I believe). However we are led to believe that the everyday man will have to pay an increase in taxes for this. I don't know about you, but I don't have a whole lot of friends who make that much a year....I don't even know if I know personally of people who make that. But you can be well assured, those people, the same ones saying that we all will pay, are the ones who are being targeted and thus don't want to pay more than need be b/c they can afford health insurance and all the other needs/wants that come along in life. Lucky them eh?
Anyways, /rant....it's been on my mind and it just doesn't make sense in my mind how people (moms, grandmothers, dads) can say 'I shouldn't have to pay for others' and the like. Well I shouldn't have to pay for your child's public education, but I do. I shouldn't have to pay for your access to a library full of books free to check out, but I do. We shouldn't all need to pay for civil servants like police and firefighters, but we do. We certainly shouldn't have to pay for our political leaders going to conferences and having nice trips to other counties and the tropical areas, but we do. For once, please take the me out of the equation and think about 'us' as a nation, as a human, as a mom/dad/child themselves.
It's not a political issue, it's a moral issue. If the majority of this country is to believe 'treat others as you would want to be treated' does this not apply to a basic human right to health?
So since I haven't posted really any since I started back full time at work, I figured I had a few precious mins on a Sunday morning and would update our progress.
So remember these pesky loans and debts back in August? Loan 1: $5,800 : 15% interest (UGHH!!!) Student Loan 1: $4,400 : 6-8% variable interest Student Loan 2: ~$20,000 : 5.625% Student Loan 3: $1,500 : 5% Sears: $700 : 0% till May
Well here's what has happened: Loan 1: PAID OFF Student Loan 1: PAID OFF Student Loan 2: Next on list to be paid...a work in progress: ~$20,000 : 5.625% Student Loan 3: PAID OFF Sears: $430 : 0% till May (this will be paid off by May, but I just do 'monthly' payments)
YAY FOR US! Our goals for 2009 have came and gone. We have managed to pay off about $20K in debt in the past year, along with buying a 'new' (aka newer model car) paid in full, sold the mustang, and still been able to buy things we wanted (but keeping in mind frugality).
Our goals for 2010 are: Student Loan: $20K (hopefully completely pay off, or knock out a good portion)
Mortgage: We've been doing an extra $100/month to knock off 6 yrs of it, but I'm going to do an extra $150/month to knock off more. We will bump up the Mortgage with the amount we are paying off towards the student loan so we will have this mortgage paid off in less than 10 yrs and we are hoping closer to 6 years. (to note: mortgage started in 2008)
Life Insurance: I am upping my life insurance policy at work for myself $120K, my spouse $20K, and little one $5K. This is as much as I can for my spouse and little one at work and it comes as a combined thing. And it's pretty cheap too. For one year it's only an extra $120 for all of this. My goal is to get term and whole life insurance policies for both me and my hubby. We just need this for piece of mind and to take care of little one if ever anything bad were to happen.
Roth IRA's: Our goal is to open up Roth IRA's for the both of us to at least start saving some for retirement and little one's or (ones) college fund(s). This is a better option for us instead of 529's and Coverdell b/c if the little ones didn't want to go to a state school or even to college, we still have money in retirement for us. Plus we don't want their financial aid impacted b/c of $ we've saved for them.
Vacations (one big and one small every year): This is something important to us but prolly a luxury or not needed for a lot of people trying to cut their debts out. For us, we find it extremely important for a couple of reasons. 1: You only live once. 2: Money is just money. It's not worth it to work our butts off and not be able to get some good family memories in. 3: We didn't get to travel as much as we would of liked when we were kids and we want our kids to experience the world and everything with it. We've already started making lists of where we want to go and at what ages with our little one. Also, saving for these vacations will put us a couple years behind paying off our house. And that is okay with us now. We will get it paid off. But if we wait until we pay it off to go on vacation, you just never know. Someone might get really ill. It might become that much more expensive.
So here's our semi-list for now of what we've came up with vacation wise (and these are mostly the 'big' ones for each year: 2010: Jamaica/Hawaii - just for the hubby and I 2011: San Antonio - Sea World and maybe down to the Gulf and neat zoos and animal like stuff (little one will be 2 and we think seeing animals he'll be able to enjoy and understand) 2012: Another thing for just hubby and I? 2013: One of the BIG DISNEYWORLD vacations :) (we plan to do this every 4 years, so every child will have an experience, plus if little one forgets at 4, he'll remember at 8 and 12 ;)
Now we've come up with places, but not yet tied down which years are best: Washington DC/Virginia Beach NYC Disneyworld (every 4 years) Seattle Vermont or Colorado (skiing) Hawaii San Francisco/Napa Yosemite Park
We hope to travel across seas when he gets a little older prolly like 8+yrs.
We've done a lot though in the past couple months to pay off debt. It's pretty nice only having 1 student loan and a mortgage left.
Okay, okay so a new Beco baby carrier isn't exactly saving money...however I think of it as an investment. B/c I will use it with all my kids (when the time comes) and that I really enjoy having my LO close to me and I think it's a good thing to carry your LO's. Here is my new carrier just ordered: https://www.sproutsoup.com/product.php?productid=326&cat=61&page=1
I wanted a gender neutral print (just in case in the future for any siblings of his). I'm very excited about it!!! It'll be easier when we go places to carry him and have the option instead of having a stroller.
Right now LO is sleeping and I'm needing to do some dishes and paperwork. I start back to work next week and I still have a good number of things to do around the house b/c I won't have much time when work starts. My evenings will be spent with the LO and hopefully not to many of those evenings will I be crying for having not been with him all day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that something will be mentioned at work about bringing him up there certain days. If so, I'm ALL for it. He sleeps mostly anyways, and I work fast and get stuff done. So who knows. One can always dream...
I really need to clean and work on my sewing projects. I already made the wraps, which are much better than the one I bought for 10 times the price of the ones I made.
LO has his first set of vaccines today. We are going against the norm and are having them spread out some so he doesn't have more than 2 shots at a time. He did good today though. He just got 2 shots and oral medicine. He screamed at the shots but as soon as they were over I gave him a bottle of breastmilk and that helped him return back to his normal happy self.
We did go by to see if Maurices had any shirts marked down for returning back to work after maternity leave, but alas I still will not pay $10-11 a shirt, when I know it was 75% off a few weeks ago and I got a couple of shirts for $3 each.
I've been reading up more on babywearing and will hopefully get to make 2 more wraps today with the fabric I bought and put the LO in it and see what he thinks. I will have to take a pic and post. I feel in love with it. :)
My hubby got the Sims game (I think 3?) and made our little family. Everything is pretty much like it is in real life and that's kinda weird. Even our ambitions and goals and the way we look. I've yet to play it any (maybe I might now since I'm just surfing the net and nursing). I've been finally able to pretty much master nursing while at the computer thanks to a boppy and a very hungry (yet always falling asleep) baby.