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Archive for April, 2010

So happy! I can't believe it!

April 23rd, 2010 at 08:19 pm

I FINALLY started my novel. I am 7000 words in and it's going just fine. Now I am kicking myself for waiting so long to do this. Maybe something about turning 35 flipped on the now or never switch.

It's been on my to-do list for a long time, and considering I'm a journalist and I write for a living, you'd think it would have been easy for me to do. But, there is always a reason not to. It's now or never.

I am tired, though. I stay up late until 1 or so writing, because that's the only time I get after kids are in bed and my "real for money" work is done.

I'm doing well on other goals as well. We've almost met saving for the year, though that may change as we are getting quotes for a new patio in back and a swingset for the boys. I managed to put something in my IRA and more into the boys' college funds.

Still life with banana bread

April 8th, 2010 at 03:47 pm

It's pouring down rain outside. At first I was sad, because it means Bean can't play outside. But, with both babies napping and me stirring away at pots in the kitchen, it's actually kind of relaxing and nice.

I just turned 6 basically dead mushy bananas into two loaves of banana bread. My mom gave me some leftover Easter ham, so I made a big pot of red beans yesterday (the New Orleans classic, it takes at least 4 hours to cook and is worth every minute.) I'm making the rice to go with it right now.

I had a "duh" moment today. I've been trying to compost our non-meat leftovers, and I always have too much to go into the bin. It just occurred to me that I could put it in the weekly municipal yard waste pick-up. All of that is composted on a grand scale, so what will it hurt if I throw my broccoli stems out there? Nothing! And, it will save me a lot of heartache. I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

On a financial front, things are OK. Freelance is steady and I'm not making big bucks. (Only about $600-$700 a month before taxes) But, I am pretty happy to have that regular check coming every month and to keep my hands in the profession even with two babies.

I am really lucky I have a job I can do at home and at odd hours, because any other kind of work would be impossible with two kids under 2.

In this economy, and with journalism a declining field, I'm happy to have any work at all.

Now that we've paid for the kitchen renovation and gotten the tax refunds, we are back on track with saving regularly out of each paycheck. January and February are always hard months for us, because the big bills like insurance and property tax are due. We don't usually catch up until around April, so we are right on track.

Our next big house project is extending the patio along the back of the house. This weekend, my jobs are to identify a handful of contractors to give us quotes and to file our city income taxes and my quarterly self-employed tax forms. Woo-hoo!

Bean is also having his baby friends over for a birthday barbecue on Sunday, so I will need to clean up and pretend for an afternoon that we don't live in a house filled from floor to ceiling with baby toys.

In the meantime, honey and I have a movie date tonight. If you can call popping popcorn and netflix in the basement a date. I'll take what I can get!

The craziness never really stops

April 5th, 2010 at 03:02 am

This past week has been non-stop craziness.
First, the good news. I managed to put $400 into savings and $1000 into each of the babies' college fund. Yay!

Now the craziness.

This was the week I had my kitchen counters, sink and cooktop ripped out and replaced. So, two days without a fully functioning kitchen and two boys under 2. That was hard, and much to my chagrin, $1200 over budget.

As if that wasn't bad enough...

I had the ducks in a row for my weekly freelance gig and the whole thing fell apart, the same day I had no kitchen. So, I went to my three back up plans, and they all fell apart too. At the end of the day, with deadline looming, it looked like I'd really have nothing. Thankfully, something came together and I was able to write something fairly good and interesting to hand to my editor. It was hard, though.

Then, after I had done some interviews for my project, I lost them all because my laptop died. Kaput. After only 2 years. Hubby, the professional computer geek, talked me into buying a new one (a Dell) that costs twice as much as the one I could buy on sale from Best Buy. I'm not out $954, after tax and shipping. I thought hard about this one. Mine lasted 2 years, his (A Dell) has lasted 8 and is still working fine. I didn't want to be penny-wise, pound foolish if you get my drift. I took the money out of my freelance account, as I usually use it only for work.

As if all of this wasn't bad enough, Hubby and I got into a bad, not-talking for three days fight on Wednesday because we are both feeling stressed out and unappreciated and have little time for ourselves or each other due to children. Thankfully, that was resolved yesterday.

Oh, and our son's 2nd b-day was Thursday, in the middle of all of this. He had a friend come play in the sand box and some cupcakes and told me he had a fun birthday, so it doesn't look like any of this impacted him.

I really hope this week goes more smoothly, especially with work and the hubby. I could use a nice, easy low-key week. Well, as much of that as you can have with a 2-year old and a 4 month old.