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Holidays, surgeries, birthdays, babies oh my. this is a long one!

November 17th, 2011 at 05:23 pm

I just realized it's been almost two months since I've posted anything. So much has happened, I don't even know where to begin.

A few highlights and low lights.

A. our baby turned 2 last Saturday. He's turned into such a little man. Talking in full sentences, with cute baby pronunciation. We're in a good place. He and his brother play pretend together, as superheroes, building guns and castles out of blocks. They're at fun ages.

B.On the crazy side, DH's dad has medical drama again. It's a long story, but let's just say he's never taken care of himself, never exercises, and has always been a cure the symptoms, give me a pill kind of guy. It really came back to bite him. He sought out a parkinson's drug to help him with a shaking hand he has had since he had brain surgery a few years back.

Four doctors refused, saying he didn't have parkinsons. One reluctantly said he might and wrote him a prescription. Long story short, the medication caused him to lose an eye, because he took it even though he wasn't supposed to if he had glaucoma. We want to feel bad for him, but it's hard given his attitude toward health. That pretty much derailed our holiday plans and any other plans until the dust settles and we figure out if hubby needs to go up there for moral support or not. (His dad is very woe is me...)

So yeah.

C. Another up side. Thanks to the Ultimate Weight Loss challenge at the gym, I've lost nearly 12 pounds since mid-September. The baby weight is coming off! I plan to keep going until I'm down to pre-wedding weight, which would be another 15-18 pounds.

Oh, and it's bad karma fall for appliances! Hubby broke the glass top of the convection range a few months back and we had to replace that. (Same price to buy new as to repair it. I'll never understand why.)Then last week, the dryer suddenly quit working. At midnight, with two loads os wet laundry waiting in the wings. Ugh. I sold the broken one on craigslist for $40, and headed to the scratch and dent. I ended up buying a ridiculously fancy red Whirlpool Duet for about $400. Reg $899. Now that it's here, it seems too fancy to be stuck in the basement. Oh well. At least it looks good, right?

D. On the downside, I'm feeling really burned out freelance-wise. It's starting to bother me that my profession (journalism) is in such a bad spot, and that the freelance rates have tanked. I make less per story in real and actual dollars than I did 8 years ago. It seems things are just getting worse. And for the price of a couple hundred dollars a week before taxes and the sitter, they expect you to produce copy and ideas as if you were a full-timer with benefits. It's frustrating, and it's starting to feel hopeless. After the sitter and taxes, technically I actually PAY to make money, but I do it to keep my hands in my profession while I'm home with kids. But then I realized ... why? There aren't any full time jobs in journalism waiting for me when the kids go to school all day. Those jobs are gone. All the newspapers are laying people off, not hiring. I feel like my career is on life support, and maybe it's time to pull the plug. I have to fist fight to get paid every month because one of my editors never remembers to send the invoice to payroll. It's ridiculous and humiliating to fight for my peanuts.

I don't know what to do (nursing is not an option, people....). It upsets me when I think how hard I work two write two stories a week for the local paper, how little I get paid, and that there isn't anything better coming along. I feel like a hamster in a wheel-- in purgatory!

Anyway, money is just okay. I did the majority of Xmas shopping for the kids on craigslist, and I got some great stuff for way way way way less than new. A little tikes playkitchen with all new in box food and pots and pans ($50), Playmobil castle, dragons, knights and airplane ($50), and an awesome Cozy coupe that's like a blue station wagon with wood paneling ($10). They're also getting a dress-up box, and I spent a good penny filling it, but I got a lot because I loaded up on costumes and accessories at yard sales and at Halloween clearance sales.

I also told my family that I was no longer doing gifts that don't matter, as in just buying them stuff that's going to gather dust or sit on a shelf or in a cabinet and only be used a few times. I made them think about it, and then give me lists of the things (services, etc.) they thought would most improve their everyday lives, and asked them to make the list without censoring it for prices, etc. I want to make lives better and easier with gifts, not more cluttered! (I've been watching too much "clean house" late at night!)

Well, it turned out to be a useful exercise. From my sisters comments, I realized wireless internet (we'll buy her the wireless router and set it up) and a Roku box for streaming netflix on her tv are the best ways to go. She has hardwired internet that's a real pain to use when she works at home with her work laptop, and she is always jealous of all the streaming movieson netflix. She's still in the DVD plan. She tried once to set all this up on her own, but gave up. DH is a tech geek, so I know we can make it work. Stuff she'll use!

Mom has yet to give me her list, but she does love to take photos, has a crappy old digital camera, and she doesn't know how to download photos to her computer or edit them, so if I can somehow turn that into a gift, that might be something. I'm open to ideas. I'm thinking a new camera might be part of it.

As for hubby, I have no idea. Maybe beer and coffee. drink up honey!

9 Responses to “Holidays, surgeries, birthdays, babies oh my. this is a long one!”

  1. Looking Forward Says:

    A. Aww, what a litte man. Smile
    C. Yay on the weight loss.

    D. I'd be looking for something new too.
    Childcare? Even a part time gig could bring in some cash.
    Staging houses for sale? You did such a nice job on your old house.

  2. ThriftoRama Says:

    You sound like hubby. He thinks I should be a stager. I say you can't pay me enough to put that kind of work into someone else's house! I'm not really cut out for childcare. I'm not good with other peoples' babies.

  3. Miz Pat Says:

    Write a book about Thrift - you are way qualified.

  4. My English Castle Says:

    Nice to hear from you again. I have Journalism/Mass Comm majors in my Advanced Writing classes, and I hate to think about them on the job market. Marketing or promotional writing?

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    Glad to hear from you...and wish you the best in figuring out your next income producing job!

  6. ThriftoRama Says:

    My friend makes a decent living doing technical and corporate writing, but I wouldn't even know where to start to find those jobs.

  7. dmontngrey Says:

    MY hubby would LOVE beer and coffee as a gift! Big Grin In fact, I gave him coffee for our anniversary. Ok, so I went overboard and got him a Keurig brewer and $500 worth of free-after-rewards k-cups. If it's something he likes, why not?

  8. Jerry Says:

    I can't believe that situation with your FIL, and I also can't believe that a 5th doctor would write a prescription for that medication for someone who 1) doesn't have PD, and 2) HAS glaucoma! FIL only made matters worse, though, and it leads to a question about how can the medical establishment/insurance companies/other organizations protect people from themselves, in some cases? Wow.
    Jerry

  9. ThriftoRama Says:

    I know, Jerry. The FIL does have a shaking hand, which is one of 10 symptoms used to diagnose parkinsons. And, there is no definitive test for it, so there really is no way to tell for sure. It's a mess, I know. My FIL is a treat the symptoms, get every test possible, scan everything guy. He's terrified or aging and dying. It's gotten very sad and frustrating as he's gotten older.

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