28 11 / 2013
It’s amazing how downsizing solved a number of our problems and helped other things work themselves out.
Our grocery budget is on point. $70 every two weeks is proving to be enough. We have left overs and my meal planning looks like it’s actually doable and that it will work out as planned because I don’t have so many hands taking from the saved pile. I have just enough space that I can’t overdo it which will lead to pantry challenges (using everything you have before adding more). We are stocked right now with the addition of more food this morning. Thanksgiving leftovers will take up the small bits of space we have left. A friend is planning to give me a turkey again this year. If I don’t get that in the crockpot and separated, it will surely kill my fridge space before Thursday.
My future plan of not using a microwave became unavoidable when we moved in because we didn’t have one and yet it’s growing on me. I’m thinking ahead, baking more, planning more. We’ll see if I cave later since it’s only been… since the 7th or so that we’ve been here but I’m thinking I can do without a microwave for leftovers and quick meals. Just have to time our meals better.
Another goal was less tv. We don’t have cable or a converter box so no real tv for us. I have Netflix but it’s not constantly on. In a day, we watch far less than I would be up for otherwise which has lead me to contemplate keeping Netflix, possibly getting back with Hulu and keeping DVDs and that’s it for us. Once we’re a bit more settled in, I’ll get his school schedule and expand it and we won’t need much tv anyway apart from documentaries and a morning cartoon or two. I admit, I get bored. I’m used to TV whenever I want it but I got the idea to treat our days like a staycation so I have some planning to do there. Just a bit more action needed and we surely won’t miss the tv.
Work is streamlined. I get up at 2ish and get us ready to head out without too much dragging. On the days he goes with me, we’re rocking. He sleeps perfectly fine while I work and has yet to complain. On the days he’s with my sister, we almost have a smooth transition. I think it helps to live 10 minutes further from work and away from family. I can’t be as lazy. Because of that, I’m earlier with everything and getting home in good time.
It takes me around 20 or 30 minutes to clean up now and that includes vacuuming the living room/dining room, doing the few dishes and wiping down and mopping the kitchen and the bathroom. Amazing. In my house it takes at least a half hour per room. I used to set a timer for 20 minutes per room to deep clean and wouldn’t make it most of the time. Not only is there less stuff but there’s less people to deal with when it comes to stuff. I can see me never going back to that much space or stuff again.
I would like a separate office/work space once I own my acres but for now this small space feels like just enough. Plenty even.
I have more time it seems. J has to have a nap during the day to make up for his mixed up nights so there’s that. The cleaning takes very little time especially since it doesn’t pile up day to day. I’m not sitting and staring at the nothing on the tv. I have a little more time and I’m trying to fill it up. So far so good.
J and I have a new routine at night. After all is said and done with the dishes, bath, a book whatever, he either watches a cartoon while I read a few pages of a book or, like right now, he’s playing on the kindle while I type out this email/post and before I watch an episode of something on netflix. It helps that we’re in the bed at 9:30 which is also our habit. We’re home and done with the day earlier so even more free time! We’re still up for 10 in the morning after getting home at 5/6 but it’s less of a strain on me right now.
There are some bits that are bugging me lately like dealing with more tantrums, disobedience. and the rude words he learned. I’m learning about him though. He’s worse when he’s tired. Other times, it’s best that I don’t handle him when I’m the tired one. We’re good together though. He makes it easy on me at times. I’m also at the tale end of a 10 week course on mothering which is helping me to act in love and take steps back when dealing with him. Maybe I’ll write on it once I’m done there. It’s been great.
23 11 / 2013
It’s been a little over a week since the break-in and we’re okay. I picked up alarms for every entrance deciding against anything in wall and permanent. There is a system I was told about that is temporary yet monitored so it may be on the list after some reading.
I’ve set off the door alarm twice already. It’s one with a keypad. I know which alarms don’t work and should not be in our apartment. Think sticky. That’s a no. I’ve already pulled paint from the wall. Besides all that, I’m confident that at least anyone trying to get in will be in for a shock and will probably wake the neighbors. Ask me how I know.
23 11 / 2013
You can’t lose much, if anything, when your home is broken into.
Yep. My apartment got robbed not even a week of being in the area. These apartments are in a great area, very quiet, very nice yet I get a call in the afternoon and start to panic. I was asked what time I left that morning.
My initial thought was that I left the stove on. I don’t own a microwave so my pots, pans and stove get quite the workout in a day. I feared the very worst. I burned down the apartments. Yes, I know, that’s a little much but my thoughts went to total catastrophe then back to minor mishap. Did I not notice J push the trash can into the glass and break it? That thought quickly passed as J has a new routine of watching The Magic School Bus or Caillou while I shuffle around the kitchen attempting to wake up and make us breakfast. He was nowhere near the kitchen that morning.
S, the office staff manager, told me my neighbor came home and saw my window was broken. Maintenance was on the way and would I be home, could they go inside? J and I were discussing dinner options (he wanted tacos) and were less than two minutes away. I turned off and went to the apartment praying the whole way.
The side window was busted out, a clutch (a coupon clutch, lol) was emptied on the table and two coupons looked like they were set aside but decided against (whaaat, how crazy), a magazine holder was pulled from under the table and the exercise bands and yoga strap were emptied out. They quickly exited leaving the bedrooms untouched that I can see but jamming the front door on the way out as they didn’t have a key to leave properly. Nothing was taken.
I continued with the procedure of filing a police report. The glass was replaced too quickly for the police officer to take prints but it’s all on file. I packed up J and anything I didn’t want to lose (keepsakes from his birth and first two years, his toys) and took pictures of valuables that I couldn’t carry out. We came back to the house where we stayed till I tried to secure the apartment and make changes.
Returning to the apartment, I expected to feel defeated, overwhelmed, as nauseated as I did in the night since and sad about someone having been in my apartment but I didn’t. I felt determined like I’m taking steps that should have always been taken and I’m feeling like every person in this apartment complex (at least my side) will know of the break in and will know that I’m aware. The office staff will also be on notice and for Pete’s sake know not to change the glass so quickly. But I am not feeling afraid.
I am feeling thankful. Grateful even.
We picked up and left that morning to come back to the house where my car is. I had errands to run and saw my mom and sister in the drive getting ready to leave. After I handed J to them (he missed them) I ran errands one of which was near the apartment. I thought to go back while J was gone but missed the street and decided not to turn around. Instead I went to wait for him at the house. I could have walked in on the break in had I gone to the apartment. I could have walked in with J with me had my mom and sister not turned around to switch cars which is how I first found them. I’m thankful I almost got lost alone instead.
I don’t own much so there isn’t much to search through. One still taped box of lose papers set aside to be searched through and trashed, sure, but no large amounts of jewelry, no extra interesting DVDs hanging around, not much worth taking at all. I have a nice enough TV, some small appliances, and a few electronics that are portable and most likely not there when I’m not. There just isn’t much to take and that is also what I’m thankful for. For decluttering and paring down when I tried to.
I’m also thankful they didn’t search under the bed because I forgot my emergency fund at home. This is the stupidest thing but I did. I forgot the money home that I needed if I was getting my car fully fixed but I decided against fixing it for time. I usually never leave money anywhere but I’m thankful it wasn’t taken. I did remember my computer though. Went back in and got it!
Having renter’s insurance above what was required and finally taking photos of anything of value is up there on the thankful list too even though it was done too late.
I have a watchful neighbor and we’ve exchanged numbers and are watching out for each other especially with my schedule. I know of another who has been made aware of the break-in and I may be speaking to her soon. At least we’re on roll now!
16 11 / 2013
A 124,500 square foot abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas, has been turned into the largest single-floor public library in the United States.
Have been wanting to take J here. I’m thinking road trip.
09 11 / 2013
We moved in yesterday.
The move itself cost more than planned. It took them longer to pack the truck so instead of two hours for loading and unloading , it took two for loading and less than one or so for unloading. It’s fine. I’m over it just that that happened.
J did not stay asleep for at least the first hour. He was up and wanting to walk around or be held neither of which was going to happen without it being a bother so he was unhappy for a good bit.
During the loading time, they put a lot of the furniture in the rooms where I wanted them so I was able to set up J’s room while the boxes were being brought in. The kitchen isn’t fully unpacked but I see what kind of space I’m working with. It was annoying but I’m going to have to work on it. Either get creative or let go of more stuff. All the appliances are set up, the pots have been washed and put away so we could have dinner last night. My bed is set up and the bathroom is usable with towels and all that but everything else is still in boxes.
I bought us a Kindle Fire last week ($57 - crazy right?) to load up with stuff for him so we can spend tomorrow in the house. Me unpacking and cleaning. Him goofing off. Today I’m also washing so I can start the week with clean clothes.
He seems to be doing well. Every once in a while he asks about going home. I tell him about where home is now, where the (other) house is (his Lovey and aunts still live there) and when we’ll go there. Other times I ask him if he wants to go home and he’ll tell me no and smile. I think he’s good. I think everything is good so far.
02 11 / 2013
I went into the apartment today. Got the keys, made sure my paperwork was together and then cleaned up a little but mainly took pictures. My initial thoughts were that it was tiny. Looking at it again, its really not. Its good size for two people. I like it. I’m going from 1800sq to 539. Its a big change but not as bad as I was worried it would be when I chose it.
- What I don’t like is that my trash can will be too tall to fit in the pantry so it will have to stay out. I’ll have to put something under the table so that the new, light colored carpet wont get ruined when the boy eats, and the sink in the bathroom is short for me (but perfect for the boy). The appliances are also older but I’m not buying those and wont have to buy anymore for the next year so that makes me happy. Very happy.
-The patio might fit our furniture (has to be under 5 feet wide) but for sure will fit my treadmill. There is no hookups for laundry in the apartment but I’m becoming okay with that.
-The closet is a walk in closet which is great so I’m going to make that J’s room/playroom. He’s two and tiny. I think he’ll love having his own little space and I know I’ll love having my own room too.
-I have to find a couch under 5 feet long or put in some kind of alternative. I like the idea of floor cushions but I don’t know. I really want a nice little couch.
-I like that my house is on the bottom. At first I wanted the top but now I can have plants, use my treadmill and do DIY stuff whenever I need to like painting or making a little stove for J and whatever else without feeling like I’ll be bothered or seen.
I’m ready to get everything moved in so I can get it set up and together. I’m still figuring out the electricity and it looks like the internet and cable wont happen right off the bat which will suck but its nothing I’m not used to already. We’ve been without for a little while now.
J seems to like it. He especially likes the balcony. I have to be careful because he knows how to unlock it so I have to watch for that and keep a key on me when I open the door so if I’m locked out, I can hop over the side and let myself in. Definitely can’t do that on the top floor.
Overall I’m feeling happy about it. We’ll see how that feeling changes once I’m paying all the bills and dealing with neighbors and fixing things around the house and if the apartment complex starts to suck. I’ve only heard good reviews even in person though.
Just need to finish packing up the little things, get the moving van and possible movers (I really want movers!!) and get that taken care of!
31 10 / 2013
I got the apartment. I found out today. I’m going tomorrow to get the keys, gate cards, and finish up paperwork. There’s not much else I’m planning to do there right now. I need to show it to J and make sure he knows whats going to happen. I need to set up lights, renter’s insurance, clean up for myself, little things. I need to get it all done but I don’t plan to get it all done tomorrow. Maybe just a little at a time.
I feel like the major part is over so I’m not worried anymore. I have a place to go so now we can breathe and not be so hurried. I’ve been hurried with the house crap (dealing with a crooked mortgage company) and packing and I think it was to keep me busy but now there’s nothing much to do.
I want a moving company so I need to get quotes on that. I need storage still I’m sure so there’s that. Lots to do, lots to budget but I’m going to remind myself to do it in time and not in a rush. I don’t want that to end up a mess of money spent and time wasted with nothing to show for it.
I am excited though. I think we should have cable and internet and a balcony (even though its on the bottom, blech) so at least there’s that. I may be able to put my treadmill in somewhere so that makes me happy. It was the cheapest place they had which I needed. Hopefully my total monthly expenses will stay around or under the amount that I was paying in mortgage. I need that. With my current job, I need to keep everything as low as possible. Until I figure out a better job that I think I actually want, I just need live low.
Okay, enough. Back to figuring out insurance and electricity plans.
30 10 / 2013
My back is killing me this morning but I am hopeful. Kind of. Today I find out if I got the apartment or not. I’ll either go back to searching for a place or I’ll go back to finishing up with the packing and the prep and get ready to move. I’m feeling almost done there just little things in every room that needs to go somewhere. That’s today.
I have photo editing plans for the week but haven’t started on those. It would take too much to sit down long enough to pull up Lightroom and work. Instead after I rest, I’m going to start prep for the sweet potato pie we’ll bake and clean up the kitchen.
I need to order my lighting for the newborn shoot I have in a few weeks too so I was searching for an amazon deal (amazon gift cards ftw) this morning. Just need to commit.
Tomorrow is Halloween. And for some reason I want to bake witch cupcakes and come up with a Halloween costume sometime in the next 24 hours. Also, pumpkin patch pictures.
I may or may not be cramming too much into my week and its already Wednesday.
28 10 / 2013
Today i’m exhausted from work (thats Sundays though) and at least it wasn’t a total bust. I finally went through and packed up the toys I think should stay out of storage. I washed the dishes from my room (always some up there). I sorted out clean clothes from myself and J and folded them. I put dirty clothes into other containers so as not to forget them anywhere. I loaded the crockpot then divided out some of the meal so that J will at least have a meal together once we move out. One less thing to worry about for him. I packed a bag of clothes for two days for both of us so that and laundry won’t be worried about whether I get to unpack boxes and have my stuff or not.
The option is an apartment if I can get one soon or moving in with my aunt. I prefer an apartment. I would be going from five people, three bedrooms, two baths and a dog to six people, two dogs, one bathroom and no bedroom. I’m seriously hoping for a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment since that’s all I can afford so I won’t have to go there. I don’t honestly want to go from my own house to someone else’s house. I’d rather just look at it as downsizing in a big way. Not to mention that’s she’s a half hour from work which would drive up my gas costs.
What I didn’t do earlier today was remember that I have a bathroom that isn’t packed, I didn’t finish cleaning the kitchen or living room and I didn’t even start on the yard. I still need to sweep/mop/vacuum/wet vac the house. That’s on my to do list. I’m so behind on my overly ambitious schedule but I knew that was coming because, well, it was overly ambitious. I saw it a mile away yet I committed to it. Is that theme in my life right now or what.
So, bedtime. It’s night two of reading at least something before bed and tonight it’s fiction. Last night was a page on basic financial savings. Sigh. I’ll get back to that. I’d rather just read something random right now.
26 10 / 2013
I called bright and early this morning to check and see if someone could show me the house and the mobile home. I was told I would get a call back when someone was ready because someone else was interested. It’s 2 and I haven’t heard back so I’m assuming that it wont happen today. I went ahead and checked for an apartment and put in an application. Either way, we’re moving so I need to get us settled somewhere. Thankfully these apartments have a high rating and aren’t too far away so it wont be too many big changes for him right now.
25 10 / 2013
I have a chance tomorrow to see a house which is a three bedroom, one bath and a mobile home which is a three/ one too I think. The house is almost $50 less than here which will take care of the gas used to get to work (half hour I think rather than almost 20 minutes) if I stay there.
The mobile home is a suspect $350 less than here. See, suspect.
I looked the house up online and I’m not impressed but that’s the outside only. I’m going look into it and the mobile home which would be great if it was neat inside. I could definitely put that leftover money to use.
I know of an apartment that I really like. Great ratings but the deposits and such might be a bit too much. After tomorrow’s house hunting time, if I don’t like the two options, I’m going to go and try for the apartment. It may not save me much money but its closer to worn than these two.
I’m only looking for a year or two somewhere. I plan to save money, take care of some debt and eventually I’ll be able to figure out where I want us to live for sure, get some land and settle a bit more.
I have plans but I can’t get into them right now. A garden, a tiny built house (one that I’m hoping to have a hand in) and a homestead. I want my own land for that and no mortgage. I’m going to consider myself on my way there since there’s nothing else I can consider myself and boy to be on the way to. This is a tiny, tiny stop that I hope will at least include another beach trip for this year. Really hoping for a beach trip. And a place to stay so I can pack up and be done and start settling somewhere.
24 10 / 2013
I should have been almost fully packed by now but I’m not.
I have the clothes in my bedroom to sort and beds to take apart. Probably not even a full box worth of stuff in the bathrooms. I have the dining room table to take apart and a few little things to box up in there. The kitchen isn’t ready. I packed up nearly all of the mason jars with just a few more to clean and pack. None of my appliances or dishes are clean and together. The fridge, freezer, deep freezer, cabinets aren’t empty of my stuff. The garage and the yard are untouched. Dear God, I’m behind.
I was hoping to be out and done here by Saturday to clean and it just doesn’t look like it. Not to mention that I’ve heard nothing from the mortgage company so it’s best not to even worry about them and just deal with the house later. Everything packed and out ASAP is where I need to be yet I haven’t done as much as planned to get there. The question now is whether I can still get back on schedule with this delay. I sure hope so. It’s Thursday today.
Bedroom clothes sorted tonight then the beds. Dining room table can wait but I’ll pack the few items in there and the bathroom today.
Kitchen and all that tomorrow after I make sure everything is washed. Then start on the garage. That may take till Sunday to get done. I need it all moved out Sunday then a couple hours cleaning is the plan.
19 10 / 2013
I got J’s closet finished not long ago which was really just a big trip down memory lane. For the most part, his clothes don’t stay on hangers or in drawers long enough to make it in there so very little of what was in there was big boy clothes.
It was kind of sad to think of the work I put into settig up his closet before he came just to take it all out today. Oh well. I did like seeing all the baby things I have but forgot about. All packed away for storage though.
As for the rest of the room, it’s a work in progress. The rest of the house, my gosh. I set up a super ambitious plan though. A day and a half per area so maybe I’ll be done by Wednesday (some areas are small - closet, fridge, deep freezer, toys) and ready to move before the weekend. Saturday is reserved for cleaning up everything. Hopefully that will happen as its not really an option. I need that day just for cleaning.
Maybe, hopefully, my next post will be of us settling into the new place. I really just want this month over and November started so the packing, the moving and the relocating can be finished.