Category Archives: Uncategorized

Savings Sunday: Summertime … and the living is… Expensive!

I don’t know about you, but I feel like April – September are the most expensive months in my life.

You’d think I’d feel the opposite: October-March have my anniversary, Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and my dear husband’s birthday, plus half a dozen other birthdays whose celebrations vary (mainly family), but I always feel overwhelmed by summer.

There’s Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, trying to fit in a vacation, lawn care and planting, back to school, and to top it off, Baby Girl’s birthday at the end of September. Plus, outrageous electric bills for at least two cycles (only two if I’m lucky!) 

One of the things I am trying to do to compensate for this problem, is to get ahead of the spending. I’ve been talking about preparing for Baby Girl’s birthday, and I’m down to just figuring out toys (which are expensive!) 

I’ve also gone around like a crazy person, turning off lights and playing with the thermostat. But mostly I’ve just been trying to budget better. It’s not like I don’t know all of this is coming every year! 

I think we’re doing pretty well, though. We only had to dip into the savings a little bit (about $200) to pull off our vacation, and the rest of her birthday will fit easily into September’s budget.

The key is planning and organization, neither of which I’ve ever been fantastic at, but I’m learning!

Self-Care Saturday: Forcing Yourself To Care

Sometimes my inherent laziness gets in the way of me actually taking care of myself. I would walk to the end of the earth for my husband, my daughter, my friends … but I  can’t be bothered to get up and make myself a damn sandwich if I want to, half the time.

Couple that with anxiety and intermittent depression, and you have a miserable woman on your hands.

So, when I woke up this morning to the sound of thunder, I thought long and hard about just staying in bed. “Surely all the yard sales are canceled,” I told myself. “Just stay in bed and wait for Baby Girl to wake up.

My husband was awake, though, and that got me out of bed. I thought perhaps we could spend some time together before she woke up. He, however, wanted me to go out and get some time to myself.

I relented. I told him, “If I can get a quick shower and she doesn’t wake up and it doesn’t start actively raining, I’ll go out.”

With those “outs” already in mind, I skipped my morning chores and high-tailed it for the shower. Go through the shower and got dressed without waking her up. It still wasn’t raining – maybe people hadn’t packed up yet? Even though Baby Girl was starting to stir, my husband urged me on.

It started raining before I got out of the driveway.

Nonetheless, I’m glad I tried. It meant I got my shower in and out of the way without disturbing Baby Girl, and at least I tried to do something nice for myself. I didn’t just give up.

Still need to come up with something, though. Oh, I know! I’ll go to Kohl’s!

Time to… Thursday: Back to Work!

The transition week is almost over! Next Monday, classes will resume and it will be back to the grind for me.

Baby Girl is not pleased. Monday she cried when I left. Tuesday and Wednesday, she was asleep when I left. Today she cried.

It hasn’t been fun, but I know she’ll get used to it again. Plus she get to stay home with Daddy all day and play.

Unfortunately, I’m not transitioning well myself. I’ve been exhausted and simultaneously not able to sleep. Today I work up 45 minutes before my alarm for no apparent reason.

I hope this will get better.

Working Wednesday: Short-term Traveling

About once a month, my job requires I go to another campus about an hour away. This meeting causes me to skip lunch and disrupts my daughter’s nap, but it’s only once a month and not even every month.

But the first week of the new school year, I have two of these meetings back to back, and tonight I am especially feeling the strain, because the new dean potentially wants to add more. As the one of only two employees this would impact (and me more so), I am seriously concerned going forward what this will mean for my family’s schedule- and my library’s. I think she is aware of the staffing issues at all the campuses and this may be my saving grace (she has only been here six weeks and may not be thinking about the logistics.) 

On the other hand, my part-time staff wanted more hours and this would potentially be a good way to give them to her.

And it could all be an exercise in futility as we get into the swing of the new semester. We will have to see.

That’s all that’s on my mind today; I’m too tired to be insightful. Hopefully better posts will resume tomorrow.

Together Tuesday: Together with Co-workers 

This post is a bit late because today was the official start of my work year. 

My work year starts with a day long retreat with my coworkers from the main campus. From 8:30 to 3:30, we’re in a meeting where we review the year before and start making plans for the year ahead. We go over the budget and the schedule for some of our standing engagements.

I guess it’s just because I’m young, or maybe it’s because I’ve known these people forever ( I worked with the majority of them when I was a student), but I am always so happy for this meeting. Yea, it may run a little long , and certain people like to talk too much, but these are my people! And tomorrow, we have the library-wide kick off, where I’ll get to see everyone else. I’ll also enjoy that, especially because I’ll have lunch with my best friend.

So today, I ask you: what are the “upsides” of some of the meetings you have to go to?

Menu Monday: Make Ahead Meals

This year, I will be working late on Wednesdays because my employee has a class.

I’m okay with this; we did this routine in the Spring, too – except it was Thursday, instead of Wednesday.

The biggest problem is finding recipes I can make ahead and leave for my husband to finish. I do a lot of the freezer meals like I’ve talked about before. But right now I’ve got a freezer full of all kinds of other things (like frozen shredded zucchini and diced tomatoes from my garden), so I’m trying to find things that are easy to make ahead the day before (preferably while I’m cooking Wednesday night’s dinner.) 

Last week, for example, when I had the dinner meeting, we did pizza. But there’s only so much pizza I’m willing to feed my family.

So the search continues…

Savings Sunday: Work Snacks 

Do you ever get the munchies at work? What do you do? Hit up the vending machine? Maybe go down to a corner shop? 

I am notoriously bad about spending money on snacks, especially while I’ve been nursing. And honestly, with the nursing, snacking has actually been necessary. Sometimes my workplace has snacks in the breakroom – I’m often the one bringing them – but that isn’t always the case.

So eventually, I wised up a little and started bringing my own snacks to work. I try to be good about portion control, so if I get a big bag of something, I’ll divvy it up among some Ziploc bags or my tiny Rubbermaid containers (the smallest size in my set is great for snacks!) 

I talked about this before, when referencing how much the whole family snacks. But, thinking ahead to the new school year (and back to work for me), I’ve wondered how I can be more efficient and maybe even a little healthier in my snacking choices.

So far, I’ve thought about:

  • veggies and dip (again in my Rubbermaid containers) 
  • Peanut butter and crackers, pretzels, apple slices, or carrots.
  • Nuts in general (this tends to be my weakness from the convenience counter anyway)
  • Trail mix, either pre-prepared or mixed by me.

My regular work week doesn’t start until next Monday, but I may try to implement some of these ideas this week as a trial run. I’ll report back!