Monday, June 29, 2009

Mediocre realizations

We had a good weekend that was very productive and pleasant all around. Last Thursday and Friday, Hubby had a series of meetings for work that went really well and he sounded very happy on the phone. It was so nice to hear him sound really happy. I started thinking about the last time I heard him happy or excited about something and it had been a while. And we've even gone on vacation recently! I've been grumpy to deal with because of slight depression and pregnancy mood swings, so home hasn't been a barrel of monkeys lately. And our pre-baby finances are a wee bit stretched which makes for a series of un-funny conversations. And we've had trouble "connecting" because of standard pregnancy issues. So, while nothing is really wrong, other than unexpected expenses piling up, nothing is really positive either, and un-smiling faces around the house are always catching.

Don't get me wrong, we're happy we're having a baby, but even the pregnancy has slid into the doldrums. Our little guy is very active, and doing great, but there hasn't been anything new and exciting on that front recently. I guess I got spoiled to having new things happen with the baby on a regular basis. Now, all systems are present and active and he's just growing bigger in there. I don't think we'll have any more "new" things happen like "now he can hear us" or "I finally felt him kick". Now our "new" things with the baby are all along the lines of "wow you're even bigger than yesterday". I don't yet hear those kinds of comments as negative, but I might be there soon. I'm a little concerned about how big I'll get by the end of this, just from a comfort point of view.

I've realized that while no part of this pregnancy has really been miserable, I don't think there's going to be a period of this pregnancy where I feel really great either. Some women say they loved being pregnant and wish they could feel that good always. Or at least that their 2nd trimester they felt like they could conquer the world. I'm now in my 3rd trimester and didn't feel particularly great during my second. I had really hoped that there would be some part in there where I felt great, but those little bursts of great have only been about 6 hours long at the most. So at least this pregnancy will be mediocre for me. Neither great nor miserable. I had really hoped for at least 4 weeks of great in there somewhere. Oh well.

Money issues: We are an average earning, lowish middle class family. We have comfortably been able to take nice vacations on a budget while whittling away at debt and saving for retirement, all at once. Like everyone with a new baby, or a baby on the way, things will be tighter once the baby arrives. I had hoped that we could take care of all of our credit card debt before the baby arrived and therefore start our new, tight budget with only house and student loan debt under our belt. Yeah right. Then we bought a new computer (not the latest greatest) to handle new baby pictures, video, and video messaging. We renewed my gym membership for 18 months in one fell swoop (got a great deal!). Hubby needed new glasses. The car needed $800 in repairs. The other car needed new brakes on the front. We were in a friend's wedding that added up.

We still don't have a video camera for the baby. We still need to sign up and pay for cord blood registry which is $2000 up front, then less than $15 per month after that. I had really wanted to replace my dishwasher (kiss that goodbye). Hubby has been invited to join this formal masonic group that would require him to buy a tux, one jacket with tails, one without. And it's the kind of group where it's a big honor to be invited and is not the kind of group you really want to turn down. My work, very generously, will give me full pay for 6 weeks after I have the baby. If I take an extra 6 weeks of unpaid leave, we will go about $2000 in debt due to my lost income. But for $2000 I could spend the first 3 months of life with my little angel. Have you kept a running tab of all that in your head? And once I return to work, and daycare begins, then we will have about $100 left over each month to put towards debt. So it's not even like we're spending a lot now, but we can pay it down easily later. We'll have that debt for quite a while.

We have no car payment now, but we will probably need a new car in the next 2 years, at least. My car is 11 and hubby's is 9. Hubby's employer has said not to expect pay raises for the next maybe 3 years. I work for an extremely stable non-profit, but giving is down nationwide and I bet I won't get a raise next year, or worse, they might reduce my hours. I need to get out my excel spreadsheets and double check this gloom and doom situation. For three years, we put 12-13% towards retirement knowing that would not maintain that once we had kids. Now, we're contributing about 8% of our money with our employers kicking in some as well. Our only real source for more cash is to reduce the 401k contribution by a bit more and hope for less rainy days later.

If we're having this kind of non-spectacular time in our finances and our marriage in general, I can't imagine the stress involved for someone with an unplanned pregnancy in a non-stable relationship! In general, we're doing OK financially and our marriage is really only being affected by my hormones. Independent of pregnancy, we have no financial issues, or marriage issues. Almost daily now, it crosses my mind to be sooooo thankful that we've gone about having a family in the correct order.

And I've got a cold, and I think I might have cracked a bone in my foot 2 weeks ago. It's been two weeks and still hurts a good bit, and not like a muscle or ligament strain. I go in an hour to have it x-rayed. I'm going to be so ticked if I wind up in a boot while pregnant. And how much does a boot cost! And I can't exercise and get endorphins easily with my bum foot.

See what I mean?! I'm just a freakin' barrel of monkeys lately!!! Maybe I need some "happy tea". A herbal tea that me and a couple friends have found makes us a little happier after drinking it. Yeah, happy tea for me!

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