I don’t know if I can channel how emphatically I’m thinking this but just know it’s really, really heartfelt when I say, “Thank the sweet eight pounds six ounce baby Jesus it is Friday.” I don’t know even know why really but I feel like I’ve been put through the wringer this week and I’m just done. It was so hard to pull myself from bed and get into the office today, not because I don’t like my job because I do—a lot actually, but because I’m just worn the heck out. MutantDaughter spent the entire day sleeping yesterday. And when I say that, I’m completely serious. I think she was awake maybe 2, 3 hours max all day yesterday. She got a fever in the afternoon and her left ear started leaking this brownish clearish pinkish stuff that dries into a sticky crusty disaster. This with the complete and total sleepiness which is not anything like her at all freaked me out a bit and I called the doctor. I had a prescription for some ear drops from the previous battle with this same exact ear and same exact situation and they told me fill it, start it, and have her come in tomorrow. I’d already anticipated a need for the doctor earlier that day and begged Ex to please schedule and take her and he agreed (Shock! Awe!) so I went and spent over an hour in Walgreen’s. This is not good for the pocket book and I admit I did some stress-related shopping on top of the only item needed—Q-tips. I spent $13.90 so I’ve got $10 to go on my Spending Challenge and that should work fine for some milk and eggs. Doctor says it looks like a middle ear infection and the ear drum opened up and is spewing everything out. Delicious. Just have to keep doing what I’m doing and it’ll clear up soon.
I’m really hesitant to start guesstimating because it feels like I’m taunting fate, but it looks like I might have managed to accumulate about a $700 rollover. I’ll have a concrete number on Monday when I get paid and the new month begins and will announce it with much pomp and circumstance. I’m trying to figure out a budget for next month’s non-bill expenses and my first attempt was almost twice what I’d spent this month so that got scrapped. By the way, every month I do this and every month I think I’m budgeting conservatively and then add it up and oops! Just goes to show you, we really underestimate financial numbers. After reworking it a couple of times, I’m down to about what I’d initially planned as a budget for February– $650. I’d like to try this number out and see how it does. This month has been ok overall and has made me feel a bit better about maybe making $650 a regular number. It is, after all, a 30% increase and I was able to manage ok with the $500. It does make shopping a much more carefully executed sort of thing in that I have to do thinks like consider all kinds of things that could possibly come up in a month that would require some sort of cash. But, I guess that’s the point. It’s supposed to be like that instead of some mindless activity. This is conscious spending, Mutant. It’s not more work than impulsive spending, it’s different work. But, that’s the Expenses side of my life.
On the Income side, Ex is moving into his parents’ home this weekend so he doesn’t have to pay rent which may bode well for me. I’m trying to see if maybe he’ll give me a guess as to how much and when he’ll pay me so I can then underestimate it by about 20% and plan for that. Maybe I seem cynical or whatnot but this is the kind of guy who got out of his lease by lying about getting a job in New York. The reality is on March 1, he’ll owe me well over $3,000 and yeah, if I’m ever going to get my life on solid ground, I need that money and for him to pay me consistently. He did tell me the salary at the new job is at least twice what he’s got now plus commission so he should be steadier in that sense, especially when the garnishment goes into effect, but he doesn’t have a start date yet and I don’t have a court date. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes it just flickers or grows really dim threatening to disappear completely.
I’m working on The Passage. It’s Creepy (capital C intended). And it’s got lots of yucky bits which I find fun and hard to read at the same time. At first, the book was sort of driving me crazy because I swear to you he throws like one hundred characters at you in under fifty pages. Characters are always hard for me to manage in my brain, I have no idea why. I considered writing notes but figured I’d probably just lose the paper anyways and besides it’ll settle to just a few eventually and it has so that’s nice except that it’s all done quite tragically and horribly so that’s not nice but hey, it’s fiction and fun at that. The library has Red Pyramid ready for Eldest and an organizing book, a crochet book, and The Lonely Polygamist ready for me. Not to mention nice crispy brand new copies of Outlander and Soulless and PostSecret are waiting for me in my bookshelves. Oh yes, books and books and books galore.
My kitchen remains clean, my dining table remains clear. I almost screwed it all up last night being so exhausted from the day but I ripped myself a new one about how I’ve done this too many times to know better and that I know exactly what’ll happen if I let things slide just one night. It’s never just one night, don’t kid yourself. And that was that. I got to work and cleared everything away in about twenty minutes before collapsing exhausted in my bed. Tonight shall be Frozen Box Pizza Night so I won’t have to worry about dirtying the kitchen at least. I’ll likely stop at the library for some kiddo movies. Tomorrow there’s the birthday party. It should be a nice weekend. I’m going to finish sorting out the rest of what’s going back into the hall closet though I’m pretty sure I’ve cleared away almost everything that’s getting cleared.
By the way, I was thinking about creating a concrete Chores Plan for the kids. The two this would apply to are the 7 and 4 year old. What I was thinking of was basic chores that they are required to do because they’re part of the team and we all have responsibilities. But, I thought it might be a good idea to add a couple of things they could do to earn money. They both get a small allowance ($4 for Eldest, $1 for Daughter) and I was thinking this might allow them to supplement their earnings. The tasks would be small and the reward would be a quarter each I’m thinking. Ideas on age-appropriate things they can do? Right now, they’re responsible for making their beds in the morning, cleaning their plates and place mats after dinner, hanging their towels, putting away their folded laundry, and putting their dirty clothes in the hamper. Things I was thinking of as additional include watering the plants, feeding the fish, emptying the bathroom trash can, help putting away Baby’s folded laundry, sweeping piles into the dust pan and trash, emptying the dishwasher of the kid stuff, wiping their bathroom counter (so gross with the neon toothpaste), and…
I’m trying to think of something for the toys but I think that might only become clear when March is over and the playroom is organized. Any other ideas? What kind of child labor do you have going in your house?
I’m going to kill two birds with one stone and use my FO Friday picture as my weekly photo set. Some might call it cheating, but crocheting IS a part of my life so I think it counts. Otherwise, you’d get a boring picture of a bird on a car.
An ancient friend of mine’s little brother had a baby last week so I made her something. It’s kind of a big deal when the baby siblings have kids, I think. I haven’t had that experience yet but I’m pretty sure it’ll be really moving and sort of crazy if/when that happens with MutantWino and/or MutantPirate, my younger brothers. I think that’ll just make me feel really old. Anyways, the hat and booties were pretty simple to whip up but I’m a perfectionist and each one took two attempts. They’re from the book Crochet from the Heart and I think I may add this to the Wish List of books to own (borrowing it from library right now) because it’s full of very solid basic patterns that are insanely easy to modify, customize, etc to your liking. I think this type of thing is the best way to really learn crochet and so far I’m much more pleased with the book than I’d anticipated. These are my favorite kinds of books, the ones that at first glance you dismiss but then they surprise you again and again.