Thursday, April 26, 2012

Some Honesty: I Hate Money

I think I just need to get a few things off my chest, and this might just be a long rant and a pity party, but here we go:

I HATE MONEY. Mostly how much I need it and just don't have it. I know I'm definitely not the only person who has been affected by this recession, and that things could be a lot worse, but times are tough. It sucks being fired because you are pregnant. There have been a lot of changes and transitions. And then it is has been a such a task finding even a part-time job for so little pay.

I started working at the Y, was making a decent wage, but I HATED it. Between the commute and the awful, rude and misbehaved inner city kids I was just downright depressed, and I really didn't appreciate getting slapped in the belly by a 7-y/o who I had to tell "no."

So I kept looking, and found something I really like, working at SeaLife MN (the aquarium in the basement of the Mall of America). But here I am making $9.25 an hour with a masters degree, and I feel like my time, skills and efforts are worth so much more than that. I'm happier, but not making enough money nor even getting a lot of hours. And at 7 months pregnant... I just don't think it is the right time to look for something new. And as the summer starts and the season picks up there will be many more hours, but then I will be 9 months pregnant, taking time off, and will be ready to go back to work just in time for school to start in the fall and the number of available hours to drop off... ugh. And I don't even know how to work when Childcare will most likely cost more than I might make. We are barely making ends meet and then there is unpaid maternity leave coming up this summer... but we can't even save anything up. Ross has been picking up as many extra shifts lifeguarding as he can, and has been applying for additional jobs like crazy, but it is tough and slow moving.

And then there are bills... rent, utilities, gas, bus fare, food, health insurance, credit cards, student loans and medical bills for which my insurance has denied, a broken side-view mirror that needs replacing... it is enough to keep me up at night. (At least I have the wonderful company of a little girl kicking me to comfort me at night... or to make it more difficult to fall back asleep) Sometimes I wish I had listened to my daddy and stayed a little girl forever...

I just hate feeling so dependent. I wish I could take care of myself and pay all my bills and not have to ask for help. I wish I could just let it go and not worry like in Matthew 6:25-34, but then there's another side to the story too: God helps those who help themselves. There's a joke about a flood and how this guy is praying for God to come and save him, and then a guy shows up in a canoe and offers him a ride. He declines, sayings that "God will save me." Then a rescue boat shows up, but he declines says that "God will save me." Finally, a helicopter comes, but he says the same thing: "God will save me." And then he drowns in the flood. He goes to Heaven and asks God why he didn't save him, and frustrated God replies "I sent a canoe, a rescue boat, a chopper..." So I do need to keep worrying, and keep fighting, and trying to make this better. But more than anything, I know I need to keep trusting.

Alright, after all my sharing about the tough things, and getting that off my chest, I need to sit back and count my blessings: 

1. We are at least somewhat employed, and Ross got an AmeriCorps position that will be starting on August 1! It will be so good for him and for us.
2. This weekend we are moving into our own place and finally going to be able to have a place for our little girl to live, though we couldn't have done it without Lynn (my MIL) and my dad.
3. We were showered with love over the Easter weekend and thrown a beautiful baby shower and give many things that the little one will need, like a crib, mattress, car seat and stroller. My grandparents and sister has been especially generous despite their tough economic times too.
4. Obama made it possible for me to have health insurance right now with my Dad, and he's working hard to help us with student loan debt. For that I am very grateful and supportive! It's so nice to have someone out there fighting for us.
5. I am healthy and the pregnancy is going well.
6. I have an incredible husband who loves me and takes care of me, and lots of family who love and support me.
7. We are applying for some county assistance, hopefully that will help and start soon.
8. I got to reconnect with an old friend.
9. I know that God won't hand us anything we can't handle.
10. Things are, slowly but surely, getting better. We will get through this.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Second Trimester Update

The second trimester is WAY better than the first, let me tell you! 

Feeling her kick!!! 
SEEING her kick from the outside! 
Having my appetite back 
Feeling much more energetic 
No more headaches
Thus far... no stretch marks (fingers crossed!!!) 
Getting jobs
Spending Easter in Colorado for my birthday and a Baby Shower - pictures coming soon =)
Finding a non-alcoholic beer that tasted good! Go O'Doul's Amber!
Finding a home! We're moving in 10 days!!! Can't wait to start nesting

Insurance denying our request to use an out-of-hospital birthing center 
Starting to see a midwife that insurance does cover only for her to tell me that she doesn't actually attend births anymore... and is retiring. 
Getting jobs that still aren't quite enough... and trying to keep my chin up... sometimes it really gets me bummed out 
Stranger belly rubs at work (really? What are you thinking? ASK!!!) 

The baby girl is growing!!!! And thus the belly... =) Overall we are both doing really well, healthy, no problems except that I'm a little anemic. Baby girl is taking all the iron she needs and will leave me depleted, so I'm taking supplements. But she is very active (even kicked her daddy a few times the other night) and has a strong heartbeat. I think the thing I am most excited for now is to actually get to see what she looks like! Ross is really excited to start building things for her, such as putting together her crib soon. 

22 weeks 

23 weeks 

24 weeks 

25 weeks 

26 weeks 

27 weeks 

28 weeks 

28 weeks was also a costume party with some friends of ours: I went as Juno and our friend Kim went as Paulie Bleaker. It was amazing. 

Things people have said to me: 

"Oh look at that belly!" - At work
"You are all belly! You look so good!" - At the baby shower
"It's a girl, right?" Fist pump with a yesssss! - Random old guy at Garden of the Gods 
"Is that real?" while poking my belly - Fellow costume party goers... yep, I had a pretty convincing costume