Friday, August 28, 2015

Summer wind down

Summer is winding down. I have about 11 days before I'm back at work, and 10 before kiddo goes back to school. It is a little bit sad really. I feel like we haven't done anything, just hang out and hit the parks. We've gone swimming 3 times, down to visit my parents for awhile, and basically not much else. None of the grand plans I had. See I suck at money. I like to spend and shop. Sometimes I guess I do more of that than I should. So we are on strict budget while we get to a point where I can get us out of this. Hopefully next summer we'll be able to do a few of the things I wanted to do this year. And every year, be able to do more. I am (not so patiently) waiting for my union to sign a contract, we've been close to 3 years in negotiations, hopefully we'll get one this fall. Once we sign, I'll be getting 3 years of back pay, a pretty nice raise and a pay out for a part of the contract that should result in a down payment for a house. At that point, I'll have to decide what to do.

We like to go look at model homes, and dream. Jackson is obsessed with wanting a balcony. And a boat, but we aren't getting that. For the house, he wants a balcony for some reason I don't really understand. For myself, I want a house! The problem comes with what do I want, a new house? Built just for us with the finishes I like. Or an older, usually less expensive, place. Do we stay in this school zone or move to a new area? Change schools and daycare, perhaps be closer to where I work? Do I care about having a yard? Would a balcony be enough? We no longer have the dog, and as long as we are near a park we can get the running around outside out of his system. We never really use the backyard here any way. We have cats, so vertical space would be nice, if we own I can do shelves for the kitties. Why do I even think about this now? I mean it's going to be months before anything happens, I suspect November for the contract, then at least 2 months to get the money and 3 months for it to sit in savings so I can use it for the down payment. Avoiding taxes on the money so it ends up as enough to use. That means maybe next summer.

So until then we are on budget lock down, paying off as much debt as I can, saving some, and sticking to the budget. Kiddo keeps asking for toys, but has been told no more until his birthday, only 4 months to go! He is quite stubborn, but he will survive, as will I. I also like to get things, clothes, nail polish, makeup, cat stuff, oh I do like to shop! I keep in mind that once I get the debt gone, and buy the house, I will have a bunch of extra money to spend on whatever I really want, like all those things I like to shop for. And trips, cruises, and Disney.

All in all, it means nothing really fun for the next while, at least not if it costs too much money. But yes, I will still take my summer vacation again next year, as I did this summer. Even if it is a pay cut. It is worth it, and I am not looking forward to going back to work. I still have my paid vacation time I can use in the winter, even if we aren't going on a trip anywhere.

So for our last week off we have no weekend plans, we'll probably head to a park, maybe take a walk in the woods. Monday we are meeting one of Jackson's friends at the park for a play date. Tuesday we are going to my friend's house for a play date. Wednesday no plans, Thursday and Friday I will send him to daycare, to kind of get back on track for school. Then it's a long weekend and then boom, back to school. I think kiddo has enjoyed the time off with me, I have enjoyed it with him, though I also admit I enjoyed the two days I had alone this week. It is sometimes nice to have a little break and just watch grown up tv, do nothing, and get things done.

Playing at the park

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Babies and little ones

We have been having a nice summer, had a pleasant trip to my parent's, doing some relaxing things around home. Kiddo is playing with his toys, being imaginative and creative. Today we went to an SMC bbq. It was nice to see other ladies with kids on their own. I think everyone there today had a kid, there were no thinkers or tryers this time. Jackson didn't really have a lot of fun, he is a little shy, and there were a lot of little ones around. A few kids his age came later, and he did have a bit of fun, but he didn't do as much as I expected. It is funny to see so many little ones. And to see the other moms. There was one with two kids, one who was trying for the second, actually two I think, and many who were one and done. I had fully intended to go to the doctor and get a referral this summer, get checked out at least and know if my chances are slim. Whenever I get around all the other kids, I start thinking again. It's funny because I remember going to another get together and all these little ones were not born yet or not walking yet, and now here they are. Time flies by. My son is less than 4 months from turning 6. He would be at least 6 years older than a sibling, and would he be resentful? Would it be too hard? I don't know.

Yesterday we went swimming at the local pool and it was nice, the water was warm and it wasn't too busy. We had fun. But if I'd had another kid to watch, not sure it would have happened. It would have been a lot harder for sure. I think I should have done it two years ago. I think that would have been a good gap in age, and it would have worked out. Now, I'm not sure. Again.

Of course I keep taking my supplements, and doing the things I should be doing, tracking my cycle, taking my temperature, but it could all be for nothing. I feel like I am getting old. In 15 years I will probably be able to retire, but not if I have a teenager. But I don't have a lot of time, and I just can't let go of it completely. There is this part of me that is hoping something will happen to make it all clear. A sign of some sort that will appear and say "do this".

I miss having a baby, I even miss diapers, and bottles, and carrying a little one everywhere. I think I would be more relaxed about some things this time, less stressed over whether I am doing the right thing, making the right choices. And I would be better prepared for some things, like a lack of sleep. And staying healthy, and doing things. But am I giving something up that I would regret? Will it be too much work? Too much for my own health? Too difficult with two of such different ages. I'm not sure.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A long vacation

We are mid week two of my vacation, and I am relaxing, loving it, and dread going back to work in 28 days. That's 4 weeks. Ugh. I keep hoping I'll somehow win the lottery and not need to work any more. I just have a hard time spending the money on actually getting tickets. Since this is an unpaid vacation, my pay has gone down, but it is still manageable. I do really believe it is worth it though. Jackson has finally relaxed as well and is playing again which is nice to see. He does not want to spend any time at daycare, I can't really blame him. We had a really fun weekend. We went to parks and splash pads pretty much every day, and he had a lot of fun. He is going tomorrow as they have a field trip planned. It will be a small break for me. I look forward to it, and getting the laundry done among other things. Then Friday we go to my parent's until Wednesday.

Money is very tight and I wish we had more to really enjoy the time. But I realize that my kid loves to go to splash pads (free) and conservation areas (mostly free or very cheap) to see animals and have fun. He wants to spend time with me, and do things. I'm sure he'd love to do those expensive things, and trips, too, but at least he's happy to spend time with me for now.

Take today, it was pay day so we did groceries, not too much because we will be gone for a week, so nothing really fresh that won't keep. Then we brought everything home and went out for lunch, usually cheaper than doing dinner. After that we went to look at some model homes. We both enjoy going and looking around, though he gets a little over excited and doesn't remember that the furniture they use for staging doesn't come with the house, and we can't buy one now any way. But we also tend to agree on the houses. Except today, he fell in love with a house that has two balconies, the master is upstairs from the rest of the house, and it was a condo, which I do not want. We looked more because he wanted to see what they were like. And it's a time filler on a cloudy day. I think when we can actually buy I know where we will be looking. But I also know we could actually afford more if I was a little better with money, and a little less stupid in spending.

My goals over the next 6 months are go get some debt paid down, which will partly depend on getting our contracts signed so I can get some back pay, a raise and a special payout that will be a down payment for a house. I also am working on getting healthier, losing weight, being active! We need to spend less, and yet do more.  I'd love to find a new position at work, since it's a big agency I could find a new job and not have to move, stay at the same level. I just want to make sure it's one I will be able to take leave every summer, because I really do think this will be an annual thing.

I got him his shots yesterday, they are supposed to be done between 4 & 6, I waited until 5 1/2. Party so he would understand what's going on and be willing to sit for it, but also because I know it will be almost 10 years before he needs them again. He's all caught up now, and it was two needles at once. Nice the nurses did it at once, and he got a sticker for it. After we went for ice cream, he had his first Blizzard, loved it but didn't finish his mini! Then we went home and he was out of sorts the rest of the day. He was still sore this morning and got up at 5! I managed to convince him to go back to bed, and he slept until almost 9, which is unheard of!  He was better this evening, so I hope he will be ok tomorrow, and have fun at daycare.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ah summer

It is summer time and things are good. I am finally on vacation, and we are not doing much. It's actually kind of nice. Yesterday we went to my sister's cottage for the first time. It was a lot of fun, and Jackson loved going tubing on the boat a few times. He was VERY upset when it was time to leave. It took a lot of convincing to get him in the car and he refused to hug anyone. He was quite hungry as he refused to eat while we were there, it might have made him miss something after all! That didn't help how he behaved. He was much better after we got home. I imagine we won't be going back until next year at least. It would be nice to stay a little longer than 4 hours too. We got very lucky with the weather, it rained before we left, and as we were driving home.

Today was another good day. We went to a community pool and swam for about an hour. It was quite nice and he had a lot of fun. We'll go again next week, perhaps try a different pool, there are a few around. Jackson had a lot of fun, he really enjoyed it. I had fun watching him have fun. And we stopped for a treat on the way home, he had a frozen lemonade and a doughnut, I had an iced coffee.  We then went to dinner, and he ate a HUGE meal, adult sized. My parents gave him a gift card for dinner and we used it pretty much all up lol. He does have some leftovers, hopefully he'll eat them. He's not keen on leftovers most of the time.

Tomorrow he is going to daycare. It is basketball day according to the calendar and he is quite excited to go. I am happy he's going at least one day a week over the 5 weeks we are off, he needs to keep up with it, and to go have fun with his friends. He wants to go on all the days they go to special parks. We will find a week or at least a few days to go visit my parents, probably mid-month.

He goes back to school on September 8th, and I go back to work on the 9th, so I'll be able to take him for his first day of grade 1. I am sure it will be exciting and he'll be a bit scared. At least he will have lots of friends.

Apparently he's been doing really well in daycare. He had one "friend" who he loves to play with but they are just not good for each other. They have been separated and so Jackson has had a chance to show his own personality and explore new things to do. He loves to do sports and has been playing with the older kids, up to grade 6. He also likes to play card games and apparently will play with anyone, he gets along with all the other kids and will join in with everyone. He has his moments of course, he is only 5 and the youngest kid in the "schoolager" program. But he is doing well, after a rough start. I'm happy. It's a nice transition to real school. Kindergarten is about fun and playing, Grade 1 is about sitting and learning. Daycare for grade 1 is about group activities. You don't get to go do what you want when everyone else is playing a game.

I am pretty happy to be on a long vacation. I don't get paid for my time off but they average the unpaid days over a year so it's just a small pay cut and doesn't affect things like my pension or benefits. I hope to do it every summer, and save my paid vacation days for other times like Christmas and winter. We won't be able to take a trip this winter sadly, I have some debt to get paid off and am (finally) deciding to put some effort into it. Even with the pay cut. Once that is done we'll be able to travel more I think. If my union would finally sign a new contract I'd get enough in raises, back pay and pay out that I'd be able to pay off my debts and probably have a down payment for a house... it would at least make up for the 5 unpaid weeks this year. Fingers crossed it'll happen this year.

On a boat for the first time