DINK no more

Have you guys hear the acronym DINK? It stands for Dual Income No Kids. And let me tell you, it’s the life. But, for me and my husband, this month that all changes. In April we will be SINK (what a terrible acronym!) Single Income No Kids, and by May we will be Single Income One Kid! Aagggh!

While my husband’s promotion and transfer to Wyoming were a good move for our family, and for his career, we have learned it is going to require a little bit of a financial change for us. I looked for jobs in Wyoming, looked and looked and looked. To no avail. Everything is either in an oil field or a mine (not the ideal situation for a pregnant lady eh?) or only pays 10-13 dollars an hour. I would like to state that I am not above a 10-13 dollar an hour job, in fact, I almost accepted one or two. Until I found out the cost of day care in Wyoming. Wyoming is surprisingly expensive. I know other “middle of the country” states that have a much lower cost of living, but not Wyoming my friend, not Wyoming. Infant childcare, in this town, is aproximately 1000.00 a month. ONE THOUSAND.  I realize that there are other places in this country where that is a normal, or even low-ish type number. But when the jobs pay 13 dollars an hour….how does one swing a grand a month?

Our financial situation is complicated by the fact that we chose to not sell our house in Idaho before moving. And by chose, I mean…couldn’t. At least, not for what we owe, thank you bubble/recession housing market. Don’t tell my husband but I should have listened to him when he said we shouldn’t buy a house in 2008. D’oh. But, it is what it is. The reason we lived apart from October through February, was so we could sock away enough into savings while we had those two good paying jobs, to be able to supplement our monthly needs with our savings account. It is a little depressing to have our savings account be at an all-time high, only to know that it is slowly going to dwindle until my husband’s bonus comes in November.

So, all of that being said….we are on a strict budget. Which, we have been on before. It’s not like we graduated from college making our 2011 Income. Ha. I worked as an AmeriCorp member for two years, which if you know anything about that program, means we were WELL under the poverty level. But we have gotten used to our cushy life, with the ability to spend our disposable income, pretty much how we see fit. We weren’t rollling in it, and we weren’t extravagant, but we didn’t have to worry. No, we worry. Or I worry.

So, I have been voraciously reading frugal mom blogs, and trying to figure out if there is a way to coupon with out becoming a crazy hoarder. Also, why are their never coupons for the food that I want to buy? I don’t want to buy 10 boxes of hot pockets for 10 dollars. I want fresh fruits and vegetables! Don’t get me started on the food system in this country, that is a whole other can of worms.

So, I am going to add a feature to this blog, about money. Our budgeting strageties, how I shop, how I clean, and well…hopefully how it is all successful!

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Wyoming: She’ll leave you high and dry.

Rock Springs, the town I live in in Wyoming, is located at 6338 feet.  Higher than a mile, and the highest elevation I have ever resided at (other than summer camp in the Sierra’s). The elevation here, is deceiving though. It’s a high plains desert, and doesn’t feel like places you associate with high elevation, like the mountains.

I live in that green section that you see, with that “mountain” view out my bedroom window. This is only half the town, but it gives you an idea of the topography. Brown. Good thing I was born and raised in the high mountain desert, or this might be quite the shock for me.

Last week I was in Reno for my baby shower, thrown by my mother, and a family friend came up to me and told me to make sure I was drinking enough water. I thought she was just giving me advice, because I am pregnant and people are compelled to give you advice and ask you how your are feeling every second of every day. But then she started talking about elevation changes. She is a Labor and Delivery nurse, and said she sees with some amount of frequency, people who come to Reno/Tahoe for a final vacation before the baby comes and end up in early labor due to the elevation and lack of hydration. I wasn’t too worried about myself, having previously been living at an elevation of 2,516ft and Reno is located at 4,505, and I was only there for a few days, but it did get me thinking about the jump to almost 6400 feet.

Hydration is crucial all the time, not just in pregnancy, and I’m sure the hospital here in Rock Springs sees plenty of dehydration cases in visitors and newcomers. But, it’s even more crucial in pregnancy, and at 30 weeks, I really don’t want to go into labor just yet.

I was talking to my best friend about elevation and exercise on the phone, the day after I arrived here in Wyoming. She is currently in Afghanistan and training for a half marathon in Scotland. She said, after the 3000 feet in Afghanistan, that her race in Scotland should be pretty easy. I mentioned the elevation here, and how that combined with my increased blood volume, and extra weight strapped around my stomach, working out felt hard and that these days even a 20-30 minute walk was enough exercise for me.

Four days later this showed up on my doorstep…

 

A Camelbak hydration pack! Inside the pack was a note from my friend about staying hydrated etc. A perfect “welcome to wyoming” gift. I am sort of a gear-nerd, so I was excited to see the padded straps, sternum strap, and all the pockets in which I could carry my keys and phone etc. I have been holding a 24 ounce water bottle in my hand during my walks, and this is going to make it so much easier, have you ever tried holding a nalgene with thick winter gloves on? Not so easy.

I’m excited to get out for my walk with the dog this morning, in fact, that is what I am off too next. It is a balmy 18 degrees outside, but no wind! Gotta take advantage of the still air while I can.

 

Pregnancy: 30 week update

apologies for the bad cell phone/bathroom shot

 

Grrrrrrr.  This post had 300 hundred words in it, I hit publish, and it’s gone.  Dear wordpress, today you are annoying!

The gist was:

I am 30 weeks pregnant. Holy shit.

I have gained 2 pounds in 2 weeks, right on track.

My feet and hands have no swelling and are the same size.

My bra size has increased from a 38ddd to a 40g. Awesome. finding nursing bras is going to be out of this world.

I have upped my exercise since arriving in Wyoming, by walking the dog each day. 30 minute walks are about my limit.

Doing kick counts sucks and makes me paranoid.

Again….I swear this post had more meat to it…..

with only 10 weeks left in pregnancy, the pregnancy posts on this blog are going to start becoming more regular and most of my content. I think.  I’ll probably talk about Wyoming too….this week we had 50 mph winds!

Whirlwind!

Whew! The last few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind! I have now arrived in Wyoming and am once again living with my husband! My last post, was posted on February 12th…so here is a quick list of everything that has happened since then:

Last day at work-February 14th

Last day in Idaho-February 16th

Miles driven from Idaho to Reno-409

Days spent in Reno- 3.5

Miles driven from Reno to Rock Springs Wyoming-704

One baby shower attended (in my honor, Thanks Mom!)

Days in Wyoming-4.5

Walks taken with my dog-3

So…i’ve been busy. Driving, and partying, and unpacking, and re-0rganizing the kitchen in our new house.

I am hoping, now that I am not working (ack, which is a whole post in and of itself) to update more regularly.  Lots of excitement coming up, new doctors offices, putting together the nursery, figuring out Wyoming…. stay tuned!

What is Wyoming?-Leaving Home

This past week, I have been having this strange sort of feeling about leaving Idaho. I couldn’t quite put my finger on that feeling though. It wasn’t sad, scared, or nervous.  Today I finally figured it out, it feels like I am leaving home.

I left home the first time in 2001, to go to college. I grew up in Reno, Nevada and went to school at the University of Idaho, in Moscow Idaho. I knew no one, other than my grandfather who lived in Moscow. But we weren’t close. I was terrified and incredibly excited.

I have lived in Idaho now for almost 10 and a half years. In those years, it has become home. While I have lived in two different parts of the state, the whole place feels like home to me now.

I think part of that has to do with the fact that those 10 years have been incredibly formative. In that time I have:

Gone away to college, made life-long friends, felt my first heartache, had friends die, had family members die, loved in capacities that I didn’t even know was possible,  lived in a dorm, lived in an apartment, lived alone, gone on road trips with friends, had summer jobs all over the country, graduated from college, been engaged, gotten married, moved in with my husband, searched for jobs, worked at my first job, made a whole new slew of life-long friends, watched my friends get married, have babies, and get divorced, bought a house, bought a car, become a landlord, become an aunt, become pregnant, and moved in with my in-laws.

It’s alot of living that happens between 18 and 28. And honestly, there are only a few moments of it I would change.

But, now it’s time to move forward, to look forward to the incredible life changes that will come in the next 10 years.

This move to Wyoming, sort of fits. New state, new baby, new work situation.  Again, all new, just like the last time I left home. And I’m ready.

Hiring…myself?

For the past few days, I have been interviewing people for my job. I have to tell you, it’s  a trip.

We have about 125 applicants. When I applied for this job, I think there were 5 applicants.  Quite the difference, sign of the times right?

Before I knew I was leaving this job, I had plenty of days when I wished that I was. We all have those days at work right? Where you just don’t want to do your job anymore? I mean, for me, it’s few and far between, but they do exist. But, now that it’s a reality it’s sort of freaking me out a little bit.

I want, more than anything, to live with my husband again, but leaving my job makes me panic a little bit, and i’m starting to get a little bit emotional about it. I have a fantastic job, great co-workers, and an amazing boss. When I interview these candidates, I go through a strange succession of emotions.  Doubt, disbelief, feeling like this is MY job, and you don’t get to have it!

I sort of feel like I am leaving my baby with a baby sitter. The plan is to have the new person hired before my last day, so  can train them. I can already feel myself starting to want to micromanage the person to death. To tell them everything that I do and how I do it.

I think this is all part of making the transition to my new life. Even though my husband is already gone, not that much has changed for me, aside from that one gigantic factor. It’s all part of learning to let go, and move on. Right?

What is Wyoming?-State Nickname

You really can learn something new!

Yesterday, I was getting a quarter out of my wallet for a rare trip to the vending machine, I had a sudden craving for skittles. I try to avoid giving into my crazy, random sugar cravings, but yesterday it couldn’t be helped. One of the quarters I pulled out, was a Wyoming quarter. I noticed the words “The Equality State” on the quarter. As I walked to the vending machine, for my sugar hit, I realized I had NO idea  why Wyoming was called by that particular moniker, and really not much about Wyoming at all.

When I got back to my desk, I did what any thinking person would do, I googled. I was amazed at what I learned.

Wyoming was the FIRST state to allow women to; vote, sit on juries, and hold public office. I had NO idea. I tried to remember if I had ever learned this in school, and maybe I had, but I couldn’t come up with anything, from the recesses of my brain. If this were a jeopardy question, ” state that first allowed women to vote.” I would have come up with something like “What is Maryland?”

I have to admit, I’m quite impressed Wyoming. I mis-judged you. I truly had no idea, and I’m totally going to look more into this, and into Wyoming history.

“You’ve traded Steve-o for Tivo.”

So, when Scott moved to Wyoming and we decided I would move in with my in-laws, we purchased me a lap top, so I could have a computer of my own at their house. Scott was taking our desk top with him, and while my in-laws have both a desk top and lap top, there is nothing more awkward than using someone elses computer.

With the new laptop, came the ability to stream Netflix, my new love, or rather, the love that keeps me company at night before bed. I sort of love watching TV  shows on Netflix, so much more gratifying than having to wait a week (or more!) for the next update.

So far, I have watched the most recent, but not current season of Grey’s Anatomy,  seasons 1-4 of Mad Men (how hot is Don Draper…seriously), and am currently on season two of Gossip Girl.

But, it is really healthy to spend time with my computer? I feel like Miranda in that Sex and the City Episode, where she is obsessed with her TIVO. I find myself looking forward to getting into bed at night, so I can watch an episode or two of whatever I’m currently hooked on.

I suppose looking forward to getting into bed with my computer is better than crying about being lonely. Although, a word to the wise? Don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy while pregnant. Ever.