Category Archives: Finances

Our Ongoing Home Reno & Other Updates

Hey there!

Here’s a little update on life for us these days.

House

We moved to our new fixer upper home almost 7 months ago. I joke with hubby that we ought to just dig a big hole in the backyard and start throwing money into it, because it has been one giant money pit! A mold report that came back showing high levels of (non toxic) mold less than a month after we bought the house really pushed us to replace the areas were there had been water exposure (floors, under kitchen sink) much faster than we had originally planned.  And then the snowball just started rolling as one thing led to another. That’s home renovation for you, I suppose!

Here’s a list of some of the things we’ve redone since we moved in:

Tear out back deck (was structurally unsafe).

Deck (removed).

New carpet in family room and bedrooms:

I didn’t really have any “carpet” pictures, but you can kind of see it here.

Removed wall between dining room and kitchen:

Before. (This wall drove me nuts because I couldn’t keep track of the kids!)

After. I love it!

Laminate in kitchen, fireplace room, hallway and master closet:

Closet doors (two sets), screen door, side garage door:

Tile floors in laundry room and kids’ bathroom:

I tried to pick tile that matched the laminate.

Replaced Kitchen counter tops, sink (chipping), faucet & garbage disposal (leaked whenever running):

Before. This wasn’t too long after we moved in.

Before.

After. My inner clean freak is very happy with having quartz counter tops now!

Tile back splash in kitchen (which we had to add because there was a big gap between the counter tops and the wall):

Pulled out melamine desk/cabinets and put in smaller desk area with upper shelving:

Replaced furnace and A/C (yes we wanted to cry when we learned we needed to replace BOTH):

New A/C.

Dishwasher (which died right after the furnace and A/C – more crying, hehe). New dishwasher will be here in two weeks.

Replaced fridge (died on moving day), stove and microwave.

Painted bathroom vanities and kitchen cabinets:

Painted ENTIRE house (including ceilings).

Replaced almost all light fixtures and 2 out of 3 fans (we saved the only one that worked).

Whew! That wasn’t even a comprehensive list. And what’s sadder is that the “to do” list is still a mile long! The bottom line, however, is that we LOVE living here. We love the space (1/2 acre), the neighborhood, the proximity to hubby’s work, and also the fact that we live super close to my in laws! (And as a side note, both my parents and my hubby’s Dad were instrumental in helping us get a lot of the above list completed!)

Kids

Josh & Rachel are doing fine. Josh is just over 3 and Rachel is 20 months. I sure do love them and enjoy my days with them. I know everyone else has adorable/smart/funny kids, but some days I seriously wonder which state penitentiary my kids will end up at–because they can be quite devious! Some days Josh and I really do battle it out. I’m no marshmellow Mom in any sense of the word, so I often have to remember to look for ways that I can answer “yes” instead of “no.” Rachel is very determined and doesn’t give up easily either, but she does have much shorter tantrums, which I am thankful for!

I like to remember the following so please tune out if this is crazy boring (I imagine it would be to most):

Josh wears 3T clothing and wears a an 8/9 shoe. He weighs 31.6# (No joke, he’s weighed exactly 31.6# the last several times he’s asked to hop on the scale!) and a few months ago he was just over 3 feet tall. We took away his paci back in April and it wasn’t a big deal at all (we were shocked! And thankful…).

Rachel wears 18-24 months clothing and is somewhere between a size 5 or 6 shoe. She is only a few inches shorter than Josh. She still doesn’t have to many words, but she’s working on it every day. She’s been in a size 5 diaper for a while. I use Pampers diapers and water only wipes or else she tends to be prone to really bad diaper rash.

Don’t be fooled. They’re wanna-be felons, I tell you! 🙂

Weight Loss

I wrote a while back about experiencing unintended weight loss. I’m happy to report that out of the 16# I lost, I gained 7-8# of it back and that seems to be where things have settled. I’m not unhappy about it, but I do wish I had a better appetite most days so that cooking would feel less like a chore.

Endometriosis

I don’t really want to go on and on when it comes to this topic. The synopsis is: The endo does seem to be back. Some months are bad and some are okay. I cut out caffeine back in February which seemed to really help with pain levels. I still seem quite unable to get pregnant without intervention (IVF), so that’s a drag. At the same time, I have little to no desire to go through IVF again (not that we could afford it right now after all these home repairs!). I’ve been thinking about my options for when things DO get consistently bad, pain-wise. One option is to see a specialist who would excise all endo (cutting it out, rather than burning it off) and see how far that gets me. Another option would be to do a hysterectomy and also have current endo excised. This may still not alleviate pain (endo grows back easily and hides, so that it can be tricky even for specialists to find) and I still may require further surgeries. In all honesty, I’m hoping avoid any surgeries at all, because the frequent pain I get from adhesions and scar tissue following surgeries is off the charts.

Well I think that covers some of the basics! Thanks for sticking it through the post!

 

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Filed under Baby, DIY, Endometriosis, Finances, Infertility, IVF, Motherhood, Pain, Parenting, Toddler

Seven Glorious Days

Insomnia strikes again! Usually I’m up at 3 am but I guess after taking two mini naps during the day I had a bit of a hard time falling asleep (I know, not exactly rocket science to figure that one out).

I have to report that I had SEVEN wonderful days, mostly all pain-free! It was like human life and energy re-inhabited my body again and I started dreaming up all kinds of new things to do. I cooked and cleaned, went places, did some shopping, completely organized the baby’s room, and even tried to work (but I wasn’t needed for the shift I signed up for so I got cancelled). It was lovely. I am so incredibly thankful!

Today I had a routine appointment with my OB and she was thrilled to hear that I had been feeling better. When I told her I was hoping to return to work again, her eyebrow went up and she gave me a concerned look. She discouraged me from working and told me that the baby was in a good position now but that he could move at any time and I might be right back to where I started. Hmm. I hadn’t really thought that would be the case. We talked a bit more about it and I told her I would really consider her advice.

I came home from my appointment to discover that our refrigerator and freezer weren’t working. So I spent most of the afternoon dealing with that–  transferring all our freezer items to our chest freezer in the garage (thank goodness we have that chest freezer!). I wasn’t sure if the fridge was broken at that point too so I ran to the store and bought a refrigerator thermometer. And for some reason, at that point I was feeling pretty lousy. My belly was seriously hurting. I realized too that I felt utterly exhausted, so I took a nap. Woke up a little bit later and ate some food and checked the thermometer in the fridge. 46F. Kind of warm. I thought about running to the store again to grab some ice (so I could transfer all our food into an ice chest) but I still felt crummy so again I took another nap! At 6pm we had a Late Pregnancy class at the hospital which included a tour of the labor and delivery and postpartum units. It was helpful, but I was disappointed to hear that they will be transferring me to a postpartum room as little as one hour after giving birth. Talk about in and out! After we got home we discovered that the fridge had not miraculously healed itself and the temperature was now 52F. So my very tired hubby ran out to get some ice and we transferred everything from the fridge to ice chests. Broken appliances are a time sucker (not to mention a money sucker). We are praying that our 15 year old fridge is only ‘mostly’ dead and not ‘completely’ dead.

With me not working, we are working hard to scrimp and save and live by a very strict budget. My husband is an excellent provider, and in the past few months we have been focusing on saving for unforeseen expenses as well as known expenses. That way, if something major breaks, it won’t kill us! But what that means is that it leaves quite a bit less to live on if I’m not working. We had been given the recent news that the head gasket in my car is reportedly leaking and could blow at any time, and now our fridge is broken. I had been hoping I would be back to work soon but today as I lay in bed with the heating pad on my belly I realized that wouldn’t be happening either. The pain has returned. I’m ashamed to admit that I cried, because it showed not only that I was hoping in my own ability to work and help cover some of these expenses (instead of asking the Lord for it) but it also shows an ungrateful heart for the past seven wonderful days where I felt so much better. Thankfully, at that point my husband and I prayed together and asked the Lord to provide, and to help us to put our hope in Him and not in either of our abilities to work. I felt so much better after we prayed. These are stretching times, but good times. I know I’m learning to trust the Lord in new ways and that is always a good thing. I’m also learning to live without things I always thought I needed, and I’m discovering just how freeing that can be!

So the pain is back but who knows, maybe it won’t be as bad this time around? My friend texted me these verses below today. What a timely reminder that hardships are always worth it.

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”                       Romans 5:3-5

And now I just have to share some pictures from my baby shower last weekend. My mother in law, Cheryl, did such a lovely job! The theme was Peter Rabbit. My sister in law also helped plan the event but she was sick that day and couldn’t make it. 😦

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Unfortunately we didn’t get a group photo until after a lot of people had to leave! But here are many of my good friends and family… what a blessing to be surrounded by people I love!

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My mom on the left and my mother in law on the right. I am incredibly blessed by these two women!

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This was the dessert! Yummy!

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This gift made me cry. My dear friend Terri has prayed faithfully for me for a long time– even back when I was having my very first surgery for endometriosis. She has encouraged me so much along our infertility journey, and she gave me this wonderful wall hanging which couldn’t be more true!

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This giant picture of Peter Rabbit was perfect!

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Lastly, I realized I never posted any pictures from my first baby shower, which was back in November when I was only 23 weeks along. My mom and sisters hosted a smaller shower during that time so my sister (who was visiting from overseas) could be a part of it. The theme was “Something Special is Growing!”

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Each person got a plant to take home with them to represent our growing baby and God’s faithfulness.

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My older sister did a devotion with the group and shared our story for those who didn’t know all the details. Most importantly, she gave glory and honor to God for our little miracle!

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Opening gifts!

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Can’t leave out the food!

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Filed under Finances, Pain, Pregnancy