Minimalism and Budgeting

Minimalism and budgeting.

Wow never in  a million years would I have thought those would be my two favorite words! It seems they go hand in hand right? If you don’t have a lot of stuff that means you aren’t buying crap and wasting money!

At least that’s how it will be. I feel like I’m spending money in order to have organization for less stuff! Yup leave it to me to make simple things a royal pain in the ass!

So, my journey to minimal living is going well… we got the new kitchen table with the storage underneath and everything is organized in the kitchen and fridge. Yay me! I ALMOST feel like I have the whole kitchen done. Now its just the daily chore of keeping the counters clean and sink empty. I feel like it should be easier when there’s only 3 of us but whatever.

Working on our bedroom next. Our living room is fairly small and empty so I feel like that just needs to be kept clean. Easier said than done right? Isn’t that the worlds mantra? Anyway back on track. Bedroom is coming along. We no longer have crap accumulated at the end of the bed and our shoes are organized in the stand which means we aren’t tripping over them and I’m not throwing them.

Yes I’m a shoe thrower! Especially when I tripped over one that wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place. Hence the journey we are on.

Our other big adventure is budgeting!!! *happy dance* Seriously I never knew how happy having a budget could make me!

I have my friend Sarah to thank for this new obsession. She turned me to Dave Ramsey ! For those of you who don’t know him its worth looking at. For me I love that there are baby steps! Anything with baby steps is right up my alley! I’m all about it.

His first baby step is to save $1,000 emergency fund. Then start paying off all debt. Why you ask? Because if you don’t have payments guess what you have?!?! MONEY!!!

Mind Blown!

There’s more to it than that and he has a whole debt snowball thing going so I would check out his website and the whole process. I listen to his podcast and am obsessed. The debt free scream is now on the bucket list!

We started with a budget. Seems simple right?!?! But we weren’t doing it before! Totally insanity.  Now I’m a bit retarded so I can not do a whole monthly budget. My husband and I get paid on alternate weeks so we have a paycheck coming in every week. That’s how I do it. I budget down to every dollar for each week looking at what bills we have to pay that week and looking ahead to see whats coming.

Yes yes yes I know that makes up my monthly budget. Still can’t just write down the monthly one! It’s a mental block I have. But doing it by the week for the month works for me and guess what? I don’t even care. If it’s not broke, don’t worry about it!

Its taken a few months to get everything down and we still have months where we back slide. It happens, its called life. That being said I have never felt more in control of our money and most importantly our future.

After being on a budget when we do back slide its soooo much easier to get back on track. It’s no longer the end of the world and full-blown panic mode.

Adulting sucks. There’s no point in sugar-coating it.

Paying bills, keeping a clean house, getting a hostess gift, it’s all just exhausting and quite frankly way too much to think about. So much like trying to like the summer time, this is me, trying to enjoy being an adult! Finding ways to make cleaning fun like listening to my podcast while I do dishes. Watching the housewives while folding laundry.

I’m interested… what makes cleaning house more exciting for you people? How do you get through it?

 

 

Raining Cheerios

When is the best time to travel long disftance with a toddler? Answer: NEVER

Okay that’s a bit dramatic but seriously after 3 1/2 hours in a car with a 2-year-old thats my current suggestion.

Rylan has always been a good traveler. She would fall asleep in the car and be good till we got wherever we were going. Before she was 6 months old she had been to Santa Cruz twice, San Jose, Tahoe, Bucks Lake, and I feel like there was more but I’m recovering from traveling right now and can’t think. She is still a fairly good car kid. Around town she falls asleep when its nap time and transfers so great! My kid is amazing overall but that’s probably my favorite thing about her. If she falls asleep in the car 9 times out of 10 we can pick her up and get her in bed with out a fit or her waking up. Its like magic. (knock on wood…. seriously, please).

We normally travel with someone. Pat is always with us or my mom likes to plan stuff for us to do together. She’s WAY better at making sure we get to do fun stuff than I am. Especially in this heat. I have 0 motivation to do anything other than complain. Anyway this trip I decided to go alone. Pats family has a cabin at Bucks Lake. Right on the water and drop dead gorgeous view and adorable true cabin feel. They all go every year in July and my poor hubs can’t go in the summer because of golf course grass or something. I swear I’m a decent wife!

This year they planned the trip and I looked at mine and Rylans schedule and yes we could make it happen for a little bit. Not realizing that the road was closed to get there and we would have to drive an extra hour and half on top of the already 4 hour drive. Awesome. So to make the trip less cringe worthy my mother in law and I drove 3 hours to stay at her brother’s house before waking up to travel the last 2 hours.

We left on a Thursday night because we wanted to get there, sleep, wake up and finish the trek to the glorious Bucks Lake. If you’ve never been there I’m not exaggerating how amazing this place is. Add it to the bucket list STAT. So we load up in the car and Rylan is super excited to see her cousins and has no clue the amount of time her tiny bum will be strapped to that seat.

The first hour and half we listened to Toddler Tunes. She did great. Sang her songs, ate her fruit snacks, and was doing fine. My head was starting to hurt from wheels on the bus on repeat but overall was feeling pretty proud of myself.

Then things started to change.  *dun dun dun* She threw her water, which I can not reach while driving. She wanted the iPad, which we do not give her in the car because she’s never wanted it and didn’t know it was a thing until recently. No iPad meant she had to do something and asked for Cheerios. High fiving the crap out of my future self I had packed snacks and had them in the front seat ready to hand her pre-meltdown. Sounds like a good idea right? WRONG!

Still mad over not getting the toys of her choice and me not pulling over every 5 seconds to pick up all the things she threw, she took the open bag of Cheerios and dumped it all over her lap.

“Seriously Rylan?!?! You know better!” I swatted towards the back seat while trying not to swerve on the freeway.

Then it happened…. it started raining Cheerios in my Yukon! Yup you read that right. from all angles cheerios were flying! Down the back of my shirt, bouncing off the windows, even flying towards the windshield only to land down in the air vents.

Determined to make it to Oroville without stopping, I just stopped yelling. I stopped swatting at her while driving down the freeway cause, well… I choose life. I waited it out and was thankful that I hadn’t stocked the reachable ice chest with anything alcoholic. (I would never really drink and drive especially with my child in the car so hold the AA emails) But after experiencing a car cheerio rain storm I’ll also be withholding my judgement on drunk moms.

We made it to Bucks Lake. Right when we got there I could breathe easier. I opened the car door, took a look at that gorgeous cabin and lake, and took a deep breath. Then I put a beer in the freezer. That’s one thing I can appreciate about summer, when its miserable out (anything over 75 degrees) there’s always a gorgeous lake just sitting there waiting for you to come and join the higher elevation, and take a deep breath.

Of course Pinecrest is also beautiful and only a 45 min drive.

I’ve listened to podcast and read blogs on traveling with kids and tips to make it go faster and this trip has led me to give you advice of my own. Mother to mother. Are you ready, cause it’s really good advice? You should write it down. Here it is: Let dad drive and put on a sleep mask and noise cancelling headphones with a good audio book!

 

Heat Stress

IMG_5751As a human there is always a million things to worry about. That is just part of life. But when you are responsible for the life of another living creature its a whole new ball game. I experienced it first when getting a puppy. As a child you think it’s all fun and games,throwing balls, and cuddles. But that first time it sprints away from you towards traffic and you suddenly can’t remember how to breathe, it hits you. You are responsible.

Take that feeling and multiply it by about a trillion when you have a baby. I remember after my very unplanned c-section being exhausted and having a baby that wouldn’t stop crying, and wondering what the heck we had gotten ourselves into! We were terrified and that was in the hospital with a whole team of nurses and doctors available at the push of a button.

Then it got so much worse! No complications, the baby was healthy but the doctor and nurse came and said we’d be able to leave that afternoon.  Umm.. leave? No. It can’t be that easy. I don’t know what I’m doing yet. You people are just going to let me take home this extremely fragile human life and trust that I’m competent to take care of it?! All that flashes through my head is Robin on How I Met Your Mother freaking out over the easily accessible “self destruct button” on the top of their heads!

Of course everything was fine. We really are responsible parents and people for the most part. But thank goodness we had her in the winter! I mean there’s cold and flu season to worry about but that was the most of my concerns as you usually stay home a lot with a new born. It’s also manageable if you keep everyone far away and a bottle of Purell by the door. And in the bathroom. And the living room coffee table. We were one step away from spraying people with Lysol as they walked through the door.

I didn’t realize how scared of summer months I was until today. Having a toddler makes most things terrifying. However, its been 112 degrees outside and this morning it was only high 90’s so it felt good to be in the shaded back yard. We have a plastic play ground that was gifted to us with two slides and some tunnels to climb through that’s been neglected over the entire winter and covered in leaves, dirt, and spider webs. Before use it  would need a pressure washer and to be honest at trip to the dump is in its future. So naturally my 2 1/2 year old wants to play with it. Only it.

Literally 3 minutes and here’s where my head went. Spiders, other bugs that bite, leaf pile and snakes, heat stroke, sun burn, other animals that could be hiding (unlikely since I can see all of it), any spray the pest guy has used, and fumes from the cars driving by our busy road. Super dramatic I’m aware but still that’s how my mind work. In general summer scares me and I also worry about pools, lakes, rivers, and any real body of water where there could be a life changing accident. Things I don’t worry about at much in my beloved winter.

I don’t think my fears will ever go away. But with the help of my tribe all around me I’m learning to relax. I have no secret formula for this (if you do PLEASE message me! Reward offered!) other than having faith. Faith that everything will be okay and that God is watching out for us. Faith that insect repellent and sunscreen are made well and will do their job. Faith that my husband and I are doing a good job and will keep an eye out and protect her the best we can. Enjoying the activities that summer bring is helpful and thinking of all the amazing memories she’ll have when she’s older helps. Also not wanting to project my hatred of summer on to her is important. Although I can’t help smile when we are driving and she says “go away sun!” when its on her face. I laugh out loud when we go outside and she says “I don’t yike this heat go away sun”. The pluviophile mama is proud!

Accidents will happen no matter what time of year all I can do is try to control the anxiety that gets so much worse in the summer.

Pluviophile in 110 Degree weather

 

It’s the end of June and start of the heat waves and while everyone else is excited and already enjoying the sun I’m still in mourning over the winter ending.

Everyone thinks fun and freedom when they think of summer while I’m over here thinking of my make up melting off, my car seat burning my bum, and the struggle of not being able to find clothes that simultaneously cover my body and are light enough to not give me heat stroke.

It’s not all bad. I do see the appeal to summer. Its not that I hate the sun. Wait… I kind of do! Its more that I just love the rain! I love when it’s not raining but overcast and you can cuddle up on the couch and read, or open a window and get that cold breeze and fresh clean smelling air come through the house. I love that you can bake without dying.  I love how it feels like the world is getting a shower and everything is green and pretty.  Of course there’s a whole new list for when its snows! Mostly I love that I can always put a layer on or cover up when its cold out. Summer you can only take off so much before people start getting offended or someone calling the cops.

That being said I am learning to love the sun and all brightness that comes with it. I have my 2-year-old daughter and living in the mountains to thank for that. You can’t stay inside forever with a toddler (not without burning down the house or getting a drinking problem). So I’m learning to love things that make her face light up. Sitting outside and eating a popsicle, splashing in the pool and watching her “go all the way under” when she hold her nose and dips her chin in,  and the smell of good sunscreen.

I have to mentally prepare myself to get excited and find the things in summer that make me happy. So we are going to spend a lot of time at the lake, pool, and at friends houses with air conditioning! I’m totally up for suggestions as I’m new at this and am sure there are summer people who have amazing ideas! I’d love to hear them.

So while I mourn the loss of my clean rain smell, I smile and think of my friend on the golf course saying “don’t you just love the smell of hot dirt?”…. umm no. But the thought and smell make me smile and its a start.