Not as far along as they told me!

Ok, I’m back from the first prenatal appointment.

These are the things I found out.

1. I can’t use the doctor’s in that office because they don’t deliver babies at the hospital I want to use. I also can’t use that office because they do not work with nurse midwives. They were gracious enough to refer me to another office that would be able to do what I want.

2. I am not 7 1/2 weeks along. I am only 5 1/2 weeks. I had a moment of panic, because of the way the doctor worded it…not too sensitive, this lady. She said, “Either we have the calculations wrong and you are not as far along as we thought, or the baby isn’t developing at the rate it should. You need to come back in 2 weeks so we can do another ultrasound to make sure that the baby is developing properly.”

Nice, huh? So after we were on our way home I started crying thinking maybe something is wrong with the bean. But Hubby reassured me that this makes more sense, considering we were both really convinced our conception date was June 25. That would put me right about 5.5 weeks. When I first called the doctor’s office and they told me March 11 was my due date, I thought that was funny because I was thinking more towards the end of March, i.e., March 25. So now I have to make another appointment with the new midwife for about 2 weeks from now so I can get a for sure due date, but for now I’m going to say March 25.

On the plus side, she did point out the baby’s heart beat, and it was beating strongly. She said that makes her think that the baby is doing great and it is just 5.5 weeks along.

We have pictures of the Bean! and I will scan and post them very soon.

PeeWee got to be in the room with us, and she was very awestruck with the whole process.

That is all I have to offer right now! More later!

First Prenatal Appointment Today!

Ok, today is my first prenatal doctor’s appointment. I am excited.

I have been having a hard time the last couple of days, with nausea and dizziness and general tiredness. However, I am feeling a bit better about it now that someone told me something that cheered me. She told me that the tireder I am, the sicker my tummy is, that means the more nutrition that my baby is taking from me, so I am going to have a healthier baby. I don’t know if it is really true, but I’m going to assume it is because it makes me feel better about the whole ordeal.

So bring on the all-day sickness! I want a healthy happy little bean. I think this nickname is going to stick, poor little bean.

I am coping with another little bit of sadness. My friend Dara, she is moving away at the end of this week. She is going to be moving back to Atlanta where she is from. I am going to miss her so dreadfully, you can’t even know.

I need to write her a heartfelt goodbye letter, and get her some treats to remember me by. A trip to Hallmark is in order!

I am just glad I still have SIL around! And I have a few friends left around here.

I am looking forward to my Chicago trip, which is a week from this Friday. I’m excited, it’s my first time on a plane by myself. We are going to have lots of fun, provided I can get over this morning sickness so I can eat and enjoy the trip. We have a massage and pedicure scheduled for Saturday the 7th, so I’m looking forward to a little pampering.

Another cool thing – my niece Tiffy just got her driver’s license yesterday! Yay Tiffy! Now she can drive me to work when she is visiting, and keep the car to run around with Princess and have lots of fun. She is coming up to visit in August so we can go to the Renaissance Festival. I am hoping her brother Nate can come along too. I think he would love it.

I need to get to work now. I only have 3 hours left till I leave for the doctor’s. I’ll write later and let you know how it goes!

An Entry Before Early Bedtime

Everything is better now that I am home. It is 6:41 p.m. and I am sitting here typing this on my laptop, in bed. I am strongly considering just turning off the computer shortly and turning in for the night. I haven’t even gone across the street to check the mail. It probably has Saturday’s mail in it, and also today’s. But I don’t care.

I’m a rebel.

So today I had to go to the mall after a rather un-fun day at work. What is more, I had to go to the dreaded mall, not because of anything I needed, but to buy a birthday present for a coworker that isn’t really someone I’m very close to. But no one else would do it, and heck, I had to practically extort the birthday present money by force from these people. I personally don’t like the whole buying a present thing for the coworkers and everyone having to chip in. Because a lot of the time, I can’t afford that $5 or so bucks that everyone chips in for these gifts. But everyone else does and so I guess I do too. Peer pressure sucks.

Anyway, with everyone prior to this person getting a present, cake, and card, I can’t just NOT see to it that this guy has one too. He always chips in on everyone else’s birthday. Unfortunately, no one wanted to chip in on his birthday. Which I thought was pretty sucky of some people I always thought were otherwise pretty nice. Because it’s on my head if they choose not to. My boss pretty much expects me to do this. And there you have it, the real reason I do it.

So anyway, I rounded up the cash for this last week. I bought the goofy “birthday from group” card yesterday. Had everyone sign that today, and tonight I went to the mall to pick up a gift certificate to a specialty store that he likes. I also went to get him a birthday cake. I picked this small round white cake out, but after I got it in the van and looked at it, it didn’t look that good. So I decided to go to a different (better) store and get a nicer cake. I figure I’ll just let my family eat this other cake (and I’m sure they will).

So I go and buy this little sheet cake, and some cake decorating icing and tips. I practiced my cake writing on the ugly cake, and thereby made it more attractive for our family to eat. I wrote “Happy Happy UN Birthday!” So when Hubby and Princess get home from Grandma’s tomorrow night, I’m going to serve dinner and then have an UnBirthday party a la the Mad Hatter and March Hare. Should be fun. Then, I did the “Happy Birthday” message on the good cake, and I must admit, it turned out a lot better than I thought it would. Previously, my shaky hands forewent any kind of artistic expression via pastry.

He better appreciate all the work I did for his dumb ass.

Do you think pregnancy is making my humor a bit edgier?

So, my little bean is no longer the size of a bean. The bean is now the size of a cherry. Someone said it wouldn’t be good to call it “My little cherry” now. I don’t understand why. Could someone explain it to me?

Oh, by the way, if you don’t know, the “bean” is the little baby inside my belly. I am not talking about gardening.

But back to my story about this birthday. When I went to the mall, I went to the Mrs. Fields cookie stand and got me my absolute favorite treat from the mall. It’s the big cookie they cut into pizza type slices and cover with icing. The bean and I both loved it.

You see, I’ve been suffering from morning/afternoon/evening sickness all day today, and actually the pizza cookie made me (and the bean) feel better. Tummy all better now.

Today was rough. I didn’t accomplish much. I think the next few weeks will be more of the same.

Hubby and I have been seriously discussing selling the house and finding a new house that will meet our needs better. I want a bigger living space, family room, etc., and all the bedrooms on one floor rather than split between two levels. Hubby wants more property.

My concerns are how much I will miss this house. I have bonded with this house in a way I’ve never bonded with any home I’ve ever been in. I have lived longer in this house than I’ve lived anywhere in my adult life. I have moved close to 20 times since I turned 17. This house has been our home since 2000, and I love it so much. We have made it ours in so many ways. But there is not much we can do to maximize the space in this house to get what I want out of my living areas. I love the trees in the yard like they were friends of mine. This is the first home I have decorated, painted, and made my own.

It will be hard to leave it.

Plus, I am concerned that we make sure that Princess is still in a good school district. I will have to research this very carefully.

In the meantime, I told Hubby if he wanted to sell the house, we needed to get several things done around here, stat. There are a few repairs that need done. Honestly, we should put on a new roof, too, because we have a leaky area that I really feel bears replacing the whole roof. I’d rather replace the roof ourselves than make a discount on the price, because that just looks bad to buyers that we have a bad roof.

So if we do this, we will have our work cut out for us in the next few months.

So much on the mind. And all I can think about is going to sleep.

And with this, I will leave you.

Oh, by the way, I am actually feeling pretty good right now, so if this entry sounds like I’m not feeling the best, sorry. I am so blessed, no matter what little inconveniences come my way, and I know how blessed I am.

Good night darlings.

Protein = Boy? Who knows?

I’m having a baby!
I’m having a baby!
Yes yes yes!
I’m having a baby!

I can’t help it. I’m still so darn excited!

I have taken to calling the little baby inside me “My little bean” because currently he or she is the size of a small bean.

I had morning sickness today, which was cured at lunchtime by fried eggs and sausage. Isn’t that odd? The cereal I had for breakfast just made it worse. But it was all that I had. A friend thinks this means I’m going to have a boy, because supposedly you crave proteins with boys, and starches or sweets with girls. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I constantly crave both. I’m an eater. Love me some food.

I’m not overeating though…so don’t worry! However, when I go to the grocery store, along with veggies, etc., I am going to buy a few slim jims and some jerky to keep here in case I need that protein/meat thing. I am also going to get nuts and crackers and raisins and m&ms.

I feel like a cup running over with love. I would hug and kiss you soundly, were you here.

Funny No Matter Your Political Views

George W. Bush meets with the Queen of England. He asks her, “Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give to me?”

“Well,” says the Queen, “the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people.”

Bush frowns. “But how do I know the people around me are really intelligent?”

The Queen takes a sip of tea. “Oh, that’s easy. You just ask them to answer an intelligence riddle.” The Queen pushes a button on her intercom.

“Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?”

Tony Blair walks into the room. “Yes, my Queen?”

The Queen smiles. “Answer me this, please, Tony. Your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?”

Without pausing for a moment, Tony Blair answers, “That would be me.”

“Yes! Very good,” says the Queen.

Back at the White House, Bush asks to speak with vice president Dick Cheney.

“Dick, answer this for me. Your mother and your father have a child. It’s not your brother and it’s not your sister. Who is it?”

“I’m not sure,” says the vice president. “Let me get back to you on that one.” Dick Cheney goes to his advisors and asks every one, but none can give him an answer. Finally, he ends up in the men’s room and recognizes Colin Powell’s shoes in the next stall. Dick shouts, “Colin! Can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child and it’s not your brother or your sister. Who is it?”

Colin Powell yells back, “That’s easy. It’s me!”

Dick Cheney smiles. “Thanks!”

Cheney goes back to the Oval Office to speak with Bush. “Say, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It’s Colin Powell.”

Bush gets up, stomps over to Dick Cheney, and angrily yells into his face, “No, you idiot! It’s Tony Blair!”

I’m A Star!!!

This is my second entry of today so if you want you should go back and read my previous.

But breaking news – every year there is a company picnic and they give out “employee of the year” and “team of the year” awards. This year, apparently, I have been nominated. It was quite emotional for me to read what was written about me. The submission of nominees is anonymous, so I don’t know who to thank about this. Read what was said about me (I’m taking my full name out of here and replacing it with CeltGoddess, and taking out the company name for my own protection):

2003/2004 Nomination – CeltGoddess CeltGoddess always puts in extra effort when completing a project. Everything is done to a tee and many times greater lengths are gone to than originally requested. No matter how busy she is, she never says “no” or “that’s not my job.” She demonstrates a positive attitude by always having a smile and a nice word to share. She is supportive and optimistic, even when you know she is very overextended and takes requests from multiple sources – both direct supervisors and others. CG’s performance contributes to the betterment of [company name] mainly by being a team player and by her endless optimism of what she can achieve and the fact that there are no boundaries – she doesn’t know how to or want to say no and she does a bang up job on everything she touches. She exemplifies the best qualities of who [company name]is and always strives to be more of: trust, integrity, outstanding customer service, and no limits on what we can and/or will accomplish by hard work. I know already that there are many people at [company name] who go above and beyond and are great workers. CG is more than that: SHE IS A STAR!Isn’t that nice? Another thing to brighten up my already happy day.

Did I mention my baby is 9 millimeters long right now according to the baby books? 🙂

We told PeeWee!

I don’t have time to write much right now, but I wanted to let you guys know we told Princess on Sunday and she was so happy!

What a relief! She says she wants a little sister. She’s been telling everyone she meets that she is going to be a big sister.

I am at work, but having a hard time concentrating because I am still so excited and I have so much I want to do and want to make decisions about.

I need quiet thinking time!

How to Tell PeeWee?

Hi folks. Yes, I’m still pregnant today! Can you believe it? I’m still elated about the whole thing.

I am worried about something though. I am so scared to tell Princess. She doesn’t know yet, because she is in Atlanta visiting my sister, and I feel she needs to hear this from both her dad and me, together. So she will not know until she gets home. I will be picking her up and we’ll be back home on Saturday evening.

I know that a couple of times she has expressed her reservations about the whole “new baby in the house” thing. She hasn’t seemed very enthusiastic about it when the subject has come up recently. I know it is probably fear of the unknown, or jealousy or something. Maybe she is afraid that we won’t love her as much or she won’t be special to us anymore.

I just feel like we need to be very careful how we word it and be very reassuring. I still think she’s not going to be as happy as I’d like her to be. And that makes me sad. What I’d really like is for her to be happy and excited, but I know if I hope for that, I’m going to be disappointed. She is only 9 years old. And she is also in a very fragile spot right now, dealing with her mother’s lack of interest and lack of responsibility, which is keeping her from seeing her mom like she should. She is also dealing with the loss of Bruno, and hasn’t really gotten over it yet–but then again, none of us really have. She cries about Bruno quite a bit.

I know she would love a dog, and I think that once the baby is born and I’m home full time, getting a puppy is an option.

But I don’t want to hurt her heart, I want her to be the happiest child ever, so the thought of telling her some big news that may not be “good news” to her, I am dreading.

She DOES know that we have been planning and actively trying to get pregnant. She knows it is coming; but she gets quiet and nervous when it comes up in conversation.

Well, Hubby and I will be as gentle and encouraging as possible when we tell her (break it to her). There is no going back now, there is going to be a new one in our household and I know once the baby gets here, she will love it so much. I know my girl. She’s full of love and I can’t picture her not taking the baby straight to her heart.

I tell her a lot about how close I am to my 3 older sisters, who are about the same age difference as she will be with the new baby. She loves my sisters, so that does seem to cheer her up. I also explained that the age difference really makes it good for her because the baby will see her as another authority figure that the baby will have to listen to. By the time the baby gets big enough to want toys, she will be a teenager and the issue will be moot. The baby can’t play with teenager stuff.

I mean, whatever my sisters told me, was gospel truth, was written in stone and was the law as I knew it. There was no telling them “no” or “I don’t have to.” They were mini-parents and I was expected to listen to them, end of story. By the time the baby is a toddler, Princess will be approximately 13. I think she will be ok.

I’ve also made a vow to myself that I am not going to *make* Princess babysit when she gets older. I figure, if we didn’t have Princess, we would have to pay a babysitter, right? So if Princess babysits, I will make sure she is compensated for helping us out, either by being paid for the babysitting just like any other babysitter, or some other privilege she could earn. I am of course going to expect her to help around the house just like she does now. She is unbelievably helpful to me and I know that it is her nature to assist others. So I don’t think that will be a problem.

I just love Princess so much, and I want her to be happy and I don’t want to contribute to her stress–she’s got enough just trying to work out how she feels about her situation with her “real” mom. I think part of the hurt is she is realizing that I AM her “real” mom and me having a baby makes her scared she’ll lose her place in my heart. But of course, she never will. She’s my sweetheart and always will be.

I just need to make sure she knows (and believes) that.

*sigh*

Thanks for listening.

Good News!

I would like to take this opportunity to share a wonderful announcement with all of my wonderful Online Friends. I am pleased to share with you the event I have been awaiting for so long.

Hubby and I are having a baby!!!

Yes, I’m PREGNANT!!!

Can you believe it? I am beside myself.

I will write a longer entry about all the wonderful things I am hoping and dreaming for my little zygote, later after it has sunk in that my daily prayers have been answered.

Hubby and I celebrated with SIL and BIL by having ice cream this evening.

Now, I must celebrate in prayer to thank God for giving me this chance to bear new life. To give me this gift of a whole new person who is a part of me and a part of the man I love, and a part of my beautiful step-daughter too. One of the most wonderful things about this is that now Princess and I will be connected in another powerful way. I feel this forges us more together, I feel this makes me even more her mother. This blood connection that we will now share makes our family whole.

So, just thought you would want to be notified.

I still need to go to the doctors, but the EPT “Certainty” test says I am PREGNANT. Some of the more negative people in my life all said “are you sure? Did you get a REAL test from the doctors?” Um…the test they use at the doctors…its the same test.

Plus, it is 99% accurate – and the 1% inaccuracy is usually a false negative, not a false positive.

Furthermore, I just KNOW it. I have felt strange for a while…just go back through my last few diary entries and you can see it. Yay.

Happiness.

I have no idea what to name this entry

So. I am recovering from my kidney infection. Today was ok, I went to work today after being off yesterday. It was hard to go back in. Only the dread of an ever growing inbox spurred me on. That, and how evil my boss would be if I missed any more work this week.

So. I worked (sort of) today. By the time 4:30 rolled around, I was ready to get out of there. I guess I am still pretty weak. You would not believe how pale I was when I checked my reflection in the rear view mirror in the van. So I go home, and I have some bread with oil and vinegar (yum), but then was flipping the telly and found COPS. The camera made me motion sick, and then I couldn’t shake the nausea and dizziness. I ended up having to lie down again, and my fever was up there.

I have to drive to Cincinnati this weekend, Princess is going to stay a week with my sister at her place in Atlanta, GA, and we are meeting in Cincy so she can pick her up, along with some of the other nieces and nephews. It promises to be fun for Princess, but I will worry while she is gone, that is awful far away from us. She has never been this far away from us except when we were on our honeymoon in Hawaii…and of course while we were in Hawaii we were separated from Princess during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I am worried about being that far away from each other. All in all I know that my sister and my mom will look after her, it’s just the “what if some terrible calamity occurs and she is so far away?” thought that bothers me.

I have been giving a great deal of thought to my personal goals. I have written down what I want to achieve health wise. I am working on a plan to phase out some of the unhealthy habits and foods that I overindulge in, and working in some new, healthier menu options. I am not much for “theme diets” i.e., The Cabbage Diet, and so on. Atkins had interested me, but I have been hesitant, because I don’t see that being something I could do permanently. I want to make permanent changes. I want to educate myself about nutrition.

A friend of mine recommended a book called The Fat Flush Plan by Anne Louise Gittleman. The woman is brilliant. The book talks about how the liver and lymphatic system affects weight gain. I like that she backs up her statements with solid documented research and evidence. The weight gain I have experienced, the type of weight and where it is located, are totally a match to someone who has an overstressed liver. Her book goes into permanent changes that can be made to cleanse the liver and get it to optimum health, and to clean your lymphatic system and other organs that affect health and weight.

As a bonus to making these changes, eliminating toxins, etc., weight is lost. My friend glows with health and lost weight.

For the first time in my life, I am considering trying a nutritional plan (I hate the word diet – even though it is the word to describe what you eat, it is often referred to as denying yourself food. I hate dieting). I am not going to stop eating, I am just going to try some new foods and foods I have been hesitant to eat in the past. I am also going to stop flooding my body with toxic foods. I have already cut down drastically on soft drinks and caffeine. Next I am going to cut down on refined sugars.

I have also come up with a workout plan that may be a little more achievable for me. I have so many interests as far as exercise (belly dancing, pilates, weights, yoga) that I tend to try to expect myself to exercise way more than I really should, and it burns me out.

But I know that the yoga is so beneficial. I want to continue to practice this healthful exercise regimen.

I am going to spend some time at the end of this weekend making a menu and shopping list, and I’m going to get started on my health goals.

Well, it’s getting late, so I better close for now.

Now or Never

I went to the doctor today. I confirmed that I am, indeed, not pregnant. I am also the proud recipient of a kidney infection, fever and migraine.

On the bright side, it did afford me some special treatment by my family…all of us snuggled up in bed so I could lay down, and we watched Finding Nemo on the portable DVD player.

Family time is nice, especially when you’re sick. I was so so hot, and Princess’s skin was so so cool. It was nice to just sit with our cheeks touching.

I have decided that this experience just brings home to me even more sharply how I have gotten off track. You may recall in January I dubbed 2004 the Year of Health, and 2005 the Year of the Baby? How did I all of a sudden skip the health part and go straight for the Baby?

My body, obviously, is not ready to nurture and grow a child. I am so out of shape in a lot of different ways. Serious work needs to be done with my diet, exercise and general outlook. Not to mention, our (my) feverish attempts to become pregnant are taking a lot of the fun out of our love life and I am simply not going to accept this.

As of now, today…organized attempts at pregnancy are postponed. I will continue to map my basal body temperature, etc., because I believe that learning my body’s patterns is going to be beneficial when we do get back on this campaign. I will also be able to note any changes in my body’s patterns as my health improves. Other than that, I am not going to worry about it for a while.

2004 is the Year of Health. If I procrastinate or become lazy, and do not achieve my goals for the Year of Health in 2004, then it simply means I will have to continue this effort into 2005. I really want 2005 to be the Year of the Baby, so I need to get my ass in gear, right away.

I have made some great changes, I have backslid a bit as well, but some of the major framework has been introduced. Now it is time to commit to a new way of living, for good. Not for a while. This has to be a permanent change. As scary as that is. It is now or never.

Now or Never

I went to the doctor today. I confirmed that I am, indeed, not pregnant. I am also the proud recipient of a kidney infection, fever and migraine.

On the bright side, it did afford me some special treatment by my family…all of us snuggled up in bed so I could lay down, and we watched Finding Nemo on the portable DVD player.

Family time is nice, especially when you’re sick. I was so so hot, and Princess’s skin was so so cool. It was nice to just sit with our cheeks touching.

I have decided that this experience just brings home to me even more sharply how I have gotten off track. You may recall in January I dubbed 2004 the Year of Health, and 2005 the Year of the Baby? How did I all of a sudden skip the health part and go straight for the Baby?

My body, obviously, is not ready to nurture and grow a child. I am so out of shape in a lot of different ways. Serious work needs to be done with my diet, exercise and general outlook. Not to mention, our (my) feverish attempts to become pregnant are taking a lot of the fun out of our love life and I am simply not going to accept this.

As of now, today…organized attempts at pregnancy are postponed. I will continue to map my basal body temperature, etc., because I believe that learning my body’s patterns is going to be beneficial when we do get back on this campaign. I will also be able to note any changes in my body’s patterns as my health improves. Other than that, I am not going to worry about it for a while.

2004 is the Year of Health. If I procrastinate or become lazy, and do not achieve my goals for the Year of Health in 2004, then it simply means I will have to continue this effort into 2005. I really want 2005 to be the Year of the Baby, so I need to get my ass in gear, right away.

I have made some great changes, I have backslid a bit as well, but some of the major framework has been introduced. Now it is time to commit to a new way of living, for good. Not for a while. This has to be a permanent change. As scary as that is. It is now or never.

I typed on this for an hour people! And I type 90 words a minute…so be prepared to sit here for a while!

Wow. For the first time in “I don’t know how long”, I am actually doing a diary entry at home. Actually, I mean to do it a lot, but don’t seem to have the time or energy to do it. But here I am, I’ve been awake since 5:30 a.m., and just laid in bed until about 6:45 a.m. Hubby got up and left for work, so I am alone (Princess is still asleep). I surfed the internet, read my favorite diaries, and am just listening to “Big Hits of the 70’s” on Yahoo! LaunchCast.

It is funny, I feel really weird today. Maybe I am pregnant. I don’t know–I have such weird things with my body every month I can never tell what is going on. If you are a guy, and talk about menstruation grosses you out, you can come back another time because I am going to share with my girlfriends. Maybe some of you have had similar experiences and can tell me if I’m abnormal!!!

***Side note: One of my favorite songs of all time is on: “Year of the Cat” by Al Stewart. Yay!***

Anyway, back to my abnormal menses. Every month, I will have a light spotting for 2-3 days. Then, it goes away for a few days, this varies (see below). It fakes me out and makes me think “maybe it was implantation bleeding and I am pregnant!” But then, after a day or two I can’t take it anymore so I go and buy the pregnancy test, and it says “NO”. By the end of that day, usually I will start my period.

Once I noticed this happens every month with the spotting, then nothing, then period, I have tried to stop getting all freaked out by it. But I will note here that the time between the spotting and my period will stretch itself out for 3-4 or more days sometimes, it will go until I can’t take the suspense anymore and give in and test. It will go until I test and get let down.

So anyway, last month I had my first day of spotting around the 3rd of June. The previous month it was the 2nd of May. So, I would say today or tomorrow I should start spotting. I see no signs of anything right now. Hubby and I were pretty active this month during my peak time for conception. I am praying that this is it.

I have had spiritual reasons for thinking that June was going to be the month we conceived. If we didn’t, I think I am going to stop all this plotting and planning for a while because it is just too stressful and as we know, stress is contraindicated for conception. I have enough stress in other parts of my life to jeopardize my fertility, why would I make the sex part no fun?

On a larger scale, I have been feeling very strange lately. In some ways things are really going well and I feel very happy about those things. Other things are kind of at a standstill, and still other things are enigmatic and I’m not sure what, if anything, I should feel about them.

I guess I could go through all these things and you could read about my rather bland life and I could get it all off my chest. I have time! It’s not even 8:00 a.m., Princess is asleep, Hubby is gone, and I have some quiet time to get it all out.

Where do I start?

I guess I can start with some of my friends. First of all, I have been very worried about SIL lately. She is under a lot of stress, and I am concerned for her emotional health. She really needs a friend to be there for her and to spend time with, but we live about 30-40 minutes away from each other and with my job and our kids and everything, we are having a hard time getting together. I feel kind of bad about it because I feel like maybe I’m contributing to her feelings because I haven’t been able to come over and vice versa. Tonight I’m going to go over to her Uncle’s house where they are camping out for the holiday weekend, so I can see her and give her a hug. I know she feels lonely and isolated. Her neighbors aren’t very nice to her, which you may have seen if you read her diary. Basically, they suck and I very much dislike them.

SIL and BIL are looking to move out towards my place, or a little west of us back in their hometown, which is also about 30 minutes away, but actually it is better because we don’t have to fight Detroit traffic to see each other. I really think in a lot of ways that a move would be the best thing for her and her family. I think it would be a fresh start for my nephew, and SIL would be close to her family.

So that is one thing and I feel kind of bad about it.

On a positive note, I have been talking more to my best friend Kitty. Kitty lives in Cincinnati, and we don’t get to spend much time together. She has 4 kids, the youngest is 4, and the oldest is 19 and has a new baby. You can imagine, she is very busy. Then me with my job and family, we ended up having to set a date every week to talk on the phone. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to plan a weekend getaway together. We haven’t went on a trip together since 1997, so this should be fun. We decided to go to Chicago for the weekend. So last week, I booked my plane ticket, she booked the hotel (we’re staying at a NICE hotel!), and I booked a little R&R at the top salon and day spa in Chicago. Can you say, splurging?

I am very much looking forward to this trip for different reasons. I need a little time as an individual and not as a wife and mother. Does that sound selfish? I just feel like sometimes I forget who CG really is inside?

Ok, more friend stuff. For the first couple of years I lived here in Michigan, I suffered from depression for a number of reasons which I won’t rehash here — you can always go back to my earlier diary entries and figure it out. I was so hurt inside that I basically shut down my “friend making” mechanism. I also avoided the friends I already had. I just didn’t have the emotional stamina to socialize. All I wanted to do was hide out at home (my little safe haven).

And some of the friends I did have were not really of my choosing, I kind of fell into those friendships by virtue of my relationship with Hubby. Some of those friendships really were genuine and have lasted through my depression and my mostly happy existence now. Other of those friends met me in the throes of depression and my wrestling with inner issues.

When I emerged from that dark time in my life with opinions and a renewed dedication to take care of my heart and feelings from then on, it was a drastic change from what they had known before. I had realized a lot of the things I did to please friends were not healthy for me and that I needed to be more assertive and more devoted to taking care of my emotional health. I learned a new word and had to practice using it…”No.” Anyway, friends were lost and I even think, enemies were made. It sucks, but it is true.

At any rate, with the emerging from the depression with my eyes open and my heart ready to embrace happier times, I opened my life to others and started making new friends. I made several new friends at my job, who I really clicked with and who were on the same wavelength as me. Fellow goddesses, just as divine as I know my own soul is. I’ve been very happy since I expanded my circle of friends again.

A couple of months ago, one of my circle moved away. Ryann moved to Los Angeles for a new job and to be with her significant other. I was very happy for her, but I was also sad for myself. I keep in touch with her every single day and we talk on the phone occasionally.

Now, another of my really good friends, Dara, shared with me that she is moving back to Atlanta. Her significant other got a new job there, and she gets to move back home. She’s been very homesick for her family, and if anyone understands that, it is I. As a matter of fact, when she told me of his upcoming interview, I started praying for him to get the job, every single day. I want her to be happy and going home will make her very happy. She will get to be with her best friend again and near her mom and sister. This is wonderful for her. However, it does leave a bit of a hole in my life. I am now down to two friends at work, and one of them is dating a fellow in Toledo, so she may move down there. She will still be able to commute to Ann Arbor for her job, but I am not sure how long she will want to deal with that hour long commute.

So that is going on, and then my sister T moved to Atlanta to be closer to her job. My mom takes care of her kids a lot so that means my mom is basically moving to Atlanta too. She keeps a house in Kentucky, but is rarely ever there. So now my mom is even further away. In Cincinnati, she was only 3.5 hours away.

So as it stands, I have my dad, and my two brothers in Cincinnati. I love them, but my relationships with each of them causes me major stress sometimes. I just don’t relate to them very well. I totally adore my little brother, but when we fight, it is a scary thing.

My next closest relative, my sister J, is in Kentucky, about 8-9 hours away. Then my sister L is in Tennessee about 11 or 12 hours away. Then, my sister T and my mom are in Atlanta, and I am thinking that is about 16 hours away.

So I guess so far it seems pretty whiny, doesn’t it? I’m sorry, I guess that’s pretty negative of me.

I do have some things to be happy about.

Since May 14 we have paid off our loan to the 401(k), our debt has gone down from 21500 to 19500, and from this point forward will start to go down even more drastically. By the end of the year, we will have it down to about 4000, and it will be completely gone by March. And that is if we just sit back and rest on our laurels. If we get out there and generate more income we could have it done even quicker.

I know that some of you may think I am dwelling too much on material things, but this isn’t about material things, this is about DEBT. Debt sucks your life energy away. Debt is bad for your spirit. There is so many benefits for pulling yourself out of debt. A sense of accomplishment. Being in debt actually has given me a little more wisdom and appreciation for the simpler things in life. Once we are out of debt, Hubby and I are dedicated to the notion of living our lives as simply as possible. Never again will we go into debt for anything other than real estate. And that is something we are trying to avoid too. We want to pay off our house as early as possible.

I plan on working until I get pregnant. If I am not pregnant now, who knows how long it may take. I plan on applying each and every paycheck I get towards paying off our debt, including the house. I figured it out, if I continue to work full time in the position I am in now for another few so years after our other debts are paid off, we could pay our house off in 3 years! If I get pregnant before that amount of time comes, at least every day I work will get us that much closer.

I watched Suze Orman on PBS one day talking about the nine points of financial success. One of the things she says is to save 6 months to a year’s worth of living expenses. She also said to pay off all your debts, “people first, then debt, then things.” So that is what Hubby and I have been doing. We are almost done paying off our vehicles. By October 1, I will be able to pay off the people to whom we owe money — 2 of my sisters, and Kitty. Then, we will pay off all our other debts. Then, as Suze Orman recommends, we are going to strive to pay our house off early.

She indicated that some financial advisors don’t recommend paying off the house early because of the tax benefits, the deduction for the interest. However, she said that our goal should be to position ourselves so that if we did lose our job, we would know we wouldn’t lose our car (paid off) or our home (paid off). Some security in times of uncertainty.

I love what she said, “Don’t worry about Uncle Sam and that tax refund you’d get for those interest payments every year. If you lose your job and they take away your house, your good old Uncle Sam isn’t going to let you live with him!”

I say, Amen to that! Owning your home and everything outright with no liens on them is to really be financially independent. That is where I want to be. Keep in mind I don’t have a 300K house. My house is small and modest. It is an old house, a “fixer upper”. But it will be ours!

I don’t want to be rich. All I want is to be out of the red. This is one theme I have been very loyal to in my life, I have strived for the last few years to get to this point. It is an achievement I am going to be very proud of.

So that is something to smile about. It is finally working out.

Things with Hubby are pretty good. Like I said, we’ve been getting busy a lot lately! LOL. We go through those times like every relationship does, where we kind of get too caught up in the day to day to really connect with each other, but then we always seem to migrate back to each other and those times are just so wonderful. We had a date last weekend for Hubby’s birthday. We went out to a delicious dinner and then to the local pub to meet one of his friends and one of my friends and I got to karaoke. We went out that night on the motorcycle. It was so cool to go on a date on a bike!!! We’ve never done that before. It was mega cool! We spent a lot of time on those 2 wheels last weekend.

Princess is home after being gone for almost 2 weeks, staying with friends and family for visits. I’m glad to have her home!

So to tie this long-winded entry up and you can get on with your day, my home life and related activities are going great, so the core of my little life is A-Ok. I am sad about friends and family moving away, and worried about another of my friends. I think really, the core of my weird feelings today have to do everything with the fact that my house is messy and I don’t want to clean it! I want to go out and play with Princess. So I will! As my friend Karen says, the mess isn’t going anywhere, it will be there when I’m ready to take care of it!

Ciao Ya’ll!!!