Sunday, June 23, 2013

I can't think of a title right now...

Well, it's finally sinking in that I'm done with classes. As much of a relief as it is, and as worth it as it was to finish, I miss going to school. (Haha, pretty sure I'll never say that, despite what people tell me!)

I do feel a bit behind. Like I'm running to catch up and learn what most stay-at-home mommies master when they have one baby's demands to meet all day, not two. I had Mitch as an equal homemaker (as goofy as that sounds) for over two years. We were both in school full-time. One semester of the year, I was home full-time. One semester, he was home, The semester in between we were both in school (January-April...note the lack of blog posts that time of year!). So, it's also just sinking in that all the responsibilities around the house are primarily up to me. Mitch is a great helper and I can always count on him to pitch in when he gets home, but he's also very busy (and about to get busier). If I relied on his help like I used to when we'd trade off and split things pretty equally, I'd be putting an unfair amount of pressure on him to be doing laundry when he should be doing homework.

Mitch is far less discouraged about his schoolwork this semester, but he's about twice as busy and overbooked than he's ever been. His classes are much more time-consuming. He is in IBC, Integrated Business Core, this semester, where they divide into companies and build a legitimate business to run on campus. They buy professional equipment for whatever they plan to do and have to calculate its after-market value and resell the equipment at the end. Mitch's company is called "Creation Station", a company that sells vinyl decal. Here are some of his "co-workers" at work:

I guess my point is that I feel like I'm at a slight disadvantage. It doesn't help that I'm not exactly Martha Stewart. I don't like to cook, although I'd like to like to cook! I've just never been good at it. It's like trying to enjoy playing basketball in 7th grade gym class every time I try to think up what to fix for dinner! Maybe one day. We're all learning, right? 

On another note, Mitch and I have had to re-work our finances since moving to subsidized housing. Sure, our rent is hundreds of dollars less than it used to be, but there are added expenses to living here: paying for laundry ($30-40/month), internet (35/mo), utilities (which are more expensive here as well, although I'm still not sure by how much), and paying rent out of pocket. We used to pay 100% of our rent every semester with student loans. We barely even thought about it, and we paid it months ahead at the beginning of every semester. The difference now is that we aren't using student loans anymore. They're an easy line of credit if we need something big in a short amount of time (like if our 20 year-old car gives out). But, we have these extra expenses to pay out-of-pocket now, that we didn't have before.

Then Eliza came a month early and brought expenses with her. Needless to say, my sweet, hardworking man didn't hesitate to start looking for another job. But, as it turns out, even getting a job interview in this town is about as likely as striking oil in your backyard. Mitch got an interview at one of the (two) grocery store(s) here. (Yes, we have two. And our basic Wal-Mart has an expanded food section. We're moving up in the world!) He is so busy during the day, but is in the afternoon IBC group, so of course in his head he justified a night job, saying he'd have time to sleep in before class. 

In short, he got the job, he's already worked one shift, and he has two more this week. It is such a huge blessing to have the income we need, almost as soon as we need it. We've been doing the things we know we should, and our intentions for the income couldn't be better, so we know we'll be blessed. 

I feel a bit lazy and pretty guilty not getting a job myself, but (1) Eliza's tiny and is a great nurser; I'm not going to stop or be away from her all day, not to mention Nathan's never been home full-time with me, (2) daycare for two kids would cost more than I'd be making, since I don't "officially" have a degree yet. Not that there are any jobs here anyway, remember? (3) I start my internship in the Fall and the hours are still not in stone. Kind of risky to get a job at this point, and (4) I am finally staying home with babies like I've always, always wanted. I know that it's not always a possibility for women who want this, but my husband is making sure, at least right now, that it can happen while our little ones are just so little! 

I talked it over last week with my counselor. He could totally identify with our situation. He said when he was getting his PhD there was a semester where he was taking 21 credits, writing a dissertation, working two jobs, AND had hefty responsibilities at church. His wife was home with a toddler and a baby. They had to decide together not to compare each other's contributions to the household and family, but to just know that they were both doing all they could to ensure success at home. He was working towards providing for them by finishing his education and by working part-time, and she was providing for their kids and keeping their house running. 

I left feeling much better, knowing that my role right now is to be the best sidekick Mitch could ask for. He's going to work a few nights per week, get a few hours of sleep, and then do homework and sit in class all day long. 

When he comes home in the evenings, I want him to enjoy what he sees. That doesn't mean two naked (or PJ'd) children who have been eating snacks all day instead of being fed meals, 4 baskets of unfolded laundry, and a house that looks like it was ravaged by a midwestern tornado. 

(Ha! I just described exactly what I see around me right now. Except Eliza is dressed, Nathan had one real meal today, and he's CHOOSING to run around in a diaper. It is summer and we don't have can I argue with that logic!? On days like this, I just have to say, "eh, they'll survive!")

Any tips on how to, well, run a productive house? Everything my parents and in-laws have taught me up to this point is mysteriously gone. Nathan is a good helper and does a few simple "chores" during the day. I would just like to have a bit of a better schedule around here as far as chores and productivity go. Eliza is a very easy baby and I'm feeling the shock of having two kids wear off as we get into a routine. Any advice would be appreciated!

And now, as a red ribbon reward for getting all the way through, here are some pictures I've taken in the last week or two. Happy six weeks, Eliza!

The lighting was terrible in our house, but she just looked so peaceful!

Trying to document all her hair; I'm so afraid she'll lose it all like Nathan did! She didn't have a bald spot from sleeping on her back yet, either, so I had to catch that. She slowly has one forming now.

Alert little girl! Again, terrible evening light in the apartment, so the colors are off a bit.

Eating yogurt for breakfast in our Jake and the Pirates pajamas. They are new and he loves them!

Eye contact! Score!

Pretty little girl :o)

She's getting longer but she's still so skinny!

Playing with his wooden block train

Stopping to watch Thomas :o)

He will literally stand like this for 20-30 minutes at a time, just watching Thomas :o)

Our preemie clothes are slowly getting too small!

Little monkey butt :o)


 Eliza is now 19 3/4 inches (3rd percentile) and 6 1/2 lbs (2nd percentile). We're on the charts! Score! :o) The doctor is pleased with her growth and says she's doing just fine, so we'll keep doing what we're doing!


  1. Oh my goodness, you guys are amazing for all the sacrifices you're making. I can't even imagine Jeremy being that busy. Wish I had some advice, but we haven't figured it out yet. Eternal perspective keeps me going most days :) That an appreciating all the great things about my current stage of life. You can do it! And I'm sure Mitch will still love you if he comes home to a tornado house every once in a while :)

  2. Sounds like life is running away with you guys! I am not a mommy but I do work full time and my Husband works 50-60 hours a week and is in school full time.

    The best advice I ever heard nannying or working full time is focus on one thing at a time. Complete the task no matter how long it takes and then chose another... Laundry kills me.. seriously I fall so behind that we are at the point where we have no clean clothes and this principle does wonders I make dinner and then sit there until it is all folded and put away.
    hope this helps you!

  3. Just keep on keepin' on! And eat ice cream. :) I hear you, Alaina!!! These transitions where your whole life changes are so hard (not to mention the lack of sleep and weird hormones and seclusion that comes with a new baby). There are so many ways to organize a stay-at-home mom's life, just the endless possibilities are daunting. I have a few lists the kids and I try to work from if you'd like them (I don't think I have an email address for you anymore, but mine is tara dot lastname at gmail dot com if you want a copy - I used photoshop to make chore charts/weekly activity charts for the kids and microsoft publisher to make my own routines chart. I don't use them religiously, but it's nice to have the framework there when I'm feeling like we need some more structure, you know?? Anyway, I think you're awesome! And I'm glad you get to stay home with your babies, as hard as that is in so many different ways. I hope you can enjoy it!! (often easier said than done! be patient with yourself!)


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