Can Being In A Rut Be Fun?

Ever feel like you are in a rut…digging and digging to get out, but getting no where fast?

Ever since Momma started staying at home with Ace instead of going to work, we have really had to watch where our money goes.  And now that we are living in a recession it almost like a noose around our necks!

We pay all of our bills on time, but what’s left over leaves little room for much entertainment or extra curricular activities.

The added stress and lack of doing things hasn’t really helped my blogging much. I mean, do you really want to hear about how we do the same thing every day?  I didn’t think so…  😀

I know that the recession has hurt many families much more than it has hurt ours and I am very grateful that we have done as well as we have throughout these tough times.

I have friends that have been laid off for over a year, depleted all of their savings, and ran up their credit cards.  Now they are living on a shoestring budget struggling to make ends meet.

So how has the recession put unwanted stress on your family?

What have you done to alleviate this stress?

What are some fun (and inexpensive) things that your family does for entertainment?

How Kids Change Your Life…10 Things No One Tells You About

I remember back when we were expecting Ace.  Everyone kept telling us how much it would change our life, but all they told us was, “Diapers and formula are expensive!”…or, “You’ll be getting up every couple of hours every night to a crying kid!”.

So I’m going to let out the secrets…what are some of the things that change…that no one tells you about. 😀

1. You venture into areas of your TV volume meter that have never been explored…(No I do not watch the fashion show shown on the TV…that was all Momma’s doing.)  😀

TV Volume Before Kids
TV Volume Before Kids

TV Volume After Kids
TV Volume After Kids

2.  You must now share cabinet space with brightly colored sippy cups.  Be glad you did not install those fancy clear cabinet doors…because I guarantee the neon rainbow does not go with most kitchen decors.  😀

Sippy Cups Share A Cabinet
Sippy Cups Share A Cabinet

3.  Other cabinets are completely taken over…  What used to be there?  Hell, I forget (loss of memory is another thing they don’t tell you about) 😀

Hikacked Cabinet - Baby Stuff
Hijacked Cabinet – Baby Stuff

Hikacked Cabinet - Baby Food
Hijacked Cabinet – Baby Food

4.  You find it financially necessary to buy a digital camera.  I have taken over 2000 pictures in the past 19 months.  You know how much it would have cost to develop 2000 pictures? Most of them blurry, off center, or otherwise not visually pleasing…

Digital Camera Needed
Digital Camera Needed

5.  Your computer wallpaper can no longer be some cool scenery or your favorite sports team.  It is, of course, a picture (or even slide show) of your kid…

Ace Wallpaper
Ace Wallpaper

6.  Hearing a kid crying is no longer like nails on a chalkboard.  It still bothers you, but you are extremely desensitized compared to it’s pre-kid effects…

Ace Crying
Ace Crying

7.  Other people’s kids crying doesn’t bother you like it did before you had kids either.  It has other effects on you, like…chuckling quietly because you know exactly what the crying kid’s parent is going through and you are just glad it is not you this time…but you know your turn is coming. 😀

8.  No longer does your back yard look like a golf course green.  Now it looks like the playground at the park…

Golf Course Green Backyard
Golf Course Green Backyard

9.  Your refrigerator will now be a major source of entertainment for your little one.  A little side effect? Coming down in the middle of the night to get a drink and busting your ass on refrigerator magnets that have been left lying on the floor. ;D

Refrigerator Magnets
Refrigerator Magnets

10.  It is not only recommended, but often necessary to change your disgusting habits.  Those little people are like copy-catting sponges… 😀

Kids Picking Their Noses
Kids Picking Their Noses

But even though you have to deal with the noise, the cabinet rearrangements, the wallpaper hijacking, the buying of a digital camera, the crying, the loss of your beautiful backyard, the refrigerator decorations, and the nose picking…it is all worth it…because of moments like this…

Why It Is All Worth It
Why It Is All Worth It

No Naked Lights? Or Smoking?

No Smoking or Naked LightsDamn it!  Now I have to go buy clothes for all of my lights!  All of my lights are exhibitionists and just hang out in the nude all of the time.  They are going to be pissed!

No really.  In all seriousness.  I am quitting smoking! (Or at least going to give it one hell of a try!)

I’ve smoked since I was about 16.  The first few years were pretty light, but once I got into college it was full on…a pack or more a day.

I’ve tried to quit multiple times.  As you can see none of them have worked.  The best I have done is quit for six months.  I used the nicotine patch, and it worked quite well.  But, when a stressful event occurred…I was right back to a pack or more per day.

I’ve tried quitting cold turkey before and that just doesn’t work for me.  Most non-smokers always say, “Just stop buying them!  That’s all you gotta do!”  Easier said than done.  It is hard…extremely hard.

In the past when I have tried to quit cold turkey, it doesn’t last long.  The nicotine withdrawal does weird things to the body.  I get jittery. I get moody.  My vision gets blurry at times.  I get headaches.  My teeth hurt.

The thing that bothers me the worst is my teeth hurting.  Well, they don’t actually hurt.  My front two teeth on the bottom of my mouth ache horribly the whole time.  It is so weird and doesn’t make sense, but that was always my sign that it was time to smoke again.  So aching teeth is the hardest symptom for me to overcome.

I woke up this morning and put on a nicotine patch.  I did good…really good.  I went all day long at work without losing my mind.  I got home and had one cigarette.  I shouldn’t have smoked it, but damn it sounded good.  After smoking it I wasn’t too happy with myself.  I did good all day long and had to break down, didn’t I?

The thing is, that even when wearing the patch my teeth still ache.  I’m not jittery or too moody, but my teeth still ache like I was quitting cold turkey.  I know that if I can hold on for about 3 or 4 days the aching teeth sensation will go away.  I just have to get most of that nicotine out of my body, and then slowly wean my body off with the lower dose patches.

Hopefully tomorrow will be as easy as today was. 

Stress and boredom are two of my triggers to have a smoke.  I’m trying like hell to avoid stressful situations and to keep from getting bored  these first few days. 

Other triggers are getting into my truck, after eating a meal, and break time at work.  Smoking consumes everything you do.  Everything you do reminds you of how bad you want a cigarette.  Sometimes I wish a doctor would put me into an induced coma and wake me up a few weeks later to cleanse my body of the nicotine so that I would be unconscious during the withdrawal period. 🙂

So, wish me luck!  I hope I have the strength this time to beat the money hungry health destroying habit…once and for all!

Turning Trash Into Cash

A while back I wrote about how we save aluminum cans and I crush them with the old Blazer that sits in the driveway. Remember that?

Well, we have been saving cans for a while now. The bags were piling up in our backyard. Every time we had a storm or high winds I would have to trek across my yard and my neighbors yards to gather up all of the bags of cans that had been blown away.

I finally got a chance to take the cans in to get them recycled. Here is a pic of my truck loaded up with all of the cans…

Aluminum Cans Loaded Into The Truck

Well, after driving to the recycling center, unloading the truck, the cans were weighed…

86 lbs of cans!

My engineering mind has got the best of me and I really want to know just how many cans make up 86 lbs?

  • I weighed one empty aluminum can and it weighed 0.5 oz
  • and there are 16 oz per lb.
  • This means it takes 32 cans to make up 1 lb
  • So 32 cans/lb x 86 lbs = 2752 cans in 86 lbs!

Two thousand seven hundred fifty two cans!  Holy cow!

It’s hard enough to save money for ourselves, however we want to be able to put some money away from time to time for Ace’s future.  Recycling cans is one way we decided to get this done.

Anyways, I received $55.90 for all of these cans.  This money is going straight into Ace’s savings account. Don’t spend it all in one place little man!

Not too shabby for something that we would have usually thrown away, eh?

Working Dad

As most of you know, I am a working Dad.  Sometimes I work more than I would like, but it is necessary to support my family.  Here lately working has consumed most of my life.  I think I worked over 70 hours last week, rode on 6 different airplanes, stayed in two different hotels, and stepped foot in Ohio, Colorado, Georgia, and Alabama.

Right now I am sitting in the airport waiting to go on my way back down to Alabama.  I usually do not work weekends, but I volunteered to work the next two weekends. (Who can pass up double and triple time?!)  I do get Christmas day off though, which is good.

So if you don’t see many posts from me over the next few weeks you can bet that I am either rolling in the money that I am making or passed out from exhaustion.

Instead of boring all of you with my ramblings about work, I’ll point you to some of the cool sites and posts that I have discovered this week.

The Stay At Home Dad
The Working Dad over at the Hossman Family Blog recently quits his job to be a Stay At Home Dad, and shares his thoughts and considerations leading up to the decision.

TheFatherLife.com
This is a new magazine that states, “We are the only men’s magazine geared toward fathers; a magazine for guys who work hard, play hard, and father hard!“.  Check ’em out!

DadGoneMad.com
This Dad was featured on TheFatherLife.com in the Dad Blog Spotlight.  After reading the excerpt from his post about getting a vasectomy…I knew this guy was getting a spot in my feed reader.  🙂

SupDad.com
SupDad is a social community for parents. “a place for dads…and moms to talk about what’s important…the kids!”  I just started a profile, but after having a look around it looks like a pretty cool place!  If you happen to join add me as a friend!