2 pink lines

For the first time ever, I peed on a stick and got 2 pink lines.

Yup.

I’m one smug motherfucker. And cautiously optimistic.

I called the doctor to find out what to do – you think I would have researched this before now – and she said it could be a false positive, since I took Ovidrel a week ago.

Here’s to hoping for still having 2 pink lines on Sunday…. 🙂

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BOOM

So…. we’re not pregnant. In fact, today is cycle day 3 and begins a whole new round of blood tests and ultrasounds and self injections, oh my! Am I bummed the last cycle didn’t work? Absolutely. Am I ready to give up and throw in the towel? Hell to the N-O.

It is expensive. It’s very expensive. But I know. I KNOW we are meant to be parents and i KNOW it’s gonna happen. I’m disappointed that it didn’t happen in time for Christmas. But in my life, everything seems to happen in it’s own perfect timing.

So, here we go again. Oh what fun!

This is it…. the final countdown

Not to freedom from debt however. We are ALMOST there. Close enough to sleep at night. No, the countdown I’m referring to is one we’ve been (not so) patiently waiting for for a very long time.

We’ve been seeing a fertility specialist since July. After 3 failed rounds of clomid, this is our first cycle with gonal injections. It is VERY expensive. But… tomorrow i will ovulate. And it will finally be possible for us to conceive our first child. I’m so nervous/excited/anxious/weepy all at the same time that i’m not quite sure what to feel. I feel like I could just spontaneously burst out of my skin at any second. We are fully aware that the chances of successful conception is the same as a normal pregnancy, however it is possible. The first possibility. Ever. I really really really want to get my hopes up and think this is it. It is very very hard to keep convincing myself it may not happen. I’m all over the map. Not quite sure how else to express my feelings, other than i really really really really really really really hope this works! Nothing would make us happier than to announce the impending arrival of the first grandchild to my parents for Christmas. We need this. They need this. We all eagerly await this child. I hope and pray that we are able to conceive… this week! These past 2 weeks have already been the longest 2 weeks of my life. Self injections every night, remembering to take medications morning noon and night, blood test every other day, and ultrasounds…. The next 2 weeks are going to be an eternity…. Please Lord, with all of my heart and soul I pray that we are able to conceive a healthy child with this cycle.

My Time

As we continue our journey to free ourselves from the ball and chain of debt, I find myself finally thinking about the future. For so many years, I could only focus on immediate needs. Living day to day, dollar to dollar. Survival mode. Food, shelter, transportation – that’s it. Stressing about being able to make even the minimum payments. I became a master at the bill-pay lottery. Knowing what needed to be paid on-time, and what could stretch.

Now that the demands on our money is easing, my mind wonders occasionally from needs to wants. And sometimes in silly ways. For example, I find myself putting on makeup everyday now. Whereas before, I would skimp as much as possible so that I would have makeup available for special occassions. Before you start shaking your head and laughing, makeup is expensive. And i don’t shop at Macy’s or other boutiques. I’m taking covergirl from walmart. But i could never justify spending $6 or $7 on eye-shadow when that could cover lunches for the week.

Recently, I also took a huge leap of faith and got my first treatment of laser hair removal. It was not nearly as expensive as i thought it would be, and i negotiated a payment plan. So, for a few hundred dollars over a few months time, my self-confidence has increased ten-fold. As few as six months ago, I would have never considered such an extravagence for myself. I’m so glad I finally did it. I feel like a girl again.

I’ve also been seeing my doctor regularly trying to get my body in shape so that hubby and I can get pregnant. I had lost a total of 26 lbs, but have recently gained 7 back. I need to stay committed. I need to stop whining and making excuses.

Due to the ease of financial stress, weight loss, the laser hair removal, and the increased desire to wear makeup and look nice, I’ve noticed my attitude change. I’m not nearly as angry all the time. I find myself chatting with people more, making small talk, laughing and giggling. Before, I was all business all the time. Come, go, maybe wave hello. I was polite, but I didn’t go out of my way to be conversational. I assumed nobody would want to converse with such a hideous creature. And so i spared my feelings by just avoiding people all together as much as possible.

Every ounce of confidence fuels my desire to become the person I want to be. Sliding on my size smaller pants in the morning makes me want to go running. Zipping up my jacket and noticing the extra room makes me want to do more crunches. Feeling good is addictive. Same with finances. Every time open the mail and see the balances getting lower, I just want to send them more money and see that balance fall even more.

This year is my time. My time to get our financial ship right sided and steered into smooth waters. My time to get my body in shape. My time to achieve the dreams I’ve been longing for. My time to become the wife (and mother!) I’ve always wanted to be. I’m moving off of the sidelines and jumping into the game. Nothing is going to hold me back!

2011 Progress Check…. Survey says??????

Way back in January i listed some short term and long term goals. The short terms goals were basically a to-do list I was whining about, and got all of those done in short order. My annual goals were a bit lofitier and required a bit more work/patience/determination.

So, without further ado, below is my original list of goals and their results…

1.Pay off dump truck.  [There is a balance of $1100. It will be PAID OFF in January!]

2.Pay off 3 credit cards. [Actually PAID OFF 5! Yesireeee, $3175 – GONE. Plus, paid down another $2100 on the remaining cards.]

3.Establish an E-fund. [Started out great, ended up needing to use some. Currently have $2,000 stashed. Not bad, but not the $5,000 i was aiming for.]

4.Establish savings for: Christmas, Health, Rainy Day. And set it up to contribute automatically. I use ING Direct so this is the easiest thing in the world. Just need to do it. And not “borrow” from it. [Set-up account for Christmas. Saved $1000 and used some of it for my shopping. Still have about $300 in there for next year. 🙂  Did not set up Health because we may do Flexible Spending at work. FAILED at setting up Rainy Day fund. Unless the cookie jar counts? There’s a few Benjamin’s in there…]

5.Lose some weight. Specific numbers and/or plans seem to have the opposite effect. So, let’s just keep it vague and any victory will be a win! [WOOOO-HOOOOO!!! Lost 23 lbs this year! Down a pants size and feeling good about the progress. Doc would like to see me lose another 20-30 before we go to fertility specialist. Got an ipod for Christmas, so loading up playlists for workouts.]

6. a) commit to making healthier meals [Sorta. Kinda. Not eating as many carbs. Definately eating at home a lot more. I give it a 50%]

7. b) get a complete physical [Done. everything good except triglycerides a touch high.]

8. c) work out at least 1 day a week at the fire hall [I work out at home. As often as i can. Some weeks it’s every day, some weeks 0 days. Hey, i’m busy. I do it when i can. Let’s call it 50%]

9.Paint the downstairs and decorate. We’ve been there 10 years. It’s about time. [FAIL. I got as far as painting some sample colors on the wall. Hubby freaked the ‘f’ out. Back to square one. Found some inspirational idea pics. Just need to find the right shade of paint and hire a painter.]

10.Might as well make it an even 10. Get back into taking lots of pictures and scrapbooking. Now that i have a cricut, i have nothing to do with it! [Took lots of pictures, but haven’t been able to scrapbook much. It really has been a very busy year for me.]

All in all, i’m pleased with the progress i’ve made on my list of goals. It’s not like i was a total loser. I tried. And succeeded, mostly.

Since New Year’s is only a day away, it’s only fitting to write up a list of GOALS for 2012.

  1. Lose 20-30 more lbs.
  2. Get pregnant
  3. Establish a Rainy Day fund to cover Goal #2 expenses
  4. Paint & Decorate house
  5. Pay off my car

That’s it. That’s all i really care to accomplish in 2012. All i really want is to have a family with the love of my life. All other goals are simply pre-requisites to the ultimate goal: children.

Being broke is expensive /flip/ the more money you have, the more money you have…

As I was making my daily trip to the bank the other day, an idea hit me. Struck me, really. Pretty much a hand slap to the forehead.

Lately, i’ve been making daily trips to the bank to deposit whatever money that has come in to stay ahead of expenditures. Overdraft fees are $36 – a huge expensive ding – and must be avoided at all costs. Since March, we’ve been able to stay just ahead of the game. Last year we made an incredible discovery on just how expensive it is to be broke. Late fees, higher interest, overdraft fees – all added up to thousands and thousands of dollars lost. So, we worked really hard to get all of our accounts current, thus avoiding late fees and keeping the bank accounts in the green to avoid overdraft fees. Lately it’s nearly a photo finish on a daily basis, but that’s only temporary. I totally realize how expensive it is to be broke and i don’t wanna do it.

I was also thinking about our sharebuilder account. Some of the stocks i purchased had paid dividends and just like that our wealth increased. And THAT is when it struck me. Really knocked me on my a$$. In the same way that being broke is so dauntingly and crushingly expensive without much effort, having money creates more money without much effort. The broker you are, the more expensive it gets. The more money you have, the more money it makes. And the more money you have from making money, the more money you make. The rich get richer – from compounding!

It’s really such an elementary lesson, but it never really struck me how much of an IMPACT money has on your financial existence. It’s not enough to simply pay the bills each month. You also need to be smart and get your money to WORK for you. Before investing in stocks, the only money my money made was from interest. And that wasn’t worth SQUAT. One can barely buy a cheeseburger with earnings from interest in a savings account. But when you invest in 15 shares of a company, and 3 months later, through the magic of dividends, you now own 15.25 shares. And another 3 months later you own 15.54 shares – well that’s just freakin’ spectacular. My money is actually making money, which will make even more money…

good lord, i am such a slow learner…

The next step is to keep finding funds to purchase investments with. And how often should i purchase? Obviously it is better to save up as much money as possible and purchase only 1 kind of stock so that the $9.95 transaction fee is minimal per share if/when it comes time to sell.

The in-between is such a surreal place to be. Still paying off debt and trying to stay afloat, yet stashing money in savings, and now investing.

CAN’T WAIT to have all credit card and installment debt PAID OFF!!! Life will be footloose and fancy free!!

Feeling victorious

No, we haven’t won the lottery. No, we didn’t just land our dream job. Nope, just feeling good in my skin for once.

Last night I did medical stand-by at the local high school for the football game. Afterwards, we parked the rig back at the fire hall and saw that my hubby was there waiting to pester the new EMT students who were in session. I was standing in front of the bulletin board putzing around and had my back to him. Suddenly, he blurts out “Jesis! Why don’t you get some pants that fit! Looks like you’re walking around with a saggy diaper on!”

Normally, one would be quite offended at such a rude comment. I? Smiled. Cuz I knew my pants looked like that from a combination of the 15 lbs lost and toning up from running.

So today I went online and ordered a smaller pair of EMS pants. Can’t wait to try them on!

I’m not a “biggest loser” and I’m not running a marathon. But when others begin to notice your transformation it really starts to feel real. And that inspires me to keep it up.