Well hello there. How’ve ya been? Long time not writey in the blog. But with good reason. I have been moonlighting as Circus Master for a little three-ring circus that has become my life.
It’s a happy little circus where the animals are treated well, are not poked with electric prods and forced to do tricks (if you didn’t know this about the circus I’m sorry to have just shattered your world), and there are free vegan gum drops for all. But it is still a CIRCUS, which means crazy.
As I posted last time Jacob and I made a decision to not postpone two things we had been since we started our infertility journey. The first one I already wrote about was his surgery. The second one was buying a house.
Yup, we dove in, acted like grown ups, and signed our life away. I’d like to briefly explain why as it has to do with my husband’s job as a minister. And me being a pastor’s wife, this is one of the things I blog about, letting people know what it is really like.
As my husband is a Methodist minister we receive a housing allowance. According to some official church discipline in Indiana this allowance is supposed to be enough to cover the rent/mortgage of a four bedroom, two bath house, and all utilities related to that. How do I put this gently?
It in NO WAY does. Now, don’t read me wrong here. I am not complaining, we didn’t get into ministry to be wealthy and we do NOT need a four bedroom house. As it stands right now our allowance covers a 100-year old, two bedroom house with peeling lead paint around the windows and cracked window panes in half the rooms. But I am not going to lie, I know many pastor-families who have more kids than us who really struggle to live within their housing allowance. Most have to use other income to get by. The truth is that while some people joke about having to eat “rice and beans” to get by, Jacob and I have been eating rice and beans once a week for over two years as our supper to save money. It just so happens I love me some rice and beans.
So given what our housing allowance is and what rents go for in our area we figured out if we could save enough for a down payment we could cut about $150 out of our monthly housing expense by buying a home.
We had put that all on hold because we were saving everything for infertility treatments. But we decided that buying a house and saving on a smaller house payment would be just as cost-effective.
So that is ‘ring number one’. We bought a house, it was a foreclosure, and is in need of paint, cleaning, and general repairs. Now that would be fine, except for ‘ring number two’
Jacob’s surgery. Originally we had planned to close in mid March. This would have given us time to do paint and cleaning and move before the surgery. Well due to some very annoying issues with the selling agent, (She messed up getting our water turned on for the inspection THREE times. You would have to TRY to screw up any worse than that.) we did not close in mid March. We closed the day after Jacob’s surgery. Jacob is out of commission for two weeks, can’t clean, paint, lift, nothing. So in “ring number two” we have me, sole parent (because he can’t lift the baby) and ‘head contractor’ trying to get paint and repairs done and cleaning.
And what might we have in ‘ring number three’? Well, in the center ring we have a very special treat. We have eighteen pounds of drooling, teething, CRAWLING, and pulling up on EVERYTHING foster baby girl.
Oh. My. God. She is exhausting. And I am over joyed that she is crawling and is entering the special stage of self-discovery and self-mastery of her limbs. But could it have just waited for a few more weeks? And it must be instinctive in babies, or in this baby, to seek out danger and death. Because the instant she learned to crawl she headed for the ONE unsafe thing in our house, the glass shelves on our entertainment center. SERIOUSLY? Does this come pre-programmed in babies? She also headed for the electrical outlets. How does she know to seek these things out?
And she is also entering the very special stage of “separation anxiety”. Only I will do for a lot of things now. Which is hard because I have to be out and about some much with house stuff. She can’t come to the new house as we are painting and doing repairs and I am positive she would find a way to wrench open a paint can and dunk herself or find a putty knife and poke her eye out. And she’d giggle while doing it and then clap her hands to congratulate herself on giving me yet another heart attack from something she has done.
Three rings. Crazy, exhausting, and stressful. But also exciting, rewarding, and awesome.
And as a post script – the Vegan thing is still going well. We had a few cheats due to circumstances. Our weight has been the same.