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Two projects done....4? to go

September 6th, 2011 at 08:25 pm

Today the Sprinkler guy came to fix the head that popped up from the ground. He also (main reason) fixed the cut line from the post hole auger. He also adjusted some heads so they were not hitting the fence. $60

This afternoon the AC/furnace guy came. He blew out the AC drain, put some gel tab thingys in and poured water down drain. He also let some Freeon out ( I guess we had a bit too much in). Hopefully those things fixed the leak. He could not find a reason for the leak so it could have been the tooo much freeon which was causing the coils to freeze then thaw and when thawing leaking under the unit. Waiting on the bill. I did ask him to please rush the bill since I was leaving in two weeks. Some times it takes them a while to bill.

I am still on hold for someone to come out and fix the window.

I have a dentist appointment for DS tomorrow after school.

I have my car going into the shop for a bunch of little things on Friday, so I took that day off.

I then have a Doctors appointment for DS on Monday the 12th.

I think that is all of my to do list. Sadly not wanting to see the bills from all these projects but no choice since I do not have a magic pay the bills fairy.

Tomorrow my stuff will be loaded into the conex and I will be done with my deployment stuff.

Tonight I plan to mow the grass, BF did not do it this weekend and I forgot my grass stained yardwork shoes at work so I did not do it. I wanted to do it since BF is going to have to do it every week once I am gone. Not sure why BF did not do it this weekend BUT I think he is starting to be bummed out that it is getting close to time for me to leave.

DS is getting a bit more hyper, not sure if it is because I am leaving or the fact that we have TV again. I saw a decrease in his hyperness when I disconnected the TV years ago. Then I saw another decrease in hyperness when BF moved in. I hope it is just DS's way of reacting to my soon departure. That way once I am gone he can calm down. My cousins have even MORE cable channels than we do, so I am hoping it is not the cable.

I HATE school lunch!!

September 2nd, 2011 at 02:18 pm

The school lunch program is such a pain in my lower backside.

They use a 6 digit pin to pay for their lunches. They enter the pin number once, and the students name appears on the registers screen. The adult asks the child if their name is _____, if the child says yes or nods then the number is charged.

The school district 7 miles away has the child use their thumb scan. Now that would be nice.

Well once again this year I am battling the unauthorized charges issue. This year I put NO money in my childs account. It was at a zero balance, until yesterday. Yesterday my son brings home a note saying his account was $1.75 short. This means the charge was placed this school year (last year lunch was $1.50).

My son has had cold lunch everyday, #1 because I need to limit his dairy, #2 because the money in his lunch account last year seemed to have a leak.

Well I called the school and left a message yesterday after I got the note. I then called back this morning. The charge was tracked to ANOTHER school. So the charge will be removed. I had his account flagged. His account now says NO Breakfast, NO Lunch CASH ONLY. Hopefully this WORKS.

Our School district has a NO hunger policy, so I am not sure IF this will help.

The policy is that a elementary school student can charge lunch without a problem no matter the negative balance in the account. In Junior high the student is allowed to charge a cheese sandwich or the main entree and Senior high the student can only charge a cheese sandwich.

So if the lunch person at the other school whom allowed this student whom is not my child to use my childs account sees the note but the child wants food she might ignore the CASH ONLY note just like she/he ignored the note on the screen about that account number belonging to a student in another school.

I need to get a note from my son's doctor so he can get juice instead of milk with his meals. Since my cousin will be having my son use hot lunch and the standard is milk.

Balanced the Checkbook

July 26th, 2011 at 04:28 pm

Today I balanced the Checkbook.

I recorded the deposit that will take place on the first and subtracted the deductions that will take place the 3rd, 5th and 9th.

I need to record the Water Bill and Record the Electric gas bill. I am not sure IF I received the Elec/Gas bill yet though.

I transfered money to savings.....I now have $6488 in Emergency Fund once the transfer takes place on the 5th. That means I have 8.26 Months of Emergency Fund in Savings. Only $2,612 to go until I have 12 Months.

I plan to move some of that money into my checkbook as a cushion closer to the start of the deployment. There is always hickups with pay when you start new orders. So I want to have money in my Checking. I also plan on putting money into SDP and it would be nice to already have the money I am going to live off of in my checkbook so my check can all go to SDP.

Right now since my Checkbook cushion of $1677.07 includes Mortgage, Escrow and $ for my Son it is more than my EF since My Mortgage and Escrow had difference EF accounts. I have 3.86 Months of Checkbook Cushion in my Generic Emergency Fund.

I still have approx $350 to last from the 1st until the 15th of August, for Misc Bills.

Gasoline- $80 (this is a high guess since I am off work for 10 day so will either be low due to less driving or higher due to more driving since I am not at work)

My Son's 8th Birthday Pool Party: 8+ kids and Parents plus Family
Pizza - $63.49 (I figure 10 pizzas)
Soda - $10 (8 2liters)
Cupcakes - $20
Ice Cream - $5

It would be awesome if MY Ex would pay some of the food costs since I am paying for the hotel BUT I am not banking on it.

I miss my landline... / Child Life Lessons

July 26th, 2011 at 02:54 pm

I hardly ever had any calls on it, I also did not have caller ID but...

It was a secondary phone, so IF I forgot to charge my cell or whatever it was there.

I also like the ease of calling 911 in an Emergency, Cell Phone technology for 911 Calls is advancing as more and more people go to cell phones only but it is still a work in progress.

I will be re-installing the landline next fall when I get back from deployment, I would do it now but it seems silly to pay for something that I will not be using for 12 months. I think I might talk to the BF about it.

It might be nice to actually still have a number that is active (my cell will be turned off). BF can monitor the answering machine and tell me IF there are any calls that are a big deal.

A few weeks ago my Ex-Husband took our son out to watch a movie. I ran to the store. I guess I left the front door unlocked. Not really a big deal in our neighborhood and we have a HUGE Dog.

Well my Ex dropped our son off and saw our son walk into the house and was getting to leave when our son ran out in tears. At first my Ex thought it was because he missed him already. Nope it was because he was about to be left home alone (It is really rare for someone not to be home BUT My BF went out for the first time ever with some co-workers, and I ran to the store to try to get some birthday shopping done).

I am not sure IF our neighbors have my cell phone number, I know at one time they had our house phone number. I also don't know if the two neighbors our son spends alot of time at were home so that they could have called me or not had my Ex actually drove away.

Anyway, When I get home from my deployment, I will be installing the landline again. I will also be getting DS a cell phone. The landline will cost $40, the Cell phone will cost $30. The savings of not having him in daycare in the afternoon for 1 and a half hours is $160 once you factor in those expenses.

I will have signs by ALL the household phones that list.

My Work Number
My Cell Number
My Cousins Cell Number
My Cousins House Number
The Neighbors Numbers
My BF's Cell Number
His Fathers Cell Number

And the home address and my work address with the time I will be off work and what time I will be home.

I will also have rules listed, like no friends over. No answering the phone for anyone other than family that leaves a message on the answering machine. No answering the door....ETC ETC.

By MY State's guideline next August my son is old enough to be left home alone for a few hours during the day. He is going to LOVE this for trips to the store. I will be able to leave him home when I have to make a quick run to the store and BF is not home to watch him.

I am happy about the money savings (can start applying the saving to his "saving for braces account"), but mostly I am looking forward to him starting to learn skills.

Why is it that children are so coddled now days. Some children are being sent off to college and they have never been left home over night before OR they don't know how to cook because they are not suppose to be near the oven.

I am looking forward to this next adventure. Next year my son will be a latchkey child for an hour and a half during the week.

The following year he will be able to stay home during the day while I am at drill (as long as I am staying in town and it is during the day). More than likely that will mean just Sunday (Since Friday is evening and it is easier to just leave him at the sitter starting Friday night until Saturday afternoon. Also it would maybe once or twice a year since my BF is usually here.

At that age I am also going to start really teaching him. (He currently knows how to fold his own laundry - doesn't do it often) he also knows how to sort the laundry. I want to assign him the job of sorting ALL the laundry and then I would like him to be able to wash laundry.

I will teach him to use the washer, and that way he can pull an load out of the washer when he gets home, put it in the dryer. And he can start another load. Of course I will be helping with the folding and putting away, but I want him to do the loading of the washer and adding the correct cleaners, and loading the dryer and making sure to double check the temps of the washer and dryer.

Eventually my child will learn the following skills BEFORE heading to College.
Staying home alone (responsibly)
Washing Laundry
Cleaning (His Bathroom, His Bedroom, and His Playroom/eventually his office)
Basic Cooking Skills
Automotive - Driving, Maintance
$ Management

Birthday Pool Party AKA surprise Expense of having a pet

July 21st, 2011 at 08:37 pm

Today I called and booked a room, so I can plan my son's birthday party.

It is a pool side room in a hotel near our home. Cost $91.99 Yep saved $2 because of my military discount. The party will be on Friday, I had wanted it on Saturday but there is a Wedding there on Saturday and so ALL the rooms are booked.

This Weekend I will need to complete the Invitations and get those mailed out. I need to figure out if I want to have it from 5pm-7:30pm or 6pm-8:30pm. It is a pool party and we are going to get pizza, have cupcakes and ice cream cups.

What time would you suggest for the party?

(Okay, my title said unexpected cost of having a pet. Normally I just have birthday parties at my house, BUT this year we have a dog. She is old, and so she has been having a harder and harder time holding her bladder for lond periods. I don't want to her to have an accident during the party. Also she sheds, like crazy. So I can vaccum, swap and mop, and 20 minutes later the floor and rugs are coated in hair. I also am concerned that some of the boys MIGHT get rough with her.)

I don't mind the added expense of having a location party, because it means I am not going to have to spend days cleaning my house, then days cleaning it after. Also my SON, is SUper Excited about having a pool party.

I already bought all the paper and plastic items, I bought some soda, but need to get more.

The Menu:
Pizza (from Little Ceasers $5.99 per Large)
Soda $1.25 per
Water $2.99 a case
Ice Cream Cups(?$)
Cupcakes (Hopefully my cousin will be making them)

Cups, Plates, Napkins - All purchased

I bought my son two lego sets, and one nintendo DS game. I also bought him a 12 inch Angry Birds Stuffed Animal. Everything is wrapped except the angry birds animal which I have not got in the mail yet.

I will stop by work on Friday and fill the cooler with ICE for the water, Soda, and Ice Cream.

I just need to figure out some gift bags, I bought a box of pre-packed cookies, and a box of fruit snacks. I need some small toy or something to round out the gift bag and then I will be done with that.

Any Ideas of the gift bags for the guests?

Cheap Fun "Memory" Idea

June 15th, 2011 at 04:48 pm

I bought stamps online...Yes there is a $1 fee for doing so, but it guarentees me a better variety.

I am buying the smallest pack of stamps I can. Normally a 4 pack. I bought 4 different 4 packs, one has 2 designs. I bought one 5 pack with 5 different designs and one 10 pack with 10 designs. All were forever stamps except the one 5 pack which was named sunday funnies.

I also bought two letter writing kits, they came with paper, envelopes and one came with a book on letter writing and the other came with directions on writing with invisible ink. They were both Disney. I bought these for my son, hoping they would help make writing FUN.

I am going to take the Disney Stamps out. They each came with 8 stamps which were 39 and 41 cents, so no longer current. I plan to use them to mail postcards back to my son. Yes they both are above the cost of a postcard stamp, but I figure he would like the stamps on postcards and by them being more than the current postcard rate, I insure that if I buy postcard stamp I do not have to figure out where to get the add on stamps if postage costs go up.

I also plan to go to the post offices around town and see if they have different stamps at the counter than is online.

I want to mail each letter back to my son with a different stamp (that a boy would like). Then once I get home maybe we can create a stamp album from my letters. I am going somewhere that does not have free postage.

I went online and they have a stamp called Owney the postal Dog scheduled to be released July 27th. That is really cute, BUT the awesome news is they have a Pixar 5 different designs set coming out Aug 19th. Both are forever stamps. I plan on buying a TON of the Pixar ones. I figure as I go through my deployment if I run out of different stamp varieties if I have to double up the Pixar ones would be his favorite.

My son wants a letter or postcard Everyday. I will try to write as often as I can, so I will need to be on the look out for interesting stamps. As I look for Boy type stamps, I plan to use the 44 cent stamps first then if the rate changes I will have the collection of forever stamps to fall back on.

When I was younger I was dating a guy and he went away for training and he said Letters were awesome it was the highlight of the day. So I wrote him daily and if I did not have enough to say for a letter I mailed a card. He got mail EVERY day. One of the instructors told him "hope you realize you have a keeper". Well I hope to do nearly the same. I want to mail my little boy a letter atleast once a week. I figure that is 50+ stamps minimum.

So far I have 21 different designs...Owney the postal dog and the pixar will be 27. They also have adopt a shelter animal ones I want to get which has 10 designs so that is 37 designs.

They have a 50 flags of the USA set out. I wonder if I should order those then I for sure have different ones. I will think of it...I think this is going to be fun for both my son and for me.

Is a 16.5% return worth 30 years of delayed gratification??

April 27th, 2011 at 08:02 pm

Let me explain....Lately I have been really second guessing myself. Can I really keep this up to another 13 years.

If not I better make changes. Currently I am investing the MAX into my retirement. Because I do this it results in an earned income credit of $2640 more than I would get if I didn't save any in pre-tax dollars. This is basically 16.50% return on the deposit BUT I can't touch it until I am 65 years old.

I wonder is that 16.5% or $2,640 worth it, or should I start funding my Roth IRA and investing in the stock market then when I make a career change I can slowly sell my stock and use it to make my mortgage payments.

I guess option 2 is to instead of putting money into the Retirement account put that amount into my mortgage and then refinance/downsize when I make the change. But will I be refinancing with a higher interest rate? Applying 16,500 a year would take 8 years to pay off my mortgage. If I made it 8 more years in this job I would be crazy to quit.

Truthfully I have been unsatisified with my work life for about 2 years but I have been hanging in because I did not see any other choice. If I change jobs unless I downsize I will be house poor.

I wish I had been able to sell my house when I got divorced because then I would have had a smaller mortgage and would feel like I could make a change. Right now if you figure reducing my income by that 16,500 per year I need a job that makes 36K a year or approx $16 an hour, just to keep maintaining without any retirement savings.

I need a personal cheerleader, the reward is AWESOME if I can hold out in this job another 13 years. The reward is good if I can hold out in this job part time for another 9.5 years.

I am just getting burnt out, I am tired of working 40 hours a weeks plus having to work one weekend which means once a month I have a 12 day streatch without a day off. Once a year I have to leave my son with family for two weeks minimum. Next year I will gone from home for a whole year. I will make approxmately $500 more per month BUT my bills because of this go up MORE than $500 per month.

Last year I signed a 6 year extension but truthfully I am starting to think I should request a hardship discharge. The 6 year extension does not mean I could not switch to part-time, which would be alot easier. I could also go part-time then IF my part-time does not work with my new job request ING then possibly Discharge based on employment conflict.

Everytime I leave for Annual Training, for Job Training, Flood Duty it is getting harder and harder mentally on my son.

I need to start planning short term instead of long term because I don't know how much longer until I burn out. I guess another problem is I am tired of fighting the weight battle. I am allowed to weigh 149 pounds or % body fat. At 149 pounds I wear a size 7/8. My body naturally falls at 165 so the % body fat option has been my option for YEARS. Right now I need to drop weight to get down to my % body percentage. Some times I just wish I could eat what I want and exercise because I enjoy it instead of doing it because someone is going to be putting a tape measure to my body or counting my reps or timing me and judging me.

STOP....No I do not want MAY to come yet.

April 27th, 2011 at 03:46 pm

Where did April go? I am not ready for May. In May I have 1 week of normal life then 3 weeks of Annual Training.

So if I blink it will be June. I then have just under 4 months left until my deployment when June starts.

Yesterday I was told the 2012 rates for my afterschool care will go up by $5 a month because of gasoline. Not that big of a deal. I just am getting cranky because of the 30 days written notice of cancelling the daycare.

I thought I prepaid for May back in August. I have to check my bank account IF I can go back that far because either I will not get charged anything. I will get charged $170 or get charged $165. And if I get charged $165 I am either getting charged twice for May or am getting under charged for September.

If it is a school year program why would they pull for Sept 2011 in May. Originally I thought it was just me since I was only going to be doing a few days in August and about a month in September. Last year they did not pull anything in May, the last pull was in April WHICH I was really looking forward to.

I am really glad when I am done with my deployment that my son will be old enough to ride the bus home or walk home and be home alone until I get done with work. I might even reinstall the house phone then, Between $30 for a cell phone and $30 for a house phone that is cheaper and less headaches than dealing with afterschool care.