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Monday, March 14, 2011

Side Note

I had a post started with pictures of The Kid's room.  Then I started thinking.  Sometimes when I write about our "addition", I wonder if it sounds braggy.  I want to make things clear. When I bought this house, I was recently single after eight years of not being single, and working two jobs.  I got a third job when I got the keys.  I paid $107,000 for it in 2001.  It was a dump.  When I told my Realtor I wanted to make an offer, he looked me in the eye and said, "You must have a vision".  Or something like that.  I literally worked my ass off tearing down fake wood paneling, ripping up carpet, painting, and doing whatever I could to make it livable.  Then I met The Dad the following summer.  He was hired help.  It's a semi-long story I can go into later, but I needed a fence in the backyard and he showed up to build it.  A week after the work was done, I called him up and asked him to go get a beer.  The rest is history.  We got married in 2004.  Our reception was in the backyard.  I have tons of pictures by the way.  They may make an appearance at some point - you've been warned.

I was working part time when I got pregnant the second time and we were living in a two bedroom, one bath, 947 square foot house.  We needed to move or add on.  Moving was financially impossible.  So we refinanced, pulled out all the equity we could and started digging.  We were lucky enough to have a neighbor who happens to be a contractor and also happens to live in an exact replica of our house.  We used the money we borrowed against the house to pay him and his worker bees to pour the foundation, frame and put a roof on our new 300 square feet.  We also paid someone to run the new electrical.  We were extremely lucky to have a friend who is a plumber who only charged us for materials.  I still owe him like ten meals.  We continued to pay them to put up sheet rock and lay plywood for floors until we literally ran out of money.  For the rest, we stayed up late every night finishing ourselves.  I'll never forget sitting on the floor of  The Kid's new room, fat and pregnant, picking out pieces of hardwood flooring for The Dad to nail down.  That crazy kid was 18 months when we started ripping out walls and he slept through all of it.  My goal was to have a room dialed in for the new baby waaay before it got here.  We succeeded.  That 18 month old kid is now five and that baby is now three and we still haven't installed the tile in the master bath shower.  Such is life.

I had The Girl in October of 2007 and I quit my job permanently the July before.  I wanted to have Mom and Kid time before the new baby came.  I realize the SAHM gig isn't for everyone.  But the excuse that "we can't afford it" is horse crap. The Dad brings home less than $35k a year.  We're broke.  We make due.  I don't have a cell phone.  We don't have cable.  The Dad drives a company car.  I drive a used car.  I plan meals for two weeks and I clip coupons like a maniac.  My kids aren't in daycare.  We don't eat out.  I have to save my pennies for a new bra.  I haven't colored my hair in a year (first priority with the tax refund btw).  Again, not for everyone, but it's working for us.  Sure it would be nice to walk into a store and buy what I want anytime I want.  Sure it would be nice if The Mom and Dad could go out without kids more than once every few months.  Sure it would be nice if I could buy the new furniture that I've recently been coveting.  But ya know what?  None of those things are going to make for happier healthier kids and that's kind of the whole point of becoming parents isn't it?  To put your wants on the back burner so you can raise them?

I kind of got off on a tangent there for a minute.  I'm sure I succeeded in offending someone.  All I know is, our teeny tiny house has sweat and tears in the foundation and framing and almost everything we do here is with our own two hands.  So quite literally, this blog is how us poor folk live - well.

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