Monday, June 20, 2011

Saving Money This Summer - Games and Streaming TV

I'm absolutely on a mission to save money as it warms up outside. Not only do I want to put my PlayOn and Netflix to good use, but I also want to try to watch less television this summer. It's ridiculous to pay for subscriptions that are barely being used and my kid had plenty of stuff to do. I also want to save for the colder months now that I know how much it costs to heat this place!

This winter just about tapped me out financially. I wasn't sure how much it would cost to electrically heat my new apartment, and boy was I in for a shock! Now that I've averaged it out over the year, it's more manageable. The quarterly water bill was a new one too. It's easier to think of it as a monthly expense rather than, "OMG WTF we need to shower less!"

I also didn't have the benefit of educational financial aid to help out this year either. Thankfully, I got resident tuition rates this year, after a huge drama, and I'm going back to school in the fall. Another reason to quit cable and move to streaming TV - focusing purposes.

So between the video game subscription with Gamefly, the Netflix subscription and PlayOn, I should successfully lower my bills by a significant amount every month this summer. I was able to take this last year away from school, even though it hurt financially, and transition into writing with transcription as a back up. I'm in a good place and I'm looking forward to saving money this summer.

This week: How to connect your laptop or computer to your television for streaming purposes.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How He Breaks My Heart

"Are you wearing that to daddy's house?" my son asked me yesterday. It's a simple gauchos outfit in a pretty print that I pulled out of the back of the closet. I'd forgotten how comfortable it is! I haven't worn it since my son was a baby and I took him to his dad's house for the first time. A time when I was about 30 pounds thinner (hence the back of the closet), and was still trying to impress the ex. Yesterday it was jammies.

My son told me how pretty I looked in my "dress" and that he loved it so much. I adore that boy. When he asked me if I was going to wear it to his daddy's house, I told him no and he looked disappointed. He asked if daddy had ever seen it, and I replied yes, when he was a baby. He asked if daddy hated it when he saw it, and I told him no. I waited a few minutes before asking him why did he want me to wear it to his dad's house. Sometimes, when I press too hard, he shuts down and "forgets" or says "I have no words" and changes the subject. I already knew where he was going with these questions.

"I want you to wear it to daddy's because I want you to look pretty for him." Of course I asked why, and his answer broke my heart. "I want daddy to marry you again." Before I said anything, he answered himself and said he knew daddy and I wouldn't get married again. Then he asked for a hug.

I know this gets easier as he gets older. Hell, I'm a child of divorce. I know it does eventually. This part just really sucks right now.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Eye Twitch

My eye has been twitching for a week or so. It got progressively worse the less I slept and the more I stressed out. I've been working on a huge project for my son's class and it had to get done by Wednesday. I was still trying to get it to work right on Monday and it was barely even started. I was freaking out, to say the least.

Yesterday afternoon, after scouring the Internet for information, I found a program to help me. Thank God for the Internet and user forums. So the project fell together within a couple of hours after I figured out how to use the program correctly. By 4am Tuesday morning, I was almost done but fried. Nothing has gotten done at home while I worked on this. Nothing. My house is scary. My kid has been dealing with a crabby, tired momma. And my eye - oh my GOD, my eye twitching was making it worse. We're talking a deep lower eye twitch that was erratic and almost painful.

Suddenly, about the same time I started copying the completed project so each parent gets one, my eye stopped twitching! I suddenly feel calm and less freaked out. I'm not even kidding. I went from a tight chest filled with anxiety and panic last week, to this happy calm feeling. School is out tomorrow and I'm free from the daily stress of getting us out the door on time. The rushed, "EAT EAT OMG FREAKIN' EAT!!!" If this is what I'm going to go through for the next 12 years, I'm screwed.

Tomorrow we're going to the school at 8:45am. Why? Why in the world would I do that to myself? Because I feel happy! No, not really. Ha ha! Actually, I'm giving in to my child's despair of not getting a yearbook when his best friend got one. When the order forms showed up, I thought "Not for 4K. No." Now that I saw it, I want him to have one. So I called and there are only six left. First come, first serve. I'll be there before the school opens just to get him one. Oh, and to drop off the project and to help the teacher with a technically issue if it's not figured out yet.

Is this what it's like when your kid starts school? I'm already committed to PTA projects for next year, which I'm happy to do because it's technical stuff. I feel like I'm becoming this other person who gets involved and is social and stuff. It's weird, but I kind of like it. I think. I'm resistant to the idea too. Maybe it's because I almost feel like we're not going to settle down here. I still kind of want to live in Arizona. I don't know. All I know is it's summer break as of tomorrow, I'm stress free and I drive to Chicago on Saturday to drop the kid off for two whole weeks. TWO WEEKS!!! YIPPEEEEE!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

One More Week

I'm overwhelmed and stressed out (as usual). I have work piling up and a project for my son's school that needs to be done by Tuesday. I drive to Chicago in a week to take the boy child to his dad's house. Two whole weeks of blissful quiet. No Disney Channel or Cartoon Network blaring at all hours of the day. In fact, I'd be shocked if I turned on the television at all! I'll miss him after about day three and will call everyday to check on him. Last time he barely talked to me on the phone because his older brother was finally there for the summer.

My plans are to sleep, clean and read while I can. I also plan to work my ass off to get caught up so I don't fall behind again. It's been hard this year without relying on financial aid from school. It was refreshing to take a break from it though. There is some drama with it but I have two weeks to straighten everything out.

My son's bedroom is about to be de-cluttered of all the toys he's accumulated. I'm about to purge all the clothes that have been piling up. I need to see what gaps need filling - other than socks and underwear. I'm sure he need shoes - don't they always? Goodwill (or other local charity) here we come!

Two blissful weeks. Seven more days to get there. Four days of hell before we're free from school. *sighs*

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