Monday, 31 October 2011

$$$



If I was to look back to when I was 19 I never thought the process in which I carried out my weekly shop today would have ever happened.

I moved out of home 2 months short of my 19th birthday. The 10 months that followed were nothing short of a rollercoaster ride.

I had been working full-time for just over 2 years and had not saved a penny. I had been living at home, paying a small amount in board each week, paying off an $8,000 personal loan for my gorgeous little white lancer and the rest was play money.

I wasn’t one to look to the future, never thought about where the money would come from when and if I decided to buy into property, all I was interested in was having enough money to buy a new outfit for the weekend and to buy alcohol to drink, in said new outfit.

I seemed to always most of the time have enough money to buy food for the week, pay my bills, put fuel in my car and of course enough to buy a 4 pack of black Smirnoff and a bottle of grenadine ready for my Saturday night.

There was definitely no saving though.

My Mum and Dad came to the rescue on a few occasions, taking me to do a food shop, they even bought me a new pair of Asics because the gym was something I couldn’t let go of, even if money was tight to pay the fortnightly membership fee.

A month after moving out of this rental and returning home, I hit the town with a group of girlfriends, only to meet my now hubby.

Meeting Rob gave me a feeling of maturity. I had always been told that I was beyond my years ... but I felt the need to be further beyond my years once our budding relationship took off. You see ... I was 19 when I met Rob ... 2 months short of turning 20. Rob ... well he was a little older. By a little older I mean he was ..... 30!

Yes ... there are 10.5 years between the two of us. Something that has never once bothered us and never will.

We made the move, well I just kept leaving clothes and toiletries there and I think he got sick of everything not having a place, so he thought it would be more convenient if I moved in ... this was only after dating for 3 months. I’m sure the truth is that he couldn’t live without me! I know I certainly couldn’t live without him!

Once I had officially moved in, I instantly took over the conventional role of ‘housewife’. I have always been domesticated and this role was never a difficult one, nor one I had to think about prior, it was natural and I wanted to be ‘his carer’. I did loads of washing, I took on the responsibility of preparing most meals through the week, paying our bills was not too far behind this.

I think it was a case also of feeling as though I was impressing him, not coming across as a young girl needing a place to stay. I wanted him to know that I was an independent young woman that knew what I wanted in life.

With this came the responsibility of managing funds. Something I had never taken too seriously. I began doing the weekly food shops and when it came time to purchasing our first home together only 6 months later, the mortgage repayments were split and I began the job of putting cash away to make the exciting purchase of new furniture and window treatments.

When it came time to move into said home, I had managed to save $4000. This was a BIG deal in my eyes. I had never put away this kind of money before. We bought a beautiful brand new dining table and fitted each window with gorgeous blinds. These things are now a permanent reminder to me that I set myself a goal and succeeded with it.

Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t just meet an older guy and all of a sudden become a non-spender. I still LOVE to shop and will always find a way to buy a new dress or a new pair of shoes. A girl has to accessorise.

So now we are about to embark on a different journey, one that has the added responsibility of ‘watching what we spend’.

I have just started my maternity leave which means my parental leave payments from work are starting 8 weeks prior to bubs’ arrival. I am fortunate enough to also be receiving payments from the government which will definitely help, but our funds will have to be watched more so compared to if I was actually walking in and out of an office each day.

With this has come exciting visits to grocery stores.

Today was my first official day of maternity leave. I took myself to Coles this afternoon to do our weekly shop and well ... as I wandered up and down each aisle, my excitement grew and grew. Rob got to see this excitement when I came home with all of our goodies and as I unpacked each shopping bag, I quoted the price I got each product for. Perhaps a little sad but today I found that I wanted to give myself a pat on the back each time I put something into my trolley that was either on special or if I placed two of the same items in the trolley because they were 2 for $13 and that would be a saving of $1.03.

I managed to get tins of tuna for $0.90, tin tomatoes for $0.80. I bought 1.5kg of Omo washing powder instead of 1kg as the price per kg was cheaper if I purchased the 1.5kg one.

I was so proud of myself for choosing today to do my shopping ... perhaps each Monday the specials are out. I found myself planning our meals as I went down each aisle, thinking back to what products we already had at home and what they could be teamed with.

As I packed everything away in our fridge and pantry I found myself smiling with delight as I thought back to how much money I managed to save.

A far cry from my excitement at buying a $250 Country Road dress.

What little things bring you enjoyment? I have 8 weeks of pondering over the smallest of things ... one day the savings of my grocery bill will be on the bottom of my list.

P.S I also got a double bonus with keeping my receipt ... a whole 8cents per litre off fuel instead of the normal 4cents. I need to fill my car up tomorrow and I already know I am going to love paying for that.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

DIY Sunday



DIY in our home has always been extensive and large jobs. Ever since I can remember. There has never been a weekend where DIY involved small re-paint jobs, hanging a picture, mulching the garden ... our weekends have been Rob building a patio, laying decking, rendering walls, installing fences and the list goes on.

About a week ago our house took a turn for the best ... we now LOVE living here. Instead of looking out our kitchen window to a pile of sand and the thought of where do we begin? We now get to look out to a nice decked alfresco, grass and plants.

The list of jobs is still unravelling but we feel a lot more content and the jobs are definitely not as big as what we have been doing.

So today, considering there was no urgency with finishing off a major job and with me not needing to be at work tomorrow we were able to spend time together, relax and do small DIY jobs.

We lazed about in our front garden, had breakfast on our outdoor lounges, we then went to a local cafe and got a coffee, then went to Bunnings to get a few things. Upon our return home we both did one small job each, which left us enough time to take Dakota for a walk and swim by the river and then spend the arvo with family to help celebrate our niece’s 18th Birthday.

It’s nice knowing that we actually do enjoy spending time together since we have spent the majority of our weekends quite separate whilst Rob renovates.

My DIY job today was applying self adhesive hooks to one of my cubes to neatly display my jewellery. See I told you it was small.

We have built in robes along one wall in our bedroom with cubes down one side. I had a small (cheap & tacky) tree in one of them with my necklaces and bracelets piled over it and it was always a struggle each time I went to take something off to wear. Finally we have neatness, we have user friendly and we have ORGANISATION.

One of my favourite words!

So this is the finished product and I am in LURVE. Took me two seconds to remove a necklace this afternoon to wear out. I removed it from its hook with such joy !!

It really is the small things ...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Bubs Saying Hello ...

Smell of Freedom !



After a very hectic final three days at work, I completed hand over notes, packed up my belongings and signed off.

It is still a very surreal feeling knowing that after working for 8 and a half years, I now have 12 months off. Well if you can call it time off as really I am about to start an entirely different job, one that I believe will be the most rewarding one I have ever worked.

Work gave me a really nice send off and I was completely spoilt.

All of the goodies are already packed away in their new home in the beautiful nursery, which I find myself in every day, admiring the gorgeous white cot, with the knitted blanket hanging over the side hand made with love by Grandma McCarthy, sitting on the chair imagining myself sitting there feeding our little bundle of joy.

I am 32 weeks on Sunday, only 8 weeks to go. We are definitely ready to meet it, we both get giddy with excitement each night when its movements are at their biggest, Rob especially has come to a point where he in himself is aware of the big change that is about to take place and I believe he is ready to begin this amazing new role.

It must be hard for the men to really become aware that their child is growing inside their wife/partner. For us women, we feel everything, from the babies movements, to the little pains and all of the emotions that go with that. The men sit back and watch as the lady in their lives suddenly begins to expand in the mid region and slowly over time as the pregnancy progresses they become more and more in tune with the reality of what is about to happen.

My time off has already been fabulous, realising that not everything has to be done because after all it is Saturday and I want to really be able to enjoy my Sunday as I am back at work Monday so I am going to spend all day cleaning. I have pottered about, had brekkie with Rob ... another brekkie with girlfriends ... shopping ... a long overdue catch up with one of my best friends, she has been living in Newcastle since January and finally came home for a short visit ... dinner with Grandma & Grandpa Jagger ... further wedding prep with Claire, my beautiful sister and bride to be.

Rob and I were able to sit in our front garden and relax listening to music today, certainly a favourite pastime that does not happen near enough.

I now realise that I should have been enjoying life a lot more than what I was – yes I worked full time and only had weekends to clean the house and socialise as well, but the cleaning can definitely wait, there is always tomorrow.

I hope you are all enjoying your weekend and taking the time to just be with family and friends.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Nursery !


It is official – Bubba Jagger has a room which also means Mumma Jagger is feeling very relaxed and calm about everything!

We (I say we lightly, this should really state ‘Rob’) have been renovating for around 4 years. We bought an older home on a great size block that needed A LOT of work. When we brought my parents through it prior to making the big purchase, my Dads words were ‘you can’t go wrong, a paint and prosper’, we still hold him to this.

It has involved removing an asbestos roof, replacing it with a nice new colour bond roof, exterior rendered, walls on the inside knocked out, new walls being built, new plumbing, new electrical work, concrete slabs jack hammered up ready for new wooden floor boards, plus so much more. That is just the house – we have landscaped too.

Rob loves to do everything himself hence the reason the reno has been one of the longest reno’s in history. He is extremely clever but is also a perfectionist so it takes him forever to make a decision about what is going to be done and then we move onto how it is going to be done.

With this I would hope that you understand my joy and excitement when yesterday afternoon Rob announced ‘the nursery is finished’ ... aahhh sweet relief.

This room was the study – we had a large jarrah desk go from wall to wall therefore once this was removed we had bolt holes in the wall, there had never been skirting boards put on and the back of the door had never been painted so there was definitely work to be done.

Rob filled all the holes and sanded these down – put skirting boards around the room, sanded down the window sill and frames (we are replacing the windows as the wood has definitely aged so 2 new windows and new glass is still needed), door was painted, walls were painted and skirting boards were painted and VOILA ... we have a new tidy room ready for bubs.

I am definitely not one to wait around once something like this has happened so Rob and I spent our Saturday night building nursery furniture.

The room still needs artwork on the walls and once bubs is born we will add more colour – don’t want to go crazy on the blue or pink just yet, but even at this stage it looks amazing and we are in LOVE.

This is it so far ... we have built in robes across the opposite wall with cubes going down one side, they are now filled with little teddies I have collected over the past couple of years and each has a special meaning.


Also here is a little snippet of our reno’s ... we are coming to an end, the backyard has been the final stage and that just needs some tweaking. The list has definitely not ended but at least the major areas are complete.




Friendship



Friendships come and go throughout a life time. You have those that last the distance through primary, high school, your working life, then there are those that fleet in for a moment, are there for you through a special or troublesome moment and then fleet on out as that’s what they were there for.

I am one of the lucky ones (I believe I am) who has a large number of girlfriends, some that I have known since I was 7, others since 13 and others that I have met through Rob some 5 years ago. They all hold a special place in my life.

There is this one girl though ... I first met her in high school, around the age of 13. She is one of those girls who cherishes friendships, a person who you can always rely on for the honest answer, there is no sugar coating anything. She loves to have fun, will always look out for you in every situation and will come over early to help you prepare for a party.

She is one girl who I have definitely grown even closer to since beginning my pregnancy journey. She first became a Mum in May 2010 to a gorgeous little boy.

I have found myself constantly harassing her for advice about EVERYTHING.

She has never complained, she has never given me an answer that I want to hear she tells the truth, she says ‘yes it will be hard, but it is also so rewarding’.

She is such an amazing Mum to her little man and I adore watching her in this role. She adapted so quickly, she has been so calm through the past 17 months as she has learnt how to live life with this new addition. I admire her for all of this and I know I will be continuously calling her with even more questions once our new addition enters this world.

I just wanted to say a very big THANK YOU and I want you to know how much I appreciate YOU!

"Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life."


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Fear ... Oh there you are !


 Why cupcakes?! Cupcakes always make me feel better !

D-Day may be here a lot sooner than I had thought!

I saw my Obstetrician yesterday morning and well the appt certainly wasn’t the usual 5 minute check-up ... yes everything is fine ... no there are no concerns.

It started with having my weight checked and my blood pressure taken. I had put on yet another 3 kilos, my last appt was only 4 weeks prior. This brings my total weight gain up to 10 kilos. It isn’t a huge amount but I do still have 10 weeks to go, who knows what number I’ll be facing at the end of this.

My Dr. Started to examine me and said once again “its definitely a good baby”. I told him this wasn’t the first time he had said this so it must mean one thing ... i’m carrying a BIG baby!

It is certainly no 6 pounder!

Thanks for the vote of confidence!

I casually asked if he is in favour of inductions or whether he has a plan up his sleeve when he knows his patients are carrying larger than normal babies, to which he replied yes, we do a scan at 38 weeks.

Slight problem with this – he is away from my 38 week point onwards. I queried this which made him look over my notes, his leaving comments were “I think you will have this baby before I even go away”.

So there you have it – i’m piling on the kilo’s rather quickly and I am carrying a larger than normal baby which means:

  1. I will be induced earlier than my due date – goodbye 10 week countdown and hello 7 week countdown (my guess).
  2. I will end up having a c-section.

Within seconds of leaving my Dr’s office, the fear had started to kick in.

“I really don’t have as long as I thought”
“This baby has to come out and it’s up to me to push it out”
“I am not as prepared as what I once thought”
“What on earth do you do with it once the baby is out, will I know when to feed it and change it”

I still have moments where I am insanely happy about the pending arrival of this little human being that we as a couple have created, where I long to cuddle it, to see what it is (we chose not to find out the sex), to see who it looks like but these moments are certainly getting shorter and shorter.

Women have babies every day – I’ll be fine. Right?! Right?!