Yikes! Time flies! My last post was in July and here we are, 6 months later, in February! Life has been WAY busy in the Isaacson home. Here’s a recap!
In late July, early August, my family and I attended a family reunion near Zion’s National Park in Southern Utah. 9 months pregnant, I strapped my 30 lb, 2 year old in a backpack carrier and went on several small hikes at 10,000 feet elevation. There was a midwife down the road from my cabin, but I didn’t even get Braxton-Hicks contractions. Nothing. I figured if that didn’t induce labor, nothing would and that this kid was never going to be born!
I was wrong. A week after getting back, before my in-laws were scheduled to arrive to help with the kids, my water ruptured and I was admitted into the hospital.
Eric James Isaacson was born August 15th. He’s 5 1/2 months already…still not rolling, sitting up, or even attempting to sleep through the night. It’s like having an 18 lb newborn who smiles a lot. He’s very sweet tempered, unless he’s not. I love him to death, but I’m still trying to figure this kid out. You’d think that after already doing this 5 times before, I’d be a pro. I’m not. So I’m running a household of 8 on little more than 4-6 (very interrupted) hours of sleep a night.
Just a few days after I took Eric home with me from the hospital, my 3 year old was hospitalized with pneumonia. So the baby and I went to stay with her while my husband took care of the other 4 kids at home. Luckily, my in-laws were still around and extended their stay to help out. A few days later, we all went home again. A little worse for wear, but we really didn’t have much time to think about it because…
School started. My 5 year old, Seth, started Kindergarten and was on a half-day schedule for the first 3 weeks of school. Now he is full days except for Wednesdays. The first few weeks, I walked all 3 kids to school, then walked back. Then a few hours later, went and picked up Seth, then walked back. Then walked back to get the older 2 girls (2nd and 4th grade), and walked back. Needless to say, the baby weight came off fairly quickly. My ($30 yard sale find) triple jogging stroller was put to good use very quickly! Now all the kids walk to and from school by themselves except when Kindergarten gets out early.
So September and October flew by with swimming, soccer, ballet and karate lessons. Before I knew it, my oldest daughter’s birthday arrived, marking the start of the holiday marathon. Her birthday is November 1st. Then there is Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, my 3rd daughter’s birthday, school starting again, then my 2nd daughter’s birthday and baptism. We threw in an out-of-town funeral and a 10 day trip to UT somewhere in all that. Family was coming and going all the time.
February is a relatively quiet month for us. And the true start to our New Year since I can finally get back to some version of normal again. Yes, we still have a crazy schedule, but hopefully nothing to spin it out of orbit anytime soon.
How is our money doing? Really well, all things considered. Even with about $8k in unexpected car repairs, we were able to completely pay off both of our credit cards by the end of the summer. We also paid cash for our family reunion, Christmas, all 3 birthdays and our vacation to Utah over Winter Break.
Like every other October for the past 5 years, we take a pay cut due to increased health insurance costs. The schools haven’t given us a cost of living increase for even longer than that. Because of my braces cost, we took another hit to our take-home pay this month too. So we’re living on about $200 less per month than we were a year ago. And we’re making it work! Amazingly, we’ve been able to scale down our expenses enough to survive on Ted’s main pay check. He continues to supplement his income with private speech therapy and we squirrel away those checks towards car repairs and other unexpected/unbudgeted expenses.
I’m so thankful for all the encouraging emails I’ve had from so many of you! I can’t wait to share some of my new favorite recipes with you!
Happy New Year!!