Monday, May 24, 2010

Unexpected Pregnancy Expenses

There are a couple of things you expect to spend money on when you're pregnant. The are the clothes, the doctors appointments and prenatal classes. In the past few months I've noticed a few other areas.

Most recently it's been gasoline. Before I started growing another person I was always cold when it was cold and really good at withstanding the heat. Like I lived in DC for 2 years with no A/C and didn't melt. What people failed to tell me is that being pregnant is like turning on a furnace in your body. Now if it's warmer than 73 and sunny I have to have the A/C on in my car. I have tried all sorts of things (cold water in the car, fan going, windows, A/C for a few to cool the car then the fan) and none of it works. I end up crabby at best, but most days it's more along the lines of feeling faint.

Similarly, I'm expecting our electric bill to go up over the summer. Usually we just open windows at night and do nothing during the day over the summer months. Hubby complains here and there but otherwise deals. Something tells me I won't be able to. This is still uncertain because warm days in clumps it's still been pretty cold here. Our furnace is still going since I caved in October and got it started for the season.

Then there's food. Not so much the volume, but the kinds/quality. I'm trying to buy more organics when it comes to fruits and veggies. I'm also being careful about protein. I met with a dietitian last fall and her main point for my vegetarian pregnancy was getting 3 animal sources of protein a day and eating enough protein in general. I made the switch from regular yogurt to Greek yogurt because of it's higher protein ounce for ounce.

On the other hand there are the things that I inexplicably crave. Like K*raft Mac and Cheese. The volume of prepared things I buy because I'm often lacking in energy or the going out to eat is not good, but I have to eat. Also, all of a sudden I hate leftovers. I put a 24-36 hour window on anything I bring home in case it appeals to me again but my husband is definitely benefiting.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Neighborly Fences

This year will be our second full summer in the house. On a to do list since we got the place has been putting in a back fence. The sides of our yard to the east and west have fences (but in by those neighbors) but the north and south ends are open. To the south we have neighbors and the north side is the front of the house where there would be two smaller portions.

Our plan had been to save up enough cash and approach the backyard neighbors about splitting that part of the fence. Only within 2 months of us moving in the backyard neighbors moved out. The house was on the market for 8-10 months and mid last summer we got new neighbors. The fence would have probably been at the top of the list of things to do this summer but I'm trying to be conservative with the baby on the way.

The other bit of info is that we've never actually met the backyard neighbors. On their second night my husband tried but failed miserably. Since there is no backyard fence (and social graces aren't his strong suit) he decided to just walk across the yards and knock on their patio sliding door. Other than the inviting himself onto other people's property business, he did this at dusk. He's a former college football player (defensive stuff) who was sporting a pretty crazy afro. So hubby walks up to the sliding door when it's a bit dark (and in my opinion) scares the bejesus out of the new neighbors. The neighbor husband freaks out and starts yelling. Mine gets offended because he was just trying to be neighborly and comes back to our house in a huff.

Not too long after that I got depressed. Around when I started feeling better mother nature decided that lots of snow was in order. From mid-October to late February our backyard was buried (the front yard didn't fully melt until late April). All of this was followed by the first trimester. Otherwise known as the 'why is my body made of lead' or 'can I take another nap yet' period of life. That's the long way of explaining why 10 months later I haven't introduce myself or mended fences.

So tonight when I get home there's an envelope in the door with a note and an estimate. The note essentially said hi, can't believe we haven't met, we're getting a fence installed this weekend. The fence will match your other parts, if you have questions give us a call. The estimate is from the fencing company. It breaks down the work on the north, south, east, and west portions of their yard. They highlighted the description of what will border our property.

My initial thought is we should offer them some cash towards that part of the work. Hubby thinks it was a veiled way of asking us to contribute and if they want money they should have asked.

So do we offer? Do we take it as a nice note letting us know there will likely be workmen in our yard? Or do we just keep on moving?

Half is approx $550. If we shift around some of the priorities/plans that I wrote about last time we could probably get this out of our next checks. Getting the rest of our yard finished (based on their estimates) would be another $700. Just in case that factors in for anyone else.