It's still crazy cold outside. It's May 16th and there is snow in the forecast. I just...I don't even know what to do with that. Where normally it would be in the 60s or 70s during the days now we're lucky if it's in the 50s.
Last week was finals week. Naturally, it was crazy busy at our house. One of Shane's classes finished the week before, so he *only* had four finals. And to make it worse, he found out an hour before one of them (his physics final, no less) that work this summer is a no go. He'd talked to his boss just a couple of days before about possible start dates, so this was a huge shock. B later took Shane out to lunch to explain. It turns out that B had no idea himself that any of this was happening or he would have given Shane a heads-up. I guess the price of gold has dropped so much in the last few months that they can't find investors for the project anymore, so the camp isn't opening at all. I feel bad for B, too, who has spent all winter working on some contracts and then had to call the contractors to say, "Sorry, cancel all of that." And then there are the contractors themselves, who are now at a loss and scrambling. So, what sort of sucks on a personal level really sucks for everyone else.
We're both looking on the bright side, which isn't that hard. Shane gets to be home this summer, rather than gone 2/3 of the time! He'll take some classes, too, so that he can finish his degree that much faster. And I'm certain that he'll find something else, it just won't be quite as lucrative. So the only downside is the money. I'm sure that if I said how much money he would have made a lot of people would think, "Well that's not so much money." But for us, it would have been a huge boon. We'd already planned out how we were going to allocate the money (some people would see that as dangerous, "spending money you don't yet have", but we were planning what we would save and what we would throw at student loan debt).
I feel like a whiner. We'll be fine. We only have student loan debt, which is manageable, and we've got money in savings. We just won't be as comfortable as we would have been. And I really wouldn't care at all if it weren't for the baby. We've got medical bills which will need paying and my maternity leave to finance. And again, we'll be fine. It's just me, freaking out about all of the possible things which could go wrong. So I'm pushing those to the back of my head and concentrating on all of the things which are in my control, and all of the positives. Like Shane actually getting to be around this summer.
I coped in one of my usual ways, which is to clean. Our apartment looks better than it did all semester, and we got rid of tons of junk. We actually mostly filled the car and took that much stuff to Value Village. (Where I found two pairs of maternity pants for cheap, score!) We got rid of a couple of pots we don't use anymore (now that we have nicer ones), clothes, old sheets we never use, stuff which my brother-in-law and his old roommate left with us when they moved out of state last summer (thanks, guys), and so many other things which made me think, "Where on earth did we get this and why haven't we gotten rid of it before?"
We've got tons of boxes in our garage storage space which I've been hoarding "just in case we move" at some point. Well, there are clearly no moves in our near future now. So I offered some of the boxes around to people. My boss is retiring and moving to Oregon a week later to be nearer to her kids. She and her husband were super grateful to get both boxes and the packing material I've collected, which was lovely. Most of the rest of the boxes will most likely go to friends who are buying a house and moving in June. It's all part of a larger scheme so that we can clean up our half of the garage (until now, used as storage since we couldn't fit the truck in it) so that we can actually park our car in there during the winter.
Our second bedroom, which is almost exclusively used as storage at this point, is also slowly getting cleaned out. I discovered a few things which we can (and should) return to my in-laws this weekend when they're visiting. And hopefully, they will be taking the truck home with them as well.
My brother left a bunch of stuff with us when he went home at the end of fall semester, so I'm going to get my parents to take most of it home with them. Although, I'm hoping that I can convince the Boy to come up here again to both finish his degree and also be childcare for us. (We would work out some sort of payment system, most likely just giving him a break on rent and such if he watched Baby for us when we can't.) So maybe they won't take too much of it, but some of it really should go.
It's amazing how much better I feel when I get rid of stuff. I don't know if I'm "nesting" or what, but I'm looking at things with a very critical eye lately. In the interest of doing my fair share, I've even agreed to go through my books this summer and get rid of some. Most can be taken to Gulliver's to trade for credit on other used books and the rest can be donated to the literacy council. I've even already identified some which I know I won't miss at all, I just hung onto them because when is having books a bad thing?
The one big project I'm hoping I can talk Shane into is going through his old high school keepsakes. His mom brought up boxes of stuff last summer, all of which Shane had packed up right after high school and decided to keep. But, he hasn't looked in those boxes since high school for the most part. Now, ten years later, I'm wondering how much of it is still meaningful? Some things, such as his letterman jacket and yearbooks, will definitely be kept. Those sorts of things are important. But most of it? It's lost its meaning and is now junk. I'm sure that before the summer is over we'll take another trip to Value Village to drop off things.
I've also got a box of stuff that I want to take to the Really Free Market this weekend, stuff which I don't think I could sell or donate, but perhaps I could give away. And I have a bag of clothes which I want to take to the Fireweed Boutique and see if I can sell it there.
Of course, part of this great purge is because there are things which we will need to buy soon. I already mentioned my new maternity pants. I also bought a maternity shirt, also used, since I'm already growing out of some of my regular shirts. I found this shirt at Once Upon a Child, a used maternity/baby/kids stuff store in town. We were over there anyway (it's right next to the shop where Shane buys his beer-making supplies) so I stopped in to check it out. I can already tell that store is going to become my new favorite one in town. Used joggers/strollers, baby carriers (which I know from my nanny experience that I love), bouncy seats, clothes, shoes, cribs, bedding, maternity clothes, toys.... Perfect. And of course, it had so much stuff I don't know why anyone in town would ever want to buy new baby clothes. It also made me wonder how many people don't know about it and just throw out all of their used baby/kid items.
Other than what I need for maternity wear, we are of course going to hold off on buying anything. For one thing, we don't need it yet. For another, we're waiting to see what other people will gift to us. If this seems mercenary and calculating, it really isn't. You just don't know my MIL. One of the first things she said after we told her about the baby was a joyous, "I GET TO BUY BABY THINGS!" And then she sent us a baby gift which she already had waiting. She didn't even know we were thinking about having a kid, just bought it for when we did! (It was a book, thankfully.) The in-laws are visiting us this weekend (yay!) and she's assured us that she has baby things for us. I was only half joking when I told Shane, "Oh God, she went to Baby GAP and bought the store, didn't she?" So, we'll wait on buying anything for Baby to see what friends and family want to give us. (I understand that impulse--you want to do something nice for the new parents!) I'm hoping that I can get my mom to raid the boxes I know she has of mine and my brothers' old baby clothes and send some of them to us. That would be really fun.
Stuff and junk are not the only things on my mind, of course. I finally started my plants (and labeled them this year, I'm so proud of myself!) and I already have cabbage starts popping up. Hurray! I'm hoping the rest start coming up soon. I used last year's seeds so I'm a little nervous that not all of them will be viable. Cross your fingers for me.