Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Trade Off

When we lived in California, I never worried about money. My husband pulled a 6 figure salary, and I had a steady job. Yes, our rent was more than what we pay in three months out here, and a gallon of milk often cost as much as a kidney, but we were fine. Although I bitched about frivolous spending, we didn't worry about it as much. We paid our bills on time, more than the minimums, we saved, and we lived our lives.

Except we didn't have lives.

Correction, my husband didn't have a life outside work.

While he loved the amounts of his paychecks, he was working 24/7. When he wasn't physically at work, he was on the computer or on the phone. Let's face it, that kind of salary is never attached to a 40 hour work week. Since he was working so much in San Francisco, he often stayed in the office apartment above the store. It was an hour drive each way, and when you aren't leaving until 9 and have to be back by 7, there's not a lot of sense in coming home to sleep for a few hours. There were days when Isaac didn't see his dad, until we figured out how to Skype. Ben would go on business trips, meetings, trainings out of state, and we couldn't even do that much. We had to reschedule our Disneyland trip 3 times. 3 TIMES!

I didn't worry about money, but I did worry about my marriage. It was just me and Isaac ALL THE TIME. Even when Ben was home, we were hard pressed to find a babysitter so we could go to dinner or to a movie.

When we knew we were moving across the country, we started saving and paying off more. I started planning how we were going to survive on one third of what we were making. It's been rough. I didn't plan as well as I thought I did. Ben messed up his back and has been to all kinds of doctors for tests. One of the cars has needed repairs. SNOW TIRES, ugh.

Anyway, now I worry about money all the time. Like, I wake up at night for Isaac and I can't fall back asleep because my mind won't turn off. But you know what I don't worry about? MY MARRIAGE. I see my husband everyday. EVERY SINGLE DAY. When we have a problem, we can talk about it, face to face.  We resolve things. Isaac sees his dad in real life, not over a computer screen. Most days, we eat dinner together. When Ben is home, he is HOME, not on the phone constantly or worrying about numbers or customer issues or whatnot. He's worried about, well, nothing. (Except maybe the fact that his wife is seriously inept at keeping up with laundry). We get to be a family. A broke family, but we are a family that sees each other.

This is a trade off I am willing to deal with. Somehow, dealing with money troubles seems immensely easier than dealing with marriage troubles. I'll take it.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fort Knox for Hippos

Isaac has been having nightmares lately. He wakes up crying and calling for me. Most times he doesn't talk about them. I have no idea what's scaring him until it comes up in everyday life. Like an owl. Apparently there is a scary owl in his room.

The other night he woke up more upset than usual. He came to his door dragging his blue bunny buddy behind him crying as hard as he could. I scooped up my snot dripping baby and started to carry him back to his bed so we could cuddle and calm down. He started thrashing and screaming that he couldn't sleep in his bed because of the hippos.

HIPPOS. He loves hippos.

He wouldn't stay in his room, he wouldn't go into our room. So we sat in the landing and rocked back and forth. Apparently there were scary hippos trying to get him (NOTE: no more animal planet for Isaac before bedtime). I rocked and rocked and rocked him back and forth in the landing, quieting his sobs and drying his tears. He was on the brink of sleep when I put him back in his bed and turned on his movie to lull him the rest of the way.

Luck have it, his eyes fluttering right at the part with the DANCING HIPPOS. Let the screams commence.

Oh but wait! We were in luck! The tent Ben bought Isaac for Christmas is impenetrable to hippos! We were safe!

Oh yes, that meant that Isaac wanted to sleep in his tent. You know, so the hippos couldn't get us.

This also meant that I had to pile 20 million blankets and pillows INTO A CHILD SIZE TENT, along with a box of trains, Buzz Lightyear and Woody (who were to guard the entrance) and zip up the tent. ZIP UP THE TENT.

Let's talk about claustrophobia!

Isaac curled up next to me and fell asleep to me talking about all the reasons that the hippos couldn't get us. I became increasingly uncomfortable on the hard floor (despite the 20 bajillion blankets) and the rising temperature BECAUSE IT'S A ZIPPED UP CHILD SIZE TENT.

After he was well asleep I unzipped the door and nodded off eventually. Only to discover that my husband had turned off the alarm and I was late for LIFE (it was ok, my hair looks decent when I let it air dry).

Today we are off to the zoo to cure the hippo fear.

Fingers crossed. I can't spend another night in the tent.