Reasons to get out of bed…

Archive for March, 2013

Moving Day!

Today is our moving day! We’ve packed our boxes. We’re loading the U-Haul today and we’ll be off to the new place!

Wish us luck!

neighbor doormat

Student Loan Debt

This post has nothing to do with motivation (unless I count it as “one reason I’ll never be a stay at home mom” or “A job? Yes, please!”). I have strong feelings about student loan debts and the lack of financial education given to students taking out school loans (and how it will affect them for the REST of their lives). I’ve tried to write about those strong feelings here, but they always become VERY rant-like and I delete them. So I thought I would share this instead (since I stumbled across it this week…)

I hope you enjoy!

Student-Debt-Cartoon-Big

My Homebuying Guide

Here is the My Lesson In Motivation (tongue-in-cheek) Home Buying Guide:

Step 1: Fall madly in love with an architect and decide to buy a house with him (or her – in my case, it was a him)

Step 2: When looking at/purchasing a house with said architect, let his imagination run wild with possibilities

Step 3: Listen to those possibilities with an open heart and admiration for your partner’s genius

Step 4: Reign those wild fantasies in by imposing a strict timeline/deadline and a strict budget!

In reality, this plan basically did work out for us. My wonderful architect is not a residential architect, I’m sure that makes a difference. Instead, mine works in the “science and technology” sector (read: he designs crazy lab space for research scientists at universities and pharmaceutical companies). I think it worked out nicely because he wasn’t a snob about residential design, but understood it well enough to recognize a home’s “good bones” or hidden disasters. He was also looking for a house that would grant him a few hands-on projects. The downside was that he’s used to dealing with multi-million dollar  budgets… which we don’t have! (see Step #4) 

Additionally (which would be a more serious suggestion), we created a “needs and wants” list. Here’s an example of our list:

Need: A yard
Want: A LARGE yard
Need: Bedrooms on a separate floor from livingroom so when Mr. Light Sleeper goes to bed early, he’s not disturbed by Ms. Night Owl watching tv
Want: Fireplace
(etc) 

We reviewed it with our realtor as well, which was a good idea because he could ask things like “which would you rather: a house with a new roof or a house with a new kitchen.” That was easy: roof! Our rental has an avocado colored kitchen and we’ve been living with that for 4 1/2 years, but we’re sick of living there because the roof leaks…

Look at that hideous green floor! The countertops match one of those greens... (and then there's my Prissy Pants as a kitten playing with a paper towel roll for scale... and to distract you from how truly ugly that floor is)

Look at that hideous green floor! The countertops match one of those greens… (and then there’s my Prissy Pants as a kitten playing with a paper towel roll for scale… and to distract you from how truly ugly that floor is)

We ended up getting a house with all of our “needs” and some of our “wants.” Plus, the wonderful architect still got a house with projects to keep him busy.

One thing I’ve personally found funny is that everyone we show the (still empty) house to (with the solitary exception of my mother… who has been SUPER awesome enough to help us with all of our projects so far), says something along the lines of “well, have you considered doing this…?” to which, T always responds so politely, “Oh, that’s a good idea.” And I giggle in the corner because apparently our friends and family don’t realize that they are talking to an architect who has envisioned that house a million different ways. (Seriously, he did a mock-up of a dream kitchen that was so detailed I was in the rendering as a reference for scale. And while he had built a tv into the wall so “we could watch cooking shows,” he had placed a more likely, still image of a Patriot’s game on the tv since neither of us actually like to cook!)

Or our loved ones ask “Why aren’t you doing this…?” To which, one of us will reply “well, we considered it, but then Jen’s wallet started to cry, so it was tabled to a later date/moved down the priority list, etc.” (again, see Step #4).

We also casually shopped for houses for 4 years and had a good idea of what was out there, what we liked, and what we didn’t like. I think that really helped… but might not be a possibility for everyone…

If you came across this page because you’re actually thinking about buying a house: good luck! Happy house hunting! 

Or to my regular readers: what would your home-buying suggestions be?

Motivation: Deadlines! (And a Private Bathroom…)

Big things are going on over here at My Lesson In Motivation! Big things! Besides being pregnant, and still trying to work out (which I do… I just never manage to post about), my wonderful boyfriend and I just bought our first house! Whoa!

At this point, I’m feeling so adult it’s actually daunting.

xkcd homeownership

I promise to do a full update about the house (most likely complete with “before” and “after” pictures). But let me just tell you, this house has totally been forcing me to be motivated. Technically, it’s move-in ready… as long as we’re ok with 4 rooms being painted in the most extreme teal color even an 11-year-old girl made a joke about it (“wow… so that’s a choice”), and ok with having NO kitchen appliances, and a little mold in the basement, and a bunch of mild cosmetic issues, and not being able to close the bathroom door because the threshold is inches too tall (why?!), and, and, and…

Club house sale

You’re probably wondering at this point why we even bought the house. Because it’s lovely (especially for our price range), because all of the big stuff is new (roof, siding, windows, electrical thing in the basement which I should really know the name of). And because it’s so much bigger than where we live now. Literally, the basement is 30 square feet larger than our entire apartment right now (which is a single family home). No, our new house isn’t enormous – our rental is a shoebox! So if the basement is the same size as the ground floor, we also then gain the (three) bedrooms on a second floor: MORE SPACE! I don’t think our cats are going to know what to do with themselves with all of this room. I know they are going to love having more floor space to bat cat toys around and a dozen more windows to look out. (Not to mention all the new things outside).

So, we’ve been spending the last 2 weeks of home ownership fixing up the place (and buying appliances and hiring licensed people to do some of the more major work).

You know what’s a great motivator? Deadlines!

Deadline #1: We have to be out of our rental on March 31st.

It’s a great motivator to pack (although I’ve only just begun) and clean out closets and bookcases for donations. It’s also great to motivate us to finish a lot of the major projects (it’s WAY easier to paint an empty room than a room filled with furniture).

Deadline #2: our first guests will be sleeping over the night we move (T’s brother and sister-in-law are helping us move and then will be staying the night because they live 3 hours away). Normally, this would be no big deal. But when the bathroom door won’t close (and remains open about a foot and a half), these things NEED to be fixed!

So yeah… making sure the bathroom is a private experience without asking people to go to another part of the house (what we’re doing now… although luckily we aren’t in the house too much) is MAJOR motivation!

It WILL happen!!! I just keep repeating that to myself!

I’ll let you know how it goes, but I can promise you that I’m feeling motivated!

Fitness Idea

One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how hard it is to motivate yourself to exercise when you don’t feel comfortable about your body, especially when you have to exercise around other people. It’s so easy to worry if others will judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves.

Also, I was talking with some friends about a friend of ours who is struggling. This friend is extremely overweight (I’m guessing she weighs about 400 lbs) and struggles to take weight off because her knees hurt so much. It’s a vicious cycle: her knees hurt because she’s so overweight and she remains so overweight because her knees hurt. Which made me start thinking, isn’t it terribly sad that swimming, the activity that grants the greatest amount of buoyancy (and less joint strain) is also the activity that requires the least about of clothing and the most amount of skin showing?! So in order to exercise in that environment, one also has to overcome the greatest amount of self-esteem issues?

It really got me thinking. I wish that a chain gym would pop up to address that issue. I feel like Curves (and all of the other gyms in that vein) popped up to address the issue that lots of women feel uncomfortable working out in front of men. I wonder if a pool that encouraged people to wear shorts and t-shirts instead of speedos would be well received?

I know I would love that right now! Especially if I didn’t have to buy a swim cap and goggles. I’m not a serious swimmer but would enjoy having somewhere to comfortably swim right now… without any judgment.

Additionally, it would be great if I didn’t have to get over my issues to just BUY an outfit, let alone use it. Granted, I’m pregnant, so my issues of size may pale in comparison, but I least I can sympathize with the issue.

Good luck to anyone else feeling this way! And have you ever heard of a pool like this? (if so, I hope it’s in Massachusetts!)

Body Image – Part 3

Things are going really well here in my land of pregnancy. Well, at least I think so. I have another ultrasound this week and I’m being tested for gestational diabetes… so I guess I’ll let you know later in the week if the doctors think all is well. Here’s the update from my point of view though:

My latest physical obsession: My fingernails are growing so quickly! They are out of control! I trim them and then bam! what feels like only 2 days later, they look like massive talons. Neither of the cats have complained yet though…

How I feel physically: Great! Besides feeling round, I’m not in pain. No sciatica or anything like that so I’m counting my blessings! Although, I’ve just entered the 3rd trimester, so I have a feeling that things are going to change. I’m hoping I remain pain free and just feel more and more round.

One side effect of pregnancy is a stuffy nose because of increased mucus production, and I’m totally experiencing that. I don’t think it’s a big deal, it just means that I blow my nose about 3 times per day. However, I’m pretty sure it’s absolutely freaking out the two germaphobes that I sit between at work. They keep mistaking it as some sort of illness, but I’m pretty sure “pregnant” isn’t an airborne disease…

How I feel emotionally:  I still don’t feel like a crazy psycho person hormonally, which is great. There is just one exception. Even before getting pregnant, I was pretty easy to make cry. Not necessarily in my daily life, but songs and movies could totally get me going (if there is animal abuse in a movie – forget it, I’m a mess!) So that personal trait has just been heightened. My wonderful boyfriend will say something like “oh, I just heard this song the other day and I thought you would like it” and the next thing you know, I’m full-on sobbing in my kitchen (next to the iPod speaker). It’s ridiculous. At least once per weekend, you’ll find me in the kitchen bawling my eyes out, with T hugging me, swaying slightly, and apologizing for setting it all in motion. And I appreciate it, because he must be trying really hard not to laugh. I know it’s all absurd.  Luckily, as soon as the song is over, I’m fine. For examples of the things that make me cry, check out Same Love  by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and The Good Stuff by Kenny Chesney.

What others are saying: Last time I mentioned a very sweet compliment I had received about not looking pregnant… well I think that has gone out the window! One of the women I sit near (but I don’t actually work with) didn’t know I was pregnant “until she saw me waddle past her office.” 😦 Yep, that’s right, I waddle now. She’s a mother of 2, so I don’t think she meant to hurt my feelings. And I do waddle… so, you know… it was just the truth. (My feelings weren’t really hurt)

Moving: Booger is still wiggling up a storm in there and I’ve learned his awake times for the most part (they usually coincide with when I eat). But I’ve learned there is one sure-fire way to incite a dance party in my tummy regardless of the schedule: get a purring cat to lay across my tummy. Unfortunately, a belly dance party is also a sure-fire way to freak out a purring cat and get him to leave. Within 2 minutes of the purring cat leaving, the dance party stops. I think it’s the vibration and not the sound. Because if my sweet, male cat lays within inches of my tummy (next to me, on my lap, or on my chest), it won’t start a wiggle fest. It only works if he’s directly on top of the tummy.

Pictures:

Slowly getting better at the picture thing? Although it kinda looks like the belly is getting smaller... and it really isn't....

Slowly getting better at the picture thing? Except for the blurry face part.  Although it kinda looks like the belly is getting smaller… and it really isn’t….

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