Brief Non-Adoption Update

There is literally nothing at all happening at the moment with our adoption. Of all the kids I requested info on, I’ve received 4 case studies and are awaiting about half a dozen others. We’re reviewing them, but it’s difficult since the majority or them are out of Florida. The logistics of traveling several times to meet a potential child of ours is crazy expensive and we don’t have the time off from work and school to even begin to plan said trips.

We both knew foster care adoption wouldn’t be easy. But we’re dealing with a whole new set of issues that neither of us anticipated. It’s giving us time to reflect and evaluate if we want to get our foster care license as well.

But in the meantime, we are keeping busy by house hunting. Yes, something I swore I’d never do – looking to buy in South Florida. Right now it’s just dreaming as we clean up our (my) credit enough to qualify for a lower interest rate. As much as I love and adore the snow, the older I get and the more friends we make, the more I’m realizing that this little piece of hell on earth isn’t so bad.

Also, Husband is in school for his MBA so time is tight.

On the other hand, since he is now on a daylight schedule, we are getting used to each other again. For 4+ years of our life together (nearly half!), we saw each other at most 2 hours a day and partial weekends. He worked the night shift (9p-9a) and while I was at work, he was sleeping. I’d race home to make dinner, spend some time together then he’d go off to work.

The last month or so, it seems like a vacation. I’ve been slacking on the stuff I’d normally do at night after he’s leave for work – dishes, laundry, knitting – since we now spend a lot of time together… watching TV. We just finished Orange is the New Black (OMG!) and just started Weeds. Separately, he is watching House of Cards.

I hope you’re all well! If you missed any posts, just keep scrolling…

Kiwi Crate


Furnishing the Little One’s Bedroom

A few days ago I thought maybe it was time to check prices for my baby’s bedroom. After all, our very last PRIDE class is in 2 days.

First I checked Rooms To Go, then I posted a question to my FB and got a crazy amount of responses, and finally hit up IKEA at the suggestion of my MPC.


I priced out both twin and full beds and settled on the full. A good point was made that this will work best for older kids and we could have any age from 5 to 11 years old. If only they sold the full on the bottom/ twin on top bunk beds, I would get that in a heartbeat. I saw some at RTG but they are ridiculously expensive. The bed alone was more than the entire room at IKEA. Blerg.

So right now, I have the basics – bed, mattress, desk, dresser and nightstand – picked out. I selected a nice generic (gender neutral) green set of sheets and figure he (or she) could go to town with decorating the rest as they see fit. S/He can pick out the rugs, curtains, lamps, artwork, anything else. Well, mommy might just have to put some fun artwork in there that I create. (*ahem* Thanks, Pinterest!) Plus the blanket I’m busy knitting.

Based on this list below, is there anything I’m missing or don’t need?


Now we just need to figure out a time to get up to IKEA and have a spare $550ish in our account. We might have to rent a truck or borrow from a friend bc I’m not sure this will all fit into my car even if it’s totally cleaned out.

This ish is getting real!


A Perfect Life

Having just spent the last 2 days at Wordcamp Miami, my passion is running super high for working for myself. Not to mention kicking butt. In my perfect life, RS Creative Solutions will run smoothly and earn us enough money for Steve to do law school and me to not have to work in corporate America.

In reality, I don’t have any consistent clients and don’t get paid for the bulk of the work I do… mostly bc I don’t ever bill for it. From now on, I need to set boundaries, create job scope/ specs, get down payments, have contracts signed all before I ever do a drop of design work.

I’ve been doing this long enough (15 years) that I can’t keep calling myself an amateur. I mean really, that doesn’t help with my design-esteem. Yeah, that’s like self-esteem but for my design work.

I found two somewhat mentors willing to help me with my business and was told that I really need to get to more events in the industry. I was also told our URL was too long. So I bought a shorter one: RS Creates

Now to implement my perfect life.


Taxes: Paying for the First Time in Ages

Every year for as long as I can remember I have done my taxes myself on and gotten a nice refund back. I even turned my not so tech loving hubby on to taxact a few years ago. This year we had a ton of things for our taxes, not to mention our first year filing jointly.

After spending a few weeks waiting for all our W-2s and his 1099, I plugged in everything as usual and didn’t like the resulting number in red glaring back at me. A number that we owed. Ouch. Stupid 1099, even for 4 months, cost us a fortune.

Gone are the days of getting back $2-3k. Hopefully temporarily.

We held off on filing hoping a solution would appear to reduce that horrible number. Well, yesterday we went to H&R Block which, while helpful, was also EXPENSIVE. We spent a couple of hours working with 3 ladies who knew various things about 1099s and managed to reduce that horrible amount owed by about $300. However, in the end we owed them $350 in fees. Um, what?

We also learned from the client at the next booth that adopting a child earns you about up to $10k in a refund. Wow. I had no idea. And we want to adopt siblings. Insane. But also I’m sure there’s people that foster/ adopt just for the money. Sorry, tangent…

It was a very expensive lesson to learn, but from now on you can bet I know how to track all our deductions and expenses from his 1099. And with my new job, I might have a 1099 as well. Ugh.

If you or your spouse/significant other are a 1099 employee, how do you track expenses, etc? I need to implement a system immediately and find receipts from the past 4.5 months. For once I’m thankful for hubby’s pack rat wallet tendencies.


Oh Hello Pneumonia, Please Go Away!

** …I actually started writing this at 3pm on Friday and kept falling asleep on the couch, then went to get medicine and had dinner with Steve. Course, then I fell asleep for the night and now, here we are again… **

It’s no secret that I’ve been feeling horrible for a long time. I’ve mentioned it a few times in here and it’s just been miserable for me the past few weeks.

Yesterday began fairly normal. I had an appointment at the DMV to get my married name on my drivers license, then headed to the bank to deposit the last of the wedding checks. I hit up BJ’s Warehouse for a few items, then was going to hit up Publix for stuff we needed, but didn’t need 843 pounds of it like they sell at BJ’s.

And then it happened as I was walking across the parking lot into Publix. I coughed. And immediately knew this wasn’t like the painful coughs I’ve been having. I felt and heard a POP in my left side somewhere in my rib cage. This is the same area where all the pain has been for the last week, but this was different. I immediately doubled over in pain and forced my way back to my car. Yeah, try walking and being calm when you think you’ve punctured a lung or snapped a rib in half.

Complete and utter pain. On a scale of 1-10, I was at about a 15 or 16.

I made it back to my car, turned it on for the a/c, then called Steve and my mom. I knew he wouldn’t answer as I’d spoken to him when I left the DMV and he was going to sleep. I sat in the car for a while with tears streaming down my face, having a really hard time breathing, and talking to my mom. Finally I did manage to get the car moving and drove about 20mph the entire way home. Any jostling of my rib cage caused even more excruciating pain to shoot through my body.

When I got home, I sat in my car calling various people trying to figure out what to do next. To the normal person, the ER would be an obvious choice. For me, uninsured and extremely underemployed, I was fearing an ER bill. Yeah, I went anyhow. Mom drove me to Homestead Hospital. Not only was it the closest, but a friend works there in the ER room and he was going to be in later for his shift at 7pm. It was currently 2pm and I was hoping like hell to not see him.

Oh yeah, I did. For 6 hours.

We got there just after 2pm, and within 2 hours I was triaged and had 4 vials of blood drawn. As usual, my veins were being funky and the only place she could draw from was the back of my hand. The “quickness” of these events made me hopeful that the ER trip wouldn’t last forever. I stood for as long as I could since sitting wasn’t painful, but standing back up and putting any force on my left side was excruciating. So mom and I waited. And waited and waited.

Around 5 my name was called to “set up the IV for my CT scan.” Um, no. The entire 3 hours so far I’d been told I was getting a chest x-ray, including from the finance person. We spoke to the nurse and she confirmed that a CT scan was, in fact, requested by the doctor. I told her I was self-pay about a dozen times and that I needed to know what it costs before I could consent to it. In the end, the billing department was closed and I declined the CT until I spoke to a doctor.

About an hour later, my name was called again and I was wheeled back for the chest x-ray. It took about 5 minutes and I chatted with the x-ray tech about the CT. She said the x-ray can only tell so much, and that the CT can examine my organs for other problems. Also that a lot of people decline the CT until they speak to a doctor. I felt better about declining the CT until at least the x-ray results came back. She also checked with the registration desk to see how much longer my wait was going to be. They wouldn’t really say, but when I told her I had a friend that worked at 7pm, she knew him and said hopefully he could push things along more.

Right before 7, Shane arrived at work. We chatted for a bit then he went into the back. Next thing I know, he’s bringing mom and I back into an ER room. Uh, yeah, he helped! I got into my hospital gown and managed to tie the back (yay!) and sat on my bed. Luckily, it was angled up already so I didn’t need to lie down. (Lying down has been brutal for the last week since my rib cage pain is horrific.) Shane attempted to insert my IV line for med’s as both mom and I cringed and looked elsewhere. I say attempted as I have the worse veins! They roll around and collapse with the slightest pressure. He started with my right arm (it collapsed), then my left (also collapsed) and finally got in on the back of my hand near where my blood was drawn earlier.

The next few hours are kinda a blur. My doc prescribed a muscle relaxer and an anti-inflammatory through my IV. When the nurse came in to give them to me, he warned me that… one of them… I’d be able to taste. I laughed, but sure enough, a few minutes later I tasted it. To me, it tasted like nail polish remover smells and he said he’d heard that before from other patients. One of the drugs knocked me out as I was soon fading in and out while mom watched TV. Shane kept popping in the room to check on me and see what was going on.

Eventually I was taken back for the CT sometime around 9pm. And let me tell you, lying completely flat on a hard surface with severe rib cage pain is not fun! Having to get up, leave the room, and do it all over again? Well that sucks even more, but they didn’t tell the tech the machine needed to be reset before she brought me in. The hospital room bed was nice and cushy, and on a nice angle to be far less painful. After the test, we had to wait about an hour for the results. During which, I wasn’t allowed to eat in case they needed to do other tests.

Meanwhile, before I went to get my license at 11am, I had a plain bagel. Around 3pm, I had an iced tea and a bag of chips. It was after 9pm and I hadn’t had anything else to eat. Sometime between my first blood culture at 10pm and the second at 10:30pm (2 more needle sites), my father arrived with a bagful of boneless chicken wings from Buffalo Wild Wings for mom and I. Mmmmmm fooood.

...feeling a bit like a pincushion...

My doctor finally came in with test results. The chest x-ray was clean and perfect. Yay! The CT scan had what he described as looking like “ground glass” in my lungs. Basically, they were kinda dirty. Dirty lungs = pneumonia. Apparently whatever that popping business was that brought me to the ER was no where to be found and instead, I have a super super early case of pneumonia. Oh the joy that is my life.

Ironically, the triage nurse specifically told the phlebotomist that she didn’t think I had pneumonia, but wanted to run all the tests for it anyhow as I was complaining of lung/ rib cage problems.

So, yep, after the flu and all the other crap I’ve been dealing with… I have pneumonia. Here’s hoping the medication kicks it out of my system and it never develops farther.

Around 11pm, my nurse came in to hook me up with a 30 minute IV drip of antibiotics and 2 more antibiotic pills to kick start everything. We were still at the hospital until about 1am when I was finally discharged along with a prescription for Percocet for the pain and more antibiotics. I was also told to sleep propped up on as many pillows as possible to make sleep/ lying down flat bearable. Luckily(?) my parents both have back problems and had wedge pillows. I snagged both of them and slept propped up.

So there ya go, my ridiculously expensive day spent at the ER. How expensive? Well, I haven’t received a bill yet but I’m fairly sure the CT scan alone was a couple thousand dollars. Kill me now.

So… how are you?


South Floridian Looking for Admin Job.. Help?

OK, truth time. I need a job. Pretty desperately. Yes, I have a part-time job 3 days a week and average about 20-22 hours per week. So for a pay period, I make what I used to make in 1 week. Ouch.

So we have this “plan” for me to get a job… any job [that I’m willing to do] for a few months while I continue applying all over the country. I hate Miami. I feel like a teenager living here full of hatred for this city waiting to escape it. I can’t really explain why, I just hate it. I never went out partying, and never wanted to. I don’t drink [since I was 19] or do drugs [never touched any] or anything else. And that’s not just about living like I’m pregnant, I was never interested in drugs or losing control like when I used to drink.

Tangent, what?

I know it’s horrible to take a job knowing you’ll only be at it for a few months, but I just can’t see us living here very long. I’ve been looking all over the country, with focuses on Austin, DC, Madison, and a few other places. The good thing about DC is all the government jobs. The bad thing is how long and seemingly ambiguous their application process is.

Right now I’m looking for an administrative job. Something in the admin assistant range. We just need the money. My current job is making it really difficult to pay the bills. Steve has been footing the majority of the bills lately and lemme tell ya, it’s a horrible feeling. Sure I’d like to be a stay at home mom one day, but only IF we can actually afford it. And even then, it’d be to home-school our kids.

How can you help, blog friends? If you know anything in the Miami area in an administrative capacity, preferably something temporary, could you please let me know? Yes, I have an MBA, but at this point, I just need some extra money to pay bills. I’ll worry about using my degree later on. Please post, RT and spread this post as far as you can in South Florida. I will love you forever! And if your lead lands me a job, I’ll send you something yummy made especially for you!



Post-Wedding Update Type Post (Including TTD Pictures!)

Whoops! Had that OvernightPrints link all wrong! My bad.

Wow, has it really been 3 days since I last posted? Craziness!

This weekend has been really productive for me in terms of post-wedding stuff. And considering that we bought ourselves a Hanukkah/ early Christmas Wii, that’s really saying something!

Let’s see, in the last 5 days I…

+ordered our marriage certificate
+received our CD of Trash the Dress pictures from the amazingly talented Emeric Photography
+ordered our holiday cards (using an Emeric picture) from Shutterfly
+wrote, completed, changed, and ordered our holiday newsletter from Vistaprint
+ordered our Thank You cards (also using an Emeric picture) from OvernightPrints
+just finished and ordered our 2nd Inkubook that we won in the giveaway (all Emeric pictures)
+played lots and lots of Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
+spent loads of time with my amazing hubby
+began knitting a pair of socks for a test knit

You want to see some of them, right? Seriously, I am in love with these pictures!

Using my Ebates account for Shutterfly, OvernightPrints, and Vistaprint, I am expecting a nice big fat refund check soon. I will never again shop online without first checking there to see what rebates I’ll get. It’s like the best “discount” ever! For OvernightPrints, I already had a coupon (HOLIDAY) for 50% off the cards, so not only was my order discounted, but I’m getting cash back. Yes, I’m cheap like that.

Most of our stuff was dependent on getting the CD, which is why so much happened so quickly. I had everything all laid out and just waiting for the picture. Of course, even then, I was still popping different pictures into the layouts.

This post is not sponsored by any company, I just happen to love Ebates and online shopping. <3


Forgiving Student Loans? Sign me up!

So, y’all know I have a crapload of student loan debt, right? Apparently my mother was talking about it at a luncheon she was at yesterday as I received a phone call from her, then she passed the phone over to her cousin, C. C has a graduate degree and probably a fair amount of loan debt. She told me about “some program” where you work for “the government” for about a year or “helping someone run a farm in West Virginia” and they forgive your debt. I was only somewhat intrigued as she wasn’t really clear and, well, I was too busy to Google it at that moment.

But hours later I did and discovered that one of the programs she was talking about was AmeriCorps. They have so many options all across the country of things to do to help people out. The loan forgiveness part is still unclear, but how cool! I figure if I look in area with heavy snowfall, I could find out if I really did want to live in such a climate. Steve is more of a “let’s stay here for another year” then figure things out kinda guy. Maybe it just means traveling to places with snow to satisfy that cold weather itch. I just don’t know.

Yeah, I do realize this blog is all over the place, but thanks for reading!