Thursday, July 06, 2006

Plans

Okay, so.

I have always "planned for the worst." I am the mom with an emergency bag with a change of clothes for everyone and water and non-perishable snacks in the back of the SUV. I am the mom with a three-day supply of water in the closet and plenty of canned goods on hand. I am the mom who assumes that the kids will get sick on vacation, the cut on your hand will get infected, and the state police will decide that you really don't need that extra money in your checking account, thank you, if you drive over the posted speed limit.

It's still hard to look forward six months and plan for the worst-- I can't afford for the worst to happen. I really need everything to go smoothly, but my ingrained habit of seeing the worst possible outcome is hampering me from a simple faith that all will be well.

You see-- things are going to be insane in January and February. Let's leave aside another semester's crushing tuition payment and new supply of books. Let's just look at the practicalities. I can't miss more than 3 sessions of clinical experiences, which means about a week and a half of class I can miss, if I beg and plead and whimper. So, the new semester will start the second week of January. My due date is the third week of January. Assuming I go post-due a bit (as always), that might push the birth back to the first of February. That still means trying to attend nursing school in the fog of the ninth month of pregnancy, giving birth (please let it be uncomplicated and easy and quick), then returning to nursing school in the postpartum period, when all one really wants to do is lay on the bed with one's newborn and sleep.

All sorts of hideous scenarios spring to mind. Nipple confusion, as the baby has to use a bottle while I'm at school and I will be breastfeeding when I am home. Grades slipping-- post-partum attention spans are not the best and I have to study, retain heaps of information, and spew it back out successfully. My husband going insane as he takes FMLA time off to care for the baby and finds himself using our entire vacation time allottment and all of whatever savings we manage to accrue. Any little tremble could make the whole house of cards come crashing down around my head.

And yet dropping out of school is not a viable option. I just have to find some way to make it all work out.

There are some things we are working on. We're scrapping our old Buick, keeping the engine, and selling the other viable parts from it (the transmission, mainly, which Tony rebuilt), then we're going to clean the travel trailer up and sell it, too. It's too small for us anyway, without any slideouts and with only a full-sized bed in the back, but it is a Holiday Rambler and we've put in new A/C and carpet and tile and a microwave, so we'll be able to hopefully sell it for a fair price and put that money into savings.

We've begun looking at newer, bigger, better houses to purchase or rent. If we could get the financing arranged, there is a 3100 square foot house that I would not mind building-- 5 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 2 living and dining areas, and a gameroom upstairs. With the VA financing, we would only have to pay a pittance to move in. Which is good, because we literally have no furniture for one living room, much less two. Battered wicker is simply not going to make the move with us-- we bought it cheaply to decorate our old house with while we tried to sell it, but now it's all falling apart and it's STILL the only furniture we have. Imagine four children and a wicker couch, chairs, and coffee table. Now move that picture forward two years. Yes, it is a mystery how the furnishings still hold together with so much of the wicker broken off.

Even if we don't get that house, we still need to move into a newer, bigger, better home. Rent if nothing else-- we've been in this crappy house for two years only out of apathy.

I might have to take the Stafford loan option-- it's only 1750 a semester, but it might make the difference in survival.

Ah well. So many things could go wrong. All I can do is try to forestall them with things I can do now-- taking care of my health so the odds are better that I have an easy delivery, getting our finances arranged so we have some money in savings to cover problems, getting everything ready for the baby well in advance (I am looking at buying all the layette items in October, when I'll have hopefully a free paycheck's excess and still be lively enough to do it), and just letting all the rest of the worries go.

I really shouldn't worry too much about the breastfeeding thing-- the problem before has always been an excess of production, so pumping should go fairly well. As long as I have that first week to get things settled in, the baby should be fine. And if nothing else, Tony can drive the baby over to the campus on lunch breaks so I can sneak in a feeding. I wonder if pumping during class would be frowned upon . . . *snickers*

Okay, this weekend's priorities are set-- we need to get that car disassembled and have the scrap yard come haul it away. Then we need to get that trailer cleaned up-- it's still full of sand from the beach. I am going to go over to one of the Bed-Bath stores and buy a cheap comforter/sheet set for the master bedroom bed in it (easy way to make it fancier) and some potpourri and new pillows, maybe tack up some inexpensive new curtains in the living area and bedroom. Need to take all our things out of it and scrub the bathroom out really well . . . ehh, Tony might have to do that, I don't like the chemicals. And that puppy can go into the newspaper next week.

Tomorrow-- orthodontist visit for Elsa (we don't have to PAY anymore, yay!), and I need to go give the Red Cross $90 for my registration for their professional CPR course (which is in August.) I also need to stop by the bookstore and pick up my microbiology textbooks, to the tune of $200.

Did I mention that none of my pants fit anymore? *sighs*

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