cintia d. - black & white

healthy me.

Things are better for the time being. I bounced back well, not holding a grudge too badly. He has not been drinking today and doesn't seem too eager to do so either. That could change in a matter of hours and even minutes, I know, but I'm holding on to the moment. This moment is good.

I slept badly last night, but since today was one of the three days a week that our daughter spends at daycare, I managed to squeeze in a little nap with the baby. The result was that I felt good. I joked, laughed and didn't get overly annoyed with the kids. Daughter giggled as we played tortoise, which means that she sits on my back as I crawl on all fours around the house. It makes me happy when I have the energy to play with her like that. So often I have been too tired to get any of that out of me. I want to be a playful mum, not the high-strung version of myself, who I've been lately.

On my journey to self-acceptance and perhaps later self-love, I have taken a step forward it seems. I'm thinking a lot of what kind of person I would like to be. It has a direct consequence of me realizing how much I have been sabotaging myself over the years by beating myself up over every little thing. I am a perfectionist by nature and it isn't an easy trait to let go even a little bit, so I'm still beating myself up about nonsense stuff a lot. But I am getting better at realizing that everyone make mistakes and to not make any is impossible, not something I should strive for.

I've been counting my calories for about a week now also, pushing myself to do a bit of exercising here and there and weighing myself every once in a while. I try not to make it too scheduled. I would like the exercise and eating healthy to be a natural part of my life, not something I'm trying to force upon myself. This far the weight has done the yo-yo thing and I'm eating too many calories to lose weight as quickly as I would like to (which is 10 kg by New Year when my friend has a wedding). But so far I've managed not to beat myself up over that either. My muscles ache a little the next day after exercise, not too much to make me want to give up, but enough for me to know that I have done something. I have less pelvis pain and my headaches are gone because I've stretched almost every night. This all after just one week. It makes me happy. And that's the main thing. Being healthy should be fun and it never has been for me until now. I feel like I've found out about this magical secret about beginning a healthy life. I've even totally overeaten on couple of occasions and when I started to feel guilty, I just reminded myself that there's always a next day when I can succeed.
hayden - tears


He is drinking again. Fourth day in a row. I kind of knew that this was going to happen. It's a rare alcoholic who manages to quit and never once fail. I hope this is his one fail and we can go back to making plans for the future.

After 9 weeks of not drinking, his drunken personality feels even meaner and I see the difference more clearly. I feel the difference in myself as well. The will to get up in the morning, to clean the house, to do anything at all, is gone and fear has replaced it. Fear that things will not go back to what they were these 9 wonderful weeks.

I don't know how we will rebuild the trust that has been lost. I asked him yesterday if he had been drinking and he swore that he hadn't and managed to even look hurt that I would suggest such a thing. I asked if he had taken his medication, the one that makes him sick if he drinks and he told me yes. When I head to bed that night I noted that there was a beer can in the fridge. It was no longer there in the morning. If he had taken his meds like he has told me, he wouldn't be able to drink alcohol without getting sick for 2 weeks. So he hasn't been taking his meds for at least two weeks. He has been lying to me for two weeks and he lied to me today, yesterday and the day before that and the day before that. Just when I was beginning to trust him a little more.

I want to rebuild the trust if he sobers up, but I don't know if I can. I've been lied to so many times. And I want to believe him, I do. But if he can look me in the eye and lie, just like that, how will I ever know if he is being truthful?
kirsten - thoughtful


As you might guess, the number one thing I'm still trying to get my head around, is my friend's boyfriend killing a man. It's there in my mind, all the time. It's there when I cook for the kids. It's there when I watch a movie. It's there when I try to fall asleep at night.

I think about my friend a lot and how she is throwing the best years of her life away by clinging on to this man that has nothing good to offer. It is impossible for me to see why she is doing this. Everyone around her sees how he is and has told her so. Somewhere inside her she also knows how he is, because she keeps defending her right to choose what she does with her life quite vocally even when no one is questioning her choices. She knows how we feel about this, how any sane person would feel about this. And she keeps on making excuses and saying how she will stand by him because he is the father of her child and because she loves him so.

When I was 21 years old, I was just beginning at a new school, partying all the time and was in love with a different guy every couple of months. I had just returned from abroad where I spent a year working and partying. I did have a boyfriend then, but it was long distance and didn't work on so many levels. I did become pregnant when I was 19, but I miscarried very early and I often think I got the easier way out of that situation. I didn't have to make the choice, although I know I would've kept the baby. If I had, I wouldn't have traveled abroad and I would've made many different choices, but I never would've been with the father of my baby just because he is the father. And he hadn't killed anyone. He was just a regular 20-something guy.

I am so worried about my friend's son. I'm much more worried about her son and how he will turn out to be than I am of her. I want him to have a chance for a normal life, something he will never have if the murderer father gets to return home after his sentence and live like nothing happened. The guy shows no remorse. He only plots with his lawyer how he could get out sooner and he uses my friend for that. He is so good at manipulating her, it sickens me. He can twist everything around in her head and I wouldn't be surprised if she believed that he didn't kill anyone after all and it's just this big police plot against him. I'm not saying that she is stupid. He just has this strange hold of her and it scares me how easily he has managed to retain that even from prison.

I want that little boy of their to not have to live in a home where the dad gets these crazy fits and throws furniture around and threatens to kill mommy with a knife. Our home life hasn't always been roses and big smiles either and we do argue, sometimes in front of the kids even (which I hate). But it's 100% better after husband quit drinking. I am so proud of his resolve to stay sober that I almost cry when I think about it. And I tend not to think about how our life was before that. Why dwell on the sad stuff in the past? If he relapses then it's a different thing and I'll have to think about what I'll do, but until then he has changed and I trust him little more every day that passes. I cannot understand how my friend could ever trust a man who has killed someone. I couldn't. Never. And to trust someone as unpredictable as him in a same room with my child, that is madness. He will never come near my children again.

In my book, the moment he killed that man, he lost all his rights to his son. He should only get supervised visits until the child is old enough to know what he did and then make up his own mind. If he gets to live with that little boy one of two things will happen. He will either bring him up to be this miniature version of himself or the little boy will grow up a fine young man with lots to talk about with his psychiatrist and the outcome has a lot to do with the mother. Right now it looks like she is weak.

I think that she either grows up fast and starts to take some real responsibility of her child or the social services will take him. I hope she grows up and quits that sickening teenager behavior of scribbling hearts on paper and flooding her facebook with variations of "I love him so much". You're a mother and mother's do not do selfish choices. They choose what is best for their kids and living with that man is not good for anyone, kid or adult. He is a bad human being.
hayden - tears

still don't (want to) believe it

I found out today that my friend's boyfriend (it is a bit unclear to me if he is current or ex) killed his sister's husband a couple of days ago.

The police hasn't released much information and my friend hasn't been in any contact with any of her friends from school, but she told her parents, who told her sister, who told another friend of mine. The rumors are already running wild. My friend has a 3 month old baby boy with this man.

According to all the local online news sites, the police is investigating this as a murder, because of the unusually brutal way the victim was killed (with a knife). Apparently they were mixing alcohol and pills and got into fight over both. That's all they've released thus far.

I have never liked this boyfriend guy. The first time I met him I thought he was not the kind to be trusted. He is this thug-type, who seems to think he is above the law and he's been treating my friend badly since the very beginning. He has had other girls on the side the whole time and twice he has just taken off after a fight and been away for months. And she always takes him back. He hit her dog with a hammer and later the dog died in quite suspicious circumstances and I think most of us from the same circle of friends thought that this guy had killed him. After today's news it wouldn't surprise me if that was the truth.

Since all of us, my friend's friends, dislike her boyfriend, she has been distancing herself from us and at the same time he has gained more and more power over her. She lies to us about him, sugarcoats everything and denies the truth. She says he doesn't hurt her, but I find it hard to believe since she is obviously scared of him. In a weak moment she has confessed to a friend that he has threatened her and the dog with a knife and that she leaves the house when he goes ballistic over some little thing.

Then she got pregnant and for a while he was out of the picture and we all thought he was not coming back, but not surprisingly he did come back when it was time to decide on the custody issues and alimony. He weaseled his way back into her heart and week after she had agreed to joint custody, he was gone again.

I'm not sure there was ever a person I've had as low opinion of as him, even before this murder. Now I wish I could go back in time and erase all the moments I've been in the same room with him or exchanged a word or two with him. The thought of him being in my home where my kids are, makes me nauseous. This pill-popping crazy guy, who is capable of killing his own sister's husband, has been in my house. My friend has even given their baby for him to look after on occasion. What if he had flipped then? How can she trust him? How can she be so stupid? I'm past the point where I care about what happens to her if she stays with him (which she apparently still intends to do). I only care about that adorable little baby boy who is completely innocent to all of this madness around him.

I almost wish the social services would take him away. If she can't leave him then perhaps that would be the best thing for the boy. Really... how can a mother put her baby in a harms way like that? I'm beginning to think she's popping those pills as well or lost her brain completely if she can't see how badly she needs to get away from him. Now.

And what does she do when she hears that he has confessed to murder? She takes the first bus to him and is now staying with the victim's wife and contemplating on getting engaged with him since (according to him) that would make the judge go easier on him and give him a shorter sentence. The guy has killed a man, his own sister's husband, a couple of days ago and he is already planning what he's going to do when he gets out. Am I the only one who thinks that seems like he doesn't give a damn about what he's done?! The guy just has no conscience. Why would anyone want to live with a murderer?
cintia d. - black & white

positive thinking

As I wrote earlier, I am trying to learn to like myself again. I'm willing to do whatever it takes and try different methods and since I am quite fond of Gala's blog, I'm now trying to follow her advice. She is quite inspirational (& sparkly), you know.

I bought a subscription to her Love & Sequins. How could a sequin-fanatic such as myself resist anything with such a sparkly title? I was a bit hesistant if this would give me anything else besides a pleasurable read. I have always been taught that self-help books are a bit of a scam and although Love & Sequins isn't really a self-help book, I think my expectations deep down can be likened to such one would have for a self-help book. I am hoping to get something out of it and I got more than I bargained for.

Visiting my parents means having limited internet time and while everyone else was off to work and I finally got my daughter to take her afternoon nap, I read the first chapter of Love & Sequins out loud to myself and my son, who very much enjoys listening to the sound of my voice.

I almost cried while reading it. Had tears in my eyes. Not so much because of what was said but because how reading it all aloud made me feel. It's like the words mean more when you say them out loud.

My darling 5 months old baby boy giggled and watched me with his big brown eyes as my voice broke down and the tears appeared while I read on. Maybe him being there made it all sink in even more. I do think about being an example to my children a lot and loving oneself is exactly the kind of thing every parent wishes would come naturally to their children.

Gala wrote about choosing to be positive instead of drowning oneself in negaivity. It is quite sad how much our society focuses on negative things. The news are mostly only about horrible accidents and situations around the world. Everyone is always gossiping about the negative stuff, not how pretty someone looked but rather how fat that dress made her look and how she should know better. I'm so guilty of this myself and I hate it. I suppose that slagging people of behind their backs is in some small way better than saying nasty things to their faces. Some people call it "just being honest" which is something I absolutely hate. There's a difference in being honest and being mean. I try not to say mean things to people. I hate it when others do. And I don't purposefully slag people close to me off either, but I do catch myself criticizing the behaviour of others and talking nasty about the celebrities and people who have decided to put themselves in the limelight. It's not something I particularly even enjoy. After reading Gala's words I realize how harmful such negativity is to me. I'm not getting anything positive out of being such a bitch, even if I do it in the privacy of my own living room. There's quite enough of negativity around without me having to bring any more upon myself. I can choose not to be so negative. It feels very difficult, but if I decide to be more positive and catch myself when I fall back to my old habits, then perhaps little by little my outlook on things will change. I'm also choosing not to take other people's negativity on board. I've already practised this today with my fiance and with my mother. It really is not easy but I think I've done okay for the first day.

There are "homework assignments" at the end of the chapter and I'm going to write about them all here as well. I'm already itching to write about a couple of them and see what I can find about myself through them. But now it is way too late and this laptop keyboard is giving me such a hard time with not working properly and causing massive amount of typos in every sentence. I've tried to correct them but forgive me if some have slipped through my typo radar. I also have a mighty emotional release in the form of a rant(-ish) post to write about this whole visit to my childhood home. This has been an eye-opening couple of days both in a good and a bad way. I sure need my dose of positive thinking to survive in this crossfire of conflicting messages and emotional blackmailing. All I can say is, thank god I'm no longer living at home.

Good night. I'm off to bed to read some more Love & Sequins and thinking positive thoughts.
cintia d. - black & white

I should stop worrying

Last night I took a sleeping pill, one that my fiance has been prescribed, and I actually got up at 8am feeling only slightly tired as anyone would. The pill was some natural remedy that helps you fall asleep, not the proper stuff that puts you under right away. Fiance took care of the baby's nightime feedings and I could've just slept right through the night.

The pill made me yawn constantly and once I went to bed it felt like my arms and legs weighed a ton. I usually play with my iPhone before falling asleep, since I don't have a nightlight for reading purposes, and last night I had trouble hitting the buttons as my fingers somehow turned incredibly clumsy. And my computer opponent in Carcassonne kicked my butt relentlessly as my brain refused to collaborate. So I switched the phone off and waited for sleep to come. It took a long time to arrive, but the panic and anxiety about not falling asleep instantly were gone. The obsessive thoughts didn't bother me. I just laid there eyes closed, cat curled up against me and felt relaxed.

I also woke up every time fiance fed the baby. When I'm in charge of the nighttime feedings, our son usually wakes up once or twice. When fiance does it, he wakes up several times more. Either he is too quick to take the bottle away and go back to sleep or our little son wants his mommy and sleeps more restlessly. So I woke up at least four times, but quickly fell asleep again.

I've always been the kind of person who needs a lot of sleep. It makes me incredibly cranky and annoyed with everything, if I don't get enough sleep. My short fuse gets even shorter. My depression has also been known to rise from it's quiet slumber whenever I'm exhausted and then it takes control of my life for longer periods of time. All my worst episodes have happened after physically draining events, especially such that make me pull all-nighters.

Now that I've just managed to push most of my negative feelings aside and have begun to take back the control over my life, I really don't need this insomnia. I don't want to fall backwards into depression again. I feel like I've wasted years of my life for being miserable. Once I swore I would never let myself get back into that depressed state again and then it just happened. I want to swear again that I will never let it get that bad, but now I know that I might not have a say on it. Not really. My head is just wired that way. I know that I can pull through as I've done it twice now, but I also know how easily I can slip back.

What worries me the most in life is that something awful happens. Something so awful that it just turns my life upside down and takes away my will to live. That worries me every single day. I know it is pointless to place such a burden on myself as there is no way of knowing what the future may bring. And I know that most likely there's no way I could prevent anything awful from happening, but I still worry. And I feel guilty of worrying instead of living my life one happy day at the time. What if I die soon and I haven't enjoyed my life as I should've?

That's something non-depressed people never get. I don't want to feel like this. I don't want to spend my days worrying and being miserable. I want to be like those amazing people who see beauty everywhere, never talk shit about other people behind their backs and go on to spread their joy and love to everyone around them. I would settle for just average happiness though :) In truth I kind of feel like no one can be that happy and positive. There must be a catch.
cintia d. - black & white

loving me

I used to love myself. I remember that in high school I was this annoying advocate of loving oneself that I'm afraid I bored everyone to death with my manifesto. You see, I've never been a skinny girl. I've never been this big that I'm now either and come to think of it, I believe I was never as fat when I was young as I thought I were. Nevertheless I couldn't rely my self-love on my pretty looks and the fact that everyone would want to be my friend. I had to realize early (as so many of us have to do) that life based on looks is unfair and that some of us luck out and some don't and those of us who are simply average or bordering on the ugly (in our own minds that is) have to rely on our sparkling personalities. That's of course better in the long run as we are forced to look beyond the superficial, but it's not an easy process. I had mastered that process back in my teens. I almost became popular in high school because of my unwavering self esteem. Snide remarks couldn't touch me. Bullies triumphant smiles became long faces as I didn't care at all what they said to me. I honestly didn't. Their words didn't touch me. I can't even remember what they tried to tease me about as I didn't really listen what they had to say.

At times I wonder if my self esteem really was there? Maybe I just made it all up. It seems so impossible that I once felt so good about myself and now I'm nowhere near that feeling. It's kind of like there's this one part of my life that was all inspiring and happy. A time when I felt all strong and opinionated and sure of myself. And then the sequel didn't turn out as good.

I have just as much things to feel good about in my life as I did back then, if not even more. My depression is much much better than 6 months ago. I have energy to do things. I actually colored my hair and have applied nail polish twice within two weeks. I have taken on the task of de-cluttering the house one spot at the time and put some thought and love into our very neglected garden. I'm making an effort so to speak.

I recently discovered Gala Darling while I was searching for Filofax inspiration and the more I read her blog the more I see how much I have neglected myself and everything that makes me feel good about myself. Although the effort I've already made has made me feel good in terms of feeling better about my surroundings, it really hasn't changed at all how I feel about myself. I need to change that.

I think it is very easy for mothers to forget about themselves and just focus on their children. For me this has happened already before. I can remember wondering what has happened to me already before I met my husband and that's six years ago. Somehow I lost the love for myself and have never found it back. The kids distract me from focusing on myself, but in a way it's also them who have now pushed me to see that I need to make a change and find my self esteem again. I have realized that this is not the kind of example I want to set to the kids. I know that's a cliche, but perhaps it is that for a reason. Obviously I want to do this for me, but if I can also raise my kids to see how important it is to keep yourself feeling good and take time to nurture the things that keep you happy, then that would be awesome.

So here begins my quest to fall back in love with myself. I have no idea how to do that, but perhaps baby steps will take me there...

panic attacks

Yeah. Been having them a bit too consistently lately. About a week now.

I'm not sure which came first, my insomnia or the panic attacks or if they arrived pretty much at the same time. In any case I've been rolling about in bed, staring at my computer screen and posting tweets until three or four in the morning. The sleep doesn't come. At first I thought it was just another phase of sleeping badly. I thought maybe it was this insane heat. Then one night when I was not sleeping, I got to thinking and realized that I am afraid to close my eyes and go to sleep. And when I realized that, I began to see these other strange behaviors of mine.

I don't like to turn the light on when I go to the toilet in the middle of the night, because then if someone were to be outside our house, they could see me. Weird, that is. I am super conscious about the doors being locked before husband goes to sleep. I'd be too scared to go and lock them at night if he forgot. I can't take a shower at all after husband has gone to bed and even before if it's already dark outside, unless he comes with me to sit in the bathroom and keep me company. I am afraid someone might come in while I am in the shower. I hate to walk past the windows after sunset, especially if the lights are on inside, because I could be easily seen from the outside. I feel uncomfortable that my daughter sleeps in her own room at the other end of the house, because I feel I'm not close enough to protect her. I don't want to sleep on my side so that my back faces the doorway. The thought of someone walking in and surprising me scares me shitless. When I have to do any of those things and even now as I think about them, my heart begins to race and I get the cold sweat and my stomach goes into knots. I do not get the hyperventilating, but I think that's only because the rational me manages to keep the phobias in check a little.

The weird thing is that all of these kick in when everyone else has gone to bed and fallen asleep, when it's dark outside and the night has come. Does this mean that I'm afraid of the dark? And why don't I go to bed at the same time with husband if it scares me to be awake without him?

I've had panic attacks before, but usually they've always come from the feeling of something being absolutely hopeless, out of my reach, impossible. Twice the proper hyperventilating included panic attack has happened when I've had to do physically demanding things, things that I've felt are utterly beyond my capabilities. And a couple of times the attack has happened with equally challenging mental situations. And once I've got the attack when a friend teasingly held me tightly and didn't let me go. All of these occasions I've felt that I have absolutely no way out of the situation, either physically or mentally. This time it is completely different. There's no super demanding situation.

Yes, I'm tired, but not anymore than any other mother of two young kids. My daughter just got potty trained and that made my life so much easier. She has also been behaving like a little angel lately, instead of those nasty temper tantrums a month before. Our baby boy is a very happy baby and most of the time it's quite a joy to look after him. Husband has been almost a month without a single drink and is having the time of his life. The puzzle pieces are finding their right places. I'm not feeling particularly stressed, worried or sad, not beyond any normal emotional fluctuations. And yet I'm getting sucked into this irrational crazy world of phobias and panic attacks.

It almost feels like there's two people in me, the sane one that goes on about her daily business, and the mad woman who is seeing and hearing things that don't exist. I want to kick the mad woman out of my head right now. Some nights I feel like I'm really going insane.

I think I've always known that my mind is easily shaken. I've been afraid of our house burning down since I was a little kid, although I have absolutely no trauma related to fire. The reason apparently is that an older girl at my kindergarten told me that, if I didn't obey her, a witch would come and burn our house down. I can't remember this, but my mother told me that it was quite a situation back then and I had a lot of nightmares. I can remember every night going around the house and unplugging all electrical appliances. I think I've also always had a bit of an issue with space. I get really uncomfortable if people come too close to me. I hate rush hour trains and buses. I panic if someone holds me and doesn't let go, even if it lasts only a minute of two, it feels like an eternity. I feel like I can't breath at all, if people are too close or if they don't let go of me, if I feel like I can't escape.

Up until now I've never realized how serious of a problem this is. Partly it's the kids that change things. I must take care of my issues, so that I can be a better mom to them. I don't want them to follow my crazy behaviors and develop similar issues. I want them to grow into strong independent adults. I also want to get this fixed so that I can focus on the good stuff. And obviously a state of panic does not feel good. I hate it. And it has happened every single night for a week now.

I'm so tired.
cintia d. - black & white

the heat wave

Things are looking better for a change. It feels funny to look around and feel something other than despair and sadness. If I didn't know better, I'd liken these current feelings to something similar to safety and perhaps even happiness. And there's so much energy left over to do other things when I don't have to worry all the time.

I'm sipping my morning coffee by the computer, while daughter watches cartoons and the baby naps in the sitter. It's a rare moment that both kids are quiet and happy by themselves. Usually that only happens when both of them are asleep.

A tiny nagging worry sits on my shoulder reminding that it will feel so much worse if things go bad now that they seem so much better. I know that this won't last forever. Life always throws curve balls to balance out the happy times. But for now I think I'll just enjoy. It's a much welcomed break anyway. I think I deserve this.

If only it weren't so hot all the time. The kids get cranky when they're hot and although we can keep the house nice and cool-ish, it's too hot to play outside most of the day. First we had the rainy weather that kept us stuck inside and then we went straight to the heat wave. How about the middle ground? This heat makes me feel a bit lethargic. I think I'd rather have some rain than more of this. I guess I'm not a friend of summer. I much prefer spring and fall. Winter is the other extreme. Way too cold.

We tend to have quite violent thunder storms around here, but this summer, we've only had maybe two. I'm expecting more, especially with this heat wave. It's a surprise really that there hasn't been more already. I love thunder storms.

On another note, my friend cut my hair into a bob. I love it! My hair had grown almost down to my butt already and it was heavy, hot and always in the way. I had planned to go to the hairdresser's and get something radical done, but as always the money went to the electricity and all of my hospital bills. Maybe next time.
cintia d. - black & white

(no subject)

Last December I think I finally became an adult.

I know I should've embraced the adulthood earlier, but I've been clinging on to the teenage years and secretly hoping that I could get some of that time back. The time when everything was in the moment and all the big decisions were still ahead. Maybe it is the scary 30s that have made me want to not grow up. I didn't want to admit it to myself, but I have been kind of freaking out about my age. And I guess having two children within a bit over two years hammered the truth into my head.

I am a mother of two and I can't behave like a twenty-something student any longer. I must keep my home organized, because my family's life is easier that way. I must begin to jot down our expenses and find ways to save some money.

I came to realize all this when I was preparing for Christmas last year and I joined the party unbelievably late. There was no way I could've managed to pull of the kind of family Christmas I wanted. So I began to read articles and educate myself on how to become organized and stay that way. My progress has not been as fast as I would've liked, but I have been pregnant, given birth, recovered from C-section, settled into a life with two children instead of a one attention-seeking hyperactive two year old and been in a hospital due to gall stones and a pancreatitis that resulted from the gall stones. So I haven't had as much energy to put in my transformation as I would've hoped.

The biggest realizations thus far have been that the house does not clean itself and moaning about the mess won't make it any less. I've also realized quite how much the clutter is dragging me down. The more I get rid of it, the better I feel. I used to hate cleaning and now I actually kind of like it.It is rewarding and that's the bit that I like.

Today I began to make a budget for our household. I knew it would hurt, but I figured I'd just rip the band-aid off once and for all. There's bills that need to be paid which amount up to more than our monthly income. We are not big spenders. We are not the wisest with money either. I've been needing a new pair of glasses for a year and haven't bought them, because we do not have the money. I own one good pair of pants that are not maternity pants, but I haven't been able to buy any more because we do not have the money. And by good pants I mean pants that do not have holes or ripped crotch seams. The saddest thing is that I have to keep the bad pants because otherwise I would run out of pants to wear. So I don't buy expensive things or even moderately priced things when I know that I don't have the money. But I know there is a lot of saving to be done with our grocery shopping. We like food and do overspend on the good stuff. We hate to cook from ingredients that are not good quality. I'm also not that good at looking for sale items and I'm very impulsive grocery buyer, the shop keeper's dream. The biggest problem with the bills is the electricity. It's so goddamn expensive.

Our house is old and in the middle of renovation. The insulation is almost non-existent in the parts that haven't been touched yet and unfortunately we moved in here in a bit of a hurry and did not open the floors when we did the first two rooms in which we then moved. Now, couple of winters later we know that was a big mistake. There's wind blowing on the floor level. The rest of the rooms are better because we've re-insulated the floors, but basically the whole insulation issue means that our house is like a sieve. All the warmth the radiators manage to give us, seeps out immediately. And our electricity bills are insane. We are desperate to finish the renovation, but our budget is small and my mother no longer helps us economically with the renovation, which means that we can only do it bit by bit. So the electricity bills stay enormous and we spend even more electricity with all the machines needed in the renovation. The electricity bill is literally our only downfall. It's that gigantic.

We've now decided to get a loan to finish the reno and pay the electricity. It doens't really fix the money problem, but it does push it forward and perhaps when it's time to pay the loan, I'm also working full time. So much for getting a house for free, huh? Nothing is free. We've already put as much money into this house as we would've put into a new one.