Saturday, March 31, 2012

Oops!... I Did It Again

Oops!... I Did It Again... I added more debt to our Best Buy credit card. If you recall the card had a zero balance but remember the TV posts? Well I just had to go out and purchase a new TV and the oops part is that I charged this back to my Best Buy credit card.

The good news is I did not get the 70 inch TV like I had planned. I decided to go with a 60 inch size TV for the living room. Also, the perfectionist in me could not continue looking at the old set with dead pixels on the screen. I am the type that if it works, why not replace it and make it better? The wife hates this, I replace stuff like the coffee maker, dishes and electronics all the time. This is part of the reason I live in debt. And yes... she's always asking if she's going to be replaced soon LOL.

Here is the damage:



Let's see how fast I can bring this balance back down to ZERO!

HS

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Welcome Home Baby

After spending 14 days in the Neonatal ICU at Methodist hospital in Houston, our baby girl finally got to come home yesterday. She came home weighing 4 pounds and 4 ounces. I must say it was hard to leave there, the staff became like a family and we got a bit spoiled with them doing everything for us. They did all her feedings, changing and bathing. To say our thanks I had my mom make the nurses a cake and we signed a thank you card with a picture of the baby.

Transition to home was really hard on us. The wife and I had mixed feelings. The first hour here was bad, we were both in shock, what were we thinking? Did we really want a baby?? LOL wife cried a few times but it got better. We kept telling ourselves that this tiny miracle depends on us for everything so now we have a routine down, we feed every 3 hours and change diapers every hour or as needed.

The baby is going great! She had her HEP B shot at the hospital and she passed her newborn screenings. Since the baby was breached and delivered with a C section, she will need a hip ultrasound in a couple of weeks but we're hoping everything will look good there. She's also a great baby as far as sleeping and crying. She really does not cry, she just gets a little fuzzy when she wants to eat or needs to be changed. She's also a great sleeper and sleeps through our TV and a barking Golden Retriever.

This baby is truly a miracle. To this day I cannot believe that IVF worked for us and on the first try. We had so many setbacks along the way that it still feels surreal having her here at home. It was such an amazing journey and so many experiences that I will never forget. We still have 1 frozen embryo at the clinic but with all the issues we've had I know my wife will not want to carry again. For now this girl is our first and last but we're not sure what to do with the frozen embryo. I guess time will show us what to do and guide us to the right decision. With that in mind we also need to remember that storage for a frozen embryo is $500 a year.

Now I'm just waiting for all the hospitals bills. I had a call with the insurance and everything was approved but I'm still responsible for 20% of all care. There is that out of pocket maximum which I'm sure we will hit, the good thing is the plan pays 100% after that.

HS

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Can't Control My Citi Spending!

Just when I think my life is finally perfect things start spiraling out of control. Not sure what's happening but things have changed. My eating is out of control, my sleeping is messed up and I stopped working out. I'm also drinking a bit more every day and eating out every single meal. It all reflects badly on my Citi Card. As you can see we've charged close to $1,400 over the past couple of weeks:


I just can't control the spending on this card. Lately everything goes on there and as you can see I just send the money right back to them. I've made more payments and credits than charges but it's a never ending cycle. I hate it but I can't handle all these changes right now while trying to pay down this debt. Every year I tell myself this is it, we are going to be debt free and then life decides to do all kinds of crazy things.

I need to do a budget but I've never had luck with that in the past. To make things worse we tons of hospital bills coming in the mail. I'm sure we will also have more baby related expenses, for example wife's already asking me if we can buy a $400 breast pump? And to top it all off, the wife's paychecks will be cut by 80% when school gets out. 

I wonder if there's such a thing as male postpartum depression? Oh well, wake me up in six months... when September ends?

HS

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! I got my green outfit on and I'm ready to celebrate with some green beer. I can't believe how much our lives have changed. 12 months ago we spent close to $900 partying and now 12 months later we are parents. I was looking at the pictures of that week and I can't believe how immature and careless we used to be. Hopefully parenting will change us. Today I will celebrate but in a more mature way. I won't be drinking until 4 AM or spending a lot of money. I will have a nice dinner out and visit someone very special who still spending some time in NICU.

HS

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Welcome Baby Girl

Well as friend Mysti said, the only "cure" for preeclampsia is delivery and she was right. Our baby girl had to be delivered on Monday since the wife's blood pressure numbers started getting in the 190 to 200 range.

She's here, she's beautiful, she's healthy and breathing on her own. She's tiny, she's perfect! Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.

HS

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Preeclampsia and Pregnancy

Well we are now in full 'preeclampsia' mode with the wife. I don't want to go in to a lot  of details but basically we're trying to keep her pregnant as long as we can. Her new home is the hospital and she's slowly adjusting to the new life. My life is also a bit crazy right now. I'm dealing with the stressful job, keeping up with house stuff, putting together a nursery and running back and forth from home to hospital to take care of the dog.

Since this a debt blog let's talk money. I already made a payment for $1,100 dollars to cover the labor and delivery. I was not expecting a long term stay at the hospital so here I am crossing my fingers that we don't get all kinds of bills. The last EOB I saw was for $4,800 dollars for one night stay at the hospital. Let's just say now I'm hoping to meet our out of pocket maximum so the plan pays all benefits at 100% TGFI.

If you are new to the blog, here's a short version of why I'm writing this post. Back in 2007 we started trying to have a baby. Like most couples we had it all planned but didn't succeed. We did the infertility stuff for a year and the usual IUI's and we still didn't succeed. We did one cycle of IVF and put in two embryos. The longest two weeks went by and we had a positive. You would think it all ends when you get a positive pregnancy test? No! Then we did the roller coaster thing with HCG levels, up and down every day for two weeks. More ultrasounds, more blood... around 8 weeks we got to see and hear the heartbeat. It was more of a relief than joy or happiness. After that things went very well until December when we started seeing wife's blood pressure numbers go up. If  you google preeclampsia you can find out more (I refuse to read stuff at this point) so that's where we are now, seven months in to the pregnancy. Another hurdle? another bump on the road? another mile? Not sure what to call it at anymore...

We are having a little baby girl! All I can say now is we didn't come this far for setbacks! I'm ready to see and meet my baby girl! It could be tomorrow, it could next week or next month but I'm ready. 

HS

Friday, March 9, 2012

Citi Forward Card Balance

Below is the latest balance for our Citi Forward credit card. This is our last credit card debt to pay off but this is also the card that gets the most abuse each day. I think I charge everything to Citi and pay it off as I go. The bad thing about this approach is that your average daily balance never goes down:


If you look around that's been the balance for almost a year now. I need to make a huge payment to it so I can get some traction but money will be thight for the next few months. I also need to watch my spending, things like groceries are killing my budget. Here are the last two charges at H.E.B, our local grocery store:


As you can see the groceries are also not lasting, I seem to be going to the store every week. I don't know what to do or cut. I swear I don't buy anything fancy. The other issue is I'm doing all the grocery shopping alone since the wife has to stay home.

This is our last and final credit card debt. I will like to be credit card debt free again sometime soon. I did it in the past, as you can see on this post so I know I can do it again! I also had 9k in the bank? Wow times have changed...

Have a good weekend!

HS

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Best Buy Card Paid Off!

Another credit card paid off! This morning the final payment cleared for my Best Buy credit card. Another zero balance is great but I still have the big elephant in the room which is our Citi Forward credit card. Right now I need to celebrate this small victory! Here is the proof:


We are now the proud owners of the new refrigerator that we had to purchase back in December to replace our 5 year old Samsung. The original amount financed was $1,624. I must say when I went to get eggs for breakfast this morning, it feel great opening the doors, it's finally ours!

Will I close this credit card? No! The refrigerator  was an emergency and having Best Buy opened was like a blessing. We got an additional 5% off for using the card and also got 18 months 0% APR so it was good that I had this account open.

HS

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Baby Shower

This past Saturday my mom hosted a Baby Shower for our baby. I got to fill in for the wife since she has to stay home and rest. I had a great time and it was nice to take a break from doing stuff at home and worrying about the new job. I got to see a lot of friends and family and my mom did a great job with the decor and food. We had around 30 guests and they drank 11 bottles of wine and 10 bottles of pink champagne. I wasn't aware ladies drank so much during baby showers but it made it more fun.

The gifts... I think we got most of the items we registered for but we also got a lot of duplicates. The most popular item and the one people bought the most was the Boppy nursing and pregnancy pillow. I'm pretty sure the wife only requested one but we ended up with four of these things:


I think these pillows are $49.99 at Babies R Us so I will probably take back three of them and get a store gift card. The plan is to stock up on gift cards for things like diapers or other baby items that we don't know we need yet.

I have a lot of work to do in the nursery in the coming weeks. The wife can't help with anything so it was very overwhelming looking at all the stuff last night. There's so much to do and I don't even know where to start. Please come over and help me! I have no clue how to decorate a nursery or how to setup most of the stuff we got.

HS

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pregnancy Bed Rest

The spouse is no longer working, she's officially at home resting. Her doctor put her on pregnancy bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. Her blood pressure is to blame, doctor is worried that it will continue going up. The medications are not helping, when she gets up to get food or to use the bathroom she feels light head and dizzy. She's also not happy staying home so we're still adjusting to all the changes.

How does this affects the budget and the debt numbers? Luckily someone had close to 40 sick days that they were going to use during the official 12 week maternity leave. That means we will continue to get her paychecks as usual until some time in May. At that point her salary will be cut up to 85% so that could impact the debt payments. The good thing is that sick days continue to accrue even while using them so hopefully with spring break and summer coming up we won't feel the pinch as much.

The plan now? I think I'm going to stick to the original plan and continue paying down the debt. The great thing about bed rest is she's not spending any money. For the next few weeks I plan to stock up on items we can keep for the next few months and also try to save a little bit of money. If things get really bad we can always rely on our credit cards and that will give me more stuff to blog about for you :)

HS