Sep 26, 2009  •  In Personal, Pregnancy

My Reasons for Withdrawl

Withdrawl is a defense mechanism I have mastered over the almost-29 years of my life. When I feel down, I withdraw. It’s simple as that.

So I guess this is my excuse for my absence from the online world. Bye-bye, IM, Twitter, Facebook, and blogging. Hello, wallowing in my cave of self-pity.

What is causing this dip in my life?

A couple of months ago, the mister was laid off. We had already been struggling a bit to make ends meet (ever since I left my full-time job), but now we’re really in the red. We’ve used up our savings in these past two months, and now we’re broke. Broke, broke, broke.

Sure, J gets some money from unemployment insurance. But you try living on $2,000 a month plus a few hundred bucks from my freelancing gigs when you have a $3,500/month mortgage and a baby on the way.

Every day I am so grateful for what we have. A great relationship that keeps us laughing and smiling through these tough times. Our health. Loving, supportive families and friends. I am not being sarcastic. I truly appreciate what we have because things really could be worse.

However, I cannot shake off the reminder that this month, we will not be able to make our full mortgage payment for the first time. Yes, we are in danger of losing our home. And yes, I am in the process of pleading our case to our mortgage company.

I think to myself that this baby could not have come at a worst time in our lives. We do not have health insurance. J’s COBRA payment would be $700/month, and we can’t afford that right now.

Do you know that a 15-minute doctor’s visit costs $200 a pop? Or that the prenatal vitamins I’m taking are $90/month?

We have put off our latest doctor’s visit by 2 weeks because this next one will involve tests. Tests that we are not able to afford.

We do not qualify for Medicaid, or any other government-run assistance programs because J’s unemployment checks and my freelancing payments are over the maximum qualifying income.

I have applied for individual health insurance, but there is a good chance that I will get denied (because the health-care industry will find some way to prove that pregnancy is a pre-existing condition), be forced to pay an inordinate amount in premiums, or be stuck with a crappy policy that will leave me wondering why I managed to get insurance in the first place (I am reminded daily of an article my friend Tara wrote about last month: Health Insurance Woes: My $22,000 Bill for Having a Baby).

J is actively looking for a new job. He is getting interviews here and there, but so far no dice.

In the meantime, I am scrambling to find new work, and am even contemplating going back to work full-time myself. I have been applying for jobs that I am over-qualified for, and will be under-paid for, in hopes that I will have some kind of health insurance and can contribute a bit to the household. But who will hire a pregnant lady?

So that’s it. This is why I have been a social hermit. As much as I love you all, I cannot help but feel crappy when I see pictures of your carefree life on Facebook, or read about your upcoming vacation plans on Twitter. I am happy for you, but it saddens me that I cannot provide the same for my family.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Sep 21, 2009  •  In Beauty

Say It Isn’t So, Prescriptives!

I just read on Blogdorf Goodman that Prescriptives will be closing its doors in 2010.

While I don’t use their makeup line much, I have been a hardcore fan of the Prescriptives All Clean Fresh Foaming Cleanser for years. In fact, it is the ONLY cleanser I have used in 2001!

Does anyone know where I can stock up on this fabulous facial cleanser for cheap (aside from eBay)?

Do you have any recommendations for a replacement cleanser? FYI, the reason I love All Clean is because it is unscented, gentle, and leaves my skin squeaky clean!

Sep 19, 2009  •  In Blogging, Personal, Relationships

Bees I’ve Met in Real Life

Just in case you weren’t aware, I blog for a website called Weddingbee. I am not as active as I used to be, as my wedding was a year and a half ago. However, I still visit the site all the time to cherish and cultivate all the wonderful friendships I have made with my fellow bloggers.

Mr. & Mrs. Bee hosted a wonderful party last weekend and we all had a blast, as expected. A few of the bees and I were talking about how strange it is that we can all be in a room full of people we’ve only conversed with over the web and still feel the incredible amount of solidarity and kinship that we always experience at these meetups. Some of us feel closer to each other than with friends we know in real life! Needless to say, I feel extremely lucky to know these talented, smart, creative, and supportive women (and men).

Since I had met a bunch of new bees at Mrs. D’orsay‘s wedding (yes, I attended the wedding of someone I’ve only talked to over the web before, and I had a great time!) as well as at this party, I decided to do a re-count of the bees I have met in real life. Earlier in the year, when I had done my last count, I had met 23 bees. Now, the number is up to 39!

Who will be #40?

Sep 11, 2009  •  In Funny, NYC, Personal, Pregnancy

The Super Ninja Monkey Mommy

I had a funny pregnancy-related incident today.

On my way home from babysitting, I took my usual R train from south Brooklyn to midtown Manhattan. Being Friday afternoon (and the rain…oh the torrential rain!) the subway filled up pretty quickly and soon, I was glad to have gotten a seat so early in the ride.

As my stop drew near, I woke up, wiped the drool from my chin, gathered the book on my lap that had collected a pint of rain water from fellow passengers’ umbrellas, stood up, and gingerly made my way to the door.

Now, you haven’t experienced commuting hell until you’ve taken a NYC subway, in rush hour, in inclimate weather. Imagine a mosh pit smack dab in the middly of July…taking place in the Amazon jungle. The heat (it doesn’t matter if it’s January – it will reach boiling point). The humidity. The crowd. The angry, cranky crowd that has managed to transform itself into one giant sweaty organism that sways along with the motion of the train.

So like I said, I gingerly made my way through the crowd to the closest door.

Or, at least I tried to.

“Gingerly” soon turned into a shoving, pushing, and squeezing match between this girl’s 5’1″ frame (okay, 5’4″ in heels) and the greater NYC crowd. However, by now I am a pro. I managed to almost make it to the door without stepping on anyone’s toes, swearing under my breath, or being on the giving or receiving end of nasty looks.

Almost.

Some a-hole‘s elbow rammed into my stomach.

For all I know, it could’ve been an 80-year-old grandma who inadvertently brushed her elbow by my stomach. I didn’t see who did it, and I didn’t care.

Because right then, my super ninja monkey reflexes kicked into gear. I felt an immediate surge of adrenaline, anger, and violence at my baby’s attacker.

HOW DARE YOU LAY A HAND ON MY CHILD??!

I instinctively tapped into my knowledge of taekwondo (did you know that I am a second-degree black belt?) and snapped into a fighting stance, right then and there.

Or, at least I tried to.

In the overly crowded train, all I managed was to jump a mile high and land in an awkward, spazzy position that reminds one of a gimpy toad.

Then the train came to a stop and I was pushed outside to the platform.

As I made the long walk to my next destination, my temper began to cool down…and I couldn’t help but be amazed at my mommy instincts. For a tiny little thing that is the size of a kidney bean!

Nobody messes wit’ my baby, yo.