A Little PTSD? Is that possible?

I worry.

I worry everyday that Hubbie is going to walk in the door early and say that the New Company realized they did not need him after all, and he has lost his job.

Everytime the phone rings, and it is Hubbie’s number on the Caller ID, my heart skips a beat that he is calling to tell me they were “closing the office”.

If I hear the garage door open and Hubbie’s car pull in, before I expected him home, I gasp that he might be home to stay, permanently, unemployed again.

Is it possible to have a little PTSD from unemployment??

I always thought PTSD was only for those who have been in war, or who survived an assault, or who have experienced a horrible event in childhood.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am not in any way making light of anybody who does have PTSD, and I have never been diagnosed with PTSD.   I am just surprised that I have a physiological response to the possibility for the repeating of a perceived traumatic event. (Do you hear my Psychology undergrad in that?  I knew that degree might come in handy one day! )  Were these past 4 years so traumatic, that I fear the possibility that it may happen again, and that fear manifests itself in these quick thoughts that cross my mind and physical responses whenever Hubbie calls or comes home early?

Were these 4 years Traumatic?

My little dictionary widget on the computer defines trauma as “a deeply distressing or disturbing  experience:  Emotional shock following a stressful event or injury, which may be associated with physical shock and sometimes leads to long-term neurosis.”

Great.  Not only may I have survived a trauma, but now I am neurotic too.  great.




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Monday Night’s Money Game

Last month, when Hot Hubbie and I realized he may really get the job – in other words, when we were waiting for the offer letter to arrive, and having a hard time believing it was really happening – we were working on our new family spending/saving plan (other wise known as a budget).  We realized that we needed to take the opportunity, with this “new start”,  to have a little money lesson with the kiddos.

So, Monday night was Family Night, and since Hot Hubbie got his first full paycheck on Friday (YEA!),  we decided to play a little game with the kiddos. It is essentially the same game my dad played with us throughout our growing up year.  He called it “playing house”.  When we were teenagers, he called it, “I-can’t-wait-to-turn-18-so-I-can-move-out-and-don’t-have-to-obey-my-parents’-rules-game”. Dad took great pride in showing us how expensive it would be to move out. 🙂

Hubbie and I thought this was a good time to play the game again.  The kiddos have been part of our team for the past 3+ years, and they need to know about our family finances as much as us adults need to know.  But we did not want to give them actual numbers (they don’t need to know Hot Hubbie’s salary).  We decided to pick a random “salary” and adjust all of our expenses in ratio to our real salary.  (Does that make any sense?)

If you haven’t already guessed, the “game” is just going through the budget with the kiddos.  We give them monopoly, or in our case, money from the Game of Life-we did not have enough monopoly money- and have them pretend that they are responsible for the money in the house.   We give them a salary, and then go down the budget, item by item:  salary, donations, savings (long-term and short-term), taxes, health insurance,  mortgage, groceries, electricity, water/sewer,  phone,  car insurance,  internet, cell phones, gas, lunches, wal-mart fund, date nights, prescriptions, music lessons, etc, etc, etc.  We don’t skip anything, and with each item the kids have to “pay” the bill.  In the end, they aren’t left with much money.

We started our kids with $1000.  At the end of the month they had a whopping $12 in their hands.

It is interesting to see their demeanor change as they realize how far the money needs to spread.  “We don’t need to eat lunch”,  “we don’t need to eat out once a month”, “why do we need to pay health insurance, we are never that sick”.  We address each of these comments when the kids ask them:  “dad sometimes needs to go out to lunch when he is at work”,  “we need to have one night a month to enjoy ourselves and eat pizza”, and our favorite this year, “say Toad falls off his bike breaking his arm and requiring surgery to have use of it again”  then we told them that without insurance we would need to take all of their money to pay for the doctors & hospitals. 🙂

It is good for the entire family to see and then agree to the same spending/savings plan.  We can all work together to “work” our new financial plan-leaving us with our “$12” at the end of the month.

So, if you never have played the money game with your family, maybe it is time to start.  Don’t make it too hard or complicated, but sit down and go over the family finances.  (The big bonus, is that as the adults in the family, this forces you to sit down and think of all the expenses you occur throughout the year, creating a budget without having to say the “B” word.  And don’t forget those things that happen annually or semi-annually like car registration, taxes, bonuses, etc.

Posted in Budgets, Parenting, Unemployment | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

New News for the New Year! Happy 2012!

I can never remember being so happy for a new year.  I am ready to start again.  Ready to move on.  Ready to say goodbye to the past 4 years.  Ready to remember the lessons we learned, and apply them in our lives.  I am ready for 2012.
Here is our Christmas Card -ok, so I got them out late, so it is a New Year’s Card and letter to all of you:

"Happy New Year", from my family to yours!

New News for a New Year:

  • Hot Hubbie Has a New Job!  YEA!!! (A really new job – he began Monday before Christmas.)  He was so excited, that he never wore his new, black ”Bah Humbug” Santa hat this year. He kept saying that he just doesn’t feel very “Grinchy” this year; that is new to our house during Christmastime.  (His 1st week of work went great! He enjoys being at work working.)  This year, Hot Hubbie found a new pastime to keep him busy: Boxing.  He was able to take out many of his not-so-new unemployment aggravations in the ring.  Hot Hubbie’s new task for the new year: trying to find a new way to juggle work, home, and his calling, and still squeeze in few trips to the boxing gym each week.
  • We newly got back from Celebrating the end of 3 yr, 9 mo, 12 d. (but who’s counting) of unemployment in Disneyland!  We had a wonderful time and Heather almost shed new tears when we had to leave D-land, and take off our new “I’m Celebrating” buttons.
  • Heather is new to being home alone during the day, but is excited for a new paycheck (and has a million new ways to spend the new paycheck-fix the car, fix the shower, fix the pool…) She made a new resolution to send out Christmas cards, for the first time ever. (Ok, she missed Christmas, because of our quick trip to D-land, but at least we got New Years card out!)
  • Thing 1 (14) is newly Brace-less. She continues to create new artwork on every new piece of paper she can touch. She won the school’s new art competition last year. She is beginning new lessons on the viola soon and is excited to learn new techniques.
  • Thing 2(14) is new to High School.  She has written (or started) hundreds of new short stories this year. After years of playing, she found a new passion for the flute this year-and earned most improved band member.
  • Toad (8) is newly Baptized.  He is enjoying his new Wolf Cub Scout den and loves learning new things-he is the new smarty-pants in the family. Toad loves Star Wars, so his D-Land highlight: defeating Darth Vadar in a light-saber duel at the new Jedi Training Academy.
  • We are newly excited for this New Year, and all the new opportunities it will bring: New start, New challenges, New schedules, New normal, etc…

These past few years have been long and difficult, but we have grown and learned a lot.  We are very grateful for all the love and support from friends and family around us.  We could not have survived without the love and kindness you have shown us.  Many of your small acts of kindness have been answers to our prayers and Tender Mercies sent to us from our Father in Heaven.  Your small sacrifice was a huge blessing in our lives and did not go unnoticed; from doctors willing to see us outside the office, to friends surprising us and picking up our date-night tab, to anonymous gifts left on our doorstep, and so many more, each and every one meant that we could endure unemployment for that much longer.  We now understand how a tiny inconvenience could mean so much to someone else.  We hope that we can always remember those around us, and strive to be, and act, more like our Savior each day.


We wish you the best for you this New Year!


Hot Hubbie and Heather,
Thing 1, Thing 2 and Toad

Posted in Emotions, Unemployment | 5 Comments

Checking to See if it is True!

I had to check.

I wasn’t sure if it could be true.

I had to log into the online banking system and see for myself.


It is there: a direct deposit into our account.

Hubbie’s First paycheck!!


I can’t believe it.


Posted in Emotions, Unemployment | Tagged , , | 1 Comment