We’re two and a half weeks into our new daily life, and we have become a pretty good team. Routines are forming; bonds are being built. There is only one routine that is not yet established. I am a runner, and that is the only thing I am falling short right now. Usually, I get up at 3.25 AM on weekday mornings and go for a run. So far, I have gotten a total of 3 runs done. I need to work on that quickly as I do not want to lose my fitness.
Other than that, we got things under control. My son takes care of bringing the trash outside and brings the trash cans out to the street on trash day. He joins me frequently on walks where we make sure Shelby our Yellow Lab gets her exercise in. Friday’s we go grocery shopping. I cut down trips to Costco significantly. I am aiming to go once every 3-4 weeks now, and the rest of the grocery shopping is done at Aldi. Every once in a while, a single grocery run is done at Albertson’s, but it is just for a handful of items. With establishing these routines, I want to see how we are doing budget-wise for our groceries. The last Costco run was at around $200, while an average trip to Aldi rings up at below $100. This seems to bring us to about $600 per month for groceries. For now, I am earmarking an additional $100, and so we should be able to get by with $700 for a whole month.
Now, I do not know where that fits in on the big scheme of things and how we compare against other people. We are only two people and a dog. It still feels a little high, and ideally I would like to end up closer to $500 or $550 per month. Good about the current setup is that my son actually really likes going to Aldi. He is discovering that they actually have a pretty good selection of foods that he likes. I see it as a process, and so far, we’re progressing well on this journey.
I also started cooking – which I have done before as well, but not to the same level. I YouTubed how to make some good sauces, and I am having some early success. I cut up chicken breast and cook it in a frying pan with Avocado oil, I cook some pasta and then make a delicious sauce from scratch. Butter, flour, onions, chicken stock, and some white-wine. I mix that into the juice from the chicken breast, and it turns out to be a pretty good sauce. Now, it turns out that he really digs the end result – pasta, chicken breast and my sauce. I really get in trouble if I do not make enough as he eats from it 2-3 days in a row for dinner. Score!
Last weekend we turned into a DIY home project. In my home office, I was using a countertop as my desk for work. However, I used only a portion of the available space, and my son asked me if we could trade desks. I would get his wood desk while he would get my countertop. I agreed, and along the way, we also decided to paint the countertop in a different color. Well, this turned into a major piece of work. The countertop came with the house when we bought it back in 2017. The countertop was resting on 2x4s that were mounted to the drywall in my office. Well, it turned out that the 2x4s were not only screwed into the wall, but he also nailed them and he ankered the nails deep into the countertop. I could not get them out and had to use a crowbar to get the 2x4s of the wall. Well, the wall did not like that, and the drywall broke in a few areas. What was supposed to be a quick and easy removal process followed by some drywall putty and paint, turned now into a major project.
On top of that, my son did not like the way how the paint job turned out, and we had a few iterations to go through before he was fully satisfied. Well, we got the job done, and by Wednesday evening he had his new desk in place and totally loves it. I still have to migrate over to his desk – I am on a temporary table that holds my standup desk. PS: This is an affiliate link and I would earn a small commission if you purchase from Amazon using this link at no extra cost for you.
With my soon-to-be-ex-wife gone, we decided to move some furniture around and to give the house a new look – make it our own. We have this place to ourselves for a little over three years, and I want to make sure he looks back at this time of his life and sees good memories. I also do want to make sure that he does not feel I am trying to erase his mom from his life or memories. Yes, she decided to leave and to go back to Germany, but that does not mean that she should be gone from his life and that I push that message. I want him to be in touch with her as much as possible.
Making this place our own – especially where he has a word at the table on how things should look – is an important step in my opinion. So, today we moved the TV from its current location to the other living room – followed by swapping the Lazyboys for the couch. We mounted the TV together and overall had a great father-son time.
The Neighbors don’t know yet
I mentioned that we walk the dog together quite frequently. I used to do that with his mom frequently, but now I am just waiting for one of the neighbors to ask, “I have not seen your wife in quite a while …” or some other variation of that question. My son and I did discuss it before. The neighbors do not know about our divorce just yet, and of course, they do not know that she moved back to Germany. I am prepared to answer that question when it comes up as follows: “She left for Germany to be with her parents” or some variation of this. In a certain way, I want to leave the response open enough that a follow-up question might come to ask for clarification. We will see how it goes from there …