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Sometimes its the little things

Sitting at my desk which is now located in the reclaimed dining room/office and I can see the twins jumping on the trampoline, being cute together. Emaly bouncing as hard as her 35lb body will let her trying to make Jack bounce as high as he can while he’s in a fetal position on the mat. I love the kids.. and its moments like this, Jack wearing Emalys fuzzy socks to keep himself warm, Noah playing on the PS3 trying to let Nate in part of his world.. And bean sleeping with Daddy who worked all night. The house is clean because chores were done quickly with the idea that free time was all based on how fast they did what they had to do.

I am not sure why the house is staying clean so easily since we had Delorean leave the house. I know why the food is lasting longer, but the house is actually taking under 30mins a day to clean up. I mean floors swept, things put away clean. The kids rooms are cleaned, clothing is waiting to be washed, but Im just a lil dumbfounded that I can make a schedule, tell the kids whats going to happen when and they simply do it. And we have time to do things as a family because of it. Tonight we will watch a movie together. Choices are Smurfs or Poppers Penguins. Kids get to choose. I really am just dumbfounded that life is easier than its been in a long time.

Finically the stress wreaks havoc on our hearts. There simply is not enough money to catch up on the bills and get ahead. I blame a lot of this on the added burden Delorean caused us, but its our decision to do it. I know the food bill has dropped significantly and food that would go missing with the unknown “Not Me” have stopped. There is an influx of attention being paid to the kids and having a schedule insures everyone knows whats going on. Everyone knows what is speak up while planning and not whine later. I actually love my book and all the peace it can bring to the house. 🙂 And to my heart. Now if the bills will fall in place we can see if that book can be the way out of this black whole. We really just need to survive till taxes.

Goals at taxes are to pay off all past due debts, pay off the balance on Dougs truck and not have that bill over our heads. Pay the car insurance for the next 6 months ahead of time and put money for my car in savings and send a check book to my mom so she can pay it and the money is already there. We need to change how we do things so we can get out of this whole and thrive. That is all we want, to thrive like the kids are.

Jack had his first sleepover last night. A lil boy named Joey. Dad dropped him off and then ran to pick him up this morning, which was about 5 hours earlier than we had planned. Jack was having a blast, so I felt really bad for him. We will have Joey come over, as soon as we clean the carpets upstairs. I want Emaly to be able to have a friend over and we couple possibly rotate one kid over every week and then one week off. The kids are really settling in here, which makes me envious honestly. I wish I had that ability.

Josh is coming around to talking to girls. YAY!! Had me worried for a lil while. This one is nice and works at Lowes. Of course I get the dreaded text that she’s a single mom to a 2 yr old. I of course got upset that Jd did not ask her out after finding this out and he told me it was ONLY because her line was busy and he’s going to go back and see her again and ask. I smiled. He’s doing good, but really needs a better job and maybe if he has someone he’s responsible for, he will get off his tush and find a better job that freaking nasty qdoba.

Well my day hasn’t even started yet.. I am going to go do laundry, figure out the rest of the bill thing and see where the evening leads. Busy night if we all don’t pitch in and get it moving along.

Dear Kids

Please stop throwing Tinkerbell around in an attempt to make her fly and eat your food. Your upsetting your lil sister and she’s already not feeling well. My eyes are going to turn into death rays and my hands will be yielding a big red spoon real fast.

Lunch

Those 5 little letters mean so much to us. I realize its just a meal, but for us, it means having time together, sharing what we love and talking in quiet. Todays lunch was brought to us by Hibachi Chinese Buffet, which allowed me to discover how much I dislike Chinese food and how much I simply adore Japanese food. Yes, I said that. Hibachi and Sushi is where its at. I can stay far away from all the other items and just claim sushi and hibachi made to order. And for the two of us, it was under 20$. Seriously, all you can eat wonderful sushi, which could be made a bit better with more rice for under 20$.

I then dropped Doug off at work and headed home. Picked up Milk for 3$ a gallon and a cooked chicken for dinner. Im being cheap, my big meal was lunch where I indulged. HAHA, I said it.

The discussion I had with my mother was funny today. We talked about all the simple things in life we have given up the last year apart. We were not living like this a year ago. She’s only drinking generic awful coffee, and we gave up beef for the most part. Its just too expensive. Nuts, good soap, coffee, soda, salad, olive oil, all those wonderful little things that when you add up while putting in the cart you put back on the shelf. 5$ for nuts or 5$ on milk. Milk wins every time in our house. We do buy some things at a better price by buying them local, i.e., farm fresh eggs cost us half the price at the farmers market. Score for me. Butter, half the price there too. Heck to the Ya.
So here is my Christmas wish list..
My car payments caught up. Seriously, this is like needed beyond words. All our money goes to pay for all of Nates medical bills. 1500$ for a helmet, 1200$ in medications, gas to make 3 trips a week to UNC in a car I can’t pay for because of the mentioned costs. And now the new one is Nates feeding supplies, that will cost us 1500$ a month, which Im arguing with the insurance company right now about. I have no words for how bad I feel about all this.
I want my kids to have a good Christmas, which I believe they will. My parents are coming and my wish for snow is off the list. Im ok with seeing them. I don’t need presents, I just need to know we are going to survive.
My kids to have rooms that are their own. I would love to have them painted and carpets cleaned. If we are stuck here, they should have rooms they enjoy in a house they enjoy.
Id love to have new silverware which I will buy for myself before the holidays because ours is missing from the move still. Plastic is not ok.
A new coffee maker, which I will get before the parents arrive.. MOM and no coffee = one unhappy house and I am not driving to Mc Donalds every morning. ROFL..
My Closet organized. I know, its simple but really I need it done. I also need to go through all the kids clothing and get rid of it. Doug keeps putting small clothing on the kids and Im gonna go ape shit on him one day. So then I need help selling all the clothing they can’t wear so its not sitting in bins in my family room.
I want a propane tank installed, which would allow me to use the right dryer for our set, which would save us tons of money in the long run. I know, its a laugh of a dream, one of those “she really wants that?” things.. but we have a really large brand new front loader dryer that was used for 2 months in the garage that goes with my washer and I want it. BAD. I might need to find out how much it would be to have a tank brought and a line put into the laundry room. Yeps, thats what I will do.
Id also like to get the iPhones fixed that are here, so I can use one for Bean and one for my car to play music and videos on for the trips to UNC. Its not an expense issue, its a doing it issue. My phone is small and I wont upgrade and I can’t talk on it and use it for video for the kids at the same time. Also, Im so tired of Bean getting into my phone. Please, make this happen. LOL
And I would love to get replacement RSE dishes somehow, sometime soon. I guess thats it..

When we moved here in October 2010, we survived corporate housing while the builders of our supposedly beautiful townhouse screwed us over with just what we could fit into my car, which included all the kids homeschooling materials. It ended up with us in Fuquay where I thought we were going to be calling it home. I put in so much work building that house into a home to have it ripped from under us. I was devastated. The kids were devastated. It hurt us so bad finically. The rent increase killed our budget. The older two not having jobs hurt us too. It just was awful. So we moved…
And here we are in Holly Springs, home 2.0 as Doug likes to call it. The rent is outrageous, the neighbors are pretentious and the schools are the only thing keeping us here. We had to come up with extra money for deposits, extra rent money demanding us to move in before we needed to when the house was not ready. They never painted the house, or cleaned it. We moved into a house with ripped screens, damaged walls and dirty carpet. And we were paying for it out our ass. The rental management company that was in charge never fixed anything, and the new landlord is just as bad. He has no idea how much work needs to be done here. He wanted us to pay for the new dishwasher when the old one was original to the house and rusted through. SO NOT HAPPENING.. The sliding screen door was replaced in late October, after the hot months passed us by. The screens still have rips in them, the walls still have one holes and the damage is not being repaired by me. We did not cause it, I refuse to take care of it. He wants us to do it, I will if he takes the shit off our rent. I have no issues packing up and moving again, Im going through our stuff and getting rid of most of it anyway. I know where my heart lies and its not in this stuff.
And lets not get into the topic of work. JD and Delorean keep getting raped on hours and pay. So much they are not making the car payment for the car they use. They can’t even pay us for living expenses. Its stupid, and Im drowning because of it.
Doug and his job is a sick fucking joke. NO, really. They told him last November he was EE material and would be promoted asap. Well a year later and they are still spelling the same bullshit. He’s been passed over and fucked around and of course he takes it. He does EE work and a TSE3 pay. WHY promote him when you don’t have to pay more to get more work out of him?? He’s an idiot for taking it, and of course he won’t stop. So we fight, and all the time I become more distant because I am watching my family suffer for no good reason, at all.
So there you have it,half of what I have been holding back for a long time.

Oh sweet Noah..

This morning I was handed a letter explaining that Noahs teacher has resigned. I wouldn’t bee to upset if this wasn’t the second teacher this class has lost this school year. I might have been better if someone had said something to the kids, it seems no one bothered to tell them. Noah just started getting special services in the school so I can’t complain about the education. They managed to get it done before we track out for winter break even. He also started receiving services the very next day and I have seen an increase in his desire to do MATH!! The worst possible subject for a kid with recall issues is sitting at my table doing Math. ON his own. IN a random notebook. He’s happy. He learned something that will make the rest of his life easier.

The last year..

And everything that makes me the bitter old woman I am.
The end of last school year in 2010 we made the choice to homeschool the children so we could be near our family and the kids education and safety would be priority. It was a huge cost to ourselves and my parents who paid for the curriculum. It was a large undertaking in which I was thriving with the children, but they still could not play outside, or ride bikes, or have friends over. The children were miserable but we were finically stable and life was ok. We never lacked food or housing. Our bills were made each month and we were thriving.
Last fall Dougs company told him they were outsourcing all of IT and he would be losing his job. After beating him into the ground, demanding 70hour weeks, over night stays in data centers and trips out of the country with no warning, they showed just how loyal they were to their bank accounts and not their employees.
So the job hunt started. We had a few months to start looking, we need the insurance and the income. Doug chose to take a job in North Carolina for a company that held big promises. IN 48 hours they packed our house and we left Illinois. Biggest Mistake in my life next to not walking out of the hospital that day with my son.
We took a pay cut by more than 25K on the promise that with stock options and lower costs in housing and food we would be better off. BULLSHIT.
They promised him to move quickly up the ranks and in pay because he was hired below his ability. They had no clue the gem they had before them when they hired him. Our first thanksgiving in NC they were talking about putting him as an EE which would be a nice pay raise, make up for the pay cut they brought us out here on.
OUr first land lord screwed us over. He decided after we saved him from losing his house by renting it with holes in the walls that he wanted to increase our rent to 1700$ a month. Ya, wasn’t gonna happen. 1K to 1700 was out of anyones price range. Found out later, he needed the house empty for another friend of his. Nice, huh. So that left us with less than a month to find a new house, relocate the kids after he promised us we wouldn’t need to do that.. and had to come up with money for a new house which we just didn’t have.
So we sold all the stock we had bought to pay for our downpayment on the first place that would take a family of 9, with 2 cats and a puppy. Not too easy to come by.
And it cost us. 1400 a month. A MONTH. Plus a 500$ electric bill each month. All the costs to move all the utilities, the cable, phone, internet.. What a freaking hassle.
And the trouble began. We started falling behind on car payments to make up for these huge costs we were not able to just pay out of our normal paychecks.
Bonus was a laugh. What we normally got in ILLINOIS was 10 Xs the amount we got here, so that just put us right back to where we were… behind.
And when we hit the 1 year mark it hit me that no matter what, this company was going to screw us over and there was nothing I could do about it. Doug wouldn’t stand up for himself, and they were going to keep him in this position as long as they could to help pad the bank account a lil longer. WHY pay for an EE when you have a TSE doing EE work at a TSE salary? Why pay more when you don’t need to? And it got worse.
One of the reasons we took this job at NetApp was because the shift was a 4×10.. giving us Monday and Tuesday to do all of Nates medical running. We spend most weekdays off at UNC dealing with all of Nates medical issues. NetApp decided they no longer wanted to offer these shifts and are taking them away. They are moving his shift to a 5×8 shift which would put Doug in the office from 3pm – 12pm M-F. This means he wouldn’t see the kids all week until the weekend. Not at all. It also means I would have no one to get the kids if Nates care took longer which it normally does.
Doug applied for another position in the company to move to a different shift, and we are still waiting to hear about it almost a month later. He’s already looking for a new job already. He’s interviewed with other companies, but the pay grade difference is horrible between what we were making and what we are making now.
And the stock options they gave us.. they took 41 shares out of 113 to pay taxes that we don’t pay. We get a refund each year because of the number of kids and the medical costs we pay. Add to that the fact that stock fell more than 20$ a share since he was hired, and you end up with us not getting crap to help make up that huge difference in pay they promised us.
So currently those who think I whine and bitch about nothing.. Fuck off. We are 3 car payments behind on Dougs truck. We are 2 payments (with a 3rd coming) behind on my car. Our water bill is behind, our electric is behind. Our life has sucked the whole entire year we have been here. This is not normal every day ” i can’t go to the mall and buy a new purse” crap. This is.. THERE IS NO MONEY TO BUY FOOD FOR THE WEEK WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE GOING TO DO” CRAP. This is ” I can’t afford to buy my daughter pants and she’s outgrown all her clothes in the last year” shit. This is “I don’t have gas money so you can go to a job interview today” crap. This is ” I not have the money to pay a co-pay so we can go get my prescription filled” crap. This is not me not being grateful for the health of my children. This is me being concerned that we can’t care for our children because there is no money to feed them with. This is not worry about not being able to buy m y kid the new MW3 came, this is concern that I cant replace a backpack for my daughter for school because there is no money”. This is ” I can’t put a helmet on my son” because there is no $1500 to pay for it. This is my kids eating Ramen Noodles on a daily basis because there is nothing else. This is us not able to replace the food in the fridge because the 12$ I have on me has to go for gas in the car to get someone to work. This is me drowning.
So when someone complains about how others complain about how bad life is and doesn’t appreciate the good things in life.. FUCK OFF. You haven’t a clue how bad things really are based on my Facebook posts. You haven’t a clue how bad things are based on a few exerts you choose to read. You don’t know me, you don’t know my family and it really pisses me off that you would base it off something going on in your life based on choices.
You are choosing to move. Your husband chose to give up his job. You made those choices, you were not forced into them. You are making these decisions that will effect your life, they were not made by others and then blind sided you while you slept. Your life is also very uncomplicated compared to ours. You have one child, not 7. You have no medical concerns for your children. And you choose to whine about the most petty of shit in the world. You complain that your child has Math Night at school and GASP.. You have to attend because your his mother. You complain that your child likes to do MATH!! OH noes, hows about having a child with a learning disability and being deaf in one ear? I wonder how you would hold up in my life. I really wonder how you would bake and knit in a world where there is no money to buy food or yarn and you spend your day taking care of others 24.7? And you know the hilarious part. You complain about the very part of my life I live and breath for. Im not perfect, but dammit, I cherish every dance class, every baseball game, every temperature taking, laundry doing, window cleaning, marker on my wall mess I am blessed enough to have. I just want to be able to enjoy it without worrying I will not have a car to bring my chronically ill child to the hospital in because there is no money to make the payment. I just want to not be stressed out about every waking moment of every damn day.

Kindness & Gratitude

August 9th, 2011
Today was one of those days where I have to think hard to find a moment of kindness.. the gratitude is easy for me.
Im grateful for the moments of the day where my kids show me how much they love me. Most people can go a lifetime and not cherish these moments. Yesterday noah owed me 5 hugs. When I got to 4 I realized he just wasn’t giving me enough so I started cheating. I counted them as 4.1 and 4.2 and so on.. he giggled and kept giving me hugs. HOW awesome is that? ANd then the kids fight over who gets to snuggle next to the mom. I love my snuggles. I missed them when I was gone.
Today was another day of those moments where being the mom was important and IM grateful I am a mother. Doug and I were talking about how our life would be if we only had 2 kids. Could you imagine how bored I would be? Seriously, Im 100% a squiggle. ADD on the brain rapid firing in all directions never landing on one spot. Yes, Im a squiggle and Im proud of it. If I had 2 kids they would hate me. All the effort I put into the kids would make them nuts. They would be scheduled down to the pair of underwear they wear. Ya, I needed more than 2 kids to keep my brain from frying out. Imagine our house with the income and no extra children to buy for? Could you imagine how bad my squiggle buying would be? Gosh it would be all over the place.
My squiggleness comes out in all sorts of ways, including but not limited to the items I buy. HOW many Scentsy warmers does one house need at one given time? 17 if your currently standing in my house. 17 warmers plugged in, filled with beautiful was making it a lovely place to be. This does not include the number of warmers that are in my closet waiting to be swapped out and used. Ask me how many pairs of wool pants Bean needed before she was even here.. Does 65 count as a good reasonable number? I get this idea in my head to make them all outfits and rotate through them.. half went unworn. Good for others, not good for me. My brain fires so fast that I can’t keep up with it. This also effects my sleep as it pours into my sleep and rest time. When I should be resting I am running through all the things I needed to do before right then.
But IM grateful for my squiggliness. I am able to multitask and get more things done in a day than the average bear. I am able to juggle and manipulate my time to squeeze more time out of my day to get everything done. I manage to remember people to call and get tasks done without the post it notes to remind me.. I forget to make the post it notes, then wonder what I needed one for and BAMN, it hits me.
Today was a weird day full of deep thoughts and realizations. I realize I don’t like stress upsetting my family life. My family is my perfect circle and there is very little room to move around. I need it to be in alignment, all symmetrical and even.. one upset and it causes mass distraction to my world. I need to learn to see stress not as the threat it is currently but as the challenge it really is. If I can do that, the damage to the circle will not exist and I will be a much happier person. Our family will thrive better if I can control how stress is effecting us.
The conference I went to was not the easiest time in the world. I do not care for my up-line team above one person. I am not one to cackle and make lots of noise. I want to do my job, be left alone and take in what I need to. I loved being where I had access to great speakers, terrific information and hopeful opportunities. But I am not a mingler, I do not have the desire to add everyone into my life and Facebook. I am not one to just say ” hey add me to your Facebook”, because my Facebook is an extension of that squiggled controlled circle of a family and to be there, you had to earn it. I know its weird, but man I really do need to be in control of this part of my life. And I need to also learn to let that control go.
My family is not under attack, … is it? LOL We have a stable life here, he kids are happy and healthy and while we might not like the one set of neighbors, we do really like the others and see our children thriving. I need to view that set of neighbors as a challenge and not as a threat ( hard, really hard).
So i am grateful for being who I am where I am with the family I am. I am glad I turned out to be the incredible mother and wife I am ( right dear?).. I am thankful for the people I had in my life that caused me the chaos and heartbreak that made me so loving and caring, that showed me how much a hug means. I am ok with the loss I suffered, it made me compassionate and sincere. I say what I mean and do what I say.
Yesterday we enrolled Nate in high school here in town. The register had her calendar marked to show her 53rd birthday. I noticed, thinking it was cute. When she was done running around I made the simple comment that she did not look like she was going to be 53. She hugged me and her entire mood changed. That woman has 20 grandkids! I mean WOW, impress me one. She went on to talk about them and you could see her eyes light up. Saying something as simple as how young she looked made her day one heck of a lot lighter, and in the end she moved mountains to get what we needed for Nate done. See how that worked? 🙂 Yes.. my squiggle mind works fast, let me tell you!
So be thankful and grateful for who you are, where you were and how you got there. I know today I am.. even with the stress of 7 kids, 1 childlike husband, 1 adhd puppy, 2 cats, 2 toads, 1 hamster and 3 Guinea pigs! And to think I wanted to have a chicken coop in the back yard! LOL

Kindness and Gratitude

Saturday, August 6th, 2011.

On the airline I had an icepack on my knee. It was only a 30min flight air time wise, but my knee had been hurting for several days due to a car accident. I fell asleep shortly after take off, getting up at 5, after only a few hours of sleep left me exhausted, and I hate flying so sleeping was a great way to escape it. I woke up to the gentleman next to me holding the ice pack on my knee for me. I didn’t ask, he didn’t wake me.. just was kind enough to place it back and hold it while we flew into Raleigh. I don’t know his name, just that he was going to get to see his wife for 2 days, fly out to Spain for a month and his wife was going to get to see him there for 2 weeks. It had been 3 months since they had been together. I thought I was going to bolt out the door after only being away from the house for 5 days, but this man took off like a bolt of lightning. And it made me cry.

Im not cut out for travel away from my kids right now. I need to be here with them and they need me here. Doug did a great job while I was gone, but reality is.. Im where I am needed the most. Next year the conference is in Vegas and I am only going to go if Doug can go with me so I can be with him and spend my out of conference time with him.. or with the family as a vacation. I seriously doubt I can pull off taking another week away from my amazing and awesome family.

So whomever you were out there, I truly hope your enjoying your time with your wife and you have safe travels to Spain, spend an amazing trip with your wife and soak in all the fabulous sunsets. I appreciate what you did for me, a perfect stranger.