Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Full Time

Last week when I realized how much lower my daycare cost would be, I was thrilled. The kids could go back to school full time!!! Yeah!!! But when it came time to make the call, I couldn't do it. I couldn't make the call. I've gotten so used to them being around all of the time...I know I'm going to miss them. Yes, they drive me crazy half the time but those moments are usually forgotten in seconds after they doing something sweet. So, until G gets a start date, I've settled with bumping them up to 3 days. I need the time to adjust. Besides...how could you not enjoy spending the day with this?

Positive Thought for the day: Today is the last 90 degree day of the week.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Concept of Time

Have you ever tried to explain the concept of time to a 4 year old? It's quite entertaining. She gets today but not so much on the tomorrow. I have tried to tell her that something will happen that she wants tomorrow and she gets sooo upset because she thinks it's sooo far away. So, I have figured out by telling her after one cheez cheez's (sleeping) and one good morning's the event will occur. She also gets counting days - something will happen in 3 days, etc. Time, not so much. 5 minutes is counting to 5.

This evening while I was cooking dinner Seena came to me very concerned. She was very worried that she would not be able to finish coloring in a picture for partygirl's (cousin) invitation (b-day May 16 BTW) by Thursday. Again, she was very worried about this...concern of running out of time was all over her face. I asked her why Thursday and she said she simply needed it by then. After a few minutes of deliberation, she concluded that she will work on it "the other day" so she can finish it by Thursday.

Positive note: Moments like this always calls for smile.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Too Much Good News?

So Ya Ya's card came true, we got good news but it seems too much. Her cards said G would get good news from two guys. I was thinking it would be from the two guys G interviewed with at the bar in DC. However, this was not the case.

For a mere two hours on Friday, I was sooo super happy. G got the good news we've been waiting for...a job offer. And my extra delight it was from the bar in DC. I got the news while I was taking the kids for a walk so I'm sure the neighbors that heard my screaming and yelling thought I was a little odd. I didn't care. G got a job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Two hours later, G gets another job offer. The one in Manassas. Now, I know I should be happy that we have TWO job offers but we also now have a conflict. I know my husband like the back of my hand...he would rather take the job in Manassas and I want him to take the job in DC. Conflict. I know this is ultimately G's decision and if we weren't so behind on our bills and mortgage, I would say take the chance with Manassas, but we need security right now. I mean, how am I going to convince my mortgage company to modify our loan if I can't even tell them how much G is going to make? I have no idea. This is a brand new restaurant in Manassas Park, it's not like it's Fairfax. Yes, I realize that it could do well and G could potentially make $800-$1000 a week but the place could also suck and G could make $50 a day. We just can't take that risk right now. At least with the DC job G has a salary plus tips. I know DC is going to be hard, longer hours due to the commute and G will be tired on his days off but I'm willing to take those sacrifices now if it means getting our lives back to normal.

We've weighed the pros and cons, we've run the numbers, we even went to DC Saturday night to check out the bar but G is still undecided. So this is where we are...I've said my peace, he knows where I stand, all I can do is pray the right decision is made.

Positive Thought/Comment/Note: G has a job, either way.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Morning Coffee Talk

Complaints/Bad News:
  • I can't decide which was worse last night, cleaning up dog poop and vomit or trying to instruct G tripped out on his sleeping pill to put water on a wash cloth and dab the floor where the vomit was.
  • G has passed on his insomnia to me. Sleep was NEVER an issue for me. I fall asleep, well used to, fall asleep within 5-10 minutes of going to bed. Now, I'm tossing and turning. And AJ is finally sleeping through the WHOLE night. Not fair.
  • I told myself I was going to start my new diet and workout plan this past Monday. Well it's now Friday and I haven't done a thing. Good job.
  • Seena is behind at school. I guess I should expect this since she's only been going for 2 days a week for quite some time and I haven't done the best job to help her at home.
  • G's possible jobs? G had two interviews this week. One he feels very good about and almost believes he got. He's unhappy with me because I'm not showing excitement over this news but as I told him, I don't want to get my hopes up. I will be excited, very excited, when you get the call that you GOT the job. But the truth is, I think I would rather him have the other job, the one in DC. I know it's a hike but he could make very good money there. It's a well established venue in a prime location. This place is local, independent and new. I know, we'll take which ever offer comes first, but internally I think my vote is for DC.

And since my motto has always been to always try to end on a positive note or with good news...

Good moments/good news:

  • One of my favorite moments is when I come home and AJ comes running to me with his arms up, mouth wide and a look of pure happiness.
  • G's and I sarcastic, poke fun at each other humor.
  • Seena's imagination, singing and dancing. She has officially told me she is ready to start dance classes when she is 5. I'm very excited about this. She can almost even do a cartwheel/roundoff.
  • According to my coffee reading, I was going to hear good news that was going to make me very happy. I think I got that yesterday. I was informed by my daycare that since AJ moved up to the Toddler room, my family discount went up from 25% to 75%. Meaning, for two days a week I'm now only paying $71. And if I move them up to 5 days it will only be $118 a week. OMG!!! This made me very happy. I am little behind in my payments but I can catch up in May, even with putting them in 5 days. I know, some parents disagree with having their kids in daycare for 5 days, but I truly believe with where I am presently, they would benefit more, much more, from daycare than me.
  • I got free Sunflower seeds in the mail. Free! I got them free by joining a research group to study bees. For free sunflower seeds all I have to do is count how many bees visit the flowers. Easy. I know it's only $2 that I'm saving but, hey, it's free, and I now I will have sunflowers this summer.
  • I love birds so I get very excited when I see new ones visiting. The typical ones come everyday-cardinals, robins, house sparrows, chickadees, goldfinches, house finches, Juncos, morning doves, titmice and mockingbirds. But I have had the great pleasure of hosting a few guest of honors...bluebird, downy woodpecker and some sort of hawk.

Sometimes it really is the little things... :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ya Ya's Cards

I am, for the most part, a practicing Catholic. I go to church, I pray the rosary almost daily and I try to live by most of the guidelines directed by the church. I think I'm doing pretty good except for when it comes to Feng Shui and having Ya Ya read my cards. I've asked, I've looked online and I've come to terms with Feng Shui NOT being a religion therefore it's ok to practice. I do practice some, I've kind of settle down a bit. Mainly it's the feeling that I'm believing in something else to "fix" my problems other than my faith in God. The same goes for Ya Ya's cards. Now, when I say she's reading my cards, they are not Tarot cards, they are a regular deck of cards. Depending on what numbers show up together determines what is happening or going to happen. Here is where I feel conflicted with my religion. I keep telling myself that it's just for fun but she's been right every time so it's hard not to believe. She's always been right with promotions I get, when I'm traveling, she knew G was going to meet me, how we're feeling and what's going on in our heads, she's even been right about my kids. So, with all of this, it's hard not to believe, especially with what I'm going through now. I want to know what is happening or going to happen. I want answers and I have my days where it's hard to rely solely on my faith. I try, I really do but there are days when I just want to know. Lately my cards have said the same things....I'm going to get a promotion or I'm going to change jobs....something will happen that I will make a lot of money, I'm going on a trip with G, someone is getting married, I'm stressed, I feel lonely, I fight with myself and it always ends with everything I wish and hope for are going to come true. I always ask her to clarify the traveling..does it mean "traveling" or moving. She says there is no moving, it's definitely traveling. So, according to "the cards" I'm staying in my house (let's hope that is true). Now, there is no timeline on this so I don't know when these things will happen but typically my "readings" come true pretty quickly. However, as I mentioned before, my cards have been the same for quite some time, months I believe. Just on Greek Easter she read my coffee cup and aside from being at peace and happy, all of the same things came up. I don't know what the deal is. It's the same for G. He's suppose to get good news etc. and be happy. Not happening. What IS happening is everyone else's cards. The cheerleader is having issues with men and herself-true, my brother and his girlfriend are breaking up-true, my dear friend V is not getting the committed relationship she wants from the guy she wants-true, etc. It seems like everyone else's cards are "coming true" except for ours. Is God intervening? I don't know. I enjoy this stuff and I DO do it for fun, but I'm not going to lie and say that I don't hope it all comes true. When things do actually happen, whether it's to me or others, I do reference the cards...Oh, Ya Ya said....

I think as of lately, the one thing that has come true from my readings is a wedding. My brother's friend is getting married and I'm invited. So...maybe that means my stuff has been delayed till now? Who knows. G just had his cards read again last night and he's suppose to be getting good news from two men, bad news from one blonde woman, he's stressed..very stressed but that all will work out and he'll be happy. My fingers are crossed the good news is from the two men that just recently interviewed G. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How I Love My House..Let Me Count the Ways

I think God is reading my blog. I say this because last week when I was complaining about being a bad mommy for letting Seena watch too much TV, my cable got disconnected later that afternoon. Seriously. God, thank you, but of all of my prayers, this was probably the least important. And to add to the frustrating part of the whole cable disconnection thing, it could have ALL been avoided had G's unemployment check arrived on time. But no...lady luck is still not visiting my house. So, we went without cable which is fine...really....but I was not happy having to pay for the $30 reconnection fee. I mean, seriously. My bad luck is almost getting comical.

So, since I think God may be reading my blog, I thought I would tell Him how much I LOVE my house and how much I want to stay in it.
1. It's the perfect size. Big enough to have privacy but small enough that it's cozy.
2. All of the windows - I love the brightness and I love that I can see outside from every room.
3. My walls. I loved that my house was already painted when I moved in. I am NOT creative enough to do the same/similar thing somewhere else.
4. My yard. I love that I actually have one and the kids can run around on it.
5. My gardens. I love them, love them, love them.
6. My neighborhood. I live in Pleasantville and I love it. I love the walking paths, the nature trail, the parks and the pool.
7. The schools. Seena's daycare is awesome. I love the teachers there and I'm really looking forward to Seena's Elementary school.
8. My front porch.
9. All of the kids in the neighborhood. They are always out and it's wonderful to hear them. Our neighborhood is still relatively young so there are lots and lots of kids.
10. This is my home. This where my kids were born. This is where I want to raise them. This is where I want to grow old.

So, please God, hear me. Other than keeping my family safe and healthy, this is the prayer I need. I will work hard the rest of my days to pay back my debts. I am not afraid of hard work. I am afraid of losing my home.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teen Party

Teen - my 14 year old stepdaughter. We agreed to and survived a teen boy/girl party. When Teen asked if she could have the party I was very reluctant. One, for the obvious reason of having 50-60 14 year olds in my house. But the main reason was money...again. I wanted her to have a good party but that costs money. Both G and I talked it through and we decided it would be ok and we were able to keep costs to a minimum by only supplying chips and drinks. Also, Teen's friend co-hosted the party and her mom helped out with some decorations. After dealing with that issue, I really didn't have a reason to say no. Teen has been dealing with our financial struggles as best as she can. You can only expect a 14 year old to understand so much. She's watched her friends have lavish parties and get whatever they want. I know that it's not all about money and "stuff" that's important but middle school is such a mean time where what you have and having the best party IS a big deal. I have to hand it to her...she's handle that part very well and pretty maturely. For that I am very proud of her. So, I knew throwing this party was important to her and I wanted her to have it.

The night of the party wasn't too bad except for the sea of shoes I had at my doorway. I've never seen anything like it!! Every single kid took off their shoes. All vans and flip flops. I guess that's good, right? The music wasn't too loud and the yelling and screaming was to be expected. Poor things though, it was soooo hot down in our basement. We tried to convince her to have it outside but she didn't want to. As the night progressed G asked if I regretted allowing the party. I answered honestly no, not in the least bit. One) as I explained earlier, she deserved it and two) I could see that she wasn't having as much fun being the host of her own party at her parent's house. She was stressing over the mess and the carpet. I think she was learning a valuable lesson. To help her relax we told her that we didn't mind that there was trash on the floor, we just did not want open candy-Skittles- on the carpet. That stains. I think it helped her a little. G and I took turns going down to check on the teeny boppers and it was just like I remembered our parties. Loud, obnoxious and full of drama :)

To avoid any major clean-up disasters we tried to anticipate and prepare. We emptied out the rooms of any toys and unnecessary accessories and furniture, our food was limited to chips (no dip), only soda cans and we had trash bags around the room. I thought we did pretty good. What we had after the party was over was shocking. My walls (at waist level) were covered with scuff marks and dark stains. ??? What we realized was the marks were from the jeans and studded belts. As the kids leaned up against the walls and danced they scuffed up my walls. Who would have known?? And there was gum on the floor. Ugh...not happy about that. But overall, not too bad. The walls were cleaned up with the help of soap/water and magic eraser (best thing on earth) and nothing was broken. The gum remains but Teen WILL be getting that out this week.

One important thing to note, as Teen and her friend were cleaning ALL of the trash and scrubbing the walls, they both said they NEVER wanted to have a party again. Aahhh, lesson learned :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My 15 Month Old Bobblehead

So, I took AJ to his 15 month well-check. His measurements were:
*Weight - 23.9 lbs.....43% percentile
*Length - 31.75".....75% percentile
*Head - 49.5"...97% percentile.

So, this tells me I have a tall skinny boy with a big head. A bobblehead.

Other things:
*AJ can say mama and nana. I can't decide if the nana is for Banana or his Nana.
*He used to know sign language; more, yum yums for food, Babas for his milk and going outside. Every once in awhile he'll use yum yums (fist to mouth repeatedly) but now he has resorted to just pointing and grunting. Dr. G (real doctor name) laughed as said...he's a boy, boys are lazy and he found an easier way to communicate.

AJ loves :
*to go outside. Now that it's getting warmer it's not a big deal but when it was freezing out it was not fun. There were many times we headed out bundled head to toe in every cold-weather piece of clothing (plus blankets) for a quick walk around the block. I'm sure I got stares from people but it made him happy. And happy is good when you're stuck in the house all day.
*veggies...right now his favorite is cherry tomatoes. I'm trying to grow some for the garden but I'm sure when they are ready to eat, he'll hate them.
*to get into everything..Tupperware, pots and pans, DVDs, my cookbooks....other than his toys.
*to wrestle but he's picky about about what he likes to wrestle. Lately, it has been Seena's puppy and a big brown throw blanket. ???
*to play drums.
*and my favorite....loves to cuddle with mommy :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Too many topics

I have too many things going on in my head right now to hone in on one thing....so...

G - After my ramblings yesterday of his obsessive organization, I realized it's a major distraction for him right now. Not that he's not obsessive on a regular basis, he is, but I think now because of his situation, it's intensified. We had a very disappointing day yesterday with bad news from our accountant and G did not get the scheduled 2nd phone interview. All day he was down. I know he tried to hide it from us but I could see the disappointment. Thankfully I pushed and pushed for him to follow up on the call to see what happened and so far there was a scheduling mix-up so the call is still on but we don't know when yet. Anyway, my whole point of this is that G began cleaning last night (at 9:00 at night). He recleaned the kitchen, did the floors and vacuumed. I asked him to stop because I felt so guilty watching and not cleaning and he responded, "It's ok. I feel guilty not having a job." And then I knew...it's time to give up my hold on the dining room.

Luck - our luck, specifically - this is something I don't get. There has been so many opportunities that have presented themselves to us that would have made a very positive change for us but for whatever reason luck is not on our side. Examples - 1) the restaurant. It's still not rented. We still have equipment in there that have leases that we are personal guarantors for. The vendors told me they don't want the equipment back they'll just wait for the new tenants and offer the equipment to them. That's great! That will pay that off and I won't have to worry about that. But no, it's now April and there are no tenants. The vendors are angry, are taking out their equipment and now looking for payment. 2) Jobs, job, jobs, jobs. This last interview is the perfect example. If G passed the 2nd interview, we would have had an answer by Friday and hopefully working by Monday. Not the case here. Now we have to wait...again. 3) Our taxes. They will NOT be filed today, they will be extended. This was my only bargaining chip for my mortgage company. This could have been fixed everything. I could have paid my back mortgage, some taxes and hopefully had enough to file bankruptcy. But no....no luck here. That's just not the way things go for us these days. Another challenge to yet get over. God must think I'm Hercules. Does God really want me to move out? Why? Seriously, why? We're already feeling completely defeated and unconfident, moving into my parents house will only make us feel worse. I just don't get it.

Seena - on top of all of this, I feel the worse about Seena. She's 4 and should be in pre-school 5 days a week. She only goes 2 days because that is all we can afford, plus G needs those days to set up interviews and job hunt. I feel that I'm depriving her of so much. She's not enrolled in any other program or activity because we can't afford it, so she's just home all of the time. This weather is not helping either. I found a gymnastic class that was only $37 for 5 sessions. I was excited because I could afford that. But by the time I got the money and called to sign her up, it was full. Just my luck. Anyway, I know she senses the tension in the house, even as much as we try to hide, I know she feels it. Just last week, she asked if daddy found a job yet. I told her no, and she said "He should get a job with computers. He's good with computers." If only it was that easy. Anyway, I know that kids develop at different paces but it hurts when I see that younger kids can say their ABC's, can recognize the letters and so on. It makes me feel even worse, guilty of being a bad mommy. Seena can write them and can guess a few of them but I'm noticing that some of her letters are backwards and upside down. Is this normal? Is this a sign of dyslexia? I'm trying to make major efforts to turn the TV off during most of the afternoon and have constructive playtime and practicing her letter writing. We have our good days but then there are days like today, when there are no creative juices flowing and all I want to do is cuddle on the couch with her and watch TV, too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

To decorate or not and my obsessive husband

Other than going to my parents for another Plaza "unplanned" gathering, G's and I biggest fights are over decorating and organizing the house. The decorating isn't as much of an issue since we both have come around to a "less is more" mentality when it comes to decorating. However, G seems to think I have a "Grandma's" style of decorating. Whatever that is??? Our biggest problem is organizing or "cleaning" as G likes to call it. He seems to think we, with 3 kids and a dog, can live in a museum-like house 24 hours a day. Not happening. And I also, much to G's disbelief, DO NOT LIKE CLUTTER. Many times it's just a timing thing. Now, I'll accept that some of the disorganization is mine but I have a reason/system for my messes. Many times it's a time issue or I just don't know what to do with the item right at that moment so I put it in a specific place or pile that I know I will be able to get to later. Usually it's a certain shelf in the kitchen or on the dining room table. Neither of these are acceptable places for G. It's not like I have crap laying all over the place in the house. It's very frustrating because that is the only thing he will focus on, especially since he's home all of the time now and he cleans (really organizes) all day. He loves cleaning the kitchen so that it is spotless and then he gets angry at me for making it a mess. Um, I'm sorry, I had to cook dinner. I mean, seriously. My philosophy is NOT to clean the kitchen 50 times a day but to wait until the end of the day to do a thorough cleaning. I don't see the problem with that. Lately, his focus has been the projects I have started and not completed. Two actually ... one of which caused a fight because it was a decorating issue. The big one is the layout of picture frames I want to add to a certain wall in the family room. Right now I have 3 large frames with only pictures of Seena in them. This obviously needs to change since I now have 3 kids. Since we rearranged the family room, I now have an empty wall that I can hang pictures up. I was very excited about this since I lack pictures of my kids around the house. I have a few but not many. So, I went around the house, grabbed all of the picture frames and organized them in a pattern that I would like to put up on my dining room table. G hated the idea. He said it was an 80's style and again, the grandma style, got thrown in there. 80's? Seriously? Right, I forgot that G studied the history of decorating and can pinpoint times in history when decorating trends began. Ugh, he can make me want to pull my hair out. Anyway, I was going to put up the pictures regardless but then I started thinking about the house. I don't know if we are going to be able to stay so why should I put up all of these pictures and put holes in the wall if I may have to leave? I don't want to put them away in case I forget how I arranged them (I know that is lame) or we get good news tomorrow and we'll get to stay. So, the pictures are still laying on the table....waiting to be put up.

Project 2 is my seeds. I love to garden but I can't afford to go out and buy plants so I start them from seeds. Plus I get a great sense of satisfaction growing plants from seed. Well, the problem is the only undisturbed sunny place in the house is...you guessed it....the dining room.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's me again.

I know it's been awhile but I've actually written in this blog several times in my head...I just forget to type it. These days I'm choosing sleeping instead of getting mommy time in the morning. AJ is still sleeping weird hours and for some reason I stay up late watching unnecessary TV. Things haven't changed too much since my last post, physically. G is still out of work...however, he's on his way to his 2nd interview for a job in DC. My fingers are definitely crossed. I've picked up 2 part-time jobs, and possibly a third. Well, I shouldn't really call them part-time jobs as they are more contractual and on an as-needed basis. It's definitely helped us get caught up with our everyday utilities, daycare (2 days only) and so on. Still have not paid our mortgage but I'm hoping I qualify for the new Obama bail out plan and can get my loan modified to where I can afford it (and still be able to pay my mom back). And hopefully, I'll get some money back from taxes..if my damn accountant would call me back. I owe her money too but I made good with my arranged payment plan. I paid my first installment...so, let's get a move on. I only have 2 days left and I need the money to pay my past due mortgage!!!

Mentally, things have changed. At least I think I'm doing better. Writing all of this really helped. I realized I really can't do pity parties...not even for myself. It's awful. So, I really tried to focus on my faith that what is meant to be is meant to be and I forged ahead. I embraced my poverty and tried to make the best of it. This is definitely something I can't control so I just need to ride it out and find ways to enjoy the ride. My kids don't care if I'm a millionaire or dirt poor, they just want me to play. So, that's what I do. I play, I sing, I dance and I just goof around with my kids. Hearing them laugh and seeing their smiles is the best thing in the world and it can lift my spirits like nothing else. I especially love my individual times with each. Seena and I cuddle at night while watching TV and AJ and I cuddle in the morning (this is when I chose to sleep-in instead of getting up). Hey, I'm not stupid....these cuddles are not going to last forever....I'm taking what I can get!