Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Broke

We are refinancing our mortgage. The rates are really low right now. I am excited about our new lower rate, because our house payment will go down by $200 a month. TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS! That is $2,400 a year. That is a lot of money. But I am also worried that we are jumping the gun. What if rates go even lower next month?

Until our closing is final, we are poor. We seem to have overextended ourselves. We just paid off our new furnace in May. The bill for our new entry door is due in July. We just had our pretty new fence installed last week and our new swing set is being delivered Wednesday. Yikes! We literally have no money to spare. NONE.

On a positive note, we will get to skip one mortgage payment after the closing. That will help ease the financial strain, but jeez, it really sucks having no money in the bank. I REALLY like making frivolous trips to Target (maybe a little too much). I guess this is a good thing. I need to start exercising more self control with money, and this is the perfect opportunity to start being more frugal.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sneak peek of our bountiful harvest

Like everyone else in America, we decided to start a garden this year. This is really John's project. He has done 90% of the work. Okay, more like 99% of the work. I was skeptical of his adventure. I was fairly confident that his garden would be a disaster.

Over the past few months, John has fretted endlessly over his little vegetables. And to my surprise, his garden looks amazing. Things are growing! We have already eaten the bok choy and romaine lettuce. Delicious!

Tomatoes

Squash

Carrots
Broccoli
Onions
I was so inspired by his accomplishments, that I decided to grow some strawberries. The results are still out, but I am hoping to have some delicious fruit soon:)

Friday, June 26, 2009

The BIG fence redo of 2009

After months of waiting, it is finally done. Our pretty new fence has been installed. Here are the lovely before and after photos...

Before...

After...
Before...After...

Before...

After...
Before...

After...
Before...

After...
It cost a pretty penny, but I think it looks great.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Mood

The other side of the sign says "Welcome." I keep the "Stay Away" side facing outward.

I attempted another morning without diapers. Porgie peed on the floor 5 times in the course of 2 hours. I repeatedly asked her if she needed to use the potty, but she insisted that she didn't have to pee.

After the fourth accident I said, "Why won't you sit on the potty?"

Porgie shrugged her shoulders and said, "Because I am bad."

Then she walked into the living room and pissed on the floor again.

It is going to be a LOOOOOOONG summer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Being honest

I often find myself thinking about the future. What direction will my life take in the next few years? Do I want to return to teaching? Do I want to go back to college and pursue a different career? This line of thinking inevitably makes me think about the past, and the choices I have made.

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a teacher. Throughout my entire adolescences, I often talked about teaching. When I entered college, selecting a career path was easy. I major in Elementary Education, and I minored in English. I distinctly remember my first practicum experience. It was in a 3rd grade classroom. I remember how those little 9 year-old students made me incredibly nervous. I remember the anxiety I felt when I was being observed. I remember the panic I felt when I gave directions and no one followed them. After that first semester in the classroom, I started to rethink my previous goals. Did I really enjoy teaching?

I dismissed my doubts. Surely I would enjoy teaching more in the next year or two. I told myself that it is always difficult to adjust to new situations. However, my next practicum was a disaster. My cooperating teacher was a BITCH. It was obvious that she didn't like me, although I had no idea why. The teacher didn't respect me, and her students didn't either. It was a rough 12 weeks, but I managed to survive. Once again, I questioned my motives. Was teaching really the career for me? Why was I stubbornly sticking to this career path, when I clearly wasn't enjoying my experiences? But by this point, I felt like I had already invested too much time, money, and energy into my teaching career. As I entered into my senior year of college, I was miserable.

Student teaching was brutal. I gained 30 pounds. THIRTY POUNDS. I cried during one of my observation reviews. I admitted to my university supervisor that I hated teaching kindergarten. And yet I trudged on, determined to graduate with my little teaching degree. And I did. I graduated in December. As expected, there weren't many teaching positions available. I decided to start substitute teaching. I was getting called in 3 to 4 times per week, and I was finally starting to feel like teaching might not be so bad after all. After a month or so of substituting, I was offered a long term position in the special education department. Although I wasn't certified in special education, I took the position. I thought it would be a great way to get my foot in the door.

This was really a huge mistake. There is A LOT of paperwork involved in special education. I was clueless. There are A LOT of parent meetings in special education. I was nervous as hell. I basically spent the entire 4 months being confused and overwhelmed. And the worst part was, I interviewed for a 4th grade teaching position at that school, and I didn't get it. It was embarrassing. By the time my substitute position ended, I was bitter.

I spent that summer interviewing for teaching positions. I went on 3 or 4 interviews per week. And teaching interviews are tough. They usually consist of a committee containing 4 or 5 members. So if you say something goofy or cannot answer a question adequately, you have FIVE people staring at you. Just thinking about it gives me a panic attack.

After going on 813 interviews, I was finally offered a position in 3rd grade (my favorite grade). Although I would love to tell you that teaching turned out to be the best career EVER, I cannot. I was pretty miserable. I was working in a very poor district. The parents were not supportive or involved in the classroom. The principal was a dickhead. And my students were bad. They were mean little kids, who liked to fight and argue all day. I loved them, but they were wearing me down - mentally, emotionally, and physically.

On more than one occasion, I came home crying. I am not an emotional person. I rarely ever cry. But when I was teaching, I cried a lot. I cried when a child told me her dad sold drugs. I cried when a little boy's mother was sent to prison. I cried when my kids came to school in the snow with no winter coats. I cried because their problems felt like my problems. I wanted to fix their lives and make everything okay. But I couldn't. Maybe I would have hardened over the years, and it would have been easier. I doubt it.

I was truly and utterly overwhelmed. It wasn't the actual teaching that bothered me - it was everything else. Regardless of the reasons, I was tired and weary and sad. And when I left my teaching position to move to NJ, the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders. I could breathe again. I could feel happy again.

I left teaching in 2005. In the past 4 years, I haven't really had the desire to return to the classroom. But when I think about the future, I often try to convince myself that teaching would be a great career. My schedule would match my kids' schedule, and that would be very convenient. But in all honesty, I don't want to return to teaching. What do I want to do? If I am being completely honest with myself, I want to stay home and have more babies. But for some reason, this seems shameful. I should have bigger goals and ambition.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I got nothing

I have been staring at this blank page for 5 minutes. I couldn't think of anything to say, so I decided to just start typing, with no clear agenda. This is much harder than it sounds. My kids are both asleep. The house is quiet. I can finally relax. I think I pulled a muscle in my back. I am all achy and stiff. My kids are getting entirely too big to lift.

Hmmmm...I have been eating a lot lately. I have been baking cookies and buying donuts. Not good. I just can't seem to stop. I can feel my clothes getting tighter, but I keep popping more junk food into my mouth. I am going to try to start walking everyday. I tried to implement this plan a few weeks ago, but the damn weather wouldn't cooperate. It has been raining nonstop around here. Sometimes the sun peaks out of the clouds for a few minutes toward the late afternoon, but by then I am too tired to go for a walk. Damn stupid weather.

I haven't been hanging out with any of my friend lately. I haven't talked to my mom since she left New Jersey. At first I thought, why is everyone avoiding me? But the more I think about it, the more I think that it is actually me avoiding them. Sometimes I kind of isolate myself without meaning too.

I have been working really hard to not spend money excessively. It sounds like a simple goal, but it is actually incredibly difficult. I love spending money. I wish I was more frugal. I want to be a cheapskate.

Okay, I have rambled enough for tonight. Here are some pictures of my precious babies...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

This, that, and the other

I bought some new canisters for my kitchen. I love them. And they were 50% off. __________

After 18 months, I finally finished the pictures that were supposed to be hanging over Izzy's crib when I brought him home from the hospital. Oops. Better late than never.
__________

I am on the last book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I can't believe I got sucked into reading vampire novels. __________

They delivered our fence last Thursday. Unfortunately, it is just taking up space in our driveway. It won't stop raining.__________

I am going to repaint the living room and hallway next week. I am excited to get started, because I think the color will look fabulous. But I am dreading the actual work.
__________

I decided to start potty training Porgie this weekend. Out of sheer stubbornness, she refused to sit on the toilet. She held her pee for about 4 hours. And she drank 2 cups of milk, so I knew she had to go, but she wouldn't cave. As soon as I put a diaper on her for naptime, she let loose. I am not in the mood to fight with her, so I said fuck it. I'll make sure she is potty trained before Kindergarten. Hopefully.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

So dang cute

Porgie is a character. She is always saying something adorable. She couldn't be any cuter. I wanted to share some of her funny little phrases with you.

When Porgie is being mean to Izzy, she readily acknowledges her bad behavior. She will say things like, "I am just being mean to you Buddy" or "I am being a jerk." And then she'll pat him on the back to make him feel better.

Porgie likes to throw the word very into sentences where it doesn't belong. The end result is adorable. She'll say, "I am very jumping!" or "I am very riding in the car." Cracks me up.

Porgie's response to every question is "TWO MINUTES!" If you ask her to go to bed, she'll yell "TWO MINUTES!" If you ask her to eat dinner, she yell "TWO MINUTES!" If you ask her to put her shoes on, she'll yell "TWO MINUTES!" Kind of annoying, but also very cute.

When Porgie gets really excited, she'll exclaim, "I never forgot!" We are not exactly sure what this is supposed to mean, but it is hilarious when she says it. For example, we gave Porgie a red wagon for her birthday. She made this face and yelled, "I never forgot!"...My baby girl is so much fun. She really is. I genuinely enjoy her company.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Complaints

Our fancy new fence was supposed to be installed on Tuesday, but it was pushed back to Friday because of all the rain we have been getting. I just checked the weather, and it is supposed to rain tomorrow. Everyone's installation will be pushed back a day, so we will probably be bumped to next week. DAMMIT! And don't even get me started on the swing set. They told us it would be installed in 4 to 6 weeks. It has already been 6 weeks, and no one has called to set up a date for delivery. BASTARDS!

So nothing is going as planned over here and it is pissing me off. And I am on my period. And I am still sick. And my house is a mess. GAH!

On a positive note, my kids are still adorable...



This picture cracks me up. They were watching TV together.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Impressive

I am dying over here people. I am sooooooooo sick. This has got to be the worst cold I've had in years. My throat hurts, my ears hurt, my head hurts, my eyes are watery, my nose is runny, and I get winded walking to the bathroom. I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep. But I can't. Instead, I have to entertain my wayward children. We have been doing lots of coloring. Porgie is getting really good at staying in the lines. If this isn't impressive, I don't know what is...
Okay, I am starting to feel a little dizzy. I need to get back to my bed.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Getting comfy

I worry. A LOT. One of the big things I have worried about since the birth of my children is SIDS. That shit scares the crap out of me. So, I took every precaution - I never over bundled them, we did not use blankets or pillows, and no stuffed animals were allowed in their cribs. When Porgie was about a year old, I did allow her to take night-night (her favorite blanket) to bed with her, but I tied it into two knots, because it made me feel better about the whole suffocation hazard thing.

Yes, I am insane. I can't help it.

As you know, my baby girl is now 3-years-old. I decided that perhaps it was time to start letting Porgie use a pillow. We went to Target, and I searched the pillow aisle for a toddler sized pillow. But everything looked enormous. I knew that I couldn't confidently put a big fluffy pillow in her crib. As I was walking out of the pillow aisle, I noticed a pile of decorative pillows on calerance. And I found it - the perfect toddler pillow (and 30% off too!). So we bought it...And because I was in a good mood, we bought a blanket for her bed too. A Hello Kitty blanket, of course (Porgie is currently OBSESSED with Hello Kitty). Here is the big girl trying out her new comfort items...You'll be amazed to know that I even suppressed the urge to go check on her during the middle of the night. It was tough, but I did it.

My baby girl is growing up.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Things have changed

You know, being a mommy really is confusing. I will go months, with nary a complaint about my babies. Honestly, my kids are pretty good. Porgie is a very good listener, and Izzy is usually eager to imitate his big sister. Most of the time, I walk around feeling very proud of my well-behaved children. But not all of the time. Sometimes, I wake up to find little demons roaming around my house. When I wrote this post, my kids were at a peak of horrible behavior. They were fighting with one another, whining over every little thing, and defiantly breaking the house rules. After a few days, their attitudes began to wear me down, and my patience was shot.

My mother arrived at the perfect time. She was a great distraction for the kids. They loved the attention that grandma lavished them with. They loved getting to go somewhere fun with her everyday. They loved all of the presents she gave them. And I loved that they stopped whining incessantly. It was perfect really. My mom (who is normally not my favorite person), saved the day. She helped to pull all of us out of a funk. Not only that, she worked really hard to fit seamlessly into our lives. She read the kids stories before nap time. She watched the kids while I ran to the store for groceries. She actually listened when I talked to her. Honestly, it felt like my mother had transformed into an entirely different person - a person I might actually want to be around. I enjoyed having her here. It has probably been at least 15 years since I have enjoyed her company.

Needless to say, I was dreading my mother's departure. I was afraid that we would fall back into the same rut we were in before she came. But to my surprise, Porgie and Izzy have been awesome this week. I even started coming down with a cold on Friday morning, and I decided to have a lazy day at home. The kids happily played in the house all day, with minimal tantrums. AMAZING!

Although my mom's visit was great, I was kind of happy to see her leave. I just wanted to have my house back to myself. I was constantly cleaning the entire time she was here. It felt like I was always picking up toys and washing dishes. When she flew home on Wednesday morning, I let the kids go hog wild...
I didn't pick up a damn toy all day. And it felt GREAT.

So, things have mellowed out and I am feeling like a peaceful mama again. Thank goodness for grandma:)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sorry for the disappointment

Blogging is a strange thing. For years, I have been addicted to it - both writing posts and reading posts. However I have discovered that every time I take a little time off from blogging, I lose all interest in my hobby. I have literally had to force myself to open the computer lately. I have no idea why I am avoiding the blog world.

This weekend I plan on taking my time and writing a few posts. Hopefully this will get me over my anti-blogging funk.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

You ask and I deliver...

Here are some of the photos I had taken of the kids...






Aren't my children gorgeous? I just can't believe how big they are.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It feels like I haven't blogged in forever

I drove my mom to the airport this morning. Actually, she should be landing in Kentucky any minute now. Her visit was actually pretty good. The first few days were okay, but the last few days of her trip were great. We all sort of fell into a routine that worked for everyone. So, my mom's visit was a success!

My baby girl turned 3 last weekend, which is just utterly amazing. I feel like I JUST had her. How is she already 3? We threw her a little party on Sunday, and she had a fabulous time. That night we went to a local diner for her birthday dinner. The waitresses sang happy birthday to her, and gave her a bowl of vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. She absolutely LOVED it. She was shrieking and laughing. But shortly after that, the party ended. Porgie started looking a little green around the gills. I told John that we had better leave. We barely made it out the front door when she puked. EVERYWHERE. Poor birthday girl.

I had some professional pictures taken of the kids with grandma. I think my mom really enjoyed this gift. Porgie and grandma were all smiles, but Izzy looked freaked out in every pose. We didn't get any smiles from him. Little weirdo.

Okay, that is enough about my hectic life. Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Remember the cake?

If you remember, this is a picture of the cake I wanted to make for Porgie's birthday...

This is a picture of my pathetic attempt in May...

And this is what her cake actually looked like on her birthday...
I think I did a wonderful job! Feel free to tell me how amazing I am:)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Porgie

She was born 3 years ago. My water broke at 4am. I had turned over to adjust my big, swollen body and I felt a trickle. I jumped out of bed and felt a huge gush of liquid. My adrenaline was pumping as I raced to get into the shower and pack my hospital gear. I was nervous about the obstacles that awaited us, but I was ecstatic that I would finally get to meet my precious little baby. Porgie was born 18 hours later, via c-section. Since that day, my life has been exponentially better. She is an amazing little girl.

6/7/06

6/7/07

6/7/08
6/7/09
Happy birthday baby girl. I love you.