28 January 2010


I’m finding it harder than I thought to get back into the blogging habit. Of course, the fact that there are about five million things going on in my life is making it slightly more difficult; since my last entry, I had two fantastic nights of tango; my dad went back into the hospital with his third bout of pneumonia in a year; Mimi has had several massive meltdowns; and I had a nasty bout with either stomach flu, food poisoning, or a combination of the two + stress — at any rate, I couldn’t keep any food down for the past 48 hours. That was fun.

I had last week off work and I really wanted to get the house cleaned up and some major decluttering done. I did manage to get through the girls’ room; sorted through some clothes, packed up a bunch of toys, purged the bookshelf. They need to have a minimum of things in there to deal with because the “picking up after yourself” lesson isn’t going so well. I was tired of threatening to take stuff away, and just did. Weirdly, they didn’t seem to mind; in fact, the room has stayed fairly neat for the past week aside from books and clothes on the floor. I can live with that.

I finished the one freelance editing job and another typing job, so that was also an accomplishment. I completed two crochet orders from, uh, last month, so again, something. I sorted my yarn stash from its various locations all over the house into one bin. I started sorting papers into keep/recycle/trash boxes. But I didn’t get any farther than that. My room is a disaster, the basement is a disaster. I still have crochet projects to finish, at least two of which have been paid for already. I have to go to the post office and mail off the finished things, which I haven’t done yet because I have no money. My checking account has been overdrawn for a week. I have a bit in paypal but can’t access it, since I left my paypal card in an ATM two weeks ago and the bank destroyed it. I’m waiting for a replacement but in the meantime…

Yeah. That’s about how the past couple of weeks have gone. But I am extremely hopeful that starting tomorrow, things will be turning around. I get paid tomorrow (stupid once-a-month paydays) and there should be about $150 more in my check from this month on since M is no longer on my health insurance. I am also on track to get my federal tax refund tomorrow, at least according to the IRS’s website which I am choosing to believe, and with that, I will be buying a car. Going to the bank as soon as I am able to tomorrow, arranging a ride, and handing over a cashier’s check to purchase a nine-year-old Saturn. My very own car, owned entirely by me. No bank, no one else on the title. Just ME. I cannot tell you how important this is to me. It’s a bit of independence I have been sorely lacking in the past year and a half, and it will feel so good.

I also have a solid weekend of tango coming up, the Fire and Ice Festival here on campus. Child care is arranged, and from tomorrow at 6 pm all the way through to Sunday night, I have workshops, practicas, and milongas, with breaks for eating and sleeping and that’s pretty much it. If I can get childcare for Monday night, I can do the wrap-up workshop as well, but that might be a stretch. Either way. I am so excited. And I bought my first pair of actual tango shoes on eBay earlier this week (which, ok, that was ONE way to use my Paypal money…) and am extremely hopeful they will arrive at least in time for Saturday night’s milonga.

If someone had told me a year ago I’d be excited about strappy high-heeled shoes, I would have laughed. Heartily. But here I am. Heh.

18 January 2010

List of ways tomorrow could be better than today (imported post)

  1. I am not woken up at 4:30 AM by a child who crawls into bed with me and then proceeds to pee all over me.
  2. There are fewer than three (3) screaming fits and/or tantrums.
  3. After I clean a room, someone does not come along and, during the course of tantrum about not being able to find a certain pair of socks, throw all the shit I just picked up all over the room again.
  4. No one says "I hate you" to anyone else in the house.
  5. The dog does not eat either child's breakfast because they left their plate on their small table well within her reach while they distractedly wander off.
  6. No one pushes or hits anyone over who gets to brush their teeth first.
  7. No one poops in their underwear.
  8. I find a way to respond to whining that is more effective than clutching my head and snarling "YOU GUYS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY."
  9. People deign to eat something other than popsicles.
  10. I am able to sleep in my own bed tomorrow night without needing to fumigate it first.

I'm so glad I took the week off. What a fun day it was.

13 January 2010

Looking up (imported post)

Last year sucked. 2008 sucked, too. I’m pretty sure 2007 was pretty damn sucky as well. Things have not been good for a while. And the first week of 2010 wasn’t looking so hot.

Things are starting to change, though. I’m working on my attitude, which is the first step. I had a nice little nervous breakdown Saturday night, which continued on into Sunday and didn’t really start resolving until Monday morning. I took Monday and Tuesday off work as mental health days and spent a lot of time thinking. (And try to detach my velcro children from my side, but that’s another story.) I’m not going to wax all philosophical here, let’s just say that I gave myself a stern lecture and couple of good mental slaps upside the head.

Also on Monday, I bought a car. That helped. A lot.

Ok, well, I didn’t actually buy it, but I’m going to. Fortuitous connections led me to a 2000 Saturn SL1 in perfect condition with — seriously — only 65000 miles on it. When I get my tax return, which I filed last week through turbotax even before the IRS began accepting returns, I will hand over a check and they will hand over the car. I will OWN it. In MY name. No loans, no payments. I will have an asset. And transportation. SO. EXCITED.

It’s bright blue. That’s what the girls are excited about.

A friend with a daughter in Girl Scouts called for my cookie order yesterday. Also good.

I’m getting a massive tax return. Enough to pay cash for the car, catch up on my bills, and put the rest into savings. Well, with a little fun money set aside. I guess this is what happens when a two-income household suddenly goes to a one-income household for an entire year. I’ve already adjusted my exemptions for this year so as to have more money in my paycheck every month this year, though. While a return is nice, there where many times this past year when an extra couple of hundred dollars a month would have made a huge difference.

I’m thinking about buying new beds for the girls, the kind that can stack into bunks or trundle beds, and then come apart when they are ready for their own rooms. Nice to be able to contemplate purchases like this without prefacing it with “someday, when I have some money…”

And I had enough money in the bank to send some here and here. Just a bit, but I had a bit to spare, and that's a lot for me. Not to get maudlin, but yeah. I have a roof over my head, clothes, food, a steady income, and I know my children are safe and healthy. For today, that is so much more than enough.

03 January 2010

Another bedtime crisis (Imported post)

Our bedtime books tonight were Pinkalicious and Purplicious. Mimi loves these books, but the second one disturbs her a little bit because the main character gets made fun of. She's become extremely sensitive to the possibility of being teased, and has said several times lately that she doesn't want to go back to school because "people might be mean to me."

With school starting back tomorrow, she's been a pill all weekend. Cranky and defiant, she had to be carried to bed shouting that she was NOT going to bed and she was NOT going to school in the morning and I could NOT make her. Half an hour later she got up and climbed into my lap, said "I'm sorry" and told me that she doesn’t like her black hair, she wants pink hair. She likes blonde hair because it's pretty. And black hair is BORING. Then she told me she hates her mom who gave her “stinky skunk hair.”

I told Mimi I love her first mom because without her I wouldn't have my Mimi.

It's heartbreaking how so much of everything for my baby all comes back to that first loss.