Is It Over Yet?

We’re a little less than 2 hours away from 2016 here in the Eastern time zone and I’m ready!

2015 has actually been a pretty good year, but the last few weeks have been insanely busy. Miss P has been subjected to my crazy work hours and has been housebound for far too long, as have I.

I actually had some things to say in this post but when I went to blog I had to reset my password and my energy has suddenly disappeared.

Oh, right… the word for 2016 is… DOWNSIZE

I’m downsizing the following:

  1. The size of my ass.
  2. The piles of crap around my house.
  3. The debt we carry.
  4. The amount of time I spend not being in contact with people I love.

Tumbling starts again next week for Miss P. She doesn’t know yet, but I know she will be quite excited when I tell her.  She’s been on the mend the last two months and missing her buddies.

Before then I plan to buy some decent running shoes so we don’t have an accident like we did last time. I also deserve said running shoes, because I deserve to take care of myself.

I am so excited about next week. A normal length work week. Decent writing deadlines. MOPS meeting, tumbling, maybe a trip to the library.

Now can we take the G-D Christmas tree down?


Youtube, My Love

When our house was burglarized about a year ago all of our television electronics were taken, including our little $19 DVD player and our Chromecast. We replaced the TV and DVR, but not the DVD player, and I’ve missed it.

Chromecast isn’t great on DSL (the only internet available out here) so I got an Amazon Fire TV Stick and it is fantastic. It allows you to install apps, one of which is Youtube.

This is great because there are SO MANY kids shows streaming on Youtube full episodes! Miss P is obsessed with Peppa Pig right now, so that’s always ready.

I’ve been lamenting my lack of exercise lately. I recently won a free DVD from T-tapp that I am pretty excited about, but with Cyber Monday sales I’ve yet to receive it so I’ve been sitting around.

Someone mentioned Leslie Sansone and I remembered I have a bunch of DVDs of hers that I never use. We do have an old crappy DVD player attached to an old crappy TV in another room and I really don’t want to work out in there on inferior equipment.

I am just full of excuses.

In the Trim Health Mama Facebook group someone asked about Leslie Sansone because she was tired of paying lots of money for workouts she won’t do. I decided to look on Youtube to see if someone had posted a clip or two for her to look at.

Oh. My. Word. There are HUNDREDS of full length workouts on Youtube for Leslie Sansone. And I can stream them on my Amazon Fire TV Stick on my nice flat screen TV in my big empty living room. Yay!

That means no excuses tomorrow!


Almost A Year!

I’ve been thinking a lot about posting here lately, but couldn’t find the time until today, then I see that the last time I posted was in January! Time flies when you are having fun.

2015 has been a weird year.  Our house was broken into. My husband turned 56, I turned 43, and Miss P had a spectacular 3rd birthday that has made her a birthday party enthusiast.

My husband lost his job in May but got another one a couple of months later. This one has benefits (the other did not) but the commute is an hour each way. When we finally get back on our feet again we’re looking to move to where his job is, which is where we used to live.

Miss P started a pee wee gym class when she turned 3 and she loved it. We would run laps together before it started and I managed to trip and fall and bring her down with me. I messed up my right knee and she as a minor collarbone fracture. Thank God for insurance but the medical bills are insane even with it!  We’re both healing up nicely, though.

The week before our gym incident I was offered a part time work from home job with a former employer. They’re paying me quite well for 25 hours a week. I’ve got no set schedule so I can work early in the morning before Miss P gets up and after she goes to bed, plus do all our Mommy & Me type activities during the week.  It’s a blessing.

I’m still writing for the main client I’ve been writing for. We just passed the one year mark and they keep expanding my role. This is also a blessing.

I used to have super great luck but then it went away. It seems to be back. I’ve entered three contests in the last three weeks and won them all:

  1. A coupon prize pack from a local coupon group that included some fantastic coupons I’m never able to get my hands on.
  2. A half dozen delicious cupcakes from a new bakery opening up in the area (they even delivered!).
  3. A workout DVD from a workout website I’ve been dying to try but has been slightly out of our budget.

In health news I’m down about 5 lbs from where I started the year, which is nice since I haven’t done much to make that happen. I’m starting Trim Healthy Mama in earnest on Monday, though I’ve been loosely following the plan for about a month.

I’d start now but we’re going to a wedding out of town this weekend and I just don’t have the strength to try to figure out how to keep it up this early in the game out of town with limited food choices. I’ll just do the best I can.

I know my outlook at this point in the year is much better than it was in January or even this time last year. Things are good.

Having a three year old is awesome.

She mentioned birthdays again yesterday and I was reminded the three year old has a shelf life and turns 4 in 2016. Wow.

Here’s hoping you have a great Christmas, a terrific New Year and a blessed 2016. I’ll try to get back here more often.


Attitude of Gratitude

Saturday morning I woke up before anyone else.  It has been a long week: break-in, thief caught, mother in law totaled her car, meeting with ADT about the security system, being trapped at home all week because we were afraid to leave the house unattended.

So I went into our front room on Saturday morning while my husband and daughter slept.  I sat on the couch by the windows and perused some blogs on my phone (because my laptop was stolen).  It was peaceful, quiet.  I read a post geared toward new first time moms and remembered being one of those.

Then I started to think about Miss P, still passed out in her bed.  When would she wake up?  What adventures would we have today?  What funny things would she say (seriously, the kid has us in stitches sun-up to sundown)?  How many times could I demand Eskimo kisses from her before she rand and hid under the coffee table?

And that’s really how I feel.  I honestly love this kid and everything she brings to my life.  There are hard days, of course.  She’s 2 and that is to be expected.  But most days are FUN with a capital F U N.

Friday night when we were talking with the ADT sales guy, we told him Miss P was two.  We got the usual reply: “Just wait until she becomes a teenager!”

I never understand why people say things that are meant to be discouraging to parents of young children.  We know that every day isn’t going to be wine and roses.  We know every year, every month, every day being their own sets of challenges.  We’re in it for the long haul.

Miss P is my dream come true.  Well, technically she’s not the two boys I thought I would have, but she’s better!  She is real and funny and smart and loving and when I think about the long, childless life I thought I was going to have, I want to go in and scoop her up and smother her in kisses again.

I posted about my morning thoughts on Facebook and had a friend respond that with that attitude it was sure to be a good day, and she was going to think about it as she went through her day with her small ones, as well.  That wasn’t why I posted it, but I’m glad if my thoughts helped someone else’s attitude for even a few hours.

Raising children is hard, but it’s harder if we look at it like a job.  I’m going to try to remember to live every day like it is an adventure.

The Victim

On Friday morning Miss P decided to sleep in.  I love that we have the flexibility of this.

I was sitting at the kitchen counter closest to her bedroom door on the computer.  My phone rang at 7 am, and I snatched it up and answered it before the ringing could wake her up.

Stage Whisper: HELLO?

This is a call from the Florida Statewide crime victim information network.  We are calling to inform you of the status of inmate last name ____ first name ______.  This inmate is still in custody…

I blinked.  There was the option to repeat the information so I grabbed a pen and paper and took down the inmate name, the number for the victim information network and other pertinent details.

You see, the thief who broke into our house was apprehended on Thursday.  With some of our stuff.  That’s right, we’re getting at least some of our stolen items back.  And the scum who broke our bedroom window and pawed through my undergarments is in jail.

It was weird hearing that term: crime victim.  I mean, I know we were victims of a crime.  I just haven’t really seen myself as a victim.

I saw him.  I saw his vehicle, got a description and the tag number.  I was able to give police the information they needed to catch him.  That’s empowering.  I don’t feel like a victim at all.

I did have some nights where sleep was tough, but things could have turned out so much worse.  I could have come home and found him in the act, found myself on the business end of the gun he had.  I didn’t.

I had already let go of the things he stole.  I have been burglarized before and never recovered a single item that was taken.  I didn’t expect this to be any different.   Now we’re going to have some duplicates.

New laptop is on the way.  New DVR was received.  New TV in the livingroom.  New ADT system installed.

2015 taketh away, but it also giveth.  #notavictim

The Violation

Yesterday started like any other day.  It was a bit overcast, and we had been up late so we were feeling lazy.  The newest farmer’s market opened at noon, so the plan was to go there and see what we could see, then come home, have lunch and nap.

We left around noon, just as the rain started (of course).  Went to the farmers market anyway, only to find them lacking in the things I wanted, mainly bananas.  I still managed to spend about $15, but got precious little except soaked jeans and a soaked toddler.  I decided to hit the grocery store before heading home.

Coming down the street I could see our driveway through the hedges in the empty lot to the west of our house.  There was a dark vehicle in the driveway.  I was confused.  I wasn’t expecting anyone.  I was still heading toward the house, but I slowed way down, my brain trying to figure out what was going on.

As I neared the driveway I caught sight of someone sitting in the vehicle, which was backed in to the driveway, at the top near the garage door.  He caught sight of me, as well, and pulled out of the driveway in a hurry, turning right in front of me and hurrying off.  Still not understanding, I made metal note of the license number and some characteristics of the vehicle.

I pulled into the driveway and looked at the door.  Open, but not all the way.  I could see the locks and latches disengaged.  I had locked that, hadn’t I?

Things suddenly started to make sense.  I ran to the door, car still running with daughter inside.  Opened the door and looked in: things missing, furniture overturned.  I ran back to the car to get my phone, trying to dial 911 with shaking fingers.  A veritable army of officers showed up 5 or so minutes later, though it felt like a lifetime.

He broke in through our bedroom window and went out the front door, scooping up small electronic gadgets, probably coming back for our TV, though he may have taken that first.  The TV, a laptop, two Kindles, my husband’s high school diploma (???), the DVR, a DVD player, some sundry other items including a wallet with no debit or credit cards in it, just my drivers license.  The screen to the window was mangled almost beyond recognition, and we’re still finding glass everywhere.

As I lay in bed last night, long after the glazier had left and my husband’s team won the national championship, I wondered where this man had been.  He had dumped out my husband’s top dresser drawer, and chose the top drawer of my dresser closest to the bedside: dumped and strewn.  A small keepsake box on my dresser was emptied of its contents, high school keepsakes scattered everywhere, my National Honor Society ropes in a tangled heap.  I tried to imagine him moving through our bedroom.

I think about all of the stupid things we’ve been putting off: switching the renters insurance over (not done, so no coverage, I’m sure), getting the security monitoring to the house started (though we just talked about this a month ago) and keeping track of serial numbers (something I’ve never done).

I remember initially talking to the police officers, then calling my husband.  As he answered and I told him what had happened I felt guilty, like this was somehow my fault.  He doesn’t feel that way and seems surprised that I do.

I also keep wondering what if.  What if I’d decided to come home earlier?  What if instinct had kicked in and I’d tried to block him in to keep him from leaving?  What if I’d confronted him?  Things could have gone so differently.

The stuff may be gone but we’re fine and I’m happy with the way things turned out.  I don’t hold my breath to get our stuff back, but you never know.

Working Mom Dilemma

Happy end of 2014 and welcome to my 100th post.  I love it when something unplanned comes together.

So, working.  I’m not sure what to do about it.

A few months ago our financial situation was pretty bleak.  I was panicky and started sending resumes off into the abyss looking for jobs in my industry.  I even posted on monster.  The good news is: I got lots of bites.  The bad news is: they weren’t things I was interested in.

Our heads were above water, though barely.  I could afford to be choosy.  Unfortunately, nothing was coming up that made me want to get dressed up and go interview.

A friend suggested I send a resume to her company, so I did.  I heard nothing from them.  That was in.. September?  I got an email this morning from them asking if I was still looking, as they have some upcoming openings.

We’re in a little better financial position now than we were a few months ago.  Not great, but better.  I love being home with my daughter most days.  Some days it is boring, and I really think she and I could both use some interaction with other humans.

My freelance writing business is finally starting to come together.  I scored a big on-going job blogging and writing web content.  It won’t last forever, but it is a stepping stone to bigger and better things.  When I get some time to write I come out of it euphoric – someone is actually paying me to do this!  It’s amazing.

Downsides:  we could use more income.  We don’t have insurance yet, but we do qualify for ACA subsidies.  Our coverage will be crap, but at least it will be cheap.

I’m thinking about going in for the interview just to see what they might be able to offer me.  If the money is right I might be tempted.

On the other hand, I was discussing with my husband how life might change.  Putting Miss P in daycare, what our days will look like getting up early, coming home and making dinner and getting to bed to do it all over again the next day.  Trying to fit a life into a couple of hours a night and the weekends.  We’d have more money but hectic schedules.  We would miss out on a lot of Miss P’s development.

I think I’m leaning toward staying home and trying to expand the writing business.  I want to write, be my own boss, and still have time for my daughter and the freedom to explore the world during the day.  My husband admits that even though he works life isn’t all that hectic because I have the time to take care of things at home.

Life is good.  If we keep going this direction maybe it would get better.  I hope so.