It's been a while since I last posted. I don't like that! I really need to journal at least a few times a week, if just to clear out my head then for no other reason.
Here are the random things that are currently bouncing around my head:
1. Just read over my blog post from the end of November where I lamented the fact that I felt like a single parent and really couldn't handle it much longer. Thank you all who took the time to comment on my blog or send me a personal e-mail. It was really helpful to get reassurance from all of you that I was not whining, that it really was a crappy situation. And thank you so much to those of you who also offered help. My one friend came over Saturday morning to play with the two kids here while one was with my dad and DH was leading a drama workshop for a couple hours. I was able to actually spend some time in my room ALONE to clean and sort through a ton of stuff without having to stop every few minutes to investigate suspicious silences or odd noises. What a treat! And the Saturday before that while DH was out of time, another incredible friend took all three kids for a movie and dinner playdate with her children while I went to Borders by myself for a couple hours to relax and do some paperwork. She and her husband also took them for a few hours this past Saturday so DH and I could actually go out together! We met back at her house by five for dinner (she was hosting for a few families from our Mothers and More group). Next month we'll do the same for her. And a few other friends contacted me about getting together for playdates where the kids could play together and I could get some time off or to do chores. I have good friends.
The whole situation has gotten a LOT better. DH's show opened last week. Tonight he has a brush-up rehearsal, so he'll be home from 3:30-5:30 (two whole hours), and then performances Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and a Sunday matinee. And then the show is OVER!!!!
Next week should mean that DH will be home by 4 every day and he will be home all afternoon and evening - woohoo! And then we all have winter break, which means a couple nights over at his parents' to celebrate Christmas with them, and the rest of the week time with us at home. I just signed all three kids up for a holiday camp at a local gym where they will have supervised, organized activities from 10-3. DH and I will have those days to ourselves. I got him to agree that we would do some of the much needed things around the house that have to get done, as long as we have time to...nap each day. Sounds good to me!
2) School will begin again on January 2nd for my current two-year-old class, and on the 3rd for my new young 2s class. My current INCREDIBLE assistant will not be able to keep working with me due to some medical issues with her son that she needs to work on at a "feeding boot camp" in Jersey for a month in January, but luckily we have hired a new assistant who will be with me all five mornings. She started on Monday so she can shadow my current assistant, learn about the kids we have now, and have time to learn the behavioral techniques and strategies I have found to be the most effective. I'll have to write more about those another day.
3) Last night I found the energy to update my Holiday Card Address List (put it on a database a couple years ago), print out the labels, and stuff and label my cards. I don't have the energy to personalize each card, but the card does include nine photos of the kids either by themselves or together or with each of us parents. I was also able to include a small message to provide a little update about what has happened this past year. Gotta love Shutterfly! Tomorrow I'll go to the post office to get holiday stamps and mail them. Then I get to cross all of that off my HUGE to do list.
4) As per usual the house is a mess, though could be straightened up in about half an hour if I wanted. I've been spending a lot of time working on our finances. Some of you had commented on how important it was for me to take care of myself, a fact I totally agree with, and suggested I hire a babysitter to come in on a regular basis or a housekeeper. If I only could! Money is tight, and it has been since I stopped teaching full-time. Everything I do now that brings in money is due to the fact that without my income we would not have enough to keep our house AND eat. Maybe we could do one or the other, but not both. We currently have a hefty balance on our one credit card on which we ended up putting groceries and car repairs and other necessities (as well as some things that were not such necessities) when we simply did not have enough money in our checking account to pay for it. I know other people have lots of credit card debt too, but I do not want to dig a bigger hole for us so feel that paying that off should be a big priority, next to making sure we have enough in our checking account to pay our monthly bills and groceries. Right now we owe about $4500. When I start working five mornings a week instead of three, I THINK we will be able to put $400 a month towards it, paying it off in about a year, but ONLY if we stick very carefully to our budget. We are also setting some money aside each month to build some savings, our "emergency fund" to help us in case of an emergency. I would love to build that up more, but feel it's more important to get out of the credit card debt first. Any of you with more financial training or experience that I, please feel free to chime in and offer your advice!
5) Some cute kid comments I've heard recently:
B: We need to pick up all the pieces, including the wheels.
A: What does including mean?
A: Okay, we do need to pick up everything, including the wheels.
I LOVE hearing them help each other!
A: Oh no, my brain stopped working. I need to think really hard for a little to get it to start working again.
At McDonald's Monday night (yes, the kids were able to explain that chicken nuggets and french fries were QUITE appropriate to eat for Hanukkah since they are both fried in oil), while looking at the gift wrapped packages that were on the walls as decorations, A blurted out: Be sure to attend Boscov's two-day sale. They will be offering free gift wrap. Combining his ability to mimic back almost everything he hears verbatim with his new opportunity to listen to commercials (still pronounced "co-mer-sha-nals" by all three kids) when he sees Tivoed episodes of "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy" allows us all to hear various commercial incorporated into our regular conversations and games regularly. After playing "Simon Says" together last week (which we had to play as if we were on a game show), A ended the game by announcing "Commercial considerations were provided by . . . "
A has joined me at the laptop while I wrote the last paragraph. He got very excited about me adding in the links that appear in said paragraph. In case you wanted to know more about any of the underlined places, shows, or things, you can thank A for insisting I insert them all.
When I asked A if we were finished adding links, he told me that I should have a link to Winnie the Pooh so people can go on the Winnie the Pooh website. I told him that I hadn't written anything about Winnie the Pooh, so he looked at me like I was crazy as both he and B told me to just add it! So here it is, thanks to both B and A: Winnie the Pooh.
Clearly, it is time for both of the boys to get their turns on the computer (15 minutes each) while J gets to watch her show on tv, so I need to leave my comfy spot here at the dining room table and begin to tackle shoveling out the laundry still piled up in my room.