Monday, April 28, 2008

Saturday, Today, and Tonight

Today was one of those days that J just has not stopped whining and crying from the moment we stepped in the door, so I just put her in bed (as she's screaming, "But I'm not tired!!!) in her room. I told her that she just has to lay there until the timer I'm setting goes off ("No, Mommy, until it goes ON!" as the kids like to tell me, which would make a lot more sense.) and then I'll come get her. Anytime before when she has gotten like this, after about ten minutes she is sound asleep. I don't need her to go to sleep (though she sure seems like SHE needs it), but just to calm down enough so she's not crying anymore. Even if she just laid in bed listening to her music in the dark for about twenty minutes and didn't fall asleep, she'd still be getting some rest. However, I'd be quite surprised if she's still awake after that long.

Saturday was AMAZING! I was hired to entertain at a local school's fundraiser - a "Play-a-thon" and community yard sale. The deal I worked out with them was for me to do a different storytime/performance every hour and to lead a craft for the rest of the time. The fundraiser was from 9-2, so I performed at 10, 11, 12, and 1 - and the crowd kept getting bigger each time! Even the "big kids" (4th and 5th graders) were into it! Everytime I take my kids to see a kid performer I pick up some new techniques, so the latest addition to my repetoire was to offer my cards to the kids to bring back home. I think the only way this could have gone better was if people started hiring me on the spot to do their child's birthday party. I hope it pays off! I also gave out necklaces that I attached my business info to and flyers. I guess now we just wait and see. But I plan to start looking for other opportunities like this for me to perform and run a craft. Let me know if you know of any craft fairs, street fairs, block parties, stuff like that, coming up that might be looking for kids' entertainment. Thanks!!!

Now I have to get to work. It's DH's b-day, so I picked up food on our way home from school and now need to make a large meatloaf (his choice!) and mashed potatoes (jealous, DG?) and a cake with cream cheese frosting. And pick up the crap that's all around the house. And wash, fold, and put away yet another load or two of laundry. No problem.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Free Money!

See the new button on the right? That's right - sign up and get $25. It's that simple. Apparently this is competition for PayPal, but the benefit of Revolution Money Exchange is you don't have to pay anything every time you accept money. Nice! I'm going to look into how to put this on my business website. It would be nice to accept deposits and/or payment on-line!

And in the interest of full disclosure, I will receive $10 for anyone who decides to sign up and clicks on the button over there to do it. If you sign up (and get $25) you will get a chance to add a button to your site, or e-mail people that you know, and you too could earn $10 for each person who signs up through you.

But I didn't post this just to get you to sign up - I really think it looks like a good system and is just what I was looking for for my business!

Edited to add: I have now earned $55 that is going to be deposited into my bank account!!! Yes!!! I plan on using this anytime I need to send money on-line. Sweet! If you haven't done it already, check it out. Just click on the button on the right and see what it's all about. If you sign up after you read about it, I earn $10!


Why have I not closed this stupid computer down and gone to bed? I have been so bad with the amount of sleep I have been getting this week it is crazy! That being said, I'm going to bed now and will have to figure out why I sabatoge myself with this EVERY time.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thoughts I'm Pondering

  1. Why is my TiVo remote not able to control the tv's sound even though it has the buttons to do so?
  2. Why have I still not called the chiropractor about this pain in the back of my neck?
  3. How many more days of Passover are left?
  4. If I pretended to myself it was Passover all year long, how much weight could I lose?
  5. Why have not gone to bed yet?
  6. Tomorrow is the last day ever of the Parent and Me Shabbat Program I've been involved with either as a parent or as the teacher since the boys were three months old. What is the best way to commemorate this special occasion?
  7. I'm performing at a fundraiser Saturday. I'll be doing four different 15-minute performances, one each hour. What exactly am I going to do and will the school-aged kids actually enjoy what I do or think it's stupid?
  8. Why is it that my beloved synagogue could not serve a completely Kosher for Passover meal at our second night seder?!!
  9. I was able to clean the kitchen completely this afternoon - go me!
  10. Would I be totally crazy if I proposed to the Temple Board that I be in charge of the kitchen to ensure that basic kashrut laws are being followed at Temple functions and that it is getting cleaned and maintained on a regular basis? So many individuals use the kitchen and there is no one overseeing it - we're just having lots of problems.
  11. We have a babysitter for tomorrow night (it's been a LONG time!!!) and are going out, even though it's Shabbat. I know, shame on us, but I think time together as a couple is really important, and since I participte in two preschool Shabbat services during the day, maybe that can make up for the fact I'm ditching my family's Shabbat dinner. PLUS we got together for dinner tonight (my sister's b-day) and will again on Saturday (a semi-surprise BBQ my BIL is planning for my sis), so I think that more than makes up for missing one dinner. I don't know, am I justifying a little too much?
  12. I HAVE to get to bed. I will ponder more tomorrow (which, since it is now 12:03 AM, I guess is really today now).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Finally - Another Post

And almost another week has gone by without me writing a post.

I have written so many in my head, but chose not to take the time from everything I have had to do this week in getting ready for Passover to actually write them down. And, of course, now I can't remember them.

I have been so incredibly tired. The narcolepsy is totally kicking my butt, which makes it so hard to accomplish anything! And my back is hurting me so much, on my right side by my shoulder blade. I will call the chiropractor in the morning, but for now it feels like there is a knife stabbing me everytime I move my head or lift my right arm. Made it kind of hard to prep for and help the kids stay focused during the seder tonight or last night, but I survived.

It's late and I need to get to bed, but I will try to write again tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Financial Goals

So much to write about, so little time to do it.
But here's what I've been working on today: MONEY!

I will be using our tax refund to pay off our new stove, the boys' birthday party, and all three kids' registration fees for next year (J for preschool, A and B for Religious School).

The supplemental pay we will be receiving by the end of May (for the drama class I've been teaching and the middle school show DH just directed) will go into savings to make up for the fact I don't receive a paycheck over the summer (to be fair, I don't TEACH over the summer either!). This will be the first summer that we will not have to struggle with money!

The "tax stimulus check" which I expect sometime in May will be going into our savings account to pay for summer activities. I am budgeting $100 a week so we can do activities as a family. We've never been able to set aside this much money for family activities, so I'm really excited about it.

All other supplemental pays we will be receiving from June through August will go toward paying down our Discover Card debt. If we stick to the budget (and with all the "extras" I've accounted for I don't see why we shouldn't be able to) we will be able to pay off the Discover card completely by October.

Once the Discover card is paid off, we will only have two areas of debt: our mortgage and our home equity loan. Unfortunately, at this time, we have very little savings and very little retirement money set aside yet. I know our next financial goal needs to be to build an emergency fund large enough to cover three months of expenses. By my calculations we should be able to do that by June 2010. I suppose our next goal will be to set up a retirement fund.

I would LOVE to be able to begin putting more money towards the principal of our Home Equity Line of Credit, but I think our priorities should be: 1) Discover Card, 2) Emergency Fund, 3) Retirement Fund.

I'm feeling quite satisfied now and comfortable with our financial situation right now. That's a rare feeling for me, so I'm going to try to ignore all the other things that I have to do this week and just savor it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Making the blog more anonymous

I just finished changing our real names for all of 2008. Go me! I'll work on it some more tomorrow. Please let me know if you find any of our real names in any of the posts for 2008.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Blogger Help

I have finally decided that I need to stop using my family's names in my blog. The problem is: how do I take them out of all previous posts? I'm trying to figure out if there is a simple search and replace function on Blogger where I can just search for specific names and then tell Blogger to replace them with the pseudonym. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Edited to add: Thanks for all your help. After looking at everyone's suggestions, including that fabulous website, I've decided the easiest thing is to first sort all posts by name (so I'm searching for one name at a time) then go into each post to edit and use the control F function (which I had never known about before) to search for each time the name is used so I can then manually change it. Pain in the @ss! As you can see, I started tonight and will try to work on it a little every night until it is complete.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dreams of Birthday Steaks and Sleep (not necessarily in that order)

Our big accomplishment Sunday night was that we kept B out of the ER.

We were up all night, used up all the hot water in the water heater not once but three times creating a steam bath for him to help his breathing, and the poor boy was still coughing every single breath he took.

Yesterday DH stayed home with him and took him to the doctor where he was upgraded from his regular nebulizer to an inhaler with a spacer. Woohoo - this takes SO much less time than the neb treatments and seem to be working better.

Even though the doctor felt this was due to allergies (and who knows, it might still be) B developed a slight fever yesterday (which seems to be gone today), but we decided to keep him home again. Today it was my turn, so DH went to school and I got a sub. Of course, A woke up with a minor cough and convinced me that he was too sick to go to school, too. Since I was already staying home with B, I figured it was no big deal for him to stay home too. And I got a good friend to drive J to school and pick her up later, so the boys and I can just stay in.

DH had planned out a great way to celebrate my birthday (yesterday) with everyone (my parents, his parents, my sister and her family) coming over for steaks (yum!) but with B's cough and general miserableness (it's a word if I say it's a word!), that didn't happen. Ultimately my parents and sister took me out for Chinese food right around the corner from my house (in case I needed to rush back home for B). Not the way I had planned to celebrate, but still VERY nice. AND both my parents and my in-laws gifted me with a night at a hotel of my choosing, so I got the weekend of solitude I wanted! YES!!!

I have been EXTRA tired recently. I don't know if it's my body's way of telling me that I need to increase my narcolepsy medicine, that it's fighting off something (my throat is sore today), or just that I need to take it easy. Hey, maybe it's a combination of all three. Last week I actually fell asleep at the dinner table. While talking. With the kids and DH all there. Yeah, that's never happened before. I was doing okay running around, getting dinner ready, folding the laundry, all that kind of stuff, but after sitting down for a few minutes at the table an incredible wave of fatigue swept over me so extreme that I actually fell asleep. Kind of weird. Okay, REALLY weird. So now I'm working hard to be in bed going to sleep by 10, but what with a sick boy and me just not going upstairs when I should, it's really tough. No more excuses - have to do better with that one.

And for today, my two "sick" boys are playing video games (we have a cheapy plug-in system that DH bought that plays two games, but it's the coolest thing in the world to my guys) still in their pajamas (at least they're sitting on the couch while they play - if I ignore the times they're jumping up and down to cheer themselves on I can pretend they're kind of resting), so I should take advantage of this extra time at home by getting caught up on the laundry and finishing sorting through the basket full of paperwork I still have. I keep saying if I could just clear out this basket of old stuff I could stay on top of everything new coming in. Just doesn't seem to happen. But maybe today is the day.

Or maybe I'll just head upstairs and take a nap.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Are you aware?

Today is World Autism Day.
I've read some fabulous posts today from bloggers I know. Check them out here and here and here.

I'm in a quandry. I'm tired. I stayed up WAY too late last night, and I must go to sleep NOW, but I want to write a long post about our experience with Autism. So here's my compromise:

Last summer I wrote about A two times (still need to revise those posts and combine them somehow) and how he is learning to live with Asperger's.

We knew something was up with A when he was a little older than one. He never responded to his name or to any commands/direction given. We had his hearing tested, just in case, but that was fine. We didn't really know what else to do. It was quite a relief when we got his diagnosis.

It was tough in the beginning. We needed to simplify some things at home, even though that was really hard. Potty training was QUITE a journey, but we finally made it (for the most part).
It's been fabulous to learn more about it and develop strategies that work for us. He's in kindergarten now, which has its ups and downs.

Those are all the links I could find (Not bad, huh, Anjali?). I think they really cover a lot of our experience. I'll try to write more tomorrow. I'm too tired to think of a cute ending to this post, so let me just say, "Good night."