Thankful Tuesday (even with a crappy economy)

Like many, my family has felt the impact of the struggling economy. Although I graduated from college in May, I have been unable to find employment in our new community. Our finances are feeling the strain of the situation, because although we have been paying down our debts with a vengence, it just wasn’t really the best time to move or for me to become unemployed. Unfortunately, we couldn’t really tell the Army, “No, we aren’t moving because it isn’t in our best financial interests.”

Granted, since I am staying home, there are some numbers in the budget that are going down. Gasoline, for one, since I am not heading out of the house everyday for numerous miles. I have been able to cut our food bill down because I am taking the time to check sales and use coupons and cook from scratch. I am using leftovers – something I never did before.

It still doesn’t change the depression I start to feel when I look at the numbers. They are black and red and as much as I try to tweak them, it doesn’t really seem to get THAT much better.

So, I decided to think about the things I am grateful and thankful for, to remind myself how truly blessed we are.

I am thankful the alarm went off this morning, because it means I have electricity.

I am thankful to have made the bed this morning, because it means I have a place to sleep and blankets to keep me warm.

I am thankful I got to deal with cranky children this morning, because it means I am not alone.

I am thankful I got to sit in drop off traffic at school, because it means I am still fortunate enough to have transportation.

I am thankful for the laundry I have to do, because it means we are clothed.

I am thankful for my mother calling in the middle of a nap, because it means she is still on this Earth.

I am thankful for dirty dishes, because it means our bellies are full.

I am thankful that I can hear my neighbors stereo, because it means that I can hear.

I am thankful to walk down three flights of stairs to get the laundry, because it means I still have the use of my legs.

I am thankful I get to help with homework, because it means my children are receiving an education.

These are some of the things I am thankful for each and everyday. What are you thankful for?

Monday, Monday….

As you all are very well aware, it is Monday!

Which means, for me, deep cleaning the kitchen (to include that pesky Microwave), dusting the dining room and living room, and vaccuming the house!

YaY! for a cleaning schedule!

It also means that we only have 12 more days until Mr. O is home! YaY! 

 Of course, it also means that I had to deal with VERY cranky children this morning who DO NOT WANT THE WEEKEND TO END. EVER.

Too bad! I had to go to elementary school and so do they!

Remembering Hurricane Katrina

5 years ago, while stationed in Germany, I sat in horror, like pretty much everyone who had a television set, and watched my city drown.

Like everyone else, I watched helplessly, unable to do anything to help my city.

I was also unable to get in touch with ANYONE in my family for over 3 weeks.

THREE WEEKS.

I thought the worst. I was glued to television newscasts, searching the streets for anything that would link me to my family. I put their names on the Red Cross lists (which, although my parents DID eventually go to a Red Cross service point, I was never notified of their survival. Because somehow Red Cross just decided not to update anything. I mean, they were OVERWHELMED, you know?)

There was a man standing outside the Astro-Dome with a phone number on a piece of cardboard. I didn’t even think about what I was doing, but the next thing I knew, I was on the phone with a woman on the other end of that number, telling her that I loved her, I was praying for her, and that I hoped she found her father soon. We cried together. We prayed together.

It was all I could do from so far away to connect back to my people. To my home.

I finally did get in touch with my parents and slowly, other members of my family. Everyone was alive, praise the Lord, but some did have damage from the levee break.

I can not even begin to explain the feelings of thinking you have lost everyone in your family at once. All of your childhood friends. All of your neighbors. Everything you knew, gone in an instant.

To those people making smart comments about “building a city under sea level in the first place” I want to to remind you:  The Midwest has flooded more times in my lifetime than New Orleans, the city under sea level.

Who DAT!?!?!

Have I mentioned that I am a New Orleans Saints fan? More than a fan, really…. tears come to my eyes when I see them take the field because I am SO HAPPY to see them! I jump up and down and lose my voice screaming my head off.

Being born and raised in New Orleans, I really didn’t have a chance of NOT being connected to the Saints. Living so far from home the last 13 years just reinforces the Saints as more than just a football team… they are “home”.

Many people do not understand the connection the team has with the residents of the city – and that’s okay. No one expects someone who isn’t from there to understand that they are more than simply a football team.

Last night I turned the game on and I immediately had tears in my eyes. My children told me I was nuts. That’s okay. I am a Who Dat!

Everyone around me kept telling me, “It’s just a preseason game! Don’t get so worked up!”

Well, pffttt on that! I want them to win at PRACTICE. I want them to win win win!

I LOVE DEM SAINTS!!!!!!!!!!

Some Stay-at-Home-Moms tick me off….

After being particulary productive today (I baked Muffins! I cleaned the carpets! I made my BED!) I was venturing out into the world of cyber-space because I am interested in how other Stay at Home Mom’s spend and organize their day.

I came across this article, which is discussing whether or not SAHM and “housewife” are the same thing. Here are a few of the comments:

“No, that identity does not sit well with me. I am home caring for my kids right now. It doesn not mean domesticity has become my vocation, occupation, or even something I enjoy doing. I would never jump into the role where it was my “job” to make the household run smoothly.”

As an adult, you do not think it is your “job” to make your household run smoothly? Is there a “Household running smoothly” fairy out there somewhere that I don’t know about? Even if you work outside the home, it is STILL your “job” to make sure your house is in order!

 “I do NOT have more time during the day, managing the needs of two small children. Between doctors appts and grocery shopping, taking DS to school and picking up, taking DD to storytime at the library, and attending playgroups, not to mention meals and naptimes, I simply don’t have time to clean the house. I wouldn’t want to sacrifice taking my kid to the park or the library for clean carpets.”

I guess this person goes to the doctor practically everyday, right before going to the grocery store. No one is saying you should sacrifice taking your kid to the park or the library but you know, maybe if you cleaned those carpets once in a while, you wouldn’t be at the doctor’s office so frequently. Just a suggestion.

“I’m a *terrible* homemaker. My house is a wreck, there are odd things growing in the attic, and I can’t stand doing housework.I do manage the bills and finances, but that’s just becasue he sucks at it. Stay home mom, I am (for now) but I am NOT a homemaker.”

I would check to see what exactly is growing in your attic, because it might actually be something that will make you sick. That is, if all the crap laying around doesn’t get to the kids first. Oh, and I don’t know anyone who really finds scrubbing toliets *fun*. But it is part of, I don’t know, being a freaking grown-up and teaching your children valuable lessons, like having a SANITARY house.

“I’m a decent cook, but I’d sooner have a route canal, daily, than spend my days cleaning.”

I am almost speechless. Someone would rather have a root canal daily than to spend 30 minutes a day cleaning? Would rather have a daily root canal than provide a sanitary place for their children to thrive?

Look, I don’t wake up and think to myself, “YaY! I get to scrub the oven! Clean out the Fridge! Scrub toliets! Wash curtains!” But I still freaking do it. And I did those things BEFORE I became a stay-at-home because, well, that is part of being a big girl and having a house.  Don’t come crying to me about how my children are older, blah blah blah! Guess what? They weren’t always this age and I wasn’t always Mrs.O! There was a time when it was me, two babies under 3, while I was Soldier in the Army, leaving the house at 4 in the morning and not getting home until 7 and my house was STILL clean!

Children do not need you in their faces every waking moment of the day! Sure, it is important to play with them, to teach them things, to cuddle. But it is also important to stimulate their ability to ENTERTAIN themselves! To promote their IMAGINATIONS! To give them a CLEAN FREAKING ENVIRONMENT!

Moms who say they don’t have time to do anything other than interact with the children from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed, in my opinion, are using the children as an excuse to NOT do things they don’t enjoy. Well, grow up and put on those big girl pants! Being an adult means you don’t only do the things you enjoy! It means you do the things that HAVE to be done!

Being productive!

I decided to get out of pajamas today! Before I took the girls to school! YaY me!

I don’t want to make it a habit of having too many pajama days.

Last night I went ahead and wrote out a schedule for myself. I think that will help out a lot. I mean, the schedule said to get dressed this morning and I did it!

I’m also looking up some new yummy recipes so I can keep things interesting in the kitchen. I mean, if I have to be in there cooking (because the kids seem to want to eat EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!) I might as well walk on the wild side. It would make my grandmother, the goddess of all things edible, proud to see me trying new things.

Where I stay in my Pajamas all day…..

Today has not been a good day.

Nothing bad has happened, either. Which makes me think I might really just be losing my mind.

I woke up, made the girls lunches, made sure everyone was ready for school, brought kids to school, came home and……..

Nothing. Nadda. Zip.

I feel like all the energy in the Universe has been sucked out of my body and I can’t blame it on being sick. Cause I’m not sick.

Mr. O has been in the field since the 16th. In another state. I miss him. A lot.

Cell phone reception is horrible where he is therefore most of our communication has been via text messaging. I hate that.

But, on the bright side, I have to get dressed eventually. Although I brought the girls to school in my pajamas, it was in THE MORNING. I feel okay with that. Picking them up from school in my pajamas is another story altogether.

And then, of course, they are going to want to eat. Even though I fed them yesterday. So I am going to have to cook. Which means there will be dishes to do. There will be homework to check and planners to sign and little people to give me really big hugs. Which I need.

Do you think it would be a problem if I went to the school to get a hug from my girls? Not take them out early – just say, I need a hug?

They would probably never forgive me for the humilation. *sigh*

Getting my sexy on….

Its Wednesday… better known around here as “sexy day!” And by “sexy” I mean looking through the grocery ads, pairing up my coupons with the sales, getting my milk club card out and heading to the grocery store for some savings and double couponing!

Wait, that isn’t your definition of sexiness? Tsk, Tsk!

It’s also dress up day. I mean, you NEVER know who you are going to see at the grocery store. So out comes the make-up, flat iron’s, spiffy clothes and the high heels. I mean, if it is going to be “Sexy Day” I may as well get dressed up! That and I like the way the heels clack on the grocery store floor. Clacking is fun!

It comes and it goes……

The first day of school seemed to have gone well. Everyone found their classrooms just fine and everyone made it home okay and they even met some new kids!

Oldest daughter met two girls she thinks is nice. Youngest met one new friend. Only one because she was working on being really quiet in class. Maybe she should have worked on that last year, you know, before she had all her “sticks” taken away almost daily for be a jabbermouth.

Not only was today the first day of school, it was also the release date of Mockingjay…. the third and final book in the Hunger Games series. So, off to Target I went to purchase the book and spent my time without the children reading it. Cover to cover. Yes. I completed an ENTIRE book without any interruptions! Hooray for school!

In case you want to know, the book was, in a word, AWESOME. So awesome that I called one of my friends just so I could leave a message on her voicemail about how AWESOME it was and how LUCKY I am that I did not have to “work” today so I could read the WHOLE thing! When I spoke to her later, she told me that I sucked. Well, that very may be true, I might suck on occassion, but it still doesn’t change the fact that I READ THE WHOLE BOOK! Neener neener neener!!!!!

1st Day Jitters

It is almost 2 in the morning. I have to get the girls up to get ready for the first day of school in 5 hours. But I can’t fall asleep. You would think I was the one about to start a new year at a new school where I know absolutely no one but my crummy wonderful sister!

We went tonight and found the classrooms and met the teachers. I wasn’t overly impressed, but then again, this isn’t the half a billion dollar school they are building in Los Angeles.

I am worried. Will they make new friends? Will someone make fun of the way my 8 year old pronouces certain words? (She learned to talk in Europe. She has a bit of an accent. Like Hitler, but waaayyy cuter) Will they have someone to eat lunch with? (I don’t really have to worry about that for tomorrow. Its a half day. So I will be up again tomorrow night worrying about who they eat with) Will my oldest daughter’s teachers understand that when she stares right through you, she is thinking REALLY hard and not trying to be disrespectful?

Oh, this is horrific! It’s like sending them off to Kindegarten all over again! Except this time, they don’t get to take naps so when they come back home to me, they will be cranky! When I ask, “How was school?”, I’m going to hear, “Okay” or “Fine” or maybe even “Good” but unless I ask questions, they aren’t going to be in the mood to tell me! And even if I ask questions, they are going to try to answer them either “yes” or “no” – because I can’t be trusted with more information than that!

I think I am about to have a stroke. I need a cosmo. Pronto.

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