Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Curtain Rods and Toilet Seats

My house isn't perfect. Shocking, I know.

It is so beyond perfect, I sometimes get embarrassed.

But, then, I look around at my friend's houses and they aren't perfect either.

I'm not just talking about housekeeping skills.

I mean, things that are in need of repair and are just "off".  It's a never ending list.

Some things, we get fixed right away--leaking faucet, clogged toilet, new batteries in the Wii remote. The important things.

Some things, we put on the list and that's as far as we go with it. Money and time are a huge factor. But, then, you just sort of get used to the thing being broken or "off".  

For example, if you were to come to my house, you would notice our t.v. seldom gets turned off. Not because we are addicts and watch it 24/7. But, because, if you turn it off, it's not guaranteed it will turn back on. It's been like this for years. Years.  (you can actually read about it here. But it's pretty boring. Basically, we got an insurance check and spent it on xmas presents. Yeah. But, really? You get a $800 check on Dec. 1st, what would you do?). 

In an effort to use less electricity, we will sometimes turn off the t.v. So, in the mornings, conversations like this happens:
Mom, can we watch Power Rangers?
Sure, if the t.v. is working.
Magical, magical, magical (the kids' chant that they swear works every time)

Totally normal, right?

Also, we put on a new bathroom door, oh, two years ago.  And, my husband ran out of trim to go around the door. Yes, two years ago. So, we have a bathroom door, but no trim. That means that there is a itty-bitty, tiny gap that someone, if they were so inclined, could use to spy on you while you tinkle.  But, in a house with 4 children that never happens.

Totally normal, right?

It's our normal but not other peoples. They have their own normal at their own house.

Just like it's our normal to have bent curtain rods in the kids' bedrooms. Yes, I've replaced them. Numerous times but somehow they end up bent. Not one child has ever swung by the curtains, or so I've been told.

Just like it's our normal to have a toilet seat that moves when you sit on it (we have lots of issues with our bathroom, apparently.). Yes, we've replaced those as well. A many number of times. But, somehow, they seem to manage to get all cattywampass. And not one child has ever practiced their Spiderman leap off the toilet into the bathtub, or so I've been told.

What is your normal that not might be another person's normal?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Last Hurrah

Summer is closing down around us.

The backpacks are packed with fresh school supplies.

The home school cupboard is stocked as well. 

The kids are begging for a somewhat stricter schedule.

Ok. That last one was a lie.

It's me that's ready for a schedule. Period. Doesn't even have to be that strict. 

I'm ready for bedtimes and chores and boundaries.  Because all of those things have seemingly disappeared over the summer. With the nice weather and the changes that came with me working a few nights a week. 

I love to swim, as do my kids but where I live, there are not (in my opinion) decent family swimming areas. But, where I grew up?Where I swam 5 out of 7 days a week, during the summer? It's like heaven on earth.
When I was younger, it was open to the public but it wasn't well known. Now, it's more private and I felt like I needed permission to bring the kids there.

So, I made a phone call to my connection (Grandma still lives out here) and after an hour drive, we were there.

My little fish (plus a nephew fish) ready for the water! 
We had the whole place (mostly) to ourselves, which is exactly how I like it! Grandma did good, you guys!

The kids absolutely loved the clean water, not having trash floating around them, not having drunk people being stupid around them and it being vacant. 

I'm so glad they liked it as I will be bringing back somewhat of a schedule starting next week. It was most likely the last truly fun day for a while. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lesson Learned (With a Hefty Price)

A while ago, I thought I'd be a cool mom and take all my children to the mall, more specifically to Juicy Berry, which is a self serve frozen yogurt cafe. 

All different kinds of tasty frozen yogurts, all different toppings. The combinations are endless!!

But, I only had $20.  Plenty of money to get us all a treat, no?

I forgot I had a 13 year old garbage disposal boy with us.

As I kept Jarrett and Jeven from sampling every single flavor and thus dispensing frozen yogurt onto the floor, and kept an eye on Josie, making sure she didn't get Latte flavored (knowing she'd hate it and most likely cry the whole entire time and knowing I'd probably give in and give her mine then I'd be out of a treat and that would just suck), I totally didn't keep an eye on the oldest.

I have been to this cafe previously and the most I ever spent was $7.

That day?
Take out the girls, add in a 13 yr. old boy, add about 3 times the toppings. 

We sat at that cafe a REALLY long time as Jayce was eating every single bite of that yogurt. I didn't  care how frozen his brain was. 

I'd better take note of these little lessons as I have 2 more boys that will be teenagers before I know it!! Good thing Juicy Berry has a punch card. ( :

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Show Boatin'

This summer has been more on the sucky side than the sunny side. But, such is life.

We are just cruisin' along, trying to enjoy some fun, when we can.

My oldest left for a week, to camp. The house is quiet without him but yet....there is more food for the rest of us. ( :

Here are a few pictures because my kids ARE cute and you NEED to see them!

Jarrett catching some air on the trampoline!

Luther, 7 months.

Josie, doing the trampoline/sprinkler combo the only way she knows how. Diva style. 

We were lucky enough today, to go out on my dad's boat!  It was wonderful!  I forget how much I love to be on the water. My husband took a wonderful picture of me doing a canon ball off the boat will not see it here! 

Josie enjoying the ride.

Jeven. Notice the purple marker on his face?  ( :

Jarrett, catching some more air, as he jumps off the boat.

I love this picture! That's my dad, helping Josie drive the boat.  Her longs are so long! She is growing up so fast!

Here's to hoping the rest of our summer is sunny and not sucky!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bringing Home the Bacon (Bits)

I never planned on being a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) . I always planned on having kids but I was also going to have a career. 

When I was in Jr. High, I was going to study Marine Biology and work at Sea World.
But, then I grew up (a tad) and realized I would not enjoy being on a deserted island somewhere studying the mating habits of nudibranchs. (which have both male and female reproductive parts but cannot fertilize themselves. You're welcome. )

So, I decided I would become a science teacher and was taking schooling for that purpose. Then, I met a boy and we fell in love and got pregnant. And, suddenly, all I wanted to do was stay home. And have more babies.  Which I have done and have been extremely happy. And, honestly, I have NO regrets about it. None.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been in a social setting, talking, getting to know new people, and I will be asked "What do you do? For work?"  and I will respond "Oh, I don't work. I stay home with the kids."

I have gotten many different responses. I either get "Oh. How nice. I wish I could afford to stay home." ( Yeah. I'm extra wealthy that way.) Or, I get a slight head nod and never see the person again because they are afraid my boringness is contagious. (Wait until they find out I homeschool as well!) 

Or, I get my least favorite response:  "Honey, that is WORK!! That is the hardest job EVER!  I bet you are BUSY!! I don't know HOW you do it!".  (Yup.Busy, busy, busy, that's me!!) And, I am. That's not a lie. And, while I appreciate the acknowledgement that my being home with my kids, raising them, is a very hard,thankless job, I don't think it's the hardest job "ever". 

I get to be with my kids!  I get to set my own hours, I'm my own boss!!

Does this mean that it's all rainbows and glitter, every day? Of course not!! If you know me at all, you know my rainbow is slightly disfigured and my glitter consists of shredded up toilet paper.

I have often looked at my friends/family that are Work Outside Of The Home Moms and wondered how do they do it?  How does one balance work and taking care of the home and making sure the kids get enough attention and how do they find time for their spouse? 

It certainly depends on the spouse.  Is the spouse willing to do some housework? Cook dinner?  Will the spouse recognize he is needed to pitch in, even after he himself has worked all day? 

It is a lifestyle that has never appealed to myself or my husband. My husband is not one to do housework or cook.  Or carpool.  And, it's worked for us for 14 years. For the most part, because certainly there are days I wished he was one to do more housework and such.

Now, having said all you know how much kids cost? A lot. Do you know how much a mortgage is?   A lot.  Do you know how horrible it is to be poor?  Very. 

Money, or the lack of, is a huge source of stress. For me. For my husband. For our marriage.  We are almost 40 and have nothing saved. Nothing for an emergency.  Not very smart!! 

We decided that I would look for a job. But, not just any job. A job that I could work  part-time and that I would enjoy. A job that would work with our schedule, allowing at least one of us to be home, most of the time, with the kids. Perhaps allowing Jayce to babysit and earn some money of his own (you know, to help purchase the expensive shoes he always seems to "need").

Like I said, I have not "worked" for quite some time. There's not much to put on a resume. Or job application. But, nonetheless, I have been filling them out for 6 months. And have not received a single response. None. Not even from fast food restaurants. 

Until I happened to mention, while volunteering at the assisted living home a mile from my house, that I was looking for part-time work to just the right person.

Soon, I was in a job interview!  And, soon, I was being told that no shift existed for the hours I wanted to work.  Soon, I was telling myself "At least you got an interview this time!".  Soon, I was receiving a call saying they invented a shift just for me!  Soon, I was working!!! 

I have a job!! 

We are still in a state of adjustment here at chez BoringHomer.  But, I think once I am done training and things are a little more predictable, it will be great!!!

My "normal" hours are 4pm-8pm, 3 or 4 days a week. Very part time. Jayce stays with the kids until Judd gets home, approx. 2 hours, and I'm home before bedtime.

And? One of the best parts:  I love it! I love the job, I love being out of the house, I love coming home, I love making new friends.

I won't go into details of what exactly I do, at work. I will just say it involves old people that are sometimes naked.  I know, you are jealous.

Like I said, it's not all perfect rainbows and glitter. This is a HUGE life change for us and first and foremost, my family will always come first.  But, I am feeling less stress knowing that I am helping bring home the bacon (or at least some bacon bits, because the amount of hours I work, times the pay, does not equal alot of bacon). 

It may not be a huge deal to all of you that have been working or, never plan to work , but it is a huge deal for us. 

And, worst case scenario, I will have GREAT stories to tell!