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this is where I completely change my life

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm starting a new chapter. Stay tuned...things are about to get very interesting.

The kids are settled...
The house is mostly unpacked...
The summer babysitter has been hired...
Its time to go back to work.
I began a new career today...as a newspaper reporter.
Weird, huh? Who ever would have thought this TV news junkie and blogging mama would EVER step foot inside a newspaper newsroom. Certainly not me. But that's exactly what I did today.
I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. I've never actually BEEN a reporter before.
Okay, I have, sorta...but not a bona-fide reporter. One that turns several stories a week and writes stuff that goes in a real newspaper. All of my other work was for a monthly magazine or a special section that would come out on occasion.
Now people can read my stuff EVERY. DAY.

That makes me squeemish.
Add to that the fact I've been away from the paper for almost a year and I was worried I'd be a bit rusty.
You know what was weird? As soon as I sat down at the computer it all came rushing back. Passwords, software shortcuts, design techniques...all of it.
And the best part...all my co-workers were so welcoming. Just about everyone in the building stopped by the desk to welcome me back...offer encouragement...ask what had happened in Grab-Your-Lasso and how the kids were settling into The Emerald City.
I even had a 'Welcome Back Kotter' (Insert real last name here) sign on my computer when I walked in. These guys are awesome! :)

The one thing that marred the day...my kids weren't with me.
I'm not going to start a discussion here about stay at home versus work outside the home....AND NEITHER ARE YOU! Lets just all agree to disagree, shall we? And keep in mind I don't have a choice in this matter. All choices were taken away from me, by financial decisions Shad and I made years ago. I have to work in order to pay bills...that's all there is to it.
I'm just thankful I've been able to spend some serious one-on-one time with my kids during the last 10 months.

It was a gift.
And I have a boss who has kids, understands their needs, and gives her employees flexibility.
I can't ask for anything more.
Oh, except for HEALTH INSURANCE! Woohoo! That goes into effect in a month. I can finally take Alek back to the orthodontist, Anya to the endocrinologist to check her height and Maddie to get an updated hearing aid check. I'm relieved.
So I'm starting a new chapter in my life. One I'm looking forward to...and at the same time am nervous about.
Stay tuned...things are about to get very interesting. ;)


absolutely lubly

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I heard the five most beautiful words ever uttered...

I have been waiting a long time for this moment...a very long time.
I had just tucked Maddie into bed...prayed with her...and kissed her little cheek, when I absently told her 'I love you...Good Night.'

Just like every other night.
I expected the usual...'Night, night, Mommy.'
Instead, I heard the five most beautiful words ever uttered...
'I lub you too, Mama.'
Someone hand me a Kleenex.


beware of the man without cell service

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Did you hear that? That is the sound of you know what freezing over!

I promise to get back to regular blogging at some point. Honest. I just haven't been feeling that bloggy lately, but I'm sure it will get better soon. I imagine once I'm back at work, I'll have all kinds of new stories to share.
In the meantime I have a confession to make.
I have to admit I've underestimated Shad.
For years I have been the one to deal with awful health insurance people, mean telemarketers and clueless bank representatives. Since I'm the one that handles the bills, I figured I knew the situation best.
Shad is a bull dog! I had forgotten just how tenacious he can be! I should have sicced him on these awful people years ago.
Did you hear that? That is the sound of you know what freezing over! :)
He finally got them to let us out of the contract!
And to top it off, here's some more good news - Shad's employer is not only giving him a phone, but they're giving me one too for just $10 a month. That means between the two of us we'll save about $100 a month in cell phone bills.
Now if I could just figure out a way to get high speed internet without a land line I could save another $100.
Just think of the possibilities!


unpacking, interviewing and writing letters

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I am seriously considering sending the following letter...'Dear really mean cell phone people...LET MY PEOPLE GO!'

What do you know? I'm updating the blog.
Has that really bad place frozen over?
Maybe so. I'm sure you were starting to wonder if the day would ever come.
No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Despite what people think about the Sunflower State, it really is not on the precipice of civilization. It's just that there hasn't been much going on around here that is blog worthy.

I know I sound like a broken record, but all I've been doing is unpacking, laundry and baseball.
What? You think I should be done by now?
Well, you'd be wrong!
Four kids on summer break have a way of doing that to to you.
That and a well-intentioned but totally decoratively challenged husband.
Needless to say, I've got my work cut out for me.
I spent yesterday working on our master bedroom, trying to get it put in some reasonable order, but I failed...again. Everything that hasn't gone in another room, some how ended up in our room. So there's TONS of stuff to go through.
I DID manage to get five loads of laundry done...which is GREAT except there are two to three times that much left. I'm rewashing everything that wasn't in a dresser or closet - blankets, sheets, clothes. All because I can't remember if they were clean or dirty.
I'm losing my mind. ;)
I do have a bit of news...
Just a few weeks before we moved, a job opened up at my old newspaper. I called...they interviewed me over the phone, I did a formal interview the following Wednesday (two days after we moved) and THEY OFFERED ME THE JOB!
So, let's see...
Wyoming...9 months...1 interview...ZERO jobs.
Kansas...two days...1 interview...1 JOB! :)
I don't know about you, but I'm thinking this is a GOD THING. ;)
Do you realize we have not only moved back into our old house, but Shad is back in his old job, same salary, more vacation time and better benefits...and now I am back at my old job, same salary, same vacation time and good benefits.
We will have HEALTH INSURANCE, people. Health insurance.
And in a real yucky economy to boot!
What are the odds? Seriously?
See? Its a GOD THING.
Now I just have to find a babysitter.
Its a lot tougher than it sounds. I'm pretty sure our old babysitter is full up...besides, Nick, Anya and Alek are a little old to be doing to a daycare. A better scenario for us is to have an in-home babysitter...especially during the summer. But all of the teenagers I've talked to already have jobs or extensive plans for the summer.
So. If you know of someone in the Emerald City who needs a summer job...let me know. I'm desperate. They'd really like me to start next Monday, but I've already warned them I may not be able to start for a few more weeks.
In the meantime, I'm seriously considering sending the following letter.

Dear really mean cell phone people...

When we moved to Grab-Your-Lasso last summer, our cell phone company, AT&T, graciously let us out of our contract...after all, we couldn't use our phones at all. What was the use in paying for a service we couldn't use?
All they requested was that we prove our permanent change of address...and they said, 'thank you for your patronage...call us if we can be assistance again.'
We said 'thanks'..and then promptly signed up with you - V.
Big mistake.
Now, we're back in the Emerald City, and we planned on you graciously following AT&T's lead.
We were wrong.
Your customer service people say, 'Nothing doin'.
Shad has spent countless hours on the phone with your people, requesting being let out of the contract BECAUSE WE CAN'T GET SERVICE HERE.
And you've denied us.
I don't think you understand...WE DON'T HAVE SERVICE!
We can't USE the phones! One second it says V...the next 'No Service'...the next 'Extended Network'...and then it starts cycling again.
And the best part?
Our phones beep ALL. DAY. LONG. Every time the network changes our smart phones, which aren't so smart, beep.
Thanks for that. We really appreciate you selling us phones that there is no
way of turning off. I guess we could remove the batteries, but in my move-induced, muddled state of mind, I didn't think of it until now.

Doesn't matter anyway...we've put the phones in the drawer and let the batteries die...just to save our sanity.
Still, your customer service representatives don't show compassion. They say as long as the phone says Verizon at all, we have 'service' and can't be let out of the contract.
Here's another tidbit for you...If you would just visit your own website and
plug in our new zip code, your OWN SITE tells us we can't get service here.
And STILL you won't let us out of the contract.
So...this note is to inform you that we aren't going to take this lying down.
We are going to call you every day...to complain.

We will register all of our complaints to your poor call center representatives, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY...until you let us go.
Oh, and PLEASE tell your representatives to stop trying to return our calls on our cell phones, because... WE CAN'T GET SERVICE HERE.
Thank you.



my little ball girl

Thursday, June 11, 2009

That's it! Maddie is addicted!
She LOVES baseball!
We just got back from her second t-ball game, and I have to say I think she liked it more the second time around.
Tonight she had at least a little clue as to what she was supposed to do...and by the end of the second inning was lecturing her teammates as to what THEY were supposed to do...in that bossy way only Maddie can do. What's funny is her teammates were listening to her, despite the fact I'm pretty sure they couldn't understand her! :)
Anyway...as promised, here are some pics of my Madster in action. A couple of pics from last week...and several from this.


its all a matter of perspective

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Seriously boring stuff going on around here...honest. We've spent the last couple of days unpacking and doing things that need to be done, but nothing entertaining is coming out of it. Or maybe it has and I am just too tired to remember.

I don't know.
The best I can come up with was an Anya moment this afternoon...
We were at the bank setting up a new checking account when the unsuspecting bank representative asked our kids how old they were...
'I five,' Maddie replied.
'I'm 7 1/2,' Nick added.
'I'm 11,' Alek mumbled.
'I'm 8,' Anya shouted in the deathly quiet, echoey bank lobby.
And then she added...
'And Daddy's 40!'
Whew! Glad it was him and not me.

I really have to teach that girl some tact! :)


lazy t roundup - kansas style

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I've seriously considered locking all four kids in their rooms and tracking down the biggest chocolate bar I can find.

Now that we're back to the Sunflower State, can I really keep calling this thing a round-up?
I mean, I KNOW Kansas had round-ups back in the day. Our part of the state was a big stop for the wagon trails on their route west...and they moved TONS of cattle through here, but not so much anymore.
In Wyoming...they rounded up. They herded. They branded...and ranchers had thousands of head of cattle.
Here...not so much.
Maybe I should call it Sunflower Pickin's or something like that. This is where you rush down to the comment button to leave me a creative new title, 'kay? ;>)
Alright...so its time for the final installment of the Lazy T Roundup. Grab your...oh forget it, who am I kidding? I don't have any of this stuff and neither do you. Just pull up a chair, a cup of joe and settle in for a long-overdue update.

1. Wireless or Bust - Sorry I haven't posted in forever, but I've become the ultimate lazy poster. If I don't have my laptop its just too much work to post something. Who wants to sit in a stiff old computer chair when I can lounge on the couch and type away.
Here's my dirty little secret - the Internet has been up and running since the day we walked in the door...but I couldn't get the laptop to 'see' the wireless connection...so I didn't put in the extra effort to sit down and post anything.
I finally broke down and called tech support today. They got me up and running in less than 30 minutes. I guess that'll teach me to sit and stew about it for days on end, absolutely convinced I can do it myself! :)

2. Half-way there - I would say our house if just about half way back to normal. The nice thing about moving back into a house you've already lived in is you know where to put things.
The not so nice thing about moving back into a house you've already lived in is chances are you have more stuff than you moved in with the first time around and there aren't as many places to put things.
I've thrown more stuff away this week than I did before we started packing. We could probably have saved ourselves some serious cash and time by just chucking all of this stuff BEFORE we got the U-Haul!

3. Moving Malaise - I'm not going to sugar-coat it, even though I discovered this week half of the Emerald City reads this blog. I promised you a long time ago I would keep it real. And so I shall.
We're starting to get on each other's nerves. The kids are arguing...the adults are squabbling...Maddie has been regressing. It's been fun. No. Really. Can you hear the sarcasm?
I've seriously considered locking all four kids in their rooms and tracking down the biggest chocolate bar I can find. It seems since the excitement of moving 'home' has worn off, the boxes are still blocking doorways, we can't find enough clothes to wear and we've eaten our weight in fast food for the last six days...life just can't seem find any sense of normalcy.
Add to that the fact the boys have been HORRIBLE this week, they've lost every privilege known to man, and you can see why we're all going stir crazy. I'm seriously wishing we had never loaded Alek's room with his stuff. It may be time for 'Boot Camp'. His attitude lately has been MONSTROUS.

2. Maddie's Regression - Maddie has seriously regressed in the last week. Doing things she hasn't done since we brought her home. I know, I know...she's gone through a lot of changes, but somehow it doesn't make me any more patient when she puts used toilet paper in the trash can or jams so much in the toilet it overflows...or when she steals bananas.
Yep. She's at it again.
Then there's the bossiness. My word, people, I'm telling you if she tries to boss ME around one more time I'm going to lose it.
She's been slapping Anya...
Has started at least a dozen fights with Nick...
She got into my makeup and ruined almost all of it...
She's putting clean clothes in the hamper and dirty clothes back in her drawer.
She asks 'huh' or 'what you doing' 27 million times a day...
She's getting openly defiant...only obeying if she thinks you're going to DO something about it. And believe me...I'm DOING something about it.
And her speech at times is unintelligible. (How's that for regression, Mr. IEP man?)
I know, I know, it WILL get better. I'm just not real patient right now.
The good news is she had her first t-ball game last week and BOY was she excited! No, really! I mean EXCITED!!!!! It's all she talked about all day...during the game she kept giving us 'thumbs up'....and after the game until she fell asleep she kept talking about playing baseball like a big girl.'
I'll post pictures as soon as I can find my extra camera battery. In the craziness that was the move, I've lost my camera card...ran out of batteries and can't find the camera cord to save my life. I was lucky I could find the camera at all.
Pictures, soon, I promise. ;)

3. Some really awesome people - Can I just say I love my church family? Not to sound like the child of the 80s that I am, but they are awesome people. Absolutely awesome! :)
When we pulled up on Monday afternoon I wasn't expecting to see anyone except some dear college friends. Tom and Lynda had offered to come up along with another friend of ours to help unload the truck.
I was so thankful for their help...I never dreamed our church would send in reinforcements as well! :)
At one point we had six guys helping Shad unload the U-Haul...which meant I could stay in the house directing traffic. Then a couple of other ladies showed up with dinner.
A hot meal after a week of feeding my kids lunch meat sandwiches and take-out. It was all I could do not to cry...seriously. It meant so much.

4. Back to Work - Shad heads back to work tomorrow. We've really enjoyed having him to ourselves for the last week and a half, but I guess its time.

5. Turned Upside Down - We went to Wally World yesterday and I finally did it. I bought one of those Topsy Turvy dealie's. I have not the foggiest idea if it will really work, but I'm willing to give it a shot. I want to have a garden, but there's no way I have time to put one in now...the growing season is already going full tilt...so I'm cheating, buying some plants from the nursery and putting them in this topsy turvy thing.
Tomatoes, of course. Although I did buy a watermelon plant too. I have to admit it was a bit of an impulse buy...I have absolutely NO idea where I'm going to put it.
While I'm waiting for the tomatoes to do their thing, I'm going to go ahead and put my dehydrator to work. Strawberries are in season...and there's a neat little fruit farm across the border. I'm thinking about taking the kid over and see what we can pick.
Mmmmm....fresh strawberries. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Of course it could just be the bag of Oreos calling my name from the kitchen.
We went grocery shopping yesterday. I. KNOW! Exciting stuff. But you'd be excited too to actually see fruit in your fruit basket and a loaf of bread on your counter for the first time in weeks! :)

I guess that's it for now. A busy week around here, and that's the best I can come up with. Sad, huh? I'll keep thinking...surely something interesting will happen soon.

Let's see...
I should have pictures of the kids baseball sometime this week...
I should hear some results of an important meeting I had on Wednesday...
I've got to put in a call to the IEP people this week...that's always good for a couple of laughs...
The D!recTV man is supposed to show up tomorrow...we'll see if he materializes.
Oh, and there's the play by play I owe you of the actual drive across Nebraska with a moving truck, trailer, mom-mobile packed to the gills and four absolutely bored kids.
I SHOULD be able to come up with SOMETHING this week. ;)
And if all else fails I can always let you in on the details of my days upon days of unpacking! :)


home. at last.

Monday, June 1, 2009

We're home.
It took two days which was Way. Too. Long. We got in around 1 p.m...the truck is mostly unloaded (thanks to some awesome friends! :)
Very tired...must get sleep.
Will fill you in when I can keep my eyes open.


Just crossed the border into Kansas! Woohoooo!!!


well, that was weird

I logged in this morning and found a bunch of weird symbols where my phone-submitted posts should have been. Sorry about that.
I'll post tomorrow for now let's just say we left late, drove through a pretty bad hailstorm...spent some time parked on the side of the I-80....and ended up stopping for the night at a little motel in the middle of Nebraska. (Thank goodness they have wireless internet! :)
Its just before 8 a.m. now and we're getting ready to leave. Its probably another five hours or so until we get to the Emerald City.
I'll write more later.


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