Thursday, April 29, 2010

I wish I had never heard of

Transformers. ACK! Monster Boy is BEYOND obsessed with Transformers. I feel like they have taken over our lives some days.

Of course, this obsession has prompted some pretty cute statements out of him, so I suppose I can be thankful for that.

The other day, we were having a conversation in which he informed me he wanted to be a police officer when he grows up. The next morning, I get informed "I am not going to be a police officer anymore." When I asked why, he tells me "Well, Police Officers sometimes have to work at night, and so do Superhero's, and I'm going to be a Superhero, so I can't be a Police Officer." UMMMM, Okay, you let me know how that one works out for you there, kiddo...

After one of our MANY marathon debates about whether Transformers are fictional characters (yes, he know what fiction and non-fiction mean, and uses them!) I was informed "No, Mom, I KNOW they are real. I wished to God for him to make them real, so they are really here." Oh, if only everything we wished to God happened like that!

Then he asks me who is in charge of all of our armies and police and the Transformers (You cannot escape them in our house, I swear!). I told him the President was in charge of our military. He replies "Well, I guess I will just have to be the President when I grown up then, since I'm going to be in charge of all the armies and the Transformers and all the Superhero's." Well, I guess if you HAVE to, son...

All I can say is THANK GOODNESS Miss Sunshine is not old enough to talk yet... Anyone with older children know when this obsession phase will pass?

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm trying here...

I've had a LOT on my mind the last few days. Well, the last week really - ever since I found out about our whole COBRA situation. I have written up my appeal letter and sent it off. Waiting to hear back on that. And I also applied to the state for medical coverage for the kids. I hate doing that, but honestly, isn't that what those programs are there for? People in OUR situation who are TRYING to make it through? But who need a little help until they can? I hate the idea of doing this, but it's what is best for my children right now...

Another thing that is weighing heavily on my mind is this - I have a phone screen on Thursday for a job. It is a Senior Administrative Assistant position in the HR department of a VERY large company. It would pay VERY well, and everything I have found indicates that their benefits package is one of the best in the city. My dilemma is simple - I really don't want to go back to work. I KNOW that ONE of us needs to find a good paying job, and soon. But to be honest here, I don't want it to be me. I do realize that this may be what is best for our family in the long run, and of course, just because I got a phone screen doesn't even mean I'll get an interview, but of course I will give it my all. I'm praying hard, as is Daddy Mac, that God will show us what course we are supposed to take. Neither one of us wants the kids in daycare if it is avoidable, but we have to do what is best for our family in the long run, and I accept that putting them in daycare may be a necessity. As may be the possibility that I go back to work full time and Daddy Mac becomes a stay-at-home Dad. We do not know how things will pan out - right now it's a waiting game. But if you feel so inclined, some prayers or thoughts that God (or whomever) will show us the path and what is the right choice would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, April 12, 2010

And the hits just keep on coming...

Just got a letter in the mail today notifying me that our COBRA coverage was terminated due to non-payment of premium. I immediately panicked - I KNOW I paid that last month. I call in and get informed that apparently my payment was returned insufficient funds - apparently my deposit from unemployment and that payment crossed paths. The only problem is, I was never notified by ANYONE. Not the bank, not the Cobra administrator, nothing. I had NO idea. Had I KNOWN I would have immediately made new payment arrangements. But I didn't get notified and so now we have no insurance. I can appeal, but no guarantees they will reinstate our coverage. I guess that's all I can do for now.

I just don't know how much more I am supposed to find the strength to take...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's a monsoon...

I know I posted a week or so ago about the deluge of things happening to us... well, we are full on into a monsoon now.

I don't even know where to begin. My stress level is through the roof. Daddy Mac is still searching for a new job. Today we discovered, on top of all that, someone stole his wallet and has been using his debit and credit cards around town. Joy. So we spent most of the day trying to get all that cleared up, and next week will be spent getting replacement ID's, cards, etc. Oh, and the best news of all - he had his social security card in his wallet from his job interview on Wednesday. The wallet went missing sometime on Thursday. So whoever has it also has his Social Security number. So we will also be contacting the credit bureaus to let them know in case anyone tries to open new accounts with his info.

I am at my wits end. Things have got to start getting better, right? I know God only gives us what we can handle, but I'm running out of hands, here.

I'm going to try to go to bed now, if I can stop my mind from racing about all the things that could go wrong tomorrow!

Friday, April 9, 2010

She said Dada!!!!!

I almost nearly cried today. Daddy Mac was feeding Miss Sunshine some ranch dip (yeah, I know...) at lunchtime today and out of nowhere she just started babbling "Dadadada". And then repeated it.

This probably seems like not such a big deal to most of you. Those of you who have babies with cleft palate will fully understand the absolute JOY we had at hearing that sound leave her mouth. See, prior to repair surgeries, babies with cleft are incapable of creating the amount of suction necessary to make most consonant sounds. They can make M, N and Y sounds only. After repair, it all depends. Some babies start babbling new consonant sounds right away. Others take their own sweet time, and still others may require further repair surgeries to give them the capabilities of making these sounds.

Miss Sunshine's palate repair has been declared successful by the surgeons. But we still weren't hearing any new consonant sounds like we were told to expect. It has been concerning both Daddy Mac and I, and also Miss Sunshine's speech therapist. We had really expected to start hearing more babbling than the "mama" and "more" she was already capable of saying prior to surgery. (Okay, "more" sounds more like "mo" but she is aware of what she is saying and uses it in correct context to ask for more. It counts!). We've tried lots of different things with very little success. We have seen an increase in her responsive sounds - sounds she makes back to us when we talk to her or ask her something - which had been on the low end just a few short weeks ago. She did add "uh-oh" to her repertoire (and has been saying it non-stop I might add) at her last speech therapy session. But as far as actual new consonant sounds, it's been absolutely nothing so far. UNTIL TODAY! And even though it's only been once, and it wasn't in response to anything and likely didn't even MEAN anything, the fact that she said it is HUGE. Out of the ballpark, up in the stratosphere, huge. Because it means that she IS capable of saying these things. We now have a better frame of reference for moving forward with her speech therapy, as well as having the knowledge that she is capable and that we can expect results that we were unsure we would be able to get even as recently as this morning.

My heart is singing. I was having a "horrible, terrible, awful, really bad day" (I'm pretty sure that's from a book I read way back when, but I'm too lazy to look up the exact reference so I'm putting it in quotes to make it clear I am NOT plagiarizing) up until the point she said that. It's amazing how much such a little thing can make your entire day turn around.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This crazy weather.

So yesterday I blogged about how I was SWELTERING on my living room couch at 10 o'clock at night. (That WAS yesterday, wasn't it? Maybe it was two days ago.... I'm losing all sense of time!) Today, it was Fa.REE.zing here. I mean, we went from tank tops and Capri's to long sleeves and jackets in less than 24 hours. What is up with that? This weather needs to decide whether it wants to be winter or spring and get there already...

Things are NOT looking up on the Monster Boy front. He got his candy privileges revoked on Monday (for what, I forget - Daddy Mac did the revoking). This morning, he snuck into my room, where we had put his candy to keep him out of it, while I was in the shower and helped himself to some Laffy Taffy. He hid in his room to eat it. Had he not tried to sneak it down the hallway with him to get a drink I probably wouldn't have found out, but he did, and I caught him. He spent most of the rest of the morning in time-out. I didn't know what else to do with him. I am nearly at my wits' end. Daddy Mac and I sat down and tried to talk to him tonight about what was bothering him so much that he was acting this way, but we pretty much just got a lot of "because"s out of him, and some other random things that make me think he isn't being totally honest. They do involve a subject I don't talk about on my blog for personal reasons, so I can't be more specific than that.

Little Miss Sunshine has been radically entertaining the last two days. Her personality is coming out in spades. She spent a good half hour this morning on the bed with me, throwing empty plastic Easter eggs over the side of the bed at her brother and saying "uh-oh". Then this afternoon, she was doing the same thing with her toy phone - only she got ahead of herself at one point, so then she was saying "uh-oh" first and throwing the phone after, instead of the other way around. "Uh-oh" is her new word, and we hear LOTS of it these days. Her facial expressions are priceless as well - she does this thing with her lower lip that is IDENTICAL to an expression that both Daddy Mac and his mother do, and it is SO funny to see it. She is also in the stage of crinkling up her nose when she smiles, laughs, is being ornery, or, you know, pretty much any time she feels like it. It's absolute adorable, and of course the little stinker turns her head every time we try to take a picture of it, so I have no photos to share with you :(. I also neglected to get photos of the kids in all their finery at Easter, but we are hopeful that we will be able to get in to the photo studio in the next week or two for some (very belated) one year pics of Miss Sunshine and Easter pics of Monster Boy... I'll try to get those up ASAP for you.

My weight loss goals are not going so well. I've been doing very good at making it to the gym almost daily, which has been great for my emotional well-being, but the weight-loss is going nowhere. I haven't lost a single pound. It's pretty frustrating and making me realize, that, unlike when I was in my 20's and a couple days a week running on the elliptical would help me drop 20 pounds, these days it's going to require a little more involvement. I guess it's time to suck it up and start dieting. Ugh. Have I mentioned that I HATE dieting? Actually, more than hate. I pretty much DESPISE it. Such is life. Once I hop on the wagon, I'll let you all know, as I'm sure I'll be needing some way to hold myself accountable, and hey, what better place than a blog to do that?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Wait for it... wait for it...

You've got it!

Welcome to my official 100th post! Hip Hooray!

Probably not such a big deal to some of you "professional" bloggers out there, but I find it rather exciting!

As I type this, I am sweltering on my living room couch, enjoying the last of my time with a laptop. That's right - I soon will be reduced to strictly desktop usage again. *sniff*. The laptop is Daddy Mac's work computer, and as his intention is to leave his company at the end of the month, the laptop shall be returned to them.

As crazy as that may sound to some of you - it really is the best decision for our family. At this point it is literally COSTING US money for him to work where he is at now. With an already reduced income, that just really isn't in the line of feasibility for us these days. He is actively searching for a new job, and his current boss is aware of this - which is why I feel comfortable writing about this here. Thank heaven for small favors, at least, that my unemployment was extended. MY job search has also been to no avail. I have applied for at least one job per day for the last month, and have not had a single response from ANY of them. Hopefully I will begin to hear back soon, or Daddy Mac will find a good paying position that will allow us to get caught up without me finding employment. Either one would work for me at this point. Something's got to give, right?

In other news, Monster Boy decorated his newly painted walls with green marker yesterday. I wanted to wring his little neck. He is certainly aware that coloring on walls is not allowed in our house. Lucky for him, they were washable markers and I had to foresight to get satin finish paint, so it came right off when he scrubbed it. Yes - I made HIM clean it up. He has also had all toys removed from his room and has lost all TV privileges indefinitely. Hopefully something will get through to him because I am at my wits end. This all stemmed from the fact that he literally spent ALL DAY yesterday in his room, where he was SUPPOSED to be cleaning up, but instead was making a bigger mess and wreaking havoc on his walls. *Sigh*.

Thursday night we are headed to Kindergarten Round-up. I can't believe he is big enough for this already - I very nearly cried today when I realized it. We will be moving him to another parochial school closer to our house - which he is not very happy about because he wants to go to school with his friends, but in the long run it is a better decision for our family. The new school is one of the best in town, I have personal experience with the priest who is WONDERFUL and SO good with children, and it is MUCH MUCH closer than the school we currently have him at. The school he is currently at is clear across town - very close to where I used to work. Since I no longer work there, having him so far away for school is becoming very inconvenient. I am sad that he will miss his little friends that he has gotten so close to over the past two years, but we will have to settle for having play dates and such instead. It really is just a better option on so many levels to have him at a school closer to our house. Especially if I am going back to work, because it is also closer to Grandma and Grandpa's, and Great-Grandma's, so we will have options as far as picking up and after school care. He makes friends very easily, so I am confident that the move will not be horribly disruptive to him.

Miss Sunshine has become Miss Daredevil in the past few days. She managed to take a header out of her high chair yesterday morning and you'd think that after that she would have stopped trying to climb out of it - but no ma'am - she was right back at it again this morning. She is also becoming quite the chatterbox. Still only M and N consonants, but she will yell and yell at you to make her feelings known on any number of subjects - it's quite entertaining.

And now I am off to watch Biggest Loser and enjoy my Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard... Good night all!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A few deep thoughts, and some Easter Egg discussion!

I want to throw a disclaimer out here. I am not writing this to preach to you. I just have all these thoughts bouncing around in my head during this pretty important time of the year, and this is the best outlet I have for them. So you get the honor of reading them!

Let me give you some background, first. We are Catholic. I know for some people, faith is a huge stumbling block. And something about the word "Catholic" just seems to rub a lot of people the wrong way. I have never understood this. I was raised Catholic, as was my husband, and for us, it is our faith. This is not to say that we think it is the ONLY faith, or the TRUE faith, or what have you. It is simply what WE believe. Before meeting my husband, I had never so much as dated someone with the same religious background as me. I never considered it an issue, and for the most part, it wasn't. But being with someone who was raised in the same belief system I was has made a HUGE impact on our relationship. Because, see, that's the thing about faith, or about belief. Most of the time, it's like an ingrained understanding of something. Trying to explain it to someone who doesn't come from the same background will typically cause nothing but headache. But discussing it with someone who has the same basic belief subset as you, that is a whole different story.

And speaking of stories, in this season of life, sacrifice and death, I have a good one for you. It's based on a conversation I had several years ago with a friend of my father's, who happened to be an atheist. Now, again, let me state - your faith or lack thereof, is NONE of my business. I firmly believe that everyone has the right to believe the way they want to. I happen to believe in God, to believe that He sent His son to earth to save us, and that His son died on the cross so that we might live. I know not everyone believes this way, and that is fine with me. I just happen to believe this to be true. Well, this self-proclaimed atheist friend of my fathers happened to engage me in philosophical debate about God. His basic pretense was that why is he supposed to believe in God if he can't see him? That the human mind simply wasn't capable of that kind of comprehension. That he shouldn't take one person's word that such a thing exists, because how can that person know that it is so? That there is no such thing as real faith. So I asked him quite simply - "Do you believe in space? In the concept that there is this vast, infinite space out there, that we can't see, or hear, or feel, or touch?" And he answered me yes. And I asked him - "And WHY is it that you believe that this space is out there? Because a scientist told you that?" And again, he answered yes. And so then I asked him - "And this concept of space, that this scientist has told you about, is so vast that it is beyond your ability to comprehend just HOW vast it is, correct?" And again, he answered yes. And my response to that was "Well, that is how I believe in God. I don't know what he looks like, or sounds like, or feels like. I will never see him in my lifetime to KNOW that he is here. But I know. I believe. The same way YOU believe in space." He had no response for me. I literally left him speechless. He later told my father he had NEVER had someone approach the concept of faith to him like that, and that it really made him stop and think. I was 19 - he was in his mid 40's.

I'm interested to know how YOU, if you do, believe in God. What is it in your faith of God that just makes you feel that he is real? And if you don't, why is it that you don't believe in Him? Really, I am very interested. I encourage you to leave a comment and tell me why! (And no, I'm not trying to start any kind of debate here. This is my blog, after all, and hey, I can talk about whatever I want to, right?)

It has been very entertaining for us this year, watching as Monster Boy learns more and more about the world around him through school and at home. Some of the things that this child comes up with simply astound me. Oh, to be 5 years old again!

A few words currently inhabiting his vocabulary: Apparently, Supposedly, Ordinary, Ordinarily, Traumatize, Outstanding... there are more, I just can't think of them all to list. And yes, he uses them all appropriately.

Monster Boy attends a Catholic preschool, for a number of reasons. But he loves it there, and it is in a small parish where we have been welcomed with open arms. We are grateful for that. So, since he attends a Catholic preschool, of course he is learning about God. As this is the season of Easter, this week he has been learning about how Jesus died for us. Today, he tells me "Mom, I am so glad that Jesus took three days to rise from the dead. Because then he was ALIVE again!". It is amazing to me how quickly he picks up on things.

And then we have our entertaining discussions. Yesterday, he asked me if we could paint Easter Eggs. So I tell him "Sure we can! I just have to boil the eggs so they won't break, and then we can dye them." And he looks at me in horror and says "DIE THEM? You mean, we have to KILL them before we can paint them??!!" Oh honey. So I explained that dyeing eggs was just another way of saying paint them. (I did not, however, explain that yes, technically boiling the eggs would be killing them before we paint them, or eat them for that matter. I don't think he's quite ready for that discussion yet.) And dye eggs we did, tonight. And tomorrow, we head down to our church bright and early in the morning for an Easter Egg hunt. Miss Sunshine should be quite entertaining at this!

Happy Easter everyone!