Thursday, July 30, 2009

Catching up

Since I'm up before the alarm clock went off, I thought I'd try to catch up a bit!

Let's see, what all has happened since last I blogged?

Julian is now seven years old.

We didn't have a big party this year - he didn't really seem interested like he has in years past. We just went out to dinner and let him pick the restaurant (he opted for Italian). We had a birthday cake at home - Star Wars, one of his favorites:

He got lots of presents from us, and from his dad, and from grandparents. It was a low-key day, but a good one. Happy seventh birthday, my big boy!

Rhys is now three months old:

He'd gotten to where he was sleeping nine hours at a stretch, but a bout with worse-than-usual congestion knocked that right out of whack, and he was waking up every hour to two hours there for a few days. That was no fun, let me tell you. Last night he slept for over eight hours, though, so I'm hopeful that we're moving back toward that nice long stretch of sleep. He's not a chatty baby - he doesn't make a lot of cooing and gurgling sounds, although he does make them. But he laughs. Not a big belly laugh yet, but if I do something that entertains him, he'll go, "ha!" and just get a big ol' grin on his face. (I've discovered that he finds chicken noises the height of hilarity.) I love baby laughs. When he went to the doctor for the congestion, he weighed in at 16 pounds, 13 ounces. He's outgrowing his clothes at a record rate. I can't even think of buying fall/winter clothes yet, because I have no idea what size he'll be!

I went back to work on July 10. Apparently I was missed, which is always a good thing. (I'm hoping the fact that people came to appreciate me in my absence might translate itself into some kind of raise this year, but given the industry I work in, I'm not counting on it.) It hasn't been terrible being back, although it makes me really sad to think that I'll likely never have a long stretch of time off to spend with the boys again.

Julian is now going to summer camp, and Rhys is in daycare. They're both at the same place, which makes drop-off and pick-up easier. I try not to think too hard about the fact that Rhys is in someone else's care for nearly half of every day. If I were to let myself think about it, I'd just cry. It's not quite so hard with Julian, because he's school-age and would be in school for a big chunk of the day even if I were home. But Rhys could be home with me, if only I could be home. I struggle with this a lot, even knowing that I'm not sure I'm temperamentally cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. I hate that my kids are and will be pushed into being somewhere and doing something on all their school breaks. I hate thinking that they won't get summers like I used to have as a kid, where you didn't have to be in a rush to get up and get moving so mama could drop you off at day camp on her way to the office, where you could sleep in if you wanted and where you didn't have to do anything in particular if you didn't feel like it. I want that for my kids, and I don't think it will ever happen, and that makes me sad.

And now that I'm all maudlin this morning, let me finish this up and go get dressed for work. So begins another day in the rat race.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The bad, the good and the not so good

Bad: A few weeks ago, the transmission in Brian's van bit it (ironically, as he was on his way to the transmission place to have it checked out). Being as how the van had 125,000 miles on it and a blue book value of about $3000 on a good day, we decided it wasn't worth investing $1500+ in it to fix the transmission. This left us a one-car family, which was fine as long as I was on maternity leave (well, not fine, but doable), but I go back to work on July 10 (tomorrow, but that may be a topic for another post). We needed a vehicle, but weren't really in a position where we felt comfortable adding a car payment to the budget right now. What to do?

Good: We found a 1986 Ford F-150 extended cab for the right price, only 50,000 miles on it. Score! We paid cash, no car payment needed. The air conditioner blew but didn't cool, but a mechanic here in town fixed that for only $109.70 (that and a couple of other little tweaky things, too). And when Brian gave him a $100 and a $20, he said, "Keep the $20, I'll just take the $100 and we'll call it even." He is SO our mechanic for life.

Not so good: The truck didn't want to start today while Brian was running errands on his lunch hour. *sigh* Brian talked to an old guy at the post office (where he was when it conked out) who saw him messing around with the truck. The guy had worked on Fords for 40-odd years, and told Brian it was either the timing chain or a stripped timing gear. I called A+ (where we took it before), and the mechanic told me it would be at most $300-400 to fix. Thankfully we have that right this minute, so that's a good thing. And Brian can take me to the bus station tomorrow and keep the car to do his running around with the boys while I'm at work. It will mean everyone getting up sucktastically early, as I need to be at the bus station by 7:00 to get to work by 7:30, which means leaving here by 6:30 at the latest. That should be fun! Not. Oh well, it could be worse. We could be a one-car family all the time. That would be a big logistical ball of fail.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

I hope we can all take a little time today to remember what this holiday is really about - American independence. God bless our country, and God bless the people who've given their lives to gain that independence for us and those who continue to do so.

I've got a lot to catch up on, and hopefully I'll get the chance to do that sometime this weekend. Today, though, it's cookapalooza at our house. We got a good deal on a lot of meat yesterday, so Brian is firing up the smoker, and we've got potluck at church tomorrow, so I'm whipping up some crawfish fettucine and lemon coconut bars as my contributions. Throw in a few loads of laundry and a couple of Bright Blessings orders to fill, and I think the weekend is just going to fly by!