Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Visions of What, Exactly?

It's been 3 days and I'm ready for this week to come to an end. The bulk of my time has been spent on Daughter, although in between there we had Empire come out to price out carpeting most of our house (approx. $6,000! Not gonna happen.) and a carpenter I know came over to check out all the locks we need to change. I also managed to finally get those rockets on Son's wall. He saw it and was thrilled. He expected a galaxy on the walls but I explained that would happen via bed linens, wall lamps, and other accents. He's happy and I'm just glad that part is done.

I'm tired. Not just because of the house and the time it's taking to get things done but Daughter has suddenly started having some form of night terrors and it is draining.

She's always been the stong one of our 2 children and that may sound odd of a 3-year-old but that girl puts up with just about anything and puts you in your place as well. She plays with her brother, we listen for conflict and try not to interfere too much. They watch TV together and imagine together and generally do what brothers and sisters should.

But we don't know what she watched Saturday night. We thought maybe they watched something on Cartoon Network. I blocked that channel once but blocking that one seemed to block ALL the cartoon channels and I didn't want that but eventually clever Son figured out the pin number anyway - because I didn't even try to be clever mom. We watched and listened and kept going. (But oh, yes, I did figure out how to block that one channel and the pin number now is one Son won't guess.)

Sunday morning about 5 a.m., Daughter sat up in bed and spoke out about something coming down from the ceiling and something crawling out of daddy's ear. Excuse me? I sat up for that one because I knew that couldn't be but then she let out the most blood curdling scream I've ever heard - I've NEVER heard her scream like this. I jumped up and turned on the light to see what she saw. But nothing was there. I tossed the covers and Mr. T. looked over in confusion. He pulled back the sheets as Daughter continued to retreat from something only she could see. We searched the ceiling in vain as she concentrated on something there. We thought she might still be asleep but she responded to everything we said. She jumped in my arms but I couldn't move fast enough to get out into the hallway as she insisted. Mr. T. and I could only exchange confused glances.

Daughter looked to the ceiling and looked anxiously around her. Whatever it was she was seeing, they were everywhere and she could not contain herself. Eventually she ran to her Nana's room where the light was on because she was up getting ready to go to the early morning service at her church. Daughter stayed there and Mr. T and I laid back down listening to her descriptions and shaking our heads. It wasn't long before the screams came again. Whatever it was, she was seeing it in the dark AND in the light. This is not normal. She was awake. I was sure of it because she laughed and played as she calmed down during the two hours we went through this. Sometimes another scream came at the end of a laugh as her eyes caught sight of something yet again. She ran back to me and tried to hide from whatver she saw. "Turn on the light! Turn on the light now!" she insisted. Mr. T. was drifting in and out (the man slept through most of my 28 hours of labor pains. I'm not surprised he'd manage to sleep with this going on). I turned on the touch lamp on the lowest setting, turned on the TV and let Daughter cling to my arm as she instructed me to, "Kill it! Kill it!" A waving of my hands was all it took but I couldn't stop or else they'd get close again.

Two hours later Daughter was able to fall asleep. The next day, she remembered what happened but was more joking about it. Sunday night she got through the night and we thought maybe it was a fluke. 2 o'clock this morning, she did it again. Screaming she looked under the sheets she shares with us and hid under them, refusing to come out even as I tried to assure her I had turned on the light and the TV as she was telling me to do. I told her she'd get really hot under there. "Mommy's here. Come on out."


I looked at her. I talked to her. She was awake. She grew more agitated and eventually was overcome by all the creatures surrounding her. "Let's get out of here! Let's get out of this room!"

"OK, OK. It's OK."

I went to the living room as she screamed all the way and climbed all over me. Mr. T followed us, not knowing what to do. "It's OK, mommy's here. This is what mommies and daddies do. We protect you. You are going to be OK."

"Kill them! Kill them!"

I hugged her close and trried to pace the floor.

"Stop it! Stop walking!"

"OK." I sat and felt her curl up in a ball. I supressed my own welling sorrow for her pain and offered her the best weapon I have - my faith.

"Daughter, do you know who God is?" She goes to Youth Church with her brother so I was curious to see what she would say now.

"Jesus," she said with a shaky voice, looking around, shrinking from the images in her head.

"Yep. God created this world and everything in it that is good is His. This bad stuff you see, that's not what He wants for you. Listen to me, Daughter. Say what I say."

I explained to her that God has not given her the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. WE said it again and again. I told her that God gave her her mommy and daddy to be physical manifestations of His love for her and to give her protection that she could see and feel.

"But do you know what else is here that you can't see?"

"No," she whimpered, tears falling in huge drops.

"Angels! Lots of them for someone like you. You KNOW how busy YOU are! You have so many out there watching your every step to do God's will and protect you. God is bigger than what you see, Daughter. Let's ask Him to take it away."

We spent the next two hours asking God to take it away, waving our hands and fanning away the spiders she was seeing. We determined from Son that these things were indeed something they had both seen on the Discovery Kids channel. We pointed to those creatures as she yelled at them, "You are stupid! God protects me!"

"That's right, Daughter! You are a strong girl and you have such a strong imagination and something is stuck in your head right now but they are NOT real. God is. Use that powerful imagination for the good. We won't let it overpower you."

"Leave me alone," she demanded of the things,though in between her bouts of strength, she'd recoil and insist I kill them. "You're icy!' she yelled.

I laughed.

"That's right baby. You tell them."

After two and half hours, a few songs, lots of threats to her visions of what I couldn't see, and continuous handwaving against this invisible foe, Daughter began to relax again. I let her watch a happy cartoon, some Barney too as she fell asleep in my arms and didn't protest as I carried her back down the dark hallway to our bed.

She was hot this morning. I took her to the doctor and it seems all the illness that had plagued her off and on for the last month had culminated into congestion on one side of her face and an ear infection as well - despite the tubes we had put in a few years ago. The doctor agreed that illness would disrupt her sleep and possibly bring on these hallucinations. She's been coughing for a month now and has been so restless. As I looked into the definition of night terrors, I figured she was just one very tired baby.

She's resting now and has been for hours. It's getting dark and I have faith in the medicine of man, medicine that God gave us the ability to create. She'll get back to herself, I'm sure of it. I hate that she's going through this but we had 2 hours just talking about who God is to her. Daughter and I fought the fight together with our spiritual weapons. I didn't think satan was moving in, mind you, but it's never too early to learn how to fight the battles you know you can't win alone. I'm glad I got the chance to share this with her. Hopefully when she is old, she won't depart from it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Step in the Best Direction

Do you know what happens when you buy shoes right after having your eyes dilated? You spend $100 without barely blinking - literally.

Now for some people in the world, this is a paultry sum anyway. "$100? That's my lunch money!"

For others, this is an unthinaklable amount. $100?! That's groceries for a month! "Ha! I wish it really were all I spent on groceries in a month.

Then there are the people with dependents and mortgages and bills and etcetera. $100 on shoes in that case may give you pause. Understandable.

So how did I get here? I went to the eye doctor this morning for my regular checkup. I didn't realize that I would get dilated because even thought I go as I should, I only needed to go every 2 years at the time. Now it's yearly since I am getting older. I also didn't know that I would pretty much be unable to see for about 4 hours afterward - well enough to drive but not enough to read normal print close up. Since reading is 100% of what I do on my job, I decided not to rush back there. The mall was only 2 blocks from my doc's office so I figured I'd check out some shoes while the lots were relatively empty and give my eyes a chance to regain some normalcy.

Now, one thing I have always wanted to do but have yet to do fully was only buy what I love and not just buy the things that don't make me feel financially guilty. I know that quality is better than quantity most times. I know that when it comes to clothing, fit SHOULD trump price. I watch What Not to Wear on TLC because it's fun to see the metamorphasis as men and women find out how much better they feel and look when they wear the proper size and fit of clothing. I believe in that myself. But that doesn't make it easy to spend the money sometimes.

I don't just have 2 dependents and now a mortgage, etc. I actually have a 3rd dependent - my business, at least until it gets profitable. Even when I start out wanting to save some money to spend on my own desires, something just about always comes up and I'm glad I have the money to take care of it but I'm a mom. My needs and wants often get pushed to the bottom even when I'm not trying to let it happen. I don't resent it. I just keep on trying. Last year I finally added myself as a line item in my personal budget. I paid myself not quite 10% as I should, but after my tithes I took out money for me and THEN I did what I had to do. That lasted for about 6 months because the house became a priority. But I did it nonetheless and I'm doing it again this year for sure. It's progress. I'll take it.

I've already reached the place where I only do what feels right for me and doesn't take me to emotional places I do not HAVE to be. I already care so little about what others think about me that I may come off uncaring of their feelings in return. And while I do apologize if some feels hurt, no, I don't apologize for being me.

This year I'm working on the quality part of life. I may not be able to buy a lot at one time but I'm choosing to buy the more expensive thing IF I love it, IF it looks good on me, IF it fits well because I want it to last and I want to be happy I have it. Subconsciously I do treat the more expensive thing better so that may be why these items last longer, in addition to the alleged craftsmanship that go into them. (I'll just have to take their word for that one.)

Last year I went to a business conference and one of the gifts we got was a free pair of Naturalizer shoes. There was a fashion show at the conference and I watched as these women strutted on the stage in their Naturalizer shoes and I thought, "Wow! Some of those are really cute!" I had been in a Naturalizer shoe store when I was a child and went with my great aunt each summer as she bought me new clothes and shoes for school. She might stop in that store to look or pay a bill and the shoes I saw there for women were not appealing. I grew up with that thought in my head and never stepped foot in the store as an adult. Then I saw those shoes on the runway and got the chance to get a free pair. They were over $70 dollars, a lot to me normally, and I was even more impressed that they gave hundreds of women these totally free shoes. I mean I didn't even pay shipping! I got them and they killed my feet the first time I wore them. After that they were golden. Perfect. I swear I didn't even notice them. They are heels too and I NEVER liked heels. These I can run in - honest! There went my ill thoughts of Naturalizer and new appreciation for pricey shoes took root.

When I went to the store this morning I couldn't see price. I could see the shoes just fine. But those prices, unless they were on bug SALE sigs, were not coming in at all. So I went for love and fit instead, hoping for a great sale but not wanting to be stopped for lack of it. The sales clerk rang them up and I admit I was a bit surprised they were indeed the $95 price tage I thought I was seeing on the shoe that sat next to the pair I wanted. But thankfully I've got a bonus coming and room on my credit card so I said, "OK."

I really hate feeling like I shouldn't get the quality thing. All my life the things I liked were usually the most expensive things so why should I be surprised by the price now? And now I am actually getting paid like an adult and not like an entry-level worker. My husband has a good job and my children are considered a higher debt for me than my actual debts are. Now's the time, if ever there was one, to shop the way I want to, even if it takes a little longer and I get a little less overall. I see it as an investment in me and gratification earned after so many years of gratification delayed as I worked on getting my finances where they should be.
As I write this now, I can honestly say I didn't even think of what else I could have done with the money. Before I could, I reminded myself that I bought the shoes because I loved them. "Good enough. Stop questioning yourself." And I did.

I've got a long way to go to fully be the person on the outside that I am on the inside. I should call all of my out-of-state friends at least every 2 months and not yearly as it feels it is now. I still have to work on always going to church on the Sundays I feel too lazy to dress three people instead on just me. I'm sure my husband would love it if I went back to the love notes I used to write him weekly, even if I only did it monthly. But I think I'm still making steps in the right direction. I'm being true to me. I can't ask any more of myself.

The Write Stuff

Someone must think I have it. Last night I found out that a flash fiction piece that I submitted to Word Riot back in September is going to be published next month! Flash fiction, for those of you who don't know, is just as it sounds - a quick piece of fiction, usually under 1,000 words. This one was done from a prompt I did in my online critique group some time ago. One of the members told me about flash fiction, a genre I didn't know of at the time, and I figured some of the things I wrote might work so why not?

It's wonderful confirmation of my writing. Mind you, I have friends, family, co-workers - my boss, even - church members, all tell me they think I'm a good writer. I've published myself when I was the editor of my church newsletter for 5 years many moons ago when I had no children. I publish myself here regularly! One of my co-workers publishes an online magazine and has told me she'd happily publish something of mine should I write something for them - still my plan. But I've got to admit, there is something about the validation from strangers, someone who doesn't know you and has no connection to you and your writing alone must represent itself. Darn it if it's not a welcome form of praise.

So this will be the very first thing I've had published in as close to the traditional way as one can get. This is the young woman who publishes the mag. Should I be concerned that she calls herself crazy Jackie? Hmmm. Who cares! The woman is published and has an agent and obviously knows what she's doing.

I'm still working on my children's book and I'm hoping my time away to deal with my house will give me the fresh perspective I need to go back to it and make it shine so I can start submitting it to publishing houses. That's one I've been working on for about 4 years now. Now, getting that baby published would indeed be a dream come true.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Change is Afoot

I am anxious. The good thing is my blog redesign is coming along and my new logo is nearly done. I love to just look at it. Makes me want to write! But you can't see it until it's done. Sorry.

The other not-so-good-but-I-can-live-with-it thing is yesterday I went in to pay the penultimate statement on a small business loan my partner and I have with a local social service agency. I told the director why I wasn't at the holiday party she threw last month. I had asked someone else to relay the message but apparently it didn't make it to her.

"You bought a house?! Oh my goodness! Are you happy?"

"Absolutely! We've been living with my mother-in-law for the last two years. I'm VERY happy! No slight to her but after I got out of college, the last thing I wanted to do was live with people anymore."

I explained how we weren't officially in the house yet. Still need to finish the painting and change the carpets and we get mattresses at the very least. "Do you have air mattresses maybe?"

"Not even that, though we should consider it."

She reminded me of how much I just want to be in already. I feel a little anxiety because we just aren't moving fast enough for me. Yet we can't go any faster than we are going because paint is not free and neither are carpets and mattresses. We still have to take this one paycheck at a time and with the first mortgage payment coming due, the priority now is for Mr. T to get whatever part of the money he has yet to get and get that payment off. Then we have to focus on a sewer bill that we walked into with an overdue balance because apparently Former Owner didn't pay her part last year and she must have known because the bills are based on the months to come, not the ones that passed. She would have gotten that baby last June or July. So I called our lawyer and he took care of it. Whew. Sometimes, you gotta love those lawyers!

Mr. T is the slow and deliberate sort. He takes his time making decisions, though not to the point of losing out - most times. I think he will always regret not making a bid on the first house we both liked almost instantly. It took months to find that one but he decided a month after we saw it that he wanted to put a bid on it. I would have - and should have - pressed the issue when we first saw it if he hadn't kept calling it a doll house, making me think he didn't REALLY want it. (Of course the house we bought, he still calls a doll house. He's right.) So we lost out on that one for good. Still, we got the better end of the stick.

But normally, he is slow to act and it pays off for him because he always finds great deals. This house was no exception. So I do try to gauge myself because I, as opposed to him, usually move faster than I ought. I've tamed that over the years and living with him has tamed it even more - to our benefit - but I haven't squashed that spirit because my impetuousness gets him moving on things while his caution moves us along safely. I'm trying to chill and focus on the things I can physically do to distract myself while he prepares the way. (Can you see the gladiators that just popped up in my head?) Gotta let a man be a man sometimes, you know? Yet I am dreaming of my treadmill. It's been inaccessible for two years and I miss it. At this point the upstairs of the house will be done being painted but there is still downstairs, which hopefully will go much faster since there are 3 rooms to paint compared to the 6 upstairs and way fewer doors to navigate around. Now that I think of it, I suppose the job is really 2/3 done. OK, I feel a little better now. Plus, before I left to drop off the Daughter and go to work, I heard him calling his buddy to get the house measured for carpet. No need to say another word. The man hears what I say without me having to say it and I do love that about him.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fun Friday

Well, everybody loves Friday. Well, maybe not those who work non-traditional schedules and have a workweek that starts on a Friday. I was hoping to do this earlier in the day but work has been mega busy lately.

But in the interest of trying to post fun stuff on Fridays, I am sharing something I found over at Six Until Me. I thought it was great! Had to share with you all. And now you can share with others!

I don't know who Phyllis is. If you do, drop me a note. Got to admit, Angelina is too skinny for my taste but I always thought she had a beautiful face so hey! Thank you! How either of us resemble Mr. Joschka I haven't a clue. Who is he, anyway?

Anyway, enjoy!

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Model Customer

Tonight I wrote for an hour about what I did at the mall. I read through, I went to fix something, I hit the wrong button, I lost the whole thing because I didn't save a version before I edited it.

I'm sick. So I'm going to roll my hair and call it a night.

Want to know what happened? The long and short of it is a salesclerk in Lane Bryant asked me if I wanted to model in their show in April. I said yes. We'll see what happens.

How dull was that? My prior version gave you a whole thing on elusive dark wash jeans and finding the right fit. My other version commented on the need to love anything I buy because when I turned 35 one birthday ago, it was just one of those pivatol moments for me - I call it my personal age of reason. I refuse to not be happy with the things and people in my life. So I'm not, for the most part. My other version had quotes and a flash back to when my mother convinced me to take a modeling class offered at some department store we went to one day. I did the show and that was the end of that modeling career. My other version explained about how hard it is to fit clothes when I'm losing weight because I never have clothes that fit me for the season and size I am in. Right now is no different. My prior version reasoned that this could be an opportunity for anything, not just for modeling like some other women may be there to find, and a writer/businesswoman like me needs to make the most of networking opportunities.

Nope, you should have read that other version. It was great. But now it's gone and all I have left is this boring watered-down version of my internal thoughts.

Oh well. Enjoy the picture. It's American Idol contestant Kimberly Locke, who is right now losing weight as well. When I saw her some seasons ago, my friend and I - who watched the show separately - both clearly remembered a black top she wore that was sheer above the belly button and it was so tasteful even we would have worn it and we both had C-sections! That's what I remember most about her - besides her great voice. I remember her top. And here she is looking great in her jeans and I'm still looking for perfection. I'll probably find the Holy Grail first.

At the Movies

VERY uneventful weekend, this weekend. Well, no, that's not true. We were up ALL NIGHT Friday with Daughter. She was throwing up. She did it at least 7 times which meant 2 clothes changes for me, 1 bath for her and an additional clothes change and two bed cleanups as well. Not to meantion the washer was going all night as well. Not fun. She's been mucus-y for too long anad I'm starting to wonder. She was sick a couple of weeks agao and I swear it hasn't completely gone away and now this. Don't know. Gott insist someone look at her.

On a brighter note, I was supposed to get rockets on Son's wall - but I didn't. I have a mirror I want to buy for the foyer and some lamps for Son's rooms but I was too lazy to go to the store alllllll the way in New Haven. Instead, I was in the mood for movies, so I rented 4 for us and 2 for the kids. In case you love them as much as I do, I'll tell you what I saw.

The Devil Wears Prada - Good movie. I found myself wondering what I would do in Andy's (Anne Hathaway) place since I too graduated college to go into journalism but had to make my start somewhere. I chose the copy editing route. She chose to be the assistant of a big time fashion magazine editor. Her world was certainly more glamourous but she was a HUGE size 6 and considered fat. Gee, they would have probably paid for me to have gastric bypass surgery then! The whole thing seemed very on point from the journalism point of view and I recently read that it was very accurate from the fashion perspective too. My point of contention was the friends/boyfriend. They knew how hard she had to work. Everyone, including her in the beginning, thought the whole world a joke but she grew to respect the industry and do the job really well and they made it hard for her. She went into it knowing that if she gave this job her all for one year, doors would open for her. That's how it is when you're coming out of college so I think she got a gret oppportunity. She gave her friends $1,000 telephones and purses - benefits of the job. They couldn't have tolerated her busy schedule for one lousy year? Yes, she was headed down a bad path but from what I could see, she would have gotten back on course anyway without their unsupportive behavior. I didn't think she ever sold out. They did. I guess we'll just have to disagree on that one.

Wicker Man - REALLY good. I didn't see it coming. I'm not so sure I should say more than that on this one in case someone wants to see it but I can say it sure gives women a bad name. Still, it was intriguing and even at the very end, I found myself hoping someone would come out of the blue and save the day. Alternate ending didn't change anyone's fate. Gotta love Nicholas Cage.

Little Miss Sunshine - Ummmm, OK. I didn't really think this was a grown-up movie but Alan Arkin is playing the grandfather here and he very much made it an R when he was on the screen. My daughter was laying with us when I was playing this one and I found myself coughing and singing and covering her ears way too much. At least until Grandpa was gone. Then it was cool. It was weird, for sure. I like the cast and I'm still astounded that Greg Kinnear has so much range. I remember him from his Talk Soup days on the E! channel. The dad (Kinnear) wants to be a motivational speaker; the son wants to fly jets; the daughter wants to be a beauty queen; the brother-in-law (Steve Carell) is a genius professor who wants his former gay lover back who jilted him for his competitor; the mom (Toni Collette) wants everyone to be happy and NO ONE gets what they want in the end. Wacky. Nice to see a family so united but I'm still pondering this one.

The Illusionist
- Excellent. Absolutely knew this was going to be some twisted mystery and I watched it with that in mind yet I still didn't figure it out until the Inspector (Paul Giamatti) was bumped on the street when a young boy was handing him a package. Then I knew what was going on. I loved it. Not sure I can own it knowing how it all works but it was fun to watch and I love Edward Norton so it was worth my time.

Barnyard - Watched this with the kiddies. Daughter and I fell asleep. Son got through it. In all fairness, it was a rainy Saturday and rainy days and Saturdays always get me down (to sleep, that is). I tell you, they just don't make kids movies interesting like they used to. I did what I always do - listened to see who voices I can pick out and that kept me going a while. Son laughed a bit. Good enough. I also got them How to Eat Fried Worms and I knew I would not be able to stomach that so I didn't tell them I got it. I'll let Mr. T do that today since they are out of school but I am not off work today.

But hey, I also watched one on HBO2 that I hadn't seen yet. Nanny McPhee. Daughter sat still for that one. I thought it was great. Wasn't sure I'd be able to look at Emma Thompson's not so attracttive face but that alters as the kids get their acts together. Reminded me of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, also a good one that Son loved but I like weird stuff like this. And it's not even a cartoon!

And these, my friends, are my reviews for now!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Unimportant Babble

Just wanted to share my frustration with wanting to buy this piece I saw in Home Goods yesterday - which is why I don't like window shopping because you always find things to buy when you don't have the money for it. I had never been in Home Goods before because I suspected I would like something that I could not afford right then and buying furniture was not a priority while we were looking to buy a house. So this piece is on hold right now by someone name Pat who was able to hold it without buying it due to something the other store manager must have been willing to allow when normally they do not. I'll just have to go back tomorrow to see if it's free again. Home Goods has it for $300. I found it online at another place in NC for $665. That $300 difference is more than enough reason to love Home Goods. I have a question in to one more NC furniture store but it's worth about $800 so I don't expect the price to be much less than that $665 I got already.

This little baby picks up the colors of my soon-to-be office/guestroom and though I was headed for white furniture before, when I saw this I changed my mind.

Mr. T. and I expect to take a long time decorating our place because after we get the much needed beds for everyone, we only plan to buy things we love, love, LOVE. And my taste is for really weird, artistic looking things I could stare at all day long but it's still functional. That's what this is and darn it, I had to find it when I wasn't looking!

Here's hoping Pat doesn't come through.

UPDATE: Heard from the second furniture store in NC that has this. It would cost me $487 plus $80 delivery for a total of $567. $100 less. That's something. So I needed to be sure about the CT version first. I got up this morning with it on my mind. I got Daughter and I out as early as I could. I was determined to go to the store before work to check on it and I got there 2 minutes before they opened. It was there. It was free. It is mine. Save $237-365. I'm a happy camper.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Fiscal Union

Today my money got married to my husband's money. January 8, 2007. What a great anniversary date.

They've been living together for quite awhile but after the house came along, it was decided that they really need to be living in the same bank account. At least part of it - the part that takes care of the things that take care of all of us. The other part that takes care of me alone continues to live the single life and is happily out there multiplying and gaining dividends.

Mr. T and I have been married for 5 years and even though we got money as wedding gifts, the most we did then was open a joint CD. That ended up paying a crazy tax bill we did not expect our first year because we were still figuring out how to declare ourselves at our individual jobs for the maximum benefit of us all. Mr. T. has always been great with his money and mine was off track for awhile when I first got out of college, then it got back into the black - until I got married.

If you are planning to get married and don't know this already, let me assure you, 2 incomes does not necessarily an overflowing bank account make. Somehow you end up with less. I suppose in our case it was because the rent went up when Mr. T. moved into my apartment. Utilities rise with more adults in a home. Things happen in marriage that don't seem to have alone. It took another couple of years to get the money back on track again and we've reached a place where I suppose we finally trust each other financially now that we've lived it as opposed to watched it from afar all the years before.

So we called my banker and did everything on the phone and via mail and presto! What he and I have joined together, let no foolish behavior put asunder.

It takes awhile to get on one accord with someone. I had a friend recently ask me about this because she's talking marriage with her boyfriend. I told her the truth about how we've done it so far. She's a smart one. I'm sure she'll do better than I did. After all she bought a condo in her 20s and I think that's a smart move. And yes, though I am a Christian and don't necessarily believe in jumping to divorce when things get hard, I also don't believe it necessary to tie up all your money together, if only because do you really want to have to discuss EVERY little move you make with your partner because the money is coming from a joint account?

Frankly, things happen, even in the best of marriages. I've seen what can happen when women put all their money in their man's hands and act like they no longer need to worry. I think THAT is foolish. I have my own, as does he, and now we'll have one together because it just makes sense since we're both contributing to the household. We're beneficiaries in the places that don't have both our names and now that we've found a lawyer we both like, we'll get the wills squared away, which we should have been done when the first child came along. But it's taken 5 years to get this far.

I'd say our money has had a really great courtship, especially since my credit has had the chance to get back where it should be and should be as perfect as his in another year. We're looking forward to that perfection making it possible to build the next house, as we wanted to do all along. Maybe even to buy another one or two to help finance the kids' futures.

No matter how wonderful your pre-marital relationship may be, I believe once you do marry, it takes time to get in sync with someone on many if not all levels, and it's nice that we've finally reached that place.

Weekend Warrior

This weekend was all about the walls. OK, so "warrior" is probably not the best word to use but I was proud of myself nonetheless for adding my own little personal touches to the kids' rooms. This one is Son's room. I'm stencling stars on the wall along with 2 suns, 2 moons and soon to be rockets with a planet or two thrown in for balance. I did the suns and moons first. I bought stencil paint for those so I could do some colors we didn't already have from the walls. That paint is dry! I hate it because it's hard to work with. I never knew what it was like before. Now I do and won't be going that way again. Nonetheless, I did what I could and the rockets are going to be done with wall paint for sure. I got a sun and a moon in the center of each of the four walls and the stars will run between them. It's hard to see in this picture but this center image is where I am so far. It took me about 3 hours to do this much. Had to stop. I'll go back tonight and see if I can at least finish the stars.

And here is a closeup of a moon and a sun. I like them. Or rather, I can live with them and Son will too - until he discovers some new theme one day he'll want played out on his walls.

Now Daughter's walls we're easier. I used a stamp to do her butterflies and it's not as messy and time consuming. I did hers in about an hour but all I'm doing is that. I'm not adding other bugs on the wall, unlike Son's more elaborate job. But those butterflies are beautiful, if I say so myself, and really make it look like a little girl's room. It does cut off the height of a wall, if you're concerned about things like that, but I love standing there and looking at them. Mr. T. likes them too though he acts like he needs sunglasses every time he goes into the room. Daughter was looking at a Pottery Barn Kids catalog with me and decided she wanted everything in there - and for her room to be pink. I think I'll just ignore that request for now.

So tonight I'll go back and get some more stars done. As much as I am enjoying the whole thing, I'll be glad when we can just move in already. Mr. T. is way more of a deliberate person than I am and I know he wants things a certain way first. I think I'll just have to keep myself busy shopping!

Friday, January 05, 2007

House Work

I know, I know. Another week and no writing. I've been busy. I swear! Oh, and I've been sick too, thanks to my daughter. Plus yesterday, Mr. T. turned 38. It's been a lot. But I'm better now, things have quieted down and I am back on the run.

Last weekend I continued cleaning. This time I had to hit the fridge and cabinets but I still need to do the cabinets below. I was too tired to do that last time. (There's some more behind me and on the wall adajacent to that fridge.)
See down there? This is me cleaning the fridge. It took me an hour and a half and it wasn't even that bad! Imagine if we had to move in after someone who didn't care! I can't imagine it. It makes me shudder. Next image.

So there's also the painting. See here the question is, "How does this purple look next to Daughter's newly yellow walls? Or should we stick with lavender?" And "Gee, this blue isn't too dark is it? And this purple with that?" Sounds like a rainbow but my kids picked the colors and I love color so I was fine with it. Mr. T says to leave the kitchen white, however.

"It would be too much color!" he says.

Pish posh! There's no such thing!
But in the spirit of compromise, I say, "Cool."

"And the living room. We won't paint the living room," he adds.

Now cut that out! We need color there!

"We'll let the furniture and things add the color."

Sigh. Fine.

I like change too much to disagree with that logic. Besides, we still WILL paint the foyer downstairs and the family room and my office/guest room a wonderful pumpkin color so I can be content. Plus we still are trying to figure out what color to do our room. I mistakenly voiced some thoughts on green and I HATE green and now Mr. T. is looking into that.(This is the empty, colorless room where my office/guestroom will be.)

I told him, "You must pick a shade that complements me."


"You never heard of that? The woman must look good in her own room. That's the rule."

He rolled his eyes but to his credit, he's following my lead on this anyway because though he's never said it, I think he thinks it's what a woman should or wants to do - make their own house a home - so he's been very open to everything I've said. Thankfully, I married a man who cares about his appearance and the appearance of things around him so I will get honest feedback and I know we won't have a thing in there we don't both love, provided it affects both of us that is.

Anyway, this weekend, it's all about getting the butterflies onto Daughter's walls. Just a simple stencil to border the ceiling. Already got a lavender switchplate with butterflies on it and lavender electrical outlet covers should have arrived in the mail by now. Now to find new closet knobs and I'll be cool until I start getting the other stuff for her. Son, on the other hand, needs a galaxy and I have stenciling to do to meet that demand as well. Never done this in my life, mind you, but I'll trust my artistic abilities with this one.
Then we'll head off to Ikea the next weekend because we saw some lighting there that he liked. Plus I saw a lovely ceiling light on their website that I think will work as well. And a wall rocket too. (It's a storage thing. Surely you understand.) I had never been there before now, believe it or not. The place is confusing but CHEAP! Great day, how cheap! Too cheap for the adult furniture, as far as I am concerned. Good transitional living type stuff and good for kids so for the kids we'll go. (And I'm sure there will at least be some fun stuff for accenting rooms too.) By the time we get done, he ought to be quite happy. And I'm happy for him, every kid should have a place where their imagination can explode all over the walls and no one will care. They finally get theirs.

This is me - in the kids' bathroom - signing off until later!