Maybe Not

So Buddy decided not to move in for the time being.  This after we talked with his mother about child support and how we would handle that issue.  Honestly I am relieved and very irritated at the same time.  I know that money is tight for her/them right now but we were honestly not being unfair regarding support payments.  The focus in this should be on Buddy and what is best for him… NOT money.  This isn’t a denial of the relief that overcame me when I realized the changes weren’t imminent because that was definitely there.  For now we will focus on spending additional time with Buddy and being supportive of his decisions.  All I can do at this point is pray for the whole thing.

November 13, 2008 at 10:10 pm Leave a comment

Change is Inevitable… or something like that

For the last two years our lives have basically remained the same with no more than minor changes going on.  Right now it seems as though everything is changing at once though.  I’ve wanted and needed a change, I could feel it in my heart but for me change is scary.  Changes are also scary for Moo Moo so that has weighed heavily on an decisions of change.  We like things to stay relatively the same because change means entering the unknown.  Scary stuff for a grown woman, mom, and wife but even scarier for a wee tot!!  Ready or not here they come! 

As some of you may or may not realize, we have lived with my parents in their home for as long as Moo Moo (and Wrinkes) can remember.  Recently Hubby got a promotion at work that allows him to work days…. FOREVER!  YEAH!! :)  Along with the promotion came a pay raise.  Good news because it means we are one step closer to being able to build our dream home next door to my parents.  Not that there are problems living here because, much to my surprise, things go very smoothly living in combined quarters. 

We are lucky enough to have our own kitchen, dining/living room, and two large bedrooms all in the basement of the house.  They have also given us one bedroom upstairs for the step kids to use when they are here every other weekend.  It’s a lot like having our own apartment except we do have to go upstairs to bathe and use the restroom.  Really no big deal considering we live here completely rent free only helping out with bills when and if needed.  “Rent money” goes into our savings account for a down payment on a house.  We try to be respectful of the fact that they allow us to live here rent free by not being too frivolous with our money.  Also any major decisions, like having another baby, are discussed openly and freely before any decisions are made (to the extent possible). 

Having my mom share the journey of motherhood has been a blessing of it’s own.  There are so many times when I’ve wanted to pull my hair out in frustration with the boys and Mom says “if you need a break, send them up here for a while.”  We really do try to maintain separate living space.  The kids know that we live downstairs at “our house” and grandpa and grandma live upstairs at “their house”.  This allows and maintains the grandparents to remain the grandparents instead of becoming another set of parents.  My parents are respectful of our role as parents and primary caretakers of the children.  Without these parameters I don’t think that this living arrangement would have or would continue to work out as well for everyone as it has.  My mom has been a source of support, comfort, and some much needed advise along my parenting journey.  I/We will be eternally grateful for all they have done for us.

When Hubby got his raise we began to think heavily of preceding with building our house.  Every time we talked about it Moo Moo would break down in tears.  He truly doesn’t understand that our living arrangement is not the norm and he has no clue why we would want to move into our own house (without grandpa and grandma).  We tried to explain it to him the best that we could without sending him into complete panic mode.  Soon we began looking at floor plans, contacting builders to ask LOTS of questions, even walking through a couple of different homes in various stages of the whole process.  Then the economic crisis began to emerge more and more.  As the economic situation came out more and more we saw our dreams being pushed back further and further.  We are now looking at another two years, minimum, of living with my parents. 

Good news?  Bad news?  Really the answer is both.  My parents really don’t want us to move out.  They will miss seeing the grandkids every day, talking with us, sharing meals regularly, etc.  However it is never an easy thing to explain our living arrangements to new people that we meet or even to people that we haven’t seen in many years.  Most people can’t fathom the idea of living with parents (or in-laws) and having it work out well.  Sometimes we try to avoid that part of the conversation, sometimes we just say we live out side of (small town Iowa), sometimes we try to explain but, like I said, most can’t understand.  Although there are a select few who say if it works for you then that’s a good decision.  Good, bad, all of the above.

Now… back to the changes.  Since moving out isn’t in our immediate future, my parents decided that it was time to replace the carpeting that had been here for almost thirty years.  YEAH!  They let us pick it out with their approval and Hubby is going to install it.  We decided to put vinyl flooring on the dining room part and carpet the living room.  It will be a huge upgrade for us!  I am so excited.  See, they really don’t want us to move.  :)

Change #2.  It was brought to our attention last Friday that my step-son, Buddy, really wants to move in with us.  Now considering our living arrangements this makes a huge decision really a major decision.  There are some space concerns because of the gap in ages of him and our boys.  There is the change for him of moving from a large town to a small town, switching schools, and living with a preschooler & toddler… and possibly at some point in time another baby.  There is the change for us of being full-time parents to a teenager (not technically a teenager, but less than 6 months away from being official).  We had a meeting on Sunday with him and his mother to discuss these things and decide what is really in his best interest.  After two hours of talking, crying, and really having some good talking between all of his parents we have decided to move forward with this.  The plan right now is he will be moving in in two to four weeks time.  During that time he can change his mind and stay living with his mom but after he moves in he is committed to staying here through the end of the school year.  Right now I really think that Buddy living here would probably be in his best interest.  There are some legal issues that will need to be solved and also the issue of visitations with his sister (who also recently moved out from the mother’s home).  Part of me really hopes that he chooses to come live here with us but the other part of me is scared out of my mind!!!  We have not told the boys yet in case he does change his mind.

Change #3.  With the whole housing issue, I really began to question my decision to be a SAHM.  Yet, I don’t think it would be practical to pay babysitting costs plus be able to find someone whom I would be okay leaving my children with.  I toyed with the idea of working part time but quickly realized that was not an option that would work either, with Hubby’s unpredictable hours.  A job was brought to my attention that allows me to bring the kids with me to work.  Only a few hours a week but money that can be put straight into savings to bring us closer to our dream house.  Really the perfect job for me!!  I start Thursday and I really am excited even though it is going to be a change.

CHANGES- some big, others not so much.  Scary?  Yes.  Needed?  Yes.  For the best?  Yes.

There are other, smaller changes going on that I am sure I will post about soon.  Since this turned into more of our living arrangement post than changes post, I think I shall part for now.

October 6, 2008 at 11:20 pm Leave a comment

I’ve said this before but…

WOW!  It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything.  I have started a post for later today but don’t have the time or energy to finish it right now.  There are lots of things changing around here.  I think they are all good (in the long run) but none the less very scary changes.  Check back later today/tonight to read about everything.

October 6, 2008 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

Sunday Drives

This summer we have started a little tradition of visiting the national reserve near our home every Sunday.  We always go in the evening because it is cooler and the buffalo and elk are more likely to be seen.  Sometimes we start or end the drive with a stop at the little ice cream store in town.  Moo Moo loves to see the wildlife and although Wrinkles doesn’t seem to really care the drives do help him to wind down a bit just before bedtime. 

Moo Moo always wants to know why the buffalo look mad all the time until he saw this one which he says is smiling.

This mama and her babe put on quite the show for us.  They were content to have many pictures taken of them.  When we first saw these two they were playing together, it was very neat to see, then baby decided his belly needed filled up.

This year there seems to be a lot of deer within the fences of the preserve.  Usually the deer leave during the summer but seek haven within the refuge from the hunters during the winter months. 

Nothing ends the weekend and our Sunday drive like a beautiful sunset.

July 15, 2008 at 9:43 pm Leave a comment

Wow!

Summer has definitely taken over our lives around here.  Little time has been spent inside and even at home lately.  Obviously, since I haven’t posted in over a month…. how did that happen?…. my blog has been a very low priority.  After a mini family vacation in which we completely unplugged from all electronics it has been surprisingly difficult to get back into blogging.  However, I have lots of fun things to share with everyone; pictures of our adventures, new updates on things on the homefront, etc, etc.  I will start catching up tomorrow.

Until then… let’s do a pay it forward giveaway.  Just leave a comment telling me what fun things you have been doing this summer to enter. 

What will you receive?  Good question.  I’m completely unsure but I doubt you will be disappointed.  I will put a box of goodies together.  I have a couple of ideas floating around.

If you win I ask, although it is completely voluntary, that you post a picture of what you receive on your own blog (if you have one).  I would also ask that you do your own pay it forward contest to keep the fun times going…. again not required but appreciated.  That’s all.

This giveaway ends Friday afternoon, July 18, at 5:00 PM CST.

July 14, 2008 at 9:55 pm 1 comment

Time for T-Ball

 So if there were a contest for the worst mom in terms of taking pictures I would probably win… LOL!  I always forget my camera.  Maybe it’s because I really dislike it?  Not a valid excuse but the only one I can come up with.  This picture was taken with my cell phone so I didn’t have a lot of editing choices and it’s hard to see.  But there he is getting ready to take a swing with his coach behind him.   

Anyway, this was Moo Moo’s second time at T-ball this past weekend.  He seems to really be enjoying it, periodically I have to remind him to put on his “listening ears” and do what the coach tells them to do but he does pretty good.  He dislikes the running but loves catching, throwing, and hitting.  We “play” against other teams all of the same age group.  It is totally non-competitive and just an introduction into t-ball/baseball fundamentals.  They don’t keep score, have positions, or anything fancy like that- this was one of the big factors in chosing to let him play already. 

I promise to produce better pictures in the coming weeks.

May 19, 2008 at 9:23 pm 3 comments

Camera Fever

I have camera fever.  I really want a new camera.  I’m tired of my old camera because nearly all of the pictures taken require editing just to look okay.  I am currently using a Kodak Easy Share camera that is several years old; however I am completely unimpressed with the results from it so I’m pretty sure I don’t want another Easy Share.  I have tried everything to get rid of red eye in my pictures to no avail.  The shutter speed is extremely slow thus losing some really great shots. 

What do I want in a camera?  Good question.  I know that I want to take great pictures in basically any situation- action, landscape/nature, indoors, people, group shots, etc., etc.  I would like to have a camera that allows me explore with the settings but not overly complicated in that I have to set it up for every situation.  I would like this camera to be able to grow with me and my abilities (if that is possible).  My ideal camera would have the extra lens to go with it, I think. 

So… if you have a camera you love would you please tell me about it.  I am completely lost in my search.  Also, if you wouldn’t mind sharing where you got it and any other relevant details I may need to know.  Or if you know of a good site that recommends cameras based on answering questions I would be interested in checking those out too.

May 14, 2008 at 8:05 pm 6 comments

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