Monday, July 25, 2011

Death of a Challenge

The blog challenge has kind of died.  The point of it was to challenge myself to do the blog every week.  I am now behind--which seems to happen more and more. I am not too proud to admit defeat.  It was fun while it lasted, though.

Until next time . . .

Thursday, July 14, 2011

When It Rains It Pours

. . . and then the flood comes and you better grab a manual on how to build an ark super fast!

This week we didn't have our manual. LOL

This week has been one that Jacob and I will not only be happy to see behind us but also one we hope to forget once its over.  It has been one thing after another--days filled with worry and stress and long nights filled with sleeplessness because of worry and stress.

The boys and I were driving home Tuesday afternoon after meeting my best friend for lunch when out of the blue the car started acting up.  It was hot, a storm was coming, and I had my pregnant self and my two kiddos in the car--I did NOT want to get stuck on the side of I-44.  As I was losing speed I took the first exit we came to and luckily there was an insurance building and a parking lot right off the exit.  We parked in the parking lot and I called Jacob to let him know what was going on.  I then called AAA to come and get us.  I was talking to AAA as it thundered and lightninged and the boys were telling me they were scared because of the storm.  We finally got all the information to her and hurried inside the insurance office as the wind picked up and the first storm came through.  The people in the insurance office were not friendly and acted like they didn't want us in there, but I wasn't going to sit in my car in a storm when an air conditioned (and safer) building was right there.  So, we waited over an hour for the tow truck.  He showed up about the time the second storm came through.  It started raining as he hooked up my car and the boys and I hopped in the tow truck. We ended up going 35 on the interstate because it was raining so hard.  Logan was asking the driver about his truck, showing the driver his stick on tattoos, and loving every minute of it.  We stopped to get gas and the driver asked if we wanted anything.  Alex and I immediately said, "No thank you."  Logan (of course) requested chocolate milk--which the driver got for him.

We finally made it to the "car doctor" as the boys call it and Jacob picked us up.  That day was spent waiting on the tow truck and waiting to get home. 

The next day was spent waiting on the auto repair place to call us and tell us what was going on and how much it was going to cost to fix.  At this point we had already spent $700, including the $66 it cost for the tow truck, on the car in less than two months.  I was feeling stressed but trying very hard not to get upset until we heard what was going on.  Waiting is a very stressful process.
Jacob finally called and said the head gasket on the car had busted and it would cost $1800 to fix. I wanted to laugh and then I wanted to cry.  By this point I was done with this car.  It was old and had a lot of miles on it and I no longer trusted it or wanted to bother driving it anymore. In the back of my mind I knew something else would just break and this cycle would continue.
So, the stress level rose, the pregnancy hormones kicked in, and I felt overwhelmed.  I started emailing dealerships to see what our options are.  I quickly learned that the amount we could afford to pay each month on a vehicle would only get us another vehicle with over 100,000 miles on it IF it got us a vehicle at all. Our only other vehicle is the one Jacob drives to work.  It is16 years old, has no air conditioner right now, and the driver's side door won't open from the inside.  I'm sure there are other issues with it that I don't know about--quite frankly I'm fine with not knowing at this point.We went and picked up the car yesterday evening, spending ANOTHER $53 to get new spark plugs put in it so it MIGHT make it home. It did make it home,  but that was a stressful drive--with Logan in the backseat talking about flies and the color white.  I was glad he was with me--in Logan land its always a happy place. LOL

Today has been another day of waiting, worrying, and stressing.  We thought the problem was sorted out and then I filled out the loan application online and was sent an email stating it needed further review.  Great--more waiting.  I have had to cancel all of Alex's therapy sessions this week because we have no car to get him there.  I had to cancel last week because the car was in the shop for other things. We have been stuck in the house for two days and the boys are fighting and whining--it has been crazy. There are days when I wonder if life is always going to be this way.  We are in our 30s now, with two boys and a daughter on the way, and we are still struggling to get by it seems. Once we get over this vehicle hurdle life should go back to normal--but until then it has been impossible to relax, to sleep, and to NOT worry and stress.

Let's hope next week is a boring one! LOL

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lazy Days of Summer

Everyone is so busy these days.  I'm sure we can all appreciate a lazy day.  A day when nothing is on the calendar, its hot outside, and its nice to just stay indoors with the cool air and do something you enjoy--something you don't get to do often.  Yesterday I spent a lot of time reading, which was really nice.  I finished a book I had been reading for a while (funny how its hard to find time to read when you have little boys running around) entitled Dead Until Dawn by Charlaine Harris.  It was recommended to me by a friend and I have to admit that I did enjoy it.  I even started reading a new book, Bossypants  by Tina Fey--which I am really enjoying. 
Jacob and I watch old episodes of 30 Rock every night and its hilarious--this book is just as hilarious.  I have just started it but am looking forward to reading more of it--and getting involved in it if the little ones I live with allow it.

It is so hot outside that we do most of our venturing outdoors in the morning.  By 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. it already seems too hot and we come back inside. The boys play with their toys, board games, puzzles, Play-doh, Tag readers, and we even watch movies.  We stay inside and appreciate our air conditioner. I love when the weekends roll around and we have an entire afternoon with nothing planned--the boys play and Jacob and I sit with our Kindles and read.  I have to admit that I have become pretty spoiled to my Kindle.

Today has been another day with nothing on the calendar. I've done some laundry, the boys watched Iron Man, and played with the Bat Cave.  I have been cleaning the kitchen and put together the ingredients for crock pot lasagna for dinner tonight.
I have made this before and all of my guys liked it. It is super easy to make and it nearly cooks itself.  The great thing is we will get two meals out of this, which is always a plus!

I hope you all are cooking fun things and enjoying your air conditioner when you get a chance by watching a good movie or reading a good book.  Before we know it summer will be over and school will be starting--until then, let's enjoy things as much as we can!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Last week (hey, I'm only ONE day late this time--LOL) the challenge was to post a picture of a flower. I remembered being in a place that I thought was beautiful and was sure I had a picture of it.  I went searching for the picture and, amazingly, found it fairly easily. 

While in New Orleans I stumbled upon this beautiful park. It was one of the prettiest things I've ever seen.  I remember sitting there, listening to the birds sing, and feeling the breeze blow through the park.  It was such a peaceful and beautiful place.  I walked around the park for a while and came across this area that was just covered in these beautiful flowers. So, this is the picture I wanted to share. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Situation Comedy, Anyone?

It occurred to me this week that our life could be a sit-com.  The television show The Middle comes to mind.  There was an episode where the mother buys some make-up thinking its $20 and discovers later it was $200.  She and her husband both have to get jobs to help pay for the make-up. There are so many sit-coms where families live in big, nice homes and drive new cars.  I can't relate to that.  I can relate to the family who gets excited about finding a $5 coupon for pizza, who accidentally spends $200 and wipes out their bank account, who lives in a normal house, gets frustrated with their children, and some times struggles to make ends meet.

This past week has been a stressful one for us--and I told Jacob it was like we were trapped in a sit-com.
It started when some one took our trash cart. We learned that they thought it was an extra one and didn't realize we paid extra each month to have a second trash cart.  Jacob pointed out that even if it was an extra cart we were obviously using it. It was returned to us full of trash, pizza boxes, and beer cans.  Jacob walked in laughing after it was returned.  I said, "What?" He said, "Guess what's back?"  I said, "The trash cart?"  He said, "Yes, and its full of trash so I now get to drag some one else's trash to the curb."  We have been working on the baby's room and it would have been nice to have our cart to put trash in, but since it is full things are sitting in the baby's room--waiting. They stare at us and mock us as we walk by--I even heard laughter once, I think. 

We tried to get sliders at Home Plate Sliders for lunch.  We called the order in so we could just pick it up and bring it home--knowing they would be busy since it was lunch time. The woman on the phone said they would be ready in 15 minutes--so we gave them 25.  When we got there we waited another 15 minutes, at least, because, for some reason, our order confused the the cash register.  The woman finally handed me our food and one cup (we had paid for 4 drinks--there ARE 4 of us).  I said, "We paid for 4 drinks."  She looked at the order, sighed, and handed me 3 more cups. We got in the car and Jacob said, "What was the point of calling the order in?"  By the time we got our food home (after all of that) it was all cold and my slider was pink in the middle.  Hang your head and cue Charlie Brown music! LOL

We went to Jacob's grandmother's for a get together with his family and once there, the car wouldn't start. When we finally got it started we brought it home and discovered it was hissing and spewing coolant.  We tried to take it to the machanic on the 4th and just leave it there but the parking lot was full because of a parade.  Again, we laughed.  You know the laugh--the stress-filled, "If I didn't laugh I'd cry" laugh.  Yeah, that one. We brought the car back home and took it back yesterday morning. Later Jacob was informed that the car was starting fine and they don't know why it wouldn't start at his grandmother's.  There were other problems they had to fix, which made me laugh. We spent $360 exactly a month ago getting the brakes fixed and having a  couple of other things done on the car.  Now we are spending another $230 to have things fixed.  I told Jacob that we have spent nearly $600 on this car in a month's time. Yes, this makes me laugh.

It is funny how you try to manage money and make plans and things happen that force you to change your plans. We are having to put off buying a baby bed because of the car issue and I was going to buy the boys' tennis shoes, back packs, and lunch bags with this paycheck and save school supplies for the next paycheck since the boys' supply lists are frighteningly long, but plans have once again been changed.

These things are all inconveniences--nothing major.  I know things will fall into place and everything will work out, but until then--the sit-com continues! I've been looking for the camera crew, but they are hiding really well.  LOL


Last week's challenge was to post a picture about nature.  I found these two pictures that Jacob took a year or so ago and thought I'd post them.