Friday, November 20, 2009

Bitch Fest Friday

It's that time again.

I cannot even get into all the stuff I have to juggle right now. I just made it through my first hurdle: laying the baby down... while keeping two toddlers quiet & out of the room (without the use of moving pictures). I can't believe I did it... but I did. Now I need to make a corn pudding that I need to drop off at Kid's school in two hours and watch her performance & attend her potluck with 3 kids under 3. That's just the first couple of hours of my day...
I officially need less responsibilities and more sleep.

Okay now it is your turn.

(P.S. The giveaway post is still running. I think I might leave it up through Thanksgiving... seeing as some new found embarrassments might arise. Stay tuned I'll keep you apprised of the drawing date.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


There are days when I could kill Mr F.

There are days when I could rip his flesh off his body with my bare hands.

Today is one of those days.

Deep Breath... and Giveaway

I'm having one of those days that feels like I've already lived a whole day by 9 AM.
This week was a lot to chew and I'm happy to find it's Thursday and I only have two more days until we load up in the car and head south for Disney. I'm really excited, and grateful, and not filled with the usual pre-trip anxiety I would normally feel with 2 days to pack and load. I just don't care... I just know that having 9 days of NO work, NO chores, NO babysitting, NO school is going to be great. I'm so glad we are doing this.

Blogger is being slow and annoying for me this morning... so I'm moving on to the the 100 things I'm trying to juggle.

Now for the giveaway
. Today I'm doing it a little differently. Today I'm asking that you go back in time... and make me laugh... or cringe... or really, REALLY, be glad I was not in your shoes.

Today I want you to share with me your most embarrassing or awkward family holiday moment (um did I ever tell you that my mom and I accidentally left a casserole on the roof of the car on our way to Thanksgiving... and that it fell off into the road... and that we scooped it back up... AND SERVED IT?... It turns out that (unbeknownst to us I swear!!!) it was full of broken glass.... Did I mention we SERVED IT?!)

So go ahead and share your stories. I will choose a commenter at random and send them a $10 iTunes card. (You thought I forgot about my Your LIfe Sucks Here's Ten Bucks giveaways?... I didn't I just had to postpone this one a little bit... plus I wanted to change it up a bit)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Step One Towards Change

Complete my 45 credits necessary to maintain my Michigan LMSW license.

The very thought of this has been a bit daunting. Michigan happens to have some of the LEAST social work friendly licensing laws. I know because I'm also licensed to practice in New York... and have had to investigate licensing in... oh... several states in the last few years. Michigan's kind of on a clinical social worker's shit list. I could go into it but since the majority of you have no idea what I'm talking about I won't.

A couple years ago Michigan decided to tack on a continuing education requirement. Fine. I actually think that's responsible practice. However the requirement is 45 fucking credits. That is a lot folks. A lot.

To put it in perspective in New York I don't have to do ANY. I just have to maintain my license, and if I'm working (which I'm not and they allow me to specify that) attend child abuse training. The end.

In Michigan on top of paying for your license, you have to pay for the credits. You could easily spend a thousand dollars doing so. Oh.... and... the time. Most continuing education offerings are small weekend seminars, and more recently day or evening classes. These are not only not cheap but also require childcare... which... (outside of the fact that I'm not even in Michigan) we can't afford.

When you are working full time (in my experience of working in the clinic of a large agency) your employer will often both pay for the credits and also schedule them as part of your work day. Obtaining these credits while NOT working and staying home with your kids becomes nearly impossible.

The first year Baby was an infant and nursing around the clock and I couldn't attend any seminars. The next year we moved HERE.... so... um... can't attend any courses or seminars.

Well in light of recent events I thought "shit when is my credit deadline?!!!". These days it just seems like a good idea for me to be prepared to support my family at a moments notice. And it seems like a good idea not to get a permanent "failure to comply" mark on my license... you know... it's probably bad enough that I've been out of the workforce for 8 years.

It turns out I need to get my 45 credits before April 30th. That's six months. I already have a full plate these days. Fortunately I seem to have found a distance learning program that will allow me to earn the credits through home study and testing. Better than that it saves me about $700 over the local Ann Arbor community college courses I would have taken. Yes it sounds too good to be true... but it's nationally accredited... and if I'm audited at least I can show I made a good faith attempt to fulfill my credit hours while living out of state. That should count for something!

So yesterday I felt like a freaking rock star. I had the little baby all day. And I still managed to do three loads of laundry... including folding them and PUTTING THEM AWAY. I took the kids to the grocery store (sure the little baby puked all over the cart... but whatever) and PUT AWAY THE GROCERIES. I called Mr F to say "I am really having a productive day". Usually when I'm babysitting I really can't do any household chores... and with my brother coming today and Disney this weekend that was stressing me out. And I also started my coursework for a two credit ethics class. See? I was functioning at 150%.

Then the little baby got picked up and his aunt (a teacher at Kid's school) said "Where's Kid?". As it turns out Kid had a HALF DAY OF SCHOOL.

So while I was busy over achieving on the home front I ended up paying for Kid to attend after care. How much does after care cost? OH... a dollar more an hour than I make babysitting. So instead of making money yesterday... I worked all day... and LOST money!

I would like to point out that I DO NOT think it is a coincidence that the school, that NEVER forgets to send out multiple reminders when we are approaching a fundraising deadline, does not send out reminders when there are half days. Because for every parent that forgets they are automatically paying the school for childcare for the remainder of the school day. See how nicely that works out?

So what was the point? The point is that trying to juggle staying home full time, with babysitting 30 hours a week, with earning these credits is going to be a bit taxing.

The good news is last night I finished the coursework and scored a 100% on my test... and I actually enjoyed it... because I'm a nerd and school is my strong suit (who got a 4.0 in their Master's program?... oh yeah... me). All while helping Kid with her homework, making dinner, and getting a full workout in.

That's 2 credits down... 43 to go.

And that's Step One in our plan.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Change Is On The Horizon (Maybe Not Tomorrow... But It's Within Our Sights)

As I'm sure you can imagine a lot of stuff is going on in the background around here. Some things have been made VERY clear to us and we are now processing that and moving ahead. While moving here has without a doubt been a difficult and often disappointing experience (especially financially) it has given us insight and knowledge that we wouldn't have been able to get if we hadn't come here. We are in a much better position to effect real change in the areas that have the most impact on our lives and happiness.

And we are going to.

Things are not going to be *easy* or *perfect*. In fact in some ways we may trade a certain predictability and stability for... well... unpredictability and instability.

But it will be our choice.

It is one thing to make deep (sometimes painful) sacrifices when it is for something you believe in or want. It is quite another to be slowly bled dry over something you know isn't making you fulfilled or happy. And in many ways is going against our family goals.

So things will change.

Not because they are *meant to be* or because *we deserve* them.

Things are going to change because we're willing to risk it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Touch And Go

My blogging is going to be touch and go this week.

I've got 3 days of babysitting, Kid's school potluck (which I have to attend with all 3 little kids 2.5 and under... good times), my brother is coming into town for a day, AND we leave for Disney World on Saturday.

And, no, I haven't cleaned off my desk.

And I need to clean the house & do laundry.

And pack for our trip.

So... yeah... I'm busy.

Updates of all sorts when I can catch a few minutes (the party was disappointingly not filled with eco warfare... although she did give Kid a set of three felted white rats with red eyes... do we think that was done intentionally?... because you could not come up with a more horrifically terrifying gift to give my kid than that (well... live rats... I suppose). Kid has already begun tormenting me with them.).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Party Prep

The infamous shared 7th birthday party is today.  I am sure I will have plenty of hilarious updates for you all after that.

For now I'll give you a glimpse at what we've come up with..

Gift bags:
marble (kids like marbles it's just a fact)
small pencil (you know the 80s kind where you can pull the tips out)
eraser (two for one here... leftover from Kid's halloween at school)
7 bead necklace (Kid laid out the patterns and I strung them)

(Yes Kid wrote her name in a different style on EVERY bag... it only took her 2 days to do it)

The grand total for 20 gift bags was $15 and that included the cost of the beads.

The cake:
Kid told me last night that she wanted unicorn cupcakes.  Here is the deal some things like that are actually easier not done in miniature.  I played around and realized I could build a primitive unicorn off of the number 7 which made it's lack of realism intentional (I'm no dummy).
Take a 7 

Add a mane

And a horn

And an ear & a nonpareil for an eye

And you've got a perfectly adequate unicorn.

Kid came in and said "That's not exactly what I had in mind."

You're welcome.

I also made gluten free brownies with chocolate buttercream.

I used the new Betty Crocker gluten free mix which I found in my regular grocery store.  It was really good.  It tasted exactly like the old Gluten Free Pantry mix (which IMO is the best mix around).  These were indistinguishable from regular brownies.  I froze them as soon as they were cool (I have found that gluten free baked goods dry out really fast).  I'm just going to pull the plates out when we leave for the party and they will thaw on the plates in time to serve them.

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