Friday, January 13, 2012

Over-Protective..Paranoid..or Just Realistic

Growing up, my sister and I ran the streets... Literally. 
We would come home from school, possibly finish our homework, then we were gone until dinner. 

I remember times like this from the age of 6... 

Out at different friends houses... 
Riding bikes all around the neighborhood...
Walking down to McDonalds hoping we could afford some french fries.. 

Every weekend we either spent the night at a friends house, or someone spent the night at our house. 
There were endless birthday parties and sleepovers... 

We had fun. We loved our freedom and nothing bad ever happened. 

My son's childhood looks NOTHING like this.

We do not live in a neighborhood where I would feel safe letting him even walk down the street... But we live in a neighborhood in a house that I can afford, with all the bills paid on time, food on the table and a ridiculous amount of video games occupying his room.

My son spends and extra hour and a half at school after class ends. I have to work till 4:00 and we do not live close to the school. (Not that he would be walking home.. it's just not that kind of neighborhood..) He gets to play with the other kids that stay late too... but it's not the same.

His evenings consist of homework time while Mom makes dinner.. then some play time with Mom... then bed time.. with Mom. 

Drew does not go to his friends homes... unless I am with him.. the entire time. Play dates are allowed... just not DROP OFF play dates. I trust my son as much as you can trust any 8 year old... but I do not trust the rest of the world.. There are too many "What Ifs" running through my head... 

He has attended many birthday parties for friends from school... and I've been right there the entire time for every one of them... I am not a DROP OFF kind of parent. 

There's a family that practically begs me every other weekend to let Drew come to there house to play for a few hours. Their son and Drew are in the same class and get along really well. Every week I get tempted to do it... especially when Drew gives me his little puppy dog eyes and promises that he'll be safe... just breaks my heart. 

But every time, my brain wins.. over my heart. Safety first... always. 

I would rather my son be a bit disappointed than have the unthinkable happen.... and for me, the list of the unthinkable is pretty long.. 

Eventually I know I won't be able to chaperon every activity in his life.. I know at some point I have to trust the rest of the world with my baby... I just don't see that day coming any time soon.  

Friday, January 6, 2012


The one thing I want most in this world is a happy and healthy child.

And whether Drew is 8 or 88 he will ALWAYS be my child. My baby... the love of my life. And I will always want that one thing more than anything in the world.

There are other things that I want. Eventually....

I want to be a social worker... and help as many children and families as possible. I don't exactly want to go back to school... but it's necessary in order to accomplish this, so it's in my plans.

I want to live ON the beach. I want my front door to open to the ocean breeze and warm sand.

I want to dance. I used to LOVE dancing in high school.. and for the few years I did after school.. and I'd love to get back into it. Just casually, maybe a class once a week or so.

I want a maid. I want to never have to clean cobwebs, window sills, or the bathtub... never ever.

These are things that I want.. and hope to accomplish.. EVENTUALLY.

But before I even make the slightest step in accomplishing or even starting any of these... I will raise a happy and healthy child. I just hope that one day I will have a healthy, happy, responsible and mature adult son... who is still my child..

My son comes first... ALWAYS...
and until and unless any of these things are conducive with my son being healthy and happy... they will wait... they will happily wait.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

4 Days In...

Just for the sake of accountability... let's see how we've done on our "goals" for 2012 so far:

Spend Less: Well.. we were doing ok.. nothing extra spent (other than a $3 movie & game rental), and even spent less on our weekly grocery trip... then it happened. I told Drew to start researching ideas for his upcoming science project. While he was online looking through some lists, I made the mistake of looking over his shoulder, reading the line "What types of food does a mouse respond best to?"... and then saying to my son, "Hey you should do this one. We could totally have an itty bitty little mouse!"... He turned the laptop off, I grabbed my purse and we headed straight for the pet store. An hour and $71 dollars later, we are now the proud (and poor) owners of 2 adorable little mice..... Let's hope I can make it through the rest of the month without any more bright ideas.

Stop Eating Our Money: Surprisingly we've done great at this one. On the way home from my sisters at 7:30am on New Years Day, I made the decision that we were starting our journey home with trip to Starbucks. My little man objected saying we'd be breaking the rule of eating out.. but I found a loop hole to this one.. I had 2 Starbucks gift cards burning a hole in my wallet. So yes, technically we did eat out.. but it didn't cost anything so in my book it doesn't count.

Vacation in San Francisco: I went over this plan with Drew again the other night.. and now he's not so sure he wants to go anymore. He still wants to see the bridge.. but doesn't think there's anything else he'll want to do there. So we might be going back to the drawing board for vacation ideas.. but still saving for the trip.

Stay Home: I hate this one. Our house is boring.. and there are 100 things staring at me begging to be cleaned.. but we've done it.. pretty much (aside from the mouse & movie shopping trips).

Pay Off Car: Man, I can NOT wait until this is done. I went over my statement last night and was just disgusted. I had horrible credit when I bought my car and my interest rate is ridiculous... I do want to buy a new car. I do NOT NEED to buy a new car... but I know it's going to be SUPER hard not to buy one once this one is paid off... Wish someone would have given me some self control for Christmas...

So we're not off to the greatest start so far...
But I'm not giving up yet.
My plan for next month is to do some serious research into investment options. Mostly for Drew's money that's barely earning anything in his savings account... but if it works out ok, I plan to start doing more investing than I am now with my 401k and IRA.

Now if I could just squeeze a maid into my monthly budget things would be fantastic!!

** Snuck in an end of the year expense of new pictures before we started our 2012 goals.. (this is a phone pic of the actual pictures).

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Plans for 2012

I could make a hundred resolutions for 2012... but I guarantee I'd break them all... relatively quickly..

So instead, we're making PLANS..
or maybe we could even call them goals...

There are several things that I've decided need to be altered or even changed completely in our lives.. most of these are financial...

Then there are the things that we, as a family would like to see happen...

I figure that if I put it all here.. in a list.. and attempt to update on the progress of each at least monthly.. then maybe I'll be more likely to stick to making them all happen... nothing like a little accountability.

So here we go...

1. Spend Less: I have a sever shopping addiction.. Shopping is literally my hobby. I'm not a fan of buying expensive things at all.. I prefer multiple trips each week to the thrift store to see how much I can come home with.. or some unnecessary trips to Target here and there. The plan is to not spend unless it's a necessity... and then to take any money that would have possibly been spent, and put in away to be SAVED.. or applied to paying off my car.

2. Stop Eating Our Money: Our weekly grocery costs are minimal.. but that's because we eat out at least 3 times a week... at least. This seriously needs to stop. We have at least 2 weeks worth of food in the freezer right now.. this is proof that we have plenty of food at home that we already spent the money on and should be eating. The plan is to only eat out once a month... This will probably be the hardest of all.

3.Vacation in San Francisco: We've spent the last 3 years in Las Vegas for our vacation.. it's time for something new. Drew absolutely refuses to get on a plane, so we're sticking to somewhere in driving distance that neither of us has ever been to. I'd like to spend no more than $700 on this trip.. so it's time to start saving and researching for this trip now.

4. Stay Home: This will be another hard one for me.... When we're home Drew wants to play video games.. I hate video games.. and I'd rather just lay in my bed and watch tv.. but I get bored easily, so every weekend we end up going out somewhere and spending ridiculous amounts of money, just to get out of the house. It's time for us to start enjoying our home.. and spending more time in it.. and maybe getting some projects completed while we're at it.

5. Pay Off The Car: Technically my car is scheduled to be paid off in March 2013... but that's too far away for me.. and I hate making that payment every month. So I've decided to try to pay as much extra towards the principal every month and get this thing paid off my the end of 2012.

There are a few more things financially that I'd like to adjust, but I'm waiting till my raise kicks in next month and I find out what my tax return amount will be so I can adjust accordingly.

Here's to a less expensive year!! Cheers!

Christmas 2011

Another Christmas has come and gone... 

I can't begin to describe the joy of having spent every single Christmas Day of my life with my HUGE and incredible family... 

And I love that my son can say the same... every Christmas of his life.. in that same room...

Seeing the smiles on his face with each gift makes all the debt I acquired to produce them, well worth it..

Family is everything.... not just on Christmas.. but ALWAYS.
Love my "not-so-little" nephew.. and all that he taught me without even knowing it... 

Another Christmas... has come and gone... 
But I will continually be thankful for my little "gift"... my amazing son who I can not begin to imagine life without... I love you my sunshine... Forever, For Always & No Matter What!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Toothless Joe is Spoiled

This boy and his teeth. 

When he was five we used to wonder if his teeth were ever going to fall out. The other kids in kindergarten had already lost a tooth or two, but not my little man.

Fast forward a couple years, and now we can't seem to keep the freakin' teeth in. 

First we have the top two teeth that fell out in February and refuse to come back in.... 

Then last night he pulled out the bottom one. That tooth had been loose for weeks, but I forced him to keep it in at least until they took the school pictures. So last night when I saw that the tooth was barely hanging in there anymore, I made him pull it out. I say MADE because this drama-child of mine who's been begging to pull this tooth out seriously cried and almost threw up when I told him to pull it out. He is his mother's child.... 

So now he is known as Toothless Joe.. 

And around here Toothless Joe is currently being extra spoiled. His birthday is at the end of the month, and last week we officially started the countdown. 

Last year I made him this birthday advent box so we could count down the days till his birthday. Each day he gets little things like candy or a dollar, and some days there are notes that say "Open a gift" or "Donuts for breakfast". 
This way we get to celebrate his birthday all month long. He loves this box and it's the first thing he asks to do every morning when he wakes up. I sure do love seeing that smile... missing teeth and all. 

Come to think of it, maybe I should stop giving him candy in that box and maybe his teeth might stay in a little longer!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Joys of 3rd Grade

I miss 2nd grade.... 
Not my 2nd grade class, but my son's.

I was not a fan of his year spent in 2nd grade... but right about now I'm missing it. 

Homework is harder... spelling tests are not given on Fridays... there are new kids in this class that I don't know... my kid is expected to be RESPONSIBLE. 

Now I'm all for kids being responsible.. especially mine... but as much as I wish he were, Drew is just not the responsible type... he's never really had to be since his mom is super over involved in his life. 

I like the notes that came home in 2nd grade that gave me at least a few days notice before supplies were needed for a project. I miss the daily conversations with his teacher and review of his classwork so that nothing was ever left incomplete. 

Last night after dinner while we were just hanging out, Drew asked if he could use the computer to print some stuff. I said sure and asked what he needs to print.... 

Drew - "I need to print some animal pictures for my diorama."
Mom - "Ummm... what diorama? When are you guys starting those?"
Drew - "Well some kids started there's today, but I need to bring in a shoe box so I can start  mine."
Mom - "Wait a minute... when did you find out about this project and why haven't I heard about it yet?"
Drew - "Well she told us the other day and I was supposed to bring a box today but I forgot to ask for one at Dad's last night."

This kid is SOOO not ready for verbal instructions that he's supposed to remember to relay to his mother!! I need notes send home.. or emails.. or reminders posted on the door at school.

And in case that wasn't enough... on the way to school this morning he blurts out "today is Mrs. Williams' birthday."

How in the world am I supposed to be super-mom and bring the teacher an awesome gift with 3 minutes notice?!?!? 

Responsibility at age 7 is non-existent... 
But he turns 8 in twenty-two days, so maybe there's hope.

And then we have the "situation"... not the Jersey Shore kinda.. butt none the less, a situation.

Drew says his project partner in class is having a situation. 
I guarantee I gave him the most confused look imaginable.. and then I asked for details. 

Apparently this kid keeps finding other peoples's belongings in his desk and backpack. And of course this kid has no idea how these items got there. The teacher doesn't want to come right out and declare the kid a thief... which he obviously is... so she's labeled it as a "situation" that they're dealing with. 

I automatically give Drew a lecture on stealing and how a thief would be dealt with in our house. Drew automatically jumps to the kids defense and says "well Mom, we don't even know that he stole the stuff".... my poor gullible boy... 

So for now I am not a fan of third grade... hopefully it improves.. and soon. Until then I'll continue to scramble for last minute project necessities and label every possession in my kids desk and backpack.