Tuesday, February 25, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday!

Wahoo! Finally it's Tuesday and one day closer to the weekend!

1. I am pretty good about keeping an eye on my checking account. I noticed on Sunday a $5 charge to somewhere called FRG Fanstore. Then I saw $5 was reversed from the same name. I tried to think what it could be and what maybe I could be missing, but I figured it canceled itself out so it was no big deal. Then Sunday night I saw a charge to Itunes. I spent like 45minutes going through my whole account, searching my inbox for a receipt, checking my subscriptions to make sure nothing renewed and nothing. I decided to Google that other charge and see where that store was. Apparently its a surf shop in FL and there were pages upon pages of people who had been hit with credit card fraud and it all started with the same $5 charge and reversal. The site said it's a way to check the card number out. So I didn't make that Itunes charge, which means that someone had hacked my account. What was nerve racking was the fact the call center for Bank of America was closed so I laid in bed all Sunday night wondering what other charges were taking place.

2. I called BOA first thing in the morning and my debit card has been canceled. Luckily nothing more has popped up, but I was told to watch my account for the next few days. They also can't do anything about the money missing until the charges actually go from pending to posted. I am just lucky that I caught it so quickly before more damage was done.

3. This whole issue leaves me debit cardless for about a week! And even sadder than that is the fact it was my Hello Kitty card that they do not make anymore! I had been nursing that thing for almost a year ago. It was broken in half and taped with packing tape back together. I never wanted to turn it in because I knew that they were no more.

4. I have been really upset about the tax situation. Even more so since I threw the numbers into Turbo Tax and got something completely different. We still were owing, but not as much. I finally called and talked with the tax lady and after spending an hour on the phone with her, we got our numbers to match. I think she had originally filed them the standard way, but the itemized way worked out better for us? I am not sure, but once we got our number closer together I was much happier. I now owe $1100 instead of almost $1800. You would have thought she told us we were getting that money back instead of owing it! I was so happy and excited! I mean come on that's at $700 savings! The reality of the situation still sucks and we still don't know what we are going to do, but we are owing a lot less then we thought! If there's a bright side to the situation, then that would be it!

5. I can't believe February is already coming to an end. I have a lot going on in March and April so I feel like those months will fly by! Time needs to slow down so I can have time to get things ready for the baby!

6. I am overly excited that I have both my high risk doctor and my OB appointment scheduled for Thursday! The only reason this is, is because it means I get to take a day off work! Also I have a growth scan on Emily at the high risk doctors to make sure she is growing right. That is the main challenge for her when my blood pressure isn't right. So I am excited to see baby girl of course and know she is just fine in there!

7. I ran my numbers to figure out if there was any way that I could be a SAHM, even just for a year or so, and the verdict was nope. And then of course I sat here sad. Poo!

8. This past weekend it was in the 60's and beautiful and today we had snow and now we are calling for 1-3" in my area for the morning. Crazy weather, but I will be happy if it buys me a telework day!!!!

9. I think I have slowly begun to rekindle a friendship that I thought was once lost. I've had a lot of heartache about it and finally had begun to accept it, but I decided to reach out one last time. To my surprise we spent a long time talking back and forth and did some catching up. I'm glad I decided to make that one last effort!

10. I was on a roll last night when it came to getting things done. Tonight, not so much! Still figuring out what's for dinner.

Monday, February 24, 2014

You Know You Are A Working Mom When.......

You know you are a working mom when ...
By Rebecca Rose
Posted Feb. 19, 2014 @ 12:03 am

You know you are a working mom when ...
You always feel mediocre. A mediocre mom, a mediocre wife, a mediocre employee, a mediocre friend, daughter, housekeeper, you name it. You want to give 100 percent to everything in your life so you are left feeling like you always come up short.

You know you are a working mom when ...
You wonder how you are ever going to get out the door. I cringe when I hear myself say “We’ve got to go” repeatedly each morning as my two-year-old son insists on putting on his own shoes, zipping and unzipping his jacket, getting himself into his car seat. I hate that I can’t relish in all that he is accomplishing because I always feel like I’m 15 minutes late in life.

You know you are a working mom when ...
You spend the day wondering what your child is doing at day care while you sit at a desk and spend 8-plus hours with co-workers and only 4 awake hours with your kids who mean the most to you.

You know you are a working mom when ...
You finally get your kids home and instead of sitting down and playing with them you have to prep and cook dinner.

You know you are a working mom when ...
It’s 7 p.m. and you are finally taking your first bite of dinner and all of sudden your son who refused to eat his dinner wants to eat yours, on your lap, even though you made him the same thing.

You know you are a working mom when ...

You know how much you’ve longed to be with your babies all day but you find yourself counting down the minutes to bedtime because there are still dishes in the sink and more work to be done.

You know you are a working mom when ...

You rock your baby to sleep and all you want to do is rock there with him forever but again works calls, or bills have to be paid or laundry has to be done, and on the nights when it doesn’t, you know you still have to get up early in the morning.

You know you are a working mom when ...
Your “Me time” is spent folding laundry, paying bills, etc.

You know you are a working mom when ...
The weekend finally rolls around and instead of getting to relax, you have to clean house because Saturday and Sunday are your only “free” days to do this.

You know you are a working mom when ...You look at the clock and it’s 8 p.m. on Sunday and you wonder how two whole days with your babies came and went so fast and it’s already time for another workweek.

To all the other working moms out there, know you are not alone in your struggles. Know that you are doing the best you can. Know that your babies love you and feel loved. Know that what you do matters, even when you question it. Know that some day you will look back and be proud of all you accomplished. And finally, know that you were never mediocre, in fact, you are extraordinary.

I saw this posted on Facebook and though I am hesitant to normally open and read articles, especially about parenting, I decided to read this and the only thing I could do is cry. It is no secret that I struggle with being a working mom. I feel like less of a mom then people who get to stay at home. And as I have said many times, I know the job of a SAHM is not rainbows and unicorns, I just wish I could have more time with Hailey and be there while she grows up and I can't even think about Emily yet. I wish I could have more time at home to keep up with my house. My weekends are either nonstop or I waste them in bed trying to catch up on sleep and just get my sanity back. I feel like a bad person because of it, but when you are out of the house as much as I am and sleep deprieved because you are up at 4:30am, it really puts a strain on you mentally and physically. Sometimes you need to just crash. Unfortantly I also lose precious time with my family and to do everything I need to get done. It's hard to come up with a work/life balance. This article really sums up how I feel most of the time and how your days work.

The part that really stuck out to me was "You know you are a working mom when ...You always feel mediocre. A mediocre mom, a mediocre wife, a mediocre employee, a mediocre friend, daughter, housekeeper, you name it. You want to give 100 percent to everything in your life so you are left feeling like you always come up short." I feel like this is my life. I am always lacking somewhere no matter how hard I try. It's a huge struggle for me and I hope that one day things will change.

.......until then I can only continue to try my best in every way possible.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Since You've Been Gone.....

It's amazing how time continues to go on, even when someone is gone. In both February 2006 and February 2010 I lost two people who meant the world to me. Though they left this world in completely different ways, they both left us way to soon. Time slowly heals the broken heart. I think of both of them often and my tears have slowly turned to smiles and laughs. I no longer remember the unbearable feeling in my chest when I think about them and how they are not here, but now I think about the happier times. I will be driving down the road and something will pop in my head and a memory of something crazy that Kevin would say will come along. I will smile and laugh to myself. Or something will come up from my childhood and I will think of my uncle Dave. Both men left a huge hole in my heart when they left.

Kevin was like an older brother to me and Dave was my favorite uncle that has been there since I was born. It breaks my heart to think on how much both have missed out on since they have been gone. Kevin left behind a wife and a one year old son. Dave left behind my Aunt and never got to meet his granddaughter. I hope they both are able to look down on us and see everything. That maybe Kevin gets to see how big and strong his son is growing up to be and how amazing his wife has done with him and making sure that though he may not remember his father first hand, Kevin's memory still lives on. And maybe Dave seems Jaime and laughs at how the little girl is a spitfire and so much like how her mother was when she was little.

I am glad that as time has passed I am able to remember the happier times now and have been able to push pass the sadness of their passing. There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss both of them and wish things were different. They will always be in my heart and never forgotten.

David Strickland
March 13, 1959- February 19, 2010
Kevin Crine
January 30, 1974- February 08, 2006

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday!

1. It's Tuesday night again and I am sitting here counting the minutes until Hailey's bedtime so I can go to sleep. Tuesday must be my sleepy day!

2. I enjoyed the snowy weather last week and the break from work! Plus I worked from home on Friday and was off on Monday! It was defiantly well enjoyed!

3. I've been cramping a lot. I don't know if it's stress or what. Last night after I had myself all stressed out, I started cramping really bad. Like have to stop what you are doing and bend over and hold my stomach. My blood pressure was also way higher then it has been running. I spent two hours sitting on the couch drinking water with my feet up before I finally got it to stop. It had me worried!

4. I couldn't sleep last night. I couldn't get comfortable and I couldn't stop thinking. I ended up moving to the couch when Kenny came to bed. He didn't notice I was gone. In fact he didn't notice the I left my charger in the living room or the pillow and blanket on the couch, nope he only noticed that I had unplugged the lamp and he wanted to blame it on the cat.

5. I assume it's my heightened senses, but smells are really getting to me. Even Kenny smells weird to me. No clue what it is! It's not like a dirty smell or anything, but it's something that's enough to make me febreeze him in the middle of the night. Believe me he showers daily, which I can't say the same. That was also another reason for sleeping on the couch, his weird smell.

6. Speaking of smells, I work in a huge agency so I spend a lot of time in the elevators. Nothing worse the getting into the elevator and realizing someone has BO. Worse thing about it is that you start to wonder if it is you. Then when you realize it's not, you start to wonder if other people might think it's you and not the other person! Just some thoughts on my elevator rides!

7. I need to do laundry really bad. Hopefully I have enough clothes for Hailey and I to make it through the weekend. I miss having a laundry room on the same level!

8. Tomorrow is the anniversary of my Uncle's passing. I can't believe it's been four years already. The eighth was the anniversary of Kevin's passing and that was eight years. February is just kind of a gloomy month for me, especially around those dates.

9. Hailey celebrated her 6 and a half birthday this past Sunday. We didn't do anything special or anything like that, but for her I can tell its a sense of pride knowing she's not just six anymore, but now she is six and a half and even closer to 7.

10. I always disappoint myself on Tuesdays because for some reason I think I can watch the new episode of Teen Mom at lunch. Was it ever on Monday in past seasons? At least it gives me something to look forward to tomorrow!

Well those are my ten things on this Tuesday! Now it's time for bed!!

"Taxes are like a late Christmas gift from Uncle Sam"....I call bull!

"Taxes are like a late Christmas gift from Uncle Sam", that was something that someone said on the birth board that I am on. The post continued to fill with people agreeing and talking about how much money they were getting back and all the things they would be spending it on. We have never get as much as it seems others get back. I never really understood how people could get back more than they pay in, but I also never really read up on the different credits out there or tax laws. This year was my first time evening hearing about the Earned Income Credit which is what most of the people on the posts were talking about as their saving grace.

Anyways, I was hoping we would get back something like maybe a grand or two just so I can put in my savings account so that come time for baby I wouldn't have to stress as much about my leave and the possibility of leave without pay. We don't get paid maternity leave and borrowing advanced leave is really going to leave me stuck if I plan on leaving the agency in the next three years. I knew that we had done everything right this year. We didn't have really any extra income, nothing to claim taxes on, or anything like that. I had a daycare bill to write off, the last bit of my school, our mortgage and different things I thought that would really help us.

Sunday night I was getting impatient, especially knowing that people were getting their money back and seeing all the different things they were doing. All I kept thinking was how nice it was going to be to have a tiny cushion to rely on. I decided to throw everything quickly into Turbotax just so I could see a round about. I got halfway through and it showed we were owing so I just quit and knew my lady would work her magic. Last year Turbotax left me owning like $6,000 because of some stocks that were sold for closing costs on the house. She ended up looking into it and doing the math and got it down to $295 that I ended up owing Federal.

I had everything ready and printed off. I have every copy of check I had written. I had donation receipts. I had spreadsheets organizing everything for my businesses and I also had everything neatly filed and typed out. This was going to be an easy appointment!

What I was not prepared for was finding out that even though everything was in order, we would end up owing big money in the end. We both claimed zero on our paychecks for witholdings, I donated a lot in both cash and clothing, and even my businesses were both considered a wash since I had way more to deduct then I made. I just didn't understand! She went over everything over and over again seeing where the errors were and what was different from last year. The biggest thing was the amount we paid for interest on our mortgage. Our old house was an interest first loan and was at 7.8% so that meant about $15,000 was paid in to interest each year. This loan we have now has a lower interest rate and no longer a crazy interest first loan. She said that together we make "too much money" and it put us in a different tax bracket so we pay higher taxes, and there was nothing really "saving" us anymore to bring it down.

I went in thinking I would have some cushion in my account so I could stop stressing over the baby, but instead with the little I get back from state, I am still $1400 in the hole.

It makes me sick! It makes me beyond angry! It makes me jealous! We do everything right, we both work hard and have jobs. We have great credit and no outstanding bills. We both have credit card debt, but we are working on it. Neither of us have real savings account. In fact, Hailey's account which is pretty much empty, still has more than mine. We both go paycheck to paycheck. And still I don't understand how we are getting screwed.

I give up so much by working! I hate my job and I hate the crazy commute. I hate the fact that I am gone before the sun comes up and come home after it goes down. I hate that Hailey has no down time in the evenings because we are rushing to make dinner and then getting everything ready for the next day. I hate that we don't get to spend much time together. I hate that I barely see my husband since we work different schedules. I hate that I miss school events and that she was disappointed no one was there to cheer her on for different events. I hate that everyone else got to experience Hailey's "firsts" because I had to work and even more I hate that history is about to repeat itself with the new baby.

We never got help. I never had financial aid. We never applied for WIC or for any type of discounts. We made ends meet when we didn't even have enough money to buy ground beef at foodlion for our daily spaghetti dinners (not by choice, just because sauce and noodles were cheap). While I was pregnant with Hailey, Mcdonalds was considered a treat and we could only order off the dollar menu. There was times we had no food in the house. After Hailey was born, I was making pretty much no money at my job and was basically going further into debt with each paycheck. We have worked hard to have what we have. We don't have fancy furniture in our house or a the ability to buy new things. We have hand me downs and stuff that people were throwing away, but we are happy with what we got and do our best to take care of it. And believe me I appreciate the ability to buy something here and there. We hardly ever eat out and going out to dinner is considered a real treat so it's not like we have huge fancy dinners. I can't tell you the last time I bought steak was because it's just too expensive. We've given up so much to provide for our family, but in the end we are still don't have much to show for it.

It just doesn't make sense to me. We try so hard and rely on no one and still come further in the hole in the end. It kills me that so many of my friends are stay at home mom's, and believe me I know it's not a glorious job and that it really is considered a job. I know it's not sleeping in late and sitting on the couch watching soaps. It's giving your all to your kids 100% of the day. And even knowing that, my heart breaks that this can't be me. I have had so many people tell me that I should just stay at home. Believe me, there is not an ounce in my body that wouldn't jump at that chance. But that's not in my cards. We barely make ends meet when something like a medical bill comes up or any expenses that are not in our typical month. There is no way around it. Besides canceling our cable, I have already cut out everything I can. My gym membership has been gone, I was getting a monthly stamp kit subscription and that's gone. Weight watchers is gone. Hulu is gone. I have refinanced my Jeep. It seriously is not a doable thing right now.

I think I have done enough crying in the past 24 hours so I should probably just end this here. Plus I need to remember to go down the Human Resources and switch my taxes to "single". This will take away about $70 I don't have to give up off each check, but hopefully next year we can break even. And what are we going to do about the debt we owe federal now? That's a good question! I am still working on coming up with the rest of the money for Hailey's dental bill due at the end of March.

I just got to face it........sometimes life is so unfair!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday: Wednesday Edition!

It's Wednesssssday Tuessssssday again!!!!
1. So I am pretty sure you noticed it's actually Wednesday and no need to panic, we really aren't having a Tuesday redo! I tried to do this last night, but the only thing I could come up with is "1. I am to tired to think of anything". So I figured I would just do a special Wednesday edition!
2. We are suppose to get a snow storm tonight into tomorrow. For my area, I have heard anywhere from 4-8" to 12-18". So I have no clue what we will get and to be honest, if we will get even more than a dusting or an inch or two, I will be surprised. We have had some failed snow predictions this winter. I love the snow! And even more so I love snow days and days I get to work from home! So brinnnnng it!
3. I have an appointment with the high risk OB on Friday. I'm not sure what he will decide as far as my routine goes. His concern was that for someone who has high blood pressure the medicine was keeping it to low. We switched from 1200mg a day to 1000 a day, so there has been an increase in my blood pressure, but there is still times, especially in the day, where it will bottom out and I get very dizzy. It's that fine line between too high and too low.
4. I am over taking my blood pressure three times a day. I had to switch to an automatic arm cuff one to get more accurate results. The problem is that it is killing my wrist every time I take it the past few days. Like excruciating pain down my wrist and into my hand the entire time it's slowly ticking down. I had to redo it this morning and was almost in tears from the pain. It is is still aching even 2 hours later. But I am sure taking it three times a day every day, with redos sometimes, is really starting to take it's toll on it. Those machines are NOT friendly and my wrist is already cranky from the amount of times I have broken and injured it in my 26 years of life.
5. Hailey informed me that her half birthday is coming up. It's actually this Sunday the 16th and she will be 6 and a half. She then told me next she would turn 7, then 8, then one day 10, and 16, and 18 and then she will move out and have a family of her own and then I would be a grandmother soon after that.............yup, I def had tightness in my chest as the panic attack was beginning. Ahhhhhh!
6. The snow will probably cancel school on Friday which means I will have a very sad child! I tried to explain to her that if her party gets canceled Friday then they will just do it on Monday. Nope, not the same! But I do understand and remember what it was like to look forward to that kind of stuff.
7. I hate getting up early, but I enjoy being the only one in the office when I get here every morning. I usually have a full 30-60 minutes alone with peace and quiet before anyone else shows up. I know that once people get here the craziness from yesterday will continue into today as we try to get done everything that needs to be done in case we end up losing a day to snow, so I am enjoying it extra this morning.
8. Hailey's school is doing "One book, one school"  again this year. Every kid in the entire school gets the same book to bring home and read with their family. We are reading "Frindle" this year. We have a set schedule of what we are suppose to read each night and then the school does trivia and contests each day about what they read. I love this idea! And the awesome part is that it's a brand new book that they get to keep. That's how we ended up falling in love with the Humphrey series! That was our book last year.
9. Speaking of Frindle........yup, we definitely forgot to read chapter 4 last night! I remembered as I was walking out the door this morning so I left it on Kenny's chair and sent him a text so hopefully he would read it to her. I can only imagine the huffing and puffing he will make when he opens that text! Ha!
10. I can not wait to catch up on Teen Mom today at lunch!!!!!!
Happy Tuesday......I mean Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

10 Things on Tuesday!

It's Tuessssssday again!!!!

1. I can not believe it's only Tuesday! I feel like this week has been so much longer! And it's only Tuesday morning at that!

2. I had the worse 6 hours of sleep last night. There were the nightmares, my hand kept falling asleep, Hailey came in crying and had me playing a guessing game of what was wrong, I had to use the bathroom twice and the damn dog kept whining! I was cranky when my alarm went off! Early bedtime tonight!

3. I am so glad I got to work from home yesterday! Nothing worse then going out in the nasty and rainy weather first thing in the morning!

4. I have been doing a good job taking my blood pressure three times a day, despite the fact that the stupid cuff always pinches me and leaves blood marks! My readings are up, but I am not sure if he is going to be happy with them or not since they aren't at my "magic numbers".

5. I started on the basement this past weekend and am so glad that we have finally made a dent! Hopefully there will be much more progress to come in the next few weeks!

6. I have back to back meetings from 10:30am-2pm today! Busy, busy, day here! (That's why I am taking the time to write this now while I have a quick break!)

7. I turned down an offer for an interview. At first I had accepted and then by Sunday night I was so sick to my stomach worrying about it. I ended up declining it in the morning. It was in the same directorate, but different division. It potentially could have gotten me a higher grade that I have been really working for and can't get here. The only problem is that with being pregnant and needing flexibility with my appointments, I am not sure if I could get the same in another division. Though I am unhappy here, these people know me and care about me. They let me telework when I have an appointment and there is usually no issue with me taking off. They ask me how I am doing and if there is anything they can do to help. So yes more money would be great, especially in the long run, but I can almost guarantee I would not have the same flexibility which means I would end up having to use most my leave before the baby even comes. I am slightly disappointed in myself, but I just didn't feel this was a good time to make that jump. If it was in another directorate then sure I would have interviewed, but in this directorate the grass is not always greener on the other side.

8. Yesterday was report card day for us! Hailey is doing pretty good and for the most part had a very good report. There are some thing the teacher said I need to work on at home with her to help her get speed and fluency (addition and subtraction, fact families, some of the sight words, ect.). I need to start looking on pinterest at ways I can help her with those things!

9. I am very anxious today for some reason and keep bouncing my legs! I hate feeling anxiety, especially for no real reason. Even worse I know it is bothering the baby since she keeps flipping around while I am bouncing. Poor little girl, Mommy just can't help it!

10. I need to work on Valentines this week/weekend with Hailey. I have had all the stuff to make them since the beginning of January. I just needed the name list so she can write all the names on them first before we put them together. Now I have had the name list for a week now and still haven't done anything with them! And now we also need to make a Valentine's box using a cereal box. The teacher sent home the instructions and the I bought some stuff to cover and decorate it with yesterday. Now I just need to get the motivation to get my machines out so I can cut some letters for it and start building it! Hailey has been more than patiently waiting!

So what 10 things would you like to share this Tuesday?!