Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday!

Happy Fat Tuesday! I should be sitting here eating a big bag of M&Ms while I catch up on facebook, but I’m not. Let me explain…

Tomorrow, we will kick off Lent 2009 at Ash Wednesday Mass early tomorrow morning (oh, wish me luck!). Sunday's Homily was about what it really means to "give something up" for Lent. Father suggested that we give up something that we overindulge.

I have given a lot of thought into what I will "give up" this Lent. It is no secret that I overindulge on peanut M&Ms. I seriously can eat a large bag (and I mean the large bag for $4-$5) in 24 hours! So, I will be giving them up for 40 days. Just sitting here thinking about it makes me want to go and buy a bag , so this is a major sacrifice for me. Also, I am going to, in part, give up the internet. Okay, not completely. I will continue to blog , check email only at nap or night time, work on my pictures, and do bills. All other internet "things" that waste a bunch of time are off limits (i.e. facebook). I rarely shop online unless it is for a gift or something, so I will probably do that at night as well. I do not think I overindulge on the internet, but I do waste precious time during quiet time. I think my issue is that I have so little adult interaction that I get it where I can, even if it is virtual. If I check email and have messages from facebook, 5 minutes easily can turn into a half hour. I typically constantly have my laptop open so I can hear when an email comes through (typically from Chris). But, for the next 40 days, I will only open the laptop at naptime and at night after my run to check email, blog, or work on pictures…THAT IS IT!

Like I did last year, I am going to select 2 people that do not deserve to receive special treatment but will give it to them anyway. This is a HUGE challenge for me. Last year I started off good but gave up when the results were not positive. Well, I will give it a try again this year and pray a lot for successful results.

I want the kids to know what Easter is all about as well, so I have talked to the girls about giving something up, too. Addison is going to go to taggie at naptime and night time only! Alivia is still working on what she is going to give up. As for Chris, well, by default, he has to give up M&Ms too!

Happy Lent to everyone. May the gift of Jesus' sacrifice be with you now and all year through...


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Sunday, February 22, 2009

He is SO BIG

"He is a TANK!"
"He is so big!"
"Does not look like he has problems eating!"
"Woooh. He is going to make a great linebacker!"

Seriously, do these sound like compliments? Um, no. I am a very protective mother and think our little boy is nice and healthy. I am so tired of the negative comments. I have decided to come up with some good come backs. So, if you see us and want to say something about our little Asher, watch out! It may come back to haunt you.

So, the next time someone calls Asher a tank, SO BIG, etc, maybe I should respond with a, "So are you!" They may look at me crossly, more than likely, and I could say, "Oh, you do not find that a flattering compliment?"

Seriously, he is a 14 month old boy! Give him a break already!

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Wrong Way

Today marked my long run day. I woke up with the alarm at 5am, wind howling, and turned off the alarm. "Sounds cold and windy," I said to myself and went back to sleep.

As the morning went on, it looked so nice and sunny. I went outside for a second and BRRR! Seriously, I am running on the treadmill.

Then, my sister came over. Humm...I have a crazy idea.

First, let me recap a bit.

A couple of weeks ago, I was ready to run nearly 13 miles (12.9 to be exact. But, who's counting). I planned on running it after putting the kids to bed one Friday night. Well, Friday is pizza night at the Austin house, and we got good pizza on this Friday. Knowing I was going to be running, I did not want to eat it. But, come on, this is good New York Pizza. So, I had one, then 2 and finally a 3rd piece (it was sooo good!). Had our Friday night kids' flick, put the kids to bed, then slipped on my runner's hat for a nice little jog.

Ran the 12.9 miles smoothly. Then, I stopped. I was cold and sick. Very sick. But, I had to go to the grocery store. So, I pulled it together and ran out to get the essentials including cocoa puffs (the breakfast that we have when Daddy is home only). As I was leaving the store, I knew I was sick. But, waited until I drove into the neighborhood. Um, it was not pretty. I drug myself into the house where Chris was less than sympathetic since he thinks anyone who purposely runs 12.9 miles must be insane (and he did not want to put away the groceries).

So, today during the kids' quiet time, I decided to skip the pizza and try again for the 13 (last week I ran more like 10 miles). Maybe I should run to my sisters??! I started my run and BRRR! Seriously, can it get any windier? As I ran down 156th street (where there are not any sidewalks) I began to see what Chris saw in me...insanity. But, then I turned onto State street, where there are still no sidewalks, but I felt at ease. Growing up on a farm, this was like the cross country running I was used to. I liked it. Peaceful, really. I ran all the way to my sister's house in a neighborhood near I680 and 72nd Street. I smiled when I finally reached her house, amazed that I made it in one piece.

I had her measure the distance with her car on the way home (yes, I had her DRIVE me home). 10.9 miles!! Seriously! I ran all that way and still came up short. Oh come on!! Wind, no sidewalks, and only 10.9 miles!! I was more than annoyed.

I guess there is always next week. But, I will never run to my sister's house again.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mommy's Hunt

Today the hunt began. No, I am not on a bear hunt! I am on a hunt for a Mommy's helper of sorts, someone to watch the kiddos so I can go to the OBGYN alone, for example. My parents are more than helpful when I ask, but to have them drive an hour to and from our home so that I can go to a 1 hour appointment seems ridiculous. For 4 weeks in a row, my parents are watching the kids from a few hours to the entire day so I can go to continuing ed classes (in a blizzard, mind you), doctor appointments, jury duty, and 2 days of training at UNMC. In an effort to find someone to watch the kiddos, I posted an ad for a babysitter. Oh goodness...college students expect to get paid more than I do as a nurse to watch 3 kiddos for 2 hours!! And, on top of it, can I pay them $10 for travel and gas money? Seriously, it not my fault you do not live near our home. And, no! I think I will update my ad to state realistic pay requirements. If these students think their employer is going to pay them gas money to drive to work they have another thing coming! I am willing to pay well, however, for the right candidate. But, as we all know, I have given up some of my organs already this month for plumbing.

So, the hunt is on...

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Boppa Bob Retires...

At least is he going to the end of this month. Grandpa Bob was honored at a retirement party yesterday. He has worked for HDR for almost his entire career. Now, that is commitment! The kids were excited to have a piece of Grandpa's cake with golfer grandpa on it. Congratulations Boppa! Happy Retirement!

Bob Retires...Video Show for Boppa Bop

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Verdict

We are staying. Chris built a nice FOR SALE BY OWNER webpage, I cleaned up and cleared out the house, had 3 real estate agents come and check out our pad, we had one showing, but we have decided to stay...for now. We looked at building a new home in the areas we found we liked near Chris' work. However, in order to get all the features we wanted plus finish off the basement, we were talking more than we wanted to spend. So, for now, we will stay in our nice and clean home. Future plans: Putting on a nice deck with built in privacy, upgrading the kitchen a little, and perhaps some window upgrades. Chris and I are really upset that we can not get our dream house now. However, even when I am back at work full time, we will never live on my paycheck. We will always use my paycheck for college savings, retirement, etc. We do not want to get into a nice new house where we are forced to either need me to return to work and/or need my paycheck once I do return to work.

So, it is settled. Nearly 3 months of stress behind us. Boy, I can hardly wait until we do it again! So, tomorrow I will return those FOR SALE BY OWNER signs and get my kidney back!

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day 2009!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I looked back on 2008's Valentine's Day...and the kids were so much smaller! So sad our time passes.

This year the kiddos & Daddy awoke with treats on their chairs from Cupid, who else! Alivia got the game Connect 4, Addison got the Ladybug Game, and Asher got a new phone. Cupid sure was good to them this year. Chris & I exchanged our addictions (M&Ms!) and Chris got flashden (how exciting!!). Addison gave me a special treats, too, when she stayed dry all night...getting up to go potty (#1 and #2) during the night! Yeah!! That is the best Valentine's Day ever - no laundry! So, Addison & I went to the store to have her pick out a special gift for staying dry all night (and going woo woo in the potty). She picked out yet another binky baby. It was fun to go out with just one child and have alone time, and I think I will try and do that more often. She acted so different out alone.
The kiddos had a busy day of heart shaped sandwiches and treats and playing in the snow outside. They had a fun playing with their new toys, too.
Chris and I had our "date night" of a movie & pizza after the kiddos went to bed last night. So, tonight will be a quiet night with another movie by the fire - which is the best kind of night in our noisy house!
Chris & my personalities really came out in our cards this year:
My card to Topher:

"I'm Bless to have you for a Husband
Even when it seems like the days just get more hectic and there's always some new worry or stress...
...being with you is the touchstone that helps me stay centered and focused on what's happy and right with my life.
I love you so much.
Happy Valentine's Day!"
I thought..."Perfect, I could not have said it better myself!"

Chris' card to me:
"Having you in my life means I'll always have a shoulder to lean on, a hug to comfort me, a hand to hold...
...and a nice butt to Look at!
Happy Valentine's Day!"

Oh, enough said.
Happy Valentine's Day!!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Working 6-6

I know, the song goes, "Working 9-5," but Topher has taken it up a notch (or his job has). He leaves our house before 5:30 and arrives home around 6 or later, and that is on a good day. His job has given him a task to complete in 4 months that typically takes 12-14 months to do. He arrives home not surprisingly, crabby, hungry, and tired. At least this time, he is getting paid for his overtime. Not that makes us miss him less.

Meanwhile, I am doing my best to hold down the fort at home. While Daddy typically does preschool pick up for Alivia, I am now rushing home to put Addi and Asher to bed for just over an hour, waking them up, and rushing them to get Alivia. Asher DOES NOT like to be woke up. Our "bad" time of day is between 4-6, when the kiddos are tired, hungry and impatient. I am trying to get dinner ready with usually 1-2 kids crying and hanging on my legs as I do so. After a day of doing all of Addison's laundry from the night before - potty training at night has not bee too successful, (as well as her multiple clothing changes during the day. Yes, Addison now decides 10 minutes into an outfit, that she does not like it and goes upstairs, picks out a new outfit, and gets dressed. Sometimes the outfit is still clean, but she puts it into the hamper with her not so clean clothes anyway. At least she puts them away, I guess), chasing Asher up and down the stairs (yes, he does both now), and helping Alivia decide which hand she is going to write with (she is using both her left and right hands to write, cut, etc, and does equally good writing with both) all the while with a bad back...I am a wreck. Oh, and throw in house cleaning, house hunting and the stress of a possible move, too. By the time Chris gets home, I just want to go in a room, shut the door and have a moment of silence. But, I don't, obviously. Because, as I mentioned, Chris is tired too from a long day of working for us...so I hold out until 8pm to fall into my heap.

Typically, I try and get a good run in every night after the kids go to bed which helps me to clear my head. However, I am struggling with my runs because it hurts my back to sit, move, or anything. I think carrying Asher and Addison around has done a number on it. Or, maybe I am just getting old...

So, I think Mommy should get paid overtime for Daddy's overtime. I am really looking forward to the day I can get out of the house alone, other than at 10pm to go to Walmart to grocery shop or run in the dark where I am so scared to death that I run 5 minute miles (LOL - but really, it is not funny). I do get to get away, weather permitting, to a CEU conference tomorrow for the day while the kiddos stay home with my parents (And of course, it is supposed to snow. So, they may be going with me to my conference). I do have jury duty to look forward to - oh joy. But, if it lasts more than one day...I am bringing the kids with me. The lady said that being a mother does not excuse me from serving as a juror. Fine, how about bringing my kids with me since I have nobody who watch them for who knows how long? We will see what they say...I think, maybe, they will excuse me when they see my monster stroller and Alivia pushing it.

Time to go and fold laundry before the kiddos get up from nap...oh, Mommy's tired...


* Maybe I should have titled this "Bad Mood" or "My Little Pity Party." :)

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Scared Homeless

We have all heard the saying, scared !!!!less, right? Well, today after driving around looking at potential homes, most from the outside, with the kids in tow, we think we are scared homeless. What if we sell our beautiful home that we made our own and can not find another home to fit our long list of requirements? Then what?

Let me explain. Our requirements for our next home: 2007 or newer, 4 bedroom with office or 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom, 3 to 4 car garage (many newer homes are 3 car tandem), & a  finished basement preferably walkout - oh, and in our price range. Um, we are just not finding anything with most of these requirements, let alone some. We left after Mass at 10 and went out to find our dream home. We looked in La Vista (at the area where the home in the fall was), then Papillion and a little in Bellevue really near where Chris works. We found some really neat areas with great views that we did not even know existed! We found new construction with the same finished square feet as we have now, without the finished basement. We just finished our basement and know how that goes. We do not want to get into that again! Besides, where would we put all of our furniture and toys that are currently in the basement? We looked at one that was just like the one we fell in love with in the fall today. However, the back yard was flat and backed to trees. The downfalls...the basement was not finished, the bath faucets were so ugly and cheap, no appliances, no electric garage door openers, and it is being marketed for $35,000 more than the dream house ended up selling for! Um, Chris quickly crossed it off our list of potentials since it was so overpriced and not even close to meeting our requirements. I went to an open house after putting the kids to bed that made me look forward to coming home. It was built in 2006 and was trashed! At these price points, I am expecting a home a lot nicer than ours, not a fixer upper. At the open house I went to alone, I heard all the other people saying how nice it was...seriously!?! I was thinking, "Yuck! Get me out of here!"

So, our FOR SALE BY OWNER sign will remain in the garage...for now. I think staying sounds way easier, less stressful, and easier on the eyes, too. But...we will see. We are quite wishy washy about all of this moving stuff. If we find our dream home...we are outta here! If not, I see a big deck with a big privacy fence in our future!

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Thursday, February 05, 2009


7:30: Wake up! Wow! I slept in & so did the kids. Alivia slept until 7:30 - craziness!
7:40: Get all kids dressed, cleaned up for the day. Addi had an accident, so get a load of sheets/pad/pjs in the wash machine. Fun.
8 am: Breakfast
8:05 - Mommy calls plumbers. Learn plumbers get paid to drive to my house. More craziness! Select plumber for one kidney an hour.Check cell minutes online. Over by 50! Lovely. Guess too many phone calls for this house stuff. Have 8 days of no adult interaction. Fun.
8:30: My clean up time.
9 Get Kids ready for trip to bank and drop off car for oil change
9:30 Out the door for errands, bank, drop off car. Walk from oil change to home with the kids. Learn Maple Street is too busy to cross with stroller and Alivia, but what is my alternative.
10:30 Play outside until lunch. It is a beautiful day! Love the 50's. Asher loves the swing - laughs out loud! He is so cute (well, I'm biased & all).
11: 45 Lunch. Asher is mad because I have to cook lunch. Love it when he cries as I prepare meals. Quiet him with some cooked carrots. Mmmm!
12:30 Naptime. Kids go right to sleep. I get to cleaning up our bedroom, then dining room. More laundry.
1:15 Plumber arrives and wakes up Asher and Alivia. Naptime over? Alivia goes downstairs and falls asleep on the couch as plumber gets to work.
1:45: Naptime over for Asher it appears. Plumber is done, only lost one kidney. He removed the broken piece inside the pipe. Can not put on the new parts I bought because they are plastic. So, I have to return them. Great. Alivia and Addison sleep. Mommy and Asher rock awhile, but Asher just wants down to play. No nap for him. Great.
3: Everyone awake. Addison had a #2 accident. Lovely. Another load of sheets/clothes in to wash machine. I love laundry. I love potty training. (little sarcasm).
3:15 Time for snack. Then, load the kiddos up in the stroller and Alivia walks as we head out to pick up the car.
3:30: Car done. Meineke tries to rip me off. Thinks Mommy of 3 is stupid. Will not return. Will go back to Jenson (where they rip me off too). Then off to Lowes to return plastic shower head/arm thingy.
3:40 Return made. Off to Menards as Plumber thought they had the biggest selection of brass stuff. I would get brushed silver, but the shower on/off thingy is brass, the shower is trimmed in brass, and the sink faucets are brass. Stuck with it for now, unfortunately.
4 Menards in Elkhorn does not have any brass. Annoyed. Load up the kids again and head back to Omaha to go to Home Depot. Seriously. Asher cries all the way from Menards to Home Depot.
4:30 Home depot has the brass shower head, not the brass shower arm, so I have to get silver. Annoyed. I will make it work at home. I have ideas ( I can use the brass hole cover, silver arm, brass shower head...it will blend...whatever). Pick up for sale by owner signs while I am out. Lost second kidney. Awesome!
5:15 Arrive home. As I am unloading the car, Chris gets home after his 11 hour day & is crabby. Girls run to the backyard to play while Asher and I go to fix up the shower.
5:30: Shower complete and working. Yeah! Now, let's see if I have time to do some caulking tonight in the shower. That sounds fun.
5:45 Girls inside standing in kitchen with Daddy asking what's for dinner. Um, I have been so concerned about the shower, I have not thought about dinner. Great. Turkey wraps it is. Nobody complains (highly unusual).
6:15 Clean up dinner. Head upstairs for bathtime. Addison screams through the bath. I think I am going to go deaf. Seriously!
6:45 Alivia goes downstairs with Daddy while Addi, Asher & I stay upstairs. Asher plays with toys, Addison watches Elmo, while Mommy scrapes out old caulking in shower to apply new. Fun.
7:45 Book time and bedtime. Kiddos right to sleep again. How nice.
8 My back is semi better. Go out for a short 4 mile run. Wanted to go farther, but did not wanna risk it.
8:30 Downstairs to do bills, talk to my mom, fold some of my many loads of laundry (2 loads for Addisons sheets, each kids' laundry, and a load of towels). Chris' turn for a jog.
9 Upstairs to recaulk shower. Clear out Chris' tools, etc. Looks better.
10 Downstairs to get bag packed for visit to Grandmas tomorrow, read email, look at a few houses, hummm...maybe I will blog my day.

I never want to hear that SAHM's do not do anything. Okay?

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

January In Review

Finally...getting around to closing January and turning the calendar to February.

January was a crazy, cold month! We had lots of activities planned to keep us busy. We visited the zoo and children's museum as usual, and then new places like Mahoney and a new swim class, and revisited Boingz. We tried unsuccessfully to get to see all of the Great Grandparents and Grandparents...but will try again in February. Addison turned 2 1/2 and I swear has grown in height and maturity. She is quite independent for her young age. Asher just turned 14 months and is soo heavy! His favorite thing to do is play with Tinker toys, walk everywhere (yes, he is now fully walking) and eat. Alivia likes to write her first and last name and watch Scooby do.  Chris and I also cleaned up our house, organizing all of the closets, touching up paint, and building a website with the possibility of putting our home up for sale. Yikes! We will see what February will bring with that. Until then...keep in touch!
January Pictures

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

To Stink or Not...

This morning, I forced my tired body out of bed to go downstairs and run on the treadmill. I am not a morning person at all. It takes me a while to wake up, so getting up and going downstairs generally is not enough to get my body moving. But anyway, I did my run. I finished and went upstairs to find Alivia and Addison already awake and playing (at 6:45!). So I got them dressed, gave them breakfast, then Asher woke up, got him dressed (in a 3 piece suit and tie) and fed. Then, it was time to take a quick Valentine photo for the kids' Valentine cards.  Finally, it was my turn to take a shower and get dressed! So, I took the kids upstairs, got Asher occupied with his favorite Tinker Toys, Addison watching Elmo Potty, & Alivia was playing with both of them, and jumped in the shower for a few moments. I got all soaped up, shampoo in hair, and reached up to turn the shower head a different direction. What was I thinking? The whole shower head came off in my hand! Um, what is this? Seriously, as I stood there all soapy and needing to get to a new stream of warm water, all 3 kiddos sitting outside of the shower now staring at me, I decided I think I am ready for an apartment again! Seriously! I just wanted to take a shower!

The kids and I did go to Lowes and purchase the parts in order for me to attempt to fix it. However, I was unsuccessful. It will be waiting, all layed out on the counter in the master bathroom, for Chris when he arrives home for 12-13 hours at work and then our 3rd meeting with a real estate agent. Oh, he will be so excited!

As I have said to Topher before, somedays I would rather just stink.


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Victory for Addison

At the age of 2 1/2, Addison is now inching closer to being fully potty trained!

Asher is now fully walking, giving me more time to get other things done. You know, like the laundry I may need to do if I pulled off Addison's diaper at night and during naps. So, I finally did it Sunday. After she was been telling me every morning and after naps, "Mommy, my diaper is wet" or she actually was taking it off, using a baby wipe, and then putting on panties, I decided she was beyond ready. However, she had yet to go #2 in the potty, saving this duty for diaper time. Anyway, I sat her down on Sunday before quiet time and just told her she was getting too big for diapers. I put a big pat on the floor and her little potty on top telling her to go in the potty if she needed to during quiet time. And, to my surprise, she did! Sunday night was a bad night. She changed her pj's, mostly by herself, 3 or 4 times.

Monday's nap she stayed dry. It is just a matter of her remembering she does not have a diaper. In the past, I would ask before naptime if she needed to go potty and she would tell me, "I'll just pee pee in diaper." Oh, come on!

Then came last night. As I did with Alivia, I woke her up at 10 PM to have her go potty (& this is after cutting off fluids after dinner, just until she figures things out). I took her to the big potty where...Victory, finally...the long awaited woo-woo, #2, or whatever you want to call it! We were so excited!

So, Addison's first victory. So, as we get closer to my day of doing fewer loads of laundry, we are now officially down to one in diapers! Yeah!! And, with Asher, I will potty train everything at once!

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Losing my mind?

On Monday of last week, Alivia jumped into the van after preschool, excited to open a card from one of her classmates. It was an invitation to a birthday party of a little girl in her class to be at BOINGZ. She was so excited! I quickly glanced at the invitation when we got home and so did Chris. The invitation, we thought, said for Jan. 31. I knew that was Saturday and tucked that in the back of mind as our busy week of real estate agent visits progressed. For anyone that has gone through this home selling process knows, the agent comes and checks out your home. Then they come back on another day for 1 1/2-2 hours to give their presentation ending with their market analysis and what they would list your home at. All week I was busying myself cleaning and trying to keep things clean. The birthday party was being talked about a lot, and I kept telling Alivia - "It's Saturday" never taking another look at the invitation that I tucked away. Saturday came, and so did two more agents. We had the birthday gift ready to go as we raced out the door to get to the party. We arrived and another little girl was there with her Daddy. However, the party was FRIDAY!! Alivia burst into tears. What? Friday? I know ours said Saturday, or did it? I paid the $7.50 as Alivia jumped with the few kids that were there. She was starving, however, as I did not know if she would have a pizza party at the party or what. (the party was from 6-8pm). So, after 45 minutes of play, we came home for dinner.

As all of our activities come together, I am definitely losing my mind (or am going to soon).

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Employed Again

Like I do not have anything else to do...I have taken the employment plunge again. I really do not know what I was thinking, however. After I applied and thought I did not get this position, although disappointed, I felt a sense of relief. Then, they called and offered me the position. What for? A nurse for 8 hours every other week from 11p-7a. So, the kids would be asleep, and all I would miss is my sleep (and a big chunk of sanity). As a nurse, I need to work in order to keep up my license. Not a lot, just some. I have not worked as a nurse since leaving Children's in 2006. After accepting the position, I am thinking perhaps I should have waited until Alivia started school to take on such a big task (especially with running a 1/2 marathon, moving, etc). Chris and I have our plates so full now that I think we are getting overwhelmed (I am just speaking for myself now). But, as I tend to do, I will take on this new job and see if I can swing it. Chris, once again, is saying, "Please, do not take a job!" And, I know, he is typically right about these things.
Officially, I am to start in March. I have 2 days of training during the day and then I start my once every other week night shift. So, we will see what the next month brings...stayed tuned.

* Oh, by the way, I quit Janie and Jack a couple of weeks ago. It was going to just be too much with open houses. Chris needed to be doing the open house while I watched the kids or vice versa. So, moving on...

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