Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Long Road Ahead

So the people took the place. To top it all off the guy is a smoker, and smokes outside. The kids say they have seen him throw his cigarette butts on the lawn - so that's just fabulous. Not only do we have to tell the kids (mostly K) to leave people, we also have to tell them to stay away from that whole side of the building when he is out there having a smoke, or close our windows when he is right below them by his doorway. So moving is definitely on the table, in fact, it is a must. But how?

You see, since losing my job at the end of February (which, on an emotional level, I still haven't really dealt with and still feel major feelings about), we have been just barely scraping by. We managed to do it for so long because frankly we stopped paying bills. Our house was falling apart anyways and we couldn't afford to fix the things that we should have been told about before we bought the house in the first place! So, I got some part time temporary jobs, we decided we wanted to live with glassman again (which would give us his income), and we moved to a place with lower rent than our mortgage payments were, drastically cut down our monthly expenses and have been trying to make it work. We are barely making it work. I found an employment field I would love to work in, and seem to be good at, and am hoping to start a career in - but what's the point in starting a career around here if we are considering relocating somewhere completely different.

The type of place we want is a minimum 3 bedroom home with some land for planting vegetables and maybe having some animals (chickens, goats etc) in the future. That's hard to come by in any potentially feasible price range around here. So we have been looking at the interior of BC, or northern Vancouver Island - or really anywhere that will work for us. We are willing to relocate far for the right property and the right house. So what's the point in me starting a career here, signing a contract to stay with the same place (as they pay for industry training so you have to sign a working contract), if we are just leaving. So I'm left in the position of finding a job, any job, that will pay us enough to survive where we are now, and hopefully save up some money to relocate.

Here is where my personal whatevers come into play. I applied for a bunch of jobs last week. One of them at a restaurant. I got an interview, went, and he wanted me to come in for a training shift. The ad was for a cook in the kitchen, the actual job he wanted me for was a busser (so I don't even get a share of the tips). The job paid minimum wage. I agreed to it, because hey, I need a job, but as the day I was scheduled to work got closer I kept having these negative thoughts - which sound so silly. But I feel at 29 years old, with a university degree, tons of experience in a variety of fields, that I should not be working a minimum wage job, a job that is suited for 16 year olds. Yes, I feel better than it. And that's awful. When you have no job, you should be grateful for any job that comes your way. But I couldn't get over it. I want to be doing something meaningful with my life, or at least something I enjoy, or at the very very least something that pays me enough money to make enduring it worthwhile. I don't know how to satisfy at least one of those criteria. But I need a job. And it shouldn't be something on the career side of things because we do want to relocate. Nor should it be something I greatly enjoy because that will make leaving it harder. Finally, I don't think I am going to find anything that pays me what I think I should be making (which honestly, isn't much, a couple bucks over minimum wage would be awesome). I got a phone call from Tim Hortons; I think I'll call them back and set up an interview. I like coffee and donuts, and customer service so maybe that'll work. And besides, maybe I could transfer locations when we do eventually find a house so I'd be going wherever we go with a job.

Sigh, when did being a damn adult become so complicated. Just for one month i would love to not stress over how we are paying the bills, or be able to take my kids fun places without worrying about money. I know there are a lot of people in the same boat, so I am not alone, but company doesn't make the journey any easier.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Downstairs Neighbour

The place we live in now technically has a partially above ground basement suite downstairs. When we looked at the place the landlord told us that he kept it empty and planned to use it for him and his son to come and and stay in the country during the summer. Well, that never happened, and about a month in to living there he told us he was looking for someone to rent the suite.

Fast forward 1.5 months and it seems he has found someone. They are a young couple with a 15month old. I don't know what would possess them to agree to live below a family with 5 kids all 8 or under. But they are strongly thinking about it apparently.

I don't want to live above someone. I really really don't. I don't want the anxiety of my kids running around upstairs, or playing outside. I want to be able to have conversations with craftymama and glassman without wondering or knowing (depending on location) that the people below us can hear every single word clearly. I don't want to have to worry all the freaking time, and I will. It will make me an angry person.

Here's the dilemma - it's September 27th. Craftymama and Glassman want to have a place lined up before we give notice, so obviously we will not giving notice in 3 days, so we will not be moving for November 1st. Craftymama will not move for December or January 1st, which means not moving until February 1st at the earliest. That's 4 months of potentially living above someone. 4 months of constantly worried about how loud we are being for our downstairs neighbours.

Now, Craftymama and Glassman argue that because they have agreed to live below a family with 5 kids, that they know what they are getting into in terms of noise. While I agree with that, to some extent, you still have to be considerate of your neighbours when you have them so close. Which means if they need you to be quiet because their baby is sleeping, then you need to try to be quiet. If they can hear every running step the kids take at early hours of the morning, then we have to remind the kids to use gentle feet constantly. I don't want that. I don't want the stress of trying to get the kids to essentially stop being kids because we have people right below us.

Yet, this is where we find ourselves now. Who knows, maybe they won't take the place. That's what I'm hoping for at this point. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I think I've used that title before. It seems over the last however many years that I have been keeping this blog that things are constantly changing for my family.

There are no big changes in the immediate future - but there are changes in the future. The problem is - we don't know what they are. We all feel like we are at some sort of cross roads or something in life and we need to figure out where it is exactly we want to be. Craftymama really wants to have some land where she can grow as much of our own food as is possible. Glassman doesn't want to have to work so much or commute quite as far to work. They both want a slower paced kind of life. Glassman wants a puppy, a german shepherd puppy. Craftymama wants chickens. Past those, and a few other specific things, there are no firm desires.

As for me...well...that's another problem in and of itself. I have no idea at all what I want. A part of me honestly wants to live in the city, work a normal 9-5, come home and zone out in front of the TV and not have to work about the chemicals and shit my family ingests. But I know that's not realistic. Another part of thinks it would be neat to live in the middle of nowhere, but I really have no desire to garden or harvest or any of that shit. I think the majority of the last 4 years, for me, has been merely trying to sustain myself with my mental health, that I haven't really given the whole "what do I want to do with my life" question a whole lot of effort. I never anticipated having a future, so I never planned for one. I don't know where to start. I'm don't like trying new things because I feel like I am too old. I don't like doing things Craftymama does because I have sucking at it in comparison to her. I don't have any interests or hobbies, or really anything. It's like trying to find yourself as a teenager all over again, but at the same time you have kids of your own and adult responsibilities to take into consideration. I don't know how to manage it all. I feel trapped.

LittleR and one of her best friends in her class had to be separated because they would only play with each other and were mean to the other kids. The teacher thinks it's nerves of being in a new class/grade. BigR hates homeschooling, but really only because he doesn't want to do any type of schooling and is bored without his siblings. I think he'll come around, and I honestly think it'll be better for him. J WILL NOT SLEEP! I feel so bad for Craftymama because she is the only one who *can* get him to sleep, but he refuses to so there is a lot of tears and unhappiness - on both their parts I think.  I don't get it, if he is so exhausted (which he is), then why not sleep?!?!

I went away for 4 days for work up island, and man I missed my family. It was so weird being away from them. I worked at night and slept for the morning (usually had a nap in the late afternoon), so my whole schedule was thrown off. I watched some episodes about The Duggars, and am inspired by how they do things, and I so wish we could do things like that. They make having so many kids look easy! I also was reminded of how much I hate commercials. Especially the same ones over and over and over again. It was good to come home, though I had to wake Craftymama up when I arrived at 3:00a because I was locked out, and snuggle up to her and then have BigR come and wake me up the next morning and give me a giant hug. The hugs I got from the kids when I did pick up and school that day were huge. I missed them all.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's been forever!

Yes, it's been forever since I updated this blog. And I am sure no one is reading. But what I am sure of is that in however many years I will look back on these little tidbits of my life and smile, cry, and do all those things crazy mothers do when they look back into their pasts.

So we've moved. Do I like the new place? IDK. I like not being stressed that it's falling apart, like the last house, but it certainly does not feel like home. Not even in the slightest. The layout is weird, the landlord is weird, and, well, it's just not comfortable. Maybe it will be one day. Who knows how long we will be here, in the middle of no where, with no street lights in sight.

It's also time to be an adult and deal with the old house. We have someone who may be interested in doing a mortgage takeover; which would be handy. But there are so many things that need to be done, and deadlines from people that need to be met. When I think about the old house, and everything it has cost us: financially, emotionally, mentally - I wonder why any one ever buys houses in the first place. I don't want to ever do it again. I don't want to risk feeling the way I do now ever again.

Living with glassman has been an easy transition. I mean, I knew it would be. I've known the man for 24 years now, so it feels weird NOT living with him.

The Kids...

BigR started homeschooling today. He was excited about it over the summer, but seeing his friends at school (while dropping off the other kids) has made him have all the feelings an 8 year old can muster about this kind of situation. I think he will like the alone time with craftymama though, he has always thrived with one on one time, especially with her - a mama's boy at heart. He is really into pirates, and sword fighting. He and glassman often go outside in the evenings after the other kids are in bed and sword fight with glassman's martial arts sticks. They are really bonding - which is wonderful to see. He is a pretty moody 8 year old, which is normal I hear. He has found his voice, and uses it to talk back or argue - which is weird for me, because he has always been the soft spoken gentle one. He is still very precise and likes things a particular way, so I know now to touch his things - ever. His smile is infectious, and his eyes betray a wisdom far beyond his eight years. He can spend hours creating or listening to stories, and still holds childhood magic in his heart.

K is as social as social can be. She loves people. Let me elaborate...she loves adults. She would spend all of her time sitting with and listening into the conversations of any adult. She has no problems talking to them, no shyness, and no problems asking them embarrassing or personal questions. Her confidence in that regard is astounding. She has started grade 1 and loves it. She tells all of us, every day, about every little thing she has done that day - even going so far as to act out the actions of the story she heard, or display for us the movements she did in the gym. It can get exhausting to listen to, but I know she is just very excited and wants us to share in that excitement with her. She longs to know all the things that BigR already has learned, and loves nothing more than to mother J. She is already planning her wedding. She turns 7 this Wednesday. That's insane to me - that I've been doing this mothering thing for seven years already. She loves to help out around the house, including all chores. I have to be careful not to abuse that.

M  has grown so much over the summer - it's crazy! His coordination is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was before. He still expresses all his negative feelings in the form of anger, which can get exhausting, and demands physical exertion to keep him happy. He is a rough and tumble boy. He is still noise with dirt on it. But man oh man, can he be the sweetest thing in the world. Not too long ago he started to say "I love you" back to me when I would say it to him (so long as no one was around to hear it that is), and I tell you my heart damn near broke the first few times he said it. M doesn't let love or affection come out often, but when it does, I just melt. He is definitely going through the 6 year change. He has been saying things like, "it's not your life, it's mine" and "it can't help, it's just a blanket" (in reference to his blankie which has been a cherished, obsessed over object since birth for him). His dimples just seem to get deeper the older he gets, and I hope he never loses them. They can convey both trouble and joy. His anger can make him a challenge to parent at times, but at the end of the day when he snuggles up with his blankie, plants a big kiss on your cheek while giving you a squeeze hug - well, it just makes all the rage that day worthwhile.

LittleR is still weird and crazy and off. Whenever she sees a chicken she calls it a dinosaur. She, like most 5 year olds, goes immediately to cranky when things don't go her way. She has weird quirks - like her complete dislike of all muffins and raisins. She is still very much a mii mii's girl, and would stay on my lap all day if I would let her. She has a couple of best friends in school, who she absolutely adores, and which I think is so so cute. I often find myself wondering if this will turn into a friendship that lasts years and years; but I guess that depends on how long we are staying at the school. She is loud, and intense, and can stomp around the house like no body's business. There are times when I can't handle her screaming, and times when I have an endless amount of patience for her. She still screams, all the time, about everything. It's getting old. She always seems to be watching me though, and if I have even the tiniest bit of a cranky look on my face, she points it out and asks why. I have to be careful around her.

J. Little baby J. He is nearly 10 months old, and is cruising around furniture, getting into everything he can get into. The boy loves him some bananas, and green vegetables, and he is starting to get a taste for starchy and bready things. He is also a mama's boy, but I think that's normal for this age. He still sleeps in the bed with us, pressed up against craftymama or at least facing her. He hates to getting wrapped, but loves being up in a wrap. I really want to wrap him more. I keep saying and thinking that but I actually need to do something about that feeling. He has absolutely no fear of the water, which I love. He loves to get wet. A lot of people say he looks like Teo. He is obsessed with cars, and has been for months, which I think is quite young to have such a defined preference for toys - but here we are. He has been a wonderful addition to our family.

So yeah, that's pretty much us. I am going to try to post more often. I'll regret it if I don't.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Failure

So we are moving - this Saturday as a matter of fact. We met with a bankruptcy trustee, a realtor, and have been talking lots about what to do. What it comes down to is the fact that the house is eating us alive, even if I was working full time with a decent hourly wage - it's still not enough to cover the basic necessities of living there. We simply can't afford it. So we had a realtor out to do a walk through and give us an estimate, and after his fees and taxes we would still owe over $100,000 on the house, and the banks won't let us walk away with that high of a debt still owing on it. So really, what other option do we have other than to foreclose on the house, declare bankruptcy, and start again. I will admit that I feel pretty much like the ultimate failure at life here. it was my job to support the family, and not only did I lose my job back in February, but even if I was working, I still didn't make enough for us to survive there. Buying that house was the single biggest adult mistake we have made.

So we will have some credit ladder climbing to do. This will kill our credit (and our cosigners, who knows about this, and who is being so amazingly awesome that it nearly brings me to tears), and we will be fighting to get it back, and regain some sense of normalcy again. This is a chance to start over, start fresh, and get it right. We can come back from this.

The place we are moving into is a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom place on a huge piece of land. It needs some serious cleaning and fixing up, but we are okay with that. It's the same distance from the school, just in the other direction.

Speaking of school, R will be homeschooled next year, and we are going to see how grade 1 is for K. If it's awful we are going to pull all the kids out the following year. We don't want to keep trying and experimenting on the kids to see if it's going to work. That being said, I don't know that I am sold on homeschooling them all, but thankfully, we don't have to make that decision right now. That's a future problem - potentially.

Glassman has been coming out to our house more, and is helping us move and lay down new floor in the place and what not. It's weirdly comfortable having him around, and having three adults there is certainly nice. I do miss living with him, he was a permanent fixture in my life for so long that it's still weird that I don't see him every day.

Veganism goes all right. In fact, it's completely fine at home - it's when we see family. Others seem to think it is all right to undermine our food decisions, and critique them in front of the kids. What they don't realize is the kids complain about the food around them because they get a reaction. None of them actually really mind - especially K. They are enjoying trying new foods and new things. It's only when you point out what they are "missing out on" that they put of this fuss, and you can tell it's an act. It would just be really nice not to be belittled in front of the kids for our parenting choices. If you have a real issue with something we have decided to do, I would much rather be approached or called when the kids aren't around.

I am on the job hunt, and am finding that I am angry and upset at what  happened with my last job. I'm having a really hard time letting it go and I know I have to.

Those are the biggest updates that I can think of...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Family Feud

My mom and I aren't talking, well that's not completely true, she isn't talking to me. She had said that craftymama isn't really having to deal with my depression; and I took offense to that for oh so many many reasons. I told my mom, respectfully, that I was hurt, and then she didn't speak to me. I wished her a happy Mother's Day, and when she didn't respond I asked what was up and she told me that she isn't talking to me because all she does is offend me. *sigh* I don't get it. I'm tired of fighting with her. All I want is to have a good relationship with her, she is my mom, I love her. I hate being at odds with her. I'm over it. I have so much going on in my life right now between my health issues (both mental and physical), my house, the kids, finances, etc etc that I don't need something else. I would love to have the type of relationship where I could talk to her about some of this stuff, instead I just feel like my family is an island - and maybe at first we didn't help matters in that regard, but family is always supposed to be there, especially moms.

On the plus side me and my sister E are talking again, and things seem to be going well. I'm appreciative of that. I just need her and craftymama to at least find some mutual respect for each other, but I can't make them. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

And the beat goes on

So what's new in our little family? Ha Ha Ha little. Craftymama is going wrap crazy and wants to buy all the wraps. When she was with cableman, she was pretty much allowed to buy any wrap she fancied - now not so much. She just got one like 2 weeks ago and is already lusting after at least two more. I have a wrap for J, but I am also lusting after this rainbow wrap I saw before he was born but that wasn't released yet. It's now released and available nearly everywhere. I want it so bad. Craftymama said I'm allowed to get it if I wear J 20 out of 30 days. Wrapping and I are having a hard go of things. He is too big for me to wear comfortably on my front, and I just can't seem to get back wrapping down without major help. It's so infuriating. I hate having to learn things I already learned once before. But I so want this wrap, and I really do enjoy wearing him. I sing to him while we walk the dog, and craftymama helps me get him nice and high so I can see him just by turning my head. It's nice spending that one on one time with him.

I subbed in K's class yesterday as one of her teachers was away. I had oh so much fun. Everyone, and I mean everyone, tells me that teaching grades would be so much better for me, and that I'm more suited to it, but there is something about ECE, it just...oh it's just so special. I'm trying to go to the west coast institute for waldorf teacher training. It starts this July. The unfortunate thing is that student loans won't pay for it, and ha ha ha to me affording it. So I have asked for a sponsor, and am hoping for a positive response.

At this point in time I have no skills, and no usable education. I would be starting from scratch again. Supporting 5 kids and a partner with an entry level job is near impossible. I feel so useless, and frustrated.

I went into my old work the other day to pick up some forms that I needed for the government, they knew I was coming, and not one person came to say hi to me. Not one person talked to me. I just was given my papers and left. I gave my life to these people. I helped the company grow into what it is now. It hurt so badly. I know it's just business - and I know I have to shrug it off because in the grand scheme of life it doesn't really matter. I guess I just thought I meant more as a person, but I guess all I was was an employee, and now I'm no longer that. I have to move on. I am grateful for everything I learned about herbs, business, finances, and myself while I was there. Working there changed who I am, I wish them nothing but success.

There is a string of violence going around our house. The kids have taken on a mean streak and are hitting, punching, pushing, and kicking each other. I just can't stand it. I find I have less patience then I normally do lately, which I hate, but really, the violence needs to stop. I don't know what to do. Craftymama and I need to have a pow wow and get some parenting strategies for how to handle this.

The changes in our eating go all right. I hate many of the common vegetarian alternatives: beans, onions, mushrooms - so I'm probably having the biggest challenge. Craftymama and I differ on our beliefs. I believe humans were meant to eat meat occasionally - but produced ethically, and treated ethically while I live. The animals deserve respect, and that's what the mainstream industry doesn't give them. So I miss meat. I don't need or want it at every meal, but every once and a while it would be nice. I don't miss cows milk - I haven't liked drinking that stuff since I had K. We shall see what my family's food reality looks like in a few months when things get into more of a routine and we all find our balance.

We are talking about what our next house is going to be. Craftymama really wants to build it, and she has found this environmental way of building really heat effective houses our of straw bales. It would be interesting to build our own house. I'm not vehemently opposed to the idea. Of course, the first thing we have to do is figure out what we are doing with our current disaster of a house....

That's pretty much it for now. We aren't very exciting...