Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?

Sometimes you just have to put on your big girl panties and deal with it

Randomness April 30, 2010

Filed under: Blogging,Family,Fire,Kids,Life,Uncategorized — Steph @ 9:19 am

It is snowing today and of course the wind is blowing.  A couple of weeks ago we had days in the 70’s and Elizabeth and I spent a lot of time at the park.  The last two weeks it’s been windy, rainy, cold or dreary and now it’s snowing.  Wow I love Wyoming in the Spring!  We have cabin fever big time.

The man who bought our house has completed the re-construction.  They offered to give us a tour.  I am the ONLY one not interested.  Joe hooked some friends of ours up with our realtor’s information because they’re looking for a rental.  They are going to look at our old house because it’s close to town, work, etc…  There. is. not. enough. Klonopin. in. the. world. people.  My state of mind is so much better than it was but I still struggle and I still require anti-anxiety meds to sleep without nightmares.  I can not imagine what would happen if I went over there.  PTSD patients don’t get “cured” they go in to remission.  The smallest of things can trigger a relapse.  I am almost positive going back in that house (rebuilt or not) would trigger a relapse.  No, thanks!

Elizabeth hasn’t tried to escape the loony bin again.  I don’t think it’s because her escape attempt scared her, I think it’s because the weather has been too nasty.  Thanks Mother Nature!

Joey keeps bringing home projects for school.  I am sick of them.  He had to build a wire.  Then he had to bring home a book of like 175 science experiments and choose one to do.  I am not a “project” kind of mom.  I am NOT crafty or artistic, the day they built me they skipped the creativity aisle completely.  Hopefully we can find step by step instructions on the net that even I can’t screw up!

Also they are going to the local museum for some pioneer thing.  This school (or the teachers I’m not sure which) are all about role playing and creativity.  Great, I’m all for that.  A couple of months ago he had to dress up like Abraham Lincoln for a play.  Now he has to dress like a pioneer child would dress for this trip.  He also has to pack a lunch, but it can’t just be a sandwich and fruit.  It has to be a “pioneer lunch”.  They sent home a list of foods pioneer children probably ate.  I’m not even sure we can find some of this stuff here this time of year.  Also?  No brown bags or lunch boxes.  We have to use a “pioneer lunch box” so they’re sending home some can we are supposed to attach a wire to and stick his lunch in there.  Of course it goes without saying they didn’t have bottled juices, milk cartons, etc… in pioneer days.  I have NO idea what to send for him to drink or what to contain it in.  My favorite part of the whole thing?  His interpretation of what he’s going to wear… “hey mom, I get to dress like a hooligan for once without you making me go change”.  Awesome!  We recently watched “Where the Red Fern Grows” one of my all time favorite books and it was interesting the movie was on because I had just suggested the book to Joey and then it was on.  Anyway when the boy goes to the city to pick up his pups, he packs bread and dried salt pork.  He drinks from a well in the city.  Do you think the teachers would be impressed if I sent Joey with a loaf of bread and some jerky and told him to drink from the hose?

Elizabeth wanted peanut butter toast for breakfast.  I was all “OK” it’s better than what she usually chooses (Oreo cookie Pop-Tarts anyone?).  Then she says “I need chips with my sammich”.  I can’t fault her 3 year old logic.  “Sammiches” at lunch come with chips, if she’s gonna eat a “sammich” for breakfast why shouldn’t she get chips?  I gave her tortilla chips.  Hopefully that’s less of a fail than if I’d given her Cheetos.  They’re made with corn and all that!

Another blogger wrote a post yesterday that really offended me.  I’m not gonna link to her because I’m not giving her the traffic.  She’s a pretty popular blogger I think although I’ve been reading her for a while and don’t much care for her.  Anyway, her post was about PR and at one point she quoted an article from a while back that suggested everyone should have a blog.  She disagrees with this for various reasons, she said not everyone can write, entertain an audience, and/or is relevant.  I disagree with that in so many ways.  If everyone wants a blog then more power to them!  If they like to write out their thoughts and they like to read them then they are relevant and have an audience.  It may not be the type of audience this blogger is referencing but it’s a valid audience none the less.  Lots of blogs start off as a way to keep long distance relatives up to speed on their family’s doings.  How is that not relevant?  I’m probably over-reacting but it really made me scratch my head that she thinks she’s the czar of blogging and what’s relative.


What to do? March 10, 2010

Filed under: Family,Fire,Kids,Life — Steph @ 12:13 pm

The hockey season is winding down and that means I have nothing to do.  I am sad about it!  State tournament is this weekend (we’re hosting so if you live in Gillette come out and watch the kids!!).  I’m sure after this weekend I’ll need a stiff drink, but then we’re done until we go to Anaheim for the Jr. Ducks tournament which officially marks the end of our season and I will be horribly bored I’m afraid!

This hockey season was the most fun I’ve had in our 3 years of playing.  I am team mom for the East team which has been an absolute blast!!  Truly it’s the first time I’ve allowed myself to have fun since the fire.

I think more than being sad about hockey season being over I am concerned I’ll sink back in to my funk with nothing to do.

When you have kids and parents counting on you, you have to make yourself take a shower, get dressed, and get moving or you’ll let them all down.  Shoot, I even had a major surgery in the middle of the season and I still didn’t miss but two games all year.  A year ago I would have come up with a million excuses to skip the games, events, and meetings.  Who am I kidding?  I actually did do that a year ago.  I did the bare minimum amount of living a person can actually do.  I fed and clothed my kids and some days even that was too much energy expanded.  Writing this now and looking back I can honestly say I lost a year of my life.  I slogged my way through my daily duties as a wife and mother and really stopped living in any other capacity.

So now I find myself wondering if I am truly out of my depression and really ready to start living life again or if it was just having something to do that kept me motivated.  I actually think I’m afraid to find out.  My doctor thinks I am feeling better and doing so well because of the meds and things finally calming down.  I fervently disagree with him and asked him to start taking me off of all of the meds, I think I am better, I think I am ready.  Time will tell I guess if he’s right or if I am.  I am currently weaning off of the meds and still feeling good, so let’s hope it stays that way!  I haven’t had a single nightmare and I no longer smell burning flesh in my sleep.  That’s a big deal!

I feel more settled all around.  I really thought the insurance company FINALLY settling would make me feel better and truly end the nightmare that we’d been living.  It did to some extent.  It allowed us to sell what was left of the house which was a HUGE step in the healing process, and it allowed us to climb out from under the rubble our life had become after the fire.  But it didn’t take away the hurt.  It didn’t turn back the clock and bring us back to a time when we hadn’t lost so much and been so uprooted.

In the year and a half since the fire we’ve moved 3 times.  This is what happens when you are renting and the insurance company is footing the bill.  Things come up and you end up moving.  We considered buying both houses we rented but in the end it just wasn’t meant to be and that’s OK.  It all worked out in the end, probably the way it was supposed to happen all along.  It sure would be nice though if life came with a step by step manual. “Chapter 1 – you will be married and have two kids by ‘X’ date” “Chapter 2 – you will have one sickly child and one healthy child” etc… you get the idea.

I am now proud to announce we will NOT be moving again!  WOO HOO!!  We sold our “house” to a man who had a gorgeous home for sale and we basically traded houses, we were able to use our property as the down payment on this one so we are now homeowners again!  Selling the house was very emotional.  I didn’t expect it to be, but it was.  10 year of our lives were in that house.  10 years of photos, baby books, our wedding album, my wedding gown, etc…  It was all destroyed so we made the decision to make a clean break.  We left the house as/is and the man who bought it cleaned it out.  I hope we made the right decision there.  Sometimes I question it.  Would it have been therapeutic for us to close that chapter of our lives and discard the rubble ourselves?  Or would it have made it worse?  In the end we went with what seemed the least painful route and let someone else clear out the rubble and throw away our memories.  I am a little bummed he didn’t demolish the house though.  I REALLY wanted a swing with a sledgehammer.  I really think THAT would have been awesome therapy!  But instead he is gutting the house and re-building so he didn’t actually demolish the whole thing.  We’ll call it a missed opportunity and move on. 🙂  To answer the question before it’s asked…  I did not return to the other house, not in the entire year we battled the insurance company.  I was over there twice right after the fire and I never went back.  I didn’t even drive over that way.  It was just too painful and as it is I will NEVER get the smell out of my head or the images of the destruction out of my mind.  I had no strength to keep renewing the feelings it brought with it.

After the final move the kids started to show outward signs of the distress the entire process caused them I am really amazed it took that long, kids are resilient ya’ll.

Elizabeth went through a stage where she was afraid of bathtubs?! (not kidding) but she’s since gotten over that.  I think that was a 3 year old’s way of telling us she’d had enough.

Joey had A LOT of trouble in school the beginning of the year.  That’s another post entirely.  But the loss of several family members, his home, his pets, and everything he knew was just too much.  Thankfully he seems to be settling now, but he’s had SO much come at him, I think it will be a long healing process for him.  I have to remind myself of that constantly!!  If I can’t grasp it, if it all was too much for me, if it broke me, of course it broke my kids as well.

So now we move on.  For real this time, we move forward and learn to embrace our new lives.  I’ve got a lot of plans for the new house.  I’m hoping it will fill the void the ending hockey season is going to bring.  It has a yard but it’s a pitiful one.  I LOVE yard work, gardening, planting flowers and trees, etc… so I get to do all of that!  I am so excited for Summer and the challenge it will bring!  We have a large plot of land now and I have plans for every piece of it!  🙂

I’ve had fun actually decorating the house.  I have no knick knacks, no paintings, and very few pictures and we had no furniture.  We started all over which at first seemed daunting but was actually a lot of fun!  Elizabeth has a Tinkerbell/Disney Princess themed room.  Joey has a hockey themed room that was VERY fun to put together.  I have an actual bedroom set!  I’ve never had a matching bedroom set.  Our bedroom set was a hand me down set with no headboard or anything.  I splurged a little and bought a whole bedroom!  Every single piece!  Then I splurged a little and bought new sheets, a new comforter, etc… to make it all come together!  I even bought the little decorative pillows that went with the comforter!

We are also taking our first REAL vacation!  In the past we traveled for Elizabeth’s adoption which was the closest we came to a real vacation, and I traveled for hedgehog and chinchilla shows, to deliver animals, etc…  We traveled to see family, mostly when someone was ailing, because all of us traveling was just impossible with all of the animals.  That’s not the case anymore (well at least the part about the animals keeping us home).  I spent most of the Summer traveling because my grandma was ill and Joey had hockey camp, and then we went to New Mexico for the first time in YEARS to see Joe’s grandma who was ailing.  We did turn the trip to New Mexico in to a bit of a vacation and it was a lot of fun as it always is, but the fact it was our last visit with his grandmother kept it from being a true vacation.  In just over two week’s time we are taking our first official vacation.  We are going to Anaheim for a hockey tournament, but we booked an extra 3 days in Anaheim to actually vacation.  We’re doing Disneyland and California Adventures and the beach and the whole 9 yards!  I am praying the weather is nice while we’re there and we can actually go to the beach and enjoy that part of it!

Wow, this is getting long.  Sorry about that!  It’s much longer than I anticipated so I better wrap it up!

I guess I pretty much answered my own question.  Probably I should just trash this post but it took me a while to write so I won’t.  🙂  I think the answer will come in time.  It’s probably in that non-existent book I would love to get my hands on!  If you find a copy please send it my way because I don’t really like surprises!

In the meantime I would love some ideas to keep myself busy!  Keep in mind I’m the LEAST CRAFTY PERSON on the planet!  So crafty type things are out.  I can’t sew, quilt, crochet, etc… and I do have a 3 year old to entertain!  So anything the two of us can do to keep busy but that doesn’t require me tapping in to the crafty portion of the brain that I was unfortunately not blessed with!  Oh, and also keep in mind we live in no-where Wyoming, so it has to be something we can do here.  We have a public library and about 50 parks but that all gets old very quickly.  So we’re looking for ideas!

Whatever I do I am going to do it with a positive outlook and a skip in my step because things could have been worse (even if it didn’t seem like it at the time) and I do realize that and thank God every day that it wasn’t.  🙂

Update: I just got an e-mail asking me to be team mom for Joey’s baseball team!  WOOT!  I can add that to the list of things to do!  🙂


Randomness March 10, 2009

Filed under: Family,Fire,Kids,Life — Steph @ 4:20 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have discovered the only way to keep your house clean is to NOT live in it.  Seriously, I clean the whole thing, we’re gone for the weekend, it’s clean when we come home and we’re home 2 days and it’s thrashed.  WTH?

When I travel I get sick, without fail.  Doesn’t matter where I go or for how long I’ll come home sick.  I lost my voice on Saturday, I thought it was yelling at the game.  It’s not.  <blech>  I can’t even holler at the kids!

When you’re sick and your kids are sick they still want to be snuggled and loved on and it’s your job as a mom to do that no matter how lousy you feel or how badly their vomit makes you want to hurl yourself!

The weather in Wyoming never gets any less crazy, it will be 65 one day and -12 with 6 inches of snow the next.  Not even slightly kidding here.

Joey made a goal this weekend!  IT WAS AWESOME!!  His 2nd goal of the season.  Not bad for a boy who started out behind the other kids from having to take a year off!!

Joey says “hockey is his life”.  I think he might be serious.  He wants to do two hockey camps this Summer to catch up the rest of the way with the kids who have 3 full years vs. his two.  I had my doubts at the beginning of the season, he’s so just not a sporty kid and he’s so not aggressive.  I figured those two things would mean he just didn’t dig it.  I was really wrong.

Nothing is as infuriating as crappy officiating in kids sports, especially a contact sport like hockey where kids can actually get hurt really badly by the fouls against them.  When you have one kid getting fouled on over and over and OVER and a completely blind ref it WILL infuriate every single person in the stands that isn’t rooting for the opposing team

2  year olds are a force of nature, there’s nothing quite like them.  One minute you want to snuggle them and the next you want to lock them in a cage until they hit 25.

You will spend just shy of 2 years begging your child to walk on time and talk on time and you’ll spend the next 18 wanting them to shut up and sit down!

If you groom your dogs in the March it will snow the next day.  Then you’ll feel like a huge jerk for grooming them.  But LORD did she stink!!  I bought her a sweater, she lived through it.

I think it’s likely 80% of my graduating class is on Facebook.  I LOVE seeing what everyone is up to and catching up!

Animal Crossing is the most addictive game EVER.  It’s not smart to buy it for both DS and Wii because you’ll end up changing the time so you can do the things you need to do in the day.  Plus you won’t get anything else done and it’s really hard to tell your 9 year old how to play, he’ll argue with you!

My 9 year old can be a real brat, when did kids become so flippant?  Seriously, the things he says I would have been in SO much trouble for saying to adults.  They are so very disrespectful.  I spend all Summer breaking him of it and within two days of school we have to start all over.

If you have animals and you have a fire evacuation plan and stickers on your windows alerting the authorities they are there and asking them to get them out, please understand it doesn’t work that way.  Prepare yourself for it.  Install a sprinkler system.  The fire department is only concerned with putting the fire out and keeping the damage from spreading, they don’t have time to go in for pets it happens too fast, in reality there just isn’t time.  To that end, don’t blame yourself when you can’t enact your evacuation plan.  It just isn’t realistic when human lives are at risk.

If you have Allstate insurance, find a new insurance company!!  Take it from me, they’ve been run out of 9 states, if I have my way Wyoming will be the 10th.  You pay them to help you, to protect you, to take care of you in this insane trauma and let me tell you, they won’t.  Type Allstate insurance complaints in to Google and you’ll see.  I can tell you it’s been 6 full months since our house burned down and we still don’t have a settlement.  We lost EVERYTHING and we’ve been given about $20k out of the $220k policy we pay for.  $20k doesn’t replace the wardrobes and belongings of 4 people.  It doesn’t even come close.

A young boy was killed in our town a couple of weeks ago.  He was 6.  I can’t get it out of my head.  It was a really tragic accident that will change the lives of two families forever.  I don’t know why I can’t stop thinking about it, but I have to say it makes me want to put Joey in full body armor and keep him in the house forever.  I was blown away by the whole incident from the beginning, but seeing his photo in his obituary just really bothered me and I feel an overwhelming sadness for his family and the other family involved even now.


Randomness October 27, 2008

Filed under: Adoption,Critters,Faith,Fire,Other Stuff — Steph @ 8:55 am

If you make a ham and give your dogs a small plate full they will wake you up 5 times in the night to go outside.  Wow I miss my dog door! Elizabeth is in to Thomas the Train all the sudden.  I am relieved to watch something besides Cars.  She likes Lilo & Stitch but given the choice she picks Cars every time.  I bought her a Handy Manny DVD and a couple of Thomas DVD’s including the Thomas movie with Alec Baldwin.  She’d rather watch the Thomas episodes with the narrator and the fake people.  I like Handy Manny it’s cute, but secretly I wonder why she would rather watch tools, trains, and trucks than Strawberry Shortcake?!  She’s gonna be Abby Cadaby (sp?) for Halloween.  My one saving grace, she loves shoes and dresses!  🙂 We took my mom to the neuro surgeon last week and we went to the mall in Cheyenne (I didn’t know they had a mall!?!?!).  We were in Dillards and Elizabeth sees the Croclings and FLIPS.  She HAS to have the Cinderella Croclings?!  So I am like OK, they’re pink, they have a princess on them, RIGHT ON!  Then we get to the check out and guess what they have?!  Jibbitz with Mater and Lightning McQueen.  <sigh>  So she now has Cinderella Croclings with Mater on one and Lightning McQueen on the other.  <double sigh> Oh and did I mention she doesn’t sleep in the car?  She talks, the whole way (I know she gets that from me).  Guess what she talks about on the interstate?!  You guessed it, trucks and trains.  So she makes up this little diddy where she goes “trucks and trains and trucks and trains”.  And it’s SO flipping cute cuz she like sings it!  But…  it gets old after the 100th mile or so! Joey is just busy trying to keep up with his schedule for hockey and scouts.  He’s tired on the weekend.  For some reason he can’t sleep in on Sundays.  Silly internal clocks.  Niether kid does, but I sure wish he would because 6 PM practice on Friday and then 7 AM on Saturday makes for a tired kiddo.  He won’t nap, it’s against his 8 year old boy code, so I bought him some new books (Captain Underpants anyone?) and he spent a good part of Saturday afternoon just reading quietly.  Then we went and saw HSM3 which he’s been waiting a year to see.  I gotta say I thought of the 3 it had the best story line.  Not fond of the music so much.  The first had such great music and the 2nd had catchy music.  This one I just didn’t think the music was so great.  Of course Joey disagrees…  Definitely for kids, but I can stomach them because Joey loves them and they’re good wholesome fun for him.  I was disgusted with the woman behind us though.  She had about a 3 year old boy and a 4 or 5 year old girl.  She talked through the WHOLE movie!  Not the kids, the mom!!  I was so livid!  The 5 year old was asking questions and rather than whisper the answers to her she was really loud!  I’m not one of those people who gets irritated with kids in kid movies but this was a bit different, the little boy was totally dis-interested and spent the whole time messing around bumping in to Joe and Joey’s chairs.  The woman spent the whole time explaining the movie to the young girl.  At one point she goes “Stanford is one of the best schools in the country”.  <sigh>  Like her 4 year old cares?!  Explain it to her at home!  Then at one point they are dancing and the girl’s skirts flip up and she goes “oh my goodness!”  really loud!  I’m like “lady, it’s a musical and they dance, they have on bloomers for crying out loud!”  Then there was the kiss (one kiss in 2 and 3 btw) and she goes “oh, did you see that on the previews?” to her 4 year old?!  WTH?!  It’s not like they were getting down and dirty, it was a kiss!  Crimeny!  Can you tell I was annoyed?!  She literally didn’t shut up the WHOLE 2 hours!! Anyway, Joey is being tested for the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program and we’ll find out in a couple of weeks if he’s accepted.  He scored in the 91st percentile on the standardized test they did a few weeks ago.  It’s funny because Joey doesn’t test well, he has trouble sitting through tests and focusing on getting the test done in time.  During these tests I was worried, they were right after the fire and I was sure he would not do well on them.  So I asked them to let him do them later and they said they were just a “practice run” to see what they need to work on for the real Spring tests.  Turns out I was worried for nothing and he did well obviously.  I assume he’ll be admitted to GATE which I’ve been waiting for since kindergarten so that’s exciting!  He gets so bored in a regular classroom all day long, I have literally just been waiting for 3rd grade and the GATE program! I think I have PTSD.  Probably not a surprise.  I want to see a counselor but I don’t know of any good ones in town and I don’t want to spend the money right now.  The fire wiped us out, replacing a minimal amount of clothes, toys, books, shoes, coats, etc… adds up.  Not to mention having to stock a kitchen from scratch when you are used to a FULL freezer and pantry you’ve been filling for years!  So I am holding off even though I know I need to see someone at some point.  Hopefully soon as I think I probably need some therapy.  For now I am just trying to deal and my regular physician is helping me as is my family. I still have nightmares about my dogs and animals dying.  They don’t always die in a fire though, it’s always something different.  The other night I dreamt Sugar (my oldest dog) was locked in a room with rabid coyotes?!  WTH?!  The Clonopin keeps the nightmares at bay, and other than exhaustion when I don’t take the Clonopin and have the nightmares, I am holding up OK. The stupid insurance company is launching some investigation in to the fire of course.  They want ALL kinds of personal information I’m not giving them access to.  Like employment records, bank statements, etc…  I didn’t have to supply those things to BUY my house, I’m not giving them up now with all the identity theft.  Plus Joe just got a new job, how would it look if some insurance investigator was calling them to check on his character?! Apparently this is common practice in total loss fires.  I am just disgusted by it.  It’s like saying “this family lost EVERYTHING so in order to stall having to pay out we’ll just put them through even more Hell”.  I thought it might have something to do with our complaint to the insurance commissioner and I’m still not 100% sure it didn’t/doesn’t.  But I called them and she said they do this a majority of times in a fire and it really sucks.  It’s an electrical fire, ruled as such by the fire department so they have NO basis to put us through an “investigation” but of course whatever it takes to not have to pay out.  I told the one rep the other day it’s just insane.  People don’t set their homes on fire to go backward!  We lost a lot of un-insured animals (not insurable), cages, feed, etc…  plus we’re under insured on our home by quite a bit, so we don’t have enough in the policy max to re-build our home and are probably short a bit on a down payment on a new home.  Who in their right mind sets their home on fire to end up on the street?!  Not to mention the money we sunk in to the house to replace the plumbing, re-do the bathrooms, flooring, etc…  it’s just insane, we are SO not going to even come close to recouping those costs.  Needless to say I was not happy with the investigation and I said as much to the investigator.  You’d think while they’re shelling out a huge amount of rent a month on furniture, this house, etc… they would want to get us paid out and out of their hair?! Well I think that’s about it.  I didn’t blog much last week because I took my mom to Cheyenne for her appointment and that was an exhausting day with Elizabeth in tow, and I am trying to fight off a sinus infection so I really just didn’t feel up to it after wrangling Elizabeth all day.  😉 I promise to try to do better!  Thank you all for your comments and concerns, they made me feel better, somehow assured me I am not going crazy!


Not feeling “well” October 15, 2008

Filed under: Fire,Life — Steph @ 3:04 pm

Those of you with chronic depression will probably understand this post, those who don’t…

I just feel lousy and I think it’s emotional.  I thought I was getting better, I’m not crying over everything anymore and I am not so angry and helpless feeling.  But the past week or so I just feel worse than ever.  I am exhausted all of the time, I could sleep for 12 hours and still feel exhausted.  I am angry with life in general and I just feel like I could cry at odd times.  I am not having the nightmares I was having but only because I take Clonopin to keep them away.  If I try to wean myself off of the Clonopin I have nightmares.

How can you have nightmares about a scene you didn’t witness?  How can an odor set off a complete breakdown?

Did I mention the headaches?  I have horrible headaches to go along with my exhaustion.  I go to bed at 7 PM, it’s all I can do to make sure the kids are fed, clothed and cared for.  Anything else is beyond the scope of my physical and emotional limitations at this point.

I don’t understand why I’m still so sad all of the time, so tired, so just physically not feeling well.

I don’t know if it’s the uncertainty in where we will end up in a few months, if it’s Joe’s lack of work still (they haven’t started him yet and we haven’t heard a word from them), if it’s not understanding how this fire happened, not having anything that belongs to me surrounding me, I just don’t know.

All I know is I feel sad and miserable all of the time and I wish it would stop.


Winter Storm Watch October 10, 2008

Filed under: Family,Fire,Kids,Life — Steph @ 8:03 am

Nope I’m not kidding.  I figured it would blow over, but nope.  It’s snowing.  I think this is the earliest we’ve had snow in years.  We usually have it by mid-late October but not this early.  We have a watch because we are supposed to get 3-5 inches today and another 6 tomorrow.  Fun, fun, fun!!  I am ready for Winter.  I worry about the other house still being open to the elements since the insurance company won’t get off their ass and get their stuff done so we can cover it up.  But other than that I am ready, BRING.IT.ON!!

Speaking of insurance.  Good hands people my ass, my dad says I should start saying that every time I have a conversation with our claims rep.  Or rather his voicemail.  All I can say is, if we didn’t have my family and our community we would have been in real trouble.  Allstate left us high and dry, they said “check in to a hotel, save your receipts for meals and necessities”.  Seriously?!  OK, I’ll find a hotel that will take my two traumatized dogs, my three traumatized cats, my two kids, and HEY, maybe they’ll feed and clothe us for free once we drain our checking and savings on this?!

Instead we stayed with my mom, Joey’s school, my MIL’s work, and a neighbor took up a collection for us, and the Red Cross gave us some money for clothes.  When you are left with only the clothes on your back you just don’t have the money to rent a hotel room, buy the necessities, buy clothes, and eat.  Allstate didn’t send us anything for a full 2 weeks.  Then they sent a quarter of what it cost.  So they sent more last week after putting us in a rental we had to turn the utilities on in (we couldn’t transfer them because we were city and this house is technically in the county) and stock with food and staples.  Know what it costs to stock a house with absolutely everything you need for a family of 4?  Not dishes, pots, pans, etc…  we’re talking food, toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, tissues, etc…  Think back to the day you moved out of your mom and dad’s house, but add 2 kids to the deal.

Thankfully we had Wal-Mart gift cards from various people (thank you all SO MUCH!!) so that helped SO much, but we are totally out of money.  So they were supposed to send money out last Thursday and send it overnight so we’d have it.  They were very sorry for not considering all of this, etc…  it went out on Tuesday via Priority Mail.  <sigh>  The excuse?  Our claims rep “forgot” and “DHL doesn’t deliver to Wyoming”.  What about overnight mail or Fed Ex?  Seriously, we are not in the middle of no where people.

Can you tell I’m frustrated?!

In the good news department Joey was selected to test for the G.A.T.E (Gifted and Talented) program FINALLY!  YAY!!  One of the most frustrating things about our school district is they have no programs for kids like Joey until 3rd grade.  So until 3rd grade they are left to sit through regular classes bored, and disrupt people.  Hopefully he’ll get admitted to the G.A.T.E program next month and that will help alleviate some of his boredom in regular classes.  I will say though, he is TOTALLY my son, math takes him more time, he excels in anything to do with Science, Social Studies, English, Grammar, Spelling, Reading, etc… but math he has to think about.  So funny how that works!!


Just random thoughts October 8, 2008

Filed under: Critters,Fire,Kids,Life — Steph @ 8:01 am

I am bored, the quiet life is not suiting me.  I miss all 4 dogs under my feet, cages to clean, animals to feed, babies to snuggle and everything my life encompassed.  I know it’s crazy but it’s true.  That does not mean I have the heart to re-build my herds, but I am seriously missing all of the work.

Yesterday was my anniversary, 9 years.  It seems really un-real to me!  We celebrated by spending the early part of the day at the doctor, then watching a couple  things I had on my DVR and then Joe going to the parent’s hockey meeting and me getting the kids fed and to bed.  Fun, fun!

Joey is sick today and felt crummy enough to stay home from school until I told him no DS, TV, etc…  He’s still sick and needs to stay home I think, but now he’s mad about it.  <sigh>

This year’s hockey schedule is insane.  7 AM Saturday practices for almost 2 hours.  Plus Wednesday and Friday evenings for the rec program.  He’s playing both rec center and Gillette Hockey Association which we didn’t know at sign up.  Apparently that’s what they do at this level.  They did cut down on travel, only one day away games instead of weekend long tournaments so that’s a plus.  Although we will probably find the games are at something like 9 AM on Saturday mornings and since you have to be there 45 minutes before game time to get them suited up, we’re gonna end up having to spend a night anyway.  The new rink opens here in the next month or so and they are hoping to get better ice time once that happens, but right now the rec center program is getting the good ice time which leaves the GHA kids practicing early Saturday mornings.  Did I mention how much I am NOT a morning person?  Joey isn’t much of one either and the kids are going to be fully worn out after having a Friday evening practice as well.  Hopefully after the first couple of practices the coaches will push the rec center to give us better ice time. I just can’t imagine any 8 year old being able to keep up with that schedule.

Elizabeth is feeling better and no new spots so that’s awesome and she seems to be in a better mood.  She has not thrown anything at anyone, yelled, screamed, or cried and she’s been up since 6 AM.  So almost 3 hours without her trying to hit one of us with a sippy cup or toy!  YAY!

Today is Joe’s birthday.  Happy birthday honey!  We’re having a get together on Saturday for his birthday.  Nothing fancy just a couple of friends and the family for dinner.  He’s  excited about getting to use the empty rec room in the house!

Did I mention how great this house is?!  It’s HUGE and it has the best lay out!  I can’t even describe it, but the backyard is HUGE and the house is amazing.  We are truly in love with it!  Not to mention the neighborhood!  Our neighbors are all phenomenal and there has been absolutely no neighborhood drama!  Dogs who get out of the yard are simply escorted home, cats visit other houses, no one calls animal control?!  What will we do with that?!

We want to buy this house, our landlord is seriously considering selling it to us he says!  YAY!!  It needs some work, it is so sad to see, but the houses were built on a clay bed and all of them on this side of the street shifted which caused the foundations to shift and some walls to crack, etc…  It’s not a cheap fix, but it is fixable and we are hoping we can buy it for a decent price and then fix it at our own pace.  Terra’s hopefully coming to visit on Friday so she can tell you all how great the house is and how much we just NEED to be able to buy it!

We did get the final appraisal in and it came in well over our maximum insurance amount so we are hoping they’ll be quick about cutting the check and we can pay it off, tear it down, and sell the lot.  I can’t even tell you how much I want to be rid of that thing.  Paying the mortgage on it just reminds me of all the bad that happened there.  I so just want to be rid of it!!  I haven’t been back to the house since like 3 days after the fire and I have no intention of ever going back.  The only exception will be when the demolition crew comes, I want to be the first to hit it with a sledge hammer.  I think it will be therapuetic for me to be able to be a part of tearing down the bane of my existence.