Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Feeling Much Better....

First I want to say "thank you" to the ladies that sent such supportive messages. They brought me to tears...for real! I am much better. I think I had a severe case of pms blues. For the most part, I've put things into perspective. I am quite the emotional type and I really dislike it so very much.

On a happier note, I am excited about cooking thanksgiving dinner. I am almost done with everything except for the yams and getting the turkey into the oven, which is the very last thing. Problem with getting a head start on the cooking is that you want to eat everything before it the occasion! LOL! I am quite excited to have my kids around me this season :).

I find it so interesting how when we are under a hardship, we can find creative ways to stretch our resources. I was thinking about this as I was cooking because we, here in California, are having a water shortage. So, one of the ways to save water is to wash dishes using two pans, one for washing and one for rinsing. I take it a step further by heating the rinse water on the stove to use it for wash water. Then take the wash water and water the lawn. :) We Americans can be very wasteful people!

As for an update on the modification for my house, it looks really good. The actual mortgage payment will be decreased from $3295 to $2234. This will only be for one year because I owe two years of property taxes from when I lost my job. After one year, it drops to $1735/mo. which means I will be current on everything! If I can endure this one year, I will be in good standing.

Please send prayers and positive thoughts! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I must say, I am having a time of struggles for the past few days. I just can't figure out my motivation. I had a long discussion with my sister about what I can do about doing more in the daycare. We talked about my motivation when I did child care back when my kids were young and I was still married; how things are different with me doing child care today.

Back then, as a married couple, we made a long term family plan. It included completing education, careers, children and purchasing our first home. All went according to plan even after the divorce. I had completed my Bachelors in Psychology for children before we married. That is how my mother trained us. Complete your education first.

We knew we wanted four kids. We wanted our values impressed upon thier early years. In order to do that, we wanted me to be an at-home mom. To combine being an at-home mom with my desire to work with children, I came up with the idea of having a daycare in our home, which was quite successful. From there, after our youngest would go to kindergarten, I would return to school (with the support of my ex husband) for my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and become a child therapist, which also was successful until I lost my job.As a result of having lost my job as a therapist, I am back doing day care again.

I believe the manner in which this came about is why I am feeling stuck. It was not my "choice", my "plan", my "direction". My direction was taken from me by circumstances of a supervisor who caused me to loose my job due to her lack of knowledge about her own job. She was fired shortly after terminating me.

I feel by now, I should have dealt with this, however, the effects have been a long term struggle for my family and my finances. Almost lost my house after not being able to find employment for 9 months. I have no benefits, dental or medical. Fortunately, my kids are on their dad's coverage.

Overall, I simply do not feel stable. Families are struggling all over the world. Kids are here today and gone tomorrow. My income fluxuates, has become unreliable. Constantly feeling that my life can fall apart again. I'm still looking for jobs just in case, but no responses yet. I even have a day care ready to enroll my grandson should I do find a job.

All this to say, I lack motivation and have a tendency towards depression. It's a struggle to maintain my thoughts. I struggle to put on my happy face for the kids each day. I usually have an overwhelming feeling of sadness...sometimes fear.

Positive thoughts...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Little by Little

I think all of my juggling of the household is finally starting to pay off :). My ex and his siblings, as they do with all the kids, have arranged for our 3rd graduate to get his first car. They are contributing $2300 towards a little used car! I think this is fabulous! My son has been looking at various small car dealers. Though he will not make a move without me or their father, he has learned so much about purchasing a car. I am so impressed with him.

Him and his brother had one car picked out and wanted me to take a look at it. I immediately knew when I looked at it that it had been in an accident. Both the front and rear bumpers had been very poorly repaired and painted over. The hood did not line up with the fenders either. When I spoke with the salesman, he was a very nice and honest man who admitted that the car was not a good choice. Needless to say, my son was very disappointed because this meant starting his search all over again.

On the way home, we stopped at Gabe's house, my mechanic. We asked him if he had a small car the he would allow us to purchase. Our timing could not have been better! He had just received a Jetta that he was currently working on as we approached him! He specializes in German made cars like VW and Mercedes which is why he is my mechanic because I have a Jetta :).

He said he had just received the car and it was in good shape but needed a few adjustments. He said he had wanted $2500 for it, but would let my son have it for $1800! The Blue Book price is $2754! We are soooo excited! He called dad and his uncle to get everyone on the same page. At this point, we are waiting for Gabe to complete the car.

More good news is that this same son of mine has applied to go to UTI Automotive college. We took a tour a few weeks ago and we are in the application process. I've never seen him so motivated about school! I love the school and the staff. It even has an employment office on the campus because they like the students to have employment in the mechanical field as they learn to work on the cars. The classes are quite extensive from oil changes to ownership of your own busines. They have options that go from everyday economy cars to high performance race cars! By the time they graduate, they will have a job in their field. Very impressive!

As for my own car, that was supposedly having significant mechanical issues... The car was pulling to the right and I figured it only needed an alignment. It also had a fairly bad oil leak. Gabe doesn't have the equipment to do alignments. As for the oil leak, he said it appeared to be the rear main seal costing $600... whatever that is :).

Well, I took it to get the alignment done at another place called Express Tire. Now you know me. I know my car very well. I know nothing about mechanics, but I know my baby very well. I have every receipt from purchase to repairs, every one. This man told me I needed "cambers" at $300. Have no idea what they are. However, this happens to me most of the time when I go to get an alignment. He kept asking me had the car been in an accident, which it hasn't. Upon my departure, he tells me it will only get worse. Needless to say, I left.
Later, I took it to Firestone, which they said the same thing and offered a lesser price.

I chose to contact my mechanic from years and years ago who, fortunately, is still in business. We took the car to him, an hour drive away. He concluded that the alignment only needed adjusting and that the oil leak was just the oil pan gasket. Total cost $354! He saved me about $550! We will pick up the car on sunday when I take my oldest son back to dad's house.

Little by little...:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Been Awhile

It's been alittle while since I've posted. I am feeling so "brain-tired" lately. As I have mentioned before, I try to stay on top of things in order to prevent any major catastrophies. My sister says I am too controlling. I just might be so.
Often, very often, I feel a lot rests on my shoulders. I don't want to whine or complain. I'm sure I'm not the only one in my position. Being a single parent, even though my children are pretty much grown, it seems I am the foundation to most of our living. I suppose, being the parent, to a certain extent it is suposed to be that way. My kids are good kids. They contribute where they can. At the same time, they are still "kid-minded" when it comes to mom, as most kids are.

I think I try very hard to make home comfortable and safe for them is because my mom was very emotional. She would have extreme, intense emotional swings. Though I understood it as I grew into my teens, it was fairly difficult to live with. I'm very thankful for my grandmother (her mother) who would allow me to live with her from time to time, as long as I wanted.

I too, have my share of emotional swings, but not nearly as severe as my mom's. My motivation was/is to provide for my children differently. To communicate with them and allow them to communicate with me. My effort as been to be completely opposite of controlling. I have raised my children to be disciplined, polite and respectful, which I feel they have achieved very well.

There is no instruction manual for raising our children. Our own childhood becomes our blueprint to life itself. I feel his blueprint is what guides in life. I am very passionate about being a parent. This is where I think my controlling nature comes in.

I don't want my children to hurt or to be hurt. I am very protective as any mother would be. I consider the fact that, I am getting older and I may not be here one day. My effort has always been, especially as they are young adults, to train them to handle life; from jobs to paying bills to getting their car repaired to being professional and anything else in between. All of them do very well. Our communication is very open.

In a nutshell, this is the foundation of my anxieties. Unfortunately, it seems, in my effort to endure life's punches for my children, I've become almost obsessed with keeping a sound, strong, safe home front for my children. My mother had her ways, but she loved us dearly. We were her life. I am thankful to her sister and her mother who, along with my mom, have filled in so many of the gaps in my life to make me the mom I am today.

I don't know where all this is coming from, but it was on my heart. Thanks for listening. Life is just too short not to appreciate so many of the things we take for granted....such as our mothers, aunts, grandmothers and our children.

May my mom and her mother rest in peace.....DOD 1999 (mom) & DOD 2008 (grandmother)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Good News! Good News!

I finally heard from my boy! He called me last night. He was so happy to talk. He said prison has been very difficult but he thinks he has the hang of it. He said the criminals are extremely, extremely hard core. He has a nice roommate and they keep to themselves. He said sometimes when riots breakout, you have to defend yourself and that the other day, several inmakes dies in a riot.

Unfortunately, he is very upset and hasn't spoken to his family since 2007. This really saddened me. He is upset with him mom because, in 2007, they had a DNA test done on his son (who is not 3 years old). My boy's mom has been raising the grandson. Turns out, it's not his son. His mother did not tell him for over a year. I tried to get him to understand that she was attached to him. At that point, for her, it did not matter whether her grandson was biologically hers. She was emotionally invested. He was being stubborn and his phone time has ran out.

Also very disturbing, while he was actually located in his home town, none of his siblings came to visit him. That's really sad. I can hear in his voice he was really hurt by that, understandably so. So, he has alienated himself from his siblings as well. His mother eventually moved to Texas. She doesn't call or write. Not cool.

I did ask him, if he were to get our of prison tomorrow, would he change his lifestyle? He very quickly said, "Yes, I would. Absolutely." He said he would have to relocate to another area in the city, but he would be willing to do whatever it took to make the change. He said, it would be hard because of the temptation, but it wasn't worth being locked up. He has 5 more years to go. He has a long time to think it over!

Anyway, I am thrilled to have talked to him. I'm thinking about going to visit him. I need to find more info about it. I really need to think about it. Don't know what's that like. I would imagine the officers would keep me safe. Need to find out more info.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Good News and Bad News

Good News:
I received a letter from my little friend in prison :). Yes, I am very happy. It turns out, as I was concerned about, he was having some trouble with the other inmates and had to be transferred to go to court. Things were quite unsettled for a while.

He said since things had settled down, that he was thinking about me and our sessions back at the Hall. He was getting ready to have a family member look me up when he received my letter. I feel good knowing he is ok. He had said, on our last appointment at juvenile hall, that he was concerned and a little bit scared of going to prison. Prison is not like juvenile hall. Prison is with some very serious criminals. He's alone and still very young. I plan to write him very soon. He anxious to hear from me again. Hopefully, I can provide him with some encouragement. He has 7 more years to go!

Bad/Good News:

The two new kids are gone. Mom's work schedule just did not work for me. There was no way I would be able to work both saturday and sunday for 12 hour shifts. It was just too much. I did not realize how exhausted I was until I did not have the kids this past weekend. I was so tired that my body ached all over.

The bad news is, I am back looking for kids again. I am back to being concerned about the budget. I am also concerned about the 4 year old boy. Mom called me this morning to tell me how he did with his new sitter. Not good at all. He was throwing tantrums, screaming at the top of his voice, throwing toys, kicking walls, just very much out of control. The sitter called her, at work, 7 times over the weekend. She is trying a new sitter today. I feel bad because he did not act that way for me. I did not get that behavior from him. I have told his mom, several times, that it seems he is so misunderstood by other people. He requires a little more time than the average kid...just a little more time :(. Poor baby.

My door is kind of open as a last resort. We talked about me having the kids every day except thursday evenings, so I can go to bible study, and the weekends. So, we will see how things work out.