Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer is winding down..

My kids start back to school on September 6, so we're gearing up for that. For me, the first day of school is better than Christmas! I'm definitely looking forward to it. Of course this year I also go back to school the day after the kids do, but my schooling is so much easier on me when the kids aren't home all day to distract me.

Back to school shopping was a breeze for me this year. Normally right now I'd be freaking out because I'm not completely ready, but this year has been different. I've bought the supplies a bit at a time all summer long, and that is complete now. Clothes I've also done a little at a time here and there. Got the oldest some nice name brand things at garage sales and on Craigslist. Got the younger boys some nice things off Craigslist very reasonably priced. They each got at least 1 brand new outfit from K-Mart (I'm not made of money you know!). Shoes will be taken care of this week.. I put them on layaway at a store called Marshall's, which, if you're not familiar with it, sells overstock or discontinued name brand items at a major discount. I spent $30 on each pair of shoes and got Fila, Nike, and Puma. Beats spending $20 at Walmart for Faded Glory shoes that will fall apart in a month! However the kindergartener did opt for Walmart shoes, because Marshall's doesn't sell anything with Spiderman on them. I was given a bit of money from a relative to help with back to school stuff, and that all went towards that ridiculously overpriced graphing calculator the high schooler needs.. ugh! But, it's all done and I can relax and be excited about school.

I've also been working on getting the kids their physicals before school starts. Last week was the oldest 2 boys. Tomorrow will be the daughter and kindergartener. The youngest had his physical over the winter so no need to get him seen again.

Well the oldest got a clean bill of health.. except for the growing like a weed part. He's now 5'8" and only 14 years old. He's barely started his major growth spurt.. so it sort of scares me to think of how tall he might be when he's done growing. Bad enough he's practically in the same shoe size as my husband, and wears the same length men's pants. It's also pretty sad that I can no longer shop for the boy in the little boys department.. he needs the men's department. When did my little boy grow up??

The 8 year old son raised a little red flag at his appointment. Overall he's healthy, but he appeared to have some vision issues. So I had to take him to see the eye doctor today. Apparently he has a lazy eye. Thankfully they no longer seem to treat that with patches like they did when I was growing up. Nope, he just needs glasses. Though to him that's still a bit upsetting.. it's also a little upsetting to my wallet.. but I gotta do what I gotta do. He picked out some glasses today and should have them before school begins.

With the start of school, a lot of sports also begin. I registered the 8 and 5 year olds for the community soccer league today. This will be the 5 year old's first time playing an organized sport, I hope he enjoys it!

The oldest is also playing soccer, but through school. As a 9th grader he'd most likely be on the "modified" team, which is their way of saying Junior Varsity. They have modified for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders and then varsity for those in 10th, 11th, and 12th. Well, this year 48 kids signed up for the modified team, so the coach suggested that the 9th graders try out for the varsity team. I didn't really have my hopes up too high. But we went to the try outs anyways. I figured it would be a long shot, and that there'd be a lot of older kids who've played the past few years (my son played football for the past 2 years but wasn't really good at it, but he's great at soccer hence the switch this year).

As it turns out, only 16 kids showed up to the varsity try outs, so they all made the team, including my son. That's not to say he's not good enough to be a varsity player, he just didn't have a lot of competition like I assumed. Either way, I'm really excited for him. That also means there's a few open spots on the modified team so fewer kids will need to be cut. Not that I was concerned, as a 9th grader on the modified team my son could not have been cut, they'd cut 7th graders first. But my son's position on the varsity team opens up opportunities for other kids to play modified. It's a win-win situation.

Not many other major actitivities going on, aside from gearing up for the State Fair which starts this Thursday and runs through Labor Day. We plan on going sometime next week while hubby and I are both on vacation from work. Hubby and I are also going this Thursday because we have tickets to the Maroon 5 concert that night at the fair. Very exciting!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy August!

Summer vacation is already half over for the kids.. but for me it hasn't quite started yet. I'll be finishing my 2nd semester next Monday, then I will get a break from school until September 7. So far I still have a 4.0 GPA, but of course I'm waiting for some final exams and research essays to be graded. If I receive a bad grade on any of these assignments my grade could drop below a 90. So right now it's really just a waiting game.

I am certainly looking forward to the break, it's been a stressful few months. Especially with the kids being home and expecting me to entertain them. I feel guilty if I don't get them out everyday, but I also feel guilty and overwhelmed if I don't spend enough time on my school work. So, for the next month I really don't have to worry about that.

Actually there's a large part of me wishing the kid's summer vacation wasn't quite so long. I feel like we've already had a fairly good summer. The weather has been very cooperative, so we've visited the pool many times as well as done some other activities. The older kids spent a week at camp, which was great for them. We even went to a water/amusement park last week. So other than the state fair, we've accomplished about everything we've wanted to this summer. There's not much left to be done.

Unfortunately the kids are getting restless and I'm getting stressed. It's probably just boredom on their part. They've been fighting with each other a bit more frequently, making each other scream and cry.. that's always a pleasurable experience (NOT!). They're getting lazier about keeping the house picked up even though I keep getting on them about it. I can't be expected to do everything myself. I spend a third of my day doing school work, another third at work, and the other third is generally spent taking them somewhere like the pool or a playground (sometimes even a playdate). So it would be nice if they could do their chores and keep the house picked up so that I have more time to focus on what I need to be doing.

But no, everyday is a constant struggle.

The past couple of weeks have been the worst. I'm feeling extremely stressed and worn out. The kids keep testing me and pushing their limits, and all I want is for them to behave and do what is needed so we can spend a bit of time in the afternoon doing something enjoyable. But it's gotten to the point where they don't deserve these enjoyable activities and I end up being the one to suffer.

Especially today. The heat is giving me a headache, and I've spent all morning staring at my computer screen to get my school work done. I'd love nothing more than to relax in the pool for a bit before needing to go to work tonight. But the kids did not do their chores without 3 or 4 reminders, so I feel as if they should be punished by not being able to go to the pool. Otherwise they'll never learn that they must take care of their responsibilities before they're allowed to do anything fun.

Just one more month, then they're all back in school and things will hopefully be a bit more peaceful around here!

As for work.. well, that's been getting to me too. It's becoming more and more difficult to get myself geared up for work these days. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude, but some nights that's not so easy. There's a large part of me that just wants to quit so I have more time to enjoy myself. But of course I know we need the money and I need the good reference for when I look for a more permanent job. Speaking of which, I've decided to start looking for something in the clerical field just to get myself out of the current situation. So far no luck, but I'm going to keep looking.

Mostly I think I'm just losing motivation. I feel like I'm in a rut again, and it's only been 6 months. School isn't really a problem.. actually that's pretty easy to keep up with since the classes change every 7 weeks. By the time the class starts getting difficult, monotonous, or stressful, it's over and I'm gearing up to start a new class. So that's not difficult at all. The job, yeah, that is repetitive and stressful. I suppose most jobs probably are. I probably just need to change my thinking.. but since I was a stay at home mom for 8 years not holding down any long term employment in that time, it's hard to shift gears and stick with a job that isn't very enjoyable most of the time.

My mind has also been preoccupied with the possible move into my father in law's house. Not sure if I've mentioned this before. It's something we've been thinking about, and periodically working towards for over a year now. After my mother in law died we were invited to move in with my father in law. He's got a bigger house with a yard. It's beneficial for us because we'll have more space and fewer bills. It's beneficial for him because he'll also save money on bills along with having company and someone around to help with household chores since he can't do too much on his own anymore.

Well, aside from the house needing many repairs and a whole lot of cleaning.. we've been hemming and hawing over it because moving in with someone else is a big leap. There are a lot of negatives about where we currently live, and a lot of positives about moving in with FIL.. but there's still the fears and anxieties about if we'll all be able to coexist in the same home. I guess that has been the biggest deterrent.

However a week or so ago FIL had a heart attack, so that has kicked hubby into high gear to get us in there to help him out and keep an eye on him.

We're sort of hoping to be in there by the end of this month, though realistically with all the work the house needs, it will probably take a few months to make the move. We may even change our minds a few more times in the meantime so it might take even longer.

I suppose I should just stay positive about the idea because honestly the pros definitely outweigh the cons.. and for the next few years we won't really have any other options when it comes to leaving this house. Our credit is not nearly good enough to buy a house, and we don't really have the finances to afford anything more than we're currently paying for rent and utilities.