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October 2008

Some Days Are Just a Special Kind of Hell

A week without our nanny tends to throw us into chaos. We've never had to endure a week when we didn't have forewarning. We only had a few days warning before the trial started, and none of us seemed to have any idea it would take this long, except possibly the lawyer, but he didn't do a very good job sharing. My mother has been wonderful, completely bailing us out. But I've felt very guilty about taking up so much of her time, and I know she's not been feeling that well, so today, I asked my niece to come down. I gave her all the directions and instructions, everything was supposed to be settled.

This morning just got off to a bad start. I was running a few minutes late. I drive the boy from down the street who goes to the same pre-school as LT to school in the morning. I'm going there anyway, and his mother has class and can't do it herself. It is a special kind of torture having someone else's kid to deal with in the morning when you're trying to get out of the house. Today he got LT all riled up, forgot his back pack at the house and I had to turn around and go get it, smooshed a nutri-grain bar on the back seat of my car, and generally tried my patience in every way.

It was in the midst of turning around and heading back to the house that my niece called to tell me her boyfriend's car wouldn't start and she couldn't get down here this morning. I'm not quite sure how successful I was in trying not to berate the neighbor's child at this moment. I was seeing white spots. I took a deep breath, retrieved the back pack and brought the kids to school, all the while reminding myself that the kid absolutely grating every frazzled nerve was not mine and I could not beat him. Then I called my husband to see what help he could possibly offer because this is the first month at the new job and I am trying, at this point, to at least not make a bad impression when it comes to all this personal crap. He says he will go get the niece and drive her down and pick LT up from school early, since she won't have a car. This will work. I still have to leave work earlier than I was planning to drive Trouble to basketball practice and one of us has to drive her back at night, but at least I can go to work.

It's at this point I hit the construction detour. Now, I knew there would be a detour. I had hit it the day before and somehow managed to get around it, though I don't know how. And I'd printed some directions that someone in HR had emailed out. I get out the directions and immediately can't follow them, so instead I decide to follow the truck detour, because that's the only detour they seem to have marked. This takes me on a fifteen minute detour around a pond through the back woods of nowhere. I get to the T-intersection that says, "End of Detour" and haven't the foggiest idea of which way to turn. Of course, I guess wrong, and this sends me on another ten minute detour. Now, I need a drink, and it's not even ten in the morning. I have to call my boss and tell him that I got lost. Really, tremendous impression I'm making.

I get home just in time to get Trouble to basketball practice where I sit in a freezing gymnasium where the florescent lights and dozens of thumping balls and screaming kids are doing nothing for the headache I've developed. The boys, when I get home, are bouncing of the walls.  After dinner, LT takes one of those go-gurt tubes, and sprays it all over his brother, the couch and the wall. That lands him in time-out where he sits wailing. Blackstone has decided to take a shower after his day in the field, only to find a deer tick, Stand-By-Me-Style, to cap off our day.

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The Tree Affair

Our nanny has been suing her neighbor for years now, because he/she cut down her tree. Over the past few years, there have periodically been hearings about said tree, but the trial regarding the tree began last Wednesday. Yes, last Wednesday. And today would be Monday, and the trial continues tomorrow. Honestly, it never occurred to me the trial over a tree would last days, possibly weeks. Good god, no wonder lawyers make so much money. Everything takes so long.

Apparently, there is some dispute over where exactly, the property line is. There have been surveyors and witnesses called to testify. From what I understand, at this point she has presented her side of the case, now the defendant has to prevent theirs. This is likely to go on all week. The tree is starting to annoy me.

I know our nanny feels that her neighbor is trying to take advantage of her. A foreign woman, living alone, might appear to be an easy target to knock around. She needs to take a stand for herself. Maybe the neighbor thought the tree was on his/her property. I don't know. All I know is this tree is miles from my house, or at least it was, several years ago, and it's turning my life into complete chaos.

My mother has been coming down to watch the kids while I'm at work. I'm less than a month into the new job and I'm trying not to let this interfere too much. I've just broached my niece about coming down here to watch the kids the rest of the week, which might be do-able. However, she comes with her boyfriend since he's the one with the car and her six-month-old baby. It makes me just slightly nervous. But my options are starting to run thin. This will mean adding her to the list of people authorized to pick-up LT from pre-school, providing directions and instructions for his pick-up, as well as Trouble's from the bus stop. And should I ask them to bring the boys to karate, or should I just plan on skipping it this week? Trouble's already missing cub scouts tonight because I forgot to tell my mother to have him home for it. Oh, well. I did book an appointment with an ENT, book a chimney sweep (3 weeks out, ugh!), and I'm well into my search for a housekeeper. Have I mentioned I've been having trouble finding the time to clean my house lately? The weekend was a blur. Blackstone spent all day Saturday at a conference while I cooked, cleaned, interviewed a cleaning woman, and dealt with the kids. Sunday, I worked all day. I took some side work from my old boss. And Blackstone went to visit his dad, who has just had a hip replacement to replace the first replacement from fifteen years ago.

If it weren't for the fact that we love the pre-school LT is at, and that there is no bussing or extended care for him where he is, I'd seriously consider putting him a pre-school/day care facility. This is starting to get annoying. But he has less than a year left, it's his second year, it's where Trouble went to pre-school, these teachers have known him since he was born. I can't just go and change that now. It's only until June, and I think at that point I'm enrolling the boys in day camp full-time for the summer. Then, since our district has full-day kindergarten, they'll both be full-time next year. And they love Nanny and she adores them. And the woman, in three years, has never once called out sick. She's only been late once. The woman's amazing. She's also a little crazy over her tree, or what may or may not have been her tree.

I like my life with a certain amount of crazy in it. Really, I do. But this god damn tree. It's driving me over the edge.

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What Day is it Again?

How is the new job going? Well, but adjusting to clocking a 40 hour week is definitely taking it's toll on me. I was working more of a 35-ish work week. I had it good. I knew I had it good and moving on to another job would be much more demanding on me. It's a big part of the reason I've stayed put the last eight years. I was rather hoping I'd be able to stay put for another year or so, until LT was in school all day, but alas, that was not to be. The new place is willing to give me some flexibility, but I'm used to being salaried. There's definitely a heightened sense of time when you're being paid hourly, punching a clock, and trying to make a good impression.

Add on to that the karate lessons, sports classes, cub scouts, homework, housework, dinner, laundry, birthday parties, and the fact that my husband works like a 60 hour week and I'm home with the kids alone at least two nights a week, and those 5 hours make a big difference. All of the sudden, blogging, reading and exercising have gotten more difficult. And seriously, during the week, forget about cooking. My husband's gone half the time anyway and the kids would much rather eat chicken nuggets anyway. I'll make due with a frozen dinner, protein shake, or humus and crackers, anything as long as it's washed down with a beer or glass of wine.

I had to cancel my PT appointment last month because it conflicted with both the kids schools' open houses and Blackstone had a meeting. I had to cancel my hair appointment this month because I couldn't see taking two hours out of work the first week at a new job. Hello gray, not so nice to see you again. Next month screw it, I'm taking the time. And I got a sitter for the PT appointment tonight, because another month and my body will be screaming at me. 40 hours at desk is not good for your body. And i've already requested a keyboard tray for my desk at work. The position I've been sitting typing at is very uncomfortable. My desk was definitely not designed for a short person. The tray came in today and I'm hoping it gets installed soon because my elbows are not happy. I've already suffered through one shot of cortisone in the wrist, and I really don't want carpal tunnel. Short of the epidural, that was the largest needle I've ever had the displeasure of being jabbed with.

So that's where I've been. My head it spinning. I can't wait until the new job settles into a comfortable humdrum, but that's probably not going to happen for another month or so at least. I just found the coffee maker today. I was excited to learn that our district now has all full day kindergarten. So another year and I won't be paying crazy money for child care and trying to work from home occasionally to off-set the cost. There is a light at the end of this tunnel and I can almost see it. But at the moment, I still feel like I'm running in the dark, trying desperately to avoid the cliff that's looming out there.

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