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December 2008

The Year in Review

I could spend some time marveling at how the year flew. I won't. It always does, so lets get on with it.

No one in my immediate family died or divorced, so that was nice. My parents even renewed their vows.

We almost made it through the year without the police being summoned to the house. Almost. Made it all the way to December before Trouble ran away and was escorted home by the police. Now, if I can only manage to break him of his new found klepto ways, maybe we won't have another visit next month.

Neither of the boys required a trip to the emergency room. No broken bones, no stitches. A serious miracle to say the least. Of course, Blackstone did manage to scratch his cornea and I had to spend endless ours in the ER with him one Friday night.

I got a new job for the first time in eight years. Big move for me. Now I work in the used automotive parts industry. Still doing web development, of course. And also getting some experience working on internal MS SQL applications, which is great. Actually kind of a good industry to be in at the moment. The cost of scrap has tanked and new car sales are down which means there will be an increasing demand for used auto parts next year. It gives me a little peace of mind in this economy, which is more than the majority of Americans can say.

Mostly, as 2008 draws to a close, I'm so looking forward to Obama taking office. I know that 2009 promises in many ways to bring more economic downfall, a higher unemployment rate, more home foreclosures. I am thankful to not currently be one of the many, many people worried if they will still be employed in the coming months. I am, however, a bit worried about my husband's business. So far, he's winded this storm well, but how many companies that owe him money will go bankrupt and not be able to pay him for work he's done in past months? No one is immune to our current economic struggles. Even cautious, frugal, college graduates like ourselves, who knew better than to buy a home with a variable rate mortgage we wouldn't be able to afford.

But in spite of the bleakness that surrounds us everywhere, there is hope that things will turn around. Obama, with his promise of hope, one that I fully believe he will achieve, will be there to lead us through this terrible time. Through what at the very least will be a continuation of this recessesion, and may be, may already be, a depression. I believe there is no better person to lead us through, to  help turn our economy, our schools, our health care system around.

So lets welcome 2009 in with a gusto we haven't had since 2000. Because every year since Bush has been elected, ringing in a New Year with the biggest dumb ass to ever grace the White House in office has been rather bitter sweet for me. I look forward to 2009 with more happiness, brighter eyes, and lighter heart than I've had in a decade.

Happy New Year! And Good Riddance Bush! Please, let the door hit you on the way out. I'm not close enough to throw my shoes.

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Sticky Fingers

Trouble came to us at the beginning of the week saying he had found twenty dollars at school. It's not the first time the child has told us he'd found money and we were suspicious. We sent him back to school with the money and a note to his teacher explaining what he'd told us. He said he found the money outside at recess. They hadn't had outdoor recess that day, it was too cold. So we knew he was lying. Further pressing got him to reveal that he'd taken the money from my purse. We had a stern talk with him about stealing and how you don't take money from anyone. He was grounded for four days.

The next day he stole a candy cane of m&m's the teacher had in the classroom. He admitted it a day or so later to his teacher who was threatening to punish the whole class. Now he's in further trouble at home and also at school. He's grounded for the rest of the month. No karate, no friends over, no going to friends houses and no video games. He can still attend cub scouts and basketball. We lectured him on how disappointed we were with him, but that we knew he was a good boy. He promised he wouldn't steal anymore.

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And now it's two weeks later because I've been sidetracked by Christmas, the snow storm, and the boys with the stomach flu.

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The day after our lecture was a Saturday. I brought LT to karate and then ran some errands. Blackstone was home with Trouble who decided to run away. He left a very endearing note on the fridge telling us he was sorry for being such a bad boy and that he would love us and miss us very much. He put on his coat (no hat or gloves in the 20 degree weather) and left the house with two stuffed animals. He was picked up by the police a few blocks away and brought back to the house, much to Blackstone's surprise. They had a nice sit-down with the officer, Trouble showed him the note he had written, and the officer decided to leave Trouble in my husband's care.

I got the low-down on all this when I arrived home a little while later. While I'm quite relieved things worked out as they did, it could have been much worse, it's also disturbing that this is the third time our boys have brought the police to our house. I certainly hope this is not foreshadowing of what's to come. I also hope that we don't end up with DCYF questioning us at some point. We do watch our kids, play with them, read with them, chauffeur them to classes, practices and games. It just seems every time we turn around, they're attempting some other daring, stupid or treacherous act.

Trouble returned to school and lost his lunch bag for a few days. It showed up again a couple of days later, but we had switched him to hot lunch and it wasn't until the end of the week that I opened his lunch bag and found a wallet I didn't recognize. A kid's wallet with just some loose change in it. At first Trouble insisted he had no idea how it had gotten there. After some pressing, he finally came to me and asked, "So if I make a mistake, you can help me?" Which is one of things I've been telling him, that he has to tell the truth and if he does, we can help him make it right. And he confesses that he found the wallet on the floor at school. I asked why he didn't turn it in to his teacher. He says it was time to leave and he didn't get a chance. The boy always has an answer for everything. I told him he has to give it to her after vacation and explain it to her, and that he is NEVER, FOR ANY REASON, to bring home anything that doesn't belong to him. If he doesn't have time to turn it in, he should leave it on the floor.

So I'm a little nervous as to what the future holds for our little klepto. He knows better than this. And while on the one hand his running away because he's so ashamed of himself might show remorse and a true understanding, what do I make of the wallet turning up after that? And running off in the cold, no idea where he was going, only stuffed animals with him, the boy is smarter than that. I feel like it's more like him manipulating us than an honest attempt at running away. I know this likely is him seeking out more attention from us, so we're really trying to work on that too. Providing him lots of positive attention (another reason I'm finding less and less time to blog). And to that end, I'm off to take my boys to the movies.

Happy Holidays! May your children not be escorted home by the police.

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