Posted by: Tricia | Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The wild and crazy ride that is my life

I’m pretty tired tonight. I’m learning that I just can’t stay up very late, or else the next day is not good at all. I’m not as productive as I like to be at work, and then I’m cranky and short with my kids at home in the evening. It’s when I get in this cycle that the house starts getting really messy, because I don’t even have the energy to pick up around here. Nor do I have the energy to care.

When I went to pick up the IB at the babysitter’s after work this afternoon, she asked me what size the RK is. She said someone in her class has ‘adopted’ us for the Christmas season, and will be generously giving us some gently-used clothing and possibly some toys! The more I think about it, I guess we just might qualify for such charity…even though I still think about participating on the other side of the coin. While I will gratefully accept these gifts, it’s hard for me to accept the fact that I’m even in this position. I mean, I live in a beautiful new 2009 sq. ft. home!

It’s bleeding me dry, though. Once again, the thought enters my mind that this house is just more than what I can handle under my circumstances. Even though I’ve already had to sacrifice so much, and have been working so hard to keep this family afloat, I’m wondering if there’s just one more loss I need to cut to really get us on the right track. And it’s not so much the thought of giving it up that freaks me out; it’s of moving out! I loathe moving. I suck at moving. And I can’t imagine packing up all the contents and emptying this place all by myself. I would greatly miss this neighborhood, and the thought of taking my boys away from here also greatly saddens me. But honestly, it’s the physical act of moving that invokes the biggest negative reaction in me.

So if this is what it comes down to, what do I do about the house itself? How in the world would I unload it? With the economy the way it is right now, it seems to me that short-selling the house is probably my only option at this point. After all, my neighbors across the street have had their house on the market for almost a year, with little to no response. And not to mention my credit — this divorce has already screwed up my credit big-time; I hate to think of what a short-sale would do to it on top of that.

On the up side, dramatically reducing our housing payments (possibly in half or more) sounds extremely appealing.

Our financial status right now is bleak; but for now we’re just going to continue to tough through it. It still could be worse; my babies are still going to bed with full tummies each night, we all have our health (knock on wood), so we’re doing OK. Once the New Year rolls around, I should be getting quite a handsome tax refund back (but I’m a little concerned that the modification I entered into for my mortgage will make things more difficult in claiming the interest I paid), as well as profit-sharing from work sometime around March/April. A raise should also be coming around that same time, although I’m not expecting it to be anything mind-blowing or life-altering. But I’ll take whatever bit of slack I can get!

And another thought occured to me: this dismal economy could actually work to my advantage.  Although I am in dire straits with my home/mortgage  for different reasons that the majority of families across the country who are in this boat as well, the fact that there is such a widespread housing/mortgage crisis just might be a good thing for me.  There is so much talk of a giant governmental assistance plan being formed for those who are in danger of losing their homes due to this recession (GASP!  I said the ‘R’ word!), and I like to think that I just might be able to get in on that.  I’m waiting and watching with bated breath.  And crossed fingers.

But I do have so much to be thankful for. My issues are just a drop in the bucket to some out there.  There are so many people who are dealing with much more severe issues and trying to survive with so much less than us. I just watched a story on the news of a family here in metro Detroit where the husband lost his job and the wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer all on the same day. The thought of the burdens that family is carrying just breaks my heart! They even have a new granddaughter that the grandmother won’t get to see grow up. They showed the myriad of pill bottles she manages. They showed the sweet little fuzzy-headed baby all snuggled up in Grandpa’s arms. I just can’t even imagine the despair. They will most certainly be in my prayers tonight.

Thanks for bearing with me through all that.  I guess I’m just trying to gather my thoughts and weigh my options, and this is such a great medium to help me do just that.  Oh…and if any of you out there have any advice or suggestions, fire away!  I want to make sure that whatever ends up happening, my choices have been made in an informed and grounded manner, with all viable options considered.

On a happier note, I now must document some of the wonderful things my boys have done or said lately. First, the RK. Today he called me at work when he got home like I asked him to, and I asked him if he is ever offered a ride to the house from a neighbor on days with nasty weather. He said no. He just walks home (it’s not all that far…just a block or two). I know that one of our neighbors across the street (female) takes the same bus, so I suggested that he & she could keep each other company on the short walk home.

“She doesn’t like me.”

“WHAT? Why not? What’s not to like?” (Because my son is the most perfect, most likeable kid in the whole neighborhood, of course.)

“Uh…Mom! Difference in gender!

And that is a direct quote. Cracked me up. And then of course I repeated it to all my coworkers once he & I had hung up. He uses such fancy vocabulary for an eleven-year-old on a regular basis. One time he was playing an online computer game and I told him it was time to sign off. He says, “OK…just let me say goodbye to my colleagues.” There are so many more that I can’t think of right now. I’ll try to remember some more and put them on here. Oh, how I love that boy!

Now on to the IB. I’ve been instigating time-outs with him to try and curb his tactic of throwing anything and everything when he doesn’t get his way. The babysitter has also been putting him in the playpen for time-outs at her place, so he gets the idea. Here at home, we have a little kiddie stepstool that I have put in our entryway. Whenever the IB does not heed my requests to stop throwing or my threats of time-out, I plop him down on that little stool and set my kitchen timer for two minutes. And he gets it. He stays put. But here’s what he looks like for the entire two minutes:

Just be glad you can’t hear him!

But how precious is that?  The time-outs seem to be working, too.  He mellows out real quick once they’re through.  Lots of cuddling usually ensues.

Oh…before I sign off, one more picture. This one I call, “You can take the girl out of Texas…”

This is how I cooked dinner about a week ago or so.  Yes, that’s two big ol’ hunks of cow.  On the grill.  With snow all over the ground.  And notice it’s already pitch-dark — I took this picture right around 6:00 PM.

Was it worth it?  As we dug in with our forks and steak knives, the RK declares, “Grilling’s your thing, Mom!”

SO worth it.

OK…I’m off to beddy-bye.  Oh yeah.



  1. Hey have you thought about getting a single mom roommate? You should put an add out there, so you collect some rent. Selling a house right now is pretty dismal, I agree.

    Hope everything keeps workin itself through.

  2. A snow barbeque? You’re my kinda girl!! Just today I was thinking “How is it gonna snow outside when I really wanted those ribtips??” And, how dreadful is the time out picture, poor baby. I got here from Monnie’s site and your blog is great. I’m positive that it’s going to take some time for you to get “there” (wherever it is), but one day you will emerge stronger and better. As my grandma says “Just keep on saying good morning, and it’ll all come to pass.”

  3. Look at IB he is so precious! Poor baby those were real tears too?

    Awwwww…well, it sounds like the timeouts are working!

    Grilling is YOUR thing! You are serious about it 😉

  4. I was racking my brain trying to come up with something/anything you could do to not sell your home (esp. in this economy) as I read your post. And pisceshanna so nailed it! That’s a great idea!

    My BFF and I raised her girls when we both went to college and worked…we juggled our schedules, shared a pack of generic cigs that lasted a week (we smoked outside!), made sure those girls went to be every night with full tummies with meat in then…while we made do without. It’s crazy to look back on now (they’re 22 and 19!) but we did it, but we couldn’t have done it without each other.

    I think a roomie might be ideal. Wouldn’t hurt to throw the option out there! I’m thinking single Mom with a flexible job where you could minimize both of your day care bills and go from there. Yeah, a miracle! But you never know!

    Just what you need, more kids! Poor IB! You’re a great Mom hon~you’ll get through this hard time (I still think horsewhipping the ex is an option!)

  5. Single mommy roommate sounds like just the thing!

    You son is sooooooooo adorable!

  6. I’m praying for you, Trish, especially for you to keep your house. I do think that in the long run, a mortgage will be better than rent, and not just for ownership purposes. We’re about to go through some double digit inflation rates over the next few years, and I think that in two years time rent will be much higher than what it is now, maybe even higher than your mortgage, unless you’re on a balloon mortgage. So we’ve got to find a way for you to stay afloat and keep your house too. Man, I’d like to bop your ex over the head a while. He needs a good kicking around.

    I was just telling Bill (Nostar online) how down south we grill out even in the winter, because it’s not really winter like it is in Washington for him or up where you are in Michigan. And then there you are posting pics of grilling outside even during winter in Michigan. I guess you can take the girl out of Texas, but can’t take the Texas out of the girl 🙂

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