Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Follow-Up

Let me ask you...

How do you do under pressure? When life gets really stressful? Does the stresses that life can bring make you go into emotional overload? Me, I don't do so well when life throws me multiple things all in one day.

My Wednesday had all of the above...

The day started out on the right foot. Everything was going as usual. Then I got a call that the washer and dryer we bought in November (Black Friday) was finally in. It was a great deal...we got the set for $599! It was a set we really needed, as our old set is 17yrs old. The washing machine only does small or medium loads and the dryer takes 2 hours to dry a small load because the heating element is just about dead. Can you imagine how long it takes to do laundry for 9 people?! Sorry, I digress...

So, we get the call that the washer and dryer are in and can they be delivered in 15 minutes. 15 minutes!!! Well, sure they can, I said. But the truth of the matter is, it was just 9:30am and my laundry room was filled up with piles of laundry because we aren't hitting the laundromat until Saturday. Why the laundromat you ask? We have been going to the laundromat twice a month since December because we have a clog in a pipe so I can't do laundry. {heavy sigh}

The kids and I rush around to get the piles taken out of the laundry room so the gentleman can take out the old set and put in the new set. All that was fine. Not to stressful. It did get us up and going quickly that's for sure. After they came and went we settled down for the rest of our homeschooling day.

The stress really began when my 6 year old autistic son came out of his room with a blood covered face! Oh my word! I quickly take him in to the bathroom to take care of his bleeding nose. He has gotten into this horrible habit of picking his nose lately. This time, he made it bleed something awful.

As I was cleaning him up the thought of his room came to mind. I asked my 10yo daughter to check it out for me. She went and came back saying he got some blood on a few things. I was relieved. But then, I thought that didn't seem right. He had a lot of blood on his face. How could he only get it on a few things? Just then I directed her to help him and I quickly went to his room. There was blood all over his floor!!! I was instantly overwhelmed at the sight. I called out to my son to get a bucket with cold water and the carpet cleaner. I was so upset, honestly. The carpet in that room is brand new. Just 3 months old. And of course, it is a tan color!!!

I was thrilled that the spots of blood were coming up but at this point it was about 11:30am and my baby was wanting to be nursed and I was beginning to get hungry. Yet, I stayed at it. Cleaning and cleaning... I got 3/4 of the spots up. There were at least 40 of them ranging in size of an eraser head to a silver dollar...yeah not good. The smell from the fumes was really starting to make me sick. I needed to open a window in the room, even if it was 15 degrees outside.

Then my best friend called as I was on the floor cleaning up this mess. That was a good thing because she helped to calm me down. I was really on the verge of losing it an hour into this job. I was starting to shake because I needed to eat, my chest hurt because I needed to feed my baby and I really wanted to cry. She convinced me to stop and eat. After eating and feeding the baby my husband had come home for lunch and told me he'd take care of the rest when he got home. That I didn't look good. He asked if I was well enough to pick up our oldest from her tutoring job at 4pm and I said yes.

After he left I took the baby and went to rest in my bed. I told my 13yo to 'hold down the fort' and if I fell asleep to wake me at was currently 2pm. Sure enough, I fell asleep and they woke me at 3:30. They are great kids! I got up feeling still a bit weak but much better. I got ready to go get my daughter...

As I was backing out of our tunneled 150' driveway to pick up my daughter from her tutoring job...I say tunneled because we have gotten so much snow that our driveways width is half its size now. We don't have a plow or a snow blower and we've seen the most snow in 10yrs. Great planning I know. Anyway...

Now, I am backing out really slow so I could see on both sides, well I didn't see so well on my left side and went into the snow wall that had built up. I couldn't move forward or backwards. I couldn't even open my door. Yep I was stuck good. My son came out to try and dig me out...yea, like that was going to happen!LOLOL I had to call my husband at work to go pick up our daughter... How much more could I take today? I was really stressing...again!

A nice gentleman was driving by our property and as he slowly passed us he stopped and then backed up. He drove into our driveway and asked my son..."hey partner, are you stuck?" My son said, "yes but I think I have it!" Bless his heart, he is trying to be a MAN these days!

The nice gentleman said he had a Bobcat up the road plowing his in-laws place and he would be happy to bring it over and get me out. We of course accepted his generous offer.

About 30mins later he was back at our place...YAY! He did some plowing, pushed my Excursion forward and did more plowing. Then he told me to back the truck up to the main road and he would finish plowing the driveway. All this took him 45mins. Wow!

I tell you all this to show, when life hits you from all sides it can be overwhelming to say the least. I don't do well in situations like I was in on Wednesday. Sure, I survived it. But it totally took over my entire day. The nice gentleman who plowed my driveway didn't leave until 5:15pm. My husband didn't get home with our daughter until 5:30 and dinner wasn't ready. I hadn't even begun dinner. What do you think we did?

We got McDonald's for dinner.

I feel somewhat guilty about that. What I am really finding out is that I have been very ridged this month. I have taken my 'NSM' very literally. Like I can't spend a penny even though we succeeded in paying off $1400+ like we set out to do. I need to find a balance and that is something I will most definitely do for my next 'NSM' in March. Lessons learned...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Motivational Monday...

Lets begin Monday with confessions, okay?

I am not one is. If you are a Christian like me, you know there is only ONE perfect one, our Creator.

I was very weak on Thursday. When I challenge myself, I go ALL.THE.WAY! Not only did I attempt to not spend any money this month, I also attempted to give up soda. That is one hard thing to do when you are NOT getting take-out too!!!!

Me and my family usually drink about (4) 2 liter bottles a week. Doesn't sound like much for a family of 9 but when one bottle costs $1.50 (on sale) that adds up to $6 a week and $24 a month. If you really want the *wow* effect to that amount, it adds up to $288 a year! It can even be more than that if the 2 liters are not on sale or if it is summertime when I tend to drink a bit more. As we began our NSM I had 4 bottles of soda in my pantry closet. I told everyone that after they were gone, that was it. We saved the remaining soda for our pizza nights and a couple of popcorn snacks.

On Wednesday night the kids and I had popcorn for a snack. With water! I have to be honest with y'all...popcorn just doesn't taste as good with water. I plainly don't like it with water. That brings me to Thursday. I asked my husband to buy a couple of 2 liters of Cherry Coke, my favorite. Again, I have to be honest with y'all, I just can't give it ALL up at one time. Remember, I am not perfect. I challenged myself to the full extent this month and I was successful for half the month in all 3 areas. I feel pretty good about that.

Confession #2...yes, I have another confession...sigh.

Do you know about the ridiculous Lead Law congress has signed into law? If not, I suggest you start reading up on it if you have children, own a business that sells children's products or work for a company that does. Click on 'Lead Law' in the previous sentence to read up on it.

Anyhow, there is a collection of books I've been wanting from a small company...Hope Chest Legacy. Because of this Lead Law they are selling off their inventory at a very low price. It is very sad. Once all the inventory is gone they will only sell their books as EBooks. I just feel awful for them and other companies who may find themselves desperately trying to sell their inventory before this law goes into effect so it doesn't get thrown into a landfill.

When I heard of this I went to their website and saw that the whole collection of books I've been wanting for sometime was on sale in a bundle, I didn't think twice about it...I bought them. I received 10 books valued at $190, for $39.95. Plus, they will add some items for free that are age appropriate for my kids (I gave them the gender and age of each of my kids). Books are my weakness, I admit that. We are homeschoolers so that should be enough for anyone to understand that. With this company no longer selling physical books, I had to act and quickly. I am not sorry that I bought them, nor do I feel guilty. I am just being straight up with all of you who are reading this.

As this is my Motivational post, I guess this isn't sounding very 'motivational', huh? But it is. Let me encourage you to not be to 'anal' about not spending. Be proud at what you have accomplished this month. If you gave up eating out and have stuck with that, then pat yourself on the back. You've done good. If you had a weak moment, get back up on that horse! No one is going to think bad about your falling off the horse...I certainly don't.

Progress is good in any amount, in my honest opinion. Can you do better, always. Can you have a moment of weakness, most definitely. Just recognize it and persevere on.

Life is much to short to dwell on any failures...I am learning this myself.