Sarah527 Blog

The life of a single mom of two boys as she explores new ideas, new thoughts, and a new career.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Here she is how she is looking after just 1 1/2 days of beading:

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"Christmas Flourishes" designed by Nora Corbett, Copyright Mirabilia Designs

The beading is going a lot faster than I expected. Most of them are just filling in the blank spot so it's not a lot of counting. The beads are really bringing the piece to life. Plus a majority of the beading is on the top 1/2 of the piece so once I get that completed and get the BS done there is very little left to do on the piece. I'm having a lot of fun stitching on this and as much as I can't wait to finish it part of me will be sad to see it done.

I also wanted to post my new fave picture of Jason. He looks so sweet in this picture:

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I'm also happy that a evil plot that I started is going along nicely. I can't wait to see it to done!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Here she is, already for beads:

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"Christmas Flourishes" designed by Nora Corbett, Copyright marble Designs

I started on the beading for her over the weekend. I put her down in frustration. The gold beads on her are just too big. I don't know if it's the shrinkage on the 32 ct hand dyed or the beads themselves but they are HUGE and require a bit of fiddling and leaving some out to make them lay right. I suspect it's little of both...The greenish and red beads don't seem as large. I'm wishing now that I had bit the bullet earlier in the year and just replaced them all with Delica's. It would have been an $11 investment but I decided to go with what I had on hand. I'm too far along in the process to change now so the HUGE gold beads it will be. I'm making good time though and I think I will make my goal of Christmas(though I secretly hope to be done by Dec. 1).

Today is Billy's first day officially as pre-press manager. What happens? He has to work overtime of course. He had to wait for a rush file. When asked how long he was expected to wait for the file to come in, he was told, until it got there. In this case that meant it didn't arrive until nearly 7pm along with about 2 hours of work after that, which means he gave them 4 hours of time....No wait, 5 hours of time since he works a 9 hour day. They need him there by 8am to set the press schedule. Since neither Mary nor Joe will work until 5pm Billy has to so he has a 9 hour day. He has been taking a lunch and leaving the building but they are in kind of an out of the way place without a lot of places to go.

Billy was a bit annoyed since he was being ordered about by the one owner in charge of the sales department. Billy is going to make sure the owner and head of his department realizes that salary does not mean "free" work, whenever they want.

He will miss putting the boys to bed tonight and G is bummed. He has a bunch of stuff he did at school today that he wants to show dad. It will have to wait until morning. I'm just trying to be thankful he has a job and take the bumps along the way. It will all iron out while everyone gets used to Billy's new position.

On the bright side they have decided to put in a new bonus plan. I don't understand it all since it's technical based on supplies sold but it's another chance to for Billy to earn some money quarterly. Initially it wasn't going into effect until July but they are going to roll it out at the first of the year. Billy says he has more of an opportunity to make the money instead of the other plan which depends so much on the whim of the other two employee's. This is more in his control. I hope he's right. I'm already worried about money and this might relieve some of it. I feel like I owe everyone in the world and I'm worried about Christmas. Are we going to be able to do for the kids, at all? Me, I've given up the idea of getting anything or getting anything for Billy but I'm worried about doing something for the boys. G got a lot at his birthday so he wants for very little but Donovan has a lot of *big* wants. Hopefully we can eek out something for them. I just have to have faith.

This weekend was only so-so. Saturday I felt yucky so I didn't do much. Billy had to go to the lodge for a degree so he was gone from 4pm until a little after Midnight. Since he was also gone Friday night I felt really lonely and the house was really empty. I'm really sick of him being gone so much but I do understand how much fun he has at the lodge(and at hockey). Me and the boys could have gone for the dinner portion of the evening but we couldn't really afford to buy dinner for all 4 of us. We could of asked for help with that or they probably would of waived the charge completely but I didn't want to do that. Billy is trying to keep our financial woes to ourselves so he just told them I didn't want to drag the kids with us and couldn't find a sitter.

Sunday was grocery shopping...UGH! I hate that chore....Especially since money is tight. I worry over every cent. It's also hard because I have this internal debate between not wanting to buy anything and wanting to buy everything so we have food in the house. I'm glad Billy is with me and can help me balance the two thoughts.

After that we went ice skating with the boys. I found my old skates, they still fit and off we went to the rink. It was only $4 for the 4 of us to skate for 2 hours. I didn't fall once, of course I only went around the rink about a dozen times, and not very fast at that. The boys are really good though. Donovan never fell, G only a couple of times.

I was really surprised at how good Billy was. I know he's been practicing at the Hockey clinic but he looked really good at it. Most importantly he was having a blast with the boys. The exercise he says has been good for him too. There won't be a hockey clinic this week because of the holiday so he hopes we can go to the open skate both days. I'm not sure if I'm up to two days worth of skating but I'll go along and watch.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

She apologized, kind of.

Yesterday I got the mail and there was an envelope from Diane addressed to us as a family. It felt like a card and I thought she sent us a card to apologize. I was super tired at that moment and decided to wait until Billy got home to open it in case I was wrong and it wasn't an apology. He opened it and he just looked confused. I asked him what was up. He handed it to me and instead of a true card she had taken the front of a card that said "Thank you" and stuck a very small post-it that simply said "I'm sorry about what happened at the party, Diane".

I'm trying to be gracious and realize that she did apologize. But a freaking Post-It. That was a MAJOR insult, in my home, where you were invited, you brought a party to a screeching halt and I think I deserve more than a post-it.

Still I don't see her often, I can be polite to when I do see her and just let it go. Billy and Scott and still really good friends and I won't interfere with that. Billy did say he was going to try to have a conversation with Scott to see if we/I might of done something to upset/offend her. I'm not saying if we did I deserved what she said but at least then we would have an explanation of some sorts.

Billy is now officially hired at the company he is working at. He's been there awhile but it was a very loose agreement with not so great pay while the company could see what he could do. They have been in salary talks for the last couple of weeks. It didn't go as well as I had hoped. He will be making considerably less than he had at either of his last two jobs for doing basically the same thing. The big difference is this time he will have a bit more authority and it has a fancy title to go with it.

There is a bonus plan in place that if all the stars align right and they do a ton of business Billy could get a 2K bonus every quarter. According to the other managers(this is a standard agreement in the company for department heads) they've never had that much. Realistically it's more like $500 or so. Better then nothing but it only comes every 4 quarter and I'm not sure a creditor is going to wait to get paid. Not to mention so much is dependent on how business they do and printing does have busy seasons and slow times. It also depends on how well he can manage the department. One person is easy, she gets along with Billy and has been really receptive to the changes he has made. The other guy is not cooperating and it's frustrating to think our financial fate is up to him.

According to Billy he was slightly overpaid at both places and what they are offering is within what places are paying for that job. It's just frustrating to go backwards and I don't know how we will even catch up(keep in mind Billy has been pulling an even lower wage for quite awhile), let alone ever get ahead. I just have to trust that Billy made the best deal he could(and I know he is still sending out resumes here and there.)

On the bright side he is working. In the last couple of months a few print shops have gone out of business and there is the rumor that the company that laid him off in June will be out of business by years end. Last month 1/2 of the company's payroll checks bounced and I'm thankful he left when he did and isn't out there with 50 other people competing for the same jobs. He also got vacation time starting at the beginning of the year so he can take some time off next summer to spend with the kids.

And an even brighter side is he's happy. He likes it there, he likes the pace, he likes the owners, feels it's well managed and has shown growth every year they have been in business. He said he sees a lot of oppurtunities for the future. He also mentioned he found a pay stub from his old job. He said it was for a huge check with 14 hours of overtime on it. He said instead of thinking about how much money they paid him all he could remember was the stress, the chest pains/shortness of breath, and the dread he felt in the pit of his stomach every night before he went to sleep knowing that the next morning he had to go back there. He said all that pales in comparison to a few creditors calling and a bruised credit rating. And he's right. In the 18 years we've been together we've been through tough times before but we've never not had what we really needed, we may not had what we always wanted, but we've done Ok.

On the stitching front I'm sooo close to being ready to bead my CF. I had hoped to be at that point yesterday but I was just too tired. I didn't sleep well Sunday night after G's party and I didn't sleep well Monday night either after talking over money with Billy. I took a nap after I dropped G at school.

Monday, November 14, 2005

My baby is 6! On Saturday Gaelan turned 6 years old. Man, does time fly by fast. He was very excited about his birthday and told me he was looking forward to being 6. He had a hard time deciding on a theme for the event. At the last minute he said he wanted a dinosaur/castle birthday so we bought dinosaur plate/cups/napkins/wall hanging at the party store. I was lucky to already have a castle cake pan (from a past birthday of Donovan's) so I was all set.

In my family we always bought cakes. I think back now and it was because my worked so much and never had the time to bake but I have visions of these beautifully decorated cakes with perfect flowers and overly sugary icing. In Billy's family however the tradition is to bake and decorate the kid’s cakes. I resisted for awhile but I've gotten in the swing of things and I kind of look forward to it. Of course I'm such a perfectionist that I stress out about it but the kids are always thrilled. Here is what G's cake looked like:

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Dad and Donovan joined in in the placing of the battle and carnage around the cake board and we all had a good time doing it. It's not perfect looking by any means but we have nice memories of making it.

I wish I could say the same about his party....G had a blast but there were a couple of things that really put a damper on the day.

We invited Billy's sister and her kids to come. She had her visitation this past weekend so we made it on Sunday, later in the day, so she we didn't cut into any of her time(she only has the 2X a month, her choice) and she didn't have to drive to our side of town twice during the weekend since her ex-husband lives about 3 miles from us. She didn't bother to show up or call. The kids were disappointed because they had spent all morning picking up the basement (something that needed to be done anyways) so they could all play air hockey. Billy told them that their Aunt was sick but I could tell he wasa little upset considering in 18 years we've only missed one birthday party for her 4 kids.

The worse part though was I was insulted and embarrassed in a room full of people. Billy is good friends with a guy name Scott. Through Scott we got to know his wife Diane. We've all been friends over 15 years (may be longer). We used to do a lot of things as a foursome before we had kids. After our boys were born, things changed a little. They are childless by choice and because of that they have a lot more freedom and money then we do. Still I have always considered myself friendly with Diane. I buy something at Christmas, Birthday's and had them both to the house several times a year for dinner.

I had been noticing in the last 2 years that she has been very sharp in her conversations with me. At first I thought I was being overly sensitive. Diane can be very direct at times but she cut me to the quick one time in front of my SIL. Later I asked my SIL if I was being overly touchy and my SIL said I wasn't.

I also try to cut Diane a lot of slack. She is very unhappy. She had a crappy childhood, horrible parents, and is not happy with where her life is at. I'm very proud of her though that she decided to do something about it. She entered therapy, is going to a woman empowerment group and decided to go back to school. I know she is frustrated at the pace of her education. She had to go back to basic remedial math and reading and due to her work schedule and stress she only takes 1 class at a time. I'm sure she thinks it will take forever to get done, but I admire her for doing it, and told her so. I know she stresses about school a lot but I always ask her about it and praise her when she does well(which she has).

So on the day of the party I knew they were both really busy. Scott had been in a wedding the night before, and had had a lot of things in the alst week to do for that. I'm sure they just wanted some down time. They called and said they would be late, and Billy told them not to sweat it if they couldn't come at all. They said they would be there but late and not to hold cake/ice cream for them.

Everyone started to arrive and we got to chatting and we didn't get to cake/ice cream until they pulled up. I greeted them at the door, told Diane how nice her hair looked and in response I got a very nasty "we told you not to wait for us". Billy heard the comment too and was a bit taken aback but I let it slide.

After cake and presents the guys (Billy, his brother and Scott) were talking about hockey and skating. Scott and Billy's brother play hockey together and they have convinced Billy to join a clinic with them. They were laughing and joking and having a great time. I then mentioned that I had found my old skates and that I wanted to go skating sometime with them. I pulled them out of the closet and Scott looked at them to see if I needed to sharpen them. As he was looking at them I remembered a time when the 4 of us went skating. I remember it as a really fun time with dinner and drinks afterwards. I asked both Scott and Diane if they remembered it. Scott laughed but Diane said, again very curtly and not at all nice "yeah, you fell; hurt your elbow and we all had to leave". I do remember falling, I conked my head, hurt my elbow to the point it was bruised and swollen for awhile after but I don't remember "making" everyone leave or does that sound like something I would do. At this point, I had to leave the room. I used the excuse of throwing some plates away and getting G some more soda. I counted to 100 until I could come back.

A few minutes later we were talking about cleaning and clutter and being packrats. My SIL was commenting how she's not a packrat(as retired military wife who moved every 2 years she couldn't afford to be); me and my friend Mary were saying that we were. I made the comment that I can't keep one of my closets clean; it's always a mess, no matter how hard I try to organize it. I joked I should have my SIL come help me set up a better system(she is like Martha Stewart). I then made the joke that I had things in our entryway closet that I moved from the entry closet in our old place and hadn't touched since.

Diane then laid into me. She said that she didn't understand why I would have clutter or messy closets since I was home all day doing NOTHING. Billy tried to defend me by talking about I'm raising two kids, she countered with they are in school, Billy countered with how I make 3 trips to the bus stop, then have to watch them after school, keep up, help with homework and that G is still home 1/2 the day. D countered with that it was our choice to have kids, we didn't have to. Billy then said that I also had to take care of him and clean up after him and he's slob. He also talked about cooking, cleaning, and laundry for 4. Diane came back with everyone cooks and cleans and if she had all day to do nothing with she would have a spotless house, clean closets and a perfect yard too(and she pointed to the leaves around our yard).

The room got incredibly quiet at that moment and I was literally stunned speechless. I couldn't believe she had said it (even if she thought it) and I couldn't believe she said it such venom in her voice. I couldn't(and still can't) think what I could have done to her to make her that upset with me. It was one thing with the little barbs in conversation but it's another to insult me in a *my* home, where I invited you, in front of *my* family and friends.

I knew I was either go to strike back or cry so I chose to leave the room. I went downstairs on the pretense of getting something from my stash to show my MIL. I was very thankful when I came back upstairs that Scott and Diane had left. I guess she continued after I left about how she doesn't understand how Billy can be married to someone who doesn't pull their own weight and she didn't understand why I was so upset, it was true, I didn't have a job.

When I came back up Scott and Diane had left. Billy told Scott that Diane not only owed me an apology but him as well. I also found out from my MIL that Diane spoke in what she thought was an overly curt manner to her when I was dishing out the cake an ice cream.

Of course I'm hurt by what she said. How could I not be? Do I have spotless house? No, closet? Nope, perfect yard? Nope but I do have to very happy, very healthy and very well adjusted kids to show for it(both of which got awesome report cards from school and both teachers said we were doing good jobs w/the boys). We also make a lot of sacrifices for me to be here.

Sometimes I envy her, she has a job, out the world everyday, the freedom to buy what she wants, when she wants, the freedom to sleep until noon, the freedome to go back to school. I would love to have even a part time job. School schedule makes it hard, especially with G just there 1/2 a day...then there are the 1/2 days(2X a month in our district), vacations and summer break. Most of what I would make would go to childcare.

Is my life easier than some? yes, it is, but it's harder in some way too. Do I have 2 hours in the afternoon to do nothing? Yeah, and I take advantage of it because I need all my energy when they get off the bus. There were a lot of years where I didn't have that and I do savor them when I do.

I think more than anything I'm embarrassed. She embarrassed me in front of my family and friends. She was insulting to me, curt to my MIL and made it awkward and unpleasant for everyone. She didn't have to be there, Billy gave them both the perfect out on the phone. They didn't have to bring a gift; they are welcome without one (as was everyone else).

I was also a little upset that she got to leave and I had to stand there, obviously upset and make nice. I'm also embarrassed at myself for walking out of a roomful of my guests. That was pretty rude. I sent out thank you e-mails this morning to both my SIL and my friend Mary and I made sure I apologized for walking out of the room. Both are pretty understanding people but still I'm afraid it's going to awkward when I seem them again.

On the down side I will have to see both Scott and Diane Thanksgiving. Over the years of friendship they have both; well Scott more than Diane, have blended into our family. Scott plays hockey with Billy's brother and I know the two couples go out a lot(my BIL and SIL are also childless so they are more free to do things). Scott and Diane have also been at the last 3 dinners so it's a good bet they will be there again. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it. At this point an apology is not going to cut it. I don't think I will ever again be able to be around her without thinking of how she thinks of me, my family and my marriage. We were never best buds so I don't think if I never talk to her again it's any great loss. I had found myself tensing up whenever we were going to see her and just dreading it.

My hope is my SIL will get her typical big turn out for dinner between her family, his family and all the friends they have. Having to deal with her one on one or face to face probably won't happen. Still I have knots in my stomach at the thought of seeing her. I don't want to send Billy and the boys alone either. Maybe the upset of it will ease as we get closer to the holiday. I've other people run me off of some places. Do I want to let Diane win here too? The answer of course is no but I don't know.

I have to praise Billy. He was so wonderful about the whole thing. He jumped to my defense immediately, even before I had a chance to think. He stood up to Scott on the way out but I think Scott was pretty horrified himself. I guess they have been having some problems.....Billy also complimented me on the way I handled it. He said if it had been Scott that said that he would have decked him and the only reason he didn't hit Diane is she's a woman. He also said he was about to ask them to leave when Scott got her up and out of the door.

The most important part was G didn't see a thing and was completely oblivious to it. Ah to be 6 again. He also had a great time at his party and loves all his gifts. He thanked me before bed and again this morning for "his best birthday ever!"

On a more mundane front I'm making great progress on my Christmas Flourishes. I had hoped to be ready for beads by Friday but I got sidetracked getting ready for G's party. Here is what she looks like so far:

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"Christmas Flourishes" designed by Nora Corbett, copyright Mirabilia designs

I've been sick again. Another damn UTI. I couldn't afford the antibiotics to prevent this that the other dr gave me the last time. I've been a little stressed the past two weeks since they are still trying to decide what to pay Billy at his new job and what are getting right now is not cutting it. It hit Wednesday evening. I willingly waited a couple of days so I could see *my* dr(last time it was one of his associates). Not only did he give me the prescription but he wrote it for 3X the amount so I can have it on hand if another one crops up. It was much less expensive then the other and I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. Having a few extra's in the house really helps with the peace of mind. The only thing is he insisted I come back for a follow up sample to make sure the antibiotic is indeed working since the two came so close together. That's another $20 and the headache to find a way out there. Shh...Don’t tell anyone but I just may skip it!