Friday, June 25, 2010


Mommy, do you know how to drive that thing?


Mommy, do you know how to start that thing?


But Mommy... I think Grandpa said we can drive that thing.....

We have called in the reinforcements. My father has arrived with his trackhoe in an effort to find the collapsed tile and stop the flooding in our basement.

Cross your fingers that this works. I'm tired of moping and pumping......

Thursday, June 24, 2010


On Tuesday at 1:00 I participated in a market research study about local radio stations. One in particular and their syndicated morning radio show. I almost didn't answer when my home phone rang on Monday night with a blocked number. However, my mom's number shows up that way so I picked it up.

The process was fairly short, 30 minutes, and pretty painless. They asked me some questions about the morning show and about things that I thought would or would not be good topics for that show. And for my trouble I was paid $75. Where do I sign up for the next one??

Yesterday morning I woke up late and stumbled down to the basement to check on the water situation (since it had rained 2" over night). As soon as I got about halfway down the stairs I saw the water. About half of the basement floor was already covered, any where from 1/16 inch to 1/4 inch of water, and it was slowly creeping towards the rest. I put my shoes on and headed for the pump.

I got the hose dragged outside to the sound of thunder and the feel of a few raindrops on my skin. Quickly I hurried back downstairs, plugged in the pump and listened gratefully to the whooshing sound as it started pumping all the water outside. I was just getting ready to head back upstairs to take a shower when it just stopped. No warning, just done and the water came rushing back in.

So I quickly unplugged the pump and flipped it over trying to locate the reason for it's lack of functioning. I think it's important to add here that I had no idea what I was looking for. None what so ever. It was the equivalent of my car breaking down and me opening the hood of my car and staring at the motor. It might look good but it is totally pointless.

So, I set the pump down... having deducted that it looked perfectly fine to me, and plugged it back in. Swish... the water started pumping again. Alright, I thought, just a fluke. I stepped off of the pallets to head for the door and once again it stopped. So, once again I unplugged it and walked over and picked the pump up. A pointless exercise but one I engaged in none the less. Having once again deducted that it looked perfectly fine to me, because of course I would know what I was looking for, I plugged it back in. Nothing. Not a sound... not a whir... nothing....

So, yesterday morning at 7:45 am I got to take my newly acquired $75 and buy a new pump for our basement.


Monday, June 21, 2010

The Slipping Slide

Last Sunday we bought Zack a slip and slide. Or as he refers to it... his slipping slide.

At first he was not really sure what to do with it.

Didn't quite fully understand the concept.....
So, Jim had to give him a lesson....

He was a baseball player so for him, sliding down this thing is no big deal. Just dive!!

After he went down the first (or possibly the second) time I started getting the look. The look that said... it is your turn now.
I am 30 years old. I have never (that I remember) been down a slip and slide. And I was wearing my clothes. Hadn't I been designated group photographer?

Yet, the next thing you know, my shoes and socks were off and I was standing in the grass looking at this thing wondering how did I get myself talked into this?

I have a mental block about throwing myself face first onto a hard surface so I ran... then I stopped...

Then I sort of hit all fours and fell onto the slip and slide. It wasn't pretty....
And I only made it about halfway down the first time.....
But it was fun!!
I looked at Jim after I was done and through the laughter I simply asked him, "Who are you and how is it that I let you talk me into this? This is not me... I am not the fun parent."
And yet, there I was in my jeans and tshirt (sans bra... I took it off... Jim said that completed the hick look) sliding down a slip and slide with my son and my boyfriend and loving every minute of it.

Sometimes, life catches up with you in unexpected ways and you realize that where you are now is 100% different, yet 100% more fun than you ever thought it would be!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Say what?

What's wrong with your shirt?


Look right there.

Mommy, look, I have a hole in my shirt.

(Then he says in a volume that reminds people he is in fact my son, because I am nothing if not seriously volume challenged at times... )

Look Mr. Jim, you can stick your finger in the hole and touch my wood!

**blink, blink... crickets chirping**

Your what?

My wood. (He says while rubbing his arm....)

Skin Zackary. It is called skin. Trees have wood. People have skin.


I may have laughed hard enough to almost shoot pop out of my nose and I had tears streaming down my face.

Children..... making the world a funnier place one innocently inappropriate comment at a time.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yup... I'm an ass..

He came over tonight and while we were talking he told me that he had decided he was ready to live here.

And I laughed inside....

I couldn't help it. Because I knew I had to come here and admit to all of you that I am.... indead an ass....

Then I told him about the blog post and he laughed. Right before he told me I better get online an update my blog.

So he's moving. Not next week, obviously, but shortly there after. I'm thrilled. I'm pulling my foot out of my throat.... but thrilled just the same.

Who's Daddy?

Mr. Jim is coming to our house tonight.

I thought we decided we were just going to call him Jim.

No mommy... I thought we decided we were going to call him Daddy Jim.

Well you can call him Daddy Jim if you want to but I'm going to just call him Jim.


Because he's not my daddy.

But he's MY daddy!!

Yes, he is.

Mommy...... he can be your daddy if you want him to be.

No Zacky... no he can't......

Thursday Thoughts

I have been struggling this week/month with expectations. I told Jim a couple weeks ago that my goal in life is to try not to have expectations. That way when things don't happen as I expect I am not disappointed. In Al-anon we say that expectations are premeditated resentments. And for the most part, I think this is true.

However, as Jim reminded me... you have to have some expectations in life. Realistic expectations keep your life and your boundaries in check. There are people in the program who live with active alcoholism and addiction. I often hear these people talk in meetings and wonder if they have any expectations left at all. Some of them are struggling but some of them seem to be happy right where they are. I am not them. As much as I would like to not have expectations I very much think Jim is right. There are certain things I feel like you should be able to expect of your partner and when you live with active alcoholism and addiction you don't get those things.

Which brings us back to my expectations. Realistic expectations. Before I begin, #1) I asked Jim if he read my blog, he told me he was here a couple times after I gave him the link but has not been back in a month or so.... which is why I am posting this here. Which leads beautifully into #2) unlike the previous topics of discussion last week and this week, I have not talked about this with him. You'll understand why in a minute.

As I'm sure you have figured out from reading here, Jim and I are not engaged, nor does he live with me. He started telling me he was going to marry me at the beginning of February. For a long time he told me at least once, if not multiple times, every time he saw me. When I asked him why his answer was that he was 36 years old and had never said that to another woman. He liked saying it and he really wanted me to believe it and know how important it was to him.

Sometime in March, he started telling other people he was going to marry me. Casual conversations, talking about future plans, flat out questions to him by his friends & family, things of that nature. Somewhere between March and April I started forming an expectation in my mind. He talked about it so often and was so excited about it I just figured that it was something that would be happening sooner rather than later.

We had talked about him living with me and I had basically told him he was welcome any time after April 15th. Slowly April 15th kept getting closer and closer and there was no mention of Jim living with me. So, one night I asked him what the plan was. He seemed to skirt the issue any time I brought up him living with me and I was wondering how he could be so excited about marrying me but avoid the topic of living with me. That's when he admitted to me that he didn't plan to live with me until we were engaged and also not until we had been together a year.

In his mind all too often people move in together before they are engaged with the intention of getting engaged but it just doesn't happen. A week turns into a month and a month turns into six and before you know it you are settled into a routine and not yet engaged. In his mind he is only getting married once. He is only picking one person to say that to and that person is me. So if he has to wait a few more months to live with me than that's what he is going to do to make sure he does it the right way.

So... I adjusted my expectation. A few more weeks went by and one day we were at the mall with Zack and we passed a jewelry store. He wanted me to go in and look at rings, I almost passed out. At that point, he was convinced that I still didn't believe him and so he started telling me that he had been in stores, that he had been looking, that he had talked to sales people, etc. Sometime around the end of April he told me he had found the ring and that he had bought it (or put a down payment on it or something to make me believe that he had already picked it out and they were holding it for him).

It was at this point, like it or not that my expectations changed. I knew from discussions with him that he would not be giving it to me in May but somehow I just figured that once we made it to June we would be engaged and he would be moving in. I would tease him about not having it until 2012 and he would say to me it will be sooner than you think. During one conversation I told him I didn't care what date he picked but not to make it September 20th (my old anniversary) and his answer was you will have it by then. So, somehow I convinced myself that sooner rather than later meant June. I don't know why I got that in my head but I guess there was a part of me that didn't figure he would buy a ring at the end of April and then hold on to it for 4 months.

I was wrong.

It is now June 17th and from what I can tell the possibility of us becoming engaged before the middle of July is slim to none. See Jim sells iPhones and the preorder was on Tuesday and the new iPhone 4 launches next week. He will be working eight days straight starting Monday and will be lucky if it slows down before the first week in July.

And suddenly, there is a part of me that wishes he had never told me about the ring.

If I didn't know that he had looked, if I didn't know that he was thinking about it, if I didn't know that he was planning to ask me then there wouldn't be this part of me that continues to feel overwhelming disappointment as the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months.

I guess for me, it's not even the being engaged part so much as the living together part. When I redid the house the timing of it was because I thought he would be living there soon. This is the part where I explain to you why Jim and I haven't had this talk. We haven't had this talk because I don't want him to ask me to marry him and move in with me simply because he thinks I was expecting it or because I'm disappointed that he hasn't yet.

I didn't redo the house so that he WOULD move in sooner. I redid it because I thought he WAS moving in soon. Because my expectation was that he had a ring, he had a date he had picked and surely he would not wait until July or August to ask me since he had been saying it since February.

And now... I'm kinda kicking myself. I love the house, I love all of the remodeling. The new feel and the new design is just as much for me as it ever was for him but at the same time I'm disappointed. I sit alone usually 3 - 4 nights in this house that I want to share with him. Last night he was off work at 7:00 and he went back to his place on a technicality. And it drives me crazy.

He will be at our house tonight, he will stay until Monday morning which in my mind means that he might as well be living there but he won't. He won't "officially" move his things in until we are engaged and we won't be engaged until lord only knows when. I'm starting to think 2012 again.

And believe me when I tell you, I get it in the grand scheme of things. What is a month or two when I am going to be with him for the rest of my life? I am seeing him 3-4 nights out of 7, why can't I be patient and just let things work themselves out in their own time?

So, this is why I come here to tell you, oh great people of the Internet. Because I can't tell him. Because I can't tell this wonderful man who has been loving and supportive and who is trying his hardest to make sure he does this the right way for all of the right reasons that I'm disappointed or that I'm frustrated with how things are going. Because that's not fair to him. Because he loves me and he loves my son and he is just trying to make sure he does this right.

And really... in the grand scheme of things... what is another month or two or three.... however if it becomes six... we might have to revisit the expectation talk. :-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What's in a Name?

Right now, Zack calls Jim, Mr. Jim. It started out as a respect thing. He didn't know him and all of the teachers at his daycare are Miss or Mr so we just carried it over into his name for Jim.

Now that Jim is sticking around awhile (or forever... if you want to be technical... at least that's what he seems to be telling me LOL) both of us feel that Mr. Jim is a bit too formal for Zack to call him forever.

So this weekend Zack and I had a little talk. I told him that he could pick what he wanted to call Jim. That he could call him Jim, Mr. Jim or Daddy Jim. Let me sidetrack here for a minute and tell you that Zack knows that he has two daddy's. His daddy that lives with his Grandma and Jim. We had that talk a month or so ago and he understands it as well as he can understand it. If he says something about daddy and you say to him which one he will tell you which one.

Ok, so back to the conversation at hand. He picked Daddy Jim. As of right now, I still refer to him as Jim around Zack. I have dropped the Mr when I talk about him but I'm letting him find his own comfort level with the rest.

So, dear people of the Internet, if you had a step-parent.... what did you call them? Do you wish you had called them something else? Did you pick the name or were you just told what to call them?

As with the money discussion... rest assured this is a conversation Jim and I have already had and a decision that will ultimately be up to what works best for our family but we would like to hear what works for other people too.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I'm Sailing Away....

It is raining here... has been off and on for a couple of days. This morning I looked out and saw how flooded the creek was and all I could think was I wonder....

So I peaked my head down the stairs and this is what I saw.

CRAP!! We have a tile out to our field that has collapsed so if it rains too much the water will come up through our drains. Which sort of defeats the purpose of a sump pump unless we stick the pump in the drain and pump the water out through the side of the house (which we have yet to do.

In lew of that, I borrowed a pump from my parents a couple of years ago and have yet to return it. This is the time that my complacency in the area of returning things I borrow has actually helped me out. They don't need it back yet and it saved me having to traipse over there to get it again today.

It took about 10 minutes to pump out the water from the basement. Luckily I caught it before the whole basement filled with 2 inches of water (which it did two years ago).

And now we wait.... it is just now starting to clear off but I've been told it is supposed to rain again tomorrow....

I wonder if there is enough wood in the shed to begin building an ark??

Friday, June 11, 2010

Money Matters

I'm almost 100% sure that you and I have had this conversation before. It seems vaguely familiar. Only, I can't seem to find evidence of it so that means... we get to have it again.

The Money Talk

More specifically, what works for you?

As you have all probably figured out Jim and I are getting closer and closer to making that big jump into sharing a living space. And out of all of the things that come with that, having someone in your space, having their mess, sharing chores, sharing TV time, etc. Nothing... and I mean nothing... comes close to terrifying me as much as the money talk.

When FOtB and I moved in together all of our expenses were simply that... our expenses. He signed his checks over to me and I paid bills and doled him out an "allowance" of sorts. In terms of the one checking account and paying all of our bills together aspect this idea worked fine. In terms of the "allowance" aspect I hated every part of it.

I refuse to become the parent in a relationship again. I don't want to be the dolor out of funds. Jim is working, I am working... we should be making financial decisions together. And to our credit, after oh.... 5 hours of talking about this... I think we have figured out that when we are married there will be a yours, mine and an ours account. All of our checks will go into the ours account. Then a certain amount will go into each of the yours and mine accounts to be spent however we see fit. No accountability money. This removes the "allowance" feeling and brings my blood pressure down about 20 notches.

However, there are still a few parts of this that give me slight heart palpitations. And please, go into this understanding that I am a classic worrier/over thinker. But here are my questions/thoughts.

Please dear Internet tell me what works for your family.

- Do you have a yours, mine and an ours account? If so, how does it work? Just a house account or is all of the money in one account and just fun money moved to the separate accounts?

- What about expenses before the marriage/relationship? Did your spouse/significant other take on your credit card debt or leave you to pay that on your own?

- What about children? Jim says that once he moves in Zack is 100% his son. No questions asked. Yet, I still feel slightly odd asking him to pitch in for daycare. Should I just get over it or should that be something I keep on my side of the tote board for awhile?

- What about Bonuses/Tax Refunds/Side Jobs/Extra Money, etc.? I've seen this tear some couples apart. I've had to do analysis's to tell people how much of their refund goes to which spouse and I know couples who have had fights about if it is the husband's bonus to spend on his fishing trip or their joint money to pay for the landscaping. My thoughts on this.... all of this is joint money. Every dime earned or refunded to a couple when they are married belongs equally to both people and should be put in the joint account and a decision should be made jointly about how it is spent. If I get a bonus at work, it is extra income for our family. Maybe we have a bill that needs paid, maybe we decide that we want to do something fun with it but the point is it is not my money to go spend however I want. Yes it is extra, but it is not MY extra. Your thoughts??

- What about big purchases? Is there a dollar threshold at which you must talk to your spouse about a purchase? Does it matter if you have separate accounts or if you share an account? If you share an account but have fun money accounts and you save your fun money for a year for a new set of golf clubs is it your fun money to do with as you want or you need to still discuss it?

If you and your significant other/spouse keep separate accounts: What about these things??

- When you go out to eat who pays? Do you split it? Do you do every other person?

- How do you do groceries? Every other time someone buys? You spit them down the middle each time? Does one pay more because they have children that they brought into the relationship?

- What about other stuff? Household items, bathroom items, etc. Do you buy our own? Do you make a joint fund for those items or one person pays the other person back for them?

-What about home repairs, appliance fixes, major home purchases, etc.?

As you can see, I have more questions than answers. I know that no one strategy works for every couple, and I know that Jim and I will have to figure out what works best for us but my little CPA mind would feel much better if I could at least hear what works/doesn't work for other people out there.

So... spill.... Please and thank you!! :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

The remodel/redesign turned out better than I ever imagined. It is so nice to come home to. It is so relaxing and so great to have a space that feels safe and new. Jim is not an overly emotional guy but even he was left speechless and in awe.

I had so many people that helped me out with the changes that I'm uncertain where to even begin to thank them all. I sent out personal shout outs to all of them on Facebook and Jim sent some of them personal Facebook messages. Although I don't know what they said, I'm sure they were very nice.

This was my status and his comments on Sunday:

Just finished having our first family dinner in our newly redesigned dining room/toy room and now I'm relaxing in our newly redesigned living room!! We love it!! Thank you to everyone who helped me out with this project this week!! :-)

The pictures do no justice......what was done to this house in 6 short days was AMAZING!!!! Thanks so much to everyone who lent a hand here. And sorry I couldn't help (I do actually feel bad), but Heather wouldn't tell me anything that was happening, let alone come help. Thanks again everyone, it's terrific!

And I'm apparently supposed to say Heather is the bestest person in the whole wide world.....but seriously, I'd be remisced if I didn't mention how overwhelmed I am that she would do all of this with me and us in mind. I'm truly left speechless, so I'll just say, and not because of this, she is the bestest person in the whole wide world. I can't imagine a better way to start building a future life together.

He says I was very close to crying when I read that last one. I don't doubt it. Again, he is not an overly emotional person and he has never been big on PDA's but to know that he loved it and he was willing to express that in such a public forum really made all the hard work worth it.

Except the falling down the stairs on Friday and the GIANT bruise on my hind end... I'm not sure that part was worth it. :-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

WW: Making My House Our Home

The Living Room



WW: Making My House Our Home

The Dining Room/Toy Room



P.S. I didn't just cover up the toys... I did actually sort them, organize them and put them all away, I just forgot to open the curtian and take a picture. :0)