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Archive for March, 2009

Signs

March 31st, 2009 at 09:24 am

Its funny how the day after I turned in my resignation, suddenly everyone in my house is better.

DH says that was a sign.

I took the baby to her GI appointment today and she's 16 lbs but as the GI doc said, "She's at the 50th percentile for a 6 month old."

So they are going to do an endoscopy & refer us to a food clinic to help us on a more holistic approach to help get the baby's weight up.

I'm nervous about it, its going to be done under general anesthesia and she's soo small. But the Children's Hospital is going to be doing this, so they ONLY work with children - so I feel a bit better.

DH is leaving from the 11th to the 21st or 25th. Normally not a big deal but with finals and everything, I'm scrambling in my mind.

The money is VERY needed though, $113/day and I'm sure he'll spend SOME of it but I told him he better save his money if he expects to buy the iPhone.

He's been bugging me for that for a year or more. I've always held back and if he can save the $400 to get the phone & the increased cell phone fee upfront, I'll let him. He needs the capability of a calendar, task manager, etc in his phone... I have a Blackberry so I can understand, but my Dad pays for my phone so its free on our end. (Not entirely sure WHY my Dad bought all of his kids cell phones, but if we declined it he would be extremely upset as in his eyes its a rejection of a gift. He's been doing this since '05 for my sister & brother, even my brother's wife. Yet my brother is an attorney, its not like he can't buy one himself).

My Dad is like that though. In 2001 he bought me AAA membership and has renewed it ever since.

I think that is his way of trying to look out for us as adults. We never ask for it, he just does it. Anyhow, just wanted to mention that in case anybody wonders why my father pays for my cell phone.

Quarrantine

March 29th, 2009 at 02:15 pm

Now my 7 y/o is sick. My house just needs to be quarantined.

I called up my Mom cause I just am frustrated at this point and am nervous about the implications I am leaving with my job. I'm a great student and a great worker, but this is just apparently not meant to be.

She is an employer (she owns a McDonald's... although instead of sick children she deals with people going to jail) and told me resigning likely would be the right thing to do.

I feel crummy about it. I just started on Monday and after working only 10 hours left on the 3rd day early, called in on Thursday, Friday, and by this point I'm sure they have had it with me.

Its all legitimate but doesn't help the feeling. I wanted to give them a heads up in case they check their email... but the timing is just off & if anything is screaming now is not the right time - its this.

I'll call them tomorrow morning to follow up but yeah, I feel crummy about it because this is not my usual work ethic but my family has to come first. The timing is just really bad.

Hospitalizations continue

March 28th, 2009 at 04:41 pm

Well, I took the baby to her follow up appointment yesterday and she was not her normal self. Her ped sees her weekly & knows she is usually happy even when she gets shots, so she recommended she go back to get more IV fluids and possibly be admitted.

She referred us to the military hospital and had it not been for having a civilian doc push for her admission, they probably would have discharged her. Its amazing on the discharge paperwork seeing the disparity between her pediatrician and the ER docs.

One says she is lethargic, tachycardic, and has a cap refill greater than 4. The other says she is "tired" but not lethargic, good heartrate and cap refill... but the military hospital admitted her because when they poked her with an IV THREE times and did a urine catheter, she did not cry, wimper, or pull away once. Honestly, if that is not lethargic, the military doctors must think comatose is.

Once she was admitted and on the Pediatric ward it was much better. They kept fluids in her and that seemed to work wonders in keeping her stable. By this morning she was back to her normal self. It was amazing.

Basically she just had a virus but because she was sooo little it was easy for her to go downhill fast.

I'm just so glad to have my happy-go-lucky baby back.

A night in the E.R.

March 26th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Man, I am soooo tired!!!!

At 10 pm last night the baby woke up and had diarrhea & was throwing up. She was shaking as we got her cleaned up and thats just when I said she needs to go in.

So I took her in and I LOVE how we live 5-10 minutes away from a brand new out-patient hospital that has NO WAIT for the ER. I literally gave the clerk my name and signed in, and didn't even have time to pick up my bags before the Triage nurse called us.

The baby is normally 16 lbs 11 oz as of last week. Last night she was 15 lbs 13 oz at FOURTEEN MONTHS OLD. So she lost almost a pound in a week and she isn't even on the growth curve, if anything she JUST made it on to the one percentile.

The doc gave her 2 bags of IV fluids and between 10:30 and 2 am she threw up 3 times and had diarrhea 4 times. The hospital discharged us after the baby's color looked much better and she plumped up a little from the fluids. They sent us home with some Pedialyte too.

She really needed the IV. But it was challenging holding a baby for that long & trying to keep her from pulling on her IV.

I stumbled in the door at 2:30 am and we quickly went to bed. Was pleasantly surprised to come home and find DH on the couch waiting up for us. Or he TRIED to wait up for us, he ended up falling asleep cause it got so late.

Then at 6:30 I had to be up again for the other kids. Called in again to work to let them know what was going on.

You know, every time I go to the ER for one of the kids - I'm always thankful for a few things... 1) That we live so close to a hospital 2) That the hospital has no waiting (or in the rare event they do its within 30 min) and 3) That I never have to worry about hospital bills or copays because the kids are on the military's healthcare plan and can still see civilian doctors & facilities.

I think just the healthcare thing could cripple DH and I if we ever had to pay out of pocket. I never forget seeing my son's NICU bill and remembering how thankful I was that we never had to pay a cent of that. It makes you really grateful and reminds us we should never take our health for granted.

Another awkward day

March 25th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Just a little background info, on Saturday I was in the ER with my son who was extremely ill since he had been vomiting/diarrhea since Wednesday.

Well, while there the ER doc warned that its likely it will cycle through the house.

Monday, my first day of work, my daughter threw up at the sitters. But it was only once or so.

Yesterday, my baby was a little better, but had a little bit of diarrhea. So I thought she was getting better, no vomiting since Monday.

Today, after an obviously awkward day yesterday... an hour after I came in, I had to leave to pick up my daughter.

I'm confident my new job is already tired of this. And I'm contemplating just not going in anymore because 1) my daughter will most likely not be better by the end of the week and 2) she is not taking to daycare very well. I'm sure part of that is an adjustment but I'm sure either I'll be next or my older daughters will and I don't know. It just feels like if the universe is saying anything, its that my working at this job is not meant for me cause its so odd how all of this is happening at once. I called my job and told them what was going on & that I'll call them tomorrow to let them know how my baby is feeling to determine if I'll be in Friday. I already know I won't be in on Thursday simply cause the babysitter cannot have her back until she has been clear of vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours.

So again, clearly I'm not ready to work outside the house. Kids are sick too often and I'm just not ready for this, but on the other hand I'm sure there is no good way to end this before April 15th w/o leaving a sour note with the employer.

So today was awkward

March 24th, 2009 at 01:02 pm

I gave my notice to work.

I am allowed to work through lunch but I explained that I was planning to leave after tax season because its just not cost effective for me to work when the kids are out of school. Right now WITH them in school, I'm breaking even by working through my lunch hour.

I've also decided I'm going to scale back my agenda. I'm obviously not ready to return to work on the full scale yet. So why rush graduation?

I'm killing myself taking 3 classes and working and with four kids.

Soooo, I'll just take 1 class from now on and probably graduate in December 2010.

My last day is April 15th, I just hope the job understands that it is purely because of the cost of childcare.

On that note, then my current job can have more of my time & devotion and THAT one is the one that makes sure I have food on the table for my kids.

Mother's remorse

March 22nd, 2009 at 06:07 pm

I don't know if thats the right word/title but thats what I'm calling it.

I start my new job tomorrow and my baby (14 months) starts daycare tomorrow. I feel so nervous, I thought I'd be fine but no. This is the first time I'm EVER leaving my baby this young with a stranger for set hours.

That's when I ask myself, do I really want this? Am I ready?

Then on top of that I am nervous because the daycare provider has a pool. Her fence is on order but told me that the doors are locked & has an alarm on the door if anyone opens it.

Its also just my baby and another little baby. So its a small place, its not like I have to worry about the babysitter being so overwhelmed that mine is forgotten.

I don't know, I called my Mom and told her about my worry. I'm almost at that point of just wanting to call it all off.

My best friend and my mom said to reiterate to the babysitter tomorrow morning about my concerns & to call if I'm nervous/worried. The babysitter did say she also texts pictures to the parents phone.

In fact, the babysitter watched her during my interview and sent me pictures & gave me a picture that the baby drew. Albeit it was from 8-11 am and not 8-2:30 like the hours will be.

I don't know... can I really do this? I spent Saturday in the ER with my son since he's been sick since Thursday... how do women who work outside the home do it?

Gosh, I am soooo nervous. Career-wise, I can't turn down this opportunity. This CPA is willing to mentor me & considering to train me to own day take over her firm... and here I am the night before scared of leaving my baby.

What would YOU do?

March 21st, 2009 at 07:14 pm

I want to minimize the amount of debt we have BUT the rental needs some necessary improvements.

As I said in a previous post it has Polybutylene pipes, it freezes during the winter & they can burst at any point because the pipes are now illegal.

Cost to replumb - $6634

It needs a new HVAC system that is getting installed on Thursday

A rotted fascia board needs replaced (cost unknown)

And I'd like to get termite protection for the house ($1200)

But currently, after buying the HVAC system we are in $99K in non-mortgage debt (Car, HELOC, CC, and Student loans)

I DO NOT want to go over $100K, but my thoughts are... we've already had one pipe burst in the home... what if another bursts or has a slow leak? It could cost even thousands more!

If we do EVERYTHING, then we'll have $110K total non-mortgage debt. $67K of which is between the car & student loans. The rest is the HELOC and credit cards.

I don't know. I feel like I'm being risky by NOT doing the plumbing because a pipe could very well burst, but I also don't like the idea of being so heavily in debt. In May '08 we were $103K in debt, last month we were $92K...

As I said, I don't know. The right thing to do is to get out of debt AND keep the house in good working order.

DH also made the decision to stay here. Financially its what is best and its also better for both of our careers. I'm not too let down, Hawaii will happen - I'm just taking this as a sign that we have more stuff to finish here before we move on.

Beginning to LOVE Craigslist

March 20th, 2009 at 08:34 am

I just sold 15 gently used Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers for $113! And I sold it to 3 different people within 48 hours of listing it.

I'm going to go through what else I have and try to list some more stuff.

I have a ton of Nonstick Pampered Chef cookware (Executive series) and since switching to stainless I only need a few non-stick pieces. I can sell the excess.

Need to sell the baby's swing.

DH goes to South America next week and that is $113 per day and he'll be there a week. I usually estimate him bringing home at least half of it cause he does need to eat.

Then he's got a few more trips.

He also made board for Chief. SO that means he passed the test to get promoted. He was the only one out of 4 to pass the test, so then he just needs to submit his package, and then wait to see if the "Board" selects him to be promoted to E7.

If so that would be great.

We are thinking next year, if Hawaii is not available, him switching commands to a SEAL team or another Special Warfare command. He has really enjoyed Special Warfare and contrary to most people's opinions... its done WONDERS for our marriage because he's happy and because he's happy, I'm happy and the whole family is happy.

The other nice part if he were to do that would be an extra $200-$300/mo for Special Duty pay.

But if Hawaii is open and we have a shot at going back, we'd take it because even if we have to pay to go back... we would never move again, its home, its family. Perhaps numbers-wise its an irrational move but in the long run - its our dream, our kids could grow up near grandparents and cousins.

But Hawaii would be the only command where I'd be willing to leave here. As I told DH, we finally have a network here. I still need to pass the CPA exam, get my license, and etc etc.

Anyhow, so the money seems to be coming in from unusual places which is good. I recently just shelled out $108 for my daughter to have 3 teeth pulled and $5823 for a new HVAC system in the rental.

I got the job

March 16th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Although I flunked the bookkeeping test.

But she liked me, she saw my GPA, that I came in referred by a well-respected professor and was amazed that at 27, I have four children and will be completing my master's degree.

I think a part of her knew that although my experience was not up to par, if I could do all of the other stuff - there was something there that kept her interested.

She's not sure what to do about salary because she frankly said that my experience doesn't bring me up to that level that my current job is paying me, and she doesn't want to insult me. But I'm considering doing it regardless of the pay level because of the opportunity available.

So I'm thinking about keeping my current job and adjusting the work schedule so that I can put in 25 hours a week at the CPA firm.

Its a small firm of about 3-4 employees, but its family oriented and more relaxed. I think it could be a great opportunity, they offer a retirement plan & offer annual raises. I haven't had a raise with my current job since March of 2007 and there are no benefits aside from medical/dental/vision/PTO.

I talked to my current place of work about working 5-8 in the morning and 3-8 in the evenings. Then while I have school, I can make up the hours on the weekends or even later in the evening. With the majority of the people on the West Coast and me on the East Coast, the time difference and new schedule could work out better. So my boss was VERY open to the suggestion.

School will probably continue to be challenging but I know the semester ends in 6 weeks. This will also help give me a cushion while the tenant's are out.

Maybe I'm insane but I don't plan to work 2 jobs and go to school forever. This is just the transition towards me eventually having my own practice.

Dh is also supposed to pick up some extra trips so the extra money will be great. Hopefully the vacancy from the tenant's won't be bad after all Smile

Some things are worth more to me than $$$

March 5th, 2009 at 08:07 am

Let me first preface this by saying, my DH and I do not have a very good track record for keeping pets that annoy us. Any bad behavior, its hard for us to work through.

Fast forward to now, we have a 10 month old golden retriever that we adore & feel is our PERFECT pet. I have absolutely nothing I could complain about of him.

So we are going out of town and thought about having a friend watch him.

DH took him over to the friends' yesterday, but their dog isn't fixed and marks (outside the house). Our dog doesn't do that, we neutered him early and he squats like a girl, no marking whatsoever inside or outside.

I don't think the friends' dog marks inside but I still don't want to give our dog any ideas.

DH was upset with me and saying I'm over-reacting. He doesn't want to spend $180 to board our dog when these people will watch him for free.

So he's upset and we're on opposite ends of the spectrum.

It took us 10 years to find the perfect dog. I don't want to have any chance or opportunity to mess it up, cause again, we don't have a good track record.

Sure our dog could go there for a week and not pick up the behavior and everything will be dandy. But if he does, we are either going to spend the $$ to retrain him or it will become such a headache we re-home our "perfect" dog. All over $180?

I'd rather just go with the safe bet and board him.

Maybe owning our golden has finally made us join that subset that views their pets like their kids. I don't remember ever being this picky before about where our pets stayed. But honestly, now when I look at potential friends to watch him - I want to make sure they have similar values/standards for their pets as I do with mine.

Maybe this is abnormal. But yeah, I don't want to risk it cause the worst case scenario is we could get so frustrated about a bad behavior we rehome him.

I guess this is like my DH's view on the stock market. He just wants to put his money in secured funds - even if that means missing on an eventual rally - I'm on the other end of the spectrum. So I'm not entirely risk averse... just when it comes to emotional aspects of my life.

I must live in a bubble, thats my only explanation

March 4th, 2009 at 10:43 am

Seriously, with the economy and everything - sometimes I think I must live in a bubble. How is life so good for us yet when I talk to other people it is all doom and gloom?

I have a friend who is having problems getting a job. Meanwhile, I'm looking at also getting a part-time job for the "experience". DH is going to get 2-3 raises in the next year, if I pick up this part-time job in the mornings - after childcare thats an extra $300-$500/mo.

For a long while I brushed it off and said, it must just be because he's in the military and I'm in accounting. But no, I know an internal auditor who posted on her blog about her fear of losing her job.

I don't know, if I live in a bubble - nobody pop it. But maybe thats why I'm so optimistic even with the current state of affairs.

I called my Mom yesterday and she was in panic mode too (she owns a McDonalds and although they are doing well she was telling me "DON't leave your job, everybody is losing their job")

And that just isn't my reality. Here I am thinking about taking a 2nd job and constantly getting emails from my accounting major list server about job openings. Jobs seem plentiful.

So, I only hope that the opportunities I see carry on to others that need them. In the meantime, I do feel extremely fortunate and am grateful that things are still looking well.

I do sort of hope I get this job, I'll be assisting a local CPA with her practice. Small practice, but its my foot in the door to getting to know the inner functions of a local CPA practice to one day have my own.

But on the same note, if I don't get it I'll be okay. Although to be perfectly honest, in the past 10 years I've gotten a job offer from every job I've interviewed for.

My to do list & career aspirations

March 3rd, 2009 at 07:50 pm

1) Study for my legal midterm on Thursday
2) Pre-format my reports & prep everything to help make next week easy on Christine
3) Pack for 4 kids, clean the house (I hate coming home to a messy house)
4) Well, 4, thankfully DH is doing laundry Friday/Saturday
5) 13 Management letters (working in a team of 4 to put together an audit engagement)
6) Finish my fraud research paper (14 pages left to go)
7) Finish my legal research paper (15-20 pages left to go)
8) Finish my auditing midterm (take home, 10 questions one page each)
9) My controllership master budget & reading Chapter 8 and any associated material

I swear, if I accomplish all this by March 17 - I'll be relieved.

And I thought this was supposed to be my SPRING BREAK!?!?!

I also have to talk to a local CPA here, more or less as a favor towards my prof. I submitted my resume in January as part of an extra credit & had told him that one day I hope to have my own practice/firm and that currently I don't necessarily work in accounting - so the experience requirement for the CPA exam is HUGE for me. I love my job but if I wanted to be an attorney (for example) but I enjoy working at, oh I don't know, Target... as much as I may love my current job, if I really want to go for my dream - there will come a point at which the two paths diverge.

Anyhow, so my prof thinks this CPA could be a good mentor for me. And if we end up staying here for another 8 years or so, I don't know... there are possibilities.

My biggest sticking point is... to be perfectly honest... I'm afraid. Not afraid of a pay cut I'd have to take... monetarily I'd actually be getting a raise but not enough to cover childcare since I'm estimating it'll cost me about $2000/mo for childcare for 4 kids. I might be better off hiring a nanny. And I know that in a few years, the salary growth for a CPA is MUCH greater than at my current position. At my current job it'll likely be a year or more before I can get a raise.

But what I'm afraid about is... I love my job, so when I graduate and get my CPA license... what if I leave and hate it? I read about other people hating their job and junk like that. Thats not me, I can't imagine what its like to wake up and hate what you do.

In fact, I hope that is NEVER me. I don't have the where-with-all, to stay in a job I don't like and feel under-appreciated.

I have two work ethics:

1) I love my job and am always thinking of new ways to do it, apply new things that I'm learning, and challenge myself. I'll think about my job even when I'm not working.

2) I hate my job and I blow it off, I don't take it seriously. Its like night and day.

My grades sort of demonstrate that. Freshman year I didn't feel the whole pre-med vibe so I only went to half of my classes, I got an A in the classes I went to - but suffice it to say I ended up with a 2.0 GPA that year thanks to my F's.

Then I found my passion, actually found a way to LIKE calculus. Blew through my A.S. and B.S. in 2 1/2 years and for the most part it felt effortless.

Grad school now, eh, its okay. But I definitely don't hate it, I love it more so cause I like learning new things. I like my profs, my classmates, getting to talk to people that I don't live with.

But I'm nervous that if I leave my job, I'll join that rat race again. Maybe have an overbearing boss who can't accept my desire for independence and freedom to form my own ideas. Or that TIME thing. I hate tracking my time and when I worked for a firm I remember how billable hours was such a huge thing.

I don't know. That and the stress. Working from home has been wonderful.

Yet at the same time I wonder, how many years will I stay with my current job waiting/hoping that it can count towards my CPA license & refusing to leave because I love the work/life balance and the people. Meanwhile letting my education become obsolete the longer I don't use it. Accounting is always changing, in 2-3 years my degree from 2004 quickly became obsolete with all these new provisions and they are going to be redoing a lot of the standards. I'm sure fraud and whats going on with the economy doesn't help either.

I don't know... but I'm glad this is not a decision I have to make now or even in a few months. But its like knowing you want to get married one day and the guy you're with says he never wants to get married. You can hold out hope one day something will change, but at the same time you know your paths will likely diverge. That's actually something the CFO has been telling me for years, but at the same time I'm glad the company will have me in the meantime. I still strongly believe that I can be of benefit to them & this job is a great one too.

I'm just afraid of one day leaving it to pursue my dream and discovering I may love what I do, but hate it at the same time cause its going back to the rat race of Corporate America. Where people are chasing after titles and a heirarchy only to gain more stress attached to their padded paycheck.

So I wonder somedays, is it worth it?

Feeling blessed

March 2nd, 2009 at 01:25 pm

Ok, so despite everything with the rental - I still feel very blessed. I called my MIL (who can be very doom and gloom) and she couldn't understand why I was so optimistic. Yes, the situation to be frank - sucks - but I know I'm going to do what I need to do to take care of it and I have a plan in place to get it taken care of.

Visiting my family in Hawaii is OUT. No questions. I'm likely not refinancing the house since we were just mailed another assessment that our house value went down. Bonus is, less taxes I need to pay.

So, here is what I've been faced with:

1) Rental needs to be replumbed & a new HVAC system installed. It'd also be a good idea to get a termite protection plan in place (would cover it for 5 years).

2) I need to pay for my tuition and finish my master's degree this year

3) Visit with my family (I know I said Hawaii is out, I didn't say meeting them halfway was)

4) Visiting with DH's family

5) Daughter's braces

And I think that's it.

So ok, I'll probably need to put the rental expenses on DH's CC. I have a plan to have it all paid off within 12 months, the whole situation is not ideal as I said - but I want to get that property back up to my standards, get a good tenant in, and have it be to a point where I don't have to worry about anything going wrong (a pipe bursting, the HVAC system giving out, etc). After this the only thing that COULD go wrong with the house is the roof. Practically everything else has been replaced (floors, windows, water heater, doorknobs, appliances, security system, mailbox).

I will need to do student loans this year for the remaining 3 classes of my master's degree but any surplus I'm going to apply to pay down my CC.

For visiting my Dad, I proposed possibly doing Vegas. DH is supposed to take a few trips in the Summer & get per diem for it. We have plenty of free miles with a certain airline that we could get 2-3 free tickets. Then it would just be a matter of the 3-4 tickets, hotel, food, and MAYBE a rental car (although last time we went to Vegas we didn't use a rental car and just took the shuttles). So that would be MUCH more affordable than Hawaii.

We'll be going to visit DH's family next week. We're driving, the hotel we're staying at has free breakfast, a kitchenette (so we're taking food with us so we don't have to always go out to eat), and we will be paying for the entire trip with cash.

For my daughter's braces, I'm going to be paying for 1/2 with cash and the other is with no-interest monthly installments. Its just partial braces for now & when she is 15 she needs full braces.

I still plan for us to be debt free within 3-4 years. Well, non-mortgage debt. As I said, I plan to be CC free by February of next year. The original plan was this year but thats been pushed back due to the rental.

So why do I feel blessed?

Because we are able to handle all of this in this type of economy. I can face up to a 3 month vacancy with the rental and not worry about it. I know we'll be okay & it'll likely get rented quickly because of the condition. I could even rent it for cheaper than what I currently am and it wouldn't really hurt us too badly or offset my goals.

My other thought is always that once we do get our non-mortgage debt paid off, we could live on just the rental income & DH's pay. He's supposed to get a pay raise in October, likely in January, and if he gets promoted thats another pay raise.

My career is sort of up in the air, I know I could lose my job before I realize it. But with DH's career, reliance on my job is less and less.

So, yes, I acknowledge the situation is not ideal. But life never is, its about taking the curveballs you're thrown and making the best out of them & having the confidence to handle them.

The other nice part was, my property manager has really stepped up in this whole process. I used to always wonder what they did & why I paid her, but now that something like this has come up I am glad I have a big company behind me to make sure that my interests as a landlord are looked out for. I talked to an owner of the management company and I had his full assurance that they will get this taken care of and I have nothing to worry about.