Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good News for School

My financial aid appeal for fall semester at my current school was approved! Nothing was falling into place with my transfer school, and I've learned that when things just don't click there's a reason for it. It doesn't keep me from worrying about it, but I do remember to look for other avenues that open up in the meantime. Things happen when they're meant to happen.

Now I can get my timing belt fixed, pay for preschool, and move (thank god). Granted, it's not until the end of August, but I can breathe a little easier knowing it's there. I can sleep again. I bet I see an attitude change in my child as well with my reduced stress levels. What a relief.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Better Days

Noah went with his dad until Sunday night. I think it's actually vacation with grandma and other family members out of state. I know he's in good hands so I'm not worried. Ok, a little worried, but not any more than when he's here. I'm relieved to have the extra time apart after the week I've had and I'm sure he is too. I'm sure when he gets home it will have done us both good and we can start refreshed.

It's always strange not having him here and the quiet throws me off completely. I keep thinking I should go check on him because he must be sleeping in the bedroom, and then realize no I don't because it's just me. Then I realize I won't get woken up by a toy truck bashed into my face, like on Tuesday. I can work all day and not feel guilty, and I will probably make more money as I'll finish my incoming work more quickly. I can leave the cookies on the counter and not have Noah ask for one for breakfast & then meltdown when I say no! But I also won't get my hugs and kisses and my silly stories all day either.

I know he's having fun swimming, running, playing with his half-brother, and probably his cousins too. I want that for him as often as possible. I want to know he's enjoying his time away from me to the fullest. Granted, it causes some guilt that I can't cater to him all day every day too, but that's the life of a single, working parent. I get to enjoy him and his adorableness every single day, and I know my son better than anyone, and that really is a gift.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Am I a Bad Mom?

Sometimes when we're doubting ourselves about something, and someone points out our perceived or real failures, it isn't appreciated at all. Especially when it comes to parenting. Especially when it comes from someone who doesn't know you at all, or anything about your personal situation. Even if they've been a parent.

That was my reality today as I tried to sneak downstairs to get the mail. My downstairs neighbor called me out by very nicely saying that as a former parent, and a man, and that my son will become a man, my son needs to get outside to play and get some energy out, like the kids that are outside playing everyday. All I could think of was that I wasn't wearing a bra with my tank top and hadn't really combed my hair at all, and my kid was in a pull up and tshirt. The white trash extraordinaire look for sure. My witty response to all this guilt spewed on me? "Well I work from home so..." He cut me off, but I was so shocked a neighbor was talking to me that I was speechless.

Let me point out that these kids who are outside playing have no parental supervision, tear things up (such as my car), and are much older than Noah. I'm glad their parents allow that if it works for them, but Noah is 3, so I'm pretty sure letting him run wild outside by a street with speeding cars will get me a DCFS case. Also, the man has no idea what my life is like right now. I know my child needs to be outside playing! I also know rent is due on the 1st and my ex quit his job so the child support may not come, and my financial aid isn't coming either. So I'm relying solely on working for 10+ hours a day to make sure I have enough money this month. My savings was already depleted by emergencies and unexpected events. So I'm flying by the seat of my pants and a prayer. To top off my stress this week, the ex isn't paying COBRA to keep his kid insured per the divorce papers and didn't tell me, so Noah's been uninsured!

Needless to say Noah's time outdoors is suffering and being in an apartment on the third floor isn't conducive to playing freely outside. I can't even let him on the balcony unless I can see him, which I can't from my computer area. I feel like shit already over this without someone telling me what I 'need' to do with my child. I have an exhusband who's great at that already. I have things for Noah to do in the house, including his trampoline, and the windows/blinds are wide open. I feel like I'm neglecting my kid because we only get Saturdays and sometimes Sundays to go to the park or to go to a local event. I only have short breaks during the day to feed my kid or get him to sleep. I am STRESSED OUT and until rent is paid the next two months, I'm going to be worried about money. There's nothing that can be done about this.

Also due to the stress in the house, Noah is acting out big time. The tantrums are out of control. Not sleeping is a given for us both now. He's defiant in his actions and his words. He's willful and stubborn in trying to get his way. He's had me in tears twice this week not knowing if I should give in or stand firm. The screaming for his stories and for milk late at night had to have helped spur this conversation with the neighbor occur. If I heard a kid screaming forever about milk at 11pm, which was his way of delaying going to sleep, I'd be pissed off too. Of course my irritation and yelling to "NO! GO TO BED!" probably didn't help either. I'm the dreaded horrible neighbor now.

So now I'm here second guessing my neighbor's motivation. Was it spurred by the 3 yo jumping around on his ceiling and all the active behaviors he has to hear? Is it the insane loud hysterical tantrums that even I can barely get through with my sanity intact? On one hand, I feel like if someone isn't a contributing member of my house then they can keep their opinions to themselves. On the other hand, I worry that I really am screwing up here and damaging my kid by not getting him outside to play. I hate doubting myself. I've had enough stress put on me this week. I already wanted to move so the kid could play & run in a yard while I work, but I can't right now. I know we're probably obnoxious neighbors and it sucks, but it's an apartment and he's 3.

I'm doing the best I can. I can't do more and I can't work less. Now I'm just going to try to keep Noah from being too loud, or jumping around too much. I'm going to try to keep potential tantrums from escalating, even if it means my kid 'wins' for the next 1.5 weeks. I'm really starting to wonder if looking for an 'office job' in this market is what I need to do so we can move, and so my child starts having fun everyday instead of just being stuck inside with his mom all day. I just don't know anymore. I don't know if I'm doing is right or wrong. I just know I'm feeling like the worst parent ever.

The Honest Scrap Award

I got my first 'award' from Spewage and it's possibly the only meme I've done on this blog!

“The Honest Scrap award is given by other bloggers who consider a blog’s content or design to be brilliant. The awardee must then post ten honest things about themselves and pass the award on to other bloggers who fit the bill – in other words, whose blog is brilliant.”
  1. I'm insanely private secretive, but I keep a public blog. Go figure. What happens is I tend to spring my big news on people all at once, and usually via email. My marriage, my separation, and my pregnancy all fall in that category. I'm not sure if it's the shock value or the avoidance part that makes me do it. My sister and brother do this too.

  2. I'm an email/texting kind of person. I hate talking on the phone and avoid it at all costs. Again, very likely an avoidance thing. I think it's the feeling that I know they'll see my email at some point & the person can answer when they have time.

  3. I have a 2 minute phone hold policy. Comcast, the government, and the electric company being the only two that get a pass on this. I hate being put on hold when someone takes a call on call waiting. If I'm left on the other line for that long, I assume it's important and they can call me back later.

  4. I just figured out that Pamprin/Midol is the best thing EVER made! Not sure how I've gone almost all my post-puberty years without using these items! Since my tubes were tied after having Noah, my PMS has escalated to extremes & it sucks.

  5. I freak out if I see someone using a toaster right under their wood cabinets. I don't even like my toaster plugged in if I'm not using it. My sister and brother freak out too. We had a toaster catch on fire when we were younger, I was maybe 9 or 10, and I just threw water on it. I know right? My dad was at work & my sister and brother were toasting something and had to wake me up to tell me it was on fire. I thought they were tricking me again. It only blackened the bottom of the cabinet, but it was a good lesson, and it stuck obviously.

  6. I've moved almost as many times as I have years on this earth. Some years were multiple moves, and the longest stretch was maybe 4 years when I was in elementary school, and 2 years as an adult. I think. I'm ready to move again but to a place where my kid can go to a good school and stay put. Ok, well maybe we'll move again after that, but in the good school district or a better one. LOL The thought of staying in one place for the next 10+ years makes me feel weird.

  7. I've been homeless twice. Once was as a child with my dad, and once as an adult with my child. I never lived in a homeless shelter, but I lived in a station wagon for a summer with my dad & siblings. It was our big adventure. I also lived in transitional housing for a year when Noah was 1. It's why I want my son to have a stable home now before he's in school.

  8. I can recall almost every book I've ever read, but I can't remember titles or authors. Not photographic memory, but if I read a few pages of something I read as a teenager or in my 20's, I remember it clearly. I can tell you about most the books I read in grade school. I've accidentally read second books in a series, not realizing it was the same author, and have thought, "I know these characters from somewhere!" and had to look up if it was related to the book I was remembering. This has happened three times recently. A typical paperback is done in a couple hours. I obviously do well on reading comprehension tests.

  9. I am a huge blog lurker! I will easily lurk for months or even years before putting a comment on someone's blog or I'll drive by comment and then not comment again for ages. Sometimes I start a comment, but then delete it because it seems irrelevant or trite or weird. I obviously don't comment for the hits & I'm absolutely not in the 'in crowd' of bloggers. Oddly, I regularly read at least 40 blogs on my RSS feed. The first blogger I 'followed', and still follow, is Spynotes. I believe her son was the same age as Noah, and he's now in second grade. I think I've only left 2 -3 comments on her blog total. I've only twice emailed fellow bloggers and I'm terrible about keeping up with it. I'd really like to get out and meet some of my fellow local bloggers, but I have no idea how to go about that. LOL I'm a social moron apparently.

  10. I've been blogging since 2003, I think, but have kept written journals since childhood. I think I started blogging at Diaryland, tried Livejournal, and settled into Journalspace for years before ending up on Blogger. JS died a sad little death when a former employee did something to it, but thankfully I had backed up all my entries. I also had a very personal blog on there that caused family drama and hurt by some of my 'from the heart' and honest entries. I thought it was private and hard to find. LOL! See #1.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Potty Training Success

If you're squeamish about body functions or aren't potty training your kid, or never ever potty trained a child, this will probably not be the post for you. Although I'm sure I'm jinxing it by writing this.

Over the weekend I decided I had had enough of buying pull ups. I was done with worrying if I had enough for a week or two, clipping coupons for them, and watching the sale papers for deals. He was going through pull ups faster than diapers and they sure don't give you very many in a package! So I dug out all the big boy undies I've had stashed away, cleaned up the little potty seat, and buckled down for a week of potty training boot camp! It helped that a fellow blogger is in the potty trenches as well, but with two kids, AND is approx 24 weeks pregnant with TWINS no less. I truly am impressed and in awe of her! It's nice to know someone else is doing it at the same time as you.

So I figured I'd have two weeks before Noah goes to his daddy's house again so we wouldn't be interrupted. By the time his dad gets him, it won't be a huge drama for the ex to keep up the pace and will only need the seat cover so Noah doesn't fall in. So far we're on track for that to happen and it's awesome. I wouldn't say we're on the way to wearing undies out in public, but maybe by the end of the month? He should be done in time for preschool...oh the possibilities.

The most telling reason I decided to try the hard core potty training this time was he started hiding away to poop. God, I almost did a happy dance the first time I realized he was doing that! I knew he was finally ready for real when I saw that. We've been doing this potty thing for a year, but until he knew he had to go and cared about it, he just wasn't going to pull his undies off to go. The first day I used candy bribes and constantly asked if he had to pee and offered a lot of juice boxes. He even pooped in the potty that day. That exceeded my expectations! I think that first day the wet undies and the treats made sure he really got it that his body was peeing. My carpet took a beating though. My sanity took a beating the first two days. Although, I thought Friday was Wednesday until I saw 'Follow Friday' on Twitter! So I may just have 'forgotten' how bad it was, but if you ask a friend of mine who was on the phone with me at one point, she may claim she heard hysteria creeping in.

The second day wasn't as successful, but not just in potty training. We had a really, really bad day in general. After that day he progressed nicely and bribes aren't even on his radar. He's in pull ups still but pulls them down now to go, which when he pooped it saved me from nasty underwear (gagging). Poop in potties makes me gag, but in diapers it's okay. So weird. Now sometimes he will stop what he's doing, even if it's exciting, to run to the potty. I'd say we're at 90%? Not ready to leave the house in underwear, but almost ready for undies all day at home. I want to transition him to the regular toilet w/potty cover first before we try that, & to get him ready for his dad's house next weekend. His dad is totally in charge of the standing up thing...later, much later.

I keep thinking about errands and hearing, "I have to pee!" while we're driving on a busy street or at a red light. Being tied to locations with bathrooms and knowing where they are at all times. Our favorite park doesn't have a bathroom anywhere near it, and I think if he whipped it out on a tree, the snooty ladies would chase us out of there like Frankenstein's monster. *sighs* Now I see why other moms told me potty training will make me crazy. I'm already overthinking it! The upside is that he can go to preschool! Wheeeee!

I guess it's true that you just have to wait until the child is ready. I really tried all different ways to potty train this past year. Sometimes he was all for it but quit, sometimes he just sat forever on the potty (making me insane), and mostly he just was not hearing it at all. Suddenly his body started letting him know he had to go, and his mental part wanted to be a big boy like his brother, and it all just clicked for him. This week has really just been more successful than I could have imagined. It's just all happening so quickly compared to our past failures and stress. You just can't force it until the planets align just right! Who knew? (Besides all those other moms who said so.)

I love the park

I love the park more when I go with friends who have kids close to Noah's age. I need to remember to do this more often, just call someone who's free during the day & go. Today a friend of mine, with a boy very much like Noah, changed my mind about being a recluse all the time. It was nice to have someone for him to navigate towards when the bigger kids were too much for his abilities.

Noah gravitates to big kids when we go alone, and sometimes they get him in trouble. Like the kid who was going to boost Noah up enough to get on a sliding handle idea what it is called, but bad for children who cannot reach on their own! I remembered to thank him for helping Noah, after my heart attack ended! The scarier part was my kid was totally on board and not even scared to be up so high!

Also, there are kids who are older but take Noah's little boy playing, pretending he's a superhero or in Star Wars, as a personal affront. Noah is 3, and he plays in pretend-ville right now. Everything is light sabers, pirates, and dinosaurs. He thinks his Batman jammies make him into Batman for goodness sakes! So the one kid who got in Noah's face like he was going to hit him, was a huge problem and got me all momma-bear. I don't care if my child said he was going to 'shoot you, cut you, punch your butt', or whatever crazy karate chop hands he did in the air, big kids should know little kids are weird. Noah thinks he's asking kids to play whatever game, and expects them to pretend play pretend right back. He's not really going to hit other kids. He's never actually hit another kid that I remember. If my kid DID do anything physically aggressive, or hurt someone, he'd be in trouble. We go over how it's not nice to talk nasty and mean, but I know he's influenced by things he sees. Even the Veggie Tales Pirates movie has slashing with swords! Dinosaurs roar at each other and are agressive. Maybe some kids just prey on other smaller kids?

Fortunately for Noah, momma was there to give the big kid 'the look' to rethink his intimidation on my kid. Watching from where the big kid couldn't see, it was like a shark circling on a minnow, and showing off for his older friend. There was pure shock on the boy's face to see a grownup step into sight when he moved in to hurt my kid. Had the boy not been giving his friend a running commentary about what he was doing, I may not have noticed what was happening as soon as I did.

I just don't know what else to do to explain to him that it's not a good idea to yell "hiya!" with karate chop hands at big kids without him getting hurt by one eventually. Granted, most of the bigger kids on the park just ignored him, played with him, or laughed at him, but I cringe inside when he's trying to get kids to play. I think it's weird the way he acts because we're not around other kids his age. The kids we know all have very different personalities from Noah. Then again, I'm not a boy and never was good at playing with other kids either. Maybe I'm just being too sensitive about how he plays with other kids. Maybe as he gets closer to 4 & 5 his social skills will improve. He'll likely have started preschool or daycare part time by then.

Sometimes I wonder if daycare would be better for Noah. He is SO social and loves interacting with people. I feel like having him here with me isn't doing him any good. He could be doing fun crafts, and learning, and playing outside every day. I know it's not the same as my caring for him, but I'm just second guessing myself lately. I wonder if we're driving each other crazy being together all the time. It's not the same as being a stay at home mom & having him home with me is making me feel bad. I just wonder if he needs more than just me to help him grow into a well-rounded little boy. I just don't want 'the talk' from his teacher in kindergarten telling me that my son is a 'great kid but a little rambunctious' aka a terror to other kids. Paying for daycare means getting a job out of the home. In this market, I think it'll be a little longer before that happens. Ah, parenthood, full of guilt out of love for our kids. It's a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fighting Sleep

I don't think my child ever wants to sleep again. It's almost 1:00am and my son is awake. He's laying down but still awake. I can hear him. I know it's a developmental thing where he's fighting for control and autonomy. I know this because all he does is tell me NO all day, but then runs over for a hug as if I might not love him anymore. He says he needs "two kisses and two hugs, that's all." Cracks me up. So even though he manages not to wake up at ungodly hours before 8am, he still refuses to go to sleep by 8:30p. And I even consider that late for a 3 year old. But he will often nap for a good 2 hours in the afternoon. If he skips the 'quiet time/nap' in the afternoon, getting him to stay up until bedtime becomes a fight of epic proportions. Sometimes he's so wound up and overtired that I he can't sleep and ends up awake at like 10pm but crying and yelling at me for like breathing wrong. Then I'm the bad mom who has a kid up and playing at ridiculous hours of the night. I also become 'really irritated inside mommy' because my kid is bouncing off the walls and I need quiet after 9pm. I finally told him that the dark circles under his eyes don't go away until he sleeps & they will make his eyes fall out if he doesn't. It works 60% of the time.

The bedtime routine I was loving so much hasn't been working at all these past few weeks. The 'peaceful, peaceful song' from our yoga class isn't working either (actually it's Happy Thoughts on the Child's Play by Wah CD) and that was guaranteed to work. Now all it does is put me to sleep while I whisper sing the lyrics to him. He's usually yelling at me to "WAKE UP! Sing peaceful, peaceful mommy!" and I'm like, "OMG how are you still awake; please close your eyes and go to SLEEP!" Then I suggest the CD version and he says, "I don't LIKE that one! YOU sing it!" and I put it on anyway so he gets mad and has a tantrum. The upside is that he's finally deciding, on his own, that he's going to sleep in his big-boy bed by himself! Hooray!

Tomorrow is the other exciting topic of all mommy-bloggers, when we don't all talk about sleeping or not sleeping...POTTY TRAINING!!! Also known as, how to make yourself completely insane in just a few days, but still see it as a success.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More later

Because I couldn't have another quickie! Well, I could but it's just not satisfying. Thanks to everyone who left comments on my last post. I think I was melting down that day in a serious way.

The tantrums continue, and I know that they're usually worse after going to his dad's house overnight, but it sure doesn't prepare me for them. Today has been a bad day, yesterday was a good day. I knew 3 was going to be bad, but WOW!!!! Wow. You just can't prepare someone for this age and have them believe you.

Did I mention I decided to start potty training boot camp here? I'm a glutton for punishment people. No more pull ups unless sleeping or out in public! Undies all the time at home. I just cannot bear to have to buy ugly, expensive, yucky pull-ups every week. I have a small potty in my living room, which I hate but allows me to keep an eye on things and ask Noah 100 times if he needs to pee. I have a potty seat thing for the normal toilet in the bathroom too. We're at about 50 - 60% success right now. I officially need a washer/dryer in my apartment & my rug will need a good cleaning!

I'm working like crazy to make up for the financial aid fiasco that I caused for myself. I transfer in the new school in September anyway, so it's fine and we'll make it. I always manage to get through it.

I think my left foot is swollen a bit and my heels have been hurting. I keep telling myself it's just that I need to lose weight (like 80 lbs) and it'll all be fine. Eventually I'll get around to that physical I've been meaning to schedule.

There was a yucky yellow spider hanging off my mail as I walked back to my apartment. Very gross.

I have three posts in my head and have yet to write one down. I'm working on it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A quickie

I got dropped from summer school completely without owing anything, and I hate the age of 3 already. We're only two months into it and I hate it.

I'm writing this while my temper-tantrum-having, smacking-me-in-the-face, naughty child is in time out wailing hysterically. I'm having a great f'ing day already.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Failure of my Education

I'm totally flunking out of school. I'm currently on financial aid probation and it's really put a huge cramp in my budgeting. I knew that when I failed my statistics class (again) that I was in trouble. I take on so much I don't have time for what has to be done. I get sucked into time wasters and blow off important things because I always feel like I don't have enough 'me time' & I want to have fun too. So then I feel guilty taking any time for myself even to read a magazine because that's an hour I should've done homework, or work, or cleaning. Usually homework is the one I blow off thinking I can catch up. Now I'm in trouble at the community college I attend. From straight A's to barely passing. I'd have never imagined this for myself. I love school. I love learning and I'm screwing it up.

Thankfully I'm transferring into my 4 year for the fall, but that doesn't start until September. Meaning any financial aid I would get isn't coming my way for a while. If my financial aid appeal for summer is denied I can't drop my current summer classes either. No matter what I have to finish them because I have to pay for them. I'm not dropping classes and still paying $550 for them! I have two tests in two different psychology classes that are due tomorrow or I get dropped automatically. Since my probation appeal is still being processed, I basically have to take them or the financial aid probation is moot. I just won't get it because I won't even be in school at that point, AND I'll still owe them the money for the classes because the drop date for a refund passed weeks ago! It sucks. My time management sucks. Even having everything planned out on my Outlook, I just really suck at figuring out how much I have to work so that I have time for my child, myself, and homework. I had to drop the two meetup groups I organized because it was overwhelming me, and I wanted to make time for my family and for just Noah and I to be together without me working or being on the Internet. Even now, while writing this, I am pissed at myself for not doing homework and studying instead of blogging!

I thought about how I've let my grades slip these last two semesters. I'm not counting the three times I failed Statistics because I passed my other classes with A's and B's! I take my classes online though the local community college. I do this because it's not really that close to me at all. Since I moved, it's really far actually. I just wasn't ready to transfer. When I started school I didn't have Noah but now him here all day, and then when he goes to bed I try to say I'm doing my homework. Most the time I schedule myself to work instead. Or I try to catch up on reducing the daily clutter. Then I let the clutter build up while I did homework instead of working. Then I needed the money from work and everything fell apart! I'm figured out that now, with a child, that I need the time in a classroom to focus and learn. I don't know how to find the time for writing papers with my child here. I'm practically plugged into my computer all the time. I think my kid believes computers are part of our bodies now. Somehow I have to write 3, five-page minimum, research papers in a couple weeks. I used to knock out 3 pages like nothing. Now I'm dreading it for the time involved.

So basically the point is I'm screwing up. My focus used to be on getting straight A's before my son was born, and now I'm lucky to get a C most the time. I just procrastinate and procrastinate and play catch up every single day. I'm never going to catch up to my list of to do items. I don't even think I'm made that way. I sometimes wish I was more like my sister who can go and go and go & plows through her day with sheer will power with three kids in school! I only have one here at home. I just don't know how to prioritize and organize my time so that I can fit it in and be more productive, but also stay sane and healthy. It's like I'm a hoarder of activities and events, but I can't pare down my task list to a more sane level that I can handle. It's not reasonable to think that I can pull 12 credit hours of school, 50+ hours at work, and my active child at the same time, plus keep a household running with laundry, dishes, and other cleaning! Add 'fun stuff' like the zoo, family events, and just summer fun in's just not possible. Yet here I am trying to do all that and more. If I read that on anyone else's blog, I'd be like, "Are you crazy?!" Yet, I'm pissed at myself for not being able to do MORE! Now I want to figure out how to fix it all.

It's just what I need, to add another to do item to the list: "Organize your life". Somehow I think that checkbox is going to stay unmarked for a long, long while. I'd be better off putting, "Go to sleep before 3am."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Safety Factor

In the previous post I mentioned the safety issue for wanting to move. Everything last night completely solidified that reason. It's like the psycho train stopped in my complex after I got home from going to the zoo with my mom! I honestly thought when I moved to this town that it was safe. I think every safe, quiet suburb has a spot where the crime rate just lives and breathes. I live in that spot in my burb.

Yesterday Noah and I hopped on the Metra train to meet up with my mom and we all drove on to the zoo. I kept thinking how much I enjoy just getting on the train to go somewhere and how I like that our line is convenient for my mom to pick us up. I don't even need to haul the car seat because she has one for just this kind of thing. Although, when the Metra leaves Chicago 10 minutes EARLY, and it only runs every 2 hours on Sunday, you'll be watching your train leave your station just as you're driving up to it! Thankfully my mom was able to drive us to the station by my house where I'd parked earlier. So I was telling my mom that instead of moving to my 'stalker city' that's on a less convenient Metra line, maybe I'd stay put if my heater got fixed or I could move into to the two bedroom downstairs. My mom gently reminded me that it's the safety issue that I always complain about, which really is the main reason I want to move. So I started considering other towns on the same Metra line that might work in addition to stalking my ideal suburb.

Then, just to prove that the safety issue is the most important reason to move from here, at around 5pm I hear screaming and all sorts of insanity outside my window in the parking lot. It's the 4th of July weekend so the fireworks and loud people were expected and annoying. I got over it. I usually just look out and make sure my car is okay and try to ignore it. This time it was so bad I called 911. They said they already had people who were on the line for that issue, but they never showed up here. Considering the police and/or firetrucks are in this complex every week, I was shocked. I guess because the people drove away, it wasn't necessary?

Fast forward to 9:30pm, people start shouting at each other across the parking lot to "Shut the fuck up" and other nasty things. I guess because screaming at other loud people helps the situation? Right. Then I noticed out my window some fireworks over the trees in the next town over and Noah and I stood at the window to watch. All the sudden it's not flashing fireworks, it's a flashing police cruiser RACING down our street! Then another, and then sirens from two MORE police cars rushing to my complex! WTF! All our cars were blocked in, not that I was leaving, but still it was insane. So now I look like the nosey neighbor who's trying to see the drama, but in reality I was trying to keep my kid's attention on the fireworks in the sky. I don't know why so many cops showed up or what the neighbors did to cause such insanity here, but I'm sure it was related to the 911 drama earlier. At least having the cops zoom up all fast made the stupid shouting people in the other buildings shut up! I bet they thought the cops were coming for their stupid assses.

So not only did my child NOT get to quietly enjoy the fireworks out the window, but he got to hear lots of swearing, flashing police lights, and his mom muttering to herself that we've got to move asap. I don't know what I was thinking about when I said maybe I'd like to stay here near the train station because we can walk to it! Aparently I needed this quick reminder that my neighborhood sucks and we need to move before something really bad happens. Seriously, I'm just waiting for the shooting to happen in the parking lot. I just hope we're not home to see or hear it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Itching to Move - again

I'm itching to move. I always move. I think the longest I ever stayed in one place was three or four years and I was like...8 years old. As an adult, probably two years max. I just can't stay still. I get the itch to go and I'm out as soon as possible. In the past, it was just local until I moved to AZ and back. Except now Noah is almost school age. Pre-school age anyway, and that leads to kindergarten and so on. So the urge to stay still has finally kicked in and I get it! I get how some kids in high school lived in one place for their whole lives. Ok, I don't GET it for ME, because that's never been true for me, but I get it for my son. I'd like him to be able to say, "This is my friend from when I was 8." In my case, I don't even know if Facebook can help me connect to all the people I only knew in passing. I stopped trying to remember people's names, and to this day, I'm terrible at names.

The point being is that I'm researching better areas, crime rates, school ratings, commute options, and of course price. Ideally, I'd like to be in walking distance to parks, the Metra, shops, childcare, my college, and other minor things. My car isn't always reliable so knowing I can get my needs met w/o a car gives me peace of mind. Winter being the yuck variable in there when it comes to walking. I hate cold! My current area has crap schools, bad crime rates, but is close to shopping, a daycare, my college, a park, and the Metra. I'll take safety over a nearby park any day! I'd love to rent a townhome with a yard for Noah to play, but probably out of my price range at this moment. Since I work at home, I don't pay for daycare, but I also make less. It also means my job comes with me if I move. When I moved from the transitional housing 2-bedroom apartment, we moved into a 1-bedroom apartment since I KNEW I could make the rent by just working & no school financial aid or child support. I thought I was moving to a better neighborhood since this is touted as one of those "U.S. News Top Ten" blah blah towns. Bwahahahahaha! Not in my part I guess. I also didn't count on feeling so cramped and crowded. I'd also have chosen the ground floor now that I know 3 year olds need room to run around.

Mostly the cost of living in a decent area in Chicagoland is kicking my want-to-move butt! My other choice is to move out of state to a location with a lower cost of living. I could rent something MUCH nicer than I have here, & probably safer too. Of course that means changing the divorce papers unless I move to NC, but that's likely out. Some of the things there have changed so I'm not sure that would work anymore. Then there's AZ, where I lived before and was quite content pre-baby years. But will having a child so far from everyone be doable? I like being able to see my family when there are events. I like the things Chicago has to offer if we want to hop on the train. I don't like the weather, and I don't like the weather! LOL I just don't know if AZ is doable with a child as a single parent. Plus the schools suck and it's not really THAT safe for Noah as he gets older. I have friends there, but it's not like seeing your family and having your child know their extended family.

So then there's the suburb I lived in when I was in transitional housing. The library sucked but was by a bigger one in the neighboring town. It was central to my friends and to family. Close to Metra, a hospital, parks, shopping, and it was quiet. I love quiet. Ok, my neighbors were NOT quiet and were super, extra horrible. Part of that had to do with the crappy insulation in the apartment and hearing everything they did, like sneezing and sex and DCFS visiting. It was so awsome. Not. So I've been stalking all the rental listings in that city and watching for one of the few apartments go up for rent. I saw two this spring, but I wasn't ready to move yet. There's one coming up in December, but they're listing it $50 over the market value of identical apartments right next door. If I could get them to come down, I'd be on it immediately. I only moved from that place because I thought I couldn't afford it. Now I wish I'd stayed and not panicked over the cost. I'd have icky neighbors, but the place that's opening up is the one the icky neighbors were in. I'm concerned because it's second floor and I remember what it was like living under two toddlers jumping and running. I know there's no way I can get Noah to NOT be an active toddler. They'll hear me doing everything. Not sure how I feel about that either.

So I continue to stalk apartment listings in that town, while I keep looking in AZ and other places in the U.S. that sound interesting. I just don't know where I want to go, but I need to choose soon as pre-school is on the horizon. I just know we can't stay here when Noah goes to school. I suppose something will happen when it's meant to happen. I just hate waiting to see what it is.

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