Tuesday, September 30, 2008

more people problems

I swear that I'm just going to pack up the family and go. Last night Anna had a powder puff football game. It was the juniors verses the seniors. The juniors lost. But any ways, of course we ran into the family of Anna's best friend with the eating disorder. We were still very friendly but I feel like Anna is being painted as the bad guy. I understand that it is only natural to take the side of your child. A parent is only getting their child's side and of course you love them and don't want them to hurt. But I really do try to look at every side. I think that the most miserable people are the ones that are selfish. So I try to be fair and I've tried to instill this in my children. But I really don't want to do this any more. I politely told her that Anna is having some issues from her daughter's eating disorder but it seems that all they are really caring about is getting them back together so their daughter is happy again. Dennis said that I should just tell her how much damage this has caused in our house. And try to look at it from our side but I'm thinking that that won't happen. Her daughter did some very mean and abusive things to Anna (I know it's just part of the disease) and sometimes Anna doesn't trust her. If she doesn't get her way she has a fit. And I don't think that Anna should have to deal with this. She has tried to talk to her about it but she just turns and attacks. I've seen her do things to Anna that were out of line but she is just so selfish at this point. They just keep saying that Anna abandoned her but they don't realize that our family was drug through the eating disorder hell too. I don't understand how this can be so one sided. We have been through this with them but now that Anna is having issues she is evil for not being there for their daughter.
I really need some help with this. I've asked nicely for some space but they keep pushing. Either its from truly just wanting to keep their child happy or from not understanding how bad it is from our end. I hate confrontation with all of my heart but I'm afraid that this is what its coming too. When she called before I tried to gently explain it but she was so defensive that I stopped trying. I just think that if I leave it alone they will just think that Anna is a bad person and if I explain it Anna will still be the bad person. All I know is that Anna has been so much happier with out all the drama and chaos. I'm not going to force her back into an abusive friendship. They just won't stop. Please help me. I was hoping that it would just blow over but it looks like it won't happen. And the thing is I really like them but they are so defensive that I don't think I can get through.
Whenever things get bad Den says that we should pack up and move to the middle of no where so no one can bother us. I'm starting to think that abandoning civilization might be a good thing.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Monday, September 29, 2008

The funeral


-->
Well, we are back. We left on Friday morning and we got back late Saturday night. We were gone 36 hours and it was a very hard trip. It was one of the worst things in my entire life. I've gone through a lot. I've had plenty of suffering just as everyone else in this world. I don't think there is a soul here that makes it through this life without pain and sorrow. But this ranks up there at the top. I pray that I never have to see anything like that again. Grown men were crying so hard that tears just fell from their cheeks. So many sobs and gasps for air that all the noise just blended together.At the cemetery, everyone waited until the casket had been lowered and then the father threw the first shovel of dirt on his daughter. I hope that I never have to see anything like that again.Somethings I will never understand in this life. Why give this world such a perfect gift and then take it back so quickly?
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

AT&T

So I called AT&T. Like a dork I always write down the time I call at, the person I spoke to and the date. It helps if you need to call back, you have a little proof. Anyways, I called at 9:17 am and was on hold until 10:29am so when they finally said that I was being transfered to an operator. They hung up on me, well I don't know if they hung up or we were some how disconnected. What the Hell, right. So this time I called back and I keep thinking just cancel the home phone because we mostly use our cell phones and I wasn't happy with them at all. Any ways when I called back instead of trying to dial the proper department, I dialed the payment department. We always pay our bills on time and have never had a late fee and any ways they just charge our credit card. Guess what the call went right threw, I didn't even wait 2 minutes. I guess they want their money first before all else. So I told her what happened and she transfered me to a supervisor. And in the middle of talking to the supervisor, my call was dropped. She called right back and said that it must be my phone. Whatever! To make a long story short(not possible for me) my bill went from about $45 a month down to $24. We gave up caller ID and call waiting but we really don't us the phone. She went back and looked at our usage and we made 16 calls last month. The new plan includes 30 local calls and the rest is $.06 a call. She said that even going and looking at a few months past we didn't go over. And we get to keep our 120 minutes of long distance for $5 a month. So we will see if this helps or not. Now if all the other companies would drop my bills by almost half. So it was worth over an hour of my time. And I did make a batch of muffins while I was on hold so it wasn't an entire waste.
Thanks for your time and I'll keep you posted on the other companies,
SonyaAnn

awful

My aunt Grace who is 87 just called me. My cousin Ryan's 4 month old baby just passed away. He found his daughter in her crib. They think that it is SIDS. He tried to do CPR but it was too late. It's just an awful sinking feeling. We will be leaving to go down there on Friday. Den is off and DJ is off of school for an institute day. SO Anna will be the only one that will need to miss a day. It's a 7 hour drive and we will be staying in a hotel. Of course we didn't plan for this so we will be robbing the Christmas fund to pay for the trip and give a little bit to help cover the funeral. My heart is breaking for them. When I was on the phone I could barely hear her because the sobbing of the family members was so loud. It was truly pitiful. It makes me feel so guilty that I have so much and they are suffering so. That my children are healthy and he will never have a chance to know his beautiful little girl. Please say a prayer to help with their suffering.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

saving a little more

So I've been looking at our bills since I posted them. I think that I can do a little better. Of course I can''t change the morgage. Well I could if I really needed too and it would add an extra $200 about a month but we really want to pay it off a little quicker. So I'm going to leave that alone but I think that I'm going to see if I can't reduce some of the other bills a little. It would be nice if I could shave a few bucks off each one. I think that we need a little wiggle room.The good news is I just got a letter from travelers and they are knocking off $24 a month off of our car insurance. So what I did is split the savings 3 ways. I figure that since Anna is paying her own insurance it would only be fair. She was paying $126 a month so now it will be $118. Our insurance went from$138 to $122. So it was nice to save some money and not have to do anything for it. I thought about giving Anna the entire discount but I think that we have done good by her. She keeps her grades up and stays in sports year round and we give her the car and pay all repairs and put gas in it. It's not too bad for her because she saves all of he money from Christmas and her birthday and she is pretty close to getting it.
I don't think that I can get a discount at Nicor or Comed. I've heard that you can get cheaper rates per therm at nicor but that kind of sounds like a rumor. But I can try. I save $183 a month for both of them. I just went through all the bills for both last year and added on %10 and I have been pretty close. If I have extra I usually put it towards and unexpected bill.
I can't do anything about the garbage or the water. Well I could but I really like to bathe. So that leaves Den's cigarettes and I know and trust me if nagging worked he would have quit a long time ago.
So I don't think that I can get a discount on the sate light but maybe I could call and say that I want to shut it off. Hmmmm that's a thought because I don't like tv. But I'm pretty sure that I would have quite a rebellion on my hands if I did do that but maybe I can figure something out with them. I have the cheapest package they have but well see.
I think the home phone is were I might have some luck. We never use it. We all just use the cell phones. I don't want to shut it off but maybe we can get a discount.
I'll let you know how it goes. If we do have any extra maybe I'll put a little towards bills and a little towards fun. Well, I'll see because it might only be a savings of a few bucks. Maybe enough to go to Redbox.
Thanks,
SonyaAnn


Search & Win

Monday, September 22, 2008

People problems

Did you ever feel like you were blind sided? Well, I'm feeling like that now. And I think that I may have handled it wrong?
Anna will be turning 17 the beginning of 2009 and I really thought I was done with all the 8 year old drama. Ahhh not so, it seems.
My daughter's best friend has an eating disorder and she has had it for some time. It has been a very trying time for everyone around. My daughter has stuck with her through it all. The problem as I see it(take what I'm saying with a grain of salt because I'm a little ticked) is this girls very loving, kind and passive family is enabling her. They truly are good people but they do everything they can to keep her happy. I've personally seen here treat them awful and they cave to keep her happy. She also has been very abusive with Anna. She attacks her if Anna is not keeping her happy and she has even been quite rude with me because she is unhappy with Anna. And I know that Anna has tolerated a lot of abuse. She lashes out if the people around her aren't pleasing her. And she doesn't want Anna to have any other friends. I've tried to help both girls work this out but now Anna is done. It got to the point where they would just yell and scream at each other. I was so sick of the drama that I stepped in and said if you want to act like your 8 then I'm treating you like it and you have a time out. To which my daughter said it's fine because I can't reason with her and I've lost my patients. See and what you have to understand is Anna is very passive. She will try to reason it out with you , if that doesn't work then she will just drop it and let the person run over her. Eventually she will just get sick of it and have nothing more to do with them, I think she may be getting this from me. I just don't know what else to tell her to do about it.
So her mother called to tell me that it was all Anna's fault that they were fighting and could I please do something about this. She wanted to once again make her daughter happy by having me force them to be friends. Her daughter doesn't have very many friends(maybe because she has abused so many girls) and this fight is not good for her. She wanted to make sure that I understand that she doesn't have an eating disorder and it must be Anna's fault. And she said she doesn't have an eating disorder because she ate dinner. The thing is is doesn't even weigh
100 lbs. And she looks like she may fall over at any time.
It was very hard but I took the high road and just said that they are almost legal adults and that I don't think that their mommies should have to referee fights. And I added that they should probably just stay away from each other. I was polite but I really don't know what to do with this.
This really may be all my fault because this is how I deal with people. I try to be reasonable and explain why I feel like I do and then after a while I just give up.
This is awful. I really feel sorry for this family and this girl. With all my heart I mean that but the only way I see to fix this is for someone to step in and put their foot down. But that isn't going to happen. Anna is putting her foot down and now they are doing anything they can to get their way. I just can't see telling her she has to tolerate someone that is being abusive. A friendship shouldn't be this painful.
Did you ever just feel like you wanted to run away to the middle of no where. I'm still contemplating if I'm going to bring my family with me. HAHA!
Thanks,
SonyaAnn >

Sunday, September 21, 2008

advise

A neighbor of ours stopped over the other day. He is a very sweet person and I know that he was well meaning in his advise but sometimes I wonder about people.
He was talking about how he went back to school and got his degree. And he was encouraging my husband to do the same. And I understand that he had nothing but the best intentions, I don't see how having a degree has helped him. I know, I know and just to let you know I think that bettering yourself is what this life is about. Not just bettering yourself monetarily but also spiritually.
Anyways, they ran up about $40,000 in debt to get his degree. So to handle this level of debt they rolled it into their mortgage. Never mind the fact that his company paid him to go to school and they just spent the money. Then one month to the day after getting his degree, he moved out in search of a trophy wife. He left his kids and moved into an apartment. Needless to say he did not find a trophy wife and eventually moved back in. But in the process they ran up more debt trying to sustain two households. Forget the fact that their marriage was never the same and they now live like roommates just trying to maintain their household.
Now he decides to find a better job because he deserves more. And yes he did get a much better job. Close to doubling what he was making before. My guess is that he was pushing $100k a year. And his wife worked and was making very decent money. But now that he was making more, he also deserved more and spent it faster than it was coming in. Any trinket that caught the family's eye was purchased. Their house at this point was in need of many repairs just as their marriage.
Forward to now, their house is a mess. Nothing is ever fixed or taken care of, everything festers. Now they have mortgaged the house so many times there is no room and are on the brink of losing it all.
My thinking is yes a degree can help you in so many ways but maybe working on every area of your life is the way to go. Balance.
But maybe I should just shut up because I'm not educated enough to know what I'm talking about. After all I'm just a mom.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Thursday, September 18, 2008

money saving tips

Well, it's going to be a short post today, I'm tired. I drove to my in-laws and cleaned their house and in an effort to save gas I stopped on the way back and picked up the fresh fruit and veggies we need for the week. I think we will be doing our big shopping in about 2 weeks.
All this posting has me thinking about what I'm doing to save money. It feels like I'm not doing enough though because we are always broke. Anyways.
The best tip that I've found on line is to save plastic gift cards when they are empty and use them for a scraper in the kitchen. This really saves money on the scrubby sponges. Just soak your pan for an hour or so and then use the gift card to scrape it out. It's wonderful. And instead of using your hand to scrape up flour off the counter, I use the gift card and it is much neater.
My best tip is chap stick for dry and chapped knuckles. It gets so cold here in the winter so between dishes and the cold my hands get so chapped. Sometimes they crack and bleed. So I just buy cheap chap stick and rub it on my knuckles before bed and by morning they are back to new. And this is so much cheaper than all the expensive lotion that never really helped anyways. Just be careful not to get it on an furniture or your sheets.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Some good news and some kind of good news

Well for the good news. I called our insurance agent because we had received our home owners policy for the next year. It went up about $75. She told me that it went up because replacement costs have went up. Fine. But while I was at the doctors she called and left a message and said that travelers has a new program and that she checked and it would save us $136 a year and she is sending me all of the papers to sign. So that really helps. See our house was assessed for more this year and our taxes are going up by about $240 a year. We are still down about $100 but at least it's not $315. Our mortgage won't be going up but the extra that goes towards the principal every month will go down by about $8 an month. I can live with that.
At the doctor's office, Dr. Kumar(endocrinologist) said that all of my blood work came back great. My thyroid is doing well and is at a healthy level and I agree. I've got my anemia under control with the iron pills and the blood work showed it. But I'm still tired, not as bad but not great either. So we started talking about my sleeping habits. It ended up that he thinks that it's Den's snoring. He is awful, it's like sleeping next to a chain saw sometimes. And it may just be that I'm only getting a few hours of rest. Den did sleep on the couch last weekend and I felt great and even told him that. He slept on the couch not because we were fighting but because he was watching tv. Really. Dr. Kumar thinks that maybe he has acid reflux or maybe a sleep disorder. He said that maybe I have a bunch of little things wrong that added up to all my problems. So I have to go back to my primary care physician(yuck!) and he is going to take care of my thyroid from here on out. Sure! I'm sure that he is going to be more than happy to have to deal with me again but I'm not letting him change my dosage so only time will tell. Plus my blood pressure is a little high so I'm sure that dealing with him some more will help me get it under control. I think that it's because I've gotten out of shape and that I need to lose a few pounds. I'm going to start working on that.
Thank you for your time, I feel like your my shrink. It just feels good to get it out.
Thank you,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Saving Money

So if you have read the other posts, you can see that we are cutting it close. First off, we live between Chicago and Milwaukee. It's an expensive place to live. We live in a tri-level in an older neighborhood. It's pretty safe, well kind of. It's slowly sliding down hill. We have had quite a few break ins but it seem to be young kid stuff. I'm sure that I wouldn't feel that way if it were my house though. A lot of people are getting security systems and a few have gone so far as to put bars on their windows. I'm home all day and we have a decent sized dog so we aren't willing to pay for a security system yet. Anyways the houses in this neighborhood go for around $180000 to about $200000. And I really don't think that you are getting a lot for your money. If you buy a house here, it will probably need a little work. Everyone here(for the most part) is average hard working lower middle class. We all feel stuck.
Well our house payment is almost $1300 but that's because we are paying 2 extra payments a year so that adds almost $200 a month on to our payment. We also put 11% into Dennis 401k. We set up our budget to be very very tight. The good thing is it forces us to be very resourceful. If it ever got real bad, I would just borrow money from one of our "funds" and then call and stop the extra payments to the house. If it was really out of control then I guess we could stop putting money into the 401k but I think it would have to be desperate.
I'll let you know how the Dr. goes tomorrow.
Thank you,
SonyaAnn >

Monday, September 15, 2008

Money

Ok now I know what your thinking, why don't you just get a job? I know and it's that easy and it isn't. After I had my son, he is almost 13 now, I didn't feel right. I had my own business at home. I was doing inside sales mostly calling businesses for a couple of moving companies. I know a lowly telemarketer but I loved it. I love to talk and it was going quite well for me. But the older DJ got the harder everything became for me. I know it sounds like an excuse but just the laundry seemed so over whelming. At the time we had Humana insurance and I went to our primary care physician. And the lovely woman doctor said that I was depressed and gave me antidepressants. All I can say is that didn't go well. I went a little crazy and everything made me angry and Dennis and I were on the verge of divorce. It went so far as he was bringing me boxes from work. It was awful. I had a 4 year old and a new born and I was really afraid of how I was going to support all of us. I just felt so confused and overwhelmed exhausted. Anyways, as I was packing and crying and yelling, Dennis and I started talking and I told him how awful I felt and how uneven emotionally I felt. So we both sat on the floor and we traced it back to the antidepressants. It had all slowly started to slide down hill from there. So we decided to give our marriage another shot and I stopped taking the pills. It was hard and I did "crash" but when I finally got it out of my system I felt better but I still had the exhaustion and yet I pushed on. Years passed and I slowly got to the point where I couldn't work. It was everything I could do just to keep up with the house.
Dennis' company changed insurance companies so we got a new doctor. He was in town and maybe
2 miles away. It was 2 brothers that had their own practice. So I went to this doctor and told him about my problems. At this point I had no eyebrows on the outer two-thirds and my hair was falling out in clumps. Needless to say this idiot told me that depression hurts and I needed antidepressants. I left feeling alone and emotionally weak.
After 9 years of this, my sister was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and a little light went on. I made an appointment quickly after that with his brother. I told my new doctor about it. And he look at what his brother had written in my chart and said I need to accept my depression and then I would be on my way to recovery. He brought me a pamphlet and dimmed the lights and left me to read it. Needless to say I was PISSED. When he came back in all hell broke loose. After 9 years of this and he wasn't even willing to run blood work. I told him basically his pamphlet was vague and written by the drug company and I'm the happiest person I know. He said and I quote"You can be happy and depressed, you know." And to that I said RUN THE G** D*** blood work. Hey guess what it was my thyroid, after all. But he said that an underactive thyroid wouldn't cause any problems so he wouldn't dose me properly. Fast forward to now, almost 13 years later. After he made me sob because I went and got my own blood work to prove he was wrong. And he was no where near having me dosed right. I asked for a referral to an endocrinologist. He went off on me but I did get the referral and I have my second appointment on Tuesday. The endocrinologist said that I'm anemic and that's causing part of it. He is wonderful and I'm really starting to come around. I feel like it's an awakening.
So now I guess your asking why didn't I just switch doctors. Well he was great with my son. DJ has severe allergic reactions to red dye and both doctors would come through with flying colors for him. And I just wasn't up to arguing with another doctor. You just get to worn down to fight.
But another problem I have is that our daughter will be going away to college in 2 years. If I get a job, we won't qualify for a grant because we will make too much. My father-in-law is a CPA and he checked it out. So I'm stuck, do I get a job and everything I make goes toward her college or just keep treading water and stay home.
I know excuses, excuses.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn >

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Our Bills


-->
1296.00 House payment(bi-weekly) so we save
324 a week
138.00 Car Insurance
183.00 Nicor and Comed
45.00 Home phone
135.00 2nd mortgage with a little extra
280.00 gas for all three cars
38.00 satelite
480.00 groceries for the month
120.00 a week
75.00 Den smokes
70.00 garbage and water
24.00 synthroid and iron pills for me


2764.00 total


So we shop once a month for all the dry and canned goods and then on my way home from cleaning my in-laws, I stop and pick up fresh fruit and vegetables. So basically Den covers all the bills and everything I make we use for building up the car fund or Christmas fund or any of the other catastrophes life throws at you. And we are lucky because my in-laws buy the kids all their lunch stuff and they put us on their cell phone plan. It costs them $10 a phone so they just take it out of what they pay me. The problem is most of our funds were depleted early in the year. Den and I save all of our birthday and Christmas money for the "funds" but we went way over this year. We used all of the car funds for the year and another $600 by the end of February. Our cat was very sick and eventually we had to put her down and that cost $700. So this is why we are having problems. Any ideas? Who am I kidding, I'm all alone here.
Thanks for your time,
SonyaAnn

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September 10 2008


--> Alright, well I was wrong. I thought we owed 17,000 on our second mortgage. Not even close we owe 21,753.53. I know what your thinking, you don't know how much you owe. Not very responsible. The only thing that I can say is we never put anything on the second mortgage unless we really need it. It always hovered around $10,000 but last year Dennis totaled our car. So we bought a $3000 ford focus. It had a brand new motor in it with only 6,000 miles on it and the body was decent. Den is great with cars and does almost all of our car repairs. But anyways, we brought it home and cleaned it up Friday and Saturday. So we all really looked forward to having Sunday off. But it never works like that does it. So I get up and walk into the hall and the carpet is soaking wet, the kind of wet that the sponge is soaked and water is puddling on top of it. The roof was leaking terrible. So the water came in through the ceiling fan which of course was on and spun water everywhere. We living in a tri-level so it splattered water on all three levels. And it hit all the kids pictures in the hall. And the water and the picture frames didn't work well together and the stain ran down all the walls. It was a huge mess. So we ended having to put a new roof on the following weekend. My in-laws helped which I'm grateful for but it was still hell. And it was about 95 that weekend so working with shingles meant that they were so hot it burned blisters on your fingers and the rough part wore them off quickly and they all melted together. And yes I've heard of gloves but you couldn't get a good grip on the heavy shingles. And I almost fell trying to catch the shingles that kept slipping out of my hands so I decided to work without gloves. Anyways, that's why our second mortgage is so high and the fact that we bought a used card from my in-laws. It's a 2004 Kia amanti , leather and fully loaded for $6500. We promised Anna a car if she stayed in sports and on the honor roll. So she has kept her end of the bargain so we gave her my 1999 white Chevy Lumina. We keep it in good running order and pay for all repairs and gas and she has to pay the car insurance. She saves all of her birthday and Christmas money and cleans her great-grandfathers house on the weekend for $25. So she is busy but we feel this keeps her out of trouble and will hopefully help with college. So anyways after rereading my first post I thought we looked really irresponsible but I don't charge anything we can't pay for and we are pretty tight because well we have to be. But I've made a decision to get my butt in gear and start paying it down.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Beginning


--> Well this is the first of many posts, I hope. I'm a mother of 2 and a wife. I'm using this as a way to track our spending and maybe get to vent a little. It's just getting tougher to make ends meet. I'm a stay at home mom and I do everything I can to save a little money. I've decided to be as honest and open as I can be. We owe still $109,000 on our house. We bought it almost 14 yrs ago for $125,000. Unfortunately, we made some stupid mistakes and refinanced a few times and rolled in credit card debt. But I hope that we won't do anything that dumb again. We don't have any credit card debt but we do owe about $19,000(I think) on our second mortgage. So you can see that we are worse off than when we started. The only hope that I hold on to is that the house is probably worth about$185,000- $190,000. And we have managed to save about $70,000 in Dennis's retirement fund and carry no credit card debt. And this house has not been very kind to us. When we bought it, we were pretty much taken for a ride. The owners told us that everything was top notch and we didn't get an inspection. I know the alarm bells are going off. We were young and very very very dumb. We had no idea what we were doing and were taken. We paid top dollar for the house, when most people were getting their houses for about $10,000 less. The only good thing about this is that we really can fix just about anything. But our mistakes are our own and I think that age and time has really helped put this into perspective.
I just hope to pay down some of our debt before our daughter goes to college in 2 years.
Thanks for reading,
SonyaAnn