Tuesday, September 1, 2015

♬ Try to remember the kind of September ♬


It's September 1st. {Happy Birthday, Aunt Katie!}

September is my favorite month, and 2015 is going to be an especially crazy Sept for my family--whether we're hit by an asteroid on the 23rd or not--because we're finally going on vacay. It's been, like, two or three years.

As a stay-at-home-mother I often hear working moms lament, "I wish I could afford to stay home too." I smile politely because "mommy wars" and competition like that holds exactly zero value or interest to me. What I really would like to point out, however, is that we pretty much never go on vacation, were a one-car-family up until recently, and I own one comfortable bra that I wash every other day just to avoid the underwire ones and/or spending money on bras because have you seen how children go through shoes? So, you know, define "afford". Yeah...I wish I could "afford" it too. But that's our choice, for me to stay home, and I think everyone should make the choice they like best and meanwhile pray for and support single parents while we're at it. They're the ones who should get to complain.

Look, I'd buy more fancy bras if I had to go to an office every day. I wish I could afford fancy bras like all you working moms, but there's no point in being uncomfortable yet perky when you stay at home with your kids and chickens. I think we should just stop comparing ourselves. I'm going to start saying that whenever working moms talk about how rich we must be that I don't have to work, "Stop comparing us! Anyway, how many comfortable bras do YOU own? Maybe you should stop spending so much at Victoria's Secret and then you could afford to stay at home and be comfortable too." Does that sound ignorant? Not unlike the "you must be so rich to be able to blah blah blah" I hear all the time, then, right?#yogapantsaremyuniform #dontbejealous #youmakesacrificeseitherway

What am I even saying? I've lost my mind because I don't get to talk to adults much.

What I'm trying to say is: we're going on vacation and it's SORT OF A BIG DEAL when you get to do that with one income and a family of five.

Here's how we're managing it: while we'd been hoping to afford a 1-2 week road trip out to SoCal all along, Justin's new job meant we'd probably not be able to swing that. We were bummed. Then we found $60 round-trip plane tickets one night at 1 a.m. and somehow we're going to make that vacation happen after all. My parents are coming, and we get to see the new family babies {one on each side} whom we haven't met yet.

Yes, Justin's been working a new job for a couple months now. He's still at LU, but has a new position which means Monday thru Friday again and no more commission, just stable pay. Yay! It's going well.

This morning I was reading a post on the Nextdoor app about this lady's neighbor. {Nextdoor is an app like Facebook but only for your neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods so you can get in touch with each other and share news read constant complaints about speeding/garbage cans/un-shoveled snow, fight about indoor/outdoor cats, and get on your neighborhood's most pushy Realtor's bad side, true story.} She said her nextdoor neighbor inherited his home from his dad, moved in after dad's death and doesn't work. Instead, he spends a good deal of time chain-smoking cigars right on the other side of the fence from her and her child's bedroom windows. {I wish I could afford to chain-smoke all day. Must be nice.} SO they've been unable to turn on their swamp cooler or open their windows because of the constant cigar smoke smell. She wanted tips on how to deal.

A couple posts and responses later, {someone advised she install a flood light right there as a deterrent} she opened up with more details: this guy knows it's problematic for her family and she tried before to "install deterrents" after asking him nicely not to smoke RIGHT THERE. And--get this--they guy walked into her home via unlocked door and messed with said deterrent. He also sprayed water in her bedroom window. Police were called both times, she said, but without proof they couldn't do anything.

Wow. Can you imagine? Do you have bad neighbors like that?

I'd probably turn a sermon on loudly on our Sonos player and put it right there in the window, away from water shooting range of course but loud and close enough for him to hear. Just kidding. I don't know what I'd do.

But it got me thinking about how lucky we are to have such great neighbors. Especially because we are not the easiest people to live next to, I think. When we moved into our semi-urban Denver home last year, we built our chicken coop and bought our chicks somewhat trepidatiously. While we didn't feel the need to ask their permission, we did worry about what the neighbors would think. Also, we have three kids that are home all the time. Which means my neighbors hear me a lot, standing in the front doorway screaming, "GET YOUR SHOES ON!!!!!!"

Well to one side we have a middle-aged woman who is a retired cop, home all the time, and cares for her adult disabled daughter. She's a joy! She loves our kids. She loves our chickens. She even loved the rooster and was sad when he left us. She grew up on a farm and says she loves hearing our chickens cluck.

To the other side is another almost-elderly couple. They are friendly, the are tidy, they bring over all their salad scraps about every other day so that our chickens can have them. He shares his tools with Justin liberally and brings us bulk from his garden. They don't mind the chickens one bit.

Behind us is a couple we've met a couple times as our naughty Benjamin Bunny has run away into their yard twice. We brought them eggs as a peace offering. They told us the chicken coop was a surprise when we moved in, but a happy one and they enjoy hearing them over the fence.

So you see, we've truly lucked out. I hope they never move away.

Our biggest neighbor problem is merely the 10-year-old girl across the street whom our kids LOVE to play with, and that's fine...but she invites herself over constantly, rings the doorbell for 20 minutes, sits on our porch waiting for us to come out, invites herself on family walks, invites herself to dinner, and climbs over our locked gate to play in our backyard. She's 10 and can roam the street and play but my kids are too little. Sigh. We can't complain much because she's only here every other weekend as her parents are divorced and is usually at mom's house. She's very sweet, but a bit of a pest during summer when school's out, but not here enough for it to be bad. It's manageable.

On a final note, while being a stay-at-home-mom means I don't have too much spending money of my own, I'm not totally broke either. But I will be soon. When I saw the new Pioneer Woman line that was released on Walmart's site today I about died. I want it all. Or at least one of the jadite cake stands. Or two. It comes out in the stores on September 14th--great--I might be in Disneyland that day {don't tell the kids}. I have a feeling this is going to be another Lily-Pulitzer-at-Target type of shopping spree massacre all over again, except the difference is that I actually want to buy it. {Sorry, friends, but the Lily Pulitzer stuff just looks like Magda merch to me. Ha! I was able to resist.}

"Where'd you get all that gorg' merch?!
Whaaaa? At TARGET?" - Magda


Happy Septembering,
Heather

Post title is a reference to my favorite musical...dad would walk around the house singing this sometimes in September.

2 comments:

  1. I need those glass tumblers in my life like yesterday. But that also means I have to go to Walmart. Weighing options....I'm so excited that you are going on vacation! I can't wait to read about it. I love traveling, and we would never be able to afford it on just Ryan's salary. I write to fly, pretty much. We are also blessed by good neighbors, which we didn't have at our old house because it was a rental. We would have a good couple and then about ten people who were unrelated to one another and liked to scream at each other. One I was sure were drug dealers. It makes me much more thankful now for the good ones.

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  2. When Brian and I decided I was going to quit my job and stay home with a 5 year old Alex (14 years ago! OMG, I just really dated myself), we put together a plan that made going from two incomes to one possible. You just have to be willing to make sacrifices! As you know, it's not always easy but I wouldn't have traded any of the struggles we had for anything. Being home with my kids was the best decision I ever made, for myself and especially for them. As you know, Alex is 19 and Maddie 13. Time just goes way too fast. We are so fortunate, Heather! But that is definitely not to say that I have not wanted to run away from time to time. All those little trips to Vegas? Those are my sanity savers!

    Have the best time on your trip!!

    ~Erica

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