Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Raising Kids is a Pain

I know, I'm Mistress of the Obvious today.  It's not even lunch time yet, and I'm ready for my kids to go to bed.  Oh, the drama!  Oh, the tragedy!  Oh, the bickering!  Oh, the ATTITUDE!  I don't think Calgon will be enough to take me away from all this today, lol.  One of them is already in time out, and the other is pushing their luck.

So, in the interest of maintaining my sanity until bedtime DOES get here, I'm going to take the kids to the pool in town after lunch, throw them in (metaphorically, of course, but I must admit that doing it personally would be so very satisfying), and leave them there for a couple hours.  At least.

I like to draw while they're in the pool.  That seems strange, taking drawing materials to a place filled with water and random splashing, but it's really great.  They're occupied, and I have plenty of time to linger over a drawing, let my mind wander, and relax.  Maybe I'll take my comfy folding chair today (the benches at the pool aren't kind to my behind).  And my camera, in case our son decides to take the plunge and go off the diving board.  He's been trying to nerve himself up to do that for several weeks now.  I know he could do it; it's just getting over the mental hurdle to try something new that's holding him back.  I hope he does it today.  It would be so good for his self-confidence.

I also need to go rummaging around in the basement to see what we can donate to a tag sale our church is holding, to benefit two missionary families (one in Haiti, one church-planting in the U.S.).  I know I've got useful but unused things that would be far better off in someone else's house, and the money is for a good cause.  I've also got a number of books I'd like to photograph and list on eBay - kids' books that could be better used by someone else.  It's amazing how much time it takes to photograph and list things, but the small amount of extra money is welcome to pay for minor unplanned purchases (like supplies to build the new guinea pig cages - definitely not a regular item in the budget).

Budget.  Eeewww, that's a tough topic around here right now.  Being financially responsible can be a real pain sometimes.  For instance, we only have one regular credit card, with a fairly low limit.  Time to pay it down, since some unexpected things this summer have pushed it close to its max.  My husband is going back to grad school, and taking a class this fall.  His employer will reimburse him after the fact, so we have to front the money.  It will be worth it in the long run, but it's a short-term hassle.  One of our kids needs to start the process for braces - another expense coming at us like a train down the tunnel.  And I've still got to have some dental work myself, which we just found out our dental insurance will pay only 20% of - not a nice surprise, since it's a major procedure, costing $$$$, and not for cosmetic reasons, either.  My husband is such a good financial manager, very responsible and on top of things.  But even the best management can't anticipate the things life throws at us while we make other plans.  Hopefully with some economizing and discipline we can get ahead of the curve again by spring.  I keep reminding both of us that we are still blessed beyond most people in the world.