Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I made the list

I'm going to incorporate this list into the permanent area of the blog eventually, but for now this is what I've got. I didn't think I'd be able to come up with much but after finding this site, I did pretty well. There were a lot of things listed on the site that I had already accomplished which made me feel really good. I wanted to include more but it felt weird to add something that I've already done unless I want to specifically redo it with the kids.

So, the list:

1. Pay off consumer debt
2. Pay off student loans
3. Save a down payment for a house
4. Buy a house
5. Bring the kids to Disney
6. Bring the kids to Ontario
7. Hike in Gros Mourne
8. Visit the US(other than Hawaii)
9. Go to India
10. Take a lingering vacation in Europe
11. Learn to Garden
12. Find a hobby just for me, outside of the house
13. Make reading for pleasure more of a priority and don’t feel guilty about it
14. Become fluent in French
15. Learn a third language
16. Run a 5k
17. Stay committed to a gym for over a year
18. Run the tely10 (10 miles)
19. Complete a triathlon
20. Take a belly dancing class
21. Take a cooking class
22. Throw a Christmas party
23. Go camping with the family
24. Buy a cabin
25. Visit a western province
26. Build the kid’s RESP so that we can actually pay for their education
27. Get married
28. Have a daughter
29. Get a tattoo
30. Go to a strip club
31. Write a published work
32. Complete NaNoWriMo 5 years in a row
33. Go Sea kayaking
34. Have a giant backyard BBQ with all of our friends and family
35. Have an office of my very own
36. Bake bread from scratch
37. Swim with dolphins
38. Go to Hawaii
39. Own my own business
40. Visit my parents
41. Complete another degree
42. Put money in someone else’s meter
43. Achieve my ideal weight and maintain it
44. Get a makeover
45. Take a dance class
46. Find the job that I love
47. Make my own jam
48. Get my kids to adulthood
49. Go 6 months without eating fast food
50. See a Cirque du soleil performance
51. See a movie by myself in the theatre
52. Go to a blueberry festival
53. Bring the kids berry picking
54. Achieve 70 words per minute
55. Have a stress-free and happy Christmas season
56. Go to a spa
57. Earn a certificate in Leadership
58. Meet someone from the blogosphere
59. Take a couples class of anything
60. Buy a punching bag and use it
61. Get all of my dental work done
62. Save $10 000 for nothing in particular
63. Finish the kids’ scrapbooks
64. Establish a regular date night
65. Participate in a book club
66. Work in a foreign country
67. Throw a dinner party
68. Join the PTA
69. Take an art class
70. Find and leave flowers at the graves of my grandmothers
71. Dance in the rain
72. Meet girlfriends for cocktails
73. Bring the kids apple picking
74. Bake 10 different kinds of Christmas cookies for family and friends
75. Find a long-lost friend
76. Maintain a weekly family night
77. Write a will
78. Sponsor a family for Christmas
79. Give $100 to a stranger
80. Buy a van
81. Take the kids to a drive in
82. Walk all the trails in the grand concourse
83. Build sand castles with my kids
84. Do something nice for Jason’s mom
85. Teach all of my children to ride a bicycle
86. Make homemade ice cream
87. Host a girl’s night

lists and links

I've been thinking about creating a life list for awhile now. Miss Grace has one and Tara has something similar. The idea is pretty simple; make a list of all the things you want to accomplish during your lifetime, a la The Bucket List. Tara's is a little different in that it has a definite time limit (101 things in 1001 days). Personally I love both ideas and I plan to have both kinds of lists. But what the heck do I put on them? I have some ideas obv. of things I want to do but both Miss Grace's and Tara's lists are super long and I doubt I could come up with enough stuff to make it a decent list. I guess it's one of those things that are constantly changing and evolving and so it wouldn't have to be complete right now. But that is so against my personality. Anyway, that's something I'll just have to deal with if I want to make that list now isn't it?

Tell me, what would be on your list?

Monday, July 27, 2009

pros and cons

So I got the job.

...and I start Monday.


Honestly, Im on two minds about it. Of course Im excited that I finally got a job and especially so considering they offered it to me within hours of my initial interview. Its close to home, the hours are good and the people are nice.

But...the pay sucks.

They said twice during the interview that I was over qualified and even said that there wasn't much room for growth. Im not sure how to take this. I need a job and Im ready to work but am I really ready to accept such a low salary? I checked out the NOC listing for the position title and I've been offered 20 000 less than the national average. I am entry level, so that accounts for some of it, but really? Im eligible for a special incentive program that will provide the employer with 10 000 towards my salary so I might be able to close the gap a little with that. I hope.

I meet with them tomorrow afternoon again to get the official offer and I think Im more nervous than I was for my interview today.

What if I accept this position and then get a call to interview somewhere else next week? Not only would I have to take time off to interview but I'd feel bad about leaving somewhere so soon after starting. If I commit to this place then I think I should at least put 6 months in.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Job Interview on Monday...wish me luck!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


OMG Swistle just wrote about having a stellar parenting day ruined by the CONSTANT neediness of the childrens. I AM SO HAVING ONE OF THOSE DAYS!

I've been feeling great about everything all week and even today, with a bunch of bills to pay and errands to run, I was still in a good mood. That was until we got home from a shopping trip where I retained my amazing mood dispite 2 of the four actually RUNNING around the store! BUT that was ruined when the 2 year old spilled an entire can on pop all over my job search binder. That binder included EVERYTHING involved in my job search including my DEGREE and all of my certificates/letters of reference. I swear I saw red when I found it. I had everything in there that needed to be copied and kept in my portfolio, only they weren't, they were all still the originals. I still dont know what Im going to do. Orange pop doesnt really come out of much.

I think this qualifies for an "FML"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

yesterday, tomorrow

So it has been a year. Last July I was living in a shelter and last July I began this blog. Thankfully the shelter is a distant memory, and the blog is still kicking along.

I am amazed at how much can change in a year and yet how incredibly LONG some changes take. It really does feel like Im light years away from the place I was last summer and yet when I try to think of specific changes, not many come to mind. Take for example my mental health. I was obviously messed up last year and although I feel like Im no longer living in a dark world of complete shittiness, I cant say that Im not still depressed. I can still feel the anxiety try to grip me and sometimes I have to be careful to not let it.

Im still unemployed, not sure of the future and financially scared to death. My kids still require much more of me than I can give. Im a full 35lbs heavier than I was last fall.

And yet, my life IS better. I am happier overall. The depression is still there and can sneak up on me sometimes, but overall, Im OK. I've been getting out of the house more and actively working on our future. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I KNOW that one day we will be out of all of this mess and stress.

Maybe next July Ill be looking back and thinking about how incredibly different and satisfying my life has become! Or maybe I'll be saying the same as I am now.

Life goes on and the years will pass by; regardless of whether or not I make the changes I want in my life. So for today and for tomorrow I will keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that eventually, with enough work, I will be living the life I dream of.

Monday, July 13, 2009

random updates, with pictures!!

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE summer?

Between my job search class and all of the activities we've been involved in, the time is just flying by. I never have time to write here anymore but there is always something I want to say so that when I do sit down, it's all jumbled. Sigh.


Josiah's birthday was last Thursday. We didn't do much really because I had my class all morning and then he napped for the rest of the afternoon. He was only awake for maybe an hour when Jason got home from work so we waited for him for cake and presents. Jason's mom had bought a cake for Josiah and the boys and I baked cup cakes.

My mom sent him some money as a gift so we brought him out shopping Saturday evening, after the other kids had gone with their dad. We ended up getting him some sort of leap frog doll that sings/talks with a flashing light. So far, it hasn't left his hands much since we brought it home. He even dances to it, which is obviously completely adorable!


Friday Josiah had to get his immunizations which I was not looking forward to. He did really well though without even crying for any of the three needles. I don't remember his measurements except that he's 21lbs now and meets all of the requirements to switch to a forward facing car seat. Im a little worried about how to go about all of that because I drive a car and all three car seats only just fit across the back as it is. To change any of them makes me worry that I wont be able to make them fit and then we're screwed. I also need to weigh Michael because he may be big enough soon to switch to a booster and then I can give his car seat to Josiah. Im not sure though on the age requirements for boosters so he may be too young.


One awesome thing about Jason is that he is really into being active in the summer. The winter is another story but if it's a nice, sunny day, he wants to be outside. So Friday evening after he got home from work we decided to go for a walk. The kids wanted to walk to the candy store, which is what they call the little neighborhood store, but that only takes about 15 minutes. I wanted to drive downtown and walk around down there, visiting the real candy store. Jason wanted to walk a scenic route. So in the end we decided to walk on a nearby trail that goes all the way downtown. From there we crossed the main part of downtown and visited the candy store where everyone got an ice cream cone. Then we walked back along the harbour to the trail that we came from and headed home. All together it was almost 9km. The kids were beat out by the end of it, which was nice but that last half hour was nothing but whining! I doubt we'll be going on those types of walks with the kids anymore but it was still nice.

On Sunday while the kids were still gone with their dad, Jason and I walked around a local lake. That walk is only 3.8 km so it didn't take long. We would have gone around again but Josiah needed a diaper change and we were running out of time before the kids were getting home. So we went home and got everything ready to go to the beach when the kids got back.

It was such a relaxing, but active weekend. The weather was beautiful and we all really enjoyed ourselves.


A few years ago when Rayden was in kindergarten, some of his friends visited Florida. At the time, I was doing alright and had a plan set out for how our lives would go. So I worked it out in my head and told him that maybe when he was 8 we would be able to go. Fast forward to now. Many more of his friends have now gone to Florida and he'll be 8 in a few weeks. Obviously Im not in the financial position to be planning a trip, so I came up with a plan. I told Rayden that it would take at least $15/day for a whole year to pay for a trip like that and we talked about how much work it would take for someone to save that much money. For someone who is working, it wouldn't be a big deal to just take that off of each pay cheque, but right now that's impossible for us. I tried to use the situation as a tool for him to learn some financial planning skills. As a kid I wasn't taught a thing about money and neither was Jason. Now with my kids, I hate the idea of them reaching adulthood with the same misconceptions as I had. So, long story short; Rayden and I are going to work on special projects until we can save the money for a trip to Florida.

This past Saturday we held a garage sale and were able to make $46. At our goal rate of $15/day, we're right on track but need to come up with some more ideas soon. I know that bake sales can bring in a good bit of money, but Im not sure of where we would be able to hold one. We've also talked about getting a paper route that he and I would do together and maybe doing a bit of babysitting in the evenings. Id like to come up with some sort of christmasy craft that we could make now to sell at all those markets that pop up around the holiday too. Any suggestions would be really appreciated. $105/week is a lofty goal for anyone, and Im not really expecting to make it, but I want him to really understand the sacrifice that goes into saving for things we really want. In the end, if we don't make our goal in 1 year, we can probably do it in 2.


My class is going awesome. I thought I had a really good resume until we started working on them and I had mine graded by a professional HR person. Apparently, it was crap. It's all re-done now though and I've found 5-6 new job ads to apply for. We were working on networking last week as well and I was able to find about 50 people in my personal network and through other sources that I need to contact now this week to see what I can find. We're also working on cover letters, interviews and cold calling this coming week. Busy, busy, busy! I've been spending about 5-6 hours each day on this whole job search thing and now this week I have to step that up to a full 7-8 hours each day. It's going to be quite a week! But all I have is another 9 days to gain all of the skills I need to find a job and really, I don't want there to be too much down time between finishing this course and finding a new job. As it is, we're getting into a routine and the kids really like their babysitter. I think she's only available for the summer, but it would still be nice to continue with her for the rest of the summer while I look for other arrangements. Im getting ahead of myself though. Right now I need to continue to network, check all those job ads, and improve on my interview skills. The rest will come in time.

So that has been my busy week. I hope everyone is having as much fun as I am and please, if you have any ideas on some fundraising projects that Rayden and I can do, please let me know.

Monday, July 6, 2009

a house guest and a birthday

Some of you may have gathered that my boyfriend, Jason has moved in with me. This only became official as of this month but he has been here more often than not for the past month or two. I know it's fast, but it works for us. His lease was up but mine continues until September 30, so it made sense for him to move in with me instead of looking for a place for a few months or breaking a lease down the road.

But Jason moving in came with its own set of issues. The biggest one was his sister's visit to the province scheduled for the day he was to officially move in. We had been moving his stuff over for awhile, so that wasn't a huge problem; but it was still crappy timing. Having never met her before, I was optimistic that things would go over well and we would end up having a nice week, regardless of all the warnings I received. Sadly, I was wrong.

Wednesday started off with Jason and I cleaning like mad because I wasn't able to do anything in the days leading up to Anna's visit. I spent so much time at Jason's apartment on Monday and Tuesday that our house went to hell, especially with all the extra boxes and STUFF we had to incorporate. So that had me stressed. When it came time to pick her up from the airport, Jason asked if I would go in his place because his GPS had been stolen out of his truck and he didn't know how to get there. Great! I don't know this woman and here I am having to pick her up from the airport. Yay me!

When I finally locate her and get her into the truck, she immediately lights up a cigarette. I had been warned that she would probably want one after her 8 hour flight, but I didn't realise she would be rude enough to actually have one in the truck. So that was an awkward drive back through the city to my house, which also took an extra 10 minutes or so because of all the Canada Day road closures.

Thursday and Friday were a true test of my patience while Anna and I were forced to spend most of both days together, in the house. Jason was working and I happened to have a lot of things to do around the house. I was able to get out for two hours Friday afternoon for a work meeting, but by Friday night, I was spent. I ended up just leaving and driving around the city at 10:30, just to get away for awhile.

It isn't that Anna is a bad person, or even a mean person. She tries to be nice and she certainly wants to be friendly and get along. The problem is that she doesn't really understand when enough is enough. There were actually about 10 hours on Friday where I was forced to listen to her tell me the same things over and over again. She literally did not stop talking the entire time we were together. Our personalities wouldn't normally mix anyway, but that much time with anyone is just too much to ask of a person.

So Im here now recuperating. She left yesterday and wont be back again until next week for a night, before she catches her flight home. I doubt Ill have any trouble then because Ill have had a great break and her mom will also be here, who I actually get along with.

All in all it was a stressful week and Im looking forward to the one ahead. I started my seminar today and Josiah's first birthday is on Thursday. We aren't doing too much for it but I hope to do his first hair cut and possibly some family pictures. I think it'll be fun, and I'll be sure to post lots of pictures.

Happy Monday everyone!