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Archive for October, 2012

Under the Umbrella

October 30th, 2012 at 09:45 am

I'm a little boggled today.

Yesterday, I got a letter from my school district in North Carolina stating that my last paycheck - dated 6/2011, had never been cashed. And would I like all $2560 of it reissued in a new check?


All I can think of that could have happened is that this was smack dab in the middle of us moving across the country to Colorado with three cats and a preschooler and all of our stuff. So, either I didn't get it, or it got misplaced in the mess, or we tried using the online deposit system through USAA and did something stupid. Who know?

But, I have an affidavit to fill out, a notary to track down, and a copy of my driver's license to scan and send in, and I will be $2500 closer to paying off the Discover card.

This was exciting enough.

But then this morning, I got an email from Family Fun magazine, from a survey I had done a while ago and promptly forgotten about asking about fun things I do with my kid. They wanted more information and if it runs, they'll pay me $100.

I emailed back with more information, and LESS THAN A MINUTE LATER, had an enthusiastic thank you from one of the editors.

I have NO idea what's going on, but I LIKE it!


October 25th, 2012 at 09:32 am

Awesome news! I heard back from the Director of the Masters program in Early Childhood Special Education, and even though she "strongly recommends" that I take the Place or the Praxis Elementary Education test, she is willing to waive that requirement for me.

Of course, she also warned me that I would not be able that I would NOT be allowed to teach K-3 general education without taking the test.

Which, seeing as I teach PreK SPECIAL ED, does not exactly concern me.

So, I'm in the program. And my school district will reimburse me for PART of my tuition. Which is great- once we come up with the initial cost of my classes, as I REFUSE to take out student loans with the amount of loans we still have to pay off for my husband. *sigh*

BUT! I'm in the program! Which means my job is safe for the rest of the year! *cheers*

We Don't Need No Education

October 23rd, 2012 at 11:36 am

For the past 5 years, I've been teaching Preschool Special Education. I hold a K-12 Special Education license, and in North Carolina, I had to take 2 additional classes to be certified in Birth to Kindergarten education.

In Colorado, things have gotten a little more complicated.

Last year before we moved, the principal at the school I ended up teaching in when we got here (which is not where I am now, which is a long story involving feeling picked on and including a few anxiety attacks) asked if I thought my Colorado teaching license would cover PreK SpEd. "Sure," I said, and that was the end of it, even when I applied for and got my Colorado K-12 SpEd license.

This year - new school, new system, new requirements. In order to teach here, I have to get my Masters in Early Childhood Special Ed. Ok, sure, if it will keep me in PreK, I'll do it, even though I think it's unfair that they can't work me and just require a couple more classes.

So, I've been applying for the UNCo Masters in Early Childhood Special Education. I was accepted to the grad school itself, and now need to be accepted into the program. Only I sent off my application packet over a month ago, and have heard nothing.

So, this morning, I emailed. I explained the situation with my application, and was concerned that my packet might have gotten lost in the mail.

Oh no, they told me, we have your packet. And we still need a copy of your PRAXIS or PLACE scores in Elementary Education. Or a copy of my Elementary Education teaching license.

Well, says I, I sent you a copy of my SPECIAL EDUCATION teaching license, and can get you a copy of my SPECIAL EDUCATION Praxis or Place scores if you need them.

No thank you, says they. You need to take the Elementary Education Praxis or Place.

What? Says I. Why? I have taken the Place AND the Praxis in SPECIAL EDUCATION and am licensed in SPECIAL EDUCATION. Seeing as I am interested in a Masters in Early Childhood SPECIAL EDUCATION, I am unclear as to why I would need to take the Elementary Education Praxis or Place in order to qualify for your program.

Because, says they. It's required.

This has been going on all morning, and I'm about to beat my head against the wall.

If it would be easier to take the stupid test, I would, but I don't feel like paying $85 out of pocket for a test I would desperately need to study for (as I don't TEACH Elementary Education, and know little about the content needs), and STILL am not sure I would pass on the first go round because I DONT TEACH ELEMENTARY ED.

I hate all things right now. Except chocolate. But I don't have any chocolate, so I'm just going to go send my husband angry text messages about why I hate this school.

Over the Shoulder

October 22nd, 2012 at 11:24 am

You might want to look away, guys, as this post is all about bras.

Or you might want to stick around for that reason, but unless you wear bras (hey, no judgement here, do whatever you gotta do), it might not be that fun, as we're going to be talking about BUYING bras.

As every woman knows, a well fitting bra is worth its weight in gold.

And for those of us who are a bit more...er..gifted in that area, the COST of a well fitting bra is way more than it's weight in gold.

I went to Victoria's Secret this weekend to get fitted, as my current bras have been fitting a little funny. I'm of the belief that EVERY woman should get properly fitted for bras - some department stores do it, just ask, and both Lane Bryant and Victoria's Secret do it. It's fast and easy and FREE and will save you tons of uncomfortable moments of having to readjust your boobs in public. Not that I would ever do that. Ahem.

I'm up another cup size (WHY? FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, THEY ARE BIG ENOUGH), so new bras had to be bought.

Now, before people point out to me that you can get bras MUCH cheaper than Victoria's Secret, I know that. I spent two hours in four different department stores and Target a few years ago, tried on every single style of bra in my size as I could, decided on two, took them home, and then discovered they just didn't give me the support needed for all day. Vicky's is EXPENSIVE, but give me support and comfort. Like I said, worth its weight in gold.

2 bras? Ninety seven bucks, kids. NINETY SEVEN DOLLARS.

At least they gave me a free pair of panties.

Forget About the Price Tag

October 16th, 2012 at 07:12 am

I got my paycheck for my second job yesterday, which is $330 I get to put towards my fun trip this summer. I'm treating myself to the BlogHer Conference in Chicago in July, which I'm very excited about. Plus, my sister and her wife live in Chicago, which means I'll get to see them and my nephew, who is expected to arrive sometime in February.

I got my paycheck, though, and started giggling, wondering how I would explain exactly what it is I do on the side - as it would probably appall some of my readers.

No, I'm not a phone sex operator. But my second job probably will raise some eyebrows. My father is certainly horrified.

I proofread gay erotica for an online publishing company.

It is sometimes hilarious, sometimes frustrating, but always fun. I'm getting paid to read, basically, and seeing as I read anything that isn't nailed down anyway, it's an awesome side job for me. I don't make much, as I proof anywhere from 3 to 6 short stories to novel length stories a month, but the extra is very nice, is all mine, and as a bonus, I get to tell people what I do and laugh at their expressions.

There is really no down side to it!

Handy Man

October 14th, 2012 at 06:15 pm

The husband and I have now progressed to new and interesting ways to ensure that the "honey-do" stuff around the house actually gets done.

I pay him $10 an hour for stuff I can't/am not willing to do, and if he doesn't get it done within 2 weeks, I pay someone else to come in and do it.

Because honestly? Otherwise, it's not going to get done. I have no problem paying him to help encourage him to do stuff, because we're going to end up spending the money on SOMEBODY.

So, things I want done:

-replace towel ring (that fell down on Voldemort's head) in the guest bathroom with a towel bar. One V can reach to hang up his towel.

-put up shelving above washing machine/dryer.

-put up shelving in Voldemort's closet.

-put up storm door on front door (might actually have to call in a pro for this one, as Brandus isn't sure he can do it)

Yeowch for the ER Bill

October 8th, 2012 at 09:22 am

We just got the final total bill for Voldemort's visit to the ER last month. Over a thousand dollars! I could cry.

The man is unhappy, because he says what's the point in having insurance if it doesn't actually HELP with the bills. I'm not upset, because it's an ER visit and I expected it to be expensive.

The good news is that medical bills can usually be negotiated a bit - here, if you pay off the whole thing, they give a discount. That's not going to possible with this one, as paying off all of it would wipe out our entire emergency fund, and NO. Fortunately, they will set up a payment plan. As soon as I get a chance to call them. Which is difficult, as they're open 8-4, and I work 7:30-4:30. Argh.

But yikes. And here I thought we might have a little extra money this month to put aside for winter break travel.

Turn Your Ears Up

October 4th, 2012 at 09:15 am

I have an anxiety disorder, which mainly manifests at work and stress about getting into trouble at work and then getting yelled at and/or fired.

I also have a 40 minute commute each way, and yes, these two things are very related.

In my 40 minute commute, I have way too much time for the hamster wheel in my brain to spin, and it goes around and around about what could go wrong that day (on my way in) or what did go wrong (on the way home).

I'm medicated, which helps reduce the spinning, but more than anything else, audiobooks are my savior on the long drives.

Audiobooks give me enough to focus on that I don't have any extra brain cells to focus on the spinning of the wheel.

I've been getting most of my audiobooks online - generally through amazon or the free ones through [url=http://librivox.org/], which has all kinds of books in the public domain free for download. I've also been gifted some, gotten some from the library, and found a few online in other places.

I've listened to some I've really liked, some I've tolerated, and a few I've just given up on in irritation or disgust. I couldn't finish The Da Vinci Code during to hysterical laughter over the eight thousand things Sophie was keeping in the pockets of her sweater, for example.

I would love some suggestions of books or places to look for books. I mostly tend to stick to science fiction, fantasy, young adult novels, and "chick lit." I don't want anything political, or anything that will make me yell at my radio.

Any suggestions would be awesome!

Mother in Laws, Fertility, and Adoption

October 2nd, 2012 at 11:46 am

1. My father in law died 2 years ago, and since then, Brandus' mom has gone drastically downhill. I know she's dealing with depression, but she's also in poor health herself. And she flat out refuses to go to the doctor.

She passed out when she was talking to someone a few months ago - fortunately, a cop who quickly called an ambulance, but she brushed it off and said, "oh, they just said it was low blood sugar."

I'd told Brandus the last time she came to visit that I didn't feel comfortable leaving her watching Voldemort anymore, and HE brushed that off.

This last visit was his eye opener, though. She can barely make it up and down the stairs. She has to cling on to the walls and the railing. Her hair is very thin, she's lost weight, and her arms are two huge age spot bruises. She looks like my 94 year old grandfather, and she's only 64. And once she gets started coughing, she can't stop.

So, he called his uncle, and with both of them putting pressure on her, she's agreed to sell the house and move down here. NOT IN WITH US, because NO NEVER EVER, but to our town. Our job is to find her an apartment she can afford. We're hoping we can put more pressure on her and actually get her in to a doctor down here, but it's doubtful.

This is 1)good, as it will reduce Brandus' stress level, and 2)bad, as it will increase my stress level. Oy.

2. Brandus and I want another kid, but haven't been having any luck for the past 2 years or so. We've seen the fertility doc and have tried a couple of things, but so far, no luck. When Voldemort comes home from Kindergarten with pictures he's drawn of the brother he wants, it really kind of sucks.

3. To go along with that, Brandus and I are looking into the foster/adopt program for our county. We've been planning on this regardless of fertility and whatever happens with that. We have an informational meeting later this month, and then we have to start jumping through hoops. I know there will be applications and home visits, but I'm not sure what else will be needed to be done. Anybody gone the foster/adopt or domestic adoption route?


October 1st, 2012 at 09:02 am

We just got the letter that Brandus' student loan forgiveness application was APPROVED! That is $5000 that we do not have to repay!

For such a long wait, it was a very short letter. It didn't say which loan the $5000 was coming off of - he has a total of 4 student loans, of various amounts and interest rates. I'm hoping it came off of the highest rate ones, but I'm betting not.

But I am very excited about it, as it will change our monthly repayments less - which is more that we can put towards our credit card payments! And yes, I know, I could continue paying the same amount on the student loans and make them go away quicker, but, honestly, the credit card is much more important to me. The Discover card has a much higher interest rate than any of the student loans - it's much more of a priority.

Over the weekend, we also went to the Denver Zoo, where we have a membership. We ate lunch before we got there, and we had a ticket for a free ride on the train, so it was a pretty low cost trip..except for the snowcone we ended up getting for the small friend who went with us.

We went out to eat at The Old Spaghetti Factory for a treat, and it was totally worth the cost. Smile