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Saturday, January 28, 2012

framing almost done...Can you help?

Well, the framing in the new place is almost done.  I will try to remember to bring my camera today so that I can actually take  couple of pictures.  I had planned to do before and after shots, but still have not remembered my camera. The framing for the bathroom floor is in now, complete with the ramp supports.  It is goign to be so amazing to have a handicap accessible home for Josiah!  I ams o excited for him to have a space that is truly one where he can be more independent and has access to all parts of the house.  I have dreamed about this for a long time for him. Hopefully the plumbing and electric will come together quickly so we can get the inspections done ASAP.  My time is running out.  There will be someone here at the apartment to look at it on Wednesday.  So I am going to be speeding up my packing and cleaning, as well as planning for the very real potential that I will not have my certificate of occupancy at the house before I have to be out of the apartment (lease is up Feb 15).  So the  kids will have to live with A in the mean time, and I will probably stay at my Dad's house.  I hate to put the kids in limbo like that, but this has taken so much longer (four months instead of two), and my savings are all used up (literally), so I can not afford to pay for two places any longer, and am struggling to find the funds to buy the last of the materials needed to complete the house. 

I am going to ask you, my loyal readers, for a large favor.  Due to some circumstances beyond my control, I have run short on the funds I need to complete the house (particularly due to the dual housing costs, the high cost of Workers Comp insurance (which I had not budgeted for) and the multiple trips I have had to take to GF this month for all the dental appointments for Josiah and for the trips for the day care training.  On the right hand side of this blog, there is a place to Chip in and make a donation, and I am asking anyone who can, to please help me raise the funds to finish the house so that the kids and I are not floating in limbo for too long, and so we don't get so far behind on payments that we end up losing the house and all of the monies, times, sweat and dreams that have gone into it thus far.  I know this is not a good foot to start a new business from, but in the long run, it will be a definite asset to my family's stability.  Currently I make enough each month to just meet our basic expenses and needs (in ONE house), and I have invested over $7,000 into the house and day care business.  If you can help us reach the last $1,000 needed to complete the house and the final certification needs for the day care, you will be helping a family get back on their feet for financial stability.  You will also be helping me to provide a needed service for my town in providing state registered, well trained day care for the children so that parents can have an affordable, safe place for the kids while they work.  Thank you in advance for your generousity and your willingness to help others, like me, fulfill their dreams.

Thank you,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Has it really been a whole week!...

Wow!! Has it really been a whole week since I last posted!!

Life has been gloriously busy--The renovations are moving forward at about the pace they have been.  The framing is almost completed, the plumbing is coming together, and the electric will be tackled soon.  Then the three preliminary inspections can be approved, and we can finish her.  That is something I am looking forward to with great relief and appreciation.

I have also completed the Health and Safety Training course required for the day care licensing procedure.  I still have my basic routine, developmentally appropriate teaching, and discipline plans still to complete and send in.  I have some issues with brevity, and am trying to figure out how to respond to the inquiries in the application packet that both satisfies what I want to say AND fits in the small space they provide for the answers.  Aside from that and getting their medical forms to my doctor and the kids doctor to sign off, I just have the floor plan layout and evacuation route plan, which I hesitate to finish until after the framing inspection in case we need to alter anything.  So it is mostly just paperwork left.  I do need to update my First Aid and CPR certification, but that is a one day course.  So there is still a bunch to do, but the end of the tunnel is in sight.

The kids are doing well.  Gonzo is going to be Student of the Month in his class (the teacher emailed me yesterday), as he has been having an outstanding month, many Outstanding Day Orange ratings for the month.  Josiah has been doing great with school lately.  He still has some outbursts but, they seems to be less intense, less frequent, and the teachers have been able to help him turn the corner and come back into a better frame of mind.  He also has been doing more academic work, and they have been scribing more for him, which makes a difference.

Josiah also had another dentist appointment yesterday, and he did great!!  We have one final appointment to fix the last of the issues, and the hardest ones.  So next Thursday will be the last treatment in a long nearly 2 year saga of getting his dental work done.  Dr. Baim has been incredible with him.  I am very pleased with how comfortable she makes him feel.

I also have been doing some cleaning at the apartment, since my lease is technically up on February 15th.  I deep cleaned the bathroom the other day, replaced the toilet seat, which I have been meaning to do for a while now, and scrubbed behind and under everything, I even washed the walls and door.  So, one room down.  I also have been sorting and packing the boys clothes so that the only thing we have to move at the last minute are the sets of clothes they wear to school.  If I can get a bunch of packing and sorting done now, then the move in 3 weeks will go much better, especially if we have not gotten the certificate of occupancy by then and the boys have to live with A for a couple of weeks while we finish the house.

Speaking of A, we had a great visit this weekend with A's sister who came for an overnight visit.  It was great to see her, and the boys love her dearly.  A has been doing okay.  One client has left the area though, and so A's caseload dropped, and is a bit worried about making ends meet.  Hopefully a couple of people will be added soon, so that that A will not have to worry.  A has also been great about taking the kids, though not without some guilt-tripping, it has been a good thing to know the kids are safe and having fun while I am spending many evenings working on the new place for them. 

So that is a basic recap of what I have been rolling with over the past week.  I am looking forward to a highly productive week/weekend to get as much done as possible on the house.  If we can get the preliminary inspections next week, the walls and finishing should come together pretty quickly.  I hope to post more than once a week, so hopefully I'll have a short update for you all over the weekend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CRAZY Week!>>>

This has been a crazy week.  Well the last couple of weeks have been crazy.  Between dentist appointments, other appointments, required trainings (an hour away, six hours a day) for the day care license, and the renovations of the house, it has been absolutely crazy.

The renovations are moving along.  We have the plumbing drains laid out, still need to lay out the actual water pipes, but those are easier.  The framing for everything is just about ready for the framing inspection.  We are hoping to get the plumbing and electric done so that the three inspections can be done at the same time.  After that, up goes the sheet rock, then taping and spackling, painting, flooring and the final inspection.  We have not had as much time as I had hoped to work on it.  I was hoping we would have 4-5 days a week, at least 4 hours each day.  But it has been a lot of hit or miss, with 2-3 days a week, some with short 2 hour days, others with 7 hour days.  I am still hopeful that we will make my deadline of February 15th to be moved out of here and into the new place.  We just will not have a long to move and clean as I had hoped.  I know it might be a bit tight, but I think if we can keep focused, it will happen.  My goal, if my father can be there for most of it as I need his know how, is to finish the windows, the plumbing and the floor joists for the bathroom this week.  Next week I am hoping we can get eh fire wall framing and all of the electrical done (then we can get the inspections done hopefully by the 27th).  With a few extra hands we should be able to get the sheet rock up that first week in February, and most of the taping and spackling.  Then we have about a week to paint and put down carpet to get the final inspection by Feb13th.  Okay, so it may not quite work out that way, but I am hoping.

Today I pick the kids up from school early and we go to see a family therapist.  I have been trying to get us into family therapy for a while, but the one up here just was not very useful, for one she decided that since the kids have counseling at school, she did not think they should participate in our family counseling.  There is obviously a lack of understanding of what school counseling is, as it is not to address overall problems, but rather focuses on specific issues relating to school that need work.  And everything I talked about in addressing the behavioral issues at home, she just said I was doing a great job and offered a few minimal suggestions.  Nothing that really helped look at the dynamics of the family and how the kids special needs and behaviors were impacting each other and the family as a whole,. nor how my interaction with them was impacting my relationship with each one and impacting their relationships with each other.  So we are going down to the nearest city and hour away and seeing if there is a more helpful therapist who can help us create more peace and cooperation in the household, as well as benefit improving behavior at school and other public places.

So, that's all for now...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

quick update

Josiah did GREAT at the dentist.  He sat int eh chair with his head phones on listening to music (and to the dentist) while she explained each step of what she was doing (having done it all on this fingernail prior to starting on his teeth so he could see each step), and he was calm and still the whole time.  A quick three fillings, and he was still happy and comfortable.  In two weeks we go back and she will attempt both top and bottom on the left side.  From what I saw, he did amazingly!!! and so I think he will do well for next couple of appointments.  It is such a huge blessing to have finally connected with a dentist that treats him with respect and KNOWS how to help children feel comfortable with their dental work!!!!

So, huge amount of gratitude for being directed to this dentist!!  Thanks be to God.

As for the house renovations, I am trying to stay positive and optimistic.  My beloved father is showing early signs of Alzheimer's, and some days he repeats the same task (or same full conversation) multiple times.  Today was one of those days.  He measured and planned the windows and closets in the boys bedrooms at least five times....even though we had already discussed, measured, and drawn directly on the wall AND the floor where everything would be laid out and how the other day.  He did put up the framing for another bathroom wall, and we got together a list of what was needed to do the framing for the windows.  But in some ways we lost a lot of time with the repetition of things he had forgotten that we had already figured out.  Five years ago, the framing and plumbing would be done by now, and the electric inspection ready.  But alas, the sad truth of it is that my father appears to be walking the same path his father walked.  He still has all of his intellect, his carpentry and building skills, his philosophical insights, and all of the other things that make him such an amazing human being, but I have been watching his memory slipping more and more over the past year or so.  My brother has seen it as well, and says he will not move out of my fathers house as he and I agree that it is on the cusp of my father needing someone there to make sure he is okay.  Yes, he could probably still live alone a few more years, but knowing that someone is there with him at least every evening after work brings more peace of mind.  So the project will take longer than anticipated, but that is okay, as it is my father's work that he loves to do (well the building part, not so much the plumbing and electrical parts). And I am happy to be sharing this with him.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another dentist appointment and quick renovation update

Josiah did very well at the dentist yesterday.  They really were great about introducing him to the dental instruments, letting him touch and hold them, and helped him get comfortable with the tools.  They also were very respectful and compassionate with him when he was SO GREAT at expressing his feelings, both when feeling fine and when feeling scared or nervous.  He was GREAT at being open with his feelings and asking questions.  I am so proud of him.

While we were there, they had a cancellation for TODAY.  so they asked us if we can come back today at noon.  Today will be the first day with the drill, but I am hopeful that he will do well.  I am so grateful to have been recommended to this dentist.  I am very hopeful that this will work out for all of his dental issues. I'll keep you all updated....

Now....a quick update about the house renovations...They are FINALLY underway in a real way.  We have pulled a lot of wire out of the walls that was already unhooked.  The walls for the bedrooms are up.  The water damaged sections of the ceiling are down with new pieces going up today while I am at the dentist.  The bathroom framing is supposed to go up today as well, according to my brother.  That would be wonderful.  Electrical is going to take time.  We have done some already with unhooking circuits, moving light fixtures, and moving some things around.  Being a former laundromat, there were a great many outlets.  So we have been following the maze of conduits.

I would say that in another week or so we will have a framing and plumbing inspection and be able to start sheet rocking one side of the new walls.  It may take a couple of weeks before we have the electrical done and ready for inspection.  After that, it is a matter of putting up the rest of the walls, painting, moulding, flooring, and then the final inspection, hopefully no later than the first week in February (as I already gave my notice on moving out of here by the 15th).  Moving will hopefully be the 1st or second weekend in February....yippee!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Off to the dentist...again....

The dental consult went well last week for Josiah.  This new dentist feels that the issues with his teeth, being that they are all baby teeth, are not severe enough to warrant the risk of anesthesia (which is what we said 2 1/2 years ago to the previous dentist who made us jump through hoops for so long that Josiah teeth got worse and worse.  I wish we had found this dentist back them...). 

So....anyway.....she wants to do a series of in-the-chair dental appointments to fill in the holes in his teeth, only a couple of which have actual decay in them.  She feels that the vast majority of the work can be done without even needing Novocaine.  The worst two teeth are the i-teeth, which are the ones that I have stressed about for the past few years, when they came in with such obvious holes when he was a baby.  Those may need some numbing to work on.  The others are just surface and just need to be cleaned and filled in order to prevent decay (or further decay in a couple of them).  Of course he will actually have to cooperate and LET her work on his teeth, which with Josiah can be hit or miss.  If he refuses to cooperate, then we will have to look again at anesthesia, because the holes do need to be filled.  Please pray that he will be calm and cooperative through this series of dental appointments, so that his teeth can be fixed without the risk of anesthesia.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

2 more pounds........and dentist saga continues

So.....I got on the scale this morning for the first time since before the holidays, and was afriad of what I might see.  Much to my joy and surprise, I actually lost another two pounds even with all the holiday eating and the candy that I am not supposed to have.  So yeah!!!  I am down another two pound--bit by bit it is coming off.

And I ask you for your prayers today, send your positive energy and your focused intention...Josiah is having a consult with another dentist.  I am extremely nervous about this, as this is the dentist that the other dentist (who gave us a run around for over 18 months before deciding they couldn't treat his teeth) referred us to as they do dental surgery at the hospital.  I am hoping that they will be a good dentist, a compassionate dentist, and one that will understand that his teeth continue to get worse the longer he is jerked around by dentists.  What should have been a simple small filling 18 months ago has gotten to the point of probably needing to be an extraction.

Please pray for calm and peace for me, and that I will have good insight inot whether or not this dentist is going to treat Josiah with the respect and medical care that he deserves.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year, A New Start

Well, the holiday week certainly kept me busy.  Part of that was this little thing called a Kindle that A got for me.....So I have read five books since Christmas (I know that is a bit excessive).  I am so excited about how easy it is to get a book.  I just need to watch my budget and use the library and free collections more often than buying a new book, or else my basic life will suffer.

My house is still a wreck.  Although I have been working all week in addition to reading, I have also started work (or rather my father has started) on the actual renovating of the new house.  The tear down phase is pretty much done, just a couple of damaged ceiling areas to tear down still.  The main wall for the boys rooms went up yesterday.  I can not help much during this framing, electrical and plumbing stage, as I have minimal knowledge about how to do those three things. It would slow him down too much to be teaching me as we go because I am struggling to pay for two homes at the same time, so finishing as quickly as we can is important.  After the framing, electrical and plumbing inspection, then we can put up the sheet rock at which point I can actually be of use.  I CAN sheet rock, tape, spackle, paint, and then deal with flooring and molding. Then we can have the final inspection, get our CO and move in.  Then I can give this apartment a thorough cleaning, and be done here.  I also am looking forward to having a child care area that is separate from the main living and sleeping area of my home.  It will be easier to design educational and fulfilling activities for the kids I care for, and will be able to keep my own children's stuff more protected and private, as the child care kids will not have access to their rooms.  Here is so small that the kids use the living room/kitchen and the boys bedroom for playing as there is too little room to play and do projects otherwise.

I look forward to us having our own house again, and to getting the day care license process completed, then I make more than $3 an hour because I can have a few kids . Iin NY you can not have more than 2 kids at a time without the license, and in this area many people make minimum wage or barely above it, so can not pay more than $2-3 an hour--and the child care subsidy pays even less than that for people who qualify!  Add int hat very few people have full time jobs year round up here, and you can see that making an income babysitting is not easy.  Actually making a livable income at all is a challenge.  But when I can have 4-5 kids at $2-3 an hour, I can make enough to actually eek out a living for me and the kids.

This week has also see A really step up to the plate with the kids.  A has been sober for one month as of Christmas Day, and the changes that I see remind me of the person that I met nearly eight years ago.  It is amazing how much addiction can change a person.  We have a lot of baggage from the past few years, so I am not sure if our relationship could ever truly heal enough to consider getting back together, but it is good to the person that knew back them again.  Of course it is not easy, and healing takes time, but I see A being more responsible with work, with the kids, and with taking care of the things A needs to rather than waiting for others (like me) to do it.    Each of the kids spent one night at A's by themselves, and then they have spent 3 nights at A's together.  I would love to say that I got to sleep in those days, but alas I still had kids to babysit, so the only day I slept in (to 9:30!! after getting up at my normal 6:30 to let the dog out and back in of course, but went back to bed).  It was New Years Day.  I went over to A's for New Year's eve, and the kids stayed up to watch the ball drop on TV.  This was the first time they stayed up for New Year's Eve.  Then I tucked them into their beds at A's house and headed home.  Of course I ended up staying up until 2:30am reading, so I did not actually catch up on any sleep, sheesh!!

I am looking fr\orward tom this new year.  I have many unfinished or partially finished goals from the last couple of years, and I will continue working on them.  The three biggies I hope to continue this year are getting healthier physically, getting healthier spiritually, and getting healthier financially.  Three facets of "wealth" in helping to transform my life. 

Three primary focuses for the physical aspect: exercising 5 days a week needs to start happening again; eating more vegetables and fruit and less processed carbohydrates, and being more conscientious with food and snack choices (broth or soup for a snack instead of cookies or a bowl of cereal; drinking ample amounts of water; drinking hot tea between meals instead of immediately reaching for something to chew on; chewing gum when I really need the sensation of chewing; planning my meals beforehand so that I know I am eating a well balanced, nutrient dense meal, instead of throwing whatever together at the last minute). 

Three primary focuses for the spiritual aspect:  meditating at least 15 minutes a day; teaching my children about and living life as a prayer (being aware that everything I do can be an act of prayer--a way of communicating with and connecting to the Divine); and  using self-hypnosis to actively work on emotional/mental blockages and to transform negative thinking patterns and habits. 

Three primary focuses for the financial aspect:  Making a reasonable budget based on actual spending needs and committing to it fully;  Getting the day care business underway and being very reasonable  with the budget; and putting some time and effort into the two business I have underway--finish my hypnosis training and get certified so I can make and sell some hypnosis MP3 and CD's, and work on my Ambit business, which my brother is law is making a six figure income from after only 2 years of being an independent consultant, so I know the company is honest, the service is good, and it is a great way to help others make money while helping their friends and family save money on electricity.  I just need to find the time to put into building my business to bring in more income.

So three focus areas for my continued life transformation of my life.  May 2012 bring blessings to you from unexpected places.  And may you be open to being transformed!!