Just Heather

I did it! I withdrew Stacia from school last week. She started at the Montessori school the next day. She’s very excited, which was a pleasant surprise. I thought she’d have more mixed feelings, but she’s so excited that when I got to the school to withdraw her she had already completed the paperwork and had the contents of her desk piled in the office. All they needed was my signature! I had sent an email to her teacher that morning letting her know so they did have reason to believe her.

She seemed to enjoy her first week. It’s funny, but she actually won’t have a full week until her 4th week there. Last week was the transfer, this week is an in-service day (they have 2 each year, I think) and next week they’re off for President’s Day. She’s behind on the science fair project, but she has a good idea and is having fun with it. I’m sure they’ll let her have more time if she needs it since she’ll only have 2 weeks but we’re doing our best to jump right in.

We’re going to have to make serious budget cuts and the Disney vacation I had booked with high hopes is going by the wayside, but it was the right decision for us. She’s having better days with both health and behavior so I know it is good for her. I’m already much more relaxed just having made the choice. I had some good ideas and loved the theory of homeschooling her, but having that off my back is such a relief.

And because I am the most embarrassing mom on the planet, I had to take a picture of her first day at the new school. And share it with the internets. She was her typical pre-teen self and forced me to take the picture at home before arriving at school in front of real, actual people. She did, however, allow a few pictures on her last day at the old school.

Montessori Stacia, Day 1

Her Former Teacher

Her Former Teacher

Never Again

Never Again

We are considering pulling Stacia out of public schools for a variety of reasons. Let’s just say that my extremely bright, off the charts child is getting Cs and Ds in school. Ridiculous.   Anyway, I’d really prefer to send her to Brenia’s Montessori School, but  I’m not sure I can do that. We’re looking into the homeschool option, and I’m a little intimidated by everything that’s out there. Ultimately, I’d love to unschool; I’m just not confident in myself.

She is shadowing today with the upper elementary at Brenia’s school. I just don’t think we can afford to send her there. I did sit and talk with the directress this morning and she’s willing to work with us. Sibling discount, locked-in tuition, 12-month payment plan instead of 9. We’re considering all our options, but if that ends up being as affordable as it sounds I’ll probably be transferring her there. I’m ashamed to admit I just don’t think I’m up to doing it myself. I will if I have to. She is leaving public school this week no matter what, that much I promise.

It’s been an odd month. Actually, it’s been a rough year. It gets capped off this week with fabulous news from the station. My executive producer called yesterday to talk about my segment. The Tribune Company (which owns the station) filed bankruptcy this week which results in budget cuts. The want to keep my segment, but no more than once per month. They already canceled me for tomorrow and I have no idea when I’ll be back on.

It sucks because we had really begun to rely on that money. We’ll be okay, for the most part, but there goes any fun whatsoever. I’m also really going to miss doing it. I loved the creativity of it all, and I’ll admit the recognition was nice to. My dad was finally proud of something and now it’s (mostly) gone.

I was just getting ready to put a deposit down on the Buy 4, Get 3 free Disney resort for a summer vacation. That’s not likely to happen now, though I’ll probably put down the $200 just in case we can come up with a way to replace the income. Of course, part of me hopes the station changes their mind down the road. The segment has been a huge hit and I’ve been told my several viewers that it is the only reason they tune in.

Spencer and I celebrated our 11th anniversary with a trip down memory lane. We visited old haunts and enjoyed an entire weekend of fun from our dating days. The actual date of our anniversary was spent at Cedar Point and included lunch at the Weenee Hut (Be sure to use a condiment!).

11 Years...

11 Years and counting

Millennium Force

Millennium Force

The Mantis




The Raptor


  • We still own our first house and the last tenants skipped out without paying the last months rent plus their dog trashed the carpets. All of the savings we had set aside to pay Brenia’s tuition has been spent on the house & mortgage over the last 3 months instead. We’re shooting for RTO this time in hopes of finally unloading it.
  • They ended up fully promoting Brenia to 1st grade even though they were going to “interim” her for a semester. By the time we got to graduation, they decided she would be ready after all.
  • I think her new glasses helped with that. At the end of the year, a basic school screening showed vision problems. Turns out she’s legally blind in 1 eye. They are slowly correcting it as her doc thought she would reject glasses at her full prescription. Her follow-up exam today went well and he doesn’t think we’ll have to patch it as previously feared.
  • In some of the best news of my life, Spencer’s mom moved to NC over the summer. I can’t begin to tell you how much that rocks for us both as a couple and a family.
  • In related, hilarious news, she is now engaged. Yes, again. I think that’s 8 rings thus far, but only 5 have actually resulted in divorce (I mean, marriage).
  • Stacia is at the intermediate school, which seems better than the elementary. I would still love to move her to Montessori, but we just can’t afford it right now.
  • Fox59 is still going well, I think. I haven’t seen anyone with authority in weeks. I just show up, with my segment prepped, the props ready and do the show with an anchor. I’m assuming that is a good thing as there is clearly a lot of trust on their part in that. Normally, guests have to be escorted around the studio, but I can never even find anyone available to ask. They just let me in and I do my thing.
  • We got a Wii Fit a few weeks ago. I am loving being back into Yoga, but frustrated that after 30 minutes per day of mostly aerobic activities I have actually gained 2 pounds instead.
  • I got involved with a domestic violence shelter in the spring. Mostly, I just decluttered my house (must read: It’s All Too Much) and helped the owner transport everything she needed or priced things for the charity yard sale. Then, I organized a school supply drive because the yard sale didn’t net enough for the 35 kids she has now (5 times more than last year). I bought backpacks for each kid, collected supplies all over town and obtained Mom sponsors so each child could have a new outfit & shoes. I am so pleased to say we met with great success-each child had absolutely everything they need.
  • It tugged on my heartstrings a lot, though, and now I’m not sure we’re done with little ones. There is a Safe Families program that places at risk children with volunteer families. It is a way for the families to house children while they get their lives together instead of remaining at risk and possibly losing custody or parental rights.  It’s on my list.
  • I signed Brenia up for dance class this year. She is so excited. The studio was planning an adult ballet class and I had decided to take it. I have wanted to get back into something like that forever. The very same day they announced that it wasn’t happening, I went to my church’s new auditorium kickoff where the dance ministry performed. I signed up on the way out and we start on Wednesday.

When we first went gluten free, I had heard Amazon was the cheapest place to buy certain foods. They sell in bulk, have free shipping when you spend over $25 and often have online coupons for $10 off a grocery order.

At first, I didn’t buy anything in bulk as we were trying many different products. I thought once we found some favorites we could start buying online. The idea of having our treats arrive on our doorstep instead of trucking to the specialty store was quite appealing. Last month, I finally took advantage of their grocery special. For the bargain price of $46 I ordered 12 bags of pretzels and 12 bags of animal pasta (aka Spaghetti-Os). It truly was a deal and a half.

I received an email a couple weeks later from Amazon that the pretzels were back-ordered. I had to purchase a different brand at the specialty store while we waited. The other day our pretzels arrived on the front porch. The girls were thrilled. They have already been through 4 bags! At this rate, I’ll have to order again without the benefit of a coupon code. I’m keeping my fingers crossed a good one comes along again soon.

If I don’t keep their favorites in stock, they end of sneaking something else—which then results in headaches, stomach aches, behavioral issues and teary promises that they’ll never do it again. Of course, memory of pain only seems to last so long. That’s why women keep having more kids. I, of course, have managed to develop a great memory for that sort of thing. Which is why we are all done with the baby thing—just as soon as I can convince hubby that I’m serious this time.

In my hometown this weekend, I found myself at Wal-mart. Not my first choice by any means, but options are limited in small town America. As I walked to the U-Scan, I stopped at the fridge to grab a Sunkist.

The guy in front of me said that he had never seen anyone do that with such style and grace. I have no idea what that means, but he proceeded to tell me I was gorgeous. It was very weird, and a little creepy, but I have to admit I still loved hearing it.

What girl wouldn’t want a guy to tell her she is gorgeous?

Allow me to give you a few excerpts from my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

  • Took my sick, crabby baby to the doctor. She either has the start of a sinus infection or will require regular medication for seasonal allergies. I never thought I’d say this, but I really hope my baby is sick.
  • Got a phone call from the principal today. Some psycho kid threw a chair at my daughter. Knowing my daughter, however, I’m sure it was provoked. The kid says she was “saying mean things on the bus” which is odd since she hasn’t ridden the bus for two days.
  • Sent said child to bed without dinner because she threw an all out kicking, screaming tantrum when we tried to talk to her about what may have led up to the Bobby Knight incident. She will not, however, be in trouble for yelling obscenities at the kid on the bus as I would have too if he tripped me every day.
  • Had to call up all knowledge of Heimlich for my baby who choked—real and actual choking—on the food her sister left out after lunch.
  • Caught my 4-year-old stealing candy that I refused to buy for her. This stealing thing has become a problem, though this is the first time it has been outside of our own home. I’m raising a klepto here and not really sure what to do about it. She seems pretty remorseful and I’m hopeful our conversations got through to her.
  • Had an interesting experience at the store when a coupon for $1.99 rang up for $1.00. The idiot cashier told me “that’s how it worked” and offered to “explain coupons” to me! Ha! I wanted to scream, “I’ve been on CBS, the front page of the Chicago Tribune and syndicated across the nation as a ‘coupon expert’ and you want to teach me how coupons work?!” Instead, I used my coupon at the back of the store while I paid for Lorelai’s prescription where the pharmacist had no problem getting it to work correctly. Then I came home and shot off an email to their corporate office about the moronic “manager” and how rudely I was treated.