Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Gym kid.

This week I took it upon myself to sign Reece up for spin class.

They have a program for 10 to 13 year old kids to get healthy and get a chance to be as the grown ups for a while. It was Monday, when I signed him up. The class was Tuesday. He had no say. I came home after working out at the Y and said "Guess what! Your taking a spin class at the Y!"

He answered in his laid back way, 'Uh, ok, but next time ask me.' (As if he had other major plans for Tuesdays at 6pm for 45 minutes)
So we brought him there and dropped him off, as I left him I told the instructor... "He is mine feel free to beat him."
And she kicked some butt! He was sweating pretty good. While he was in class Duner and I went to our local home improvement store to scan some ideas for our upcoming basement project. When we got back, he was dragging, but he LOVED IT!! He asked us to sign him up for the Thursday class as well. He asked me to put Brock in the class, but Brock is so skinny, and I don't need him feeling like he needs to eat more.

Tonight I ran on the treadmill while he did the class. Then she had the kids walk a mile before leaving.

So every Tuesday and Thursday for the next few weeks we are going to the gym together so we can work out.
I am really beginning to love this gym thing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The new job

So we have officially received the all good to proceed with the new job for Duner. Duner talked to HR Monday. He will be starting March 24th. Which is the Monday we get back from our vacation to New Mexico. Duner had the physical and drug test last week which he passed, even though his hearing is not so good in one ear. (The doctor told him it is because he hunts, when firing the shotgun or rifle)

He will be working a straight night shift, but he will have to be on days for 2 weeks for training. Apparently they are taking him out for Lunch on the first day. That is what the HR lady told him.

We will not get health insurance until April 25th or so. Due to the that, Duner will be working TWO FULL TIME JOBS, and his part time job until the insurance kicks in.

NOW BEFORE THE LECTURE, READ UP.... Duners current job has had postings for voluntary lay off for weeks now, and there are postings up through summer for volunteers to take unemployment. Now, Duner will NOT be taking the money from the state, but he is just going to sign up for the unemployment until our health insurance kicks in. Given his seniority he has a good chance of getting off for most of it.

So technically he will not be working both jobs, at the same time, but even if he does have to work both jobs one week or two, he is willing to do that. Luckily one jobs shift schedule runs 10-6am, 6-2pm, 2-10pm and the other runs 11-7am,7-3pm, 3-11pm.

Yes, insane, no lecture needed, it is only temporary.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Project on the horizon.

I am currently typing this on our new hard drive. So far so good. I will have to reinstall many programs, I did have a back up disk made in 2007, so I may not be in such bad shape. We will see.
Gateway allows 2 hard drive failures before replacing the entire computer. Yippeee!

Earlier this week I sat down with my husband and marked up our calendar to direct us on our upcoming basement refinish. Today was 'Organization Day". Today we moved all of the STUFF out of the areas we are going to be finishing. We will have a storage room, so that was the designated STUFF room. We moved the TV, Computer, Desk and PS2 into some very happy, all TOO eager to help us kids rooms. Reece and Zeb now have the PS2 and TV, while Brock has the Desk and computer.

We swept and vacuumed up all kinds of bugs and dirt. (Probably some toys, too... Opps!) With tape measure, straight edge and chalk in hand we marked off the imaginary walls to get a visual on how it will be looking.

We were pretty happy with how it turned out. Thanks to a recent visit to a newly remodeled basement and some super websites, we have so many ideas.

Now we are not doing anything else until after we get back from New Mexico in 3 weeks. I can't believe we leave in 2 weeks from today already! Where does the time go?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

One B-A-A-A-A-A-A-D Parent

This is what I wanted to do today... Some laundry, housework, and maybe recuperate from this congestion that has a tight grip on my head and chest.
So What did I do today?
I wake up at 4:30 unable to sleep thanks to the congestion and cough. I go to turn on the computer and get this lovely black screen telling my something about put in some reboot disk. That can not be good. Yep, my 13 month old computer died. Grrr.
After getting the boys on the buses, I get in the shower, get Z in a bath and get ready to take him to the Y so I can do some mandatory training on How to abuse your child. errr, make that how spot child abuse and prevent it. One of the perks for working at the Y is Z can be in child care for free since I had been working.
We got done with that in time to grab a quick bite for lunch and then drop off Z at school. I met the bus driver and told her I would be picking Z up after school too.
Then it was off the the Middle school to meet with Brock's LD teacher for his IEP. He is a real joy to be around... hmm, Who knew? (just kidding!)
After that I run home, grab our computer and receipts so I can bring it to the boys at CC so they can pretend to work on it. I am always amazed how they stay open considering they only have 5 cars in their parking lot every time we go there. So after looking at it and asking about any power surges we may have had, how old our house is, blah, blah ,blah... He says our HARD DRIVE IS SHOT. Gee, My first Gateway lasted 3 wks and our next lasted 13 months. Gotta love Gateway. Thankfully it is over a year so we no longer have to call Gateway to get replacement parts. We should have our desktop computer back within a week or so if it was the hard drive . Thankfully we have the laptop from my sis!!! Thanks Sara!
So then I head to Brock's and Z's school to pick them up. I find Brock and pick him up and while I am driving away I notice a kid on the ground in the snow without mittens, then this kid starts jumping on him and kicking him. Something in me snapped. I stopped lowered my back window and yelled at the top of my lungs...
"Hey Stop it! What is the matter with you? How old are you???"

As soon as that came out of my mouth, the kleenex box that Brock was holding magically popped up perfectly blocking his face from the view of the kid I just yelled at, while Brock mumbled "I am so embarrassed". I told Brock if that kid says anything to him, just tell him he is lucky that I was sick or I would have gotten out of the car and really gave him a piece of my mind!

I can't help but giggle when I think about it, now.
I keep seeing flashbacks of my parents driving down the main drag in Appleton on a Friday night with the Polka tunes blaring with the windows down... and us kids held captive in the back seat.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


We are all hunkered to our homes around here. Everything is closed in anticipation for snowstorm Isabella. It began as rain/ sleet then turned into snow. When all is said and done were supposed to have 5 to 8 inches they said. It seems pretty minor compared to our neighbors to the south.

They have even closed the MALL and the YMCA. I don't remember the last time that happened. I am glad we made it to the store first thing this am to load up on oranges, bananas, fruit juices, ice cream (for sore throats), Robotussin DM and dog food. We are good to go.

I am pretty happy since I am fighting off a bug. No working out for me lately, I really need to get rid of this thing. Cough, congestion and nausea thanks to the intense post nasal drippage. Yah, good times at our house.

Brock woke up with some nicely swollen glands today, it looks like he has a nice double chin. He already proclaimed if it was not gone by tomorrow he was not going to school. I found this nice website from my work that tells you when to see professional advice. I wish more of our patients would use it sometimes.

We received an email from the school district yesterday that said Presidential candidate Barack Obama was supposed to stop by the High School (right down the road) for a Town hall meeting. Of course, today that too was canceled. I wasn't planning on going but it would have been neat to hear about it.

Duner's boss from the restaurant even called and closed the restaurant for the night. Sounds like lots of us are staying inside today.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

College Express

The boys had a half day on Friday this week. Brock spent the afternoon going to UW Oshkosh campus and checking it out with his TRIO group.
What really sealed the deal for him was that lunch was included with the trip. When I asked him how he liked the trip he said
"Their pizza was GREAT. I also had a Cheeseburger and fries too!"

Brock is the great pizza connoisseur, if it is on the menu, he most likely will try it. But then he hasn't tried a pizza he didn't like yet.

As for the rest of the school? He liked the dorms with the mini fridge and microwaves. He approved the different types of beds. His favorite part was the computer labs, they are open 24hrs.
He said
" I could get up at 2am work on a paper and then go back to bed if I wanted too!"

Hmmm. Not sure if that would ever happen... but ok.

In the end he said he would like to go to a 2 year school first, then if he didn't like that he would like to go there but we still need to check out other schools first.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sign of the times?

Zeb had his first trip to the eye doctor today.
The doctor asked him if he wanted to use numbers, letters or pictures. First Zeb went for the letters, but then he quickly changed it to pictures when he didn't know the first one. The doctor asked him if he knew what each picture was. There was a heart, house, circle, telephone, etc... When he got to the telephone picture, the doctor commented to me about how funny it is that kids actually know what that is considering how much more common cell phones are.

So, the next time Zeb came across a telephone symbol he called it a cell phone.
The doctor said "Well your ears are definitely working."
Everything went well. He has near perfect in one eye and better than perfect in the other.

Monday, February 11, 2008

And now the rest of the story...

So After we finished the taxes on Thursday, We were greatful to be away from the computer. After we put the kids to bed Duner had some unspent energy and began tickling me. I returned the favor by getting him on his side where he is very sensitive. He jerks and his stomach tightens every time I touch that spot.

While I was hold his arm with my left hand, I reached around him and touched the sensitive spot and he jerked. Apparently I didn't have a hold of his arm like I thought I did. He slipped out of my grip and his arm dropped right on my face. Below my right eye. Now I have a pretty colorful eye without make up.

I missed out on a pretty fun time the tri-club was putting on at Lambeau field because I really didn't want to have people say...
"What happened to your face?"
"Oh Honey, it is called Denial." (that happened to a coworker of mine)

I can try to cover it but it doesn't help. the dark spot still shows through. At least I don't have to meet with Brock's teachers until next week.

He was feeling really guilty.

The good news is I already got a pretty nice Sorry/ Happy 13th Anniversary gift. An Aquamarine ring.
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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Is the week done already?

Monday the appraiser called to see if he could come and evaluate the house for the refinance we are doing. He had time right then and I just wanted to get it over with so I said sure. I warned him that it wasn't clean but he could come over. He told me he was going to give us $1000 for the deer mount to the house just for that. (He was kidding, of course.)
Also, I helped out at Zeb's school. I painted kids hands so they could make their hand prints on a calendar. Zeb's teacher was due to have a baby on friday, and she looked sick of being pregnant when I was in on Monday. We learned on Wednesday she had a baby girl, so Zeb has a substitute teacher until late April.
Tuesday I managed to get in some laps in the pool, grocery shopping and much laundry.
Wednesday we both worked at our two jobs. That should be the last time I work during the week at the Y. I am now scheduled to work only Saturday's. I do have some annual training coming up, but that will be only once a month.
Thursday we grabbed some fast food burgers for supper and warned the kids we were going to need time to work on our taxes. We bought a program to complete and file our taxes online. It took us about 2 hrs. I hate all the long words they use for different terms. But overall I think it went well.
Friday was the first time I was able to cook for the most of the week. We had Chili. I really wanted to get some kind of a workout in. I am finally really noticing the weight coming off and I really want to keep it up. I only have 15 more lbs to go till I reach my Happy Weight.
Saturday was my first real day at the new job. From the minute I got there it was just one thing after another going wrong. One of the 3 front desk employees didn't show up. It was just me and one other person. Scanner wasn't working. 3 out of 4 computers not working. 1 of 2 dryers on the fritz. Dangerously LOW on towels! Vending machines low on change, apparently due to Youth Night the night before. Craziness I tell ya!
The day just FLEW BY!! I had to take 4 groups of people on a tour of the Y. We sold 2 memberships off of those tours. One already had a membership and one was pretty excited and probably going to do it.
By the time I got home it was dark, I fed the kids and sent them out to shovel. They had the day off, it was their turn to work.
Now my turn to relax. I will tell you how I got my lovely black eye next time....

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Nice Change

So I have worked for 2 weeks at the Y now. So far so good. I do really like it.
The atmosphere is more laid back than the doctors office I usually work at. Not so serious.

We have had our share of crabby people yesterday. 3 to be exact.
Psychology was one of my favorite classes. It is so interesting to see how different people are. Some people get really worked up and in front of their kids show exactly how NOT to behave in public. Some try really hard not to take it out on you but clearly are mad beyond belief. Thankfully I haven't had anyone vent specifically to me yet. But I am learning a lot. This group really seems to stand up for each other.

Whenever we have a chance we are to be folding towels and doing laundry. I really like that. I am glad it is not just a sit down all day job, like my other one. I like that I am burning calories while I am working.
I picked up my first paycheck yesterday... I would love to cash it but it was wrong. I only make 7 bucks per hour. It showed that I worked 42 hrs. So it was over 200 bucks! I only worked 4 that week.

Saturday was Kidstage at the High School for Reece. It was very cute. He put on a skit with a girl from his class. He played a boss to a Happy-go-lucky girl selling oranges. As he started out he sat on stage and she stood near the oranges. Customers kept coming up to her asking her questions...
1 question.. A customer asked...What is on sale today? Her Answer: I don't know. Cue Reece to explain that Oranges are on sale and she needs to say Thanks and Have a Nice Day to all who leave.
2 question.. How much are they? Her Answer: I don't know. Cue Reece to explain the oranges were only 2 cents each.
3 question..Are they fresh? Her Answer: I don't know. Cue Reece to tell her they are very, very fresh.
4th question was from a police officer that asked her if she was getting fresh with him and she said 'Very, very fresh' so the police officer took her off stage.
Reece then grabbed a Help Wanted sign and put it in front of the stage.
It was cute.
Then they played a game called 'Hey, What are you doin?'
Your supposed to silently sit and pretend to do something and when you are asked, you tell them something else then they are supposed to pretend to do that suggestion. Reece asked a kid what he was doing and he said "Pretending to be Elvis", so Reece had to pretend to be Elvis. At first he didn't know what to do but he quickly recovered with a hip gesture and with his hands pointing to the side he said "Thank you very much" in his best Elvis way. He got the entire group laughing. It was cute. Afterwards he was worried since they were not supposed to talk, but he did great.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Job Status

It is 7am on Saturday and all are sleeping so I finally am able to post something!
I can give a little more detail regarding the job issue. Ok, Duner's work is trying to recover from the 3 years it was owned by a company that didn't really know how to manage its money. They had employees work INSANE amounts of overtime, and missed a few payments to the bank and had to get sold to a company called Kohlberg & Company, an investment company that buys companies in financial trouble, reorganizes them and fixes the problems and gets them on track.

This new company has cut out the overtime completely. Dropped orders that were not at least X % profitable, Shut down all 3 shifts at times only to work 2 shifts for weeks at a time and asked for volunteers to take weeks worth of unemployment. They forced everyone to take unemployment the week of Christmas.

You think, gee, that is not so bad?
Sure, if you don't have a second job.

Duner has a 2nd job. He has worked part-time for YEARS at a restaurant. The way 'Unemployment compensation' works is they see the second job as income. So they do not give you benefits since he was 'AVAILABLE' to work at the second job. Or if they do it is minus what you made while you were off of the other job. But you wait about 1 month while they 'investigate' your claim...

We learned that nugget of knowledge a few years ago. So we didn't even bother. We were able to get by without a paycheck for that week.

So, now he had began applying at jobs around the area. I just rolled my eyes and thought- Why are you doing this? He has been at his job almost 6 years already. He has 2 weeks vacation. Some seniority. Why?
Then they offered the job. Almost the same pay. Cheaper Dental, Union Dues, and stable employer. (They make belts for the other industries) No vision insurance, no vacation and no more free paper plates but maybe some overtime. It has given us LOTS to consider. It was a really tight race until...

They decided this week to eliminate 4 jobs at Duner's position. Thankfully NOT Duner's!
At the end of April they are going to cut those peoples pay by $3 per HOUR.
That, my friends, is what you call a deciding factor.

We have been though a previous 'mill shut down' and been forced to be unemployed once before. It does make you more aware of things.
When they did that move, that just showed us what they could do for us. His current job does have a few other plants in the area and rumors are flying high in the plant about his plants work being transferred out to those other plants. I used to not believe those 'rumors' until one turned out to be true, when the shut the mill down.

Now the kicker is we are going on Vacation in March for 9 days. The new employer says, if you go on vacation you will have to take 'points' for those non-worked days. Ok. Not good. Duner usually doesn't call in, but at his current job they allow up to 9 points before 'corrective action' is taken. It would really only be 6-7 points he would use, but we don't want that to effect any raises later.
We asked if he could start the job the day after he comes back? They said maybe, but they suggested a different position on a different shift, BUT that job has to be offered to internal employees first. We have to wait a week to see if they have any takers. That job would be a straight nights position. The other would be 3-11 shift. We prefer the Nights, only because his second job and his golf league in the summer. It would be nice to be on a solid shift to plan you life around.

So wish us Luck this next week!

Friday, February 01, 2008

No Time

I can't believe it is Friday already! Where did the week go?
I still don't have much time right now, but I wanted to let you know I didn't go missing. I have been so busy!
Sunday I had to rescue my husband and kids up at the cabin, where my husband had accidentally locked the keys in our RUNNING truck. I was in training at my new job, so by the time I got the message it had been running over an hour. I made it up there just about 3 hours after it was locked. He insisted it was some mechanical problem and it wasn't his fault. But finally he said "Maybe my finger hit it, but I don't think it did!".

Ok. Whatever. (but it hasn't magically happened since)

I did more training on Tuesday for the Y- also had a sick kid at home, Wed I was back to work and working out, Thursday I worked both jobs, and now it is already Friday...
We are in the middle of refinancing our mortgage, for a better rate, finding a kennel for our dogs for our upcoming trip, and entertaining a possible job offer for Duner.

Yikes! Busy, busy, busy!!