Cancer Sucks

I’ve always know cancer sucks, but I have never truly experienced it first hand.  I was an infant when my grandfather suffered from it and he passed away just a few days shy of my first birthday.  I’ve had friend’s relatives and distant family friends that I knew, but didn’t see on a regular basis die from or battle the horrible disease, but never seen the struggle on a regular basis.  Now I have and even more so CANCER SUCKS!

A few years ago my uncle was diagnosed with cancer and he kicked its ass.  No more cancer and he was doing well.  It was awesome and everyone was thrilled that he beat it.  He went on with his life.  Sure he had some lasting problems from his bout with cancer, but all in all he was living a pretty good life. 

left to right uncles Tommy, Eric, Brian, my mom and Timmy

left to right uncles Tommy, Eric, Brian, my mom Maureen and Timmy

Some time ago he began having some problems and went to the local hospital.  He told them his problems, but they just wrote it off as one thing or another and sent him on his way.  Finally he had enough and got answers after pushing.  Cancer again!  Not some little problem that the doctors kept telling him he had, not once, but multiple times.  Except this time it was different cancers (yes multiple) and it was worse than his first encounter with cancer.  It was heartbreaking, but I do believe he was hopeful. 

A few months ago he called me asking if he could come by one day to see the kids.  He usually doesn’t get to see them and had only seen Kaleb just once at Thanksgiving.  Life is busy between work and caring for the kids and often the only free day I had was Sunday.  I told him sure to come by one Sunday when he was free, to call me, but I never got a call.  Soon the days turned to weeks and the weeks to months and I never heard from him, but got the call that he was in the hospital.  It wasn’t good.  This was it, it was just a matter of waiting it out and keeping him comfortable.  I regret not getting together and letting him see the kids.  My kids barely know their great uncle Tommy.

I made up for it by visiting a few times over the last couple weeks and even spending a night with him.  Sharing memories, laughing and joking.  He had old pictures in his room of everyone much younger (OMG what was I thinking back then) and even ones of the many trips either my sister or I took with him to the White Mountains and visiting Storyland and Santa’s Village in New Hampshire.  I always had a lot of fun on those trips.  It was great.  Of course he was in and out of it and kept calling me Kelley (my sister), but it was nice to be there with him and let him know that he wasn’t alone.

A couple weeks ago with my cousin (his son) Owen and my sister

A couple weeks ago with my cousin (his son) Owen and my sister

Monday while at work my hubby calls me out of the blue.  Sure he usually calls me here and there, but not when he knows I am busy.  I guess my cousin posted about his father dying and he texted my mom and she called to let him know that my uncle had in fact passed away early that morning.  I was sad because I was hoping to get in to visit him again this week since I had a couple free days.  He loved when we came because we got to take him outside for a cigarette or sneak him food he wasn’t supposed have (don’t judge he was dying and wanted to enjoy some of his favorite things one last time).  Even though you know the end is near, you still never expect to get that call.  I love you uncle Tommy.  We will all miss you greatly, but know that we are all looking out for your boys.

Crochet love with Tammy Hildebrand’s new book

This post is sponsored by Stackpole Books and Tammy Hildebrand

Tammy Hildebrand Crochet for Baby All YearCrochet for Baby All Year: Easy-to-Make Outfits for Every Month
Tammy Hildebrand

Published by: Stackpole Books
ISBN: 978-0811713245
List $21.95
Paperback: 128

You all know by now I just love to crochet.  My favorite stuff to crochet is baby items, despite not having any itty bitty babies anymore (though we’re hoping for another one some time in the future).  I think crocheted items are simply adorable on babies and so much fun to make.  Tammy Hildebrand has come up with some amazing patterns in her new book Crochet for Baby All Year: Easy-to-Make Outfits for Every Month. 

Tammy Hildebrand Crochet for Baby All YearOh all the squishy cuteness inside this book and fun for every month, which was my favorite part.  Often as summer nears you want to crochet something for a baby, but think well a sweater, hat or blanket just won’t due because of the heat, but Tammy has you covered. There are patterns for each month and you can see them all in the look book.  Did you go look at them?  You know you want to!  How cute are those little sandals with the June Beach Babies set?  I am currently working the Sand Crawler Boy Trunks for Kaleb and just wish the hat and sandals would fit him.  Now how about the gorgeous Lady Liberty Girl Dress and Hat?  Oh how I wish the Drama Queens were small again.  Tammy Hildebrand Crochet for Baby All YearOne thing I love is that she has individual patterns each month geared towards a specific gender or a gender neutral item.  I love all the cute dresses and her sweaters are to die for.  Can I say again how much I wish my kids were smaller and I could make them all matching sweaters for the holidays?  Kaleb looks so adorable in sweaters and well I am one of those moms that just love putting kids in matching outfits.  Heck I would put hubby and I in matching outfits if I could find them. 

Win It

I’m off to find a baby to crochet for, so while I am doing that why don’t you enter for a chance to win your own copy of the book.




Homeschooling our first year

10314533_10153233887498306_5702538576415675246_nOur first year of homeschooling if officially over, but it wasn’t so easy to get here.  Over the years leading up to Khloe becoming school aged I waged an internal war with myself.  I wanted to homeschool.  I needed to homeschool.  I couldn’t homeschool.  I would be a homeschool failure.  I constantly stressed myself out on every reason I wanted and needed to homeschool her, but why I never thought I would be able to.  Hubby was already on board, he too agreed with every reason behind why I felt it was the right decision for us, but my anxiety of failing almost had me enrolling her.  Our families disagreed with us, they said stuff like “she needs to go to school” and “you’re not qualified” which furthered my anxiety. 

Before I knew it December 2012 was here and I needed to make a decision and fast.  New entry enrollment for Boston goes by last name and her’s was the second week of January or else I would have to go into a different town to enroll her.  I turned to one of the Massachusetts homeschool email groups I’m in and asked about homeschooling in Boston.  I was scared.  I had heard and read many horror stories from other towns turning down education plans, trying to force parents to come in for meetings, giving the families a hard time and knew I would have a panic attack if any of this happened to us.  Luckily someone stepped forward and told me it was easy to homeschool here and they actually have an office that oversees it.  She told me it was a simple two page form, much less than what an average homeschool parent submits and how to contact them.

I emailed the office to verify I had the correct information as it had been a few years since she was a Boston resident.  I crossed my fingers and hit send.  In less that 24 hours I received a reply and the proper person to email to have my forms mailed.  I emailed over my information and was even happier to find she would prefer to email them to me.  I was shocked at how simple it really was.  Child’s information, who will be teaching, materials used and a break down of required weekly minutes.  I eagerly filled it out, kept a copy for myself and had it signature mailed. 

About two weeks after mailing in my forms I received a letter.  I knew it, no way was it going to be this easy, this is a rejected letter.  To my shock it was an accepted letter and thus our journey began.

Our year was pretty simple, a lot of child lead learning.  Worksheets, activities, games, baking and tying in learning through out the day in stuff we always do.  Khloe knew her alphabet and numbers, but wasn’t spelling much of anything or making an attempt to read at the beginning of the year, but now she is spelling quite a list of words and beginning to sound out words.   While she is not where I had hoped for come the end of the school year, she has come a long way from our official start of the year. 

I’m happy to report we submitted our end of year work samples and 1-2 page break down of the year on June 16th and have already received our forms for her and Keira for this fall.  Now a whole new set of fears have begun.  Can hubby and I homeschool two kids while I’m working full time and he will eventually be working full time?  I guess only time will tell.

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Life is insane!

It seems like just as I get ahead of things that I fall behind because life is insane.  By the title of my blog and following you know I am was a SAHM.  In October I was offered a temporary, part time position on Thursday nights from 4-8pm and Saturday mornings from 9-2pm.  It was perfect because we wouldn’t require a sitter at all because hubby worked Monday-Friday 6-2:30pm and one Sunday night a month and the extra money would really help.  At the beginning of the year I began working Thursday-Friday for a total of seventeen hours and mother in-law watched the kids for a total of three to fours hours on the two weekdays.  It still worked out nicely because she works every other weekend and only Monday and Tuesday or Tuesday and Wednesday each week.  Just as we began to get a routine going everything changed.

In January hubby’s department was taken over by another company and they wanted him to work until 4:30pm every day.  This began our problems because now on Thursday and Friday we would need mother in-law to watch the kids for an additional two hours each day, and she wasn’t too thrilled to watch them for the initial hour or so each day.  Luckily he was able to compromise with them for 3:30pm, which still wasn’t ideal for us, but it worked.  Then just under two months ago they told him he would now need to work every Saturday, which posed a big problem.  In four years of working for the previous company he never worked a Saturday and it was my reasoning for taking the position I took.  He told them he could not work weekends due to my job and lack of child care (remember his mother works alternating weekends) so they had him write a formal letter stating he could not work weekends.  We thought all was well and two weeks later they tell him to accommodate him they would be cutting him a day each week.  This resulted in him no longer being full time, losing all his accrued PTO and no longer qualifying for it.  This is a huge problem when you have a family, especially since he was already losing a days pay.  It would mean that we couldn’t afford for any of us to get sick that required him to remain home and taking any time off for family trips or events was out of the question. 

We decided to weigh our options.  For nearly two weeks we went back and forth on our options.  I couldn’t pick up the day he was losing at work because it would be different every week, his remaining at his job still would not allow for me to go full time any where during the day without hefty child care costs and for him to suck it up and deal with the schedule change would mean I would have to quit my job.  I decided to talk with my boss and see if she could offer me a full time position (or close to it) and she told me yes.  The decision was made, he would become a SAHD and I would go back to work full time.  It is not our ideal situation, but for now it is best for our family.  Working the same amount of hours after his schedule cut (roughly thirty two) I would make just under double his pay.  I haven’t started full time yet, but since his last day on June 20th we’ve taken all the time to do a deep clean on the house and spend time together as a family.  We’re hoping that eventually he will find a night position so I can remain at my job for a little while until we either move out of the city to rent or buy a house.