Thursday, December 22, 2011

Good intentions, roads, paved, something something

Apparently I should never make promises.  How long has it been since my last post?  I don't even know and I'm too lazy (or, ashamed) to look.  So, no excuses from me, just the promise that it will likely happen again.

So, on to my life:

A lot has been going on.  I finally took, and passed, the Ethics Exam required to become a CPA and submitted my application for licensure.  However, it seems to be taking an extra long time for the folks at NASBA to approve my application.  I submitted my application at the beginning of this month and I still haven't heard anything.  Oh well, I'll be a CPA sometime in the near future.

In September, I applied for a job at a Major Corporation in Denver.  Sometime towards the end of October I started the interview process with them.  It started with a phone interview, where we discussed the possibility of two different positions with that company.  A few days later I had to take two computer assessments - one that was a shortened version of the SAT's, and the other testing my knowledge about computers and social networking.  Evidently, I did well enough on both of those because a few weeks later I was contacted to schedule a face-to-face interview. 

Now, the scheduling of the interview was a major screw-up!

First, they wanted me to schedule the interview that week.  I couldn't do that because I was traveling for work and wouldn't be back in town until the next week - which was Thanksgiving week.  So, I told the recruiter that I was available Thanksgiving week or the next.  After that I received an email from her scheduling me for an interview the Monday AFTER Thanksgiving.

Well, the Monday BEFORE Thanksgiving I got home from work to a message from the recruiter asking me where I was, was I ok, they had been expecting me that morning!

Oh shit, I thought.  I must've screwed it up.  But, I looked at the original email and it turned out I hadn't screwed anything up, they had.  So, I called the recruiter and left a message telling her that the information I had showed that the interview wasn't until next week.  I also forwarded her the original email.  A couple of days later I received another email from the recruiter saying that there must have been a mix-up on her end (no apology) and asked if I could be there on December 5th, instead of November 28th since one of interviewers wasn't going to be there that week.  I agreed.

December 5th came, and I arrive at the location on time only to wait half an hour to see the recruiter before being taken up to the interviewer.

The interview was to take place in two parts.  I was supposed to meet with the manager of the department and then the VP.  Each meeting was to take an hour.

I met with the manager, and the interview went pretty well.  Then she was taking me to the VP's office.  The VP HAD NO IDEA I WAS COMING! And, to make matters worse, he said "isn't this the same person that stood us up a few weeks ago?"  Ack!  The recruiter had never told them that it was her fault!  As it turned out, since the VP didn't know I was coming, he had no room in his schedule to meet with me and sent me on my way.

I felt dejected, and was supremely pissed.  I had to take a day off of work for this!

A couple of days later I received a call from the manager I had met with asking if I was still interested in working for the company - you know, since they are so disorganized.

I decided to give them another chance.  She said that since everything had been so majorly screwed up, would I be willing to meet them in a location between where I live and their office.  She wanted to meet for dinner and drinks with me, the VP, and another manager.

To say I was petrified is an understatement.  But I did agree to the meeting.

Dinner, drinks, and the rest of the interview went very well and now I'm waiting for paperwork to be completed and reviewed before an offer is made. 

I'm still not sure if I'm going to accept it.  I've done some research on what it's like to work for this company, and based on what I'm finding, the offer has to be something spectacular for me to accept it. 

So, for now, I'm in a holding pattern.  I feel like I've been here all year and it's beginning to get really old.  I just want to know what my near future is going to look like.  Will we be moving?  Will we have to find another daycare, school, doctor?  I'm sick of the uncertainty.  I'm gainfully employed now, but my job has gotten mundane and boring so I'm trying to keep my options open.

Hopefully I know soon, one way or the other.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Crappy Day Present Personality Profile

I was about to sign-up on the registry for Doing My Best's Crappy Day Present Registry and decided it was probably too much information for a comment.  So, I'll leave my answers to the prompts here.

Here goes:

  • What is your favorite color?
    • That depends. It used to be any color green, but my mother in law has overused this knowledge for the last 17 years and I think I'm over green.  Now, it's a toss-up between cobalt blue or maroon.

  • What is your favorite season?
    • My favorite season has always been spring.  It used to be because my birthday is in the spring, but now it's for a variety of reasons.  First, I love the way nature looks with the new green coming in.  Second, the smells of all of the flowers coming out.  Finally, both of my kids were born in the spring.  It just represents a new beginning to me.

  • What is your favorite treat?
    • I'm not sure I really have one.  I'm not much of a sweets person, so if I'm wanting something to eat but not really hungry I go for the savory.  Potato Chips are my absolute favorite snack - especially if I can dip them in my absolute favorite spinach dip (you should get some for yourself, it's sooooo good).

  • What is your favorite scent?
    • This is an easy one.  My favorite scent, hands down, is Lilac.  Maybe that's why I like spring so much, it's when the Lilac's come out.

  • What is your favorite ice cream coping mechanism?
    • Sleep.  I can deal with anything if I get enough sleep.  As far as ice cream goes, the only one I really like is Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie.  When it was off the shelves for a while several years ago I was devastated.  I was especially devastated when I was pregnant with my first and couldn't have my favorite flavor.  Did you know the reason why it went off the shelves for a while?  I used to live down the road from the factory in Vermont and I asked them one time.  It was because it used to be called Mint Oreo and Nabisco was pissed they weren't getting any royalties from the use of their name.  So, B&J's had to come up with a new name and a new cookie to make the ice cream.  Apparently, that took them years to accomplish.  I'm soooo glad it's back.

  • What do you like to do in your free time moments?
    • I don't really have any hobbies.  I like to roam around the internet reading blogs and tweeting.  Aside from that, I'm trying to make photography my hobby.  It used to be, and I was pretty good at it, but then kids and life got in the way and I stopped doing it.  What I really need is to figure out how to use Photoshop, maybe then I'll have more drive to do it.

  • What do you not enjoy doing, and why, but have to do anyway?
    • I'm not a huge fan of cooking, but I'm really good at it.  Also, if we want to eat something that isn't take out, I have to cook.  My husband is good at boiling water and putting a frozen pizza in the oven - that's about it.  In fact, he tells people he burns salads when they ask him if does any of the cooking.

  • If someone gave you money with the instruction that you had to spend it on something frivolous for yourself, what would you buy?
    • This is a tough one, it's been so long since I've been able to do this I don't know what it would be.  It would probably be something having to do with a getaway with my friends so I can have some time away from my kids and husband.

  • Do you have any decorating themes in your home/office?
    • There's lots of blue in my house, but I really think that is a result of the fact that I'm the only girl in the house.  Other than that, I'm not really a decorator.  I'd be happy with nothing but family pictures on the wall.

  • Is there something that you REALLY, REALLY like? (Burt's Bees, horses, cats, fairies, unicorns, birds, patriotic stuff, babies, chocolate, Diet Coke, etc....)
    • I'm a horse lover.  I started riding when I was 5 and was hooked.  When I started sleepaway camp at the age of 9, I always stayed an extra 2 weeks for the intensive horseback riding camp.  By the time I was 15 I was teaching english riding and jumping.  In fact, I was originally going to be a Veterinarian.  Unfortunately reality set in, and accounting seemed more practical.

  • What is the VERY! BEST! present you have ever received and why was it the best?
    • A 6 pack of Peppermint Mocha Creamer.  I'm a mint lover and my husband knows this.  He also knows that the Peppermint Mocha Creamer is only available around christmas.  So, he went online and purchased 6 containers of the powdered stuff and gave it to me for christmas one year.  I loved it because it showed that he really knew me and wanted to make me happy all year.
That's about it.  A few other things I think you should know about me:

  • I have a tendency to develop really bad acne.  Right now I'm on six different medications due to a horrific flare up while I was studying for the CPA exams.  So, no face creams, ok?
  • I have really dry skin (due to the acne medication, and the altitude I live in).  Not only do I have really dry skin, but my elbows are so dry it's almost disgusting.  I've tried everything I can think of for them and nothing has worked.  So, if you have miracle solution I'd love to know about it.
  • I'm always cold.  Especially at work, where it seems the air conditioning runs year-round.
  • I don't like nuts in my food, but I'll eat them by the handful.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Greenest I've Ever Been

I posted this on one of the other blogs I used to write on.  It still makes me smile to read it and thought I'd share it here.

With all of this talk lately on what we can do to get "greener", it got me thinking about what I do to makes this world a little easier to live in.

We can't afford to pay the trash company to recycle our recycleables, so we do a few things ourselves.  It's not as much as if we could afford to recycle, but it's better than nothing.

  • We recycle all of our paper at the local recycling dropoff (free) located at any one of the five Wal-Marts in our "town".  (Yes, I know, any "town" with five Wal-Marts isn't actually a town, but I just can't bring myself to call it a city - I did grow up in The Big Apple, after all!)
  • We get our milk delivered every week.  I know this doesn't sound like doing something for the environment, but the milk company takes back the empty milk containers and reuses them for more milk.  Plus, it's delicious!
  • We turn off lights in any room we're not in - and we're normally all in the same room.  Driving down our street at night, you would think no one actually lives in our house, it's pitch black.
  • We use fluorescent light bulbs.  Yes, I know they don't last as long if they are used upside down, but it's still better than a regular bulb, right?
  • We don't flush the toilet after every single pee - if it's yellow, let it get the idea.
  • We have our water heater turned way down, and it still produces enough hot water for our family.
  • We wash all of our clothes in cold water.
Ok, so most of the things we do are to save us money, but it still helps the environment.

Even though we put in a semi-decent effort now, you should have seen me the summers from 1986 through 1993.

I went to camp.  A camp like no other.  I don't think you would find a place anywhere close to being similar now, unless you were on some sort of commune.  Unfortunately, it's closed now so you can't experience it for yourselves.  Looking back, it was actually kind of gross.  I'm not sure how many people were there, but I think it ranged somewhere between 60 and 100, depending on the year. 

The camp used a well system, and to make sure there was enough water for food preparation, drinking, the animals, and cleaning up after meals, all of the people making up the camps population were limited to 1 shower a week.  That's right folks, just 1 shower a week. 

Let me clarify. 

I guess we were really limited to 1 hot shower a week.  The rest of the time we were entitled to take a colder than the arctic shower in the waterfall anytime we wanted (using bio-degradable soap) if it was running - i.e., it hadn't been stopped by beavers upstream.  Yep, parents knew about this little deal.  And yep, they kept sending their children back year after year.  Now, I get a little grossed out if my kids go three days without a bath - and they hardly do anything to get dirty!

Ok, so you're thinking "what could these children be doing to really warrant more shower time - 1 a week sounds reasonable.  Besides they're probably swimming a ton anyway."  For some, that would be correct.  However, for the select few die-hard horse lovers it was a different story.  I was one of those horse lovers.  I was in the barn every day, either riding or mucking stalls or both.  Yes, I was swimming almost everyday too (my nickname was "the fish"), but do you really think that was enough to get the grime of the barn off?  Hardly.  Let's not forget about the fact that I was sleeping outside for a good chunk of the time that I was there too.  One summer, I got home and took a nice long shower and shaved my legs.  Prior to this, I had thought I was really tan.  However, it turned out that I was just really dirty.  After shaving my legs they were white as ghosts - apparently, along with the hair I had shaved off the dirt too.

The water conservation was not the only environmentally friendly "activity".  We also composted whatever leftover food items we could, and what we couldn't was given to the pigs to eat.  We had a cow on site to give us fresh milk.  We grew some of our own veggies.  We even had a few outhouses (again, saving water).

So yes, this was the greenest time of my life so far.  Unfortunately, it wasn't just the environment we were making greener, it was also the people we dared to tell about the goings on in this little community we called home for 8 weeks every year. 

I guess you're a little greener now too.  You can thank me later.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Excuses and Promises

Yes, yes I know it's been awhile.  I really have no excuses aside from being really lazy. 

In case you haven't twigged it yet, this blog is anonymous for a reason.  I have no desire for anyone I know in real life to know about it.  So, it's kind of hard to find time to blog without being questioned about why I'm typing so much on this here little computer doo-dad.  When I do have time it's just so hard to get off the couch, or out of bed, to get my laptap which is alllll the way over there. 

I know you probably don't care, but I work full time out of the house.  The laptop I use for work blocks all blog-type sites.  Besides, the computer still only has Internet Explorer 6 and makes doing anything online awfully difficult.  So, no blogging during normal business hours unless I'm working from home and can have access to my personal laptop (which is what I'm doing right now).  Add the normal busyness of having afterschool activities, dinner, and bedtime - I just don't want to do anything after 7:30pm. 

So, why do I try an keep this blog?  Because I enjoy it and the community it connects me to.  Here I have another problem though. 

Due to my limited access to blog-type sites during the work day, I can only read the blogs I follow off-line on my iPod Touch (no smart phone).  I have the MoblieRSS app that downloads all of the blog updates for the day in the morning before I leave for work.  This allows me to read my "stories" throughout the day without access to the internet as I have time.  Unfortunately, this leads me to not comment on blogs that I would really like to comment on. 

Reading offline is great until you really want to comment on something. Then, when you do have access to the internet the moment is gone, or someone else has said what you wanted to say and you just don't comment.  Most of the people I follow on Twitter only know who I am through Twitter because I have never commented on their blog as Mrs. Commoner.  I'm going to try to correct this. 

A while ago, Ali pledged to comment on 20 blogs each day.  I can't commit to that, because right now I don't have the time.  However, I will commit to commenting on 5 blogs each day.  Hopefully these comments will be more than just an "LOL" or an "I agree!", but I'm not making any promises beyond the five comments a day.  Baby steps people.  I'm also going to try to write at least one blog post a week.  I know I want to be able to write more, but this is at least a start.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why can't I work for myself?

So, yeah.  Now that I'm not moving to England anytime soon, I might regret the whole premise of this blog.  On the upside, no one has come searching in the hopes of getting help with a similar move.  So, maybe we were crazy to even consider it in the first place.

One of the posts on my other blog said that I was putting in extra time at work in an attempt to pay back the advanced sick leave I had to take when I had Ramsay.  At the time of that post, he wasn't even two yet.  I have no idea how much time I owed at that point, but when Liam tried to kill himself June of last year I had to have another week of sick leave advanced to me.  I kind of wish my boss had refused to do it.  Yes, it would have meant that week would have been upaid, but at least I would have had a light at the end of the tunnel, instead of adding another 40 hours to my debt.

Last October, Liam and I decided that we'd had enough of this hanging over my head and sought out the information necessary to pay the debt back with cash money. 

Turns out, I could've asked for a bill at any time for any portion of the amount I owed.  I wish I had known this from the get go.  It would've made the situation a lot easier to handle.

Unfortunately, by the time we found this out, there was no way we would have been able to afford the balance due.  So, we decided to wait until we figured out how much our tax return would be at the beginning of this year.  Not only would waiting chip away 4 hours from the balance every 2 weeks.  But it would also give us the opportunity to save for the inevitable bill.

In the beginning of March we filed our tax return and got our refund.  So, I put in all the paperwork to request a bill. 

I didn't get a bill until the beginning of May.  As soon as I received it, I paid it.  Silly me, I thought that meant as soon as my check cleared my sick leave would be restored to a positive balance.  Oh boy, was I naive.  I've worked here for over 6 years, you would think I would have learned by now nothing is ever that easy.

At the end of June my sick leave balance still wasn't restored.  I called HR and spoke with someone who said she needed a copy of the spreadsheet I had created to determine the amount that I would need to be billed.  She had that within seconds.  Later that day I received an email from her saying that everything was fixed, have a nice life.

Yesterday I decided to look at my paycheck for the first time since June (hey, I'm paid salary, it's direct deposit, I have no need to look at every one).  My sick leave balance was KIND OF fixed.  And by KIND OF, I mean not at all.  I was still negative.  Granted, it wasn't nearly as negative as before, so something had been fixed, but I was still negative.

I was pissed.  I called the same person in HR and asked what the problem was.  Without looking into anything, she said it was because I hadn't paid it all back.  Arghhh!!  You can't be serious!  I'm an accountant for pete's sake.  I'm not under any delusions that accountants don't make mistakes, but I had had 3 other people in my office check my work before submitting the request for a bill, so I KNEW my math was right.

To say I got frustrated with her is an understatement.

After a lot of back an forth yesterday, I can now honestly tell you, my sick leave is POSITIVE.  I have lived for the last 4 years without taking a sick day for myself (while I was pregnant I didn't take any time off since I knew I would have to save it for after the baby was born). 

You don't know how happy this makes me. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Wow! That was a week I wasn't expecting.

At this time last week I was wondering what I should do about the job posting in London.  Less than 24 hours later I was faced with another decision.

Should I go to my Mother's funeral. 

I was sent a message on Facebook from a very close childhood friend.  A friend I haven't really spoken to since I went off to college 16 years ago.  Her message was very urgent, and urged me to call her as soon as I got the message.  As I was dialing the number, I realized what it was probably about.  She was Facebook friends with my brother.  Why else would she want to talk to me so urgently?  I was right, she wanted to give me the news that my mother had died that morning.  She was chatting with my brother online and passing the information to me as she got it.  I thanked her for letting me know, and apologized for her having to get in the middle of this horrible situation.

As I've written before, I haven't spoken to my parents since just after my youngest child was born.  At that time, I had made the decision that my parents were too emotionally poisonous to be around.  Based on this, I didn't want my parents - specifically my mother - around me or my family again.  I mourned the loss of the people who raised me just over 3 years ago.  I've already dealt with my grief.  Why bring up the past again?

Going to the funeral wouldn't be for me.  I had no interest, or need, to go.  It would have been for my father.  I still love my father.  I've missed him terribly since the last, horrible time we spoke.  I hate that he's having to go through this by himself.  So, I decided that once I knew when the funeral was going to be I would start making travel arrangements so I could be there.

The day after I found out, and once I had made my decision to attend the funeral, I called my father for the first time in 3 years to give my condolences.  After a little bit, I got up the courage to ask when the funeral was going to be.  His response, "it's kinda hard to plan a funeral when she isn't even dead yet". 

Um, excuse me?  What do you mean? 

My father explained that she had been taken off of life support the day I spoke to my friend, but that my mother was still breathing on her own more than 24 hours later. 

I asked my father why I was given different information and he didn't know.  The only explanation he had was that my friend had misunderstood what my brother had told her.  Well, I didn't want to get into an argument with him and didn't give him all of the information regarding what was posted on my brother's Facebook wall.  According to my father, my brother could not have been mistaken since my father and brother had been speaking multiple times a day.  If my brother wasn't mistaken, then he was an ass - plain and simple.

To say I was livid, is an understatement. My whole life, my brother has made all events about him instead of who they were really about - which is precisely why he wasn't even invited to my wedding. It took me hours to calm down from my anger at my brother. I couldn't get over why he would post on his Facebook page that our mother died Wednesday morning, when on Thursday night she was still alive.

It turned out that my anger was all for naught.  I got an email from my father the next morning saying that she had died a few hours ago.  During the conversation I had with him on Thursday night, my father had said that there wouldn't be a funeral or a memorial.  That he was going to have her cremated and bury her ashes on their property in Vermont.

Which brings me to the next bit of stress in my life. 

All weekend we were watching the CNN coverage of hurricane Irene.  Not once during the broadcasts we were watching did we hear anything about the damage that was happening to Vermont.  When I arrived at work on Monday morning I was saddened to see the main story on Yahoo News was about the very town my father's house is in.  The property that he was planning on bringing my mother's ashes to in order to bury them where she was happiest.  As it is right now, the town the property is in has been cut off from all directions.  We have no way of knowing whether the house is even still standing - the house that was less than 100 feet from what turned into a raging river with very low banks.  For some reason, this has saddened me more than the death of my mother.

Oh, and I made a decision about what to do about the job in London.  I'm not going to apply.  In fact, we don't think we want to move there at all now.  Right now, we just want to stop putting our lives on hold - as they've been since the beginning of the year.  We promised to revisit the idea of a move in the future, but for now we're staying put.  Maybe not in the same town, but at least we'll be staying in the US.  That's something at least.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dreams, and how swiftly they can shatter

It was just 8 months ago that the idea was even in our heads.  The idea; let's move to England.  Sounds hard to do, right?  For most, it is because of this small little problem of not being allowed to be there longer than 6 months without a visa.  Not a problem for me since, as you already know, my husband is British.  Well, it's a little bit of a problem, but not nearly as big of a problem if he weren't British.

Since I'm married to a Brit, I was entitled to a visa that would let me stay in the country for as long as I liked.  However, it was a pain in the ass to get.

The process we went through was stressful and time consuming.  And expensive.

To make sure we didn't screw it up, we hired an agency in London to help us out with the application and the supporting documentation.  The list of the *highly recommended* supporting documentation was a couple of pages long.  They wanted records going back 4 years to prove that my husband and I have been living together that whole time.

Thankfully, I'm petrified of not having something we may, possibly, may never, eventually need and had saved everything for at least the last 10 years.

So, we go through the hassle, stress, and expense of getting this visa in my passport - it took about 3 months.  Great!  Now I can apply for jobs with my resume showing that I'm legally allowed to work in the UK and I wasn't just looking for someone to sponsor me.  I applied for a job I thought I would be a shoe-in for.  And I was!  I was so qualified for the job, the hiring company actually thought I was too qualified and would end up leaving shortly after starting.  So I didn't get the job.

No biggie.  I knew of another company that would be hiring for a few different positions in the near future that I was also very qualified for.  But, since I currently work for this company, and know how their hiring policies work, I wasn't too concerned that they wouldn't hire me for something I was too qualified for.

So, one of the positions at this company was posted.  There were two spots available.  The requirements for even working for this company are complex, but both my husband and I met those requirements.  We were also both qualified for the job.  So we both applied.  Many, many weeks go by and we don't hear anything.  Weird.  I guess they had someone else in mind.  Oh well, I knew they were going to be posting for another position shortly that I was also qualified for.

During this whole time we already had plans to take a vacation in England for my Sister-in-law's wedding.  So, shortly before we left I sent an email to the people I had been talking to about these positions asking if they wanted me to drop by when I was in London.  A few days later I received an email saying that they'd love to meet me!  Also, they explained that the reason my husband and I were not considered for the position we applied for was because we weren't currently in the country and the policy was they were not allowed to do phone interviews.

This information pissed me off in more ways than I care to admit.  Had I been told that they couldn't do phone interviews then we may have been able to make ourselves available for an in-person interview.  As it was, we were never given that option. 

During my visit with them, they seemed very eager for me to start in the position that hadn't even been posted yet.  I was very eager too, but only had a vague idea of how much the position would be paying.

While in England we probed our friends for information on how much they thought we would need to make in order to live where we wanted to live.  The number that came back was about £50,000 - if my husband were willing to stay home with the kids until Ramsay started full-day school.  Also, we realized that we really did want to move back - the concerns voiced in a prior post were all things that could be worked around simply by having my husband stay home with the kids.  Childcare is just too expensive otherwise.

Well, the position was posted this morning and our dreams have been shattered.  It is only paying £42,000.  That's quite a big difference when there's only one income.  Now we're trying to come up expenses we can cut.  Instead of living in a 3 bedroom townhouse, maybe we can make do with a 2 bedroom apartment.  Maybe we don't really need a car.  Maybe we won't have a home phone.  And so on. 

Are all of these concessions worth the upheaval to live like we were living when we first got married?  I have no idea.  I hate living paycheck to paycheck, and that's what we would be doing if we cut enough items out of the budget. 

Plus, we have the whole problem of the house we're living in now.  We won't be able to sell it.  So we would either have to walk away from it and have it go into foreclosure.  Or, rent it out - probably at a loss.  If we were to rent it out at a loss, that's even more money coming out of the measly pay listed above. 

I just don't see how it can be done.  Am I being too selfish in wanting a somewhat, but not even close to, comparable life there as we have here?  I need someone to tell me what to do.  But since I know that won't happen, I'm posting it here for input. 

Help a girl out, won't you?  Please?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Preschool - are you ready for Ramsay?

Friday morning, as I was frantically trying to finish up a file at work to close out before the noon deadline, I received a call from the school district we live in.  Because I was so busy, I wasn't going to answer the call.  But then I realized it could be about Lucas, who was hopefully behaving himself in his 3rd grade classroom at that moment.

It wasn't about Lucas. 

It was about Ramsay. Ramsay, who was hopefully behaving himself at daycare, not school.

Actually, it was to let me know that even though school started almost 3 weeks ago, a spot in the preschool had opened up.  Did I want it for Ramsay? 

Um, hmmm, let me think.

Do I want my child, who is about a year behind where his older brother was at this age, to have a structured setting to learn the things he is supposed to know by the time he is in Kindergarten?  Of course I did!  I snatched up the spot right away.

The only problem was the school needed a copy of Ramsay's current physical - one dated within the last year - before he would be allowed to start.

Ramsay's last physical was June 4, 2010 - which, for those of you who are mathematically challenged, was more than a year ago. 

After getting off the phone with the school district I called his doctor's office to make the appointment figuring they wouldn't be able to get him for at least a week or two.  To my greatful surprise, they were able to see him at 9am this morning.  So, as of 10:20, Ramsay is registered and scheduled to start preschool next monday.  And, as an added bonus, since he wasn't able to start with the rest of the class, I won't have to pay any tuition for August.  Yay!

Now, who told my little baby that it was ok to grow up and start school?

I feel like it was just a few months ago he looked like this:

Ramsay, 6 weeks

Now, he's a walking, talking, running, getting into trouble, 3 year old who looks like this:

Ramsay, 2 weeks ago

I am officially the mother of a 3rd grader and a preschooler.  Hold me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why is life so complicated?

I was adopted as an infant. I only met my biological mother 4 years ago, when I was 30. I know how lucky I am to even know who she is, let alone to have already met her. But I get a very bad vibe from her. I don't know how to explain it. This 'feeling' I get has led me to keep her out of my life, and my families life, for about 3 years.

She has another daughter who I am facebook friends with. We kind of keep in contact that way. Today I got an actual email from her. The email was explaining that our mother was taking care of her Mother's (my bioligical grandmother) estate. Due to this, and since I was being listed as a beneficiary, our mother was asking my half-sister to ask me for my social security number (Phew! Confused yet?)

This is weird, right? I don't really want to have anything to do with this woman, and haven't for almost 3 years, and now she's asking for my social security number. Something just doesn't seem right. Am I just reading too much into this?

Whatever portion is supposed to be mine, I would rather it just go to her other daughter. I've told her this before, apparently she's not taking my feelings into consideration. What should I do?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Trust, it's becoming a four letter word

I woke up early today.  Liam was still sleeping.  I got showered and dressed and had plenty of time to get the kids up and ready for daycare so I could let Liam sleep. 

But I didn't.

The last time I did that was when my world came crashing down around me almost a year ago.  The reason I left the kids asleep in their beds is because I figured if he was going to do something, he wouldn't do it when the kids were there.  I don't think he's slipping again, but with the anniversary coming up I didn't want to leave anything to chance.

This has made me realize that I may never be able to trust my husband again, and I don't like it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


It's getting a little annoying on twitter taking up space explaining which kid I'm talking about.  Because of this, I've decided to give them names. 

From now on, my oldest son, who just turned 8, will be known as Lucas.  My youngest son, who just turned 3, will be known as Ramsay.  While I'm at it, I may as well give my husband a name.  For him I choose Liam. 

These aren't their real names, mind you, but I just wanted to be able to easily refer to them in the future. 

That was fun! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Not my first time

This isn't the first blog I've ever created.  I've created a few in the past 4 years, they just haven't really stuck.

My biological mother found the first one I created (I can't link to that one, it has my real name in the address - stupid move for someone who wanted to stay anonymous, right?).  She never admitted to finding it, but it's kind of hard to ignore the stats that someone from her town is obsessively checking for an update.  I stopped posting to that one because I wasn't comfortable with her knowing everything that I was going through in regards to meeting her for the first time, and all of the feelings that went along with that.  Also, I kind of felt resentful.  Kind of like "why should she get to share in my private thoughts when she didn't even want me to be a part of her life to begin with."

So, I started another blog.  That one didn't stick either.  This time it was mainly because I lost momentum due to the change and stopped writing.  And, because the free Wordpress account wouldn't let me do some things that blogger would. 

So, I started a third blog.  That one I had to stop posting on because my husband found it.  He doesn't understand why anyone blogs, let alone me.  So, I layed off the blogging for a while.

That's when I started this one.  I'm hoping I've made it anonymous enough that people I don't want to find it won't find it.  Or, if they do, I'm at a point in my life that I don't care.  It's not that I want to say things on this blog that would be hurtful to them, it's just that I'm a pretty introverted person and don't really want the people in my life judging me for what I'm feeling when I write.

Why am I telling you all of this?  I'm telling you this because it's possible you were a reader of one of the other blogs.  If that's the case, some of the things I write on here might seem like a story you've heard before.  I don't want you to think I'm taking someone elses life and making it my own - trust me, no one would want my life it's pretty pathetic.

So, if I know you from the past drop me line and let me know.  If you haven't read any of my other blogs, drop me a line and let me know that too.  I'd like to know who I'm talking to out there.

Friday, June 3, 2011


So, I got stuck in a little bit of a wormhole.  A CPA Exam study wormhole.  A celebrate both kids' birthdays in 4 days wormhole.  Maybe I should really be referring to it as a rabbit hole.

Whatever type of hole it's supposed to be, I finally found my way out.  I've been keeping up to date with Twitter, but finding the time to write a whole post seemed daunting.

Now it's June, and there isn't any CPA Exam testing.  I'll find out at the end of the month whether I passed the three exams I took in this last testing window.  And then, I take my last one on July 1st.  So, June won't be without any studying - unfortunately.

I'm hoping I've passed all of the tests taken so far, so I can get back to my normal life.  Or at least, so I can start really focusing on this move.

Mr. Commoner and I are actually having doubts.  Is this really the right decision?  At first, we'll both have to be working in London, which is a 1.5 hour commute each way on the train.  We are going to be bringing the kids' current babysitter for the first 6 months, but what happens after that?  We'll have to get an actual nanny - but can we really afford that?  Can we trust someone we don't know anything about?  Is being away from the kids for almost 60 hours a week really worth being closer to family?  The cost of living there is also a big factor.  We will be making more, but will it be enough to cover the increased costs? 

We've thought of all of these things before and we were ok with it all.  Now, things are becoming more real and it's getting a little scary.

There are so many unknowns with this move, it just seems safer to stick with what we know.  Has anyone else done something similar?  Do you have any advise?  Help!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


At the end of August, Mr. Commoner and I will be married for 13 years.  That entire time has been spent living in the United States.  We have a good life here.  We both have jobs.  We own a house and investment property.  Our kids have friends here.  The weather is nice.

So, why change now?

I have no family here.  Oh sure, my parents and brother are still alive's complicated.  I haven't spoken to my parents in almost 3 years.  My brother has been out of the picture for 21 years.  I'm not even sure if I'm going to let any one of them know when we move, that's how bad the relationships are.

Most of Mr. Commoner's family lives in England.  We've tried to get his parents to move here, but that has been a fruitless effort.  And then last summer happened.

Last year, the day after Father's Day, I received a phone call at work from my husband.  He  Finally he admitted that he had taken a shitload of pills and was scared.  That was the worst, and scariest, moment of my life.  I rushed home to see a fire truck pulled up to the front of my house.  At the hospital, we were able to figure out that he had taken 26 pills of Tylenol PM and 5 pills of Vicodin.  The hospital staff wasn't sure what state my husband would be left in since we didn't know how long before he called me he had ingested the pills.  They weren't even sure he was going to wake up.  Thankfully, there has been no lasting damage.

Did I know he was suffering that bad?  Absolultely not.  Did I think something was up?  Sure.  We both had our problems, but at the time I had no idea his were of the depressive sort.  I just assumed it was money and sex - a lack of both.

While he was still in the hospital, his mother moved heaven and earth to fly to the United States to be with him, me, and to help take care of the kids. 

I never want to go through that again.  I never want to have to make that phone call again.  I never want to be the only one watching my husband to make sure he doesn't need an adjustment in his meds.

So, that's why we're moving.  That and, the kids will love being closer to their only grandparents.

I hope it happens soon.

The Maiden Voyage

Welcome to The Popular Commoners!

I'm not popular and I'm not a commoner....yet.

I'm an American.  Thirteen long years ago, I married the love of my life.  He's British.  And, by extension, his family is British. 

This family has a very common last name.  However, whenever I would refer to this fact in front of my father-in-law, he would act like he was offended and remind me that it wasn't common.   It was popular.  I guess he didn't appreciate the implication that he was a commoner.

This blog will chronical my family's journey (both the literal and figurative) from the Rocky Mountains to East Anglia.

Care to join me?