This entire blog post will pretty much be nothing but me venting and complaining about things that I usually don't even discuss publicly so if you don't want to read it, now is your chance to stop. So far my week has really stunk. We seem to have really crappy luck with our cars every July. Yesterday started off great. I finished up some things that had been hanging over my head, which always feels nice. Raya's respite provider came and since she was here and I didn't have anything pressing to do, I decided to take the big kids to the library. The library is about 5 miles away and I made it about 2 1/2 miles and then got in a fender bender. Everybody in both cars was fine but it still sucks. My car was still drivable and I left it running the whole time we were there so the kids wouldn't overheat. Cole had to get out of the car after a while and dry heave in the shade of a tree for a few minutes because he had taken his pain medicine before we left and it upset his stomach. We were outside in the 108-ish weather for probably 45 minutes so I was glad that the kids could at least stay in the car with the AC on. It was the first ticket I've gotten in about 15 years so hopefully the insurance company will be merciful and not jack up our insurance rate. I'll pay the insurance deductible and mine will get fixed, and I'll pay the fee to do driving school so the ticket won't go on my record, but it still sucks. We have no rental car coverage on our insurance policy so we're stuck with one car while mine gets fixed, and PRAYING that they get all the parts they need very quickly. All the damage was to the right front fender, headlight & bumper so hopefully it won't take them too long. They said probably the middle of next week unless it takes longer to order parts. To make matters worse, the car that Donny has had for almost 7 years has been giving us trouble all summer. It's been in the shop 3 times since the week after school got out, which means that during that time, I've been stuck at home without a car since Donny works too far away for me to give him rides to work. Yesterday when he was driving home from work, the temperature gauge kept going up and down erratically and the engine light came on yet again. When we have my car, we don't worry as much if his is in the shop because at least we still have one reliable vehicle. (FYI there is really nothing within walking distance and no public transportation near us so we really need both vehicles) Anyway, when he came home and said that he was afraid to drive it all the way to work and back today because of what it was doing on his way home, we decided enough was enough and went car shopping. Car shopping sucks too. We've been free of car payments for over 3 years now. I'd be lying if I said that I'm not completely stressed out over the fact that we will now have a car payment and probably higher insurance costs for the new car than for his 11 year old Honda. I may or may not have woken up at 4:45 this morning having somewhat of a panic attack about it. It's a nice car but not extravagant, and it has low mileage and is only 4 years old so we will get a lot of life out of it, but I absolutely HATE having to have a car payment again. I've said it before and I'll say it again, when it comes to dealing with stress, I am WAYYYYYYYY better at dealing with the stress of a child with medical problems than I am at dealing with financial and car-related stress. (and for the record, I'm not wishing medical problems on any of my children and I understand that we are very, very lucky that everyone is okay and the car is fixable. having lost a sibling in a car accident, I don't take any of that for granted, but it also doesn't take the rest of these problems away) I feel like I sprouted a new ulcer overnight and my esophagus has been on fire all day. I've been sitting at the computer most of the day re-working our budget to figure out how to accommodate for the new but necessary expense of a car payment, which means that I didn't get any of the massive pile of laundry done or anything else cleaned up. I've gone through my usual panicked routine that I go through whenever something like this happens, which involves futile job hunting for both of us, calculating and re-calculating the student loan payment, thinking about moving somewhere else that's cheaper, and trying to find as many expenses to cut as I can (there aren't many, we're frugal people). There are a million "ifs" running through my head. IF I was done with school and could get a decent paying job. IF we had done this or that differently. IF I had just stayed home from the friggin library. IF we weren't stuck here because of Raya's medical care & insurance. IF we didn't have student loans. IF we'd just gotten rid of Donny's car last fall before we started having to put money into it. IF IF IF. Of course none of that does any good and there have been many small emotional breakdowns, moments of panic, moments of questioning how things will work out while trying to remind myself that they always do, and desperate prayers throughout the day, and I've accomplished pretty much nothing other than becoming more and more frustrated by the whole situation. I just want to run away and hide. It's been hard enough for me to imagine how I'm going to accomplish going to nursing school but now we've added debt and stretched our budget and it's back to feeling impossible again. I even tried to make myself feel better by doing something nice for someone else. I was going to make the Tubie Friends that have been assigned to me so I can ship them off tomorrow (since the post office IS within walking distance...sort of). Some of them are for boys and I only have girly bears left, so I checked online to see when the shipment of bears that TF had sent to me is due to arrive. I was hit with nauseating panic once again when I realized that they had shipped them to the house we moved out of in September. The order was shipped 8 days ago so there was no chance of fixing it. Fortunately, I was able to get the new tenant's phone number from the landlord and he said he'll let me know if/when the package shows up. I felt better but I won't feel completely better until I have the box of bears. I had a headache this afternoon and tried to take a nap but kept getting interrupted by fighting kids or my phone, which I had to keep with me in case the insurance agent called me back, which he has not done yet.
I am normally a pretty upbeat and optimistic person, and whatever I lack in optimism I try to make up for in humor. I think I'm pretty good at that. Right now though, I just don't even feel like it. I have a very sweet friend who ordered us pizza for dinner last night and another one that is giving Raya and I a ride to feeding therapy tomorrow so that we don't have to cancel it, and I greatly appreciate both of them for helping out. Donny will probably be able to take Friday off so that I can take Raya to the hospital for her endoscopy & botox injections and not have to reschedule. The summer movie on Thursday is Charlotte's Web, so I won't feel too bad if the kids miss that one. I think we have it on DVD so if they really want to watch it, we'll pop some popcorn and put blankets over the windows so it's dark. The girl that was driving the other car was probably about 20 and after she got off the phone with her mom while we were waiting for the police, she told me that the car was registered to her mom but that her parents had kicked her out and that was the first time she and her mom had talked since she'd moved out. Her car wasn't drivable like mine was, so her dad had to come pick her and her friend up. As they were getting the last of her things out of the car, I gave her a hug and told her that I hoped she could work things out with her parents. She said that she hoped so too, and that at least the accident would give them a reason to have to talk to each other. As crazy as this sounds, I'm glad that the accident wasn't her fault because her parents really can't be mad at her about it and I really do hope that they can work things out. I would have preferred for them to do it on their own without a car accident being involved, but whatever. (there, sense of humor slowly returning...)
Ok, I'm done venting. I actually feel a little bit better. So yeah, if you're the praying type and would like something to pray for, please pray for my sanity to return so I can have a little peace and get some sleep at night. I would greatly appreciate it. Or, you know, if somebody happens to have a big fat wad of extra money laying around, I'd be happy to accept it. Money may not solve everything but there are a heck of a lot of problems in the world that CAN be solved with money.
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