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Robinbird4

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Robinbird4 last won the day on November 7 2015

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  1. Robinbird4

    More court drama

    Mimi, what happened with this?
  2. Thanks all. Kelvin, we had him sleeping on our floor for a few days right after the nightmares started, but it seemed to make his fear of his room worse. Right now he's scared of the whole upstairs of our house. Dorothy, I'd absolutely rearrange his room, but I'll have to leverage help from neighbors. I have a herniated disk that is mostly healed, but I'm afraid to put too much pressure on it by lifting and moving heavy objects because if Mama goes down this family will be up a creek right now. I'm actually thinking that when I have family in town in a few weeks I might switch out the boys' rooms. The baby is a good sleeper and I'd rather have his room next to our daughter's room anyway.
  3. It's been a bit over two months since DH lost his leg due to the aneurism. It's been a LOOOOOONG two months. But, he's driving again, easing back into work (about 16 hours per week), doing a ton of PT and has been working with the prosthetics doctor on his starter leg. They've cast that and are in the process of creating his first leg and we hope he's up on it in another week (though, learning to use it will be quite a process). Things with the kids have been a challenge. Our 4 year old was extremely angry about everything that happened and all the changes, so he's been in play therapy. It's helped but he's not sleeping at night still. He's either in our room at night or we're up with him (ie: I'm up with him) a half dozen times. He's currently terrified of his room after having bad dreams. I don't think I've slept more than a couple of hours at a stretch since mid August. The most stressful part are our finances. We've been taking one big hit after another and I have no idea where things stand because with the leg we just flat out can't get the information from the insurance company as to what will be covered and what will not be. Since DH's hospitalization, we've had thousands in car repairs (random things), the siding has failed (it was going but we were trying to nurse it along another couple of years so we could finish rebuilding BS3) and that is going to cost us $27K, the fence went down in a big wind storm a couple of weeks ago so that's going to be another couple of thousand (we have it braced to make it through the rest of the winter), the insurance company just authorized DH's temporary leg and then there is the big kahuna - the "robot" leg as we've been calling it. We're counting on having to pay 20%, but in reality I have no idea what the insurance company will realistically cover since the verbiage is so open. It's going to be a long haul on that front. That said, I'm so glad we had a very very large BS3 -- we had 9 months budgeted - because we CAN pay our bills. We might end up back in BS2, but we won't be deep in debt if that happens. (we might have to take a second on the house to help cover the leg while we battle with the insurance company and appeal it out to mediation where we've been told it will likely be covered at 80% by others who have dealt with this before). It'll likely be a full year from the time he begins that process to when it makes it out of the insurance company and into mediation. Basically, we'll have to sue the insurance company... then reimburse ourselves and pay off the second once we get the settlement. In this whole process, all I can say is that going through the DR process was a HUGE blessing 7 years ago. We had the Short term and long term disability in place. We have the large BS3 in place. We are debt free currently... all of this has helped ease the stress and strain. We still have a ton of stress and strain from all the unknowns and the pressure on our marriage, but its nothing compared to what we'd be facing if we hadn't had the financial stability of a large EF. It's also been a good learning experience on who one can actually depend on. My DH's family has been horrible. I mean, really really horrible. His parents have only been up to see him once since he got home from the hospital. No help with the kids. No help even sitting with him so I could get errands done with the kids when he was still too unstable to be left alone. However, we've been lifted up by friends and my family in ways we could not even imagine. It's been a huge blessing... and taught us where to invest our energy in building relationships. As far as I'm concerned, I'd totally write off my ILs, but my DH wants to maintain a relationship with them. My one thought is that I see many people on here try to "skimp" their BS3 so they can move on to BS4. They justify it for all sorts of reasons. The fact is, you don't know what life is going to throw at you. We're the perfect example of that. We had a very large EF and its going to be completely drained. Back in mid August, never in a million years would we have thought my husband, who is a desk-jockey and other than business travel leads an incredibly low-risk, healthy lifestyle, would almost die and have to completely rehabilitate. A true emergency isn't always a car accident or being laid off for a couple of months. Sometimes its a catastrophic life changing event that leaves you breathless for weeks while you try to wrap your head around all the changes your family has to face down. That is where having the insurance and the large EF makes a HUGE difference. HUGE. Here's my challenge to anyone who is reading this. Look at your EF (if you are in BS3) and look at it in terms of what we're facing but through the lens of your own life. Then, reevaluate whether you have the money saved to face down multiple emergencies at once. Because, they don't always come singularly. Even with awesome health insurance, $10K can be blown through exceptionally fast when you are looking at health emergencies, car repairs, living expenses, and floating disability insurance... please, do yourself a really really big favor and reevaluate your BS3.
  4. Thank you so much! That is exactly what we need to do. We've slipped so far in the past year. It's daunting thinking about cutting parts of the budget back again (like groceries) and engaging in real meal planning again. But, its more important to me to pay for college than buy a bunch of stuff or eat a bunch of overpriced meals because I didn't plan. We're maxing out DH's 401K at 12%, but we need to do the Roths so we can hit 15%. That said, we are at the point where family vacations are more important than paying off the house ASAP. We're not selling or refinancing so if it takes us a bit longer to get it paid off, we're ok with that. This is our forever home (until we downsize in the future).
  5. You all are right. We need to get the Roths direct deposited. I don't know how we've missed that one, but we need to get on it. Fidelity makes it so easy so we should just be doing it. We also need to set up the kids' college funds to come out automatically. Those are too easy to ignore and allow to get sucked back into the general family fund...
  6. Hi All, I need a kick in the kiester. We've been doing DR for 7 years and for the past year we've been floundering. We're NOT back in debt, we still have 6 months of EF and are contributing to the 401K, but we did not contribute to ROTHs lasts year and have contributed minimal to the 529 funds. We have not paid down BS6 at all. We just booked a vacation to Disney World and I think that was the eye opener with how far off the wagon we've fallen. This month we have DS's baptism, DS's first birthday, DD's dance recital and a baby shower for my SIL. Together, all of that adds up to big $$ and I flinch when I think about how much that is going to cost us. We have not budgeted in probably a year. And, its time to get back on board with that and start the envelopes again. It's time to start making the harder decisions about activities for the kids and budgeting accordingly. It's time to get serious about sale shopping for clothes for the kids, budgeting for gifts (because its killing us with a large family) and not hosting every family function under the sun. Now, I need to convince DH that we need to scale everything WAY back. I mean, seriously! This is ridiculous. Summer will be a good time to do that and reassess priorities because other than a couple of cheapo summer camps for the older kids through the rec department and DS's preschool, and swimming lessons, we're keeping things ultra low-key (ie: low cost). So, if anyone questions it, know that lifestyle creep is a VERY real issue and that its insidious and it sneeks up really quickly if you aren't watching your funds. Ouch.
  7. Big hugs to you. It sounds like taking some time off is a really good plan.
  8. Robinbird4

    update

    About the yard clean up. If you know anyone who is an Angie's List member, ask them to go onto the Angie's List deal of the day and see if there is a spring yard clean up special. We found one for $199 for 4 hours of yard clean up for 2 men from a reputable garden company. It didn't solve all of our problems when we moved in, but it helped tremendously! That freed us up to focus on a ton of other pre-move-in "stuff". Likewise, if you want to have the carpets cleaned, the Angie's List Deal of the Day is great for that, too!
  9. Ugh. I feel for you. DS stopped napping at 2.5 unless he was strapped into a car seat. Guess how often I drove around at 1:30 and would just park in front of DD's preschool and read a book for a little while. The hardest part is that there is liteally not a moment to get big stuff done. In your shoes, I'd call a sitter. A lot of college students will be getting home for summer break in the next week. I'd call around and find one willing to babysit until she finds a summer job. It could be a sanity saver for you.
  10. TIme to get serious about LLNOE again!!!

  11. Sara, I know how important staying in Nashville has been to you and I'm sorry you are going to have to move. Given how many times Alex came so close to getting something and then it slipped away, it feels like God might be trying to close this door so he can open another one for you guys. I'm going to pray for you that he makes it abundantly clear what his plans for your family are and that he can lead you to another community where you will feel like there is a home for your family.
  12. Robinbird4

    Quick Notes

    esg, you've made so many changes this past year! First, moving out from living with your Mom and your sisters and being emotionally held hostage by them and now the job situation. Here's the thing, though. In every choice you make, think of the example you are making for your son. Now, about graphic design. The people we know who are successful with it are not work from home jobs. They are people who go into an firm and work for the firm. Think about that before you decide whether or not to bite off a large chunk of student loans. I know you don't like people, but this is where doing some informational interviews with people who work ing the fields you are interested in will be able to give you real perspective on what the actual expected salaries and a typical profession might look like. I know too many people who jump into fields based upon passions and internet research (myself included) and end up finding out that it is most definitely not as they (I) thought it would be. My grant writing included. Library science might be a very real possibility for you.
  13. Robinbird4

    Updates

    That's great news! A side note -- when I hit 16 months nursing DD, I ended up with enlarged glands... to the point I was sent in for an ultrasound of them and they were doing extensive blood work to figure out what was going on. Finished nursing...bam. Problem disappeared within a month. Similar thing happened with other issues when I hit that point nursing DS. I plan to start weaning baby DS when he hits 15/16 months so I can avoid the nasty health issues. I think some people's bodies can handle extended breast feeding just fine, but mine can't and it sounds like yours can't either. Hugs. I'm sorry.
  14. I'm with Jeff102 - I'd work with him until he can do it himself. At 6 he should be able to do the buckle. Its one more step towards independence for him and overall it'll make him safer in all driving situations. Given you can not drive and you rely upon Grandma and Grandpa to drive the children, I'd work with him daily until he can do it himself and discuss with him the importance of doing it himself. With DD, there are some car seats that are easier to buckle than others given clasp and clip placement. I might take them to Babies R Us with me and have them try each car seat to see which one they can buckle and unbuckle easily. Back in November, I asked my Aunt to take my DD(age 5) and younger DS (4 mo) for the morning and take them to school. I never even thought about instructing her on how to use the infant seat -- it seemed self evident to me. But, I got back to her house from DS (age 3) well child exam just as she pulled in from driving DD to Kindy. DD had ridden in the high backed booster appropriately. The baby had ridden in his infant seat with the chest clip clipped and the crotch buckle unclipped. I had to take several really deep breaths before talking because I almost lost it. But, then I realized she probably physically couldn't do the clip and didn't know how to losen the strap to give h er the extra length she needed to do the clip. Needless to say, I am not leaving the baby with her again when she is going to need to drive, however, if I have to, I'll be leaving him with an easier car seat to use and I'll install it in her car and walk her through exactly how to tighten the straps once he's in there...
  15. Robinbird4

    Future planning

    I'm with the others - I can't believe the school allows spanking. I'd actually discuss this with the principal. Both the walk of shame and the spankings. Okay, about the lack of challenge... DD is not challenged at all this year. We're sticking with public for a while. We do IXL math at home (its online and they can master concepts at their own pace) and we do a LOT of reading and memorizing site words. We're doing a lot of outside "stuff" right now like dance, t-ball and piano. Between all of those she's being challenged in different ways.
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