Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Always an adventure

I spent the weekend on the Oregon coast with my mom & sister, and we had a great time. We also managed to keep it pretty frugal. We had a beer 2x out, but the rest of the meals were eaten with groceries we brought. Overall, the cost was very reasonable, & we had a great time. We delivered the bricks for the fire pit, and two chairs that needed to be assembled. A few others arrived yesterday, just in time to assemble the fire pit & chairs. Although we ended up having to return 2 of the 6 Adirondacks we bought, as they didn't match. Bummer. We now have a usable fire pit & chairs, so that's progress. I'll have to keep my eye out for Costco to restock this particular chair next summer.

On to other adventures.

We ordered 20 new doors for our house, and have been waiting for Lowes to get them in. We waited six weeks, and yesterday was the big day where the installation would begin. Except, over half of the doors were the incorrect size, and one was broken. I loathe home projects. The house is a mess, the work is half done, and... no idea when we'll get the other doors. M & I will both be at work when the new doors are finally ready, which should be super fun. The guy who placed the order at Lowes did not, of course, return our calls.

In super exciting news, we were able to lock in an amazing rate for our mortgage (2.875% vs our current 3.625%). Given the size of our mortgage, this is a huge savings. I would not have agreed to handle all of the paperwork if I was working full time, as sizable time investment. So, I'll just consider this one of my financial sabbatical wins - particularly since my leave is unpaid. At least I'm offsetting some of that. In fact, the amount we will save on the loan more than covers my unpaid leave. Oh, and our printer broke yesterday, because . . . of course!

While we're not done with the paperwork (I need to go to the office & use a printer/scanner), by today, we should have everything sent to underwriting. So, that's a good first milestone. I'll keep reminding myself of how much we're saving, when I'm annoyed by all of the paperwork demands.

I've alluded to this here & there, but last week we got a formal diagnosis for Sam. He has ADHD. While this isn't a surprise, he's always done really well in school until he hit middle school, so the grades challenge became very real. He's starting 8th grade next week, so it's critical we help him now, when the grades matter. We also want to ensure he is confident about himself & his own skills & abilities. He & Nick are wildly different people, and they have both observed Sam's weaknesses, and it's starting to create tension & impacting Sam's confidence.

Now that we have a formal diagnosis, we can work with the school, as well as get Sam the help he needs. I'm so extremely grateful for my sabbatical for the time & space to handle this, as it's been an enormous time commitment (and, emotionally quite taxing) this summer. We have many steps ahead (therapists, doctor visits, school counselor meetings, etc), but I feel we're on the right track & can move forward now.

Adventures in my life aside, here's what's on the list for the rest of today:

  1. Laundry. The boys graciously leave this for me when I'm traveling. ;-)
  2. Mail an eBay sale
  3. I'm going to a workout class
  4. Scan paperwork for refi
  5. Print Home Depot gift cards at the office
  6. Print & scan a form for Nick to sub in a soccer tournament this weekend
  7. Pick up Nick + carpool kids at Nick's camp
  8. Take Nick + soccer carpool kid to practice
  9. Pick up Sam from his camp (now that Sam is a teen, most camps don't span both age groups)
  10. Water the plants
  11. Do a little yard work
  12. Track down M's ski pass. His photo upload failed, and I've tried to get a hold of someone who can help me correct this. 
  13. Call Home Depot about our (new) leaky fridge
  14. Call Lowes (again) about the doors cluster
  15. Consider listing two light fixtures on eBay local pickup, now that our new chandeliers are installed

What about you? Any adventures lately?


  1. You door issue sounds really frustrating-that and the wrong chairs. Getting thing delivered that are very wrong is one of my biggest frustrations. I hope Sam gets the right therapy and coping tools with the therapy to keep him being successful. Having my oldest on the Aspberger spectrum (not quite autism spectrum as told to us but I'm not sure what is the difference), he has battled ADHD tendencies his whole life, but is a semi successful man now. He uses his high energy, attention to the details on things he likes to his advantage when possible. He still is a whirlwind of energy, and I hate getting into any argumentative discussions with him as he wears a person down. He manages that part for his work though.

    1. Thanks, Sam. It's hard to watch your kids struggle, isn't it? It's great to hear that your son is doing well & making his way in the world, on his own path.

      As for the construction, gosh. I forgot how terrible it can be to have your house in total disorder, and for none of it to be in your control!

  2. Good for giving Sam the tools he needs for success. And I have to admire your guys on their ability to deflect laundry tasks until Mom come home. Done like a true make!

    1. Thanks - it's been hard to see Sam struggle, so we are very committed to helping him. Even though sometimes it just doesn't feel like we know what that will be. I'm relieved to have others we can tap into for help.

  3. I will NEVER do home improvements through Lowe's again. Incorrectly installed washer ruined my drywall and all new windows in the house almost cost me my sanity. The head of the installation crew was eventually taken off the job in a headlock. I will also NEVER build a house as I could not take the stress of dealing with other people's laziness! Good luck!!

    1. Oh gosh, that sounds like a terrible project. I'm so sorry for your experience!

      Yes, we haven't been impressed with Lowes so far at all. Fingers crossed they can turn it around.

  4. Wow I am so afraid of home reno with all the problems we have encountered. I would be so frustrated. We have replaced almost all of our doors but we just take them up to a smaller hardware place and they cut a new door to the exact measurements of the old door. We have done 4 at a time and we have 4 left plus the front and back doors. I am so sorry for your debacle.

    1. Our doors were too small, so chance of cutting, unfortunately. It's such a waste of time!!

  5. I just wanted to say good for you for getting Sam the help he needs. I have been spending some time with my 9 year old niece this summer and it is quite clear she has ADHD but the parents can't take the time to be very sad for her and I realize life will only get more difficult for her.
    Thanks for being a good parent!!

    1. Oh, thank you so much. Your comment meant a lot. We've struggled with guilt, because we aren't sure if we should have done something sooner or pushed harder. I know we've now done the right thing, but I hope we haven't wasted time by not getting help earlier.

  6. That's excellent news on your refi, it will make a big difference and allow you to pay down your home faster :) Isn't it a pain when you do all this planning/ordering/paying and others let you down with regard to your windows? As for your son - good you are getting help - these things aren't always apparent - hard to see the symptoms sometimes (my stepdaughter had it but seems to be ok now that she is older)

  7. That's an amazing rate! Might I ask with whom you're refinancing? I'm always on the lookout in hopes of finding a refi opportunity even though you're so right, it's A TON of work.

    I'm glad you've got a diagnosis so now you can start working to help him. He's lucky to have parents who care about helping him now. It's a lot of work, as I hear from teacher friends, but having parents advocating for and working with the teachers makes a real difference.

    1. Sent you email re the refi. Good luck! I keep telling myself that the time investment is worth it. ;-)

      Thanks - it's been such a journey. As a parent, watching your kids struggle & not know how to help is really difficult. I'm glad we have a diagnosis & can at least begin the process of a plan.

  8. I am so happy that you got to spend some great time with your Mom and sister. Family time is the best!

    What a mess with the doors. So sorry!

    That is a huge savings on your mortgage.

    Getting the right diagnosis for Sam was so important. We have some disabilities in the family so I know how hard it is. But you are terrific parents so he will do well.

    I hope you got your list all completed.