Sunday, June 29, 2008


Well, I still haven't heard anything from the nonprofit organization about that job. : ( I called the supervisor last Monday, and left a message for her, but she hasn't called me back yet. When I called, her number rang once and then went straight to voice mail, and when I called again on Tuesday (I didn't leave a message that time) it did the same thing, so I'm hoping she was just on vacation or out of town last week (she travels a lot for her job).

Nevertheless, I'm discouraged because I talked to another lady I listed for a reference, and she told me no one from the organization has contacted her for a reference. It appears then that the organization only contacted my last job (I listed one of my former coworkers, and the HR department). That was on June 17th, and now it's almost July, so I think things aren't looking too good as far as me getting the job. Oh well. I've seen a few other job openings elsewhere that look promising, so I've been applying for other jobs. I just need to find something quickly.

I finally got my check for the grants proposal project, so my kids and I went to the movies yesterday. We're fortunate to have a movie theater within walking distance of our house. We went to see Wall-E. It was a cute movie, although it did take awhile to get to the point. The kids really liked it though, and they were excited because they each got a free Wall-E watch and some trading cards with their tickets.

I also sold a textbook on Ebay, so I used the money to order some yarn online from I bought the last ball of TLC Cotton Plus I need to finish my Cupcake sweater, so I'm going to try to finish it this week and post pictures. While looking for yarn on Knitting-Warehouse, I saw that they have a bunch of pretty new yarns: Red Heart Collage Yarn, Red Heart Designer Sport Yarn, Red Heart Heart & Sole yarn (sock yarn - good for you knitters out there!), Red Heart Soft Baby Steps Yarn, and Red Heart Zoomy Yarn. Here's a link- (I couldn't get the one-word link to work right).

Anyway, thank you everyone who left such kind comments in response to my post last week. My husband started his welding classes last Monday. They're going well, but he's pretty much been sleeping all the time when he's home. I'll be glad when the classes are done.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Broke, Bored, and Bummed

Well, the title of this post pretty much describes how I’ve been feeling for the past couple of weeks. Broke because trying to live off one income (my husband’s) is next to impossible, bored because between being broke and my husband’s night shift work schedule, we either never have the time or money to do anything, and bummed because I’m frustrated with being unemployed.

The nonprofit organization I was doing the grants proposal for decided at the last minute not to pursue it. I’ll still get paid for the time I spent working on it, but now I’m just waiting to get paid. I sent them an invoice last week, but their accountant is on vacation this week, so I won’t get the check until someone time next week.

In the meantime, I have bills piling up and need to buy groceries and get my kids’ asthma/allergy medications refilled. Did I mention that I hate not having a job? My husband’s been working as much overtime as he can at his job, but we just can’t live off one income, especially with gas and food prices skyrocketing. Gas alone is killing us, with my husband driving nearly 50 miles round trip to work 6 days a week. And then I read that food prices are expected to go up even more with the floods in Iowa and Missouri destroying so many crops.

One of my former coworkers emailed me last Monday, and told me someone from the nonprofit organization (one of the women I interviewed with) called her for a reference for the permanent position I interviewed for (the research and planning associate). She gave them a good one. Everyone I’ve mentioned it to thinks it’s a good sign, that they’re checking my references, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up in case I don’t get the job. I'm still keeping an eye out for other jobs I'm qualified for in the meantime too.

I told my husband if I don’t get a job offer in the next week or so, that I’m just going to have to take any job I can find, even if it’s just something at Wal-Mart, because we need to have some other income coming in. It’s the bills, and also just never having any money to do anything with the kids. Bethany tells me about her friends and classmates that go on great vacations every year with their families – cruises, trips to Europe, trips to the ocean, to Disney World, and here I am so damn broke that I can’t even afford to take my kids to the movies or to an amusement park, and it makes me feel like just a lousy mom.

A few weeks ago at preschool, Dominic’s class had “bike day” where the kids can bring in their bikes and get to ride them in the playground. I felt horrible because my son only has a tricycle, that he outgrew last summer, and so he didn’t have a bike to bring in. He’s been asking me for a “big bike” with training wheels, and I feel so terrible not even being able to afford to get him one. I told him I’d buy him a new bike when I get another job, and nearly every day he asks if I have a job yet, and it hurts to have to tell him no, because he gets so disappointed.

On top of worrying about my job situation, I’ve just been totally overwhelmed with my husband working nights. The schedule has him so exhausted that he spends 90% of his time at home sleeping, and I feel like I barely have five minutes to even talk to him anymore. And things are going to get worse because he’s going to start welding school at
Lincoln Electric on Monday. He’s going to work his night shift, get home at 7, and then have to rush out of the door about half an hour later to go to classes. He won’t get home until about 4, and then he has to be back at work at 10:30, so that barely even leaves him time to sleep, let alone time to see me or the kids. The classes don’t end until the first week of August, so by the time he’s done with classes, it'll almost be time for the kids to go back to school. On top of that, I’m worried about how he’s going to manage on so little sleep. He’s not exactly young anymore – he’s 42, and he’s diabetic, and doesn’t feel good some days, so I just hope he’ll be OK health wise with the lack of sleep.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful that my husband has the opportunity to go to school – his company is paying for the welding classes, and once he finishes he’ll have the opportunity to move into a full-time welding position and make more money, but with the work and school schedule, it’ll be impossible to have any kind of normal family life. I’m tired of sleeping alone every night, tired of not having any help with the kids, and tired of missing my husband. I’m not mad at him, just overwhelmed.

The kids spent the night at Grandma’s (my mom) house last night, with some of their cousins, my sister Desiree’s 11 and 4 year old daughters, and 6 year old son. Desiree and her husband were going to some event downtown and then spending the night at a hotel, so my mom asked if I wanted to bring my kids over too.

My husband and I very, very rarely go anywhere by ourselves without the kids, so I’d have loved to have gone out to eat or to a movie or something, but between us being broke, and him being exhausted, we just stayed home. He fell asleep early, and I stayed up later crocheting and watching TV. Some exciting Friday night, huh? The kids had fun at Grandma’s though. They ate a ton of junk food, had a water balloon fight outside, watched a movie, and all fell asleep together on the living room floor. That was Dominic’s first time spending the night away from home, but he did well. Speaking of kids, that reminds me that I have a new picture of my baby niece, Jenna. She's 5 months old now.

That's me feeding her at my brother Joe's (her dad) house on Memorial Day. Isn't she cute?! I told Joe that he and Jenna have the same hairdo (because she's bald, and he's losing his hair) ha, ha!

About the only good thing that’s happened lately is that I got a letter from the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland saying that they awarded me a $500 grant towards Bethany’s tuition for the upcoming school year. I applied for assistance before I lost my job, and initially wasn’t awarded anything. Parents who don’t receive any assistance can reapply if their financial situation changes (assuming grant funds are still available) so I reapplied and surprisingly got something. The tuition starts at $4,150 for non parishioners, but parents can get money off for doing volunteer work at the school, participating in fundraising, etc, so between those, and the $500, that knocks her tuition down to $2,915 (plus all the various fees). Still a lot of money, but every little bit helps.

Fortunately I won’t have to pay any tuition for Dominic. He qualifies for an Ohio EdChoice scholarship/voucher because the public elementary school he would be assigned to for kindergarten (if I sent him to public school) is on the No Child Left Behind list of persistently failing schools. I wish I could get a voucher for Bethany too, but it’s only for incoming kindergarten students or students who have been enrolled at a charter school or a failing public school for at least a year. I’m not complaining though, because if not for Dominic getting the voucher, I couldn’t afford to have two kids in Catholic school.

I also got a nice surprise a few weeks ago when a fellow Clevelander and blogging friend
Gretchen sent me a box full of yarn! She sent me 3 skeins of Simply Soft Brites in Berry Blue and white, and 4 skeins of Cotton-Ease in the discontinued Candy Blue color. I got a cute handmade card (decorated by her 4 year old daughter) too.

I used some of the Simply Soft to crochet a poncho for my daughter (ignore her hair – I didn’t have a chance to brush it before I took the picture). The pattern I used is a free Lacy Shells Poncho from Chelle of
Luv to Crochet. She has some beautiful patterns. This pattern is great because it has instructions on how to adjust it to fit an infant, child or adult. I want to make one for myself in pink. My daughter decided that she doesn’t like pink anymore, but at least I can still make pink stuff for myself. I started a Stitch N’ Bitch “Cupcake” sweater for myself about a month ago, with some hot pink TLC Cotton Plus from my stash (that pattern is a mess – more on that later), but I ran out before I could make the second sleeve. : ( Oh well. When I get another job, I’ll have to buy another skein to do the second sleeve.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Quick Update

Just a quick update on a few things...

My interview last Wednesday for the research & planning associate position with the nonprofit health system thankfully went really well. Before the interview, I made a list of questions I thought I might be asked, along with answers, and also a list of questions I wanted to ask. Being prepared beforehand made me a lot less nervous. The interview was a group one (I was interviewed by 3 women), but it was rather informal, which also helped. Interestingly, I wasn't even asked why I left my last job. I had an answer prepared, but didn't even need to use it. The supervisor said that a number of questions I asked were "excellent", so that's a good sign.

Overall, I'm very excited about the position. It's one in which I could really put my education to use, and one in which I will have lots of opportunity to write, which unfortunately I didn't get to do enough at previous jobs. I had to submit a PowerPoint presentation I've done (luckily I still had one that I did for an undergraduate college class), and I have to complete a writing exercise.

Apparently I already made a good impression with my writing skills however (through my cover letter, thank you letter and Power Point presentation), because on Friday I received a phone call from a lady who is the head of the department, saying that the supervisor told her I have strong writing skills, and asking if I have any grants writing experience. It just so happens that I took a grants writing class in college, and I have experience reviewing grants proposals from my volunteer position with the United Way. I was offered a chance to help put together a major grants proposal for the organization.

I'll be working mostly from home, about 60-80 hours over the course of the next two weeks, and it pays $25.00 an hour. For 80 hours of work, that's $2,000 - what great timing with me being out of work! Of course I said yes, I would love to help, and I got started on the project today. The project seems a bit overwhelming right now, but I have technical assistance from a contract grants writer who has helped with many proposals for the organization, and I think he's going to be very helpful.

I have been working on a few crochet projects, but they're going to have to take a backseat to this grants project, and my summer grad school class which began last week (I'm taking an urban politics class). So, if I'm AWOL for a while. you'll know where I am!

Thank you to everyone for your kind words and encouragement about the interview and my job situation. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get the position.