Friday, April 15, 2005

Making a list and checking it elevendy million times.

7:15 a.m.
Almost all of the laundry is finished, even the laundry we're not taking with us. I don't like the idea of a pile of stinky clothes sitting on my bathroom floor for seven days. All must be washed. I have a tendency to clean the house MORE when we are about to LEAVE it, rather than when we're hanging about inside of it.

One would think I'd want to hang out in a house which is nice, organized and clean, but I've discovered that I really would rather play video games with the boy or joke around with my daughter than spend time mopping. Call me a Slacker Mom if you will. But. My kids are fairly happy folk, well adjusted, seem to be sane. And that's all I can ask for in life when it really comes down to it.

The great thing about tidying up before leaving is that we come home to empty trash and no moldy dishes trying to climb up out of the sink. And that is a beautiful thing.

I talked to Aaron for about an hour about fishing and kite flying, went in the basement and found our stunt kite, which has horribly tangled strings but both handles were attached -- and that is a good thing. Aaron said he can rewire it and make it fly. He's leaving his place at about 10am, and hopefully will be here by the time the kids get home from school so they can hang with him for a bit. I think I plan on bailing from work early. I'm more than 3 weeks ahead in the scheduling, and I have so much to do, that I bet G won't mind me bailing at lunchtime.

I'm glad MB is back from maternity though... hopefully everything will be perfect while I'm gone.

It's funny -- I don't really work there yet. I'm a contractor girl. I can walk away at any time. But I feel personally invested in what I've done and I get really anxious if I think there might be something wrong with stuff. I will re-preview all of next week's content and just make sure everything is beautiful, and will encourage MB to re-preview the following week because I don't want to come in that Monday morning after vacation to see a mistake.

I take this all very seriously.

Bonnie e-mailed me and let me know that her dad, Walt, is doing much better. His L-VAD device is keeping the old ticker regulated, but he is number two on the adult transplant waiting list right now. Thank you for your continued mojo for him... and please continue to keep him in mind.

Bon said that there are two babies ahead of him on the transplant list. Baby hearts and grown up hearts are two totally different sizes, so it isn't like they are in competition for the organs. In her email, Bon said that it really blew her away that there are babies waiting for hearts... as the mother to a fairly new-model little boy (Happy late birthday Liam. Ooops! I typed "Lima" by accident. Heh.) the realization that someone so small can have such a need is overwhelming.

A few years ago, long time readers will remember that a friend of ours lost a baby. He was about 7 days old, and suddenly just ... stopped working. He stopped breathing and his heart stopped. They rushed him to the hospital, where he held on for a few days and then died in his daddy's arms. A few years before that, a college friend of mine and her husband lost their son to a congenital heart defect. They had a few loving days with him, and lost him while... waiting for a heart.

Walt has lived a long and productive life, with four kids, a bucket of lovely grandchildren... it's been a good life. Contemplating the fact that as an adult, he needs for another adult to die in order for him to live... really blows my mind.

But realizing it from the baby perspective -- that another baby has to die in order for this other infant to survive... that's enough to shatter the most granite heart.

So -- continue to mojo Walt. And think of the babies. Whoever those two babies are, waiting on the list with Walt... Lift them up.

Doug finished our taxes last night while I folded laundry and made lists of what we need to bring and take and move about and do.

I have an issue with folks who get all crazy happy that they're getting a refund. If you're one of them -- hear me out brother or sister. You need edumacated.

See, that's your money. YOUR money. And the government has had it for months, earning interest on it. It isn't sitting in your bank account earning interest. It's in theirs. Your little refund, along with the eighty gazillion other little refunds, just netted the government a shit ton of extra money, thank you very much.

You should underpay your taxes. Figure things out, fill out your W-whatever forms right, and underpay by about 1000 bucks. Save the 1000 in your account where it earns you a couple o'bucks interest over the course of time.

And then write them their check and mail it on April 15th.

The way we work it is Doug takes all the different things that he's entitled to like Head of Household and the two kids and whatnot. I take Zero Higher Single Witholding. And in the end, we ususally owe about 800 bucks. It works out just fine.

We don't owe nearly as much as I'd anticipated we would, what with me contracting an average of 30 hours a week for the past six months... but we will next year, when this quarter is factored in. It was under $2000, because Doug made some adjustments to his witholding while I am contracting. And we were prepared for the worst, so writing the check we just wrote wasn't as scary as I thought it would be when I began contemplating these things back in November.

Working as a contractor semi-sucks. I mean, I get paid a nice chunk of money. I can write off my travel. I really should get a cell phone and write that off. I should buy a new laptop, and write THAT off. Maybe our tax burden next April won't be what I'm expecting it to be. I'll be happy to be brought on as a real employee, and that looks like it'll be in May. And we can adjust our witholdings and take care of everything so next year we hit the same easy check.

Geoff got up this morning and was devastated that I'm making him go to school today. He so doesn't want to go. He's on vacation. He's got Spring Break-itis (for an -itis, it's not a bad thing to have. My sister gets lots of -itises, and this one is one I'm sure she wouldn't mind). It is taking a lot of coaxing to get him to even eat his breakfast or get dressed. I can't say as I blame him. He's had a rough couple of months, and school is just another obstacle to fun at this point. I can't believe we still have 2.5 months to go. Gah.

I need to go encourage him, and get myself some more coffee, and find my shoes. It's going to be a long day, kids. Wish me luck.

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