Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Sound Out

From Chicago, where the Cubs actually won a game, it's your host, the woman who found a pistachio behind the TV (It's been ten years since I've had pistachios in the house. Yeah.), Dawn Damalas Meehan!

Okay, about 50,000 of you have asked me something along these lines - I must have missed something. I thought you were not moving b/c of the housing market being so bad and the loan and what it would sell for didn't match up? Did that change and I missed that post?

I never said I wasn't moving. I said, "Because the economy sucks and the housing market sucks and life sucks, I'm not going to be able to sell my house since I owe more than what it will sell for. Not to mention the fact that houses are on the market for a good year or more around here. My options are limited now and it just sucks."

It doesn't look too promising that I'll be able to sell, but unfortunately that has precious little to do with the fact that I still have to move someplace cheaper. I'm talking to experts about my options - try to sell, rent my house, short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, foreclosure, etc. But in the end, yes, we're moving this summer.

I can barely squeak by with child support, but there's no way I can continue living here without it. I'm not counting on my ex to stand up, get a job, and help support his children. (In fact, he told me yesterday that he's had TWO whole interviews since losing his job mid-January. I know, right! Impressive!) Anyway, I'm not waiting around for him.

I was offered a job at a middle school in Orange County, FL that I've excitedly accepted. I'll have a steady paycheck as well as health insurance, and the same hours as my kids. I'm happy to leave winter behind! It looks like I'll be able to cut my housing costs in half by moving there. There are many, many benefits of moving to Florida and no drawbacks that I can see (other than the drawbacks of moving in general which just can't be avoided). I already had it put into my divorce agreement that I can move the kids out of state because I just knew something like this would happen. I remember telling my lawyer a year ago that I was sure he would stop working and abandon the kids. I guess you really get to know someone after living with them for nearly twenty years, huh?

The kids are actually excited about the move. I know all that might change after the novelty wears off and they start missing their friends, but for now, they're looking forward to it. Well, all the kids except Austin, that is. He understandably doesn't want to leave his girlfriend.

So, there ya go. I hope that clears up any confusion.

The surprise with which they greet a daily announcement is starting to get to me. Why is “Make your bed!” (repeated each and every morning) always a brand new concept?
My theory is that they believe we're old and inept. They keep thinking that maybe today will be the day that we lose our minds and forget to tell them to make their beds, brush their teeth, hang up their coats, etc. When we don't, in fact, forget, they're flabbergasted that we've maintained our sanity for yet another day. Either that, or like Bill Cosby says, children are brain damaged.

It looks great! But how long will the boys keep it looking that way?
If they value their lives, they'll keep it that way until we move. Oh, who am I kidding? I doubt it'll last a week.

What did you do with the IKEA shelving unit?
I shoved it in the dishwasher until we move.

Wait a minute! I just realized something. You have THREE boys. Where does boy #3 sleep? And did you buy new comforters and valances? And hang them yourself? I wouldn't have the first idea how to do that. Very impressive!!!
Austin has his own room. I haven't set foot in there to clear out clutter yet, but his room is usually pretty neat and clean so it should only take an hour or so. They've had the comforters for many years. What, you couldn't spot them in the "before" pictures??? They had the valances too, but they were removed years ago when we replaced the windows and they were never hung back up. With Savannah's help, I was able to drill holes and install the hardware to hang them. In case I haven't mentioned it lately, I HATE doing stuff like that! I could live happily without ever touching another power tool. Ever.

why is he [Austin] wearing a ring on a significant finger?
Yes, my sixteen-year-old got married and is wearing a dollar bill wrapped around his finger as a ring. All the elite, famous celebrities are doing that these days. William and Kate will be doing it too. Except they'll be exchanging British pound rings instead of American dollars. You know, because they're English and all.

where exactly in the minivan did that swedish fish land? was it really wasted?
It didn't even make it in the window! I love Swedish fish, but I wasn't about to create a traffic jam so I could stop my van, get out, and search the pavement for a piece of candy.

Have a great week filled with fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles!


Rhianna said...

YAY! I am so happy you will be in Florida. You are gonna love it, I dont actually live in FL, I live in TX. But the weather is the same. do understand its very very hot and high in humidity?
Cause I dont wanna hear no complaining, bc you sure did hate the snow :-)

Dawn said...

This cracks me up. People think it doesn't get hot and humid here. All summer it's hot and sticky. We get days over 100 degrees. I'll take the heat of Florida over the cold and snow any day!
Oh yeah, but I'll probably complain anyways. It's what I do.

The Gibson's said...

Already mentioned above the heat and humidity, but the BUGS are HUGE!!! Seriously so big. My aunt lives in Gainesville...home of the Florida Gators and it was creepy visiting there with all the bugs, and also ALWAYS thinking there was a gator in the pool. However VERY cool for you. I have only visited FL in the summer months so I am excited to go out next year for my little sisters wedding in March. Disney World here we come, and yeah we will see my sister too ;)

DarcsFalcon said...

Oh Dawn I am SO happy for you! :D

Way to go you, on getting that put into the divorce agreement too - smart thinking! IL custody laws are extremely unfair to women, as lawyers have told me, so you have done a great job to be aware to get that moving clause put in.

Congratulations on getting a job! I can't wait to hear more about it.

*hugs* and blessings!

Felicia said...

That is so exciting! A fresh new start! Good luck! I had no idea you were a teacher!

Dawn said...

I'm not a teacher. It isn't a teaching position. I'll be working with the lowest performing kids so they don't slip through the cracks. I'm excited about it!

Jennifer Foster said...

I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!! This all sounds awesome! It's like this job was meant to be~ you will be great Dawn!

p.s. can I come visit? :) :)

Rebecca said...

I'm sure you'll get a million of these comments (but maybe not from another American), but the British pound is a coin. While it would make a rather pretty ring... it's actually quite heavy and I hated carrying them around. I would buy snacks and things just to get them out of my wallet!

I'm sorry you'll probably lose money on your home and that Joe is such a *expletive delete* bum. Yay on the job and cutting costs, though!

Tammy said...

So happy for you all!!! (Except Austin - that is tough.) But FL? Cool. Well, not "cool", but KEWL.

I'm so happy for you that you have job lined up already! Is this something that a reader helped you with?

It's like you all are getting a fresh start, in a new place, to make new memories and new adventures. :) God is good!

Jess said...

I live only a couple minutes from Disney so I'm assuming you won't be too far away! It's definately gets more humid then you could ever imagine all summer long. It has already hit 90+ a few times this year and then it does through Oct and sometimes Nov and Dec. Have you decided what area you're moving to? I know there's alot of places that seem very nice online and when you see them in person are quite the opposite. I know from personal experience when we moved down here from the Philly suburbs 4 years ago. Hope you love it down here!

Jess said...

I had a whole page typed up and it disappeared! So here's the short version.. :) I live just a couple minutes from Disney. If you need any help unpacking or anything feel free to email me. We moved down here 4 years ago from the Philly suburbs, its quite a change! It took a couple of years before you get used to everything being so different. Good luck with the move! Have you figured out where you're moving to?

BBG said...

So excited for you. As a resident of Orange County, FL...WELCOME! I have been here for 11 years and think it's a great place to live. I have a 15 year-old daughter and a 2 year-old son, there is always something fun to do that doesn't necessarily have to do with any theme parks and is often times free.
The kids you will be helping will be lucky to have you on thier side. You have such a great sense of humor and positive outlook on life-even in its darkest moments.
If you have any questions about life here in O.County feel free to send me a note!

Unknown said...

Welcome to Florida!! I hope you are ready for our humid summers!!! it will be very hot and humid. but at least there is no snow to shovel!!! good luck on the housing issue and congrats on the new job.

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

Also, I hear there are beaches in Florida :) Good luck and keeping you in my thoughts, as always, my friend!!!

Unknown said...

welcome to orange county florida!! no more snow!!! beware the kids may want to bring in the lizards they find on the backyard. mine 3 try to all the time and have named them "buddy". if i see a lizard i am to call it buddy not a lizard. good luck with the housing situation. i hope it works out for you. God Bless.

Beth said...

Congrats on the job offer. We lived in Florida for 4 years and I loved it. Housing is way more affordable in general. Also you don't really need seasonal clothes. We didn't own coats or boots when we came back to IL. Just sweaters and fleece jackets for 'cold' weather.

Unknown said...

Congratulations on the new job and the move to Florida! How exciting! I would love to live in Florida to get away from the snow and cold. Wishing you and your kids all the best!

Michelle said...

Shut the heck up!!!! I grew up in seminole county which is right next to orange county. I actually went to high school in orange county. The thing you will love the most is no snow, year around warm weather, no snow, sun shining all the time, and did i mention no snow!
Can you say which school you will be working at?

Sarah said...

I am so happy for you for your job!!! That's awesome. What will you be teaching? Have you taught (other than your own kids) before?

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear the news of the new job!! Hopefully the older kids do understand it's for the better in the long run :) I can only imagine how much a sigh of relief a steady paycheck (and health insurance!!) will be! Congrats again!

Sarah said...

We are suburban Chicagoans transplanted to west central Flordia. Once you get used to the slower pace, tourists, higher cost of produce, and staggering summer humidity, it's great! (All sarcasm aside, I wouldn't go back for anything!) It's an adjustment, but so well worth it. My two favorite things about Florida are that it's flip flop weather year round and Happy Hour is legal down here...oh, and no state income tax! And although we don't have Lou Malnatti's, we do have Maggiano's. Keep us posted and best of luck on your move!

Diana said...

Welcome to Florida. We natives are required to remind you of the humidity. I'm a native and have lived here 42 of my 45 years. During those 3 years, I was gone I actually had someone tell me that it didn't get humid in Florida like it did on Ohio. My immediate question to them was have you ever been more than 100 feet from the beaches in Florida.

I love that you had the good sense to have that included in the marital settlement agreement. When my sister got divorced, a major issue they had was who was going to have the tax exemption. I told her to agree to alternate it with the caveat that he had to be current with the child support to use it. Eleven years later, he still has never been able to claim the tax exemption. I'm a little too far from Orange County - 50 miles or so west, but there are all sorts of houses here for rent etc so I don't think finding housing down here will be an issue.

Is the school a Title 1 school? My son goes to one and they have some very nice assistants etc.

khull05 said...

I am so excited for you guys! I'm sorry there is still some suckage to get through, but I can think of no better place for a fresh start than sunny FL. I'm praying something amazing works out with your house

Way to keep on keepin' on!

Beth in MI said...

Wow! Talk about answered prayers! Warm weather, no snow, cheaper housing costs, a schedule that matches your kids', health care, a job you're excited about. Seriously, could you have scripted that any better? That's why He is in charge!!! I'm so happy for you, I really, really am! (But not in a creepy stalker way, because that would be creepy and stalker-ish).

Anonymous said...

Even though you aren't actually here yet, WELCOME!! You said a middle school that is very cool. I live on the east side of Orange County. If there is any way that I could help please don't hesitate to ask. I'm a single mom of 3 so I understand some of the struggles you face.

Sharon said...

You have made the best possible decision for all of you! I'm proud of you for taking this huge step and moving from the Chicago area and it's high taxes and cost of living. Way to go Dawn!

Missi said...

Wow I'm jealous of your mom to FL. So close to beaches!!

Does Brooklyn start school (kindergarten) next school year?

I'm so happy some things seem to be working out for the best for you & your family.

Unknown said...

You're going to love Florida! I've lived here all my life (about 3 hours south of where you'll be) and I can't imagine living anywhere else. Although The Man is always trying to get me to move... he wants to live somewhere cold.

Pitch the winter coats and get yourself some flip flops for every outfit!

momnextdoor said...

I love reading you and the fact that you made a reference to The Princess Bride makes me love you even more!

I like your style! Husband runs off being an idiot, your broke, 6 kids to feed/care for, etc. What's the solution? Move to sunny Florida and say Screw you, I can do it on my own! You're brave and you're my hero!

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