Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sweet Home...Colorado?

Damn,  I should either get better at updating this thing or abandon it altogether.

So much has changed since I last posted.

Oh god, I just looked.  It was November!  From reading that post, I can tell you that, yes, so much has changed.  So much, except the one thing I was hoping would.

My ankle.

It is still horribly injured.  I managed to convince the NHS to finally do an MRI - this took place in the middle of February (almost a full 7 months since the accident happened).  I got the results at the end of February, and they weren't good.  Two ligaments and a tendon were stretched and thinned out.  The doctor said they wouldn't heal on their own and would be referring me to a surgeon to see if surgery would even help. Meanwhile, I'm still in agony every day.  The consultation with the surgeon was scheduled for April 22nd - two months away.  I never made it to that appointment.

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know what happened after but I'll explain here for those who don't know.

My husband and I decided to move back to Colorado.

That's right! After a year and half of planning, test taking (CPA exam, so I could find work easier), visa getting (me), and job obtaining (me) we decided to throw in the towel just 7 months after we arrived.  Just typing that out seems pretty drastic.  I left a REALLY good job in the US to make this move happen.  We spent so much money to make this move happen - between the CPA exam prep course, the CPA exam itself, and the visa.  We left behind our home, sold all of our beloved belongings, left our friends and various other things we loved to make this move happen.  And then we only give it 7 months.  I feel really ashamed about this.  I kept thinking that if we just gave it a little more time things would get better.  They never did.  I can't speak for my husband, but I was miserable from the moment we landed.

The fact that my right ankle was broken when we arrived was a huge hindrance.  It meant that my husband couldn't earnestly look for work since he had to drive me to my job, which was over an hour away.

The ankle issue itself was a huge factor for leaving.  It meant that I couldn't work full-time in the office because it had to be elevated most of the time.  Before breaking my ankle, I had arranged with my new employer to work from home three days a week.  So, to start with I was working in the office for my required two days a week while I waited for me to learn the job.  After a month I knew what I was doing and waited for the online system to be implemented.  Unfortunately, this never happened because my employer never took the time to make this happen.  When month after month would drag by and nothing would be done, I got really frustrated.  It was a horrible office.  My desk was up a very narrow, very steep set of stairs - which was nowhere near ideal for my disabled self.  So my desk was moved to the trash room.  That's right!  I had to sit next to weeks worth of trash while I worked.  It was horrible, I dreaded going to work.  But I did my two days, week after week, hating every minute of it.

If I wasn't at work, I was at home with my foot up unable to do much of anything since a pair of crutches makes even the most basic household chores almost impossible.  Sure, my husband did what he had to to make sure we were fed and clothed.  But that was about it.  We weren't living in England, we were surviving.

There were times I missed what we had left behind so much I couldn't breath.

Every now and then my husband would voice his frustration with the situation and insist we return to Colorado.  I wish now that I had taken him seriously the very first time he said it back in August.  I kept saying we had to give it more time, that it would get better.  I even said that once my ankle was better, everything would be fine.  Little did I know that no matter how long I waited my ankle would never heal on it's own.

So, I was working less than part-time and my husband wasn't working at all.  Yet we had all of the regular expenses a family of four would still have - housing, food, gas, etc.  We were running through our savings at an alarming rate.  In January, I had to cash out the only retirement we had just so we could make sure we had enough to live on.

The week I got the check from my retirement account my husband said we should use it to move ourselves back to Colorado since at this point our options were doing that or using every last penny of it until it ran dry to live in England.  And then where would we be?  Penniless in a place we both hated.

Since that option didn't sound too appealing to either of us, we made the decision to move back.

Because of what I do, it was best if I came back as soon as possible to try to find work.  So, I left England on March 5 and was employed by April 1.  My husband and the kids got here on April 4.  (As a side note, because I came back without the rest of my family the rumors were flying - was I getting divorced? Were the kids staying with my husband in England?)  That month without my family was really hard, though.

Is my ankle fixed?  Fuck no.  But I have a job (another story for another day), my husband has a job, and we're slowly getting our life back on track.  We have health insurance, so my ankle will get fixed sooner here than in England.

We really screwed up our credit by walking away from the houses (our personal residence and our rental unit), but we're slowly working on trying to fix that.  The rental unit is a lost cause, but we might be able to stay in our house.  You guys, leaving England was a really good decision.  I've been so happy since we got back.  If I could turn back time and realize what a stupid decision it was to leave in the first place I would.  But I can't.  All I can do is learn from my mistakes and hope not to make the same ones again.

This is the second time we have moved away from Colorado to be closer to family, and a hope for a better life.  I hope now we realize that Colorado is our home and never leave again.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Yes, it's been awhile - did you expect anything else?

Since my last post I have left my job, traversed the US, broken an ankle, moved to the UK, went to an Olympic soccer match, and started a new job.

Oh, did I gloss over something?

Read that again.  Go on, I'll wait.

That's right!  During my treck across the United States I managed to break an ankle!  I was so shocked when it happened that I was convinced it wasn't broken. 

Everyone I meet here keeps asking me how I did it, but the story is so boring I've been telling people that I jumped out of an airplane and landed wrong.  The real story is much more boring.  I was walking through a field that had just been mowed.  Since the field had just been mowed, there was cut grass and hay covering a hole I didn't see.  It wasn't really a hole, it was more of depression.  Regardless of what you classify it as, I stepped in it wrong and my ankle twisted.  The sound I heard was like stepping on dead tree branch - crackle!

Once I hit the ground, my husband ran over to see what had happened.  He got me to a standing position and walked me over to where we were sitting.  Since I was able to walk (painfully), and move the ankle (painfully), I assumed it was just a really bad sprain.  Luckily, we were at a cookout and there was a large bag of ice available for me to put on my ankle.  After 20 minutes of icing, my husband was pestering me to figure out if he needed to take me to the hospital.  I told him that I would get up and walk to the bathroom - if I was able to walk, then the hospital wasn't necessary.  Well, wouldn't you know it, I COULDN'T WALK.  So, we left the kids with the nice folks at the cookout and went to the emergency room - if that's what you want to call it. 

The emergency room was part of a very small, country hospital in Southern Vermont.  Sure, they had doctors and nurses and an x-ray machine - but that was it! 

I was sent to get my ankle x-rayed as soon as we got there.  Shortly after I returned, the doctor came in and gave me the bad news - it was broken.  But he also had good news!  It didn't need to be put in a full cast.  Instead, he formed a peice of fiberglass to mold to the bottom of my foot and the back of my leg, secured it with an Ace Bandage, and sent me on my way with instructions on what to do if things changed. 

We had camped out the night before and were planning on camping that night as well.  Since I was in so much pain, and couldn't really see how I would get up and down in the tent, we decided to cut our visit with my friends short and head on to our next stop.  We decided this in a cell-phone dead zone (eh, it was Southern Vermont), so we couldn't call our friends who weren't expecting us until the next day.

The friends we were going to are in Northern Vermont - a 3 hour drive away.  We figured we could call them on the way, giving them enough time to prepare for us.

Unfortunately, they had decided to go out for the evening and didn't return until we were 20 minutes away from their house.  Since we had never gotten the ok from them to come up early, I was calling all of the hotels, motels, and inns in the 60 mile radius of their house - they were all completely booked!  What the hell?!  What on earth could be going on in Northern Vermont that not a room was available?  I never really did get an answer to this aside from New Yorkers don't like to spend their weekends in the city.  Don't these people buy country houses for this problem?

Anyway, once we did get in touch with our friends, they were very understanding and said that of course we were welcome a night early - phew!  If we hadn't gotten in touch with them before getting to their house (at 11:30pm, mind you) we were planning on pitching the tent next to their house (which also happens to be the yard we shared when we lived next door to them) for them to see when they woke up in the morning.  We stayed there a total of 4 nights.

During the days we were there I was in contact with the hospital in Southern Vermont.  They had had their radiologist read the x-ray and suggested I see an orthopedist before leaving the country (oh, did I not mention this happened 6 days before our flight to the UK?  Yeah, good times).  I tried to get an appointment with an orthopedist in Northern Vermont, but their weren't any available.  So, the hospital in Southern Vermont suggested I get a walking boot to use until I could see someone in the UK.  I was able to procure this the morning we were scheduled to leave Northern Vermont for Boston.

The walking boot was MUCH better - it felt much more secure and alleviated a lot more of the pain.

Since this post is already sooo long, I'll fast forward to now - 15 and half weeks after I  broke my ankle.

The ankle is still pretty useless.  It turns out it wasn't a normal break.  It's what's called an Avulsion Fracture - where my ligament ripped a peice of bone away from the main bone.  Because of the force that this happened, the damage done to the ligmaments and tendons in my foot was pretty extensive - how extensive, nobody knows because the only way to see that damage is with an MRI.  An MRI was not done in the US when the injury occurred because it was a small, country hospital.  An MRI was not done in UK because they cost a lot of money and the National Health Service won't pay for one until all other options are exhausted.

So, the plan now is to do physical therapy for a few more months and then reevaluate to see whether an MRI and surgery is necessary.

Well, that's all I have time for.  I'll try and be better with posting, but we all know how that promise has turned out in the past.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Oh, goodness me! 

I have 7 days of work left!  AND! I'm pretty much done with everything I need to do at work before I go so that I don't have several, very angry, government employees very angry with me! (Did I mention they would be angry?)

I'm a little giddy about this, can you tell?

Did I mention that my husband got laid off in the beginning of May?  Well, if not, he did.  And it's a damn good thing too.  I'm not sure how any of the stuff we need to do before we leave was going to get done without him home everyday.  I'm not even sure we're going to everything done, even with him home everyday.  He gets a lot done during the day while I'm at work, but there's still a ton of stuff to do when I get home.  Mostly because it's my stuff, or it's stuff he needs my input on.

Right now, for instance, I'm in the process of making sure all of our physical CDs are in our iTunes library so we can sell them at our yard sale this weekend.  If they don't sell, we're not taking them with us because they take up so much space, we'll just give them to Goodwill.

Next, I have to go through my photo albums, take out the pictures, decide which ones I want to keep, and throw the actual albums away.  Again, they take up too much space.  We'll take the pictures with us, but the albums can be trashed.

We're slowly making our way through our pantry and freezer items too.  Today, we defrosted and cooked in the slow-cooker a whole chicken that had been in our freezer for over a year.  We shredded the meat, fried up some taco shells, and had chicken tacos for dinner - they were scrummy!  Very soon, we won't have any food left, which is good because we're selling all of our kitchen stuff this weekend (or, at least hopefully).

Ok, that's all for now.  Lots to do!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


That was not the post that I meant to keep at the top, just busy busy busy!  Due to the busy, you get bullets:
  • Our life is really starting to show signs that we're moving soon.  My in-laws are here this week for the boys' birthdays.  When they leave on Saturday they will be bringing 6 very large suitcases back to England with them.  The closet in the master bedroom is completely bare and quite a few peices of the big furniture has been sold on Craigslist.  Our cars need to be parked outside now because the garage is filling up with the stuff we hope to sell at our yard sale the weekend of the 8th.
  • We've even had two people call just seconds after listing my husbands car tonight - it's a 1995 Honda Accord Wagon that we paid $1,800 for 3 years ago.  I figured we'd be lucky to get $1,000 for it.  My husband loves this car, so he listed it for $2,000.  We have someone coming by to look at it shortly - fingers crossed they bite! * UPDATED * While I was writing this post, my husband got a text from the prospective buyer saying he just bought another car.  BUMMER!  Hopefully the second person will come by tomorrow to look at it.
  • I have 13 days of work left, but I'm taking the 8th off so it's really only 12 days.  I hope I can get all that I need to get done so my co-workers aren't overly pissed at me.  Oh well, not much I can do about it now.
  • The kids and I came down with a pretty bad tummy bug last week.  There was vomiting.  Lots of vomiting.  The good part was that the vomiting only lasted about 6 hours.  I'm just glad my husband and his parents didn't catch it too.  It was bad enough for me to have to recover while there were guests in the house, forget about the guests having to recover too.  And, it took me a while to recover too.  The boys bounced back pretty quick, but it took me about 5 days to get my appetite back.  Now that I've started eating again though, it seems I'm trying to make up for lost time.
  • Have I mentioned that I only have 12 days of work left?  I can't wait!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Losing my readers in 3, 2, ...

I've been trying to stay away from this topic because I'm not a very political person.  I believe that everyone has their own beliefs and will live their lives the best way that they can - or, at least, that's what I hope.

But everytime I see a news story about the comments made by Hilary Rosen I get upset all over again.

I get upset, not because I'm offended by what she said.  Quite the opposite.  I understand what compelled her to make that comment.

I'm a mother raising two children.  Which, according to the news stories, is one of the hardest jobs around.  Yes, raising children is hard.  But, do you know what's harder?  Raising children and having a full-time career.

There.  I said it.  I believe working mothers work harder than stay at home moms (SAHM)*. 

And now I'm glad I only have a handful of readers - if that - because I'm pretty sure I just lost them.

I'm not saying I don't think it's hard being a SAHM.  It most certainly is.  However, SAHM aren't out of the house for a minimum of 10 hours a day - I am.  After this 10 hour hiatus from my house, I come home to do all the work that didn't get done during the day.  This includes: cooking, laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.  Let's add to this squeezing in helping the kids complete their homework during the 2 hours that they are home before they have to go to bed.  My weekends aren't filled with fun trips to the park or soccer games.  No, because I'm away from the house for 50+ hours a week, the weekends are filled errands and grocery shopping. 

We tried to do soccer for Lucas, but with the two weekday evening practices and the weekend games it was just too much stress.  Stress for us as well as Lucas.  Lucas was stressed because we would get home from work/daycare, wolf down dinner, run to practice, and then come home to do homework.  For a kid who has to wake up at 5:30, that's a lot of stuff to do with no downtime, so something had to give and it was soccer.

Let's not forget that in all of this, I have to find time to schedule doctor appointments for routine visits.  Once a month me and the kids all go to the chiropractor.  Lucas and my husband have to go for allergy shots every 2 weeks.  Today, Lucas has a follow-up for his ADHD, and both kids have an eye-doctor appointment.  And, hoo boy, can you imagine if one of the kids gets sick?  Not only do I have to take off from work (using sick-time I don't have), but now I'm behind on my commitments in the office.  When I return to work I have to work that much harder to get back on track.  There were so many instances of this between 2008 and 2010 that my performance suffered and I almost lost my job.

I've heard the platitudes that if I really wanted to, I would find a way to stay home.  But the truth of the matter is, I am the breadwinner.  Yes, my husband works.  But I make twice as much as he does.  We've tried having him stay home when we only had one child, but I didn't make enough to support us all and there was no where else to trim the fat, so to speak.  So my husband got a job, as soon as he finished his degree, and he's been working ever since. 

Now he works over an hour away from home, which makes things even harder for me.  I have to wake up at 5am to get myself ready for work so I then have time to get my kids ready for school/daycare - we are in the car by 7am.  Then it's up to me to pick them up and take them to whatever appointments we have that day.  Time for exercise doesn't exist. 

So, yes, I look at SAHM and think they have it easy - I even get jealous!  It is definitely hard to stay home and raise your children.  But it's even harder to have a career and raise your children.  Prove me wrong.

* This discussion does not include the term work at home mom (WAHM) - those are a whole other breed.  Nor does it include the SAHM that choose to homeschool - how you do that without tearing your hair out, I do not know.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Innocence Lost

I turn 35 in a little under one month.  The funny thing is, I don't feel at all like an adult.  I've heard tons of other people my age say the same thing, but in my case I think it's because I lost my innocence at a very early age and have always felt the way I do now.

It probably started when I was 5 years old when my parents thought I was old enough to understand what being adopted meant.  What they said: some other woman carried me in her tummy, but then they rushed to find me as soon as I was born.  What I heard: wah, wah, wah - kind of like Charlie Brown in school. 

My mother (the one that I grew up with) continued with this type of talk for many years after this - going so far as to say I was so cruel to leave her as a fetus (!) only to have to have her fly all the way to Kansas to get me back.  What kind of parent talks about adoption in this way?  Not any other adoptive parent I've ever met.

My brother, three and half years older than me, was told about his adoption at the same time.  Not because we were adopted as brother and sister, but because it was time to tell him about his adoption and I guess while they were at it, my parents figured they may as well get mine over with too.  Gotta love multi-tasking the difficult parenting topics. 

I guess my brother must have figured out at some point in the next couple of years that this meant that I wasn't really his blood relative.  This spelled nothing but trouble for me.

It appeared as if, in his mind, not being a blood relative was an open invitation to start molesting me.

I don't really remember how it started, probably something along the lines of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours".  You know, normal stuff.  I was probably around 7 or 8 years old.  But, somehow, it turned into something so awful.  It got to the point where he got our best friend (a girl) involved and he was molesting us both.  I'm pretty sure I didn't lose my virginity to him, but I did lose my chance at a fairly normal childhood.

This went on until I was 13 years old.  Not once did I tell my parents, they never believed me when I said anything anyway.  They always took my brother's side.  So, why would this be any different - that's what I thought at the time anyway.  Also, I guess in some weird way, I thought all brother-sister relationships were like this since I didn't know any different.

At some point during the 8th grade, I must have told another friend a small amount of what was happening (it was either that or, she figured it out on her own).  I'm pretty sure that if I did tell her I would have begged her to keep it a secret, since at that age I knew it was wrong.  At that point I didn't want my parents finding out because my brother was also violent, and I knew he would have made my life even more miserable if they were to find out and confront him with anything.  Unfortunately, my friend told her mother who told someone at school.  When the school called my parents in to talk to them about it, their response to them was that I was lying.  They even took me to a shrink to find out why I would lie about such a thing.  I didn't say a word to the shrink.  Why bother, was my opinion.  To my knowledge, my parents never asked my brother about it, probably because they were so convinced of my lie that they didn't want to upset him with it.

A few months after I got married, I got the courage up to tell my new husband all about what went on between me and my brother.  He was furious!  A few years later he brought it up to my mother, and again my mother said I was lying.  She said that my brother had admitted to doing it with our best friend, but swore up and down he had never done anything to me.  As far as I know, my mother went to her grave believing him and not me.

When deciding when to have children of my own, I always had this nagging fear that I never told my husband about.  When I was pregnant with my first, I was sad to find out that it was a boy.  I was so afraid that if I had then gone on to have another baby that turned out to be a girl, that the same thing would happen to her.  It terrified me. 

It terrified me so much that when I finally did get pregnant with my second child I did not want to find out what I was having before it was born.  In my mind, if I didn't know beforehand I wouldn't have to worry about it until the kid was born.  Shockingly, this way of thinking only kind of worked.  However, I was so relieved when the baby was born and turned out to be a boy.  Now, I know that doesn't mean nothing can ever happen to him - I'm not that naive.  But, I do hope that it means it will be far less likely than if I had had a girl.

Now, whenever people ask me whether I'm going to try for a girl, I always joke and refer to the snip.  But, deep down I think to myself "No way!  I don't want that girl to go through what I went through."

I haven't spoken to my brother since I was 13.  And, as you can imagine, I don't really ever talk about him.  But, I said something yesterday at dinner about my brother - even though it was just yesterday, I can't remember what it was about - but it prompted my oldest son to say "I didn't know you have a brother".  Oops.  I guess I either should've told him sooner or kept my mouth shut.  I managed to brush it off and told him and my other son that my brother was not a very nice person and that they would never meet him. 

But this leads to an even bigger question - what do I tell him (and eventually his brother) about why I my brother isn't a very nice person?  And, when will he be old enough to understand adoption so I can tell him that I have three half-sisters I only met when I was 30?  I hate that I have this past I can't really be open about with my kids.  It feels like a secret I never wanted to have to keep.

Friday, March 2, 2012


See, look, I told you it would happen again. 

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I suppose an update is in order.

Last time I posted I was still waiting for my official CPA License.  That finally came some time in the middle of January.  Also, the last time I posted, I had been in the middle of potentially getting a new job.  You might be interested to know that I still have the same job I've always had.  The job with the Major Corporation just didn't work out.  They didn't really make me an official offer, but what they did do was give me a very stringent ballpark.  A ballpark I didn't even need to think about to refuse. 

You see, while the amount of money they were offering was more than I was making now, it did not make up for what I would be losing.  It didn't account for the fact that I would have to move to Denver where the cost of living is higher than where I am now.  It didn't account for the fact that I would be cutting my annual leave allotment in half.  It didn't account for the fact that I would be working many more hours a week than I currently do.  And finally, it didn't account for the fact that my health insurance would be considered sub-par to what I'm getting now - which apparently is the Cadillac of health insurance.

So, I turned it down before I put any more time into the vetting process.  And, to be honest, I haven't regretted it for one minute - aside from the fact that I was looking forward to a change.

Now, what wasn't happening the last time I posted.

We have decided to go ahead with the move to the UK. 


We are very excited about this.

The last time we were considering this, it was only if we had jobs to go to first.  This time, that isn't even close to being the case.  This time, we have already purchased our one way tickets to the UK and we're not even looking for jobs.  We're currently pinching as many pennies as we can so we have enough to live on for a little bit once we get there.  This will give us the opportunity to be a little more picky about the jobs we look for and accept.

Something else we've decided to do is a cross-country roadtrip for a few weeks before our flight.  We'll start here in Colorado, head out to Southern California, and then make our way back east for our final destination of Boston, MA.  Our flight leaves July 27th.

We're very excited, but have a lot to do.  To chronicle it all, my husband has started a blog for the family.  Nothing has been posted to it yet, so I'll wait until then to share the URL - if I share it at all.  I may just keep it private for now since personal information will be included there.  We'll see.  Right now I'm leaning towards sharing since I'm tired of the secrecy.  I'll let you know what I decide.