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Hang in there, Carmen. You amaze me with everything you do.


Number one reason I have a full time job. I adore my kids to the deepest depth of my soul but if I had to be home with them all day every day I would go certifiably crazy. I love getting out of the house and working and I love doing everything I can for my kids, but there is no way I could be home with them all the time. I know some think that is a horrible thing for me to say, but my kids are happy, well-adjusted, and most importantly they know I love them and would do anything in my power for them.


If it's helpful at all, in my city the best bargains on used musical instruments are found in pawn shops. I would recommend you have the Hubster help you with that particular line of inquiry.


COMPLETELY the wrong context, but I feel this totally applies here: "Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last." -MLKjr

LOL I so hear you!! I've got 7 days left with my 5...tick tock!!


What a huge feeling of relief and triumph. Make sure you indulge yourself with some free time to acknowledge all you did and all that you do as a mom. Congratulations!

Katie Fleck

Yay, you made it! Enjoy the peace and quiet before the homework battles begin. ;)

On the saxophone, often a local instrument shops will let you rent to own and put you on a monthly payment plan. We did that with my daughter's sax.


Many a year ago we got her clarinet from a co-worker for cheap. Had been used by a family memember who no longer played. Served us well for 8 years. Reach out and inquire of everyone. Good Luck! And you made it.

Nelson's Mama

Not sure if the older kids have been in band or not, but it can be a passing thing...

I'd recommend renting until said kid is positive they want to stick with it. We rented with my older daughter and she only stayed in a year or so.

Younger daughter joined band, we rented a trumpet and then once she was committed, we bought a very nice professional one from ebay with help from the band directors. We also kept the rental trumpet for band camp, marching season and football games.

Cut to the first day of band camp this year and they switch her to mellophone - now she wants one of those for her very own!


overstock.com has one with the case and all the accessories for just over $300 which is about what it is to rent I think.


I feel very confident in saying this, even though I've never met you in person. You are a great mom. I know you aren't looking for accolades with this post, but I want to tell you that I think you are an awesome mom. If you are tapped out at the end of a busy summer with a herd of kids at home, then I say you are in good company! I dare say most moms are tapped out about now! Not only are you a stay at home mom, but you are ALSO a working mom. Not many moms can pull that off! You do a great job, even on your off days!


Is renting a sax an option? My parents did this until I got serious enough with the violin they felt it was worth the investment. Also check with your kids' teacher to see if anyone has one to sell.

The kids in my area go back today. I'm jealous of their shiny new notebooks and backpacks, not to mention the fact they had a summer vacation.


Former band director here. ;) Rent the sax, but if you're already past that point and need to buy one, do NOT get one at a yard sale/pawn shop/found on the curb. I once had a student get a trumpet at a yard sale for $25 and proceeded to spend north of $500 to get it to function (and it never did). For that money she could have bought a brand new near-professional horn. Work with the band director, s/he can help you find and pick one out. Avoid local music stores; sorry, this is one place where I don't shop locally. They are HUGELY overpriced...but get reeds there. I like the Woodwind and Brasswind online, bought my 2nd flute from them eons ago. If nothing else, use that site as a price reference. Yamaha instruments are solid, play well, and sound good. If you're near a college/uni, check with the sax professor there. Sometimes students who are upgrading will sell their horn to help pay for the new one, and you can get a nice horn that way. Invest in a gel-padded neck strap, worth every penny to avoid the neck strain and pain.
And DS8 hopped on the big yellow bus this morning...and I have DS11 here for the year homeschooling. Believe it or not, it's a good thing. :)


I agree with Jen's above comment. I am also a music teacher. If you are getting your child private lessons (a good investment), you could ask the private teacher if they have any other students looking to sell an old sax. A lot of my students have gotten hooked up with a cheap (but good) instrument that way.

Whatever you do, don't buy one at Walmart. They break in about 5 seconds.


I only have 2 kids and I'm totally not ready for school yet I'm already wiped out! When they were younger, I used to really look forward to the start of school, but now that they're now both officially in high school (yikes!), I'm more stressed with them in school than I am when they're out. Sigh.

One of my friends just registered her 2 boys for high school, one freshman and one junior. She paid $671 just in registration fees...she hasn't even hit the supplies or clothes yet. I can hardly wait.

As for the instruments, is there any chance at all the school might have one available to rent? Our middle and high schools have limited instruments available. They rent them for around $65 for the year. This is a HUGE deal, especially for some of the very expensive instruments. We were already renting (and then subsequently purchased) a clarinet for DS1 and then in 7th grade he wanted to take up the tenor sax for jazz band. Bless the teacher - he let me rent from him for the next 2 years. We talked to the high school teacher early and have continued to rent on a yearly basis through the high school. If the kid is just starting out, I would try that first and then a monthly rental through a shop second. If the kid is already serious and you know what you want, then probably renting is not an issue. If you can get it through the school, then you just need to worry about going broke buying reeds ;-)


Congratulations! Now just to survive the school year....

Suzi Noyes

I have thoroughly getting to know you through your blog & Facebook. AND, YOU are a GOOD MOM. But, I understand why you feel the way you do. I feel it. All the time.


Now we count down to Christmas vacation? :) ha! I'm still not completely ready for school. 8days :(

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution who rarely sleeps and loves coffee and happens to have six outstanding awesome, incredibly loud and opinionated kids who are always right no matter what. Her passions include Zumba, hiking, photography, homeless ministry, reading, cooking, and spending time at the beach as often as possible. She's a college student studying to be a social worker who works as a Barista. State of mind? Tired, y'all.