Tag Archives: Work

Feeling Good

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I’ve been working really hard on keeping really good habits, though I’ve realized that I have to do it at my own pace. I figured it out after a few dozen organizational websites or motivational Pinterest thingies that I can’t just follow someone else’s idea of what will work, not even really if I get to adjust things and “make it my own.”

I’m not sure if that made any sense at all, and I’m sorry if it didn’t. My brain is currently working on tangents and run-on sentences. ūüôā I’ll do my best to explain…

You guys may remember my post back in March about how gung-ho I was about following a little printed-out binder full of cutesy reminders of what I should be cleaning each day and then magically at the end of 20 days, my house was supposed to be perfect and I was supposed to have the skills and habits of a swell housewife who probably even took off her husbands shoes as soon as he got home from work everyday to give him a nice foot rub. Yeah, that happened.

Well, I did the first two days, not the foot rubbing part, but then I gave up completely. It was probably something ridiculous like, “But I don’t want to clean the bathroom today, I want to organize my closet!” and then I just decided that the whole thing was stupid.

Since then, I’ve tried a ton of different ideas and “systems” – and I even considered spending a couple buckaroos on the Unfuck Your Habitat app because it just sounded like something that would be right up my alley and it would probably share the same disgruntled views of this housey job that I’ve got. Would that be an Unfuck your Habitapp? Either way, I digress, as I do, and that’s why we’re here anyway… But I didn’t want to waste a valuable dollar and ninety-nine cents on an adorable app that would likely only keep me going for a day and a half.

So last week a good friend of mine (another stay at home mama) said something about putting her shoes on to get ready for cleaning the house earlier that day. Uh, what? So she started talking to me about this Flylady thing that a friend of hers had told her about, and that it was really helping her. Apparently one of the main steps of the day to keep your house feeling happy and clean is to get dressed first thing in the morning, including your shoes, I guess to keep you from completely relaxing. The whole, you wear shoes to “real” work outside of the house, so help your brain associate that with work at home, and only take off your shoes and relax at the end of the workday. Man have I been doing it wrong this whole time! ūüėČ

Well, I tried that for a day, as well as a few other steps that I found on the website, like shining your faucets after every time you use them??? But I still wanted to sit on my couch after I put in a load of laundry and stay there until WAY PAST when the dryer went off. Facebook, blog, all sorts of super important things to do, it didn’t matter that I still had on my knee-high lace-up leather and fur boots on, I was going to relax if I wanted to. I just kicked up my boots onto my cluttered coffee table, and went about my lazy day.

Ok, so screw this, I can figure this out on my own! For the entire past week, since the day after I wore my apocalypse boots all around the house, I’ve managed to keep dirty dishes out of the sink entirely. They go straight to the dishwasher, and the dishwasher gets run (gets ran, is run, I don’t know…) as soon as I can’t fit the next thing in it or as soon as all of one thing (like plates or something) is dirty. Then, as soon as the dishwasher is done, everything gets put away immediately.

Also, all trash is thrown out as soon as it is made. It really helps that Doodle LOVES taking things to the trash, so I’ve gotten him to where he’ll actually call me out on putting a small piece of trash on the coffee table or leaving the mac&cheese box on the counter, then he’ll happily take it to the trash for me.

Our normal, have-to-use-daily clutter now goes into a canvas box basket thingy that we originally got to hold Doodle’s cloth diapers. The box stays on the coffee table, and is a convenient “I don’t know where to put this right now” spot. And every few days, or whenever I notice that it takes more than a few seconds to find something in it, I just clean it out. Mainly, I end up fishing out random toys Doodle hid in there or cleaning out Jake’s work pocket trash that he dumps in there every day after work. Hey – at least he’s not leaving it in there so that it ends up in the washer every time… I’ll take what I can get here. ūüôā

Speaking of the washer – I spent a whole day catching up on laundry, and now I’ve got a small basket downstairs in front of the washer and a small basket upstairs in our room. Upstairs laundry goes in upstairs basket, downstairs laundry, downstairs basket. As soon as one of them is full, they’re both dumped in the washer, and they get washed, dried, folded, hung, and put away right then.

I also moved my furniture around and was able to vacuum everything that hasn’t been accessible since we moved in two and a half years ago. I didn’t exactly move the furniture around just to vacuum – I’ve been seriously feeling stuck, and rearranging the living room helps me feel like I’m in a new place. That’s the wanderlust gene my loving father passed down to me. Thanks, dad. But the living room is super fun (I can’t wait for Jake to get home tonight to see what he thinks) and the entire floor is super clean – or, you know, as clean as my awful vacuum can make it.

I need to overhaul the bathrooms tomorrow, but it really wasn’t that long ago that I did that anyway, and we’ve actually been doing really good at keeping up on that without even really thinking about it.

Other than that, all I really need to work on is getting in a good method of keeping cooked meat things available for the carnivorous hubby who isn’t home at typical meal times while also providing my vegetarian self and my picky little man with nourishment, all without spending the entire day everyday in the kitchen. I recently realized that I’ve got one of those 3-part crock pot guys in my garage, so I think I’m going to try to figure out how to use those without burning down my house, and I think I’ll be able to do a decent job at just making different versions of whatever I may be cooking all at the same time to appease all of us.

I haven’t touched the coffee cup sweaters, and I’m fairly certain that it’s a completely lost cause to finish them and get them to my friend in time for Christmas shopping. But I’ll keep them sitting here, just in case, you know, I get the intense need to crochet one day after I’ve finished cleaning everything, while my pots are crocking, and I’ve already gone through all of the Facebooking, blogging, and youtubing that I’ve needed to for the day.

This is becoming a long post, sorry, deal with it. Or don’t. Either way. ūüôā

Doodle ’bout freaked me out the other day when I got off the phone and found this:

Look mama - I got Link's ears on!

Look mama – I got Link’s ears on!

He had taken it upon himself to use every last drop of spirit gum to get his elf ears on by himself. Nevermind that we used every drop of the spirit gum remover it came with to get off the teeny amount we used on Halloween because THAT SHIT DOESN’T COME OFF! Jake took one look and said, “Oh god, we’re going to have to cut it,” in the most calm and collected (and obviously overcompensating for the incredible surge of emotions going through him) manner with this pale face and deer in headlights look.

A quick and frantic google lead me to a possible solution, so I grabbed the leftover baby oil (that we kept since his baby shower when he was an infant and we never actually used it – see, it pays to keep things forever!) and doused him. It was listed as a “maybe, it might work, you could try it and hope for the best?” kind of solution in the forum I happened upon – but holy goodness that stuff practically DISSOLVES spirit gum. He had giant globs of it on his jeans, I squirted some baby oil on it, rubbed it in a little, and it was GONE – incredibly oily, but gone nonetheless. After a pretty intense hair-brushing session and several baths to get residual oiliness gone, his hair is TOTALLY intact, the spirit gum is gone, and we have learned our lesson of putting prosthetic accessories away and out of reach after we’re done with them.

‘Til next time, folks. It’s been fun. ūüôā

I Swear I’m Still Alive

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I didn’t mean to disappear for so long. I’ve been super busy being super lazy, and that’s a terrible excuse, and for that I’m sorry. ūüôā

To make up for it, I’ll share some wonderful videos. Mainly because every once in a while I go back and look at old videos of Doodle, and I figure – if I adore them, so will you, right?

So here’s Doodle when he was just a month old or so when he had the hiccups. Turn the volume up and listen intently at about the 6-second mark – he seriously sounds like a flippin’ squeaky toy:

Then there’s our first (and only) episode of “Learning to Sign with Doodle” – here he is teaching you pig, boy, girl, eat, more, please, and sorry. This was about a year and a half ago. Crazy how much he’s changed:

And now, just a few weeks ago, singing one of our all-time favorite songs around here. (Also, this one’s kind of for “ABC”):

It is absolutely incredible watching the progression of a life from a tiny random-noise-making lump of baby into a real little person singing a song with mostly the right lyrics.

In other news, I’m fairly certain I’ve developed the most absolutely perfect cookies ever. Peanut butter and devil’s food pudding with peanut butter and chocolate chips. Seriously, heaven. Or hell, you know, with the whole “devil” bit… Hmmm… Either way, amazing!

Also, I’ve been working a little. It’s all part time and from home, but it’s been interesting trying to throw some structure into my very unstructured life as a stay at home mama. Especially since Jake’s transfer at his work finally pulled through, and that has meant a good four weeks or so of no idea what his schedule will be more than a few days in advance…

And we quit smoking. Go us. As I was posting it on facebook (because, you know, that’s what we do in this age, we post everything on facebook), I kind of giggled a bit, wondering how many of my friends would be shocked to know that we were even smoking. We never really hid the fact that we smoked, but we kind of kept to a smoke around smokers, don’t smoke around non-smokers kind of habit for the past 2 1/2 years or so that we started smoking again.

And I started trying to be healthy – aside from the whole best cookies ever bit. Healthy like green smoothies every morning, fresh fruit and veggie snacks all day kind of healthy. Baking the cookies has really helped occupy me whenever I’m sitting around bored and would normally just step outside and smoke, snacking on the cookies and the fresh fruits and veggies has made for really easy replacement of hand-to-mouth goodness when I’ve wanted to smoke, and the green smoothies are really helping me wake up with a really good feeling that I don’t want to screw up by smoking throughout the day. And I’ve got so much more energy now! It seriously doesn’t feel like a crazy chore anymore to just get up and do the dishes or throw a load of laundry in. I really feel good, and I can actually do my job. It’s nice. ūüôā

Happy Father’s Day!

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Happy day to all of you awesome dads out there!

Jake is an amazing dad. He works full time, often times pulling overtime shifts to help a little further with extra expenses. He’s also¬†taking full-time college classes, not taking breaks in the summer so as to finish his degree faster with which he will work even longer and harder hours. He rarely goes out with friends on evenings he can find a few spare minutes. He doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of video game time he was always used to, nor the funds for the newest of games or the best of technology that we had when that was the only thing we cared to spend our extra cash on.

When he is home (and not working on school assignments or reading), he’s tossing Doodle around, making him one of his favorite sandwiches, or giving him a bath, brushing his teeth, and taking him to bed. He fully takes on our constant-education approach by talking about various letters and¬†sounds in words we say, counting anything they’re looking at that can be counted, or teaching him new words or different ways to use existing words. Even when he’s tired, he’ll still sit with Doodle on his lap playing games with him on the tablet or making sure he’s interacting with Little Einsteins or Word World when the cartoon asks him questions.

Jake does everything he does 100%: full-time work, full-time school, full-time dad, full-time husband. He doesn’t have much left to be full-time Jake outside of any of that, yet he takes it all on with complete dedication and love. For that, I’m continually amazed and overwhelmingly grateful.

What’s really wonderful about this year’s Father’s Day is that he’s FINALLY almost in his new position at work (which he’s been waiting patiently for since February) where he’ll have his own office WITH HIS OWN DESK! He’s NEVER had this before, always working in places where a desk is shared with other coworkers, and where it’s rarely been able to be sat down at and used. He’s very excited about this, as now he can have his own coffee cup sitting on it that he uses each day and he can place pictures and knick-knacks on it that he can look at throughout a rough day to remind him why he works so hard.

With that in mind, Doodle and I set out to make him something that¬†he can be excited to place on his desk –¬†something that clearly says how much Doodle and I care about him. Doodle loves dragons, I love plants – let’s put the two together… but let’s also make sure that if Jake’s super busy at work for a few days, that it will do just fine with a little bit of neglect. ūüėČ

Doodle picked a red and green succulent for our present.

Doodle picked a red and green succulent for our present.

He then picked out one of the dragons we got him for his birthday.  He was SO excited that we'd be giving it to Daddy!

He then picked out one of the dragons we got him for his birthday. He was SO excited that we’d be giving it to Daddy!

I cut a hole in his back, and Doodle had to inspect it to make sure it would work.

I cut a hole in his back, and Doodle had to inspect it to make sure it would work.

We shoved some dirt into the hole...

We shoved some dirt into the hole…

Then we stuffed the plant into our little dragon pot.

Then we stuffed the plant into our little dragon pot.

Doodle watered it to clean off the excess dirt.

Doodle watered it to clean off the excess dirt.

Then he showed off his creation.

Then he showed off his creation.

There it is! A dragon plant for dad!

Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with an Emphasis in Criminology and a Double Minor in Philosophy and Psychology

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If you had told me – say, 6 years ago – that the young¬†man¬†I was dating¬†would enroll in college after we got married and¬†made a¬†baby,¬†I would’ve laughed in your face.¬† Had you continued on to say that he would¬†go for¬†a bachelor’s degree in sociology with an emphasis in criminology and a double minor in philosophy and psychology, I would’ve had you institutionalized.

But that’s exactly what he had me looking up for him today while he was at work.¬† That’s what I¬†figured for him¬†all day while Doodle watched and rewatched Henry Hugglemonster.¬† Apparently my husband, who has always detested everything that even sounded like school, loves learning.¬† I mean, I know he loves learning.¬† I’ve always known that¬†he loves¬†learning.¬† But not like this.¬† Not at all like this.¬† He literally wants to fill every available elective credit spot (and trust me, there’s a ton of elective space available – it’s a degree in sociology!) with enough philosophy and psychology to add more words¬†to his degree.

How amazing¬†that my¬†wonderful husband¬†works full time to keep a roof over our head and food in our bellies and then¬†wants to completely fill any amount of free time with a degree this extensive just so he can move up in his chosen field and work even harder.¬† All while I play all¬†day¬†with an incredibly well-behaved¬†toddler (is he almost too big for me to call him that?) and occasionally do some laundry and dishes.¬† I’m amazed, literally.¬† And he’s happy.¬† Happy to come home, happy to go to school, happy to go to work, happy to have time with our¬†family, happy to relax in the back yard with friends, happy to play video games, and happy to turn off his games to do homework.¬† Just plain happy.¬† And it makes me happy.¬† And I do love being happy.¬† ūüôā

In other news, Doodle has now gone a full week of dry underoo-clad naps!¬† ūüôā¬† And he’s gotten a ton of peppermints all week because of it.¬† You know those soft peppermints you get at Christmas time – yeah, this kid digs those things and if that keeps him from making me buy more diapers, I’m all for bribery!¬† And his language is getting incredible!¬† And he’s sounding out and spelling words like dog, cat, pig, and bed with his letter magnets on the fridge!¬† I mean, he watches Word World a lot, and there’s a dog, cat, and pig on the show, and I can think of at least three different episodes where they specifically spelled and created a bed, so I’m sure most of it is just repetition and memory, but still!¬† That’s repetition and memory of letters, letter sounds, and words!

But with my big boy growing and learning so much, we’ve come to a sad understanding – other than the fact that he no longer says hopadoctor¬†instead of¬†helicopter – Jake and I are officially dad and mom.¬† Take a moment and sigh with me.¬† We can’t even threaten him with tickles ’til he stops breathing to get him to¬†call us mommy or daddy just one more time!¬† I’m sure it’s just a phase – I hope it’s just a phase.¬† At least let me be mama!¬† I can’t do this mom business.¬† Not yet!¬† That’s too close to, “Mom, can I borrow the car keys?”

I think we’ve settled on dragons for the birthday, which is good because I have my work cut out for me if I want to make myself even more frazzled than I did last year.¬† His birthday’s in a month and a half…¬† Gosh, how did he get to be almost 3 already?!¬† So now I’ve got to get the party stuff going, the invitations and¬†all of the party¬†favors and fun activities and such (not to mention the cake!), I still need to finish that uterus (I know!¬† I’m such a slacker) and get a few of those headbands done for my midwife friend, get a whole bunch of curtains¬†sewn up¬†for another wonderful¬†friend of mine, and build a sandbox for Doodle’s birthday.¬† Hopefully all of these things can happen soon.¬† ūüôā¬† And I know I can’t ask Jake for much help.¬† But that’s ok – he works hard so I can do all of these wonderful things that make me happy.

So anyway, if I’m not around a lot, this is why.¬† I still love you all, and I will try my darndest to continue commenting on your blogs.¬† And if anything outlandish or amazing happens, I’ll make sure to tell you all.

Last Day of “Normal”

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Just a few pictures for now. I’ve been super busy with my Doodle and his cousin, and I’ve got to start preparing for being even more of a housewife/mama as tomorrow quickly approaches and Jake’s spring semester starts on top of his full-time job. I will either not have a single spare second to come hang out with you all in the bloggy world or I’ll be on here an outlandish amount of time with rant after rant as I try to maintain sanity. ūüôā

So here’s just a bit of the last week. This is why I do what I do.

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Daddy made peanut butter pancakes for breakfast the other morning, and dinosaur and Slyfox were both hungry too. Charlie stayed asleep on the table the whole time, however, because he was still very tired.¬† (The orange guy is obviously Slyfox, or Bubbash for those who read my Doodle-blunders post.¬† I knitted him, because I’m awesome.)

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This is Doodle’s “Xbox”, a retired controller we actually had to connect to Jake’s brother’s 360 so it would still light up when he turns it on but it won’t actually affect our (rather, Jake’s) gameplay by trying to connect to our 360.¬† Fancy little trick for Xbox 360 controllers in this here digital age, just in case you we’re wondering.¬† Doodle is actually quite good at this Tony Hawk arcade game Jake’s got on here, with the real controller even!¬† ūüôā

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Taking a break to read with dad.¬† This may be one of their favorite activities together.¬† (Notice the beast my husband is real quick!¬† He got “assaulted” by one of his kiddos, scratched crazy good, this was taken about three or four days into the healing process.¬† He’s also been battling what we can only assume is an upper-respiratory/sinus infection for the past week+, and he’s still happy to go to work everyday where at anytime he could get really hurt while also getting ready for school to start tomorrow.)

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That’s a pretty good depiction of my “daycare” days.¬† Toys everywhere (actually, I’m kind of surprised that there are still some toys in the bin and on the shelf… that will be remedied soon, not to worry!), and cousin who is a year older calling the shots, with or without Doodle’s approval.¬† And yes, a tree still up.¬† Hopefully after next weekend that will be put away – I couldn’t tell you the last year my side of the family had a “normal” December Christmas, and my house will be the location of festivities this year.

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And finally, the only thing that gets me through days like today.¬† Doodle is *amazing* and typically doesn’t wake up until sometime between 8:30 and 10 – yes, you read that right.¬† But on my weekends with his cousin I have to be up at 6:30 (Don’t judge me!¬† That’s crazy early for me.)¬† Luckily, my Slovakia cup has a large capacity, my Keurig brews quickly, and my Pumpkin Spice Coffee-mate was on sale.¬† I need many refills throughout the day.¬† ūüôā

Landlocked

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So Jake and I are both feeling very stuck in the world as of late:

Me, I’m a stay at home mama with the coolest 2 1/2 year old ever, exactly where I want to be right now.¬† But, Jake works full time, many days late into the evening, and I get pretty lonely while he’s away.¬† On top of that, we only have the one car, so if Jake takes it to work, I’m here, all day, all night, just me and Doodle.¬† If I choose to take Jake to work so I can get out of the house, I almost always have to go get him as well.¬† That involves getting a sleeping Doodle out of his bed at 10:45 at night to put him in the carseat, driving the fifteen minutes to Jake’s work, waiting for upwards of twenty minutes for Jake to come out, and driving home to tuck Doodle back in bed around 11:30-ish.¬† Not the best sleeping structure for him, on top of the fact that our night temps hover in the low teens currently, and that’s just really effing cold to take Doodle out in, regardless of how many blankets I’ve got him bundled in.

So Jake takes the car, I stay home, and I try to cook and clean and enjoy some downtime those nights.¬† But as much of a recluse as I appear to be most days, I really love company.¬† We’re pretty darn socially awkward, Jake and I, so there’s really not a lot of friends involved.¬† Don’t get me wrong, what friends we do have are freaking awesome and amazing, and my life would be super sad without any one of them.¬† But they’ve got lives, they don’t all live close to us, and it’s none of their responsibilities to keep me company while hubby is away.¬† And my family is scattered, closest to me is about an hour away, so little stopby visits are pretty few and far between.

So I stay lonely those nights, a lack of motivation to do my duties starts to creep in, and I often just sit around wishing I had a car, a roommate, a husband who worked days, an on-call babysitter who would watch my sleeping little man while I went out and visited with friends, or sometimes even just a part-time job.  Something, anything, that would help me get rid of some of this cabin fever.

Then there’s Jake, he works in youth treatment, has been in the treatment field for over 4 years.¬† Loves his work, loves his kids, awesome stuff.¬† But when he started at his current company almost two years ago, he was told he could advance as far as supervisory levels without any schooling.

Backstory: my hubby hated school, dropped out in 10th grade, got his “good enough diploma,” did under-the-table construction work, sang in a metal band, and did a lot of drugs until he “grew up” and started his current career in treatment.¬† Now, Jake and I have been together for almost 10 years, friends for about two years prior, I was effing off most of that time right along with him.¬† I hold no resentment over him not getting his shit together thus far, but the fact remains that we are here and the real world is indeed very real.

So he got his first promotion in 7 months on the floor, same duties of maintaining structure and safety for his kiddos, but also helping train and develop new and less experienced staff.¬† Awesome, he’s great at his job.¬† So another few months goes on, and all of his supervisors are trying to mold him into the next one to join their ranks.¬† All is going great, he’s about to hit a pretty substantial level cap, and we can work on progression later.

So, if you know anything about the treatment field, you know that regulations change.¬† Wouldn’t you know, and truly no exaggerations here, the very week a supervisor position opens up that he can apply for, new regs required supervisors to have at least 60 college credit hours.¬† No ifs, ands, or buts.¬† No way around it unless you had been grandfathered in already.¬† The very week HIS promotion became available.¬† What’s worse is the college doesn’t even have to be in the treatment field.¬† Doesn’t even have to be a degree.¬† You could have delivered pizzas the last decade and have taken 60 credit hours of electives ranging from photography to belly dancing to underwater basket weaving, and you’re obviously more qualified to supervise the kids and staff than someone with four years in the field and no college.

So, Jake has now jumped into high gear, and has enrolled in college.¬† At 27 years old, father of a toddler, working full time, he will try to get a BA in three years.¬† It’s not even that supervisor position he’s got his sights on anymore.¬† No, he’s going for the gold.¬† I’m grateful that something lit a fire under his butt, but I’m not happy with his feeling of being completely and utterly stuck for at least the next year and a half.¬† Stuck and overwhelmed.¬† Solely providing for our family, feeling like it’s not enough and he can’t do anything about it without dedicating another 40+ hours a week to higher education.¬† I wish I could just take all of those feeling away for him.

And now that he’s working on chipping away at his landlocked state, there’s no way in the world we’d have the time in the day for me to be able to help with the bills with a part-time job, I’ll have even less of an opportunity to get out of the house as he’ll be at school and work so much, and I’ll see even less of him, adding to that loneliness factor of mine.

I thought I was landlocked when my family moved from Florida to Colorado 13 years ago.  I felt crazy stuck by all of these mountains surrounding me.  Where was my endless ocean?  Yeah, I had no idea what I was talking about then.  In 3 years, I better get an entire beach to myself!  And as many friends as can fit are all invited!