Basically Rambling


I am finally relaxing.  As I posted earlier, we bought a new (to us) washer, and of course I had to wash every little bit of clothes I owned.  Haha, let me just nominate myself for the lame-adult-of-the-year award.  The kid and I colored with some chalk, and after her bath, we made a pizza.  Thursday nights we usually do a one on one dinner, which she gets a kick out of.  Always nice to actually get some alone time with the kid and talk with her.  She’s a really bright kid, and the conversations we have always amaze me.  We talked today about money (and how things cost money so we have to save for bigger purchases) and about camp and what she likes about it so far.  I’m pretty impressed with my little one.

It’s almost Friday thank God.  It’s been a long couple of weeks.  Work has just been crazy, with the exception of today, and with the fight with my family member, it’s been pretty high stress.  Now that everything is over, my anxiety has calmed down.

I’m finally getting caught up on some work that I fell behind on with my day off on Tuesday, and I feel like I actually got something accomplished.  I’m very numbers driven, so being able to see what I’ve done each day really helps.  Hopefully things continue to calm down at work, I’m starting to feel a bit burnt out with everything.  I just keep reminding myself that it’s the season… as a coworker says, it seems like everything implodes in the summertime.

As for the fight with my family member.  I was able to text what I really wanted to say, (once I wasn’t so angry, just hurt) and for once I wasn’t interrupted.  I hope that she read it and took it to heart.  I haven’t heard from her since and I noticed that she blocked me on Facebook.  That’s fine I guess.  After talking with my Dad, and then with the boyfriend, I’ve definitely made the decision to cut ties.  If she hadn’t said certain things I might have let it blown over, but unfortunately once words leave your mouth, it can’t be unsaid.  Frankly, even if I did change my mind, I don’t think the boyfriend will… from what I understand his family is pretty upset too.  It looks like with a couple of hurtful comments, a wedge may have been driven between the two families.  Sad.  Like I was saying, I’m glad it’s over.  I’m slightly upset still, but mostly relieved.  I was able to say what I’ve been wanting to say for months, and I found out how she really feels about my disease/job/family/life.  So not only did I get what I needed to off my chest, but I was able to inadvertently find out who is toxic to me and who I need to keep away from my kiddo.   It’s odd, I feel in a way… lighter.

Beyond all that, I’m just doing the thing.  I’ve been feeling pretty run down lately, but I honestly think it’s mostly stress (which hopefully should lessen now) and oddly enough, dehydration.  It’s been pretty warm here, and with being sick, I get pretty dehydrated pretty fast.  So water and tea it is!  It looks like the weather should be cooling down here soon, so forest preserve trips are coming and I think I’m going to finally sign up for a yoga class or something.  I haven’t decided which one, but I think it would be a good (natural) way to bring down my anxiety.  Plus the benefits!  The only other thing that’s on my “personal-for-me-to-do-list” is looking into a bicycle.  I really want a beach cruiser and have for years, but you know how it goes, there’s always another place that money could go.  So I’m going to start saving up a portion of my savings (haha) to put down on a bike, since the kid has learned how to ride her bike good now, I want to be able to go on bike rides with her.  So wish me luck!

 

Anyway, this turned into more of a journal post than I wanted, but I didn’t feel like writing in my physical journal.  My kiddo has fallen asleep on her chapter book, so it’s time to get her in bed.  Happy Friday everyone!

Work Ethic


Some days I have a real hard time in the mornings.  For whatever reason, since I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease 6 years ago, mornings are really rough for me.  Even when I’m in remission, I still spend more time in the bathroom than I’d like to. 

Either way, today was one of those rough days.  I was totally feeling like shit (no pun intended) and wanted nothing more than to crawl back into bed.  Instead, I didn’t want to leave my girls to the wolves (also known as the Monday Craziness) so I got moving.  Sometimes it takes all I have to keep a smile on my face until 5pm.  That’s just how it is with a Chronic Illness. 

Sometimes I get bitter though.  I wish I didn’t have so much pride in my job.  I am very proud of myself for supporting my family and doing what I have to.  It’s hard watching my generation flake out when I’m doing my best to muster through a bad day. 

For instance, my sister quit her job just because she didn’t like it.  That’s her prerogative, how she’s handling it after the fact is another story though.  So when I’m hauling my butt to work, and others just quit because they don’t like what they’re doing, I get bitter.  It’s almost jealousy, but not quite.  I could never sit at home depending on someone else again, my marriage taught me that. Some days its just rough is all.

Which got me thinking.  What happened to my generations work ethic?  I grew up in a working class home, my father worked on cars.  I watched him bust ass to care for us, even though his job pissed him off.  I’m proud to have grown up with such a great father with an awesome work ethic.  It’s what fuels me through my bad days, and what I use for an example.  Hell, my mother worked an office job, similar to the position I started in… and worked it through cancer.  Pretty damned impressive if you ask me.

So while my generation may be lacking in the pride in a hard day’s work, or hell, not even working at all… or even in my sister’s case, looking down on someone who works a working class job (like both her parents and now myself do) while they have no employment of their own. I’ll take pride in the industry I work in (and love) and I only can hope that that I instill the same pride in my daughter.  I hope that by setting a good example, even if some days I’m sick and don’t particularly want to, I’ll teach her to take pride in whatever she chooses to do.  I hope I teach her to have a good work ethic and do something she enjoys as well… whether or not she has a college degree to back it up. 

I guess the moral of the story is take pride in what you do, and do it well.  If you’re lucky like me and get a job doing something you love, take it and run with it and be proud!

Depression: This and That


It’s been a long couple of weeks, it really has been.  It seems like it’s all come crashing down on my shoulders today, I’m not sure why today, but here I am.  I am in a deep funk.  I’ve been telling myself for the past few days that I just need to make it to Friday.  Friday, the beginning of the weekend… I was sure that when I walked out of work tonight, I’d feel much better (at least mood wise anyway).  Well, that was a lie.  Maybe it has to do with all the stress from work over the past couple of (hell) weeks, maybe it was the crushing realization that I’m going to have to work tomorrow morning anyway.  Either way, getting in my car after work and heading to pick up the short one from camp, I had the sudden urge just to bawl.

I’m not talking about a couple of cute, mascara streaked tears running down my face.  I felt like I wanted to scream and rail against the world, like if I went all crazy girl in my car, I’d feel all better and the world would keep turning.  Well, unfortunately for my head, I didn’t.  I drove to pick up the short one, no tears in sight, and diligently turned in the check for her childcare.  I packed her up in the car and stopped for a quick treat at the 7-eleven (Friday tradition anyone?) and headed home.  I sat out in the backyard writing, watching my child run around with her “peg leg” (a walking stick the boyfriend made her, which magically morphs into whatever play thing she wants at the moment.  Thank god for imagination!), smacking random things that she deemed a monster.  I sat there and smiled.  The boyfriend came home, we talked about our days while I drank my iced coffee.  You know what?  I still want to bawl.

I know a big portion of it is just the prednisone prescription.  I have mild depression and anxiety normally, but for some reason the prednisone really brings it out.  It’s pretty common from what I understand if you’re on it long term, and I dealt with it before so I knew it was coming.  A big portion of this funk is because I feel like crap.  My Crohns is far from controlled right now, and the physical side effects from prednisone are popping up.  Along with the stomach cramping and my “normal” fatigue, I have joint pain, what I call “skin pain” and I feel like I haven’t slept.  I’m not even going to talk about the “moon face” I’m rocking now.  It was confirmed by a coworker yesterday.  As anyone with a chronic illness knows, (especially someone in a flare or with consistently active disease) after a while, the pain and discomfort just wear you down.

For whatever reason, work has just been hell lately.  I mean, it’s enough to wear my healthy counter parts down, and dealing with it on top of pain and fatigue is just ruining whatever small happy moods I do have with a quickness.  Usually I can deal with work stress pretty well, but with already being at the mental-crying-like-a-grounded-teenager point due to pain… it takes very little to set me over the edge.  Thankfully my co-workers are understanding (to a point), but shit man, I’d rather not have to run outside to get my emotions under control.  Crying at work is not fun for anyone, and when I cry, I make it all awkward for all who witness it.

There’s a lot going on in my personal life.  Some financial stuff, ranging from the new hospital bills, to the increased summer tuition for childcare (no child support here remember), to trying to stay afloat with no extra income coming in to make up for the gap.  Along with finances comes the regular stuff.  I have to turn in supplies for summer camp and register the kid for 2nd grade (I already missed the deadline… thank god pretty much everyone does.) and the boyfriends kids money stuffs too.  It’s just a lot, and while doable, is very overwhelming when I’m already not at the top of my game.  Then of course just every day stuff, you know, keeping up with chores (thank god for the helpful boyfriend) and the garden and getting repairs on my car completed.  I about cried when I realized I have to do laundry this weekend.  That’s how stressed out I am.

I know a lot of it is prednisone related because I *know* that most of this stuff doesn’t bother me on a normal day.  Which having that thought just irritates me even more!  I am so incredibly overwhelmed I want to just make some coffee and pour my head out to someone, but I’m feeling quite alone at the moment.  The boyfriend has to listen to me rant and rave everyday, so I don’t want to unload on him anymore than I already do.  My parents have a lot to deal with the other children, so I don’t want to unload on them either.  They are super stressed out, why add to it and then add guilt to my list of woe-is-me’s.  I don’t have a whole lot of friends who do the coffee date anymore, and the ones who do (which I love dearly) are too far to do in-person-coffee dates.  (Luckily I have one via phone tomorrow).  Regardless, between putting on the happy-fun-lets-do-a-bunch-of-fun-stuff mom face and the lack of people to talk to… it’s hard to get my brain out of this funk.

 

I don’t know.  I have to work tomorrow, then the kid and I are out to roam around for some one on one time.  I’m hoping that that and the good weather will cheer me up.  In the mean time?  Whiskey and cokes on my porch after the kiddo falls asleep.  I’ll count not having to watch frozen again as a victory and count my blessings.

 

Happy night all.  Hope your moods are better than mine.

Actions, not words


People expect you to put a lot of stock into the words that come out of their mouths.  If you say it, I’m supposed to believe it with out a doubt… even if your actions prove otherwise? 

Let me just clarify that for the internet.

Nope.

I’ll listen to what you have to say, but ultimately?  I’m going to judge you by what you do, how you act and the pride you take in said actions. 

If you take the time to explain to me that I shouldn’t think you’re a douche, that your priorities are in good order and that you give a shit about your family… you should probably act like it. 

A bit more than a week ago, someone freaked out on me because I suggested that maybe they had handled themselves wrong in a situation.  (It involved drinking, fighting, calling parents drunk, getting mad and putting said parents through hell, then dropping a bomb on said parents and asking them to pay bills for them.  Then going on a tangent about what horrible parents they are when the reaction received wasn’t getting money thrown at them.)

I was informed that they were completely sober, weren’t scumbags, and how they were offended that I’d rather my daughter spend time with my neighbors than them. 

Sidenote: wasn’t true, is now.

Whatever.  My daughter’s birthday was coming up and as some of you know, I’m changing medications for my Crohns Disease as it is acting up.  I have a lot on my plate and dealing with that chaos is not on my to-do list. 

On Monday, my family came over for my kids birthday party.  This person told me she was coming, along with her boyfriend.  Let’s just say, thank god I had enough sense not to tell my daughter that they were going to be there.  Of course, for a child’s birthday party, a child that she told me she loves to death, she blows off, with out a call, text, birthday card, nothing.

So here we are, a week later, and I still haven’t heard anything.  My daughter thankfully hasn’t asked, but it’s quite telling that her scumbag bio dad sent a gift but a member of her own family completely blew her off. 

I’m very lucky that I have such a wonderful family, my life has gone through some tough times and I’ve needed support badly.  Each and every time my family has been there, except one… Only when it’s convenient for her.  I’m not even upset about that though, I’m used to it after a decade.  Apparently after dragging all of us through hell and back when things aren’t picture perfect in her life, I can’t even expect her to show up for my child’s birthday party, much less even call to say happy birthday. 

I guess the emotion I’m more or less feeling is disappointment.  I can ignore being treated badly, I can pretend it doesn’t bother me when someone doesn’t care about anyone but themselves.  However when it extends to my child from someone she loves, I have to put my foot down.  Thanks to my ex husband, my daughter understands that some people are just self absorbed, but that doesn’t mean I need to expose her to them.  Family is more than blood and she deserves love. 

So after a week of waiting for a phone call, I’m ok with walking away from that portion of my life.  I have been making great strides to give my daughter a happy and healthy home, and in order to do that, sometimes you have to cut out the negative.

Adios, you may think it’s okay to treat your family like something you stepped on walking the city streets, but that doesn’t mean I have to put up with it forever.

Monkey See, Monkey Get Felony


Kids.  You know, the little tiny innocent squirmy things that you bring into this world?  Accident or planned, they still depend on you, not only to take care of them but to show them how to act, how to be a decent human being once they’re out in the real world.  Kids.  Those same little boogers that pooped on your carpet during potty training, those little ones watch you and learn from you as they get older.  A child’s parent is the first person they learn from, and it takes years to unlearn what you have learned through though your parents.

No one is perfect, we all make mistakes in parenting.  I know I’ve made plenty, but I try to do the best I can.  My daughter is the biggest reason why I straightened up my life after my divorce.  I was heading down a dark path straight into the bottom of the bottle, and it was realizing this and knowing  my daughter would grow up thinking my actions were okay, were normal that made me turn myself around.  Now, thankfully, all I have to worry about is the short one taking my very tasteless jokes to school… or quoting horrible comedy.  Quite possibly making a off-colored comment about boys in skinny jeans.  I’m trying, but somethings I can’t help haha.

So then you have those parents who have doomed their children.  You know exactly who I’m talking about.  For instance… I watched COPS last night after buddha butt was in bed, as I occasionally do for kicks.  This was something along the line of “Stupidest Criminals Pt 5″.  It included two couples who were literally coming to blows over who owned a car.  It was quite humorous, 3 rather large females screaming at each other and this one scrawny white boy trying to not get killed in the white trash crossfire.  I was laughing my ass off when one of the females opened her bag and accidentally showed the officer her “bag o’ green” and was promptly arrested.  I stopped laughing when one of the other females pulled a toddler out of the car.  So she’s running around, trying to swing at the other women and scrawny man with a kid on her hip.  I turned off the tv.  Why the fuck do people do that?  Why do they put their kids in the middle of that shit?

Your kids grow up thinking what they see at home, or with their parents is acceptable behaviour!  That is reason NUMBER ONE why I divorced my ex-husband.  I didn’t want her growing up thinking that two people that hated each other, violence and emotional abuse was a normal marriage.  What your kids see, is what they are going emulate when they grow older!

Another instance.  Buying, selling, and doing pills in front of your toddler.  Getting drunk, fighting with your husband, until one of you ends up in jail, in front of your toddler.  Yelling “I hate you! Stupid mother fucker!!” in front of your toddler.  When your 3 year old, turns around and says “I hate you mother fucker!” to his daddy, don’t you dare act all surprised.  When your 3 year old doesn’t blink at one of you being put into a cop car, that says something.  When your 3 year old, thinks jacking another kid in the face is okay because “mommy does it”, you have a problem.

What you do, is what your kids will turn to.  Why do that to your children?  Yeah yeah yeah, insert miscellaneous reason here: Poverty, Abuse, Drugs, Etc Etc Etc.  You know, there’s only so many excuses you can make.  Get a job, get a divorce, get in rehab or fuck up your kid.  I took one look at my child, and made a path out of my marriage.  I took one look at my child and turned my life around.  Better late than never… but christ people.  Raise your children, give them stability, and be a good parent!  The rest of us have to deal with your kids when they grow up, so please raise them right!

A Balancing Act


So after the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the past few years.  It’s been a pretty hectic ride, went from miserable wife, to single mom, to single mom working multiple jobs to a long-term relationship working one full time job.  The one thing I have to admit is that I’m horrible at finding that balance between mom, girlfriend and employee.

I’ve always had a hard time trying to spread myself out equally among each aspect of my life.  Honestly though, now that I found an industry I’d like to build a career in, I’m having the most difficult time yet.  When I was freshly-divorced, I was working 2 and sometimes 3 jobs with an odd (and often revolving) mixture of full-time and part-time.  I had to learn how to go from a Stay at Home Mom to a single mom busting ass with no child support.  For some odd reason, I didn’t have a problem at all back then.  It might have been because those jobs were all quick blow through jobs.  You know, shitty jobs that I didn’t care about.  That I didn’t dwell on once I left after my shift.  I could go and drop my kiddo off at childcare, go to job A, finish and go to job B and finish my shift.  Then Work-Me was switched off, and I was back to Mom-Me.  I didn’t let work related stress react with the way I was parenting (I tried my best with financial stress, but sometimes that leaked through. Now that I’m older and have “mom friends” I realize that this is normal).

Now, I’m having a hard time balancing.  I can’t seem to lock out the stress from the office from my home-life.  I can’t seem to balance all the different aspects of me.  Work-me stays stressed out far past when I should be in Mom-me-mode.  And girlfriend me?  Well… girlfriend me shows up eventually. Girlfriend-me comes in last here, with working full-time, I try and overcompensate and smoosh as many activities into the time I do have with my daughter to make up for the time I miss with her at work.  It seems like I can’t win sometimes. 

Thankfully, my boyfriend knows what has been bugging me at the office and he also knows how much it bothers me that I’m not able to be at home with my daughter.  He’s heard my rampages regarding how I wanted my family to work and how I feel like shit that I have to work.  (And yes, even when I’m pissed like this… the divorce was totally worth it!!)  So he understands, most definitely, and knows I’m making an attempt to spend time with him too.

I’m getting better at it though.  The stress from work is still following me home, but it’s quickly chased away with iced coffee (or wine) out on the back deck while my kid plays.  Ry and I have taken to spending half an hour together after work and before dinner to just vent about our days or talk in general.  It’s like taking half an hour to shake off the stress.  Usually during this time, the kid is either playing outside or working on her homework (since when do 1st graders have homework 4 out of 5 nights?!) so she gets her stuff done.

I’ve learned no work talk during the weekends.  None.  Absolutely none.  Not even during our morning coffee.  It creates a mini-vacation.  We’ve also been making it a point to go somewhere each weekend, even if it’s just to the forest preserve or to wander around some downtown area each weekend.  If I’m busy, Work-Me takes a hike and I can focus on my family, instead of the 20 voicemails I’ll be walking into on Monday.  These new rules for the weekend are one of the many reasons I try to not work Saturdays.  I’m away from my house on average 50 hours a week.  It doesn’t sound like much to most people, but to a former Stay at Home Mom, that’s a lot.  My weekends are mine.

I honestly think the biggest improvement I’ve made?  I sit down and help my daughter with her homework or read a book (I have a big time reader thank god!) every night.  I put the chores off and sit down and do it.  Working with her, reading her stories, or even going outside to play puts the work-stress right out of my head.  (And I most definitely would put off folding laundry to read a Dr. Seuss book any day of the week!)

I’m not perfect, and I’m most definitely still learning the art of balancing.  I do have to say though… being a stay at home mom was hard.  It was HARD, I know a lot of people don’t think it is.  I know with staying at home I felt like I lost my identity and almost lost myself.  Being a Stay at Home Mom is most definitely a trying and a full time 24/7 job.  However, being a working mother?  It’s a whole different set of hard.  I don’t think it’s more difficult than staying at home, but I do think that it’s a whole different kind of difficult.  Even after, what, almost 4 years or so?  I still don’t have the hang of it.  That’s okay though, I’ll figure it out one day… until then, wish me luck!

Damn Growing Up


I’m feeling old.

Well kind of.  We all know that I’m pretty much 11 years old mentally.

I still laugh when people say boobs.  Or penis.  Or pretty much any kind of word relating to genetalia.

However, getting my daughter ready for school is kicking my ass back to reality.  She starts 1st grade in 2 weeks… and it’s public school this time so it’s a brand new ball game.  I’ve started school supply shopping and finished taking her to her school physical and dental appointment.  Her bus route is all set to pick up and drop off and “daycare”.  It’s just odd.  Kindergarten didn’t have the same effect on me, she was lucky enough to go to the same school that she went to preschool in, so a lot of this stuff was different.  I guess, just grade school is freaking me out.

She’s excited, and I’m excited for her.  I think she’ll do fine, although I am a bit sad that I won’t be able to wait with her at a bus stop or anything of the sort.  Such is the plight of a working mother.  However, I know all of her teachers at her daycare will see her off.  I’m hoping that she likes her teacher, and thrives.

It’s just like FUCK man!  I know my kid is getting older… I’m well aware, she shot up another 4 inches over the past 6 months.  I think it was looking over the school supply list that did it.  I still remember shopping for school supplies with my mom (in grade school) and my Dad after that.  It occurred to me that, HOLY SHIT, I’m…. I’m…. basically my parents!

It’s surprising the little things that remind me that I’m not 16 anymore.  It’s not paying the (goddamned) mortgage, or my insurance.  Fuck, it’s not even looking over my retirement fund.  It’s not managing my Infusions and doctor’s appointments, nor is it working on the yard.   It’s the school supplies.  It’s the “No you can’t wear my undies on your head… and you most certainly can’t do it to school” moments with my daughter.

Eh.  I feel like…. my mother.  Haha.  Whatever.  Maybe I’ll just give myself a mohawk or something.