Title Optional and Nothing New

I started this blog because I enjoying reading blogs and have always wanted to be a writer. As I have aged I have found out that my creativity is severely deluded with my procrastination tactics. As I am four days late with my weekly installment of this blog that is not about anything interesting or enlightening thus far. I usually waste time playing World of Warcraft (Undead Warlock if you are interested) and scanning social media because I have minimal adult contact after the big transition. So thank you for interacting with my little slice of reality. Here is a poem because I (cough, cough) am busy and too distracted to write a post with thesis statements and supporting ideas or quirky insights about the world around me.

She cries everyday after school

be-cau-se

she likes to pout and demand

ev-ery-thing

I am confronted, hopelessly

disagree

I cannot give up and grant her

everything

Spring Break during Winter

My oldest has been off of school all week because of “Spring Recess”. (I am grateful she hasn’t had school because we have all had a horrible cold germy thing all week. She is down to a mild cough, no more fever or leaking eyes or nasal congestion.) I am rather annoyed that their break is so early or that they still call it spring recess, not sure which is the real bone I’m picking here.

It is the second week of March. School is ending this year on June 17th, which is two days later than originally scheduled because of the horrible weather we have had this season. Therefore, the kids have a full three months of school left after this break. They no longer align breaks with the Easter holiday, like they did when I went to school, which I understand. But they could have slid it another week or two toward actual spring and it would have broken up the semester a little better.

March 20 is the vernal equinox this year, which is fairly only next week. But we live “Up Nordt” and we will likely still have snow on the ground until the week after next (if not longer). Calling this time off Spring Recess is just making the school district look more incompetent than normal. Come up with a new name or put it back in the season of spring, not this lazy, uncreative and inaccurate one.

“Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it” Mahatma Gandhi

I recently quit my job at a company that I have worked for, for eleven years. That is over one-third of my life span, spent with one employer. I have been with the company longer than I have been a mother, longer than I have known my husband and longer than I have been a legal adult. I am not having nearly the identity crisis that I thought I would be, honestly.

For reasons too varying in relevance and privacy, I am now a stay-at-home-mom. Something I have hoped for and ran from in equal measure over the years. I have three daughters who are 6.5, 4 and almost 2 years old. As the reality of raising girls in the 21st century has sunk in, my view of myself and my gender as a whole have changed rapidly.  I am now someone who identifies as a feminist. Therefore this new position I find myself in is teetering toward a consistent balance with how I want my daughters to understand our home life, women’s and parents’ choices in society today.

Here I am, figuring it all out.

Back to Reality

Nana is beginning hospice care. Between her congestive heart failure and her recently failing kidneys, it is time. She is ninety three, she has lived an amazing and long life. But, its time for the rest of us to be okay with this. The past few years have really changed my relationship with my grandmother. Living with her for three years at the end of her life, I hope I was more a help than a burden. I know I was resentful and petty at times. It was just such a time of adjustment, watching her deteriorate, watching my children grow, watching myself channel my stress in the wrong directions. I know I made the right decision for my family and for Nana moving out this summer. And God was prepared. He sent Barb and Bill to our family and they have been great caretakers for Nana, much more diligent than I ever was.

I just pray this process is painless for her. I hope she is at peace. Now is the time to be together as a family and make sure Nana can enjoy all the wonderful branches to the tree she started. I wonder how everyone else is handling this. I wonder how much longer we have. So many thoughts.


An update on the rest of us:

Ben came home on Friday September 23, out of nowhere. He is now in a scheduling rotation at work in West Allis, not West Virginia. This rotation will last six months. Most likely the next rotation will also be in Wisconsin, as baby E or baby #3 is on the way. We are due around April 9, 2012.

We are beginning the extra craziness that is holiday prep for work. Charlotte is doing very well at school and Daphne is starting to use the potty. Life is good. My family is together. Anne, Matt and Phoebe are safe, sound, and only 5 hours away in Michigan. We are going to Elcho for Thanksgiving. God’s grace is being found in unexpected places.

Extension

Ben is going to be staying in West Virginia until about March. We found out this week, but I knew it was going to happen since I heard his roommates had each had second rotations there. I am actually okay with the news, because I knew it was coming. I am very lucky to have a great support system here at home. Also allowing me to see everyone, that he misses, daily or weekly.

What I am not okay with:
Let’s start with the superficial- his cat
He still is pooping where he can find carpet in the same room as his box. Plus Xavier, the cat, is really lonely and whines A LOT.

The tougher stuff- missing his smell on his pillow

– doing his clothes in the laundry
– not getting his opinion on house hold mini dramas or decoration/ organizing joys of having a new place

The toughest stuff- the girls

Charlotte asks where her daddy is and I have to tell her at work, we will see him in a month (3 weeks from Thursday) for a visit.

When he comes home and Daphne takes her time to go see him.

When Charlotte cries about missing him.
 
A little back story:

Ben and I can handle this because we have done it before. When he started grad school in Denver (we live near Milwaukee) we found out we were expecting Charlotte. So I asked Ben to record his voice on a tape so I could play it to my belly in order for her to be comfortable and soothed by his voice. It is a very nice tape with a little history of us and some readings from the Tao De Ching and the Tao of Pooh.

I decided we should listen to that tape last night. I think it might be a weekly routine for us. Daphne hadn’t heard it before and it has been a few years since Charlotte didn’t know she was listening to it.

So we are doing what we can: Skype, phone calls, texts and all that. I just hope he is doing well with less distractions and no family base around him to ground him and keep him moving. I am just so grateful that he is safe and only 750 miles away. We get monthly visits. We are so lucky.

Moving…in the right direction.

We signed a lease for an apartment today. Which means we are moving out of my grandmother’s basement, at long last. Now to survive my family for the next month until we actually move. To say that they are going to be disappointed will be a supreme understatement. My family depends on me to be here for my grandmother whenever I am not working. She likes to know where I am at all times, you see. Now I am very lucky that my grandma is still here, plus mentally she is as fit as a fiddle. That alone is quite an accomplishment at her age, almost 93. However the stress of taking care of her and the obtrusive expectations turn me into someone I do not want to be, someone my children do NOT deserve. So we are leaving in a month; I made sure to let my whole family know as soon as possible so that the planning process can begin.

Ben and I had a great weekend together and with our respective friends and families. We got to really discuss our future as a family and it has gotten me really excited for the turn our life is taking. We have been starting the process of buying a house, but that is on hold. Ben is here and gone for the next two or three years with his job, so it isn’t the best time to buy a house for us right now. Baby steps here we come! I am really excited about having a bathroom with a tub, that works and where the water doesn’t wreak. But really, there is a lot of excitement to come for us, I am not going to dwell on the petty things.

FREAKING OUT!

Well, at least I am good at doing something.
Overreacting is a specialty of mine and I was having a very petty pity party this morning. Work is rather overwhelming at the moment. Then throw in some stupid woman hormones and I “can’t do my job”. I hate the feeling of pure defeat and that is how it felt. I was readying myself for a day full of nodding and agreeing and breathing until it would be all over. But, the big baddies from corporate are not coming after all; freaking out was useless.

 So, I need to get my stuff together. Because being behind on paperwork and unprepared for a serious meeting is really what was causing me to freak out. I have to use my week off to get my stuff together at work and at home. I am really looking forward to it; I relish in the purging of the outdated files and the organization of necessities. The only stinger is that I need to stand up for myself and TAKE the time to maintain the organization. It is not something that I can afford to let slip again, for my sake and for my staff’s sake.


Procrastination
What is something that you put off until the last minute?
What was the worst repercussion for the procrastination?
Did you do it again?

Still Trying

We have had quite a couple of weeks at our household. We have been sick, sick again, Nana has been in and out of the hospital, my cell phone bit the dust and our babysitter is set to have her baby any day. I especially am sick with some sort of upper respiratory infection and I actually went to a walk-in clinic for a prescription. Just to give ya’ll some perspective, I have not been to a General Practitioner since I started college in 2003. I have not been to a walk in clinic since I sliced my arm at work in the fall of 2006. I avoid the doctor at all costs.  Just to clarify, this does not count for anyone else, but myself. I always take the girls in when they need it or for their regular check ups. The same goes for pregnancies, I am very diligent for my children’s sake.

So it has been hectic and I get to feeling extra sorry for myself when I am sick. So Saturday I went and bought crap food that I don’t like to keep in the house, but I bought it because we were having game night. And I got ridiculed the entire time for wanting to eat poorly. Sometimes a girl just needs some damn junk food. Men NEVER get it. Our game group has dwindled and I didn’t have any females willing to speak up with me and tell the guy to leave me alone or just shut up and deal with it.  It made me feel lonely. So I didn’t gorge myself, I ate exactly a serving size of some candy over the course of the entire night. I did eat more pretzels and french onion dip than I should have, but it wasn’t anywhere near what  I would eat back when I didn’t care. And no one else ate any major amount of the junk food, either because they didn’t want to or they were thwarted by mister- you -should-never- indulge-yourself. (Am I being overly sensitive and blowing what he said out of proportion, probably, but that is how I took it. Besides it is not like it is the first time for him or for me)

So now I have a more junk food in my house than I can deal with because I bought for a group and was one of two people who ate any of it. Today is no longer a good day, my children refuse to listen to a thing I say and I have a ton to get done. I needed to get stuff out and down or whatever. The thing that is really hanging over my head is that Nana is going to die or Nana is going to go in to a nursing home and we are screwed. If she were to go in to a nursing home and we were allowed to stay here (possible, but not probable) then we would have to pay her bills (cable, utilities, etc.) which in no way can we afford. We have been saving up to buy a house, we are no where near being able to buy a house, much less a duplex my husband is adamant we buy as our first home. So I have no idea what will happen to us. If we can’t buy a home, we can’t rent, for what we need the payments would be about the same each month. We make “too much” to qualify for any assistance. I don’t know what is going to happen. It really makes me wonder if we ever should have moved back at all. So I am stressed and trying not to let food control my day.

Thank God I work this afternoon and won’t be stuck in this house for another weather miserable day.

Baby steps.

Forty Days

As a Christian the season of Lent holds a certain sense of sacrifice with it every year. As much as I appreciate the people who attempt (some succeed) in giving up vices for the 40 days, I feel like it is rather cheap. I do not mean to offend. I feel, me, myself personally, that Lent is a time of removing the unnecessary from our lives. It is a time to clarify our core beliefs, the things we hold the most dear. It is not just a time to give up swearing, or fast food or facebook. If those or any one vice you need to give, good, do it, but just don’t do it for the forty days. Do it completely. The forty days are a tool or a step to reaching the life you envision, to be the person you want to be. This can be so for anyone, not just someone seeking a life more like Christ’s, a life of sacrifice and poverty. Though in essence, to live a life of love.

This is easier said than done. I am not perfect, in fact I am world renowned for self-indulgence, whining and quick-tempered outbursts. But I yearn to live a life like Christ’s. I see my faults and I try to address them, however it takes time. We are human, we are imperfect, we have to do this again and again. Year after year. I find myself so overwhelmed with guilt and fear that I forget why I care so much to put myself through the constant guilt. I need to keep trying, because it is then that I can focus on my outcome. Keep my intentions in check and not just give up again.

It helps to itemize and do it regularly. I bought a book last year called something to the effect Me: Five Years From Now. It is a workbook and it breaks down every area of your life physical, social, mental, family, career, spiritual etc. and asks you questions about goals, progress, etc. Its a self help book and I am usually too overwhelmed and depressed to want to help myself. I didn’t get past the Physical Health Section. But I kept at it, for awhile… Now you guys know me and know that I struggle with my weight/ eating/ stress/ food constantly. I have an almost insatiable appetite and its really takes a lot of personal willpower to not eat as I type this entry. Getting away from the mindless eating, ugh. But what I think kept me from keeping up with the Physical Health Section was that I was setting too many goals. I was supposed to be eating better and drinking more water and drinking less coffee and going for walks, etc.

I live in utter chaos most days. We’re poor to working class, my husband is out of town half of every week for his job, I work full time, in retail, and I have no one “set” child care provider, I live with, cook for and help put to bed my 92 yr. old grandmother. It is nuts. So it takes a lot of time and effort to worry about me, but I need to worry about me because that way my children will be able to take care of themselves(physically, spiritually, mentally), when they are older. I need to do this for THEM. So I am working out the details, itemizing what I can do and what is too much at a time. But I am trying, God knows I am.

So my forty days of Lent are a starting point, my step 1. Maybe if I can manage something for forty days solid, the next forty days won’t be so hard, or maybe they will be harder. But I am cutting the fat, as it were. Taking the unnecessary out of my life to get it closer to the life that I want to live. The life of love that we are all called to on some level.

I hope your season of Lent, or even just your Spring season if you are not a religious person, is a time of new beginnings, a time of renewal, a time for only the necessary.