What's up nerds. Been a long time. Whole year actually. Sorry for that. Been busy with sitting around doing nothing. Well, mostly. Some other stuff like five kids, a job, and nursing school might have also gotten in the way. Who knows. So it's 2015 now. I am happy to announce that have already managed to write the date several times without having to change a 4 to a 5. At. All. Not even once. So that's a first. Shoulda made that my resolution now that I think about it. Seriously though, not much to say just felt like dusting off this old machine and typing up some nonsense. The kids are great. Jake is great. I'm great. We're all great. Updated the banner above with some family photos we had taken in November. The old one Charlie still didn't have teeth, so I figured it was time since she's 3 now. The photos were done by J. Turow Photography, a good friend of mine. Click here and like her Facebook page, then tell all of your friends. Kids went back to school today. Winter break seemed a lot shorter this year. I think because we actually did something other than sit around for 3 weeks. Took a few days to Jake's family's hometown between holidays. Sadly it was for a funeral, but we had a great time nonetheless. Got to meet a lot of family I had only ever heard about, and they got to visit with a whole lot of children. It was a win win. We ate food from restaurants a lot. Also a win. We found BBQ Fritos* at a Walmart in Elizabethton, TN. I am telling you, the trip was a win. (*They, for some reason, do not sell the delicious, best chip ever made, at any store in Indianapolis. If you ever find that they do, I should be the first person you call. That is an order, friends.) I go back to school next week. So, yeah. Enjoying this last week of whatever it is I'll be doing. (Watching a lot of Doctor Who.) Last semester was pure hell, so hoping it will be better than that. I mean, it can't really be worse, so that's hopeful. On another note, I graduate this year. That's right, the year of graduation. In December, but still, this year. THIS. YEAR. I am a little excited if you can't tell. Ready to be done with school and into the workforce... wait. what? On NYE, with a twinkle in my eye, I said to Jacob, "just think next year this will be so different and exciting for us. I'll be a nurse, we'll both be successful, and it will be like the start of a new life for our beautiful family." or something like that anyway. All I remember is him replying, "Well, I mean technically you won't be a nurse yet, you'll have to take that test in January and hope you pass." Thanks. Dream crusher. Like I passively forgot about the NCLEX. geesh. Jake is a full time "regular" mailman now. Don't ask me what that means because the postal service is asinine and it would take too much work to explain. BUT he actually gets a day off and benefits and everything so that's pretty cool. He seems happy with it anyway. I don't really see how considering it's snowing like Antarctica as I type and he'll be walking around all day tomorrow freezing to death in it. I'd rather shoot myself in the foot. He doesn't complain though. I suppose the faces he makes when I tell hospital stories means the feelings about job role reversal are mutual. We're polar opposites, but somehow we work. Love that man. Hoping to write more, hoping to have the time to. If you don't hear from me for another year, just think, you'll be hearing from a nurse.
Spending some time on this last Friday of 2013 thinking about some ways to get better organized before school starts back up. With Jake working all hours of the week, me being in nursing school and starting my new job at the hospital and the kids being in school and daycare... well, I may die if we don't get better at organization. Maybe it is my OCD, maybe it is just the inability to function any longer in what I affectionately refer to as my organized chaos. Either way, I am going to schedule every detail of our lives that I possibly can, to make the crazy, unscheduled parts slightly more bearable.
My first go-to when trying to figure out how to do something new is not the wonderful critical thinking skills I keep locked away in the back of my brain. It is Google. Google knows everything. I mean seriously, you can Google anything and you will get a billion responses. I love Google and Google loves me and if I could, I would marry it. That being said, Google has not come through for me this time. There are simply not a lot of resources out there when you Google things like "Large family organization," or "Meals for large families on a budget."
I would think that in this day in age where I can sit and type this ridiculous blog of mine, there would be some other crazy lady out there with a litter of kids doing the same thing. The only things I can find are from women who either a.) have waaaaaay more money than I do and live in a furniture catalog/movie set or b.) Have many children, but only blog about homeschooling and feeding the chickens. Nothing wrong with either of those things, they just don't apply here.
The meal planning blogs I find are all filled with ideas for things like 'Salmon Salad with Parsley and Capers' or 'Spinach Infused Penne Pasta with Ricotta Cheese.' Sure they're probably decent and healthy options, but what kid is really going to eat that crap? and I don't even know what the hell a Caper is. Can I buy them at Aldi, because if I can't, it ain't gonna happen.
I need some direction on how to be a real life, ballin' on a budget, inner city mom of 5 picky ass kiddos.
So, I guess I will create my own. I am going to unlock my critical thinking box, bring it to the front of my brain, and let it loose. Today I am working on a menu plan and I hope to find the time to share my findings and ideas here on my blog so that other real life, middle class, working moms can have a good search return when they go to Google.
Well, it's December and you know what that means... time for my annual "I'm a grinch, I hate the holidays" blog post. Aren't you excited? Thanksgiving was really good this year. I only had brief moments of wanting to kill myself. Much better than the usual 28 hours. You know, because the 4 hours leading up to the impending doom of turkey day are also plain awful. I don't know. Just roll with it. Here is my problem. I grew up hating holidays. When I say grew up, I mean like age 12 and up. Could have been sooner, but when you're 8 all you care about is presents and candy, so it probably wasn't that bad yet. Year after year was just torture. Listening to my parents complain and argue. Visiting people I hadn't seen since the last time we ate ham together and they made judgmental comments that weren't meant to offend but always did. Driving through snow and cold and sitting in a corner for hours because I never felt like I belonged with these people. I hate the pressure of the holidays. Buying gifts for people you barely know. Being forced to open gifts in front of everyone and pretending to like their presents to you, but you actually don't. Okay, not always, but don't act like its never happened to you. When I got married it got so much better. I was not forced to spend the holidays as grumpy as my family always was. I was not forced to drive anywhere. I was not forced to do anything. Yet, here I sit, still as grumpy as ever. It was ingrained in me. It is a hard thing to change the way you've been for 28 years. I know I am 29, I don't count the first year. Seriously, how grumpy can a baby be? It is also a hard time for me to be happy. Everyone surrounded by loved ones, going on and on about family. I have a great family, but the supposed-to-be happiness only serves as a reminder of what I don't have. Poor me. I know. Now that I have kids and a family of my own, I know I have to stop this craziness. I have a chance for all new traditions and memories and experiences. Of course, I exaggerate a little when I talk about being a grinch. It isn't like I walk around sulking the entire month of December, but inside me the feeling are still there. I don't enjoy the holidays the way you're supposed to. I just go through the motions. I am happy when my kids are happy. I have found new ways to make them enjoy the holidays and that is a lot of fun. I am slowly, slowly getting there. When my parents left, and dad later died, it left a hole. A hole that is often filled with hatred at certain times. Times that are supposed to be about family are always slightly ruined by my hole. I have filled that hole with many feelings, lots of prozac, and enough food to feed a small village, but there it stays. I suppose it always will. I mean, what kind of person gets over their mom just leaving them? I guess it is somewhat normal. I have been told that I have a family and I should be grateful for that, and not dwell on the past. Well, kind-hearted person who has never been abandoned, it isn't that easy. Some days I just want to have a mom. I want to be close to someone and call them when I have good news or call them when I am sad and need a friend. Hang out with them and go to lunch, or whatever else moms and daughters do. Some days I want a real relationship with people who share my blood and not some half-assed 'we-get-along-but-none-of-us-know-how-to-communicate,' because what the hell is communication? I have been blessed by so many people in my life. My in-laws who would do anything in the world for us. Friends at church that I know would do the same. My "mom" Angie, who loves me unconditionally, and even lets me call her and cry when I need a friend. My friend Jessica who is like a sister to me. I don't know what I would do without her. My dearest Tricia. An unlikely friendship, yet the best I think I have ever had. A text at 3am always gets a response, because neither of us ever sleep. She always knows how to fix me in every way, because she's just that good. Or maybe because she's a lot like me. My husband and my kids. Love like I could never have imagined. What a cliche thing to say, but seriously. When you grow up feeling like a burden, you don't get to experience what unconditional love feels like. They have shown me the power of love in ways that I never thought were possible. These kids... wow. They wear me out every single day, but I make sure to always hold them tight and say I love you. I don't ever want them to wonder if I do. I know I have amazing people in my life. I am trying to get better at acknowledging them and that they are real and do love me for me. I am trying to fill my hole with new, happy memories and experiences. I am thankful for the people who are, mostly unknowingly, helping me to do that. And with that, maybe I will be a little less grinchy this year. We'll see.
Fall is here. My very favorite time of year. I am always so, so happy to see summer disappear. This year, that could not be more true. I will not embellish the details, but this was the longest summer of my life. Full of pain and heartache and lots of sunshine. I am glad to see it go.
Things are mostly getting back to normal around here. There are "those days" sometimes, but I have a feeling there will always be "those days." At least for a good while. I am happy that those days are turning more and more just into "those hours" or "those moments." Much improvement from "those weeks."
I know you don't follow. It's okay. Just know, in short, things are getting better.
I am learning to love myself. I am learning to take every day as a new day. I am learning to be content with what surrounds me. These things are so much harder than anything I am learning in school. Thankful there is no exam over my life. I would, without a doubt, fail.
Fall break is upon us, and so is Exam #2, in this hell we call nursing school. The semester is half way over. I have straight A's so far. Or whatever you call it when you're taking two classes. I feel like this is where I should enter things about all the hard work and effort I am putting into school. How much homework and studying I am doing. How stressful nursing school is or whatever. Whelp. Hate me all you want, I am doing exactly none of those things. I have yet to read an entire chapter of the book. I listen to lectures and take notes. That's about it. Even missed a couple of those. I have studied a combined total of about 8 hours this semester. For both classes. Maybe. Possible overestimation. Seriously.
I never get to throw it in anyone's face or enjoy being smart. It's kind of a rotten thing to do, I guess. I get the "we hate you" look often, as though I can help that I naturally don't have to study, already have a medical degree, and have lots of experience with a weird family medical history. Whatever. I'll enjoy being able to do whatever I want all week, study a couple of hours on Thursday and still get the best grade in the class.
I think I am officially in a bitchy mood. Bring on the rest of Friday night.