Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Late Night Meandering Thoughts

So this is going to be one of those weird, rambling posts that really has no point and doesn't make a lot of sense. But sometimes I just feel like I should post something. So here goes.

I was thinking about numbers tonight. I had a birthday last week. I always say and act like it's not a big deal. But I kind of wish it was. My husband doesn't buy gifts of any kind, so if I want something, I'll buy it myself. He doesn't make a big deal at Christmas, either. Pretty much anything that involves spending money is out of the question. Anyway, so we didn't celebrate. Only one person at work remembered. My BFF remembered, but she lives a million miles away (approximately). So it was just another day.

If you're wondering how old I am...I always have to stop and think about it. I don't feel as old as I should, I think. Maybe I'm immature or something. When I think about the fact that I've been out of high school for over fifteen years, it's too much for me to comprehend. Even the fact that I've been out of college for over ten blows my mind. My oldest kid is 8, for goodness sakes! I'm a dinosaur. But I don't feel like it, so I guess that's good. I don't want to be old. I don't want to be "middle aged." I don't want to have all these grown up responsibilities...but sadly, I don't have a choice.

Then tonight when I got out of the shower, I was thinking of another number. My weight. Even more cringe-worthy than my age. I went to the doctor last week, so I know what I weigh. Normally, I don't go anywhere near a scale. I know I'm overweight. I've always been a little heavy. I never considered myself fat, though. After kid #3 was born, I seemed to get down to my pre-baby weight pretty quickly. I thought that was pretty awesome. Of course, once I went back to work, I gained a hundred pounds, give or take. It was probably closer to ten. But whatever. I stress eat. I snack because it's there. People bring in food all the time for various reasons. Like birthdays...except mine (see? I am a little bitter about it). I watch The Biggest Loser and eat a bowl of ice cream and I think "I'll never be that big." But it could happen. So easily. I don't eat right. I don't exercise. I drink too much Diet Coke. I'm so screwed. 

So maybe I should start thinking of numbers in a more realistic way. I'm not getting younger. And I'm not just magically going to lose any weight. I'm also not anywhere near the word count that I should be for NaNoWriMo this year. But that doesn't mean I can't finish the novel...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shameless Shelf Promotion...because that's what authors do

You know that moment when you have a nice post going and you haven't saved it and suddenly it's gone? And you think you could probably recreate the magic but it's 9:30 and you worked all day and you can't be bothered because you're too tired?

Yeah. Me too.

So, here, click this link... http://www.swoonreads.com/m/take-a-little-ride-cai-perrys-big-adventure
Read my novel and tell me if you like it. Please don't judge this book by its cover, though. I'm not a freaking cover designer, but they won't let you upload the manuscript without one.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

On Blogging

Do people even read blogs anymore? I stopped a long time ago. Now that Google Reader is gone, I don't know how I'd even go about starting back up. There were a few that offered mailing list sign ups, but is that the same thing? 

I don't know how I got drawn into some of the blogs I read. But I can tell you exactly why I stopped. Because I got tired of the same thing. One was a lot of "look at how perfect my life looks on my blog, but remember I'm really a normal person and my life isn't perfect but I'm going to keep on presenting it that way." Maybe I was just jealous of all the perfection.

Then there's another one that I'm thisclose to quitting because I can't handle all the sappy posts about parenting. I'm happy that you just had a baby and all, because I did too ( it's like a club for cool kids), but your hormones must still be out of whack. Nobody can feel that much love ALL the time. Again, maybe it's the perfection thing.

Life is not perfect. Don't try to paint a picture of it that alienates your readers.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dreams vs Reality

So I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. I should be doing some really deep, soul searching thinking, but I'm not ready for that yet.

I mentioned in an early post, at the end of my maternity leave, how I didn't want to go back to work. I've been back for about a month and a half and it feels like I never left. And not in a good way.

There are people in life who know what they want to do and they make it happen. My BFF is something called a naturalist. She got a biology degree and she knew what she wanted to do. She worked hard and it took a couple tries, but she got there.

I think I always wanted to be a writer. My mom has one of those school memory books stuffed full of old report cards and spelling tests. The ones that ask you every year what you want to be when you grow up. I know I said I wanted to be an author. So I got a degree in agriculture. Because the writing thing always seemed like a pipe dream. 

But the more I've researched it, the more I've realized how freaking hard it is to be an author. A lot of people don't even get to quit their day jobs. So what the hell is the point? 

I'm so unhappy, though. Is it worth being totally miserable just to get a paycheck? When you have three kids to feed and a house to pay for, it certainly makes you think twice. 

What's a girl to do? Continue to pursue the dream? Even though I may never succeed at it? Keep on being miserable because I like money so much? I wish someone could answer these questions for me because all it does is give me a headache.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Why?

I've been doing some thinking. Like serious, crazy, sleep deprived thinking. And I just have one question. Why? Which leads into many, many smaller loaded questions.

Why am I surrounded by people who don't share any of the same interests?

Why is it so hard for me to do anything I enjoy? 

Why can't I find the time to finish a book? Writing or reading...

Why do I work a job I feel so despondent about?

Why don't I dress the way I really want? 

Why don't I try all those things I've pinned on Pinterest (I'm not frigging Martha Stewart, but a lot of things are easily accomplished)?

Why do I feel so uptight all the time?

Why? Why? Why?

I could come up with answers for these questions. But they wouldn't be true answers. No, they would just be excuses. Because, really, the only thing holding me back is me. I wonder why that is...

Friday, August 2, 2013

How I Spent My Maternity Leave

This is my third go-round with an infant. I am, by no means, an expert. But a lot of people have told me...and I've decided I agree...that by the third one, you're much more relaxed. So, at first, I did the "sleep while the baby sleeps" thing. Then reality set in. There was still laundry and dishes and all the other stuff that wouldn't get done if I didn't do it. 

Now I'm back to being a little more relaxed. I spend way too much time on the internet. I spent way too much money online shopping. Which I really need to stop because these last few weeks are unpaid. 

I watched the first six seasons of PSYCH. If you've never watched this show, you need to do it now. So funny. Dule Hill and James Roday are the best. I downloaded season seven yesterday, but I'm not looking forward to the break-up of Shules.

And even though I've watched them all more than twice already, I started THE SIMPSONS. I'm in the middle of season ten, I think. I started with season 3, though. My kids watch these with me and can quote them as well as I can.

As a Kickstarter backer of the Veronica Mars movie, I felt it was my duty to rewatch that also. I don't think I'm going to make it through all three seasons before I go back to work, but I should at least have them watched before the movie comes out. I'm almost done with season one now. I forgot how kind of annoying the Lily Cane storyline was. There's so much repetition. I guess they had to do that to drag it out for the whole season.

There have also been countless movies and a newfound love of Hoda Kotb (but not Kathie Lee). I even found time to take up walking. I try to do it every day, but...meh. I managed to get back down to my pre-baby weight, so I'm happy with that. I would be happier if I could lose about ten more pounds. That won't happen as long as I continue to survive on Poptarts, pizza rolls and Heath pieces. But what are you going to do?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Babies and Books and Boobs

I wanted to write this post at the beginning of my maternity leave and I really was going to talk about boobs. Well, in the form of breast feeding, but whatever. So I'll just say I have strong opinions about it and if you ever want someone to tell you NOT to do it, hit me up. 

Anyway, so...yeah. I'm on the downhill slide of maternity leave. I'm trying not to think about it. I would really rather not go back to work. But until someone will pay me to stay home and write books, it's not going to happen. I like money too much. Spending it, anyway. And it's really, really nice to have health insurance. Do you have any idea what it costs to have a baby?! It's kind of crazy and in the $10K range. That's the low side, I think. Luckily I do have insurance that helps a lot with that.

Oh yeah. There's a baby now too. She's pretty awesome and I wouldn't mind being able to hang out with her a little more. Around 3 months is when they start to get interesting. Like now, she smiles and looks at me like I'm crazy, but there's so much more she'll start doing.

But I'm not one of those mothers who feels guilty about working and missing out on my children growing up. Because I'm not really missing anything. And I'll be the first to admit that my kids can make me CRAZY. So while it is nice to be home with them sometimes, I'm not made to be able to do it full time. It's nice to have a break. But the older 2 would be in school...so maybe...no, probably not.

Anyway, so remember how I whined about hormones blocking my enjoyment of everything I used to love? Well, that's all gone now. Like I thought it would be. I started reading DIVERGENT. I bought it before the movie hype, but only decided to read it because of the movie hype. Gotta say, though, it will not be one of my favorites unless the second half just absolutely BLOWS MY MIND. Somehow I don't see that happening.

I've also started writing again. Sort of. I picked up the last thing I wrote and started to edit it. I had hoped to submit it to a few agents before I went back to work, but I don't know if that will happen. I also picked up where I left off on something else I was writing. But when you let something sit for a long time, it's hard to recapture that magic. So we'll see what happens.

Well, the baby is stirring and there are about a hundred other things I should be doing. Like cleaning my house at least once really, really well before I go back to work. I'm talking cleaning windows and deep cleaning carpets and throwing away A LOT OF CLUTTER. But...meh...

Gratuitous baby picture...because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want...

Monday, May 6, 2013

The End is Near

So way back when, I said I wouldn't turn this into a blog about being pregnant. And I haven't. But now I'm going to take the time to share. Because I can. Because it's my blog and I'll post whatever I want. Thankyouverymuch.

Okay, so I'm mostly doing this as a kind of photo diary for myself. I'm sure there's probably an app out there somewhere that could do this for me, but who has time to sift through a thousand apps to find exactly what I'm looking for?

Because I know you're just dying of curiosity, this is my most recent photo. I apologize for all the yellow in my bathroom. I think the one I'm wearing is a maternity tank from Old Navy, but I have pretty much lived in Old Navy tanks for the last eight months. Not alone, obviously, because it was winter in Illinois. But they did a nice job of covering the whole bump when my other top couldn't. Like when I wasn't ready to give up regular tops.

But pants! Oh maternity pants, how I will miss you and all your elastic-y wonderfulness. I actually had decent work pants this time. Mostly because I was a bit smaller when I was last pregnant five years ago and I got to buy new ones.. I got some new jeans, also Old Navy, that were pretty wonderful. I swear ON is not sponsoring this post. They just have the most affordable maternity clothes I could find.

Anyway, moving on...

As this is baby number three, there was a lot of baby gear we already had. Since carseats have expiration dates, that was one big item we were going to need. Plus, the one we had was rather large compared to the newer models and The Farmer was dead set against buying a new car (even though I would have preferred that route). So we have a new, smaller carrier and three kids in the backseat of the Equinox. For now.

We also needed a new playpen. I don't know why they are all called pack and plays now, but whatever. Last big item was a stroller. We live on a gravel road, but my maternity leave lines up nicely with summer break. I have big plans for morning walks through the streets of the nearby town. I went with a regular, lightweight, plain jane stroller, though, because I can't guarantee it will see a lot of use. And no, I didn't get the matching set. It was cheaper this way.

The biggest obstacle we faced was space. When we moved in to this house nine years ago, we thought this house was pretty big. Now it feels like it shrunk. We have a decent upstairs, but our kids are five and seven and very reluctant to sleep up there. I can't even get the seven year old to sleep in his own bed. So there are two twin beds and a crib in the second bedroom. Lucky for us, they fit rather nicely.

The changing table that we may or may not even use is in our bedroom. It will eventually be joined by a cradle...though its exact location has not yet been decided. Can you see my homemade clothes hamper? It was a Pinterest thing. A pillow case and an embroidery hoop. Whoda thunk it?! Simple genius.

Back to the kids room...one thing our house does have is decent sized closets. But again, three kids and one closet. I did some rearranging and maneuvering. Probably everything would've fit, but my mom had a nice armoire thing she was willing to part with. That is between the two beds and houses baby's first round of clothes. Next size is in the closet.

So, for the most part, I think we're ready. I mean, as far as the stuff goes. Mentally, I'm not so sure :-) It doesn't feel like 8 months have passed. Those first few were killer, too. The past few have been pretty easy. Now I just can't sleep because I'm either getting up to pee or trying to find a comfortable position. It's great. But pretty soon I won't be sleeping at all, so I might as well get used to it.














Thursday, April 25, 2013

Breakdown

When you are pregnant, you can blame almost everything that happens in and to your body on hormones. So I've decided my recent bout of writers block is completely to blame on hormones as well.

I'm too tired to write. Damn hormones.
I don't have the motivation. Damn hormones.
I can't get out of this chair to get a pen and a notebook. Damn hormones.

You get the point.

But the frustrating part is that I've had ideas. I've had those little inspirations pop up here and there. The best I can do is jot some notes down and hope my mojo comes back after this kid makes her appearance in the world. Of course, by then, I'll be too wrapped up in feedings and diaper changes. I'll be too sleep deprived to form a sentence. Maybe that's what it will take to get something written.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Working From Home

We're getting hit with another winter storm today. It's the second time in less than a week. Not sure how much snow came with the last one, but they say we should get 8-12 inches by the end of the day. I like this storm better because it hit over night and into the early morning, so I didn't have to venture out. Last week, I was already at work and had to drive home in it. Not fun.

So I prepared a little when I left work last night. I brought work home. The only problem is that, with no internet access, I'm limited to what the iPad and my data plan can do. Not necessarily a bad thing. At least my boss knows and understands. Yet she is hellbent on getting me a laptop. See, we had some staff changes. And in a few months, I'll be on maternity leave. But it might be more of a working maternity leave this time. Which could be good and bad. I won't mind working from home if it means I can stay home longer, obviously. But I have a hard time staying focused when I'm home. Like right now, I'm thinking about starting a load of laundry or washing the dishes in the sink. Plus the kids are home today, so I can't neglect them. And there's that sewing project I wanted to start. And since the weather is nasty, The Farmer might come back in after he finishes the chores.

While working from home seems like a good idea, I just don't know if I'm disciplined enough for it. Maybe if I had an office, where I could hide out and shut the door. For now, I have to settle for the kitchen table. It's got a great view, though.

Monday, January 21, 2013

On Being Pregnant

I'm not going to turn this into a pregnancy/ baby/kid blog. But now that Blogger has an app, it's easier for me to post. So I just wanted to share some things I've learned this time around.

My oldest is 7. My youngest is 5. Honest to god, I feel like A LOT has changed in five years. First, when I had my first appointment with the doctor, I had to sign a payment contract. With the other two, we had to meet with them to decide about payment, but we didn't have to sign anything.

Second, the technology available now is crazy. I didn't have an iPhone back then. When The Eldest was born, I didn't even have a digital camera! Now there's an app for tracking your pregnancy, week by week. There are apps for tracking feedings and diaper changes and which boob you fed them on last.

Then there's the maternity clothes. I'm not a fashionista by any means. But when I pulled out my old clothes, I knew I had a problem. Gone are the days of the huge shirts that gave you room to breathe. Everything is tight now. Plus most of the pants I had were the low rise, big piece of elastic that was supposed to hold up your pants below your ever growing belly. I hated maternity pants then and I hate them now. Now you wear the big, stretchy panel all the way over the belly. I'm only 20 weeks so my belly isn't huge, but its popped out there now. Pants are just the worse. I'm ready for a warm up so I can get some wear out of my pre-pregnancy maxi dresses.

But now I have an excuse to wear things I normally wouldn't. Like skinny jeans and leggings. And the tight shirts are okay. I stopped wearing Spanx as soon as I found out I was pregnant, but I still had to hide the belly for a while. Now that I actually look pregnant and not just fat, I can embrace it and show it off.

I'm most concerned about how labor and delivery will be different. I was induced with the other two because the doctor was cool with it. I have a different doctor now and I've heard he doesn't induce. It kind of scares me to think I might actually have to go into labor on my own (I'm a wuss). I had it pretty easy with them (no epidural! Whoo!). Will this one go even faster? So many questions and things to think about. But I think I'm ready for it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Confessions

I'm pregnant.

I don't think I posted that yet. So there it is.

It's one of the big reasons why I didn't win NaNoWriMo. And also why my reading has fallen off. I've just been too tired.

But yesterday I was home with a sick kid, the Eldest. He hung out on the couch while I roamed around the house, doing various chores. Finally, I sat down in the chair. WITH A BOOK. I was so excited. Not only was it just a book, it was one that I'd been looking forward to reading.

I don't think I even got through chapter 1.

No, I didn't fall asleep. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't get into it. Or something. I don't know what's wrong with me. But I have a theory.

I blame my kids' school. What? Yeah. That's what I said.

It started off with Book It. I could totally handle that. It was on our schedule, no assigned reading. Whenever we wanted we could read whatever we wanted. It was fine.

Then the Youngest brings home a book and a note that says the kindergarten has a goal of reading 10 billion books this year. So she's bringing home a different book every night. Or we can read our own. Either way. But we HAVE TO READ OR BE BANISHED FORVER.

And now there's another "challenge" to read 10 million minutes by February 15 for a free ticket to Six Flags. Despite the fact that the kids have never been, this is the one they are most worried about winning. Boy are they going to be disappointed.

I have done my best to read to them every night. The Eldest is in first grade and is required to do his own reading. But he enjoys it, which is awesome. Me? I'm starting to love it less. Which may be part of the problem with my own reading. I feel like a failure as a parent because I can't keep up with ALL THE READING. Even if this counts for that and they count what they read at school. It's almost too much. Coming from someone who set a goal to read 100 books this year, there shouldn't be a thing as too much reading (unless you're in some god awful college history class or something).

So is this a normal feeling? Do you ever find yourself tired of reading? In need of a break? Parents, do you feel the pressure put on by the school? Or is this all some side effect of my wonky hormones?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Random

I wanted to do a New Year's resolution post, but I think I waited too long. And it would be boring anyway. I want to get back into my reading habit. I want to get back into my writing habit. The last few months have been a creative drought. So I'd like to change that.

And just so you have something to read, here's a random playlist. One of those things where you put the iPod on shuffle and write down the first ten songs that play. But I'm at work, so it's the first ten I remembered to write down.

Super Bass by Nicki Minaj
Rescue Me by Daughtry
So Far Away by Staind
I Disappear by Metallica
The World You Love by Jimmy Eat World
Runaway by Love and Theft
Please Forgive Me by Bryan Adams
Sorry by Buckcherry
Always Something There to Remind Me by Naked Eyes
I Go to the Barn Because... by Band of Horses

Please don't judge me based on these songs. But if you have any suggestions for music I should try, by all means, let me know!