Unemployed

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you know that for the past almost-3-years I’ve been working at Raven & Associates. I loved my job, my coworkers, the company. But at the end of July Raven shut its doors. We just couldn’t make enough money to keep operating. So that sucked. But I’m trying to take this as an opportunity.

I’m trying to use my time at home to figure my shit out.

Previously, I’ve taken whatever job I could find at the time. I’ve liked some, really disliked others, but generally I’ve just kind of gone along and figured that that was how work was. I’ve worried on occasion about the fact that I didn’t seem to have any kind of a career; I’ve been in customer service forever, it feels like, and I feel like I haven’t gotten anywhere. I would like to have a job that felt more like a career. Something that is challenging, that I enjoy at least most of the time…but I don’t know what that would be. Is it just about getting into the right industry? Should I look for a particular kind of position? My aunt Marcia suggested that based on my strengths from the Strengthsfinder test I took, I would be good at something in the Training, Counselling or Negotiation area. Mostly what I see when I look at that test is that I want people to get along. It doesn’t feel like a very marketable skill.

Right now I’m applying to things that are recommended to me by friends if they think it’s something I could do/be good at. I’m also applying at the University, with the thoughts that I can also take classes there. I’ve considered going back to school, but since I don’t know what I’d like to do I don’t want to spend the money on another degree. Especially without knowing there’s a good chance I’ll be able to pay it off once I graduate.

One of the things I’ve always liked is reading and writing, and a friend told me I should get back to blogging. I thought that was a good idea, since I will presumably have more time now. I’ve said that before, though, so who knows.

I don’t know. I feel like I’ve talked about this so much lately, and no one else can tell me what to do, so it’s kind of pointless. But it’s what is on my mind every day these days. In between wrangling our boys and trying to keep up on housework (notice the “trying” in that sentence).

We shall see.

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Welcome to Summer

Now that Summer is officially upon us I’m sitting here wondering when it will actually arrive and stay for a while.  We’ve had several short tastes of weather at or above 65 F, but it only lasts for one, or maybe two consecutive days and then returns the cold, rainy, dreariness that has been most of the spring.  On the plus side, I guess that it’s good weather for all the people out running Grandma’s Marathon today.  I’m sure they prefer this to 90+ F.  I’d be willing to split the difference.

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Memorial Day 2014

Holy Shit…It’s 2014

We’ve totally been neglecting this blog, BIG TIME.  I don’t blame you if you wrote us off, but we’re still here.  A lot has happened/changed since our last post.  James is 4 (WHAT?!?!?!?)  and Connor is damn near 1.  James has figured out how to ride a bike (we totally skipped training wheels, thank you balance bike).  The Vikings won the Stanley Cup (that’s total bullshit…football and hockey don’t mix).  Finally, Summer (spring if you’re actually counting) has reached the North Shore.

 

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New stuff

It’s been a while! Things have changed a bit. ;-)

We had a baby. Back in (early) June. Apparently we’ve been busy and just haven’t gotten around to posting about it on the blog. Whoops. Connor was born on 6/5, weighing 8lb, 6oz and 21″ long. Here are baby pictures:

Newborn baby!

Newborn baby!

Connor at 3 months, at 4am. Party time!

Connor at 3 months, at 4am. Party time!

James loves to give "his baby" kisses.

James loves to give “his baby” kisses.

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Crabby

I have been in a bad mood for too long. I wrote a whole post about my crappy self-esteem these days, and that’s a large part of it. (That post is saved as a draft; it’s far too whiney) But there is also feeling uncomfortably pregnant; and work is insane, requiring overtime almost every day. I have been tired to the point of exhaustion, falling asleep on the couch many days before James is in bed.

I wish I knew what to do to make myself feel better, but I don’t know what that would be, so I just wait, hoping it will get better once I’m no longer pregnant and working (at least for a while).

All that being a way to say sorry for the continued silence, but I figure that’s better than moping. I do enough of that in real-life. I’m sick of myself most days. Yuck.

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These days

So our son is 3 now. I’m not sure how that happened. It’s strange. And we have about 15 weeks until this baby is “due”. Also weird. I keep thinking we have so many things to do to get ready, but really other than get the kids’ room ready and rearrange our room (and clean it well in the process) and set up the bassinet and crib, there’s not a lot of “big” stuff to do. We need to wash some clothes…and that’s about it. I would like to get a video monitor (mostly for James, actually), and there are a couple of things I need to do for me to prepare for birth (make an appointment with a chiropractor, for one thing). But nothing huge. We have a crib and sheets and clothes and diapers. We’ll probably buy some disposables for the first few weeks like we did last time, but otherwise we intend to use our cloth diapers again, and they are still in really good shape (other than me needing to take a pin to the velcro part to clean it out a little). Those things have saved us so much money, I can’t even believe it.

 

We are hoping to have a different birth with this baby than we ended up with with Jame-o. I think James’s birth went the way it was supposed to go, but I want to do all I can to make sure that we don’t have to go down that path again. So in that vein, we’ve hired a doula. I’m really excited about having her with us, and I think it’s relieving to Ryan to know that someone will be there to ask the questions and provide some information, instead of it all being on us. I’m also going to see a chiropractor to make sure my hips especially are aligned, and I’ve switched doctors to one of the top recommendations in town for if you are looking for a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) (My previous doctor couldn’t do this delivery even if we wanted her to, unfortunately). Also, in the event I DO end up with another c-section, I’m hoping to have things go a little differently this time.

 

We will see how it all works out in the end. Our doula thinks that I’m a good candidate for a VBAC, which is nice to hear; she gave me some information about James’s birth that I didn’t know previously; for instance, that the piggybacking contractions I had are often a sign of a baby that is either posterior or with their head a little tilted in the womb. Either way makes for a harder labor and possible issues with delivery (both problems I had, and why I would up with a c-section). She also had some good suggestions of resources to look at and things I could do to increase my chances of a successful “normal” delivery. And she told me that it’s likely my labor will be significantly shorter this time around, which is an awesome thing to hope for.

 

So…that’s what’s going on around here these days. We still haven’t picked a name (or really talked about it a whole lot)…I suppose that should go in the list of “things to do before baby arrives” too.

 

Ok. I’m heading to bed. I just wanted to write SOMETHING, since it’s been so long. I really want to get back in the habit. I just usually feel like I don’t have much to talk about when it comes time to actually write. Excuses, excuses.

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Not feeling the questions list today

Do you use Spotify and/or Pandora? What are your favorite stations?

 

I like that Spotify lets me listen to whatever I want to whenever I want to. But when I’m not sure what I want to listen to I often start up Pandora. The ads are more frequent, but the variety of music is better, I think, when it makes a radio station based on a group or song. I actually usually listen to several stations on shuffle (did you know you can unselect some of the stations, so they don’t all shuffle? I remove my Christmas station and a few others from the shuffle rotation).

I’m always looking for new music recommendations, so if you have any please share them.

 

What else is new? Hmm….Ryan and I have been watching a lot of Big Bang Theory in the evenings. We are most of the way through Season 2. I am liking this show a lot. While it’s been on I’ve been working on James’s Halloween costume. He’s going as Captain America, and I’m making it from a couple t-shirts, a sweatsuit and some red and white fabric. I finished phase one tonight (sewing all of the red and white stripes together, and then onto a cut off blue t-shirt. I have the star left on that part, and then sewing the red glove and boot pieces onto his long sleeve t-shirt and sweatpants. I’m hoping to finish before the weekend so that we can take him to a couple friends’ houses on Sunday, since we’ll be staying in the neighborhood for actual Halloween. I’ll be sure to post pics.

 

This could use some kind of wrap up sentence, but I have no idea what to write, so I’m just signing off.

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Dunno

A few questions to answer today, I guess. None of these are really inspiring me (other than wanting to rant about the first one). But I want to post, just to get back in the habit of it.

 

Day 2: something that’s illegal but you think it should be legal

It’s illegal in Minnesota for people to get married if they happen to be gay. Please vote No in November on the MN Marriage Amendment ballot measure (if you can). For one thing, it’s already illegal. For another, it’s none of the state’s business if it’s 2 men or 2 women or a man and a woman that want to get married. Churches can marry people or not marry them according to their beliefs, but the state should stay the heck out of it. I have strong personal beliefs on the topic, and it hurts my head and my heart to think that MN might take such a huge step backwards in human rights by passing this amendment. Please don’t do it.

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Day 3: what you think your reason for being here is

I  honestly don’t know. I mean, I’m sure that part of why I’m here has to do with Ryan and James and any future children we might have, but in terms of some kind of deep answer, I really don’t know. I would like to think that I have some kind of a purpose that I don’t know about. Most of the time I feel like I’m just kind of moving along in my life, not making a difference. Not in a depressing way; just in a “There are 7 billion people on the planet. I’m just one of them.” way. I’m average, like almost all of us, you know?

This is not coming across as well as I wanted to. It’s hard to explain. Can we just leave it at “I don’t know”? KThanks.

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Day 4: how you think your life would change if you achieved your dream

Well, that would require knowing what my dream is first, wouldn’t it? I’ve struggled with this quite a bit in the last couple years. I don’t know what I want to do “when I grow up.” I have a strong interest in going back to school, but I don’t know what I would want to study, or what I want to do once I’m done with school, and I feel like going without a plan would be a waste of money. I have some vague delusional thoughts that it would be cool to be paid to write, but I can’t even keep up the blog, and I don’t think that I’m a strong enough writer to make a living at it. I guess if it was my job I would devote more time to it (both to making sure the content didn’t suck and to writing on a daily basis). Anyway, that is not a realistic thing (to be paid enough for my writing for it to be a replacement for my job). I guess technically the question didn’t predicate on it being a reasonable dream.

In that case, my dream would be for Ryan and I to win the lottery; enough money to pay off our debts, update our car and buy a house, so that we could afford for me to stay home with James and write, or do whatever we wanted to. My life would be similar to how it is now, except we would have a house big enough to grow into, in the same neighborhood we are in now, and I would get to spend more time with Jame-o. And there would be less worry about money.

So yeah…pretty much the same dream everyone has, right? To win the lottery. ha.

 

The questions these last few days are all very existential. I’m not a huge fan of that kind of stuff.

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A rough spring; a better fall.

Written back in June:

My grandma emailed me this morning, wishing Ryan and I happy anniversary from her and Grandpa. It was a sweet email, and in it she said “I know life has handed you some lemons lately so from here on I hope you get all PEACHES AND CREAM!!!” She is so sweet.

She’s right, though. Between the miscarriage and my friend dying it has been a rough spring. And in ways that are hard to deal with all at once. I have a feeling both of those things will be creeping up on me and reminding me of themselves as time goes on.

 

And, now, 4 months later, I am making a conscious decision to get back to blogging. Partially inspired by Jessi (http://reasonablefac.blogspot.com/) and partially just because I have been thinking about it all summer. How I should write. That it would help me to get some of this stuff out of my head and down on to “paper.” And so here I am. I don’t know if I can commit to the 365 blog challenge, but I’m going to try. Maybe I’ll aim for 3 days a week. Wouldn’t want to strain a muscle getting back into this.

Day 1: Hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days with a picture of yourself.

 

Well, in the next year I would like Ryan and I to increase the amount we are saving every month. I’d like to get into a regular exercise regimine of some kind (another thing that has slacked off in the last year). I want James to start swimming lessons (he loves the water and is old enough now that I think it would be worth taking him). I would like to get a different car (after 8 years or so, my Echo has done a great job, but it’s time to move on. Maybe to something that doesn’t sound like a tin can rolling down the highway (although that tin can gets GREAT gas milage, which will be hard to give up)).

As for a photo of me…well, this one, which is my current Facebook profile photo, represents my life pretty well right now. Lots of time with the toddler, and he LOVES to hold Ryan and my faces. Right under the chin. Toddlers are strange, strange people.

“Want to hoad you faaaace, Mommy.”

 

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Hello September

It’s been a whirlwind summer and even though there are officially nearly three weeks left of it I know that time will fly by. We spent our warm months this year doing the things we love.  James has had multiple trips out on “Gampa’s boat”.  We’ve been camping with friends and visited family.  We’ve even had family come visit us.  Even though summer is my favorite time of year I find myself getting excited about fall.  For me fall means football followed shortly by hockey.  While I love baseball and following the Twins, the 162 game season seems to drag on by the end. It is especially tough when your team is not only hovering at the bottom of their division, but also sees the .500 mark growing smaller on the horizon.  Well, there’s always’ next season.  Plus, we have the 2014 All Star game to look forward to at Target Field!

 

Here are some pictures from this summer to close out with:

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