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Gary Jenkins: August 28, 1944 – February 24, 2014.

I got a call from my sister Charlette just before I was about to punch into work that my father passed away at 6:30 this morning.

Daddy

Daddy

I want to say more, but my mind keeps going blank. I can’t seem to focus on anything. It’s the call I’ve been dreading for years, and I still wasn’t prepared for it. I guess you never are.

I love you, Daddy. Hug Josh for me.

Still looking.

Note the new look…it’s probably temporary. It’s a half-hearted attempted to cheer at least one of my “spaces” up, even if it’s virtual. And, let’s face it, the purple one was 1) old, and 2) starting to depress me.

These days, depression seems to be the theme. I assume it’s mostly because work has sucked so bad this winter (although it’s starting to show signs of improving again), but it probably doesn’t help that I’m starting to assess our financial situation, the goals I have in life and the life I want to provide for my son, and my worry that I won’t be able to provide it.

Lately, my work has been posting a lot of new job positions, ones that are higher up and pay more than my current one. Now I have the internal debate: Do I try for one? It would be nice to have more money, especially since I’m the only one working. The problem, though, is that, this winter aside, I really like my job. It’s the only one I’ve ever liked. Frankly, I pretty much think I’ll retire from here–something I’ve never said about anyplace, ever.

How many people can say that about their jobs? Is that really worth trading in for more money?

Sigh. Another thought for another time. Right now, I want to enjoy the quiet of the house. Figures, the one day I’ve had off this week, and I wake up at 5 AM, unable to go to sleep.

Man, winning the lottery would solve so many of my problems.

Daydreaming out loud.

Lately, we’ve been watching a lot of The Big Bang Theory. Funny how Jim started out hating the show and now he loves it. He did the same with How I Met Your Mother, but he’s now back to not being a huge fan of it. I think he got too much at once.

But I digress. My point is that one of the things that I love about The Big Bang Theory is that they’re interested in a lot of the same things that Jim and I are, even if some of those things are forgotten hobbies. Case in point: when I was growing up, I used to love anything space-related. I wanted to be an astronomer–or, heck, anything that would let me do anything with space–until a boy I had a crush on made fun of me for it, calling me a nerd. (Obviously, this was before geeks and nerds were “in.”)

When I was a senior in high school, I also broke the curve for the entire senior class in physics. I just loved it.

But on the show, the guys are also into things I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. Example? They play Wii sport games a lot. Although I would be more interested in Kinect version of the games (because I don’t want to spend more money on another console), I have been interested in interactive games for a while. In fact, I’ve posted about it before.

Seeing that tomorrow, we have the opportunity at work to work the holiday for holiday pay plus double time–basically, making a week’s pay in ONE day–I should have a little cash on hand soon, too.

Of course, my frugal side rears her ugly head and says, Really, Spring, do you think that’s a wise choice for your moneyAs it is, I don’t have time for many games. I play Skyrim maybe once every three weeks. Sometimes I think of it when Vincent’s sleeping, but I usually opt to clean the house instead because let’s face it, this house is filthy.

If I don’t feel up to cleaning and I want something relaxing, I usually think crocheting or knitting is a better use of time, simply since I tend to make functional items like the hat I’m making for my step-mother-in-law or the “draft dodger” I’m also making to keep the wind from blowing under the door into the living room.

But I do think I need a game of some sort. I miss them. I even had a wonderful dream the other night that we had another computer and Jim and I could finally play World of Warcraft together when Vincent was sleeping. Finally, I could see the old, classic raids. I’ve always wanted to see Kara.

Really, the only pro to buying a Kinect type of game is that it would fulfill my need to have a video game but include some exercise, which I desperately need.

But there’s only so much money…and I guess it should go into the savings account. We really need to get the house fixed up soon, so we can move out and my sister can sell it. That way we can also start focusing on getting into our own home in our preferred school district before Vincent starts school. I know it’s years off, but in terms of getting financially ready–and finding a place that will also meet my workplace requirements for working from home–it’s really not a lot of time.

Sigh. Why do I always talk myself out of fun?

The Jumpy Man.

Last night, while I was brushing my teeth, I heard an odd noise. I poked my head out the door and motioned for Jim to come in. The conversation we had at the point illustrates perfectly how differently Jim and I react to things that go bump in the night:

Me: Wait–listen.

Jim: What?

Me: Hm. It’s not there anymore. I heard scratching in the walls.

Jim (staring at me with a horrified expression): WHY DID YOU HAVE TO TELL ME THAT?

Me: What? What the hell are you talking about? For real, you’re freaked out about this?

Jim: YES. Oh my god, now I’m thinking we probably have some crazy, homeless guy living in our wall! He’s probably digging at the plaster right now!

Me: Are you serious? THAT’S your go-to thought when you hear scratching at the walls? Not It’s the middle of winter and we live next to a field, maybe I should reset the mouse traps?

SIGH. That man.

2014, you better not suck.

Happy New Year and whatnot.  We’re only 5 days in and so far, this year isn’t shaping up to be great. Or, at least, not as far as work is concerned. But I was expecting that, with all the new health care changes and all.

This is the time of year where I dislike my job. I guess it’s better than most people, though, who hate their jobs every day. I don’t. So I’ll take being unhappy for the first few months of the year over what most people have. At least I work from home, so I can be grumpy with a cat at my feet and in my pajamas.

Other than that, nothing new is going on. Jim says I have a lot of resolutions this year, but really, they’re the same resolutions I’ve had all along; I’m just voicing them now because everyone else is. Example: I told Jim I want to be more organized. I’ve actually been attempting this for months already, but when you get almost no sleep, goals like this take the back burner.

But as it turns out, Vincent (with the exception of last night) has started to sleep better. Here’s what happened: At his last doctor’s visit, when the doctor asked about Vincent’s sleeping and we had admitted that, the night before, Vincent had pretty much been up since 11 PM. He would cat nap through the night. We were exhausted. That’s when the doctor told us his sleep was “out of control” and sleep training was in order. We had resisted for our own reasons based on research we had done, but when the pediatrician said flat-out that Vincent wasn’t getting the sleep he needed, told us what kind of sleep training was best, and assured us that he’s be okay, we buckled pretty quickly. Hey, we read a lot, but we’re not doctors, and the  Vincent’s pediatrician is very good and highly recommended. We trust her.

And I have to say, it was hard, but it worked very well. We’ve been getting a lot more sleep in the last couple of weeks, and not only is Vincent more pleasant during the day now, but he’s even been eating better.

That being said, the timing is good because work now is a whole new ball of stress that I need to be well-rested for. On top of that is the mandatory overtime that we have every January. (I’d pretty much stopped doing overtime the last couple of months because I was too freakin’ exhausted.) I’m also hoping that getting more sleep at night gives me the energy during the day to tackle some of the goals I’ve set for myself.

First, though, to keep up the momentum, we need Vincent in his own room. Yes, my son is almost 10 months old and still sleeps in our room. There was a leak in the roof of the gigantic walk-in closet of his room that we only recently were able to get fixed, but now, Jim’s been tackling the mold–which means pulling up a lot of carpet. As I understand it, this carpet is not pulling up easily, either. Anyway, until that gets completed, Vincent’s still with us, and one big problem we’re having is that he is a very light sleeper. Every time we go to bed, we have to creep in as quietly as we can, and even the creak of the wooden floors is enough to wake him up. UGH.

And you know it’s getting bad because as sad as I’ll be about moving our one and only baby into his own room finally…I feel ready for it. It’s time. It’s past due.

Also, past due: A shower. Better get to that before Vincent wakes up for his nap and Jim gets to work on his bedroom again. Maybe if I have time, I’ll look up how other parents have designed their babies’ rooms. We’re thinking ocean-themed. :D

Merry Christmas!

Santa and Vincent, 2013

Santa and Vincent, 2013

Vincent and Santa…right before Vincent’s face crumpled up and he started bawling! Other than that, he had a great Christmas. Merry Christmas to everyone! And now, time for bed. Some of us have to go back to work in the morning. Blah!

Three-quarters.

I’m getting freaked out about how fast time is going. First of all: December? Really? Really, and truly, it’s the end of the year?

And Vincent–he’ll be 9 months tomorrow. Three quarters through his first year of life on this earth. After that, he’ll no longer be my baby; he’ll be a toddler.

Geez.

And he’s all about it. He has no interest in staying behind in Baby Land, doing nothing but crawling as fast as his little arms and legs will carry him to the nearest coffee or end table (or DEATH TRAPS, as I call them) to pull up, to look for something to grab at, preferably with buttons like the remote (typical boy) and put into his mouth. Occasionally, he’ll let go and stand or he’ll cruise along the furniture. He’ll sometimes make his way to the stairs or the kitchen, always with one of us right behind him to make sure he’s safe but still–we want him to be able to explore.

But, man, this mobility thing wears me out. I knew it would. I dreaded it with all my nieces and nephews, and when I had Vincent, I dreaded the day he would become mobile. Because they’re freakin’ clumsy at first. Example: I’m always RIGHT behind Vincent when he pulls up because he’s still clumsy and will fall. However, I’ve gotten more relaxed about crawling and sitting–he’s proven to be a pro at those things. AND YET. And yet, four times in the last couple of days, Vincent has managed to land on his face while on all fours. Once, I had held out my hands low to the ground, expecting that he would crawl up to me and place one hand and then another into mine, and then I would pick him up. We do this all the time. Instead, he FACE PLANTS right into the floor. I guess he expected to just fall into my hands…?! I don’t know why he suddenly thought the rules had changed. I’m baffled, and now my kid has a NASTY bruise on one side of his head.

Oh, that’s the other thing: He constantly falls on the same side of his head! I joked that he must have a weight in there or something to always topple that way, but for real, I feel awful looking at his poor, little head.

The other thing about mobile babies is that they’re into everything, and I wouldn’t say we have the most baby-friendly house in the world. For one, Jim’s biggest hobby is painting Warhammer figurines, which are nice and shiny and interesting enough to a baby to want to instantly try to eat and probably choke on. Jim keeps that shit in the living room, no matter how much I nag at him to put it somewhere else, so part of chasing Vincent is chasing him away from the stacks of Warhammer boxes that Jim has cluttering up the place.

Uuuuuugh.

Anyway. In three months, I will have a toddler, and all I can think is that Vincent wakes up more than ever. At his last doctor appointment, his pediatrician made it sound like 1) he shouldn’t be nursing at night, and 2) he should be mostly sleeping through the night. Everything I’ve read says that’s pretty unlikely. Although she said we could drop the night nursings, at the time, Vincent was only waking up twice a night. Jim and I agree that we were okay with this and we were okay with night nursing. Vincent is only in something like the 15th percentile in weight. As far as we were concerned, he could eat whenever he wanted.

Now, though, I would KILL for him to only wake up twice a night. Now, five or six times is standard. It’s usually every hour or two. Sometimes, he has “cluster wakings,” where he wakes up, we get him to sleep, only for him to wake right back up. He’ll do it three or four times in a row before going back to sleep.

Those are really bad nights. And, of course, I’m at work at 6 AM after those nights, sometimes doing overtime as well. Not that it was ever easy, but at least when it was just my regular job doing inventory, I could take a moment to collect my thoughts. It’s much harder now that we keep getting put on the hotline. You have someone who wants answers talking in your ear and you’re just struggling to keep up.

This weekend, though, was pretty hard. Our large fan–our noisy fan–broke. All three of us are used to both the white noise and the fan’s ability to keep the room from getting stuffy. Vincent barely slept last night. He made up for it this morning by sleeping in until 9:15 (!), but then he wouldn’t take any of his naps. Seriously, he should be getting something like 2-3 hours of naps in a day; today he got 35 minutes. Needless to say, it was a hard day.

Thank god that happened over the weekend and not a week night!

Of course, though, it happened when 1) we are SO broke right now, and 2) a big snow storm hit, making it difficult to get around. Luckily, the roads are somewhat plowed (Jim later said he was glad that I refused to let him take Vincent with him, though, so the roads still aren’t that great), and Jim’s dad had an extra fan. Not as loud as our previous one, but it will do.

Vincent’s been asleep for three hours now. :) Granted, he woke up once, but it was brief. I’ll take it.

Goodbye weekend, welcome December.

It’s hard to believe that was a four day weekend. Nothing exciting really happened. There was the usual stuff you’d expect–Thanksgiving at Jim’s mom’s for lunch, then at his dad’s for dinner–but mostly what I remember is watching a big chunk of the final season of Breaking Bad, finishing the seventh season of Supernatural, and watching Jim play entirely too much Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. In fact, he’s playing in multiplayer mode, saying some really awful stuff at the TV at this very moment.

I actually managed to play an entire two hours of Skyrim myself. Broken up across two days, of course, but for someone who rarely gets any time to herself, that time felt like AGES.

Oh, and I finished Vincent’s hat. Nothing exciting.

Today, I took Vincent and went over to do this holiday house tour with Jim’s sister and mom. It was pretty cool. Basically, you pay money for tickets, which I guess go to some sort of charity, and you go to these people’s houses who have their houses decorated to the nth degree with Christmas decorations. All the houses were really beautiful, and all were better than any house that I’ve ever lived in, but one…oh, my god. It was like it was professionally done. It was totally my type of house. Big enough so it didn’t feel crowded, small enough to feel cozy. Everything was so new that it gleamed. The colors were warm and perfect. That ONLY bad thing about it was the super narrow hallways. That’s it.

It was the second house we had been in on the tour. I was feeling okay by that point. By the end of it, I was starting to get jaded. I started the tour thinking, Wow, these people are so nice to let people come into their homes to see their Christmas decorations. But as we went from house to house, I noticed the civic center volunteers were directing us to things that were specifically non-Christmas stuff. “The owner would like you to know that all these figurines in this collection came from England,” said one. The figurines? Not Christmas stuff.

Another pointed out that the murals the owner wanted visitors to know she had done herself. Again, they had nothing to do with the Christmas decorations that were up.

It started to feel less like inviting people into their homes to share in the Christmas spirit and more like rich people wanting to brag. Which, honestly, who could blame them? One house was FILLED with stuff–we got lost in it–and the woman did all the decorating herself WITH five kids, so she certainly deserves to brag. But it started to feel less like holiday spirit and more self-serving for the homeowners as the tour went on.

Of course, maybe I just feel that way because I’m so freakin’ broke. Even if they do want to show off, it’s still nice that they let other people into their homes to enjoy the Christmas decorations–and the kitchen that I declared as “women’s porn.”

Oh, my god, that stove…those counters…a sunken living room, which normally I don’t even care about but it was SO PRETTY…*sigh*

I’m going to play on Pinterest for the next five minutes and pin pictures of houses I’ll never be able to afford. Until next time.