Uncle Jim!

Jim and his new niece, Della!

Jim and his new niece, Della!

 

Jim’s sister Wendy had her baby girl on Saturday morning. It’s weird–I’m an aunt again, but for once, it isn’t my sibling having the baby. The situation is opposite for Jim. He was so cute with her. I thought it was funny how he tried to play it cool, but in the car once, his excitement got the best of him at one point, and he blurted, “Dammit, I want to see my niece!” Too cute.

Congratulations, Wendy and Nathan! You’re going to be awesome parents.

WHAZZUP.

Edit: Written on 5/5/14, but unfortunately, didn’t get a chance to post until this morning (5/9/14).

What’s up is that I took a day off. And it’s a nice day, too: I hear my wind chimes going, the breeze rustling the trees, birds singing…and right now, a quiet house, as both my husband and son are asleep.

That won’t last for long, though. Also, it sounds nice now, but keep in mind that Vincent woke up at 5:45 AM this morning, completely awake and ready to play. No, he doesn’t normally wake up that early. Seems like he only does in the the weekends or days that I take off–you know, the days where I usually field him most of the time so that Jim can get a break.

This has been a nice weekend. Jim and I celebrated our anniversary on Saturday–Saturday wasn’t our actual anniversary, just the day we celebrated it–so Jim’s mom took Vincent overnight. It’s not the first time she has taken him overnight. She’s done it twice before, I think. But I’m still not used to it. I tried to just enjoy being with Jim, but I missed Vincent. As much work as he is, I also genuinely enjoy being with him. He’s a fun kid.

But, wow, after we picked him up last night and he took a nap, he was FUSSY. Uncharacteristically so. A standard compliment that Vincent gets when we take him out is how good he is. Really, for a toddler who is so young, he behaves very well and doesn’t cry much at all. But last night, he was throwing fits left and right, and finally I realized that he had been outside a LOT with his Granny Lori. Perhaps he missed being outside? So Jim and I gathered him up, packed him in the car, open the windows, and took him for a drive.

And that was the ticket. He sang with delight as the wind hit his face. (He loves things blowing on him, whether it be the wind, fans, me blowing his hair, etc. He just thinks it’s great.) It calmed him down. We came back, put him to bed, and he slept THE WHOLE NIGHT.

Well, until 5:45, heh.

So, note to self: Vincent needs to be outside a lot more.

Anyway. Jim and I didn’t do much for our anniversary. We drove around, went to O’Charley’s to eat. I had a Mango Mai Tai, the first alcoholic drink I’ve had since…actually, since our honeymoon. And I think the time before that was two years. Anyway, Jim got a mojito, and we realized that we are not the drinkers we once were. Oh, we’ve always been kind of lightweights who got drunk pretty easily. But as soon as I took a sip of my mai tai, I could totally taste the alcohol. And I didn’t really like it, to be honest. I didn’t even finish it.

Next up: Movies. Except we weren’t really interested in anything out, so we bought Vikings, which was highly recommended by my friend/co-worker Ryan. We’re digging it so far.

Ooops. There’s Vincent. Gotta go. Will try to update more often.

Pushing on.

I keep trying to write this post.

A lot has been going on. My dad passed away and my son turned one. Two big events. How strange that just a week or so before my dad died, I was looking at Vincent, realizing that he reminds me of my dad when he was younger.

All of us kids have been calling my mom frequently. She ended up in the hospital herself a few weeks ago from cellulitis. And then she was struggling when she got out because her prescriptions were so expensive. One of them was over $600 for the generic! Keep in mind, my mother was in limbo because now without my dad’s social security, she had no income. She just finally got some money in the other day–almost 2 months after my dad passed away.

Meanwhile, I’m wondering what she’s going to do. I worry about it a lot. Diana and I have both offered to have her live with us. Mom seems pretty determined to stay in her house. I suspect it’s not so much as being attached to the house as she’s worried about burdening us. But I worry about her being by herself, how she’s going to get by. I live in a house with four bedrooms, Mom, I pointed out. If she could get rid of her house, she could come here where I could make sure that whatever her financial situation, she would have a roof over her head and food to eat and me and Jim to take care of her. Also, I would love for Vincent to have his Grandma Jenkins here.

But things are never that simple. About two weeks ago, Jim got a call from his dad. There’s this house down the street from his dad that’s for sale. It’s actually one that Jim and I had eyed before, thinking it would be nice to buy, not because it’s a fancy house, but because it was cute, looked like it had potential, and is on the street we wanted to live on. It’s the location that makes it so desirable for us: In the school district we want Vincent to be in, down the street from Jim’s dad and step-mom, and right across from Jim’s mom’s work. Also, it’s rural but just 5 or 10 minutes away from town.

To make it even better, they were selling it for half the appraised value. We checked out the house, and it’s exactly the type Jim and I had always talked about getting: A small house with a decent amount of land so we could build onto it. The “bones” are good, too. It looks as if the owner took good care of the house.

It’s a deal we can’t pass up. The sellers accepted our offer and we have the financial stuff in the works. Now, however, if Mom wanted to live with us, where would we put her? It’s only two bedrooms.

So I’m wondering if we’re going to have to add onto the house sooner rather than later. But I’m not going to worry about it for now. We don’t even know 100% if we’ll be moving in until we can confirm that the DSL there is fast enough for my work computer. (I had a friend who was burned by this, so I’m anxious about it.) I know, my mom is trying to stay in her own place, but I would like to have another room so she has options.

Speaking of work, as of last week, things started getting better. They started pulling us off the phones. I went from being on a minimum of 6 hours a day to only being on for 2 hours last week. I think I was only pulled on to cover lunches for a day. That’s really no big deal. Which is good because less time on the phones means less stress, and I find that I seem to do more overtime when I’m not so stressed. And, as you can see, I really need the overtime right now. We just have so much going on.

I think having so much going on, though, is what’s helping me cope. Jim keeps telling me that he’s impressed at how well I’m handling my dad’s death; truthfully, I don’t think it has sunk in. Or maybe keeping busy just keeps it at bay. But eventually, it will creep on you. I’m still having nightmares.

Happy birthday, Vincent!

Vincent and his daddy.

Vincent and his daddy.

Vincent and his daddy opening presents on his first birthday. I can’t believe it’s already been a year. I can’t believe my baby is now officially a toddler!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VINCENT! You’ve added so much brightness to so many lives, and we’re blessed to know you.

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!