I’m still here…

I’m still here ya’ll, I promise! So much is going on that I can’t seem to keep it all straight and get into a solid routine, but it’s getting better. Some highlights on my life since my last blog.

  1. My little boy is 6m old! OMG, right? He is the most amazing little human being I could have ever wished for, and believe me, I wished HARD for him. It’s been quite a ride and lots of learning, learning about him, about having a baby, and about what I’m capable of handling.
  2. My passion for being healthy. Now I don’t eat the best, not all the time, but I don’t eat a ton of food to begin with. I’m a very picky eater so really far from being a foodie. But just because I’m not overweight (still have some baby weight to get rid of) it doesn’t mean I couldn’t be healthier. So I’ve joined a company called Plexus. It has an amazing opportunity to better my finances and give me time freedom to enjoy my son.
  3. Getting my house organized. Boy this one is a challenge. Trying to find time between a baby and Plexus can be rough but I’m slowing getting through it. My craft room is the worse and I’ll tackle that last. Lots of donating things or throwing things out lately. Plus the baby things take up a lot of space so I’m minimizing my material items.
  4. On the healthy path, I’ll be growing my own vegetables on my deck this year. Yippie! Well we’ll see how that goes. I’m not good with keeping plants alive on my deck because of how hot it gets. But I will give it a try.
  5. My deck project this summer is about to begin. I got three quotes from contractors and they all want roughly around 6-7k. Most of that is the labor. So I did research (because that’s what I do) and watched some videos on how to remove the floor boards myself. My deck’s structure is still good, but the boards are terrible, and with a soon to be crawling/walking baby, I need to make that safe. So my plan is to do it myself. Remove the old boards and put down new ones! I’ll post about it once it’s done.
  6. Writing a book! So many people hear my motherhood journey story and say I should write a book. So I’m going to do just that. If I can inspire and help others, then that’s what I want to do. I’m an open book and don’t mind sharing it with everyone.
  7. Back to reading. I’m reading The Walking Dead comics to catch up and pass what the show is doing. And I’ve bought some books on marketing business on social media and baby led weaning, so I have them on my list as well.
  8. Establishing an exercise routine. I’ve tried the gym and I’ve tried classes, but now with my son, I need something a bit more convenient and close to home. So I’m doing kettlebell routines, Zumba, and other weight training. I want a better body than I had before I got pregnant. Plus, soon I’ll need the body and energy to keep up with this little boy.

I’m beginning to hate holidays

Which is a terrible thing to say because I used to love them. I used to be social and always had something to do. The last five years or so, not so much. Fourth of July is coming up and I’ve been invited to a couple of events, but I hate that I have to go alone. I hate being single. Where did my life go off path? My circle of friends has gotten much smaller and there’s part of me that has become such a homebody that the thought of going out doesn’t appeal to me.

This reminds me of that movie, I think it’s called The Yes Man, and it has Jim Carey who had to say yes to everything in life. Even if he hated it or didn’t want to do it, he said yes. And it changed his life. Of course that’s a movie and who’s to say that it would be the same for me, but it got me thinking.

What if I say yes to everything?

“No Poo” Movement

Have you heard about this? There is a movement to not shampoo your hair very often. Some people might only shampoo once a week, twice a month, or even once a month. Now when I read this I was concerned that as a society, we would stink but…you do actually continue to wash your hair but either with just water or some people are making their own natural shampoo – 1 part baking soda + 3 parts water.

I’m curious. People say that is improves your hair quality x 100. They say that the first 30 days are the hardest. Hair gets oily, stringy, matted and whatever else happens. But once you get past that first 30 days, your hair is soft and manageable!

So being the researcher that I am, I looked into the chemical used in shampoo and they are really damaging to the hair. Maybe not all shampoo and probably not all ingredients used but enough to make me wonder.

Is anyone currently active in this movement?

Has anyone tried this before? What happened?

Anyone up for the challenge with me? I’ll be honest, I’ll have to start small and only shampoo once a week but it’s a start, right?

Good-bye Last Week

Last week was a bit rough for me. I had a stomach bug and then had some personal things going on (a major life altering thing) that brought on the water works. It was nice to have a slow weekend but that allowed for my brain to think more – more than I wanted. I hope this week is much better and that the higher ups shine to light on my situation and help me make a decision.

While attending my own pity party, I decided to reflect on the rest of my life and wonder where I went wrong. Why did my life turn out this way? Why did my husband die and leave me to live out the rest of my life alone? Why can’t I find another decent loving guy? I sit in my house – one that occupies my mom right now – and I wonder if this same day will be repeated five year from now. Will anything have changed?

Maybe I’m meant to be alone. But that would really suck. Who wants to be alone forever? Not me. Am I not worthy of this love that so many others around me have? I know, it sounds silly to be asking these questions. I only ever do when I’m sad about one particular thing  that has changed course in my life, which leads me to dwell on ALL the rest of the bad in my life.

On a positive note, I do have many great things. So don’t think that I am a negative person. Just feeling down right now. I’m always good about picking myself back up but until I find the answer to my lingering life altering question, I can’t make myself feel happy.

Shouldn’t Have Boredom

I’ve been bored the last few days. Not sure why really. I have tons to do but still feel bored. Yesterday after I had a morning meeting, I did absolutely NOTHING. I even took a nap which I never do but I felt like a truck hit me. How can I feel this way knowing my to-do list continuously grows instead of shrinks? Maybe I just don’t feel like doing anything…but then I shouldn’t complain that I’m bored.

A Look Back on My 2012

looking-backWow, what a year! I’ve discovered that the older I get, the faster years go by. I’d like to take a few minutes and share some of the things I did  in 2012.

  1. Attended two training classes with my dog Sadie.
  2. Learned some words in Czech for dog training purposes.
  3. Helped my mom with her budget so she could pay off a few debts.
  4. Organized the house some more. More still to do.
  5. Created a meetup group for dogs activities.
  6. Took the jump into a child adoption and started the process.
  7. Added kitchen hardware to all my kitchen cabinets and drawers.
  8. Created table space in my spare room which now is labeled my studio.
  9. Ordered a shed that will be put together in the spring of 2013.
  10. Rewarded Sadie by allowing her on the sofa with me. I made a special bed for her, similar to her BFF Jasmine’s bed.
  11. Started scanning in all my paperwork and storing on my computer and in the cloud.
  12. Lost 10 lbs on Weight Watchers.
  13. Started a marketing plan for my Etsy items.

Looking ahead for 2013, there are some things I hope are accomplished.

  1. Once I receive my tax returns, I plan on starting the adoption home study.
  2. I even hope that maybe I’ll receive a child referral, but I’m not holding my breath.
  3. Level an area in the back yard and put my shed together.
  4. Foster a dog.
  5. Save every penny I have to help with this adoption.
  6. Blog more.
  7. Finish the trim on my windows.
  8. Order at least one window blind.
  9. Learn another language – Amharic (since I’m adopting from Ethiopia)
  10. Paint more floorcloths.
  11. Lose another 10 lbs. Any suggestions? This last 10lb will be really hard to lose.
  12. Drive the rest of my mom’s belongings up to Maryland and sort through things.
  13. Hold another yard sale or two (to help with adoption)
  14. Put on a raffle or two (to help with adoption)
  15. Look into using WordPress.org to help sell my arts and crafts, along with Etsy.
  16. Become a permanent employee at my job.
  17. Get a decent and steady part-time job to help supplement the adoption costs. Or win the lottery! 🙂
  18. Find a church I like and attend at least once a month.

Well that’s all I can think of right now. Looking at my 2012 list, I don’t feel I have thought of everything. I mean it looks like I hardly did anything this past year. I know I did though. I think sometimes it’s easier to look forward – set goals – than to look back and remember things that you did. It will be interesting to look at this list at the end of 2013 and see how many items I was actually able to complete.

Conflicted Options

In January 2010 I lost my job at a really great company despite the fact that the team I was on was not what I consider a team at all. I was devastated and angry, scared and upset – wondering how I was going to survive on unemployment that barely covered bills and left me little for food, gas, etc.

After nine unsuccessful interviews, I went for my tenth interview and thought this would be the perfect place to work however it was a contract to perm position. I was offered the job and started in August. Yay for me! This was a new position for this team so it was a trial with the anticipation of the position becoming permanent by the end of 2010 – so they said.

It’s been over two years and I’m still a contractor. The pay is great, but lacks benefits such as vacation or sick time, no matching 401k, no bonuses – basically I get paid for hours I work and that’s it. I’ve been fighting each year to become permanent and I really thought this would be the year. The department I’m part of moved under a new, and much better, department so the hopes were definitely there for making this happen.

Between talks with my new director and my boss, I REALLY thought it would happen. I felt good about things for once. Last week my bubble was popped when the bad news that my position becoming permanent wasn’t going to happen this year. After today’s meeting, it was realized that there was a huge misunderstanding so the three of us all were able to get on the same page.

I have options now.

Left Hand | Take the pay cut

  • company benefits (vacation, sick, bonuses, etc)
  • annual raises
  • room for growth in skills
  • can’t save for adoption
  • feel happy and sad

Right Hand | Remain a contractor

  • no benefits
  • higher salary
  • no raises
  • room for growth in skills
  • can save for adoption
  • feel happy and sad

I feel sad and happy…conflicted.

And scared that adoption won’t happen or could be delayed.

What to do.

You Weren’t Invited. Period.

Sandy Sandy Sandy….you arrive on my doorstep, uninvited and nasty. You have forced me to glue myself to the news to hear repeated reports of your arrival. You have kept me indoors all day long – even my dog Sadie doesn’t want to go outside. You wreck havoc on so many by leaving people without homes, cars, electricity and much more.

Sadie met Sandy.

Sadie hasn’t been out all day and started whining a little while ago so I donned my coat and rain boots and went out back with her. She fought me as I pulled her down the deck steps and we both made a mad dash under the deck. I didn’t see her pee unless she peed all the way down the steps….but she can’t say I didn’t try to help her. I hope she can make it a bit longer, poor thing. If she does have an accident in the house, I can’t really blame her.

So I’m bored watching the news yet I can’t seem to change the channel. I think I’m also waiting for total blackness as I lose power. I am praying that I don’t but I can’t see how I won’t. The last thunderstorm I had was classified as a Derecho and because it was unexpected, caused hundreds of thousands of people to be without power for up to seven days. I fell in the area of being without for five days. I had a semi-working generator that was a saving grace, however I don’t have it for this hurricane. Please God, keep my power on.

I also have to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to those who are working hard to restore those who are without power, and all the other emergency folks who are forced to be out in this mess as well as all the reporters standing outside dealing with the rain and wind to be able to report to all of us what is going on in Maryland and the other states being impacted. Sandy.

Supplemental Income

I’ve been trying to find ways to come up with the adoption money without going into major debt. I haven’t told everyone on Facebook yet and only my mom knows from the family. I’m hoping and praying that someone…and I mean someone uses one of my ways of donating, whether it is buying some of my Etsy items or just using Paypal or GoFundMe to place a donation.

The first chunk of money needed to begin the home study is hefty $5300. That includes the home study and three post-placement meetings, plus paperwork processing fees. But I don’t have that lying around either. Luckily I have a couple months or maybe even a few months to get that money.

So let’s talk about the first part-time job that I have. Over a year ago a friend of mine I met at my previous job, met with me to discuss becoming a business partner with him and his company. His company is only a few years old and thought it would be a great idea. I signed the paperwork and was immediately the one woman department for eLearning. My role is to develop online training based on the customers needs. In the last year, no contracts came in because of an employee in his company not doing her job in finding us contracts….so the GREAT news is, last week he told me that he got a contract for some onsite training as well as online training. Yay! Looking at the curriculum there could be about 28 online courses for me to develop. So I am really hoping to get this going to bring in some extra money. It will be nice to see the adoption bank account increase. 🙂

Now on to the second part-time job. A couple of weeks ago I attended DogFest and met two ladies who work with a wonderful and award winning dog walking company. My friend and I both got to talking to them and somehow in the conversation they brought up they are looking for part-time help. My eyes lit up so I inquired. I received the application, filled it out, and returned it. So last night I had my phone interview and it turned out to be a great conversation and she explained in details some of the more popular services. For example, overnights are really popular! That shocked me because I guess I can’t imagine a stranger staying in my guess room for a week while I am on vacation. But apparently people do it.  She explained the pay system and the fact that if I don’t feel comfortable with the client for whatever reason, I can turn down the job. So after we talked and everything sounded great, she told me to sleep on it and let her know in a day or two.

I’m wondering though, can I handle a full-time job and two part-time jobs? I worry about part-time job #1 going full force and not having time to do the dog walking, or vice-versa. But then again, if I don’t try, I might not know if I can do it or not and I wouldn’t be bringing in any extra money. I might decide to not do part-time job #2 and then end up waiting months before actually getting any work from part-time job #1.

I’m ready to sacrifice my time in order to get some extra money, but I also have to keep in mind I am a one person house and I don’t want to neglect my own dog and her needs. My mom is currently living with me and can at least let her out so she can do her business but my mom can’t do the dog training with her. We are currently in a Rally I class that requires a good chunk of time training. If I knew that part-time job one was going to come through, I probably wouldn’t consider the dog walking or at least not do the overnights and just do the dog walking service.

Too many decisions….oh sigh.