The City of Canals and Life Savers

When I was somewhere around 10, my grandparents came to visit us in Germany where we were living at the time. They came for an extended visit and after a few days of visiting at home we all piled into the minivan and went on a European road trip.

Safety regulations being a bit looser then than they are now, My younger brother and I rode in the back of the mini van, amid the suitcases and snacks. Driving from mid Germany to Denmark was no lickety-split undertaking but we had game-boys, and books so we weren't bored. Many may not remember the first versions of the current hand held gaming systems. Far from the web-connected, camera-enabled mini computers you have today; these were gray boxes with green screens and purple buttons. You could play games that were in one color, gray...and the best of those games was tetris; which I currently credit for my ability to pack two babies and 100.00 worth of groceries into a single cart at the grocery store.

While in Denmark we did lots of amazing thing, according to the photos. My own memories of that trip have been worn thin by time and have dwindled to several sensory based glimmers. I remember it being colder than we thought so we purchase coats that had a specific feel to the fabric that I have never been able to find again. I don't recall what happened to mine, but it was soft and warm and it smelled new.

I remember falling asleep beneath a feather stuffed comforter, and the smell of the city, which was a combination of warm bread, river and stale cigarettes. Whenever I catch a whiff of that in my life today, I close my eyes and breathe it in, grasping for a clearer memory of the giant wooden shoes that I stepped into outside of one of the tourist shops, or the McDonald's positioned, quite strategically, in the red-light district.

Europe is vastly different that the United States and things that we tend to hide behind black windows and only hint to on signs are basically just out flapping in the breeze in the streets of Amsterdam. We drove, walked, boated and trained past nude beaches, brothels, "toy" shops and open solicitation. I remember the most common direction from my parents during that vacation was, "Look down!" Look at the floor" It's funny now, and probably was at the time as well, at least to them; but I recall being super irritated about it.

My most dear and distinct memory from that trip is a boat ride we took on the canals. We climbed down in to a glass roofed boat with tables and benches. I sat across from my Grandmother and next to my mother as we motored through the city looking at bridges and buildings. Or that's what we should have been doing. Instead I was having a contest with my grandmother. She would hand me a butter rum life saver and we would both eat them at the same time and whoever had the candy that lasted the longest won that round. There was no score keeping just a candy by candy contest that pitted her against me and I'm certain she let me win when I did.

Growing up in the Army meant that I didn't get a ton of time with my grandparents. When we lived in the states we would drive to Missouri from Maryland on Christmas; and sometimes in the summer. When we were in Missouri, for a week or two, there was a whirlwind of family, parties, people I didn't remember, presents, and then a long drive back to the east coast at the end. It was never enough time. I never wanted to leave, none of us did.

That premium on time with them made this trip stand out to me more than any other in my youth. Having them to ourselves, without the cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, jobs and chores to pull them away was miraculous. We went to a Renaissance festival, slept in what was called a hotel but I'm convinced was actually just someones living room, ate multitudes of amazing food, laughed more than one would have thought possible and made a single special memory that travels around in my heart.

They say that your sense of smell helps you access memories more than any other sense. And I suppose that it must be at least partially true. I cannot smell Jovan White Musk without turning to look for my grandma's smiling face. But for me, almost as strong, is the taste of butter rum life savers. As soon as it touches my tongue I am taken back to that day, on that boat, and even now I try to make it last as long as possible and smile when it finally breaks, remembering that little girl I was and the amazing way that a piece of candy can make you feel like the most important person in the world.


Big Deep Breaths

I have deep breath places.

Places that lower my blood pressure and stress level until I can sit, completely still and breathe deeply. Places where I don't need to be entertained. Places where I feel no pressure to look or perform. Places where I sleep better than at home. 

Girl Scout camp is one of those places, the tall shade trees, the lake, the trails and the general connection with nature are like food for my soul. I just can't get enough of it. Last Labor Day I took my girls to camp with tentative hope that they would come to love it as I do. I was blown away when my little's, with their TV and Nintendo filled lives, took to camp like ducks to water (see what I did there?) They helped find firewood, chased frogs, played with flashlights and slept through the night even through a short rainstorm. I could spend weeks there, listening to the wind in the trees, taking naps, canoeing in the lake and swimming in the pool. It's a deep breathe place. One where the calm and peace are likely written all over my face. I come home bug bitten, bruised, scratched, sunburned and happy. 

Another of those places is the Farm. A friend of ours owns a bed and breakfast that allows you to rent an entire house for a weekend (for less than many hotel rooms) and there is a creek, and old farmhouse, a fire circle and acres of places to explore. they have spent year cultivating a hummingbird following and now in the summer months you can sit on the wide front porch in one of the wooden swings and listen to the buzz of the colorful kamikaze birds as they come close to get a sip of something sweet from the feeders. The spring fed creek is cold, even in august and after building up a small dam, you can get a pool float, grab a cool beverage, put on some sunglasses and laze away an afternoon, soaking up to sun. At night, the lack of city lights lets a multitude of stars shine down while you make s'mores and listen to music around the campfire. It's heavenly and I hate when it's time to leave. I breathe deep there too. 

It's a lovely thing, breathing deep. It's a thankful, peaceful feeling, it feels right. 


Light Fixtures, Organization and Bebes!

This weekend was painfully productive. I am tired, but I feel empowered. I cleaned and organized and cooked and snuggled my babies and really felt connected to my life. Which is a thing I find myself lacking sometimes.

There are occasions, when I'm slogging through the day to day where I feel like life is something that is happening to me rather than a thing I am doing. I almost feel like a spectator watching from a theater wondering why the chick on screen can't seem to get her damn laundry under control, and why she continues to shove food in her face, and why can't she just relax enough to benefit from the obvious devotion of her husband. I'm mostly a mess.

I think I need weekends like this one to bust through that screen and be present. To start to teach my Sunshine how to sew, to sit still long enough for Doodle to fall asleep on me, to disconnect and talk with Banana about Ninja turtles and to start teaching Jammer how to feed himself.

I took them all to the grocery store by myself on Saturday, which is not a thing I do frequently, and while trolling down the aisle with my duck-ettes in tow I picked up a jar of Pickles and set it in the cart next to Doodle, who has to ride in the basket (because carts are not make for two babies, unless you are shopping at costco.) Not 2 minutes later I turn from the milk cooler to see the giant jar of pickles fly out of the cart and smash onto the floor of the store. The mess was epic and marvelous, and smelly. Pickles are great but you generally don't want to smell like them.

I could have ended the trip, but I was on store 2 of a three location campaign and I had crap to get done, so I sent Pumpkin for help, grabbed a new jar of pickles, moved the glass items beneath the cart and soldiered on. It was horribly embarrassing, I could just hear people thinking,
"Why can't that idiot control her toddler"
"Wasn't she watching him"
"What kind of dumb-ass puts glass in a cart with a two year old?"

I told the voices in my head to put a sock in it and went on to get yogurt, I didn't have time for self loathing and doubt and I wasn't going to ruin a perfectly good day over a two dollar jar of pickles.

Then yesterday I decided while the sun was still up, I was going to put in the two yard sale found light fixtures I had purchased in my room and the nursery. I looked up an instructional video on you tube and then installed two lights. Felt pretty good about myself, for a short period of time.

Then I started doing laundry and didn't stop until after 2am and I still have 6 baskets of clothing to put away, sweet mother of pearl we create a lit of laundry.

So here are some photos from the weekend. I love my babies
Banana and BayMax

Sunshine with her new quilt

Sleepy Doodle getting Mommy Snuggles
and Moose Snuggles

Jammer watching WonderPets



Songs for My Munchie-Girls

As a semi-conservative musically driven general mess of a person I enjoy losing myself in song. I listen to all genre's and decades. I enjoy Pink Floyd, Carole King, Megan Trainor and Randy Travis. I believe that all music has value and it is a beautiful outlet. My parents had eclectic music taste and I am so happy that I got all of the influences they gave me. I love covers, I love musicals, I love oldies, I love country, I just love it all. (Except Neil Diamond, dude, no)

Even the Pit Bull, Nikki Minaj, Justin Timberlake stuff has a place, that place is a club, where people who are old enough to manage their shit can decide if they want their ears assaulted with profanity and verbal pornography. Look, I'm not knocking it, I've wiggled my tush to that type of music on many occasions. But I feel like the radio has lost something as the club music makes it way onto the airways.

I am irritated by the musical offerings on the top 40 radio stations these days. When I listen to the radio in the car I want to sing along. I want deep lyrics and great accompaniment. I love to belt out Bohemian Rhapsody and Desperado and The Day The Music Dies. I don't want to talk in the car, I want to sing, all the way to where I am going.

My girls are old enough to recognize and ask about the words in songs and this has lead to some conversations I hadn't wanted to have at 8 and 6, and now it has lead to a concrete decision to avoid listening to those stations with my kiddos in the car.

Look, I'm not naive enough to think that they will stay little forever. I don't even really want that. The sarcastic sense of humor both of them have developed is the highlight of my life these days. I just want them to listen to music with positive messages because I recognize the effect it has on me and my outlook. When I listen to Firework, or Just the Way You Are, or Brave... it can change my day and make things a little better. I want that for them, to have a heart light enough that song can turn the tide of a rotten day.


Gift Woes

I am mostly broke, all the time. My new job, while lovely affords me precious little in the way of expandable income. and this makes Christmas scary for me. I had already decided not to try to craft my way through Christmas this year. It's a lot of work and after almost 11 hours of work(plus driving), 6 hours of sleep and 2 hours of arguing about bedtime, I don't get much quality time with my munches. I don't want their memories to be, "Mom always made us cool stuff, but man was she in a bad mood at Christmas every year."

I've convinced Jeeves to work with me on scaling down Christmas this year and allowing the blessings of our extended family to rain all over our children and let our gifts to them be more economical and meaningful.

He's on board but I still anticipate being humbled by his generosity with gifting things to me at Christmas. He seems to think I'm lying when I tell him I don't want much. This poses an issue when I don't get much for him. Because I think I've gotten him to agree that we are going to not get much for each other and then he breaks the deal. I desperately want to not spend Christmas morning feeling guilty for my lack of gift expertise.

I don't actually have a direction here, this was just weighing on my mind today.
Happy November All.


October is My Favorite Color

Ladies and Gents,
breathe deep....

It's decorative gourd season
It's chilly night season
It's harvest flavored coffee season
It's Chili season
It's extra layer season
It's falling leaves
It's apple picking
It's Pumpkin Patches
and costumes
and dark mornings
and boots
and candy
and all of my favorite things.

It's October and I'm in love with October.

So enjoy the fall while it lasts, wherever you are.

I miss writing and hope to rediscover my muse, but she remains sleepy and uninspired.

Jammer turned 1 on Monday and as I reflect on the last year I am reminded that even in the face of crazy life non-sense I can find countless moments of joy and the ever present peace of god's love for me. I am a blessed woman and I am happy.

Type Soon....I promise.


Fatty Fat Fatterson


I went to the doctor last week and I have hit the top again. 227!!!

It's disheartening and frustrating and also I hate that I let it bug me so much. I am more comfortable now in my skin than I have been at any other point in my life. But when I look at myself in the mirror I don't see the funny, smart, kind, faithful person I am. I see a big ass. and big thighs, and a slight gut, and bad posture, and hair I don't have time to deal with.

So, as with most things in life, this makes me reflective.

I think back to being in high school and college and thinking that I needed to cover all that up with more clothes. That it couldn't possibly be sexy, why would anyone want to be with me. I remember wishing I had to confidence to wear the clothes the other people around me were wearing (but remember this was the late 90's, I'm now glad no one has pictures of me in any of those things, good lord)

I think ahead, at what it might do to my daughters if I get down on my body and my appearance. Do you know what they say? They tell me I'm beautiful, when I'm in a good mood they tell me how much they love my smile and "happy voice" With minimal effort I get little hands cupping my face telling me I'm the most beautiful mommy ever. They only see the good now, how might my insecurities tarnish that? Probably a lot.

In the movie plot of my life, this is the point where I drive in the slowly fading sunset and listen to grungy 90's music and stare contemplatively into the distance thinking about the next steps.

so, yeah, gonna go do that now.


You've changed.

When you are pregnant and thinking of the months ahead when you will have a floppy, giggly, screamy bundle of baby you are not thinking of the years ahead. At least I wasn't. In my head, children did this magical turn from toddler to adult. I would have lots of snuggles and hugs and dirty diapers and then I would have a 21st birthday party and start thinking about grand babies.

The interim escaped my focus until it hit me square in the chin last weekend. I have an 8 year old. She's sarcastic and kind and emotional and not at all like the coffee slurping young adult I was picturing 9 years ago when I thought about being a Mommy. I was ill prepared for having to teach someone how to keep them self busy, how easy it is to hurt someone's feelings, how to wash their own hair, why it is important to use toilet paper (gross).

It's becoming more and more obvious as the years gain momentum that they ways that being a mother changes you are not easy to describe. That's probably why I haven't read a book about it yet. I think it's because no one can wrap words around what happens. You have a baby, who becomes a person, and the person they will become fundamentally affects the person you are turning into.

Before I became a parent I spoke differently, hypocrisy; while not ideal, was not as obvious because I didn't have a loud mouthed sidekick with no filter. I could snark all day long and never wonder that my words might get transmitted in the worst way possible to the object of my tirade. Now when I serve them veggies and spend my night downing Doritos, I usually see an inquisitive pair of blue eyes asking why I can eat straight from the bag but she has to get a bowl and stay in the kitchen.

I am humbled by the task I have been assigned. Being half responsible for teaching 4 other people how to move about in the world is a job that should come with some pre-requisites. I mean one could design a course requirement outline for parenting. It would involve:
Philosophy (Mommy why is Blue)
Sociology (Mommy why are people mean to each other?)
Accounting (How do I feed 6 people on this salary)
Biology (mommy where do babies come from)
Chemistry (Why tin foil should not go in the microwave)
Literature (put down the game and read a book for Gods sake)
English (WTF is not a sentence, use real words)
Fundamentals of Nutrition (Ninja Turtle fruit snacks are not an appropriate dinner option)
Communication (speak well, speak up, and remember that your is not the only opinion)
Pre-med (it's a mild fever, you are not going to die)

But beyond that there are so many things that just cannot be taught. Mom's have this magic look that can stop shenanigans in thier tracks. We can manage to fit things to care for 4 people into one bag and actually have everything we need. We can grocery shop with children.

So yes, I have changed. I am not the same Nellie I was 10 years ago, but I like this honest, capable, loving version of myself.


Running Toward Toddler

Sidebar: Did you ever have a blog post idea that seemed super profound and like it would be a work of literary awesome only to then fall back asleep and completely forget what the topic was, but remember how epic it would have been? No? me neither (cursing quietly)

My little dude is nearly ten months old. He is a grinning, soggy, smiling little butter ball. He loves it when I sing and dance with him. He wants to have bites of whatever I am eating. He believes that my actual full time job is to hold him whenever we are in the same room. He learned how to do kisses this week.

And he is walking.

let me just let that sink in.

My last baby, the one who will be "the baby" has decided that he is done with crawling and tries to walk everywhere. He looks like an orangutan, he walks with his arms in the air and he is really unsteady, but he's not even 10 months old yet. Dude, could you just calm down. I don't get to do this again. You are the last one! I need to saok up every bit of baby you have to give. My mommy heart can't handle your headlong rush toward toddler-hood.


Hindsight being 20/20 and all...

In recent months I have had some time to reflect honestly about my previous job. I thought, at the time, that I was doing okay and just a little behind. But here's the thing.

That's not accurate.

I was not good at the parts of that job that were important. It was a never ending list of long term projects. I have ADD and I am not good with long term, do when you have time, but make sure it's done by this date projects. Give me a thing to do right now, I'm brilliant.

I was not brilliant.

I was behind, and scatter brained, and terrible.

And then I was depressed.

Really, actually, painfully; probably clinically, depressed. and I didn't realize it. Between the birth of my older son, and the day I was fired from my job, I sank deeper and deeper. I got to the point where doing anything was exhausting. I didn't want to leave the house. I didn't want to do anything, cook, talk to my kids....

I feel the difference now, in a way that I don't believe I could have if I had recognized it and made the choice to get medication. I feel the lightness and the certainty that I have not over looked something that is going to end my livelihood.

I don't have much more to add on that, but introspection is interesting.

And here are some babies


The Schedule Myth

So Jeeves and I have been trying for the last two years to discover the perfect set of actions that would make up, "our schedule" a thing that would allow everyone to sleep and no one to miss activities and babysitting to be obtained when it was needed. The problem with this is... Jeeves. He is a midnight supervisor and has a very flexible schedule on top of needing to attend daytime meetings, be a part of the family and have time to do his own thing.

It turns out that there is never going to be a time in our lives when things just "work" He is always going to have church elder meetings, training, meetings and daytime crap to do.  I am always going to have girl scouts, outings with the kids, happy hour with work and grocery shopping. We are, in reality, going to be scrambling for childcare for at least the next 5 years at which point Pumpkin will be old enough to assist with managing her siblings for short periods of time.

There is a freedom and calm in recognizing this. I don't feel failure when I can't get a thing done in time, I have let go of the idea that we can have a schedule because every. single. week. something causes that to go down to the tube. I get to the end of the week without having kept to "the schedule" and feel like I've done someone some huge disservice. Turns out that disservice is expecting to fit our lives into a rigid structure.

Well, no more. I am embracing the chaos. I love my home and my babies and I am going to live in the crazy for the next little while. As long as everyone is fed, clean and gets to school on time, i'm being successful at this mommy business.  When it works, great; when it doesn't, oh well.

Last night all the kids ate dinner before 8pm, everyone slept in their own bed, and I didn't shovel chocolate into my face before collapsing into my nightly 5 hour coma. I am winning,

Also: I went grocery shopping last night and am now armed to take on the week and try to lose a few pounds. I am buying a scale on august 1st and going to try to make the first weigh in be a pleasant surprise. I digging in and making big food changes that are smart and sustainable. I'm NOT on a diet, I'm changing my life again. and this time I'm taking the whole family with me.

Dinner last night was sloppy Joe's made with grounf turkey and liberally laced with pureed broccoli. Everyone loved them.

Tonight, crock pot orange chicken with a mix of brown rice and steamed cauliflower rice. bring on the fiber.


Who is this guy?

Jeeves has finally decided to get on the living better through eating better train along with me.

Our children are doomed.


So I am shopping tonight, filling my fridge with frozen veggies, lean proteins, and good carbs and fats. I'm cooking large amounts to have healthy microwavable leftovers. He's asked me not to buy soda and he has agreed to run a 5K with me in October.

no really, he has.

and since it is a Halloween themed run, he is going to wear a costume.

I swear he said he would.

So on October 12th, Jeeves and I are going to dress up like Anna and Kristoff and run a 5K together. We most likely we are going to jog, but still.

I have agreed to do one 5K every month for the next foreseeable future and have harangued one of my best friends into doing it with me. I have done this, not because I hate myself, but because I desire a smaller waist line and a more pleasing silhouette. Knowing that you have paid hard earned money to hoof your butt down the road and get a t-shirt makes you re-consider eating 3 donuts.

Along that same line, we have begun sleep training with both of the boys and soon I will have my bedroom all to myself.

That's right, Doodle is now only fighting with token resistance to bed time and Jammer has started sleeping a least the majority of the night in his pack and play. Until they are both in a good routine I am keeping them separate so they don't wake one another up. This ties in with a healthier lifestyle for me because 75% of my overeating happens when I am too tired to make it through the day and I reach for high sugar, short term energy boosters, like Twizzlers.

I have other things in the works, more to come.


Bee a Leader: My adventures in Scouting as a Mom

Okay, I'm a girl scout leader of two awesome groups of young ladies. They are fun and silly and eager to do girl scout things. I have been a girl scout for well over 20 years, I loved it growing up and I still adore the chances I get to do things with my girls. Because this is such a big part of my life, I am going to post about it from time to time. Usually it will be to outline the super cool fun stuff we have done, like going to the zoo or learning how to make our own butter (yeah, I don't want to eat that....)

This however is not a touchy-feely type of post cause...the parents. 

goodness these parents. 

I'm not going in to details, because that would be in horribly poor taste, but during the past year I have had numerous occasions in which parental non-sense has invaded my happiness and made me question my decision to be involved in scouting. So in the interest of helping any of my readers who may one day involve their daughters in this cookie hawking, badge earning, craft making nightmare... let me provide some tips. 

1. If you do not like the way the volunteer leader is doing things, you have a few options. One, offer to help. Pick a thing you feel like you can do and offer to do it. Don't just say, "if you need help call..."
Cause we won't call, we are overwhelmed and don't even know what to ask you to do...and are not sure that even if we could name a task we need help with, that you would be capable/willing/crazy enough to do it. So, decide "I can manage snacks" or "I can make phone calls" or "I will bring you tequila" and do it. The volunteer will be appreciative, especially of the tequila. 
The Second option: Shut up.  
The Third option: Think you can do it better, go ahead and try. 

2. The volunteer leader is not here to be your friend. They are here to do something fun with their child and your children. It is not called "moms' club with crafts", it's Girl Scouts. It works better if everyone gets along but creating a new life-long group of adult girl friends. I am trying to help our daughters learn how to build a fire, make lanyard key chains, enjoy camping and make their own life-long friends and I am not interested in your baby-daddy, mama-drama. I don't care if you want to be best buds, I barely have time to take a shower and you are pretty irritating, lets just be acquaintances, really.


3. I'm going to talk food allergies for a minute. I am. But only from the perspective of someone who has been beaten over the head by a food allergy issue that I had no control over. I actually do understand food allergies, food sensitivities and other food related things. Be aware, I learned how to bake gluten free stuff, and made sure the other parents had a list of safe snacks. Now, that being said, I am NOT responsible for what other parents do, and to be angry at me because someone else didn't think about the allergy before providing a snack; is not fair. Each time the troop provides a snack, it is safe, but that's where my reach ends. Please do not yell, send hate mail or report me to the council because other mothers brought gluten filled death cupcakes.   

4. Please remember that volunteers are busy, unpaid, and human. Give them a break, they are trying. 


Steel Working Woman

Lets be very clear, I despise oatmeal. The gummy, gooey, wallpaper paste, non-flavor of oatmeal gives me the creeps.
Don't. Like. It.
I always have and in spite of it's purported health benefits, I have been unable to find a way to enjoy it, up till now.

However I was intrigued by the steel-cut (or Irish) oatmeal I kept seeing in the stores and online in various recipes covered in nuts, fruit, granola and other yummies. Who wouldn't want to eat something that looks so delicious.

So, with adventure in my heart and an empty stomach I planned breakfast. Last night I mixed up a half cup of milk, a quarter cup of oats and some vanilla yogurt. I let it sit over night and this morning packed up s tablespoon of grape-nuts, a banana and some peanut butter along with my bowl of oat soup and headed to work. I sliced the bananas, put in a dollop of peanut butter and mixed it all together with hope that I hadn't made a terrible mistake.
This peanut butter...there are no words....

Turns out, it's pretty great. If it keeps me full for as long as the inter-webs tells me it will, I feel like it will be a good morning food option. I'm trying to get to the point where I am eating the proper servings of foods that are good for me and not trying to pack a huge bulk of low cal, low nutrition food into myself and hoping to feel full enough to avoid shoveling crap into my face.  We'll see how it works.

Food is Fuel!


Verbal Vomit

or, more accurately written emesis. As someone who thrives off of sharing and writing, this hiatus has been rough on my internal communication. There was really no other option, I couldn't have found time to write even if I had felt the urge to do so, but I acutely feel the lack of creativity and it's impact on me. As well as not writing, I wasn't crafting, or really cooking all that much either. After yesterdays super bummer post, I got a call from a friend who was mildly concerned about my emotional well being. Be assured...I am fine.

I have been holding lots of things in. I've been doing a lot of praying, a lot of quiet time and a lot of appearing to be just fine. What I haven't been doing is working through the guilt, sadness and concern about the new direction my life is taking. When I'm working I have the ability to process my emotions away from my kids, in the car, at lunch, in the bathroom. Sometimes you just need to have a good cry and get it out. When you don't it's like a bruise that won't heal; you just keep poking to see if still there and avoid letting anyone else touch that spot.

Well, I've got a few bruises. I have been avoiding the hard feelings because I wasn't sure how to deal with them while being the sole caretaker of my kids who are very affected by my moods. So let me apologize now for the stuff I will be putting out there for the next little while. I'm frazzled and working through getting all of the garbage out. It will ultimately lead to the funny, happy, sardonic programming you may be used to.

I have so many wonderful stories to tell about my new little guy Jammer, Doodle the non-talker, Sunshine's speed reading and Pumpkin's endless campaign for a four legged fuzzy friend.

They really are amazing kids, and they really do drive me bonkers. I promise not to linger too long in the land of pity parties and fat soup, I just need to get it all out of my head.


Starting Over

I've been working in the human services field for almost my entire adult life. I don't really know anything else. I know the acronyms, the processes, the limitations and the triumphs. I have spent holidays, birthdays and major life events with a company that I am no longer allowed to even visit. It's a little heartbreaking.

The worst part about it, is that it was my own fault. I was not paying attention. I could say I'd just had a baby, or it was a holiday, or I was overwhelmed...all of which are true, by the way. But I could just as easily say that I was lazy and distracted and pretty sure that I'd never get caught...also all true.

I lost a job that I didn't really want and I put my family into a period of hardship that I was unprepared for. The guilt was terrible. I'm pretty sure that if I'd had insurance and could have gone to the doctor, I'd have been diagnosed with depression. It was hard to get out of bed some days. I slept for hours and was still tired, and I felt worthless. In my intellectual mind I realized that I am not worthless, but it was hard to shake the blues. I felt like if I hated that job and felt like it the tasks were not hard and I still couldn't do it well enough to keep it, there must be something really, really wrong with me.

Fast forward to today. I feel a little better. I still have days when the new commute and the cost of parking and the time away from my kids makes me a little weepy. I still have days where I hate that my new job equals way more time away from them than I feel is acceptable. I still wonder if I'm going to be good at this job the way I wanted to be at the other one.

My new job is with a software company. I am a tech support analyst and I guess in computer terms you could say that I have had an update installed. Ninja's Life 2.0 - Starting Over.


Holy Radio Silence Batman!!!

Alright I've been gone for awhile so here's a short rundown of my last three months

2/2/14: Got fired from my job
2/3/14: got depressed and watched TLC for two weeks
2/14/13: I'm too broke to afford valentine's day!
3/17/14: Saint Patty's Day Parade with munches
4/6/14: Ran a quarter of a marathon - plan to do it again.
4/14/14: Found a new job
4//20/14: Easter with the family
4/21/14: Started New Job.

I'm going to try because I'm fat again and I miss everyone, but let's be honest, it's hard.



Missouri Walmart = Inner Peace?

I physically need to window shop.

I realized this over the weekend when I was stuck indoors and unable to get out until about 9:30 Tuesday morning. It was rough few days. Then yesterday before I went home I stopped by the store to buy formula and some running shoes and found myself aimlessly walking through the store, unwilling to leave because being up and walking and not looking at the same 6 rooms was a lovely break from the winter sequestration that had been my reality.

I felt so much better after 45 minutes of movement that I nearly cried when i finally got back out to the car. I didn't buy much but the feeling of being alone, not at home, not at work and moving around was so calming, so apparently wandering around Walmart is part of my Zen.

Who knew.


Parental Irony: Volume 1

So as I was nursing my 3 month old this morning when he woke up about 30 minutes before my alarm was set to go off, I had some thoughts and feelings; I figured I'd share.

Why is it, when I have no place to be and can sleep in, my almost 2 year old wakes up at the crack of dawn whining for a cu-cu-cu-cu-cu-cu-cu ( for those of you not in the know, that means he wants a drink)

Why is it when they don't have school, my girls will go to bed when i tell them and fall asleep in 10 minutes but when class is in session I basically have to threaten to bust the WiiU with a hammer to get them to shut their faces and close their eyes. (I'm in the next room and i still hear you TALKING!!!!!, that's it, where's the tool box!!)

Why is when I don't get to sleep until late, and have to be up early, my infant decides to be hungry every hour, on the hour. OR even more irritating, wake up and be all hungry/happy awake an hour before I needed to get up to start the day? (cripes kid, don't you realize how much your existence depends on my sanity?)

Why is it when we are late for school my daughter suddenly are so hungry their legs won't work and we miss the bus, yet on the weekends when I have a little more time to play short order cook they want to eat granola bars and pop tarts? (Mornings like this I feel like Goldie Hawn in Overboard, "I said MOVE!!!")

Why is it that my son feels the need to whack me in the head as a way to wake me up? I pretended to be asleep the other day to see if the was his last resort but no he goes from awake alone to beating me in order to meet his morning meal and beverage needs. (dude, enough already)

Why is it that when it's gorgeous outside the kids want to be inside watching TV but when it's 15 below they're all stir crazy and begging to be released outdoors. (sure kid, go ahead, I'll come collect your frozen body in 10 minutes when you've become a kid-sicle)

I was stuck in my house from Friday afternoon until Tuesday morning. I did every stitch of laundry in my house and then started cooking. Needless to say the diet got a tad derailed in the midst of the cookie,cake,soup,pasta and bread that happened in my house over the last four days. Esh.

However, now that I have the funds and the ability to leave the house, I'm headed to the gym this afternoon to get my membership going and start training for the marathon relay in April. I bought myself a t-shirt to decorate and have new shoe and legging plans for later this week provided the weather permits a non-essential shopping trip.


New Year, Same Old Me

I don't mind being the same old me, after all there are a few people who like that girl. She is sarcastic, a good cook and a constant wreck, which i guess means she is pretty real.

This week I am clearing out my cabinets, working on getting the house in order and setting up a craft area for my girls where they can store the massive haul of mess making supplies they received this holiday season.

Jammer is starting to sleep mostly through the night, and I've decided that 4 ounces of formula before bed is an acceptable concession to the breastfeeding especially if it equals six hours of solid sleep.

Doodle drew on my wall with a blue crayon yesterday and while i was scrubbing it off I realized we desperately need to paint our walls, spring 2014 project? Maybe, we'll see.

Sunshine is counting the days till she gets to go back to school, she loves being there and I am going to encourage that for as long as I can.

Pumpkin has finally stopped pulling out her own eyelashes and so sometime in February I will be taking her to the build a bear store to make a new friend. We finally found things that motivate her. Build a bear and the WiiU, go figure.

I'm back to logging food and dismayed at how out of practice I have gotten at making good decisions on the fly. Soup lunches are on the docket for the remainder of the winter, that and skinny lattes should get me through to April and hopefully a successful run in my leg of the marathon.

Alright, I've got crap to do, hope you all had fun Tuesday, avoided hangovers Wednesday and are starting your new off with some good times.
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