My Sleep Deprivation

First the good news. Hubby got a promotion! While it is not the giant raise we were hoping for, it is certainly better than what we have been barely making ends meet with the past year. It will still take at least this month to get our finances figured out but we are back on the right track anyway!

Also, CHRISTMAS SOON. We have the tree up right now. No lights yet but we have it decorated besides. That makes me feel pretty good. The house smells amazing; that nice woody pine smell. I managed to get the kids some really nice gifts, not a lot but what I did get is pretty nice. They will both be happy. (Pictures after the Holiday)

On to baby issues. Mogwai is getting so big, his first teeth, sitting up on his own. He is even starting to want to explore (read: move!) and is so squirmy. He is also having a bit of a sleep problem. We try to be fair here as far as letting people rest. So hubby and I have been taking turns. With Pumpkinhead, Hubby worked until 2-3 am sometimes so bedtime was all on me no matter what. Consequently I was the only one who could get her down to bed. I love that his new job he is home in time to help me put her to bed and to help with him all night.

We have been putting him in his swing to sleep. By we, I mean Hubby. As Mogwai wont let me put him down in the swing. For one, if he sleeps near me he wakes constantly wanting to nurse and wont sleep unless I am holding him all night. Which is wonderful, but not very restful. For two, I can get him to fall asleep no problem, but when it comes time to put him down (crib or swing) he wakes every time. Every. Single. Time. You can see the dilemma. On nights like last night when Hubby had to be up at 5 am to open the restaurant I stayed up and took charge of Mogwai. Needless to say, it did not go well. We ended up both finally  asleep on the couch, Mogwai nestled in my arms, me partially asleep partially awake him out like a light. He even slept thru Hubby leaving for work. That is, until Pumkinhead woke up at 7 am and came downstairs. Also needless to say, everyone is pretty cranky this morning. Except Pumpkinhead. She slept like a hibernating chipmunk all night. So she is pretty happy. That’s a relief anyway.

I have no idea what we are going to do about this sleep situation. I also have to work tonight so I wont be sleeping tonight either, or tomorrow night. Again; work. Whats the saying about being able to sleep when you dead? That makes me wonder; if dying is sleeping then where do you wake up when you are rested?

I love watching his personality develop. He is so determined and stubborn. He loves to snuggle, and he is kind of lazy. I miss my little newborn too though. It goes so fast. I feel like this whole summer just flew by. This past year has just been such a blur. I almost don’t feel like I even have the same life. Mostly because I don’t. So much change in such a short time. I have been working on trying to slow down. Trying to live in the moment. Trying not to freak out about the future. Trying to enjoy the now. You get the idea.

As always, it’s one day at a time.

PS… we still don’t have a mattress; and the air mattress has sprung a hole. One day we can have a big people bed again! Lets hope for it before Christmas!

A Great Conversation

At my job last night working the graveyard I ran into a young lady who really made my night.

It was probably about 4 am and like me she was awake and busy. We began chit-chatting about this and that and she mentioned her studies in animal behavior, she is currently working on her Bachelors degree. I asked her if she planned to go into zookeeping and she enthusiastically said “yes!”

Of course I then spent the next hour having a wonderful conversation with this up and coming potential keeper. Everything from zoo internal politics to best brands of boots and work socks. The bonds we form with the animals, the unexpected highs and lows and of course some of the more comical aspects of keeping. We discussed the difference between an animal caretaker and an animal collector, the importance of networking, AAZK, and conferences, the sadness at losing an animal for any reason but the ability to know what is the best choice and how to deal with that. Whales and elephants in captivity, moral duty vs. wild population and saving species. The horror stories and the caution of always keeping your wits about you. We also spoke of my own path and how I realized quite quickly after my daughter was born that I was becoming a liability simply because I couldn’t maintain that level of focus while raising a small child. We spoke about how I can’t wait to get back into it in a few years when the kids are ready.

She took down my email and I hope to hear from her on her progress in the field. She certainly had that passion and fire for it. She seemed very interested in all of my so-called wisdom. It felt good to be mentoring someone in a subject I care about again. It was a very pleasant night. I am so happy that even though I am not directly affecting my field at the current moment, perhaps in some small way I can help influence its future development.

Currently listening to Amanda Palmer and enjoying my evening with the kids (despite my cold.)

Scammed by Kim’s Cake Creations

I have decided to write this blog, partly as a way to vent, but also as a warning to anyone around the Harrisburg area who needs a cake.

I am a firm believer in moral integrity and good business practices. Honesty breeds loyalty. One of the things that gets to me the most is dishonest people. People in this day and age ought to be forthright and take pride in their work!

To sum up, I wanted a cake for my daughter’s birthday. I had a good friend recommend a woman, I went to her Facebook page and saw other cakes that didn’t look bad and thought it would be a good match since my friend so highly recommended her.  My husband picked up the cake the morning of my daughter’s birthday and brought it home and I was just shocked by what I saw.

I attempted to reach some kind of understanding with Kim, gave her the chance to make up for her mistake. Everyone makes them, I can understand that. The responses I got I just could not believe! I honestly would have even been happy if she had just offered to pay the fee for having to cancel the check and gave me a sincere apology for her mistake. Her unwillingness to accept any blame for her “creation” shows how truly insincere her apologies are. She even accused me of STEALING from her, and made claims that many professional bakers don’t finish icing their cakes! Absolutely ridiculous!

Her attitude of “not my problem”  and excuses and passing along the blame is just shameful for a business person.

Perhaps writing this blog isn’t the most professional or adult thing to do either but at this point I feel I MUST warn people about who they are getting involved with when they order from Kim’s Cake Creations. I do not see any other way to do that at this point then in this medium.

Here is the back and forth correspondence between myself and business owner Kim. I have changed the name of my friend who recommended me to this unprofessional and dishonest woman for her privacy. I also changed the date of my daughter’s birthday and replaced my real name with “ME.”I also removed all numbers and addresses for privacy sake.

I leave you to decide for yourself if you really wish to take a chance doing business with her.

_________________________________________________

  • Conversation started October 11
  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    Hello! Shelly* referred me and said you make awesome cakes and dont charge an arm and a leg lol I was looking for someone to make a milkshake shaped cake for my daughters 3d birthday in November. about 15-20 guests, most of them little kids so small pieces. Would you be able to do something like that? How much might that cost? I will send you a picture of what i mean so you can have a better idea. THANKS!

  • October 16
  • Kims Cake-Creations
    Kims Cake-Creations

    Shouldn’t be a problem. Just need to know the date to confirm if I am open.

  • October 16
  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    November *date change*

  • October 18
  • Kims Cake-Creations
    Kims Cake-Creations

    Will you need the cake for the *th? That is a *day. Aslo, the pic looks like it is a cake baked withing a milkshake cup. If that is what you want, I won’t be able to do it. If you would like an all cake milkshake, I would be able to do that. It would need to be just one flavor. I could do it for $25. If you are still interested in me making the cake for you, please let me know the specifics. Thank you, Kim

  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    yep her party is November *th (*day) at 3:30 pm I just sent the pict of the milkshake just as an inspiration for what the cake could look like I was thinking a 3d white cake with like cream filling, like pastry cream. Looking like the milkshake with the “whipped cream” on top, all cake of course lol. And the strawberry, I like the strawberry. that could be modeling chocolate I suppose if a real strawberry would be too small. Up to you, you know what your doing. I could come pick it up as well so you dont have to deliver it all the way to ****. (we live in ***, but her party is at **** in ****) My number is *** (text ok too)

  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    THANK YOU!

  • Kims Cake-Creations
    Kims Cake-Creations

    Okay, I can do that. I would just need to know what day/time you will be picking up the cake. We live in **** as well. ***** Harrisburg, PA *******

  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    Maybe the morning of the *th? how long will it keep in the fridge?

  • October 20
  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    do you think it might taste better with like a strawberry cream filling?

  • October 20
  • Kims Cake-Creations
    Kims Cake-Creations

    I work, but I can make sure that my husband is home when you come. Strawberry filling would probably not be a good idea, from a stability stand point.

  • November 1
  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    Quick question, about how tall will the cake be and about how big around (approximately?) It will be the centerpiece for our buffet table and want to make sure I match everything up accordingly… Also, we have had a few last minutes guests sign on, how much would it be to make the cake for about 30 people instead of 20? Again, 15-18 will be toddlers so the pieces don’t have to be huge. There will be about 10 adults now though.

  • November 7
  • Kims Cake-Creations
    Kims Cake-Creations

    It will probably be about a foot tall. In order for it to serve more people I can place it on top of a square cake that looks like a tablecloth. Price would be $35. Do you still want all white cake?

  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    That sounds great! all white cake is fine, dont want to make it too complicated. Doing a 3d cake is complicated enough! …do you want me to send you a picture of the tablecloth we got for her party?? I don’t know if you would be able to match it??

  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    our cups and tablecloth.

    —-Pictures of cups and tablecloth—–

  • Monday
  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    What time tomorrow is good to pick up? my cell number is ***** we will be needing to be at the party by 3pm to decorate, its in ***** so maybe we can pick up ion the way? how long can the cake stay out? or should we refrigerate when we arrive?

  • Monday
  • Kims Cake-Creations
    Kims Cake-Creations

    I do not have to be at work until 8:15 AM tomorrow and my husband will be home util at least 8:45. If that doesn’t work for you, you can pick it up about 2:30 PM. I will just make sure that my husband is home at that time. The cake can stary out, it won’t need to be refrigerated, unless you want too.

  • Monday
  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    we can pick up between 8-8:30 if that works

  • Kims Cake-Creations
    Kims Cake-Creations

    That works out perfectly.

  • Tuesday
  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    Kim, hello. This is ******’s Mom. I left you a phone message also – ***** is very busy getting ready for Pumpkinhead’s* party and asked me to contact you about the cake. Honestly, we are BOTH very disappointed in this cake! (***** is actually furious!) We were expecting a 3D cake – which would have a fondant cover, it does not, and even without the fondant cover, which we could’ve lived without, the quality of the cake is unacceptable! The filling is oozing out of the sides, the milkshake glass is leaning to one side, (we are afraid it’s going to fall over!) and parts of the cake show through the frosting – ie; not enough frosting on the cake! It just looks like crap. We did not drop it or anything like that. We have pictures of how it looked like when we picked it up. We are trying to “fix” it best we can. We went to the store and bought $10.00 worth of fondant to try and wrap the cake, (keep it from falling over!) but with so many other things we have to do today I don’t know if this’ll work. We will probably just have to call Tops and get a sheet cake for Pumpkinhead’s* party! These cakes cost $40.00 or more! (AND -One more thing for us to do today!) ***** has called the bank and stopped payment on your check. A $10.00 fee. We don’t have a lot of money, and **** said she used you because you came so highly recommended, and from the photos you have have posted on your FaceBook page, your cakes look much different that the one we have for Pumpkinhead’s* party! ****** just told me there’s a giant crack going down through the middle of the cake! Again, VERY UNACCEPTABLE. Bottom line here Kim, obviously we are not paying for this and expect you to pay us the $10.00 for the fondant and the $10.00 check fee. And, if the fondant that we bought to “fix” this does not make a cake fitting for a little girl’s 3rd birthday party, we expect you to pay for the generic “replacement” cake that we may have to purchase at the last minute! You have both our phone numbers.

  • Tuesday
  • Kims Cake-Creations
    Kims Cake-Creations

    I am sorry that you are upset with the cake. The cake is in fact 3D. Also, I reviewed our correspondence and nowhere in our conversation did **** state that she wanted the cake covered in fondant. As far as the “not enough frosting on the cake”, that can happen with any bakery, and frequently does. The cake will not fall apart or fall over, as it is secured with wooden dowels. There were no giant cracks down the the center of the cake when I left it this morning. What happens during transport, is not my issue. If the cake is not supported correctly, then it may cause crakcing (if, you did not hold the cake underneath, but held it, on either side). Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the cake, as it was, prior to pick up, so I guess that’s my issue. If you would have spoken to me, prior to stopping payment on the check, I would have gladly given it back to you.

  • Sharah Burton
    ME

    Kim, these are the pictures we took. It’s the weight of the top that is causing the filling to ooze out the sides and the cake to crack, not the way the box was carried. A professional baker would NEVER leave cake showing through the frosting, and the dowels are useless if the cake is set upon them crooked. We removed the layer of the frosting on the top part of the cake to put on the fondant, and noticed those layers are on the dowel off center. See the picture. Even with the fondant, the cake looks like crap. Plus, now the chips have started to slide down the side of the cake too. It’s been sitting on the counter all day. We went to The PA Bakery and bought two cakes from them for $50.00. ****** showed them pictures of your cake, and they said, “we can’t believe she let you walk out of there with a cake that looks like that. We would never sell a cake that looked like that. It looks messy and half done.”

    This is how the cake looked upon arrival. we did nothing but carry it into the house.

    This is the cake upon arrival, unaltered

    After we added fondant to try and rescue it

    after we scrapped off a little icing, you can see how poorly it was constructed

    After we scraped off a little icing to prep for fondant. total time sitting on the counter was under an hour. you can see how the top of the cake is sinking into the bottom and cracking it

    the cake upon arrival unaltered

    another view after we scraped off a little icing to prep for the fondant. you can see the poor construction and how it is leaning and sinking into the bottom causing the bottom to crack. total time out on the counter was under an hour.

  • Kims Cake-Creations
    Kims Cake-Creations

    I apologize for not calling, but I am at work and I am unable to use my cell phone and I cannot use my work phone for personal call. I am writing this on my break, so it has to be quick.

    I am not a professional baker, nor does my facebook page say so, and……… trust me professional bakers do let cake show through the frosting. I have paid for enough of them to know. It even happend with my wedding cake.

    Bottom Line:

    1. You took possession of the cake and provided payment and took it from my home. This implies that you were satisfied with the product. (Did you say anything about your concerns to my husband?) You did not have to take the cake. You could have refused it and refused to make payment.

    2. You modified the cake on your own. You bought the fondant to try and fix what you thought was wrong. You did not ask me to replace the cake. I would have more than gladly made a new cake. I would have even delivered it for you.

    3. You stopped payment on the check, but still have the cake, so technically you have stolen from me.

    I am sorry that you were unhappy and you were stressed out about this. I hope your cakes from PA Bakery are wonderful, and again I am very sorry.

    Thank you,

    Kim

  • Today
  • Sharah Burton
    11:56am

    I am absolutely flabbergasted that you think this is good business management. I did not pick the cake up, my husband did. I trusted that you could do what I was paying you for. Your refusal to take responsibility for your mistake is just incredulous!

    You have done nothing but make empty apologies and try to shove the blame off on us.

    We “modified” the cake in order to try and salvage it since my daughters birthday was only hours away. I did not ask you to replace the cake because I wanted a cake that I could present to our guests that would be done correctly.

    Later that night we also dissected your cake. True there were dowels, off centered. The cake was burned into about a half inch in. The cake was rock hard and difficult to cut, and although I did not taste it, my mother said it “tasted strange. not sweet or fluffy but just had a weird questionable flavor.” We then chucked the whole thing in the garbage.

    Your right, you are certainly NOT a professional baker, and you never will be with your “talent” and lack of professionalism.

    Shame on you for scamming us.

    I suppose I will just have to live with the lesson learned. You can be sure that I will be blogging about this incident, along with pictures. I suppose that is all I can do.

    This matter is closed.

    _______________________________________________

    I have currently not received any further correspondence. The PA Bakery was able to supply us with beautiful and tasty cakes in time for my daughters party. They are amazing and I will be giving them all my business in the future. The staff was so friendly and understanding! My daughters party was a success and I can’t wait to leave this whole stressful mess behind us!

    Anyway, I hope I have at least saved some of you out there looking for a cake for your special occasion from having to go thru any issues with this person. If I have then at least I can take comfort in that!

    PS:

    Here are the pictures from the PA Bakery of the cakes we picked up last minute. They were delish!

    PA Bakery PA Bakery

    Now THAT’S how you do a cake!

     

    ___________________________________________

    UPDATE: 11/15/13

    received a reply yesterday:

    • Kims Cake-Creations
      Kims Cake-Creations

      I did not scam you. It did not get paid. Sorry you feel that way. Cake was not burnt. Never trying to be a professional baker. Unfortunately the pictures are not a very good representation of what the cake looked like when it left my house, because all I saw were pictures after you modified it. I look forward to your blog. Everyone has their opions. Again, I am sincerly sorry that you did not like the cake. Matter closed.
      _____________________________________

      Again she “apologizes”, but still refuses to accept the blame that she made a mistake and gave us a junk cake.

      The pictures I posted on here are the exact ones I sent her, including the pictures of the cake exactly as it looked upon arrival before we tried to rescue it. She even tries to say the cake wasn’t burned! When we download the picture into the computer you will be able to SEE how much the cake was burned ion the inside.

      It really gets under my skin when people don’t take responsibility!

Meloncholy

At work the other night at work I was chit-chatting with a guest as I so often do and the subject came up about how I am a temporarily displaced zookeeper . His reaction was blunt: “Wow. How did you end up doing this then?”

How can you briefly and politely explain all the huge life changes (sudden, planned, and unplanned) we have undergone in the past three years?  How I was perfectly content to be a stay at home mom for the time being. How the only reason I took this job was because we really do need the money now, but we don’t want to put our kids in daycare. How every single time I go to work my heart breaks to leave and do such a simple, menial and unchallenging job BUT that I keep doing it because right now that’s whats best for my family.

How do explain the complex gauntlet of emotions I run through every week? Temporarily leaving my field had meaning when I was just staying home with the kids because THAT is what we believe is best for them, to have active parental care, not babysitters or daycare’s raising them. It was an easy, albeit painful, decision. I know it is the right one. I know in my heart that I am a professional animal caretaker and that’s what I am on this Earth to do; and shall go back to doing when my kids are ready. I also truly understand how much my children need me ( and I need them) right now when they are so small.

The complex emotions have come in this past year. All of the turmoil of our lives being completely flipped around, OK. I can deal with that. What I find so difficult now is that I am doing this simple non-respectable job. It doesn’t change anything. it doesn’t really make any sort of difference and it makes me so exhausted that two days a week I am zombie mom, relying heavily on the TV to entertain the toddler. On those days, making sure everyone is fed and alive is good enough. So now, not only am I not doing what I was put on this Earth to do, but I am also not being the mother I wanted to be (at least two days a week.)

There is so much going on inside me I find it hard to put it into words accurately. I realize this is a temporary situation, and we certainly could be much worse off. I realize that. That doesn’t stop my heart (and my pride a little too) from hurting every time I kiss my sleeping babies goodbye for the night as I head off to do another menial night.

Why, you ask, if I am so very over qualified and unhappy don’t I just get back into my field? Simply, I have to work at night so the kids don’t have to go to daycare. I need a steady paycheck that doesn’t take too much effort to earn and I have to do it part-time at night. Doesn’t really make me candidate of the year for any zoos, vets, shelters or field researches (that I know of around here.)

Maybe I am just being to prideful. This too shall pass of course…

 

PS: Dont know If I mentioned before. but I started volunteering at the local animal shelter on hubby’s days off. Helps keep me sane.

Why do I love my breasts?

My son is about 5 1/2 months and as we begin to prepare to start him on “solid” food I have been thinking about how amazing my breasts are. I have had a complicated relationship with them, as most modern women have I think.

Before they arrived I envied my friend who developed early (although as I hear it now 5th grade is becoming the standard for girls to develop and is no longer considered early…) and watched another friend pretend to have them by stuffing balloons with pudding and putting them in a bra. Because it was so important apparently to have them. If only I knew then what I know now!

When they finally first “arrived” around age 15 trying to figure out how the heck I was supposed to snap in those hooks in the middle of my back. Trying to also understand why they weren’t DD’s immediately like all the women on TV, and feelings of inadequacy for years because they never made it past a small B until I got pregnant at 25. Feeling like they were ugly and imperfect for years because a male friend commented negatively about the size of my nipples. The up’s and downs of push-up bra’s, padding, and finally the acceptance of my size and subsequent flaunting that follows.

During my first pregnancy the nervousness and excitement as they got bigger and bigger (and consequently more sore and tender.) I knew I was going to breastfeed my daughter. I didn’t really know what that entailed other then insert nipple and baby will eat. Oh, so much left to learn! At the time I didn’t have any breastfeeding friends that I knew of, and the one mom who I was “close” with (close as in my brothers girlfriend) was adamant about all the reasons she didn’t breastfeed (saggy boobs, she wanted to start drinking again etc…) I hadn’t met the new friends we would make in our mommy group yet, so I was pretty nervous about it the first time.

Then after giving birth, the long ordeal I went thru with supply issues, post-partum depression, self image, a screaming hungry baby, an unsupportive pediatrician, a distant husband and in general frustration and disappointment with myself and my breasts. It was a struggle, but we did manage to breastfeed for 7 months, however we did start supplementing with formula around 1 1/2 – 2 months. They certainly were bigger (up to a C at this point) but they were always sore and sensitive, and someone was always wanting them for one reason or another yet they couldn’t supply enough for anybody to be happy!

I am GLAD we struggled though, because those quiet moments I got to have when breastfeeding my daughter still remain some of the most special moments of her infant days to me. Take away all the facts of how beneficial breastfeeding is to mom and baby, the happy hormones released and the antibodies and how its free. What it came down to was it made my daughter happy and when she would look into my eyes in those quiet spaces I never felt so amazing and close to her. The happy hormones work and bonding is achieved, but in the moment you arent thinking of that. You are falling in love with your child.

After we stopped breastfeeding fully they did shrink back down a little, but they finally felt “normal” again. I do feel like I lost a bit of that bonding time with her, when it was just us. But I feel our relationship is so close and special now because we both worked so hard together. I had a bit of a respite where I didn’t have to think about my breasts at ALL (imagine that for a moment ladies) and then I got out of the shower one day and they started leaking again… I knew I was pregnant again in that moment.

My second pregnancy was so full of everything else going on I barely had time to think about them. Of course, they grow and prepare for baby without conscious thought so again I broke out my pregnancy bra’s. They didn’t get sore this time really until the end of the pregnancy. I also knew much more about breastfeeding this time and felt excited for my baby to arrive so I could do it again.

At the beginning of course there was the usual waiting for my milk to come in, but I wasn’t as afraid this time since I now knew a newborn can go a few days without having a real meal and he was getting colostrum so he was OK. He latched well and almost immediately after birth. Getting my supply up was still difficult, but this time I knew to take feenugreek, and to keep taking my prenatal vitamins and about active nursing. I knew to take good care of myself and to drink LOTS of water, and I actually actively did it. It still took about 2 weeks for Mogwai and I to find out feeding groove, but this time I was confidant we would.

I love our pediatrician and she was so supportive. My wonderful husband is also amazing and has been so supportive and extra helpful as well. I cannot even stress how crucial the support of those two people has been. I also am part of a mommy group with members who breastfeed, so seeing them unafraid to do it in public has also given me support even when it’s just the two of us.

Also, although I am not a particularly religious person, I find a great deal of strength from the images of the “Maria lactans.” and the nursing Isis.

At this moment in time, my son has doubled his birth weight and is healthy and vibrant and I am so PROUD to say my breasts did that. He has not had a drop of anything other then breast milk and yet he is thriving. As his mother and as a women in general I feel so amazing. It wasn’t always easy, and sometimes I still need a “booby break” where nobody is allowed to be near them for awhile.

I finally feel like my breasts are more then just the sum of the size cups they can fill or how many men notice them or think they are attractive. They are not some separate entity that needs perfecting and needs work or approval. They are part of my body and they are amazing exactly as they are, “large” nipples and all! I <3 my breasts!

-Courtesy of Glimpse in Time Photography-

-Courtesy of Glimpse in Time Photography-

 

P.S.

This post is NOT knocking other women who choose not to/are unable to breastfeed. I am simply recounting my own personal journey with my breasts. Relax. :)

New Job

For the past two years I have been a happy stay at home mom, positively parenting my two wonderful babies and loving every moment. All of that is about to change. Due to our bad luck last fall, the two moves, the pay-cut and the birth, we are really struggling financially. So I have gotten a night job. On top of selling my tutu’s, and working for unnamed “work from home” sellout business.

This week was the first time in over 3 years our account has dipped into the red (plus the overdraft fee’s dammit, sinking us even further in.)Not all the bills last month were paid. The medical bills will just have to wait, and my student loan was late. Anyway, you get the picture.

It is not a bad job that I am starting tonight, just different. It is respectable work at least. The hours are long, 11pm- 7am, but we will not put our infant into daycare, no way. So that’s the way it has to be.I have enough milk pumped to last the first few nights and I will just have to be diligent about pumping at work. Gee that sounds like a fun talk tonight: “Hello! Thank you for hiring me! So here’s the deal, every 2-3 hours I need a 20 minute break to go drain milk from my breasts.” Not really looking forward to it, at least the law is on my side with this!

It is not in my career field. This is weighing on me pretty heavily. I know right now we have to do what is best for our family and that means being selfless and doing what has to be done. I also know it has been over 12 years since I did anything not related to my field except being home with my children. I have only had one other job in my life besides animal care and conservation work.

I am not nervous, I know I can do this kind of work, it is not rocket science. I am sad. I feel far away from my purpose. I feel an empty space where my life’s goal was. I keep trying to find the reasons why my path has been deviated. Perhaps I am to learn a lesson that will help me better achieve my life’s mission later?

My ambitions are clear. They always have been. I want to become a wildlife rehabilitator (specializing in rabies vectors and opossums) and continue zookeeping. I eventually want to be in the position to travel (with family of course) to do some field research, at least once; or travel abroad to other zoo’s and learn how they keep their animals there.

More than anything else, I want to continue to educate the general public about the state of our world and how they can help. I want people to be aware of the changes that are happening and how we as humans are impacting the natural world. I want people to care about the injustice being done to domestic and wild animals. I want people to KNOW and to UNDERSTAND.

I don’t know how the past few months, and the next few months are supposed to help me do that. I have to believe that there is a reason. Being of a scientific mind I am skeptical about many religious things, but there are some truths out there that can not be explained yet. There is a possibility of a higher force, and there is always possibility to learn something new from any situation. I know that the hardship we endure now is just to prepare us for the future. My whole life has been like that. I just don’t have the foresight to see the purpose yet of this particular life lesson.

My biggest immediate worry is how hubby is going to handle Mogwai all night. He is only waking 1-2 times a night for feedings, but he comfort sucks to fall asleep and sometimes will half wake just to comfort suck and make sure I am still right there next to him. Not sure how he is going to handle it, probably by crying to the point of being inconsolable. That thought breaks my heart. I hope hubby and him can come to some understanding. Hubby is wonderful in many many ways, but he is not very good with crying infants.

Speaking of… Mogwai is awake from his morning nap…

My Tante

Ever since I can remember, my Aunt Kisha has been my hero. She was always so cool.  She would take me on rides on her horse Fox Fire around the hill. She painted my sister and myself each a beautiful painting to celebrate our birth. She always got me the best presents. I thought it was so cool she lived in the barn at the bottom of the hill. When she moved to Seattle in the mid 90’s I was so sad.

My Aunt Kisha embodied everything cool. She would hand draw me coloring books and make me journals. She would tape MTV and make cassettes of cool music for me. We didn’t have cable, and the music collection of my parents consisted mainly of hair metal and 70’s rock. She introduced me to Tool, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Sunny Day Real Estate, Soul Coughing, Live, Fuel, Paula Cole and so many others. Through my angsty teenage years she always understood my growing pains. She always seemed to understand how to help without intruding or being overt. When I complained about how I wasn’t old enough for a tattoo she told me how to use Indian ink and a sewing needle to give myself one; instead of finding some dude in a smelly backroom to do it. When I was feeling like I was going to explode at home she would somehow know and a new mix CD would show up in the mail. She would send me cool art postcards that inspired my imagination and opened up my world.

To this day; even though she still lives on the other side of the country, she still is always there for me. I am not the best niece. I barely write anymore. My favorite painting (the one she painted just for me) was stolen from my apartment in college when I went to Florida for a week after a bad break up. Our gifts to her usually involve pictures of our kids (yeah, we are THOSE gifters) and yet she still seems to always know what we need; usually before we even realize we need it. She will send us cards of her art to send out for Christmas. She was sending us eco-friendly multi-use cloths before we even knew we needed them! She is always sending us yummy smelling lip balm and lotion, exactly what we want. She was amazing and painted us an original painting for our wedding invitations. She always listens to me rant on about whatever is bugging me on the occasions I do get a minute to talk to her. She is cool and always non-judgmental. I love her a whole lot and I wish she lived closer. She is still my hero.

She has a kickstarter going right now, and it means a lot to her to get it going. Even though she doesn’t do abstract and surreal art so much anymore, I love what she does put out for everyone to see. If you find you have a spare few dollars around and want to help support her latest project on kickstarter it would really be appreciated! Plus, you get cool stuff too! Thanks!

Here are the links if you missed them before:

Nakisha.com

BlueDogRose on Etsy

The Badgers Forest Tarot Kickstarter

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