Archive for the ‘ Back Story ’ Category

My Summer Vacation 2016

Lets see if I have enough time to type this before one of the children implodes…

So much going on here.

June is always a difficult month for me anyway but oh boy.

Hubby had to have semi-emergency back surgery on a severely herniated disc in his lower back. We scheduled the surgery right after finding out we were finally after all this time approved for the house. So he had his back cut open and is healing as well as can be expected now and we bought a nice little prison for me to be stuck to; which everyone tells me is a good thing. Riiiiiight…

I was excited to set up our homeschooling space. Writing curriculum, planning unit studies, getting pumped up for Gaelic lessons, studying up on lapbooking and notebooking and bookbooking……I might have made one of those ‘booking’s up…

But then, Pumpkinhead says: “I want to try public school.”

-At this time, picture yourself falling through the floor and you might understand how I felt.-

So, she took her assessment and start’s First grade in a few weeks. I wont go on a diatribe; but I will say they only have 20 minutes for lunch and 20 minutes for recess every day and only do art/music one day per week. -sigh-

Maybe she wont like it and we can get back to our normal lives.

Maybe she will love it and I can just add it to the “crap I have to be a big girl and just deal with” pile.

That pile is getting awfully big.

Just saying.

We are even further away from a beach here. It’s utterly depressing. Thinking of painting a giant beach mural on the living room wall so I can stare at it and daydream all day.

To top it all off, my first and most beloved zoo just had the latest USDA report released… and it is disappointing to say the least. Aggravated would be putting my feelings mildly. I have only been a gone a few years, it truly is part of my heart that place. How could it have declined so quickly?? It really does make me upset. I am hoping that they can turn around and be great again. They have done it before, lets hope they can again.

It has been a rough summer. Not as rough as my life a few years ago, or even two years ago. Today, I am just feeling really weighed down and feeling utterly powerless. I usually end these on the most positive note I can (just like in behavioral training; always end on a high note!) so here is the most positive thing I can think of right now:

 

 

 

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A Brief Catch-You-Up

Hello Hello Again Internet-land!

Here I am again. With a 6 month old asleep on my chest, a 2 year old napping in bed and a 4 year old having quiet play-time.

Yes, we did it again. Little Gooey joined Mogwai and Pumpkinhead in our wonderful family of five humans and two felines. She came comparably quickly a few days before Christmas. Hubby then promptly got himself neutered. Except; the way they do it to humans so really not a “neuter.” I will perhaps write a blog about her birth story later.

I am back where I belong zookeeping again as well. I found a wonderful facility that has been so flexible to allow me to continue to spend the majority of my time with the kids; but still let me work enough to be sane and have some of my pre-baby identity back. I am very pleased with my current work situation.

We started our homeschooling journey a few months back. Well, I started it as I am doing all of the preparatory work. We have been introducing the concept of schooling at home to Pumpkinhead and she seems fine so far. We don’t officially start until September 1st. I will try to blog about it. We have a lot of reasons for homeschooling, none of which I am going to go into with this entry.

Hubby is enjoying his creative freedom at work and getting to do what he loves; cook for people and make them happy.

We celebrated five years of marriage this year. Hooray! Went to the spa together, got a fancy-schmancy upscale hotel room. Ended up with Gooey staying with us that night as she wouldn’t eat for Gramma and wouldn’t sleep. Such is having kids! We still had an amazing time and I can not even begin to imagine how I got so lucky as to have the life I have now.

We also a while back moved into a better and bigger apartment with an amazing back yard.

I also turned 30 this year… mixed feeling on that of course. On one hand, looking back at my accomplishments and what I have lived through I feel pretty proud. On the other hand I feel like I have so much more to do! For now, happy in my space.

January 2015

January 2015

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 ❤ 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. 🙂

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

Feeling Sold

So, recently I have been doing everything I can think of to make a little extra cash. The pay cut hubby took when we moved down here is just enough to get by, and it’s very tight every month. Hubby and I came up with a ten-year plan, with the first big goal to buy a small “starter” home. To get to that goal, we need to do more than just barely get by.

I hear you ask; “If you aren’t rolling in dough, why would you want to buy a house?” Good question. Because rent here is a good $4-600 more than a mortgage payment on a small single family home would be. Even adding in cost of water, heat, electric, sewer and trash, plus taxes and etc we would still be paying less for a home and we could modify it and have someplace stable to raise our young children.  Since we plan on being in this area at least for the next ten years (barring any other horrible surprises of course) then it only makes more sense to buy a small place.

AFFORDING the payments month to month after the initial transaction is way different then getting the loan to begin with and its different then being able to afford the large up front costs and down payments etc. Hence, hubby and I are trying to make more money. I have been working on selling my tutu’s locally, dabbled in trying to create a stuffed animal people would buy… just kind of ended up with this weird thing that I don’t think anybody would pay a cent for. Been working on my affiliations and keeping a lookout for any part-time work that might come along. None of those things I mind. I can happily and proudly announce my affiliations because I choose them and I believe in them. I can happily sell tutu’s or other hand craftier things because I made them.

...yeah, I know... not so great

…yeah, I know… not so great

No, recently I have really sold myself out. I recently joined one of those direct sales work from home businesses. I prefer not to say because it is a widely recognized brand. You know the kind though, make your own hours selling product to friends and family and keep whatever is off the top.

I NEVER EVER in a thousand years saw myself doing something like this. I remember going to Tupperware parties with my mother when I was a kid and thinking no way. Never. My whole life, I have known my calling. To be truthful and 100% (as I always strive to be) being away from my field hurts. It’s like this little physical pain in the back of me that I can ignore but at a cost. Like, some people are born for God and to be missionaries or priests. They hear God calling them. It is kind of like that I guess. My life I KNOW is meant to care for the other creatures we share this planet with and raise awareness about injustice being done to them by my own species. Being away from my field is not easy for me. But, my children must come first and then need me at home right NOW. In a few years I look forward to going back to what I was born to do and what I do best.

I have always remained confident in that fact, but taking this new “job” has made me more depressed than I could have anticipated. We live a very minimalist lifestyle (mostly by choice) we don’t even own a microwave, nor do we want one back. I enjoy living simply. Here I am trying my damnedest to push consumerist junk on people. Not just strangers but my own friends and family. It makes me a little sick. Here I am with my own set of chopsticks trying to save the salamanders and at the same time I am selling this product that decimates forests with all the propaganda magazines they print. It feels so false, so dirty. It feels like lying.

I feel like such a hypocrite. I can’t even bring myself to advertise my new sales job on my Facebook for fear my real colleagues see it. My pride has taken a huge hit, my integrity too, and I have hardly made any money doing it so far. Not for lack of trying. I am trying to the point where I have less time with my kids every day. So why am I continuing?  I want to do the best I can for them. I keep telling myself, just keep it up for a few short years, get them a house and a stable life. If it was just me and hubby we could hop apartment to apartment and I could hop facility to facility around the country and hubby could work odd restaurant jobs anywhere. Part of being and adult, and ALL of being a parent is letting go of selfishness. They deserve the stable childhood I didn’t get. They deserve parents who are always there for them and not always gone or busy.

I keep having dreams about the animals. Last night it was about my wolves. My old zoo was chaining them to dog houses and one had escaped. Obviously, my old zoo would NEVER chain our wolves to anything, it was just a dream. The other day I had one where I took a tiger to the local fair on a leash and was kicked out of the fair. I feel my subconscious is telling me that I am neglecting a huge and import part of who I am. I just wish I knew how to balance taking care of my family while achieving my goals too. This summer I doubt I will even have time to do anything with the Chain Off, let alone organize a No Tigers at Our Fair or rally for T.E.A.P.A HR 3359 in a totally new place.  Exclusively breastfeeding a newborn is a full-time job in and of itself.

Maybe one day I will find a balance… until then gotta do what is best for my kids and hope I don’t sell out too much of my integrity in the process…

Love and Marriage

My personal journey to find the meaning of true love;

Growing up, most people learn about “love” from their parents (parent figures.) If this is the case, I learned that love means you avoid your spouse a lot and fight in private often. That was my impression of what love was like for adults. Of course, my sister and I felt very loved from our parents and rarely SAW them fight, but we couldn’t help but notice the issues they had with each other. I had a very happy childhood because I knew how much my parents loved me, especially my Father. He would always take time out for us. I have a few negative memories of him, but the positive memories definitely outweigh them by a landslide. Love was good and real and I felt safe.

After Dad passed away, my mom’s new boyfriend (later turned husband #2, then later turned ex-husband…currently her Facebook friend who lives across the country who still occasionally calls her to vent about his personal problems)  moved in with us less then 6 months after his death. Needless to say, it didn’t go well; especially since he was quite abusive. I then learned love didn’t exist and in this life you need to put yourself first in all matters. You can imagine how this effected all other relationships in my life. I became selfish, kind of a bully, learned to keep people at arms length. Honestly, to this day I have a hard time letting people in all the way.

I had a high school sweetheart, we were together a little over three years. I loved him as much as a teenager can love someone else. We moved in together. We had a great relationship as far as being basically kids went. We would have probably died for each other. You know how teenage relationships go, lots of high drama and fast paced emotions. Lots of power struggles etc…  love was an abstract concept I thought I understood, but not really. After we broke up, badly; we both did what teenagers do: make horrible mistakes that hurt the other person more then necessary because we didn’t know how to deal with the emotions we were feeling. To this day, my deepest regret is the pain I caused him in my selfish and childish actions. He and I are currently good friends again; but that took a long time and is an entirely different blog posting. Suffice to say I am blessed to have him as my friend and couldn’t be prouder of all he has achieved and have learned that you can love someone romantically at one time of your life and then in another time will find that you love them very much as a part of your life but not in a romantic sense but because they are a good person and it is very natural to continue sharing a bond of close friendship with them.

Around the age of fifteen or sixteen I found my natural ability to relate to animals and understand them lead me to places of peace and calm. I got my first job at a humane society and being there was the most positive place in the world. I learned a lot of lessons there; some of them hard. I learned I could love an animal even when it was afraid and trying to bite me. I learned I could usually gain that animals trust and love back and that was the most amazing feeling in the world next to seeing them achieve a forever home. I learned that even when you love someone, sometimes the powers that be decide they have to die and you can’t do a damn thing about it but sob. I learned that trait that all Taurus’s eventually learn: that hard work at a steady pace is fulfilling and peaceful and right.  I fell in love with my job and knew from that time on what my path in life was to be.

I followed that path for years. Vet clinic, dog control, zoo. My degree is in Zoo Technology (Animal Management) and I worked through college too with the animals and teaching kids about conservation and animals. Professionally, I was filled with love. My animals continue to teach me how much I can care for another creature, even if it doesn’t show affection and love back or is even emotionally capable of having those feelings; reptiles show appreciation very differently then mammals do haha. The animals were my first lessons in empathy, real empathy and giving of myself. However in my personal life, “love” came in the form of mooching off boyfriends and being non-committal. Didn’t really care much about most other people except a few.  Didn’t let anyone in all the way.

That is; until taking a hiatus from the zoo and returning to shelter work to ground myself again, the bassist from my high school sweeties band came by the shelter to pick up his brother who had been volunteering. Let me tell you, it was not a good day for me. It was the end of the day, I was tired and smelly and we had just euthanized a hard case. I was not in the mood for chit chat. I just wanted to go home and wash the day off. Then in pulls this jerk from high school, the guy who was always getting my boyfriend in trouble. You know the type. You hang out with them, same circles and all, but are always a little leery because they seem to bring trouble no matter where they go. I had successfully avoided eye contact until his little brother says “Hey, why don’t you come say hi! You guys went to school together, right?” Great. Commence with hurried awkward chit chat; during which he tells me he has some court appointed community service he has to do (big surprise, I thought sarcastically to myself) and I hear myself offering to put in a good word for him at the shelter. As soon as he pulled away I regretted it. I did NOT have to put up with him for over 200 hours and did not want to have to deal with the possible professional backlash when he skipped on his commitments or made an ass of himself. At least there is plenty of grunt work to do around a shelter and as long as he didn’t hurt anyone or let the animals out he could pick up poo and spray kennels and wash dishes for 200 hours.

Slowly, very slowly, without actually realizing anything was happening; we started talking. A lot. Turns out, his mom owns a horse rescue (who knew?) and he was really good with the animals. Most people like animals and get along with them really well. But some people really have a way with them. It is hard to describe. Just a natural talent for understanding and communicating with them on their own level. I will never forget the first time I saw my husband working with a fearful dog. He knew exactly how to treat him and talk to him. He was so kind and gentle, I hardly recognized him. In retrospect, I think from that moment on I was probably hooked; although I hadn’t even realized it myself yet. I didn’t notice we spent a lot of our day working side by side, talking and laughing. We actually, much to my surprise, had a lot in common. I didn’t pay much attention when he would call me at home the night before and ask if I was working the next day and what time. I didn’t notice he went over his court mandated hours and came in to the shelter almost every day. It took a fellow shelter worker to point out to me one day while he was sweeping in the hallway and we were doing dishes that he “stares at you almost constantly.” I quickly peeked out in the hall and he too quickly turned around so as I wouldn’t notice. We went out to a movie, and I didn’t have a terrible time like I had been anticipating. I took him on a test run to visit my brother a few hours away, we even got stuck in a blizzard that first drive, and we enjoyed the entire time together; and yes he was a perfect gentleman the whole time!

It was; and truthfully still is, one of the most bizarre and wonderful things that has ever happened to me. Usually it goes: see cute boy, crush on cute boy, hit on cute boy, date cute boy, get bored with cute boy, dump cute boy. Rinse and repeat. This happened so naturally. I really wasn’t even looking for anybody at the time, I was taking a hiatus from everything not just the zoo field.

As it turns out; and he may be cranky I am revealing his secret online, his whole tough guy thing was pretty much just a front. He is probably one of the biggest soft touches I have ever met. I have never seen him turn his back on a stray animal, he is a generous and caring father and hardworking and loving husband. He has so many amazing qualities. We have gone through a lot of hardships together. Too many to name, but as example when we first began dealing with his alcohol addiction it was one of the only times I ever thought of leaving him. He has been sober for over four years now, but that first year and a half was something I will never forget and pray we never have to go thru ever again. I wasn’t perfect either of course. During that early time right before we got serious about his recovery I was having an emotional affair dabbling in physical. It came down to; for both of us, are we going to make this work or not? We chose to make it work. He enrolled in an outpatient program for addicts (alcohol and drug rehab) and I said goodbye and cut off contact with the guy I had been hanging out with. I miss him sorely as a friend, but it was not a good idea to continue being around him.

That early trial prepared us well for married life and taught me that love cannot be selfish. Love requires give and take and sometimes requires hardships. Love cannot just be all about one person in the relationship. I grew up a lot during that time. It was probably the first time in my life I made a conscious decision to work hard at love and to learn to be open and trust. The trust was the hard part. Sometimes it still is. He had broken my trust and I had broken his. I also learned that you really truly cannot stop loving the people you really love and you don’t get to pick who you will love. It is just something that happens to you, not because you make it happen but because it just happens. You have to work at it once you have it yes. Why? Because life is hard and people get stressed out because life is hard. At this point I thought I had learned everything there is to learn about love. I have the love of my life and we are married and very happy together.

Oh was I wrong! Our first child, the absolute light in my whole world, has shown me how much you can really love somebody. How far you can be pushed and still be willing to give them the world and all of yourself and more just to have them smile. Having a child is really something that can’t be described. I have never ever in my entire life cared about anyone so much, even myself. I have never wanted so bad just to see somebody smiling at me, or worked so hard to make someone else happy, even just for a few moments. I can’t even describe in words how much she has taught me about how much I really didn’t know about how much love I can really be capable of.

I wonder what I get to learn about love in the future?

New apartment, New town, New state

Here we are!

Internet is back on, I can give the updates now.

As my title states, we have crossed state lines into unknown territory and are now in a “townhouse;” or two-floor apartment, in a family friendly neighborhood on the outskirts of a relatively large city. It is no NYC or Syracuse even, but its bigger then the place we were just at. Close to three schools (although the school statistics for this entire state are mighty disheartening… active large online community for home school kids though…) within a stone throw of two playgrounds and even though it’s a complex… sorry community… there are a lot of families around us and by 9 pm all has been quiet on the home front. And a large active online mommy group for stay at home moms. Just what we wanted. The apartment is bigger then our last place by a little, the rent is WAY higher, but it seems to be a secure space so that’s OK. Hubby’s job is GREAT, he did take a $10,000 a year pay cut, BUT it has very affordable family health insurance, lots of opportunities for advancement, and seems like a great family oriented place. They even help him advance in his career by paying for school. Say he wanted to go to culinary school and get a degree so he could get a better job within their facility, they can make that happen. So, we are financially set back temporarily. I feel this place is like setting up some security for our future. We are also near a good zoo, it is a large zoo, BUT I do know a few people there and they do have a wild dog pack (I have dreamed of working with wild dogs, especially after my experience with the wolf pack at my old zoo; kind of personal career goal.) Not ready to go back to work full-time just yet, gotta have this baby first and raise it up a bit. Speaking of…

I am about 34 weeks now. I have only put on about 23 lbs so far. A far cry from the 60 lbs I put on with my first pregnancy, but a much healthier amount. I have also been more stressed out this last trimester and have not had access to a lot of food. So there’s that. Most of the food we did have I gave to our toddler, who has gone through another growth spurt during this transitional time; and if you didn’t know during growth spurts they eat like crazy and are extra fussy and tired. She now fits into 4T already, she is getting SO tall! She is barely two and a half and she’s that tall. Get’s it from her father of course.

The closest birth center is about two hours away, currently awaiting admission, should hear back by Thursday if they have accepted me. Had a few hiccups getting them my records, since I have had to change midwives twice this pregnancy. Obviously not by choice. Moving over 7 hours in 4 months time can do that. Been doing a lot of reading to prepare myself for this birth. I know I am wiser now and I am definitely more keen to how hospitals and doctors treat birthing women. I wanted a home birth this time; but they usually aren’t covered by insurance and we have moved so much it would have been hard to pin one down anyway. I would hate to be looking for a home birth midwife right now, especially since I am sure they are all booked up for my month. I did have a doula at the last place we were at, a dear old friend of mine who is training to become a CNM (certified nurse midwife) I was very sad to leave her. If I did get stuck with a hospital birth she was going to be my knight telling the doctors where they can shove there pitocin and other drugs and monitors and schedules and tubes etc… I will be happy to get into this birth center, it sounds like what I want. Come check me once and awhile to make sure the baby is safe but other than that let me walk around and breath and move and be calm and open. Let me do what my body was made to do and don’t stress me out! Is that so much to ask? In this country, yes. That’s a subject for an entire blog though. This one I am just updating our living situation.

All in all I have high hopes for our future here. I doubt we will stay in this exact apartment…townhouse… for more than a year, but it’s a good place to start. This is a good area and could lead to good things for us if we play our cards right. I would like to be closer to the ocean, but in time in time…

The lonely is already settling in, but that happens whenever you move, especially if you move far away. I miss my animals at the zoo, I miss my friends in both spaces we have been in in the past 4 months. I know my daughter is lonely too. She asks about her friends a lot. Now that we have internet I can hook up with a mommy group and get her some interaction with kids her own age! Her and Daddy are enjoying some quality time out of the house and giving me some quiet time for a bit, the first breather I have had in months. It’s not the same as playing with her own age group though. We can’t afford daycare, or I would put her in just for two or three days a week just so she could have some friends too. Gotta get in with the mommy group soon!

Don’t even want to discuss financial woes. We took out a small loan to move down here. Time to start paying that back! I have been thinking of joining Etsy; but so many people sell tutu’s I don’t know if I would even make a profit unless I expanded what I do. Going to try the consignment shops here first, lets see where that goes. A friend of mine who also makes really cool tutu’s said mine were really unique and would sell well. We shall see. Etsy has worked out great for my Aunt, but she is a very talented artist. No way anybody would buy the junk I scribble.

I know a lot of families around the country are having a harder time then we are. Things are bad all over. People keep talking how the recession is getting better. Honestly, for my circle and our life it seems like the recession has just hit. The past few years have been very prosperous. Suddenly all my friends are losing work and a lot of people in the military I know are being discharged for this reason or that reason. Not dishonorably or anything, just no more need for them I guess. I don’t know, I am not military, just know a lot in the service… or who used to be in the service anyway. My civilian friends are all seeming to get hours cut, business closing all over too. maybe the recession just took longer to hit the East Coast?

I will say one thing; we went to a food pantry for the first time ever in my life last week. Let me tell you that was hard. Even when I was homeless living out of my car I still didn’t go. Like I said, our toddler has been in a growth spurt during this transition, and I am pregnant I do need to eat a little bit now and then. So we went to the church and stayed in line for an hour and got 18 lbs of food; plus bread and eggs. It wasn’t as humiliating as I thought honestly. It felt good to have some food in the house again. I felt pretty awful though for us not having enough; even after taking out a loan and everything, to be able to keep enough food in the house. We don’t drink, we don’t do drugs, Hubby is down to less than one pack of smokes a week, we are both willing to work hard and we have just barely been carrying on a good living. It makes me wonder how others around the country are doing. People who do have addictions and issues. Our biggest expense is rent, food is number two on that expense list. I can’t imagine how hard things must be for others. Now that Hubby is going to be getting a steady paycheck again things should smooth out. We wont have enough for savings really like we did before the lay off, but we should be able to afford the necessities again at least. Thank God I saved all of the tot’s old infant stuff! We do need to go buy a new car seat, but I saved a gift card from x-mas to help with that. Frugal me always. Wish Hubby was the same! He spent $40 on food just for lunch today, his “victory” feast he called it. We did need a celebration but geeze home cooked food is supposed to be cheaper than dining out HAHAHA.

Yes, yes, I can hear it. You say stop complaining about money when you’re a stay at home mom! True, I could have this baby, heal and be back to work at any job full-time if I tried. That would add in quite a bit of income… or would it? My career, which I have been in since i was 15 and is VERY emotionally satisfying and I am well-trained to do and great at, unfortunately doesn’t pay well. So, right off the bat, I wouldn’t be able to go back into my field right away. So you say, call centers pay quite nicely. True that. I could do that, or be a waitress, or receptionist or a million other things. Add in the financial cost of daycare for a toddler and a newborn full-time. That’s a huge chunk of change.

Now, the most important part: if I went back to work full-time right after this baby is born, I would be giving over half my salary for people I barely know to raise my children for me. I am NOT going to get into the debate of working mom vs. stay at home mom. That’s not my bag. for OUR family, for what WE feel as a unit; letting a daycare raise our children is unacceptable. FOR US. In our personal beliefs and our family dynamic we feel that children need their parents as the primary caregivers. I have lots of friends who are working moms, that is what works for their family. That is their choice and I do NOT judge them for it. I am not living their lives and who would I be to impose my beliefs. Staying home doesn’t work for everybody, it’s not right for every family. But it is right for our family, and giving that up would cost more than any paycheck I could bring in would. Do I miss my career? Of course. But I have been zoo keeping for years, worked the shelters and animal hospitals before that and have a degree in Zoo Technology/Animal Management. I have not left my career. I am on an extended hiatus to take the best care of the most important people in my life in a manner that I see fit. I am young and there is plenty of time for me to go back to keeping full-time when the kids are old enough. Anyway, I still have my hand in the keeper cookie jar so to speak, so I am never too far away.

All life takes is a little determination and perseverance and you can get whatever you want…. unless what you want is to have a palace on the sun. That is not going to happen. Sorry. Everything else, just takes time. I think I am going to get in some Sim time before Hubby comes back with the tot and really relax awhile. Haven’t had time for Sims in months…

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