A Month of Settling In and Smoothing Out.

We have been in our new house for almost a month. We have gotten most everything unpacked and our place feels like a home. I got to work in the morning, come home to dinner at the table with my wife and kid. It’s almost suburban. Punky sets the table and helps clear the dishes after dinner. She asks to be excused and tells me about her day.

Our kid is settling in. (her bed did break and now she is delightfully sleeping on her ‘pull out couch’ on the floor) She dances around the living room, makes up stories about ‘her kids’ and plays with the new sandbox in our backyard.

We have a backyard!

IMG_9861

Watching all the kids on my Facebook feed headed off to Pre-K and Kindergarten; I get all sad that we can’t afford to send Miss Punky to preschool. I wish it was about education though. It’s not about education when you look into preschool. It’s about “daycare” – and we don’t need daycare. I’m not paying for daycare and education should be free.

So instead, her teacher is Super Why? And Daniel Tiger. Would someone think that inferior? Yea, probably. She gets “too much screen time” and then again, she’s learning a ton.

  • She knows how to write her name (backwards, but it’s all the letters)
  • She knows how to spell her name. (she can name the letters, when not prompted, because she’s not a monkey on command)
  • She can count to thirteen, she can recognize 1-5, and on a good day 1-10
  • She knows her ‘number’ (age) and her birthday.
  • She’s mostly potty trained, though the minute I type it out here, she will have six accidents on my new stairs. She’s not night trained. Without a washer and dryer (waiting on one soon!) we aren’t overly worried about it.
  • She’s known all her colors and her shapes since she was one.
  • Animal sounds are in the bag.

She pretends like no one’s business. She has ‘kids’ that she plays with. Not sure if it’s because she’s an only child or she is just a three year old with imagination and imaginary friend(s). She’s such a cute storyteller. She says all sorts of fun things.

11225388_10154187613724148_3823111794940384464_n

She’s currently into babies, fancy dresses and magical lands. We have made the ‘trek to the Magical Land of Potty” at least four times a day in the last week. She’s all about adventure. Climbing. Dancing. She asks questions, questions I’m not prepared to answer – but I do.

IMG_9705

She collects rocks and fairy stories. She watches the stars and asks the big questions. The questions on religion hasn’t come up. She’s not really been exposed. I have been thinking alot about that. When it comes. Because she has SO many questions. I don’t want to indoctrinate her one way or the other. I don’t want to give her my truth or their truth. I want to teach her to think and to question and to make up her mind.

That’s just too much for a three year old – so for now, I give her answers to the questions she asks, and prepare myself for the ones she hasn’t thought of yet.

IMG_9829 (1)  11896013_10154182826674148_7545694972895298327_n

In the end, we made a move and we got back on our feet and we weathered the storm of our kid in the process. She’s somehow lost her listening ears along the way, but I’m confident we will get them back. Find out where she hid them. I’m hopefully that we will continue to smooth out, it’s already in the works.

Operation Move Out: Bumpy Road Still Traveled

We moved into our new home a week ago. I have not felt this light and stress free in a long time. So, with the new job being the perfect job for me, the new home being the perfect home for me, so far life couldn’t get much better in my mind. I wake up in the morning, I bask in the quiet of the day before I start getting ready. I go to work, I come home to ….

the BUMPS.

Punky hasn’t been adjusting near as well as I have. It makes me feel bad, but she’s been going between fits of hateful, to being her old happy self. To put some perspective on it, she was so little when we moved in with Gram, she doesn’t remember a time when it was just the three of us, in a house, alone. Throw in a few phrases that have been said around her hugely empathetic heart and she’s gotten worried.

She’s transfixed on the thought that Gram and Pop are lonely without her. She’s sad that she doesn’t see them every day. She is bored because she doesn’t get to go outside as much as she wants or doesn’t have a pool in the backyard. She’s pissy because she didn’t get a choice, she didn’t have control over this and it’s all so brand new still.

My first instinct when we decided to move was to make sure she had an awesome room that she could play in. That would be all hers. A place she could go and be and have her own space. And I think she likes her room. I wish she would have helped pick out more of the things, but being a three year old with a small attention span, Mommy was unrealistic in thinking that would happen. But we spent a whole night putting it together and when she got to see her new home for the first time, she got to see her new room.

IMG_20150801_235419 IMG_20150801_235428 IMG_20150801_235446

It hurts my heart though, to see her go through this. And it makes it even more frustrating, because I want to let her know that her feelings are valid and we value her emotions; but at the same time I want to teach her that there are appropriate ways to express your sadness, that you can can’t go around telling your  Mama you hate her every time you miss Gram.

Of course, reasoning with a three year old is like trying to nail jello to a tree or however that saying goes.

IMG_20150730_083413

And so I feel sad that I am so much lighter since we have moved, so much has been lifted off my shoulders (emotionally, the bills haven’t come yet, as Kim liked to remind me the other day) and yet my little girl is struggling. It also sucks to come home to reports of the abuse that Kim has had to suffer at the hands of our three year old.

I know there are a lot of people in the world don’t think that a highly medicated woman with BiPolar Disorder is fit to take on the full time stay at home mom role. And it was never supposed to be the plan when we go pregnant. But that’s the life that we lead now and while I know it’s not ideal for Kim, she does an excellent job. We have had our moments this week, as we do, as all married couples do, but overall, I’m so proud of her for stepping up and taking on the responsibility.

10360611_10153997881049148_313172250500686325_n

Living with her mom afforded us a lot of luxury in saving money, saving time, saving energy. Sleeping in when we were sick, staying out if we needed a break. I know this move is an adjustment for Kim as well.

To add a rebellious three year old to the mix – who keeps telling her she hates her and she wants to move out and she hates this house and she wants Gram; it just isn’t making for a great home life for my two girls I don’t think. Add in there the fact that when Punky has a tantrum (which really are so few and far between) she resorts to hitting, anything her little hands can connect with. Kim’s not known for her patience, but she has been doing exceptionally well, given the circumstances.

IMG_20150805_214644 IMG_20150805_214509

I’ve had to resort to telling Miss Punky if she can’t be nice to Mama she will lose the privilege of calling Gram and visiting with her. And until she has a better attitude (because she demands we call Gram when she’s mad or throwing a tantrum) we will not be calling Gram. I don’t like to say things like that, and I certainly don’t want to have to enforce it, but it really seems to be the biggest thing that Punky is responding to. I don’t know what else to do. She has suddenly lost her listening ears and she willfully does the complete opposite of what we say. She’s lost that happiness that exudes from her and the silliness and the manners.

IMG_20150802_182729

I’m all about talking it out, figuring things out together, giving her a time and her own space. But there still have to be boundaries and limits. How do you parent with compassion and love and all that hippie dippie nonsense and still have order  and a clear balance in your house? We don’t spank her, often, like literally three times in her life I think. We don’t use physical punishment if we can help it and for the most part, she responds better to verbal talking it out, waiting til she’s ready to talk. Not lately. We haven’t figured it out yet. So it’s about 50/50 ratio of smiles and tantrums in our home.

Where did this kid go? When do we get her back?

1151036_10152138163299148_37125358_n 10173697_10153986611004148_7096083781779875463_n

My rational mind knows that a big move is a big change for a kid that’s so small and doesn’t have much control over the things in her life. But, it’s frustrating, sad, and disheartening to see her battle us. Battle Kim mostly. I’m starting to feel a little helpless in how to make things better for either one of them. The only for sure peace we get is when she’s asleep. And she falls asleep AFTER us. She’s up super late, I feel like this may not be the best thing for her, but it keeps her content to lay in her bed and read books on her tablet, so we let her do it.

IMG_20150804_092457

So far giving her little tasks and responsibilities has helped. She helps me set the dinner table and it seems to be a really cool thing to her. She likes putting the plates where they go and the silverware. She likes picking where each of us will sit for the night’s dinner. She wants to make sure the ketchup is on the table at all times, whether it’s needed or not. She helps me clear the table after dinner, putting stuff in the dishwasher. It seems to lighten her mood, make her feel like she’s in control.

IMG_20150804_205632

I am hoping once we get more unpacked and more settled we will see more of these smiles and more lightness fill the eyes of our little one. Once things starting looking and feeling more like a home and not a massive pile over pile of boxes to unpack, hopefully my wife can feel the lighter load of stress on her shoulders that I feel a majority of the time now.

The Safari into the Housing Jungle

I’ve been a real “Debbie Downer” the last few weeks. Between being sick with a cold in the summer (who the hell gets those!?) and being turned down for every place we would inquire about or look at. It’s made me impatient, grumpy, SLEEPY, and overall a tiny bitch to be around. This is just been stress after stress, no after no and sometimes, I felt like I took it out on Kim and the littlest one in the house. The one for which is my existence, but parenting was tough, she doesn’t stop talking, she wants me to fifty different things all in the way she wants, she has 6 million questions a day (I lost count at the real amount, but that’s an accurate estimate.) At the end of this last week, I have been sick *literally* and tired *literally* of nothing going the way I wanted it to.

squish

Last week we were told that the house we really wanted to look at was already rented, after we had been trying to get in touch with someone for a week before that. We were pretty bummed, we didn’t even get to look at it yet, but the square feet and the rental price was pretty decent for us, so we really would have liked it.

I told the lady renting it out that we would like to look at the other properties she had. They had  a couple others we could look at that were in similar price ranges. She called me on Friday morning and said that the people who rented, signed a lease and started to move into the one we originally wanted, backed out. We were next on the list if we wanted it.

Are you kidding? Of course I wanted it! At this point, I have put make more money than I have ever seen in my life and absolutely no one wanted to take it from me. It was burning a gigantic hole in my pocket and pushing me further and further into a funk that I was having a hard time getting out of.

So, we went and saw it and while it’s not the cutest or the prettiest. The set up is a little weird, with the first room you walk into being the kitchen; the bedrooms are in the basement and I can literally touch the ceiling for how short the basement ceilings are. But it’s clean, and new, and it could be ours. IF the application was approved. Of course, I knew my credit is shit and I owe our previous landlord at least $2000 from when we moved out last year, I had every doubt that the application would get denied again and we would be where we were before.

I wanted it! I wanted the day before yesterday! Take my money lady. That’s all I kept saying.

So we put in the application. The lady said the previous people were living in it for 3 hours and backed out, decided they didn’t want it and that was that. No reason why, they were evasive about the reasons. But that meant the landlord wanted someone in it, ASAP. So, I’m thinking – maybe they will overlook all the negative, if there’s such an urgency. I even agreed to a higher deposit, just to help them take my money.

3-5 days she told me on Friday. That was how long it takes for the application to go through. She said, he might fast track our application, but he doesn’t work on the weekends, so…. we just figured we wait. I waited for a big fat no, a new rejections in my face. Kim was painting the walls and decorating the living room with her mom in their heads.

I was leaving the house this afternoon to hang out with my best friend and on a SUNDAY I got a call from the duplex lady. I answered it and she said, “Hey how you?” And then she said….

Approved!

And there we have it, I felt the burden lift from my shoulders, my giddy happiness is more than needed. I am propelled out of my funk and moving on to the next phase: dropping off the deposit. Finishing up the rest of the things to do and possibly moving our shit in to OUR NEW HOME as early as Friday.

We have our own place. This kid gets to have a backyard and a bedroom again! She might actually go to sleep at a decent hour and be able to play with her toys and we won’t feel over crowded!

IMG_9314

We are saying goodbye to Gram’s house and hello to our own place. So exciting!

What?! WE WERE APPROVED! And I couldn’t be happier.

I’m just so damn excited.

So much and So Little

I’ve been negligent of this blog, mostly because – I just don’t want to write about all the thing that have been going through my head lately. The hit and run saga with the neighbor is still ongoing. The insurance has declined the claim, due to both a police report stating I’m not the one who hit his car and the pictures of the alleged damage dating back to 2013. He disputed it. So I had to get my car inspected by a Geico claim person, who again told me not to worry about it. My claims lady called last week and said we were waiting on him. I’m waiting on him. He’s the one disputing it, I didn’t hit his car, and I’m waiting on him. What an asshole.

In other news, we have been searching for a new place. We have been living in this basement for a year. It’s a lot longer than I ever expected to be living. With the move in of Kim’s sister, the house has gotten more cramped, not to mention we are now sharing our basement with our three year old. She’s going to bed later, getting up earlier, I’m beginning to think the sleep isn’t really happening for her, like it should.

11034890_10154055823324148_4504986369681896356_n

Of course my work schedule has changed, so I’m also home later. I feel like I have no time with her. I make myself do things with her on the weekend, because even though I’m tired, I don’t think I get much time with her anymore. I probably get the same amount of time, it’s just the chunks are cut in half and at different times now. Morning and night. My whole day is at work. From 10-7pm.  I miss my munchkin, but  when I’m home, she misses me so much she suffocates me sometimes. Then I feel like a shitty mom for wanting my own damn space. And so the cycle goes on and on.

I think my life would feel lighter if we had our own place again. If we just had our own space. I had a place I could just go to for a few minutes to myself. A quiet space. A place of alone. But, the house hunting is going poorly. We have been declined on renting places twice now, and the few we have called on are too expensive for us to rent. This is mostly due to my poor credit, and I don’t know how to fix it. I never really cared about that kind of thing and being the girl who lived paycheck to paycheck, I’m learning we have been pretty lucky in the past. Not so lucky now.

So I’m becoming discouraged. It doesn’t bode well for my confidence or my self esteem. Not to mention that with my work schedule I don’t have time to call these places, and it’s my income and my information they need. Making the house hunting a pile of not fun and disappointment. What makes it worse is that I have saved enough money back for a deposit and a first month’s rent, and continue to put money back. I have the money in my hands and no one wants to take it from me. I have us on a budget, I have been able to make it to pay day with more than $30 in the bank. 44

These small victories are hard to celebrate and be happy about, when it amounts to nothing as we still live in this basement.

While it would seem that I don’t like my new job. I actually love it. I have never been in an atmosphere that is so laid back, so inclusive, and so diverse. It’s a great job full of great people and it’s where I need to be. I just wish I had jumped the ship at my previous sanity draining job four years ago. Maybe I wouldn’t have such a lasting damaging effect from it now. People surely wonder what was so bad about that job and I will just say that I was screwed over by the leadership so many times, I lost faith in a company that I was with for 10 years. It takes a lot for someone who is established somewhere for that long to up and leave. And I did it, because it was healthier for me. I feel better about myself, my life and my future.

My computer has been fried twice now in a week and it’s making it difficult to keep up with my Etsy shop. I so love my shop, but I’m starting to think I need to take a break from it. I don’t have the time. I want to have the time. I really enjoy designing things and there are so few invitations options for families like mine and the rest of the LGBT community, I don’t want to shut down and leave the options fewer.

The weight is heavy on my shoulders, but well, I know I just need to get out of my funk. It’s all piling up to create a beast inside. Making me not interested in enjoying anything or doing anything but lay on the couch and binge watch something on Netflix.

In better news, I have saved enough that I was able to buy a better camera from my sister in law. It was a happy coincidence that she got a new one and I was able to purchase her old one! It takes excellent pictures and it gets me out of the house with our sweet girl. We’ve been on a lot of adventures together with it.

My goal, whether I feel like it or not, is to never let my kid know how down I am. Never let her know that life is not as fun and carefree as her childhood reflects. She will never feel the weight on her own shoulders. I refuse to allow that. I will keep her a kid for as long as I can. A happy, fun, and carefree kid.

IMG_8828 IMG_8869 IMG_8913 IMG_8918

If you follow me on Facebook, you have seen these pictures, but my kid is a climber. I call her monkey. She’s Punky on here, but she’s my little monkey. She climbs everything. Including this 30 foot rope pyramid. No matter how tall, as long as it is stationary and has hand and feet holds, she will climb the shit out of anything. She’s destined to give me pre-mature grey hair. Good thing I dye it!

Our weekends are packed full of a balance of relaxation and adventure! Yesterday was no different. We went to a flower garden in a heat advisory. Not the best planning on our part, but Punky’s best friend Cheeks and her mom went with us. These girls have been friends since they started walking and it’s been so awesome to see them grow up and play together!

IMG_8979 IMG_9012 IMG_9034 IMG_9076

Regardless of the negative in my head right now, the outward is happy and beautiful. My life is worth so much of thankful things, things I have that are great. I just get stuck in my head sometimes. And the anxiety and worry and the beating myself up gets in the way sometimes of the beauty of my life right in front of me.

12 years later…..

We quietly celebrate the Supreme Court Decision, but more on that later….

So, first, I am SO sorry not to be keeping this blog up! I swear – I love my new job and everything that comes with it, but it’s been messing with my time. I get up early, come home, spend as much time as I can with Miss Punky and then I’m in bed shortly after she is. I haven’t seen the inside of my laptop for more than an hour at time each night, which is so not normal.

But who wouldn’t rather spend time with this face!

11541921_10154014867934148_6237019815148295267_n

So, in small news; long time readers know that we have been living with Kim’s parents for nearly a year – in July. It’s been a great time, we appreciate all they have done to help us out, but we are ready to fly out of the nest. Especially since the nest is getting more birds! LOL. Kim’s sister and boyfriend has also moved in, which is great, I know Punky loves them and they are a great help, but I personally just want our own space.

I have been saving money and putting money back, not if we could just get approved for a rental house or townhouse. Unfortunately, my credit is crappy and it isn’t really proving to be an easy task. We have had three places now slip out from underneath us. So, I’m starting to get a bit frustrated. But time will tell and my resolve will strengthen and I will do what I can to keep my spirits up.

Miss Punky helps keep a smile on my face with her many adorable antics! (Of course if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you have seen all these already!)

11140292_10154005428324148_100812186471915624_n

10410310_10154013634584148_214620430885794451_n

The other reason I would love to move – is because our crazy neighbor has decided that I hit his car. Like a literal Hit and Run. About a week or so ago, I came back from the store and found him and Kim on the porch discussing how someone hit his car and left. The one side of the road is blocked off and people try to cut through all the time, have to turn around and leave the street. Apparently, I assume, one of them hit his car.

My car has a scratch along the driver side back door and he is convinced that it’s because I hit his car. Except to be even consistent with his damage, I would have been backing out to go towards the blocked off part of the road, which doesn’t even make sense. AND that scratch was there practically since I bought the car two years ago. I told him that it was an old scratch and I have pictures of my daughter hanging out by it if he wanted to see it. He didn’t seem convinced.

Remember the safe place that we do with Punky. I take pictures of her by it, constantly. This is is from APRIL. I have others from when she was old enough to walk, because we have been doing the safe place for about that long.

img_3899

Anyway, the guy basically told me that he was going to be aggressive about and he would hunt the person down. We both totally agreed with him. I’d be pissed if someone hit my car and left. I mean seriously he has a reason to be pissed. But I didn’t hit his car. Jeez. So later we saw him pacing the street (it’s blocked so not a lot of traffic) and pounding his fist in his hand. He was starting to get a little crazy looking. He was starting to freak me out a bit.

He called the cops, filed a report, which I found to be an acceptable idea.

Then the cops came to my door. We expected it. He was insistent, after seeing my scratch that I hit his car. They told us that they had an “independent witness” that saw a white car back out of our driveway, hit his car, and leave. Well, great. Of all the colors the car had to be, it had to be white. No wonder this guy was so sure.

We simply told the cops we didn’t hit his car and offered to show them my car. Which has no damage – especially none consistent with his – and the policewoman told me the scratch on the side looked old and I offered the picture I found. She basically said she would send it to investigate in the traffic department and we might get a letter.

The next day, we did wake up to a nice pile of dog shit in our walkway to the porch, in the most convenient place for a stray dog to do his business. Suspicious, yes. Provable, no.

So, I let it go – until yesterday when my insurance sent me an email regarding my “recent claim”. EXCUSE ME? What claim?

I call customer service and she says that a man sent a claim stating we hit his car. I adamantly disputed it. While I was on the phone with her, setting up the dispute, Kim called the cops, now it was harassment. She was not happy. I told the insurance woman that I would not accept this claim until there was a police report stating I had to. I didn’t hit car and I wasn’t going to take his bullying tactics. Absolutely not allowing the claim to be my responsibility or on my insurance reflecting on me.

Kim finished her talk and said they called the original police woman that came to our home to talk to her about the case. The case was already closed and we were deemed NOT AT FAULT. Thus, the claim is not necessary and could be considered insurance fraud. She said that we weren’t even suspects any longer, only witnesses, because the scratches on my car are old and the damage wasn’t consistent with his. If I was still a suspect, I would have been told immediately, because a hit and run is a criminal offense. It’s serious business, I could go to jail for shit like that!

I will be calling the insurance Monday morning with the case number and investigator’s name. The claim will not be on me. Crazy ass neighbor man. Jeez.

ANYWAY.

I’m sure since I’m in a two mom household, everyone expected this post to be about the Supreme Court ruling yesterday. Sorry to disappoint. I do want to talk about it, but I think I will make a post on it’s own. Because this happened when I turned on my Facebook all day yesterday and this morning.

1045183_691327214230068_129200077_n

I’m overjoyed that my wife and I can be legally married. Regardless. Anyone who has been reading, know that we have had such a struggle getting my name changed, despite the LEGAL Marriage License we are in possession of. The name thing has made things pretty difficult to get through credit checks and work documents have been made more confusing. A name is a name, but when it effects life stuff; I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal until it literally hindered so many aspects of my life and goals.

We hope that this ruling will help us to put Kim’s name on Punky’s birth certificate as a second parent, we will wait and see how that pans out.

I was at work when the decision came down. I was glued to the live feed of the news and when it came through, I couldn’t do anything but cry. Cry for all the struggles washed away in an instant, cry for all the happiness that filled me to overflowing. Cry for the notion that my daughter will know that her family is just as good as anyone else’s family.

For now, I sit and read quietly some posts of dissent on the decision (mostly comments from friends of friends on friend’s posts) and more profile pictures turning rainbow and supportive memes and comments flooding my wall. It’s beautiful to know we are surrounded by such love and support. It’s been a long time.

After 12 years of love, 8 months of marriage, and three years of motherhood we are finally and truly married. And for that I will say I am grateful. Grateful to President Obama for standing up and supporting the idea. Grateful to the Supreme Court for making it possible. And grateful to all our friends and family for being so overjoyed for our little family.

I do have comments on the religious backlash.I do have comments on those people who are so against this. But I will leave that for another day. Or not at all, who knows. Because at the end of the day:

Love wins, people. Love is all that matters. Love is what the world is healed by.

Congratulations to the rest of my readers who are in the same boat as us on this decision. And thanks to ALL OF YOU who have supported and loved us these last 12 years. WE are a quiet family, we don’t make waves or commotion, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t overjoyed and elated by this news!

Micro Monday: Home is Your Roots, Not your Destination

I went home this weekend. It was a pleasant trip, for what it was. I got to hang out with my nieces and nephews between scheduled events. I also got to get a four generation picture with the ladies of my family, which turned out pretty neat.

11391417_10153958950274148_2460508803707702041_n

I realize now why I suffer from PTSD. My therapist keeps saying that I was “traumatized” as a child. I didn’t believe her. I mean, really, the word TRAUMA is so drastic. I don’t like to use it. I don’t like to believe that I was a victim of such a drastic word. And I still believe that everyone always has someone in the world who has it worse than you.

I’m beginning to understand though, I have to own that term. I have to stand up and realize that it is a valid diagnosis.

11391218_10153957787544148_5470445991535162672_n

This is the actual street I grew up on.

Above all things I’ve been diagnosed with, the agoraphobia, the panic disorder, the anxiety – PTSD has always been the hardest for me to wrap my head around. The hardest for me to accept.

At the same time, kids don’t come out of the womb with a parenting manual. A guide to raise them perfectly. Parents – all of them – the past, the future, and all of us doing it now – we do the best we can. We do what we know or we do the opposite. In my case, I do the opposite. That should be my first clue that my therapist is right. Right?

 11390161_10153957838369148_4517772786497492264_n

At the end of the day, I can only hope that I can be steadfast in building a bond with my daughter that was not like one I experienced with my own mother until I was much older. I want nothing more than to be a beacon for her, the light in the darkness, the protector of her innocence and her heart. I want to teach her in ways that don’t come easy for me. Things I didn’t understand as a kid.

11295791_10153911941379148_1490546807877106208_n 10462992_10153938418884148_5721539559442144817_n

In the end, I want to have a bond with her that is unbreakable. I strive to keep my tone gentle, my words encouraging, my actions those that I can be proud of. I want to build a foundation between us that will never shatter or fray or tear. We will have our moments of strife, all kids and parents do. I am not naive in thinking that she won’t push me to my limits, she won’t do something so incredibly ridiculous I lose my cool. But I hope, beyond hope, that I will be the mom I want to be and her memories of her childhood will be just that.

10176045_10153961694899148_3224085736826807599_n

That of a child.

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

Back to Working Mom Status

In January, I took a leave of absence from my job with the prescription benefit manager I had been working at for 10 years. It was a culmination of all kinds of things, but in the last three years, I’ve been nothing but unhappy there. Workplace politics, past actions on my part to shape my reputation, and my lack of mobility to move up in the company contributed to that unhappiness. In the end, my anxiety became so bad that I dreaded going to work. I was also dreading starting over. I just couldn’t imagine it. I’d been in the same company for 10 years. I knew everyone. Everyone knew me. I was a senior, I was the go to for several projects, training, and well respected (usually).

What was I going to do if I quit this job and started over?!

Instead, I chose the leave of absence. It was supposed to be a way to help me sort through my anxiety and get over my ever growing need to throw up every time I walked through the door of my only real, adult job. It turned into a feeding ground for my newly diagnosed Agoraphobia.

I hid out on my couch and worked in my Etsy shop and made a little money, and felt like shit the entire time I wasn’t working. I wasn’t making money, we were living with my mother in law, and my bills were piling up.

But your leave should be paying you.

Yea, you would think so. But there was so stupid snafu with the doctor’s office and the leave office. The leave office had my maiden name in their records and the doctor’s office has my married name. The two didn’t add up and I can’t change it at the leave office without my SS card being changed. My SS card can’t be changed until the same sex marriage appeal is finalized in our state.

So. Nothing was ever done about my medical records and my leave closed itself out.

While I was wasting away in our house, or taking Miss Punky to play dates or the park, establishing a routine and discipline plan for her, I was looking for another job. I just couldn’t sit at home anymore. And … I couldn’t go back to where I came from.

In essence, the job I held for 10 years was the cause of the bulk of my declined mental state. There wasn’t a way for me to rectify that I would be fit to ever go back there.

So I found a new job. And I started on Monday.

It’s a 20-30 minute drive depending on the traffic. But, it’s worth it.

Maybe it’s because I’m a new employee and everything is shiny and new and wonderful, but it would seem that this place is the right fit for me. 8-12 weeks of training, compared to the 4 weeks of training I got in my previous job. Doing similar work, except instead of prescription, I will be fielding calls for medical questions.

The facility is small and it’s only open Monday through Friday which means I will have weekends off for the first time in nearly 10 years. Also, while I was working til midnight in my previous job, I will be working til the latest 8PM.

The atmosphere of this place is so engaged and energetic. I can’t get over the fact that everyone is so smiley and friendly and helpful. I’ve not heard any disparaging remarks about the calls they take in the break room, no obnoxiously dressed people. The bathrooms are clean and always stocked with toilet paper. (All these things I didn’t have before).

I do have two three complaints. I have to dress business casual and I am used to jeans. The drive is a bit much, but I finally made it there and back without my GPS yesterday, on my third day of work. AND I don’t get to get up with Punky in the morning. I didn’t think I would be so sad about leaving her again, I always said “I’m a working mom for a reason” but the last few months of being a stay at home mom has strengthened our bond and really made me miss being home with her.

My brakes were going out and so it was lucky that Punky’s godfather helped save the day and help fix the brakes for me. Since I couldn’t make any sudden stops without sliding into a grinding stop, it was very difficult for me to drive to work in traffic in the morning and afternoon. Especially since I was driving during a typical rush hour type traffic. And I was driving with anxiety of cars. So thank goodness for the awesomeness of her godfather and my very best friend who is his wife.

0430151648a

I was completely stopped when I took this picture!

 As for the dress code, it’s not what I’m used to, but I have been making due with ridiculous shoes!

11164667_10153845177429148_6819924726606601378_n

And yesterday I got to hang out with my little miss Punky when I was getting ready for work yesterday morning. She caught me while I was putting on my make-up (another thing I’m not used to) and wanted to follow me around the house. It made my getting ready for work much harder. But this face is just too cute to pass up.

10995554_10153844601144148_456784604574307070_n 11174849_10153848985399148_2359592047807911100_n

So all is well in the work department. I feel lighter and my emotional state feels so much more stable.

Sorry For the Password!

The previous post is password protected, with a password that is not the normal one. If you want to read the post, message me or send me an email at rachael (dot) leann (@) gmail (dot) com

It’s protected for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I have some pictures and thoughts that I don’t want to subject some people to. I hate password protected posts as much as everyone else, but sometimes, you have to protect other people’s privacy and feelings.

Evolution of an Artist with Wishes

Even though three has come with its share of whining and screaming for no reason and other assortments of unpleasant habits, words, and behaviors; it’s my favorite age so far!

Yes, Punky totally tells me I’m not fair all the time. That’s a bit annoying.

But if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook; you have been bombarded by the cuteness that is my child. More than that, I have been so impressed and astonished with her evolution in personality and interests.

Just a few weeks ago, she was writing letters to people. Notes if you will. She was ‘writing’ in a line, either on lined paper or not, her scribbly lines were thin and straight along the line. Like she knew she was supposed to write that way. Even if she didn’t know how to actually draw words.

Then a few days ago, she moved from a page full of circles to a page full of ‘faces’.

20984_10153797799839148_665972920249387045_n

Yesterday, those faces got some legs and were named things. (Creepy Robots)

11159502_10153805643324148_4688243156722434665_n

Previously, she couldn’t tell me what it was she was drawing whenever I asked.

TODAY – she drew her family. Her immediate family. Mommy, Mama, and Me.

12900_10153809606369148_6279827774289432388_n

I have no idea why this brought me so much joy and pride. I just have no idea. Maybe its the fact that these ‘people’ have arms now. Or, I asked her which one was and she was able to definitively tell me who was who – as if she drew them deliberately. And while I love her Grammy and Papa, I also love that Punky is able to distinguish who her PARENTS are in relation to herself. It’s just so damn amazing to me that it brought a few tears to my eyes.

Yea, I’m that mom.

I dated the picture and the first note she wrote me and I will put it in her box of important growing up things to save.

In addition to writing, she is loving reading and being read to. When she was a baby, I used to read bedtime stories to her, but she was too little to pay attention. She was more interested in eating the pages than she was actually listening to the story. Now, we read a story before bed every night, we got to the library to get new books, and when I’m done reading the books, she wants them to read to herself and her babies.

14593_10153804272064148_765840272951112773_n

Punky has also just recently discovered “wish flowers” and she loves waving their little white puffy seeds all over the street. The neighbor ladies watch her from the windows and their front door and just think it’s adorable. I think! I think it’s adorable, that’s all that matters.

11162084_10153809805094148_3311871707482137542_n

This kid just continues to amaze me. She continues to grow and change every single day. She soaks up all the information around her, interprets it, and then repeats it. It’s just so crazy and pretty damn awesome to watch. Here’s to a summer of more fun and discovery.