Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Partner in Crime

Jesse and Frank
When it comes to making big family decisions and you have a life partner, you work together with said partner. Sometimes you agree, sometimes you don't. The major decision that is weighing heavy on my heart right now is whether or not to have a second baby. I'm ready. My husband is very reluctant due to our current financial situation. We have a credit card to pay off and I have student loans to figure out and start paying down. I'm happy to pay down the credit card. The student loans are another story. I'm working on finding government student loan forgiveness programs and utilizing tuition reimbursement at work. Basically, I'm giving it 6 months to a year to make a major dent in those things by working overtime twice a month. That should give me reasonable ability to make large payments.  But in the mean time I'm pretty heart broken about it. Well, less heart broken, more major depression. Time is ticking away faster than I want. The age gap between my first and my second (if we get there) is getting wider and wider. This reality adds to the stress of the whole thing. What I know in my heart of hearts is that my kid needs a partner in crime and the only way to give her one for life is through a sibling. Now, I just have to work toward making it happen.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Garbage Tale

You see, when you have a kid, you have (well, most people) have a fundamental shift in how they see the world. You basically go from "I wonder what I'll do with all my free time this afternoon after work. I wonder how I"ll feel about it. Ohhh, I'm going to stop at the library and piddle around and maybe I'll try a new recipe and have a drink...or maybe I'll work out for 2 hours." to someone who thinks, mostly, about nothing other than how to protect and cultivate that child in to someone who has a healthy level of happiness and can go out and handle the world without becoming an embittered cynic. You have to be clear with people, lots of people, about what rules are in place when dealing with your kid and about the barriers you have set in place. These people could range from close family members to teachers to friends and neighbors. Then you have to enforce those rules and barriers, regardless of how those things make anyone of those people feel. That last part is the hardest part for me as a parent. I don't like confrontation, especially with family members. I also don't like to hurt people and sometimes during confrontation, I just fucking blow it. I've done it with my sister in the past and now I've done it with my sister in law.  The words don't come out right and they come at me swinging and I can't take it and....it just is a horrible situation. Let me explain it.

My husband confronted my sister in law about how we aren't yet comfortable with Lilly hanging out with her new boyfriend. We just aren't ready. We have only been in the room with this guy twice. I'm not saying that my husband had this conversation to the best of his ability. Naturally, it came out alllllll wrong. My SIL has translated this in to "We don't trust you. We think you have poor judgement about people. You are a horrible person who dates potential pedophiles." She thinks that because she undoubtedly trusts this guy that she's been dating for 6 weeks that we should automatically trust him too. But you see, when my kid is involved, I don't have to trust anyone. Anyone. Its not about her, its about my setting some clear boundaries.
Now here's the garbage part. We were desperate for a baby sitter this weekend. Her boyfriend is in town, which I didn't know. So Derek asked her to watch Lilly on Saturday for a few hours while I slept and he went and made a video. I wasn't aware until a few days ago that she was planning on taking him, the boyfriend, along. She basically said that he goes or she's unavailable. And so of course, he said he wasn't happy but he didn't feel he had a choice.  I would have asked if she could leave him at the apartment for a few hours, but that didn't happen until the pinnacle of our horrible conversation on the phone today. So our willingness to go along with it this one time kind of reneged the whole premise of our concern. Does that make sense? I agree. Its stupid. In the end, after much ado, tears, compromise and some really horrible texts, we cancelled. Derek changed the time of his gig (imagine the horrible situation that could have saved us). So, we're taking a little break from all of this. Putting some time and distance between us might help us heal. My fear is that we have irrevocably ruined our relationship with her. But hopefully, like with my sister, it'll get better.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

30 Helens Agree, Fall is Awesome

Who doesn't love fall?  Fall is refreshing and full of sun, blue skies and cool air. For all my pals on FB, fall = stuff in crock pots, pumpkin scented candles, and some fancy drinks at Starschmucks.  For me, Fall = The Pretenders blasted loud in my car with the windows down, Kids in the Hall, pumpkins in the front yard and being outside. It also means my kids birthday, she was born on a hot fall day 5 years ago today. Despite my husbands insisting there was 0% chance she'd be a redhead like her mama, out she came with a wisp of red hair and lots of attitude. She has been rocking my world ever since.

Becoming a parent has been difficult on many different levels. Its been hard on my bank account, hard on my marriage, resulted in a desire for a career change and, subsequently, the need for a new degree. I wanted to do something she could be proud of. The path I was on was not leading toward growth, career opportunities or job satisfaction. I didn't want her to see me at 50, bitter, in the same dead end job. So off I went, back to college. I can honestly say I did it for myself and for her. I love this job so much. It was the right move. And when its time to do something different, there will be plenty of options: Educator, Administrator, Management. My daughter will get to see me move into different jobs, utilize my brain, continue my education and hopefully make a difference.

Almost all of the women in my family are career women. My mom's mother, Mary, went off to Business School after high school in the 40s. She worked, helping to support her family, until she got married.  When her kids were small, my grandfather got cancer in his leg and had to have it removed. For a period of time, his income as a salesman stopped and my grandmother went right back to work. Her mother and aunt were educated and were teachers. My mother is a nurse. My aunts have careers in law, IT, education and banking.  My dads mother raised 5 kids and did hair on the side. If you look at my family tree, on both sides, the farther out you go on both sides, the more clear it is = I come from a long line of career minded women.

Of course being a parent with a career has certain sacrifices and guilt involved. And I think that guilt element is more specific to women. Men were never told they were supposed to be home with the kids, not out trying to be like a man. But even now, we all still have to work past that bullshit. I may not get to spend every day, all day with my child, but the time we do spend together is full of love...usually. And now that I have school behind me, I can enjoy my kid a lot more and with less stress on my shoulders for the first time in 4 years. Hopefully she doesn't remember my absence too much, just the good together times.

Happy Fall, y'all.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Rock n Roll Nurse

If I had a million bucks, I'd create a Rock N' Roll school for kids and adults where they could come and play instruments in sound proof rooms, take classes, attend panels and special lectures by industry people and educators. We would have a room filled with records, record players with head phones and big comfortable chairs.  It would be fun.  It would cost almost nothing to be there. I could still be a nurse. Please give me a million dollars.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Musical Time Travel

When it comes to music, I tend to find something I really like and then over do it for a while. Then I stop listening to that for a few years because I can no longer stand it. I've burnt my self out on it. For example, in high school, I was in deep for U2.  I was madly in love. I had every album. I listened to every album.  They could do no wrong. Then I went to college. I would walk by myself all over campus in the middle of the night with my diskman (a giant contraption by today's standards) listening over and over again to that Best of the B-Sides album. However, one day, I could listen no more. That lasted until about this year, which was 1999-2013, just to help you with the math. I can finally, in small doses, listen to my once favorite band. The band that changed the trajectory of my life. The band that lead me to this place, right here and now. Their music takes me back to the 13 year old girl, stowed away in her room, listening to Achtung Baby!, and for the first time having a tearful reaction to a song, Wild Horses. I knew right then and there that I had to do something music related. 

Today I was at the library and came across a Fiest album. Fiest is someone I was listening to the year my baby was born. When I put the CD in my car and the music came on, it took me back immediately. It took me back to that dreamy young woman, driving to Cincinnati to look for cool nursery decorations at antique malls and Old Time Pottery. A girl dreaming of what it would be like to finally be a mother. It also hit home just how much I want a second baby. I have an amazing child, so perfect and full of love,  and she deserves to have a life that includes a sibling. Someone to roll her eyes with when her mom and dad are not being cool and someone to help make important decisions with regarding our end of life care. She needs it. I see it more and more every day. She asks for it once in a while. One way or another, I am going to make it happen for my girl. Now, I just have to talk my old man into it.

Do you experience musical time travel? Tell me all about it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I don't know what to call this post.

It's been a while. How ya been? Howsyamama?

Lets catch up. The last time we met I had sworn off the internet. I had nothing left to say. I was about to enter my final and most difficult year of nursing school. I was coming down from a somewhat let-down vacation. I was flat broke. You know, life stuff.

Well, I graduated from nursing school in May and successfully passed the NCLEX.  Not long after that I got the job I wanted, a great new grad nursing position in oncology at a highly respected cancer center. I can't tell you much about being a nurse and that's OK. What I can tell you is that nursing is fucking hard. Every nurse I've ever met says that first year of nursing is hell. I usually don't sleep much the night before a shift because I am anxious about it. I am anxious about the level of stress involved, about having to make decisions and trying to keep incredibly immune suppressed people on the right side of the teeter-totter. It is a tough job, but it is what I am supposed to do and my heart knows it. It knows it hard.

As far as all that other shit goes, here's the sweet and skinny version. I still hate facebook, but its where everyone I know and love is. Its annoying, but I can see baby pictures and say Happy Birthday and know what in the hell is happening in peoples lives. I've shut down tumbler and retired from podcasting.  Twitter is happening, but only a personal account, nothing associated with this blog. I just want to continue to try to unfold myself from these stressful years.  I wanna do shit like sleep and go to the library.  I mean, I've lived in this town for 7 years and I've not even been to a horse race, let alone the Kentucky Derby. Hell, I've not even been to a Derby party. It is time to channel my inner whatevers and live like a whatever. 

Now, about this blog. In the end, I need an outlet to get out some of these things on my chest and just do some fun writing. There's no place I'd rather do that very thing that right here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Same Ocean, Different Beach

We had a great week at Edisto Beach.  Its a sweet little island in South Carolina.  No hustle and bustle, just families, beach houses and ocean. The actual beach sucked because the beach it self was super short, meaning we were cramped with everyone else on the beach, and the sand was super saturated and shell-covered as hell, resulting no non-optimal beach strolling conditions.  But it had a great bike path all the way around the island and tons of trees and foliage, especially those big cypress trees with the hanging moss.  I took pics on the old Canon A-1, keeping my fingers crossed that they turned out alright.  The food was amazing, but I did not get enough boiled peanuts (my own damn fault).

We had a rainy yet beautiful drive back to Kentucky.  Whats not to love about driving through the Smokey Mountains?  You can't turn around and not see lush green jutting toward the sky. One of these days, we are just going there to vacation. As is expected, I had a  little time to reflect and get some perspective.  Vacation is my new years as far as those things go.  The result is that I feel like I'm too tied into the internet.  I really don't know what to do with myself here anymore.  I know I have some things I want to journal and say but I don't think it makes sense to do it so publicly.  I have even started the process of eliminating myself from Facebook, a challenge that I'm sure just about anyone can relate to. Facebook is something I used to revel in, but I don't get anything out of it but that constant pull to see if anyone sees me.  People just post random shit that I couldn't care less about.  I have over 200 friends, but I only want to hear from about 30 of them.  I know damn well that I could hide everyone, but there's still the issue of my personal damn business out there that makes me nuts, along with the pull of not being present in the world and the ability to just fucking looking up and out once in a while.  All I see when I walk around any public place is people looking down at the their screens and for what purpose? 

When I was a kid on vacation, some of the best parts of the trip were listing to my walkman/discman, reading a book and just looking out the window at the scenery. We drove through mountains, big cities, long bridges and rural beach towns to get to our vacation spots.  My parents took me to various spots on the Outer Banks like Kill Devil Hills to fly kites and for my dad to fly over the dunes and jet ski the sound.  And there's also Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Avon, Duck, Sunset Beach and Pawleys Island, SC.  They are all treasured memories, even the bad parts.  I'm lucky to have had such wonderfully adventurous parents.  They gave me a world that filled my imagination...an imagination, dreams that are all still fresh in my brain but may be slipping away to make room for all the junk I have been filling it with via the internet.

The result of all of this pondering: I'm pulling out for now.  I don't think I add anything of use to anyone here on this blog for the time being.  At the end of this week, if I haven't changed my mind, I'm going to click the "un-publish" button in blogger.  I'm also going to turn off everything else as well: my old blog Funny Farm, Facebook, tumblr, LinkedIn, podcastin stuff and Twitter. 

I wonder how much brain power and time I'm giving myself.  Maybe that'll be my first post on the next chapter of this or a new blog. In the mean time, put your phone down and look up once in a while, would ya?

Until we meet again, 
Live long and prosper,
Molly

Friday, July 6, 2012

Some Thoughts for Friday

Since I don't have time to record this for the podcast, I'm going to type out these most urgent thoughts for the day: 

1. Scientology is a religion thing created by a science fiction author.  Science. Fiction.

2. Tipper Gore, Democrat or not, can still suck my dick over this and I don't care that she's dating (Damnit, DailyBeast. Stop it.).

3. This is the kind of week that makes me think I can accomplish all of my dreams, far reaching as they may seem.

4. Andy Griffith/Taylor/Matlock was a wonderful man.  I don't' know what his politics were and I don't plan on researching them.  He brought some special things to the arts and I will always treasure him for it.

5. Awkward 12-year-olds can be assholes too, well meaning as they may think they are.  I schooled one at the mall yesterday and it felt kind of good.

6. Facebook continues to be a massive waste of time and I continue to want to break up with it. But breaking the addiction of social media is very, very difficult. 

7. I'm also thinking about shutting down this blog and, after archiving the posts, deleting it forever.  I feel the need to try to take some sort of control over my internet presence, but I'm not completely sure its possible.

Food for thought.  Now, time to go get my kid and load up the car.  Vacation is 14 hours away.

 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Molly's Guide to Vacation Travel Prep


My name is Molly and I love vacation.  I'm now going to provide in gory detail all the things I'm doing to get ready and provide some friendly advice for vacation that may talk you into making an adventure for yourself.


We are looking at a good 10-12 hours in the car in one day with myself, my husband and a 3 year old.  Planning is muy importante! Here's how I'm rocking out this year.

Mental Prep.  Sometimes its hard to separate from the problems of life when we go on vacation.  I'm attempting to plan ahead in this regard. Here's how:
  • Get the bills payed early so they aren't hounding you while gone or when you get back.
  • Finish up big projects at work or establish a good stopping point, either way, leave it at work. No checking/responding to work emails.  Period.
  • Clean your house: Nothing worse than coming home to a dirty house after a likely long journey.  We have house guests while gone, so it will be half dirty, half clean.  Oh well, can't complain with all the free dog sitting, which is a savings of about $500.
  • Don't take an online class during your vacation.  Because it sucks.
Car and Travel Prep. In essence, hunting & gathering:
  • Scrub out your car, inside and out.  Its very important to make sure the inside of your windows are clean.  They can get scuzzy and hinder your view, especially at night.  Your car is going to be a hot mess when you get back, but at least for the first leg of your journey, it will feel, look, smell good and you'll be able to see. 
  • Plan & purchase your road food: This year, we are not eating out as much as we can help it.  I'm packing a loaf of good bread, lunch meat, cheese and condiments.  I might even throw in some pimento cheese. I'll make some sort of potato or broccoli salad. Apples, baby carrots, fruit leathers, water, cokes, juice boxes and maybe some homemade party mix or granola. Utensils, paper towels and many, many wet wipes.
  • Kid stuff: Crayons, markers, coloring books/pages, movies, kid apps on the iPad, books, a few baby dolls, snuggle blanket, pillow...that should do it. 
  • Adult stuff: I'm loading up the iPod with music (mine and my husbands), some podcasts, books and magazines and both digital and analog cameras to capture the amazing views and my adorable kid. 
  • Navigation:  We don't have a fancy navigation device and I don't have a data plan for the iPad, so I'll be printing this info on paper.  Its so easy to make some maps on the computer with all of our travel info included.  I'm going to make a little booklet or three ring binder so we aren't fumbling with 15 sheets of paper.  and constantly wonder where we put it. 
What kind of vacationer are you? Once you get to your vacation destination, the rest is really up to you.  I've learned over the years that there are really two kinds of vacationers: those who chill and those who need constant activities. We are chillers through and through.  If my parents have taught me anything, its how to slow it down and relax while you can because when you go back, it all cranks right back up again.

Next up, I tell y'all how I'm packing the car.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Appalachian T-Bone!

Its almost time to hit the Holiday Road, yet again!  If you've been reading this blog for any period of time, you can glean that I love vacation and road trips (and writing monotonously about it).  If you've been around since this time last year, you also know that last year's vacation wasn't so great.  My husband and I were so very depressed.  He was out of work, we were poor (we still are, but much less) and he and I weren't relating all that well.  My mom and dad gifted us some money and we were able to go, barely.    Little did I know at the time, my dad was going through a major depression and lack of employment as well, and my poor mama was trying to lift up everyone on her own.

Does that suck?  It sucks hard core.

Things have been looking up with a few exceptions.  First of all, I have the most amazing 3 year old a girl could ask for.  My husband, with some great persistence, got a full time job.  It pays decent and has benefits, amen.  He also started a band that is gaining popularity in the indie music scene.  My father, a contractor, got a good gig installing Pella Windows.  He doesn't even have to find the jobs, they find Pella, Pella calls dad.  He was also able to pay off a big tax bill that he's been diligently and painfully paying off for a few years.  Its a major relief for him and will allow him to have some spending cash for the first time in a very long while. The exceptions to all of this are as follows (I'll keep it short): The two hardest semesters of school I've ever experienced, the declining health of my grandparents and the stress my parents have taken on in caring for all of them, depleting any time they may have had for their own personal interests.  Caring for the old people is part of life and I know my sister and I will get our turn.  Its just tough seeing my middle aged parents under so much stress at a time in their lives when they should be playing. 

So, we're now gearing up for vacation and all we can do is hope and pray everyone keeps it together enough for us to get through the week with no disappointing events back at home.  If for any other reason, my parents really fucking need it.