Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: He's 11 Months Old Today

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dealing with Change and Loss

I'm back with another book recommendation for you.  Yes, I am telling you to try reading The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau, and make sure you have time to enjoy the journey.

The story is moving, the writing well done, and the characters moved me.  Dealing with change and loss, seeing how that impacts people and how they deal with it in their own ways made me struggle with tears.

Really, take the time to sit with the The Book of Jonas and have an open mind about all that is happening.  Also take the time to join the conversation with the BlogHer Book Club and get to know more about this amazing novel.

This is a sponsored review for the BlogHer Book Club. While compensation will be forthcoming for taking the time to write about the book, the opinions stated are all mine and mine alone.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Randomness on a Tuesday

-  My husband is officially employed.  He has orientation next week on Monday and Tuesday, and at that time we'll get more details on whether it's temporary or not and what shift and how many hours a week.  Right now those things aren't as important as the fact that he'll be working.

- Starting Monday I will have a job that requires me to clock in 40 hours a week in order to bring home a paycheck and at the same time be a SAHM to a roughly 11 month old boy.  Which wouldn't seem so daunting if it wasn't for the fact that....

- James is starting to exert his will.  He is having to learn the word "no" because it's that or be locked in a play yard all day, and he isn't wanting that.  There is no more sitting, he pulls himself to stand on anything he can lock his chubby little fingers on, regardless of stability.  I believe his father is secretly relishing being out of the house for this new phase because he isn't 100% sure on what to do with all this new movement.

- To be honest, I'm a little weary myself.  James has started letting go of things and standing still, discovering his balance, but has no interest in walking to something.  He has always done things his own way, so I'm not going to interfere, just observe and assist.

- I talked to my MIL yesterday, and we'll be doing a birthday party for James at their place next month.  Just cake and ice cream, nothing major, but with the family the size it is the only place to gather comfortably is their home.  She is as excited as me, and I cannot wait to buy little invitations!

- My son will be 1 in 5 1/2 weeks.  Where in the world has this year gone?

- I've lost almost 25lbs since January 1st without any exercise program.  This has been all purely on some basic portion control and cleaning up what we eat.  When I say cleaning up you should be aware that I haven't really cut out anything.  I've avoided cooking with anything but olive oil, unless frying, and I prefer to buy fresh veggies to eat instead of frozen ones.  Basically, it's cutting some of the processed stuff out, eating good fats more and less of the bad ones, and not skimping or starving myself.  I also make sure that if I am craving a Big Mac or Taco Bell that I get that to eat.  It's only worse if I don't, and I feel miserable until the craving is satiated.

- About 4 years ago, when maxi dresses started becoming the thing, I found one at Target that fit.  I didn't feel like it was a tent, and it made summer bearable at home with no central air.  No matter what, when I looked at my profile in the mirror, I had this littly tummy pouch showing.  Last year while pregnant, this became the comfy thing to wear at home, and my baby belly was pushing it's capacity.  Today I put it on for the first time this year and looked at myself in the mirror.  After grinning like an idiot, I ran out to the living room and A immediately noticed no tummy.  The dress hangs at it should, with a little more looseness up top from the weight loss, so I have to wear a sports bra to help and hide things.  WOOHOO!!!

- I am waiting until next month, after his surgery is done, to look for a swim suit.  Not only will this put me in something that should fit all summer, but A will have been paid and I can actually pick something and not worry about spending the extra money.

- Last week I ordered a pair of jeans from Old Navy in a size I last wore my senior year in high school.  That size was snug back then, and now it's loose.  These jeans are it until Fall, and I'll look at my size then and make a decision about what to do next.  I'm actually hoping to fit into generic denim at Walmart since it's cheaper and all I wear.

- The need for a belt is there after wearing my new jeans - which are the "skinny" jeans they have on their site - for a little while.  They don't fall, but they feel loose.  But I hate belts.  Anyone have any clue where to fine one that I would actually be comfortable in?

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I will be the first to admit that I am spoiled.

I never missed a shower after James was born.  He slept so well that I was never exhausted.  He's always eaten well and has had no reactions to any of his immunizations.  Not even surgery last October slowed him down.

It appears that A has a job starting in 11 days.  We still aren't sure on schedule or what days he may be working.  Right now the focus has been on him obtaining a job where he doesn't have to deal with retail work or customers all day long.

There is also the knowledge that if he isn't happy that he doesn't have to stay there.  We are okay enough that there is no pressure to work at a job he cannot be happy at.  There was too much anxiety for both of us when he last worked, and it was a relief when he quit.

But as of the 23rd I will be the SAHM/WAHM full time.

I'm still trying to decide how I am going to juggle both jobs at the same time.  I have a feeling I will be up early each day to shower and down early to be ready to do it all the next day.

Believe me, it's a little scary.  But I think we'll be okay.  That I can do this, be there for my son and also work for my company all day and keep up with projects.

Things are about to get a little more interesting at home.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Admitting We Can't Do It

When we moved to Roanoke, the plan was to use the extra money we'd be saving each month to pay bills and credit cards, and then look into buying our own home within 2 years.

Then we became pregnant without thinking it would ever happen like that for us.  And 2 months later, A's unemployment benefits ended.  And we had to start saving for baby related thing, I went on maternity leave and didn't collect a full salary for 6 weeks, and James had to have surgery.

The bills kept growing, and A began looking for work.  He applied, was turned down, and at one point ignored by one HR office when he asked for an update after being told to look for a job offer within a week.

It has been a roller coaster, with so many ups and even more downs, and when the lease renewal came in January for the apartment, we had an honest talk.

At this point, we are waiting for our court date to complete our filing of Chapter 7.  We went the route of hiring an attorney, filled out forms, provided them details, and sat in offices reviewing how we failed (our words, not theirs) and how we were going to move forward.

It's hard to admit it came to this, and that we couldn't do it.  But prices go up for everything, including our rent, gasoline, medical insurance, and basic groceries, and my salary has been the same for 2 years.  If you think about it, I do more work now for less because the premiums have continued to increase.

It's a little sad.

So that's where we are. 

And in a complete twist of irony, A was contacted about a job he applied for last October and never heard back for.  It's government work, possibly temporary, but it's work and extra income.  It will help us get to a point where we won't be driving a car that was manufactured before we met and maybe upgrade to a newer used car.

Then we can save.  And see where we are in another 18 months.

Amazing how things never turn out how you expected, but in the end we are still happy because we have each other and that amazing little smile who loves us.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mommy Monday

First off, I apologize for missing last week. 

But you know how things get on Mondays: You start working on something for work, and then you stop work and do dinner, and then someone needs a bath and bedtime, and then you are staring at the ceiling and wondering where the day went.

And suddenly it's Wednesday, you don't remember Tuesday, and you figure that you just need to move forward and not try to figure it out.

So, today I am giving you 2 pieces of wisdom from my shower last year to make up for it.

The first comes from a close friend of A's grandmother.  She's been a part of the family for years, and here is what she shared:

"Take a moment to get your breath and just thank God for that precious little one.  Say a little prayer and everything will be okay."

Then there is my husband's aunt, who is actually the niece of his grandmother:

"During bad times call Barbara.  Let the baby stay a lot with grandparents and great grandparents."

Both of those are great pieces of advice, and things I find I have done and am starting to do more of as time passes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Parting of Ways

Early on, we knew that James had issues with Shadow's fur.  But if there was no real direct contact then he seemed fine.

Then he began crawling.  And the weather warmed, the shedding began, and James had red eyes and a stuffy nose that had nothing to do with anything else.

I felt bad for Shadow.  With the now mobile intruder, he was hiding behind and under anything he could to avoid being watched and followed.  This has been a growing issue for the last month, and while the cat seems okay, he isn't happy.

Enter A's cousin and his fiance.

They are cat people.  She has one.  He wants one now that he is stationed with the Navy back on US soil in Virginia.

So, this weekend Shadow will be sent to a new home.  One where he will be able to have full reign of the place, with no small follower, and with all the love and attention he needs.

This was our first "baby", and I'll miss him.  Terribly. 

But he will be a few hours away and I cannot say how much I know he will be loved.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Interesting Read...

I read all types of books, but have a weakness for YA books as well.  I will be honest and tell you that if the book looks to be a smart one about witches I will try it.  So when I looked ahead and saw that Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood was coming up for the BlogHer Book Club, well, I basically stalked my own email box for the chance to sign up.

And it was sooooo worth it.

I'd never heard of the book, and dove in late one night without reading the jacket or anything else that would possible spoil it.  As expected, I was hooked, hanging on every word, and wondering how this could possibly end.  There was a little confusion on my part on what timeframe this was supposed to take place in, but once I let go of that and decided to just relax and enjoy the story, it was easy to get lost.  The story of these girls, and the women of their time, and what is happening....


After finishing Born Wicked, I immediately went looking on Amazon for more books.  The book jacket says "The Cahill Witch Chronicles: Book 1", so I was hoping to dive into more and find out what happens next. 

But apparently the book is pretty new, and there isn't even a hint of when the next book will be out!

Yes, I am itching for more.  So for now, I will be going back for a second reading, marvel in the magic in the book, the way the girls grow even in just this one novel, and keep stalking Amazon for news of more!

Do yourself a favor and check out Born Wicked.  If you have a younger reader in your house who likes those stories of witches, they will love this as well!

Want to know more about the book?  Then join the conversation over at BlogHer's site!  Please stop by and share your thoughts with everyone and get to know the other readers from the BlogHer Book Club!

This is a sponsored review for the BlogHer Book Club. While compensation will be forthcoming for taking the time to write about the book, the opinions stated are all mine and mine alone.