2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 850 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Wow, 850 views in just a couple of months. People from 17 countries have taken a look at my work. I am ecstatic! I’ve been meaning to make a post acknowledging my followers, so now’s as good a time as any! 94 followers, I know that’s chump change compared to so many other bloggers I’ve seen, but I am so thankful that 94 people have found me interesting enough to want to see my posts in their reader. Thank you all.

I can’t wait to get the new year started, a lot of changes are headed my way and I hope to find the humor in them and share them here in a positive light with you all, but there will still be my darker posts as my fondness for the darkness is just too overpowering at times.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Year!

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The World is Calling Me

Almost every time I am driving in the car by myself I just want to keep driving. To go wherever the road takes me. To follow the clouds or the birds. To just be free. But I am always brought back to reality because I could never leave my children. Also I don’t have money to just drive anywhere. I’m like a dog on a chain. I know exactly how long my chain is and I go to those limits and stay there a while. I don’t tug or struggle, I keep my chain taut and I just watch the world.

WatchDog

I long to be free and be only responsible for myself. But I am where I am and I love my family. I would never leave them. I can’t imagine life without them. But that doesn’t take away my desire to explore the world.

I wish I had backpacked through Europe, I wish I had taken time to see more of Italy while I was there. I wish I didn’t have such a long “I Wish” list.

I think this is all coming to the surface because I am feeling my own mortality gripping me, reminding me that one day I’m going to die. The reason my mortality seems to tangible is most likely because I’m going to have my tubal ligation surgery in a couple of weeks and I’m nervous. I know the chances of something bad happening are miniscule, but there’s still that chance. I’ve never had any surgeries other than getting my wisdom teeth pulled (that was awful because I felt a lot of pain and I’m terrified of dentists), but I never went under general anesthesia, just local anesthetics. Which WORE OFF before he was done… (6_6) …so I’m just nervous as to how my body will react to it, the possibility of my bowels being torn and I’ll need to be sliced completely open (my doctor told me that only happened to her once and assured me it wasn’t her who slipped up…so comforting…) I’m sure I’m WAY overthinking this, but I can’t help it. I never thought I would actually need to have surgery. Well, I suppose I don’t NEED this surgery, but the thought of getting pregnant again is much more terrifying than the surgery.

Oh to be a teen again and take my long walks through the desert with my dogs (who are no longer with us) and my best friend. I really miss those days. I hate the desert, but there is no sunset (I’ve seen) more beautiful than a desert sunset and the amount of stars I could see while there was unlike any other location except for Zion National Park.    DesertSunset

StarryDesertSky

I don’t like being afraid of my mortality. I don’t like fearing being taken away before I can watch my children grow and have families of their own.

There’s still too much I haven’t seen or experienced. I have always felt the world calling out to me, but lately it seems to have become even louder and all I can do is go to the end of my chain, give a soft howl, and return to the life I have built with my husband.

Husband&Wife

I’m Running Away… from Facebook… Temporarily.

At some point on January 1st 2015 I am deleting my Facebook account. I honestly think this is the best decision I’ve made this year lol. I’ve wanted to do this for about a year now. There are over 200 people on my friend’s list and I talk to maybe 10 of them at best. The others clog my news feed with their personal drama, political agenda, etc. which is fine, but once it’s challenged they turn so nasty. I’ll post my own stuff and then those same people will just begin attacking me.

If that were happening on a site like this one or some other public forum that would be expected, but these are people who are supposed to be my friends/family. I don’t understand why it has to get nasty.

Anyway, rather than go through my friend’s list and delete individuals whom I no longer care to know what’s going on in their lives (and possibly hurt feelings [I know, I’m kinda pathetic]), I’ve decided to just get rid of everyone and start from scratch. I’m going to keep this one very private and have only close family (and a few close and like-minded friends) on there. I am going to do my absolute best to keep my posts strictly relevant to my family, pics of the kids, status updates on how things are going with us, and that’s it.

It’s not just friends I have to worry about, but family too. One of my husband’s family members was on my friend’s list for a very brief time and the only interaction I ever had with her was very negative. Every message from her was her berating me for something that showed up on her news feed that involved me. One of them was me bashing the military. I said some nasty things, but I also stated I have lots of love for the military or at least for what it’s supposed to be and I support the troops and all that, but I have earned my right to speak what I want about the military because I served and I went through shit no one should have to go through. I was raped by my fellow shipmates on two separate occasions within two weeks of each other. The military kicked me out with and “Honorable under Medical Conditions”. They claimed no responsibility, the parties responsible went on unpunished, and my name was tarnished, so yeah, I can say whatever the fuck I want. Anyway, this woman (whom I was told is a heavily religious woman) goes on to say how terrible I am for posting such filth and that I should be ashamed because her son is in the Navy as is my husband and several other family members have served. She does not know my story and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want to know, but that didn’t stop her from lashing out at me. The funniest thing in that situation is my own recruiter (who is now a chief and knows what happened to me) supported my completely.

That’s what Facebook should be; supportive. The people you have on your friends list should be filled with people who make you happy. So that’s what I’m doing. I don’t know when I’ll make my new account. Might be a month, might be a year. I don’t know. I am excited to get rid of it for a while though. No more notifications on my phone, fewer distractions, and fewer worries.

Structure and Routines: A Love/Hate Relationship

I love/hate routines. They free/imprison me. They help me stay sane/drive me insane. Are you seeing the picture yet? Having more structure and a better routine has been a blessing/curse.

The Pros
My day runs so much smoother when I follow the routine.
My kids are happier with a set routine, they hear my alarm go off and they ask what it’s for. When I tell them they usually do what’s supposed to be done without a fuss.
I know that after certain chores I will have some free time so it makes it easier to keep momentum.
My husband and I fight a lot less about housework.

The Cons
Doing the same thing day after day after day makes me want to tear my face off.
When the kids decide they don’t want to do what they’re supposed to it drives me more insane than normal and I feel the pressure of time restraints.
If it takes a bit longer to clean than I initially anticipated I know I’m missing out on my downtime and I’ll have to roll right back into cleaning/doing something else.
My husband seems to think he’s exempt from the routine/chores.

I could keep going, but that’s the basic idea. It’s extremely conflicting for me and the really sad thing is my routine is very relaxed:

0700 – Wake up, make breakfast
0830 – Make beds/Do dishes
1000 – Clean something
1100 – Kids pick up toys
1200 – Make lunch
1300 – Quiet time begins
1500 – Quiet time ends
1600 – Kids pick up toys
1700 – Make Dinner
1830 – Bath time, brush teeth
1900 – Boys’ bedtime
1930 – Sissy’s bedtime
2000 – Make husband’s lunch
2030 – Do dishes

And that’s it. My life in a nutshell. When that routine gets messed up, I go nuts. When I keep doing that same damn routine every single day, I go nuts. I’m not quite sure how to keep going without losing my mind. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to keep up with the routine before I get burnt out. I have always felt and believe whole-heartedly that structure and routine is key. It keeps people happy. So, why am I not happy? But I am happy, but I’m not…. I’m so sick of this inner battle.

I Don’t Do Rules.

I feel quite the same way. Maybe not to this extent, but pretty darn close.

Big Red Carpet Nursing

A bit of self-disclosure:

I don’t like rules.

Actually, I hate them, to be honest.

Authority aggravates me, unless it’s my own.

I think for myself, trust my own judgment. Right or wrong, certainly sometimes wrong, that’s my inclination.
I choose my work accordingly. I will not spend much time where others insist on setting my path. Such is quite intolerable. I find it, right or wrong, offensive.

I try to rein in this instinct as appropriate, but there it is.

I will not try to be who I am not.

I obey rules often, of course; not possible to get by otherwise. Don’t like it, but there we are. Life is full of hard decisions.

There are costs, risks, consequences.

So be it.

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The Toddler Cafe: Fast, Healthy, & Fun Ways to Feed Even the Pickiest Eater by Jennifer Carden

This book has been a sanity saver for sure. Money well spent. My daughter is very hyperactive and can’t hold still longer than five freaking minutes, so getting her to sit down for a meal is like trying to give a cat a bath. She used to eat anything and everything I gave her, but has recently become very picky. She used to love potatoes in any form, now she can’t stand them. She used to eat pasta like it was going out of style, now she’s like meh. I fight with her nearly every meal just to eat something, anything! I will beg, bargain, bribe, even sell my soul to the Devil (ok so maybe not that last one, but I’m desperate) just to get her to eat a whole meal. The results are rarely satisfying.

We bought this book for lunch ideas (because making pb&j sandwiches everyday is boring) and to my happy surprise, my picky daughter began eating. Turns out, she needed to be busy. This recipe in particular was absolutely perfect for her:

IMG_3167

Spaghetti Knots & Polka Dots

The large bowl has extra virgin olive oil with some balsamic vinegar, the glass bowl has melted butter, and the small metal bowl has grated parmesan cheese. To my utter surprise, all three kids liked the oil and vinegar combo. I wasn’t sure they would, but I followed the book and tried it out. The melted butter was my only addition to the recipe. My daughter loved tying knots in the spaghetti, me knot so much. It was rather tedious, but well worth it in the end.

If anyone out there has picky eaters (toddler or not) try some of these recipes. They pretty simple, quick, and healthier than mac’n’cheese or chicken nuggets.

My Super Fun Wakeup Call

I am deep, deep in sleep and having a really fun, cute dream. I can’t remember the whole dream anymore, but I remember being in a beautiful forest with some weird, but cute, little dog-like creatures. Anyway, I was having a ball, totally comfortable, I remember waking up very briefly and seeing it was kinda light outside, but I soon slipped back into my fantastic dream.

I’m not sure how much longer I was in slumberland, but I was ruthlessly ripped from my comfort with the horrible screeching of our fire alarms. Not just one, but three of them, the one in my bedroom, the one in my husband’s man cave, and the one in the hallway just outside the kitchen. I jumped out of bed as fast as I could, but my feet were tangled up in the blankets and I nearly crashed into my dresser, but somehow managed to catch myself. I was about to attempt to put on my sandals, but quickly abandoned that idea when I ended up slamming into the door. I burst through the door expecting to see flames, but there is absolutely nothing alarming in my immediate sight.

As I run towards the kitchen thinking to myself did I leave a candle burning? Did I leave the oven or stove on? I’m looking in my kids room’s as I pass, but I don’t see any dangers. As I near the end of the hallway I finally look in front of me and there I see my husband, holding a pan of smoking eggs, and fanning a towel at the smoke alarm.

He looks at me with a cheesy grin on his face and sweetly says, “Oh hey, honey! What are you doing up?” All I can do is stare at him in utter confusion until I’m able to break through the fog just enough to piece together what just took place. My confusion turns to intense irritation and I am now willing him to turn into a pile of ash on the spot.

One by one the smoke alarms turn off and I slowly walk past him, staring at him as if daggers were shooting from my eyes, and go into the kitchen to make myself the first of many cups of coffee for today.