Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Not-So-Much-Of-A-Break

Wow, I need to stop posting blogs after taking Ambien...It's just a little to weird to wake up and read something you don't remember writing, and then find it has been posted to the Universe. Ugh.

Anyway, this past week was Spring Break around here. I used to love Spring Break as a kid. I never did anything or went anywhere, but I loved the whole idea of a week off for no other reason than to have fun and relax. Of course, I was used to being home with my siblings while my parents went to work during summer and holidays. I was given a lot more freedom than I give my own kids. I was able to walk to visit friends and have sleepovers during that week. I wasn't totally stuck at home like my kids are.

I feel a little sorry for them, but only just. This is the first year of them not going to a daycare while I worked so things are a little bit new for them. I did let them sleep in, and watch TV all day, and build forts in the living room, so I haven't been a totally un-cool mom. They also got to spend Friday morning with DH eating breakfast at McD's, having lunch at Braum's with WP, and having Chili's brought in for dinner. Yeah, life can be pretty tough for my girls.

To tell you the truth, the past three weeks have been some of the best I can remember in years. Aside from feeling like a cow in a tutu, I have been in a remarkably good mood. Physically, I have been able to cope with the pain and fatigue very well. Emotionally, I have been happy and even positive most of the time. Of course, when Momma's happy, everyone's happy. Or at least they better be, because if you ruin my good mood you are in serious trouble, mister!

It started back on my birthday on the 3rd. I normally kind of skip birthdays because, well, they really aren't a big enough deal to pay much attention to. Most of my life I have had pretty quiet birthdays and I'm pretty used to it. My birthday happens right around tax season, so we usually have just received a tax return and it has usually been used to pay bills so there isn't much money to throw around. Plus, Valentine's day was two weeks before, and Christmas was only two months before, so it isn't as if I am feeling neglected for want of presents recently. If people decide to do something nice like give me a card, or take me to an awesome sushi lunch (Thanks, BB!) I certainly wouldn't complain. I just don't feel like I need to go out of my way to make sure people know about it and then demand that they do something about it.

This year was a little different. I have looked forward to my 33rd birthday all my life with a bit of excitement. My 13th birthday was the last time I actually had a birthday party. 16 and 18 were pretty much non-events, 21 was spent at home with my baby, and I actually skipped over my 30th without any fanfare whatsoever. I was cool with that. But, The number 3 has always been lucky (or at least important) in my life and so I guess something in my mind felt that being 33 would be fortuitous. Besides, my birthday is on MARCH 3.So, turning 33 on 3/3 has to be a cool thing, right?

I didn't actually have any plans made, but by the time the day actually got there, everything seemed to fall into place and be awesome. My mom sent me some birthday cash and I had the morning to myself so I spent it all on me by buying myself a new purse - which is way nicer than I normally allow myself to buy AND it wasn't on the clearance rack either! (I felt so defiantly elated paying full price for something!) I was taken to lunch by a very good friend, and I was taken to dinner by DH. My kids made me cards and LH even baked me a cake while I was at dinner so it was waiting for me when I got back home (even though they were already in bed!) 33 was already better than the last five years put together. But, the best was yet to come.

The very next day, I made a call to a dealership to inquire about a car I saw. We've been "in the market" for several months, but money and desire never seem to happen at the same time. Somehow, the stars aligned perfectly, though and I drove my new car home that evening. I seriously wanted to pinch myself. We have been a one car family and just barely getting by for so long that I had given up hopes of getting anything other than a clunker. What I have now is a beautiful, silver, Kia Spectra5, slightly used, but in incredibly good shape and with relatively low miles already. I have 3 year warranty on it, plus free maintenance and a whole host of other cool stuff. The best part? It's in MY name. DH is only the co-signer! I know it is silly to make a big deal about it since we share everything anyway. It's just awesome to see that title with MY name on the "owner" line. It positively gives me goosebumps.

So, now that we have a new, and specifically second, car in the family, I have all these freedoms I haven't enjoyed in years. I have the days to myself to take care of business without having to drive DH back and forth from work. Dinner can be made before 8:00 in the evening. Also, when DH has to take the can to go out of town to be all Boy Scouty and stuff, I have a vehicle at home to do what needs to be done. I even made it to at least one of the open houses for the girls without having to call up the In Laws for a ride. Most importantly, I have the ability to actually try for some of the jobs that I keep passing over because they are too far or the hours don't coincide with DH's or the In-Laws.

Apparently, the realization of that was enough to get me moving in the right direction because I hadn't even applied for any jobs yet when I was called to start a temp assignment THE VERY NEXT MORNING. I was able to accept it without pause - and with much joy because the pay is more than twice what I normally make. The assignment turned out to be one of those dream-come-true sorts of situations. The company is awesome. The office is quiet but friendly. The co-workers are pleasant and courteous and there isn't a lot of loud grouchy complaining that sometimes runs rampant in the cube farms. The tasks I am given are even the sorts of things that I do well and I enjoy. It seems like these people know what all my strengths are and they are capitalizing on them at every turn. Even the weather cooperated and the girls were able to walk home from school in warm sunshine all week and they didn't even complain about it - not even LH.

They manager asks me to come back for another week and I am so jazzed about it I can hardly be professional. The assignment is not temp-to-perm or even long-term so every day they ask me to come back is just bonus coolness in my book. If any of you are the praying type, please say a word to the Big Man for me? I love this job and this company so much. I know there technically isn't a position available but I am humbly asking for a miracle here. If there is any way I an stay on with these people permanently, I would be willing to do it because they are that cool and (of course) the money is that good, too.

Now, there were a few thorns in my bouquet of roses, just to remind me that life isn't all sweet-smelling and stuff. I still have to deal with pain and fatigue on a daily basis. That first week, I was so drained by the time I came home, that I crashed as soon as I walked in the door most nights. That weekend after, I had agreed to host a mini family reunion by way of a crawfish boil, and by Friday evening I was feeling very panicky while looking around at the disaster that had become my house. It was only the generosity of sister #1 that got the house cleaned in time for the party, which was a complete success, by the way. I don't ask for help like that very often, but I swallowed my pride after looking in the kitchen and then realizing I was 24 hours away from attempting to cook for and entertain more than 25 people. After everyone had left and the last crawfish shells had been cleaned up, I still had another week of work to look forward to.

The second week I felt a lot less tired and I was dealing with the pain pretty well. The issue now was that it was Spring Break for the girls. Remember what I said earlier about them being stuck in the house all week? Yeah...that kind of sucked. LH was in charge of TD and EG during the day and I will say that she tried very hard to be a good sitter and did her best to keep things running smoothly. The littler ones weren't having any of the "get along and be nice" stuff, though. I was called on my cell phone at least once a day (sometimes more) because someone hit someone else, or everyone was fighting over which movie to watch, or EG (usually) was being a major pain and throwing an out-and-out screaming fit. (EG gets the Evil part of her name for a good reason.) With DH working in a call center and unable to take calls at work at all, it was left to me to try and referee this catastrophe over the phone while trying to appear like I am working and not juggling psycho children who can't get along with each other.

Somehow, they all survived the week. (LH insists it's because they couldn't figure out how to use the lighter to actually burn down the house.) Then, Friday I was hit with the worst migraine I have had in, literally, a year. I had a major Go ME! moment when I realized that before, I would have called in sick or gone home early when dealing with that sort of thing. This time, I stuck it out all day - without mentioning anything to my boss and without screwing anything major up (or throwing up on my desk.) I did pick up my migraine arrest meds from the pharmacy on the way home (and took them before I even left the store!) but I survived the day and was asked to come back on Monday again.

Right now, I am tired but happy about how positive and productive I have been for the last two weeks. Seeing my first paycheck yesterday certainly helped out with that. I have had a few moments where things got to be way too much to handle (like during my last post, for instance) and my brain decided to shut down all sensible and sane activity. What made these weeks different is that my whole family pitched in and helped and didn't complain about it. LH made dinner one night, TD made it another (at 8 years old, this was quite an accomplishment for her!) Other nights I gave in an ordered something to be delivered or bought fast food. (I know, it wasn't in my budget or my "plan" but since I didn't go shopping for dinner things either, it mostly balanced out.) Shockingly, the girls became amazing little housekeepers in spite of their arguing and I came home to a (mostly) clean house every night. I still had to call in the cavalry this weekend to get caught up on the dishes, but I refuse to beat myself up about that. (WP earned his title Wonderful Poppa three times over on Friday alone!)

Looking forward to next week, I have a lot to do and a lot of preparations to make to ensure things run a bit more smoothly than they have been. Thank goodness school is back in session so the time the kids are actually left alone to their own devices will be short and confined to my least productive part of the work day. All the little things that I usually try to get done during the week have all been put off so I have a To Do List a mile long for tomorrow. Ensuring that food is in the fridge and dinners are planned is the highest priority I have, with tackling Mt.Washmore a very close second. I am used to all that, though, so I shouldn't have too much trouble with it, as long as I can stay awake to do it.

So, I am off to get a good's night rest now. Please, Lord, let next week be as cool as the last two weeks have been (minus the death threats between all three sisters.)

Deb "All Moms are Working Moms" Lollar

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