Another week bites the dust…

And another one’s gone and another one’s gone… another week bites the dust!

Where does the time go!?

Thankfully we had to choose our venue far enough out that almost 5 months and 8 days after being engaged we still have 12 months and 10 days to go!  Not that I’m counting…

It is times like this in my life when I seriously wonder how people with young children fit it all in.  I don’t mean like square-peg-round-hole (and a mallet) fit it in… because that causes the need for prescription medication and interventions.  I know that I am working at least 10 hour days at work, then go home and work at least an hour or so at night.  Then I work on the weekends also.  If I’m not working it’s because the 10-year-old has a sporting event that his father and I are attending, or Jason has some kind of sporting event or I’ve decided to try to take the night off… try being key. 

How would I fit someone else’s constant needs and wants (especially when they are sooooo teeny tiny and can’t walk, talk or drive themselves to the store if they need something) into my life and be able to give them the kind of love and attention that people like Hitler or that creepy guy from Silence of the Lambs obviously lacked as children? 

I remember when (notice: past-tense) I was a cat owner I would have moments during the middle of the night when the cats batted at my peacefully sleeping eyelids one too many times and I personally gave them sky-diving lessons… then I would murmur to myself, “this is why I shouldn’t have kids”.  It’s not like I didn’t feel remorseful… but it didn’t stop me from giving another free flying lesson the next night.  I also flicked them in the forehead when they spent too much time in my personal bubble.  I’m not an expert, but I’m sure it didn’t cause any long-lasting effects.

Someone at work told me recently that babies are cute so that they aren’t killed by their parents.  Some kind of factoid he claims started back when cavemen would maybe just eat the ugly babies I guess?  I disagreed with him and pointed out that I’ve seen plenty of ugly babies and they survived to be healthy ugly adults… so I don’t think his theory has much merit.  Pretty sure this caused a choking fit by the nice woman eating her salad next to us during this conversation.

This rant is not to say that I’m 100% against having kids.  Birth control is only 99% affective, so I am obviously willing to roll the dice a little bit… but I’m not going to be running off to Baby-Vegas any time soon to really play those odds. 

I’ve never been much of a gambler.

Muddled Monday.

I’m mentally exhausted.  I’ve taken 3 exams (for some software certifications) in the last 6 days.  1 of them was 1 hour in length, both of the other exams were 2 hours in length. Even beyond that, was the hours.  H.O.U.R.S. of studying for each one.  All I’ve done for the last couple weeks is either learn, study, eat and sleep.  Immediately after taking my last exam this morning my exhausted fell over me like a blanket.  Not a warm fuzzy one.  A heavy, oppressing one. 

All I’ve wanted to do all day is sit in the corner, drool on myself and maybe have some chocolate thrown in my general direction.  I don’t want to actually interact that much with people… those brain cells are in recovery right now.

Admittedly I have not been the best company lately at home.  I’ve been cranky, distracted and tired.  Things like patience and empathy are somewhere off hanging out with our Wisconsin Winter.  You know it exists, but it just doesn’t seem like it sometimes.

In order to combat these doldrum feelings (and also to cope with my last hour of work) I started writing a pep talk to myself on sticky notes. 

They go something like this (no particular order):

  • Make wishes.
  • Be present.
  • Time is flying, even when it’s dragging.
  • Practice gratefulness, ever. single. day.
  • Look for it (anything good)… do it actively.
  • Love.
  • Breathe – Pause – Enjoy.
  • Leap… leaving doubts behind.

This did make me feel a little better.  I’m feeling a little more light-hearted.  My brain is definitely still melted, but hopefully that will be cleared up by tomorrow.  For tonight I just hope to relax.  Enjoy the quiet that Monday evenings bring. Enjoy the boys and their stories. Share chocolate. Go to bed.

Here’s to making lists to clear the clutter out of your mind and shrugging heavy blankets off your shoulders.

Note: Check out this thanksgiving guide from www.stylemepretty.com

http://www.stylemepretty.com/2012/11/15/a-thanksgiving-e-guide-made-simple/

It’s pretty fantastic and chalked full of fun info and recipes to de-stress thanksgiving preparations.

Beginning of a Weekend

Ah… the end to the work week.  It was especially crazy busy at work this week.  Even my long drive home didn’t totally cure me of the rushed feeling I had from the abnormally chaotic schedule at work.  Today I got home to the little man conquering a mound of gravel on a plastic three wheeled bike that he has long since outgrown.  He was smiling from ear to ear and the second I got out of the car started telling me about his adventures, plans and lack of homework.  He was living the dream.  I find the/my man dutifully killing off the enemy forces that threaten his home and country… through the magic of Playstation.

Basically, all is right in our world.

What can make this better?  Beer bread, cheese and honey.  Basically the holy grail of snacks.  There is nothing about this snack I don’t like.  It has a little bit of everything.  Different flavors, textures and sweetness. I have to cut myself an appropriate snacking amount and bring it to a designated snacking area.  Needless to say if I were to stand in front of the loaf, block of cheese and little bear of honey… it wouldn’t be a happy ending for any of us.

Probably my favorite thing about this snack is we discovered the addition of honey on our vacation to Lake Placid, New York. On one of our excursions that we took (just the two of us) on July 4th, we stopped at the Great Adirondack Brewing Company and got a snack plate of cheese and bread.  We paired this with a beer flight of their locally brewed beer.  From our seat we got to watch the local parade, enjoy in a tasty snack and become educated in the details of the local brew masters.  It wasn’t until half way through the meal that I decided to see what was in the little container in the middle of the snack plate.  Honey.  I was done for.  Pretty sure if I was a lesser mammal I would have pee’d right there both in excitement and to mark it as mine.  Luckily, I’m more sophisticated than that and just shoved the bread and cheese right in there and dribbled honey down my chin while smiling at Jason with love and snack-induced happiness.

THE original bread, cheese and honey plate… and beer flight. Lake Placid, NY – July 4, 2012

Every time I get the chance to prepare this little snack for us now, I think back to our discovery.  I think about our awesome vacation.  The time spent together.  Uninterrupted.  Well earned and deserved break from the ho-hum every day work. The precious opportunity to introduce him to my family.  The sunsets, lake front, bonding walks with grandma, gourmet meals every day, secret lake-side plotting conversations with my co-conspirator and biggest writing fan and the feeling of rightness that was that vacation.

That snack isn’t just a bunch of carbs, cheesy deliciousness and sweet bee goodness. It’s a experience, memory and I love it.  The big and little man of this house should be happy I like them so much that I share.

So, all that to say that this weekend is starting off just right.  Sweet memories, sweet snacks and a sweet chance to write a little on my blog.  Next stop?  Oh a short drive over to Sun Prairie to watch the big man play some hockey.  Luckily I arrive with him so that I have plenty of time to pick out the perfect seat.  That way when the 1 or 2 other spectators show up we can do the normal human thing and spread way… way out so that we aren’t looking, touching or breathing on each other.

Here’s to a weekend that follows suit and only gets better.

Cheers.

Tada!

I’ve been slacking on my blogging.  Not because I have nothing to write, trust me that is never the case.  I simply have not had the time to sit down and put all the whirly twirly thoughts in my head into coherent thoughts. Let’s begin with a small update.

For the last 3 days I have had a massive headache.  Mass-ive. I starts in my shoulders, goes up my neck, wraps over my head like a helmet and then little gremlins stab my temples with spears. It’s awkward and painful and I have yet to find a pill that will make it go away. <– Lame.

For the last few months I’ve been finishing up my Human Resources Management Certifictae at home. Working full time and jumping back into a full time program at school = major brain cramps and slight homework-induced anxiety. This weekend we finally had to post our final group paper/project and to say it was a messy cluster… would be putting it mildly.  Miscommunication ran rampant and apparently everyone’s spell check took a shitter at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I often post things on my blog without using the safety net of the spell checker… but is mostly because a) I don’t care b) you know what I mean and most importantly c) I’m not getting graded on it.

What should have been a neat handoff of everyone’s parts to me by Sunday at noon for compilation and formatting (my job) became a game of chasing people and papers down by email, text message and through the online boards.  Sunday at 9:30pm I finally received the last portion and it was horrible.  There were no citations, it was not in the right format, it sounded like a chimpanzee with a limited grasp of the english language managed to sign it to someone who also had a limited grasp of the english language… who then typed it and sent it to me.

Well, let me tell you… by then I frankly didn’t care. I wasn’t going to spend my entire night re-writing or editing something that someone else had obviously written with no regard for the rest of the team or the paper’s quality as a whole.  I threw the section in there, wrote a note to the instructor listing who did what part and washed my hands of it. Now, today I’m dealing with the lashback of everyone who thought they could have done it better.  Which is fine.  I’m holding my breath until the instructor posts our grade on the project and then I will be done. Unless by some cruel twist of fate, god is constipated and angry and throws some mean-ness the instructors way and he fails us all.  Not that god could be constipated (most likely) or would he really “throw” mean-ness… but you never know. 

Here is some cosmic pepto coming your way big guy in the sky… *wink*

I’m working on becomming certified on a new software we are implementing at work. It should be a nice resume builder and learning is never bad. I’m always happiest when I’m flexing my learning muscles. I find that constantly learning and growing really makes change in my life easy, if not pleasant and exciting, to deal with. And with change being the only constant in life.. that’s got to be a good thing.

Becoming certified has meant long hours of in class and out of class learning and studying and interacting with people. I have found that the one thing about me that never changes is I have a really hard time filtering my reactions to mean people.

I am not referring to the people who just kind of twaddle around life and accidently piss people off, they are just people who like to take full use of the bumpers of their bowling lane in life. I am referring to the people who enjoy putting other people down in order to feel superior, who intentionally become a hinderence to those around them just to try and solidify their importance and most importantly the ones who make no attempt to proactively communicate anything and revel in watching others fail.  For those people, I have no tolerance at all.

Last and never least is our home life which is always fun and crazy. I am so excited about having a month of from the little boy sports, there is still 2 nights of hockey to fit into our schedule… but that’s pretty much a constant anyways. I’ve learned recently that when I don’t have time to get my craftiness on with fabrics or paints… baking actually fills the void quite nicely. The basic premise is the same, start with many individual pieces and artfully combine them to make something beautiful (and tasty when baking).

Finally, besides all of that… I am trying to figure out how to get away for the weekend and enjoy a little travel/vacation time with my man. I’m trying to balance saving up money, paying my student loans (and all the other bills) and taking a vacation without somehow in there giving my bank account a nervous twitch and/or a stutter.

Check this out! — http://www.brenebrown.com/downloads-badges

I love her (Brene Brown)… she is very inspirational, honest and super friggin funny to listen to. If you get a chance look at her website and look on youtube for some of her talks. You’ll dig it.

A letter to parents…

More specifically, the parents who unfortunately did not stay together after bringing another life into this world.

Not only is divorce a sad reality of the world we live in today, but it also makes the already monumental task of parenting a child that much harder.

Do I have kids?  No. 

Do I devote numerous of hours a day to the academic, behavioral, emotional and social development of someone else’s child?  Yes. 

When I started dating my significant other, we talked about how impactful it would be on our relationship that they had a child from a previous relationship.  I decided I was up to the challenge.  Admittedly it has turned out to be far more emotionally, financially, physically and mentally draining than I had ever imagined it would be.  Conversely it has also been the most rewarding, worthwhile and impactful thing I have ever done.

One of the hardest things to wrap my head around and accept is that all the parenting and work on my end, does not a parent make.  I am considered at times the enemy by the original parent in my relationship.  I’m the replacement ref that was brought on the field to fill a role and although I am doing the best I can, there are a stadium of critics surrounding me.  Being in a “step” role (whether you’re married to the parent, in a long term relationship, etc) is not glamorous. They don’t say “ugly step parent wart” for nothing.  {Don’t worry, I’ve been examined by a dermatologist and I’m currently not sporting any step warts…}

All this I’m sure is not news to anyone.  What might be news however, is that in filling this role of parent/guardian, my goal is in fact to assist in the development of a child.  Not to undermine another parent.  It is also not my role to outshine, outdo, outsmart, outparent someone else. My role has nothing to do with someone else.  In fact, my end goal has more to do with myself than even with the child.  I want to look at myself in the mirror every single day and know that I have done the absolute best job I could do that day.  I made the right decisions, I did not cave to puppy dog eyes, I gave high fives, hugs and discipline when necessary.  I want to never feel like I gave less than am capable of giving. {Obviously I make mistakes somedays, like every other wart-toting authority figure does}

Why write this?  Because you, the parent need to know that.  Wouldn’t you rather know that when you aren’t around someone is there for your child in times of crisis, joy and learning? That someone is there to comfort, intervene or praise when necessary?  And wouldn’t you be so thankful that someone else did this because they WANTED to.  Not because they had to, were paid to, employed to or guilted into it.  Is there a better person to have around your child than someone who wakes up every day and aligns their day to give their best, so your child can benefit from that? 

So, I am challenging you to give the “other parent” in your life a little slack.  Know that even the knowledge that their lives would be easier, less complicated, less busy, less structured and their relationship far easier without your child in it, they wake up every morning choosing to “stay the course” and strive to be a constant positive addition to your child’s life.

I do not want to be you.  I do not want to replace you.  I don’t want to wear your skin or other creepy serial-killer-tendencies.  I want to have the best relationship I can have with my forever person, and that includes your child.  In order to have the best relationship I can, I am going to be the best “other parent” I can be.  Every day. For them, for us and for me.

Take comfort in that.  Be reassured by that.  Be thankful for that.

Even dysfunctional families are still families and nothing good ever comes of jealousy, envy, bitterness or spite.

I actually appreciate you, for creating the person I’m with today.  Without you (their history) there would be no us (our future).

Crazy, huh?

Be kinder to an “other parent” in your life today.  (hint: they might like chocolate)

Note: This is my plea, I cannot account for every other parent out there and know that there are cases that go against everything I have written.  I would like to think they are the exception and not the rule, but wanted to let you (the reader) know that I am not naive and disney-enough to believe this is the case for every family unit. But it is for mine.

Another Note: If a “other parent” tries to wear your skin, disregard all of the above and run fast.  Probably scream a lot too.

Deep thoughts, shallow subjects

Here is what is happening in my head the last couple days:

Concussed.

First of all after Jason and I managed to run into each other in the dark the other night… I mean full on, Americas funniest home video worthy, jackass 57 the movie outtake, walking into each other… I’m pretty sure I have a concussion.  Jason laughs, but I think it’s real.  Let’s look at the evidence.

  1. I’ve had a headache since the incident
  2. My little goose egg on my forehead still hurts like the dickens (yup, dickens)
  3. Yesterday I was nauseous off an on
  4. I’m not pregnant, so that is not an explanation of the nausea

I almost thought about going to the doctor today after I remembered that Liam Niesen’s wife had some kind of brain injury and waited it out only to keel over a couple of days later.  I’m prematurely planning my wedding that I’m not yet engaged for!  I have too much exciting stuff coming up to keep over into my morning oatmeal!  For the love of all that is right in this world…

Now, I’m sure I will be fine.  I have refrained thus far from calling any emergency numbers or demanding to be seen by a doctor.  I’m 100% sure I will get a prescription for Xanax as a reward for that coo-coo-cachoo move.

Fondue.

Monday I went out for Fondue at the Melting Pot with the girls.  It was the ladies night special.  Cheese, chocolate and wine… cheap?  It’s like a tangible heaven. Needless to say as the waitress is babbling on about who knows what, I’m concentrating on the 3 cups of cheese she is adding to the “melting pot”.  I’m thinking, there is no way we will eat all that cheese!  That is like 1 big ol’ cup of cheese per girl!

Pfff… we are Wisconsin!  We ate it all, even burned out tongues on the last bit.  The waitress took the plate away, first asking if we would like to scrape the pot clean.  She laughed, but I hadn’t thought of that option till she mentioned it, and then it became a real option.  I refrained.

The chocolate was poured and all the dipping favors brought out (bananas, strawberries, brownies, cheese cake, rice krispies, marshmallows, pound cake, {feel your thighs getting bigger?}) I think, we will not be able to finish all this!

But we do, and more.  There is chocolate left once all our dipping favors are gone and what’s a girl to do besides say YES to more dipping favors. 

The upside to the engorgement that happened was that you are literally to full to drink more than 1 glass of wine.  Plus you are so busy dipping, twirling and maneuvering tongs with cheese and chocolately nuggets of yummy that you just don’t have time to pause and dehydrate your body.

Now, the next morning the scale did not even budge.  Whoa.  Today (two days later) I am down 1 pound.  Universe, I’m reading you loud and clear!

Universe: “Ingrid, eat more chocolate and cheese”

Ingrid: “If you insist!”

Zombie Apocalypse.

On the way to work today there was a lot of traffic.  Enough traffic to add 20 minutes to my morning commute, make my back uncomfortable and my stomach grumbly.  The traffic guy happily announced that everything was going smoothly, this prompted me to wonder if he gets hate mail or flaming piles of poop on his front door step. 5 miles an hour, 0 miles an hour, 15 miles an hour, slam on the brakes, back to 5 miles an hour.

My highlight was seeing this truck:

 

image

Elfin Magic (or Effin as i read it)

And realizing that if at that moment a Zombie Apocalypse happened, I would hide in that truck and get fat on Keebler Fudge Cookies.  I would die a fat and happy person, or become a fudge-oozing zombie.  Either way, I was comforted by the thought.

Happy.

Wednesday.

Check it out…

In an attempt to create some sort of writing platform… I have created a sister site.  Like a sister country but we all speak the same language here.

Check out: Awesomeness. Found.

Please remember it is brand spankin’ new.  So when you look and think, is this some kind of scam?  This website is totally bare… I’m getting there.  I have so many great ideas and things that will be up and coming.  So if you can humor a girl and ride a new little wave with me, then check it out.  If you like my current style of non-coherent ramblings about scattered subjects, no fear.  I’ll be keeping this blog too so I can fill that void also.

Cheers to working towards goals and stuff.