Saturday, May 28, 2011

Time enough for me

Yesterday we happened to have a half day at work. Yes! HALF DAY!

Can I hear a woo-hoo? WOO-HOO!

Rather than relax and relish in the few couple of afternoon hours before I had to get the kids. I did a few things that I usually don't have time to do. I got a trim AND I went into see my doctor.

I've been trying to grow out my hair for a while now. I haven't had a haircut since December. I've just been making due as my hair has been growing out. I did cut my bangs myself a couple months ago. A little crooked? No matter. I just brushed them to the side. Ay-yay-yay! But my hair has been a bit out of control as of late. I was getting that flipping out business. So I convinced the stylist to take as little off as possible. And you know what? This particular stylist actually listened to me. She just trimmed it up. Took off the funky ends. Cleaned up my bangs. Hopefully now my hair will grow out nicely from here on out. [crossing fingers]

No. It wasn't my yearly well-woman visit. It was a check on what's been going on with my digestive tract. Oh yeah. My darn acid-reflux has been rearing its ugly self back into my life the past week and a half. I haven't been able to sleep well at all. It's been pretty sad. Coughing on and off all night.

I showed up at 1:10pm and I found out his 1pm never showed up. My doc was able to spend a bunch of time with me. I did gain about 5 pounds since last year. Ugh! But at least my blood pressure is a-okay. The doc did confirm that the back of my throat is quite red. I did mention that I haven't eaten anything odd or unusual in the past couple of weeks. But that my stress level has been quite high. Then he asked if I'd been drinking anything different. Soda. Tea. Coffee. And then a little lightbulb went on in my head. I have up'd my morning caffeine intake. I had been drinking two cups of decaf coffee. But a couple weeks ago I started to mix in one cup of regular (aka caffeinated) to one cup of decaf. And once I mentioned that, my doc said that I had to stop that. ARGH!

This morning? I only drank a half cup of decaf with my breakfast. And now at 10:49pm? My reflux isn't as bad. By now I would be coughing up a storm from the irritation to the back of my throat from the acid. I'd also be trying to drink loads of water to try to push the acid back down. Even sleeping on my wedge wasn't helping much. I'd still have "break through" even sleeping with my body at an upward angle. So I'm quite relieved that my symptoms aren't so pronounced as they've been in the last 10 days.

I hope....I hope that the fix for my reflux is as easy as cutting caffeinated coffee from my daily intake. I hope. I hope.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Music once again in my life

The kids and I didn't stay home last night.

Where did we go, pray tell?

We went to see this....

It was the Princess' final band concert.

At the kids' school, only the 5th graders are able to take band. I think it's kind of strange as I started taking lessons at school in the 2nd grade. But I guess it's all about national school budget cuts and all that jazz.

It was fun to watch the kids' play. In actuality, it kind of hurt my ears at moments. Seriously. There was one particular trumpet player who most likely only practiced every Wednesday at school when the band convened together. The kid was pretty horrible and LOUD! It would be one thing if he played quietly, but he was so loud and offkey for about 90% of the time. Ay-yay-yay! Thankfully, there were a few songs where each group of instruments played by themselves so you could hear JUST THEM. The flutes? I have to say...played the BEST.

The kids were asked to dress nicely. Boys in slacks and collared shirts. Girls in slacks or skirts with a nice shirt or a dress. No jeans. No shorts. And it was so great to see the kids come in looking especially nice.

While I enjoyed watching the kids, I came home with one revelation.

Teach your daughters how to sit in a skirt.

These girls are used to wearing shorts and jeans. These girls were DEFINITELY not used to wearing skirts.  Oh my! Their legs were sprawled this way and that. Can you say undies on display? Yes. It was bad. So your daughters how to sit in skirts. Enough said. Right?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sometimes all it takes is a song

After having a rough few weeks, I made it a point to get us to church this morning.

The Bear enjoys going to church. He's told me more than once that enjoys "learning about God" when we're at church. He just loves going to Sunday School.

The Princess? She enjoys hearing the music and singing.

Today was the best day for the Princess. Because today rather than having the normal sermon, it was all about the music.

The men's quartet started it off.
The kids' group sang a little song.
The youth choir sang.
The main choir sang 6 beautiful songs.
The service ended with the bell ringers.

It was fabulous. My Mom, the Princess, and I enjoyed it immensely.

I have to say that the music filled me up.

My bucket is now overflowing.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hiding it once again

I only had one thing that I needed to get done today.


What was it?

Dye my hair!

I'm one of those who does an at-home treatment. I've pretty much done my own color most of my adult life. With dark brown/black hair it's pretty easy to get things done. No need to blend various shades. I did go through a period where I went to a salon for color for a year or so. That's when I had streaks. Yeah...but no more. Now I've got simple taste. I'm just sticking to one color. Or I'm trying to. But my aging body sprouts those darn white roots in no time flat. ARGH!

I sprouted my first white hair when I was 16. It was on my right temple. No biggie. Just one hair. But as I got into college, I had a handful of hairs that would come back. Now? When the roots come out, I look like I've got a halo around my face. A halo might sound nice, but not a halo of white hair.

After I cleaned up dinner tonight, I made an appointment with Miss Clairol. I've bought Nice-n-Easy since I was in college, but I actually bought Natural Instincts at the store yesterday. I ventured out and tried something new. I actually did like the fact that I only had to leave the color in for 10 minutes versus 45 AND my hair does feel very soft. I just may be a convert. But I'll wait to see how the color holds.

So you gals who color. Do you color at a salon or do it yourself at home? What brand do you use?

There are a couple girls at work who have dyed their hair since they were teenagers. They actually had a debate at lunch one day about who started having gray hair first. The conversation spiraled. They tried to one-up each other on who had it worse. The one gal finally said, "I even have white hairs DOWN THERE! Why do you think I get a Brazilian? So I won't have to see any snow in my girlie area." Oh goodness! That had us all busting in our chairs.

But so goes life as we all age. White hairs here. White hairs there. We each deal with these darn hairs in our own way.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Inspiration finds us

As you probably can tell, I've been pretty down as of late.

It's not just one thing. It's everything. Being overloaded at work. Trying to keep the kids busy. Worrying about my sisters who aren't getting along. Being a "single" parent.

I can't believe it's already been over a year since I moved out here. And the kids have just hit their one year mark for being here as well.

While the Hubs has come out here to visit us a few times, it's not the same. I'm still have to do everything to get through the day-to-day. Some of you are probably scoffing at me. I mean, I've only got the two kids. How hard can it be? For me? It's hard. All the things that need to be done to run a home and create a warm family life. All those little things. My shoulders feel the weight of it all. My head sometimes gets fuzzy about all the stuff that needs to get done. For some it's easy to get things organized and done. I'm fine with getting my regular workload organized and settled. Bing-bang-boom. But my life? I just get be-fuddled by it all. [sigh]

The other day after work, I felt so lost. As I walked to my car, I felt like the weight of the world was on me. I had that feeling like I was drowning with no help in sight. I felt that gasping effort in my lungs just to breath. But I trudged on. I got in my car and started on home with an empty feeling in my heart.

As I sat waiting at the highway on-ramp, I looked up as I normally would when I'm troubled. I usually look up to watch the clouds with their ever-changing shapes moving effortless before me. But my eyes did not move to the clouds high above me. My eyes instead saw a most beautiful sight. Two birds flying in synch. Swooping up, diving down, and twisting between each other. I don't know if it was a Mama-bird showing her baby to fly aggressively. I don't know if it was a boy bird courting a girl bird. But no matter. For those 10 minutes, I watched this beautiful dance in the sky. And I knew it was God trying to give me a little boost. Showing me how wonderful and free life can be. It warmed my heart. It soothed my soul. It filled that empty space in my heart, just like my kids can do.

I'll try hard to continue to find inspiration and joy in my day as I continue to work through the difficulties in my life. How about you? Can you give me some inspiration?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Time with the kids calms me

While my kids are two people who can really drive me crazy at times, they are also a couple people who can calm my spirit.

This weekend was a key example of the power they have over me.

I had a difficult week at work and just spending quality quiet time with the kids was what I really needed.

What's funny is that my daughter was actually not home for a portion of this weekend.

Do you think that's why this weekend was so good?

After I dropped the Princess off at school Friday morning, I didn't see her again until 10am Saturday. Why? Because my daughter's class went on an overnight trip. It was a historical lesson. The kids left school around 2pm and headed over downtown to spend the night on an old sailing ship. Kind of like what you see on Master and Commander.They were served "rat soup" for dinner. They cleaned the deck with saltwater and brooms. They even were woken up in the middle of the night to stand watch. And I have to tell you that it was cold this past week. I was so glad that the Princess packed her mittens, knit cap, ski jacket with fuzzy lining, and a sweatshirt. She told me that she and the other girls slipped into their sleeping bags with their jackets, hats, and mittens on. Brrr....

What's crazy is that today, the Princess attended a swim party for one of her school buddies. Oh yeah. Around 3:30pm all the girls converged at the local Boys & Girls Club to swim. Brrr.... When I picked up the Princess at 6pm, about half the girls were still in the pool. Yes! IN. THE. POOL. AT. SIX. O'CLOCK. The Princess wa so ready to leave though because she was cold down to her bones. She had a slight blue tint around her lips! She was THAT cold!

Needless to say, the Bear and I were able to spent quiet time together. We just hung out. No errands. No chores. We just hung out. And it was so nice.

It was just what I needed. What do YOU need when you've had a rotten week?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Those moments when I just want to walk out

There are certain places where you are pretty much conditioned to behave.

You know what I'm talking about. Sitting in a church pew during a service. Visiting someone in a hospital. Working in an office.

And that's me. Working in an office. Being forced to play nice.

When things go wrong at work, I keep things to myself. When people get calls from unhappy outside callers, I try to be a filter. I console the caller. I take as much information as possible. Then I email my co-worker the message. This way the caller can vent. This way my co-worker doesn't have to speak with an unhappy caller. This way my co-worker can research the situation and have an answer before speaking with the caller. Typically, this works. But not today!

Around 8:45am, I got a call from a Lady who was a little perturbed. She asked we'd received some information she'd sent over on Tuesday. I looked into the account and confirmed that we indeed had received the documents. She then asked if the person who maintains the account, Kim, had received the documentation. I confirmed that the documents had been forwarded to Kim on Tuesday. The Lady said she was a little disappointed because she'd left Kim a couple voicemails to call to discuss the documents. I then let the Lady know that I'd leave Kim a note that she wanted a call back from Kim to discuss the paperwork. Once I got off the phone, I sent Kim an email.

Kim emailed me back within a couple minutes. Who was the caller? How did I get the call? I let her know that who the lady was. I told her that the Lady called me directly. Then I went on with my day.

Lo and behold, around 2:30pm I got a call. It was the Lady again and she wasn't happy because she hadn't gotten a call back yet. Yes. Almost six hours later it hadn't received a call back. So what to do? What to do? I sent an email to Kim's supervisor to let her know that Kim hadn't responded. The supervisor then sent out an email to Kim to make a return call. Kim then emails me and asks if I'd received another call from the Lady. I confirmed that the Lady called 10 minutes prior. Kim then stalked walked over to my desk, which is about 3 rows over from hers.

The Lady called again?
Yes. She said that she wanted to talk about some documents she sent over on Tuesday.

Then she stalked walked off.

And guess what? She ended up emailing me again to say (and I'm paraphrasing) that if someone calls for her to forward the person onto her directly. Okay fine. I will. When someone calls for Kim (especially when they're in a bad mood), I'll just transfer them onto her. I won't buffer her whatsoever anymore. You crap on me like that at work? I am no longer willing to help you in any way. NO. WAY. NO. HOW.

Dang it all. It's when people act like this that make me so mad. When people take their crappy behavior out on me. I try with all my might to maintain myself at work. When I'm in a bad mood, I try to just contain myself. Keep my yuckiness to myself. Keep things under wraps. But that's just the way I am. I don't want to spread my bad vibe to those around me. And when people spread THEIR yuckiness to me? I can get pretty ticked off. And today? I was so ticked off that I felt like crying. I equate how I feel like a volcano. I typically let my anger - my magma - simmer underneath the surface. But once too much pressure -- anger -- builds up, a slight blow escapes. And a blow for me? In the past, I've thrown a highlighter onto one of my cube walls. But today? Those angry hot tears came as I typed away on my computer. Oh how I detest crying!

What a way to end my week...

I'm just so happy it's the weekend. I've got time to spend with my kiddos. Time to be a couch potato and cuddle. But I do plan on taking a run sometime. [sigh] The weekend....I love it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Long time no see

Life has caught up with me.

The busy-ness of it all.

Running her and there.

More work than time available.

But I must tell you that on Saturday I did something for me.

It was a cloudy morning, so I decided to take a jog.

Remember when I used to run?

Well, I've never gotten back into the groove since moving here.

My darn acid-reflux had gotten so bad that I just couldn't run.

I couldn't. Too much acid.

And since then?

I've just been working. Working hard to bring home the bacon.

So I went out Saturday morning for an easy jog jog-walk.

I had a general idea about the distance. I ended up getting back home in 30 minutes.When I got back, I looked it up on Google Maps and it ended up being 2.6 miles.

Is that good? 2.6 miles in 30 minutes?

I have to tell you that it felt good. That way your lungs feel afterwards. The slight strain of something being worked.

I definitely stretched once I got home. I'm not as limber as I was before. That's something I have to invest some time in. Getting my flexibility back. I used to be pretty flexible and it was just so sad to see how much stiffer my body is.

I wasn't too sore on Sunday, which is a good sign for me. On Monday I felt just fine.

So tonight after I put dinner down for the kids? I ventured back out. A shorter distance this time -- only 1.9 miles. I figured it would be better so that I could get used to it again.

I must tell you though....I pretty much jogged the entire way. Yes. I did stop a couple times when I had to wait for the lights to change so I could cross safely. But I ran jogged the entire way! I am super happy!

Hopefully I'll MAKE time to do this a few days a week. I  know a lot of you are able to go out and do it. But I just find it hard to fit in while I'm doing the single parent thing. How do you single parents do it? Any advice would be great.