Wednesday, December 8, 2010

As we writhe towards ecstasy

Oh, Christmas, a most magical and wonderous time of year. I've begun shamelessly using the age-old tradition of bribery for good behavior and better sleeping habits. I don't even find shame in admitting it: I cajole my young, gullible children. I guess the myths that we feed our children regarding the holiday season can't be worse than the irreparable damage we will do to them as they come to realize what reality and adulthood are really like. At least for this brief window in time we give them a grander scale of hopes with a much smaller disappointment factor when they realize that the death of Santa doesn't mean the death of presents. Let's hear a huzzah for capitalism!

I was being slightly sarcastic at the end of the last paragraph, but I do genuinely enjoy the Christmas season. But I can't help but look at this time of year with two sets of eyes. The eyes of the person who has fond memories of this time of year growing up, without remembering what a struggle my parents were going through to make sure they could juggle groceries with gift-giving. I try to remind myself that I don't have to feel pressured to just keep buying and buying and buying, that I just want to relax and remember the reason for the season, but this year I am ready for winter to be over. Christmas may be magical, but it's just one more day on the way to next year, and I'm already looking forward to camping and smaller boobs. In my book, 2010 can't be over fast enough.

This is my first post as a 30 year old. Do I sound sooooo much more mature than in the past. That question (statement) was more rhetorical than literal. I don't feel older. And in my opinion 2010 wasn't much of a milestone year for me, except the whole-getting-fired-and-rising-like-a-phoenix-from-the-ashes-of-my-tattered-career stuff. Oh, and seeing Muse, that would go on a Milestone calendar, if I were keeping one.

Reflecting back on the year is bittersweet, but I also realize how blessed I am that things worked out as well as they did. I got more time with my kids, unexpectedly, and I relish my weekends with them a little more knowing that I am not stressing about my new job the way I had been about the old. I'm so incredibly happy with what I'm doing, and I think that comes through in my attitude more now. I think back to my pregnancy with Colter, and I wonder if I would have been such a bitch if I hadn't been babysitting adults all day long. Really. Counting the minutes they used going to the bathroom while on company time. I'm not even joking.

We got a lot of fun jam packed into the time we spent together, my little family and I. Portland is a destination we will definitely go back to again. Either with the kids or just the two of us, but either way I can't wait to go back. And now that Colter is getting bigger and about ready to talk I foresee a lot more outdoors fun now that we can take him out to walk and explore, learn to swim and camp and run around with his sister.

So let's all raise our glasses to 2010, as we usher it out the door in less than a months' time. Next up: resolutions and tax tips for the coming year. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Entering unknown territory

This week marks the end of my twenties. I haven't spent a lot of time pondering what I hope to accomplish in my thirties, or what behaviors I need to include or exclude in the coming decade, but here are a few things I'm proud of (and not so proud of) that make the last decade a defining period for me.

- I finished cancer treatment in my 20s. I was 19 when I started chemo and 20 when I finished radiation. Mark that one down for pride.

- On the shame side let's put down all the times I got so drunk I puked. I'm hoping that this pastime is one that I leave in the history books. Or at least only do it once a year.

- I lost a few people I care for in my 20s, either by death or distance. A lot of love is in my heart for those that I haven't regained yet, but I will dedicate my thirties to maintaining friendships that are worth my time and not losing time on those that aren't.

- I gained a whole family when I married the love of my life in my twenties. Our relationship has been constant through the last decade, and I couldn't have asked for a better friend, lover, fixer, cook, baker, bbq-er, and father than what I have in Thad. He's my best friend, and I look forward to the coming adventures we face.

- I've gained and lost some pounds over the last decade, but I'll say that in the last year I've tried to lose some of the weight that wasn't with me 10 years ago. I have a great, understanding workout buddy and we look forward to continuing to challenge each other to keep dropping those pounds. Zumba has been an awesome addition to my work out routine, and I plan to keep dancing as long as I can.

- I've lost a little sanity over health issues in this decade as well. But in facing these issues I've come to realize that I can't change who I am. And I don't want to. There are aspects of my life that are both good and bad, and whether I live to be 90 years old or live to be 55, I will not worry about how long I'm going to live and worry about how I'm living right now. Worry is a killer in itself, and I don't want to devote more time to worrying than I do to actually just living.

- Two marks in my plus column for my twenties were the two best things to happen to me. Elora and Colter. I didn't think I would have kids. After cancer and chemo, I was betting on being barren and I'm glad I didn't put all my money on that horse. I went through two great pregnancies (one pregnancy was a little angrier than the other, I will admit) and came out with two of the most beautiful, funny, sweet, smart little cookies in the world. My children challenge me to be a better person every day, whether it's just teaching me to be patient or allowing me to try to teach them things like kindness, manners, and knock knock jokes. I can't imagine my life without these two little ones, and I can say honestly that they probably saved my life. I hope one day, if the internet exists in the future, that they may find their mom's old blog, and that amongst the humorous anecdotes that they see a mother that loved them more than anything. Thank you, my babies.

- I start my thirties non-dependent on nicotine. January will mark 2 years that I've been tobacco free, and I'm relieved and thankful that I had the opportunity and desire to quit and quit for good when I got pregnant with Colter. It's taken a while to learn how to enjoy drinking without it's accompanying bad habit, and I used to think that former smokers were crazy when they said that they could actually go out and still have a great time without smoking. The bars in Montana went smoke free last year, so that has also diminished any real temptation for me to start up again. I feel better, I smell better, and I'm proud that my kids won't be more likely to start smoking as a result of seeing their mom or dad do it. My parents smoked, and I have no idea what possessed me to start (peer pressure) but hopefully that cycle has been broken.

I plan to keep learning, and hopefully in the next few years I'll decide what I want to be when I grow up and start working towards that goal. I've seriously been considering opening some type of small business specializing in food, but I want to make that leap when I've got a little capital and some business skills in my pocket.

Thank you all for being my readers. Thank you for being my friends, family, and the few random folks that stumble across this blog and give it a read before moving on. Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mid-November update

We are less than 48 hours away from Thanksgiving, and that means turkey. Not just any turkey, but Thad's First Ever Smoked Turkey. I'm not making much this year to contribute to our feast, but I figure with less to be responsible for there will be less of a chance that I'll end up doing what I did last year..... getting a little tipsy because of an unforeseen delay in our cooking timeline that resulted in the turkey not being ready when everyone and everything else was ready. John (my younger brother) tried to convince me today that we didn't eat until almost 9:00PM that night. I don't believe him, but I also have no alternate theory as to when we actually ate. I hate that he's correct by proxy.

I'm doing a relish tray/veggie tray thing, with the perfunctory ranch dip, and green bean casserole. Every time I type that I either want to type "green been" or "grean bean".

My folks are coming to Thad's folks' place for dinner. My brother and sister in law will be there as well, along with John (my younger brother). I got myself a new sweater and Elora and Colter each a cute little soft shirt/pants set. I plan to even straighten my hair for the event. Ooooh, fancy!

Gift shopping has been a fiasco, mostly because I loathe shopping. It just seems to reinforce this inadequacy complex that I seem to keep harboring about my gift giving skills. I have gifter's remorse after nearly every gift, like "WHY DIDN'T I TRY HARDER". I realize that it's the thought that counts, but I'm always wondering if I'm overthinking it, which therefore cancels out the thought that counts. Anyways, that's a ramble but I think it's good and I'm keeping it.

Elora hasn't been sleeping in her own bed. It's been a weird and recent development. She has finally been relegated to the floor whenever she comes in (what can I say, I let her come in the first few times because I love to snuggle her, but she's a BEDHOG), and she pitifully sleeps with her head on this huge oversize pillow. I've asked several times and I keep getting the answer that her brother snores and pulls her hair and that's why she can't sleep in there. I would call bulls$%& but she is only almost 4 and doesn't understand when shenanigans are being called on her.

I've hereby dubbed my son M&M, because he is a little miniature embodiment of Matthew McConaughey. I don't know if I spelled that right, but whatevs. Colter has come to be one of the coolest kids I know. He flirts, laughs, and smiles like a Matthew McConaughey, and he loves to go shirtless and drum his hands on things. I caught him going down the stairs when he was at the BOTTOM of the stairs when I went looking for him, so he's managed it down the stairs at least once without me knowing it and managed just fine. Pretty soon I'll be asking him to start the car and pour mommy the perfect Bloody Mary, he's that capable.

Thad is going out hunting Friday, hopefully to get the elk that we've been hoping for. I'm planning on staying in Colstrip until Saturday. I have no shopping that requires me to be here and up at the ass crack of dawn to get a deal. I bet all my shopping worries would be over if I'd just actually SHOP instead of browsing online. C'est la vie. I don't know if that reference had any bearing on what I just said, but when in Rome. I amuse myself.

Having a blog no one really reads or comments on is like sending a message in a bottle out to the internet.

Well, I think that my child has fallen to sleep in her own bed now that I've whittled down here willpower by logic and sheer bribery. I'm headed off to my own bed. Good night, internet, and have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Tell your family you love them, and punch your brother in the kidney for forgetting your birthday for another year.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Shenanigans were called

I did. I called shenanigans and for the first time since David kicked Goliath's ass with a little rock and a slingshot the little guy WON!

Several months ago I wrote about the loss of my job, and how horrible it was, and how financially distraught we had become, but I can happily say that while I am in no way "rich", but I'm no longer closing old savings accounts that hold a retainer balance just so I have dinner money at the fair. Yes, that is what I did this August. I closed an old savings account at a credit union to use the extra $25 bucks they use to keep the account open to buy vikings and fried cheese curd.

So when I got fired I filed for unemployment. At the time I didn't really know what would become of it, but I did it, and began my job search. Job Search 2010. It lasted 9 weeks, technically, because when I got hired for my new job I technically was still out of work for 2 weeks before I started. So I kept filing. And filing. And filing. And at that point I was waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And I thought that I was giving the process a lot of patience and consideration. When I wrote UI (unemployment, for short) asking for an update it sparked them to finally take a look at the claim, and DENY IT.

So fast forward through the first appeal, because the first appeal is apparently just a test of one's patience and discipline, because it's bullshit. BULL. SHIT. They don't even read what you write down in your appeal. So I sent that appeal, and got another letter, stating that after they looked at all the facts without reading any of my 6 pages of appeal information they didn't see any reason to change their minds.

So fast forward AGAIN to 10/1/10. I was in a car, with my fabulous in-laws, headed to Denver to see MUSE and this happened to be the date scheduled for my hearing. So I did the hearing by phone, while we stopped in the parking lot of the Casper Burger King and I cried on the phone to the nice woman at the unemployment hearing office. I guess it was good I wrote that bullshit since I had all my notes/dates/times already compiled and ready to go. We finished the hearing, and went along on our merry way to Denver for an AMAZING concert.

Well, I got my letter the next week. I WON. THAT'S RIGHT. WON. Me, the little guy, beat the big old bad corporation. And that not only boosted my deflated self esteem, but it's got me looking forward to trying to work myself into a different role at my current job. I am not as valuable as my last job made me feel when they fired me. I no longer have to base my worth on what they think.

And not only that, but I love the fact that now I can look back at that job and really see how shitty it was. Yes, money can make up for a lot of bullshit at any job, but at the end of the day I don't just live for my job. I live for my family, and that is what defines me now. Plus, I don't work for a corporation that REWARDS LAZINESS and ENCOURAGES MEDIOCRITY. I'll be honest, with the exception of a few people that shall remain nameless because they know that they aren't the crappy people to which I refer, the management team at my last job sucked. More than one person can't be bothered to do their job, and that is only further compounded by a manager that doesn't know how to manage and a director who loves to hear the sound of their own voice. But now I never have to listen to one single person bitch about American Idol not being on or the "On the 8s" on The Weather Channel not working. EVER AGAIN. You can generate a lot more empathy for people calling crying because of medical bills compared to the Buffalo Bills. Because they suck.

My kids are great. We just spent the last weekend baking, watching movies, and waiting for daddy to come home from hunting. Colter likes to spin in circles, either on his feet or on his butt, and Elora might be getting some ballet gear for Christmas.

We'll be spending Thanksgiving in Colstrip, in Thad's parents new kitchen/living/dining area. Love it, it's gorgeous, and I can't wait to cook there this year. My plan is to stay in town for a couple days and hang out with friends, get a little holiday baking done, and come home refreshed. Then, birthday weekend will be spent recovering from the holiday Christmas party for work, then a couple weeks of work before Christmas, and after Christmas we'll have my mom here with kiddos during my day care provider's Christmas break.

The last few weeks have been ups and downs, and I am happy to report they were mostly ups. I'm cruising full speed ahead towards the big 3-0, and I can't wait to make it to 31 with my amazing family, and the people that I am now choosing to keep in my life. Is it too early to say that I can't wait for 2011?!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Before I forget, just wanted to mention that last week, on 10/8/10, my baby officially started moving around the world on his little two legs. He loves walking, probably because we cheer him on whenever he's doing so. I have no video to post, but it's awesome.

Quote from my 3 year old

Tomatoes don't have eyes. Or arms, or legs. And they're stupid, because they can't talk.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Just an old fashioned Twisted Sister song

You know the one I mean. The one about not taking it anymore. Well, I finally got to lay out the whole lame situation with losing my job. This was the appeal I needed to write to cathartically release any of the anger and frustration I've felt for the last several months.

I had to request a redetermination on my unemployment claim. Long story short, they looked at the paperwork that my previous employer had submitted and it was cut and dry, easily disqualified. So I got to write a 6 page letter that put all of the background facts that wouldn't fit into the text boxes of my original claim. We got that sucker faxed in yesterday (I love you Thad, thanks for doing that for me) and now we wait. It took forever just to find out about the original claim. But now I've got the name and number of someone that I can call if I have any more run around. Because I got run around on Friday by an unemployment agent, and it wasn't cool. I don't normally get shitty with customer service, but this girl was trying to get me to make an appointment for a call back this week just to TELL SOMEONE I was requesting a redetermination. I was like, this is a ridiculous hoop to make someone that works jump through. And it was, a hoop that is, because I called the lady my mother in law suggested I call and she told me just to fax it over. So take that, brand new customer service rep for unemployment.

In other news, we're broke AGAIN. Every time I think that we'll be able to crawl on top of some bills and wrap our hands around their soul-sucking throats paychecks don't pan out and we're left with enough grocery money and gas money to get to work and eat all week, but little to nothing else. With the fair this week, and Colter's birthday this weekend, we'll have to be really careful, but by next payday things should finally be turning around. The winds of change are here.

Oh, and did you happen to notice that Colter is having a birthday from my last paragraph?! That's right, my little man is turning A YEAR OLD! No plans for a formal party, I'm just going to supply a cake and some ice cream and maybe some supplies for kebobs and see what happens. My poor baby needs car seats for his birthday, so that will be mom and dad's boring gift and the grandparents will need to buy him something fun.

Last night I made colcannon and it was really good. We had it with a smoked chicken, and both will make a fabulous lunch for me today. Here is a picture of all our culinary glory last night.

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Alright, it's time for a shower and getting ready for another Monday at work. Have a fab work week, everyone!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


At work last week I took a little class offered through the on-site "university". I'm going to take a minute and say that it is wonderful to work for a company that focuses as much time and energy into educational outreach as this employer does. They have a full training schedule, and employees are required to earn x amount of credits every quarter. They also have a leadership training program for those employees that get promoted from within and maybe haven't had any management experience. Or even if they have some management experience, they still give you leadership training. At my last job it was like getting the promotion was a vote of confidence that you could do the work necessary, so obviously training isn't necessary. HAVE AT IT, AND GOOD LUCK. Sink or swim, and if you sink it's no one's fault but your own.

So, getting back to my story, the class I went to was "Finding the UP in Upheaval". A lot of these trainings have a video, but so far none of the videos have made me want to just lay my head down and sleep. That may partially be because the trainer brings COLORING PAGES AND COLORING PENCILS for everyone. She encourages anyone that feels comfortable coloring to do so, and anyone who isn't comfortable to not feel like they have to. I'm totally one of the people that likes to color, mostly because I find it difficult to focus on a video or a group discussion sometimes when I'm giving it my full attention. I am really one of those people that learns more when I'm listening while doing something else.

We did a little exercise before the video to rate how comfortable we are with change. And while I'm looking at these questions I am thinking back to the end of March and pondering how I could have embraced that change more or better.

I didn't do anything when I lost my job that I wasn't proud of, even writing a blog on here about a former coworker didn't make me stop and say "does this feel wrong? should I be doing this?". I think the part I regret the most is trying to play nice and not bring up all the crap leading up to this and not paint my boss to be the coworker's best friend. Because that's what was going on, in all reality, but it felt like mud slinging to say that someone else got away with more, or get LESS of a slap on the wrist than I did for blatantly not doing their job, when I had been doing the work for mine but not with the attitude one would expect.

This morning I'm feeling the least amount of bitterness towards that boss than I have in a long time. I've thought terrible things about her, hoped that something really professionally devastating would happen to her, and now it's finally, FINALLY starting to dissipate. I'm truly starting to see the UP in that upheaval. It really sunk in last night while I was puffing away on the elliptical with my former-coworker/work out buddy. We were talking about that old job, and I told her I did the math finally that day on how much my income is now compared to when I worked there. Then I also mentioned that there is a direct correlation between your income and the amount of bullshit, pure unadultered bullshit, that you are expected to put up with. Not just your work, but all your employees drama and personal problems, and crap calls, and taking work home, and when you are around a group of employees just bitching and complaining about all the people that you can't stand.

For now, at this new job, I don't have any of that. It may come with time, but I'm not there to make friends. I'm there to kick some ass, set an example to my coworkers, and hopefully work my way up that ladder there too. The boss there has earned buckets of my respect for being on top of things, communicating things clearly, and setting expectations for me that I know are attainable. I feel like she has faith in my abilities, and she wants to see me succeed.

This weekend we spent the weekend relaxing at home, broke but happy. We did family pictures, went to Lake Elmo and went swimming, and watched Pee Wee's Big Adventure. The next couple weekends will be spent camping, maybe a trip to Colstrip for Thad and the kids so I can just have a weekend all to myself, spend it reading books and doing stuff I want to do. That sounds just heavenly.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Off the wagon 2.0

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Right before I got fired I was seeing a trainer at Oz Fitness. I had paid up front for sessions when I got fired so I continued on with it because I'd bought them in the hope of "creating a good habit". And I did create the good habit, it just became more and more difficult to justify that habit when no income + cost of gas = taking kids for walks to the park to do the economical thing.

So the habit I'd established got put to the wayside. Starting the new job, working 8-5 for 5 weeks, and just trying to mentally psych myself up to go to the gym again have led me to running. Running is my precursor to going back to the gym. Going for a run is helping me re-establish my cardio endurance so I don't pant like a dog in summertime on the treadmill or elliptical when I make it back.

Speaking of the new job, I'm LOVING it. I already feel like there is so much more this company is willing to do to create successful employees than my previous employer ever did. And I'm feeling like I'm "getting" it. I'm learning a little bit about health care reform because my company will definitely be affected by all the upcoming changes. I'm also really interested in learning more about the other departments, and continuing to increase my medical knowledge. When you work in the medical industry, no matter how indirectly, you can't float around on an "ignorance is bliss" cloud and get away with it.

We've spent the summer traveling to Colstrip a couple weekends, and then just vegging out and doing house stuff/yard stuff when we aren't going someplace. We've managed to take the kids camping in the pop up camper we got last year for Memorial Day weekend, and I think we'll try for at least one more trip before summer's end.

Colter is going to be a YEAR OLD in a month and 3 days. I just can't believe it. He's such a little treasure to all of us, his big sister included. She opens her eyes and if she seems him first thing she grins and says, "What are you doing, little man", even if he's just looking at her with the same big grin on his face. They are great together, there really hasn't been fighting yet between them. She does things experimentally, like burping him really hard until he starts crying, and I think she's just curious what he is going to do and doesn't realize the crying is because she is hitting him. I know the day will come that I'll have to force them to *hold each other nicely'* when they've been excessively brutal to one another, but until then she has to apologize when she does something not nice.

Yesterday Elora and I went on a date to the Farmer's Market. Just us two, and it was so nice. We picked up some fresh herbs, and walked around. She didn't like the walking around part at all, didn't seem to enjoy the crowds, but I saw old friend after old friend and ended up just taking up residence under the Skypoint and visiting. I saw my old boss from Hastings, whom I hadn't seen in 7 years, and a friend from high school who I had also not seen in about 7 years. I saw my sister in law with my niece, and that's when Elora started having a good time. Elora LOVES her cousins. She has 4 of them, and she loves them all, but her bestest friend in the entire world is also her cousin, Sophia. Sophia is 6 and they look like they could be sisters.

Elora and Sophia will spend the whole day playing, usually any play that involves Sophia considering herself Tinkerbell and Elora coplaying along with the same premise. They are much less pouty about sharing when it's just me watching them, but Thad's parents were down this weekend and when Gammy and Poppa are here they are SOOOO whiny. It's ridiculous. "She won't share the wings", "She took the bear from me", crying when one steps on the others toe. Yesterday I managed to take both girls to the water park by Sophia's school, and that's when it dawned on me that I might be dubbed "unsympathetic" or "mean" because I tell them both to knock it off and quit whining or tattling whenever they do it when it's just me with them. But I will take that in exchange for reading undisturbed on the grass in the sun for an hour.

Today we're smoking a brisket to take to a friend's house, and doing some laundry, maybe a quick run to the store. I hate going to the store on the weekends, it feels like I'm doing weekday work on my day off. But sometimes you just have to.

But first, a run after I finish my coffee, some breakfast, and finishing Housesitter on my DVR. I love Goldie Hawn in that movie. Maybe I'll sip my last mini bottle of champagne while I fold laundry and watch my movie. I'd consider that my new trifecta.

*The holding each other thing is a reference to my mother forcing my sister and I to hold each other when we'd been excessively brutal to one another. We were also punished at times with standing in the corner with our arms above our head. Not for hours like torture, mind you, but it made standing in the corner that much shittier to have to do it with your arms above your head. Soooooo much shittier. Try it. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Learning to let go and let God

I was a child raised with the twelve steps. Both my parents are in recovery, and so I may not have a complete understanding of the twelve steps but I do have some of the language embedded in my brain. So much of the twelve steps is wrapped up in a higher power, and I've really been pondering my higher power. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a skeptic. I'm an evolutionist, so the concepts of God being behind the creation of Earth and that everything is part of his plan are sometimes difficult for me to rationalize. But no matter what, I've never not believed in God. I've questioned, but I've never been deterred from the belief that is something out there, and I've also liked to believe that the God I believe in is way cooler than the God touted my any religion.

So I guess I need to either create my own religion, like a skeptic's Catholicism, with equal shout outs to all the unique creators in every religion. That way we give Jesus some equal play along with other prophets and deities, give it all some balance and a much more general purpose. This religions one commandment would be that of our two greatest prophets: Bill S Preston, Esq., and Ted "Theodore" Logan. "Be Excellent to One Another".

The brilliance lies in it's simplicity. But until I decide to get off my ass and start this religion, which would welcome everyone, I guess I should try out some of the established churches and decide if any of them actually suit me and my high falutin' expectations.

This reflection on the state of my spirituality has been the result of "the termination". It's been hard at times to understand how something so avoidable may have actually been exactly what needed to happen for me to open my eyes to what was going on in my life. The past 8 weeks have allowed for me to spend a lot of time with my children. Now, if you are one of the people that I interact with in the real world, you may have heard complaints about this. It's the nature of the proverbial beast to want what we don't have (a job) and take for granted what we do have (time with our children) until it is too late. I've been trying to make this time off a lot more about them. What do they need from me right now?

Elora has definitely entered the three year old stage that allows for wanton abuse of the meager amount of power she is given. But she is also polite, spunky, musical, and at times she is a little caregiver, hovering over her brother protectively and making sure I'm aware anytime he is amiss. With Elora I need to step back from my initial reactions to control and to govern with a despotic hold. My daily affirmation for helping my daughter grow into an empowered and thoughtful little girl is "Think before reacting, and remain rational".

Colter is sitting himself up now, sitting alongside his sister and playing, banging things together and talking all the while. He is very sweet, but is turning into quite a little bruiser and getting long and heavy. He is learning so much from his sister every day, and has now started cooing high pitched frequencies in varying tones, as though he's singing. My daily affirmation for continuing to soak in and enjoy this period before he becomes a little boy is "Slow down and snuggle".

I've had a 2nd interview with a potential employer, which I thought went really well. I'd love the job, getting back into a call center setting and starting at a grass roots level, learning a new industry. It also offers weekends off, and that is such an appealing idea in and of itself. We have a lot of camping to catch up on for the last few years, and I can't wait to begin pulling in an income again.

So, this post has been 9 days in the making, and I have thoughts on another subject I'd like to start a draft on, so there will be more to come. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trying some new things

I'm trying to find a new job, and maybe making money off this blog would be one way to do it!

The communist reflects!

More news as it happens.....

Monday, April 19, 2010

In response...

Just a little follow up to my post yesterday... I don't apologize for it. I was angry, and using this blog as my outlet for ANYTHING I feel is completely within my rights as a citizen of the United States. Whether or not my feelings are considered "factual" isn't for me to decide, my feelings and opinions are strictly that--- MY feelings, and MY opinions.

Was calling out a former coworker or my employer appropriate.... I'm not really in the business of justifying whether or not my behavior is appropriate. Obviously I was fired, and I never once said that I didn't do anything wrong, and that I wasn't justifiably terminated.

Life isn't "fair". I hate any mention of the word "fair" in a work environment because I don't know who ever tells people that things will be "fair" in life. But one thing I learned over the last 4 years was that if you are going to take action about something, your better make sure that you aren't opening yourself up for someone to come back and say that what was done wasn't right.

Respect is a tricky thing. You have to earn it, it can be lost quickly, and it sure as heck doesn't pay the bills. I may have lost respect in posting anything like the previous post, but I also stood up for what I believe in. I respect myself more for having the courage to not just meekly accept that life isn't fair and that is that.

Do I want Betty fired? I don't want anyone fired. Do I want my job back? No, because now that my eyes are open to how things really are, I would have a difficult time trying to carry out the party line. But if my voice is being heard via my blog, I just want to say that I'm not scared of people being mad at me. I'm not worried about other people's opinions about what I wrote. If anyone read this and knows that they didn't do ANYTHING after I got fired, I can only say that I think it was your conscience that kept you quiet, not the concern that I was embarrassed or angry.

I took a stand, even if it was only on my little blog. And I yelled "TAWANDA" at the screen while I did it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hotter than a mo-fo

I am currently sitting at my sister's computer in ND, sweating my balls off because I can't find a thermostat in the place that actually makes the temperature go down. I swear to god it's at least 80 degrees and I can't open the window to the bedroom I'm in. Trying to rouse my sister was useless, so here I am. So instead of sleeping at 4 am before driving the 8 hours home I guess I'll write a blog.

The blog title could apply to many things. The temperature I am currently at, my anger at my previous employer, my desire to see someone else be held to the same standard of accountability that I was held to when I was fired.

My previous employer failed to pay me correctly on my final paycheck. I didn't receive anything for the PTO hours I was owed, so I had to contact them and get the money back a different way. That was two weeks ago. This last Friday I had a direct deposit from the previous employer, one that was not supposed to make it to me.

If you receive money that you know isn't yours, that you know you can't keep, but it was given to you in error, it fucking SUCKS to give it back to the people that made the mistake in the first place. The level of suckage warrants the use of the F bomb. It was over $1,200 that I had to notify the HR department had been deposited.

Could I have just withdrew all the money and closed the account? Sure, but that's not something I could do. I'm not really built to try to pull something like that off, it isn't in my inherent nature to try to swindle anyone. But does doing the right thing always feel right? No, quite frankly, it doesn't. It feels like I'm the sucker for doing the honest and decent thing.

The person that screwed up the final paycheck, as well as causing me to receive the last deposit, is a very nice lady. I think she's learning her job right now, having only started recently, but she has now twice caused me a lot of grief and anger because of her mistakes. I guess what really gets my goat is the double standard that this employer has shown at addressing certain things. She made a mistake two weeks ago, and another mistake, and although it isn't my place to find out if she received any type of warning, payroll mistakes are just deemed "par for the course", where the mistake that I made that led to my termination was apparently a horse of a different color all together.

The other thing that really gets my goat about the entire thing was that I was told by the HR coordinator and the big head honcho that heard my appeal that I would be contacted early this week regarding the decision in my appeal. When I emailed HR on Friday I told the coordinator that I had still not heard anything back. When I was in that office they had both said someone would call me. She wrote me back and told me I'd be receiving a letter. So I assume I already know what the letter will say, but i wasn't even given the courtesy of a phone call. I had to REMIND THEM that they hadn't even contacted me almost two weeks after I went in.

I'd like now to also illustrate how accountability isn't as important at this previous employer as covering your ass: there was another supervisor at this previous employer, who I will not name but will use the pseudonym "Betty", who went on a final written warning last year as well. It was related to things she wasn't doing, such as administering the attendance policy, meeting with her agents, scoring calls (basically, she wasn't doing her job). This supervisor's customer care team was disseminated amongst the other supervisors so that she could start work on a "super secret project", and one of her agents came to my team with 4 occurrences and no warning. Now, when you are going to give an agent to another supervisor the least you could do is ensure that any warning the person should be on is administered so the next supervisor isn't stuck doing that work. GUESS WHAT WASN'T DONE WHEN THAT AGENT CAME TO MY TEAM?! So I got that warning administered and really didn't think much of it, because at the time it seemed small and I was going to just have to do it anyways.

This supervisor, Betty, has been reported to her manager several times for various issues. Attendance is far and away the biggest ball drop, but then there are also issues like: long lunches, leaving her department understaffed by approving same day PTO and then not helping with coverage, long personal conversations with her family while at work, etc. Her manager "investigates", but so far there really hasn't been any action in addressing those issues.

Betty was on the same warning I was, and was continuing to exhibit the same, if not worse, behavior and hasn't been fired for it. Why, one might ask? I don't honestly know. But it is a huge morale buster to have my fellow supervisors see me be fired for an honest mistake, but see someone put so little effort into their job and not only keep their job, but be rewarded for incompetence by being assigned a new project that meant that she didn't have to do what everyone else was doing. So, that is my beef with that situation. I'm still feeling very lucky and fortunate that I get to start something new and I'm going to work on getting this bitter taste out of my mouth. It's just very difficult to watch this ridiculousness from a distance and not feel bitter, but such is life.

On the job front, I have had a couple interviews, and I'd really like to be employed at either place. I haven't received even a drop of unemployment yet, as my claim is still pending and apparently will be for some time given the current unemployment level in Montana right now. Man, it would be just great to be able to take some of the social security money that I have not choice but to pay each pay check and use that to live on until I get a job or get unemployment, but that is just crazy talk!

On a lighter and much happier note, April 14th marked the birthday of two very special ladies in my life. Amareese Joy and Avery Lark Violett made into this world late that night, and are just gorgeous little ladies. Link over to Adrienne's blog on the side bar (Violettville) for news and updates on these miracle babies.

I'm sweating like I'm actually working out right now, and it is going to be a super effing long day driving with kids and my family back to Montana. I can't get a window open in this place, either, or I'd open the window in my niece's room so that I could lay down and get some rest. It's been nice to have my family together, but I'm pretty irritated and hostile at the moment so I call shenanigans on the entire weekend. I'm just glad that my kids can sleep in this sweltering heat so I don't have a cranky munchkin to be wrangling when I'm already so irritated.

I'm off to use this time to search for some job opportunities online. Might as well be productive with this bitterness and use it as fuel to find something I can figuratively rub in their faces.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thank goodness for health care reform

I'm not trying to be sarcastic, or at least not very sarcastic, but health care reform came at a time when I might have actually needed it.

I got fired, folks. Yup. Canned, given the ax, 86'd. I'm not angry with the company, the situation wasn't a good one for them, and in the end it was easier to just terminate me than wait for something else to happen.

I am appealing the termination, but only because I want my dying act there to be one of passion, because I LOVED MY JOB. End of story. I wanted nothing more than to stay there for as long as possible, but perhaps this was destiny's way of kicking me into non-submission. I would stay in a job if I loved it, and likely would never have to learn or grow beyond that industry. Now I'm being forced to, and maybe that will be better for me in the long run.

What do I plan to do with all this new free time, one might ask? I have busted my buns getting resumes out fast, and trying to organize a cluttered house, as well as a cluttered mind.

The kids will stay in day care for the next couple weeks, as they are paid for, and will drop down to just 2 days a week until I get something figured out. I guess it's not unreal to look into financial aid and see if going back to school, or getting certified in something like medical transcription, is an option in case getting a job takes longer than I think it will.

I appreciate anyone sending some positive, good luck feelings my way. I'm very positive right now, but there are moments of panic, and maybe a little relief all rolling through at different times.

On the bright side a friend of mine is having her twin girls within the next 24-72 hours, and I can't wait to meet them. This gives me the opportunity to spend a little more time slowing down and catching my breath.

I've been going to the gym, and this has also led to some really positive changes that I'm excited to continue. I am glad I spent some of my work bonus money on another set of sessions with my trainer, Kelly, because he has kept me focused on staying on track with my fitness regime. I'm feeling better, I am craving the gym over beer (crazy) and I'm loving it.

So positive things will come my way. I'm blessed to have good health, along with the health of my children, husband, family and friends, and I have so much to be thankful for.

Hopefully I'll start getting on here more, this might have to be my main source of income and I'm leaving my readers very bored. Sorry, guys, I'll try to do better.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A couple more cute pictures

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He loves standing in his walker!

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In the wee small hours of the morning

It's super early this morning. I'm up working, and I'll be working from home all day. It's review season at work, and I need to have 4 completed by Monday. Guess who didn't even start one? That's right, that would be me!

So, Christmas... was fabulous. The only thing missing was family, as only my brother was in attendance. But it was very chill and casual, I made french toast in the morning and a ham for dinner. In the meantime my friend Darin came over and tried out one of my new Vinturi Wine Aerator. It's pretty kick ass, and I got a wine chiller as well.

Thad got a Beertender, and for someone that never really cared for Heineken out of the bottle the experience is completely different out of the tap. Notice how both of us got alcohol-related gifts?! That's because my in-laws are the best present givers EVER!

Elora got tons of crap, dress up clothes and a play sushi set, and a reading system. Colter got a few new outfits and some cute little toys that he spends his time holding to his face and attempting to devour. He is getting SO BIG! I have to find my camera so I can do a picture post, because the boy is just enormous.

NYE was very chillaxed as well. My mom spent all week with us last week because our day care was closed and neither Thad or I could take the whole week off. So NYE my mom and sister popped over to her friend's house, and Thad and I ordered some really good Thai food and sat on the couch all night. It was weird, the next morning I told Thad that it didn't feel like a new year without a hangover (LOLing all over myself at how funny I can be).

Here are some pictures from our holiday! Hope everyone's was as fab as ours!

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Right before we opened everything

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Pretty princess

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All tuckered out

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Having so much fun!

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Her pile of loot

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Ripping paper is fun

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Tea party time (she makes coffee, not tea)

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New fancy dress-up shoes!

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Mama and Colter Man