Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Playing Hooky

Actually, I'm not playing hooky today.  I worked for a few hours before coming home.  I was going to see if I could work a little later (until I had to go to class tonight) but I wasn't feeling it, so I left when I was supposed to.  If I were to play hooky all day, it would be spent on Facebook, CafeMom, Twitter, and playing Shaiya.

I love Words with Friends on Facebook.  It's a terrible addiction.  I keep my skills up once a week by playing Scrabble with my hubby and mother-in-law.

I have a favorite group or two on CafeMom, one of them being the Journals group.  I used to frequent the Journals section way back when CafeMom first started, but the quality of those journals started going downhill.  Really dumb (in my opinion) journals were getting votes from other moms to be in the top ten journals.  Journals like, "I woke up and made some coffee and now I'm going to veg all day," were hitting #1 on a regular basis.  I met a lot of my CM friends through the Journals section and then a spelling and grammar group.  A lot of us became friends on Facebook and we've been able to keep in touch better that way.

Twitter is just fun for me because I can keep up with my favorite celebrities, authors, etc. and I know it's them.  It's interesting to see how similar some of our lives really are.

Shaiya is an online role-playing game.  I think it's also called an MMO or MMRPG.  My husband and I played this game a lot when Belladonna was still a baby.  We'd stay up late Friday and Saturday nights playing the game with our friends.  Life happened and we stopped playing.  Recently (like earlier this week) we started playing again and we love it!!  We missed it so much.

That's pretty much what I'd be doing if I were to play hooky.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I feel like dancing!!

I remember the first dance I did.  When I was younger and in a lower grade of elementary school, I had a jazz dance class after school at the AYA (don't ask me now what it stands for, but it was a center for kids to go to after school while their active duty parents were still at work on the base).  We were part of a huge recital.  One of our two numbers was to Michael Jackson's Thriller and the other one was something to do with a boardwalk (I don't think it was Bette Midler's Under the Boardwalk).  I remember having a great time.

The next dance I remember doing and having a wonderful time was the first dance with my husband as a married couple.  Nearly every married woman remembers that!  I love slow-dancing and he said that he's not much of a dancer ("Let me lead.").  He said that he was embarrassed about dancing in front of all of the people there.  I told him to just pretend that no one was there and that it was just us.  I'm not sure that worked.

Here's a photo of the two of us at our reception.  We were married April 24, 2005 in Palmer Lake, Colorado.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Personal Goals, huh?

Aside from having an incredible family, I'm finally conquering college algebra.  My next, and final, math to conquer will be business calculus (I'm going for a business admin degree).  From there, I have two accounting classes, which should be fine.

When I'm all done with school, I should have an Associate's in business admin AND criminal justice, thus expanding the fields I can work in.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

When life hands you lemons...

... hand the lemons back and demand to see life's manager.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A perfect night on the town

I'll tell you what, it's nothing like Date Night, lol!

Dinner, movies, and a night's stay at the Candlewood Suites in town.  There, we can play DDO or Shaiya without worrying about using up all of our bandwith.  We're RPG geeks.  =D

Life as a television show??

It'd be pretty boring, actually, and not worth watching.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Day!

I work on Turkey Day but I'll be home after 3pm.  We have a small turkey since it will only be the four of us this year.  We're going to have stuffing, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, Dutch apple pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and probably a few more things.

I actually try to work Turkey Day if I can.  With the retail jobs I've had in the past, employees have been compensated for their wages for working Turkey Day and any other federal holiday.  Working the day before, the day of, and the day after means that I'm getting the holiday compensation pay.

My work day will start at 7am, which means I'm getting up at 5:30am to get ready and leave by 6:30.  I'll probably take some coffee with me as well as my water.  I'm going to need something to keep me awake tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tweet of the Day, sort of

@AshleeTheShow: The best thing in life is finding someone who knows all your flaws, mistakes, & weaknesses, & still thinks you're completely amazing. Shared via TweetCaster

Favorite Childhood Memory

I'm not sure what to put here, actually.  I had a good childhood, but I can think of anything to put here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Victory...

I'd put out there that I was able to overcome my anxiety, but that's wrong.  I really didn't.  Every time I think about it, it gets worse.

I've had terrible anxiety about losing Bella.  I know that every parent, typically, feels this way about their kids.  This anxiety stops me in my tracks and keeps me home with her on my days off from work.  I can't let her out of my sight.  If she's gone for even a split-second when we're out, I freak out.  My heart goes a thousand miles a minute.  I panic.

I also have a terrible crowd anxiety.  This one has been within the last ten years.  I keep hoping that I'll get over it, but I can't.

Alice?

This is like a continuation of the classic story of Alice and Wonderland.  It's been a few generations since the original Alice.  Instead of the Victorian Age, it's the Modern Age.. present-day, if you will.

"Alice?  Alice, are you listening?"

The girl awoke from her nightmare of nonsense and looked at her mother.

"Hmmm?  I drifted off to sleep again."

"Again?  Aren't you getting enough sleep at night?"

"No, not really.  I keep getting these nightmares.  I haven't had them in years, it seems.  I'm not sure what's going on to bring them back."

"Maybe we should go to the doctor," said her mother.

"I'm up for anything at this point," replied Alice.

They made the appointment with a psychiatrist, Dr. Conrad, for that afternoon.  After a few moments of speaking with Alice and her mother, Dr. Conrad decided to try some hypnotherapy.

"All right, Alice.  Just listen to my voice and relax.  You'll feel your limbs become heavy, starting with your toes and working their way up your calves to your thighs and then through your fingers, arms, and shoulders.  Go to a happy place in your mind and relax.  When you're comfortable, drift from your happy place to where you think your nightmares begin.  Look for Wonderland and tell me what you see."

"I see a birdcage, rimmed with gold.  I'm trapped inside of it.  I see Cheshire Cat outside of it, making fun of me!  He was never really any help before, why would he be now?"

"Keep going, Alice."

"I'm trying to break free but all I can see is a small bottle.  There's a label on it that reads 'Drink Me.'  I don't know if I should; what will it do?"

"Drink it and find out, Alice."


What do you think should happen next?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The role I play

I think I wear a few hats as opposed to just one.  I care for my daughter when I'm home.  I teach her the good values that we have.  I nurture and love all the time.  I don't often take risks, though.  I associate risks with gambling and I don't gamble.

More often than anything else, I'm always a tired one.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Secrets

I don't think I'll share secrets, but I'll share a link about secrets.

Post Secret

I can't believe five years went by so fast

Five years ago today, my world changed.

My mother and sister were in town (we were stationed in San Diego, CA at the time).  My sister, husband, and I were all active duty Navy and my mother drove into town from Denver, CO.  I was nine months pregnant and eight days overdue.  My mother got into town late morning on that Saturday.  We had pizza and then Mom went to the Navy Lodge for a bit.

At roughly 5:30 that evening, my water broke.  After gathering my hospital stuff and trying to calm down (as well as keep track of the contractions), we hopped in my car (my husband, myself, and my mother-in-law) and drove to Naval Medical Center San Diego.

Once we arrived, the doctors had me pee on a stick to make sure that it was my water that had broken and then they checked to see how dialated I was.  As it turns out, my baby had turned a 180 and was now breech.  I didn't want the doctors to risk hurting her so I told them I wanted a Cesarean.  "Are you sure?" they asked me.  What?  Of course I was sure!

As I awaited surgery, I was getting pumped with the anesthetic drugs so that I wouldn't feel the incision.  I was loopy as hell.  My husband was there in the operation room and was able to cut her umbilical cord.  I felt pressure and I think I felt her being removed from me.  It was an odd sensation.

It was magic, I swear, the first time I held her.  We named her Belladonna Satine.  Tomorrow, we celebrate the fifth anniversary of her birth.  Below are two photos from each year thus far.  Newborn, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, and 4 years.  We'll be celebrating her birthday in the evening and I will post some pictures.





Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fears

Whenever I'm faced with something I fear, I panic.  The "fight or flight" instinct kicks in and it usually goes with "flight."  This is just with me.  If it has anything to do with my kids, you bet your ass I'm choosing "fight."  Whether the child involved is my biological daughter or my bonus son, the "fight" instinct comes into play.

You don't mess with my kids.  This is definitely something that every parent can attest to.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Me Time

I get "me time" every now and again.  I usually spend it online, watching tv, or just hanging out in our bedroom.  It's not much, but I like it.

At the moment, Bella and I are watching Jem on Hub.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Parenting Styles

I was raised by my mom and step-dad.  My step-dad was deployed quite a bit when my sister and I were young, so it was mostly our mom raising us.

My parenting style differs quite a bit from my mother's parenting style.  I try not to censor my daughter (neither did my mom with my sister and me, but there were still a few things that we were censored from, I think).  We let our daughter watch pretty much whatever she wants to watch.  There are scenes from some movies that I will not let her watch or even listen to.  Any sexual scenes in movies I either divert her attention or we both leave the room.

When I was younger, I remember my mother being at home with my sister and me a lot.  She was active duty Air Force (I think), but she was able to divert time for us.  I'm not able to do that right now, what with working and going to school, but I do what I can.  I know my husband does, too.

She let us listen to the music that she enjoyed listening to.  We do the same thing with our daughter, but the music tastes between me and my mother are very different.  My music is harsher sounding and has swearing.  Her music not so much.  I don't think she likes that we allow our daughter to listen to our music because of how different it is from hers.  She drove down for a visit about a year ago and all we listened to in her car were, well, kid songs.  I don't mind kid songs, but the same songs can get pretty annoying.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What others see in me

When I'm at work, I receive one of three compliments:  "Your [eye] make-up looks incredible!"  "I love your hair color [currently red]; it looks great with your complexion."  "I wish my complexion was as clear as yours!"  Each of these statements make me blush.

There is one element that makes my eye make-up stand out-- glitter.  I *love* to wear glitter.  I wear it on and around my eyes when I go to work.  When I get ready for only class, I leave the glitter at home.  I have found that my "regulars" come in to see what I've done next with my make-up.  The glitter is only the icing; the cake is a combination of the colors that I use and how I blend them.  In fact, earlier today, a older woman ("mature" if you will) asked me if I was doing something special after work since I was wearing all that glitter.  I told her, "No, Ma'am, I always do this with my make-up."  "That's very unusual," was her only reply.

I'm a natural blonde (kind of a dirty blonde, but blonde nonetheless) and I'm not a fan.  Then again, who IS a fan of their natural hair color these days?  I prefer a red-brown.  The red undertones actually do look better with my complexion than my natural blonde.  The blonde washes me out too much; I'm pretty pale (which is my next topic), so the red really helps in bringing color to my face.

My complexion is very fair; I burn easily.  When I go shopping for face powder and foundation, I have to pick up Classic Ivory, otherwise my face is way too dark.  Currently, my face powder is only one shade darker (experimenting to see how much of a difference is made) but I think I'll go back to the Classic Ivory when this one is done.  I still get zits from time to time, usually once a month.  ;)

So, in a nutshell, I think people see me as being very unique.  A lot of it has to do with where I'm living now and where I've lived prior to here.  I'm in northeast Texas, part of the Bible Belt.  Most of my life, I've lived north of the Bible Belt, where people aren't as likely to judge you for who or what you believe.  Life down here is very different than what I'm used to, so I think that's why I stand out so much here.  I don't have any problems with that.  I'm memorable.. at least, for a little while.  ;)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hidden Aspects of Me

On the outside, it seems as though words don't hurt me, but they really do.  I try to be strong for others, even when I'm not doing well myself.

When I was in boot camp, I'd already been away from home for some months before.  For a lot of the kids there, it was their first time away from home.  I was strong for them, but several weeks in, I wept.  Looking back on it, I really didn't want to, but I did to show the others that I was also weak.  We stuck together for 9.2 weeks.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hidden Path

Slowly falling, trees swaying
Picture frames are hanging closely
Far from the edge
Of my consciousness
The path is laid out in front of me
Memories of times long gone
Pierce my soul, my body taking the damage
Years come and go, flying by
It seems so far away now
I wish I could have stopped it

Dear Customer--

Hi, it's your cashier.  Can you do me a super huge favor?  Get off of your cell phone when you come through  my line.  I can't do my job properly if you're busy talking about the latest drama with your sister's best friend's cousin who... y'know?  Also, please don't give me bogus sale ad prices; I have ALL the ads right there at my register and I will call you on your bullshit.  Don't waste your breath.  Do you like having your items bagged randomly?  I don't like TO bag them randomly, but it's difficult to maintain some kind of order if you don't put your items on the belt the way you'd like it bagged.  All I'm going to do is move your items along the belt until I have some like/similar items together.  You may think me doing that wastes your time, but you may end up wasting time at home when you put your groceries away and then bitch about why the cashier didn't bag properly.

Stop giving into your child in the checkout line.  I don't care if they've been good or not.  When they ask you for something (candy, soda, gum, etc.) don't just let them have it to shut them up.  Do you realize what this is?  This is you rewarding negative behavior.  All this teaches them is if they annoy or ask mommy enough for something they want that mommy keeps saying no to, they'll eventually get it.  You don't positively reinforce negative behavior.  It's stupid and you're setting yourself up for failure as your child gets older.  When you do let them have their candy, make them wait for it by placing it on my conveyor belt with everything else; don't move it up to the front.  If you do that, I'm going to bury it so they don't get it until you're unpacking your bags when you get home.

Speaking of kids.. why do you let them run around a busy store?!  You may think I'm a terrible person for thinking this, but, every time I see a kid running past me, I want to "accidentally" stick my foot out so they trip, fall, and realize, "Oh shit, maybe I SHOULDN'T be running around in a grocery store."

I have this same "letter" in my head every single time I'm at work.  I wish I could give customers a piece of my mind.  When I'm at work, but as a customer, I'm just as rude back to you as you've been to me in my cashier line.  How does it feel?  Not too good, huh?  Be mindful.  Bitches.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

Thank you to the past, present, and future service members for your continued service.

My husband and I were active duty Navy for 4 and 6 years, respectively.  It's where we met and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Here are some of our photos.  My mother posted a bunch of them on Facebook.

#1 is with an ABH I became friends with.. and I'm still friends with her.  This was August 2003 onboard USS Peleliu (LHA 5).  We deployed for seven (supposed to be nine) months later that month.  #2 was my cruise book photo.  What you don't see is that I was only wearing the top for our dress blues uniform.  Photo #3 is of me and my boot camp buddy, Danica, on the day we deployed.  #4 is my mom and me.  Photo #5 is still me and my boot camp buddy, Danica; we're somewhere in that picture, standing next to each other.  Photo #6 was taken May 23, 2007-- my 26th birthday.  Bella six months old and Patrick deployed for five months. Five months may not seem like a long time for some, but for military families, it could be an eternity.  This photo made it into the next issue of Navy Times.  #6 in this set was me when I graduated from boot camp.  The last one my mother took while she was visiting San Diego.


The next batch of photos are my mother.  She was in the Air Force.  The baby you see in the pictures is me!! My mom was 23 when she had me.


My sister stationed on the USS Shiloh (CG 67).  The mountain man in the photos are my step-dad.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What I want others to know about my faith...

My faith boils down to Nature-- loving and appreciating Nature and respecting Her.  I;n polytheistic and draw from the deities of other cultures, like Norse, Indian, Native American, Greek, Egyptian, et al.  Two of my favorite Goddesses are Egyptian and Indian-- Isis and Lakshmi.  Another favorite is Kuan Yin (Korean).

I use stones and herbs, as well as Tarot cards for divining.  I can be found on a phpbb forum for pagans, where I moderate two forums-- Beginner's Advice and The Crystal Ballroom.

I've been a pagan for over ten years now and I've never felt better.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Five Qualities

What do I want to leave behind?  How about leaving people to remember five awesome qualities of mine.  This will require some thought, mind you, but I think I can do this.

Okay, so this is harder than I thought it was going to be.  I think I ...

I may have to come back to this.  I can't think of anything that would be worth remembering.  I bet my husband and friends are better about this.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Here's what gets me really irritated...

When customers at work pretend like they don't know how to speak English and just point at things.  I'm so tempted to tell them the same thing I tell my daughter, "Use your words!"

I actually wrote an ENTIRE post about customers in general last month, but I caught a lot of flack for it when I posted it in the original avenue.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Yes, I work

I work for a large retailer as a cashier.  We're just now getting into an even busier season-- The Holidays.  People are getting ready for Turkey Day and their gift giving day in December.  People upset me on a regular basis.. mostly customers.  I can easily start out a shift in a fantastic mood, but one customer (or FIVE) can come through my line and ruin it for the rest of the day.

Shorter, four to five and a half hour shifts are worse than the full eight hour shift.  With the latter, I have two breaks plus an hour lunch.  With the shorter shifts, there's only one break.  Time goes by much slower.

I work for a few reasons.  One, I have to.  Two, if I didn't, I'd go stir-crazy.  Three, I feel better when I'm able to earn a living.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

If I could teach my kids one thing about life...

That one thing would be that life is unfair, no matter how you look at it.  They also need to know that life is what you make of it.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Human Connection

The human connection is kind of funny, I think.  There's the biological connection that we all have and that connection changed and mutated through the millenia as people migrated around the land masses of the world.  If you trace us all back, further than just a few hundred years on Ancestry, you'll find that we pretty began life in Africa.  At least, that's what my anthropology book states.

There's also the digital connection these days.  A large number of the world's population use a desktop or laptop computer.  There are tons of social networking sites where we can find friends, old and new.  This is just a recent change in our connection with one another.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Dear Me,

I think you are an amazing woman.  You've done an incredible amount of things in your 30 years; make the next 30 years just as incredible, if not more.  I know you can do it.

Anything?

If I could change anything, it would be my metabolism.  If it were higher, I'd be able to keep weight off much easier than what I'm doing now.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I just figured out something awesome

So, I went to my college's website to check out the catalog for 2010-2011 to see which classes I needed for two different Associate's degrees.  I've already taken most of my core classes; I'm actually finishing up the last three of those this semester (College Algebra, Physical Science [Physics], and State & Local Government).

I need six more classes to complete an Associate's degree in Business Administration.  The necessary classes are Principles of Accounting I & II, Business Calculus (just the word "calculus" scares me), Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, and Business Law.  The last class flows right into the second Associate's degree I want.

I need five more classes for an Associate's in Criminal Justice.  Those necessary classes include:  Fundamentals of Criminal Law, Texas Peace Officer Law, Texas Peace Officer Procedures, Texas Peace Officer Skills, Criminal Investigation, and Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement.  Now, the classes that have "Texas Peace Officer" in the title have a symbol next to them, which makes me think they may not necessarily be required.  If that's the case, then I only need THREE classes for that program.

I'm confident that I can finish all of those classes by the end of Fall semester next year, if not Spring semester 2013.  It IS possible to take 5 classes (instead of 4) at a time, I just don't know if they'll allow me to do that.  It also depends on what is offered and when.  I need to sit down with my faculty advisor to get it all hammered out.  I DO know that in completing these two degrees in two different fields will help me find a better job than what I have now.

When the Spring semester for 2012 is over, my GI Bill will finally be all gone.  I'll still be eligible for the Pell grant (which is AWESOME), so if I want to back off a little bit to focus on maybe getting more hours at my current job (haha,  yeah right), I can.

Three Accomplishments

My biggest accomplishment is my daughter.
My next greatest accomplishment is my bonus son.
My third best accomplishment is meeting my soulmate (thank you, US Navy!).