Whew!

Posted: August 19, 2010 in Valerie Rayne

It’s been too long since I wrote last. I’ve been so busy this last little while that all of The Rantings Network is suffering because of it. It seems like everyday we’re doing something, or going somewhere.

My sister came down awhile back with her boyfriend and their two kids for a week. It was an amazing time and I was happy to get to see her again. My kids were so excited to see her kids too, so that was really nice. They took us all bowling, so it was the first time that Kenzie and Keirnan had ever gone bowling, so that was super fun.

Then the day after they left, my cousin and her son came down for a short visit. We talked ALOT, I made a pretty darn good roast beef dinner, and managed to get some cleaning in. I love seeing my family, I just wish it happened more often.

This past week, I had appointments to go to like crazy, and it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. First, I had a job interview at Best Buy, which went really well. The next day, I had an appointment at an employment placement service, where I was told I was unemployable, had no foundation and that my short-term career goal was to become a cashier. Which wasn’t what my career goals consist of at all, but at this point I’m just looking for any job. My career goal is to get my master’s degree in social work.

I had a second interview at Best Buy today, which resulted in me getting a part-time inventory job, which I’m super excited about and incredibly nervous about. I’ve never had a job where I needed to buy steel-toed boots, and I’ve never had a job lifting heavy things, so it’s a little bit nerve racking. I just hope I do a good job.

Then a week from now, I’ve got another job interview at a cosmetics store. Both of these jobs are on the south end here, and we live on the north end, so we’re talking about moving. It just sucks because I know we’re never going to find a place as cheap as this. I mean, I don’t know anyone else who has a three bedroom that’s only $950 a month, most places are over $1000.

Things around here have been stressful to say the least. Mostly in the financial sense, and it kind of sucks. The Boyfriend feels incredibly guilty and like it’s all his fault, and I just keep telling him that it’s not like we wouldn’t be hurting for cash right now if he was still working, because we would. Especially once he went down to part-time. I hate not having money to last through the month.

And we’d be fine if we would just finally quit smoking, but we’re both having such a hard time with the concept of it. I feel like if I quit now, my stress levels would be uncontrollable and I know that probably makes you laugh, but it’s become part of my coping mechanism, that exhale of smoke.

We’re talking about weening ourselves off of cigarettes, but I just don’t know how to do it. Neither of us has very much willpower, especially not me. But we just can’t afford to keep smoking anymore, not if we ever want to see black again. We just seem to keep going deeper and deeper into the red. Sometimes I think I need Gail Vaz-Oxlade from ‘Til Debt Do Us Part to come and help, but I just don’t think I’m ready for it all. I want to see my finances get better, but I’m not ready to find out exactly how much debt I have, and how hard I’m going to have to work to pay it off, especially on my rather limited budget.

I’m hoping once I start working and getting paid from working, that it’s all going to start working out in my favor. Get my current finances in order and work towards debt repayment and savings. I think we just need to sit down and create a serious budget and stick to it. Not buy all the extras, and cut down hardcore on the smoking. Ah, if only I could complete these goals… One day!

So a couple nights back, I was looking for a video that we had made when I was about 16. Since we couldn’t find it under the stairs, and couldn’t find it in the closets downstairs, we decided to clean out the storage room, which was desperate for cleaning in the worst kind of way. The storage room was literally just a place where we threw everything. Boxes, furniture, a deep freezer, garbage, you name it, it was in there. We never found the video.

I threw more things from my former life away. First was the hope chest with all my porcelain dolls (a ten year long collection!), and then I threw out all my notes from previous boyfriends and friends (which I had also been holding on to for about ten years!). It felt good and saddening all at the same time.

We’re still organizing boxes, threw out the deep freezer and now our storage room is clean and ready to be re-filled with things. Though this time, I’m hoping to do it in a much more organized and efficient way. Eventually we hope to re-purpose the room as something else, we just haven’t figured out what yet.

Now all we have left to clean that’s desperate for cleaning is the bathroom, which has been on my to-do list for awhile. I keep getting started and then never finish. Oh yeah, and my room, because for some reason it is the place for all the laundry, clean or dirty. Clean clothes are all piled up at the foot end of my bed, and dirty clothes are strewn along the side. It’s horrible. But over this weekend, I’ve got big plans including the kids rooms getting vacuumed to death!

So, if I don’t write for awhile, don’t worry, I’ll be back! Just hard at work and working hard at home 😉

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One Heck of a Day

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Valerie Rayne

This morning started out as kind of a gong show, as I rushed to make the phone calls that I needed to make. Group meeting for career planning next week was scheduled, and so was a doctor’s appointment (where I’ll hopefully get some news about my knees and hands and some news about the bleeding)!

Shortly after that, The Boyfriend’s sister called and asked if we’d like to go down to the river with her. Well that ended up being much more of a gong show than expected. After walking over half an hour to get to the darn place (even though we drove down there!!!), we finally got to the actual river.

Of course, I was too disgusted by the bugs, duck poop and slippery rocks, but the kids had a blast running in and out of the water. Instead of walking the entire way back, we were hoping The Boyfriend could grab the van and bring it down to the parking lot there. So, even though the current was strong, and the sun was slipping behind the clouds, The Boyfriend bucked up and swam across the river. Which was made scarier for everyone after watching the news last night and learning that 80% of drowning victims are male!!

He made it across fine though, even though he was being pushed down the river by the strong currents. The kids were cheering and screaming for him and he went and grabbed the van. Unfortunately, the entrance to the parking lot we were at, was nowhere really to be found. Or at least not easily and on the small amount of gas we had. So The Boyfriend parked the van, and walked the half an hour or so back to where we were.

Needless to say, he came back grumpy and sore for the most part. After awhile of relaxing, we finally headed back to the van parked at 3 Mile Bend. Half an hour of listening to eight kids whine about being tired, thirsty and hungry. It was all worth it when we got home and put our feet up though!

The cutest thing happened with Kaeidyn today. Somehow it came up about Carter grabbing butts from the ashtray. We notice right away and take it away from him, but people like Alfie are really bad for leaving ashtrays on the couch. So as Kaeidyn goes off about how gross it is, I tell her about when she was a baby she would take cigarettes straight from the pack, rip them in half and then stick them in her mouth. Out of nowhere, she goes, “You better not blog about this!” We all laughed hysterically about it, and I immediately went and posted it to Facebook.

It’s been a pretty stressful day for the most part, though we’re not letting that stress bring us down, though I’m sure that both The Boyfriend and I want to just curl up in a ball and cry! Financially, things are really starting to suck and it couldn’t have come at worst time at all. First, Mom’s boyfriend is back in town, so Goober had to come and stay with us. Then in a couple of days, my sister’s coming down with her fiance and their 2 kids and are coming to stay with us. So we’re going to have a completely full house, and completely empty cupboards.

I hate it with a passion because my sister only comes down, if we’re lucky, once a year. And she only lives about 4 – 5 hours away. But I’d like to be able to provide her with a great place to stay when she comes here. Instead, she comes to a crappy messy overcrowded houses and a broke sister. I messaged her to let her know she’d be coming to an empty overcrowded house, and she’s fine with it and looking forward to it. And I’m just worried and stressed out.

Then to make all matters worse, The Boyfriend and I kind of got into a fight with my Mom today. Not on purpose really. We just thought that Goober wasn’t coming to stay here. And then today she threw on us that he was. The Boyfriend, feeling the stress of our empty cupboards (they’re not completely empty. I’m over-exaggerating. They’re just empty enough that feeding any extra mouths right now is really difficult), calls my Mom back and says some things to her. When I go over to her place later, she brings it up while Chef is sitting right there, and I can’t go into how much the way she acts with/around him bothers everyone, and even if I do, his solution is to grab the guitar and try to force me to play.

I stood up ready to leave and matters were made 100% worse when she tried to compare the way she is with Chef to the way I am with Alfie. The first thought that ran through my head was that I have three kids with Alfie, I can’t just eliminate him from my life or stand up against everything about him that I don’t like or is wrong. Mom, on the other hand, has nothing with Chef except drinking!! There is nothing holding her back from saying, “I refuse to kick my son out of the house that we’re expecting him to pay rent at, just because you can’t control yourself when you’re drunk!”.

I can’t stand when she compares any part of Alfie and I’s current situation with anything to do with her and Chef, because it’s completely different in every way possible. And for the entire time Alfie and I were together (and he acted much like Chef, not even as bad), my Mom fought tooth and nail for me to leave him. And whenever I did leave him or he left me, she was there 100% to support me. And she doesn’t even let me talk to her about Chef, she’ll cut me off or tries to compare the two. Which just irritates and angers me. Today, it resulted in me slamming the door as hard as I could behind me.

It just bugs me so much and I wish she could see the amount of painful and pointless destruction the whole thing with her and Chef causes in our family. I tried explaining to her that The Boyfriend didn’t say anything he said because he was trying to be mean to her, but simply because he’s seen what this kind of thing does to families and he cares about our family and doesn’t want to see it happen to ours. But of course, she didn’t/doesn’t understand that, and I don’t think she ever will. I honestly, for the most part, think she doesn’t care. But who knows….

Yesterday…

Posted: July 31, 2010 in Valerie Rayne

Man oh man, I am completely covered, from head to toe, in mosquito bites. They are everywhere. We decided to take the kids down to bower ponds with The Boyfriend’s sister and her kids. Even though we were all sprayed down with bug spray, the mosquitoes were in full on attack mode!

Then to make all matters worse, the kids decide to crawl under a fence and go into the the locked baseball diamond. All of a sudden we hear shrieking and crying, so I go over to look and the girls are all screaming about getting attacked by mosquitoes.

So I attempt to find a way out for them (which I failed at and The Boyfriend’s sister has to come and help them climb over a fence), and along my walk around the entire baseball diamond, got eaten alive by mosquitoes. On the backs of my legs (and I was even wearing pants), and now I’m discovering they’re all up my arms and across my neck. So needless to say, I’m scratching every single one of them and now they’re all swollen and welt-like.

The kids have all been overwhelming, to say the least. When they’re inside, it’s constantly, “Mommy, can we got outside? Mommy…”. When they’re outside seems to be the only time I get any peace, and even then I constantly have to be checking on Kaeidyn and Kenzie because they’ve started leaving the yard all the time, and Keirnan is still inside bugging for a drink every five seconds.

I need to go see my doctor yet again. First, to double check that everything went okay with my x-rays. He said he would call me if anything showed up, but I just don’t know how all my tests are coming back normal. The pain in my knee comes and goes, but lately my hands have been out of control. And it’s beginning to affect my guitar playing.

Plus, I need to get another depo shot (a month early) because nine months later, I’m still freaking bleeding. It’s getting incredibly annoying, and when you have to constantly have them on hand, pads get pretty expensive!! It’s horrible. I’m blaming part of my new found, lowered self-esteem on the fact that you can’t feel very sexy when you’ve continually got uteral lining coming out of you! Even though I obviously am, since I haven’t yet, but I keep freaking out that the depo hasn’t working and I’m not protected from pregnancy and it seems like every month I’m worrying about being pregnant.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been getting sore nipples, gaining and losing weight, my bigs are bigger (that or all my bras have shrunk) and I’ve also been getting this crazy feeling throughout the day in my genitals. So, yet more things to go to the doctor for. I hope this isn’t one of those situations where for years we miss some huge health problem, and then find out years down the road, after all my symptoms have worsened to an extreme degree, that I had some health issue that should’ve been obvious…

This last little while has been full of accomplishments and semi-failures. From completing alot of things online, to finally getting the laundry done, and even taking the kids to the exercise park and doing a wicked workout, this has been one heck of an exhausting week.

A little bit of promotion, only because I’m so incredibly excited about it, is a newish blog that I’ve been working on. The Art Of… gives you daily journal prompts, tons of articles and exercises and activities to assist you in discovering, exploring and defining yourself through expressive journal writing. We’ve even got an online community that you can join to write your own blog, participate in discussions and join groups. So be sure to join The Art Of… Journal Community today!

I’ve also kind of started another blog, it was already started just not being used for anything. But I’ve decided since most of the blogs or websites in The Rantings Network don’t have about pages, so I’ve just created a kind of all-in-one about page, finally. You can find that here.

I’ve been doing a pretty rocking job on keeping the dishes done these last few days. Unfortunately, they seem to pile up so fast that I’ll do them in the late morning/early afternoon and by dinner time I have another load to do. It’s getting kind of ridiculous and I’m getting sick of having to do so many loads of dishes a day.

And we’ve been slowly moving through the mound of laundry, though it seems like we still have so much that’s not clean. Laundry is the hardest to keep up with with the weather being warm, because my dryer throws off an uncomfortable amount of heat.

The kids have all been overwhelming this last little while. They’re always asking for things, always whining, always crying. I’m not sure what it is exactly that’s causing them all to be so out of control like. I feel like I’m almost automatically overwhelmed by them lately, even without them really trying. And I don’t know for sure if I’m being too sensitive or something. I don’t seem to be the only one though.

Kaeidyn’s gotten brutally lippy, and I think it’s largely due to friends around the street and the way they talk to their parents. Maybe it’s the age too. Yesterday, she even stuck her tongue at me. How are you even supposed to react to that? She got spoken to about it right away, but I don’t think we really got through to her.

Keirnan has been nothing but whiny these last couple of days. He wants to go outside with the other kids, but normally ends up having to stay inside because his whining gets so out of control. He freaks out about this dog that someone keeps letting out and it’s not harmful or anything. The worst thing it’s done is dug a hole in the yard. But Keirnan runs screaming and crying and makes this huge deal out of it.

Kenzie has just been generally unhappy and grumpy lately. I think with him it’s mostly the heat, he doesn’t do well in it. We’ve also been trying to get the kids to drink water more often, and he’s despising that. We hear lots of “I’m thirsty” complaints, and he gets a “Have a drink of water” response, which he hates and normally throws a fit over. Today has been especially rough with him because for some reason he’s peeing himself and constantly changing his pants. Third pair so far!

Carter, now that he’s had solid foods, always wants solid foods. He no longer seems to get any fulfillment from formula and during the day will eat whenever and whatever he can. He’s been especially fussy and I think it’s the sign of a growth spurt coming on. He’s also started grinding his teeth, which is the most horrible sound and makes me cringe. He only seems to do it when his teeth are really bugging him, but it tends to worry me so much when he does it. Especially after he made his gums bleed the other day from doing it so hard.

Kaeidyn and Kenzie got to go to the fair the other day. They got to go on rides, and won little guitars on a game, and even got to go up on stage when they went and saw Bobs & Lolo. I wish we would’ve had a camera for it. Hopefully by Christmas…

Sunshiny Day

Posted: July 21, 2010 in Valerie Rayne

It was a good day today. Early day, but a good one. We were up around 7:30, getting ready to go to the parade. It was jam-packed down there, though somehow we were able to score some pretty good seats. Kenzie was not a fan of the mascots, and would run away from them, much like he does dogs, everytime they came near him. Kaeidyn on the other hand, wanted to give everyone high fives and loved the three gymnastic groups. Keirnan had a great time too, and was pointing at everything trying to say what it was. Carter laid down on the blanket during almost the whole thing.

Two hours later, we were attempting to get out of crowded parking lots and down packed streets. Once we got home, it was suggested we should go to Discovery Canyon again. So we spent the next three hours down there, the kids (all but Carter, who had stayed with Mama T) taking turns going down the slippery, wet slopes on a tube. It was fun watching them and they had fun doing it, and both The Boyfriend and I got wicked sun burn (which will turn into beautiful tans for us both – me more than him).

I was not, in anyway, looking forward to going down there though. I was, in the sense that the kids were going to have a great time and I could work on my tan (which I’m normally not a huge fan of, but lately, can’t get enough of it). But before we went, I just felt sick. I kept thinking over and over again about all these hot girls with their bikinis strutting around, while I sat there all insecure and feeling bad about myself.

Although I did sit around all insecure and feeling bad about myself, I was comforted when most of the women there (even the ones in their belly-baring bikinis), were moms with bodies much like mine. There was no one, that I could see, that I felt uglier than. A rarity.

It bugs me how much this issue with the way my body look is beginning to dictate my every action. I wish I could just be happy in this skin, and love myself in spite of all the stretch marks and cuts and extra flab.

Luckily, even though I still feel all down and out about my body, the day was a good one and I walked away from it smiling. Then, The Boyfriend and I went and did some grocery shopping, which I almost always love. I love that I’m almost always under what I think it’s going to be once I get to the till, plus I end up getting savings. Today, it was $14 and I think the most I’ve gotten was just over $30. But it feels like a reward in itself.

Now all that’s left to do is go pick the baby up from Mama T’s. The Boyfriend and I were invited to go down to a dinner at the place that my brother is now working, but I’m just not sure if I’m up to it tonight. I feel really tired and sore and bitchy (probably all the sun), and think tonight’s going to be made up of soaking in a bath and watching a movie. It only sucks because my brother was hoping I would come…

The Middle Child Syndrome

Posted: July 18, 2010 in Valerie Rayne

Yesterday was one of those days where the kids were both annoying and absolutely adorable all at the same time. I said I was going to write about all of this yesterday so that I wouldn’t forget it. Unfortunately I didn’t and now I’ve forgotten some of the stuff.

Kenzie yesterday, as the kids are all outside riding their bikes, starts bawling his eyes out. So I go outside and tell him to come inside. I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with him and he just keeps saying he doesn’t want to ride his bike, he wants to ride Keirnan’s. Keirnan has a little tricycle, Kaeidyn’s got a two-wheeler and Kenzie’s got training wheels. He first says, “I don’t want four wheels, I want three!” and I go off about how he has more and four is better than three, and it’s the same age as him. He wasn’t having it.

So then he goes on about how Kaeidyn’s too fast for him to keep up with. So I say, “Then ride with Keirnan” and he whines, “But Keirnan’s too slow!”. He is, without a doubt, a middle child.

Keirnan goes to get his teeth pulled this week. I’m so nervous about it, especially being that I’m relying on Alfie to pay for it. *shudders* (Don’t even get me started on him…).I’m even more nervous though, about seeing him in pain and watching him be all groggy for the rest of the day. The only thing I know that’s going to happen is that I get to go in with him while he gets sedated and then I have to go wait out in the waiting room while he gets all his tooth work done. I have a feeling I’m going to cry, at least once. I hope Alfie doesn’t mind if The Boyfriend comes along too, because Alfie sucks at comforting me during stuff with the kids.

Kaeidyn’s fallen down twice now, really good, on her bike. One of her knees is completely scraped up with road rash. She takes it surprisingly well, though when it first happens all you can hear is her squealing. She’s still constantly asking questions and it’s gotten to the point where it’s exhausting listening to the same questions over and over again.

Carter, my dear sweet Carter, has been having a bit of a grumpy streak this last little while. He seems to wake up crying and doesn’t stop for a really long time. We think it’s mostly just teething, and he’s got two more breaking through for a total of 8 teeth!! He’s been eating constantly it seems, everytime we eat and most days an entire jar of baby food. It’s nice though, because it means soon we won’t have to be spending so much on formula, and that excites me.

Some good news and bad news on my end. The bad news is, I made the decision (very suddenly) to quit my job. I wasn’t feeling well one day and called in sick, and then the next day I just didn’t go in. And I’ve decided I’m not going back. It was a blip. I need something better, where I’ll feel more appreciated (especially being that whatever job I work, takes me away from my kids, and if I’m not appreciated, I’d rather just stay home where I am!), and where I won’t just be sitting around for 8 hours a day. It breaks my heart when there is absolutely nothing to do, and I’m cleaning a completely clean building, when I could be at home with my kids, cleaning my own disgusting house!

The good news is, I’ve lost a little tiny bit of weight. Not alot, but enough that it’s given me some hope! I don’t know how I managed it, because I haven’t been doing all that much. But three inches off my waist, though my hips are still just as big so my pant size hasn’t changed at all. We went to the exercise park yesterday, and I successfully did 30 crunches which just felt amazing. Only 70 more to go, everyday, before I reach  my goal!!! I’m hoping in the next little while to start a serious workout routine, preferably in the morning before anyone gets up.

Well, I think I’m off to go soak my sore body in a nice hot bath. Hope to write again soon!

Today, I created a ton of new YouTube videos (like 4!). And after I was done posting all of them to YouTube, Alfie brought to my attention the fact that I wasn’t promoting The Rantings Network enough on YouTube, being that alot of people do see my stuff on there.

Then The Boyfriend and Alfie, almost at the same time, suggested starting another website to promote on YouTube, with links to all the other sites in The Rantings Network. So after some careful consideration (especially considering its my 12th blog/website – though three are still inactive), I decided to go for it.

I decided on The Cadence of a Tortured Mind, because I wanted to use a really good word for music. I spent some time looking for synonyms for music and stumbled across cadence. Once I read through the definitions three or four times, I finally went for it.

Cadence [keyd-ns] – noun

1. Rhythmic flow of a sequence of sounds or words.

Not only can you find some of my YouTube videos there, but you can find some stuff that I recorded with Audacity, as well as lyrics to almost everything I post. It’s all originals on The Cadence of a Tortured Mind.

I do cover songs alot too (especially lately), and you can check all of those out on My YouTube Channel. Just thought I’d let everyone know 😉