When Life Hands You Lemons….

So here we are again. Apparently I’m going to blog when things are either super fantastic or are really hard. It’s obviously been a while since I’ve shared something but that wasn’t for lack of things to talk about, or for lack of interest in blogging. It’s this crazy fun tiny human that invades all of my time and space and energy. She’s amazing and so much fun these days – but she’s also exhausting. We are knee deep in Potty Training (be prepared for a post next week as this Labour Day weekend is Bootcamp!), we are working on sleep issues (ever since transitioning into a toddler bed Miss Thing wakes up a couple of times a night and ends up in our bed) and then your basic behaviors of a two year old.

Oh and also I’ve got the Hubs who I’ve got to work on a marriage with and the animals and regular life things.

So what makes me write now you ask? Well after a year and a half at my job I find myself once again looking for employment. This time it wasn’t expected but certainly understood as I was a Temporary employee in which they could let me go at any time for any reason. The main irritant with this sudden departure was that my superior wouldn’t give me a reason for his choice. Now granted that he contractually didn’t have to provide a reason, however I thought we had such a working relationship that respect would have granted me this small thing. Apparently not.

So here I am, 30 years old and going through another job search and feeling conflicted with my career choices. Do I want to stay in the public sector and remain in the Government Administration world? Do I want to go into the private sector and continue to do administrative work but with a smaller company? Do I want to do something completely different? Right now there are an abundance of choices and the world is at my fingertips. I’ve literally applied to over 100 jobs and nothing can stop me from achieving whatever I want for my career.

Perhaps the reason I’m not as scared this time around is the financially the Hubs and I are in a MUCH better situation than we were a year ago. We’ve got our shit together, have completed a bunch of renovations to the house and are just in an overall much better place. In addition to that, as I’ve worked for a year and a half I am eligible for Employment Insurance. This is a massive weight lifted as it provides me with a small income while I find the right employment opportunity. There’s nothing like going on a ton of interviews in a hurried state because I feel like that kind of desperation can be felt though your attitude and demeanor.

So I end this first post in a while with this; to the people out there struggling to find the right job for you – I get it! I’m here now, I’ve been here before and have come out the other side. We can do this! To those who are partners of the unemployed please hear this: we are trying. If your spouse is actively looking and putting themselves out there, I say be patient. Things will get better and your spouse needs your support not your criticism.

I’ll be documenting my journey and trying my best to keep up with what else is going on in our lives during this time, stay tuned!!

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Mom Guilt

We all know the feeling. That deep down desire for 5 minutes alone. To pee. To shower. To remember why kids were YOUR idea. And then it happens.

Mom guilt.

Am I a good mom for wanting time away from my kid? Am I still a good mom if my kid has eaten chicken nuggets 4 days in a row for dinner? What will people think of my kids mismatched socks today?

This is the kind of thing that runs through a mother’s mind 98% of the time. My daughter is 2 and I’m still struggling with my parenting choices every day. There are days where going to work sounds like heaven. When the morning routine (after having a nighttime invader come crawling into my bed at 1am) becomes so tiresome that I literally dump my kid, her bag and a pathetic “I’m sorry in advance” look at our daycare provider and run back to the car. For all those times that I lose my cool and shout, or when I need to take a minute to cool down before I can talk to my kid.

When your kid is that kid, crying and freaking out in a grocery store. You look around, terrified that everyone is judging you, shaking their heads at your lack of control over something so tiny.

Then it happens.  In a crowded room your kid tells “thanks Mom!” for wiping something slimy from her hands. The kid uses a utensil to eat in a restaurant instead of her hands as if she was raised by wolves. For no reason at all she runs over, gives a fierce hug and says “I love you Mom” in the sweetest whisper. And you remember. This is it. This is why we have kids. Deep down the tiny human that rules like a dictator is the best thing to ever happen in your life.

So to all the moms out there who feel like a long weekend was really L-O-N-G, To all the moms who feel like they just aren’t enough, I feel you. To all the moms out there who need support – I hear you. I’m there with you. Let’s start working together, supporting each other and proving to the world that we are the best examples of strong women that these tiny humans need in their life.

Macros, Calories and Learning to Live Healthy

Dieting. We’ve all been there, most of us have been there multiple times or seem to always been in a perpetual state of hangry.

Truth.

I am no different.

I’ve learned a lot over the years; like how to read a nutrition label (who knew you had to look at the serving size?!), how my body works (protein is my friend, especially if I’m working out) and when to indulge (hello chocolate and pms!). I’ve also tried what feels like a million diets. Recently I tried the Keto diet  which is  high fat, medium protein and low carb diet. You are essentially training your body to run off of fat instead of carbs. Sounds great right?! Well to keep your body in a Ketogenic state you have to consume less than 40g of carbs and have at least 75% of your diet is fat. Let me tell you.

Carbs. Are. Everywhere.

It is SO hard to keep a carb count so low. I’m Italian and really love food, so carbs are hard to cut to begin with. Add in the things you don’t realize have carbs (a medium red delicious apple has 24g of carbs!) and it soon became apparent that the keto life was not for me.

It felt like another healthy lifestyle failure, so I kind of went on a crazy binge. I still put everything into my calorie counter  (My Fitness Pal is awesome) but didn’t care whether or not I hit my goals. You know what happened? I felt like shit. Tired, cranky, I broke out and just felt out of orbit. It’s true what “they” say, eating well really does have a positive effect on all aspects of your life! So after another evening on Pinterest looking for new healthy ideologies I think I’ve found something that is easy to maintain. It’s a 30-40-30 diet. 30% carbs, 40% protein and 30% (good) fats. Adding my new goals (with a calorie total of 1500/day) into my app I went for it. It’s been a couple of weeks and I’m feeling so much better.

Some days are great. Some days simply aren’t.  It what’s real? I’m committed to a healthy lifestyle and mastering healthy eating is just one of the ways to do that. I grew up not loving my body or caring about what I put into it. I don’t want my daughter going through life without an understanding of what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle.

What are you doing to be healthy? What are your secrets to maintaining a balanced lifestyle?

Revival

Well hey there Lovers of Liberty……or those random few who read this lil blog of mine….howyadoin? It’s been a while! We’ve had some pretty big changes over here and the stresses of life have actually *gasp* lessened a little! Thus more time and opportunity to commit to writing down my random thoughts, diy projects and life events to share with you crazy kids! 

So what’s been going on you ask? Well, we’ve been through the ringer over the few years in terms of financials and I’m so so so happy to report that (finally) we’ve got our financial life in order. Not just in order, but in good order. It is like a 500 lb weight has been lifted off our shoulders and we are free to sing from the rooftops. Imagine, we can not only dream about renovations to our home, but actually execute them! (Posts to come showing our Master Bedroom makeover, new doors and windows and our backyard makeover!) We  replaced  every. single. door and window in our entire house and let me tell you – it’s one of the most exciting things to happen this year (and it’s a BIG year in our house). I’m so excited for windows that I can actually open and close with ease, windows that are stylish and not manufactured 30 years ago and a front door that has a wonderful half window that will bring sunshine and warmth into our home during the spring and summer months. I’m. So. Excited.

Something that also happened this year – I turned 30.

 Yep, the big dirty thirty. Most people go all out, party like it’s 1999 and don’t remember a thing. Me? I was sick. My kid was sick. My husband was sick. Even the dog was miserable. We had planned a family brunch at a local breakfast place and even that didn’t happen because we didn’t leave the house for the entire weekend. Am I upset that I didn’t do a huge blow out? Not really. In fact, I’m actually glad it didn’t happen that way. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a homebody. I’d rather be in sweats or pjs lounging in the comfort of my own home more than anything. Also – 30 was an emotional milestone for me. We hadn’t at that point had our finances in order, everyone had been sick for 3 months straight and life was just hard. Everything at that point was stressful and I thought to myself – “Is this where I thought I’d be at 30?” Thinking back to my early twenties, I was convinced that I would be an academic, studying history and politics, writing articles for journals and spending my days in a library. Marriage and kids weren’t a priority – not to say I didn’t think I’d ever get married or have kids, but they weren’t something I was dying for. It’s almost as if once I met the hubs and we started getting serious that was all I wanted. My own little family. 30 may not be what I thought it would, but I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. There are still some days where I think “holy shit, you’re thirty, married with a kid” and freak out just a little. I think everyone is entitled to a little psychosis at major age milestones….right?! 

There’s so much more to come this year for us – I can’t wait to share it with you!! 

Resolutions, Invasions, Debt and a Toddler.

Well 2016 you have kicked my ass. Good riddance. Peace out. See ya. I’ve had enough.

This year was one of the most trivial years of my life and I’m ready to begin anew. From raising a wonderful little girl (who is about to enter the “two’s” and I’m a little nervous about it), to losing a job and being unemployed for the first time since I was 14, to getting our financials back on track and to reconnecting with my husband – I can’t explain the emotional journey this year has been. As the year closes I find myself writing this post to remain accountable for my actions and put to pen to paper (metaphorically of course) my hopes, dreams and goals for the up coming year.

My career took a bit of a hit in 2016. I was let go for the first time ever (the first time I was also used as a scapegoat as well) and subsequently unemployed for a couple of months for the first time since I was a teenager. The stress of this took a very intense toll on my marriage. Aside from the pressure I put on myself, there was pressure from my husband to continue to be a contributing partner in our life. I’m not sure of a middle class family that can survive on one income and we certainly couldn’t. When I finally landed my current job, it was a like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was (and still is) a temporary position, but I’ve come to appreciate getting a foot in the door. I’ve learned to appreciate the fact that I was able to find a job in my field, at a decent wage less than 15 minutes from home. I’ve learned to appreciate a lot of this year that I took for granted once upon a time – my career being one of them. What came easily to me before was hard fought this time around, and I’m proud to know that everyday I go to work, give 100% and know that I am valued by my coworkers.

Our financial life also took a hit this year, with the position that I currently hold we took a pretty good hit in terms of pay. While that was an adjustment for sure, my husband and I finally decided that in order to gain control back we needed to rent out our basement and have my FIL move upstairs. A few things evolved from this. Probably the one thing that has had the most impact on our daily life is that there is another adult living in my space. Another adult that I have to account for in my daily routine. I can no longer walk around in a summer nightgown because it is inappropriate to wear in front of my FIL. I can’t ignore the bathrooms for that extra day/week(s) because now there is someone else using it. I’m not going to lie, it’s not my favourite situation. I tend to need some personal space, a little alone space where I can do whatever I want – without being asked what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. So why have we asked him to move upstairs? Well the answer is simple. It is necessary. For the immediate future, we need to rent out the basement to have the additional income. My FIL has always lived with us and it is a situation that will not change. Thus, there wasn’t another option. The upside? My BIL has moved into the basement. To some, this may seem like an invasion of in-laws, and they would be correct. It is. But my BIL is great and works the afternoon shift and we don’t seem him much anyway. It’s not the long term plan, but it is the right now plan that will help us get back on track. This year I’ve also learned to accept reality and make the hard decisions that are uncomfortable but necessary.

The one thing that was positive all year has been my kid. My daughter is the shining beacon of light in my life, the one thing that can anchor my soul, my emotions and my mood. She is hilarious, she knows my moods and is the very best thing I’ve ever done. People say to me, “just wait until she is a little bit older, you will know…..” – and I want to punch them. My kid is a great kid. I refuse to believe that all of a sudden she will turn into a monster child that is uncontrollable. My husband and I have raised her better than that, she is inherently a wonderful tiny human and I give the middle finger to anyone who challenges that.

The most stressful thing this year has been my lack of self care. By self care I mean taking care of my mental and emotional being. It’s been so stressful this year that I felt like bringing up anything mental or emotional was just adding fuel to the fire. So, like any other emotionally unstable person I kept everything inside. I thought I was dealing with it (by NOT dealing with it) and ended up just blowing up. I don’t blow up in terms of yelling and screaming, throwing things or running away. I cry. I can’t help it. It has become the only way any of my emotions seem to come out. These crying lags seem to come at the most inopportune times (early weekend mornings, late at night during the work week or when I’m actually at work) so I’ve tried just not to do it. Because of this lack of self care, I have a LOT of work to do this year. I have to work on making myself a priority in my daily life. Whether that means taking 15 or 30 minutes a day to myself to journal (a new habit I’m trying to start for 2017), or taking the dog for a walk to clear my head – it is something I have to do. My husband agrees that I need the time to breathe and is it’s a major part of my healing process. If he wasn’t understanding of the route to self appreciation that I’ve mapped out for myself, I wouldn’t be able to get better. Now some people who read this are going to think that I am weak and sad because I say that I need my husband’s support in order to have some self appreciation and self love. Well to those people I ask – have you ever been a people pleaser? Have you been that person that will do anything – or nothing, to make sure that everyone is getting along? That is me. I will hardly ever say anything when I am uncomfortable in a situation because I don’t want to offend anyone. I will likely remove myself instead of calling someone out. I will sweep my own feelings aside to make sure that everyone gets along and things look like they are fine. Well I’ve decided that 2017 is the year of me. It is the year of my family. My little three human, one dog and two cat family. I will no longer let people push me around, I will do what I want. My husband has been tremendous in helping me find a voice and find the confidence to make me and us a priority.

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So to those of you making resolutions this year, I commend you. To those of you who are setting goals for 2017 -I’m giving you a virtual high five. To those of you who are scared of making a resolution or goal because you are scared of failing, I give you my understanding. Every year I’ve made resolutions, and I can’t remember a year that I kept up with the resolutions for the entirety of that year. You are not less because you made a resolution and were unable to keep up with it. You are human. Life happens. Things change. If you are true to yourself, the ups and downs will eventually become less severe and life will level out. I believe that we are a constant work in progress and unless you completely give up – there is always a way back. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other.

Happy New Year – Cheers to the best 2017 has to offer!

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