Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy (almost) New Year!

It'll be 2010 soon...well, for some folks in the world, it already is, but for this chicky-doo here in the Midwest, there's just under 5 hours to go. No big celebration tonight, unless you count me slamming the book on 2009, stomping on the cover, throwing it across the room and then lighting it on fire before dumping the ashes in the snow. Good-bye 2009. The year wasn't all bad, of course, but I'm ready to be done with it!

I'm looking forward to an awesome 2010. I have birthday number 32 coming up in a few weeks, I see Hottie Doc on January 20th (and looking forward to another "all clear" report), I'm teaching two classes this semester and giving serious consideration to applying for a full-time teaching job at another school so I can take a break from working in mental health. I'll also be gearing up for my kiddo's 5th birthday in the spring and figuring out how to psychologically prepare myself for her first day in kindergarten. It's many months away, but we all know how fast time goes...it'll be here before we know it.

I spent the afternoon organizing my kitchen cabinets. What a peaceful feeling. Lame? Maybe, but it was therapeutic for me. I told my honey that for the next few weeks, he can legitimately use the excuse, "I don't know where [X] goes," when I ask him why he didn't put away the dishes. I moved several things from their home cabinets and thrust them into a new continent, clear on the other side of the kitchen. I like messing with stuff every now and then. And of course, I have the ultimate sense of control, because I'm the only one who knows where stuff is. Bwah ha ha ha ha! Of course, the laughing will be over in the morning as I stand, staring at the beautiful arrangements and think, "Now where on earth did I put that Tupperware bowl?" Good times, I tell ya.

Tonight will be low key. We ordered pizza for dinner, so there's no big clean up. The hubby and kiddo are snuggling (ahem, hubby is snoring) on the couch, watching Charlie Brown. Once it's over, the kiddo will go to bed. I'm going to hang out and watch a movie. I think I'll enjoy a glass of wine, too. I'll be nice and relaxed, and when I wake up tomorrow, I'll be ready to take on a whole new year.

Wishing peace, health and prosperity for all of us...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Being Home

It's nice to be off work right now. I'm getting some things organized around the house and more importantly, regaining control of my kitchen. I have such a hard time when things are out of order and messy, so it's been fantastic to bring a sense of "normal" back to daily life. My kiddo got an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas from one of her uncles, so I'm clearing out a cabinet for her to keep her things...she feels so grown up! She enjoys helping me in the kitchen, so having her own space really adds to that.

I've been getting my closet back in order, too. You have to understand that in my world, there's a place for everything and everything needs to be in its place. It's how I keep my sanity. But really, I typically have my closet organized by item (ex. sweaters), and then by color (dark to light). The past few months though, my bedroom and closet have been a study in chaos.

I'm trying to get my darling spouse on some type of schedule not only for household stuff, but for our kiddo, too. Having been home and having the opportunity to see what the days are like when I'm not here has been...um...interesting. It's not bad, that's not what I mean. It's just chaotic, and I can see how and why my kiddo has been so out of sorts. Her entire routine is way off and I'm no longer surprised by how agitated she's been. I noticed several months ago that she was getting kind of moody, not listening as well, losing patience and getting upset over the smallest things. And of course, she's 4, so she's got the regular 4-year-old mood swings and emotions that are totally normal, too.

I suppose some of it is just the difference in parenting style. And my way is better. Hahahaha! Just kidding. I think because our kiddo thrives on routine and I'm more of a "routine" person, she just responds better to that than the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach her dad takes. I talked to him about establishing some kind of structure. Not necessarily a schedule to account for every minute of the day, but even a general breakdown like the pre-school follows. She misses seeing her friends and being in the classroom, so maybe I can encourage him to bring some of that home.

Everything else is same old, same old. I go to the doctor again tomorrow to have my incision checked. It's still not healed, but this is the best it's been in a month. Hopefully the incision will finish closing up in the next two weeks, because I have an appointment with Hottie Doc in January for my next scope, and I'm not keen on having another procedure done if I'm still not healed from this surgery.

Speaking of January, can you believe that we're hovering on the brink of 2010? I don't know about anyone else, but I'm ready to close the door on 2009. It was a rough year! A few people asked if I'm making any New Year's resolutions...not really. My main goals for 2010 are to increase how often I write in my journals, make more of an effort to get to sleep at a decent time and to improve my posture. Reasonable goals.

I have to go check on dinner now. I have a chicken in the crock pot, and I think I'm going to make some couscous, along with a vegetable. Maybe broccoli? Or asparagus? I also have squash, but I'm really the only one who eats it. Hmmmm. Decisions, decisions!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post Holiday Blues

I don't know why, but every year on the day after Christmas, I end up feeling kinda moody. Maybe it's because my sleep and good eating habits are thrown off by the all the holiday gatherings, etc. Or, more likely, it's because I now have to re-organize all the current stuff in the house to make room for the new stuff we got...not to mention the tasks of taking down Christmas decorations. Ugh.

The weather is truly dismal today, too, which isn't helping anything. Plus, I thought I needed to psychologically scar myself and go to Target. Today. As in, the day after Christmas. It wasn't as horrific as I feared it would be, but people are just SO pushy when it comes to the post-Christmas sales. I wanted to buy some wrapping paper, since I used almost all of my wrapping paper stash this year. The good thing is that I should have enough paper for the next 2-3 Christmases. Got some other non-Christmas necessities, too, like a new shower curtain and some household cleaning items.

I'm also feeling anxious today because I got a notice in the mail this afternoon from the hospital that my insurance hasn't paid for the surgery I had in November. I don't know why, and I can't do anything about it until Monday. It's not like I have eight grand to pay off the hospital, so I need to figure it out sooner rather than later. I'm still annoyed with my student loan company, too. There has been zero follow-up from them regarding the mess they created with my November payment.

I think my Christmas spirit is gone and is has been replaced by Cranky Marfa. Maybe some fudge will help...

Oh, before anyone thinks I'm just a grinchy crabby pants, I do have to give a shout-out to my sister, who got me The Pioneer Woman's cookbook for Christmas, along with an adorable apron from Etsy and a set of oven-safe ramekins. Yay for me!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ridiculous Savings

In our on-going belt-tightening household, shopping for groceries, not to mention Christmas gifts, has been a little challenging.

Today, I'm giving a shout-out to my husband, who went shopping at Kohl's this afternoon. This is one of the best savings I've seen EVER...

Total spent: $7.36

Total saved: A WHOPPING $73.20!!

Good job, Mr. Man!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One More Day

As of 3:10pm tomorrow, I am on vacation! I'm telling myself that I'm not going to check my work voicemail or e-mail for two whole weeks. We'll see how long I hold out. I'm always anxious that I might miss something and end up checking my messages every other day. I need to not do that and just enjoy the time off.

I have too much to do and not quite enough time to do it, but I'll at least get started. Maybe. Or maybe I'll just put away my laundry and then watch a movie tonight. I think the movie idea is winning right now.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

If Tumors Were Pearls...

...I'd be rich!

Okay, not really, but if it really worked like that it'd be kinda neat. I'm very glad that the biopsy results came back all clear this time. Whew! Except the incision isn't healing well. Grrrr. I guess that's the risk of an old-fashioned "slice and dice" surgery as opposed to a scope. For whatever reason, my body rejected some of the stitches and I ended up with an infection. I've felt pretty yucky for the past few days, but I'm on the upswing now.

Even better, I just have to get through work next week and then I have two weeks off! I'm super excited about that. All the benefit time I've taken lately has been mostly for medical stuff, but this time is just for fun and relaxation. In spite of the fact that it's freezing out, I've got some fun activities planned for me and the kiddo while I'm home. I plan on taking her to the Museum of Science and Industry--she loves The Great Train Story and I really want her to see Christmas Around the World.

I'm also hoping to get her to one, if not both, of the zoos to see the holiday lights. The best part, I think, is that we're arranging a tour of a local fire station. My kiddo adores fire trucks (and firemen--just like her mommy!) and we have an open invitation to one of the stations to bring her in for a tour. In between all of that, we'll have the family holiday obligations and just some low-key together time. It'll be nice and good for my mental health.

Well, Saturday awaits. I have a lot of errands to run today, including getting a pair of boots for myself. You can tell I'm getting older...I'm not interested in some pair of cute, fancy boots. I need something fuzzy and waterproof to keep my feet warm!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Feeling Hostile

Something has got to give with this economy. It's hard enough to be an average citizen...an average citizen who works hard, pays her taxes, has spent the past 6 months living paycheck to paycheck because my spouse is unemployed, is dealing with a cancer diagnosis, barely keeping it together, etc.

And now, because it seems like THE WHOLE FINANCIAL WORLD HAS GONE MAD, I'm having to fight one more battle...my student loan company sent me a very nasty letter in the mail saying that my account is delinquent. Really? How does that happen when the payment is AUTOMATICALLY DEDUCTED FROM MY CHECKING ACCOUNT? Dumb boneheads.

So get this...I have all my paperwork, perfectly put together, in chronological order, showing my auto payments, verifications, etc. And yet, after receiving this nasty letter, I log into my student loan account online, only to find out that the payment was made, but then sent back to the bank because I'm now enrolled in standard paper billing. Standard paper billing? When I have all the paperwork saying that my payments are automatically deducted? I never authorized a change to go back to standard paper billing.

Wait, it gets better.

The loan company stated in the letter that the account is being turned over to collections Monday. To avoid that, I had to make a double payment online (the November payment that was mysteriously sent back to the bank, along with a late assessment which equals another month's payment). I had to pay online before Monday morning to avoid collections. How f-ing convenient (sorry, terrible language, I know) for the loan company. They get a double payment, plus the December payment. AND they won't let me re-enroll in auto payments because my account is delinquent.

Of course, it's the weekend, so there are no customer service representatives available to talk to. It just really ticks me off, because I made the payment and it's not like the loan company will refund the late charge, even though it's a problem on their end.

I feel like I've been coping very well with things, but this...which admittedly is minor compared to everything else I've had to deal with...this is about to send me over that fine line between keeping it together and freaking out. The proverbial straw, I suppose.

I'm not used to getting angry. I'll get upset about things and get over it. If something leads to me feeling furious, I'll seethe for a while, mentally plot all kinds of revenge and then get over it. Honestly, problems happen and I do pretty well at managing and just getting things back on track. Not lately. I'm angry. A lot. And it's not any particular person or event. It's just a simmering feeling that's always below the surface. It's all I can do to drag myself out of bed and function through the workday without getting snippy with anyone.

I've processed it with the people who are closest to me, and the general feedback is that all the stress I've been juggling has turned into this angry sensation. Maybe, maybe not. I just need to get out of this hole. I mean, I'm honestly fine otherwise, but I don't like this feeling. I definitely prefer my happy self as opposed to this grumpy self.

Actually, just writing/venting here helped. Maybe that's the key. I need to blog more to keep myself sane and happy!