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It has been 41 hours since I've last had a cigarette and strangely, I'm feeling pretty good. I had a bad cigarette craving last night but luckily, it was about 9 o'clock and with the kids already in bed, I decided to just go to sleep. When I got up this morning, I didn't feel any cravings and with my dad smoking in the house, the smell actually kind of turned me off from having one. I did dream that I had smoked one and in the dream, I felt so guilty that I think the guilt I'll feel if I cave and have one will be enough of a deterrant. That, and having one after so long, it really will taste yucky. So I'm doing fairly well, and I'm feeling good about it. 

I've gotten a few things done that I've been putting off - like changing the oil in my car and getting the blood work done I needed to do... and that, too, feels good. The registration to take the test I need to is tomorrow night and I think I'll go ahead and get that knocked out as well. 

It's going to be stressful at work the next few weeks. We've got a lot of major things going on and I'm adamant that I'll get through it without breaking down and smoking. Maybe I'll make time to get on here and write more often. So I can boast about how well I'm doing - HA!

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Ugh. Feeling bogged down by guilt today. There is so much random stuff that's just eating away at me. I'm definitely bummed out. 

Here are some of the RANDOM things that I'm letting bother me:
- Still smoking, after I told myself I'd quit.
- Not having Bubba potty trained yet.
- Not reading bedtime stories every night.
- Letting the kids eat in front of the TV instead of at the table because I'm so exhausted. 
- Not staying on top of household chores.
- Not studying. 
- Not finding a better job.
- Getting grumpy in the evenings and snapping at the kids.
- Not having enough good, quality family time.
- Not making a decent breakfast in the mornings - I've been going for something quick, like cereal.
- Putting things off. Keep telling myself, "I'll take care of that tomorrow."
- Letting people take advantage of me.
- Not working with kids on school-related stuff during the summer.
- Not following through with the chore charts we made.

Among MANY, MANY other things... I'm so hoping I can get everything back on track next week while I'm on vacation. I feel like my life (and therefore, my kids' lives) are SUCH a mess right now. We need to get back on a good, solid routine and just stick with it. Some of it, I'm being overly hard on myself... but other stuff, man, I've just got no excuse. I'm slacking. The things I put off make me feel so guilty, the more guilty I feel, the more I put it off. Just an awful endless cycle. I have got to get it together. 

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I'm up early on a day off. The house is quiet, everyone's still asleep. It's my selfish me time. I can sit back, enjoy my cup of coffee, read my book and wait for the sun to come up. If I could have a morning like this just once a week, I'd be one extremely happy mama. 

I'm going to use some of this time to try to get ahead for the day - get the laundry going, walk the dog and get my shower. It's going to be a busy day. Bubba's birthday party is tomorrow and we still have some last minute shopping to do for his party. It's hard to believe he'll be three already. On one hand, it makes me feel sad. On the other, I feel so proud because he's getting to be such a big boy! I just wish I could slow time down some, be able to enjoy it more instead of feeling like time is flying right by. 

He and I spent a good hour outside yesterday evening, just the two of us, good ole one-on-one time... playing basketball. We had such a good time. He's starting to try to dribble the ball and it's so funny watching him smack the ball open-handed. We teased each other about being able to "steal" the ball from each other. And he decided it'd be a good idea to incorporate some football into the equation and tackle me. Too cute.

Sometimes it's hard being on my own with two kids. At times, I feel like I'm not being fair to either one of them because it's rare that they get my undivided, individual attention. Moments like last night feel great. I got to connect with Bubba, enjoy him for the little person that he is, instead of enjoying him as part of the whole (the whole family). If I could just figure out a way to winnow out 20-30 minutes each day to focus on them individually... There has to be some way. It'll take some brainstorming. 


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cheers11
This is going to sound odd, considering I was complaining about how busy I've been yesterday, but... I want to volunteer... to help others. Sounds a little corny, I know. And crazy, like I said, because of how busy I've been. But I keep thinking of how great it would feel to take some time out of my week to do something for someone else just because. There are a few different opportunities I'm looking at, one that sounds really great - delivering home cooked meals to home bound elderly folks every week. What a way to show respect! And I can just imagine in my mind's eye the kind of relationships you could develop doing something like this. Maybe I'm just enthusing too much about it but I'd certainly like to give it shot. It would be well worth it to help someone else and to feel better about myself as a person, too! 

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cheers11
Whooo, it's been awhile. I have not felt up to writing until now. There's been a lot going on and not much down time. We will be taking a much needed vacation the week after next but even the week leading up to the vacation is going to be busy. Sunday is Bubba's birthday party - he's turning three! Tuesday is his actual birthday. Sometime that week I need to get Banana enrolled in her new school. And then there's the last minute shopping and packing to deal with. 

It's going to be a long day tomorrow - 10 hour shift at work, receiving and a truck to run. I'm trying to plan in advance so I won't be so exhausted at the end of it. Get to bed early, eat a good breakfast, etc... But it seems like no matter how good my intentions were, things just don't end up working out. There are so many things that I always mean to do but never get around to it. I guess I should cut myself some slack. I work 40 hours a week, I'm a single mom and I have a household to run. There's only so much one person can do. At times, I can't help but feel that work gets the most of my energy and whatever energy I have leftover is used up quickly in home life. 

Like I said, a MUCH needed a vacation. I'm so looking forward to it. I'm hoping it will truly be relaxing and I'll come back feeling revitalized. We'll be making a trip to the beach so it will definitely be fun. I need to make sure to run by the library next week to pick up a few books to take with me. Books are a must have for relaxation in my world. And I need to take the kids out to get a few things for the trip... 

My mind feels like it's going in a million different directions right now. Probably not the best time to be writing. Ha!

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I so long to move out of this area. I'm tired of the hustle and bustle, the constant rush and hurry. I'm ready for a slower pace of life, somewhere with friendly neighbors and a focus on family life.

I wish for a house of my own - nothing fancy, just somewhere that belongs to us. Something simple, a one-story rambler with a nice yard. I'd love a porch, something I could sit out on with the kids when the weather is fine. A vegetable garden that I could tend to and grow all of our favorites, a few apple trees. A flower garden for Banana. A bedroom for each of the kids so they can make their space their own. A kitchen where we can cook together, eat together. A table to do homework at, crafts and board games. Maybe even a small fireplace that we could sit by on cold nights. A place where we could enjoy the simple pleasures in life and enjoy our time with each other. 

The "American" dream. The dream that these days, is larger than life. Fancy cars, mansion, loads of money... The dream that used to be as simple as having a piece of land to call your own

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My moods have been fluctuating a lot today...

I really don't even feel like writing - why am I making myself do this?...

I'm actually in a pretty good mood currently, moods have just been fluctuating a lot. 

I'm so ready for this day to be over with. Just want to lay in bed with a good book. 

We'll try this again tomorrow - maybe. 
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Very productive day today. And I've been in an exceptionally good mood as an added bonus. Nothing in particular has happened - I feel as if my mind is finally shifting in the right direction. I'm finally getting the hang of the work:kids:household chores:me ratio. Everything is starting to finally balance and I don't feel overwhelmed and stressed anymore.

The workday was actually pretty great. It went by quickly and I got most of the way caught up. I got all of the cleaning that needed done caught up. Bubba was so well behaved - he helped a lot and when he couldn't, would sit nicely playing with his toys. The awesome thing is, I'm off tomorrow and the most I'll have to worry about getting done is one single, solitary load of laundry. And let me tell you, that never happens. So my day off will actually be a day off. It's supposed to be nice tomorrow so I'm thinking I may pack a picnic and take Bubba to the pool for a few hours. 

I told Bubba how proud I was of his behavior today and thanked him for all of his help. His whole face lit up. It's so easy to get bogged down by the every day tasks that have to be done, to get so stressed by it and to become irritable and snappish. To not praise your children for the things they've done, to only look at the negative. My children are amazing little people. I'm so proud of them but realized today that lately, I haven't been vocalizing it very often. I think every mother wants to feel appreciated. Certainly our children do as well. Something worth focusing on, that's for sure.

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cheers11
It was such a long day at work today. Between the heat (upper 90's but feels like 105) and the lack of sleep, it felt like the day was dragging as much as I was. We had an early dinner tonight - I made a pasta with a tomato cream sauce, garlic, ground chicken, lots of Parmesan and fresh tomatoes and spinach. First time making it, definitely a keeper. Banana's with her Dad for the rest of the week now that school is out and we're on the summer schedule. I'm going to see if I can keep Bubba occupied with board games until it's time to get ready for bed. 

A co-worker today surprised me - at the end of the meeting he complimented me, saying that I do a great job, that he knows he can count on me and that I pretty much run that store. Charlie is such a nice guy, I thanked him profusely. It's amazing the impact a kind word can have on your day. It felt like things started going more smoothly from that point on. 

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We took Bubba to his "Child Find" appointment today. It's a screening provided by the county schools to see if he's on track developmentally. I was a little nervous because you never really want to hear that there's something wrong with your child - even if you need to hear it. I shouldn't have been so worried. The woman who screened him was great, very kind and wonderful with Bubba. By the end of it she told us that he's perfectly fine and that his language skills are actually somewhat advanced for his age. To top it off, she gave us all of the paperwork she's required to give us with every screening and she said, "You guys won't need most of that stuff, it's obvious you're already doing it anyway and you're doing a great job with him." 

I was so relieved... and thankful. 

I've been on a cooking kick. I like cooking as it is but I've been doing a lot of branching out and trying recipes that I've wanted to try forever. I think I need to come up with a cooking "bucket list." Ha.

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