Busy, Busy Spring

Even though the weather isn’t quit sure what season it is, this has been a very busy spring for me.  I have been looking for hours each day for a place for my family to move.  We are in an apartment right now, but ideally we will be in a rental house that fits the five of us by May 1st, but we are willing to accept anything that isn’t pest-infested at this point.  However, May isn’t too far away, and so far I still haven’t found anything within our price range.  And I mean NOTHING.  I have e-mailed and called probly a total of 50 landlords/property managers within the last 2 weeks, and absolutely nothing has come of it.  We have had a couple of offers from friends or family members to rent their houses, but then they backed out or weren’t able to help afterall.  I have become very frustrated and discouraged, but I cannot give up because we can’t stay where we are.  There have been a few other big obstacles lately too, but I refuse to discuss those with the public.

Besides the home search though, the kids have been doing awesome in their last couple of months of school.  Now that they have seen specialists and had accommodations made for them in their classrooms, their grades have improved.  I am very proud, and so glad we found the proper balance for them all.

Sean and I have come to the conclusion that we are NOT dog people.  We both love Penny, but we feel she is more stress than she is worth.  She is always into things, she knows how to open the lid on the trash can and she does it often.  She is energetic, and the kids don’t take no for an answer when it comes to getting rough with her in the house.  And she refuses to potty outside at times.  She will get sneaky and pee on a rug around the corner or something.  She is a big girl, and doing this not only causes bad smells in our home, but will ruin the carpet and rugs if she continues.  She has way too much energy to contain in an apartment, and we are both very frustrated with her barking at people through the windows and when she is outside to potty.  Its all normal dog stuff, but neither of the 2 of us have the patience for it.  She is so needy, and we are so busy.  We don’t want to get rid of her or give up on her, but we know she will be a barrier in finding a new place too.  We have been hoping to find a home where she can have a yard to run out her energy, but that is seemingly impossible at this point.

So yes, busy busy.  But also frustrating.  Just keep us in your thoughts and prayers that we can figure this stuff out and just find a home.  I don’t think a home is too much to ask for.

Why I Hated The How I Met Your Mother Finale

HippieMom:

Yes! This explains exactly how I feel. Oh, and I loved Barney’s reaction to his new daughter, too.

Originally posted on SkyyTV:

I loved “How I Met Your Mother.” I loved the characters and their relationships. I loved the inventive way the story was told backwards, and the way that we cared about these characters, even if we mostly knew what would happen to them in the end. I loved the way that I genuinely felt like these people were my friends.

I loved Ted, with his over-the-top romantic gestures and his unfailing optimism. I loved Robin and her independence, her blind ambition, and her ridiculous love for Canada. I loved the way that Marshall and Lily made me believe in true love. And Barney. Even with his gross womanizing ways, I loved that bastard so much.

I loved the lessons this show told, and the way that it told them. I loved the slap bets and the Robin Sparkles videos. I loved the laughs, the tears, the sickly sweet sentimental moments, all…

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Walking Dead Speculation

— WARNING:  This post contains SPOILERS about season 4 of The Walking Dead —

The Walking Dead season 4 finale has aired.  Here’s what I think of what happened, and what may be to come in season 5.

Signs were everywhere along the train tracks: TERMINUS Sanctuary for all, community for all, those who arrive survive.  We see these through the majority of the second half of the season.  Everyone is scattered, but everyone sees the signs.  And so everyone starts making their way toward sanctuary.  Maggie leaves notes on the signs for Glenn until they can find one another.  In episode 15, Maggie and Glenn have a sweet reunion.  Then they and their joined groups decided to go ahead and finish their trek to Terminus to see what it was all about.  After that their plan was to head out to Washington because Eugene seems to think he knows something important about the virus.  When they arrive at Terminus the gates are unlocked, they are not met by any armed men, they are not frisked or questioned.  We see them arrive, walk past lots of garden space and clean ground, and get greeted by Mary, who offers them a big plate of grilled meat.

sticker,375x360.u2Cut to the next episode – the finale.  Rick pulls some badass moves and rips Joe’s throat out with his teeth, totally destroying the Claim Gang.  From there Rick, Carl, Michonne, and Daryl make their way to Terminus.  They go in the back so as not to be noticed.  When they enter, the radio is being broadcast to draw in more survivors.  Rick’s crew is frisked for non-obvious weapons, and taken to the welcome area for food.  However, Rick becomes suspicious of their greeter and pulls a gun on him.  We then get to see all the armed snipers and the many members of the Terminus base.  This causes a huge stir and Rick’s clan is herded by snipers shooting at them to a specific area.  As they are running through the Terminus buildings, they come across a room full of candles set up like alters with names and locations of people we can only assume have either come through there, or have died elsewhere.  Another quick scene on their run through is that of a chained in area full of fresh, bloody human skeletons.  Another detail as they run through is that there are people screaming from the train cars that are placed throughout.  Once Rick’s crew has reached the location dictated by the snipers, they are asked to one at a time enter a train car.  When they enter, they are reunited with Glenn, Maggie, and their group.  So then they are a group of 12.

So what exactly is the motive here?  What is Terminus all about, and what are their intentions?  Here’s what I think: they are herding “cattle.”  By leaving signs and broadcasting over radio waves, they are drawing in hundreds if not thousands of people from all over.  They cannot possibly accommodate that many people, nor would many be friendly or trusting enough to be valuable members of a small survivor’s society.  As the little details showed, many people are locked away on the property, not allowed to escape their train car holding areas.  And also, humans are very obviously being butchered there, for there to be fresh and bloody human bones in an area, all neatly tucked away.  The signs, the broadcast, the protein-packed meal… they are herding people in for food.  Its really quite brilliant!  That way they get all the weapons and supplies people have been gathering as they travel.  They get more members when people cooperate to make their operation stronger.  And they get nearly unlimited food from the humans they are storing and slaughtering.

But like Rick said, they don’t know who they are messing with.  We have seen first hand throughout the show that this group of survivors is willing to do anything to survive.  Rick’s crew won’t put up with such immoral behavior, and I can see them eliminating this practice.  Terminus doesn’t stand a chance.

Spring Changes

Spring-ChangeFor many years now, I have been aimless.  Other than staying at home and being a mom I have been flailing around trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.  I have, in a way, taken my mom’s example of being a lifelong stay at home mom, and just stuck with it out of familiarity and comfort.  However, I haven’t found the same fulfillment in it that she has.  I’ve wanted more.  I’ve wanted to make an impact on the world.  First I tried to go back to school for Human Services.  I figured since I have received public assistance, and I know how stressful and difficult the process and pressure can be, I wanted to help others and make the process as painless as possible.  As I started down that path I realized that the industry of Human Services was doing downhill, lots of job cuts and budget cuts.  It became apparent that it was not an industry I could advance and thrive in, down the line.  So I started looking into Photography and Graphic Design.  I was excited about it for a while knowing that I had quite a bit of knowledge and talent in that area already.  But making my very enjoyable hobby a career, and taking classes about things I already knew just for the graduation requirement soon became tedious and I lost interest.  Then I considered Early Childhood Education – lost interest when I couldn’t complete the final presentation in my Educational Psychology class.  Then I considered being a mental health therapist – working with kids and families.  Part of this was the right path, but it didn’t quite fit, so I quit once again.

The trying and quitting took a big toll on me.  Not only did I have anxiety problems already, but the feel of failure time and again ate away at my self-esteem and self-worth.  I started to believe I could not accomplish anything I started.  I did a lot of self-evaluation and digging, and linked my habit of quitting back to my childhood.  When I was young, I was allowed to quit anything I tried if I didn’t like it.  Though I think it was done out of good intentions to follow my own happiness, I do wish I would have been made to at least finish the class, season, or period (depending on the activity).  This habit of quitting has not just been with education and employment, but also with relationships and personal goals.  The thought of anything long-term just scared the crap out of me and made me feel trapped.

After all of this self-evaluation (and after several psychology classes) I realized that I truly had a problem, and there was no way I could fix it alone.  So I finally decided I needed to step out of my comfort zone, confront my anxiety and fears, and seek therapy for help.  I started seeing a therapist during the spring of 2013.  Despite the desire not to quit again, the therapist I was seeing made me feel very uncomfortable.  But rather than just quit, I tried a different therapist.  I have been with her ever since!  She is amazing, and has pointed out so many different ways of thinking.  She has guided me to be stronger and stick with things because I deserve it, not because other people are depending on me.  She has helped me build my self-worth and self-esteem.  She is helping me to realize that I need to find my passions and spend time doing things to feed those passions.

Besides just her, I have also been working with a job placement agency that helps with job readiness and job skills.  There is a program I am currently going through that puts you through exercises that strongly encourage you to follow your desires for a career.  At first I thought it was a bunch of bologna and far too idealistic.  But while filling out the first unit’s exercises, I put some pieces together for myself.  I listed some of the following qualities about myself.

- I love art and always have.
- I am very creative.
- I enjoy working with kids (they don’t cause me anxiety like adults).
- I require a job with “mother’s hours.”
- I thrive in a non-structured, chaotic environment.
- I have good manners and tact, and know how to act proper.
- I have excellent basic computer knowledge.

I started to think about stuff I could do with those.  I don’t want to work in Child Care because I find it boring.  I don’t want to go for an art degree because that industry is way too competitive…

Then I had an experience: A couple weeks ago I volunteered at the kids’ school because one of my sons needed me that day.  And I figured what better way to be there for my kids, and to match their hours than to work at the school!  So I put in an application to work either in food service or as a paraprofessional, helping kids that need a little boost in the classroom.  I thought about how much I loved being in my son’s classroom for just 1 day, even with no big responsibilities.  I noticed how much those kids want to learn.  I started thinking about my elementary experiences, and how much my teachers made a difference for me.  I still remember every teacher I had, their name and what specifically I learned from every one of them.  Especially my 2nd grade teacher and my art teacher.  My art teacher!  Then it hit me… all of my passions, desires and abilities could be focused into being an ART TEACHER in an elementary school!!!  I could teach kids about all the different mediums and techniques, from coloring with crayons, working with clay, drawing, painting, making papier mâché, and so much more.  The environment would be somewhat unstructured and messy.  I would be inspiring future generations and creating a passion for art in some.  Good hours.  Yes, sounds perfect!

So between my therapy, my job readiness program, and my recent personal experiences, I have found my true calling!  It has taken me years to get to where I am today, and I must say I am happier now than I have ever been.  And its for ME, not for my kids, not more my relationship, not for my parents, public assistance helpers or anyone else.  I am doing this because it is what I want to do.

shutterstock_33173662I have already started the financial aid appeal process with the local community college.  I only have 8 more classes to take to get my Associate’s degree in general education.  Then I will transfer to a Bachelor’s degree program at a university for Elementary Education with an emphasis (or minor) in Art.  I have made a promise to myself that no matter how uncomfortable, boring, monotonous, or scary it may be for me, I WILL follow through and get this completed.  For me.  Because I deserve it.  And once I am done and become a licensed teacher, I’ll start looking for an amazing job in a respected elementary school.  In the meantime I hope to get that job in the local school district, not only for experience for future career plans, but also to start living the dream of working with kids and making an impact.  And of course supporting my family.

It feels really good to have a realistic plan made for myself.  I know that my goal is attainable.  I know what steps I need to take to get there.  And they are reasonable and reachable steps as well.  I will do this.  Finally!

Your Postpardum Body

I found the following post on The Other Side Of Mom on Facebook.  It was not written by me, but it is fantastic and I wanted to share.  Enjoy:

When I got pregnant for the first time I was 18, fresh out of cheerleading, doing Yoga daily and in the best shape of my life. Though I gained a mere 15 pounds during my pregnancy, my body stretched and pulled in ways it has never truly recovered from and I struggled a lot with the way it looked and felt after Samara was born.

It was partially my circumstances too, my ex husband regarded me with words of criticism despite walking out of the hospital in the same size 0 jeans I’d walked in wearing. I heard my mother complain my entire life about her body and the ways carrying four full term girls had changed it. In fact – I’d never heard a single positive thing about postpartum bodies that I could readily recall.

My self esteem dipped into the negatives, I was bitter in every sense. I had this beautiful daughter and now my body was fucked up. The trade off was a worthy one, but that didn’t make it suck any less.

A divorce followed, and so did regaining my sense of self. Around Christian it was easy to see my body as beautiful. He didn’t ignore the flaws, his fingertips ran along the length of the stretchmarks on my thighs, he dug my Cesarean scar, and kissed my stomach. He didn’t just accept the changes {and he knew my body before children}, he admitted that they’d made me even better. I wished I could feel the same way about it.

Four more children, five more pregnancies, and Christian’s enthusiasm for my body has only become more fervent. But more importantly, my own feelings have changed.

After my third pregnancy, I realized I no longer felt negatively, I no longer rushed to work out, I no longer lost my shit over the baby weight. I was elated to be rid of that pressure, anger, longing and sadness.

My body has done the greatest work. It held my children. It nourished them. Along with its overlooked most basic of functions; my heart skips a beat when I look at my family, my brain functions well allowing me to learn so I can in turn teach my children, I can walk to Starbucks and order a Cinammon Dolce Latte. I no longer take all of these things for granted. But I’ll be honest, in a world hell bent on making me hate myself for being dark skinned, or for being a stay at home mother, or being tattooed, or not adhering to society’s rules for proper child rearing, etc, etc, etc – sometimes I need a reminder.

And last night Severus Danger sat beside me as I nursed Thaddeus to sleep. He noticed my shirt had risen and revealed the smallest patch of my stomach’s skin and he said “Mama, you have a squishies!” and I laughed and told him I did. He asked to see my belly button, a thing he’s noticing everyone has now, and I showed him the deep gorge.

Severus examined it for a second, then looked at his own, looked at mine, looked at his, looked at me and said matter of factly; “You button looks different than mine.” and again I confirmed that was true. I told him that all belly buttons looked a little different, but that mine looks this way because when I was pregnant with him and his siblings, my tummy grew to make room for them to do the same. He was fascinated by the short story and my one armed gestures that gave him a sense of the enormous impact they have on my life. He threw himself onto my stomach {disturbing his brother in the process} and squeezed hard.

1491657_449770108487517_1001977056_nJust as I was starting to feel slightly self conscious, he said “I love you squishies, Mama! And I love you button! And you babies! And even me because I grew in here!” and there my reminder was.

It occurred to me that maybe you may need the reminder too; your body has done a great work, it was strained, and pushed and pulled and full of life {or lives}. You may have had Cesareans like me and have scars, or you may have birthed a baby vaginally and have scars in more delicate places. You may have gained 10 pounds, you may have gained 80. You may have experienced an easy pregnancy, or one wrought with frustration and worry. You may have fed your baby from your breast, or from a bottle and still didn’t escape the preparations to breastfeed that your body automatically switches on. All of that makes you a bad ass, you should never see yourself as anything less than a Goddess.

Please stop hating your postpartum body, please stop hating each other’s postpartum bodies – why the fuck is that even a thing? Please stop feeling shame because it might not look the same way it did before you had children. Please stop obsessing over losing the baby weight in harmful manners – there’s nothing wrong with you wanting to lose it, but be gentle and kind to yourself as you do. Please be there for another woman who may be feeling upset, because your support may be what she needs, and may make a big difference.

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Name, graphic design and writings are © 2013-2014 Shauna Lane and sole intellectual property of Shauna Lane unless otherwise credited. Sharing and distribution of content should be through this page's provided methods, or done with permission from the author/creator. Contact information is provided.
E-Mail: hippiemom42@gmail.com

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