Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weekends, finances and other stuff

So I won't be able to afford to go home until September.  We just don't have the money, after several emergencies that have come up.  I have to admit, I don't have much of a social life out here anyway...I mostly stay in the apartment on weekends and play WoW or write.

I ventured to the mall to pick up a CD I've been wanting, and I almost changed my mind when it took me 15 minutes to find a parking spot.  Malls scare me in general, and this one is no exception.  It's tough being here alone...I worry that little girl will forget me.

That thought usually puts me in tears almost immediately.

I am hoping something else comes up...cause I really, seriously, hate being out here by myself.  If I had someone to hang out with, or even talk to about stuff that's not work-related, it'd be easier.  I miss being able to come home and talk to J...I miss being able to turn and tell him something.  There are times I wake up and roll over, expecting to feel him lying beside me.

Those are the worst nights...those and the nights I wake wanting to check on little girl and realize she's 1800 miles away.  I guess that's one excuse for why my sleep schedule is so screwed up.  Given my own schedule, I stay up till 2 AM, and sleep till 2 PM.  Not the best schedule for proper sleep, but I can't seem to help myself.  I dread sleep...because I have no control over my dreams. 

I'm getting by, but the thought that I won't be able to even consider going home till September makes me so depressed, I can hardly stand it.  I know we need this for our family...but it truly kills my spirit.  I will hang on out here because I have no choice...until things either work out as I am hoping and we can be reunited again, hopefully separated for the last time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Holy Crap, it's THURSDAY tomorrow!

As I check e-mail at "home," I look around and realize...holy crap, it's Thursday tomorrow!

What happened to the week I am not sure, but I am really glad this week went by means I spent less time missing the family. I talk to my husband every night, and get to see video of the lil girl almost every day.  It's not the same as having her here, cause my husband is not big on descriptions...and when I want to know every single detail about EVERYTHING she's been doing...well...I get frustrated my husband still takes the view he had in the Marines.  Information is need to know, and details like what she wore to daycare today or what she's been eating or what new trick she picked up just don't factor into his idea of important.

I love him to pieces, but he's such a MAN about it.  *sigh*

Anyway, I am still out here.  The pain of missing my family has...I won't say lessened, but I'm mostly numb to it.   It's like a paper cut...most of the time it just sort of nags at you, reminding you it's there...and then when you accidentally pour a catalyst on it, it burns like acid.  Most days I am okay with being out here for work...I've reconciled that I have to be out here for the time being, no matter what happens with potential other paths I might take, and that I can't have lil girl out here with me (and her ALL TO MYSELF, mwahahaha!) till the up-in-the-air situation gets worked out.

I am one of those people who tend to go nuts without a plan of some sort.  I don't lose my mind if the plan goes awry, but I must have a plan in mind for the future.  I must have a goal to work towards, a concrete goal.  Right now my goal is finding someplace for my family to settle and be happy...someplace we can ideally stay a long time, with good schools, reasonable housing, and a job and lifestyle that don't require us to spend hours on the road.  Poor J is sick of the long commute, and I am sick of ANY commute.  I live 5 minutes from work now, and it's been absolute bliss.  No stress, just a stop at the Starbuck's on the way in and 5 minutes later I am at work, my coffee still ACTUALLY HOT.

The more I stay out here though, the more I ambivalent I am about potentially staying out here permanently.  The job market is excellent, this area is growing for jobs like no one's business.  That's the one plus on my list of "things I must have in place for the family to be happy" plan.  The only problem is that it's beginning to look like the ONLY advantage to staying out here, and I'm not sure if it outweighs the other things that are important, like being able to afford to live comfortably without sacrificing time commuting, a nice house, or safe neighborhoods.

Daycare is a huge, huge issue.  Every place I've called has a waiting list of 6 months or more...were little girl a few years older, I'd have my pick of places.  It's also, on average, double what we currently some cases, for the better day cares that have preschools, triple.  I know private schooling is expensive, and I know daycare is expensive, and I'd be willing to pay those prices to have my baby here with me, but no one has ANY open slots for an infant.

I have no family or friends out here close enough who could help me with any of that, and being out here ironically makes it easier but more tiring for family to visit.  Sterling is a nice town, but during the winter it might as well be on the moon.  The driving is so treacherous during the winter, folks don't even make the drive an hour out of town, much less to Denver, or from anywhere outside the state.  My husband and I drove to Seattle for one Xmas, and the weather almost made us turn back...were it not for his superior driving skills, we would have wound up in the ditch a number of times.  I, being a nervous driver and prone to motion-sickness, spent the whole trip either terrified (I was 13 weeks pregnant) or sicker than a dog.

I'm not sure which was worse.  I think I'm going to have to go with the motion-sickness.

How things wind up working out greatly depends on events poised to happen in the next few weeks.  It promises to make things interesting, no matter what happens.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Been a busy few days...

As far as the weekend goes, not terribly.  Finally feeling like I'm getting something done, even if it is remotely...been playing World of Warcraft again (I know, I know....but it ensures I get to "see" my husband every night, more or less) now that I have *trumpets blare* reliable internet access!  Yes folks, I have DSL!  Happy day.  It also means I can do nightly video calls, which are makes me feel a little more connected with my family.

According to my husband, the lil girl has been going through the toddler stages...separation anxiety, throwing things at dog and Daddy, trying to ride the cat - I witnessed that one when I was home, and I didn't have a video camera ready, but it was HILARIOUS.  And the temper tantrums.  She's got more of a temper than I used to have, I'll give her that.  I was, by all accounts, an abnormally calm kid who liked nothing better than to be left alone.  My daughter?  She chases the pets, harasses Daddy and steals his computer stuff whenever she gets a chance, and is perfecting her tumbling, walking/running and throwing skills...along with her find-new-ways-to-get-in-trouble skills.

I thought toddler-ism started a little...later? Maybe not?  But she sure is making great strides in it, much to my husband's dismay.  He is dealing with it as best he can...and most of the time, she's a really good kid.  She's very sweet most of the time...and I think the throwing stuff at pets and people is another experimentation phase.

See what all you other mommies get to deal with when YOURS hit a year??? That cute, trying to crawl baby will be crawling, then walking, then CLIMBING...and your ability to sit still for longer than 10 minutes without having to pull said kid out or off of will disappear.  Mine is a climber.  And a thrower.  A regular little tomboy already, and here she's a year old...I estimate my days of being able to put her in cute dresses will come to an end as soon as she realizes it's hard to climb stuff in dresses.

*sigh*  Oh well...I was a tomboy myself, so I understand.  I can still insist on cute dresses for special occasions. ;) 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The holiday weekend and returning to work

Firstly, it is HOT.  So hot, it made the news on CNN, hot.  I have wisely spent my time indoors due to the hot, sitting next to the air conditioner in my apartment.  So I've spent a lot of time watching Star Trek: TNG and in general doing my best to spend as little as possible...

I have started work on selling the houses we still own in Denver, because they have been nothing but trouble the last few years...and if we are going to relocate out here or anywhere else we can't have those mortgages counting against us as far as house is concerned.  I still miss my husband and little girl, but I've managed to make peace with myself enough to function instead of longing constantly to go home. 

I realize that due to the way life works...home probably will be changing sooner than I hope.  As long as whereever home is contains my husband and daughter (and hopefully our roommate, who is an all-round awesome person)...I'm happy.  As long as I am away from them, all I can do is soldier on, make the best money I am able, and work to lay the foundation for them to come join me as soon as we are able to manage it. 

Relocating out here though, has made me take a long, hard look at what I want in life...and more importantly, what I DON'T want.  Out here has a lot of advantages work-wise, with the tradeoff being lifestyle...if I want the lifestyle and schools that are my goal for my family, I'd have to live 2 hours away from work in order to be able to afford it.  If lifestyle becomes the higher priority, then work has to be someplace we can afford to have a lifestyle, where work doesn't cause as big an impact...and potentially offers more benefits. 

Finding daycare out here has proven to be a nightmare and a half...all the good daycares/preschools have waiting lists a year or longer...and even the average ones cost double what we're paying now, at a minimum.  It's impossible to justify moving little girl from a daycare she loves that is cheap (relatively for an infant) to one out here that's subpar in comparison to her needs...if there were one even available. 

Keep in mind when I say lifestyle, I'm not talking going clubbing.  I'm talking about a safe, kept-up neighborhood with good schools, within decent driving distance of things to do on the weekends, and where the housing doesn't make us house-poor.  Ideally my dream area would also be safe enough for us to go walking at night.  The area I am currently renting an apartment in is absolutely NOT that place.

So we'll see what happens...due to the cost of living (primarily) and the commute to work versus lifestyle ratio, I'm strongly considering looking elsewhere to relocate.  Where ever we go has to be an area stable enough to support us job-wise for at least the next 14 little girl won't have to swap schools all the time. 

There's absolutely nothing wrong with my job, the clearance, or the pay.  But I find that D.C. is just too fast-paced for me.

Friday, July 2, 2010

I am home for the time being...

Little girl has changed so much in the month I've been gone...she didn't reject me at all, but seemed happy to see me again..she's so smart, and it shows.  She's walking now, if one holds her hands, and she will stand for a few minutes by herself if she's distracted by something, until she realizes that she's standing and gets excited...then she loses her balance and falls over.  Every time she stands or takes a few steps without any help, she gets so excited she wiggles and bounces...and then falls over.  She seems to dance when she's excited, and it is the cutest thing to witness.

So far, no matter how many tumbles she takes, she's back up with a giggle, and Mommy and Daddy are her favoritest-ever climbing toys...along with everything else...she has perfected crawling over the top of the couch from our kitchen (the family room is sunken, so the couch tops are in line with the kitchen floor) and tumbling down onto the couch itself...she thinks this game is much fun, and despite Daddy's attempts to stop her, she seems quite happy to do it for hours and hasn't managed to fall off yet.

She's a little tumbler, she is...she doesn't mind in the slightest hanging upside down off the couch, giggling like crazy.  She's determined to crawl forwards down the stairs...I can't imagine the balance that takes, but she does it now as fast as it takes her to get up, she gets down.  She seems to have excellent balance, even so little, climbing and crawling on everything.

She's especially fond of crawling into laps.  It's heart-melting...she'll crawl her way over, stand and turn around, then sit in your lap.  I was sitting on the floor with her and she spent most of the time in my lap or trying to dance, holding onto me with the biggest grin.

Someone taught her to do raspberries, so now she'll do it in response to something...if Daddy asks her what a raspberry is and makes the noise, she'll move her tongue around a little and out will come a dainty little's adorable.  She thinks it's hilarious because of the reaction she gets from adults, so she spends a lot of time giggling.

Her appetite hasn't slowed down at all...her daycare continually tells us the sheer volume of food she eats.  At home she'll eat an entire grilled cheese sandwich, a handful of baby puff snacks, a cup of dilute juice, a cup of mandarin oranges...she definitely does NOT have a dainty appetite...and never has.  But to look at her...I saw her after a month of not seeing her everyday and she's ... muscular.  And tall.  But REALLY muscular...most adults would kill to have a back that looks like hers, and she's 1!  Her little thighs are still a-chub though, which is great.

I could go on for hours, but really...she's the cutest, smartest little girl ever.  I'm totally biased, of course...but being home again in our big, quiet old house...there is no better panacea for my lately tired, hurting soul.  It's peaceful here...and that peace is the main reason I suffer so much when I am away.  Life is's so utterly RIGHT, I cannot describe it any other way.

A pic of the happiest little girl there ever was. Seriously.  I will have many more videos and photos to post from the first birthday party!