Friday, April 29, 2016

Breaks, Kids and Me Time

This article popped up on my Facebook feed today - I want all the perks of maternity leave — without having any kids. 

This quote from the article really sums it up. "But the more I thought about it, the more I came to believe in the value of a “meternity” leave — which is, to me, a sabbatical-like break that allows women and, to a lesser degree, men to shift their focus to the part of their lives that doesn’t revolve around their jobs."

This idea what maternity leave is a break of any kind makes me mad and makes me want to laugh at the same time. My maternity leave wasn't a break at all. I was recovering from my c-section, which is major surgery. Plus I had this tiny baby who would wake up every couple of hours and need to be fed and changed.

My husband went back to work only a few days after Emily was born, so I didn't get a lot of help. The entire time that I was on maternity leave (before I got laid off and became a stay at home mom for a while), I was so sleep deprived that I could hardly think.

Maternity leave is not a sabbatical, it's not a break of any sort and honestly it should be paid leave and longer. But that's another post for another time. If someone wants the 'perks' of maternity leave without kids, they should have to have an alarm clock go off every couple of hours in order to get up like new moms and dads have to.

Yes, I chose to have a kid, but that doesn't mean I didn't deserve that 8 weeks of time in order to recover and get used to this whole new person. Maybe in some offices kids mean you get out of work earlier or that you might decide on a different career field because of kids, but that doesn't mean it's unfair to those who have, either by choice or design, no kids.

I work from home doing tech support. I make decent money and I'm off work once my daughter gets home. I value her and being her mom more than having a career. And lots of moms are able to juggle more kids and a career so it's possible.

Parenting is hard, but it is at it's most exhausting and draining those first few months of a child's life. If you think maternity leave is a break, then I suggest you volunteer to watch a newborn for a few hours (if you know anyone who is willing to let you watch their baby) and just imagine what it would feel like to take care of a tiny baby while recovering from birthing said baby.

Breaks and me time are good. One of the reasons I only have one kid is because I need me time every once in a while. Everyone needs me time, but that's not something that happens when you have a new baby.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Making the Most of Each Moment

Over the last few days, the world has been in mourning for Prince. I wasn't a huge fan of his, but I was taken aback by how young he was. Only a few years older than my mom was when she passed so young from cancer.

But then yesterday, the news that Michelle McNamara, who was a writer and the wife of actor Patton Oswalt, had died in her sleep. She was only 46 years old and had a seven year old daughter, which is the same age as Emily.

With all the health issues that I have plus my mom dying at age 51, death is something I think about quite a bit. Only God knows when I'll leave this earthly plane, but honestly it could be any time for anyone.

That's what it's so important to make the most of each moment as you can. Our time is so limited in the grand scheme of things.

Yesterday there was also a local news article about a 178 year old tree that was cut down despite a petition to save it. That tree had lived twice as long as most humans do. I read some of the comments and someone posted that from the pictures the tree was rotting from the inside. I don't know if that's true or not, but it's a powerful image.

Don't rot from the inside. Make the most of each moment as much as you can while on this Earth.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Happy Life

When I was growing up, I always imagined myself in a big house, with lots of kids and of course a handsome husband. It's funny how things are different than what I thought, but as I approach 40 my goal is to have a happy life.

My house isn't big, but honestly I wouldn't want it much bigger because that would be more space I'd have to keep clean. Our house has enough room for the 3 of us, plus the cats, along will all of Emily's stuff (mine and Todd's too but she has more!)

My marriage is happy, even after nearly ten years. I adore Todd and he seems to be fond of me too, of course. Our family was completed many years ago with the birth of Miss Emily and we have three cats who are her furry, little siblings.

Todd mostly likes his job. Like most people, he has bad days and good. I really don't like my job but I'm able to work part-time which gives me time to do other things as well as rest when I need to. Of course, I do have chronic pain and Todd has MS. But I try and not let my pain get me too down. Plus Todd's been in remission since the initial diagnosis so he tends to ignore it.

Emily is a happy kid. She has lots of friends at school, loves learning and loves being a Girl Scout. It's a joy to be her mom and watch her grow. But I'm glad there is just one of her. One and done as far as kids go works best for us.

We don't make a ton of money but we make enough to be able to do fun things. We go to conventions, mostly Dragon Con, and Disney World. We are hoping to make it over to Italy in about five years. Todd wants to start seeing the world. I want to start visiting the Disney parks around the world, so same thing.

I suffer from depression and anxiety so some days the clouds get really dark and stormy in my head. But all in all, I have a happy life. It's something to remember on the not so good days.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Camping with the Girl Scouts!

When Emily joined Girl Scouts at the beginning of the year, she was looking forward to two things the most. The first was getting badges, which she has gotten quite a few. And the other was to go camping.

Her troop was suppose to go camping in January but the weekend it was planned we had a really bad snowstorm. So it got postponed until this past weekend.

We got up early Saturday morning to make the trek to the campground. One of the girl scouts' dads works for the Boy Scouts and he has been rehabbing / building a boy scout camp so we went camping there.

The drive took nearly two hours, and we drove right up a mountain to get to the camp. After parking, hauling our stuff to the cabin and eating lunch, the fun began. The Boy Scouts did a flag ceremony where they raised the American flag and then the camp's flag. After we did the pledge of allegiance and the scouts did their pledges/promise we went our separate ways.

The girls and the parents (one of whom is our Daisy troop leader) headed off to hike on a trail that no-one has ever hiked before. I didn't make it very far before I realized that it was not a good idea for me to try to do this hike. I headed back to the cabin and read a book while they were hiking.

Once they got back, we all headed back to the beginning of the trail. Since this camp is a work in progress, our troop decided to do a service project. What we did was start to clear a path to making the hiking trail easier to hike.

The girls raked and hoed at the trail and got a decent way. Then they waked the part that they had cleared to pat it down. They were very proud of the work they did and they'll get an extra special patch for being some of the first people to do service projects to fix up the camp.

We had a few hours before the Boy Scouts were going to serve supper so the girls worked on their
skit and their song for the campfire. That didn't take too long so most of the parents relaxed in the cabin while the kids played right outside.

Supper was at 6 pm. We had spaghetti, garlic bread and salad. All that playing and hiking must have made Emily hungry because she ate a full plate of spaghetti and even had seconds. After everyone had their fill, we headed to the huge firepit. There was skits and songs, which was very fun. After it started to get dark, it was time to roast marshmallows!

The cabin we were staying in were not heated so several people had brought space heaters because it was pretty cold on Saturday. On our side of the cabin, we actually had two plugged in. We had a bit of excitement when all the lights went out on our side. Thankfully it was an easy fix and the girls passed out.

I didn't sleep great but I didn't really expect to. Emily slept all night but she was still tired in the morning. It was our turn to make breakfast so we headed to the main cabin to start cooking. I made up the scrambled eggs, the girls made the toast and there was also pancakes and sausage. It was very good!

After that, we had a short chapel service. Emily and the other girls didn't have a lot of patience to sit there. They said they wanted to play but I could tell Emily was running out of steam. I was also running out of steam so after chapel, it was time to pack up and get out of there. Emily slept about the whole way home and then took a four hour nap with me after we got home.

It was pretty cold on Saturday but there was a lot of fun had. I know that Emily had a great time and is looking forward to when she can go camping again!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

Last weekend, I finally got the chance to see Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Todd had seen in opening weekend, and had said it was ok. This was not a great review from a man who looooves Batman. I had heard mixed reviews from my friends, but I still wanted to see it.

It was worth seeing, but some parts were better than others and it definitely had a lot of flaws.

Spoilers Ahead! Scroll past the picture if you want to read on!


This movie was long, super long. They tried to cram so much into it that there were long parts where I started to get a little bored. I mean, did we need Bruce Wayne's back story yet again? I think nearly everyone who has access to movies or TV across the world know that Bruce Wayne's parents get shot and put him on the path to being Batman.

What Bruce was doing during the Man of Steel movie was a bit helpful because we got to see that he already was not a fan of Superman. Beyond that, too much backstory!

A lot of the movie wasn't action. It was maneuvering by Lex Luthor (who was brilliantly played by Jesse Eisenberg) to get Batman and Superman to fight. Once we got to that fight, it just seemed so pointless. All Superman had to do was say, "I don't want to fight you but Lex has my mom captured."

Instead, we get Superman telling Batman that he was going easy on him which didn't end up well for him because Batman had weapons with Kyptonite. It wasn't until Batman was about to kill Superman and Superman said "Martha" that the fight ended.

Because they both had moms named Martha, Batman and Superman went from beating the shit out of each other to being best buddies. Well, maybe not best buddies, but they were on the same team from then on.

Diana Prince was in little bits of the movie as we went through long back story land, but we didn't see her as Wonder Woman until the last battle, which had it's own issues.

I love the Doomsday story. I really regret not buying the comic books when they were out but I do have the novelization of the whole thing that I got a long time ago. It's one of my favorite books. But I didn't like the way the movie handled it.

Doomsday in the movie was a creature that Lex Luthor whipped together using General Zod's body and Lex's DNA. The fight didn't last very long and it was really easy, compared to the comic Doomsday, to take down.

He did kill Superman, which was ok I guess. But I doubt we'll get the whole rest of the Death of Superman story which is a real shame.

All in all, it was mildly entertaining. While I'm sure Todd will buy it when it comes out for streaming, I don't know if I would watch it again. Lex and Wonder Woman were the best parts of the movie though I did like Ben Affleck as Batman. Jeremy Irons was a wonderful Alfred too.

Mostly they tried to jam too many storylines into one little movie. It would have been much better if they had picked one and gone with that.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Walking for MS

This past Sunday was my town's Walk MS event. Besides the walk, there was a Wellness Fair, an auction plus food trucks!

We got there around the time the Wellness Fair was getting underway. I got signed in and got my bag of stuff including my t-shirt for raising enough money. We walked around the fair and looked at all the booths.

Lots of swag was being given away so that made Emily very happy. We got water bottles, stress balls (one shaped like a brain), stickers, candy, bags and other stuff. They also had a balloon artist who made Emily a balloon magic wand!

There was Princesses who were doing face painting too plus a really creepy looking Mickey Mouse. I got my face painted and Emily, who is weird about stuff on her face, got a Hello Kitty painted on her arm.

We ate some ice cream from the Hop even though it was super windy out which made it feel cold especially in the shade. We took all the goodies to the car and got ready to walk!

Originally I was just going to walk, but at the last minute Emily decided she wanted to walk so Todd felt like he needed to walk with us. We got them signed up quickly and headed off.

The walk part was a bit odd. There were some signs on how to go and then we just ended up on the walking track that goes around the park. But we were in the front, and there was no discernible end which made it very anti-climatic.

But all in all, it was a fun day and we got to support a cause that is close to my heart!