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Apr. 29th, 2014

My face

Guess what today is?

It's April 29th.

Exactly two years ago, I graduated from college.

Exactly one year ago, I started working from home.

I thought that was pretty cool...

In other news, my kid is fifteen months old and I still feel like a zombie most days from the lack of sleep I get, the apartment is never clean, I'm constantly stressed to the max, I miss my family - and, oh yeah, I'm getting married this fall.

Dec. 25th, 2013

My face

So much on my mind.

I always forget about this damn thing.

It's 5am on Christmas morning, I've been awake for almost twenty-four hours now and I have not one, not two, but three Christmases to deal with today. (Mike's family, my family, and then the three of us.) I've been cleaning and baking for hours and I am so tired. Here's to hoping that Mike is willing to drive my car at least part of the way. Mommy needs a nap.

I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by. The fact that my daughter is only a few weeks from being a year old is just unreal to me. I've had a lot on my mind lately, and though I've been writing about my life as a new mom over at my mommy blog, there are some things I can't talk about there because my family reads it and I don't feel like dealing with hurt feelings. I have no idea if this topic will end up there, as I'm unsure as to how my family will receive it, but I need to get it out, so here goes.

Riley will be eleven months old tomorrow. In the last eleven months, I have watched her grow from this tiny, helpless little newborn into this little person with her own personality, her own feelings, and a big attitude to go along with it. I'm with her almost 24/7, which can be rough sometimes - okay, most of the time - but being a parent is the most rewarding thing that I have ever done. And for some reason, this time of year always makes me think about my biological father, and it pains me to think that he got to miss out on everything with me that I have gotten to witness with my own daughter. Not only that, but he's missing out on being a grandfather to the best kid ever.

It makes me sad. It shouldn't, because he should have never been an issue for me to begin with. He's never really been a father to me, just some guy who knocked up my mom and ran off when he got bored. I think maybe the problem is that he was never really completely out of my life. Sure, he's never been there for me and he can't even acknowledge that I'm his daughter, but his dad is still my grandfather, who I grew up with and have loved and respected and looked up to as long as I've known him. Unfortunately, my mom's family and my dad's family are too connected for me to completely be disassociated with my father, which is probably why I think about him so frequently.

He's missed out on so much. He missed out on everything I did growing up and now he's missing out on his granddaughter. I wish, more than anything, that he could just apologize and try to make up for all the hurt he's caused me. That's what I want for Christmas this year. An apology. An acknowledgement of my existence. An admittance that what he did, how he's treated me, was wrong. Something. Anything. It shouldn't be important to me and I don't want it to be important to me, but it is and it makes me upset because I can't do a goddamn thing about it.

I'd love to write him a letter on Facebook and just try to open up the lines of communication, but I know it won't happen. I tried that six years ago and my words fell on deaf ears. I have to learn to accept it. You'd think that after twenty-plus years of rejection, I'd get the hint by now.

Oct. 12th, 2013

My face

Well...

I can't believe I haven't been here since before I became a mom.

My life is busy and fulfilling, and yet, it's also seemingly uneventful and lonely. "The days are long but the years are short," they say. My daughter is eight and a half months old and being a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It's also the most challenging thing I've ever done.

I feel like I never have a moment to myself. Except right now. Right now, I do. But it's three in the morning. Why the fuck am I not in bed? The universal debate of every mom: "me" time or sleep time? Sigh.

Jan. 15th, 2013

My face

Almost baby time.

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted anything here...

Not a lot has changed, really. I'm still pregnant, though that could change any day now. My due date is Friday (January 18th) and I was having contractions yesterday - they were pretty irregular and spread-out, though. Today, they seem to have stopped, which is a little disheartening. I'm ready for her to be here.

We've cleaned the second bedroom (by "we," I really mean just me) and have everything pretty much set up now, except for the two shelves we want to put on the wall. I'll probably have Mike do that today. His car still needs to be cleaned out to put the car seat in there and I still have to get my hospital bag packed, and while I'm really not psychologically ready for this big change in my life, I'm as ready as I'm going to be and she can make her appearance anytime. My mom's been bugging me a lot about whether the baby's here yet or not - I think she's more excited about it than anyone else is. Mike's parents are both pretty excited, too; his mom especially, which I wasn't expecting.

I've been on maternity leave for a few days now, and I'm going to be spending a lot of my time once I'm home from the hospital searching for a new job because this part-time-pay-with-shit-benefits thing just isn't working for me. I have a degree, I shouldn't be doing this shit anymore.

It's also weird to think that I graduated almost a year ago.

Anyway, 2012 was a shitty year, so I'm hoping to make the best of 2013. Bring on the change.

Aug. 23rd, 2012

My face

(no subject)

Today, I received a text about how I apparently did something wrong last night in the copy center. Something about how we don't print HTML files because we aren't supposed to access websites on the computer to print from.

And I tried to explain that if it was a website, I wouldn't have taken it in, but an HTML file is not a website. It's a page that's saved directly to your computer from the website. I've confirmed this with other people.

But no, she went on about how Erin hasn't properly trained me, and essentially I'm constantly screwing things up that she has to fix. About how there are messes all the time... and when I said that the order I took in (with the HTML files) was rather minor and having to tell the customer we couldn't do it could hardly be considered a "mess," she said something along the lines of, "I took out two bags of trash this morning. Simple things, Katie. Simple things." (The last two sentences are a direct quote from her messages.)

I'm not going to lie, I was pissed.

The store closes, usually, at 9p. By 8p, we're supposed to be working on our closing stuff - vacuuming the floor in the copy center, getting rid of trash, straightening, writing notes for tomorrow, stuff like that. We always start early because inevitably, it gets busy and we get pulled away a lot. The problem was, I worked on a single order (wedding programs plus four posters, trimmed on three sides) from the time I came in at 4p until almost 8p. After that, I had to get six more posters printed and trimmed for another customer, but those had to be done in color (and our large color printer is awfully slow) and trimmed on all four sides each. They were due early this morning, and I didn't want to be an asshole and leave them for Dayna, since the customer coming in to pick them up is a total dick, and I told Erin I'd get them done. So I did them. By the time I was finished, it was just after 9p, since I kept getting pulled away. By then, I should have had almost all of my closing duties done, but I hadn't even started.

One bag of trash was taken to the back from the copy center - and yes, there was a lot more. I figured I'd get to the rest once I'd finished vacuuming, writing my notes, straightening up, and I honestly forgot. Fucking sue me. It was busy, I was exhausted, and yes, I'll admit, it was my mistake. But given that I left her with literally a single job to do this morning, I don't feel all that bad about having forgotten about it. I worked my ass off yesterday. I don't take breaks, despite the fact that I'm in pain all the time and I really should be. I just go in, do my job to the best of my ability, and then go home. I'm only human, though, and I make mistakes.

And so does she.

I can't even tell you how many times in the past few weeks I've had Erin, my supervisor, complain about the work that Dayna does in the copy center, but I'm obviously not going to tell Dayna that, so I just let it go. It's just so irritating the way she made it sound like she's the only valuable person back in the copy center, when I know for a fact that Erin and Matt, at the very least, do a hell of a lot better back there.

What a fucking moron.

Aug. 22nd, 2012

My face

I'm so broke, I could cry.

In order to move into the new place on Saturday, Mike and I need $1149.50.

And we have to pay off our DTE bill, which is $198.19.

And Comcast, which is $139.90.

Between these three things, that's almost $1500. I've resorted to doing the one thing I haaate, and that's asking my mom for money, because between me and Mike, we have just enough to cover the cost of our security deposit and first month's rent, but not enough to pay off and cancel DTE and Comcast.

It wouldn't be so bad, except I'm making just above minimum wage right now, and Staples keeps cutting hours in easy tech and copy center (I work in the latter) to give to office supplies for back-to-school, but half the people in that department aren't doing their jobs. And it's obvious. In the past month or two, they've had to do two overnight shifts to put away freight - Mike has been there since December 2009, and before Larry and his little clique came to the store a few months ago, Mike said they never did an overnight for freight. It was always done over the course of the week.

In addition to cutting hours in easy tech, where Mike works, they've also decided that he's no longer good enough to be their main computer person, so they took him off computers and put him on the floor instead. According to them, there's just not enough hours for them to give him much more than twelve hours a week - which is all he's technically entitled to, working part-time. So he's gone from almost forty hours a week to less than twenty. And I'm working just barely over twenty right now. Needless to say, this is why we can't have nice things or pay our fucking bills.

Mike keeps saying he's going to get a second job, but I don't think he is. He doesn't have the motivation to look. I spoke with one of my managers, and she told me that "after the prime four weeks," copy center would get our overlapped shifts back, which means a few more hours - and almost forty for me, because that's what my supervisor has been giving me before my manager takes hours away to give them to office supplies. She has one more week. And then, if I'm still not getting the hours, I'm going to have to get a second job, too.

And there's just so much bullshit there with the management, I can't stand it. It would take far too long for me to type it all out, but let's just say that this place is even worse than Meijer. But an acquaintance of mine just told me about some open positions at a Montessori school, so hopefully I can get something there. It would be full-time, and I'm positive that the pay would be better; most schools have starting wages way above minimum wage. When I started in Saline, I was getting paid over nine dollars an hour - almost ten by the time I quit. I miss that job so much. I miss my kids.

Speaking of kids, I find out the sex of my baby on Friday, and I'm really, really excited. I'm calling it now: I think it's a girl. But we'll see.

I guess that's it. Time to get ready for my shitty job.

Aug. 11th, 2012

My face

RIP, Fluffy.

I had to put my cat down today. For anyone that knows me, that's a big fucking deal. She was a part of my life for more than eighteen years - I've had her since just before I turned four - and I had to let her go. I've cried more today than I think I have in years.

Mike and I went on vacation last weekend, and we left my cat at home by herself - with clean litter, plenty of food, and plenty of water, of course. We left Thursday night and came back pretty late on Monday, and when we returned, we noticed that at some point, she had knocked over her water and she barely even touched her food. She was pretty thirsty, given that I don't think she'd had any in at least a couple of days and it had been hot last weekend, but when I gave her some Monday night, she drank quite a bit and seemed okay. A little upset, but I assumed that was because we'd been gone for a while.

She was acting weird Tuesday, but I chalked it up to her still being upset when we left her. It wasn't unusual for her to act funny after vacation, so I let it go. A few days ago, though, I noticed she was sitting in the same spot in the bathtub; she wouldn't get up to eat, drink, or use the litter box. I brought food and water to her. She ate a little, drank some, but she still never got up to use the litter. She just urinated where she was. She was extremely lethargic.

I meant to take her to the vet yesterday, and didn't have time because of work. I'm glad I waited.

Today, after a job interview that I had that went pretty badly, I picked her up and headed over to the animal hospital. As it turns out, kidney failure is pretty common in a cat her age - she was eighteen and a half - and the veterinarian was sure that they'd likely been failing her for a while, but the symptoms didn't seem to become present until she ran out of water, thus dehydrating her. So I'm basically blaming myself right now.

They could have treated her, but honestly, she was eighteen years old, deaf, and treatment would have been long and difficult. It didn't seem worth it. It was honestly the hardest decision I've ever made, and I miss her so fucking much, it hurts. I couldn't even bring myself to return the empty cat carrier and blankets up to the apartment, so they're still sitting in my car. I did nothing by cry and sleep after I got home.

My mom had to pay for the euthanasia and the cremation, since I didn't have the money to. She also let me do the private cremation, which means that in about a week, I'll get a call letting me know I can pick up her ashes... Yes, I'm that crazy cat lady who keeps her cat's ashes. But given that she was my first real pet, and I had her for eighteen years (making her family, really), I think I'm entitled to be a little crazy and keep her ashes around if I want to.

Today sucked.

Rest in peace, baby. :(

Jul. 22nd, 2012

My face

Here comes a rant about race and racism in this country.

I need to get something off my chest, and it deals with race and racism, so if you don't want to read it, I've given you ample warning. Just skip past this entry.

I'm angry. And the more I think about it, the more angry I feel.

I posted this thing on Facebook about James Holmes and about how the media will always paint a better picture of him because he's white, rather than him being a minority. The fact of the matter is, it's fucking true. If you watch or read the news, you can see white privilege everywhere - when someone's black or Latino or Middle Eastern and he's committed a crime, chances are pretty good that the media will find some negative aspect of that person's life and give it life in the news. Yet, if someone's white, he just has problems or he was bullied - or they'll give some other bullshit reason as to why a white person committed this horrible crime.

Here's the thing: I don't care who the fuck you are, where you're from, or what race you might be, but if you go on a shooting spree and you kill innocent people, you are fucking trash and you need to deal with the consequences. But I'm sure, as most white people who enter the prison system find, that he'll get off easy in relation to what a minority person would likely face in terms of a punishment. The fact is, if you're a white man in this country - congratulations! You just won the gene lottery, because you're at the top. (Though I should mention this is also if you're straight, because God forbid you be homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, queer, transgender, whatever - you'll be discriminated against in some way, shape or form, but that's another rant entirely.)

And you know what really fucking grinds my gears? When a white person tries to sweep racism under the rug - when that person says that we don't need to talk about racism or we don't need to acknowledge it, but why the fuck not? Some will argue that it perpetuates it, but... if we don't talk about it, how will anything ever fucking change? You are white. In this country, and in many others, you will never truly understand what it's like to be discriminated against based on your skin color. You will never understand what it's like to be black or Hispanic or Asian or mixed or whatever - because you have always been white, and the cards have always been stacked in your favor to some degree. I will never understand any of these things, either, because I am a white woman. I acknowledge this fact.

And until racism has been eradicated, we need to fucking talk about it. We need to acknowledge that our society looks down on those whose skin just happens to look a little bit different. Just watch the fucking news, read a newspaper, see a movie or watch something on TV - if you're paying attention, it's pretty easy to see the differences in how the media portrays white people and how they portray everyone else. And it pisses me off.

I know that the crime committed a couple of days ago in Aurora, Colorado, isn't all about this. It shouldn't be. A dozen people lost their lives, dozens more were injured; people lost their friends and loved ones that day, and many others will be psychologically damaged for a long time because of the massacre, and that's the real focus. Getting people through this tragedy and helping them move on with their lives is the thing we should be talking about. But I'm sorry, don't fucking ignore the fact that the media is biased - that our society is biased. I did not post that photo on Facebook because I thought it was the "main focus" - I posted it because it was fucking true. And I don't regret posting it, either.

I'm just... livid right now, honestly. And rambling. And it's 3:30a and I have no idea if this makes sense, but I needed somewhere to vent. I feel a little better now, anyway.

Jun. 28th, 2012

My face

Heaven sends and Heaven takes.

Life's been really busy for the last couple of weeks. I've been working at Staples on a lot of the days when I haven't been working at summer camp, so I've had little to no time to myself. Pregnancy has also been kicking my ass, with all the nausea and the exhaustion, and a lot of my time at home is spent sleeping or laying around in the hopes that I'll stop feeling so sick. I love how my mom tries to tell me, "I never had that when I was pregnant," and basically brushes me off whenever I tell her how I'm feeling. Thanks, Mom.

Tomorrow, I think I'll be going on my last field trip with the summer camp kids - ever. Next week, I work Monday and Tuesday, the latter of which is my last day with them. I'm really sad about it, but it'll be nice to have a job that's willing to give me nearly forty hours a week with the option of benefits. Granted, it's a two-dollar pay cut, but I'm barely making money at Saline as it is. I'm really going to miss a lot of the kids, though - not to mention the fact that I get paid to play games, watch movies, go on field trips, etc. (Though, anyone who works with kids will tell you that it sounds easy, but it's not. It's a lot of work, but it's rewarding.)

I'm especially going to miss my special needs kids. They'll always hold a special place in my heart, and they've been great to work with. Difficult at times, but good kids.

In other news, Mike and I are trying to clean the apartment so that it's spotless. That way, when we tell our landlord that we'd like him to let us out of our lease, he can start showing the apartment. I have no idea how he's going to take it, but this apartment is way too small for a couple and a baby, and given that I'm having it in January and our lease is up in April, well... we need a new place before then. I imagine he's not going to be happy, but it's not like it was planned. It's going to be a hassle. We found a nice place in Belleville, where a couple of friends of ours live, that has central air and everything but electricity is included in utilities. A two-bedroom is $740 a month, though; where we're at now, it's $570. But, as I told Mike, we're very unlikely to find any two-bedroom places around here for under $700, and the place we're looking at is pretty great. So. Hopefully that pulls through.

Also, Mike and I have already decided on names. I'm really, really excited for this baby right now.

Jun. 24th, 2012

My face

I'm having a baby.

For anyone who reads this who doesn't know me in real life or isn't on my Facebook or just stalks my journal or whatever, I'm pregnant. And it's been a long road to get to a place where I'm finally okay with it.

Warning: this is long.

This is definitely, without question, the most difficult thing that Mike and I have had to deal with in our relationship. It certainly wasn't planned; I've been on birth control for three years, and up until now, I haven't had any problems, with the exception of what I think may have been a miscarriage in January, but my doctor didn't seem concerned by it. Up until I found out I was pregnant, I was still taking my pill. Yes, I missed a period, but I didn't think anything of it; I figured it was the post-grad stress of trying to find a job. All the other symptoms are what prompted me to take a pregnancy test in the first place, and even when I bought it, I still didn't believe I was pregnant.

There were a lot of tears in the beginning. The day that I found out, I cried most of the morning before I finally fell asleep for a good chunk of the afternoon. Mike came home from work in the evening, and I told him then. At the time, he was supportive, and he told me I had a decision to make and that he'd be there for me no matter what. I didn't know what I wanted at the time. Having a baby requires a lot of time, energy, and money - could I handle that? I began to think that maybe abortion was the best option. It would allow Mike to finish school without having to worry about taking care of a child, and I could continue focusing on trying to find a job relevant to my degree. Everything would be fine. Life as we knew it would go on.

However, the longer I waited, the less likely I knew I would be to actually follow through with the abortion. And, after a week or so, I started to realize I didn't want one after all, but I had no idea how to tell him that. Eventually, after a bit of an argument we had the day before my birthday earlier this month, I broke down and told him I would have the abortion, only because he wanted me to. Despite the fact that he had been so supportive before, by then, he was trying to push me into getting rid of it. I visited Planned Parenthood later that week for "options counseling," but I didn't feel like the woman I spoke with really helped me with my decision-making. She suggested I talk to my mom, who had no idea at that point, so I texted her when I got home, asking her to call me when she had a few minutes to talk. Getting it off my chest was such a relief, and she was incredibly supportive. She asked me what I wanted to do, and my first reaction, without even thinking about it, was to say, "I want to keep the baby." It was the first time I'd ever really voice what I wanted since I found out I was pregnant.

Telling Mike was difficult. He ended up drinking a bottle of wine and passing out that evening. He didn't get any better over the next few weeks. He went to my first doctor's appointment with me, which was two weeks ago, and he had a hard time dealing with everything. The ultrasound didn't seem to push him in the right direction, either. If anything, it just freaked him out even more. We argued more during those couple of weeks than we had in a long time.

We talked about it a lot, about how it would be once I have the baby. Eventually, he started to come around to the idea. Now, he's actually pretty excited about it. He says it will be a push in the right direction - this is the motivation he needs to finish school. Much to his parents' dismay, we have no plans currently to get married. We've been together almost four years already, and while the topic of marriage has come up in the past, we don't really feel the need to rush it, even now. If we're committed to each other, it really doesn't matter whether we have a piece of paper from the state tying us together or not. Besides, being married is no guarantee that we'll stay together anyway; marriage is never permanent. Not really.

My family - including my mom's boyfriend - has been amazing. They've been so supportive the last few weeks, which has been nice because Mike's family is basically devastated by the news. They're too wrapped up in the fact that Mike still has classes left to take, not to mention his law school plans, and they think we need to get married as soon as possible.

But we're happy. Both of us. Finally. This isn't the life I planned on having, but it's what I've been given, and I'm thankful for every moment.

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