The Monthly Check In

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Yes, I admit it. I’m only blogging because I illustrated a new banner for March and I desperately want to roll off that last old moldy post from February. One post in the whole month of February? What’s up B!! I don’t know.

I honestly don’t know how to answer what’s been going on with one neatly tied-up blog post. Work has been busy and exciting. Nothing I can share right now but you should see my work popping up elsewhere on the internet soon. The girls have been good.

Bug is struggling in school, particularly with math and that is taking up a lot of real estate in my mind right now. Does anybody know a good tutor? I’m hopeless at helping her. I hired a woman to come by once a week but we won’t meet with her until the week after next and I already feel like it’s too late because fourth grade is three quarters of the way over already. I know Bug is smart and she’ll pull through but life has just been really challenging for her lately.

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A few weeks ago my parents rented a campsite in Doheny Beach and we met them for dinner two nights in a row. There really is nothing like dinner right on the beach on a school night. The weather didn’t cooperate but it was still magical. I really loved being with my family, doing the things I remember doing when I was little. Camping is deep in my blood.
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Joon loves being a part of my family and my parents have taken her in as their own. I think they were always disappointed in me that I only provided one grandchild so an extra kid is a welcome addition.
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Joon fits right in like she does everywhere. She is naturally outgoing and gregarious and everyone loves her. Naturally, Bug is jealous of someone cute stealing her limelight.  I’m trying to be careful with Bug’s feelings while at the same time gently pushing her embrace having a little sister. It’s been a push and pull. Most of the time they are thick as thieves and they get along great but then Bug will lash out with rudeness and it’s lesson after lesson after lesson in exercising kindness, which is exhausting. If you’re the praying type, maybe you could pray for Bug and her growing pains.payams-wood-working

Payam has been busy woodworking. I can’t give you the link to his Etsy shop yet but it is in the works and promises to be very exciting!

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Lucy the cat is helping with missing my cats. I do see them every week when I drop Bug off at Toby’s but it’s not the same. I’m so happy they have a loving home. Toby has fallen for them hard which is really really great. But I can’t say I am not jealous that he gets to have my cats. It’s a good thing that Lucy is adorable to help me not miss them so much.

Wow. What a downer post. But please don’t think things are bad. They are really really good. Good enough that I have been able to take myself out of survival mode and notice the little things.

Caught in the Riptide of Change

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Warning: This is a ranty-mc-venty-pants of a post so please click away or do not click over if you are not in the mood for such nonsense.

Lately, I feel like I’m lost in a current of changes. It’s like I’m out in the surf and there are giant waves looming over my head. Whenever I least expect it, a huge wave crashes down on me and tumbles me around so that all I can see are bubbles and I don’t know which way is up. It’s like I woke up one day and suddenly everything was going too fast for me to keep up. I’m not crying about being old yet. I know I have so much ahead of me and so much to be happy and thankful for, but my deep fear is that I am getting old and it’s the beginning of the end. I feel like it’s happening.

It started out with a hard drive wipe in April. My laptop never really recovered from the hard drive crash of 2013. Things were wonkey so I let Toby borrow my laptop and wipe it clean. I’m so glad that he still steps in to be my IT guy now and then. I figured a fresh start might fix the spinny wheel problems and the email clunkeridge  that was plaguing me. Oh, apple email is just the worst lately.

When I got my laptop back it was all new and different. I had a new operating system with all kinds of whistles and bells that were frankly annoying. Of course I have no time for watching videos to educate me about all the new changes. Nah. I just wing it and figure things out as I go.

One of the new things about this operating system is that all my devices are linked whether I want them to be or not. I’m sure this a good thing but half the time I can’t figure it out. The icloud is like an evil overlord who likes to share things I don’t want shared and won’t let me get to things that I do want to share.

I cannot get my pictures from my phone to open on my laptop in photoshop.  I use photoshop everyday. It’s what I do. So why can’t I just download my pictures and open them the way I used to? No! It’s like Apple put a protective covering over my photos like my car company puts a protective plastic covering over my engine. What if I don’t want to go to the dealership and I want to change my own oil in my driveway?!! I can’t get to it?

Seriously, I plug in my phone and my pictures start automatically downloading but they go to some kind of mystery land hidden in my computer that I cannot see outside of the magical apple-picture-viewing center. I can order prints and make coffee table books. I can even edit pictures with some fancy filters BUT I CAN’T OPEN MY OWN PICTURES in photoshop. I think Adobe and Apple are having a war and I am stuck trying to make them talk to each other. I’m having no luck. Sometimes I try to email pictures from my phone to my laptop and even that is impossible, or at least nerve-wracking.

Email. Groan. Where do I even start?

I have switched completely to gmail because my apple email program is just beyond me. It has become the new trap for spam and I’m sure it’s silently turning into a black hole. I’ve given up. I’m so sad too because I use to be the queen of email organization. I had folders and everything was filed according to subject or client. I kept all my receipts for business write offs in one, important password emails in another, sentimental emails in another and important banking and legal emails in another. It was a tight ship. Then in the main browser section would be all my current emails to go through. Sure things got a little out of control in the main section but I knew that I could wade my way through to the bottom. Everything was chronological. First come first serve.

Now I’m living in the land of google mail and threads and conversations. Nothing is organized. It’s a big huge pile of random emails. There is no hope for ever getting to the bottom. In fact it just doesn’t matter. Out of sight, out of mind. Maybe that’s better but I constantly feel like I’m not remembering to get back to everyone. I can search my giant pile of emails and find things but there is no hope of organizing it, ever. Is this the new way? Is this how the kids do it? Is google just going to keep everything I ever do on file in some vault in the mountains somewhere? Is Google Mormon? Are they the beast? Are they going punch a microchip into my forehead someday?

You know I’m joking but sometimes I just wonder.

So since I’m officially out of love with Apple. I decided to give them the finger and get a new phone. I don’t really care about all my music in iTunes and pictures in the iCloud. They’re sharing 57 selfies Bug took on my apple tv screen saver but yet I can’t get an instagram photo that I want to blog about to download to my pictures folder on my laptop. So I said screw it. Since I’m all google now with my calendars and emails I might as well have a google phone too.

And that is part two of the many many changes that make me feel like I’m under water upside down with bubbles. At least I can still see the light, it’s just very very bubbly and I’m spinning. Maybe I’m a little nauseous from all the spinning.

The new phone is very pretty. It’s gold and it has a pearlized cover that makes it seem like a piece of jewelry. The sales woman at Verizon said that nine out of ten apple users return their droid phones and go back to apple. I’m determined not to be one of those nine. But I’m telling you, the newest operating system on the new phone is almost going to break me. Lollipop my ass. I feel like lollipopping Samsung for being such idiots. I don’t know why it’s so bad but it is constantly downloading something in the background and my battery lasts from 8am to 12 noon. Yeah. I can’t work like that.

I popped into the Verizon store the other day to ask if there were any tips or tricks to make my battery life last longer and they had no solutions for me. Everyone just kind of hung their head and said, Yeah. Lollipop sucks and we don’t know when they are going to fix it. They don’t tell us these things. Really? That’s the best answer they have for me? Surely that can’t be very good for sales. So some things I really like about the new phone but this is kind of a huge drag.

Especially when you are driving somewhere, using the your map app to get there and your phone starts turning off because the battery is overheated. I had the worst day yesterday. And I found out how much I have to pay in taxes because I finally filed them. Worst day ever.

I’m done complaining. I’m just tired. I think it’s hormones.

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Hahaha!! Let’s talk about another big change in my life: Hormones.

You know how you go through all kinds of hormonal changes when you are a teenager? Guess what? It happens again when you get into your 40’s. I was a late bloomer hitting puberty so that means I’m an early bloomer to leave my reproductive years. I guess God just didn’t think I was much of a breeder. I’m okay with that, mostly. I’m just not okay with having so many mood swings. I’m falling apart all the time. I cry all the time. I finally get a good guy in my life who I really really love and want to spend time with and I’ve become this wretched emotional mess. I’m afraid I’m going to scare him away.

I have less patience with Bug. I’m struggling every day to be happy and kind and not snap at the littlest things. Some days I wake up and feel like a complete failure for no reason at all and I have no energy to fight it. I just want to hide away and not show my face until this passes. But I can’t do that. I just have to put on a brave face every day and hope I can duck away when the cracks start showing.

So I cut my hair. Because that’s what you do when you feel crappy about yourself. But now I miss my long hair. I think I look even uglier with short hair which I know is silly and ridiculous. My new short hair is cute and I’m learning to do it in fun new ways. I do like that it’s something different to work with everyday. But I miss my old long hair.

I’m so sorry to go on like this. But I know there must be other people out there struggling too and maybe you can help me. I’m desperately looking for help. I can’t afford doctors. That’s a whole other sore subject. I’m trying black cohosh today for the first time. I’m hoping it works. My mom says it does. She had a hysterectomy at 40 so can’t really help me but she says it’s helped a lot of people she knows. I don’t usually buy into herbal holistic cures but I’m pretty desperate.

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And lastly, Bug. She’s changing too. Not bad changes though. Just, you know, typical pre-tween changes. She’s such a pre-teen even though she’s only nine. She acts like she’s 15 with all the attitude and trappings but then I’ll catch her playing with her beloved Shopkins and acting out the voices when she doesn’t know I’m listening. It warms my heart when she still acts like a little girl. I know even bigger changes are around the corner so I’m holding onto these last days of little girl-hood as best I can.

When I do bob up to the surface for air I look back on the beach and long for those days when we had all the time in the world to sit in the sun and make sandcastles and I didn’t even have a phone to check.