Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Tackle: Sleep (and Fleas)

No pictures again today. I miss my camera :( I'm going to have to get a disposable for Noah's teacher's going away party on Friday. Very sad.

Oh well. This week's tackle is sleep.

When the boys were babies, I did not do well with sleep deprivation. Especially with Aaron, who was a very early riser from the moment he came into the world. I was always grumpy with him when I couldn't sleep. It was one of the big reasons (financial issues aside) that we decided to stop at two kids. I just like my sleep way too much.

Which doesn't bode well for working a third shift job. At All.

It has now been a week since I've been working third shift at Kohl's. The job itself isn't
too bad. The people aren't as friendly as I would have thought, but the work is easy as long as I've taken my daily 800mg Motrin for my back.

But getting used to being up all night and trying to sleep during the day has been a challenge. The boys have a tendency to wake up every morning when I walk in the door at 6:15, whether it's a school day or not (which it wasn't most of last week due to conferences. And I felt totally guilty all weekend when the boys were home and I couldn't spend any time with them because I had to sleep instead.

I have made some changes to try to make it easier. I try to take a "nap" from 6 until 9 on the nights before I go in to work and I got an eye mask to make it darker. These things have helped.

But my house is a mess. The laundry is piling up. And I'm tired. VERY tired! I am pulling three nights in a row starting tonight and on top of that it is a symphony week so I will be doing rehearsals and performances the entire week.

I keep telling myself that it will be worth it. And it is to a certain extent. We really need the money. Before I started the job, I was hoping it would turn into a permanent thing. Now I'm not quite so hopeful. Financially speaking, I need this to turn into full time. But after a week of lack of sleep, I am desperately searching ( just as I was before) for a day job that will give me sleep at night after Christmas. I can only hope. I really can't do this indefinitely.

I remember my mom, who worked third shift my entire childhood, as not being a very friendly sort as I was growing up. She was grumpy most of the time and I got spanked, yelled at, and insulted for pretty much everything. Early last week, as I was adjusting to this new schedule, I saw that in myself in WAY too much (no spanking but lots of yelling) and it really scared me. After seeing myself that way one day, I've tried to get more grounded. Steve got the boys up and took them to church by himself on Sunday so I could sleep and when I came down at noon with a smile on my face, you could feel the release of tension from both boys, who saw nothing but a monster up until then.

My body is so tired that it is hungry all the time and my voice has officially headed far away, making singing Carmina Burana every night this week a major challenge.

Last night was the only NIGHT that I get to sleep this week. Before I started this job, I had a very difficult time sleeping through the night without waking up. Not last night. I closed my eyes and they didn't open until 6:30 this morning. It felt so good and I am having a hard time anticipating the the next three nights of no sleep. It makes me want to cry out of frustration. Steve feels bad when I say anything about how miserable I am because he feels that he should be making more to save me from this. It's not true of course. I should be in a career at this point in my life, not piling boxes on a shelf. If I had done a better job picking a career in college 20 years ago, or if I had been a better teacher after college, then I wouldn't be an almost 40 something with absolutely no life other than family.

So this week, as well as the remainder of 2010, it will be a constant tackle of sleep. Will I even remember this holiday season when it's over? Will the laundry ever get done and will my house remain a disaster area? And will I EVER get rid of the flea infestation that has invaded our home and the animals?

I guess I'll be ready for the all nighter for Black Friday next week since my body is so messed up anyway.

Wish me luck. I REALLY need it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Third Shift, Here I Come...

It was a very nice weekend for the most part. We spent a lot of time outside enjoying the beautiful weather. I got sneaky as far as the Halloween candy was concerned and we took advantage of the Noodles and Company offer to trade candy for Noodles. I had the kids pick out ten pieces of candy each and we traded in the rest. When we got home, I told the kids that they could eat all the rest of their candy if they wanted. My theory was that it would then finally be gone, which it was and now I don't have the candy in the house to tempt me, or kids to beg me for candy all the time.

The week ahead is gonna be a doozy. I am starting a third shift job tonight stocking shelves and working in the warehouse of a mall store. I tried to stay up all night last night in preparation, but with the time change as well as playing outside all day yesterday, I only made in until about one in the morning before I crashed. I have a piano lesson to teach this morning an then I'm going to try to get a little more sleep before tonight. I really hope this job works out and I can deal with the overnight schedule. It is only seasonal right now but if I do a good job, it could turn into permanent. At this point I am just happy that I will be able to pay December's mortgage on December first. That hasn't happened in a long time.

Adding to the stress of this new job, my back went out again last week. It was good for five months and now the same week that I start a new job full of bending and twisting, it decided to go bad again. I spent the weekend in between other activities sitting on heating pads and taking pain meds. Last time it took four weeks for the pain to subside. That takes me up to the holidays. I may have to break down this time and pay the STINKIN' FORTY DOLLAR CO PAY and get a cortisone shot this time to get through. I hate that insurance companies can gouge us this much.

Crazy as it seems, my biggest worry about this is the dog. She has a very little bladder that needs to go out several times during the day and I am not sure it will be effective sleep during the day if I have to wake up after three hours to take her out. I guess that is just another adjustment that we will have to make with this new schedule.

On top of everything else, the boys have conferences this week. I am not worried about Noah's at all considering after next week the REAL teacher is finally back as we're going to be starting over. That and the fact that he has all A's makes that conference not so important. Aaron's however is another story. I am really nervous about it. I will not go into details. He is getting all of his work done, he understands all of the math they're doing and he has gotten every word right on every spelling test. But he's still very young and showing this young-ness in school. And, I will be attending this conference after working all night and probably with no morning sleep prior to going.

I grew up with a mom working third shift. As a result, I became pretty self sufficient. Making my own meals at Noah's age, getting myself ready for school and out the door with no supervision at all. All my life, I have carried a little resentment at not having the mom who helped me do things and never being able to do extra curricular activities because she needed to sleep. The reason this is in my mind now is because we may be facing the same thing with the boys. They will be home from school on Thursday and Friday and both are mornings after I've been working all night. How do I teach them that after all this time, they CAN'T be their usual noisy and fighting selves in the morning while I'm sleeping. How do I make them understand that I NEED the sleep. And what kinds of things can I do to help them to be more self sufficient in the first few hours after they get up. This will indeed be a learning curve for us all.

So, yes, it is definitely going to be an interesting week.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Lament and A Photo Shoot

My camera died! Actually, it was on halloween night as we were headed out for the FINAL activity of the Halloween "season", and it made a bad noise and then died. I tried new batteries. I tried about everyhting I could think of I even took it to the camera store on Monday to see what they said. He declared a $200 repair. About what I paid for the camera in the first place.

I am so bummed. I LOVED this camera.

So now we're headed into the holidays and I don't see a new camera in my future. Or at least not one of the caliber I had. I suppose I can use my new employee discount to get a cheapo point and shoot for the holidays.

But I'm still really bummed. I probably had no business owning something that nice anyway so I guess it's a lesson for me.

But, to end on a happier note, I was looking through some old photos and found these ones that I took of Noah while we were at one of our many Halloween activities last month. The shadow one was his idea. I think it would have been a great pictures if the mommy shadow had not been WIDE.

I love this one the most.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Where's the Dog?

I guess this is what happens when the dog is the same color as the leaves :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tackle It Tuesday: A New Job

I used to be a teacher. I taught full time music for three years and then part time music for three years.

And then my teaching license expired.

And I was glad.

You see, I was a good teacher, but I really didn't enjoy it at all. I put on amazing awesome programs, but I didn't love going to school each day looking forward to bright shiny faces of children the way a teacher should.

Even as a mom, I'm not a warm fuzzy kind of gal and it has been to the detriment of my children at times. They aren't a soft and gentle as I would have liked. Maybe they would have been if I had been more that way. A person with that kind of a hard personality is not someone anyone would want teaching their kids at school.

So I resorted to teaching piano as a "career" once my teaching license expired.

And that I have always enjoyed, and I am very good at it as well.

But due to the economy we live in, Steve and I have found ourselves sinking further and further into a financial hole that we just can't get out of.

When it became apparent back in June that we weren't going to make it, I had high hopes that most of the students that usually leave for the summer would come back and we would be okay.

It didn't happen.

And further we sank.

So I decided that it is finally time to get my teaching license renewed and start teaching again. After researching what I would need, it became clear that even with financial aid it wasn't going to be possible at this time.

And further we sank.

So finally it became clear. Kristi, you have to get a JOB. Not necessarily a career, but at least a job. You've got to carry your share in this household.

Now, back before kids, I got interviews and job offers from every job I applied for. I don't think it was because I was awesome, but rather because I could sell myself.

That seems to no longer be the case. All job applications are on computer and no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to figure out a way to stand out in a crowd. And thanks to this current economy, it is indeed a CROWD. It used to be that a few days after you fill out an application you could call and check. Now, every screen says "Don't call us, we'll call you". I applied for tons of jobs in which my qualifications are exactly what they were looking for and still got rejections. Lots of them!

So as we continued to sink lower financially, my self esteem sank along with it. And self worth and value. And mood.

It was at this lowest point that I started trolling the mall for jobs.

And I landed at Kohl's.

And I started wondering if it would really be so bad to work an overnight shift and sleep in the day while the boys were at work. I grew up with my mom working 3rd shift so I know what it's all about. I know I learned to leave mom alone when she's sleeping so I'm sure the boys could too.

So I applied. And waited. And got a call for a very strange group interview. And waited. And FINALLY got a call last week with a job offer.

So, today I am tackling my first day at a new job. Not a career. A retail job that will hopefully help get us caught up, let me work without putting the kids at a babysitter, and rake in some nice discounts for the holidays to boot.

Unfortunately, it is only seasonal, but they said that they hire on about 60 percent of their seasonal help as permanent after the holidays.

I definitely have some concerns. I hope they are going to be able to work around the two symphony weeks that I have coming up since those were commitments I already made. I mentioned them at the interview but I don't want to go into my first day requesting six nights off. Especially when your future as a permanent employee is riding on your performance.

The weird thing is this...I'm kind of excited about the job. After being in charge of PEOPLE for so long, I think it will be nice to just do STUFF. I think it will be nice to show up, do my job, and go home. No hassle.

So that's my tackle today.