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Archive for February, 2018

So I was lucky enough to score a job working from home. I started right after I found out I was pregnant, which made a lot of stuff easier. The place I worked at before…like, the bathrooms didn’t work most of the time. Not good for a pregnant girl lol. Anyways, if you are looking to work from home, I thought I would do more of a list post of pros and cons. The cons are more, bad points or at least things to keep in mind. And just to throw this out there, this is a full time, production and quality are monitored, legitimate job. I work for a contracting company in the background investigation field (I am not an investigator…but I work in the same production line, we will say).

Pros:

No driving time!

You control how clean your environment is

If you have pets…lots of petting time

You have full access to your fridge

Depending on the company, if you have flex time…can take a break and nap instead of sitting at your desk for lunch

No coworkers talking your ear off

No unwanted gossip or bullying

Your “cubicle” can be decorated however

Wear whatever you want! Pjs are a yes for me…

No get ready time. Forgot to shower? Who cares….not your cat!

Cons:

No coworkers for immediate questions or computer troubleshooting

Need to chat to relieve stress for a second? Again, no coworkers

It has made my anxiety for going outside worse for sure

If you need stuff or have to turn in paperwork ..it’s all via mail, which can be annoying

Lot of phone and email conversations, which can be annoying

Hard to stay motivated sometimes! No boss to stare you down to let you know you spent enough time stirring your coffee or hot chocolate…

Along the same lines, it’s easy to be distracted. It looks beautiful outside, or you keep walking past a stack of dishes…close your eyes!!

That’s the highlights. All in all I wouldn’t trade it in for now. Every second I get to spend with Genevieve is priceless and if I can cut out driving time, that alone is worth it. I will probably end up making a blog on my anxiety issues, but it has made me worse that way. Shout out to the mothers working out of the home…I truly don’t know how you do it!

Did I forget anything? If you work from home, add something in the comments!

-AV

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So I’m typing this from my phone while I lay in bed. If there are a bunch of typos, I apologize. I usually type on my laptop. I’m lying in bed because I’m blocking in my baby. Genevieve (G) is almost 11 months, and for the last 5 weeks, she refused to sleep in her crib.

This is honestly just the latest in a long list of sleeping woes for us. I try to not complain because we’ve been so, so lucky with G so far. Other than constipation problems at the beginning, sleeping is really the only problem we’ve had with her. But let me tell you…lack of sleep after over a year now is rough. I’ve had insomnia throughout my life, so I actually thought it wouldn’t bother me, but man…

The lack of sleep started when I was pregnant. Toward the end, my hips hurt so badly that I could only sleep 2 hours at a time. When she was born, she wanted to eat every two hours. There were many nights for the first month that I didn’t sleep at all. Other nights I slept from 9-1, pumped, then stayed up while my husband slept.

Once I went back to work at the 6 week mark, she was sleeping 4 hours at a time, so I was only getting 4 hours of sleep most nights. Even though o was exhausted, my prior issues with sleeping were still there. I’ve always had trouble falling asleep. The first time she slept through the whole night wasn’t until the end of her 9th month, and that’s because she was on bed with me. So I’m still not sleeping well. She’s the most active sleeper I’ve seen. She rolls constantly and kicks constantly. I’m usually crowded to the very edge of the bed. My wrist hurts so bad from how I’ve been sleeping that I’m afraid I have tendinitis.

And maybe it’s my fault. But I just have never been able to get her to sleep. For weeks she only slept on my chest while I was on a rocking chair. Then she would only sleep in a rock n play. Then she would only sleep in a swing. I finally got her in a bassinet around the 6 month mark but she was too big for it within a month. The crib just wasn’t working out so one night I threw her in my bed at like 1 in the morning and that was that. She screams bloody murder if I put her in the crib. The most she’s been in there was 2 hours the one night.

And I know all the things. Those aren’t safe places for babies to sleep. You just have to let her cry it out. Honestly, as hard as it’s been…I don’t want to let her cry it out. It’s just heartbreaking to hear her cry and yell “mom-mom!” And I’m such a light sleeper she’s not in danger, I promise. I keep telling myself she will grow out of it, and I hope she does. Blacking out at my desk during the day is getting tedious 🙄. Lol.

I’m sure everyone has stories. Share your sleeping woes, baby or not! If you have any suggestions other than crying it out, I’m all ears!! She’s such a sensitive and spirited kid already…and very, very clingy with me. I think it’s cruel to make her cry if I don’t have to :/

-AV

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*Pictured: Current WnW makeup and for fun, the overly bronzed face I discuss below. Beware getting carried away going for that “natural” glow! 😀

If you have happened to read the couple of other makeup posts I have made, I mentioned a couple of times that I love Wet n Wild. I do enjoy ELF cosmetics, but I wouldn’t even hesitate to say Wet n Wild is my favorite drug store brand. I have owned the most from them over the years, and I have used them the longest, and they have consistently good stuff. And it’s only getting better! The picture is most of what I have currently in rotation in my makeup collection. A lot of the stuff I have had has been used up or dried up or passed onto a family member to try. But if you’ve never tried it, check it out!

They have been running really good sales on their website off and on, but every time I go to buy something, it doesn’t work! I can’t figure it out and I was getting really angry about it the other day. I can get all to the confirm purchase (like, the very last step) and it freezes. If I check my bank account (because I use my debit card), there will be a debit with a credit immediately following. I tried emailing their support but they just said to call them to order my stuff, which I thought was weird. So whatever. The long list of stuff I want to try, I will have to find in a store. So where I was going with this–this is not the newest stuff they have out. I can only get stuff from Walmart or CVS, so it’s a little dated. I really want to try some of their new palettes like Not a Basic Peach. Someday 😦

Oh, and one last thing–their stuff really is affordable. It’s all below $8.00, and most of it is $5.00. Some of their stuff is even $1!

Foundation–I only tried the one color and it was not my color!! It was nice, but it was way too pale for me. I ended up putting on their bronzer to make it look better, and that was an experiment gone wrong. I looked terrible haha. And then my skin got so dry that I had to use a BB Cream rather than foundation, so I would say it’s good, but I can’t give a full review on it.

Face primer and eye primer–I don’t have the eye primer pictured, but I have both currently and use both. I like them and they do the job. The only thing is that I really do love my UD eye primer, so I use that most of the time. However, if you want an affordable primer, look no further.

Nail Polish–So they have the little ones that are literally like 98 cents…they are okay. The colors are really nice, but they chip easily like any other nail polish you find at the store. BUT, their gel line is GREAT. I love it. I chip nail polish instantly, and I used one coat of the gel and then a top coat, and it lasted a good amount of time on me. The colors are beautiful and they have a nice range of colors I think. The gel runs a little more (I think $4.99), but I think it’s worth it.

Powder–this is the only thing of theirs that I have that I have not even opened, but I thought I would throw it in. I bought this before my skin dried up like freeze dried fruit because I used to have very oily skin. I can’t give an opinion, but it was reasonably priced if you are looking for a new setting powder.

Blushes–I love Wet n Wild blushes. I own several, ranging from brown to a red-pink. The red-pink color is my favorite, but I like only very subtle blush, so I literally just lightly swirl my brush, tap it off well, and then swoosh it on my cheeks. It’s a beautiful color though and the pigment is amazing (which is why I have to tap very well for a subtle look).

Bronzer–I have the lighter colored bronzer, and this is pretty much the only bronzer I use. I have bought others, and I do like the darker ELF bronzer I just purchased, but this stuff I use a lot. It gives me a very nice, healthy glow (except for that time I tried to make up for the foundation…that was a bad time). And it’s not overwhelming, so you can have a little glow or build it up.

Eye liners–I have used their felt tip and their liquid. I am not good at liquid, so I liked it, but it’s not for me just because I suck. However, again, their felt tip is the only felt I use. I love it. It’s small so it’s easy to hold and control, it doesn’t dry up quickly at all, and it’s so affordable! It’s only like $3.99? I recommend for sure.

Highlighters–I only have the one right now, but I used to have the big round palette that had a light pink, bright pink, light gold, and dark gold, and I LOVED it. I used it until it literally dried up too much to use. The darker colors were too dark for me, but I loved both of the lighter colors. Then I bought this new one. It’s probably too dark for me, but it was so beautiful I couldn’t pass it up, and I do like to wear it. It has a nice sheen/shimmer with no chunky glitter, which I hate. They have several shades now, and I want to buy more! I don’t do crazy colors…I think they had like a blue and green, but I want to try a lighter gold that’s probably better suited for my super pale skin.

Eyeshadows–The cream of the crop! Best for last! I love their eyeshadows. I have had MANY throughout the years. I really want their newly formatted and I think newly formulated palettes like I had mentioned, but I haven’t found them in the store yet. I don’t live in a super advanced place, so it takes awhile 😦 I really want Not a Basic Peach and the Vinyl one in the smaller pan. But their eyeshadows have always been great. They have good pigmentation and a decent wear time without primer. With my normal primers, they last a whole day. I think they blend well, and they always have a whole eye look in one palette. That’s where I first learned about putting a different color in your crease, and one your lid, and transition shades.

Overall, they are a solid performing brand. The only thing I really never tried were their lip products, and that’s because I only recently started wearing lipsticks or really anything on my lips. Let me know what your favorite Wet n Wild product is! And if you know someone who works for them, tell them I really want their website to take my money but they won’t haha. I would have had two giant (for me) hauls twice now haha. Maybe they know I don’t need to spend the money on makeup and were “saving me from myself”. Buy that baby formula, not makeup! 😀

-AV

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I am not someone who has to have a full face of makeup to step out of my house; however, I do feel more comfortable if I have at least the basics on: foundation, eyeliner, and mascara. I do enjoy wearing more than this, though. I hate when I see comments on videos or blogs/vlogs about how girls shouldn’t wear a ton of makeup. It honestly is an artistic outlet for a lot of people, and I find it fun to learn how to do different looks and achieve new levels of creation. Right now I completely suck at doing winged eyeliner. I have watched videos and actually read a literal step-by-step, but I just can’t get it. So I actually found and ordered a little cat shaped stencil to help me out. I honestly think my eyes are a slightly different shape (like they don’t match each other) and that’s the problem, but we will see. Anyways, my overall point was: if you like to wear makeup, wear makeup! If you don’t, then don’t! Wear as little or as much as you want. It makes me feel better about myself and I love spending countless hours staring at all of the pretty new makeup I could buy if I was a millionaire haha.

So here are my daily favorites! I actually do enjoy a lot of drug store items as that’s what I have used most of my life, so most are affordable to the common person. I didn’t look up the exact prices beforehand, but I will put an estimated amount by each.

My Necessities:

Covergirl black eyeliner (retractable/self-sharpening pencil, fine point) ($6.00)

Covergirl black mascara ($8.00)

Nyx BB Cream in Natural ($12.00)

Urban Decay complexion primer (for minimizing pores) ($34.00)

So I always wear foundation; however, for the last few months, my skin has been so ridiculously dry that I can’t wear any foundation that I can find. It looks so patchy and flakey. So I’ve moved on to a BB Cream, which is great, except that it’s minimal coverage. I have large pores, so I have been using the UD complexion illusion to make it look a little nicer. So that wasn’t a staple until I started using the BB cream in lieu of a foundation. I have used a lot of mascaras, but I always return to this one! It doesn’t make my eyelashes look clumpy at all, which is what I love the most. The eyeliner is the easiest for me to use and it lasts forever. I have a lot of trouble with actual pencils showing up on my skin. I have used the felt tipped liner from Wet n Wild and I really like that one if I want a felt. It’s only like $4.00.

My Favorite Extras:

Urban Decay eyeshadow primer ($22.00)

Urban Decay eyeshadow ($20.00 for a single, usually $50-$60 for a palette)

Urban Decay liquid lipstick (usually $18.00, it’s been on sale for $9.00)

Nyx eye shadow single ($6.00)

Wet n Wild bronzer ($5.99)

Wet n Wild blush ($4.99)

Maybelline Baby Lips (either the chapstick looking kind or the gloss) ($4.00)

ELF brushes ($3.00-$7.00 a piece)

Lamore Brushes (set of I think 7 for $20.00 on amazon)

Becca highlighter ($28.00)

If I wear any eyeshadow, I have to wear my UD primer. It is literally the best and I will swear by it forever. It’s expensive, but again, it lasts forever for me. The liquid lipstick is also the best. I have exceedingly dry lips, but if I put Vaseline on about a half hour beforehand and then lightly wipe off the excess, my lips aren’t flaky looking, and this stuff does not dry them out or make me feel uncomfortable. My favorite shade is Amulet. Wet n Wild will probably get a blog entry soon, but it’s my favorite drug store brand overall. I have the lighter bronze shade, and it gives me a healthy glow (except for that one time I thought I needed a ton of it…then it wasn’t a healthy glow so much as a nightmarish orange face). I don’t wear blush super often, but I sometimes like to take just the slightest of taps onto a brush and swish it onto my cheeks. I forgot to take a picture of my Becca highlighter, but that would be my favorite if I want highlighter. It’s very pigmented and pretty without being chunky or glittery.

Any other favorites or staples in your collection I should try? Or are any of these your staples?

-AV

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New Mommy Guilt

“New Mommy Guilt” or just “Mom Guilt”…or “stay at home mom guilt” or “working mom guilt”…I’ve heard a lot of terms that vary only slightly to describe the same phenomena. For some reason, most women who are new mothers feel guilty no matter which path they have to take–stay at home with the child(ren) or go back to work.

I heard about it, read about, was warned about it…it didn’t matter. It flooded me the first day I had to go back to work and still, 9 months later, still floods me. In fact, I wasn’t even back to work yet and just the idea of going back to work would send guilt through me.

I’m a very emotional person to begin with, but then you add an extreme (EXTREME) lack of sleep in and for a long time afterward, my hormones trying to rebalance themselves…the feeling was overwhelming. Was I ruining Genevieve by not raising her full time? Would I miss out on every new thing that she did? Would she love my mother more than me?

The worst part is, I have so many fears and insecurities around my mother watching her 40 hours a week, and I know that I am so very lucky to have it be a relative who is watching her. I don’t think I could have given her to a stranger to watch. I really don’t. I think I would have told my husband we can go on food stamps. I have trouble letting anyone other than my mother watch her now. Every time I walk away from her, I just feel guilt. Even if she’s been a beast of a child all day, and I’m drained and overwhelmed…the second I leave her in the care of someone else, I get that (now) familiar pang.

If I didn’t work, we would be struggling. I know this, but it really doesn’t ease the feeling. It does make it easier as in, I can day dream about quitting but I know it’s not really a choice right now, but it doesn’t make the guilt go away. Not even a little. And I do miss things. My mom heard most of her new words before I did. She said Genevieve has been handing her and my father items and saying “tank you.” I haven’t heard her say it at all yet. And it’s hard. It really is.

Genevieve pulled herself to a stand all on her own this evening, and my husband and I were the first to witness it. My mom was so proud of her and then said, I’m glad you saw it before I did. And I know what she meant by it but it just made me feel kind of horrible all over again. What if I hadn’t seen it first? I would have been crushed. Still happy and proud of her, but crushed. Shouldn’t mommy get to see all of the firsts?

I have a feeling I won’t truly feel less guilty until she’s in school, but even then, if I miss out on projects or being a “room parent” (if they even still do that) because I’m working, I’m sure it will be back, rearing its ugly head.

But I have a friend who had to take FMLA and stay at home with her baby who is having some medical issues, and I know she feels a little guilty for not working. Even for a completely necessary, 100% understandable reason for not working…and I can tell it’s there. Why?? Why do women beat themselves up so much? And each other. I read so many judgy things from other mothers about what you should and shouldn’t do with your child.

New mommies everywhere, listen…you will feel guilty. Whichever path you take. Try to not dwell on it. If you start crying (I still cry constantly, but I’m still only getting like 4 hours of sleep a night if I’m lucky), let yourself cry and then just take a deep breath. You are doing the best that you can. And only you can know what is the best for you and your family. We need more love for each other. ❤

-AV

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The Dream (Fiction)

Kerydwen opened her eyes and felt a familiar knot of absolute dread in the pit of her stomach. The feeling was so overwhelming she knew she would throw up or pee herself if only she were actually awake. The setting was something she knew, even though it didn’t exist. If it did exist, she had yet to see it in real life. Even though it had been almost five years since she had dreamed this particular dream, there was nothing she didn’t remember about it. How could she forget? It was so horrifyingly real that it had taken her a year after she began to dream it to fully comprehend that it was, in fact, just a dream.

The first time she had dreamed it was when she was about seven years old. She had just been taken into the orphanage, and there wasn’t enough room for everyone. Kerydwen had been cramped into an attic room with several other little girls. All they knew was to survive you couldn’t be kind, and so they took her blanket and pillow and pushed her into the darkest corner. A large spider with bristled hair she could see without peering too closely covered it’s whole thick, black body. She could even see the beady eyes from her spot a handful of feet away. It was bigger than the palm of her hand, and it stared her down as her wide eyes fixated on it in pure terror. She had spent time in the closet back at home, and there were always wispy spiders in the corners and on the ceiling, but she had never, never, seen a spider like this. She spent all night staring at it in horror, too scared to move, too scared to close her eyes. Toward morning, it turned and scuttled into a hole in the wall. She never saw it again, but the next night she fought back to the point she punched a girl taller than her to stay out of that corner. Luckily the punch earned grudging respect rather than outcasted her further, and she was allowed to sleep in the circle on the floor with everyone else. But a month after that…she dreamed. For the next decade, she would dream it off and on, never going so long that she grew confident it wouldn’t come back. It always did until she left the orphanage. But now…here it was.

She would open her eyes, and it would seem as if she were awake. The bed would feel soft under her body, and there would be a soft light illuminating the room around her. Kerydwen would feel the need to stretch, her muscles softly protesting being in one spot all night. So she would begin to lift her arms above her, would begin to stretch her legs downward. But then she would freeze. Something wasn’t right. Slowly, as if she didn’t know what she was going to find, Kerydwen would lift her eyes and stare above her. The black spider would be hanging above her, floating on a thread, staring into her eyes with its eight dull eyes. Then she would become aware of the rest of them. She never knew how many. She was never calm enough to count. Spiders everywhere, all over the bed, all over her body, all over the room…crawling, scuttling, spinning webs, hissing at each other, at her…

The bile in her stomach rose up into her throat. It had been so long since she had dreamed this. Why now? She could never help her reaction. Her breathing quickened until she began to get light headed. She could feel them scratching her skin as they crawled all over her skin. What if one bit her? How many were on her? The scream was building up in her throat, racing the bile. She wished it would hurry. Only seconds after she started screaming, she would wake up. Hurry, hurry, hurry…

Then–she heard screaming. It sounded different this time, as if it were coming from somewhere else. It…it was coming from somewhere else. But…?

Kerydwen’s head slowly turned to look at her doorway. Her eyes widened, her mouth dropped open in confusion. She didn’t understand. Morrigan stood in the doorway, her hands clamped over her mouth as she tried to stop herself from screaming. Kerydwen heard the porcelain cup shatter as it fell from Morrigan’s hand. Somehow she thought she heard the liquid that had been in it slosh all over the floor, maybe even hitting one of the spiders. Her mind was hazy from the heavy breathing and the confusion and it was all just too much. She felt like she was shutting down. This was real? It couldn’t be.

“KERYDWEN, NO! THERE ARE SPIDERS….THEY ARE ALL OVER YOU! GET UP GET UP GET UP!” Morrigan shrieked so loudly it hurt Kerydwen’s ears.

“It’s not real,” she whispered, as if to herself. “It can’t be. It’s never real.”

“KERYDWEN, GET UP!!” Morrigan started to cross the room, looking down as she tried to avoid the spiders. She stopped and took a deep breath, obviously trying to settle herself. “Kerydwen,” she said in a much calmer, normal toned voice. “There is a fucking huge spider right above your face. You need to slide out of the bed and come toward me.”

Kerydwen couldn’t move. They would be all over the floor, all over her. What did it matter? Were they poison? Could they kill her? She didn’t feel any pain like she had been bitten. Morrigan moaned but began to move toward her again. She must have had shoes on because she was kicking at them now, forcing them away from her. Morrigan made it to the side of the bed, kicked a couple more away, threw the covers clear to the other side of the bed, grabbed Kerydwen’s arm, and ripped her onto the floor.

Kerydwen fell with a thud, wincing at the pain. Morrigan didn’t pause and began to swat at Kerydwen’s clothes, throwing spiders off of her. There were tears coming out of Kerydwen’s eyes. If this was real, why couldn’t she moved.

“GET UP.” Morrigan shook Kerydwen and yanked her to her feet. She pulled the dark haired woman out into the hallway and slammed the door behind them. “What…the…fuck…” she panted, started to shake all over.

That was when Kerydwen lost it. It was real. She had woken up, and she had had spiders all over her. That was real. Kerydwen started screaming, frantically tearing her night shirt off of her until she just had on her bra and underwear. She rubbed her arms all over her body, feeling for any bite marks, any more spiders. She just screamed and screamed and screamed…

 

-AV

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It was a little after midnight. The man walked alone, hands in his trouser pockets, his head bowed. The wind was cold and biting, but that was not why his head was turned downward. He was deep in thought.

The deep snow crunched underneath of his shoes. He wore expensive, shiny shoes. They weren’t the best for long walks in deep snow, but he barely noticed any discomfort. He was deep, deep in thought.

Where was she? He had never had any issues locating anyone, ever, but yet she eluded him. The only reason he had come to this small, backward town was because she should have been here. But after a whole week, there were no physical evidence of her ever existing here. But he had seen her in his mirror. His head bowed deeper, his brow furrowed.

Could he just be missing her? It was not as if she had reason to be hiding from him. She had no idea who he was, let alone that he would be looking for her.

The man was too anxious, getting too jittery. If he didn’t find her soon, it would be too late. His eyes, almost a golden brown color, drifted shut. He tried to clear his mind as he once again poked psychic tendrils across the void, looking for any sign of her nearby. As frustration began to settle upon him again, suddenly–there!

He stopped suddenly, his head snapped up, his eyes snapped open. He had felt her! She was here! His eyes then glowed red as he tried to hold onto the feeling, to locate it physically, but it was already fading fast. He looked back and forth, hoping to catch something that would show him the way. Nothing appeared any differently than it had before he felt her.

As the feeling of her completely left his mind, he realized he had stopped right outside of a dilapidated house. To him it was more of a shack than a home, but he could tell from the smoke coming out of the chimney that people lived there. His eyes focused through the window.

An old woman sat inside, rocking on an old rocking chair and twisting yarn back and forth. She stared at him, transfixed.

What had she seen? Too much. A shame, for sure. It would only be a couple of seconds more before her senses returned and she began to scream for whoever else was in the house to come, there was a demon outside of their window.

It only took a mere push from his mind. Then the man spun swiftly on his heels, heading forward. His head was bowed deeply again, as he fell again into deep thought. What was hiding her from him in the physical world? What was almost cloaking her completely from him in the psychic world?

The old man who lived in the house with the old woman would be woken the next morning by his grandson, crying and shaking his shoulders. When he would walk out into the living room, scared at what he would find, scared because his boy could only cry and yell grandmammy! Grandmammy!…he would find the old woman staring out the front window, turned completely to stone.

The old man clutched his chest and gasped, praying to the gods of that world. A demon had touched upon their house, for sure, and had taken a piece of it with him.

-AV

 

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