This Has Never Happened…

With The Boyfriend on graveyards and the older three kids gone to their Dad’s, we’ve been doing a lot of lazing and vegetating. For the most part, I’ve been playing The Sims 4 and listening to a lot of music.

A new expansion came out for The Sims 4, which I went crazy tweeting and Instagram-ing about, because I was incredibly excited.

View this post on Instagram

It's happening!! #TheSims4 #TS4 #Get2Work

A post shared by Valerie Rayne (@valerierayne) on

They’ve finally added some things that I’ve personally never gotten to play before. I’m relatively new to The Sims franchise for PC, and have really only had a lot of experience for consoles. So I’m getting to try my hand at a lot of things that I’ve always wanted to try in The Sims – like going to work with my sim or running a business of my own.

I even added a place of my own to The Gallery, which I don’t think I’ve ever done before. I’m working on writing up a more detailed piece on that over here.

And music…

Recently, Grooveshark updated their entire site. I’ve been using Grooveshark for quite awhile and I don’t remember how I found it or why I chose it over all the other options, but with this recent update and where it looks like it’s going, I’m glad I use it. So, I’ve been going around updating all my stuff there and this has resulted in a lot of listening.

From the two eclectic pieces that I’ve shared on Google+:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ValerieRayne13/posts/47Gdy5vBX6z

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ValerieRayne13/posts/1cHvhgujb59

And the new playlists that I’ve started working on (here and here) and my favorites. I’ve just been listening and adding and creating and editing like crazy on Grooveshark.

Tomorrow the kids finally come home. I keep saying that it’s a good thing too, because maybe it will finally be quiet around here. Carter has been so talkative since they’ve been gone that it’s rarely quiet. And when he’s not talking, he’s beatboxing. And while I love both of those things greatly, it gets tired after 8 hours straight…

Then, we get to go for Easter Dinner tomorrow night and see some people we haven’t seen in years and finally, I get to see my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew and I couldn’t be more excited about that. I only get to see them about once a year, so it’s always a pretty big deal.

Honestly, this last week and this upcoming week are probably going to end up being my favorite two weeks of this year. Lots of goodness happening, lots of lack of stress, I feel pretty darn content.

This has never happened…

Advertisements

This is my brain on graveyards…

On one hand, adjusting to graveyards has been exceptionally easy. It fits mine and The Boyfriend’s sleep schedule better, it works out for the way we typically manage to spend our days anyways, and on many levels it just seems to fit.

However, on the other hand, I’ve done a lot of staring. I’ve done a lot of mind-numbing type activities. I’ve done a lot of not thinking. And I’ve been avoiding doing anything that involves using my brain – unless you count shooting random people on GTA or making the same dish over and over in some random online game.

A huge portion of my days are spent sleeping. Then almost as soon as I wake up, it’s Netflix. I spend the rest of the night with Netflix on in the background and I’m playing games on my computer – namely Hotel Giant 2, The Sims 4 and Youda Sushi Chef 2. I hate that I’m doing it the entire time that I’m doing it, but I just don’t have the capacity to do anything else.

I figure this is just part of the adjustment to graveyards and that soon, The Boyfriend and I will figure out exactly how the new routine will work so that I can get back to all my stuff. Because I have been absolutely neglecting everything. It started with just computer-related stuff and I was still keeping up with stuff like Twitter and Facebook, which I check from my phone. But now, it’s nothing. I just don’t even consider it. And my brain just doesn’t go there.

It’s also been two weeks now since I last got laid, so that may be part of my lack of anything productive. I’ve always said that after three days, I tend to get really bitchy. I haven’t gotten bitchy yet and oddly enough, I haven’t even really been all that crazy for sex (which is just so unlike me…). Again, I’m blaming it on graveyards.

Yet another excuse (haha!), our crappy crappy Alberta weather. Have I ever told you how much I absolutely hate it?!?

We went through first winter and it was a relatively decent winter. Then, we went through second winter (which is a normal and usual occurrence), and it was a little rougher than first winter. Then, we were breaking into spring. Still cold but the snow was beginning to melt and all Albertans took their annual sigh of relief. Then, suddenly and without any warning, we were struck with third winter. We hate third winter more than any of the other winters, because it utterly robs you of any hope you had of visiting the beach that year!

So, just as we are all completely robbed of hope and utterly destroyed, suddenly and swiftly, we have a day that rivals the best summer days available in this dreary city. The ice cream truck made it’s first trip of the year down our street – though it was only recognized by one of our children, even though three of them were outside (oddity). Today, we awoke to gray skies and brisk wind bustling the leaves that have yet to turn green.

Crappy, crappy Alberta weather. It’s unpredictable, it’s unsatisfying, it’s unhealthy…

I keep telling everyone I want to move to Denmark. It’s one of the highest ranked countries for happiness, it sounds like a place that I would love, and I read the other day that the average highs are around seventeen degree celsius and lows are around one degree. And that they have lots of rain – and rain is my favorite weather! No one except for me is down to move to Denmark and so I dream…

A Mundane Dose

I had gone to bed last full of plans for today (and by today, I really mean yesterday, but I haven’t slept yet, so today…) – so many plans that The Boyfriend was actually rolling his eyes at me. Then the alarm went off this morning. I decided right then and there that today was not going to be nearly as productive as I was planning for it to be.

For the first time ever, I was wrong!

It felt like time was moving by so slowly and I started getting frustrated with the fact that I hadn’t heard The Boyfriend leave to get coffees yet. I came downstairs with the initial plan to just go back to bed but ended up staying downstairs and waiting as The Boyfriend took Carter to school and then got coffees.

I played some Minecraft for awhile. This needs to be explained a little bit. When we first got Minecraft, however long ago, I was super obsessed with it. I was playing almost daily, learning how to use redstone, building metropolis’ – I mean, nothing ever got finished, but I was making some pretty awesome stuff. And then the kids and The Boyfriend all became super obsessed with it. I was able to make it through when everyone was watching tutorial videos but when they all started watching stuff about mods and these crazy creations from Minecraft YouTubers and they all started building better and cooler things than I could even come up with, I lost interest in the game.

I also have a lot of other stuff going on, so playing games like Minecraft (which is incredibly easy to waste an entire day on), is not such a great idea…

I abandoned it for quite a long time and recently, due to beacons, I started experimenting with it again. However, when I say that I played Minecraft, what I really mean is that I loaded up a map, explore it until I died and then started a new map. Normally that would be in creative and I’d build just long enough to decide that I hate the whole thing and I’ll start a new map. And it’s this constant and never-ending play a map for a few minutes, make a new one, play for a few minutes, make a new one – and that’s playing Minecraft for me right now.

So, I played Minecraft for a bit and then The Boyfriend mentioned that he had to run in to work. Part of the big plan for this weekend was to go grocery shopping. We didn’t get it done over the weekend but if he was going to work anyway, he might as well pick up some of the groceries while he was there. But then I started thinking that it would be smarter for me to go.

He’s a great shopper, don’t get me wrong. He buys all the right brands that we all like, picks out the right food and can recognize a great bargain. My only complaint is that unless specifically instructed, he shops for like two meals at a time or breakfast, lunch and dinner for two days. And I know his thinking is that he can pick up whatever we need on his next day of work, but I’m just better at the whole buying bigger quantities for less – mainly because it’s the only way I’ve ever shopped.

We went back and forth forever and eventually ended up deciding that we would go shopping. The Boyfriend had to be at work at a specific time, so we went to our first store to get the bulk of our shopping done. I told him I could do it half an hour or less and exactly half an hour later we were walking out spending $100 less than I had planned to spend! Then we went over to his work and he did what he had to get done while I picked up the rest of the groceries, and because that’s what you do when you’re shopping at Wal-Mart, I even ended up getting a few things that weren’t on my list.

It’s not that I’m really great at shopping overall. If I had to shop for anyone else but my family, I’d be screwed. But shopping for my family, I just always surprise myself at how good I can be at it sometimes. How my bad math ends up working in my favor a lot of the times and how I can be so fast and efficient and it just generally fills me with a great sense of pride. I like that feeling in mundane doses 😉

So after shopping was all done, we came home and while it took me forever and a day to get motivated to move at all, The Boyfriend and I ended up tidying up the kitchen. Now tomorrow, which I have tons of plans for, will already be one step closer to done. Finally, I made steak and fries for dinner (which was utterly delicious) and sat down with the family to watch a couple of episodes of Full House and That 70’s Show on Netflix before sending the kids off to bed.

All in all, I couldn’t have planned it any better!

 

Been Awhile, I Know…

I didn’t mean to stay away so long. It’s just that a whole lot of nothing has been happening around here lately. I’ve been hard at work on website stuff and creating and deleting maps on Minecraft. The kids have had a ton of days off school, so they’ve mostly been gaming it up. And The Boyfriend has been working a lot of “late shifts”, so there’s been lots of late nights and late afternoons…

We’ve all been working our butts off to keep a cleaner house. I think it’s part of impending spring weather that’s got us all busying ourselves with tidying. And while we spend at least an hour a day doing something towards keeping the house clean, it just seems to get so messy so fast. It’s absolutely depressing.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well, cleaning my house is the equivalent of absolutely off-the-rocker insanity. I’ve never seen the kids work so hard to clean up after themselves and while I’m sure that you can tell as an observer, but as the ones living it, it just seems like we’re getting nowhere. Just as one area is clean and you move onto the next, that first area is now destroyed and you know in mere moments the next will be the same.

I know that I’m not alone in my plight and I’ve heard from other Mom’s with four kids that it’s a near impossibility to keep it really clean and I’m obviously okay with that. But I do seriously wish that it was all a little bit more manageable. One day, I’ll have a maid or a troop of maids, and then I won’t have to worry about it. For now, I’ll just rant…

Other than that, not too much has been going on around here. I kinda like it that way 😉

It’s Slowing Down…

I knew that my streak of productive days would come to a crashing halt eventually. It lasted longer than I expected it to and it’s not even that I’m not being as productive, it’s just not being as focused on being productive.

I missed a post this week. I didn’t realize it until the next day. I have all these reminders set all over the place and somehow I ended up missing this one entirely. It was the first sign that something was up, because I hadn’t needed any of the reminders I had set up until right then!

Then, I cleaned the house. The kids and I worked for at least 2 hours on cleaning. Since no one could agree on what they wanted to do for jobs, we drew them from a hat and each kid got a specific job. That resulted in a lot of tears and the whole time Keirnan cleaned up the small mess in the bathroom, he whined and whined. All in all, they did a really great job. One thing that I’m noticing about keeping my house cleaner is that it seems like it gets dirtier so much faster.

I decided today to start clearing up my browser. I use Chrome and lately all my bookmarks and extensions are becoming a terrible mess. At some point, I had two different accounts connected and it’s got stuff from both accounts and it’s just a confusing jumble of stuff. I have my most used stuff out front and center, but there is a whole host of disorganization upon further inspection.

However, clearing up my browser and making it so that it’s all pretty and organized turned into a traumatic experience that I am quickly trying to forget, because it just makes me want to throw my hands up. I discovered accounts I had forgotten that I had and emails that I no longer know the passwords to and just ugh… Darn me for having so many fleeting interests over the years!

I also spoilt myself a little with some game stuff. I bought the new “game pack” for The Sims 4 and although I played for a couple hours earlier today, never actually got around to trying it out. Then, got some other game points and bought myself Hotel Giant 2, which I have been wasting a large amount of time on, as I knew I would when I bought it. I figure the kids and The Boyfriend have been gaming it up a lot lately, I might as well join that.

Other than that, this past week has been mostly boring. I’ve felt like I’m lagging a lot. My sleep feels like it’s all out of whack, even though I can’t figure out how exactly. I’m hoping that as it turns into spring and the sun starts setting and rising at a normal hour that my sleep will start to straighten out a little bit. Too much longer of this and I think it’s going to start seriously affecting my mood.

Happy Halloween!! *Howls*

I have spent the last two days basically glued to my computer. The Boyfriend has been sick for the past week and all he wanted to do was veg and play games, leaving me no choice but my computer. So, I spent the first few days puttering around then the last two doing nothing but Sims.

I don’t think ever, across any of the franchises, have I ever dedicated myself so much to only one family for so long. Back in the Wii Castaway days, I’d start a family then move onto a new family, play for a little bit and then move onto a new family. The Sims 3 on the Xbox 360 is probably the only time that I’ve ever come even close, and then even not, because everytime we’ve ever bought that game the kids have it destroyed in a matter of days. After the fifth time, I laid down the law and said we couldn’t spend anymore money on it!

I feel absolutely all simmed out today after pulling almost 12 hours on it yesterday. Most of that went into building, which I seem to be struggling with like crazy, even though it’s easier than it’s ever been.

In other gaming news, The Boyfriend has been playing a lot of Project Spark lately and officially understands “if” (when) and “else” (do) statements better than I do… He’s managed to find quite a few games that are teaching him the basics of Koding and then he’s applying that to his own games and he’s coming up with quite a few good projects. It’s making me totally jealous, because I’ve long wanted to figure out this game (especially being that I think it will be a huge helper in learning to write JavaScript) and even though I have it on both the Xbox One and my computer, I’m nowhere near where he’s at.

It’s Halloween today and all the kids are beyond excited. This whole entire week has been nothing but talking about who’s going to be what and how they’re going to be that thing and what they’re going to do on Halloween night. I’m always excited about Halloween until it’s actually time to take them out trick-or-treating.

Holidays, of any kind, always kind of make me feel like a crappy parent. First of all, I take on no religious affiliation whatsoever, and although religion is a very popular topic around our house, it’s not something any of us subscribe to. Then, I don’t personally have any traditions and I never kept any that we had as kids. So holidays are literally just another day on the calendar for me.

But for a big majority of my family, Holidays are family gathering times. Someone is supposed to host a dinner for the family, decorations are to be laid out, everyone participates. So when I don’t put up a Christmas tree (because why should I?!?) or when I don’t want to trek outside in the freezing cold Alberta October’s (because why would I?!?), my entire family comes down on me. From Mom and The Boyfriend to each and everyone of the kids.

I also beat myself up a lot about it, because I think it’s important for families to have traditions. I think it’s important that kids can depend on that thing happening year after year after year – no matter what life is like. When I was a kid, no matter what, you could always count on the fact that Christmas Eve you’d sing carols and get to open one present and Christmas Morning everyone gathered to open presents. You could always count on us doing these traditional things.

And it’s not that my kids don’t have that. They know that every year on Christmas Eve, even when there is not a single decoration or carol in sight, they get to open one present and on Christmas Morning they get to wake everyone up early for present opening. They know on Thanksgiving every single year, we will do whatever is necessary to ensure we get turkey and gravy! We have traditions, just not in the way that I always envisioned it would be when I became a parent.

For example, in this place where Holidays mattered more to me, this Halloween we would be gearing up to have an epic party. First, The Boyfriend and I would have some friends (something we are sorely lacking) and those friends would have kids. Whole families would amass at our house after school and we’d have a Halloween-themed dinner. Then, we’d all get ready and head to the mall first for trick-or-treating and then we’d terrorize the town with our ghoulish screams of “Trick or Treat!!!”. Afterwards, we’d come back to the house and the kids would drink beverages that steamed and the adults would drink until the wee hours of the morning while the Monster Mash streamed over the crowd, as one by one they all fell asleep with zombies, goblins and ghosts on their mind!

It would be awesome, but it’s so not me… Or us…

However, all that being said, the kids are doing their Halloween parade at school as I type. Shortly after they get home from school, Mom is picking us up and even though The Boyfriend will be at work, the kids and I will be trick-or-treating at the mall. Depending on what time it is and how cold it is when we get back from the mall, I’m thinking about being the most awesome Mom ever and taking them up the couple of blocks to the store. That should net them at least a bag-worth of candy. So, for all my previous ranting, it won’t be a terrible nothing-gets-done holiday…

How do you celebrate the holidays? Do you wish you did it differently? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Proud Mama and Turkey Weekend

These last few days have been busy busy and now it’s time for a couple days break before it gets busy busy again.

First, I had parent/teacher conferences this week. I always go into these things expecting to hear the worst things about my kids and I always leave, incredibly relieved, to not have heard anything negative. All of them are doing spectacularly well.

I met with Carter’s kindergarten teacher first. I was really expecting to hear a lot of bad things, because he’s always so unhappy to be going to school. But his teacher said there were no complaints. They are going to work out a plan with the speech therapist to get a program started for his speech delay – which we knew going into this year and had actually requested, because he is very hard to understand.

Next up was Keirnan’s teacher. He had just graduated out of his speech therapy the day before, which made me the most proud Mom ever. I didn’t think he would get to graduate already, but the speech therapist said that the only thing she could think of for him to still work on (and that chances are, until his front teeth come in, it will continue to be an issue), is the clarity of his hissy sounds. His teacher absolutely loves having him in class, he’s a total cutie and it’s evident that he’s working extra hard to make up for his weaknesses. Big smiles after leaving his class.

Kaeidyn, I always know exactly what to expect when I go in for her. Her conferences always seem different too, because she is the only one of the kids who has ever had a male teacher – and this year, she has two! As usual, she’s extra chatty, however academically she’s right where she’s supposed to be, gets her homework in on time and is a great help in the classroom and around the school.

This year, they had sent home permission forms for the HPV vaccine. Kaeidyn’s in Grade 5. I decided, since it said that she could get it later on, that this year we would not get her the vaccine. She will most likely get it, but I’d just like to wait a little bit longer. Do some extra research and feel really confident about it. So, I refused her getting it this year and just wanted to check with her teachers that she could still get it in Grade 9. They weren’t 100% sure, but one of her teachers tried to convince me that I should do it and that it was best for her to do it and how he had read all these articles, blah blah blah. It was difficult for me to not snap at him that I had read articles too and I think I’m the one that gets to say what’s best for my daughter. But, I didn’t, I smiled and just said, “This is just what we’ve decided for right now”.

Needless to say, Kaeidyn’s conference had way too much talk about the eventual day when my daugther becomes sexually active. I was sweating profusely when I left her room.

Lastly was Kenzie’s conference. I was shocked, jaw gaping and all, when Kenzie’s teacher informed me that they had had some behavioural issues with Kenzie this year. Apparently, he’s not listening to one of the lunch supervisors and he’s got a friend with him and they’re both being, as the teacher put it, “monkeys”. She said she’s personally never experienced any issues, but this lunch supervisor has. He had to write an apology letter and ever since they haven’t had any other issues, but both of us couldn’t get over how unexpected it was of Kenzie. Other than all that, he’s doing a great job, especially in math.

I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and a lot of Simming lately. That’s pretty much all I’ve done over the last few days. I was shocked to wake up this morning to the house still being relatively clean, because usually the kids have it destroyed by the time we wake up. I’ve also been showing off a lot of my work in The Sims 4 over here, which has been quite a bit of fun. I don’t think I’ve ever stuck with a Sims character so long with such dedication.

Next up is turkey dinner on Monday, which I’m massively looking forward to. It feels like it’s been too long since I last had turkey! Plus, I get to see The Boyfriend’s family and that always feels like a treat. Then, back-to-school and regular life on Tuesday and an entire three days off for The Boyfriend, which I couldn’t be more excited about.

So what’s everyone’s turkey weekend plans? And for those of you who aren’t having a turkey weekend, that’s too bad for you 😉

 

Thank You for Being You

I’ve gone a little Sims mad…

For almost an entire week now, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with this game. Starting a legacy-esque challenge, was definitely not a good idea for my addiction level. However, it’s doing a great job of keeping my spirits up, which lately is not being an easy thing to do.

I’ve written a huge ton of posts over the last few days. I think the last time I went through my draft folder (this morning), I was up to 13 drafts – and that’s only in about three days. I keep writing and then completely losing my train of thought or getting distracted by something and then I can’t seem to pick it up where I left off. And when I return a couple days later, I no longer feel the same way I did when I originally wrote the piece, so I can’t even pick up then…

It’s odd that I’m struggling so hard with this depressed feeling. I’m not really depressed, it’s just I don’t know what other word could possibly fit instead. It’s kind of my way of using an umbrella term to describe a whole bunch of emotions that are all out of whack. I just feel a general numbness, a lack of emotion, if you will. And I seem to only be able to recognize the negative emotions, like anger or sadness or stress, and don’t even notice if there are any positive ones going on.

I’m lucky that I’m surrounded by the people I’m surrounded by, who understand that this is just sometimes the way things are. That sometimes Mommy needs a little extra space, or sometimes your girlfriend isn’t going to laugh at your lame jokes, or sometimes I’m going to tear up for no reason. And I’m glad that during those times, while I struggle to figure out how to deal, they struggle with me and eventually we figure out how to get to the point where I’m feeling the support they’re giving me.

We’ve been on a mission to get our house spotless over the last few days. We’ve got an inspection coming up, so it has to be cleaner than our normal clean. I always stress out so much more than I need to over these inspections, although for the most part, I’m dealing with that pretty well. The Boyfriend has been beyond wonderful in terms of helping with the cleaning.

One thing that’s pissing me off, but also makes me love him more, is how he gives me praise for things I haven’t done. Like yes, I’ve been cleaning, but really… It’s not nearly as much as I should be, especially over the last week, since I’ve been sleeping so much. Today, I puttered and got most of the kitchen done and the floor swept. When he got home and started cleaning himself, and the kids were going off about me not helping, The Boyfriend kept saying I had already done so much today, that I shouldn’t have to do anything more. It’s sweet, but it’s also a little bit annoying, because I feel like he’s delusional when he does that. And he’ll do it over everything that I feel like I’m failing at.

But he also knows that I’m in this rut right now, that I’m not sure what’s causing it, that it’s only been a few weeks since we had our really serious discussion and all that equals a boyfriend who is over-compensating to make sure I know he’s there and loves me. And for that, I am eternally grateful!