Christmas frustration

Holy cow. I’ve been up since 7 am with kiddo, and Christmas morning was a great hit for her, of course. But after seven hours of playing with toys and bathing and watching Christmas movies, she is bouncing off the freaking WALLS and making me regret giving her candy in her stocking (just chocolate, no dye, but it seems to be affecting her just as much). I made gluten-free lasagna and muffins, and sorted our food for the trip.

We had a great morning, the three of us, but I’m very lonely as the day goes on. Paying the bills was a big downer, and trying to clean the house is sort of just hamster-on-a-wheel, as whatever I do gets undone a few minutes later. I’m so tired after a horrendous day yesterday at work. So tired, so overwhelmed, so sad.

About to get into my car and drive two hours to see an old friend just to go somewhere.

slogging through

This last week has been, um, a major flop. I used some PTO and had nearly the whole week off, but other than getting some things done, it was just depressing. I had no one to talk to all day (I mean I had my mom and M, but otherwise) and just kept feeling lonely and bored and crying a lot. Pretty pathetic. But honestly, is there anything worse than day after day of sitting in yet another play area alone for hours on end, while my kid gets out energy, and while I just… watch other moms with their friends chatting away?

Then I worked my last 3-day stretch at work. As nostalgic as I feel about 9 years at this particular hospital, 7 years in the same unit, I did not get the usual potluck send off or card. I’m not sure they care a bit that I’m going, not so much as a thank you for your time here! Maybe it’s best I’m moving on… maybe I’ll find a place where I make friends or at least feel like there a few people I connect with. And not just at work, but in general.

This last week at home I’m hoping to stay busy and not dwell on all that I feel is missing and all that I wish I had. I’ve made appointments and tried to set up play dates… Christmas day itself is going to be empty and sad, but we’ll just get through it somehow.

Well, back to watching The Holiday which is the worst thing I could be doing, crying over the fact that I don’t seem to cash in on the happy endings in these types of stories, but hey… I’m going to make my own story. The only way things can get better is to jump into the unknown, and one week from now, I will do just that.

Crunch time

My to-do list is no longer a tool for mental organization, it’s a living entity that must be paid attention to every single day! I have five days off before our move, plus Christmas Day! Today I managed to kick serious to-do list ass, contacting insurance agents, my agency nurse advocate (and her extensive documentation list), submitting more paperwork than I can describe, oil change and wiper replacement for my car, wrapping Christmas presents, grocery shopping for our corn/gluten/soy/dairy-free road trip (with a friend who introduced me to the complex yet oh so cheap Aldi’s), cooking dinner for tonight and tomorrow while I work, and taking M to her final swimming lesson. Whew! 

Yesterday I dropped a drug test urine sample, and today was scheduled for vaccine titers and a color blindness test. (There is so much of this in travel nursing. It’s nuts.) I’ve also completed several online skills and policies exams for the facility and still have another one to do. All 7 of our road trip hotels have been booked (thanks Hotwire for super cheap hotel deals, most at comfort inn level for less than $50 per night), our apartment, preschool, swimming and gymnastics set up. I have helmets, a bike lock, and tandem attachment, as well as a bike rack for my car (just need to pick up the bike). I have a packing list. My grandma’s cat has a new home and my cat has a temporary one. I have my Christmas shopping almost done, just need a few little things for M’s teachers. Pipes are scheduled to be drained the day we leave. We’re no longer buying refrigerated or frozen food as it needs to be empty when the fridge goes off.

People, this is all systems GO in 12 days!!!

snow day

We have spent the whole day in the house. Anyone who knows me knows that this is my personal nightmare! But we’ve had an ok day… puzzles, play doh, painting, bubble bath, cooking and baking. I’ve cooked a ton and done some cleaning. Now it’s only 6:30pm and I’m just wondering how we survived this day!


My best cooking to date: delicious and simple sweet potato pasta sauce, which seriously tastes like cheese sauce but has no cheese! (Here is the link to the recipe.) I couldn’t believe how good it was, for some reason I thought anything made from sweet potato would just be blah, since I don’t really like sweet potatoes. But it’s amazing! I also made spinach and potato fritters, which is a little more time intensive but also very good. (Here is the recipe for that one.)

Yesterday we had a blizzard, but that didn’t stop me from driving 50 miles both ways to swimming and meeting with my sister to take the girls to get their annual photo with Santa. I spent many, many hours on the snowy roads, driving like 25mph the whole way there and back, and boy am I ready to be in San Francisco! Fuck this snow. Usually I like snow but I’m just not in the mood this year. I just need to get where I’m going and it would be nice to do that without freezing my ass off, not being able to see out of the windshield, and sliding all over slippery roads. I’ll enjoy the snow on the ground once the roads are cleared off.

conversations with M

Well since you already bought them…
Me: Yes, on Christmas there will be presents under the tree, from me, and grandma, and-
Me: What?
M: Not from you, mommy, from Santa!
Me: From Santa but also from me.
M: NO! I don’t want presents from you! Only from Santa!
Me: So should I take the presents I bought back to the store?
M: Wait, are they in the trunk right now?

Mom asks for a lot
Me: Are you going to get mommy something for Christmas?
M: Yes. A glove.
Me: One glove? Can I maybe get two gloves, one for each hand?
M: Oh mommy, alright. Fine.

Been there done that
Me: After Christmas, we’re going to go on a big trip, to a place that’s a lot warmer. We’re going to a place called California.
M: Again???

Nothing is as fun to say as “poop”
Me: How was school? Did you do anything fun?
M: Yes. I played with… POOP! *wild laughter*
Me: Ewww. Yucky. Did you play with any friends?
M: Yes, my friend POOP!
Me: What did you have for lunch? (Should’ve stopped here.)

The Fossil Book
Every night we read stories, and for some time M has been choosing to read a beginner reader book (ages 6-7) which has chapters and a few small pictures on each page and it’s all about fossils. The four types of fossils, the way fossils are made, and dug up, and classified, etc. It’s like a textbook, very dry. But damn if she doesn’t make me read every single page, and linger over every single image of a mollusk.

The Tooth Fairy
My kiddo is obsessed with the tooth fairy. How this started, I cannot say. She thinks that she needs to collect money “for the Tooth Fairy” in spite of my many attempts to explain that the tooth fairy brings money in exchange for a tooth. She also does not want to brush her teeth because she wants her teeth to fall out so the tooth fairy will come, so I spend lots of time trying to convince her that the tooth fairy won’t come for dirty teeth. She thinks when she does lose a tooth, that the tooth fairy will bring her “gold chocolate coins”. And finally, when she grows up she is going to be a tooth fairy because clearly money is involved.

unmotivated and dragging

Oh my god. I have literally got so much to do and no motivation to do it. The house is a wreck (per usual) and there are things I need to do… like wrap presents, organize cupboards to make room for stuff from my grandma’s things, and get rid of old stuff, and put together the tandem bike attachment and bike rack, and the list goes on. The inside of my car is in dire need of cleaning. My yard needs cleaning up, too. But I’m just frozen, feel like I’m walking in thick sludge. It’s hard to pick my feet up and move.

I feel god-awful lonely. I have the unshakeable urge to just talk to someone, so here I am blog. Talking and procrastinating. The days are gray and dreary. Night comes very early. I’ve lost my appetite. I feel restless and simultaneously completely lacking in motivation.

Time to get my act together!


Cleaned the whole house, including drawers and cupboards, the yard, and the car! Went grocery shopping, gave little miss a nice bath and read lots of stories before an easy bedtime. Then watched the newest episode of This Is Us with some wine and the Christmas tree. Turned out to be a good day!

life in the interim

We are finally back to normal, on a regular schedule and back into our routines. M is back to sleeping late in the morning and not wanting to go to school. (She’d rather laze around on her iPad, don’t blame her!) We are back to our normal mother/daughter relationship, too. I’ve been working a little extra, including the holiday, and cleaning, and running M to school and swimming and whatnot. We put up our Christmas tree, settling on the little 3-footer after debating about getting a real one. The little one worked out because I didn’t have to move the furniture. It has so many bulbs and garlands on it, though, you can’t even see the tree!

People keep asking me if I’m so busy getting ready for our San Fran trip. But no. That’s not how I roll. A few days before (Christmas) I’ll start packing maybe, but the stuff we’re taking is the stuff we use (toiletries, clothes, salt and sugar, etc). Housing and preschool and swimming and gymnastics… those are all set. I need to buy royal blue scrubs. I need to pick up the bicycle I bought from a co-worker. I need to strap my friend’s crib onto the room and bicycle onto the back… maybe we’ll need a trailer. I’m not sure. I have all the Christmas shopping done that I’m going to do, for about $220. And I picked up overtime for that.

I don’t blog about my love life (or lack thereof), or any sort of past drama, and I don’t intend to start. But life can change in an instant, it seems, and the past can come back to life in unexpected ways. I literally never know what is going to happen but I think that’s ok. Maybe what’s meant to happen will happen, and as long as my intuition feels good about it, then I should go for it. That’s how I’ve lived my life so far… and it’s never let me down yet!

the world we live in

On the university campus where I work there has been two incidences of violence against Muslims and immigrants plus posters urging people to get them out of our country by alt-right groups. This is a university campus with a very high attendance by East and South Asians as well as Middle Easterners. The flyers specifically say “Trump won” so it’s not like you can try to argue that this has nothing to do with his election.

This may not be a political blog, but it’s hard not to write about the very real concerns I have for being a citizen and a mother in this country. Being a “sore loser” when your candidate doesn’t win is one thing, but watching hate crimes take place and witnessing blatant discrimination and anti-minority propaganda enter the highest reaches of our government is quite another. For our planet it deeply saddens me to see the EPA given over to climate change deniers, and our place as leaders of the Paris Climate Change Accord morph into a position of dissent. It chills me to the core and makes me wonder what life will be for my daughter in the future, both human-rights and environment-wise. Will my grandchildren be welcome in their own country? Will they enjoy the same rights as white, Christian Americans? Will they have access to clean drinking water, clean air, and green spaces? Will they even have a planet to live on?

I pray that all of us who find this unacceptable will successfully boycott, petition, protest, rally, elect, and otherwise use the power of our voices to change the course of history from the one that we are on.

I just needed my “bahini”

Recipe for feeling better about life: hang out with your little sister (bahini, in Nepali), order chinese take-out, drink beer, and watch your niece have as many melt downs as your daughter. M and I were both excited to finally hang out with my sister and niece again, and the girls both played/fought all day while my sister inspired me to be the peaceful parent I’ve strove to be all along with her calm responses to irrational preschool/kindergartner behavior. And honestly, being reminded that my kid isn’t the only one experiencing extreme emotions and awful behavior was just comforting. Solidarity.

The hardest part about leaving Michigan will be not being able to hang with my sister on a weekly basis. So instead we’ll be making regular trips and staying with them for like a week. Squeeze in the quality time!

If anyone is more upset about the results of the US election than me, it’s my sister. We probably should be sick of politics but this isn’t something we can just turn off. We can’t just go about our regular lives when we just watched half of the country “put aside” or vote for outright bigotry and idiocy. We can’t stop talking about it because people like Pence, Gingrich, Giuliani, Bannon (and on and on) are being given power over our laws and policies, and are backed by a GOP house and senate. Scary shit. And yes, I’m someone who will “unfriend” you, or think differently about you, if you voted for this shit because it’s not “just politics”. It’s my life. It’s eliminating tax credits that directly affect my bank account as a single mom. It’s calling my daughter’s biological relatives “rapists”. It’s bragging about sexual assault and being rewarded for it. It’s having those things NOT be a deal breaker for you cause you don’t like some policies or the history of Hillary Clinton.

Disgusting. Repugnant. Unacceptable. If you don’t agree with me that those things are unacceptable no matter what, then we aren’t friends. No. We aren’t.

Anywho, if I do start a nursing contract too early to go back to Nepal, I’d like to swing by either the million woman march or the protests in DC near inauguration day, or the pipeline protests out west… that would be very awesome. I’d like to do something, rather than just complain about everything.

money and plans

I’ve been thinking about how little I spent money-wise in Nepal. True, I only paid for accommodation one night, and rarely paid for food. But still… a nice apartment rental in Kathmandu would cost $300/month which includes utilities, and food is super cheap. I can’t believe how much cheaper it would be to live there versus living here and paying $50 for a few simple groceries, or $400 for gas. Also we won’t have the preschool fees, the gas fees, the electric bill, or the wifi bill.

I am on the hunt for a good first travel nurse position starting now. So far my recruiters don’t have anything that’s day shift or at a large facility. I think it might take a month-ish to find something… and the start date may end up being later in January or toward February. In the meantime, I could maybe go back to Nepal for another three weeks. I certainly didn’t get my fill and I’m no longer afraid of going with my daughter, or intimidated by long flights. I have a friend who will even take us ‘light trekking’, with a porter to carry M whenever she gets tired.  Staying there would be way cheaper than staying at home. I have already picked up a holiday shift next week and plan to do overtime and make the extra money for airfare and living off of until I get paid again.

It’s so scary not knowing exactly where I’ll be and when yet, but that’s the price I pay for the flexibility to go where my soul calls me to go. I have to figure out where my mom will be during this time (with me?) and get a job lined up for when I come back. If I bust my butt from now until my last week at this job, I can make decent extra money.

Staying home and settling into the routine we had before is just not an option now. My grandparents are gone and the time has come for me to spread my wings and see what the world has for me. Going back to Nepal over the holidays would be excellent for me, and hopefully my mom and M as well. Come back, work a contract, go back? Hit up Michigan with a per diem position, go back? We’ll see. Right now I’m planning my life literally a month at a time.

Now, gotta get my passport renewed!