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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Feeling Stressed

I'm feeling a little stressed out lately. Why, you ask... I think I would reply to you with "Well, why the heck not?!"

This has been my busiest year yet for my bridal business, and August has been my busiest month ever. And in the past month, I have dealt with some of the most... ahem... difficult brides! I have a very elaborate wedding to coordinate this coming Saturday, then I have TWO weddings on next Saturday, and then I finally get a little break for a couple of weeks. I hate to sound like I am complaining because I really love what I do for my brides, but I'm ready for a break from some of the bridezillas I've had to deal with lately!

I'm also starting to stress out about the fact that I haven't had any job offers as of yet. I have applied for more than a dozen job postings online, and I have applied in person at three businesses here. I've had one interview, but I'm still waiting for their decision. I spoke to the manager this morning, and she told me that they hope to have selected the new staff by next week. So I am trying to remain hopeful about that one. I've also been promised an interview at a different location, but as of an hour ago they still haven't started scheduling interviews. I've never been in this position before... in the past I have been hired almost immediately for any job that I applied for. So this waiting game is starting to drive me crazy! Plus, my sister Anna is packing up her life and moving here to help us by being Reagan's nanny. She will be here in two weeks... so I need to find a job so that she can actually be the nanny!

Speaking of my sister Anna, that is another subject that is causing me some stress right now. Well, not her exactly... it's more that her dog Theo is the cause of my stress! She has a 17 week old black lab puppy that she wants to bring with her when she moves up her with us. The only problem with that... we have a 6 year old yorkshire terrior who does NOT do well with other dogs. Plus, Ryan is extremely allergic to dogs who shed, so it just wouldn't work for us to have her dog at our house. I've asked all of our neighbors, as well as all of our friends, if anyone would like to "dog sit" Anna's dog for the next year or so. Even though I am offering that Anna would pay for the dog's food and vet bills, no one is interested in keeping Theo at their house. We thought we had the whole situation worked out perfectly with one of our neighbors across the street, especially because then Anna would still be able to see Theo every day and take him for walks and stuff. But those plans fell through. I know how much Anna wants to bring her dog... I can't even leave our dog behind when we go for a week's vacation, much less a year long adventure! I'm still trying to find a temporary home for him, but I feel like I'm running out of time and options. I just want Anna to be happy while she is here...

As if all of that weren't enough to stress me out, Reagan has decided in the last couple of weeks that she is some kind of spawn from the devil demon child. Seriously, the kid is going through some kind of phase where she is just defiant about EVERYTHING. That's part of the reason that I have neglected this blog so much lately... I've been trying everything I can think of to keep her calm, happy, entertained, and occupied during the day so that she doesn't "lose it" quite so often. I'm sure that I'm just receiving some kind of karmic payback for all of the grief that I gave my own parents as I was growing up. What scares me is that Reagan is only THREE... I was expecting the kind of attitude that I am getting from her to come at closer to age THIRTEEN! The last few days have actually been much better in that regard, so hopefully we are in the final stages of whatever phase this is.

I can't write a post about stress without telling you about what happened this past Monday. This story may sound silly to some of you, but let me assure you that this was and still is serious business in this house. Reagan nearly caused me to have a nervous breakdown... SHE CUT HER OWN HAIR! Now y'all all know from previous posts how particular I am about her hair. She has had the most beautiful little head of hair... until Monday that is. We had been playing with artwork most all of Monday morning, and I had been really working with her as she was mastering using her artsy kid-safe scissors. By that afternoon, she was properly cutting out shapes and using those shapes along with stickers, glue, glitter and pipe cleaners to make some quite crafty gifts for me. She was so proud of herself, and I was quite proud of her too! She told me that she wanted to use her glitter make-up to use for a final big surprise. I said sure. She took her scissors and her paper into the bathroom and halfway shut the door. I assumed that she was going to use the glitter to decorate the construction paper, and that then she would cut out the shapes she wanted and give it to me. I started unloading the dishwasher, and a few minutes later she came out of the bathroom and said, "TADA! How do you like my hair, mommy?" My natural response before I even turned to look at her was, "Oh it's beautiful baby!" But as the words were coming out of my mouth, I actually took a closer look. My first thought was that she must have smeared a lot of that glittery lotion mess into her hair because it looked like it was all matted up against her head. And then I clued in to what was really going on. I ran across the room screaming,
"NO! NO! NO! NO! Please baby NO! What have you done to your hair? OH NO! OH NO! OH NO! Not your hair, please not your beautiful hair..."
Yes, I slightly over-reacted. Yes, I completely freaked her out. As I am kneeling in the bathroom on the now hair-covered floor, she comes in crying saying, "I'm so sorry Mommy. I wanted to surprise you." Then she runs upstairs and locks herself in her bedroom. (Gee, I wonder where she gets her drama queen issues from?!) I continue to cry in the downstairs bathroom, and then I phone my hair salon to get her an appointment to get it fixed. I went and sat with her in her bedroom, and we both cried. By the time Ryan came home from work, I had calmed down completely. Reagan on the other hand freaked out even worse and started crying even harder and saying that she didn't want her Daddy to see her ugly hair. She finally settled down a while later, but she wouldn't leave the house even to just play in the backyard or to take Dixie for a walk around the block without wearing a hat.

She scalped it in the front. There are sections of her bangs that are not much more than stubble at this point. She chopped it up really good along the top and the sides, and she even managed to somehow take a chuck out of the back. What breaks my heart the most is that she was SO VERY PROUD of what she had done. And then I broke her heart with my reaction.

Thankfully the girls at my salon were able to somewhat salvage what was left without cutting her hair down to a super short boy cut. They taught us how to style it in a way that will help to camouflage the damage, and they gave Reagan a LLOOOONNNNNGGGGGGGG lecture about cutting her own hair. For obvious reasons, Reagan wouldn't let me take a picture of her before we got it fixed. But she is back to herself now that she has been assured over and over again that she is just as gorgeous as ever, and she's posing for the camera like always! I am starting to wonder if I have created a beauty queen monster already at her tender young age...
So that's what's up in my life. Now I'm off to continue trying to catch up on what seems like the 1,000,000 posts from all of you that I have neglected the last couple of weeks. I was up pretty late last night getting caught up, and I hope to be completely caught up by the time I go to bed tonight!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Winner Is...

I used the Random Integer Generator to come up with the second winner for my first ever giveaway...

Here are your random numbers:

27

Timestamp: 2009-08-21 17:07:12 UTC


And lucky comment number 27 belongs to:

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...
Oh-and I follow!

Congratulations Stefanie! Send me a message with your address and your preference of either a Starbucks or a Target gift card, and I will get your prize in the mail to you ASAP!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We Have the First Winner!


Congratulations to ANNA!

No, not my sister Anna, you silly people. That wouldn't be fair now would it? No! The winner of my first ever giveaway is Anna from The Musatov Family blog! Anna is a Minnesota girl who has a four year old little girl named Ally, and a baby boy on the way who will be born in December of this year! I love reading Anna's blog, and have often thought that Ally and Reagan would probably be the best of friends if they had the chance!

So, congratulations Anna for being the 10,000th hit on this blog! Thanks even more for sending me the picture proof. Send me an email with your mailing address, and I will get your prize sent out to you ASAP. You can have your pick between a Starbucks gift card or a Target gift card... just let me know which one you would prefer!

Don't forget, there is still a chance for YOU to win a gift card as well. Be sure to leave a comment on my Not Me Monday post from this week, and I will choose a lucky winner from those comments on Friday, August 21, at 9:00 am PST.

And who knows... maybe I'll still award the 100th follower with a special prize as well.

Monday, August 17, 2009

CHANGES

If you have arrived here via Mckmama’s Not Me Monday link, consider this post to be part two of that original post. Be sure to scroll down to that post to find out how you can be one of the two lucky winners for my first ever giveaway! I'll even stop with all the drama and suspense and tell you what the fabulously awesome prizes are going to be… gift certificates to my two favorite places… STARBUCKS & TARGET! What could be better than that?! Be sure that you are entered to win…


Now, to explain what would have just been too confusing to try to put into a "not me" style post...
You may remember this post from a looooong time ago. (Wait a minute... I only had 7 readers back then... you probably don't remember it!) In case you don't want to click on the link, (you know you really want to... go ahead and click it to read the whole thing!) I'll just tell you that it was a post all about being a full-time stay-at-home mom. Well, the time has come for some change to occur in that department!
You may also remember this post from just a few weeks ago that talks about the itch I suddenly have to have another baby. The more I think about it, the more I can't stop thinking about it. Does that even make any sense? But that is just who I am... the ultimate planner! So, in all of my thinking and planning, I have decided to go back to work. Why, you ask? Let me explain it to you!
Canada has an amazing maternity leave that provides ONE YEAR of paid benefits at 55% of the employee's current wage. And the only requirement is that the mother has worked a minimum of 600 hours in the 52 weeks prior to the birth of the baby. The drawback is that my current salary is from being self-employed. And being self-employed means that I am not eligible for those wonderful paid benefits that I had when Reagan was born three years ago.
Ryan and I talked about it endlessly, and in every conversation we agreed that the best decision financially for our family was for me to go back to work, even if it was for just long enough to collect the benefits so that we would have some extra money. Who doesn't want extra money? But every conversation also ended with us agreeing that there was no way that I could go back to work because I can't leave Reagan. And we refuse to put her in day care. Yes, she starts pre-school in less than a month, but that is only for 2.5 hours 2 days a week. There was just no way that we could figure out how to make it work....
That is, until Ryan reminded me that we had an offer from my sister to be Reagan's nanny. Anna mentioned several times while we were in NC for vacation last month that she wanted to move up to live with us and to be Reagan's nanny. I just thought that she was kidding around. And she may have just been kidding around. But we decided to put the offer out there for her to take if she wanted it. After a few long days of thinking and soul searching and decision making, SHE SAID YES!
So, in just over three weeks, Anna will be crossing the border into Canada to come help with spoiling Reagan rotten even more than she already is! I still don't know 100% for sure what type of job I will have, but I've sent my resume to over a dozen different employers in the past week. My first choice would be to work at a hotel covering the night audit and desk receptionist position. I would prefer the graveyard shift (that no one else in their right mind would specifically ask for!) that goes from 11PM to 7AM. With those hours, I can still do my bridal work on the weekends, and I can still be available to enjoy Reagan's activities during the week like gymnastics, ballet, and taking her to pre-school. And during the rest of the time, I can sleep while Auntie Anna takes care of Reagan. That way, unless I am sleeping, the only parts of my family's life that I will miss will be when they are sleeping. In my head, it all sounds perfect... we'll see how it all pans out in real life!
I have an interview with one of the local hotels later this week, and I have been told from a second hotel that I will be receiving a phone call by the end of the week to schedule an interview with them as well. Keep your fingers crossed everyone!
So there you have it! Our big and exciting news... all compliments of my wonderful little sister! We love you Auntie Anna, and we can't wait for you to get here!

Not Me Monday With a GIVEAWAY!


I know, I know... it's been 17 days since I have made a post. I AM SORRY! It has been more than just a little bit crazy around here the past couple of weeks. There are many major major major changes happening in our lives right now, and I am not even going to attempt to try to explain them in a "Not Me" style post. That would just be too confusing! So stay tuned for a post later on today that will explain all the reasons for my bloggy absence.

Meanwhile... I'm excited to join MckMama for another week of Not Me Monday! By now, you know how this little game works, and I hope that you will join us in this glorious form of free therapy!

Speaking of therapy, I am doing pretty well with the final phase of stopping all of my anti-depression and anti-anxiety meds. I went through two days of either severe withdrawals or I possibly had some kind of weird and painful stomach virus. Or maybe I had a two day flu. I'm not 100% sure what it was, but I really think it was from stopping the meds! Regardless, I did NOT complain to my husband that I felt like my brain was buzzing with electricity during those two most awful days, as well as for a few days after that. I also did NOT hear my husband telling someone that he felt like he was riding the "Crazy Tiffany Roller Coaster" during that first week. Geez... I just thought that I was a little bit edgy!

I am NOT seriously thinking about registering for a 10K run at the end of September. Considering that I have only run two times in the past two weeks, and considering that both of those runs ADDED TOGETHER still don't equal to 10K, this may be a slightly crazy idea.

I have NOT been trying to decide what color to paint the walls of my living room for over a week now. I love the color that it is currently, but it is really dark. I decided that the room needed to be brighter, so I've been searching for the perfect paint color. The problem... nothing compares to the color that it already was. So, I finally decided to just paint it half a shade lighter than what it originally was, mainly because I need to clean up the giant mess that I made in my color choosing process.
And finally, I am NOT super excited to host my very first giveaway! Currently, I have 82 followers (I LOVE Y'ALL!) and my hit count is at 9,752. Whichever event occurs first, either 100 followers or 10,000 hits, that lucky person will receive what I consider to be a FABULOUSLY AWESOME prize! You can check my right sidebar to see where all of the counts currently stand, and if you are the 100th follower or 10,000th hit, please send me picture proof and you will be my lucky winner!

And, just because I want to make it even more interesting for all of you (and to give those of you who are already followers an extra chance) I will be giving away a SECOND prize winner at random to anyone who comments on this post! You can even receive bonus opportunities to win by commenting to let me know that:
  1. You are a follower of this blog.
  2. You are following me on Twitter. (just ask... I'll confirm for you to follow)
  3. You have posted my button on your blog.
  4. You write a post or a link about this giveaway.
  5. You just want to tell me how wonderful and awesome you think I am.
So there you have it. My entrance back into bloggy-land, a "Not Me" post, a give away, and a promise for another post to come later today... all wrapped up into one little post right here just for you.

Happy Monday everyone!