Most Terrifying Experience of My Life. WTF!

I just had the most terrifying experience of my life. I went to lay down with the baby for about an hour before putting him in his crib for a nap. I walked back into the kitchen to the sound of loud buzzing. I looked up to see SWARMS of yellow jackets in my living room. All over my lights, the windows, curtains, walls, etc. They weren’t there an hour prior. I shut the baby’s door and ran to get my  upstairs neighbor, who helped me spray and kill HUNDREDS of them, until they were all dead.

Apparently, when we called to complain last week about the nest outside our house, the exterminator the landlord hired didn’t do anything, but said that he did. This gave the yellow jackets time to finish burrowing through the wall, and they flooded my apartment through a hole underneath my computer desk. Luckily, I wasn’t at my desk, or in the living room, at the time.

We blocked off the hole with some duct tape, but the nest is still there in the wall. My neighbor called the landlord again to tell them that the situation has gotten worse, and they were angry about the exterminator. Not nearly as angry as I am. I now have hundreds and hundreds of dead yellow jackets to clean up. I’m furious. I’m too terrified to do anything. And my house smells like chemicals.

What if we had been SLEEPING? I may never sleep again.

Oh, There’s A Blog Here

I always do this. I get really excited about starting a blog (or a podcast, or a YouTube channel, etc.), and then I just leave it after a few entries to dry up and die. I have so much I want to say, about so many things, but I just have the hardest time actually SAYING it. Even now, it’s just a jumbled mess inside my head and I so desperately want to type, but it’s just so hard for me to do it.

That sounded a bit dramatic. It’s nothing important, really just video game stuff and baby stuff. My life is so boring.

But I guess I’ll start with what’s actually been going on in my life lately. The last month has been pretty up-and-down financially for us. With me no longer working, things have been tight. We have enough to pay our bills, buy diapers, etc., and it’s not like we’re starving, but it leaves very little wiggle room for fun, clothes for ourselves, or emergencies.

Like car emergencies. Have I ever mentioned what a total piece of crap our car is? We have a red ’99 Ford Mustang, it’s Kyle’s car obviously, and he’s had it since high school. It was always his baby. But lately, EVERYTHING has been going wrong with it. Literally. Everything. The AC doesn’t work, the driver’s side seat is broken and is being held up by a board, so we only have half of a back seat, the tires are getting bare, the horn doesn’t work, the doors lock (on their own) but are unable to be UNLOCKED because some asshole shoved a paper clip in the lock, it doesn’t have mirrors on either side, and it KEEPS GETTING HIT BY ASSHOLES WHO JUST TAKE OFF. We had 3 hit-and-run incidents last year alone, and it’s taken it’s toll on the body of our car. We also now have to replace the brakes again, because even though we got new brakes early last year, the garage that did them left something loose, and it ended up grinding down our brakes really badly. Or something. So, yeah, need new brakes. We also had to replace our radiator hose last week because it randomly blew. So, yeah.

We really want/need a new car. This 2-door little thing just isn’t cutting it when it comes to loading and unloading the baby and his carrier, and will be completely impossible once he gets bigger. I have my seat ALL the way up, but luckily I’m short. No one taller than 5’3 can sit in the passenger seat if the baby is also in the car. It is terrible. And like I said before, the AC doesn’t work… which was fine when it was just the two of us, we would just roll down the windows and sweat our asses off… but I don’t want to put my baby through that. Nope nope nope. We can still probably get around $1200 or so for our car in the condition it is in, but we would have to have another car lined up THAT DAY for us to buy. Finding something in our price range has been next to impossible. I am still paying off a loan I took out last year just so that we could move, and Kyle’s credit isn’t good enough for him to take a loan out himself. I don’t think we could afford payments on two loans anyway. So trying to fins something with 4 doors, working AC, and not a pile of shit, for under… $2000 or so… has been an impossible task.

Blah.

Anyway, I’m glad you are all still here… well, those of you who ARE here.

Thanks for reading!

Jan

I’m In Stitches

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to learn to sew. Or crochet. Or knit. My grandmother was a homemaker, and she watched me a lot while my mom was working. She cooked and baked, painted ceramics, made clothes and little handmade projects… I wanted to do that. She would give me all her ceramic scraps, like a pumpkin or a small dog, that she wasn’t using in her projects, and I would get to paint them. She also made wedding cakes, and cakes for birthdays and special occasions, and if one of the layers wasn’t perfect, she gave it to me to decorate. My own little cake. I picked up little things from her here and there, like what flavors complimented each other, and what colors went together… but I never did anything with any of that knowledge. I don’t cook, I don’t bake, I don’t paint, I don’t sew… but now, I crochet.

About a week ago, I reached out on Twitter and asked my followers which they prefer: crocheting or knitting. From what I understand, the biggest difference between the two is the number of needles you use. Crocheting seemed like a simpler, cheaper, thing to learn… so I did. A friend helped me with some yarn and needles, and I spent the next few days watching YouTube videos and hunting down simple, beginner patterns to try while waiting for my package to come in the mail. When it finally arrived, I wasted no time getting to work on learning. It’s definitely a fun little thing to focus on while the baby is sleeping on me, or I’m bored in WoW waiting for a queue to pop, etc.

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I picked the yarn I wanted to use, and found a very basic video on learning different stitches. I believe I was making a potholder. As you can see from the picture… it didn’t turn out so well. It didn’t take me long to make, and I got significantly better as I went, but the end result was… unattractive. I decided to unravel and try something else, since I now knew the basics.

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WRAP BRACELETS! I love wrap bracelets, and I could even make money selling them once I’m comfortable/good enough at making them. I found three different tutorials, and kind of combined all three techniques… and voila! I made the first one (light blue) in about 20 minutes. I screwed up sewing the button on, and it was a bit tight on my wrist, but I was so happy with it. So I made another, in my favorite color… GREEN! This one took me a little less than 15 minutes, and I didn’t mess up the button! It fits perfectly, and I intend to actually wear it!

Some of you know this, some of you don’t, but for the last couple years, I’ve participated in our local Relay For Life event with my fiance, his mother, and whoever happens to be on the team. I had an idea for these bracelets, since they are so cheap and easy to make… I can make them in the colors of the different cancer awareness ribbons (purple, pink, yellow, blue, etc.) and sell them at this year’s Relay, if we do it this year. I am completely in love with the idea, I just hope we are able to do it this year. Kyle’s mom is finishing up nursing school, Kyle works full time, and now we have a baby… so we’ll see.

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Another idea I had was to make baby accessories. Who doesn’t love baby accessories?! Of course, I have a baby boy, so almost everything I make would be for sale/gifts, but it is a fun idea. The picture above is my first attempt at a newborn headband, with a flower and button. It took about 35 minutes total. I had never made a flower before either. The headband ended up being about half an inch short for a standard newborn size, so it could be for a preemie… but I will remember next time to account for my stitches when measuring my yarn. I know so many people who are due with baby girls, and these can be made in so many colors and thicknesses for different seasons… I’m excited to learn more techniques and patterns for these, and hopefully they can make me a little money now that I’m a SAHM.

Thank you all for reading, and for encouraging me to take on a new challenge in my life. I can’t wait to show you more cute things as I make them!

J

Reincarnated… As A Shaman

When I decided to start this blog, I thought it would be simple to find time to write, but it has been a challenge. Besides caring for my little one, all I do at home all day is play WoW or the Sims (although I did just pick up crocheting recently), so you would think I’d have something to write about, right? Nope. Not really. Despite the fact that I spend the majority of my day at my computer, I feel like I’m barely playing the game, not doing anything… not doing anything with writing about really. But hey, maybe someone out there will find this interesting!

I would say that a good chunk of my time spent on WoW lately has been time playing my Shaman, which has quickly become one of my favorite classes again. I’ll always be a Hunter at heart, but she’s just SO fun. For those of you who missed my previous post, I recently transferred my very first main, a Troll Shaman named Zuljinn, from the Dethecus server to Earthen Ring. I’ve been doing this for years, but always decided against it. I enjoyed the idea of having that one character, completely original and frozen in time where I left her… but on the other hand, she was my main for nearly five years. I spent A LOT of time (and money) playing her. I have so many incredibly fond memories of my time playing her. So… I decided to take her out of retirement.

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Meet Zuljan, level 100 Troll Shaman! I hit level 100 on her last week after using my character boost to go from 70-90, and decided to try out playing as Elemental, since she was always Resto/Enhancement. It’s very different from playing my Hunter, for example, my Shaman dies. MY HUNTER NEVER DIES. Maybe I just suck? Combat on her is a lot more fun though, more buttons to press, more cooldowns to manage… my adorable elementals. Fun!

Her item level is hovering in the very low 600’s, since I hit 100 in Spires of Arak, and not Nagrand, so I missed out on some of the higher level quest rewards. She does have several pieces of crafted gear though, so that’s something! Unfortunately, between her low item level and my lack of skill, it has been very hard to do my Apexis dailies. And complete the damn Silver Proving Grounds… so no heroics either. A lot of focus on my garrison, as well as quest achievements in Draenor. It’s been a lot of fun!

I feel like I’ve completely lost interest in my Hunter since transferring my Shaman. Since I’m no longer able to raid, and all my WoW friends are… nonexistent, the only thing really for me anymore is leveling alts, farming mats, pet battling… actually, yeah, that’s pretty much all I do on my Hunter. Pet battles, farming for garrison crap… boooring.

The good news is, after hardly touching her for two and a half years, I’ve decided to finally start playing my Priest again! She will remain as shadow (healing is gross), and after playing her for just a few minutes today, I was pleased to see that shadow spec hasn’t changed at all. I miss my Priest, she was my main for a long time before I became addicted to being a Hunter. I’m not alone in this, have you SEEN how many Hunters are out there these days?
I suppose that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed this long-winded description on what I’ve been up to this past week… it took me nearly a week to write it. In fact, I’m finishing it up from my couch, while trapped under a sleeping two month old, watching Bones… ah, this is the life… Thank you for reading, friends!

J

Returning to the World (of Warcraft)

I was without internet for two years. Two. Long. Years. To some, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when all of your hobbies, friends, and the majority of your life exist solely on the internet, suddenly being without it is somewhat devastating. I really don’t care if you find that pathetic, that’s just how my life was.

After my ex of four years and I parted ways, I was broken, and broke. Even working full-time at my job at the time, I could barely afford rent and bills on my own, let alone luxuries. I felt completely cut off. During those two years, I was also without a phone, so I had zero contact with my friends or family. Or work. It was awful. But I’m back now. As great as it is having the internet back (I missed you, Netflix!), I feel like the last couple months have been a horrible game of trying to catch up with the world… movies, music, TV, games. I’d been so out of the loop for all long that it’s almost overwhelming now that I’m back.

Listen to me, sounding like I was held captive in a bunker or something for 15 years. Ugh. This is a little pathetic.

Anyway, I got my internet back a few weeks before my son was born in January. I decided that if I didn’t have SOMETHING to keep me sane during my maternity leave, even if it was just Netflix, I would snap. Besides, my fiance and I were both making more than enough to make ends meet, so why not? Despite my excitement, I told myself I wasn’t going to jump into my old online life, not that I didn’t want to, I just couldn’t. Everything was different. My old friends had moved on from me. My podcast was old news. No one knew who I was anymore. I felt replaced and depressed. There could be no big comeback. What was I even coming back to? I was never really a somebody, but more than ever, I felt like a nobody.

Despite my better judgement, I reinstalled WoW on my computer and reactivated my account. I guess deep down I knew I would. I decided to lay low. I had missed out on a good chunk Mists of Pandaria, as well as the launch of Warlords of Draenor, and everything felt overwhelming. There were people bragging about their 4th or 5th level 100, and their level 3 garrisons, and raiding whatever they were raiding… and here I was, logging in and standing in the middle of my FARM. Everything in my bags and bank, everything I was farming when before I was forced to quit, now completely useless.

Awesome.

On top of that, there are new games? Hearthstone? Heroes of the Storm? WTF is that?

Class changes, mounts and battle pets, raids. So much to learn. I rejoined good old AIE on my hunter, whom I had resumed playing as my main, but let my priest stand idly by. She’s still only level 90, despite the fact that my hunter has been 100 for over a month. I also recently transferred my level 70 shaman to Earthen Ring and began playing her again after five years of letting her sit unused on my old, old, OLD server. My first server. She was my first main. She is now level 98 and I’m having SO much fun playing her as elemental.

Balancing gaming and a newborn has been tough. I already knew raiding was completely off the table for me, but I’ve been surprised at just how little I’ve been able to do while home alone with my son. No PvP, no raiding, no instances at all… at least, I can’t do any of those things WELL. I spend the majority of my time in WoW doing activities that don’t require me to play with both hands, e.g. maxing Archaeology and fishing, doing my Apexis dailies, putting together killer transmog sets, farming mats, farming raid pets, etc. Even still, with him being a little over two months old, it’s been difficult to find things I can do to keep me interested in the game with him in my lap.

Thank god LFR is such a breeze that I can do it with one hand on my hunter. She actually has a pretty respectable gear score, for being on a raid team.

And please, don’t even get me started on rebooting Something Suggestive (for those of you who didn’t know me before this year, I ran a podcast for a while). Sorry to disappoint… whoever is even left to be disappointed, but it’s not going to happen. My podcast is dead. Sorry.

So, as glad as I am to be back, it has been hard for me as well. I’m enjoying myself and adjusting pretty well, but I still get overwhelmed and upset from time to time. But I guess I have plenty of time to play now that I’m a SAHM, right? I’ve also met a lot of really great people lately who have helped me more than they know. So thanks, new friends!

Woah. This post was much more depressing than intended… sorry. Thanks for reading! More to come later.

J

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Frustrations and Acceptance

Ever since my little guy was born, everyone has told me how lucky I am. He usually sleeps through the night, only waking up once, or sometimes not at all, to feed at an ungodly hour. Heck, there’s been times when I wake up at 7:30 and think, “Wow, we just slept like normal people?!” LT also never really fusses, unless he is hungry (or WAY tired), but a quick bottle calms him quickly. He is also a pretty good self-soother, and can calm himself if I take too long to notice that he needs something. He’s an easy-going baby, loves meeting and playing with new people, and lets complete strangers hold him (not STRANGERS, they’re family/friends), and when people tell me I’m lucky, it makes me feel good. But some days, I don’t feel lucky. At all. Some days I feel like a terrible mother and a failure. If LT doesn’t nap for longer than 30 minutes at a time during the day, or fusses for nearly an hour without me being able to comfort him, I get frustrated. I blame myself for not making him comfortable enough, or if he spits up after eating, or for not knowing how to soothe him (after cycling through the usual suspects of hunger, wet diaper, too hot/cold, etc.), or for not being a freaking mind reader. HOW DARE I NOT BE A MIND READER! But after over two months of this mom business, I’ve realized that not only do I have it pretty easy, but I’m not a bad mom for not being able to stop his crying.

News flash: BABIES CRY. Sometimes, for no real reason. They just want to cry. It’s true. I’ve learned to accept this and also accept the fact that there are other parents out there who have it WAY worse. People with twins on different sleep schedules, or colicky babies, or babies with allergies… I am lucky. With LT, everything has been smooth, for the most part. Breastfeeding was a complete nightmare, but once we accepted that formula (although not as ideal for them) is a great alternative, I was okay. Sometimes it still stings that I can’t give my baby breast milk… but he has a full tummy and is growing perfectly. That’s all the matters, right? Other things were much easier for us though. The very first bottles we ever used with him (Avent), he liked. The first formula we tried, he wasn’t allergic to/didn’t make him gassy. Pacifiers, on the other hand, have been a bit trickier, but all-in-all, it’s been a breeze… and a money saver.

It can be hard, especially for an inexperienced, new mom to hear their baby cry. Hell, there’s been a few times when I just couldn’t figure out what he wanted, and it made ME cry. I never grew up around babies. Never had friends with small siblings or babies. Even now, I only know a few people with young ones, and of course, none of them live ANYWHERE near me. This whole baby thing is SUPER new to me. I have a great support system though, and loads of cool moms on Facebook and Twitter who are willing to toss advice my way, despite the fact that I’m really stubborn when it comes to accepting help. Always have been. I also secretly scour the internet, reading sites like babycenter.com to answer questions I may have. Seriously, that site is amazing. I started reading the day I found out I was pregnant, and I use it nearly every day to answer random baby questions, like how much formula your baby is supposed to get in  day (apparently it’s 2.5 ounces for every pound they weigh), and to track the different milestones babies reach as they grow.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, even though it’s annoying when people tell you that it’s okay to make mistakes when parenting, and that no one is perfect, it is also TRUE. We all want to be perfect. We are all secretly competing with other moms to be the best (don’t lie to yourself, you know you do it). But as long as you love your baby and try your best to keep them happy, then YOU ARE A GOOD MOM. YES. YOU. YOU ARE A GREAT MOM! I know it doesn’t always feel like it, and that you get frustrated… but to this tiny human, you are their whole world. You feed them when they are hungry, you change their diaper when they are wet/poopy, you hold them and make them feel safe and warm and comforted. You are a rock star to your kid(s). A freaking super hero. I try not to forget this, and I hope you remember it as well.

Rock on, super moms!

J

Stay-At-Home Mom: Day 1

Hello, friends. My name is Jan, and today is my first official day as a stay-at-home mom. I had a lot of reservations over the decision to stay home with my now 2 month old son, and with it being so new still, I’m not sure how I feel yet. Other than my now increased stress over money, it feels exactly the same as the last two months home on maternity leave with my son felt… yet somehow completely different. I had been working with the company that I left for a little over a year and a half, and it was a nightmare throughout my whole maternity leave. This isn’t to say that I didn’t like my job, because I did (well, as much as you can like working retail), but the way the company treated me as a new mom when going on/returning from maternity leave was just awful. I guess that made the decision a little easier. That, and how utterly impossible it is to find affordable childcare out in these cornfields.

So, here I am, writing this post on my phone, while lying on the couch with a sleeping baby on me (yes, we co-sleep, but that’s a post for another day), wondering if anyone at all will even be interested in my experiences as a SAHM/gamer mom. Worth a shot, right?

Anyway. More to come as I live each day in this new chapter of my life. Hope you’ll stick around for the journey.

J