Getting back up

Whereas last week I was so sure that no one would like the blog. I even went so far as to not say anything about it being posted on our social media. This week I hope to take a little bit of a brighter outlook and share some of the joy and positivity that keeps me going despite all that keeps me down.

So I would like to present this blog’s first ever list.

Tina’s top 5 ways to show the world who’s boss:

1. Finding time, or Making time? That is the question – When I write I am most often consumed in a world of chaos. I have a child who demands my every firing neuron to be focused on him and him alone. He is a highly energetic child who loves to dance and sing and watch videos but when he sees my computer open, well that must be a sign that I need to play games with him on whatever game he is fascinated with at the time.

I love playing games with him. He gets to see my good sportsmanship and he gets to show off to me how much better he is at parkour in the game then I am. However, when I have things I need to get done I gotta focus. When  I took on the NaNoWriMo challenge last November I buckled down and made sure I got it done. I did too. I got 50,000 words of my story out of my head and into a format I could show someone. Not that I have yet, but, I forced myself to find the time, show my kiddo that I would play with him but I had other things that had to be done first. Since then I have been slacking hardcore but I have to accept that for what it is and just move on. I can and will do better and when it comes to writing. Well, I started this blog with my husband to force us to write more every week.

2. Happy places work like coffee- When I wake up in the morning, I get snuggles from my kiddo and we start off our day. I love coffee, but often the chance to make it is distant. When I can’t get my coffee or tea I can’t just turn off and stop being Mom. I have to make due with what I can. I sing, play funky music and make the kiddo dance to it, whatever gets us laughing and talking more. You give me 5 mins of quiet and I will meet you after my 2hr nap. Sleep is a happy place for me. However, waking up to the front door wide open and flour all over my kitchen is not. So making a happy place out of what I have in front of me is what I tend to do. Let me tell you when I say little man can dance. That boy get’s down and boogies!

3. Stickers, lots of stickers- I know, I am almost 30 and I should be grown out of silly things like that, but, I have these amazingly adorable panda stickers on my bamboo lap desk and they make me smile every time I look at them. When I was so sick and tired of my phone and wanted to chuck it at a wall for restarting for no reason over and over. I put tiny cute monsters stickers one the case. Some had mustaches! Seeing those guys would help me relax and forget about how my phone had just cut me off from sending a text to my husband for the 4th time.

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4. Understanding that things don’t stand still – I was raised in a HIGHLY Christian home and one of my favorite verses is, “This too shall pass.” It has been almost a self-mantra and a reminder that nothing stays the same. Good and bad. So enjoy the good when you have it and remember that the bad can’t last forever. I have a lot of health problems caused by being overweight and keeping me from moving and exercising to get rid of weight. I am in almost constant pain. Chest, ovaries, migraines, you name it I have most likely felt it. I joke with ER nurses on the regular and can tell you within minutes of meeting a nurse if she gives a shit or even believes you. Not all of them have treated me well, but I choose to understand that they are human and as such, they are bound to have bad days like the rest of us. Pain or no, I am always looking for the little ways I can help my family and make time to spend with them. Everything moves, and things will always change.

 

5. Awesome support – I can make my husband laugh even if he tries not to, because I know him and what makes him laugh. Well, he knows me and what makes me laugh. When my husband and kiddos team up I am full of the joy that seeing them being silly brings. I don’t have much support around me but I know that if I was feeling down I could give my Mom a call and we could just chat like we always do. When I am feeling out of sorts I have learned to just tell my husband. He understands and doesn’t judge me for this. He gives me hugs when I ask and sits on the other side of the room if I need. He has been a great pillar of support to me and when I look at what pushes me to be better or to buck up and try again. It is him. He believes in me and that means more to me than anything else in this world.

So when facing your own buckets of doubt, find the things in your own life that float. Find the people that make you smile and encourage you to reach even if you are too short to reach the top of the fridge…. like me.

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Big dreams & little buckets

Tina here.

You know, the problem I am realizing more and more as I get older each year is that I am a dreamer. I can come up with ideas and plans that are so fantastic and beautiful sounding. I can even come up with what needs to be done to make it happen. However, I am horrible at pushing forward with anything.

I wanna live in Japan. That had been a dream of mine since I was 12. I went to Japan for 3 months on the good graces and EXTREAM amounts of patience of my Uncle and his newly married wife, my sweet Aunt. I was 17 and earned the money to pay for the ticket all on my own. However, my money was already earned and burning a hole in my pocket. I fully aware that I would have spent the money on random nicknacks or books if it wasn’t about Japan.

I wanna be a Teacher. I was inspired by some of my Jr. High and High school teachers. History mostly. I wanted to teach. I loved working with other people and I loved helping my friends and peers. Hell, I was a peer to peer counselor! However, in my all knowing wisdom of so close to 18 I can taste it, I got pregnant. That in and of itself didn’t disqualify me from going to school and making my dreams come true, but overloading myself, not asking for help when I should have, and not seeing a problem for what he was doing. I have tried to go to school since but a large part of those attempts has been extremely difficult and with an onset of untreated PTSD, I developed extream anxiety and depression when it came to dealing with new people. Maybe if someone like my husband could go with me I could push along, but the problem with that is that one of us has to work. I want my husband to have the chance to go to school if that is what he wants. Hell, I am more than willing to do whatever I need to for him to follow his own dreams. However, one of us just hit our 10 years at a single job… It wasn’t me.

I want to live clean and get healthy. I am so sick and tired of people telling me what I already know. Yes, I am EXTREAMLY overweight, yes I know what that can do to my body, yes I am aware that I can’t continue to live this way without consequences. How about you come over and teach me everything you do and how to overcome my downfalls and self-hate to learn a new lifestyle. Oh, what’s that? You have your own life. Yeah well, stop trying to tell me how easy it is unless you understand the shit I have to wade past just to get into the freaking club. Eat healthier, I have, you know what happens, I loose about 15lbs, which at this size is so not hard to do, then I bounce back and/or don’t loose anymore. Oh, but don’t worry, I am told that when I REEEEEALLY want it I will make it happen…

I know way too much about Tiny houses, crafts, and visas. I have studied every single way that you can legally get a visa to live in Japan. Think you don’t qualify for one. You could be wrong but you have to meet some qualifications first. I have so much useless information about things I will most likely never do. I want to start my own company but my own lack of solid skill/commitment keeps me here, behind a keyboard telling no one how sad and pitiful I am.

Oh, and my latest dream, an RV. Why? Because I worry that my terrible habits are going to land my family without a home and at least with an RV we could travel and find a place to work with a home over us like turtles.

Wow, this blog turned into a bummer. Sorry guys, this was a much-needed rant.

Choooriiiing

Kris here,

Chores get a bad rap in our society nowadays, or at least from everyone I’ve ever spoken to about them. It’s basically like work except you don’t get paid for it, am I right? I’m about 6 forks away from donating my dishes and replacing them all with paper plates and paper towels! Wellll okay that would be a bit extreme. But if everyone hates chores so much, why does everyone do them? Well it’s crap you gotta get done! You have to take out the garbage if you don’t want to live in an ant and roach colony, you have to wash dishes if you don’t want dried and caked versions of your dinner stuck to the plates you’re eating off, and if you don’t mow your lawn the stupid HOA complains non-stop! Also you can’t play outside and you get ants, at least in Texas.

Recently I’ve been subconsciously shifting a lot more of my “but I don’t wannaaaa” tasks into the ‘ugh fine’ pile and it seems to be working pretty well, so I’m thinking it’s probably just mine and others’ attitude that’s souring the perception of these things. A lot of people I’ve been watching on YouTube or speaking with in my day to day interactions seem to have a few mental lists – the two specifically I care about in this segment are the “goals” list and the “chores” list. In fact, I did that some weeks ago. Here’s an example of mine:

Goals:
Full time billion dollar author
Smartest person in the world
Speak a bunch of languages

Chores:
Dishes
Laundry
Lawn mowing

I think if my goals said, having a fabulous lawn to frolic in or hosting dinner parties, this would be a fine matchup! You know what doesn’t earn me my first million writing? Yeah, folding laundry that’s right. “But Kris, just make a 15.9 step plan for each goal and implement them biweekly,” I see you thinking. Yeah maybe, but that’s essentially what a New Year’s Resolution is and, as I discussed in that same blog previously referred to, everyone breaks those! I don’t want to throw myself under any buses here, but I spend a considerable amount of time balancing my time between the things I need to do, like cleaning or paying bills, and the things I want to do, like playing Overwatch with Nik or watching anime with Tina.

Personally, I think I need to expand the list of chores I’m committing to each week with more useful tasks sprinkled into the boring tedious things and I think I can easily set aside a few hours a week to just plow through them. Things that slip through the cracks when I get distracted, like my Japanese studies or writing manuscripts and outlines. I’ve already implemented a lot of changes to my approach to long-term goals this year, I think shifting my priorities around for the short term items will help get me closer to my goals… which should, in turn, make me rich enough to pay other people to do all this stuff for me!

Spring break fun!

South by South West (SxSw) is in town here in Austin and what better way to spend spring break than with those you love doing stuff you enjoy! That being said, I hate the traffic caused by SxSw. So when my beautiful mother came down to visit me, we found our fun in chatting and crafting together!

I have been making notebooks and working on bookbinding. I set out my cardboard and started cutting as I watched my mother pull out her yarn and crochet hooks and look for a cute new thing to make. I helped her pick out an adorable octopus. I watched her video with her and watched her quick and practiced fingers fly through the instructions. My crafting senses were tingling. I have always been intrigued by crocheting, yet I always felt too overwhelmed with the instructions to understand the differences in stitches. Here was my chance. I had a natural teacher in front of me (cause that is where I got it from) and I knew she would be excited to help me learn.

So after talking to my mom, she excitedly took me off to the local craft store and taught me about the different types of yarn I could use, what makes a difference in stitches, the types of hooks, and her general learned knowledge since getting started. I picked up two hooks and a bag full of yarn. We set off back home and got started.

After several failed attempts at getting some of the basics down, I got started on my first leg.

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It took long enough but quickly after I had made more legs than my mother! We decided to make one for each of my siblings. Two girls (mom made them) and my little brother who is 14 years old. I made his and I am quite proud of it!

With tears, I saw my mother off but by the time she called me from her first pit stop on her way back home, I was already working on another one. This one for my oldest.

We named him Sir Octi! I had to figure out how to make the top hat for him but we love it!

 

Here is the link to the video that we followed to make these cuties.

Octopus Amigurumi Tutorial

 

When you know

Since my wonderful husband is so awesome and watched the kiddo all weekend and Monday, I figured I would take another week of blogging.

This weekend was amazing. I volunteer at PAX South every year since it started. I enjoy working at conventions much more than attending them. I may not get to sit and watch a panel or whatnot but I do get to see more of the show than most people. I get to experience the awesome feeling of having a solid part in building up my community.

I really do love working with everyone. We all have a common interest in what we are working on and the shared goal of making our show work so smoothly that people think it is easy to run a convention. I love the look of joy on peoples’ faces when we get to introduce them to their hero. Overall a very exciting experience that I don’t think I could ever leave and just attend a convention as one is meant to now. I am tainted to the hidden secrets that most don’t know about.

On a side note, should you ever find yourself in Texas in January for PAX South, you should consider volunteering. We love people. We love making new friends and we love adding new people to the group of people who get shit done.

 

Speaking of which, I guess I should go work on that last chapter of my novel now huh? Well one more video of Bull won’t hurt!

What is GGGS?

Hello once again everyone! Tina here.

When we first started up this blog I had to make a lot of promises to my husband that I was going to work hard and stay on top of my part. It wouldn’t be fair to have him invest so much time and effort into something I would just leave by the wayside in a month.

Which is a bad habit of mine. I start up something new to get enough information to stop. Typically just as my husband is getting into it! So if you see short stories on here from me… That’s because they are so much easier to write for me than a blog-style writing. I would also like to review games, movies, and books in my own special way. Like ‘The Magicians’ that I just binged on Netflix. SO GOOD but soooooo graphic in its slam your face in this rawness. Which is kinda nice that things don’t stay stuck to the norm of what you expect to happen. This is one that I might have to force Kris to watch with me. 

OH and Anime reviews! I love anime and I have always just kind of kept it to myself unless someone asked or brought it up first. Now, I think I should start my own little Geeky girl gab section. Call them GGGS. So look out for them! If you have suggestions for books, shows, anime or even Youtube videos I should check out and talk about let me know!

Let’s Procrastinate

Kris here

I wanted to touch a bit more on the subject I glazed over last week. It’s almost time to comfortably give up those New Years Resolutions, so I just wanted to get in one more jab before they go! Early January, I wrote myself out about 15 objectives for January, figuring I’d have plenty of time. I mean I have all these days where I’m not working, I just have to do some work for 2-3 hours a day right, no prob. Aw dang, I forgot I was going to be sick this week! Texas, my love for you…well I don’t love you but come on, call off the trees! Allergies are crazy in the winter. I also forgot all the days my wife or child would want to spend time together, “family time” they called it. Pah! I have goals to attain!

I think it’s pretty easy to work out the sarcasm in that last sentence – of course the moment my 4 year old tells me to play Minecraft with him, I’m all over it. Wife wants to go watch a movie? Well don’t twist my arm here sheesh, I’ll probably have to eat milkshakes or something too. You see where this is going. Setting up minor monthly goals I think is a good idea, but it’s probably more attainable to reach for the quarters after all. Yearly quarters, that is – 3 month blocks where I have all this time to goof off and then hastily do everything I planned in the last weekend. So far this seems to be the way to go – I’ve accomplished probably about a third of my original plan, but I could definitely expand this instead of giving up halfway there just because I feel like I’ll fail anyway. Besides, things are better in bulk – that’s why Cosco is a thing. So Let’s jot down a few too many goals for January – March and see how many we can do.

* Clean out the car I haven’t driven for 2 years (Spiders everywhere!)
* Figure out what the heck is in those bags against the wall in the garage. I’m sure they’re housing spiders.
* Finish at least outlining the map of a world I’ve been worldbuilding. Seriously I started in November.
* Name the countries in the map after I finally finish it
* Write a short story – how can I have a hobby editing stories if I never practice
* Make some progress on a not-short story. Let’s say, finishing the outline.
* Build something amazing from these K’nex. The 4 year old they belong to can help
* Watch a movie with my wife something like once a week or once biweekly. She loves movies, I hate em. Sacrifices must be made.
* Put up a blog every Wednesday!
* Memorize at least 2 new kanji a week (I pretend to study Japanese a lot, I’ve had to have picked up something)
* Don’t write blog posts while being sick. Let’s put a tentative on this one

Eleven points for roughly eleven weeks, I can totally do that! I’ll probably have to take off that last week in March from work though.