I blinked & February was nearly gone. It's been full steam ahead for us, but what else is new?! Thank goodness for the daily photo challenge or I'd probably forget a lot of the highlights from the last month. (Yes, I've managed to keep up with the photo challenge so far. It definitely seems to get easier as time goes on.)
My bloggy silence hasn't been entirely caused by the hectic schedule of the Sams fam. I've been trying to write & schedule some posts for the upcoming A-Z Blogging Challenge in April, as well. I didn't post ahead at all last year and I started wearing down by the end of the month, so I wanted to try to avoid that this time around. I've only scheduled 2 posts so far, but I've planned out topics for most of the days, and those that I find inspired & able to write ahead of time, I'll do. It's not like I'm a wealth of creativity most of the time, so I'm trying not to dry up my very shallow well before the challenge starts. That's not easy, people. The older I get, the less my brain functions beyond some very basic thoughts like "I have to poop" or "I'm hungry". It won't be long & the most I'll be able to articulate is a series of grunts, caveman style. I swear, my brain is about the consistency of pudding at this point.
Without any further adieu, here's a little February wrap-up in photos:
This first photo is from Feb. 9th. We went out to our friends' house for game night. My sweet Chrissie & I imbibed a healthy amount of wine and became obnoxious, giggling fools. It was fabulous! We decided to become infertility super heroes and invented our own special handshake. In our wine-filled minds, and even now, this was pretty genius stuff. You can't really tell it from the picture, but let me try to explain the handshake. It requires 3 hands. Person C (that's Chrissie) touches their fingertips to their thumb to make a round shape, which symbolizes a vagina. Person T (that's me) sticks a single finger-penis through the bottom of the hand-vagina. Person C (Chrissie again!) takes their other hand & slaps it down on top of their hand-vagina, thus effectively preventing hand pregnancy. That's some clever shit right there, people!
On the 16th of February, our little family became the proud owners of a brand spankin' new Toyota Corolla dubbed "CARla". She's dark & sexy, but she's got balls! We had been rocking the Dodge Caravan for 4 years and the cost of fuel alone was killing us. The worse part was knowing that the value had dropped so significantly that we found ourselves about $7300 upside down in the loan for the damn thing. We had purchased it at a time when we anticipated a rowdy bunch of rugrats in our vicinity a lot of the time. It made sense to have a 7-seater. It was an impulsive and ill-informed decision and we have regretted it pretty much since the day we drove off the car lot in that damn van. Because of the negative equity, we didn't think we'd ever be able to trade it in on anything else that we could afford, but after a lot of talking and research, we realized that if we played our cards right, we could get into a new Corolla and actually save money in the long run. The process took about a week because we wanted to wait for the car lot's President's Day sale, where they would match our down payment up to $1000. With our trade-in, our down payment (which was actually the money we would have used to pay our February payment on the van), and our somewhat okay credit, we managed to get into CARla with a 60 month, zero interest loan. Our car payments are slightly lower than they were on the van and the cost of gas is cut almost in half. It's pretty amazing. We love her.
The same day we drove CARla home, I went to a friend's baby shower. For the first time in 8 years, I got to make a boy diaper cake! It was only my 2nd boy diaper cake ever. The first one was for my cousin's baby shower back in 2005. Even better, it was a Noah's Ark theme, which I'm particularly fond of b/c a) animals are cute and b) Trin's nursery was Noah's Ark themed. My only regret is that I couldn't find coordinating colored receiving blankets to wrap the diapers with, so I wasn't terribly pleased with the overall look of the diaper cake. I loved the little wooden animals, though. They were my favorite. The baby shower was a lot of fun. I got to use my childlike artistic abilities to craft a panda out of paper & mod podge it onto a wood square. All the squares were put together to make a collage that will go up on the baby's wall. Everyone who brought diapers got to enter their name in a drawing to win a beautiful necklace, and yours truly won it!
The very next day, we drove CARla back out to our friends' house for a birthday party. The party was an adorable La La Loopsy theme with buttons and cuteness all over the place. This is also where Chrissie & I once again mentioned a party-planning business. (I've also talked about this with another friend. Maybe one of these days I'll actually pursue it.) We jokingly named our pretend party business "I.S. Party Planning". Get it? Infertility Sisters. I.S. Yep, we're just that hilarious. In all seriousness, though, I would love to one day get paid to do party planning. It's one of my passions. My biggest hang-up besides the money to start a business is the fact that while I enjoy doing it, I don't feel I'm particularly talented. Most of my ideas come from the internet and in my own ghetto way, I try to emulate what I see, maybe add my own little touches, and that's it. It hardly seems right asking anyone to pay for mediocrity.
Last week was a weird one for me at work. Over the last month, I've been sort of transitioning away from the managerial job and into more data-related stuff. I've had a lot of frustration with the manager position I've held the last few years. My main issue is that I don't feel supported or respected by certain powers-that-be. I feel like that person views me as "less-than" and childish. Granted, I'm a huge goofball. I could never pass for a corporate stooge in any sense of the word. But I get my job done, I do it well, and I have never done anything to embarrass the company in my 12 years as an employee. Still, I get the feeling that this particular person sees me the same as he did when I was 21, despite the significant growth I've made since then. I also think it might have something to do with having lady parts, but that might just be the angry feminist in me projecting sexism where it doesn't exist. After some training, the job I was sort of moving into was placed with a different department, putting me into limbo. I've been reassured that my job is very secure and I've been told what job I'll be doing next. I mentioned that the transition from manager was not something that was really discussed & asked if it was because I hadn't done my job well enough. I was basically told that if I'd prefer to stay the Ops Manager, I can; the move away from it was merely a response to me expressing some uncertainty about whether I was well-suited for it. After pondering this for a day or two, I decided my initial feeling was correct: I'm not manager material. I'm a worker-bee. Always have been and probably always will be. My own inability to be hard-nosed and thick-skinned, coupled with a significant lack of support from my direct manager, made me loathe being a manager after awhile. My ego kept me hanging on for longer than I probably should have, but I finally had to let that go and be okay with stepping back. Which I have done. I've even thrown around a new title: Administrator of Support Services (A.S.S.). That one didn't seem to be readily accepted by certain people, but I thought it was the perfect mix of professionalism and silliness, which is me in a nutshell. Despite the change in position, they still made me dress nice & get my picture taken for the updated company website. So I did. And my new necklace made it's public debut. It really did class me up. :)