When it's hard to remember what's important

January 29, 2012

This is extremely difficult for me to remember these days. I want nothing more than to buy a house, decorate it the way I want, and live at Target. But in this graduate wife phase life is all but that. Money in budgeted strictly, thank goodness we got to go to Italy and our savings allowed for it. The strict budget means that even thoug I hate the couch pillows I am stuck with them. That new nail polish is not a need so it is pushed to the side. There is no sense in buying a house, even though it would be cheaper than our rent, because we could possibly move in a year. We might even stay, but it depends on where Jeremy gets an internship at. Then a year after that we could move again. I hate having to find a new job, and dread the idea of changing again in anything less than 2 years. In 3 years of teaching I've taught at three school. Not because I wanted to trust me. I was transferred in district my second year, and almost transferred again that same year. My graduate internship kept them from sending me to kindergarten. I can only teach 1-5. then this year Jeremy came to school 5 hours from where I worked and lived and I followed, and found another job. I'd kill for career consistency. However sour my mood is toward the hardships of being a graduate wife I have to remember that the life I have now is something I wanted in college. Financially I've reached every goal I wanted to so far without the help of anyone else. In a few years Jeremy will be back in the real world and making more than they barely pay as a graduate assistant and we will be settled. Until that day comes I need to be grateful for this assistant ship that pays for graduate school and then a little on the side, it is saving us for a lot of graduate school debt. [this possibly explains my contempt for being grouped in with college students, at 27 & almost 26 we just don't fit in with college kids anymore. I teach and he is working on a specialist, none of that says count me in on all college happenings. I'll end that rant there.]
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[top 10 reasons you aren't sleeping at night]

January 28, 2012

...and why it's bothering me too. 

It is 3 am. I am awake yet again. I say yet again because, well, I have never been a good sleeper. Ask my mom. I promise she would say this "She never even slept though the night as a baby, she just eventually quit waking me up." That my friend is a direct quote from the woman, she often tells it to soon to be moms who are convinced you can convince every baby to sleep. Ha! 

So now that I am an adult and have rationalized why it is I never sleep I have compiled a list of things that are causing me...and probably you too, to lose sleep. 

#1 Extra light in the room from electronic devices. 
These kick my booty big time. My alarm clock is currently hidden behind a photo of my dogs, it helps a little, but is by no means a solution. I also have to deal with light from the DVR box, my humidifier, and the lap top I am typing on this very minute. If you own a Mac you know the tiny little light on the charger gives off enough light at 2am to guide ships in safely at night. Can these things be fixed? Sure, I could put electrical tape over everything, and I probably should over the humidifier and DVR; but I need to know what time it is every morning so I don't miss work. 

Solution: Eye Mask. The $10 eye mask I bought at Bed Bath & Beyond has been the biggest lifesaver, especially when staying places that don't have black out window treatments like I do. 

#2 Gotta potty. 
Having to get up during the night to use the restroom is one of my biggest problems. Hence why I am awake now. 

Solution: Stop drinking liquids by 7pm if you go to bed early or 8pm for later sleepers. Don't drink tea before bed, and if you do drink tea in the evening make sure it does not contain dandelion-it's a diuretic. 

#3 Too much caffeine.
I've made the mistake a few time of seeing a coffee shop or really cool coffee drink while on a road trip and not paying attention to time drank that sugary caffeine filled drink right up only to wonder later why Tylenol Pm isn't working for my sleeplessness.  Sometimes on super tired days of school I will drink Diet Coke to give me an extra boost, or sip some of Jeremy's sweet tea mindlessly at night before bed. All of these contribute to poor sleep and  I usually don't know I've done them until it is too late. I've never been a huge Coke or tea drinker so this isn't a huge issue to cut out, but coffee is. 

Cut out all caffeine by 2pm to ensure you have given your body a chance to regulate it out. In the event you can cut out soda or drink caffeine free sweet tea, go for it!

#4 Sleeping with a chainsaw. 
Not literally, but is you significant other a loud snorer? That is a doozie. Growing up my father's snoring in the other room would wake me up often. Luckily Jeremy rarely snores, he has to be sick or really tired, but it has never been something that disturbed my sleep. 

Solution: Ask your partner to try products to alleviate snoring like Breathe Right or other over the counter items. If it continues as them to see their doctor, without being offensive. We all know how people that snore don't like to admit it. 

#5 Noise
Some you can help, other noises you can't. If you like in a metropolitan city you probably experience different noises that people living in rural areas. My dogs wake me up to go to the bathroom some nights, and as much as I hate it I would rather not clean up poop at 6am, so I live with it. 

Solution: Turn off your cell phone at night and shut your bedroom door. That alone will cut out a little noise. Try turning your cell phone to airplane mode and using sleep apps. Rain and thunder sounds always put me out. There are a lot of great ones out there for free, I prefer Magic Sleep. The full version is free in the Android market and you can get a lite version in the App Store. 

#6 Loud neighbors. 
This is a much bigger problem for apartment dwellers than homeowners. But either way it is a nuisance. You can't exactly control who moves in next door or the fact that it sounds like total war through the wall. The college party animals are the worst for young couples renting apartments who aren't ready to buy a house but still have to get up for work bright and early. 

Solution: Politely ask them to turn it down. This can cause war, so be sure you are a considerate neighbor before marching over to give them a piece of your mind. I've been in a few wars with college dorm neighbors and it was not pretty. Be graceful and sweet, you catch more flies with honey. Be sure to explain why you need them to quiet it down. 

#7 You married a bulldozer. 
The person you are sleeping with tosses and turns all night leaving you wide awake and covered in bruises from the surprise sleep attacks. I can't say I've been there, I am the bulldozer. Jeremy luckily sleeps really well and rarely notices that I am up and down and all round in this bed. I have woken up with my body completely across the bed [instead of down like you're supposed to] and all over him. 

Solution: Find a way to move them without them knowing it. Jeremy does this to me all the time. Buy a body pillow, this is what helps me a lot. My mother jokingly says that I sleep in a nest because of how I arrange my pillows, but it is what keeps me from moving all night long. 

#8 Work stress.
Stressful work situations follow you home? They sure follow me. This year is not as bad as last year luckily. Last school year I would wake up in the middle of the night panicing because I was creating scenarios in my head about how things would go wrong. It was very menacing. 

Solution: Create a mindset that work is work and when you leave the building you leave the mental baggage at your desk. Journaling is also great, getting your thoughts on paper will help release some of the built up anxiety. Reading is another great option, but make sure it is a light hearted book, you need perking up, not worry and suspense from fictional characters. 

#9 Family Stress. 
This can not always be avoided. Loved one, or not so loved ones, get sick, pass away, or cause drama that you yourself can not avoid. At the same time, don't be the family stress. Kids schedules can also put a time strain on your family with all of the added activities and after school programs children are enrolled in. Relationships are hard as well, you didn't get married under the pretense it would be flowers and sunshine all day long, they wouldn't put that "for worse" clause in vows if we were promised marriage was a piece of cake. 

Solution: If it is something you can't control, realize you can't control it. You alone can not be the mender of every family situation. If relatives are crazy and constantly coming to you to fix their problems you have to learn to decipher what is a need and what is pure drama, and weed it out. Learn to say not to people. Like I said for #8, journal, this releases a lot of energy. Do yoga, it is very relaxing and I can always forget whatever the problem is when I as relaxed as I am doing yoga. Hit the gym, or go for a walk-exercise is the best medicine. Last but not least, pray about it. Prayer can do wonders. 

#10 Financial woes. 
Student loans can throw a huge kink in your financial ball and chain. Unforeseen events will almost always occur as soon as you think you have a nice cushion in your savings. This summer I had our whole graduate school savings plan worked out to a T, until my car was totalled and Jeremy's bit the dust, which led us to purchasing two cars and going from one very low car payment to two much higher ones. 

Solution: Make a budget. Knowing what expenses you have monthly will help you in the long run. Know where your money is going and what you have left over, eating out will suck the money right out of you and you won't even know it. If you have $200 left after bills and you spend it all on play you won't have anything saved up for a rainy Murphy's Law filled day. Knowing what bills you have, and having it written down will help out a lot. If you can pick up a side job here and there for extra money go for it. I have started tutoring to help compensate what Jeremy is paid as a Graduate Assistant, and hope to get on as a summer school teacher. Extra savings never hurt anyone. Plan ahead and you won't hurt so much when something does happen. 

So tell me...
What is keeping you awake at night? 
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Fill in the Blank Friday

January 27, 2012

Since this week's FIRBF really matched up with what I've been blogging lately I thought I would definitely join in. You can link up at The Little Things We Do. If you are visiting from The Little Things We Do check my posts about Italy to see what I've been talking about! 

1.   My favorite place i've ever traveled to is  
   Italy, it has been the most exciting thus far. England was great-but Rome took the cake  

2.    Spain     is somewhere I'd love to go someday.

3.  I pass the time on a plane (or bus, or car ride or train) by     sleeping, reading books, playing on my iPad, talking to Jeremy or whoever I'm with, or watching movies if that is an option      .

4.  My three must-haves when I travel are     a camera    ,    snacks   and     a pillow   

5.  My favorite travel companion is    my husband Jeremy  .

6.  The craziest thing that ever happened to me while traveling is    missing a train to Naples & the tickets were on the train with someone else, getting lost in Rome, and when that crazy guy tried to mug me - same trip so they count as one:)  .

7.  The most exotic food I've ever tried while traveling is    mutton. I really haven't had anything too off beat when I travel. Then again I eat a lot of stuff  .

8.  If I could live anywhere else, I'd live in    England. Hands down. I would move there tomorrow if Jeremy were up for it. And I am seriously attempting to convince him to move once he is done with graduate school  .

9.  I have been to    nine  
states in the U.S. (not counting airport terminals or drive though and eat states- if so add 3)
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Italy Day 4: Back to Rome

January 24, 2012

Be warned, this is a long post, but we are kicking out day 4 at one time. Shocker-especially since it took 4 posts to get through the pictures of Pompeii. 

Friday morning we woke up bright and early-like before daylight bright-in hopes of catching our train back to Rome. Like we predicted, Pompeii was a bust. We had two trains we could be on-one there, and one back. It was just too risky. So we left the hotel before getting breakfast and headed to the train station in hopes of exiting this horrid city. 

At this point it was 7:30 am, and our train had been cancelled. The next train didn't leave until 12:45. Out of the 11 people only 4 were willing to wander around Napoli while waiting on the train. I say 4 because I was happy as a lark just sitting on my luggage in a train station, when I say I was in pain people I mean PAIN. So was the whole group, which is why so many people opted to babysit the luggage. 

So off we went into the ghetto abyss that is Napoli in search of the Roman Market, which supposedly has been an operating market since ancient Roman time. Once we found the market we realized it was far to early for Italians, it was only 8am and hardly anyone was out. Well, except the school children waiting on their tiny buses. 

However, to the left was an old Catholic church, and considering how many of those we had ventured though it wasn't going to hurt to tour another one. As soon as we walked in we sat our exhausted butts down on the nearest pew and just looked around. (Normally we wandered around when we walked into churches) Not two minutes later mass started. One of the guys wanted to leave, but it was just too much of a chance happening to be in a church service in Italy, in Italian. Plus the other girl in our group was Catholic and she wanted to take communion so I really pushed for us to stay. It was just too cool. Italian Catholic services are very different from American Catholic services. This was the first mass I have been to that didn't play music. An older woman got up and read scripture and then passed around the offering plate before the priest got up, read scripture and then preformed communion. 
 This is the only picture from Napoli that day-it is of the church we went to-I was afraid to go around flaunting my camera after the events of the night before. 

After Katie had taken communion we walked out of the church-which might I add had the creepiest crucifix of all the churches we went into this trip-and onto the coast in hopes of finding the "nice" neighborhood. I use the term "nice" loosely. 

On our mission to waste time we came upon a Rembrandt exhibition, I think I still owe Daniel 3 euros for that one. We all walked into this one dark room with the solitary "Painting of a Seated Old Woman", noticed her eyes looked funny, leaned forward...and set off the security alarms. 

On our way back to the train station we hit up several street markets and bought several things very cheaply. But I will get into where to shop in my last post. The glorious McDonald's that would accept my buy one get one Big Mac coupon was right inside the train station so as we headed back towards the group I had a little stop off at the best McDonald's I have ever consumed. After that we got on our train (not really ours, but they let us on) and proceeded to be pushed to other seats by people who didn't seem to understand that due to the strike there were a lot of people sitting in seats they weren't actually supposed to sit in. Yay. 

Once back in Rome we checked into our hotel and chilled out before heading back to Barberini to for attempt #2 at seeing the bone church. 
We made it to the Crypt of the Capuchins, but weren't allowed to take pictures.  You can click on the link to see pictures of the bone church and a description of it. In short, it contains the bones of 4000 monks which also includes a few poor men, 2 nephews of a pope, and a pope's niece. But only the niece's heart because women weren't allowed to be buried displayed here. It was a whole new level of creepy. Standing in a room surrounded by hundreds of skulls and other body parts 
 On the way to the Pantheon . 

  Hadrian's Temple

The Pantheon 

Inside the dome

 Vittorio Emanuel's tomb inside the Pantheon. The Pantheon contains severals kings and the painter Raphael. 

 At this point I noticed a guy with a very professional looking camera so I stalked him and took the pictures he was taking:)
 This picture is one of the copy cat stalker photos I took. 

 Below is the tomb of Raphael. Above is the information alongside the tomb. 

 After leaving the Pantheon we headed out to find dinner somewhere near Piazza Navono. 

 There were several little characters in picture frames that depicted different scenes. It was very interesting in person. 
 Piazza Navona

 Sandwich shop in Piazza Navona. 
 One of many chocolate makers. 
 In person these horse shoes and wrenches looked very realistic. 
 The restaurant we decided to eat at...it was very expensive. I didn't want to order, but I was starving. 
 Food Network is against powdered Kraft Parmesan cheese...but this restaurant was all for the powdered cheese lol!
 The smallest 14 euro lasagna ever. I could have eaten two of them. And this was all I got people. No salad, and bread cost money. 
 Jeremy got Osso Bucco. He was much less in shock over the prices apparently. It was so good though, best peas ever. 
 Ferris Wheel in Piazza Navona. 
 If you bought a donut they put Nutella on it. The small one is the average size Nutella we buy at the store...and the big ones really contained Nutella. I could have died. 
 Donut as big as my head. Literally. That Nutella in the background is not the regular size, it is the jumbo size. 
 I am not sure what it is, but I want it. 
 Neptune's Fountain in Piazza Navona. 

 I just loved this woman. There were many street performers, but she took the cake. If a man gave her money she insisted they kiss her hand and she acted very bashful. So cute!
 More of Neptune's Fountain.
Wandering the streets. 
 Fish market along the way. 
More street performers. Loved these guys too. They were very cute and reminded me of Snow White's Dwarfs for some reason lol. 
 I quit taking pictures at this point, but we stopped at a few liquor shops so people could buy lemoncello. We tried several versions of "lemoncello" done in other flavors like white chocolate and melon. I could have covered ice cream in the white chocolate and the melon tasted like fresh cantaloupe but with alcohol in it. We then met up with the group again at the over priced restaurant and had gelato. Perfect reason to ask price before ordering. 3 small scoops per cup was 9 euros. We got it for 1.50 at a place by our hotel. Avoid the tourist trap people!

After dessert the group split up so everyone could go on a haunted tour of Rome, but we were in way to much pain and just exhausted so we opted out. Other than the group leader we were the only ones to ditch on it. I am glad we did though because we didn't bring an umbrella and it poured down our them, then they missed the last bus (I think), and ended up taking a cab back to the hotel. They had fun, but I was glad to be in my warm bed.

On our way home we passed every major landmark in Rome. Most we had seen, but I was very happy to see the place where Caesar was murdered and the Roman Senate. But more on that in the post where we saw it during the day. 

For the two of you who might still be reading at this point I hope you enjoyed it. The next post will cover our adventures in seeing landmarks not on our list of things to see as a group...in the rain.

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