All posts filed under “Life Hacks

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33-YEARS OLD, HAS S*** TOGETHER. HERE’S HOW!

I turned 33 on October 12th and almost instantly, I had my shit together.

Just kidding, clickbait.

Per tradition, I reflect on the previous year and set goals for the next year. Obviously, becoming Baby Gumbeaux’s mom and adjusting to motherhood was the biggest event of the year. To compliment that adjustment, I resigned from every organization and board, with the exemption of PTA . My true calling (Read: 10-Months-Old, Parties Like a Rockstar & Does Not Care If We Get Sleep). As a result, I am spending my time the way I want. Well, with the exception of the time I spend working for the man. Anyway, I have more time to focus on family and my personal goals which include, but are not limited to:

Not complaining. Complaining about being in Jackson, lack of advancement in my career, not being able to find a foundation to match my skin tone, etc. Now, I am only discussing what I want and taking action which often includes balancing a shitload of stuff, because I want to accomplish a shitload of things. To compliment this change, I recite affirmations every morning but then I found out Baby Gumbeaux was slapping her classmates for touching her hair and bib so I started reciting them with her, on the way to school. Naturally, we started including Husband Gumbeaux or should I call him Daddy Gumbeaux? Zaddy Gumbeaux?

Launching my podcast entitled Jxn Transplants. Now, I get to be honest about my struggle to adjust and know there are other transplants who relate. It also gives a ton of recommendations to transplants, Jacksonians, and even people who want to visit Jackson. Apparently, that is a thing.

Taking pictures more often. Not for you weirdos, in general. I detest taking pictures. I don’t know how to pose, my eyes are usually closed, terrible angles; mostly importantly, I don’t like smiling. Thugs don’t smile. I think it’s because I have become increasingly uncomfortable with my body; particularly, after incubation.

Last and least but certainly not least, I have to finish writing my dissertation. I’ve been talking about this for the last few years (I enrolled in the program a year after starting this blog). I have tons of excuses: sick and tired, interested but uninterested, dreams and goals have changed, struggling to find the relevancy of having a PhD, drained, merely thinking about it is exhausting. Actually, I’m going to take a nap.

And, I’m up. Fun fact: I am still paying tuition and have to remain enrolled if I want to finish this very last step. As a result, I will finish. Prayer warriors, reach your hands out to me and help me get through this. I may include you in the acknowledgements. Side note: it’s super annoying when people who have never been enrolled in a doctoral program ask me what’s taking so long. What’s taking so long for you to mind your business? 

Yeah, so… I accept your belated birthday wishes. I am still accepting gifts and money. As stated many times before, my friendship can be bought. Listen to my podcast and tell me I’m doing an awesome job. Read and share my previous post: Fun Facts My Parents (and Grandparents) Don’t Know

Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux.

Ashlee, out.

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FUN FACTS MY PARENTS (AND GRANDPARENTS) DON’T KNOW!

The names and details have been changed to protect the identity of family and friends who can still get their asses whipped. I stay out-of-state and am willing to take one for the team. Plus, I ain’t never scared but mostly because my mom has a bad memory. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While attempting to get through the work day, I decided to listen to artists and groups I was obsessed with but hadn’t listened to in a while. I started with Dru Hill which resulted in a series of posts:

So if you could not tell by the title, there may be several a few things my parents and grandparents are unaware of.

As a super Christian, my mother didn’t allow me to listen to secular music. Not only did my grandparents buy me Dru Hill’s album but I had Ginuwine (which often included a series of photos; notably, shirtless Ginuwine). What they didn’t buy me (yet I somehow had access to) was Juvenile’s 400 Degreez (which is the ideal temperature for frozen pizza because I like a little crisp). Anyway, this album features what should be the national anthem: Back That Azz Up. Hey Mom, did you know Sister Jennie popped me with a rolled up piece of newspaper for throwing it in a circle at one of my middle school dances? In my defense, I was not the only one twerking but got caught. Typical.

Speaking of throwing it in a circle, I learned to twerk at a very young age from someone who shall remain nameless. Very controversial outside of New Orleans but pretty much the norm there because… Bounce Music. Instructions: Arch your back and pop your butt up and down slowly but forcefully. You will gain speed over time and with practice you may become an expert, middle-aged rump shaker like me. Most of you will never achieve this level of excellence because you don’t have heart. Stay stiff.

Shorty after starting high school, I became a bibliophile overnight. No one questioned it because reading was a constructive habit. It started when a friend suggested I read the Coldest Winter Ever (which I read in 2 days or less). Then, I asked my grandfather if he could start buying me books. He accompanied me to the book store and bought me two books a week from 10th grade to college. What he didn’t know is he wasn’t just paying for teen drama and fantasy. There were some gangsta novels and erotica. I always had Zane’s newest books.

Last but certainly not least is what I like to call “Bible Study and Chill.” In high school, Thursday was bible study night. First, children then adults (I am not sure who came up with such a inconvenient schedule for parents). Anyway, my grandmother stayed near so we (people who shall remain nameless and me) would walk to her house once we were done. Once there, we would invite friends over. Those friends usually included boys we liked. Once adult bible study was done, “the lookout” would call to let us know the adults were on their way. We never got caught.

What’s funny is my uncle was always upstairs but we knew it was unlikely that he would come downstairs, move or even breath. Most of the time, we would be outside talking (which we could’ve done at church) but you know, we wanted to be sneaky and badass (we as in people I won’t mention and me). Since my mom is the only one who reads this blog, I would like to apologize and ask that you wait until after my birthday to snitch. I don’t want this to effect my gifts and your mom making me a sweet potato pie. We all we got.

If you guys liked this post, you’ll be excited about what I reveal in another 15 years! Read and share my previous post: 10-Months-Old, Parties Like a Broke Rockstar & Does Not Care If We Get Sleep. Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux

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FAKE GUMBEAUX SERIES: THE WORKPLACE

As an O.G., it’s natural for me to want to keep it real (or as the millennials like to say, one hundred); however, I am somewhat very certain I could’ve avoided a lot of issues if I was fake. If I would’ve remained quiet or minded my business instead of telling coworkers and management they were incompetent, should consult subject-matter experts, or take courses to become more familiar with their jobs. If as an intern, I would’ve checked emails, opened mailed and made copies instead of telling the women I worked with that I did not go to undergrad and acquire student loans to become a secretary. That upon graduation, I was going to secure a job paying six figures. Note: A lot of them were secretaries that were not college-educated, with little to no chance of advancement and salaries that barely paid a living wage. 

Show of hands, are you surprised a lot of people hated me? Anyone? Anyone? Fun fact: the hate came with a host of awesome rumors. My favorite is the one where I screwed my way into an entry-level job (that had an embarrassingly low salary). But if I could do it all again, what advice would I give myself? I, am glad you asked.

Tip #1: Engage in small talk, learn small facts about coworkers (family and hobbies), and “bond.”

Tip #2: Be a “team player.” Have bland lunch with coworkers, celebrate their birthdays and other accomplishments. Buy them cheap gifts.

Tip #3: Don’t say it, think it. You can still call your coworker a punk-ass bitch, just do it in your head. Not out loud.

Tip #4: Hold doors open. Break room, conference room, and elevator doors. Apparently, it’s polite.

Tip #5: Smile. It disarms people and makes them think you are nice. Once, someone told me I had kind eyes. My family and I laughed about that for days.

A “director” introduced me as one who could insult people in a way they wouldn’t know they were insulted until days later. It’s still one of the most memorable descriptions of me. I wonder if he is still acting like he’s qualified to be director of anything besides a used-car dealership with an inventory of only 4 cars.

Just remember, you’re only at work because they pay you to be there. If you’re really having a tough time, throw a tantrum in the nearest bathroom stall or cry in your car then get back to work and slap that award-winning fake smile on your face. You’re welcome.

Read my last post: Am I Shitty Friend? Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux.

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THE FINAL TRIMESTER & ARRIVAL OF BABY GUMBEAUX

Baby Gumbeaux & Ugly Hospital Gown

Reader discretion is advised. This blog post contains TMI and may be considered a long read for people with small brains.

Each trimester was worse than the previous. At this point, I got accustomed to sleeping maybe a few hours a night, experienced acid reflux and heartburn all day, could not find a comfortable sitting or sleeping position and spent most of my waking hours agitated. How agitated? Enough for coworkers and bosses to keep asking me “when are you going on maternity leave?” On the other hand, a lot of those symptoms ended the moment I gave birth.

Induction

On November 12th, I arrived at the hospital 15 minutes after my scheduled check-in because I wanted nachos. I had to complete a couple of forms filling in basic information then got to the dumbest question on earth: “Why are you here?” Let’s see… 9 months pregnant, checking into “labor and delivery” and you’re asking me why I’m here? My response? To get this baby out of my body! The nurses thought it was a funny response.

As a result of my cervix not softening and not dilating, I agreed to be induced using a method called Foley Bulb Induction. My bed was lifted to what seemed like the ceiling then the balloon was inserted. I instantly started cramping and was informed it would likely be a painful and uncomfortable night. I was given sleeping pills that did not work.

12 hours later, Pennywise (OBGYN) removed the ballon. I had dilated 1 f***ing centimeter. Plan B? The use of Pitocin which I was on for 11 hours! Contractions got more intense but wasn’t enough for me to get the epidural they kept trying to shove down my throat. After dilating just 2 more centimeters, Pennywise informed me that she would give me 2 more hours but that it was highly likely I would have to get a C-section. I used that final hour to cry. I never considered a C-section, didn’t know much about C-sections, am not here for needles and sharp objects, IT’S MAJOR SURGERY, and recovery would be tougher for Baby Gumbeaux and I.

Delivery

They “graciously” allowed Husband to be with me while I got the Spinal Block (which immediately numbed my body). I asked Husband not to look while they conducted the C-section, I didn’t want him to be scarred for life. Thankfully, the process was super quick. They showed me Baby Gumbeaux and she is gorgeous. I was relieved because ugly babies exist.

Recovery

24 hours after being sliced like a pizza, hospital staff made me walk the hallways. This is the most challenging and painful thing I’ve ever encountered in my entire life. Of course I needed help walking, in and out of bed, when showering and using the bathroom which resulted in me being super comfortable with doctors and nurses seeing me in the nude. Side note: Why are those hospital gowns so unattractive? Who the f*** designs them? Most importantly, why do hospitals keep buying them?

Support

I felt it when I got pregnant and again after the baby. I don’t know how women do it without support. Husband has witnessed a blood clot the size of a baseball dropping out of me, has changed my bedpan and wiped my butt. Just to think, a few weeks ago I didn’t even poop in front of him.

My younger brother has witnessed me pumping on more than one occasion and has the pleasure of cleaning and disposing of bloody, poop and or urine-filled diapers and pads.

Mom’s in town, is super helpful, has been taking some of the midnight shift so we can sleep, telling me that I’m not feeding the baby enough, that I hold her too much (and that it will spoil her) then when I put her down, she proceeds to hold her…

Last but not least are my friends. I kind of struggled with the thought of raising a baby without my family. I had my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and tons of cousins. While Husband does have family here, I think they’ve aged out of the category where they can be super active. These friends are my family now. They have given me tons of advice, hosted my baby shower, bought Baby Gumbeaux a ton of stuff, volunteered to babysit, arrived at the hospital before me, have visited and been supportive postpartum. While I’m at it, I should spread the joy *gag* Family, coworkers, acquaintances, church members and even internet strangers have been helpful, supportive and made this transition a little easier. I mean, as easy as it can be when one is getting no sleep and peed on (4xs at this point).

Read and share past pregnancy posts:

Second Trimester: The Rise and Fall of the Incubator 

Shit Pregnant Wives Say to Their Husbands

Shit Husbands Say to Their Pregnant Wives

The Ultimate Guide to Being Knocked Up

Another Blog Post Complaining About Pregnancy

My “New” Maternity Wardrobe

The First Trimester

Hell Has Frozen over, Pigs Are Flying & I’m Pregnant

Like and follow Baby Gumbeaux on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

May the odds be ever in MY favor. What? I have a newborn, ain’t nobody thinking about you guys.

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ALMOST LESSONS OF A 32-YEAR-OLD 


It’s been like a month, do you miss me? Anyone? No. Anyway, you guys totally missed my birthday. I am still accepting gifts by the way. Note: I am always accepting gifts.

So, I turned 32 on October 12th which means I am pretty much an expert on life. I would also like to add parenting expert on my vitae; although, I have yet to give birth or be a “parent.” Anyway, for some time birthdays have been a time of reflection and goal setting. So, how was 31? Let’s take a walk down memory lane shall we?

For the first time ever, I am considering forgiveness, releasing grudges and revisiting old relationships. I like to cut people off rather swiftly because I don’t like drama, discomfort or draining relationships. Note: The list is long and goes back to the early 2000s so if you’ve pissed me off recently, it’ll take about 15 years for redemption. 

Historically, the environment dictated which Ashlee you would get but this can be exhausting. My dominant traits include being cynical and deadpan (characteristics used to describe this blog) but I can also be super quiet which is likely because I am analyzing the environment, judging you internally and or both.

This past year, I came to a few realizations regarding my professional career. Since 20, I’ve worked hard to maintain both a professional and academic career with supporting extracurriculars and volunteer work. I tried to acquire every skill necessary to obliterate peers. Now? I don’t really care to impress, prove anything or be an organization’s best employee. I would rather be Ashlee’s best employee where there is no limit on creativity, no competition; most importantly, no coworkers cap on salary.

Last but not least, my spending habits continue to drastically change. Everything requires a Cost-Benefit Analysis. I prefer to do my own facials, manicures, pedicures and eat at home because the food sucks out here. Very different from the woman who got weekly manicures, only ate and drunk out, had a spa membership, and a host of other unnecessary shit.

This upcoming year, I hope to successfully drop Baby Gumbeaux. Actually, I am hoping to do that this week because I am tired of being pregnant and she’s tired of being folded up inside of me like a lawnchair. Other goals include but are not limited to finishing the PhD (I need to replace tuition for childcare), monetizing all skills, being the best entrepreneur ever, and doing a better job of staying in touch with family and friends (I guess that means I have to use the telephone, I detest the phone). I would also like to travel more. I largely avoided this because flying while knocked up is uncomfortable and peeing every 15 minutes makes traveling challenging. Maybe I should be nicer and let my guards down too… Nahhhhh!

I am so mature!

Read and share my previous (super old) post: How Insecure Made Me Obsessed with Nick Hakim. Follow me on both Pink Gumbeaux and Baby  Gumbeaux!

Ashlee, out!