Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mama Monday #38.1

Theme: Relax

(Yes, for all you Sunday night readers - I am publishing this Mama Monday a bit early. But it's my blog, I can do what I want to.)

Anyway - I'll let you in on a little secret - I don't always sleep so well.

Oh, most of the time I read or do crossword puzzles until I get sleepy, turn out the light and fall quickly to sleep. Most of the time this sleep "sticks" all the way through to morning.

But sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night for one reason or another. Last night, for instance, I woke up when Hubby returned from a 3 a.m. bathroom trip. That was all it took. And I could not fall back asleep.

I used to be able to fall back to sleep. Easily! But when happens these days (as in - pretty much since my lay off) - then I'm awake from then on.

I've even had occasions where I've completely given up on the possibility of falling asleep again and have come downstairs to surf around on the computer.

The thing is - in the dark and quiet of the night, I just can't relax. My mind starts to race. I have no distractions whatsoever to keep me from worrying about all the "problems" in my world.

Granted, these various problems - if they're that worrisome - do occupy my mind during daylight hours as well. But of course they don't seem all that troublesome at those times. In the middle of the day, it's fairly easy to assure myself that all will work out well and, really, there's little good to be had from worrying anyway. 

Plus there's funny Sweetie to make me laugh. Or laundry to do. Or game shows to watch. You know - important things, all!

But I simple can't escape myself in the middle of the night. For me, if I'm awakened, the night nearly always provides me with nothing but doom and gloom to mull over for hours.

When will I find a job? How will we be able to pay for such-and-such? My body is entirely too achy. I used to be so much more physically "able" than I am now. How can everything possible work out well?

But in the end, the morning always comes. Sometimes I'm able to fall asleep again - even if just for the last hour before Sweetie brightly greets me every morning. Sometimes I have to just settle for a afternoon snooze on the couch to perk me up. 

But the morning does come. A new day. A better day. A time to relax and chill out about everything. 

I hope I sleep well tonight. I'm sure I will. And tomorrow truly will be a day of relaxing. Heading to the beach once again.

Hubby and Sweetie will comb the beach for new finds. They will wade along the shoreline. And I will sit in my beach chair on the sand, reading my new book or doing crossword puzzles. 

Who knows? I may even take a nap.

If I don't start worrying myself, that is, about why my body doesn't function like the "good ol' days" where I would be right there with Hubby - without hesitation - walking the long coastline and actively taking in the gorgeous surroundings.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #121 - School Girl Edition!

Folks, we have a change of plans for today's Sweetie Saturday. Today we will not be laughing at Sweetie's silly words. No, today we will be admiring Sweetie's transition to School Girl.

Kindergarten started a couple days ago. And you, dear readers, must see some photos documenting this momentous occasion.

First, we have the Day Before School Starts "vacation" pictures - a trip to the beach.


Here we go! Off to the beach!


Ah, but first - a ride on the merry-go-round.


Sweetie and Daddy - heading off to find seaside treasures.

Now - on to the next day - First Day of Kindergarten!


No, Sweetie isn't normally so "faceless". Unfortunately, in terms of this here blog, this is the only "official" First Day of School shot you're going to see of a posing Sweetie. At least I think you can see from her obvious posing - You have to take a picture of me like this so it looks like I'm walking away to school! - what a true ham Sweetie is.


Bye bye, Sweetie! I'll pick you up later! Oh, never mind... she's not listening. Too busy choosing a First Day of School treat.


And last but not least - the complimentary tissues I received right before leaving our baby "alone" in the big, nasty world (for all of not-even-3-full-hours). For the record, I didn't need to use them. In fact, as we drove away and I actually took notice of what was given to me, I said to Hubby...

What are these? Tissues? Why are they handing out tissues? What an odd gift.

Uh, because you're supposed to be crying right now.


But like I said - no tears at all for this threesome. Sweetie was practically jumping out of the car, answering my wishes for her to "Have a great day!" with.

Yes, I will have a great day, Mama! I will!

And so she did. So far so good. Sweetie is lovin' life!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm Just A Mom

So what. So I haven't been feeling good - or made to feel good - about my writing lately. So I'm feeling a bit (okay, a lot) unsure about what I truly want to be, career-wise, when I "grow up". So I no longer feel particularly confident in my abilities to successfully pull off most jobs. So I'm having trouble finding employment after all these months. Something must be at least somewhat subpar about my resume, experience or cover letters - or me - for almost all of the hundreds of applications I've submitted to be overlooked. 

(Geesh! Talk about over-sensitive! I'm tellin' you. I've had a bad few weeks of it here.)

So what.

Because I've made a realization. I may not know what I want to be when I "grow up". But I know what I'm meant to be for at least the next year.

A mom.

Sweetie starts Kindergarten tomorrow. She'll be in class every school day morning until next June. And I will be here to both drop her off and pick her up. I will be here to help her with any homework (yes, homework for Kindergarteners - it's a possibility) she gets. I will be around to volunteer in her classroom. I can support her and guide her and be here for her as this milestone on her educational career takes off and moves forth. And I am thrilled about it.

Yes, I still need to provide some income for our family. I'm currently receiving unemployment compensation - something that is available for me for the next several months if need be. This is incredibly helpful and completely the reason behind why I'm not freaking out about money right now. But I know we still need even more income. 

Not to mention that I need to continue my search for full time employment in order to even receive my unemployment benefits. Details. 

So, yeah. My search definitely continues. I am on Craigslist and Monster - as well as several other sites - every single day. I watch the Sunday papers and the free classified ads flyers that arrives in our mailbox every Friday. I still apply with as much interest and passion as I have these last several months.

Oh, and I've signed up to take the Praxis II exam in English this autumn. Finally on my way to getting the teacher certification I need to justify - in the eyes of so many potential employers - my abilities as an already experienced tutor.

But at the same time - I'm not worried. I used to be all "moving on!", "moving up!", "let my dream career commence!". Now - I'm interested in finding any job - full or part time - that will most benefit Sweetie's school schedule. My schedule as a mom.

Sweetie is my focus now. 

So maybe I'm finding out that I'm not such the hot writer/communicator/career woman I thought I was. I don't know - heck, maybe I am fine in these areas and it's just that I've had a bit of a slip lately. Whatever. Right now, such goals are not to be heavily pursued.

I am a pretty good mom. I've grown to love being home with Sweetie, getting into a schedule with her, making sure she has ample opportunity to play, relax, learn and create each day. And now with Kindergarten starting, I can be here to continue keeping her on a great path. 

Who knows what the future will bring. Maybe tomorrow or next week I'll apply to a completely awesome full time job that I'm confident I can do and excited to start. Maybe I'll even earn that job. And that will be awesome! My mom is available on the spot to pick up her "picking up" duties of a certain little Sweetie after morning classes. I am blessed to have family so near by and so willing to help out in a pinch. 

But for now - I'm just a mom. And with all my talk of the Universe and The Law of Attraction - I know I've been purposefully lead to this path. 

After all - everything happens for a reason. Sweetie is my reason. Sweetie's mom is what I need to be - and always will be, no matter what.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mama Monday #37.1

Theme: Words

I've been feeling mopey, over-sensitive and unsure. Something just wasn't right, but I couldn't pinpoint what exactly it was.

Then, late last week after yet another day of high emotions and super sensitivity - it hit me. 

Words. They're not working for me lately. Not at all.

Not to get into all sorts of specifics, but suffice it to say that I've not been able to effectively express myself very well with the written word over the last few months. I could point to several specific examples for you. But I won't. I don't wish to revisit these awkward, embarrassing and downright painful places in my recent history. Sorry.

But after this most recent situation late last week, something clicked...

Yes, I was feeling embarrassed and over-sensitive - even angry! - about how others were both misinterpreting my words and insisting that their words were more correct. But at the same time, I made the connection of how my carefully chosen words, in different situations, had been misinterpreted by others, thus causing them ample amounts of embarrassment, sensitivity and anger.

I got the message. And I didn't like it. I felt bad. But at least, finally, I understood. And could start to move on.

Sorry. I know I'm not using my word effectively here either, as I'm not letting you in on what's transpired for me - how exactly my words have gotten me in trouble lately. A lot of it has to do with People First Language (if you're keeping score, I'm not currently an ardent supporter of its use - rather, the militant extreme use I feel some users push). And a lot just has to do with living and learning. Learning how to keep things short, sweet and to the point. 

Anyway... words. They've done me wrong lately and - in some of the cases - it's my own dang fault. So, realizing that misconnection I've experienced - how does someone who considers herself to be a writer move on and, you know, start to write again? How does she get out there and continue to feel strong about her abilities? How does she move past all the heavy drama and misunderstandings and everything and get to a place where she believes in her strengths again? How can she not be afraid of being misunderstood again and again and again?

Well.... I'm not entirely sure. But I suppose she just gets out there and does what she hasn't done too much of recently. She just writes. She does what she loves - what she's always loved - and she hopes for the best. She aims to expresses her emotions, thoughts, ideas and dreams with as much passion, humor and commitment as she always has. And she waits for her readers' reactions - hoping most of them "get" her, connect with her, and gain comfort, entertainment and/or information from her. Hoping her readers feel some sort of emotional connection - good or bad/right or wrong - from the words she's chosen to express her thoughts and herself. 

Hey - I may not always choose the "right" words in terms of what others are searching for in their own ideals. But I will tell you this - I choose my written words as carefully as I can and am almost always satisfied with the manner in which I express myself. 

Even now. Even after the last few month. I know myself and what I'm after. If you don't "get" it - fine. I cannot control what others think, feel or believe.

But at least I can make you feel... something.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #120 - As Seen On TV Edition

It is no secret that Sweetie watches her fair share of television. I generally have no problem with it and, given that we only have a very small number of channels available to us, she's mostly exposed to good ol' PBS childrens' programming. For the most part this means educational and fun kids shows which help teach her everything from reading to math to critical thinking. S'all good.

However, after some recent comments from my dear Sweetie, I'm certainly having my doubts about some of the other, non-PBS programs that flash in front of her eyes.

Exhibit A: (this one not so "bad" - just funny).

(Oh, and for this one you have to remember that Sweetie refers to both her reflection and her shadow as "Rubberband". No one knows exactly why - she just does. Sweetie's reason? Because Rubberband likes to make rubberbands! Duh!).

Like a lot of people, we've been watching Olympic coverage over the last couple weeks. Last week's nighttime coverage happened to feature synchronized diving. 

In an attempt to get Sweetie interested in this sport - and, more importantly, calmed down and resting comfortably on the couch - I urged her to pay attention to the athletes.

See, Sweetie? They're diving together. They have to match. It's like a reflection! It's like Rubberband diving!

Luckily, Sweetie did take notice and was happy to watch. Mission accomplished!

This went on for a few evenings - until "regular" diving took over the time slot.

Look, Sweetie. More diving. But this time it's just the one person. Isn't that cool?!

No! I don't like it! I only like Rubberband Diving!


Exhibit B:

Lunchtime the other day:

Sweetie, come sit at the kitchen table. You're sandwich is ready. 

But Mama, I can't! My favorite cooking show is on!

(Me, thinking: What? Your favorite cooking show? You don't watch cooking shows.)

What? What cooking show?

Then I saw. Cooking show, schmooking show. She was tuned in to the infomercial for the GT Xpress 101. Good stuff, indeed.


Exhibit C:

Dinnertime the other day:

Hubby was working late so Sweetie and I had dinner on our own. We were at the dinner table, but I had The King of Queens still playing on the T.V. Yes, I know. Not the highest level of entertainment. But during the 6 o'clock news hour it's better than listening to the doom and gloom happening worldwide.

Anyway, the T.V.'s on in the background as Sweetie and I are at the dining room table eating. I couldn't see or really even hear the T.V. from my seat, but Sweetie could.

Best I can figure, "Doug" on King of Queens must have been asked what his two favorite things in life were. Because the next thing I know, Sweetie is in her seat talking to herself...

Sex and waffles. Sex and waffles! Sex and waffles!? Mmmm..... that sounds amazing AND delicious!

Ummmm.... yeah. I suppose it does.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just A Chance That Maybe I'll Find Better Days

I'm feeling mopey. And over-sensitive. And unsure. I'm feeling just plain "not right".

I just started posting here again, after about a 6 week break. I knowingly skipped one week where I was supposed to write, and then I just never turned back.

I post very regularly over here, but after looking at the majority of those posts, it seems I use that forum as my main place to complain about my aches and pains.

And right here... I don't know. I feel like all my posts can be categorized in 1 of 4 groupings: boasts, phonily inspirational, complaints, or pure fluff. 

I feel like I'm constantly talking about how amazing (or irritating) Sweetie is. If I'm not doing that, I feel like I'm trying to boost my own spirits - not very successfully - as I continue my job search, telling myself I'm doing all I can to find something, that we're okay, that something great will come around in time when, in reality, who the heck knows? This is very stressful and difficult and agonizing, no matter what kind of spin I try to throw on it.

Which brings me to my "complaint" posts. Sweetie annoys me, the house annoys me, the job hunt annoys me - lots of things are "getting" to me. As I said, I write most of my body complaints over here. And there's a lot of that. I never meant for my Disaboom blog to turn into Complaint World. But there you go. It is what it is.

So when I get sick of the complaining, and I know that I've talked too much about Sweetie's abilities, and I'm not feeling particularly inspired about life in general, and the thought of writing a "pity party post" just makes me sick.... well, I bring out the fluff. Silly pictures, silly conversations, none of it very noteworthy or remarkable at all.

Blogs, by nature, are very egotistical. I know that. This is my space to write what I want. All about me, all about Sweetie, whatever I want to say regarding anything because this is my space.

But I also do try really hard to think about what my readers come here to read. I want what I put out here to be informative or entertaining or interesting - or some combination of all of that. I pretty much think of my blogging as a type of job - on certain days I have to write because that's what I do. Whether or not I have something awesome to share, I'll write regardless. (NOTE: Hubby thinks it's ridiculous when I occasionally post entries that basically say, "sorry - I don't feel like writing today." Just don't write!, he says. But I can't do that. Y'all expect certain things from this blog and I aim to please - one way or another.)

And that's the thing. Not to get all "pity party"-ish on you, but I don't feel like I've been giving you what you deserve lately. I feel too hung up on my own life - with its stresses and waiting and wondering, and managing - to write much more than just that.

And I know you don't need any of that.

Sweetie and I toggle all day long for computer time. When Hubby's here, his own computer needs and wants are thrown into the mix. One or two of us are constantly faced with the other family member's back turned to us as they type away at the keyboard or click the mouse. I know Sweetie only "demands" her own extended computer time because she sees how much time Daddy and I spend sitting at this uncomfortable desk.

I think what I'm saying is that I need another self-imposed blogging vacation. It's that vacation time of year, after all. I think I'll join in with the trend. This will be a wonderful opportunity to be more fully with my Sweetie before school starts for her.

I'll not stop writing here, as I actually get paid for sharing my posts with the world at that site. And here I only write once every other week anyway - so that's no big deal. But here - I'll see you later. Probably in a week. Definitely after some of the major things I'm waiting to happen for my family actually happen. Once things are a bit more settled and regular, I know I'll feel a lot more at ease about coming back to write great things.

Thanks for understanding. I need this time away. But I'll be back - better than ever.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mama Monday #36.1

Theme: Brain

I think Sweetie's brain is going to be both an asset and a hinderance to her when she starts Kindergarten in a few weeks. 

As my regular readers know, she's a very eager learner, constantly curious about so many different things. She loves playing both Detective and Super (Sweetie). Her imagination and creative skills are top notch. I do not believe she'll dislike school in the least, as all these wonderful qualities of hers will only urge her on toward better understanding of the world around her.

However! She already reads so very well - I wonder if she'll be bored with the presumably very basic Kindergarten letter identification curriculum. She's also learning about math and many other subjects. Plus - as I've illustrated here so much lately - she can certainly be much more of a talker than a listener. She thrills at making up her own random "rules" for everyone in the house to follow. 

I hope Sweetie can listen well to her teachers and learn to follow the school's rules just as enthusiastically as she insists we follow hers.

I love Sweetie's brain - always thinking, always wondering, always testing out theories and ideas. I think her brain can and will definitely take her far in her educational career.

I just also think that very same brain of hers is going to get her into a world of trouble in school if she doesn't learn to keep herself, her thoughts and her mouth in check.

Because getting in trouble at school is a whole different thing than getting in trouble at home.

Oh well.... she'll learn. She'll definitely learn...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #119 - The Answer Edition

Thanks to her Daddy, Sweetie is ill-informed about a couple (okay - several) things...

She thinks Fear Toxin is when someone unexpectedly pushes all her hair onto her face/into her eyes. 

And she honestly thinks the green husks covering ears of corn are called "green (Sweetie) crazy". Makes sense, after all... there are a few different types of food that include her real name in their names. So why not corn husks too? 


So the other day Sweetie and I were watching one thing or another on T.V. when a commercial came on talking about something that was going to happen in October of this year. This made me think of Halloween.

Pretty much ever since last Halloween, Sweetie has claimed she wants to be a plate for this next Halloween (she's strange - what can I say?) But I hadn't checked in with her on that for some time, so I took the opportunity to ask her then...

What do you want to be for Halloween, again, Sweetie?

(thinks for a few seconds....)

Uhhhh.... I changed my mind. I don't want to be a plate anymore for Halloween.

Oh, no? Okay. Then what do you want to be?

(more serious thinking, followed by a very solemn answer).

Uhhh.... I want to be.... butter.

Butter? You do? Okay.

Yeah! and... (and then she proceeded to explain, in great detail, how exactly her costume would look - including information about how we have to cut leg holes in the bottom of the box, for her legs to go through, otherwise she wouldn't be able to walk and we'd have to carry her everywhere she went trick-or-treating). 

So you want to be a stick of butter, then? Not a tub of butter?

Right. A stick of butter.

Alrighty, then. A stick of butter it is! At least it'll be a pretty easy costume to construct.

Oh! And Hubby and I know just what accompanying costumes we'll don as we all stroll down Keene's Pumpkin Festival in the fall...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sweetie Wednesday Intervention

I'm not having a good day. Actually, yesterday afternoon/evening was worse. But still - it's not been the best of times for me.

So, in an attempt to lighten my mood and move on with life, I'm staging my very own Sweetie Wednesday Intervention! A little Sweetie can go a long way toward making a person all happy and giggly, after all. 

The other day Sweetie came up with her idea of what she wants to be for Halloween this year.

I'll fill you in on the whole exchange she and I had in my next Sweetie Saturday. But for now, all you get is this clue - a drawing Sweetie did of herself in her costume.


Couldn't you just eat her up?! Delish!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Mama Monday #35.1

Theme: Opposite


Nice picture, huh? Sweetie reaching out to pet a 13 foot long albino Burmese python. No fear at all. That's my girl!

But... how can she be? Because you'd never catch me voluntarily closer to that thing than need be. Hubby took that picture. I stayed in my seat in the corner of the room, thank you very much.

Not that I saw Hubby jumping at the chance to offer assistance when the animal trainer asked for an adult to help hold up the snake while the kids admired it. Behind his cell phone camera was a comfortable place for him to be.

And what about all those questions she asked! Geesh! The girl's hand was in the air - asking questions or offering up random information - more times than I could count. The poor trainer graciously paused to listen to Sweetie on many, many occasions.

Me? I'm a quiet listener. I always have been. I may have questions, but I figure if I listen long and close enough, I'll learn the answers anyway.

Sweetie would do wise to realize this for herself. That is - open your ears and close your mouth. Stop thinking about what you're trying to ask and, instead, listen to what you're being told. You'll most likely learn a thing or two that way. Trust me.

Hubby is/was also an introvert. He and I - it is safe to say - were always among the shyest in our classes for our entire educational career.

So how the heck did we get such an extroverted, dramatic, expressive little spitfire? How is it even possible for two shy people to make such an exuberant Sweetie?

I'm not sure, but our case is not the only one I've seen like this. Hubby and I are friends with another couple who have always been quieter individuals. But their almost 5- year old daughter is among the bravest, smartest, most articulate and energetic girls I know. She and Sweetie are well suited for each other.

Not that bravery or smarts - or even articulation - has much, if anything to do with how outgoing a person is. Our friends are incredibly smart and I think Hubby and I are as well. 

But the "dance like nobody's watching" thing? Where in the world do these kids get that?!

Likewise - I've seen the opposite to be true. Very outgoing, self-confident parents trying to urge their hidden and wimpering child out from under the table or blanket - to no avail. 

It's a mystery to me, but a mystery I'm happy to wonder about.

I love Sweetie's joy for life. I'm proud of her questioning mind.

I'm often exasperated with her stubbornly structured adherence to the way she feels things are "supposed" to be.

But at least I know where she gets that trait from! 

Yep - she's my Sweetie through and through.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #118 - Coupon Offer Edition

Coloradians are good folk. At least that's my impression of them. The good people at Disaboom are set up out there in Denver. And remember that book I was reading - Just Do It? (Finished it - good read - pick it up!) The book's author lives in CO with his wife and daughters. And of course we can't forget about Trista and Ryan nor good ol' Jesse from The Bachelorette. All cool, down to earth people, from what I can tell.

Now I'm adding another group of good people who live in Colorado: those at the Tees for Change company.

Started by a mom who, along with her husband, has always been "committed to living an eco-friendly lifestyle with a deep belief in positive thinking", Tees for Change design and sell organic shirts for men, women and infants that both inspire and motivate.

Simply put, their company's mission is 3-fold:


Not only do these shirts display bold, powerful messages - but they are truly stunning to look at. Here are just a few examples:




See what I mean? Who wouldn't feel good about themselves while wearing such stricking colors and awesome messages?!

And the best part? Now until the end of August, Tees for Change is offering readers of this here blog a 15% discount on any purchase.

Simply visit their site, fill your cart, and offer up the Coupon Code: mom15 when you check out. It's that easy!

So get going. Shop anytime before August 31st to qualify for this awesome deal. Wear your new purchase(s) with pride and positivity. 

That's what I stand for and that's what Tees For Change stands for.

Now stand up for yourself, and the world, and shop your heart out today. 

Here's to a great future!


Oh yeah - this is supposed to be Sweetie Saturday, isn't it? Hmmmm.... let me think.... 

Oh! Here's something my mom told me...

Sweetie was over at my parents' house last week, hanging out in their office as my mom worked on the computer. Sweetie's eye caught a glimpse of something interesting peeking out from the depths of the large, cluttered closet in the room. Then she realized what she was looking at.

Nana! Is that your vision board?! Wow! Mama has a vision board too! That's so cool!

(Actually, it was a designer's board I planned out a few years back when Hubby and I, my siblings and dad all chipped in to makeover my parents' bedroom as a special birthday gift for my mom. So - yeah - I suppose it is a vision board. Just not quite the same as the one I've made up for myself).