Category Archives: me and the family

My kids are so cool

Lane has decided she wants to make a copy of the book Snuggle Puppy.  Which, in my opinion, is not only one of the cutest little books in existence (could those puppies be any cuter??), but also the cutest song ever.  (The song link will download the sample of the mp3 from Amazon; do not fear!!)   So, she’s using red construction paper, re-writing all the words, and drawing her own pictures.

I also decided, because they were on a good sale, to have lobster for dinner.  Supermarket cooked them for me, I steamed them a bit to warm them up at home.  I bought some jumbo shrimp for the kids, under the general precaution of them freaking out at the sight of a giant red bug on my plate and wanting nothing to do with it.  But, cool kids they are, were more than eager to try the lobster, and more than happy to also try the thyme-garlic clarified butter I made, and more than happy to eat ALL my claw meat. 

How did I luck out with such cool kids?

Hello, insecurities

As Lane has ventured her way through kindergarten, we’ve had to deal with a handful of social issues that have come up.  None particularly crisis-inducing, but just that stuff that happens with a bunch of kids together in a room.  She got in a fight with her best friend and they weren’t talking for a couple days.  One girl, who she’d never been particularly friendly with but is the only other kid from her class on her bus, made a point to tell her that they were *not* friends and Lane wasn’t sure what to do with it.

And as we muddled through these various little things, I felt all those school-age insecurities get dredged up.  I went through elementary school as, I shall say it, one of the most popular girls.  Until about fourth grade (it seemed in my world) being smart and active and friendly and nice were enough that most girls were friendly to me, and I had a plethora of friends.  Then I hit about seventh grade, and being smart and friendly and nice became the assets that made me a target for the more queen-bee-ish of the friends I’d accumulated.  No time in school was particularly harsh, and I was thankfully wise about judging about who my real friends were.  Getting involved in sports helped a lot, too; I and the other athlete-girl-types mostly were straightforward and avoided the general social pettiness in which the rest of the girl population wallowed/thrived. 

To help better understand the dynamics of the stuff Lane would be faced with, but that I never seemed to understand in school, I read Queen Bees and Wannabes not too long ago, which was incredibly insightful.  I borrowed it from the library but I know it’s a book I’ll want to own a copy of.  Happy to say, while I spent a bit of time as a Target/Torn Bystander type while I was learning to navigate the social circles of junior high, I pretty much evolved into a Floater in the Queen Bee/Wannabe vernacular… comfortable in a number of different groups, confident, keeping myself above the fray, etc.  Turns out I did pretty good for myself after all.  I had always thought of myself as more of the victim, and conflict with other girls — especially those super-cliquey, power-hungry types — would give me a cold sweat just thinking about the possibility. The truth is (which I realized while reading the book) was that I handled them well.  No one ever got a second chance to be entrusted enough to be mean to me.  I think my true test of social endurance and personal fortitude happened in ninth grade.  A true queen bee, this mean, wicked, power-hungry girl who I shall call Samantha found out that a junior football player stud-type (who I shall call George) liked me.  (George didn’t like me in a “wow, you’re amazing and smart and I want to get to know you better!” kind of way, he liked me in a “Wow, you wore leggings the other day and you looked hot and I want to stick my penis in you really bad!” kind of way, so while it was, honestly, a bit of an ego boost to be noticed that way, I was decidedly not responsive to his interest in me.)  However, I didn’t make it widely known that I wasn’t interested, I just sort of shrugged it off.  George, however, did make it pretty widely known that he wanted into my panties.  This was incredibly threatening to Samantha, as George was her well-known target of lust and affection and I assume she had been-there-done-that with him, or had publicly aspired to do so.  Therefore, George’s attention paid in my direction seriously undercut her power accumulation and I was a very serious threat, without doing anything at all.  There were confrontations, and rumors spread, and other lovely things, and I distinctly remember being amused by it and feeling above it.  I shrugged it off, I laughed with my friends about it, and when George (with much fanfare, and for some reason everyone knowing he was going to do it) invited me to be his date to a party, I turned him down privately, though I’m pretty sure Samantha never found out I’d said no until she got to the party and he was there without me – I only told a couple close friends I’d said no, and certainly George didn’t go bragging about it.  It was a fun few days of watching her struggle so strongly to try to tear me down for her own ego.  It was an episode I’d never reflected on an awful lot until I’d read the book, and realized how much more power this girl could have had over me if I’d let her.

But I see the uncertainty and the insecurities I felt rear their ugly head as I am starting to help Lane navigate these new waters.  I’ve also caught myself assuming she might be more apt to be a target/victim than an instigator/manipulator.  I really don’t know why I would make that assumption — can a mom with absolutely no tendencies toward manipulative, power-seeking, queen bee type behavior have a daughter who becomes that stereotypical “mean girl”?  Sure, why not.  I honestly don’t see it in our case, but weirder things have happened… so as I’ve started to give her bits of insight into her own actions and those of others, I’ve started to take into account that she could shape up to be a victim, or a perpetrator… but ideally, neither. 

Luckily she  has at least a couple more years before the girl-cattiness starts showing up in significant amounts.  I hope I can guide her to realize being above the fray is way better than trying to win at it, and the best friends she’ll find are the ones who feel the same.

These balls, they are in the air

Lots going on, but what else is new?

Got consulting work to do, which will have me camped out in front of the computer for a good week.  I also have a wedding to shoot tomorrow, which is always fun, but I always get a case of the butterflies before that.

I’m also coaching my daughter’s tee ball team!  This is my first foray into head coaching — I did some assistant coaching for a boys’ youth basketball team in college.  So far it’s been fun.  The parents have all been great, and VERY complimentary (most express disbelief at my patience and energy).  Our team is the Sea Lions, so I’ve found whenever I feel a bit annoyed, I yell to the team “What’s our name?”  and they all yell “THE SEA LIONS!!”  Then I yell, “What sound does a sea lion make?”  and they all go “ARR ARR ARRR!” in that sea-liony sort of way.  It’s hilarious.  I’ve also taken on a mission to make after-practice treats a new experience for them.  Yesterday, I gave out candy buttons.  Remember those — the little dry dots of candy stuck to paper?  Most kids had never seen them, and were wide-eyed at the idea of it.  (Even a couple parents asked to have some!!)

And a big bit of news is that I was accepted to grad school to get my teaching certification, so that’s exciting!  Frank’s on board with the pursuit, so I have to send in my intent-to-enter paperwork.  I also have a couple undergrad courses I have to take to round out my general education requirements (part of the state’s certification requirements, not the school’s) – just a couple basic English courses – one literature, one composition.  I’d taken one lit class in college but I need 9 total English credits, at least 3 being comp.  Not a big deal, and they’ll be fun to take, I hope.  And I can do them at the local community college, for which I’ve maintained a continual state of acceptance in case I ever wanted to take a course or two.  No rush to get them done, as I have until my graduate program is complete (which going part time may take 2-3 years; I want to time it so that I’m not student teaching until Jake’s in kindergarten, so that gives me two school years to do the course work part.  Hopefully it will all work out exactly as I have it planned in my fat noggin).

I’m feeling good this week, though.  Mostly because the kids and I have established a new routine.  Lane and I had been sort of in a bad cycle of staying up too late, and waking up too late.  So we talked and agreed on an earlier bedtime, so that we could get up earlier, eat a leisurely breakfast first thing, and take our time getting dressed and to the bus stop.  This week it’s worked out great.  No yelling in the mornings, no rushing… it’s been setting a good template for the rest of our respective days, I think.  Must keep it up!

As for the whole pregnancy thing, still nothing happening there, but my body seems to behaving better (periods acting a bit more normal and all) so it could happen, maybe.  If it did, it would mess with the upcoming plans for school a bit, but oh well.  🙂

That which was no fun at all

I went through that crazy period of time where I just wasn’t feeling very well.  My doctor had put me on one course of antibiotics, which helped a great deal but didn’t get me to 100% awesomeness.  After a while, I paid her another visit.  She was sympathetic, and gave me a prescription for a super-duper antibiotic, with instructions that I didn’t need it.  Now.  But if, without really getting 100% better, I got worse, I would have it to fill and wouldn’t have to visit her again.

Well, I got mostly better.  Never really shook a sniffle, but I felt better than I had for quite a while.

Then Friday…. I woke up with a touch of a sore throat.  Kinda like you get if you sleep in a weird position with your mouth open.  But then by mid-afternoon, I was definitely not feeling well.  Took a rest on the couch for awhile, woke up with a bit of a temperature.  Took it easy the rest of the day, took some Tylenol and went to bed early.

Woke up Saturday (at like 1:00 pm !!!) and swore someone must have shoved glass down my throat while I was sleeping.  Managed to look at my tonsils and they were coated in white puss.  Fever got up near 102.  I was alternating between violent chills and sweating spells.  Lightheaded, nauseated, and slightly delirious, I called my doctor, to sort of realize she’s a one-doctor office, and she’s not there on Saturday afternoons.  Explored options for urgent care clinics in my area.  There’s a good pediatric one, but they only take patients up to 21 years old.  Called the two they mentioned, but neither was open, which seemed odd and made me realize they were less of “urgent care” and more of “walk-in because you don’t have insurance and a regular general practitioner”.  Waiting until Monday wasn’t an option, and the very thorough symptom checker at the Mayo Clinic web site left me convinced that since I could check off just about every strep throat symptom, plus lacking normal signs of a cold or the flu, that strep was a reasonable conclusion, and I sent Frank to fill that prescription that had laid in wait in my purse for three weeks.  He also got me lots of yogurt and probiotic supplements to counteract any antibiotic-related digestive ills, sweet man.

Saturday evening I thought I was going to die.  Not only was my throat completely raw, but I felt like every time I dozed off that I stopped breathing, and I would jerk awake in a panic.  My breathing was labored, or so I felt… I asked Frank to pay close attention and he said it didn’t seem like I was working very hard to breathe (meaning I didn’t seem to be having trouble) and that when I did doze off, I was breathing then, too.  I wanted to go to the bathroom but felt too lightheaded to walk and made Frank walk with me.  I was convinced my lips would be blue from lack of oxygen, but they looked fine.  I looked quite flush and healthy right then, actually, which just wigged me out more.  I decided I was more delirious and just went to bed.  For 12 hours.

Sunday, more general miserableness, but I actually ate (but only motivated by taking antibiotics and needing to take them on a full stomach).

Monday, more humanness returned, but going up the stairs in our house made me want to take a nap. I cooked a simple dinner (something my mom made all the time when I was a kid… I obviously was in need of some comfort!)

Today, finally, almost normal.  Still pretty tired and worn-out feeling, but my throat has only a smidge of a hint of hurting.

I do NOT want to do that again, thank you very much.

In other, more interesting and less grody news, my application for school is complete, and is part-way through the review process.  My contact at the admissions department is super cool and is keeping me apprised.  My coursework has all been reviewed for proper content (I don’t have the results yet — don’t know if I have any catch-up to do in the general education area, but I’m very confident I have enough business coursework for the content area) and is now just awaiting the final review to decide if I’m “in”.  So that’s cool, and nerve-wracking.

Just too much

Do you ever get to the point where you’re not sure how much more you can take?

It’s not all bad, just stress-inducing.  But some of it’s bad.

I’ve been sick for the last month.  It started while we were at Disney in February (did I even mention that here?  Well, we went, it was awesome, had a great time.)  Got worst on the trip home, and went to the doctor’s and was put on antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection.  They helped, but I’ve been in various states of general unwell since then.  Never quite enough for another course of antibiotics (though I was given a prescription to hold onto just in case) but lots of coughing and trouble sleeping until finally a few days ago I slept 11 hours one night, plus took a 4 hour nap the next day, and then slept 9 hours the next two nights, and I’m finally feeling mostly human.

Just as I got what I hope is permanently better, Lane came down with a bug and had a 101-degree fever yesterday.

There’s the whole hopefully going back to school and waiting to find out if I am accepted mini-drama, upon which I decided to pile the mini-drama of maybe getting a job.

And, the whole question of will I get pregnant, how much do I want to, and how much am I willing to go through to make it happen if it doesn’t on its own?

Frank’s studying is gearing up because he has an exam in about six weeks.

And, the biggest and worst news of all, my friend Kate is sick.  Really sick.  She came to visit me in early February, during which I took pregnancy portraits of her, which came out just lovely and we had a very nice visit… it was so nice to see her and our kids all got along great.  Then a couple weeks ago she had her baby, and it went downhill for Kate… bad infection, surgeries to remove the infection (which has been characterized as flesh-eating) and currently she’s still not “out of the woods” as they say.  She is almost fully sedated in the ICU on a ventilator, while her baby is in another hospital in the NICU with jaundice.  They are far enough away, and I think have enough help on hand that there’s really little I can do.  My heart is just aching for Kate and her whole family.  I simply can’t imagine a world with Kate not in it, she is witty and kind and thoughtful beyond belief, and a great friend to everyone lucky enough to have her in their life.  She better pull through.  She has to.

Am I brain-damaged?!

Still not pregnant.  Slightly frustrated, not sure I want to throw in the towel.  Really would love to have another baby, not sure if it would crush me if I didn’t.  We’ll see what happens.

Pretty settled to go back to school.  The application to my school of choice is nearly complete, and hopefully I won’t have to fulfill too many gen ed requirements in addition to the education coursework.  And, hopefully I’ll get accepted!!  One of my photography clients is actually also a certified business teacher and she thinks the certification is a good move… that the business teachers out there are largely not certified to teach business, so to have that certification is a definite asset in job hunting.  Cool.

So why, when CareerBuilder shot me an email from an old notification I’d set up, of a company looking for an HRIS & HR Metrics Manager (what I did when I worked full-time), did I decide to update and submit my résumé?   Why did I do the phone interview?  And why, when that went really well, did I accept the offer of an in-person interview on Thursday?

It’s a job right in the city, which means a long commute (but at least, one I could do via public transit) but the job sounds interesting, it’s for an interesting company (media & broadcasting type stuff) and I know from the phone interview it would be pretty lucrative — like perhaps making-more-than-my-husband lucrative.

But… I’m pretty set on this going-back-to-school-for-teaching thing.

Ugh, I am my own worst enemy!

At the very least, I’ll go to the interview, and see what happens.  Perhaps I won’t get an offer.   Perhaps the benefits and vacation time won’t be adequate.  Or perhaps I take it, and only work a few months… though I dislike the idea of that, in terms of general honorableness and stuff.

No longer counting

Don’t have to wait until Friday.  Not pregnant.  Day 1 for me = never pleasant.  Ugh.

And, I have a meeting with a potential wedding client tonight.  Can’t say I’m physically feeling up to it!