Tuesday, December 29

a new year lurks...

Life has been getting the best of me.

I should be cleaning. Doing laundry. Picking up the new toys/clothes/books. But where am I? Lost in the Internets. My dear Chee is down with a temporary injury, my girls are sleeping soundly, and I've had more than enough time to play with my big gift of the holidays, a Motorola Droid (which is totally a kick-ass cousin to the iPhone). And I'm in the office, accomplishing nothing. SO, on that note, a quick, guilt-free post...

What has 2009 brought us? Chee's near completion of the next great American novel; the decision that our fine city isn't the pit I used to think it was and we'll stay for awhile, thanks; the belief that I am getting old (and wrinkly) and if I don't take better care of me, I'm seriously screwed; our house is much too small, and purging is no longer the answer; jobs is jobs is jobs - I'm glad to have mine, but dream of better; we're so thankful for our families, friends and those who are both, that I could just cry; and two smart, sassy little girls is exactly what we needed to complete our family .



'Nuff said.

Tuesday, September 22

Facebook deep thoughts...

what an oxymoron...I have become a lurker. I watch. And I read. I rarely post. Why, you may ask? I've come to the conclusion that there are few things I would say that would not annoy me, if I were on the receiving end. No one cares about my overnight business trips, or what I'm having for dinner. Close friends/family would like to hear about my girls' escapades, and when I'm planning on going back the boonies to visit the fam. But really, my life is pretty much the same, all the time.

Maybe I'm just sick of Facebook. I count on the same few people for entertaining statuses, or links. I love to hear news like engagements, visits abroad and new family members. But truth be told, I'm "hiding" more people's comments than viewing them. "For shame!" you may say, "why did you bother to 'friend' them in the first place?"

Answer - i thought i might be surprised and find out i know lots of really interesting people with much cooler lives than mine. And if i'm really truthful with myself, i do know some great, nice people. some have very happy lives and they want to share the minutae with the masses. I used to be in that group. Lately, i've decided to move on. i only read the interesting ones. no more reading about other people's trips to the park with their kids....again.

But if you're K.C. (who takes fabulous trips to CO and writes religiously on her blog), or J&K, (who have a new baby I'm dying to meet), or Kathleen (who has hella interesting opinions on everything from the environment to Gallic badasses like her hubbie), or Steve (who I used to work with and is HI-larious), or Adam (my dear ex-roomie who has gone from drama 24x7 to settled and happy as heck), I'm ALL ears.

Basically, if you know you've got something interesting going on, I'm still tuning in. Not that you really care either, but it was on my mind.

Sunday, August 16

Big Kindergartener

I've been seeing many posts on kids starting school. I can't really dread Monkee going to school - she's been in daycare since she was an itty bitty. I am nervous for her, though. New school. New faces. She may or may not have anyone in her class she knows. And she'll be dealing with all that, plus a new language. Immersion schools are like that; they immerse in the language of choice.

Once she learns an additional language, it should be easier for her to learn others, should she feel the need to do so. And in this ever-shrinking world, can we afford to have kids who speak one language? Sure, English-speakers are almost everywhere, but how can anyone really get a feel for a culture not your own unless you attempt to learn the language?

I'm monolingual. And hate it. I want to give my daughter the world. What better way than to open up other cultures to her? Plus, the teachers at this school are international. What a great way to teach her about all the places she hasn't been - yet.

This first step to the big K is just the first new place to go. I'm so excited for her.

Wednesday, August 5

toddlers or trainwrecks?

I started typing up a story about winning a massage. But that's about it - I won a massage.

So while I sit here, mentally preparing to get some real work done, I watched Toddlers&Tiaras.I think I'm past offended. I am, however, concerned that we (especially in the South, where these things always seem to go down) are raising a generation of bimbos.

For every girl on these shows who looks to be sincerely enjoying the flaunting and primping, there are 5 who are crying because they hate makeup, would rather be playing, have a wig that hurts, or glitter in their eyes. The moms say "they love it." In most cases, the kids do not look like they love it, at all. And that's what keeps us watching those damn shows...the clash between what we see and what we hear.

Ridiculous. The moms they highlight are almost always severely overweight, and I know I'm stereotyping, but I can't help but think they are the epitome of living through your children, forcing them to do something they never could.

I just hope those little kids are given time away from the fakery to get muddy, go to museums, read books and ride bikes. I hope their lives have many more dimensions to them than what we're shown.

I find it sad that so many moms think validation by crowning is necessary, in any form. How many of those girls might have grown up to be scientists? Or something that has nothing to do with how they look? I can only hope they see the light as they get older and realize fluff and glitter can only get you so far...then you're paying for plastic boobs and botox.

My girls are smart. And beautiful. They'll figure it out without pagentry.

Thursday, July 23

Travelling man...

or WOman, as the case is.

I went on my first business trip this week. It was fine.

It was to LA. I stayed at a fancy hotel. Ate fancy food on the rooftop of a fancy club. Slept in a big, fancy bed, all to myself. Saw lots of super-fancy cars and people who thought they were fancy (store-bought boobs do NOT a person of class make).

And I missed my messy little family. And my cluttered little house. And a crowded bed at 6am. And my very, very not fancy car.

It was an overnight trip - technically, around 36 hours. Lord - if I ever have to leave for a week I'll be a basket-case.

Thursday, July 9

Social Media Stagnation

I'm trying really hard to stay enthused about Social Media.

To me, now that my job doesn't technically require me to keep up on it all, that means logging into Twitter a few times a week, reading a few blogs (work and non) weekly, checking in on Facebook every 4 days or so, and making sure my LinkedIn account is still living.

I must have jumped in on it all at a good time, but frankly, I'm just hella burned out. I know all the rules ('if you use it right, it can do wonders for you!'), but they just seem like a drain on my oh-so-precious time. Blogging included. I'm forcing this post (can you tell?) and allotting all of 15 min. I was up for several hours last night with Little. My lack of REM sleep is dragging my already dragging butt even lower.

So I've decided to use my time more wisely and with less stress. Blog when I feel like it, no underlying guilt (it certainly hasn't been working thus far). Facebook as necessary (and is it ever REALLY necessary?), and Twittering when I actually have something to say. I plan on sticking to sponging up what other people are writing, saving noteworthy pieces to my delicious account, and living in the real world for awhile.

Remember that place?

Tuesday, June 9

RIP

a sunny lawn spot
she was a good dog back then
rest in peace Gracie

*sigh and sniff*

We got her at five years old, already mildly damaged, but such a good, loyal dogster. Obedient, loving, lick-ist. Let the kid pull her ears and sit on her. Loved us. And we loved her back. She was one of us...We had her for seven years.
We kept her as long as we could. Hearing got bad. Then worse. Thunder, heck, even sprinkles of rain, made her crazy. She bit the kid in the face (4 stitches), became aggressive with adults, chewed chunks of wood from the kitchen and office doors (while on doggie-prozac) during rain storms. We tried medication, and separation from the youngsters. We thought "farm dog" - we'll just keep her outside. But then she gouged huge pieces of siding off the garage (again, while on a mild sedative which didn't work), throwing up wood pulp and chunks of her own stomach. She escaped from the yard time and again, hurting herself in the process... miserable and unable to be part of the family.

It was just time. But damn, I miss her.
RIP - we'll remember the good times, sweet ol' dog. Enjoy the sunny spots.



Monday, May 4

Crawlin' Fool

For you aunties and g-mas....
List of recent baby accomplishments:
  • 7 months old last week and crawling after the cat

  • pulling herself up and standing in her crib

  • sitting like a champ

  • trying (unsuccessfully) to hurl herself out of the arms of whoever is holding her

  • 4 teeth

  • eating solids

  • feeding herself "puffs"

  • holding her own bottle

  • trying out a sippy cup

  • lifting arms to be picked up

  • yelling after mommy when she leaves the room (which just breaks my heart)
*sigh* She's not supposed to be doing all this yet. I'm not ready.


Work, Life and the Balance

Just imagine, after suffering through daily hell (I'd say more, but legally, i can't)...I am in heaven.

I am now in a place where you're allowed basic schedule flexibility. Where everyone respects one another's skills and there are no staff meeting "call-outs' meant to demean (and demoralize in the process). Where people are treated like professionals. Where collaboration is vital. Where it really IS about the client. And where respect for one another is absolutely key.

People, it's all up from here.

Monday, April 27

What do you send to Camp Victory?

If you had a friend in Iraq, in the Red Zone at Camp Victory, what would you send?

He said since it's like a small city there, he doesn't need anything. I don't buy it. I don't want him to miss home more...so sentimental crap is out. He is a huge reader and movie watcher. Movies he has in abundance. Books, I know he has access to (just not sure how).

He has a very wry and offbeat sense of humor...a former teacher and IT geek, he's simply one of the best guys our family knows, and Chee has known him forever. (If we could only find him a nice single girl...)


Any ideas?

*Mikey - if you're reading this, and you better be, comment and let me know what to pack up for you!
We miss you terribly. Monkee says thanks for the Camel. She has yet to name him, but took him to school today to show off. I'll send a pic soon.
In the meantime, these carrots are for you...

Saturday, April 18

When all you can do is bitch about everything...

(...and for you gestapo-types, I am not talking about anything work-related.) I'm talking about a frustrated 6-month old. All she wants to do is crawl, walk, run, already! Oh, and feed herself with a spoon (she has her pincher-grasp down already), turn on faucets, open cabinets, wash her own feet, be like her sister! etc... But what she can mainly do is tell everyone how annoyed she is by her lack of mobility - rolling is just not doing it for her.

Poor baby. I feel for her. But at this rate, that child is going to be crawling by 7-months and walking by 10 (or earlier). In the meantime, our household has learned to tell the difference between "I'm hungry","I'm sleepy", and "I'm pissed off because I can't do what I want, when I want!" Along with this goes the ever-present, "carry me, carry me, carry me", which is always a favorite. And her pick-me-up arms are coming along nicely.

In the meantime, Monkee is not complaining about her sister's squawks (thank god), and has turned my old Scientific Calculator (Texas Instruments) into a walkie-talkie. Only calls out and ordering invisible friends around, people and animals.
"Michael Catlink, Michael Catlink, you're on the move...your cat bath is ready." "John Lenzo, you're on the move - time for play gym." "Maddie, Maddie, John Lenzo needs you." "John Stewart, time for play gym." (you think she'd heard us talking about The Daily Show?)
"John Dorfin, Joh Dorfin, are you there? John Dorfin is not here, move him off the list."

I am loving listening to this. It reminds me so much of that Blackberry Curve commercial (which I always think is a FedEx ad). Poor Callahan. In our case here, poor John Dorfin - whoever he is, he didn't make her "list". Welcome to Saturday night at our house.

Thursday, April 16

Moving on...

So lots of news...lost a job, but looking like I'll be gaining a much better one soon.

Today I completely enjoyed a quiet day without hurry, or anything else detrimental to my good mood. Checked facebook, ran errands, did a bit of laundry. Picked up Monkee from school and got ice cream. Went home and took both kids for a walk. Pretty much perfect. And did I mention, no hurrying? Ah yes, that. No phone calls or email waiting for me at home. Bliss.

So, on with my adventures. I have several interviews set up...the main one I'm planning for is tomorrow - it's the last of several, so here's hoping it goes uber-well. Also meeting with recruiters, and have another interesting interview opp. later this month. That's IF this meeting tomorrow doesn't run like it should. So we'll see.

I just feel blessed to have the meetings I've had -- the same week one door closed (with so much finality it made my ears ring), another, prettier door with bright, shiny, stable hinges has swung open wide. Ah, progress.

On other fronts, Little is 6 1/2 months, trying to crawl like crazy, grabbing everything within her reach and eating her first solids with her three little teeth. So big already - makes me want to cry. Monkee is still an excellent big sis - we try to give her individual attention on a regular basis. She's a smart one...she is always a step ahead of us, so we're good. She turns 5 in May. Agh. Now that seems crazy. Seeing Little with all Monkee's old toys reminds us daily of when Monkee was a wee one. She loves stories of "when she was a baby." Not much jealousy - she's just resigned to having to share her space and us.

We've decided to switch her school, again. Poor kid. We're just not happy with the place she is now...every school has its issues, it has just come down to what issues we, as parents, have some control over. So we're moving her again. It took months to get her used to the new school. I'm dreading the change, but its what's best.

Cross your fingers and toes for me - I need to get the job thing settled.
In the meantime, here's hoping for more sunny days I can spend outside with the kiddlings.

Tuesday, March 24

We have a winner!

I asked my darling daughter (the one old enough to talk) to pick a number between one and three. She picked....one. Adam, the tickets are yours.

I'll leave your name at will call and will email you the details.

Thanks for playing!

Saturday, March 14

Disney on Ice - ticket GIVEAWAY

Can you believe it? I have an actual, bona-fide giveaway!
I have a family 4-pack of tickets for the Kansas City Disney on Ice event - Mickey & Minnie's Magical Journey.




The tickets will only be good for the first two nights of the show (April 1st and 2nd). Show is at Kemper Arena at 7pm.


If you win, the tickets will be placed at will call by the company providing them for the giveaway.


All you need to do, is comment. I'll randomly choose a winner.
ps - contest open until the 21st (next Saturday).

Wednesday, February 25

Ok, you can hate me now...

I had my dear Chee drag up the "pre-pregnancy pants" tub from the basement last night. And joy of all joys, I can fit into the majority of those things.

My dear friend Rita lent me several pair of jeans I have been dutifully wearing ever since prego pants sagged on me. When those jeans started to sag, I had a nightmarish vision of having to come up with the cash to buy new britches. Then, my post-pregnancy, sleep-deprived brain remembered - the "tubs in the basement." Where all pre-preggers clothes supposedly went to die. I just knew I'd never fit into my "pre" clothes. After all, everyone says that after the second, their bodies never went back.

Here's the kicker - I haven't worked out once and I eat everything I get my hands on. And I'm still back into the pre pants, and Little is only 5 months old this weekend.

I know breastfeeding is a big part of the equation. I'm sure that once I stop, if I keep eating like I am now, the preggers pants may have to make a comeback. Ugh.

But I am here to tell you, internets - my genetics are freakin' awesome. (Thanks, mom.)

So when you see me in my "skinny" jeans, feel free to hate me. And my genes.

Wednesday, February 11

Exhaustion reigns

Have you ever been so tired that you look at spilled water (or juice or milk) on the floor and catch yourself thinking "it can wait until morning?"

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I have done this more than once the last several weeks. Little is still not sleeping through the night - she can get a good 5 hours in. She's so tired when she gets home from school (way too much stimulation) that she sleeps from 6:30 or so until 11. I take her up to bed, and she wakes up for food. Then sleeps until 3-ish, then until 6. We're missing that quality cereal-eating time that would (hopefully) fill her up to help her sleep better. I'm not sure how to handle it...i don't want to wake her up to eat (that would so piss her off), but she digs on her cereal...i suppose it's all guesswork right now.

And i'm working a lot. This was my first week of a new, 34 hr-wk schedule. But there is so much going on this week, that I'll be way over (which means, technically, I won't get paid for those hours over 34). I am complaining, but not loudly. I'm thrilled to have a job and be busy. So I'll suck it up - it's not like I'm the only one at my job who is working over my "allotted" hours right now. It's part of the gig.

Once the schedule is really set, I'm hoping I'll have more time to get stuff done around the homestead. This place is a pit (maybe becuase of spilt milk?). I'm about ready to spring clean the shit out of this place. Give me a babysitter and a warm weekend -- the kids and Chee are getting kicked out and I'm throwing out most things that aren't nailed down. I'm tired of walking over and around things constantly. I think just the thought of what I'm not getting done at home is making me more tired...And since there is no new house in sight for us right now, purging is the next best thing. Wish me luck. Garage Sale, anyone?

Thursday, February 5

Pixies with Attitude

Especially my monkee. Check it, yo!

Searching for a school

So Little is 4 months now, and her first tooth just came in. I forgot how soggy babies are...not just diaper, but drooly! And I'm pleasantly surprised that I don't mind one bit. Monkee is a little grossed out by it, but doesn't really mind.

We moved Monkee into a new school - Montessori. While i like the teaching method, and her teacher, the asst. teacher is a loud, seemingly worthless lump. Who, i ask you, in a teaching environment (especially Montessori) yells at 4 yr olds? Anyway, Monkee seems to be doing well in the classroom. We're not convinced that she will be there into Kindergarten. We're really just testing the waters. I'm not thrilled with the atmosphere beyond the the classroom. After-care sucks, and the summer program is a little too unknown (meaning no one seems to be able to tell me really what goes on) for our comfort level. We may just take her back to her old Preschool for the summer.

We have two other potential Kindergarten options. One a charter, one a private. Both excellent options and both have things about them that make us uncomfortable. It's incredibly important to make the right decision, since Little will be going wherever her sister goes. And some of our options require the child to be a kindergartener to enroll (no one over the age of 5 can apply).

The drama of trying to find a decent education that won't milk us dry, in a city with a horrible public school system. Such fun.