Category Archives: Me

All I Want For Christmas Is Scorch’s…

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About two week before my brother’s wedding, Scorch noticed he had 3 loose teeth- his top two, and one on the bottom.  I kid you not when I tell you that I prayed that the boy’s top teeth would stay put until after the wedding.  Thankfully, they did so we don’t have a jack-o-lantern grinning at us from all the pictures.  But the inevitable did happen and he lost one of the top teeth today (the bottom one came out the day before the wedding).

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I admit, as dumb as it sounds, losing his top tooth got me today. When a little kid loses his top teeth, they lose that little kid look. Before long, Scorch is going to have these gigantic teeth that the rest of this face is going to have to grow into, with gangly arms and legs that go on for miles. The next thing I know, he won’t want to kiss me goodnight, he’ll never ask to cuddle again and he’ll move across country and leave me forever.

*sob*

Who knew one little tooth could cause all this angst? I keep reminding myself that I’m going to love the kid, then the man, that Scorch grows into just as much as I love the little boy he is today- I just wish he’d stop growing so fast. Someone come up with a cure for that, ok?

 

 

My Day Job

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Today I went into the school office like I do every Friday to get grocery cards (I buy gift cards from the school for my local grocery store at face value and the school gets 5%- genius).  When I walked in, both secretaries were in a tizzy- the PE teacher came in trying to tough it through a stomach bug and didn’t last 10 minutes.  They called everyone on their sub list and no one could come in so late. I’m not really paying that much attention, so when they asked me if I had my 4 year degree, and I told them yes having no idea what they wanted.

They wanted me to fill in for the PE teacher.

After I got done laughing,  I realized they were serious. Oh crap. Today is my day off so while I had a lot to do, none of it was pressing so for some freaking reason I said “yes.”

And that is how I ended up being a PE teacher today.  There we no lesson plans for any of my classes- PreK, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th- so we played a lot of basketball and kickball and with the scooters.  Thank goodness the PreK teacher is a former PE teacher and she stayed to help me manage those little balls of adorableness, snot & energy. 3rd graders were awesome, 4th graders were half awesome / half drama queens, 6th graders were all drama and 7th graders were the MOST fun, oddly enough.

All in all, everyone (including me!) had a good day and we all went home in one piece- so I’m calling my “teaching” debut a success.

Not that I ever doubted it, but today cemented the fact that I was not born to be a teacher and those who are, are a rare breed.

It’s All About Me

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There is this silly meme going around Facebook and if you get tagged, you have to share things about yourself. I got tagged today and had to list out 9 things about myself. And yes, I know it’s lame to share the same things here, but this poor blog is in desperate need of a jump start as I adjust to my new schedule, so humor me.

1) If I could pick my dream job it would be writing an advice column. I’m really good at telling people how to live their lives.
2) I didn’t start eating Italian food until I was a sophomore in college because I didn’t want to be rude and refuse a friend’s mom’s lasagna. My taste buds have thanked me ever since- my waist line, not so much.
3) We were visiting this friend’s house because he and I and some friends rang in 1998 in Times Square. That was one of the most fun / craziest things I have ever done – and something I’ll never do again because I could never hold my bladder that long again if my life depended on it.
4) I am one of the least athletic people you’ll ever meet, but I work out 5-6 times a week.
5) My favorite kind of books are the kind where I ignore my children/husband/chores/work because I can’t put the book down. I’m always on the look out for a new book that fits that description- genre doesn’t matter.
6) I’ve gone camping at least once a year for at least 31 out of my 35 years. We took Scorch camping for a week when he was 8 weeks old- the only summer he hasn’t been camping was the summer the Bean was born (I was too chicken to take a 10 day old camping).
7) While I like dogs (including my own), I’m a cat person through and through.
8) When I was pregnant with the Bean I had months of nightly dreams about Eminem. We were BFFs and I was the only one who could convince him to go back on tour (nope, I don’t get it either).
9) There is always music on at my house- which means I’m always singing and dancing. I’m pretty shameless so the fact that I can’t do either doesn’t stop me.

Here’s a few bonus items:

10) I love road trips. Absolutely *love* them and cannot wait until the kids are old enough to take a cross country trip with them.

11) I’m not a crier over most things in real life, but I cry over things in books and TV all the time. Including the Folder’s commercial where the solider comes back home and surprises his family in the morning with a pot of coffee. Not sure what all that says about me.

12) I’m not a numbers/ data person, but nothing makes me feel more accomplished than having things like my budget / grocery list/ Christmas presents guide typed out in a color coded spreadsheet. Makes the Hubs crazy- he hates my spreadsheets.

 

 

 

 

Free Time Gone Wild

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Do you want to know how you know you have too much time on your hands? When you spend a good chunk of your day 1) washing down the outside of your fridge with a Magic Eraser sponge, 2) rearranging all the magnets on said fridge all so you can 3) hang the 4 documents you created- Family Rules, Family Consequence, Scorch’s Chore Chart and Bean’s Chore Chart- just so on the fridge.  All documents are color coded, of course.

Gag me. Next thing you know, I’ll be whipping up some project I saw on Pintrest.

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In all seriousness, the documents I created were a long time coming. The kids have been a tad bit challenging lately. Typical kid stuff- that is, if your kids spoke a completely different language than you and they came from Opposite World. The only way lately to get their attention was to YELL loudly and repeatedly (after already repeating myself 10 times at normal volume) and that’s not a fun environment for anyone. Growing up, I babysat for a family where the mom was a yell’er- she could be heard all throughout the neighborhood and her kids completely tuned her out. I was having flashbacks and realizing I was becoming her so something had to give and the documents were born.

Really, there is *nothing* earth shattering on any of them. The rules are basic, the consequences expected and the chores typical little kids stuff. But so far, so good. Instead of being the bad guy, I can point to the rules. When I dole out immediate consequences instead of yelling myself horse, the kids can’t say they haven’t been warned.  And they both have a list of things they are expected to do each and every day. I don’t know if the kids were blinded by the sparkling fridge or impressed by the charts, but tonight was by far one of our calmer nights. Whatever it was, here’s hoping it continues to work!

 

This, That & a Minor Miracle

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When I thought about being unemployed one of the things that freaked me out the most was thinking I’d have eons of free time to fill up. I could very easily go the way of the sloth and do nothing but read all day and I was worried that I’d do just that.  Turns out, I have nothing to worry about because so far I’m finding being unemployed has made my schedule a 1000x crazier then it was before.  Before, I had a set schedule that varied little from day to day.  I knew what I was doing at any given hour during the day and there was comfort in that routine. Now there is no routine and I’m flying by the seat of my pants, yet my days are booked between meetings about freelance work, PTA meetings, meetings with my CPA, meeting with a financial adviser about what to do with my 401K and random interviews.  And when I’m not doing that, I’m cleaning my house- only to have the kids wreck it in 0.007 seconds after they get home.

And frankly this lack of a routine is making me crazy.

This is the week I start my part time job, find out more about one of the freelance jobs I’m doing and find out if I got a full time job I interviewed for last week. So by the end of this week I’ll have some idea of what my new schedule will be even if it kills me, so help me God.

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Halloween this year was amazing. Good lord, as crazy as 5 and 7 can make me, they are the best ages in so many ways. This year my kids were beyond excited about Halloween- they both completely got into the spirit and were old enough not to be exhausted and miserable by the end of the night. We went to a friends house for dinner, then 6 couples with 13 kids total hit the road and did the trick or treating thing. The oldest kids were 7, the youngest was 13 months old and they all rocked it with a lot of laughs, good manners and down right giddiness over the good candy.  Scorch was Harry Potter and the Bean was the Red Power Ranger and part of me wanted to freeze them right then and there at this age so they’ll always be this happy and excited.

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Scorch had his first sleepover at a friends house this past weekend. I admit, I was nervous that I was going to have to head out at 11 pm to pick him up. He was at one of my best friend’s homes with people who love him dearly and he knows well, but still, I didn’t think he’d last the night.  When I went to bed, I had both phones right by my pillow so I could grab them when the phone call inevitably came during the night.

But it never came- the sleepover was a complete success!

Such a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but a HUGE testament to how far Scorch has come. If you had told me 2 years ago when Scorch’s anxiety started that he’d spend the night somewhere other then our house or his grandparents, I would have called you crazy. We were lucky enough to get that child to sleep in his own house at that point in time- and when we did, sleep typically happened after hours of trying and usually didn’t last all night thanks to nightmares. Yet here he was, spending the night at a friends without any issues.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again- getting Scorch therapy was *the* best thing we’ve ever done for him and watching him live a completely normal, ordinary life as a result is a miracle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over & Done With

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Today was the day- my 13 year career at the Big Company has come to an end.

And you know what? Today I feel relieved.

For the past month, this is all I could think and talk about. At work, at home, with friends and with family- it was The Topic of Conversation. And I was dreading today. I was dreading handing over a project I care very much about to people I didn’t know. I was dreading saying goodbye to coworkers who’ve become friends. I was (and still am, to be honest) dreading life without my reliable paycheck.  I was dreading a huge stretch of down time, wondering what I was going to do with myself. But by today, I was just ready to end this chapter and move on.

My manager drove 7 hours up from VA to take me to lunch today- which is about as classy as you can get and I’m touched by her kindness. I was worried it was going to be awkward, but it wasn’t. We had a good meal, some good laughs and a few tears.  I don’t hold her responsible for this- I know how things work as I’ve had to be that manager in the past.  When our meal was over, I handed her my computer and my ID and that was that.  Done. Finished. Over.

To mark the occasion, I took the kids out to a fundraiser at a local Frozen Yogurt place, grabbed a pizza and watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabain with my family.  I got an email this afternoon offering me a part time job doing something I think I’m going to enjoy very, very much.  Between that and a few freelance gigs I’m hoping to get, I’m going to be just fine.  I’m starting to see this as the kick out of my comfort zone that I may have needed for a long time.

So here’s to the adventure in store, the financial uncertainty that will keep me up at night and the endless applications that’ll cause me to pull my hair out- all of which, I’m sure, will take me exactly where I’m supposed to be.

This, That & Seamus

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So hi. Been what- 6 days now? Amazing how fast time goes by, isn’t it? Wishing I had something super exciting to share, but I don’t, really. So…here are some snippets of what’s shaking.

The interviews last week went well. The first one lasted all of 3 minutes when the recruiter informed me that they were looking for someone who lived in Boston. That’s clearly not me. The second interview was with the HR recruiter for a job I very much want and that went amazing! We clicked, the mutual interest was there and I was on Cloud Nine when she immediately scheduled a follow up for me for the next day with the hiring manager. That interview was much harder to read although I was very pleased with how I did.  So I’m waiting to hear if I’m still in the running there.  The third interview was for a local job that went so well that I left there very disappointed that it was only part time and not terribly high paying. I’m really hoping I get that job- if nothing else, I’ll love it and it’ll get me out of the house once I roll off my job at the end of the week!

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Yup, I roll off my job this week. Still trying to figure out how I feel about that besides panicked for the poor guys taking over for me. Which I know is crazy to feel given the circumstances, but I do.

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Meet Seamus!

Seamus

Scorch decided a while back he wanted his very own pet – because evidently the 2 cats and the dog weren’t enough for him. First he wanted a snake. That got a big Hell No from us. Then he wanted a lizard- also a no go.  Hamster? Also not happening thanks to a 4th grade birthday party that scared me for life. Then he suggested a gold fish. Hmmm…maybe. But with the short life span and the cleaning of the bowl, that sounded like a giant PITA too. So the Hubs suggested a hermit crab- with the stipulation Scorch had to pay for it himself.  Since we don’t give him an allowance and it was months from any holiday or his birthday, we figured we were safe.

Yeah- that little kid had $26 in change saved up in under 2 months from scrounging around everywhere. I kid you not when I tell you Scorch walked around any time we were in public with his eyes glued to the ground hoping to find lost change.  And he did it- he kept at it and saved enough.  So two weeks ago, we went to the pet shop and Scorch bought his very own pet with his very own money!  While a hermit crab isn’t my first (or even 10th) choice of a pet, Seamus is quiet, clean and low maintenance. I guess we could have done worse!

And, sadly, that’s the most exciting news I’ve had to share all week!

 

Head Space

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The weird thing about being told that I’m getting laid off, but then having 30 days left to work is that nothing’s changed. Except everything has. My routine is still the same- I get up, I work out, I get my kids ready for school, I work for 8+ hours, tend to the kids/homework/dinner/bedtime, have a few hours to kill (now spent searching for a new job) and go to bed. There is no huge yawning expanse of free time yet- if anything, the to-do list is a thousand times longer than it was a month ago as I update my resume, post it, search for jobs, reach out to contacts, finish up all the documentation to hand off to the people taking over bits and pieces of my job, make sure our finances are in order, figure out where we can cut out expenses and on and on and on… all with the low level vibration in my head, this sense of never-ending urgency pounding in my chest.

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It feels odd to talk about my job loss. But it’s all I think about. Not so much the loss of the job I have (had?), although there is some mourning there. More in terms of what it means for the future, how it will affect us all and when I’ll find another job. It’s scary because I’ve worked since I was 15- I’ve never not had a job in the past 20 years. I worked at a golf course, at Victoria’s Secret, at a warehouse on my college campus, at IBM and this horrible start up right out of college. Then I got my current (former?) job when I was 22 and here I still am (was?).  I did a lot of fun, fun projects at this job and I met some of the most incredible, inspiring, giving people. Even when I didn’t much enjoy what I did, I still enjoyed going to work because of my coworkers.  Them, I’ll miss.

But I don’t feel like I’m losing my identity (one of the things the online brochure said I may feel after my lay off) because I’m so much more than my job.  My job allowed me to live the life I wanted to live- one with a stable home and vacations and a wonderful, loving school for my kids. We don’t live extravagantly, but we live(d) well. I’ll miss that sense of security.

But I feel dumb talking about this like it’s some big tragedy. I’m not battling a disease, no one’s safety is at stake, my kids are still happy. my husband is supportive and we’re not about to lose our home or car or even cable TV over this.  But some days it’s all I can talk about. It bleeds into every conversation whether it’s due to concerned friends asking how I’m doing or me having to explain to the kids why going to the indoor waterpark at $35/person on our day off isn’t in the budget anymore.  It’s this weird head space of wanting to think/pretend everything’s normal while knowing it’s not and that you’re fooling yourself because you can’t even think about going out to dinner without have an internal panic attack thinking about the cost. It’s an odd, odd way to live.

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I have 3 interviews over the next 3 days.  I’ll take any good wishes & prayers I can get!

 

 

 

 

 

Let Go

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Thursdays are often a crazy day for me. I work from 7 – 3:30, then I pick up the kids and we rush around doing errands for 35 minutes, then it’s off to swim lessons and a quick dinner before I pass the kids off to the Hubs so I can rush back to school and work at Bingo for 2.5 hours before finally crashing around 10:30. This particular Thursday was shaping up like all the rest, but the sun was shining and the kids went to school without a fuss so I figured it was going to be a good day.  I was going to attack my to-do list, manage my time and have a good afternoon with the kids. That was the plan at least.

Until I got laid off.

When my boss’s boss pinged me to see if I had time to chat, I wasn’t surprised. He and I had been playing tag for weeks trying to connect on a project and I figured he was grabbing 15 minutes with me to finally nail it down.  What I wasn’t expecting was for him to tell me that, due to budget constraints, I was to consider our conversation my 30 days notice as they were doing away with my department altogether.

*POOF*  Laid off.

I have been with my current employer for 13 years and I’ve genuinely enjoyed all of them. I wasn’t saving the world, but I was helping customers and, most importantly, I worked with an incredible group of people that I’m proud to call my friends. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve dreaded going to work and I generally find most of what I do to be interesting. I know it sound naive given the economy, but I honestly thought I could retire from this company.  Unfortunately, due to cost savings considerations, they felt differently.

I won’t lie, the first couple days after I got the news, I was reeling. I cried at the drop of a hat, I was angry and I was ashamed.  But, with the help of the Hubs, family and amazing friends, I got past being ashamed. I have nothing to be ashamed about- life happens and companies have to make hard decisions. I am wrestling with guilt- guilt about how my family’s life is going to change if I don’t find a job quickly. Guilt over the things they’ll have to give up because unemployment, while very helpful, isn’t a replacement for my salary. I still cry occasionally and part of me is still angry- but I’m moving past that.

Now I’m starting to get excited and hopeful. There is a big, glorious world out there and while I’m very much a creature of habit, being shaken out of my rut is going to force me to see more of it! Maybe I’ll get lucky and find a new job right away and my family won’t have to deal with any major bumps in our road. Or maybe I’ll get lucky and I won’t find a job right away and I’ll have some time to volunteer at the kid’s school and get creative with my cooking. I honestly don’t know which way things are going to go, so I’m trying to swallow my terror and have faith that somehow, we’ll be just fine.

Boring & extraordinary

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So lately my life has neither been wicked or crazy, although it has been slightly awesome in that nothing-has-broken-no-one-has-died sorta way.  This past week has just been exhausting as we settle back into our new normal of school and basketball and swim lessons and homework and fall temperatures and birthday parties.  All of which are good, good things- they just all hit at once.

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Scorch continues to love school with a fiery passion and is as happy as a lark to get out of bed each morning and get going!  The Bean, on the other hand, needs to be dragged out of bed most mornings and usually starts crying about going to school right around the time we pull into the parking lot.  In case you were wondering, it is loads of fun to drag a crying 5 year old across a parking lot, across the street and into her classroom every day, thank you very much. *sigh*  Thankfully she’s fine 2 minute after we leave (I peek in on her most mornings) and each afternoon when I got to pick her up, she runs away from me because she wants to stay and play.

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We are trying to eek out every ray of sunshine and speck of warmth that we can from Mother Nature because fall is quickly approaching, with winter waiting in the wings.  While I miss the sun being up when I leave the house early every morning, for 2 weeks I was treated to the most gorgeous sunrises on my way home from the gym.  I was pulling over every single morning just to capture the pink skies on my phone because they were awe-inspiring.  I mean, have you ever..?!

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I haven’t read a really compelling book in a long time. I’m in the middle of Dan Brown’s Inferno but right now I’m annoyed / depressed by it. Annoyed because in the copy I have from the library, random words/passages are bolded for emphasis by the author/publisher. If I’m not smart enough to place my own emphasis while reading, well then, I have no business reading at all.  And depressed because the book talks at length about how the world is going to hell in a hand basket due to over population sooner rather than later.  Not exactly bedtime reading material. Next on my to-read list is The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, so here’s hoping that’s better. I have, however, managed to watch both seasons of Scandal in the past 3 weeks. Make of that what you will. 😉

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So, that’s the state of us and our average, normal, extraordinary life! How’s your life?