NOTE: I originally posted this text on Saturday, Oct. 28th, My baby's 3rd birthday. But Blogger has an issue with my posting pictures from home. I had to do it elsewhere but Monday was soooo slow. Finally got the photos up on Tuesday. Enjoy!
Today Daughter is 3. My sweet girl (who I never expected to have when I was teenager because I never wanted kids at all - least of all a girl - because they are so whiney and needy and noisy and girls are just plain sneaky and manipulative) is the funniest, smartest, sneakiest, cutest little girl I know. I'm laughing nearly every time I drop her off to school. I don't know why. The girl is just silly! I knew we'd have a connection because she was born on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 (a day I chose since I had a C-section) at 12:18 p.m. You see, 12/18 is my birthday.
I plainly remember one day when I was like 10 or something, sitting on the sofa with my father and he was telling me I was pretty and I remember telling him, "I don't want to be pretty! I want to be cute, like my mommy." Don't ask me, ya'll I still have NO idea what that meant. Ha! So yesterday I was getting Daughter dressed for school and she was standing there smiling her big smile at me and she put her hands on my face and said, "You're cuuute." I fell out. We weren't talking about looks or anything. I wasn't telling her how nice she looked as I usually do. She just volunteered the information and took me back 20 some years without even knowing it.
Today we get our hair done - the first time for her, habit for me. (There she is above beforehand.) Later we get our pictures taken for our holiday cards this year which I haven't sent out in a long time but I figured since her actual birthday is on a Saturday, I can get a 3-year picture taken and hey! we haven't had a family photo since Son was 2 so we're overdue. Actually, we'll take the proper family photo later because Son had his picture taken for school and they were giving free family portraits this year so we'll do it when we get our certificate.
I'l take some pictureS to illustrate the day and post them here later. For some reason I can't seem to get the photos to post when I do it from home so I'll have to wait until I get to work on Monday. So you come back then and see the show!
It's a rainy, grey day. Mr. T didn't work last night so we woke up together. MIL isn't home. My babies are healthy and happy and Daughter is now 3. It's a perfect day.
AND NOW ON TO THE SHOW!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
NOTE: I originally posted this text on Saturday, Oct. 28th, My baby's 3rd birthday. But Blogger has an issue with my posting pictures from home. I had to do it elsewhere but Monday was soooo slow. Finally got the photos up on Tuesday. Enjoy!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
So if you didn't know this already, my mother-in-law is our real estate agent. I asked her about this guy who is ahead of in bidding on this house to find out how he can just now be looking for the bank loan for this house and she explained that he had a deposit down and we really shouldn't have been able to bid on it but this particular agency keeps its options open until the deal is done. I can understand that somewhat. So he put his deposit down but now he has to find out if he'll actually get his bank loan. There's always the chance he won't but come on. That chance has got to be slim. Horrible as it sounds I do find myself hoping it doesn't go through but for all I know this man has a wife just like me and kids like I do and they need this as much as we do. Maybe even more. But I can't help having a part of me that doesn't want to care. This is a competition - bottom line.
Still, I'm not stupid. Chances are he'll get his loan but if he did not, we'd be doing the same thing he's doing now: we'd step up to the plate and play hurry-up-and-wait with the bank as we find out if our loan will be approved. We're only prequalified right now, just like him. So I asked my MIL why can't we do this bank process NOW and IF - big fat IF - he falls through, we'll already be ready to go and maybe even be the preferred bidders if someone else pops up, even if our bid is lower simply because the money is already in place? She said we could.
So I told my husband while we're waiting/still looking, let's get our ducks in a row now. No surprises. If you didn't know you could do that, my friends, you can. The bank will issue you a pre-approved letter - much better than pre-qualified - and it may last for a few months like a pre-qual, but at the end of that time if you're still looking you simply get a new letter. No biggie. So why not do that?
We will. It will certainly make this whole stupid waiting game feel a lot better. And if this falls through, at least we can keep looking with confidence.
Time to eat.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
So last night I had to follow Mr. T while he dropped off his car for winter maintenance. We had just left parent-teacher conferences and Son is doing wonderfully. Apparently he is still Mr. Popular. "When he has to go to the bathroom, EVERYBODY has to go to the bathroom," his teacher laughed. He reads to the class; he writes well; he finishes his math work first and it's right so she lets him play math games to give him so extra learning opportunities. "He seems to be really good with math. Does he do any extra work at home?"
Of course! I want to say. I drill it into him that school is important and that he should always go the extra mile and I make sure he does the extra credit EVERY time and I'm an all-around pain about making my kids try things on their own and THINK about why they are doing what they are doing. I'm a little bit of a pest. I want to say all that but I only share that when we go to the grocery store, I have Son total my groceries as we go.
"Lunchmeat. $6. Tuna. $5. Son, add 6 plus 5."
"Good answer! Juice. 2 for $3. Son, 11 plus 3?"
I'm a busy mommy but I'm trying to maximize the opportunities ya'll.
Anyhoo! (After this major sidetracking because I am a proud mommy after all) Mr. T. asks me last night how much money I have saved. I tell him after all the car troubles I had this year, not as much as I hoped. Why? He wants to put a bid on the dollhouse. We call it that because he is 6' 3" and in just about every new house we saw, things could be a bit tight for him but what ya gonna do? Shrink him? (Thus my picture. Clearly not the actual house we saw. The real picture will come IF we get it.) We saw the house last month and Daughter christened the driveway with her blood when she was running after her brother and fell on her face - my poor baby. Mind you, this was the first house I kinda liked although the school shuffle is going to be a chore in the mornings since it's a Bridgeport house and my son is in school in Stratford, one town north, and I'd then have to turn around and drop off Daughter to preschool in Bridgeport then continue south to work. But I DON'T CARE!
So he tells me he wants to put a bid on it. I already had this house out of my head so I'm trying to remember some of it's nuances on the inside. I just remember I loved the outside and that it's a dead-end street and we're last. Oh yes, it's a brand-new house too, which as you know we've been looking for.
So we re-prequalified with a new mortgage lender who could give us a better rate for a lower amount and apparently the bid goes out today.
Cross everything you can. Mommy's back is starting to hurt from sleeping with a giant and wriggler in a queen-sized bed.
UPDATE: Apparently there is a bid already on the house. Mr. T. talks with the builder from time to time and the builder told him that the other guy has to see if his loan will come through. Apparently they - the builder and real estate agent - think he's shakey. Bully for us - not. How long MIGHT this whole thing take before we find out if the competition is out of the picture? A MONTH. Great day. A month to look into his records? Honestly. Can someone send me back in time to yesterday afternoon before Mr. T. told me he wanted to bid on this house and somehow take me out of the picture until this guy's loan does or does not come through THEN tell me if our bid is accepted or not? I hate this crap. Whoever devised the real estate game was a sadist.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Boy, where have I been? I just checked the date and I can't believe I haven't posted in what? 13 days?! Amazing how time flies.
Work has been very busy. So much going on, which is great for my financial bottom line. I continue to thank God that I am doing something I believe in. Wanna know what I do? OK, I'll tell you. I'm an Editorial Assistant for a very worthy company. There I shared it - sort of. I write, I edit, I research, I help the Managing Editor to do her job and I love it. I'm continuously amazed at how organized I can be for them and yet my own stuff can be such a mishmash of paper and thoughts and projects.
In addition to work, I've been very busy working on Village Works stuff as well. I went to a conference in NY last week. Ladies Who Launch - you'll find their female entrepreneur of the moment in my sidebar on the right. It was such an awesome feeling being in the midst of all those creative women and hearing story after story of how they achieved success despite some kind of seeming setback. They were bootstrappers, much like I have been throughout the years that my business partner and I have been building this thing. They did what they thought was right, like we do, and they are getting there. It's depressing really. Seems like we should further along in this business than we are now but the truth of the matter is it is difficult to build a business when you have a full-time job and children. Not just a husband, mind you, who can let you go sometimes, but children, who won't necessarily understand why you need to be away from home so much, so I try not to be. Add to that a business partner whose job is 100x busier than mine (she's our pastor's admin) and you've got the making for slow progression. I was so frustrated when I left that meeting - encouraged yet frustrated - that I worked all night Friday night and most of Saturday on our business plan - which we've been working on all year (started a LONG time ago but now I need it done) - and our organizational chart and I created a couple of postcards to send to these two storeowners we've been wanting to meet with. That all required a lot of thought and writing and creativity.
The idea, if you've never read The E-Myth, is for you to work your business, not have your business work you. So you figure out your structure. Act as if you had to set things up to have someone else run the entire show successfully and that means writing charts and personnel manuals, that sort of thing. Not as bad a it sounds actually. I like to write and I'm anal so I have to organize things eventually or I will feel like I'm running in circles. It's kind of just a deeper level of a business plan, which is your vision on paper and we all know what the Bible says about vision, don't we? "Without a vision, the people perish." Also, we are told to "write the vision and make it plain." Wise words. If you want to stay on course, eventually you have to write things down, so I did that this weekend. Well, I always do that, but I did more of it and wrote some new stuff too so now all I need is my partner to give her thoughts on the various "positions" there are in our company and we can move on to phase two of this plan - writing ads for people who can help us get things done.
I think I said it before and I'll say it again - we are at a place where we need help because we simply can't do it all alone. She won't quit her job ever because she loves it, but she loves us too so it's hard. My plan is to eventually be the one to run the show full-time but that won't happen anytime soon since we need a house first. So that means we need help. We can't yet afford to pay for the marketing, PR and sales help that would truly push us along so we're seeking out college help, new professional help, i.e. INEXPENSIVE, but quality help so we can all help each other achieve our goals.
So I'm chomping at the bit right now. My latest version of our business plan is on my computer at my job so I couldn't even update it electronically yet. I've still got to actually get to my partner everything I did this weekend so she can look at it but right now it's MAAFA season at our church and that means my partner is busier than she usually is, plus her daughter is in the production so that's even more for her to do. In the meanwhile, we've got bills to pay off - which we can do, thank God - so we can get out website revamp started and finished before the holiday season sets in and she is the one who balances the checkbook and handles the finances. I told her I understood it all, because I do, but darn it, I'm going nuts here waiting on this stuff to get going. The plus side of all this? I just pretty much plan things and she says OK because we already think alike and agree on how things should be so I don't need her approval to do things. It's just COMPLETING the things that gets a little slow sometimes. Now I don't mean to sound hard on her because the fact is I have seasons when I'm up for things and seasons when I'm not and I just coast. Sometimes every creative bone in my body has clearly lost all their marrow and I'm just a shell of who I can be, but do you think she busts my chops over it? Nope. She knows the deal, just like I do. This is another reason we need to just get some help. To keep things moving when she's otherwise engaged and I'm just falling flat. Bottom line - I am so grateful to have a partner in all this and I'm so grateful to have her, someone I can trust, but sometimes I wish we could spend more time together on this business and already know she feels the same. We simply must make it happen. In the meanwhile, I have a new catalog to work on to keep myself busy and I'll continue figuring out how to get the hele we need. Know what I need? An Ebay pro. Know any?
So, that's where I've been - in the land of my job and Village Works and sort of preparing for NaNoWriMo as well because the book I intend to write has everything to do with what I'm going through right now. Oh, and Daughter had a Parent's Day at her school so I had to do that. And there was that funeral I went to. And I've been really focused and motivated regarding my weight loss so that I WAS down 20 pounds but somehow I'm back up 3 pounds and have to get that off again so I can get down to my next mini goal. Thankfully I'm still somewhat motivated to do that, but it sure does add to my already mounting frustration. The reasonable side of me says that losing 20 in not quite 4 months is not horrible, not actually shabby at all since you only gain about 10 pounds in year if you don't watch yourself. But the other side says, "Poppycock! You KNOW what you can do and your mind is just not all here!" True, true. Shoot, I'm even mad there's no good scary movies on TV OR in the video store. See The Omen yet? Don't bother. It's as scary and "shocking" as the original and that was NOT scary stuff. They practically stuck to the original script, which made it all the worse. Oh, and the "extended scenes too scary for theaters"? Yes, maybe if you are in a childen's theater. Bore-ring!
Sigh. I've got to go take children's coats out of the washing machine now and start taking my daughter's braids out. Saturday she turns 3 so that will be my focus all this week. I'm taking her to get her hair done that day and then we're taking a holiday photo because I think I can stand to be photographed right now. Plus we have to get the Dora cake she keeps talking about and I've got to get her a gift and I don't even get paid until the end of the month so I have to borrow from myself to do all this.
Yuck. I'm sick of listening to myself. I've gotta go read now.
Monday, October 09, 2006
This is my friend John. He's an artist and perfected the art of social networking via the Internet long before I even knew the term "blog" so I know he won't mind my saying his real name. John is a sweetheart. He's not as hard as he looks here.
John and I met when I first moved to Connecticut to work as a copy editor at the Connecticut Post. We got along wonderfully and I grew to enjoy having long talks with him about life or something like it. John is gay so we've had MANY, oh so many, talks about that subject in regards to my beliefs and his lifestyle. John has always found it strange that I can have my beliefs about homosexuality (My Christian faith teaches it is a sin like so many other sins. Let he who is without it, cast the first stone.) and still truly love him for who he is and accept him. We've even discussed his relationships. I clearly remember us coming back to that old discussion one day as he drove us to N.Y. because he wanted me to go to The Met with him. I laughed as I asked him, "John? Do you feel me judging you in any way or do I seem insincere?"
"No!" he responded laughing. "That's what's so weird about it!"
He moved to England one day to be with a partner and eventually ended up coming back to the states and now he's living and thriving in Boston. I miss our talks. He painted my portrait once. No one has ever found me so intriguing to want to do that but he did. It's a HUGE painting too. I'd take a picture but it's in the basement wrapped up somewhere waiting for me to get a house so I can hang it in a place of honor.
So I said all that because it's one of my most vivid memories about John and because John is having an art show. If you are in the area - Kerri? - stop by there and say hi for me, will you? Tell him I love him and miss him greatly. Some women can understand what I mean when I say it's a precious thing to build a friendship with a man with no strings attached. I can count those friendships on one hand.
The Bad and The Ugly:
This is both in one. I found out tonight that a friend of mine lost her husband. She's a budding friendship actually. She's one of the members of one of my business groups and business is what brought us together but likemindedness was leading us toward friendship.
See R - that's what I'll call her - is a daycare provider. She left a corporate job some years ago to pursue her dream of owning a daycare and she's really, really organized and creative about it. She's been building out her business preparing to take on more kids. R and I go to the same hairdresser so we saw each other there sometimes and I remember her recently talking about her young son asking to go out with her and her husband. "I told him mommy and daddy gotta have some time to play kissy face," she said. It was just the three of them but there are the kids she takes care of every day.
Apparently R's husband, who was a bus driver, was on the highway driving his bus last week when a tire fell off a truck or something, came through the windshield and killed him instantly. He is being hailed a hero for getting the passengers to safety.
When I found out, I immediately thought of myself. Sounds selfish but how do you not when our lives are so parallel? She's 30-something like me. A business owner like me. A husband with a non-traditional job lifestyle like me. But I cannot imagine what she must be going through. We were discussing her expansion plans when last we met. She and her husband were a true team and were making plans for their future in other ways. I am hurt for her. I am confused for her. I am at a loss as to what to do for her because as I said, we are a budding friendship. We haven't reached a place where we hang out at each other's home but it's one of those somewhat new relationships where you just know you can be good in each other's lives. Some friendships are meant to be distant and when those distant people come calling, sometimes you wanna hide or you sigh and reluctantly help out. That is not the case here but I will be sure to let her know that she can call on me for whatever, whenever.
Lesson for me is to move a little faster with getting my will done and make sure Mr. T. and I are in sync there. He had his done before we married and presumably altered it afterward but I've always had some other financial responsibility get in the way of my getting this done. We've talked about who will get the kids if something were to happen to both of us but it's way past time to get that on paper.
I will get my will done before the year is up. I will go to the funeral to support R when the time comes. I will pray for her and her son. I will make myself available. I just wish I had the ability to turn back time.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Stole this from YewNorkBabe who purloined it from LooneyMom who borrowed it from Lisa who lifted it from MommyBrain who got it from LifeinAShoe who got it from her real-life friend Amy but only listed the things she had actually done and I think added some of her own. MommyBrain went back to Amy to get the original. (FYI- Linking trail ends here. Like my sleuthing?)
Now I am a perfectionist and somewhat anal so what did I do? I printed the two versions and looked for differences. Yes I did. Just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. It's all good so here is the list. You simply copy and paste this mega-list and then bold the things you've done. I opted to bold it in my favorite color. Have fun!
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain - does a waterfall count?
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower2
3. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery - does 2 C-sections count?
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life
Friday, October 06, 2006
It's official. I am going to do NaNoWriMo in November.
It was a dare.
It was a scare.
It's just another project to tear out my hair.
But darn it, I'm a'doing it.
If you have always wanted to write a novel and were afraid to do it, squash those fears and join me (and some of my writing buddies) in figuring out where I'm going to find time to write about 1,600 words EVERY SINGLE DAY until I reach the winning goal of 50,000 in a month. (I want that winner's logo!)
Here's a hard-to-read banner to entice you more and pretty up my blog even more-er! I'm sure you can save the image and make it larger for yourself if you must read it or you can just visit NaNoWriMo and see what it's all about.
Now. I have to go back to work now because I was challenged to sign up, met the challenge (go me!), worked on my profile then decided I must get my nifty not-so-little banner up immediately. See it over there at the top to the right? Isn't she lovely?
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
So, I had my followup appointment with the eye doc today. The prescription he gave me worked wonders and now I'm only tearing up the normal amount! Today's visit was to see how things looked with my eyes in close-to-normal working order. Do I need glasses or not? Apparently I still see really well out the right eye but if I have to look only through my left one, things are a little fuzzy. Nevertheless, the amount of prescription necessary to improve things is so minimal, the doc wouldn't suggest glasses. So I'm off the hook - for now.
Mind you, my sight is still not what it was and I wonder if it ever will be again. Yesterday I spent a lot of time looking at the computer because this phenomenal graphic artist (the fiancee of another phenom I work with) is re-doing my business logo and I spent a lot of time staring at it onscreen and admiring it and trying to perfect it for the next round of changes. Then of course I was in the mood to write so I did and yes, I was at work all this time so I actually had to do that too, although I think I need a vacation. (No, I know I need one but I've got nothing planned for now.)
Anyway, I'm still sighted. I'm not vain - much. I just don't need the burden of having to keep up with expensive eyewear when I've got a sticky-fingered 2-year-old trolling about. I'm grateful the doc agreed. But next month I have to have the full exam. All I can see clearly right now is that I'm getting older and have to do these things a little more regularly. Age 36 is in shouting distance. Shudder. How quickly time goes.
Speaking of time. Must go meet with my business partner now!
Monday, October 02, 2006
Today I've got a lot going on with my writing and my business and my job but I popped in momentarily to tell you guys about this new magazine in case I never have before. It's NOT for the sensitive, I admit. It's NOT for the person who faints at profanity. It IS by someone I have the growing pleasure to know. It is real and I like it. So far in this issue I've only read the story telling me to watch the bleep out of Studio 60 but I didn't need convincing on that one. I liked it instantly and that usually means a show is doomed.
The magazine is about 3-months old now and already it has it's teeth, I say. It's target is the college-agers to the mid-30somethings (maybe a little higher?). Still, I'm just making it in! (And with my recent eye concerns, I do have constant reminders these days that I'm getting older.)
It is EXIST Magazine and their motto is Enjoy It While You're Young. I think I shall. See what you think.